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Our Corner

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Where are you originally from?

Auburn/Federal Way, WA, not very far from Redmond/Bellevue.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I think I joined summer 2018, once I was able to work out again after giving birth.

What classes do you attend?

I'm currently in Run Club, but I'm signed up for the next session of Body Well!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My workout buddy is Kal (short for Kaladin), he is 2.5 years old. He loves fast feet and burpees!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The coaches are incredibly supportive and have created such a wonderful community of moms.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I'm stay at home now, but I was a lab technician in a microbiology lab at UW before having Kal.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Yes, I think it's important. I'm not the most social of people, but even when I'm not actively participating it's reassuring to hear what other moms are going through and know you're not the only one.

What is your favorite beverage?

A latte with just enough eggnog that I can taste it and it feels indulgent, but not enough to be too rich.

What is your favorite dessert?

Strawberry shortcake or sticky cinnamon rolls

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Run, take a long hot bath, read or play video games. I don't get much uninterrupted time for those.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Any place where my husband (Matt) and I could be intimate anytime we want.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I'm tired all the time due to constantly being hyper aware of anything regarding my child. However, I balance that by being much more consistent with my health, especially exercise. I also had no idea how much love I'd have. I imagined it, but I really had no idea how intense it would be.

I am happiest when...

We (Matt, Kal and I) are all laughing together! Or when we're on a fun adventure.

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The holiday season is finally here! Part of the fun for me is finding new and fun ways to utilize those delish leftovers—some of my favs include turkey/veggie/rice soup, turkey/veggie pot pie, and turkey enchiladas. My all time FAVE is the leftover sandwich. It takes all the best parts of holiday meals and puts them in between two slices of bread. Here goes:

  • 2 slices of wheat bread or sandwich rolls
  • Leftover turkey meat or other meat
  • Cranberry sauce or other delicious sauce/sides you have on hand
  • Avocado mayo, salt and pepper

I like to toast my bread, but if I have leftover rolls I leave it untoasted. Spread a thin layer of mayo on both sides, add meat, a thin layer of stuffing and a thick layer of cranberries or sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. There’s something magical about the how cranberry sauce cuts the savory bites of the meat and sides and adds a little kick to this sammy! I love mine with lots of fresh ground pepper. I love it so much! Yum!

Although the holidays feel and look different, may we count our many blessings and find gratitude in the gift of time we’ve been given to slow down and enjoy the magic of this season. So many hugs to you all!

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There is so much to say about this amazing mama. She is determined, dedicated, and a huge inspiration to so many women in our Body Back group! Meet Katie!

Where are you originally from?

I'm a SoCal girl at heart where I spent most of my childhood but I've lived my adult life in the PNW.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined in 2016 when my daughter, Evelyn was 4 months old, I was hooked after that first Stroller Strides class!

What classes do you attend?

I'm addicted to the virtual Body Back and strength/core classes but I do miss Stroller Strides at the park with my girls.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My girls are Evelyn(4) and Emily(20 months), they are my WHY.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The compassion, support and friendship I have found with the women in this village has been life changing. I have always felt that the classes and instructors have welcomed me no matter my fitness level throughout my postpartum journey but challenge me to become the best version of myself.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

SAHM

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Every mother deserves to be part of a village like FIT4MOM, to be surrounded by other moms who 'get it'.

What is your favorite beverage?

Cold brew iced coffee

What is your favorite dessert?

Anything chocolate!

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Take a nap during a massage, get a man/pedi, finish with a salon blow out and have room service while binge watching my favorite shows on Netflix!

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Four Seasons Maui, give me all the blueberry mojitos beachside!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

It has taught me the most selfless form of love.

I am happiest when...

I am at the beach with my family!

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We love a good muffin in the Baer house and there are so many ways to incorporate healthier ingredients while still enjoying a yummy muffin as a snack! I typically double every recipe and freeze half of the batch in small ziplocks for a grab-n-go snack or for the lunchbox! Just pop in a frozen muffin and it will be defrosted by lunch. Plus, it can be used to help keep things cold;)

I made this recipe exactly as written, but subbed half of the oil for unsweetened applesauce! Using unsweetened applesauce for baking is an easy way to make your muffins a bit healthier! It is a 1:1 ratio swap —oil to unsweetened applesauce, or you can always sub part of the oil like I did! I also love that these are sweetened with honey with added Greek yogurt for a protein punch.

Luke is in heaven because he is a chocoholic! These muffins are moist and super chocolaty! Enjoy beautiful mamas! MUAH! xoxo

https://www.wellplated.com/healthy-chocolate-muffins/

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As we say goodbye to summertime gardens, we see our last weeks of seasonal produce such as tomato and basil. One of my favorite simple salads is the caprese. I feel like I’m dining al fresco at a cafe in Italy.... sigh. Anyhoo, slice your favorite garden or farmers market tomato, and fresh mozzarella from your fav cheese section. Next, layer the tomato, basil leaves and mozzarella in a circle or in straight lines. It’s super pleasing to the eye. Lastly, drizzle liberally with your favorite EVOO, salt and pepper. Let sit for 10 or so minutes to give the flavors a chance to get happy together. Serve right away with something from the grill, as a side to pasta or as your main dish with a crusty hunk of bread to sop up all of the goodness! Muah! xoxo

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I’m always looking for new recipes to use my browning bananas, and this one fits the bill! It incorporates lots of clean ingredients with our WA favorites — the apple! I followed this recipe exactly as written, and once the muffins were cooled, placed them in a large ziploc bag into the freezer. I pull one out in the morning for Luke’s lunchbox or with an afternoon cup of coffee. They are also great as a post-workout snack!

Baking is a hobby in which kids love to participate. It incorporates measurement, food safety, small motor skills, fractions and more! Invite your kiddos to join you;). Enjoy, my beauties! Xo

https://www.rockrecipes.com/oatmeal-apple-banana-low-fat-muffins/

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Meet our mom of the month, Crystal. This superstar mama inspires us with her dedication to fitness, her motivation, and all around positive, sparkling personality. Thanks for being part of our (virtual) village!

Where are you originally from?

I grew up in Northern California and met my husband in San Francisco after college.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

2016 while pregnant with my second child, Natalie.

What classes do you attend?

I started with Fit4Baby, then Stroller Strides, then Body Back and now I'm a Body Back and Run Club member.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Thomas is 6 and Natalie is 3.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

It has been my lifeline, this year, especially! I knew I liked to exercise but I don't think I realized how important it is for my physical and mental well being. The format of the FIT4MOM community is the best I've found and the one program I have stayed with the longest. I love the comradery, the coaching, the group fitness, the fact that classes are different Every. Single. Time. I am always on my toes, sometimes literally, and I love how fast paced the workouts are. I also feel like the community is real; people can be quiet, funny, engaged or not, and all of those things are accepted and encouraged.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am a Vice President of Operations for my ad agency, MediaCrossing. I run all the social ads for my clients, so those ads you get on Facebook? Yeah, probably me. Sorry Not Sorry!

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Villages are what helps keep you sane during any time of parenthood. Finding other people who are going through similar circumstances, who have an outlook on life that is focused on family, health and friendships is what a village is. When you can deepen relationships within a village things get even better. It takes work and energy so it's wonderful that the FIT4MOM village includes all the aspects of what is important to me in a single place. It has facilitated health and wellbeing.

What is your favorite beverage?

Lattes, Wine, Water, in that order.

What is your favorite dessert?

Dark chocolate, but, I'm kind of picky. There is this chocolate torte thing drizzled with olive oil and sea salt from my favorite restaurant in San Francisco that I literally dream about. If it's not that, I'd probably eat cheese instead.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Sleep, workout, shower, and get fully ready for a day. Or, go out to dinner with my husband. Turns out, I really like the guy!

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

At this point, anywhere I can go for more than 3 days at a time to rest and recuperate, and then, experience an actual vacation. If it's a place, I'd go to Hawaii or where we honeymooned, Canouan Island.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I am quite different now that I'm a mom. I'm still super driven and self motivated, but a lot of my focus has shifted to my kids. I've learned that I have more patience than I thought existed in the universe and that I'm pretty good at picking battles. I also know that I'm a better mom when I have rest and have exercised.

I am happiest when...

My kids are calm, happy, laughing and my husband and I are laughing about something.

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Happy almost fall, y’all! It’s back to school and it can feel a bit chaotic at times, but this is an easy breakfast, snack or lunch that will keep you full of energy to keep up with those kiddos!

First, I hard boil eggs using my favorite method. Place your eggs in a pot filled with water. Bring the pot to a rolling boil, cover and turn off the burner. Set a timer for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse eggs with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Toast your favorite bread, roll or English muffin— I used whole wheat bread. Half a small avocado, remove the pit and carefully scoop out the deliciousness. Spread on toast, top with eggs and generously sprinkle with Trader Joe’s EBS, kosher salt, or whatever seasoning you like. You can add extra veggies by topping with cherry tomatoes, baby spinach or wild arugula.

Easy peasy;)

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Where are you originally from?

Bothell, WA

When did you join FIT4MOM?

Fall 2017

What classes do you attend?

Stroller Strides and Saturday FIT4BABY!

Who are your workout buddies and their ages?

Elliana (Ellie) 3 and baby sister 37ish weeks.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The community that has become part of my life - knowing there are other mamas going through similar things as you as a mom.

It is something that keeps me accountable and moving, it has allowed me to feel like I am a stronger and better mom for taking care of myself and for setting a good example for my daughter. I love showing her that exercise is fun and healthy, and watching her show off the exercises she can do randomly when playing or showing her daddy.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

Currently a stay at home mom - used to be a preschool teacher!

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Yes! All the pieces of your village help form who you are and give you the energy to do what you do. Your village helps support you through the ups and downs of motherhood and give your child/children a community to grow up in.

What is your favorite beverage?

Smoothies. My favorite alcoholic drink is a fruit mojito.

What is your favorite dessert?

Ice cream or strawberry trifle.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Haha honestly right now I have no idea - maybe go get a pedicure, get a treat and go sit and read a book in the sunshine by myself.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Right now anywhere with a beach and sunshine!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I didn’t know that I could love or feel this way about another human. I have a greater capacity for understanding and empathizing about many pieces of life and all things related children.

I am happiest when...

I am spending family time together or outside or when watching others interact with my child.

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Summer is for salad and lighter grilled dishes and I love easy, homemade dressings that elevate the flavors of seasonal produce! This dressing uses pantry staples and is so easy to put together using a small mason garden for mixing and storage. I added a small squeeze of honey for a bit of natural sweetness and it really brings out the tartness of the vinegar and Dijon. This is wonderful on a basic garden salad, as well as cold quinoa/pasta, fish, chicken or drizzled over grill veggies. Enjoy! Muah!

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Meet mom of the month Cathy! Finding your village when you move to a new place can be tough. We're proud of this mama for diving in and setting an example for her girls. Congrats, Cathy!

Where are you originally from?

I grew up in Woodinville. After college I lived in Seattle, NYC, and London. My husband, Jeff, and I moved back here 3 years ago, right before our first daughter was born.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I started Stroller Strides in 2017, after my daughter, Chelsea, was born.

What classes do you attend?

Run Club and Stroller Strides

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Chelsea is 3 years old and Whitney is 8 months old.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love that you can make it what you want. There's a huge variety of classes to choose from, so many friendly women to get to know, and many opportunities to socialize (can't wait till we can do that again!) No matter your level of fitness, you will find a non-judgmental, welcoming group of amazing women.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I've been a stay at home mom since my first was born. My most recent job was a researcher at a law firm in London. I stalked people online and wrote biographies on them - I loved it!

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I think it is SO important for moms to have some sort of support network. Motherhood is amazing but it can be really, really hard and I don't know what I'd do without my mom friends. It's incredible seeing the kids go through such similar phases at the same time. Just knowing I'm not alone and I'm not the only one facing the challenges of raising kids has been a huge benefit to me these past few years.

What is your favorite beverage?

A nice, hoppy IPA.

What is your favorite dessert?

My DIY Oreo blizzard. I had them almost nightly through both of my pregnancies.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

I'd get a massage or pedicure and then drink wine with my husband or a friend.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Anywhere warm with a beach where I can just sit.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

Beginning a mother has made me want to become a stronger person. Standing up for myself has never come easy, but now I know these girls depends on me to stand up for them and teach them how to do it for themselves. There's lots of room for improvement, but I'm working on it.

I am happiest when...

When I tell my daughter, "I love you" and she says back, "I love you too." It's seriously the best feeling.

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As it heats up here in the lovely PNW, it’s hard to think about turning on the oven. We typically grill or do cold lunches and dinners. This is one of our favorite ways to eat healthy during hot days, as well as clean out our fridge of “everything but the kitchen sink” - hence the name of this salad coined by my mom when I was little as a way to eat all of our leftovers before she went grocery shopping!

I always start with a big helping of my favorite greens, such a baby spinach, kale, arugula, or any greens I have in the crisper. We had some leftover grilled chicken, so I diced that up. Then I literally took everything from our veggie drawer and started chopping — peppers, cherry tomatoes, baby Bella mushrooms, red onion, avocado, English cucumber, and snap peas. You could also add leftover pasta, grilled veggies, steak, seafood, pork, tofu, or anything that sounds good on a salad. I topped this with crumbled feta (thanks to the jumbo tub from Costco), leftover quinoa and walnuts. For a simple dressing, I used 1 T of my favorite EVOO and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Salt and pepper to taste and viola! You are ready to go!

Stay cool, beautiful mamas!

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Oatmeal is one of my go-to breakfasts, especially before a run or hard workout. It’s gives me sustained energy, it’s super filling and versatile! I usually double this recipe in the Instantpot and pre-portion for quick meals throughout the week.

I love this one because it’s super basic, then you can add any fruit, nuts or toppings that you like, such as diced apples, walnuts, almonds, honey, berries, peaches, nectarines, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, etc. My go-to is apples, raisins, walnuts and lots of cinnamon! Enjoy!!!!

https://www.foodiecrush.com/instant-pot-oatmeal-recipe-steel-cut-oats-rolled-oats/

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Meet our July mama, Sheetal! She is currently enjoying her last few months at home with her little boy, before going back to teaching this fall. THANK YOU Sheetal for continuing to join in our virtual classes. You rock!

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from India and I have lived in the US for a little over 5 years.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined FIT4MOM in 2018 when I was pregnant with Om and I used to do the Fit4Baby classes. I began Stroller Strides when Om was about 8 weeks old and I was instantly hooked because of the wonderful community of caring mamas!

What classes do you attend?

Currently I am doing my second round of Body Back. Other than that I have tried the Run Club (and loved it). I used to do Stroller Strides, but since we have gone virtual I have been doing a lot of nighttime HIIT classes and some Strength and Core classes.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My workout buddy is my little boy Om. He will turn 15 months in a few days!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

My favorite thing about FIT4MOM is the community of caring, supportive mamas. No matter how hard a day has been or what issue I am grappling with, it is heartening to know that I am not alone. Even though we can't meet up often anymore or we don't talk much, the mere thought that someone has my back and is rooting for me in this motherhood journey gives me strength.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

Currently I am a Stay at Home Mom. Before having Om I was a Special Education teacher for elementary students in the Lake Washington School District. I will be going back to full time teaching this fall and am trying to make the most of this time with my sweet boy.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I have truly started to believe that it takes a village to raise a child well, especially in this day and age. Our children learn from what they see and the more diversity, respect, kindness and sharing they see, they will grow up to be those values too. On the other hand, having someone to vent to while dealing with sleep deprivation, teething, hormonal changes and what not helps keep me keep sane!

What is your favorite beverage?

My favorite beverage swings between a proper cup of Indian tea and margarita depending on the time of day. ;)

What is your favorite dessert?

My favorite dessert is ice-cream with chocolate, chocolate, chocolate cheesecake..... Basically, anything chocolate!

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Assuming that we are not in the middle of a pandemic anymore, I would take my husband on a city tour of bar hopping!

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

We recently visited Cancun, Mexico. I would love to go back there (child free). It was one of the most beautiful places I have visited in a long time.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I think I have learned to let go. It has been hard but also liberating to be able to let go of things I can't control and enjoy the things I can.

I am happiest when...

My little boy falls asleep and I sit there watching him feeling proud of being his mom!

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Meet Maria! She joined us from FIT4BABY, and now take HIIT classes online. This busy mama of two impresses us with her drive to further her career. Plus, she's from a country where it takes just FIVE MINUTES to file your taxes! That's an #adulting win :)

Where are you originally from?

I am from a little European corner called Estonia. We are known for a beautiful old-town (from the 14th century), one of the highest numbers of start-ups per capita and the most digital government in the world. We vote online, all state services are accessible online, and just to make you all jealous, filing your taxes takes the average Estonian less than 5 minutes. The only public service you still have to turn up for in person is getting married, everything else you can do online.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined in August last year, approximately 5 days after I moved here. I went in for a FIT4BABY class with Katie Kozlowski and was hooked.

What classes do you attend?

I am finding myself mostly in HIIT classes, especially during Body Back sessions. Although I can’t wait to get back to the studio and try out TRX, it somehow appeals to my fondness for gadgetry.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My workout buddies are Leila Rei, who is nearing 4, Casper Fin who is nearing his half-year birthday, and Christoph (their dad), who I have had no luck convincing to join me so far.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love the can-do enthusiasm that everyone involved oozes. I think this positivity starts with Jamie and trickles all through the Village from there. It is infectious.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I quit my job as a CEO in energy and retail back home when we moved and have since been volunteering and freelancing in consulting and strategic planning work. I am now upskilling in full stack web development and will be heading back to the job market this summer looking for something in software engineering or technical project management. That is if anyone is still hiring in the midst of this crisis.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

For me personally, moving here, while pregnant, to the other side of the World from everyone I knew, finding this Village was such a blessing. We have kept contact with some of the ladies from that FIT4BABY class, who all now have brand new babies, and it has been priceless. Just the fact that I can moan about sleep deprivation or baby weight gain or feeding problems at 4am and someone says, “Same here!“, makes all the difference. Not feeling alone is even more important in a time like now, when connecting with people has to be more deliberate. Ultimately our own mental health paints everything else in our lives and a Village is what keeps you sane.

What is your favorite beverage?

It’s a tossup between black coffee and G&T.

What is your favorite dessert?

Something really basic, like a great bar of chocolate or really creamy gelato. Even better if mint is involved.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

I assume this imaginary babysitting happens in an imaginary pandemic free world so I would take my husband and go to the fanciest rooftop cocktail bar I could find.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

I want to sail across the Pacific ocean ending up in French Polynesia. Some people do it with kids, but I would rather not.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I have so much more patience. Not with my kids, but with everything else. For example I have gotten much better at playing tennis, because I just don’t get as frustrated with myself.

I am happiest when...

learning or experiencing something new.

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My dear friend Sarah turned me on to this glaze and it’s a game changer! You can find it in the oil section of TJs and it’s such a beautiful, versatile product with so many uses. It’s tangy, silky and has an amazing balsamic flavor. I use it almost daily on my salads, with a teaspoon of olive oil and a light zig-zag of this glaze. I’ve also had this on grilled asparagus, pizza topped with fresh arugula and atop bruschetta.

Try it, you will love it! MUAH, beautiful mamas! Xoxoxo

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Meet Alyx, a mama who hasn't let the stay at home order get in the way of her commitment to wellness! Thanks for joining our virtual classes, Alyx. We can't wait to see you in person!

Where are you originally from?

Born and raised in Washington

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined in the beginning of December 2019

What classes do you attend?

I go to Stroller Strides, but since we’ve been virtual I’ve been trying other HIIT classes as well!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Jaxyn is 7 months old

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love that I’m taking care of myself, while spending time with my son and setting a good example for him! As well as being with amazing mamas!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am a nanny to a sweet 6 year old girl. I’ve been with her since she was 2 years old. Now that she’s older, I just take her to school in the mornings. I’m also a volleyball coach for Kamiakin Middle School, Juanita High School, and at NWJ volleyball club.

Is it important for moms to join a village?

I feel like it’s absolutely important to join a village! I normally don’t make too much of an effort to go outside my comfort zone and make new friends, but there’s not a day I regret joining FIT4MOM! I know I can count on my village to lift my spirits, support me, and help me with this adventure of motherhood!

What is your favorite beverage?

I drink lots of water! But I also love wine!

What is your favorite dessert?

I love donuts!

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Date night with the hubby!

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Paris, France

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I feel like I’m a lot more present and positive now that I’m a mom. I’m just trying to soak everything in!

I am happiest when...

When I am with my husband Brandon, Jaxyn, and our dog Cali; especially when we are outside enjoying the sunshine!

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It’s warming up this week, and it’s a great time to get outside and GRILL! These shrimp tacos were super quick and easy, and I made it even easier by buying pre-made fresh mango and pineapple salsa (instead of the avo salsa in the recipe.)

I used Costco frozen shrimp, defrosted them overnight, and marinated them for about 15 minutes before popping them on the grill. They cook really quickly, so don’t go far. Fresh lime is the star here - it adds a beautiful brightness and fresh pop! I heated up the corn tortillas on the top rack of the grill, then assembled the tacos. This marinade would also be amazing if you wanted to build a taco shrimp salad or burrito bowl. Miss you all and can’t wait to see you soon!

Get grillin’! Muah, beautiful mamas! xoxo

https://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/grilled-shrimp-tacos-avocado-salsa/

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One of the most challenging things of our stay at home order is the disruption of our normalcy, and for me, that includes my afternoon treat: iced latte from my local coffee stand. Sitting quietly with my coffee has become a kind of self-care for me; I decompress a bit, and enjoy the few moments of silent thought which helps me reset my intentions for rest of my day. Here’s an easy iced latte that will satisfy cravings for your favorite coffee stand order.

  • 1-2 shots of espresso or a 1/4 c strong coffee
  • Lots of ice
  • 3/4-1 c milk (can almond, oat, or cow’s milk)

Fill a large glass with ice and milk. Add espresso shots or strong coffee. You can adjust your milk or espresso amount based on preference. Add a fun straw. Find a quiet corner of your house and enjoy this deliciousness in silence.

Sending love, health and good juju to each of you. Be well, beautiful mamas!

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As we are all sorting through lots of big emotions and embracing our new normal, it’s more important than ever to get creative with learning outside of the box. I love using baking as a learning opportunity because the outcome is always delicious and the little nuggets of learning happen organically.

Use this recipe to focus on mathematics, home economics and health. For the math skills, talk about the various measuring spoons and cups. I also would suggest doubling this recipe for two reasons: First, you can use an entire can of pumpkin without any leftovers, and second, you can use the doubling to practice basic math skills (fractions, measurement, multiplication, counting). You can count the muffin tin spaces and also count the finished product. For the health portion, talk about how protein fuels our body and sugar slows us down. Discuss how there is VERY little sugar in this recipe, so it tastes more like a pancake in muffin form. Fill up the sink with warm soapy water and wash all of the cups, spoons and bowls together. Talk about how the baking powder acts with the salt in the Kodiak mix to make the muffin rise. There are so many opportunities for learning when you bake together!

I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but any milk will do. Please snap a pic of you and your tiny humans baking! Sending you all lots of love and light! xoxoxo

https://drizzlemeskinny.com/pumpkin-spice-pancake-muffins/

Fit Foodie Finds - Toasted Coconut Almond Milk.png

My morning happily starts with a giant cup of coffee, and years ago I switched from cream and sugar to other alternatives, such as low-fat cow’s milk and almond milk. My new obsession is Califia Toasted Coconut Almond Milk. There is no sugar added, but the toasted flavor of the coconut gives it a natural sweetness, plus is creamy! It is super yummy in my dark roast coffee, and I also loved it in my smoothie last week, as well as my cereal. I order mine from Smith Brothers, but you can also purchase at local grocery stores such as QFC.

Enjoy! xo

Fit Foodie Friday - chili lime soup.png

We're all in this together, mamas! Keep calm and stock that freezer! Try this soup for something new.

I am obsessed with soups in colder months! My week is set up for success when I meal prep, and that always includes a big pot of soup on Sunday. I will typically eat the soup for dinner, then pre-portion throughout the week for a quick lunch! I adapted this recipe from a WW recipe and it’s so easy and filling. You can always add shredded chicken for an extra protein boost, or make this vegetarian by using vegetable stock. The lime and cilantro really adds a fresh kick to the flavor! I think you’ll love this recipe! Xo

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large, chopped uncooked onion(s)
  • 1 medium, seeded, minced jalapeño pepper(s)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp, ancho variety chili powder
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 60 oz, rinsed and drained canned black beans
  • 2 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp, (Juice of 1 lime) fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp plain lowfat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup(s), chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup(s), chopped uncooked scallion(s)

Instructions

Heat oil in a large nonstick soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno, garlic and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder and cayenne; stir and cook 1 minute. Add beans and broth to pot; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for flavors to blend, about 10 minutes; stir in lime juice.

Remove from heat and puree soup in pot using an immersion blender (or puree in a regular blender in batches). When serving, stir 1/2 tablespoon yogurt into each bowl and garnish with cilantro and scallions. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Mom of the Month (6).png

Say hello to Healy, our March Mom Of The Month! Healy joined our village almost two years ago, she has loved being part of such an inclusive village where she can connect with other moms. Healy is mom to cute little William (3) and due THIS WEEK with baby boy #2! We are so grateful to have Healy in our village!

Where are you originally from?

Boston, MA

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined FIT4MOM in June 2018 for my first Body Back session.

What classes do you attend?

I attended Fit4baby classes until this week, since I am expecting my second son later this week! But have done several sessions of Body Back and Run Club in the past.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Lots of mamas from Fit4Baby and Body Back, but also stay active with my son William who is 3, and baby boy #2 who is due to arrive soon!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

FIT4MOM has been an incredible outlet for me to focus on my own health! The class times and support network has brought back my love for exercise.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am a technical recruiter.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

FIT4MOM has been such a great ‘village’ of moms I may not have met otherwise. I appreciate how honest and helpful everyone is before, during and after class. I love getting advice from moms with older kids, and being able to share my experiences as well. FIT4MOM definitely fosters an inclusive ‘village’ that has made me feel welcome.

What is your favorite beverage?

Water is what I drink the most of, but I love a cappuccino.

What is your favorite dessert?

Tiramisu

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

A fun date night with my husband, James.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Cinque Terre, Italy

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I don’t sweat the small stuff as much as I used to before my son was born. I try to spend my energy on the things that matter!

I am happiest when...

I’ve had a full night of sleep, a workout and can spend quality time with my son and husband. Even if we’re just hanging out at home!

Fit Foodie Friday - roasted carrots.png

Roasting vegetables is such an easy and amazing way to add more veggies to every meal. They are great on top of a salad, in a rice bowl, or as a simple side dish! The high temperature helps the vegetables get a nice, caramelized, sweet flavor. These carrots are super simple and dried thyme works just as well as fresh. We served this on a bed of quinoa with grilled chicken and it was warm, comforting and delicious!

Enjoy! xoxo

https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/roasted-carrots-with-thyme.html

Fit Foodie Friday - Broccoli cheddar soup.png

Rainy winter nights call for a comforting soup, and broccoli cheddar is a staple soup in our house! It’s super easy in the Instapot or other pressure cooker as the cooking time is sped way up instead to simmering on the stove. I followed the recipe exactly as written, but substituted 2% milk for whole, and only used 2 cups of sharp cheddar. It’s a thicker soup, so feel free to add an extra cup of stock for a thinner consistency. Omit the cayenne pepper if a little kick of spice is not your jam. Enjoy, lovely mamas! Muah! Xo

https://www.nourish-and-fete.com/instant-pot-broccoli-cheddar-soup/

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This is my new fave find at Trader Joe’s, but I totally understand if you are a bit skeptical— I was too! I read about this on a blog I follow and decided to try it for myself. YUM!

This was a super quick lunch and satisfied that sandwich craving;). I oven baked my burger, and loved it, but I also want to try it pan fried for a nice sear. I served mine on a toasted bun with 1 teaspoon of avocado mayo, dill pickle slices, iceberg lettuce and tomato slices. I think some pesto or tarter sauce would also work nicely. I had a few whole grain tortilla chips and felt super satisfied after my lunch!

Try it— I think you’ll be hooked too! xo

Mom of the Month - Leslie.png

Where are you originally from?

Culver City, California

When did you join FIT4MOM?

September 2016

What classes do you attend?

Katie's Body Back class on M/W at 8pm!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

I love working out with all the mama's in Katie's M/W class :)

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I have several favorite things. I love being able to workout where you can be yourself and never feel judged. I love always having a coach and workout buddies by your side who are cheering you on and supporting you. I love the community where you can ask any and all questions and get answers and advice.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am currently a stay at home mom. However, I tried to quit this week and my "employers" laughed at me. Prior to having kids, I worked in the mortgage industry doing home loans for 12 years.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

After joining this village, I hope everyone has a village to join as it is so vital. Moms can be so hard on themselves and feel isolated and having a village allows them to have a community that understand them, respects them, helps them when needed, provides guidance and support, and just lifts them up. We are all doing our best to be the best mom to our kids but we need social interaction and support from other moms as well and this village definitely provides that.

What is your favorite beverage?

I'm pretty boring and its probably ice water with lemon. I love a good peppermint mocha too but have cut those out with Body Back.

What is your favorite dessert?

Chocolate lasagna or frozen yogurt

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Oh man... I would probably scream out in excitement first and then I would take half the time for self care, whether its getting my hair done or a massage or a pedicure. I would then go out to a nice, quiet dinner with my husband. Bonus points if I have time for a cat nap too.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Tahiti with a hut on the water

How has becoming a mother changed you?

Becoming a mom has changed me in many ways. I have gained a newfound level of patience I didn't know I had, I have learned to value things differently than I used to, and I now understand how you can love, care, and worry about someone so much. Being a mom is the hardest job ever but the most rewarding!

I am happiest when...

I am with my family and my husband and I can see the excitement and adventure through our kids eyes.

Fit Foodie Friday - coconut lime quinoa.png

I’m obsessed with quinoa as it is super tasty, my 5 year old eats it and it’s a great rice/pasta swap! This recipe has three ingredients and can be used in many different dishes. Use your Instantpot or rice cooker and this comes out fluffy, moist and full of flavor!

I served this with two meals: salmon with asparagus, and a base for black bean burgers with pico de gallo. You could also use this in a salad, as a base for curry, burrito bowl, Thai or Asian cuisine, or as a simple “rice” side dish with a protein and veggie! The coconut milk adds so much richness, along with the lime and zest, which gives the quinoa a nice fresh pop of flavor! I think this will be one a staple in your kitchen! Muah, lovely mamas!

https://unsophisticook.com/coconut-lime-quinoa/

Fit Foodie Friday - mango salsa.png

I’m all about making a big batch of salsa to pair with several meals throughout the week. This recipe requires a bit of chopping, but once it’s done, you are set for 2-3 meals. It’s fresh, sweet, a little spicy and pairs nicely with many proteins and veggies!

Chop the following into a small dice:

  • 4 medium ripe mangos
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 or 2 jalapeños (depends on the spice you like)
  • Medium red pepper
  • Juice of 1 medium lime

Gently mix all ingredients and cover and chill for a few hours for the flavors to meld and get happy!

I used this salsa for 3 meals: BBQ chicken salad, salmon over quinoa and shrimp with grilled corn. This would also be great with pulled pork, over a quesadilla or in a simple green mexi salad! It’s also super yummy with tortilla chips. Enjoy beautiful mamas! xoxo

Fit Foodie Friday - Salsa Shredded Chicken.png

Mexican and Southwestern cuisine are staples in our home, and this easy salsa chicken is so versatile, it can be cooked ahead for meal prep, and used in a variety of ways through the week! It only has a few ingredients, and cooks in less than 30 minutes. I love the ease in which a pressure cooker adds flavor quickly, while keeping the meat nice and tender.

I followed the Skinnytaste recipe exactly as written. When the chicken completed it’s natural release, I added a can of drained and rinsed black beans and cooked corn I had leftover in the fridge. I served it over romaine and brown rice. You could also use this for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads or create a burrito bowl like I did! Enjoy, beautiful mamas!

https://www.skinnytaste.com/instant-pot-pressure-cooker-easy-salsa/

Easy Kid craft - snow paint.png

Have you heard snow is on the way? Get ahead with some planned indoor fun, like this "snow" paint!

Materials:

  • Shaving cream
  • White School glue (non toxic), chilled 1 hour+
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Peppermint essential oil (optional)

Directions:

Mix equal parts chilled glue with shaving cream. Add glitter and a few drop of essential oil if desired.

Paint, play, enjoy!

Protip: worried about your kiddo eating the play snow? Mix and place in large zip top bag instead. Let them knead the bag and explore the squishy feeling!

Fit Foodie Friday - slow cooker chicken chili.png

During the winter, I love a good buffalo wing, but don’t enjoy that bloated feeling I get after. This chili is the cure for that craving, with all the flavor of a basket of yummy wings! You literally toss the ingredients in, and it’s set to go!! This is a great chili for a football Sunday or a potluck! Adjust the amount of buffalo wing sauce based on your spice preference.

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3/4 c Buffalo wing sauce
  • 1 c frozen corn
  • 2 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 14.5 oz cans great white northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing OR 1 t each of onion powder and garlic powder
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)

Place all ingredients except the cream cheese in the crockpot for 3-4 hours on high or 5-7 hours on high. Remove and shred the chicken breasts and return to pot. Add softened cream cheese in chunks and cook for 20-30 additional minutes. Wisk the soup until the cream cheese is incorporated and no lumps remain. Serve with tortilla chips and chopped green onion!

YUM! Xo

Mom of the Month - Cecilia.png

Cecilia relocated to the area from overseas and found our village! She's happy to have mom friends who share her passion for fitness and fun, and meeting little buddies for her cutie Hugo. We're thankful to have such an inspiring and adventurous mom in our ranks!

Where are you originally from?

Gothenburg, Sweden

When did you join FIT4MOM?

June 2019

What classes do you attend?

Stroller Strides in Kirkland abd Bothell, Run Club, and I did Strides 360 in the summer.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Hugo, 11 months

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

When we moved to the USA from Sweden this past summer, I looked up several mom groups, but FIT4MOM is the only one that I continue going to and where I have found like-minded moms- we do not only have motherhood in common but also the passion for fitness and well being. But best of all, I get exercise at the same time Hugo has fun with his little friends.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am a computer engineer and work as Technical Program Manager, but currently I am on maternity leave until I get my American work permit.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

YES, when you have kids, suddenly you want/need family and friends even closer than before. Me and my husband chose to move away from all that, to start a life where we did not know one single person, in a different part of the world.

This group has really helped me to overcome cultural differences (yes there are a few) but also gave me a community with inspiring women that I am happy to call friends. I also get support to find answers to questions like:

How do I find a doctor if baby gets sick? What diapers to use? What can I feed my kid for lunch? Not to mention all the american kid songs I've learned!

What is your favorite beverage?

That would be wine. ️

What is your favorite dessert?

Gino- Baked bananas, kiwi, raspberries and strawberries with melted white chocolate. Served with vanilla ice cream.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

I just had that!!!

Me and my best girlfriend went to an adventure water park, and rode the water slides like we were 10 years old! Haha we had a blast!

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

New York or any other fun city. Or maybe go for a challenging backcountry skiing trip that would be too tough for Hugo.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I am a project manager by heart, but I have learned that with kids, not everything goes according to plan- there needs to be room for changes. I have also learned that a lot of things are possible to do with kids (especially if people tell me that it is impossible), but it is OK if we don't get all the way!

I am happiest when...

I get to go hiking with my husband and Hugo on a beautiful mountain.

Fit Foodie Friday - Easy Mexican breakfast burrito.png

Sometimes, we just need a little extra energy to get through the day. This breakfast burrito is so easy to put together and it uses staples that you probably already have in your fridge and pantry. You can also add leftover veggies to this to give an extra punch to this yummy breakfast! The basic burrito recipe is as follows:

  • 1 whole grain burrito shell
  • 2 T refried or black beans
  • 1 T salsa
  • 2 T shredded Mexican style or cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/4 sliced avocado or 1 T guacamole

Spread your tortilla with the beans and heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Scramble your eggs and add things like diced red pepper, cooked butternut squash or spinach to your scramble, if you like. Place cooked eggs on the tortilla and add the other ingredients. Add a few dashes of hot sauce if you like it caliente! Roll up your burrito and enjoy, beautiful mamas!

Xoxo

Fit Foodie Friday - pear salad.png

This quick salad is a great way to detox after heavy holiday meals, and also use up leftover turkey and roasted veggies. It also adds the delicious seasonal flavors of pear and pomegranate seeds.

This salad serves two, so double it for a family meal or pot luck!

  • 4 c spring mix
  • 1 pear, diced
  • 1/2 c blueberries
  • 1/4 pomegranate seeds
  • 2-3 T crumbled goat cheese (or feta)
  • 2-3 T pecans or walnuts
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Any leftover roasted vegetables
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Leftover turkey or any protein you like

Toss all ingredients gently in a large bowl. Add in whatever leftover roasted veggies you may have on hand (Brussels sprouts, asparagus, sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, cranberries, etc). This salad is full of flavors so get creative!! Enjoy beautiful mamas! Xoxo

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Jennifer has been a mainstay in our Body Back program for years, and transitioned to Fit4Baby when she was expecting her second. We're excited to welcome this fun and busy mama of two boys back to studio classes soon!

Where are you originally from?

I usually tell people I’m from Oregon to keep it easy but I actually grew up in Boston, Minneapolis, and on the Oregon Coast!

When did you join FIT4MOM?

A close friend told me how much they had enjoyed their Body Back session and I decided to give Body Back a try when I was ready to start exercising after my first baby.

What classes do you attend?

Body Back, Body Back Boost, and Fit4Baby have been my mainstays. I can occasionally be found at TRX and Yoga.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

I prefer to work out with just grownups (!) but am trying to instill healthy habits in Elliott (7) and Soren (3 weeks).

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The camaraderie, encouragement toward goals, and fun atmosphere. After I had my first child I had a difficult time finding “my people”. Within weeks of joining FIT4MOM I felt like I had found people who I liked hanging out with.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I’m loving being on maternity leave right now but in a few months I will be back to being the head of the regulatory affairs department for a local biotech company.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Yes, I think it’s important for moms to have a village. It is such a relief to be able to have people (outside of family) to talk to about the good and bad that is going on in life.

What is your favorite beverage?

Water.

What is your favorite dessert?

Chocolate.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Massage…sleep…long phone call with a good friend.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Hmmm, not sure. Maybe hiking through New Zealand.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I’m way more emotional than I used to be and also more tolerant/forgiving of others.

I am happiest when...

I’ve had 8 hours of sleep, worked out, and both kiddos are calm.

Fit Foodie Friday - Wild Rice Mushroom.png

Soup season is upon us!!!! A former Body Back coach introduced me to this recipe and we are hooked. It’s oh so comforting and this soup is super easy because you literally toss everything in your pressure cooker and hit GO!

I followed the recipe as written, but also added a sliced leek as I had one in my produce drawer. ;) Make sure you use wild rice, not any other varieties. Also, if you prefer a less creamy soup, skip adding the roux at the end. The wild rice adds a nice texture and thickens the soup naturally. We enjoyed this filling soup with a big chunk of warmed baguette!

Nom, Nom beautiful Mamas! Xoxo

https://pinchofyum.com/instant-pot-wild-rice-soup

FFF - Roasted Squash and Black Bean Scramble.png

I love starting my day off with scrambled eggs—it gives me the protein I need to keep up with my sweet toddlers at preschool. But I get bored of eggs and am always looking for ways to elevate and try new things. This is my new favorite!!!

  • Grab pre-cut butternut squash and toss lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper and any other seasoning you that you like.
  • Roast at 450 degrees until the squash starts to blacken (about 15-25 minutes).
  • Drain and rinse a can of black beans
  • Scramble your eggs (or any way you like them) and place on top of a bed of arugula or any green you like (Swiss chard, baby spinach, kale, etc).
  • Top with your roasted squash, beans and goat cheese.
  • I also added Frank’s hot sauce and Everything Bagel Seasoning.

This is also such a great dish for meal prep. Put cooked butternut squash and beans in small containers. Reheat and quickly cook up your eggs and add your goat cheese and greens!

Happy eating, beautiful mamas! Xoxo

Fit Foodie Finds - TJ stirfry.png

ALERT, ALERT! This is our new obsession. You can find it in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s near the frozen cauliflower rice. I literally stocked up with six bags last time like a crazy lady ;).

If you crave Chinese food (like this East Coaster) but want something lighter, this is it! I heated the stir fry in my wok and added frozen shrimp until everything was heated through and the shrimp was cooked. Lastly, I heated up and added a few shrimp wontons that I had in the freezer as well as fresh scallions and my craving for Asian cuisine was satisfied!

MOM - Kelsey Peterson.png

Where are you originally from?

Born and raised right here in Seattle.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

Joined in 2018 when Max was 2 months old.

What classes do you attend?

Stroller Strides and as many studio classes I can! Body Ignite is my fave. I loved my time in Body Back as well!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Max, 14 months

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The community. Classes are so fun when you don’t have to worry about being judged if you feel you aren’t strong enough. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive and are so thrilled that you have come to better yourself and your family.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I work full time as an HR benefits and wellness program specialist for a commercial fishing company in Seattle

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I think that the village takes on so many different forms depending on your needs at the time. Sometimes it is there for you to help others, sometimes people literally come to you and give you support. Sometimes it’s just a friendly message or smile.

I thought i didn’t need a village. I thought i could do it alone. I found out that is a terrible idea. I was not my best self and therefore not the best mom or wife. Reaching out for help is so important, and having a village to support you, even if it’s only to vent, can be life changing.

What is your favorite beverage?

There is no way I have one, but since it’s fall I absolutely love an eggnog latte. I wait ALL year for those

What is your favorite dessert?

Hmmm I’m not huge on dessert, but i love my Aunt's Pecan pie.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Holy luxury! I’d split it to have time time for myself and spend time with my husband. I’d go get a pedicure, like the deluxe one, then I’d go to dinner and if the babysitter is not at our house...go home for some dessert.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

I love vacations to do something but I always feel like I am on the go these days. I’d love an all inclusive resort with unlimited spa options and an epic beach.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

So much for the better. I had no idea how much i could multitask! But really i would say that it has opened my eyes to the capacity i have for patience and compassion and love. Watching Max grow, his determination to learn a new skill, seeing his daddy’s eyes light up when all runs to him, finding stores of patience I didn’t know I had when Max throws spaghetti onto the white carpet...all of it. I would change any of it because my life is so blessed. Being a mom was something I always wanted but I didn’t know how much until it was hard to get pregnant and then Max was actually born. It didn’t complete me, but it helped my heart grow so much more than I could have imagined.

I am happiest when...

Dan, Max and I are on an adventure...preferably at a racetrack.

Fit Foodie Finds - almond milk.png

Happy Fall Ladies! We are expanding Fit Foodie Friday to include some of my favorite fit foodie finds! I’ll still continue to share recipes, bit also some of my favorite gadgets, beverages, snacks and products that will support your simple and healthy lifestyle!

This week I’m showcasing my new favorite almond milk: Califia Vanilla Almond Milk. In the past few years, I’ve moved away from cream and sugar in my coffee to low-fat milk. I’ve never been able to enjoy almond milk in my morning cup until now! It’s unsweetened, but the vanilla gives it a hint of natural sweetness. Its seriously so creamy. I get mine delivered in my Smith Brothers order and I absolutely love it! If you are in the fence about almond milk, try having half cream or milk and a splash of Califia Farms in your coffee — I promise it will not disappoint! Xoxo

Fit Foodie Friday - Turkey Pumpkin chili.png

This might be one of my all time favorite chilis for the fall—it combines the classic beans and meat, but with a fun pumpkin twist! I have made this recipe in both the slow cooker and the instant pot; both are delicious! It’s warm and comforting, and my little guy will eat this most days :).

I follow the recipe exactly as written, except I bump up the spices as follows: 1.5 T cumin, 1.5 T chili powder and I also add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and a pinch of cayenne. The pumpkin pie spice really brings out the natural flavor of pumpkin purée.

I topped this with cilantro, green onions and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt! And served with cornbread. Enjoy beautiful mamas! Embrace everything FALL! Xoxo

https://www.skinnytaste.com/crockpot-turkey-white-bean-pumpkin/

She's Crafty (3)- leaf creatures.png

As the weather turns, we often have to bring the fun inside. Gather leaves outside and embrace the season with this simple activity!

Materials:

  • fallen leaves
  • glue-stick
  • paper
  • google eyes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Gather fallen leaves and give a good rinse
  2. Lay flat and pat dry
  3. Using a glue stick, arrange your leaf parts on paper
  4. Add googley eyes if desired
Fit Foodie Friday - Pickled Red Onions.png

Over the summer I had the most amazing salad with pickled red onions and started my search for a quick and easy recipe. This one has four simple ingredients and it’s quick and easy. The pickling juice mellows out the kick of the red onion and enhances its sweetness.

I made these onions to use on pork carnitas, but pickled onions are also great on burgers, sandwiches, salads or as a garnish on many side dishes, such as black beans. Try these—you’ll be hooked!

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/quick-pickled-red-onions/

Fit Foodie Friday - Carnitas.png

I’m such a huge fan of Mexican and Southwestern cuisines! The flavors are so delectable and classic, I try to find new recipes which highlight those flavors of cumin and garlic. Carnitas are my go-to order when out to eat and I decided to experiment with this recipe and it was a huge hit! The limes and orange add an amazing citrus flavor, and the spices that are rubbed into the pork are simple perfection!

I followed this recipe exactly as written and served on corn tortillas with homemade pickled onions, jalapeño, cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime and cojita cheese. Using the instant pot cuts down your cooking time and helps tenderize the meat; it literally falls apart. These carnitas could also be used in burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, a taco salad or burrito bowl. They also make great leftovers! Yum yum, beautiful mamas. Muah! Xoxo

https://www.platingsandpairings.com/best-instant-pot-pork-carnitas/

Mom of the Month  - emily.png

Meet Emily, a rockstar mama to her little cutie, Everett, who joined our village last April. By day, she's a full time working mama, by night and weekend, she's taking ALL.THE.CLASSES at the studio. We love Emily's warm and welcoming spirit and are so glad she found our village!

Where are you originally from?

Portland, Oregon

When did you join FIT4MOM?

April 2019

What classes do you attend?

Body Ignite, TRX, Yoga, Body Back Boost HIIT, Run Club and Strides360

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

IDK,,, so many Fit4Mom Mamas!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The inclusive community of moms... a mama community that I never knew I needed but am so happy I found.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I just started a new job as Global Channel Operations Manager at K2 in Bellevue

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

It's critical, it saved me over these past several months while I was unemployed and job searching. The mamas were so welcoming and going through (or had gone through) so much of what I was experiencing - good and bad. As a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter. We have so much in common.

What is your favorite beverage?

Cold brew and Pinot Noir (not at the same time!)

What is your favorite dessert?

Chocolate dipped chocolate soft serve cone from DQ

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Dinner, drinks and a live show/concert or movie with my husband

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Europe!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I have become more empathetic and understanding, and even more careful about how I interact with others. Trying to see the best in people as much as possible.

I am happiest when...

I am adventuring with my family and seeing pure joy on my son's face when he discovers something new or something he finds funny!

Fit Foodie Friday - Bacon and Egg.png

I’m a huge fan of casseroles that feed a crowd and are easy to prepare! This easy casserole is so quick to prep and great to serve at a brunch with friends, a potluck or just for your family on a lazy Sunday at home!

I followed the recipe exactly as written, but added a few more chopped veggies. I prepped all of the ingredients the night before, and assembled and baked the casserole in the morning. I served with mixed berries as the casserole is hearty and filling. Happy Brunch Day, beautiful mamas!

Xoxo

https://cincyshopper.com/bacon-egg-cheese-biscuit-breakfast-casserole/

Fit Foodie Friday - Apple Pie oatmeal.png

Happy Fall Y’all! Autumn calls for warm, comforting food that nourishes our bodies and souls. This easy apple pie oatmeal for one is my go-to breakfast for a rainy fall morning! It keeps me fueled throughout the morning and tastes so amazing;). And kiddos love it!

  • Quick oats
  • 1/2 Apple, washed and diced
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 T raisins
  • 1 T walnuts, almonds or any nut you like
  • Hemp seed (optional)

Prepare you quick oats according to package directions for 1 serving. Add all ingredients in the bowl and stir. If you are looking for added protein, consider adding hemp seed, which has a mellow nutty flavor. The raisins and fresh apple give this oatmeal a nice sweet flavor, so no need for added sugar. Curl up in your sweats and slippers and enjoy.

Fit Foodie Friday - White Chicken Chili.png

With September comes all the things Fall—colorful leaves, cooler nights, football and comforting soups and chilis! This one is super easy, healthy and is great for a weeknight dinner or football Sunday with family and friends!

https://amindfullmom.com/instant-pot-white-chicken-chili/

The finished product is so flavorful and a tiny bit spicy; we added green onions as a fresh garnish. You could also add cheese, avocado or a dollop of sour cream.

Happy September mamas! Xoxoxo

Mom of the Month - Kaitlyn.png

Where are you originally from?

I grew up in California (in Sonoma County) and moved to Washington 7.5 years ago.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined last December, right after I'd gotten through the first trimester of being pregnant with Kaleb, and started with Fit4Baby classes.

What classes do you attend?

I started with Fit4Baby and am now attending Stroller Strides in Redmond.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My workout buddy is Kaleb who was born 6/18/2019!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

One of my favorite things when I first joined was that it showed me how much pregnant women are able to do. When I first got pregnant I felt a little unsure of what exercises were still OK. I remember seeing everyone do jumping jacks in my first Fit4Baby class and being so impressed. It really encouraged me to keep working out throughout my pregnancy! I also love the friendships I've made through FIT4MOM!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I'm a Program Manager at Microsoft, but am currently on maternity leave and am enjoying getting to spend all my time with Kaleb. :)

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

It absolutely takes a village! We've been really fortunate to be able to have my parents come for some long visits since Kaleb was born and it's been a huge help. It's amazing how much such a tiny human needs!

It has also been so helpful to be able to talk to the other moms I've met through FIT4MOM. Being a mom is absolutely the most rewarding thing I've ever done, but it's also the most challenging. It helps to know that you're not alone and that other moms go through the same things.

What is your favorite beverage?

Mocha or hot chocolate :)

What is your favorite dessert?

Pretty much anything chocolate! But I especially love the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes at Pinkabella!

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Sleep for 4 straight hours!

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

My favorite vacations involve camping and hiking in beautiful places, so I'd love to go to Alaska and visit some of the National Parks there.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

Being a mother has taught me to be more selfless and to really always put someone else before myself.

I'm the kind of person who loves having a plan, and having Kaleb has taught me to roll with the punches more, since there's no way a baby is going to go by my schedule.

He's also helped me spend more time appreciating the simple things in life, like his snuggles or his smiles :)

I am happiest when...

Two months ago I would have said that I'm happiest when I'm out running or hiking with my husband, Jakub. But now that I'm a mom, nothing makes me happier than seeing Kaleb smile! He recently learned to stick out his tongue and is all smiles and giggles if we sit sticking out our tongues at each other. :)

Fit Foodie Friday - BBQ grilled shrimp.png

Summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean grill season is ending! We love grilling shrimp as they are so versatile and take on whatever flavor you choose;). I gave these beauties a BBQ flavor and they turned out delicious. I typically buy large, uncooked frozen shrimp from Costco, and take out a bunch the night before to defrost in the fridge. Rinse well, pat dry, then get to work!

  • 1-2 pound fresh or frozen, defrosted shrimp
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper or whatever seasoning you like
  • 2-3 T BBQ sauce

Preheat grill to medium heat. Toss shrimp in olive oil just enough to coat and your seasoning. Place shrimp directly on the grates and brush on a light layer of BBQ sauce. Let cook 2-3 min, then turn. Brush other side with the sauce and continue cooking until the shrimp are pink, with slightly charred tails. These cool fast, so check them often.

You could eat these as an appetizer (would be great on game day), in a wrap, on a quesadilla, in a burrito or taco, on top of a salad or just over brown rice with a veggie on the side! We are ours over corn and black bean salsa with avocado! Happy grilling!

Fit Foodie Friday - BB Corn Salsa.png

Fresh salsa is so easy to make and is so versatile! I love doing this simple corn and black bean salsa in the summer, as corn is at its peak of freshness and who doesn’t love farm fresh corn!!!

  • 4 ears of corn, cooked and cut off the cob
  • 14.5 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 finely diced red or green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I have the BEST trick for cooking corn. Leave the husk and everything on the corn, microwave 2 ears for 8 minutes. Let cool and when you peel away the husk, all the corn hair comes off too! Genius! They come out perfectly steamed every time!

Combine all ingredients. Stir gently and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors mingle and get happy! This can be served with tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, salad, as the base for a burrito bowl, or as a simple, easy side dish! We had ours with grilled chicken, topped with avocado. Yum! Yay for summer corn!

Fit Foodie Friday - Ranch Turkey Burgers.png

Turkey burgers are a great swap for standard beef burgers and you still have that satisfied feeling of enjoying a juicy, grilled burger!

The most important things to consider when grilling with turkey is to add a lot of seasoning, as turkey tends to be very bland, and to be careful not to over cook, as turkey can dry out.

  • 1 1/4 pound ground turkey (we use 93/7)
  • 3-5 T Dry Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning (sub any grilling seasoning you like if ranch is not your jam)
  • 1/4 c Finely diced scallions, red onion or chives
  • Whole wheat burger buns
  • Toppings: Lettuce, tomato and sliced avocado

Oil or spray your grill. Preheat indoor or outdoor grill to med high and cook on the first side for approximately 5 minutes.

Flip, and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes more, or until internal temperature is 165 degrees F.

Let sit for a few minutes and assemble the burgers, adding your favorite toppings.

Enjoy! xoxo

Fit Foodie Friday - aparagus.png

Asparagus has been popping up at our local farmer’s market and it’s one of my all time favorite veggies! My dad grew it in our garden when I was young, but I never fully appreciated its beautiful color and unique flavor until adulthood. We love roasting it in the winter, but during the summer we always prepare it grilled!

When buying asparagus, look for bunches that are similar in diameter and try to buy the thinnest stalks you can find—they tend to have a more delicate flavor.

  • Fresh asparagus, rinsed and dried
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • First, cut off the woody end. I stack my asparagus together and find the spot on the stalks that are all completely green. You’ll be cutting off 1-2 inches based on how the veggie was harvested.
  • Toss in olive oil, only enough to coat the asparagus. Use it sparingly.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Roast directly on the grate of a grill that’s been preheated to medium temp. I usually go for 300-400 degrees.
  • Grill for 4-8 minutes, moving the asparagus around every 2 minutes or so. I like mine pretty crisp with a hint of blackened edges, but it’s totally a personal preference.

It’s great in pastas, Buddha bowls, salads, or alongside your favorite protein, like fish or chicken. Keep enjoying every piece of produce our PNW summer offers, beautiful mamas! xoxo

Mom of the Month_ Sonja.png

Where are you originally from?

I’m from Toronto Canada. Moved here 11 years ago.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined last year. A friend suggested we start running and we joined Run Club. It was then when I met Katie Whitley, who raved about Body Back and I tried my first HIIT class and got hooked.

What classes do you attend?

360, HIIT, Body Back, Body Ignite and TRX. All in Redmond.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

  • Riya, age 7
  • Nina age 5
  • Torin age 3
  • Oliver (fur baby) age 2

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The community. The motivation. It’s incredibly inspirational and fun. I never regret coming to a class

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I work part time at providence medical hospital in Everett as a nuclear medicine technologist. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have an employer who allowed me to pick my hours (two days a week).

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Motherhood changed everything. I wish I had joined when my kids were younger but I struggled with finding balance between schedules and self care. It’s never too late though. I have found my village, my people where we support, encourage and laugh together. It’s something I didn’t know I was missing.

What is your favorite beverage?

Coffee, coffee and more coffee.

What is your favorite dessert?

Carrot cake from Pomegranate Bistro.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Drink my coffee while it’s hot, eat a meal quietly, get a massage and take my dog for a long walk.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

A villa in Bali. Flying child free would be an added bonus!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

Becoming a mom is a humbling experience. It’s not about me anymore but my children. I’m amazed at how present I am with my kids even with little sleep. I’ve learned that the kids don’t need big flashy vacations but just time together as a family.

I also realized how much my mom loved me and how much she and now myself, worry. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I am happiest when...

When we all curl up in bed reading a book together before bed.

Fit Foodie Friday - Turkey Veggie Burger.png

It’s grilling season and this recipe will satisfy your cravings for a juicy, filling burger. The turkey and diced veggies give the patty lots of moisture and flavor and the wheat bun just elevates the yumminess. I made mine into smaller patties for sliders and served alongside a basic chopped salad. YUM YUM! Xoxo

https://www.heb.com/recipe/recipe-item/turkey-veggie-burgers/1392678826977

Fit Foodie Friday - BLAT.png

Summertime boasts the most amazingly ripe and juicy farmer’s market tomatoes and freshly grown lettuce, so that is why I only make BLATs (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomoato!) in the summer and early fall! They are a quick, filling and easy dinner for those busy and warm summer nights, and they taste even better on your patio or deck with a side of fresh watermelon or basic pasta salad. This recipe makes 2 sandwiches, but just double for a family of 4!

  • 4 slices whole wheat toast
  • Avocado mayo or classic mayo
  • 6 slices bacon, crispy (turkey or pork)
  • Leaf lettuce - 4 large pieces
  • Sliced ripe tomato
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced thinly
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spread both sides of the toast with a thin layer of mayo. Stack toast with lettuce, tomato, bacon and avocado, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy, beautiful mamas! Soak in every moment of our PNW summer:). Xoxo

Fit Foodie Friday - Nectarine goat cheese salad

Summertime is all about the SALADS! With the fresh, seasonal produce we have available to us all spring and summer long, I use what’s currently in season to create the easiest and yummiest lunches and dinners! This salad can be made ahead with the dressing on the side, or make and serve at mealtime and add any protein you like to create a full dinner—chicken, salmon or shrimp!

  • Baby greens, 2 c packed
  • 1 nectarine, rinsed and diced
  • 1/2 c blueberries, rinsed
  • 1/4 c pecans or walnuts
  • 2 T crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 t Olive oil
  • 1 t balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and power to taste

Place all items in a bowl and drizzle with oil and vinegar right before serving. This recipe makes 1 salad, but is easily doubled or tripled for more servings.

Yummy happy summer! Xoxo

She's Crafty - watercolor ice painting.png

Take the messy paints outside with a nice cold twist in this activity! The supplies are cheap to buy and you probably already have them at home.

Supplies:

1. Plasticware

2. Tray, tub, or aluminum pan

3. Water

4. Watercolor paint with brush

Directions:

1. Put ice piece into tray

2. Paint

3. Let kids go as the paint melts

Take any shaped plastic dish or Tupperware and fill half way up with water and freeze over night. The next day pop the ice shapes into a tray, bin, or aluminum pan so the water is collected as the ice melts. Let the kids use a brush and water colors to paint the ice block. This makes really cool water patterns as the colors mix.

*See the gallery below for visuals!*

Mom of the Month_ Jenny Porter.png

Where are you originally from?

Jackson, WY

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined FIT4BABY in 2015 during my first pregnancy.

What classes do you attend?

I just completed Run Club and I do Stroller Strides.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Georgia (4 months) and Hudson (3 years), when he isn't in school

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The best thing about FIT4MOM (other than the really great workouts!) is how welcoming everyone is, the whole village!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don't currently work outside the home)?

I am an Audit Senior Manager at Deloitte.

Share your thoughts on the concept of "it takes a village“ is it important for moms to join a village?

It is critical to have a village! Once you become a mom, everything changes. You need the village to support you through each change and phase of motherhood. These tiny humans can be so weird and you need the confidence to function and the encouragement to learn to adapt to the weirdness! By sharing experiences and stories with other moms, it normalizes the strange experiences of motherhood and equips you to handle each new situation.

What is your favorite beverage?

A glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc.

What is your favorite dessert?

Chocolate éclair cake.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

I would workout, then go wine tasting with friends (and my husband, if he'd want to go!)

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

I would go to an all-inclusive five-star resort in the tropics. It must have a poolside room with a lazy river. Bring on the Miami vices and sunscreen!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

It has helped put everything in perspective. I used to have anxiety when things didn't go to plan, which was hard in a high stress career. Now I ask myself if everyone is alive and reasonably healthy, and move on :).

I am happiest when...

I watch my kids love on each other, laughing and smiling together.

Fit Foodie Friday - Summer Berry Smoothie.png

Happy Summer, beautiful mamas!

This is the very easiest of sweet berry smoothies using all the berries that are in season right now. You don’t need any added sugar because of the natural sweetness of these seasonal fruits and this is packed with lots of protein!

This recipe makes 2-3 servings and is kiddo approved! Woot woot!

  • 1 c rinsed and chopped fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries)
  • 1/2 Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 1 overripe banana
  • Small handful of spinach or kale
  • 1 c - 1.5 c milk (any milk you like)
  • A few ice cubes

Add all ingredients to blender. Slowly add milk and ice cubes until you get to your desired thickness! Enjoy ;)

Fit Foodie Friday - Choc banana ice cream.png

https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/ is an awesome healthy dessert blog where I stumbled across this recipe for Chocolate Banana “Ice Cream.” The finished product is smooth and creamy like soft serve that will satisfy your sweet tooth! You’ll love it!

  • 3 bananas (See instructions below)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder

Let the bananas ripen before peeling. If they’re green or yellow to start with, leave them out until the bananas at least begin to turn brown. Not-overripe bananas will have something of an earthy taste, as opposed to the more sweet, caramelized flavor they develop as they turn brown.

When the bananas are fully frozen, toss them into a food processor or high-quality blender (such as a Vitamix) and blend until you achieve a consistency that resembles soft serve.

If your blender is having trouble processing, you can add up to 1/4 cup milk of choice or another liquid. I used a splash of unsweetened almond milk.

Once the soft-serve texture is reached, you can eat it immediately or scoop it into a container and freeze an additional 30 minutes or so, then scoop out with an ice cream scoop. This will give you a firmer banana ice cream texture.

Happy Summer, beautiful mamas!

Fit Foodie Friday - Pesto Tortellini Salad.png

Summertime calls for grilling with easy side dishes for those evenings that are too hot to cook! I love this salad so much because you can eat it hot or cold and it tastes delicious both ways;). It’s a great salad to pack for a picnic with the kiddos while you are hanging at the playground or a family picnic after baseball or the park.

  • Cooked cheese tortellini
  • 1/4-1/2 c prepared pesto
  • 1/4 c sundried tomatoes
  • 1 c fresh or frozen peas, cooked
  • Optional: diced cooked chicken, cooked shrimp, baby spinach, artichoke hearts

Assemble all ingredients in a large bowl, adding pesto until tortellini is lightly covered. Toss gently to avoid breaking tortellini. We had this for dinner as a hot dish, then cold for leftovers served over spinach! Yum

Fit Foodie Friday - Asian Turkey Burgers.png

Grilling season is upon us and this is a recipe I came up with a decade ago after I had an amazing turkey burger filled with diced veggies at a friend’s BBQ. The veggies and soy add lots of flavor and moisture, which turkey burgers need.

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced very small
  • 2-3 T diced fresh scallions or red onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Gently mix all ingredients in a large bowl until incorporated. Do not over mix. Based on the fat content in the turkey, you may need to adjust the amount of soy. The meat should be able to form into patties, so do not overdo the soy. Form into 4 patties and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Spray indoor or outdoor grill with non-stick spray. Grill burgers until completely cooked through.

Enjoy with or without a roll. Happy grilling!

Fit Foodie Friday - ACP Muffins.png

These delicious muffins are sweetened by a small amount of maple syrup and the natural sweetness of apples and applesauce. I love baking with Kodiak Cake because of the added protein and simplicity. It’s a game changer.

I followed the recipe exactly as written, but would suggest doubling this particular recipe if you want a big batch, because as written, this only makes 6 muffins. I enjoyed this yummy treat with an iced coffee before picking Luke up from preschool. Muah, my loves! Xoxo

https://hungrybynature.com/apple-cinnamon-protein-muffins/

Mom of the Month_ Nicole V.png

Meet Nicole, She is a fierce mama, whose determination and positive spirit are truly inspiring! Nicole just crushed a long time goal of completing a half marathon. Way to go, Nicole! We are so happy you joined our village!

Where are you originally from?

I'm from Shaker Heights, Ohio, which is a suburb of Cleveland.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

May 2017

What classes do you attend?

I did Stroller Strides for a long time, and Stroller Barre, and I've done a bit of Strides 360. My kid is much more independently mobile now, so she's much less likely to stay content in the stroller, especially when there are ladies "getting strong" around her. I started Body Back last October and have not missed a session since!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My little girl, Miranda is 2.5

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

It's a real community. It's about being healthy physically, but also mentally. It's the first group of women I haven't felt totally awkward with, and you're surrounded by people who are constantly encouraging you.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I was a barista at Starbucks, and basically the best at it.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Absolutely. Motherhood can be isolating and in my experience most of the initial advice/help I got was from the older women in my family who were so many years beyond having had a child that they had forgotten the struggle of it, or were from an entirely separate generation. You can have friends that don't have kids, but nobody is going to understand you when you're in the trenches like someone else who is in them, too, or someone who has recently gotten out of them (and sometimes into a new one). It also reminds you that you really DON'T have to do everything on your own. We get so much pressure to be everyone's everything as moms, but much less encouragement to be ourselves. The village is as much for the mom as it is for the kid, more so, even. When you surround yourself by authentic people you feel more comfortable and capable and that's the kind of mother I want to be.

What is your favorite beverage?

Ideally, something fancy like… watermelon agua fresca. In reality, coffee. Ethiopian, if possible, just with some cream and a nice pastry to accompany it.

What is your favorite dessert?

Tiramisu. Or, anything with chocolate and raspberry together.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Go get a fancy bowl of ramen, which I would eat hot, then see some epic 2.5 hour movie in one of those theaters with the reclining seats.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

New Orleans. Harry Potter World is a close second.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I've never been an adultier adult than I am now, but I've also never been as keenly aware of all the ways in which I could improve myself… and then actually putting in effort to try to follow-through with those improvements! It's definitely made me much stronger, but that was sort of a tempered steel strength; I had to go through the fire several times before coming out of it better on the other side. It's also made me more accepting of other people as they are. We're all just surviving out here. It's so much easier to be kind than it is to be a jerk.

I am happiest when...

Watching one of my favorite television shows or movies with someone who is watching for the first time. All the better if there are snacks.

Fit Foodie Friday - kodiak cake muffins.png

My muffin obsession continues, ladies! This recipe uses Kodiak Cake mix that has a whopping 14 grams of protein! Plus the use of Greek yogurt packs even more of a protein punch. Perfect for little growing bodies! This recipe also incorporates frozen berries, which is super convenient if you have some stashed away in the freezer. I subbed olive oil for the coconut oil and skipped the melting step, and the muffins turned out great!!!!

Make full sized muffins or make minis and freeze for lunch boxes or a quick afternoon snack on the go! Enjoy, my beautiful mamas!

https://boysahoy.com/kodiak-cakes-mixed-berry-muffins/

She's Crafty Memorial Day Pom Pom Catapult

This craft is inspired by an activity observed at Michael's Craft Store. The Pom Poms are "fireworks" themed around the upcoming Memorial Day holiday! Have fun with your kids and let it fly!

Click through the gallery below to see the steps.

Materials:

  • 5 large popsicle sticks
  • Assorted pom poms
  • Assorted markers or crayons
  • Rubber bands (1 standard, 2-4 small)

Instructions:

  • Color 2-3 popsicle sticks, let dry if using markers.
  • Stack 3 popsicle sticks together and secure at both ends with small rubber bands.
  • Attach remaining two popsicle sticks at one end with larger rubber-band.
  • Place stacked popsicle sticks in between other two, making X shape.
  • Place pop pom on non rubber-band side and push down gently with finger.
  • Release and watch ‘firework’ fly.
Fit Foodie Friday - grilled sausage and pepper.png

This dish is such a classic Italian comfort food from my East Coast home, but I’ve put a healthy spin in it, where you don’t lose any of the flavor and it is surprisingly light and very satisfying. It’s served over quinoa instead of rice, pasta or on a roll. This dish works best with an outdoor grill, but you could also use an indoor grill or grill pan!

  • Chicken or turkey sausages (I used chicken & apple)
  • Mini assorted bell peppers
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into large chunks
  • Cooked quinoa

Score the sausages so they don’t explode while cooking ;). Grill sausages until slightly charred. Grill peppers and onions until they are starting to blister and slightly blackened. We put our onion chunks on a skewer to keep them in place. When cool enough to handle, slice sausage into coins and cut off tops of peppers. Serve over cooked quinoa.

DELISH! Xoxo

Fit Foodie Friday - cold brew.png

As moms, some of us survive on large amounts of caffeine that would take down a large animal, but sometimes coffee is a necessity after a long night up with the kiddos or a long day at work! As the spring turns to summer, one of my favorite afternoon treats is a cold brew coffee with a splash of milk. The cold brew process really makes the coffee taste smooth and light with zero hint of acidity.

This recipe was perfected by two fabulous mamas, Sarah Hall and Shruti Goins. I’m truly grateful for an easy, very inexpensive pick me up!

  • 1 c coarsely ground coffee beans
  • 4 c cold water

Process:

  • Add coffee grounds and water to a glass or plastic pitcher. Stir gently with a wooden spoon.
  • Leave pitcher on the counter or in the fridge overnight.
  • Separate the coffee grounds by pouring the entire pitcher slowly over a fine mesh strainer lined to the top with 6 overlapping coffee filters. I’ve played around with several methods and this is the one I’ve found that works best.
  • Compost the coffee grounds and filters.
  • Enjoy your cold brew over ice cubes and a splash of milk or cream.

This makes about 3 cups of brew that will keep in the fridge for about a week. Sometimes I double the recipe if it’s looking like a particularly busy week. Thanks mamas and SOLIDARITY, coffee and love to you all!

Cheers! Xo

Mom of the Month_May 2019.png

Meet one of our dedicated mamas, Xiaoxi! A former teacher, she enjoys Stroller Strides and Boost classes with us! Happy Mother's Day to you and to all mamas in Our Village!

Where are you originally from?

A little city called Zibo in China.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

March 2018

What classes do you attend?

All sorts. I regularly go to the HIIT Boost classes in Redmond on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the Bothell class on Saturday. I also enjoy Stroller Strides classes and the Strides 360 classes!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Theodore, who turned 2 in March.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I get to be with ladies who are walking the same walk. Sometimes when you are exhausted it's a relief to hear that you are not alone!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I'm at home with Theodore now, prior to that I was a special education teacher.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

It is so important to find a village for moms. It's different for everybody but the village is where I find my support and others to share my thoughts with.

What is your favorite beverage?

Berry hibiscus refresher

What is your favorite dessert?

This is a tough one because I don't like sweets. Maybe dark chocolate ice-cream? However, I cannot resist warm fresh bread... Yummm. ;)

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Go take a dance lesson

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Six flags, my husband and I love roller-coasters and according to his brother the best roller-coasters are at the Six Flags Magic Mountain, and we haven't been yet!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I didn't know that I could do so much and so little. Having a little life is the most adventurous ride, and it never ceases to surprise me. My life is no longer just about me, it has become so much more.

I am happiest when...

After a long day, lay down in my bed and fall asleep peacefully. =P

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Smoothies are a staple in our house and an easy way to get your kiddos to eat their greens. I use Greek yogurt when I’m sharing this smoothie with Luke, and I use protein powder when I’m having the entire smoothie. I love this smoothie because of the simple ingredients and the chocolatey peanut taste — think a healthy Reece’s cup :) Feel free to adjust the amounts of ice and milk as needed based on if you like a thinner or thicker, icier smoothie. These taste great on a warm day or after a challenging workout.

  • 1/2 overripe banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder OR 1/2 c vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Small handful spinach or baby kale
  • Heaping T almond or nut butter
  • 1 c almond milk or low-fat milk
  • A few ice cubes

Add all ingredients to blender and process until smooth! YUM!

Fit Foodie Friday - Easy Instapot Pot Roast.png

Pot roast is a dish I ate growing up, as it was cheap, quick and easy, and provides great leftovers. I love this recipe because it shortens the time of cooking a 3-4 pound roast and the finished product is fabulous! The meat shreds beautifully, the carrots are tender and flavored by the meat, Au jus is ready made for you and it’s a pretty hearty, but also a healthy meal when served with mashed cauliflower or quinoa.

A few tips: make sure the carrots are on the bigger side and cut into large chunks, otherwise they will turn to mush. Also, make sure to season and sear the meat really well before moving forward with the pressure cooking portion. It makes a huge difference with the finished product! I omitted the fresh herbs and subbed dried, as well. Lastly, wait until a chuck roast is on sale to make this dish—I waited until there was a BOGO on the roasts and threw the other in the freezer to make this dish again.

For the meat leftovers, I made quesadillas one night, and burritos the next. You can also use leftovers in a French dip sandwich, shepherds pie or enchiladas! Xoxo

https://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/instant-pot-pot-roast/

Fit Foodie Friday - healthy chocolate chip muffins.png

Muffins are a staple in our house! Anytime we have overripe bananas, I make a huge batch of muffins (mostly mini for Luke’s lunch) and freeze them for later use. This is a new recipe I tried this morning and it was a huge hit! Super chocolatey, a little sweet and very satisfying! I subbed lightly packed brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar as well as olive oil in place of the coconut oil; the muffins turned out great!

When you freeze muffins, let them cool completely and place in an freezer safe ziploc. Put the name of the muffin and date on the bag and try to squeeze as much air out as possible before sealing. Muffins defrost great in the microwave, out on the counter or inside of your kiddos’ lunch box.

Luke and Paul enjoyed the muffins for breakfast, and I enjoyed a muffin with my afternoon coffee! Cheers beautiful mamas!

https://fitfoodiefinds.com/healthy-chocolate-muffins/

She's Crafty - Pom Pom Painting Easter Craft

Switch up your painting crafts with this fun, easy and inexpensive twist. Your kids will love it, and it helps develop those small motor skills too! You can paint anything, but for this example, we utilized a spring theme with Easter eggs. Don't let that limit your creativity :)

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Washable Paint (I use the Crayola brand)
  • Pom-poms
  • Clothespins

Directions:

1. Put paper down and draw a big figure. We did an Easter egg.

2. Clip the clothes pins to the pin-poms.

3. Let kids dip in paints and decorate away!

Click through the gallery below for step-by-step pictures!

Mom of the Month FIT4MOM Eastside

Emilia has moved through FIT4BABY, Stroller Strides, and Body Back in just one year! Thanks for bringing light and laughter to our mama tribe!

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from Warsaw, Poland. We moved to Redmond in 2017, after spending two years in Vancouver, BC.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

March 2018

What classes do you attend?

I started with Fit4Baby, and nowadays you can find me at Stroller Strides and Body Back.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Timmy who just turned 6 months!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

Stroller Strides and the coffee after class ;)

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I’m a full time mommy at the moment and I volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium. I used to work as an Educator at the Aquarium in Vancouver.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

This community of awesome mamas pretty much guided and supported me throughout my whole pregnancy and sleepless newborn stage! And they're still around to answer the most random questions in the middle of the night.

What is your favorite beverage?

Matcha green tea

What is your favorite dessert?

My mother in law’s cheesecake

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Either go swimming or get a pedicure followed by a movie date with my husband.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Surfing camp in Bali

How has becoming a mother changed you?

Simple things in life make me the happiest, like hot coffee or hearing Timmy's laugh.

I am happiest when...

When we can all sleep in and eat pancakes in our jammies.

Fit Foodie Friday - instapot steel cut oats

What’s more filling and delicious than oatmeal with your favorite toppings for breakfast?!? This recipe is simple - simple ingredients, quick cooking time and kiddo approved. Using the Instapot cuts the cooking time down significantly for these oats; make sure you use steel cut oats only in this recipe.

To finish, the recipe calls for a bit of maple syrup to sweeten it up, but I’ve also used 1 T of brown sugar... both are delicious! To the finished product, consider adding fresh fruit, such as berries, chopped apple or fresh peaches. Other yummy and filling toppings include nuts, raisins, dried cranberries or chia seeds. This recipe makes 4 portions—perfect for a lazy Saturday morning breakfast with the family. Enjoy beautiful mamas

https://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/instant-pot-steel-cut-oats/

Fit Foodie Friday - instapot quinoa.png

I’m about to rock your world! Quinoa that’s perfectly done every single time!!!!!! SAY WHAT? It’s super easy, versatile and freezes so easily for future use. We use it on salads and as a swap for rice or pasta. And grilling season is almost upon us. Grill up for fish, chicken or veggies, and serve your deliciousness over cooked quinoa.

  • 1 c quinoa, rinsed and drained well
  • 2 c any stock (chicken, veggie)

Place quinoa and liquid in instapot. Lock lid, seal and press “rice” setting. After cooking is complete, natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release. Carefully open lid and fluff with fork. If freezing, let cool completely, and freeze in freezer safe containers or ziploc bags.

Make sure to label date and contents with a sharpie ;)

She's Crafty -paper plate pizza.png

This is a great craft and activity that you can scale to accomodate older and younger kids. Older kids can do all the cutting themselves and work on fractions for pizza slices. Younger kids and enjoy gluing!

Materials:

  • Plain paper plate
  • Assortment of color construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

Directions:

  • Have kiddo color "sauce" on plate or cut a smaller (than paper plate) red circle and glue to plate.
  • Cut up various toppings. Ours included cheese, green peppers, mushrooms and pepperoni. (Fringe cutting makes cheese pieces in a snap)
  • Use glue stick to attach toppings! We layered cheese first and then added rest.

Extra Credit: Once pizza is dry, cut into slices and work on fractions!

Fit Foodie Friday - stovetop popcorn.png

I always ate popcorn as a child and we did it “old skool” — on the stove in a big pot! I love the crunch and saltiness of popcorn, but the prepared microwave popcorns have so much sodium and ingredients I can’t even pronounce. A few weeks ago I saw popcorn kernels at Trader Joe’s and thought how fun it would be to pop this with Luke! We literally laughed the whole time the kernels popped, and not giggling, but hearty belly laughs!! I used olive oil and a little bit of kosher salt once the popcorn was done. It tastes so fresh and the EVOO gives it a great flavor. It satisfied my craving for salty and I can’t wait to make it again.

Enjoy mamas! Xo

https://cookieandkate.com/2018/perfect-stovetop-popcorn-recipe/

Mom of the Month FIT4MOM Eastside

Meet Tricia! She went from Body Back to Stroller Strides to FIT4BABY, and now she's back in Body Back! We're so glad she let us grow right along with her family!

Where are you originally from?

Originally born in Dayton, Ohio but I moved around a lot as my dad was in the air force. I spent most of my time growing up in Lake Stevens, WA.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

January 2017

What classes do you attend?

I just re-joined Body Back after the birth of my second child. I also attend Saturday Boost in Bothell, the occasional TRX on Sunday, and Stroller Strides in Bothell in the summer,

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Brynn, age five

Paige, 11 months

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love the positive atmosphere and encouragement from instructors and other moms.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am a middle school science teacher.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I never did much with my oldest daughter when she was young as I felt I had to maintain a strict schedule, so I didn't get out of the house, and it was lonely hard adjustment. With my newest, I have been able to get out more and spent most of the summer at Stroller Strides with her! I really enjoyed having the support of other moms this time around! As a new mom I wish I would have had the support of the village the first time around and I’m so thankful I had it the second time!

What is your favorite beverage?

Margaritas!!!

What is your favorite dessert?

My moms chocolate cake!!

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Get a pedicure, have lunch and drink some wine

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

I would love a beach vacation minus kiddos!!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I would say I am more patient and forgiving of others and am much more of a home body.

I am happiest when...

I’m snuggled on the couch with my husband and girls

Nordstrom Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato soup is such a classic soup, reminiscent of childhood paired with grilled cheese or eaten with crackers. I remember sledding until I literally could not feel my feet, then coming inside for a hot bowl of soup;). YUM!

This is an easy and healthy version of this classic! I made the soup based exactly on the recipe, however, I cut the cream by half and added freshly grated Parmesan before eating. I served this with basic grilled cheese for a perfect dinner. Also, it freezes like a dream!! Let it cool completely in a freezer safe container, label with contents and date then place in the freezer to eat later.

Enjoy, mamas! Xoxo

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/02/dinner-tonight-nordstroms-tomato-basil-soup-recipe.html

Fit Foodie Friday - roasted veggie quinoa salad bowl.png

During the chilly winter months, we crave warmth from our foods, but also want to keep it healthy, easy and light with salads! This dish is the perfect mix of both - a hearty salad topped with warm roasted veggies and lots of different sweet, salty and crunchy textures. It’s vegetarian, but you could also add meat or fish for added protein!

  • 1/2 c cooked quinoa
  • 2 c lightly packed “sturdy” greens (spinach, kale, chard, or arugula)
  • 1 T dried cranberries or cherries
  • 2 T crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 T pumpkin seeds, pecans or almonds (really any nut you like)
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1-2 c roasted fall/winter veggies (I used Brussels sprouts, carrots and butternut squash)

Toss vegetables lightly with olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Roast vegetables at 475 for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly charred and browned. Move the veggies around half way through the cooking process. Let cool slightly.

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl, toss with oil and balsamic, adjusting the salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy mamas!

My spring salads are JUST around the corner. Xoxo

Almond Butter.png

We LOVE the snow and have had so much fun sledding and being outside. When we come inside to warm up, inside time calls for experimenting in the kitchen. Enter the easiest almond butter ever!!!!!

I am slightly obsessed with almond butter. I use it on whole grain toast and English muffins, in smoothies, and on apple slices. Luke eats it in tortillas as well. We eat it every single day. I love the Costco brand as it is natural and so very tasty, but decided to experiment with making my own. It was a cinch and so much fun! You seriously will not believe how easy it is and how delicious the final product is.

  • 2 cups of unsalted almonds, roasted
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

If your almonds are unroasted, I suggest roasting them as it really adds a yummy slight smokiness to the finished product. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Put almonds in a food processor and grind for 5 minutes, until the nuts release their oil and become smooth. Add a teaspoon or so of olive oil if you like a thinner consistency and a pinch of salt. Store in the fridge and enjoy! xoxo

Valentine's Day hack craft

It is hard for little hands to write names on those tiny, glossy Valentine cards! Mailing labels to the rescue! Have your child write on the labels and stick them on the Valentine.

We used address sized, but return address sized ones are even smaller. No labels? Check the dollar store! Wanna be fancy? Try washi tape!

Kiddo can make as many as needed and any typos or accidents wont use up a precious Valentine!

MOM Kara D.png

Where are you originally from?

Anacortes - I’ve moved around, but only in the PNW.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

January 2016 for Stroller Strides, and January 2018 for Body Back. I first fell in love with FIT4MOM while living in Olympia in 2011 after the birth of my first child, then again in 2016 here on the Eastside after the birth of my twins.

What classes do you attend?

Body Back M/W 5:30am session, and Saturday Bothell Boost classes, with the very occasional Stroller Strides thrown in!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Connor (he does planks with me) - 7

Megan &Evan (“mommy go run?”) - 2

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The kindness and grace shown by other moms who get it. Showing up and seeing my mama friends has gotten me through sleepless nights of nursing twins, work upheaval, moves, you name it!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I do state regulatory, legal and policy work for Puget Sound Energy in Bellevue!

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

YES. The village is everything.

What is your favorite beverage?

Not a secret at all — wine! Red wine to be specific.

What is your favorite dessert?

Do I have to pick one? Brownies, cheesecake, and pie. I can do without cake, donuts or breakfast pastries, no problem. But I love the others!

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

I’d go for a swim, take a long hot shower, then go get a massage. After that I’d find a cute outdoor cafe and sip a glass of wine while reading my book in the sunshine! ALONE!

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Hmmm. I’d love to go to Kauai again with my husband. Haven’t been back since our honeymoon 16 years ago — and we were such babies then!

We are scheming a weekend away for his 40th birthday, in Bellingham (where we met in college) and that will be pretty great, too. :)

How has becoming a mother changed you?

My capacity for love has grown, for sure. I’m more cautious and less spontaneous — 3 little kids takes a lot of planning! And I feel more conflicted than I did in my 20s before kids - torn between my work and being a mom, never feeling like I have enough to give to either job. I’m working on accepting who I am and that I’m good enough. :)

I am happiest when...

I am with my family on Whidbey Island (our family cabin). No to-do lists, no work, just outdoor fun, good food and quality time.

veggie marinara.png

Happy Super Bowl Sunday Mamas!!!!

Sunday is a such a fun day to celebrate our favorite teams, watch the best commercials and half time show AND spend time with our friends and family. It’s one of our favorite days of the year! I tend to do food in crockpots to keep them warm and ready for game time! This easy, healthy marinara is a game changer — ha! See what I did there;)

  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 sweet pepper, diced (red, yellow or green)
  • 1 c shredded carrots
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T Italian Seasoning
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat a olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté all veggies until onion is translucent (2-4 minutes). Add tomatoes, sauce and seasonings. Stir until sauce is bubbling, then turn to low, cover and cook another 10-15 minutes. I added cooked meatballs to my sauce, you could also use for lasagna, baked ziti or a dipping sauce for breadsticks or mozzarella sticks.

Enjoy and happy Super Bowl Sunday Funday! Xoxo

Protein Smoothie.png

My son, Luke, will be turning 5 in February, and like many kiddos, can be very opinionated when it comes to food. :)

He tends to avoid most things that contain protein, with the exception of beans. In an effort to up his protein, Luke and I worked together to create a basic smoothie that is packed with protein and tastes like a berry milkshake. It’s great fun that we can make this smoothie together and he sees how this healthy breakfast or snack is created. If you don’t have hemp seed, no worries and just leave it out. For the mixed fruit, try to have a sweeter fruit such as mango or pineapple. Make sure there’s no added sugar. It helps add a little bit of sweetness to the smoothie.

Good luck and solidarity mamas..... our kids will eat someday, right!?!? ;)

  • 1/2 c plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 c frozen mixed fruit (I use Costco frozen mango and pineapple)
  • 1 T hemp seed
  • 1 c milk
  • Small handful of spinach
Puzzle Sensory Bin Activity

Who loves sensory bins/tables?

My children love them so much I continue to use them despite the mess they create! This great activity can be adapted to fit the age of your child based on the puzzles you choose. For my 4 year old I used an ABC puzzle, and for my 3 year old I used a shape puzzle. This is the creative part for us moms- pick one of those puzzles they have done a million times and bring new fun into it!

Supplies:

1.Puzzles

2. Sensory Table, Plastic Bin, Tupperware, or an aluminum pan

3. White rice or sand

Directions:

1. Put puzzle pieces into container

2. Cover with rice

3. Let kids hunt for a piece and then find its place on the puzzle.

Trader Joe's italian meatballs sweet potato ribbons

As a native East Coaster, I grew up eating authentic Italian food and crave it quite frequently. It’s the ultimate in comfort food that is also kiddo approved! This dish cures my craving for a basic spaghetti and meatballs without the heaviness that I usually feel after eating a pasta dinner! I replaced pasta with my new favorite...... sweet potato ribbons. Another simply genius invention from Trader Joe’s!

  • Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Ribbons
  • Meatballs (frozen or fresh)
  • Basic marinara sauce
  • Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Prepare the sweet potato ribbons according to package directions. Next, make your own meatballs (I’ve linked one of my favorite legit Italian meatball recipes below) or if you want something lighter, or quicker, use your own meatball recipe or just buy frozen. I cook my meatballs in basic marinara sauce in my crockpot until cooked through, then top the cooked ribbons with a few meatballs, sauce, Parmesan and there you have it!! A healthier taste of Italy!

Xoxo

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/220854/chef-johns-italian-meatballs/

Mom of the Month_ Macaire.png

Meet our Mom of the Month, Macaire! She joined our village this past September when she began attending FIT4BABY classes. Macaire and her hubby are eagerly awaiting the birth of their first baby (a girl!) in March. We can't wait to meet her!

Where are you originally from?

I am from a small town outside of Peoria, Illinois

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined the FIT4BABY class mid-September when I was beginning my second trimester.

What classes do you attend?

I attend the FIT4BABY class in Redmond on Mondays and Saturdays.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

I enjoy getting to know all of the ladies I have met in my classes and sharing this journey with them.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love the community, support and encouragement I have received from my instructors and fellow moms.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am a 4th grade teacher at a school in West Seattle.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I think it is so very important for moms and women in general to support each other. We are all trying to do the best we can and we put enough pressure on ourselves that it would be nice for others to support and encourage instead of criticize. We may each have our own opinions on how things should be done and that’s ok, but we also need to respect the choices others make as well and recognize that they are doing what they believe is best for their children.

What is your favorite beverage?

Earl Grey tea.

What is your favorite dessert?

Anything with chocolate and caramel.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

I would rent a hotel room, take a bubble bath, eat room service and sleep.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination? I love traveling, so somewhere in Europe or maybe Australia.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I feel so very blessed to get to experience this miracle. I am eagerly anticipating the birth of my daughter and I am looking forward to sharing so many experiences with her.

I am happiest when...

I am spending time with my husband.

Healthy Corn Chowder FIT4MOM

I LOVE a good, hearty soup in the winter months. It’s warms the soul and heart. Many classic “cream” soups tend to be heavy, but this chowder is fairly light without missing the comfort and heartiness factor that you sometimes need on a cold, rainy night. I tweaked this recipe from Damn Delicious to make a lighter soup that’s a bit healthier than traditional chowders. I hope you enjoy! Xoxo

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 4 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen corn kernels
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

First, Set 6-qt Instant Pot to the high saute setting. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

  1. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Stir in bacon, potatoes, corn, vegetable stock, thyme and cayenne pepper; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time for 10 minutes. When finished cooking, quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together heavy cream and flour; set aside.
  4. Select high sauté setting. Bring to a boil; stir in heavy cream mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more vegetable stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with chives, if desired.
she's Crafty - Dec 2018.png

Traveling for the Holidays? Just need 10 minutes peace and quiet?

Grab a handful of popsicle sticks and print 11 free templates from https://teachingmama.org/?s=Snowflake

And boom! Instant Snowflake Busy Bag!

No popsicle sticks? Grab wooden coffee stirrers with your next latte!

Want to be fancy? Older kiddos can color or paint plain sticks (bonus time)!

Store in a ziptop bag and you have an quick and easy winter go-to!

roasted brussels.png

We are lovers of everything Brussels sprouts, but this recipe elevated the yummy roasted flavor of this favorite seasonal veggie! The parmesan adds a salty crunch to this dish and this easy side pairs well with pasta, a grilled meat or even as an appetizer. This would also be great as a holiday side. I’ve found that smaller sprouts tend to work best as well as fresh grated Parmesan, if you can. Also, this veggie can take a good bit of seasoning. I hope you love this as much as we did.

Nom nom! Hugs, sweet mamas!!!! XoXo

https://togetherasfamily.com/oven-roasted-parmesan-brussel-sprouts/

Butternut Squash scramble

I was inspired to create this from an enchilada recipe at Cactus and a delightful conversation I had with Stroller Strides instructor Christy during a Stroller Strides eons ago! I affectionately call it the “Christy Scramble!”

  • Can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound of roasted butternut squash
  • 2 c baby spinach
  • 2 T goat cheese
  • 1-2 eggs (I do mine over medium)
  • Salt/pepper
  • EVOO

Toss the squash with EVOO and salt/pepper.

Roast at 425 until starting to brown/get crisp (15-25 min).

Toss cooked squash with black beans and baby spinach. Let entire mixture cool and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

A portion size is 1 c, and I use this mixture for tacos, quinoa bowls, enchiladas and most importantly—the Christy Scramble. Top with 2 T or goat cheese and eggs of your choice️️.

Mom of the Month_ Gina.png

Have you met Gina, our newest playgroup captain? Read on to get to know this RTC regular!

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from Berlin, Maryland (10 minutes to Atlantic Ocean)

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I started as a FIT4BABY client in January 2017 and I took my first SS class in May 2017

What classes do you attend?

I attend Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre and Stroller Strides 360 classes at Redmond Town Center and the occasional studio drop-in Body Back Boost class.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My buddy Hunter is 8 months old

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I think its hard to pick one favorite thing about FIT4MOM, but I would say it’s the commitment and dedication everyone has to making you (the new gal) feel welcomed and comfortable. I also love that FIT4MOM is easy. There’s no pressure to be at every single class or to do something that’s not within your comfort zone.

It’s become a part of my daily routine and I love it.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

Before becoming a mom and choosing to stay home, I was an Executive Assistant in Sydney, Australia for a non-profit contemporary and modern arts center.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I will be honest, before I became a mom, I had no idea what that phrase really meant. After moving to a new city with all my family and friends on the other side of the country, I quickly realized that there was NO way I could do “this” without the support from other women. After finding FIT4MOM Eastside, I knew that having that support to rely on was SO IMPORTANT to my journey as a mother. Sharing my joys and struggles with moms who were going through the same things or moms who had been there before and knew exactly what I was going through, to offer advice or just a shoulder to cry on without any judgment.

That is exactly what "it takes a village" means. So, whether you are a new mom or a seasoned mom in a new place, find that group that lifts you up! I know I did :)

What is your favorite beverage?

Coffee, Hot Tea & Wine, but not together.

What is your favorite dessert?

I'll take all the sweet things, please and thank you :)

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Oh my! Mani and Pedi for sure, you can nap while they do that, right? Followed by a dinner date night with Tom.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

10 days in Italy with a wine and food tour

How has becoming a mother changed you?

Becoming a mom has changed the way I view what is really important and to slow down. In 8 months I have realized how quickly this time goes by.

I am happiest when...

I’m making Hunter laugh. It may be the best thing to light up my heart.

Roasted carrots w thyme.png

This is an easy recipe and a crowd pleaser! I used the multi color carrots from Trader Joe’s, but any carrot will do. Use fresh thyme if you can— it makes a huge difference. The carrots will get all caramelized and yummy when the sugar starts to release. Yummy! Enjoy;). Xoxo

https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/roasted-carrots-with-thyme.html

Pumpkin Blender Muffin.png

You know my obsession with pumpkin, and it doesn’t end in the fall! These muffins have a mellow pumpkin flavor with a cool texture due to the oats in place of standard flour. And I am loving that you put all of the ingredients in a blender and the batter is ready to go! I have made these in mini muffin form and frozen for use in lunchboxes or to accompany my afternoon coffee. Enjoy, sweet mamas and enjoy the last few weeks of this beautiful season!

Xoxo

https://www.blessthismessplease.com/healthy-pumpkin-blender-muffins/

Slow Cooker Chick Enchilada Soup.png

I’m in serious love with my slow cooker. I plop some ingredients in her in the morning, then by dinner time, when we are all famished, a yummy meal is ready to rock and roll!

I’ve made different chicken enchilada soups over the years, but I just tried this one and it’s my favorite! Really simple to put together, healthy, filling ingredients and great for a cool fall or winter night. Mine took about 6.5 hours on low, but my crockpot runs hot, so you’ll have to play around with the time. You want the chicken fully cooked so it easily shreds.

I topped this with a 1/2 avocado, sprinkle of Mexi cheese, and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt. This legit tastes like a chicken enchilada, and freezes like a dream! Make a double batch and freeze half! YUM!

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/slow-cooker-chicken-enchilada-soup-recipe/

She's Crafty - Nov graphic.png

This fun craft/toddler activity is brought to you by one of my favorite toddler bloggers! Busy Toddler is an amazing mom who you should follow on Pinterest or Instagram. Bonus she is local and is actually neighbors with one of our instructors!

For this activity you will make a water bottle into a turkey. Then your child will practice those fine motor skills and use tongs to feed the turkey with pom-pom balls. This alone, kept my 2 year old entertained for 15 minutes. For my 4 year old we turned into a competition to see who could get the most in their turkey in 5 minutes. You can adapt this so many ways. For example, who can get the most red and green pom-poms.

Visit the Busy Toddler at busy toddler.com or follow her on Facebook or Instagram. I promise you won’t regret it.

Activity Adapted from: https://busytoddler.com/2017/11/feed-the-turkey/

Supplies:

  • Wide lid Water Bottle (I used my a Gatorade one)
  • Construction Paper
  • Googley Eyes
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tongs (I got mine from the Dollar Store but you could use your kitchen ones too)
  • Pom-Poms

Directions:

1. Clean water bottle and remove label

2. Cut out turkey parts from construction paper.

3. Glue eyes and turkey parts to bottle and let dry.

4. Let the kids start feeding the turkey. Remember no hands only tongs to work on those fine motor skills.

Mom of the Month_ Nov.png

Meet Lindsay, a familiar face at Body Back and Boost classes, and an inspiring working mama!

Where are you originally from?

Right here in Redmond!

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined in March of this year when I signed up for my first Body Back session. I signed up at like 2:00 am as I was holding my sleeping 3 month old son, and immediately wondered if I had just made a good choice or a terrible mistake. It was definitely the best step towards health and happiness I could have made.

What classes do you attend?

Body Back (M/W Redmond 8:00 pm woot woot!) and Boost classes when I can sneak them in.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

I love all the amazing ladies that I've been working out with since I started BB. They inspire all the time. I can't pick just a few!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love that everyone is friendly, open, and encouraging. I struggled previously to find workouts that I enjoyed and that felt inclusive. FIT4MOM is both of those things, plus amazing community.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I work in land development as a Landscape Architect and Project Manager.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

YES! Not being with moms in a similar life stage going through the same joys and struggles can feel very isolating. Being in community with other moms helps me to be the best mother that I can be to my kids.

What is your favorite beverage?

Hands down...an Old Fashioned cocktail. I'm a big whiskey fan.

What is your favorite dessert?

Creme Brulee is my favorite splurge for sure.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

A night on the town with my husband! I’d love to have a leisurely dinner, and enjoy a cocktail at a bar afterwards.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

A sailing trip around the Greek Islands. I would absolutely love a week of laying in the sun, swimming, relaxing, sleep and reading.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

Being a mother is humbling, beautiful, difficult and amazing all at the same time. I think that I’m more of an optimist now because after the really hard days I know there is a bright day coming next.

I am happiest when...

I’m with my family. Going for walks together and snuggling my kids on weekend mornings are my favorite moments.

Butternut Squash French Fries.png

I’m always looking for things that my 4.5 year old will happily eat. He’s great at trying things, but not always liking them. These “fries” are super, super easy to prepare because the preparation of the crinkle cut squash is already done for you — thank God for Trader Joe’s!

I’ve tried these several times and the key is to bake them until they are crisp and slightly brown at the edges. It works best if you spread them out on a large sheet pan without the squash touching.

You can make the recipe as listed below, or play around with spices! It’s so fun to experiment based on what you are eating in addition! I have added smoked paprika, and salt/pepper for a smokey, sweet taste OR cumin, chili powder and garlic powder for more of a Mexican/Southwestern flavor profile! They are also yummy with just salt and pepper. Enjoy sweet mamas! And cheers to getting those kiddos to eat their “French fries!!”

https://spoonuniversity.com/recipe/try-these-not-so-fried-butternut-squash-fries

ravioli and roasted fall veggies

Happy Fall, y’all! This simple and filling dinner uses staples you probably already have on hand. It’s utilizes the seasonal fall vegetables that are plentiful this time of year. The veggies are the star, so load up on them. Plus, it’s kiddo friendly!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb of your favorite pasta (I used spinach ravioli from Trader Joe’s)
  • Your favorite pasta red sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Autumnal Sauce) **I always look for sugar content in prepared sauces—some are high in sugar
  • Fresh broccoli, carrots and kale (I did 2 crowns of broccoli, 3 large carrots, and a small bunch of kale)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Slice carrots into thin coins and broccoli into small pieces. Toss with EVOO until lightly coated and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes, or until the veggies start to turn black around the edges. You will want to toss them around once during cooking.

Prepare the pasta according to directions. Heat a small amount of the sauce and thinly slice the kale, being sure to remove the woody stems. Put the kale in the sauce to heat it through.

Toss the pasta, sauce and veggies together and sprinkle with a small amount of grated cheese. For the kiddo, I left the veggies in the side without the sauce and the pasta plain. ♥️♥️. Enjoy! Xo

She's Crafty - Egg Carton Bat.png

A fun and not-so-spooky holiday craft!

Materials:

  • Egg Carton (will make 4 bats)
  • Black acrylic or tempera paint
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Pipe Cleaners/String/Ribbon
  • Googly Eyes/Chalk/white marker

Instructions:

-Remove lid from carton (we used for paint pallet)

-Take egg carton lower piece and cut in half down vertical center

- now cut each half again horizontally so you have rows of 3

- trim ends if needed

-paint black

- poke two holes on top, thread ribbon or pipe cleaner through top holes

- add eyes, faces, any decor you like

Instantpot Tomato Basil Soup.png

The nights are getting chilly and it’s the perfect soup weather! This soup is super flavorful, filling and healthy! It’s full of fresh veggies and herbs. The fresh herbs and cheese rind in the soup are what give it a fresh, deep flavor. I served this with whole wheat grilled cheese or would be great with crusty bread or crackers. Enjoy, my sweet mamas!

Xoxo

https://www.skinnytaste.com/instant-pot-tomato-basil-soup/

Kodiak Pumpkin Pancakes.png

This awesome and easy recipe from Kim’s Cravings was a big hit with Luke and my hubby! If you have a can of pumpkin purée and Kodiak Mix in your pantry, whip these little disks of fall deliciousness right up ;). I used 2 t of pumpkin pie spice and added a T of brown sugar for a touch of sweetness. They take a few extra minutes of each side to cook, but keep a close eye.

These don’t even need syrup—I served mine along side sliced berries and melon.

Enjoy and happy pumpkin season! Xoxo

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Kodiak Cakes flapjack/waffle mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

*alternatively you could use a few teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of the other seasonings

Mom of the Month_ Oct - Jen B.png

Where are you originally from?

I grew up on the coast of Washington in a town called South Bend. It is on the way to Long Beach.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

So long ago it is hard to remember. I think it was January 2016.

What classes do you attend?

I've always been in the M/W 5:30am Body Back. I occasionally join Run Club (I'm in it now), or go to Boost or TRX.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Well, my M/W crew of course--Casey and Katie have been steady buddies in that class. I run during the week with Amy, Caroline, Melanie, and Jaime. I also run with a friend from work who lives near me, Latosha. Age isn't a thing I ask my workout buddies--Maybe this question is about my kids? They are almost 10 and almost 7 and don't work out with me!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love the community of women and moms who are health conscious.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am a Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft working in the Office product. I manage ten software engineers and have worked at Microsoft for twelve years. I love working on a product that so many people use around the world.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Madeline Albright once said "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." And, while I think this is really strong way to phrase it, the quote always strikes me that it isn't always the default to help other women. It's easy to fall into judgement and put walls between us.

My thought on "it takes a village" is that as a village we are a collective in nurturing healthy relationships and healthy bodies for ourselves, our family, and our work. Women can accomplish great things, both big and small, if we support each other.

What is your favorite beverage?

Water

What is your favorite dessert?

Key Lime Pie

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

I'd go shopping for clothes at a mall.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Anywhere in Europe

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I have become more aware of the way people, in general, are motivated, what incentives work, and strategies for influencing people to do things.

I am happiest when...

After a long run I am able to stretch and roll-out in peace and quiet, and enjoy the soreness.

Pumpkin Carrot Apple Muffins.png

PUMPKIN SEASON!

I am one of those crazy pumpkin people, and I absolutely love fall! These muffins combine the flavors of our favorite seasonal fruits and veggies to create the most flavorful, warm and healthy treat! Not too sweet, but perfect with a cup of coffee in the afternoon. The recipe is simple; honestly the most difficult part is grating the carrot and apple. I omitted the frosting, but added some mini chocolate chips to some of the muffins to freeze the Luke. I made these as mini muffins to freeze, but full size muffins would be great too.

Enjoy mamas! Happy Fall!

https://celebratingsweets.com/healthy-pumpkin-carrot-apple-muffins/

Handprint Puzzle Tree.png

One of my favorite things about fall in the PNW is the beautiful colored leaves on the trees. Recreate those beautiful trees outside your house with this fun and easy handprint tree. To do this fun craft with your child go find that old puzzle with pieces missing or stop by a dollar store and pick one up. Sit back with the yummy pumpkin spice latte as your little ones glue on all their puzzle leaves!

Supplies:

  • Brown Paper Bag
  • Construction Paper
  • Puzzle Pieces
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Directions:

1. Trace child’s hand and arm on the paper bag for the tree and branch shape.

2. Cut out arm and hand shape out and glue to construction paper.

3. Glue puzzle pieces to the tree to represent the leaves.

4. Let the kids go!

White Bean and Pumpkin Turkey Chili.png

I love fall! And it’s almost here....Soup, sweatshirts, football, Uggs!!!!!! This is one of the BEST chili recipes I have ever made, like ever. Luke even gobbled it up. You can make the recipe as is or feel free to use my tweaked spice measurements. I upped the amounts of cumin, chili powder onion, garlic and oregano, plus I added pumpkin pie spice and a pinch of cayenne.

There are instructions in the link below for the Instapot and slow cooker.

This makes a good amount of chili, so use for meal prep for the week or freeze leftovers. I served mine with plain Greek yogurt and avocado.

ENJOY! Muah and happy Fall! Xo

SALLY’S INGREDIENTS:

  • cooking spray
  • 2 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 med/large onion, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T chili powder, to taste
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 T cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 (15 oz cans) white northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not canned pumpkin pie)
  • 4.5 oz canned chopped green chile
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Instapot or Slow Cooker Instructions:

https://www.skinnytaste.com/crockpot-turkey-white-bean-pumpkin/

Coconut Lime Quinoa Bowl.png

am obsessed with quinoa and eat it several times per week. This is a cool and easy way to change up a classic staple. It’s 3 simple ingredients: quinoa, coconut milk and lime. I did this in the Instapot, but there are also directions for a rice cooker. It turned out so flavorful and creamy with a hint of sweetness! I served it with grilled salmon and mango salsa. You could also serve this with shrimp, mahi mahi or chicken plus any veggie!!!!!

Enjoy!!!!

https://unsophisticook.com/coconut-lime-quinoa/

Sweet Potato, Kale, Corn & Shrimp Quinoa Bowl.png

This is a great "wing it" recipe using things you probably have on hand!

I always have cooked quinoa around, and it’s so easy using it as a base for a healthy and filling bowl! I honestly use whatever veggies and proteins I have in the fridge, pantry or freezer to put together a quick lunch or dinner. Each component shines alone, but put what you like together in a bowl it’s just that much more super fresh and filling! I had sweet potatoes, a chili pepper and corn from the farmers market, plus kale from my garden and shrimp in the freezer.

Ingredients:

- Cooked quinoa (Trader Joe's freezer section)

- Fresh or frozen veggies - corn, sweet potato, kale used here

- Your choice of protein - Shrimp used here

- Avacado

Directions:

I cooked the corn and sliced off the kernels. Then I roasted the sweet potatoes by cutting them into 1/2 inch chunks, tossing them in EVOO, salt and pepper, then roasting at 450 for 35-45 minutes, turning them a few times, until tender and beginning to char. I had my husband grill the shrimp and pepper, again tossing with EVOO, salt and pepper until cooked through.

I assembled all of the cooked veggies and proteins on top of the hot quinoa, adding the fresh kale and sliced avocado on top last.

Some good bowl additions would be red onion, broccoli, peppers, chicken, fish, zucchini, carrots, green beans, asparagus or spinach. Use whatever you have, leftovers work great..... it’s seriously a great way to clean out your fridge and pantry!!! ENJOY!!!!!!

She's Crafty - Color Mixing Sensory Bag.png

A quick and easy prep (60 sec) for oodles of fun!

Supplies:

  • Zip-top storage bags
  • Shaving cream (ours from Dollar Tree)
  • Food Dye or Washable paint
  • Package or Painter’s Tape

Directions:

Roll down zip-top storage bag and squeeze food dye or paint into corners, slowly fill up bag with shaving cream, layering in more dye/paint if you want. Lay flat and lightly press air out and seal zip-top bag. Secure seal with tape and tape to table if desired. Have kiddo mix, swirl colors together. Kiddos can explore which primary colors make green, orange, purple, etc. Older kiddos can draw shapes/pictures on bag.

Mom of the Month_ Sept.png

Meet Laura, one of our favorite Brits, and favorite mamas! She keeps us inspired and laughing during Body Back, and we're so glad to have her in Our Village!

Where are you originally from?

I’m from England, UK, and moved to Washington 2 years ago.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

In the summer of 2017.

What classes do you attend?

I started with Stroller Strides then switched to Body Back in April 2018. I also attend some of the TRX and boost classes at the studio.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Chloe (8), Mia (7) and Daniel (3), though the older 2 don’t get to play as they are at school.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I had never really worked out on a regular basis until I found FIT4MOM Eastside. It was always a chore and simply a way to lose weight. Since finding FIT4MOM I have been stronger and fitter than ever and now love working out. I love the encouraging instructors and have made some great friends, whilst modelling a healthy lifestyle to my kids!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I used to be an HR Manager and I have been a stay at home mom since my first daughter was born. My trio keep me busy!

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I believe we were created to be in community with others and that includes moms. Finding a place where you can be yourself, without judgement from others, is so important. Raising kids is challenging and made easier when your “village” are cheering you on.

What is your favorite beverage?

Tea - I’m British!

What is your favorite dessert?

My mom’s homemade pavlova – it’s meringue with wipped cream and fruit on top.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Shopping, pedicure and lunch with someone I love.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

I’ve always wanted to go to the Maldives and stay in one of those water villas…. One day?

How has becoming a mother changed you?

My standards around the house have lowered (slightly) and I have a whole lot more grace for myself about what I manage to achieve in a day.

I am happiest when…

The sun is shining and I am with my family (with no squabbling!)

Summer Peach Salad.png

Summer tomatoes and peaches are the stars of this salad! Because they are in season now, and super sweet, this simple salad really shines and all of the simple ingredients meld together to create the perfectly flavor-balanced summer salad!

  • 2 c loosely packed spinach (can sub arugula or spring mix)
  • 1/2 ripe peach, diced
  • 1/2 c sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 T diced red onion (can sub scallions)
  • 2 T goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 T pecans (I like the sweet/spicy from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T chopped fresh basil or mint (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently with olive oil and balsamic. Let sit for a minute before eating as the balsamic will start breaking down the peaches, giving them a sweeter flavor! This is one portion, but you could double this salad for light dinner. I served my salad with Costco rotisserie chicken, or top it with shrimp, fish or even garbanzo beans for a meatless option.

Embrace every last minute of our beautiful PNW summer!

Enjoy, sweet mamas! Xoxo

FFF_ Brussels Sprouts.png

Remember growing up when your grandmom would boil brussel sprouts until they were mushy and flavorless?!?

These easy, flavorful sprouts are a complete 360 from those days! This is a great appetizer or an awesome side dish to accompany any pasta or protein. These rarely make it off the baking tray into a dish because my husband and I gobble them up! Barefoot Contessa seasons with just salt and pepper, which is fabulous—very simple and tasty! I sometimes also drizzle with Trader Joe’s balsamic vinegar right after they come out of the oven. It just adds a nice little tang!

Enjoy! Xo

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves.
  • Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.
  • Sprinkle with more kosher salt and serve immediately.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-brussels-sprouts-recipe2-1941953

Zucchini Tots.png

With zucchini in season and coming off the vine like nobody’s business, these easy tots are a great switch-up from the classic zucchini bread. These are mama, husband and kiddo approved! Triple win! I serve these with two sides: ranch and sriracha ketchup (add a few drops of sriracha to your favorite ketchup)! I love that Skinnytaste makes this recipe with simple ingredients, big taste, but also healthy!

Enjoy! Xo

https://www.skinnytaste.com/zucchini-tots/

INGREDIENTS:

  • cooking spray
  • 1 packed cup grated zucchini
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 medium onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (or gluten-free crumbs)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Grate the zucchini into a clean dish towel until you have 1 packed cup. Wring all of the excess water out of the zucchini, there will be a lot of water. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture in your hands and roll into small ovals. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, turning halfway though cooking until golden. Makes 16.
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We're honored to feature Gretchen Ward as our Mom of the Month for August. She started her FIT4MOM journey with Body Back, and is now in FIT4BABY as she awaits baby #2! Thanks for inspiring us, Gretchen!

Where are you originally from?

I’m a Washington native, born and raised in Everett and now live in Woodinville

When did you join FIT4MOM?

May 2017

What classes do you attend?

I started out with several sessions of Body Back but currently taking FIT4Baby as I’m 34ish weeks pregnant with baby girl #2. Excited to try Stroller Strides during maternity leave and then definitely back to Body Back!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Evelyn – 2 years old

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I’m constantly amazed by how many welcoming, positive and motivated women I get to meet through this program. I’m inspired by these women and have such fun sharing time with them. I always leave feeling better mentally and physically.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I’ve been a marketing professional for 14 years in the Medical Device/Healthcare industry. I’m currently an Integrated Marketing Manager at Stryker in Redmond, WA

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Yes! I think it’s so important for women to have a village, whether they are moms or not. Women need to surround themselves with positive, strong and supportive people. As a mom, this has become even more important to me, I’ve found comfort and confidence in this village.

What is your favorite beverage?

Coffee or wine! Just depends on the time of day ;)

What is your favorite dessert?

A chewy, slightly undercooked cookie

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Right about now…sleep! Outside of a solid nap I’d love to go wine tasting with girlfriends.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

International travel! I’d love to visit more countries in Europe, Spain is definitely next on my list.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I’ve learned I have limits and need to ask for help and just admit I can’t do it all on my own sometimes. Okay, I’m still working on admitting this but it’s true nonetheless!

I am happiest when...

I wake up on a Saturday morning with my daughter and husband, without an agenda for at least a few hours. There’s always something we need to do or somewhere we need to be eventually, but just those early morning hours (with a giant cup of coffee) while we play or watch a movie…and I’m still without make-up and in sweats!

Penne & Pesto Veggie Salad.png

During these hot summer months, I love to make a big summer salad in the beginning of the week and eat it during the week for dinner with some kind of protein — usually grilled fish or chicken. This salad is simple to put together and versatile, as you can use the veggies you have on hand. It is great for easy lunch prep, as well!

  • 1 lb whole wheat penne
  • 1/2 c prepared or homemade pesto
  • 2 c fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 14.5 oz can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

Cook the pasta according to the directions, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Toss together all ingredients gently, adding in the spinach last. You could also add veggies like broccoli, asparagus or green beans. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Enjoy!!! Xoxo

Chicken Burrito Bowls with Mexi Slaw.png

I typically don’t use my slow cooker much in the summer, however, I love this recipe during those hot summer days when you want something light and filling but don’t want to heat up your oven!

It works great for meal prep (I typically prep 5 servings in 3-cup rectangular Pyrex containers) OR for an easy dinner!

Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed
  • 1 jar salsa OR 1 1/4 cups
  • 14.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • Taco seasoning packet OR homemade

Slaw:

  • Small head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large shredded carrot
  • 1-2 peppers sliced thin (I used 2 jalapeños)
  • Small Bunch cilantro, leaves only (optional)
  • Avocado, diced (optional)
  • 2 limes

Place chicken, beans, salsa, corn and seasoning in slow cooker and cook in low 7-8 hours, or high 4-5 hours. Shred chicken and stir.

Make mexi slaw by combing all of the ingredients and toss. Squeeze lime on top and add avocado. One serving of the slow cooker mixture is approx one cup! Serve chicken mixture on top of slaw. ENJOY!

Chili and Lime Grilled Shrimp Tacos.png

We are loving this warm PNW summer, especially grilling almost every night. This easy grilled shrimp is so tasty and won’t overheat your kitchen. It’s super quick and the final dish is super fresh and light.

  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Juice of one large lime
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Corn tortillas
  • Assorted taco toppings (cabbage, peppers, radish, avocado, cilantro, black beans)

Mix all marinade ingredients in small bowl and toss on shrimp for 10 minutes in the fridge. Cook shrimp on med/high grill 2-3 minutes per side, or until shrimp is light pink.

Heat corn tortillas for a minute or two on the grill grates, then assemble your tacos! We did cabbage, radish and carrot slaw with black beans, corn and avocado. Simply delicious! Xoxo

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SUMMER!

'Tis the season for grilling! We usually grill our entire dinner and spend our evening on our deck soaking in the rays. This recipe is SO easy and tastes like a million bucks.

  • 2 mahi mahi filets (I love Costco frozen Filets)
  • 2 T Pesto
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1-2 crowns of fresh broccoli, cut into small florets

Rinse and dry mahi filets. Drizzle both sides with olive oil, and rub in salt and pepper (or any seasoning you like). In a large bowl, drizzle broccoli with olive oil, just enough to coat. A few tablespoons is usually good. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Preheat grill to med/high heat. Place broccoli on a grilling tray or mat. Turn every few minutes and cook until the tops of the broccoli start to blacken.

Grill mahi 5-10 min per side, or until completely cooked inside. This really depends on the thickness of your filets. At the end of cooking, add 1 T of Pesto to each filet and close grill for a minute to heat.

I served the fish and broccoli over Quinoa! Very light and satisfying dinner. Yum!

Muah mamas! Happy grilling! XO

She's Crafty - Busy Bag.png

It’s SUMMER which means travel for many of us. Do you find yourself anxious on how to keep your little ones busy on the upcoming car rides, plane trips, or dinners out with friends and family? I have a solution to keeping those kids busy and happy while you travel. BUSY BAGS to the RESCUE! The ideas for these bags are endless and Pinterest has tons of samples, free printable, and activities for every age.

The idea is a simple one, go to the dollar store and buy the supplies cheap, put the activities together in pencil bags, and store them in a binder. Then throw the binder in your car or diaper bag and have them ready to go! Only let the kids play with these while traveling or out to eat and they remain a special activity. I have picked a variety of activities to share along with the links to the ideas/printable so you can do them too. Some activities only require a purchase while others take a little more work on your behalf. I made a total of 8 bags and some printable worksheets and it cost me $30 total at the Dollar Store and about an hour of my time.

Printable Worksheets:

These are perfect for my 4 year old who is starting to trace, learn letters, and write his name. Plus using a marker is always a special treat. I printed out a trace your name worksheet, the alphabet, and line tracing activity. Here are the links:

1. https://www.powerfulmothering.com/free-personalized-my-name-tracing-printable/

2. https://nonnaandme.blogspot.com/2012/06/get-moving.html

3. http://www.worksheetfun.com/2013/09/23/capital-small-letter-tracing-worksheet-2/

Busy Bag 1: Sponge Blocks

Cut sponges in rectangle strips and triangles. This makes a great on the go block set.

Busy Bag 2: Legos

Buy a small lego pad and then little legos to go with it and let the building begin!

Busy Bag 3: Art Bag

Throw in some construction paper pieces, sticker books, and foam stickers. Let the kids create and put their foam pieces and stickers on the construction paper.

Busy Bag 4: Popsicle Stick Shape Builders

Buy colored popsicle sticks and small round Velcro circles. Please a sticky and soft Velcro circle on each end of the stick. Now kids can create letters and shapes.

Busy Bag 5: Pom Pom Caterpillar

Print out caterpillar 1-10 cards on cardstock. Next add pom-poms and kid tongs and let them add the correct number of pom-poms to each card.

Busy Bag 6: Beads and Pipe Cleaners

Let the kids practice their fine motor skills has they make pipe cleaner necklaces or bracelets by adding beads to the pipe cleaners.

Busy Bag 7: Whiffle Ball and Pipe Cleaners

For smaller kids to practice those fine motor skills buy small plastic whiffle/golf balls and add pipe cleaners. They will love sticking the pipe cleaners through the holes of the ball.

Busy Bag 8: Cutting Practice

Add small pieces of paper with large lines in various patterns drawn on them and a pair of kid scissors. You can do zig-zag line, rolling hills, and a straight line. Preschoolers love to practice their cutting skills.

Mom of the Month body after baby

Meet Jenni! She's our newest Playgroup Captain for Kirkland classes, and mommy to one adorable little guy. She's also been a superstar in our Bothell Body Back session! We love having you in Our Village, Jenni!

Where are you originally from?

I grew up in Spokane, WA, then moved to the westside after college (and never looked back!)

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined Stroller Strides just this past January 2018-it was the best thing I could have done to get out of the house and beat the long, dreary PNW winter with a new baby.

What classes do you attend?

I love to get my sweat on at stroller strides Tuesdays/Thursdays in Kirkland and Monday/Fridays in Bothell. I also just finished my first session of Body Back in Bothell on Monday/Wednesday nights-It was AMAZING!!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My little workout bud is Liam and he is 8 months old. My other two original workout buds are Ben (39) and Callie our beagle pup (who is actually 11 and only prefers walks for workouts these days).

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love the community and positivity that each mama brings to the group. It is truly inspiring to see so many women lifting each other up! And I also love being able to set an example for my little guy of the importance of working out, being healthy, and being strong, all while still having fun. I feel lucky that he will also get to benefit from such a great community alongside me.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am currently on maternity leave from teaching. I have taught since graduating college 14 years ago, so it has been a COMPLETE change not working. I taught first and second grade for 12 years, and then was an instructional coach and worked with teachers on incorporating technology with their students the last 2 years. My plan is to mostly stay-at-home with Liam next school year and substitute right by our house occasionally. Liam has two grandmas that are mooore than happy to hang with him as often as possible as he is the first grandbaby….

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Joining a village and finding “your people” is one of the most important things you can do as a mama! Being able to share experiences, joys, frustrations, and everything else in between with other mamas is sometimes the only way to get through the journey. As a teacher, the phrase “it takes a village” has always rang true because kids benefit from so many people in their lives. Now, finally having my own little dude, it has taken on a whole new meaning. Having other mamas to lean on and lift you up is everything.

What is your favorite beverage?

Bubbles! Both the sparkling water and sparkling wine varieties. I am also currently digging the Spindrift bubbles, as they have that bit of real fruit juice in them.

What is your favorite dessert?

Well, this is just a hard question because I have a HUGE sweet tooth. If I HAD to pick just one I love a good slice of vanilla cake with white buttercream frosting. LOTS of frosting.

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

SLEEP!!! I rarely get 4 hours consecutively. Liam has always been a tough sleeper, and he has his first two bottom teeth popping through. Teething is the worst. We both need sleep. Maybe I could sleep while getting a massage, that would be ideal.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

To head back to the rolling hills of Tuscany.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

Becoming a mommy has changed literally every aspect of life. How I now define myself with others, how my day is scheduled (or sometimes not!), how I eat so much faster now, how I don’t sleep, and how I love someone so much more than I ever thought possible. I was totally happy with my circles of friends pre-baby, but didn’t know how many more amazing people would come into my life-many from FIT4MOM.

I am happiest when...

I am happiest when I am with family and friends. Anytime, anyplace. And when I see Liam’s smile-melts my heart every time.

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This recipe looks like a million bucks plated, but is SO simple to prepare! And it’s filling and healthy.

  • 2 fresh salmon filets
  • Cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • 1 T butter
  • Sliced small onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 450. Rinse salmon and gently pat dry. Season to taste with a Cajun seasoning and rub liberally over the filets. Bake 12-15 minutes, skin side down, or until fish begins to flake. You can also use your grill to cook the fish. That WAS our plan, but it started raining;(

Melt butter in large skillet. Sauté onions on medium heat until caramelized. The onions will be light brown in color. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add spinach in bunches until completed wilted. Add in cooked farro and mix, season to taste with salt and pepper.

When salmon and spinach farro are plated, squeeze with lemon all over. The lemon really makes the spinach and salmon flavors pop! Enjoy!

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  1. How to make a cloud in a jar!

    Materials Needed:

    • 1/3 cup hot water
    • Empty glass jar with lid
    • 3-5 ice cubes
    • Hairspray

    How To:

    • Add 1/3 hot water to glass jar and swirl around sides for 5 seconds. (I used hot tap water)
    • Put lid on upside down and place ice cubes on top of lid
    • Wait 20 seconds to allow condensation to form
    • Quickly lift lid and spray hair spray into jar (2 second spray), place lid back on top
    • Watch as cloud forms, you may need to look very closely, will be swirly around top pf jar
    • Once cloud formed fully, lift lid to watch cloud escape into air
Fit Foodie Friday_ Lentil Salad with Tomato & Dill.png

This salad is one of my new go-tos for summer. Easy to put together, keeps well in the fridge as a side dish or makes an easy meal prep for weekly lunches! The star of this dish is fresh dill! If you haven’t tried dill, you will be pleasantly surprised! Add seafood or chicken for an easy dinner.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup dried lentils (preferably small French lentils
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 lb tomatoes, diced (2 cups)
  • 4 large scallions, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

PREPARATION

  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan with lentils, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain in a large sieve, then transfer to a large bowl.
  • Toss hot lentils with tomatoes, scallions, dill, basil, vinegar, oil, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste.

This salad tastes best when it has a while to sit and let the flavors meld. Enjoy, mamas! Xoxo

Fit Foodie Friday_ Mediterranean Summer Salad.png

Luke is starting swimming lessons this week during dinner time, so I prepped this scrumptious Mediterranean Farro Salad to grab and go. Meal prep/planning has been integral to achieving my health and fitness goals this year. This was a super easy salad to put together with lots of big flavors that mesh really well. I also added some cherry tomatoes and used fresh herbs in place of dried. I will add 2T of feta before eating.

Enjoy!! Xo

https://showmetheyummy.com/mediterranean-farro-salad-recipe/?m

Hola mamas! In the Baer Den, we are big fans of “Taco Tuesday!” Every Tuesday I create some type of Mexican fiesta for our taste buds. The recipe I’m sharing today is my tried and true basic taco filling made with ground turkey. I’ve been tinkering with this recipe for years—tweaking, adding, playing with different spices, and I think I’ve finally found the perfect combo! Now, don’t panic if you don’t have or use some of the items in this recipe. It can definitely be tailored for your family’s tastebuds!

Hola mamas! In the Baer Den, we are big fans of “Taco Tuesday!” Every Tuesday I create some type of Mexican fiesta for our taste buds. The recipe I’m sharing today is my tried and true basic taco filling made with ground turkey. I’ve been tinkering with this recipe for years—tweaking, adding, playing with different spices, and I think I’ve finally found the perfect combo! Now, don’t panic if you don’t have or use some of the items in this recipe. It can definitely be tailored for your family’s tastebuds!

This turkey filling is so versatile—-tacos, quesadillas, Mexican pizza, etc. I made turkey and refried bean burritos on Monday, then used the leftover beans and meat to make taco salads and burrito bowls the rest of the week for my lunches. I added a picture of my taco salad (baby spinach, tomatoes, salsa, plain Greek yogurt, sprinkle of shredded cheddar and a multigrain chip for garnish).

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of ground turkey (or ground chicken)
  • Small onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c chicken stock (or chicken broth)
  • 1.5 T cumin
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t each of oregano, garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • 4 oz can diced green chilis (I love TJs!)

Directions

Brown turkey and salt/pepper to taste in large pan, drain fat. Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until onion is translucent. Add all spices and cook for a minute. Add green chilis and chicken stock. Stir every few minutes until stock is almost completely evaporated.

All done! Muah!!!! xoxo

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So I’m cheating on my crockpot this week and sharing one of our healthy family favorite comfort foods — turkey meatloaf! I’ve tried a ton of turkey meatloaf recipes over the years, seriously maybe 10+, and this is the best one I’ve tried, by far. It has a zing from the ketchup and Worcestershire, is moist and comforting, but healthy! My almost 4 year old will even eat this (after protesting that he doesn’t like it, of course). ;)

A few tips: make sure to get the 1 and 1/4 pound ground turkey. I buy a 4-pack at Costco because turkey is my go-to for cooking! Also, you may be tempted to skip sautéing the onion and garlic in butter. Please trust me, it makes a huge difference in the taste. Although the recipe doesn’t call for it, I spray my pan with non-stick spray. Lastly, this is REALLY easy to double and freeze one loaf. Wrap the dish in plastic and foil, label and freeze. I usually partially defrost mine prior to baking and add some cooking time. Always bake this pan of deliciousness uncovered.

Manga, mamas!

Ingredients

  • 2T butter
  • 1 C chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 C breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg or 1/4 C egg substitute
  • 3/4 C ketchup (1/4 C in meatloaf, 1/2 C on top)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

  • Melt butter in skillet. Cook onion and garlic in melted butter for 5 min, stirring occasionally.
  • Place mixture in a bowl to cool, 5 minute
  • Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, 1/4 C ketchup, Worcesterchire sauce, salt, and pepper with onion mixture in bowl.
  • Press meatload into 8x4" loaf pan, and spread remaining ketchup on top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. (internal temp should reach 165 degrees)
  • Remove from oven and let stand 5 min before serving.
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Do your kids love playing in the snow? Make it yourself in the warmth of your home and the kids can get hours of playtime with it. And as an added bonus it will make your house and their hands smell amazing! If placed in a sealed or air tight container the “snow” will last for several days.

Ingredients:

3 cups of Baking Soda

1/2 cup hair conditioner (white or clear colored preferred to keep the snow look)

Directions:

Place 3 cups of baking soda and 1/2 cup of hair conditioner in a large plastic bowl or tub. Mix together and PLAY!

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What if you have a picky eater?

Toddlers seem to be innately selective when it comes to food and what they will and will not eat. It can be very frustrating and occasionally worrisome for parents.

It sounds easy enough, but we as mothers and fathers know all too well that our little mini me’s are stubborn and have their own will. It can take 20 or more introductions to a new food before your child will even taste it. If your child will only accept ~30 different foods you would have what is considered a picky eater. If he or she is accepting less than 20 foods it is worrisome and should be addressed with a dietitian or feeding therapist.

Picky eating is, in most cases, a normal part of development. Although it can be stressful as a parent, we as humans are biologically programmed to be cautious of new foods until they are proven to be safe. This is especially true of bitter foods- since poison is typically bitter. It can be common for vegetables to have a bitter flavor, which in turn makes it more challenging to get our little ones to try new healthy options. So, how do you get over the hump? Once you as a parent have ensured their food is safe to eat, how can you encourage them to try the new food presented? My recommendation is to play with food introductions to make the encounters as fun and exciting as possible. Experiment with smell, appearance, texture and the sound of a food as they chew it. Describe your experience to your child as you enjoy the same food, presented in the same manner. Don’t make your children separate meals. It can be tempting to give your little one something you know they’ll enjoy, but by doing so you remove the opportunity for them to try new foods. It also complicates mealtime in multiple facets. Try to encourage mealtimes vs on the go snacking. Kids are more open to try something new when there is an opportunity to interact and discuss the foods being eaten. Plan your meals and snacks. If snack time falls too close to mealtime, or they’ve been grazing all day your little one won’t have much of an appetite. If kids are over hungry it can also be problematic. Don’t make a big issue if they do refuse the foods offered to them. If a child realizes that refusing a food gets them a lot of attention, they’re going to continue to do it. You can also hide the ingredients. Using vegetable purees mixed in with some of their favorite meals can add a lot of nutritional value and be an easy way for them to experience new foods without a lot of fuss.

It can be a very challenging process to ensure your child is nourished. Your little ones are learning a lot about the world. Food and meal times can be huge opportunities for them to learn communication skills, social behaviors, language and fine motor skills. Thus feedings are much more than just placing food in front of them. Be patient, calm and understanding during these opportunities. Do your best to appreciate these moments, have fun and laugh.

Teresa Brennan, RD, CD, CNSC is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Nutrition Support Clinician. She holds a certification in Adult Weight Management and is currently a busy mom of two little ones. Teresa is a consulting RD for FIT4MOM Eastside.

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I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have a love affair with my crockpot. I love her. She’s efficient, beautiful and makes life superb (much like us hot mamas).

The beauty of slow cooking is whatever you put in there is going to be delicious; it doesn’t matter if you are a novice in the kitchen or a domestic goddess. I use it 2-3 times per week, put together the ingredients in the morning (or night before), turn it on low in the AM and dinner is ready—easy peasy!

The other reason I adore my girl is I often double recipes, and freeze leftovers for later. I label the frozen meal with blue painters tape with meal name and date. Life saver!!!!!

This recipe from Skinnytaste is a keeper. It’s one of our absolute favorites, easy, quick, hearty, and freezes like a dream!!!!!

https://www.skinnytaste.com/crock-pot-chicken-taco-chili-4-pts/

I make the taco seasoning myself in order to control the sodium, but use the premade packet if that works for you. You can also vary the recipe a bit and it still tastes FAB! Add fresh garlic, use fire roasted tomatoes, use all black beans, add chopped green pepper, whatever you have on hand—it will always be a home run! I serve this bowl of chili deliciousness with a dollop of nonfat plain Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of Mexican cheese. ENJOY!

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Happy New Year to all of you beautiful mamas! I am so excited to share my love of cooking with you each week, where I will prepare easy, healthy meals, many of them kiddo friendly! My son even helped prepare this with me.

Here’s a gem I’ve been making for many years; it’s so well loved I have it written down on a hot pink post-it note. It’s easy, filling and makes your house smell like the most amazing apple pie is baking.

First, spray your slow cooker with non-stick spray. Trust me, you’ll thank me later! Next, put all ingredients in your slow cooker and cover. I like to use Granny Smith apples, but any apple will work. Also, make sure to use steel cut oats; regular oats will turn into a bowl of mush. You can adjust the amount of water based on how you like your oatmeal. I love mine a little more creamy, so 5 cups of water works for me. If you like a thicker consistency, cut the water by 1/2 cup. Cook on low for approximately 5 hours. You’ll know the oatmeal is done when it’s soft, but not mushy. Stir halfway through cooking to incorporate the ingredients.

When cooled, I divide the deliciousness into 5 containers to easily pop in the microwave for a hot, quick breakfast. I’ve also added raisins, cranberries or pecans as toppings. Nom nom! ENJOY!

1 c steel cut oats

4-5 c water

2-3 peeled/diced apples

1 T cinnamon

1 T brown sugar

1 t vanilla

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Our last (but most certainly not least!) mom of the month for 2017 is Laine! Not only is she a mom and Stroller Strides client, she's now a Body Back instructor! Be sure to check out a class from this inspiring mama soon!

Where are you originally from?

My dad was in the Navy so I’ve been lots of places but he retired in Silverdale when I was 11.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined Stroller Strides in early 2016 before my daughter turned one.

What classes do you attend?

I started out with Stroller Strides and now am into Body Back and Boost, which I love.

Who is your workout buddy and their age?

Joey (Josephine) 27 months old and Teddy (Theodore) 8 months old. And my original workout buddy is Johnny, 35 years old.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love that I have an outlet to do something for myself and my kids get to see how important it is to workout.

How has FIT4MOM changed your lifestyle choices?

I eat much better and my family also benefits from healthier meal choices.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I’m currently a SAHM working on opening a whole family support practice as a lactation consultant and providing seminars for Principles of Marriage and Bringing Baby Home. Most recently I got my Body Back certification to teach classes here at FIT4MOM Eastside!

I used to sell LuLaRoe and I was also a Manager of Marketing Analytics. And I do wedding and event consulting on the side. I just can’t stop!!

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Having a village is a major component of staying healthy and sane through motherhood. It also helps to have mamas that have your back no matter what and those that lift you up AND your kids. Mothers are the most critical of themselves and your village is there to remind you to be kind to yourself and tell you how amazing you are.

What is your favorite beverage?

I love COFFEE. Vanilla Americano with cream.

What is your favorite dessert?

Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

I would get a massage, pedicure, hang out at the spa , get my hair did, and then drink hot coffee outside in the sun. Alone.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Anywhere with good food and a sandy beach.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I have learned to not rush as much and to be ok with a chaotic and messy house. I’ve also learned that almost anything can be made better with a hug, a song, and a dance party.

I am happiest when...

I am happiest when I see my two kids laughing and smiling together while I sit on the couch cuddling with my hubby.