Archives for category: Running

Recently I was asked how I managed to run so much with my oldest in our jogger. It has got me thinking over the past couple of days. I figured I would share my tips for success here. I successfully ran with Jackson in the jogger for several years. Up until I got pregnant with my second. I am about to start jogging more often with the new baby as well. He is almost 7 months old and the weather is starting to be nice enough. We went once, with Jackson on his scooter. I am looking forward to getting them out there more often! For now, here are my tips on getting in runs with your kiddos and a jogger.

  • Use it as strength training. Do not use the run as a speed run. Joggers are heavy. Kids get heavy. Don’t expect to set a speed PR when pushing them. If you can, well my hat is off to you! But most likely slow and steady will win this race. You are building up endurance. I always compare it to a baseball player swinging a bat with weights on it. When he goes to swing for real, that bat will be so much lighter. When you DO get to run alone you will feel like you are flying!
  • Snacks, toys, drinks, iPhone. Some or all of the above. I always went with the whole shebang. When he would get particularly restless, handing over my phone would give me lots of running time. His personal favorite, Angry Birds videos on YouTube, did the trick. But whatever floats your kid’s boat, use it. And run until your legs are jelly!
  • Be prepared to stop. It is inevitable. You may have to stop to check on something with the little one. They may fuss or ask questions once they can talk. You will most likely have to stop to attend to something. And that is ok. Remember the first point!
  • Talk. Sometimes I would talk to him while running. Hearing momma’s voice is reassuring. You can point out cool things you see. Clouds, birds, etc.
  • Take your time on hills. They can be brutal on an alone run. Add in that heavy stroller and kid we talked about, and they are straight up torture. So, slow down. Shorten your stride a bit. Pull that belly in and up (use your core muscles!) Squeeze your glutes. And never be ashamed to take a walk break up that hill if need be.
  • Try one handed. Sometimes I would alternate hands that pushed the stroller. Letting the opposite hand move back and forth as if I were running without the stroller. I found it helped me stop from hunching over. When I keep both hands on sometimes my shoulders creep up into my ears. This is bad form and posture. Switching hands helps me stay a bit more balanced.
  • Stretch. Be sure to take time after your run to stretch it out. Since it is nice enough to run outside, it is nice enough to stretch outside! Take the little one out of the stroller and have them join you in your stretching. When Jackson got older I even had him stretch me.
  • Bad runs happen. Don’t be discouraged if you have a bad run. If the baby/toddler cries during a run and you end up having to carry them home while pushing an empty stroller. Been there done that. Like us, kids have bad days and moments. It happens. Take it in stride. (see what I did there?) Hopefully the next run will be better. Use your walk home as clocked miles. Heck, you’re still moving. While carrying a squirming kiddo and pushing a stroller. That is a workout too! Shrug it off and don’t give up!

Here are some photos from over the years! I do love my BoB

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Jackson was about 6 months old here

Single handed

Single handed. Notice extra snacks on hand! Not for me. HA!

Pre run selfie with the big guy!

Pre run selfie with the big guy!

Jackson helping stretch me after a run

Jackson helping stretch me after a run

We didn't run together in this race, but he was there in the BoB to cheer me on!

We didn’t run together in this race, but he was there in the BoB to cheer me on! Look how big he was!

The BoB lives on for round 2 kid 2

The BoB lives on for round 2 kid 2



No new recipe last night! It was make your own meal out of leftovers night. Those are fun too. Spring has been in the air. It was so gorgeous outside yesterday. The warmest it has been lately. All week has been warm but yesterday took the cake.

We have been getting outside every day. Even if it is for a short while.

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As I was sitting on that blanket with the baby last night I wanted a salad. I wanted something fresh, cold, crisp, and light for dinner. Spring and summer scream salads. For me at least. I still had my leftover Lemon Thyme Chicken. I even saved the zoodles/yoodles. I threw together some spinach, arugula, and carrots in a bowl. I cut up the cold chicken, threw that in there. Then I poured the reserved sauce and veggies over the salad. It was delish! Two healthy meals just from one night of cooking.

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To keep at it with this beautiful weather I am going for a run this morning outside. With a new pair of running shoes. Life is better in pretty weather. At least it is when you have recently had a baby and have been cooped up in sub zero temps! I am so excited about the spring and summer I can barely contain myself. I love to be outside. I love to GO places with my boys. I love to have adventures. This weather makes it so much easier. Alexander is getting older. Jackson is practically self sufficient. I expect a lot of adventure is headed our way.

Do you love easy leftover meals? 

Do you love to have adventures in gorgeous weather? What are some of your favorite spring/summertime things to do outside?

I am starting to get back to my old level of training. I have really started to push myself again. It has been a long year plus since finding out I was pregnant! One of the most difficult things for me to handle was the way my strength changed. It doesn’t matter how much I worked out while pregnant, the bottom line is, your body changes and with it so does your strength.

After baby arrives you are exhausted. If your child is anything like mine, you spent the first 20 weeks waking up 2+ times a night! Alexander has just very recently started sleeping through the night. When I say recently I mean within the last week! Someone or all of us have been sick once or twice a month since Alexander was born in October. Two bouts of strep. Two strains of Influenza. 5 ear infections. Bronchitis. Several colds. A couple sinus infections. Croup. I was still training throughout all of this. However, I wasn’t pushing myself like I used to. I was just tired. Sometimes sick. But mostly just tired.

Immediately after having Alexander I discovered I could barely do a bridge on my Reformer. I was so frustrated. Bridging is a staple in my training. It is a staple in my teaching. I could bridge until I collapsed. I could have a student bridge until they collapsed. I truly love the way bridging works the entire body. Imagine my complete dismay to discover my core strength was entirely destroyed and I could barely get my tail bone off the mat, let alone keep the carriage at the stopper.

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That was then. This is now. Alexander is 20 & 1/2 weeks old. He will officially be 5 months on the 28th. I have started running farther distances. I have started to push myself while doing Pilates. I shake and drip with sweat. Planking is my best friend. I do some kind of plank every single day. My options are abundant with my mat, Reformer, WundaChair, Bosu, and Pilates ball. I could plank all day long if I wanted to.

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On Sunday I ran over 4 miles. I haven’t done that since my first trimester of pregnancy. It felt amazing. It felt amazing because I pushed myself to be where I used to be. Yesterday I did an incline program on my treadmill. It had a nice plateau of incline. I smelled like a hockey player when I was done. I have never been happier! I ran 3.2 miles entirely uphill. That is the sweet smell of my fitness returning.

20 weeks postpartum

20 weeks postpartum

I can be very hard on myself. I pride myself on being and feeling strong. So when I struggle to do exercises that I used to be able to do without blinking, I can really feel defeated. I hear a lot “you just had a baby!” I recently asked my husband “Exactly how long is that excuse applicable? How long do you get to say that? I think you get a couple weeks” He told me I was crazy. Maybe. But I also don’t see anything wrong with expecting more from myself. I don’t see anything wrong with pushing myself to be the best I can be.

Lately I have noticed my strength returning. I am able to bridge much better. I can plank rather well. I can move on my WundaChair with greater ease than right after birth. I have noticed my C-scoop improving. My biceps are looking more toned again. I feel I have a lot of work left to do. My hips. My low belly. It will take time though. I am aware of that. I do feel that as I am getting more rest and making the conscious decision to make sure my workouts really work me out, the strength I want will trickle back in.

IMG_7983It is one of the hardest things in life, growing a baby and birthing it. It really changes you emotionally, mentally, and physically. I have done it twice now. It is not easy. You have to be strong in so many ways. For me, my physical strength and fitness helps keep everything else in my life strong. It is all so intertwined it is hard to see where one thing begins and another thing ends. Feeling strong and being strong keep me happy and significantly less stressed. As I am peeking at the end of the exhaustion tunnel, I can see glimpses of my old life and strength returning. And I am positively giddy about it!

Yesterday was my very first run while 8 months pregnant! Over 31 weeks along. I cannot express how much joy that brings me. I set a goal for myself to run throughout this entire pregnancy, until this baby boy is delivered. I know that is a rather big goal, as you never know what can happen on this 40 week journey, but it is what I have wanted to do.

When I was told about a month ago that my pelvis is separated, I really thought my running days might be numbered. I didn’t really speak of it in those terms, but in the back of my mind I was slightly panicked. This wasn’t my plan! However, I have good days and I have bad days. I am seeing the Chiropractor two times a week and it has helped immensely. On bad days I behave myself and I skip running. I turn to Pilates and swimming instead. Sometimes, even long walks with my older sweetheart. Yesterday was a good day, so I hopped right on that treadmill of mine. I have had to give up outside running because of the hills. Hills really can flare up my pelvis, which continues to separate even after being readjusted. My OB said this was likely going to continue to happen until after I give birth. At which point, when the hormones have cleared my system, she thinks it will return to normal. Even walking up a hill too quickly can cause some pain. So I modify.

I feel thankful to be a Pilates instructor. It has helped me to adapt to my situation. I am comfortable with modifications and understanding how the human body, specifically mine right now, works. It really touches into all aspects of my life. I understand anatomy. I read voraciously about all aspects of what I am dealing with, about Pilates, running, prenatal fitness, really anything I can get my eyeballs on.

Yesterday while stretching after my run, I could see how my right leg was aligned differently than my left. It was crystal clear to my eye. Which helped me to remember to change my gait and positioning to try to help the situation. I am feeling good again this morning. Nothing flared up from my run and swim yesterday. It is a good day. I was going to get another run in until I discovered that for some reason we do not have any water pressure this morning. Not just low water pressure, but literally, none. Nothing comes out of an faucet. I am taking a rest day at this point. I am not sure when my actual last one was. If I can’t shower I don’t want to be run stinky, I would rather try to be less stinky all day! Ha! I am sure I will get into the pool at some point though.

I have wanted more control over this pregnancy. I was so unsure with my first. I had no idea what to expect or what I was getting myself into, good and bad! I felt a little blind and nervous. This time around I feel so confident. I feel like a seasoned veteran. Things have been entirely on my terms. Same with my labor and delivery plans. I want it to be on my terms as much as I can this time. I am not afraid. When I walk into that hospital I won’t be scared like I was with Jackson, thinking “I don’t think I can do this!” Nope. I know I can do this. I have done it before. It is no big deal. It was over before I knew it. I wish I had this mentality with my first, but you live and learn. In order to grow we must experience. With this baby I do what I want. Please add a sassy head shake to the end of that sentence.

 

Today it is pushing 90 degrees where I live. I am not complaining! After the terrible, long, brutal, 50 below 0 winter we had, I welcome the sunshine and warmth on my face! But being pregnant in summer is far different than being pregnant in winter. Jackson is a February baby. I was in the nitty gritty of pregnancy in much cooler weather with him. This time I get the joy of a summer pregnancy. Both have their perks I think and both have their challenges.

I wanted to share some summer (and not necessarily summer) pregnancy essentials that I am obsessed with.

1. I used this with my first pregnancy and I escaped stretch mark free! I swore by it, I swear by it, and I share it with most new preggos I know. Bella B Tummy Honey Butter.
photo 3 (1)It always soothes an itchy belly for me. I usually use it twice a day. It can be a bit greasy feeling initially but the way I see it is, it soothes the itching and I was stretch mark free. So far I am as well. Greasiness is a small price to pay for both of those! You can find it on their site or Amazon. I am a fiend for ordering it from there. This is my current tub and I have two or three more stored in a cabinet. Just watch the price on Amazon. I have sometimes noticed it to be priced higher than their retail price.

2. My Gap Maternity jean shorts. I have two pairs that I love. They are so comfortable. They are the same pair but different dyes of jean. Unfortunately it appears that the darker wash I own is no longer anywhere on their site!

photo 4I am wearing the lighter wash in this photo. I was 16 weeks here. I am a few days into 24 weeks now and I am comfortable wearing them today. They are still loose but comfy! I also like that they are a panel at the waist and not a full panel. I wore full panel shorts one hot day recently. We walked to the park. That was a mistake. I was so hot, sweaty, and itchy that as soon as I walked in the door off they came. Never again!

3. Three goes hand in hand with the above photo. I am obsessed with any kind of ribbed tank. The one above is also from Gap. One of their Essential Tanks. I also have the white one I linked to. I am again wearing this tank today at 24 weeks and it is still way comfy and fitting. I have ribbed tanks from A Pea in the Pod too.

IMG_5657This was Memorial Day. Also, note the shorts ;-) These kinds of tops are just so comfy and keep me cool. Plus they show off my shoulders and arms. They are fitted so I don’t feel overly billowy. Tank tops are just a must have summer pregnancy staple for me.

4. Be Maternity BeBand. I know I said I hate full panels, and that is true, unless I am running! I need the belly support. I have found that two of these or one with a full panel maternity running capri keep me supported enough to not have any ligament pain in my low abs during runs. I have 4 of these. Two white and two black. Not that colors matter for me because I wear them under a fitness top. I have tried another band, a more elaborate one but right now, at this stage, it was more cumbersome than helpful. Perhaps as I get bigger in the next 3 months I will be switching. But for now, these rock my running world.

5. Pacifica Kona Coffee Sugar Scrub. This stuff smells so good I could almost eat it in the shower! Ha! Just kidding but really it smells fantastic, if the smell of coffee doesn’t bother you. I find it amazing.photo 2 (2)

This product leaves my skin so fresh and smooth. It is the last thing I use in the shower. I go through it quickly because I use it all over my body. So, it can be a bit of a splurge. But it is so relaxing and refreshing to start my day with this. I initially found it at Ulta. I have also ordered it directly from Pacifica. I also have read that Target carries this brand. I keep forgetting to look for it when I am there, so I cannot confirm or deny if they have this specifically.  Like I said, it is a splurge that it is worth it for my pregnant self.

6. On the same brand note, I am loving their Coconut Crushed Pearl shimmer lotion.photo 4 (1)

It gives a nice sparkle to your skin. It is also very moisturizing. I was playing in the pool with my husband yesterday and he kept trying to grab my arms and legs. I was swimming away. Each time I was able to slip right from his hands. I bragged about how I can get away because of all my lotion! Ha! It leaves me glowing and moisturized. It smells lovely as well!

7. Ok, this is the last Pacifica product…..for now! Indian Coconut Nectar hand cream is a must for bedtime for me. I put it on every night.photo 1 (2)

I will also use it in the morning after getting ready and before I put on my rings. It keeps my hands soft and smelling lovely. I wash my hands so much between a 3 year old who is potty trained, but sometimes needs help, and the washing of the dishes or cleaning in general, that they get dry even in summer. I also have the Tuscan Blood Orange. It smells lovely too!

8. This is by far my favorite foot lotion, pregnant or not! I have been using it for years. It feels especially nice before bed after a long day. H2O Softening Mint Foot Rub.photo 5 (1)

It is cooling and moisturizing. I will usually sit with my feet up on a pillow in bed for a few moments after and the cooling feeling is so refreshing. That is especially important as a pregnant lady in the summer! I usually buy it at Ulta, but you can also order it directly from H2O or go to one of their stores.

9. A reusable water bottle of your choice. I am on the go so much with the little man. I have an assortment of water bottles I can fill and take with me. Especially if we are walking to the park. You have to stay hydrated while pregnant and even more so in the summer heat.

10. Pilates/yoga/birth ball. Ahhhh!! Again, one of your choice. I love to do pelvic tilts and circles on mine at the end of a workout. It is also a great way to stretch. I am planning a medication free labor/delivery and I will be bringing it to the hospital as a birth ball as well. It is so versatile. It is not just for pregnancy either. It can easily be used for anytime workouts! I have had mine for a few years. I love it.

11. A good swimsuit of your choice. I have played around with a one piece and several tankinis. I was so miserable in them! I always felt puffier than I am sure I appear to everyone else. I am just a bikini kind of gal. I love them for swimming. I feel so much more free in the water when I wear one. photo (6)

I actually found a non maternity top that fits me nicely. On the clearance rack at target. I am normally a small but I bought a medium for my much larger chest (two freakin cup sizes!) Those bottoms are maternity bottoms from Target as well. I happened to buy them to go with the aforementioned tankini tops. A bikini during pregnancy may not make you feel more comfortable, and that is fine! That is why you just need to find one that makes you feel sexy and beautiful. Getting in the pool while pregnant, any time of the year, is so wonderful. You feel weightless. You can float on your belly! You can get in a workout. You can cool off. It can even help with water retention. I usually have to pee a ton by the time I get out of our pool. So if you don’t have one, check your local Y or gym for a prenatal swim class. I did that with my first pregnancy. This one, we have an indoor pool so I lucked out. I just train myself in there.

Do you have any pregnancy essentials? Anything you could not live without during your maternity time? 

 

Saturday will bring me into my 6th month of pregnancy. I continually say this pregnancy feels like it is going much faster than my first. I am just far more busy and active than the first time around. I already know what having a child is like. I already have a million child raising tasks to complete each day. My sweetheart keeps me distracted. It is easily the best distraction possible.

I always make time for myself. Part of my parenting motto is that you have to take care of mom to teach your kids that self care and respect is important. I especially make time for my fitness. Jackson knows that mommy has to get her workout in. He is so great about me fitting these times in. He often hangs out with my in my Pilates room. He even tries a few things himself. I am happy to take a moment to help teach him a move or snap an adorable photo.

My fitness has taken no break since becoming pregnant. Certain techniques may have changed over time, but I still workout nearly every day. If I take a rest day I am sure to be active in some other manner that day. I walk to the park or deep clean the floors. I keep on moving. I have even started working with a private Pilates instructor once a week. I know I am a certified instructor, but it is nice to take a break from having to think about what I need to do that day. It is nice to get suggestions from another instructor. It is nice to have someone else correct my form and imbalances.

My diet has remained very clean and healthy. I have little to no cravings for anything junky. I crave limes, vinegar, fruit, carrots, all sorts of healthy things. My first pregnancy wasn’t the same. I loved junk! My husband has been so disappointed this time. He was certain he was entering another 9 months of me approved junk food runs. No such luck. Which I am thrilled about! It is much nicer to satisfy a craving for limes.

I did prenatal swim classes with my first pregnancy. I had a nice purple tankini that billowed around me. This time around I bought a few tankinis again. We have an indoor pool, so we are swimming quite often. I felt pretty miserable and gross in these swimsuits. I really enjoy bikinis. I finally decided to go ahead and get a bikini. I found a size medium cute bikini top on the clearance rack at Target. I had some bottoms from the tankinis I already had. I feel SO much more confident now. I don’t feel sloppy or frumpy. I have decided to embrace my round belly in a bikini this time around. My husband likes me in a bikini, pregnant or not. He prefers it to the tankinis I was wearing! Plus, I do Pilates almost daily! I swim. When I am not battling the worst cold of my life (have been for over 2 weeks) I run, I walk to and from the park pushing a 36lb preschooler in a stroller, I run/play/dance/move with that preschooler, and often I carry that preschooler. I do a lot of physical activity and I eat very clean. So why not accept my pregnant healthy body?

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So there you have it. 6 months of baby belly in a bikini! Baby #2 that is. I know I still have a bit to go and this belly is going to get larger but I am feeling pretty good right now. As a matter of fact in the past week and a half I have counted 8 people who have been in shock that I am as far along as I am. I will take it all as compliments. I would rather hear that than people saying they swore I was ready to pop at this stage.

How do/did you stay fit during your pregnancy? Did you wear a bikini if you happened to be in a situation that called for swimming?

I have heard that each pregnancy is often very different and unique. I have to admit, I stubbornly thought that was ridiculous until I experienced it myself. Regardless of the fact that I am having another boy, this pregnancy has been a lot different. I won’t go into each detail though. I do want to focus on one super cool aspect.

I felt this baby, Alexander, move MUCH earlier than I ever felt Jacky move. I am 18 weeks pregnant and I have been feeling him wiggling around in there for weeks now. It started off very faint. To the point where I wasn’t even convinced that is what I was feeling. As the days passed I began to understand exactly what I was feeling again. Now I feel him move every day, multiple times a day!

One of the coolest things I can do is actually make him move with some Pilates. It all started with a prenatal mat series I did on my vacation.

It starts with a series of half roll downs with bent legs. Roll halfway down, then all the way back up. You continue to build on that. You move onto rolling halfway down, holding, then tiny pulses up. The next part of the series is rolling halfway down, holding, then twisting to the right (obliques!) for several counts. Coming through center, hold, twist left for several counts, come center, roll up. Repeat.

Immediately after that you lie down for bridging. Once I articulate up into a bridge the little man moves to the very front of my lower abdomen. I can actually feel a little ball of a baby. I can feel him shifting around as an entire unit in there! It becomes so pronounced that my husband was able to feel the little baby ball (as I call it) as well! It never fails. I have done this series multiple times now and I can always count on him to wiggle his way to the front of my body and say hello to me!

It is no secret that I love fitness (um my blog name!) So when I find something even extra cool about it, I am overjoyed. I would do that series regardless of finding baby Alex in there, but the added bonus is a few moments of utter connection with my sweet unborn son. I love having this body awareness that Pilates (and proper fitness) provides you. Sometimes it feels like I am walking through this world with an extra sense. Or a more intense sense of feeling. Not emotional feelings, but a the actual physical sense of feeling within my own body and person.

Prenatal fitness is so important to me. Not just for myself. I advocate it to all women I know. I am probably annoying to those who don’t enjoy working out (which that concept is beyond my ability to comprehend, haha!) I truly feeling that staying active is vital to a long and healthy life. It gave me a nice healthy pregnancy the first time around. I didn’t know what I was doing then as well as I do now, with my added education in this field, but I found classes and videos. I searched for the answers then. The day I went into labor (past my due date!) I attended my prenatal swim class. I know every body is different and some women are severely restricted while pregnant, but if you are not, get up and move. Groove, dance, run, walk, find a class, do some planks, swim, just move. It is good for you. It is good for baby. And maybe, just maybe, your little one will poke to the front of your belly and say “hey momma! Thanks for moving and grooving this morning!”

On that note I will go up to my Pilates room and move myself. Tonight, we have plans for a swim in our pool. On top of chasing around a 3 year old boy! Moving is all I do. Ha!

Happy May! It has nearly been a month since I last wrote. Yowza! In all fairness we were on vacation for almost 2 weeks out of that month. I was hard pressed to sit down and write when I had lots of fun things to be doing with my family. Like playing in the ocean, sailing, or exploring the Smokey Mountains.

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Tomorrow will mark 18 weeks of pregnancy. I cannot believe that I am about 1/2 way through this adventure! It seems to be going by much faster than the 1st. I am sure that is because Jacky keeps me busy busy busy every day. He is such a wonderful and full of life 3 year old! He still talks about his little brother Alexander daily. He asks me a ton of questions and always wants to buy new things for his little brother. Yesterday, he informed me that our cat had a fuzz hanging from her mouth. He was very serious about me getting it out. He is going to be one helpful eye around here with a little one toddling around.

I am over the moon that I am having another boy. I have always wanted two boys and my wish has been fulfilled. Yesterday was my birthday. Alexander spent the day being an extra wiggle worm. It started with my Pilates Chair/Reformer workout and continued all day. It was the most I have felt him move in one day! Definitely and extra special birthday treat. He is going to be one active little boy, just like his big brother!

As fat as this pregnancy goes….

Exercise:

Still running, several miles each time I run. Usually a couple times a week.

Pilates. Mat, Chair, Reformer. I just modify my work based on how far along I am. I also sometimes watch some Prenatal videos on PilatesAnytime. I mostly do Chair and Reformer.

Swimming. I also incorporate water aerobics/Pilates into my swims. I have some equipment for that

Barre. I am going to be starting some Barre classes tomorrow. I miss Barre!!! I incorporate it at home, but I haven’t been to an actual class outside of my home in a while.

Cravings:

Limes! I love lime juice on everything. Rice. Fruit, grapes, bananas, apples, honeydew. Shrimp. Oh my gawwwd. If I could eat shrimp every day without worrying about mercury, I would. I have to limit myself and that is hard. Cottage cheese. Spinach, cilantro, arugula, veggies!!! I cannot get enough veggies in my dinners.

This is all much different than Jackson as well. I wanted to much junk with him. Or maybe I have learned how to eat better with pregnancy after going through it once. Either way, I am not complaining!

This was last week. I haven’t take one this week because we have been busy getting home and unpacking and celebrating my birthday. Plus, what’s a better background to a belly photo than the Atlantic Ocean?

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Now I am off to workout. Debating a run or Pilates. Choices are hard ;-) Just wanted a fast update, since it has been so long. I didn’t vanish again. I swear! I was just busy enjoying life outside of blogging for a bit. That happens and is good.

 

This morning I woke up at 5:20AM wide awake. I was craving a run. A serious legitimate craving to go outside and run until my legs were too tired to make another lap around my subdivision. Running is where I work a lot of things out. I get a lot of thinking done when I run. It is just you and your head. Maybe some tunes, but really, you get to be alone with your thoughts. I could use some time like that right now. Yesterday we got nearly a foot of snow. Maybe more, maybe less? I am not certain I didn’t follow the news. I just know we were predicted to get between 6-12 and it snowed a lot.

So the weather is nasty. I have had the flu of some sort for over a week now. It migrated to my chest a bit. I also have mild asthma in general. My nose is still congested. When I blow it chunks of something comes out with lots of blood. And occasionally I cough. All of that being said, running in the winter cold is not the best idea. So I likely wont get to hit the pavement today. I was wide awake. There was no falling back asleep for me. This happened a lot with Jack too. But I will say, if these are the kinds of reasons unborn #2 wakes me up at ungodly hours, then we will get on just fine.

Speaking of that. I cannot get enough veggies. I find any dinner jam packed with veggies to be mouthwatering delicious. I was thinking last night that this baby will be born and the first thing he/she will ask for is some “broccoli and kale kind sir” I am hoping it stays this way. I remember how quickly I had an aversion to fish with Jack. Veggies without something unhealthy all over it weren’t so appealing either. I had a sudden hatred for nut butters. Not this time so far.

Dinner Wednesday night:

Salmon, baked garlic/lemon zucchini, and garlic roasted red potatoes

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Dinner Thursday Night:

A pan sautéed steak with grape tomatoes, steamed broccoli, and smoked paprika baked sweet potato fries.

IMG_3281Friday night:

I ate it too fast to photograph, but I made a Paleo sweet potato chili. I even make my own homemade broth to cook it with. I topped it with some cilantro, avocado, and Greek yogurt. It was heavenly. It was the tastiest meal ever. I have a sneaky feeling I will be making it a lot.

Saturday night:

Whole wheat linguini with broccoli, red peppers, spinach/kale/chard, with some mild turkey sausage. I removed the casings. Next time I may use ground white meat turkey I season/cook myself. There was too much dark meat in there for my liking but the veggies were so good! I sprinkled it with fresh basil and Italian parsley. So many nutrients in one little bowl!

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I just cannot stop eating broccoli. It tastes so good in my mouth! Ha! And garlic. Today is Superbowl Sunday. My parents are coming by. I am making those yummy garlic roasted potatoes, green beans, and this pretty healthy bbq pulled beef. I bought regular buns the other day but I may run to Whole Foods and grab some whole wheat ones for myself. Fresh Market didn’t have whole wheat ones when I stopped there for stuff on Friday. If I feel crazy, maybe I will roast some broccoli with garlic/lime/chili powder! mmmm

I have to say, both my husband and son really wanted pizza for dinner last night. I was strong and kept suggesting this pasta dish I had purchased all the ingredients for. I was tired. It was a long day. Hormonal day, to say the least. I could have just said sure. It would have been easier. My husband knew deep down I just wanted my veggies. so he joined the healthy side and said just make the pasta! Jack had to deal. We all ate lots of good food for dinner.

What kinds of exercise or food do/did you crave while pregnant? 

 

 

I have a big and not so pleasant anniversary quickly approaching. Monday, the 22nd, will mark the 1 year anniversary of my IBS diagnosis. It has kind of put me in a weird place this last week. You see, the doctor’s only prescribed treatment was to toss a small sheet of paper at me and say “This is a new diet that they are trying out to manage IBS you could try this. There is really little else that can be done” I took it to heart. I drastically altered my life and my diet. It is called “Low FODMAP” I stick to it religiously. I do not eat wheat, dairy, sugar, and an assortment of wonderful fruits and veggies it restricts. These include garlic, onions, nectarines, apples, and many more. The list is constantly changing. I have become exhausted with it. I still wasn’t feeling perfect. Do we ever?

I recently started turning to Eastern medicine for managing my chronic digestive illness. My Western doctor wasn’t overly helpful or caring. I was marked off a list because I tested negative for everything else, so it must be IBS, right? Here is this list they are working on in Australia and it could help. Sigh. I went to my 6th acupuncture appointment yesterday. I love my acupuncturist. She is phenomenal. At my 5th appointment we had a lengthy discussion about how at this one year mark maybe I need to take my digestion and health into my own hands. Since, I said that I still had a lot of digestive woes regardless of following this diet for a year! I thought about it and I decided she is right. I already started with essential oils and acupuncture.

Since starting acupuncture I have noticed a gradual improvement in my digestion. It wasn’t over night. It has however started to slowly improve. Without going into too much detail, I have had more better days than bad days. Especially in the past week. I see her once a week. I have started trying foods again, with caution. But I have allowed myself to cross that threshold. Something I would never do before. I have been researching the crap out of things. My BFF sent me some info about Aloe Vera for IBS. I looked into it, liked the findings, and I tried it. I have a fresh aloe plant that I cut and add the innards to my smoothies. I have noticed even more improvement! That was nowhere on any piece of info my Gastro gave me. When I explained this to my acupuncturist she was so happy that I have started to give myself to freedom to change or at least try.

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Another big thing….running. I was a runner. A daily avid runner and racer. My last race was Mother’s Day 2012. I placed SIXTH in my age group! After this diet restriction I ended up giving it up. I turned strictly to Pilates. Running drained me. At first I had no idea how to fuel myself and maintain my running. I abruptly took all of my pasta and bread away. Yet I was still running 3-3.5 miles on an almost daily basis. After extreme exhaustion that happened after each run, I decided to quit. Last night, I went for a run. My studio has a running group that recently started. I showed up. I ran. I actually ran at the front of the group the whole time. Muscle memory. My master teacher also goes on the runs. She commented to me that I run beautifully. My torso is in a great position, my hips stay square, and my legs just kind of float underneath me. My coworker, who is running this program, is a very seasoned marathoner, a ton of them under her belt. She ran the Boston Marathon this year. It wasn’t her first time running that one. She commented after that I have a really great pace. She wanted me to come run with her again right then. It is a beginner program that the studio is offering. It is building up to a 5k we are sponsoring this fall. It will get harder each week. I was tempted to go. I could have easily ran more. I said no though because little man was sick and my husband had stayed home to take care of him while I worked, went my appointments, went to my running club, etc. Maybe next Wednesday though.

pink  Brooks are back in business

pink Brooks are back in business

I am a runner at heart. Pilates has strengthened my entire body to keep me in running shape without running. I have not felt this amazing in a while. I am getting anxiously happy just writing about last night. I have missed running. More than I even realized. I am not saying I am not a Pilates fanatic. That is still my world. But like my heart for my family, there is room enough for more than one major fitness love of my life.

It is very hard to lead such a restrictive lifestyle. Especially when it is not by choice. I am feeling really positive that I have begun to allow myself some freedoms to take my own health into my hands. I have lived in this terrified state regarding foods and food prep for a year. That is hard. It is hard on me and my family. I am not jumping right in gobbling up everything I see. No, I am taking baby steps. But like my acupuncturist said, the point is that I am trying.

I have begun to lose faith in the Low FODMAP concept. It hasn’t exactly served me very well over the past year. I do know there are foods on the list that bother me but there are many that don’t. They say you should only eat 1 cup of berries at a time. I can eat berries, especially blueberries until my heart is content. The list is always changing. They used to say Tahini was okay, and then suddenly halfway through my year of this, they took that back. Well I had been eating Tahini often, as an alternative for other dips etc. So I haven’t had a bite of it since then. Sweet potatoes were A-ok when I first got the list. Then they changed it to only a small amount at a time. I stopped eating them as frequently after I read that. One more restrictive thing. It gets in my head that it will harm me and then I freak out, afraid to try it. Or suddenly I feel a little off because I did try something on the said no list. Last night I made baked sweet potato fries with dinner. I gobbled them up. Not counting or measuring. I feel perfectly fine today. I felt perfectly fine after. In fact, I ate frozen grapes after. Without counting. They limit those to about 8 grapes at a time, or so I read at one time. So I think, from this point on, I am not going to be checking for updates. I am going to take my time trying foods here and there. I am going to continue to do my  research of alternative methods. I am going to continue to tailor my digestive needs specifically to me, and not to some list created by well meaning scientists in Australia. Healing is not a one size fits all program. That is why I am falling in love with Eastern methods. It centers around the person specifically. It has been making a positive change in my life. I am feeling happier than I have in a while. I am feeling in charge.

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