Vegan is L❤ve

As a mom who writes children’s books on veganism, Ruby Roth is on a mission to help change the way we see food and the world.  While Roth has recently drawn criticism for her new book ‘Vegan is Love,’ I really believe the overall message she is sending to moms and dads and families across the globe is invaluable.

The harshest criticism this book is receiving according to registered dietician Nicole German:

“...it could easily scare a young child into eating vegan, and without proper guidance that child could become malnourished” and “…children are impressionable and this is too sensitive of a topic to have a child read this book.”

I agree that children are impressionable, but I also believe that it is our responsibility to convey truthful messages to our children without guilting them or instilling fear.  Furthermore, any diet that is not properly overseen by a responsible parent has the possibility or tendency to become unhealthy – not just veganism.  It’s the lack of supervision, not the diet in this case.  Why does the media tend to forget that WE are RESPONSIBLE for raising healthy, well-adjusted kids?

In a video book trailer (below) for ‘Vegan is Love,’

Roth says:

“If we want to move towards an era of solutions where the planet is healing, people are fed and healthy, there is good in the way we do business and a reverence in the world for all living things, then all we have to do is live that life ourselves.”

Whether you are vegan or vegetarian or omnivore – we ALL need to become more connected to our food and to Mother Earth.  As parents we need to teach our children about proper nutrition, why healthy eating is a must, and how every decision we make influences our world.  The best way to do this is to live that life ourselves!

Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.~David Bly

Remember to get your Earth Day on this weekend!

dr. lisa

salute the sun and your health

This beautiful rendition of the classic Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) was created by Inne Choi and can be found here.

Morning is always a hectic time for me as a mom. Force my body out of bed, get showered and dressed- get the kiddos up, washed, and changed. Make breakfast. Try and make them eat it. Grab a little something for myself and we’re out the door.

Morning is also the perfect time for me to get in a little exercise to help prepare my mind and body for the day ahead. After much trial and error deciding on a rise and shine, “get fit fast” routine, I’ve finally found (and fallen in love with) Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation.

Sun Salutation consists of a beautiful set of asanas that massages, detoxifies, and stimulates almost every organ of the human body and brings suppleness to the spine. It is a wonderful way to warm up and stretch at the same time. 

In just ten minutes, your body gets a comprehensive and systematic workout. No other exercise routine can surpass it. It makes the body strong, supple and flexible and tones every part of the body. The back is bent and straightened, the abdomen is compressed and stretched, it loosens up all joints, flexes the muscles, massaging internal organs, and activates all the systems of the body.

Sun Salutations are a series of 12 postures, linked by the breath, in one single flow:

  1. Stand with both feet touching. Bring your hands together, palm to palm, at the heart. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed. Exhale.
  2. Raise your arms upward. Slowly bend backward, stretching arms above the head. Relax your neck. Inhale.
  3. Exhale while you slowly bend forward until your hands are in line with your feet, touching your head to your knees, if possible. Press your palms down, fingertips in line with toes (bend your knees if you have to), and touch the floor.
  4. Move your right leg back behind your body in a wide lunge. As you inhale, keep your hands and feet on the ground, with your left foot between your hands, and raise your head.
  5. Bring your left foot together with your right foot.
  6. Exhale as you lower your body, resting on your forearms.
  7. As you inhale, lower your pelvis to the ground and raise your head and bend backward as far as possible, while straightening your arms.
  8. Putting your hand on the ground and keeping your arms straight, raise your hips and align your head with your arms. Exhale.
  9. Slowly inhale and bend your right leg to take a wide forward step. Keeping your hands firmly on the ground, place your right foot between your hands and lift your head up.
  10. Keeping your hands in place, bring both feet together. Straighten your legs but keep your waist bent and upper body lowered. Touch your head to your knees, if possible. Exhale.
  11. Slowly rise, straightening your back into a standing pose. Bend backward, stretching your arms above your head as you inhale.
  12. Return to position number 1. Exhale.

Remember to decide how many Sun Salutations you do and how fast you do them by listening to your body. If you’re a beginner, start by doing two: one for health and one for well-being! As you advance, start your morning by doing three and building from there. Side note: I also incorporate Sun Salutations into my day whenever I’m feeling tired or stressed.

Salute the sun and your health every morning.

dr. lisa

any direction you choose

I’m not a fan of negativity, pessimism, glass half empty rhetoric, or anything of the sort. I used to think that most others felt the same way. Then I delved a little deeper and I was kinda surprised at what I found. The mommy world certainly has its fill of Debbie Downers, controversy seekers, and complainers.

As a mom, I try my hardest to do the right things for my family. I read empowering books, set goals for success, and have a positive attitude with myself and others. As you already know, it’s extremely hard to keep this outlook all of the time. In fact, I’m quite sure that it’s probably impossible. Especially when I’m Owning it and OMing it all freaking day long! That being said, I do what I can to keep myself from going over to the dark side. Motherhood is certainly not always easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

Some moms often wonder how to stay positive in their thoughts and actions, especially when times are tough or when they’re unhappy or unsatisfied. Some moms even find it hard to be positive when things are well. This is when we start comparing our lives to others, judging and criticizing others (often to make ourselves feel better), and thriving on being negative: Whoa is me, the sky is falling! You’re an overachiever! blah blah blah. Sometimes we start to sound like kindergarteners!

Okay mommies, real change comes from within:

1. Recognize where you are and focus on where you want to be.

2. Make your decisions with positive intent and purpose.

3. Choose to surround yourself with positive, successful (work, mommyhood, friendship) and inspiring people.

4. Offer the best you have to others.

5. Blaze your own trail.

The road to negativity and mediocrity is easy.

dr. lisa

hang up the gloves

When it comes to motherhood, all bets are off. Any woman out there will tell you that having a baby changes everything. Motherhood is an incredibly important job AND an incredibly hard job. There is no instruction manual to follow. No step-by-step guide for guaranteed success. We all just take a deep breath and jump in.

That being said, there is an enormous amount of pressure for us to do everything the “right way” when it comes to raising a family. This pressure comes from expectations we’ve set for ourselves, as well as from outside sources such as our own moms, family members, friends and yes, even strangers. And probably the harshest critics of all: OTHER MOMS. No one tells you before you become a mom that you will soon be entering the Mommy Wars. A place where everyone has an opinion of what you’re doing wrong, what you should be doing instead, and why they want to punch you in the throat.

I think one of the hottest topics when it comes to bringing up babies is breastfeeding. There seems to be this ongoing war between moms about the pressures to breastfeed, the successes and failures, how long to do it (short-term, extended), and the thought that bottle-feeding (not only formula, but breast milk as well- yikes!) somehow makes you inferior as a mother. This is all a bunch of malarkey. While everyone clearly understands that breast milk is best, there are barriers that keep 100% of all moms from breastfeeding. Some of these include milk production (or lack thereof), premature deliveries, latching problems, medications, single-parenting, working full-time, lack of support, etc., etc. Add to those the fact that breastfeeding is certainly not all sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, and lemon drops all of the time.

Breastfeeding is hard work. Bleeding nipples, cracked nipples, inverted nipples, flat nipples, blah, blah, ouch. Exhaustion, confusion, infection. Cradle hold, cross-over hold, football hold. The list goes on and on. You know what else is hard work? Yep, you guessed it- everything else that goes along with having a new baby in your life.

I am a breastfeeding mom. I exclusively breastfed both of my children well past one year of age (ages two and three if truth be told). I was extremely lucky and my babies were perfect little latchers. I had a great supply (I seriously could have fed a small country) and everything just seemed to click for me. What does this mean for you? Really it should mean nothing. I am not in competition with you. I do what’s best for my kids and my family and I would expect you to do the same.

The greatest caveat to achieving and maintaining the health of my children and myself is AWARENESS.  It is unacceptable for me to “just go with the flow” so to say when it comes to decisions that impact my family. It takes education, tons of reading, mucho support, and a “BIG” set of balls to stand firm in my beliefs. I take what I learn and apply it to my life as best I can. If others warrant my opinion or advice, then I give it. I’ve created this blog to help, not to divide.

The bottom line: Be confident and secure in the choices you make for your kids and there will be absolutely no room for others to knock you down. I can only hope that sometime soon we see motherhood as a journey we’re all facing together.

So ladies, whatta ya say-

Shall we hang up the gloves?

dr . lisa

one thousand and one

As moms, we are everything to our children. They see us as the smartest, the funniest, the nicest, the prettiest, the cuddliest, the oldest, the fastest, the strongest. Meeting their day-to-day expectations of us can be hard and daunting sometimes, but it can also be quite simple, really.

This is part of a conversation I had with my three-year-old little boy the other day:

No honey. Besides the fact that dinosaurs don’t live here anymore, I’m pretty sure we couldn’t fit one in our living room or in our kitchen for that matter. They are kinda big.

thanks kiddo.

lisa