Calling all mini book lovers! Mommies, join me for I Love You Stinky Face Storytime at Aventura Mall

…I’m taking a little break here from the fitness related topics because we all know that our mental health is just as important as our physical health  — and reading is exercise for the brain. While there are tons of health benefits to reading, I read because I actually enjoy learning about new topics, or escaping to magical places I can only imagine in my brain. Once I became a mother, it was only natural for me to share my love for reading with my own girls.

They say children are made readers on the laps of their parents and I couldn’t agree more. I read stories aloud to my girls since they were infants and now they’ve each developed their own love for reading and books. Some of my most cherished memories are from the time they would snuggle up on my lap for stortytime and also, from when they were just learning to read. Oh how I miss these days but I’m also a proud mom for the exceptional readers they’ve become.

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I like to say I’m raising bookworms. They get excited over new books, library trips and their own quiet reading time. The key is to make reading fun for them!

Miami-based mommies with little ones, this Valentine’s Day, Aventura Mall, in partnership with Miami-Dade Family Learning Partnership, is presenting I Love You Stinky Face Storytime, where award-winning author Lisa McCourt will be visiting to present her children’s book “I Love You, Stinky Face”. At the reading, children will get to make their own photo frame, enjoy treats by Shake Shack and Peppermint Park and will receive a special autographed copy of the book. The fun starts at 10 a.m. on the Upper Level of the New Wing, by Zara. I hope to see some of you there!

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And mommies, I hope you too cultivate reading habits in your kids from an early start and open up their imaginations to a wild world of fiction. I hope you too get to experience the joy of hearing “just one more chapter”. These girls of mine have even gotten in trouble for reading past their bedtime and I (secretly) love that!

 

The Art of Rest After Injury

You’ve been busting your ass in the gym. Your consistency has been paying off. You’re seeing results. You have a passion to train. You flat out love it. And then, the unthinkable happens…an injury! [Cue in suspense music here.] Nooooo!…

So what caused my injury? After going a mere 10 pounds heavier on a couple of reps of front squats, I began feeling some discomfort and tenderness on my lower back. I did what any other stubborn person would do (right?) and dismissed it as nothing. Over the next few days my back felt tight and sore. And like the true Aries I am, I continued to ignore the warning signs and kept pushing through the discomfort..pushing and pushing until one day, I was in excruciating and relentless pain. After an ER visit and a couple of prescriptions for muscle relaxers later, the inevitable word I didn’t want to hear or accept, “rest”, had been spoken. Suddenly, the struggle to refocus my energy from my athletic endeavors to monotonous rehabilitation set in.

Return from an injury can be a lengthy and difficult process. If you’ve ever suffered from an injury, you understand the agony and frustration. Coming from someone who feels the most free, alive and plain ‘ol stress-free during those moments of exercise, the road to recovery was absolute torture. I must say this was my first injury so for any of you that have been down this road, I understand your pain. I now understand the frustration because you feel trapped in an injured body, the anger that makes you want to scream and the fear of never reaching full recovery. 

Now when you’re injured, you’re either forced to remain relatively sedentary or you’re limited to a personalized range of rehab exercises (ew!). For me, this meant a major reduction in endorphins, which ultimately affected my mental wellbeing. For any of you suffering through an injury and coming across this post, I offer some words of encouragement that helped me cope with the emotional stress of an injury. A wise person reminded me that fitness is a marathon and not a sprint so remember to give yourself time to fully heal from any injury through healthy eating, low impact exercises and a well thought out plan for recovery.

0d833751-865a-4e86-b2f3-66d882fb871cThis is me during one of my first post-injury workouts wearing Naked Muscle. [Side note: Naked Muscle is my ultimate favorite fitness clothing line.] Use code ‘Michelle15’ for a discount. 

..back to my words of encouragement!…

Accept that rest and time for healing is OK. 

Understand that resting and healing is its own form of productivity. Boy was this hard for me! Rest isn’t really my thing (we’re all a work in progress). However, during my “rest” time, I actually chose to be more present with my girls and enjoy my newfound free time with them doing activities that we had been putting off. Can’t go wrong with that!

Eat right.

What you eat impacts how your body looks but more importantly, it impacts how you feel. Not only will eating right make us feel better about ourselves overall, but consuming anti-inflammatory will also aid in recovery.

Try low-impact exercises to remain active.

Find things you could still do that you enjoy. Depending on your injury, take up yoga or another form of light work. I started off walking around my neighborhood and to my local park. Then I headed to Casa Vinyasa in South Miami and tried a great Yogalete class, one of two classes offered here for athletes recovering from injuries. “We offer our Yogalete and Restorative Flow classes because we wanted to have something for everyone no matter what injuries they’re dealing with,” says Lizzy Chiappy, founder of Yogalete and co-founder of Casa Vinyasa. “In our experience, it’s important to keep moving safely even when there is an injury present. These two classes give people that option.” The Yogalete class was a great way to get my heart rate up and ease myself back into a training regimen. Of course, always talk to your doctor before returning to any form of exercise after an injury.

772342d1-98a7-436f-a254-83569152c92dCute entrance rug at Casa Vinyasa

7800ef56-485a-47f1-a4a0-7e19040025b6The bestie (who happened to be in town from traveling the world..check out her travel inspired clothing and accessories line here) and me right after Yogalete

Don’t obsess over lost results. 

As I mentioned above, while I was obsessing over lost results, I was quickly reminded that fitness is a marathon and not a sprint. Truer words could not have been spoken to me at the time. It’s exactly what I needed to hear to remind me that it’s OK to refocus and set new and realistic goals for myself as I move forward.

I’m happy to say that 8 weeks after my injury, I began my weight training regimen again. Slowly but surely, now 3 months removed from my injury, I’m regaining my lost strength along with the confidence I had in my body’s ability to withstand high intensity workouts. I’m measuring my successes differently these days and appreciating each milestone reached along the way. I’m leaving my old goals in the past and focusing on my new goals.

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Good luck to you during your recovery process! Be patient and remember that your attitude and outlook is absolutely everything! 

No Lunch Rut Zone!

‘Twas a great summer indeed – full of fun, adventures, summertime memories and of course, chaos. But now it’s time for us to go back to our regularly scheduled programming and our regular routines. While making my girls healthy, balanced and tasty meals is always a top priority for me even throughout the summer, I want to make sure I translate that to their lunch boxes so that they have enough energy to sustain their little bodies and minds throughout the school day. Sure, sandwiches are great every now and then but if your kiddos are anything like mine, they don’t like to repeat foods often. We have to get our creative juices flowing when it comes to packing kiddos’ lunches and of course we want to make eating healthy fun for them.

Well have no fret, dear mamas! This is a no lunch rut zone here! Here are some easy, healthy, yet fun lunch ideas for the kiddos. As always, I’ll continue to post more healthy lunch ideas on my Instagram story and they’ll remain highlighted under the icon titled Kiddo Lunches. Follow me @Michelle_Font.

First off, these amazing Bentgo Boxes can be found on Amazon and the best part is that they’re spillage-proof! Here’s the direct link: https://amzn.to/2P0mYoO

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Continue reading “No Lunch Rut Zone!”

Precious little dimples…on your body! Ugh.

Raise your hand if you have cellulite!

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The journey to self-love and body acceptance isn’t always an easy one. It takes numerous life lessons and tons of patience. I’m an active mom of two, very conscious of what I put into my body and guess what…I still have cellulite!

I’ve done everything to fight it and have tried to hide it in the past until I finally came to the realization that it just isn’t a big deal. I’m healthy and that’s what matters. I’m Latin – thick legs (and cellulite) are in my genetics and I’m damn proud. My body has given me the two greatest gifts of my life…my girls. More importantly, I’m showing my daughters to love their bodies with all their perfect imperfections.

Ladies, cellulite is normal! In no way does it determine your strength, health and most definitely not your self-worth. And don’t let anyone tell you differently. Whether you’re battling cellulite, stretch marks or loose skin, accept it, embrace it and rock it!

Sure, I’ll still be active. Sure, I’ll still lead a healthy lifestyle and I’m not encouraging you to abandon your healthy ways because you can’t fix your “dimples”. Instead, I encourage you to keep working out and eating well. Keep doing what makes you feel good…but do it in proudly in shorts..and in a bikini! 

Sure, we can minimize the appearance of cellulite, but let’s not make this our goal. Let’s make HEALTHY our goal. Here are some simple tips that can help us all lead overall healthier lives:

Continue reading “Precious little dimples…on your body! Ugh.”

Low-Carb Zucchini Lasagna Recipe!

Swap out the lasagna noodles for zucchini! Try this low-carb dish instead and I promise you won’t miss the noodles at all! This dish is perfect for feeding a large family and the leftovers taste even better the next day.

Now I’ve never been a huge fan of lasagna but I had an extra package of sweet Italian turkey sausage lying around in my freezer and since my family didn’t like the first package I made (got it from a BOGO sale), I knew I had to get creative with the second package or toss it out. I decided to give a low-carb version of this dish a go, although my family was skeptical at first. I’m glad to say that after a few bites they were all raving about how delicious it was and my little one (my picky eater) ate it all within minutes, veggies and all…and check this, she even wanted seconds! Those of you with picky eaters understand the grand feat that is. Without further ado, here is the recipe.

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Continue reading “Low-Carb Zucchini Lasagna Recipe!”

Moms Summer Workout Survival Tips

Summer is in full swing, fellow mommas, and although we love having a more relaxed schedule and a little more time to sleep in, we all know how draining these summer months can be. Trying to keep our regularly scheduled exercise regimens with the kids at home, or while we’re running around to and from summer camp, seems to be near darn impossible. A mom has to get creative to escape and fit in her daily dose of exercise and it can be done. Ladies, don’t let those long hours of hard work and dedication of training you’ve already put in throughout the rest of the year go to waste while we try to survive these summer months. Our schedules may have been turned upside down but let’s squeeze in that training and those glutes! Here are my top 5 tips to stay fit and active during the summer with the kiddos at home or sans kids while they’re away at camp:

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Let’s Talk Meal Prepping!

For me, health isn’t measured in numbers. It’s not about the number on the scale nor other people’s standards of what healthy should look like. To me, health is measured in how I feel day-to-day. It’s measured on how well I take care of myself and how I treat my body regularly. For my own personal health and fitness goals, I don’t rely on calorie counting or fad diets. What I do strive for is leading an overall healthy lifestyle and feeding my body lots of nutritious, fresh, colorful whole foods. And to help me stay on track, I tend to meal prep. Set aside an hour or two a week for meal prepping and I guarantee you’ll be eating less junk and staying more consistent with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re new to meal prepping, don’t get overwhelmed, as I did, when I first began to meal prep. Even if you don’t get to manage a full prep, just take baby steps and prep one meal or a few snacks or a couple of days’ worth of meals at a time. Those meals and snacks will come in handy on those extra busy days on the go or when you’re just coming home exhausted.

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Here, I’ve put together a list of one day’s worth of meals and snacks just to give you an idea of what to put together. On regular weeks, I personally prepare my meals and snacks for only two days (and I actually repeat one day’s worth) as I tend to come home throughout the day to eat my breakfast or lunch, but you can repeat your meals and snacks for the amount of days that work for you.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk Meal Prepping!”