4/10 Smoothies: Nutribullet is great but I still love pizza best

Pizza is our go-to meal option, like many other American families, I’d imagine. When time and convenience isn’t required, I opt for making my own pizzas at home. The whole wheat pizza dough is easy to find at your local bakery or grocery store and it’s so cheap! I’ve made it from scratch using yeast and whole wheat flour but WOWWWW that a process is too involved…

However, I discovered a whole new world of quick and healthy lunch options when I got a Nutribullet last year. The Nutribullet is a hybrid food processor/blender and it’s one of the best smoothie-makers that money can buy. Mine came with a book of recipes, and we got a few books besides that one.

Making quick meal replacements using frozen bananas, fresh fruits, spinach leaves, protein powder and sometimes frozen yogurt is easy. Add water and press the button- voila. It literally liquifies EVERYTHING within seconds.

Watch me demonstrate in this video from last summer.

As a result of the recipe reading, I bought several items from the grocery store that I’d never eaten before, such as Majool figs and ground flaxseed. Admittedly, I’d still take pizza over a smoothie when given the choice, but grabbing smoothies on the go is an awesome and healthy luxury- Especially in the summer, when I want a cold drink and I’m watching what I eat.

I even found a recipe for DIY Shamrock Shakes so last March we consumed several green smoothies made from spinach leaves, frozen yogurt, vanilla extract, mint extract, vanilla almond milk and ice cubes. Sooooooo yummy. Enough to keep me away from the McDonalds Drive-Thru INDEFINITELY.

Bottom line, green smoothies are not pizza, but they are delicious, healthy and quick to make. Win Win Win.

What’s in your favorite smoothie?

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4/1 Kid-Friendly Jokes (April Fools)

Happy First of April. Hope you’re ready for Easter and springtime weather. I’m still racking my brain trying to think of a good prank to play on someone tomorrow. Meanwhile I was looking for FUNNY (not lame) JOKES for KIDS. If you know any, post them in the comments because the good, clean jokes are few and far between.

My silly boys love to laugh which means I tickle them daily, and every once in awhile I’ll break out in dance, unexpectedly, which throws them into fits of giggles every single time. After all, LAUGHTER is the best medicine, and we took turns with the stomach virus last week. So briinnnnnng it on.

There are a few fun pranks mentioned on this fellow momma’s blog that I may borrow from at the last minute!

I hope you watched my video above. This is my FIRST of the 30-day Vlog Every Day in April challenge and I’m double-dipping by incorporating my youtube channel and my wordpress blog. (I still have my business blog but I didn’t want to slow down my website with embedded videos!)I’m trying a scientific approach to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which means I have to be very careful and can’t have any duplicate info. Plus I need to write a text file for everything I said in my video. Tricky stuff. If I say UMMM and SOOO more than 5x per video, I’m going to lose it!

Enjoy! Play Nice. And please avoid the Knock-Knock jokes unless they’re groundbreaking. Happy April!

Photo on 5-22-14 at 1.31 PM #5

Thanks for visiting TurnoversBaby on WordPress! Leave a comment and let me know what you think! Check out a few other VEDA videos by clicking the link below and show some love to the other vloggers that joined my challenge>>>

Get fit, avoid tantrum.

I’m not going to present myself as a committed fitness guru, and I won’t deceive you by implying that I exclusively eat vegan, non-GMO, healthy foods everyday. On the contrary, I’m writing this with a handful of jellybeans on the table to my right. My diet is healthy and well-balanced in general, and being in my best shape is important to me, but I have learned to set realistic expectations.

I have been in decent shape all of my life, mainly because I had hobbies that were physically strenuous. Rollerblading, playing basketball, running track, and snowboarding in the winter helped me to maintain an athletic build as a child and teen. In my late teens and twenties, I lived in the city and walked absolutely everywhere- often in high heels.

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Playing in water in Hawaii
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The fun kind of exercise 😉

Even while pregnant, I was on the move- constantly up and down concrete stairs and traveling up and down Broadway while on lunch breaks. Truly, I was not concerned with weight much and I don’t bother with scales often even today. A telltale sign for me is “How do my clothes fit?” Having a baby throws you for a total loop, inside, outside, emotionally, and socially. When my baby was ten months old, I went to work at a tailor shop on a United States Coast Guard base. Their state-of-the-art gym building was available for my use, so I took full advantage and my body was transformed into pre-pregnancy shape once again.

My baby's first outing
My baby’s first outing

Then… SCREECH!!!!! I had another child, was no longer working outside of the home, and I was left in worse physical shape than the first time around. Furthermore, a gym membership was out of the question. Competent babysitters were few and far between, and money was tight, so I had to get creative for my workout routine. I know there are other women out there in that same boat, and that is why I put together this blog post! I want to inspire and encourage you to create exercise opportunities for yourself in any season, with children of any age.

Lately, I’ve been feeling less motivated and my commitment level is dangerously low, so I created a list of ideas meant to inspire myself to get up and do it! Hopefully, I will gain a few accountability partners who will cheerlead me in the comments, and I will also be asking what YOU are adding into your daily routines. If you feel trapped because you have children climbing all over you and can’t get to your local fitness center, take a look at this realistic chart and think of what you could implement right now. Spring=Green, Summer=Yellow, Fall=Orange, Winter=Blue

Object: Get Fit, Avoid Tantrum
Get into shape, in any season, with children of all ages in your care

In case you have not noticed, babies & children can really throw off one’s personal plans. If you’re dressed in workout clothing and ready to do some floor exercises, it will be that moment when your child needs assistance in the bathroom.

Even a baby can sense when something un-baby-related is in the works, because when Mommy steps up onto the treadmill, the baby will forget being content in the swing and will begin fussing for no apparent reason.

That may sound rather paranoid, but it is definitely the case in my house, and I used to be highly frustrated because I felt I could never get anything done! Whether it was working on my home-based business, cooking, cleaning the bathroom, getting a shower, switching out kids clothing for the next size- NO amount of planning ahead, distractions, or pleading would ever buy me enough time to finish a task like that.

When I was about one step away from insanity, I questioned whether it was humanly possible for caretakers of young children to be time-efficient and productive. Then I came up with a plan, and so far it has been working like a charm…

Wait until they are sleeping, or make them a part of it. 

Sidebar: showers are preferable while they are sleeping, as is most business-related work, but naps are a thing of the past and they only sleep so long at night.

MOTHERS OF NEWBORNS: A word of caution: You should not exercise before your doctor gives you clearance, at your six week checkup. Walking and stretches were awesome for me in the beginning, but I (stitches and all) was not ready for serious exercise until my baby was a few months old. Even at that point, I would advise that you pay attention to how your body feels and start slow. Helene Byrne, founder of BeFit-Mom, has offered a few safe suggestions. “After an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, women can start pelvic floor exercises, special postnatal abdominal isolations, gentle stretching, and fitness walking with the baby in either a front pack or stroller as soon as she feels ready,” Byrne says. All pregnancies and recoveries are not equal. Since the recovery time for a C-section is longer, I would strongly advise women not to exercise until they are fully healed and have had follow-up appointments with the doctor.

There are exercises you can actually do with your baby, aside from the ideas on my chart (above). A personal trainer in NYC named Stefan Aschan has come up with exercises you can do using your infant’s weight to actually enhance your workout. Read more about it here.

TurnoversBaby's board on Delicious & Nutritious recipes
TurnoversBaby’s board on Delicious & Nutritious recipes

Now, the second part- which is no less important but not my topic of choice- is DIET. Diet and exercise go hand in hand, and I thank God that one inspires the other. When I’m doing sit-ups, it’s a great time to reflect on what I’ve been eating and when my abs start to scream, I downright resent the dessert I ate. My motivation to eat healthier is #1 I want to be healthy/beautiful inside & out, and #2 I want my workouts to feel easier and show me quick results. But diet on it’s own is a no-no in my book. I believe that STRENGTH is hugely important when you have children. Eating less or eating cleaner will surely help you to lose weight, but you don’t want to lose muscle in that! Try juggling a baby, a toddler, stroller, diaper bag, etc… you get the idea. So don’t lose your muscles- you’re going to need those. I am obsessed with finding healthy, delicious meals and snacks for my kids and for myself. I’ve started to pin recipes on Pinterest, so follow our board and you are welcome to send us your pins.

Meanwhile, I hope this was useful to you. Please share my chart and help other mommies take control of how they look and feel in a realistic, non-stressful way. Making your kids part of it is key, and you’re also teaching them by example how to exercise and take care of their bodies. Good job, mommas! If you have any ideas that I didn’t mention, or want to talk about what works in your family, leave a comment and share.

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Cleaner toothpaste, straight out of my kitchen

Growing up, my mother was a heavy tea drinker. She was a late-nighter, early-riser, daycare-runner, get-the-girls-ready-for-school-enforcer, breakfast-maker, work-at-home-mommer and she LOATHED the taste of coffee. So, she drank tea. As a result, her pearly whites needed a bit of help maintaining their sparkle, and I remember watching her scoop baking soda onto her toothbrush after she was through using her toothpaste. She scrubbed off the stains effortlessly. (She also had about 600 other uses for baking soda, but we’ll save that for another post.)

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I tried the same tooth-whitening technique when I became a coffee addict. By the age of 18 I was making iced coffees in the kitchen of my apartment, stopping by the coffee shop on my way to work, then again on my trip from work to college, then from college to the sewing lab on Market Street. I worked full-time hours, overloaded my classes, tutored students in my ‘free time’ and loved every minute of my hectic, over-achieving lifestyle in Center City, Philadelphia. It became clear that I was in dangerous territory when the entire Dunkin Donuts staff learned my name, my coffee order and often had it ready for my predictable visits. I also realized that I couldn’t relax when I tried, and I felt my heart rate escalate from time to time, so I have cut down dramatically on my coffee consumption. Back to teeth-

When I tried using baking soda and water on my toothbrush, it felt very abrasive. My teeth are naturally on the soft side and I grind my teeth in my sleep (Maybe too much information here?) so I absolutely can’t take any more harshness that may damage my tooth enamel.

ImageI started using a popular brand of whitening toothpaste, but after a few weeks of use I noticed that my teeth were EXTREMELY sensitive. If you’ve never experienced tooth sensitivity, imagine a throbbing sensation in the root of your tooth that makes your entire mouth feel like it’s in shock. It’s no party. My dentist told me with certainty that the whitening toothpaste was the culprit. I switched to a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. While that seemed to make a difference as far as the discomfort, I happened to glance over the label one day and I was bothered by the long list of “active” and “inactive” ingredients. I like simple. Natural. Pure. Especially when it comes to something I’m putting in my mouth or on my skin. (Don’t even get me started about food!) Image

The next step for me was to find a natural alternative to my chemically composed toothpaste.Image

I found a recipe online for a homemade toothpaste made from coconut oil and baking soda. Naturally, I made a few modifications and made it my very own. I didn’t want to use the stevia (sugar+teeth=cavities) and I didn’t have any vegetable glycerin on hand (chances are, neither do you).Image

I combined 3 tablepoons of Coconut Oil (Organic, Unrefined, by Better Body Foods. Found it at Sam’s Club.)

with 3 tablepoons of baking soda (it wasn’t nearly as abrasive when mixed with coconut oil)

and 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt, then added pure peppermint extract.

Just stirred it up with a plastic baby fork and it became a paste-like consistency.

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The tupperware container now sits in my medicine cabinet where the other tube used to be. I’ve been using it for three days, and I can’t say my teeth are whiter yet but they will be eventually. Baking soda always worked for my mom, and I can definitely get on board with it this way. My teeth feel smoother than they did after brushing with store-bought toothpaste, and I LOVVVVVE that there are only 4 ingredients which were freshly mixed up just days ago, by moi.Image

Take 5 minutes and make some of your own and see what you think. Once my kids run out of their expensive, strawberry flavored, natural + fluoride toothpaste, I will see how they do with the homemade alternative. I ❤ home remedies, and this one is an obvious winner. I haven’t done the math, but I will assume that it will save some money and time wasted searching through the dental hygiene aisles.