Monday, December 19, 2011

Recipe of the Week- Sugar Cookies

I'm sure that some of you may be surprised to see this post from me- I usually keep the recipes pretty clean and healthy for this blog.  But life is all about finding balance, right?  I firmly believe that you can give yourself occassional treats if you have earned them.  One of the things I will not ever give up is making sugar cookies for Christmas with my girls.  My mom made them with me, I make them with my girls, and let's hope someday I can make them with my grandchildren :)  I love MAKING them, but try to have a few rules when EATING them.  I only eat them when I am sitting down at the table with a glass of milk- not standing in the kitchen, not standing at the table, not walking around the house.  So here is my favorite recipe for sugar cookies.  Whatever your indulgences may be this holiday season, I hope you enjoy them!  And then get your booty to class to work them off.

Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 sticks melted butter
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 t. baking powder
2 1/2 c. flour

- Mix sugar, vanilla and eggs.  Pour in the butter.  Add baking powder and flour and stir until smooth.
- Chill 1 hour, or freeze about 20 minutes.
- Roll out dough until about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with your favorite cookie cutters.
- Bake 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees, until edges just start to brown.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Body Back Journey by Libby- final installment!

Wednesday 11/9 10pm
I watched everything I ate today, only healthy things and a lot of water! I wish I did that every day as I felt so much better. I was worried I was going to be disappointed in my weight loss which I was a little, but again I didn’t give this 100% the last few weeks. Although I now fit in my pre-maternity pants which is something in itself! So I know the weight will come in time and wearing my regular clothes will help me get there!
A few weeks ago Jackie asked us to give up a bad habit. My bad habit is drinking soda. I drink about 1 a day. Somehow I stuck to it and kicked the soda everyday and now have about 1 soda a week so that was a big accomplishment for me! I’ve drank more water in the past 8 weeks than I ever have and now it’s a habit to fill my water bottle every morning.
The assessment class tonight went a lot better than I expected! I lost a total of 5lbs. As much is this was about weight for me, it was more so about starting new habits and changing my life. I had 10 extra pounds from having 2 kids and I knew this was my chance to get over the hump and once I did, I would be back to an even healthier me.
I can’t do it all in 8 weeks but I feel really good about the path I’m on now. These 8 weeks were about taking time for myself and realizing I needed to make changes in my diet and start exercising on a regular basis even if it was for 15 minutes while my kids played. There is always an excuse, especially with our busy lives and having children but nothing works with an unhappy and unhealthy Mom. I want my children to have healthy lifestyles.
This class taught me a lot. It taught me to start small with exercising, changing what we eat, drinking more water and slowly giving up thinks like sugar and soda of which I love both! I loved the inspiration I got from Jackie and the other Mom’s in class. I think we all need the support in class and outside. I really enjoyed the facebook group as it was encouragement during the week, sometimes when I needed it most.

Sunday 11/13 8pm
Tonight we had a Final results party! It was at the Blue Jean’s Bar. It’s a great store with tons of different types and styles of jeans! A great place to reward yourself for 8 weeks of hard work! It was fun to see everyone in “regular” clothes with makeup on! More importantly it was exciting to see the changes we all made over the past 8 weeks and the support that got us all there! Thanks Jackie and Victoria!
Here I am 8 weeks later….I lost 5 pounds. I lost 2 inches in my waist which I am thrilled about as I knew it was something since I am no longer in my maternity pants! Bye-Bye maternity pants, it was fun! I think the best part for me was seeing the before and after pictures. I look so different! My pushup improvements were 60% but to be honest, I only did 6 the first night of class. I am not a fan of pushups. My plan improved 40% and overall I am very happy with where I am 8 weeks later.
I will miss this group as it really did change my life and how I view exercising. I will miss Jackie saying “Belly buttons in”, as I always need the reminder. I might even miss Friday nights and dreading Saturday mornings. But once I was at class on Saturdays I was so glad I made it and left knowing it was the best way to start the weekend and to remind myself of what to do and what not to do! I will miss Jackie’s upbeat music but I know this is a start to a new me and I don’t want to let myself go back to where I was. I’m so glad I took this class for many different reasons! Jackie, I’ve said it before and will say it again, you are a true inspiration!

My Body Back Journey by Libby

Wednesday 11/2 8pm

I missed class tonight which I was bummed about as it sounded challenging! I guess they did 100 of multiple exercises! I am also missing Saturday’s class so I will have to try and keep myself on track. Tonight I made the Chicken Verde recipe which is one of the recipes in our workout book. I have to say it was super easy to make and delicious and of course healthy! I have a feeling that recipe will be a regular meal in our house.

Sunday 11/6 7pm
We were out of town this weekend so I missed the Saturday class. It’s always difficult when you’re away to watch what you eat especially when you are in the car for a few hours which we were. I felt like I did pretty well and in the back of my mind the reminder of final assessments this week played into helping me control what I ate and drank.

Monday 11/7 9pm
I went to the Monday night class tonight to take “after” pictures. I only see these ladies usually once a week and could tell a difference in each one of them. It gave me motivation for the next two days before it was my turn for assessments, which I was totally dreading! In all honesty, I gave this class about 70%. My 3 month old ended up having surgery in the middle of the 8 weeks and I let things slide a bit.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Recipe of the Week- Sweet Potato and Collard Greens Salad

You can tell that I am on a fall and winter veggie kick right now :)  Here's another yummy way to get in some greens- you could substitute swiss chard, kale or spinach for the collards.

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
2 T olive oil
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. fresh ground pepper
1 bunch collard greens, chopped (about 4-5 cups)
1/2 c. roasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 dried cherries (I used cranberries)
zest and juice of one lemon
1 T. coarse ground mustard
1 T. pumpkin seed oil or olive oil

Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast on a baking sheet at 375 for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and toss collards with sweet potatoes directly on the hot baking sheet, then return to the oven for another 5 minutes until the greens begin to wilt.  Transfer the greens and sweet potatoes to a bowl and mix with pumpkin seeds, dried cherries and lemon zest.  In a separate bowl, whisk the lemon juice, mustard and pumpkin seed oil together, then toss with the salad.  Enjoy at room temperature or refrigerate and serve chilled. 

From Experience Life Magazine, December 2011.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Recipe of the Week- Pumpkin French Toast

Here's a yummy breakfast for Thanksgiving morning!

4 slices whole wheat bread
2 eggs
2 T. pumpkin puree
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
splash of milk

Heat a large skillet or griddle over med-high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl.  Add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice, whisking until pumpkin breaks.  Add a splash of milk and whisk until smooth.  Dip the bread in, turn to coat and set aside- don't let it sit too long or it will get soggy.  Place the french toast on the skillet and turn when cooked, about 2-3 minutes.  Serve with a sprinkle of fairy dust- also known as powdered sugar.  Our favorite dippers are apple sauce or vanilla greek yogurt, but I supposed syrup would do as well- just make sure it's 100% pure maple syrup to avoid icky additives :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recipe of the Week- Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is so simple and delicious! I've been having it as an afternoon snack, drinking it in a mug while chasing the girls around.  It would be a great starter to your Thanksgiving meal too.

1 butternut squash
3 T. butter
1 large chopped onion
1 t. dried ginger (or 4 t. fresh)
4 c. low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 c. half and half
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400.  Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and place cut side down in a roasting pan.  Cook about 40 minutes, or until squash is cooked.
2.  Melt the butter in a large soup pot.  Add the onions and ginger and cook 5-8 minutes until tender.
3.  Scoop out the inside of the squash and add to onion mixture.  Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer, stirring to break apart the squash. Simmer 10 minutes.
4.  With an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.  If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender or food processor.
5.  Stir in the half and half and salt to taste. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Recipe of the Week- Kale, Peppers and Pine Nuts

Recipe of the Week- Kale with Bell Peppers, Garlic and Pine Nuts

This is a great side, but can be made a main dish also by adding beans- kidney or cannelini work well- after preparing. 

1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
2-4 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
2 T. olive oil
2 T. pine nuts
1 red bell peppers, cut into strips
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Wash the kale and allow water droplets to remain on leaves.  In a small dish, add the garlic to the olive oil and allow to sit.  Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat and toast the pine nuts until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.  Remove the nuts from the pan.  Add the garlic and oil to the pan, stirring once to flavor the pan.  Add bell pepper strips and season with salt and pepper.  Saute peppers for about 2 minutes and add kale.  Stir briefly, cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat to low.  Cook for about 2 minutes, then stir.  Cover again, turn off heat and allow veggies to steam in the pan for 2 minutes.

From Experience Life magazine, Oct. 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Body Back Journey By Libby

Thursday 10/27 9am
I missed class last night as my daughter was sick and husband was out. I decided to use my class DVD once the kids went to bed. I would have rather been at class but it was a good substitute! Jackie even found time to text me and tell me what to do workout wise since I missed class. Such a big part of this process for me is the little nudge that Jackie gives me.
Friday 10/28 4pm
Today was a good day for me… pre-maternity jeans fit! They are snug but I got them on and was able to wear them! My son is about to be 4 months so this was a feel good moment for me. I have lost a few pounds but more importantly some amount off my waist and hips to get my size 8 jeans back on! BIG DAY! I am tired of wearing my maternity jeans. If this isn't motivation, I'm not sure what is!
Saturday 10/29 11 am
This was the hardest class yet! Just when you think it might get easier, it gets even harder. The best part is leaving class feeling an immediate difference! Jackie always has the best music. I always look forward to the Sat morning class as it’s such a good focus for the weekend. I think as Mom’s we have so many things to juggle and it’s easy for things to go by the wayside (especially on the weekends)!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Body Back Journey by Libby

Wednesday 10/18 9pm
It felt really good to get back to class tonight after missing last week! I knew the weigh in was going to be bad but it was worse than I thought. I won’t even go there. I know if I am going to get my body back, this is my chance. I need to be pushed. At first I was upset but then decided I really needed to get a move on, the class is half over. Tonight’s workout was really good. Every time I wanted to give up, I remembered my weigh in and that I only had 4 weeks left to give everything I can. I owe this to myself and to my children. If I can just get over this hump of where I seems to be stuck weight and body wise, I can make the change happen. I am determined to do this. I love the motivation I get from the other Mom’s and Jackie. I need them to push me over the hump! This is going to be my breaking week!
Saturday 10/22 11 am
It feels so good to start the day with a good workout. I think it also encourages me to make better food choices on the weekends. It’s too easy to get into a food/drinking slump on the weekends! Jackie is great at pushing you yet encouraging you at the same time. I would not be doing this on my own. Every time I leave her class, I can feel a difference in my body, right away! We also got a second food journal today and I love that it has new recipes.
Sunday 10/23 11 am
It’s was so nice out today we took the kids for a 2 hour walk! My husband commented that I now walk faster. J I think I just have more motivation! It feels good to feel changes taking place and encourages me to keep with it and do a little extra each day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat Aftermath

It's that time of year.  The day after Halloween and we are left with buckets of candy and temptation at every turn. Before you bite, here are some calories counts of some of your favorite candy's AND the exercises that you would have to do to work those calories OFF.  Thank you to our instructor Victoria Slone for this guest blog post!

 Snickers (one fun size candy bar) – 72 calories. Running for 8 minutes is your fastest approach. Don’t like running? A 19-minute walk will burn the same number of calories.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Skittles or Twix bar (one fun size) – 80 calories. Riding a bike for 10 minutes will do the trick to get rid of this treat. You’ll need to work equally hard if you eat a fun size Twix bar or a fun size package of Skittles.

Plain Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (one fun size bar) – 70 calories. Eat one and you’ll need to swim for 9 minutes to burn off those calories. 18 minutes if you eat two. (etc.)

Candy corn (11 pieces) – 70 calories. You can almost eat that many in one mouthful. Unfortunately, burning them off isn’t as easy. Don’t despair, 10 minutes of step aerobics will get rid of those candy corn calories.

Twizzlers or Sweet Tarts (treat size pack) or 1 Hershey’s Nugget- 50 calories. The treats are tiny, but the calories are mighty. Good news, there are plenty of ways to burn them off. A 15 minute game of Frisbee or a 5 ½ minute of tennis with a friend will get rid of them.

Tootsie Pop – 60 calories. A harmless lollipop? Not so fast. An innocent looking Tootsie Pop packs in 60 empty calories. Although eating one takes a while and actually burn a few calories, you’ll need to skip rope for 6 minutes to burn it off for good.

Butterfinger or Kit Kat (snack size) – 100 calories. It was yummy but now it’s “Payday”. Just hop on the treadmill for a brisk 15 minute walk to ditch those unwanted calories.

M&M’s (fun size) – 100 calories. Option 1: rake leaves for 20 minutes, or option 2: do 100 pushups to undo the damage from a fun size pack of plain M&M’s. Double that if you eat a pack of fun size Peanut M&M’s (180 calories).

If you did indulge - you now have the tools to help you get back on track.

Our best tip, get the candy out of your house!  Have the Great Pumpkin Fairy or Switch Witch come and trade all of the candy for a special present. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Body Back Journey by Libby

Saturday 10/1 2pm

I wasn’t at body back today but I knew with it being the weekend I really needed to make sure I got my workout in after the kids Halloween party! My husband worked out with me which always makes it easier and gives me even more motivation! It’s our 6 year anniversary and instead of going out for a heavy meal we are staying in and cooking a healthy one!

Tuesday 10/4 4pm

I am looking forward to class tomorrow night. It’s always a tough workout but I feel so good the following day and feel refueled with energy. We’ve been eating oatmeal at my house for breakfast now that it’s colder out. It’s nice as it’s filling yet healthy! It’s amazing what a difference I feel in my stomach only after 2 weeks of exercising and eating right. It makes it so worth it when I haven’t even done that much yet!

Thursday 10/6 10 am

You know you’ve had a great workout when your nursing pads are falling out of your sports bra and your eyelids are stuck from all the sweat! That was me last night. What I really liked about the workout is that it was nothing like last weeks. I think it’s easy to get bored with workouts and last night was a totally new challenge. I lost 1.5 lbs this week. I thought it might be a little more but was pleased. It’s a good start for the first official week. I make much better snack choices and overall eating choices when I work out. I worked too hard last night to eat shamefully today!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Body Back Journey by Libby

Monday 9/26/11 9pm

I took Victoria’s class tonight since I can’t make class on Saturday and it was tough! I didn’t think I would be able to finish the class and I was out of water 20 minutes after the class started! She is very motivational! I was so happy to get home/shower/go to bed that I didn’t even pull the car all the way in the garage! The garage door wouldn’t close and I couldn’t figure out why. I was so proud of myself and clearly anxious to shower and go to bed.

Wednesday 9/28 9pm
Tonight’s class was just as hard as Monday’s and we did very different things. My husband told me I looked “wet” when I got home and I was. I felt like I could bust out a couple hours of cleaning I was so energized! My son is only 10 weeks so I usually nap when he and my daughter do but for the past week I haven’t napped and feel so good. I love the new recipes. They are easy but healthy and you feel so good eating them.  I stocked up on a bunch of fresh things, not sugar.  So now when I snack I feel good not guilty. My husband is totally on board with all the new recipes too. It’s been 1 week since I started this class. I have lost 3 pounds, feel so much stronger mentally and physically and am full of energy. It’s a happy place to be.  Thanks Jackie! I so needed this!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Body Back Journey by Libby

Saturday 9/24 4pm

Today was the first workout and it was difficult but felt so good! It was nice to be outside on the lakefront. I am not a runner so running from station to station was another challenge for me but I did 90% of it and was really proud of myself! I honestly wasn’t sure I would make it through the class but when I did, I realized I could do this and really needed too. I have already started incorporating some of the new recipes in my diet.  I was exhausted all day but a good exhausted! I can already tell a difference from the 2 classes I took. Bring on some more!
Sunday 9/25/11
I woke up feeling like a new person today. Granted I went to bed at 7:30 right after I put my daughter to bed but I feel amazing! I haven’t felt like this in months. It’s amazing how watching what you eat and a little exercise can do. I can tell a difference in my energy. If I can continue this for the next 7 weeks, I can only imagine where I’ll be at the end. It feels really good…

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Body Back Journey by Libby

Thur 9/22 11 am
Wow, I knew I was out of shape but that was embarrassing! We only did assessments and my body feels like I did a full on workout. I couldn’t  do more than 6 push-ups. I sat there laughing but inside I wanted to cry inside. I dropped out of high-knees after 27 seconds…kind of pathetic!
One of my favorite things about Motherhood is my Mom friends. There is nothing better than talking to them whether you know them or not and knowing someone is living the same thing you are or already has. We started the night sharing why we were there, what our goals were and how we were going to overcome our obstacles. It felt good to be honest and throw it all out on the table. I know I am only going to benefit from these 8 weeks both mentally and physically.
I knew eating was a big part of my problem. I snack a lot and eat way too much sugar! I’m thrilled that the workout/eating journal that Jackie gave us comes with healthy and super easy recipes!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Body Back journey by Libby

Wed 9/21 11am

My name is Libby and I’m 33 and a mother of two! I met Jackie (the Body Back instructor) last week at our Mom’s in business group. She told the group she was looking for someone to take her class and blog about it. I thought to myself, this is my opportunity to get back in shape and change my lifestyle! Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
I have a 2.5 yr old daughter and a 10 week old son. I need the structure and discipline to get my body back to what it was or even better. I need the strength! I’m excited to start the class tonight yet nervous at the same time as I am so out of shape and not happy with how I look.  I’m not excited about how tight my workout clothes are that I am wearing to class tonight. It’s not going to be pretty, that’s for sure!
I think as Mom’s we get so caught up in our busy schedules and we don’t always take the time for ourselves. I’m excited to have these 2 hours blocked off on my calendar each week. It’s a great start to making a change. I don’t exercise other than walking a few miles a week and I definitely need to have better eating habits. Sugar and I like each other way too much! I’m thrilled about this opportunity and to see where I am at the end of the 8 week class! I’m starting this adventure at 149 lbs.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Let's try this again!

For some reason this blog is always hard for me to post on.  Of all of the things on my to-do list, this always gets moved to the bottom.  I don't know why, because I always have so much to share!  I've got fun recipes, new exercise ideas and am surrounded by phenomenal women with a long list of amazing topics to write on.  So, here we go again- I am commiting to making this blog a source of information for my Stroller Strides mamas and all the other people out there who want to tune in. 

So coming this fall, here's what you have to look forward to:
  • Exercise of the Week posts
  • Recipe of the Week posts
  • Monthly tips from your Stroller Strides instructors
  • Posts from Libby who is embarking on her journey to get her Body Back 
  • Guest blogs
Do you have any requests for us?  Please share what you want to hear! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Exercise of the Week- Diagonal Stroller Lunge

Watch for the Diagonal Stroller Lunge in Stroller Strides class this week!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

How Do You Get Motivated to Workout?

Ever asked yourself, "How do I get motivated to workout?"  Check out this article by our Guest Blogger, Victoria Slone who teaches our Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 Stroller Strides Class!

“How do you get motivated to workout?” or “How do you STAY motivated to exercise?” This is a question I’m asked frequently about my own personal journey & while training clients. You don’t need to be convinced that exercise is good for you. You know it is. What you need is a reason to choose exercise over some of the other options you have in your life.  The dishes will be there when you get home.  The laundry can wait.  But can you afford to put off an opportunity to do something for yourself and get a workout in?

Goal setting is a simple way to motivate you to exercise, but some goals are more effective than others.  Physical activity is a healthy habit that makes you feel good, not a chore to be endured. Here are some tips on establishing a goal that will help you enjoy the many benefits of fitness:

1. Challenge yourself. Set a personal goal detailing an amount of exercise to do in a set amount of time. Make sure that your goal is realistic for you, but challenging at the same time. Your goal should be hard enough that achieving it will significantly improve your fitness.  My first goal was finishing a 5K. You can start off small and as you increase your fitness, set your goals higher J  This is still the #1 way I stay on track & keep moving towards my goal.  If your goal is a race, find one & sign up for it!  It will make you accountable…..put your $$ where your mouth is!  You can join the new FIT MOMS ROCK 5K & HALF MARATHON Training Group to get started! 

2. Give your goal an end date. There is a problem with challenging yourself to workout for 30 minutes 3 times a week. The first week that you don’t exercise 3 times, you may be hard on yourself and look at that as a failure. A much better challenge would be to exercise 30 minutes an average of 3 times a week for the next 10 weeks.  This way your goal is to do 30 workouts in 10 weeks. If you are sick one week and only get to workout once, you have not failed. You just need to make up those missed workouts before the end of your challenge. You are still in the game.

3. Track your progress
. Of course, you will want to keep track of your workouts as you strive to reach your goal. There is something very satisfying about dragging your sweaty self over to your calendar or computer and logging the workout you just completed.

4. Allow cross training. Notice in the example above that the requirement is to exercise for 30 minutes. It doesn’t say walk or run or do an elliptical trainer for 30 minutes. By limiting yourself to a single mode of exercise you are setting yourself up for failure (e.g. your elliptical trainer breaks down), overuse injury from the repetitive motion, and insanity (I would go crazy if I had to do the same workout day after day).  The wonderful thing about Stroller Strides is that no two classes are the same.  You will get a variety of cross training exercises at every class for every level of fitness. 

5. Reward yourself. Fitness is its own reward, but it doesn’t hurt to add to the motivation value of your personal goal by dangling a carrot at the finish line. Perhaps the prospect of a manicure or a massage would get you off the couch those times when you just don’t feel like exercising.

If you are just starting an exercise program, you should see your doctor to make sure you are able to do any particular method of exercise – especially if you’re just 6 weeks postpartum. Once you are cleared, set yourself a challenging, but realistic goal and start noticing the differences in your life when regular exercise is a part of it. Good luck & hope to see you at a Stroller Strides class!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recipe of the Week- Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

I adapted this recipe from the Quaker Oat's Favorite Recipe Collection cookbook.  I'm always on the hunt for healthy homemade snacks for my girls and these muffins are super easy and yummy.  Whenever I follow a muffin or bread recipe, I automatically cut the sugar in half and it always tastes fine- sadly, doesn't work as well for cookies :) 

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. ground almond meal (found by the nuts at Trader Joes- if you don't have it or are worried about allergies, just use 1/2 c. additional flour)
1/4 c. ground flax seed
1/4 c. wheat germ
1 T. baking powder
1/4 c. agave nectar
1 c. skim milk
2 egg whites
2 T. applesauce
1 t. grated lemon zest
1 t. vanilla
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 and prepare muffin cups.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, almond meal, flax seed, wheat germ and baking powder.  Mix well.

In a small bowl, combine agave, milk, egg whites, applesauce, lemon zest and vanilla.  Blend well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened- do not overmix.

Gently fold in blueberries.

Fill muffin cups almost full.  Bake 20-25 minutes until light golden brown.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

LUNAFEST- A Great Success!

Well, it's been awhile since my last blog post.  But I have a great excuse!  I've been working very hard on planning our first LUNAFEST event presented by the LUNA Mom's Club and Stroller Strides Chicago.  LUNAFEST was held on Tuesday April 12th at the Music Box Theatre and it was a huge success!  It was a night to celebrate women, and a celebration we did have!

At the welcome reception we enjoyed some beautiful appetizers prepared by Devon Seafood.  After everyone took their seats, Kristen Conn from joined us to speak a little bit more about the Breast Cancer Fund and the preventable causes of breast cancer.  Do you want to find out more yourself?  Visit to learn about 5 steps that you can take to decrease your risk.  After Kristen spoke, we began the film screening.  All of the films were short films by, for and about women: "The Translator"; "Getting a Grip";"Mother of Many" to name a few.  We laughed, we cried, it was incredible. The films were very diverse- from animation to documentary- and we enjoyed them all.

After the screening we hosted an after-party at Blue Bayou and a silent auction.  Everyone mingled and enjoyed a cocktail with their friends, some sweet treats from Sensational Bites and discussed the films among other things :)  People shopped the silent auction- a few favorite items were Cubs Tickets, private Pilates classes, a Photography gift certificate and many many more.    

Overall, LUNAFEST was a HUGE success!  We raised $1792!  We couldn't be more pleased with our first event.  The Breast Cancer Fund will receive $388 and our local non-profit, Neighborhood Parents Network will receive $1404. 

A great big thank you to our event sponosors- Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry and Kickin' active boutique for moms-to-be and babes!   And we could not have planned this event without our amazing volunteers- you know who you are, thank you thank you!  And of course, thank you to everyone who attended LUNAFEST!  Your support is truly appreciated and we hope that you enjoyed the event.

Stay tuned for a save the date for our LUNAFEST next year!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recipe of the Week- Frittata Muffins

I've been making omelette's for myself a lot lately in order to try to get more veggies in to my diet.  My only complaint?  It's time consuming on our busy mornings.  So I thought I'd try coming up with something quick that I could make ahead of time and just heat up quickly.  Here's what I came up with- also a side note, I used spinach and red pepper, but you can use any of your favorite omelette fillers for this recipe.

Frittata Muffins- makes 6 muffins- serving size 2 or 3 muffins, depending on your appetite :)

2 eggs
4 egg whites
1 c. chopped spinach
1/2 c. chopped red pepper
1/4 c. cheese made with 2% milk
salt and pepper to taste
LOTS of cooking spray or foil baking cups

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine the eggs, egg whites, chopped spinach, red pepper, cheese and salt and pepper.  Line your muffin pan with foil baking cups, or a lot of cooking spray (these really stick!) Fill muffins 3/4 of the way full with egg mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until firm.  Cool slightly and remove from pan.  Enjoy right away, or put them in the refrigerator and microwave in the morning for a quick breakfast.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Exercise of the Week- V Sit Ball Pass through

Check out the exercise of the week. I know the Body Back ladies are going to rock this tonight in class! You can use any ball, or even your water bottle to give this one a shot at home!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recipe of the Week- PB&J Oatmeal

Do your kiddo's love PB&J sandwiches?  I tried this breakfast version of the famous sandwich, made with oatmeal instead, and my kid's gobbled it up.  It's perfect for these winter mornings!  Yummy, melty, comfort food, and good for them.

1 serving oatmeal- prepared however you like
1 T. peanut butter- or your favorite nut butter
1 T. jam

Mix all together and enjoy!  I sprinkled some ground flaxseed and wheat germ in too, just to add some extra nutrition.  Mmmmm good.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Luna Mom's Club Q1 Mission

Only 1 out of 10 women who have breast cancer have a genetic history of the disease, what we put on and in our bodies can make the difference. The objective of this “Moms with a Mission” quarter is to educate our LUNA Moms Club members and others in our community about the environmental and other preventable causes of breast cancer.  Our 12 Weekly Tips this quarter will focus on breast cancer awareness.  Here are the weekly tips for 2011 thus far!

Week #1: Less than 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a genetic predisposition to the disease. Visit to learn more.
Week #2:
The Pure Prevention Campaign is a collaborative effort between LUNA and the Breast Cancer Fund (BCF). The initiative aims to raise awareness about the environmental causes of breast cancer and empower women to live actively, healthy and well. Considering 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and only 10% of the causes of breast cancer are genetic this is a very important message to get across! By learning the facts, we can make smart choices about the products we use every day.
Pure Prevention focuses on 5 Tips for easy, everyday actions to help reduce the risk of breast cancer:
Tip#1 Make your home a chemical-free sanctuary.

Week #3: Tip#2 Buy organic and local when possible. Be wary of pesticides.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Green Your Fitness Routine in 2011

Guest Blogger:  Victoria Slone, Stroller Strides Chicago Instructor

According to an article in the New York Times, the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's a lot of extra "holiday cheer" for a person to gain in a one month period!!! Yikes!

Now that the holiday season is over, how about a fresh start to the new year by adding some "green" into your workout routine? By taking an environmental initiative and giving your health and the environment a clean start for 2011, you can begin the new year in a positive way that will benefit yourself, others around you, and the earth.

1. Exercise outside.
It may be tricky right now since the weather is so cold, but by hitting the great outdoors, you'll soak in the vitamin D benefit of sunshine and save on the energy used to run on the treadmill. Besides jogging and hiking, hit a Stroller Strides class!!! Not only are you using your own body weight for most of the exercises, but you're interacting with your child and connecting with other Moms which is good for the mind and body. Also, head outside with the kiddos and take advantage of calorie-burning winter activities such as sledding, shoveling or building a snowman. If the rain/snow & cold weather keeps you in, rent or borrow an exercise DVD from the library or buy a used one at a garage sale or search on Craigslist.

2. Buy an eco friendly yoga mat.
Yoga mats are made of materials such as natural rubber, plastic, PVC or latex, and most yoga mats are recyclable. Only use your mat for Stroller Strides classes or are you an at-home yoga practitioner looking to get rid of your existing mat? Recycle Your Mat has mail-in programs for all types of mats as well. After you've donated/recycled yours and are in the market for a new mat, look for mats made of biodegradable and recyclable materials. Sunshine Yoga has a great list of eco-friendly mats at affordable prices.

3. Go with organic workout attire.
Organic cotton uses agricultural methods designed to help sustain the land it grows on and the people who harvest it, helping to reduce the toxic pesticides used to make conventional cotton. Gaiam Fitness Wear is one option for finding organic workout clothes that are comfy, sustainable, functional and lets not forget........cute! You might pay a little more for organic items but saving mother earth will be worth your efforts. When you are done with your clothes why not recycle them by donating to a thrift store, shelter or church rummage sale. You can also check out the Stroller Strides shop for organic and sustainable gear as well!

4. Buy a reusable water bottle.
Americans buy an estimated 29.8 billion plastic water bottles every year, and nearly eight out of every 10 bottles will end up in a landfill. Try toting along a reusable bottle to your next workout session. Refilling the bottle with water will save tons of money and waste. Also, make sure the bottle you are using is BPA FREE! If you occasionally forget your reusable bottle and have to purchase a plastic bottle, make sure you recycle it. There is an amazing documentary entitled, "Tapped," that was incredibly informative and really opened my eyes to the bottled water industry. Interested? Check it out here: Tapped the Movie

5. Eco-Friendly Running Shoes
Today, even big name fitness companies are getting the message that staying fit is part of an overall lifestyle. It's a lifestyle that takes into account, not only physical health, but the overall health of the environment. There are several companies jumping on board and now making sneakers with post-consumer recycled materials, bamboo shank, cork mid-sole, bamboo/canvas uppers, and crepe toe guard, and 40% post consumer recycled rubber out-sole. You can find recycled gym shoes at Zappos. You can even recycle your old running shoes at Recycled Runners and Run The Planet.

6. Eat Organic
It's best to eat organically grown food, whether or not you're a vegan/vegetarian, and it's worth going to some trouble to get it. Organic food tastes better, is generally more nutritious, & protects the environment! Get an energy boost with organic cereal/granola bars, or try a homemade smoothie by mixing organic yogurt, orange juice and fruit together in a blender.

7.Try Natural Deodorants
Many deodorants contain harmful ingredients such as aluminum and formaldehyde, so freshen up after your workout by using deodorants made from all natural plant-based ingredients. And don't worry, you're not alone if you sweat while wearing an all natural deodorant. That's supposed to happen! Sweating is our bodies natural way of getting rid of the toxins in it. If you block the sweat glands from doing their job, where do the toxins go? Right back in your body :( My company, Lotions & Potions, has two types of natural deodorant available, Rosemary Mint or Tea Tree that are great at combating odor. They are free of aluminum, formaldehyde, parabens & bactericides which have all been linked to the increase in breast cancer rates. Whichever brand you decide to go with, make sure that the product is organic and certified "cruelty-free" to prove that it has not been tested on animals.
You may not think that a few simple actions can help you lose weight, stay fit andreduce your carbon footprint at the same time, but if you follow these tips you'll be well on your way to a green exercise routine!! Here's to a green 2011!!