Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Treats and Tips

Halloween is here, and we have decorated as usual: graveyard, strobe lights, heads hanging, giant spiders covering the house and the fog machines ... it's not Halloween without the fog machine.
This year decorating was a special moment with both the little ones being able to pitch in.
As always, Stella, now 4-years-old had her own ideas about what she was going to be this year. I have found it increasingly difficult to keep her focus on age friendly costumes when the options out there look like small, adult get-ups.

I finally got smart and asked her what she would like to be, then went out and bought her a costume. Perhaps I took a little bit of the fun out of it for Stella but, each year, I get tired of vetoing all of her choices because they are too skimpy, or too “adult” for her. And, it turns out, she is very happy with her more than appropriate witch outfit.

As for Carter, I could never have imagined how much easier having a boy would be. His mind changes constantly, which to me translates to mean that he really will be happy with anything. So at this point, as long as it doesn’t require him to wear a hat or headpiece for too long and it involves him going from house to house, we are in the clear. A dinosaur will be walking the streets tonight.

As always, making sure that Halloween is a safe and happy holiday, I will be taking some steps. While we all know the safety tips on checking the kids’ candy, it is equally important to make sure that the kids are safe while walking around trick or treating.
 Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
 Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
 Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
 Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
 Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
 Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

See more at: http://www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips#sthash.MIhjlWkm.dpuf.

Cheers to all you parents out there as you fold, zip, tuck, and pin your little ones into their Halloween costumes.
Have a safe Halloween and don't be afraid to eat some of that candy, after all, it's no good for the kids!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Love Is Blind. So Are Free Hugs

Now that Stella is four, I am finding that life’s lessons seem to be needed day to day. Gone is the time when a mom’s love was the only thing that mattered — in its place, is a curious child who tests limits and wants answers.

Because of this, I always try to embed what I can in our daily activities. Maybe it is a little talk about kindness or teaching her empathy when she steals her brother’s Crayon. Perhaps it is talking about perseverance when she gets frustrated and wants to give up.
I often feel like maybe these little speeches wouldn’t be needed if there were more examples of these things in front of her. While I know there are good people in the world, it seems as though what little Stella sees is from those who are doing things that she has learned not to do.

“Why did that man not say excuse me when he bumped into you mommy?”

“Why are those people not talking nice to each other?”

“Why did (so and so) say to (such and such) that she was ugly today?”

Whether my little one is such a whistle blower or she just has a watchful eye, it often saddens me that she sees more of what is wrong than the beauty in what life can be.

I came across a video that I wanted Stella to watch. The video is of a man, Ken Nwadike, CEO of Superhero Events, who goes out to running events, stands on the course, and offers “free hugs.”

The “Love Movement” touches me for a number of reasons. First, I am a runner, and have been in many running events where I could have used a hug from someone. Second, when watching the videos, things like racism don’t exist. Nobody sees or thinks about color, fear, or gender. People see a genuine kind act and they go for it! Men and women cross over to jump into Ken’s arms for their free hugs.

These are the things I want Stella to see. I want her to see someone, a stranger to most, who takes his time to go and spread love to people. I want her to know that everyone deserves love and kindness no matter what age, gender, or color. I want her to know that random acts of kindness touch people forever and that she has the power to do that.

Whether you want a teachable moment or just want to feel good. Watch “Free Hugs” from the San Francisco Marathon last weekend.

Free Hugs San Francisco Marathon HD from Superhero Events on Vimeo.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Don't Let Your Workouts Interefere With Being a Haute Mom!

How do you recover from your workouts?

With all the choices available to us haute moms, this question is likely to turn up hundreds of answers.

As part of my Fit Approach Sweat Pink Ambassador role, I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in the Fuel Your Better Campaign by Vega Sport.


Hubby and I after M2B
As someone who is consistently participating in at least one half marathon and training for two to three full marathons a year as well as challenges that include back to back events like Disney Dumbo Double Dare, I am always looking for products that will better my performance. I have noticed that as I get older, I am not able to bounce back as quickly as before.
Vega Sport intrigued me for one main reason. It is 100% vegan. There are no animal products. I tested out the Accelerator which is a powder formulated especially for recovery. 

After trying it out after a ten mile training run, I was sold. No upset tummy and I felt fantastic the rest of the day, and more importantly, the day following. The real test came weeks later after pacing my husband at Mountains To Beach Marathon in Ventura, CA. I was able to get right back to the kids as soon as I got home and didn't have the usually soreness or tightness that I feel after a distance run.

I can't think of anything better to help this Haute Mom stay in shape without missing a beat!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade; is that how the saying goes? I realize that this is a tough lesson for us all, especially when trying to teach it to your children.
This past Monday, I was glued to the internet as I watched the Boston Marathon. As a runner, it is the mecca of marathon events and as someone who was watching the event live last year when the bombings occurred, I couldn’t miss it.

I had several friends who had flown to Boston to participate after hard training to qualify. I had even more friends watching from home after missing their own qualifying time by seconds. One of my close friends decided to fly to Boston to support runners after he missed his own qualifying time by a few seconds.
Ken Nwadike, CEO of Superhero Events (they put on the Hollywood Half Marathon, Costume Party Run, and the Awesome 80s Run series) decides to make the trek to Boston after dealing with disappointment this year when his attempt to qualify for Boston failed by a mere few seconds.

Why? To go and support the thousands of runners (almost 36,000 to be exact) that had qualified and to show that the journey is not always about your own achievement.
Wearing a “Free Hugs” shirt and carrying a matching sign, this race director stood on the course and offered hugs to the participants running by. The reaction was astounding. As I watched his video of the experience, I couldn’t help but finally understand the truth behind life’s plan not always being in our hands.

You can see in this video the reaction that Ken received from his kindness of choosing to fly across the country to show his love and support for the Boston Marathoners. People not only run clear across the course but double back just to get one of his hugs.
Free Hugs

I showed Stella the video at which she asked, “What is that man doing?” I explained that his hope was to be a runner but since he could not, he decided to be a part of the other runners’ experience and spread hugs.

My innocent daughter smiled and replied, “I bet the runners liked the hug more than Ken running.” From the looks of the video, Stella was absolutely right.
So many lessons in such a simple act from random acts of kindness to the tough lesson of sometimes, things that we really want don’t happen for a reason because someone else has a bigger and better plan for us.

 

 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Making Healthy Food A Part Of Your Family


While choosing to eat healthy is the first step, getting the rest of the family to follow suit, may be a challenge. I can eat as healthy as I choose, for Stella (3 ½ years-old) and Carter (18 months) this is a whole other story.
I know the importance of ensuring that my little ones develop good eating habits at an early age. I am not sure if it is my fault (tracing back to my pregnancy cravings), but they both have quite the sweet tooth. But habits should be formed now because as they get older, they will be harder to break.

Here are some things that I have tried that have proved to have some success with keeping the kids’ eating habits on track:

·        Offer healthy choices – If the snack choice consists of chips or rice cakes, it is no surprise that the kids will choose chip.    I mean, come on, wouldn’t you? Both of my little ones are  old enough to make choices (even if Carter does this simply by pointing and shaking his head). When I allow them to  open the pantry for a snack, they find the least healthy item   in there. Instead, I will select two things to choose from, like applesauce or a banana, that way, I am happy with whatever they choose. If the kids don’t want either? Then they must  not be that hungry

Crab legs! Who knew the kids would love them!
·        Re-write the kids’ menu – Who says that kids have to have traditional “kid-friendly” food. As soon as mine had teeth, they were eating what hubby and I were eating. They now gobble up things like tofu and salmon and turn their noses up at peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The best part? Mom    or dad only has to cook one meal!
 
·        Be the captain of your ship – Who does the grocery shopping in the house? If there is a lot of junk food – it didn’t get there by accident. I remind myself when at the grocery store that if I buy a box of cookies, someone will eat them. The less junk food I buy, the less tempted everyone is to indulge.

·        Don’t make the kids “clean their plate” – While this strategy may have been used by our parents, it is not the best practice. Forcing kids to “clean their plate” only makes eating a chore. It also forces kids to eat when they may no longer be hungry. All that teaches them is too overeat and not listen to their bodies.

·        Remember that food is not love – I really had to struggle with this one. I am guilty of passing out cookies, baking brownies, or going out for ice cream when Stella has done something good. It is embarrassing because, sometimes, she asks if she has been good and I know that this is a code for wanting a sweet treat. Instead, I have to find other ways to reward her for things. Perhaps it is an extra book before bed or allowing her to choose a game for us to play. Maybe I print out some free pages for her to color or paint. It is hard because a sweet treat is so much less time consuming than the other options but I know, in the end, this is the healthier choice.

If being a parent wasn’t hard enough, taking extra steps to ensure you are raising health-conscious eaters makes it harder. It takes time and planning (as if you didn’t have enough to do). But with the startling rates of childhood obesity and type-2 diabetes, this is not something that we can ignore. Lowering our kids’ risks of these nutrition-related diseases is easier than dealing with a chronically ill one.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stay Haute During the Holidays

The holidays are a time of joy, laughter, and festivities. Festivities mean parties and parties mean food. The holiday times usually mean chaos for the family schedule and eating.

I really try to celebrate the holidays without allowing all the unhealthy food and sweets to throw my family off track. This is important to me since I run frequently and am always trying to eat smart for my next half marathon adventure. Being a health educator, I also know the importance of keeping my little ones from going off the junk food deep end.

These are some things I do to model healthy holidays around the house:

Substitute Low Fat/Low Calorie Ingredients
• I often use two egg whites in the place of one egg. I've learned this can reduce the cholesterol and produce the same result.
• Try to substitute applesauce for oil, margarine or butter in muffins, breads and sweets. I try substituting a small amount at first; the more I substitute, the more the texture of the finished product changes. My family never notices the difference!
• For dips, sauces, dressings and pie toppings, I use fat-free ingredients. Fat-free yogurt, sour cream and whipped topping have the same effect without the extra fat.
• Choose reduced-fat or low-fat cheeses for salads and casseroles. This is easier on the waist and the kids’ tummies.

Party Smart
• I try to start the day with a healthy breakfast. Low-fat yogurt with granola and berries, eggs with whole wheat toast and tomatoes, or toast with peanut butter and bananas. Eating a hearty breakfast makes the whole family less likely to indulge in holiday goodies throughout the day, wherever they may be.
• I choose carefully between foods you definitely will eat, those you will sample and those to skip. I talk to Stella, my 3-year-old, about what to avoid before the party, and we stick with that plan. For example, we will plan to eat dinner with some vegetables BEFORE we get dessert.
• I don’t rush to eat. Socialize and settle into the festivities before eating.
• Moving the socializing away from the buffet or appetizer tray is something that always keeps me out of trouble. It's my secret to minimizing unconscious nibbling.
• I fill the family’s plate with fruits, vegetables, and other healthy choices. This makes less room for those high calorie/fatty foods.

Stay On The Move
• I try to schedule outside time even if it means only heading out for 20-30 minutes before it gets dark. This keeps the family moving and off the couch.
• I encourage my family and guests to join me on walks or runs. If I have visitors, I ask them to come along. If they don’t run, I take them for a nice walk.
• I like to join in holiday and family-friendly events this time of year. There are so many fun walking/running events through the holiday season. Events such as the Holiday Half in Pomona have family fun expos all the way to half marathons that welcome costumes and strollers! That’s where we will be this weekend!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Thanks

It's no secret that my family has been going through tough times. But we are not different than any family. Everyone experiences ups and downs.

Something that I am finding out is that these tough times are changing my ways, my thinking, my attitudes. Changing them forever.

I have become so much more thankful than I used to be. Things that I used to take for granted have become daily blessings. It is surprising actually that I had so much and never noticed. Now that so much is gone, I'm more grateful for the little things.

So to say my thanks and spread the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to share my new found blessings I give thanks for.

1. I am thankful that my alarm goes off at 5 a.m. in the morning so that I can head out for a dawn run. I see the sunrise and smell early morning a few times a week, and that's something many people miss.

2. I am thankful that I can only run three or four miles during the week because I have to rush back to get ready for work. My job used to be something that tied me down, but now it is everything that allows me to provide for my family.

3. I am thankful for my community. There are people who I barely know who have come forward, in amazing ways, to offer help, assistance and support. It humbles me, and it makes me want to be a better person.

4. I am thankful for the little voices and pitter-patter of feet that wake me up on the few days I have the luxury of sleeping in. They are my children, my reason behind any action, my heart.

5. I am thankful for my health. I can run, jump, play and swim with my family.

6. I am thankful for the roof over my head. With its old electrical system and its leaky roof, it keeps us warm at night and provides shelter, which unfortunately, some people do not have.

7. I am thankful for my family. While family can be such a source of headache and drama, my family has circled around us, supported us during our worse times.

8. I am thankful for my hubby. We don’t always get along, and we don’t always agree, but I am most thankful that in our toughest times we have one another to lean on. I have a person who will always be on my team through thick and thin.

Regardless of situation or circumstance, it is the start of the season of giving thanks and spreading joy. Joy, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, and I am so grateful that my vision is clear.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!
 
Template: Blog Designs by Sheila