January 13th, 2015
My spin class at the gym was packed this morning. Not a spare bike to be found. Just goes to show you that no one wants to be outside when the temps are below zero. Or maybe everyone has a New Year’s Resolution to hit the gym?
Whatever the reason may be, during the winter months it can be somewhat challenging to stay active and healthy.
I’ve somehow managed over the years to stay motivated and we’re doing the same as a family. I’ve figured out a little trick. When I throw out an idea for a family activity I leave very little wiggle room for anyone to bail. For example I sometimes randomly announce “In about 15 minutes we are all going for a hike”. There are inevitably a few groans and moans, but if we all head out the door it’s unlikely that anyone will want to stay behind.
There are a few things you can do to keep your family healthy, happy and active throughout the winter months. Once these suggestions become part of your daily routine the transition to spring and summer will be a breeze.
Eat Healthy Food
This sounds so simple, yet it’s a challenge for many of us. When we’re rushing around it’s hard to fit in a good, healthy meal. I try to keep healthy after school snacks easily accessible. Slicing up veggies are quick and easy. Also, as a special treat we are well stocked with Stonyfield yogurt. Another easy snack to grab n go.
Stay Active Together
Find an activity that everyone in your family loves to do and go with it! Our family happens to love to ski. We try to spend as much time as we can on the slopes. I love it most because there are no screens involved and we’re outside together even on those chilly below zero days.
It’s so important to let your kids be active participants in the cooking process– especially if they show an interest. If they cook it they’re more likely to eat it and hopefully love it. Especially if the food they’re preparing is healthy. Having cookbooks for kids around the house will make the process that much easier.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so important in our overall health. In a large U.S. study, people who tended to get less than six hours of sleep nightly were more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and to be obese.
Allow Your Children to Explore
Allow your children to find what they really love to do and support them in their decision. I always tell my kids that I truly don’t care what activity they choose as long as they’re moving. If everyone in your family has different interests, alternating activities might work well. What one child may love might not resonate with the others and that’s OK. Unless it’s skiing of course.
How do you keep your family healthy and active?
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Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. I am honored to be a paid YoGetter Captain for Stonyfield Organic. All opinions in this post are my very own.
photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc
February 25th, 2013
Skiing and snacking seem to go hand-in-hand in our family. We ski a few runs and then the inevitable question pops out of someones mouth, “Can we head in for a snack?”. In their defense, my boys work hard when they’re skiing and their appetites are justifiably always on overdrive. The snacking is constant and grabbing something healthy on-the-go can sometimes be challenging.
We spent this last week skiing our hearts out. It was school vacation week, the conditions were fantastic and we were able to get in 9 days on the slopes. Translation: a lot of snacks were needed on the mountain.
Thanks to Stonyfield we had a large stash of YoKids Smoothies to test out. They were a big hit-not only with our family, but with friends all around the mountain.
Here are a few smoothie facts:
- They’re made with real organic fruits and veggie puree
- They come in Strawbana and Very Berry flavors
- Kid-friendly size
- Healthier alternative to more processed on-the-go snacks
- Each bottle contains 1/3 of kids’ recommended daily serving of calcium
My youngest son, who’s a yogurt addict, didn’t think that one smoothie was enough. The containers are pretty small. For those kids (and adults) who can’t seem to finish the larger size Stonyfield Super Smoothie, the new YoKids Smoothies are the perfect size.
The smoothies traveled far with us and were bounced around on the ride to the ski mountain. I was a bit concerned that the foil wrapper that serves as the top to the bottle would rip or leak. It didn’t. I think traveling to school in my son’s lunch box will be the true test.
We had a few YoKids Smoothies to spare so we shared the love with friends on the mountain.
Even the race team coaches, Jonathan and Josh, tested them out and the consensus was a ‘thumbs up’.
What are your favorite snacks to take with you when you’re on the move?
Disclosure: I received Stonyfield YoKids Smoothies to test out, a deck of 52 Fun Things to do in the Car and received financial compensation to do something on the moo-ve with my family. All opinions are my very own.
January 2nd, 2013
Over a foot of snow fell last week while I was on vacation. That might make some of you want to run as fast as you can to a warmer climate and to others it’s a windfall. I’m in the latter camp. I can’t get enough snow. I love to ski, hike, skate, sled and anything else that involves spending time outside. Yes, I get cold but hand warmers have completely revolutionized my love of the cold outdoors.
But the party’s over. I’m not going to lie to you, it was rough waking up this morning and getting back into the groove. After spending 11 solid days with my family in ski country you would think that I would have been just plain giddy when the yellow school bus pulled up to take my children back to school, but that didn’t happen. No giddiness, no relief, only a hint of sadness that another vacation has come to a close. But this vacation felt different than others. The toll of the Sandy Hook tragedy was next to impossible to ignore. The hugs were that much bigger and the ability to remain present in the moment was that much simpler. This vacation represented a much needed break from reality and it’s sometimes harsh consequences.
I spent my days skiing, hiking, sleeping and watching movies, snuggled on the couch with my three children because I could. Remembering that there are so many who couldn’t.
Hiking up the mountain in snow shoes
This time of year is a bit iffy if you’re a skier. There’s no guaranty that there’ll be any natural snow. We really lucked out this vacation with over a foot of snow. We actually skied in powder! Take that west coasters.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program. I’m feeling renewed, refreshed and ready to see what 2013 has in store for all of us. There are some pretty cool things in the works here at Groovy Green Livin and I can’t wait to share them with you.
Wishing all of you a New Year where all your dreams come true.
How did you spend the holidays?
photo credit: Palojono via photopin cc
In honor of not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s Momsense, Live and Love Out Loud, Project Alicia, Mama Dweeb and I Thought I Knew Mama.
February 23rd, 2012
This past week was school vacation week for many families on the east coast. We are big alpine skiers and try to spend our vacations out on the slopes. Although there hasn’t been much snow this season, we still managed to get some skiing in. Most of the days were spent gearing up three children in snow pants, ski boots and helmets so we could spend the majority of the day outside on the mountain.
For those of you who are non-skiers, skiing generally entails being outside, in a remote area, for hours at a time. When you need a bathroom break there’s not always a bathroom in close range. Finding one can take a while and then using it can be a big production. The skis need to come off, the multiple layers of ski gear needs to be shed and somehow you need to get to the bathroom in those big, clunky ski boots. Not a small effort. Add changing a tampon or pad to the mix and there’s no question I would have been sitting in the lodge with a cup of hot cocoa (for those of you not interested in hearing about tampons, pads and reusable menstrual cups now’s your chance to opt out of the discussion).
As some of you know, I started using a reusable Softcup a few months ago. I’ve been reporting to you on my progress and it’s been slow and steady. This month I’m feeling a bit more comfortable with it and can finally say that I have successfully greened my period.
What does “greening” your period mean?
Fifty to 70 percent of American women use tampons. A typical woman can use anywhere between 8,000 to 17,000 tampons in her lifetime. The number varies quite a bit since every woman is unique and her cycle is different. The average woman throws away up to 300 pounds of feminine hygiene related products in a lifetime. That’s a tremendous amount of waste. Then there’s the plastic wrapper around the tampon box or pads and the paper or plastic packaging around every box and individual tampon or pad. I haven’t even mentioned the cardboard or plastic applicator. So much waste.
The process to make each and every tampon and pad also involves a lot of waste. The cotton alone is resource intensive as the farming of cotton requires large amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizer.
Using organic tampons and pads reduces the amount of waste on the production end, but doesn’t solve the actual waste of the product and packaging.
Reusable Softcup is a menstrual cup that can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused throughout one menstrual cycle. The cup is worn internally, around your cervix, and it collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It’s non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, latex-free and completely safe when used as directed.
Softcup is affordable and an eco-friendly alternative to conventional tampons and pads. Think of all the waste that’s avoided by using a resuable menstrual cup.
Back to skiing
I still have to make the occasional trip into the bathroom with one of my boys, but I don’t have to carry extra, bulky tampons or pads in my ski jacket. The best part-I can stay out for hours and there’s no worry about leaking.
Ready to give it a try? Let me know how you do.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have been hired by Evofem, the parent company for Softcup, in their Softcup Brand Ambassador Program. This is a “sponsored post.” Evofem sent me a sample of Softcup and compensated me via a cash payment for this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers and only share my honest opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
[Photo used under Creative Commons from Laffertyryan/Flickr]
January 10th, 2011
Ski season 2011 is in full swing. Here on the East Coast there is a mixture of natural snow and the man-made stuff, making the conditions perfect for any skier or rider. Skiing truly is a great way for a family to spend quality time together in the great outdoors.
Wherever your skiing adventures take you, there are many ski resorts to choose from. Most of us choose a resort based upon location, but know little about the individual ski areas’ environmental practices and policies.
The Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition put together a guide of the Top 10 and Worst 10 Western U.S. Ski Resorts based on the resorts environmental policies and practices. It is their mission to provide ski areas with a standard on which to improve.
They used 4 categories to rank the resorts:
- Habitat Protection
- Protecting Watersheds
- Addressing Global Climate Change
- Environmental Practices and Policies
Here are the 2011 Top 10 Environmentally Friendly Ski Resorts:
- Squaw Valley-California
- Park City Mountain Resort-Utah
- Alpine Meadows Ski Area-California
- Aspen Mountain Ski Resort-Colorado
- Aspen Highlands Ski Resort-Colorado
- Buttermilk Mountain Ski Resort-Colorado
- Deer Valley Resort-Utah
- Jackson Hole Mountain Resort-Wyoming
- Sundance Resort-Utah
- Bogus Basin Mountain Resort-Idaho
According to Norma Ruth Ryan of the Colorado Wild (the umbrella organization for the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition), for the time being they have no intention of expanding their report card into the Midwest or East Coast.
So I am starting my own Top East Coast Environmentally Friendly Ski Resorts list:
- Shawnee Peak in Bridgton, Maine is a wonderful family mountain. It has a long list of green initiatives, making it appear to be very eco-friendly.
Disclaimer: I didn’t use the same method used by the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition to make this determination. We ski at this mountain on a regular basis and see first hand how conscientious the mountain truly is.
When planning a family vacation-choose your ski resort wisely. By making eco-friendly choices, you can encourage the improvement of environmental business policies and practices at ski resorts.
Know any other great, green resorts that should be included?
Interested in the list of the the 10 Worst Ski Resorts-click HERE.
*Top photo used under Creative Commons from Planetlight