Tuesday
Feb122013

How Moms Everywhere Are Going Green

Green living is becoming a primary concern for many new moms who are fed up with the impact that an increased use of chemicals, energy and manufactured products is having on people‚ health and the environment. Out of this concern, it is becoming increasingly common for mothers to make living an eco-friendly lifestyle a priority for their family. Although breastfeeding is one of the most common green-living decisions that a new mom will make, there are several other important changes that a mother can implement in her current lifestyle that will protect both her children, health and the environment. Here, are a few of the top changes that moms everywhere are making to move ensure their lifestyle promotes a healthy environment for everyone.

Cloth Diapering
When disposable diapers first became available, women everywhere rejoiced at the freedom they offered. Unfortunately, we are now learning that this convenience came at a heavy price. Disposable diapers can take decades to biodegrade, and they fill up our landfills for many years after they have been used. Now, moms have discovered that modern cloth diapers can be just as convenient as their counterparts. New materials have made it possible to have absorbent diapers in cute patterns that are as easy to reuse as disposables are to throw away.

Reduce Energy Reliance
Modern appliance manufacturers are now beginning to offer appliances that use less energy. Moms who are committed to green living will choose appliances that are manufactured with the environment in mind. To do so, it is important for a person to become educated about the many different terms used in describing the energy usage of appliances. Using the electricity terms glossary at Compare Electric Rates in Texas is one of the best ways for a mom to familiarize herself with current terms that can help her to make an informed decision. Additionally, being careful to run appliances only when necessary is a practice that many eco-minded moms implement in their daily routines.

Home Gardening
The current practice of using pesticides and other chemicals in our food supply has led many mothers to start a home garden. By growing their own vegetables and fruits, moms can reduce the amount of chemicals that their child is exposed to during these important developmental years. After harvesting their home-grown foods, many mothers then make their own baby food. This simple technique enables a mom to take control of the food that her child eats while protecting the environment from the harmful effects of pesticides.

Natural Personal Care
Although many products claim to be made from natural ingredients, many new mothers are shocked to discover how many chemicals there are in store-bought baby personal care items such as shampoo and baby wipes. To avoid exposing their child to unnecessary chemicals, many new moms make these products using simple ingredients at home. For example, baking soda can be used to wash laundry as well as to clean other areas in the home. Shampoos and baby wipes can also be made using simple recipes that avoid the use of chemicals. 

Alternative Transportation
Mothers everywhere have found the perfect way to combine exercise with an eco-friendly lifestyle. When possible, they save on gas and transportation costs by choosing to walk or ride a bicycle. Even newborns can enjoy a stroll to the local market while snuggled close to their mother in a specially designed infant carrier. 
Going green is an achievable goal for every mom who takes pride in using only eco-friendly products and appliances within their home. By making a few simple changes in how they run their household and care for their children, every mom can take comfort in knowing they are doing everything they can to give their child the best possible start in life while preserving the environment for future generations.

 

***This is a sponsored blog post

Tuesday
Feb122013

Happy Mardi Gras: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! 

Happy Mardi Gras MomMes! 


Fat Tuesday is always a day that makes me miss all of the wonderful things that my hometown of New Orleans has to offer. I miss the flambeau marchers and the pinging sound of parade watchers tossing coins to them as they light the way for Endymion to roll down St. Charles Avenue. I miss the aftermath of the parade season where you can’t tell if a tree on St. Charles Avenue actually has leaves on it or not because it’s covered in so many beads. I miss the sounds of the marching bands and everyone dancing as they go by. But most of all, I miss the food and family. 

Mardi Gras to a true New Orleanian is all about family. We plan for weeks on where we will meet along the parade route to watch as the parades roll by, what we’ll eat, what we’ll wear and even where we’ll park and use the bathroom (yes, there is truth to the song “There Ain’t No Place To Pee on Mardi Gras Day).

Since we are in Houston this year and still on “baby watch” we’re celebrating Mardi Gras by watching Rex streaming live on WWL-TV online and enjoying our own homemade red beans and rice (although they still don’t hold a candle to Granny’s recipe).

You can join in on the Mardi Gras fun and enjoy a few of my ultimate favorite recipes from home. Some are a bit far fetched (like Turtle Soup), but others are simple and easy to make for dinner tonight. Happy Mardi Gras! 

Commander’s Palace Turtle Soup

Arnaud’s Shrimp Remoulade (note that you need to purchase Arnaud’s Remoulade Sauce)

Dooky Chase’s Shrimp Gumbo

Emeril’s Grillades and Cheese Grits

John Besh’s King Cake (this will not come close to ordering a king cake directly from NOLA, but it will satisfy your sweet tooth for now)

Monday
Feb112013

Exercise Do’s and Don’ts for Pregnant Women

Truth moment, as a former fitness competitor and a current fitness/nutrition specialist, I was very afraid of what getting pregnant and becoming a mom was going to do to my body and career.  Being active was not just about how I looked, it was my career. How could I lead boot camp if I can’t even bend over or how could I continue to work if I had a little one at home who needed me.  I was truly afraid until I saw that first ultrasound and our little one jumping around in it’s pod.  I was instantly in love and all my fears were pushed aside.  In the past, my Pre/Post Natal Fitness Certification was used to help others, now I have to practice what I preach.  My pregnancy has opened up a whole new world for me. I plan to be a hot mommy-to-be and a hot mommy afterwards and would love if I can help others in their journey. 

Eating well and staying active is very important while expecting. Below are some exercise guidelines to help you stay safe while working out.

This list includes some recommended Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to exercising while expecting by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  As a trainer and nutritionist with a certification in Pre/Post Natal Fitness, I added a few extra things to the list.  Remember that every woman AND pregnancy is different.  Most importantly, make sure you get a green light from your doctor before beginning any nutrition or fitness program.

Do

  1. Remain active while pregnant.  Physical activities have many benefits for the mom and baby.  3 safe activities that you can safely try are swimming, walking, yoga or modified resistance training.
  2. Strive for 150 minutes of exercise a week.  This could be broken down into 15-30 minutes sessions.  If this seems like an exhausting amount, please remember that any exercise is better than none.
  3. Keep it moderate.  The rule is that you should be able to carry a conversation while exercising.  If you are out of breath when you try to talk, take a short break and start again.  Instead of doing your regular walking path non-stop, stop half way for a 5 minute break.
  4. Stay hydrated.  Carry your water and drink it throughout your workout.  I know that the thought of running to the restroom multiple times is not pleasant but making sure you’re properly hydrated is more important.
  5. Dress and prepare appropriately to prevent overheating or feeling too cold. Extreme temperatures are not good for you or baby especially overheating.  You are more likely to experience extreme heat if you are engaged in physical activities so make sure you are in a well ventilated and tempered environment, and dress appropriately for the activity and environment.
  6. Work with a fitness expert, nutritionist or health professional that is pre/post natal or related field certified.  A poorly trained person can cause you injury or misguide you.
  7. Carry snacks to replenish your energy and blood sugar.  Fruits, nuts, healthy bars, coconut water or ready to drink shakes are quick, light weight and portable.

    Don’t

    1. Take on grand changes.  Finding out they are pregnant can cause some women to take drastic measures.  Some stop working out all together while others are so eager to better their health that they over do it.  Every woman is different, check with you doctor first on what you can and can’t do. 
    2. Put your adventurous side on overdrive.  This might not be the time to take on a new activity or adventure.  If you are, make sure it is safe for expecting mothers and you are not putting yourself or baby in harm’s way.
    3. Take on risky activities.  Limit or avoid risks. It’s important to choose activities that are not associated with increased trauma or risk such as contact sports, rollerblading, horseback riding, mud runs, etc…   This may not be safe at this time.
    4. Work out on a slippery, unstable and unsafe area.  Stability and balance will become more challenging as pregnancy progresses. Be sure you are careful and avoid becoming unbalanced, injured or falling.  This is not the time to stand on a stability ball or try a one legged exercise.  Many exercises have modified versions that will provide a safer variation for an expecting mother. 
    5. Ignore your body’s signs.  When there is a baby on board, try to pay more attention to signs of discomfort.  Some people can push through discomfort or pain but this is the time to listen to your body.  If something does not feel right, it’s ok to stop.  Alert your trainer (who should be pre/post natal certified) or your doctor.
    6. Be too hard on yourself.  Your body is doing A LOT of work to create a life.  You might experience extreme fatigue, exhaustion, shortness of breath and discomfort on activities that that came easy for you in the past.  That is perfectly normal and it’s ok to give yourself permission to take it easy.  Take more rests, go slower, reduce your intensity, cut down your workout time and frequency, and take a little more rest or nap if you need it.

    Physical activity has many benefits for mommy and baby.  Whether you are planning to start a new regimen or continue the exercise plan you are on, speak with your doctor first.  There are some pregnancy conditions and risks that outweigh the benefits of exercise so make sure you are in the clear before moving forward!

    By Linda Okwor – CN, CSN, CPT

    Fitness and Nutrition Specialists

    Pre/Post Natal Certified

    http://BODELOGIX.com 

    http://Facebook.com/Bodelogix

    Linda is a results driven fitness and nutrition specialist with over 15 years of experience and extensive education and certifications.  She is a successful certified fitness and nutrition specialist, pre/post natal fitness specialist, life coach, author, an entrepreneur, a top trainer and nutrition for Red Bull North America and Equinox Health Clubs—and a MomMe-to-Be. She owns Bod-E-logix, a company that combines the latest in nutrition, fitness, corporate wellness, and lifestyle techniques and modifications you can begin applying immediately.

    Linda resides in Los Angeles and is available to assist you with your nutrition, fitness and health goals. For consultation, contact Linda or call 877-319-1133

     

    Monday
    Feb112013

    Mexican Lasanga That's Weelicious! 

    With just four days left until we become a family of four, time with our little guy is limited before the chaos begins. Last night, tired of eating leftovers, I decided to look for a quick and tasty recipe that everyone (even the adults) would enjoy and that could cook on its own during litte guy’s bathtime.

    Here at Club MomMe, we’ve been working a lot with Catherine McCord, the fabulous author, chef and Mom behind Weelicious. Naturally, I looked no further than Catherine’s book for a new recipe to try for dinner and settled on Mexican Lasagna.

    I made one subsitutions to Catherine’s Recipe (baby brain prevented me from picking up a few ingredients at the market on a busy Sunday afternoon) and used flour tortillas we had on hand at home instead of corn tortillas, but it was still divine. We’ve added this to our recipe rotation and look forward to trying a few more of Catherine’s recipes soon!

    Mexican Lasagna  (Serves 6-8)

    • Prep Time:10 minutes,
    • Cook Time: 35 minutes,
    • Total Time: 45 minutes,

    Ingredients

    • cooking oil spray
    • 6 corn tortillas, cut into quarters
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 cup mild chunky salsa
    • 1 pound chicken breast, cooked and shredded
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, half inch cubed
    • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 3 scallions, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 cups mexican cheese blend (or a blend of monterey jack and mild cheddar), divided

    Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F°.
    2. Place the quartered tortillas on an oil sprayed baking sheet, then spray the tops with additional oil.
    3. Bake for 5 minutes, remove and set aside.
    4. In a large bowl, whisk one egg. Add the milk, sour cream, salsa, shredded chicken, cubed cream cheese, cilantro, scallions and salt. Stir to combine.
    5.  Arrange half of the par-baked tortillas on the bottom of an oil sprayed 7×11 baking dish. Layer half the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas, then layer 1 cup of the cheese blend on top.
    6. Continue to layer the rest of the tortillas on top, followed by the remaining chicken mixture and cheese.
    7. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes.
    8. Serve.
    Friday
    Feb082013

    Accident Prevention: Guidelines for Children’s Pool Rules by Age

    By Michael Pines

    With summer around the corner, parents everywhere are eager to introduce swimming to their little ones. On the other hand, some moms and dads are cautious to allow their children in the pool due to the understandable fear of accidental drowning.

    But despite their anxiety, a new study reminds parents that supervised swimming or “Mommy and me” classes are a safe activity for children as young as 4 months. And the study also reveals yet another hidden benefit: it may increase your child’s intelligence.

    Researchers at the Griffith Institute for Education Research in Australia found that children under the age of 5 who learned swimming skills were stronger in visual motor-skill development and more skilled at intellectual tasks like counting, listening or following verbal cues. In other words, swimming lessons may be crucial to the development of your child’s cognitive and physical development.

    So here’s to a summer of fun in the pool – but not without the necessary precautions to make sure your little one stays safe.

    Safety first: Pool Rules for Kids

    0 to 2 years

    When it comes to safety, children of all ages need pool rules and safety guidelines. And by making safety a priority, you can reduce your child’s risk of poolside accidents. Here’s how.

    Babies should not be carried in slings or unapproved devices as they are dangerous in the water and can trap infants. Walking children must always have your physical presence available at all times. Even if your little one is a strong walker, do not allow him to use shallow baby pools without you by his side. Because infants can often prove unpredictable, it’s important to always remain within an arm’s length of your child.

    2 to 6 Years

    Toddlers and small children are often seen with floaties around their arms, eagerly splashing in shallow waters. While it’s generally fine to allow playtime in shallow water, you must always provide uninterrupted, adequate supervision at all times even if your child is a strong swimmer. Always require the use of a coast-guard-approved lifejacket during water playtime. Never forget that a floatie, tube, air mattress, noodle or other floatation device is NOT safety equipment and cannot be depended on to keep your little one afloat.

    6 to 10 Years

    Swimmers in the 6 to 10 years old category need adult supervision at all times, especially when they attempt to swim on their own without any assistance from floatation devices. Always be available on deck for your child, and do not allow your little one to swim into the deep end unless he is wearing his coast-guard approved lifejacket.

    10 Years and Up

    Many public pools require swim tests to ensure your child is able to swim without adult assistance. This includes your child’s ability to hold his breath under water, swim front crawl from the shallow to the deep end, tread water, and float on his back without assistance. You should always accompany your older child to the pool and never leave him unattended even if you consider your child a strong swimmer.

    About the Author

    Michael Pines founded the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC, in San Diego in 1992. He is an accident and injury prevention expert in San Diego, on a campaign to end senseless injury — one blog at a time.

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