Click below for more info on classes & playgroups!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Luna Moms Club Tip of the Week:

Fact: The chemicals in institutional cleaning products can cause a wide range of major health problems for children, including respiratory irritation and increased risk of cancer.

Action: Make sure that your children's schools and child care centers are doing everything they can to protect your children from harmful toxins, just like you do at home.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Do I really need to workout during my pregnancy?

Did you always picture your pregnancy to be the time where you could finally have an excuse to stop exercising and eat for two? Unfortunately, you need to erase that picture. Pregnancy may be one of the most important times of your life to exercise. The benefits go to both you and your baby! First off, exercise alleviates or lessens almost every discomfort of pregnancy. Isn’t that reason enough to keep exercising?

What we won’t do for ourselves, we will do for our children. Research has shown that the babies of exercising mothers are born healthier, have less body fat at birth (this is a good thing), are calmer and may have cardiac benefits of a lower fetal heart rate. Basically, when mom exercises, the baby gets similar benefits from the training.

Here are some tips to get started:
  1. Visit your doctor or midwife to get the "all clear" to exercise... just to be on the safe side!
  2. Look for a prenatal exercise class when possible just so you know your instructors are specially trained. Of course, we would love to see you at one of our Fit4Baby classes!
  3. If you weren’t working out, start slowly and build up gradually.
  4. Drink enough water. While this is true for the non-pregnant population as well, it’s important for the baby’s health that you stay hydrated.
  5. Listen to your body. While exercise is safe, it is important that you don’t overdo it and don’t get overheated.
  6. Be consistent. Being inconsistent with your workouts can be harmful to your baby. Your workouts may change but you do want to maintain a level of fitness throughout your pregnancy.
Remember, ACOG recommends that pregnant women exercise at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day on most days of the week so long as you are having a healthy pregnancy. This is your first step to being a “healthy role model” for your child
Original article by Lisa Druxman, Founder of Stroller Strides.

Fit4Baby class registration is now open!
Please email Missy at to register!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Feeding the Family: Butternut Squash Lasagna

One word for this fall family favorite- YUM! Great for all ages and hubbies like it too! I think this was originally a Paula Dean recipe because it calls for full-fat ingredients like whole milk, butter, and whole milk cheeses. But you can use the low fat versions of all of these ingredients and it still tastes great!

Butternut Squash Lasagna

  • 3-4 cups of pureed butternut squash (steam it, peel it, and mash with a fork to make this puree- freeze any extra for later use)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves (or cheat and use the tube of basil puree from the store like I do... usually kept near the carrots and bags of salad)
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender. Add the basil and blend until smooth (note: if you use the basil puree you can omit this step and just stir it in to the sauce). Return the basil sauce to the pan and stir to blend. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
  3. Lightly butter a 13X9X2 inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.
  4. Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake lasagna for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna and continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, approximately 15 minutes. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Luna Moms Club Tip of the Week:

Fact: The EPA states that toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air pollution and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has identified 150 chemicals common in homes linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities. Some of the most common culprits include household bleach, all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergent, and dish detergent.

Action: Use non-toxic cleaners (i.e. Shaklee, Seventh Generation, Method, Ecover brands).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Benefits of Prenatal Exercise

A well-meaning friend recently asked me this question, "So, is your new Fit4Baby class going to be easier than Stroller Strides, more of a love-my-body-deep-breathing type thing?" Um, no. I'm all for love and deep breaths but Fit4Baby class is about getting fit for motherhood! We're going to get our heart rates up, strengthen and stretch our muscles, and learn how to take care of our bodies so that we're ready for motherhood when it inevitably arrives! Do you know what prenatal exercise can do for your changing body? Check this list out!

Benefits of Prenatal Exercise:

Exercise can help decrease or prevent:
  • Constipation
  • Swelling of your extremities
  • Leg cramps
  • Nausea
  • Varicose veins
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Pelvic and rectal pressure
  • Surgical or medical interventions in delivery
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Postpartum weight retention
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
Exercise can help improve or increase:
  • Circulation
  • Self-esteem; sense of well-being
  • Functional capacity
  • Muscular strength and endurance
  • Energy levels during pregnancy
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Posture and biomechanics
  • Recovery time
Join us for Fit4Baby classes this fall at the North Carolina Museum of Art: Museum Park on Saturdays at 10am! Contact Missy at to register.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Abdominal Exercises After Your Cesarean

Delivering a baby by cesarean is major surgery! Your recovery, however, should be easier if you were active during your pregnancy but even if you weren't, you will get your chance to get fit once your doctor gives you clearance to begin exercise. You can begin by doing isometric abdominal contractions as soon as your baby is born. Combine those with Kegel exercises (for your pelvic floor) to get the maximum benefit. Hold in your stomach all the time- that's a great strengthener! When your baby is at least 4-6 weeks old, you can begin doing more traditional abdominal exercises, with your doctor's permission.

Abdominal Exercises
  1. Start with modified crunches: lie on back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor; place one hand behind each ear with elbows pointing out to the sides and chin lifted toward the ceiling; tilt your pelvis slightly so that your lower back is pressing into the floor; take a deep breath in, and, as you exhale, lift your head off the floor, tightening the muscles in your abdomen and pulling your belly button in toward your backbone; inhale as your lower your head. As you free stronger, make the exercise more challenging by lifting your head and your shoulder blades off the floor with each repetition. Visualize scooping out your abdomen as you tighten the muscles.
  2. To target the lower part of your abdomen, lie on your back with knees bent and feet lifted off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor (this is your starting position); place one hand behind each ear with elbows pointing out to the sides and chin lifted toward the ceiling; tilt your pelvis slightly so that your lower back is pressing into the floor; take a deep breath in, and, as you exhale, lift your hips slightly off the floor; tightening the muscles in the lower part of your abdomen; inhale as you return to the starting position.
As you set out to flatten your tummy, keep in mind that there is no such thing as "spot reduction." Although your stomach may be the area you're trying to tone, the only way to help shed your remaining pregnancy pounds is through aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming, or biking. Sit-ups are best done in conjunction with aerobic exercise- if you preform them alone you will only strengthen the muscles below the extra fat, and you probably won't see much outward improvement.

(excerpted from an article by Lisa Druxman, Founder of Stroller Strides)

For a great workout that combines both aerobic exercise and strength training- join us for a Stroller Strides class!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Luna Moms Club Tip of the Week:

Fact: One in seven newborn babies could be at risk for brain damage and learning difficulties due to mercury exposure in the womb. Women and children are exposed to dangerous levels of mercury when they eat certain fish.

Action: Eat small fish and use the mercury calculator at to find out how much is safe for you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fit4Baby is coming to Raleigh!

Stroller Strides of Midtown Raleigh is bursting with excitement to announce the

Grand Opening of our
Fit4Baby prenatal exercise classes!
Saturday, October 9th @ 10am
NC Museum of Art/Museum Park
Preregistration required- please email Missy at to register.
For class schedule & tuition information please visit our website at
Fit4Baby Prenatal Class Description (60 min)

Fit4Baby  - Stroller Strides

Stroller Strides has developed Fit4Baby a prenatal fitness program that teaches women how to exercise safely and effectively throughout their pregnancy. Each nationally certified instructor is trained in providing the pregnant woman with exercises that are safe and appropriate for her changing body. Fit4Baby classes are interval based, combining elements of strength training, cardiovascular exercises and stretching and balancing exercises.


Pregnancy is a time of beauty and wonder. It can also be a time of discomfort and trial. Regular activity such as Fit4Baby classes can help to reduce many maternal aches and pains, increase energy during pregnancy and may speed the labor, delivery and recovery process.

Stroller  Strides - Fit4Baby

Pregnancy is the perfect time to commit to you and your baby's health. Exercise is an important component to your pregnant well-being, as well as your strength as a new mom. Our instructors want to help you be FIT FOR MOTHERHOOD!

Space is limited- register early!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Free BabyLegs at Class Wednesday!

Do I? Well, honestly I haven't used them yet but they look both fun and functional and who doesn't love that?! And they were invented by a mom. And they've sent Stroller Strides of Midtown Raleigh a generous box of samples to distribute to our members... so we're definitely feeling the love for BabyLegs today!

The BabyLegs website recommends using their product (baby leg warmers) to protect the knees of crawling tots, make diaper changes easier, provide lightweight sun protection, and provide an easy extra layer for warmth. They may also be the perfect solution to the "pants-less weekend" that many suggest for potty-training because they'll keep your toddlers' legs warm while leaving their potty-training equipment open to the air!

Check out the BabyLegs website to see the latest fall collection of leg warmers, socks and tights and use the coupon code "SStrides" to get 25% off!

And- be one of the first 20 at Stroller Strides class at 10am at the North Hills Mall on Wednesday, September 15th to claim your free pair of BabyLegs!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Luna Moms Club Tip of the Week:

Fact: An amazing variety of toxic substances find their way into carpet, including metals (such as arsenic, lead, and mercury), pesticides, pet dander, fungal spores, bacteria, dust-mite droppings also seep into carpets. New carpet can off-gas for weeks releasing such harmful substances as formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene in a mix of up to 200 different chemicals.

Action: Clear out the carpet and use washable rugs instead or install hardwood floors.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

REEBOK Casting Call

Stroller Strides' new marketing partner, REEBOK, is looking for fit women. We happen to know thousands and would love to see a Stroller Strides Mom in the ads.

Here is the casting post from Reebok: Looking for Caucasian and Hispanic women between the ages of 22-45 to be featured in their 2011 worldwide campaign for Easy Tone shoes. If you meet the following criteria, we would love to invite you to our casting the first week in September!

  • Attractive, physically fit and toned. Great legs and rear end a plus.
  • Fitness and/or physical activity plays an important role in your life.
  • You have an interesting personality or an inspiring story to share…are you a fabulous Mom, business woman or hard working student?

Rate- The fees are still being determined, but it will be a very fair financial compensation.

To Submit- Please send a current photo (if you have a body shot terrific, but not necessary) with your name, phone number, and email address to: Also include a brief summary about yourself and how you may be an inspiration to other women by making fitness/physical activity an important part of your life.

They will contact you regarding the casting date and time, eligibility will be determined by the casting team.

Good Luck!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Important Stroller Tip:

Strollers are shipped with tires not fully aired up to avoid them being punctured in transit. When your new stroller arrives, be sure to pump a little air into the tires using a bike pump!
Not sure what the recommended tire pressure is for your stroller? Check out our blog post on stroller maintenance from a few weeks ago!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Luna Moms Club Tip of the Week:

Fact: Toys made out of PVC plastics (also called vinyl) often contain additives, such as lead, phthalates, and cadmium, which can leech out increasing your child’s risk for brain damage, cancer, and hormone disruption.

Action: Purchase toys made out of wood or cloth.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Our September Mom of the Month!

This marks the debut of our Mom of the Month program and the first mom to receive this honor is... (drumroll please)... Nora Bray (aka Cooper's mom)!

Nora has been coming religiously to Stroller Strides classes and Luna Moms Club activities since we started in April of 2010. She is currently serving as our Luna Moms Club Playgroup Captain and will be coordinating our playgroup, field trip, and Moms Night Out activities this fall/winter! We're all fortunate to know Nora as a classmate and friend... here are a few more details to get to know her even better!

Hometown Cherry Hill NJ - but I got out early
Education BA East Carolina University
Stroller Strides Member since April 2010
Members of your Family Hubby John & sweet boy Cooper
Current/previous Career Gourmet Food & Candy Broker
What was your childhood ambition? I always wanted to write for a teen magazine like Tiger Beat.
What does motherhood mean to you? It's the job I was born to do.
What is the furthest you have been from home? Rock of Gibraltar in Spain
What has Stroller Strides done for you? Health wise, I am stronger today than I have ever been. I think I could punch someone and really hurt them! Socially, it has been wonderful to make new friends that I have so much in common with.
What is your favorite exercise? Wall Sits and Traditional Crunches
What is your proudest moment? Having an open, positive relationship with Cooper's birth mother. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.
What are three of your favorite things (besides your family!)? Weddings, my monthly Supper Club group, anything monogrammed & preppy.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us or makes you unique. I went to 8 different schools from K -12
If we asked your spouse what they think your best qualities are, what would they say?
I asked him and he said that I am an awesome mom and very loving and outgoing. He also said I am very clean!