Mom Knows Best

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Easy Ways To Add A Little Health Into Your Everyday Life

Sometimes, the idea of getting healthy seems almost overwhelming. Although the dream is to be the sort of person who happily runs marathons and gets up at the crack of dawn to make protein shakes, let’s face it: who’s like that in real life, really? Luckily there are some much more manageable things you can do to bring a little more health into your life.
Switch Up Your Breakfasts

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Not everyone is a breakfast person, but the truth is that it really is one of the most important meals of the day. A good breakfast will fill you up until lunch, meaning that you won’t be tempted by any of those mid morning snack candy bars at work, and that you won’t fill up on sugary soda that’s bad for both your body and your teeth. Even if you’re the sort of person who just eats a piece of toast over the sink so you don’t have to wash a plate, why not change it up a little? Add peanut butter and sliced banana to your whole-wheat toast for some healthy protein, fats and potassium, and go for a supplement on the side like calcium to help your bones stay strong – check out real AlgaeCal reviews. You could also try out making smoothies, particularly if you aren’t great in the mornings – you could make them at night with your favourite flavour combinations, like banana and strawberry or a more tropical mix of pineapple and coconut water.
Start Getting Active

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A lot of people think that exercising means that you have to hit the gym for hours at a time – but that definitely isn’t true! A lot of us with our busy lives simply don’t have time to prioritise exercise and keeping fit, but you can shoehorn it into your life if you try a little harder. Make sure that you always take the stairs instead of the elevator, and walk instead of taking your car over short distances. If you have any friends with dogs then why not offer to walk them a couple of times per week? Remember that short bursts of exercise are a lot easier to fit into your schedule than longer ones, so try out some of Yoga With Adriene’s ten to fifteen minute yoga routines.
Get Mentally Healthy

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So many people neglect their mental health, which means that they just end up feeling worse and worse. If you have a busy life it’s important to try to take time for yourself, no matter what form that might take. Make sure that you see your friends on a regular basis and that you have date nights with your partner so that you can reconnect. Life with kids can be hard and busy, but you can’t let your relationship take a back seat all the time. A lot of moms find themselves feeling pretty exhausted a lot of the time but if you’re unhappy or anxious, go to see your doctor. Therapy is helpful for a lot of people, but you shouldn’t be ashamed or upset if medication is prescribed – you never know, it could help.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Giveaway-- February Is Heart Health Month

Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Natural Vitality. Regardless, my opinions are honest. 

                                   Discover a delicious way to take care of your heart!

  We all know that stress is not good for the body. Did you know that stress is also bad for the heart? February is Heart Health Month and I discovered a great drink that not only helps with stress but also is great for the heart. This Raspberry Lemon supplement tastes like a glass of refreshing lemonade and contains natural magnesium which not only helps your body relax but is great for the heart. I love my magnesium supplements to help me relax at bedtime. I was only taking my magnesium supplement on nights that I could not fall asleep but now that I found out magnesium is great for heart health, I will be taking them every night. This delicious drink from Natural Vitality is the perfect way to end my day and help my heart.

I discovered so much about how good magnesium is for the heart on this website:
I learned that magnesium can help lower the bad cholesterol and it also helps with high blood pressure. High cholesterol runs in my family, so I love that I have another natural supplement to help with that. My husband has high blood pressure so I need to encourage him to drink this delicious drink. I love that this delicious lemon raspberry drink is also vegan, gluten-free, and verified non-GMO. One bottle has 56 servings so there is plenty for me to share with my husband.  If you sign up for the newsletter at http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org/ they will send you a free e-book about magnesium so you can learn so much more about this natural supplement.

Natural Vitality has a whole bunch of magnesium supplements beyond this delicious raspberry lemon drink. Go to the below link to find out more about this heart-healthy drink and more.



The best part about this heart healthy raspberry lemon magnesium supplement is I have a bottle to Giveaway to one lucky reader!

Giveaway
To enter to win a bottle of Natural Vitality Raspberry Lemon Natural Calm, just enter on the form below and good luck!


This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age or older.  Chances of winning this giveaway depends on the number of entries. All entries will be verified. The winner will be notified within 24 hours of the end of the contest and will then have 48 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. Sponsor is responsible for shipping out the prize. Void where prohibited

Ways to Help Your College-Bound Child

When it comes to your children you may not want to face it, but they do grow up. The fact of life is that, no matter how much you’d like them to stay young and tiny forever, there will come a day when they’ll not only be big enough to be able to move out, but they’ll want to move out too. College is the first opportunity for many young people to be able to get away from the family home, which is why you should seek all the help you possibly can when it comes to this milestone in your child's life so that you can make it as easy for both them, and you, as possible.

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First of all, you have to remember that everything you feel about the move: the excitement for their future mixed with the sadness of everything they’re leaving behind — they will be feeling it all, only ten times worse than you. For every time they say things like ‘I’m nearly 18, just leave me alone’ or ‘I deserve some independence’, they will ask for your help or guidance. Because of this, you must be able to take whatever they throw at you with a pinch of salt; this means to be able to handle the cries for independence, as well being able to remain as there for them as possible. After years of dealing with the teen mood swings, I'm sure you can face just a few more. You should also reaffirm to them just how important these next few years are to them — both in the sense of being important in setting up the rest of their lives and in the sense that they need to create memories that they will retain for a lifetime.


As well as dealing with them in an emotional way, you also have to make practical plans for them, because they’re probably not going to want to do this themselves. You should discuss the financial budgets imposed on them, as well as who is going to pay for what. For instance, you may agree to pay for books and other supplies they’ll need academically at college, and you may tell them to fend for themselves when it comes to buying snacks and other, more fun, things. You should also inform them as much as you can about technology driven payment, i.e. the use of debit and credit cards.


You should also lend a hand when it comes to their big move. This could be anything from driving them to their destination; giving them advice on what to, and what not to, pack; or making sure that they are covered financially to get there on time and in one piece. If your child insists on taking much more than just a few items of clothing because they are moving into housing that offers more space than a dorm room does, consider getting the movers in. They will take the stress away of having to hire and drive a vehicle you may have no previous experience driving, such as a van or a lorry. You will also be able to have a peace of mind in knowing that all of their worlds possessions will make it to where they need to go.


So, there you have it. Your children (yes, they will always be your children), may be flying the nest, but that’s not to say that they still don’t need as much help from you as they did when they were babies. And it’s also not to say that they won’t be back upon occasion because they will!

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Getting Ready For Your First 5K Race

Congratulations, you signed up for your first 5K race!


  You have been running for a while and decided to sign up for your first 5K race. I want to say congratulations for all that training that you have done. Signing up for that first race is awesome! I know you are probably nervous and have many questions. I don't really remember my first race as that was many years ago. I have been running on and off since I was 20 years old. Over the years I have done many races and I am now about to run a 5k after taking a two-year break due to an ankle injury. So I will do my best to give you some tips on preparing for the race.

The day before the race

The morning before the race.  I like to eat a breakfast that has little fiber. Races are always early in the morning and I am not a morning person. That means I won't have time to empty my bowels in the morning so by eating a low fiber breakfast the day before, I won't have to do number two while running the race. Do drink your coffee though for your day before breakfast so you take care of number 2 potty business the day before the race. The rest of the day I try to eat healthy meals with low fiber also for potty reasons.

Running the day before the race? I like to run a couple of miles the day before the race. I already run every day so my body is used to it. If you are an every other day runner than don't run the day before.

Pick up race packet the day before. If you are able to pick up your race packet the day before I highly recommend it as the lines to pick them up at the race are always super long.

Look at the race info  I like to look at the race info the day before so I can figure out where the race is and where to park. I don't see a need to look at the race course as there is always plenty of people along the course to guide the runners.


Lay out your items for the race  I like to pin the race number to my shirt and lay out the clothes that I will be wearing for the race. This is also a good time to put the timing chip in your shoe laces if there is one. I also pack a bag with items that I need for the race. In that bag, I will put a bottle of water(great for hydration before the race), my iPod, a small microfiber towel(great for wiping up all that sweat after the race), a hair tie, a waist pouch for my keys, and a high carb granola bar. I just love this microfiber towel set as it includes a smaller one that fits perfectly in my waist pouch so I can immediately wipe all that sweat off after the race. It also includes a bigger one that is great to stash in my car for after the race. I love the bigger bag that I can place all my gear in.  These light-weight towels are ultra absorbent and dry so quickly. Unlike other microfiber towels, these are very soft. They even have attached loops to make them easier to hang up

Sleep I have a hard time sleeping the night before the race as I am a bundle of nerves. I take a warm shower and try to go to bed at my normal time. I also set my alarm clock.


The day of the race

Arrive at the race early  I like to get to the race at least an hour before the race starts. That way I can get a good parking spot close to the starting line so I can place items like my jacket and water bottle in the car before the race starts. Getting there early also gives me a chance to warm up, stretch, and use the potty. I like to go potty 15 minutes before the race starts.

Eat a good but light breakfast  I like to eat a healthy granola or meal bar an hour before the race so my body has time to digest it. Other good options to eat are bagels, bananas, oatmeal, or anything that is high in carbs. Just stay away from greasy foods. I don't drink coffee before a race as it will make my body want to do number 2 during the race. I will take some energy chews 15-30 minutes before the race for extra energy.  Below is a couple that I like to use. Also, make sure to drink about 8 ounces of water before the race.


Warm up  It is always good to walk or jog a bit before the race to wake up your muscles. I like to jog for about 5-10 minutes and do my usual pre-run stretches that way my muscles are ready to run.

Get in early Take your place in line about 5 minutes before the race starts. I am very competitive so I line up to the side in the very front as I don't want the other runners slowing me down at the start. Since this is your first race, I recommend lining up in the middle as that is a good place for beginners.

Enjoy the race  This is a tough one for me because of my competitiveness. I bring with my iPod so I can listen to music as I run. My goal for races is to win in my age category so I always push myself to run faster that the person ahead of me. Maybe this will be the race I just enjoy running.

 Pace yourself  This is something I learned from http://www.active.com that I need to try on race day.
Most racers give their best effort in the first mile leaving two more to go! Aim to negative split your effort on race day—that simply means finishing the second half of the race faster than you ran the first half. Start conservatively and build your effort throughout the run. When you start out too fast, your body works too hard too soon and fizzles after the first mile, making your overall time slower, not faster. In the last quarter mile, kick it into the finish line to finish strong.



After the race

You crossed the finish line! Give yourself a pat on the back for running your first race. Grab your microfiber towel and wipe up the sweat off your face. Go to your car and get the larger microfiber towel if needed. I like to wet the smaller towel and cool myself off. Then I use the larger towel to dry myself. Then I walk over to the refreshment table to get some water and a snack. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body at least 8 ounces. Enjoy the snack as you earned it.

Find out your time  Find out where the race results will be. Sometimes they post them up on a wall after the race or other times you have to go online for them. I like to stick around for the medal ceremony to see if I won 1st, 2nd or third in my age category. I am hoping that since I am older that I will win one of these places. The last race that I ran two years ago, I won 1st place in my age category. It always feels so good to win as it gives me a sense of accomplishment for my hard work.


I would love to hear any tips that any other runners may have so we can help out the first time 5K racer. What are your best tips for running a 5K?

Here is the link so you can more information on this microfiber travel towel set that is great for races!
                                      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/b01lxjz6fu



"These opinions are my own and I received the three piece microfiber towel set to facilitate this post."   

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lemon Blueberry Bread

This pretty looking bread tastes so good



  The first time I saw a picture of lemon blueberry bread, I just knew that I had to make a loaf. The colors of this sweet loaf were just so pretty and I just knew that lemons and blueberries would taste so great together. I love the taste of blueberries in pancakes and muffins. I also loved lemon cookies and bars so I just had to find out how the sour flavor of lemons would combine with sweet blueberries. That was several months ago when I decided to make lemon blueberry bread. I have bought blueberries several times since then but my youngest son loves blueberries and eats up a whole pint in a day so I never got a chance to make the bread. The other day I was at the dollar store and discovered frozen blueberries in their freezer section. My son and I loaded up the cart with ten packages, let's just say I bought them all so I would have some to make this sweet bread. I, of course, then went to the grocery store to buy fresh lemons so I could make the lemon blueberry bread before my son ate all the blueberries. I am so glad that I made this lemon blueberry bread. It has a texture of pound cake and a flavor that is so good. The tart lemons and sweet blueberries combine so well together to give a nice sweet flavor. My family just loves this bread and I will be making this again.



  I love using fresh lemons in my baking as the flavor is so much better than the stuff in the bottle. I find that using a lemon squeezer gets more juice out of the lemons than if I use my hands. The lemon squeezer is also less messy so the juice stays off my hands. Last time I used my hands to squeeze the juice out, I got a bad rash that took a long time to heal. Funny that I can eat lemons but all citrus fruits do a number on my hands if I touch the juice. So this time around, just to be safe, I put on gloves when I sliced my lemons. Qualitools makes a nice lemon squeezer that is stainless steel and allows me to squeeze the lemon without getting the juice on my hands. It not only looks good but it is durable and I can put it into the dishwasher and not worry about it rusting. My 8-year-old son loves helping me in the kitchen so I let him squeeze the lemons. I did catch him eating my blueberries, though. I think he likes helping me so he can lick the spoon.



  This cool looking lemon squeezer is available on Amazon and is so useful beyond making lemon blueberry bread. I find myself using it for fish, vegetables, tea, water, and so much more. So I keep it in my utensil jar. I just tell the kids, after they use it to just rinse it off so it is ready to use again. I also keep a stash of lemons in my fridge.


    When I bake I also use Pure Vanilla Extract for the best flavor. The best vanilla comes from high-quality Bourbon vanilla beans as it offers a deep, rich, natural flavor. Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract uses a percolation process that produces a superior vanilla extract containing one of the highest vanillin levels. To me, that means baked goods with a delicious flavor. 


                             Lemon Blueberry Bread

                                           Ingredients
                                                     1 & 1/2 cups flour
                                                     1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                     1 teaspoon salt
                                                     1/4 cup butter, melted
                                                     3/4 cup sugar
                                                     2 eggs
                                                     1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                     2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
                                                     1/2 cup milk
                                                     1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
                                                     1 tablespoons flour

                                         Lemon glaze
                                                     2 tablespoons butter, melted
                                                     1/2 cup powdered sugar
                                                     2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
                                                     1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

     Directions

       Preheat oven to 350*F and lightly grease a 9"x 5" loaf pan, I prefer using a glass pan for best results.
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
2. Blend together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Mix until well combined.
3. Slowly mix in the flour mixture and milk until combined.
4. In a small bowl toss the blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour. This flour coating will help prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of your loaf while baking.
5. Gently fold the flour coated berries to the batter.
6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
 7. Cool bread in the pan for about 30 minutes and then remove from pan. While bread is cooling you can make the lemon glaze.
Directions for lemon glaze
Combine the melted butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a bowl, then pour glaze over the loaf.  Allow to set a few minutes, then enjoy!


"These opinions are my own and I received a lemon squeezer from Qualitools and vanilla extract from Rodelle to facilitate this post."

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