The premier issue of Bellina magazine, a publication dedicated to addressing issues of the modern family.
JANUARY 2013 Feature: The Hauptmanns A loving family that stays fit and active + Alternative Exercise Options aerialist arts & exciting dancing Organizing Your House use the new year to organize your home Publisher Brannen Mehaffey Editor-In-Chief Rebecca Guenther ad Contributors Lieve Saethers Stephanie Hodges Stacy Denney Natalie Moore Joanna Wright Lydia Michelson-Maverick Susannah Murphy Maranda Miller Creamer Geoff Hammond ROCK YOUR BODY at our new location! 3111 Manor Road 512 477.7653 brass-ovaries.com 2 | Bellina | January 2013 contents 04 Alternative Fitness 16 Nutrition 22 Downtown Daddy Living downtown and staying active with 2 young kids as a single father can be a challenge, but these simple tips can help any single father - or mother - stay active no matter where they live Four Elements Aerial Yoga, Sky Candy Aerial Arts, Try these healthy and easy recipes and flavor Galaxy Dance Studio, and Brass Ovaries Pole combinations to make your own baby food Studio all offer exciting new options for exercise at home 08 The Hauptmanns This amazingly loving family is raising their kids to be healthy, fit, and - most importantly - happy. 20 Prenatal Massage 23 Family Health and Fitness 14 Design Our design expert Lieve Saether gives tips on how to kick off the new year by getting organized This treatment can be beneficial for pregnant How eating and living a healthy life can not only women for so many reasons - not only can it benefit you but also teach your kids from a young help with circulation but it can also provide some age the best way to eat and live right much needed nurturing for the mother-to-be January 2013 | Bellina | 3 exercise alternative fitness studios S o itâ€™s the new year and your resolution was to get in shape. But how many times have you joined the gym but then you donâ€™t have time because of the kids or work or LIFE or even - letâ€™s face it - that treadmill gets so boring! So what are some alternative exercises that you can have fun doing and maybe even bring the kids? Here in Austin there are so many alternative exercise studios that offer strength training that are super fun for mom and dad, and a few that have classes for the kiddos as well. If you ever wanted to run away and join the circus, these are some of the places you should check out!! 4 | Bellina | January 2013 A erial Yoga is one of the hottest and most unique trends in yoga (and fitness) right now. It is no wonder that this yoga practice is so popular since it reverses the effects of gravity, feels great and brings out your inner child. It is hard not to fall in love with the soft colorful hammocks before the class even begins. Aerial Yoga is practiced in hammocks made out of the same fabric you see aerial acrobats performing in, doubled over into your very own fabric cocoon. This delightful apparatus can support beginners while offering a new challenge to seasoned yogis. Four Elements is proud to be Austin’s first and only aerial yoga studio. Not coincidentally, this may also be Austin’s most beautiful yoga studio with bamboo floors and plenty of natural light. While this practice may seem very cirque-du-soleil it is absolutely accessible for any level, with beginners very welcome. “People believe that they have to have a certain amount of strength or flexibility to take an Aerial Yoga class, and that simply isn’t true! This class is definitely appropriate for all levels!” says Lydia Michelson-Maverick, Aerial Yoga instructor and owner of Four Elements. “We do work with a variety of ages, body types and issues/injuries,” continues Michelson-Maverick. “If you do have specific concerns or issues we are happy to help you decide if this is the right class for you. One of our goals is to make aerial yoga accessible to everyone.“ Like Yoga, there is a long list of health benefits to Aerial Yoga: increased relaxation and decrease of stress, improved cardiac health, better sleep, an improved love life. The list is endless! Aerial Yoga may amplify the benefits of traditional yoga. Often practitioners notice the benefits of aerial yoga even faster than that of traditional yoga. Although Four Elements specializes in Aerial Yoga, the studio also offers a variety of more traditional “ground-based” classes: hatha, vinyasa, flows at varying levels, restorative, as well as one of Austin’s up-and-coming teachers, Tracey Silverman, offering Forrest Yogaperfect for any mom (or dad!) looking for a challenge. Tracey has such an amazing story about her journey to reconnect with her stomach and core after having twins. She is such an inspiration! Even the most athletic among us will walk away with something very special from her class. A new schedule is planned for the New Year and be sure to check out couples aerial yoga workshops in February. Class size ranges from eight to twenty-two participants, depending on yoga variation; more can be accommodated in the ground classes. Ground classes cost $18 each; aerial yoga and aerial Pilates are $25/class. Multipleclasscards and a limited number of monthly memberships available at a discount. Get 50% off your first class with the promo code “welcome” at checkout. Find out more and sign up for classes on-line at www.FourElementsAustin.com January 2013 | Bellina | 5 F or kids who always seem to be climbing things and who love being upside down, a fantastic outlet for all that energy may be circus arts classes! Sky Candy Aerial Arts Collective offers twice-weekly children’s classes in aerial and circus arts for kids ages 6-14 at their East side studio. Kids get the chance to try a variety of aerial apparatuses including trapeze, silks, lyra, and hammock, in addition to juggling, hula hooping, and other ground-based circus arts. The aerial and circus arts are a great way for kids to gain coordination, focus, strength, and self esteem. umba® and Zumba® Toning classes offer a great form of fitness for those that want a high-energy cardio workout without logging mile after mile on a treadmill. This workout can feel more like a party than a cardio class because it combines dance and fitness movements with upbeat Latin and International rhythms to get your heart rate pumping. However, you don’t need to be a dancer to enjoy this exercise. The moves are easy to follow, and instructors offer modifications for all levels. Zumba® Toning classes kick it up a notch with additional light, maraca-style weights for added muscle endurance, so Sky Candy has been East Austin’s circus arts hub since its inception students can both tone and burn fat in a single workout. Though in 2010. Located at 507 Calles St., Sky Candy offers daily classes for not every class is the same, some hour-long sessions can burn the adults in aerial- and ground-based circus arts, including silks, lyra, calorie equivalent of running 5 miles or more. trapeze, rope, flow arts, and handstands, as well as targeted strength and flexibility and fitness bootcamp classes. Zumba® fitness is especially great for moms or dads with a busy schedule. There are class options available almost any time of day The kids’ classes take place separate from the adult classes, and cost in gyms and dance studios across the city. Galaxy Dance Studios, $30 for two hours, with class size typically fluctuating between one located on South Lamar, offers a variety of classes throughout the and six students. Sky Candy has had the pleasure of hosting various week. Many of the classes are scheduled opposite with children’s schools and educational organizations for field trips, including the dance series such as Ballet or Hip Hop. Parents can squeeze in a Helping Hands Home for children, ACE Academy, and the Austin workout while their children take a dance class. Children’s Museum. In addition to offering circus arts classes, Sky Candy produces several ground-breaking aerial theater productions Galaxy Dance Studios is a non-profit dance studio committed to per year. Their sold-out production of The Red Shoes debuted in providing professional classes at affordable prices. Galaxy’s mission 2011, followed up by 2012’s The Time Machine, The Flame, and the aims to cultivate civic and social improvements through dance, currently running show Land Without Evil. movement, fitness instruction, youth camps and unique community events. Each month Galaxy offers an array of fitness and dance For tickets and information about Land Without Evil, visit www. classes including Salsa, Belly Dance, Barre Shape, Pilates, and Break austintheatre.org. Sky Candy has also provided high-end aerial Dance just to name a few. entertainment for private parties and events at venues such as the ND, Beauty Ballroom, Austin Music Hall, the Vortex, and many more. More information on Zumba®and Zumba® Toning, as well as a current class schedule and pricing information, can be found online For more information about Sky Candy’s classes, shows, at www.galaxydances.org. and other events, visit www.skycandyaustin.com or call 512-800-4998. Z photo by Geoff Hammond 6 | Bellina | January 2013 P brass ovaries pole studio ole Dance Fitness has become all the rage of late. Women who want to burn calories, tone muscles, and have fun doing it, are forgoing the gym and instead choosing this less conventional workout method. Pole fitness studios have been popping up all over the country. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to visit any major city in the US, that doesn’t yet have a pole fitness studio. Why pole fitness, you may ask? Other than the fact that it burns up to 400 calories an hour and builds muscles in places you forgot you had, the pole fitness phenomenon has developed into a community of vastly different kinds of folks all coming together to feed their newfound pole addictions! Brass Ovaries Pole Dancing is Austin’s first and most renowned pole fitness studio. We have been around since 2007, teaching anyone who is willing to learn the joy of pole dancing as a workout. Brass Ovaries was founded on the principle of fun, fierce fitness. Our owner, Natasha, was the first female to ever complete Military Special Forces training. She emphasizes a sense of empowerment and camaraderie in her studio, which is apparent when you attend any of our classes! Many different kinds of women are attracted to working out at Brass Ovaries, and I would estimate that about 40% of our clients are moms. Our studio is the ideal place for moms to go to get away from the worries of work and home and find an outlet for stress relief! The beauty of working out at Brass Ovaries is the variety of classes that are available to our clients. Feeling the need to sweat intensely and workout hardcore? Rock Your Body and Pole Fit are perfect for releasing stress and building muscle. Want to break a little sweat, but also feel a little sexy? A Sexy Flow or Burlesque for Pole class will inspire you not only in the fitness realm, but also possibly even in the bedroom! And believe it or not, Brass Ovaries is a family-centric pole fitness studio! Many moms and their daughters visit our studio together regularly due to the variety of classes and varying levels of personal training that we offer. For example, several moms that work out at Brass Ovaries, bring their underage daughters to our Aerial Hoop and non-pole related fitness classes. You can take a Pole Level 1 or Sexy Flow class while your daughter is introduced to Aerial Hoop 101, Hip-Hop Fusion or Lyrical Dance in the neighboring studio. The majority of our classes at Brass Ovaries are not “sexy dance” oriented. In other words, we promote a well-rounded fitness regime that is versatile and foments a family-friendly environment. We have entire families (mom, dad and kids) who come to the studio together to work out in different classes. On any given day, I have had an 8-year-old male gymnast, a 10-year-old female champion swimmer, and a 14-year-old ballerina in my Aerial Hoop 101 class, while their moms and dads enjoyed Pole Fit or Rock Your Body classes in the next room. We allow students of all ages and genders to participate in our classes, given parental consent. And the beauty of it is that families are spending time together at the studio, working out, staying healthy, and bonding over something that they probably never imagined would be a rewarding part of their everyday lives. January 2013 | Bellina | 7 Feature Family the hauptmanns a young family growing focused on health written and photographed by Rebecca Guenther B 8 | Bellina | January 2013 efore having her first child, Vanessa Hauptmann was a personal trainer. While she has opted to stay home to nurture her growing family, her husband Ben works selling energy investments. Their eldest, Audrey, just turned 2 and little baby Henry is 4 months old. The day I had the joy of photographing and interviewing them, poor little Henry was fussy, Audrey was clearly a super-high-energy, intelligent 2-year-old, and Vanessa and Ben were the perfect parents working in tandem. So I wanted to know how they deal with all the craziness of parenthood while balancing health and fitness. â€œI feel most kids are born with the need to move, and I want to give them every opportunity to do so. â€œ October 2012 | Bellina | 15 10 | Bellina | January 2013 Bellina: So, Vanessa, before you took on the full-time role of stay-at-home mom, you were a personal trainer. How does that influence how you raise your family? Vanessa: Through my work, I have seen the difference being fit can make on a person’s energy level and emotional well-being. These are two crucial components in being a mom to two children under two. Bellina: What activities do you enjoy doing with your kids to stay fit? Vanessa: When I only had my daughter, I was able to do more structured activities; for example, we used to go to a mommy and me yoga class. After I had my son, staying fit is usually worked into my “work day”. Taking the kids for a walk while doing lunges behind the stroller, or just heading outside to the park to fly kites and play chase are typical things we do now. Bellina: What are your plans to raise your kids with good eating and exercising habits? Vanessa: I want to train their palates to enjoy real, whole foods. As far as the exercise part, I feel most kids are born with the need to move, and I want to give them every opportunity to do so. Bellina: You and your husband were raised very differently when it comes to diets. How do you compromise in that area? Vanessa: Yes, we were. My husband’s family has mastered Southern cuisine, and I was raised eating more simple, whole foods. We stick to a fairly healthy diet consisting of a lot of fruits and vegetables, but I have to admit I don’t mind splurging when my Mother-inLaw comes to visit and cooks for us! Bellina: What are some of your family’s favorite meals? How do you get your kids to eat things that they are maybe a little fussy about? Vanessa: My husband and I both love what we call “weird salads”. We just throw in a ton of veggies, some fruit, cheese and nuts Dance and Fitness for Kids and Adults!! 1700 S. Lamar Blvd Suite 338 Austin, TX 78704 (512) 442-5299 Bring this ad to Galaxy to save 50% off your purchase!! January 2013 | Bellina | 11 www.GalaxyDances.org 12 | Bellina | January 2013 to make a delicious meal. We do this several times a week and call it dinner. Our daughter is a picky eater, but I have heard it can take offering a food many times before a child will accept it. One thing I’ve noticed about our toddler is that presentation is key! If something is cut up and presented nicely, she is more apt to try it. Bellina: Your son has an allergy that prevents you from eating dairy. How do you work around that since you are still breastfeeding? Vanessa: It’s been tough, since I love cheese! I have had to eliminate all dairy, including hidden dairy, from my diet. Bellina: Has this issue made you consider formula? If not, why? Vanessa: I did consider formula, but breastfeeding is best for my son, so ultimately I didn’t want to go the formula route. Bellina: Do you think that when the kids go off to school, you’ll return to your job as a personal trainer? Vanessa: I would love to! It would be a great job that I could do part time and still be home when my kids were home. January 2013 | Bellina | 13 design 14 | Bellina | January 2013 new year, new arrangement?! written and photographed by Lieve Saether ‘Twas the season…and now it’s gone… so on to the New Year with our to-dos here upon! Step 1: Start by the front door. If you can tackle your home in a chronological way, you immediately know where the end will be. It makes a full-round edit more achievable, not to mention more reasonable. Step 2: Purge, purge, purge! Don’t be afraid to be frank with yourself (or your family for that matter). Magazines, catalogs, toys that haven’t been played with forever, are all fair game. The old adage is still an accurate one: if it hasn’t been used in a year, it’s ready to go. Donate what makes sense and purge what doesn’t. Step 4 (and this is the most fun part, so mark your calendar): Get to containing! Browse online or head to your favorite big box store (who doesn’t love strolling around Target?!) and set your eyes on organizing sets. These days, they come in so many interesting, beautiful shapes, sizes and colors, so don’t be afraid to take risks. That way our junk can always look well-kept. Step 5, the ahhh moment: Grab the kids and have them make name labels for your new containers. A child involved is a child connected for life, so they’ll keep using their assigned storage piece. Then get to rounding up. Place bins at various places for visual interest or stack them all together for targeted impact. We created some organized spaces of our own, to serve as your inspiration. anuary inevitably kicks off the year with our best hope and good intentions. We get back to the gym, sign on to aspirations and are ready to fill the next twelve months with the best of ourselves. Well, a great platform to jump from, is our home. Now’s the time to set aside some space for nesting (still a favorite time-taker if you ask me) and get to editing and organizing our beloved treasures. J Step 3: Identify yourselves. Who is in the family? Name who’s who (David, Julia, Benjamin, Kate and Rover) and assign each person a space to corral their things. Main focus: entryways, playrooms, the foot of the stairs are usually the Make way, save space and be most important areas for this. happy. Joy to 2013! January 2013 | Bellina | 15 making your own baby food purees written and photographed by Stephanie Hodges I started making my own baby food because I thought it would be best nutritionally for my son, but I continued doing it because of the money. Although it would be quicker to grab some packs at the store, the nutritional and financial value of making your own purees is too great to pass up. Preparing your own baby food may seem like a new trend, but has been common practice for most of history and in most parts of the world. In the US, commercially prepared baby food became available in the 1930s and peaked in popularity in the 1950s and 60s. You can choose to get fancy in preparing foods for your baby, but that can be overwhelming for those who are busy. Weâ€™re going to provide you with some simple steps to get started. 16 | Bellina | January 2013 IS YOUR BABY READY FOR SOLIDS? Most babies start eating solids between four and six months. Your pediatrician will advise you on when to start solids at one of your wellness checkups. Initially, you’ll feed your baby one new, single-item food at a time. You should introduce just one new food every 3-4 days to ensure your baby doesn’t have an allergic reaction. When you make your own food, you have the advantage of knowing exactly what is in the purees your baby is eating. You can use fresh ingredients and be assured there are no additional fillers or preservatives. There’s no need to purchase specific “baby food” equipment (unless you need an excuse to go shopping). You can prepare your baby purees using a standard food processor or blender. COOKING Baby food cookbooks can be helpful for measuring portion sizes and getting ideas. In general, the recipe for making a baby puree is very simple: 1. Cook the meat, fruit, or vegetable 2. Puree, adding liquid to reach desired consistency With soft, ripe foods, pureeing may not even be necessary. You can mash bananas, kiwi, avocado, pears, etc. with a fork and stir in liquid as needed. Depending on the food and your preferred cooking methods, you can bake, boil, microwave, or steam. You will save time if you can take a portion of your own dinner, like a side of steamed carrots and peas or baked sweet potato, and set aside to puree for baby. Although your baby’s nutrition may be your first concern, you will be amazed to see how much cheaper it is to make your own baby food. Ready-to-go pouches and containers are convenient, but usually cost $1-$1.50 per serving. As your baby grows and begins Once your baby’s menu has expanded to a to eat more, baby food can become a variety of foods, you can start to offer some significant expense! combo meals. Simple, one-item purees are typically referred to as “Stage 1” foods, and combo purees are referred to as “Stage 2”. BASIC FOOD PREPARATION When preparing food for your baby, you’ll want to pay special attention to cleanliness ADVANTAGES OF MAKING YOUR OWN FOOD and ensure all equipment, surfaces, Have you ever looked at the ingredient list and utensils are sanitized. It’s highly on baby food? You may have noticed that recommended you visit FoodSafety.gov a “Turkey and Rice” dinner has neither (Baby Food and Infant Formula) http://www. turkey nor rice listed in the top ingredients. foodsafety.gov/keep/types/babyfood/index. Unfortunately, many baby foods are primarily html to review health and safety standards made up of cheaper filler ingredients. for preparing and storing baby food. January 2013 | Bellina | 17 You can add breast milk or formula to your baby purees to achieve a consistency your baby approves of – and babies have different preferences when it comes to texture. If you’re using water and boil your veggies or fruits, reserve the cooking liquid and add back into the puree to preserve some of the vitamins and nutrients. FOOD STORAGE For optimal nutritional quality, you can store food in the refrigerator for 48-72 hours and in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you find recipes your baby likes, you can save time by making big batches and freezing individual portions. Any glass or plastic containers must be freezer-safe, BPA-free, etc. Silicone or stainless steel ice cube trays or muffin pans are options for freezing purees. Once frozen, you can pop out the cubes and store them individually in sealed containers or plastic bags. Be sure to label and date your food! Like anything new, making your own baby food may seem time-consuming and awkward the first few times you try it. You’ll quickly find a rhythm, however, and can save a great deal of time by making big batches of foods your baby loves and freezing for later. You’ll be happy with the cost savings and nutritional value, and you and your baby will both have fun trying new food combinations! 18 | Bellina | January 2013 FOOD PAIRINGS How do you decide what food combos will taste good? Commercially prepared baby foods can be a great source of inspiration. Baby food cookbooks and blogs also have many ideas for you to try with your little one. It’s wonderful if your baby is fine with eating plain vegetables and meats, but some will decide they prefer some sweetness. Adding fruit will make foods more attractive, and most vegetables will pair well with either apples, pears, or peaches. Here are some ideas: • Sweet potato and white bean • Squash and chickpeas • Ground turkey, squash, and apple • Peas and carrots • Carrots and rice • Peas and avocado • Avocado and kiwi • Peaches and mango • Apples and quinoa • Blueberry or Pear applesauce • Peas, spinach and pears • Broccoli and carrots • Carrots and apples • Peaches and banana • Oatmeal and bananas RECIPES Blueberry Applesauce: • • 2 apples 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries 1. Peel, core, and chop apples 2. Add apples and blueberries to a medium saucepan and cover with water 3. Bring to a boil and simmer 20-25 minutes, until fruit is tender 4. Cool mixture and puree in blender or food processor (add breastmilk, formula, or cooking liquid if needed for desired consistency) 5. Press puree through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove any blueberry skin/hulls Makes approximately 16 ounces (depending on size of apples) Peas and Avocado: • • • 1. 2. 3. 1 cup fresh or frozen peas ½ ripe avocado* ¼ to ½ cup water, breastmilk, or formula Cook peas according to package directions Puree peas and avocado in blender or food processor Add liquid to achieve desired consistency *Avocado may discolor. Although not harmful, you should use or freeze promptly. Or puree peas and add fresh avocado to individual portions just before serving. Makes approximately 8 ounces The last thing a mother-to-be needs to worry about is the fragile balance between her professional and personal life. Pivot Networks’ suite of Virtual Office Solutions can help you to stay connected to your team from the comfort of your home office. Our Virtual Officing solutions afford you: Sweet Potato & White Bean: • • • • 1 large sweet potato – approx. 2 cups 1 cup white kidney/Great Northern beans Pinch of cinnamon ½ - 1 cup water, breastmilk, or formula 1. Cook sweet potato – bake, boil, or microwave 2. Rinse beans (to reduce sodium) 3. Puree sweet potatoes, cinnamon, and white beans in a blender or food processor with liquid, adding additional liquid as needed to achieve desired consistency Makes approximately 28 ounces • VPN remote access to your office network – work anywhere, anytime • A web-based, remote desktop connection to all your Windows® servers • The ability to synchronize your mobile devices with your office exchange server – safeguarding your calendar, your contacts, and the information that will help you stay on top of things during this time of transition. Stay in the Loop. Ask a Pivot Networks professional about our suite of Virtual Office Solutions today. 512.444.TECH | www.pivotnetworks.com January 2013 | Bellina | 19 benefits of prenatal massage written by Stacy Denney || photographed by Rebecca Guenther W 20 | Bellina | January 2013 ith the dramatic changes taking place in the woman’s body during pregnancy, prenatal massage is often a much-welcomed therapy. Massage embraces the body’s transformation, helping to relax tense muscles, ease sore trouble spots, increase circulation and mobility, and provide energy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, massage can also decrease symptoms of depression and reduce anxiety. Massage can do much to alleviate common discomforts from pregnancy – backache, shoulder and neck strain, edema of the hands and feet, etc. To insure that mom’s specific needs are being addressed, pregnancy and health details will be gathered before the massage. As most spa therapists are specially trained and intimately familiar with the changes mom’s body is undergoing, they can confidently provide a customized service designed to bring relief and comfort. The first trimester of pregnancy can be the most emotional and physically taxing time on the mother, as she acknowledges her pregnancy and the changes that her body is going through – including morning sickness, nose bleeds, extreme fatigue and more. Proper massage technique can address and alleviate many of these symptoms, although some spas may hesitate to work with expecting moms as this is the trimester in which miscarriages are most common. Moms are often pleasantly surprised by the changes they experience during the second trimester. Morning sickness generally subsides and anxiety may be reduced as the odds of miscarriage are reduced. However, there are significant changes in mom’s body. Her uterus rapidly increases in size, ligaments stretch and thicken, and abdominal muscles separate. The pain and strain caused by these changes can be significantly improved through prenatal massage. services. However, before booking a massage, moms should remember to ask about a therapist’s training. Most therapists get some prenatal training during their initial training program but it’s important to receive additional training. There are many programs that offer specific certifications in prenatal, but we recommend at least a 2-day prenatal-specific training in the last five years. “We all know how wonderful a relaxing massage can be. Especially during pregnancy! A mom-to-be may be feeling achy, have tight muscles or just need some pampering time,” says Tori Kropp, author of the “The Joy of Pregnancy” and Belly Friendly advisor. “The key is to find an experienced practitioner, ideally one that has participated in enhanced prenatal massage education.” It’s also important to ask how often the therapist performs prenatal massage. Even with prenatal training, some spas/therapists may only get a handful or less of prenatal clients. If a therapist hasn’t received special training in more than three years, and/or hasn’t practiced prenatal massage regularly, they may need to refresh their prenatal training. It’s important that the therapist be comfortable and confident to provide a fulfilling experience. During the third trimester, spa services practically become a necessity. Edema – water retention and swollen limbs – can cause discomfort. The connective tissue in a woman’s body softens and loosens up and the joints between the bones of her pelvis become more relaxed. The greater flexibility of these bones makes it easier for the baby to pass through them during birth; however, it can cause hip pain. An inexperienced therapist can inadvertently As the spa industry continues to grow, create additional pain by not working with prenatal massage is becoming more these joints properly. common. If women only have one period in life that they visit the spa, pregnancy may be As prenatal massage grows in popularity, the most rewarding time. If you are pregnant many spas are now offering pregnancy or know someone who is pregnant, give the gift of massage! downtown daddy written by Brannen Mehaffey If you put a little thought and planning into your daily routine, you will be amazed by the results. L iving in the heart of downtown is very rewarding in many ways. It has given my children and I the opportunity to take advantage of the rich culture and active lifestyle. We love the outdoors and take every opportunity to stay active. As a single dad with two toddlers, it can be challenging to balance two kids, work, lifestyle, and also trying to stay in shape. I have found that combining playtime with outdoor activities is rewarding for the whole family. I am not a subscriber to any particular way of eating or hitting the gym every week. However, I have found the key to staying in shape is just stay active and make some wise choices as for what you put in your body. Tip to playtime workouts: 1) Having a running stroller is an absolute must. This allows me to run all over town and the kids to have an adventure every day. Recommendation - B.O.B. Revolution SE Stroller. It is one of the best and almost free of any maintenance needs. I’ve been rolling with one for 3 years with no issues. Springs, daycare, and even the Zilker Train. Recommendation - InSTEP Take 2 Double Special Needs Stroller Bike Trailer 3) If you live downtown or have the ability to walk somewhere fun for the kids, DO IT!!! We walk to Wahoo, Whole Foods, and the Children’s Museum almost weekly. Walking around downtown is also a great learning experience for children. From singing songs, to telling story, to practicing math and colors. There is truly no replacement for going on walks with your children. It is a bonding experience like no other. As with any fitness program, staying active and exercising is just half the battle. We, as a family, try to stay away from the fast food as a general rule. Fast food is shown to cause ADD, obesity, and can truly negatively affect the mood of your children. Living downtown does have its benefits as far as great dining; Whole Foods, and family-friendly restaurants, and access to the farmer’s market. Eating healthy is something that should be taught and practiced at an early age. Children learn by example, so choosing wisely on your own diet is essential to the health and fitness of your whole family. games, and even face painting. They have a great time and I am able to grab the best ingredients for healthy dinners and snacks. No preservatives = happy bodies. 2) Pack your snacks – I have been using what I refer to as ready-to-go bags since my little ones were born. The idea is to not have to run back in the house 5 times to grab one last thing. A gallon zip lock bag that has every item you may need for moving the kids around. These days our ready-to-go bags are in the refrigerator filled with granola bars, two water bottles, carrots, apples, sandwich and a toy. It is dual purpose for the kids and also for myself as I go throughout the day. I try to keep at least 8 bags packed and ready and replenish as needed. It saves time, calories, frustration, and keeps you away from the drive thrus. 3) Don’t eat off of the kids’ menu – When eating at restaurants, they tend to have the worst possible food on the kids’ menu. Fried chicken fingers and cheese sandwiches do not make a healthy or complete meal. I’ve found a majority of the healthiest selections tend to be on the appetizers menu. They are generally interesting enough for the kids and you can order a few items for everyone to share. It provides a more rounded meal for them and keep you from overeating the gigantic portions provided by today’s standard entrees. 2) A bike trailer is an awesome way for you to save the planet and get your little ones where they need to go. There are many Tips for easy health eating: parks and playgrounds around down to 1) Farmers market – This is one of our including a free water park (Pease Park). A favorite activities on Saturdays. They have bike trailer expands your reach and allows fresh produce, meats, and other fresh from us to make it to all of our classes, Barton the farm selections. They have music, 22 | Bellina | January 2013 family health & fitness written by Natalie Moore I n recent years health and fitness has shifted focus to encompass the entirety of elements which have an impact on our bodies. Wellness not only espouses good health, but emphasizes an absence of disease combined with physical fitness and the health of oneâ€™s emotional, environmental and spiritual environments. In developing a healthy lifestyle for your family it is imperative to maintain proper nutrition, include regular physical activity and establish a healthy sleep regime. Providing good nutrition for your family means including all nutrients the body requires to generate the necessary energy to meet individual needs. This energy requirement will be different for each individual in your family. High-energy foods (whole grains, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds) have the necessary nutrient levels to fuel the rigorous activities of high-energy consumers. Every organ in your body, from your brain to your skin, needs this fuel to adequately perform. Inadequate sustenance will negatively impact these systems. High activity has high caloric output. Feed your body the fuel it needs for the activities you perform. Identify the energy consumption levels of members in your family and plan meals accordingly. High-energy consumers need sufficient calories to fuel their daily activities, whereas low-energy consumers can take in fewer calories. Once proper nutrition is learned, the body becomes more efficient at converting fuel (food) to energy. Get the family outside; stay indoors, but BE ACTIVE; the possibilities are endless. Grab a frisbee, go skating, turn a nature hike into a scavenger hunt, go swimming, or spend the afternoon at the batting cage. Calories are calories. Activity burns calories. Whatever activities your family enjoys, make plans to do them either as individuals or as a unit. The most important thing is action! Put activities your family will enjoy on the family calendar and establish a peaceful rest area, do whatever is make activity a normal part of your life. necessary for your family to obtain the proper amounts of rest. You will notice an increase Get plenty of rest! Rest is as crucial an in your energy level, your productivity and element for daily living as is the fuel provided your daily accomplishments, because you by your food. The body needs 4-6 REM cycles are operating on all cylinders. to properly repair and refuel; this equates to 8-9 hours. Each day proper rest is not Children are likely to repeat the actions achieved has a compounding negative effect modeled by their parents. As the first point which presents as mind and body fatigue. of learning, it is important for parents to be The dangers of sleep deprivation do not stop the actions they want to see in their children. at simple fatigue. When sleep is continually Be active, practice proper sleep hygiene and negated for other activities your body cannot supply your body with nutritious fuel. By function at its optimal capacity, regardless of choosing healthy living and a well-balanced people who tout abilities to subsist on fewer lifestyle now, parents can set their children hours, research shows sleep deprivation and grandchildren up for a future of health leads to accidents, slows work productivity and fitness. and, can lead to imbalances in hormone levels which can lead to illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. Uninterrupted * Material referenced from Lecture Material of Dr. sleep is best; if you must nap, be sure it will Fred Peterson, Dr. Ed Tyson and Total Fitness and not have a negative impact on the upcoming Wellness: Understanding Health-Related Fitness nightâ€™s sleep. Adjust your nighttime routine, and Wellness January 2013 | Bellina | 23