Featured Movin’ Mama: Taryn

Meet Taryn!Cattaneo, Taryn- Feature Photo - August 2015

Today is awesome, because we get to feature our next Movin’ Mama Taryn on her 30th birthday! Happy Birthday girlfriend, we hope this year brings you health, wealth & tons of happiness! Taryn lives outside of Boston with her husband, son & daughter…her idea of relaxation includes a very long nap, coffee and a beach (hello, heaven!). We asked how she’s Living Well today, and Faith & Self-Confidence are just 2 of her awesome pillars of strength as a Mama…

How do you typically start your day?

A typical day for me starts with hitting my snooze button a minimum of 22 times. By the time I actually wake up, at least one kid is awake (who then wakes the other one, who then wakes the dog). I try on way too many outfits, which usually ends with the good ole, “I can dress these yoga pants up again, right?” I proceed to let the dog out (whoever said you should get a puppy while having 2 small children must have been heavily medicated). My daughter puts the ice in the blender for my shakeology (I’m addicted!) and my son blocks his ears in preparation for the sound. For years, I’ve had these great goals of working out in the morning as the sun rises and the kids are still asleep, but for some strange reason that day has yet to come. For now, hitting the snooze button only 20 times will be my obtainable goal.

What is your favorite workout right now and why?

My favorite workouts are those that I can do with my kids. Whether that’s a walk or a workout video where they can participate, I love involving them. I think it’s important for them to see their mommy trying to have a healthy lifestyle and for them to recognize the importance of being active.

What do you wish you knew when you first became a mom that you know now?

The one thing I wish I knew before becoming a mom is the importance of spending time alone. I’ve always been someone who enjoys being around a lot of people, and I think I lost myself a little along the way. Being confident in who you are as a person and having a strong sense of self is something that I think is extremely important. The emotions that motherhood brings can leave you feeling overwhelmed. In the middle of the night when it’s just you and your newborn, you quickly realize the importance of being able to be alone with your own thoughts.

What are a few wellness tips you’d like to pass along to new Mamas?

Moderation, moderation, moderation! This pertains to so many aspects of our lives; food, exercise, mental health, confidence, losing weight, etc. I believe that a healthy lifestyle is a balanced one.

Limit social media. I remember bringing home my first born and browsing Facebook and Instagram as I fed him at night. I found myself comparing my body to other new moms, judging myself for parenting choices, etc. One night I was reading an article another mom posted on Facebook and it hit home for me. It talked about how social media has stolen the beauty of the here and now. I was spending so much time comparing and planning for the future, that I was missing the beauty in the now. Those little fingers holding my hand, his perfect eyes staring up at me and his newborn smell…what could be more important? I remember putting the phone down and just sobbing. Since then, I have made a conscious effort to put down my phone and enjoy the here and now. Our wellness has so much to do with our mind, and choosing carefully what we let in can effect our overall health.

Find someone you consider to be your “safe place.”  Someone you can complain about your day to, someone who can relate to your exhaustion as a mom, someone who can keep you accountable when your about to finish that bag of Doritos, and someone who pushes you to be the best version of yourself. After all, you have these beautiful little human beings relying on you!

What has been your biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of your last child and how are you overcoming it?

Wellness has been something I’ve struggled with since having children. My biggest obstacle is finding balance…I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of person and moderation is something I have to work on. For me, it’s about changing my mind set and setting realistic goals.

What is your favorite go-to healthy snack right now?

I have found that healthy snacks are crucial to staying full and having more energy. My go-to snacks are: almonds, yogurt with granola or an apple with peanut butter. My kids usually want what I have, so the healthier, the better.

Is losing the baby weight harder or easier this time around than before?

I had trouble losing weight after both of my kids. When my son was one and a half, I finally felt like I had my body back. That quickly changed as a positive pregnancy test brought on some major Ben and Jerry’s cravings. I have finally found that being happy with myself is more important than actually losing weight. I am a work in progress but I am continually trying to be confident in my own skin and be the healthiest version of myself. I have found beauty in my own body; after all, it gave birth to my two beautiful children and I wouldn’t change a thing.

What do you do when you want to have “Me” time?

My perfect “me” time would consist of a coffee in hand, a beach and a long, long nap.

Who do you lean on most for support when it comes to wellness, and why?

I lean on God for my overall wellness. I have found that my faith has gotten me through some tough times and continues to guide me through this crazy, beautiful and amazing thing called motherhood.

Featured Movin’ Mama: Meaghan

Meet Meaghan!

McDermott, Meaghan - Feature Photo - August 2015

Meaghan is a Movin’ Mama living in Boston with her husband and 8-month-old princess. As a night-shift Nurse, she uses her energy wisely–spending time outside with her jogger or hiking outside of the city…that is, unless she’s hunkering down with wine, DVR or a good book! We asked Meaghan how she’s Living Well, and here’s what she shared…

How do you typically start your day?

My day usually starts with our little lady waking up around 7am followed by breakfast for the baby and then myself. I work 2 night shifts a week so nights I work I come in and try to have breakfast with Maeve and my husband before a much needed nap.

What is your favorite workout right now?

My favorite workout right now is interval training while pushing my daughter in the stroller. I alternate running at a good pace and walking. Where we run, there are inclines as well which can be pretty tough with the stroller, but feels good when you get up there! It’s my favorite right now because I’m not taking time away from her at the gym, and after this long winter its nice to enjoy the weather! The price is right as well!

What are your top must-have wellness product as a new mama?

I just recently bought a kettlebell. I googled some different exercises and during nap-time, I go to town. It takes up basically no room in our home either.

What do you love most about being a new mom so far?

I love everything about being a mom! The hugs, the kisses, feedings, meeting milestones, bedtime stories, morning kisses, seeing her see new things for the first time! Everything is just incredible! I love that she is a little piece of me and a little piece of my husband. I love how she looks at me and you can tell she loves you!

Can you share a couple of fitness goals for this year?

I would love to be able to get back into spinning classes. Also I would love to participate in a 10K race!

What do you do when you want to have “Me” time?

I love relaxing with a nice glass of wine and catching up on my Housewives of the OC and NYC…or jumping into bed a little early to read!

What was your own mother right about?

My mom always told me that you need to take time away from your baby to have you time, as well as husband and wife time. It makes you better parents as well as a better couple.

What’s your favorite go-to healthy meal for a weekday night?

My husband does most of the cooking in our household (Thank goodness!). We like to make a lot of salmon and haddock with plenty of fresh veggies!

What is something you miss about life before motherhood?

I miss just being able to go to whatever gym class you want to go to.

What is one piece of candid advice you’d like to share with other new moms regarding general wellness?

I would share that you don’t need to go to the gym to get a workout in. Sometimes you just have to be creative; Squatting while holding your baby; burpees and planks during tummy time…You can get a workout in anywhere!

Weeknight & Light: Shrimp Scampi

IMG_3640 (2) Getting bored of chicken and cheeseburgers? Me too. With little ones, home-cooked meals often take the back-burner after a long day of mom-ing. That’s why it’s advantageous if you can pre-plan some quick and light weeknight dinner meals ahead of time to ensure you and your family are eating well. Here’s a Shrimp Scampi recipe that costs next to nothing AND is super manageable even with limited time. Not to mention, it’s absolutely delicious and adds some seafood into your mix. INGREDIENTS: 

  • Frozen, peeled & deveined, medium raw shrimp
  • Wheat angel hair pasta
  • EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil)
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Organic cherry tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Minced garlic
  • Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  • If your shrimp is not thawed out, run cold water over your serving to get rid of ice crystals and spread apart
  • Boil water and add your wheat pasta
  • While pasta is cooking, add your shrimp and cherry tomatoes to olive oil and minced garlic over medium heat for 3-5 minutes
  • Add salt, pepper and chopped basil to shrimp mixture to taste
  • Add 1 TBSP of EVOO to cooked wheat pasta with a little pepper
  • Serve shrimp mix over pasta with a dash of parmesan cheese

Featured Movin’ Mama: Susie

Meet Susie!

Photo of Susie Striano and her twins

Susie is a 35 year-old Movin’ Mama of twins, a boy and girl edging on 2 years, living with her husband outside of Boston. She is currently working full-time as a sales Account Director for a gorgeous renowned hotel, and otherwise enjoys travel, wine, and indulging in her guilty pleasure, celebrity gossip! We asked her how she’s Living Well amidst the juggle, and here’s what she shared…

How do you typically start your day?

I wake up between 4:30 AM/5 AM and take a 30 minute shower, drink a nice big cup of coffee, watch the morning news, wait for the twins to wake up, and then the craziness begins.

What is your favorite workout right now, and why?

Dancing with the twins! It is fun, they laugh I laugh and we all have a blast doing it. At the end of our dance session I feel like I ran a marathon because their energy level is through the roof.

*Looking for a dance routine to do at home? Check out these at-home Zumba workouts for free!

What crossed your mind when you found out that you were expecting twins?

Oh Sh**! No seriously, I was super excited. I always wanted twins and I felt blessed with getting two at the price of one!

What do you love most about being a new mom so far?

Being a mom is the best gift that I have ever been given. I cherish every moment that I have with my twins. Double hugs and double love…pure bliss and unconditional love.

What has been your biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of your twins and how are you overcoming it?

Actually since I have given birth to my twins, I have been a lot healthier. I don’t really have the time to sit there and snack all day and eat massive meals. They don’t allow me to sit for long periods of time and I find myself eating standing up most days. We used to eat out all the time, but now we eat home which is less expensive and not as fattening.

What is your best practice for stress-relief?

Drink lots and lots of wine and watch reality TV.

What are some things you’re doing to find work/life balance?

I started working from home twice a week which allows me to get a lot of personal stuff done, extra time with the twins, and it actually allows me to get more work done than I would in the office. It is the best of both worlds.

What do you do when you want to have “Me” time?

I take an hour shower and it is absolutely amazing. A shower with no interruptions is truly life-changing. Happy mom, happy twins!

What is one piece of candid advice you’d like to share with other new moms who are expecting twins?

Sleep train your twins as soon as possible. I know many don’t believe in the “cry it out” method, but we did that and it took about a week with every night getting shorter and shorter. My twins go to bed every night between 7-7:30 PM and sleep through the night. At night I can get stuff done, unwind and spend time with my husband. If you do not get your twins on a bedtime schedule, your life will be hell!

Featured Movin’ Mama: Lauren

Meet Lauren!

me and kiddos

Lauren is a 28-year old Movin’ Mama living with her husband and two children [4 year-old daughter and 2 year-old son] in Virginia (It’s for Lovers!). We asked her how she’s Living Well today…supportive gal-pals + Spinning are just a couple of her must-haves at the moment–check out the rest below!

What is your favorite form of exercise right now, and why? 

My favorite form of exercise right now has to be Spinning class. I try to get to the gym at least 5 times a week, and at least 2 of those times will be for Spin. I love the motivation from the instructors combined with great music. It is a great work out. I am constantly on-the-go between preschool, dance, soccer, and swim for my little ones, and getting an amazing, heart-pumping workout in 45 minutes or less is perfect for my busy schedule.

Can you share some of your 2015 Fitness Goals?

1)  I am a TERRIBLE runner! I hate running. I get bored or tired and seem to always make excuses for not running. I will do the elliptical, spin, zumba, or any other type of cardio with no complaints. One of my goals this year is to complete the “Couch to 5k” challenge. I am slowly working my endurance up! On the days I am not spinning, one can find me on the treadmill before light weights.

2)  My second fitness goal this year is to eat clean. I have been trying to incorporate more fresh vegetables into my diet and lessen the amount of processed foods I consume and purchase. I have found that it not only is helping with weight loss, but also giving me more energy to work out and keep up with my kids. I am happy knowing that I am nourishing my body with better sources of energy. Luckily, my kids don’t mind and have taken to all the new recipes I have tried.

What do you love most about being a new mom so far?

I love that by being a mom, I am not only nurturing and loving my children, but moreover I am surprised by how much my children give me in return. The amount of joy and love I receive from them is priceless. This is the best journey I could ever imagine being on! Although we as mothers have some rough parenting moments, our babies make it all worth it in the end.

What has been your biggest challenge with Wellness since the birth of your last child and how are you overcoming it? 

I have realized that with having children, saying something and actually doing it are completely different concepts. While I realize going to the gym 5 days a week and eating whole foods is wonderful on paper, it does not always pan out if you have a sick child or are on-the-go and do not have time to cook or prepare a healthy meal. If one of my kiddos is sick and it prevents me from getting to the gym, I try to do some light yoga, stretching or Pilates in front of my TV. (Thanks, On Demand!!) When it becomes a drive-thru type of day, I do my best to go with the lightest and healthiest options on the menu and always substitute fries for a side salad. I LOVE that the menus near me show the calories for all of the meals.

*Check out Lauren’s Chick-Pea Salad recommendation from EatFitFuel!

How do you typically relieve stress?

I love my children BUT, I love “Me-time” as well. I try to make it a point to get out of the house at least once a week with no kids. In that time, I will get a pedicure or meet up with a girlfriend for coffee or lunch. We as moms NEED that mental break. My husband has even noticed a difference in how it affects my mood and fully supports watching the kids during that “mental rejuvenation”. My husband works long and crazy hours and we do not live near family, so I am essentially with the kids 98.9% of the time…so this free time is essential to me. It makes me a happier wife and mother.

What is your diet like on an average day? Where would you like to improve?

I always start my day off with a giant coffee and small breakfast. I love fruit and cottage cheese or even just a protein bar or shake. For lunch, I try to have a huge salad and fill it with as many veggies and chicken as possible. I have found that I do well with a large quantity of food for lunch with low calories. I trick my brain into thinking I am eating a lot!

Dinner is usually pretty well rounded with a protein, veggie and a carb such as brown rice or potatoes. I love sweet potatoes! My downfall in my eating is all of my kids tempting and wonderfully tasting snacks, or all of their leftovers that I hate to throw away. I have to learn to stay away which is hard if you are having a stressful day. I am a stress-eater for sure!

Who do you lean on most for support when it comes to Wellness?

I have a very good group of friends where I live now. We all have the same goals as far as weight-loss and health. We go to the same gym and try to take classes together as much as our schedules allow. We have a group text with each other and let each other know when we are having amazing days as far as eating or bad days. We hold each other accountable which is vital, especially in weight loss. Since we are all on the same journey together, it is wonderful to have that support and sisterhood!

What is one piece of candid advice you’d like to share with other new moms regarding general Wellness?

Do what you can! Being a new mom is stressful and exhausting! There are so many demands from having a child that are new to us. Being a first time mom is a shock to the system, and adding more children is even harder with the “balancing act” it requires. No mom is perfect, and if getting in workouts is becoming stressful then pull in the reigns and do something that works better…like taking a relaxing walk in the sunshine with the baby. Adding stress to stress is never a good mix!

Featured Movin’ Mama: Jess

Meet Jess!

Denton, Jessica - Feature Photo - July 2015

Jess is a 28-year old Movin’ Mama living outside of Boston with her husband and son who is now 1.5 years old. Jess is juggling a busy corporate career as a Project Coordinator, and is otherwise spending time being outdoors-y when she’s not parked in the office. We asked her how she’s Living Well today, and here’s what she shared (Spoiler alert: Soccer made the list, love it!)…

How do you typically start your day?

I wake up and get ready for work. I’m up early and out of the house usually before my husband and son are awake.

What is your favorite workout right now?

The women in my office have been doing a plank challenge which I have really begun to enjoy and I have started playing soccer again. For me, I enjoy working out with other people because it makes you a little bit competitive and helps you push through a tough workout.

What is one of your recent go-to healthy dinners that you like to cook at home?

Now that it is summer, I like to cook pretty much everything on the grill, but my favorite is grilling broccoli and corn with chicken.

*Find our favorite grilled chicken recipe!

Name two fitness goals for 2015 and how you plan to track your progress.

I would like to start lifting to build better muscle tone, and my overall diet could use a little work. I just need to set aside the time to either join a specific gym or get some weights to use at home. I am hoping to get myself into the habit of planning meals ahead, and using a menu calendar to get myself to continue to eat healthy.

What has been your biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of your last child and how are you overcoming it?

I would say that the biggest challenge has been getting my pre-baby body back. It has been difficult to find the motivation to want to work out and get back into shape since having my son, because I was just exhausted ALL the time. I have found that since I began my workout routine, I definitely have more energy now.

Who do you lean on most for support when it comes to wellness, and why?

I lean on my husband the most for my wellness, as he is always encouraging me to not be so hard on myself…and that it’s okay to ask for help and give myself a break!

What is your diet like on an average day? Where would you like to improve?

On an average day I find that I am eating a healthy lunch and dinner, but I don’t eat breakfast and sometimes snack on junk. I’d like to improve my snacking habits and start eating breakfast.

What do you love most about being a new mom so far, and how are you finding “Me” time?

As a new mom, I love watching my son learn new things and seeing something new for the first time. The look on his face when he experiences something new is amazing! I can never get enough of his laugh, smiles and of course is hugs & kisses! For “Me” time, I enjoy catching up with friends or just relaxing at home.

What is one piece of candid advice you’d like to share with other new moms regarding general wellness?

I would say staying mentally well is just as important as being physically well. Try not to be so hard on yourself, and give yourself a break!

Featured Movin’ Mama: Marisa

Meet Marisa!

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Marisa is a 26-year old Movin’ Mama of two sweet little gals [2 years & 3-months old] living outside of Boston with her husband. We asked how she was Living Well today amidst a busy Nursing career and being a mom 24/7. Here, she shares the real significance of taking a break, which has fostered the wellness of her entire family. Enjoy!

How do you typically start your day?

I start my day getting the girls and I fed and dressed for whatever we have planned for the day. Lately, we have been making the best of the summer and taking walks on the bike path, going to the park, or the beach. Some days start slower than others, and often times it takes much longer that I expect to get us all packed up and out of the house!

What is your favorite workout right now?

My favorite workout lately is simply walking. It is something I can do with both kids and we can all enjoy. Prior to having children, I was really into more extreme fitness such as Insanity and weight training, and I’ve participated in Tough Mudder. I would like to get back into workout routines like those, but right now, simple walks and the occasional run is what works best for us.

How do you snack when you’re always on-the-go?

Since adding a second child to our family, I definitely struggle more with packing myself healthy snacks when we’re on the go, since I am so preoccupied with making sure I have everything packed for the girls. When I do remember, my usual go-to is healthy trail-mix, or granola bars. More often than not, unfortunately, I have to remind myself to eat throughout the day!

Have you had to streamline your beauty routine since having a second baby? 

Absolutely. Luckily, it is the summer, and the summer is good to my complexion so I can get away with using minimal make-up. Often times I go without makeup at all or manage to throw a little mascara on. As for my hair, it is far too thick to do much with it (time-wise) most days in terms of styling, so it is usually pulled back in some way or another since having babies.

What do you do when you want to have “Me” time?

As of recently, I have been horseback riding 1 evening per week for some “me” time, and it does wonders for me mentally! It is a couple hours out of the house, doing something that I thoroughly enjoy (and that is actually a workout, too). It is very relaxing for me and greatly helps my anxiety & stress level. Other than that, I really take advantage of the late hours after the girls and husband have gone to sleep. Sometimes I just hang out on the couch and catch up on my shows, sometimes I clean or get projects done that I am unable to do while the kids are awake.

What are your fitness goals for 2015, and how are you tracking your progress?

I hope to get back to my pre-baby weight by the end of this year. I put my scale away months ago, because I found that I was obsessing over the number and I knew that would make me crazy. My goals are to change some bad habits, eat healthy and stay active and see how it plays out for me. I know my body is in no way where it was two years ago, but by finding the time to work out and being consistent, I know I will get there eventually. A friend recently told me “It took 9 months for your body to get that way, give yourself at least that amount of time to get back” which helped me to stop stressing about not looking the way I want to right away.

What has been your biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of your last child?

My biggest challenge since the birth of my last child is definitely staying away from junk. I let my healthy eating habits go during pregnancy and it is hard to kick those late night snacks.   I am overcoming it by changing the way I shop for groceries. I stopped buying junk because, if it’s not here, I can’t eat it. And I try to plan meals better, rather than just buying a cart full of food.

How did you prepare your first child for the arrival of your second baby?

My older daughter was still really young while I was pregnant with my second, so there wasn’t a lot of preparation we could do. We always told her that her “baby sister” was in Mommy’s belly and she would acknowledge that, and give my belly kisses and such, but she had no idea what was actually going to happen. We also played with her baby doll a lot, rocking her, feeding her, swaddling her, etc. so that when our littlest arrived, she was used to the things that Mommy’s do with new babies, and she transitioned really well! She is always loving on her little sister and I find her doing things that I do with my youngest, with her baby doll and it’s just adorable!

What is one piece of candid advice you’d like to share with other new moms?

I was really stressing and feeling overwhelmed and my husband told me I needed a hobby. I was quick to say that I didn’t have time for it because I was a mom and needed to be with my kids when I could be. He said, “Marisa, everyone knows you’re a great mom, but you need to find something you enjoy outside of being a mother…you need to give yourself a break sometimes” (This is when I decided to get back into riding).

I think as mothers, we just need to be a little easier on ourselves. It is not always fun and it can be really difficult. It is normal to feel like you’re in over your head sometimes. Know that you are doing just fine, that your babies know you love them, and give yourself a break once in a while! Make time to do something you love…Wellness isn’t just about the physical aspect. Keeping your sanity is HUGE!