Eco-chic ladies who want to get fit in style will fall in love with Restore® Clothing! Designed for the lifestyle that crosses over, this planet-friendly line offers a variety of gorgeous sustainable clothing items that are made from organic and earth-friendly materials.

Mom’s” favorite? The stylish Draped Front Top, which flows easily from the office to the gym after work, offering practicality and glamour infused with comfort. Made of Repreve® Recycled Nylon, the top is touted as a versatile little “glam” gem.

What does Restore® stand for?

Responsible

Earth-friendly

Sustainable

Technological

Organic

Recycled

Ergonomic

For more information on the entire line of eco-friendly and versatile clothing, visit www.restoreclothing.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

7 “Rituals” for Spring Renewal

By Abigail Brenner, M.D, Author of Transitions: How Women Embrace Change and Celebrate Life

After a very long and harsh winter, spring has officially arrived. The spring or vernal equinox is the day of the year when light and dark are balanced. True or not, it’s said that on this day you can balance an egg on its end. And by the way, the egg is the universal symbol of rebirth.

Although we still have a little way to go to really enjoy the warmth and light that spring brings, we can begin to think about what we can do to renew ourselves and to better balance our lives. What better time than spring to re-group and re-prioritize, and even re-invent ourselves, and the lives we find ourselves living. Here are some spring “rituals” to help you get started.

1.) De-clutter your living space.

Get rid of anything you no longer need. Here’s the rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn it (or used it) for two years, out it goes. Donate clothing and household items that are in reasonably good condition to an organization or charity and books to your local library or hospital.

Clear out kitchen cabinets of items that have been lying around since you can’t remember when or whose expiration date has long passed. Dispose of medications and first aid products beyond their expiration date.

2.) Clear out mental and emotional clutter.

When we think of renewal we often think of rebirth; something old dies and something new is born. Why not use this season of renewal as a reminder to get rid of things that are weighing you down and sapping your energy?

Allow yourself to let go of the past to make room for new things to come into your life.

Commit to making decisions you’ve been putting off. Challenge limiting beliefs about yourself and about how things should be. Think positively. Recent research has shown that we can actually change the circuitry of our brains. When something negative comes up pair it with something positive and stay with that feeling.

3.) Start a Practice.

A new discipline will ensure that you invite mindfulness into your life. A daily practice affords you a “time-out” from your every day routine. This is a gift to yourself; a promise to honor who you are.

A spiritual practice such as yoga, meditation, or chi gong are easy to find almost anywhere and relatively affordable.

Another practice that you can do on your own is researching and reading sacred texts from many cultures and traditions. Read them with an eye on universal themes — those things that connect all of us.

Walking is a wonderful way to help your body while clearing your mind. Walk instead of drive. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. And remember to change your route! We all are so programmed to do the same routine every day. Change the scenery, change your perspective!

4.) Begin something brand new.

Focus on spring as a time of new beginnings and resolve to do something you’ve always wanted to do but never felt you had the time.

Assess your health. Maybe it’s time to begin taking care of yourself? It’s far better to change the way you live, beginning now, instead of waiting for things to get out of your control. Create an inventory of your health including diet, exercise, genetics, and stress level. Begin slowly, one change at a time, eventually incorporating others.

Explore your creativity. Learn a new language, take piano lessons, awaken the diva within, take a computer class, or go back to school. It’s never too late to fulfill a dream.

Volunteer your time. Teach reading to those who want to learn, become a mentor, or help clean up your community; there are so many ways to give of yourself.

5.) Spend time outdoors.

Plant a garden. If you have no outdoor space, plant an herb garden in your kitchen or plant pots of flowers to bring the outside into your home. Plant a tree with your child and watch it grow together.

Build a birdhouse with your child and watch the inhabitants come and go from year to year. This provides connection to the earth and continuity in the life.

6.) Take a trip.

This is something to look forward to annually, especially if you live in a place that experiences the extremes of winter. These could include:

  • A personal retreat away or a weekend that you give to yourself every year to reflect on your life, the past year, and what new things you may want to incorporate into your life moving forward.
  • A family reunion, to meet extended family at different destinations each year, allows people to stay connected and affords a sense of belonging and continuity for younger family members.
  • A family vacation can do the same thing for the immediate members of your family. Camping, hiking, or fishing, visiting an historic site, or a part of the country that’s very different from your own can help family members bond and reconnect from their busy, daily lives.

7.) Simplify your life.

Slow down. As life moves so quickly, surrounding us with the constant stimulation of the information stream, we need to find a way to quiet our minds and make quality time for ourselves.

“Downshift”, or streamline your life however you can in order to “upshift” the overall quality of your life. Reorganize your highest priorities and re-evaluate your commitments. What do you value most in your life? How much quality time do you spend with the people and the things you care about the most? What is the best way to use your time to create the life you want to have?

Hopefully, these 7 rituals for renewal will set you on course for a life that is not only fulfilling and meaningful — but fully your own.

Copyright © 2011 Abigail Brenner, M.D., author of Transitions: How Women Embrace Change and Celebrate Life

About the Author

Abigail Brenner, M.D., author of Transitions: How Women Embrace Change and Celebrate Life, is a board certified psychiatrist currently in private practices as well as an ordained interfaith minister who helps people design, create, and perform personally meaningful rituals. She is also author of SHIFT: How to Deal When Life Changes, and the co-author of The Essential Guide To Baby’s First Year, to be released April 2011.

*Image courtesy of Organic Bouquet.*

Filling and bursting with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, these hearty enchiladas courtesy of Inspired RD contain no meat!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Ingredients

4 large sweet potatoes

2 T. olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2 roasted green chiles (or two 4 oz. cans chopped green chiles)

2 cans black beans, rinsed

3 large tomatoes (or two 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes)

2 T. chili powder

Salt & pepper

4 C. salsa

16 large tortillas

1/2 red onion

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel your sweet potatoes, and chop them into 1-inch chunks. Spread them out on ungreased cookie sheets in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

For the beginner cooks out there, a quick how-to on prepping garlic. Take your knife, lay it on its side on top of the garlic clove, and press down with your hand smashing the garlic. The outside will now peel right off. Chop up your garlic, red onion, green chiles and tomatoes. Tip: when peeling and chopping a lot of vegetables, have a garbage bowl a la Rachael Ray handy. Makes clean-up much easier!

After 20 minutes, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the garlic and green chiles and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the black beans, tomatoes, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the roasted sweet potatoes and let everything cook together for about 5 minutes.

While the filling is on the stove, prepare two 9×13 glass dishes by spraying lightly with olive oil spray, and coating the bottom with a light layer of salsa.

Grab your tortillas. Place a spoonful of filling into the middle of each tortilla, roll it up and place it seam-side down in your dish. Repeat until there are eight enchiladas per pan.

Spoon any extra filling over the top. Add 1 cup salsa and half of the chopped red onion to the top of each dish.

Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes. (Put one in the oven and one in the freezer)

Serve and enjoy!

*Recipe and image courtesy of Inspired RD.*

Enter to win an entire case of Cascade Ice Water! This sparkling water is brimming with both effervescence and flavor, and is extremely refreshing as the weather warms up this Spring. For those cutting calories, or cutting back on soda intake, Cascade Ice offers all of the bubbliness of a soda without the caffeine, sodium, or carbohydrates! The Cascade Organic Sparkling Waters offer refreshment with 0 calories, while the Cascade Sparkling Waters with Juice are available in 19 tempting flavors, and each flavor weighs in at a mere 2 calories per serving! Poured over ice, no matter which one you choose, Cascade Ice is pure bubbly bliss!

From April 5th – April 12th, you can enter win an entire case of Cascade Ice water daily on Tiny Green Mom!

First, leave a comment below to let us know why you would love to win a case of Cascade Ice Water.

To obtain extra entries:

Become a fan of Cascade Ice Water on Facebook. Please leave a comment below along with your Facebook name to let us know that you have become a fan.

Follow Tiny Green Mom on Twitter.

Leave a comment on another Tiny Green Mom post. Leave a comment below with the name of the post you commented on.

Blog about this giveaway. You must have a link to this giveaway in your blog post. Please leave a comment with the link to your blog post.

The Cascade Ice Water Giveaway ends on April 12th, 2011 and is open to the US only. Please leave your email address in each comment, and make sure to leave a separate comment for every each and every entry that you make so that they will count for you!

Thank you! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom can’t wait to announce the winner of this fabulous giveaway!

Healthy Eating Tips for New Moms

So you’ve just had a baby? Congratulations! Now the next thought on your mind might be what you’re going to do to fit back into your skinny jeans ASAP. Fortunately, by making a few small tweaks to your regular eating schedule, you can healthfully lose weight to care for yourself and your new baby at the same time.

  • Give into some of your cravings. After giving birth, you may still have some strong cravings that are difficult to deny. Listen to these cravings and indulge wisely so that you don’t risk binging and ruining your diet altogether. If you are dying for a sweet snack, you could try low-cal frozen yogurt or Greek yogurt with honey instead. Think smart about what you eat, and watch the pounds melt away!
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drinking water is good for women of all ages, whether you have a new baby or not. If you are breast-feeding, you may find that you are constantly thirsty. Make sure that you focus on water as your primary source of hydration so that you don’t get caught up in drinking empty calories in juice, soda, or other drinks.
  • Avoid packaged foods. If your plate is so full – so to speak – that you have a hard time counting calories, avoid all processed and packaged foods as a rule of thumb! Packaged foods are full of chemicals and additives that will drain you of your energy and pack on the pounds. Instead, focus on fresh and whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Even if you don’t have the time to count calories, you can trust that what you are eating is healthy and easily digested to boost your metabolism.
  • Plan your snacks throughout the day. There are quite a few healthy foods that you can buy to keep on hand, like fruit, precut vegetables, whole-grain crackers, and hard-boiled eggs. Take the time to plan out your snacks for the following day so that you don’t find yourself munching on chips and cookies when you are starved and pressed for time.

The truth is that your health is even more important just after giving birth. If you want to keep your energy levels high and protect your health for the future, then it is important to eat well and maintain a healthy weight after having a baby.

On top of that, when you keep these healthy habits up, you will be able to teach your new baby the best ways to eat right so that they don’t struggle with weight gain in the future!

About the Author

Bethany Ramos is an aesthetician that co-owns her own website, The Coffee Bump. For a great selection of the Bodum French Press Coffee Maker, check out Bethany Ramos’ website today!

High protein, just the right amount of sweetness, and oh-s0-gooey, these Peanut Honey Balls from the Supernatural Kids Cookbook are a definite kid-pleaser! (big kids, too!)

Peanut Honey Balls

Ingredients

1 cup thick honey

1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy; “Mom” prefers organic)

2 cups powdered milk

1 cup peanuts, finely chopped (they can be roasted and salted or unsalted)

Preparation

Pour the honey into a mixing bowl and gradually blend in the peanut butter. Mix in the dry milk powder. (It’s probably best to mix with a fork.)

Form the mixture into small balls with your clean hands. Then roll each ball in the chopped peanuts and place on waxed paper on a cookie sheet. Chill in the refrigerator until they are firm and ready to munch on.

*Recipe and image courtesy of The Supernatural Kids Cookbook.*

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is excited to announce that the Winner of the Growing at the Speed of Life Giveaway is Jason! We hope that you find Graham Kerr’s book informative and helpful! Thanks to everyone who entered this eco-fabulous giveaway!

Get Fit Quick Tips for Busy Moms

Motherhood is a joy, but not if you’re feeling overweight, rundown, and pressed for time to fit in a good workout several days a week. Sound familiar?

As a mother, it is your primary concern to take care of your children, but you also need to give back to yourself by focusing on your health. Exercising several times per week will not only help you to maintain a healthy weight so that you feel attractive, but it will give you more energy and protect your health for the future.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind to fit in a quick workout for a busy mom-on-the-go:

  1. Choose a gym that is kid-friendly. If you’re thinking about joining a gym in your area, make sure that it has a fun childcare center that will keep your kids entertained while you’re working out. Even if you just want to squeeze in 30 minutes of treadmill activity after work, it is important that your gym has a daycare that will take young children and keep them entertained with quality activities. By doing a little bit of homework, you can easily find a gym in your area with a reliable childcare center to ease the burden while you workout.
  2. Workout with your kids. What a novel idea! If you take your young children running, walking, or hiking with you, you are not only getting in a good workout yourself, but you’re teaching your kids the value of fitness. The childhood obesity epidemic is definitely on the rise, and you will be establishing wonderful habits for the future by teaching your children to get active every day. As an added bonus, you’ll be burning calories at the same time. Win-win!
  3. Invest in a jogging stroller. If you have a baby or an infant, a jogging stroller will allow you to take a jog or brisk walk while she is napping. If you time your workouts correctly, you could get in a good 45 minute walk while your baby takes her morning nap. On top of that, many moms find that the soothing motion of a jogging stroller helps lull their little bundle of joy to sleep…
  4. Try a dance game for the family. It’s no secret that your kids are probably addicted to video games, so why not turn it into a fun and interactive workout? Using a new game like the Kinect allows you to count the calories that you burn while you dance by sensing your body’s motions. Believe it or not, these dance games are fun and extremely challenging as you progress to the harder levels. You can also get your kids in on the action to have a family fun night that will work up a sweat at the same time…

About the Author

Bethany Ramos is an aesthetician that co-owns her own website, The Coffee Bump. For a great selection of Bunn Coffee Makers, check out Bethany Ramos’ website today!

Another winner from CHOW.com – this light & lovely salad is perfect for serving to guests or enjoyed while sipping a glass of organic wine with your sweetheart on the patio.

Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese Crostini

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup green or black lentils
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 12 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices (from about half a baguette)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, trimmed and halved
  • 1 bunch frisée or curly endive
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Dijon Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 ounces chèvre (fresh goat cheese)

Preparation

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils and measured salt, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain through a fine-mesh strainer and transfer to a large bowl. Let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place the baguette slices on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes; set aside.
  4. Cut the fennel lengthwise into paper-thin slices and place in the bowl with the lentils; set aside.
  5. Trim the frisée or endive by using a knife or scissors to remove any dark green leaves (use only the white and light green parts). Cut the head in half crosswise, then cut off and discard the stem end. Pull apart the remaining leaves, wash, and dry thoroughly. Add to the bowl of lentils and fennel. Add the tomatoes, vinaigrette, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
  6. Spread the goat cheese on the toasted baguette slices and serve with the salad.

*Recipe and image courtesy of CHOW.com.*

For those of you who have placed avocado or mango in your hair for years due to the many benefits that the real fruit imparts on your hair – well, Elava Botanik has made the process simpler and easier to do so on a daily basis!

New to market, Elava Botanik has created the only products in the world made with 100% natural certified-organic fruit pulp, providing hair with essential nutrients to keep it healthy while also preventing various toxic chemicals from seeping into the environment and polluting the planet.

Made with real, whole fruits, Elava Botanik Shampoos and Conditioners are available in Avocado, Papaya and Mango. They smell simply unbelievable, almost good enough to eat! In fact, each bottle of shampoo and conditioner is unique in that it actually has a “shelf-life,” as toxic chemicals, often used to preserve products for a longer shelf life, are not found in any Elava Botanik products.

In addition, all packaging of Elava Botanik products incorporates the highest recyclable content from reusable source with minimum environmental impact and the lower possible carbon footprint.

You will feel completely pampered and as though you were at a spa each and every time you wash your hair with the shampoo and conditioner – the result is soft, shiny hair that smells divine. Yes, they are that good!

For more information on Elava Botanik products, please visit www.elavabotanik.com.

*Company generously provided images and samples for this review.*