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:


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.



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!


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.


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 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! 



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!


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!  


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!


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!


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.


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, 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!


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!

Weekend Recap: Disney edition!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend...I know I sure did! I feel like I'm still coming down from a major high over the weekend...because over the weekend...Emma, my mom, and I all went to Disneyland! TWICE! 

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It's always been a dream of mine to be a mommy and take my kiddos to Disneyland. I am a BIG Disney fan and the movies, songs, and theme park will always have a special place in my heart! So for my birthday, my amazing Mama bought us annual passes to Disneyland! I was thrilled, and after checking in with a few other mommas who all encouraged me that Emma was at a great age for Disneyland, we were so excited to finally take her!

We went Friday and Saturday for a few hours each day. They were seriously the best days EVER! The first day, we got there around 11 and headed to lunch because we were starving. We had those delicious burgers up top with some garlic fries at the Red Rose good!

Then we went on the small world ride, the Winnie the Pooh ride, and the tiki room! Emma loved it all! She was so engrossed with the music and the characters and was taking it all in! 

We also got Emma this adorable Minnie Mouse sweat set...ahhhhhh I'm going to have to watch my wallet because all of their baby clothes are so adorable!!! We came home Friday with such full hearts, that we impromptu decided to make another trip Saturday!

We got to Disneyland a little later Saturday, and since the park was pretty packed, we ate a quick lunch of chicken nuggets and fries. I am not a fan of chicken nuggets, but we just wanted to get lunch out of the way so we could at least go on a ride! Next time, we may pack lunches with us to save some time!

I also enjoyed some ice cream which didn't really feel good on the tummy later. Oh well, I tend to forget that I am sensitive to dairy, because ice cream is so delicious! But such is life. After lunch and ice cream, we went on the Snow White ride, shopped a little more, and headed home. Such a great day again!

On Sunday, my parents wanted to take me out to lunch for my birthday, so hubby, Emma, my mom, dad, and I all headed to Lucille's! I've been trying to eat more of a plant based diet but clearly, I haven't been too strict about it! Lucille's is definitely not a place to go if you want to eat more plant-based, but the food was still delicious! I am planing on getting back to my plant based ways this week (while practicing intuitive eating with my portion control containers!) but I definitely enjoyed this meal!

We spent the rest of the day at an outdoor shopping area, had a light dinner, then headed home. It was such a great birthday weekend spent with family, Disney characters, and with my sweet baby girl! I am so grateful for another year of life and what 29 will bring! God is so good and has blessed me year after year, and my heart is full entering into this new year, now as a mommy! Thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes! I felt very loved this year and appreciate all of you! :) 



Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday everyone! I can't believe it's already Friday. The weeks are flying by, and I am getting closer and closer to returning to work. It's hard even thinking about it, because sweet miss Emma has completely stolen my heart. I don't even want to think about how it will be to leave her and go to work once August hits, so for now I am going to soak up each and every day with this bundle of joy and appreciate all the seconds that God has given me to pretend I am a stay at home mommy. 

And since it's Friday, I thought I'd write up a few of my favorite things lately! Friday is always a great day to reflect on the week and focus on the blessings, good times, and ways to make the next week even better!

1. Crispy Chickpea snacks from Trader Joe's! These little suckers only lasted a few days in our house. They are SO good and taste like the Corn Nuts I used to devour in my junior high days. I love ranch flavored anything, and the crispiness of these totally satisfy any chip craving, while being slightly healthier and nutritious! 

2. Praying for God's grace. My husband and I have tired to be a bit more intentional about our prayer life. Being new parents can take a toll on those spiritual disciplines we used to be better about. Prayer is so important and brings us so much peace, plus invites God into every aspect of our lives. Some of my favorite times this week were praying together over our family, our jobs, our baby, and our life goals and dreams!

3. Panera's strawberry poppyseed salad! I've been to Panera 3 times this week and each time I ordered this salad plus some kind of sandwich or soup! This salad is full of fruit, which I usually don't like but this summer, I am digging the fruit and salad combo. The dressing is super light and tasty too! 

4. My new Bebe au Lait nursing cover! This cover makes it so much easier to nurse in public (hence all my trips to Panera this week...mama's gotta get out of the house!) This cover is breathable so both Emma and I don't end up a sweaty mess trying to cover up, plus it's easy to put on and take off yourself so you don't need help! Makes for a happy mama and happy baby!

5. SHIFT SHOP! Beachbody's newest program got launched this week! I've already done some of the workouts and man oh man, I canNOT wait to officially start this program in a few weeks! Our team of coaches is kicking off a prep week starting Monday the 17th, then officially starting the program on the 24th! Which means I will be in the thick of the program during our 5 day Palm Desert family vacation! But who cares, I've made enough excuses in my lifetime to postpone getting healthy and fit, and I'm so over making excuses now! I'm going to do my best to follow the program while on vacation! 

This program is a 21-day strength and agility program, with a nourishing meal plan and a focus on shifting your mindset, confidence, and overall health! I am SO excited I cannot contain it! I have wanted something fresh and new to help me get back into my pre-Emma strength and shape. If you want to challenge yourself this summer, apply to be part of our test group! The deadline is Monday! Apply here!

And that's a wrap folks! Emma is taking an extra long nap this morning, so I may make a cup of coffee and get some reading done before she wakes up. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy this beautiful summer weather!

The Truth about Breastfeeding Hunger

I have never known hunger until I started breastfeeding Emma 8 weeks ago. I thought running gave me an appetite back when I ran and trained for half marathons. I even thought, towards the end of my pregnancy, that I was getting hungrier and hungrier and it would be the hungriest I'd ever be. But that hunger is NOTHING compared to the hunger that I have felt the past 8 weeks. 

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I eat more than my husband and still have room for seconds. I'm always up for a snack, and the worst is that I am always wanting more and more food. It's a crazy hunger, and I can easily say I am hungrier now than I was when I was pregnant. 

It's been SO hard to stick to healthy choices with raging hunger like this, as well as the stresses that come with being a new mommy. I am embarrassed sometimes about how much I can put down at one meal. I've been trying my best to fuel my body and stick to healthy options. Thank GOD for my portion control meal plan I follow because it helps me choose a variety of foods, not just carbs (which is what I would like...all the time). Using these portions helps me snack of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other foods that I need to nourish myself, not just crackers, chips, and cookies. 

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I've talked about my binge eating past a ton on this blog. I'm pretty open about my struggles. And let me tell you, this hunger that I feel, and then the fluffiness and bloat I feel after a big meal, have been HUGE triggers for me. I haven't binged, but I am battling some intense temptations. The guilt is there, even though I know my body needs the extra calories right now between working out and breastfeeding. I'm working out, plus breastfeeding burns about 500-600 calories per day. That's a heck of a lot of food. But, my body and my belly still feel bloated after meals, and that bloat reminds me of binges, and that guilt makes me want to binge. It's crazy how our brains get us into a vicious circle, isn't it? We feel guilty about something, and that guilt makes us want to do that "thing" even more. 

BUT, I don't want to binge and I am not going to binge. I am not living for myself. My body is not my own. My body is first and foremost, God's. It is to HIS glory that I care for it. My body is also my daughter's right now. My body is FEEDING another human being. How amazing is that? I've learned that if we view our bodies from a place of appreciation, it helps us care for them even more. No matter what size you are, your body is amazing! It was carefully created and functions to keep you alive. Our bodies are precious, and we should care for them! 

Which is why I'm going to keep chugging along with my meal plan. I'm going to make sure I am getting the right portions of vegetables, fruits, carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. I'm going to keep running my accountability groups for my clients, and also for myself. Accountability is everything right now, and I want to ensure that I am treating my body well and checking in with others to do the same. 

If you are having a hard time too, you should definitely join my accountability groups! We can keep each other focused and stay true to our goals. Whether you are breastfeeding, trying to lose weight, wanting to tone up, or want to clean up your eating habits, this group will fit your needs and help you get not track with your goals, workouts, and nutrition! I'd love to have you, the more the merrier in my opinion! Apply here for my next group and we can journey through this whole healthy-living thing together! 

Until then, I'm going to keep snacking on my veggies, fruits, peanut butter, shakeology energy balls, and the occasional pizza and burger. I'm going to appreciate my body for what it has done and what it is currently doing. I'm going to nourish my body and soul, and of course, baby Emma!

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 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!