Thursday, December 8, 2016

Third trimester

28 weeks!!! Some days the belly looks bigger than that...

Third trimester is here! I knew it by the way relaxin just filled my body. No, there's nothing "relaxing" about the hormone, it just makes sleeping miserable and your joints feel unstable... My lower back and hips are feeling MISERABLE.

So I am teaching about 5 classes a week at the gym (INSANITY!, cycling, Piloga [pilates/yoga]). Some days doing INSANITY makes my lower back ache, and I cramp sometimes in cycling, but otherwise I feel good. I'm going to TRY to teach through January (up through week 37!). 

With 900 sq ft, one bathroom, two crazy boys, a wild baby girl, and another baby boy on the way, we decided to purchase a bigger home. Unfortunately we were not able to sell our other home, so we are renting it out. This means we didn't have much for a down payment for our other house and our utilities are not only $500 more a month but so is our mortgage... So guess who had to start working more? Me. My husband already works so obviously it was up to me to pick up the slack. I am so thankful I get to bring my daughter to the kid zone while I teach classes, but I also picked up hours at the front desk and those shifts are LONG AND TREACHEROUS. Here is what I learned about overestimating my ability and thinking I could stand on my feet for 7 hour+ shifts:

Standing is by far much worse than exercise.

It's true. I teach two classes a day on some days and I feel fine and great. If there are days I'm not feeling great, I modify appropriately. But I'm able to adjust. Working at the front desk, even if I'm able to sneak in a chair to sit down on every now and then, is nothing like working out. I stand, I walk around and do laundry, clean equipment, and get no break for 7+ hours. What happens from thsi amount of strain? Hemorrhoids. Swollen vulvar (pelvic) veins. Varicose veins in the legs. Swollen feet. I had to buy a pelvic support girdle just so I can stand and function, and the hemorrhoids are the worse! Worse than what I had postpartum after Eleni.

So I invested in a pelvic girdle that supports my belly and pelvic veins. If you are standing a lot in your job and need to work far into your pregnancy, invest in one of these! Your body is worth it! Useful if you have another little to take care of as well. My belly has been feeling stress from lifting and carrying my one year old.
The girdle looks a little bit silly, your buns will hang out and you either need to wear jeans or two layers of pants to hide it, but it's worth it. You can purchase it here:



Also, don't forget to be put THIS shea butter on! You will find NOTHING cheaper or anything that works BETTER! Cheaper AND better?! Get some! One block has lasted me two pregnancies (start putting on at 20 weeks if your belly is growing slow, or 13 weeks if you feel like your belly is growing fast!). Don't waste your money on other products. I have stretch marks, but none from pregnancy thanks to this stuff!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Why you need to exercise MORE during pregnancy



Pregnancy and exercise... it's a commitment! Especially if you have other babies and kids around. Yet, it's such a necessary thing.

1. Reduces weight gain.
-Obviously.


2. Decreases stretch marks.
-Because you're reducing weight gain, you reduce your chances of stretch marks, as well as keeping blood flow through your skin!

3. POSSIBILITY of making birth easier.
-I say "possibility" because I consider my first birth experience as the worst, and I exercised until the end.

4. PROMISE that it will make bouncing back easier.
-Your body will THANK you postpartum. You will bounce back faster and lose weight easier.

5. Decreases those varicose veins and thunder thighs.
-The more weight you add to your body, the greater chance of collapsing your veins. Not only are you fighting this by decreasing weight gain through exercise, but you are increasing blood flow and lessening collapsed veins by keeping your heart and blood healthy.

6. Energy.
-Yes, it takes energy to gain energy. But it's well worth it! Even through those nauseated days, exercise can relieve nausea and give you MORE energy than you had before.

7. A million other things.


We know that exercise in pregnancy is really just a must, but what we don't know is that it might take more exercise than was ever required of us before. Of course, no doctor will tell you this, but as someone who has kept up fitness her whole last pregnancy and all 19 weeks of this one, I can tell you that you need MORE.

Why?

First off, you're gaining weight. You weren't gaining weight while working out before pregnancy, right? You're naturally eating a bit more and retaining a lot of fluids. Exercise will help reduce this weight gain, yet as our pregnancy progresses, we can't always do the same as we did before.

If all you did was run, really you can keep this up. But running wasn't enough for me pre-pregnancy. I had to do a lot of interval and cross-training to keep up a fit figure (if you're looking to lose weight, you HAVE to cross train once you reach that plateau!). I can do a lot of this, but my joints are more loosey-goosey and I can't keep up with the impact. Because interval training burns calories much faster than running, it takes less time working out. I worked out 30-45 minutes MAX. I swear to you 45 minutes was my max. Because I have to back down and do more normal cardio things (cycling, running, elliptical,etc.) it takes more time to get that calorie burn.

Aside from calorie burn, pregnant bodies get sore FASTER. Our bodies are more taxing on nutrition and have all kinds of hormones rushing through, we just get tired and more sore. Our backs start to ache the bigger our bellies get, and our hips hurt from sleeping. So, on top of that extra time just to maintain our normal calorie burn, we also need oodles of stretching! Don't neglect the stretch!

So, I recommend every other day ADDING a stretch routine or yoga time, 20-30 minutes worth. Your body will thank you! I suggest doing this as a separate "workout". Maybe later afternoon or before bed. Whether you work out 5 or 6 days a week, you should also make one of those days a stretch/yoga day. This can mean a good walk with some deep stretching after, or a yoga workout.


So here is a sample workout schedule:

Sunday: Rest or stretch
Monday: Cardio and resistance
Tuesday: Cardio and stretching
Wednesday: Cardio and resistance
Thursday: Yoga/stretch day
Friday: Cardio and resistance
Saturday: Cardio and stretch


This is the formula I use. I teach three days a week, Monday I do a class that is 25 minutes INSANITY and 25 minutes weight training (dumbbells 5-10lbs). Tuesday I teach a corecycle class which is 35 minutes cycling, 5 minutes core, and 5 minutes stretch. I add in a stretch routine later on during the day. Wednesday I teach INSANITY LIVE for 50 minutes, which has all the cardio and resistance you need! Thursday I do my INSANITY Cardio Recovery or Max Recovery, and Friday I usually do a cardio/resistance workout, either a Les MIlls Combat or 21 day fix DVD. Saturday I also do something like a run and stretch, or a recovery DVD again. And sundays I stretch :)


Towards the end of your (my!) pregnancy, you might get even more sore from strength training. Start to lighten up and end EVERY workout with good, deep stretching.

Keep up the water intake, and good luck!


Also, find a perfect, trimester appropriate, weight routine in this book! This one is a keeper!




Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Week 16 update


16 weeks pregnant! Yesterday we "found out" the gender. As in, it was just a 16 week ultrasound, but the doctor told us what she saw (and what we saw). Until I get verification next month, I'm not revealing ;)

This pregnancy has been SO MUCH DIFFERENT. It's almost scary, because I have nothing to go off of as far as "is this normal?". First off, I haven't had morning sickness. I was OUT for my first trimester last time. Secondly, my emotions are still crazy. After my first trimester last time, I was the most emotionally stable I have ever been IN MY LIFE. But I still feel like a crazy, emotional woman right now and I'm waiting for there to be a time of stability... but will there be a time like that? Who knows! Each pregnancy is new territory!

I'm teaching INSANITY Live! and cycling, and hope to continue that through till the end. So that takes up three days of my week where I don't have to think about what I'm going to do exercise-wise. Other days I do my beachbody discs and mix it up. I have also found a great Barre workout that I plan to do postpartum; it's gentle but it's HARD! I mean it really burns! Just not a lot of sweat involved. 




Weight gain: 6 lbs so far. I never got back to my original pre-pregnancy weight so more like almost 10 lbs if we're going off of that ;)

Symptoms: the normal cramping and sharp belly pains, peeing all the time, and incredibly emotional. Oh, constipation... ;)

Cravings: nothing unusual

Maternity clothes?: no need yet



I'm getting really sore from my workouts much more easily, so I drink BCAA's. I promise you'll notice a difference in soreness! I can barely move without taking them. As a disclaimer, I can't recommend you take it during pregnancy, because it is a supplement. Basically, I can't recommend you do anything I do during pregnancy, but I'll let you decide what you feel safe doing :)

I tend to buy what is on sale an Amazon, and they all seem to work for me. So here are two of my favorite BCAA's I have used:


1. BPI sports best: I like the green fusion flavor!



2. Ideallean, green apple flavor

Saturday, August 13, 2016

12 weeks! First trimester with a back-to-back baby


12 weeks along! We got to see my little wiggle baby on the ultrasound this week. Hands and feet moving everywhere, it was like deja vu! It is hard to believe that this little human is NOT Eleni. It's its own, separate entity. Could be boy, could be girl. So crazy! Now, so far, this pregnancy has been different than the first.

Firstly, I've still been 5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy goal weight, so I'm starting off a bit more than before. I also noticed the pooch way early. My uterus was like "Oh, we're doing THIS again? Okay, here I am, ready to go" and just fell out. With Eleni, I was insanely sick my first trimester, this time around I have only felt waves here and there. Nothing even noticeable enough to really point out. 

We have been commercial fishing, I've been teaching group exercise classes, and renting out our home as a vacation rental (which I had to clean), so my mind has been everywhere. I have been EXHAUSTED. Random, odd sleeping hours, taking care of a million different tasks, trying to keep up breastfeeding baby... it's been hard.

Breastfeeding supply seems to have gone down, plus Eleni is less patient. There honestly is nothing worse feeling than feeling like you can't take care of your baby. I get so stressed when she doesn't nurse or I don't have milk! I feel like a failure. The key to getting her to nurse at all is to distract her while she's trying, otherwise she pulls off in frustration. I have to play a game with her while she's trying, it's so exhausting! There's no more just putting her on and relaxing. At least she loves to eat solids... she will NOT drink breastmilk or formula from a bottle, only water or juice. But she loves solids. I sneak in breastmilk and formula with her food to make sure she's getting the nutrition she needs. 

I have lacked on MY nutrition, which may explain my insane exhaustion. Cooking camp food always puts me off nutritionally, and I also ran out of Shakeology! I reordered some but their shipping to Alaska is not impressive... So meanwhile I am inconsistently taking prenatal supplements. I really just prefer Shakeology (plus iron for my low iron). It's extra important to take these as I am nursing AND pregnant.




My darling infant is almost 8 months old. I can't believe she's no longer going to be the baby of the family! She's going to be a big sister! I've enjoyed so much having a baby around. I love watching movies with her in bed, taking her shopping, etc. It's hard for me to imagine doing that with TWO little people!

I've been teaching INSANITY Live and keeping up a normal workout routine. I'm planning on doing a round of 21 day fix extreme as well as a round of Les Mills Combat. Still deciding what my whole pregnancy routine will be and what order I would like to do it... when I decide I will post it! I will do a similar postpartum routine with slight adjustments, so stay tuned for that as well :)


Sunday, July 31, 2016

PREGNANT! Again...


Taken 6 months postpartum, 9 weeks pregnant


It's been awhile since I've updated on my postpartum journey... mainly because my postpartum journey has become my next pregnancy journey! That's right, folks, we're doing back-to-back babies! I will post more later.

Cant wait to share this new chapter with you all!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

10 Things No One Tells You About Post-partum (the TMI no one wants to talk about)


UPDATE: Four months post-partum

Workout program: Insanity Max 30

Latest event: INSANITY Live certified and hired on as a fitness instructor!






Everyone made it seem like pregnancy would be the hardest part about having a baby, but that was NOT the case for me...

So, being under this assumption, I, of course, powered through pregnancy and was like "IT'S OVER!!!!" when Eleni was birthed.

 I.... was.... SO WRONG.

Here's the thing, pregnancy was NOT hard for me. The first trimester was by far the worst, and the rest I just made myself function normally. It had its things, but honestly, normal functioning without a pregnant belly had its things, too. The moment I gave birth, I looked down at "myself" and was horrified with what I saw. I had an unusual amount of swelling (they were putting ice packs on me while I was pushing), and let's just say I was mortified by what I saw. I didn't know anything body part could morph into something so horrifying. This TMI leads into the top ten things I didn't know about postpartum:


1. Swelling.

Besides the "down under" region swelling (I hear not everyone had it as bad as me), your whole body might swell. Mine did. I was loaded with fluids. My face was puffy, my arms and legs were puffy, everything was puffy. My eyelids, especially. But I hadn't slept for three days so who knows what the cause of THAT was ;)

2. Bleeding.

I bled for 6 weeks. I diapered it for two weeks. Do NOT refuse the diapers they give you at the hospital. They were made for YOU. Yes, you're going to feel disgusting, but these diapers will help CONTAIN. Which leads me to #3...

3. Pee.

Okay. So gross. No one told me this, either. For a week or two, I could not control my pee. And I mean, AT ALL. This means that if I had a full bladder, it would come out...without me initiating a pee. Hence, the diapers. And then by the time I could control the initiation, I could NOT cut off a flow. Another couple of weeks and a LOT of exercises before I could do that. I had soooo many embarrassing moments with this... and although it may seem like I'm all about sharing the "TMI", I can't go as far as telling all my embarassing moments. Just know that we're all in this together. 

4. Night sweats.

As I said in #1, sometimes a woman's body will be filled with fluid. The way your body speeds the elimination of this fluid is through sweating. LOTS of sweating. My sheets were soaked. So, I slept with towels under me and changed my pajamas once a night in the middle of the night. This also lasted a couple of weeks. Which leads me to #5...

5. Engorgement=the need for towels.

When your milk supply comes in, it comes in full throttle until you make a feeding schedule and let the boobies adjust to your baby's needs. Not only did I need towels for sweat, but also for my engorged boobies. NO nursing pads will be enough. I tripled up, used two washable pads with a disposable underneath. Too much hassle, didn't help, still soaked, so instead I changed my bra and shirt once in the middle of the night as well. You...will... feel.... HIDEOUS.

6. Nipple bleeding.

I don't know how common this is, but my nipples bled for the first couple weeks of nursing. They hurt SOOOO BADDDD! I had to take huge preparation breaths before letting Eleni nurse, and then I would wince as she nursed. I didn't use nipple butter the first few days, and I think that was a bad idea. Finally, over time, my nipples became used to it. But I can see how moms would give up in that first month! I wanted to!

7. HAIR LOSS.

Between 3-6 months postpartum (mine started at three, going strong at four...), you might lose hair. I am losing CHUNKS of hair. Huge wads come out all the time. I'm worse than shedding dogs. Everyone in my  house is covered in hair. Eleni has my hair stuck in all her crevices and rolls. This is NORMAL. Your losing all that pregnancy hair (which stops growing and becomes thicker during pregnancy).

8. Losing weight CAN be more difficult than before.

I have some friends who had babies the same year as me, and their weight just shed off with breastfeeding. Being active and healthy, I thought for sure my work would pay off even faster. It didn't. It certainly has gotten me to where I am, but I was expecting more. DON'T BE AFRAID TO GO SLOW! My resource during pregnancy was "How to Exercise While Pregnant: For the 9 months of pregnancy and the 5 months it takes to get your best body back". I read this and thought "Okay, maybe for NORMAL people it will take 5 months, but it's gonna take one month for me". This was awful. I thought that because I was doing well I would be one of those miracle cases. I've been working hard, and I'm still 8 pounds away from pre-pregnancy weight. No big deal, I feel healthy, but am a little disappointed because of how I was amping myself up about it.

9. Pubic Symphysis (the way you birth matters)

Some get this during pregnancy, and it causes pelvic pain. I didn't notice anything during pregnancy, but noticed it post-partum. I birthed in a way that really put stress on my pelvis (on my back, pulling my knees in with all my strength. The harder I pulled my knees in the stronger a push I was able to give. My arms and back were sore for a week). The inside of my thighs (the bones connecting to the pelvis) and the pelvis itself were in pain. I couldnt do lunges, I couldn't bear more weight on one leg than the other, I couldn't get up off the floor one leg at a time, and I couldn't take normal steps. This leads me to #10.

10. Pelvic exercises DO matter.

I should've focused more solely on my pelvic floor and lower abs. They still need work, but the more I focus on my lower abs the less pain I feel in my pelvis and inner thigh bones. I have to consciously engage those abs, though, because I went on to exercise before I made sure they were tight and ready to control my body. Besides doing pelvic floor exercises to help you control pee and tighten the "down under", they are REALLY important to get your hips, pelvis, and back aligned.


BONUS #11: Contractions.

Can't forget this! During breastfeeding and even just while lying around the first week, I felt contractions! They were just as awful as labor. THEY GO AWAY. If you had a traumatic labor, it could make you remember your experience and be emotionally painful, but there is an end, and it does not last the way labor does.




Alas, these are the main 10 (11) things I did NOT know about before giving birth, and I hope it adequately prepares you for the possibility of going through the same things. ***NOTE, not everyone has the same experiences, but these ARE common for a lot of women.



Friday, March 11, 2016

Carb Cycling and the body

Carb cycling. Ever heard of it? If you've done 21 day fix extreme or are familiar with it, you may have noticed that the "Countdown to Competition" plan has a form of carb cycling involved.

The brain's preferred source of energy comes from carbs. Low-carb diets may work, but they are not the healthiest choice for long-term weight loss, or even short-term weight loss. Carb-cycling is a way to eat carbs on the days you need them most, and then cut them out on other days.

For example, if you do heavy weights or resistance workouts 3 days a week, these should be your carb days. This means you eat 3-4 servings of HEALTHY carbs (fruit, oatmeal, quinoa, whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc) alongside the appropriate amount of protein and veggies. On the other 3 days (cardio, yoga, or rest days), eat just protein and veggies (avoid dairy and sorry, but no fruits...). If you're serious, make your 4th day a protein and veggie day, otherwise you can allow yourself a no-stress day once a week (always try to avoid over-indulging!).

Carbs fuel your harder workouts, while protein and veggies allow your body to utilize fat as a source of energy on the cardio days. This sort of metabolism confusion kicks your fat burning process into high-gear.

Here's an example carb day:

7am: Oatmeal with apple and cinnamon
9am: Protein shake
11am: 2 eggs with veggie scramble
1pm: Turkey sandwich
3pm: Carrots and hummus
6pm: Salmon, salad, sweet potato.


An example protein/veggie day:

7am: 2 eggs with veggies
9am: Protein shake (with almond/cashew milk)
11am: Chicken and zucchini scramble
1pm: Carrots and hummus
3pm: Protein shake
5pm: Couple slices of beef jerky
6pm: Salmon, miso broth, and salad


While this may be a great way to lose weight fast, always aim to live a life of moderation once you hit that healthy weight! If you follow this plan and are ready to get back to the real world, slowly introduce carbs back into your daily life (add a piece of fruit every day for a couple days, then some other healthy carb every day). If you hit a plateau but still want to lose weight, go 4-5 days eating a controlled carb diet, and then start the carb-cycling again! EXTREME FITNESS. SIMPLE EATING. SERIOUS RESULTS.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Mommyhood: Working mom, stay-at-home mom...which is better? And why are we still talking about this?

Many people ask me "So what's it like being a mom now?". I don't quite know how to answer. What do you mean now? The one thing I discovered upon the birth of my baby angel is that I have been a mom the past three years. No doubt about it now, hands down, totally have been a full-fledged mom. The fact that nothing seems to have changed (besides having an extra bundle of joy to kiss upon at any moment) verified that for me. Unlike new mothers, I didn't have the dream stage of what it would be like to be a mom. People assured me it would be vastly different and also assured me that I WASN'T a mom until I had my own biological child. I still have to run kids to school, take them to practices and games, make their lunches, do their homework, pull loose teeth, and clean up war wounds from playing. But now I get to change diapers as well, which, honestly, is so much less stressful than parenting older children.

I don't get to love on my baby like I would if she was my true firstborn (i.e. the only child at home). I don't rock her to sleep, I don't lullaby her, I don't even get to just sit and soak her in during the day because I still have three other people to clean up after and do laundry for (though I'm teaching the boys to do their own laundry now...). If she was my only child, a firstborn, I'd probably let the house go a bit more and just soak her in. I'd probably still have her sleeping in our room, despite not being able to sleep through her grunting noises. Why? Because I'd only have her to take care of (aside from my husband). I could take a nap when she takes a nap! I could live on HER schedule. But, she's technically not a firstborn, and she's definitely not the "oldest child". 

The joy she brings me is much different than the boys, I will admit. I mean, she's MINE, no one can make me feel bad for loving on her. No one can say she can't call me mom. She's a result of a loving marriage. And she looks like me. So there is something special about that. But the responsibility I feel is the same, and responsibility is the strongest feeling I have in this situation. 

While we work through a blended family situation (sadly, with much trial and error), I am so thankful to be able to stay at home with and raise my little angel. I can't imagine the feelings I would have being a blended family and then not even being able to raise my own daughter. I treasure the time I have with her, even the middle of the night times. It makes up a bit for me not getting the "firstborn" experience. Being a stay-at-home mom has really opened my eyes. I've been a working mother, working 32 hours a week last school year while still taking care of the house and family. IT... IS... ROUGH. You feel like there's no time for extra activities with the kids and just want to relax when the day is done. 

BUT...

Being a stay-at-home mom is just as tough, in a totally different way. Stay-at-home moms feel pressure, a LOT of pressure, to perform, especially if they dont have an at-home source of income. Whether or not they clean the house or just sit around with the baby all day, I can tell you it is exhausting in its own form. Why? Because you have someone you are tied to. You have someone who can interrupt your bathroom time. You have someone who doesn't go to bed when you expected and ruins your piano lesson or workout time. This doesn't seem grueling, but it can exhaust your mind. You can lose yourself. So while people may look at SAHM's with disgust and say "You have no excuse to be tired" or "You have no excuse to need 'me' time", be more thoughtful. Some SAHM would rather work, simply because being away from a human being tied to you is a little bit like "me" time. But being able to raise your baby is a blessing and such a bonding time. If you have other kids, it makes it possible to get them involved in sports or other activities. There is NO WAY I could've done that last year. It's amazing how juggling schedules can take so much mental and physical effort (**Side note, as an example, my baby woke up from what should be her 2 hour nap just after 45 minutes. So I'm trying to nurse and type. Another side note: I am not losing myself and am feeling amazing, but I can see how it can happen and totally understand).

And then for working mothers, they have all the pressure of not being able to be at home for their kids or to raise their babies. The pressure of SAHMs judging them. The guilt of not being able to do what they always imagined they'd be able to do when they become a mom.

So why cant we just stop? In what world is "making someone feel bad" a helpful solution? If a mom is stressed, and you secretly feel she has no reason to be, wouldn't listening and be encouraging be more productive? Give encouragement, ideas to ease stress, ways to maximize time, or parenting advice. DON'T give your story on how much harder your life is, how much better of a mom you are because you stay at home, etc. 

I hope women can stop feeling the need to defend their decisions and situations and instead find peace through it.



P.S., having been both a working and stay-at-home mom, I know the struggles of both. Don't be shy to ask for ideas about how to fit in "me" time or workout time! Or anything else for that matter!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

21 day fix extreme RESULTS and REVIEW

Okay, to be honest, I didn't give this as much as I could've. It's really difficult with a baby waking up twice a night and two kids to keep on top of school with. BUT, those are excuses. I ended up deleting my facebook for a bit (so don't expect to find my wellness page on there) and that surprisingly has freed up a lot of my time! I didn't even know.

So here's what I did wrong:

1. WATER. I did not drink enough of it. I can't stand our tap water, so I drink sparkling waters or fill up my water bottle elsewhere. This means my intake is not enough...at all. I believe this is causing my to bloat and retain a lot of water weight, so I'm hoping to increase my water and see if I can lose that water weight.

2. EATING. I gave up a lot of days. Valentines weekend really did me in, as my in-laws were in town and I have a hard time knowing how to control myself once I say yes to something I "shouldn't" have.

3. SLEEP. Yeah... I have a  new baby. So..... pretty self explanatory.



So I only lost 5 pounds in 3 weeks. I think if I had kept my water intake up I'd have at least another 3 pounds, and if I ate better add 2-3 more to that. I definitely realize I didn't give it 100%. But, I still made progress. So, here are my results!







I really enjoyed the 21 day fix extreme workouts! For me and my body type, however, I need a lot more cardio. I was able to sweat in 4 of the workouts, but the rest I just got heated up. My heart rate never spiked, so interval training wasn't involved. I get SHREDDED on interval training. The weight training aspect was probably really good for me, being a postpartum mom, so I can get strengthened before jumping into my normal interval intense workouts.

Instead of the 10 min abs, I substituted insanity max "ab attack". This next month I'm doing a 21 day fix extreme/ insanity max hybrid, and the month of will do Insanity Max.

April 24 I'm registered to get INSANITY CERTIFIED! So lookout, Soldotna! This lady's gonna bring the burn!




EXTREME FITNESS. SIMPLE EATING. SERIOUS RESULTS.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Superfood Coffee

So I'm on day four of 21 day fix extreme and am NOT feeling thrilled right now... I bought a jar of almond butter thinking "Oh look at me being healthy and replacing peanut butter". First off, it is NOT a good replacement of peanut butter. I couldn't stand the taste of it with apples or banana. Secondly,  however, it is amazingly delicious alone and by the spoonful... needless to say, I should not have almond butter around my home, and I know that now. Definitely went over my portion control...



On a different note, have you ever heard of the ketogenic diet? If you've been watching "My Diet is Better Than Yours", you would notice that "The Wild Diet" followed a very high fat diet. He put a lot of ketogenic ideas into his diet. One of the biggest ones is the famous "butter coffee". Google "ketogenic diet" if you want more scientific and nutritional info on it :)

So, I have created my own fatty coffee, aka "Superfood Coffee", that tastes like a Tan Mocha! For those of you who don't know what that is, it's basically a mocha with half the powder and sweetness. It's my favorite coffee splurge!

This Superfood Coffee cuts back only a little on calories, being that it has coconut oil in it (which has a TON of calories!). But it is sugarfree and dairy free (with the option to use a different form of natural sweetener).

Now, I have had this 3-4 times in the morning first thing when I don't feel hungry enough for Shakeology but still want energy to do a workout. And that's how it should be used. It should NOT be in addition to your diet or used throughout the day. Again, google the how-to's of ketogenics :)





Ingredients:
Coffee
1.5-2 tbsp Cacoa powder (CACAO is a superfood, NOT COCOA)
Stevia or other natural sweetener of choice
1 tbsp coconut oil





Step 1: Brew coffee. I like to brew mine strong.
Step 2: Add ingredients into blender.
Step 3: Pour 8-12 oz coffee into blender.
Step 4: Blend away!


The result is a frothy, dairy free latte texture! And it's delicious! I swear mine turned out just like a tan mocha. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Egg Nog Indulgence

I've finished day one of 21 day fix extreme! I didn't realize the eating plan was so different and was shocked to see that I could use two styles of eating for faster results! Competition countdown day and extreme eating day. Well, you only get two extreme eating days a week, meaning only two days a week I can have fruit (aka something sweet!)! So today I wanted to figure out a way to use my reds AND get rid of my sweet tooth, so I created the egg nog "indulgence"! I didn't get enough egg nog over the holidays so this is long overdue.

*I used Zoi greek yogurt which is VERY thick and tastes like whole milk so it's extra delicious :)


I'm going to try this countdown to competition plan for the first week and see if I want to switch to the normal extreme eating plan after :)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Banana Ice Cream!


You will not believe the texture of this ice cream. No pictures do it justice! It is SO THICK and almost chewy like, I love it!


2 frozen bananas
Your choice of add-ins! (peanut butter, fruit, cacao, Shakeology, etc.).  I used cacoa and peanut butter :)


Peel 2 frozen bananas, chop them up into quarters, and place with add-ins into food processor. As you blend, the bananas will become grainy and you will wonder why it's not turning into ice cream. KEEP BLENDING. Take the top off, scrape the sides, and keep going. After awhile the grains will stick together and become a smooth, creamy, ice cream delight! Use an ice cream scoop and put into a cone! The texture is perfect for that.

Sometimes breastfeeding makes you fat.

Here I am, almost 6 weeks post-partum, and I have not lost any more weight since week 4 (which is when I first weighed myself). In fact, I've been GAINING BACK all my pregnancy weight. As it stands, I weigh more now than I did 25 weeks pregnant. 

Now, people comment on how fast I've bounced back or how it's all because it's my first child...but this is false. Granted, I worked really hard so I wouldn't have much to bounce back from, so to others it may look like I have bounced back. But I am holding on to about 16 pounds that I did not have before pregnancy. That means I still have more than half my pregnancy weight on me. YIKES! I do not fit into my  normal pants and am still sporting my maternity pants. I guess I'm NOT one of those wonder-woman mommy bloggers who lose all their weight in a week post birth. Which brings me to my next point.

You may hear about how moms lose weight by breastfeeding, and while this may be true for many people, it can also be the opposite. Yes, breastfeeding can make your uterus shrink down at a rapid rate (which it did for me [plus wearing a girdle]), but for many mothers that is about all the help they get from breastfeeding. They say to eat extra calories while breastfeeding, but as with pregnancy, don't listen to that. Don't think you can eat extra unless you know your body has no stored fat and nutrients to give. I'm eating normally and working out, and I'm still gaining weight. 

Some moms cannot lose weight until they are done breastfeeding, and there are many reasons for this. A big one is that moms who breastfeed have to feed much more frequently, and therefore get less sleep because not only are they the only ones who can feed their child, but they also have to be awake much more frequently. I'm going on 6 weeks of having to feed every 2-3 hours, and I feed 30-40 minutes each time. This means I get 1 1/2-2 hours of non-feeding time in  between feeds, and during the day that is used for cleaning while my baby plays on her playmat, and then working (piano lessons, transcription, and business) during her naptime. At night that 1 1/2-2 hours is spent with 30 minutes of trying to fall back asleep led by an hour or so of sleep and then up again to my screaming baby needing food. So not only do I get about 5 hours of sleep to each day (less on some nights), but I still never made up for my 3-day sleepless labor. So spread that 72 sleepless hours over the course of the past 6 weeks and you're looking at a barely functioning body. 

Lack of sleep = slow body processes. Slow body processes equals slow metabolism, hormonal and chemical imbalances, mindless or inconsistent eating, etc... 


Despite the sleep problem, I think I also just happen to be one of those people who does NOT lose weight while breastfeeding despite eating the same (if not less than while I was pregnant) and working out. My one problem area right now is drinking water. The day of and the few days after birth I drank water like there was no tomorrow. Now, not so much. Being slightly dehydrated makes your body increase the chemicals that store belly fat, and I'm going to address the water issue to see if that helps.

Here is a picture of where I stand currently. 





Now these are my maternity pants. When I bought them at 12 weeks pregnant, they were huge. There was a gap all the way around my waist, and probably a good 2-3 inches gap in the front. Now I have to do a dance to get them on. They are tighter on me than when I was pregnant. How is this possible?!

It is hard, very hard, to get your body back after birth. I've tried working out, and sometimes I have to split my 30 minute workout into 6, 5-minute sessions because of my baby. She used to not take naps at all, and thank the Lord she is starting to now. So I'm fitting in what I can when I can, but realizing that I can't be like the rest of those mommy-bloggers out there. I don't know how they got back so fast, but that's not me. It's going to be a much longer journey for me.

I purchased my 21 day fix extreme and am starting that next week and going to do monitor my food and water intake. Here's hoping I can at least stop this weight gain cycle!


 On the bright side (the REALLY bright side!), this child below is the result of my body changes. She is totally precious and is my little gem. If I never lose those 16 pounds it still is all way worth it :)

EXTREME FITNESS. SIMPLE EATING. SERIOUS RESULTS.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

4 weeks postpartum: What it's really like, tips, and exercises to do NOW

3 weeks postpartum

2 1/2 weeks old 


Postpartum! I can see how the depression can kick in (I'm not suffering from it, but I definitely can see how people do; totally understandable). Having a new baby is fun and sleep depriving, but it hasn't changed my life all that much. I still have other kids who have schedules and places to be, so my life's schedule is the same---minus sleep.

However, my postpartum body has been a shocker. Pain, bleeding, leaking (you know what I'm talking about, moms...), along with a pelvis disorder that has made it so I feel like I can't do anything! My boobs hurt all the time and we've both suffered thrush already (ouch! Pain in the boobies x10000!), and life is just not glamorous.

That being said. Life is better. Every time Eleni screams and wakes up at night or needs my attention, I can't help but smile when I see her face. I can't believe this is my little human. I've been taking each of these moments as bonus times I get to enjoy her at her current age. She changes every day! She looks like a new person every day! It is SO crazy how fast it goes by. I enjoy every second I get to spend with her because I know it's going to be gone in a flash.


Before I get into my physical routine, here are some postpartum tips I have gathered from my short experience:


1. Nipple butter.

I did not use nipple butter the first 2-3 days and ended up having cracked, bleeding, incredibly painful nipples that scabbed over. I had to do deep lamaze breathing to get through breastfeeding her every time. DON'T RISK IT. I now put coconut oil on after every feeding.

2. Dress in nice clothes.

Yes, immediately. I cannot express enough how gross your body is going to feel, and I strongly believe that this can be a factor in postpartum depression. Put on makeup! Wear a normal, cute outfit, at least when you go out. Do your hair when you have time! Eat healthy good foods, but don't go super crazy. Eat to feel good (like REALLY feel good, not feel good in one moment and then hate yourself later). Do not let this stage in your life make you give up on yourself. Once you let yourself go, it's easier to let yourself go in other areas (marriage, weight, etc.).

3. Wear a girdle, spanx, or corset.

Support your stomach! Not only does wearing a girdle help you shrink your uterus, it helps support your stomach muscles so they can heal properly.

4. The contractions won't last forever.

When I was breastfeeding for those first few days, I got horrible contractions. After my incredibly long latent labor, I felt traumatized to the point that I started crying when these new contractions (to shrink the uterus) happened. I was worried that they wouldn't ever end, just like my labor seemed to never end. THEY WILL. Even after feeding I would still feel them and would have to cope the same way I did during labor. This is a short phase! A day or two for me and it was NOT every time I fed.

5. Do pelvic floor exercises IMMEDIATELY upon birth.

This is no joke. I was horrified when I had my first #1 and #2 and discovered I couldn't shut down either of those at will. Doing kegels and pelvic floor exercises will help you heal! It is no joke. Take care of your lady parts. Also, do not think you can jump into an exercise program 4-6 weeks postpartum without having built up your pelvic floor first. If you want to exercise ASAP, you need to be doing this immediately after birth. Strengthening your pelvic floor should be your priority. The exercises may seem so small, but they will help strengthen your core AND lower pooch. Please do not try to take on any exercise before building up your pelvic floor.

6. DRINK WATER.

Drink water like you never have before. It will help your body function better, produce milk, eliminate excess fluids, and make you feel so much better. Also, if you are like me, you will sweat pounds of fluids every night in bed. It's super gross. You're going to have to change your sheets A LOT. This is your body's way of eliminating that fluid retention you have. Also anther reason to drink more water.

7.. Say yes to help.

Yes when your mom wants to hold the baby. Yes when your friend wants to make you dinner. Ask your husband to watch the baby so you can have a bath. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I am notorious for wanting to feel like wonder woman, so I ALWAYS feel guilty for saying yes or for asking for help. My first two years of marriage I had an incredibly hard time asking my husband for help with the kids. I wanted to do it all and be amazing. It wasn't healthy and was too much pressure on myself to the point that I was somewhat resentful. Don't think you're not amazing because you ask for help or say yes. Take care of yourself so you can take care of everyone else with a better attitude.

8. Focus on the positive.

Those moments where you are awakened every 10 minutes through the night or have a colicky baby in your arms with other children running around you needing help with homework or getting to school....breathe. This stage in life is short. Be comforted by the fact that you get to be there for your infant. Look at his/her face and focus on the fact that it will change rapidly every day as a baby and be thankful you get to soak it in so much.

9. Make humor your best friend.

This is my MAIN piece of advice! I am soooooo ridiculous right now. I say the silliest things to the baby when she's screaming ("I will not negotiate with terrorists" being my main middle of the night line) and say it all cute style so I make myself laugh. Be the funniest person you know. Putting humor into tiring situations gives an extra energy boost and takes the negative feel away from the situation. Poop explosions, changing clothes, bath time, etc... make light of it all. There's nothing sillier/better than making yourself laugh through those times.





And on to exercise....

Week One:

Alright, so I overdid it a couple of days my first week postpartum. I tried walking on the treadmill, which was ridiculous. I did squats, which wasnt all that bad. And I did pushups, which was probably the most appropriate. But what I didn't do as much were my pelvic floor exercises. I did kegels every day, but the only other exercises I should've done that first week were more pelvic floor exercises. I hurt myself walking because my pelvic floor was too weak and I had pubic symphysis. I was trying to jump in too fast. So at the end of week one I focused more on just pelvic exercises.

Week two:

Week two I continued with pelvic floor exercises and stretching, but also added in doing a 2 minute bridge, 1 min plank on my knees, 100 pushups, and 100 tricep dips every day. Before you gasp, I started out with wall pushups. Then I did counter pushups. Then I did modified knee pushups. I slowly built myself up and didn't want to put too much strain on my abs yet.

Week three:

I did the same routine as above, but started taking my knees off the floor for my planks. I also did as many pushups as I could normally, and then dropped to my knees to finish out my set.

Week four:

I started PiYo this week. I did my pelvic floor exercises for warmup, and did my 100 pushups/tricep dips on upper body days, and then 2 min bridge and 1 min plank on lower body days. I took all lunges and warrior series easy because my hips and pubic symphysis were not quite healed completely, but they definitely had gotten soooo much better! I feel like I could walk on the treadmill if I wanted. I felt really great doing PiYo and have no regrets easing into that program.



My plan is to continue doing PiYo and extra exercises (as listed above, maybe incline walking added) until 6 weeks postpartum. After that I'm going to start a more intense exercise routine (21 day fix starting Feb, follow the challenge pack link to get yours on sale this month and join me in my journey!) to shed these last 12 pounds I'm hanging on to! My goal is to lose 8 pounds (actually my first goal is 5 lbs..), since I'm breastfeeding and not sleeping I feel like I shouldn't stress myself to get right back to my most fit weight. But I definitely am confident that 8 pounds will just come off with a moderate exercise routine and maybe a bit more sleep (fingers crossed for that!).


Get your 21 day fix challenge pack here (on sale for only two more weeks!) and email/message me to join our accountability group!:

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Bath time was rough... ;)