Thursday, February 25, 2010

Strollers? How do you find the right one?

I think finding the right stroller was the biggest decision we had to make when having baby #2....well besides what to name her!  I'm not kidding! It is so hard to find a stroller to do the things you want and they can be so pricey!  With our first we literally had 4 strollers! That is insane. You have to have one travel system (great for shopping), one jogging stroller (maybe not everyone, but for me it was the most important one), and one umbrella stroller (for easy useage).  For us though, I also had a seperate sport stroller for StrollerFit that they furnished me with.  Well let me just say that I used that stroller for everything!  I would have never chosen such an expensive stroller, but it really could do anything.  I am talking about the Phil and Ted's Sport Stroller.  This pic shows the double version, which by the way is just another piece that you purchase, so you don't have to buy a whole other stroller when you have two! There's a savings!  But, what I loved about this one is that it folded up so flat! My Jeep jogging stroller literally would not fit in my car!!!  These are things you just don't think about when you are in Babies R Us 8 months pregnant!  I had a Jetta and the only way it would fit was in my front seat upside down with the wheels on my dashboard! 
This sport stroller was great for running, shopping, taking a walk, or going to a carnival or picnic.  The pivoting front wheel makes it so easy to manouver! So, needless to say, I loved this stroller and was totally bummed when I sold StrollerFit and had to give it back!

So when we found out we were having another baby we had to start the process of finding a good double jogger! I immediately thought of my phil and ted's and how I would only have to then purchase the attachement, but I started my search for what would be best.  I had also heard great things about the BOB joggers and knew several people who had singles, so we went to check out the BOB duallie revolution at REI.  It was so light and so easy to manouver, but my only concern was would it fit everywhere?  The BOB double is side-by-side.  I did alot of reading and it got rave reviews. It is suppose to fit in any standard door frame.  I still kept thinking about how much I loved my phil and ted's, but my husband kept bringing up the fact that the second child is sitting in back staring at the back of a seat and you lose all your storage due to thier feet.  The decision was extrememly difficult, but we ended up with the BOB duallie. A big investment at around $600. I felt very happy with my decision until I realized that my car seat would not fit with the car seat adaptor that I had purchased for another $90!  This would be so that I could carry the infant in the car seat while still having a toddler in the other seat. I called the company and they did have a list of car seats that were compatable and ours was not.  I certainly was not going to buy another carseat, so I would have to wait until the baby was 8 weeks old to put her into the stroller!  This stroller is extremely nice, but it was about this time that I was really wishing I had the phil and ted's!! Did we make the right decision?? I don't know? If I had the money to have both I would and in the summer we are really going to enjoy the BOB I'm sure, but if you are always on the go and you need something that folds up small and you can take shopping or just about anywhere I would definitely suggest the phil and ted's sport.  The BOB double also fits in my truck though.....and I still have a Jetta!
Maybe if I hadn't spent so much on strollers I could afford a bigger car! lol!

Here are the links to BOB and phil and Ted's

I have done alot of research and I've worked with lots of moms and strollers and these two brands definitely have my vote!  If you have a stroller that you love tell me about it...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

StrollerFit Workout

Oh how I miss my StrollerFit days!! Even before children I commonly heard mothers tell me that they felt like they had no time to workout or that they felt guilty leaving their children with a sitter to workout. I also saw children screaming their heads off at the gym when the moms would drop them at the gym daycare to go workout!  It was terrible! 

I purchased a StrollerFit franchise in 2005 before I even thought about having children because I saw such a need for this in St. Louis and I felt so strongly about helping moms stay healthy and find the time to workout! I also loved working with children.  Not long after I began StrollerFit I found out I was pregnant! Wow, it was just meant to be!  So, needless to say, I taught StrollerFit classes throughout my pregnancy with my empty stroller and soon had my own baby to attend classes!  Wow, what a great workout you can get pushing a stroller with a child in it! Its like your portable strength and cardio equipment. And the heavier the child (or children...for those who brave pushing a double) its even better! 

When I was offered a position with Santé it really was a tough decision, but I sold my business to a client of mine who had been participating in my StrollerFit classes.  She has been very successful with StrollerFit and I'm so happy she has kept it going.  I know there are other mom and baby fitness classes out there (more today than there used to be), but StrollerFit is really fun for both mom and baby. Check out StrollerFit St. Louis here. I also have a link under my recommended links.

What are some of the benefits of StrollerFit?
  • An amazing workout doing cardio intervals with your stroller and also strength moves with bands, your body weight and your baby!
  • Social interaction and a support group of moms who share your fitness goals. 
  • Fun for your baby or child!  In StrollerFit classes you sing songs to the children and even let them get out and play. They love coming to classes!
  • A play group for your child!
  • Convenience of bringing your children along for your workout.
  • No excuses for not being able to workout as a new mom.
With a new baby at home I miss my StrollerFit classes so much! If you can, I recommend you try one. Your first class is always FREE!

Monday, February 15, 2010

At Home Workouts

I wanted to share a couple workout videos for those wanting a good "at home workout."  I work with Jill Devine of 93.7 The Bull as the Personal Trainer for "Jill's Fit Club." Jill created the Fit Club after she joined Santé and began training with me.  She was talking about her struggles and her workouts on the air and she had such a good response from listeners that she decided to start "Jill's Fit Club" to be a support group for those who were also looking to get in shape, lose weight, or just become more healthy.  She started a website in which we post articles daily along with recipes and videos. There is alot more to be done, but Jill is so dedicated to helping others and she really works hard on the site. 

I tried to link the workout videos we created directly to the blog, but I couldn't figure it out! (obviously not an IT wiz)! So I have added the Jill's Fit Club link for you to check out the website and see the videos from there.  Go to the Videos tab on the left and you will see an at home "On the Ball" workout featuring Jill and I, as well as a "Commercial Break Workout."  I love the commercial break one for those long TV shows. I do it every Monday and Tuesday night while watching the Bachelor and Biggest Loser!  Biggest Loser just makes you want to move and I do not have a treadmill, so its great! No more excuses!!!

Another great workout DVD is Jillan Michael's 30 Day Shred! The best part is...its only 20 minutes! You get cardio and strength training all in a short time. There are 3 levels to choose from, so even if you are a beginner you can still do it.  I really am a fan of the 3-2-1 format (3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs). Breaking it up makes it so easy....well, not easy, but it easier!!  30 Day Shred is about $8 at Target! Try it!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What the Scale Misses!

Why are women obsessed with the number on the scale??  I don't even own a scale!  All the scale really does is make you obsess more about your body.  The scale misses so much! 

First, I'm sure you know that muscle weighs more than fat. Think of muscle as bricks and fat as cotton balls.  It takes alot more cotton balls to make a pound then it does brick!

Second, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn!  Muscle increases your metabolism so that you are burning calories at a much faster you better be lifting! 
I always tell my clients to measure by their clothes. Everyone has that one favorite pair of jeans "the skinny jeans" or a dress that they love that they wore at their "best" weight.  You should use those things to measure your progress. I have a little black dress that never lies to me! If its snug then I have some work to do, but if it fits then nothing else matters...I feel great!

I also do measurements on my clients and body fat %. With body fat % you can calculate exactly how much fat and how much muscle you have.  And....I can guess how you lost weight by looking at those numbers. If someone lost 10lbs just by dieting it will show...they will have lost muscle. If they lost weight on a fitness routine including strength training they will have lost the weight in body fat! A healthy body fat for women is anywere between 20-30% depenting on your age and height.  But please, please, do not follow those charts that tell you how much you should weigh based on your height!  Those charts have no idea how much muscle you have and often times tell athletic women that they are considered obese!! Crazy!
On the other hand, just becasue someone is skinny does not mean that they are in good shape.  I have taken lots and lots of body fat percentages in my career and it amazes me how a skinny person can have such a high body fat %!!  A naturally thin woman may not have any muscle!  And of course definition is always more attractive too!  Who wants to diet and be flabby in their bikini? Have you been at the beach or pool and see someone thin take off their clothes only to see cottage cheese and a jiggly tummy?   If you are weight training and burning  more calories, you can eat more of the things you love and have such a better shape and definition!  Do you still care about the scale? 

What about your health?  Isn't that one of the main reasons we exercise?  Don't answer that! I know women mostly exercise for looks, but we should say yes!  Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women, so improving our cardiovascular fitness and decreasing our risk for other diseases and issues that effect women is huge!  The scale doesn't tell you how healthy you are.  If you meet with a personal trainer for a fitness assessment you can learn all the other numbers that really matter when we talk about health and fitness.

If you want to do some math here are some numbers for you:
1 pound= 3500 calories
1 pound of muscle burns an extra 35-50 calories a day
your weight x 10=  a guess of what your metabolic rate is (not completely accurate). This is how many calories you burn per day without doing anything. This is just your body working to be alive.
You should never go below this # or your body will think you are starving and go into starvation mode.  Exercising, especially weight training significantly increases this #, so you will need the additional fuel.

Estimates of how many calories you need per day:
your weight x activity level...
12= somewhat active
14= moderately active
16= very active
(these are not competely accurate numbers. This is just a guideline to see about where you should be)
If you would like more concrete numbers, see your doctor, or a fitness professional.
I say, check the scale every few weeks or so.  Its good to know where you are, but don't obsess! There is alot more that the scale doesn't tell you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Making Baby Food- Yummy!

So I made babyfood for the first time the other night!  It was soooo easy I don't know why I didn't do it with my first child!  I guess I am a little more consious of where my food comes from these days and I'm a little more frugal with my money as well.  So I made a goal this year to start my little one on real, organic fruits and vegetables.  I went to Trader Joe's the other night and got whatever I could in the frozen peas, mangos, green beans, and spinach and then bought fresh...carrots, sweet potatoes, and avacados.  I have a steamer for the microwave (microwave is probably not the best way, but fast), so I steamed peas and then carrots and used my hand stick blender to puree them, adding water to make them thinner.  It was so easy and made so many servings! I placed them into small containers, labeled them and put them into the freezer.  I have read that ice cube containers work really well becase each cube is a 1 oz serving, perfect for baby.  I just didn't  have any extra trays, so this works for now.  She had carrots as her first veggie last night and loved them!  I'm so excited about it!  I can't wait to try the other fruits and veggies!

I also did a little cost comparison....
A two pack of Gerber Baby Food is about $1.99 (so $1 per little pack, I think 2oz each). Its even more if you want Organic.
At Trader Joe's I bought:
16oz jar of organic crushed applesauce $1.99
2 lbs. Sweet Potatoes $1.79
1.5 lbs. fresh baby carrots $1.69
16oz bag frozen organic peas $1.99
16oz bag frozen organic spinach $1.99
16oz bag of frozen mango chuncks $2.49
16oz bag of frozen green beans $1.99
5 avacados $2.99
Total I spent: about $17.00 and think about how many servings I will get out of all of this food! There are at least 8 servings in each 1lb bag of food.  Its a great deal!

Nutrition wise, I read that some babyfood companies add tapioca and water to keep there foods longer and commercial babyfood has a shelf life of 2 years! Can you imagine eating two year old green beans? Uhh!

You can read more about making babyfood at this webiste:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

a day in the life of this mom....

Wake up and look at the clock.”Its morning already?” Think to myself "go for a run?"..... "No, way too tired." Think maybe tomorrow I'll get up early. Think about coffee. Baby cries. Get up go get baby and preschooler. Carry both to our bed! Make a bottle. Feed baby or wake husband to feed baby. Get in the shower. Think "wash the hair today?"...Decide no, go with the ponytail. Take off my towel and look in the mirror...think about my workout today. Pick out things I don't like about my body. Wonder where my boobs went? Get dressed. Make cereal for preschooler. Get clothes out for baby and preschooler. Change baby. Try to rush toddler to get finished eating. Brush teeth. Put on shoes. Try to get preschooler to get dressed (no luck). Wonder if I have time to make coffee? Pack diaper bag. Wrestle preschooler to get dressed. Start the car. Get baby in car seat. Put coats on. Think..."oh I didn't have breakfast!” Grab a protein shake or bar. Walk out the door. Go back in to take preschooler "potty.” Get in the car. Eat on the way to the babysitter. If through Starbucks! Sometimes talk on the phone (bad I know!). Drop off the kids. Finish the drive to work. Think about how I hate to drop off the kids everyday...wish I could be with them more. Think about everything I need to get done at work today. Get to work. Make coffee! Sit down and check emails. The craziness begins. Work on the group fitness schedule. Make a marketing piece for one of the trainers. Watch people workout on the treadmills from my office and wish I were them. At 12pm realize I’m still drinking coffee and I should eat lunch. Make the best choices I can. Be creative with my salad. Choose the cottage cheese and fruit. Finally start drinking water. Think about when I will have time to get a workout. Set a time I’m gonna stop working and workout. Hopefully get a workout! 3pm talk to the hubby for the first time today. Explain how busy I have been. Explain why I won't get out of work on time! Tell him that I haven't thought about what to have for dinner yet. Think about what the kids are doing. Wonder if they miss me? Hopefully get out of work at a decent time. Hopefully don't sit in traffic. Stop by Target for diapers or formula. Think about what we need to do tonight. Get home and kiss my family. Hope the hubby has made dinner. Hope its something healthy! Eat like I am starving...probably with a baby on my lap. Try to get preschooler to eat something...anything! Feed baby cereal. Spend some time with the kids. Try to catch Biggest Loser or Grey's Anatomy while playing with kids. Do some commercial break workouts (push-ups and crunches). Think about a glass of wine. Hopefully have a glass of wine! Put baby to bed. Maybe get a blog in. Lay in bed with preschooler and read books. Say prayers. Take preschooler to bed. Can barely hold my eyes open for the news. Feel too tired to be romantic with the hubby! And finally....hopefully...get some sleep before the baby wakes to in the night to eat!

If you are anything like me…your day is probably pretty similar! How do we do it?!

Half Marathon Training

Its that time of year again!  Each year I participate in the Go St. Louis Half Marathon. My very first two years I competed in the full marathon!  I know not everyone has the same goal as I did, but finishing a full marathon was always on my "life's goal list." After the first one I said, "I did one and I will never do another! Thats it for me!" A month later I was already planning for the next one I would do!  It can be somewhat addicting.  I have compared it to pregnancy and childbirth! train and prepare and look forward to this one big event for so long and the day comes and its hard and painful and you swear you will never do it again, but then you feel the joy of completing it and the feeling of accomplishment and all of the sudden, just like babies, you find yourself saying, "it wasn't that bad...I think I wanna do it again!"

Now... the second one wasn't near as great as I had hoped. I would never suggest doing two of the same marathon in a row, unless it is in a very exciting location.  The 26.2 miles seemed more like 46.2.  I was familiar with the course and I know the city, so the second time around wasn't nearly as exciting. My third marathon in Chicago was a bit more thrilling but equally as hard, and just like I said before, I told myself never again and here I am thinking about the next one!

As far as St. Louis though, I'm sticking to the halfs. And trust me, after the full it feels like nothin!  I have enjoyed over the years training other women to complete it.  A group makes the training so much easier and it holds you accountable. For many of the women I've trained, its their first half-marathon, so not only is it a huge commitment, but they want lots of coaching and information.  I love providing them the support and advice along the way.  It also makes me get out there on those Saturday mornings that I don't want to get out of bed!

This year we have done something a little different. My club is teaming up with a yoga apparel store to offer FREE half-marathon training and I am very excited to be the head coach!  Of course it is added work, but the reward of seeing these 50 (yes 50) participants cross the finish will be so rewarding!

If you are interested in getting more information about running the half marathon, please let me know. I would be happy to help some of you moms train!  Don't think you can't do it!  Anyone, and I mean anyone, can complete a half marathon.  Whether you walk or run, just finishing 13.1 is an accomplishment!  I challenge you to do it!  This will be the first year that I have two children, so my double jogger will quite heavy!  One was hard, so I'm really gonna burn some calories this year.  Its one thing about running that I really enjoy. Unlike going to the gym or a fitness class, if you run outside you can take the kids along and they usually love it....if the weather is nice enough to go out.  So far they have really challenged me with the stroller since one always wants to walk and the other doesn't love to sit still!  So not only am I training me, but I'm training them to sit and stay while mommy gets her workout.

I have alot of insight on the stroller thing too, so more on that next!
Go Mommy Go!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Motive

If you are like me then you often think back to the days before you were so crazy busy.....aka, the days before you had kids!  I remember as a young single personal trainer consulting with working women and moms who told me they "just didn't have the time to workout" and they "are always on the go, making it hard to eat healthy".  And my answer to them was always, "well, you just have to make time" and "you just have to plan all your meals for the week ahead of time." Great ideas, but wow, how naive was I???  No wonder they all rolled thier eyes at me and said, "you're young, just wait until you have kids!" Wow were they right!  I now know its a little more complex than that!.....

I sometimes find myself looking at single women or even married women with no children and wondering...."what do they do with thier time???" I listen to them tell me or someone else how busy they are and how they are so stressed out and I think "are you kidding me?"  I'm not discrediting anyone, I know everyone has busy lives and careers and hobbies, but I think that by far being a mother is the hardest job on earth (but also the most rewarding)!  I know we can find excuses for not working out or for eating out, and sometimes they are legitimate. As a fitness expert it does drive me crazy to hear people who only have to work give excuses for why they didn't get workout or why they had to eat fast food.  I'd like them to see one day in the life of a working mom. 

So the point of this blog is to share some of the struggles that we go through as busy moms trying to stay fit, to give you some good fitness tips, advice, workouts, and to let other moms know that they are not alone and that someone else shares their trials and tribulations. Hopefully we get a laugh here and there too! :)