Happy Valentine’s Day!

Who else will be serving cupcakes and corralling sticky faces and fingers today?


valentine's day

Healthy Lunch Ideas For Busy, Working Moms

As a mom, one who works at home and that has to make sure she eats throughout the day (or my sugar drops drastically), I have to try and make a healthy breakfast and lunch that sustains me. We all know how easy it is to grab some chips, drink your lunch or skip it all together. With that being said, do not forget that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but skipping lunch is just as bad.

Besides your hunger being satisfied, eating a healthy, balanced lunch will keep you focused, alert, energized, in a better mood and will assist you in your healthy weight goals, while keeping money in your pocket.


The first thing to remember is never skip lunch, no matter how busy you are. Studies show hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can slow the speed at which people process information and shorten their attention span which will effect daily activities at work, plus slow your metabolism and send you running for the candy at 3 pm.

Salads are great options, but remember these tips:

· Top your salad with lean protein like wild salmon, grilled chicken or calamari, beans, or tofu. This will ensure your body is building healthy muscle that will help you burn more fat and keep you feeling full longer.

· Limit your salad dressing or use a good balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Try to “dip” your greens vs. pouring on the dressing.

· Skip the croutons and processed cheeses – instead add veggies, the more colorful the better.

Sandwiches can help you get in your veggies and lean protein. Here are some options:

· Greek sandwich (lettuce, tomato, olives, feta cheese, oil & vinegar- leftover grilled chicken)

· Turkey breast, lean ham and roast beef on a tortilla with roasted veggies

· If you are a seafood lover, mussels, grilled calamari or fresh seafood salad on some whole grain bread

· Find a whole grain bread that has fiber and protein in it. Add some grilled leftover veggies from the night before, tuna in water, canned wild salmon, some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Last night’s dinner:

· Don’t be afraid to prep some the night before – It doesn’t take a lot of time to chop extra vegetables, wash and dry extra lettuce, and reserve a portion of the evening’s lean protein while you are preparing dinner.

· Such items can be stored in individual containers in the fridge. When lunch rolls around the next day the ingredients are already prepped and just need to be assembled.

· Quesadillas and Tacos are great because you can put almost anything between tortillas and call it a Quesadilla or Taco without needing a recipe. Just take a look at what vegetable, meat or bean, and cheese options are available in your refrigerator and get creating!

· Pasta is easy to make extra…add some olive oil to it and then stir in some veggies and lean protein the next day.

Don’t forget, breakfast can be served anytime of the day! Scramble some eggs with salsa, cheese and serve on an English muffin. Add some Canadian bacon, grass fed bacon or tofu and make an omelet or scramble.

Try to avoid ordering out; pizza, Chinese, burgers, fries and drive-thrus are all going to go straight to your butt and you will regret it at 3 pm when that slump hits.

Water, lots of water – drink it all day long. Flavor it with fruit, lemon, cucumber or mint.

Avoid living on caffeine – when you do that you are asking to crash and burn. Instead take some time and take a walk around the house, stretch your legs, do a few burpees, sit-ups, push-up or whatever it takes to get your blood circulating through your body. Try and get those 10,000 steps in/day. Just because we work at home, doesn’t mean we can’t move it!

Here are some links to my favorite Pinterest boards and websites with recipes, in home workouts and suggestions for your lunches.

Pinterest – Quick & Easy Lunches

Pinterest – Paleo Lunches

Pinterest – Breakfast for Lunch

Pinterest – Jody Morgan

Pinterest – Food Babe

Pinterest – Wellness & Workouts

Honeybear Lane

The Kitchn

7 Minute Workout

The 7 Minute Workout Challenge

High Intensity 7 Minute Challenge

I hope that as moms who work from home we can help each other and share ideas and suggestions to help keep us all healthy! Feel free to contact me or connect to me via social media so we can swap ideas.

Jody Morgan is a SAHM/WAHM in Columbus, OH. She runs Gemini Health & Nutrition as a Holistic Health Practitioner. In her free time she enjoys cooking, baking, crafts, photography, nature, fitness and entertaining. She blogs over at Now There Are Five where she talks about her journey to become a successful blended family and all things fun.

Seven Tips For Working At Home (With Kids)

When I tell people that I work from home, I can see the thoughts flashing through their minds:
“She gets to wear yoga pants all day.”
“I’ll bet she can just sit and watch TV while she’s working.”
“Her job can’t be that hard if she does it from home.”

Many people don’t realize that with two small boys, a nine year old daughter, and a job that demands much of my time (I teach high school English online with students who can contact me at any time during the day but need me to help them RIGHT. NOW.) that I don’t get much “me” time. In one day, I must do eight hours worth of work in about two or three hours. After the kids go to sleep, I try to squeeze in another thirty minutes to an hour so that I can be one step ahead for the next day. And at some point, I attempt to look my husband in the face, in the silence that is our post-bedtime-for-the-kids time, for at least an hour before we collapse into the bed.

Are you wondering how I manage to fit that much work into such a short amount of time? Let me share with you the tricks I use to get it done (and bear in mind that I’m still usually buried in work):

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  1. Make lists. I have a to-do list. It is scribbled on and rewritten and changed almost daily, but it gives me focus. There’s a very satisfying feeling to mark things off as I complete them.
  2. Turn off social media. This is hard to do, so I turn my phone upside down and close any tabs that aren’t work. Doing so helps me really focus for the hour or two that I have.
  3. Do the most pressing things first. If something is due next week, it can wait longer than something due tonight. I try to deal with the biggest and most important items first.
  4. But think about those long-term deadlines. It helps me to make notes about the items coming up later so that when I get to the task, I have already planned. I may make notes in my list book, or I may jot it down on a sticky on my computer.
  5. Learn to say, “No.” This is the hardest thing for me to do. I love being involved, and I love staying busy (as much as I’d like a nap). When I’m approached and asked to take on more tasks, I really have to stop and think about this task’s value and whether or not I can really do it.
  6. Set your “start” and “end” times for the day. I try to finish by 8 pm each night unless there is a planned meeting. That gives me about an hour after the kids are in bed to work furiously. Most of my work is squished into nap time, so the after-bed work is dedicated to getting ahead or tying up loose ends.
  7. Take some time for you. Yes, there are deadlines. Yes, your job is your job, so you must complete the work. But ask yourself this question: if you worked outside of the home, would you bring your work into your living room? As a high school teacher, there were several times that I brought essays home to grade. That was every now and again. With my current online job, I could work all day long because all of the work is on the computer. When I worked for a bank, I walked out at 5 pm and didn’t think about the work again until 9 am the next morning. Find a way to set limits, and do your best to stick to them.

Working from home has been a blessing for me and my family. Knowing I’m here if the school calls to tell me my daughter needs something or not worrying about missing a day of work because one of the kids is sick is an awesome trade-off for the stress that comes with having my office surrounded by toddlers, toys, and crumbs.

What suggestions do you have to offer to parents who work from home with children as their co-workers?

Lydia Richmond is a high school English teacher and wife to Aaron, a high school math teacher. Together, they are raising three kids, two dogs, and one old cat. When she’s not knee deep in grading or blogging on, Lydia can be found sneaking cookies from the cookie jar. Connect with Lydia on Twitter (@lydsrich) or Facebook.

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