Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Losing the Baby Weight

I haven't used my blog in a longggg time. But I figured this would be the best place for this post as people have been asking me about different workout and weight loss programs. I thought I'd share what I've been doing.

Isabelle was born healthy and fast on December 17th. I gained 30lbs during the pregnancy, but lost 20lbs in that first month of baby (8lbs 4oz) and water weight...I swell up a lot towards the end. Once I got the go ahead to start working out again, I took measurements and pictures (which I won't post yet. lol) and got started!

In addition to the workout programs listed below, I also teach an hour long circuit training class in the park every Monday and Friday. I started with not even being able to workout along with my class since I had gotten so out of shape during my pregnancy. But I kept telling everyone else what to do and kept up the best I could. ;) Now I'm back to actually doing those workouts twice a week as well.

I started with one month, four weeks, of doing Beachbody's program, T25. I did this one first because there was no excuse to not be able to fit it in. For 5 days a week, I only had 25 minutes of exercise to get done...with no equipment and in my living room. It was perfect for winter when it's too cold to get outside, having three kids to take care of so it's hard to have to leave to go workout somewhere, plus with a new baby, we didn't have a set schedule yet. Having a workout that was exactly 25 minutes from start to finish was easy to squeeze in to the day. The times I didn't feel like working out, I would just remind myself, it's only 25 minutes. Anyone and everyone can get the workout in!

In my opinion, the only downside to the program was that home workouts are hard to get the most out of it that I should. I personally find it tough pushing myself as hard as I would at a class or with someone else doing the workout with me. But it's the most practical in my season of life right now so I gotta make it work. I will say, where I usually have a hard time finding motivation to start home workouts, I didn't have that with this program because, again, it's short and doable.

In conclusion, I lost 5 1/4 inches and 5lbs in 28 days.

I still wasn't able to fit back into my pre pregnancy clothes yet so I decided for the next 20 days to just run. I did a half marathon shortly after finding out I was pregnant with Isabelle, and then completely stopped running for the rest of the pregnancy. I had high expectations for this month of running fast some days, long distance other days, hill sprints outside my house, and doing some interval runs. None of those happened. My lower abs especially were screaming at me with every step that first week or so (I guess pregnancy really torn them apart this time around). I was panting and gasping by the time I had only run a block. But I kept it up because I love running.

(photo credits to Zach at the race we did together) 

It was hard fitting it in. Zach's schedule was that he'd leave for work at 2:30pm and be home around 3am....and sleep from then until around 10am. So I'd have to go while Zach and the kids were still in bed, but be back before the kids woke up. Most of the time, this meant I had to be out the door at 5am. Which, in February, it is dark and freezing. One morning was actually 26 degrees. I was thankful for a big "scary" looking dog like Cassie. I brought her with me on all my runs and of course she loved it.

I did about 3 miles a day for six days a week. I started off at a 12 min mile and by the end was running a 9:30 min mile. I finished off by running a 10k trail run here in town. If it wasn't so hard to fit into the day, running would easily be my preferred and only method of working out. I absolutely love it. 

At the end of just 20 days, I lost another 5lbs and 4 1/2 inches.

Now I was back to my "regular" body. Ever since having kids, my body is constantly stuck at 135lbs, 26% body fat, and a 32 inch waist. I've been plateauing here for the past three years. I may lose a couple pounds or an inch or two, but then I end up gaining it back and coming back to this spot. I feel like I've finally turned a corner mentally this time around though. I don't have a deadline I'm telling myself to lose weight by or have certain numbers stuck in my head about what body fat I need to get down to or how small my waist needs to be. I feel good when I start my day with a workout. I like eating clean, healthy food. I enjoying finding and cooking nutritiously dense food for my family. The weight will come off eventually. 

The next program I was so excited to try from Beachbody (they have sooo many good home workout dvds) was The 21 Day Fix. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit so this plan is 21 days of 30 minute workouts (yes, there are no rest days; it's 7 days a week) and learning what portion sizes should look like.

I was super excited about this because it's not just a workout program, but also an eating one. Those little containers equal different food groups. Green= veggies, Purple= fruit, Red= protein, etc etc. The book has little charts that match up where you should be eating wise and how many of each container you can have a day. You can choose how to mix and match the containers at your meals as long as everything fits in the containers and you eat all that you're supposed to. You can even have wine and chocolate as long as it fits in the allowed container! Unfortunately, even though nutrition is 80% of your results and I was really looking forward to using these containers, I wasn't able to do it with nursing. I used the chart to figure out where I should be and then added another 500 calories on for breastfeeding, but even then, it wasn't enough for Isabelle. She had been sleeping 12 hours through the night and the three days I did this nutrition plan, she was awake two or three times at night. As soon as I went back to eating how I usually do (which is still eating clean, but not counting carbs or calories), she went back to sleeping through the night. 

This program was still worth it though because I loved the workouts. Again, totally doable because they are never longer than 30 minutes! Plus these workouts included about a 2 minute warm up at the beginning and a 3 minute cool down and stretching.!!!! Every single day of this 21 day fix, I was sore. The workouts were amazing. They worked muscles I had never worked before. It's a really good balanced program too as each day is something different like cardio one day, weight lifting the next, then circuit training, pilates, yoga, and abs. My only complaint with the videos is that she would wear a bit more clothes as I have little kids running around. :

Being that I was so sore, I was excited to take measurements after 21 days. At first I was disappointed to learn I had only lost 4lbs and 1 1/4 inches. But again, I was not able to do the other half of this program which was the nutrition part and I have a hard time losing body fat beyond this point. I did see other changes though like more muscle definition in my arms, being able to hold plank for 2 minutes, muscle definition in my legs, and better flexibility. Also, where pilates and yoga had never been my thing before, the 30 minute sessions of them on this program gave me a love for those kind of workouts. They were probably my two favorite days. 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. I'll probably try to run as much as I can, but I'll most likely be starting another home workout program soon. I like doing things in 20-30 day chunks and then mixing it up again. Nutrition is a huge part in all of this too, but I'll do a post about that later as this is getting really long. ;)

Friday, April 12, 2013


This past weekend I started not feeling good. Nauseated and tired. Elliott had just gotten over the flu so I figured that had to be all it was. Come Monday, I went to my Crossfit class and we started with sprints. I thought I was going to die. I could not catch my breath and after the fifth round, felt like throwing up. On a whim, I decided just to make sure I was just super out of shape and not pregnant....

Surprise! It took me a few days to really believe I was pregnant. I just kept thinking "Matthew isn't even seven months yet". But praise God for His sovereignty, Him being perfect and all knowing in all things and for blessing us yet again with another sweet baby...girl this time maybe? ;) I had no idea how far along I was so I got an ultrasound the next day and they said I looked about 5-6 weeks. Due date is sometime in December. Hopefully towards the beginning of the month since it gets busy the end of the month with Christmas Eve, Christmas, my birthday and New Years Eve. But with Elliott being 6 days late and Matthew being 12 days late, I won't get my hopes up.

With Elliott, I ate anything and everything I wanted. Isn't that what everyone says? "You're pregnant, don't worry about it!" But pregnancy is the time to watch what you eat the most because you want good nutrition for your growing baby to have all the vitamins and minerals and good gut bacteria he/she needs. Easier said than done though. I had great plans for not pigging out and eating junk food with Matthew. Once that morning sickness, or for me, all day nausea and throwing up starts, I eat whatever sounds good. After the sickness goes away around 20 weeks, those habits and cravings are there and I keep eating that way. I did a little better with Matthew because I logged all my food. At least I could see it all laid out and a rough estimate of the calories each day. No joke, I could eat a whole Coldstone cake and a large pizza in a day if I didn't care...and I did that when pregnant with Elliott. :P I really am going to try to be different this time around. To not fill up on empty calories, but to eat clean whole nutritious foods. The cravings I can resist- I resist cravings every day! It's just the feeling like you're going to throw up all day and french fries pop into your mind and it's the only thing that sounds remotely good. The only thing that you feel like you won't throw up but trying to eat something more nutritious when all you want is Jack in the Box french fries is hard!! This morning I woke up sick and horribly nauseous. All I wanted was pancakes. I thought pancakes sounded like the only thing I would be able to keep down. But I made myself eggs. It did not sound good at the time...nor the whole time I was making them. Surprisingly though, while I was eating them, I started to feel better. And at the end of the meal, I felt good and satisfied instead of the still sick feeling I usually have. There may be something to this eating healthy thing. ;)

Btw, this cracks me up. I can totally relate! Bahahaha

Two tips I've recently learned to help me eat less that I want to pass along. I tend to eat my food super fast and before my stomach has time to let my brain know it's full, I've already gotten a second or third plate and ate it just as fast. Then I find by the end of a meal, I am absolutely stuffed. The first one Rachel showed me while she was out here. It simply is to just set your fork down between each bite. It feels weird at first, but then you just start doing it out of habit. Take a bite. Set the fork down. Chew. Pick up fork and repeat. :) Eating slowly makes it easier for your body to digest the food and lets you know when your stomach is full sooner than scarfing your plate.

Second tip is to use a smaller bowl or plate for your food. Here are two eggs and vegetables:

Putting it on a larger plate automatically makes you feel like you don't get to eat as much before you've even started your meal. Try using a smaller plate and fill it up!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sister Time

My sister, Rachel, came down for Spring Break and I remember how much I miss having my sisters around!

Most of what to do in Las Cruces is just going out to eat so we've taken her to all our favorite spots. ;)

Haha, we haven't been all lazy. We're doing a half marathon together in 6 weeks and training for that. Plus I've introduced her to Crossfit. She loves it! I've officially done it for a whole month now. I haven't seen any changes in body fat yet, but my diet hasn't been that great. Yesterday was the first day of all of March that I finally stopped being sore. lol. For this next month, my goal is to finally start and complete a Whole30.

Matthew is growing so fast. He's finally chunking up. Not nearly as chunky as Elliott was though. Elliott was just a butterball! Maybe this means Matthew will crawl and walk sooner than Elliott did.

We're kinda doing solids. He doesn't like anything we've tried and spits out everything. In fact, he doesn't like much in general. He doesn't like ever being put down, he doesn't like any toys that you give him, he doesn't like naps, he doesn't like taking his bottle in any other position than facing out, he'll only take his bottle if it's been heated up to a certain temperature, he doesn't like if Elliott is crying, he doesn't like being in a room by a lot of the day he's just whining and crying. Good thing he's cute. :P I look forward to when he and Elliott will start playing together. I just love that I have two boys so close together. <3

Friday, March 15, 2013


What a month it has been already! The month started with getting Zach ready to leave for five weeks for some training for work. We went on a fun shooting and lunch date, packed up, and said emotional goodbyes...ok I was the only emotional one. ;)

...only to find out a couple hours after he left that the academy was cancelled until further notice and he had to turn around and come home. It was very disappointing. I know God has a plan though and it is far better than anything we have so He's definitely teaching me to trust in His timing and be patient. The good side of it is that Zach's knee has some time to heal and we got to have a fun Tucson trip as a family. It's so cool to see Elliott and Matthew have such a great relationship with their great-grandma and great-grandpa.

Our adventures didn't stop there though. On the drive home, our truck completely broke down. In the middle of nowhere. Unfixable. I'm so glad Zach was with me. I can't imagine if that happened while it was just me and the kids! It was quite an adventure. We got towed back to Lordsburg since it was the closest and stayed in this.... interesting motel for two days, one night. We'll sure talk about that one for awhile. Thankfully a friend from Zach's work was willing to come out and pick us all up and take us home late Friday night. The truck is still in Lordsburg. We're trying to figure out how to get it back here and what to do with it after that. God is Sovereign!

My mom and four youngest siblings had planned coming out this week since we thought Zach was going to be gone. I'm glad that even though Zach stayed, my family still came out. I've missed them!! We had so much fun.

Aunt Jessica with Matthew (6 months old)

Uncle Nathan, Aunt Natalie, and Aunt Emily with Elliott (2 1/2 years old)

Nana with Matthew 

In other news...I finished P90X just so I could say I've done it. I've stopped and started so many times. Didn't get great results, but then again, I didn't push myself as hard as I should have. Had a hard time being motivated at home. I'll say it again though, it all comes down to diet! Still working on stopping my sugar binges. Grrrrr.

It's been awhile since I posted a recipe that wasn't a dessert. Here are two meals that are easy to modify from how you normally make them so they will be healthier.

Hamburgers. Wrap them in lettuce instead of a bun. Just as tasty without the white, processed, simple carbs. I especially like mine topped with Zach's homemade guacamole, and caramelized onions. Simply slice an onion and cook in coconut oil until caramelized.

Tacos. Again, make tacos as you always do but put in romaine lettuce leaves instead of tortillas.

I recommend making your own taco seasoning though to avoid unhealthy additives and ingredients that are in the seasoning packets. It's pretty simple to mix your own spices, but here's a general idea.

-1 tbsp chili powder
-1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp unrefined sea salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp onion powder
-1/4 tsp oregano

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Fat Phobia (and sugar free desserts)

I hear so many people say how they want to keep things low fat or fat free. The mindset is that fat makes you fat. Makes sense right? Not really and it is actually extremely unhealthy.

There are different kinds of fats. The ones you should avoid right off the bat are the processed fats. The ones you find in any packaged foods. The corn, vegetable and soy oils...AKA, fake oils.

But then there are the good oils like olives and olive oil, sunflower, sesame, and flax oil. And good fats those found in salmon, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.

Our bodies need and crave fat. We need fat for

1. Brain development 
A low fat diet deprives the brain to be able to repair itself and function quickly.

2. Strong bones
Fat helps with calcium absorption. You can take all the calcium you want, but if your bones are not able to absorb it, your bones become weak and brittle.

3. Energy
Fat is one of the biggest sources of energy in our body!

4. Healthy and properly working body 
Our lungs are actually coated in a thin layer of saturated fat, fat boosts your immune system and actually aids in weight loss by controlling your insulin and blood sugar levels. (You can read in more detail here if you want.)

Don't deprive your body of the fat it needs!! 

Do your research before cutting out fat or going on a low fat diet I cannot tell you how many people have told me since the new year that they are starting a low fat diet. And besides, if you are buying an oil or yogurt that is fat free or low fat, the fat is taken out and replaced with sugar and carbohydrates so you are not eating a better for you food anyway.

On another note, I've also discovered some desserts that help with my sweet tooth without sugar/honey/maple syrup. I'm still trying to detox from sugar and needing sweet things every day, so I don't have a dessert every day- even if it IS sugar free.

The first one is as simple as buying some frozen berries, sprinkling with unsweetened, shredded coconut and leaving at room temperature for about 30 minutes while the berries slightly defrost.

Roasted Banana
Slice the banana in half and brush with coconut oil. Place on baking sheet and put for 10 minutes or so (keep an eye on it) at 400 degrees. Lower the oven to 350 degrees and top the banana with nut butter (I used almond butter with this one) and cacao nibs (you can substitute with chocolate chips, but then you are also adding some sugar to the recipe). *If you don't know about the superfood and nutritional benefits of cacao, read about it here.*

Date Boats
This one is my favorite because it's fast, easy, and raw! I ate it right away before remembering to get a picture but I found one on google that will work. ;)

Slice the date in half. I like the medjool dates best. Stuff with nut butter. I used a raw walnut and cashew butter. Top with raw cacao nibs. Again, if you substitute with chocolate chips, you are adding some sugar to the recipe.

Another super easy treat that helps with the sweet tooth is to fry either an apple or banana in coconut oil. No sugar, healthy fats, and fruit!

Simply place a spoonful (about a tablespoon) of coconut oil in pan and cook until soft. I topped it with cacao nibs and unsweetened shredded coconut. Cinnamon over apples is really good too.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Full Body Workout

I haven't done an exercise routine post for awhile. This full body workout is awesome. I've taught it twice in my class now and got so sore each time First I'll post the workout and then I'll include pictures or links below on how to do each exercise. Always warm up before starting the workout. Start with ballistic exercises first like jogging, jumping jacks, shuffles, or marching and kicking in place. Then do static stretching where you hold each position for a few seconds.

The Workout:
1. Holding weights on your shoulders (on all of these), plie squat to lunge. 12 each leg (on everything)
2. Front lunge push off.
3. Elevated sumo squat to lift. 
4. Curtsy squat to leg lift. 
5. Elevated lunge to knee lift. 
6. Leg raised bridge. 
Rest 30 seconds to 1 min and repeat.

Next, do each exercise for 30 seconds. Move through each exercise with no break. Do twice.

1. Jumping jacks
2. Push ups
3. Sit ups
4. Bicycles
5. Mountain Climbers
6. Planks
Rest 1 minute. 

How to do the exercises:

1. Plie squat like this

And after the squat, step forward with your right leg into a lunge. Plie squat again and step forward with your left leg into a lunge. That is 1 rep. 

2. In a lunge position, push off your front leg to stand up straight. 

3. Looks like this, but hold weights on your shoulders instead of this bar.

4. Here's the curtsy squat and then just lift your leg.

5. Holding weights at shoulders do this: 

6. You'll do 12 on each leg, lifting your butt up and down with one leg in the air like this:

I think the second half of the workout are common exercises everyone knows. If not, google can help you out. ;) 

Monday, January 28, 2013

I Love Dessert!!!!

As January comes to a close, the biggest accomplishment is that Elliott is fully potty trained. He took to it so fast and easily! It's nice not to have to buy disposable diapers anymore between Elliott potty trained and Matthew in cloth diapers.

Matthew is getting better about naptimes and sleeping through the night. But even though I did the same exact thing with him as I did with Elliott (who was sleeping through the night at 2 months), he's still getting up once or twice a night and his naptimes are way shorter than Elliott's were. He has quite a temper already too. He's not a fan of being by himself at all and when he's angry or bored, he does this screaming/shrieking thing. It's a lot harder to make him cry when his cry is an angry, high pitched, eardrum bursting shriek. Good thing he's cute. ;)

Today I finished phase 1 of P90X. It's hard getting up early to do an hour workout six days a week, but it's been hanging over me that I keep starting this program and never stick to it longer than halfway. So I'm in it to actually finish it this time. Two more phases left.

While I've been getting good weight loss results, I attribute it more to my nutrition than exercise.

I'm been doing the Whole30 program. I would have been done in two days, but for those of you that know me, you know that sweets and desserts are my vice! I've had the restart the program three times time this month for giving into dessert. :/ But once I make it through these 30 days eating the Whole9 way, I know my sweet tooth will be under control. I'm just working on having the willpower to get there! I feel great on it though (besides the sweet tooth cravings). Dropping inches in my waist faster than I ever had in my life...until I give in to that dessert... my skin is clearer and I have plenty of energy (and for waking up a couple times every night, nursing, and keeping up with Elliott's 120mph activity all day, that's a big deal!). 

I also came to the realization that I've been giving Elliott the same breakfast, every morning, for months now. Just scrambled eggs. Time to mix things up. I wrote up a breakfast meal plan where he's having something different every morning now. Zach likes the variety too. Friday is breakfast muffin day. (Zach and Elliott's aren't doing the Whole30). I thought I'd share some yummy muffins we tried last week.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

2 1/2 cup rolled oats
8 oz full fat yogurt 
2 eggs
3/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 bananas

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray or rub with coconut oil. Put everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Bake 20-25 minutes. 

Another dessert I just had to share is some delicious, easy fudge that my sister, Rachel, and I made for Christmas. Well, obviously, we are in different states, but we made them the same time while talking together. ;)

Peppermint Fudge
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Hershey's dark cocoa powder
2 tbsp almond butter
Peppermint extract
Crushed candy canes

-Whisk coconut oil and honey together. Slowly add in the cocoa powder. Whisk in the almond butter and a few drops of peppermint extract (depending on how strong you like it). Pour into a loaf pan that is line with non stick foil or wax paper. Sprinkle the candy canes on top and freeze for 15 minutes. Cut into squares and store in the refridgerator until ready to eat. Just try not to eat the whole thing. ^_^