6 Gym-Free Ways for Busy Moms to Fit in a Quick Workout

6 Gym-Free Ways for Busy Moms to Fit in a Quick Workout

6 Gym-Free Ways for Busy Moms to Fit in a Quick Workout

*This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission).  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Some days, just taking a shower marks a major accomplishment. Your life is crazy and chaotic, despite the plans and schedules. And gym memberships with excellent daycare can be really pricey.

So how do you fit in a gym-free workout when you can’t even put on real clothes?

Luckily, with a little creativity you can fit in a daily workout. Even while being a super busy mom. A regular workout–even with little kids–is totally possible!

No time to workout? No problem! Here are 6 ways even the busiest mom can fit in a quick workout at home.

6 Gym-Free Ways for Busy Moms to Fit in a Quick Workout

 

1) Wake-up Before your kids

I know, girl. You are perpetually tired. This seems impossible. I’ve been there. But trust me–working out before your kids wake up will be like giving yourself a gift every day.

Breakfasts will be calmer and happier if mama has gotten her sweat on. For tips on waking up early (even if you are NOT a morning person) check out my post here.

2) Get a Running Stroller & Make it A Family Event

My kids love going on runs with me. Investing in a running stroller was well worth it. We load up the double BOB stroller with kids, a couple toys and snacks, and I can usually get in a quick 30 minute run without any problems (I’ll add intervals to make it more intense).

Ways I use the running stroller to fit in runs:

  • End the run at a park: This definitely sweetens the deal for my kids. I stretch and they play.
  • Run to park playdates: I’ll just leave 20-30 minutes before we’re meeting friends at the park and get in a quick run.
  • Literally “run” close errands: I’ll sometimes run to a nearby store for quick errands. I just use my stroller as my cart. I get stares, but 99% sure that is because I am dripping sweat.

Oh man, the possibilites are endless with a running stroller!

3) Do it while they’re eating breakfast

If I don’t wake up before my kids, for whatever reason, this is my go-to backup plan.

While they are eating, I’ll throw on a T25 workout and get my sweat on for 25 minutes. It is the perfect workout for busy moms who want an amazing workout in less than 30 minutes.

You can do a workout video, a quick bodyweight circuit, or invest in some weights and do a weighted circuit. Check out my Pinterest Board full of at-home workout ideas.

4) Use Nap-time

I know that nap time is sacred. But if you can quickly get in a 30 minute workout in at the start, you’ll have the rest of the nap to catch up on Real Housewives. You will be so much happier once you’ve exercised.

5) Have a Dance Party

This is a great way to sneak in a quick workout while having a blast with your kids. Using iTunes on my cellphone, I’ll pair it with my portable bluetooth speaker and we can have a dance party anywhere in the house.

Make it a cleaning dance party and not only will you burn calories and bond with your kids, but your house will end up cleaner.

It’s trifecta of awesome.

6) When All Else Fails–Workout once dad is home!

You couldn’t wake up early and you spent the rest of the day simply trying to keep everyone alive. Youcouldn’t even thin about a workout.

But, mama, you need a sweat break.

When dad gets home, he needs to take over for a bit so mama can have some alone time and recharge her batteries. Go for a run/walk and get your heart rate up. You’ll be refreshed and ready to handle the crazy when you get back.

Start TODAY!

You are a busy mama. But you definitely CAN fit in a daily workout without a gym membership. With motivation, planning, and about 20 minutes you can feel the burn and lift your mood.

You deserve health.

Let me know how it goes!

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The Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting Started With Meal Prep

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting Started With Meal Prep

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting Started With Meal Prep

 

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you click a link and make a purchase, I receive a small comission). Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

You want more time, less cleaning, healthier meals, and to spend less money. SO meal prep is basically your golden ticket.

But it can get overwhelming trying to figure out how exactly to start prepping meals ahead of time, especially if you haven’t done much of it in the past. Well, sit tight and stop worrying because meal prep is EASY and will save you so much time and hassle while helping you eat healthier.

Want to start prepping meals in advance, but not quite sure how to start? Here's a simple meal prep guide that will help you start saving time right away.

 

 

Why Meal Prep?

Meal prep is amazing:

  • it saves so much time because you only have one time for chopping and preparing all the food and one time cleaning up the mess.
  • It’s healthier than takeout.
  • It will save you money. On busy days, you can simply pop something out of the freezer instead of sliding through a drive through. Y
  • It can be incredibly simple and just take minutes.

Meal prep can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be. Some people will spend hours making dozens of meals at once while others do it on a much smaller scale.

I’m all about maximum efficiency so I like quick and simple. You can prep your lunches for the week and have them in containers in the fridge (these mason jar salads are a personal favorite). Or you can make a dozen lasagnas and have them in the freezer. If you are busy, you don’t have time NOT to do meal prep.

GETTING STARTED WITH MEAL PREP

 

1) Pick out a couple meals that you you want to prep in advance.

The sky is the limit with which meals you can start with, but it’s best to start with meals you already make and you know your family likes.

If you are at a loss, 2 super easy places to start are spaghetti sauce and marinated chicken breasts in quart bags to go in the freezer (these marinades are amazing–I have made them all). Both are easy and you you can make a ton without too much effort. 

Here are some amazing (and super easy) make-ahead breakfast recipes that my family lives on. 

2) Pick out a day of the week to do your meal prep

Depending on what you want to do, it’s good to pick a day when you can block out a couple hours for meal prep and clean up. 

3) Make list of the ingredients you need & do the shopping

This is crucial. There is nothing worse than settling in for a nice meal prep session and realizing that you are 1 or 2 items short.

Take the recipes that you want to make and decide how many meals you are looking to have on hand. If you want to a 5 meals, make sure you multiply all your ingredients by 5.

Only buy as much as you need (to eliminate food waste).

4) Be sure you have the appropriate containers

You’ll pick your containers depending on what you are trying to do.

  • If I’m prepping lunches to go in the fridge, I love these glass containers. They store well, and you can heat them right up in the microwave without worrying about BPA and all that nasty stuff. .
  • Freezer bags are perfect for spaghetti sauce and chicken in marinades.
  • These little guys are amazing for helping fill the freezer bags without awkward spills.
  • I use these aluminum foil dishes for lasagna and enchiladas and I used to use these smaller foil dishes with lids when our family was smaller. Make sure you label everything–preferably before you fill it with food.

5) Prep your meal

It’s magic time! Stick on some great music, a podcast, or whatever strikes your fancy and follow your recipes.

For food safety, be sure to let everything cool before going in the fridge or freezer.

6) Put meals in freezer

If using quart freezer bags for sauces, soups, or chicken, be sure to lay them flat when you put them in the freezer. Otherwise, they can get stuck to things as they freeze and it’s super annoying.  If you have the space, don’t stack them until after they’re frozen.

When making something in individual pieces (like muffins or meatballs), you can flash freeze them on cookies sheets. When you put them in gallon freezer bags, they won’t stick together. 

7) Clean up

I try to clean up as I go along. The great beauty of meal prep is that you have just one clean up session for all the meals you make. This is probably my favorite aspect of meal prep!

And now, CELEBRATE because you are on top of it mama!

There is something so satisfying about seeing a bunch of meals on your counter or in your freezer. With just a little planning and prepartaion, you can save time, money, and clean up by getting started with meal prep.  

Good luck!

 

7 Amazing Podcasts For Moms Who Miss Learning

7 Amazing Podcasts For Moms Who Miss Learning

7 Amazing Podcasts For Moms Who Miss Learning

Sometimes you just want to feel smart again. Your life may seem like and endless cycle of changing diapers, dealing with tantrums, preparing meals, chauffeuring, and endless messes and laundr.

You love your life as a mom, but you crave mental stimulation. Well my friend, these 7 podcasts are the PERFECT way to remedy this feeling .

podcasts for moms

 

 

 7 Amazing Podcast to Help You Feel Smart Again

 

1) Freakonomics

This is one of my all-time favs. You learn about about basically everything in a super captivating and entertaining way.

Listening to this actually improves my life and helps me be more efficient. You may have heard of or read the book Freakonomics written by economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner (if not, it’s fantastic). Dubner hosts this podcast and he is absolutely delightful. You will feel 10x smarter after listening to this podcast. This is one of my favorite episodes.

2) Stuff You Missed in History Class

As the title suggests, this podcast is about history. Before you say “But history is boring!” just remember that history isn’t boring– your history teacher was boring (but I may be biased as a history teacher).

This show highlights super interesting stories from the past and delivers it in short and engaging episodes. I burned through about a dozen painting a bathroom recently. This is one of my favorite stories they covered from the French Revolution.

3) Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is a happiness guru, a bestselling author, and my spirit animal.

This podcast, as the name suggests, is full of practical and actionable steps to lead towards greater happiness. And it’s packages in short little episodes. I love it!

Want to learn way to be happier and more productive? This one is for you. This recent episode really changed my perspective.

4) Hidden Brain

If you’re interested in psychology and human behavior, this one is for you. It’s so fascinating.

It basically helps you understand the world and human actions better. If you struggle to keep your house clean, you may like this one: Why Disorder May Be Good For Us.

5) Revisionist History

I love Malcom Gladwell. Reading his books always makes me feel smarter. When I found out he was starting a podcast, my nerd heart almost burst.

He sucks you in with very compelling stories and then leaves you thinking for days. I recommend starting with season 1, but I’ve never heard him more eloquent then when he waxes on about the McDonald’s french fry of his youth. It’s brilliant. 

6) This American Life

This is a classic. This radio show has been going for ages and now you can get any episode on the podcast.

It’s full of entertaining and engaging stories all on a related theme. You’re going to love this if you haven’t listened already. It always sucks me in and helps me see the world a little bit differently.

Trying to pick a favorite episode is liking trying to pick a favorite pastry in a French bakery–it’s impossible. You can’t go wrong with any of the episodes here.

7) Radio Lab

I wouldn’t call myself a science buff, but this podcast weaves science and very human stories in a way that is fascinating. Trust me, you don’t need to love science to find this totally interesting.

The hosts are warm and are amazing at explaining complicated things in a way that makes total sense and leaves the listener feeling much smarter.

So Pick a Podcast & Get listening!

Ready to ditch “mom brain” and feel smart again? Pick one of the podcasts  and listen while you are cleaning, exercising, driving or whatever. Comment below and let me know what you think!

 

6 Essential Tips for Breastfeeding Success

6 Essential Tips for Breastfeeding Success

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

6 Essential Tips for Breastfeeding Success

Breastfeeding is hard. Magical, beautiful, bonding, and–for many moms, including myself–really, really hard. Especially when first starting out.

Setting yourself up for breastfeeding success as early as you possibly can will help eliminate a lot of the frustration and increase your chances of nursing as long as you want to with both you and your baby reaping the benefits.

But the tricky thing about breastfeeding is it’s not something you can really practice until game day.  You can decorate a nursery, buy all the baby clothes, and stock up on diapers.

But how can you really prepare to breastfeed a brand new baby? What can you do to set yourself up for success? Here are my best tips after breastfeeding 4 children.

 

6 tips for breastfeeding success

 

 6 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR BREASTFEEDING SUCCESS

 

1.) Bring your nursing pillow to the hospital/birthing center. 

This may seem obvious, but in the rush to get to the hospital, many moms don’t think about the nursing pillow. I certainly didn’t. 

But the minute your sweetie is born, you’re going to start nursing. And you want to be surrounded by the tools you need.

 Note: Make sure you buy at least 1 waterproof protective cover for the pillow AND your normal covers.

 

2.) Use the lactation consultant at the hospital/birthing center.

If you are afraid to ask for help, you need to get over that right now. Use the lactation consultant and all the nurses to ask question after question, and get as much latching help from the get-go. When ANYTHING pops up, ask for help. 

If you feel that the lactation consultant isn’t helpful, get another one or find a nurse who is helpful. Many nurses are absolute treasure troves of breastfeeding knowledge!

 

3.) Have a support system in place. 

This is one of the most overlooked resources in this world of do-it-yourselfers, but is probably THE most important key to success. I’ve seen some advice given to hire a lactation consultant before you even have the baby.

But who can afford that!?!

For thousands and thousands of years, people successfully breastfed without having to hire in-home help. What people have had, historically, is a knowledgeable breastfeeding support system. There is a good chance you have experienced breastfeeders in your circle somewhere.

Women around the world have the same struggles, but the most successful breastfeeding societies have strong breastfeeding support systems.

Consider asking relatives, friends, or close neighbors if they’d be willing to help once the baby comes. The vast majority of experienced breastfeeders would be downright thrilled to help you out.

Heck, email me if you need help!

If you are feeling modest, I’m telling you–after labor, you won’t care who sees your ta-tas.

4.) Don’t stress out about a little formula supplementation.

I’m going to take flak for this, but it’s true. A little formula will not detrail your breastfeeding endeavors.

If you’ve done much breastfeeding research, you’ve probably heard that supplementing with formula will affect your supply. And it certainly will–if you do it regularly.

But let’s say you are in so much pain from a bad latch and are basically delirious from pain and lack of sleep (been there!). A few ounces of formula isn’t going to be the end of the world.

However, it may give you the chance to get sleep, give your nipples a break, and try again a bit later with a little more sanity at your disposal. You can have breastfeeding success with a little formula.

 

5.) Buy nursing clothes.

Perhaps you’ve already looked, but they seemed pricey. It’s worth it, trust me. You’ll thank me later when you can breastfeed discretely and with ease in a public place as opposed to pulling your dress over your head in a nasty public bathroom stall or your car.

I cannot tell you how much this completely changed my breastfeeding experience. For more on breastfeeding clothes, check out my guide here

 

6.) Get a suitable pump. 

Not everyone needs a pump, but you don’t need to be a working mom to find incredible value in a good pump.  

If you are a stay-at-home mom, but plan to be able to leave your child for a couple of hours, the medela swing is perfect. I loved it until I started working part-time.

If you plan on working or being away for 3 or more hours regularly, or you are not comfortable breastfeeding in public and want to bring bottles, I cannot rave enough about the Medela Pump on the Go.

I’ve cooked dinners, graded papers, and even done squats–all while pumping. You wear a pumping bra (I like this one) and can pump both sides, hands-free. It’s awesome! I feel like if I had gotten a double pump with my 1st two kids (I didn’t get it until #3) I would have been able to nurse them longer.

 

And Above All: Be kind to yourself, mama. 

Breastfeeding is not a stick to measure yourself up to anyone else.

Your mental and physical health is the most important thing you can offer your new baby, not breastmilk. Do the best you can, and love yourself. You created human life. That’s pretty amazing, mama.

I wish you great breastfeeding success! May the milk freely flow and the nipples be pain free.