Baby Led Weaning - What is it?
I honestly have no idea where I first heard about baby-led weaning...maybe it was one of the natural mom's groups I'm in on facebook...but wherever it was, I'm SO thankful! Baby-led weaning is basically skipping the stage where you spoon feed your baby purées. It's a way to introduce solid foods that allows them to feed themselves. They sit with the family and eat whatever they're having (within reason of course) but the pieces are just cut into easy to grab chunks.
You start baby-led weaning at 6 months of age or whenever your baby is able to sit upright, pick up pieces of food and take them to their mouth and "chew" them. I put chew in quotations because I know there are some babies that don't get teeth until later on but they can still gum things...you would probably just want to give them softer things like steamed veggies, potatoes etc...although their gums are really hard so you can even give them apples and other hard things too.
A few benefits of baby-led weaning from some of the research I did and from asking the opinions of other mama's:
* allows babies to explore taste, texture, color and smell
* encourages independence and confidence
* helps to develop their hand-eye coordination and chewing skills
* makes picky eating and mealtime battles less likely
It actually makes a lot of sense because as their teeth come in, it produces saliva which contains digestive enzymes and this generally happens along the same time line as digestion and intestinal development of necessary enzymes. Eli is exclusively breastfed and gets all the nutrients he needs from that for right now so eating food is really just for fun and learning! "Food before 1 is just for fun" is a quote I heard somewhere and it's stuck with me for some reason. It helps me to remember that I really don't need to be super concerned with making sure he's eating a lot at every single meal.
If you eat mostly whole foods, this should be pretty easy for you. If you don't...maybe it's a good time to make the switch!! You'll get healthy and feel so much better while making sure your baby does too.
I know what you're thinking...won't he choke?? There are definitely things you need to be aware of and safety precautions to take, but nope...we've never actually had a moment where we thought he was going to choke or be in any danger! The video below was as close as we came to "choking" but in everything I read, they said to just sit on your hands and let them figure it out!
Obviously if he's actually choking and not gagging, or blue in the face then YES, you will step in and help...but if it's a little gag or cough, just chill out. They will actually LEARN how to take smaller bites, spit out things they can't swallow and maneuver foods inside their mouths...it's pretty amazing watching Eli do this...so all we have to do is sit back and help as little as needed.
We started him with sweet potatoes, apples (he had about 4 teeth when we started), avocado, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, bananas, red peppers, cauliflower, cucumber, watermelon, celery....and have gradually added in eggs and a few pieces of meat lately. We also did puffs on a flight to Cancun...because HELLO...3 1/2 hours on a plane with an 8 month old is just scary. They kept him super occupied and he did great! We also have been giving him veggie straws for little snacks in the car.
You should stay away from things with lots of salt, sugar, fast food, honey, shellfish, shark, marlin and under-cooked eggs...but that's about it!
This kid LOVES food which makes this mama (and his dad too of course) SO HAPPY. I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend baby-led weaning if you have a little one that's about to start eating real food. Seriously. If you've never heard of it, check out this book: Baby Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods. Or google it obviously, there are loads of resources out there. I'm also part of a baby led weaning group on facebook that really helped me get over my fears of him choking and to just GO FOR IT.
I'm happy to answer any questions if you have any...just shoot me a message or leave us a comment!
I think it was about 8 years ago when someone that I know approached me and asked me if I would be interested in joining them in their network marketing business. I shot her down so fast, "You mean one of those pyramid schemes, sorry not for me." As soon as she mentioned it every part of me just revolted with the idea that I would be "tricked" into a business like that. There is no way it could be a legitimate business and definitely no way I could make money unless I wanted to trick people too.
Why did I get so defensive?
I would say for a few reasons. I had an idea in my head of what this type of business was all about. You solicit all of your friends and family to spend a lot of money to buy product and sign up...Not sure how that stereotype was ever planted in my head but it was a pretty firm belief.
Another reason was that I had ZERO interest in using the products that this company was affiliated with and I had even less of an interest in selling them.
Lastly, I didn't see it going anywhere. My thought was that it was a "get rich quick" scheme, that would fizzle out as soon as people realized it was a scam.
What changed, and how did I end up working with a Network Marketing Company?
I will say that my objection about believing in the products is still a real one for me when it comes to network marketing. If you don't have a genuine interest in the products or services that the company you are associated with then you will have to "sell" them. What I mean by that is, if you don't wholeheartedly believe that your widget or service will make someone life's better, then you will need to try to convince them or sell them on it. If you are meeting a need that they have you are just making a recommendation based on what has worked for you. A personal example for me is my experience with the workout program Focus T25, this was the first program that I really did from Beachbody. It got me into incredible shape all while working 50-60 hours per week. The 25 minute length of the workouts was perfect for my situation I had a need for exercise, I had a busy schedule and this program filled that need.
There is a big difference between referring quality products that you enjoy using and peddling crap just to make a profit. We sell things everyday without knowing it: we tell our friends where we had lunch and recommend/sell them the idea of going there also. We tell/sell people about TV shows or movies we watch that we think they would like.Take a look at some of the services you use: your realtor, your accountant, the church you go to, where you bought your last car. I would guess you either worked with a friend in one of these industries or a friend told you about who they use. I've come to realize that this is all network marketing is...you tell people about your experience with a certain product or service and if they end up seeing value in it then they will pass along those recommendations as well.
My view of what network marketing changed VERY slowly. Laura had joined on as a coach in July of 2012 and for those first 6 months I was hesitant with what she was doing. My perception of what she was doing focused more on how she was working so that someone above her would make more money. Her sales helped their bonuses and her recruiting helped their rank advancements. Somewhere around the spring of 2013, I changed my focus. Instead of looking up in our organization, I started looking down. How was she helping her coaches make money? How was she helping people below her grow their businesses? How was she helping people grow as individuals with their confidence and health?
This idea of looking down instead of up totally changed my impression of network marketing. That's why I love this quote from Zig Ziglar.
I learned to approach network marketing with a selfless attitude. An attitude that you are there to serve, and help people meet THEIR needs. I think this is where network marketing gets a bad image. All too often the focus is on how sales and recruiting will benefit you and the people above you. Instead, this is how we approach it: how will this opportunity or product help this person. Will it serve a need that they have?
Specific to Beachbody,
Network Marketing Compared to Corporate America
Just because something is different doesn't make it good or bad, it's just different. If you look at the hierarchy of a traditional business with a CEO, VP's, middle management, supervisors, and finally employees it looks a lot like the same structure of a network marketing business. The difference is that in network marketing the ability to climb the proverbial corporate ladder is much easier. By "climbing the ladder" in a network marketing organization you don't have to displace someone in that position. Everyone has equal opportunity to grow and advance. Compare that to a standard corporation, usually someone has to leave a position before you are able to get promoted. There are certainly benefits to a corporate job, mostly the health benefits are what most people mention. There are also benefits to network marketing though: freedom, ability to work anywhere, unlimited income potential, residual income and being your own boss to name a few.
One of the benefits about network marketing versus starting your own company is you don't have to go all in from the start. The startup costs are very minimal. A lot of coaches within our company are doing this just as a part time job, working maybe an hour or two a day. They are doing it because they love being held accountable themselves for their fitness and health and they want to help others with their health and fitness goals. The range of coaches varies from the person that just wants to get fit to the person that wants to grow a huge team and make a 7 figure income and everywhere in between.
Why I Now Love Network Marketing
There is a small part of me that thinks back to the opportunity that I was approached with 8 years ago and wonder if I should have went for it. I now see how network marketing is a viable business and not a get rich quick scheme. In just 2 1/2 years with our business we have been able to pay off nearly all of our debt and I've been able to leave my full-time job and now stay at home with our son. More importantly, this business has helped me reclaim my health and meet so many amazing people that have similar interests and goals. I also see the potential in this business to give us the freedom that we want in our life and not be tied to a 9-5 job.
I'll close with this because I wish someone would have told me this 8 years ago: don't judge this business by the 1 or 2 bad experiences that you've potentially encountered. Just like any industry there are going to be people working with integrity and there are going to be people that lack a certain level of professionalism and customer service. If you have a bad experience at a restaurant are you going to stop eating out all together, absolutely not. You may do your homework the next time and learn about where you want to go and other people's experiences prior to going out but 1 bad restaurant experience isn't representative of the entire industry. One bad experience 8 years ago left a bad taste in my mouth, but I did my research and found something that I can believe in and I know will change lives and that has made all the difference.
New to Healthy Eating? READ THIS!!!
How long have you been on your healthy eating journey? 6 months? 2 months? 1 week? Starting tomorrow? This post is to help you out in those first few days, weeks, and months so that you can stay on track. If you are an experienced "clean eater" why the heck are you reading this, didn't you read the title? Ha, just kidding hopefully you can even learn something too. The advice I want to share is something I wish someone would have told me when I first started out on my healthy eating journey, so hopefully you can relate.
Here are the 5 tips that I hope will help you stay on track and continue down a road of health, happiness and straight up awesomeness. Because we all know you can't be awesome unless you eat kale...
Tip #1: Spice is the Spice of a Healthy Life
Healthy food doesn't have to taste like you are chewing on styrofoam. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they are preparing healthier foods is forgetting the seasoning and spices. There is nothing wrong with a little salt and pepper in your diet.
Another key is stocking up on tons of dried spices, they last a long time and can add a ton of flavor. Some essentials in our pantry include: garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, parsley, cumin, tumeric, curry powder, paprika, ginger, tarragon, sage, thyme, rosemary, 5 spice, cayenne, and chili powder. I'm pretty heavy handed with these spices and herbs, most recipes out there get pretty shy with how much spice to add. My tip is to season, taste, then re-season!!!
Other flavor enhancers include fresh citrus and fresh herbs. We almost always have cilantro, lemon, and lime laying around. They are super cheap and will elevate the taste of a dish.
Tip #2: Don't Fear the Fat
Fat doesn't make you fat, just like blueberries don't make you blue! Fat has gotten a bad reputation. If you walk down any grocery store aisle you will find products that claim to low fat or no fat. It's a sad state when food manufacturers are well aware of the health benefits of fat but they simply market products this way because consumers have been brainwashed into thinking fat is bad. Usually when a package says low fat, it means high in sugar (or fake sugar) or high in chemicals. Avoid these products. Yes low fat foods usually have fewer calories but for every 1 gram of fat (9 calories/gram) that is removed they can add 2 grams of sugar (4 calories/gram) and still cut the total calories. Sugar is more likely to be stored as fat, raise cholesterol, raise blood sugar and cause inflammation than fat. Also I'm not a fan of counting calories. If you want to know why, check out our other blog post, Stop eating LESS and exercising MORE.
Another reason to eat fat: it's ESSENTIAL to helping your body function. You may have heard of essential fatty acids. Those are fats that your body can't produce and they NEED to be consumed in the food you eat. The key one here is Omega 3 fatty acids, which are found in foods like salmon, sardines, shellfish, grass fed beef, walnuts, flax seed, and chia seeds. The goal would be to get your ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats below 4:1. The current American averages around 16:1. This means getting more of the Omega 3 rich foods and less of the processed oils that are found in nearly every packaged food item (soybean, canola, grapeseed, cottonseed, sunflower, corn).
Don't be afraid of saturated fat either, the science is now showing that saturated fat doesn't have the negative side effects once thought...as long as it is balanced with other healthy fats. The visual that people usually have is that if you eat butter, it will harden and coagulate in your arteries. Well by that same logic shouldn't bananas and carrots also harden when they enter your blood stream, I mean they were solid at one point too. Cooking with saturated fats is actually a lot healthier than using unsaturated fats due to the higher smoke point. The fat won't become oxidized and oxidation is the one of the leading causes of inflammation in the body.
Tip #3: Protein Doesn't Make you Big, it Makes You Lean
I have to be honest and say that this tip isn't really one that I was scared of when I first started eating healthy, but I DO see it from a lot of the women that I coach. I'm sorry to pick on the ladies, but eating 3 healthy servings (30 grams each) of protein a day will not make you look like a body builder. In order to get that "muscley" look, your job needs to become eating protein and lifting weights...not to mention the genetics you'd have to have lined up on your side. So if you are the 1/2 of 1/2% of people that those things all line up and you take my advice, I'm sorry.
For the rest of you: protein will help you maintain muscle mass which boosts your metabolism and your awesomeness. If you want a flat stomach, work on getting strong legs. Healthy servings of protein will also help keep you full longer. It digests slower than carbs and therefore won't trigger hunger hormones as quickly, which means less running for the donuts that your coworker brought into the office.
Tip #4: Be Adventurous
If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again...and then try one more time. If you've been at this healthy eating for a bit, I'm sure you have had some terrible tasting "healthy" food. Or maybe the consistency was way off. If your first experience with broccoli was a terrible one, don't write off all broccoli. Try a different way to cook it!! Try it steamed, try roasting it, or sauteing it, or whatever. Try some new seasonings. I'm not just talking about broccoli, this goes for anything and everything too. Don't give up on foods if your first attempt wasn't a home run.
Also step outside your comfort zone and try some NEW foods. Try some chia seeds, or kale, or tempeh. Don't rule anything out because of what you've heard or read somewhere. Once you've given something a fair shake and you still don't like it, then it can go on your food blacklist.
Tip #5: Learn a Little Bit
I think this is REALLY important in sticking with your new diet. I use the word diet to focus in on the things you eat...not some calorie restrictive term that has been hijacked by magazine covers. I would credit my education in nutrition for getting me to give up certain foods and desiring to eat other foods. I mean once you know that hydrogenated oils have almost the exact chemical makeup as plastic, you will put down the margarine and go back to real butter. Once you learn that broccoli sprouts can actually cure and prevent you from getting cancer, you will find ways to add them to your daily diet.
If you want to find some quality nutrition advice, talk to some of your "nutrition friends" and ask them who they trust and follow. Don't ask just one either, there are a lot of viewpoints out there and it's good to get some info from a few sources. If you don't have any "nutrition friends", you can just follow us, and we will provide everything you ever need to know...or at least we'll try! Honestly though if you need some help navigating the nutritional world, we would love to help you find some quality resources that are out there. Just hit us up with an email or comment below.
I hope some of this stuff is new advice for you if you're just getting started on your new healthy lifestyle. Or maybe if you've been at it for a while, these are just some good reminders! My hope for you would be that you continue to learn and grow and become an influence to the people that are closest to you.
If you have other thoughts on what has helped keep you on track, we would love to hear what has helped you!!
Brunching in the MSP - Lake & Irving
Here is our second installment of "Brunching in the MSP"...even though our brunch spots will be all over the Twin Cities, we'll just say MSP for the sake of ease and the fact that there are no hashtags with that name :)
A few weeks ago it was a GORGEOUS day so we decided to hit up a spot for brunch and then walk around Lake Calhoun. A few of my favorite things to do on the weekends: walk around a body of water, go to a farmers market and go to brunch. Do all 3 and then sit outside and read books and I'm a happy camper!!
We had been to Lake & Irving before when they had first opened and it was pretty delicious then and it did not disappoint this time either.The service was spectacular, the food was tasty and the bloody mary was delicious...although I could have used a few more "additions" to my bloody. I love them loaded with a beef stick, pickle, cube of cheese, bacon...and this was just kinda plain. Oh well, the actual bloody itself was delicious.
My cute date
My other cute date
Dan and I tend to gravitate towards the same things...so we often get two things and then share them, but today we didn't do that. I ordered the open faced kalua pork torta, which had duroc kalua pork, sourdough, guacamole, poached egg, chile japones and a mixed green salad.
And Dan ordered the brisket hash, which had smoked brisket, poached egg, herb potatoes, carmelized onions and roasted red peppers.
They were both a perfect way to start the day! I know you're thinking...aren't these people supposed to eat HEALTHY all the time and be good examples for everyone? Umm no. We are REAL. We're people. We love bloody mary's...heck...that's basically vegetables isn't it? :)
We know eating out can be hard so we really do try to be intentional about where we choose to go eat. We stay away from chain restaurants and try to go local as much as we can. We love farm to table restaurants and places that serve fresh, real ingredients. We do tend to also gravitate towards the healthier things on the menu and stay away from the sugary, sweet, because we know how much better they'll make us feel.
Peace out. Make it a great day!
It's been a few weeks since we got back from our trip to Cancun with Beachbody and the warm ocean breezes and palm trees are definitely missed!!
We decided to bring E with us so that meant we didn't get a ton of "relaxing" in...aka sitting on the beach reading a book or playing sand volleyball...or sleep, since he was up at 5:30 or 6am every single day, but that's definitely OK. The memories and pictures we have make up for the lack of sleep...PLUS we got to see the sunrise every single day so I can't complain about that! (trying to be positive here...is it working?)
We flew in on a Wednesday afternoon, enjoyed the amazing welcome party that Beachbody threw... from our patio though because E fell asleep so early after the long travel day...that was OK with us though because we wanted to get up early to work out with Shaun T! It was a fabulous workout at 7am and as we walked out into the lobby there was freshly made Shakeology waiting for us. Nothing better than that!
Thursday consisted of pool time, nap time and a few margaritas. We decided to split up the nap times by the very fair method of rock, paper, scissors. I was in charge of nap time that day and lucky for me, E slept for almost 3 hours. Good because I didn't get sunburned like Dan did but bad because I was stuck inside all afternoon! After he woke up we went back to the pool and hung out for a little bit and then went to dinner with some of our friends who were there.
I will say the BEST part of this trip was getting to spend time with our friends and fellow coaches that we talk to regularly online, but rarely get to see in person!! Brainstorming, sharing struggles and tips, figuring out how we can better help our teams and work TOGETHER to grow the people around us were definitely some of the highlights. There is no cattiness in our circle of coaches. We truly want to see each other succeed and everyone will bend over backwards to help you if you're struggling. Such amazing COMMUNITY!!
Dan is too, you just can't see it.
Working out with Shaun T on Day 3!
This trip was paid for almost entirely by Beachbody and I couldn't be more grateful!! Earning trips like this by simply helping a few people every single month is kinda crazy. It was a rare occurrence a few years ago that Dan would be able to take that much time off to go on a trip...so this was an amazing blessing. We coach not because we want to be rewarded with "things"...but because we want to make a difference in someone's life. There are many different avenues to do that, but helping someone with their health and nutrition has the potential to impact so many other areas of their life as well!! That's why we love what we do and are proud to be a part of this company!
If you are a man's man and the only way you would ever eat salad is if it was grilled and has red meat, this is the salad for you. No man would or should ever be ashamed of eating a salad like this.
The idea for this salad totally belongs to a former coworker of mine, Eric Simpson. He is the executive chef and at the golf club I used to work at and was always coming up with super tasty food. Recently I was back out there with some family and someone ordered his version of this salad and it just looked tasty. I actually never tasted it but just got a look at it so I'm not sure if the flavors are similar but the main ingredients are close, I think.
This salad would totally be an awesome everyday dinner salad throughout the summer. The smokey char from the romaine pairs perfectly with freshness of the avocado and tomato. The blue cheese rounds it and will help it earn it's spot in your weekly meal rotation. Hope you enjoy this salad.
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.