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Hot Mom Monday: Beating Spring Fever

 Hot Mom Spa Squad Member Bekah shares tips for keeping the kids active during spring’s unpredictable weather.

Rain

Spring can be a tough season for families to stay active. The weather is up and down, and between extra rain and thawing snow, in many parts of the country it’s hard to get kids outside without getting muddy and wet. Regardless, it’s still important to stay active and help keep the whole family on the move. Here are some bright ideas for families with kids of all ages to stay active:

Active video games

If you have a video game console like the Wii or Kinect, take advantage of movement-based activity games. There are many out there that offer at least a moderate workout, and younger kids can mimic parents or older kids. Kid-friendly workout DVDs are also available.

Active board games

Classic board games like Twister or modern games like Sturdy Birdy encourage whole-body movement. Families can also make up their own games. For example, use a deck of cards, assigning each suit to an activity and performing that activity for the number you draw. (So the 10 of clubs would stand for 10 crunches, as one option).

Inexpensive props

Some toys and household objects encourage movement. Furniture gliders can become indoor skates. Beanbag toss and knee hockey can make safe indoor games as well. Large bouncy balls, collapsible tunnels, and exercise trampolines also make space-saving large-motor options.

If you’re cooped up inside, you can still encourage large motor activity. It’s a healthy for you and your kids!

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Bekah blogs at Motherhood Moment where she writes about parenting topics – family activities and meal ideas, saving money and time, and much more. She lives in Minnesota and works as an online teacher and freelance musician. In her free time she enjoys family activities with her husband and their two young daughters.

Hot Mom Monday: Healthy Holiday Eggnog Smoothie

Just in time for the holidays–a perfect healthy smoothie from Hot Mom Angel!

By stu_spivack (Flickr: local stone fruit) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By stu_spivack (Flickr: local stone fruit) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I am pretty much the only person in my entire immediate family that doesn’t love eggnog. Seriously the best part of the season for them is partaking in the stuff. To me, it’s just too sweet, too rich, and too thick. Last year I decided to experiment with my own version of eggnog that would taste good and be healthy to boot.

This is what I came up with–a frothy blend of almond milk sweetened with agave nectar and laced with nutmeg and cinnamon. The spiced sweetness is then thickened with Greek yogurt and blended with ice for a creamy smoothie reminiscent of the real deal. A decadent, yet guilt-free holiday treat that may just replace the ‘nog for good!

This healthy rendition of traditional holiday eggnog contains about 6 grams of protein per 8 ounce serving to give you the energy needed for a day full of holiday cheer.

Enjoy!

Healthy Holiday Eggnog Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cups of Vanilla Almond Milk, Unsweetened
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 2 ½ Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 6 Ounce Containers of Honey or Vanilla Flavored Greek Yogurt
  • Handful of ice

Directions:

  1. Blend the first five ingredients together (almond milk, egg whites, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon).
  2. Pour into a medium saucepan and heat over low flame for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently and do not allow to boil.
  3. Cool the mixture in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  4. Once cooled, return the mixture to the blender and add the yogurt and ice. Blend until thick and smooth.
  5. Serve immediately in cinnamon/sugar rimmed glasses.

Note: The egg whites can be omitted (although it won’t be as frothy) and soy or coconut yogurt can be substituted for a vegan version.

AngelAngel is a stay-at-home mama to a feisty, rambunctious toddler girl named Jacquelyn (aka Jax). A lover of all things adorable, Angel enjoys party-planning, cooking, napping with her daughter and date nights with her husband. You can catch up with Angel at Yay! Babyblog where she muses about motherhood, shares delicious family favorite recipes and offers tips for fabulous entertaining. There’s always reason to shout out loud – Yay Baby!

Hot Mom Monday: How to Sneak a Workout

This Hot Mom Monday, Bekah gives you tips on how to sneak a workout into a busy day.

Photo by LocalFitness.com.au [Attribution, GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by LocalFitness.com.au [Attribution, GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s no secret that moving your body more is a great way to stay healthy. But it can get really hard to squeeze a whole workout – even a short one – in all at once. It gets even more complicated if you have young kids that don’t let you have 20-30 minutes alone at once. So what can you do? The first thing is to remember that 30 minutes can be spread out throughout the day, and still be effective.

One easy trick is to have a timer or an app. Apps like Time Out, BreakPal, and others make it easy to set reminders every fifteen minutes to an hour (or the interval you choose) to get up and move around. These are particularly helpful if you work on a computer all day. Some even include suggestions of a movement to do for a few minutes. Many effective exercises require no weights, and even if you work in an office you can get up once an hour and walk up and down a flight of stairs – just enough to get your heart beating a little faster, even if you don’t want to start sweating. I’ve found these app-based reminders tremendously helpful!

On the same train of thought, get moving during screen time. If you’re watching a movie or TV show, you can probably be doing a workout at the same time. Lunges, sit-ups, tricep dips, and more are all activities you can do and still watch the screen. You can also do a variety of steps in place, such as high knees, butt kicks, side-to-side steps, and more. A quick search for “exercises while watching TV” will give you lots of options.

If you have kids, make it a family affair. This is great, not only because it helps you get a workout in, but also because it sets a good example for your kids to see parents being healthy. Find an activity that is fun – do an outdoor scavenger hunt, play Frisbee or catch, or give your children a piggy-back ride. For parents of babies, use the baby as a weight to do squats, calf raises, and bicep curls. When you take the kids to the park, go up and down slides and on the swings with them.

You might have to be creative to fit physical activity in throughout the day, but it can be possible. Just remember – a few short bursts are better than nothing, so if you can’t squeeze in a full workout, do what you can throughout the day!

meheadshotsmall

Bekah blogs at Motherhood Moment where she writes about parenting topics – family activities and meal ideas, saving money and time, and much more. She lives in Minnesota and works as an online teacher and freelance musician. In her free time she enjoys family activities with her husband and their two young daughters.

Hot Mom Monday: Eat More Fruits and Veggies

After gorging ourselves on carbs and sweets Thanksgiving weekend, here are some tips on how to eat more of the good stuff this holiday season.

veggies

Fresh cut fruits and vegetables by Peggy Greb, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Fruits and veggies have huge health benefits – vitamins and minerals, fiber, healthy sugar. But it’s not always easy to get all the recommended servings in each day, especially if you aren’t a fan of some of them or have picky kids. Here are some easy ways to get more in your diet, even if you don’t want to just eat them plain or raw.

Add more vegetables whenever you’re cooking. Add diced tomatoes or peppers to scrambled eggs. If you’re cooking a boxed dinner helper, add peas or corn. Macaroni and cheese goes great with corn or peas too. Not only will you get extra nutrients, but the calories per serving will be lower.

Replace ingredients with purees. Carrot or pumpkin puree can easily be added to cakes and sweetbreads. Applesauce and mashed bananas work as well. Just replace some or all of the fat ingredients (oil, eggs, or butter) with puree. It might take some experimenting, but it’s pretty easy to do.

Replace “fruit-flavored” ingredients with the real deal. Slice apples or pears thinly and use them in place of jelly for sandwiches – or use raisins. Top ice cream with crushed berries or put sliced strawberries on bagels. Or, instead of ice cream, blend fruit with yogurt to make a smoothie.

These are just a few ways to get more healthy ingredients in your meals to increase nutrition and eat fewer calories. As you get used to adding them, it will become even easier to incorporate fruits and veggies in a variety of other ways.

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Bekah blogs at Motherhood Moment where she writes about parenting topics – family activities and meal ideas, saving money and time, and much more. She lives in Minnesota and works as an online teacher and freelance musician. In her free time she enjoys family activities with her husband and their two young daughters.

 

Hot Mom Monday: Original Recipe, Healthy Pumpkin “Ice Cream”

‘Tis the season…to overindulge!

beauty-shot

Nothing says the holidays like eating, eating and more eating—stuffed turkeys, glazed hams, buttery potatoes, carbs and calories galore! It’s no wonder so many of us make resolutions for the New Year to lose weight, eat healthier or cut back on sugar. We’re trying to repent for the previous six weeks of our lives!

Here is a sweet treat you can gorge on and not feel an ounce of guilt afterward–Pumpkin “Ice Cream.”

Ingredients

Now, ice cream is in quotes because it’s not really ice cream at all. There is no dairy in it but it still has all the creamy goodness of a bowl full of sin. The creaminess comes from the frozen banana base.

I have been making frozen banana “ice cream” for a while now and I love experimenting with flavor combinations. This pumpkin version is perfect for the season and your family will be begging for more.

Each ingredient boasts nutritional value so you can feel great about letting them indulge! Bananas are rich in iron and potassium, pumpkin is high in vitamin A and can help support a strong immune system, cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties and agave nectar is low on the glycemic index so it won’t spike your blood sugar. How’s that for a perfect treat?

agave

All that and it’s easy to make too!

Pumpkin “Ice Cream”

Ingredients:

8 Bananas, peeled, cut and frozen for at least 4 hours

1 15 Oz. Can of Organic Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

3 Tbs. Organic Raw Agave Nectar

2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

  1. Put all ingredients in food processor and blend until well combined and smooth.
  2. Transfer to an air-tight, freezer-safe container with a lid and freeze for at least an hour.
  3. Top with a dash of cinnamon, serve and enjoy!

Angel-150x150Angel is a stay-at-home mama to a feisty, rambunctious toddler girl named Jacquelyn (aka Jax). A lover of all things adorable, Angel enjoys party-planning, cooking, napping with her daughter and date nights with her husband. You can catch up with Angel at Yay! Babyblog where she muses about motherhood, shares delicious family favorite recipes and offers tips for fabulous entertaining. There’s always reason to shout out loud – Yay Baby!