Meal Prep: Kicking Myself into Gear

Meal Prepping! Finally, I am getting myself together and into somewhat of a schedule. I am not by any means the most organized or the DSC_0695most prepared individual but I do get an “A” for effort, or is that “E” for effort? I’m not sure but I try hard at keeping myself on a schedule, and making time to stay healthy!

My little Miss Marley is almost 2 months old now and she absolutely loves being outside. I am so glad it has been so nice outside lately, with our wonderful Fall weather! Our walking has progressed to a good paced jog, still only at a mile but have continued to work in our leg and Ab workouts during and after. I, luckily, got a good 7 hour stretch of sleep last night so I am feeling energized today! I have DSC_0696accomplished a lot!

Tonight I prepped my protein, which is usually the hardest thing for me to get right during the week. Budget is a big deal for me, so no fancy meals here. I have baked my chicken with LOADS of spices and topped with some olive oil and parmesan cheese. (SO GOOD!) Cooking my chicken in advance saves me a lot of time and assures that I don’t stray and get too terribly off track with my nutrition. Sides are always easy for me, I find ways to prepare foods that fit to my schedule while taking care of a little one who doesn’t really follow a schedule. Green beans, corn, salad greens, all easy makes especially bought in a steam pack from Sams. Sweet potato fries can also be purchased frozen at Sams and I absolutely love those! So, healthy sides are quick and easy for me to prepare! Fruit, yogurt, and cheese are all good easy snack options and I tend to use those a lot as well. Tomorrow I will be preparing my Homemade granola oat bars! They are delicious and a good option for when I have a craving for something sweet but don’t want to stray from my healthy eating. (Usually people would use the word “diet” in that space but I HATE that word and don’t tend to use it! Might post more on that in another blog)

Anyway, I am on the right track! DSC_0699

1 mile jog

Lunges 3×10

Squats 3×10

Ab exercises along with hip flexors and back work to end my session

Stretch to cool down. Slowly but surely getting back in shape as I get the hang of this mommy thing. 😋

I welcome any questions, comments, or blog ideas!! This is more about my personal struggle than informative nutrition!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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ETSY SHOP!!!

Okay girls and guys, since I am presently a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) I have ROUGHLY started, and I do mean roughly started, my own etsy shop with my latest craft! I only have one listing at the moment but more to come! PLEASE go visit and take a look and become a fan! Promote it to family and friends! Order! DSC_0693

STAYING SUPER BUSY! MORE POSTS TO COME!

VISIT: FeltTastic Etsy Shop

6 Week Mark: Post Pregnancy

Today I finally hit the 6 week mark “post-baby!” Well, technically yesterday was the day but I had my routine check up today. I have been cleared and everything is good! Exercising has been an on and off routine for the past two weeks (besides the usual walks). Since it was unknown to me whether I was healed completely or not I just based the intensity of my workouts on how my body felt. I did not push too hard, and slacked up once the “uncomfortable,” tight, feeling started to occur. Some of the simple things I have been doing are:

Squats (3×10)

Basic ab crunches (3×25)

reverse ab crunches (3×25)

bicep curls (3×10)

tricep press (3×10)

bent over rows (3×10) I also call these lawnmowers =)

front, side, bent over arm raises (all 3×5)

I also ran/walk 3x per week and participate in yoga. All these from home, yoga with a video I purchased and my walks included my sweet baby.

I have found that lunges were too hard on the lower region and did not want to push it too far and hurt myself, as well as other ab/leg exercises such as leg lifts, bicycles, push-ups etc. etc. Again, I based these workouts solely on how each exercise made me feel. If I felt like it was too much than I back off. The arm exercises I filled gatorade bottles (large and small) with rocks/sand until I can purchase actual weights. But, these methods work just as well! 🙂

Other problems I have encountered is the crazy, hectic, schedule that I am struggling trying to adjust to. Marley (the little one) never misses a meal! She wakes herself up from naps promptly ever 2-3 hours to eat. This meaning I am having to stop what I am doing to sit with her and feed. On top of the daily house duties, studying, pumping, and other miscellaneous activities that arise, it has been hard finding time to cook, and prepare good nutritious meals. (Or even eat AT ALL!)

Since, I am getting in the hang of this new routine, I am going to attempt to do better with meal prep (probably beginning with a lot of CHICKEN, as it is super easy to prep!!) =P, and exercise scheduling! Now that I am cleared for all activities I am excited to continue getting back to pre pregnancy and better!

 

Next post: POST PREGNANCY WORKOUT ROUTINE as well as MEAL PREP GUIDE

 

To end this post here is your daily fill of Miss Marley! #Marleygram

 

 

 

New Addition: Little Miss Marley

So, I have been MIA for a little while due to the fact that our little bundle of perfection HAS ARRIVED! After my water broke on Sunday night, August 24th, we headed to the hospital to be blessed on August 25th at 7:13am with a beautiful 7 pound 10 ounce, 20 inch long baby girl! Since then I have been enjoying my “Marley and Me” time. The first 2 weeks were filled with 2am, 4am, 6am feedings along with many many 20-30 minute power naps throughout the day. She is now 3 weeks, 2 days old and we have been getting back into the swing of things! She loves being outside and going on walks. I have had to get used to the fact that my body is still recovering and is a process to get back to where I was physically pre-pregnancy. We just finished a 2 mile walk and it felt great! I will try and get back into my regular postings on fitness and nutrition, but now with a new category as a mother returning to pre pregnancy fitness and more! For now, meet Miss Marley Katherine!!!! We are so in love!!

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Exercising and Pregnancy: My Personal Experience

Calming Pregnancy YogaPregnancy? Exercise?? Yes, I know. Those are two words some people really don’t want to put together! Some women think that a plus about being pregnant is that they don’t have to worry about what they weigh, how skinny they look in the mirror, or about prepping their summer beach bods. BUT… Exercising during pregnancy , like any other time, is very important to you and your baby’s health.

Exercise and Pregnancy

ACOG Guidelines

Moderate Intensity exercise such as brisk walking, lightweight strength training, and swimming are all forms of fitness workouts that can be adopted by pregnant women who have no known complications or high risks. In the Guidelines of the American College of obstetrician and Gynecologists posted, it states benefits and recommendations such as exercise being a possible prevention and management method of gestational diabetes. ACOG explains that pregnant women should try to partake in 30 minutes of moderate exercise most or all days of the week just like any other person

NOW… In my personal experience with pregnancy and maintaining exercise habits, some normal pregnancy obstacles/symptoms were definitely a factor in my inability to do ANYTHING! Having previously been very active and health conscious, there were many things out of my control when it came to staying fit and getting those “30 minutes a day moderate exercise in!” Here is a breakdown by trimester…

1st trimester:

The first month into my first trimester I had not yet felt any changes, my exercise routine of running every other day, weight lifting (arms, legs, abs), yoga, and any extra curricular activity such as slow pitch softball, frisbee, or rough housing “what-have-you”, all stayed the same…Then it hit, sleeplessness due to late night heaving sessions every night, sickness all day, work, and bedtime at 6:30…REPEAT! I found it impossible to lift my fingers to type much less go for a jog. My exercising ceased for the last two months of my 1st trimester until the wonderful and energy filled second trimester came around.Summer Days

2nd trimester:

 

Oh, how I loved my life again! I finally had my energy back along with the cessation of those long nights of heaving. I was happy again! I started my exercise back up, but a little different. My body had already started to change and so jogging became somewhat uncomfortable and caused an awkward tightness in my stomach. I altered my cardio to brisk walking with occasional short bursts of running and cut down strength training from full body to just maintaining my arms. I found it easy to keep up the recommended 30 minutes a day (although being human, I slacked sometimes). Yoga was also very easy to get back into with my energy level back up.

App

RunKeeper App

3rd trimester:

I am now in the final month of my third trimester (woohoo)! I am very excited to bring my little lady into this world! My energy level is not at its peak but I am keeping up with walking, although the distance has shortened. The tight feeling is stronger now that she is growing so much, so I only do what I feel comfortable doing with my walks. I have found that swimming (especially since we are in the dead heat of summer) is extremely enjoyable! It takes all the weight off and allows me to continue for a longer period of time!

A very important fact is to make sure your energy intake is keeping up with your energy output from your exercising. This is not a time for weight loss, just maintenance of health! To keep up with my exercise I use the RunKeeper app that is absolutely amazing! I set a goal of 40 miles at the beginning of my pregnancy (before the onset of “morning/night sickness) to be completed by the end of my pregnancy! I am pumped to say I have completed over half so far!

Like always….Questions and Comments are MORE than welcome! Thanks!

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Caffeine and Pregnancy

Okay ladies, I am going to share one of my biggest struggles during pregnancy! I am not one addicted to soft drinks, or MUST have coffeechocolate every day but, as you can tell from one of my previous posts, I am ADDICTED to my coffee. There is nothing I miss more than waking up in the morning, sitting outside with a book or magazine, sipping on my freshly brewed coffee. But, trumping my love for calming coffee mornings is my love for knowing that I am doing everything possible to ensure the optimal health of my growing child!

So, what effects does caffeine, whether from coffee, soft drinks, or that yummy chocolate bar, have on a pregnant woman and her soon-to-be sweet baby? How much is okay?

There are many reasons to avoid sources of caffeine while pregnant. Caffeine is a major stimulant and can increase heart rate in the mother as well as the child. Grabbing that soda or cup of coffee to give yourself an extra boost also crosses over the placenta to your baby causing similar effects. Although, you may be able to handle it, your baby cannot. (I know I noticed a BIG change in movement in Marley after even two or three sips of my Diet Mt. Dew craving!) If you’re already having trouble sleeping at night or her sleeping pattern doesn’t match up with yours, this could potentially cause even further difficulties. I have also had problems with extreme heartburn after drinking just the slightest bit of coffee…another reason I avoid it! If you take what was explained in my previous post on coffee (and tea) and its effects on iron, that is another reason consumption should be lowered during pregnancy. It lowers the absorption rate of iron in the body and iron is extremely important to maintain during pregnancy.

My HappyThere are many studies testing the true effects of caffeine on pre-term labor and low birth weight. Some that I have read resulted in inconclusive readings yet some showed an increased risk of low birth weight babies in women who consumed high amounts of caffeine during their pregnancy. In my opinion, if it is questionable just lay off it for nine months! Better to be safe than sorry!

Obviously, caffeine is found in many products so complete avoidance poses a problem for many. March of Dimes, National Health Service, and the American Dietetics Association, have recommendations between 150-300 mg per day limit for pregnant women.

To give you an idea of the caffeine content of some of the more popular items, here is a list according to the Mayo Clinic research:

  • 8oz mug of Brewed Coffee has anywhere between 95-200 mg of caffeine
  • 8oz cup of tea, depending on the kind ranges from 5-70 mg of caffeine
  • 12 oz sodas can range from 0-55 mg of caffeine
  • Hershey Chocolate bar ranges from 5-30 mg (the darker the chocolate the higher the caffeine content due to less processing)

And lastly, the one that shocked me the most:

Energy Drink

 

 

 If you want to read more about the science behind there are TONS of peer reviewed research articles out there on the topic! Here is a snapshot of one of the more recent studies I read over!

Article

 Questions and comments are COMPLETELY welcome!

 

It’s Been a While!!

Office on the go!

Okay, everyone! I have been pretty much nonexistent for a good long while! I have recently graduated with a degree in Nutrition and Hospitality Management and in the process of becoming a certified personal trainer through ACSM! Other news is I am a new wife to a wonderful husband and a soon-to-be (really soon-to-be) NEW MOM! I am going into my 8th month of pregnancy and we are extremely excited! We will be having a precious little girl, Marley Katherine, due August 30th.

I am in the process of starting this blog up again and hopefully being able to maintain a constant posting schedule. I am one to be very easily distracted and keep pretty busy so bear with me as I try to stay focused. I love researching and learning new things on health and fitness and love sharing it with everyone. If I am not constantly learning or doing something to improve myself, body and mind, I feel like I am wasting my days. You only get one life and every day really does count for me.

Anyway! Here is to the new beginning of this site, I am still tweaking the page and adding gadgets and links but am going to enjoy getting back in it! Stay tuned for more!

Altered Favorites!!!

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These are just some recipes, meals, and desserts I have made recently!! Whether it’s whole wheat peach cobbler, whole wheat pancakes, a light breakfast, or my favorite strawberry mango smoothie!!!! (with or without rum) All these are some of my favorite things to make, altered from other recipes I found, to be a little healthier and still have that same great taste!!! Recipes will be posted soon. Sending these from the iPad so limited to how the layout is!! Enjoy!

Olympic Size Meals

What do Olympic Athletes eat? How do they stay in top physical condition? How is their diet changed in order to provide enough energy and strength for the intense nature of their sport?

Athletes diets are so different from the average person in that they require a lot more calories because of the amount of calories burned during exercise and competitions. Where an average person would require and eat only 2,000 calories or a little more a day, an athelete can sometimes consume up to 10,000 calories a day depending on the intensity and level of the sport! Key components of their diet must include CARBOHYDRATES and PROTIEN… (along with all of the the food groups) but these two are a must have. As an “ex” D1 athelete I can understand the ins and outs of what a serious athlete needs to keep the body going and excelling at the rate its being pushed. Going from 5am spinning class, straight to workouts with just enough time to stop by “The Landing” where they had everything from chocolate milk to protein and meal supplement shakes, to apples, bananas, and dried fruit and nuts. You could even make your own protein smoothie. Having access to that was imperative to keeping my body going the rest of the day of classes and on to practice that evening.

Carbohydrates are the bodys energy! Friuts, breads, rice, and many cereals are all good sources of carbs. These are all broken down in the body to glucose to provide us with energy. What most atheletes gear toward are the more complex carbohydrates like the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. With carbohydrates in sufficient amount in the body the athelete is able to “go all out” for longer before they exhaust themselves. Also, with a diet high in carbohaydrates, if not all of the carbs are used up they are stored in the body in the form of glycogen for later use and break down into energy.

Proteins are the muscles major resource for building and rebuilding! Proteins consists of one or more polypeptide chains, and polypeptides are are linear chains of amino acids. Proteins play a part in alot of cell activity, some being broken down into essential amino acids and others into glucose for energy. Protein is very vital in METABOLISM and also with fibrous proteins actin and myosin in the MUSCLE to provide shape and motility! Key for an athlete who has rigorous workouts and practices.

All other components of the diet such as dairy, fats, oils, and fruits are also important to keep a balanced and healthy lifestyle not just for an athelete but for everyone!

“Spectacular achievements are always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”

-Roger Staubach

Comments and questions or ideas?

Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!

Coffee is the second traded commodity on earth, oil being the first. So, I think it is safe to say that we, as humans, drink A LOT of coffee! As a college student I rely on coffee as an energy booster to help keep me awake through those slightly less interesting 8am classes, while others drink coffee socially, meeting friends in cafe’s, or for some relaxation time on the porch with a good book. But, there have been many questions asked lately on whether this addictive drink is doing more harm than good on the body. A main point was its effect on iron absorption.  Here is some information I found out…

Iron is an important part of the body’s ability to transport oxygen throughout cells and tissues. A lot of iron is found and carried by the protein called HEMOGLOBIN, while some can also be found in MYOGLOBIN, which is a protein that, instead of delivering oxygen to the tissues, it transports it to the muscles and aids in energy production or ATP! There are two types, heme and non-heme iron. HEME iron is the most important, found in the blood. Eating things such as beef, chicken, or any type of fish are all good sources of heme iron that will be easily absorbed by the body. Non-heme iron, which is consumed more in most diets, is found in dairy and vegetable products and is absorbed by the body but not as well as heme. Without proper absorption of iron daily, your body tissues and muscles are being deprived of oxygen leaving  you tired, weak, and a dwindling immune system.

Okay, now that you have the basics of the importance of IRON, here is how coffee affects the absorption…

TANNINS! These are chemicals found in coffee that bind to NON-HEME iron creating IRON TANNATES that are insoluble and will be flushed through your body without absorption. The effects are varied on the strength of the coffee and the time in which the coffee is consumed. Increasing the strength of the coffee, increases the tannins, increasing the binding capabilities and drinking coffee before the meal is less damaging than if you were to drink it during or after a meal.

Athough, coffee has inhibitory effects on iron, I found that it is much better to drink than if you were to grab a glass of TEA! Tea is lower in caffeine and higher in tannins! So, if you are looking for a pick me up, grab a coffee which has fewer calories, more caffeine,  and lower iron binding effects.

REMEMBER:

  • Drink BEFORE the meal!
  • Increase your vitamin C and Beta-Carotene, found in fruits and vegetables!
  • Eat plenty of meat, fish, and poultry!

Websites I used:

ANY COMMENTS or QUESTIONS areAPPRECIATED and WELCOME! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/93801604714147061/