Tabata workouts are short bursts of intense work for 20 seconds followed by quick recovery sessions of 10 seconds (then press repeat 8-20 times). In theory they are super simple – in practice, they are really challenging! But the real benefit for moms like us is that they offer a huge return in a short amount of time.
You can really do a Tabata with any movement, but I prefer to do them with something that doesn’t require any equipment, as these are my go-to time-crunch workouts. Here are a few of my favorites, and remember to modify as needed!
There are a good amount of meatless nights in our house, and it’s always great to rely on an inexpensive protein source like tofu. And the best thing about tofu is that it’s a blank canvas, you can choose your own path with this protein. Here are a few of my favorite tofu recipes, all of which are quick and flavorful.
Chinese Five Spice Tofu – Don’t let the terrible pictures scare you away from this amazing and simple dish, it looks much better in real life! Just serve with a sautéed green or steamed broccoli and some rice and you have a quick and super tasty dinner. Five Spice Seasoning is a staple in chinese kitchens, and adding it to your spice rack will not leave you disappointed.
Tofu and Black Bean Tacos
Tofu Parmigiana Recipe – Have you ever tried Italian food made with tofu? It’s actually a really great match! The acidity of the tomato sauce balances well with the blank slate of the tofu. And with the super easy breading, you get a bit of crunch with this one too.
Tofu and Black Bean Tacos – To round out our tofu trifecta, let’s try out a mexican recipe. This dish has a lot of ingredients, but they’re super simple to throw together. And even with the pickiest of eaters in you house, you can find something everyone can love in this quick dish.
I’ve always had a tough time pairing spring dresses with an appropriate jacket. In San Francisco we always need at least one layer, but it’s gotta be versatile. That’s why a great jean jacket is imparative in your wardrobe. You can pair it with floral dresses, black trousers, crisp white linen, olive khakis, and even sweats.
If you generally wear more tailored looking clothes, then a dark wash jacket will blend into your wardrobe better. And if you tend to go a little more relaxed and casual, then a lighter wash is pure perfection.
Of course, you can always switch things completely with some fun pastel denim this spring. There’s a ton of it out there, and it’s so fun. Just be careful with those lighter colors and the messy toddler hands!
I don’t know about where you are, but in San Francisco right now we are having a heat wave! It’s definitely time to look for new summer dresses, especially you expecting mamas out there.
Milk Nursing Wear – $52.00
This Navy Milk Nursingwear Hi-Low dress would look amazing with some gold accessories and some leather strappy sandals. Maybe even a big floppy sun hat (for those of you without toddlers)?
And this casual and cute floral dress from Milk Nursingwear would go great with just about any cardigan in your closet and a pair of wedges or flat sandals. It’s so colorful that it could really be paired with any color you choose to accent.
Seraphine Jersey Dress – $78.00
And for my new favorite color, you can’t beat this Lavender Seraphine Jersey dress. Lavender is showing up everywhere this season, and it’s such a flattering color on just about everyone. A crisp linen blazer would also dress this up making it summer wedding appropriate.
There’s no better way to stay cool than an adorable sundress. And all of these maternity dresses convert into nursing dresses too, so you can wear them for as long as your little ones need easy access!
The last few weeks have been great for new finds at the farmer’s market. And after a long winter of slim pickings, it’s been so great to dust off some of my favorite summer salads.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
My absolute favorite right now is this Sugar Snap Salad. It’s super simple to throw together, and the crunch of the snap peas just screams that spring is finally here.
And of course, no California spring is complete without fresh strawberries. This amazing Spinach and Strawberry Salad is refreshing and a great way to use any extra berries you have on hand.
Lebanese Cucumber Tomato Salad
Luckily I married into a Lebanese family, because without them I might never had discovered my favorite salad in the world. This simple salad is perfectly balanced and actually tastes better after it’s been around for a day, so it’s perfect for lunches. I love the version posted by Rose Water and Orange Blossoms, and check out some of their other amazing recipes while you’re there!
I love a good olive khaki, they are so relaxed and comfy. But I’ve always kind of worried about spending the money on them, because I figured they could only be worn casually. Then I tried pairing them up with some gold and black, and they went from playground to office, in just a few easy steps.
Plus, they are super simple to dress down. Just throw on a floral print sweater with some sneakers and you’re ready to go play outside.
These are my new favorite pants for summer, hands down.
Have you wanted to try Crossfit, but are a bit intimidated by the whole thing? This great 10 minute Crossfit workout by FitSugar is a perfect intro to the type of body weight/cardio workouts you can get at your local box. Plus, the coach shows a few adaptions for each exercise, so you can ease into the moves.
And the best thing is, there is no equipment needed. So you can do this anywhere!
**Make sure to get cleared by your healthcare professional before attempting this or any other physical activity. Especially you new mamas!**
We get an amazing meat CSA from our favorite Marin Sun Farms, and it’s like hitting the pastured meat lottery every month. But sometimes my mind draws a blank, and it usually happens with ground beef. There are only so many bolognese sauces one can make. So here are three recipes that take that ground beef out of the Italian section and into some new (but still simple) flavors.
Kafta Kebabs by Saveur
Asian Meatballs – it wouldn’t be a meat post without a recipe from my favorite NomNomPaleo blogger. These asian meatballs are easy, delicious, and a crowd pleaser even for the littlest ones.
Lebanese Kafta Kebabs – these kebabs go great with some couscous and a steamed veggie. I also love adding some mint to a bit of greek yogurt as a dipping sauce to cool off an otherwise spicy dish. Don’t worry if you don’t have Allepo pepper on hand, I usually sub out 1/2 tsp cayenne, or skip the pepper altogether if I’m serving my toddler too.
Taco Soup from All Recipes
Slow Cooker Taco Soup – you can just throw this super simple recipe into the slow cooker in the morning and come home to dinner ready at night. Just crumble up some tortilla chips, shred some cheese on top and dinner is done.
Enjoy these new flavors next time you’re stumped with that gorgeous pound of ground beef!
I was greatly inspired by an amazing fellow blogger, Saralyn Ward this last week. She had this to say:
“I have decided I really dislike the phrase “get your pre-baby body back”. Partly because my body is different now, plain and simple. But mostly because a post-baby body can be pretty amazing too. What no one tells you is this: after giving birth it’s like you have a required rest period, and then a blank slate. You have a fresh start to make your body what you want it to be. Never in my life have I been able to do pull-ups, and now, after working with some amazing trainers, I’m *thisclose* to doing them unassisted. So do I have my pre-baby body back? Nope. But look at what my post-baby body can do!!!!”
Saralyn’s post really moved me, because I’ve been thinking the exact same thing lately. And to go a bit further, I think that motherhood not only wipes the slate clean, it also trains us in ways we could never imagine. Here are just a few of my favorites:
Giving birth makes you TOUGH. It doesn’t matter if you were fully medicated or did it at home with no assistance whatsoever. It’s an emotional, mental and physical challenge that will top any workout we could attempt to do in a gym.
Carrying around our (not-so) little ones is amazing resistance training. You think lugging sand bags around the gym is hard? Try carrying a squirming 42 pound toddler away from the toy isle at Target. I have never had a stronger core than I do now. And it’s because I brace to pick up my kid the same way I brace to go into a power clean – knowing full well either one could put me out of commission for a few weeks.
Motherhood is the ultimate emotional and mental trial. You are now the rock. You have to keep your composure through tantrums, potty training, back talk, injuries, illness, and more (and you get to do it all on very little sleep). And then there’s the other side of the coin – the extreme joy of having the undying, overwhelming love of this tiny human being who thinks you are a goddess amongst women. Motherhood is peaks and valleys, with intermittent periods of sheer and utter boredom (yes, we can read the G*ddamn Thomas book AGAIN). And through it all, you get to stay tough. You think 100 burpees is a mental challenge? Please. I got this.
And lastly, motherhood has shown me that my body is flat-out amazing. I’ve never cared less what I look like in a swimsuit, or where my boobs are hanging. I look at my arms and see the strength, not the jiggle. I look at my legs and think about all the fun I have running after my rambunctious toddler. I am finally fine with not looking like an air-brushed model, because I know that I’m on this earth for way more than my appearance. I just want to be strong, and healthy, so I can enjoy a nice long life with my family.
So now when I’m in the gym and killing it on benchpress, or deadlifts, or even the dreaded rowing machine, and some one asks me, “How did you get so strong?” I always say, “it’s because I’m a mom.” Plain and simple.
I wouldn’t trade my pre-baby body for the one I’ve got now. This one seems to be carrying me down this path just fine.