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FitMama

Breakfast Burrito Bowl

Breakfast Burrito BowlWhen I want to start my weekends with a relaxing morning, this is my go to recipe. I know for many of us, our pre-baby lives in involved long brunches with friends on Sunday mornings. One of my favourite spots served the yummiest eggs over hash browns that was just to die for. However, I usually left that brunch feeling way too full and wishing I could have opted for a healthier alternative.

Now my weekends are filled with running after my two girls, so I need to be fuelled to keep up with them. This breakfast bowl will leave you feeling fabulous and powered up for your weekend. Plus, it’s great for kids. It is perfectly nutritionally balanced with protein from eggs and black beans, healthy fats from the avocado, and slow absorbing carbohydrates from the sweet potatoes. These plus the high fibre content will keep you feeling full for an active day as well.

I also love that it looks like a rainbow when it is put together! I love brightly coloured food. Our food must be pleasing to the eyes to be appetizing!

Top this one with your favourites like roasted cherry tomatoes, salsa or shredded cheese. Enjoy!

Hugs,

Jen

 

Ingredients (makes 2 servings):

1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil

1 sweet potato, chopped into one inch cubes

1 cup of cooked black beans

1 avocado, sliced

4 eggs, poached

Roasted cherry tomatoes as a topping

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Toss sweet potato in oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast sweet potato for 25 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.

 

To poach the eggs, bring a shallow pot of water to a simmer, not a boil. Add in a splash of white vinegar, as it helps the eggs stay together. Crack eggs gently into the water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Place on a paper town once cooked.

 

To assemble the bowls, place a layer of sweet potato on the bottom. Top with black beans, sliced avocado, and poached eggs.

Top with roasted cherry tomatoes or shredded cheese. Dig in and enjoy!

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Spicy Black Bean SoupFitmamas!

It has been a rainy few weeks and there is nothing like a warming soup to fuel up on comfort on those soggy days.

Make this one for your family and let us know how it turns out, this soup is one of my faves. You can make a little less spicy for the kiddos, but eating spicy foods is a great way to heat yourself up from the inside. It has also been shown to increase your metabolism. Black beans are also a wonderful source of protein, fibre, and iron.

Many times after delivering a baby, women’s iron stores can be low, resulting in fatigue. This soup provides you with ample iron as it contains lots of black beans.

 

My preferred method for cooking black beans is to soak them overnight, rinse them, then simmer them until soft (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). If you forget to soak your beans, you can just boil them, or use two cans of cooked black beans. Don’t forget to rinse your canned beans however! And try to choose canned beans that are BPA free.

This recipe has been adapted from The New Canadian Basic Cookbook.

Hugs and warm coziness,

Jen

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

roasted cherry tomatoes

Here it is! I’m finally posting it!

If you’ve been a member of the FitMama group on Facebook, you know that I post pictures of this recipe at least once a month. When I was travelling around the world this past year, this was the ONE thing that I wished I had with me in every city! I’m telling you FitMama, this recipe is IT!

Since the first moment I learned how to make these, I fell in love.

The natural sweetness of the tomatoes shines through when you roast them for so many hours. It truly is like nature’s candy! They have become a weekly staple in my rotation. Every Sunday, I roast a big batch of these, and then keep them for the week in an airtight container. Throw ‘em on salad, on eggs, on a sandwich. They are amazing in everything!

ENJOY!

Hugs,

Jen

 

Ingredients:

 

3-5 pint packages of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

5-10 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 250F. In a large bowl, toss tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet. Cook tomatoes for 4-5 hours (or 2-3 hours if using a convection oven) until they begin to appear dehydrated and almost crispy.

Place them in an airtight container. Good luck getting them in a container without eating them all!

 

Veggie Goat Cheese Frittata

Veggie Goat Cheese Frittata

One of the foods I find most versatile which is why I love them are eggs. There are so many ways to eat them and my kids love them too. Even when we were travelling around the world, if we were staying at a place with a kitchen, we were getting eggs!

This simple recipe works great for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Super for springtime when asparagus is in season. Enjoy!

Veggie Goat Cheese Frittata

Ingredients:

1 tbsp grape seed oil

1 bell pepper (any colour), diced

4 stalks of asparagus, diced

6 medium sized cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 large handful of spinach

1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

8 eggs

¼ cup almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven 350F. In a medium sized bowl, crack the eggs and add the almond milk, salt and pepper, and beat together then set aside. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the grape seed oil over medium heat. Add in the bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in the asparagus and mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add in the spinach and sauté until soft. Beat the eggs once or twice more then pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Place the skillet into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until eggs are set. Serve with a green salad.

 

Please share below how this turns out for you.

Cheers to feeling nourished!

Hugs,

Love Jen

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap is all about bringing the two sides of your abs back together safely, effectively and efficiently after having babies.

At FitMama we are always talking about the first steps back to fitness postpartum and it begins with step 1: “Heal Your Seal.”

Diastasis Recti (DR) is where the thinning of the Linea Alba causes what looks like a separation in the superficial abs to make space for the growing baby inside your abdomen. This is completely normal and is estimated to occur in most pregnant women.

The first line of defence to heal your DR postpartum is to begin with core breathing as of the day you give birth (or before).

If you learn of this sooner than getting pregnant or while pregnant, today is the day to start Core Breathing.

Core breathing will help to prevent a dysfunctional core if you do have a DR and it will start to close it little by little. They key is to prevent it from getting worse at the same time, so along with the Side Lying Safe Move, avoid crunches and all forward flexion, twisting or planking that creates more of the Intra-Abdominal Pressure that caused it to begin with.

Watch how Jen Oliver walks you through the whole process here and contact us in our private FitMama Facebook Group for more support, pelvic health info, fitness education, motivation and more!

Hugs,

Love FitMama

To Shrink, Don’t Overthink

toshrinkdont overthinkTo Shrink, Don’t Overthink are FitMamas Top 5 Ways to make being healthy more effortless.
Let’s be honest here, who wants to spend all their time and brain power on getting and staying healthy? We are all wearing multiple hats in our lives and have commitments and needs of our own and others to tend to. Why not make the “stay healthy” item on the to-do list one that takes no effort at all?
How is that possible, you ask?
Well, I am always saying to my clients and FitMamas everywhere, “To Shrink, Don’t Overthink” and this goes for not only shrinking, but also for maintaining where you are.
When you look at all the info out there about weight loss, pre and postnatal training, fitness, nutrition and health in general – it is mind boggling how complicated it can all be. Most of it contradicts what the last one said and it can leave you feeling more frustrated, confused and lost than before.
Enter the Effortless Version: FitMama is all about making things flow in your life and not feeling like you have to work SO HARD for every little thing.
I don’t subscribe to the “No Pain, No Gain” mentality, as that is just not safe, smart or sustainable as a healthy lifestyle motto.
Let me share with you my Top 5 ways to make being healthy more effortless:
5. Keep it simple with food!! Stop over-analyzing carbs, fats and proteins, that is a true waste of energy. When going shopping, pick up lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and real, whole foods (pre-chopped or prepped veg if that makes it more realistic) because when you have these on hand and prepped at home, it is way more likely that you will stir fry them up, pack them for on the go snacks and put it out for the kids (and yourself) to gnaw on while you cook dinner.
4. Treat exercise like brushing your teeth. Do you question when you wake up, “will I brush or not today? Maybe I will start Monday…” NO! You don’t. So do the same thing with exercise. Have it as a part of your daily routine. Even if it just for 15 minutes in your living room stretching or walking up and down the stairs 2 by 2 for 15 minutes, get moving! Not over-thinking it, just expecting you will do it daily. Download the 8 Day Fitness Challenge for 8 days of simple home workouts you can do anytime with no equipment!
3. Avoid eating (and especially over-eating) junk food or refined foods (read: food in packages that isn’t really food), they mess with your body’s function and your brain chemicals. Which are often already pretty “messed up” so to speak because of lack of sleep, juggling too many responsibilities, multi-tasking or hormones controlling your entire self. Plus, the more junk you eat, the more you want. So put down the chips or sugar laden coffee drinks and pick up some water and some green juice or an apple. You will notice how much better you feel within 24 hours, I know it.
2. Get to sleep early. I know, I know, it’s the only time sans kids that you can actually hear yourself think, or take a deep breath or clean up without it looking like you didn’t. BUT, I am telling you, you need sleep. The association between a healthy sleep and a healthy weight is irrefutable, so don’t refute, just sleep! The hormone fluctuations and stress response associated with lack of sleep causes cravings and mental strain that will trickle into your days and negatively influence your habits, so just don’t do it. Or just do it. Either way you look at it, sleep!
1. See yourself at your ideal health or weight and then act as that person would, by feeding your body as that body would eat, exercising like that body would move, and never ever talk ill of your body. It hears you! And it responds to the positive or negative energy you shower it with. Your body is an incredible piece of art and science that brought humans into this world among all the other incredible feats of nature it performs daily (breathing, heart beating, thinking, hello true MAGIC!!) Treat it with constant, unconditional love each and every moment and watch what happens.
Join us in the FitMama Facebook Group for continuous daily support, encouragement and ideas to incorporate simple healthy habits into your daily life.
Make it simple on yourself. Don’t overthink! Keep it simple and know that healthy habits add up over time, and they make you feel really good each day!
Share below what keeps you feeling great, how do you incorporate healthy habits into life as a FitMama, I can’t wait to hear!
Hugs,
Love, Jen

FitMama FitHabits

fithabitsFitMama FitHabits are the Top 5 Habits of FitMamas!

I hear this often…”I am not a FitMama, but maybe one day…” or “Well, I am not a FitMama, but I want to be,” or some version of that.

If you remember one thing from this article, remember this:

“You are what you believe yourself to be. “

How does that sound? It’s up to you to choose what you want to believe. You are what you say you are.

FitMama is a mindset. It isn’t about passing some fitness test, looking a certain way or being someone you are not. It is about deciding that from this moment forward: You are a priority. You are perfect just as you are. You deserve unconditional self-love always.

And you are going to be the only one that can make those things a reality.

If there are things about your health and fitness you do want to change or work towards…then it is only going to happen one way: One day at a time.

After years of working with amazing FitMamas, I have been able to come up with The 5 Habits of FitMamas. Want to BE the FitMama you see as outside of yourself? Do these starting now!

5. Daily Gratitude Practice. Taking time daily to notice and be grateful for what you already have, for who is in your life and for all the blessings that show up for you each day makes space for more and more of those amazing things to appear in your life. What you focus on expands, and when you focus on all the incredible things you have in your life, more will surely be there for you to say “Thank You” for tomorrow.

4. Prioritize! Taking time to decide what really matters to you and what you really want in your life allows you to much more easily say “No, thank you” to things that don’t serve you. We all lead full lives that demand a lot from us, so allow yourself to sift through all the needs of others and yourself and come up with just a handful of things that are really meaningful to you and then spend your time on those.

3. Plan ahead. There is no time saver and true success tool quite like planning for what you want to unfold. Do you want to eat healthier? Plan to get the groceries you need to make that happen. Want to get more exercise in? Plan it into your daily routine and make time for it. Things just don’t happen because you once thought it might be a good idea. Planning can really make the difference between following through on your goals or giving up before they get off the ground.

2. Ask for help. I know, we have been taught or conditioned to think we have to do it all ourselves or we are weak or incapable. Not true! If you are trying to do it all yourself, you are going to burn out and become resentful. Trust that people in your life want the best for you and if you can clearly communicate what it is that you need, how they can help and why it is important, then you will start to free up some time and energy to focus on what it is you really want in your life.

1. Positive Self Talk. FitMamas talk to themselves the way they would talk to their best friend or someone they admire, not someone they loathe or resent. They give themselves a pat on the back, they tell themselves how amazing they are for the little things they do and they approach themselves with compassion, love and understanding that there is no perfect. Perfection is about just being you.

We all know life can get crazy and we have no control over other people or many happenings around us. What we DO have control over though, are our responses to those things and our choice to take responsibility for our actions.

What is it that you really want? What are you willing to do to get there? Try the 5 small steps above and repeat them over and over until they become habits. When you can do these simple FitHabits, you will be oozing that FitMama vibe.

What’s your first step? Comment below and let us know! Join us for support, accountability and more simple tips in our FitMama Facebook Group. See you there!

Hugs,

Love Jen

Top 5 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

New Years Res FailTop 5 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail was created because New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for fizzling out sometime in January and recent statistics shows over 80% never make it past 3 months into the new year. It is a running joke (not a funny one) in the gym industry that the gym is packed in January but by February most people will be gone and “the regulars” can get on with it without the crowds.

How can you avoid being part of this sad statistic? After all, they say that people have “the best intentions” when starting a new year’s resolution – but is that really true?

I admire all who make New Year’s Resolutions because it means that they have decided to make an effort towards something they want. To truly set the best intentions for yourself, follow the 5 Steps to Intentions You Will Implement.

So, on to the Top 5 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail:

5. Choosing too many things to change at once.

This is a common one. After we go crazy eating and drinking over the holidays we all feel like the worst versions of ourselves, so we decide on 5 or 10 things we want to change. I want to “eat better, start working out, cut out sugar, quit smoking, run every day, call my friends more, be nicer to my mom, read more books, take that course, start a new business….” You get the point. This is a recipe for disaster. Studies show that implementing just one new change at a time and then adding in another one when that one becomes more routine is a much more successful route. Think small. Really small. How about drinking more water – measure and drink 2 L per day for the next few weeks. If you are ready for more, then by all means. Just know that it’s the little things that add up to great change over time – especially when you don’t quit.

4. Black or white thinking.

This one is so common as we all can tend toward the “all or nothing” attitude that accompanies healthy behaviour. This is one thing that can really derail the most well planned of intentions and goals. When we think in black and white, we leave no room for the randomness and unpredictability that is inevitable in life. Especially as a FitMama. Life can get all kinds of crazy when we are talking about babies, other children, extended families, schedules, commitments, personalities, priorities and more. Black and white thinking shows up in the form of “I missed my morning workout, so I could not do anything today” or “I had one cookie when I said I wasn’t going to, I have blown it..so I ate the whole box.” You can see how this can be disastrous. Choose instead to accept that all things may not go exactly as planned, but each moment offers you a chance to realign with your intentions, so make it happen, even if it doesn’t look exactly like what you had pictured.

3. Sabotaging yourself. 

This one is a famous one for sure. How often do we plan to eat healthy and then not pack a lunch, stay up too late and then set an alarm we know we won’t wake up to or say we are quitting coffee and then drive right by the most tempting coffee shop? I know, right? Why do we do this to ourselves? Well, first thing is, you might not be completely committed to your goal. Have you given extensive thought as to the WHY behind your goal? Or the HOW? Sometimes we just pick a goal and then don’t consider all the logistics involved. We don’t place ourselves in the moment we will be in and we instead end up following the same old patterns that got us to where we don’t want to be. Set yourself up for success by beginning with the end in mind and PREPARING for what we know will be what we need in the moment. Relying on will power when we have set ourselves up for failure is just plain mean. Don’t do this to yourself!

2. Undermining Self Talk.

We have all done this, though I hope after reading this you stop. Talking or thinking negatively about yourself in general is a horrible habit. But this goes even beyond that and includes actually putting yourself down, labelling and belittling yourself. Maybe you don’t wake up one morning to go workout and you say, “You are not a morning person, this habit will never stick!” Or you go out with friends to a restaurant and you say “You hate healthy food, who are you trying to fool?” These comments are completely false. You may not love waking up early in the morning, but you most certainly can get into a regular habit and begin to enjoy it more with practice, consistency and an early to bed nighttime routine. You may not have the desire for vegetables over chicken wings when you start, but slowly and surely, your tastebuds will change and you will in fact crave healthier foods. Flip your comments around and tell yourself the opposite and watch how you start to follow through!

1. Giving up too soon. 

We all want instant results. I get that. Who wouldn’t want to eat healthy for one meal and lose all the weight they desire? Go to the gym once and be super fit? Of course! But that is completely unrealistic. So too is expecting to lose weight that has taken you 9 months or 10 years to put on and giving up after just a few weeks. It takes between 6-8 weeks to even see results sometimes, and often 12-16 to really get into feeling a groove where things feel like one birthday party won’t ruin all your hard work. Often it can take 5-10 times that long to reach the goal you have set for yourself, but isn’t time flying by anyway? And how much better do you feel each day that you follow through? Each little bit counts and each time you perform the actions that are aligned with your goals, you are creating new and stronger neural pathways in your brain. This allows for the actions to become more and more automatic, so just like you can’t brush your teeth once and expect to keep them clean and white all the time, you also aren’t having to remind yourself, convince yourself, talk yourself into brushing each morning and night. You just do it.

Exercising and eating healthy can become as simple a habit as brushing your teeth.

Making it a habit does take continuous practice though, and that is what being a FitMama is all about. Setting your intentions and then following through.

Cheers to making it happen this year. One day at a time.

Hugs,

Love Jen

The Importance of Intentions

The importance of intentions are that they go beyond plain old goal setting or making a resolution to do or not to do something.

The dictionary definition of intention: “A purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct,” which is really applicable when it comes to healthy behaviour change in particular. When we intend for something to happen, with a certain purpose or attitude toward that action, then it is far more likely to happen than if we just say, “I want to lose weight” and then go about our usual actions which often don’t reflect that result. 

Think of intentions as the magic ingredient in a recipe that takes it from bland or average, to mouth watering and delicious. Intentions precede all of our behaviours and set the stage for how our lives play out. If we have no clear intentions, we can tend to act in ways that don’t align with our true goals or purpose. When we intend for something to happen, we make a conscious choice to then act in a certain way that fulfils that intention.

We are having a intention setting contest in FitMama whereby you click this link and submit your intentions for the upcoming year. Setting an intention for the year or for the next month, week or even just today is the first step to following the path you want to go. The act of setting your intention is very powerful and I want you to get a chance to experience it.

5 Steps to Creating Intentions You Will Implement:

  1. Sit down in a quiet place and write or type out some notes about where you would like to see yourself in a year from today. These can be goals you have for yourself, things you want to accomplish or something you want to take off the back burner for once. How do you want to feel? Where do you want to be? Who do you want to be with? Write out all words that are coming to you.
  2. Start to visualize yourself a year from now and really start to vividly see yourself as having performed and accomplished these goals. Allow yourself to feel what it would be like if you were to be exactly where you want to be. Remember, healthy behaviours like eating nourishing foods and a solid exercise habit are parts of a journey, they are not a destination.
  3. Start thinking and write some more notes on exactly WHY this goal is important to you. Maybe you feel sick, unmotivated or lethargic or you want to set a positive example for your children or family. Having notes will offer you the chance to look back on this when you find yourself slipping back into old habits that aren’t serving you.
  4. Start to write out specific intentions now using all the notes and visuals you created. Write them in a clear way so you are telling yourself exactly what you intend for yourself. “I intend to make my own needs more of a priority. I intend to let go of my need to control all situations. I intend to let go of perfectionism. I intend to approach my body from a place of love. I intend to only speak kind words towards myself…” This list can be as long as you want.
  5. The last step in this that really seals the deal and allows for maximum benefit, is that you can create strong positive affirmations that you can use daily to remind yourself and this will keep you going on the path you desire. “I am a priority. All is perfect as it is. I love my body right now. I am kind. I am generous. I am loveable.” When you start to say these things to yourself more regularly, and are clear on where your intentions are pointing you, you are far more likely to stay on the path you are intending to be on.

How you will actually implement these intentions is another important part of the equation, but these steps are key to do first. I will outline a plan for implementation in another blog.

I highly recommend the Dr. Wayne Dyer book, “The Power of Intention.” It is a life changing way to look at your life, choices, behaviour and more.

Let me know how you go with this!

Hugs,

Love Jen

 

Exit the Excuse Train

Exit the Excuse Train! Once and for all.

It is so easy to go through your days and weeks telling yourself or having chats with others and commiserating on the fact that you don’t have enough – enough time, will power, energy, money, influence, opportunity, sleep, support, skills or whatever. Today and going forward, start to notice everytime you create these “not enough” excuses and just realize that they are false. If you really want something, there will be a way to get it.

Decide to “exit the excuse train!” Keep reminding yourself that it doesn’t take you anywhere that you actually want to go.

Decide how you want your days to be, and then make that happen by giving up excuses and letting go of what stands in your way. I love waking up early and getting my workout in. I love being up before others and having that “me” time that sets a fabulous tone for my day. Is this always easy? No, never actually. But is it worth it? Every time.

For me, being “pro-active” instead of “re-active” allows me to feel like there is more harmony in my day. I don’t spend hours a day working out but I do make sure I move in some way every day, because I love the way it makes me feel. Especially the way it sets a tone for the rest of the day: I feel strong, energized and I feel like I can get more out of life by being fit. Stairs, hills, carrying kids, pushing strollers, carting groceries, waking in the night, travel, etc all require us to be fit.

Just like you wouldn’t want to get on a train going the wrong direction, making up excuses each day as to why your life isn’t the way you want it to be is really doing just that.

Decide to mindfully let go of excuses and decide that you will just do what you want. Choose how you want your life to look, feel, and be. You are the only one that can make it happen.

My top 3 tips:

3. DEVELOP. Develop a new image in your mind. Let go of what you thought the process would or needs to look like. Living a life you love in a body you love doesn’t have to feel like sacrifice, having no life, no time for your kids or spending hours in the gym every day.

2. DEMAND. Ask for what you want and surround yourself with supportive, like minded people. Trust that your self care and personal mind body fitness and health needs are worth asking for.

3. DO IT. Often we can have the best intentions but we never follow through as we get spiralled back into our excuses. Don’t make that an option. Start by being grateful for your body as it is today and for all that it has done for you up until now, still breathing, beating and holding up so well after all you’ve been through together. Then honour it one day at a time by moving it, feeling it, listening to its needs and speaking to it with love. Know that it is the way. Through Love. Just do it.

FitChallengeDay7
This workout is part of the 8 day Fitness Challenge we had in here – for the rest of the workouts if you don’t have them, CLICK HERE.

And remember, all fitness starts with the deep inner core.

Activate yours today by incorporating this core breathing exercise into each and every move – it may not be easy, but it is simple once you get the hang of it, and it is so worth it.

Core Breathing InstructionsSitting in-3

You got this FitMama!

Hugs,

Love Jen

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