August Movin’ Mama: Haniyah

Meet Haniyah!

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Congrats to Haniyah, our August feature, who we absolutely adore! As a Movin’ Mama to her 4-year-old son, residing in Boylston, MA with her husband, she’s an inspiration to all new moms looking for balance–killing it in her Marketing management position at a renowned coffee brand, and running to stay fit both mentally and physically. We asked her how she’s living well today, and here’s what she shared…

How do you typically start your day?

I start my day around 6:30am before anyone else in the house is awake. I get ready for work and leave the house at 7am. My husband works a later schedule and both he and my son aren’t morning people, so they’re typically still asleep when I leave the house.

On days when my son is awake before I leave, we’ll read a book or snuggle in my bed for a few minutes before I head out. I’ve been lucky that my husband is in charge of daycare drop-off so my mornings aren’t as crazed as they are for some other moms. Before the start of a chaotic day, I treasure the quiet of the morning.

With Summer underway, what’s your #1 personal wellness goal right now?

My wellness goal is always the same: maintain a healthy lifestyle and feel strong. I don’t believe in fad diets or exercise programs. As someone who struggled with an eating disorder for years as a teenager, it’s important for me to focus on how I feel rather than the number on a scale or a clothing size.

I exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet (for the most part) and try and get enough sleep. Feeling strong is very important to me as it gives me the confidence and energy that I need to get through my day and keep up with my son.

What are some of your best practices for balancing nutrition as a busy mom?

I love to cook and I eat a lot. I believe that the more that we’re involved in the preparation of our food; the better it is for us. I cook almost every night. It’s not usually very fancy given that I work full time, but I make sure we have a good source of protein, a carb, and a veggie.

I’ve made a habit of cooking in bulk on the weekends so that we have a few healthy snack/meal side options during the work week. Sometimes I make a big fruit salad, or a quinoa-based salad, and pretty much every week I make a big tin of banana-chocolate chip muffins (they’re delicious and healthy-ish).

*Check out one of Haniyah’s favorite recipes, Quinoa Butternut Squash Salad from Two Peas and their Pod.*

I’m also a big breakfast person so most nights I’ll make myself a mason jar of overnight oats to bring to work the next day which keep me full for most of the morning.

Unlike my husband and myself, my son is a very picky/stubborn eater. I try to keep healthy food on hand that I know he will eat so that he doesn’t end up eating junk. My fridge usually has grapes, strawberries, Chobani yogurt tubes, milk, and Velveeta cheese slices (disgusting I know, but it’s the only kind of cheese he’ll eat these days). I also put Carnation Instant Breakfast into his milk to supplement his picky diet.

What has been your most effective outlet for stress relief since you had your child?

I’m a bit of a workout fiend and working out has always been my outlet. As a mom it plays an even more important role as it allows me to be at my best both physically and mentally for my family.

I’ve been a runner for almost 20 years so that’s my #1 choice when it comes to exercise. I’m often training for ½ marathons and ran my first full marathon last Spring. I take 1-2 HIIT bootcamp-style classes a week and practice Yoga on occasion. This may sound like a lot but for me its quality over quantity – I push myself hard but on average I don’t work out for more than 1 hour a day. I also do my workouts during my lunch breaks so that when I get home from work I can focus on my family.

Finish this sentence: Being a Mom has made me…

Flexible. I have a Type-A personality and am therefore a bit of a control freak. But you realize very quickly when you become a mom (or as soon as you see that second line on the pregnancy test for that matter), that so many things are out of your control.

In the pre-parenthood world, I was ultimately only responsible for myself, but now I’m responsible for another human being with their own needs and (strong-willed) personality. While it’s frustrating when you have a day planned and your kid gets sick or throws a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket, these experiences have made me realize that sometimes you don’t have control, and that’s ok. Going with the flow goes against my nature but it’s been a good lesson for me.

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

I’m not sure if these are considered wellness “products” but: My unsweetened iced tea in the morning, my running sneakers, and my eyeliner (sometimes making those bad boys pop creates the illusion that I’m more awake than I am!).

What’s your favorite healthy snack on-the-go?

I have a freakishly high metabolism and will go from full to ravenous in the course of about 2 seconds, so I always keep a jar of peanut butter around. When the hunger hits I’ll eat a spoonful of it and it gives me the quick energy boost that I need.

What is a piece of candid advice you’d like to share with a brand-new mama?

Don’t judge other parents and don’t feel judged by other parents. As moms we need a supportive community that fosters love, respect, and support for one another. You know your child better than anyone else – don’t let other people’s narrow opinions, ignorance, and jealousy pressure you into feeling like you’re doing something wrong.

If you breastfeed, that’s fine. If you don’t breastfeed, that’s fine. If you shop at Market Basket and your friend exclusively shops at Whole Foods, that’s fine. If you co-sleep with your baby and another mom practices the Ferber Method, that’s fine too. Every parent is different, every child is different, and every journey is different.

 

July Movin’ Mama: Anastasia

Meet Anastasia!

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First off, Happy July everyone! What better way to celebrate Independence Day weekend than with a kick-butt new feature? Anastasia is our 30-year-old Movin’ Mama from Hudson, learning to balance her new family of four including her husband, little girl (age 4) and her newest little guy (6 months). She loves to stay active, both outdoors and behind her professional camera lens. We asked her how she’s Living Well today and here’s what she shared…

How do you typically start your day?

I start my day around 6:00 a.m., most often with my son snuggled up next to me. He is still not a great sleeper and wakes up several times at night; inevitably I bring him in our bed sometime around 5 a.m. to get another hour of shuteye.

After a cup of coffee and five minutes of the Today Show, the focus shifts on getting everyone dressed, making bottles and walking out the door to bring the kids to daycare.

What does your workout regimen consist of?

My workout regimen has been inconsistent, at best. As I continue to adjust to our lifestyle as a family of four, I am realizing that time for focused, individual workouts will be hard to come by. 

Since we both work full time and family time is limited, we make an attempt to be active together most days of the week. Whether this means a family walk after dinner or chase in the backyard, we know that being active is important even if it does not mean putting in two hours at the gym. Some days I can squeeze in a run or a workout DVD, other days I carry my four-year-old home from the park because she’s too tired to walk; beggars can’t be choosers.

Has losing the baby weight been harder or easier this time around?

I consider myself lucky to have been able to lose the baby weight quickly after both of my pregnancies. I attribute the weight loss to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and to genetics (thanks, mom!). I am currently a few pounds below my pre-baby weight and I know that exclusively breastfeeding has given me an advantage this time around.

What has been your #1 challenge with wellness since your son?

The biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of our son has been limited time. I know that exercise is important but my days are filled to the brim; from hectic mornings, to work, to pumping, to making dinner and managing bed times: my days are a whirlwind. I look forward to the time when our son’s sleep schedule normalizes and aligns with our daughter’s, so we have a few less things to juggle and get a few less night wakings to keep us dragging.  Getting active each evening is energizing and so important. I make it a priority to be outside at least part of the day.

For meals, structure has been my saving grace. Every morning and evening routine is relatively the same. My work day can be hectic and work travel can throw me for a loop, but maintaining a sense of stability in our schedule gives me some control.  I eat breakfast every day and snack throughout to keep myself going. I make a meal list on the weekend for the week ahead and grocery shop so we have everything on hand that we need; there is less temptation for eating out on busy nights and pre-washed, or chopped fruit and veggies are readily available for our family.

What are some best wellness tips you can share with new Mamas?

Eat well most of the time; skip the guilt when you indulge. If you eat well, you will feel energetic and it will help you on days when you’re running on little sleep. If you indulge, enjoy it, you are superwoman and you deserve to treat yourself! 

Appreciate your body; it is amazing. You just created a human life, and if you are nursing, you are providing nourishment for your baby with nothing but your body. You may take a while to get back into a size you feel comfortable in, but as long as you are making healthy choices, you will get there. Hating your body and being a mom do not go hand in hand. Leave those self-loathing thoughts in the past and love the skin you’re in.

Have fun with your kids and set an example. If you eat ice cream for dinner and sit on the couch all night long, your kids will take notice. If you complain about your body and poke your belly in front of the mirror, your kids will also notice. Make good choices, involve your kids in cooking family meals; talk in terms of health, not appearance; put on your bathing suit and get in the pool with your kids instead of sitting on the patio with the other adults! What you do now will shape your kids’ relationship with food and body image, be deliberate with your words and actions because they see more than you realize.

Finish this sentence: Being a Mom has made me… 

Confident. Sure, I would love to be more fit and eat healthier, but it’s because I want to live longer and be active and enjoy time with my family, not because I want to look a certain way in a bikini. That mentality is sad, unhealthy and frankly, exhausting. I hope to set the tone for my daughter’s relationship with her body as she gets older.

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

Photography is my passion and I am lucky to also have it be my business. When I have free time I am usually editing photos. If I don’t feel inspired to edit, I sit on the couch and watch bad reality TV. But really, with two young kids and a job, alone time is hard to come by.  

What’s your favorite go-to light weeknight dinner?

When I haven’t had time to prepare dinner, I like to pick up a rotisserie chicken and steam some broccoli or brussel sprouts and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. It’s fast, but doesn’t leave you feeling sluggish and bloated.

What was your own mother right about?

My Russian mom doesn’t sugarcoat much, and she was always honest about how I looked; she is the best person to bring shopping. She taught me to dress for my body type and not focus on fads. Just because something is “in”, it doesn’t mean it is flattering on me, and that is okay. Instead of changing your body to fit the clothes you think you should wear, find clothes that flatter your body. 

You’ve got a full cart in store & your baby starts crying frantically…so?

Pick up the baby, try to calm him (with my son, this probably means go find a place to nurse; he loves a boob) and if all else fails, keep to the list and finish shopping.

A crying baby doesn’t phase me the way it used to. Being a mom has made me more confident and I’ve come to realize I care more about my family than about what strangers think.

 

May Movin’ Mama: Lisa

Meet Lisa!

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Congrats to Lisa on her nomination as our May Movin’ Mama! Lisa is a local resident of the south shore, MA with her husband and three children, ages 11, 7, and 6. Lisa is a huge sports fanatic, with favorites like Tennis, Flag Football, and Softball…and I must mention that she actually partakes in these fun activities, she’s not just a spectator! So, it shouldn’t surprise you either that her career is also focused on health and wellness consulting.

What are the Book-Ends of your day?

Mornings are quite busy at our house!  They typically start for me around 5:30 am when I get up to make myself, my family and some of my friends fresh organic juices and wheatgrass shots.  My oldest needs to be at her bus stop at 6:45 am (way too early for these pre-teens!) and my younger two need to be ready by 8 am.  So there is a whole heck of a lot of running around, blending and backpack stuffing going on. But that being said, we still try to make it fun somehow to start us all off on the right foot.

After the kids go to bed, I typically study for a little while (I am in the process of becoming a certified holistic nutritionist) and then try to spend some QT time with my husband.  Before bed, I usually meditate and then do some form of gratitude exercise.

As an independent wellness coach and a full-time mom, we’d love to know, what does your regular weekly exercise regimen look like?

I am probably not normal since I love to exercise!  I have always loved sports and I started working out when I was 12, so my body is truly addicted to it (it’s not a myth!).

So, in a typical week, I will play tennis, run with our rescue dog, enjoy hot yoga, take a few Zumba classes,  do Insanity and try to do some form of cycling (we have a few great studios in our town).

I am obviously blessed to work from home and have time when the kids are in school but even when I worked in corporate offices, I would schedule my workouts in as meetings since my mental state significantly improves with a good workout!

What are your top personal wellness goals for 2016?

To finish my studies and become officially certified as a holistic nutritionist and to find the balance between enjoying life but also staying healthy and remaing in good shape!

We moved here in 2013 and it is an incredible, very social town so there is always a reason to be having a drink for a good cause with fun friends. It’s great to be social but I also need to know when to say “No Mas”!

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

One of my favorite things in the world is a great massage!  So if I’m treating myself on my “Me” time, this is what I’ll do.  Otherwise, I do love some alone time where I can just think and go for a long walk outside.

Many discuss the transition from having 1 to 2 children. What was your biggest challenge moving from 2 to 3?

We found going from 1 to 2 pretty painless since my oldest daughter was 4 when we had my son (she was such an easy child that we worried that we’d get the devil child next, so we waited for a while to have another!).

Luckily, we never did get that devil child!  My son and my youngest daughter are only 18 months apart so having to go from man to man, to zone defense was hard enough and the close age difference made it even more challenging.

I would say the hardest thing for us is that we love doing things as a family and it was difficult having to separate in order to take care of the kids and their individual needs and activities.

What is one of your recent go-to healthy weeknight dinners?

I’m actually making it now….Organic crock pot chicken with a variety of different spices for taste as well as health (turmeric, parsley, paprika, ginger, sea salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, cayenne, rosemary and oregano).

I cook it along with some carrots and sweet potatoes and the kids love it.  I then use the leftover broth and bones to make a fresh organic, bone marrow broth based chicken noodle soup.

*Here’s an easy Crockpot Chicken recipe from OneOrganicMama.com if you’d like to try this at home!*

Who do you lean on the most for your own emotional and physical well-being?

My husband.  He’s not only my soul mate but truly my best friend. We both have gone through a lot in our lives but we have remained each other’s rocks through it all.  I can’t imagine going through this journey called life without him by my side.

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

Nutrition is so incredibly important!  What we put in our bodies will not only impact the way we look and feel, but it is also crucial to our mental and emotional state. Proper nutrition can help us in our ability to fight disease, prevent injuries & stop early aging.   As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Finish this sentence: Being a Mom has made me….

SOFTER (both literally and figuratively – JUST KIDDING!). The love that I feel for my children is inexplicable. I have always been a very goal-oriented person and that has not changed.

As Tony Robbins has said, “you’re either growing or you’re dying”.  Nevertheless, since kids, my goals in life have shifted. I once planned to be CEO of some big corporation but now I define success differently.

I cherish the little things in life and if I can leave this world a little bit better than when I came into it, I’d call that a win!

April Movin’ Mama: Rachel

Meet Rachel!

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Happy SPRING (finally!) and we are pumped to introduce Rachel for our April monthly feature. Rachel is a Movin’ Mama residing on the South Shore, MA with her husband and 10-year old twin boys. Amidst tending to her family & her own personal wellness, Rachel is a full-time Entrepreneur who operates her own Digital Marketing agency (go girl!). We asked her how she’s juggling it all, and here’s what she shared…

How do you typically start your weekdays?

I wake at 7AM, get the kids ready for school, get them on the bus, grab my green juice and squeeze in a quick workout before I start working. Most days, I am at my desk at 9:30AM and ready to start my day feeling energized and refreshed!

As a working mother running a business, how often do you make time for exercise and what’s your favorite workout today?

I make exercise a priority.  I can’t take care of anyone else until I take care of myself first. Typically, I try to do one workout a day if my schedule permits. At the moment, I am obsessed with 3 things: Bar, Yoga and Spinning. I’m a big fan of the Bar Method, I love the results.  It has helped me get rid of my muffin top!

SIDE NOTE: Check out an at-home Barre workout to try via Shape.com

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

I was ready for it! Honestly, it made things easier because we always wanted two children and we got it done with one shot!

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

Time is my biggest challenge. I recognize the value of time and try to spend it wisely.  I have to allocate a portion of time to my kids, husband, friends, work and my own personal wellness. Sometime, priorities need to be shuffled around and it’s a challenge to maintain an appropriate balance.

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

Everything! I have enjoyed and loved every age of my children. You can’t help but reflect upon your own childhood when you experienced the world as something new. I enjoy listening to their perspective on everyday matters in life from such an innocent and naive perspective. They sometimes say the funniest things like, “why does everyone call Houston when they have a problem?” They keep me laughing all the time.

I am getting a little more anxious as my kids approaching their “tween” years because my maternal instincts to “protect them” are increasingly at odds with practical side of me that says, “let them go”.

What has been your most effective best practice for relieving stress?

Yoga, it’s life changing! I try to fit this into my schedule at least twice a week and when I am stressed out with a work issue I always resort to my yoga breathing. I also find that when I am facing a work challenge, spending time on my yoga mat helps me find clarify.

What are some things you’re doing to ensure balance? 

I always have a game plan. I know what I want to accomplish within my work/life balance and I do my best to stick to the plan. I build the balance into my schedule and is achieved if I stick to the game plan.

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

My husband and I work together and give each other “a lift” when we need it. He understands that there are occasions when I need to get some “Me Time” in order to maintain my sanity.  I’m also lucky to have my mother leave nearby and she truly enjoy spending time with her grandchildren and they love being with her. I’m fortunate to have a really good team to support me.

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

As cliché as this may sound, time with children passes by so quickly so enjoy every moment and don’t take anything for granted. The first three months with twins is difficult.

It is overwhelming enough to have a newborn but when you double the workload it seems even more daunting.  It’s good to just take a step back and enjoy them because it doesn’t last very long.  Accept that you will not be able to get all of your household chores completed every day.  There will be times when the dishes and the laundry will just wait.

The most important thing in those early months is to establish a sleep schedule for the babies – It took about three months for us. Once that’s accomplished, things start to become more routine and normalized.

 

 

 

 

 

March Movin’ Mama: Nikki

Meet Nikki!

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Happy Leap Day! We’re excited to introduce Nikki this month for our March feature,  a brand new mama to her first baby boy (only 11 weeks old), residing west of Boston with her husband. When Nikki isn’t enjoying all things Maternity leave (like excessively shopping for tiny clothes!), she works full-time as a Sales Operations Manager. We asked her how she’s Living Well today amidst her transition to Mama-hood, and here’s what she told us…

How do you typically start your day?

I’m sure this will look a lot different once I go back to work in mid-March, but my day typically starts around 6:30 AM.  My husband is up for work and we squeeze in a coffee and hangout together for 10-15 minutes before he leaves.

I do a few things around the house and make a green smoothie before my son wakes up around 7:30-8:00 AM.  Our first stop is his nursery for a quick diaper change (he’s currently still in a bassinet in our bedroom) and then head to the living room for playtime.

He’s ready to eat around 8:30 AM then goes down for his first nap around 9:30 AM.  This is when I either pick a couple Pinterest workouts or my mom comes over so I can go to a spinning class.

What is your favorite workout now that you’re in the clear postpartum?

I’m obsessed with Spinning.  I go to 3-5 indoor cycling classes a week.  I actually got certified to teach when I was 7 weeks pregnant and had planned on teaching throughout my pregnancy. I came down with the worst morning sickness (nausea, vomiting, dehydration, etc.) around 9 weeks and it lasted 24 hours a day until I was 18 weeks.

By then, I’d lost all my endurance and told myself I’d just take the next 5 months off.  Once I build my endurance back up I’ll be teaching my own classes.

Spin has been my go to for years now.  I can make it as challenging or as easy as I need to and no matter what, I always leave feeling like I got a great workout in.

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

My go to healthy dinner is B-O-R-I-N-G because I have one of the world’s pickiest eaters for a husband.  But it’s healthy and he’ll eat it.  I season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, thyme, lemon and garlic.  Throw them onto a baking sheet with veggies for me (I love carrots, onions, & brussels sprouts) and potatoes for him.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees and serve!

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

My “Me Time” includes going to the gym, running errands/shopping and sometimes it’s just taking a really long hot shower or taking a break to grab a quick coffee.

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

I have truly learned the meaning of unconditional love. I thought I knew what it was before, but I’ve uncovered parts of my heart and soul that I never knew existed.

Can you share a few Wellness goals for this year & how you’ll track your progress?

I gained well over the recommended amount of weight for my starting body height and weight. My first fitness goal is to get back my pre-baby body.

What works well for me is keeping a food diary. I do this through an app called, My Fitness Pal.  It allows me to track all of my calories and workouts so I have an idea of where I’m at for the day and can make smart choices about what I’m eating. The real progress will show when I can wear my skinny jeans again!

Another fitness goal is to be able to run longer than 3 miles.  Before I was pregnant, I was running 3-5 miles a couple times a week.  It would be great to be there again.  I’m planning on signing up for a race this summer and will use that as my motivation.

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

My biggest challenge is finding the time to exercise. When I can’t make it to the gym, I look up workouts on Pinterest and try to pick a HIIT and run through it 2-3 times.  Thankfully, in the last few weeks, my little one’s naps have become really consistent, so I’ve been able to plan my workouts around them.

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

I lean friends and other women who have recently had a baby for support.  It’s easy for me to get caught up with the celebs that bounce back to their pre baby weight in what feels like days!  Talking to women in similar situations as myself is where I find the most support.

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

There have been times where I look in the mirror, start to cry and think, Will I ever have my old body back? and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Please remind yourself that you just grew a HUMAN BEING inside of you for 9 months…and we’re not all Gisele (and that is completely OKAY). It takes 9 months to gain the weight, I think you deserve to give yourself a full 9 months to take it off.

 

February Movin’ Mama: Kim

Meet Kim!

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Kim is our February feature, a brand new Movin’ Mama residing on the South Shore of MA with her boyfriend and 5-month-old baby girl. Kim is a full-time, stay-at-home Mama who’s making the most of nap time breaks, and is keeping her eyes on her OTHER sweet prize–not only her new little one, but a spinning instructor certification, too (We love this, go Kim!).

How do you typically start your day?

I’ve been away in Florida for about 6 weeks now.  I am thankful I was able to quit my job and stay home to take care of my daughter. My schedule has become more consistent since I’ve been here.  My morning usually starts around 7am.  Lola and I usually wake up around the same time.  We usually cuddle and chat before getting ready.  Once we’re up she gets a fresh diaper and change from her pajamas.  Then we  go downstairs and she’ll have her bottle and I have my breakfast after while my boyfriend hangs out with her.  

What are some of your wellness goals for 2016 and how are you tracking your progress?

Before I was pregnant I was training to become a certified spin instructor.  I fell in love with spinning about two years ago and decided to get my certification.  Aside from spinning I like running.  I’ve participated in a few road races including a half marathon. I also enjoy strengthening workouts with weights and TRX.  

During my pregnancy I was going to the gym and spinning until 36 weeks.  So for 2016, I hope to get back into the groove of all the workouts and focus on training for my spin instructor certification.  

How am I going to track my progress will the challenge, but nap time is key. Since I haven’t been spinning as much I hope to start (when I return home to MA) by spinning 15 mins each time Lola takes a nap.  Hopefully within couple months I can pick up where I left off and aim for my certification goal by year end.

For all my other workouts, I’ve been working out during nap times. I would do few sets of crunches, push-ups, squats, bench dips and running up and down the stairs (24 steps each way!) That’s been working out great so when I am ready for the gym again I can start strong!

What is your diet like on an average day?  

My diet consist of  3 meals a day with a snack in between each meal.  My breakfast is a bowl of corn flakes cereal with milk.  Then I usually have some crackers until lunch.  My lunch is usually my heavy meal of the day.  It varies from a burger to pasta.  My afternoon snack is yogurt or a village green drink from Lido.  For dinner we usually have something light and easy–our favorite is whole wheat pasta, with ground turkey and cheese.  

We make everything vegan because my boyfriend is lactose intolerant, so it’s easier to keep the ingredients dairy-free.  Did you know vegan food is JUST as good!?   

What’s your favorite go-to healthy snack when you’re on the go?

Yogurt, key lime (or vanilla) flavor is the best! I need to eat more fruit again.  I was addicted to them when I was pregnant but some reason after Lola I don’t crave it as much. I love making banana bread too!

How have you had to streamline your beauty routine since having kids?

I remember I did not put any makeup on the first month when my daughter was born.  I stayed home for the most part but even when I went out, I didn’t bother.  In fact I got so used to it I didn’t wear makeup for over 2 months.

When Lola was about 3 months old, my family would come over to help babysit so that me and my boyfriend could go out and have some alone time.  That’s when I started to put my daily makeup back on – eyeliner, mascara, eyebrows and bronzer.

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

I didn’t realize how much personal time I lost.  Everyone told me before to enjoy my sleep before the baby arrives.  But it’s not the sleep that I am missing, it’s the personal time.  

By personal time I don’t mean shopping, hanging out with friends–but more importantly for me, it’s been my workout schedule.  But being a Mom is the greatest feeling so I would not trade it for anything! I am sure everything will gradually all come together.

 

 

 

 

January Movin’ Mama: Jessica

Meet Jessica!

Boylen, Jessica - Feature Photo 2016

In honor of the New Year, we’re tossing another awesome Movin’ Mama into the January mix! Jessica is in her late thirties, residing on the south shore of Mass. with her husband and 4-year-old daughter. When she’s not working as a career Hypnotist (stop, SO cool!), she loves to curl up with a good book. We asked her how she’s living well today, and here’s what she said…

With a new year ahead, what are some of your personal wellness goals for 2016?

Physically, I would like to run a 10k and increase my yoga practice. I would also like to incorporate more meditation and feng shui into my life – toys are everywhere! I live near the beach and great parks but don’t take nearly as much time as I should enjoying them and I hope to change that this year.

How do you typically start and end your day?

It may sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. I begin each day with self hypnosis and setting my intention for the day with affirmations. I then do 7 poses to balance my charkas. I end the day reading whatever book is hiding under the covers and fall sleep mid-sentence.

What has been your most effective form of exercise since having your daughter?

Running. I started in a running club in London, UK and though I have stumbled, been injured, slacked off and started over more than once, it has been the number one mental and physical activity that keeps me light.

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

Broccoli and soft polenta. It’s really quick, easily modified and everyone loves it!

*NOTE: Check out this recipe from Catherine-Craig.com to try at home!

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

I love to browse antique shops even if I never buy anything.

What is one thing you’d like to change this year with regards to your wellness?

I would like to get out and exercise together more, hikes, biking, walks.  I would also like to declutter our home of toxic chemicals and items as much as we can.

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

I lean on my husband as he is healthy, athletic and always easily choosing apples over cookies. I am the opposite, I’ve never been much of an athlete and I love cookies! He is my health mentor.

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

The love. I love the love I feel for my daughter, it’s so much larger than I would ever imagine. That and being able to be silly and play without being judged is just so fantastic.

 

January Movin’ Mama: Sarah

Meet Sarah!

Gadbois, Sarah - Feature Photo

We’re excited to kick off 2016 with Sarah, our January feature. Sarah is a 28-year-old Movin’ Mama based on the south shore, MA with her husband and first born son who is edging on 5 months old. She has just returned from a snuggly fall/winter maternity leave to her full-time career as an Account Manager for a local software company. We asked her how she’s Living Well today, and here’s what she said…

As we ring in the New Year, I have to ask, what’s your resolution for 2016?

Right now, my top resolution is to get my son, Ben, sleeping in his own bed! Right now, he’s having a tough time sleeping independently and just to get a few hours of straight shut eye, we have been letting him sleep with us most nights. It’s not recommended and it’s a hard habit to break, but ultimately you know what’s best for your family. At this point, I think we are both ready to stretch our legs out at night, though!

How do you typically start your day? 

I have actually just gone back to work this week, so we are in the middle of coming up with our new normal. Before, Ben and I would usually do a little cuddling when we first woke up, followed by some cooing back and forth at each other. Once out of bed, it’s a change of clothes and heading downstairs for some coffee for me and playtime on the mat for my little guy. We both move a little slowly in the morning so we used this time to bond and enjoy some quiet moments together while we still had them!

What are some of your best practices for balancing nutrition as a busy new mama?

It’s hard. I’m still breastfeeding, so I want to be sure I’m getting enough to eat, but not eating junk! I definitely try to make sure I get fruit in each day as well as a few good sources of veggies. My favorite since I gave birth have been avocados. I’ve always liked them, but now they’re a staple in my diet.

The easiest lunch (and a few times, breakfast) is a slice of whole grain toast topped with turkey, mozzarella cheese, avocado and salt and pepper. It’s delicious, healthy and fills you up.

What has been your most effective outlet for stress relief since you had your son?
 

I think the best relief of stress for me has honestly been spending time with other moms, venting and sharing war stories. One of my good friends has a little girl who’s 10 days older than Ben, and we have a blast whenever we get together. Sometimes we go for walks or shop at Target and other times we just let the babes lay on a blanket and play. Whatever we are doing, it’s really a great reminder that you’re not alone in whatever you’re going through. Also, a nice hot bath accompanied by a glass of wine doesn’t hurt either.

Finish this sentence: Being a Mom has made me…

Appreciate how quickly time goes by and cherish every second. It sounds so cliche, but every minute with my son is such a blessing and I can’t believe how fast he’s growing and changing. It’s also softened me up quite a bit. I have always been an “in the moment” type of person, but since I’ve become a mom, I find myself looking ahead and imagining what our lives will be like as he gets older and as our family grows.

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

I have never been much of a product person. I’m the type of gal who changes my shampoo brand every few months. What I have discovered as a new mama, is that there are times you have to choose between shower, sleep and food…  and for me, shower almost always wins!

If there’s one piece of sanity advice I can give to anyone with a new baby it’s make sure you find 5 minutes a day to shower! You will find time to eat and at some point you will have to sleep, but taking those extra few minutes to get cleaned up and throw on some mascara and blush will give you a much needed energy and morale boost.

What’s your favorite healthy snack on-the-go? 

Nothing beats a piece of fruit and a greek yogurt.

What is a piece of candid advice you’d like to share with a fellow brand-new mama?

Soak up every moment and trust your gut. The first few months with a new baby are unlike any other experience and no matter how much time you’ve spent with babies before, there will be days where you feel like there’s nothing you can do right.

Stick to your gut and be patient and you’ll get through the tough times. Take every piece of advice with a grain of salt. There are a million people who will want to tell you how they did it and how their way is the best way, but at the end of the day, every baby is unique and you know your little one better than anyone.

Lastly, have fun! The best way to get through your 3rd diaper blow-out of the day is with a good hearty laugh!

Executive Interview Part 2: Dr. Jodi Ashbrook

Open Doors Logo 2-2

We welcome back Dr. Jodi Ashbrook, Owner of Open Doors Yoga Studios Hingham, for part 2 of our short series of executive interview posts that will help us all get better acquainted with our next Wellness Workshop sponsor. Our “Meditation Mixer” will take place on Friday, January 22nd from 7:30-9 PM at the Open Doors Hingham location, Register today as space is limited! 

Meet Dr. Jodi Ashbrook!

Ashbrook is not only a studio owner, but also is the Founder and CEO of The Be Brand  clothing line, and Chief Product Officer of Educators Serving Educators, an educational consulting firm based out of Albany, NY.

She is an inspirational author, blogger and speaker, creating experiences for people to grow, reflect, and inspire to believe in their dreams. Ashbrook herself is a certified Yoga Instructor, accomplished business leader and entrepreneur dedicated to leading projects and creating businesses that make a difference in the world.

Ashbrook believes we are all leaders, leaders of our own personal journey. As a leader in business and in life, she lives by the philosophy, “be the leader you would follow.”   When she’s not working around the clock, she loves traveling to new and exciting destinations, or relaxes through reading.

I asked Dr. Jodi to share a little bit more with us, and here’s what she said…

What has been your biggest challenge in introducing Yoga to the community?

Helping people who have always wanted to try yoga (heated or unheated), to overcome their fears, and find the courage to come and take their first class. We offer a Free Week of yoga at our studios so that students can try out different classes and teachers. After the week, there are several options and types of classes for students to continue their practice.

I often hear people who are new to yoga say:

“I tried that once, I am not good at it.”

“I am not flexible, so I can’t do yoga.”

“I am afraid I will pass out in a hot class.”

“I will feel like I am doing it wrong.”

“I can’t do what the person next to me is doing, so I am not good enough.”

These engrained beliefs that are self-imposed by what we see on commercials or in society are self-created and untrue. The practice of yoga is just that…practice. It provides an opportunity to spend time with yourself on your mat to move and breathe. Connecting physical movements with breath while allowing all other life distractions to fall away.

I often say to the classes I teach, “if you do nothing else than show up to your mat and breathe, you are doing yoga.”

I have personally been practicing yoga for over 7 years. I began practicing yoga in 2008. I was close to 200 pounds and had all of the same fears I just mentioned most others have about being in a yoga class.

Over time, my yoga and meditation practice became the one thing I looked forward to every day, as it was a place of peace, hope and provided a sense of self-confidence because I was seeing progress in how I was able to move and, most importantly, how I felt physically, mentally and emotionally.

We all struggle with different things in life. My hope is that more students can experience yoga as  a place of peace, serenity and self-discovery to release self-judgement and increase self-confidence.  

 

 

 

Featured Movin’ Mama: Sarah

Meet Sarah!

sarah lewisLewis, Sarah - Feature Photo 2015

Sarah is a 28-year-old Movin’ Mama residing just south of Boston with her husband and new baby girl, just 2.5 months old! While she’s enjoying her Maternity leave from her usual Program Coordinator role, she’s taking advantage of spending extra time at home with her little one, cooking delicious meals for her family, and of course browsing the Etsy marketplace.

How do you typically start your day?

My daughter has been waking up lately around 5:40 AM. I feed her in the glider in her nursery, and then usually bring her downstairs to her favorite swing. I’ll turn on the news and grab some breakfast.

What is your favorite workout right now if you can get to it, and what’s your favorite time of day to exercise?

Taking Hannah for walks around the neighborhood is serving as my workout right now. The fall was such a nice time of year to have a baby. I typically take her out midday to avoid the morning rush and afternoon commute…less cars on the road and a bit more quiet.

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

She’s truly taught us what’s important and not important in life. You realize one’s health and happiness is most important and petty little things that you once thought were important or worth arguing and worrying about just don’t matter.

Watching her change every single day has been such a joy. She’s developed a personality. Right now, she is in a smiley phase with occasional giggles. Sometimes she will sit on my lap and will smile and giggle when I make sounds or sing to her. Last night, she got the biggest kick out of me singing “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” to her. She has the biggest smile and expressive eyes that just melt my heart.

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

One quick, light and easy staple I love to make right now is spaghetti squash. It isn’t quite the same as spaghetti, but it’s delicious and has way less carbohydrates per serving!

*Check out one of Sarah’s favorite recipes for a quick Marinara sauce to pair with it from NYTimes.com!

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

Simple things are considered “Me time” right now. I will put her in the car and go for a ride, and grab a coffee and listen to the radio. If she is content in her swing or napping, I will catch up on one of my favorite T.V. shows. Every few weekends, my husband will watch the little one while I go get a mani and/or pedi.

Can you share a couple of your personal fitness goals for 2016?

I’d like to start jogging come spring-time. I don’t think I’ve gone for a run since I ran the Falmouth Road Race a couple of months before I got pregnant. It’s something I will definitely have to ease into and will track my mileage each time I head out.

I’d like to get back into yoga as well. I did yoga occasionally prior to becoming pregnant and did a few sessions early on in my pregnancy (due to a complication over the summer, I stopped the yoga altogether). Your body takes a toll from pregnancy and shifts in ways that can create a lot of discomfort during and after pregnancy.

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

The lack of time to prepare meals has been the biggest challenge for me. I find myself grabbing random things to eat during the day when I have a second instead of having an actual meal, especially lunch.

When my daughter was first born, people were great and brought over meals, and a friend of mine let us have some free Blue Apron meals from his account. If I do have to grab and go during the day, I have been making an effort to keep healthy options in the fridge or pantry (yogurt, fruit, rice cakes and peanut butter, for example).

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

Wellness isn’t just fitness and healthy eating. The most helpful thing I have done during my leave was seek advice from and chat with other mothers about their experiences with certain things like feedings, sleep, etc. I worried a lot about doing the “right thing”.

I came to the conclusion that I need to do what is best for me and my family. I never realized what an emotional rollercoaster motherhood would be!

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

A pediatrician in the hospital told me that women can read all the books they want and will receive conflicting information on what to do, what not to do, but ultimately you should “develop your own set of tools”.

It’s hard, but try not to worry about every single little thing and if you are “doing things right” all of the time. I look back and wish I spent less time worrying myself sick over things. Enjoy it while you can…someday these babies will be teenagers!