How my fitness routine has changed since becoming pregnant

Since I know I teased you all with the Vegan Eggplant Meatball recipe last week, I’m excited to share that the recipe is up today over on my friend Aileen’s blog, Morsels & Moonshine! Check it out!

 

Brrrrr, and happy chilly Thursday! I’m not sure what it’s like where you are, but we woke up to a lovely 16 degree morning this morning. Sure made it mighty tempting to stay under my nice down comforter as LONG as humanly possible…

Work, schmerk, right? I wish.

 But I was a good girl and braved the cold to head to work. Anyone else kind of over winter? I’m ready for spring to get here!

How my fitness routine has changed since becoming pregnant

 Today I wanted to talk about something that I’ve gotten several questions about: how my fitness routine has changed since becoming pregnant, and what I do to get a workout in nowadays.

Before I start though, I want to preface this by saying that if you ARE pregnant, please PLEASE check with your doctor before taking on anything fitness-related. Pregnancy is different for everyone, and sometimes fitness (or certain moves) needs to take a backseat for mamas health or baby’s health (my friend Katy just had a scare about this!) Fitness during pregnancy is also going to be different for every person, and what works for my may not work for you. So listen to your body!

 Ok, moving on. How has my fitness routine changed? Honestly, not a lot. Changed probably isn’t a good word for it. Modified is probably better.

And truth be told, I’ve had to modify quite a lot, especially starting in the last couple of weeks. All of a sudden my belly is getting a little bit in the way, certain things don’t feel so comfortable anymore, and Baby Freckle is letting me know when things make him unhappy. But I’m doing my best to make it work and find a fitness routine that will work for both me and the little man.

Cardio

 Honestly, cardio is probably the part of my fitness routine that I’ve had to modify the most. Before I found out I was pregnant, I was about a month in to my half marathon training plan for a December race (Obviously that did not happen). So I was running about 10-15 miles a week.

20141201_152520I managed to keep it up through about week 7 of pregnancy. I still had maybe hopes of run/walking the half marathon, but if nothing else at least figured I could keep up the running thing throughout my pregnancy.

However, this just didn’t work for me. Not only did the fatigue and light nausea hit me HARD in about week 7, but I was also experiencing a lot of cramping, stretching, and general discomfort down there (maybe because I’m carrying REALLY low? Not quite sure if that’s just a coincidence). I pretty much stopped running completely, minus a few short runs here or there when I was feeling up to it. And that’s pretty much where it has stayed up to this point in my pregnancy.

Since the bouncing aspect of running really wasn’t sitting well with me or Baby Freckle, I have switched up my cardio to things that are lower impact but still effective. During the week I try to mix in challenging elliptical intervals, incline walks, or fast-paced flat walks to get my heart rate up.

And believe me, it does! They aren’t kidding when they say that once you’re pregnant, you’ll get winded easily! I have found myself having to tone down the intervals or speed a little bit compared to pre-pregnancy, and I try and remind myself that that is allowed. I’m growing a human! I tend to follow the “conversation” rule, to make sure I’m still getting in enough oxygen, but I try to challenge myself as best as I can.

The other form of cardio that I’ve REALLY been loving lately is spin class. Not only is it a killer leg and glute workout, but it is also a great form of cardio cross-training. And since the bikes are adjustable, I have been able (and will hopefully continue to be able) to adjust the bike as my belly grows. One woman in my class spun all the way up until the morning her baby was born!

 (side note: Just make sure to talk to your instructor so that he/she is aware that you’re pregnant. That way if you need to sit out a track, take things a bit easy, or sit out on some of the jumps, they’ll know what’s up!)

 Strength Training

Strength training is probably the area that I’ve had to make the fewest changes to my routine. It’s been more about small modifications and adjustments for my comfort level.

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Throughout my pregnancy so far, I’ve tried to keep up strength training at least 2x a week, 3 if I can manage. Sometimes I’ll make up my own workout based on what I’m feeling that day, or find a good one off of Pinterest, and sub out moves if I need to in order to make them pregnancy-friendly.

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The biggest modification has honestly been the fact that after your first trimester, you are not supposed to lay on your back (some docs say for more than 5 minutes, some say at all, so check with your doc. Mine doesnt want me laying flat on my back at all) because it can put too much pressure on one of your major arteries that supplies blood to your brain. Which can result in lightheadedness or even unconsciousness. No good.

So I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments based on that. One of the best modifications for this is to use an incline bench if possible. Many moves that you would normally do while laying flat can be done with this slight adjustment: Bench presses, chest flies, etc.

Abs have been the hardest thing to adjust, as so many ab moves require you to be flat on your back. But my doc suggested using a stability ball and doing things like sit ups (and even bench presses and other moves) on the ball. This takes the pressure off your back, and still allows you to work your core. Other moves like planks and side planks are also great to do while preggo!

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My other favorite way to get strength training in is through BodyPump! Many of my BP instructors (or even blog friends who are also BP instructors, like Becky or Katie) did BP throughout their entire pregnancy, so as long as you give them a head’s up, they can show you some adjustments to make.

For me, the modifications I’ve made so far are:

- Put my bench on an incline. I can still do all the regular chest and tricep tracks, just not laying flat.

- I’m starting to sub out plates for the bar on the back track, because I have a hard time keeping my clean & press form now that I have a belly in the way. I can’t go straight up my torso anymore!

- I don’t do the regular ab track (since most of it is typically on the back), and just sub in my own pregnancy-approved ab moves instead.

Overall, I can do most of the moves in BodyPump, although I’ve heard that as you progress you may need to lower your weights a little bit for fatigue reasons!

Other Workouts

Some of the other workouts that I’m trying to sub in during the week are yoga and some barre/pregnancy strength videos.

Yoga can be great during pregnancy, to not only help stretch out sore, tight muscles, but to also help prepare you for labor. However, you DO need to be careful during a yoga class, and make sure your instructor is aware of your pregnancy if you’re not taking a specifically pre-natal yoga class.

First of all, you are not supposed to do any of the twists during a regular class. I’m not quite sure of the biology behind it, but I do know it has to do with the twisting of the spine, and thus internal organs, which are not good for baby. Same goes with any inverted poses.

Second, be aware that when pregnant the Relaxin hormone helps keep your joints loose so that your belly can grow. However, this can also mean that it is really easy to over stretch and/or sprain your muscles during yoga class, when you feel like you can stretch farther than you really can. I learned this one first hand and woke up the morning after a yoga class with a sprained ankle!

Finally, there are a TON of pregnancy-specific workouts on DVD or on YouTube that you can check out that obviously take into consideration all of the requirements and limitations during pregnancy. I love checking some of these out when I’m short on time or need a little inspiration, and have found some great prenatal barre, pilates and strength workouts! So even if you don’t have access to a gym, there are still options!

 

Phew! That was a super long post! I know that not everyone who reads this blog is pregnant (or planning on ever becoming pregnant), but since I get so many questions on this I thought it would be a great thing to address. I do know that I have several other blog friends who are preggo right now, so if you are, feel free to chime in in the comments section and share some of the fitness changes you have/haven’t made.

The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body. Pregnancy is different for EVERYONE (as I have learned!)  and there really is no right or wrong answer. But just know that you CAN still workout during pregnancy and get your fitness on, it just sometimes takes a little extra planning and adjustments!

So tell me: If you have been pregnant or are pregnant, what changes have you had to make? Any tips and tricks?

WIAW: Unphotogenic Edition

 Happy Wednesday!

I’m still in shock that we’re already in the last week of January. Guys, we’re like 1/12 of the way done with 2015 already. How is that even possible? As excited as I am for Baby Freckle to get here, I wouldn’t mind if time slowed down just a teensy, tiny bit. I’ve got too much stuff to get done first!

But since it is Wednesday, and a slow, cold one at that, I thought I’d just go ahead and jump right in to the REAL reason you all are here: What I Ate Wednesday!

Don’t lie, I know it’s true. I like to look at pictures of food too. :)

If you aren’t familiar with WIAW, I highly recommend that you head over to Jenn’s blog. Not only can you read more about the WIAW phenomenon, but you can also check out what some other amazing bloggers have been eating lately!

 Oh, and I feel like I need to forewarn you. This was not my most… photogenic… day of eats. Apparently on Tuesday I chose to eat ugly foods. Tasty, but ugly. My sincerest apologies!

Breakfast – 8:30am

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My whole day of eating was thrown off a little bit by the fact that I had to work the late shift at my office, meaning I didn’t have to come in until 9:30 (compared to my normal 7:30). Sleeping in was glorious, but boy was my system a little bit confused!

I started out with an egg, turkey bacon and cheese (and srirarcha, of course) sandwich on an english muffin, with some decaf coffee. While I eat this breakfast at least 3 times a week, it felt extra special with the turkey bacon on top. So fancy!

Lunch – 1:00pm

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Thanks to the late breakfast and weird start at work, I ended up not being hungry for my usual morning snack and ended up chowing down on lunch around 1pm. Using some of my leftover greek chicken from last week, I made this Mediterranean pita of sorts – whole wheat pita, greek chicken, tzatiki, lettuce, tomato and feta. Quite tasty, but seriously messy. 

I also had a banana on the side, but was pretty full when I finished the pita (thanks Baby Freckle for pushing on my stomach). I ended up hanging on to it and eating it at about 4pm.

Snack – 5:00pm

 I totally failed to get a picture of it, but around 5pm I ate an Activia yogurt to hold me over until dinner. Told you this was a weird day of eats!

Dinner: 8:00pm

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Another unphotogenic meal! Once I got home I threw together a spicy Thai shrimp pasta dish that ended up being quite delicious, even though it is not all that pretty. I’m hoping to share the recipe with you soon, because it was super quick and easy (and tasty!).

I also munched on a peanut butter cookie that I made using Chelsea’s 3 Ingredient PB cookie recipe that she shared yesterday. They were just calling to me!

 

Sadly, a workout didn’t really happen yesterday. I didn’t get home until about 7:30, and had to go right into making dinner. I had hoped to at least get a walk in, but honestly I was in a bit of a mood and decided to spend some time on the couch watching hockey (Caps lost, boooo) and basketball (Hokies won, YAY!) before hitting the hay early. It was just one of those nights.

I hope you all have a great Wednesday!

So tell me: What did you eat today? What did you workouts look like?

Recipe Roundup: Healthy Superbowl Dishes

Head over to Freckles & Fingerpaint to see my 22 Week Bumpdate and hear why I’m excited to have a boy!

 

I was SO hopeful when I looked out my window this morning that I was going to be greeted with a ton of snow and a lovely snow day to match. Sadly, we only got about an inch, which means that I still have to go to work. Chris, on the other hand, gets to stay in his PJs and telework today. Lucky duck.

The one positive? It’ll definitely be a quiet day at the office! No one likes to brave the snow to come see us.

One of these days we better get a REAL snow though. Just one good one. It just wont feel like a Virginia winter without it! I mean, come on, it’s already the end of January and we have had almost nothing!

Speaking of, HOW is it the end of January already??? 2015 is already starting to fly by! 1 month done, 11 to go. It’s just insane.

Recipe Roundup: Healthy Superbowl Dishes

One thing that I always love about the end of January is that it means that it’s time for one of the best potluck days of the year: The Superbowl!

Now, I’m not going to lie to you. I typically could care less about the actual game. I don’t follow any particular NFL teams (I’m much more in to college football), and really only pay attention to Hokie players who have gone to the NFL and are doing good things.

Besides, everyone knows that it’s really about the commercials anyway! Or the food.

Because the Superbowl is the perfect time to break out some new recipes and try your hand at some fancy appetizers, I thought it would be the perfect time for a Recipe Roundup.

Superbowl parties are typically full of greasy chicken wings, chips and dip, and maybe some of those mystery meatballs that include grape jelly and kind of weird me out. It’s rare to find anything green or grown from the ground, unless it’s smothered in cheese sauce or deep fried.

So today I thought I’d share with you guys that are slightly on the healthier side, but look tasty enough to please even the most diehard nachos and beer fan!

Healthy Superbowl Dishes

 

Bacon Spinach Blossoms

via Kenarry

Great for Christmas cocktail parties - Bacon Spinach Blossoms with roasted red peppers and Italian cheeses are a festive holiday appetizer.

BACON. I really shouldn’t have to go into any more detail than that. Who doesn’t love bacon? And hey look, there is even some green in there! Plus, these make perfect finger foods that are going to fill you up a little more than handfuls of chips and salsa.

Tomato Basil Pizza Dip

via Inside Bru Crew Life

Tomato Basil Pizza Dip - melted cheese topped with fresh tomatoes and fresh basil http://www.insidebrucrewlife.com

Tomato, basil, and pizza? Those are like 3 of my favorite words! But the use of fresh tomato and basil probably kicks this one up a notch over your greasy Meat Lovers pizza, but still has the same effect. Delicious, cheesy goodness for everyone to love!

Honey Lime Srirach Glazed Cauliflower Wings

via Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Honey Lime Sriracha Glazed Cauliflower Wings - spicy, sweet, sticky appetizer, snack or side dish! | cupcakesandkalechips.com | #glutenfree #vegetarian #vegan

You all know that it was love at “sriracha”. But what a great thing to mix in with all of those buffalo wings and fried chicken pieces. Still has that super spicy taste that will give your mouth a good kick in the… buds(?), but is a little healthier than their fried counterparts.

Skinny Southwest Chicken Appetizer

via Yellow Bliss Road

Skinny Southwest Chicken Appetizer recipe - Greek Yogurt makes this recipe just as healthy as it is delicious!

Taco dips are a staple at most parties. And don’t get me wrong, I love them. But why not step up your game with this southwest chicken dip? It’ll fill you up more, AND it’s full of veggies and beans to get some good stuff in ya!

Healthy Mediterranean 7-Layer Dip

via Cookin Canuck 

Healthy Mediterranean 7-Layer Dip Recipe | #vegetarian #superbowl #appetizer #cleaneating

Or you could just switch it up entirely and replace the typical mexican 7-layer dip with this yummy looking Mediterranean version? Lots of fresh ingredients, tangy feta, and healthy fats. Yumm!

 

If you have some good, healthy recipes for the Superbowl, I’d love to hear them! We’re going to our friend’s party (assuming we don’t get hit with a snowstorm next weekend), and I still haven’t quite figured out what I’m bringing yet. Any of the above are options, but I’m always open to new ideas!

Also, in case anyone was wondering, I am rooting for the Seahawks this weekend. Not that I really care either way, but a) Kam Chancellor is a former Hokie and he is a beast, and b) I want to hear New England whine about their balls. Not being deflated, that is. #somanyjokessolittletime

So tell me: What are your favorite healthy party recipes? Who are you rooting for at the Superbowl?

The Weekend of Food

Happy Monday (if there is such a thing)!

To all of my dear friends up north today – I both feel bad for you and am jealous. 30 inches of snow? No thank you. However, I would have liked a FEW inches down here instead of just pouring rain. I could have really used a snow day!

This has been the strangest winter so far. We’ve had almost NO snow at all yet, even though we’re basically in February. Either this is going to end up being a snowless winter (which almost never happens here in VA), or February is going to be horrendous!

Anyway, while I’m wallowing about not having a snow day today, I thought I’d share with you some pictures from this weekend. But be forewarned, they are pretty much all of food. Which is very representative of my weekend,  because I feel like pretty much all I did was eat!

It’s Restaurant Week here in Fredericksburg, which means that many of the locally owned restaurants in the area open their doors (and menus) at ridiculously reasonable prices. So of course we felt like we need to sample everything! There are some restaurants that we only get to go to 2 times a year, during the 2 restaurant weeks!

To start things off, Saturday after BodyPump (release 92 still… ooph, it’s a killer!), I met up with Chris at Vivify, a gourmet burger joint.  

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I ended up with their homemade black bean burger, which was topped with white cheddar, sun dried tomato jam, lettuce and guacamole. This sucker was seriously delicious. I was practically licking my fingers!

The rest of the afternoon was spent getting chores done around the house, since I FINALLY had a weekend at home. I cleaned, I organized, I got some projects done… it was seriously amazing.

We finally broke at 7:30 though, to meet up with Lindsay, her husband, and their friend at The Bavarian Chef, an authentic German restaurant that serves true gigantic German-sized portions. The chefs are all German, so you know you’re getting the real stuff. It’s about as close as I’ll get to Germany for awhile! 

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I started off with the sausage and potato soup, because the cold evening was just screaming “soup weather” to me. This sucker could have been a meal in itself. I probably should have paced myself…

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Next up was a chicken breast, stuffed with apples and brie, and then breaded. Served with a chive cream sauce. Holy cow, this sauce was TO.DIE.FOR. Too bad I literally only made it through about 3 bites before I threw in the towel and decided to take the rest home. I’m a wimp. It’s really not my fault though – they also bring out about 7 different side dishes too! so. much. food!

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The other reason I gave up after 3 bites was because I knew I still had dessert coming (Restaurant week serves a 3 course meal for $20.15). I ended up with the cinnamon cheesecakes bites, paired with bacon and walnut ice cream, drizzled with caramel. A dessert that involves cheesecake and bacon? Pretty sure I don’t have to tell you how amazing this was.

I left the restaurant completely stuffed, and with about 5lbs (not kidding) of food to take home. That’s the best part about this place – you’re always going to come home with at least another full meal!

Thanks to the late night and all the delicious food on Saturday, we decided to sleep in a bit on Sunday and enjoy the lazy morning. Chris eventually did get up and make us pancakes, while I took my time being lazy. Hey, sometimes you just have to enjoy it! 

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I spent most of the rest of the day meeting with another doula, going grocery shopping, and getting some more projects done. Including FINALLY taking a gender reveal picture for our facebook friends. We’ve been keeping them on edge forever, because I kept being out of town on the weekends! 

I’m embarrassed to admit that I did spend quite a lot of time on Pinterest trying to decide what I wanted to do. I ended up going the cute but simple route, but I think that this will be a fun picture to hang up in his nursery in a few months!

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What could it be?

 

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Yay!!

Although let me just say, that paint was a pain in the butt to get off my hands! haha.

Overall, not too shabby of a weekend. Lots of food was involved, definitely more indulgent than I usually am, but it was nice to be able to just enjoy our small town’s restaurant week for possibly the last time ever (the next one doesnt happen until August). Now here’s to hoping that I can get back on track this week, despite the crappy weather situation!

I hope you all have a great Monday!

So tell me: What did you do this weekend? Eat any good food? Does your area do a Restaurant Week?

Vegans, Masons and DOMS {Five Favorites Friday}

Head over to Freckles & Fingerpaint to find out “What is a Doula anyway?” . You know you’re curious!

 

It’s Friday, Friday…  Anyone still remember this song? Every time I hear someone say “It’s Friday”, it’s automatically what I think of. Throwback!

Anyway, I am super pumped that it is Friday. This has been a weirdly long and slow week, and I am ready to actually spend this ENTIRE weekend at home. Seriously, it’s like a miracle, people! I have a million plans of all the things I’m going to get done this weekend, so hopefully I can actually knock most of them off my list and go into next week feeling refreshed and accomplished.

I feel like this pregnancy is making me even more type-A. Does this count as nesting?

FFFold

Since it is Friday, I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you guys some of my random favorites from the week. That’s right, it’s Five Favorites Friday time! This has been a weird one, so I feel like my favorites are even more random than normal. But we’re just going to go with it!

I’m linking up with Clare for Five on Friday and Katie for Friday Favorites!

Favorite Current Entertainment: Galavant

Has anyone else seen this show yet? Well, TV special is probably a better name. It’s a 4 episode series, that basically includes all of my favorite things: Renaissance time period, musicals, and comedy. It’s basically a comedic, musical story about a great knight whose love left him and now he has fallen off of his horse.

I highly recommend it for a good laugh, and it’s a great thing to put on in the background while you’re cooking or doing chores around the house. I literally have found myself laughing out loud a dozen times at least.

Favorite Food Rediscovery: Mason Jar Salads

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I know I sang praises for these things yesterday, but guys, I’m seriously obsessed. I spent WAY too much time in the last 2 days looking up ideas on Pinterest. I may have redeveloped a mason jar problem. They are just so darn cute and handy!

Favorite New Jam: Uptown Funk ft Bruno Mars

 I really wasn’t sure about this song when it first came on, but the more the radio stations seem to play it, the more I like it. I just can’t help myself, as soon as it comes on, I get the white girl head bob going! It’s just so peppy and fun. I’m definitely adding this to my next gym play list.

Favorite line? “Smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy!”

Favorite Kitchen Creation: Vegan Eggplant Meatballs

Vegan Eggplant Meatballs

 So this is going to be a bit of a tease, because I can’t actually share this recipe with you guys until next week. But a friend of mine has a vegan baking blog (Morsels & Moonshine – check her out!), and asked me to guest post a recipe for her. Vegan recipes??? Uhhh… Y’all know I like my cheese around here.

But I got a little creative in the kitchen and turned one of my favorite veggie recipes, eggplant burgers, into vegan eggplant meatballs. You’ll just have to wait for a link to the recipe though (I added in some tips for non-vegans too. Hint *CHEESE*). I will admit though, it was kind of fun to pull out all the creative stops and come up with something totally out of my element.

Favorite DOMS-inducting workout: Bicep and Tricep by Her Happy Balance

I also mentioned this one already this week, but I need to give ANOTHER shout out to this bicep and tricep workout from the lovely Leslee at Her Happy Balance. Kicked. My. Butt.

And not only just kicked my butt day of. 2 days later it was still kicking my butt! I’m pretty sure my biceps and triceps were still trying to figure out what was happening to them. I am definitely going to be incorporating this workout quite frequently into my gym routine, because CLEARLY I was neglecting my bis and tris! Ouch! (the best kind of ouch!)

 

Well there are my totally random favorites this week! I’m hoping to be able to report back on Monday about my awesomely productive and relaxing, travel-free weekend! And I hope yours ends up being the same!

So tell me: What are you loving this week? Any new favorite shows or songs lately?

 

Mason Jar Lunch Ideas

 Happy Thursday! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping…

Just kidding. It’s freakin’ cold!

Ok, ok, I know it’s nothing compared to all of your up in Chiberia or New England. I’ll fully admit, we’re wimps here in Virginia. But in my opinion, if it’s going to be cold enough to cause my nose to start bleeding on my walk to work (oh pregnancy joys!), it should be cold enough to give us actual snow. And not just a little snow. A SNOW DAY kind of snow!

Phew. That was my snow rant of the morning. There is nothing like walking into work and immediately grabbing tissues before I bleed on my shirt. Happy Thursday to me! :)

Mason Jar Lunch Ideas

 As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m really trying to get back into a good, healthy routine after the holidays. This year it has been especially difficult for me thanks to all the traveling, so now that my calendar is finally clearing up (you know, for another 2 weeks, then I’m away again!), I’m making a conscious effort to come up with some better eating options during the week.

I dont know what mornings around your house are like, but for me, they are ROUGH. I mean, I’ve never been a morning person (I may have been known to sleep until noon or later during my teenage years), but mornings while pregnant seem to be especially difficult. Who wants to get up at O’Dark Thirty when you’ve been up to pee 5 times during the night?

Not me.

So for a few weeks there I fell into a bad habit of not packing my lunch the night before, which would leave me either a) running around in the morning like a crazy person, or b) prone to give up and buy lunch out. Neither of which are good options.

This week I was determined to change that.

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So I took a page out of Ashley’s book and made these Mason Jar Greek Salads. I made a smaller batch than she originally called for, but I’m so excited to get to lunch today and try it out!

What I love about these kinds of lunches is that they are super easy to prep and prepare for the whole week, so that in the mornings all you have to do is grab and go. Then when lunch rolls around, you just shake it up and dig in!

Why do I not do this more often???

Making these Greek Salad jars this week inspired me to head to Pinterest to get some other ideas for Mason jar salads. I feel like this is going to be my new thing! Quick, healthy, and prepped for the whole week? Sign me up!

So here are some other Mason jar lunch ideas for you, in case you ever find yourself in a lunch rut too!  

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole via Heart Beet Kitchen

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole in a Jar | gluten-free, can warm it up and eat a hot meal on the go.

You all know buffalo sauce is the way to my heart, so this one is right up my alley. You could also change it up and make it more into a salad by tossing in a few more veggies. Yum!

 

Pesto Chicken Antipasta Salad via Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

MASONJARPestoChickenAntipastojarIn case you aren’t into the tradition salad, this one looks like it would be FULL of flavor and healthy fats. I’m drooling just thinking about it!

 

 Artichoke and Tortellini Salad via Organize Yourself Skinny

Mason Jar Salad Tortellini and Artichoke

 Looks to me like a fun play on a pasta salad that would be both quick and easy AND flavorful!

 

Cajun Shrimp Jar via Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

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What a fun take on salad! It almost reminds me of a fish taco in a jar!

 

Now that I’ve entered the world of mason jar lunches, I’m not sure I can ever go back! They seem to me like a great way to pack a lunch for the entire week that you know is going to be healthy and tasty. And if you’re not the kind of person who likes eating the same thing every day, why not try making 3 of them for the week. That way you can split them up, but still make life easier for yourself in the morning.

Anything that involves and easier morning is A-OK in my book! :)

So tell me: Have you ever tried making a mason jar salad? Do you typically bring your lunch to work/school? How do you manage your mornings?

WIAW: Back to the Routine Edition

Make sure to head over to Freckles & Fingerpaint to check out my 21 Week Bumpdate and to read my answer to the question “To Cloth Diaper or not to cloth diaper?”

 

Happy Hump day (<– is that even a thing anymore?)

Even though this is a short week, I’m happy that we’re already halfway through. This weekend will be the first time in over a month that I’m actually spending the whole time at home, and I’m literally giddy with anticipation. Sleeping in? Getting my house cleaned (instead of just shoving the hairballs in the corner)? Meal prepping? Ahhhh… sounds glorious!

I’m also excited because I feel like this week I’m finally getting back into my pre-Holiday routine. For whatever reason (maybe all the travel), but this holiday season really messed with me more than most, and I’ve had a really hard time getting back into the normal swing of things. My eating and exercise have been all over the place, and as a result I haven’t been feeling my best.

But this week I’ve really been making an effort to meal plan (even though we were out of town all weekend and no prep happened), make smart eating decisions, and get in several solid workouts during the week. And yesterday was a great example of that!

So for this week’s What I Ate Wednesday, I wanted to share with you what it’s like to get back into my normal routine!

If you aren’t familiar with WIAW, I highly encourage you to head on over to Jenn’s blog for more info, and to see what other amazing bloggers are eating this week. Thanks Jenn for the link up!

Breakfast

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I am officially back on the oatmeal train. Took me long enough (darn pregnancy aversions). This was my breakfast of choice for YEARS, and then I couldn’t even stand the thought of making it until a few weeks ago. I typically top my plain oats with some combo of frozen berries, peanut butter, cinnamon, and maybe some jam or honey for a touch of sweetness. I also throw in chia seeds or flax seeds when I remember.

Snack

Around 10am I ate a banana, and managed to get through the entire thing before I remembered to take a pic. I debated snapping a picture of the peel, but decided that you all could use your imagination instead.

 

Lunch

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I’m still trying to finish up all the leftovers from last week (this is what happens when you are out of town over the weekend and can’t clean out the fridge!), so I had some hummus chicken with squash, zucchini and peppers. This is one of my favorite meals from my Advocare 24DC days, and it still finds its way into the rotation now and again.

Snack

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I’ve still been loving my Activia yogurt to help with the pregnancy digestive complications (you preggos know what I’m talking about), and a cheese stick. This snack is easy enough for me to munch on during the afternoon, but keeps me full through the gym until dinner!

Dinner

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Credit for dinner goes mostly to my MIL, who brought us some turkey chili when she dropped Laney off on Monday night, since she knew we hadn’t had a chance to go grocery shopping after our trip to GA. I topped mine with a little bit of cheese, greek yogurt, and some corn chips for some crunch (not the healthiest, but a must on this kind of chili in my opinion). I paired mine with some sauteed garlic spinach, because I was craving it, and who am I to turn down a random craving for spinach??

I also may have had a leftover Christmas chocolate or two… we’re slowly making our way through our Christmas candy hall, one piece at a time!

Workout

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Why hello there, Baby Freckle!

After a whole weekend away from the gym, I really was feeling the urge for a good, sweaty workout. I started out with 30 minutes of hard elliptical intervals, and then headed over to the weights for a bicep/tricep workout (aka my LEAST favorite muscles to work out). I decided to go with Leslee’s Bicep/Tricep workout that she posted last week, and I’m so glad I did. It was a killer, in the best way possible. I’m definitely going to have to do this more often!

Overall, not to shabby of a day trying to get back into the swing of things. Hopefully this jumpstarts things to find their way back to normal after the holidays!

So tell me: What did you eat today? What did your workouts look like? How do you get back to your normal routine after the holidays?

Georgia Boy

 Good morning and happy Tuesday!

Sorry I’m coming at you a day late with this post. Not only did the long weekend throw me off a bit, but we were also traveling and I found myself without wifi. Which is the weirdest feeling nowadays (*firstworldproblems).

I have such a love-hate relationship with holiday weekends. On the one hand, I love having the extra weekend day to get stuff done, travel, or just sleep in. It always makes me feel so much more refreshed going into the next week. However for whatever reason, these short weeks just seem to DRAG and end up feeling 3x as long. It’s like some cruel joke of mother nature.

So I’m really aiming to make this a good week, even though I know it’s going to be a long one. If nothing else, I’m looking forward to the fact that this weekend, for the first time since mid-December, I’m going to be HOME. Do you realize what a miracle that is? I dont even know what to do with myself. The possibilities feel endless! haha.

Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely did enjoy traveling this weekend (even if it was a tad exhausting). Because we didn’t get to see a lot of Chris’ extended family for Christmas, we headed down to central Georgia for a quick holiday weekend visit.

Sadly I didn’t end up taking a lot of pictures, because we mostly hung around catching up, playing cards, and chatting about baby things (Chris has another cousin who is due a few months ahead of me). Plus I just wanted to soak up the time with the family instead of trying to worry about getting good pictures.

I did managed to capture one of our amazing dinner one day though. Upon the recommendation of one of Chris’ aunts, we headed to a local Cuban restaurant where I ended up with this giant monstrosity of a plate: 

Cuban FoodIt was spicy (SPICY!!! would be a more accurate description) jerk chicken over yellow rice, with fried yucca, black beans, and sweet plaintains. Holy cow. This was so delicious, but boy did it clear my sinuses. I could only make it through about 1/3 of this plate before I had to call it quits.

We ended up staying in Georgia until Monday morning, when we hit the road for the 11 hour trip back home (side note: 11 hours in the car while pregnant is not the most comfortable thing I’ve ever done).

We also headed back home with an additional load – this giant cooler full of venison and wild pig. Yup, I married a Georgia boy from a Georgia family! 

Venison Meat

Not quite sure what I’m going to do with this 25+lbs of meat yet, but I’m hoping I can get creative with it. Venison, for those of you who haven’t had it (like me, prior to marrying a southerner), is similar to beef but a lot leaner. Which is good for me considering that my gallbladder-less self can’t really handle beef most of the time.

Anyway, that was my weekend. Lots of family time and lots of driving. But it was really good to see everyone, especially since there is a good chance that we wont get down there again before Baby Freckle is born. So next time we make the drive we’ll be a party of 3! haha.

I hope you all have a great week! My goal this week is really to get my life back on track. Things have been so crazy the last month with the holidays and traveling that I’ve been flying (literally) by the seat of my pants most of the time. So I want to get back on track with meal planning, cooking, and exercising with some kind of schedule.

Hopefully this week will be the start of that!

So tell me: What did you do this weekend? How do you get yourself back on track after the holidays?

 

Sticking with my 2015 goals {Five Favorites Friday}

Make sure to head over to Freckles & Fingerpaint for the second installment of my How to Choose a Prenatal Vitamin series: Selecting a Brand.

 

Well hello there! Sorry that I disappeared yesterday. I hadn’t originally intended on taking a day off, but thanks to a lousy night of sleep, an early morning doctor’s appointment, and a crazy busy evening, yesterday’s post just didn’t end up happening. Sorry about it!

This guy is sorry too. He’s even blowing kisses to try and make it better.

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Still kind of looks like an alien. But a cute alien. :)

FFFold

So in honor of the fact that it’s Friday  (Friday before a holiday weekend even – best kind ever!), I thought I’d share with you a few of the things that I’ve been loving this week for a Five Favorites Friday.

Linking up with Clare for Five on Friday and Katie for Friday Favorites.

 

Favorite Way to Stay onTop of Goals: Getting Organized

20150113_114152As I mentioned in my 2015 goals post, I am a total type-A planner kind of person. So when I start to feel stressed and overwhelmed, the thing that I always do to feel more in control is start making lists. To-do lists, calendar lists, grocery lists… it doesnt matter. Lists are pretty and make me feel better.

Ever since I got back from my unplanned trip for a funeral last weekend, I’ve felt all kinds of out-of-sorts and disorganized. So to fix that, I immediately started getting organized.

First, I made a sticky note of all of my monthly goals and stuck it right on my work computer. That way I have to look at it 1000x times a day, and it helps me remember to stay on top of them.

20150113_162832Second, I decided that I needed a better means of keeping my house cleaned and organized. We’ve been traveling so much on the weekends (my usual cleaning days), that the house has basically been in a constant state of clutter and suitcases for the last month.

So I designed a calendar that not only has my yearly and monthly goals on the side, but also breaks down each day into smaller chores around the house to keep things more manageable. Anyone else do something  like this?

Favorite Commute Listening: Pregtastic

I mentioned this on one of my recent Freckles & Fingerpaint posts about my pregnancy favorites so far, but I’ve been so obsessed with it lately, I thought it would be worth mentioning here again. I’ve gotten completely and utterly hooked on the Pregtastic podcasts.

I highly recommend them for anyone who is pregnant or is hoping to become pregnant in the near future. They are FULL of a ton of great information on different fertility, pregnancy, and post-partum issues, and I literally find myself engaged through every single one.

Favorite Recent Rediscovery: Coffee

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For the longest time during this pregnancy I’ve had an aversion to coffee. Well, hot coffee specifically. For some reason cold coffee was ok with me, even in my first trimester (pregnancy is weird, people). But once it got below freezing outside, my desire to keep drinking iced coffee dwindled, and I’ve mostly been avoiding it ever since.

But somehow in the last 2 weeks, my love for coffee has been rekindled! I’m still drinking decaf of course (SO not the same, btw), but it’s been nice to get back to my normal morning routine.

Favorite Recent Read: Sarah’s Key

Last month for book club, our selection was Sarah’s Key, and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t super excited about it. The book revolves around the story of a young WWII jewish girl, and a modern woman whose stories intertwine in Paris. Normally I’m not really drawn to WWII books, but by about 10 pages in I was already engaged in Sarah’s Key. I found the story fascinating, and the author did a great job of keeping the story moving despite multiple characters and time periods.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good read that is both deep and engaging. In fact, I’ve already recommended it to like 3 random strangers in the last week, so you know it’s good if you’re telling a random flight attendant on the plane about it! haha.

Favorite Pregnancy Invention: The Snoogle

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Another thing that I mentioned in my pregnancy favorites post on F&F, but another one that is worth mentioning again. I am in love with my snoogle. In an almost elementary school “then why don’t you marry it” kind of way. This thing is my lifesaver.

It’s no secret that sleeping has been a problem for me throughout this pregnancy. First it was because I was getting up to pee. Now it’s because I’m just plain uncomfortable. But this snoogle has made such a difference in allowing me to actually get SOME sleep, that I could practically kiss it. Highly recommend it to any preggos out there who are struggling to get comfortable during the night.

Also, Laney loves it and thinks it’s the perfect puppy pillow.

 

Phew! That was a lot today, guys! Thanks for sticking through to the end! I hope you all have a great long weekend, and I’ll see you on the flip side!

So tell me: What are you loving this week? Any books or podcasts that you’ve been obsessed with lately? Coffee – yay or nay?

What I WISH I ate Wednesday

Happy, snowy Wednesday! What it’s not snowing where you are? Lucky. We didn’t get enough snow to get off work, but got just enough to make things fairly miserable. I mean, really, who is actually going to be productive when it’s 20 degrees and snowing outside!?!

If I ruled the world, I’d make it a snow day. Just sayin’.

Anyway, I’m clearly feeling a tad scatterbrained this morning. I have a giant to-do list, yet I keep managing to find my way to Pinterest instead. Weird how that happens!

But scattered seems to be the word of the week. Ever since I got back from the funeral on Saturday, I feel a bit like I’m running around like a lost little duck. Not from sadness necessarily (although I’m sure that plays a roll), but just from a total exhaustion. Too much stuff going on, and not nearly enough time to do it. Even my meals looks scattered yesterday – a total hodge-podge of leftovers, random snacks, and book club munchies!

 So today for my favorite What I Ate Wednesday post, instead of focusing on some of my random eats from yesterday, I thought instead I’d share with you some things that I WISH I was eating! So we’ll call this “What I wish I ate Wednesday”. Haha.

These are some recipes that I’ve been eyeing lately, or hoping to add to my meal plan soon, that I thought you guys might enjoy also! As always, thanks to Jenn for the WIAW link up. If you’re not familiar with WIAW, please head on over and check out what WIAW is all about, and what other awesome bloggers are eating.

 Breakfast

Make At Home - Starbucks Spinach Feta Wrap Recipe

Copycat Starbucks Spinach Feta Wrap by Peanut Butter Fingers

The Spinach Feta wrap is one of my FAVORITE things from Starbucks (heck, I’ll get it at any time of the day, not just breakfast!). So when Julie came up with a copycat version, it immediately went on my to-make list. Plus, it’ll probably save you like $5 a day to make it at home, so that’s a double win!

 Lunch

These Mexican Black Bean Pizzas are the perfect for lunch or appetizers and they couldn't be easier to make.

Mexican Black Bean Pizza by She wears many hats

You all know I love Mexican food. So I thought this fun take on a mexican pizza would be an easy way to get in my beloved salsa during the day. Plus, you really can top it with whatever veggies you like, and smother it in guac if you’re really feeling spunky. Plus, in my house, we always have almost all of these ingredients on hand.

Dinner

Leek and Mushroom Chicken Skillet #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

Leek and Mushroom Chicken Skillet by Iowa Girl Eats

 Kristin just posted this one recently, and boy does it look good. Leeks AND mushrooms? Two of my favorite things. The fact that it takes 30 minutes? Sign me up! Pair it with some veggies and maybe a slice of toasty bread to soak up the sauce, and you have a perfect winter meal!

 Snacks

spicy buffalo hummus

Tangy, spicy buffalo hummus by Spabettie

 Buffalo is one of my other favorite loves. So this buffalo hummus seems right up my alley. I can see it going well with all kinds of veggies too: celery, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli… yumm!

 

Sriracha Roasted Chickpeas - My Whole Food Life 1

Sriracha roasted chickpeas by my whole food life

This pregnancy I’ve also been ALL about the sriracha. My mama friends keep joking about their heartburn, but so far (*knock on wood*), I’ve been really lucky in that department. So I’m going to keep riding the sriracha train as long as I can! These sriracha chickpeas seem like a great crunchy snack for when you’re just sitting at your desk with the munchies. And if they are spicy enough, you wont be able to eat too many at a time, which is even better!

So despite my weird, hodge-podge eats lately, there are definitely some better options on my wish list. Hopefully I’ll actually get the chance to MAKE some of these soon, and I can report back on their success.

Now if only I could find a way to be productive today…

So tell me: What do you wish you were eating today? Any good meals that you’ve had lately that are worth adding to my wish list?