Amanda Fisher Coaching

I help women get crazy strong - physically AND mentally - through strength training, sustainable eating habits, and a heathy mindset.

Category: mom stuff

How To Grocery Shop Like A (Mom) Boss

A really awesome question came in a few weeks ago. What does our grocery shopping look like? Where do we shop? How do we buy fresh foods and get them to last? Lots of good questions!

And, that question was actually really timely. I was about to grocery shop. And since, have again, and took notes of how we have been doing this. We have kind of a template it seems, which was super helpful to put together.

We usually do two main grocery shopping trips each month, give or take. We fill in the cracks in between trips if we need to, but to be honest, we are getting this shopping thing down, and try not to do that other than for milk or something like that. We utilize a variety of stores for grocery shopping. We do the Sam’s Club thing, we use a larger grocery store if we are out and about, and we also use the local grocery store. We are lucky to have my father in law raise our beef and pork so those things don’t end up on our shopping list. We also buy eggs from a local Mom Boss in my neck of the woods, and use farmers markets when we can (but….that’s like three months of the year maybe because Minnesota is tricky, lol).

Full confession, I’m not an awesome meal planner. I totally don’t menu plan, but rather have staple things on hand and make things from there. I did menu plan for awhile, and I think I just got so used to creating meals that we just got efficient at shopping.

Need Help With A Healthy Eating Menu?

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Guess what? Grocery shopping is not sexy, BUT. BUT. BUT. We cannot eat the food we don’t have on hand, right? So….it’s a little necessary for most people.

I’m going to lay down some hacks for helping you grocery shop economically AND sanely, so you don’t have to spend hours in the grocery store (unless you want to).

  1. Order your groceries online if possible. This helps you stick to your list and also doesn’t allow you to wander aisles aimlessly and throw stuff in your cart you don’t need!

  2. Include things in your cart that you actually like to eat. Don’t buy stuff you don’t really love just because it is supposedly a health food. Health foods are foods that make YOU feel good and that YOU love to eat.

  3. Take a big pass around the outside edges of the store. Spend the bulk of your budget in the produce, the meat counter (if you don’t know a cool farmer), the freezer section, etc. Wade into the aisles when you need to, but be wary of all the food labels telling you how healthy they are.

  4. Super secret hack that I think everyone who buys those big ass tubs of greens should know…...after you open the container, get a longer life out of those greens by putting a paper towel in the top of the container before you close it up. Keeps the moisture out of your greens so they last LONGER!

    I talk through how we navigate shopping to eat lean AND spend less here:

    Eating healthy gets a bad rap for “being expensive” and for “being complicated.” I call bullshit on both those things. If you struggle with the expense part of it, build yourself a food budget that is realistic and go to town on it. Give it a few months trial run and see how it goes.

    If you struggle with feeling like healthy eating is complicated, I’d love to hook you up. I’ve put together a FREE #20under20 Meal Guide AND Bonus Menu and Shopping List Helper to go with it. I’d love for you to give it whirl and tell me how it works for you!

Should Moms Focus On Fat Loss?

Mom life is an intricate web of awesome, crazy, emotional, draining “stuff.”  There are lots of facets of mom life, and health is only one.

But, it seems, that we moms have a laser beam focus on what our bodies look like.  And what our bodies look like is in part a product of carrying our children, our workout habits and our eating habits.  What we fail to realize is what our bodies look like is also a product of stress, how well we are sleeping (or not), and where our hormonal game is at.

So, while we tend to focus on kicking our own ass with workouts and trying to meal prep the shit out of our lives, and fat loss this and that, there are way more things to consider in the overall picture.  

“If I can just fit in this 90 day workout program where I workout everyday except Sundays…..”

“If I can just spend three hours meal prepping on Sundays so I can eat pre-portioned meals every week…..”

“If I can just keep my house clean, my kids from getting into things they shouldn’t, volunteer for Gingerbread house making, AND get my kids to dance on time……:”

Yeah, there is A LOT to consider here, and whether or not moms should focus on fat loss is a tiny snippet of this gigantic ALWAYS MOVING picture.

So, I thought I would give you some things to consider from a mom and nutrition coach who IS focusing on fat loss at the moment, as well as a mom who has decidedly NOT focused on fat loss for a variety of reasons in her past.

Let’s dig in.

Can your head stay in a mentally healthy place while you begin to trim away at your food intake?  Meaning, when it’s time to sit down and eat a meal during the middle of a jacked up day where alllll the mom shit went wrong, are you prepared to not go hog wild and eat your feelings?

Fat loss is driven by the reduction of calories.  We can argue about how big that reduction should be to make it last, but ultimately, we do need the reduction.  Whether or not you COUNT those calories or use different methods to figure out your needs, we still need the reduction, or the deficit.  Figuring out how to deficit is one more thing to have in your brain WHILE you are still mom-ing.

Can your head stay in a mentally healthy place when you gauge how your fat loss progress is going?  Meaning, if you weigh yourself, measure yourself, try on your favorite jeans or what have you, can you not beat yourself up if the measurements don’t go your way sometimes?  Can you learn to separate emotions from facts?

Fat loss takes time.  So, taking the long view and approaching it with a mindset of knowing there will be up weeks and down weeks, and that the overall trend will go down if we are successful is key.  Here’s the thing, though.  Know thyself.  If you know that you are going to get wrapped up in “I’m a failure” and “That one Cheeto I ate last week is CLEARLY what made me gain a half pound in four days” and tying yourself worth to your fat loss measurements, well, I think we have some other things to think about.  If you know that you can separate fact from emotional fiction, then, we might be in the right place.

Do you have a decent handle on sleep and stress?  

Guess what?  You can do all the right things with a calorie deficit, and all the right strength training, and you might lose some fat but find yourself stuck with a layer around your midsection that absolutely kicks your ass.  For many, this is a huge sign that sleep is off and/or your body and your hormones are all out of whack from stress junk…..AKA, your body is in fight or flight mode (feels like it’s getting chased by a tiger) and not in “I’m relaxed and ok” mode.  No matter if you are getting chased by a tiger or getting chased by an over-booked schedule, not facing a stack of credit card bills, or something along those lines doesn’t matter.  Your body will do WELL in relaxed and ok mode, and fat loss will be much, much easier.

Are you nursing?  

There seem to be two types of nursing women.  The first one, we’ll call her Megan King Edmonds from the Real Housewives of Orange County…well, she basically nurses and weight falls off her without so much as an effort.  The second one, we’ll call “a large percentage of nursing mothers,” well, she’s got every craving in the book, and she’s having a hell of a time managing those cravings, AND nursing, AND all the motherhood stuff is kicking her ass, and she’s having trouble losing anything other than her marbles.  Whether or not you are like Megan King Edmonds or like the other nursing mothers doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you are nursing, and while you can definitely focus on getting plenty of whole and nutritious foods AND find a decent level of balanced eating, the fact that you are nursing might just jack up fat loss completely, making it damn hard to focus on right now.  That’s alright!  You have the rest of your life to focus on fat loss, enjoy feeding your babe right now, and fat loss can get pushed further down the road.  In the meantime, focus on eating balanced and healthy meals that support your recovery body PLUS your baby.

Guess what?  Fat loss itself is very simple in nature.  Find a caloric deficit.  Probably strength train a little.  Move a LOT in a non-exercise fashion.  Sleep.  Don’t get chased by the bear.

But simple doesn’t mean easy.  In practice, fat loss can FEEL ridiculous.

So, as a mom, can you focus on fat loss?  Absolutely you can.  Should you?  Well, if you’ve gone through anything that I’ve written above, you probably have a good idea of whether or not fat loss makes sense for you right now.

Here’s the thing….there isn’t a right or wrong answer, the right answer is YOUR answer.  That matches YOUR life.

And know this.  Even if right now isn’t the time for fat loss, there are TONS of cool things to focus on instead!  Like……

  • Eating balanced and healthy meals while learning how to moderate treats into your life
  • Lifting weights
  • Embracing fitness if ways OTHER than lifting weights if that’s your thing
  • Learning how to incorporate “me time” into your life in a way that makes sense
  • Learning a new skill
  • Catching up with girlfriends you haven’t connected with in way too long
  • Adopting other healthy habits that have nothing to do with fitness or food
  • Finding a way to connect back with your husband and talk about things that you used to talk about BEFORE your kids came along

There is way more to mom-ing than what your body looks like.  Hell, there’s way more to life than what your body looks like.  But each of us has our own needs, and those are important too, right?  So focus on fat loss if it makes sense for YOU or don’t, and focus on something else if THAT makes more sense for you.

Three Things To Do When You Feel Paralyzed By Mom Guilt

Mom guilt is a little dirty secret that no one tells you about when you are pregnant with your first (or second, or fifth) baby.

Mom guilt makes you want to skip doing your life, and skip doing ANYTHING, for fear that you might miss something in your kids’ lives.  Or worse, that the kiddos might not really want you to go, even though you need to go for a bit, and then there may be some kid guilt laid on you.

Mom guilt is hard as hell to navigate.  Should you stay, even though you know you need to go and get away, even if just for a bit?  Should you go, and do it anyway?  How the hell do you even know?  Such a mind game!

Let’s be clear.  I think once you have kids, their needs are right up at the top of your list, and while they can be….um, needy… are cool.  And there is absolutely nothing else like raising kids.  It’s the most challenging, scary, awesome thing ever, lol.  I mean, you literally don’t know if you’ve “done it right” until they have left the nest for college….so, HA, the margin for error feels incredibly high!

But while kids and their needs are important, so are OUR needs, mamas.  And it’s okay to actually admit that.  And feel that.  And do things that meet our needs.

And I’m like any mom, I struggle with mom guilt the same as everyone else, yo!  It’s can paralyze you.  It can be easy to just skip doing things because you don’t want to face it and put a higher priority on yourself for a hot minute.

So, here are three things I try to think about when I feel that paralyzing feeling of mom guilt creeps in…….(and let’s remember, I ride the struggle bus here too, so I’d love the things YOU think about when the mom guilt creeps in)

  1. First off, what’s your family schedule been looking like lately?  When our family schedule is crazy, and there is literally somewhere to go every single day of the week, I tend to favor backing off and not adding more chaos to that, whether that’s right or wrong.  I loathe “going somewhere” every day, and I’m learning that our oldest kid needs plenty of downtime at home, even though she likes to do things.  So, I tend to feel plenty of stress PLUS mom guilt when I add more of my own solo commitments on top of a busy weekly schedule.  So for me personally, during crazy times in our house, I actually feel better prioritizing being home more, and NOT doing things.  That’s just me, and of course, some things still need to get done, so lots to consider here.  I love saying yes to things that we can go to as a family, and am more stingy saying yes to things when we have an already crazy schedule, and involves organization of a babysitter during a crazy week.
  2. Secondly, how can you make it “fit better” somewhere in your schedule?  One thing that feels like a luxury lately is solo workout times that aren’t sandwiched between classes and clients in the gym.  So, I can fit in a date with my best fitness friend PLUS get my workout in, if I do it crazy early in the morning.  Sometimes this is absolutely worth it, because I just NEED that time.  Other times, dude, no….I need sleep, lol.  So, where can you fit your stuff that maybe works a little better?  Get creative.  I’m finding that I can wind down a little after kids have gone to bed and before I need to.  There’s been a lot of epsom salt baths lately when kids are in bed.
  3. Third, um….sometimes you just need to go anyway, no matter the guilty feeling that trips you up.  Sometimes, I just do.  Sometimes, I bet, YOU just do, too.  There are just those times, and that’s ok (even though your brain will tell you otherwise for a minute while you are getting ready to leave).

I’m guessing some of this mom guilt stuff feels worse when there are little kids around.  However, I can only imagine that always feeling paralyzed by mom guilt builds a pattern, and soon, when kids are doing things themselves and no longer actually WANT to spend time with you (lol)….that getting out of that pattern of always saying no to yourself will be a hard habit to break then.

So, it’s kind of random to write a blog post when I’m navigating this territory again and not always sure of myself, and giving three pieces of advice, lol.  But at the same time, I know that I’m not the only one who deals with mom guilt, and it’s very present in my life again with a 6 month old plus a 4 year old.  And I’m learning how to find my footing again.  Which is fine.  But dang, it’s always a process!

So, if you feel ANY of this stuff, please add to the discussion!  Let’s work on this, and crack the mom guilt code once and for all (ha!).  Drop me your two cents on mom guilt via comment on my Facebook page, and let’s get this ball rolling.


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