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Raising three boys has its challenges! As a mother of 3, no matter how hectic it gets, I make it a priority to serve healthy food. As you can imagine making nutritious meals and snacks also involves making them interesting, especially under the scrutiny of three extremely active boys. I have tried to lead by example with healthy eating habits. Involving the entire family with eating well is a great way to establish the importance of healthy habits. Keeping it simple and fun will motivate rave reviews from the
finickiest of eaters!
I have gathered many great examples and ideas for healthy snacks, starting with my favorite- peanut butter (all natural)…. Graham crackers with peanut butter (raisins close by so they can create a masterpiece before they eat it up)… celery filled with peanut butter… place three raisins on top (ants on a log – yum) …. Banana covered with peanut butter! Fruit is always more fun to eat when placed on a skewer and yogurt for dipping, cut fruit into shapes and make a little creation or let your child help you make the creation. Hummus in a bowl with carrots and slices of red pepper growing from it like a garden ( or any other vegetable you may have in the fridge ) Homemade trail mix – go shopping with your kids to the bulk section and choose some nuts , seeds, berries, dark chocolate chips and have fun mixing it together at home. Low fat chocolate milk, almond milk, make your own smoothie – frozen banana, frozen blueberries, cup vanilla almond milk and a scoop of whey protein (one of our favorites )
Healthy snacks are important for your active kids before and after a physical activity. You want to give your kids something higher in carbohydrates with a small amount of protein before a game or event. A bowl of granola/oats with berries would be a good choice. The ideal time to re-fuel after is within 30 minutes (the window of opportunity) to take up more nutrients. A great time for the fruit smoothie! Fuel for the activity and re-fuel for a strong recovery.
Sometimes kids need a chance to play with their food, especially the picky eaters. Let the kids help to prepare snacks and meals- make it fun, here are a few creative ideas that you may want to share with the mothers of picky eaters!
Vegetable Flowers – makes eating your veggies fun. Celery for the stem, cucumber petals, spinach leaves, carrots for grass and hummus for the pond with fish crackers swimming (you could also do a fruit flower with yogurt pond)
Balls of Energy- easy to make- mash one banana and ½ cup crunchy peanut butter ( all natural) stir in ½ cup toasted wheat germ and roll into balls and roll on crushed peanuts , coconut or mini dark chocolate chips and chill.
Mini Bagel Critters – top with cream cheese – set out bowls of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, sliced red pepper, cucumber slices, pretzels and let the kids create their very own little edible critter!
Cucumber Race Car- Cut out the driver seat – add a radish as the driver, cut slices of cucumber for the wheels and stick them on using cream cheese …. See who can race to eat it first!
Lay the foundation for healthy eating and have fun discovering endless possibilities in creating healthy snacks!
Happy Healthy Snacking,
Today’s fit mommy is Sharon Mann. Back before I had kids, I used to turn onFit TV and sweat with Sharon. I had a girl crush on her.
I then moved, had some kids and forgot all about Fit TV until a few months ago when I rediscovered Sharon. When I read that she also has 3 little boys I just knew that I had to feature her as “One Fit Mommy”! She makes the time to get it done and never fails to deliver an awesome workout!
Please read on for more about Sharon and why she is definitely “One Fit Mommy” and enter to win her Body Sculpting DVD !
Q: What inspired you to live a fit lifestyle?
I was very active as a child ! I played baseball , on the track team in school , enjoyed swimming , skating and gymnastics . I have two older brothers who I always played sports with and we would run at our local track – racing each other !! I started training for competitive aerobics when I was 18 and really got the bug for training hard at that point .
Q: What advice do you have for moms who claim they don’t have time for exercise?
Make it a priority … like brushing your teeth. Set time aside everyday that includes physical activity – this could be with the kids or on your own . If mornings work the best for you – do it then / include another mom or a group of moms . Plan get togethers around working out – game of family soccer ….. then dinner. If your kids are small , in a snuggly and go for a hike . When my kids were small , I would squeeze exercise in any chance I could – running our stairs at home , core work on a stability ball while they played – push ups anytime / anywhere !! I did many hours of running with them sleeping in the jogger ( nap time for them )
Q: Did you have to change your training/workouts once you became a mom?
I became very good at time management and my workouts became more intense because I realized I didn’t have as much time. But I also have great opportunities to do active stuff with the family that we all love .
Q: What is your favorite exercise and why?
This changes all the time ! I just got a new bike …… so I absolutely loving being on the road riding , fresh air, big hills and spending time with my family. I teach 8 classes a week ( group exercise ) and I’m having tons of fun in my athletic core class – that’s a combination of kickboxing / weight training / athletic drills – intervals and core work .
Q: Do you have any mental tricks that you use when you just don’t feel like working out?
Good question! I have several tricks – playing my favorite music usually gets me in the mood for a good workout, call one of my keen workout friends, download some new music for class is a good one. If all fails – a shot of espresso ……. and I just do it !!
Q: What is your favorite snack food?
I love anything that gives me energy ….. so I tend to snack on goji berries and dark chocolate chips . I make this really great energy bar with oats / seeds / wheat germ / dried fruit and almonds that is great for kids too . I love foods that make me feel good ! protein shake – using Vega protein / frozen berries and yogurt – yum !!
Thank you Sharon for being an inspiration to all!
Want to workout with Sharon? I have Sharon’s Body Sculpting DVD to giveaway to one lucky reader!
To enter, please leave me a comment on this post telling me who in your life inspires you to fitness and why?
Fine print: Winner will be chosen at random on Saturday, June 5th at 9pm EST. Open to US addresses only.
Sharon Mann , the world-renowned fitness expert and international presenter was voted Canadian Fitness Presenter of the Year in 2001. She is co-producer and host of In Shape with Sharon Mann, a fitness series airing nationally on Discovery Channel’s FIT-TV . Sharon is a 4-time National Sport Aerobic champion, and an Adidas sponsored athlete on the Three Stripe Team.
The list of accomplishments is impressive but no more so than Sharon’s commitment to inspire the best in all people! Sharon is also helping us get the word out about the goodness of soy. Check out our commercials, featuring tips from the fitness guru herself (link to commercials – smoothie, quesadilla and stirfry).
Here are some of Sharon’s favourite tofu recipes:
Szechuan Tofu ‘n Sauce Tortilla Pizza
Prep time: 15 minutes Servings: 4
Olive oil, to sautee
3 packages (3 x 175g) Pete’s Tofu n Sauce Szechuan, diced
6 cups diced mixed vegetables (pick your favourite veggies or whatever you have on hand)
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
8 small corn tortillas
Jack cheese, shredded, to taste
1. In a hot sautee pan coated with oil, sautee the tofu and diced vegetables until the vegetables are al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes.
2. Serve the tofu & vegetables over a corn tortilla and top it with shredded cheese to taste.
Kid Friendly Tofu Nuggets
Prep time: 30 minutes Servings:4
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated parmesan or cheddar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup broccoli chopped fine or pureed
1 large egg
1 package (350g) Sunrise Extra Firm Tofu
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix together bread crumbs, cheese and paprika . Set aside
2. Mix broccoli and egg with a fork and set bowl next to breadcrumb mixture
3. Cube tofu or cut into shapes with cookie cutter.
4. Dip tofu into egg mixture then roll them the breadcrumbs until coated. Set aside.
5. Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Add tofu nuggets in single layer ( not touching ) and cook until nicely brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
6. Serve immediately.