Self-Care for Busy Moms

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One of my favorite parts of the new fitness program I’m doing is the focus on self-care.  As a mom–no matter how many kids you have, what kind of job you work, or your life situation–taking care of YOU falls to the very bottom of the to-do list.  We take care of everyone and everything else before ourselves–and then we are so exhausted that we just don’t think about it.

One thing I’ve learned over the past almost-3 years of focusing on my health and fitness is that when I prioritize taking care of myself, I do a better job taking care of my family, my responsibilities, and just dealing with the stress of life in general.  I don’t feel guilty for taking some time for me anymore–it has been tough to deal with that “mom guilt”, but I know the benefit my family gets when I take care of myself, and I don’t feel bad about taking the time I need to be able to benefit them.

So mommas, take a few minutes to take care of YOU.  I know, I know–you’re busy, the kids constantly need you, maybe your husband isn’t supportive of time for yourself (which is a whole other conversation!)–but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take care of yourself and fill your cup.

A lot of times we think of self-care as something really expensive or time consuming, like an hour massage, a spa day, or that kind of thing.  It doesn’t have to be that complicated, you guys.  Here are some of my favorite, cheap, and simple ways to engage in self-care for myself, categorized by the amount of time it takes for your convenience.  No matter how busy you are, you can choose something–just ONE thing!–on this list to take care of you.  You are worth it, mommas!!!  Don’t pour into everyone else from an empty cup.

Self-Care Options for Busy Moms

0-5 minutes

  • 5 deep breaths to clear your mind and de-stress/lessen anxiety
  • 3 minute guided meditation from an app like Headspace
  • Changing into your favorite sweats or pjs
  • Laying in the quiet with your eyes closed for 5 minutes (or sitting in the bathroom–been there, done that)
  • Listening to your favorite song
  • Scrolling through social media to empty your head and de-stress
  • Doing one minute of jumping jacks
  • Doing some stretches
  • Turning off your alarm and waking up with your kids or just whenever your body wakes you up!

 

5-10 minutes

  • Using a face mask
  • Putting scented lotion on your hands and feet
  • A longer guided meditation from an app like Headspace
  • Making a list of 5 things you are grateful for in your life
  • Calling someone to tell them you love them
  • Coloring a picture–either from your kid’s coloring books or an adult coloring book (I swear, this is so relaxing and I don’t know why!)

 

10-20 Minutes

  • Watching an episode of The Office/New Girl/anything that makes you laugh on Netflix
  • Painting your nails
  • Reading a favorite magazine
  • Reading a chapter of a book you love
  • A hot shower and a deep conditioner
  • Doing some light yoga and/or foam rolling to help sore muscles
  • Going for a walk around your neighborhood in the sunshine

 

20-30 Minutes

  • A warm bath (with epsom salt for soreness!)
  • Walking around Target or whatever store you like by yourself
  • Driving out to get your favorite coffee or tea (preferably alone)
  • Listening to some of your favorite podcast
  • Taking a power nap
  • Getting a great workout in (you really can do this in 20-30 minutes if you work out at home!  Ask me how 😉  )

 

60+ Minutes

  • Getting your nails done at the salon
  • Getting your hair cut and styled
  • A massage
  • An afternoon alone!
  • Watching a movie
  • Taking a long nap
  • Girl’s night out/girl’s dinner
  • Date night with your partner!

 

When you’re new to engaging in self-care, it can feel weird, overwhelming, or even selfish at first.  Start with something simple and quick, and work your way up to the longer ones.  I do one of the quick options every single day, and do longer options far less frequently–but we all have to start somewhere, so just START!

What are your favorite ways to fill your cup back up?  Share your favorite self-care tips in the comments!

Banana-Blueberry Muffins–Toddler Approved!

I am slowly but surely working on my child’s picky palate–it is literally my worst nightmare to have a kiddo who is picky, but I also know that toddlers are just picky.  There are no two ways about it!

Sadly, my kiddo is obsessed with a certain brand of packaged blueberry muffins.  You know, the super-processed, loaded with sugar, horrible and delicious ones you get in little bags at the store?  He loves the stupid things.  So of course I wanted to find something that I could make at home that I felt good about giving him so that he could still eat his precious blueberry muffins, but that would be much healthier for him.  And this recipe is it!

I made these for myself for my 80 Day Obsession program because they fit into one of the container pairings I have for one of my meals and they are SO GOOD.  Originally the recipe calls for chopped apple, but I didn’t love that texture and flavor, so I subbed in blueberries and it was so much better!  Little man loves these, and they are very simple to make.

I have made these with ghee and coconut oil, and while the flavor is pretty much the same either way, ghee is much easier to use because it doesn’t harden from the cold eggs like the coconut oil did.

Enjoy!

Banana Blueberry Muffins (slightly adapted from Fixate)

Makes about 9 servings, 1 muffin each

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup mashed banana (about 2 ripe bananas)

1 tbsp butter or ghee, melted

1.5 cups almond flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

 

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line muffin pan with paper liners and lightly coat with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Combine eggs, banana, and butter/ghee in a medium bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

Combine the almond flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, mix well.

Add the almond flour mixture to the egg mixture, mix until blended.

Fold in blueberries.  Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin pan cups about 3/4 way full (about 1/4 cup of batter per muffin cup).

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.

Transfer muffins to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

These keep well in the fridge for about 5 days and will keep in the freezer for months.

Containers: 1 muffin is 1 purple and 1 blue.

 

My Favorite Personal Development Books

Personal development was not something I was familiar with before I started my business.  It kind of sounded hokey to me at first–I’ve always been very wary of anything that sounds like “self-help”.  When I found out that personal development was one of the vital behaviors that my company encourages for being successful, I knew I had to at least give it a try.  And I’m so glad I did!

Personal development has helped me in so many ways; it’s helped me better live out the Scripture that talks about only thinking on those things that are lovely and true (aka positive and worthy), it’s helped me with my confidence, it’s helped me with my discipline, and it’s helped me shift my perspective from depressed and negative to more positive and optimistic.  All of those changes within me have positively affected every other area of my life, especially my relationships with my husband and son!  I’ve learned that by working on ME, I become better in every area of life and EVERYONE around me benefits from that!

I’ve read a lot of books over the past few years dedicated to working on ME, so I wanted to share some of my favorite ones and categorize them–that way, you just look for a category that fits the area of improvement you want to focus on for yourself, and there is at least one suggestion to get you started.

Do you already read personal development?  I’d love to hear your recommendations, too!  Share them with me in the comments!

Fear of Failure/Fear of Getting Started

Start by Jon Acuff

Go for No by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

Make It Happen by Lara Casey

Failing Forward by John C Maxwell

General Discipline

Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning for Network Marketers by Hal Elrod

The 5-Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Emotional Eating

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst

Confidence

Get Over Your Damn Self by Romi Neustadt

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Start by Jon Acuff

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C Maxwell

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell

Overall Wellness

Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson

The Me-Tox by Beth Behrs

Superlife by Darin Olien (my ultimate favorite choice!)

Nutrition

Superlife by Darin Olien

Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso

It Starts With Food by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig

Fear of Rejection

Go For No! by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

Being overwhelmed

Start by Jon Acuff

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

The Go Getter by Peter B. Kyne

Business/Network Marketing

10x Rule by Grant Cardone

Go Pro by Eric Worre

Get Over Your Damn Self by Romi Neustadt

Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Shakshuka — Savory Poached Eggs

Since I started getting Obsessed, I’ve been really utilizing the Fixate cooking show I get on my streaming workout system and LOVING IT.  They have been releasing some new recipes that work with exactly the portions and macros I need for the program, so that just makes my meal planning even simpler!

When I saw this recipe, I was very skeptical at first–I’m really not a huge egg fan, so I wondered how that would go as a main ingredient.  But, I love olives and I love not having to figure out a meal myself if someone else already did the work.  And I’m glad I tried it because it is SO GOOD.

Since you poach the eggs, you can really decide how runny or not-runny you want them, so just cook them longer if you don’t want runny yolks.  When you’re getting your kalamata olives, be careful to get olives that have already been pitted–I accidentally bought unpitted olives and it was such a nuisance to pit them. The recipe calls for whole wheat pita, but I’ve been eating this with my sprouted grain bread just to save a little money and not buy two different carbs when one would be fine.

The recipe calls for cooking all 8 eggs at once in a large skillet, but the idea of eating leftover eggs is really gross to me, so I cooked the sauce all at once on Sunday afternoon, then measured out the 4 different servings into different containers.  Each night when I was ready for this meal, I heated up 1 serving of sauce until boiling in a small saucepan, and then picked back up with the steps of poaching the eggs–I just used 2 eggs instead of 8.

The second time I made this, I tried to give myself a shortcut with buying a bag of pre-chopped kale, but I actually don’t recommend that because when I bought a bunch of kale and tore it up myself, I was able to get rid of the woody stalks much easier–the chopped bag had a lot of the stalk and it was hard to eat.  Next time I will get baby kale to make it simpler.

I also chopped my olives 10 at a time and kept them in separate containers since I cooked each servings separately.

**I couldn’t find a 35-oz can of crushed tomatoes, so I bought a 28-oz can and a 14-oz can and only used half of the smaller can.

Enjoy!

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Shakshuka (slightly adapted from Fixate)

Makes 4 servings, 1 cup of sauce and 2 eggs each

1 (35-oz.) can crushed tomato

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion (approx. 11⁄3 medium)

6 cloves finely chopped garlic

1½ tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1½ tsp. ground caraway

1 Tbsp. ground smoked paprika

¾ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

½ tsp. ground black pepper

2 cups chopped bell pepper (approx. 22⁄3 medium)

1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeds and veins removed, chopped

¼ cup water

2 cups coarsely chopped kale

8 large eggs

40 whole kalamata olives, chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (for garnish; optional)

4 (4-inch) whole wheat pitas or 4 slices sprouted grain bread

 

1. Place tomatoes in a medium bowl; crush by hand (or pulse in food processor or blender) to achieve slightly chunky consistency. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in large skillet (or cast iron pan) over high heat, until fragrant.

3. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium.

4. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway, paprika, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

5. Add bell pepper, jalapeño, and water; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft.

6. Add kale and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

7. Use a spoon to make eight small wells in tomato mixture. Crack an egg into each well as you go; gently boil, covered, for 10 to 14 minutes, or until eggs have reached desired doneness. (I prefer mine with runny yokes, so about 10 minutes.) Remove from heat.

8. Garnish with olives and parsley, if desired. Serve with one pita or bread slice.

Container count: 1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 tsp

My 80 Day Obsession Phase 1 Review and Results

And just like that, I’m done with Phase 1!

I am really loving this program–I was really afraid at first, but this is easily the best program I’ve done!

One of my favorite parts of the program is ironically the part I was the most afraid of–the nutrition plan.  This program still uses the container system I know and love, but it adds a few new aspects that make it more structured.  Not only are my meals already planned with specific containers together for specific meals, but this plan is timed nutrition, meaning my meals get planned around when I do my workout.

For this program, I’m eating about an hour before I workout, drinking my post-workout shake after, and then spacing my remaining 4 meals out 2-3 apart from there.  I was afraid that this would be too rigid and make me feel deprived, but I was wrong!  The structure of this plan has helped me SO MUCH, because I don’t feel overwhelmed when I’m planning–I basically have a formula to start with and I just plug in the foods that fit the containers.  It keeps me on a schedule, it spaces out my proteins and fats throughout the day to keep me satisfied, and I am loving it!  It’s actually making me more structured and organized in other areas of my life, too, which is kind of weird and awesome.

For the workouts, I LOVE THEM.  I was worried that the longer workouts would feel like death, but they go by so quickly, and every week I’ve seen progress, which has been really exciting and motivating.  I started the program doing half of the pushups on my knees and ended Phase 1 doing all of the pushups on my toes!  That was really exciting, especially since upper body is my weakest part of my body.

I didn’t make a specific weight loss goal for this program, because I know that the overall purpose of this program is to lose fat and gain muscle, so I can’t predict what my weight will do with that muscle gain.  Instead of focusing on the scale, my goal is really just to do the program as it’s written for the entire 12 weeks and see what my results are!  So far, I’m VERY happy!

  • I did all 26 workouts for Phase 1 without missing anything
  • I saw strength gains every week
  • I have been following the nutrition plan for 29 days and counting, which is a personal best record!
  • I have more energy
  • I haven’t had any acid reflux issues the entire time
  • My clothes are fitting better
  • My skin is clearer
  • My depression and anxiety symptoms are better
  • I fit into a pair of pants that haven’t fit me in over a YEAR

 

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I’m pretty excited about how I’m feeling and looking after just Phase 1, and I’m really pumped to keep going and see my results after Phase 2 and of course the end of the whole program!

I just started a new accountability group with a whole new crew of ladies getting started for themselves, and it’s not too late for YOU to get started, too!  Message me to get details on how to get started with us!

Sweet Potato and Chicken Filling

I’ve been hunting for some new recipes while I’m doing this new fitness program, and when I first saw this recipe, I was very skeptical.  I don’t typically like mashed sweet potato, and I was a little worried about it being such a big part of this meal.  But, I thought that maybe all the other ingredients would help with my texture issue, so I wanted to give it a try.

You guys, this is SO GOOD.  I could not believe how much I loved it!  The original recipe was written for this filling to be put in a collard green leaf wrap, which I liked a lot, but the second time I made this I ate it as a salad over spinach, which was even better! This is pretty simple to make as a big batch and then eat cold throughout the week.

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Make this recipe, you guys.  It’s gluten free, it’s clean eating, and it might even be Whole30 (just double check the sauce ingredients on that one)!  You’ll love it, too!

Sweet Potato and Chicken Filling (from Fixate on Beachbody On Demand)

Makes 4 servings, 1 1/3 cup each

2 cups mashed sweet potato

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. melted ghee (organic grass-fed, if possible)

3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless **I cooked mine in my CrockPot with some chicken broth then shredded it

1 cup chopped bell peppers (approx. 11⁄3 medium)

½ cup chopped tomato (approx. 1 medium)

½ cup sliced green onions

Combine the sweet potato and ghee until well mixed.  Add in the chicken, bell pepper, tomato, and green onions and stir until well mixed.  Keep refrigerated.

For the sauce:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

1½ tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. raw honey

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

½ tsp. + 1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt), divided use

½ tsp. + 1 dash ground black pepper, divided use

Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender or small food processor.  Keep refrigerated in a small container and top 2 tbsp of sauce on filling just before eating (if eating over spinach).

If you want to make this as a wrap, put 2/3 cup filling in one large collard leaf green and wrap burrito-style–one serving is 2 wraps.  You can put 1 tbsp sauce on the filling before you wrap it, then wrap the wraps (ha!) in plastic wrap (double ha!) and keep in the fridge to hold it all together.

 

Either way you fix it, this meal is one red, one green, one yellow, one orange, and one tsp for my Portion Fix friends.  If you aren’t a Portion Fix friend and want to become one, contact me!  Let’s chat.

Moving Into 2018 By Getting Obsessed

Happy February, friends!

We are well into 2018 and I have big goals for this year–for myself, my family, and my business!  2017 was a little bit of a dumpster fire for me at times, but the end of the year brought me some really great improvements from #mySADexperiment and it’s been great to keep that going!

By focusing very intentionally on my nutrition and my fitness (plus continuing the medication my doctor prescribed me last spring, of course), I have been able to manage my depression and anxiety SO MUCH BETTER than last winter.  I have been feeling more confident and more even-keeled, and not dealing with some of my usual issues like bloating, indigestion, and poor sleep.

I knew I wanted to keep up my progress with this going into 2018, so I committed to something I have NEVER done before–and honestly it kind of freaked me out.  A brand new fitness program launched in January, and at first I really wasn’t sure if I wanted in or not.  First of all, it’s longer than any other program I’ve done before: 90 days total with 80 workouts.  That’s a lot!!!  Second, the workouts themselves are longer than I’m used to, ranging between 35 min and 60 min, where I usually stick to 30 minutes.  I was pretty content to let this program go by without getting involved; it was way out of my comfort zone and I honestly didn’t think I could do it.  I didn’t believe in myself or my ability to do hard things.

As soon as I saw the before and after pictures from the test group, however, I was in.  Like, got super excited and ready for a challenge, ALL IN.  I committed not only to doing the program, but doing it full out, exactly as written.  That means following the meal plan for the entire time, doing all of the workouts, not skipping a day, not talking myself into a sweet tea during week 2, not having some birthday cake for my kiddo’s birthday.  ALL IN.

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I mean, come on!!! Who doesn’t want results like these????

Plus, this program was created by my absolute favorite trainer, Autumn, so that made it easier to say yes to it.  My biggest motivation for doing this, besides continuing my progress from #mySADexperiment, is the trip to Mexico I’m taking in April with my hubby.  I earned an invitation to this trip, and will be there with other health and fitness coaches–and I’m really excited!!  But I also know that I don’t want to spend my time there around a bunch of other really fit women and compare myself–all that will do is make me feel bad about myself, and that’s goofy.  Doing this program, regardless of my outcome, will help me build confidence and feel awesome, and I know that will help my confidence on the beach in April, too.

I’ll be sharing my progress after I finish Phase 1 (out of three) next week, and I’ll also give some more info about the nutrition plan for this program–because it’s different than what I’ve done in the past and I am loving it!

Here are my starting pictures.  I don’t have specific goals as far as weight or inches lost by the end, because I really want to focus on just doing the process as written and see what happens.  I’m excited for the journey!  If you need some badass results in your life, too, contact me!  Let’s chat and get you in to my next group!

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