Today I wanted to share one of my favorite HIIT workouts with all of you - Tabata!!
But first - what’s HIIT all about? - HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. How a HIIT workout happens is working out using a strategy of using short periods of intense aerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. HIIT workouts are awesome (especially for busy women/moms) because they not only improve ones overall athletic capacity through conditioning but have been shown to improve glucose metabolism. Woohoo!!
So, now - what’s Tabata all about?? Tabata is a form of HIIT using intervals of 20 seconds high intensity (think working as hard as you can!!) then a 10 sec rest. This gets repeated 8 times to complete a circuit, totaling 4 minutes of work!! How is easy that!! This is perfect for you busy ladies who just can’t seem find to fit something in. You can do just one set or several - make it your own. Start with one Tabata set daily and build from there. Those baby steps will eventually lead you to develop a real workout routine!!
How to get started with your first at home Tabata set:
~ Look at the cardio picture and select an exercise. Start your timer. You will perform this exercise for the next 20 seconds. When your timer tells you to rest - rest 10 seconds. You will repeat this 7 more times until your timer tells you that your set is finished. Yay! Way to rock out your first at home Tabata set. Now if you are looking for more continue on with the next 5 sets. Use these directions to select an exercise from the corresponding picture - when you have completed all of them you should have got a great 24 minute total body workout!!
SET #2 LOWER BODY
SET #3 CARDIO
SET #4 UPPER BODY
SET #5 CARDIO
SET #6 CORE
CREATING HEALTHY HABITS: SNEAKY BROWNIES
The last 2 weeks my preschoolers were beyond happy to being making one of my favorite desserts…brownies!!!
I was beyond happy to see them all embracing the “secret ingredients”!! EGGPLANT!! BLACK BEANS!!
It’s so cool to be able to experiment with new recipes that turn a “Whoah” food into a “GO”. Adding these sneaky ingredients makes these usually nutrient void treats into a healthy snack ensuring your kids are getting the healthy foods their little bodies need to grow.
Along with that though, adding ingredients that might usually be intimating to your little one, shows them these sometimes scary ingredients can taste delicious!!
We tried these 2 recipes! Both were a total hit! I loved seeing these preschoolers excited about trying new ingredients and they loooooved the yummy brownies they created!! Perfect for a healthier after school snack or bedtime treat!!
SNEAKY BLACK BEAN BROWNIES
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Combine all ingredients other than chocolate chips in food processor or good quality blender. It helps to add 2 ingredients a time, then blend. Add next 2 and blend - and so on until you’ve added all 7 other ingredients. After well blended, mix in chocolate chips. Grease 8x8 pan and spread in mixture. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top. Cook 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy this yummy treat with additional protein and fiber!
SNEAKY EGGPLANT BROWNIES
Preheat over to 375 degrees F. Grease pan that you will use for brownies. In a separate oven safe pan, place sliced and halved eggplant. Bake for about 10 minutes, to soften. Place chocolate chips in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, Microwave more at 15 sec intervals if needed. When eggplant and chocolate are ready - add all ingredients to food processor or blender. You may add a couple ingredients at a time, making sure thoroughly blended. Pour batter into greased pan. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Should be a cake like consistency. Let cool and enjoy!!
CREATING HEALTHY HABITS : PARMESAN KALE CHIPS
Making this recipe was a great to reminder to myself, that it’s been way too long since I MADE KALE CHIPS!! They are so yummy, totally fill that need for a crunchy salty treat, and most exciting is that the kids always love them!!
Kale chips are so easy to make. It is the perfect recipe to get the kids involved with the cooking process.
Today my little preschool chefs were able to help pull kale leaves off of the stems. This is a great way to get them comfortable with the kale. It’s fun to talk to them about the kale looks uncooked and then compare it after the baking process.
We made these kale chips extra special today by adding parmesan cheese. Parmesan is an excellent source of calcium. which is so important to your child’s growing bones. Calcium is essential for achieving peak bone mass and in maintaining overall bone health. All of this makes it a super delicious healthy (in moderation) addition!
The recipe would be a great side to add to hamburgers instead of chips or fries. Or try making them for a snack to share with your child.
PARMESAN KALE CHIPS
HOW TO MAKE THEM:
~ After washing kale, dry thoroughly. Remove leaves from stems. This is a great time to let your little chef join you in the cooking process.
~ Use the spray oil to coat baking pan. Place kale leaves on greased pan. Then spray oil again on top of kale.
~ Sprinkle salt and parmesan cheese on top of coated kale.
~ Place pan in over preheated to 375F. Kale chips cook fast!! Be sure to keep an eye on them but they only need 5 to 7 min.
~ They will turning a golden shade of brown and be crunchy when ready!
~ Take them out of oven and enjoy right away or store in airtight container for about a day to enjoy for a later snack.
creating healthy habits: kale pasta & the battle of the cooking teacher vs. the strong willed picky eater
CREATING HEALTHY HABITS: KALE PASTA
& THE BATTLE OF THE COOKING TEACHER VS. THE STRONG WILLED PICKY EATER
Let’s just start by saying that teaching 3 & 4 year olds how to cook may just be my front. Yes, they learn the basics to creating a meal but cooking class really serves as a way to teach these kiddos so many other things!
It teaches them about social skills like listening, self restraint, and patience. They learn about measuring, comparing and problem solving. We talk a lot about healthy eating and how important proper nutrition is to their growing bodies. Along with all of that, probably the most important thing they learn is that: HAVING FOOD THAT “THEY DON’T LIKE” ON THEIR PLATE WON’T HURT THEM!!
My deal at cooking class is that the preschoolers are the chefs. They are learning to prepare a dish. This means, it’s not about what they like. It’s about learning to prepare a dish that maybe they will like and if not maybe someone else may like. I always try to reinforce the idea that they don’t have to eat anything they don’t care to but I do require them to all make the dish and use specific ingredients. And here is what i can tell you about that: GETTING THE KALE ON THEIR PLATE IS NOT ALWAYS THAT EASY!
I’ve spent the last decade convincing strong willed picky eaters that having something they don’t like on their plate is not the end of the world. I’ve had kids cry, try to cover up their plates and throw giants fits. But at this point I’ve gotten good - it may take some maneuvering but I always manage to get just a little bit of everything on each kids plate. Yes, they sometimes just take it right off the plate. Sometimes they refuse to touch the plate for the rest of class. All of that is totally fine with me. I’m fine with all of that because once they have that dreaded ingredient on their plate, they learn that having it there does not need to be the end of the world. They are being exposed to a food that something in their brain is telling them to be scared of. Most of the time it’s not about them actually not liking something. Most of the time they have never even tried it!! They are just scared of the idea they might not like it.
Once it’s on their plate it’s up to them. They’ve seen it. They’ve been exposed! And maybe they even will try it! And you know what is the most cool part of it all?!! Once they try it, they almost always like it!! I can’t even tell you over the years how many of the same kids I’m sneaking to put a veggie on their plate ends up loving it and eating everything.
My point of sharing this is to give a little hope to you parents of strong willed picky eaters. KEEP TRYING!! KEEP EXPOSING!! KEEP MODELING HEALTHY EATING TO YOUR CHILDREN! Sometimes it just takes time. Maybe they will never love kale but they never know until they try it!
Today’s Kale Pasta recipe made me work a little but I was so happy to see so many kids loving this superfood pasta dish.
Here’s how you can try it at home!
2 cups kale, washed, tear leaves of stems
1/2 c diced sweet peppers
1/2 c feta cheese
1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp lemon pepper
8 oz whole grain pasta of your choice
WHAT TO DO:
CREATING HEALTHY HABITS: AVOCADO PASTA
Lately in cooking class, I have been into helping the kiddos create recipes using familiar ingredients. It’s fun to use ingredients that they have used recently to create one kind of recipe - to then turn around and use the same ingredient to create a completely different recipe. It’s a great way to expand their palate and to expose them to a variety of foods while keeping the familiarity of an ingredient they already feel comfortable with.
Last week we created a sweet dish with a secret ingredient, Chocolate Banana and AVOCADO pudding. The avocado was “secret” because you could not taste in mixed in with the other more sweet ingredients.
This week we expanded on that secret ingredient by using avocados to create a pasta dish. The children were not only excited about using an ingredient they were familiar with but they were also excited about a kitchen tool we used the previous week - the blender!! Not only did this recipe model how the same ingredient can be part of two completely different dishes but it showed the children how kitchen tools, like a blender, can be used and are an important part of making a variety of meals.
This recipe turned out great! The kids loved it and I can’t wait to expand on this dish with my own family at home. Using avocado not only added essential omega 3 oils to the recipe but created a creamy sauce without any cream, dairy or butter.
There were lots of requests to send this recipe home to mom and dad - so give it a try!! Feel free to make this recipe your own by experimenting with different types of noodles, adding different vegetables and/or protein. I think this dish would be awesome with shrimp or chicken!!
-5 oz whole grain spaghetti noodles, cooked according to directions
-1 ripe avocado
-1/2 c olive oil
-2 tsp garlic salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1/4 lemon juice
-1 can corn: drained
-1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
WHAT TO DO:
When it comes to cooking with preschoolers, never underestimate the power of adding a secret ingredient!!
I’m sure you all have heard some version of a deceptively delicious recipe. Whether they are adding ingredients such as beans, squash or in this case avocado, slipping in these mega nutrient rich foods is an awesome way to get your little one eating healthy!
MY ONLY SECRET INGREDIENT RULE: LET YOUR KIDDO IN ON THE SECRET!!
Kids love to be part of the cooking process and even better they love to be part of a secret. Tell them all about the extra special, extra healthy ingredient you will be adding to your recipe. Not only will this expose them to that particular secret ingredient but it will hopefully make the dish you are preparing extra fun for them!
Today in cooking class we made Chocolate Banana Pudding and added our secret ingredient avocado!! Avocados are a great addition to any meal providing you and your child with essential fats that are important for keeping healthy. Avocados are also high in fiber aiding in digestion.
This recipe was beyond easy, contains very few ingredients and would make an awesome snack or dessert!
CHOCOLATE BANANA AVOCADO PUDDING
3 LARGE BANANAS
1/4 COCOA POWDER
SPRINKLE OF SALT
2 TSP HONEY
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
CREATING HEALTHY HABITS RECIPE
WHOLE GRAIN CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD
The most important thing I have learned over my past 12 years of teaching programs is how much preschool age children really take in. The good and the bad - really nothing gets by them!
This goes to show you how much using the right kind of language with them is an important part of their learning process. Whether you are trying to teach them social skills (using words like sharing and kindness) or if you are teaching them verbal skills ( pointing out their surroundings). Using positive language is just as important when teaching your children how to make healthy choices regarding their own nutrition. Giving them the tools they need to make healthy food habits as preschoolers will not only help you give power to your child that may be hesitant to try new foods and it will also set up life long positive healthy habits. Proper nutrition really is a valuable life skill to start instilling in your child at an early age!!
Today at cooking class we highlighted the values of starting your day off with a healthy breakfast. As busy parents it’s an important to find a nutritious but easy breakfast. Extra bonus is that it can work for both you and your child!
In comes this fiber & potassium packed banana bread!
Be sure to note the highlighted words as language to use with your child when cooking or even just serving this recipe at home.
Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
(you’ll have your kiddos at chocolate chips!)
1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil (we used olive oil in class - I love the flavor of olive oil in a sweeter bread)
2 tbsp honey
2-3 ripe bananas (TIP: put overly ripe bananas in the freezer and save for banana bread making time!)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2c whole wheat flour
1/4 c dark chocolate chips
As you share this healthy breakfast with your kids be sure to reiterate some of the highlighted areas. Remind your children about the ingredients they used. Ask them what ingredients they can taste. Remind them what ingredients are extra healthy and how they are making them extra strong!!
Have fun cooking and sharing healthy food with your child!! By doing this you are not only providing them with the proper nutrition for their growing bodies but instilling life long healthy living habits that they will carry with them into adulthood!!
Michaela became a member of Fit Mama Workouts in August and has been part of the Mom Squad Jumpstart for 4 weeks. Previous to starting her jumpstart she had lost 14lbs with Fit Mama Workouts alone. She's a regular at early morning bootcamps and attends the Thursday afternoon class. She's also one of my favorite people because she organizes Fit Mama Workouts special kid's activity days!! She started Mom Squad Challenge at the beginning of January. When she did her weigh in after 3 1/2 weeks she had lost 4 more lbs and 11.5 inches! She is rocking it and continues to motivate all the mamas that workout with her!!
here's michaela's finding fit story:
Weight Watchers, carb cycling, low-carb, calorie counting, YOU NAME IT. I have done it. You could definitely pin me as the “Diet Fad Queen.” As much as I hate to admit it, I have literally tried anything that would make me lose weight “fast.”
After I had my third child and decided to stay home, I thought I would for sure have all the time in the world to meal plan, exercise, focus on my diet, basically live my life around weight loss. Then the reality of motherhood and life set in, and I realized I was crazy to think that all that “time” I had would be devoted to losing weight!
In comes Fit Mama. I started workouts with Fit Mama in the summer of 2016. Liz always jokes that it must be awful to have your workout instructor live right up the street, but really, it has been my lifesaver. Not only is Liz a workout instructor, she is a friend. She genuinely cares about us mamas, our kids, and our fitness journey. She pays attention to what we can and cannot handle, and plans our workouts around it. Don’t get me wrong, she definitely pushes us (burpees) and gives us a hard workout! Fit Mama workouts has helped me to meet a group of other mamas just like me, just wanting to find time for myself and get fit while doing it.
When she decided to start a nutrition program, I was totally on board. I already had my fitness routine in place, but until November I was still struggling with finding a nutrition plan that was right for me and also helped me to finally lose this darn baby weight! The nutrition plan has helped me learn better eating habits by making me mindful of what I am eating and when. I can eat BREAD (I know, I sound like Oprah), cereal, and the occasional snack without feeling bad about it. Actually, I had a mini Mr. Goodbar right before sitting down to write about this. On top of finding something that works for me, it works for my family of five as well. I am feeding my family healthy meals, and have saved so much money while doing it. I don’t have to think about it anymore, it tells me what I need to eat and when. And the best part, I am losing weight and inches! In one month of following my nutrition plan and consistently going to workouts, I have lost 11.5 inches! The best part is, I don’t think about it. It is not a constant thought in my head anymore; it is just a way of life.
I have finally found a way of life, not a fad to make me drop 20 pounds in a month. Dieting is stressful, ugh. If this combination can work for me, it literally can work for anyone!
Written by Liz Sampson
Mother and wife, owner of Fit Mama Workouts, fitness/nutritionist enthusiast and professional
My passion behind teaching cooking class really begins with how it has amazed me to see preschoolers “talking food” to me over the past 11 years. My tiny students and my own children never cease to surprise me with the knowledge they can acquire at such a young age. Seeing them respond in such positive ways to eating healthy foods, has really taught me just how important it is for them to learn the “language behind food.”
What is the language behind food?
The language behind food is just that. It’s any word you as an adult would use or know about food. It refers to colors, tastes and textures of food. Is something spicy? Is it mushy? It also refers to the words describing a food's nutritional value. In cooking class, I like to use the expression that every food has a job. Some foods are providing you with calcium and helping your bones. Other foods have a lot of protein, helping to keep you full and build your muscles. As you use these words to describe your meals to your child you are providing them with the perfect knowledge to grow into healthy adults. And you are for sure to be surprised about how the right food language can encourage them to eat something you never imagine they would. Helpful hint: Superheroes eat super foods and protein gives you strong muscles. Kids love these ones!!
For the past month in the preschool cooking class I teach, we have been discussing the 5 senses and about how we can use them to help us choose a variety of foods. This has really encouraged kids to talk about their food using descriptive words. This month, we are taking these descriptive words a bit farther while discussing why some foods are healthier for our bodies than others. The USDA has adapted a program called, “Go, Slow, Whoa”. It groups foods into these categories to teach children to establish what foods to choose to keep their bodies healthy. These words make for an easy to follow method to teach your children not only about making healthy eating choices, but it also, stresses the importance of portion control.
“Go, Slow, Whoa”, are great words to add to your mealtime vocabulary. Here’s the lowdown on what they all mean:
GO: These are foods that should be eaten often. Examples would be fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains. They should be low in fat, added sugar and calories.
SLOW: These foods should be eaten sometimes. Examples are 100% fruit juice and baked chips. Slow foods contain more fat, sugars and calories than Go Foods.
WHOA: These are foods that should be eaten sparingly. I like to use the words, “Special treat.” Examples would be cookies, cake, french fries. Basically junk food! These foods contain more fat and sugar than the previous two categories. One of the ideas I like to reinforce to the kiddos in my class AND to the grown ups seeking nutritional counseling from me: is that treats are totally ok sometimes! Just with the awareness that they are special treats and reserved for special occasions. If you had them all the time, they wouldn’t be a treat!!
Another way to keep kids interested in eating healthy foods is to include them in the food preparation process. Today we made Protein Packed Celery! This was a super easy snack that opened up a great discussion about all the Go foods that they were using.
Check it out!
PROTEIN PACKED CELERY
SMALL STRIP OF TURKEY
LET YOUR CHILD USE A PLASTIC KNIFE TO SPREAD CREAMED CHEESE ON CELERY. THEN ADD TURKEY STRIP TO TOP OF CELERY.
That’s it and you have a super easy snack your little one call help you prepare.
As parents we have the amazing opportunity to be great examples to our children. Providing them with information about healthy eating choices not only helps them feel like they are a part of mealtimes but will ultimately help them become healthy adults!
We have some new Fit Mama babies to welcome to the family!
JOSEPH DEAN MOORE
Born on July 23, 2016
Mother is Fit Mama, Victoria
Victoria started Fit Mama Workouts last fall at about 6 weeks. She was just beginning her fitness journey as a pregnant mom! Victoria amazed us all with her consistency and perseverance throughout her pregnancy and workouts. So excited to be welcoming her and Joey back to class!
KENNEDY ANN FAUSSET
Born on May 9,2016
Mother is Fit Mama, Tammy
Tammy started Fit Mama Workouts in December 2014. She was trying to get back into a fitness routine for the first time after the birth of her older son, Landon. Over the past year and a half she has proved herself to be a machine! Her endurance and strength have grown and she even continued her workouts throughout her next pregnancy! Tammy, Kennedy and Landon are for sure an important part of the Fit Mama Workouts family and am beyond excited to have them at class!
OLIVIA ANN MURRAY
Born June 28,2016
Mother to Fit Mama, Skye
Skye and family are new to Fit Mama Workouts, starting when Olivia was just 6 weeks old. It has been so awesome to watch Olivia grow in this short time and see Skye get back into her own fitness routine. Skye's amazing attitude about workouts and motherhood is motivating all of us! It's been great getting to know them the last few months!