The only parenting advice I give.

I often get asked what is the best advice I can give to new parents. Having three kids I consider myself someone of a veteran at parenting, although admittedly far from perfect. But I have been through a lot with my boys, from babies to grade schoolers, so have some wisdom that I believe is helpful.

What is the one tip I give anyone who is embarking on the crazy path of parenthood?

Tell  your kids you love them of everyday and schedule one or two times during the day that are just for you and them. 

Believe it or not, even when you’re a SAHM (or maybe especially when you are) it’s very difficult to have quality time with your children. I’m talking about time that you aren’t distracted by a thousand other things that need to happen in your life and are just focused on them.

Find time in your day that is just for you and the kids, for me this came about pretty organically. The first year or two of my first born’s life, I felt like I was just haphazardly getting through the day and not having any real quality time with him. Finally as he got older I started bed time stories. This takes time as when they’re babies they aren’t going to sit with you and read a book. But once they do it’s such a lovely experience to share with them. I also find that we have some good talks after reading for a bit. We lie in bed and they tell me about their day or maybe go on and on about some new game they’re into (Minecraft anyone??). Night is a good time to do this as I find I’m more relaxed, the day is through and it’s easier to concentrate on whatever it is they want to talk about.

The second time I schedule with my kids, although not always successful depending on how the morning goes, is breakfast. It’s a great way to start off our day. Since the craziness of the day hasn’t quite begun we are able to enjoy some time and conversation together, and often have a few laughs.

What’s your best parenting advice? And what time do you enjoy most with your kids?

XO,

Hilary

 

My secret to stay in shape.

Fit body

Staying in optimal shape requires a strict workout regimen. Follow mine at least twice a week and let me know if you start getting the results you’re looking for.

As promised I’m going to share with you the secret to how I manage to stay in shape. Now, everyone is different so how I am able to get and stay in shape may not work for you. You need to be willing to try lots of different diet and exercise techniques to figure out what works for you.

For me it’s simple, and I’ve been preaching this for a long time. Mix up your exercise regiment. First off, you need to combine cardio and weight training exercises to get a svelte, toned look. Second, the muscle you build through target toning will boost your metabolism and keep your body burning calories throughout the day. And finally, it’s the best way to get and stay interested in exercise because you and your muscles won’t get bored.

Here’s the routine I follow about 3 times a week. I exercise almost everyday, whether running, walking or hiking with my kids, I’m always active. This is the routine I do when I can get to the gym and have a little more time and freedom.

Warm up. I always warm up on the elliptical machine for 10-20 minutes.

Strength training (10 minutes). This is always different. I mix in free weight training and body weight training where I target tone my arms, legs, abs, glutes and back.

Examples: Squats, Lunges, calf extensions, walking lunges, step ups…

4 minute Tabata. This is a high intensity interval workout in a 20-10 format that I’ve written about many times on the blog. Perform any exercise of your choosing at high intensity for 20 seconds an take a 10 seconds break for 4 minutes, then rest for a minute.

Example of a tabata HIIT

20 secs running in place, 10 secs break (2X)

20 secs jumping jacks, 10 secs rest (2X)

20 seconds jumping lounges, 10 secs break (2X)

20 secs burpees, 10 secs break (2X)

10 minute strength training. Again, target toning.

Examples: (with 3-10lb free weights) Bicep curls, tricep extensions, military press.

4 minute tabata.

10 minute strength training.

Examples: sit ups, crunches, side crunches, planks, bicycle crunches…

Finally, I run 1 to 2 miles.

This might seem like a lot but once you get going you’ll enjoy it and the time will fly I swear! If you have questions about specific exercise you can do to target tone  or exactly how to perform tabata please email me at hilary@ugobabyfitness.com.

What’s your secret to staying in shape?

xo,

Hilary

Mid-Summer Shape Up

Group of women working out in fitness studio

It’s hard to stay motivated so let’s challenge ourselves to stay on track!

It’s already the middle of the summer and I have to admit it’s getting hard to stay motivated to be active and healthy. Between work, trying to keep the kids fed, active and entertained; I’m exhausted at all times. I love spending most of my time with my children and my job as a stylist is pretty great, but it’s both hard and exhausting to squeeze in workout time and stay healthy. And with all the treats that are constantly in my midst I’ve been indulging a little too much in the sweeter  things.

I need some motivation and a challenge to keep me going. I’m going to think of a fitness and diet challenge every week in August to inspire me to stay on track. I want you to do the same, I’ll check in with ya’ll on Instagram and Facebook every morning to let you know that I’m on track and you should do the same. This weeks challenge: no ice cream and complete an 8 minute Tabata every day.

If you’re not familiar with Tabata it’s a form of high intensity interval training that is performed in a 20/10 format for 4 minutes and then resting for 1 minute. You can perform almost any move in this format but if you need some suggestions Greatist has a list of 9 over to help get you started.

xo,

Hil

5 cheap and easy anti-aging tips.

calories-in-watermelon

Lycopene, contained in watermelon, has surprising anti-aging benefits.

 

I posted a pic of myself using a “detoxifying” face mask the other day and got a few responses asking a) how it worked and b) what I use on my skin. To answer the first, I didn’t really notice a difference after using the mask. Maybe I will after a few uses but nothing immediate. I’ve gotten better more immediate results with other products I’ve used, one being Manuka Honey. The mask I’ve been using is actually sold pretty inexpensively at Walmart.

Here are some other easy and affordable ways to prevent and decrease the signs of aging:

  1. Lycopene. Wearing an SPF is the #1 way to prevent aging, but did you know you can actually improve your body’s natural defense against harmful UV rays through diet? Lycopene is the skins natural sunblock and is contained in tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers and any other fruit and vegetables with a red/ orange tint. Another good source is found in green tea which also contains caffeine proven to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Eating these nutrient rich foods can increase your skins natural defense from the sun by 33%.
  2. Hydrate. Drinking at least 64 oz. of water a day is recommended for both dietary purposes and preventing the look of fine lines. You should also be incorporating a good  topical moisturizer, I like to mix it up in this department and am currently using a product by Clarins. What do you recommend?
  3. Sleep. This is probably my favorite. Especially as we get older, it’s important to get your 8 hours of sleep. It cuts down on craving junk food (another habit that increases the look of wrinkles and lines) and as you sleep your skin has a chance to repair itself boosting cellular growth and production.
  4. Cleanse. Always remove your make-up! I’m not the best at this, especially after a long day with the kids. But I’m inspired to cleanse my face every night after reading that leaving cosmetics on your face increases the size of your pores. I suggest using cleansing towelletes, I like the ones from Burt’s Bees and a gel, I’m using one by Bliss that doubles as an exfoliator.
  5. Exercise. Another favorite of mine, get moving! This increases cellular regeneration and the release of compounds that prevent cell death.

Do you have any suggestions you can share with us?

xo,

Hilary

 

 

Wardrobe Essentials

Wardrobe Essentials

Lands End blazer
landsend.com

Topshop polyester camisole
$21 – topshop.com

Adidas sneaker
$170 – revolve.com

Illesteva acetate sunglasses
$230 – net-a-porter.com

Combining fashion and fitness.

Athleisure cover

I’ve been struggling with trying to combine my fashion and fitness expertise into one “brand”. I love both so very much and when I’m in the midst of either am so happy. I love the joy of putting together a killer outfit and the feeling a great workout and eating healthy bring to me. I struggle with how I can share these with the world in a streamlined, sensible way.

Nowadays the two go had in hand. Fashion and fitness are so intertwined for a few reasons. First, the emergence of Athleisure has made it not only fashionable but practical to dress in fitness apparel. That is if you’re doing it right of course! If you follow me on Instagram  (@ugobabyfitness) you’ll know I work as a stylist at Saks Fifth Avenue in Boston, so I get to see all the latest styles come in. From Public School, Opening Ceremony, to even higher end designer brands like Fendi and Vehements, athletic is the latest aesthetic.

If you struggle with how you can sport this style here are some ideas I pulled from some Street Style sites.

athleisureafro

Midriff baring tops are back big time. If you are comfortable enough rock the hell out of those sports bras wherever you go. 

athleisurebold

This i certainly a more bold look, red heels are a must in anyone’s wardrobe. They go with everything!

 

athleisuregigihadid

I love how Gigi pairs her gym outfit with an elegant coat.

athleisureglam

athleisuremoto

This is your most basic athleisure look, I love it though. Simple and so on trend. The motorcycle jacket is everything right now.

athleisurestripped pants

I love how these heels pair with the striped pants. 

athliesuresneakers

You can wear sneakers with anything. 

Some of these styles are a bit more bold than others, but they can help inspire you to get more fashionable, funky and even glamorous with your workout clothes. What’s your favorite athleisure look?

xo,

Hilary

Mediterranean Diet

chicken and dill

Easy to prepare Chicken and Dill recipe is sure to be a hit with the family.

Everything I’ve read over the years about a healthy diet always leads back to one place, the Mediterranean style of eating. And, quite frankly, it’s not that hard to take part in this healthy way of life. Basically it includes everything I preach about eating on a regular basis to slim down and stay healthy and fit.

“Mediterranean-type diets highlight whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and healthy oils.” – Harvard Medical School

Another fun fact I learned from HealthBeat, Harvard’s on-line medical journal, is that it has been proven to decrease risk of heart disease as well as dementia and Alzheimer’sdisease.

Here’s a recipe I served up tonight from EatingWell.com. Quick, easy, low cal and perfect if you’re trying to follow a Mediterranean style of eating. Chicken breast is a great form of lean protein and lemon is chock full of anti-oxidants. I served this with broccoli but any side of greens is a great addition to round out your meal with nutrient dense foods that will make you stay fuller longer.

Lemon and Dill Chicken

  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil, divided
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1½ teaspoons oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth, flour, 1 tablespoon dill and lemon juice in a measuring cup and add to pan. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.