Friday, March 30, 2012

The Non Diet Parts to Being Primal

So you have the general idea of eating primal, but is that it? Can it really be so simple? Almost. Most primal philosophy believe that you need to engage in some type of exercise, the general thought is that you should be able to run fast enough, jump high enough, climb far enough to save your own A$$. If you are older, or unable to do that its completely understandable. You should however be doing as much as you can. Mr. Sassy has a soon to be 90 year old aunt who insists on climbing the stairs up and down to the basement to carry up a stick of firewood at a time. She refuses any type of help in this saying its her exercise. The woman is as sharp as a tack and funnier then heck I would dare say she is in better shape then I am.

You should also be doing some type of walking (low level aerobic exercise) just as our ancestors did to forage, hunt for food and carry water. You also need to lift heavy things, whether this means throwing your kids over your shoulder and attempting house work or pumping iron at the gym there is a need to strengthen our body to make us able to "save our own A$$".

I will start by saying this, you need to play. Have fun, chase your kids, walk the dog, make a snowman, throw a snowball and run after a Frisbee. To enjoy life to have fun just for the sake of having fun. "Specific instructions for an unstructured activity are impossible (and counterproductive), but there is a basic guideline: anything goes. That’s about all I can tell you. Any further direction from me or anyone else as to how, what, and when would compromise the spontaneous nature of true play. It’s important to discover your own particular brand of play. Indeed, I think the desire for active leisure is hardwired into our genetics (just look at the benefits), only it’s often smothered by the rigors and pressures of contemporary adulthood."

Walking, we were made to walk, we have been walking for hundreds of thousands of years.
Walk slowly, walk quickly, walk uphills, walk downhills, in sand, over rocks. Walk as far as you can and do it often. Get outside or if its too cold indoors somewhere and walk, move your body and dance, get your heart rate to a level that's comfortable to talk that's right below can't talk.

Lift heavy things, women carried their babies around, they moved rocks, they hauled water, they carried animals they had killed, our ancestor lifted heavy things as an ongoing part of their day. Give it a try, carry a gallon of milk around your house 3x, it gets heavy fast. They lifted themselves into trees and climbed up rocks. You only need to do it 2-3 times a week, for 30 mins at a time.

Sprint, really, really fast. Sometimes our ancestors had to run for their lives, and they needed to be ready for that, by lifting heavy things around everyday, walking all over the place and playing. They were ready when the time came to get out of the way of an angry animal. You should be able to run fast enough to save your own butt. Once a week run as fast as you can for as long as you can, walk until you cool down, do it at least 8x, in less then 10 minutes.

Rest, recover, recuperate. Historic man did not go all out all day every day. He took a break, when he was tired he had a rest. If you sprint once a week and lift heavy things three times a week, that still leaves you with three days to play in. Golf, tennis, basketball, chasing the kids, hiking, whatever makes you happy and keeps you moving. Also in this point is sleep, get it and then get more. The average person needs around 8 hours of quality sleep every night. Go to bed by 10 and be up by 6, do the math and give yourself time to adjust but make sleep a priority during the 30 day challenge. Every once in a while you will slip up and not be able to get your sleep but hopefully if you are getting good quality sleep the rest of the time its not such a big deal. Sleep deprivation causes all manner of nasty problems in our bodies, we NEED sleep to reset our bodies and for our mind to process things. Not getting enough sleep at night? Noisy neighbor, waking kids, stuffy nose keeping you up? Nap, lie down and take a siesta, if your not getting good sleep at night at least try and lie down every day and get some wakeful rest if sleep is impossible.

Get sunlight every day. Vitamin D might just be the most overly talked about vitamin in this day in age, but that's because it is SO important. If you live in the far reaches of northern no where (like we do) you might have to supplement.

Avoid trauma. A broken bone was more then likely death if not being a permanent cripple in cave man days. Getting hurt is no fun, avoid it at all costs. Eliminate destructive behaviors, start wearing your seat belt, stop smoking, do not do drugs, don't drink to oblivion.

Avoid poisonous things. This should be even MORE simple then avoiding trauma, eating things that are inherently bad for us is bad!

Use your mind, challenge yourself mentally. Make friends, connect to your spiritual side, volunteer your time somehow, join a book club. Do sudoku, crosswords challenge your mind by do trivial pursuit. Start a blog ;).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eating Primal

So this whole primal thing can be confusing. You might say well I don't eat grains or sugars or processed foods. You are cutting out bad fats. Which is FANTASTIC but what do you do to take that a step further, to really embrace primal eating? Mark over at Marks Daily Apple has a great article on this, plus about a thousand other articles and a book covering all this. So I will sum it up for you this best I can to help break it down and tell you what we do. Tomorrow I will break down the non food parts of this lifestyle.

Step 1: Avoid grains, sugars, processed and unhealthy foods. Even if its a "real" food like dairy and you don't feel good after eating it, AVOID IT!

Step 2: Stop being scared of real foods, butter, oils, red meat, eggs. You get the point, almost every food in history has been demonized for one reason or another. The simplest thing you can do for yourself is to eat real food, the closer it is to the way it grew the better. Eat fat, eat meat enjoy and experiment.

Step 3: Eat more protein. The average American eating an average diet tends to not meet their daily protein needs often enough. " At a minimum you need .5 grams of protein per pound of lean mass/per day on average to maintain your “structure”. If you are moderately active you need .7 or .8, and if you are an active athlete you need as much as 1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass. That’s at a minimum, but it’s on a daily average. So a 155 lb moderately active woman who has 25% body fat (and thus) has 116 lb of lean body mass needs 93 grams of protein on average per day (116 x .8). If she gets 60 or 80 some days and 110 on others, she’ll still be in a healthy average range. And even if she exceeds the 110, it’s no problem if she’s eating low carb because the excess protein will convert to glucose, which will reduce her effective carbohydrate needs (see below). At 4 calories per gram, that’s between 320 and 440 calories per day in protein. It’s not that much"
Step 4: Be wary of carbs. By not eating sugars and grains it is really hard to even come close to eating over 150 grams of carbs a day. Eating under 150 and closer to 80 is a sure fire way to keep insulin levels low and help our bodies burn protein, fat and stored fat as fuel. Sure potatoes and starchy root vegetables have a good amount of carbs and so does fruit. A medium potato has 31g carbs, an apple has 17g of carbs, 1 cup of blueberries is 21g of carbs. Even if you ate all of that its only 69 grams of carbs. The problem with carbs is twofold, one they increase our insulin levels. With the outlook being that in the next 10 years 1 in every 3 Americans will be diabetic or prediabetic this is serious. Two, our bodies will use carbs as fuel first every single time, our bodies can easily access and break down carbs and use them quickly while storing all the fat and protein we eat. Which means an hour or so later we are hungry again AND you stored away the fat and protein you just ate. That equals out to weight gain. Our bodies do not do well being overweight, we are programmed to be lean and fit. That is how we thrive and prevent disease by being healthy, ironically enough when you eat healthy your body follow suits and looks healthy.

Step 5: Do not fear fat, saturated fat and learn about cholesterol. Do run scared from bad fats. Bad? Canola, corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, soybean and all trans fat anything hydrogenated fats are pretty scary too. Whats left? Olive, fish, coconut, palm, avocado, walnut, macadamia, sesame seed I will add here butter and animal fats as well. Fats are an amazing source of energy for our bodies. Our bodies are made and designed to use fat as fuel.

Step 6: Try to eat more of the animal. Make your own broth or stock from animal bones. Eat liver, heart, etc. We need the vitamins and minerals associated with these pieces of the animal we usually discard. The good thing is they are generally really cheap. The bad thing is, it takes a lot of nerve to start trying it.

Step 7: Eat more seafood, all types. Avoiding the higher mercury seafood and eating not much of the medium mercury.

I think that covers the basics, I also think it helps address the "what now" when you stop eating the grains, sugars and processed foods. Start small and change one thing at a time. It can seem really overwhelming to address this all at once so start with not eating processed foods. Then move on to avoiding sugars and grains. You get the idea, do what works for you or your family. The most encouraging part of eating this way is the immediate result of feeling so much better.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reality and Hope

Today big sassy is sad. There is a little 4 year old sassy girl at her school who has cancer. She is so upset and confused. She doesn't understand why someone so little has something so bad. She keeps saying "she didn't even smoke one time and now she has cancer."
How, how, HOW on earth do I explain to my daughter that life is not fair, that just when we think we have it figured out something like this pops into your life and proves you wrong. That some sweet, sassy, innocent little girl is suffering something so big and scary is heartbreaking no matter what her age. Her parents are heart broken, her big sassy sister is heart broken and who can imagine what that brave little girl is thinking as she falls asleep every night.
I explain to big sassy about chemo and radiation, about iv's and needles I explain that her hair might fall out and that her skin will hurt from all the drugs. I tell her in the simplest plainest terms that I can the unfairness of life and the pure rawness that is cancer. Something that breaks you open and tears you apart, like humpty dumpty, with everyone running around trying to put you together again. We talk about cells, that they are like legos and how cancer is the bad cells and how the medicine that saves you can make you so sick. And she is so sad, what must my poor little sassy think in her silence as she absorbs the cruelness of the world.
There is a benefit supper, a raffle, there is a walk to give hope and all to help raise money because putting this poor little sassy girl together again is a never ending flow of money. Its hours in the car to the hospital that is hundreds of miles away, its needles, medicine and prayers. Its the brief glimpse of hope and the heartbreak of losing that hope.
 All of this while trying to remember to spend every second, every moment with your little sassy, denying death, refusing to let it in. Knowing in your heart that it is still possible, that this little girl is a gift to her parents, to her sister, to her community.
Sassy wants to hug her, she wants to go take this girl for a walk to the park and give her cookies. I explain how this is not possible that she is too ill for all of that. So now big sassy is making bracelets, beading her heart away on little stretchy stings and praying to God that he help this little girl. She wants to sell all the bracelets and necklaces and donate all the money, she wants to walk, she wants to put her toys into the raffle.
I look at her and I am proud, I am brought to my knees with her honesty, with the love she has for someone she has never met. I am honored to have a daughter who looks at someone else's pain and wants to do anything she can to fix it, to make them forget it, at least for a moment.
I cannot wait to walk the hope walk with her, to help teach sassy that while there is unfairness in this world, that there are good people out there. People like her who make a difference, no matter how small, no matter how insignificant it seems at the time there are truly good, amazing people in the world who help to make all of us feel better. I want her to know to stand up for what she feels is right and to fight against what she knows to be wrong.
Cancer might not have been the lesson I thought I was teaching sassy about this week yet somehow I feel so blessed to be able to do just that. To teach her that often times others problems are so much larger then our own and the way we respond and the things we do to help are what make us better people. To teach her that she lives in a community that stands beside each other when we have a need and rallies one another up.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meal Plan Monday and a Challenge

Ahhh the life of the slacker blogger. I spent last week, I mean literally almost every waking moment, out of doors. It was amazing, over 70 almost every day, temp today? 30, with a windchill of absurd. So back to the grind ;). Of course its Monday and that generally means I should plans some meals. I am also instating a full 30 Day Challenge, based on the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.

Mr. Sassy and I have been super slackers when it comes to our diet, not our main meals mind you, but eating out crap, snacking on dessert treats after the sassy girls are in bed and all manners of badly influencing each other.So that means today starts day 1 of the 30 day challenge, if you want to join let me know, either leave a comment below or go to the blogs face book page HERE and leave a comment.

Not willing to go all out primal yet, or ever? I challenge you to a 30 day eat better challenge. Close off your pantry, no processed foods (that means ingredient lists), eat whole foods, butter not margarine, fresh or frozen vegetables and fruit not canned. Cut out your sugar and grain intake, SERIOUSLY, cut it out. If you need to sweeten your coffee or tea use the bare minimum you can. The longer you refrain from white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, syrups, etc the more you will realize how fruits and vegetables are naturally sweet and your desire will change to eating less sugar. The last part of the challenge is to see how you feel. Really think about it after you eat a meal, pay attention how hungry are you at the start of the meal, halfway through and when your done. Give it a solid week if you cannot commit to 30 days. Most people experience withdrawals when they cut out sugars and processed foods. Your body has to adjust to not just burning sugars and carbs as quick fuel and start depending on the fats, proteins and fresh produce.

A little musical inspiration, (from back in my good ol' days!)

L-Chicken and Salad
D-Crock pot Pulled Pork, Apple Coleslaw
B-Scramble eggs and cheese
L-Chicken and Salad
B-Yogurt with Toasted Nuts
L-Chicken and Salad
D-BBQ Burgers, grilled vegetables
B-Paleo Pizza Muffins (lazy mom moment, will be replacing the tomato step with pizza sauce)
L-Leftovers from dinner
D-Sausages, roasted root veggies
B-Leftover Pizza Muffins
L-Haddock and Salad
D-Crock Pot Paleo Pineapple Pork Ribs,
B-Crispy Potato Skillet
L-Leftover Pork Ribs
D-BBQ Rotisserie chicken,
B-Coconut Flour Pancakes
L-Leftover Chicken and Salad
D-Weekly Fridge Clean/Leftover Night

phew! Thats always such an ordeal...I really need to get better at this for some reason its really time consuming for me lately meal planning. I am excited to start my 30 day primal challenge, I really need to get back on the boat.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pink Slime Now Optional

I'm so glad the government is now allowing Schools the choice to purchase pink slime added or pink slime free ground beef to their lunch menus for NEXT year. I also love that while they provide the pink slime added ground beef, schools have to fend for themselves to find the non pink slime beef. Way to force an already stressed system a little more guys.

Pink Slime Update, Click Here.

Meal Plan Monday

After a lovely weekend of sickness we are back, and almost better then ever. Now to figure out some way to guarantee that no one else gets sick!

When I look at this blank menu, at times, it makes my headache. What a pain, it really is a hassle sometimes. I know its worth it and helps to budget but it seriously feels overwhelming when its empty.

A friend suggested last week to do more crockpot meals, and she right. I used to do more and drifted out of the habit but I do have some ol' faithfuls that I will start incorporating. Especially for Fridays since that is big sassy's gymnastics day. Due to the timing of it all we never seem to get dinner started and end up with pizza or drive thru dinner which is a huge budget blower since it wasn't planned for.

Nice spring days like this make me want to JUMP,JUMP!
B-Fried egg
L-Toast and leftovers (I am still recovering so gentle foods!)
D-Leftover boiled dinner (nom nom nom)
B-Squash and apples with bacon
L-Clean the Fridge
D-Ham and Potato soup
B-Coconut Flour Pancakes (gluten free)
L-Soup and Salad
D-Roasted BBQ Chicken (bone in skin on), Roasted Broccoli
B-Ham and Egg cups
L-Chicken and Salad
D-Primal Pizza (gluten free)
B-Leftover Coconut pancakes (reheat in toaster)
L-Chicken and Salad
D-Crockpot Pulled Pork, crunchy apple slaw (with honey not sugar)
B-Crispy Potatoes and Eggs
L-Leftover Pulled Pork
D-Having company so not sure
B-Kids request day
D-Mr.Sassy makes dinner

Mr.Sassy has been requesting pre made breakfast so I guess I should really step up my game with the whole Mason Jar Meals. Also I know I need to get more seafood in our diet but with sensitive tummies this week it ain't happening. Really struggling with ideas in that sense. It seems most people get their kids to eat them in "stick" version but since we are not eating grains that makes this hard.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

School Lunch Challenge Step 1

I told myself I was going to look into this school lunch thing. Its really important, I mean I would daresay at least 40% or the children at big sassy's school eat lunch program once a week, at least 1/3 eat it daily and a large number eat the breakfast provided. Its just so overwhelming. There is so much information, so much to slog through and everything points to the fact that these foods are NOT FOODS PEOPLE.  But its a government funded program and that must mean that they are healthy foods, right? Right? Most people agree, all sorts of foundations and organizations are toting the belief that we need to cut out sugars, salts, trans fats and exercise more. Very few seem to be really addressing the heart of this issue though and figuring out what to do when your child is in school eating school lunch.

I have battled in my own home getting rid of processed foods and hearing from so many people with serious health problems (diabetes, severe asthma, serious weight problems, gluten intolerances etc.) saying to me that they grew up fine eating all this stuff so my kids should too. I want to scream from the roof tops that your not "fine", at what point do you stop perpetuating the cycle?

 I literally still battle every single day to not allow junk food and highly processed foods in my cart at the store. I don't see why this shouldn't extend to the food at school. I mean not complicated involved menus, but simple, yummy, kid friendly food. Something to fuel their bodies and strengthen their minds. I don't need a lovely organic garden grown outside the kitchen doors with Jamie Oliver cooking the meals (we can all dream.) I really just want something healthy and simple. Something to be glad our kids our eating.


I started reading through Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution site and the very idea of what is involved scares the holy living crap out of me. I know that it takes one but the idea of being that one to want the change enough to speak up is terrifying. Especially being new to town I hate the idea of people thinking we are those strange people ranting on and on about healthy food. Its a small town, like super small. So as soon as I start opening my big mouth people are going to start pointing and staring. I mean I lived here less then 10 days before people were cornering me in the stores introducing themselves because they knew who we were.

HA! That's a hearting thought right? Really though the first part of this whole thing is easy. In all truth you might never need to go farther then this with the whole thing (lucky you!). My dear friend Shelly has a fantastic little sassy girl in school and she left some great feedback on my last school lunch post "Now that the school is making all fresh meal's in their own cafeteria they aren't prepackaged and she loves the salad bar that they have." My challenge to you if this is whats going on in your school is to still do the first step of Jamie Oliver's pledge (outlined below). If this is your school they put a lot of care into their lunch program, they WANT feedback. Then go shake the hands of who is in charge and make SURE they know you are happy, because you never know if your voice is the balance keeping that healthy lunch going. Schools are always needing to cut corners and find money that doesn't exist so make sure to have your voice heard by the person in charge of school lunches. At the next PTA meeting make sure the other parents are aware of how good they have it so that if school lunch changes happen they are aware and support good change and stand against bad.

The first step of all this is easy, go to Jamie Oliver's site and sign the petition. Second step, go eat lunch at your child's school, every day, for a week. Or at least a few times in a month, enough to get a solid idea of the food and atmosphere. Read the lunch menu ahead of time and go see if the food lives up to how good or bad it sounds. Are the Sloppy Joes processed from a can or is it freshly cooked ground beef in a home made sauce? Take pictures, write down your observations. Are the kids all eating? Do they seem to be enjoying it? Which parts of the meal are most eaten/most thrown out? Take the print out from the food revolution tool kit to help simplify.

I know this is really outside the comfort zone of most people. I also understand big sassy is in kindergarten and would find the entire prospect of mom at lunch FANTASTIC. Your sixth grade son might not. If that's the case talk to the principal and find out if you can go at a different time then your child and eat off to the side, or just come in and observe at a different lunch hour. Go in before lunch and check out the setup. Still chicken to do it? Grab some of your children's classmates mothers or fathers and drag them with you. 

I have this theory though that standing up for something you believe in is never comfortable and simple. Its really easy to join in with other like minded people, but it takes real bravery to do it first. So from this point forth until who knows when I am starting a School Lunch Challenge, follow this first step. See where it brings you, how do you feel about what you observe? Still a scaredy cat? Thats fine, the first steps a doozy (I haven't done it yet either!) so read Jamie Olivers Site HERE or Anne Coopers HERE. Don't have kids in school? Do you work somewhere that makes lunches for its employees like a hospital? Start there. Or share this on your facebook page for everyone you know who might have kids.

Leave me a comment below or on my facebook page  and let me know what you discovered. Don't want to publish it out loud? Up in the top right corner of the page is a contact me link so you can email me directly. Send me pictures to put up, I want to know what you guys are seeing at your school!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Garden Fever

I have fever. Its been over 30 degrees fahrenheit  at least 5 times in the last 10 days. To most of you that means its a cold snap, for us people in a northern climate that means spring is coming! Spring fever is coming on strong, I see many other people out puttering around their yards picking up sticks, sweeping away the disaster the snow and plowing has left and just standing outside and enjoying not having their nostrils and eyes freeze shut.

The last 4 years my gardening consisted mainly of containers and a small garden bed. Anything not planted in the container was free for all for the rabbits. They even began to use our containers on our deck to have their babies since it was safer from the skunks. This year I have a huge (to me) area to use for my vegetables, a raspberry patch, two large garden beds to use for herbs, vegetables, fruit, and flowers. PLUS containers and all the lovely beds surrounding the house for flowers and perennials. In short, I'm over the moon with excitement to start tearing out low growing evergreens and filling in the space with amazing arrangements of perennials. I can hardly contain my excitement as the seed catalogs pour in and I circle ALL the amazing things I absolutely need. I might have circled 702 different seeds and counting, but I will narrow it down when I realize that will cost at least a small fortune!

I have to also figure out some way to convince Mr.Sassy that we need chickens...

This year the key is to build the vegetable garden, get the raspberries in check, plant the beds for herbs and overflow veggies, tear out evergreens and start arranging perennials. I am also going to try and build the girls a bean tee pee, a sunflower house and a herb or grass covered table and chair! Also big sassy wants to start her own garden this year.
I'm sure that half of that will actually happen but a girls gotta dream. Especially since it started snowing again today.

My inspiration........

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

bean teepee

herb garden landscape design


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tardy for Monday Meal Plan

UGH MEAL PLAN. For Monday, so late that its Tuesday, pretty sweet huh? Yeah i'm just cool like that. Now last week I purposefully did NOT plan anything for the weekend since I knew Mr.Sassy was off and that means that its just food craziness in my house. Plus lots of traveling so its eating with friends (love) or grabbing something drive Thur (hate).

This week I am taking it easy, we are trying to do a spend less challenge so that means that I have to step up and find a way to primally eat cheaper. Good times right? Sure......OOOH plus fun times of fun times big sassy is off school from Wednesday through the weekend. Plus its ST.PATRICKS DAY WOOHOO.

In honor of the concert Mr.Sassy failed to properly predict, doesn't it Feel So Good, to be wrong?

B-Scrambled eggs with cheese
D-Chicken soup
B-Sausage and eggs
L-Leftover soup and salad
D-Shepard's pie with Cauliflower top. This was an amazing dish we didn't even miss the mashed potatoes.
B-Veggie and egg scramble
L-Leftovers and salad
D-Man Chili
B-Squash and apple breakfast add bacon (always add bacon.)
D-Paleo Pizza
B-Green Coconut flour pumpkin pancakes
L-Salads and ham wraps for the girls
D-St Patrick's Day boiled cabbage dinner
B-Scramble eggs with cheese and ham
D-baked pesto chicken, roasted broccoli, crash hot potatoes

I am having a new evil idea as well. I am going to start making some type of seafood once a week.Try to get big sas to expand her horizons when it comes to food, she eats a lot compared to a lot of kids but I want her to be exposed to it all. To be able to find a food she likes in all types of cuisine. Five is a hard age for food man.

Iron Man Insanity

Cannot wait to share this amazing story with you! A friend has written today's post to share her struggles of achieving her goals. Hopefully her story will touch you as it touched me. Granted my goals have never required so much physical and mental exertion but at the same time they have seemed just as unattainable.

As Spring approaches and the nice weather arrives we as mothers tend to get the itch to get outside and move! I have found as a mother of three it isn't always easy to get in the workouts that I would like to. So through the years I have had to come up with creative ideas to get the exercise I needed to stay healthy.

 Almost three years ago now I decided to do something very crazy. I decided I wanted to do an iron man! For those of you who do not know what that is. It is something only crazy people would do. It consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. So I started my training process... as you could imagine it takes many months and a whole lot of time away from your family to train for something like this.

Only a month into my training I was hit by a car on my bike. The extent of my injuries were severe. Coming within 1mm of taking my life. It took me a year to recover... and 4 surgeries. But through it all I continued to carry that dream of becoming an iron man. However, I learned a very important lesson from this unfortunate experience... that your children are only here with you for a short time. You never know when that time is going to be up.

 I decided I needed to find ways to include my children in some of this training. Not only would I be setting a good example for them but they would have the pleasure of helping their mom achieve her dream. So this past summer, we all did that! When I had 3.5 hour runs to do. My oldest would hop on his bike without a word of complaint and be my water boy. I am sure his quads did not enjoy the many hills (that he called mountains) that he had to climb with me. But he did it time and time again... with a smile on his face. When I did my short runs through the neighborhood during the week my two younger children would take their turn at being the water boy/ girl. We even bought my youngest an electric scooter that would go fast enough so he could keep up.

Spending 3-4 hours a day during the week training and 6+ hours on Saturdays was not easy on our family. But we all had a goal... to make mommy an iron man. To be creative my husband would take the kids to the lake where I would swim and bike and they would have fun swimming while I got my workouts in. After we would all have a big BBQ. Like I said, this was not the easiest thing to do with children. But we made it work.

The real reward came on September 11,2011 when I crossed the finish line of my iron man... with my children by my side. They were so proud of their mom, it was written all over their faces!

When you put your mind to something, like staying physically fit. You have to find a way to fulfil that commitment to yourself. Many things will come in the way, that is when you decide you are worth it... and make the time for you! Trust me, it will make you a better person and mother. There is nothing selfish about it.

Don't forget to follow Sassy Serendipity on facebook for updates!

Friday, March 9, 2012

19 Things You Should Be Saying To Your Kids

This post was an inspiration for me after reading it over HERE at Maternal Lens. Sometimes we forget they are people that we are teaching to be responsible, thoughtful and loving adults. We forget they really are people with valid opinions and feelings just like us. This is for me, to help me to remember to always do better.
1. I love you! There is nothing that will make me stop loving you. Nothing you could do or say or think will ever change that.

2. You are amazing! I look at you with wonder! Not just at what you can do, but who you are. There is no one like you. No one!

3. It’s all right to cry. People cry for all kinds of reasons: when they are hurt, sad, glad, or worried; when they are angry, afraid, or lonely. Big people cry too. I do.

4. You’ve made a mistake. That was wrong. People make mistakes. I do. Is it something we can fix? What can we do? It’s all over. You can start fresh. I know you are sorry. I forgive you.

5. You did the right thing. That was scary or hard. Even though it wasn’t easy, you did it. I am proud of you; you should be too.

6. I’m sorry. Forgive me. I made a mistake.

7. You can change your mind. It’s good to decide, but it is also fine to change.

8. What a great idea! You were really thinking! How did you come up with that? Tell me more. Your mind is clever!

9. That was kind. You did something helpful and thoughtful for that person. That must make you feel good inside. Thank you!

10. I have a surprise for you. It’s not your birthday. It’s for no reason at all. Just a surprise, a little one, but a surprise.

11. I can wait. We have time. You don’t have to hurry this time.

12. What would you like to do? It’s your turn to pick. You have great ideas. It’s important to follow your special interests.

13. Tell me about it. I’d like to hear more. And then what happened? I’ll listen.

14. I’m right here. I won’t leave without saying good-bye. I am watching you. I am listening to you.

15. Please and Thank You. These are important words. If I forget to use them, will you remind me?

16. I missed you. I think about you when we are not together!

17. Just try. A little bit. One taste, one step. You might like it. Let’s see. I’ll help you if you need it. I think you can do it.

18. I’ll help you. I heard you call me, here I am. How can I help you? If we both work together, we can get this done. I know you can do it by yourself, but I’m glad to help since you asked.

19. What do you wish for? Even if it’s not yet time for birthday candles and we don’t have a wishbone, it’s still fun to hear about what you wish for, hope for, and dream about.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Top Ten Things I Love for New Babies

Two little sassy girls later and it seems I have accrued a vast amount of things meant to assist with the raising of them. Especially for when those little sassies were under 1 year of age. Some were helpful, some plain did NOT help and some I could never have lived without. Here is a list of the top things that I think are essential for the first few months.
1. A swaddle wrap of some kind. The best one we ever used was a woombie, little sassy slept so much  better in this then any other type of wrap. I ordered mine through baby half off, for you guessed it, half off.

  2. My ring sling, a new discovery with little sassy. I have a sakura bloom double linen and I could not love it more. I still use it and she is 20 months! I never thought I would like it as much as I did I thought the extra "tail" would be so annoying, the comfort of it was amazing and the "tail" was actually helpful as a nursing cover, or head cover. Plus since it wasn't bulky I was able to wear her under my fleece or coat when it got cold out!

3. A good stroller, with big sassy we had the standard Graco travel system, it did its job and served its time. While pregnant with little sassy I tried out many different strollers and realized that there was a good reason to spend the extra money to get something that was a dream to push, compact and built to last. We have two, a bike trailer/jogger that stays home and a compact maclaren that stays in the car.

4. For big sassy she hated a swing and loved her little papasan baby seat. Little sassy was not such a fan of the seat and loved her swing. If I were doing it again I would definitely bug just the little seat and try and borrow a swing. Those suckers are $$$!

5 .Good car seats. I know this is probably a horse that has been beaten to death a thousand times, but keeping the kids safe in the car was so important to us. Plus I refused to deal with a car seat that was a hassle to move around from car to car. Both sassies have Britax car seats, little sas is in big sas's hand me down convertible and big sas is now in a frontier 85. is a great site with tons of good info about different safe car seats, talking about ease of install, whether a seat will last as long as a child needs it and much more.

6. Cloth diapers. Big sas was the queen of rashes, I wish someone had told me this option before she was too old. We wanted to eradicate that problem with little sas so we turned to cloth. There is a dizzying array of options out there and in some other post and time I will attempt to scale that mountain. For us, we chose Gro Via all in ones.

 7. Breastfeeding accessories, every item in this lists deserves its own bullet point, but I think they should be together. I have nursed both girls and these items have literally saved my life. Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter my midwives were actually shocked at how well this worked and now recommend it to everyone they know. Lansinoh breast pads, super thin and crazy absorbent. The gel cooling things that Lansinoh sells are amazing too. Cheap nursing tank tops from Target to wear the first few crazy weeks of nursing. 2 Cheap nursing bras that fit slightly larger cup size then when fully pregnant. Buy them cheap because what you need the first month is not what you will need forever. And after renting a hospital grade pump, owning an expensive one, the best hands down pump I have ever used is a Avent Manual. A good nursing pillow ( I used a boppy) helps more then you could ever imagine.

Natural Nipple Butter
8. Soothers, pacifiers, nukkies, whatever you call them, buy a few packs of different kinds. Both sassies loved them. I know this is right below breastfeeding and blah blah no soothers and breastfeeding but I don't buy it. Little sassy was born with suck blisters on both hands from sucking her hands so badly in the womb. If she had not had a soother she would have used me instead. (we use/used mam brand for both girls)
9. A rocking chair. Both sassy girls loved to be rocked and rocked and rocked. Especially when they are sick. Buy the best one you can afford and plan to keep it until you are done with babies and even after. A good quality name brand rocking chairs that are kept in good condition resell at amazing prices all day long.

10. Fisher-price baby tub with the sling in it. What an amazing invention. Sure you can attempt to wash baby holding onto a 8lb slippery little fish that flails about, but really why would you want to? I also really love Dr. Bronner's baby soap and a really gentle lotion at first like California Babies.

The last thing I think every new mother needs is your own good sense. In this day and age there is nothing that is more doubted and questioned then a mothers own thoughts about her baby. We are constantly questioned and coerced into being told what is best, what we need to do and how exactly to do it. A mother knows things and without allowing yourself the joy of discovering that, you miss out on things. If something doesn't feel right, quickly think about it, ask yourself why. If you can't figure it out (and keep in mind I am NOT talking about things that are dangerous such as not treating illnesses, riding without car seats etc.) then talk to other moms, talk to a trusted doctor, google it, read a baby book. Discover what other people are doing and figure out if it works for you. Some babies like swaddles, some like rocking, other babies want to not be touched. Who cares if your best friends sister did it this way, it doesn't guarantee it will work for you. Empower yourself, be proud that you are making choices that help your child.