First Place 4 Health

I am a few weeks into my first round of teaching a First Place 4 Health group and I must say it is awesome! I still have a lot to learn, but I love the program! What is even more amazing to me is that I am able to sit down a few times a month and brainstorm with and listen to an amazing group of women including Carole Lewis, author and national (more like international) director of First Place 4 Health! It is not everyday you get to sit and have great conversation with an author like her! What an inspiration!

I have to admit, I used to really REALLY despise Houston, but I have recently come to realize the blessing it has been in my life. Just the other week I ran into Beth Moore at Olive Garden of all places! We attend the same church and went and enjoyed our after church lunch at the same place! And guess where First Place 4 Health is headquartered?...Same church!

God truly does have a plan!

I highly recommend this awesome program and would be happy to answer any questions if you've got em'!

In the meantime! Keep moving, keep praying, and keep up your motivation for your health and fitness goals!

Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2009...

...according to ACE Fitness.

I was referred to a link in a newsletter for an article from ACE Fitness outlining the top 10 fitness trends for 2009.

They are as follows:

1. Boot Camp-Style Workouts
2. Budget-Friendly Workouts
3. Specialty Classes
4. Getting Back to Basics
5. Circuit Training
6. Kettlebells
7. Boomer Fitness
8. Technology-Based Fitness
9. Event or Sport-Specific Exercises
10. Mixing It Up

It made me happy to see these as the top 10 as Stroller Strides fits into a number of them and there are some locations that do offer classes that fit into all of the trends!

How cool is that?!


Do Not Attempt!

I was reading the joggermom.com blog and came across one post called Stroller Bloopers. There are a few pictures posted of bad form and just plain old bad ideas when dealing with a stroller. This pictures made me laugh out loud and stare in amazement!

Seriously, don't do this!

I mean....why???


March for Babies

I received an email yesterday from our local March for Babies chapter for our Stroller Strides leaders to lead a family warm-up before the walk! I was so excited and honored that they asked us to do this! We did the walk last year with a small Stroller Strides team as we were still pretty new here. Our small team raised $650 for March for Babies that will be used for research to study and prevent premature births.

While I am all for any charity that helps children, this one is especially close to my heart as one of my three was a preemie. My son Joshua was a little over three pounds at birth and while he was small, he was one of the biggest ones in the NICU. We brought him home just two weeks later and as I was elated to have him home, my heart broke for the many that were to stay for much much longer.

Last year's walk was immensely eye opening at how many lives are affected by premature birth. We saw thousands of NICU graduates proudly riding in their wagons and strollers and we saw thousands that were a memory pictured on t-shirts and posters. I made it through last year's walk without breaking down (and believe me I wanted to), but I wasn't in my car for more than a few seconds before I could no longer hold back the tears. I was so grateful that we had a healthy preemie, small but strong and I was so heartbroken for the families who could not say the same.

This year we will be walking again and I am looking forward to our bigger team and an even more successful fundraising campaign!

I know that money is tight these days but every donation helps, even if it is as low as $5. Please donate if you can to well needed research by clicking on the March for Babies widget in the sidebar.

If you would like more information about March for Babies or would like to sign up for your local walk, go to marchforbabies.org.

Thank you all for your support.


Joshua 11-28-04

Joshua 4 years old


Eat at Awesome Restaurants...Cheap!!!

Restaurant.com - $25 Certificates for only $10

I found a recommendation for a website that is almost too good to be true...but it is true!

The site is Restaurant.com and there you can enter your zip code and find a list of restaurants and purchase $25 gift cards for $10. There are a limited number of participating restaurants but I assure you there are some good ones for every town! There are restrictions/terms for using the gift cards at the restaurants. Most of them require a minimum purchase of $35. You pay $10 for the gift card and $10 for difference (35-25) and you end up spending $20 for a $35 meal.

THEN, I went to another recommended site called couponcabin.com. There you can do a search for discount codes for restaurant.com. Right now you can click on a link that takes 50% off the total instantly and there are other codes for 30% and 40% off your purchase. That makes your $25 gift card cost as little as $5. Talk about savings!

Use your yummy discounted meal as a reward for achieving those fitness goals or just go and enjoy a date night!


Running for Moms

Today in class we talked about a subject that I've noticed can evoke some strong feelings, both good and bad...running! Running is hands down one of the simplest and best exercises you can do. It is also one of the most painful, tedious, and at times unpleasant, right? I myself have the dirty little secret of not always being a big fan of the run!

You don't have feel this way though! Seriously! The key to enjoying a good run is to (what's the first step) start and start simply! If the last mile you ran was a cumulative few speedy steps over the past few years, then going out and tackling a mile today is not the best approach! Start small! Run for 2 minutes a few times a week to start. Sounds like nothing, but if your lungs and heart are not seasoned it will be the longest two minutes you'll have had in a while! Then bump it up to five minutes, then 7, then 10, etc. Build up your cardiovascular fitness gradually and you'll find that after a few weeks you actually will love running! You'll feel energized like you could never imagine! Think you don't have the time? Remember, 2 minutes!!! You can tackle 2 minutes of running in a day's time, I promise you!

When you run you work your heart, lungs, legs, abs...pretty much every part head to toe! It is a great exercise and will love it over time!

A few tips to making those first runs less unpleasant:

1. Wear good shoes!
A lot of the pain and injury associated to running can be associated to not wearing the proper shoes! You don't have to pay a fortune for them either! If you go to Overstock.com or online outlets you can find last year's model with huge discounts!

2. If you have one, bring your mp3 player.
Play your favorite music or music that gets you moving and let that occupy your mind while you run! For me I need something a bit "stronger"! I like to listen to audiobooks or podcasts, it requires a little more attention on my part! *I also use my ipod for housework time! It makes laundry folding and floor scrubbing a little more bearable!

3. Run with a friend.
Sometimes you just need that extra push (sometimes just to get out the door) and having someone to encourage you and vice versa can be a big help!

4. If you run with your kids (either in a stroller or beside you) use this a time for fun and reward! Go for a smoothie afterwards and marvel over how fast you can go (even at a snails pace they love it)!

A great resource for running for both beginners and advanced runners is runnersworld.com. This site offers everything from shoe reviews to fuel-filling diet plans! There are also several great mommy runner blogs and sites such as SeeMommyRun.com.

I'm routing for ya mamas! Get your run on!

New Giveaway - Healthy Child Healthy World book

I want to first congratulate Cherice for being last week's giveaway winner!
Cherice is the winner of a box of Luna Bars! Congrats Cherice!

This week's giveaway is a free copy of the Healthy Child, Healthy World. I had the privilege of speaking with the author Christopher Gavigan on a conference call last year and he has a very genuine interest in the safety and well being of our families. This book is filled with many eye opening statistics and facts as well as practical options for turning your home into a healthy environment. I wish I could give one away to all moms!

For more information about the Healthy Child Healthy World organization, go to healthychild.org

Our giveaway will start today and the winner will be announced next Monday, so get your entries in!

For review, to enter, just leave a comment in the comments section. You can increase your chances by doing a number of things: subscribe to our feed, refer a friend, grab our badge and post it on your web page or blog, post something on your blog about our giveaway with a link, you get the gist!

Good luck!


Moms with a Mission - Pure Prevention

Pure Prevention is a campaign from the Breast Cancer Fund and LUNA Bar to raise awareness about the environmental causes of breast cancer and empower us to live actively, healthy and well. Pure Prevention focuses on 5 Tips for easy, everyday actions to help reduce the risk of breast cancer: Create a Healthy Home; Eat Smart; Choose Safe Cosmetics; Get Outside; and Join the Campaign to spread the word about prevention. Join the Pure Prevention Campaign and share this information with colleagues, friends and family at www.pureprevention.org.

1. Create a Healthy Home www.pureprevention.org/act_healthyhome.php

Make your home a chemical-free sanctuary. Many household items, including paper products and cleaning supplies, contain cancer-causing chemicals. These products can be replaced with safer, non-toxic alternatives available at your local supermarkets and health food stores. Plus, by making smart purchases you let manufacturers and retailers know that you won’t stand for toxic products.

Some plastics leach chemicals into the substances they touch, so you should try to choose non-plastic alternatives when possible.
• Avoid microwaving your food in plastic containers or in plastic wrap. Choose ceramic or glass containers instead.
• Swap plastic water bottles for stainless steel or aluminum options.
Choose non-toxic baby toys and shower curtains instead of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), plastic or vinyl.

Beautiful Baby Contest

Live with Regis and Kelly is doing a Beautiful Baby Search running from January 12th to February 13th. The grand prize winner will be given $125,000 to used for a 4-year college as well as appear on the cover of Parenting Magazine and appear on the Regis and Kelly show. Not bad for a photo!

To enter your beautiful one, go to liveregisandkelly.com .

Best of luck!

Anyone need a free bike...this is from Iron Girl!

Every Specialized Designs for Women (D4W) bike is made specifically for women, including the Specialized Ruby Comp that we're giving away to one persuasive essay writer!

The Ruby is purpose-built for women who demand a ride without compromise. Utilizing the latest in proprietary Specialized FACT carbon composite technology, female cyclists now have every advantage in equipment that had historically been available only to the other half of the population. Women are smaller on average so our bikes are smaller and made lighter. Our sit bones are wider so D4W saddles provide more comfort in all the right places. Whether it's the local Iron Girl race or long rides with fast friends, the Ruby is the perfect riding partner.

In 250 words or less, tell Iron Girl why you deserve to be the owner of a new Specialized Ruby Comp . Would the bike make you faster? Would it improve your health? Maybe it would make you stand out at your next Aflac Iron Girl event? Would you use it to commute to work or school? Perhaps it would motivate you to give a triathlon or duathlon a try? Are you thinking of going green and doing your part to save the environment?

Please submit your essay, including contact information, via Email to info@irongirl.com.

Entries will be judged on creativity and originality.

Deadline to enter is January 31, 2009.

Learn more about the bike and Specialized Designs for Women (D4W) at http://www.d4wgear.com/

A helpful website when it comes to saving money!

Ok, so this is no way shape or form has anything to do with fitness, but I thought it a bit of useful information!

I have this listed on the side under "Save Money" and I do highly recommend the site ebates.com. Most of the stores are places you would shop anyway and you can use your internet coupons, member bonuses, etc on top of the cash back!

An example of this...my hubby is working on his 3D animation degree and needs to buy his new books for school. I got a coupon code from Barnes and Noble for an additional 15% of my purchase (coupon code W7B4J7E), on top of my member discount. I went to ebates.com to see if they are offering a cash back bonus with Barnes and Noble and to my delight, they are! You just can't beat that kind of shopping, a discount, on top of a discount, with free shipping, and cash back!

Signing up with ebates.com is free and they are really good about not overloading your inbox with emails.

Hmmm, with your cash back you can buy some exercise bands or weights or put that towards a membership with Stroller Strides ;) or take that yoga class! Maybe this post can go under "fitness"!


New Giveaways and new links!

Our New Giveaway:

As a thank you to our many readers, I will be doing new giveaways! To start us off, our first giveaway will be a box of Luna Minis! Luna provides awesome nutritional bars for women...not the chalky or sticky yucky kind! Luna bars are yummy, nutritious, and serve as a great snack!

This is the honest truth here; my husband LOVES them! He doesn't care that they are formulated, marketed, and packaged just for women! If I have them around, he will eat them! So get your free box of 18 before he does!

The flavors include S'mores, Nutz Over Chocolate, and Caramel Nut Brownie. In my opinion these are the best of the best!

Please note: All three bars contain some amount of soy and/or peanuts. If you have an allergy to these ingredients, these might not be the bars for you!

To enter the win the freebies, just leave a comment letting me know you are interested! That's it! Our winner will be announced next Monday...when we announce a new giveaway!

For more information on Lunabar nutrition facts and other Luna products please visit www.lunabar.com

I also recommend signing up for your local Luna Moms Club. It is free to join and the moms communities are great!

New Links:
I've added new links to the side of places where I find useful information and great gear. It's tough being mom and we can use all the help we get!

Speaking of Spring Cleaning...

Please forgive the mess on the blog! I am doing some cleanup and rearranging for a more user friendly site! Everything should be done today!


Spring Cleaning Workout!

Let's face it, Spring cleaning is a workout as it is, so what's a few more squats, calf raises, and push ups! There's always lots of lifting, pushing, and if you are someone like me with small children, lots of crawling! They get stuff in the most unlikely and hard to reach places! Add in some simple exercises and relish is not only a clean house, but a good workout!

When you start on this mountain sized endeavor, remember a few things...

1. Lift with you legs, not your back.
I know that is a cliche statement, but true all the same! Add in a few squats and you've got yourself a great leg workout!

2. Pace yourself!
I know with all of our busy schedules time is limited and you want to get as much done is as little time as possible. I say though to focus on quality, not quantity! Start in one area or room and focus your attention there until the job is done! Then you can move on to other rooms. Don't aim for vacuuming under all of the beds and sofas to check vacuum off the list. Just worry about one room! The other benefit (or silver lining depending on your views of housework) is you get more of total body workout, spread out evenly through the week!

3. Drink lots of water!
I am guilty of not following this one as much as I should! When we are giving the house the old scrub down we tend to breath in (pretty heavily) all of the dust we kick up as well as work up a good sweat. Clear your throat with a swig of water and keep hydrated through the sweats!

4. Last, but not least, give yourself a pat on the back...
and brag to your friends of a job well done! Go get yourself a small treat, you've earned it!

Tip: If you have an abundance of unused cell phones or small gadgets, sell them to gazelle.com I found this website in an article about recycling last year. I sent in three old cell phones and earned about $90...seriously! They even pay for shipping!

Check out gazelle.com here!


First Quarter Moms with a Mission

For the first quarter of 2009 our Moms with a Mission focus is for breast cancer awareness and research.

Our topic for this week is The Role of the Environment - Environmental and Preventable Causes of Breast Cancer

Fewer than 10 percent of breast cancers occur in woman with a genetic predisposition to the disease. Even when all traditional risk factors-including genetic predisposition, reproductive history, diet, exercise, and alcohol-are aggregated, more than half of the U.S. breast cancers remain unexplained. The Breast Cancer Fund (BCF) belives that environmental exposures to toxic chemicals and radiation are increasing breast cancer risk. We need to get people talking about breast cancer prevention and reducing these environmental exposures.

About the Breast Cancer Fund- In response to the public health crisis of breast cancer, the Breast Cancer Fund identifies - and advocates for elimination of - the environmental and other preventable causes from the disease. Founded in 1992, the Breast Cancer Fund works from the knowledge that breast cancer is not simply a personal tragedy, but ab public health priority that demands action from all.

web: http://www.breastcancerfund.org

blog: http://breastcancerfund.typepad.com/

**source of article from Luna (Clifbar).


Prayers for a family.

As you know I follow a blog by Dawn Meehan and her posts usually bring several laughs. Today though I read her post couldn't help but become overwhelmed with sadness. One of her friends lost her 5 year old son to brain cancer Monday night. Her words are both heartbreaking but inspiring as the family is very strong in their faith even in this tragic time. The little boy's name was Coleman Larson. Please pray for his family, esp his parents and twin brother. To read more on Coleman click here.


New Podcast Coming Soon!

I finally figured out how to create podcasts so starting next week (fingers crossed) I will be uploading short video podcasts showing you a few exercises that you can in do at home or at the park! This will be a great way to get those bodies moving!

In the words of one of my favorite authors, Carol Lewis, "start simply, and simply start."

Making 2009 a Mom-Fit Year

I've mentioned Bookie Boo before but in case you are new to the blog, it is a website that is known as a fitness hangout for moms. It started out as a small forum, but has since then become a very popular site!

Our own Lisa Druxman (founding Mama of Stroller Strides) will be doing a webinar where she will answer questions about workouts, nutrition, and more!

This is a great opportunity that will help you get those fitness goals on track!

The webinar will be on January 14th at 7pm. You must be a Bookie Boo member to log in. You can sign up at http://bookieboo.com


Prenatal Fitness From Stroller Strides

Will you be expecting a new bundle of joy this year? Here is a short video on how Stroller Strides can teach you about prenatal fitness!

Goal Setting 101

OK, it's a few days into the new year so everyone has had time to get into the swing of 2009! Time to get those New Year's resolutions off to a proper start!

Hopefully you have an idea of what you would like to accomplish, if not start there (see previous post)! Next break these big goals down to small realistic and attainable goals. Working these little bits into your daily life consistently is the key to success!

A few things to think about...

-If you are aiming to lose weight this year, a goal of losing two pounds a week is a good target. Losing more than that per week is one difficult and two potentially hazardous.

-Pick a target weight or caloric intake that is optimal for you and your body type. If you are 5'10", 110 lbs is not where you want to be! Once again, be reasonable

-Living a balanced healthy life requires a healthy diet, daily exercise, and "me time" for personal growth and development (includes reading, meditating, prayer, etc). These three elements need to be worked into your plan. Not one or two of them, all three of them.

A good chunk of the afflictions we all suffer from come from a series of long standing bad habits. The hardest part about bad habits is that they are difficult to change. That is why all three elements of a balanced life must be incorporated into our daily lives even if we force them in.

I was told a long time ago that if you do something 21 times in a row it becomes habit. I don't know if that is true, but I did test this theory when I was younger. I was horrible about flossing and my dentist never tired of reminding me that I needed to pick up the habit. I decided I was going to make myself floss for 21 days straight. For me it was a time issue. By the time I was ready for bed, that's all I wanted to do...go to bed. Most nights I patted myself of the back for brushing my teeth before turning in! For 21 days I dipped into my snooze time to make sure I flossed. The result? Well, it worked. I am not saying that in 21 days you can transform you life, but I do believe that you can make a substantial dent in those bad habits and instill some strength is those good habits.

As mentioned above, when you are setting your goals be realistic and attainable. Also, make your goals measurable Ex: I want to lose 10 pounds and be able to run 1 mile in 8 minutes by May 1st. NOT, I want to lose weight and exercise more. This makes it much easier to break the goals down into smaller weekly and daily goals. A little bit every day adds up quickly and can bring about great changes!

Good luck in your goal setting! Check back for easy and affordable tips to get you eating healthier and get a start on exercising!