Week 1 of good food and good habits

imageWeek 1 down!

I just finished week one of 21 days of good food and good habits by the food babe. I will just be listing what each day’s new habit is but in her book, she actually writes in detail why you should start each habit. Reading what she has to say really helps understand why these new habits are important and what their benefits are.

I made a list of the 21 new habits and posted it in the fridge so I remember the new habits and to keep me on track.

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Here’s what the first week looked like:

Day 1: starting the morning with warm (not hot) lemon water

This one was pretty easy. (Probably why its first) I have to admit, I do feel more alert in the mornings after drinking this ( maybe placebo effect but either way, the alertness is welcomed!)

Tip: I cut one lemon into 14 slices (that’s one a day for a week for 2 people) and put the slices in a ziplock in the fridge so in the morning there was no excuse.

Also, in the morning I filled my cup with half room temp water first then the boiling water.

Day 2: daily green smoothie

This is a great way to include more veggies in your diet without having to think about it. Here’s my green smoothie recipe, but there are soooo many variations on the Internet and Pinterest.

This recipe makes 2 smoothies:

2 handfuls of greens ( I used bib lettuce or spinach -spinach is my favorite though)
1 cup of frozen mixed berries
1 banana
1.5 cups coconut water
1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
Sprinkle of chia seeds after blending is done

I don’t actually measure the liquid ingredients, just use enough to blend easily. And I like to use equal part of both coconut water and almond milk.

Tip: prep ahead of time and freeze the ingredients (minus the liquids), then just pull out a bag as you need it, no need to thaw. Throw it all in the blender frozen.

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Day 3: stop drinking with meals
This means ALL liquids, even water.

Now the food babe book list a ton of great reasons to do this but I just can’t get on board with this one. So I did skip the new habit on this day.

Day 4: know what’s in your water

I love this one! We used to live in an area where the water was really hard. So I already have filters on everything. Namely, our kitchen sink and showers. (You can buy inexpensive shower filters from Amazon, and bonus find one that includes a nice shower head too!)

The book goes into detail about different types of filters and knowing what to look for in buying bottled water also. Best tip is to avoid buying bottled water ( bpa packaging and avoid drinking out of plastic).

Tip: invest in a nice stainless steel water bottle and drink your nice filtered water.

Day 5: eat less dairy

I’ve never been a big milk drinker and hubby doesn’t eat cheese so I stopped buying that a while ago so this one was pretty easy.

Tip: almond milk is a great alternative to dairy. Chocolate almond milk is also really good and can help with an after dinner sweet tooth.

Day 6: no more sodas

This was a tough one for me because I am a self proclaimed coke cola addict! I knew this was coming this week so I actually stopped drinking them in the beginning of the week. But if I’m being totally honest, I did break down and have one today. But I figure 1 a week is better then 1 a day!

Tip: don’t keep any sodas in the house, if they’re there tempting you, you’ll drink them. Instead replace with carbonated water or sparkling juice (not the healthiest
option but start slow and it’s better than a coke), try to start drinking iced tea if you need that little caffeine kick.

Day 7: stop drinking alcohol or only drink organic

This way was a no brainier since I’m pregnant! Ha but I do plan on continuing these healthy habits after the baby comes so it’s an important one. The book has a list of organic brands in every category of alcohol (wine, beer, and liquor) so this is a great tool.

Tip: as a newly sober person (due to pregnancy haha) I suggest finding another type of drink you like to make dinners or outings feel more “special”. Such as, Shirley temples, virgin cocktails, or fancy coffee drinks.

So that’s it for the first week! Feel free to follow along.

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21 day challenge

Since giving birth a little over a year and a half ago my world has changed in so many ways! One way has been my quest to live a healthier lifestyle, starting with what I feed my family. After having Madeleine, I became immediately aware of what I was putting into her precious little body through food. Whilst reading some articles and whatnot on GMOs, preservatives, processed foods, etc. it became a very scary and overwhelming to think about putting this type of crap not only in my baby’s body but my husband and myself. These are the people I love most in the world, and one of the ways I show my love is through my cooking. So why on earth would I feed them foods that will make them tired, bloated, irritable, slow their metabolism, have cancer causing qualities…the list goes on!
I totally admit to being guilty of feeding Maddie, hubs, and myself junk and I’m 100% a soda addict! The thought to feeding my family better has been there but the action of actually doing it comes and goes with the wind. It has always felt like a lot of extra work, and let’s just be honest, it’s flat easier to be unhealthy!

I’ve been reading this book, “The Food Babe Way” by Vani Hari. It has been a wealth of information. The books includes a 21 day guide of good food and good habits, which I have decided to take on! So tomorrow I will be starting my journey of 21 days to good food and good habits. I will make weekly blog post on the challenges and successes of this journey, to keep myself accountable and you informed.

 

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Mother’s Day is this weekend

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Mother’s Day is this weekend!

There are 2 types of moms, moms who are “in the thick of it” meaning kids living at home, pure chaos, and flying by the seat of their pants, the moms who forget to brush their teeth and who call a “good day” one where they have time to run a comb through the rat’s nest on top of their head.

Then there are the seasoned moms, older children but lord knows their job as mom is NEVER done! These moms have put in their time, sacrificed so much, and maybe slowly starting to see glimpses of their “own” life at times.

Whoever the moms are in your life, here’s what they want:
1. Time with family and the people who made her a mother
2. To be left alone
I realize these are two opposite things so good luck! Ha

I think it’s important to remember, it’s not about the gifts it’s about the gestures (although, the gifts never hurt).

Here are a few ideas:

1. Send her for a manicure
2. Wake up with the baby and go pick up breakfast (or cook it 😊)
3. Hire a baby sitter and take mom to brunch or dinner
4. Get her flowers!
5. Run a bubble bath for her
6. Clean the house
7. Family meal together
For the long distance mom:

1. Send her flowers
2. Send a nice card
3. Send her something edible (Chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate, cupcakes)
4. Call her!!
Whatever you decide to do, just show her that you see what she does and you appreciate it. If you’re separated by distance, just pick up the phone, call her, and tell her how much you love and appreciate her! That’s all moms really want to hear. (I have literally called her to thank her for changing my dirty diapers and staying up all night to get me to sleep.)

Happy Mother’s Day to my wonderful mother! And to all you mom as out there! We’d all be lost without y’all!

Xo

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My mom, mother in law and her mom, and my Aunt Tola…some truly amazing women, mothers, and wives!

On a more personal note…

 

imageSo here we are, 25.2 weeks pregnant, slowly approaching the 3rd trimester…aka the home stretch. Today, I’m lying in bed sick sick sick with a virus and broken foot, and on the verge of moving houses. Oh the joy! They say every pregnancy is different but geeze I had no clue! This is the third time I’ve been sick this pregnancy (not including the 2 months of morning sickness).

This broken foot is really cramping my style. Ha but seriously, I can’t bend down to pick up my little sweetie when she’s tugging on my pants and looking up at me with those big blue eyes, it kills me. But I’m more then half way through the healing process and can’t wait to be walking on 2 legs again. (I have to admit, I forgot how creative I can get, figuring out how to get food on a plate from the kitchen counter to a table while using crutches has reminded me!)

On top of the physically taxing stuff going on, we’re moving houses in 2 weeks! Hubby and I have spent the last couple weekends house hunting and meeting with realtors. We’re hoping to know where our next home will be in a couple days. Beach house here we come (fingers crossed)!

Luckily I have one incredible man of a husband who, without any complaints, stepped up big time during all of this. He’s Mr. Mom and Dad right now, wearing about 20 different hats between taking care of business and running a household, dealing with moronic realtors, and also he’s been sick as a dog! And I can’t forget to mention our families who have been so incredibly helpful during all of this, too. They say it takes a village to raise a baby and we’re so grateful to have the village we do helping us on every level! I would have lost my s*** by now if it weren’t for these people.

On a very positive note, Baby Kayleigh is growing like a weed and I feel and see her moving so much every day! There’s really nothing quite like feeling another life moving around inside of you. I wonder how she’s doing through all of this? One things for sure, she’s going to be one tough cookie! Mmm…cookies….

Well that’s it for now, just a little update on the Parkers!

 

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Traveling with a baby

 

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By the time Maddie turned one, she had been on about three trips to Texas, one trip to Mexico, and one road trip (8 hours going and 12 hours coming home…YIKES!). Along the way, I’ve picked up a few tidbits that can help make flying with a baby a little smoother.

The two most important rules to remember:

  1. ORGANIZATION is key
  2. MINIMIZATION – take only the essentials!

Let’s start with organization! (one of my favorite things…although you’d never know by the look of my house haha)

I carry baby in a baby carrier until we get into our seats on the plane (even through security), my carrier has a small zipper pocket in the front where I keep Maddie’s passport (or birth certificate if you don’t have a passport for baby yet), my driver’s license, boarding passes, and an extra pacifier. I also clip a pacifier to baby so I’m not scrambling for something to help her fall asleep or ears pop on the plane.

My carry-on bag is organized based on accessibility and necessity.

  • Thin baby blanket (use as a changing pad, if plane is cold, or even as a napkin when baby spills drinks all over you and hubby)
  • 5-6 diapers and a pack of wipes (seriously no need to go overboard! They take up a lot of room. Calculate how long you will be traveling – from the time you leave your house to the time you’re in your hotel room, diapers need to be changed about every 2 hours, plus 1 or 2 extra diapers for the oh so fun blowout you may experience or flight delays)
  • 2 clean bottles
  • Formula, if that’s what you’re using (enough for 2 or 3 bottles – plan on feeding baby at take off and landing, however if baby is sleeping at landing DO NOT wake…Maddie used to sleep through the landings…made life real easy!)
  • Nursing cover if breastfeeding
  • Change of clothes for baby and extra shirt for myself
  • Depending on age, Snacks (raisins, squeezable fruit and veggie pouches, Cheerios or Chex cereal, and string cheese are all good options)
  • Small quite toys (coloring book, baby reading book, stuffed animal…that sort of thing, even a baby tooth-brush keeps them entertained and helps with teething)
  • 2 Plastic grocery bags – for diaper disposal if needed, vomit, trash, dirty clothes, or whatever
  • Infant Tylenol….JUST in case! (and Tylenol for yourself for that matter)
  • Book or magazine for me (but that’s wishful thinking)

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What is considered a baby “essential” is different for everyone. I debated adding a list but I know I will inevitable forget quite a few items on the list. I’ll just say use your best judgement. Ask yourself “do we REALLY need to take this?” (baby will survive without his bumbo chair and play mat for a few days)

Things I would tell my future self NOT to bring unless absolutely necessary:

  • Changing pad (the hotel bed will work just fine…what was I thinking?!)
  • Pack n play – call ahead, most hotels will provide you with a crib (if you’re staying with relatives and have a newborn you can always use a laundry basket…just sayin’)
  • Stroller –unless you know you’ll be doing a lot of walking and exploring. We were with family and doing meals together and hanging around the house, in Mexico we stayed at the resort mostly. If you can, save yourself the trouble and just bring a good baby carrier. I LOVE our Ergo carrier! If you must take a stroller keep in mind a few things when flying with a stroller:
    • You can take it up to the gate and have it checked there OR you can check it with your luggage (in which case, I would recommend then taking your car seat to the gate….this way both big items get checked without having to pay for “extra” luggage)
    • It must be all one piece when collapsed (uppa baby and baby jogger city select are out…also they weigh too much. This also means your stroller with car seat adapter and infant seat cannot go up to the gate to be checked there)
    • Must weigh less than 20lb
    • I recommend a baby jogger city mini stroller, its light weight and can collapse with one hand, and weighs less than 20lbs (I believe it clocks in around 16lbs) or a Chicco stroller. Of course the cheap-o umbrella strollers ($20 at target) are always an option, I think they’re too flimsy but to each their own.

Looking back, traveling with a newborn was much easier than traveling with a toddler. Don’t be intimidated flying with a baby. You will survive, and to the people who give you dirty looks when your sweet angel is screaming on a level that only dogs can hear, just apologize and maybe offer to buy them a drink if it’s really bad.

 

Happy traveling!

 

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Coconut Oil

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Nowadays I find myself reaching for the coconut oil more and more. It is seriously one of the most versatile and natural tools in the kitchen.

A couple of properties in coconut oil that make it so multipurpose are*:

  • Fights fatigue
  • Antioxidant and anti-aging properties
  • Dandruff
  • Fights inflammation
  • Boosts immunity
  • Fights acne
  • Balances hormones
  • Supports digestion
  • Eczema treatment
  • All natural
  • Gentle on skin

 

With that said, here are some of the everyday uses I find for this wonder oil:

  • Diaper rash
  • Cloth wipes (microwave a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil until melted and add to water, soak cloth wipes or Viola paper towels in this mixture for safe cleaning of baby bums!)
  • Baby eczema
    • Put some in the bath
    • Rub directly eczema prone areas
    • Give baby a teaspoon or 2 by mouth (our little one tries to eat it by the fist fulls!)
  • Nipple cream (for nursing mommas)
  • Eye makeup remover
  • Hair mask (apply liberally all over, rinse out after 15 minutes)
  • Chap stick
  • Nail cuticles (use this along with vitamin E oil…I swear you will have stronger nails and less hang nails!)
  • Removing tape in hair extensions (video of this to come)
  • Cooking (use instead of cooking spray…I don’t use it as a substitute for all oil because I’ve found that it does leave a slight coconut flavor on everything)

*source: http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/properties-of-coconut-oil.html