Together Our Voices Are Louder! #WomensMarch


While I cannot march today with my fellow women, men and children, I feel like I can still show my support. Today there are women all over the world showing their solidarity for each other. There are marches in cities all over the US, in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and even in Russia (where you have to have a permit in order to march, so their are strolling around together). There are tens of thousands of people standing together in order for our voices to be heard.
 
This Women’s March is not about Donald Trump. It is more about the common inequalities in the world. It is not about the election in the US, but about the protection of women in every country at every level. I am not anti-Trump, because I am an American and I love my country. I do not want him to fail, but I want him to learn and understand the frustrations of many of us. I am Pro-Women!
 
I believe in gender equality, racial equality, LGBTQ equality, reproductive freedom, equal pay for equal work, paid family leave, an end to violence against women, and an end to the general acceptance of verbal and physical abuse of women.
 
Women have stood up against inequalities together for centuries. Almost 100 years ago we fought for the right to vote and today we stand together to push these rights further and further in order to protect more people.Womens Inequality
 
I do not think Donald Trump is evil and hates women, but I do think that he lacks respect for women. As the leader of the free world, respect for all is a MUST! Throughout the election, he made statements that not only insulted women, but also people of color, immigrants, the poor and our planet. He generalized people into categories and engaged Americans into an ‘Us vs Them’ debate. The “locker room talk” that he laughed about and tried to brush under the rug is stuck in my head. I am not okay with how he speaks to people and about women. My kids even see him as a bully.
 
Over the next 4 years I will pray that he learns how to work with people and not over people. I pray that he does not isolate people, instead he unites us. I pray this because I am an American and I live here too. I pray this because there are people in my community who cannot speak for themselves or who are just not heard. Together our voices are louder!
 
Women are beautiful and strong. Women are leaders and team players. Women are hard working and determined.
This is why, today….Women March! #WomensMarch
Womens March
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10 Easy Ways to Find 10 Minutes of Exercise Throughout the Day!


Summer can be a tough time to stay active. With vacations, day drinking, & kids home, many people find summer a time of weight gain. Here are some tips to keep up your activity in a hectic day!

Strength in Moms

  1. Take the StairsTake the Stairs
  2. Park further away from the grocery store
  3. Take a lap around the entire mall before and after you shop
  4. Walk throughout your office rather than emailing or texting coworkers
  5. Get off the subway or bus one or two stops before and walk the rest of the way
  6. Walk around, up/down stairs, do squats or hold a wall squat while on a phone call or conference call
  7. Take the groceries in one bag at a time or take the laundry to rooms one group of clothing at a time
  8. Wash your car yourself (let the kids help!)
  9. Sit on a stability ball at your desk (work your core throughout the day)
  10. Play outside with your kids (tag, sports, hide and seek)Kids Parents playing

10 minutes every day can make a BIG difference!

Reduce stress, feel more fit, relax and have fun!

What everyday fitness activities do you enjoy?

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When Life Hands You Lemons…


…you all know how the rest goes…blah blah blah! Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.23.43 AM

The problem with this quote is that it doesn’t address the difficulty in accepting these lemons in the first place. I have been very active my entire life. If I wasn’t at practice, I was outside shooting baskets or at the batting cages. If I was between seasons, I was running or working drills. I placed my athleticism on the top of my attribute list. I took pride in the sports I played and my athletic ability. I was a runner, swimmer, biker, basketball player, lacrosse player, waterpolo player, softball player, volleyball player, triathlete…and then I turned 40!

There is a funny quote my orthopedist told me before I went in for my ACL replacement surgery in 1993…”God gave you the mind of an athlete, but the body of a pianist.” (no offense to the athletic piano player that is reading my blog right now).

I was always a little nervous & excited about turning 40 because at every event I participated in, I saw these 40+ year old women killing it. I thought to myself that it must be because they have more time to train since their kids are older. I looked forward to that level of competition in my 40’s. I anticipated my sprint triathon times to get faster and faster. I dreamed of the endless hours spent on the open road in rural Georgia on my bike with other cyclists. Nevertheless, God seems to have another path for me.

Since my 40th birthday I have been in some sort of physical therapy working on my knees, hip, feet, neck or shoulder. Sometimes I feel like my body’s warranty is up. This is my crossroads! Many people would take this time as their chance to check out or slow down. I cannot accept that option. I have decided to take this aching body into a fitness routine that works for me. I teach fitness and strength everyday. I modify for all of my prenatal and postpartum moms, why can’t I modify for myself? I CAN!

I no longer run. That was the first thing I had to accept. The impact of running makes my knees look like cantaloupes. I lift more often with lighter weights. My squats don’t go as deep, my stretching lasts a little longer, and my cardio exercises are non-impact. Slowly my mind and my heart are beginning to accept this fact.

Now back to my opening comment.  Turning lemons in lemonade is great, but when the lemons gets dropped on you, it hurts! Each of us will have to face a fitness crossroad at some point in our lives. It is important to think about the big picture and the long term affect. Just because your mind has a bucket list, does not mean your body agrees. Many people work their body so hard in order to cross off a fitness goal, that when it is over, so is their fitness routine. Listen to your body and accept that we only have this one body here to work with…take care of it! That means keeping it strong, healthy and loving it through the good and the bad!

…off for a walk!Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.22.19 AM

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Tis the Season…For the Holiday Bulge!


Tis the season….for the Holiday bulge! I’ll never tell anyone not to enjoy their holiday meals & treats, but there are ways to keep some self control.Turkey Day

1. Don’t stand in front of the appetizers, grab a small plate and walk away.
2. Eat a healthy snack before you go to a party to avoid overdoing the treats
3. At the holiday meal, taste everything you want, just watch your portions.
4. Watch the amount of liquid calories you consume.
5. Work for the meal by being active!

Have a Happy & Safe Holiday Season!

Stay Strong & Fit!

http://www.StrengthinMoms.com

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – A Virgin Backpacker’s View


Many of you know that I recently went on a backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park with a good friend of mine. This had been on her bucket list for years and I was the lucky girl that was able to join her. A trip of a lifetime! We met up with 5 other women and 2 female guides in Yosemite Valley to prepare for the week of backpacking ahead of us. We laughed at the fear in our eyes of the unknown that was laying in front of us.IMG_3191 As we sat talking, we all noticed the smoke haze that settled into the sky above. It was caused by the numerous forest fires that are currently burning in the park. Some of these fires are purposefully set by the fire department, while others are accidentally set by hikers or lightning. In fact, the park has placed a ban on campfires because of the high risk of fires. We sat as a group discussing our hopes, fears and plans for the week ahead. The park rangers changed our itinerary first because of a current fire at our starting trailhead. Secondly we had to adjust a second campsite because the stream that feeds the area is dry….completely dried up! (see picture – stream bed)IMG_3201The scenery and views throughout the trip were amazing and I can find no words that truly capture the moments. The week was filled with a lot of laughter, some frustrations, strong fears, breathtaking scenery, some body aches and pains…but most importantly the trip was filled with some KICK ASS AMAZING WOMEN! Some of the women were in their 30’s while others in their 60’s. We hiked 33 miles as a group, we supported each other and we gave each other space. These women inspired me then and continue to inspire me today. I will carry the pictures in my mind and the stories in my heart for ever!Top of Half DomeNow that I am home and digesting all of the memories, lessons and events of the trip, a few very important things stay in the forefront of my mind. I wanted to pass on some thoughts…

– California and other areas in the pacific northwest and pacific coast areScreen Shot 2015-10-08 at 12.54.08 PM in a dangerous & severe drought! It is truly hard to imagine when you only hear about it on the news, but rivers, streams and lakes are drying up! The river beds and lakes in Yosemite National Park feed northern California! We were witness to several streams that were bone dry and Cathedral Lakes was more or less down to one lake.

– The amazing waterfalls that everyone thinks of in Yosemite National Park are just small streams over rocks. They should be rushing waters over the rocks edge. You can see the water marks to either side of the waterfall stream where the water used to run and it is gone.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 12.53.31 PM– The lush green meadows filled with flowers and wildlife are becoming a matted floor of brittle weeds and dust. I know that fire is an important park of the ecology and it the restores the forest but the current state of the forest is making it easy for these fires to get out of control.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 12.52.16 PM– We ALL need to do our part to reduce, reuse, recycle! This means our water, our natural resources, our packaged goods…it includes everything. One of the points of backpacking is that you have to carry everything! You have to carry your pack of clothes, sleeping bag and tent, your food, your water, your filter, your personal items and your TRASH! Therefore, you are constantly making smart decisions to reduce, reuse and recycle everything.

We can do our part and we can make a difference, even if it is only in our little community. Every little bit helps!

  • Recycle your plastics, glass and paper goods
  • Don’t let the water run when you are not using it
  • Buy larger bulk items and then use reusable containers to pack snacks and lunches
  • Reuse in a different way, sell or donate items that you no longer need
  • Unplug items in your house or office so that they don’t constantly draw electricity even when you are not using them
  • Make good choices

Reduce  *   Reuse  *  Recycle

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 12.53.10 PM

  •  Thank you Yosemite National Park, Call of the Wild, Cori, Sandra, Emilie, Amy, Mark, Deanna, Laura Lee and most importantly – Thank you Laura Hathaway for inviting me and sharing your tent! My life has changed for the better because of all of you!
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My Girlfriend Cup (40th Edition)


Ok ladies…now that I am 40 (which is just a number) I have the ever growing feeling to make sure that my relationships with my girl friends are as strong as ever! All my life I have been surrounded by strong amazing women. My cup has continuously been filled by the love and suppoIMG_0483rt of my girlfriends. I cherish all of the funny group texts, surprise phone calls on a Tuesday afternoon, getaway weekend trips, nights out on the town and most of all the memories we have made. As we get older and busier, we need each other more than ever. Some of us are separated by many miles and others are around the corner, you are always in my thoughts.
You are my rocks and my foundation. 😋👩‍❤️‍👩

Now that all the heart strings have been plucked….let’s put this lovey stuff into action. Each one of us needs to make plans to get together! Not talk about, but make plans! Even if it is for next year….get it on the calendar! Go grab dinner or drinks, fly somewhere amazing or meet in a podunk town somewhere in the middle! It can be just 2 of you or a group of 20! As long as more memories are made. If you can’t get away from where you are, call a friend and see if they can come to you! The important thing is to refill your girlfriend cup! And your girlfriends are the ones who know how!

Our lives can overwhelmingly be filled with events for the kids, family or work. We do not make it a priority to fill some of our time with get togethers, phone calls, etc…with our girls. Even though you may see each other often, down time together is what we crave. Laughter, story telling & catching up on old times….whatever it is, GO make a plan!

For some of your friendships….just reconnect and catch up!
For others…go make more memories this year.
No matter if you hung out last week or in 2002😱…you are important to each other and those friendships are vital to each one of you❤️. I look forward to hearing about the memories!Image

Go Fill Your Cup!

Share your reconnection stories with everyone here…

Posted in Girlfriends, Health, Health & Wellness, livestrong, Mental health, Mom, mommy and daddy, motivation, new moms, relationships, Resolutions, Stress, women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ice Cream, You Scream…Belly Issues!


I know a lot of women and men who complain about recurring belly issues. Cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, etc… Unfortunately, I am also one of the victims. Since this issue hits so close to home, I thought I would see what information was out there to help all of those suffering.

A few years ago I was a victim of Salmonella poisoning. I was never able to figure out where I got it, but it did send me into a tailspin of major gastrointestinal problems. Once I recovered from the sickness, my stomach was not the same. I tried what seemed like every suggested solution, until I finally found myself walking into a colonoscopy at age 35! I have a bad family history of colon issues, so we thought it was the best idea to check it all out. Come to find out that I have a colon of a 25 year old! Oh yeah! Healthy and happy colon…so what gives? What is wrong with me?

When we are first born our bodies produce enough lactase (the enzyme necessary to break down lactose in dairy products) to drink milk from their mother or from other mammals like cows or goats. As we age, we decrease the consumption of milk as well as the production of the lactase enzyme. This can lead a lot of people to think they are lactose-intolerant. My father is one of these people. He avoids cheese like it is poison and if he thinks there may be dairy in anything he pops a Lactaid pill.

As I continued to suffer, I thought more and more about my diet history, my family history and came to the conclusion…I have a low threshold for dairy. I don’t think I am intolerant, but just cannot eat very much. I enjoy a slice of pizza every once in a while and I am fine, but if I joined the family in a bowl of queso at the mexican restaurant there is going to be a BIG problem!

Belly issueThere has been a lot of research on stomach issues in adults and they seem to occur more often in women. This leads me to ask why? Why are women more often suffering from GI issues? Why as we age do we find ourselves have more GI problems?

There is plenty of information out there to support that women suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) more often than men. This may be because women are more likely to go see a doctor than men. This also may be because women have more hormones playing a role in the gastrointestinal tract than men. This also may be because of some reason we don’t know yet. Nevertheless, we may have more control over it than we think.

I know that when I began to break my diet down to the basics, I thought diary may be a culprit. I decided to cut it out completely and see how I felt two weeks later. I felt better, but not symptom free. I then decided to cut soy out of my diet as well. I felt much better, MUCH BETTER! This study of n=1 is not a scientific study, but it works for me! THAT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Each person is different, each person has a different threshold or sensitivity. For one person its diary, for another person it is wheat or gluten, for another person its specific vegetables. A person may have a sensitivity to excessive amounts of gluten and not have to go gluten free, but just reduce their intake. Everyone is different!

Conclusion – Do you suffer from Gastrointestinal issues?

1. Get checked by a doctor to make sure there are no serious issues or allergies. Allergies can occur later in life and colon cancer or other issues can occur earlier!

2. Make a food journal for 2 weeks and see what is in your daily diet and when you eat. Do you eat too much of one thing? Do you eat too much at one time?

3. Try a food elimination – one at a time – for 1-2 weeks. Don’t remove several things from your diet because then you do not know what may have caused the problems.

4. Reevaluate you pain and discomfort. Is is better, worse, no change, improved?

5. Keep trying until you find the diet that works for you!

Food is fuel for our bodies, it should be something that does not cause inflammation and discomfort. We all have things that we love to eat…maybe we need to adjust our diets.

Maybe we need to reduce the amounts of certain foods and then we can enjoy food more!

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