Exercises for Moms

Curso de Instructor de Pilates

I know we moms are always running around getting someone something, carrying the baby, the groceries, running to the stove to save dinner, its endless. As much as we do all day, its hard for us to find time to actually exercise. For those of us on a limited income, buying the super expensive Bow Flex might not be an option, and in the winter, jogging in the snow does not sound fun, and who can with little kids in the house anyways.

Strengthening our core, or midsection, and toning our muscles is a good way to start. Pilates, in my opinion, are ideal. I use the Winsor Pilates videos, and I love them. I am a busy mom who does not have the opportunity to excercise outside much, don’t have money for an expensive machine, and have children, so the gym is not an option. With these Pilates videos, all you need is a VCR or DVD player, TV and the floor. Who doesn’t have those? These Pilates are strengthening my midsection, making me super flexible, and I assure you, you will be able to accomplish all of the moves within a couple of weeks. My two daughters remind me all the time to do my Pilates, and they lie on the floor next to me and do the exercises, so cute! Your children will learn everything right along with you, and hopefully will continue it later into their lives.

So what about cardio? Oh, my least favorite. Like I mentioned before, having children who are young may keep you from being able to run or jog outside. What is my solution? I assure you it’s cheap and easy. I run up and down the stairs. Now I’m aware that not everyone has stairs, or some of you have dangerous stairs, but for those who have safe stairs, this is super effective. It works your backside, legs, and gets your heart pumping. You could even carry weights for a workout for your arms. I start at ten times up and down. It’s a challenge, you will be puffing if you are like me. Increase by one more time everyday, and before you know it, it will be easy!

As moms, our time is limited, money may be tight, and sometimes we just can’t get away from our kids. These ideas are the perfect solution, so we no longer have the excuse to not feel and look our best. Even mommys can be sexy!

Why Buy Organic Cotton?

cotton plant, Texas, 1996, after chemical haul...

Some of us may have been there, standing in an aisle in the clothing store, trying to decide whether to buy the regular cotton t-shirts or the organic ones. The organic t-shirts cost several dollars more. Is it worth it? Is it worth spending more money on organic cotton products? There are many reasons that it is important to use organic cotton. The biggest reason is the amount of chemicals used in non-organic cotton and the effect they have on one’s health.

First of all, what is so bad about regular cotton and how it is grown? Regular, non-organic cotton is grown using synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Growing cotton uses up more than 25% of the insecticides used in the entire world, and about 10% of the pesticides used. About one third of a pound of agricultural chemicals is used in the making of one cotton shirt. About 1.25 pounds of chemicals are used in the production of a queen size sheet set. After a cotton shirt or cotton bedding is made, it is then treated with formaldehyde to make it resist wrinkling.

So those are the chemicals used in making non-organic cotton products. Are these chemicals bad for one’s health? Studies confirm that breathing in .1 parts per million of formaldehyde over a period of time causes headaches, dizziness, scratchy eyes and throat, nasal congestion, immune system and nervous system problems. Exposure to wrinkle resistant cotton shirts or sheets treated with formaldehyde can release up to 500 parts per million. It is possible that people have been living with health issues that have been blamed on other things, when the dangerous chemicals in the cotton they use every day, is the real culprit. If still not convinced that these chemicals are harmful, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has classed the chemicals used in the growth and production of cotton, as some of the most toxic substances on earth.

Now that one knows that these chemicals are harmful to one’s health, how is one actually taking in these substances, when not consuming them?  People wear cotton next to their bodies all day. Most people wear cotton undergarments, cotton shirts and other articles of clothing. However, that is not all. One spends one third of his or her life with their bodies pressed against cotton bedding. The chemicals are breathed in, and also are leached into the skin on contact. As one can see, it is possible for a person to be in constant exposure to the chemicals used in the production of non-organic cotton.

After hearing the negative aspects of non-organic cotton, what are the benefits of organic cotton? To be certified organic by the USDA, the cotton must be raised without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers and not sprayed with formaldehyde. The seeds used to grow the cotton must not be genetically modified organisms, in accordance with the laws of what is organic. In many cases, cotton raised organically, is raised in a manner that is more beneficial to the soil, and the earth in general. Organic cotton is also less likely to be produced using child-labor, which is a prevalent practice in some countries.

In conclusion, there are some serious health risks involved in our bodies being in contact with non-organic cotton products, mainly clothing and bedding. Our breathing, immune system, nervous system, and overall good health may be in danger from these deadly chemicals. So, everyone must decide, is it worth the extra money to be on the path to riding chemicals from one’s life? Good health and peace of mind is what some would call priceless.

How do I Get my Kids to Eat Healthier?

Eating Shiva

The best way to get your kids to eat healthier is to start when they are just beginning to eat solid food. Eating healthy is just like any other habit. If you start young and do it regularly, it forms a habit and could be part of your life for the entirety of your life. Most kids are started off on a diet of zero nutrition powdered cereal, sweet fruit sauces, Cheerios and other such things. The key is to develop a taste for foods that are not sweet, foods that expand their horizons, and foods that are nutrition packed. Egg yolk, pureed liver, mashed organic vegetables, yogurt, raw milk and a limited amount of pureed organic fruits would be the ideal diet for a baby just starting to eat solids.

As your kids get older and are sitting on their own at the table, start serving meals in courses.  When kids sit down to eat they are hungry of course, because wise mom has not let them eat snacks between meals. Start by serving the course that may be their least favorite, or is the most healthful. For example, do start with the salad course, the hungry kids are more likely to eat it, and follow with the meat and vegetables, and if they have any room left in their tummies, a small piece of bread and a small amount of dessert for a treat. If you serve them a big plate full of salad, bread, and main course what do you think the typical child will do? They will eat the bread, pick at the meat and vegetables, and leave the salad.

Kids also like to get involved in the preparation of the food. It takes some patience on the part of the parents, but let your kids stand on a chair and watch, or scatter the carrots into the salads, or sprinkle the salt and pepper on the steak, or stir the pasta sauce. It is exciting for them, gets them excited about food and preparation, and if they learn to cook they are less likely to resort to pre-packaged food in their future lives.

What we feed our children will affect them until they die. It will determine their quality of life, what diseases they will acquire or avoid, and teach and train them to make good, healthy choices that will benefit them, and their progeny for future generations.

5 Ways to De-Clutter Your Life

We all have clutter. We all have baggage. Doesn’t it weigh you down? It does me, and few things give me more peace  than de-cluttering. Of course, there are two forms of clutter, material and emotional, both of which are capable of dragging us down. Why not get rid of both forms?

1. The first way to de-clutter your life is to think before you shop. When I shop, and see something I like, before I put it in a cart, or put it in a cyber cart, I think to myself, “am I going to love this item forever? Can I see myself wishing I could re-sell it and get my money back for it?” If I think I am not going to love it forever, or want my money back a couple of months down the road, I just don’t buy it. Money is saved, and there is less clutter in my life.

2. The second way to de-clutter your life stems from the first. Why not surround ourselves with things that we LOVE? Instead of a houseful of things that we like, strategically place a few items in our homes that are important to us, and make us happy. Make your decor, closet, etc., be full of pieces that make your life more simple. If you use it once a week at least, then it has earned it’s keep.

3. The third way to de-clutter is to get rid of the stuff we already bought, and don’t love. Get yourself an Ebay account, and start selling! It is very easy, takes little time, and will make you some money. If that is not an option, take your unwanted stuff to a consignment store and make a little money, or just donate it to Salvation Army or Goodwill. What you donate counts as charity and you can write it off for taxes!

4. The fourth way to de-clutter is to make a list of items you really want to own. Make it a list of quality items that will last, and that make you happy. They will cost more money than a bunch of cheap junk, but you are more likely to take care of something that costs more. An example would be instead of buying five pairs of cubic zirconia earrings, save your money and buy a pair of real diamond earrings! That is less clutter, and you now own a quality item that you will take care of.

5. The fifth way to de-clutter your life is to get rid of emotional baggage. We all have it, and there is probably no way to get rid of all of it, but at least start. When you lie awake at night, what worries comes to mind? Those are the things you need to make better. Is there someone out there who you have grudge against, or maybe has a grudge against you? Call that person up, smooth it out, and you wouldn’t believe the peace of mind you will have.

Peace of mind is priceless! No material goods or grudge we’ve been nursing can take the place of it. Do what you have to do to reach a point in your life where things and worries are not weighing you down. De-clutter your life, and you will be well on your way.

The Real Breakfast of Champions

English: Three yolks from two chicken eggs; on...

Say goodbye to your typical breakfast of boxed cereal, muffins, and other sugary mainstream breakfast essentials. The worst thing we can do for our bodies, first thing in the morning, is a surge of sugar right into our bloodstream. Don’t believe me? Check the grams of sugar on your cereal, breakfast shake, or, worse yet, your pop tarts.  What our bodies need after having been asleep all night, is something to nourish it and prepare it for the day.

Whatever happened to the idea of bacon and eggs for breakfast? Eggs are one of the best sources of vitamins out there. If you don’t like fried eggs or omelettes, make yourself a smoothie using frozen fruit, honey, nutritional yeast, and farm fresh egg yolks. You won’t even know they are in there, and the egg yolks make a smoothie incredibly creamy.

Yogurt has been turned into almost a pudding snack for kids. If they don’t make the packaging super colorful and pack it full of sugar, kids won’t eat it. Well, get your kids started on homemade yogurt with a little jam, or maple syrup in it. The money you will save is incredible. To make yogurt all you need is 2 quarts of milk, and a 1/4 cup of plain yogurt. Heat your milk on the stove until it is luke warm, add the yogurt, stir, place in the oven, turn your oven light on, cover it with a towel, and leave it overnight. In the morning, you will have yogurt! Sometimes I add milk to my yogurt to make it like a kefir, and I just drink it down. It keeps you full and satisfied, and you won’t be reaching for those sugary muffins, or that bowl of cereal that has more sugars and carbs in it than we should eat in a week.

The advertizing for cereal and other sugary breakfast foods is clever. Don’t be fooled by a fancy ad, or promises of getting skinnier if you eat their product. Make your own breakfast for just pennies, and feel energized for the rest of the day.

Made in America

A waving American flag atop the United States ...

There are many political reasons to buy products that are made in America. I don’t think these reasons, however, are enough to convince all of us to spend more money on American- made products. It takes more of a  personal reason to make it hit home for us spend thrift types. For me, the two biggest reasons to buy American are the child labor laws in other countries, and the future of jobs in the USA.

What is more personal than the idea of children? Most of us have children, or know children that we love, and nothing hits home like the idea of child slave labor. Some of the countries that we give our business to, do not have laws prohibiting slave labor. Of course, child labor is illegal in America, and we can have peace of mind knowing American-made products have not been made by a poor, desperate child in a far away country.

I don’t know how our country expects families to survive, when there are so many jobs going overseas. Jobs are pretty personal to almost everyone who’s not a millionaire. Our whole lives revolve around being able to make money and provide for our family. If factories close and go overseas, if businesses are shut down because they can’t compete with the cheap labor in other countries, our own people are in big trouble.

Buying American isn’t just a political issue for the big dogs to fight over. The good of children, and our families here in America are what is at stake. Make buying American-made a personal issue for yourself, and little by little, if all of us do our part, things will change.