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The purpose of Fit4Mom programs is to give women the "Strength for Motherhood". I hear this all the time, but never really thought about what that means on a daily basis. Over the past week, however, I had two experiences which made me realize what an invaluable thing this particular strength is!

As a Stroller Strides and Body Back instructor, I know we train our moms to work out on all 3 planes of motion. To put it simply, this means rather than just doing one move (squat) we'll often add moves that force us to move in multiple directions at the same time. We'll squat, step back to a lunge, and add a forward raise with our arms. We do this because it helps us train for what we do everyday. We lift babies, wrestle toddlers into clothes, bend down to pick up discarded toys, etc. working several muscle groups at the same time.

When our babies are little, Strength for Motherhood means being able to carry a heavy baby in a car seat up a flight of stairs, swaying a crying baby for hours to calm them, ect. Classes also provide emotional strength, providing an outlet for...

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At the end of each month at FIT4MOM Marin, we celebrate our members birthdays with our Monthly Kids Birthday Club. Since our little ones and mommies are already sweet enough, I love coming up with healthier options for a healthy treat eliminating white flours, sugar and other highly processed ingredients. Instead, I use more nutrient dense flours and natural whole food sweeteners. In this recipe I used quinoa flour, coconut flour and sweetened with maple syrup.

This cupcake recipe is of my favorite go to recipes. It originates from Nutiva’s Coconut Flour packaging. I've tried many variations with different flours, fruits and berries. As a variation you may switch out the banana with any other of your other favorite fruits or berries. Choose organic and fresh produce whenever possible. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Yield: 24 mini cupcakes

Ingredients Cupcakes:

½ cup coconut Flour

½ cup quinoa Flour

½ tsp himalayan sea salt

½ tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

½ cup organic maple syrup

1 cup...

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Every month we take a moment to honor one of our local FIT4MOM Moms for her efforts to lead and role model a healthy lifestyle while also getting to know her better at the same time. This month we honor Kimberly Green Guigley, aka Brynn and Emerson's mom.

Kim is a big inspiration to so many moms and has been a dedicated participant in our classes for almost 6 years. Today is an extra special day as Kim is getting certified to teach Fit4Baby/Stroller Strides. We are thrilled that Kim will be joining the FIT4MOM Marin team!! We asked Kim a few questions so that we all can get to know her better:

Where is your hometown?

Pittsburgh, PA! I love it, and my entire family is still there, so sometimes it can be really tough being this far away.

Education?

University of Pittsburgh, BA in Environmental Studies and Business

How long have you been a Stroller Strides Member and what has Stroller Strides done for you?

I have been a member of Stroller Strides for 5.5 years, since August 2009. I started with Fit4Baby when I was pregnant with Brynn, after...

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Blog #4: Pumping Up on Protein

Danya Adolphs, DTR

Starting out in BodyBack, you may wonder if you need to increase your protein intake to help build those shiny new muscles. While we know that protein is needed to build, maintain and repair tissues, we may not know how much is actually necessary in our daily diet.

For the average adult, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. [Body weight in kg x 0.36= grams of protein for daily intake]. However, the typical American consumes more than twice that amount, mainly from animal sources that are high in saturated fat and can contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Recent fad diets tout the need for even higher intake of protein and drastic reduction of carbohydrates (forgetting the fact that carbohydrates also include dairy products, fruits and vegetables). However, research shows that high amounts of protein in your diet can actually contribute to disease and health problems such as osteoporosis, cancer, and kidney dysfunction.

Another surprising fact...

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It seems the theme of my life since my son was born two and a half years ago is adaption. Aside from enduring an emergency c-section and medical complications at the time of his birth, I spent the next year completely sleep deprived from nursing round the clock. I nursed a total of two years but my son finally slept through the night after the first year, allowing me a block of sleep at a time. Life did not let up as our family faced major changes, moved out of the country, and back, also during this time. I'd like to say that life has finally settled down and I can enjoy being 'bored' by routine...but that's not exactly the case. So I've had the choice of either eating my way in to emotional oblivion, or, making the best of what I can with the limited resources of time, money, childcare, and plain old, energy that I may have, and find ways to adapt to my circumstance. I believe this is one of the reasons I was so drawn to Body Back. I was desperately seeking a way to get back on track and connect with a supportive group of other women.

What does it mean to adapt? For me,...

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http://youtu.be/aN7lt0CYwHg

I couldn't help but hear a "Hell Yeah" call out from deep inside my being after watching this video. I don't know of any woman, myself included, who does not question her own looks, critique her own body, and compare herself to every other woman she knows.

For me, the one place I've been able to shake this is at the gym or on the field, on a yoga mat or at Fit4Mom's Body Back classes. While I may not be as toned, sculpted, svelte, or slim as the other women who are sweating it out next to me, here I am reminded how very strong I am. I can see the muscles and also make peace with the flab. Body Back reminds me that it's not just about losing weight but about gaining strength inside and out-affirming who we are as unique, beautiful women, all on our own journey.

While I'm sweating like a pig, I am reminded that, at least in this moment, I am choosing to use my body in a healthy way. While I may have a far way to go to reach my fitness goals, here I am reminded that for as hard as it is, I keep...

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The thing I don’t like about watching what I eat is the innate fear of being hungry. For many of us, eating healthfully once meant dieting, which meant avoiding entire food groups, skipping meals or starving ourselves. Most of us know better now but still find ourselves hungry if we’re not eating a free-for-all.

“There are lots of things going on in the body that affect appetite. The body wants to maintain its energy balance. You can’t trick the body into thinking it’s not hungry, as the body will override it. We couldn’t have survived this long without the body’s ability to feel hunger,” says Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, a professor in the department of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota, who has studied the effects of foods on satiety. Going strictly by our hunger signals is complicated because there are so many things associated with our appetite, including our mood, hormones, social settings, and family patterns.

So how can we tackle the hunger? We’ve got to make the most of our calories.

1. Use your calories for solids, not...

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The very first step in making any kind of change in life is knowing what you want and making the decision to achieve it. Without a clear vision of what you want and more importantly, why, you want it, we often fall short of our goals. Once we’ve made the commitment towards a goal, we need a plan to get there. Without a realistic plan, our ideas remain just that-ideas.

It can be awfully frustrating to put in effort towards reaching a fitness or weight loss goal but not see the results. What we need to do is break it down in to bite-size chunks and make it concrete and doable. I don’t know about you, but for me if it is not scheduled on the calendar, it just stays a plan in my head and that causes clutter in my brain and overwhelm about what I “should be doing”. It’s a recipe for sabotage because we’re expecting positive results but not carving out the way to make that possible.

So, like we plan our kid’s schedules or our work schedules, we need to plan our own schedule for fitness and healthy eating. If we can get in to the habit of planning, we are much more likely...

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Since starting Body Back I’m finding myself spending more time in the kitchen again which feels amazing. I used to spend lots of time in the kitchen trying out new recipes, preparing for cooking classes and experimenting with different flavor combinations and textures. Now, I’m happy to be back to planning for an upcoming cooking class and preparing healthy meals for my family. Only, it is so much better this time around as I have my little mini-me chef, Liv at my side.

Last weekend Liv and made these delicious raw vegan sushi rolls with cauliflower “rice”. Sushi has always been one of my favorite foods dating back to when I tried raw sushi with fish for the first time back in college. Now, I don’t eat fish anymore, but I still really enjoy the tradition of preparing sushi and so I was happy to learn different ways of making vegan sushi while in culinary school at the Living Light Institute.

Cauliflower rice will save you both time and empty...

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My journey to a raw and living foods lifestyle began almost three years ago when I went to the Ann Wigmore Institute (AWI) in Puerto Rico and received a certificate in the Living Foods Lifestyle. Dr. Ann Wigmore was a pioneer in the use of wheatgrass juice and Living Foods for detoxifying and healing the body.

Go Green Soup was inspired by Ann Wigmore, but is not the same blended soup that is taught or consumed at the AWI. Most students from AWI would probably agree that the soup there is very hard to eat if you are not used to eating greens, sprouts and fermented foods. Therefore, I’ve made up my own version that is more palatable.

Whether you went off track–or didn’t–this is a really easy, healthy recipe of a green blended soup to make you feel more grounded. Green blended soups changed my life. So in addition to sharing a great recipe I also want to share with you the benefits of blending foods:

1. Blending is a great way of consuming more fruits and vegetables.

2. Blended food is predigested and helps release nutrients from the surrounding fiber,...

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Why, might someone ask when he or she find out that I’m embarking on an 8-week Body Back session? Well, I know it might seem strange to some considering that I am owner and instructor of Fit4Mom Marin, but trust me, I’m human too :)

There are many reasons why I’m doing the Body Back challenge, but I’ll stick to the most important one. I want to do this challenge for me. Somewhere between running a business, taking care of my toddler girl and a knee injury, I completely got side tracked and lost focus on me. I lost that feeling of inner peace.

The eating and the sudden inactivity were catching up to me and it was not a good feeling. I went from doing 6+ workouts a week in addition to teaching (which is not a workout in itself, but it still makes me move) to being terribly inactive. Oh man, did that scale tip quickly. Being used to freely eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, I started realizing that it...

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