Sunday, December 8, 2013

Healthy Baking Date Night with Kaite and Trip To Philadelphia

Hello FitForME followers!

Kaite and I wanted to tell you all about our baking night! I wanted to make a few treats for my trip to Philadelphia with my dad and invited Kaite over to help! We made Blueberry coconut-almond muffins, "Skinny Snickerdoodles", chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and granola!! This is Kaite in the Italic writing! I can't wait to have a baking night at my place! And Definitely making healthy meals to put in the freezer to help when times get busy!

We will definitely be planning one of these nights again in the future for a few reasons.
1. It is always fun to bake with another person. Especially someone like Kaite! And Someone as awesome as Kendra ;)

2. We got to try 4 new recipes and each took home half of the goodies! But- we only did half the work because we each tackled two recipes. Even taking home "half" of a recipe was a lot of goodies!

3. It is a great way to stock pile baked goodies for a trip or the next few weeks. My dad and I were going to be away for a few days so I wanted to make sure we had enough snacks and breakfast items! I have been sharing the yummy treats with my family, and I froze some so I have healthy treats when I need a pick me up :)

My personal favorites were the Snickerdoole cookies that we found on Chocolate Covered Kaite's blog. You can find her recipe here:

We made these cookies even healthier by using almond milk instead of regular milk and made sure to use whole wheat flour.

My only suggestion for improving this recipe is to multiply it by 4! I doubled the recipe but only ended up with 10 or so small cookies.

My Personal favorite was the granola! We did half honey-oat with spices, raisins, and dried cranberries. The other half is my favorite.... Chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Need I say more? ;)

If you are making cookies for the holidays-grab a friend to share some of the work! You both end up with a bigger variety with half of the work! And twice the fun <3

Granola was so amazing!

And I loved loved these cookies!!!

All of the goodies!

Philadelphia Cancer Center of Amercia

It is called the "Center" to patients and caregivers and it is where my dad and I went when we visited Philadelphia this past week.

I want to share the experience we have had at the Center and maybe shed some light on a wonderful option if anyone finds themselves in a similar circumstance.

My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011. He received surgery to remove the tumors in his colon in September but eventually the cancer spread to his liver and most recently his lungs. While I was at college my dad met with countless doctors and over three different medical facilities to find the answer. At one point his doctor told him that he only had 5-10 years to live and that he should start getting his paperwork in order.

I can't even imagine what was going through his head at this moment. I do remember the night when he told me this news and we both just sat and cried together.

Since then he has sought other medical opinions and even switched chemotherapy treatment to another hospital in the area. Although the oncologist was kind and intelligent- him nor his team of nurses had the time or the energy to invest in my father. He was definitely cared for but not as the "whole person" as I would have preferred. In my opinion, health involves more than physical symptoms. Health involves a patient's physical needs, diet, sleep cycle, mind, spirit, emotional well-being, and more. My dad was only being treated for the tumors and wasn't ever told what to eat, what supplements to take, or how to treat his insomnia.

That all changed when he called Cancer Centers of America this summer.

After spending three weeks in the hospital my dad wanted to seek yet another opinion about his treatment options. They flew my dad and I to the center completely free. There was a limo to pick us up at the airport (as there is every time). They brought us back to the hotel and gave us a "patient binder". It contained everything we needed for the initial meetings with the team of doctors.

When we arrived at the Center we were immediately greeted by the smiling faces in the lobby. To be honest, I was a little surprised at how happy all of the patients and caregivers appeared. After all, they were here because they have one of the most feared diseases-cancer.

The center offers many accommodations to the patients and caregivers including free massages and sight seeing tours around the city.Each time my dad is flown into Pennsylvania for free and receives a decreased rate at the hotel near by.

My dad met with an entire team of professionals including his oncologist, nutritionist, naturopathic doctor, and nurse (and even more!). Each team member communicates and they often meet to speak about each patient.

My dad chose to receive treatment at the center, despite the traveling. Fortunately he was able to receive chemo in Maine.  Every 3 weeks or so he travels down for various scans and follow up appointments. Recently, the treatment for his liver has not been working as the doctors would like. So the logical next step? Try something new. One of the reasons I feel comfortable at the center is because they are constantly trying new treatments. They don't give up and throw in the towel as others might.

My reason for writing this blog is not to advertise for this company. I just wanted to share my family's story and perhaps shed light on an option that exists for Maine residents who are diagnosed with this devastating disease. I encourage anyone affected by cancer to be an advocate for yourself and your loved one. Take health into your own hands. Chose fitness. Chose a healthy lifestyle. We are given one body and we need to take care of it. Don't wait until you're sitting in the doctor's office and talking about MRI results and chemotherapy. Don't wait until you're sitting in the infusion chair waiting for your chemo drugs. Don't wait until you think you have time, or energy, or resources. Make it happen. Chose fit. Chose family. Chose Maine. Love Kendra :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Importance of Healthy Living with Kids

The Importance of Healthy Living with Kids

            Come on we can do it! Wow you’re such a strong girl! My Goodness are you going to be big and strong like Papa? Now how do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it! Eat Child, eat!

            These are a few of the phrases I utter all the time. I seem to remember my mom saying a few of them a lot too…  So healthy living... Its not just for when your grown up and need to tone, or lose a few pounds, nope healthy habits (should!) start young and be carried with us the rest of our lives. I am going to write it in 3 parts; Food, Exercise, and cleanliness.


            I want to start with food. What are you feeding your children? How much are you feeding them? Do you have variety? Is it what you would eat? So often I see young parents (and not so young parents) serving the same three or four meals all the time, because it’s easy. The kids already like it, its simple to make, its convenient, or you don’t want to deal with the “hassle” of getting the first 5 or so bites through your child’s mouth. I have been a nanny for a long time, and I’ve heard so many excuses, I’ve seen the temper tantrums over change, and I’ve experienced the difficulty of helping kids break years of bad eating habits. In our house growing up “picky” eating wasn’t an option. You ate what was put in front of you, or you ate it at the next meal, or went straight to bed, or sometimes both. Only one of us (who shall go un-named! But you know who you are!!) tried to go the picky eater route. This sibling would faint if the food was not what they wanted to eat, and believe it or not it worked once! However, after the second faint Mom and Dad caught on and that was the end of that. I hear moms complain that they are making 2-3 different dinners a night cause Johnny doesn't “like” anything but Mac-and-Cheese, and little Suzie only eats spaghetti-ohs. Please, if you truly care for your children, stop enabling their bad eating bad habits! You are not a chef, it’s not your job to provide multiple choices. Make one meal for the whole family, put it front of them, and if there is any complaining pack it up for later and send the offending party to bed. Because, honestly that’s what it is when they complain about the food put in front of them, offending. You wouldn't want to go to a friend’s house and have your child tell the host that the food put in front of them is “yucky” or “disgusting”, you would be mortified by your child’s rudeness to that person, so don’t let them be rude to you. I have worked with kids that when I started watching them they ate 3 meals, maybe 4, the Mom made different foods for all of them, and if she put something in front of one of the kids and they started the crying and “I don’t want that!” she would take it away and make them something else. It took me awhile to get the kids to not cry and throw temper tantrums when I put the same thing in front of all of them, and even longer to get them to eat the new foods I put in front of them. We actually went cold turkey, and I cut out all of those "have to have" meals completely from their diets. After a time they started not only eating the new foods I put in front of them, but actually discovered that they like different foods. You can teach your children to eat new foods, it will just take time, patience, and discipline to not cave into pressure.

            How much are you feeding your child? And how is the plate portioned out? I try to make sure that the plates I serve to children are heavy on the vegetables, fruits, meats, light on the breads and pastas. If I serve Mac-and-Cheese, I throw in Peas and Poppy Seeds, and sometimes Ham. On the plate I put plenty of raw red bell pepper and some sort of fruit, like apple slices, or a banana. They don’t need bread or crackers with Mac-and-Cheese, there’s already pasta. One of the new favorites is a chef salad, and all the kids I watch have a different way that they like it. One of them likes extra cheese, one likes lots of red bell pepper, one likes no dressing, and another likes extra bacon. Little things like that are fine to do for your children, as long as it’s a treat not a right. Experiment with vegetables, some kids like them cooked, but I notice that most kids prefer them raw, and there’s nothing wrong with raw in fact, sometimes its healthier. Studies show you should have at least 50% of your plate as a vegetable or fruit, 25% as a meat or protein, and the last part a grain or starch. When the kids ask for more do you end up just giving more starches or breads? Or do you put greens (or other bright colors) on the plate? I try to make the plate pretty and colorful. Another thing I’ve noticed is desserts. Desserts are not supposed to be an every night occasion; in fact they should be a special treat. One of things that I thought was absolutely brilliant with one of the families I’ve been with, was that “dessert” was organic yogurt with fruit on it. The kids preferred it over other sweets. As far as they are concerned it is dessert, which is a great healthy habit to have.

            Do you have variety? I kind of hit on this earlier, but it bears saying again. Make new food. Don’t know what to make or where to find it. is an amazing website that has so many healthy recipes (and its amazing!!!! Crafts, party ideas, cooking etc! my favorite site for everything!) Or if you want to challenge yourself, go buy a Cookbook and cook your way through it! My mom when she first got married couldn’t cook (ask my dad about that!), but just because she wasn't experienced in the kitchen didn't mean that she laid back and said “I can’t!” Nope she taught herself and it took some time, but now my Mom is an amazing cook. In fact she has written a few cookbooks that you could cook your way through. Some fun cooking projects to do are theme weeks. My current family was leaving for Mexico for 10 days, so a few weeks before they left we cooked all “Mexican” foods. The kids loved it. Since then we’ve done an Asian theme, an Italian theme, and April fools day was awesome!

            Is it what you would eat? Are you eating healthy as an example to your kids? They notice if you sneak cookies instead of an apple, or load the potatoes on your plate and skip the vegetables, or drink soda all the time instead of water or milk. Drinks are just as important as the solid foods we put in our bodies. You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water a day. Example, if you weigh 150 pounds you should drink 75 ounces of water. Something I like to do to add flavor to my water, is to cut up lemon and strawberries and let it sit in water overnight, then I drink it during the next day and just add more water as needed. Do they see you yo-yoing from one diet to the next? I remember my parents doing the Atkins diet, Weight Watchers, and some other ones that I can’t remember the names of. I watched my parent’s make themselves miserable with some of these “diets” that quite frankly weren’t balanced healthy lifestyle choices. Now my parents strive for balance, watch what’s on their plates, and they’re much healthier. So many of the diets out there are not good for your body and it sends a conflicting message to our children as to what healthy eating habits are. I understand that sometimes our body needs a kick start to lose weight, but make sure that its healthy for you, and that it’s a good example for your children. Getting skinny should never be the goal, being happy and healthy should be what we strive for, and this should be the lifestyle that we show our children. Not just in eating, but in what we put in our body, how much we put in our body, and how often.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Balance: Pushing Yourself Physically and Active Rest

Hello Everyone!

This post is one that I am currently struggling with! When we push our bodies with multiple workout days during the week it can take a toll. Add on standing on your feet at work or poor footwear and your body will be aching by the end of the day and you won't have energy for your next workout. 

Although aerobic exercise can be wonderful for you and your health it can also be physically demanding. In order to get the most of your workouts it is so essential that you take time to stretch afterward or complete a yoga session throughout the week. 

I am so fortunate that my employer provides a discounted yoga class after work! I am taking full advantage of this weekly yoga session in order to relax my muscles from all of the intense exercise during the week. 

If you have ever taken a group fitness class you will know that most instructors perform a cool-down and/or stretch. Although this is a relaxing end to a class, I find that most teachers don't hold stretches as long as recommended. Stretches should be held for at least 15 seconds! But aiming for a minute is optimal for your sore muscles!

So next time you are planning a weekly workout schedule try to schedule a stretch session! Teaching our children and loved ones to stretch is wonderful as well. I often share yoga moves and simple stretches with my dad for his sore back. (But he doesn't realize he is doing yoga!) My favorite stretches are cat/cow, child's pose, and seated spinal twists for him. 

I love and 
You can also check out Tara Stiles on Youtube for free classes. 

It's Official!! Healthy Honeys is coming to Bath, Maine!

Kaite and I have been working so hard to make sure "Healthy Honeys" is a well thought out program. We have been researching, collecting recipes, and advertising for the series-it has become quite a lot!

The more people we meet for the program, the more excited we get to meet these families we will be working with! If you or someone you know is even slightly interested in attending our program-PLEASE DO!

It doesn't matter if you are healthy, unhealthy, overweight, underweight, wealthy, or financially struggling. This program was made for you! Keep in mind this series is completely free for your family so you will only benefit! We are creating a very fun and exciting series for you and your children and can not wait to share it with you all. It will be featuring fun games and workouts to get you and your kids really moving. We will also be having discussions about making healthy choices and introducing healthy foods into their daily lives. Most importantly we want to teach children how to make realistic goals regarding their academics, physical fitness, and personal growth. We aren't here to preach how to be a better parent-we don't have kids so how could we?! We simply wan't to share the methods we use in our own homes. With Kaite's love of being a nanny and my education in physical fitness-we hope you become more enthusiastic about your own wellness journey.

We want to help families realize that healthiness doesn't need to cost a fortune, require hours on end, or force you to give up everything you love to eat. All we ask is that you keep an open mind and try to learn from us, each other, and especially your children! Children tend to be more open minded than adults do!

Official details:
Where: Patton Free Library in Bath, Maine 
When: Every Wednesday Starting January 29th
Time: There is a bus that will bring the students from the Bath elementary school to the library. Kaite and I will be available as homework helpers and provide entertainment until the program begins at 4:30. Parents are asked to attend each session. However, if they are unable to chose not to participate the program will end at 5:30. 
Duration: The "Healthy Honeys" program will run for 8 consecutive Wednesdays starting Jan. 29th, 2014. 

What would you choose for your family?
We choose fit! We chose family! We chose Maine! We hope you do too!

Questions or concerns? Email us at or call 207-522-3243 to speak with Kendra Wiley

Sunday, November 10, 2013

We are all in this together!

Kaite and I love to workout together. Ever since we met this summer we have been meeting for workouts once or twice a week. We love that we can share something together while staying healthy and active.

Recently we both tried a spin class at Women's Fitness Studio in Brunswick,  Maine (first class is free!). For those of you who don't know what spin is-its a class in which you ride on stationary bikes to music in a variety of speeds and resistance levels. A very challenging workout!

We were quite nervous because we have heard that this type of class can be intense but we were pleasantly surprised by the laid back attitude and "do what you can" mindset. The instructor was very helpful when we didn't know how to set up the bike properly and she made the class fun and exciting. 

What we didn't anticipate was the miniature size seats that you are required to sit on for the hour long class! But thankfully we both got through! I was so thankful that I was able to try something new with Kaite. These moments definitely bring us closer!!


We also wanted to talk about how we met. We met this summer online! When we tell people this I can tell they hesitate and might even judge us for some reason. But I think it was such a blessing! We had both been following Tone It Up since early 2013. We followed Karena and Katrina (the founders and health coaches) on their website, blog, and Youtube channel. They also created a community page for their followers- set up much like a Facebook (but for happy and positive people).  Kaite and I had tried to contact other Tone It Up girls in Maine but weren't very successful until one day I wrote on Kaite's wall asking if she wanted to get together for a workout. We both made sure to meet in a public place. I guess we were even a little hesitant to meet a stranger! But we have been supportive of each other since!

Finding a girlfriend or partner to be healthy with is so vital for your journey. When you are trying to make healthy choices you need all the encouragement you can get. Kaite and I will often text each other throughout the day to say what healthy meals we had or what we are doing for our daily workout. It keeps up accountable and engaged in the process. 

We also recently joined about 20 other TIU girls around the nation and have started a healthy care package each month. We are paired with a different girl each month and exchange packages full of healthy snacks, encouraging messages, and their favorite healthy products. 

This month Kaite and I included the following:

Badger's Sore Muscle Rub (Most Products were from Morning Glory in Brunswick, Maine)
70 % Dark Chocolate
Blueberry Odwalla Bar
Peanut Butter Cookie Lara Bar
Jacoba Oil Dessert Essence Chapstick
An assortment of Stash teas!!
Some mini Bath and Beauty Products and a healthy book
We also handmade both our partners goal sheets on pretty scrapbook paper so they could stay committed and focused!
Why not do something special like this for a friend or family member pursuing a healthy lifestyle! I guarantee that want to hear your words of encouragement! But more importantly-THEY WANT YOU TO JOIN THEM! MAKE HEALTH YOUR PRIORITY TOO! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Prepping for this week while making dinner: 2 in 1!

Hey Mainers!

Today I prepped veggies for dipping as well as made dinner at the same time! Here's how:

I wanted to make it easy for myself and prepared our salad and veggies at the same time. I cut all of my veggies and divided them into two containers. I love to dip the veggies in hummus and use the carrots and celery for dipping in peanut butter. For dinner we had turkey burgers avocado, tomatoes and salsa to top. We also skipped the buns and used collards greens instead. I also put this leafy green in the salad. By the time I get home from work I don't always feel like preparing a healthy snack. But this is a fool proof way to ensure that when you open the fridge you will have a clean snack to eat! This is a great way to prepare an after school snack for chidren as well. They can pick and choose which veggies they want to eat!