Another Monday…

Today was my second full week back to work, and yeah it is getting busy. I am missing my days of maternity leave right now. Even though I really don’t remember what happened, it seemed so long ago.

Life still happens quick. And as I get older time goes by so much faster.

You ever wish you just had the power to slow down time?

Since I can’t really manipulate time, I am working to enjoy each day and those precious family moments. Life changes, breathe and enjoy the moments.

Today was also my first full day of the nutrition challenge. I will write about some of the positives and negatives of this process over the next month to keep you updated. Today was a pretty good day, I didn’t get hungry.

Since we are working with a registered dietitian, she calculated my calorie intake and gave me the go ahead to eat 2200 calories per day. I thought sweet! That’s a lot of food. Awesome, I don’t have to be hungry. That’s also a lot of food, so I have no idea if I will eat that many calories per day. Today I ate close to 1800 calories. My win for today…I logged my food in My Fitness Pal! I hope logging food gets easier the more I do it. I will really try to do it early so I can get it out the way.

The RD also said that I should be drinking 100 ounces of water since I am breast feeding and want to keep my supply up. The first thing I thought about was the frequent trips to the bathroom. That is a whole lot of water. Today I managed a little more than 64 ounces, and yes I am actually still thirsty.

I felt bummed that I didn’t get to the gym today, today was a hectic day. But in 2020 I am not beating myself up when I miss a gym day. I am letting it go, and looking forward to tomorrow. That is another win!

I am actually looking forward to tomorrow, meals are prepped, and I should have extra time for the gym and writing.

I am so glad that this Monday is over. Now time to see what is in store for tomorrow! Hopefully I will be well rested.

Sunday Nutrition: Challenge Week 1

This was absolutely the fastest weekend ever. Sunday night always seems to come so quickly and I am no where even prepared to return to work tomorrow. It looks like it is going to be another long week.

On Sundays we meal prep so I spent the day menu planning and cooking our meals for the week. I was actually excited about it. It’s pretty fun to cook when I actually have a plan about what I am cooking.

This week I am starting a 4 week nutrition challenge with the crew at my crossfit gym. I need to start making some serious progress toward trimming this baby weight. It’s starting to annoy me. I figured a challenge with coaching, and a support team would be a great way to restart healthy eating. Since I cook the food for the hubby and I, he also gets to do the challenge by default. He swears that I am starving him, trust me, he is not starving.

I love when my nutrition is under control. I have been saying it for years, when my nutrition is on point, and I workout daily, I feel at my best. I used to suffer from chronic migraines, once I figured out the changes I needed to make in my diet by cutting down on sugars, and excess fats, in addition to a consistent sleep pattern, the migraines stopped. I know when my body feels healthy and I love that feeling. When I am able to balance out food, exercise, sleep, water intake, and decrease stress, life is great. I am on a mission to make everyday a great one. It won’t be easy but I am determined to make it happen.

So what am I doing for this nutrition challenge? Well the goal is to keep a balanced diet of 40 percent carbs, 30 percent fats, and 30 percent protein every meal, Drink tons of water, and get a good balance of sleep every night. I am tracking my meals using the My fitness pal app. I am really bad at food tracking, logging in every meal takes forever. I had started this challenge last year, then I became pregnant toward the end of the challenge. Food aversions threw everything out the widow. I am really excited to start again without being pregnant!

The key to success for me is not getting hungry. When all my food is planned out for the day I do great. I don’t crave extra food. When I am hungry…well that is when everything goes right down the drain. So my goal for the next 4 week is just not to be hungry and sleep when I can.

Postpartum weight loss is a marathon not a sprint.

The goal is to lose weight, build muscle, and rebuild endurance.

So what meals are on deck this week?

Breakfast: Oatmeal and egg muffins

Lunches: Beef fried cauliflower rice with a sweet potato side or Paleo BBQ shredded chick over brown rice with a veggie side

Dinner: Ground Turkey burger with a veggie or sweet potato side or Chicken breast and veggies.

Various snacks for the week: Greek yogurt with blueberries, cinnamon, and a touch of honey, almond and cashew nuts, turkey and avocado slices, carrots, apple and peanut butter

Let’s get started with week 1! Cheers to positive lifestyle changes.

Self Motivation: What's Your WHY?

Today was pretty good day. Thank God tomorrow is Friday and my first full week as a working mom is almost complete.

Lesson learned this week: Yes I can survive with less than 3 hours of sleep per night. When.Does.It.Stop. I am badly craving sleep. Help Me.

Random thought: Why is the Apple store always so crowded, yet I have never actually witnessed anyone buying anything directly from the Apple store. The shelves consistently look like they have never been touched.

Surprisingly this first full week of 2020 has been pretty good. 1 week down, 51 more to go. I still feel motivated, and I am proud that I am actually writing everyday.

My goals this year are to finally launch my podcast, grow my therapy and coaching businesses, and publish one, or two, or three books. I have even started working on a children’s book series. I have big goals, and a lot to accomplish. 12 whole months to complete all my goals.

I am motivated by my desire to inspire people. It’s why I started blogging my journey 11 years ago. Everybody has a story, we learn from hearing each other’s stories, to inspire others I figured I would tell my story.

My big question for 2020 is “What’s Your Why?” I ask myself that question daily. I ask my clients that question. I ask my husband that question. What’s Your Why?

Your “Why” is the driving force in your ability to make decisions. It’s what motivates you. It is what encourages changes in behavior.

At the start of a new year a lot of us make vision boards and resolutions. We tell ourselves that certain things are going to be different. But why? Why now?, and what is the motivation to keep that change going.

Within the first six weeks of the new year, most people will give up on their resolutions, and those vision boards will become just a piece of cardboard with magazine clippings. The “Why” was not strong enough. The motivation was not strong enough and the follow though was not existent.

Thoughts without action is just a dream. Actions turn your dreams into your reality.

So think about it, what’s your goal? Now WHY do you want to accomplish that goal?

My “Why” is that I am determined to motivate others to increase positive behaviors and live life on their terms. I know what’s it like to feel stuck, I have a passion and determination to move people toward getting unstuck. Let’s get unstuck in 2020. Life is too short to be stuck in one place without movement. You hate your job, make steps to find a job you love. You are not satisfied with your relationship, then determine what you want in a relationship and go find it. Life happens with action, start acting.

Now, find your own WHY. Your Why has to be personalized just for you. You can’t change for other people, life has to be lived for you. Once you find your Why, stay motivated, stay determined, and live life on your own terms. Hold yourself accountable and remain consistent. With accountability, consistency, and truth about your WHY, you will be far ahead of accomplishing your goals. Keep it up and 2020 will be your best year yet!

A lesson in Balance

Just Breathe…

Today was my first Monday back to work. It was Monday. A long Monday. Only four more days to go. I really don’t mind working, I enjoy my job and the daily structure. What I don’t enjoy is being absolutely so tired! I am sleepy! I still have to get used to waking up extra early to feed Nico or pump before work. Side note: I am not a fan of breast feeding. I am slowly getting together, but I am still tired.

Balance and organization is what I am striving for. I wish there was a class on everything I need to know as a new mom, and how to manage life as a working mom. I’m just winging it and hope I don’t mess it up. Who am I fooling, of course I will mess this up. Possibly one day we will look back and laugh at all my mistakes, I honestly have no idea what I’m doing. But hey, that is perfectly fine.

The positive for today was that I did not have to think about food choices. It sounds like a small thing, but it is amazing. Our breakfast and lunches were packed and ready. For dinner hubby cooked the salmon and I cooked the veggies. Dinner was done in 20 minutes, we fed baby, and ate. It was wonderful. Organization, and working as a team are important parts of a healthy, happy, marriage.

As our family grows we both are getting used to balancing new responsibilities and tasks. It is not easy for either of us, remember we are learning on the job, but we try to make it work. If something doesn’t work so well today, lets change it up and make tomorrow better. Flexibility is needed.

Balance. That is important for anything in life. We are balancing family, our careers, goals (family and personal), health, and finances. I just realized that this is adulting. When did I become an adult with all this insight? Adulting is not easy, but done correctly and efficiently it is a wonderful thing. Balance takes consistency, dedication, and time. To find balance we have to take a step back and look at what we can move around in our lives, and who is on our team who can help. Balance is the key to finding my way toward a long, healthy, enjoyable life.

Tonight I packed my bags, breakfast, and lunch for tomorrow. I am ready for another day. I will take on the day by slowing down, making sure I stay balanced, and keep my self focused on concurring the events of the day.

One step at a time…Just Breathe

On Sundays We Meal Prep

And once again it’s Sunday. Tomorrow starts my first full week back to work, and I need my life organized ASAP. Another goal that I have for 2020 is to increase organization and efficiency. Do you know how many mornings I have made a cup of coffee and completely forget to drink it? More than should ever be possible. I feel crazy. Am I losing my mind?

I remember a time when I only had to plan for me. Wow, I didn’t realize how simple that was until now. I only had to worry about my own schedule, feeding only myself, and deciding what I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. The best part, I could nap whenever I wanted! I feel like I did not take full advantage of those opportunities. Silly me.

Then I got married, I had to plan for the hubby and myself. Ok, yes it was little bit more challenging but I made it work. I was working to get us in sync, decrease chaos, and organize our home. Then I get pregnant. Everything went out the window. I feel like I am starting from scratch and really need a road map to stability.

I question, how do we take care of a newborn, take care of ourselves, take care of our marriage, go to work, increase self care, date each other, organize our home, and keep a level of sanity in the process? Good question, I have no idea. In true Jennifer form, as with everything else in my life, dive in head first and just make sure you learn how to swim. I am treading water at the moment.

Prior to my year long pregnancy we were on a healthy living kick. Clean living, and training hard so we both could live healthy lives. I was weight lifting and training for races, the hubs was kayaking and doing century rides on his bike.

100 mile bike ride, go baby go!
Train hard, Love harder

We were going pretty strong. However, pregnancy hit and through us both threw a loop. My pregnancy cravings were grilled cheese, and pizza, or basically anything with cheese and bread. Lots of bread, and lots of cheese. Oh, and don’t forget the strawberry milkshakes. I have a slight lactose intolerance, so PP (pre pregnancy) I was never a big dairy fan, and would only indulge when I felt like giving myself a stomach ache. Yet, baby loved dairy. I could have all the dairy I wanted and it was no problem. So bring on all the strawberry milkshakes and all the cheese! I remember one time googling where I can find the best strawberry milkshake in Maryland. Then I drove around looking for it. Yeah, I was pregnant.

Now that baby is here, the holiday baking season is over, and I am back I work, I can once again find a sense of balance. So we are starting with clean eating again. If you remember a few years ago we did a plant based diet. When I pregnant we went back to eating meat because I just could never seem to get enough food, and my iron levels were off. So for now we will continue to eat meat, but probably not too much of it.

Today is meal prep Sunday. If I can pull this off, my week will be awesome. The plan is to prep breakfast, lunch, and dinner for us. If we can have food ready, then we can really get on a schedule and not be two hangry people!

I have started ordering my groceries and having them delivered, full disclosure…I was doing this way before the thought of a baby because I hate going to the grocery store. Groceries were delivered this morning, and now I get to cook for the week. I made a menu before hand so I know what groceries to buy, and limit waste. I am tired of throwing away food. As an effort to save money and time in 2020 I will attempt to stay dedicated to meal prepping.

If all goes well with having my weekly meals prepared, maybe I will actually remember to drink my coffee in the morning.

Time to start training for our next race!

What’s on deck this week:

Egg muffin cups and Greek yogurt for breakfast

Turkey and quinoa stuffed peppers, and chicken fried cauliflower rice with a sweet potato side for lunch.

Salmon and sauteed veggies for dinner.

Wish me the best of luck!

Healthy eating/Healthy living: Day 17

17 days into the healthy eating life, and I am still going pretty good. Last Friday we had a veggie pizza from Ledo’s for dinner, I immediately began to feel sick afterward. Not sure if it was the grease or the cheese. I guess that’s the cost of eating healthy for over 10 days.

A few days last week I began to feel really sick even though I was just eating fruits and vegetables. I felt tired, like I wanted to nap but worse. It was not a good feeling. I felt like my body was missing something. It wasn’t something like sugar or steak, it felt different, like nutrients were missing. Since I have decided that a full on vegan life is not for me, I returned to eating egg whites. My body felt like it was craving protein and I don’t think I was doing a good job getting it from just vegetables. I am still meat free. And I actually don’t think that there is harm in eating eggs. So I have been boiling eggs and eating hard boiled egg whites either for breakfast or before I work out. I feel normal again.  And I feel awake.

So the after the first 10 days I was down 7 pounds. Since then I haven’t lost anymore weight, but I guess that’s normal. I am proud of myself for staying away from candy and cookies. That is a huge accomplishment.

After reading up on the plant based lifestyle, I have realized that veganism is truly a serious thing. I am proud of anyone who is a strict vegan. It is hard! There are animal products in stuff that you would never guess have animal products, like vitamins. You really have to do a lot of research if you want to be a true vegan, and a ton of meal planning to make sure you are getting healthy nutrients. Since I have decided to lean more towards vegetarianism I will continue to eat eggs, and I will add cheese in sporadically.

It feels good to be healthy. The best part about this is that Stephen doesn’t complain about our lifestyle change, and he is open to eating whatever I cook. It’s super helpful to have a partner on this journey, I would fall off the wagon alone. Really, I have no will power. You need a partner, trust me! I am now less hungry at night, and my ability to be alert and awake is getting better each day. Today was a good day.

Workout:

Rest day

What I ate today:

Breakfast: Spinach, strawberry, pineapple smoothie

Muti-grain bread with almond butter

Snack: Watermelon slices and strawberries

Lunch: Spring and spinach salad with homemade coleslaw, quinoa and kidney beans

Snack: Raw almonds

Dinner: vegetable wrap with quinoa and kidney beans, roasted corn, homemade guacamole, peppers, onions, lettuce and tomato