My 3 Favorite Food Blogs

You notice how the top of my site says faith, food, fitness, family?  I used to try and be all recipe, foodie like and make up new dishes to share with you.  And yes while I still do every now and then…I have to be honest, I’m not that passionate about recipe development.  My recipes often just happen by chance and many times aren’t pinterest worthy.  I still share healthy habits revolving around food but I can’t deny recipes aren’t my passion.

Know what is?  Cooking and eating healthy food from other great bloggers.  I thought you might be like me and always on the prowl for good, easy, healthy, and tasty recipes.  Never fear I am sharing with you my top 3 best recipe blogs.

Best Blogs for Recipes

  • One of the first blogs I ever started reading was The Lean Green Bean.  Lindsay is a mom and a dietitian.  Her recipes are always tasty and I almost always have the ingredients on hand or can easily find at our local groceries.  Even better she has started featuring many kid friendly recipes.  She even has an Ebook all about toddler meals!!  Our favorite recipe as of late from Lindsay are her sweet potato protein pancakes….sooooo good!
favorite food blogs - sweet potato panckaes

these are delicious and approved by all!

  • I found Robyn at The Real Life RD a long time ago as well when I first started blogging.  I love this gal.  She’s a Christ centered woman from my home state of Indiana though she is now in NY.  Robyn focuses a lot on plant based recipes but keeps it all in balance.  I love her focus on nourishing your mind, body, and soul.  I am not lying when I say I make one of Robyn’s recipes every week.  Soooooo good!  Be adventurous and try one of her vegan dishes out it won’t disappoint.  One of my favorites is good for breakfast, snack, or dessert – chocolate peanut butter chip oat bars.  Try them ASAP!
Favorite food blogs - chocolate pb bars

Be warned…these are AMAZINGLY delicious!

  • Next up is A Healthy Slice of Life with Brittany.  Brittany is such a fun mom and shares her mom life with two little girls along with great food ideas and recipes.  I have so many from her site I want to try, including healthy corn dog bites (what?!?!  winner for Dan and the boys).  But my favorite that I’ve made from her site is definitely the Vegetable Quinoa Biscuits.  She designed this recipe with toddlers in mind…but I think they are soooo good for all ages!
Favorite food blogs - quinoa biscuits

Packed full of protein and delicious!

 

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Calorie Burning Circuit 30 Minutes

30 minutes?  You’ve got that long in your day to workout, right?!?!  If so you can get an amazing calorie burning circuit in RIGHT AT HOME.  I’m here today with a total body workout.  I have broken this week’s workout into three sections.

Lower Body

Upper Body

Cardio & Core

Make sure you pin the workout below or print it out so you have it handy as you go through the circuit.  I’ve also inserted video demo video so you don’t have to worry one bit about what you should be doing.  If you don’t see a modification that you need in the video, feel free to contact me and I can help you with finding the best modification for you!

Calorie burning circuit

30 minutes…total body…GO!

If you are looking for more great workout ideas make sure you check out other great bloggers who join up for Wild Workout Wednesday!

 

Have you joined the community of Creating Better on facebook?  I’m sharing daily live videos and posts about all things faith, fitness, food, and family!  Join today!

 

Do You Foam Roll?

I am so excited to bring you this week’s guest post from one of my bootcamp clients.  Amanda jumped on board for both July and August bootcamps. I’ve loved following her on her journey and she even has gotten her daughter in on the mix.  She learned quickly how important stretching and recovery is to a full fitness routine.  Take it away Amanda!

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been skeptical about using a foam roller?

I will admit, as a novice athlete, I am skeptical of almost anything that seems too good to be true when it comes to losing weight and getting fit. I am skeptical because I know the key is lifestyle modification: diet and exercise. What I am also skeptical of: “athletic accessories” – stick on patches, magic shakes, and plastic wraps to name a few. Until recently, I was also very skeptical of foam rollers. Truth be told, I received one last year before I participated in the Chicago Rock’n’Roll 1/2 marathon (which I do not recommend) and – very sadly I might add – my six-year old had used it more than I had; which was never.

The importance of foam rolling

Do you even foam roll? You better start if not!

Prior to joining Sarah’s bootcamp I had been a thirty-minute-three-day-a-week runner for about two years. Even prior to that, I was only ever primarily interested in cardio (remember when I said novice athlete). And even prior to that, while training for my first half marathon, The Indy Mini (which I do recommend) I had done a limited amount of personal training. Needless to say, novice may even be a strong word for the degree of my athleticism; but I think I’ve made my point.

Do yourself a favor, if you find you’re eating Ibuprofen like tictacs and you are still aching after a workout, go get a foam roller. I started the 60 day plan with Sarah one week early.  My legs had me in misery since day three. I stretch before and after and I do yoga twice a week – neither seemed to be helping. I was almost ready to give up. And then I came across an article that explained how lactate builds in your musclesand that applying light-moderate pressure after a work out can release the lactate and help alleviate the discomfort (you can read more about various foam rolling techniques in this article).

(Ps. This lactate also helps with continued energy production, similar to the EPOC concept Sarah has talked about in previous blog posts.)

Enter year old foam roller that my six year old has used more than I have.

Importance of foam rolling

Foam rolling has changed my recovery and helped my workouts!

Hallelujah!! I rolled each leg for 15-20 seconds  I feel like I could dance a jig – but my Intro to Jazz professor will tell you I cannot dance and we don’t need to open old wounds. So, let’s just say I feel a WHOLE lot better. No more aches, no more pains, no more Ibuprofen.

I am now happy to admit I am no longer a foam roller skeptic but a foam roller advocate!!

You know your body. You know when something just isn’t right. LISTEN TO IT.  As this is the first exercise plan that has me using my entire body and not just focusing on cardio, I wasn’t listening. (Insert trainer Sarah here, this makes me sooo happy!!!  total body cardio and strength is the name of the game!!).  For those first two weeks.  I paid the price.  Finding a reasonable solution that doesn’t involve giving up is always going to be better. Getting healthy doesn’t happen overnight. It’s hard. And yes, at times it’s going to suck. But life style modification is worth it when the outcome is security, increased self-esteem, and a whole lot of that “can do” attitude that comes as such a cliche!

A quick Google shopping or Amazon search will give you several different foam roller options. The price range variess from under $10 to over $30.  Mine’s not fancy and I believe it was around the $20 mark.  Don’t want to buy one just yet (because you’re still a skeptic?!  Try these foam roller alternatives that you may have lying around the house: rolling pin, tennis ball, frozen water bottle, or PVC pipe.

Happy rolling!!
(Disclaimer:: Foam rollers are the end-all be-all cure for your post-workout discomfort but it can be a great place to start.  As always, if you feel your body is trying to tell you more than you can understand, please consult your physician or primary care provider to ensure you haven’t damaged your body unintentionally.)

Create Your Own Workout

One of my top posts to this day is the Alphabet Workout post.  I love that workout and whenever I’m not sure what to do as my own exercise I’ll use it.  I’ve got birthdays on my mind with the boys just turning two so I thought I’d create another similar style workout.  It is fun to create your own workout with just a bit of guidance.

Create Your Own Workout

This time we won’t be using our names but our birth dates!

So below you’ll see the numbers 0-9.  So let’s say your birthday is 7/10/85.  You’d do the exercises for the numbers 7, then number 1, number 0, number 8, number 5.  Got it?  Good!  Feel free to print out the exercises below, pin them, or whatever you need to do to save this bad boy.  Have fun as you truly create your own workout!

Create Your Own Workout

We’ve all got a birthday…now we’ve all got a fun workout!

Don’t forget I’ve rounded up all my at home workouts at the workout series page. These and so many more awesome workouts are a part of each and every one of my online bootcamps too!  The VERY LAST DAY to sign up for the bootcamp session starting August 15th is TODAY!!!! Hurry and email me today if you want in creatingbettertomorrow@gmail.com.

HAPPY SWEATING!

 

 

Day in the Life of Two Year Old Twins

Remember when I used to do those monthly twin updates on the boys?  Oh yeah, I totally forgot about those too!  I honestly didn’t even think I’d do more updates but the other night we were sitting on the couch and Dan said…you really need to do a two year old twin update.  Sometimes I get so caught up in motherhood that I think everyone just knows what it is like to have twins…but I forget that when I was expecting twins I googled and read EVERYTHING I could find on twins.  I’m hoping that this post and my other twin posts can give moms some confidence and a bit of insight into having twins as I share what our day sometimes looks like!

Day in the Life of Two Year Old Twins

4:00 AM – Yes I know insanely early but on the days I don’t teach group fitness classes I get up and get my workout done for the day.  I workout, read a devotional, gulp down post workout smoothie, then shower.

5:00 AM – I do some blog work.  Respond to client emails.  Mostly I try to get through as much of my online and blogging work as I can from 5-6 each morning.  I don’t like the boys to see me constantly on the computer of my phone.

6:00 AM – Boys are still sleeping YAY!  It’s on to my chopping side business.  I chop soooooo much food 🙂  Their favorite of course is fruit.  Typically I don’t discourage them eating any fruit or veggie.  I try to encourage them to eat other things BUT if they want lots of fruit and it is seasonal and delicious…heck ya I let them have it.  Ok, so I get their fruit chopped.  I make Dan scrambled eggs and toast.  Call me 1950s but I try to make Dan a hot breakfast the majority of the time.  I love doing that one thing for him each morning!

6:45/7 AM – Boys are starting to wake up.  They talk.  They say ‘Hi Bubbah!’ over and over again.  I smile and watch them for a few seconds in the monitor.  They enjoy sitting in their cribs chatting and reading their books each morning. It melts my heart to hear them chatter and pretend to read their books.

7:00 AM – This is our two year old twins normal wake up time.  And it works for us.  Sometimes Dan is still home to say hello to them with me, but most of the time I am on wake up duty!  I go get them and they are just like their mom…HUNGRY when they wake up.

7:00-8:00 AM – We eat their FAVORITE breakfast.  Yogurt!  No kidding folks if I’d let them they’d eat one large container of yogurt EVERY morning.  We tend to hit up the full fat Greek variety and I will add in fruit and my special sprinkles AKA Love Grown Granola!

8:00-9:00 AM – I clean up breakfast.  The boys watch an episode of Thomas the Train and an episode of Curious George.  Then we get changed for the day and read.  Some days reading can last 30-45 minutes.  Other times I’m lucky to get in one page. Did you know that two year old twins have sudden mood changes? 😉

9:00-11:00 AM – #1 tip for moms of twins GET OUT OF THE HOUSE EVERY DAY!  On the days I teach at the gym we go from 9-11.  But on the off days we go to the grocery, park, local museum, or heck to the mall to walk around.  Seriously just GET OUT OF THE HOUSE it will change your life.  And the boys have come to expect that this is the time mommy runs all her errands.  We will usually have a snack while we are out and about.  I switch up the snack from homemade muffins, snackbars, to LaraBars, convenient veggie/fruit pouches, cereal, etc.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – LUNCH TIME!  The boys absolute favorite lunch is handsdown my cheese quesadilla.  They have started to enjoy eating more big boy style and I find it usually cuts down on the resistance to trying foods.  So I cut the quesadilla into 4ths instead of tiny bites.  They enjoy it with corn and a few strawberries.  The boys have yet to have any juice.  They enjoy water and milk throughout the day.

Day in the life of two year old twins

There is NEVER a dull moment as a mom of toddler twins NEVER!

12:00 -1:00 PM – Mommy cleans up lunch while the boys sit down and watch an episode of Thomas the Train.  I soon join them and we cuddle up in a blanket and finish our episode.  I usually try to read them a couple of books.  Then it is NAP TIME! I take both boys up to nap.  Now if you are a mom of two year old twins you know…nap time is the best time of day.  Our boys are still liking naps 75% of the time.  Usually they go down quickly after I give them a book or two and another quiet activity toy.  However, moms hear me here…they aren’t perfect!  I’d say one day out of the week on average I don’t get a nap time and those days are HARD!

1:00-3:00 PM – Boys nap.  Mommy heads outside to gather the chicken eggs and clean the travelling coop.  I water my flowers and pick any vegetables ready in our garden.  I head back inside and vacuum and swiffer.  Then after getting those few duties done, I check back in online.  I respond to any blog emails, client emails, etc.

Working with two year old twins

I try to take myself OUTSIDE during nap time, it seems to give me more energy and keep my mood up!

Work on drafting this post and one other post for a friend.  During this time I’ve also started a load of laundry, switched it, and started another load.  I swear sometimes I move SO FAST during nap time.  I do try one to two times a week to nap while they do…even if it is just 15 minutes moms, do it! Once a week or more nap!!

3:00-3:30 PM – Boys wake up and we snack.  Cucumbers, carrots, hummus for all!  They love this snack and so do I – SCORE!

Favorite two year old twin snack

SCORE for hummus but MOM WE CAN DIP OURSELVES!

3:30-5:00 PM – This is a rough time for mommy!  Mommy is getting tired boys are getting a bit bored with just mommy 🙂  all day.  So we try to head outside.  I love trying to take them on one wagon walk up and down our road.  If we are lucky we will see a tractor and a school bus – SCORE!  The boys are starting to argue and fight over silly things more and it flares up during this time of day.  I find myself repeating…X more hours until Daddy is home…X more hours until Daddy is home.  I can make it, we can make it!

We play with the garden hose. Yep just give them the hose and let them free in the backyard.  After our walk they are hot so they enjoy pretending to help me water the flowers.  We play with chalk and color our clothes line posts.  We find an ant hill and sit and watch the ants for what seems like 30 minutes 🙂 Then about 5:00 we are all tired and hot!

Playing outside two year old twins

But mom we just want to play, play, play!

5:00-6:00 PM – We head inside to cool off.  As mom prepares dinner we play with our many trains. Then we enjoy some of moms sloppy joes.  I find that dinner is the hardest meal. They are tired, they are sometimes full, they are ready for dad to be home. Oh and I’m tired too 😉  We have sloppy joes, peas (they like them frozen), slice of bread, and half a banana.  They finish it up mainly eating bread and banana.  Oh well, they will eat what they need and when they are hungry!

6:00-7:00 PM –DAD IS HOME!!! Dad gets home around 6 and the boys love it.  They run upstairs with Dan as he changes out of suit and tie and into dad clothes.  I clean up their mess and get Dan’s dinner ready.  The boys come down and are magically hungry again as Dan tries to eat his dinner, the boys help him out,

Around 6:45 we clean up and brush our teeth.  Our two year old twins perhaps are like many (I don’t know!) but they love routine, they love cleaning up and putting things right where they go, they love winding down.

7:00-7:30 PM – We go upstairs for bath time!  Boy oh boy mommy should’ve grabbed a bar of soap for herself.  I’m soaked but the boys laugh and Dan laughs and plays with them too.  They are down and out by 7:30 PM…we made it!

7:30-9:30 PM – Dan and I go downstairs, I do dishes, clean up the kitchen.  I also start another load of laundry.  I enjoy a nightly cup of tea and usually find myself aimlessly scrolling instagram and nodding off as we watch Law & Order or a St. Louis Cardinals’ game.  9:30 and we head upstairs…prayers…and hope that the boys sleep all night.

We start the day all over again tomorrow!