Inspiration, Ideas, Tips and Strategies, by Always Healthy Mom

Friday, October 28, 2011

Guest post: Some advice from a FIT Mommy

 FIT Mommy
As moms we always do everything we can to have the best for our child.  We give them the freshly cut fruit, make them a healthy lunch, encourage them to be active and by the time it’s our turn to eat/workout, we’re just tired and we want it to be over with! 

It’s hard as a mom because you’re continually putting others needs before your own.  However we know that the best way to serve our kids is to be healthy and happy ourselves.  I truly believe working out and eating healthy on a regular basis will help us be better moms. 

The issue now becomes time.  Who doesn’t need more?  There’s always something extra that’s being thrown on our plate.  And if you view working out as “I’ll do it when I have time.”  It will never get done. 

So what do we do?  We definitely need a schedule!  Print out a schedule that is in half hour blocks for every day of the week.  Write in the necessities: work, eating, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc.  Then see where you have some openings.  It may only be 20 minutes, but it’s still better than nothing!

Then there’s the question....what do I do?  Cardio and resistance training.  If you don’t have a gym membership try walking, running, riding a bike, roller blading.  If you have a gym membership I highly recommend taking a group fitness class.  If you prefer to workout at home there are numerous workout videos/programs you can purchase. 

Yes, as women we must do resistance training.  Building muscle is what gives us a toned look and into smaller clothes.  Muscle and fat weight the same, but muscle takes up LESS space!  And muscle is what burns fat.  Who couldn’t use that? 

If you’re looking for some specifics on cardio or resistance training I’d love to help you out.  I have my own fitness business.  I’m a fitness coach.  I help people with their fitness goals, exercise ideas, nutritional tips and accountability.  I also have some youtube videos that I can send you for some workout tips/advise. 

Now your call to action.  Email me at and tell me about your fitness goals.  Or check out my website at for more articles and videos. 

I also have daily tips on my Facebook Fan page.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Healthy treats- No tricks

Healthy Treats- No tricks

Here are some of my top favorite treat ideas for Halloween! Let's face it kids already get too much candy and sugar that day anyway! These ideas are simple and healthy options that every mom can pull off! Any ghost or goblin will love these  healthy treat ideas.

   Individual packs of pretzels.

 Annie's granola bars, gram cracker  bites or fruit snacks.

   Brothers All Natural fruit crisps.

Fruit PunchClift Kid Z-fruit sweet and fun!

Smoooshed Strawberry®Summer Strawberry Stretch Island has a fun fruit leather or fruit roll that kids love.

 Image DetailDon't forget non-food items like stickers or pencils. It's fun to give something kids can use.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mini Broccoli Trees with Asian Sauce

Mini Broccoli Trees with Asian Sauce
From Veggiecation

1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger root, minced
4 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp water

Mix ingredients in blender/mixer and enjoy over blanched broccoli!
P.S. The kids love this!

For more recipes and information check out

Friday, October 21, 2011


We are giving away a FUN Lunchbox Love pack to one healthy fan!
To win the Lunchbox Love giveaway share your childs favorite lunch snack or memory on my facebook page. Be sure to "LIKE" Always Healthy Mom and Lunchbox Love too!

*Use the code ALWAYSHEALTHY for 10% off your order!
(The code is good until October 31, 2011)
Lunchbox Love

~Q&A Session with~

Q:Why is a lunch packed with love important to you?

A:It's a way to stay connected during the day. I think our kids have to deal with so much more social and academic pressure, even at a young age, than we did. It's nice to have a note from home that reinforces, “no matter what I love you and I'm always here for you”. That's what our notes do.

Q:What is your favorite item (other than a lunchbox love note) to pack in your child's lunch?

A:Whatever their special treat of the moment is.  Recently one of my girls was fixated on cut-up strawberries.  My other daughter liked ham and cheese croissants for a while.  Whatever it is it says "I know what you like and want to give you a special treat!” ( in addition to the Lunchbox Love card, of course.)

Q:When creating the lunchbox love notes what was your mission?

A:Judi and I were just sick of seeing negative messages directed at kids. We know there will always be obnoxious fodder but we can add positive words to our kid's days.  And not just about how great we think our kids are.  Our cards also foster connective behaviors to other people.  For example we have cards that say "Give someone a complement today" or  "Help someone today."  This helps them discover the bigger picture about positive ways of relating to other people in the society they are a part of.

Q:If you could give moms one word of advice, what would it be?

A:Always keep the line of communications open. Talk less and listen more! Our kids have amazing ideas and perspectives on the world and we can all learn from them!

Q:How do you find balance in a career and your family?

A:To be honest, Judi and I are still working on that. It's hard, but the best thing about owing your own company is you can work from home and be around when they get home from school - or if you need to drop off soccer equipment they forgot, in the middle of the day, it's disruptive but doable :) It's a work in progress, to be sure!


Who We Are...

Say Please was started by life-long friends and fellow moms Judi Willard and Mary Fuller, because they were tired of seeing products being peddled for kids and adults with messages like: "My favorite accessory is my dad’s credit card", ‘‘Boys are stupid", or “I’m a Biotch.”
They decided to create a company that produced greeting cards, clothing and other accessories that featured positive messages, but in a hip and humorous way.
Willard, a licensed psychotherapist, and Fuller, a journalist, were able to combine their talents to come up with upbeat phrases and sentiments that, quite simply, make people feel great.
It is no longer a secret, but scientifically proven that positive thoughts and words have a positive affect on our mental and physical health.
Both women were in a place in their lives where they wanted to be able to work independently at a company with a greater purpose. That’s why a portion of the profits from Say Please’s products go to a specially selected charity.

Lunchbox Love® for Kids, Vols. 1-8

Lunchbox Love Giveaway ends October   , 20011. The winner will be announced October   .

Lunchbox Love for Loved Ones

Monday, October 17, 2011

White Chicken Chili ~ MY way!

White Chicken Chili


3 medium size chicken breasts
2 cans white beans ( I used white kidney and northern) drained
1 can diced petite tomatoes
4 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
1 medium onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 green pepper diced
1 can green chili's chopped
2 ears of corn
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1 tsp cayenne pepper
fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

How to make it...

  • Heat pan with olive oil and add diced onion and green pepper, cook until tender.

  • Add broth, chicken, garlic, beans,chili's,cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, tomatoes to crock pot. Turn crock pot on low.

  • Boil water and add 2 eras of corn, cook until corn kernels are tender, remove from pot, cool and cut off the cob add to crock pot.

  • After onions and green peppers are tender add to crock pot, cook for 8 hours on low.
Enjoy with some low fat sour cream, fresh chives and low fat shredded cheese!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dinner Time

Dinner Time

I wrote this post as a participant in the Eat Better, Eat Together Balancing Act blog carnival hosted by MealsMatter and Dairy Council of California to share ways families everywhere can make time for family meals that include foods from all the food groups. A list of other registered dietitians and moms who are participating in the Balancing Act blog carnival will be listed at the bottom of this post or can be found at MealsMatter.

As Blogger "Always Healthy Mom" I find healthy family meals to be especially important to my family's routine. But lets not be unreasonable sometimes this is no simple task. Besides a blogging mama and  a professional taxi driver for 3 adorable kiddos,  I also have a full time 40 hour per week job, to boot. So when 5:00 hits I better be on my "A" game- if you know what I mean. So you ask, how do I balance work and family life? If I told you I had it all figured out I would be the first to admit that I was misleading you! So I won't!  But I am telling the truth when I say that I do take a great deal of pride in the thought and dedication that goes into raising a healthy family today!
Yes, of course most days it might be easier to go through a drive through at 5:00 but that's not what I believe is best for my family or yours!  So here is what I do to pull off a healthy meal...
  • Start on Saturday and Sunday by making a list. ( write dinner ideas and shopping list)  This is a must for me!
  • Have a routine! I always go out on Sunday to gather the supplies. This way I am prepared for the week!!!
  • I like to mix this up with crockpot favorites and stove top creations. I always try to include a variety of colors, vegetables and fruit selections in my meals. I even start my shopping trip at the front of the store and load up on fresh produce. 
  • Get the family involved. ( my kids help me with the list and the shopping)

 Sometimes it does get difficult to always make sure my family enjoys a home cooked meal when I am not there. ( I work 2 evenings per week) But I always have a dinner ready to heat or in the crock pot ready to serve. The other five days of the week we make sure that we all sit down together. I was brought up with family dinners, and I want that for my children too.
So even when soccer practice and PTO meeting make it challenging, you will find me hard at work still trying my best to make our family dinners count!
Meals Do Matter!
Forget about the color of the plates or fancy napkins, don't worry if you can't cook a five course gourmet meal,
just make YOUR family dinner happen!

Some of my BEST memories are around the dinner table!
*WARNING: No fine china here!

Don't stop here! Other bloggers share their stories and tips on how they juggle the balancing act of getting a well-balanced meal on the table!

10 Commandments for Guilt-Free Feeding – Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD
Beating the Lunch Box Blues – Katie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD
Dinner Time – Michelle Rowe, RN and Health Educator
Eat Better, Eat Together– Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN
Family Dinners Fuel Healthier Kids – Susan Weiner, RD, MS, CDE, CDN
Families that Cook Together Eat Together – Kia Robertson
Making Time for Family Meals: How I’ve Earned My “RDH” – Trina Robertson, MS, RD
Meal Planning: Taking the Stress Out of the ‘What’s for Dinner’– Laura Everage
Pressed for Time? Moms Know Best: Tips for Getting Food on the Table – FAST! – Samantha Lewandowski, MS, RD, LDN
Roasted Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal – Cheri Liefeld
Sunday Night Family Dinner, In the Dining Room – Jill Castle, MS, RD, LDN
The Balancing Act – Ann Dunaway Teh, MS, RD, LD
The Power of Family Meal Time & How to Squeeze It In! – Bridget Swinney MS, RD, LD
The Truth About Family Dinner – Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD
Toughen up: Give Two Choices for Dinner – Take it or Leave it! – Glenda Gourley

Sunday, October 9, 2011

P.A.C.K. Week

My children's school is participating in a national healthy eating initiative called P.A.C.K. week- Pack Assorted Colors for Kids week, October 10-14. This is a fun and educational program to encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetable! O' Yeah... did I mention it gets the parents involved too!
So here is how you can get involved...
Monday, October 10th is pack purple day:
Did you know that only 3% of our current fruit and veggie consumption is from the purple/blue category? Yet, these fruits and veggies provide natural plant nutrients not found in other colors. Here are some great Purple ideas to pack:
  • Plums
  • Rasins
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Purple Grapes

Tuesday, October 11th is pack white day:

White, tan and brown fruits and veggies make up this color category, which accounts for 23%
of our fruit and vegetable consumption. The most common white fruit is the banana…and they're easy to pack. Here are some other fruits and veggies your kids might enjoy on Pack White Day:
  • Pears
  • White peaches
  • Dates
  • Cauliflower florets

Wednesday, October 12th is pack Red day:
Red fruits and vegetables account for 24% of our fruit and vegetable intake.
The most common red produce item is one that may take you back to your own school days: red apples. You could send your children to school with a red apple on Pack Red Day,
or consider any of the following:
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Red pepper slices
  • Tomato wedges

Thursday, October 13th is pack
Yellow/Orange day:

Yellow/Orange fruits and vegetables account for 24% of our fruit and vegetable intake.
The most common yellow/orange fruit is the orange, and there are many varieties to choose from. Your kids may also enjoy one of these fruits or veggies on Pack Yellow/Orange Day:
  • Baby carrots
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Yellow pears

Friday, October 14th is pack Green day:

Green fruits and vegetables are the most commonly eaten, accounting for 26% of our fruit and vegetable consumption…but there's always room for more!
Green grapes and green apples are kid favorites, and they're easy to send to school on Pack Green Day. Here are some other delicious fruits and veggies to consider:
  • Celery sticks
  • Green pepper slices
  • Snow peas

 There are many ways to be creative and pack more fruits and veggies in your child's lunch!
For more tips check out , or

Here is a great tracking sheet to help you have a fun and colorful week...

Please join my family as we celebrate
P.A.C.K. Week!
Share your thoughts and colorful lunches on my facebook page today!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A is for Apple

Last weekend we went on a family field trip, to the orchard! A fun activity to get the kids thinking healthy and having fun! You don't have to wait for the orchard to have a fall festival to enjoy apple picking!


FRESH produce

Fall specials

                                                                    Fresh Cider
      A fun trip to the orchard with the family
An apple for you?

Finding the BEST apples!

                                                             My little helper

                                                           The family!
Party pooper!

                                                                    More Apples!

                                                            Fall FUN!

                                                                      Kettle corn time!

                                                                One last apple for the road!