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Staying Active And Raising Children

One of the most common questions I get asked is how to stay active while raising young children. For many moms and dads, childcare, gym memberships, even 5 minutes alone can feel unattainable. So how do we put time and energy into our health, goals and mental stability when life seems unstable? How do you show up for yourself when you have little ones who you always seem to show up for first?

As parents, we live in the tension of what is best for me, and what is best for my family, and often time we think we need to choose one over the other. My hope is that these next few thoughts give you some ideas on how to include your kids in your fitness journey, which I believe with all my heart, will make you a better version of you and a better parent as well. These are some things that have helped me along the way. Some may resonate with you, other idea may not work. The goal is to share openly and honestly the journey with each other,  so we all grow and feel supported along the way.

1) Get the kids involved with your goals.

They don’t need to love it, they don’t even need to like it, and they may even fight you on it for a period of time. Change is hard for kids to adjust to especially when it comes to boundaries around our time with them. One of the things that has worked for me is getting the kids involved with my plan for the day. If I know I’m going to have to get a workout in with them, I explain what I’ll be doing, ask them to be a part of it and continually express to them how important it is for Mommy to sweat it out and feel strong. 90% of the time the kids are doing the workout with me for the first 10 minutes and then move on to building Lego right next to me. This didn’t happen overnight, but by consistently communicating my goals with them and how they can help, I’ve seen a positive change in their reaction to my workout times.

2) Start small

Don’t jump into the workout process with kids expecting to get 30 minutes or even 5 minutes in without tears or melt downs. Maybe your kids will rock it, but mine literarily see me move out of the snack prep area of the kitchen or notice I’ve shifted my attention away from them for 2 minutes and someone is clinging to my leg, asking for a snack or tackling a sibling. I focus on small wins. 10 minutes a day has the ability to change your body, improve your health and boost your healthy hormones. In the beginning, I would celebrate 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes during nap time (add it together and its 10) Anything above 10 minutes is a bonus!

3) Make it fun.

I have “my” workout music and I have “mommy” workout music. “My” workout music typically consists of heavy rap (it really helps me work through that last set haha) and my “Mommy” playlists consists of happy songs to get the kids involved and excited to move their bodies in any possible way that will make time for me to get one more set of push-ups in. They love to pick the songs and I find that by allowing them to help me plan my workout programs they feel ownership and excitement over what I’m doing in my workouts.

4) Celebrate together.

Hitting a new personal best in my workout or running faster than I have before gets me so pumped up, and I want my kids to understand and feel the excitement of these achievement. Because of this, our family is constantly celebrating together!  Whether it’s trying a new donut place, hitting up a new climbing gym or planning a special movie night, when I hit my goals it’s an achievement for the whole Doell team. This has taught our kids that being strong and healthy can be fun, exciting and rewarding.

 

I hope these few thoughts spark some of your own ideas that you can implement in your own house. And if you just pulled out your calendar and are trying to find a day that will be good to start some of these things, burn your calendar and start today. No day will every feel like the right day to start, and every day will have its different challenges that make it easy to push this to the next day. Often times the biggest challenge is just overcoming the fear of starting something. Here’s your next step. Put this magazine down, grab your kids, put some music on, and start moving your body!!

 

This workout is one of my favourites to do with the kids. I recommend a fun playlist and an open dance floor.

  • 1 minute high knees
  • 15 push ups
  • 1 minute squats
  • 30 jumping jacks
  • 1 minute jumping lunges
  • 15 triceps dips (on chair or bench)
  • 30 seconds-1 minute burpies
  • Finish with a plank hold for 1 minute
  • (You most likely will end up with a child on your back.)

If you can get all the way through this set, start it all over again for 1-2 more times!

Photography By: Brit Gill

Outfit By: GirlFriend

Activated Charcoal Smoothie

A couple of weeks ago I got food poisoning. I literally have never been that sick in my life. I will spare you the details but lets just say I basically camped out on and over the toilet for 10 hours.

In the process of being sick I posted on Instagram asking anyone if they knew how to get their gut back on track after food poisoning. Countless people messaged me saying to drink or take activated charcoal. I knew somewhere in my house there was a little bottle of activated charcoal from Organika sitting waiting for me but in my sick delusion I could not locate it nor stand up for 48 hours.

Since being sick my stomach has not been the same. Everything was stripped out of my gut and I have had to repair and re-build. In this process my stomach has been crazy bloated, I have had trouble staying regular (Sorry TMI) and I feel exhausted from feeling like my body is working overtime to process food.

It was defiantly time for some activated charcoal.

 

Many studies show that when taken internally, activated charcoal can improve our digestive health and immune system by helping to remove metals and toxins that cause us to have allergic reactions. It also helps to flush out viruses and parasites we may have floating around in our system. Activated charcoal also helps to cleanse the pesticides from foods, everyday chemicals and pollution from the air. These types of chemicals often affect not only our body’s energy and immune system but also things like our hair, skin, and nails. People will often see an increase in energy, the ability to fight off sickness, and a reduction in bloating or gas due to the gut support activated charcoal gives to the body.

After reading up on activated charcoal I decided to try out a few recipes and remedies to help my body get back on track.

My first experiment was charcoal lemonade…I drank a little too much we will just say that;)

Some tips I learned for us charcoal virgins.

1)The cleansing benefits of charcoal are amazing but you can also over do it! So make sure you are drinking lots of water and start off with small amounts.

2)Also do not take other supplements within 3 hours of drinking the charcoal or taking charcoal. One of the amazing benefits of charcoal is that it attaches itself to toxins cleansing them out of the body, but it can also attach itself to nutrition our body needs such as supplements . SO be mindful of the times you drink or eat charcoal.

3)Prior to ingesting activated charcoal, consult a physician or health expert to determine whether it is appropriate for your condition, and to ascertain the appropriate dosage.

Troy and i both have been working on our gut health so I decided to make this as an option for this weekend’s dessert. This can be made into a smoothie with fresh bananas or ice cream by simply freezing the bananas.

Enjoy!

Activated Charcoal Smoothie

Check out my little prep video on Instagram. Leave your comments and questions! I want to hear what your experience has been with activated charcoal.

Ingredients:

2 bananas

2 tbsp peanut butter

2-4 tbsp (depending on how thick you want it) coconut milk

1 tsp Organika activated charcoal

Topping options:

chocolate chips

chocolate coconut flakes

coconut whip cream

Smoothie version

Blend until smooth and serve immediately.

Ice cream

Blend till smooth and place in freezer until firm (about 2 hours) then serve!

Valentines Day Grapefruit Bowls

It’s funny looking back at the days of no children, sleeping in and every romantic holiday/moment revolving around us. Troy and I have never been big on Valentines Day, but children change you and watching them learn to love people is probably one of the greatest gifts we are given as parents. The special bonds they create or the ways they include others that are left out is enough to melt any moms heart into pieces. So fast forward 10 years (almost 11 ) into marriage and we are all about Valentines Day or any other sappy holiday that reminds our children to put others before themselves.

In the process of teaching them to craft gifts for school (which I suck at) I’ve also started my own little traditions of special breakfasts, fun gifts and special treats to make them feel special. Today’s after school snack was geared to impress the boys taste buds and awe Adelaide with my use of pink flowers 😉 I originally got this recipe from Sugar and Cloth but decided to re-work it a little bit to get a tad more nutrition in it for the kids. This smoothie is packed with Vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and immune boosting minerals.

I made a huge batch and then froze the left-overs for snacks this week.This smoothie is also an excellent post workout snack! Throw it in your Swell bottle and bring one for the road.

Enjoy~~*

Ingredients

3 Grapefruits

1 large orange

2 frozen bananas

1 cup frozen cherries

1/2 cup Prana chia seeds

Toppings: Cashew pieces, granola, coconut flakes,

dried fruit, bee pollen, flowers etc

Instructions

First make the grapefruit bowls by slicing the top third off each grapefruit. Run a pairing knife around the edge,loosening the fruit. Then, use a serrated spoon/grapefruit spoon to gently remove the fruit and juice. I scooped the fruit right into the blender to make it easier and conserve as much juice as possible.

Place all remaining ingredients in blender in mix till it has a smooth but thicker consistency. If it’s too thin just add more bananas or chia seeds to thicken.

Immediately pour the smoothie in the grapefruit bowls and decorate with your favourite toppings.

 

Enjoy~~*

 

A Healthy Balance

motherhood

Setting realistic health goals can be a challenge, and it’s also one of the most important things you will do for your body this upcoming year. I know personally I can often over think the process and in the past have set goals or restrictions on myself that only set me up for failure, leaving my body feeling depleted and on the verge of a physical or mental breakdown.

So how do we find a healthy balance? First of all we need to accept the fact that fitness is always a journey and we are always evolving. What worked last year may not work this year, and change is good not only physically but for our mental wellbeing as well. Maybe you’ve always gone to the same fitness class. Maybe you have always run the same road. Whatever your story may be, your body knows it. Maybe this upcoming year, instead of telling yourself you’re going to hit the gym 6 days a week, find a workout that brings you life. My goal this year is to take my workouts outside 1 day a week. No matter the weather, no matter the time of day. My goal is to experience every season! Studies show that even 10 minutes a day outdoors improves our mental state. When we are healthy mentally our bodies response in positive ways and trigger amazing hormones to keep us going and keep us enjoying life.

Here are some of the big questions I often get asked when it comes time to set health and fitness goals:

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1) Do you need to workout every day to see results?

No, and I would really discourage these types of habits. Our bodies need time to heal and recover from the tension we place on them in workouts. If you’re just starting out I would recommend 2-3 times a week. Start slow and try lots of different styles of fitness to really find what suites you best.

If you’re more advanced, maybe you need to step your fitness up a bit to see results. I would recommend switching up your routine. Something as simple as swapping out a bootcamp class for a set of up hill sprints or adding a power yoga class in exchange for the token spin class you always hit up, may just be the adjustment your body needs to take your fitness to another level.

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2) Is working out for multiple hours at a time necessary?

Short answer is, NO! First off, you need to figure out what your goal is. Do you want to train for a endurance race, become a triathlete or just feel better and more energized in your own skin? Once you have nailed down your goal, do some research to determine what class or program will be the best for you. The workout I’ve included in this article is an awesome way to switch it up. Get outside and boost your energy!! There are countless studies that show that short powerful workouts have countless positive effects on our bodies and mental states .

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3) How do I plan my workouts?

Heading to the gym, park, or sweating it out in the comfort of your own home is going to be twice as hard to get motivated for without a plan. Lack of planning also increases rest breaks, wandering minds, and our workouts are overall less effective. Here is something I always stick to when planning my workouts:

  • Compound movements (works upper and lower body)
  • A mixture of cardio and strength
  • 4-5 movements (keep it simple)
  • Timed or planned reps (this way I don’t stop when it starts to get hard)

I set my timer (typically my workouts are 20-30 minutes long) and repeat my movements for either 1 minute or perform 12-15 reps per movement. I get in as many rounds as I can with little to no rest. If my kids are involved, this is a different story. Sometimes my workouts go smoothly with them and sometimes I want to pull my hair out. Celebrate the good days and know there is always tomorrow!

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4) Does what I eat really produce 80% of my results?

Yes! Food is one of the most important factors in our health journey. Eating a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals will not only positively affect your recovery times and overall fitness results, but your mental wellbeing. Just like your workouts, start small and create habits that are going to last. My family and I recently took on a 10 day smoothie challenge with Jugo Juice. Our life is active and when planning snacks, things like vegetables can get missed. We saw this challenge as a opportunity to increase our vegetable intake and teach our kids to get creative with things they may have never tried (like cauliflower in their smoothie, who knew?) By just adding 1 smoothie after school, we increased their vegetable intake and eliminated the urge to ask for cookies or other sugary treats as they came down from the after school high. Maybe this week you add a smoothie, next week you swap out your normal lunch for a salad and the following week give up snacking after dinner. Small changes create lasting results. Need some motivation?! Right now Jugo Juice is running a contest for 3 prize packs! All you need to do is take a picture of your smoothie and post to Instagram with contest hashtags (#whatsinyoursmoothie #fuelbetter @jugojuice) and be following Jugo Juice on instagram! Winners will be announced Monday December 11th. Head over to Jugo Juice and design your own smoothie! Tag me! I want to see what you guys come up with. Check out my last Instagram post for my current favourite smoothie blend.

This year, instead of beating yourself up for skipping another workout or eating that donut, celebrate the wins! Along with creating my own fitness plan, I also have a huge jar that I place marbles in. Every time I do something positive for myself I put a marble in. On the hard days, when I want to allow negative talk to take over, I look at that jar and remind myself that health is a journey and each day I’m getting 1% better.

Small, achievable, and 1% better.

Bring it on 2018!

 

Jump-Start Workout :

 

  • After a 10 minute warm up, set your timer for 1 minute for each move. Repeat circuit 3-4x with little to no rest.
  • Squat
  • Tricep dips
  • Push up
  • Lunge (with back foot elevated on back bench)
  • 30-60 second sprint after each round

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10 Day Smoothie Challenge

family

We work hard and we play hard in this house. I’ll be honest, I definitely wish there was more time to kick up my feet, read books and sleep…oh glorious sleep, we shall meet again someday. But right now, that’s not my reality. I have two extremely active boys and one bold, firecracker of a daughter who love to go none stop, explore new things and are some of the most creative little people I know. Learning to fuel their bodies and make the best decisions for us as a family has been extremely challenging at times. When it comes to fueling and trying new things, Troy and I try to keep a balanced approach with our habits. We have found when we allow our kids to be creative with their meals, have balanced amounts of treats and encourage them to listen to their bodies (rather than telling them something is not good for them) our kids make better decisions. Our journey has led us through being paleo, trying vegan, going totally organic, and trying to eat completely local…It’s a journey, we are not perfect, we are learning and I can almost guarantee what we are doing today will probably change at some point. One of the things that will always stay consistent in our house is encouraging our kids to get as many vegetables in their diet as possible and trying to be as creative as we can as parents.

peoples shoes

Mixing up smoothies, green popsicles, dried fruit/veggie snacks and making dessert acai bowls are some of our favourites in this house. We recently teamed up with Jugo Juice to take on a 10-day smoothie challenge and add more greens to our life. Jugo Juice recently changed all their smoothies over to 100% pure juice and has added tons of great options for the “always on the go” lifestyle. Over these past 10 days we have added cauliflower to our smoothies, replaced our weekend ice cream with green acai bowls and encouraged the kids to get creative with their own mixes.

motherhood

I love to support my local juice bars and make my own juices/smoothies at home, but these last 10 days of the challenge have really taught me that their is great options for our family when we are on the go and feel stuck on what to give our kids for a snack or fuel option. They also store great! Over these 10 days we have froze smoothies, bought extra and made popsicles or stuck them in the fridge for acai breakfast bowls. If you’re feeling stuck when it comes to snacks, want to grab something healthy on the go, or are scared to make your own cauliflower smoothie;) maybe try your own

Here some of my tips:

1) Ask for half the juice amount and add coconut water for a less sweet option.

2) Add wheat grass for extra nutrition

3) Sub the whey protein for their delicious vegan option (I find this easier on my stomach)

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Powerful Protein Balls

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These delicious chocolate treats not only satisfy your sweet tooth, they also help to balance the hormones and are packed with protein. The combination of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein make these the perfect snack to grab before the gym or when you need something quick on the road. I’m in love with this new Energy Tonic from “Harlow Skin CO” and have been adding it to smoothies, protein balls and morning tea.

I’ve listed the amazing benefits of Energy Tonic in order to help you understand why this potion is so fricken amazing! This information is just the basics, but if you want more info I would defiantly recommend popping into Harlow and chatting with Crystal…She will blow your mind!

Check out the recipe and Energy Tonic benefits below.

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Maca:

  • Balances Hormones
  • Boost Fertility
  • Improves skin and hair
  • Increases Energy
  • Reduces Stress

 

  • Ashtragalus:
  • Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory. …
  • Slows or Prevents the Growth of Tumors. …
  • Protects the Cardiovascular System. …
  • Regulates and Prevents Diabetes and Illnesses Related to Diabetes. …
  • Contains Antioxidative and Anti-Aging Capabilities. …
  • Heals Wounds.

Rhodiola:

  • Burning Belly Fat.
  • Increased Energy and Athletic Performance.
  • Lowering Cortisol.
  • Fighting Depression and Improving Brain Function

Powerful Protein Balls:

All ingredients can be purchased at Natures Fare Market.

  • 1 cup fully cooked (cooled) quinoa
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 4 tsp energy tonic
  • 3/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients, then add wet items one by one making sure to mix fully.

Roll into little balls (rolling in chocolate dust if desired.)

Place in the freezer for at least 1 hour and enjoy~~*

 

Spicy Avocado Pizza

pizzA

 

We are prepping for our October cleanse and being as creative as possible for the seasonings that are allowed for the 21 days. This delicious and healthy pizza is a great addition to your “cleanse” recipes or a cleaner way of enjoying “Pizza Night.” Serve on a gluten free crust or a cauliflower crust if grains are not a option for you.

 

Enjoy~~*

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Spicy Avocado Pizza:

I purchased our gluten free crust from Natures Fare Market. They have some great options for gluten free options and tons of fresh local veggies to top your pizza with!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, coarsely mashed
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in Vitamix till smooth.

Spread 1 tbsp of coconut oil on your pizza and bake at 350 till pizza crust is slightly crisp.

Spread on avocado mixture on pizza crust, top with your favorite veggies (I used spinach,tomatoes and baby arugula) and enjoy!

 

 

 

Shuswap and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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A couple weeks ago we headed to the Shuswaps with Troy’s family for a little R&R time together.

The days were filled with the little cousins playing in the little creek behind our house, participating in Grandma’s treasure hunt games and taking quality time to reconnect as a family.

We came home feeling refreshed and refuelled as we head into the fall season.

On our last day together I joined Adelaide and her adorable little cousin Myla, in making ice cream sandwiches together .

This cookie recipe is one of my favourites! I triple this recipe to make ice cream sandwiches, snacks for school and last minute desserts when friends pop over.

These little ladies added the perfect amount of sprinkles and probably ate their body weight in ice cream that day.

Enjoy~

The girls are wearing locally made dresses by: Nest & Nurture .

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Post Baby Fitness With Bethany Menzel

 

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When Bethany and I decided to put together a few post-baby workouts, we wanted to focus in on areas where Bethany’s body was needing to be strengthened, as well as more generic workouts that all moms would love (and hate). If you follow Bethany, you would know that she has the most delicious, chubby baby named Skipper. Along with being chubby and delicious, he is also quite a load for Bethany to carry around. The constant stress of holding a baby for any new mom can cause poor posture, back pain and exhaustion. By adding just a few simple exercises to your weekly routine, you can help avoid these issues and build strength at the same time. It is possible to be a mother, fit in your workouts and not feel like you’re spending your life at the gym.

I love bands and body weight workouts because they are easy to throw together while baby naps or plays on the floor.

Bethany wanted to work on her back, core and butt strength, so we put together a circuit that is easy to follow and targets the full body.

The workout:

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Equipment:
Bands
A small child

Each movement should be performed for a four count movement, and for 45-60 seconds based on your fitness level.

The strongest person is the slowest person 😉

Repeat circuit 3-4x

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Leg lifts (with band)
This movement targets the butt primarily while using the arms and core as a stabilizer.

Action:

Leg is straight and in line with the hips. Keep weight even on both sides of the body as you slowly lower the toes of the moving leg to the floor. Once the toes have touched the floor, press against the resistance of the band and return to starting position.

Tips:
Keep your hands directly under your shoulders
Belly into spine
As you lift your leg, think about evening your weight out.

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View More: http://photos.pass.us/tuffSide leg press:

Targets the butt, core and upper body.

Action:

This will be the same position as your leg lifts but instead of lifting your leg up you will press it laterally to the side .

Keep a small bend in your elbows and really engage your core.

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Hamstring lifts.

Primary focus is the hamstrings (muscles along the back side of your legs, which are also very important for reducing back pain.)

Action:

Press your heel into a wall with your heel slightly above your knee joint . Engage your core, squeeze your bum and lift your hips to the sky.
On your final 20 seconds, hold as high as you can and pulse .

Tips:

Make sure to really press your heel against the wall and if you feel pain in the knee, try moving your heel slightly higher on the wall.

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Baby back rows:

Primary focus is mid back, AKA baby carrying muscles .

Action:

Hold your baby or a set of weights. With your elbows close your ribs, shoulders down the back and a small bend in your knees, start to lower the baby and slowly bring the baby towards your chest.

Tips:

Shoulders away from ears, belly in nice and tight and small curve in the lower spine to remove pressure off your back

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Bird Dog:

Primary focus is your abs.

Action:

Start on your hands and knees. Slowly start to raise your left leg straight out behind you as you lift the opposite arm to the wall in front of you . Your arm and leg should come to form a straight line . Squeeze your belly and slowly start to bring your arm and leg into the chest while rounding your belly.

Tips:
Do this slow and controlled. This is an amazing exercise for the post-baby belly while not putting too much strain on your core.

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Superman:

Primary focus is your back.

Action:

Start by laying on your belly. Slowly start to raise your upper body and legs off the floor while stretching your arms out into a superman position. Keep your legs lifted and slowly start to bring your arms back towards your body. Repeat movement.

Tips:

If you’re breast feeding this may be uncomfortable for you. You can try rolling a small towel up and placing it under your breast bone as a support which will remove pressure off your chest.

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Feel free to add cardio bursts or an extra set if you have some additional time on your hands. Or split the workout up between morning and night to make room for chasing and feeding babies.

I love Bethany’s honesty and openness as she has walked the journey of growing little humans, giving birth to three beautiful children and the up’s and down’s along the way. Head over to Bethany’s blog as she shares the her story from pregnancy to post baby workouts.


Both our outfits in this post are from HEMM. HEMM, is a local Canadian company that carries everything you need for yoga, fitness and street style. Some of my favourite brands they carry include Olympia, Strut, Tofino Towels, Body Language and Lilybod! Head over to Hemm.ca and check them out!


Photography by the amazing Kristy at Blush Wedding Photography


Thank you Turf for allowing us to use your beautiful facility and treating us to the most delicious snacks! Thank you for providing a space that inspires our community, fuels our bodies and kicks our butts!

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