5 tips on Establishing a Morning Routine

It’s all the buzz now. Having a morning routine. Having a way to intentionally start your day and set yourself up for success. I am a firm believer in having a morning routine so you can get ahead of your day and spend some time by yourself, for yourself.

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It may seem selfish to some, but this time of day actually helps most of us be LESS self-focused throughout the day. I personally spend time with God and in my Bible, and allowing God to fill up my heart and my cup allows me to better serve my babies, my husband, and my clients throughout the rest of the day. Then, I workout and move my body as a way to celebrate this body God has given me and take care of myself. Working out in the morning boosts my energy, releases anxiety, and helps me make better food choices throughout the day. All in all, I am kind of crazy about my morning routine and am in love with it, because I’ve seen the way it changes my mood, energy, and sets me up for a better day!

But how do you start a morning routine? What if doing something, anything, besides sleep, at 5am is a foreign concept to you? That’s ok! I’m here to help! Here are some of my tangible and simple tips for getting started with a morning routine.

Get enough sleep: I can’t stress this enough. You simply cannot get up at 5am if you haven’t had a decent night’s rest. You shouldn’t, actually, because lack of sleep can be just as detrimental to your health as soda or a bag of chips. So if you want to start getting up earlier, you have to start going to sleep earlier. Which means you may have to give up your Netflix show or that extra hour of scrolling through Instagram. Don’t worry though, once you get hooked onto your morning routine like I have, you won’t sabotage yourself with these things and you will get your butt to bed EXCITED to get up in the morning. Just you wait :)

Have a comforting beverage you look forward to: for me, I make either a cup of coffee or my pre-workout, which tastes like lemonade and is so delicious. Either drink gets me excited to get up in the morning, and I love to sip on something while I’m journaling or reading my bible!

Listen to some pump-up jams: some mornings, that’s worship music; and other mornings, it’s N*sync. But whatever pumps you up, you do you, and listen to that music! Music can be so energizing for us, so get excited, listen to something that lights you up, and enter your morning feeling happy and energetic. I personally have a playlist on Spotify for times like these where I need to pump myself up and get excited for life, so I highly suggest making your own playlist to help you out here, too!

Have your space ready for you: whether that means getting your Bible and journal out the night before, setting out your workout clothes, or having the coffee maker automated, getting as much ready for yourself ahead of time will help your morning go smoother. I love having my desk ready for me with my Bible, journal, and my workout clothes so that I can start my morning with all my tools at the ready!

Enlist some accountability! Reach out to a friend, mentor, parent, or spouse to hold you accountable to get up. Post your goals for yourself on your phone/alarm, or something inspiring (my phone alarm says “Love God, and Love Others), so when that alarm goes off you jump out of bed. Accountability can really help us in this area, so even if you need an extra layer from a coach/mentor (um hiiiii), utilize all the tools necessary to get yourself up and keep the promise you’ve made to yourself to have that time alone in the mornings.

If you have some goals for yourself as we enter into a new month to get up earlier and make your mornings more productive, I hope these tools and tips will help you in establishing your morning routine! And if you want to read some books on this area, I highly recommend “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod, and “The 5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins.

Pregnancy Update: 24 weeks pregnant!

Poor baby #2. Emma got regular updates during my pregnancy with her, and this is only my second update since announcing that we are pregnant with baby #2! I feel so terrible, but life has been nuts and most of the time, I have to stop and remind myself that I am pregnant and need to take things easy! Being pregnant + having a toddler is no joke! On top of working full time, running a private practice, serving at church, and overall LIFE in general.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy season. Busy, but also exciting and full of God’s blessings! Every time I get exhausted or overwhelmed, I remind myself of how grateful I am for my life, my babies, my husband, and my community. God is so so good, y’all.

Anyways, onto the updates!

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How far along are you?

24 weeks! This pregnancy is FLYING BY.

Gender:

GIRL!! We’ll be announcing the name soon :)

How big is the baby?

She is the size of an eggplant…so big!

Total weight gain:

I am 4-5 lbs up from my pre-pregnancy weight! I’m really grateful for steady weight gain since gaining weight was so difficult with Emma and our abnormal umbilical cord. Thank God for a normal cord this time around and a healthy appetite for mommy!

How am I feeling?

I have moments of extreme energy and happiness, followed by being an emotional and exhausted mess. I had a breakdown yesterday just because I couldn’t switch a load of laundry (our machines are on the 3rd floor, Emma was on the 2nd floor, she’s getting heavy to carry up and down with me, but I digress). I’m learning that it’s ok to ask for help, and even though I want to do it all and feel like I should be able to do it all, those are just unrealistic expectations I have been placing on myself. Moms, ASK FOR HELP. I’m preaching to the choir on this one.

Maternity clothes?

I have been re-wearing all of my clothes from my pregnancy with Emma but I finally ordered a few new sweaters and a pair of pants this past weekend! I wanted some fresh clothes to enjoy!

Favorite workouts:

I workout at home and do mostly Beachbody workouts! I’ve been alternating between lifting, maternity workouts, kickboxing, and modifying some of my other favorites. I am so grateful to be able to move my body!

Stretch marks:

None and I hope it stays that way!

Cravings:

Hmm lately I’ve been wanting big leafy salads and warm fresh baked chocolate chip cookies!

Sleep:

Sleep has been off and on. Better than it was but definitely not great. I’d say it’s mostly just restless nights!

What I miss:

Intense workouts, more than 1-2 cups of coffee/day, having more energy to play with Emma, and having more energy to stay on top of house chores! Also, wearing cute(r) clothes!

What I am looking forward to:

This hasn’t changed: having two little girls to play with and enjoy! I am an only child and prayed for a sister almost every day of my life, so I feel so blessed and happy that Emma will be able to enjoy that special bond.

That’s all for now! Hopefully I’ll be a little more regular with these updates, I enjoy writing them and I’ve enjoyed reading through Emma’s old posts too! Thanks for reading and have a great afternoon, friends!

Friday Favorites

Happy June everyone! I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by. Summer is here and I am so excited for beach days, time in the sun, and enjoying this season with my little tribe. I thought I'd share what I've been digging lately and what I've been grateful for in life, because God is good and I definitely feel blessed!

1. Father's Day cookies. I've posted about these cookies so many times, and you can find the recipe here. These are my husband's favorite cookies. They are so delicious and light, so I woke up early on Sunday morning to bake them for him! We've been munching on them all week, so delicious!

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2. Disneyland days. I am beyond grateful to have the chance to enjoy so many Disneyland days with Emma! We went on Monday and had so much fun! I love watching her learn and notice new things every time we go. She is growing up so fast!!! I also had to stop myself from buying this  cute Beauty and the Beast tea set. Belle is my favorite Disney princess! Who is yours??

3. Limiting caffeine. Ever since becoming a mom, I've gotten into a bad habit of having 3-4 cups of coffee a day. So I've made a more conscious effort to just have 1 cup of coffee/day, and I'm feeling a lot better! I am definitely a bit more tired, but I know that I will get used to it and it's better for me overall, and might help my sleep too!

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4. Free food at work. I used to not give in to the free food at work because it's typically not the healthiest, but this week I definitely enjoyed some! We had an all-day training yesterday and they brought Corner Bakery for breakfast and Panera for lunch...basically all. the. carbs. I ate what I typically don't eat, but health is not about being perfect 100% of the time. It's about eating nourishing food MOST of the time so that your body is able to handle the occasional treats and sweets! That's a much healthier mindset to live in long-term, and I got right back on my healthy eating plan today and feel incredible!

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5. Emma's Mickey Mouse toys. My cousin got Emma these toys for her birthday and she has been OBSESSED with them. Every morning she wakes up and talks to them, carries them around the house, and sets them up all around her. It's absolutely adorable to watch her play and interact and babble! I just love this girl so so much.

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I hope you can also think of some things you are thankful for in your life or the blessings God has bestowed upon you this week! Blessings are all around, you just gotta look for them! Happy Friday, everybody!

Why I'm not running accountability groups anymore

As many of you know, I am a registered dietitian, but I've also been a Beachbody coach for a few years. I love Beachbody's workout programs, and I can honestly say that the programs are what have helped me get in shape and stay in shape post-baby. At-home workouts are my saving grace as a mom! I get to workout at home, pause when Emma needs me or #momlife gets in the way, then press play and continue on. I've built muscle, gained strength, lost weight, and have gained so much confidence though Beachbody and their programs!

I used to run monthly accountability groups, but I decided that for now, I am pressing pause on these groups. There are a few reasons why, so I though I'd explain a bit in this post to clarify what I am doing and how you can work with me moving forward! 

1. My private practice: In addition to being a Beachbody coach, I have my own private practice as a registered dietitian. My heart and my passion are with this business and my clients that meet with me one-on-one, which is why I have not been running accountability groups lately. I have been pouring into and focusing on my private practice clients, and my heart has been filled with so much joy and fulfillment! Working with these women (mostly moms) has been firing me up to help us moms learn how to self-care though healthy eating and nourishing ourselves. So if you are a mom, I want to help YOU figure out how to care for your family by caring for YOURSELF first! This is what my private sessions with these women are all about! Making it easy for us moms to put ourselves first, pour into our cup, and then pour into our families as better, stronger versions of ourselves. If you want a community to join that will help you feel supported, I am launching the brand new Happy Whole Moms groups on Facebook! Click here to join! 

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2. Individualized meal plans: As a dietitian, I firmly believe that there is no one size fits all when it comes to getting healthy. With my private practice clients, I evaluate where they are in their current health, and make a plan based on their individual goals and needs. I love the freedom and knowledge that I have as a dietitian because I am able to tailor-make a plan for each client that I meet with. While I love the 21 day fix container system (aka portion fix) which is the meal plan Beachbody uses, and have even helped me balance out my own meals, I know that this may not work for everyone! Each person has different dietary needs, sources of motivation, and methods of eating that work well for them. I help my one-on-one clients figure this out for themselves, and with that, they gain a powerful tool in their health journey to ensure success for themselves!

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3. Long term accountability: Lastly, I wanted to provide a way to have long-term accountability with my clients as their personal dietitian. My accountability groups ran for 3-4 weeks, and then many clients fell off the wagon and went back to their own unhealthy habits. My Supercharged Accountability packages that I offer though my private practice services give you 2 or 4 months of accountability with me as your cheerleader, friends, source of nutrition knowledge, and dose of inspiration. I started offering these packages around the new year and already see a difference in the clients that purchased and have been working with me since then. 

All that to say, I am still a Beachbody coach and am more than willing to help guide you and encourage you if you want to pick a workout program and ask questions about what Beachbody has to offer. I am simply no longer running my "virtual bootcamps" aka accountability groups, because my energy and focus has been shifting towards my private practice clients and providing longer term accountability in their health journey. If you want to know more about my private practice services, I am hosting free, 15 minute discovery calls where we can chat and see which of my services would work best for your lifestyle! Contact me here to schedule our call!

I can't wait to get to know more of you out there, work closely with you to help you care for yourself and reach your goals, and watch you THRIVE as a mama! 

Staying Happy & Healthy When #Momlife Tests You

This past week has been the TOUGHEST week to date of being a momma. I absolutely love being a mom and it is what I've always wanted to be. When I was a little girl, when someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say, A MOM! DUH! I attribute that to having an amazing momma myself, plus being surrounded by loving aunts that were like second mothers to me. Being a mom has been the biggest blessing in the world.

But I think what often goes unmentioned is how tiring, frustrating, and hard it can be, especially for us new moms. I have never questioned my decisions as much as I do now. I always wonder "Am I doing what is best for Emma? Will this ruin her? How do I set her up for the best life EVER?" And of course the forever-repeated question:

“IS THAT NORMAL???”

But what God is continually teaching me is that Emma is His, and He has entrusted my husband and I to raise her and care for her, but ultimately, I cannot be anxious about every single decision I make regarding Emma. That's no way to live, and that is not the recipe for a happy and healthy momma.

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Emma's sleep habits have been awful the past few months, and especially this past month when she started waking up 10+ times per night and not taking naps throughout the day. She was always tired with swollen little eyes and could not get to sleep as hard as she tried. So my husband and I finally decided to get her on a better routine during the day, put her down for her naps and night sleep at the same times, and give her more structure. The poor girl has been dragged around by us for months, to every event or day away, with NO regularity to her day. I know how well I function with structure, and of course babies need it even more!! But getting her on this new schedule and routine has been SO emotionally draining for me. Being a mom is hard, but sometimes, you have to do the tough things.

Do you know how many times I've contemplated binging this past week? SO many times. Do you know how many tears I've shed instead? SO MANY. But, I am proud to say, that I have chosen the foods that make me HAPPY. That I know serve me and make me a happy, healthy, and whole momma, and that don't make me fall apart. Because life is stressful enough without adding the stress of making unhealthy food choices into the mix!

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Eating healthy this past week has made me an even better mom to Emma when times are tough and both of us are getting used to a new routine. Imagine if I had thrown my self-care out the window during this week? I would have been more stressed out, which in turn makes her more stressed out (ohhhhh that mommy-baby bond is strong!) and that would have made it even HARDER for us to implement the new principles we are following.

My desire in sharing this is for all you moms out there to know that taking care of yourself IS NOT SELFISH. Getting my workout in every morning is not selfish. Eating healthy foods and cooking at home while Emma watches Netflix for 20 minutes will NOT ruin her, will make me a happier and better fueled momma, and will give her MORE security in her day. And no matter what stress you and your family are going through, make sure you are taking care of YOU too.

So many moms come to me and say that they could never workout or eat healthy because of their kids. Ladies, it should be because of our kiddos that we DO THESE THINGS! You can do it, you deserve it, your kids deserve it, and your family deserves it.

So yes, while there are days where I may accidentally skip a meal or over-eat at another because of the stresses of day to day mom life, I am proud to say that I've stuck to my happy, whole eats amidst the stress and changes, which I would have used as an excuse in the past. And this has given me a calmer, and more positive outlook on this new stage of parenting and the learning and changes that go along with following a new routine.

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To all those stressed out moms out there, take some time for you today, move your body to gain those endorphins, eat foods that nourish and fuel you, so that you can be that happy momma that you know you are. Oh and find some mom friends you can vent to...like me! We all need that ;)

Have a happy Thursday, everyone!

Day in the Life of a Working Mama

I finally feel like I’m getting into a groove as a part time working mom. I am home with Emma on Mondays and Wednesdays and go to work Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays. I’m grateful to be home with her twice a week and it feels like Christmas every time I see her after work! I feel like my heart grows by the day because I love her more than I can handle! 

When Emma was sleeping through the night, my mornings would always start with an early morning pumping session. I am still exclusively breastfeeding and even though we started solids last week, she is still not a fan of them (I know eventually she’ll get used to it!) But anyways! Emma has not been sleeping through the night for the past month, so since I’m feeding her throughout the night, most mornings I don’t really “need” to pump when I wake up. So usually I sip on my preworkout while doing my devotional and prayer time, and then I press play on my workout! I love working out at  home because sometimes Emma wakes up midway and needs her momma, so I can just pause and nurse/hold her for a bit, then press play and finish it up! So convenient! 

 

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After my workout, (this week I’m doing A Little Obsessed on my Netflix for workouts...SO SORE), I shower then head downstairs to pack lunches for my husband and I, and get Emma’s daycare bag ready (pumped milk, change of clothes, diapers, etc). I also make sure to eat a little something; this morning I shook up my recover protein shake with some collagen peptides, delicious! I forgot to snap a pic but just imagine chocolate milk goodness that is actually good for you! 

I try to nurse Emma before I head to work, but like I mentioned above, if she’s nursed all night and is sleeping soundly, I go to work and pump there rather than waking her up to eat. It’s also easier on my mommy-heart to sneak out while she’s asleep verses having to watch her sweet face smile at me as I walk away...I tear up just thinking about it! 

If I’m still a little hungry, I’ll make sure to grab second breakfast before I head to work! This morning was two paleo muffins, a chocolate zucchini muffin and a pumpkin muffin! I've been cooking through Danielle Walker's cookbooks from Against All Grain, and so far my husband and I have loved every single recipe!

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Once I get to work, I make coffee (duh) and see which patients I need to see or who is due for an assessment. I work as a dietitian at a dialysis unit with patients who have kidney failure. It’s pretty busy each day so I make sure to fit in snacks and occasionally some walks to get outside!  

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Morning snacks usually consist of carrots, apples with either peanut butter or almond butter, or a Larabar! I make sure to fuel myself well since I push myself pretty hard in my workouts, plus I'm breastfeeding! So many calories being burned all day long!

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Lunches have been so fun to pack in these portioned containers my mom got us from Amazon! This lunch was rosemary garlic chicken (I'll post the recipe soon!), with potatoes and green beans. Super simple and delicious!

If I get hungry in the afternoon, I typically have some nuts, but this week I've also been enjoying another treat from Against All Grain...her Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  My husband has been raving about these and I've already made two batches in less than a week. He says they taste just like the regular cookies I used to bake, but they are Paleo/gluten free and MUCH healthier! I highly recommend this recipe, you won't be disappointed!

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Once I get off work, I "safely" zoom my way over to Emma's daycare to pick her up. I get so excited to see her, and she has been smiling and kicking her feet in excitement when she sees me come into the playroom, which melts my heart! We usually get home and sometimes she'll fall asleep in the car, which gives me time to clean out my pump parts and put my milk away (pumping is a full time job in itself!), but most of the time when we come home, we nurse and snuggle and she falls asleep while I make dinner.

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Dinners have been simple this week: we've had grass fed beef meatballs, rosemary garlic chicken, salmon, and turkey burgers. I'll make a salad because we have 6 heads of romaine (thanks Costco) that are going bad by the second, so I've been forcing us to have salad each day so it doesn't' go bad because I HATE wasting food! I haven't snapped pictures of dinner because I've been a little distracted during dinner time trying to get Emma to have some solids with us at the dinner table! Last night she tried zucchini, and I think she liked it a little more than sweet potato. I'm getting a little worried that she hasn't been liking foods much, even though I know she will get used to it! It's funny, because I specialized in infant/toddler nutrition when I worked at WIC, and even though I HAVE the knowledge and have counseled others countless times, I'm still worried when it comes to my own baby!

After dinner, we bathe Emma and get her ready for bed. I've been trying to get her down between 7:30/8pm so I can get a few hours of sleep before the night-waking begins. Yes, I've been getting into bed by 8pm because Emma has been waking up at 10, 11:45, 1, 2:15, 3:45...you name the time, she's been waking up. She's going through a huge developmental leap right now, and with that comes a sleep regression. I've decided to roll with the punches instead of sleep training her and just rely on coffee to get through the day (she hasn't been sensitive to my caffeine intake, thank GOD)! Luckily when she does wake up, she typically nurses and goes right back to sleep, so even though I am getting broken sleep, I don't feel TOO terrible throughout the day!

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And that has been a typical day in the life on the days that I work! I was telling my husband earlier this week that I am feeling so much happier than I used to feel. As much as I miss Emma and wish I could be with her every day, I've come to accept the working life, enjoy my days at work with my coworkers and my patients, and relish the moments with Emma even MORE. I have also taken much better care of myself and have chosen foods that have supported my mental health and anxiety (look out for a blog post on this later on this month!) I really feel that God is working on my heart, helping me take care of myself so that I can take care of Emma, and has given me a strength that only HE can give. I am so grateful!

And with that, I hope you all have an excellent day, and thank you for reading and following along on this journey with me! I appreciate all of you so much!

September Life Updates & Goals!

Is anyone else relieved that August is over? I don't know about you, but August was one of the hardest months of my life. We went on vacation at the beginning of the month, and just a few days after I was starting back up at work. Even though I am only working three days a week, those three days are filled with tears and so many emotions. I speak regularly about wanting to be positive about this experience and returning to work with being a new momma, but it has been SO hard to leave my sweet baby. I feel like a piece of my heart is left behind every time I leave.

So even though I wallowed and threw myself a lot of pity parties in August (and unfortunately, Oreos were involved), I want to still work towards being strong and brave throughout this experience. I know that everything happens in life for a reason, and I know God is trying to teach me patience and TRUST throughout this whole process.

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My phone background is this quote, and it's been really helping me focus on being kind, fierce, and brave. Our thoughts impact our behaviors SO much. Having a fierce mind means being strong to whatever negative thoughts come my way. My favorite Bible verse always pops into my head when I remember how powerful our thoughts can be:

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Making my thoughts obedient to Christ is something I want to work on this month. I want to surrender all of the noise, fear, and anxiety to Him. I am starting a 30 day Miracle Morning challenge with my friend where we spend the morning time in prayer, in God's word, journaling, visualizing, and of course, working out! I am looking forward to really focusing on the positive and all God has done for me in the morning time and hoping that sets the tone for the rest of my day! Practicing Miracle Mornings is one goal I have for September (and comment below if you want to know more about this and do it with me too!)

Another goal I have for September is to continue on my plant based diet experiment. I am cutting out beef, chicken, pork, etc this month (still eating eggs and occasionally, fish!) and really focusing on getting as many whole, PLANT foods into my body as possible. I started this past Monday but have not been as plant-heavy; carbs have been the easy option this week. So I plan on meal prepping this weekend and making PLANT foods the easy option, aka prepping and planning my meals out so I stick to my goals and nourish myself fully!

I also want to be blogging more, but I need your help! Tell me, what do YOU want to see more of on the blog? Recipes? My weekly meal plan? Workout updates? Mom-life updates? Day in the life posts? Nutrition research and summaries? Comment below or email me (tveen.verano@gmail.com) and let me know what YOU want to see more of in this space.

Workout wise, I am finishing up two rounds of a strength and agility program I started back in July. I loved doing this program, but I am SO ready for a change! I am starting a week long program next week focused on heavy lifting, then doing my favorite, 8 week toning program for the rest of September and October! I am so excited for this program and saw amazing results back when I did in last year. If you'd like to join in and be my workout buddy, fill out this application and I will get back to you!

Lastly, I am now taking on new clients for my private nutrition counseling practice! September is almost like January, right? School is starting, it's back to routine and a fresh start...so why not jump into taking care of yourself and learning how to properly nourish and fuel yourself? If you want to lose weight, get your cholesterol or diabetes under control, GAIN weight, or just learn how to prepare healthy meals for your picky family, I can help! I focus on individualizing nutrition for each of my clients, so if you want some additional support and guidance as you embark on or continue on a healthy lifestyle, feel free to check out my services and book your first session with me! I plan on taking on only 5 new clients this month, so be sure to reach out so I can save you a spot and we can get you started!

So happy September and almost fall, everyone. I plan on buying a few cans of pumpkin after work, because it's never too soon to start baking up some healthy fall treats! Hope you all enjoy your weekend and stay tuned for my plant based diet meal plan for next week!

 

 

Goal Setting as a New Mommy!

If you know me, you know how much I LOVE setting goals, dreaming big, and then crushing what I set out to do. I'd say I'm a pretty ambitious person and love challenging myself. But this can also work against me, because I set pretty high standards for myself and sometimes, if I don't meet them, I get disappointed, which doesn't really get me anywhere!

The key to healthy goal setting is to know your intention behind your goal. If you know WHY you are setting these goals, they are easier to accomplish and you know deep down that they are a journey, not necessarily a destination. Especially when it comes to health and fitness goals. Our bodies and our health are both constantly changing. It's an ongoing adventure to pursue health and vitality, so keeping these things in mind while goal setting is SO vital to a healthy outlook and accomplishing our goals! 

As a new mommy, I've got some major health and fitness goals. As many of you know, I had to take things easy during my pregnancy and couldn't push myself as much as I wanted. Now that I am (hopefully) getting cleared this week to workout, I am excited to gain my strength and energy back! And I'd be lying if I didn't have some appearance- goals too ;) I can't wait to get my muscle back and tone up my abs, legs, and arms again! 

But I also know that working out with a new baby will be challenging! Just last week, I was trying to do a low-impact upper body workout, and Emma wanted to nurse midway. So I paused the workout, nursed her, she went back to sleep, and I pressed play and finished the workout strong! I was proud of myself for rolling with the punches and still being able to finish the workout and take care of my baby at the same time! 

While I know it will be challenging, I also know that I am a better version of myself when I take care of myself. I am a better wife, mommy, daughter, friend, coach, dietitian, and every other role I have when I have filled up my cup and my soul. Only when I do this do I have enough fuel and energy to pour into others. I am more selfless when I am a little selfish in my self care. It's taken me a while to learn this, but trust me, you can't pour into others from an empty cup! Make sure you take care of yourself so that you can better serve those around you!

And with that said, on to some of my goals!

1.) Tone up! The after-baby body is no joke! I was blessed in that I was able to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight just 8 days after having Emma (thank you breastfeeding!), but my body is completely different! A little squishy in some areas and definitely lacking in muscle. My goal is to gain my strength and muscle back! 

2.) Pour into the ladies in my group, The Nourished-You Project! I am launching a brand new accountability group, focused on the fact that our health is an ongoing project and that nourishing ourselves, body and soul, is SO important. We are all following workout programs, drinking our superfoods, and encouraging each other along the way. I love being able to coach these women, but they also provide me with accountability as well! It's a win-win! If you want to join, it's not too late! Contact me here for more info! 

3.) Eat more plants! I am definitely not a vegan or vegetarian, but that doesn't mean that my diet can't be full of plants! The meal plan I am following counts colorful containers, not calories (thank goodness! Because calorie counting won't get you anywhere...trust me!), so I get a lot of vegetable containers and protein containers each day. I plan on using legumes and beans as some of my protein sources, as well as animal proteins, plus filling up on ALL the vegetables and fruits I can! Food can be so therapeutic, and filling up on plant foods can revitalize our health and energize us! Don't discount how powerful vegetables can be in your health! 

4.) Stick to my workout plan. This is the plan I came up with after chaining my mind a dozen times, but I really think that this will be the best plan for my post-baby journey!

  • 21 day fix workouts: June 7-11
  • SHAUN WEEK! (new program only coming to Beachbody on Demand, basically Netflix for workouts!): June 12-18
  • 21 day fix extreme: June 19-July 9
  • 21 day fix or Shaun Week: June 10-16
  • SHIFT SHOP: Starting July 17th! Shift Shop is Beachbody's newest program, all about making mental shift as well as a physical shift (because the mind is crazy powerful). I am so excited to get my hands on it! I will be running a test group for this new program in July, so stay tuned for more info on that if you'd like to join! 

5.) Show myself some major grace! I am one that loves routine, and I know that with a new baby, some days my routine may change, my workout may get switched from morning to afternoon to evening, and I may just have to roll with the punches. I want to be committed to my health, but I also know some days will call for improvisation and grace! Treats will happen, tired workouts will happen, and sleepless nights will happen, but that doesn't mean I just give up and stop taking care of myself! This is an ongoing journey, so I want to keep that mindset as I go into this summer and rebuild my strength and routine again. 

And that's a wrap on my goals and intentions for this month! I'm nervous about how it will all unfold, but I know that each day will be a new adventure and that I will only get stronger with time. If you'd like to join me on this journey, I'd love to connect with you and begin working with you! The more support, the merrier! Contact me here and we can start chatting about your goals and which programs and plans would be best for you! 

 

 

 

Emma's Birth Story: April 29, 2017

Hello world! Please excuse my absence this past month, as I've been a little preoccupied with our little pink bundle of joy! Baby Emma was born Saturday, April 29th at 3:04pm, and both her daddy and I are completely in love with her! 

I still can't believe how it all happened, and it took me a while to process everything since it all happened so fast! I know that I enjoyed reading birth stories during my pregnancy, and wanted to chronicle ours so I can look back and remember :) I'll try to keep it brief, but here it goes! 

I had my (little did I know), last check up on Friday, April 28th with the doctor. 3 days prior, I had a check up that showed that Baby Emma was about 1 month behind in her measurements. My doctor expressed his concern, and stated that on Friday, we would make a decision about whether or not to induce the following week. 

When I went in on Friday, the baby's stress test was still normal, and they did a check to see how "ready" I was for labor. To my surprise (and the doctor's surprise!) I was already 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. After a few phone calls, the doctor got me in that evening at 10pm to be induced at the hospital! I called my husband, and we prepared ourselves to head to the hospital that very evening to get induced! I couldn't believe it was all happening so fast, and I was scared but also excited to see how it all would unfold, and to finally meet and hold our sweet baby! 

We got our things ready and were at the hospital by 10pm. They checked me again, and I was 4 cm dilated by this point, 80% effaced, but still not "in labor." The doctor was surprised that labor hadn't started on it's own considering how ready I was! They started me on a pitocin drip at 11:30pm, and I felt minor contractions all night, but nothing too crazy. By 5:30am, my doctor came in and broke my water. Then, it was a WHOLE different story. 

The contractions were SO painful. I originally wanted to do labor naturally, without an epidural. But my doctor warned me that induced labor is more painful than going into labor on your own, and to show myself some grace. I endured the contractions for a few hours, but by 9am I was crying and asked for the epidural. I am SO happy with this decision! The epidural only kicked in on my left side for some reason, but it still took the edge off my pain and I was able to sleep for a few hours! At 1pm, the nurse woke me up to check me and stated I was 10 cm and 100% effaced, and that I was ready to push! I was SO ready to meet my girl! 

Looking back, I'm happy that the epidural only kicked in 50% because I was still able to control my pushes and feel our baby come out. But, pushing was pretty traumatic. Things started to get a little risky, because with every contraction and every push, the baby's heart rate was dropping dangerously low. They put me on oxygen and had to remind me to breathe so that the oxygen would reach the baby. I also had to push lying on my right side (my doctor said he was so happy I worked out during my pregnancy because he was amazed at how I could hold that position!) because her heart rate wasn't dropping as much when I was on my ride side. After 2 hours of pushing, the doctor said the baby's heart was still dropping too low and we would have to do an emergency c-section or use a suction vacuum to get her out. We decided to go with the suction vacuum, and with one push from me and pull from the doctor, Baby Emma was born! 

And then I burst into big ugly tears. I guess it was the rush of the baby coming out, exhaustion, and relief. But I was so happy she was here! The NICU team was in the room to check her real quick, but after a few minutes they said she was healthy and placed her on my chest. There are no words to describe how we felt at that moment. We were so happy and thankful to God that she was here and healthy and in our arms. 

The rest of our hospital stay was a whirlwind of visitors, eating (I was HUNGRY), and learning how to breastfeed. As a certified lactation educator, I was the most excited about being able to breastfeed my daughter. Breastfeeding has been challenging, amazing, and rewarding all at the same time. We are in the processes of weaning off our pesky nipple shield, but Emma is eating like a champ and I love the moments we spend together while she is feeding. She lost a little too much weight in the hospital so we had to supplement with formula for 24 hours at the hospital until my milk came in, but once it came in, we stopped the formula and thank God I've been able to exclusively breastfeed her ever since! My goal is to breastfeed her for at least one year. It is an amazing feeling to be able to nourish your baby, and I am so thankful that God created our bodies the way He did. Ladies, we are pretty amazing! 

Being a mommy has been incredible, challenging, exhausting, and pure JOY all at the same time. All my life, I wanted to be a mommy (probably because I have an amazing mommy myself!) and I feel so thankful to God that He blessed us with sweet Emma. She makes silly faces, loves to stretch before waking up, and hates getting her diaper changed. She loves hearing her Daddy's voice and calms down when she ears the water running for her baths. She hates being swaddled and is always trying to get her hands free to sleep with them raised up. She is absolutely adorable and has stolen our hearts. 

**I just wanted to say thank you to ALL of you who prayed and showed us amazing love and support throughout this pregnancy. It was tough not knowing what would happen with our baby and the risks we had with our umbilical cord, but the comments and emails I received filled me with such gratitude and joy! Thank you all for praying, and praise the Lord that Emma is here! 

As I finish typing this, Emma is stretching and getting ready to wake up, so I should go! I hope you all have an amazing Tuesday, and thanks for reading!