Real Life Fitness and a FREE workout video!

October 1, 2020 update: Fit2B is having a 50% off Anniversary Sale this week, 2 days only!

I recently asked on my Facebook page how many people were struggling to make time for fitness and physical activity. A whopping 83% of respondents said that they struggled with finding the time to be physically active.  I am not writing this from the perspective of a fitness guru or expert. I struggled with this for a long time and in all honesty I still am not where I want to be but I’m making progress. There is no realistic way that I can spend hours a day working out at this stage in my life, but I can do little things that add together to make up a real life fitness plan. Slowly but surely, I’m moving forward and regaining my health and my strength.  I could not have done this without the help of Fit2B and their great online fitness program. I needed something I can do on my time, in small increments, and while my children were playing at my feet and Fit2B provided all of that and more.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Fit2B Sale

5 Minute Routines

Fit2B offers over 200 different routines in varying lengths and intensities. I have been most thankful for their five-minute routines. Many mornings I get up and I know that I don’t have thirty minutes for a full routine, but most days I do have five minutes. I can at least get my body moving and start the day out right. If I go ahead do that quick routine, I find that I tend to be more active during the day. Many days I can do two or three of the five-minute routines in the morning before the children need my more focused attention. Those routines tend to break through both my excuses and the reality of my busy mornings and help me to be active.

Tummy Safe

After four children and years of unsafe abdominal exercises I was had significant damage to my abdominal muscles and a diastasis. You can read more about my journey with that here, but I was very happy to find this program that provides exercises that help me safely strengthen my core.

Real Life Routines

Some programs require lots of time or lots of equipment that in my current life stage just is not a good option. Fit2B uses mostly body weight exercises with a few hand weights (though she will show you how to use household objects to replaces the weights if needed). She even has workouts that show you how you can use your time in the kitchen to get in a workout. I love how well it just flows into my real life so that I do not have to sacrifice time with those I love most in order to get in a workout.

Mommy and Me Routines

When my babies were little even a five-minute routine often seemed like too much to manage. In the times they were napping I wanted to get a shower, take my own nap, eat, or play with my other children. The mommy and me routines were the perfect solution. I didn’t have to wait until the baby was napping to get in a quick workout. I could do a workout that safely incorporated baby so that I could combine my workout and baby playtime. Fit2B has several great options for mommy and me routines.

Workouts for the Whole Family

Unlike the regular workouts, the Fit2B kids workouts are much less structured and more about getting children moving and active. Beth at Fit2B was generous enough to share this sample workout that provides a movement for each letter of the alphabet. These are fun and silly ways to get kids moving. We especially enjoy these workouts on those cold or rainy days when it’s hard to get outside to play. The children can do them by themselves or you can join in with them. These also work great to incorporate physical education into your homeschool. I encourage you to give this one a try and tell me in the comments which letter was your favorite!

Right now Through April 1st Fit2B is having a huge 40% off sale to celebrate Beth’s birthday! I encourage you to check out their program to see if it might be a tool to help you with your struggle to fit fitness into your everyday life. No traveling to a gym, no purchasing expensive equipment, no need to find a baby sitter. You can get an annual membership for less than $90 during this sale and that covers your entire family.  If you prefer you can even purchase smaller series of specific workouts. If you have any questions please let me know in the comments.

P.S. If you need a great health course for your daughter I did a post about their girls course and it is also on sale right now!

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Getting Our Mornings Going: Quick and Easy, Protein Packed Breakfasts

Recently, I realized that our  morning routine had gone out the door and we needed to get it together. I realized that breakfast was a bottleneck for us but I was not sure how to fix it. My son has always done better with a high protein breakfast and my husband wants nothing to do with oatmeal. So we typically cooked a full breakfast each morning: eggs, meat and potatoes, egg casserole, pancakes with bacon, etc.  For a long time this worked well for us, as my children were all early risers and would help make breakfast each morning.

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*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

However, between busy schedules, late nights, and sleeping a bit later in the morning, it just was not working anymore. It was getting to be later and later when we finished cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast and got our school day started. While one of the things I love about homeschooling is the flexibility to set our own schedule, these late mornings were causing us to be rushed to finish up and do things in the afternoons. I really wanted to be able to go ahead and get our school day started by about 9 am so that we could comfortably be done before our afternoon activities. This also gives us much needed free time for outdoor play and activities.

I brainstormed breakfast ideas with my family. I asked my readers for ideas for easy and fast protein packed breakfasts that were low glycemic index and did not involve oatmeal. I added the ideas to my meal plan and gave it all a try. I have found several ideas that we really love, and we have some other ideas we still need to try out. Daylight Savings Time threw our mornings off a bit last week, but all in all I am seeing a marked improvement in our ability to eat breakfast, clean up the kitchen and get our day started by ‘on time’.  I may add to this list in the coming weeks but I wanted to go ahead and share what has worked well so far. You will notice that some of these are made ahead, some cook fast, some were prepackaged, and others take longer but do not require a lot of hands on time which means we can be working on other things while breakfast cooks.

Frozen Breakfast Burritos

We tried two different versions of frozen breakfast burritos. I found a brand of premade breakfast burritos that were on sale buy one get one free so I decided to give them a try. The price was very reasonable with the sale (about $1..17 each) but we found that they really didn’t suit the tastes of my family. We also tried making our own frozen breakfast burritos and those were a big hit! We will absolutely be keeping those in the rotation.

To make our own we simply scrambled up a dozen eggs with a bit of milk, a touch of salt, and some cheddar cheese.  After cooking the eggs we sliced some additional cheese and placed a slice or two of cheese into each tortilla and then a scoop of eggs. We folded up the tortilla and wrapped it in foil. You can refrigerate these for a couple of days or freeze them. When you are ready to use them, simply take them out of the freezer, place on a baking sheet and cook in the over at 350 for about 20 minutes or until hot.  You can add salsa and sour cream that day if desired.  These were very nice because there was very little clean up and only about 2 minutes of hands on time that morning.

Instant Pot Breakfasts

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We found this recipe for an Instant Pot sausage, egg, and potatoes breakfast and were excited to try it. The first time we tried we followed the recipe. We found that our family did not really like the sauce. I adapted the recipe by using water or broth instead of the sauce and found that it was much more to our tastes. We also skip the bell peppers because not everyone in my family likes them.  We really enjoyed it with those simple changes. I timed myself and it took me six minutes of prep work in the morning to get it started. This was cutting the potatoes, onion, and sausage and putting everything into the instant pot. It took about 30 minutes start to finish to get breakfast on the table, but only those first six minutes and then a minute or two to put it onto plates are active time. I could set it to start and then work on getting the little ones dressed and ready for the day. There was lots of protein and it was delicious.  My husband and son added a bit of Cajun seasoning to their potatoes to give them a little added kick.

We also found that we could boil eggs in the Instant Pot to eat that morning or for eating throughout the week. These are an easy way to add protein to any breakfast.  They also work well as an easy high protein snack.

Egg Molds

Scrambling eggs really doesn’t take all that long, but somehow it always seems to make a big mess and take longer than it should to clean up in our house. It also takes very attentive focus so that they do not burn. Egg molds solve this attention problem and clean up easily.  You simply scramble your eggs and mix in whatever add ins you would like to mix into them. This could be veggies like spinach, peppers, squash, or onions. You could also add in small bits of meat like ham.  Then ladle it into the molds. You can stack two molds on top of each other and cook them at the same time. This breakfast idea uses the instant pot for hands free cooking. Place one cup of water in the bottom of the instant pot, put in the rack and then place the egg mold on top. If you are using two egg molds be sure to place them off center of each other so that the top one doesn’t sink into the molds of the first one. Then cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. We often added toast, fruit, or english muffins to round out breakfast on egg mold day.  To speed up the process even more you could mix them up the night before, place them in the fridge with the lids on and then in the  morning just take the lids off and put them in the instant pot.

Waffles

When I think of waffles, I do not think of a speedy breakfast. If we actually make waffles from scratch in the morning, it can take a very long time and due to the grains and syrup, they tend to be high on the glycemic index. However, my children love them and I wanted to find workable options.

First, we searched and found a couple of brands of frozen organic whole grain waffles. The whole grains lower the glycemic index. Then we looked at our toppings to see how we could improve those. Instead of maple syrup we used agave or yogurt and my son adds peanut butter to his for extra protein.  These were supper fast and easy but a bit pricier than homemade.

The other option that we found was to make and freeze our own waffles. We can use a whole grain waffle recipe, add in a little protein powder and make yummy healthy waffles. Making waffles can be a messy ordeal but it doesn’t make any more mess to make four batches than one batch so you can make enough for three or four breakfasts all at once. We tend to do this on a morning that is not rushed but you can also do this one evening and freeze all of them.  Then just pop them in the oven for a few minutes when you are ready to enjoy them.

Breakfast Casserole

This idea is one we have been using and perfecting for a while now. It does take quite a bit of time to cook so you do not want to make it fresh on a morning when you are trying to rush out the door. However, it is an easy recipe to double and it does not take very much ‘hands on’ time. You can mix up a large one the first morning or even the night before. We use twelve eggs, a pound of sausage, eight ounces of cheese, two or three shredded potatoes, a bit of milk and salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add vegetables depending on what we have available, particularly squash or broccoli. Bake until the eggs are cooked through (about 40-45 minutes). Then we eat half of it the first morning and store the other half in the refrigerator until later in the week when we warm it up for a second breakfast.

I hope you find these ideas useful. I am still testing out some options for muffins, breads, and even a healthy ‘pie’ that might be good options to make ahead and have for breakfast. I will share those in another post next month. Please remember that I am not a medical professional. These breakfast ideas work for us but if you have questions about health and nutrition please consult your physician. I would love to hear about your favorite high protein breakfasts.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

Deals and Freebies

August 31st is the LAST day to sign up for the Journey Homeschool Academy Science Courses! If you want more information click on the link above or check out Journey Homeschool Academy High School Biology Review

Last Day! SchoolhouseTeachers.com is doing an amazing sale this month! Buy One year get One Year FREE! We use this for several of our courses and one price covers all the students in your home for as many of their over 400 courses and you would like to use.

Starting August 31st all of Evan Moor’s Daily Practice titles will be on sale 20% off!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

You ARE an Artist Clubhouse Membership

Healthy Mom Healthy Children and A Giveaway!

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

fresh-start

In high school I was an athlete. Everyone saw my height and assumed I played basketball, but I lacked the hand-eye coordination to make that a good fit. I loved to swim and enjoyed competing in an age group team before swimming on my high school team. I also competed on a summer team. In order to stay in top physical condition out of season my coach had me join the cross country and track teams. This meant I was training during all four seasons and I stayed in great shape. I’ve never worn a size 2 (at least not since I was a toddler) but I was healthy and physically strong.

Fast forward a few years (we won’t do the math to figure out exactly how many) and four children and staying physically strong is more difficult. I no longer have as much free time to devote to physical fitness and I have small children that constantly need my time and attention. It had become quite easy to put exercise on the back burner and not take care of myself. I was also struggling with diastasis recti, which greatly affected my core strength.

I knew that I wanted to be active and involved with my children. I thought some of the problems that I was dealing with were unavoidable after having children. However, I learned that I could heal my diastasis and found Fit2B to help me exercise from home in the limited time I had available. These programs are great because they understand the needs of busy moms (and dads) and they provide exercises that are safe and effective for folks that have a weak core or are recovering from diastasis. Even if you have never struggled with diastasis recti but are looking for an easy convenient and affordable option for gaining strength or staying healthy this is a great program.

I use the monthly membership program to give me lots of options, including postpartum classes, regular exercise classes, baby and me classes, and even kids classes that my children can use on days when we can’t get outside. I think one of the things that I love most is that in the workouts I learn tricks and movements that I can use in my day to day life. In all honestly, I don’t always get the chance to do a workout nearly as often as I’d like to. However, I have found many movements that I can daily to help build strength. They even have an entire workout that shows you how to make use of the time you spend doing chores in the kitchen.

They also offer various courses that you can purchase separately. My daughter is working through the Fit2B Girls Ecourse which is a great program. Today I have the privilege of being able to offer you the chance to win one of their Foundational 5+ courses. “This course contains 14 Lessons designed to reboot your fitness, starting with your core. A total of 9 different routines are included in the lessons that are meant to be done once a day or every other day over the course of 2-4 weeks.” Each lesson is only 15-30 minutes long so they are easy to fit into a busy day.  Enter below (it may open in a new tab) for a chance to win and let me know your favorite way to stay fit and healthy!

 

We have a WINNER! Congrats to Holly J. (You should have an e-mail with details)

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

 

Make meal planning easier with done-for-you meal plans and a variety of recipes that will keep your menu full for years with the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle. Get recipes for every type of eating style for $37 during this 6-day sale!

Exciting news from All About Learning Press this week! They are coming out with a full color edition of levels 1-4 All About Reading and to celebrate they are hosting a $1,000 giveaway! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

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WriteShop

 

Are you looking for a free Bible study that your whole family can enjoy? The Proverbial Homemaker is offering up a study of James that is FREE for a limited time.

Join the FREE Get Active Inside Challenge!

Over the course of 5 days, we’ll discover ways to allow physical activities indoors, get your child’s energy out when it’s too ❆ cold ❆ to go outside & keep your kids busy so they’re not bored and asking for cartoons.

 

My Tummy Team Experience and a Sale!

Update 5/1/2019 ** They are having a special Mother’s Day sale right now! 35% off all of their online rehab programs from May 1st-May 15th!**

This review is outside of my normal blogging scope, but it is a product that I feel passionate about because I’ve seen it change lives. For years after I became a mom I assumed that the weakness in my core and pelvic floor were just part of being a mom. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make but I hated that I couldn’t’ do some of things I wanted to do with my children. I’d tried abdominal exercises (crunches, machines, etc) but they didn’t fix the problem. I think the final straw for me was when I tried to do an elementary physical education course with my children and could not because of my weak pelvic floor.

I got on the computer and started searching trying to find something that would help. I am so grateful that those searches helped me find, The Tummy Team. Once I found the Tummy Team I was able to identify the problems that I was having and found out that there was help available. The Tummy Team is a physical therapy program that helps to strengthen the core and pelvic floor. They offer in person programs, however, they are located across the country for me. Luckily they also have online programs that can be done from the comfort of your own home. In addition, once you purchase one of their online programs you also receive access to their wonderful Facebook group which is great for answering your questions and providing support, in a safe enviroment.

Once I started on the Core Foundations program, I was shocked and saddened to learn that many of the exercises I had been doing to try and build up my core strength were actually making the problem worse. I like many other moms has a Diastasis Recti and crunches and planks were only making the problem worse. However, by following the physical therapy and exercises provided in the program I saw noticeable improvement in my core strength with-in just a few weeks. In addition, I found that my lower back pain was greatly improved as well. I had been unknowingly using my back muscles to compensate for my weak core.

I am currently finishing up the Prenatal Crash Course to review what I regularly need to do and to make sure that I utilize my core in the best way possible during labor and delivery. This class also provides some guidance on postpartum recovery. If you have not been through the foundations course and are pregnant I recommend the full Prenatal Core Training.

They also have a blog and some great free resources to help you get started. or identify any problems. I know this is a sensitive subject for many people and it can feel overwhelming but I highly encourage you to take the time to check it out and take back your core strength. The prices are very reasonable especially compared to going through an in-person physical therapy program. If you have questions please feel free to e-mail me or contact me through the messenger feature on Facebook. I am more than happy to answer any questions that I can about my experience with this program.

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Spoiled Rotten Mama Party!

spoiled3I am putting together a fun end-of-the-year giveaway at Schoolin’ Swag for our 4,600-ish wonderful, hard working, homeschooling mamas! Wanna take a peek at the lovely items being offered?

These items are being donated by mamas in our group, many of whom also have home businesses to help make ends meet. This is one of the few times each year that we allow personal advertising in the group, and I’m happy to give the opportunity to help a great cause! Homeschooling!

spr1From Charissa Rice (Mary Kay), we will have a bundle including the Satin Lips set and Ultimate Mascara!

From Rebecca Pahnke Thomas, we have Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion from Mary Kay (she is not business building, just being SO sweet in donating!) as well as Citrus Bliss Invigorating Essential Oil Blend from doTERRA!

From Hope Turner (Young Living), we’ll have a cute diffuser necklace and a bottle of “Stress Away” essential oil, as well as a couple of other samples and a Lavender Bath Soak.

srm5From lovely member Lynette Dickson, we have a hand crafted natural bronzer, using  the winner’s choice of combination of cocoa powder, rose powder, and ginger root powder for shimmer. Mmmmmmmmmm…chocolate and shimmer!

From Perfectly Posh member Leah Cherrone, we have the donation of the “Posh to meet you” kit by Perfectly Posh contains a Good Vibes BFYHC (big fat yummy hand cream-smells like mango with a hint of coconut), a Strawberry Fields Forever chunk (bar soap, smells like strawberry and lime–I LOVE THIS…SO yummy!) and a Santa Monica Smooth lip balm (peach, orange and mint, with a hint of caffeine). Also included in this bundle is a “dogbone” pillow made of  dress weight denim. It is medium firm (not softy soft, not hard).  It is designed for neck support and easy to carry or hang to store with the handles.

srm93Next, from Krysten Glor (31 Gifts), we have a $25 gift certificate to use however the winner’s heart desires! So many cute choices!

 

From Karen Daniels (Plexus), we have a 7-day trial pack being offered! I have loved the “Pink Drink”…certainly worth giving it a go if you’ve never tried it!

srm9From Ashley Moore’s Etsy shop, we have a $20 gift certificate to use toward her super cute selection of hair accessories and baby barefoot sandals (which are darling)!

srm91Now, from Dana Malone of One Buffalo (products with integrity), we are offering a bundle of natural, organic body care products, including:

  • Natural deodorant made with only organic coconut oil, arrowroot powder, non-GMO corn starch, organic shea butter, baking soda, beeswax and organic lemongrass essential oil
  • Lotion Stick – Mint, made with only organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, beeswax and essential oil

  • Lip Balm, made with only organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil and beeswax

srm92From our wonderful crochet guru Denise Hockenberry, we’ll have a cute and practical spa bath set including 3 wash cloths, 6 face scrubbies, and 1 soap saver!

srm95Further, from Jen Figueiras (Jamberry Nails) we have a $20 gift certificate, plus a mini application kit and the 2 sheets of accent nails! Just in time for summer! 🙂

srm98From one of our newest members, Brittany Barber (It Works), we have an Ultimate Body Applicator (value $25), which is a non-woven cloth wrap that has been infused with a powerful, botanically-based formula to deliver maximum tightening, toning, and firming results where applied to the skin.

  • Tightens, tones, & firms
  • Minimizes cellulite appearance
  • Improves skin texture & tightness
  • Mess-free and simple to use
  • Results in as little as 45 minutes
  • Progressive results over 72 hours
  • Made with natural ingredients

srm97Moving on (!), we have a Moonstruck 3D Fiberlashes set from Amy Hardy Moye (Younique)! Increase your lash volume by up to 400%!

srm99From our darlin’ brand new Avon rep Diana Doggett, we have a fun little package including nail polish (Pastel Pink), lipstick (Divine Wine), and Mark lip gloss duo (Glow Baby Glow and Girly Girl)!

pressingpause

Finally, from two wonderful authors, Karen Ehman and Ruth SchweKaren Enk (I LOVE “Hoodwinked” which was also co-authored by them), we have a copy of “Pressing Pause“! I am so tickled to be able to include this in our event!

Simplify

“Simplify” has been a byword for me recently.  I’ve had to consolidate, prioritize, dovetail…in order to keep all the “plates spinning” in my life. Part of this process has been bringing posts from my two other blogs into the world of “Strength for Today.”  What that means for my readers is that you’ll find more info on the topics of health, fitness and dieting as well as homeschooling and education now in this one spot.  It is much easier for me to manage this way, and more efficient as well.  So, enjoy all the new stuff just added to the archives!  If you were reading at the “Smee Minus Fifty” blog, or “The Old Chalkdust Trail”…these will soon be eliminated as their content is merged into its new home here.

Enjoy! 🙂