hello there mr. speculum + 1st postpartum home workout

postpartum check up time!

5 weeks in, and here we are again.

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the last time i sat on this table i was 40 weeks preggo and 2 cms dilated.  just in my thoughts as i waited for Dr. A. lol.

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soon as i walked in the office my eyes were immediately drawn to the tools on the counter though, especially that darn speculum. hate it. and that clicking noise as it opens drives me craaaazy.

however, it was standing in the way of me and the gym so i tolerated it for yet another 60 seconds.  i know i’ll be seeing it for the rest of my life so i’ll make peace with it some day.

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aaaand we’re done here!  Dr. A cleared me to go back to my usual workout routine whenever i am ready.  however, i’m taking it super, duper slow.  teaching vs. taking a class are two different experiences for me as i’ve mentioned before.  kinda like Beyonce vs. Sasha Fierce– falling down the stairs and all.  i don’t want to push it too fast too soon, but ultimately i will be taking classes again, adding the weights back into my routine slowly but surely, and paying attention to how my body responds.  listen to your OB ladies, and listen to your body. i’ll discuss some of my fitness goals in the next post though!

*****

afterwards, i decided to share my very first workout at home with my Mr. Piggy! Sonny is NOT feeling Odego’s nickname but because he grunts and snorts like crazy when he is hungry it was only right.

#sorrynotsorry, hubs.

     

 i’m using body weight for these super basic moves for the most part as Dego only weighs like 9 lbs.  it’s perfect cause i’m forced to go super slow while i hold my precious cargo!

  • squats – looking up and out at the ceiling while performing squats helps to keep my back flat and knees behind my toes.

  • plie squats – you don’t have to go deep! gradually work your way back to that level.

  • side bends – try these to start and keep a flat back and elevated chest for better posture.  my postpartum core strength is loads better this time around as i worked my obliques throughout my pregnancy.

  • modified push ups with kisses :)

remember moms, my pace is not your pace and vice versa.  if you feel any pain or discomfort, STOP.  and if you haven’t been cleared to do these exercises yet, don’t even think about it!  if you have been cleared but still not ready, go outside and walk, hit the elliptical, or start with some postpartum yoga.  if moms could have their pre-preggo bodies back sooner than later, then let’s be honest– i’m positive a vast majority would jump at the chance to.  my message is to first and foremost show how proper nutrition and physical activity can aid in doing just that.  make no mistake, this is not a race.  i repeat…this is not a race.  i exercise because i love it. i make time for it because it’s a priority in my life.  there is absolutely nothing unrealistic about eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly during pregnancy. nothing. my journey may not be typical or the norm, but my results are very real.  my skin gets thicker by the day because of Instagram lol, but i won’t apologize or feel bad for being blessed to have an active pregnancy (i don’t take it for granted one bit) and/or living a healthy lifestyle.  ANY mom can do it and i hope to inspire other women enough to even try!

semi-rant over.

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i stopped at GNC on the way home to try some new Quest Bar flavors before i buy a whole box of them and i’m excited!  they have been helping with my sweet cravings and i don’t mind the fiber and protein that comes with them.  they’re all natural, high fiber, gluten-free, 1g of sugar, and low carb. i bought hubs the Cookies & Cream flavor which he swallowed on sight (which is why it’s not pictured) and i managed to get a piece and loved it too.  it nipped his Oreo cookie craving right in the bud, sweet!

Q: what is your favorite Quest Bar flavor? 

le

Torchy’s Tacos + surprise!

 aaaaaahh…  sunday.  Dego woke up at 4am to nurse as usual and i didn’t get back to sleep until around 6. before i knew it,  it was time to get on up for church!

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ready for my 2nd date of the weekend and unbeknownst to me, we headed to Torchy’s Tacos on our side of town. that line was serious!  it was our first time there, and i’m sure Sonny remembered me saying we needed to check them out a few weeks ago. i kinda wanted brunch brunch, but rolled with it.

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little did i know there was a pretty lil’ lunch guest already there and waiting on us to arrive- my dear friend Ericka!!   talk about a pleasant surprise- i was so happy to finally see and talk to her in person again and not via computer or phone as she lives in another city.  we spent the afternoon eating and laughing, and if she were staying longer we would have hit the gym together too i’m sure!   i’m so honored to know her and excited about where God is taking her foster care program Think Love Smart, as well as all her other endeavors!

Ericka had been to Torchy’s once before and said the Democrat w/ chicken was great, so i took her word for it.

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she was absolutely right.  shredded fajita chicken, topped with fresh avocado, queso fresco, cilantro, onions, and a wedge of lime on corn tortillas.

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Sonny got something yummy looking with eggs, beef,  and cheese on flour tortillas,

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and i split the Mr. Orange with him as well.  salmon (duh), queso fresco, avocado, sweet corn, and black beans on corn tortillas. my fave of the bunch!  YUM.

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then we went to relax, hang out, and catch up.  our kiddos love them some Ericka too! wrong boob though, Dego. so funny.

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after E hit the road, so did i! i did some GGG (gym, grocery shopping, & grazing (grazing in the bulk aisle of course).  i did almost 1 hour of treadmill intervals… ya, more intervals, i know, i know.  booooring. i expect to get cleared to workout THIS week and i’m crazy excited about it!  i need workout variety in my life right now.

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 made a few meals for Sonny and i for the next two days or so and shut the kitchen down. lean protein, veggies, good fat, and complex carbs on the side.  if you’re interested in a customized meal AND workout plan (because you can’t be efficient without both), email me! leah.egwuatu@6packusa.com. i will be starting my 6 Pack plan as soon as my OB gives me the green light.

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oh wait and then there’s this guy.  i can feel my cool whip addiction creeping back up on me from these crazy postpartum sweets cravings.  this is still a lighter alternative than say full fat ice cream or a restaurant dessert though.  sugar-free cool whip and low-fat honey graham crackers.  place it in the freezer so the cool whip can harden first.  all things in moderation!

Q: moms, are your preggo cravings different from your postpartum cravings?

Q: what have you tried at Torchy’s?

le

wienervention – the cleanest hot dog i’ve ever eaten

another early gym date accomplished this morning and officially 1 month postpartum! i expect to get a lot done today. 
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i had my usual preworkout snack, some hot, magical coffee, and headed out for an hour of treadmill intervals. i alternated btw:

5 incline @ 4 mph – 5 minutes

15 incline @ 3 mph – 5 minutes 

walking IS boring but there are ways you can rev it up.  i always swing my arms vigorously, walk heel-to-toe with a wide stride, and i never hold the side rails either. that’s cheatiiiiing ;)

can i do a blog #throwbackthursday? i’m doin’ it anyway!

**********

while we were headed home from the hospital last month with our brand new baby boy, something beat us there- my Wienervention Kit from Applegate!!!

that nostalgic red and white pattern always reminds you of what? a summer picnic, yep.

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however, the Houston heat was too much and i just wanted to lay down somewhere and stuff my face in the AC.  i’d like to give a gigantic high-five and thank you to one of my favorite natural and organic brands, Applegate, for the goods. i knew the kit was on the way, but it slipped my mind after giving birth and all.  my mom and aunt were at our house tidying up and waiting to help out with our new family member, so unbeknownst to Sonny & i, they went ahead and cracked the kit open and prepared a welcome home lunch for us! perfect timing, right?

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i actually used to avoid hot dog wieners for this very reason…  i’ve always thought of them as the wack parts of meat that didn’t make the cut all blended up together with fat and other UFOs.  i would only have them every blue moon, like july 4th or memorial day at somebody’s BBQ. at home? not so much.  also, reading ‘mechanically separated turkey, chicken, or beef’ in the ingredients list is not very appetizing. thank God we have many healthier options to choose from these days; these Applegate wieners are in a league of their own! a wienerventioW was overdue.

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rest assured these top-notch dogs are:

  • all natural
  • contain no antibiotics
  • humanely raised beef fed vegetarian/grain diet
  • gluten-free
  • casein-free
  • contain no fillers
  • contain recognizable ingredients! every single one.
  • really, really tasty.

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nailed that presentation.

they also sent along condiments, cause you can’t build a stellar dog without them.

20140619_185515_1 for the buns, we had a choice of Rudi’s Organic Bakery Multigrain or White hot dog buns!  i loved them both and you can snag a coupon for a bag of your choice right on their website. 20140620_144055_1from the bun, to the condiments, to the wiener, this is THE cleanest hot dog i’ve ever eaten.

time to change the meat you eat and give Applegate a try.

in newborn news, CYMERA_20140717_114845

i think he’ll be tall.

more tummy time, aka, push up practice!

le

baby shower brunchin’

i celebrated the coming of my dear, talented friend Dami’s twin boys today.

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  all her events are magical and so well put together, just like this one! i actually like our pic on the right better, but our camera person cut off her yummy blue heels which is a no-no!!! she rocked the blue for the boys of course. i dig it.

brunch. food. galore. my postpartum hormones were in for a treat. i am a bottomless pit these days and as MUCH as i love food, it’s pretty annoying always being so hungry.   staying under my macros feels like a joke and is quite a task… but only a few more days til i can finally hit the weights again.

anyway, i cannot wait to see the professional pics of the shower cause i was so busy eating everything i didn’t get the best food shots, whoops. there was soooo much variety which is always a great thing.

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there was an omelette station and a pasta station complements of @shecookedit, and they did such a tasty job.  everyone around me loved their food, me included. there was a waffle station as well.

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in addition to that,  there was a buffet table full of more brunch goodies like bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, pastries, fruit, cookies, muffins, bagels & lox, mimosas, fruit & granola cups, etc, etc, etc!

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i was first in line for waffles. isn’t she pretty?

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there was an ongoing onesie decorating contest that i adored! i suck at arts & crafts IMO, so after staring at my blank onesie for like 30 minutes between bites and looking at everyone else making bow ties and sewing on fabric suspenders lol, i did my best.

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 i found a lion stencil, markers, and came up with this. Beasty, right? well Dami thought so and that’s all that matters. LOL.

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she is a lover of simplicity and well, my onesie (ok, OK, and a few others, haha) fit the bill. sweet!  the winners all received ‘love conquers all’ stationary from Parchment by Dami. i’m just now noticing my to-go plates in the shot. ridiculous.
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 twin boys, triple cakes.  isn’t this entire corner fabulous? and the children’s books cake stand? genius.

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parting gifts were provided by her hubby, Niyi, of Post-Imperial. yep, a family of many talents.  i can’t wait to see who the boys take after and their special gifts and quirks as well! congrats, DaNi.

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 back home and back on the grind after a brunchtastic day.  i didn’t have time to get a power walk in, so i made time!  morning workouts are my preference, but i will get it in anytime, anywhere, within reason. i’m grateful my hubby holds it down with the boys so i can handle up on other business and make sure we are on track with our meals for example.  spousal support rocks.  speaking of spousal support, check out Dami’s  breathtaking beach bump pics from Spain!

 Q: what is your all-time favorite brunch menu food or dish? homemade or from a restaurant? drop that name! 

 

happy birthday, Odego

WELL!  a lot has happened since Fathers’ Day.

*****

i know a good handful of current mommies-to-be and the real life story you’re about to read is just one of bajillions. moms, i just want to encourage you to learn from my journey, but don’t let it make you even the slightest bit apprehensive about your own.  your L & D story will have its own twists and turns too…or not!  even with the longest, most detailed birth plan ever, we just never know how these things will play out…

*****

at 2 cms dilated, we finally got our hospital tour done on thursday, June 12th, my expected due date.

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we asked questions, made jokes, reminisced about Chiso’s birth, talked and walked around, met a few L & D nurses (who are all awesome and heaven-sent), and made a family date out of it with big brother Chiso.

i was convinced Odego would make his way into this world on Fathers’ Day (wishful thinking on Sonny’s behalf ), so i finished packing our bags (for the last time) that night and started prepping to celebrate the weekend in the hospital.

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happy Fathers’ Day, Papa!!! sunday morning came and there were still no surefire signs of labor to be found whatsoever though. before we headed to church, Chiso, Dego, and i presented Sonny with a few gifts at home, unlike i planned.  then, we dined at Fish City Grill, per Sonny’s request, and met up with my parents before heading home to finally relax.

9pm sunday night, i began spotting.

i won’t say the spotting and excess fluid was surprising at all as we had been trying a few natural remedies to get this thing going, but the unexpected sight of blood always makes me do a double-take.

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could this be it? would Sonny really get the best Fathers’ Day gift ever? we still had 3 hours left according to him. i was having super light contractions and some spotting, but i was still smiling.  and taking pics. lol. the on-call Dr. told us not to play with amniotic fluid, so we were told to head to the hospital to be checked. i know the front desk nurses had to be like ‘ummm, clearly she is not in labor.’ LOL.

soooo we did the walk of shame right on home 3 hours later.

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definitely not in labor yet.

papsmears are nightmares for me, so just being checked for dilation was enough to rev up my light contractions to the next level  from that point forward. monday morning, Dr. A told me to come straight to her office after the previous night’s fiasco, so we did. i finally began to keep record and contracted 3 random times during the 15 minute drive to her office.  i was still at 2 cms according to her, and she wrapped up my appointment by presenting us with an option to mull over for the next couple of hours.  i could come in to be induced at 530am the following day, tuesday the 17th, or, we could just keep waiting…  she then explained that she would be out of the office on thursday and friday. THAT little nugget of info helped me make my decision right then and there. Dr. A. was out having her twins at the time Chiso was born and i was not missing her  again this round, nope. Sonny was ready to meet Odego on Fathers’ Day so he was all for option 1. we prayed about it and agreed to go for it.  that same night, the contractions were even stronger, but bearable enough for me to take a walk to the park with Chiso. during 1 hour, i counted about 6 or 7 contractions.

once home, i loaded up most of our things in the car and because i was required to fast from food and liquid after midnight, i cooked and ate my last meal around 10pm. i also baked every fillet of tilapia in the freezer per Sonny’s request as he is prepping for a Musclemiania competition at the end of this month.  couldn’t leave him out in the cold!  afterwards, i did my best to lay down and get some rest with Chiso, but that didn’t really happen. i got in the bed around 1, but each contraction woke me up. Sonny started his timer and laid his phone down right next to me. every time a contraction hit, i’d press the ‘lap’ button to record the time between each of them.  by 4am, i was up pacing and breathing through each contraction.  of course to me they FELT like they were coming 2-3 minutes apart, but it was more like every 5-10.  this boy was definitely on his way.

  so we headed out to the hospital,

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(now that looks more like a labor-face)

valated the car, signed in, and waited a few moments for our room.

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Sonny knew i would want these pics later… so he snapped away while i contracted away and did his best to keep Chiso busy.

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  however, Chiso was generally concerned for his mama and every time i got up, he got up and paced with me. it wasn’t funny at the time but he kept asking, ‘mama happy? mama happy now?’

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last #usies as a family of 3.

the staff directed us to our room and i immediately changed into my gown, used the restroom, stood up to my feet, look down, and ‘watched’ my water break!  no induction needed. and it wasn’t a ginormous tidal wave like the movies either :D

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i waddled out of the restroom and immediately called out to alert Sonny when i should have been telling my nurse, nurse Judy. i mean we were in the hospital and all.  force of habit!  thank God for L& D nurses. He provided us with a fabulous one. she encouraged me, told me i was strong, kept me informed, and did her job like she was born to do it.  i laid down on the bed to be checked: 4-5 cms! i was ELATED to be halfway there and also to know i’d be kissing Odego’s sweet face sooner than later.

so about those contractions!  well, they got stronger as expected after my water broke and i labored to about 6-7 cms or so before calling for an epidural around 9am.  in less than 15 minutes the anesthesiologist was literally behind me and ready to go.

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finally… peace, ice chips,

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and electronics for the boys as we waited.

around 12:15pm, i randomly started to feel moderate cramping again.  i was told if i needed more meds to push a Jeopardy like button connected to my IV and placed on the bed right next to me.  i was reeeeally hoping i wouldn’t have to even use that thing, but because the pain kept getting stronger, everybody in the room could tell when each contraction hit cause the button made an electronic dinging noise when pressed. unfortunately, no matter how many times i hit that button the pain didn’t let up and only increased. a 2nd anesthesiologist came in and ‘added’ more meds… but i felt no difference.  eventually, the nurse checked me again- 9cms! it was music to my ears but the thought of laboring through those contractions until i hit the big 10 discouraged me.  how much longer?!?! my dad held my hand and prayed over me through each painful wave.. something i will never, ever forget.  watching your child suffer is no easy task. i understand now.

alright, 10cms, FINALLY!  Dr. A appears out of nowhere again, instantly calms the room, puts on her cape & gloves, and nurse Judy prepares me for delivery. my dad takes Chiso and heads to the waiting area, and my mom and Sonny take their places on either side of me.  let’s GO. with each contraction came a strong urge to push… and i must admit that since my lower body was no longer numb from the epidural, i had total control of my pelvic muscles, floor, and core.  because the epi was in full swing during my 1st delivery, i pushed with everything i had and it felt like absolutely nothing was happening. less than 8 minutes and 5 or 6 pushes later, my mom was crying and overjoyed with emotion, Sonny was cutting the umbilical cord, and Dego’s warm body was laying on my chest.

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in an instant…all the pain was gone and completely forgotten.  by me anyway. my dad? not so much!  Odego was worth it all. i couldn’t help but think of the women who birthed babies with no medication whatsoever. past, present, whether it was their choice, and those who had no choice at all. amazing.

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Chiso could barely contain his excitement!  it was finally time to meet his little brother after all this waiting!  heck, he talked to Dego more than i did while he was in my tummy.  i can’t wait to show both boys this picture when they are older.

 i’d also like to note that Odego weighed in at 7 lbs & 9 oz, but i carried smaller vs my first pregnancy (Chiso was 6 lbs 11 oz).  i was also in better shape and made way better food choices this round. take note, moms! that’s just another reason comparing bumps is really silly and never a fair baby weight predictor.

20140617_171609 FOOD. after fasting since midnight, nurse Judy read my mind and put the menu and the room phone right next to me. i LOVE her.  that was my post-delivery lunch: grilled chicken burger with sweet potato fries, a side salad, and vegetable soup. yall know when i get hungry i get scatterbrained and just want everything. i read the 3 page menu 50 bajillion times before Sonny was like, ‘Leah we will be here til thursday, PICK SOMETHING.’

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i don’t go there often, but i hear hospital food has changed!  i ordered eggs, oatmeal, and fruit for every breakfast, and either grilled chicken or tilapia for lunch and/or dinner.  i made sure to have veggies and a salad with every meal, but i wanted fries so i ordered those sometimes too.

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Dr. A approved me to get up and move around, so i threw on my Nikes and did just that wednesday morning after breakfast. just a few slow laps around the postpartum wing, that’s it.  later that night, Sonny pushed Odego in his nursey cart and walked with me.

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heading home the next day!  but not before ordering lunch one last time, haha.

i missed that fresh new baby smell, skin, and newborn cry… to finally hold and kiss the face of someone you already love so deeply after months of waiting is… indescribable! a blessing. a miracle.

 but with that comes the smell and sting of Dermoplast spray, recovering down there, sitting down super slowly,  swollen, engorged breasts & nipples so sore the brush of a t-shirt or bra feels like hell’s fire, nocturnal newborn schedules and feedings, i.e.,  good ol’  MOTHERHOOD!

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hello, round two!


       thank you, Father, for expanding our home by two more feet, and thank you for reading.

le

it’s hottt

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why? two words: THE SUN.

nothing drains me more these days and it’s not like i’m out jogging in it either! just walking up to the store and/or driving around in my truck (even with the air cranked to the max) still makes me crazy tired more so than any of my gym workouts. which is why i’m glad this little guy will be outta here before the texas heat really shows out. God bless and be with you preggo mama’s this summer (wherever you are)! i mean that sincerely. be safe, stay hydrated, and stay indoors.

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the weekend was rather warm too, so Chiso and i jumped at the chance to hit the pool with my sis, Michelle,  and her daughter, cousin Livvy.  time for swimming lessons for these two.  we did a family maternity shoot last month and i totally want to do a look in my bikini now! i enjoyed wearing it and sporting my bump.  most likely Sonny will have to be the camera man for that though, lol.

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something about the pool makes me want chips, hot dogs, burgers, and ICE CREAM! thanks, Sonic.

remember that summer stir fry i made? i finally got some shrimp from HEB and made it again.  this time i added red bell pepper and yellow squash too since they were on sale.  and yall know the more color in your meals, the better.

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i have still been eating the heck out of nectarines these past few days. i can’t get enough of them! plus the longer they sit in the fridge the softer they become. so i must eat them while they are still crisp. all of them.

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was sad to finish the last of this stir fry today for lunch but it’ll be back soon.

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Q: do i ever feel my bump is too small?

A: during my first pregnancy? yeah. this time around? nah. when people ask me (especially at the gym) how far along i am these days, ‘almost 10 months’ is the last thing they expect to hear.  their faces say it all, and ‘you’re so tiny!!!’ is usually soon to follow.  then the women reflect back on their own journeys and express how ginormous they were compared to me before delivering, and the men usually tell me the same about their wives, sisters, friends, etc!! never, ever gets old.  i welcome the questions (yes, the same ones over and over ;) ) and LOVE to discuss my journey with anyone willing to listen!   i enjoy hearing all about other women’s preggo stories by the same token as they are all unique.  anyway, that darn, ‘every woman is different’ statement refers to, well, everything, including bump size. the ‘right’ size doesn’t exist. also: bump size is not an indicator of your baby’s weight.  mom’s height, weight, activity level, the way baby is positioned, how much fluid present, etc, etc, etc…… so.many.factors.  so don’t compare bumps.  especially if you trust your OB and he/she assures you that you and baby are on track every check-up, just as mine has!  done deal ^^’.

Q: what’s your biggest pregnancy pet peeve? vent below!

le



38 weeks – i should pack

 1 cm dilated celebration pose!

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my OB checked me at my most recent visit yesterday aaaaaand, well, i’ll take it.

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one is better than zero, right?  right!  she then reminded me of some natural ways labor can be brought on, but my mom is not out for the Summer until this friday (she’s a teacher) so we will hold off on those for the moment. lol.  we are in no rush anyway, seriously.

i have, however, finally start packing my hospital bag.

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now that i have a bigger, better (cleaner) bag!

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i found this J. J. Cole satchel bag in Babies R Us that caught my eye (and Chiso’s apparently) so i rolled with it. this is my running list so far:

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and this is what i have going as of today:

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in my bag:

  • slimming black nursing cami (Target, 22.99)

  • swaddle blankets

  • burp cloths

  • Odego’s going home fit and extra onesies

  • car seat + head support

  • diapers & wipes

  • travel toiletries

 and the infant car seat is by the door!  currently researching double seated strollers… that would be smart.

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 i may have very well taken my last Wednesday night Turbo Kickboxing class before Odego gets here… we’ll see what happens!

Q: moms, what did you bring to the hospital that you should have left at home OR that you wish you would have brought with you?

le

8th month recap

group B-strep test is up next, guys.  HEY FIT FOODIES!  i’m gonna get in as much last minute preggo blogging as i can these last few weeks (or days, that’s cool too).  my 8th month has whizzed on by

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*bloop*

and i’m knocking on week 36 in like 2 days, praise God!

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O_o :P   >:( :’( :| #flipacoin

early AM workout classes & breakfast:

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so, getting up at 4:15am to teach my classes is only getting rougher.  but i’m hanging in there! that’s my automatic answer for my gym members every time they ask me how baby and i are doing, lol.  that’s really all i can say though, seriously.  sure i’d rather get those extra hours of sleep but i feel good after i get on up and most days and the urge to workout is still strong.

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mmhmmm, don’t forget that. aim to move every single day, even if it’s just walking around your hood.

i am asked how i am still doing HIIT training  this late in the game.  modifications! lighter dumbbells, monitoring my heart rate, using my knees instead of toes for pushups…just a few examples. see vid below!  plus i’m doing way more coaching/encouraging/motivating and ‘working’ the group exercise room more. the classes are NOT about me anyway- it’s all about the members!  i’ll do a quick demo of a high intensity/plyometric move though, then quickly modify it just so i can keep moving with the members.

 eating, on the other hand…. i know my appetite is flaky cause baby boy is growing rapidly and fattening up for his grand exit/entrance, but after breakfast and a small lunch (even after working out), i could honestly be done for the day.  the rest of my meals are pretty much forced since i’m still very active,  so WE need those cals and nutrients to keep coming. and they shall.  so i have my pre workout snack (usually banana w/ peanut butter) on the way to the gym, then tackle my real breakfast afterwards as usual.

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here are some breakfasts i’ve been rotating (clockwise starting from the top L):

1. spinach, tomato, and mushroom scramble (1 whole egg, 2 egg whites) with strawberries and blueberries

2.  4 egg whites over a whole wheat english muffin & topped with homemade guacamole w/ blackberries & a halo

3. spinach & mushroom egg scramble taco (La Tortilla Factory 80 cal light low carb, high fiber flour tortilla) w/ shredded part-skim mozzarella & pineapple salsa w/ berries

4. plain greek yogurt with strawberries & blueberries and dribbled with maple syrup (also a great post-workout snack)

 

individual workouts & lunch/dinner:

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i have been enjoying taking classes to the fullest these last few weeks!  why?

  1. i’m not up there teaching so i can stop at any time :P
  2.  i get ideas and inspiration for new moves i can use later in my own classes and just experiencing another instructor’s style, music, and motivational sayings
  3.  group fitness is FUN and keeps me motivated!  i look forward to it. period.

i do a combo of the following every week:

  • TKB – turbo kickboxing
  • Zumba
  • Barbell Strength (Lifetime Fitness signature formatted class)
  • Step (don’t knock it lol! keeps my heart rate nice and steady… great cardio workout vs. the boring treadmill and elliptical)
  • Weights – since i’m not lifting crazy heavy, i’ll do a full body workout in one day most times using basic exercises for each muscle group. 3-4 sets of 12 does the trick. looking forward to getting back to my postpartum 6 Pack USA workouts though.

 

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lunches and dinners (starting clockwise from top L):

  1. homemade Chipotle inspired salad (i cut the chicken into chunks and marinated it in Weber Kick n’ Chicken seasoning blend)
  2. Kick n’ Chicken pan seared chicken breast with pan roasted brussels sprouts and grilled pineapple
  3. pan seared whiting (cheaper than tilapia at Walmart right now so i gave it a try) grilled squash, and fresh coleslaw
  4. salmon & avocado deviled eggs sprinkled with sweet & smokey paprika and black pepper with raw sugar snap peas and sliced roma tomatoes on the side.

 

the bump and i will be walking down the aisle in my brother’s wedding this weekend! can’t wait to party and celebrate gaining another sister. fun times ahead. and cake.

—–> if you are preggo and need help with staying on track (or starting) a healthier workout and nutrition regiment for you and your little bundle-to-be, please check out www.pregnantnotpowerless.com and sign up!  even if you’re not preggo but know a woman who is, please tell her about this awesome program created by one of my inspirations and fellow fit mom @babyfatboss on IG. follow herrrrrr! <——

33 weeks + Double Chocolate Skinny-Fat Brownies

 in the beginning of the 2nd tri i remember sometimes forgetting i was even preggo.  didn’t feel anything on the inside most days and definitely wasn’t showing on the outside yet.  yeah, those days are OVER.  i actually feel great and my energy didn’t deplete like i expected at 33 weeks now, but as my little nugget grows, obviously the discomfort does too.

#magicbump now ya see it, now ya don’t!

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you know that hasn’t stopped me from moving though!  outside of teaching my Lifetime classes, i look forward to Zumba and Kickboxing for my cardio because they are just so FUN to take.   some days all i want to do is move, nothing serious.  i’ve been constantly reaching for healthy fat to nourish the baby and i and i’m slightly addicted to Dark Chocolate Dreams by Peanut Butter & Co on my early morning pre-workout snacks as you can see!

other healthy fat sources:

  • avocado! homemade guacamole (2 avocados, 1 roma tomato, sea salt, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 2 tbsp minced cilantro – BLEND)
  • raw or roasted, unsalted almonds, pistachios, and cashews
  • olive & coconut oil
  • lite & full-fat coconut milk
  • natural peanut butter, nut butters in general
  • flaxseed
  • mackerel & salmon

today was my last ultrasound scan until we meet baby Odego.  my OB just wants to make sure he is measuring correctly and will compare his progress to the last scan.

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Sonny always asks me why i cuff my bump. i don’t know!!!! it’s just something we do. my hand just goes there automatically. especially in pictures.

here are some recent eats! if you follow me on Instagram though you’ve prolly already seen all of these ;)

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lean protein, plenty of fresh & raw veggies, fruit, healthy fat, and whole grains, even when dining out.

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 remember, your postpartum ‘transformation’ starts the MOMENT you get preggo, not after you deliver your baby! smart food choices and physical activity from start to finish is what makes the difference in your recovery time.

for my Sunday Dinners cooking class last evening, we made Fit N’ Crispy Chicken Parm and Thai Coconut Curry Chicken (recipe coming up next post!) – two flavorful, fun, things you can do with those plain ol’ chicken boobs.

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i sent my students home happy and packed up all the leftovers for them to kill later.  which left me with, well, nothin’!! it’s all about you guys though.  sooo, i made a big pan of parm for mysel….err, my family today and my Italian fix has once again been satisfied.

they also went home with a sample of these guys: Double Chocolate Skinny-Fat Brownies! why? cause i used skinny / healthy ingredients (no processed sugar, whole wheat flour, no butter) but it still tastes like a brownie should.  i had my fingers crossed that they would be a hit and they were!  which means i’ll be whipping some up for a ‘Skinny’ themed private 30th birthday event next month.  YES, i do those too!  email me for all the details at le@fitfoodiele.com.

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ok, ok.

Double Chocolate Skinny-Fat Brownies

the stuff:(source)

  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + 2 tsbp
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chunks, chips, or mini morsels
  • 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour (i used King Arthur)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten and at room temp
  • 1/4 – 1/2  cup pecan pieces (optional;  can add to batter or save for topping)

do this:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F and coat an 8 in square pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. mix the maple syrup and cocoa powder together really good (you’ll be stirring for a minute, just keep going).
  3. combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. in another bowl, add the applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla.  work in the maple syrup / cocoa mixture.
  5. add the wet mixture into the flour and stir until well combined.
  6. pour into your pan and let bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

TIPS:

*remember, there are chocolate chunks in the batter so don’t mistake the melted chocolate on the toothpick for uncooked batter like i did.

*let the pan cool a little then place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving. i just popped a piece in the microwave for 10-15 secs before eating.

*when cutting, run hot water on your knife for a few secs first to make clean cut squares each time.

 

makes 16! for 1:

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nighty nite!

le

‘my kids didn’t ruin my body. Ben did. and Jerry.’

i snagged my blog title from a random preggo message board concerning weight gain and had to include it in this post somewhere!  while the commenter was being funny, there is so much truth to her statement.  i stated on IG that the full list for preventing ‘stretchies’ (as my best friend refers to them) would be posted here to my blog, but honestly the list is quite short and sweet and focuses on these 3 things:                              skin, diet, and exercise.

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overall great health begins on the inside, and so does the handling and even prevention of ‘tiger stripes’.  i do the whole cocoa butter & sometimes olive oil thing on my belly at night (ok almost every night..sometimes i’m already in the bed and say screw it) and sure, that helps to keep my belly smooth, moisturized, and the itching to a minimum.   does that actually prevent them from forming? in my opinion, not at all.  i don’t believe they are hereditary either, but eating habits can be.  nevertheless, stretch marks are caused by          —–>rapid<—— weight gain and / or weight loss.  for all the creams, treatments, and remedies i researched, avoiding aggressive weight gain is usually in the fine print somewhere and one of the biggest factors in avoiding stretchies altogether.  since babies don’t go/grow from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye in your belly, it’s important to make the weight gain process a gradual thing as best you can.  now, i have a few preggo friends fighting hard to get through their first trimesters, and i can empathize with them greatly as the memory of my own is still pretty strong :shock: .  for the majority of women, you either can’t eat a thing, or you want to eat everything during that time span.  or, you can only eat certain things without…well, you know.  so when your appetite and normal eating patterns have pretty much been shot for a few weeks or more, motivation to stay active, be active, and eat healthy can be at an all time low. what has worked for me after getting back on track around week 14? read on!

1. eating a skin nourishing diet

  • antioxidantsnourishes and protects skin.  eat leafy, dark greens, blueberries, strawberries, and fresh, unprocessed produce, period.
  • vitamin E - protects skin cell membranes. eat nuts, seeds, avocados, broccoli, cabbage (pictured above and part of my dinner one night), and collard greens.
  • vitamin Arepairs skin tissues.  eat carrots, sweet potatoes, mango, squash, & red bell peppers.
  • omega 3s - keeps cell membranes healthy for glowing skin. eat fish (salmon’s a winner), fish oil supplements, walnuts, eggs and oysters.
  • prenatal pillskeep popping them, everyday.

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2. chug, chug, chugging that H2O

  • keep those skin cells plump and hydrated by drinking a full glass or bottle of water with every meal. how much in a day exactly? half your body weight in oz is a standard rule, especially if you are staying active.  i know, pee, pee, and more peeeeeeeee
  • all natural, flavored, herbal, decaffeinated teas (in the bag) sweetened with Stevia have helped me achieve my water intake goal these days.
  • seltzer water with a bit of 100% juice is awesome too and the closest thing to soda i will go.
  • snacking on water-filled fruits and veggies counts too. watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, cucumbers, bell peppers, & celery are great picks.

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3. MOVEing

  • if you’re a reader of my blog then you know physical activity is automatic and understood! exercising keeps your skin elastic, flexible,  improves your body’s blood circulation, keeps those joint lubricated and from getting stiff…the list goes on.  plus it just makes you feel so much better in most cases.  you’ll need all the endorphins you can scrounge up.. every drop.
  •   staying active *drum roll* prevents you from gaining too much weight too fast which is what we’re trying to prevent!
  • as you grow, modify your movements and your workouts as needed.  as i near the 3rd tri, prenatal yoga, the elliptical, walking outside, zumba, and spinning will be my go-to activities.  light weight training here are there for my back and upper body, but that’s about it.  slow down, but don’t stop.

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postpartum

KEEP IT GOING.  exercise will be added back into your routine eventually, but use that inactive window of time to sustain those healthy nutritional habits as you enjoy your newborn, breastfeeding or not.   your skin and body will still need to get those vitamins and nutrients to renew itself from all the stretching.  no crash diets! you’ll need to lose the weight as gradually as you gained it.

if you get’em, treat’em 

  • bio oil – this method gets high marks and reviews across the WWW as it is great for both old and new scars.
  • glycollic acid – women who use this cream on new stretch marks saw huge improvement as it is proven to boost collagen.  the word ‘acid’ always makes me raise an eyebrow, but unlike Retin-A, which apparently causes severe birth defects if you are preggo or breastfeeding, you can safely use this cream during and after pregnancy.  it can be bought over the counter, but you can get a stronger dose from a dermatologist.  read up on the pros and cons of this method.
  • laser treatments – this is not my area of expertise, but according to Dr. Oz, banishing them completely is just not possible at this time.  laser treatments can successfully reduce redness, diminish the appearance of white marks, and improve the texture of the skin, making them a lot less noticeable though.
  • and then i came across a story that was shared on bodybuilding.com from a young lady with a surefire stretch mark treatment (and four kiddos later might i add). it’s worth reading and checking out her progress pics; some of her methods just might work for you too.

tiger stripes

battle scars, stretchies, war wounds, tiger stripes, etc…there are far worse things to worry about.  so nip them in the bud while you can, or minimize them as best you can.  these knuckleheads were worth it.

Q: what has worked for YOU?  prevention and  minimization? share and help another mama out.

le