Kale Super Food Salad | Healthy eating while still hustling by Maria Fuller

Being a mother and an entrepreneur means I am constantly on the run, constantly hustling from one thing to the next and there are some days I find myself either forgetting to eat and completely crashing, picking up some crap while I'm running around and THEN crashing or on the rare occasion I manage to find something somewhat healthy and only have a semi-crash. 

Listen, I know the days are hectics and the nights even more so, my morning are like a vortex of tornados running around with fur babies and human babies and moody tweens all about. Self-care is so important these days, the busier you are the more you need it and having a bowl of this awesome Kale and Mango salad filled with delicious superfoods is one way to love your body, your blood sugar levels and time! 

Kale is all the rage these days but lets be honest it can be quite tough and bitter at times. I desperately wanted to learn to love it other than simmering for hours in a soup when its gotten nice and soft and well, not so kale like anymore! So I finally discovered the secret to kale, well a few secrets actually that will make a salad SO EASY, and SO YUMMY that Even your kids will eat it! 

 

So the first step is you want to pull the kale leaves of that thick stem, save the stems for soup stock, throw them at the dog and see if he can catch them, mulch them, throw them out, I don't care just don't put them in the salad! You want to rip the kale leaves so they are nice and bite sized! Grab a few minions, wash their hands and have them help and while you are all mindlessly pulling on Kale leaves talk about their day! Start with funny questions like, "Did anyone throw up today?" or, " Who wore a red shirt today?" Get them thinking and talking! Then you want to rinse that kale really well, no one wants any "extra protein" in the salad! 

Next grab a purple cabbage, take the outer yucky leaves off and rinse well. You want to take off about 1/6 of it and then slice it really thinly. Nothing fancy but things pieces, throw that on top of your kale!

 

Next, grab a few carrots, peel the outer skin layer off and then grate or shred into the bowl. I usually get minions to help me grate, they love the sound it makes and squeal when they are doing it. I usually end up having to pull out a few more carrots cause they eat the carrots as fast as they grate them!

 

Next you are going to drizzle some really good olive oil into the bowl containing the kale, cabbage and carrots. Grab a few pinches of kosher salt and sprinkle on top. Now for the fun part and either you can do it or your minions if you are brave but don't blame me if a kale food fight starts up! You want to massage the kale. Yup, you heard me right! Squish that veggie goodness mixture and after a few minutes something magical happens! The kale and veggies will start to wilt and get soft, almost like if you steamed them but WITHOUT loosing all the vitamin goodness! Once wilted we will move onto the dressing.

 

Now this is where you need to get creative. Notice I didn't give you measurements on any of the veggies. You can make a BIG kale salad or a little one so you need to guesstimate how much you want of everything and make it to your liking! SO for the dressing you are going to take a lemon or a few, and you want to roll them a few time on the counter pressing down with your palm to get them ready for juicing! Juice your lemons into a bow and then you are gonna drizzle in some honey. I like to you a raw organic honey that isn't hard. You can make it as sweet as you want. I like a nice balance of sweet plus tanginess and the sweeter the more likely your kids will eat it! Drizzle that onto your salad and mix well. Grab a kale leaf and try it! Too sweet? Add some lemon? To tangy add a little more honey mixed with lemon! Its all how YOU want it! Grab a few mangos, or in my case, Stew Leonards tub of already cut mango; SCORE! No mango peeling for me! Dice them up and throw them into the salad. 

At this point you can get creative and add what you want! Slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts, gogi berries, grapes, sun flower seed, pipits and on! This Time I had some grapes lying around so I halved those and there them in and then sprinkled some salted pepitas on and Voila! DONE! Like 15 minutes people and this will last 2-3 days!

So thats it! Super easy, super yummy and even the kids will eat it! Let me know what you think and what cool add-ins you tried! 

"Hello.... Is anybody Listening?" | Parenting tips and tricks by Maria Fuller

We live in a society today so full of noise, lights, sounds and distractions at every corner. Its a wonder that children are able to focus on getting anything done let alone hear us over all of the distractions. 

I'm a distractible person, I think my husband and I joke that I'm like one of the dogs when they see a squirrel. One little shiny light or sound and my focus is gone. And like me, Alexa, my oldest has always tended to get distracted. I remember it peaking when she was about 4 or 5 years old and I was so frustrated that we had a period of time when we were SUPER late for school for several weeks in a row because she just couldn't focus on getting ready, she was too engrossed in the world around her and the "squirrels" that would lead her down on another treasure hunt. I would ask her 3,4,5,2289741209 times to Please, get her shoes and socks on and I would turn my back and 3 minutes later she was engrossed in another activity with no shoes or socks on.

I didn't want to yell, I understood the distractions but at the same time, OMG just put your freaking shoes and socks on so we can go.... It was like she wasn't even listening!

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I remember on one morning when I was particularly irritated and we were particularly late, I was walking her into school and one of her teachers clearly saw my frustration level was at the, "OMG this poor woman is going to explode soon or collapse, I don't know which is worse?!" She gently asked if I was ok and the verbal diarrhea just exploded out of my mouth about my frustration level on my child no longer being able to hear me!

She gave me one of the best pieces of advice to fix this. She said, "Next time you need to ask Alexa to do something, gently grab her hand and say her name and ask her to make eye contact with you, once she does ask her to do the task." Many times, these children are so overwhelmed by the overstimulation of the world that a gentle touch and eye contact is all they need to be able to STOP, FOCUS and LISTEN to what you are saying. You might say, they will actually HEAR YOU!

I tried it, and while it was not perfect and didn't work EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I would say our "hearing" rate went from like a measly 15% to about 80%. This really can work at any age and I have actually had my husband put his hand on my shoulder when I am furiously typing and "Mmm-Hmmming" his questions and he knows I'm not listening.

So next time you find yourself wondering, "Hello??? Is Anyone listening?" STOP,  TOUCH and EYE CONTACT before you speak might help those little ears, or even the big ones too, hear your message!

 

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I'd love for you to try this and comment how it worked for you or any other tips or techniques that you have tried!

 

just enough... | Raising Powerful Women by Maria Fuller

 

When Alexa, my first daughter was born, I had already been on the journey from hell, as I had battled 9 months of undiagnosed and un-treated hyperemesis gravidarum. If you don’t know what Hyperemesis is, read more about it HERE, I spent more time laying on my bathroom floor and hugging the toilet bowl and praying for relief before wave after wave of violent vomiting would start up again.

I had planned a home birth with her, having been in the medical profession and having seen more than my share of things gone wrong during birth I knew exactly what I wanted and what I didn’t want. What I didn’t count for was that this journey, called motherhood, was NOT in my control, like at all, or even just a little bit.

My 54 hour labor with a sunny side up baby, an irritated uterus that would contract like hell but not dilate me, delivered to me a joyous 1 hour car ride gripping the door handle as I agonized over contractions on the way to the hospital. 40 hours into labor I no longer was confident in myself so I felt it safer to deliver her in a hospital setting since so much of what I had planned had not gone as I had expected and I was now nervous.

On February 14, 2009 (Valentines Day) after 3 days of labor, at 1:21am this angry pink faced baby finally arrived and when they placed her on my chest and I looked at her I remember my first reaction being “WHO are you”? “Where are the chorus on angels singing and the heavens parting and white light shinning down and the amazing moment where I finally become a mother and its incredible and amazing?” It didn’t happen. I was tired, uncomfortable and I had no idea who this baby was, and while I had an intense and primal urge to protect her, she was a stranger to me.

This was the beginning of me discovering the truth about motherhood and parenting. Over the years I slowly began to realize that these stories I heard about how amazing it was to meet your baby for the first time, how you will instantly fall in love and know them right away, how mothering was so instinctual and natural was a bunch of BullS*it lies we tell each other to make this tough journey seem a little better.

I still vividly remember one of my midwives sitting with me on my bed as I sobbed in my own pity and sorrow for a horrible pregnancy, worse delivery and a baby who I didn’t know and was so demanding and left me feeling like I didn’t know sh*t about the world or anything for that matter when I thought I knew it all. I remember her looking at me and saying, “Maria, you have to remember, this is Alexa’s journey, not yours. You CAN’T run or control her life or her journey, she will experience and needs to experience deep sorrows for her to realize and experience profound joy in this world. YOUR job is to guide her on this journey, to give her the tools to make the best decisions for her to get what she wants out of life and this journey. WHAT SHE WANTS out of life, not you. Remember that. You are enough, just love her, feed her and remember you can’t live her life for her, you can only help her on this journey.”

 

This was the beginning of “Maria-Alexa”, a journey of learning to be “enough” the way I am, of learning to allow my daughter to feel sorrow so that she could experience joy and realizing I needed that as well and the journey to learning how to empower and love myself in all my perfect imperfections so that I could teach her to do the same. This was the beginning of me helping other women and give them the tools to help themselves and their daughters so that they can conquer the world.

I am SUPER EXCITED about a new program I will be launching soon to help women and their daughters on this journey! Make sure to be signed up to my newsletter to be the first to find out about all the amazing things going on behind the scenes right now at Maria-Alexa!

 

I want to see you be BRAVE by Maria Fuller

I remember finding out my first baby would be a girl and one of my first instincts was not of joy and jubilation but one of fear and panic. What about the mean girls, how can I protect her heart? Or even worse, what if she becomes one of them…

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