sugar:shock Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

sugar:shock is my journey to a life free of refined-sugars. After deciding I was 100% addicted to the sweet white stuff, I knew I needed to make a change. These recipes are my creations that allow me to enjoy my favorite foods without the typical refined sugars.


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Does anyone else get SO tired of breakfast? Ugh. I’ve always cooked for my family – we don’t do cold cereal on the regular – but I get tired of the same old eggs and pancakes.

I was super excited to try some pumpkin muffins, because hello, it’s fall! 😉 Everything I make these days will have to include either pumpkin, apple, or pear. Otherwise, I’m just not interested.

These muffins are super easy to double up and have extras to freeze or store in the refrigerator for the week. The mix-ins are easy to customize too, so make sure you use something the kids will eat…or let them pick!

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

 

1 large egg

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 1/2 cup date paste

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

dash of salt

2 tsp baking powder

3 cups old fashioned oats

Mixins: 3/4 cup total; mini chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pecans or walnuts, butterscotch chips, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds

*1/4 cup pure maple syrup, optional

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin tins with baking spray or coconut oil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except powder, oats, and chocolate chips. Add remaining ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Pour scant 1/4 cup batter into each muffin tin. Bake 20 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately, store in an airtight container, or freeze in airtight freezer bags.

Enjoy!

Notes: 
Store bought chocolate chips do include refined sugar. If you want to be completely sugar free, order chips online that are sweetened with stevia. 

Since I’ve been without sugar for so long, foods that would not have been sweet before are now super delicious to me. My family, not so much. 🙂 I did not use maple syrup in my recipe, but my family would have liked these muffins to be a tad sweeter. If your family is used to sugar, I would recommend adding a bit of pure maple to sweeten it up a bit more than the dates will allow. 

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21 Clean Holiday Drinks – ebook

Oh my gosh you guys! I am SO dang excited about this today!

Over the last couple of years, as I have been working on my own health and fitness, I have been super sad during the holidays when I feel like I can’t enjoy hot chocolate without a WHOLE lot of guilt. I know how icky the ingredients in those powdered mixes are, but it’s always been such a huge part of the holidays for us that it left me feeling really conflicted. I started experimenting with clean, healthier versions, and I was so shocked at how delicious they were! I honestly would never go back to the powdered hot chocolate after tasting the recipes I finally settled on.

I continued to experiment with other flavors, and before I knew it there were more than a dozen recipes I wanted to share. Originally, I had the idea to create an ebook of these recipes to share with my new health and fitness clients, but a friend convinced me it was something I needed to make more widely available. So…I am super excited today to announce the release of my first-ever recipe ebook!

HolidayDrinkEBOOK

This pretty little thing has over 21 recipes for clean holiday drinks, like hot chocolate, apple cider, wassail and eggnog. Some of the new flavors I created are even better than the originals: cranberry vanilla cider, peanut butter hot chocolate, and hot ginger tea…oh my!

Click the link below to purchase this ebook and get an instant download. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Add to Cart

Kandice

Roasted Cauliflower Fries {Healthy Family Recipes}

As I have tried to make our meals more fully balanced, I’ve realized that we don’t eat nearly as many vegetables as I have always believed. Half of our vegetable repertoire consisted of, not vegetables but starches: potatoes and corn. Did you know these are not considered vegetables, nutritionally speaking?

I knew we had to branch out beyond our canned green beans and steamed broccoli, so I’ve been experimenting lately with our veggies. This is one method of preparing a veggie that we have absolutely fallen in love with! Roasted vegetables have better flavor and texture, both super important when you’re trying to impress a picky husband and four picky kids.

This particular recipe couldn’t be easier. Chop a bunch of cauliflower into florets (our family requires two full heads of cauliflower!) and toss it in your oil of choice (just make sure you’re choosing olive or coconut oil so it’s actually beneficial and not just added calories!), then sprinkle with just about any seasoning you could possibly think of. One of the benefits of cauliflower is that it’s mild flavor is well suited to taking on just about any flavor profile you could hope for. Having a Mexican themed meal? Sprinkle with taco seasoning (from the store or a homemade variety) and you’ll be in heaven! Last night we were simply grilling steak, so I opted for my homemade seasoned salt from this recipe. I was completely shocked when my family scarfed down the entire batch of cauliflower fries…two full heads worth! So if your family is picky with their veggies, or cauliflower in particular, give this a shot…you just might find a new love! 🙂

cauliflowerfries

Kandice

Best Time of Day to Workout?

As a fitness coach, one of the questions I get most frequently from my clients is, “What is the best time to do my workouts? Is it okay if I do it when…” Many people who start a new fitness routine have never really made fitness a priority, and they feel like complete beginners, newbies who are probably missing some vital steps along the way. This fear can make it really hard to stick to your new program. You get thinking “Well, if I can’t do it right, why bother?” This is where having a fitness coach can be the most useful.

So, what do you think? IS there a “best time of day” to do a workout? I’ve always had my own answers to this, but I’ve decided to do a bit of research to see if my advice was correct. I’ve narrowed it down to five times of the day that are best for completing a workout.

1. Workout when you can and will do it.

This should be a major spoiler for you. The very best time of day to complete your workout is the time of day that you are willing to do it. If I were to tell you that working out at 8 a.m. was the only time you would achieve maximum results, but you have to be to work by 7 a.m., what would you do? Yeah, that’s what I thought. You’d quit. Some people would be able to move past advice such as that, but most would take that as “I’ve failed before I even started” and never really try.

Seriously, a workout is a workout. If you put in that program and push play, or go to the gym, and you give it 100%, your body will thank you. It isn’t going to scold you for picking the wrong time of day. Look at your schedule. When are you most likely to be able to dedicate a portion of your day to a workout? Set aside the time, put it in your schedule, and just do it. Give it your all, or as Tony Horton says, “Bring it!” You can’t go wrong if you do this consistently.

Enemy of Best

2. Workout when you feel the best.

It’s really hard to “Bring It” if you’re trying to workout when you feel crummy. For some people, mornings are just no good. My husband wakes up feeling queasy and struggles to put his full effort into an early morning workout. I, on the other hand, wake up feeling hungry, and if I can just eat a quick banana I feel pretty amazing if I workout in the morning. You would think that knowledge would help me get out of bed easier. 😉

Moral of the story? You’ve got to pick a time of day that not only fits your schedule, but that fits your physiological wellness. You can’t workout at 9 p.m. if you’re half asleep and too busy yawning to catch your breath.

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3. Workout when your glycogen stores are full.

Okay, first question: What is glycogen? Glycogen is the main form of carbohydrate storage used by our bodies, and it is broken down to be used as energy. When your glycogen stores are low, your energy is low and you’ll really struggle to complete a workout. It is used up quickly by exercise, brain activity, and pretty much anything else you do in your day. It’s replenished mainly with carbohydrates (duh), so your glycogen stores are highest right after a meal.

Have you ever been pushing hard with a fitness routine, really watching your food intake, and just busting butt to get some good results when things seem to come to a screeching halt? You hit a wall and suddenly you’re not able to give your workout the full effort any longer and you just feel lousy? In the nutrition world, we call that “the bonk”, and it’s caused by depleted glycogen stores. This is one reason why carb-free diets are discouraged, especially if you are completing a fitness routine. Your body needs those stores to balance blood sugar levels and keep energy high.

So, while your body can sometimes story glycogen through the night and have it ready to use for a morning workout, more often than not your body is going to need some help if you plan to workout in the morning without a meal. We like to use the Results & Recovery formula to help in times like this, but this can also help you to realize that other times of day (right after dinner? during your lunch?) can be successful workout times as well.

GoodFuture

4. In the morning on an empty stomach

Um, wait. Didn’t we just say that the glycogen stores are too low to do this? Yes, and no. It will vary for everyone, and some people will have more of those stores available in the morning than others. The biggest benefit of this workout time, and probably the reason many people assume it’s the ideal time to workout, is that when your stomach is empty your body puts all that energy into burning fat. Sounds pretty awesome, right? But here’s a little spoiler for you: burning glycogen is more effective at losing body fat than burning fat. Whoops.

So wait. I’m not telling you working on an empty stomach is bad. But I’m not telling you it’s good either. You’ve got to know what you’re doing and listen to your body. Many recommend a lighter workout in the morning hours to help your body cope with the lack of glycogen stores, and it can actually help kickstart your metabolism for the day. But doing very intense cardio workouts (Insanity, TurboFire) in the morning on an empty stomach can cause you to “bonk,” which completely halts all progress. So if first thing in the morning is your ideal time to workout, be sure to listen to your body, choose a lighter workout, and consider grabbing something like Results and Recovery to help boost your energy stores.

QuickFix

5. At night before you go to bed.

This tends to be a very common time of day for people to complete a workout, especially when they are doing a home workout program. After the chaos of a day of work, errands, kids, etc, you finally have a few minutes to yourself to get it done. You might have guessed already that this is not optimal. Working out before bed can interrupt your sleep, which is absolutely necessary for proper recovery during a fitness routine. Exercise also uses up a lot of the vitamins and other nutrients you consume during the day. More of those nutrients are burned while you sleep, and since most of us doing a fitness program are also on a reduced calorie intake, we run the risk of depleting our stores and causing our body to shut down the metabolic process. Not really what you’re looking for, right?

But, since we have to workout whenever we can, even if that means the evenings right before bed, consider using Results and Recovery or having a small meal after your evening workout to avoid depleting the stores of nutrients overnight.

organic by Kim Klassen

Moral of the story?

     SmallestStep

Yep, you guessed it. There is no best time of day to workout. You have to find the time that works best for you and your schedule. The important thing is to understand how your body works and what it needs so you can counteract the cons of a particular time of day and benefit from the pros.

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So tell us…what time of day do you usually get your exercise in?

 

Happy Independence Day!

We’re taking this weekend off to celebrate with our families, but we couldn’t miss the opportunity to acknowledge a holiday that has rapidly gone from a celebration of our independence to a weekend of BBQ worship. 😉 Since so few of us know the history of Independence Day, we thought it would be fun to share a few points of interest:

Our Declaration of Independence

  • Independence Day became an official holiday in 1941, but has been celebrated unofficially since the day in 1776 when our newly formed Congress signed the Declaration of Independence.
  • The number of people estimated to be living in the newly formed nation on July 4, 1776 is 2.5 million. In 2014 we have more than 317 million people in the United States.
  • Many people did not know that the majority of the Declaration was drafted by Thomas Jefferson. It was believed for many years to have been a collaborative effort, rather than the work on a single man.
  • The Declaration is not only a statement of independence from our mother country, but a list of grievances against the King to justify the decision.
  • Today, the original Declaration of Independence resides in the National Archives in Washington, D.C

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Flag of the United States of America

  • The original flag of the United States of America is widely believed to have been made by Besty Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress.
  • The official stance on the origination of the flag is that it is unknown who designed and created the first flag.
  • On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
  • The flag continued to evolve as the nation grew, until it reached it’s current design of 50 stars and 13 stripes.
betsyross

Betsy Ross flag

13star

First Official United States Flag

50star

Current United States Flag

  •  Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, reporting to Congress on the Seal, stated:

    “The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”

  • A book published by the House of Representatives in 1977 explains further:

“The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.”

  • Have you ever noticed the flag patches on military uniforms are placed backwards? Here’s why:

The regulation states that when authorized for application to the proper uniform the American flag patch is to be worn, right or left shoulder, so that “the star field faces forward, or to the flag’s own right. When worn in this manner, the flag is facing to the observer’s right, and gives the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward. The appropriate replica for the right shoulder sleeve is identified as the ‘reverse side flag’.” (Army Regulation 670-1)

Flag Etiquette

The following information on proper flag etiquette is taken from The Flag Code, posted at http://www.usflag.org:

  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
  • When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
  • When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Have you ever had the opportunity to observe or participate in the retirement of a flag? It is an incredibly powerful ceremony that will make your heart swell with pride and love for our nation. If you have not had this opportunity, I would highly encourage you to attend one soon. Contact your local Boy Scouts of America office to find out if any ceremonies are scheduled to take place in your area.

Independence Day is an opportunity for us to express our love for our nation, our appreciation for our forefathers who poured their hearts and souls into freeing our nation from tyranny, and to show our respect and appreciation to those men and women who serve today to protect our freedoms. Remember to show respect for the flag and thank a veteran or active duty serviceman or servicewoman at every available opportunity. Teach your children about the flag, and about our country’s humble beginnings. Teach them to have respect for our history as they no doubt hold our future in their tiny hands!

Enjoy your celebrations this weekend!

Happy Independence Day!

 wtr7259

Fit Kids for Summer Series: 5 Ideas to Help You Lead by Example

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Today is the last day of our Fit Kids for Summer Series! Have you enjoyed it? Drop us a comment and let us know what your favorite post was, or share on our Facebook page a picture of you and your kids getting fit together!

Today I’m going to share with you my ideas on how to lead your kids toward a healthier lifestyle by your own example. But first, here are the links to all of the posts from our awesome series. Many thanks go out to our awesome guests who contributed!

Summer Bucket List from Hillary

10 Exercises from Your Childhood from Andie at Maybe I Will

Proper Nutrition for Your Kids from Evi at Eyeliners and Erasers

25 Ideas to Keep the Kids Active from Samantha at Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Summer Explorers from Michelle at My Two Seasons and Love That Shot

5 Ideas to Help You Lead by Example by Kandice


If you are anything like me, a large part of your summer turns into “go do this” and “go do that”, rather than “let’s do this” or “let’s do that.”  As parents, many of us tend to follow the saying “Do as I say, not as I do.” We say we want our kids to be fit and healthy, but we don’t lead by example. Even those who are trying to become more fit and workout, we tend to do it either away from the kids at a gym, or after the kids are in bed (or before they wake up) so we don’t have to deal with them climbing all over us and taking our attention away from the workout. For a lot of moms, working out is not only our stress reliever, but our chance to have some peace and quiet!

ImageI won’t lie, I’m guilty of the same thing. However, there are plenty of times where I don’t get the workout done in the morning and I know I won’t have time in the evening, so I have to squeeze it in during the day. I end up with toddlers climbing over or under me and big kids crowding into my little space to do the workouts with me.

But you know what? Wow! What an amazing thing to see your kids get off the couch and do a workout with you! My seven-year-old son had more than once done enough of one of our workouts to actually be sweating and breathing heavily.

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My eight year old daughter (notoriously lazy like her mama) loves to do her own workout when she has the living room to herself, and she will do the entire 40 minute Tony and the Kids program. The whole thing! Smiling the whole time.

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My four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son can do a MEAN downward dog. 😉

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So here are a few ideas to help you teach your children to live a more fit lifestyle…leading by example!

5 Ideas to Help You Lead by Example

1) Let them join your workouts! Make workout time a family event by clearing space and bringing the kids in the room with you. Yeah, yeah, you don’t have enough space. You should see my living room. 😉 Shove the couches into the kitchen (yes, I’ve done it!) and just make room for the kids. No, it won’t be the best workout you’ve ever had, and yes, you might decide to get in an extra, more intense workout after bedtime. But your kids will be seeing you put exercise at the top of your list of priorities, and they will be doing the same. When your son invite a friend over and talks him into doing P90X rather than playing with Legos, you’ll know it’s working. 😉

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2) USE your kids in your workouts! My husband will often have whichever kid is closest to him help push him deeper into a stretch. Occasionally, he’ll grab somebody and bench press them rather than using the weights. Hilarity ensues every time. For myself, I usually have my kids grab the camera so I have something new to post for my followers.

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3) Share! Many who are working on becoming more fit are also incorporating healthy products into their nutrition. For me, it’s Shakeology, and my kids LOVE these shakes! My two-year-old will come running through the house if he heard the blender going, and he won’t give me a moment’s peace until I either share with him or make him one of his own.

How many of you buy protein shakes? Granola bars or fresh produce? And how many of you hoard the healthy stuff and give the cheap food to the kids? Yes, healthy food can sometimes be more expensive. But is that little extra bit out of your grocery budget really worth the bad habits you’re teaching your kids? If they are raised on cold cereal and boxed dinners, they’re going to grow up loving that type of food and find it very difficult to change their eating habits when their metabolism finally slows. Teach them the healthy habits now while they’re willing and you’ll reap the rewards later.

 

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4) Challenge them! When you’re out and enjoying other activities, challenge the kids occasionally to what we call “Feats of Strength.” Randomly call out that you want them to do ten push-ups or twenty jumping jacks. Or ask who can do the most jumping jacks in a minute. See who can hold a plank longer or do the best Warrior 3 pose. Ask them to show you their muscles after a workout or Feat of Strength and be sure to praise them for all their hard work.

We like to go for hikes or walks as a family, and sometimes just with friends. Our oldest son likes to be the leader and he likes to lead…from a distance. 🙂 He’s fast and has no patience waiting for the little ones to keep pace. If he’s getting too far ahead of the  group, we’ll call out to him to drop and give us ten, do twenty jumping jacks, or something similar. It’s always enough to get a little of that energy out while we’re all catching up, so that he’s better able to stick to our pace for a few minutes. All the while, he feels like The Man, and we’re sure to tell him that he is indeed The Man. 🙂

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5) Local events. There are so many local events that can help you keep your kids active! Are you a runner? Take your older kids with you for a 5K, even a color run if you can! My son was SO excited when I let him join me for this run, and he was a rockstar! He started out strong and was mad that I wouldn’t let him go ahead of me. About halfway through he just wanted to be done, but we pushed through together. He was so tired, but he kept going. When we got to the end, there were crowds of people lining the path, cheering on the runners. I told him “Look at all those people cheering for you! Let’s finish it strong and give them something to cheer about.” He immediately picked up the pace and ran the last few hundred yards, with tons of people reaching out to high-five him and tell him how awesome he was. What an amazing experience for a young boy! To have so many people apparently adoring you for your strength…he’s already begging me for another.

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There you have it. Hopefully, you’ll agree that letting the kids see you workout is something that will benefit them for a long time to come. It doesn’t matter one bit if your own fitness goals are slowed a little by the children. What you will be measuring is their own talent, skill, self-confidence, and health. And they will indeed amaze you and everyone around them with their dedication and enthusiasm, which in turn will encourage you to continue with your own workouts. Now, get off the computer and go workout!

*If you would like to know more about the workout program I show above called Tony and the Kids, click on the image for more information. Another program is also available for kids called Shaun T’s Fit Kids Club. This one is awesome too, with Shaun T teaching the kids how to dance (and getting their exercise in the meantime). Email us at fitmama.fitfamily@gmail.com for more information!

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Fit Kids for Summer Series: Summer Explorers

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Our Fit Kids for Summer series is winding down. Haven’t you LOVED all these awesome ideas? This will be our last guest post, and next week you’re back to hearing from little old me. 😉

Today’s guest is the lovely Michelle from My Two Seasons and Love That Shot. If you haven’t found her pages yet, go check them out!


I love this time of year… Longer evenings, warmer weather, kids ready to de-stress from school. One of our family’s favorite things to do in the summertime is to go exploring! It is such a great activity on many levels:

  • It gets you moving. Exploring is no fun sitting on your bum!
  • Exploring engages your brain. You’re constantly taking in new information.
  • You learn cool things!

Summer Explorers - 7 Ways to Keep Your Kids Active and Learning
Here are some of our favorite ways to explore as a family…

1. Go Rock Collecting

My girls love finding pretty rocks. It doesn’t matter where we are, if they see a rock, they want to pick it up and take it home! Going on a hike in the foothills or on a walk along the river are great places to discover interesting rocks. Bonus, it’s great exercise with all the walking, bending, squatting, and carrying rocks!
Summer Explorers Idea 1- Go Rock Collecting

2. Go on a Nature Walk

Spending time in nature is great for your health. The fresh, clean air refreshes your mind and body. Make a game out of your nature walk; bring a list of things to find and discover. It keeps the walk interesting and helps to hold your child’s interest. My girls love to look for wildlife on our nature walks. We’ve stumbled across squirrels, birds, rabbits, and even deer on some of our walks!
Summer Explorers Idea 2 - Go on a Nature Walk

3. Take a Photo Walk or Hike

This is another great way to keep things interesting and your child engaged on your explorations! We love to bring our cameras and find neat things to photograph. My girls often find things they want to take home and keep, but we try to teach them to leave nature how they found it so that everyone can enjoy what they see. A great alternative is to have them take pictures of the things they find, then they can take the memory of what they discovered home with them and it will last forever!
Summer Explorers Idea 3 - Take a Photo Walk or Hike

4. Take a Walk on a Greenbelt

You don’t have to drive far to be in nature. Many cities and towns have nature paths or greenbelts running through them. We love to take an evening stroll through the greenbelt. It’s so relaxing and often we can’t even tell we’re in the middle of our city. Sometimes we’ll grab our bikes and take a ride on the trails in the greenbelt. It’s amazing the things you can discover there too. We’ve even come across horses!
Summer Explorers Idea 4 - Take a Walk on a Greenbelt

5. Visit a Natural History Site

Another great way to explore is to visit natural history site in your area. They usually have trails through the sites you can walk on or hike through. We love to learn about our state’s history and get hands on, and “feet on” experience! Go to your state’s website and look up “State Parks” or “National Parks” to find natural history sites in your area.
Summer Explorers Idea 5 - Visit a Natural History Site

6. Take a Hike

Hiking is excellent exercise. It can be a physically and mentally demanding experience for your kids, but when they arrive at their destination it’s amazing to see the pride and sense of accomplishment they feel! You can also find hiking trails in your area on your state’s website.
Summer Explorers Idea 6 - Take a Hike

7. Discover New Places

My family loves to discover new places we’ve never been to before. Some of our most fun times together as a family have been hiking through a forest or along a river we’ve never seen. Sometimes the vegetation and wildlife is different from what we see in the area right where we live. If you’re out on vacation this summer, plan a little hike somewhere along the way. You just might have a great time and it’s a great way for your kids to burn off a little energy!
Summer Explorers Idea 7 - Discover New Places
I hope these ideas inspire you to get out with your kids this summer and do some exploring! Getting out together and being active as a family is an excellent way to help instill good fitness habits in your children. Exploring has become one of family’s favorite things to do and we’ve created so many wonderful memories over the years. So get out there and have some fun!

Fit Kids for Summer Series: 25 Ideas to Keep the Kids Active

Hey everyone, happy Friday! Is anyone else as ridiculously excited and relieved as I am that the weekend is finally here?! Whoop! We are continuing our Fit Kids for Summer series today, and you’re going to love today’s post.

Our guest today is Samantha from Fearlessly Creative Mamas. Her blog is chock full of recipes,  crafts, and other fun stuff, so if you haven’t visited it yet you should head over now!  Oh wait…not NOW now, but LATER now, after you’ve read her post below! 😉 Leave us a comment and tell us your favorite new idea so far in the series! -Kandice


I am sooo HAPPY that school is finally out for summer break. I think I have been counting down the days since like Christmas! I’m sure I will be happy for it to start back up by the time September rolls around though.

Me and the crazy kiddos!

I love summer. It is my favorite season and we are so busy in summer. I have come up with a great list of activities to keep you and your kids active this summer, hopefully you won’t hear the word bored as much! 🙂

1. Play hopscotch. It will keep your kids moving, and it’s a great way to keep them practicing writing their numbers and counting.

2. Jump on the trampoline. If you don’t have one, check out the local Ijump. It is a great way for the kids to burn off some extra energy.

3. Try to keep using electronics to a minimum. My kids will be hard to talk into this, but I keep reminding them, we only get a few months of nice weather, so get outside and enjoy it!

4. Take them on bike rides. Even if you don’t ride a bike, you can walk or jog along side.

5. Go on nature hikes. This would be a great way to teach them about different kinds of tree and animals.

6. Have races with them in the backyard. Winner gets to pick where you have ice cream that night.

7. Jump rope. They have jump ropes at Walmart in the kids department by the hoola hoops for 97 cents!

8. Make treats together, like cookies, and while they’re cooking, do a quick workout together; jumping jacks, push ups, etc. My kids love to do workouts with me, even if they don’t do it exactly right.

9. Run through the sprinklers, or get a slip and slide. Those things are so fun and will wear the kids right out!

10. Take them to Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Leo’s, or somewhere else with a play place, and let them go crazy!

11. Do yoga together. They might show you up since little kids are so flexible, but it’s fun to watch at least 🙂

12. Take them to a near by park to play.

13. Make a circuit in the backyard with different stations. So like the first one do 20 jump ropes, the second dribble a ball 10 times, etc.

14. If you have a Radio Flyer wagon, have them give each other rides with it across the yard.

15. Have a scavenger hunt in the backyard.

16. Play Mother May I? Did you play that when you were little? I really liked it!

17. Have your kids help you do yard work, even just pulling weeds.

18. If your kids are giving you grief about limiting electronics, like I know my kids will, then require a certain amount of other activities. Like play outside for an hour, or if they have chores to do first.

19. Go swimming. This is one of our favorite family activities in the summer. We like to go to Rexburg Rapids, Ross Park, Lava Hot Springs, Heise, and this year we going to Rigby Lake for the first time.

20. Go skating. We haven’t braved it yet since our kids are kind of young still, but it will happen soon. Starlight Skating is where I liked to go when I was little.

21. Go bowling. Bowlero is our favorite place in town.

22. Summer sports are a great way to keep your kids active in the summer. The YMCA has great programs.

23. The Paramount Theater has a great summer movie program, and they are so inexpensive!

24. Do a 5k with the family. They have tons in the summer! So far we have done the Color Run, and we have registered for the Neon Vibe, but I have heard about a really cool super hero one that I want to look into, and I know there is another one on the 4th of July that sounds like a lot of fun too!

25. Go camping! So much fun and so much to do!!

I hope this list has given you some great ideas to keep your summer fun and hopefully not hear “I’m bored” so much! 🙂

Posted by Samantha

Fit Kids for Summer Series: Proper Nutrition for You and Your Kids

We are onto Week 3 of our Fit Kids for Summer series. Are you loving it? Our guest today is Evi from Eyeliners and Erasers. She’s sharing some incredibly helpful information today, so take a look, and be sure to share it! -Kandice


Keeping your kids full is a challenge in and of itself. When a kid plays hard that makes it even more difficult for a mom to keep said kid out of her cupboards and outside. Nutrition plays a large role in keeping kids happy and healthy.
Ever wonder how much food is enough and what foods are considered good enough for your growing and active kid? It is hard to know when enough is too much. Luckily there are plenty of sources that provide a breakdown of what active kids (and moms, too!) need.
Here is a list of helpful tips to figure out the puzzle that is nutrition:
1. Drink enough water.
-When exercising, be sure to schedule to drink 5-9 ounces every 20 minutes.
-Sports drinks are to be used for an hour or more of exercise. Sports drinks should not be consumed at any other point in a day. Many people believe that sports drinks are healthier than sodas, but in all reality they are just as bad if not worse.
-Do a basic equation to calculate how much water to consume during exercise. This equation works for adults, too.
Step one: Weigh yourself before exercise
Step two: Weigh yourself after exercise
Step three: Multiply the number of pounds lost by 15.4
Step four: The end number that you get from step three is the amount of ounces an individual needs to drink throughout or immediately after exercise to replenish water lost.
Inline image 1
2. Eat the RIGHT carbs.
Good carbs consist of high fiber, low sugar plant foods that deliver fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals along with grams of carbohydrate, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits.
3. Eat before exercise.
This rule is important because you do not want to crash during exercise. Eat high and sustainable foods beforehand. Whole grains and low sugar fruits are great; however, save the bananas for post exercise (there are a lot of opinions on bananas in the nutrition world!).
4. Eat protein!
Protein powder shouldn’t be your only source of protein. REAL protein can be found most easily in meat and dairy. For very active kids (2-3 hours of activity daily) remember this ratio for everyday use: 55/15/30.
55% Healthy carbs (do not “carbo load”)
15% Protein
30% Fat (healthy fats, not JUNK food)
For moderately active kids and adults, 10-12% of caloric intake should be protein.
 
Endurance athletes need 1.2-1.4 g protein/kilogram of body weight every day. 1 kg equals 2.2 pounds. 
 
Strength trained athletes need as much as 1.6-1.7 g of protein/kilogram of weight.Inline image 2
5. Vitamins and minerals are necessary.
If you eat healthy, well-balanced meals, you and your kids will get most of the nutrients you need. You need to be sure your kids get plenty of calcium and iron when you know they’re going to be playing hard on the field or in the yard. 
 
Calcium makes for strong bones, and iron carries oxygen all over your body, especially during exercise.
 
6. Don’t let your kids crash diet.
The older a child gets, the more involved in sports they may get. Sadly, for many children the older they get they also become more concerned about their image. Crash dieting in any form, whether it is to move up a weight class or be small enough for any given sport, can severely damage a child’s body. 
 
For adults, crash dieting can kill your metabolism. Your best bet is to actively implement a healthy lifestyle, filled with clean eating and active living.
 
Below you’ll see a sample of what a day of food could look like:
 
Breakfast: Yogurt with granola and fruit OR whole grain cereal with milk and berries
Lunch: Bean burrito OR a turkey sandwich. Both could be served with a fruit and veggie item.
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, steamed rice or farro, and veggies. (Hint: try to eat the majority of your carbs before dinner.)
 
There are a ton of healthy food boards on Pinterest. Don’t be afraid to change your dinner repertoire every now and then. Ask your kids what healthy foods they do like. Take them grocery shopping with you. Finally, the best children’s nutrition tip I’ve ever heard came from a podcast that I listened to on Stitcher, let your kids choose only 1-3 foods that they “refuse” to eat and then respect that. Everything else they must eat. After all, studies show that a child doesn’t actually know that they truly don’t like a food until they’ve been exposed to it 15-20 times. Helping your kids be healthy can be a battle, but it is one that you can win. 
I hope this well helpful. I’m happy to ask further questions as you have them. 
 
Eat healthy, live actively. I know that as you do, your children will, too. 
Sincerely,
Evi
Images provided by Daniel Nicolas
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Evi blogs over at Eyeliner & Erasers, a lifestyle blog that focuses on fashion, fitness, beauty, and professionalism. She writes for several companies, including Cycling Strong, a company that focuses on healthy lifestyles and especially cycling. She is a graduate student and an adjunct faculty member, who teaches freshman composition. Evi loves to go to Crossfit, adventure with her husband, and take long naps.