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Yum Packed Kale Salad

kale salad blogYum Packed Kale Salad is one of my fave ways to whip up a quick kale salad to eat right away or bring later for a lunch or dinner on the go.

Kale is a beautiful dark leafy green than can hold up well to many kinds of dressings and it is actually even better left with the dressing on for a few hours or overnight to soften and flavour the leaves.

When I had my newborns, kale salad was my go to meal. I craved it day and night. And, I would eat when baby ate. It just so happened I wasn’t letting the act of breastfeeding get between me and my kale salad! I recall numerous times that I would find small green leaves in her hair or on her clothes after feeding time…oops. Sorry babe.

I just couldn’t get enough of this though!!

So I would fill up a large salad bowl with kale – the part I liked least was the breaking it up, washing it and drying it. But I found if I washed the leaves in the morning and set them out on a towel, they would dry through the day and then I could make the salad at night and eat half, then save half for the next day. This worked well. I also am a fan of chopped and washed bagged kale (that was revolutionary! I was super grateful to find that).

So here it is. Save it. Make it. Enjoy it!

Yum Packed Kale Salad-2

 

Let me know how you like it! I can’t wait to hear.

Hugs,

Love Jen

 

Mindful Mouthfuls

 

Mindful mouthfulsMindful Mouthfuls is a call to action. A call to be mindful of every mouthful you eat. Everything you put in your mouth should be a chosen one!!

Do you snack on foods when you walk by them? Or eat all kinds of snacks while you prep dinner? Do you get dessert if others are, without checking to see if you really want it?

What I am proposing is to make the conscious, mindful choices to make everything you put in your mouth something that you truly want! Something you are really hungry for. And at the very least offers you positive mind and body energy that you can carry on with you through the day. Yes, this is possible!

The key is to find foods and combinations of foods that not only nourish your body, but nourish your soul. And make those foods the ones you choose. Then you will naturally eat them moderately. When you start to choose more foods that make you feel good and start mindfully listening to your body (“oh I felt great after eating that soup, steak or homemade stir fry, and I felt lousy after I ate that processed vegan burger or poutine”) then you can start to realize, its nearly impossible to mindfully enjoy a whole bag of large chips, or a massive Frappuccino from Starbucks. It just never feels good – no matter how much you tell yourself you “deserve” the treat. How about also, the foods we eat without noticing we do it…kids leftovers anymom?

It’s so easy to mindlessly eat the leftover toast on your toddlers plate, or the last few bites of their pasta, sandwich or pizza crusts they left behind after they were done.

Or the cold eggs, or the soggy cereal or mindlessly reaching for the re-heated microwave dinner because you are so exhausted from your day. I get it! I understand that you have a lot going on. Taking care of little humans is a job not for the faint of heart. It takes every. little. thing. out of us sometimes! Yes, it does. But instead let us look towards our loving little ones and watch how they eat. They leave food on the plate after all…they eat until they have had enough – they eat just what they want. They rarely overstuff themselves and never binge.

Being tired doesn’t have to lead to poor food choices. Being a parent doesn’t mean you have to eat junk food. There is no excuse for not finding some bright colourful vegetables or fruit, lean proteins or nuts and choosing those. Often we use cost as a deterrent, but it is a myth that healthy food costs more. Maybe in time to prepare, but making time for your health and well being is a good investment.

Awareness is the first step – NOTICE that you are doing this. Mindless eating (the opposite of mindful eating) is just that. Mindless. We do not even see ourselves doing it. Often we can be picking, grabbing and stuffing in foods and drinks out of habit without even noticing it. If this is you, then decide you are going to become more aware.

My top 3 fave ways to ensure you don’t get too hungry then eat mindlessly:

  1. Raw cashews! I eat these on mornings or times when I am rushing or too busy to cook/prep. They pair really fabulously with coffee (which is desired on said mornings). The little morsels of heaven are creamy, rich and filling. A small handful can keep you full for hours. And they are REAL food! Other amazing options are brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans. Choose raw where possible. YUM! Fibre, protein, healthy fat. They are a complete meal that won’t disappoint.
  2. Smoothies! I always say, “Make a Smooth Start,” because things go a lot smoother when you have eaten in the morning. A simple smoothie like some milk of your choice, some frozen berries, half a frozen banana, a scoop of chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds – then top with spinach and a scoop of protein powder if you feel you need even more – is a simple whirl in the blender, put in your fave to-go mug and sip sip sip all the way to work. You can also blend this up and take it for a lunch or snack later. And this smoothie contains REAL food (don’t kid yourself and get the “strawberry” one at the drive through – it often has NO strawberries in it!
  3. Pack snacks so you don’t get too hungry! Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, roasted chick peas, kale chips, baked tortilla (non GMO) corn chips, dried apple chips and non GMO popcorn are all crunchy snacks that are pretty easily digested and filling at the same time. They can keep you full for a while and they are easy to take on the go, stash in your car or diaper bag and they are great to share with the kiddies too. And they are REAL food! Don’t end up at the mall and have to choose the processed burger and fries or pizza. Neither you nor your kids deserve that.

Don’t these all sound better than leftovers, fast food, microwave dinners and sugar/perservative/chemical laden “foods” that leave you wishing you hadn’t eaten them 2 minutes after they go down? Not guilt FitMamas, indigestion, bloating, fatigue, food hangovers and cravings is what chemical processed foods create. Just avoid all that.

It’s just about CHOOSING, being more mindful. Deciding that you’re going to be more picky about what you put in your mouth. Sounds more fun right?

The key is:

PREPARING – so that you have chopped veggies in the fridge to stir fry up with scrambled eggs for a filling, fibre rich, nourishing breakfast. So that you have apples and pears to grab as you run to practice or daycare pick up. Take the time to wash and prep after you shop, so healthy foods are in your fridge at eye level and not hidden away in the crisper drawer (to get the opposite of crispy). A little weekly food prep can go really far!!

Join us in the FitMama Facebook group, where I share success tips and tools daily for more mindful eating and preparation to make choosing what you want that much easier!

See you there!

Hugs,

Love Jen

Perfect Pumpkin Scones

Copy of FitnessDoula

Perfect Pumpkin Scones were designed by me, because I have a serious LOVE for scones since I learned my first recipe in Home Economics class in Grade 7 at my school in Toronto, Canada. That sparked a love for baking (and eating baked goods) in me that has never died. If you hang out in our FitMama Facebook Group for more than a day, you will see that I have a die hard love for muffins and other such baked goods – my healthy versions are my preference by far. I upload new recipes into the files there quite often, so stay tuned as I add more that you will love.

In the fall in Canada, pumpkin has always been a staple on the menu. Pumpkin pie was always too sweet and rich in my opinion and pumpkin muffins and scones that you can buy commercially are usually covered in sugary icing and filled with hydrogenated fats that will leave you feeling icky, bloated and dissatisfied.

Enter…..the perfect pumpkin scones! I love them because they are so easy to make and use wholesome ingredients. My kids love making these with me and we all enjoy them as a warm comforting treat – they are so good right out of the oven!!

The only sugar I use is date sugar – which actually adds nutritional value and not just empty calories like white sugar does. Compared to usual scones that use loads of butter (and not grass fed typically, often hydrogenated versions), these ones use just 1 tablespoon per 5 scones, of super healthy oil (choose coconut or avocado oil).

I make these usually once a week during the fall season and I commonly use boxed pumpkin puree. The key thing to look for in the store is pumpkin puree (read the ingredient label, it should just be pumpkin), not canned pumpkin pie mix – which has a number of other ingredients in it that will not go well with this recipe. I like the tetra boxes of puree if you can find them, as they are less inclined to contain BPA toxins that the lining of cans can often contain.

I have perfected this recipe with much practice and it has take on a few iterations depending on what I have in my cupboards. Especially since I have been travelling, I have had to make some modifications. I will offer a few swaps here, but this is the basic outline (I often double it, because these can go fast):

lovefitmama.com

Possibilities for good substitutions I have tried:

For vegan scones – use Chia seed gel as a substitute for the eggs: just 1.5 tbsp of ground chia plus 1/4 cup water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes so it forms a gel before adding to the sugar/oil mixture.

For grain free scones – use coconut flour instead of oat flour. You need to purchase coconut flour, but oat flour is just rolled oats blended in any blender for a few seconds – it is really simple to do.

I have made them with avocado oil, melted coconut oil, and melted grass fed butter – these have all worked incredibly well.

I have used both coconut sugar and date sugar. I am sure you can use others as well if you so desire.

Often I omit pumpkin pie spice as I don’t usually have it on hand when I travel, but cinnamon is a staple, so I usually just double the amount because I love it.

I hope you love these as much as I do!

Please let me know how yours turn out. These are always a crowd pleaser with family and friends and I often make them for brunches or breakfast when I host.

Enjoy!!

Hugs,

Love Jen

There is No Cheating, Just Choosing!

 

 

There is no cheating

There is no cheating, just choosing!

I say this line so often because I still hear people referring to eating as cheating. Say WHA????? No, FitMama please, what’s up with that?

When it comes to food, I urge you to get this concept of cheating out of your head. There is just eating. You choose what you eat, there is no benefit to labelling it something it is not.

I am sad that in the fitness and HEALTH industry, we are ingrained to think that eating foods that we consider unhealthy or “not on our diet” are labelled something so negative as “cheating.”

When we think we are cheating, we immediately feel negative emotions such as worry, regret and guilt. This study, which looked into the emotions of guilt versus celebration when eating food shows, “NO evidence for adaptive or motivational properties of guilt.” which means that there is no benefit to feeling guilty when eating a food – and they described:

“Those who associated chocolate cake with guilt did not report more positive attitudes toward healthy eating or stronger intentions to eat healthy in the future than did those who associated chocolate cake with celebration.”

How does that sound for letting you off the hook?

In this study, associating chocolate cake with guilt was related to an increase in weight – even in those people who were trying to lose weight.

“However, participants who associated chocolate cake with celebration were, on average, more successful in losing weight than were participants who associated chocolate cake with guilt.”

Therefore, when you decide to eat something, own it!! Decide it is what you really want, consider it what it is, just food – and allow it to bring you pleasure and positive energy – if it doesn’t, then DON’T choose to eat it. CHOOSE another food.

By changing your mindset in this way, you can feel more positive overall about the foods that you eat. And if your goal is in fact to lose some weight, you will be more successful at that when you have more positive associations with your food.

So, how can you do this?

Try these three things:

  1. Start listening to your body and eat foods that make you feel good – like more energy, less bloating, better digestion, better mental clarity, balanced mood, etc.
  2. Don’t eat foods just because they are convenient, your usual routine or everyone else is eating them – like the bowl of candy at work, the drive-thru or the leftover crusts that your kids leave on their plate – make a choice for each of the foods you eat to be what you really want.
  3. Avoid using the weekends as a time to “go all out” and don’t consider any of your foods or meals “cheat” meals. Just eat a nice harmony of health promoting foods with some foods you consider to be more rich or less health promoting and eat them in moderation. We all know what foods agree with our bodies and what foods do not. There is no need to go buck wild every Saturday night and think you’re off the hook because you have labelled it a “cheat meal.” Your body doesn’t know the difference between Tuesday and Saturday, all it knows is “OMG this makes me feel horrible!” This cheating mentality promotes disordered eating, dissatisfaction, regret, guilt and weight gain.

Choose foods that reflect how you want to feel. ‘See’ yourself already in the body you desire and treat that body with the upmost respect, love and admiration. Naturally you will choose foods that make that body feel good. If you don’t see it and act as if, it will never be your reality.

Cheers to changing your mindset and relieving yourself of all guilt and cheating when it comes to food! I know you can do it and I know you will find it super liberating!

Let me know how it goes! It may take practice, but with each time you notice it and change your words (in your head or out loud) it will create new neural pathways and solidify your new way of thinking.

Hugs,

Love Jen

Prepare To Push™

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of MAMA'S OFF TO-2Prepare To Push™ is the newly released book by Kim Vopni, who is also aptly named the “fitness doula.”

This informative book, is aimed at educating pregnant women about the importance of prevention in pregnancy.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to interview Kim about her new book and she gives us the low down on all the goodness inside.

JO: What is the main focus of Prepare To Push™?

KV: “It focuses on the pelvic floor and abdomen – the 2 most greatly affected parts of the body in pregnancy and birth. With the right knowledge about core exercise, birth positions and recovery, women can enjoy motherhood with a body they feel confident in.”

JO: Why did you create this book?

KV: “I took preventive measures in my own pregnancies and shared them with friends. The more I shared, the more I realized how little women know. I have since learned a lot more and I am shocked that so much important information is left out of common prenatal courses, books and healthcare visits. I needed a platform to reach as many women as possible and a book seemed like the best plan.”

JO: What do you think is the reason why more people aren’t informed about their pelvic floor?

KV: “I believe there are several reasons: One is that the pelvic floor is a ‘taboo topic’ for many so it is kept hush hush and not talked about. Another reason is that many health care professionals feel it creates fear by talking about the pelvic floor to pregnant women. I, on the other hand, believe that information is power and allows women to make informed choices in their pregnancies and births. A third reason is that it has typically been an ‘old age’ topic and as a result women don’t understand the importance of it when they are young and healthcare professionals don’t focus on the prevention but rather on ‘fixing a problem’.”

JO: Why should women buy this book?

KV: “The book is easy to read, touches on critical information left out of other prenatal education and gives women a plan for birth and a plan for recovery. It is a no-nonsense approach to prevention and empowering women to prepare their body. Every pregnant women needs to know this to be truly informed and to make the best choices for their bodies, their births and their healing.”

JO: What are three myths about the pelvic floor (and core) that you debunk in this book?

KV: “1. Everyone must do kegels – MYTH

2. After you have kids it is normal to leak when you laugh or jump – MYTH

3. The abdominal wall and the pelvic floor are 2 separate parts of the body and are treated differently – MYTH”

JO: “Oh…that is very worth getting the book for, FitMamas…such key information, thanks Kim!”

JO: What is the one thing women tell you they wish they knew before they met you?

KV: “I wish I had known you when I had my kids’ or ‘where were you when I was pregnant.’ If I had a dollar for every woman who tells me that, I would be a wealthy mama! I hear women tell me all the time that they wish they had known this information. Of note is that I also hear from second time moms saying ‘I wish I had listened to you in my first pregnancy. I thought I would be fine.’ Society as a whole is reactive – everyone is keen to fix a problem if it is there but not everyone is keen to prevent a problem from happening in the first place. I am trying to change that mindset so that women appreciate the importance of prevention and pass along the message to others.”

JO: What is the one thing you want women to get out of this book?

KV: “An understanding of their body and an appreciation of the need to honour the process of pregnancy and birth so they enjoy their pregnancy, feel empowered in their birth and can return to the activities they love with strength and confidence.”

JO: What other products/services do you have for pregnant and postpartum women?

KV: “The main product I sell is the EPI-NO – I used this in my pregnancies and it is how I first learned about the pelvic floor. I also do consultations and workshops for pregnant women and their partners. Postpartum, I do core restoration on an individual basis using restorative exercise and the hypopressive method. In my other business, Bellies Inc, we sell a product called the AB Tank Complete System that supports the philosophy of Prepare To Push™. Our system is core exercise for pregnancy, the AB Tank and Wrap to wear in the first 8 weeks postpartum and restorative core exercise for recovery.”

JO: “This is great, thanks so much for sharing all your fabulous knowledge with us! Where can FitMamas buy your book and find you online?”

KV: “The book can be purchased at my site: www.pelviennewellness.com and I am on Facebook @pelviennewellness and @belliesinc. On Twitter and Instagram, I am @fitnessdoula and @belliesinc.”

FitMamas, go get Kim Vopni’s new book and let us know what you think! Knowledge is power and you are sure to get your share of both in this incredible book Prepare To Push™

Hugs,

Love Jen

 

It’s Rad to Add

 

It’s Rad to Add!

When we think of “healthy eating” we are always led to believe it is about removing things from our diets. “I have to stop eating pizza!” Or “I have to quit coffee” or “I need to lose weight, I guess I am never going to each chocolate again” or “How will I live without cheese?”

This scarcity, or restrictive dieting mindset can have you feeling for nothing else in life more than that “forbidden food.”

So, get yourself off that roller coaster, listen here to my reasons why using words like “good and bad” when referring to food are actually detrimental and incorrect and hear my TOP 3 things to add to your days to get the most health benefits possible.

Healthy weight loss, improved energy, decreased anxiety, increased mental clarity and a whole lot of feeling fabulous can go down with just these three awesome add-ins. Who doesn’t want that!?

Let me know how you feel after adding these 3 into your life!

Hugs,

Love Jen

 

Top 5 Pregnancy Fitness Guidelines

Top 5 Pregnancy Fitness Guidelines!

It’s not uncommon to be fearful of doing things while pregnant. We are often led to believe by others (people, media, well meaning friends and family) that doing ANYTHING while pregnant can result in some horrible fate. And as conscious loving Mama Bears we don’t want to do anything that could potentially hurt our growing baby.

I understand that fully. However, there are some things that you want to consider in deciding whether or not to exercise during pregnancy.

  1. Did my doctor tell me it was ok for me to exercise?
  2. Do I feel good enough to exercise? (be honest with yourself)
  3. Do I know what I can safely do for exercise during pregnancy?
  4. Am I overdoing it?
  5. Do I realize that labour and delivery is harder than a marathon, so I could use to train a little for it?

Now, on the last point, there are many things that go into how your labour and delivery pan out – genetics, baby size, your anatomy, physiology, fitness and a myriad of other factors and circumstances which make each and every labour and delivery unique.

However, to NOT workout out of unwarranted fears may have you wishing you were in better “shape” (cardiovascular and strength-wise) to withstand and really get into it with 24-48 hours of labour and delivery.

A marathon is only 4-5 hours! And very few try to get through one without any training at all. While carrying an extra 20-100 lbs. Right?

You never know what your birth story will ultimately look like, but you can be as prepared as possible going into it, fitness wise, health permitting.

Watch the video for my Top 5 Pregnancy Fitness Guidelines to make it safe, worthwhile and your best possible path to an awesome labour, delivery and postpartum recovery.

Let me know how it goes!

Hugs,

Love Jen

 

Fill Up Your Legs

Copy of Copy of Copy of MAMA'S OFF TO copy 2Fill up your legs…with water – every single day.

What does this mean? Essentially it’s a visual cue for you to remember that you want to drink approximately half of your body weight in ounces, daily.

So, for example if you weigh 160 lbs, you want to drink 80 oz of water. Sounds like a lot right? Well, it really isn’t that much. And if you focus on drinking the majority of it early in the day, then you won’t be up all night running to pee.

I like to say “drink 2 by 2.” That means, 2 L of water by 2 pm, or about 65 oz by 2 pm.

What if you drink coffee and alcohol, or exercise in the day, does that mean MORE water? Yes, yes it does.

Well, how do you know when enough is enough?

I get this question all the time.

My rule of thumb:

  1. For every coffee or alcoholic drink you have (wine and beer for example), drink approximately that same amount in water to make up for it’s natural diuretic effect. So if you have 12 oz wine, drink an additional 12 oz of water
  2. For every hour you exercise, drink another 10 oz of water. 5 oz more if you are sweating profusely or working out in extremely hot conditions.

I guarantee you, it is not that hard to do. But you do have to be conscious of it and get into a routine with it.

The good news – herbal tea counts towards your water – so if you love teas like dandelion (liver detoxifier) or peppermint (digestive soother) or decaf green tea (antioxidant and metabolism boosting) then you are in luck. Drink these down and they add to your water intake (avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding).

So, what would your ideal day look like?

  • Upon waking, on an empty stomach – drink 20 oz of water with some fresh squeezed lemon in it. Helps detoxify and boost your metabolism. (*Side note, lemon is quite acidic in your mouth, so drink it down then brush your teeth to save your enamel).
  • While sitting quietly for a meditation, steep a tea and then drink it down right after while relaxed (12-16 oz).
  • Mid-morning before about 20-30 mins before you eat a snack, drink another 8-12 oz.
  • 30 mins before lunch, drink another 8-12 oz.
  • Then about an hour after lunch, drink another 8-12 oz.

That will get you to your “2 by 2!”

  • Then drink another 8-12 oz in the afternoon or have another herbal tea or two
  • Then drink the last of it about 30 mins before dinner (6-7pm-ish). Aim to finish it all about 3-4 hours before you head to bed. This will help ensure you go once more before bed and then sleep through the night with minimal disruptions.

Can you drink too much!? YES!!

Water and optimal hydration are linked with healthy weight maintenance and effective weight loss. BUT, more is NOT better.

You can over hydrate, which leads to imbalances in electrolytes and minerals, so avoid that by measuring out your water – using a bottle or measuring cup. Plan ahead if you are going to work for the day or if you will be out, bring your water bottle with you. Do not over-hydrate. If you feel like you have had enough, your body knows it.

Water intake can depend on your metabolism, environment and personal chemistry, so just use these suggestions as guidelines.

Remember, half of your body weight in ounces and then more if you exercise, are drinking coffee, caffeinated tea or alcohol.

If you are a breastfeeding FitMama, you might need about 20-40 more ounces of water per day – but go by how you feel. Most breastfeeding (or pumping) Mamas say they are constantly thirsty – so listen to your body! Drink if you are thirsty – just choose water and not sodas or sugar laden juices.

When I was breastfeeding I kept pitchers around my house; by the couch, by my rocking/nursing chair, by my bedside and I would constantly refill them.

Are you pregnant? You also need more! But follow the guidelines above for weight and then add more only if you are feeling like it. Some people find too much can make them nauseated. Your body will speak to you, listen up! Your goals for water intake will naturally be higher as you gain weight and eating well balanced meals with lots of fruits and vegetables will also add to your water intake.

Again, don’t go crazy measuring all the time, but use these suggestions as guidelines and drink regularly throughout the day.

Have fun with it!!

Let me know how you go,

Hugs,

Love Jen

 

Do You Eat Carbs?

 

Copy of Copy of Copy of MAMA'S OFF TO copy“Do you eat carbs?” is one of the more common questions I receive as a nutrition, fitness and lifestyle coach – much to my amusement.

I have been asked this so many times, that I am going to address it here for more clarity.

Yes! I do eat carbs! And lots of them!

First off, I think it is important to define what a carb is. Because the truth is, most people do not know.

There are 3 macronutrients in our diets; proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Many foods have all three, some just contain one or two. Many people think of “carbs” as just starches like pasta and rice, and don’t realize that almost all foods have some carbohydrates in them. All vegetables and fruits do, all grains do, dairy does, nuts and seeds do, beans do, even eggs have naturally occurring carbohydrates in them, albeit a tiny amount compared to the other macronutrients they contain.

Yes, you can lose fat on a low carb diet – you can lose fat on pretty much ANY diet, healthy or not, in the short term. In the long term, you will lose your sanity. AND gain back all the weight and more.

The “low carb” craze sort of died down more recently and was replaced by the “slow carb” movement and “paleo diet”. Avoiding grains has become the name of the game.

Each to their own with the diet craze – BUT, no matter what, nobody can dispute the fact that eating real, whole foods in their unadultered state is the way to stay healthy.

So what does that mean?

It means staying away from things that come in a box or a bag or handed to me through a window in my car. It means cooking and preparing food myself most of the time and it means a little more work than just opening a package and eating it.

Is it worth it? I believe so, because I feel energized, fabulous and function at a pretty high level almost all of the time.

I say it is a little more work, because it isn’t THAT much more work to be honest. And it can take some practice, but the more you do it, the more you want to do it. It makes you feel good eating real food. And that doesn’t have to mean no carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel. And yes, many people can be gluten intolerant or find quinoa hard to digest or get gassy from broccoli, beets or brussels sprouts. Or maybe you had a food as a kid you thought you hated for life – BUT, maybe you need to eat them in a different way. Maybe cooked rather than raw or raw rather than cooked? Or maybe someone just told you they didn’t like them, so you don’t like them. Perhaps you can try blending them or juicing them or soaking them or sprouting them. Or chewing for longer or combining them with different foods. Or find other foods that satisfy you and meet your nutritional needs. Either way, carbohydrates are not to be blamed.

Many foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) are foods that contain carbohydrates. They are an essential part of a healthy diet and I assure you, you DO need them.

There are certain carbohydrates to stay away from: refined carbohydrates such as those that have been stripped of their micronutrients. Foods like white flour and white sugar. Commercially baked goods such as cookies, pastries, donuts and store bought breads made with lots of sugar are process carbohydrates that you can completely do without.

Lowering your sugar intake will have highly beneficial effects on your brain and your overall body’s health. Sugar stimulates the pleasure centres in the brain much like a drug and therefore can be highly addictive.

If you are wanting to lose weight, decrease your waistline, flatten your belly or lose the bloat, reducing your sugar intake is a great start, but please, do not just eliminate all carbs – this will have you doing way more harm than good, and functioning optimally in your life will surely take a back seat.

Want to try out some of my favourite recipes? Join our FitMama Facebook Group for free by clicking here. I am constantly uploading healthy and delicious recipes that are simple to make and eliminate the unknown of lurking refined carbs from store bought ones. Come try my recipes such as pumpkin scones, banana muffins and chocolate chia pudding. My homemade salad dressings and soup stock recipes will have you never buying those again and they are surprisingly easy to make.

And yes, all of them have carbs 🙂

“See” you there!

Hugs,

Love Jen

Redefining Core Exercise

Copy of MAMA'S OFF TO

Why am I redefining core exercise?

Well, first off it is because most people think core exercises just consist solely on working the core alone in isolation. The “core” is a buzz word that is used a lot but not really well understood.

I teach core education webinars that run online quite often, CLICK HERE to find out when the next one is, if you want to learn what the core really is (with anatomy pictures and all!) and how to work it most safely and effectively.

It is common to think of core moves as just variations of crunches, sit-ups or leg raises. I am here to tell you these are not the best moves to work your whole core, and these moves are potentially quite damaging to the deep inner core unit. Often when we do moves like crunches, we are strengthening just the superficial muscles of the rectus abdominis or obliques and the stronger these muscles get, they can overcompensate for a weaker inner unit, which then can cause deeper issues down the road. And I am guess you don’t want that!

I recommend each and every new mom do a comprehensive 6-8 week core rehab program (at least) such as the one from BelliesInc.com.

Check out this video example of the Glute March – yes, a core exercise.

Don’t forget to do your core breathing while doing this move.

Go for 3-4 rounds of 10-15 reps per leg and if your hips start to sink, take a break and do more later. This works the core muscles of the back as well as the glutes, quads and hamstrings. Great bang for your buck! And it’s a safe exercise! Bonus!

Let me know how you like this one!!

Hugs,

Love Jen

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