WWWWHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOO….

blowing-dust-off-a-bookOk. Now that we have cleared the dust off of this blog, I hope to be a special guest writer from time to time.
I started writing on this platform while I was pregnant with visions of a sleeping baby and an independently playing toddler, while mommy sits at her desk and formulates perfectly punctuated sentences that stem from clear and rational thinking. Then when the allotted time that I gave myself was up, we would return to story book time and riding our unicorn.

But, as it does, reality came. And the strongest lesson that I have learned from parenting… nothing goes the way you plan… set in and over a whole year goes by.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s been an incredible year. One filled with more personal growth than a single person can muster. Seriously faced with staring down two paths. One that sends me down the rabbit hole of mommy melodrama (I swear I am not trying to be dismissive… this sh*t is hard) or one that pushes, pulls, and stretches at every turn. I chose the latter with binoculars always eyeing the other side.

So here I am. I make no promises with the consistency of my posting, nor with the grammar that may be imposed from mommy-brain. After a bit of soul-searching from that latter path, I know a few things to be true. One of which is that I enjoy writing. I like to put my thoughts to paper and create.

And I do hope to do more of it.

Fit (Breastfeeding) Momma Nutrition Plan

Hey Moms!

I’m super flattered by all of the questions about pre and post natal nutrition. Remember, I’m not a doctor and not nutritionist, I’m an Herbalife health coach and a healthy momma with results. So with that, I am happy to share my current “shred” (LOL) plan!

One of the biggest myths out there is that you can’t exercise or try to lose weight while breastfeeding. That is 100% false. What you don’t want to do is consume less calories than your metabolism (the calories that support your day to day functioning). I used this awesome calorie calculator for breastfeeding moms. If you don’t eat enough one of two things will happen: 1) Your milk supply will dry up, 2) You won’t lose weight.

My initial struggle was eating enough clean foods. I was coming up about 300 calories short each day, by focusing on 3 meals and 2 snacks. So what has become easier for me is focusing on the six small meals. It doesn’t really matter what you call it as long as you get those in.

**note** On Mexican or pizza night, 2 shakes, and 2 snacks + your indulgent plate of heaven will suffice.

I eat every 2-3 hours and drink water all day. Here’s a little sample:

Meal 1: Hot oatmeal with 2 scoops of Herbalife Formula 1, 1/2C of berries, Herbalife hot Green Tea, and warm water with lemon (this meal pretty much NEVER changes because it has everything I need, it’s warm, it’s easy, and keeps me full. Come Spring/Summer this will probably be a shake, but in the winter I like a warm breakfast).

Meal 2: 2-3 Egg whites, rice cake and some berries -OR- if I worked out I will have a Rebuild Strength and a banana

Meal 3: Shake! Herbalife Formula 1 with 2 scoops of Protein Drink Mix and Prolessa Duo

Meal 4: Garden salad with spinach, romaine, carrots, tomato, tuna and vinaigrette dressing and tea

Meal 5: Chicken, sweet potato and garden salad or other vegetable

Meal 6: Beverage Mix and Active Fiber Complex

Fit Momma Flyer.001I currently workout 2-4x per week, consisting of one 90-minute Vinyasa yoga class, one intense athletic workout, one Fit Momma Camp and then potentially 1 more of any of the previous (but let’s be honest… that’s actually rare).

Additional Vitamins and Supplements that I take:

Cellular Nutrition

Weight Management

Heart Health, Brain Development and Joints

Probiotics and Immune Health

Bones and Calcium for Breastfeeding

Sore muscles from working out, shoulders and back from breastfeeding, and recovering hips from labor

I think the name says it all…

(This program may not be for everyone but I feel AMAZING, even on 6 broken hours of sleep).

The moral of the story is that you can be a FIT MOMMA! With support, nutrient-dense foods, and the right tools!

Body After Baby and Why I am Getting in the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE

If you have read any of my recent posts, you may already be familiar that I have not been one of those women who have adored pregnancy. I wanted to be. Really I did. I thought I would be. And I have my moments, like when she is moving around, that I think this is pretty, freakin cool. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bond and connect with her before she arrives. But at the end of the day, you could say, I’m Over Being Pregnant.

I have been a long time advocate and professional in women’s health. I am all about empowering women through health and wellness. How we portray that can be tricky. When you slam pictures up on the internet, it can easily be taken two ways: motivating for some and self-depricating for others, usually more of the latter, especially if we don’t know where or how to start. Approaching health and fitness for women has to be done with care and precaution. I never want to alienate anyone… especially a new mom. We are going through enough as it is.

However, I will be quite clear: I don’t buy into women’s (or anyone’s) excuses to be overweight. Yes, genetics plays a role in our size. No, we do not all need to be a size 6 or smaller. However, embracing obesity (defined by the CDC as 30 lbs overweight or more) is unacceptable to me. When you embrace obesity, you are actually hurting yourself, your culture, and your gender. The health problems associated with obesity are insurmountable and this is the first generation where parents are predicted to outlive their children. NO THANK YOU!! When we embrace being overweight, we excuse ourselves from changing and that’s the message that we pass on to our children.

I don’t always vocalize this opinion loudly, because while obesity runs in my family (and I have lost family members to obesity), I, myself have never been obese. Even when I was carrying my extra weight, I was still in a healthy BMI and weight. So, I am fully aware that my statement above may seem like I lack empathy, but it lacks no more empathy than if I were to be ok with the other side of my family getting away with alcoholism because they are Irish.

For me, pregnancy has been very eye opening as to what carrying extra weight is like. While, I know I am growing a baby (which is awesome), it is still extra weight on my body. At my last weigh-in I had gained 29 lbs in 7 months and I weigh more than I ever have. That’s a lot of new weight for my body to adjust to. So, it’s no wonder that I have been tired, stiff, achy joints and muscles, back pain, hip pain, and S L O W. I actually have to contemplate things like how to get off of the couch, how to tie my shoes, or climb a few flights of stairs.

So here is why I have decided that I vow to get into the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE: Because I refuse to live my life that way. I refuse for my daughter to grow up with a mom that can’t run and play with her. I have taken advantage of my health many times. As a child, I was small, weak and unathletic. It didn’t bother me because I was skinny. Then in college, I started to work out. I felt stronger. I was no longer the weakling and I liked it. Working out empowered me. Then I became very comfortable with a maintenance level. Maybe we call it complacency, or maybe we just call it a shift in priorities at the time. My health and weight were good. I worked out. I was content. But now, after a glimpse of a life that is slower, more lethargic, heavier, I don’t want to take advantage of my opportunity to be in my best shape possible. I want to be the best me, not just for me, but for my daughter; for my family.

The life that I envision for my family is active! It includes Sunday hikes with the dogs, surfing and adventure sports, walking through cities as we explore, running and chasing each other at the park, Family 5Ks, lots of lessons in nutrition and cooking healthy foods together, and endurance through the days.

So if my body changes after this awesome baby or the next one through stretch marks or sagging boobs, so be it. But I refuse to excuse the baby weight and let it slow me down. Because the extra weight that we carry isn’t just in our bodies, it’s in our minds. And I have way too many other important things to worry about than my own self-guilt or body image. It’s just not worth it.

Let’s Document the Journey… Stay tuned…

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Favorite Smoothies… YUM!

I see so many smoothie recipes out there these days. It’s a popular, yet sensible thing to do. Grind all of your goodness up and take it on the go. I love it! The one ingredient that many people neglect in a smoothie is the protein. A key element! There is a lot of debate out there on how much protein one needs. Most experts will agree that 10-35% percent of our daily calories should come from protein, but that is a pretty big margin. How do you determine if you are ok at 10 or should be getting closer to 35? Protein does 3 things for the body:

  1. Boosts Your metabolism
  2. Helps with appetite control
  3. Assists in building lean muscle

So essentially if you are looking to burn fat, lose weight, or build muscle then you probably should be hitting the higher end of that recommendation.

The other concern with smoothies is that often times they have too many calories and too much sugar for the average American. So even if you are putting yummy, nutritional goodness into your smoothie, you must be careful that you haven’t built yourself a 700 calorie breakfast (unless you are trying to gain weight), or doused yourself in sugars (which will turn to fat).

Here are a couple of my absolute FAVORITE Healthy, High Protein, Calorie/Sugar Controlled Smoothies. In each smoothie, I start off with one serving of Herbalife Formula 1. It is a Healthy Meal, complete with heart-healthy veggie protein, fiber, and 19 essential vitamins and minerals. From there, every additional ingredient is bonus healthy!

Pumpkin SpicePumpkin-smoothie2

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Blueberry-Kale Mega Antioxidant

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Banana Bread

Sweet Heaven

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On Being an Entrepreneur

My husband and I like to talk shop. Our business is still our baby. We live it, love it, breathe it, and cry about it almost daily. So even when we are out on date nights or going for an evening stroll, our business tends to be a major topic.

One thing we have been reflecting on a lot is business and entrepreneurship in general. You see, our business isn’t normal. There are many people in our company that are starting from scratch (where we all start) and shooting up to mega incomes in 4 years or less. And when I say mega, I mean MEGA. Take your definition of MEGA and triple it. YUP! Anyway, we 100% saw ourself on that path. Maybe not the tripled MEGA but definitely the doubled mega in 3 years. We are two years in and unsure if we will hit it (but aren’t slowing down anytime soon).

That income opportunity isn’t normal and we often have to remind ourselves of that when we talk shop. Prior to health coaching, we both owned our own business. I walked away after one year, he walked away after 4 years. And in that time, we weren’t even close to what we have developed to date. We reflect on our trials and our tribulations. We both started businesses with no structural support in place, no formal business education, and very little self education. We are both fight-to-the-death kind of people and probably would have eventually figured it out-ish. In our current business, we’re very fortunate of the support that we have in place and all of the skills that we have learned without knowing or intentionally learning them.

In our evening chats, we know others that are in business for themselves, going into business, or thinking about entrepreneurship. We admire those for the tenacity and passion. But I think we also send a lot of empathy and well-wishes out to them. Growing your own business is hard. You have to have thick-skin, passion, and the most crystal clear WHY before you even open your doors. You have to defy the naysayers, develop yourself everyday, LEARN, be ok with failure, and most importantly be patient with nothing but faith. Only then, do you have a chance at success. And again, our current business is simple!

Everyday I am grateful for being self-employed. It’s been a crazy journey and definitely not one that I envisioned for myself but we are getting through the humps and really starting to see the other side. The true American Dream. And the incredible part is that recently it’s been recognized more and more. Something that we definitely didn’t expect at this point. But the recognition really must go to those that have paved the way for us. We’ve had it very easy in our business. But for those going out on their own, here are the lessons that C and I take away – 1) Have a support structure in place. Find a mentor that has been successful in business to call on. 2) Read and self-educate like it’s your job. It is. Become a better human being and your business will become attractive. 3) Don’t quit. Give yourself 2 years to keep your head above water, 4 years to get by, and at 7 years enjoy your income and benefits of entrepreneurship.

It may not be easy, but it’s SO Worth It!

Prenatal Nutrition 411: My Regimen

One of the biggest questions I get asked as a Nutrition Coach is, “What do you eat, ” and “What do you take?” It’s probably one of my favorite prenatal topics because I LOVE nutrition! And prior to becoming pregnant I could talk everything about weight-loss, allergy-free diets, vegan/vegetarian, raw, gluten-free, local and organic, sports performance, and on… but I really didn’t know the ins and outs of a prenatal diet.

So here I will share some of the important nuggets that I have picked up as well as a sample of what I eat and the supplements that I take. I would like to disclose that I am not a doctor and you should always discuss your choices with your medical professional. End fine print.

There is an overwhelming amount of information about what you can’t and shouldn’t  eat out there with a lot of confusing information about what you should be eating (just like any other diet). I found that focusing on a few key elements was very helpful. So here is what I chose:946245_10151710206369371_94838216_n

  1. Protein: eggs, lean meats, nuts, dairy, and Herbalife Formula 1 and Beverage Mix
  2. Iron: Spinach and lean meats, but I eat A LOT of spinach
  3. Calcium: Yogurt, milks (almond and cow), almonds, fruits and veggies
  4. Water: Water all Day!!
  5. Supplements: Guaranteeing I got everything that I needed on the days I just wanted to eat popsicles

More fine print: Am I perfect with what I eat? Of course, not. I have plenty of days where the fiber is giving me a tummy ache and all I want is a grilled cheese… which then backs me up so more fiber. I have also had more than one dessert on more than one occasion. But most days, most of the time, I make the best choices that I can. I ensure this by keeping the bad foods out of the house, keeping the pantry stocked with variety, making all of my meals as simple as possible, and dropping ALL guilt if I am eating a bit atypically.

But for the most part here is what my meals look like:

Breakfast is one of 4 things always:

  • Plain oatmeal with 2 Scoops Formula 1 (cookies and cream), blueberries, and a splash of milk
  • Super Smoothie with spinach, blueberries, banana, plain greek yogurt, Formula 1, and maybe like Chia seeds, flax or oatmeal… with either water, milk, or juice
  • Formula 1 pancakes with banana, egg, and topped with peanut butter
  • 2 eggs with spinach and cheese, sprouted toast, and fruit

Lunch tends to follow a similar trend… Again, I keep it simple

  • A Shake
  • Spinach Salad with fruit and nuts or eggs and veggies
  • A sandwich, maybe chicken or tuna salad

Dinner could be anything, really depending on my mood, exhaustion level, and hunger level. Often times I am less hungry in the evening and will have something very simple.

  • Cereal… My favorite option… I pick a high fiber, high protein cereal like a Kashi or organic raisin bran
  • Lasagna with low carb noodles, cottage cheese, and spinach
  • Lean meat, veggie, grain of some sort
  • Something less healthy like steak tacos, macaroni and cheese, pizza, or whatever sounds tolerable. (Full disclosure right??)

And snacks could be anything from fruit (slightly addicted this Summer), a protein bar, yogurt parfait, cheese and an apple, nuts and nut butters, a shake, etc.

And finally, here is the list of my supplement regimen. Again, please consult your healthcare pro as well, but this is what works for me. I use all Herbalife products and only Herbalife products. They are a brand that I trust and can rest assured that I am getting what I need with the highest quality ingredients. (There is one exception when I had to use an additional Vitamin D 2,000 mcg dose for about 2 months. Oh and maybe the occasional chamomile tea).

Following this nutrition regimen, I have had a completely healthy pregnancy- stable blood sugar, healthy weight gain, normal blood pressure, completely on track with baby’s growth and development, and a very ACTIVE little girl squirming around, but the best part is that my mind is at ease knowing that we are both getting everything we need.

Now, I can’t wait to share my journey post baby! Breast feeding and pregnancy weight loss is my new fascination! Stay tuned!