nature, takeout,fresh produce,eat now

How to eat take out and stay healthy? That is the million-dollar question. We all know that fast food is cheap, convenient and if you’re hungry enough, almost anything tastes good. Unfortunately, eating take out fast food can pack enough calories, sodium, and fat for an entire day or more in one meal. Eating fast food on a regular basis can cause all kinds of health problems but the price and turn around time make it hard to resist. So why not make better choices?

I’m a busy mom and I love to eat fresh fruits and veggies and home cooked meals as often as possible but on those days when I have lots of work deadlines and the girls have school and dance and whatever else happens to pop up on any given day, on those days, I need help. I need take out, preferably delivered to my door and not loaded with enough calories to feed a baby elephant.

Moderation is the key. Finding a healthy, well-balanced meal in most restaurants can be a challenge, but there are always choices you can make that are healthier than others. Learn to make healthier choices when ordering

Prepare ahead by checking guides that show you the nutritional content of meal choices at your favorite restaurants. I love Fitness pal and Dotti’s food score because then I can plan my meal before ordering. If I plan early enough, I can make sure that my entire day stays on track.

Tips for making healthy choices when ordering take out.

  • Make careful menu selections – pay attention to the descriptions on the menu. Dishes labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, Alfredo, au gratin, or in cream sauce are usually high in calories, unhealthy fats, or sodium. Skip the fat by asking for your food to be grilled, steamed or broiled instead of sautéed or fried and request that your food be cooked “dry” which means no oil or butter.
  • Order items with more vegetables and choose leaner meats.
  • Drink water with your meal. Skip the pop. It’s just a bunch of empty calories. Instead order water with lemon or unsweetened iced tea.
  • “Undress” your food. When choosing items, be aware of calories and fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, cheese, sour cream, etc. Ask for all condiments, special sauces and dressings on the side.
  • Special order. Many menu items would be healthy if it weren’t for the way they were prepared. Ask for your vegetables and main dishes to be served without the sauces. Ask for olive oil and vinegar for your salads or order the dressing “on the side” and spoon only a small amount on at a time. Ask that they be cooked in the healthier option.
  • Eat mind fully. Pay attention to what you eat and slow down. Have a side salad before you eat your main course. Chew your food. I’ve always had a bad habit of eating on the run or waiting until I am starving and then overeating. It takes time for your body to register that you have eaten. Stop eating before you feel like you are going to explode from all of that lasagna.
  • Always order food your way. Order smaller lunch sized portions, avoid salt and don’t add bacon to your order. Order food with no salt and no sauce. Get it on the side and then ration as needed.

What are your best tips for eating take out and staying healthy?


Photo Josh Mazgelis

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by EatNow but all opinions are my own.

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parenting, bad parenting, obese child, obese children, obesity, unhealthy, unhealthy eating

If you think childhood obesity is not a real thing, then you would be wrong.

It is alive and well in suburbia. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I believe it. Parents you are responsible for the options your child has.

I was at the pool the other day with my children and I saw an adorable little girl who looked about 4-years-old and weighed around 60 pounds. She wasn’t super tall; she was tiny so that is why I noticed her immediately. She was portly and it wasn’t just a little baby fat, she looked well on her way to obesity and that is what concerned me the most. I know people can come in all shapes and sizes and still be healthy but this little girl was breathing heavy just from walking and that doesn’t seem healthy to me.

I have two little girls and I know that weight fluctuates and kids have baby fat that they outgrow but this child had a substantial amount of weight to lose and she was so young that I was alarmed for her health. Before you get mad at me for discussing a child’s weight, know now that I am not talking trash about this child. I feel sorry for her because 1) it’s not her fault. A child’s diet is not her own responsibility at that age. 2) I know what it’s like to be overweight and have to lose weight and it is not fun or easy, for anyone. 3) Just the fact that she is so overweight, will make her an easy target at a young age for bullies. NO, that is not fair and I wish the world wasn’t like this but it is.

When children are small, their parents are responsible for what they eat, how much they eat and when they eat it. Sure, there are instances where children have a medical condition or have to take medication for a condition that causes weight gain but I think a lot of the time, it can be attributed to lazy parenting. Not all of the time, of course but there are definitely times when it’s easier to just give in. Giving in to kids who want to eat the chips and cookies rather than have the fight about eating the healthier options. I am not saying kids shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy snacks and sweets occasionally, I am saying everything in moderation.

Children are a lot more tech savvy than they used to be. There is a lot more tech available to use. When it’s hot outside, a lot of kids would rather lay on the couch playing Minecraft in the air conditioning than go outside and ride their bikes. Kids these days have access to 600 channels, endless amounts of songs on Spotify, movies on Netflix and games on the computer. Even if they are educational games and movies, it equals children who sitting on their butts a lot more of the time than they are moving around.

Pair all of that sitting around with fast food this, greasy that and super-sized everything plus soda and chips and preservatives and dyes and you have children who are moving less and eating more, more junk and less clean, organic food. Kids are eating out of boredom and mindlessly eating while sitting in front of the television. It doesn’t help that we live in a society where clean food is priced so high that you have to donate a kidney to provide safe, healthy food for your children to eat. As parents, we have got to stop this cycle before the entire world is morbidly obese and the average life span is 50.

This little girl didn’t just gain all that weight over night, none of us do. It happened over time. This little girl is also, sadly, not an anomaly, I see lots of overweight children. I’m not perfect and neither is my family. We make bad choices sometimes and I’ve had to work really hard to make sure that my kids don’t just exist on chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and popsicles. It’s a lot of work raising children to be healthy and teaching them to make the right choices even when I am not around. It takes diligence, commitment and hard-work.

It’s our responsibility to prevent our children from suffering from childhood obesity.

It gets frustrating and sometimes you just want to give in and sometimes you can. But as a parent, you can’t give in every time your child wants something because even though that might be the easy choice right now and it might make them happy, right now, in the long run you could be teaching them to make the wrong choices and to over indulge in things that are bad for them.

I’m not writing this post because I think it’s fun to point out that a little girl is overweight. I am writing this post because I know where this road of unhealthy leads. Eventually, people will make fun of her for being overweight. Kids are cruel. Then she will begin to slowly believe that if only she could lose a few pounds, she could be happy ( which is NOT true by the way), then she might develop low self-esteem, body dysmorphic disorder and maybe even suffer from eating disorders in search of the illusive bikini bridge and the thigh gap. She might spend the rest of her life hating her body and worse than all of that she could develop heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and several other diseases as a result of being obese since childhood. Then you die.

I’m not saying this little girl needs to be skinny. I am saying that her mother needs to step in and do something before her weight becomes an out of control problem that she has to live with for the rest of her life. Her mother needs to take responsibility for her daughter. Our children need to be healthy and it’s our responsibility as parents to give them every opportunity and tool to do so.

Do you think letting our children become obese makes us bad parents?

Update: I am fully aware that I don’t know this child or her mother or their particular situation. When I saw them by the sign, it made me think about parenting choices. We all make mistakes and none of us are perfect but we have to try.

How do you prevent your own children from falling into the trap of childhood obesity?

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Walgreens, healthy choices, Balance rewards
I am a member of the Collective Bias ® Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.

Women’s Health has suddenly become top priority in my life. Recently, I’ve been focusing more on creating my own healthy habits. Maybe it’s my age or just the fact that the older my daughters get, the more time I have to actually focus on my own health and mortality; you know, now that I have a free moment to pee alone now and again.

Did you ever consider that what you do for a profession could affect your health? I mean, we know that if you are a stunt man or a cop, your life is generally at higher risk than the general population. Of course, I never considered that being a blogger/writer/ sitting at my desk all day could be detrimental to my health. We all laugh at “blogger butt” and joke about sitting around in our pajamas all day but did you ever really consider that blogging could be bad for your health? Me, neither.

vitamins, #Herhealth, #Walgreens, Women's Health, Health

Blogging has made me happy. I love what I do. I love freelancing. I love social media. I love letting my girls see me pursue my dreams and get to do something that I am passionate about.  It’s important to me to be a good example for my girls. In fact, as a mom of girls, being a good example is probably the most important thing to me that and just being around to see them grow from my babies into women.

So imagine my frustration when I went to the doctor and aside from gaining weight, which I can obviously see, my sugar and cholesterol levels were both elevated but normal. All that I heard was blahblahblah HIGH blahblahblah AT RISK blahblahblah.

vitamins, #Herhealth, #Walgreens, Women's Health, Health

My brain went directly to all the things I would miss if I were to suddenly die (yes, I am one of those people); first dates, driving, graduation, college, falling in love, growing up, getting married, getting pregnant, becoming a mom, repeat. Then I thought of all the smaller things like taking care of them when they are sick, holding them when they experience the first crushing blows of falling in and then out of love, the fear and excitement in the big moments, giving the gentle nudges forward when they need to be pushed in the right direction or even just being there to listen when they needed undivided attention and a mother’s unconditional love. I need to be an advocate for not only my health but for #herhealth, as well; both of them. In that moment, I knew exactly what I needed to do. My path had never been so clear. I made all of the doctors’ appointments and I made a plan. I need a plan. I can accomplish almost anything with a plan in hand.

Walgreens, vitamins, #Herhealth, #Walgreens, Women's Health, Health

My first stop was the corner Walgreens to buy myself a bottle of Vitafusion Women’s Daily Multivitamin, Gummies. These have been my favorite vitamins as an adult. They are small and easy to swallow because you chew them and they don’t have that bitter mineral after taste that many adult multivitamins have. I like them so much that I started buying Vitafusion multivitamins for the entire family.

vitamins, #Herhealth, #Walgreens, Women's Health, Health

Next, I started paying attention to what my FitBit was telling me. The first thing that I noticed is that without consciously making an effort to move, a blogger can exist on only taking 337 steps in a day; my goal is 10,000. No wonder why “blogger butt” is a thing. Now, I am getting between 6500 and 12,000 steps a day just by spending an hour every morning taking a walk or bike ride with my daughters. I can feel the difference. I can do better but at least I am off in the right direction.

I’ve eliminated pop from the menu and replaced it with iced water and switched out my daily coffee for unsweetened green tea. I love coffee but I was using so much creamer that it made each coffee have about 250 calories and the caffeine itself was contributing to my terrible insomnia. Now, coffee is a treat that I look forward to once a week (early on Saturday morning) and sleeping without the help of some kind of pill is a wonderful new bonus in my life.

vitamins, #Herhealth, #Walgreens, Women's Health, Health

I linked my FitBit to My Fitness Pal app and started logging everything I eat. You have no idea what you consume until you log it. You might think, “I don’t eat that much or that badly!” Believe me, you probably do. Some days, I found that I didn’t get enough calories and other days, I was going over by about 1000. My Fitness Pal also lets me stay aware of the sugar and cholesterol in everything I eat. In the past month, I have lost 12 pounds. I’ve also committed myself to seeing my doctor once a month to check in on my progress and keep me accountable. These are all baby steps to make sure that I am around for the big and little moments of my life to come.

What do you do to maintain or improve your Women’s health so that you are around for the big and little moments?



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vaccinate, vaccinations, CDC, #CDCVax

Do you vaccinate your children? I do. Every time they are due for their vaccinations, I schedule an appointment with the pediatrician and we get our shots. According to the CDC, vaccines prevent more than 700,000 child deaths in the US.

While there are some childhood illnesses that are seldom found in the western world these days, because of vaccinations, there are others that are still very rampant in the world and they do not discriminate by race, color, religion or socioeconomic standing. These illnesses will attack where they can and either you are protected, or you are not.

I vaccinate my children because I want to protect them against childhood diseases that can wreak havoc on their immune systems and even be fatal. I realize that some children cannot be vaccinated due to health issues, and that’s why it is even more important that those who can do, to help protect these children as well.

What scares me is the fact that the entire concept of vaccines relies upon herd immunity, which is the idea that diseases won’t be communicable because most people are immune. If there are enough unvaccinated children roaming the world, the situation can allow for the spread of diseases that we thought were nearly eradicated, like measles, mumps and whooping cough.

The near and complete eradication of these childhood diseases due to vaccines keeps our children safe. Vaccines are a great thing. Now, cases of pertussis, measles and mumps are popping up all over the country. Don’t think it’s going to stop there. The less we vaccinate, the worse this is going to get. No matter the reason behind not vaccinating, being unvaccinated means being vulnerable and susceptible to these diseases.

My point is this: We live in a world where these diseases have become a thing of the past. We don’t plan for them, we don’t worry about them and we don’t know how to readily recognize them. If you are interested in discussing more ways to keep your children healthy and protected against dangerous childhood diseases, please join us for the #CDCvax Twitter Party 

What: While it can be easy to think of vaccine-preventable diseases – such as measles or whooping cough – as issues of the past, most of these diseases still persist around the world. Just last year, in 2013, 189 people in the U.S. reported having measles, the largest reported outbreak in the U.S. since 1996.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States.

The Motherhood is joining The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in sharing how immunizations early in life can help protect children from 14 serious diseases before they turn two years old. We’ll be providing the CDC’s recommended immunization schedules, along with interesting facts and helpful tips.

Join us to learn more and share tips of your own for managing your family’s vaccinations and overall health! 

When: Wednesday, April 30 at 1pm ET

Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #CDCvax hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite:

Hashtag: #CDCvax

Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TheMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann

Your fellow co-hosts:

Amy, This Mama’s Life – @ThisMamas

Annie, Stowed Stuff – @anniestow

Deborah, The Truth About Motherhood – @TruthfulMommy

Donna, Blog by Donna – @DonnaChaffins

Jennifer, My Boys and Their Toys – @Lovesmytwoboys

Kathy, A Mom’s Impression – @amomsimpression

Kim, Two Kids and a Coupon – @2kidsandacoupon

Lori, A Day in Motherhood – @lomargie

Melissa, Sippy Cup Mom – @SippyCupMom

Sarah, Must Have Mom – @musthavemom


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Joe Pesci, Hangry, hunger marriage, relationships

Hangry, are you familiar with the term?

Hangry is when a person who is hungry becomes unreasonably angry. I call it my Joe Pecsi side. I can be the kindest person you’ll ever meet but when my blood sugar gets low, I get the shakes, I feel faint and I go from sweetie to full on bitch in a matter of seconds; like a rabid dog. I am short and my words are biting, no one is safe. As I get the cold sweats and perspiration beads upon my upper lip, all I can think, is Dear God, please let me get some carbs in me before I fall flat on my face or kill someone.

Hey, you, you walking at snail speed through the grocery store on Tuesday morning. I don’t care if you are 85-years-old (carrying a newborn in a carrier or have three broken legs), I’ve not eaten in 14 hours and if you don’t move your brittle boned (exhausted, non-sleep having, hoveraound driving) ass, I am going to start chewing on your elbow. Think Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

Enter doughnut. Enter compassion and patience and love. Hug a tree. Kiss a baby. Wipe an old person’s nose. Carry a spider outside. Smile at a stranger.

Excuse me, ma’am, can I get that for you. Here, I will help you. I love the elderly ( new moms, disabled). ** I am seriously not myself when I am hungry. I go from Mrs. Hyde to Dr. Hangry in a matter of minutes. It’s scary. Luckily, the cure is a piece of food. God, I must have been miserable to be around when I was anorexic. (That was a joke and I can make that one because I lived to tell about it.)

Well, a new study validates me. Low blood sugar makes couples more aggressive. 107 couples were asked to measure their blood sugar levels every morning and night for 21 days. Each night they were asked to stick up to 51 pins in a voodoo doll, depending on how angry they were at their spouse. The researchers compared this aggression level to the participants’ average glucose levels over the study period.
The results proved that study participants with lower nightly blood sugar levels were more aggressive and pinned the voodoo doll substantially more. These findings remained true even after researchers controlled the data for relationship satisfaction. See hangry is real and it’s dangerous.

Luckily for me, the Big Guy, never lets himself starve. He is the glue that keeps this marriage together because God knows when I go all Pesci, I get on my own damn nerves.

Joe Pesci, Hangry, hunger marriage, relationships

When I am hangry, I want to throat punch everyone including myself.

Everyone gets upset at their spouse on occasion, that’s normal. People have bad days and some times you just need your damn space or the kids are being assholes or your husband refuses to pick up his socks for 5 years but self-control and maturity prevents you from going all ape shit bananas on them and attacking. Hopefully, if your husband says something stupid your first instinct isn’t to bash his brains in with a bat. But self-control is a limited resource (don’t I know it?) and each time you use it, you have a little less. When self-control stops, aggression starts. You replenish your self-control with energy, from food. So when you are starving and you’ve already used up your daily allowance of self-control, hangry enters like a Tasmanian devil and wreaks havoc on everyone in it’s path. You wouldn’t like me when I am hungry. It’s ugly.

So next time you are thinking of juicing or starving yourself before a reunion or for bikini season, ask yourself this, are you feeling lucky? Because while nothing tastes as good as thin feels, nothing is worth dealing with a hangry person acting all Joe Pesci. Give that hangry person a piece of cake and tell them you prefer them just the way they are.

You’ve heard the song, If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, better make an ugly woman your wife? Well, it’s because it’s better to feed your beloved and have her be a little less attractive than to starve her into waif thin model shape and have her take an ice pick to you over a piece of toast. The moral of the story is never discuss politics, religion, finances or those 10 extra pounds you want to lose or his sock on the floor issue on an empty stomach or someone might get hurt.

Do you ever get hangry?

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the hidden dangers of juicing, Juicing, Breville, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Mental health, bipolar, eating disorders

Do you know the hidden dangers of juicing? A couple weeks ago, I watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and obviously, related a little too much. I immediately wanted to start juicing as a way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our everyday diet. The fact that I have read that juicing helps with everything from losing weight to curing cancer made it even that more lucrative.

But I never considered that there could be hidden dangers of juicing.

Juicing is healthy, or so I thought. I’ve known for some time that our diets have began to see a deficit in fresh fruit and vegetables and I want to change that. So, I told my husband that I wanted a juicer for Mother’s Day…but I wanted it now. Why put off til tomorrow what you can do today? Carpe Diem and all that shit.

I must have had that crazy look in my eyes because he agreed and within a few days, my brand spanking new Breville juicer arrived. I was very eager to get started so I downloaded the Joe Juice Diet book ( by the guy who did the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead documentary) and got started. This is exactly why I am not allowed to watch infomercials. See The Enya incident of 1997, the Zumba incident of 2007,  the Meaningful Beauty incident of 2006 and the Insanity & T25 incidents of  2012 and 2013. I am the optimistic insomniac who is easily sold anything in her delirious state. Anyways, I digress.

I got my Breville juicer and decided on a 3-day juice.  I served all my juice over ice because I need juice to be cold but you can drink it room temperature if you prefer.

Here is what my juicing experience looked like:

Day 1-3


Hot water with lemon ( instead of coffee & to jumpstart your metabolism)

the hidden dangers of juicing, Juicing, Breville, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Mental health, bipolar, eating disorders


Bye-Bye Blue Juice ( ½ cup blueberries, 1 cucumber, 1 lime, 1 pear. Makes 1 serving.)

the hidden dangers of juicing, Juicing, Breville, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Mental health, bipolar, eating disorders


Water/ Coconut Water


the hidden dangers of juicing, Juicing, Breville, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Mental health, bipolar, eating disorders

Joe’s Mean Green Juice (16 Kale leaves, 2 cucumbers, 8 celery stalks, 4 apples, 1 lemon and a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger.  Makes 2 servings.)

Afternoon snack:

Juicing, Breville, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Mental health, bipolar, eating disorders

Green Citrus ( 4 apples, 4 oranges and 12 handfuls of leafy greens. I use Kale. Makes 2 servings.)


Joe’s Mean Green


the hidden dangers of juicing, Juicing, Breville, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Mental health, bipolar, eating disorders

Peach Delight (1 sweet potato, 2 ripe peaches, 1 apple, 1 1/3 cup of blueberries and a dash of cinnamon.)

Now, while I liked all of the juices with the exception of the Mean Green which I just haven’t gotten the recipe to taste yet. I think it needs less cucumber. Cucumber is so overpowering and I love it but it’s just been a tad too much for me.  Full Disclosure: by the end of day two, I was so famished that I would have eaten my own arm off. I ended up eating an actual salad with grilled chicken.  Juicing is hard. I did lose 3 pounds in 3 days and I had a lot of energy.


Herbal Tea

My experience showed e the hidden dangers of juicing.

I loved the drinks but two things happened to me that I wasn’t anticipating and they scared me a little bit.

1) I had a lot of energy. Like too much. I was talking a lot ( more than usual and if you know me you know that is  A LOT!) and apparently, I was very loud and fidgety. Now, this may not be alarming to any of you but for me a person who flirts with mania, well, it felt a little too close to home for me. So, if you are prone to bouts of mania or hypomania, maybe juicing is not for you unless you are trying to induce an episode in which case, call your doctor right now!

2) As a person 16 years in recovery from eating disorders, juicing felt a lot like a gateway drug to restricting. I felt a switch flip and I have been obsessing over everything I put into my mouth ever since which, yes, I did need to be more aware of but didn’t necessarily want to be hyperaware and experience the guilt that I associate with carbs so this has me a little worried.  I find it alarming that simply by following a regimented diet for 3 days; I can feel those old tendencies pulling at me so strongly. The good news is that I am completely aware of it and have added whole foods back into my diet but the refined sugars and flours are just not worth it to me at this point.  I’m not sure I would recommend juicing for anyone who has had issues with restricting in the past, it could be a trigger.

My plan is to continue juicing for breakfast and for my afternoon and evening snack and to eat healthy meals for lunch and dinner. So my takeaway is that I do love juicing. I love the energy and knowing that I am adding a lot of great fruits and veggies back into our diet and that is good for all us but I could never live on just juice of an extended amount of time.

Also, I don’t drink a lot of alcohol or coffee on a regular basis so I never experienced the usual withdrawals so I can’t tell you how bad those might be. I can say that my morning Bye-Bye Blues juice blend gave me a lot more energy than a cup of coffee ever has.


Don’t overdue the kale because it can be bad for you

Remove peels from citrus

A little lemon/lime go a LONG way

Cucumber is powerful

Remove the pits from peaches

Remove seeds from your apples ( cyanide). I forgot.

Use organic ingredients if you are juicing the skin

Too much fruits equal too much sugar.

Do you juice? Please share your favorite juicing or smoothie recipes?

Have you discovered any hidden dangers to juicing?

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#ProHealthKids, @OralB, Crest, DIsney Magic Timer,Disney, #DisneySIde, Crest, Oral-B

This paid post is brought to you by the new free Oral-B Disney Timer App as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post.
I, myself, am a self-proclaimed tooth brushing fanatic. I am obsessed with clean, straight and perfectly kept teeth. I picked up this habit as a teenager while I wore braces. Sure, my mom always warned us of cavities and horror stories of teeth falling out but not even the four cavities that I had filled at age 10 made me a believer. Fast-forward 3 years, imagine a young me sitting at the orthodontist office getting braces put on. I was terrified, it was 1985 and I just knew my brothers and sisters were not going to be wanting for torturous nicknames like Trap Jaw and Tin Grin but what I didn’t expect was the speech from my orthodontist.

“Debi, if you do not brush your teeth three times a day and floss and you continue to drink pop or any dark colored liquids, when I take these things off in a year or two, your teeth could be discolored or worse…rotten!”

Now, maybe that was the standard scare a kid straight speech given in the 80’s and maybe he was full of caca but what I heard was, “Girl, when I take these things off, if you haven’t been brushing like your life depended on it…the only thing holding those not so pearly whites in your mouth will be the wires and brackets I am torturing you with right now!”

You know, sort of like that time when I was seven and had to get tubes put in my ears. I heard, “We will need to chop your ears off!” Crazy imagination gets the better of me a lot of the time. Anyways, the speech about the teeth stuck and I have been a brushaholic ever since and I have the recession to prove it.

**Tip for parents, if you’re going to scare the kiddies straight with tales of rotten teeth, buy them an electric toothbrush unless you want them to brush away all of their gums.

#ProHealthKids, @OralB, Crest, DIsney Magic Timer,Disney, #DisneySIde, Crest, Oral-B

Anyways, I have “tried” to pass the urgency of teeth brushing down to my daughters. Apparently, it is not genetic because they are not one bit afraid of losing teeth. It may have something to do with the fact that my 6 –year-old is currently losing all of her baby teeth at an alarming rate. So, I have tried using an egg timer, a sand timer, sang happy birthday the required amount of times and we’ve even tried swishing our mouths with red dye to show them the residue that was left behind (that used to scare me to death in elementary school). Nope, none of it has worked. I even pulled out the magnifying glass to show them up close what they had missed in their brushing efforts. They laughed and went on about their business. Basically, short of their teeth actually falling out and rotting, they have no interest in brushing for two minutes.

I even have a 9-year-old with braces who I have shared the horrific tale of teeth held in place only by braces and still she poopooed me. So, when I learned of the Disney Magic Timer app I was ready to try anything and let’s be honest, my kids are crazy for the Mouse and all the princesses. I still can’t get them to stop singing Let it Go and I won’t even embarrass myself and tell you how many times we’ve had to watch all the Princess movies.

#ProHealthKids, @OralB, Crest, DIsney Magic Timer,Disney, #DisneySIde, Crest, Oral-B

I opened the free Disney Magic Timer app on my phone (next time we will be using my old ipod because they covered my phone in tooth paste) and created accounts for both girls. They get to choose from a few different characters; Bella chose Belle, of course, and Gabs chose Ariel. Next, you have the option of scanning in your Oral-B products to unlock character. I had a little trouble scanning on my phone but I am very impatient. My husband did it and said it was a breeze. We happen to have a lot of Oral-B products because every time the girls go to the dentist he gives them a new one. They also earn stickers to unlock character by brushing regularly. Think of it as the way we potty trained with stickers. It still works.

#ProHealthKids, @OralB, Crest, DIsney Magic Timer,Disney, #DisneySIde, Crest, Oral-B

Then you choose your unlocked character and start your timer. Then this happens; a tiny toothbrush appears on the screen and starts brushing (yep, the kids can copy and do a great job at brushing the teeth) and as the 2 minutes passes, with music playing in the background, a cute Disney scene appears. I won’t lie; it totally kept the girls brushing because they wanted to reveal the photo. I told them if they stopped brushing, I was stopping the timer and no photo for them. And that, is how I got my girls to brush their teeth twice a day for 2 complete minutes each time. Now, our only problem is they want to brush their teeth constantly but we are working on it.

How do you get your kids to brush their teeth the recommended 2 minutes?


This is a paid post is brought to you by the new free Oral-B Disney Timer App as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post. Featuring sixteen of your favorite Disney and Marvel characters, use this app to seamlessly encourage your kids to brush longer. Collect a new digital sticker after each successful two minutes of brushing; track progress with stars and milestone badges on the Brushing Calendar. Longer, happier brushing for your little one is just a download away!

Download the Free App Here

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body love, love your body, body image, women, mary Lambert

Love your body is the message that we must teach our daughters.

Love your body like your mother loved your baby feet. I had something else planned to write about today but then I listened to one of my favorite songs by Mary Lambert, Body Love. It spoke to me and, if you are a woman, it will probably speak to you too. If you are a man, it can give you some insight into a woman’s mind, especially one who finds herself to be perpetually imperfect. Like so many of us do. I want to teach my girls to love themselves as much as I loved their baby feet and that they are worth more than the size of their ass or what lies between their legs or what they look like or a number on a scale. You.Are.Beautiful!

i know girls who are trying to fit into the social norm
like squeezing into last year’s prom dress
i know girls who are low rise, mac eyeshadow, and binge drinking
i know girls that wonder if they’re a disaster and sexy enough to fit in
i know girls who are fleeing bombs from the mosques of their skin,
playing russian roulette with death
it’s never easy to accept that our bodies are fallible and flawed

but when do we draw the line?
when the knife hits the skin?
isn’t it the same thing as purging
because we’re so obsessed with death?
some women just have more guts than others
the funny thing is women like us don’t shoot
we swallow pills, still wanting to be beautiful at the morgue
still proceeding to put on make-up
still hoping that the mortician finds us fuckable and attractive
we might as well be buried with our shoes and handbags and scarves,

we flirt with death every time we etch a new tally mark into our skin
i know how to split my wrists like a battlefield too,
but the time has come for us to reclaim our bodies

our bodies deserve more than to be war-torn and collateral
offering this fuckdom as a pathetic means to say,
“i only know how to exist when i’m wanted!”
girls like us are hardly ever wanted, you know?
we’re used up and we’re sad
and drunk and perpetually waiting by the phone

for someone to pick up and tell us that we did good
well, you did good

i know i am because i said i am
i know i am because i said i am
i know i am because i said i am
my body is home
my body is home
i know i am because i said i am
i know i am because i said i am
i know i am because i said i am

so try this:
take your hands over your bumpy lovebody naked
and remember the first time you touched someone
with the sole purpose of learning all of them,
touched them because the light was pretty on them
and the dust in the sunlight danced the way your heart did

touch yourself with a purpose
your body is the most beautiful royal
fathers and uncles are not claiming your knife anymore
are not your razor, no,
put the sharpness back
lay your hands flat and feel the surface of scarred skin
i once touched a tree with charred limbs
the stump was still breathing but the tops were just ashy remains
i wonder what it’s like to come back from that
because sometimes i feel forest fires erupting from my wrists
and the smoke signals sent out are the most beautiful things i’ve ever seen

love your body the way your mother loved your baby feet
and brother arm-wrapping shoulders, and remember, this is important:
you are worth more than who you fuck
you are worth more than a waistline
you are worth more than beer bottles displayed like drunken artifacts
you are worth more than any naked body could proclaim in the shadows
more than a man’s whim

or your father’s mistake
you are no less valuable as a size 16 than a size 4
you are no less valuable as a 32a than a 36c
your sexiness is defined by concentric circles within your wood,
it is wisdom
you are a goddamn tree stump with leaves sprouting out,

I am not here yet. But I want to be.

Do you love your body?

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icrescendo fasting work best for women, intermittent fasting, crescendo fasting, fasting for women, weight loss secrets, eating disorders, anorexia

As the mother of two little girls living in a world that judges a woman’s value on her beauty and how skinny she is, I have spent their lifetime teaching them that they are better than good enough. As a product of that world myself, I have spent my lifetime just trying to feel comfortable in my own skin. We live in a world where people would rather be skinny than happy and where grown women measure their success by their thigh gaps and bikini bridges. Our daughters see this. They are affected.

The fact of the matter is that we live in a world where media treats women like they are objects of beauty; to be seen and not heard. This weighs heavily on a young girl and every thought and action becomes a deliberate choice with ripples that will resonate throughout her entire life. To be seen is to be vulnerable but to be unattractive is to be invisible, which feels almost as bad.

Like many women, I’ve spent years trying to be seen and simultaneously unseen. Passing through space and time from a beautiful child, thru the uncertainty of the teen years and then being thrust at warp speed into the sexual irresistibility of womanhood only to find ourselves sliding into middle age before fading into old age and ultimately death. Why do we allow ourselves to be defined by other people’s perception of who we are?

Little girls come into this world full of hope and beauty and as we age, our beauty fades. It’s no coincidence that so does our hope. We learn pretty early on that the more attractive we are, the more wonderful place the world is for us to be in. By the time the awkwardness of puberty and the teen years hit, our confidence has been shaken and by the time we go to college, most of us will do just about anything to live up to that expectation of beauty.

I know this from firsthand experience. Body dysmorphic disorder had me in its cold dead grip by the time I was 12 and by the time I was 17, I was restricting my food. By 18, I was in college and terrified of what the freshman 15 would mean to my appearance, I was severely restricting my calories, working out for at least 2 hours a day and throwing up every single thing that entered into my body; even water. It was the only way that I felt I had any control over what was happening to me. I will spend the rest of my life in recovery from this. I still occasionally find myself bent over a toilet deciding whether or not to take that next step.

To this day, every taste of food or sip of liquid that enters my mouth is noted. Many days when I look in the mirror, I am frozen in shame at my reflection. Self-loathing has become such a part of who I am that when I look in the mirror and actually like what I see, it surprises me. I am not surprised about this because just over the weekend I saw things that made me understand that I did not do this to myself. I am a product of a society that values men on their strength and intelligence and women on their beauty.

My friend wrote about a throw pillow at Nordstrom that reads,

“To hell with beauty sleep, I want skinny sleep.”

What a shallow and callous statement for Nordstrom to make to the world about women. I am sure that the buyer at Nordstrom thought the pillow was funny but it’s not. It’s a symptom of the sickness of our society.

Another friend wrote this on her FB status: “… If I were to eat a freaking BOX of Twinkies I would have no choice but to divorce my husband and leave my children and go live on an island where I would befriend a community of wild gorillas and be alone and fat forever!”

This makes me so sad because aside from her feeling that if she were unattractive she’d be doomed to a life of unhappiness, this particular woman is absolutely gorgeous and it troubles me that she feels that her happiness in life is so closely attached to her beauty. It saddens me that any of us feel this way because try as we may to not share these feeling with our little girls we do. They see things and hear things when you think they are not paying attention. They see the disappointment in our faces when our jeans are a little snug or the self-loathing that comes after eating carbs. They know and it seeps in to their tiny little minds and soon, they are watching what they eat. Questioning if they should eat at all.

Then we have become part of that same society that has made us this way. We have become part of the problem. The only way we can change this is to learn to love and accept ourselves. Believe me, I know this is harder than it sounds. But for our little girls, we have to try to love ourselves. After all, we’ll all be skinny, when we’re dead.If you won’t do it for yourself, think about your daughters. I don’t want for my girls, what I have experienced. I want better. Don’t you?

If you think I am overreacting, think about how many times you have hung your happiness on how skinny or beautiful you looked.


Photo JustJasmine

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Overweight, weight loss, health, New Year's Resolutions

What’s the moment when you know that you are too fat? The photo above is not actually me but it could definitely be my before and after photos..only I was thinner and now, I may be slightly fatter. Either way, I don’t like where I am at or where I am headed if I don’t do something this moment.

I felt my stomach on my lap! That’s when I knew. I didn’t want to admit it and I certainly didn’t want to write it for the entire internet to read but it’s true and being me, I can’t pick and choose where I’m transparent and where I’m not. It’s all transparency; all the time, even when it hurts like a damn open wound with salt in it. But it’s more than just feeling my belly in my lap it was the moment that I said no more. It was my line in the sand. I think anyone who has ever gained and lost weight knows exactly what I am talking about. That moment when you have to face the fact that you are, in fact, despite any tucking and pulling and pushing, overweight.

I’m ashamed. Ashamed that I let it get this out if control and those old feelings have been sneaking back into my head so I’ve decided to get help. I’m typing this from my first weight watchers meeting in 4 years. I’ve tried doing it alone online but that doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried everything but I need human contact. I need support from other women who know the shock and shame of their stomach resting in their lap. I can’t believe this is where I am. It’s yet another club that I wish I never knew anything about. Oh and I am taking the Big Guy along for the ride. This will only work if we do it together.

But here I am, sitting among the kind, understanding, compassionate faces of other women who’ve been here (the bottom) and it’s inspiring me. It takes a baby step followed by another, motivated by the sincere want and desire and dedication to changing your life. I am ready for me. I got up this morning and went to a meeting and faced the scale. It felt like someone punched my in my low lying, overindulgent belly.

Over the past year, I’ve learned (finally) to step back and ask myself why? To stop and pay attention, even when I don’t have a free moment. 2013 was wonderful in many ways. I grew up in a lot of ways. I am finally able to see myself more clearly without judgment or through fat goggles.I had a lot of firsts and I have begun to spread my wings and fly but this is the next step. No more stomach resting in my lap, no more flapping arms and saggy ass. But it’s not just about my belly, my belly is just a symptom of my procrastination and never putting myself first. I have to put myself to make myself feel and be better for me before I can be better for the girls or the Big Guy. I am ready to be happy. I deserve it. I’ve waited my entire life for this moment of clarity and motivation to meet. There will be no magic pills, no cheating or gimmicks, just a whole lot of hard work and follow through.

I’m not waiting for the New Year or tomorrow anymore because the beginning is always today! (Mary Shelley) THE BEGINNING IS ALWAYS TODAY…no matter what your challenge is in life….TODAY IS THE BEGINNING!

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