{sugar:shock} Sugar-Free Four Ingredient Strawberry Freezer Jam

Join me while I document my journey to a sugar free life in a world that worships sugar! I’ll share all the recipes that help me get over this addiction without feeling like I’m missing out


For the past three weeks, I have sworn off processed sugars completely. Considering the magnitude of the sweet tooth cravings I’ve had for several months, this was no mean feat!

For the most part, those cravings are dwindling and the benefits of this change far outweigh the foods I’m missing out on.

There are some things, however, that a girl just NEEDS in her life. Freezer jam, for instance.  It’s a staple in our home, and we were clean out. A few flats of strawberries demanded to be made into jam, and of course I had to comply! 😬

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Sugar-Free, Four Ingredient Freezer Jam

1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and hulled

1 cup whole pitted dates*

1 TB chia seeds

1 TB lemon juice

Soak dates in water for ten minutes while you prepare strawberries. Blend dates with a splash of water until they make a thick paste. Add strawberries, lemon juice, and chia seeds. Blend until well mixed. If you prefer a chunky jam, mash a few extra strawberries and mix into the jam by hand after blending.

Pour  jam into freezer safe containers. May freeze for up to one year or refrigerate for one week.

*A note about the dates: I buy dates from the bulk section of our grocery store  they are pitted, but some pits are missed so it’s important to sort through them before you soak. This is a great way to let the kids help!

This jam is SO good, it tastes just like the sugar-laden stuff we all grew up on. It doesn’t keep quite as long in the refrigerator (hello, no preservatives!) so use smaller containers.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh jam?

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Running with Kids – Family 5K {Running Fitness 5K Family Free Challenge}

So…apparently there’s this thing called running. It seems to be all the rage, and everyone’s talking about it.
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So I thought…hey…I’m gonna go with the “in” crowd. I’m gonna go running!

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Needless to say…that didn’t last too long.

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Then I managed to get myself wrapped up in this group of ladies called coaches. Fitness coaches. Me. Voted the most lazy, and I ended up running with the fit crowd.

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And when you run with the fit crowd…well…you kinda have to run.

Okay. That’s an exaggeration. I could overcome the peer pressure of all these hot, fit friends of mine doing the cool thing. I’m good. But then, I have these kids. They are getting kinda big. I’m not really sure how that happened. But all of a sudden they WANT to play sports. Say WHAT?

My daughter almost changed her mind on her chosen sport when she discovered that it involved running. Like..she was just gonna perch her pretty little self under the basket and shoot some hoops when her team was done with all that running mumbo-jumbo.

The fact that she still wants to play is proof that she’s serious…so I guess she gets to try! But first…we have to teach her how to run.

Okay…more exaggeration. But really. This girl puts molasses in January to shame. She moves at her own pace for sure. So we’re going to have to ease her into this. And me. We’re going to have to ease me into it.

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So I get this brilliant idea. Running! I’m going to start running with my kids this summer! Great idea, right?

Ask me in a couple weeks.

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But really…it’s a great idea! So…because I know myself, and I know I’ll quit…I need my support group. 😉 I’m opening up a FREE Facebook challenge group for us to talk about our progress. It will be AWESOME! And…I’ve even got some good runner friends coming to help us out. Cause you know…I don’t know the first thing about running. 😛

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Wanna join us? Go to www.tinyurl.com/kandiceschallenge and fill out my regular challenge group application, and just put in the comments that you wanna do the running with kids’ group. We start Monday…let’s do this!!!

If I Can Do This….So Can You!

I’ve had a lot of people asking me lately why I closed my photography business in favor of this new life as a coach. And even more people who consider the option of becoming a coach themselves, only to say, “No, that would never work for me like it has for you. I’m just not that into fitness.”

Um…no. It’s not like that.

I’m not the crazy, athletic, super fit girl you remember from high school. I’m the girl no one remembers because she always had her nose in a book, because she turned down the head coach on his offer to join the girls’ basketball team  (because I was tall) in favor of…well…laziness.

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And yes, it was more than laziness…I am SO shy. Most people who know me don’t believe it, but I’ve come a long way from where I was in high school and shortly after. And I still have a lot of anxiety over new places, new experience, and new people. I remember when I was a kid, I had pretty well determined that I was not ever going to college, that it just wasn’t something I wanted. Because I was TERRIFIED of doing something I’d never done before. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom…because I was too scared at the thought of getting a job.

Here’s something vulnerable…but maybe it will prove just how timid I really am (or was). In 3rd grade I was given the opportunity to participate in a week-long cheer camp, offered by the high school cheer team. I was SO excited about it, but SO terrified. TERRIFIED. So terrified, in fact….that I wet my pants right in the middle of the first class.

scan0002  That. Was. Awful. THIRD GRADE! It’s something I’ve always remembered with a sick feeling in my stomach because it was so embarrassing. But I was THAT nervous to be in a new place with people I didn’t know, without my parents or anyone I trusted around me. Terrible.


Enter: Adulthood. I chose to enter adulthood cold-turkey and got married just three months after my high school graduation. It’s not something I would ever recommend to any other teenager, because it was HARD and I missed out on a lot of growing experiences.

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But it’s also not something I regret, because it was right for me. How do I know? Because we’re still happily married almost 14 years and 4 kids later. It was the right choice for us at the time.

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But it was hard! We stayed close to home, but even still…I stopped going to church (I was VERY active in my church and it killed me slowly to stop going.) just because I was terrified to go to a new ward for the first time in my life by myself (my husband was not active at the time). For two years I was inactive because of that fear. Ridiculous, really.

Then we did something that would change me forever. We moved away. I did NOT want to do that. I did not want to leave the security of our hometown, our families, and everything we had known our whole lives. But it was necessary for my husband to get the best education in his chosen field…so move we did. Luckily, we moved to the same area my husband’s older sister lived in with her family, so I clung to them like white on rice. Melodie helped me so much with that transition, and I’ll always be grateful for that.

Slowly, over the 2.5 years we lived there, I was able to come out of my shell. Slowly. But it helped me to become independent of my parents, which has helped me in many ways to be a stronger individual. And it helped us grow closer together as a couple, which is probably a big factor in our happiness today.

I didn’t completely overcome my trepidation during our time away, however. As soon as my husband graduated college, I begged and pleaded until he chose a job close to home, despite the major decrease in income and the need to sell our first home.

We moved back, and over the first few years I came to realize just how much I had changed. I didn’t really NEED to be with our families as much. I could feel that independence I had gained taking over. We chose to live 30 minutes away from our families, and it was the perfect combination of independence and closeness. Now we can enjoy a close relationship with our  family while still being our own family unit.

Still, even with all these advancements in my own confidence, I was still terrified at the thought of new places and experiences. I was literally sick to my stomach the first day I had to attend college courses on campus. I was 25 years old and had two children, but I was terrified to the point of being ill. And it was like that EVERY semester when I started new classes.


Okay, so what does all this have to do with coaching? Just this: If I can do it…you can do it.

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Seriously. Did you read all that ridiculous FEAR that I blabbed up there?? I was and still am terrified by new places and experiences. I still  hate talking on the telephone because I never know if I’m interrupting something or who’s going to answer, etc. I’ve come a long way toward being more confident…but that fear still remains when I encounter the need to do something new.

So, want the nitty gritty details of why coaching can be possible for anyone, including a timid introvert like me?

What can it do for me? 

There are three main areas of “influence” to coaching…at least, that’s what we’ll call it for the purpose of this discussion.

First, personal development and growth. I know…it sounds hokey. I was one who would be handed one of those “self-help” books and think it was for the hippies. SO weird, no thanks. But, as part of our training and growth in this business, we are encouraged to read at least 10 pages in a personal development book each day. For most of us, once we get started it turns into an hour or more a day because we love it so much.

The result? You learn a great deal about yourself, your areas of strength and weakness and how to improve in both. You learn how to deal with other people in a more friendly, positive way, irregardless of their behavior toward you. You learn how to take charge of your life and your destiny (yes, one of those hokey words) and choose what is in your future rather than just letting it happen. In short, you get put back in the driver’s seat of your own life. It is an incredible, empowering experience, and one that I would recommend to anyone…coach or not.

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Second, there is a huge personal accountability that comes with this business. When you are helping other people with their health and fitness goals, you can’t NOT keep up with your own. You can’t surround yourself daily with people who are striving to lose weight, tone up, and be healthy, without having it influence you for the better. I never would have lost as much weight as I have or stuck with any of my own programs without this accountability aspect.

And third, of course, are the financial benefits. This is the part most people want to know about right from the first. They want to know how much money they will make. Well…it’s not like that. It’s not a JOB where you are given a salary or hourly wage and you always know how much is coming to you. This is a business, and it’s going to be different  for everyone. For some, they jump in with both feet and take off from the first, and their income shows it. Others are less consistent, more hesitant to trust it or really give it their all…and their income shows it. This really is a case of “You get what you give.”

That being said, I can tell you that I have replaced the income I was earning as a photographer. I built my photography business over a period of more than 3 years. I’ve only been a coach for one year.


That’s it in a nutshell. That’s my PROOF that you can do this. I don’t CARE what your personal weaknesses are. I guarantee there’s another successful coach somewhere in our organization who has dealt with something similar and overcome it. The point is that this business offers a new life, it offers hope for those dreams you gave up on long ago. It offers an opportunity for you to change who you are and become something you CHOOSE to become, rather than just letting life happen.

If I can do this. . . so can you.

If you would like to learn more about coaching, head over and fill out this quick form so I can get to know YOU a little better. I’ll get in touch ASAP and take the time to answer all of YOUR questions! This is not a journey you will ever have to take alone!

I DARE you to consider this. I dare you to dream a little more than you have in years. I dare you to believe that there is something incredible in your future.

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Skinny Chicken Salad {Healthy Family Recipes}

So, a couple weeks ago I had to come up with a way to cure my craving for a big chicken salad sandwich without killing my new healthy eating habits. Have you ever looked at what’s in a good chicken salad? Wowza, talk about heavy calories! So I created my own recipe using lighter ingredients. It’s not exactly perfect, and I may continue to tweak it, but it was good enough for me to scarf it down for several days in a row!

 

Chicken SaladMy family wasn’t quite as excited about the recipe as I was, but they don’t like any chicken salad, so I wasn’t too surprised by that. I think I’ll continue to make it and expect them to eat it, but I may mix it up for them with fun lettuce and cheese cutouts to put on their sandwiches, or give them crackers to scoop it up instead of putting it on bread.

One thing I did differently than most salads I’ve had was to add several different fruits, rather than just one. You could easily mix it up to match your tastes or be more seasonal. I think it would be yummy with nectarines instead of apples! Or apples and pecans for a delicious fall flavor.

Do you like chicken salad? Do you eat it with a fork? On a sandwich or in a wrap? Where do you get your FAVORITE chicken salad, and how much  does it run you in calories? Super curious if anyone else is a chicken salad junkie like me. 🙂

Let me know if you give the recipe a try!

Kandice

 

Back-to-School Healthy Lunch Ideas {Healthy Family Recipes}

Hello to all our new friends from The Benson Street! We are so excited today to participate in their Back-to-School series. Can you believe we’re already preparing to send our kids back to school? Where did the summer go? Our school starts a little later than some, waiting until after Labor Day, but others I know are going  back in the next week or two, so for them it’s definitely crunch time!

I don’t know about you, but every time I happen to be in my kids’ school during the lunch hour, the old familiar smells of school lunch assault me with a giant punch in the gut. YUCK! I don’t know what ever made me think school lunch was awesome, but as a mom it grosses me out. Add to that the increasing cost of school lunch (we pay $2.10/day…how much is YOUR school lunch?), and we’re committed to taking cold lunches as much as possible. But the PB&J sandwiches (or meat and cheese for my oldest) get pretty boring, pretty quick. We struggle to find enough new ideas that are fast, easy, and store well, all while keeping the kids more interested in eating their lunch (in the ridiculous 10-15 minutes they are allotted to eat) than in talking and playing with their friends.

So, a few staples that we ALWAYS have on hand during the school year (as in, if we run out, we make a midnight-run to the grocery store or the kids won’t have a lunch) are:

  • Ritz Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Fresh fruit and veggies (apples are most common, pears are next)
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cheese
  • Tortillas

Yep, you’ll notice there wasn’t any “bread” on that list. My kids get tired of sandwiches too quickly, so we save those for occasional lunches so they’ll actually eat it! 🙂 Instead we’ll use tortillas, since they store better, don’t get moldy, we ALWAYS have fresh tortillas on hand, and they don’t get as squished in the lunch bag.

Now you have the staples, you’re all set, right? Wrong! It’s still super easy to get stuck in a rut when you’re using the same old ingredients, so here are a few of our favorites. Maybe you’ll find something new your kids will love!

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  1. Peanut Butter with Apples: Have you tried it? Delicious! Send some peanut butter in a small container and let the kids dip their apples. Make it a little sweeter by mixing in some mini chocolate chips!
  2. Slice an apple and send it just like that! If you send fruit whole it’s harder for the kids to eat and would take their whole lunchtime, but a sliced apple can easily be munched down or shared with friends. Check out below for our tip on how to slice an apple and keep it fresh until lunch.
  3. Apple Slices with Cheese: I’ve heard of this combination a ton but hadn’t really tried it until recently…it’s awesome! Send the apple slices and cheese separate and let the kids build their own “sandwiches”.
  4. Crackers with Apples and Cheese…same concept as #3 but add a cracker for added crunch, salt, and fiber. The kids love making their own stacks and seeing how big a bite they can take.
  5. Cracker & Cheese Stacks: Easy peasy, like a homemade lunchable. Just send a small stack of crackers with some slices of your family’s favorite cheese and let the kids enjoy. Add a veggie or fruit to the side and they’ll have a great meal that will keep them full all day long.
  6. Peanut Butter Banana Wrap: Tortillas spread with peanut butter, with sliced banana on top, then rolled up and cut in half…awesome “sandwich” that tastes like dessert! Add a little drizzle of honey before rolling if you like your bananas green and tart like we do.
  7. Apple Cheddar Wrap: tortilla, thin apple slices and thin cheese slices (or grated cheese), rolled up and cut in half. Yum!
  8. Chocolate Peanut Butter Wrap: Replace bananas in the PB&Banana wrap with chocolate chips. This is my kids’ favorite and one they love to make themselves. Scroll down to see my daughter making her own!

You can add variety to any of these ideas with the addition of some other simple ingredients, like leftover roast or lunch meat. Add turkey to the Apple Cheddar Wrap for some extra protein, or add leftover roast to the Cracker & Cheese Stacks. Add chopped almonds to any of the peanut butter wraps for extra crunch. Or add unsweetened coconut to the peanut butter and chocolate chip blend for dipping apples. Get creative! All of these are super easy to make, so put the kids in charge of their own lunch and let them take ownership of the things they get to eat each day.

Now, have you ever struggled with sending sliced apples to school? Hate the way they turn brown and slimy, but don’t want to take the time to soak them in lemon juice? Yeah, me too. Here’s our solution:

SlicedAppleMethodSee? Easy-peasy! You can secure the apple quickly with a rubber band around the middle. Unless you’re like me and rubber bands aren’t exactly on hand, then you can toss it into a sandwich bag to keep the pieces together. It works like a charm! Another trick we’ve done to keep it all together is to slice each side, but not go all the way down, keeping the bottom attached just a little on each slice. The kids can just pull it apart when they’re ready to eat and you don’t need anything to keep it together!

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Still need more ideas? Yeah, me too! So I’ve been pinning like CRAZY, and there are SO many good recipes and ideas out there. Head over to our Healthy School Lunches board on Pinterest and see all the awesomeness we’re finding! Make sure to click over to The Benson Street to see all the awesome Back-to-School goodness that has been shared all month!

Roasted Cabbage Steaks and Homemade Seasoned Salt {Healthy Family Recipes}

Can you believe it? I’m NOT posting an ice cream recipe! *GASP* I decided it was high time I buckled down and worked on some good recipes to put toward healthy meals.

Do you find it hard to get a variety of vegetables into your menu? I swear it’s my biggest struggle. A can of green beans or some steamed broccoli is great, but it gets old really fast when you’re having it several times a week! I grew up with the idea that a meal wasn’t a meal without a vegetable, so we have always included one with every meal. But finding  the variety to make it something we actually want to eat is a different story!

Cabbage is one of those vegetables I grew up hating, but have slowly come to enjoy as an adult. I have made it my mission to try and raise my kids to like as many of the vegetables I hated as a kid as I possibly can, so if there’s something I know they’ll probably hate, I look for ways to make it more enjoyable.

If you spend any time on social media at all, you’ve probably already seen the idea of the cabbage “steaks.” I decided to give it a try, but I also wanted to try a recipe out of my P90X3 Nutrition Guide. There is a huge list of DIY herb spices and blends in the guide that I’ve been wanting to test, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Oh man, can I just tell you how delicious this seasoned salt is?? It’s fabulous! Tastes dang near identical to the stuff you buy in the store, but the ingredients are all recognizable! I changed the original recipe a bit, omitting the crushed red pepper as I’m feeding a houseful of gringos. 😉 I also replaced the sea salt from the original recipe with pink Himalyan salt. Have you heard of it? Let me tell you, this is incredible stuff! It basically has the opposite effect of regular salt. Rather than causing you to retain water, it acts as a diuretic and helps cleanse your system. AWESOME! No more guilt over my obsessive use of salt!

Anyway, the cabbage steaks turned out amazing and my family actually liked it! The kids raved over it, so I know I’ve got a winner. I think I may have overcooked it just a tad, so be sure to watch it the last five minutes or so. If you can cut it with a fork it’s definitely done.

Give it a shot and see what your family thinks! If you would like to learn more about the benefits of pink Himalayan salt, let us know in the comments and we’ll share the info in a future post!

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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!
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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!

Clean-Eating Strawberry Frozen Yogurt {Healthy Family Recipes}

Okay, okay, I’ll stop now, I promise! I can’t get over how much fun all these different ice cream recipes have been to test and create. This one is a little higher in calorie than the last recipes, but it’s got a very different flavor profile. It’s a bit tart, so you can adjust the sweetness to your liking. It’s also more creamy than previous recipes, and it freezes super well, giving it a more ice cream-like texture. It would be amazing in a cone! I think I might also try freezing it part way next time, then pulling it out and swirling in some hot fudge. Doesn’t that sound divine?

Yes, I realize hot fudge and ice cream cones are NOT clean eating. I’m not a 100% converted to clean eating, I’m still more than happy to indulge occasionally. That being said, clean eating IS the best way to adjust your diet to help you reach your fitness goals, without going on some crazy fad diet. So I follow it, most of the time. 🙂

Have you tried any of our crazy new concoctions? Tell me about it! Which one have you tried, and how did you like it?

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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