Don't forget to follow our new page, @fit4mom.austin to stay up to date with classes and play dates! Go, go, go! Before you forget!
I am so flattered to be nominated for FIT4MOM of the Month! I'm Laura. I’m originally from Austin, but I lived in California for many years before moving back to Austin two years ago. My husband, Dan, and I were blessed with the birth of our son, John Henry, in June 2016. I’m a stay at home mom now, which is a whole new concept to me after working a corporate job since graduating from college in 2000 (I’ll let you do the math!).
I was an avid trail runner and marathoner for 15 years and I was part of a running club of 3 women (yes, we called it a club - the Sunrise Runners Club). The three of us would meet up at the same street corner every morning at 5:45 and head out in the dark with our running shoes and head lamps. Those early mornings were tough, but we all showed up because we knew we couldn’t leave the others standing around waiting. These ladies were my tribe - they knew everything about me and I knew everything about them. We laughed, we cried, we shared horrible dating stories, we supported each other… anything to get us through the miles we ran and ran...more
When I think birthday parties I think: loud. fun. happy. stressful. Yup, I said it: stressful. If you've hosted a birthday party for your kiddos, I'm sure you would agree! As parents, especially mamas, we tend to want everything to be *perfection*. This year, I found a couple of simple hacks to make party planning (and the aftermath) a little less painful. One of those hacks happens to INCLUDE your kids... and I promise, it's not stressful. You're turning something you HAVE to do into something they GET to do and that's solid win-win in my book!
Not only is this a fun craft for you to complete with the birthday boy or girl, you get to see the joy on their face as they deliver their creations to their friends! So stinkin' cute. Let's get to it.more
As fellow mamas, we know that you are CONSTANTLY on the go. Like, if you could sprout 6 more arms, that still wouldn't be enough, because your kiddos would just find more things for you to carry/hold/throw away. When sitting down for a meal isn't feasible, we at least try to make the best of our options. MariGold bars are a quick, delicous, REAL FOOD option. Made locally right outside of Houston, MariGold bars are high in protein (20+ grams), low in sugar (4 grams or less), gluten free, grain free, and non-GMO. We had the opportunity to not only chat with the owner, Mari Ann Lisenbe, about their mission and what drives the company, but to collaborate for a few awesome giveaways this month! Read on and & stay tuned for more information this week on how to win samples!
What ARE MariGold Bars?
We make great tasting, low-sugar, hand-crafted protein bars using the kinds of ingredients you’d find in your kitchen.. if you had time to make them!
How did you decide to start making your own protein bars?
I had an online weight-loss...more
Hi, I'm Ruth, wife to Brian, mom to Calvin and Spencer. I'm originally from Portland, OR and I've also lived in Wisconsin for college and Shanghai, China, for a study abroad. I spent 10 years as a hairdresser before becoming a full-time mom. We moved to Texas from Portland in the spring of 2015, while I was 7 months pregnant with baby number two.
I grew up camping, hiking, and playing soccer and volleyball. I played soccer and ran track for Beloit College. I met my husband playing on a co-ed indoor soccer team! I love running, competition and challenging myself. I love cooking (not baking, that's all my husband. I just eat it!), travel/exploring new places, and playing board games. I love seeing the world through the eyes of my kids, I love spending time with good friends, and Harry Potter. That's me in a nutshell!
I had first heard about Fit4Mom while I was in the Northwest. A good friend of mine got involved and raved about it (she now owns the SW Portland franchise!), but I lived on the opposite side of the city, so I never went to a...more
Time out. Am I the last person to try Salata Salads? I feel like I might be. Either way, this is a PSA that NEEDS to be shouted from the rooftops.
If you haven't heard of Salata Salads, they are basically the mecca of salad bars. They call themselves the "next generation salad bar" and that's a pretty darn good description. Imagine creating a salad or wrap with every. possible. topping you can think of. And then imagine that it's all perfectly fresh and ripe and delicious. That's Salata. I recently had the privilege of attending a "sneak peek" pre-opening event at the brand-spanking new Salata at 1890 Ranch in Cedar Park. The following is my honest and candid review.
Let's start from the beginning. I roll up, super excited and confident to try this place. Look in the backseat (thinking "Wow! They're being SO quiet!") and both littles are passed out. So I sat outside for about 30 minutes, looking at the website and trying to keep drool from getting on my phone.
We finally go in and it's bright and clean. It's basically a Subway or Chipotle on...more
Introducing our newest Vendor of the Month, Veggie Noodle Co.! At Veggie Noodle Co., they believe in simple nutrition, much like we do here at FIT4MOM. They make spiralized veggies (such as beets, sweet potatoes, and zucchini) that can be used raw, sautéed like pasta, as a main dish, or as a side. These bad boys are a LIFESAVER for busy mamas trying to streamline dinner prep & cleanup.
We got the opportunity to chat with the Jennie Shen, Veggie Noodle Co.'s Marketing Gourdinator. Here is what she had to say:
Tell us a bit about the business and what you offer. At Veggie Noodle Co., we believe in simple nutrition. That’s why we make spiralized vegetables with nothing to hide. You can eat ‘em raw, sautéed as an alternative to pasta, sauced, sidelined, in a salad, or as a soup. Our veggie spirals are compliant with every possible diet — unless for some weird reason your diet says no veggies at all!
What is your WHY? Why did you get into this business? Veggie Noodle Co. exists because...more
Hi I'm Ashley Conrad.
I am a Texas girl through and through. I was born in Lubbock and then my family moved to Kingwood (suburb of Houston) when I was 8. I'm a proud member of the Fighting Texas Aggie class of 2000. I've been in the Austin area since 2001 and have lived many places (from Leander to Circle C). Now, my family and I live in beautiful Lakeway. I'm married to an amazing man named Chris and we have two sweet girls, Alyssa (4) and Charlotte (2).
Outside of FIT4MOM, I enjoy playing soccer and running. My dad is my inspiration when it comes to running. He started very late in life and is still going strong at 70+, we run the CAP10K together every year. I also tried my hand at a vegetable garden this year and am hoping to improve my skills (it can't get much worse).
I found FIT4MOM when my oldest was 5 months old. I was looking for a group of accepting moms and playmates for my daughter. What I found was so much more. Surprised by the intensity of the workout, I was hooked in immediately. Then I started making these friendships with women I might...more
Most days people call me mommy . . . well at least the two little boys I’m blessed to call mine! Our days are filled with trucks, trains, and lots of dirt!! Evenings are spent catching up on “big people” conversation with my amazing hubby, shopping alone at my “happy place” (aka Target) or getting time with girl friends over coffee. Family days will find us on laid back hikes at Walnut Creek or hanging out with friends from church.
Our Austin adventure began 3 years ago when we moved from our home state of Arizona the same month we found out I was preggo! So I had to find my mom village in a brand new place. It was a journey for sure, but I’ve been so grateful for the impact Stroller Strides has had on my #momlife! It’s been the thing I’ve needed to get me out of the house with other moms who just “get it.” It’s full of laughter and understanding and a camaraderie that only moms can truly give to one another. My hope is that each and every mom who joins us will find her village, her place of belonging and acceptance and joy! I can’t wait to meet you! (And you can call me...more
Let's get two things straight. One: Teething SUCKS. Two: the phrase "teething biscuits" totally weirds me out. Makes me think of a dog treat. Hence, the super catchy, flows-right-off-the-tongue title of this post.
When M was little, we totally did the classic progression of liquids (aka breast milk, then formula), smooth purees, chunky purees, soft foods, etc. With O, we've been doing more of a combination... some purees, but mainly baby-led weaning. Have you ever seen an eight-month old munching on a piece of pizza for lunch at a restaurant?! No? How about happily gnawing away at a spinach and egg white breakfast muffin? Not so often, right? It's amazing!! Now, this could easily spiral into a whole 'nother post and that's for another day. My point is, O loves REAL food that is meant for real people, not liquified chicken casserole. While there are some pretty legit store-bought options in terms of teething biscuits (wafers? cookies? crackers?), I realized that making them myself was SUPER easy and I could have total control of what they're made of. #winning.more
So you wanna start a meal plaaannn... (You read that to the tune of "Do you wanna build a snowman?" from Frozen, right? Surely it wasn't just me) I think it's been made pretty clear that we all want to get better at meal planning. General consensus says that there are two big obstacles when it comes to getting started: HOW to begin and how to stay motivated to keep it up. In this post, we'll tackle both.
The Case for Meal Planning: the WHY
Meal Planning. Before kids, meal planning wasn't even remotely on my radar. It wasn't until I had an itty bitty baby and eating habits more unpredictable than a Texas winter (am I right?!) that I started to consider the idea. I had heard other moms talking about their weekly (or gasp, DAILY) meal plans and had exactly three thoughts:
1. "that's for people who are counting calories and trying to lose weight"
2. "that sounds super time consuming"
3. "those moms seem totally put together and I am... totally not"
Since those newborn days, I've learned that meal planning is NOT about counting calories, but can help you make and stick to healthier habits, it is not time consuming if you do it right, and that nearly all of us are hot messes, despite how it looks on Instagram.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be covering the benefits of consistent meal planning, how to get started, and some quick and easy ways to maximize not only your time, but your budget. It has taken me a long time to get comfortable with meal planning, mainly...more
YOU DID IT! You survived the first week of 2017.
I'm proud of you.
Seriously, 2016 was hard... and tiring... and awesome... and beautiful... but stressful. Like the start of every new year, we're all making some changes. Whether you call them resolutions, intentions, goals, or casual agreements with yourself, you're part of a bigger movement to better yourself and the world around you. If you weren't, I doubt you'd be reading this blog.
Much like in my personal life, I'm making an effort to make this blog better. To make it more of what YOU want. Coming up in the new year we'll have:
But what else? Head over to our FB page and comment! Your voice is the driving force for this blog. Your voice is the driving force for this community. We're SO happy that you're a part of our village. 2016 was tough, but oh, so good. Let's make 2017 the best year...more
So I started writing this blog post with grand plans of doing a holiday book Advent Calendar. Then #momlife attacked in it's usual fashion and the whole plan changed. Read about my haphazard journey below...
Listen, I've always enjoyed Christmas... but it wasn't until I had kids that I REALLY started to enjoy Christmas. Something about seeing little faces light up with the joy of the holidays is just TOO much! Seeing those sweet smiles and the glow in their eyes makes the holiday season *that* much more magical. Like any good, pinterest-obsessed mama, I was so excited that M is finally old enough to start participating in holiday traditions... except we don't really have any yet. (Cue the overwhelming gasp from the crowd)
So we're in the process of figuring out what types of traditions to start with our little family, and this year, M is super into reading. About 100 years ago (or so it feels like), before we even had kids, I had pinned a post about a "Book Advent Calendar". You collect 25 holiday-themed books. Wrap them up all cute and open one new book...more
Lamanda Moran, FIT4MOM Austin member
I started Stroller Strides almost 3 years ago with a six month old and fell in love with everything about it! I started hearing about Body Back almost immediately and my first thoughts were "Geeze that's sounds good, but not yet"...about 3 months later I was preggo with baby #2, so I knew Body Back was something for much later.
While I was pregnant I watched some of my girl friends from Stroller Strides make huge changes and see awesome results with Body Back and still I knew it would have to wait. Baby #2 arrived and life (as it does with a growing family!) changed a lot! It felt like I was never going to get to focus on me.
When baby #2 was about 6 months old, I started to focus back on me. On my own and through Stroller Strides I lost about 40 lbs over that summer, but still wasn't where I wanted to be, I was just barely back to pre-baby weight. Fast forward a year, about 10 lbs crept back on and I knew it was time. Both kids were weaned and the hubs and I were finally in a place where I could take some ME time. I was so pumped to get started I kinda got...more
Shelley Hopper, via blog.fit4mom.com
If y'all have not seen the U L T I M A T E gift guide that FIT4MOM corporate put out this year, you NEED to. No lie when we say that you need any and all of this! Forward it along to your significant other, parents, aunts, uncles, and everyone in between!more
Hey y'all! I'm a Georgia girl re-routed to the beautiful ATX. Isn't this #motherhood thing fun?! I'm mama to a sweet lil boy and a precious little girl!
Stroller strides found me when my oldest was almost a year. I tried one class and was hooked.... The community, the acceptance, the workout, the understanding, the TRIBE.... I wanted it all! I quickly became an instructor and opened Balcones District Park 2.5 years ago! What a blessing this FIT4MOM family has been to us!!!
Aside for my love of health and wellness, you can find me shopping, reading books or painting with my kids, being crafty, cooking, gardening, or trying to sneak in some girl time (balance!!) with friends!!
I hope to see/meet you soon!! Blessings!
You can find Sarah teaching Stroller Strides at Balcones District Park on MWFs. Check our schedule for dates and times!more
Okay, I know what you're thinking... "didn't she JUST write a whole post about oatmeal?" But really, when one of your besties asks if you've tried caramelized bananas in your oatmeal, you have to go for it. This recipe is SUPER easy, but makes you feel like you've just ordered off a fancy brunch menu, even though we all know you're sitting on your couch in cozy sweat pants with a piping hot cup of coffee (aka "the dream").
A blend of coconut oil, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and bananas (seriously, that's all it takes) will totally transform your breakfast game. Head over to http://pinchofyum.com/caramelized-banana-oatmeal for the full details. Then, run-- seriously, you will want this ASAP-- to the kitchen and get cooking!
INGREDIENTS (per two servings)
Oatmeal always reminds me of my childhood. I remember ripping open packets of Quaker Instant Oatmeal that smelled like Heaven (aka Strawberries and Cream) on chilly Ohio mornings. Talk about comfort food! For most of us, when we think about oatmeal, this is typically what comes to mind. These days, I am happy to say I’ve stepped up my oatmeal game quite considerably from those little packets. Oatmeal in its natural state actually touts a number of health benefits, a few of which are especially helpful for women! In order to get the full benefits from oats, we need to toss the little brown packets and eat oats in their least processed form. Oats are a whole grain and if you get them steel cut, they’re super easy to make for breakfast or incorporate into your cooking.
Let’s break it down.
Every November 1st, my news feed is flooded with the start of the “30 Days of Thanks” Challenge. These challenges are great, but they can be hard to follow through with because… life. The crazy thing is, I’ve seen people complain about seeing these challenges on their news feeds. I totally get the idea that we should be thankful all year long, but being a little extra thankful around the holidays is a-okay in my book! I actually think the idea of having a grateful heart and being mindful of your blessings is quite lovely. It seems to fill my news feed with more positivity than negativity and I don’t think anyone can complain about that! This year, our Georgetown Stroller Strides mamas have taken it one step farther and I have to say, I am SO inspired! The different parks often have a monthly fitness challenge (think: squats, push-ups, planks, etc), but this year, Melody, our Georgetown Instructor is starting a “Planks and Thanks” Challenge.
The premise is simple: everyday this month, you challenge yourself to a new plank and to write someone a thank you note (via snail...more
When it comes to DIY Halloween costumes, there are really two types of people. Those who have this incredible vision and start super early, DIY-ing, sewing, and crafting to perfection... and then there's people like me. People who realize that Halloween is minutes away and that buying costumes that their kids will most likely only wear for a fraction of a second before realizing they're itchy and uncomfortable (or completely change their mind on the whole idea of what they want to be) seems like an epic waste. [Zero judgement here on store-bought costumes! Just saying that for my littles, that route wasn't going to work this year for many reasons!]
Due to lack of time and extreme indecisiveness on the part of my two year old, we fashioned multiple costumes for both kiddos this year with clothes we already had and a few clever accessories. This year we're doing Princess Peach and Mario, Emojis, and The Cookie Monster(s)! I'll update after Halloween ;) In the mean time, check out these incredibly easy and adorable costume ideas from our friends over...more
Confession: When it comes to pumpkin flavor, if it isn't a pie or a spiced latte, you can usually count me out. These muffins, though... they might have just changed my mind. I set out to find a healthy alternative to "chocolate muffins" to appease my super picky kiddos, and well, 'tis the season [of all things pumpkin]! After a few failed attempts at muffins that were too sticky and muffins that looked like they came straight of of the dehydrator, these were the perfect balance of decadent and healthy.
Added bonuses: These bad boys are gluten free, lactose free, and refined-sugar free! They can even be oil free if you decide to make a quick substitution (almond butter in place of coconut oil).more
Caitlan is an avid Stroller Strides member and a wonderful part of our FIT4MOM community. Read on to see why her instructors nominated her and a little more about her motherhood journey!
"She has been very dedicated ever since she joined. Comes 3 days a week most weeks. She is such a positive person. Always smiling and has a kind word to say."
"She comes all the time rain or shine. She's encouraging and we would challenge each other during class. She made class even more fun!"
Hey ladies! I'm so thrilled to be mom of the month!! Stroller Strides is everything I could have ever needed as a mom wanting to stay in great shape! I grew up in a very small town outside of Ft. Worth, with one stoplight..... met the love of my life freshman year in college and never looked back! We got married & we thought life was pretty full....traveling & dates nights every weekend, but we had no idea that 6 years later our lives would now be filled with bottles, bedtimes & play dates. My daughter Conner was...more
When it comes to crafting, I consider myself pretty darn, well... crafty ;) However, when it comes to crafting with toddlers, we all know how messy and complicated a seemingly easy craft can become! Despite my better judgement, I still try all the complicated, 10 step crafts. To switch it up a bit, this weekend we went back to the basics. If you can tear a piece of tape, your kiddos can create these adorable masking tape mummies.
1. First up: Gather your supplies:
2. Let your kiddo go wild with strips of tape! I ripped individual pieces and stuck them the edge of the table, but M was so speedy, I couldn't get a picture of that part.
Hi everyone! I'm a native Texan and mama to a wild little boy. I went to my first Stroller Strides class when my son was 5 months old. I'll admit I didn't really care so much about working out as I did about having a reason to leave the house in the morning! I was instantly hooked, especially since working out helped my anxiety and chronic insomnia. I had more energy for raising a tiny human! Plus, I was becoming friends with some truly wonderful moms.
Two years later, I realized (with a shock) that I actually kinda loved doing burpees! Becoming an instructor seemed like the next obvious step. I love that I'm helping moms take care of themselves in the company of an amazing tribe! When I'm not working up a sweat with my #momsquad, you can find me writing, reading, crafting, and drinking coffee.
Keep an eye out for Julia on the schedule! She'd love to meet you!more
I grew up just outside Houston with a very supportive and loving family. I have a twin sister and we are still best friends! Going to college was the first time we had really ever been away from each other.
I met Greg, my husband, in graduate school and stayed in the Austin area to be close to him. We have now been married for 13 years. We are older parents (I was in my late thirties when I had both of our boys). David is 6 and Adam is 3. Because it was a journey for us to be able to have children, dropping them off for a gym daycare was not an option for me.
I began Stroller Strides when David was 7 weeks old. I wanted to find a place where I could get a workout without leaving my baby. I googled "Exercise with a Baby" and Stroller Strides popped up! We began with only attending mall classes. I was worried, as a new mom, about having a baby out in the heat of Texas summer. Once I felt comfortable with motherhood we began attending classes at the parks. I have come to enjoy working out outside too, but still love to go back to the mall where we started. I have...more
I grew up in Austin until the age of 11 and then my family moved to a teeny tiny town called Nixon, Texas. After high school, I moved to College Station (a bigger teeny tiny town) and attended Texas A&M University as a Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2004. Whoop! There I double majored in Entomology and Agronomy. People call me "bug and dirt girl"! I have one older brother, Ken, who has two beautiful daughters. My parents, Lilly and Ray, are still married after 46 years of marriage and live in Seguin, Texas.
After I graduated college, I moved to Dallas for a research job with Terminix. It wasn't for me! I had a friend who worked in the HR department of a financial clearing firm and put in a good word for me even though I had zero clue about anything the company actually did. I worked hard to learn the ins and outs of the brokerage world and I ended up working in my position as an Internal Control Specialist for almost 6 years. In the first 3 months of working there, I met my husband Jake. We dated for 3 years before we got married on a beach in Florida. When we decided it...more
My name is Sonja, wife to Lennox & mom to 18mo Marley & pregnant with #2 due in November. We moved to Georgetown from FL a little over 4 yrs ago. I found out about SS when Marley was about 2 months old and Melody passed me at the park while out running and stopped to give me a card and tell me all about it. I waited another couple of months before I got started, and it was the best decision! I love being part of the village and community of moms. The support, the laughter, and of course the workout!more
Hi, I'm Christie. I'm originally from Pflugerville but spent the last 10 years in Houston, where I received a bachelors in psychology in 2008 from the University of Houston and a professional pet dog trainer certification from Animal Behavior College in 2009. I also met my wonderful husband, Justin. We've been married 5.5 years and have 3 kids. Jackson, 4, Jameson, 2, and Ella 9 months. My current hobbies include water activities, animals, and anything that gets me out of the house and socializing with another adult! Enter stroller strides!
When I moved back to Pflugerville 10 months ago, I found out about stroller strides locally from a friend who was a current member, Angela Wood. She was persistent and encouraged me to try it out. It was the very best thing I could have done for myself. I've been a member of SS for almost 7 months and it has made a huge difference in my life. I have great female friends I get to talk to every day! And my kids have friends they get to see every day! It gets us out of the house and I get a really great workout. My days are always better...more
We are so excited to announce our Vendor of the Month for May.... Handzies! Handzies are natural soap and water based wipes. They provide a safe, simple alternative to harsh chemical based handsanitizers. With our proprietary, gentle formula they are great for more than just hands! Perfect for a little "freshen up" after a sweaty workout before you run errands (and the other shoppers will be so grateful). Individually wrapped wipes mean they are super easy to stash in lunch boxes, cars, purses and even pockets and will always be fresh and clean. Handzies will get your squeaky clean, anytime, anywhere!
Karen Trenk is the founder and creator of Hanzies, she says, "I started Handzies because I was a concerned mom that couldn't find a product to do what I wanted. I hated the chemical hand cleaners and wanted to get "back to basics". I didn't want to worry that what I was putting on my kids and me was worse for us than what we were trying to get off! I had a constant need to clean something up while we were on the go....kids hands after using a park potty, my face after a...more
I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Born and raised cheesehead. I went to UW-Madison for college, home of the Badgers (Zoology major). I have a younger brother (youth minister, has 2 kids) and a younger sister (special ed teacher, newlywed). My parents are still married and their relationship is something to look up to. :)
I moved to Denton, TX after college on a whim. I took a part-time job as a zookeeper for a company that does animal outreach programs, I had another part-time job as an emergency vet tech. Then I worked as a zookeeper at the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville, TX. From there I applied to the San Diego Zoo and, lo and behold, got a job as a Giant Panda keeper. I trained, researched, and cared for Giant Pandas for 5 years before I became pregnant with Simon. In my third trimester, my husband and I learned that his San Diego office was closing and moving to Austin. He's from TX and I've lived here before, so we knew it was a move that would be great for us. We moved to Austin when Simon was just 2 months old.
I heard about Fit4Mom when I was living in San...more