healthy mommy challenge

Aussie Bites knockoff recipe. This one's in cookie form - yum! Whole wheat flour, oats, coconut, dried apricots, flaxseed, butter, egg, vanilla, & brown sugar.
Baking, DIY Family Food, DIY Recipes, Snacks

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Coconut Cookies (An Aussie Bites Knockoff Recipe)

Have you ever tried those “Aussie Bites” from Costco? SO addicting. They’re like little mini cakelets (that’s a word in my books) filled with all sorts of flavourful ingredients like oats, coconut and dried fruit. I consider them to be mostly healthy, and they are such a filling snack. I thought they’d be fun to try to recreate, but in a cookie format. I modified a Aussie Bites knockoff recipe, added some cookie-ish ingredients to it and the result was YUM.Continue reading

Simple tricks to help you drink more water every day - these are clever and easy!
DIY Family Food, DIY Recipes, Health & Beauty

How to Trick Yourself Into Drinking More Water

WATER. Do you drink enough? I usually don’t. Ever since I was little I couldn’t stand the stuff. My roommate in college used to call me a camel because I’d hardly drink any ever. It was a terrible habit that I’ve learned wreaks havoc on my body. Are you like me and need some encouragement when it comes to drinking enough water? Here are some ideas on how you can make water more exciting to drink, and how to “trick yourself” into drinking more water every day!Continue reading

16 Minute At-Home Workout to get back into pre-pregnancy shape
Health & Beauty

A 16 Minute At-Home Workout to Get Back to Pre-Preganancy Shape

(Note: This post was originally published in January 2013 and has now been updated.)

A couple of summers ago, I attended some workout classes in my home town of Stony Plain, Alberta called “Workout in the Park”. They were absolutely fantastic because they were held outside near a park where my 3 year old could play while I got a quick but intense workout in. The genius behind this class was Jenna, and I’ve asked her to share some of her wisdom with us as part of my Healthy Mommy Challenge. She knows exactly what moms need to work around in order to get fit (kids! she has four!) and she’s graciously sharing a great at-home workout routine with us today.  I encourage you to visit Jenna’s Facebook Page – she’ll inspire you, and you can learn all of the details of her Workout In The Park classes starting THIS WEEK – June 23, 2015! – Christina


16 Minute At-Home Workout to get back into pre-pregnancy shape

When I had my first baby I soon realized that my freedom to get to the gym was now hindered by naps, feedings and play dates.  My ability to get a workout in, or a morning Zumba class, was now a difficult and expensive task. Yet I had these extra pounds left over from nine months of ‘eating for two’.

There are great ‘Mommy-Baby’ classes at local fitness facilities that have childcare for older children. However it came at a cost and the effort and motivation to get out of the house was sometimes low. 
I needed to bring my old days of working out to my own home, my new schedule and new way of life. As I trainer I had the knowledge to build training sessions that would get the same workout as at the gym but without the hassle of packing diaper bags, strollers and snacks.

Within months, my at-home workouts, three to four days a week, paired with a healthy diet paid off – I was back to pre-pregnancy shape. During this time I also started my ‘Busy Mums, Little Bums’ program, helping other Mom’s lose the baby weight in the convenience of their own homes.

Now it’s your turn. Find some time when the kids are occupied, put on your workout clothes (pajama pants will do!) and have a water bottle on hand. Note: feel free to stop to wipe a nose, kiss a hurt knee or shush a baby back to sleep.

What you will need:

A timer of some sort (oven, iPhone, stopwatch will work)

What to do:

1. Start by warming up with 10 sets of stairs (up and down is one). Explode up the stairs at a jog or run and walk down holding on to the railing.

2. Start your timer and do 1 minute of each exercise WITH NO stopping. You may slow down, but keep moving! Remember, when it starts getting uncomfortable, those are the reps that count the most. Take a short 15-30 second break between each exercise. Break for 1-2 minutes for water after each set of four exercises.

Lateral Burpees – Okay this is a tough one, but let’s do it first and get it over with. Start with feet shoulder width apart. Squat down like a frog touching the ground on either side of your hands. Jump your feet out to one side and back into the middle. Stand up with a jump, reaching for the ceiling. Repeat on the other side. An easier alternative is burpees, either jump or step your feet out towards the back instead of the side.

Pushups – I know you’re saying, yeah right! But yes, YOU CAN do a pushup. Although a pushup on the ground may not be feasible just yet, try one with your hands raised on a higher surface – the counter, a coffee table, or a stair. Keep these principles in mind – the higher your hands, the easier the pushup and always maintain a straight body from shoulders to heels. Start high and work your way down; in no time you’ll be doing pushups on the ground, with little ones climbing on your back.

Jump Squats – Start with feet a little more than shoulder width apart. Squat down as if sitting in a chair. Explode upwards, jumping as you extend your legs. Land with bent knees going right into your next squat. For an easier alternative, eliminate the jump. When doing squats be sure your knees are always behind your toes, not in front.

Reverse Lunge with Front Kick – Start with feet shoulder width apart. Take a large step backwards, bending both knees into a lunge. Back knee should be an inch above the ground, front knee at ninety degrees, not over your front toes. Bring your back foot forward kicking the air in front and lower down. Repeat on the other leg. Remember to use your arms for balance.

Repeat this four times for a total of 16 minutes of exercise.

3. Cool down with abdominal exercises and/or light stretching.

In order to be successful with working out at home remember to: set goals, write them down and review frequently, record your workouts in a journal to track progress, set time aside and plan your workouts (otherwise there never will be time) and pair exercise with a healthy diet.

Workout in the Park Stony Plain

Jenna of Effectual FitnessAttention DIY Mommy fans in the Stony Plain, Alberta area: I will be offering my annual 10 Week Workout in the Park this June 2015 – a painful, but quick, full body toning, 45 minute workout. The best part is you can bring your little ones with you so no hassle finding childcare.

For more information about at home workouts, in home personal training, or any questions you may have, please contact me via email at effectualfitness(at)live.ca or on Facebook: Effectual Fitness.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Jenna Hobbs, BPE


Photo credit:Hobbs Photography

Easy, High Fiber Snack Ideas
DIY Family Food, DIY Recipes

Easy Mommy Snack Ideas

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. As always, all of the opinions here are solely my own.

Mommies need snacks too! Sometimes we’re doling out snacks so often to our kids, that we forget to give them to ourselves. I’ve been working really hard on finding better snacking alternatives for myself to munch on throughout the day. I used to grab for a cookie or a handful of chips, and now I’m realizing that I need to snack smarter in order to keep feeling better. As much as I’d love to have the time to slow roast chickpeas or bake some kale chips, I usually don’t have the time to make such time consuming snacks. Because of this, I’ve had to come up with some tasty snacks that are high in nutrients, but low in prep time. Here are some of the things I’ve been snacking on lately, and some easy snack ideas for you!
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How to make pre-frozen smoothie packs for easy snacks + a good green smoothie recipe!
DIY Family Food, DIY Recipes

Make Green (or Not Green) Smoothie Packs for Easy Snacks (Video)

It took me until last week to finally try a “green” smoothie, and I was pleasantly surprised. I blended a frozen cube of spinach together with some yogurt, peaches, strawberries, bananas and orange juice, and it was SO good! I’m definitely hooked, PLUS I figured out a way to prepare some easy smoothie packs in advance so that the kids or I can enjoy green (or not green) smoothies easily at any time of day.Continue reading

How to substitute whole wheat flour for white flour + a whole wheat biscuit recipe
DIY Family Food, DIY Recipes

Whole Wheat Biscuits + How I Substitute Whole Wheat Flour for White Flour

As part of eating healthier and adding more whole grains and whole wheat flours to my diet , I have been doing a lot of baking with whole wheat flour. I’ve found lots of great recipes that use WW flour, and I’ve been experimenting a lot with substituting it for white flour in recipes that I already use and love. Today, I’m sharing with you my new favourite whole wheat biscuit recipe, plus how I substitute whole wheat flour for white flour in my baking.

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Postpartum Fitness Tips from a Girl Who Hates to Exercise
Health & Beauty

Postpartum Fitness Tips from a Girl Who Hates to Exercise

Hate is a strong word and I really try to avoid it, but I’m going to be honest here: I HATE EXERCISING. I really, really don’t like it at all. My husband asked me the other day as I was whining about a workout: “…but don’t you feel all refreshed and energized after?” My reply? Nope. I don’t. After I exercise I feel exhausted, sweaty, icky and sore. Ironically, today I’m going to share with you my postpartum fitness tips for mamas like me who aren’t fitness buffs. Before you laugh and run away, please stay with me!

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Meal Planning Monday: Week One from The DIY Mommy. Cheese Ravioli with Five Ingredient Brown Butter Tomato Sauce, Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken, FIve Spice Ginger Beef, Skillet Rosemary Chicken, Easy Shepherd's Pie, Pork Chops with Pineapple Fried Rice
DIY Family Food

Meal Planning Monday: Week One – Simple, Real Family Dinners

I’m trying to be a healthier mommy. I’m taking baby steps, and the baby step I took this past month was to focus on healthy eating.

I’m not a raw foods and tofu kind of girl, so my goal is simply to eat “real foods” (i.e. non-processed foods) as much as possible.

I’ve been a meal planner off and on for a long time, but I find that it really helps me and my family to eat well, spend less money on groceries, and have a more relaxed dinner time. I’ve decided to share my meal plans with you with the hope that it won’t only keep me motivated, but that it will be useful to some of you. There are so many good supper recipes I’ve loved and tried and I want to share them!

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Health & Beauty

Healthy Mommy Challenge: 3 Month Check-In (I’m losing it… and I don’t mean the weight.)

Cue the violins.

In January, I committed to a Healthy Mommy Challenge for myself. My goal was to have 30 minutes of cardio activity each day, 3 days a week of strength training, and eat healthy “real” foods. Well, guess what? I’m failing with pretty much all of those simple goals.

For whatever reason, I thought that I would somehow be a superwoman through this entire house building process. You told me building a house was a massive job and it would be a strain on every aspect of my life and I laughed. To who – me? No way.

Here we are 34 weeks into the build and we’re headed to the final plate. While there have been a lot of amazingly exciting moments and it’s pushed my creativity to its limits, there have also been many stressful and exhausting moments. It’s hard on a mom – and on a family – to be putting all of your financial, physical and mental resources into building a house.Continue reading