What is a No Excuse Mom Group?

 What is a No Excuse Mom Group?

A No Excuse Mom Group meets 1-3 times a week at a local park or indoor location.

How do I start a No Excuse Mom Group?

Starting a No Excuse Mom group is a great opportunity to meet new moms, get active and enjoy playtime with kids in your area. You can meet anywhere between 1-3 times per week at a local park, or a couple local parks. In the duration of your meet-up, mother’s typically workout for half an hour, then participate in playtime with the kids for half an hour.

Deciding to lead the program will take a lot of effort on your part in the beginning. It will require you to contact people, media outlets and print fliers. While it will be a challenging endeavor, it’s also very rewarding to bring together mothers and children towards a healthy activity.

How do I find a location and market the group:

If you are in an area where you can workout at the park, then choose a park that is closest to you. You can also request to use community centers, church rooms, large basements or your local gym.

The best way to market is to spread the word. You can notify people verbally, announce on your Facebook page and have people ‘share’ the meet up, post flyers on community bulletin boards and promote in your Newspaper’s calendar of events.

We will also put your group on our website where people can contact you and find your  meet up location/time.

Do I need a background in fitness? How do I know what exercises to perform?
No you don’t need a background in fitness (although it is helpful). You just need to be passionate about health and fitness and desire to connect with like-minded people. We will give you a database of park workouts to choose from! You will communicate closely with our administrator for any questions, advice or concerns.

Is this just for moms?

Absolutely not! We’ve had fathers, caretakers, grandparents, siblings and pregnant women join the group!

What is No Excuse Mom?

What is No Excuse Mom?

No Excuse Mom is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit program through Fitness without Borders. No Excuse Mom offers thousands of members online support and encouragement and boasts over 350 free workout groups in over 25 countries worldwide. You can join our online group here.

Who is a No Excuse Mom?
She’s a mom who makes no excuses for making her health a priority. She’s someone who prioritizes her health, her family’s health and understands the ripple effect their role plays in the health of their community. These moms chose to transform their lives by consciously deciding every day that their health was worth it. When they were tired they trained. When they were lost for time to exercise, they found the time. When they were busy, they purposefully planned and prepared their daily goals and meals to coincide with what they wanted out of life. Some work outside the home, some have multiple children, some dealt with depression and some are raising a family on their own. They are true examples of real every day women – whose fitness manifests in different sizes, shapes and ages. These women made No Excuses for not prioritizing the body that brought their babies into this world.

What is a NSV?
NSV means “Non-Scale Victory”. We know all too well that pounds don’t define progress. One pound of muscle is three times smaller than one pound of fat, so you can gain weight and lose inches at the same time! Your success is dependent on how good you feel, how consistent you are and how healthy you become. If you can run longer, lift heavier, fit into old clothes, overcome sugar cravings, run a 5k or confidently wear a bikini – then it’s a victory!

What diet and fitness plan do we follow?
We follow many of the guidelines is based off the founder, Maria Kang’s No More Excuses Diet  Program. Here book is available in-stores and online here.  Suggestions include:

  1. Eat Breakfast every morning.
  2. Write down everything you eat
  3. Workout 3-4 times a week (or more)
  4. Drink ONLY water (or straight black coffee/tea)
  5. Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime
  6. Eat small meals throughout the day (calories are dependent on current weight)
  7. Each meal must have a protein and carbohydrate. Include healthy fats as needed.
  8. Measure your progress weekly via measurements and strength/endurance tests. Weigh yourself once a month.
  9. Plan your splurge meals, which you can have once a week.

Shrimp, Fennel and Avocado Salad

NEMs!   Summer is finally here!  It’s the time of fresh fruits, veggies, and lots of fresh salads.

Jen Walsh is a San Diego NEM member and a personal CHEF!   She is sharing this fresh and healthy Shrimp, Fennel & Avocado salad recipe with us.  But first, let’s get to know our fellow NEM!

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How many children do you have and their ages?  2 boys 8 months and 4 1/2 years

How did you get involved with NEM?  Health and fitness has always been an important part of my life and something I think is imporant to share with my boys.  I saw the “controversial” article about Maria being passed around on Facebook and thought, “that’s my kind of mom!”  I began following her and was excited to find out about the regional groups.  ​​

When do you find time to workout?  I’m lucky enough to get to (mostly) stay home with my boys so we all head out to the gym first thing in the morning before the days’ tasks get in the way.

What is your favorite workout?  I love Turbo Kickboxing (TKB).  I did it all through my most recent pregnancy even including the day I went into labor!

How do you stay motivated?  I love to eat so I have to do something to counter that!  Working out is also my form of therapy.  I feel better and more centered after working out and my kids love the kids club at the gym so its a Win-Win!

******  SHRIMP, FENNEL & AVOCADO SALAD ******

This is a beautiful salad that could be served to company for a special occasion or lunch any day.  Sometimes if I’m having shrimp for dinner I will set aside a couple to make this salad for lunch the next day. You can take the time to make the fancy culinary school orange supreme, or you can just toss them on there however you like.

Servings 2 lunch sized salads

Ingredients

  • 10 each Shrimp size 6/20, cooked*
  • 1 bulb Fennel or Sweet Anise, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small blood oranges, or regular oranges.
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Mixed greens
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

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*You can buy cooked frozen shrimp or raw shrimp, my preference.  To cook shrimp, simply line a baking sheet with foil.  Toss shrimp with oil of choice and salt and pepper.  Lay shrimp flat and broil about 3-5 minutes, until opaque.

 

For Orange Supreme:

  1. Cut off the ends of the orange and slice down around the sides to remove rind.20150520_130607
  2. Over a bowl, cut between pith to remove segments. Remove any seeds from segments.20150520_130756
  3. Squeeze the remaining pith over the bowl to collect the juice. For 2 salads you want about 2 Tablespoons of juice.

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Dressing:

  1. Add balsamic vinegar to orange juice, until you have 2 Tbsp.
  2. Whisk in 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
  3. If you have extra juice, just add equal parts olive oil. This vinaigrette is delicious on lots of salads or for marinating vegetables.

Salad:

  1. Divide sliced fennel, shrimp, sliced avocado, and orange segments between 2 plates over mixed greens. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad.  Enjoy!

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There you have it NEMs!  If you make this, let us know how you liked it!  

Do you  have a recipe that you would like to share?  Email me:  Meeshie@NoExcuseMom.com 

Meeshie LOGO w Maddox - website

 

For more about JEN WALSH you can find her here:

Aucune excuse Maman groupe Spotlight: Hayward, CA

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 HAYWARD

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Leader: Juin Villarosa
Co-Leader: Lucy Lopez-Zacaias
Groupe Lieu: Hayward, CA
Directeur régional: Jayvelle Thompson
Mois / Année groupe a commencé: Décembre 2014

NEM leader Hayward, Juin Villarosa didn’d se reconnaître après la prise de poids et la tenue sur elle mois après que son fils est né. Elle voulait ajouter un peu de boxe à sa routine d’entraînement et a approché son ami et gymnase propriétaire, David. David dit alors Juin sujet de sa femme, No Excuse directeur régional maman, Jayvelle Thompson. Juin a été intrigué par le mouvement de NEM et a décidé de diriger un groupe!

Parlez-nous de la ville / état / pays que vous dirigez:

Hayward qui est également connu comme “The Heart of the Bay” est une belle ville remplie de parcs impressionnants. Il est un endroit idéal pour élever une famille! Nous avons l’une des communautés les plus diverses, et ce est l’une des meilleures choses que je aime Hayward. En grandissant, je devais amis de tous les différentes cultures.

Quelle a été votre expérience la plus enrichissante en tant que chef de groupe?

L’expérience la plus enrichissante pour moi en tant que leader, était quand mon groupe et moi avons rejoint d’autres groupes NEM dans la Bay Area fête des mères à la randonnée Mission Peak. Mission pic est une montagne qui est de 2.000 pieds de haut et très raide. La randonnée est d’environ 6 miles de long de haut en bas. Il est l’une randonnée difficile. Je devais 10 de mes mamans que moi et mes collègues dirigeants NEM rejoint ce jour-là. Et ce fut la première fois pour l’ensemble de mes mamans de la randonnée mission pic. Pour être honnête, je suis un peu nerveux que certains de mes membres ne rendrait pas au sommet. Je étais si fier de voir tous les membres à atteindre le sommet de la montagne! Je suis particulièrement fier de mon co-leader Lucy pour atteindre le sommet avec moi! Elle se doutait au début et il y avait des moments où elle voulait abandonner, mais qui est quand je veux crier à elle et lui dire que nous étions presque là !! Elle a gardé combats et a continué à aller! Je suis très émotive quand elle est allée vers le haut avec moi. Lucy et le reste de mes mamans ont parcouru un long chemin! Je peux seulement imaginer où ils seront d’un an à partir de maintenant.

Quel genre de séances d’entraînement faites-vous?

Nous faisons toutes sortes de séances d’entraînement! Je mène habituellement avec un 5-10 minutes d’échauffement. Ensuite, je vais avoir environ 9 exercices différents que nous faisons qui se concentre sur tout. Nous faisons la routine environ 2-3 fois avec 10-15 répétitions pour chaque exercice. Je incorpore parfois haltères légers, mais je tends à se concentrer sur les exercices que nous pouvons faire en utilisant le poids de notre corps. Je ai également introduit des séances d’entraînement HIIT à notre groupe, qui l’amour Mamas! Chaque fois que l’un de nos membres les messages d’un exercice You Tube vidéo sur notre page FB, je essayer de l’intégrer dans notre séance d’entraînement! Juste pour ajouter un peu de piquant!

Votre groupe a participé à des événements ou des levées de fonds?

Le premier événement que mon groupe a participé à était le mois dernier à la “Maman et moi” événement à San Jose. Et ce fut la première fois certains d’entre eux se rencontrer réellement Maria Kang.
Certains de mes mamans se sont portés volontaires pour hashtag LUNCH SF, une organisation où ils se concentrent sur l’alimentation des sans-abri. Je me sentais comme une maman fière de les voir aller là-bas dans la communauté pour aider les moins fortunés.

Comment devenir un leader changé votre vie?

Être un chef de file pour les NEM a changé à jamais ma vie. Je l’ai toujours eu cette passion pour aider les gens, et on m’a dit que je suis un grand motivateur. Je reçois enfin à exercer ces passions avec mon groupe et il a été incroyable. Je pensais vraiment qu’il allait juste être un passe-temps, mais il est bien plus qu’un passe-temps, il est une sororité. Je l’ai créé autant des amitiés durables, je l’ai perdu le compte. Il se sent tellement bon de savoir que je fais une différence dans la vie de quelqu’un. Être un leader a également continué à me rendre compte de rester en bonne santé. Je sens que je dois donner l’exemple, donc je cherche à en étant engagé à travailler dehors. Je sais que mes messages et présence aide inspirent ces mamas de sortir là-bas. Mais peu savent-ils, ils me inspirent aussi bien.

Comment devenir un leader a affecté votre famille?

Je sens que d’être un NEM a fait de moi une meilleure mère et d’épouse. Je suis beaucoup plus heureux maintenant et mon fils aime aller à nos séances d’entraînement. Il aime jouer avec les autres enfants! Mon mari a été entièrement solidaire et a assisté à certains rencontrer ups. Depuis devenir un chef de file pour les NEM, je l’ai remarqué beaucoup de mes amis et de démarrage de la famille à faire plus d’exercice et de regarder ce qu’ils mangent. Donc, je peux certainement dire étant un chef de file a eu un impact positif sur ma famille.

Quelle est votre partie préférée de diriger un groupe?

Il est fou de savoir que nous avons juste commencé Hayward NEM il ya moins de 6 mois! Nous avons commencé avec aussi peu que 30 membres, et ils ont maintenant plus de 350 membres! Ma partie préférée de leader de ce groupe, est de voir ma confiance membres hausse. Ces mamans font des choses comme la randonnée et 10k courses, les choses qu’ils auraient jamais fait si il n’y avait pas NEM. Par exemple, mon co-chef Lucy, quand elle a commencé, elle manquait un peu de confiance et a toujours été trop timide pour conduire des séances d’entraînement. Avance rapide jusqu’à aujourd’hui: son niveau de confiance est éteint les cartes et elle dirige des séances d’entraînement sur son propre!

Je adore cette fraternité que nous avons créé! Nous avons un excellent groupe de mamans qui sont tous des formes, tailles, âges et origines. Je pense que nous avons l’un des groupes les plus divers, que je aime les, parce que ce qui nous rend unique!

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No Excuse Mom Group Spotlight: Hayward, CA

 

HAYWARD

 

Leader: June Villarosa
Co-Leader: Lucy Lopez-Zacaias
Group Location: Hayward, CA
Regional Manager: Jayvelle Thompson
Month/Year group started: December 2014

NEM Hayward Leader, June Villarosa didn’d recognize herself after gaining weight and holding on to it months after her son was born. She wanted to add some boxing to her workout routine and approached her friend and gym owner, David. David then told June about his wife, No Excuse Mom Regional Manager, Jayvelle Thompson. June was intrigued by the NEM movement and decided to lead a group!

Tell us more about the city/state/country you lead:

Hayward that’s also known, as “The Heart of the Bay” is a beautiful city filled with awesome parks. It is a great place to raise a family! We have one of the most diverse communities, and that’s one of the best things I love about Hayward. Growing up I had friends from all different cultures.

What has been your most rewarding experience as a group leader?

The most rewarding experience for me as a leader, was when my group and I joined other NEM groups in the Bay Area on Mothers Day to hike Mission Peak. Mission peak is a mountain that is 2,000 feet high and very steep. The hike is about 6 miles long up and down. It is one tough hike. I had 10 of my moms that joined me and my fellow NEM leaders that day. And this was the first time for all of my moms to hike mission peak. To be honest I was a little nervous that some of my members wouldn’t make it to the top. I was so proud to see every member reach the top of the mountain! I was especially proud of my co-leader Lucy for reaching the top with me! She doubted herself in the beginning and there were times where she wanted to give up, but that’s when I would yell at her and tell her that we were almost there!! She kept fighting and kept going! I got very emotional when she went to the top with me. Lucy and the rest of my moms have come a long way! I can only imagine where they will be a year from now.

What kind of workouts do you do?

We do all kinds of workouts! I usually lead with a 5-10 minute warm up. Then I’ll have about 9 different exercises that we do that focuses on everything. We do the routine about 2-3 times with 10-15 reps for each exercise. I sometimes incorporate light dumbbells, but I tend to focus on exercises we can do using our body weight. I also introduced HIIT workouts to our group, which the Mamas love! Whenever one of our members posts a You Tube exercise video on our FB page, I try to incorporate it in our workout! Just to add a little spice!

Has your group participated in any events or charity fundraisers?

The first event that my group participated in was last month at the “Mommy and Me” event in San Jose. And it was the first time some of them got to actually meet Maria Kang.
Some of my moms volunteered for HASHTAG LUNCH BAG SF, an organization where they focus on feeding the homeless. I felt like a proud mama seeing them go out there in the community to help the less fortunate.

How has becoming a leader changed your life?

Being a leader for NEM has forever changed my life. I have always had that passion to help people, and have been told that I am a great motivator. I finally get to exert these passions with my group and it has been amazing. I really thought it was just going to be a hobby, but it is way more than a hobby, it’s a sisterhood. I have created so many long-lasting friendships, I’ve lost count. It just feels so good to know that I am making a difference in someone’s life. Being a leader has also kept me accountable for staying healthy. I feel that I should lead by example, so I try to by being committed to working out. I know that my posts and presence help inspire these mamas to get out there. But little do they know, they also inspire me as well.

How has becoming a leader affected your family?

I feel that being a NEM has made me a better mother and wife. I am much happier now and my son loves going to our workouts. He loves to play with the other kids! My husband has been totally supportive and has attended some meet ups. Ever since becoming a leader for NEM, I have noticed a lot of my friends and family start to exercise more and watch what they eat. So I can definitely say being a leader has had a positive impact on my family.

What is your favorite part of leading a group?

It is crazy to know that we just started Hayward NEM less than 6 months ago! We started with as little as 30 members, and now have over 350 members! My favorite part of leading this group, is seeing my members confidence rise. These mamas are doing things like hiking and 10k races, things they would have never done if it weren’t for NEM. For example my co-lead Lucy, when she first started, she lacked a little confidence and was always too shy to lead workouts. Fast forward to today: her confidence level is off the charts and she is leading workouts on her own!

I just love this sisterhood we’ve created! We have a great group of Moms who are all shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds. I feel that we have one of the most diverse groups, which I love, because it makes us unique!

 

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34 Tasty, Simple, and Quick Breakfast Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

According to the latest Tracking Nutrition Trends report, almost 40% of Canadians skip breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast has been associated with:

– Lower prevalence of overweight and obesity and reduced weight gain over time

– Improved appetite control which contributes to better choices made throughout the day

– Better intake of nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fibre

– Improved energy

– Breaking the fasted state, which in turn reduces fat storage and muscle breakdown (having lean muscle is important for our metabolism and for weight loss)

It’s also important to have a balanced breakfast with healthy sources of protein (especially important for weight loss), carbs, and fats.

Having said all that, many people still do not eat breakfast for various reasons (lack of time, disinterest, lack of habit, lack of hunger, etc.). Time is a big barrier to breakfast eating; most breakfasts are made in 5 minutes or less. Therefore I have put together 34 tasty breakfast ideas, simple make-ahead options and quick grab n’ go breakfasts:

  1. Avocado Toast With Egg

Sometimes, simple is just better. In this recipe, 2 slices of whole-grain bread, lightly toasted, topped with smashed avocado and a sprinkling of salt and pepper makes for a flavourful and rich base. Top that with two sunny-side-up eggs for a healthy dose of protein, and you’ve got a well-rounded breakfast. Stack ’em in a tupperware container for easy transport or cook the yolks a bit more and make the whole thing into a sandwich.

  1. Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Smoothies are a perfect on-the-go snack any time of day. Blend 1 frozen banana, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 cup almond milk, and a few ice cubes. If this is a morning snack, keep it in a tight-sealing container and throw it in a gym or work bag. For an afternoon boost, prep it the night before and freeze, remove in the morning, and it will be thawed and ready to enjoy after lunch. Tip: Add a scoop of your favorite chocolate or vanilla protein for an extra protein boost.

  1. Zapped Scrambled Eggs With Veggies

Yes, it’s possible to make really good scrambled eggs in the microwave. And it’s easy! Beat 2 eggs, throw in a microwave-safe container, add 1 handful of your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes and spinach leaves work well), and a sprinkle of cheese. Zap the mixture for 30 seconds, stir, and cook another 30 seconds, or until eggs are solid. Throw a top on the container to eat later, or store the raw mixture in a fridge until ready to heat and eat.

  1. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

One of the easiest, healthiest, and tastiest breakfasts out there is a classic fruit and yogurt parfait. The best part? It can be made with any toppings you like. Try choosing fruits that are in season for the most flavorful options. (Try stone fruit salad for summer, and opt for apples come fall).

  1. Breakfast Burrito

Who doesn’t love a burrito? Breakfast burritos are a great, easy snack to keep on hand. Scramble 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup black beans, 2 tablespoons salsa, and 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, and wrap in 1 small whole-wheat tortilla. Make a bunch, wrap in foil, and keep in the freezer for whenever the craving hits. Protein from the eggs and black beans keep you fuller longer, and the spicy salsa keeps things interesting.

  1. Healthy Morning Glory Muffins

An oat-based muffin packed with healthy carrots and zucchini, lightly sweetened with raisins and just a pinch of sugar makes a perfect breakfast or snack. Use a mini-muffin tin for smaller portions, and eliminate or cut back on the brown sugar or choose a healthier substitute to cut back on sugar.

  1. Breakfast Quinoa Bites

Here’s a new way to enjoy quinoa: make mini quinoa breakfast quiches! In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups cooked quinoa, 2 eggs, 1 cup your favorite veggies (spinach or zucchini work well), 1 cup shredded cheese, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Portion into a lightly-greased mini muffin tin, and bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes. These are easy to bring along and delicious to enjoy warm or cold.

  1. Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie

Here’s a simple and delicious smoothie recipe for the morning rush. Blend 1 cup plain Greek (or regular) yogurt with 1 cup frozen fruit (banana and berries work very well) with 1/2 cup liquid (milk, juice, coconut water—whatever you like). Freeze overnight and thaw throughout the day to enjoy in the afternoon, or blend up in the morning.

  1. Leftovers n’ Egg

Stuck with last night’s leftovers? Place a scoop of leftover roasted veggies, potatoes, or meat in a container, top with a cracked egg, and heat in the microwave until the egg white is cooked through, 30 to 45 seconds. (Or prep in the oven.) Feeling fancy? Sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

  1. Fruity Breakfast Quinoa

Cooking quinoa in milk (cow, soy, or almond) and adding some sweet spices and fruit makes for a great substitute for classic hot breakfast cereals. Plus, it’s high in protein and essential amino acids like lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Simply cook quinoa according to package instructions, but substitute milk for water, and add some cinnamon or nutmeg instead of salt and pepper. Top with fresh berries and chopped roasted nuts.

  1. Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

Take a classic baked loaf and make it into oatmeal with this recipe! Adding shredded zucchini to oatmeal is a great way to fit in an extra serving of veggies. Throw on a handful of toasted walnuts or pecans for some added crunch.

  1. Quinoa Fruit Salad

Spice up a plain old fruit cup with a scoop of quinoa. Toss the whole shebang around until the quinoa is evenly distributed through the fruit. Add a scoop of plain yogurt and a drizzle of honey for a little extra body.

  1. Oatmeal Squares

Oatmeal is a great option for a hearty snack or breakfast, but what’s the best way to make it into a more convenient and portable snack? Bake it into squares!

  1. Pumpkin Oatmeal Bowl

A heaping dollop of pumpkin puree is a great way to squeeze in anextra dose of veggies. Plus, the super-orange superfood is packed with nutrients and a healthy dose of fiber. This recipe pairs the pumpkin with quick oats, pumpkin pie spice, and almond milk for a quick and easy breakfast on-the-go.

  1. Ricotta and Tomato Breakfast Sandwich

Here’s a healthier take on the classic breakfast sandwich: Take 2 slices of a hearty whole-grain bread, spread each slice with 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Add 1-2 hearty slices of fresh beefsteak tomato (blotted with paper towel to remove excess liquid) and enjoy.

  1. Zucchini Muffins

Any way that fits a serving of veggies into a delicious baked good is a winner in my book. These zucchini and banana muffins with flaxseed fit three healthier options into one easy-to-tote package.

  1. Peanut Butter, Banana, and Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for breakfast? Yes please! While Oreos or Chips Ahoy may not make a balanced breakfast, a homemade cookie made of banana, peanut butter, protein powder, and oats is a wholesome choice. Plus, you can pick and choose what you like to mix—go for almond butter and raisins in one batch, or peanut butter chocolate chip in another.

  1. Waffle PBJ-Wich

Try this sweet take on a classic breakfast sandwich the next time eating on the go. Prepare 1 whole-grain toaster waffle and slice in half. Spread with 2 tablespoons nut butter and layer 2-3 sliced strawberries on top in place of the traditional jelly (to cut down on sugar).

  1. Savory Oatmeal With an Egg

Try taking oatmeal to a whole new level by making it savory. Prepare as usual with milk or water, but add a pinch of salt and pepper instead of any cinnamon or sugar, and top with an over-easy or poached egg. Sprinkle with a little cheese for an extra yummy kick.

  1. Overnight Oats

This is the ultimate lazy-person breakfast. The night before, combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 a banana (mashed), 1/4 cup chopped nuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon in sealed Tupperware container. By morning, you’ll have delicious overnight oats! These can be heated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if in the mood for something warm.

  1. Egg and Cheese Cups

Fried eggs are great, but what about baking a whole egg with veggies and cheese and skipping the added oil? Try making a pan of these egg and cheese cups at the beginning of the week and bringing one along each day. (Tip: If you use the individual silicone muffin molds, it makes the egg cups even more portable for on-the-go snacking.)

  1. Homemade Instant Oatmeal

For anyone with a microwave or hot water at their disposal, these customized instant oatmeal packets are fantastic to have on hand. Instead of purchasing pre-made oatmeal packets, assemble your own in Ziploc baggies using whole rolled oats, cinnamon, and mix-ins like raisins and nuts.

  1. Frozen Nutty Banana

Say banan-YEAH to this healthy snack. Cut 1 firm (but ripe) banana in half and un-peal, arrange on a small baking sheet or freezer-safe plate, and spread each half with 1 tablespoon almond butter evenly (on the sides not touching the plate). Here’s the fun part: Stick whatever toppings you like on top of the almond butter—our favorites are granola, chia seeds, or flax seeds and cinnamon. Insert a popsicle stick or skewer into the cut end of each half, and freeze until solid (at least 2-3 hours).

  1. Egg Sandwich

Who doesn’t love a classic egg sandwich? Simply sautée a hefty handful of spinach and fry 2 eggs with a dash of salt and pepper. Place on top 2 whole-wheat English muffin halves (or toast) with 1 slice of cheddar cheese. Wrap in foil so the cheese melts evenly, and enjoy whenever the craving hits!

  1. Chocolate-Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Here’s one healthy way to have chocolate for breakfast: a bowlful of quinoa makes for a protein-rich filling breakfast, and the banana even adds a serving of fruit.

  1. Fruit Soup

There are just two ingredients in this tasty, cool snack: Cold fresh fruit, and cold milk. Chop 1 cup of fruit of your choosing (peaches, plums, berries, and mango are delicious!) and combine in a container with 1 cup milk of choice. Keep chilled until ready to enjoy.

  1. Apple Surprise

This is a perfect pick for apple season, Cut 1 apple in half and remove the core (plus a bit of the extra flesh around the core). Drop 1 tablespoon nut butter between the two holes, and sprinkle in 1 tablespoon granola. Wrap up the whole apple in plastic wrap or foil to save for later, or enjoy as is bite-by-bite.

  1. PBB&C

Say what? A PBB&C is a great twist on the classic PB&J—peanut butter, banana, and chia. Try adding this superfood twist to the classic PB sandwich with 1/2 a banana (sliced) and a sprinkle of chia, which is packed with vitamins and minerals (like six times more calcium than milk!).

  1. Berries and Oats Microwave Muffin

Muffins from the microwave? Yep, it’s possible! Add 1/4 cup quick oats, 1 egg, a handful of berries, and a sprinkling of brown sugar to a mug and mix until evenly combined. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove to take a look, and keep cooking for 30 seconds at a time until the muffin looks firm.

  1. Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins

By this point, I think the Greatist team believes quinoa makesanything better. So, muffins? It’s a no brainer. Try these strawberry quinoa muffins for an easily-packed snack or breakfast (or after lunch treat).

  1. Pumpkin and Granola Parfait

This one’s perfect to try out as fall sets in. In your favorite small Tupperware container (with a reliable lid!), top plain Greek yogurt with canned pumpkin puree and a handful of granola, then sprinkle with cinnamon. The best part? Pumpkin is a bonafide superfood rich in beta carotene, which is essential for eye health.

  1. Whole-Wheat Banana Blueberry Flax Muffins

At 200 calories each, these hearty, wholesome muffins make for the perfect portable breakfast. Flax lends a healthy dose of fiber andomega-3 fatty acids. Mashed bananas (one of our favorite healthy baking subsitutions) allow for a slight reduction in the added fat and sugar in this recipe, too.

  1. Egg Muffins

Finally, a muffin without all the carbs. Plus, these guys are simple to make. Beat 10 eggs, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 3 handfuls of spinach, 1 shredded zucchini, 1/2 a bell pepper (chopped), 4 slices cooked bacon or ham, chopped, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Divide egg mixture evenly in a lightly-greased muffin tin, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 F. Zap it for a few seconds in the microwave before serving.

  1. Lemon Poppy Seed Protein Squares

Here’s a healthier take on the classic lemon-poppy seed muffin. Fiber-rich oat flour is paired with vanilla protein powder for a healthy, filling base. Yogurt lends moisture and some fat, and applesauce makes a great substitute for sugar. Vanilla extract, lemon zest, and (of course) make up the rest of the fresh flavor. The best part? One bar comes in at about 54 calories and six grams of protein—much better than any muffin we’ve seen on the shelves lately. Looking for more? Check out what health’s top experts eat for breakfast.

Resources:

1) Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research. Tracking Nutrition Trends 2013. Available from: http://www.cfdr.ca/Sharing/Tracking-Nutrition-Trends-%28TNT%29.aspx

2) Dietitians of Canada. Are adults who skip breakfast more likely to be overweight or obese than adults who eat breakfast?

In: Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition [PEN]. 2010 February 1 [cited 2014 Jul 25]. Available from: http://www.pennutrition.com/KnowledgePathway.aspx?kpid=15329&pqcatid=144&pqid=8655.

3) Pereira MA et al. Breakfast frequency and quality may affect glycemia and appetite in adults and children. J Nutr. 2011;141:163S-168S.

4) Barr SI, DiFrancesco L. Consumption of breakfast and the type of breakfast consumed are positively associated with nutrient intakes and adequacy of Canadian adults. J Nutr. 2013;143:86-92.

 

Felicia Newell, BScAHN, MScAHN(c), RD(c)

Official NEM Nutritionist

For the past several years, Felicia has been working at a university research centre with a focus on food security (Food Action Research Centre), and has taught university level nutrition courses. Her passion lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has recently published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FeliciaNewellNutrition

Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition

Top 5 Park Exercise Moves

There are no excuses why you can’t get a park workout in! Our National Fitness Pro, Jules Rosenthal shows you how to incorporate fitness while watching your children play! Some great exercise moves include planks with rotation, pull ups and triceps dips.

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Julia Rosenthal
Official NEM Fitness Pro
Email: Jules@noexcusemom.com
Education
ACE certified
Tread Tabata certified
Masters in Social Work
Jules always played sports though wasn’t always an athlete until she found where were greatest strengths were: running, weight training and coaching. She also had a short career in the culinary arts before changing course and earning her MSW in 2005. Not too shortly thereafter, though, the lure of the fitness called again, and she returned to the health-world by getting her ACE certification in 2009. Jules resides in the Boston area — she is a No Excuse mother of two, licensed clinical social worker, avid runner/fitness freak and made her vision come true when she started her own personal training company, Ripped by Jules in 2013.

NEM Group Spotlight: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

In November 2014, Katherine Clubb created the NEM Regina Saskatchewan Canada Group. Motivated by her 130lbs weight loss, she decided to create a community of moms who can find support, advice and positivity. You can join her online private FB community HERE.

1)When did you become a NEM?  I have been a NEM for the last 5+ years now since starting my own personal transformation after the birth of my son in 2008. I’ve lost 130lbs in total, from a starting and heaviest weight of 300lbs. I joined the NEM Group over a year ago now.

 

2) What inspired me to start a group?  I wanted to help other mom’s reach their fitness goals while at the same time meeting new mom’s and making new friends. We live in Regina Saskatchewan Canada, where the NEM movement isn’t as strong as in the US, but we still have a great group of dedicated ladies. We get snow and very cold weather for a good part of the year with some nicer months over the summer. Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan, we’re in the middle of the Prairie Provinces and in the middle of Canada. We are a cultural and commercial centre for southern Saskatchewan.

3) What has been your most rewarding experience as a group leader? Seeing the ladies show up every meet, dedicated to work out. Being their motivator and go-to to help them reach their fitness goals.

 

4) What kind of workouts do you do? ALL kinds! I make up a new workout routine every week and we work out for about 40-45 min!


5) How has becoming a leader changed your life? It’s helped me to tap into some goals and dreams I’ve had for awhile. I love the feeling of helping the ladies in my group! I love the motivation they give to each other and all the support that has come about it. It’s a great group of ladies to lead with some great friendships being made. I try to motivate and encourage the ladies as much as possible because I know the struggle of being overweight and losing weight and I understand them.

6) How has becoming a leader affected your family? It hasn’t really. They have been supportive from the beginning and my kids have always encouraged me and joined in with me while working out. So it hasn’t changed, other than they have the chance to meet new friends at the meet ups!

 

7) What is your favorite part of leading a group? Making the workouts! I LOVE planning the workouts for our weekly workout group! It’s fun and I get to incorporate so many new and different moves. Showing the group moves they may not have tried before, pushing them to their limits! Showing them that they don’t need a gym membership to get into shape! Being able to show them modifications for moves if needed and how to make things harder if they want to see more results or are advanced. I love the encouragement and support in my group! I love the sweet messages and compliments the ladies send me thanking me for supporting them, motivating them and being there for them. I honestly wish I would of had something like this when I was loosing weight. And so I am blessed to be able to provide this type of support to these ladies in their journeys for FREE!

Find your free location HERE.
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Quick & Easy SNACKS for your child’s classroom!

Hey NEMs!

I signed up to bring morning and afternoon snack to Maddox’s class of 21 kids this week!  Since I’m limited on time in the evenings I wanted to make both snacks quickly but still have fun and be creative.  

Here is how I made the AM SNACK…

 

 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

IMG_1563   IMG_1570 IMG_1564   IMG_1565

 

Now it’s time to conjure up the PM SNACK!  

I LOVE going on Pinterest to get healthy snack ideas!  Doesn’t this one look so FUN???

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Here’s how I made the PM SNACK…

 

As you saw from the video, I decided to “do it my way”  😉   LOL!!!  (It’s not too bad right???)

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You can also use these quick snack ideas for play dates or to take with you at  your NEM workout meet-ups!  🙂

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REMEMBER (I know you know this):

  • When handling food that others will consume be sure to always wash your hands and use items to help you scoop (I used one of Maddox’s plastic cups to get the goldfish out of the box)
  • Be sure to wash fruit/foods thoroughly

ENJOY! 

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Have a recipe that you would like to share on our No Excuse Mom website?

Email me!  Meeshie@NoExcuseMom.com

Meeshie LOGO w Maddox - website

No Excuse Mom RECIPE BLOGGERNEM LEADER – San Diego County

Top 9 Diet Mistakes

Dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry that grows every year — right along with a large majority of the population’s waistlines. Something is wrong with that, wouldn’t you say?

What’s going on? Why do millions of people desperately want to lose weight, but fail?

In most cases, they’re making some of the following diet mistakes. Learn to not make these mistakes, and you’ll be on your way to weight-loss success.

 Mistake #1: Is following any type of extreme diet. This would be your typical low-fat, or low-carb, or extreme low-calorie diet that we hear so much about. Weight loss may be a side effect of a short-term diet, but diets can have detrimental effects on long-term health. Furthermore, many people gain back the weight they originally lost and more. This is why people should learn how to implement healthy strategies for a lifestyle, not just as short-term fix. The healthiest diet of all is one that can be maintained over the long haul and has you eating real food that doesn’t eliminate any of the three macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat. For weight loss, it is still important to find out what your daily estimated energy requirements are and eat below that amount, but again eliminating any particular food group is not necessary and can actually be detrimental to long-term, and many times even short-term success.

Mistake #2: Taking on too much, too soon. This is the single biggest reason why most people fail in their diets. They become so excited about starting a diet that they give up all their favorite foods on the first day. Then they grow discouraged and give up. To avoid this, try to slowly adapt yourself to new eating habits. After a month, you’ll have changed your diet drastically without experiencing the shock of a complete turnaround.

Mistake #3: Eliminating fats. In fact, you need healthy sources of fat to maintain essential body functions, sustain energy levels, slow digestion and feel fuller longer. For years, nutritionists and doctors have preached that a low-fat diet is the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol, and preventing health problems. But that actually proved to be a big fat lie (pun intended). It’s more than just the amount of fat; it’s the types of fat you eat that really matter. Despite what you may have been told, fat isn’t always the bad guy in the waistline wars. Bad fats, such as trans fats and saturated fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, and so forth. But good fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect. In fact, healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight. Including healthy fats in your diet is good for you and can actually help you lose weight. Healthy fats include: vegetable and nut oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, fish and tofu.

Mistake #4: Eliminating carbohydrates. Carb-free diets are popular because of the dramatic weight loss that can occur. But this is typically due to several reasons. First, most of the weight lost is from water, not fat. Second, when you’re on a carb-free diet, most processed foods are eliminated — and these are the foods that tend to add the most calories. Once you return to your old eating habits, the water weight returns, as do those high-calorie processed foods that lead you to gain weight. Complex, high-fiber carbohydrates like brown rice, beans and lentils should be part of any diet regimen.

Mistake #5: Reducing calories too much. This often leads to yo-yo dieting. When you follow an extreme diet, you’ll lose a lot of weight at first — but then your body will catch on and lower your metabolism to accommodate the reduced supply of fuel. Then, when you return to your normal diet — wham! You regain that weight because you’re now consuming more calories.

Skimping on calories ultimately decreases metabolic rate as the body tries to conserve energy. This is why low-calorie eaters may feel lethargic. Furthermore, as metabolism slows, the body subsequently burns fewer calories, leading to a greater susceptibility for weight gain when more calories are inevitably consumed. To keep energy levels high and metabolism revved up, it’s important for people to meet their daily calorie needs. And since the body uses energy-yielding carbohydrates, protein, and fat in very specific ways, consuming each in proportion to the other is essential to ensure sufficient energy to complete daily tasks, feel good, and to maintain an optimal state of health.

Mistake #6: Eating too much healthy food or choosing incorrect portion sizes. Eating too much of anything leads to weight gain. No matter how healthy the food is, a calorie is still a calorie. To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns, no matter the source. Also, many people aren’t aware of what an appropriate portion size really is. They eat much larger portions than they need to, which inevitably leads to weight gain.

Mistake #7: Skipping exercise. Many people are trying to lose weight — but only 15 percent exercise regularly. Clearly, there’s a disconnect here. You may not enjoy exercise very much — but if you want to lose weight, you simply have no choice.

Mistake #8: Consuming too much alcohol. Many people believe that alcohol doesn’t contain a lot of calories. This is especially the case with red wine. In fact, alcohol is loaded with empty calories (for example, five fluid ounces of red wine contains 125 calories). Limit your intake and include the calories in any alcohol you consume as part of your daily calorie count. Sorry — there are no freebies!

Mistake #9: The “one-size-fits-all” approach.  Don’t assume that what worked for Jim or Jane will work for you. Dave may be able to eat dessert after every meal without gaining a pound, while Mark gains three pounds just looking at a piece of cake. Melissa may be able to fast all afternoon with no cravings, while Judy craves sugar on the three-hour mark after her last meal. When it comes to our unique bodies, metabolism and genetics, we aren’t all created equal. What works for someone else may not work for you. Also know that people often post their successes MUCH more than they post their struggles. Just because the struggles and ups and downs aren’t posted about as much, doesn’t mean that every single person doesn’t face them. So understand there might be some trial in error and figuring out what works for you with your weight loss journey, and that is okay!

 

Felicia Newell, BScAHN, MScAHN(c), RD(c)

Official NEM Nutritionist

For the past several years, Felicia has been working at a university research centre with a focus on food security (Food Action Research Centre), and has taught university level nutrition courses. Her passion lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has recently published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FeliciaNewellNutrition

Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition

2016 Swimsuit Calendar Moms are….

This year we had an incredible group of ladies enter. Each year we receive applications from No Excuse Moms in May for our upcoming calendar. We include their stories, workouts, recipes, and compile a professional 26-page calendar filled with inspiration, motivation and No Excuses! Our calendar has been featured on Yahoo, Fox and Friends, HLN, Daily Mail, Dr. Oz and various local media stations, magazines and newspapers. All proceeds benefit our 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Please pre-order the 2016 Calendar HERE! It is forecasted to be ready for shipment by October 2015.

Next year’s calendar moms are as follows (in random order):

1. Kate Hardman
2. Miravone Dorough
3. Dynae Saba
4. Samantha Alexandar
5. Jessica Cordova
6. Belinda Centeno
7. Stephanie Navarro
8. Laura Gettman
9. Jasmyne Boyd
10. Barbara Clement
11. Therese Atwell
12. Jolynne Carlson

Their images were judged by an open No Excuse Mom panel. Good job to all who participated. You did an amazing job! We will not be sharing large file images of our calendar moms until the final calendar comes out in just a few months. Please pre-order your calendar here!

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This year’s calendar!

NEM Group Spotlight: Bolingbrook, Illinois

Miravone Dorough is the NEM group leader for Bolingbrook, IL. She first started working out with the NEM-Joliet group and was encouraged our regional manager, Ashley Gentile, to start a group in Bolingbrook since she had strong ties to the community. All of our leaders have a personal story that led them to become leaders in their hometowns, this is Miravone’s….

What is your personal story?

Growing up in an Asian community has its ups & downs. Asians have no filter. I was told constantly by non-family members that I was too big for an Asian girl..my Chinese pediatrician told me I was “too chunky”. Interestingly enough, he also diagnosed me with major depressive disorder at an early age. I based my self worth on what I looked like but never saw anything “pretty” in the mirror. College was rough. I ate my emotions & gained the typical Freshman 20, had a plethora of medical conditions & overly medicated, couldn’t run down the block, walking across campus was a big no-no, and I even CHEATED in my “jogging” elective (haha true story).Fast forward- entered Naturopathic school & paid attention to everything I put in my body. Off all medications. Slowly started restoring my health inside. Got married to my love in 2009,pregnant in 2010, & miscarried in 2010. I sank to my lowest of lows. Just when I thought I was getting “there”. Gained 20# & took 8 months to grieve. Then Ryan & I took control of our health. Entered p90x & more focus on our diet while still both finishing up grad school. I lost 15# & graduated with my first doctorate.Got pregnant 2012. Super paranoid. I was determined to be extremely healthy inside & out. When I found out we were having a girl, I started REALLY working on inside. I didn’t want her to feel what I’ve dealt with my whole life. I wanted to be an example of self confidence and finding worth in God more than society & your appearance. It’s as if I lost majority of my insecurities and low self esteem when I gave birth. Gained 30# & lost 45#. I went from a size 12 (almost 14) to a size 4-6 but more importantly, I can look in the mirror and see more positives than not. The best part is that my gets to witness this new version of myself and that is the true reward.

A lot of women say that kids ruined their bodies but in my perspective, my body changed but for the better. She is my inspiration to exercise, eat very well, & NEVER call myself FAT.

God changed my heart & Estella saved me!

How has being a NEM changed your life?

I have met an AMAZING group of woman that not only inspire me by their hard work and dedication, but have found some inspiration in me. I was always the slowest on the soccer field, most self conscious in PE class, and hid behind my books and good grades. It is often scary knowing that so many women look at me as the leader of a group like NEM, but it has kept me really accountable for my own healthy eating and fitness!

What is the most fulfilling part of being part of the NEM community?

Witnessing hard work turn into amazing results emotionally and physically in our members. We have women of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels and they all work equally hard. It’s so inspiring. The other fulfilling part that is equally amazing is being an example to our children. My daughter asks when we can go exercise and loves to mimic exercises at home.

Tell us more about your recent charity effort?

We joined efforts with NEM-Joliet to raise money for a local women’s and children’s shelter (MorningStar Missions in Joliet). We called it “Moms helping moms” and we reached out to friends, family, and the community to raise at LEAST $500 but we exceeded that goal by raising $1,400+! We pledged to run the BIG Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K on March 29th and got a total of about 8 moms to participate. The awesome part is a couple of our moms participated in their FIRST ever organized race so that was really inspiring too.

What suggestions would you have for people struggling with their health?

The hardest part is starting. We always emphasize using each other as accountability to make working out the most fun and rewarding. So I would say, pick a goal, pick a friend, and do it together. It doesn’t have to be a huge goal like a marathon, but pick something tangible! My first goal was to finish a 5k and that blossomed into what I’m doing now- leading a NEM group, working out 5-6 days a week, and training for a half marathon! You gotta start somewhere!

Last acknowledgments?

Changing your eating habits and increasing your activity doesn’t just transform who you are physically and emotionally, but it truly resonates into the lives of your children, spouse, and community!
bolingbrook
Find your free No Excuse Mom group here!
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Giving back to their community.

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Miravone posing with the Director of Development of the shelter (where the donations were sent).

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NEM Bolingbrook and Joliet Illinois Group and preparing to run!