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My family has always loved fruits and vegetables, but in the last several months, I’ve made it my quest to delve into the shelves at Whole Foods and Sunflower Market and broaden our horizons even further.
On our journey, I’ve started following a lot of blogs and when reading recipes or posts, I quite often find myself asking, “What is that?”
Here are some of the “odd” foods and what they are.
Chia seeds-Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, a good source of calcium, a plant-based protein and omega-3 fatty acid. They are dense in calories, at 139 calories per ounce, but low in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol. When they are combined with liquid, they turn into a gel.
How to eat them: Use them in smoothies, oatmeals, yogurt, or even in baked goods.

Goji Berries-berries loaded with antioxidants and compounds rich in Vitamin A. Some research suggests anti-aging effects and may help prevent heart disease. You may want to avoid goji berries if you are on blood thinners, have diabetes or are on blood pressure medication.
How to eat them: like raisins or other dried fruits-in cereals, trail mixes, oatmeal, or granola. The berries can also be rehydrated by soaking in warm water until they plump.

Kefir-a cultured, enzyme rich milk product that is similar to a drinking-style yogurt. It contains probiotics and yeast. It can be made of any kind of milk-cow, goat, soy, rice, sheep or even coconut. It can also often be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant because the yeast and bacteria produce lactase, an enzyme that consume much of the remaining lactose. It can be made at home with starter grains, or purchased ready-made.
How to eat it: in smoothies, dressings, substitute for buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream in recipes.
Cocoa Nibs-crushed cacao beans that have been fermented, dried and roasted.
How to eat them: Candy them and use them where you would add nuts, like in baked goods, as a savory topping for salads, or use to crust meat, or add to smoothies.
Wheat Berries-whole wheat kernels, that are boiled to become study, chewy grains with an earthy flavor. They are packed with fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, antioxidants and Vitamin E.
How to eat them: cook in salted, boiling water like other grains and add to soups, chili, hot as a side dish, or in a cold salad. Also good with milk and eaten like a cereal or oatmeal.

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Growing up I did the typical sports stuff: soccer, volleyball, softball, etc.  None of them took me past high school, but I had fun.  When I had my children I always assumed they’d want to play sports as well.  It is fun to hang out with friends and run around, right? Wrong. I have two boys who aren’t exactly athletic in the traditional sense. They still needed to get up and moving because they are boys and they are full of energy.  Here is our solution.


We started looking for alternative sports.  You know, the ones that aren’t sponsored by a local furniture store or played en masse at the local sport fields.  We tried, karate, gymnastics, and break dancing classes, but we’ve landed on fencing.  Sometimes kids just aren’t a good fit for team sports. My kids tended to get bored easily and didn’t really “get” what was going on.  I realized we needed to try more individual sports and that is when my kids started excelling.

We tried a few different sports until we landed on fencing.  They enjoyed them all, but this was the sport they both liked and actually wanted to do.  I realize kids don’t always show consistency and dedication at a young age, but parents just know some things.  You know when your kid is into something and it is more than just a passing fancy.  For us, this is fencing.

For the most part, kids aren’t going to follow a sport to the professional level.  Most people stop after middle or high school. Very few of us even take our sports to college.  When we play sports we learn about ourselves, teamwork, rules, and so much more. It is about having fun and being kids.

Maybe your kids are not into mainstream sports, but you aren’t sure where to start.  Here are some of our favorite athletic choices that can get your kids up, moving, and maybe even a scholarship to college. I realize that some of these are common choices. I’m listing them as alternatives to baseball, football, soccer, etc.

  1. Fencing
  2. Running
  3. Martial Arts
  4. Swimming
  5. Bicycling
  6. Wrestling
  7. Dancing
  8. Yoga
  9. Hiking
  10. Tennis


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When you think of the word “vacation” do you think of pools, beaches, theme parks? You aren’t alone, but there are more and more vacationers now choosing to camp, hike, and get outdoors.  It seems the book and subsequent movie, “Wild,” is encouraging women to explore nature.

According to The Outdoor Foundation only 48 percent of adults who camped were women in 2011.  However, by 2014 the number was about 60 percent.  They credit that partly to the release of the book “Wild: Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed.

There are a growing number of websites, like She-Explores, that are telling the stories of women who are spending time outdoors and connecting with nature.

If you are new to camping or want to start out slow, try “glamping.” Glamping is short for glamorous camping. You can get outdoors while still having a few basic comforts.  You can find glamping options on Airbnb. They usually include staying in a tent, yurt, airstream or treehouse.

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“Roughly 83 million Americans age 6 and over, or about 28% of the population, reported that they did not once participate in any of 104 specific physical activities in the last calendar year, according to annual survey results by the Physical Activity Council.” They did not ONCE participate in at least one of the 104 specific physical activities in an entire year! 83 million people are incredibly lazy.

I’m not super active, I don’t do the Incline regularly, I don’t do CrossFit, I haven’t ran a 5K in months. However, I have done at least a few of the 104 specific physical activities on the survey.  Here are a few, just a few that were on the list:

Hiking (Day)
Elliptical Motion Trainer
Sledding/Saucer Riding/Snow Tubing
Walking for Fitness

Are you seriously telling me that 83 million Americans, over the age of six-years-old, did not do any of these physical activities last year? That is shocking! How are we so lazy? When did we stop doing anything of physical value?

Are you one of the 83 million people living a sedentary life or are you getting up and moving?

My name is Samantha Sargent.  I am a Second Degree Black Belt and a proud mother of two children, Nicole 12 and Mateo 10, who both became First Degree Black Belts in October 2013!  Through Taekwondo I met my wonderful Husband, Brian, who also got his black belt in 2013.  He started Taekwondo with his two amazing kids (now my step-children), Shawn 14 and Abby 10, they continue their training and aim to test for their black belts in 2015.  The community I found at the U.S. Taekwondo Center gives me the support every parent needs.  No parent can ever have too many people telling their children all the right things and that is what we get from the Staff and families at the USTC.  Taekwondo has taught all of us more confidence, self-control, respect, and perseverance.  My children love training and working hard for their goals in Taekwondo and in life.  This is an activity we can all do together and we have a blast supporting and teaching each other.  I am physically and mentally strong because of my art, I am currently in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy with a baby boy and plan on continuing my training until I go into labor Mid-June.  Taekwondo will be a part of my life forever and I hope to pass this healthy lifestyle of respectful living, positive reinforcement, and fun to not only my friends and family but to as many people as possible.

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This week I have been thinking a lot about the Boston Marathon and all that happened there last year. For me it was one of those events where I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. My daughter had asked for an American Girl Doll for her birthday so we had taken her to the store in Denver and then out to a fun lunch (where her doll could sit at the table with us, of course). I remember walking into the restaurant and every TV was on the news and everyone was watching it or on their phones checking something out. As we were on our way to the table I just caught a little blurb about the Boston Marathon and so I jumped on my phone to see if there had been an awesome finish or something like that. That is when I found out that a bomb had gone off and there were fatalities. I was in shock! I love to run and have ran many half marathons and will someday run a full marathon (it is on my bucket list). You have to prequalify for Boston and it is not easy. These are not just your hobby runners that go run a mile or two these are amazing athletes that train for months to get ready for such a race. I was so sad for the runners because I know the hard work that goes into a training for a half marathon and to tell you the truth the reason I have not ran a full marathon yet is because I can’t yet commit to the hours and hours of training you need. So many people finally qualified for the race and did not even get to run over the finish line. But most of all I can’t imagine being the spectators cheering on their family and friends. When you are running a long race like that the signs along the way are so encouraging and humorous. Also, when I am running in a race and I turn a corner to see my three kids cheering me on I always cry because it just warms my heart. So my heart still breaks for those that were just standing cheering and waving their signs to have their lives taken or limbs taken or whatever their injuries might have been. This week I hope everyone goes out on a run or walk and remembers those that had so much taken from them last year.

Sarah is a mother of three children and a wife to a farmer. Make sure to check out her Facebook page, Farm Girl Fitness, for more healthy information and HA-larious personal posts.

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Getting older stinks!!! I still consider myself young but we are all getting older and our bodies are constantly changing. I weigh less now than before I got pregnant with my first child but I guarantee I could not even come close to fitting into the high wasted Rocky Jeans I wore back then. Actually, just having baby’s changes your body in crazy ways. Can you do tuck jumps in an exercise class without having to pause before you pee your pants? I know I can’t! In fact, I always make sure I use the bathroom before working out and even then it doesn’t always help. No matter what issues you may have due to baby’s or age listen to your body and learn how best to deal with them. As a young athlete in high school I did not pay attention to my diet or to stretching properly and in all honesty I got along fine. Now my diet and stretching is vital to my well being. If I did not stretch after a workout there would be a good chance I would not get out of my bed the next day. Another example is last night I attended an Insanity workout class in our school gym. I was a little over half way done when I started to feel really weird. We were doing mountain climbers on the floor and my legs started feeling really weak and almost tingly. Then when I stood up I was really lightheaded and dizzy. I listened to my body and stopped the workout, stretched and went on home. The rest of the night I thought about what may have caused this issue so that I could make changes so that it would not happen again. My first thought was had I ate enough calories and drank enough water. I had eaten a good lunch, plenty of calories, and I had drunk plenty of water throughout the day. Needless to say the only thing I can think of is my blood pressure. I have low blood pressure on a regular day but maybe the foods I had ate that day did not contain enough sodium. This is just an idea but the point of this story is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND LEARN FROM IT.

Have you ever had the issue I had while working out? What caused it for you?

Sarah is a mother of three children and a wife to a farmer. Make sure to check out her Facebook page, Farm Girl Fitness, for more healthy information and HA-larious personal posts.

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My kids are on Spring Break this week and since I work at the school so am I. I love Spring Break because we use it not only to get a short overnight trip in somewhere but also because I do some Spring cleaning. I took one whole day to just clean out my room. I cleaned out my closet and gave away three trash bags full of clothes, I feel like I need to go shopping now. The next day I took my kids one at a time and cleaned out their closets and drawers. It is such a nice feeling having everything cleaned out! This is great for our closets but it can be equally helpful in all that we do. Sometimes our lives need a little cleaning out too. I also used Spring Break to reexamine those fitness goals I made at the beginning of the year. We always start the new year so excited and motivated but then we lose that motivation. I have done great exercising about six days a week but my eating and running schedule have been horrible. This week I started meal planning again using mostly clean recipes for my entire family. I plan on Monday to do some prep work for the week and really try to say no to bad choices especially sweets. Also, I am registering for the Boulder Boulder this week so that I have a race to work towards. I think this will help me run more if I know I need to be running a certain distance by a certain time.

What about you, are you still on track with your goals you set at the beginning of the year? What do you need to do to get back on track Or if you are still doing great what can you do to expand on them? Take a little time to reflect on your fitness journey this week and see where it is taking you.

Sarah is a mother of three children and a wife to a farmer. Make sure to check out her Facebook page, Farm Girl Fitness, for more healthy information and HA-larious personal posts.

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Another reason why us mom’s need to stay healthy through exercise and clean eating is that we CAN NOT GET SICK! I came down with a stomach bug at the beginning of the week and was in bed the whole day. Now don’t get me wrong I have an amazing husband and kids who are a big help but when mom is down for a day it is still a major CRISIS!!! I managed to get the kids out of the house and on the bus before heading for the bedroom but of course the day can’t run smoothly from there. By 9:30 I started getting phone calls from the school. My youngest daughter Charley is battling mono right now and so some days are great and others are terrible. Well on this day she was starting to not feel good so I talked to the secretary subbing for me and just asked her to keep tabs on her and her temperature. Well I received a couple more phone calls from the school and Charley until lunchtime hit and so did a fever. So I am in bed and visiting the bathroom A LOT and now my daughter needs to come home. Have I mentioned I live 30 minutes from the school so needless to say unless I could strap on a diaper, this mom was not going to make it. Thank the Lord I have an amazing mother-in-law who I called to rescue both Charley and myself. She went and got Charley and took her to her house to rest for the afternoon. Then the craziness of what to do with kids after school hit. My oldest daughter Riley had an awards ceremony after school for an essay contest she had placed in so she needed to be there and my son Wesley had basketball practice and did I mention he left his sports bag at home. Well the phone calls started again as I figured out who could get Riley to the ceremony and where Wesley needed to go. Of course I am super mom (lol) and got everything figured out and then called my husband to debrief him about all three kid’s plans for the evening. All that was left to do was to run Wesley his bag and pick up the girls from his moms. Thank goodness I had some leftover soup in the frig that they could warm up for dinner. After that day I realized how important it was for me to work to stay as healthy as possible. I know you all have similar stories and I would love to hear them so comment below if you have had crazy family days when you have been sick.

Sarah is a mother of three children and a wife to a farmer. Make sure to check out her Facebook page, Farm Girl Fitness, for more healthy information and HA-larious personal posts.

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I LOVE A LIST!!! My husband always makes fun of me because I have multiple lists all over my house. Some people love lists and others are not big fans of them but I find them very useful! If you have a habit you want to break or even have something you are proud of yourself for doing and want to know how much you are doing it, well then keep a list. I was reading a book where a man wanted to make more time in his day so he listed everything he did in a day and how long he did it. Of course this was very time consuming but he found out a lot about his day that he had not considered before. When he woke up he watched the news for 30 minutes, then read the paper and then the first thing he did when he turned on his computer was check out the news. By keeping a list he realized that if he were to just get his news from one source it would save him a whole hour in the day. THAT IS AWESOME!!! Have you ever kept a list of the foods you eat in a day? I have before and it is SCARY!! Even if you think you know what you eat in a day you should still keep a list because you might surprise yourself. Today for is a perfect example for me, when I think back over my day I would say I ate great today but then when I look at my list 😛 I realize I had a granola bar which is actually pretty high in sugar when normally I have my apples and almond butter (I ran out of the house this morning late, so I did not have time to put together my yummy healthy snacks). Then I was starving part way through the morning I did have an extra handful of almonds (those weren’t junk food but not planned). Then at lunch one of the teachers sitting across from me opened a package of Oreos and I had to steal one. All of a sudden I realize I did not eat badly necessarily but I did not keep on my exact plan for the day. I found this out from my list. This week I want you to try it. You can do it with your eating or with your use of Facebook or any activity. Make a list of every time you do the activity and see what happens. It might just surprise you!

Sarah is a mother of three children and a wife to a farmer. Make sure to check out her Facebook page, Farm Girl Fitness, for more healthy information and HA-larious personal posts.

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