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28 Week Bump-Date

Pregnancy is a strange beast. In one moment I'm awestruck by the magnitude of what my body is doing.  How indescribable it is to have a tiny person rolling (punching, kicking) around and growing inside me.  On the other hand, my body doesn't feel like my own (it gets bigger every day), I miss hot yoga and sushi and those workouts that leave you drenched in sweat with your muscles shaking.  I miss sleeping on my stomach and just sleeping in general (hello, 3am potty breaks).

If you've ever had an injury that sidelined you for a few months I'm sure you know the feeling...

wanting to get back to your routine, but knowing that jumping in too soon will just hurt you more than it will help.  With my first pregnancy I didn't change much about my workout routine and was no worse for it, but this time my body said, "NO!" to certain things loud and clear early on.  And I know and respect my body enough to understand that no means no.  It definitely doesn't help that I get a 10 hour workout every day just running after a toddler.  No wonder I can't hang anymore.

So here we are in the third trimester with about 12 weeks left to go (more or less... hopefully just a little less).

28 weeks. I've heard a lot of, "But you're so big!" this week. Maybe (definitely) refrain from ever saying that to any woman ever again.  Please also excuse my dirty mirror. 

I hear third trimester and think, "Hey we're almost there!" and then I see 12 weeks and I think, "Woah that's a long time."

And tomorrow I may start wishing it would all slow down because I'm not so sure I'm ready to have two.  Hormones are crazy things, my friends.

How did you feel towards the end of your pregnancy?  Were you a magical glowing unicorn the whole time? Did you reach a point where you were just DONE with a capital D?  How did you get through to the end?  (Looking for suggestions that don't involve indulging in ice cream... I've got that one covered.)

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"Where Have You Been & What Are You Doing Now?"

Hi, friends! Long time no chat.

The last time I wrote I was about a month into my 200 hour yoga teacher training and I had every intention of keeping you updated on that journey, but as I dove deeper into that adventure two things became clear: 1) I was not willing to sacrifice anymore time with my family (and daughter who was too quickly for my liking about to turn one) and 2) it wasn't an experience that could easily be put into words or shared.

Many people say teacher training is life changing, but I would actually say it was life enhancing.  I went to training hoping to be able to teach a different kind of class and came out with so much more, including a better sense of who I am as a trainer and where I want to focus my time.

YTT Grad

Coming into the final stretch of yoga teacher training AND my daughter's first year at the same time made it perfectly clear what my next move would be... prenatal yoga teacher training.  So I signed up for an intensive two and a half week training in NYC where I commuted from NJ into the city.  Monday through Friday.  7am to 7pm.  I said it before and I'll say it again... the right trainings are life changing.  To be surrounded and supported by such strong and wonderful women while LEARNING about how strong and wonderful women are was magical.  Made all the more magical by actually being pregnant during the training.

That's right!  Seven to nine weeks pregnant, height of nausea, exhaustion, and all the other first trimester goodness right in the middle of 12 hour days.  (Shout out to all the working mamas who do that for nine months.  Hats off to you ladies!)

So for the last few months I've been home, working on my site behind the scenes, and getting ready to take on new clients all while growing a tiny human on the side.  (No biggie.)

Big Sister thinks Little Sister is in my belly button.

I'm now 21 weeks pregnant with Baby Girl Number 2 and I'd love to have you follow along on this pregnancy journey (and share your own stories with me as well!) and stay tuned for more healthy tips, tricks, meditations, and maybe even some recipes (though full disclosure the only thing I've wanted to eat for five months now are potatoes).

Go ahead and click around the updated website to see what else is new and consider signing up for the Happy Healthy Holidays challenge!  We started on Sunday, but it's never too late to join!

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Reevaluate. Reset. GO!

There's only one way to go.... forward.  Someone recently said to me, "I don't know how you do it all."  I told her I don't.

Why don't people believe me when I say this?  I like to think I'm pretty transparent about what a hot mess I can be. Just because I smile while I say it and laugh afterwards doesn't mean I'm joking!

The truth is for every one thing I get together, two others fall behind. At least that's how it's felt lately.

My workouts and self-care are on point? My house is embarrassingly messy and I haven't blogged in a month.

My house is clean and the laundry is done? I'm stressed beyond belief and skipping out on workouts to find the time.

It happens and it's OK. We can't be everything to everyone all the time. And if people on the internet make you feel less than because of this give them a #nottodaysatan (maybe my favorite hashtag ever) and get on with your life.

I had a birthday recently (Monday actually) and every year on my birthday I reevaluate or set goals for myself. What do I want to do? Who do I want to be? How can I be the best version of myself FOR myself and for the people around me?

I was planning on sharing my short list with you, but honestly it's just too scary for me right now. There are some big things on there this year (not necessarily life-changing big, but may be difficult for this one step forward, two steps back gal). They're so scary to me that it's taken me days to even write this post because this means it's time to get started.

So while I won't share my whole list with you, I will share one piece of it because it concerns you.

This year, I want to give my best to my readers, clients, and class participants. Don't get me wrong, you often get my all and even though I have the greatest job in the whole world... at the end of the day it's still a job. Some days (just like any other job) it's hard to remember just how good I've got it. But my goal this year is to always remember how sweet this life is. How glad I am to see each and every one of you sweating, smiling, maybe scowling, and getting healthier. I promise to do more than just show up and give you my all. I promise to give you my best.

All that being said, this lyric pops into my head whenever I start making grand plans and promises, "And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time."

So while I plan for those big goals, I'm just sending those tiny prayers to Father Time and getting ready for this year's ride. I hope you'll join me.

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Part III: Resolutions

Happy healthy holidays

If you missed Part I or Part II, check them out and then jump in here.

As some of you know, I start a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in a week and a half.  (You can read about that HERE if you're interested.)  Before we meet for the first time, we are required to read The Bhagavad Gita.  In it, there is a verse that reads:

You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work.

In short, we have control over our work and actions, but we have no command over our results.

A bodybuilder can be completely dedicated to her diet and exercise, but still not place in a competition.  You can put in long hours in the office and produce excellent work, but still not get the promotion you were working for.

That's why we don't want to put the destination above the journey!  When you fall in love with the process, you'll find results.

Did you decide what it is you want in 2016?  What do you want your future-self to be like next year?  We may not be able to control the outcome, but we can help influence that outcome by answering these five questions:

  1. What is my desired outcome?
  2. What can I DO to make progress?
  3. What will help me be consistent?
  4. What obstacles will I face?
  5. Who will support me?

A-ha!  Kinda sounds like we're setting a goal and making a plan, huh?  So get to it!

And when you stumble -- because you will... we all do -- just picture that fabulous, future-self looking back on her year with the accomplished smile of someone who went after what she wanted with her whole heart and setting even bigger goals for 2017 because she knows she can.

Happy New Year, friends!

xoxo

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Part I: Resolutions

Happy healthy holidays With only days left in 2015, I'm sure many of you have started thinking about New Year's resolutions and all the things you hope to accomplish in 2016.

Can I tell you a secret? I kinda wish you wouldn't...

Look, setting goals is important.  Goals give you long-term vision and short-term motivation and those are great things!  The problem with goal setting is that it often puts the destination above the journey and – especially in the health and fitness world – there is no destination. Consistency is the key!

You can eat steamed chicken and broccoli and hit the gym everyday until you have a six-pack, but as soon as you give that up (because let’s face it, that’s not sustainable) then it’s back to square one.

In order to be truly successful in the long run, you have to adopt this as a lifestyle.

But you know the old saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."  So make a plan!

That doesn’t mean your plan needs to be "follow a strict diet and schedule."  In fact, when we make plans and forget to build in flexibility, we fail because we weren’t really prepared.  So plan for what you will do when you travel.  Plan for the days when you get stuck working late.  Plan for an injury that would keep you from doing certain exercises.  Plan for any issues you think may get in your way.  Plan on giving yourself some wiggle room when friends or family come to town or you go on vacation.  Know your plan and know how to put it into action when you need it.  That is structure with flexibility.  That is how you make this a lifestyle.

So as long as you promise not to make this year’s resolution all or nothing, tomorrow I’ll teach you how to set SMART goals and the steps to take to reach them.

 

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Magic Taco Seasoning

OK so it's not really magic, but it feels like it for how quickly it allows me to whip up a flavorful dinner with plenty of leftovers for lunch. This is how the recipe started, but to be honest now I just eyeball it.

✔1 TBSP Chili Powder ✔1/2 TBSP Paprika ✔1/4 tsp Onion Powder ✔1/4 tsp Garlic Powder ✔1/4 tsp Oregano ✔1/2 tsp Cumin ✔1 tsp Salt ✔1 tsp Black Pepper ✔Ground Cayenne Pepper to taste

This mixture is good for one pound of your meat of choice {we use ground turkey most often} or meat substitute.  The best part is that you can do practically ANYTHING with this and there are almost always leftovers in our house especially when I add black beans for more volume.

ground turkey

Here's a sneak peak at one of my favorite meals made with this seasoning.

Stuffed Sweet Potato 

  1. Bake medium sweet potato at 400 degrees until soft (approx. 1 hour)
  2. Brown ground turkey, drain, add seasoning and water, let sit and thicken on low
  3. Stuff your sweet potato with turkey and desired toppings (my favorites are lettuce, salsa, plan greek yogurt, shredded cheese, and avocado)

 

Stuffed Sweet Potato

 

That's it!  Three steps to a delicious, healthy dinner

If the rest of your family isn't interested in a stuffed sweet potato, then grab a whole grain wrap and make them soft tacos!  The hard work is already done.

Have you ever had something like this?  Tell me about your favorite toppings and don't forget to check out my Facebook page this week to see how I use the leftovers.

 

 

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2015 Fit Friends Gift Guide

Fit Friends Gift Guide We’re already a week into December! Are you still looking for a gift for your favorite fit friend? I’ve compiled a list of some of my can’t-live-without-just-gotta-have gadgets, places, and apps to make your search a little easier!

1) Timex Women’s T5K723 Ironman Road Trainer + Digital HRM

timex

I use this watch every single day. It’s small enough that it doesn’t interfere while training and it even has the option to change settings to give you a more accurate calorie count for when you’re lifting, riding, running, etc. I’ve had to change the battery in the heart rate monitor four times in the two years I’ve had it, but it’s a simple fix and – to be fair – I often use it two to four hours a day.

2)  Resistance Bands

Resistance BandsDon’t have a lot of room to store equipment? Worried about kids/pets getting hurt around heavy weights? All five of these bands plus the door anchor fit into a small bag and are stackable to create up to 75lbs of resistance. I love that I can easily adjust my workouts to make them more challenging once I become comfortable with one level of resistance and they’re so portable I can take them outside while we’re enjoying 60+ degree days in December.

3) Stability Ball

Stability BallThere are endless uses for a stability ball like this. Just sitting on one of these instead of the couch while watching TV can help improve core strength and help back pain. There are also countless exercises that use the stability ball and this one in particular has a base you can hook your resistance bands up to.

4) TRX Suspension Trainer

TRXLike the resistance bands, this baby fits into a bag smaller than my purse. The TRX uses bodyweight exercises to improve strength, balance, and core stability all at the same time. It can be a little tricky to get the hang of if you’ve never used it before, but they have great tutorials on their site and on YouTube OR you can schedule a session or two with me and we’ll go over how to use your new toy!

5) Headspace Subscription

HeadspaceHeadspace is a personal trainer – for your mind. The free Take 10 Program gently guides users into the world of meditation, but the yearly subscription is where the really great stuff is. There are categories for stress, anxiety, sleep, self-esteem, happiness, balance, and so much more. Happy mind = happy body.

6) Les Mills Weight Set

LM Smart BarIf you’re looking for some serious weights, but don’t exactly have the room or budget for an Olympic weight set this may be a great start. I have the Don Oliver set, but I hear the SmartBars are amazing. Can I lift as heavy as I’d like to with this? Not always. But this has kept my strength up well since I’ve had trouble getting to the gym as often with a baby at home.

7) #fitmom Tank

Fit MomIs your favorite fit-friend a new mommy or mommy-to-be? I love my #fitmom tank from Fresh Apparel! It’s comfortable to workout in, washes well (hello, baby puke), and gets lots of laughs when I wear it out. PLUS you’re supporting another mom’s business when you buy from her!

8) Superfun Yoga Pants

Superfun Yoga PantsIf you live in the Richmond area and you’ve seen a woman walking around in the fly-est leggings you’ve ever seen, there’s a good chance that’s thanks to Superfun Yoga pants. They sell lots of brands and sizing can run differently on all of them so if you can, they recommend you try them on in person. Bring your fit friend to a pop-up or shop online! (They even sell gift certificates if you’re just not sure what size or pattern to choose.)

9) Fancy Gym Bag

Lululemon Duffle I treated myself to a lululemon gym bag before I started teaching and it’s still in amazing shape despite the fact that it comes with me EVERYWHERE. This isn’t the same bag, but it has a lot of the same features. I love that these bags have a place for my yoga mat and for a change of clothes, my cycle shoes, etc.

10) Class Packages

BohoOmOnYogaTurn RVA

Does your friend go to a studio for yoga every Saturday morning? Does she set her alarm two hours early so she can start her day with her favorite instructor (maybe 5:45a Fridays at Boho Cycle Studio *hint hint*)? You can purchase class packages as gifts at most studios. Better yet… get her one and then get yourself one too! I love when friends join me for a workout.

If you’re in the RVA area here are a few of my favorite places to sweat:

Have anything to add to the list?  Comment below!

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Be The Example

There are so many things I hope my daughter learns from me (and maybe even more that I hope she doesn’t), but the most important lesson I hope she learns is how to live her healthiest life. "If your kid needs a role model and you ain't it, you're both f*cked." -- George Carlin

I want her to love to move. I want her to love food and not fear it. I want her to learn to fuel her body right and use that fuel to move mountains. I want her to be body positive and confident. I want her to look at magazines, movies, TV shows, and advertisements and know that her body (whatever it may look like) and everyone’s bodies are just as good as the ones more often shown. 

If there was a tried and true magic way to make all of those things happen I would have started the day she was born, but there are many things and voices that will influence her ideas and all I can do is hope my example and my voice is the loudest.

Not itsy bitsy yoga, but you get the point.

We started Itsy Bitsy Yoga at Yoga Source when CE was only three weeks old. In class, I learned how to help her find ways to move that made her happy or calm her when she was fussy. I truly believe it helped her love to move. (She’s not even 5 months old yet and already crawling all over my living room.)

At five weeks we started Stroller Strides and I hope we’ll continue this for many years to come. In an hour-long, outdoor bootcamp style class, moms get to exercise AND interact with their babies. We sing ABCs while holding wall sits or count to 10 while doing burpees. We play peek-a-boo while doing jump squats. And most importantly… we smile. Our kids get to WATCH us sweat and smile. They get to see us making exercise a priority. They learn by example.

Even at home I do my best to get moving with or in front of CE every day. (Lunges while holding a squirming weight, anyone? Sit ups with a moving weight on your chest?)

We’re just starting solid foods, but I hope she’ll find as much of a love for healthy foods as she does for moving. So far the only thing she can’t get enough of are Granny Smith apples. Sounds like a good start to me!

Love.

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