Healthy Family – Healthy Future

I remember as a little girl, sitting on my father’s running shoe-covered feet, arms around his sweaty knees, while he completed sit-ups after his run. I’m certain each of my 5 siblings has a similar memory. I don’t know how far or how often he would run, but he always encouraged us to run and/or to be physical. What I do know is that he completed his 1st marathon on his 50th birthday and he began Cross-fitting in his 60’s. INSPIRING.

I never did go for a run, not until just recently actually, but I was active in baseball, softball and swim team through most of my adolescence. After activities ended, I gained weight and ate/drank unhealthily for most of a decade. Towards 30 is when I found Paleo and Crossfit, only after entering motherhood. Motherhood is when it all clicked for me; I am a role model, a leader of a pack and I must make right choices for my cubs. At least, that is what goes through my mind on a daily basis.

My girls on a recent hike up White Rocks Trail in Cumberland Co, PA. We made it all the way to the top!

My girls on a recent hike up White Rocks Trail in Cumberland Co, PA. We made it all the way to the top!

While I once lived to party, I now enjoy walking my children the 10 blocks to a mile, to and from school, digging up soil and mixing compost, researching what plants work best with other plants to help deter critters, promote healthy growth and of course, taste the best. I’m using heirloom seeds, recycled egg cartons to start them, chopped off milk jugs in the event of a chilly evening… Who am I and how did this happen to me?! But most importantly of all, I am doing all these things with my children. Children who live in a culture where we are taught to trust the government, doctors, big brand names and their friends’ well-meaning treats on a daily basis. I’m hoping to infuse them with their own power through information gained and gathered on the fringe of what passes for our modern American culture. Do as I say / Do as I do. I am teaching by example and although they make choices that aren’t best, they also know that eating healthy food before a sweet treat is a better idea so their bodies don’t feel bad. That they learned on their own.

One of my 2013 resolutions was to grow as much as possible based on what my family likes to eat. So far, I have 2 4×4 garden beds with carrots and onions, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and I’ve begun seeds inside (due to a late winter chill and fear of frost) which include a variety of peppers, cucumbers and greens; arugula, spinach, butter crisp, head lettuce, I’ve also planted snap peas in a very fun way…I’m sure I’m forgetting something and I hope I’m able to keep up with it all! I also plan to add another raised bed to our farm this season for all the greens and the potential of 3-6 hills for melons and pumpkins. Luckily, our backyard has plenty of room for both play and food. Of course we’ll also be mixing these two very important aspects of life together by building a wall for the vining veggies to grow up and my kids to play under, FORT!

I used scrap pieces to make a humble wall for some snap peas to climb. I am propping it up with another stick to create a fort for the kids to play in and to provide some shade in our very sunny backyard.

I used scrap pieces to make this humble wall for our snap peas to climb. I am propping it up with another stick to create a fort for the kids to play in and to provide them additional shade in our very sunny backyard. They helped paint, roll out the chicken wire and plant the peas.

While my 6 year old churned the soil and collected any weeds from our back 2 beds, my 5 year old helped me plant seeds in egg cartons with a bit of our first batch of compost, started last year in my Mother’s Day present. We tend to the yard every chance we get on these brisk Spring days, before I have to go to work and they have to attend school. We look forward to Sundays when we can really get our hands dirty and everyone gets a say in where and what we plant. The time we spend together is priceless because we’re working as a family FOR our family.

That's me in the black, next to my father and his wife, both active members at Crossfit717, along with 1 of my daughters, 2 nieces and 3 nephews. They were all participants during a fundraiser featuring family wods and a pint sized wod circuit. Not pictured: another daughter and my husband, who dj'd the event.

That’s me in the black, next to my father and his wife, both active members at Crossfit717, along with 1 of my daughters, 2 nieces and 3 nephews. Not pictured: another daughter and my husband.

Life has a way of coming full circle as I caught my nephews sitting on each other’s feet while the other completed sit-ups in preparation for the family WOD (work out of the day) at Crossfit717‘s weekend event in support of Autism. It was a great day, filled with fun, family and fitness. My younger girls were able to participate in a WOD circuit, built just for 8 and unders including box jumps, burpees (their fave), air squats, farmer carries and more, while my husband dj’d the event. We have surrounded ourselves with quite a community. My only wish is that my children influence their own friends and family in a similar way some day and my efforts are not in vain.

How does your family stay focused on health? Leave a comment or join us on Facebook for more posts and discussion.


Cravings… ugh.

I’m going to approach this post in a different way because I just don’t have the time or energy to write all that I would like on this subject. Cheating? Perhaps, but sometimes cheaters win. It’s true and you know it. At least I’m still offering you the information in the links I have supplied below (READ THEM!). I apologize for not elaborating in a more personal tone – NEXT TIME!

Get your sugar from another source.

Why do you crave unhealthy carbs?  Here you go!

  • 5 Reasons Women Crave Carbs – Easy to read, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I will say, however, that Emily Deans, M.D. once noted the sugar/sweets/carbs craving during our menstrual cycle could relate right back to the nature of the beast: breast milk. Our first taste of sugar. Lactose, is a sugar. Carbs turn to sugar. Lack of nutrition craves food, comfort, taste. You see the cycle here? Eat real food as often as you’re hungry and you will fill the nutrition gap. That doesn’t mean you will lose those cravings, of course, but you will learn the difference between hunger and craving.
  • Why Do I Crave Carbs?  – Put down the carbs. Seriously. Fill your body with fat and protein from optimal sources and it won’t ‘need’ these simple carbohydrates, it will eventually stop craving them. Of course, that takes a long time, but it happens. One day you’ll wake up and that birthday cake just doesn’t do it for ya anymore.
  • Eat Carbs Crave Carbs – Evil little rascals.

Remember: THEY MAKE YOU SICK.

Ideas to curb the cravings?

  • 20 Tips – Here’s a handy flip through, which I’d like to add “Brush Your Teeth” to – usually comes in handy for those late night cravings. Drink a glass of water, brush your teeth, GO TO BED.

Bad habits need to be broken. It can take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the habit. Bad habits have immediate payoffs – good habits are established for a reason. All things are possible. REMEMBER: you are in control. The food you put in your mouth doesn’t magically appear inside. I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m saying it’s possible.

Find your motivation. Achieve your goals. Be your best.

Please share your go-to tips for curbing a craving in the comments or on our Facebook page dedicated to Pushups and Carrots. We are a community focused on wellness, become an active participant.