Featured Movin’ Mama: Emilie

Meet Emilie!

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Emilie is a 28-year-old Movin’ Mama residing in Portland, ME with her husband, 3-year-old daughter & brand new 3-month-old son. When she’s not killing it in her day job as a Realtor, she loves to coach swimming! We asked Emilie how she’s Living Well today and here’s what she said…

How do you typically start your day?

A typical day is started at 6:30 AM when my daughter wakes up. I’ve already been up at 3 AM feeding my new baby boy, and then fall back asleep for a bit until she comes in to get me up for the day. We immediately go get something to drink in the kitchen and then start our morning routine to get ready for school.

What has your most effective form of exercise been since you’ve had children and what time of day do you prefer to work out?

When I have time to go to the gym, I go and do a short cardio workout then lift light weights, most of the time it’s really hard to find time, so I’ll do little mini-workouts through out my day…an abs set here, short jog around the neighborhood block if I have 10 minutes or so just something to get my heart rate up. I always stretch well in the mornings to kickstart my metabolism for the day.

Finish this sentence: “Being a Mom has made me…”

Appreciate any and all free time I may have and to use it wisely!

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

Tea…it wakes me up, keeps me hydrated without as much sugar or caffeine in coffee or lattes; A good protein shake (quick & easy to make on the fly!); Drink tons of water to keep your energy up and prevent getting sick; I also swear by getting a massage once a month because lifting, kids, bags, and being bent over all the time with the little ones is definitely wearing on your body.

Can you share a few best practices for healthy eating as a new mama?

Anything that is easy goes a long way, I always like to have a good salad in the middle of my day so I try to have that prepped and ready a few days before for the week.

Anything you forgot to do with your first that you’re doing now?

Take more videos! I took tons of pictures of my first but you learn quickly how fast they grow and change. I make sure I take short videos a couple times a week on my phone.

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

Steamed veggies, rice & salmon…it cooks quickly, and it’s easy to store and is super healthy.

You look fantastic! Was losing the baby weight harder or easier this time around than before?

Easier! Life with an energetic 3-year-old doesn’t give you a moment to sit during the day or after she gets home from school, so I was up and moving almost immediately in the weeks following having my new son. Just staying active and keeping a busy schedule helped me a lot in losing all the weight quickly.

How do you typically relieve stress?

The biggest stress relievers for me are working out or getting a little extra sleep. Having kids made me realize how important and vital the power of sleep is and to try to sleep often whenever I can!

What is one wish for your children?

I want them to get as many experiences as they can as they grow up. We are constantly thinking of places to take them & activities we can all do together, staying active and getting out of the house daily is huge for our family. I wish for them to smile their way through life and not take life so seriously.

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Featured Movin’ Mama: Chantal

 Meet Chantal!

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Chantal is a 34-year-old Movin’ Mama based outside of Boston with her husband and new 6-month-old baby girl. When she’s not on Mommy-duty or working part-time as a Senior Quality Specialist in the Biotech/Pharmaceutical Industry, she loves hunting down the best bargains around and cuddling with her bundle of joy! We asked Chantal how she’s Living Well today and here’s what she shared…

 How do you typically start your day? 

My routine depends! I used to work full-time in the city with a 3-hour commute on top of an 8 hour work day.  I returned to my job after maternity leave and it was the worst 6 weeks of my life. So, I resigned and became a part-time consultant in the same industry. Now I can be home 3 days a week with baby (while my husband works a standard 9-5 job, outside of a couple days where he can work from home as well). It’s not perfect, but it works for us!

On work days, I wake up early, exercise, shower, breakfast, dress and am out the door before my daughter is awake. These are rough as I don’t get to play with or hold my daughter before leaving for almost 11 hours!

On the days that I am at home, I try not to set an alarm unless we have appointments. My daughter wakes up between 9-9:30am and some days we will go for a run in the morning, relax at home, or I’ll take her to the park or to a library for story time. I cherish these days! On the weekends, my husband gets up with the baby so I can sleep in.  My morning routine doesn’t exist on the weekends. These days are absolutely wild cards, but I always manage to get a run in at least once a weekend.

What is your current workout regimen like?

When I am at home 3x per week, I typically take my daughter for a 5-mile run (all hail the jogger stroller!) before I do anything else. This ensures that I get my exercise 3x a week.

I make it a point to do another 5-mile run with my daughter at least once every weekend. That makes it 4x a week and I wish I could exercise more often.

On the days that I work I come straight home to play with baby as I don’t get to interact with her in the mornings.  By the time I’m done playing with her, it’s dinner time and after that I’m too wiped out to run.  I refuse to spend the money on a gym membership and I don’t have the time to drive to/from one anyways.

I recently starting doing the Bikini Body Mommy Challege on the days that I work and the weekend day that I don’t run.  It’s only 20-min a day but it’s intense!  As the weather is starting to change, I am thinking I’ll be giving up running over the winter if it’s anything like last winter was in Boston – and do the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge every day.

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

My biggest challenge with wellness since I had my daughter is definitely finding the time to exercise. When she was smaller, I couldn’t get out of my own way and and get settled enough to go for a walk, much less a run. When I went back to work at my full-time job after maternity leave, I didn’t have the time as I was gone 11 hours a day and when I got home I played with the baby and then was too tired to exercise.

I have been overweight my entire adult life and have struggled with my weight and lack of physical fitness since I can remember. I made a promise to my daughter when I changed my career–to spend more time with her and watch her grow; and to be around to see her grow for as long as possible.  In order to do this, I had to get into better shape. In order to do that, I had to find the time to exercise. Not exercising and maintaining my own personal health is just no longer an option.

I had her late (33 years old) and I want to be an active parent. I want to be able to run after her, to crawl around with her and to race her as she hits all the different stages of development. I owe it to myself and more importantly, I owe it to her.

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

I love the unpredictability of everything and the gummy smile.  The gummy baby smile is my favorite sight in the whole world!  I’ve always been a “fly by the seat of my pants” person and this parenting thing definitely jives with that style of living.

I have been with the same awesome guy for 11 years (formally married since ’06), living in the same house for about 6 years, in the same career for well over a decade and at the same job for awhile. Everything was stable and had settled down. Everything was almost too easy.  I needed a change of pace and you know what they say – variety is the spice of life!

What are some beauty products you cannot live without right now?

Origins Checks and Balances (face wash); EOS Lip Balm (like chapstick, but way better) & Coconut Oil (moisturizer, skin softener, diet aid).

What are a few best wellness tips you can give to new Mamas?

Make time for yourself and focus on YOU: If you are not happy and healthy (mentally as well as physically), your family unit will not be happy and healthy.  Do whatever you have to do for yourself so that you can be the best mom you can be – the mom your baby deserves!

Create a routine, not a schedule (there is a difference): You don’t need an alarm to have a routine. Have a way of doing things in a certain order so your days will be less chaotic and more balanced and relaxing.

Enjoy your baby: Bask in the glow of your baby. They are truly a miracle in each and every way.  Let the dishes pile up – buy paper and plastic.  Let the laundry grow mold – send it out. Let the housework fall behind,  It’ll all get done eventually.  I have a standing joke at home – “Excuse the mess.  This mommy/baby team are making memories.”

Take your own Advice: You spent 9 months building the perfect baby. You know your baby better than anyone else. Hear everyone’s advice, thank them for it and then do whatever YOU think is best.  No apologies needed.  Tell anyone that doesn’t like your way of doing things that you’d love to take their advice in person; but only between the hours of 12-5amSundayThursday. And, immediately cut ties with anyone who is not supportive of the way you have chosen to raise your baby.  The end. You’ll be a lot happier and less stressed.

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

I’m not much of a cook these days, but I only allow healthy foods in my house. Not having junk food at the ready makes it a lot easier to eat well.  Anytime we are not cooking at home, we are going into a sit down restaurant and having a proper meal – with baby or without. I also always make sure we have eggs at home.  They’re great for protein, healthy and quick/easy to cook.

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

I decided before I had my daughter that until she was 40 weeks old, I would be kind to by body…that I wouldn’t stress out about the way I looked, but I would make changes based on how I felt instead.  I actually went to 42 weeks, so I’m giving my body at least that long to rebound.

For “me time” I sometimes just turn the phone off and cuddle with baby in bed all day, or get together with friends who have similar aged kids, or leave baby with the husband so I can go get “work done” – AKA professional massage, mani/pedi, etc.

What’s your biggest wish for your baby?

I wish that she grows up to be the perfectly happy and healthy person she is destined to be – wherever that takes her.

Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?​

I would like to thank my amazing husband.  He’s been my rock through all of this insanity we call life!  I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to do this without him. He’s been an amazingly supportive partner and an even more amazing father to our little angel.

Executive Feature: Kristen Grossman, Owner & Operator of Cycle Town

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Kristen Grossman is a Mamapreneur who recently launched her new indoor cycling studio, Cycle Town in Hingham, MA where she currently resides with her family. Off the bike, she loves adventure travel, wine & cheese, and walking her dog at Bare Cove park. I’m absolutely thrilled to partner with Kristen and team  for our upcoming Wellness Workshop on November 8th and look forward to seeing you all there! Here’s a sneak peek at our hostess with the mostess…

For those who have never been to your studio, what exactly is Cycle Town?

Cycle Town is a dedicated indoor cycling studio.  We offer a modern style of indoor cycling that is high energy, a great work out and a lot of fun.  We ride to the beat, we ride as a group, and we have an awesome time doing it. We like to call it cardio heaven on a bike!

When and what inspired you to start your business?

I craved indoor cycling where you ride to the beat of the music and there was none around here!  Also, there were few options for high cardio–but low body impact exercise, that I thought was fun.  And for me, “fun” is a huge part of the equation – exercise should be a release, not a chore, and the more music-centric the better.

I believed there was a market in Hingham and the surrounding towns for a ride that was both incredibly fun and physically challenging, so I developed one, with the help of a West-Coast studio called Rhythm Ride. It was my hope to create a community environment that was inclusive, supportive, and upbeat.  Cycle Town is built on the premise that together we get stronger, and we rock out along the way.

What has been your biggest challenge in introducing this kind of workout to your community?

The “newness” of it all…of our method, of working out in a dedicated studio, and, for some, of indoor cycling in general. Spin was around, but most often as an adjunct to a traditional gym. Our method of spin, where the rider’s pedal strokes and movements on the bike are powered by the rhythm of the music (and to great music), was new to many people.

Of the people who gave us a try in the early days, I would guess that only a handful had already experienced riding to the beat somewhere else, like in the urban studios. For many riders, this was new, and part of our challenge was showing them that our ride offers so much more than traditional spin. It doesn’t take long.  Half way through that first class you get the hang of it and after a couple of visits we see riders attack with confidence and power that’s outstanding.  It’s so rewarding to see!

What would you say are the top health benefits of Indoor Cycling for new mothers in particular?

Initially, new mothers will most benefit from re-developing cardiovascular strength. We’ve seen this happen relatively quickly within our new-mom crowd.  It’s all about consistency.

Cardio is the foundation for burning calories and shedding pounds. Our method is also incredible at developing lean, toned muscles.  It’s a full body workout with emphasis on core strength.  It’s amazing to see the body transformations some of our riders have achieved, and the positive impact the endorphins can have on clearing your head.

Who do you personally lean on for Wellness inspiration?

It takes a village! Our instructors are a like-minded group of fitness warriors who never cease to amaze and inspire me. Some of our beloved riders are yoga gurus and they’ve given me the courage to get into yoga and reap amazing stretching and calming benefits.

Lastly, critical for Wellness is taking a step back, stop doing so much myself and get more help.  I have a few friends who are really good at delegating and outsourcing and I am slowly learning this art!

As a mother of young children, what is one piece of candid advice you’d like to give to new mamas?   

Listen up new moms: No matter what it takes, make time to give yourself exercise.

Whatever exercise you like to do, make sure you do it. Exercise is the foundation for feeling good and can stabilize your mood, sleep, eating, etc. Schedule it, make it happen, whatever it takes!

After I had my daughter (2nd child), I was not working and not exercising very often.  There was no time and I didn’t have much babysitter support. It was 24-7 kids, and my daughter never slept….Not pretty.

In my anguish, my mom gave me a gift of 6-month membership at a gym that had a beautiful babysitting facility, complementary shampoos and creams, and relaxing classical music in the locker room. Sounds silly, but I was in heaven and I credit (frequent) trips to this gym for maintaining my sanity.

It was time to myself, exercise for my body, and a shower. What more could a new mom ask for? And I was only called one time over the loud speaker to report to the daycare to retrieve my screaming child! 🙂

P.S – Now she sleeps like a champ, so hang in there.

Featured Movin’ Mama: Crystal

Meet Crystal!

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Crystal is a 30-year-old Movin’ Mama residing on the South Shore outside of Boston, MA with her brand new son & husband. When she’s not working hard as an Application Coordinator for a large healthcare organization, she’s on the go traveling, zen-ing out with Yoga, or spending time with her family. 

How do you typically start your day?

COFFEE, snuggles with my little guy, laundry and a morning walk.

What is your favorite workout right now?

I have been going to a half spin/half circuit class that I love. The spin part is exhilarating and I love the (good) soreness of my muscles after.

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

I like to make a healthy chicken stir fry with lots of fresh veggies over rice or spaghetti squash with homemade sauce. Yum!

*Check out this easy chicken stir fry to try at home from Cookinglight.com! 

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

Sometimes even errands alone feels nice! For “Me time”, I like to workout, enjoy a glass of wine with friends or get a manicure & pedicure!

Can you share a couple of your recent fitness goals?

One is to lose the last 5 pounds of baby weight! And another is to regain my strength that I had before becoming pregnant. I want to be fit and healthy for my family and myself. The weight will be an easier goal – less sweets! But I will need to make time and a schedule in order to do weights.

It isn’t realistic for me to spend a lot of money on a fancy gym membership, so a class here and there mixed with lots of home workouts will be how I get back on track.

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

It has been hardest for me to eat healthy like I used to. Trips to the grocery store need to be quicker (often with a screaming babe!), so shopping is rushed and it is harder to be selective. Also, with breastfeeding and tending to a 3-month-old, I tend to eat whatever is available to me – which is not always the healthiest option.

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

I have a few girlfriends who love to workout and eat healthy with me. If I am feeling not great about myself or lazy, they will lift me up and offer to go for a walk or workout class together.

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

Being a mom is the best job I’ve ever had! Seeing the milestones, big or small, that my son is making is one of the best feelings I have felt. I think my heart melted the first time he smiled at me!

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

People say it a lot, but you need to have your own time and not feel guilty about it! Mommy-guilt is a very real thing and sometimes I think new moms feel like they should be doing everything without complaint. Its not selfish if you want a little alone time or need a few minutes to vent… its well-deserved!

Molly’s CrockPot Sesame Ginger Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (GF if needed)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar (or honey, Stevia, agave)
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

Add the chicken to the slow cooker.

Mix together the soy sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, orange juice, hoisin sauce, garlic, and ginger.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours until the chicken is fully cooked. Slice or shred.

*Optional: Want a thicker sauce? Add the sauce from the slow cooker to a small pot. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile combine 1 tbsp. of cornstarch and 1 tbsp. cold water. Add to the boiling sauce and stir well. Bring to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens.

Want it crispy? Spread the chicken on a baking sheet covered with foil and broil for 3-4 minutes or until crispy.

Featured Movin’ Mama: Molly

Meet Molly!

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Molly is a 28-year-old Movin’ Mama living on the South Shore of MA with her husband and brand new, 1-month-old daughter. As a Cosmetologist and Esthetician, it’s not surprising that one of her favorite hobbies includes Fashion…& working out of course when she’s cleared to do so! I asked Molly how she’s Living Well today, and here’s what she shared… 

How do you typically start your day?

My day normally starts out with a snuggle session with my daughter. Our nights have been a struggle so far, we seem to get our best sleep in the early morning so when we get up, we snuggle before we start our day!

What is your typical workout regimen like?

I had an emergency C-section in September, so I am not able to do normal exercise quite yet. However, I am the MOH in my sister-in-law’s wedding in December, so I am motivated to get into that dress I bought at only 3 months pregnant!

I do like to take my little one out for walks if it’s nice outside, and look forward to doing some 5ks this spring with her! I can’t wait to get back to my yoga and spin classes, and to check out Row and Ride in Hanover! I did rowing in high school and absolutely loved it, it’s the best way to get great definition in your arms!

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

The biggest challenge was having an unexpected C-section because the recovery is intense…Not being able to drive for a few weeks was tough with my husband being back at work! Luckily I have been surrounded by the most loving and supportive family and friends who have helped with meals and food shopping etc.!

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

I like to pamper myself by going to my own Allure Med Spa & Salon. We do it all! Also I just recently joined a book club and that has gotten me back into reading, so I will let Dad take over when he gets home from work and sneak off for a few chapters!

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

I can honestly say I love it ALL! My daughter has opened my eyes to what a miracle life is. I feel so blessed to have her, I lost my mother at an early age in life and in a way it makes me feel her presence around me more than ever as I enter into this new chapter in my life and for that I am forever grateful.

What are a few beauty products you cannot live without right now?

I can’t live without my Davines shampoo and conditioner! My hair was starting to feel so dry after I had my baby and now that I am back to using my good hair products I feel like it is getting its life back! I also can’t live without my Glo-minerals lash lengthening mascara as well as their sheer tinted moisturizer. Don’t have that extra time to get ready in the morning anymore, so I usually only use these 2 products in the morning and it’s just enough to feel pretty!

What are some wellness tips you can share with other new moms?

1) Take care of yourself mentally as well as physically! It’s so important to reach out if you need help or are feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes just an extra long hot shower will do the trick!

2) Don’t push yourself to hard to lose the baby weight…you need to be healthy especially if you are breastfeeding, you need those extra calories!

3) Make sure you and your husband still make time for each other! It was your love that brought this beautiful human here and you need to cherish that as well!

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

Sesame Ginger Chicken in the crockpot…check out our Mama-Friendly Menu for the full recipe!

Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?

I’d like to thank my older sister, Regan. I have learned so much from her and my niece that has helped me tremendously in my early stages of motherhood!

Christy’s Tortilla Soup

INGREDIENTS

Soup:

  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 8 Piece Chicken
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 Jalapeno Peppers, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less)
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 32 oz gluten-free chicken broth

Tortilla Strips:

  • 3-6 corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash of paprika
  • dash of cumin
  • dash of chili powder
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • juice of 1/4 lime

Garnish:

  • Pico De Gallo
  • Shredded Mexican cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Chopped avocado
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Homemade tortilla strips

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Start by heating olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Throw in the onions, jalapenos and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Mix in paprika, salt, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. The vegetables will be coated with the spices, continue to stir to cook the vegetables until they begin to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the two 32 oz. boxes of chicken broth. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Add 8-piece chicken and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is easily removed from the bones. (If it totally creeps you out to add raw chicken, you can bake the chicken first and then add to broth and only cook for 20 minutes.)

Reduce the heat to low. Remove all of the chicken, pull the meat off the bones and shred. Return the shredded chicken to the soup. Add the drained black beans. Add the fresh cilantro, give it a taste and add salt or seasonings as needed; be sure to not under salt it!

Cut the tortillas into uniform strips. Mix tortilla strips and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add spices and lime juice and mix until strips are evenly coated. Spray a cookie sheet with oil and evenly spread the tortilla strips out on the pan making sure they do not overlap. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Turn off the heat and get ready to serve it up. Ladle the soup into a bowl, and let everyone top his or her soup with preferred toppings.

Enjoy!