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Despite spending a lot of time dealing with food—shopping for it, preparing it, packing it and serving it—we mamas don't always take the time to actually nourish ourselves.

If you've ever found yourself scarfing down your first meal of the day in the afternoon or knowing that a drive-through donut or five string cheeses isn't the right choice (but is your only choice at that point), you know what we're talking about and you need to know about Kelly LeVeque, the holistic nutritionist and health coach who is helping Hollywood moms and regular moms change their lives by changing one habit.

She's the woman behind the #fab4smoothie you're seeing all over Instagram, the woman who Jennifer Garner turns to when she needs help balancing demanding schedules and blood sugar, and she's helping mamas fuel themselves so that we can fuel the next generation.

"Moms don't have the bandwidth to think about themselves, most of the time," LeVeque tells Motherly, adding that her clients often find her when things have become desperate, when they're overeating at night because they're not feeding themselves well during the day. "They've finally decided to put themselves first, and they just don't know even where to start," says LeVeque, who has good news for any mama who can identify with this feeling.

"It isn't about changing your whole life, it isn't the meal prepping, it isn't spending six hours on a Sunday, because most of my moms barely have an hour, if at all. It really is about saying, "What can you commit to? Could you take three minutes to blend a smoothie, and put it in the refrigerator. Could you commit to just that one habit?" says LeVeque.

Enter the Fab Four Smoothie. It's not a specific recipe, but a customizable formula LeVeque uses to help clients get the nutrients they need and a taste they'll love.

"It just requires four things, hence the Fab Four. Protein, fat, fiber and greens, like spinach, kale, basil, whatever you feel like," she explains.

"It works for any lifestyle. Say, for example, you were vegan, you'd wanna use a pea protein, but if you were paleo, or gluten-free, or into skin health, you might wanna use a collagen protein. Then, healthy fats. Good examples are almond butter, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil. It really just depends on the flavor profile you're going for."

For fiber, LeVeque recommends adding chia or flax to the smoothie.

LeVeque is currently expecting her first child, and while she's had a lot of clients who use plant proteins and protein powders before and after their pregnancies, it's not something that she recommends or does personally.

"I'm actually incorporating some collagen protein, right now, and the reason for that is plant-based proteins tend to be higher in heavy metals," she explains.

"I'm using Primal Kitchen collagen, right now, vanilla, or chocolate. The vanilla is what I've been sticking to for green smoothies. That's a great base. I do the vanilla collagen protein, and then, in the original green, it's almond butter as my fat, and then either chia, or flax, whatever I have in the cabinet, for my fiber, a huge handful of greens. I use Organic Girl [greens], a lot. They're the triple-washed mixed-green mixes at Whole Foods."

LeVeque recommends that time-strapped mamas consider blending and refrigerating smoothies the night before, and go easy on the fruit (only about a fourth of a cup) to prevent blood sugar spikes. It means your Fab Four Smoothie might not taste like the super sweet smoothies most of us are used to, but it will get you so much further.

"We're taking what turns off hunger hormones, what regulates our hunger, and putting it into a shake that's actually meal-replacing," she explains. "The Fab Four Smoothie is pretty thick. It's almost like, sometimes, depending on how people make it, it can be like a pudding consistency. It's heavy enough to activate the stretch receptors in your stomach, so that ghrelin, which is a really strong hunger hormone, calms down. You get protein in there so that you're not craving sugar, and carbohydrates, later in the day."

The author of "Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever", says that typically her clients who incorporate a smoothie into their morning make better choices throughout the day, because they're not starving and caving to cravings by noon. That doesn't mean we have to wake up and chug down our Fab4 at six in the morning. If you need breakfast right when you wake up, do it, but some people don't need to eat until 10 or even 11 LeVeque says, although she cautions against waiting much longer than that.

The #fabfoursmoothie may be Instagram worthy, but it's just a starting place, not the entire picture. But starting our day with one and figuring out that protein+fat+fiber+greens formula can help busy mamas figure out what works for them, and help them feed their kids better, too.

"This is a lifestyle. It's a life-changer, and it's not about rules. Every single time I sit down with clients privately, they want more rules. They feel safe in rules. What I want my clients to always know is that if you understand the biology, you don't actually need rules. You can eat out, without having anxiety. You can pull something together, really quickly, from your fridge," she explains.

"Eating healthy doesn't have to be this beautiful, Instagram-able bowl. It's really about simple ingredients, real whole foods, and eating them in a combination that makes you feel full for hours," LeVeque adds.

Sounds a lot better than a cold coffee and some broken Goldfish.

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There are few kids television shows as successful as PAW Patrol. The Spin Masters series has spawned countless toys and clothing deals, a live show and now, a movie.

That's right mama, PAW Patrol is coming to the big screen in 2021.

The big-screen version of PAW Patrol will be made with Nickelodeon Movies and will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.

"We are thrilled to partner with Paramount and Nickelodeon to bring the PAW Patrol franchise, and the characters that children love, to the big screen," Spin Master Entertainment's Executive Vice President, Jennifer Dodge, announced Friday.

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"This first foray into the arena of feature film marks a significant strategic expansion for Spin Master Entertainment and our properties. This demonstrates our commitment to harnessing our own internal entertainment production teams to develop and deliver IP in a motion picture format and allows us to connect our characters to fans through shared theatrical experiences," Dodge says.

No word on the plot yet, but we're gonna bet there's a problem, 'round Aventure Bay, and Ryder and his team of pups will come and save the day.

We cannot even imagine how excited little PAW Patrol fans will be when this hits theatres in 2021. It's still too early to buy advance tickets but we would if we could!

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Chrissy Teigen is one of the most famous moms in the world and definitely one of the most famous moms on social media.

She's the Queen of Twitter and at least the Duchess of Instagram but with a massive following comes a massive dose of mom-shame, and Teigen admits the online comments criticizing her parenting affects her.

"It's pretty much everything," Teigen told Today, noting that the bulk of the criticism falls into three categories: How she feeds her kids, how she uses her car seats and screen time.

"Any time I post a picture of them holding ribs or eating sausage, I get a lot of criticism," she explained. "Vegans and vegetarians are mad and feel that we're forcing meat upon them at a young age. They freak out."

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Teigen continues: "If they get a glimpse of the car seat there is a lot of buckle talk. Maybe for one half of a second, the strap slipped down. And TV is another big one. We have TV on a lot in my house. John and I work on television; we love watching television."

Teigen wants the shame to stop, not just for herself but for all the other moms who feel it. (And we agree.)

"Hearing that nine out of 10 moms don't feel like they're doing a good enough job is terrible," she said. "We're all so worried that we're not doing all that we can, when we really are."

The inspiration for Teigen talking publicly about mom-shame may be in part because of her participation in Pampers' "Share the Love" campaign. But even though Teigen's discussion coincides with this campaign, the message remains equally important. Advertising can be a powerful tool for shifting the way society thinks about what's "normal" and we would much rather see companies speaking out against mom-shame than inducing it to sell more stuff.

Calling out mom-shame in our culture is worth doing in our lives, our communities and yes, our diaper commercials. Thank you Chrissy (and thank you, Pampers).

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Gabrielle Union + Dwyane Wade have been blended family goals, an inspiration to those struggling with infertility and now they are an inspiration to parents of trans kids and supporters of trans rights.

Earlier this month Wade appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and spoke about his 12-year-old daughter Zaya coming out as transgender and Union posted a beautiful video + caption to Instagram, inviting fans to "meet Zaya."

This week Wade appeared on Good Morning America, explaining that Zaya has known she was transgender since she was 3 years old.

"Zaya has known it for nine years," the proud dad said on GMA, adding that he credits Zaya (who was assigned as male at birth) with educating him and helping him grow.

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"I knew early on that I had to check myself... I've been a person in the locker room that has been a part of the conversation that has said the wrong phrases and the wrong words myself," he told GMA's Robin Roberts. "My daughter was my first interaction when it comes to having to deal with this conversation...Hopefully I'm dealing with it the right way... Inside our home we see the smile on my daughter's face, we see the confidence that she's able to walk around and be herself and that's when you know you're doing right."

It sure seems like Wade and Union have been doing it right. When Union posted a video to Instagram earlier this month introducing Zaya it was clear the tween's dad and step-mom have her back.

In the video Zaya is riding in a golf cart with her dad and dropping wisdom. She says: "Just be true to yourself, because what's the point of even living on this earth if you're going to try to be someone you're not?...Be true and don't really care what the 'stereotypical' way of being you is."

Union was so impressed by her step-daughter, captioning the video: "She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It's Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people."

Later in the week Union addressed criticism of Zaya's transition on Twitter, writing: "This has been a journey. We're still humbly learning but we decided quickly w/ our family that we wouldn't be led by fear. We refuse to sacrifice the freedom to live authentically becuz we are afraid of what ppl might say. U have the ability to learn & evolve."

Zaya's big brother is also on her side. Newly 18-year-old Zaire posted the cutest throwback pic from when he and Zaya were just little kids, noting how the siblings were and are best friends.

"Man, I remember bugging my mom as a kid telling her I wanted a brother so bad. I was the only child looking for company and someone to look after and take care of," Zaire began his caption. "I have been blessed to have my best friend, Zaya with me for 12 years. We did everything together … we fought, we played, we laughed and we cried. But the one thing we never did was leave each other behind."

Zaire continued: "I've told you that I would lay my life down to make sure you are ten toes down and happy on this earth," he told his younger sibling. "I don't care what they think Z, you are my best friend and I love you kid, and if it means anything, just know there's no love lost on this side ✊🏾"

We are so impressed and inspired by the love Zaya's family is showing her (and other kids by sharing this story publicly). You've got this Zaya!

[A version of this story was posted February 12, 2020. It has been updated.]

News

Back in August the the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Contigo announced the recall of millions of Contigo Kids Cleanable water bottles—about 5.7 million of them.

Now, the CPSC and Contigo are recalling millions of water bottles and the replacement lids that were given to consumers as part of the August 2019 recall.

"Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled water bottles and the replacement lids provided in the previous recall, take them away from children, and contact Contigo for a free water bottle. Consumers who received replacement lids in the previous recall should contact Contigo for the new water bottle," the CPSC states.

Millions of Contigo Kids Cleanable water bottles were originally recalled after it became clear the silicone spout could pose a choking hazard.

"Contigo identified that the water bottle's clear silicone spout in some cases may detach from the lid of the water bottle," Contigo stated in a notice posted to its Facebook page back in August.

According to the CPSC, "Contigo [had] received 149 reports of the spout detaching including 18 spouts found in children's mouths" before the original recall.

Now, the CPSC reports "Contigo has received a total of 427 reports of the spout detaching including 27 spouts found in children's mouths."

All of the recalled water bottles have a black color spout base and spout cover.

This week Contigo expanded the recall. The original date range was for Contigo Kids Cleanable Water Bottle from April 2018 through June 2019. Now it is for bottles purchased through February 2020, and all the replacement lids.

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If you are looking for some alternative water bottles, here are a few of our favorites:

Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask features an easy-to-drink (and clean) top, a silicone bottom that won't scratch your furniture.

Motherly has tested these with a two-year-old and an eight-year-old and found these bottles are perfect for Pre-K to elementary school.

$29.95

CamelBak

The CamelBak is a big hit with little kids as it is easy to maneuver and it's a big hit with moms because it is easy to clean in the top rack of the dishwasher. CamelBak Eddy 12 oz Kids Vacuum Stainless Water Bottle

$14.99

Skip Hop

The designs on the Skip Hop stainless steel bottle keep kids happy and the silicone sleeve keeps the bottle from falling out of little hands! Bonus points for a flexible straw that is easy to clean!

$17.99


Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

{A version of this story was originally posted August 27, 2019. It has been updated.]

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