What I Ate (…While Staying Home With The Baby)

Happiest of Hump Days, my friends!

(Don’t forget to enter my Firmoo glasses giveaway from Monday!)

This weekend was a bit hectic. Baby M came down with a cold of some sort (yes, I blame daycare!), so very little sleep happened in these parts. He was super congested over the weekend, and Sunday he was running a mid-grade fever. Luckily, some TLC has helped, and after staying home with the little man Tuesday, he’s back in daycare today (fever-free for at least 24 hours, of course!).

Here is What I Ate Wednesday What We Ate Tuesday at home.

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

My Breakfast: Cinnamon roll (not the healthiest choice, but delicious) and fresh fruit…plus some (re-microwaved) coffee

breakfast1

Baby’s Breakfast: He nursed shortly after waking up and later had Plum, Berry & Barley purée with some oatmeal and melted coconut oil mixed in (I try to sneak extra fat in his meals when possible!). He wasn’t feeling it and just ate bit (might have been that dirty diaper I didn’t realize he had #badmom). He also ate a couple veggie straws and puffs (this is usually how we coax him into the high chair).

breakfast-2

After breakfast we went for a leisurely ~30 minute walk (close to a 1.5 miles). Baby M fell asleep in his stroller, so I let him take a (short, thanks to Iggy’s barking) nap. It got hot quickly, but I felt a lovely hint of autumn in those cool(ish) breezes. Gosh I can’t wait until Fall!

Snack: Once little man woke up, he nursed. I had a broken piece of cookie, a cheese stick (shared with Baby M and the dog), and plenty of water.

snacks

(Side note: I absolutely cannot believe I’ve been breastfeeding for over 10 months. I feel like the last time I did a breastfeeding WIAW or day-in-the-life post, I was talking about how difficult breastfeeding was and wondering if I’d ever reach my short-term goal of 1 month or my long-term goal of 6 months. Well, we stuck with it and I just know I’m going to miss this bonding I have with him. I’m aiming for a year—and don’t have the desire to go past that—but it’s all about what Baby M wants.)

In an effort to be productive, I started some laundry and played with Baby M before whipping up lunch (since a longer nap was not happening).

My Lunch: Leftover rotisserie chicken (from last night’s nachos) and leftover noodles (with butter, garlic and Parmesan) and green beans from Sunday night’s dinner. I had seconds on the noodles/green beans and a few of Baby M’s veggie straws (addicting).

my lunch

Baby’s Lunch: Some bites of chicken and parmesan, veggie straws, and the rest of his puree from this morning

baby's lunch

Afternoon Snack: A while after lunch (and after another short nap for the babe) I ate a chocolate chip cookie as well as a few crackers with hummus. The baby nursed a couple times. (Un-pictured)

vino

My Dinner: A glass of red wine (been waiting all day!) and pseudo fried rice…plus chocolate cake for dessert (from this weekend, we don’t always have cake on hand)

dinner

Baby’s Dinner: Some un-pictured mixed veggie puree, more shredded chicken, and a couple veggie straws. Followed by another breastfeed before bed.

Be sure to visit Sprint 2 The Table for today’s WIAW link-up party.

Firmoo Glasses Giveaway

Just in case the Monday Blues have you feeling down, I’ve got a little something that should cheer you up!

firmoo-giveaway

Last February I reviewed a pair of stylish eyeglasses from Firmoo, and they’ve offered to give away a pair of their glasses to one of you!

If you’re not familiar, Firmoo is an online optical shop.

They have an impressive collection of fashionable frames, and receiving your own specs is as easy as uploading a headshot, virtually “trying on” different frames, choosing your favorite style, and entering your prescription onto their website.

I liked my original frames so much that I purchased a second pair of glasses. Both were extremely affordable—and, with daily wear in the evenings after work—they’ve held up nicely so far.

Now’s your chance to win a pair!

firmoo-1

Giveaway is open now until Sunday, August 30.

Winner will receive one pair of Firmoo glasses* with free shipping to the US only (sorry international readers!).

*includes: frames of choice from this collection and standard 1.50 single vision lenses (upgraded lenses and add-ons will be charged an extra fee)

Ways to enter:

  • (Mandatory) Visit Firmoo.com and leave a comment on this post with the link to the pair of frames you’d choose.
  • (Optional) Follow both @firmoo and @foodiecology_ on Twitter
  • (Optional) Tweet a link to this giveaway 
  • (Optional) Like both Firmoo and foodiecology on Facebook

For each optional entry, please leave an additional comment letting me know you’ve done so. I’ll randomly select a winner and announce it on the blog Monday, August 31.

**This giveaway is sponsored by Firmoo. However, I was not compensated for this blog post, and all opinions are my own.**

#1MillionMinutes: Wrap Up

Happy Friday! Hope you’re enjoying the evening.

Today wraps up the 1 Million Minutes Challenge with Fit Approach. Here’s a quick re-cap of the last 12 days.

1-million-minutes

  • Aug 10: lunchtime walk + cardio barre
  • Aug 11: lunchtime walk
  • Aug 12: lunchtime walk
  • Aug 13: lunchtime walk + part of my jump rope circuit
  • Aug 14: lunchtime walk
  • Aug 15: rest
  • Aug 16: rest
  • Aug 17: lunchtime walk + cardio barre
  • Aug 18: lunchtime walk 
  • Aug 19: lunchtime walk 
  • Aug 20: lunchtime walk
  • Aug 21: lunchtime walk 

Total since June 21 = 1,105 minutes (give or take)

I never wrote it out, but my goal was going to be 2,000 minutes—almost double what I actually did. Still, 1,000+ hours isn’t too shabby.

I’d hoped to get more into a real fitness routine since I had something to hold me accountable, but it’s just too difficult working full-time and caring for a little one.

When given the choice, I’d rather spend time cuddling with Baby M!

Have a great weekend. :-)

Women Bashing Other Women: My Thoughts On The Alpha Phi “Controversy”

I’m trying to pinpoint when it became acceptable—encouraged, even—to criticize other women.

To judge them for embracing their femininity. To reprimand and shame them for showing off their physical attributes in a manner we more modest types might never do ourselves. Or to discourage them from having light-hearted fun before they enter the “real world.”

I’m referring to the controversy surrounding the University of Alabama Alpha Phi sorority recruitment video that’s been circulating since last week.

alpha-phi

I’m not going to stand on my political soapbox regarding the “war on women,” but I think it’s safe to say that most women are tired of being told we have to act or behave a certain way in order to be taken seriously.

What I’m really here to talk about is the judgment from other women.

The most negative and vitriolic opinion piece I’ve read concerning the video has come from a woman (A.L. Bailey, who has since apologized).

In her words:

It’s all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition. It’s all so … unempowering.

What gives?

Although I don’t like labels, I’d say, at my core, I’m a feminist. I am grateful for the women before me who have overcome obstacles—voting rights, sexual discrimination, the (lingering) pay gap, etc. I realize we’ve come a long way and that women are still treated as second-class citizens (at best) in other countries.

But I don’t think these achievements—and the efforts to gain greater equality and respect—mean we give up our femininity. Or that we have the right to tear apart women.

This may shock some people, but women can be (and are!) both intelligent/hard-working/philanthropic/creative/etc. and beautiful/charming/feminine/etc. The either-or dichotomy is foolish.

beauty-brains

I was a member of a women’s fraternity during college. We were a relatively new chapter, so we didn’t have much of a reputation when I joined.

We certainly didn’t walk to class in our bikinis or spend every hour together, holding hands and blowing kisses.

Glitter was reserved for art projects—making signs for campus events or decorating cards for the children we supported with our philanthropy.

We often held the highest cumulative GPA on campus—and now our alumnae have begun successful careers and are raising beautiful families.

But you know what? We had silly inside jokes. We learned etiquette from an advisor who loved beautiful things (she just recently passed—RIP <3). We attended Founders’ Day teas, dressed up in gowns for our annual formal, participated in other Panhellenic events, and enjoyed all of the less-serious but equally-important aspects of sisterhood.

The same aspects these young women in Alpha Phi were advertising in their YouTube video.

Although I respect my sorority’s commitment to education and philanthropy and “doing good,” many of the reasons I joined were social.

sisters

//via//

I wanted to belong to a diverse group of intelligent, caring, talented, funny, beautiful, and inspiring women with whom I quickly forged a common bond—a sisterhood. I wanted to go to parties and participate in campus life.

I have a sneaky suspicion that the thousands of girls who saw this recruitment video desired the same things.

If I have one genuine criticism for this Alpha Phi chapter, it would be a lack of diversity (there is some disappointing and questionable history at the University of Alabama regarding racism among Greek organizations). I agree the video presents a homogenous, “pretty white girl” image, yet I know there are more diverse organizations out there.

Alpha Phi ladies, keep doing what you’re doing. Nobody has the right to bash you relentlessly over the internet. You don’t owe anybody—man or woman—an apology, and you’re not any less intelligent or capable because you’re also beautiful and feminine. Continue showing the fun aspects of sisterhood to your potential new members, but do not sell yourselves short by failing to highlight your academic and philanthropic achievements.

bold

//via//

Fellow women, we should support one another. Donald Trump calling a woman a pig or insinuating Megyn Kelly’s assertiveness is due to her period is absolutely not the same as choosing to wear a bikini or makeup to enhance one’s appearance.

One is disrespect; the other is choice.

You can choose to join a sorority and choose to become a doctor. You can flirt and run a successful company. You can play dress up and defend your country.

There are many facets to womanhood—no double standards are necessary.

Thinking-Out-Loud

[linking up for thinking out loud]

Baby M: 10 Months

I’m serious this time—didn’t I just finish typing up Baby M’s 9 month update?!

Since I’m apparently living in a time warp, I’m sharing his 10 month update today.

Let’s do this letter style.

10-months

Dearest Bazooka,

Stop. Just stop it! You’re growing up entirely too fast. You’re hardly a baby anymore, looking more and more “little boy” each day.

You’ve gone through a lot of changes lately.

For starters, you now attend daycare!

Maybe I’m naïve or just hopeful, but I wasn’t too terribly worried about you handling this new adventure. You’ve never met a stranger (although we’re not to the “stranger danger” age yet), you’re easy-going (mostly), and you’re always begging to learn and experience new things. I knew daycare would be a positive thing for you.

And, so far, it is. You didn’t cry when Mommy and Daddy dropped you off that first Monday. You ate well, you had a little trouble napping on your own (we expected this—you’ve been held in our arms since your first nap 10 months ago!), but you fit right in.

As the days progressed, things got a little tougher. That first Friday you cried, and you did so pretty much every day the second week. But you’re doing well. We think you might associate one of your teachers with your Mommy, which is why you cling to her and refuse bottles when she offers. But you do great with your other teacher!

photo 5-5

So, back at home, you’re exploring EVERY thing. You speed crawl—always lunging for Iggy’s water bowl or our flip-flops. You pull up to stand with much more ease than last month, and you’ve even taken a few steps with your walker! I have a feeling we’ll be talking about your first real steps before your first birthday. Not that I’m rushing it!

You’re still a little wiggle worm at diaper changes, and I’m terrified you’re going to jump off the table. You absolutely love baths now, though. Hallelujah! You splash around, play with your toys, and stand up a little too frequently for my comfort. I’m just glad you no longer shriek in terror.

You continue eating well. You nurse in the morning before daycare, have 2-3 bottles (plus pureed food, puffs, veggie straws, etc.) during the day, and you nurse 1-2 times in the evening, plus dinner. We’re working on training you to drink from a sippy cup, but so far, you just want play with them.

You love to sample bites of our food—hamburger, potatoes, frittata, green beans, etc. I think I said it last month, but you’re ready for more solid meals and self-feeding. Mommy and Daddy just need to tackle some meal prep!

photo 1-37

Sleep. Oh—thank goodness we’re in a good phase the last few days. During most of July, you must’ve been going through a mental leap or sleep regression. Your bedtime wasn’t consistent, you didn’t want to go down into your crib, and you woke very early in the night, spending most of the time in our bed. We love having you, but we need our space and rest! 

Whether it was being tired from daycare or having more quiet in the house after your grandparents went home (what a life-saver they were, watching you while we sorted out your arrangement!), you’re back to sleeping through the night, most of the time.

Some other things: you’re still not saying “da-da” or “ma-ma,” but your babbling is starting to sound more word-like. You’re vocal, to say the least! You seem to understand simple commands and love “singing” to music.

You don’t really use Sophie the Giraffe or your wubbanubs too often, but you love playing with your wooden blocks (they were Mommy’s when she was a baby!), musical train, and other toys. Oh, and doors! You’re still mildly obsessed with opening/shutting them—and you’ve even briefly shut Mommy and Daddy out of the room a few times! You’ve also scooted the end table against the wall and tried to grab bottles of wine from our rack. It might be time to put those in the cupboard!

photo 2-35

And how could I forget? You still adore big brother, Iggy. You try to play “fetch” with him, and you like receiving his slobbery kisses a little too much. Oh well…we pick our battles, right?

You’re even getting a new tooth! Your left bottom incisor is breaking through, which means your right one should soon follow. Every so often you grind your teeth, and we hope it’s just due to teething.

Later this month, we have to take you to the GI doctor. Everything is fine, but your pediatrician is still concerned with your weight gain—even though he assures us you are healthy and developing well. It’s just a precautionary measure, since all of your blood work and stool testing came back normal. Petite or not—we think know you’re perfect!

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again—you’re growing up so fast! I can’t believe we’ll be planning your 1st birthday party in the upcoming weeks. You’re our heart and soul, and every day I look at you and ponder the joy you bring into our lives.

Till next month, sweet bazooka-man. Happy 10 months!

If you’re catching up, you can find Baby M’s other monthly updates on my Baby page.

Weekly Links 08.16.15

Hello!

This weekend went by way too quickly. Yesterday we had lunch, ran a few errands, and went to see a community theater’s production of “Avenue Q” while some friends watched the baby. The play was hilarious, and the singing was pretty good!

Today was spent grocery shopping, chasing after our speed-crawling baby, and resting after getting home late (for us) last night.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this past week.

weekly links header

.Recipes.

Pineapple Lentil Salad // The Almond Eater

This looks so refreshing for summer!

Smoky Grilled Chicken Flatbreads With Creamy Feta // How Sweet It Is

She had me at “creamy feta spread.” I love meals like this.

Slow-Roasted Golden Tomato Bruschetta // Bev Cooks

Love this take on a traditional favorite!

Greek Pizza // Cookie + Kate

Pizza is always a winner.

Soft And Chewy Chocolate Brownie Protein Bars // Running With Spoons

I’m glad I stocked up on dates again so I can make more bars/balls. Particularly ones like these.

.Health & Body.

Body Report Cards Aren’t Influencing Arkansas Teenagers // The New York Times

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I absolutely think here’s a place in schools for teaching physical fitness (remember when we took P.E. every year?!), nutrition, and general health—in fact, it’s extremely important, since many children live in food deserts, don’t get enough physical activity, or lack proper role models. However, I think this is a very slippery slope into body shaming. BMI is just one factor in determining health (did you know that most body builders are “overweight” by BMI standards?) and children and adolescents are already under so much pressure to fit in physically. Is this just one more way to cause self-esteem issues? I think that most children who are vastly overweight are aware of it—and so are their parents. The underlying issue is not awareness of one’s size—it’s figuring out why the child/teenager may not be getting the nutrition, exercise, attention, etc. he or she needs. It’s also educating why eating well and being active is important in the first place.

Life Is Too Short To Diet // Nia Shanks – Lift Like A Girl

Yes! We owe it to ourselves to treat our bodies well (if we want to live a long life), but it’s just not worth obsessing over the minutia (eating 100% clean, fitting in 5 workouts a week, etc.). Empower yourself!

Stop Waiting To Love Your Body // The Domestikated Life

Excellent post! Why don’t we just enjoy and respect our bodies for what they allow us to do? I guarantee, when I’m (hopefully) 90 and reflecting on my life, I will remember and cherish running my first race, feeling ocean waves crashing around me, birthing and nursing my beautiful son, getting my first full body massage, and many, many other things rather than how good I looked in a swimsuit.

.Fitness.

The Introvert’s Guide to Fitness Instruction // Erin’s Inside Job

Not that I have plans of becoming a fitness instructor, but I’ve often wondered how somebody like me—a quintessential introvert—does it!

Stability Ball Strength Workout // The Fitnessista

I have a stability ball that I used for like an hour during labor, and it’s just collecting dust these days. I think I’ll put it to use with this workout.

.Marriage & Parenting.

10 Things I Learned After 1,000 Days of Parenting // Haven Life Blog

Very good advice! Thankfully, some of it I’m learning well before 1,000 days.

Roen’s Birth Story // It’s Progression

I’ve only been reading Danica’s blog for a short while, but wow! I’ve read and re-read her birth story, and each time, I have tears in my eyes. What an amazing, terrifying, yet beautiful experience, and thank goodness they’re all safe, healthy, and celebrating their happy ending.

Most Parenting Advice Is Worthless. So Here’s Some Parenting Advice // Vox

More good advice.

.Life Lessons.

The Way You Do One Thing Is The Way You Do Everything // Carla Birnberg

I think there’s *something* to this statement, but I agree with Carla’s conclusion. Just because I keep a messy closet, it doesn’t mean my work life, parenting, etc. is messy. I just choose to focus my efforts where they count.

Living With Intention // A Healthy Slice of Life

I’ve been thinking along these lines lately, too. At 31, still without a real “career,” and just beginning my life as a parent, I am astounded at how quickly my life has passed my eyes. I’m trying to focus on the little things—especially as Baby M is approaching his first birthday. Wasn’t I just starting college?…getting married?…finding out I was pregnant?… Jeez.

Simple and Sweaty 20-Minute Jump Rope Circuit + TKO Soft Grip Jump Rope Review

You’ve heard me go on and on about how tough it is to hit the gym now that I’m a working mother. Realizing my complaining was accomplishing very little, I decided to start doing one or two at-home circuit workouts during the week.

While I love perusing the various blogs I follow for inspiration, I came up with this quick, no-nonsense jump rope circuit. The moves are easy—but when combined with intervals of jump-roping (you could also do jumping jacks), you will get nice and sweaty while working your entire body!

20-minute-jump-rope-circuit

Now let’s talk about this fancy schmancy jump rope, shall we?

I’m pretty sure the last time I actually jump-roped (before doing this workout) was back in middle school during the annual “Jump Rope for Heart” campaign. Do they still do those?

TKO-soft-grip-jump-rope-1

Anyway, when Alexa at Lipton Publicity reached out to me and offered to send a TKO Soft Grip Jump Rope to test, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try something new.

I love the look, the comfortable grip, and the light weight of this jump rope, although I found it a bit too long for me (the hubs twisted the end off one of the handles and adjusted it—though I’m not sure if we were supposed to do that!).

TKO-soft-grip-jump-rope

Some features include:

  • 9 feet smooth PVC rope
  • non-slip soft grip handle
  • smooth swivel design for agility training

I found the jump rope to be sturdy and well-made, and clean-up is as easy as wiping the surface with a damp cloth.

Once it gets a little cooler outside, I think including some high-intensity jump rope intervals during long strolls with the baby will be a fantastic way to get moving.

TKO-jump-rope

Available in 3 color combinations (mine is onyx/sapphire), the TKO Soft Grip Jump Rope can be found at your local Macy’s or online.

**I received a TKO Soft Grip Jump Rope free of charge in exchange for a review. I was not compensated for this blog post, and all opinions are my own.**

Why I Love Cardio Barre At The Y

If you’ve been reading for the last couple of months, you’ve heard me mention Cardio Barre a time or two (or twenty).

It’s my new favorite class!

I have what you might call “Exercise ADD.” Although I was self-conscious when I first joined a gym after my post-baby exercise hiatus, I realized I love trying new classes because I get bored doing the same thing on repeat (unless it’s Bikram).

So far at the YMCA, I’ve taken Pilates, Boot Camp, BodyPump, and Cardio Barre. I almost took a Pound class but chickened out at the last minute. All of these classes offer some variety, but it’s Cardio Barre that I come back to. Part of that is due to my schedule, but a bigger reason is because it’s so much fun!

why-i-love-cardio-barre

Here’s why I love Cardio Barre (and think you would, too).

1. It’s versatile.

While the format is always the same (warm up, arms, legs, stretch, abs, and cool down/final stretch), the actual moves are varied. We always use light hand weights, but sometimes we’ll use balls, bands, or no equipment at all.

2. It’s low impact.

I’m lucky to not have any lingering injuries or chronic pain, but as I’ve gotten older (and birthed a child!), I’ve noticed my joints aren’t as nimble as they used to be. Unless you overdo it (as I did my first class—oops!), it’s not going to cause injury.

3. Anybody can do it.

I don’t care if you’re male or female. Young or old. Thin or overweight. If you can stand up, hold onto light weights, and move—then you can do Cardio Barre. You might need to modify, but if you show up, breathe, and put your mind to it, you can do it.

4. It’s not complicated.

I almost said it’s easy—but then I quickly realized that was the wrong word choice! Cardio Barre is challenging because you push your muscles to fatigue by doing small, repetitive, isometric movements, but it’s easy in the sense of not being too complicated. Unlike dance-based classes (looking at you, Zumba!), you don’t have to be extremely coordinated. The moves are pretty basic.

5. It works.

With a semi-regular practice, you will see results. Because a lot of the moves are taken from ballet and Pilates, you’ll see improved posture, a stronger core, and increased muscle tone. By using light weights and doing more reps, you encourage strength without bulk. Similar to yoga, barre will help correct poor posture resulting from hours of sitting, hunched over a keyboard.

6. The instructors are hands-on and encouraging

…at least mine is. I love the energy my instructor has during every class, and she does a great job encouraging us to push through those last counts or adjusting our mistakes. My instructor always shows us the moves in the beginning, but she also walks around the room to ensure our form is correct.

These are just some of the reasons I love Cardio Barre and now consider it an essential part of my fitness routine. Above all, though, it’s fun! I always leave the room in a better mood than when I entered, and it feels great to challenge myself each class.

#1MillionMinutes: Weeks 6 & 7

Let’s play catch up, shall we?

Last week I sort of took a blogging hiatus in order to prepare for Baby M’s first week of daycare, so I didn’t recap the previous week of workouts. No sweat, right? (Actually, there was plenty of sweat.) I’ll just share the last 2 weeks today.

1-million-minutes

Week 6

  • July 27: 45 minutes of cardio barre + lunchtime walk
  • July 28: lunchtime walk
  • July 29: lunchtime walk
  • July 30: 1 hour of cardio barre (holy glutes!)
  • July 31: lunchtime walk
  • August 1: 25-minute walk (it was sweltering out!) with the baby
  • August 2: rest

I actually made it to the gym TWICE during week 6. Woohoo! Both classes were a lot fun, and surprisingly I wasn’t too sore after the glutes-heavy Thursday night class.

Week 7

  • August 3: lunchtime walk
  • August 4: lunchtime walk
  • August 5: lunchtime walk 
  • August 6: lunchtime walk (cut short due to rain)
  • August 7: lunchtime walk
  • August 8: short walk with the family
  • August 9: marathon house cleaning (totally counts!)

Since this was the baby’s first week at day care, I purposely stayed home from the gym and relaxed in the evenings. I didn’t want to interrupt our routine too much, but since things went smoothly with the transition, I’m planning to take a cardio barre class tonight.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

  • What is your current favorite workout?
  • Do you exercise in the mornings, at lunch, or after work/school?

Weekly Links 08.09.15

Hi there. I hope everybody is having a fantastic weekend. Ours was low-key, just the way we like it. We went out for lunch at Butch Cassidy’s on Saturday, did some grocery shopping, and made personal naan bread pizzas to share with my parents since we haven’t visited them in a while. The baby survived his first week of daycare relatively unscathed (he cried at drop-off on Friday, but the first several days were really good!), and work was typical.

Here’s what I’ve been reading the last 2 weeks.

weekly links header

.Recipes.

Marinated Zucchini Feta Salad With Toasted Pistachio Breadcrumbs // How Sweet It Is

Simple summertime goodness.

Browned Butter Cauliflower and Fettuccine With Parmesan // Averie Cooks

I love the versatility of cauliflower.

Red Robin Bonzai Burger {Copycat} // Crème de la Crumb

I’ve never been to Red Robin and am generally a “burger purist” (I like only the most basic of toppings), but this really looks amazing!

Glazed Lemon Blueberry Scones // Sally’s Baking Addiction

I need to try my hand at making scones. Is there a better, fresher combination than blueberries and lemon? I think not.

Crock Pot Beef Stew // Iowa Girl Eats

So, I’ve never been a fan of beef stew (it creeps me out—probably because the only version I encountered during childhood was of the canned variety), but this looks pretty good. Mark and I plan to incorporate more slow-cooker recipes into our routine to save on time, so why not start here?

.Health & Nutrition.

When Cancer Triggers (Or Hides) An Eating Disorder // New York Times

This isn’t something I’ve ever thought about, but I can see how cancer treatment—rapid weight loss, nausea, loss of appetite and energy, etc.—would trigger or worsen underlying issues regarding body image/control. How tragic that some women (and men) undergo life-saving treatments only to become lost in other life-threatening behaviors as a result.

Amenorrhea Talk // The Cookie ChRUNicles

I didn’t even know what hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) was until I started reading healthy living blogs. This condition is so prevalent, it seems, among young, “fit” (quotation marks because how fit can you be if your body shuts down?) women, and while it’s a sensitive subject, sometimes being blunt is necessary. EAT. Give your body the calories it needs to function and thrive.

.Body Image & Fitness.

This Is the Brutally Honest Body Image Lesson That Should Be Taught in School // Greatist

Such good points & advice!

Exercise Is Not Punishment. I Repeat. Exercise Is Not Punishment // Lindsay’s List

Amen. I cringe when I hear somebody say “I have to work this ___ off.” Sometimes during a workout I feel like I’m being punished, but before and after, I am grateful for my body and its abilities—and for endorphins.

.Marriage & Parenting.

5 Things To Expect When You’re No Longer Expecting // The Lunchbox Diaries

I love this girl’s honesty and humor. It’s all true.

What It Really Means To Be a Little Boy’s Mama // Babble

Old post, but still a good one. <3

Our Marriage Is Stronger Because My Husband Isn’t My Best Friend // Verily

I love this. But in marriage, we shouldn’t want another shade of friendship. There is a magic to marriage. Marriage gives us a noble purpose, a relationship to protect and nurture, and new responsibilities to contend with together. That’s why my spouse isn’t my best friend; he’s my husband, and that’s so much better.