It is my pleasure to introduce this week’s Smarty Mom Adri Warrick. She is a go-getter in out neighborhood and has bee “mominated” by several other Smarty moms. Adri and her husband, Will have been married for 8 years and have two little boys, Henk (5) and Chase (22months). Adri manages to balance family, her career as a neuromuscular massage therapist, make her whole food pops all the rage in the ‘hood and start a new blog and she does it all with a smile on her face. We think she is super Smarty and that you will also. Meet Adri:
Tell us about The Whole Tulip?
My younger sister, Carolyn, and I started The Whole Tulip blog as a way to share good recipes, nutritional tips and the latest news in nutrition from top experts. It’s about how making small changes in the way we eat and cook can go a long way to staying or becoming healthy. We both realize the importance of eating real whole foods, as opposed to processed and sugary foods, and providing ourselves and our families with the fuel we need to succeed. We also understand that everyone has very busy lifestyles and that people have a budget. Our goal is to provide recipes that fit everyone’s lifestyle. We want to provide a foundation for people to build healthier ways to cook in their own kitchen. Our recipes are simple, meaning you can take an idea and open your own fridge and use the proteins, whole grains and vegetables that you already have on hand.
What was your inspiration to launch this site?
Carolyn and I grew up in a household where nutrition was very important. Our mother learned early on the importance of kids eating wholesome foods as it affects behavior, sleep patterns, academics and sports. We didn’t like that she sent us off to school with a protein shake or a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread but I am now thankful for what she did and for what she taught me. It’s also a good reminder that our kids watch everything, so making whole foods and healthier eating part of our regular day can influence them more than we might ever know.
Being a neuromuscular massage therapist for 10 years has strengthened my passion to learn about the body and what it needs to make it whole. I feel that it is important to give our bodies the tools it needs to succeed — real food, sleep, ways to relieve stress (exercise, yoga, massage, pilates). The body gives us signals on what it needs. Many diseases as well as much of our physical pain are related to way we treat our bodies. Because of this, I really care about the foods my family and I eat.
I feel blessed to have a supportive family and close friends who all care about these issues. It wasn’t until my sister, Carolyn, began her journey to become a health coach through the Integrative Heath Institute in NYC that our worlds came together and our passion to share with others what we are learning actually became a reality. Our other sister, Kate, who has an environmental science degree and worked for the EPA, taught us over the years all about BPA’s, pesticides on fruit and veggies, which bottles to use, where to put plastic in the dishwasher, etc. My husband, Will, has been my number one supporter and is truly an amazing husband and father. He supported me when I wanted to start a career in massage therapy, cheers me on through numerous races I have entered, tastes all my crazy recipes, has been open to trying all kinds of new and different healthy foods and is truly interested in learning about a healthier lifestyle. As long as there is enough food on his plate (and it at least tastes okay), he does not care what it is — how lucky am I!
How do you balance running the household and pursuing this creative outlet?
Just like most moms out there you just find a way to somehow get it done. Our youngest son, Chase, still takes an afternoon nap, so from 1 pm – 4 pm on most days I am either working on a massage client, trying new recipes for the blog or creating “super pops.” It is too early in the day to have a glass of wine so I turn on ITunes while I cook and find it relaxing — for a few minutes at least. Dinner time is the most stressful so I do what I can to get the food prepped earlier in the day. That way when we are running in the door at the end of the day and everyone is hungry and tired, I am ready to get a better dinner together and quickly. I have found that it is all about being prepared. I end up making better food choices if I am prepared. On Sundays, I make a big batch of brown rice and chop up all my fruits and vegetables for the week so I can quickly make a stir fry any night.
I also want to know more about your new whole food popsicles.
I am very excited about this project! Our five year old, Henk, was the inspiration behind it. I started a few months ago making green smoothies for my family. Yep, that means for breakfast, they have been drinking spinach or kale and don’t mind it a bit. One day, Henk said they would taste even better as a popsicle. And, so it began. I have been in my kitchen creating popsicles using only organic fruits and vegetables and natural sweeteners such as raw honey. I use superfoods like goji berries and cacao powder. I am in the final stages of creating my flavors and hope to have them available to sell soon!
My children and their friends love popsicles and it is so hard to feel good about giving them the sugary popsicle that have little nutrition. Now, our youngest son, Chase, walks around eating pops with spinach and avocado in them and I can feel good about it. The most exciting part to me is that my five year old, Henk, and I do this together. He loves coming up with new recipes and, yes, he’s the one usually putting the spinach in the blender! I am so grateful for all the excitement and support from great friends, kids and my family.
A simple smoothie to try on your kids would be to combine frozen berries, banana, unsweetened almond milk and a handful of spinach. You can add honey or agave syrup if they have more of a sweet tooth. Try it, you may be surprised at their response!
As the mom of 2, what advice would you give new moms?
You are not expected to know everything from day one. Every phase is a new phase and you learn as you go. Ask questions. Odds are that everyone has the same question or some experience with the same situation. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Support is key to making it through those stressful and overwhelming times. And never feel guilty about making time for yourself.
How do you make time for yourself and what is your favorite thing to do when you make that time?
Exercise! It is the one thing that gives me the energy to do all things I want to do. Plus it clears my head and helps me be a better mom/wife/person. A lot of my inspiration for the Whole Tulip has come from the community I work out with (thanks to an amazing trainer, Kelly Schwartz) along with close friends–people just like me who want to make better choices for themselves and their families, choices that are realistic and simple and that actually have an impact. We all need to take it one step at a time to educate ourselves on how to eat and live better — life is not about a diet, it is about giving our body what it needs.
What is your favorite date-nightspot?
Our current spot is Custom Shop on Elizabeth. Our long standing spot is Toscana in the Specialty Shops by the Southpark mall.
What is your favorite place to take the whole family to dinner?
Brixx. It is the one restaurant we can walk to and eat outside on a nice night. It is fun to walk down together and meet my mom, sister and her family.
Favorite family activity?
Going for a run or walk on the different greenways around town and exploring nature as we go. We always have a great time at the White Water Center too.
Smartiest way you save money?
Pack your food. Not only does it save you money, it saves you calories and provides you with healthier options. How many times have you found yourself crunched for time or stuck with only unhealthy options? Pack a cooler for your road trip or pack a picnic to go the playground or the pool. You will end up feeling a whole lot better when you have had a quinoa salad with apples and almonds or an edamame salad with shitake mushrooms instead of a grilled chicken sandwich and fries (where you have no idea where the chicken came from — don’t get me wrong, I do love Chick-fil-A nuggets!). Even worse, finding yourself stuck eating goldfish and a diet coke!
What is the best book that you’ve read lately?
Superfoods by David Wolfe – My sister recommended it and it really was exciting to read about all the amazing foods that come straight from nature that are so good for us.
What is the best movie that you have seen lately?
Last movie I saw in the theater was Avatar and at home was the Blindside.
Funniest thing that your children have ever done?
There are so many moments that make me laugh but my most recent was when we were driving to drop Henk off at camp and I gave Chase a lollipop in hopes of keeping him awake since it was close to nap time. The next thing I knew looked in the rear view mirror to see his head nodding off. I tried to grab the lollipop and he waved me off and fell fast asleep, lollipop tightly wedged in his cheek.
What moment are you most proud of with your children?
One of my proudest moments came today when Henk asked if he could sell lemonade to raise money for the Potvin Family after hearing that Ellie went to heaven yesterday. He stayed out in the heat all morning. Our street is quiet but he managed to raise over $10. He is excited to send them a card along with the money he raised. Here is their info if anyone else wants to send donations to either the family or cancer research.
What has been your favorite CSP article this far?
The smarty scoop on activities. Never fails that when we need something fresh and fun to do, you gals have the answer! I also love the tips on where to find cool, green products for kids. Nothing more fun than buying a new aluminum water bottle with a fun logo or a new eco-friendly lunch box and talking to the kids about why.
What is Charlotte’s best kept secret?
I have two!
Southpark Bootcamp. A very dear friend and mother of 4 started this and is a true inspiration to everyone! Her class is located at Carmel Road Park. It’s an hour long exercise class designed to be challenging for all levels of fitness. The focus is on elevating your heart rate while strength training and using your body weight as resistance. It’s a fun way to get in shape and push yourself to a new level of fitness! She offers child care and her rates are very reasonable!
Clark and Clark Interiors – not only is, Lynne Clark one of the most insightful and supportive friends a girl could ask for, she is also an amazingly talented interior designer. I went to her over 5 years ago with a request to put in a half bath. She took one look at my house and based on her experience as a mother of four grown children she made suggestions to make our home more functional for a growing family. Two phases later, we have a new master suite, new kitchen and added a family room. She has done work for my sister and numerous friends along with designing the new Varji and Varji salon in southpark. You can reach her by phone 704-372-1476 or email email@example.com.
I could not live without my…
Vita Mix — best blender around, especially when I want to hide good veggies in my kids’ fruit smoothies
Thank you Adri.