Kid Friendly Meal for the Family

After my son’s 9 month appointment I decided to try some different ‘grown up’ foods that the pediatrician recommended. Here’s one I came up with and he loved!

Healthy meatballs for the whole family:
What you need:

👉1.5 pounds lean ground beef

👉1 zucchini chopped into tiny pieces (could also use any bell pepper)

👉1 egg

👉favorite spices to taste but avoid salt if possible (I used garlic and basil since I’m slowly introducing my son to new foods and flavors)
What you do:

-preheat oven to 400 while you’re prepping

-combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix until well blended

-roll into 1″ balls and bake for 15-20 minutes
**freezer friendly! Easy for baby to eat (my guy is 9 months) healthy for the whole family!  
🍴I served this with whole grain pasta and puréed carrot to my little man instead of sauce and he gobbled it up! 


Day 12: Once You’ve Arrived, Make the Commitment to Stay

Two Mondays into this New Year and I’m sure by now most people have jump started their year to follow through on their resolutions. Gym memberships, weight loss pills, wraps, new sneakers, fit bits and apple watches have all been purchased enthusiastically with each person thinking, “This is going to be it, I’m finally going to follow through because I have a new way, or shiny gadget to help me.”  And for them I hope it does work because just like there being a mate out there for everyone I believe there is an exercise routine out there for all of us. 

Once you find what you love, what works for you, what sets your soul on fire- hold on to it. Make the commitment to stay. Don’t waste your life with excuses and could haves and should haves. I spent too much time on that myself. While I do believe we are taught lessons and go through things for a reason I am kicking myself now for not clearing more time before to practice yoga and feed my body with the good stuff (fruits, veggies, lean meats and of course my shakeology!)

While trying to conceive and being so stressed about appointments (I had at least 3 doc appointments a week between acupuncture, naturopaths, obgyns and the infertility specialist) I pushed the taking care of myself exercise portion out of the picture. I decided it wasn’t important enough to do. Of course I hid that under the guise of, “It doesn’t fit into my schedule.” But the truth of the matter was I made everything else important, I OBSESSED over things I had no control over and it got me pretty much no where. What I should’ve focused on was myself, my health and my husband. I grew angry, bitter and felt like the world owed me something (a child!).  I can feel on my mat now that heartache slowly melting away. (I cannot believe I just wrote that! I would’ve read this a year ago and said whoever wrote that is some yoga weirdo earthy crunchy nut!). But it’s true and it is real.

  During that whole time when I was dismissing my little voice of going to practice yoga I truly knew I was missing out but wasn’t compelled enough to actually drive to the studio that I’m lucky enough to have practically in my back yard. Excuses got the better of me. So my plea to you is to not let life’s curveballs keep you from taking care of yourself. The better care you take of yourself the better equipped you will be to handle the challenges life dumps on you. Once you’ve arrived at the practice, game, sport, gym, etc that speaks to you- make the commitment to stay committed. Make yourself a priority on your to do list and never take yourself off of it. 

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Days 9 & 10: Moving Through the Tough Times

Driving to the studio yesterday I thought of all the (as the instructor put it during class) DISCLAIMERS I could utter on my way in; “I’m so sore.  I barely slept last night.  I didn’t eat enough.  I’ve done so much yoga lately.”  All the excuses could have kept me from even getting in the car in the first place but I did.  One foot in front of the other.  One move at a time, one second more, one pulse, one heartbeat more.  That’s the mindset I realized I had during the practice and even though all my ‘disclaimers’ were true, I made it through by listening to my body and following my breath.

Today was not much different as all my disclaimers came to surface, (although I did make sure I had a killer omelet before my planned practice time).All fueled up and ready to go,  I did not have the chance to practice in the morning.  My son wouldn’t sleep and I knew it was going to be “one of those days” for him.  One of the days when he would demand my full attention and I would have little time for my own pursuits.  And that is OK.

Part of this practice, I would even venture to say a MAJOR part of this practice is PATIENCE.  Patience with those around you and patience to know that you will continue to grow a little at a time mentally, emotionally and physically.  So, without complaining (a HUGE accomplishment for me- who is traditionally the impatient, type A whiner when things don’t go as planned) I drove my son around to help him nap and spent the day devoted to his needs.  Once he went to bed I wanted to zone out and eat junk food with a side of wine.  Instead, I remembered my goals and the fact that I truly want to complete this challenge to see these slow and steady results come to fruition.  And so I did.  It was not a big profound practice, just a nice and easy 25 minute flow.  It felt good to control my day and not fall back on a commitment I made to myself.

While these may not be the toughest times I have ever been through, I see these as small tests along this path to the end goal.
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Day 7: Recovery on and off the Mat

Practicing at home today I decided that it was best to stretch through a few sore muscles that have had rigorous workouts the past six days.  Too many chaturangas, too many rockstars and flip dogs.  My shoulders have been pretty exhausted from holding so many poses.  But this recovery got me thinking about how I have recovered other areas in my life to live a more fulfilling one.

It is important to listen to your body and know when to slow it down.  There is an edge that leading Yogi Baron Baptiste talks about in his book, “Journey into Power” and it is important to explore the edge of your body without going too far and causing damage.  Sometimes, as Baptiste puts it, people make a mistake by not recognizing that sometimes less is more.  This is an important lessons in life outside of the yoga studio as well.

Talking about how less is more, this was an important lesson for Ryan and I to learn before we became parents.  My husband and I led VERY busy lives that included teaching, coaching and a very full social calendar.  We thought that if we could do it all, then we would have it all.  All we really got ourselves was a bundle of stress and a very lazy attitude.  Yes we were each working about 60+ hours a week on an easy week, but when we weren’t working we felt like we owed it to ourselves to do nothing (unless there was a party, or event to go to).  We would sit in front of the TV with all of our free time and zone out.  We would spend an embarrassing amount of time watching DVRed shows and just sitting and complaining about how busy and tired we were.

Since finding out we were going to be parents, we decided we would not keep such full schedules anymore. Along the way I also decided that I did not want our baby to be a TV junkie like we had become. So when my husband left for deployment, I ditched the cable and decided I had had enough of the endless hours of mind numbing activity.  I was completely nervous because I LIVED the real Housewives, Teen Mom, Scandal and The Good Wife (among any other shows I could be mildly entertained by).  I was worried I wouldn’t have anything to do while at home, worried that friends I would connect with through talking about these shows would think I was weird for not having cable, worried that people wouldn’t want to come over because we didn’t have 150+ shows to watch.

Turns out that everything was, and is JUST FINE!  I now have time for the long list of things I had put off.  I have since started my own business, made time to deepen my French studies, to meditate, workout, be present with my son instead of half assing playtime by staring at the TV while absentmindedly rolling a toy around.  I am there for him and we are truly living a mindful and aware life.  So recovery in physical body is great, but so is the recovery from our hectic schedules and mindless hours of binge watching shows.

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Day 3: WTF is That Pose?!

Umm yea…today’s home practice via this  youtube video was seemingly innocent enough as  I scanned through it last night to choose one to use for myself today.  It was labeled intermediate 2/3.  I kept up with most of it but there were points where I really had no clue how the instructor got into the pose. She seemingly twisted herself inside out and did so with grace and ease.  I’m sure if I was just a spectator I would have been awed by the beauty.  But as a participant I was dumbfounded by the positions and how to get from point A to B.

At one point she got into one legged crow and I attempted to do the same but am pretty sure I just bruised my tricep along with my ego pretty badly.  There is something to be said about having a live class filled with lots of models and an instructor to help align you.  Without other students modeling what was to be done, seeing different variations or the energy a live crowd brings, I felt a bit lost today.  I also had a hard time hearing what was being called since it was naptime and I didn’t want to blast the volume and wake the baby.

Even though this was challenging in some ways, I learned some new variations of poses and enjoyed seeing where this practice could eventually lead me.  That is what pulls me to this practice; the ability lies within us all and it meets you wherever you are.  You don’t have to be perfect in every pose- in fact I LOVE that there really is no perfect. There is constantly room for growth and expansion and flowing from one pose to another.  This is the essence of yoga and today I was humbled by new asanas (poses) and seeing how far one can reach over time.

Tomorrow should be exciting as I head to the grand opening of The Yoga Shop in West Hartford! 🙂

 For more fitness motivation, recipes and tips checkout my Facebook page