What’s Up Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!  It’s the last week of school for some kids, and you can just feel the excitement of summer in the air!  I visited my school yesterday and got to see students and fellow teachers.  The main attraction was definitely Miss Helen.  We visited for a little over an hour and a half.  However, she slept the whole time!  She only peeked her eyes open a few times for a select few people.  It was so nice to see the kids, and I may be crazy…but it seemed like they had grown so much in just the two months I’ve been gone!  Helen looked just lovely in her power color, purple, but I didn’t get any pictures as my arms were full of a little baby I know.  Here’s a selfie I took in the Starbucks drive-thru…got to document this out-of-the-house-with-make-up-and-real-clothes thing!

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This week has had a few ups and downs with Helen’s sleeping.  We tried something different on Monday night to try and alleviate the early evening nap crying.  It was AWFUL.  It turns out we just traded the early evening cries for the later evening cries {and for a longer period!}.  😦  Last night, we were back to the cries during the early evening nap.  It took her quite awhile to settle down, but I do think she got a little catnap in before waking up again right before 8:30.  However, she went right to sleep after a feeding, a bath, and some screaming at Daddy.  She screams at him every night.  Isn’t that terrible?!?!?  No sweet baby rocking.  Just screams!  It seems like she has to just get it out of her system.  Then, she settled down and slept until 5:30 with one feeding that I woke her up for at 11:30.  Yay!  No night crying and sleep all around!

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Even Roscoe is happy {though he doesn’t show it}!

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I really feel like this week has been the week for me to get back on the healthy eating horse  and enjoying my work-outs.  When I had Holden, I worked out pretty intensely right after having him {we’re talking like two weeks}.  I knew this was against my midwife’s directions, but I was desperate for exercise to help cope with the postpartum depression.  I am firmly convinced this was why I had bleeding that continue for many weeks.  This time around I took it much easier with absolutely nothing the first week, walks the second week, and yoga and walks the third week.  It wasn’t until week 5 was just beginning that I tried a slight jog.  I gradually added in light weights.  I am happy to report that any bleeding ended by week 3.  Yay!  However, I noticed that the baby weight wasn’t coming off as easily.  I’m sure being older has something to do with it as well.  I also noticed that I was coping with being tired by eating little bursts of “energy” like sweets, heavy snacks, and chocolate!  Obviously this wasn’t helpful for fitting back into my jeans.  I knew I had to do something.  I increased my work-out sessions and intensity, but I pretty much kept eating like I wanted to.  I still felt heavier/sluggish, and my wardrobe choices were limited.  I knew that the next hurdle was diet.  I reread the Eat to Live book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  It is such a motivating book that provides a very simplistic approach to revamping your diet.  I would highly recommend it.  The main facts I want to share from the book are focus on whole foods {no processed stuff}, cut out animal products {this includes dairy…although I’ve been eating eggs}, unlimited greens, lots of other veggies, tons of fruit, and no snacking {this goes against LOTS of other health advice, but I’m telling you…try it for a day or two or three.}.  I’m definitely over-simplifying all the good info in here, but you really need to read it for yourself.  It’s a pretty easy read too.

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My little work-out buddy working on her neck muscles!

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My two treadmill work-outs so far this week…I’m having some Achilles tendon discomfort.  I plan to give the treadmill a break the rest of the week and {hopefully!} get in the gym.  I also did only walking and a 15 minute yoga routine yesterday.  I’m really enjoying the free Tone It Up routines on Youtube.  Here’s the one I did.  

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That’s all for me today!  We’re off to put some items in the mail, grocery shop at Trader Joe’s and Sam’s Club, and chill on the sofa with my favorite girl before big brother gets home from school.

Hope you have a great day!

Natalie

Do I know what hungry is?

For one of my birthday treats, my mom included a current issue of Vogue magazine.  I’m not a regular reader, but I do enjoy a good magazine.  I took it as my gym/elliptical reading on Sunday and was quite surprised by one article in particular.  The Beauty/Health section was titled “Hunger Games:  Is Skipping Meals the Secret to Staying Trim and Healthy?” by Kayleen Schaffer.  

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The main idea of this article is that our bodies were not designed to be snacking every three to four hours.  Our ancestors, you know those prehistoric people running around in animal skins, didn’t.  This method of fasting for a given amount of hours is called Intermittent Fasting.  Some impressive-sounding data from the International Journal of Obesity noticed some improved cardiovascular health and better regulation of blood sugar levels in obese women.  The article went on to mention some findings that said it may cause the brain to work harder thereby heading off cognitive disease.  As a reader of many health publications, I have a hard time with this info.  This flies in the face of all I’ve read!  We should be snacking to keep our engine running/burning calories/performing at our best!  

With that being said, I do notice that I sometimes eat my snacks just because it is time to.  I eat at 6:00ish, 9:30ish, 12:00ish, 3:00ish, and then 6:00ish.  Whew!  That’s a lot of snacking!  As an experiment, I’ve taken out my midmorning snack the past few days, and I must admit I don’t miss it too much.  I have been trying to make sure I get more protein in my breakfast.  Overall, I think I do a little mindless snacking at this time.  It also is my busiest time of the day.  I think I use the food time as an excuse to take a few minutes for a breather.  Well, good news!  I can still take a breather without food.  I’m replacing it with lots more water which is a good thing as I’m ALWAYS dehydrated.  Hate to drink, what can I say.  What are your thoughts on this?  Do we mindlessly eat for reasons besides hunger?  I think the answer is yes, but we need to figure out the why part of it.  I have to say I’ve been appreciating my lunch a little more too.  Check out the Vogue magazine on stands now to read more details.  It is a million and one pages long so turn to page 210 to get there quick.  

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Finding Your Fitness

‘Tis the season when work-outs are missed but extra treats are not.  I struggle with this just as much as the next person at this time of year.  I’ve been eating my WEIGHT in chocolate the past two days.  A chocolate intervention is definitely needed!  However, I know I will get back on the healthy eating and fitness wagon, because I don’t like the way I feel when I’ve missed work-outs repeatedly or over-indulged repeatedly.  The “repeatedly” part is the key.  We can go treating our body poorly by giving it poor fuel and not letting it “stretch its legs” so to speak.  Everyone should take a break and enjoy all this holiday season has to offer  including time spent with family just relaxing and the delicious tastes that we only get this time of year.  How do we keep the fitness in our lives though?  When I’m visiting family, I’m away from my at-home work-out equipment and my gym.  Here’s how I try to fit in fitness…

  • Take the jogging stroller – I use this to take Holden with me on long walks with the dog.  This gets a lot done at one time.  Fresh air for babe, exercise for dog, and exercise/stress relief for Mama.
  • Pack running shoes and try to go for some amount of distance in the morning hours – We all know morning work-outs are more likely to be kept than afternoon or evening ones.  Keep this in mind on your holiday.  I get a thrill out of getting my work-out done, showering, and then jumping back into my pajamas.  Then, I still get to savor the relaxing time on the couch in my soft clothes aka PJs.  
  • Take advantage of being away from home to check out new, outdoor work-out areas like parks, towns, or perhaps even a new gym with a guest pass
  • Volunteer to pick up groceries for whomever you’re staying with – You can make sure to pick up what they might need plus some healthy snacks like bottled water, almonds, fruit, and salad greens.  Greek yogurt is good too!
  • Make walks social by inviting family members to join
  • Work-out DVDs – A dvd doesn’t take up much room in a suitcase.  Just pop it in early in the morning, and you’re done!  Pick something that does require much equipment.  Yoga is good.  I can definitely make do with just a rug.  
  • Volunteer to cook a side dish – You can make your side dish something that is more on the healthy side.  Then, you have a healthy option when it comes time to chow down.

Do you have any other tips?  How do you stay fit during the holidays?  I took full advantage of a little town on our way home from the Thanksgiving holiday.  We (the traveling Three Musketeers = Me, Roscoe the Dog, and H) stopped in Cape Charles and enjoyed the pretty views and picturesque homes.  What a nice change from our usual walk around the neighborhood!  Idyllic pictures below.  Sidenote:  The Mr. and I were married there three years ago.  Brought back sweet memories.  

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Remember, someone somewhere is wishing they were able to do what you can do right now.  Treat your body right.

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