April Stools Days Challenge

Did you participate with us? I ran an exercise challenge for the month of April in which I asked / begged / dared you to move your body, on purpose, for AT LEAST 5 minutes a day, every. single. day! I provided weekly video circuits that required no special equipment other than a stool or chair to complete. How did it go? How do you feel? Congrats to those who completed this challenge! It always sounds easier than it is. Five minutes a day? Easy breezy! But then life gets in the way, right? This was as much an exercise in self-care, priorities, and scheduling as it was an actual exercise in exercise. 😉

Here are the videos, in case you missed them:

Circuit One:

Circuit Two:

Circuit Three:

Circuit Four:

Watch them. Keep them. Do them. You’d be surprised (but, really?) at how much five minutes a day can change your health, mindset, and mood. I dare you to try for a few weeks and tell me otherwise. I double-dog dare you! 😉

In health,
Tara

“…Edit as you go”

Children are great imitators…be someone for them to imitate!

Little Miss Magnolia has taken quite a liking to babywearing and caring for EVERYone and EVERYthing lately. It’s really adorable. Just today at the park, she found a little rock that she was cradling as she walked up and down the playground steps. “You ok baby? Yes? Ok! Nap time little while”.

There’s this thing that happens when you’re a parent. The moment in time in which you first see a glimpse of yourself in your child’s behavior or voice or perfectly crooked smile (she gets that from Joe). It’s so powerful – frightening and exhilarating all at once. Through some magical combination of nature and nurture, this child now walks, talks, and looks like you. Wow! And then it hits you – they imitate. They watch when they’re not really looking. They listen when you think they’re busy doing something else.

Are you someone you want your child to look up to? Guess what? They already do! The awesome thing about all of this is that we are all works in progress. Let’s say someone ….ahem…were a little…ahem…Type A, I can (I mean, that someone can) work on decreasing total stress / anxiety / pressure as a daily practice. Children will pick up on this too. We’re not perfect, but if we’re better than we were yesterday, that’s pretty darn awesome!

We are the authors of this journey. Write your butt off and edit as you go. We owe that to the little people in our lives.

In health,
Tara

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SnugBug Fitness – Squat Press

Hola,

My latest SnugBug Fitness video is a squat into a shoulder press. This is a great full-body movement. Don’t forget to squeeeeeeeeze those abs tight and keep a nice upright posture.

In health,
Tara

SnugBug Fitness – ‘Round the World Lunges

Happy Hump Day,

My updates for this week:

1. Jagger Jack found his thumb (see video for proof).

2. I have been a writing machine! Stay tuned for some pretty awesome things coming down the pipeline, if I do say so myself. Oh, how I love to tease thee!

3. SnugBug Fitness live class registration is open for my Wednesday Huntington and Sunday Farmingdale (NY) classes. Click on “events” tab on this site for more details. Sign up soon! This early bird pricing of just $13 per class will NOT last forever.

4. My April Stools Days Challenge is in its second to last week and going strong (pun intended). Are you doing it with us? Let me know how it’s going.

5.Small group cooking classes are available in time for Mother’s Day / moms’ night out celebrations. Do I hear a woo hoo?! Gather a group of your friends that would like to learn how to cook super healthy, delicious, quick, easy, and budget-friendly meals and snacks. They are plant-based and Instagram photo-worthy! Bonus: If you host for your posse, you will get the class (and the food we make) for FREE! *Groups must be 4-10 people. (More than that and I would have to stand on your table to get your attention). 😉

I think you guys are now up to speed. How’s your week going? What’s new?
Leave me a comment below or shoot me a note at Tara@TaraAllenHealth.com

Enjoy the rest of your week!

In health,

Tara

SnugBug Fitness – Wall Push-Ups

Hey guys,

Jagger helped me demonstrate wall push-ups for triceps today in our SnugBug Fitness video. He’s getting big – and fast! These workouts are becoming nice and challenging for me. Bring it on, boy! Magnolia decided to be camera-shy for this one.

Who is following along at home? If you live on Long Island, will you be signing up for my live SnugBug Fitness classes? Check out my “Events” tab. More classes will be available for registration soon.

Enjoy the video!

In health,

Tara

Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding

Ok folks…as promised, here is the recipe from my March 11th post on Facebook and Instagram.  This recipe is quick, easy, delicious, and works great as a breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

1 cup of blueberries

1/2 cup chia seeds

1 T water

1.5 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)

1 T honey

1 t vanilla

1 t cinnamon

3 T almond butter (or nut butter of choice)

 

Directions:

  1. Combine blueberries and water in a skillet until compote forms (3-4 minutes).  Add about 1 T of your chia seeds and stir well.  Spoon this mixture into bottom of 4 cups or dishes.  Allow to cool in fridge.
  2. In a blender, combine almond milk, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and almond butter.  Blend on high.  Add remaining chia seeds and blend briefly – just until fully mixed in.
  3. Pour right on top of blueberry compote – divided evenly between the 4 cups.
  4. Return to fridge and allow to cool for at least a few hours.  This will allow chia seeds to absorb moisture and become a pudding-like texture.
  5. Serve chilled and, optionally, with toppings – fresh blueberries and almond butter, cacao nibs and strawberries, mint leaves – be creative!

In health,

Tara

Lactation Smoothie

Hello fellow mamas!

As promised, here is the lactation smoothie recipe I’ve been working on.  This is great for moms looking to support milk production for breastfeeding.  It also tastes great and is very filling and healthy, so feel free to serve to anyone you may have lurking in your kitchen.

I started out with more oats and some honey included.  The extra oats made it much thicker and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be chewing my smoothie.  So, I decreased the oats (but kept them in a smaller quantity as they are very good for milk production).  The banana and peanut butter give this enough sweetness and taste that the honey was a bit overkill, so I took that out.  Yay – less sugar…score!

So this is the final recipe…

Lactation Smoothie

In a blender, mix:

1 frozen banana (or a fresh banana and a few ice cubes)

1 cup cashew milk (or milk of choice)

1/4 cup oats

1 T ground flaxseed

1 T brewer’s yeast (or double the flaxseed if you don’t have this)

1 T nut butter (peanut, almond, whatever)

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t vanilla

pinch of nutmeg

 

Blend and enjoy!

 

In health,

Tara

Coming Out of the Closet…

I’m coming out of the closet…

I was impregnated by a woman.

My children are perfect. They’re beautiful. They are happy and healthy. They are half of me and half of my husband. But, I was impregnated by a woman.

When we first met our fertility doctor, I didn’t know what to think. She was smart with the perfect blend of kindness and stoicism. Although she looked young, somehow knowing she was a mother herself offered me a sense of relief. I’m not sure why, really. If I were 50 pounds heavier, I think I’d still be an effective health coach. As an RN in the mother-baby field, I believe I served my patients well prior to me becoming a mother myself. I suppose I was just grasping at straws to make a fearful experience feel more comforting. Who knows!

Dr. R, my husband, Joe, and myself have spent a lot of time together. We’ve had hopeful appointments, what-the-heck-happened-and-what-do-we-do-now consultations, and lots of in-between. There were less invasive procedures prior to us deciding to move on to the IVF cycles – the last pick in the science lottery of baby making. With each of these cycles (and there were more than just the 2 successful ones), I was required to be monitored 7 days a week due to certain medical risks. Each appointment included a doctor’s exam, an ultrasound, some blood work, and a follow up phone call. This call would let me know what dosages of each medication should be taken that day and when based upon the most recent lab results. There were pills and lots of shots – many I could give myself, but some had to be given by my husband. There are some places I just can’t reach! One of the first conversations Joe had to have with his new boss in the midst of negotiating salary and vacation time was that he needed to be home by 9 PM every night to administer my shots as it was time-sensitive.

We chose to keep this journey to ourselves with the exception of a few friends and family members. I was scared to jinx anything, to hear anyone’s opinions, to learn of someone’s sister’s dog’s aunt’s friend who tried 10 rounds of IVF to no avail…you name it. I was scared! Everything felt so out of my control that being able to decide who would learn of this big secret of ours was something I needed. This was MY body, MY challenge, MY journey, damnit!

Spring of 2013 we learned we were pregnant. I endured hyperemesis gravidarum and was terrified of losing the baby until the moment she was born. My husband and the few friends and family members we told were paramount in getting me through to the other side. Joe and I were blessed with Magnolia Mae in October 2013. What a miracle! She was and always will represent pure joy to me.

We began to open up slightly more about our infertility struggles at that time, but not completely. We knew we wanted a sibling for Magnolia, which probably meant another rendezvous with Dr. R down the road. As long as our struggles still felt ‘fresh’, I needed to maintain that sense of control wherever possible. It may be hard to understand, but I really needed that – for me.

Fast-forward a couple of years and another long, scary experience with hyperemesis. All hands were on deck to get me through again; this time with a toddler at home as well. January 5th of this year, we welcomed our son. Jagger Jack is our gorgeous, healthy, little rock star. He is miracle number two and has completed us in so many ways.

Now, I am ready to open up. Finally, I am ready to share. I don’t want sympathy, but rather the benefit of catharsis that has started as I type this and will grow when I click submit and send this off into the depths of the blogosphere. I would like to help others who are currently experiencing the intense emotional rollercoaster that is infertility and who need to reach out to someone that understands. I am ready to release the contents of the vault and forgive my body. I’m not sure why this was my path, but I know it has made me a much more patient mother and thankful person. I love my husband, family, and friends a bit more after feeling them carry me through these obstacles with such grace. I linger a little longer than my old self would have as I rock my daughter to sleep. I cherish the middle of the night wake-ups to nurse my newborn because I know how close we were to missing out on their existences here on this Earth. I am forever grateful.

I was impregnated by a woman…twice…and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me!