3 Ways to Determine Your Family is Feeling Overly Stressed

3 Ways to Determine Your Family is Feeling Overly Stressed

If there is one thing that is synonymous with parenting, it’s sleep…or, lack there of to be honest. And while many of us joke how we cope with the loss of sleep, or how much coffee chug just to avoid ending up in a orange jumpsuit – the loss of sleep, and how it effects the body and mind is a serious topic. That’s why I’m happy to have a guest author Sarah Cummings from SleepAdvisor.org to talk about this very issue.

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Stress is an inevitable part of modern life. For short periods of time it can be perfectly normal, your body is designed to cope with it and it can even give you the kick up the behind you need to get things done. Read more

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Fixing Bad Habits and Finding Structure: A Journey to Better Health

It’s said that every journey starts with a single step…or something like that. Well, it feels like I’ve been on this journey of trying to lose weight forever, and that I’ve taken that first step hundreds of times. Needless to say, it’s frustrating.
When last we spoke about my weight loss goals, I told you I had this grand idea that I wanted to get into better shape before I turned 40 (just 13 short months away). Unlike other times I have started this journey, this time I’m really committed to making this happened; I even made a video about it, calling it Operation Fit By 40.
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Kids and Healthy Meals Can Be a #Flatout Struggle

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Have you ever heard the term, The struggle is real? Of course you have. And nowhere else is that term more applicable than parenting, because…seriously, everything is a struggle, and it’s REAL!
Parenting as whole is just one long struggle. Time to get dressed, NO!! Time to brush your teeth, NO!! Time for bed, NOOOO!!!! But for my money, the biggest struggle has been getting my son to eat. Oh, don’t get me wrong, he’ll eat, but he only wants to eat what he wants, and trust me when I tell you, my son does not have a refined palate. If he could live off of hot dogs, mac and cheese, fruit and yogurt, he’d be set for life. Hey, those all sound tasty to me too, but come on kid, let’s mix in a veggie every now and then.
As someone who grew up heavy and not very active, and still struggles with my weight to this day, I know the responsibility lies squarely on me (and the Wife) to make sure our son is not only staying active, but also eating right. But that brings us back to the struggle.
Kids don’t understand the benefits of eating right and trying to lose weight. I mean, have you ever tried to explain a low-carb diet, or going gluten free, or heaven forbid cutting out processed sugar from your daily diet to a kid? You might as well be explaining to your dog the benefits of him not licking himself every hour on the hour…just not gonna happen.
That’s why it’s always important to remember, as difficult as kids are, they are equally if not more, gullible. All you have to do is tell them they’re eating one of their favorite foods, and just don’t tell them it’s made out of healthier options. I mean, come on, we’re talking about people who routinely put dirt and/or boogers in their mouths on a daily basis.
That’s where awesome products like Flatout Flat Breads come in. Flatout takes making healthy and delicious snacks to a whole new level. With their endless options of flat breads, wraps, and pizza crusts (my personal favorite) the sky’s the limit with how creative you can be, because every one of their products is literally a blank canvas just waiting for you to construct your delicious masterpiece.
I know my son loves pizza, because what kid doesn’t? So I decided to bust out the Artisan Pizza crust from Flatout, and have the boy participate in making his own pizza. A project that should be fun and easy. So I present to you, Pizza Night at Papa’s House…with help from the kid:
Step #1: Get some Artisan Pizza Bread from Flatout.
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Step #2: Get other pizza items to go on your flatbread.
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Step #3: Roll the dice and ask your crazy toddler if he wants to help, and pray he doesn’t A) Burn the house down, B) Burn himself on the stove, and C) Get bored and decide to jump off the step stool for fun causing any number of damages or broken bones.
Step #4: Bake bread at 375 degrees for 2 min.
Step #5: Spread on the sauce, and explain to your kid 500 times that pizza sauce is NOT ketchup even though it looks similar. Also resist the urge to quit midway through this because your kid is already annoying you.
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Step #6: Sprinkle cheese on the pizza while your toddler decides to sprinkle cheese everywhere BUT the pizza.
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Step #7: Question your sanity for suggesting this project with your toddler because you’ve just now created massive amounts of clean up.
Step #8: Add additional toppings to create your signature pizza. I went simple and did pepperoni. I only have so much patience now.
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Step #9: Put the pizza back in the oven and back for an additional 4-5 min, but first deal with your toddler who has gone from semi-helpful to full on tantrum because he doesn’t understand why he can’t climb in the oven with his new friend the pizza.
Step #10: Once again, question your sanity, and resist the urge to now simply have alcohol as your main source for dinner, all while you ponder the question, “What is life?!?”
Step #11: Take the pizza out of the oven and actually marvel at your creation. Enjoy this moment by yourself, because trust me, your kid has already moved onto something else.
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Step #12: Serve to your kid. Try not to go all Harry Carry when your kid asks when we got pizza, because they will. Just enjoy the success of them eating and not talking for a moment.
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See…what’d I tell you, fun and easy!
Flatout Flatbread is not only a great option for kids to eat healthy, but at only 130 calories (varies by product), it’s also perfect for replenishing my energy after working out or running (sometimes running away from home) without weighing on my stomach and making me feel over-full.
Flatout is also a great way to start your morning. Just look:

Breakfast Sandwich like a MOFO!
Breakfast Sandwich like a MOFO!

Try for yourself. Check out the store locator on their website find your local stores carrying all the Flatout products.
Disclosure: I have partnered with FLATOUT FLATBREAD® for this promotion.  I have received compensation and product for my participation, but my opinions are my own.

Stouffer's #FitKitchen Meals: My New Wingman On My Weight-Loss Journey

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I have always struggled with my weight. As a kid I was chubby for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a single-parent home with a mom who worked long hours to make sure the bills were paid and the lights stayed on meant I was on my own most nights when it came to dinner. It also means I formed a very close relationship with microwavable dinners at a very early age.
I knew they were never the healthiest of options, but when you’re young, alone, and kitchen-inept, popping a frozen meal in the microwave was the quick and easy option.
Those habits follow you as you get older. In my early 20’s when I was in the Army, I never wanted to eat in the chow hall, so like most of the guys in the barracks, if we weren’t out getting fast food, we were popping frozen dinners in the microwave. Even when I eventually returned home and moved in with friends, microwave dinners were a mainstay at mealtime. Because let’s face it, not only are they quick, but microwave dinners usually fit well into a young bachelor’s tight budget.
Now in my late 30’s and in the throes of parenthood, I find that my fairly poor diet choices from my youth have begun to catch up with me in the form of an ever-growing waistline. I’ve started to try and correct this by becoming more active. I know, I know, how can someone with a toddler BE anymore active? Over the last two years I’ve joined a gym, increased my activity and started to feel better, but I’m still finding the diet part of getting healthier to be the tricky part.
Unlike at the gym, when I’m at home I don’t have someone to work with me. To help me make proper choices. Someone to tell me I need to correct my form, or eating habits as it were. What I need is a mealtime wingman for my weight-loss journey.
Introducing new STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen meals. These are not your grandfather’s TV dinners. Nope, these new microwave meals are the perfect thing for active parents, parents on-the-go, heck, parents in general.
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Mealtime can be tricky for any parent, no matter what your activity level might be. There are going to be plenty of days where life gets in the way of preparing a healthy meal. For example, in our household, I work a conventional 8-5 schedule, but my wife’s career has unpredictable hours that sometimes force us to be like to ships passing in the night. Needless to say, when this happens, meals tend to be more grab-and-go and less like prepared sit-down dinners.
The big worry in situations like this is that your frozen meal won’t be filling and you’ll end up snacking on something extra (and usually far less healthy) in order to curb that craving. But not with STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen as your mealtime wingman you won’t. Each meal contains at least 25 grams of protein, which is awesome, especially for someone like me who is looking to be more active and needs to replenish my energy after a hard workout. And they come in some amazing flavor choices too:

  • STEAK FAJITA in smoked red chile sauce with a mix of red & green peppers and seasoned brown rice;
  • CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN white meat chicken with a black bean & corn mix, seasoned brown rice and a verde tomatillo sauce;
  • ROTISSERIE SEASONED TURKEY with a mix of diced red skin sweet potatoes & green beans;
  • MONTEREY CHICKEN with diced red skin & sweet potatoes, lightly buttered green beans with BBQ style sauce;
  • BOURBON STEAK with chipotle mashed sweet potatoes, seasoned broccoli & red peppers; and,
  • OVEN-ROASTED CHICKEN with diced red skin potatoes, seasoned broccoli and a savory wine sauce.

I tried the steak fajita #FitKitchen just last night when I was on solo-parent duty and I have to tell you, I was blown away by how full I was after finishing the meal. Not too stuffed, and certainly not still hungry. It was just right.
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As the parent of a growing toddler, I need to keep my energy up at all times. I can’t afford to be slowed down by constantly being hungry, and really can’t to allow my weight to get out of control by eating junk food or constantly snacking. That why I’m glad I found these new meals from Stouffer’s. Now I know there are healthy/filling options out there, that are also quick and and afforable, that won’t derail me from my weight-loss journey.
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Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and STOUFFER’S® for this promotion.  I have received compensation and product for my participation, but my opinions are my own.