Staying Well In A Crisis

No doubt there’s a lot more stress going around in everyone’s life right about now. Much more than any of us are accustomed to. It’s so easy to see how life can change drastically from one month to the next. In one day, one hour everything can change. Now more than ever we must continue to carve out time for ourselves to de-stress and focus on our health, both physical and mental.

Being “stuck” at home with the kids has been my life lately, so this being “quarantined” is not too far out of my everyday. Granted we are forced to stay home, so that of course makes you want to go out and do something, but we all know that things could and probably will get worse, so staying home doesn’t have to be miserable. It’s been a couple of weeks so far and we’re finally realizing that we need to establish a new norm. Starting some type of routine is going to be the only way that I will be able to stay sane and keep two kids under the age of 3 from losing their minds as well.

There’s all kinds of mom hacks floating around the internet. A lot of them have me thinking are moms really doing all of these impressive arts and crafts or is it all wishful thinking amongst the majority of us? I may get around to making mosaic chalk art or homemade slime one day (they have their dad for that, right?) but in the mean time staying active and keeping off this baby weight is my main focus. My kids love to be outdoors so why not try and get them involved in my exercise routine instead of waiting for their naps everyday (because we all know naps are unpredictable).

My 9 month old is crawling and on the move these days and while playing with her on the floor, I started doing some ab exercises. She was crawling all over me and I picked her up and started using her as my weight. Believe me, her solid 20 lb body felt heavier than any weight I was lifting at the gym. So below are some exercises that you can do with your baby or toddler. My 3 year can plank and pushup with the best of them. I bet yours can too!

 

 

 

Quick and Easy Frittatas

Normally, I’m all about grab and go things to eat. These days there’s not really anywhere to go but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have quick and easy go-to items. This one is a family fave and easy to make your own. Here’s the recipe I used recently but you can customize as you go along.

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • about 1/2 cup of milk (I usually eyeball this measurement)
  • 6 chicken sausage links (This time I used breakfast sausage links that were already cooked. Feel free to use any kind of meat you want; sausage, bacon, etc.)
  • 6 sweet peppers chopped (yellow, red and orange)
  • 6 small mushrooms chopped
  • cup of onions chopped (I use the creole seasoning found in the produce section that has the onions, bell peppers and garlic already chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (whatever kind you like and this is another measurement that I eyeball)
  • Salt and pepper, Mrs. Dash, Tony’s Chachere or any other spices you like to use

Directions:

Sautee the onion mix, chopped mushrooms, chopped peppers or any of your veggies that you are using. Season your veggie mix with your favorite spices. Whisk your eggs, milk and salt and pepper to taste. You want it to look like the consistency when you make scrambled eggs. Spray your muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray then add your sauteed veggies to the pan. Since I used pre-cooked sausage I’m adding that next but you can sautee your meat with your veggies as well. I also did some with no meat which is why I didn’t mix it all together. Pour your egg mixture next into the muffin pan then sprinkle your shredded cheese on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 mins. depending on your oven and make sure your frittatas are cooked all the way through by using a toothpick to check the middle while cooking. Once their done, let them cool and voila!

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My little sous chef

Super easy!

 

Grab-n-go Snacks For On The Go

Everyone is busy these days and it can be hard to find healthy options when you’re on the go. It’s been a struggle but I’ve found some healthy alternatives that I love to make and they’re filling too!!

Fruit and yogurt parfaits

  • Yogurt of your choice (I like Dannon Light and Fit Greek yogurt but choose whichever you like best)
  • Fruit of your choice (my favorite combo is bananas, strawberries and blueberries)
  • Honey
  • Granola (my favorite is Mason St. Bakehouse granola or you can make your own)
  • I layer the yogurt then fruit add a little honey and granola on top then continue to layer as much or as little as you want. The best part is you can change your toppings to fit your mood!

 

Overnight Oats

I posted previously about my overnight oats but just as a reminder if you didn’t read my last post here’s how I make them. They’re easy to make ahead and it’s great for breastfeeding mothers. Plus it tastes great too!

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats (Bob’s Red Mill is my go to)
  • 1/2 cup of milk of your choice (I like almond milk)
  • Fruit or nut topping of your choice

This is another recipe where you can be creative and put whatever toppings and fruit you like in it. Below is a great chart to help get you started from the producemom.com:

I love to add just the basics: bananas, peanut butter and honey is my usual overnight oat of choice mix.

 

Hope these recipes help you make some good choices for future snacking!

 

Time Oat: Overnight Oatmeal is the Best Thing You’ve Never Had

Before I was pregnant I had never tried overnight oatmeal. The thought of cold oatmeal in the morning didn’t really sound appealing but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When I was breastfeeding with my first baby, I had a hard time producing milk in the beginning, so I looked up ways to increase my production. Hence the previous posts on lactation cookies. I also discovered oatmeal was a great source of iron and perfect for breastfeeding moms and women in general.

The best part is that it’s easy to make. You can make batches ahead of time (I like to store them in mason jars in the refrigerator) and it’s a great way to get a healthy breakfast in when you’re a new and/or busy mom.

Below are some recipes that I’ve tried and loved but feel free to put any toppings you choose once you have the base.

Overnight Oats

Refrigerate in a jar and the next day add your toppings

*Topping suggestions:

Banana, peanut butter or other nut butter and honey

Apple, chia seeds or flax seeds, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg

Nutella and banana

Berries, yogurt, nuts and honey

Skies the limit with this simple yet filling recipe.

Give it a try and add anything healthy you like! It’s perfect for morning, noon or night!

Life after Pre-eclampsia: How My Second Pregnancy Differed From My First

The 21st of July was my due date and the day has come and gone. Instead of going in on my scheduled induction date, I’ve spent these past days with my new two week old daughter and navigating life with a newborn and almost 3 year old. I may not have had any pre-eclampsia symptoms like I did the first time around but I still delivered 2 weeks early. It may seem surprising, and believe me no one was more surprised than me when I woke up one morning to use the bathroom and my water broke, but it ended up being a much less stressful situation this time around and even though she was early, she was full term and already 8lbs!

Going back to my water breaking, everything about this second delivery was different from the first. From my new doctor and my trust in her, to the attending doctor and staff once I got to the hospital, everything was completely different than when I had my son just 3 short years ago. That being said, I was lucky enough to have people around me telling me to put aside all the anxiety and all the preconceived notions from the first delivery and focus on this delivery. And that’s what I would tell anyone today who is having fears and doubts about having more children after a rough first time.

Every. Pregnancy. Is. Different.

I heard it before but until you experience it, you won’t believe it. I had faith. And I hoped and I prayed that this time would be different and it was. I didn’t have pneumonia. I didn’t have preeclampsia. My newborn didn’t have jaundice where I had to go back to the hospital once we were discharged. I did have some ankle and feet swelling but after 2 weeks I’m back to feeling and looking like myself again instead of months later still feeling sick and while trying to take care of a newborn. I couldn’t ask for a better situation this time around. Believe me, I had doubts. I googled all kinds of things: “second pregnancies after preeclampsia”, “will I have preeclampsia a second time if I’ve had it once”, “what to expect after having preeclampsia”. Too much googling can make you crazy. Trust in your body. Trust yourself and make sure you surround yourself with people you trust as well.

My little Zoe ❤️

After all my nervousness not only surrounding my health but whether I could deliver vaginally or if I was going to have a c-section, I delivered my healthy 8lb girl naturally and she is perfect.

Now comes the easy part…raising two kids under the age of 3! 😉

Cravings: Greek Pasta Salad

This pregnancy I’ve been craving salads in all forms so I decided to switch it up and make a pasta salad this time. This was an old Pinterest recipe I found that I changed up a little bit. Feel free to modify and add your own spin to it. The recipe calls for mini cheese tortellini pasta but I used Barilla tri-color rotini instead.

Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong!

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 1 20 ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini (Any type of pasta you like)
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 large cucumber chopped
  • 1 cup kalamata olives pit removed and chopped (I used black olives)
  • 1/2 red onion chopped (I skipped the onions this time around)
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

–from Two Peas & Their Pod

Finished product!

If you try it, I would love to know what you think!

Mommy Struggle #4

In the last series of “mommy struggles” I talked about my anxiety having more children. Well, I’m happy and overwhelmed and excited and nervous to say that I will be learning firsthand what it means to be a mom of 2. I’m now 16 weeks pregnant and boy, is this pregnancy different than the last. For one thing, those anxieties about how I’m going to handle more children is less of a (scary) dream and becoming my reality. The hardest part is not the pregnancy itself, it’s my expectations and my insecurities about whether or not I’ll be able to handle 2 kids. Which was pretty much he hardest part of my first pregnancy. The answer: of course, I will, right? People have babies everyday. 2 and 3 and sometimes even 6! Surely, I can handle 2 kids under 3….

This pregnancy itself has been pretty easy. Some nausea and sickness in the beginning but now that I’m in the second trimester, I feel pretty good. I’m still exhausted and even more so than last time since I have a toddler to take care of this time around, but other than that I can’t complain. So I won’t. I’ll only say that I’m thankful and feeling very lucky to be able to have another baby and to get double the love that I’ve already been blessed to receive. But I’m still tired and cranky. Sorry, I can’t help myself.

I guess what I want to convey is that the struggles we have as moms a lot of the time is pressure we put on ourselves. As women and as mothers. All the worry and anxiety about being able to have another baby was for nothing. God only gives you what you can handle, right? So apparently I’ve got this mom of 2 gig in the bag 😉 

 

17 weeks pregnant!

Bosu Ballin’

One of my favorite pieces of work out equipment is the Bosu Ball. I love when you can do a million exercises on 1 thing. It’s easy to use and transport, while still being tough on you!

For these exercises shown below, I usually do this as part of a complete hour workout. Which means if I’m doing a circuit workout, I may run for 5 mins, then do strength exercises for 10mins, run for 5 then do something else. This Bosu workout below is the something else. Each exercise is done at my own pace, as many reps as possible for 30-45secs and I do it twice.

Have you tried the Bosu lately? You’ll be glad you did once you start.

Mommy Struggle #3

In this “struggle series” I wanted to discuss my anxiety about having more children. I’m not sure if anyone else has ever felt this way after having kids, but now that it’s time for us to start trying for another baby, I can’t help but be nervous that my pregnancy will be difficult or I’ll have preeclampsia again. I guess it’s like any new endeavor: going to a new school, moving to a new city, starting a new job. All of those things bring that same uncertainty of the unknown, but somehow you rise to the challenge and come out ok, sometimes better than before.

Not to mention I’m 35 now and according to modern medicine once you’re over 35 you’re too old to have kids. My doctor is wonderful, however and relays the basics but doesn’t dwell on it. She cuts to the chase, yes I’m 35 and it might be harder but it also depends on each individual and each pregnancy is different, so bottom line is I shouldn’t worry. I can’t help it though, I’m a natural worrier.

I’m also stuck on trying to lose the last 15lbs of post-baby weight so that I don’t start off heavier the second time around. That means more consistent exercising, healthier meals and staying more active. Fall is slowly approaching us here in the south so that means hopefully we can do more things outside, take more walks and enjoy the outdoors. It’s a constant battle between wanting to sleep and wanting to workout. It never used to be this hard but I’m not giving up.

So what else is there to do? Well if I can’t worry I’m going to focus on the positive. I’m going to continue to work out, try to eat healthy and let things happen naturally. If I’m meant to have another baby, I will. Meanwhile I have the most amazing son and husband and family and I’ll continue to try and be the best mother and wife I can be. I guess that all any of us can do!

My cute little family at Disneyworld 👆🏽

When the Scale Doesn’t Lie

What happens when the frustration really sets in and those last few pounds you want off stick around longer than you thought? I’m having a hard time getting back to a healthier weight or a healthier weight for me. I know, I know. I tell my clients all the time. It’s not so much about the number but more how you feel and how your clothes feel. Well, I feel like crap and my clothes are still tight. I could blame all the normal things to blame: the fact that I had a baby, I’m exercising and nothing is happening, I’m watching what I eat. What else is there? In reality I only have myself to blame. Yes, I had a baby. 2 years ago! And there are millions of women who have had babies and are able to lose the weight they want. Yes, I am exercising but not as intensely as I used to. Mainly because I’m so tired. And the eating…let’s just say the weekends are definitely my downfall.

I think the key thing to take away from this is that I shouldn’t compare how easy or hard it is for me to lose weight to other moms who have have done in less or more time. I am constantly coming to terms with the fact that I gave birth and it was not as easy as I thought it would be. And that’s ok. Now it’s what am I going to do about it? The answer is never give up. I’m going to keep at it and try different things, because let’s face it: my body is different. So the same things that used to work for me pre-baby may not work now post-baby.

Stay tuned for more on my journey and some new workouts that I’m trying that might work for you.