Thursday, May 29, 2014

30 Minute Treadmill Workout

Yesterday's Workout:
40 minute cardio-kickboxing workout (Xfinity On Demand)

As my pregnancy progresses, I've had to continuously modify my workouts. I'm hardly showing yet, so I can only imagine what kind of changes I will have to make when my bump grows! This part has been especially difficult for me. For anyone who has worked hard to achieve fitness goals, it's demotivating to find yourself treading backwards. Yesterday, I took the day off from running and opted for an On Demand workout to switch things up. I've been doing this particular workout for the past 2 years or so. I used to do it every week when I was training for running events as part of my cross training, but since then, I really only do it about once a month. The last time I did this workout was probably 5 weeks ago, when I was only 13 weeks along and was able to do the entire thing with no modifications. Sure, it felt a little harder than I had remembered it being but altogether, not so bad. Yesterday, I had to stop a few times during some of the exercises and make modifications on some that felt a little uncomfortable, like the jumping lunges and power squats. While it was a little disappointing, I accepted it and continued on with the workout. By the end, I had a great 40 minute workout under my belt and dare I say, even felt proud of accomplishing it. I swear, it's the hormones!

Now, I've come to a point where I'm just happy with whatever exercise I get each day, even if it's just a 2 mile walk with my pup. I try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in 6 days a week because it's good for me and good for the pregnancy. One of my new favorite pregnancy workouts is this one I do on the treadmill 1-2x a week. I get a 3 mile workout done in 30 minutes by alternating moderate and fast running segments with walking recovery intervals to keep my heart rate in a good range.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pregnancy and Nutrition

Yesterday's Workout:
3 mile walk with Jasper

For many reasons, the most important being the health of the little human I have growing inside me, I am trying my best to maintain a very healthy diet throughout my pregnancy. And for obvious reasons, I've had to make some changes to my pre-pregnancy intake: limited caffeine, nothing raw or undercooked, no unpasteurized cheeses, no deli meats, slightly limited seafood intake, increased calcium and protein intake, and about 300 extra calories a day. I have to say, so far, the hardest food rule to abide by is the no deli meat. I started bringing in a salad and sandwich to work for lunch as a more fulfilling meal before I workout in the afternoon, and it's actually quite difficult to come up with sandwich ideas without the use of lunch meat! I've been doing a lot of chicken salads, egg salads, grilled chicken wraps, etc. As long as it's cooked meat, I'm good. I'll be honest though...I've already decided my first post-pregnancy meal will be an Italian sub with an ice cold beer. So Brent, dear, if you're reading this, please prepare accordingly :-)

It's always in the back of my mind that whatever I decide to indulge in, Baby will be eating, too, which makes it easier to make healthier decisions. Don't get me wrong, I have my fair share of splurges, but 90% of the time, I really try to be be conscious of food's nutritional value versus what my mind is telling me to eat, and I stick to a meal plan very similar to the one below. The other 10% of the time, which happens mostly on random weekend nights, I totally play the "well, Baby is really craving [insert comfort food] tonight" card...because, well, why not, right? It makes it fun that way, and I get it out of my system.

I've been big on eating pretty often throughout the course of the day - snacking is my best friend right now. My doctor highly recommended converting to many small meals throughout the day so that sugar levels stay consistent and don't undergo any up and down patterns. I try not to let myself get to the point of ravenous because not only do I get extremely hangry (and no one wants to be around when that happens), but I want to make sure Baby Mo is never lacking.  I eat pretty much every 1-2 hours, with the biggest gap being in between lunch and an afternoon snack since that's usually when I workout. So here's a look into my typical every day meal plan:

This particular meal plan comes in at roughly 1800 calories, which leaves about 200-300 extra every day for additional snacks, which I like especially after my workouts, or if I'm craving a particular food that I just HAVE to have. Like a scoop of gelato. Or crackers with peanut butter. Or my virgin mojito....
This meal plan also packs in well above the recommended 70 grams for pregnant women. I've been trying harder to incorporate other ways of getting in my calcium (3-4 servings a day) far I've managed by adding in regular smoothies and cottage cheese to my diet. I'm not a big milk drinker, so it's a little more difficult than I expected. I'm totally using it as an excuse to order froyo more this summer though!
Another big change I've made is coffee intake. I completely eliminated coffee from my diet during the first trimester since it was my one and only aversion, and just recently, I began drinking it again, though in very small amounts. I treat myself to a small iced coffee on the weekends, but during the week, I stick to water in the mornings and throughout the day.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Miserable Mondays

Yesterday's Workout:
4 mile run
Bicep/Tricep Circuit:
1 x 12 bicep curls
1 x 12 alternating bicep curls, each arm
1 x 12 hammer curls
1 x 12 alternating hammer curls, each arm
1 x 12 tricep dips
1 x 12 tricep press
1 x 12 tricep kickbacks
1 x 12 skull crushers
*Repeat circuit 2X

Yup, this pretty much describes how I felt having to get out of bed this morning. Miserable. The only thing getting me through this week is the start of my company's summer hours...half day Fridays....which means I am taking every Friday off for the next 16 weeks. I'm way more excited than I probably should be about that, but it will be so nice to have an extra day to get stuff done around the house so that Brent and I can enjoy our summer weekends together - the last one before Baby Mo comes!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Virgin Mojito

Yesterday's Workout:
30 minute cardio blast (Xfinity On Demand)
50 push-ups (ouch!)

Not being able to indulge in an adult beverage now that the weather is getting nice has gotten me to explore a little on the mocktail front. I drink water 99.9% of the time, but when we go out to dinner, I've been enjoying ordering a fun nonalcoholic drink to treat myself. When we were in Chicago, a lot of the bars we went to actually had entire mocktail sections in their menu that were just as fun and tasty as the real thing. I really try to make this a once-in-awhile thing because drinks, nonalcoholic or not, are loaded with sugar and empty calories. Contrary to popular belief, pregnancy isn't an excuse to just eat whatever you want!

One of my all-time favorite summertime drinks is the mojito. Throughout the pregnancy so far, whenever I see a restaurant offers a mojito on their cocktail menu, I ask for one virgin. They are so crisp and refreshing, I just love it! Some places have the tendency to make them really sweet though, so I try to ask for them with more lime and soda water.  The simplest solution is to just make them at home though, so that you can cater them to your own liking. I made one last night for my after dinner treat, and it's as if I was taking a sip of summer. Feel free to keep the recipe virgin or add some light rum to yours to make it a delicious adult beverage. Then have a sip for me.

Virgin Mojito
Serves 1

1/4 C mint leaves (about 10 large), washed and ripped in half
1 tsp raw cane sugar
Juice of one small lime (about 1 oz), plus wedge of the lime (to muddle)
2 Tbsp simple syrup*, more or less depending on how sweet you prefer yours or if you want to add rum
4 ounces club soda


  • In a tall glass, muddle the mint, raw cane sugar, lime juice, and a wedge if the lime together for about 2 minutes.  
  • Fill glass with ice. Add the simple syrup and club soda. Stir well to mix. 

*Simple Syrup recipe: to a small sauce pan over low heat, add 1/2 C granulated sugar and 1/2 C water. Boil until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. This can be stored in the refrigerator for future mojitos!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pregnancy Favorites Part I

Yesterday's Workout:
45 minute walk with Jasper
Deep stretching

Pregnancy Favorites Part I

1. Maternity Low-Panel Slim Boot-Cut Jeans {Old Navy - only $29 right now!} | Maternity jeans, where have you been all my life? Most of the jeans I've seen advertised lately are all the full panel kind where the elastic band stretches all the way to the top of your torso, and I'm not a huge fan of that. I like that Old Navy offers the low-panel style as well. They are super comfortable; I kind of just want to live in them. Think yoga pants made out of denim. I also purchased a pair of the skinny jeans and love them as well.

2. Key Lime Greek Yogurt {Chobani} | I eat Greek yogurt every morning for breakfast. It's a great protein source, especially for moms-to-be that are expected to eat at least 70 grams of protein a day for growing babies. This key lime flavor is so refreshing, I could eat 3 containers a day and be okay with it.

3. Ruched Seamless Maternity Tank {Mom & Co.} | I ordered two of these (one in coral, shown, and one in mint green) through a Zulily sale last month. I may not be sporting a bump just yet, but these shirts have turned into my favorite workout attire anyways. They are long, so they don't ride up when I run, and the ruching on the side is extremely flattering. They also don't show sweat marks - huge win! The next time Mom & Co. has a sale, I'm ordering more.

4. Nuance Salma Hayek Walnut Facial Scrub {CVS} | Acne is one of those really unpleasant side-effects of pregnancy. I've been lucky so far - I've only had one breakout on my face in the past 4 months. I've been using this scrub 2x per week, and it has absolutely improved my complexion.

5. Coconut Oil {Amazon} | When you're pregnant, you have to be very conscious of what you're putting in and on your body. It is recommended pregnant women avoid skin products that contain retinoids and salicylic acid. I don't have the patience to sit and sort through all the ingredient lists of different moisturizers, so to keep it simple, I switched to pure coconut oil. It's a natural, safe moisturizer with anti-bacterial properties and blocks 20% of UV exposure, so that makes it a natural sun protector. I find that it gets absorbed into my skin very quickly and therefore does not leave my skin feeling oily. Try it - you'll never want to go back to skin moisturizer again.

6. Prenatal Multi + DHA {Nature Made} | Gotta get that folic acid in! It is recommended pregnant women consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to help prevent neural tube defects, to make normal red blood cells, and prevent anemia. This prenatal vitamin provides a healthy dose of 800 micrograms of folic acid, as well as 200 micrograms of DHA, which helps boost brain development and vision. The pills are big, but soft gel, and they leave absolutely no after-taste, which I read is a big complain among those who take prenatal vitamins. I take one every night before bed and began taking them about a month before we found out we were pregnant.

7.  Homemade Body Butter (not pictured: DIY recipe) | Like I mentioned above in my comment about coconut oil, it's important for pregnant women to be aware of what is in your body lotions. To avoid putting the baby at risk for absorbing harmful ingredients, I have been making my own body butter using this recipe. It's seriously the easiest thing in the world to make, and there's something very fulfilling about it. I purchased mango butter, shea butter, almond oil, coconut oil, mango essential oil, and almond essential oil all from Amazon. For under $70, I have enough to make me 2 years worth of body butter. It's made out of all natural ingredients, it's smooth, fast-absorbing, and keeps my skin glowing all day. I'm officially addicted!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

Yesterday's Workout: 5 miles
4 mile run
1 mile walk
Abs on stability ball

This past weekend, we celebrated Mother's Day. It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine, warm weather, and great company. Brent surprised me in the morning with some gorgeous flowers, chocolates, and a really sweet card - my first ever mother's day gifts! I can hardly believe that next year at this time, we'll have a almost 7 month old baby...crazy!! And SO DAMN EXCITING!!

We headed out to see my mom in the afternoon and took her to a late lunch at Village Haven in Rhode Island, where we've been going since we were kids. They offer a family style menu that includes salad, cinnamon rolls, roast chicken, pasta, house cut french fries, and ice cream for dessert. Baby and I ate our fair share, let me tell ya. After lunch, we went to my mom and stepdad's lake house to take their new boat out for a ride around the lake. They bought the boat at the end of the 2013, so it was the inaugural opening weekend. Jasper had never been in a boat before, but it's safe to say, the dude LOVED it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Jasper!!

Happy 1st Birthday, Jasper!! One year ago, Brent and I were anxiously awaiting the good news that the litter was born - on Mother's Day, nonetheless! All ten pups arrived happy and healthy, and we would get to come meet the litter at 6 weeks to pick our new addition. Talk about the longest 6 weeks ever!

He was the only male pup that had the darker coat that we loved. He was super playful, happy, and interactive. He followed Brent all through the yard while we played with the pups. He snuggled and was calm while in our laps.  We fell in love with this guy instantly. I cried when we left him and spent the next two weeks counting the hours until we could bring him home.

At 8 weeks, he was ready! He strutted right into our apartment like he owned it, and we knew then and there we had quite the challenge ahead of us.

He quickly learned what was his to chew and what wasn't (thank you to Bitter Apple spray!), and he eventually caught on to the concept that the carpet was not a toilet. He grew fast in the first few weeks - crazy fast!

8 weeks | 11 weeks
He still managed to look like a teddy bear 99% of the time. The other 1% was when he was doing something naughty and looked more like a devil. Like the time the dog walker came to meet him for the first time, and he decided to climb up on our bed and pee on the comforter. He even thought it was cute. Shameful!

Then he would do this, and I would die inside a little. He would fully redeem himself.

He perfected the doodle sleeping stance very early on. When he gets into a deep sleep, he rolls onto his back, legs wide open, and paws up. He still sleeps like this every day.

He excelled in his beginner obedience classes - although he was definitely the most playful dog in the group and would much rather have played than trained! His favorite hobbies include walks outside, chewing bones, patrolling his yard, going to the doggy park on Sunday mornings, playing with neighborhood kids, peanut butter, car rides with the windows down, and lounging on the couch when he's feeling particularly lazy.

Oh, and he sure loves his mom and dad. And he's going to make the best big brother canine when Baby Mo arrives in October.

Yesterday, while we were visiting my mom for Mother's Day, we got to celebrate Jasper's birthday with some Frosty Paws. Tonight, we'll be going to our local ice cream joint to get him a frozen doggy treat!

We love you, Jasper! Thanks so much for giving us the best year!

Friday, May 2, 2014

First Trimester Weekly's a long one, just warning you!

When I visited my doctor to confirm my pregnancy, they dated me at almost 6 weeks already. Excuse me? How is it possible I have had a baby growing in me for over a month before knowing about it? Come to find out, the pregnancy timeline begins at the first day of your last period. Fun fact #1. You can go to bed one night as a size A cup and wake up the next a size C. Lord, do those babies grow fast. You will hate it, baby daddy will love it. Fun fact #2. Also, if you do any sort of physical activity while you are pregnant, prepare to be lectured by other generations that think pregnancy is some sort of ailment that requires one to remain sedentary for 9 months.  Don't listen to them. Everyone is going to have some sort of opinion about how to appropriately live your life during pregnancy, but the only one that matters is the one you, your significant other, and your doctor discuss. Okay, so maybe that's a not-so-fun-fact, so let's just move on.

I've been keeping a little journal throughout my pregnancy so far so that I can look back one day and reflect on all the crazy things that happened during this time. Nine months might seem like an eternity, but having just reached the second trimester mark, I can attest to the fact that it's going to be over before I know it, and that makes me a little sad! So my journal is going to be my memory for now.

Week 5: Test is positive, yay!! I'm feeling a little more tired than normal, but other than that, I feel great. Second test is positive, felt good to have n=2! Time to make that appointment with my doctor...

Week 6: I woke up in the middle of the night with period-like cramps in my lower right abdomen, and this continued a few times a day. The cramps would last 15-20 minutes then go away. Turns out, it's just my uterus stretching. No spotting. All food tastes really good right better than usual. Maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones that don't get morning sickness?! (Spoiler alert: I turned out to be a lucky one!)

Week 7: Cramps didn't return. Pretty sure my boobs grew 1/2 a cup size overnight mid-week, and my nips are ridiculously sore! Not feeling any real nausea, but some foods are a real turn-off right now. Biggest aversion: coffee (even the smell - uck!) Although I'm a little more "food moody" than normal, I had some major cravings: olives (particularly green), lemonade, roast chicken (not grilled, not fried...roasted), yogurt, apples, bread and butter, and the weirdest one so far...Caesar Salad. On my drive home at lunch on Friday, I was hit with the intense craving, so I did something I never do...stopped at McDonald's drive-thru begging for a caesar salad. I was crushed when they said they don't carry them - who doesn't have caesar salads on their menu, c'mon?? I finally got my desired salad the following night at Legal Seafood. It was every bit as amazing as I was expecting. I also continued to eat one every day for lunch and dinner for the rest of the week. Gross.

Week 8: Between running and walking, I covered 23 miles this week. I'm feeling much more tired than usual, but I've found it's worth it to fit in a good workout. Running makes me feel strong, even if I've had to slow down a bit from what I'm used to. It makes me feel energized and keeps my hormones at bay. I've found it's a great time to reflect on my day, and it keeps me sane! I also woke up at the beginning of the week back to my normal food-loving self. Coffee is still the only thing I can't seem to stomach, which is fine, I managed to replace it with tea instead. I'm still pretty tired at night. I've been averaging about 9-10 hours of sleep a night. Our first ultrasound was this week - it was the most amazing thing to be able to see our baby for the first time. Baby Mo's heart rate was 158 bpm. After the appointment, Brent took me to get pizza, since I had been craving it all week!

Week 9: Feeling great this week and not as tired as the past few weeks. My appetite is in full swing this week, Baby Mo must be going through a growth spurt. In one day I ate: slice wheat toast with PB, Chobani coconut yogurt with almonds, 1 C grapes with cheddar cheese snack stick, baby carrots with Greek yogurt dip, red lentil/quinoa soup, bag of Pirate Booty, sweet potato chips with black bean hummus, a giant salad, shrimp and veggie fried rice, Greek yogurt fudgesicle, and 2 miniature Twix bars. Food, give me it all! Anything and everything with tomatoes - the smell, the taste - I love it. I've been putting them in my salads all week. Still working out about 5-6 days a week (thank god, with this damn appetite!) Running is getting tougher but I'm adjusting. I started doing Barre3 Online a few weeks ago and love to do that a couple times a week either instead of or in addition to my runs.

Week 10: Double digits, baby! And 25% there...where has the time gone? This week started off pretty awful actually - I had a migraine that lasted almost 48 hours. It sucks not to be able to take anything but Tylenol for this. Lots of sleeping this week. My new favorite thing in the world is Chobani Coconut and Key Lime flavored yogurt. I eat one of these flavors every morning and practically lick it clean. Boobs are still a little sore - no leaning on counters, let's just say that. I've gone up a full cup size - hopefully, that's all! Some slight cramping mid-week, but it went away.

Week 11: This has been a magical more sore breasts, my energy levels are rising, and I'm still able to maintain my workout schedule. I'm loving everything strawberry this week. I've been making this delicious smoothie with 1 C frozen strawberries, 1/2 banana, 1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and 1 tsp honey. It's to die for.  I had my first real pregnancy splurge this week. I wanted nothing to do with dinner on Friday night, so I asked Brent to pick up supplies to make banana splits instead. Talenti gelato, hot fudge, Reese's pieces, and whipped cream = my own personal heaven. It was so worth it. Other than this, I've actually been eating as healthy as I can...lots of protein in the form of lean meats, low fat cheese, and tons of fruits and veggies. Between running and walking, I completed 25 miles this week. Feels great!

Week 12: We had our second ultrasound this week for the NT scan, and it was AMAZING! We love being able to see our little baby! Baby Mo cooperated very well so that they could do the neck gap analysis and take measurements. Talk about an acrobat, the baby was all over the place doing crazy moves - I had no idea they moved so much at this stage! The most surreal moment was hearing the heart beat (140 bpm), and we both shed a few tears. We got to see Baby's face forming, brain, stomach, heart was just amazing. We booked the gender ultrasound for June 6th...I'm already counting down the days. Brent painted the nursery this week - it's a beautiful slate gray color that will go perfectly with either blue or pink as accent colors. I ate my weight in deviled eggs this week for Easter. Announcement went out, and we were completely amazed by all the warm wishes sent our way. Thank you all SO much!

3D cool!

Week 13: Baby Mo's first 5K road race went well! I think this baby likes running with its mommy! My pregnancy app says most first time moms start to show between 12-18 weeks. I wonder when I'm going to start showing. Will I be one of those girls who show early or will it take awhile? While it's nice to still fit in all my normal clothes (I've only gained 2 lbs so far), I can't wait for an adorable bump! I'm short with not a whole lot of space in my torso to hide a baby for too long, so I'm thinking it may be sooner rather than later, but we'll see!