Keeping the Candy Monster Away

I know that Valentines Day was a little over a week ago, but we have been battling colds in our household and I am just now able to get to this post: holiday treats.  Let's be honest, who doesn't like a little candy everyone now and then?  Life is about balance and those sweet, sweet moments of indulgence.  Yet, too much of a sweet thing is certainly not a good thing.  And with children, it can be hard to teach them such a notion keeping them on track to moderation and healthy living.   

In our house we have used something called the "Treat Fairy" for the past 10+ years, starting with our oldest.  During those candy giving holidays - Valentines, Easter, even Halloween our children select about 5-8 pieces of candy to keep and the rest goes in a big pile with a note to be given to the Treat Fairy aka mommy's and daddy's work (sorry co-workers).  In return for their treats, they are given a variety of things from books to gift cards to a toy; and in the moments the Treat Fairy forgot to go to the store (guilty!), money.  Our children look forward to the Treat Fairy and most of the time their 5-8 pieces of candy never get finished and end up in the trash.  It is an easy way to give the children a little sweet indulgence but not overload them with treats.  

The best thing is when the four year old is eating his m&ms (his favorite) and can't even finish a snack pack.  He let's us know he is done and is ok with throwing the rest away.  It is a great moment because we know he is learning moderation.  The key being not to deprive the children of candy and sweets but to set them up for a healthy foundation of healthy eating and balance.   

I am sure that there are other such techniques out there.  I am certain we are not the creators of the "Treat Fairy", but it is something that has worked for us.  Give it a try, I am sure your children would love the idea too!

Rockin' and Rollin' in 2014

Ever since I started running, I’ve always wanted to race in a Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series event. The logo, the bling and the fact that they’re held in the biggest cities in America all contributed to my desire to race. 

This past Christmas I received what I consider to be the best gift anyone could get in a Rock ’n’ Roll Series Tour Pass!! I already registered for the RnRSF Half Marathon in April and now I have the luxury of completing registration for the three remaining California Rock ’n’ Roll races: San Diego, San Jose and Los Angeles. I am even contemplating making the San Diego event a marathon race. 

Yes, you read that right. I will attempt to run all four California Rock ’n’ Roll Races in 2014. A Cali Rock ’n’ Roll Tour if you will. The best part is that my wife got me the Tour Pass, is 100% behind me and is extremely supportive of my goal. Heck, we’re even trying to run some of these races together!

2013 in Review

5 medals each: WDW Marathon Weekend, Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland 10k, Disneyland Half and Coast to Coast.

We started our year off with a bang right from the start. The races at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend were our first of the year and we even created our own hashtag: #oneraceamonth2013 to boot. I ran the Marathon, Paula the Half Marathon, our two oldest boys the Mickey Mile and our youngest (at the time) the Kids Dash. Did I mention that Paula was 4 months pregnant at the time of her Half?

Next up in February was the Super Bowl Sunday Run back here in our hometown of Sacramento, CA. This was a 10k race in which we ran a relay. In March we ran a fun race named the Veggie Chase 5k where runners tried to beat the pacers dressed up as vegetables. The two older boys' first 5k of the year was the Elk Grove Running of the Elk in April. We ran this race together as a family and had a blast. 

Another 5k family race came around in May which was the Cinco de Kilometros de Mayo (5k of May). We love running locally and especially supporting our local running store. At the end of June, my oldest son and I ran the Run for Independence 5k in very hot weather. I must say, i was very proud that day. A month later and about 6 weeks postpartum, Paula and I ran the Fab 40s 5k in which we ran sub 30 min. Again, she never ceases to amaze me with the things she is able to accomplish. 

August's race was the inaugural Disneyland 10k which was the first half of the new Dumbo Double Dare challenge that runDisney has created for Disneyland Resort's main race weekend. The very next day, September 1st, was the second race of the challenge, the Disneyland Half Marathon. We squeaked in two month's races in two days, see what we did there? That entire weekend deserves a recap of it's own. Can we say Coast to Coast?

Paula ran another half marathon, a Rock'n'Roll event, in early October. I was amazed at how organized this race was and it has lead me to sign up for more races with them.  More on that later on. I ran a cool race in Davis, CA called the Oktobrewfest 5k where the medals given out had a bottle opener integrated in the design. How cool is that?! In November, Paula and I ran a Turkey Trot Half Marathon where she achieved a PR in that distance. Last but not least, I ran another 5k this month in December, and achieved a PR myself. The following week Paula and friends ran a neat Santa run where everyone dressed up as Santa, beards and all, for a good cause. 

Whew! That was a lot of racing this year and it feels like we could have done even more. We figured that signing up for races is the hardest part next to getting that first step out the door. Once you commit by registering or signing up for the race, you feel a bit more obligated to train. It was a great year of running, especially getting our kids involved in the sport. They see and feel the benefit of staying active. We set goals, finish races and earn medals. All while having a good time. Together, as a family.