Workouts for Busy Mommas

workouts for moms

Now that I’ve had baby #2, I’ve found that my body is totally different than it has ever been. To start off, let me preface this post by saying that this post is  not about body hate, but about body improvement. I am NOT including any pictures of my “before” body, namely because I can’t stand those pictures when the picture is of a lady who is 9 months pregnant. My body at 9 months pregnant is not a before picture. That was my body doing something amazing by making a whole other human being. (Pretty cool, eh?)

What this post is about, however, is self-improvement, self-care, and strength. Before I had Little Bear, I used to go to the gym, take lots of fitness classes, and was in pretty good shape. After I got pregnant, due to a great many reasons/excuses (time, energy, medical issues) I lost muscle tone and barely exercised. I am now 3 months postpartum after having my second child and am ready to get my strength back. (Abdominal wall? What abdominal wall?!) But now, with a 3.5 year old and a 3 month old, when and how will I find the time (and energy) to exercise? Continue reading

Yoga For Kids: Sing Song Yoga

If you have a dog or a child, you know how difficult it is to try to work out at home. Sure, they’re all occupied when you make up your mind to work out, but as soon as you begin, they arrive like ants to a picnic. The dog wants to lay on top of you, under you, has to go out, or wants a treat for absolutely no reason (for a good laugh, check out this video). The child wants help, has a burning question, wants to work out with you, or also wants to eat something. It’s Murphy’s Law applied to a mother’s home workout.

Usually this will make me try to schedule my workouts around when both the dog and child are sleeping, except in the case of yoga. I love doing yoga. It may sound cliché, but it’s both grounding and a great workout. During this pregnancy, yoga has been a necessity. When I don’t practice, my body feels so much worse: more soreness, more swelling, more back pain – overall, it’s not good. When I find time to practice yoga, however, a wonderful thing happens. I feel great!

Yoga is also something that both Little Bear and Ziggy love to join in on. And when I mean join in, I mean they take over my mat and both practice their downward dog! This doesn’t make for the most relaxing practice, except that now I’ve found a way to beat them at their own game! I stage my yoga practice.

Part One: Yoga for Little Bear

Part Two: Yoga for Momma Bear

(Part Three: Yoga for Ziggy, aka Doggy Savasana on Momma Bear’s mat)

For part one of my plan of attack, I had been trying to just work through some poses on my own. It never went very well, as Little Bear always wanted to join in on one of the yoga videos I would use to do my own yoga practice. However, since discovering Deb Weiss-Gelmi’s Sing Song Yoga program, Little Bear has been more than happy to have a chance to do yoga that entertains him while he practices!

yoga for toddlers

Getting ready to start the Sing Song Yoga DVD!

ssy dvd

The Sing Song Yoga program works through core yoga poses by introducing them through short songs sung to familiar tunes. Weiss-Gelmi has developed a DVD, app, a classroom yoga program, and also offers Sing Song Yoga classes in Grand Rapids.

The first time we worked through the DVD, Little Bear wanted to try to sing along to toddler yogaevery song and was paying close attention to what he needed to do. Since it was his first time with the DVD, he obviously couldn’t sing along to all the words and lagged a bit in terms of the moves and poses, but the difference between using the DVD and trying to get into poses without the songs was enormous! He was way more interested in achieving the correct poses and wanted to try to do more than the poses he had been previously exposed to.

The whole DVD runs for 45 minutes, but it is broken up into chunks, so you can choose to go through one section or even choose certain poses to practice. Little yoga for toddlersBear is almost 3 and a half, and enjoys working through about two thirds of the DVD. Older children would naturally be able to work through more of the DVD, while younger children would benefit from watching poses that you pick out for them. Furthermore, because the program works on the basis of song, kids can practice listening to the songs for instructions, obviously with reinforcement coming from the video itself. It even came across my mind that it would be great to have this available as an MP3 on my iPhone! That way no matter where we went, if Little Bear needed an opportunity to stretch, recharge, and burn off a bit of energy (read: road trip), we could turn on the Sing Song Yoga songs and get a little workout in! While that isn’t an option in the program, the Sing Song Yoga app makes the program totally portable and easy to stream onto any TV with HDMI adapters or Apple TV.

Yoga is not just a way of exercise, it is a lifestyle. It helps relax, calm, and soothe. It’s something that I think is extremely important to introduce children to, and the Sing Song Yoga program makes it easy, convenient, and fun to do just that right at home. I can’t wait to continue using the program with Little Bear.

What’s your favourite exercise routine to do with your children?

Deb Weiss-Gelmi kindly sent us the Sing Song Yoga DVD for purpose of this review. All opinions expressed here are completely our own

Healthy Protein Breakfast Muffins

I have a confession to make.

I can’t follow a recipe.

Okay, well it’s not that I can’t follow a recipe…it’s that I never do.  I love trying out new recipes and will usually attempt to stay close(ish) to a recipe the first time I make it, but I am the queen of substitutions and add-ins. And sometimes when that happens, well, I end up with something completely different from what I had set out to make in the first place. Continue reading

Coping with Bugs During Pregnancy

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. Remember to always consult your doctor before starting any treatment, even natural, especially when pregnant. Also consult your doctor if your symptoms persist or worsen. The information in this post is not meant as expert advice and is only my personal opinion.  This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please do not delay seeking or disregard a doctor’s advice because of anything that you read in this post.

Getting sick is never fun, and it’s even worse when you get sick and you’re pregnant. Your system is probably already feeling overwhelmed from just being pregnant (nausea, heartburn, constipation, headaches, mood swings, cramps, swelling, the list goes on!), but now your body is under attack by bugs that really don’t care how you might already be feeling. Continue reading

Healthy Family Expo 2015 + a Giveaway worth $2000!

healthy family

So far 2015 has been a whirlwind of activity in my family’s life.  Amidst all this running around, working, and day-to-day stress, it has become increasingly more important to pay attention the health of our family.

This is why, I for one, cannot wait for the 2nd annual Healthy Family Expo in Vancouver on March 29! The timing couldn’t be more perfect.  As a parent I will of course be interested in learning more about ways that I can help my family stay in the best health possible, but I will also be extra interested to see what I can learn about my own health and well-being as I head into my second trimester of pregnancy. Continue reading

Staying Active Through the Holidays

staying active through the holidays
As we enter the holiday season, focus and motivation in regards to the gym and fitness tend to take the back burner. It happens to all of us, and quite frankly it is inevitable. Whether it  is having a “couple” of those delicious homemade Christmas treats, or skipping a workout here and there due to family gatherings and busy schedules, it always seems like there is something we can use as an excuse. My personal excuse is that when I leave for the gym (4:30 am), it has been -8 degrees and honestly I would MUCH rather be in my warm bed for a couple more hours, before I need to wake up and go to work. Just remember, if you miss a day here and a day there, it isn’t the end of the world. Consider it a rest day and don’t beat yourself up. Just don’t let it become a habit, otherwise all your hard work and dedication from the previous months could suffer.

I have a couple of tips to help you stay on top of your routine during the holidays. Continue reading

Healthy Family Expo: The road to better health

We are living in a paradox of times. We have access to more information than was ever possible in the history of mankind, yet we are faced with new plagues and problems. The range of issues is seemingly endless, from Celiac disease to new allergies or intolerances to weight management issues. Some of these issues are new, and some of them are simply issues we are more aware of than ever before.  While we are surrounded by all this knowledge and these issues, one thing is true: we are living longer, more vibrant lives.  40 is no longer what 40 used to be (some famous 40 year olds include Penelope Cruz and Leonardo DiCaprio).  Nor is 60 what 60 used to be (think of Oprah, Jackie Chan, or Seinfeld), or 80 what 80 used to be (Larry King, Regis Philbin, and Barbara Walters are all in their 80s).

For us in North America, and especially for those of us here in the Pacific Northwest, there are fewer and fewer excuses available nowadays for living a life without good health. We have been blessed with prosperity: fairly good weather year-round, an amazing quality of life, and availability to pretty much anything we desire. Sometimes, however, there is just too much around us to know what is good for us. And there is always something new out there! If you’re like me, you love discovering new products or companies that have my values and goals in mind. Companies that aren’t just about the bottom line, but keep a focus on their consumers.  Which is why I’m so excited to tell you about the Healthy Family Expo, for which I am a blog ambassador!

The Healthy Family Expo is targeted to parents who are out there looking for the best products for their families. This means healthy living from all aspects: food/drink, recreation, toys, cosmetics, nutritional supplements and much more. I love meeting people who share my interests, and this Expo is a great way to meet people who will help me learn more about keeping my family at its best. There will be over 100 exhibitors at the event next spring!

But don’t worry, you don’t have to wait until next spring to get in on the Healthy Family Expo action! On October 22 at 8 PM PST, you can join in on an hour-long Twitter party with @HealthyFamExpo! There will be over $1000 in prizes from some of the 2015 partners and exhibitors. Who doesn’t love winning prizes? Especially when they’re from companies like Whole Foods Market, London Drugs, Cypress Mountain, Yaya Baby, Modern Mama, Love Child OrganicsNaked Coconuts, SPUDNorwex (Garcie Wong)and GnuSanté, just to name a few. But make sure to head to the Healthy Family Expo website, RSVP for the party, and use the hashtag #HFEsmallsteps in your posts to be eligible for some of the awesome prizes up for grabs.


The Healthy Family Expo will be held in Vancouver, at the Vancouver Convention Centre (East) on Sunday, March 29, 2014, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Hornby Island Energy Bars: Healthy, Local and Delicious

So I have to start with a confession.  I’ve lived in the Vancouver area pretty much my whole life, but I’ve never been to Hornby Island.  For those who don’t know, Hornby Island is a small island off of Denman Island (a slightly larger island off of Vancouver Island).  To get there from the mainland, you have to get on a ferry to Vancouver Island, then take a ferry to Denman Island, and then a third and final ferry to Hornby Island.  It’s quite the trip, but from what I’ve heard, is extremely rewarding once you get to Hornby Island.  Quiet and beautiful, Hornby Island is home to only 1000 full-time residents.

Hornby Island is definitely on my bucket list of places to go.

But until then, I luckily have a much faster way to get my hands on these:


Healthy and indulgent? Could it be true? These delicious bars come from Hornby Island Energy Balls & Bars, a company that has been around on Hornby Island since 1993 and have now (thankfully) expanded into the Lower Mainland. Their bars come in 4 varieties: Carob, Sesame, Gourmet Sesame, and Tahini.

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Fit Friday Review: Map My Run


In order to meet personal goals and progress further in your fitness regime, you must record what you do (i.e. How many sets of what weight you do, or how many KM you run/walk/jog, etc.) Whether it be weight training or cardio exercises, the best way to move to the next step is by outdoing yourself. Your only competition is yourself.

At the gym you may see people with a notebook and pen, jotting down some quick notes once they have completed their set. This is a great way to keep record of what you have done, for future reference. But this doesn’t work as practically for cardio, for the obvious reasons. Most of us are so dependent on our cell phones, we carry them everywhere and use them for a multitude of purposes.

Continue reading