Alternatives to Trick-or-treating

Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating 

Not sure how you feel about trick-or-treating this year or any year for that matter? You’re not alone. Something about sending kids out to get candy from a bunch of different people just isn’t my favorite.  I’ve hung in there over the years and let my kiddos participate because it’s a bit of a childhood rite of passage you could say. This year with the coronavirus, it really doesn’t jive with me.  My kids are getting older so they’re okay with doing something different. After throwing out a few ideas, we’ve decided to have a couple friends over for some backyard fun.  

The kids have been working hard on creating a haunted trail in the backyard for the past week and are super excited about having a few friends come walk through it. We’ll be watching a movie in the backyard, having a fire to roast marshmallows & hotdogs, dressing up, and painting pumpkins.  Halloween doesn’t have to only consist of trick-or-treating, check out this list of other ideas: 

Backyard Movie Night 

Hang up a sheet, bust out the projector, choose a scary movie, cuddle up and enjoy. For an added bonus, someone could dress up for a mid-movie scare. 

Campout 

What a great excuse to go camping. Spend some quality time outdoors with family and friends. Whether you choose to travel or just backyard camp, this can make for a super fun Halloween. I remember going camping at a campground on Halloween when I was a kid, it was a blast. We sat around the campfire and told ghost stories along with all the other traditional camping shenanigans. You could even make it a yearly tradition.  

Create a Haunted Trail or Garage 

Growing up in the country, our trick-or-treating consisted of driving to a few family members’ homes and showing off our costumes for a little bit of candy.  When I went with a friend around a neighborhood, in what might have been 5th or 6th grade, it was like a whole different world of trick-or-treating!  

Anyhow, instead of a trick-or-treating we had a Halloween party every year. My sisters and I would take our old detached garage and decorate it with spooky, (what we thought at the time was), awesome scary stuff. We would get a few friends or cousins to come over and dress up like haunted characters and have family walk through. Honestly, putting it together was probably just as fun or more fun than the actual event.  

I suggest encouraging your kiddos to get creative, come up with creepy things to add to the haunted house, add some dim lighting and scary music and invite friends to come check it out. They’ll have a blast and probably forget about trick-or-treating all together. 

Dress up and handout candy, Judge the trick-or-treater costumes, and give out prizes to favorites 

As kids get older, they can play the part of the “candy passer outer”. If the whole family gets involved, it can pretty fun. Dress up and sit on the porch for a little scare for the trick-or-treaters. Judge the costumes and give special prizes out to your favorites.  

Plan a getaway 

Want to get away from it all and not feel guilty for not participating this year. Plan a getaway. Halloween may just be the perfect time to take your family to those family friendly hotspots that are always super packed. Think about it…a good majority of families will be celebrating Halloween at home, why not enjoy a little time away? If the kids want to dress up, pack the costumes and hit up the local ice cream or coffee shop.  A quick Google search will likely highlight a few local businesses giving away some free or discounted goods or services for those who wear their costumes when they visit. 

Costume party 

Skip the chaos and bring the costumes to your house. Have a costume party (outdoors and socially distanced this year of course). Add some fun games and contests like best costume or best Halloween treat, kids and adults both will have a blast. 

Find a Haunted forest or trail  

Haunted forest or trails can be scary so you may want to save this one for the older kiddos or find one that’s age appropriate. A good scare on Halloween always makes for a memorable one.  

I’m sure there are many other fun things you  could do instead of going out and loading up on candy that only makes you cringe. Get creative, have some family fun and soon they’ll forget all about trick-or-treating. Happy Halloween! 

How are Your Kids Adjusting to Quarantine Life?

The New Normal

By now you’re probably settling into this new way of life. Kids are home every day all day, somebody, if not both parents are trying to work from home. I try not to watch the news, but from what I’ve seen off and on, it doesn’t look as if things are going to be back to normal anytime soon.

This morning I woke up, drank my coffee and took the dog for a walk like I’ve been doing every day, this is my solitude. I’ve been pretty positive throughout all of this.  I always wanted to home school my kids and I’m definitely a homebody so staying home doesn’t bother me. But today, I have an itch to get out and do something, to go somewhere.

The thing is, this is not what the country wants right now, maybe I’ll drive to a get a coffee or smoothie just to get away and see what the world looks like. My husband’s been doing any of the store runs we need, he’s not a homebody, so he’s having a harder time than the rest of us.

Take This Time to Focus on Our Kids

With nowhere to go, nothing to do, why not focus our energy on our kids and their health in this time. How are they mentally handling all of this? Could they use a little motivation to get physically active? How about their diet? Do they drink enough water?  Eat enough fiber? Eat too much sugar?

We have time to help raise their awareness and educate them on the importance of being healthy NOW so they are prepared for future pandemics such as these.

Mental/Emotional Check-ins

So where do you start? I recommend with their attitude and emotions. If they’re not doing well mentally and emotionally it will affect every part of their life. Talk to them:

  1. How do they feel about what’s happening in the world? Respond to their fears and concerns with positivity and hope.  
  2. What are they missing right now? Friends? Family? School? Sports? Suggest a Face time/Zoom with friends and family? Play sports with them in the backyard, make a schedule of nightly/daily competitions (I can’t take credit for this idea, my sports loving son came up with it).
  3. Encourage them to start a journal to express their feelings in words.
  4. Are your kids getting enough sleep? Too much sleep? Do they seem overall happy or sad? Sleep as you know, can affect kids in all areas of life, mentally, physically, emotionally. Create a routine to enhance their circadian rhythm.

Physical Check-in

Physical activity for kids is so important.  The benefits of exercise are endless. Being active helps them ward off stress, improves moods, builds strong muscles and bones, improves sleep, and just keeps them overall healthier! However, when they’re feeling confused, down and out of routine their activity may not be a priority.

  1. When was the last time they broke a sweat? Sweating isn’t necessary every day, but kids should be getting good and sweaty from activity every couple of days. It’s an easy natural way to detox their bodies and keep their immune system running efficiently, and it can be fun!
  2. Are they getting daily exercise? With the down time we’re having, what better to do than explore different activities and find something they enjoy. Ride bikes, jog, play a new sport, or an activity they already enjoy.

Nutrition Check-in

Last, but not least, how have they been eating? Not just during quarantine, but for a while now? I feel like this quarantine has given us the perfect time to make some adjustments to their diets, or the whole family’s for that matter. You now have time to cook, time to make healthy substitutions, time to use up those ingredients you bought with good intentions of using a while back.

You have more control over what they’re eating now, so make it nutritious and healthy. Proper nutrition is invaluable, and we are learning this more and more each day. Keep their immune systems running strong with good for them food.

Carbs and Sugar

Carbs are important for energy and most kids don’t have any trouble getting the right amount of carbs. However, limit the added sugar. We all know that sugar isn’t the best for anyone, especially kids, too much of it can weaken their immune system. An easy fix is to just not buy it and it into the house. And if you need a little treat, (which, I think we all need a treat every once in a while), make your own and use a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup. This is one of my favorite sweet treat recipes: Black Bean Bownies.

Fiber

Have you thought about their fiber intake lately? This is a little harder to track, but with a quick peak at the food labels in the house you can have an idea. Fiber helps them feel full, so less snacking, and helps their digestive tracts work more efficiently. Provide healthy fiber options at each meal to make sure they’re getting enough.

You may be wondering “how much fiber does my kid need?” A simple way to calculate a child’s needs is to take their age and add 5. For example, my 9 year old needs 14 grams of fiber per day.

Best Fiber Foods

  • High Fiber Cereals
  • Beans
  • Pears with skin
  • Potatoes with skin
  • Peas
  • Apples with skin
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Banana
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli

Protein

Don’t forget the protein. So how much protein does your child need? According to Dr. Sears, kids need one gram of protein per pound of weight in younger, growing children, and half a gram per pound for older kids. Protein is the building blocks of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments therefore, kids need protein every day!

Good Sources of Protein

  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Whole Grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Fish
  • Dairy products
  • Vegetables
  • Bananas

Hydration

And finally, how’s their water consumption. A good way to know is by the color of their pee (sorry, but true). If you suspect they’re not drinking enough, remind them and have them keep track of how many glasses they’re drinking a day.

Could they be drinking more? Being well hydrated will help their energy and mood. It also detoxifies the body and helps regulate virtually all internal processes.

Photo by Elliot Fais

How’d They Measure Up?

I know that times are tough right now for so many, but if we can keep in mind that our children our going through this too. Stay positive for them and give them your best self. Stick together as a family and focus on the things you can control, and I believe we’ll all come out of this a with healthier, stronger families!

Picky Eater Protocol

Picky Eater Protocol

As a Family Health Coach, the number one question that I get is… what do I do about my picky eater? This is such a tough area.  All kids are different and there’s simply no magic formula. 

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Why is My Kid So Picky?

This is the million-dollar question.  We can speculate as to why they’ve become so particular, but truth is it could be for many different reasons. One reason suggested, is that kids like to be in control of something and many of them know they can control what they eat, especially if they’ve been doing this from the get-go.  I’m guilty of this.  My little man had tummy troubles from the beginning of time, so it began as early as breastfeeding, and me worrying that what I was eating was affecting him.

There are also some kids with real sensory issues. They can’t handle the texture, the color, or the smell of some foods, typically this is a more serious “picky eater” problem and should be discussed with your pediatrician who can then refer you to a specialist.

My biggest tip to you is relax and do your best to meet their nutritional needs. Ask yourself are they staying mostly healthy? Are they growing well? Do they seem to have enough energy to get through the day and be active? If you answered “yes” to these questions, chances are they’re getting what they need.

The Non-Meat Eaters

What do you do when your child won’t eat meat? Kids need a lot of protein for their growing bodies, in fact, they need about 1 gram per pound of body weight according to Dr. Sears. So, when they won’t eat meat, naturally, most of us become concerned.

Protein

My son’s is biggest issue is with meat, and for good reason, he simply feels bad for eating the animals.  What’s a mom to do about that? In this situation, I’ve let him stand his ground, and haven’t forced him to eat meat, but have tried to make sure that he chooses a healthy protein to replace it.  He LOVES peanut butter.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the one staple in his diet that he’s eaten since he was little. We always choose a whole grain bread, natural peanut butter, and jelly with limited amounts of sugar and NO HFCS! He will also eat a variety of beans, but his favorite are Mexican refried beans and baked beans, on the rare occasion black beans. 

Protein is essential for everyone.  Protein provides our bodies with the 9 essential amino acids that our body cannot make. Animal based products naturally contain these 9 amino acids, but without eating animal products it’s important to make sure we are getting complete proteins from other sources in our diet. Not long ago, it was thought that we had to eat a certain combination of plant based protein at the same meal to provide our bodies the complete protein it needs. However, research has since debunked this notion. (YAY! This now gives us moms one less thing to stress about!)

The following is a list of “kid friendly” protein sources  

  1. Peas
  2. Quinoa (whole grains)
  3. Wild Rice
  4. Oatmeal
  5. Nuts
  6. Beans
  7. Chia Seeds (bake into muffins or blend into a smoothie)
  8. Potatoes
  9. Broccoli
  10. Asparagus
  11. Dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk)
  12. Spinach (blend into a fruity smoothie)

The Carb Lovers

My son also could eat bread, crackers, and cereal all day, every day! We literally can go through a box of cereal in 2 days. It’s amazing.  Carbs are also an essential part of everyone’s diet, but it’s important that they eat the right carbs (complex) for a balanced diet and energy regulation.  Sugar is a simple carb, and is in everything, read labels, and do your best to limit the sugar in foods you buy.

Kid’s bodies are being trained at a young age how to burn calories.  If they’re constantly using carbs as energy, their bodies will be more likely to use them for energy verses fat, which in adulthood could make staying trim more difficult.  They likely could care less about this information, but as a parent we have the responsibility to give them a healthy start for a healthy life. Provide them food containing protein, carbs, and fats.

Fat is Necessary

Most picky eaters that I’ve encountered, won’t touch fish.  It tends to have a strong taste and different texture that most picky kids have trouble trusting. However, cold water fish contains healthy fats, essential for brain development, hormone production, cells, and immune system, Omega 3 EPA and DHA. These are vital for the growing child.

We can also get Omega 3s from seeds like flax and chia, and oils, however, these are ALA which the body must convert into EPA and DHA. This only happens in very small amounts, but with a picky child, I know, we have to take what we can get.  I choose a multivitamin for my kids that contains DHA and EPA Omega 3s so that I know they’re more likely to get what they need.

Monounsaturated fats are also important. They have been shown to reduce the risk of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease.  Research has shown that they help decrease inflammation, and may even help you maintain a healthy weight. These fats can be found in foods such as olives, nuts, seeds, avocados, and eggs.

Protocol Suggestions for Your Picky Eater

I am a Health Coach here to educate and share ideas, however, picky eating is a very delicate subject that so many of us moms struggle with every day. We’ve had our struggles and challenges, but I’ve found a few tricks that work for my son, and first and foremost is… Patience is key!

No two kids are the same. I can vow to this as well. I have an 11-year-old daughter who is an adventurous eater, she’s never afraid to try anything. Same parents, same up bringing (both of my kids were breastfed for 13+ months), no explanation to why they are complete opposites.  I’ve just learned to go with the flow and focus on the positive and not the negative.  He’s healthy, he’s growing well, and has the right amount of energy!

Key Take-A ways and Suggestions

  • Sit down, ask your child what they like to eat, make a list, post it on the fridge as a reminder.
  •  Don’t stress. Keep it simple and positive.
  • Remember, some kids are very sensitive to smells and textures, having sensory issues with food is a real thing.
  • Focus on protein needs for kids: 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, (a 30 pound child needs approximately 30 grams of protein per day.) Protein is the building blocks of their growing muscles and bones, they can get plenty from vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Add whip cream to fruit
  • Dip veggies in home made ranch
  • Peanut butter or other nut butters for protein
  • Make eating fun, family time, set good examples: picky parents will make picky children
  • Don’t force feed anything! This will only end in frustration and tears
  • Smoothies, shakes, or, cookie cutter shapes for sandwiches are fun things to try
  • Cook with mild flavors
  • Most kids will eat pasta and there are good whole grain, protein filled pastas on the market.
  • Include one thing at each meal that they will eat. If it’s rice or potatoes, always make a rice or potato of some sort. If it’s one vegetable they will eat, make it.
  • Ask them to try something new, don’t tell them. It takes approximately 7 times of trying a new food for a child to like it, don’t give up!
  • Have them help make dinner, show them how fun cooking can be, make it like a science experiment.
  • Educate the importance of grow foods for growing up big and strong. Use Traffic light eating. Green – grow and go. Yellow – slow down. Red – stop and think.

A List of a few of My Son’s Favorite Picky Eater Meals:

I typically either add meat or fish after I scoop out his portion or pick around it when I dish his out. He has recently started eating chicken nuggets on occasion, so we do that about once a week with a side of veggies.

  • Mashed Potatoes and Noodles
  • Veggie Stir Fry
  • Soup and Corn Bread (He likes potato soup and pot pie soup)
  • Alfredo pasta with peas
  • Pasta with butter and a side of raw veggies to dip in ranch
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Baked potato bar with broccoli
  • Rice and Beans
  • Breakfast for dinner (he likes scrambled eggs and loves  to make them himself)

What are Your Picky Eater Struggles?

Please share with me what your little one’s struggles are with picky eating. I’m always interested in knowing what other moms are going through and how they manage it. And who knows maybe we can work together to find a solution. Thanks for reading!


Resources:

https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/makingdecisions.sec.aspxhttps://

www.healthline.com/nutrition/monounsaturated-fats#section7

10 Everyday Swaps to Make for Healthy Living

10 Everyday Swaps to Make TODAY for a Healthier Living Environment

Cleaning up your environment can be surprisingly easy.  Take some time to look around your home, how many different products do you use every day? How many could easily be swapped for something less toxic? How are those products effecting your health and the health of your family? Have you ever wondered if you made a few simple changes in what you put in and on your body, that you might feel better?

Throughout my wellness journey, I’ve slowly eliminated toxic chemicals from my environment. I know it’s made a difference in my health.  My sensitivity to synthetic fragrances is over the top, they give me headaches every time I’m around them. I also have less joint pain, as someone who suffers from mild carpal tunnel, my joints often hurt. Now that I’ve swapped out toxic products for healthier ones, I have less pain. When I encounter a toxic chemical now, I often get aches in areas I’m not use to.

How Do You Get Started?

Start by taking note of how you feel today. What is your energy level? How is your mood? Do you feel anxious or worried? Now make the following simple swaps and take a weekly account of how you’re feeling.

I’ll be suggesting products that can be swapped out, if you make a purchase from one of the links, Metronome Wellness will receive a very small commission. However, what I’m trying to get across here is to just make a healthier, less toxic change, for your health and the health of your family. You can easily make your own products, or purchase them. Thankfully, more and more companies are getting rid of the chemicals in the things we use everyday, and making them more affordable!

Cleaning products

No surprise that cleaning products top the list.  Have you looked at some of the chemicals on the labels of mainstream cleaning products? I mean, toxic, highly flammable, keep away from children, hazardous crap! Scary right? Why would we want these in our homes? Of course, we were once told that we must sanitize everything. We now know that we’ve done more harm than good with this way of thinking.  There are more scary, drug resistant bugs out there than ever before.  STOP sanitizing everything! A little bit of bacteria and dirt is good for your health!

Did you know that with a little white vinegar, essential oils, and baking soda you can pretty much clean anything? Crazy and think of how much money you could save! Check out my essential oil clean recipes. If you don’t have time, or frankly just don’t want to, I recommend using Seventh Generation products.  They can be found almost anywhere, and they stick to their promise of keeping the toxins out of our homes and the environment.

Toothpaste

Toothpaste can be full of toxic ingredients like triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial sweeteners, fluoride, propylene glycol, Diethanolamine. Why!?? What’s the point of adding these harmful ingredients to something you put in your mouth? One of the most absorbent places in the human body.  You can easily make you’re your own toothpaste! Wellness Mama has a few different ways: https://wellnessmama.com/1772/natural-toothpaste/ Or if you prefer to purchase a safer toothpaste, I like Himalaya Botanique, I get mine from amazon and have been using it for years.  

Shampoo

Another easy, simple swap to make today is your shampoo. I’m going to “plug” a MLM product, sorry.  I’ve tried making my own, and used a variety of different “natural” shampoos, and found Monat to be my favorite. It’s something that I can honestly say has helped my hair a ton! Over the past couple of years using it, my hair has grown more than ever, gotten stronger, healthier, and I frequently get compliments on it (which hasn’t happened since kids). Their company name is short for “Mother Nature” and they say “no” to toxic ingredients. Check out the science behind their products at:  https://monatglobal.com/the-science-of-monat/.

Face wash

As someone who struggles with acne, I’ve used a million different products. I wanted so badly for essential oils or something very simple to work, but it never did. I’ve used the dermatologist’s products and pills, but because of the chemicals, I never felt good about doing that, even if it did work. I finally found something that really works, and I can get behind. Tula. It’s a super food, probiotic for your skin, without all the nasty stuff! It feels amazing and gives me a natural dewy look.

Make up

I must admit, I keep it pretty simple, I’ve never been into make-up.  Again, I’ve tried making my own, and you can too, with a little arrowroot powder and cinnamon, but I never could get the combo quite right. So now I use and recommend this powder foundation called Everyday Minerals Matte Base. It covers my acne scars really well, and gives me a simple, clean, finished look.

Coffee Creamer

If you’re a coffee drinker like me, and like a little creamer in your coffee (I’ve tried to switch to black many times, I just can’t do it), there are a lot of fairly new, healthier options on the market today. I use to use the original Coffee Mate French Vanilla, but the further I got along my all-natural journey, the less and less I enjoyed the taste of the it.  I switched to the Natural Bliss, which was pretty good, but I’ve tried to limit my dairy consumption, so when I came across So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Creamer, I knew I’d found the “one”. If you’re trying for a more plant based diet, I highly recommend this, it has just 7 ingredients, 4 grams of sugar and is vegan certified.

Laundry Detergent

I’m just going to be honest again, as bad as I want to be “Suzy Homemaker” and make everything from scratch, I’ve tried making my own laundry detergent, but my laundry never came out as clean as I thought it should. I’d find that some of the socks would still have a lingering smell, and my whites were not so bright. 

There’s something about a specially formulated detergent that has been tested to really clean. The one I use and is Home Made Simple – Lavender laundry detergent, it’s a plant based detergent that is better for you and the environment.  I’ve found it at the local grocery store and it’s a reasonable price. This swap uses plant based ingredients and truly makes clothes smell fresh and clean.  They also make it unscented if you prefer not to smell like lavender.

Candles/ Air Fresheners

Please tell me that you don’t you aren’t still using air fresheners. The air quality of our homes is so important. Good air quality is important to support our immune systems against environmental and seasonal threats, along with preventing toxic overload in our bodies.  Candles are not the best option, especially if they’re full of artificial fragrance. Soy candles are a little better, but your best option is using an essential oil diffuser. There are many benefits to aromatherapy, it can help to energize you or calm your nerves, not to mention making your house smell lovely.  It’s so simple to change out the scents too.  You can use individual oils or blend them up to make your own special, preferred scent. I love lavender at night and a grounding blend during the day such as DoTerra’s Balance.

Deodorant

Swap out those aluminum laden deodorants for one with less chemicals. I do make my own from time to time, and often for my daughter, but for a purchasable deodorant that works, Schmidt’s is my pick! It has been proven to work in the southern summer heat over and over again. It’s a little pricey, but it’s nice to have around in a pinch.

Meat

I really don’t like talking about meat, I eat some on occasion, but I’ve never been a big meat eater, in fact, in the past I was a vegetarian. It’s however, an area to look at when making healthy swaps. Have you ever wondered where all the meat at your local grocery store comes from? I do all the time, and when I think about the mass production, I think about what kind of conditions these animals were probably living in. So when you’re shopping for meat, look for at the very least, meat that has been raised without hormones or antibiotics. If you can afford it, organic and free range is even better. You can read my post on Mindful Eating which addresses the need to think about where our food is coming from.

Slow and Steady

So maybe you don’t make all of these changes today, but soon. Take note after you’ve made the health conscious swaps. Do you feel better? Do you have more energy? How about your kids? Do they seem a little less irritable? I hope you’ll feel the differences like me. Make the changes, for your health, the health of your family, and the health of our environment.

Resources:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/09/toxic-toothpaste-ingredients.aspx

How to Prepare for Adolescence

Perspective from a Mother of an 11-Year old daughter

I’ve had so many people tell me recently to prepare for what’s about to come.  My daughter is 11, and according to some of my friends who’ve already been through the teenage stage, she’s going to probably start to isolate herself from me and not want me around so much.  I hate hearing this, it’s terrifying, please deliver my bubble NOW! I’ve been wanting one for 11 years, now I want one more than ever.

I know that’s not possible, but if it were, I’d probably be one of the first to take advantage.  I’m a slightly overprotective parent, but so far, my kids have been okay with it.  In this world of fake everything, I try to teach realness and honesty, and the older and older my kids get, the more they become exposed to things that I would pay good money to protect them from.  Love and prayers are my savior.  I realize they’re going to experience the bad in this world at some point, I just want them to know that I’m always here to help them navigate and understand.  I NEVER want them to feel like they can’t talk to me about anything!

Communication

My baby girl and I’ve always been close, she’s always been very open when it comes to anything on her mind.  She’s never afraid to ask me questions or tell me when something happened at school.  So, here I am trying to figure out what I can do to prevent her from changing the way she feels about me over the next 8-10 years.  I’m sure some of you who are reading this are saying “good luck!” Please send it this way, I know I’ll need it!

The Tween Stage

Having an 11-year old daughter definitely comes with its rewards and challenges.  Trying to manage through this stage gracefully, meanwhile preparing her for puberty is scary not only for her, but my husband and I as well.  When I think back to when I was about to be a teenager, I think of how naive I was.  I felt so unprepared for what seemed like the rude awakenings of life. Middle School and even worse High School! Maybe if I’d known what to expect, instead of the pretend drama seen in movies or on TV (and I was an 80’s & 90’s child), I would have been a little happier throughout my adolescence.

Preparing for Them for Adolescence

I’m definitely NOT a parenting expert and haven’t lived through this yet, but here’s what I suggest to-do and pray it helps.  I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going over the years!

Setting Them Up for Successful Adolescence

Set a good example

How you handle stress and anxiousness will impact her.  If she sees you stressed and angry and then yelling or turning to alcohol to chill out, it’s likely she will think this is the best way to handle things.  Teach her to recognize when she starts feeling sad or anxious and walk away, remove herself from the situation and take a break. Give her the tools she needs to calm down. Suggest she take a walk, workout, do some yoga, diffuse some oils, go for a drive (when she’s old enough, of course), take a bath, listen to loud music, or calming music whichever she prefers.

Spend dedicated time with her

At this stage in her life, she needs you more than ever, even if she doesn’t say it.  Give her your undivided attention, DAILY, and when you can dedicate a morning or an entire day with her do it!  Do something fun, these years are going to be confusing, serious and physically and mentally challenging, let her be a kid as long as she can!

Routine

Keep life as predictable and routine as possible.  As with a small child, routines are necessary, but in adolescence they can give them a sense of security at home.  If they know what to expect, they are more likely to respect their boundaries.

Give her chores

Hopefully, she’s been doing chores for a while, but now that she’s older, it’s okay for her to be responsible for even more things around the house.  Maybe she cooks dinner once a week? Or maybe it’s time she learns to mow the lawnChores are part of being a family and sharing responsibility, not to mention a way to teach life skills.

Talk

Not just serious talk, ALL talk, talk about what’s going on with the family, the weather, politics, caring for the Earth, music, whatever comes to mind. It’s so important to keep lines of communication open always!  Let her know that friends will come and go, but you will always be there for her.

Teach her to make healthy choices

Teach her to respect her body and nourish it with proper nutrition, exercise, and rest. This is another important area to set a good example.  Don’t body shame yourself, show her that women and girls are beautiful from the inside out, and that our bodies are special for all they can do and we must take care of them.  Food is fuel, she must fuel her body with plenty of fruits and veggies and keep herself hydrated to ensure proper functioning organs and natural detoxing system.  Teaching her to cook healthy meals, and encouraging her to choose healthy snacks at this age will go a long way in the road to a healthy life.

If she’s athletic encourage her to participate in a sport.  If she likes to be more independent when she’s physically active, help her to make activities such as running, riding bikes, yoga fun and a part of her daily routine.  The stress relieving benefits of exercise will help her to feel better, sleep better, and ward off depression. 

Check out my post on Self-Care for Kids.

Support and encourage her interests

Around this age, they start to really discover what they truly enjoy doing.  Nourish it, support her, and encourage her to pursue her dreams.  Talents tend to go one way or the other at this age. If she hasn’t found what she loves to do, help her to explore her options.   They need you to be positive and supportive.

Give lots of love, hugs, and cuddles

Show her that it’s okay to be affectionate. Human touch goes a long way at reducing stress and anxiety levels. Research has shown that a hug releases a hormone called Oxytocin which is related to reduced stress levels. She needs to hear that she’s loved too, so tell her multiple times a day!

They’re still our babies and always will be, we need to give them all we’ve got while they’re still around! Because they grow up way too fast!

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Workout Routine for Moms

Mom Workout

Busy Mom’s Exercise Plan

You know you’re supposed to exercise, you want to be healthy and have energy to keep up with your crazy kids, but how? When you feel like all you’re doing is cleaning, cooking, working, and running kids? Let’s face it finding the time feels nearly impossible most days.  Getting up out of bed in the morning, when all you want to do is sleep, can be a daily struggle. 

I’ve found for us busy Mom’s, that if we can just carve out around 10 minutes, a few times a day, to take a break and get moving, we feel much better and the day tends to go much smoother. 

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Keep it Simple

You don’t have to run miles, spend hours at the gym, eat some restrictive diet.  Small steps, simple steps in the direction of a healthier lifestyle is all it takes.  I promise, if you devote just 15-20 minutes a few times a day to yourself and your health, you’ll sleep better, feel less stressed, your jeans will be a little less snug and you’re going to have more energy to chase around your kids!

So, what are you waiting for? Start today, whatever time it is take a break and do one of the following workouts.  Fall in love with the process, then keep it up! EVERYDAY!!!

Morning workout.

Before the kids get out of bed, grab your coffee or your dog, and go for a brisk walk.  (slowing down a little to take sips of your coffee if needed). Walk for 10 minutes which is enough to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing for the day.  When you get back home, take 5 minutes and do the following:

Midday Routine

So, it’s the middle of the day. You’ve either been working all morning, running errands, cleaning house, or chasing little ones.  Time to spend 15 minutes on yourself.  Go for another 10-minute walk.  Take the kids if you need to, it’ll be great for them too, not to mention the awesome example you’re setting by being active! When you get back it’s time for a few more simple exercises.   

Evening Workout

The evening workout will take a little longer, because there’s an added 10-minute stretch, but what an amazing way to end the day, by giving your tired muscles a nice little flexibility workout.  As we age it’s even more important that we stretch, it’ll save you from a lot of aches and pains, you’ll sleep better and wake up feeling ready to start this routine over again.

Break it Up and Have Fun

When you break up your workout into little pieces throughout the day, it hardly feels like a workout, and yet you’re giving your body the same attention as a hard 45 minute nonstop workout. 

Exercise should be fun, even if you’re not doing this routine, do something you enjoy.  A few of my favorite motivational sayings are….

“No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch”

“Exercise shouldn’t be a punishment for what you ate, but a celebration of what it can do.”

“Embrace all that is you.”

Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be Well Momma!