Monday, October 28, 2013

Living with T1D: My Side

National Diabetes Awareness Month begins November 1st!  In honer of TD1, I am sharing with you my journey (so far) living with someone with TD1.

As you may or may not know, my husband has had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years.  That's a LONG time to deal with blood sugar control day in and day out.  It's a frustrating disease and not one that many people understand unless they are living it.

When I met Greg about 5 years ago, I was introduced to T1D for the first time, experienced my first "sugar low" and experienced one of the scariest moments of my life.  Trying to force an adult male who is flailing around on the floor, unable to speak, to consume some sort of sugar substance was nearly impossible for me.  I had no idea what I was doing.  As the Red Bull I helped him drink slowly started to kick in and he "came to", I realized this was going to be a long road.  I started researching how to handle sugar lows, how insulin affected the body, the carb intake vs. insulin intake and what happened if either were lacking.  I felt prepared.  Nothing, however would prepare me for the sleepless night or worry that I had grown accustomed to...any slight difference in his breathing, sweat beads on his forehead, weird noises, I was wide awake thinking he was having a low.  90% of the time I was right and I would force him to drink OJ, eat glucose tables, etc.  Sometimes he drank/ate what he needed to without any problems, but sometimes it was a huge, frustrating, infuriating process to get him to take the sugar substance.    It wasn't until I logged onto a couple Diabetes forums, that I realized A) I wasn't alone and B) I was not fully understanding the frustration Greg was dealing with.  Losing complete control of your body and mind for what seems like a long time is very difficult for anyone to deal with.  Add in an overly paranoid wife asking 800 questions, losing her temper and trying to force sugar down his throat on top of not being able to communicate and a person is bound get upset.  I learned that instead of crying, screaming, shaking him awake and asking him a million questions, that sometimes I just needed to trust in nature, put the juice, glucose tablets, or sugar loaded snack next to his bedside and wait.  Sometimes it took a while, but he would usually come around and take it on his own.  It didn't take my worry away, but it took away some of the bitterness and fighting in the middle of the night.  Still, there were times when I would need to sit behind him and physically help him drink a glass of juice in the middle of the night.

Having two children, was worrisome as well.  What if he had a low with the kids when he was alone?  My daughter is not even 3...she would have no idea what to do, although we have begun to explain it to her slowly.  What is he had a low when driving?  He has had diabetes for so long that sometimes symptoms are not obvious to him.  In addition, my husband is in construction.  Up and down ladders all day, on stilts, on roofs.  The list goes on and on.  I worried a lot.

One day I was reading an article on the JDRF Facebook page about Continuous Glucose Monitors, or CGM's, in TD1 lingo.  The more I researched it the more I realized that this would be a game changer for Greg, his health, our family and our lives.  We called our insurance company and found out that it was 100% covered...happy days! The CGM is injected into his skin and take a blood glucose reading every 5 minutes, all day every day! When his blood sugars drop to a certain level of are too high, the monitor beeps to alert him.  It is magical!  From the moment he put this in, my anxiety, fears and paranoia immediately went away.

Being a relatively new piece of technology, CGM's are not without their flaws.  Greg regularly has frustrations with his machine, particularly the fact that it beeps a lot...for a lot of different reasons.  It has to sit just right in the skin, it has to be hooked up just right to his insulin pump, he has to sync it to his finger pricker (as we call it) at the perfect time, etc.  If all of these things aren't done perfectly, the monitor could easily drive you crazy with the beeping :)  It has forced him to manually check his blood sugar A LOT during the day because he is now obsessed with keeping his sugar levels within range.  In the past 3 or so months, I have had to bring him a glass of juice only once.  I can't begin to explain what a relief this has been.

On the way to our house is a brand new monitor and insulin pump...just passed by the FDA.  This new pump will automatically suspend all insulin to the body when it detects low blood sugar.  It is a MAJOR step in the development of the artificial pancreas.  It has a lot of bug fixes as well and hopefully the learning curve will be a bit easier for my husband.

I have learned a lot about TD1 over the past few years, but most importantly TD1 has taught me to be more patient, more kind and more understanding.  You must have a lot of patience and understanding when it comes to dealing with diabetes.  You can't take offense to what is said during a sugar low...they don't mean it.  Have trust in the person with TD1 in your open with them about how you're feeling and they will be open with you.  Remember this is something they HAVE to deal with every single day, every single minute of their lives...their lives depend on it. Be there for them.

Want to know what it's like to live with TD1 for a day?  Take the challenge here: TD1 For A Day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Interview with DanceFIT Studio!

This month I started managing the social media for DanceFIT Studio!  I am so excited to be a part of this amazing company.  On top of working full time, being a mama to 2 crazy kiddos, all of my DanceFIT classes, and tacking on a few extra hours during my off-hours to have fun with this new social media adventure, I am going to be one busy woman- it is such an amazing opportunity...I am thrilled!  

Check out my interview with DanceFIT Studio owner, Gina Fay, here

While you're at it, check out the rest of the Blog
LIKE DanceFIT Studio On Facebook
Follow DanceFIT Studio on Twitter
and Instagram

Then, share with all your friends! 

We <3 Social Media, can you tell! 

Me and C outside DanceFIT Studio in Brookline, MA 

Monday, July 8, 2013

The 4 Month Plateau

As all of you know I have been working out and eating healthy since a week after my son was born (and while pregnant, and before I got pregnant with little #2).  I lost a good amount of weight in the beginning, but most of that was water, and other goodness that comes with being pregnant with a big ol' baby.  I have participated in 2 6FIT sessions with DanceFIT Studio and continued my workouts 5-6 days a week for 2 hours a day.  I eat lots of kale and spinach, I cut down on my vino and ice cream consumption drastically.  I track my calorie intake on My Fitness Pal and I recently bought a FitBit.  Even with all of that, I have been in a major plateau for the past 4-5 months with at least 15 pounds left to shed until I am at a healthy weight.  I didn't put a lot of thought into the number on the scale because I was feeling healthy and I was gaining a lot of muscle. Which way to the gun show!  My cardio hasn't been at 100% because of my annoying knee maybe that was why?  Anyway, I was THRILLED when I finally broke the number on the scale by 1.5lbs about a month ago.  I haven't gained anything since, but haven't lost anything either.  Even to the most positive person, this can be extremely frustrating.  I want my pre-baby body back, please.

About a month ago, my husband and I were in a car accident and while I was at the doctor getting my whiplash-ed neck examined, I got a full check up.  I hadn't been since 2008...that is bad.  Too busy at the baby doctor 800 times a week for 3 years.  Anyway, they did a full range of blood work and when I got the results a week later, everything was normal EXCEPT my thyroid.  

Hypothyroid.  Sweet.  That would explain things right? The major system in my body responsible for making metabolism work properly...failed!  Thanks to my little big man, T, I have postpartum Hypothyroidism.  Supposedly, this will cure itself within a year after giving birth (3 months and counting...), but 50% of women who have postpartum hypothyroid will get permanent hypothyroidism later in life.  Cross your fingers this isn't me.  

There are a number of all natural things I can do to jump-start my thyroid, but there is also a pill I can take that supposedly helps too.  My inner all-natural self struggles.  

A lot of the natural things that can help hypothyroidism are already part of my life...

  • Just say not to caffeine and sugar, including refined carbs.  Caffeine will be a tough one and probably the last thing I will try.  I really love coffee.  Sugar, on the other hand will be a bit easier as I have already started decreasing it's existence in my diet.  
  • Eat lots of protein.  This is something i can definitely do, but find it more challenging than other dietary changes for some reason.  More quinoa?  Sure! 
  • Drop the soy products.  I don't consume a ton of soy, but I do like soy in my coffee from time to time (add Almond Milk to your menu anytime, Starbucks).  I eat tofu once a month and I love edamame.  But that's about it.  I can do without.  Apparently it has an adverse reaction on a body's endocrine system.  Who knew? 
  • Eat more healthy fats: avocados, nuts, EVOO, full fat dairy products.  Not getting enough GOOD fat and cholesterol fuels your thyroid to be less effective.  
  • Get more nutrients through food.  Vitamin D, iron, omega-3's, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, B vitamins and iodine are all important to a properly functioning Thyroid gland.  When it comes to iodine; eat more sea vegetables/seafood, eggs, lima beans, asparagus, spinach and swiss chard instead of taking a supplement or using iodized salt- that is said to exacerbate your thyroid issue. 
  • Cook your veggies!  A lot of the veggies that are said to help hypothyroid, can also work against you. "Goitrogens" are found in a lot of vegetables and aren't good for people with hypothyroid.  Cooking up your veggies will take the goitrogens out of them and you're good to go.  
  • Stay stress free.  The thyroid gland is apparently sensitive to stress.  Relax.  Meditate.  Breathe.  
  • Eat probiotics...a healthy tummy is essential to thyroid function.  
  • Go Gluten Free.  Isn't this the answer to everything now-a-days? ;) 
I guess I have some work to do.  

While I am frustrated with the fact that I have been working my ass off to lose this baby weight once and for all over the past 9 months, I also have to be thankful of the healthy lifestyle I have chosen.  Not only will it make it easier to adjust to my new dietary needs, but working out and eating clean has also curbed a lot of weight gain.  I may be in the longest plateau ever, but at least the scale isn't going up.  

So, I'll keep truckin'...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


It's about three weeks post 6FIT and for the first time I feel like I haven't completely fallen off the healthy lifestyle wagon.  Yay! I have broken out (if only by a pound) of my plateau, continue to take lots of classes and my eating habits have been good for the most part...aside from Sunday when I ate potato salad like I have never had a carb before in my life. 

One of the biggest reasons (I think) for my success the past 3 weeks is that I have been logging all of my food and exercise with My Fitness Pal via the Iphone app.  Not only am I logging, but a number of my 6FIT friends are doing it as well...and we all have public diaries so I feel very accountable for the foods I put in my body and motivated by seeing the exercise everyone is logging.  

I have learned through My Fitness Pal that 1260 calories is just not enough to keep my stomach from growling throughout the day.  BUT, in order to eat more I need to compensate with exercise...DUH.  I do know this...I have known basically forever, but seeing it right in front of you helps to bring the point home.  If I want to eat something extra, I need to find a way to burn those calories.  For instance, this morning I was craving a bagel with cream cheese from Dunks.  I know that I am taking a double header with Virtual DanceFIT studio tonight, one class being cardio based, so I allowed myself the bagel.  It's all about the 80/20, friends. I know that on days where I am burning a lot of calories, I need make sure I eat those calories back in order to keep my metabolism on track.  There are some days where I look at my log at night and I still have 600 calories left to eat in order to make up for the exerted energy from that day.  Obviously, I am not going to eat an entire meal right before bed so I have a handful of pretzels or some peanut butter and go to bed.  I was worried about having so many extra calories left, but a friend said she looks at her weekly average and goes off that...good idea, and that's what I have been doing.  I love being held accountable for my food and exercise.  I am sorry, MFP friends, but I think you are all going to have to log for life in order for me to stay on track!  

Things I am having trouble with: working out BESIDES classes.  For instance...running, walking or outdoor cardio of any kind.  I cannot get motivated despite that fact that I see my fitness friends running miles upon miles every day.  I logged cleaning the other day in My Fitness Pal...LAME. 

I am going to record all of my excuses here so you guys can tell me to get over and get off my butt...

  1. I am too tired in the morning to get up at 5 and go for a run.  My (9 month old!) baby slept through the night (until 530am) for the 3rd time last night and frankly, I am zonked.  
  2. My knee hurts.  This is a half-assed excuse.  Jumping and squatting legitimately hurt my knee but now I think I am just scared to run to damage it further (don't worry, I have ortho and PT appointments set up for this month).
  3. By the time I get home from work I don't have time.  Dinner, bedtime routine, classes, bed. Can I get another hour in the day? 
  4. I turn lazy on the weekends...this is not an excuse, it is a fact.  I need someone to come to my house, put on my sneakers for me and drag me to the pavement.  Please.  Anyone! 
Another thing I am still struggling with is meal planning.  I have been terrible and bringing breakfast and lunch to work and I usually have an iced coffee and a lara bar for breakfast.  Clean, but not satisfying.  For lunch, I will bring leftovers on occasion, but still I find that I'm eating an apple or carrots and hummus too much.  Speaking of apples, I am not eating enough fruit.  I used to have two servings a day at least and lately, I have been looking at my apples on my desk wishing they were a giant piece of cake.  How sick am I? Then, I just don't eat them because let's face it...cake is just better.  

On Friday, June 21, I will be participating in a 40 day challenge with DanceFIT Studio called SummerFIT!  It is basically a contest to see who can take the most classes in 40 days.  Us DanceFITTERS love a good challenge! I am excited for it, even if my class schedule won't change too much because of my work hours.  I just love being in constant contact with my fitness friends.  

One last thing...remember Burpees?  Of course you do.  I found this challenge and I plan on doing it...who wants to join me?  It might sound crazy, but I have a weird love/hate relationship with these puppies.  I know how great they are for you and I feel totally accomplished when I complete a set, but c'mon, they are burpees so I can't fully love them. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Team "I Am Fit"

6 weeks
6 days a week of fitness
6 fruits & veggies a day
6 team members

My 4th 6FIT has come to a close.  This session was really great- I pushed myself harder than I have in past 6FITs and truly made a lifestyle change.  I averaged 8-10 classes per week, got active with my family on the weekends, tried new recipes and new foods that I wouldn't have before and overall can tell that my body has changed and I am a lot stronger and leaner.  I have not taken official weight and measurements yet, but weight loss was not an ultimate goal for me this session.  Getting stronger was.

Going into this 6FIT, I had some goals for myself.  You can read about them here.

How did I do?

  • Well, I stretched A LOT.  I also learned about an amazing product called a foam roller.  I am obsessed with it.  It's like having a massage therapist in your home at all times.  I highly suggest you get one and use it all the time!  
  • Disconnecting was another major goal.  I wanted to turn my phone/computer/ipad/tv off an hour before I went to bed.  I didn't accomplish this, but I did learn to disconnect when I got home from work in order to spend quality timer with my kids (read more about that here). 
  • Get out and run! I love Spring time 6FITs.  The weather is just starting to get nice, the temperatures are perfect for running, the flowers are blooming and everyone is gearing up for an active spring and summer.  This is New England, however, and we basically went from winter to summer in a matter of 2 weeks.  Still, it wasn't too bad and I was able to get some quality runs, hikes and beach exercise in with my family.  
  • Did I get organized?  No, not at all.  My big plan was to take the time on Sunday and prepare for the week.  I failed miserably at this.  Starting back at work, keeping up with the family and having busy weekend took over life and I had to give in on something.  So, lunches weren't packed and my laundry sits unfolded for days.  Such is life.  
I wanted to share a few things with you that I have found helpful after past 6FIT's to keep me on track.  

Support:  Having support from fellow 6FITTERs, family and friends who love fitness as much as you do is crucial to keeping up with the 6FIT lifestyle.  I wish I could do it by myself, but I can't- I always fall off the wagon.  I am going to rely on you guys to keep me in check and I hope you rely on me too.  I would encourage you to become friends with other 6FIT members on facebook if you haven't done so already.  Surround yourselves with friends and family who like to be active on the weekends or after work.  Go for a walk, run, bike ride together.  Take the kids out in the stroller before bed (it will help them sleep better which is a plus)! Whatever you do...keep moving! 

Apps:  MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, MapMyRun, DanceFIT Studio App are my favorites.  

With MyFitnessPal, you can track your meals, strength exercises, cardio, water intake and weight loss progress.  You can connect with friends who have it and send/receive encouragement along the way.  

RunKeeper and MapMyRun are similar.  They track miles, calories burned, distance, speed, etc.  You can also connect with friends who have the app and offer words of encouragement.  

Check what classes are being offered at DanceFIT Studio both virtually and in the studio daily with the DanceFIT app!  There is one available for both Iphone and Android.  It is awesome! 

If you're a yogi, Lululemon developed a new app for Iphone (not sure about Android though) called the OM Finder.  Plug in your zip code and it will bring up all the yoga classes that day in your area.  It's great for on the go and travelling.  

Blogs. In our wrap up seminar last night we talked about following blogs for inspiration! I love fitness blogs! A lot have Facebook pages and if you like the page, you can get daily fitness routines, recipes, etc.  
Here are some of my favorites: 

FitSugar - This is probably my favorite blog.  Everything from great ab workouts, cardio workouts, trouble area workouts, recipes and fitness inspiration and motivation.  Love this blog.  I follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest too! 

100 Days of Real Food:  This blog is dedicated to eating clean and also to feeding your kids clean.  There are great recipes and really good ideas for kids lunches. 

Sarah Fit - Boston based Youtuber turned fitness expert.  She has great fitness tips, workouts on Youtube and advice on new fitness products.  

Shape and Fitness Magazine on Facebook and Twitter.  Get daily workouts and recipes by "liking" their pages.  I get a lot of recipes from them and also great fitness tips.  

Move Sweat Love with Ali - Like Ali's Facebook Page for motivational tips and fitness advice.  She teaches pilates, piloxing, zumba and many other classes around Boston including at DanceFIT Studio! 

Social Media is a great took for staying inspired to be fit and healthy.  I recommend following blogs, and following fitness loving friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  Speaking of Pinterest, DanceFIT Studio has and AMAZING Pinterest page that you should definitely check out! 

Going into the summer, I have some personal goals that I want to achieve.
  1.  Keep up my water intake.  At least 70oz per day. 
  2. Eat clean 80% of the time.  I am a huge 80/20 advocate and believe that not depriving yourself is important in achieving your healthy lifestyle goals.  
  3. Cardio 4 times per week and strength 3 times per week.  I will do this with a combination of DanceFIT Studio virtual classes (there are really great classes coming up in June at perfect times for busy people like all of us!) and outdoor activity - Swimming, stairs, hills and running.  I am signed up for my classes for the month of June and will continue my 6-8 classes per week routine throughout the summer! 
  4. Commit to charting via MyFitnessPal for a month (short term goal).  
I need to give a huge, giant thank you to Gina Fay who is the creator of this amazing 6FIT experience.  I have said it so many times before, but her dream and creation have put me on the path to a healthy life again and I am just so grateful.  It is because of Gina and DanceFIT that I have made friends who inspire me every day.  They help to motivate me and lift me up after a hard day.  They commiserate with my after a sleepless night, or challenging day at work.  I am so thankful that I am able to share this experience with my sister who live in NYC.  Even though we live in different states, having a common goal we are able to push each other to make the right choices when it comes to living a healthy life.  I am so happy I had the opportunity to blog for DanceFIT Studio.  Turns out that I really enjoy blogging and will continue to do so even though 6FIT is over.  

The other virtual instructors (Alissa, Maeve, Kari, Laura and Nicole )at DanceFIT worked insanely hard during this (and every other one) 6FIT and added a lot of classes to their schedules to meet the demands of us Virtual FITTERs!  You guys are amazing and so are your classes! 

The entire team of 6FIT were so amazing this session.  There was SO MUCH motivation from everyone, which to me is the key to 6FIT success.  I know we were broken up into teams, but I felt connected to all of you and felt that we did this together.  Team Orange, Purple, Green, Yellow and Red - We are Team I Am Fit!  

This is hanging in my office at work and I thought it was appropriate.  You should all be so proud of everything you've accomplished!  

There will be another 6FIT in the fall!  I encourage all of you to join in the amazing 6FIT adventure and try out a class or two at DanceFIT in the meantime!  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Your Journey is Your Journey

Ah!  It's here.  Our last week of 6FIT.  Typically, I get a little anxious this week because I know that by this time next week I will be on my own.  However, for the first time, I feel like I am going to be able to handle this new lifestyle without completely falling off the wagon.  If I do happen to fall off, I have a wonderful group of women who will help to get me back on.  Here we go!

Going into this last week, I wanted to remind you of something that I have been personally battling for a very long time.  I 100% stole the inspirational message below from Gina, but it's a good one for everyone to follow...and it provided me with a good blog topic! Thanks, Gina :)

Your Journey is YOUR journey...

For a very big part of my life, I have been consumed with comparing myself and my life to everyone else around me.  I am talking everything:  Family, occupation, workouts, weight, clothes, houses, towns we all live in....everything.  It is a terrible and unhealthy way to live and it's mentally exhausting.  I have been making a conscious effort over the past few years (especially since I had kids) to really start focusing on all the good things I have in life and everything I have accomplished.  I know a lot of people who will never be happy with what they have, what they look like, what type of house they live in.  They cannot see what I see and I just want to shake them and say "Look at what you have?  Look at your beautiful children, loving husband, amazing family, fabulous friends!"  So, I decided, I don't want to live like that anymore.  I want to be happy with what I have right now while simultaneously pursuing what I want. Does that make sense?

I find that there is a lot of negativity in this world and even though I DEFINITELY have days where I feel down on my luck and nothing is going my way, I try to stay as positive as I can.  Living in a time where Social Media pretty much runs everyone's lives, I see a lot of negative things flying around.  On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I post about the following:  My kids and my workouts.  Both of which annoy some people.  That's fine though...if you don't like it, don't read it! I post my workouts not to brag, but to hopefully inspire others to try a new class (which I have!), get out and run, or go for a walk with their kids.  I also find some sort of accountability and accomplishment when I post my workouts.  I am proud of my workouts!  Personally, I think seeing everyone's workouts on Facebook or Twitter is a positive.  Typically, my news feed is filled with MapMyRide, MapMyRun, Runkeeper screenshots, check-ins at the gym on the stairs or into a Virtual class.  Then there are maybe one or two Negative Nellies who post about how annoying it is to see updates about workouts. For a fleeting moment, I feel bad...I don't want to irritate people, but I quickly snap out of it.  I say whatever- hope you're enjoying your couch.

When it comes to 6FIT, there is a certain amount of competition...I prefer to call it motivation.  It's not a vicious competition though, and even if you're not on the same team you are still congratulated and cheered on by other 6FIT members.  That is the beauty of it.  We all want each other to succeed in this journey.  That said, there are days when I see the charts of my 6FIT friends and feel badly that I didn't rack up as many points as someone else or didn't take as many classes...they can do it, why can't I?  I have to tell myself to snap out of it.  I take 8 classes a week on top of other activities, working full time and caring for my family.  I am doing the best I can, and if can't physically manage the triple header I was planning (or double header for that matter), I need to accept that.  If I am burning the candle at both ends, it's not good for anyone.

Moral of the story... Have faith in yourself, in your family and in your life.  You're doing the best you can.  You will get there.  You will get to where you need to be.  Give yourself a break.  Be happy.

Friday, May 24, 2013

In The Now

When I was starting back to work, a friend of mine (who has a daughter the same age as mine and also just went back to work) told me that the number one thing she has learned is to 100% in the now.  When you're at work, be at work- give 100% and try not to think about what's going on at home without you (this seems impossible).  When you're at home with the kids, be there.  Get off your work email, put your phone away and just be there.  The time with the kids is precious.  I have about 2-3 hours with them a day (usually only 2 and the other hour is going in and out of my daughter's room trying to get her to stop throwing books out of her bed).

I learned this the hard way from my daughter when I was on my phone facebooking, tweeting, instagramming, texting--whatever I was doing ( Yes, I am addicted to my phone and social media).  Anyway, she got sick of my fake listening and came over and took my phone and said "no phone, Mama.  Play with me."  Uh DUH.  I felt like a jerk.

I get home from work around 4:45-5PM.  After they eat dinner, instead of scrolling through useless information on my phone, we go outside and play on the swing, I put Pandora on and we have a dance party, we read books, build block towers and watch 30 minutes of a movie of her choice before bed.

Monday-Wednesday I have classes at 7 or 7:30 and she is obsessed with exercising with me.  As a special treat, she gets to stay up and "excise" with me for 15 minutes and then it's bed time.  I don't know who is bribing who here, but it works and 2 years olds are extremely flexible!! She can also do 100's like a rock star!

When the weekends roll around, I make a concentrated effort to plan fun and active activities for my family.  My husband tends to work every other weekend, so on the weekends we are together we like to do something good.  Now that it is nice out, a lot of our activities revolve around being outside.  Both of my kids LOVE to be outside, especially my daughter.  She begs to go out as soon as she steps foot inside.  I am always looking for active things to do on the weekends, while at the same time avoiding major crowds because that just gives me anxiety :)

Here's a list of some fun and active things to do with kids and families on the weekend.  I am sorry this list is only a Boston list.  I don't leave the state ever haha, but it would be great if readers in other cities or countries could add their favorite outdoor activity on here as well!

Cushing Memorial Park in Framingham:  We LOVE this place.  There's a 1.5-2 mile loop for walking, running, biking, rollerblading- whatever. It's situated on about 60 acres of pretty flat terrain and absolutely beautiful trees.  There's a small playground in the center of the park, with a train, so of course my daughter is obsessed. We take bikes, strollers, soccer balls and picnic lunches and spend a couple hours here.  They have swings too, which is all my little man needs!

Ashland State Park - Reservoir Hike
This is a wonderful place for the entire family, including the pooches.  I prefer to park next to the tennis courts on Chestnut Street at the Warren Center and start the trail walk from there.  I used to hike around here with my dog and recently brought my 2 year old.  She loved it- loved the sticks, animals, water, everything!

Blue Hills:  I have yet to do this, but I plan to go during lunch next week my schedule isn't so insane.  Here's a link to the reservation.

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, MA:  Note to self, I must get a hiking backpack for the kids.  I have yet to be here, but we might try it out this weekend.  9 miles of varied trails with amazing views. This is not free (except for members, but it's only $5)

Going to the Cape for Memorial Day Weekend?  Be sure to check out the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  An amazing bike path that goes all over the Cape.  We've been in Chatham the past two weekens and they have one of their own called the Old Colony Rail Trail that goes through Harwich and Chatham.

Upper Charles Trail- Milford, MA:  This is a walking, biking, running train that is pretty much brand new.  There's a 5.5 mile section open so far, but proposed 20 mile trail through Ashland, Hopkinton, Milford, Sherborn and Holliston.  The Milford trail runs up rt 85.  We usually go to EMC Park in Hopkinton and then head to the trail for a walk/run after in the stroller.

The Ecotarium, Worcester, MA:  This is probably out favorite place to go in the summer and in the winter.  However, you really only get the hiking in during the nice weather.  In the winter/rain we stay indoors. I have walked and hiked the outdoor museum area multiple times while pregnant.  It is NOT easy!  But, it's fun for the kids and there are lots of animals :) Added bonus- if you buy the membership, you can get into the majority of other museums in the city for free or a deep discount as well as museums around the country.

Finally, here is a link to some great hiking in and around Boston:

This Memorial Day, we remember our fallen heroes and their families and everything they have done for our country.

I hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend with lots of fun and healthy activities planned!

PS- try (as hard as it may be) to stay away from the potato salad :)