MANY FACES and places OF FAGE

FAGE is back sponsoring this blog post...how much do we love our FAGE®? FAGE has become such a staple in our lives. My mom even stocked in her fridge in Texas this week for Hayden because he requested it! I bring it along running errands, to Disneyland (scroll all the way down for photo;), playdates at the park. If we’re planning on eating it sooner than later, I literally throw it in my bag without lugging a cooler. I even included it at the kids’ recent birthday party. I wanted an alternative for parents that didn’t want their kids eating so much sugar. And, although we had great food there, I wanted to make sure I had a quick, healthy, low fat, protein packed snack for me. Especially during set up time before the food arrived. 

We brought quite a few FAGE® Total Split Cups. They were gone at the end of the party! I could not believe how many parents indulged (guilt-free) right along with me, or said they were grateful we had an alternative to cake for the kids. (Just remember to bring spoons if you follow suit.) I loved sharing FAGE with our friends. 

Clearly, by the look(s) on my face, I was grateful to sneak away for one second and enjoy my split cup. My husband thought it was so funny, he wanted a photo of me “taking my moment.” Because I TOOK A MOMENT and indulged. These pictures crack me up. The love is real.  Do you blame me? A 3-year-old and 7-year-old’s birthday! I needed energy. 

Just a bucket of FAGE at Hayden and Huck’s birthday party.

Just a bucket of FAGE at Hayden and Huck’s birthday party.

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A friend at the party came up and mentioned they have the same ones in their fridge. She said her son thinks of them  as dessert! A treat worthy of bribery. She loves how they taste and appreciates how healthy they are! Sometimes her son doesn’t always eat his protein at dinner, but he’ll always have his FAGE

It’s true. I don’t worry so much about Hayden and Huck finishing their meal if they eat yogurt afterward. It’s packed with so many good benefits, it’s covers a lot of the basics. Probiotics, proteins, Vitamin D, etc. 

The split cups are almost like arts and crafts. The boys enjoy folding the perforated seam and pouring the flavored goodness over into the creamy white bowl. Hayden begs me, “let me pour it,” he says. Sometimes, if it’s right out of the fridge, it’s too cold to pour over, so I often set them out as I’m cooking dinner. By the time dinner is over, they are the perfect temperature for Hayden’s little arts-and-crafts-with-food time.

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The last post on the blog about FAGE I described what I like that it DOESN’T have! No GMO’s, growth hormones, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners or preservatives and no added sugars. 

I have to admit, my husband did not want me to substitute the 0% fat FAGE® plain yogurt in our recipes or dishes.  He wanted all the fat of old school sour creams, heavy creams, butters and oils. There is a time and a place for all that, but living your daily life, it’s better to have healthier options. I don’t mind fat. But saturated fat catches up with you quickly. Once I did the swap out, he couldn’t even tell the difference. He loved it!! Substituting with FAGE Greek yogurt, lowers the fat content greatly.  Recently, we’ve made lasagna with 0% yogurt, crustless quiche with yogurt, and I took out sour cream and added FAGE in our homemade burritos (see photo). FAGE now makes sour cream, so don’t be surprised with a new list of recipes coming your way. Have you made the swap?

and ps- I got all your recommended FAGE flavors! (thank you!) Loving my new dessert choices;) What other recipes would you like to see on the blog? Below I’m adding a new mac and cheese recipe that is quick and easy and healthier than the normal ones because of a yogurt substitute. Oh, and it’s sooo good!!

I’m gonna attempt a fat-free cheesecake soon, so I’ll let you know how that goes, but I added the recipe below! HAPPY WEEKEND!!

Recipe is courtesy of ALLRECIPES.COM

Recipe is courtesy of ALLRECIPES.COM

Taking a Greek yogurt break at Disney! lol

Taking a Greek yogurt break at Disney! lol

LOVE LANGUAGE WITH FAGE®

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This scene is sponsored by FAGE®, but it was a real moment documented at our home;)

Int. House-MOTHER’S DAY


MOTHER

Hayden, what is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?

HAYDEN

Um…what does that mean?

MOTHER

If you could do one thing with just mommy today, what would that be?

HAYDEN

Let me show you.

EXT. HOUSE- PORCH

Hayden takes his mother’s hand and leads her outside to the patio. Points to the outdoor couch.

HAYDEN (CONT’D)

Sit down right here. 

Mother sits.

HAYDEN (CONT’d

Let’s eat oatmeal right here. With yogurt. 

END SCENE

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Most weekdays, after his dad and brother leave, Hayden and I have our special moments. Sometimes eggs and toast, but more often than not, oatmeal. Even if we’re rushed, I grab an oatmeal packet (yes, I use instant often #busymom), boil water, cool if off with a large dollop of Greek yogurt and fruit. I think there’s lots of reasons he loves this. He gets to help me “make” it, even though it’s just combining a few ingredients. And I’ll have my coffee, he has milk. We cheers to the day, say our thanks and he talks. “Remember mommy? Remember yesterday when Hucky was here and….” 

If I grab my phone for something, he takes my face in his hands to let me know this is his time. I got that memo and honor that. Of course, we have moments all day everyday…books, learning our letters and walks and outdoor time and family time, etc. But I know he loves this breakfast time in the morning on the weekdays. It’s our love language. Sounds stereotypical that a boy’s love language is food…. starts early, I know! It may be more that toddlers like structure and habitual activities; Hayden is no exception. 

If you follow my stories, you’ve seen Hayden begging me for yogurt in the morning. It’s pretty funny how excited he gets over yogurt. Specifically FAGE® Greek cause that’s what we keep stocked. And that is actually an understatement… he and Huck beg for it for lunch and dinner, too. FAGE® is so creamy and rich in taste, it’s often dessert for our family. I appreciate FAGE® is Non-GMO Project Verified and all natural, no added sweeteners, no preservatives. All of FAGE®’s products are verified through the Non-GMO project, which offers the highest level of transparency about GMOs. I know exactly what -and what isn’t- going into my little boys’ bodies, and my body!

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I incorporate yogurt in so many dishes. Substituting yogurt in a recipe can lower the fat substantially. From simple things like oatmeal (pictured here), to taco dinners, baked potato (my personal favorite), lasagna and obviously desserts (angel food cake - or biscuits- with FAGE® yogurt and strawberries. Name something better in life!). Scroll down for the recipes. Substituting Greek yogurt in many recipes lowers the sugar and raises the protein (and LOVE) for your family. You can use FAGE® plain to replace butter, sour cream, oil, shortening or milk! I keep FAGE® plain fat free yogurt in our fridge, as well as the 30% less sugar split cups. I also brought a bunch to the boys’ birthday party last weekend. I liked the option to have this for dessert for people that didn’t want to eat cake, but I did NOT expect them to all be eaten. Every single split cup was gone! 

So… if you’re a regular here on the blog, you’ve heard me talk about FAGE®- have you tried it yet? What recipes do you substitute in Greek yogurt? Would LOVE to hear.

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Also, another fun summer idea I learned from FAGE®—- add yogurt to an icing dispenser. Squeeze the yogurt into the opening of raspberries, then let them freeze in the freezer to make frozen yogurt pockets!

See below for other recipes!

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Have a GOOD day (chocolate)!

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Hey y’all... sharing something too "good" to keep all to myself. No, it's not another baby (I keep getting asked) or what show I'm working on this week. But, I do get to reveal that soon! Actually headed in for wardrobe fittings in a few minutes. I'll try to share some hints in my stories if I can. SHHHh;)

This little secret is sweet goodness.

The wellness series is full of a lot of stuff I don't necessarily love doing, but know is good for me to do. Like swallowing huge supplements, downing all my water, working out, etc. I'm learning to love those things, but let's be real. So, I wanted to share a treat with you guys. Y’all asked for some of my favorite items from the Bloom Summit Health and Wellness day. I didn't forget. I've just been using some products and researching to find the ones I love the most. Now, part of what I think is cool about learning and experimenting with new products is two part: 1) I like switching things up occasionally and 2) not everything works for everyone's body. So, it's nice to throw ideas out there and see what might work well for you. 

One of the things I learned about is Good Day Chocolate. The creators are self professed “supplement geeks with a chocolate obsession.” It’s a chocolate vitamin (in the cutest packaging you’ve ever seen). Yes, it might sound confusing….a complete treat that is good for you? But, in the name of chocolate, I simply embraced the concept and have since enjoyed many a good days;) It is really hard for me to get everything I need from just food or one or two supplements. I really appreciate creative ideas to mix it all up!

I tried the “energy” chocolate first and loved the taste and gentle pick-me-up. Then, later that evening, I tired the “sleepy” version. I munched on a couple bite-sized chocolates and downed a large glass of water. I woke up refreshed. Hayden must have gotten the memo ‘cause he’s handing us the sleepy time version in the picture above! lol This mama could use a little extra sleep! He must know!

I'm interested in the turmeric supplement. Do y'all take turmeric? I looked up reasons why it's beneficial and was blown away. So, I would like to integrate these antioxidant bites into my weekly supplements.

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I did a bit more research and….this is why I like this company:

1) They support SmileTrain. (One of the founders is a plastic surgeon). 

2) Hayden and Huck beg for them (check out the kids section). Also, check my stories today on instagram. And for kids, they have a daily multi-vitamin that I love giving the boys. They are highly-tested, non GMO and made with fair trade chocolate. Your kids will remind YOU to give them their vitamins.

3) I can have a little sweet tasting something and know it’s beneficial. My go-to is one probiotic and one vitamin D in the AM. If I take one at night, it’s the sleepy time one. Since I'm trying to eat clean and drink the water right now (er...always!), it's a treat I'm adding that I don't feel guilty about. How fun to get a bite of something sweet that is packed with goodness in more ways than one? Really FUN. Great gift, too. Who wouldn’t want to receive this sweetness!? This variety pack is a fun hostess gift.

Warning for toddler moms: if your child is anything like Hayden, he likes to put any treat in his mouth, then hold it for a while in his hands, then put it back in his mouth. We’re working on this, but in the meantime, the chocolate does rub off on his little hands, so keep an eye. For more great info on this company, please visit: GoodDayChocolate.com where you can purchase (they also can be found here on Amazon and the kids' line can be found at your local Target). I have to give them a thank you shout out for sponsoring this portion of the wellness series! 

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BOTTOMS UP...drink your H2O

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Bottoms up!

However, this post is not about emptying your glass of Rose' all day! I just downed 14 oz of water. This post is too simple. I really should get a big fat 'ol "F" for this. It's too easy, too on-the-nose. Everyone knows they need to drink water

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We’ve heard this our whole lives: DRINK MORE WATER. It’s basically the panacea to many ailments. Most of this wellness reminder series is simply that— great reminders. We know all of this already, but I still like new reminders. I recently overheard someone say in conversation, “Drinking water is a no-brainer, well, it’s 90% of your brain, so it’s more of a BRAINER than we think!” 

Anyhow, that joke wasn’t very funny. And I’m not trying to be funny here. Just straightforward. And bring your mid(ish)-year reminder about many of our new year’s resolutions. And if memory serves me, we all had several different resolutions, but the consistently ones were: drink more water and weight loss.

So, while typing and doing a bit of research here, I got super thirsty. As I said, I downed water. I think part of my issue is that I forget, then I get tired and and busy and distracted. I need a pick me up.  I instinctively reach for caffeine. And THAT IS MY DOWNFALL.

I appreciate my yoga teachers telling me all the benefits of water and why it's so important for me drink it. As I'm doing my last down dog of the class recently, I hear the lecture coming. I roll my eyes back so far, it's as if gravity is going to make them stick there. But, alas, I rise up once again and it is on my mind. 

For better or worse, the thoughts that get me thinking are more vanity based. Does this happen to you sometimes? I'm thinking, "Duh, we ALL know we need to drink water to make our digestive system work. Are you really saying this OUT LOUD. I mean, we're paying $20 a class to be here, we clearly on the "body-wellness" path, so tell us something I don't hear everyday." And then she did.

She reminded me of things like this:

Calorie control

Water simply helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories. Timing can help, too. Drink 16oz. before meals. And cold water helps metabolism.

Fuels Muscle/Gives us Energy

When the muscles don’t have enough water, they get tired. So for extra energy, try drinking water to push through that final set of squats. And water in general can give us all more energy! If only I had the energy of my two year old! 

Clearer skin

Part of the detoxification benefits of drinking water, it helps flush out toxins that can clog our pores and cause acne. The jury is still out on if it scientifically helps with wrinkles, but I'll tell you this much, it doesn't hurt!

Improves Brain Function

I don't know if it's just from being tired a lot of the time, but I will take all the help I can get to improve my brain function! Like I said earlier, our brain is mainly water and needs enough of it to function properly. I don't know the science behind it, but it makes sense.

Relieves Constipation In Many Cases

Pretty self explanatory, but worth mentioning. If problems persist, see your doctor, but this is a good place to start.

extra credit: 

IT’S FREE!

Even if you splurge for bottled water, it’s cheaper than Starbucks or wine!

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You might remember my post with Dr Oz reminding us all to immediately drink 2 glasses of water upon rising. I do that about 40% of the time if I’m being honest. UGH! Coffee calls my name in the morning. SO Loudly!!!

BUT, bottoms UP. It’s time. If you haven’t been consistent, let’s start this challenge and get ‘er done. If you don’t love the taste—er— non taste of water, there are fun things you can do. Add mint! Add fruit. I add Usana’s Booster C and it gives me just enough flavor (and Vitamin C). This morning, I added the probiotic powder. I’m challenging myself to drink 64 oz every single day this week. I’ll report in my stories. Will you do it with me? Maybe we’ll go longer, but let’s start with a week. WE CAN DO THIS.

Tag me in any stories or posts…. What’s a hashtag we can all use? #bottomsupH2o? too long? thoughts? ha!

HAVE YOU BEEN GOOD TO YOURSELF LATELY?

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MID-YEAR CHECK IN with ourselves!! Earlier this year, I wrote a Soap Digest column and a blog post about goals and resolutions I hoped to achieve for 2018. I literally cannot believe it, but we're halfway through the year. So, logic tells me it's time to check in and see where we are in this whole "wellness" let's-make-ourselves-better idea. 

Truth be told, mentally I'm still living in the month of March. I keep thinking I have time to figure things out for the year. But, you know, that's okay. Sometimes that's just how life goes.

And that's what this check-in is about. What did you wanna accomplish this year? Are you actively working on said accomplishments? Today is a good day to get started all over again. Let's keep our minds positive and as focused as possible.

I'm gonna break down a few ideas in various posts over the next week or so about overall wellness. Today, I wanted to start with something simple, but powerful. Simple, yet so often confusing for me. VITAMINS AND SUPPPLEMENTS.  I got to interview the brainiacs behind the science of Usana. This is in no way a sponsored segment or post. I just truly wanted some questions answered. So, it makes sense that they will discuss Usana products since I asked their scientists for answers. The important thing here is that we're getting what we need from whatever good food, vitamins and supplements we might be taking.

q&a

  • What are the most important supplements to take? I know some people don’t want to start off with the subscription of daily packed vitamins and supplements, so if they were just buying them individually, what are the top three they should not live without?
    • First, everyone should be taking the CellSentials—our two foundational products—with carefully balanced levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and patent-ending USANA’s InCelligence Technology that activate your cells’ natural ability to protect and renew themselves.*  
    • Second, USANA’s Probiotic. The human digestive system is a delicate balance of both “good” and “bad” bacteria. USANA Probiotics have been shown to support healthy digestion and sound immune function.* 
    • USANA’s Vitamin D.  Many people are deficient in this important vitamin. And there are many reasons why it is easy to become deficient- it is difficult to get enough from the foods that you eat, you don’t get enough from sunlight because most of your time is spent indoors, you use a sunscreen, you have naturally darker skin, or you have aging skin that is not as efficient in making vitamin D. 

 

  • For pre-natal, during pregnancy and post-natal supplements, should I not mix other products? For instance, if I’m taking the BabyCare prenatals or Prenatal CellSentials (and assuming I have a decent diet), is that enough by itself?
    • Every individual is unique; therefore, everyone’s supplemental needs are going to be different. For example, the amount of calcium needed increases during pregnancy and some women don’t get enough calcium through diet alone. If you're concerned about your calcium intake, ask your doctor about ways to increase your intake. Your doctor is a great resourcefor any questions you have for pre and post pregnancy health. 

 

  • Is there such a thing as mixing too many supplements together? For instance, if I’m taking the Prenatal CellSentials, can I add the Magnecal? What is okay to add with a supplement/vitamin like CellSentials?
    • It’s important to remember that supplements are designed to complement a healthy diet, not replace it. USANA’s supplements are designed to provide advanced levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are difficult to obtain from diet alone – levels that individuals can use every day to promote a lifetime of good health. So you don’t want to just take supplements to take them. It would be ideal to know what you need, what you may be deficient in and add that to your nutritional routine. However, it’s always best to contact your doctor with any questions you have about your health. 

 

  • After discussing Proglucamune with Dr. OZ, I was asked many times if it’s ok to take it on top of your one a day vitamin. For example, if someone is already on a regular vitamin routine, can they incorporate Proglucamune in the morning and at night safely?    
    • First, please note that Proglucamune is intended to be taken by healthy adults, 18 years and older. Proglucamune is not intended to replace your one-a-day vitamin supplement. This supplement is designed to be taken every day to  support healthy immune function.* But again, It’s always best to contact your doctor for any questions you have about your health to discover what the best suits your nutritional needs. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 


What I got out of this quick Q&A is this: we need to take our balanced "one a day." Ideally, find one with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Make sure it includes enough Vitamin D. Also, add in a probiotic and an immune booster.  What I really liked and now added to my never-ending to-do list? Make a wellness appointment with your doctor and write down what you are taking or thinking about taking. Don't just take supplements just to take them, as they said above. Perhaps I need levels to be checked to see if I need more of one thing or another. And I imagine, this changes periodically. 

The products below are the ones I am taking currently. I do switch it up sometimes, but right now, this is it! Hope at the very least, it gets us all thinking about our health from the inside out. What are your top health concerns right now? If you have additional questions, please let me know. I'd like to circle back around with this with a few doctors.

1. Biomega  2. Proglucamune  3.Usana Booster C (I put this in my water when I work out or am feeling sluggish or jet lagged, etc).  4. Vita-Oxidants and Minerals  5.Probiotic (I TRY HARD to remember to put this in my water in the morning or at night) 6. Hepasil (I don't take this everyday, but several times a week. It helps with overall detoxification). 

What I will say about this overall combination, it helps keep my digestive system going and moving properly (keeps me regular;) And I do notice a difference in my energy when I am consistent. So, whatever program you are on, consistency is a big part of it. Oh, and drink water. That will be another post;) Yesterday I was terrible about it and can feel the difference today!! 

xoxo

AAJ

ps- as a part of this "wellness series," what other questions or themes are you interested in? email or leave a comment below! 

 

 

 

 

S.M.A.R.T. GOALS (continued from the Soap Digest Column)

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Thanks to all of you that sent DMs and emails about the Digest article. I love that many of you related to something in the article. I really need all the help I can get, so I love learning from other people! I like the SMART intentions because they simplify my thoughts.  I get easily overwhelmed and overthink things. This model helps keep my mind on track. And I discussed a few things I learned from celebrity trainer Erin Oprea. I didn't say this in the article, but I'd like to lose 5 pounds. It's that little last bit of baby weight. I did mention is putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and outlining some ideas here. Forgive me for going on and on about this stuff!!  

SMART: SMART, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC, TIME-BOUND

SPECIFIC. In the article, I mentioned getting up earlier everyday. 45 minutes to be exact. I want to try to get more done first thing in the day. Preferably, before the kids get up. This proves to be easier said than done because they wake up at slightly different times, especially the baby. But, my goal is to start the coffeemaker, then hit the treadmill or jump on the trampoline. This was one of the main things that Erin Oprea does that inspired me. We'll see how this goes;) So, far, not so good! ha.

MEASURABLE. For me, right now, it is drinking the water. That is a very measurable challenge that I can track throughout the day and feel accomplished no matter what. Even 4 glasses of water is better than one- or none! I do notice the more I drink, the more I seem to need. Anyone ever notice that? I'm actually going to take a break right now to go down a glass. 

My next measurable goal will be a race of some sort. Heather Tom and Katherine Kelly Lang from Bold and Beautiful are inspiring me. They set goals like this constantly. Marathons, races, charitable walks, rides, you name it!

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ATTAINABLE. My disciplined girlfriend Kaley (Cuoco) will text me when she's going to yoga (usually with advance notice for me to arrange a sitter). It's so helpful to have someone hold me accountable. My other girlfriend Amy (Davidson) and I recently took the babies hiking with strollers. It was such a great workout! I was dying afterward, but secretly thrilled Amy encouraged me to do it. (I wanted to just walk flat ground!)

REALISTIC. I'm going through my closet right now giving away clothes that no longer fit me... I've held on to them thinking I might be that size again. But, it's not helpful! It's not realistic. I'd rather set goals that are realistic and feel great about achieving them, instead of constantly being reminded that I'm not where I "want" to be. It's silly, really. In the article, I mentioned being realistic about your workouts, too. I've told myself that if I can't fit in a workout/yoga, I can always do strengthening exercises ANYWHERE ANYTIME. Sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts, jumping jacks, etc. are always a good idea. I appreciated Mary B. mentioning the Bosu Balance trainer in one of the comment sections here. It inspired me to incorporate that again. If you don't want to attend a class or go running or to the gym, it is a great way to workout at home. A Plan B (or A) that eliminated any reason for an excuse not to workout.

1. Bosu Balance Trainer  2. Personal Trampoline 3. S'well Bottle

TIME BOUND. I work better with a deadline. It's just the way I'm wired. I like to know when something needs to be completed. So, I'm setting a time-frame to achieve that 5 pound goal. Hayden turns 2 on May 24th. I feel like this is a completely realistic goal for me. And I'm putting it out there so you all will help hold me accountable!

FAMILY.

Overall goal- fun activities to keep the kids moving and mentally stimulated. If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen Hayden "playing" soccer on instastory. I enrolled him in a class. Huck was in soccer and karate. He is deciding which one to continue. They both love being outside on their age-appropriate scooters (with helmets) or bikes. For inside, Joel got them this robot that they enjoy chasing around called Think and Learn Teach n Tag Movi

We have a basketball goal in the house that can easily slip in the garage when we don't want it inside. But, if you have the space, it's an affordable, fun way to get the family involved. (Remember playing HORSE as a kid?)

1. Basket Ball Goal 2. Think and Learn Movi 3. Trampoline

4. Bicycoo

Another variation for the "R" part of the SMART goals:

REWARD. Motivation for me to keep going? Something new and cute for workouts!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I was really inspired by comments you guys left on other posts about fitness goals. Feel free to chime in more here about your own progress, leave tips, etc. 

 

Body After Baby

I have to thank Soap Opera Digest for their latest interview where Mara Levinsky got me talking about body after baby (on stands now- with a blurb on the cover!). I haven't written much about this topic because in no way do I feel like an expert. However, I think it's good to talk about the reality of life and getting in shape after having a baby. Or the reality of what it takes to get in better shape for anyone: discipline and work. The article goes in depth about the things that I didn't expect, the struggles and the joys of postparatum. Let me know what you think!

This photoshoot was two weeks after giving birth, right before I went back to shoot GENERAL HOSPITAL. I was EXHAUSTED and emotional and elated simultaneously. 

I took long walks several times a week and kept as active as my energy level allowed during the pregnancy, trying not to gain unnecessary weight. Hayden got fairly big toward the end (I wrote this post after the baby shower, and this post was three days before I gave birth). I admit, I was lucky I initially lost some of the pounds I gained, but it started to creep back. I had to eat more to keep breastfeeding and wasn't working out enough. The struggle to get back in the same shape I was in pre-pregnancy has been real for me. I haven't done it yet, as I discuss in the article. My body looks different. One of the biggest struggles has been learning to accept myself for where I am in life today. A reader (thank you Cara Sue!) left a comment in another post about resolutions for 2017. She simply said she wanted to have "more self care." I love this because it encompasses more than just vanity; it's a whole lifestyle practice mentally, emotionally and physically. My priority now is my baby and my family. This used to sound like an excuse to me when other people said it, and it is to an extent, but it's simply the truth. Do you feel like you have time to workout? I don't want to be that person with excuses! My husband reminds me it's all about prioritizing the day, making smart choices.

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So, I am trying to look at this as an opportunity to adjust to a new lifestyle! I strap the baby on and go hiking or walking. I use my Joovy jogger to jog if I'm not too tired. I have grand plans to escape to yoga, but my membership doesn't get as much use as it used to. So, I go when I can. Some days I feel like I'm running around in circles not being as productive as I'd like. I have to let my preconceived expectations of the day go as I step over full laundry baskets and Huck's toys. I have a feeling some of you can relate?  

I try to stay well so I have energy by implementing super simple tips I learned from Dr. Oz! I have to say, my whole household has been sick, but I have not! I still take Proglucamune, the immunity supplement from Usana.  I promised myself I would drink two glasses of water with my supplements every morning. I'm proud I have made that a habit. My mom recently reminded me of a tip we both learned from Ronn Moss (from BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL) years ago... hot water with lemon first thing every morning to detoxify the body. I remember him drinking it during the day on set, too. He swears by this habit. Healthy (and free) habits are the best! 

In order to make progress for tomorrow, I have to do something different today. Doing the same thing every day and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. So, I am making a list of easy, healthy habits to incorporate change in my life as part of my new year's resolutions. I'm going to force myself to try them--- wanna do it with me? Leave a comment of things you'd like to try. Drink more water? Vitamins? Less soda? Less sugar. Take more steps (literally walk more)? I'm thinking I'd like to start one habit at a time and build from there. 

In the meantime, in honor of the Golden Globes tonight, I'm sharing my favorite tricks I've learned over the years from wardrobe, makeup and hair that have helped me during this transition period of body after baby.  Read them HERE! 

LOOK THINNER TONIGHT!

A new year brings out the best in people. Who doesn't love a fresh start? As we resolve to be our best selves, weight loss and healthier living are often part of that resolution. But what about being the best version of yourself IMMEDIATELY like some of our favorite stars?

I read through the emails via the "contact" section of this site and found that many of you inquired about camera ready tips.  On this Golden Globes Sunday, I started thinking back to events I've attended and what it took to get "red carpet" ready. 

After years on daytime soaps and primetime television, I've had time to pick up some smoke and mirror tricks on looking thinner. I've also had great mentors in wardrobe and makeup departments that have taught me well. I thank them for all their assistance! Here's my list:

1) WEAR SHAPEWEAR

If you've followed my blog at all, you've heard me discuss my love of "help" with compression undergarments in all stages of my life: pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, postpartum and today. These new discoveries in shapewear are not your grandmother's girdle (if you're too young to remember that word, sorry!). I love a smooth look (like this dress in the picture below).

AshleyAJones.com

2) SMOOTH YOUR SKIN AND ADD COLOR

Blend in blemishes (veins, stretch marks, cellulite, brown spots) with a great DIY faux tan. A shade darker can take pounds off. With paraben free options widely available now, there's not a reason in the world to not have a little fun and look like you had a vacation (when you were really just binge watching tv!).

Looking back at this HBO event I attended for TRUE BLOOD, I'm reminded how much a spray tan or a DIY bottle tan can help the overall look. 

3) WEAR YOUR HAIR OFF YOUR FACE AND UP IN A PONY OR MESSY BUN

This helps take down the roundness in my face if I feel puffy. If you are having any hair loss postpartum, this is an excellent way to camouflage it!

4) CONTOUR WITH MAKEUP

Create cheek bones that may not actually be that prominent. Take what you have naturally and enhance it.

5) ELONGATE THE LEG WITH THE SAME SHADE SHOE AS YOUR SKIN COLOR

No matter what color your skin is, if your shoes match your skin tone, it elongates the leg. And perhaps the oldest trick in the book is to add inches with a higher heel. Do both and you've sufficiently tricked the eye and taken off some pounds. If you're looking for a designer heel without the designer prices, check out the RealReal

6) WEAR ALL ONE HUE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

Wearing monochromatic colors is one of my favorite techniques to implement! Wearing one hue from top to bottom means you go shopping in your own closet, too! Put together some of your basic items...mix high end pieces with vintage or inexpensive trends and create a great outfit. 

 

My savvy friend Ali recently blogged about an outfit and it wasn't until now that I realized it was nearly all monochromatic! Take a look at the post here . She also implemented my final idea....

7) DRAW ATTENTION TO A SPECIFIC AREA OF THE BODY

Ali wore a necklace that commanded attention, drawing the eye up to the neckline. Use this same technique by showing off your favorite part of your outfit or body. Wear a shorter dress if you love your calves or legs, or show off your shoulders with a sleeveless neckline and some statement earrings. 

If you have your own ideas or have questions, we'd like to hear your comments! xoxo