10 Things I Learned in My Last Pregnancy and What I’m Doing Differently

Hi!

It’s been awhile. Life has been busy: moving prep, running a business, and finding out baby #2 is on the way! Fortunately, this pregnancy has been less stressful, and not nearly as rough physically. In fact, I just entered my second trimester weighing less than when we discovered I was pregnant again, and I have explosive amounts of energy.

Yes, this baby was a big surprise! But we’re also very excited. I learned a lot during my last pregnancy – things that have made my life so much easier this time around. I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

If you’re a new mom or are expecting, hopefully, these tips will help you stay sane on your journey through motherhood.

Disclosure: The opinions in this post are my own. I only endorse products that I have used personally and have found to be beneficial. This blog occasionally contains affiliate links, and a portion of the proceeds when these links are clicked on go to support this blog, which takes time and resources to run. Thanks again for reading!

1. Take time for you each day, even if it’s just 5 minutes. It felt like when I was pregnant with Erin…everyone and everything had a job for me to do, and to be honest, I was afraid of saying “no”. This time, even when my writing business gets hectic, I take the time to relax and do something for myself. It’s not selfish, because if you don’t take time for you, then you can’t take care of your family.

2. Stay active. I’ll admit that it was tough exercising with my first pregnancy. I was very nauseous during my first trimester and had a hectic schedule my second and third trimesters. I’ve learned though that even 5 minutes is better than 0 minutes. Once I get moving, I feel so much better and more relaxed and can give so much more to the people around me. Talk with your ob about what types of physical activity are best for you at this point. I loved using resistance loops and bands because I could take them anywhere with me, and a comfortable yoga mat is a must. I like these bands because they’re made of excellent material and they’re affordable.

3. Be generous, but spend time with those who value you. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I’m not saying that you should be a snoot, but be mindful that if someone, say a friend is taking you for granted, and seems to think their time is valuable, but somehow yours is less, it might be time to part ways.  For most of my first pregnancy, I felt like I constantly waited on people hand and foot. Did I have friends that would check on me? Yes, but they were few and far between. I’m not saying don’t show kindness to everyone, but there’s sometimes when you need to set boundaries. This time, one of our rules will be that we’re not traveling all over the place to go to everyone else’s houses. They will have to come to us from time to time. It’s just too stressful to load up your family all the time and load them up again to leave. The same rule applies to you… just because you are pregnant or have kids, doesn’t mean the world revolves around you. Let someone know if you’re running behind, life happens. It just does. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

4. Find healthier alternatives for your cravings. I learned this the hard way too. I do not have to eat 24/7 to grow a baby, but I don’t have to eat cardboard either, or feel hungry all the time. We started loosely following Trim Healthy Mama, and it has made a big difference in my energy, and I can have satisfying, healthy food that tastes great. If you want to know more about this doable way to eat healthy for families, you can find out more here.

5. Have open and honest communication with your doctor about stresses you are going through. At one of my jobs, yes, I was working two jobs while pregnant, I was receiving daily intimidation attempts, and no one seemed to care…only one of my friends had the discernment to ask what I was going through at the time. I was so embarrassed and hurt. I would literally cry from the time I got off work until I went to bed at night when no one was around. My husband had to intervene.

My doctor had to send a note, and it caused me to wind up in the hospital overnight 2 months before my due date. To be honest, I was terrified, and after my daughter’s birth. I was told by my medical team and a wise counselor in so many words that “No one has the right to alienate you and make you feel unwanted and unsafe. This is a time for you to be happy.” It took this to make me realize that being a Mom makes me more capable, not less. This empowered me to set healthier boundaries for work and other relationships, and I’m so thankful that Micah was supportive, and I’m happy to say, I’m in a much better place emotionally, if you know me, and you’re reading this, please don’t read into it…it is what it is. I’m just a mom trying to take care of her family. If someone seems to be intentionally trying to intimidate you or make you feel like you never do enough, tell someone you trust, and do not tolerate it. Your family needs you to be emotionally available, and you can’t be if you feel like you’re drowning constantly.

6. Have a getaway. I’m so glad that Micah and I did this… In fact, I wish we’d taken more time. Another boundary. This time, I have no idea how we’ll afford it, but we’ll have a baby moon if I have to sell donuts to pay for it. (And I don’t even eat donuts.)

7. Pamper yourself. Even if it’s an at-home spa night once in awhile. Take that time to feel pretty. Get together with some gal pals and relax and watch sappy chick flicks from the seventh grade. Laugh a little. I wish someone had done this with me when I was about a month from my due date. I was already on maternity leave and felt so shut off from the rest of the world.

8. Make date night a priority. Your marriage needs it. End of discussion. You can forego those $5 coffees twice a week to pay for it. Offer to exchange babysitting with friends to make it happen. Your kids need to see two parents who love each other. Because trust me, you both may have moments where you want to pull each other’s hair out after your baby is born.

9. Find a creative outlet, even if it’s doodling in a journal. I enjoyed crocheting things for Erin, and bought a coloring book with Scripture verse art. Relaxing with a cup of tea also helped me unwind. This is what worked for me. I probably would have pulled my hair out otherwise.

10. Meet with other women in the Word. I don’t care what anyone says, the days of women’s Bible studies are not over. Women need other women in an environment that isn’t comparison based. In a world of social media and selfies, it’s time to learn to build each other up again and refresh our hearts with Scripture. I have a great prayer partner that keeps things just between me her and Jesus, and we PRAY together, not gossip. Be real about your struggles and find a group of women passionate about studying and applying Scripture. This made a difference for me after Erin was born, and I plan to join a study on Romans after Little Bear is born.

What did you learn in your first pregnancy? What have you learned since becoming a mom? Comment below!

Why I Think Twice Before Taking a Selfie

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So, before you start thinking of me as raining on your parade. Just hear me out.

When I say selfies, I’m talking about a pic of you and you only that pretty much has no other purpose but to show off your lip gloss or eye liner. Not that these pics aren’t fun once in a while, but let’s be honest: what is your purpose in taking those pics? Is it to portray an image? Do you have something to prove?

Let me provide an example:

I’m the owner of this blog, and like all bloggers should, I have an instagram. I’ve recently been leaning out after losing the baby weight, and I also do product reviews from time to time. So I take the occasional selfie, of me using a brand’s product, or make the occasional 30-second workout video. When I do this, I’m hoping to inspire someone to live a healthier lifestyle. The other day, I got a comment from a moderately famous instagram page, basically saying, “We love your page; please follow ours”, so I of course went to their instagram, but I didn’t follow them, and here’s why.

Even thought the title claimed that they were trying to inspire people… instead, I saw post after post of obviously airbrushed “selfies” of women who all looked like Cindy Crawford wannabes, and the camera shots were more suggestive than inspiring. Needless to say, I did not and will not like their page.

So that’s an extreme selfie example, but my point is that their reason for taking these pics was probably more to pressure a certain look or image on young women.

As a mother of an extremely young daughter, I don’t have the time or energy to devote to trying to make sure I look picture perfect all the time. If I took a selfie everyday, most days, it would look like I went ten rounds, and hey, I teach boot camp classes, so that’s probably not too far off.

Use that camera to capture memories with your loved ones and then use it when you’re bored on occasion.

I’m not trying to bash my young mommy friends or gal pals, in fact I LOVE seeing pregnant selfies , and technically, there’s at least two people in that picture. 🙂

Weight loss selfies can be done in a way to encourage others.

I’m just saying that when I see a news feed full of selfies, it implies, that either a person is self-focused or the makeup filters imply that their not happy with who God made them to be. I’m not saying that the occasional selfie is harmful, but I DO think that constantly trying to look perfect or put forth and image is bad for us gals’ mental and spiritual health. When we constantly give into the selfie craze, we feed into the lie that we have to compare… Listen to me, that creates mean girls…and guys But don’t take my word for it, here’s what the American Psychological Association has to say.

You can read the summary of one of the studies related to selfies and narcissism in Psychology Today. The study found that narcissists tended to take certain types of selfies, not to commemorate an event, but simply to try to achieve the perfect look.

 

What is narcissism? Narcissism is “excessive and obsessive self-interest in oneself and/or one’s physical appearance”. Basically meaning that a narcissist will try to squash or neglect anything that doesn’t put their self-interest first.

 

What does Scripture say? “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Phil. 2:4

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what the will of God is, His good pleasing, perfect will.”

 

Please don’t take this as condemnation, but know that I’m looking at those who are in my general age group, and the selfish behavior I’m seeing astounds me. I feel like more women are insecure now than ever before, and I don’t think that I personally, should make it a constant pattern to post stuff that comes across at self-glorifying. Confidence is great, but pride comes before a fall.

 

Most importantly, spend that time taking pics and creating memories with the ones you love. If you’re spending time taking selfies, when you should be paying attention to those around you, there may be a problem. Anyway, that’s my food for thought.

 

You were fearfully and wonderfully made, and that’s a truth needs no filter.

 

Love,

Julie

 

5 Minute HIIT Ab Workout and Fitness Towel Review

 

Disclaimer: I received this product at a very discounted rate in exchange for my honest review. However, I only give items positive reviews when I feel it is a trustworthy product.

Hi! So, I'd recently been looking for a fitness/yoga towel to take to classes with me so I wouldn't have to lug around a mat. So, I when Mango Fitness let me try their yoga/fitness towel. I was so excited!

Why would I want to use this towel?

- It's antimicrobial and wicks away moisture, aka, sweat.
- It has non-slip corners that overlap over any standard size mat.
- It adds just a little extra comfort to your mat.
- If you borrow a mat at your facility, this is a great way to give you a barrier between you and a mat.
-If you want a little extra traction, so that you're not slipping in sweat, this yoga towel becomes non-slip when wet!
- It's easy to clean. Just throw it in the wash!

Adam, is the owner at Mango Fitness, and he was very helpful and super courteous. I really loved working with him!

You can order Mango Fitness Hot Yoga Towels on Amazon

Here's a great quick workout that I wanted to share with you!

Exercises:

Inchworm Walk-outs
Boat Situps

Perform 8 reps of each exercise then, move immediately to the next ab exercise, without any rest. During the next round, perform 7 of each exercise, then 6 of each exercise, and so on until you reach one rep of each exercise. This is a great way to break a sweat and strengthen your core at the same time.

I loved using Mango Fitness' towel, because it made me feel like I had a great grip on the mat with no slipping.

To see demonstrations of both exercises, check out my instagram!

 

How To Babyproof Your Home: A Product Review

 

Hey there! It’s been quite a Monday! Little Erin is almost 6 weeks old, and getting more mobile all the time. Over the past week, I’ve been looking into products that will help me effectively baby proof my home. We have a lot of cabinets and drawers and with all this storage comes great responsibility. (I’m getting nervous already and so is Micah.)

So, when I was asked to review these products by pepbaby, I was overjoyed. I was also not disappointed. Here’s my review of three of their awesome products!

 

Disclaimer: I received these products from pepbaby at discount in exchange for my honest opinion. That being said, I only publish positive reviews based on my personal experience of products that I believe to be effective. I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. 

 

 

Corner Protectors

We have a lot of corners in our house. Just in our living room, we have two desks an entertainment center, and other miscellaneous pieces of furniture, that little Cutie Pie can hit her head on. I was so excited when I received these corner protectors. They have a rubbery texture, and the adhesive was easy to apply to the three inside surfaces of the corner protector. I was then able to apply to thoroughly cleaned surfaces without a problem. Now typically, anything with 3M adhesive makes me nervouse, because I have seen the finishes of many pieces of wood furniture ruined by corner protectors, but when I tested a corner after the adhesive dried, I was pleased to find that the finish wasn’t ruined! Yay! Our entertainment center now sports these awesome corner protectors. It was so easy to apply that I even filmed a youtube video while applying them one-handed. They also came with little adhesive disks, which made their application super easy.

 

Magnetic Locks

Unfortunately for us, we don’t have knobs on our cabinets, so we can’t use the el cheapo rubber band trick to baby proof our cabinet doors. And most magnetic locks are expensive. I was pleased to see that even without the discount, these pepbaby magnetic locks were just as good as the fancy ones I’d seen at Babies R Us for about half the price.  They were easy to apply: just firmly press the lock on the door, and the latch piece on the cabinet above and let dry for 24 hours, and voila! Our cleaning supply cabinet locks are now baby proofed, with no additional tools. The locks also came with adhesive already attached, which saved me a lot of time and effort.

 

Car Seat/Nursing Cover

Okay, so this isn’t exactly baby proofing…but it will save you from a wardrobe malfunction. I’ll confess, I’d been looking for a carseat/nursing cover like this one for months. I like my traditional nursing covers for when we have guests at home, but this is perfect for when we’re out in public! I will never buy another nursing cover! Really though, I love this one! The fabric is so soft and breathable, and It easily gives me 360 coverage while I’m nursing my little Cutie. No wrestling with the cover, and no having to tie a cover over my Car Seat. And no more have to use two separate accessories. It’s my new favorite accessory for running errands. It also came with a laundry bag, which will definitely be used.

 

I really enjoyed baby proofing with these products. Applying all of them maybe took 10 minutes, tops. Please check out pepbaby’s other products on amazon.



 

 

How to Reach Your New Year’s Health Goals

How to Reach Your New Year’s Health Goals

Wow, it’s been to long since I’ve written. There’s been a lot going on, but I thought this would be a great first post for the new year. By the way, one of my goals is to blog more this year. But anyway, let’s talk about your health for a moment.

I see a lot of my friends and family members make New Year’s resolutions year after year, and year after year I watch people fall off the wagon so to speak.

Well, there’s a reason this happens to almost anyone. In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the most effective tips that I’ve personally used to stay on track with reaching and surpassing my health goals each year.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

This type of goal setting gets people results every time!

Specific –  What will you accomplish? Examples: Do 50 pushups by the end of the month. Lose 20 pounds in 4 months time.

Measurable – How will you track your progress? Use a food and exercise journal. There are even lots of printables and apps you can use!

Assignable – Who will take on this task (you)? Remember, no one else can decide to be health for you, not your trainer, not your spouse, not your friends. You decide to make healthy choices for you!

Realistic – What can you do today to work towards your goal? If you can’t do that 100-squat challenge, then don’t throw in the towel, just figure out what a reasonable goal is that will eventually get you to your goal. Maybe 10 squats today is a great start?

Time-oriented – How long will it take you to reach a goal which contains the other four characteristics? If you want to lose 10 pounds, and you have a lot of weight to lose, as in over 50 pounds, it might only take you a month. But if you’re just trying to lose the last 10 pounds, that might take 2 months. You know your body. You know your strengths and weaknesses.

Create a Plan

If you don’t know what you need to do to get to your destination, then you will wander aimlessly, become frustrated, and then eventually give up. Use a fitness journal; plan your menu for the week. These are simple things you can do to keep yourself on track. Use the resources available to you. One of the most common phrases I’ve heard is, “But I want to do this by myself.”

Allow me to educate you: you need the support of others. Take it from someone who’s lost 40 pounds in college, and is now successfully losing the baby weight. Ask the professionals. They’ve had to spend countless hours studying research methods on how to reach various types of goals. Swallow that pride and ask questions. Your support network will keep you motivated when you’ve hit a plateau. Trust me, I’ve been there, and I’m a fitness pro, so you just heard from both sides of the story.

Reward Yourself

When you reach a milestone, reward yourself, and also, stop beating yourself up every time you make a mistake. But, let’s avoid food as a reward in most cases, okay?

You’ve got this. You can ace your health goals for the new year, and enjoy life too. I’m here to answer your questions, and know that when you put your mind to something, you can make it happen.

 

P.S.

Be on the lookout for my ebook on health and fitness goal setting, available with printable worksheets. Coming to Amazon on January 30!

 

 

How Functional Exercise can help Reduce Back Pain

Hi Everyone,
There’s a lot of buzz out there about functional exercise on the fitness scene, but it’s really important to understand this valuable fitness concept. Today, Molly from Proactive Chiropractic was kind enough to share with us what functional exercise is all about. So, without further ado, take it away, Molly!


Chiropractors treat a variety of conditions, from chronic pain to sports rehabilitation therapy. However, many patients initially seek chiropractic care due to a common complaint; back pain. In fact, roughly 31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time, that’s nearly 10% of the population.

What Causes Back Pain?
“Back pain” is a common, though often vague description for a variety of conditions that cause pain or discomfort in the back. The back itself is made up of several bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and muscles. Any of these can become damaged, inflamed, or otherwise compromised to the point of causing distress.

Common causes of back pain include repetitive strain Injuries such as work-related lifting, carrying, or other strenuous actions. Post traumatic injuries such as caused by an accident may also contribute. Further, the current office environment in the workplace, characterized by long hours spent sitting at a computer desk may also contribute to poor posture and circulation which are also contributing factors.

Some additional facts regarding back pain:
It is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
It is the second leading cause of workplace absence, after upper respiratory infections.
50% of working Americans report having back pain each year
Most cases of back pain are mechanical in nature. In other words, the underlying cause is not a serious condition such as infection or disease. These conditions are often the most responsive to treatment
The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality recommends that patients who experience recurring back pain choose the more conservative treatment options before surgery.
Back pain is responsible for at least $50 billion is healthcare costs each year. And that only includes easily identifiable healthcare costs. When factoring in additional expenses such as lost wages from workplace absences or over the counter treatments and therapy devices, the total costs associated with back pain are much higher.

Functional Exercises
Functional exercises differ from what you may think of when you imagine traditional exercise training. Functional exercises are meant to train and develop your muscles for normal, everyday activities such as you might experience at home, work, or school.

Functional exercise programs fit in well with the chiropractic approach to health. The goal of chiropractic adjustment is often aimed at aligning the body and creating a harmonious environment that is ideal for healing, rehabilitation, or continued well-being.
Functional exercise training likewise is intended to train and develop muscles and joints to work in tandem with one another. This is aimed at increasing strength and agility, developing core muscle strength, or improving balance.

The use of functional exercise programs is widespread and includes:
Rehabilitation of sports or traumatic injuries
Strength training for elderly patients
Combating the effects of work-related injuries and conditions
As an effective, low-impact course of exercise for patients who are inexperienced with exercise, or for those with special considerations such as limited mobility, or even pregnant women.

Chiropractic Care and Functional Exercise
Strong support exists for the role of exercise in the treatment of chronic or occupational back pain. In fact, according to the Scientific Commission of the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Parameters:
Exercise is at least as effective as other non-surgical treatment options for chronic lower back pain.
Occupational back pain has been shown to be alleviated or managed through the use of exercise programs in conjunction with chiropractic evaluation and adjustment.

Your chiropractor can help evaluate your back pain and recommend a course of treatment to manage or alleviate your pain. Functional exercise is not recommended for every patient or every condition, and the underlying cause of the condition will play a large role in the recommended treatment.

If you are experiencing back pain, or are interested in seeing if functional exercises may help you, contact us today to set up an appointment!

Thanks, Molly and Proactive Chiropractic for sharing with us today!
How do you incorporate functional exercise into your fitness routine?

Tell us in the comments below!

30-Minute Total Body Circuit Workout

Hi Everyone!
It’s been awhile. I wanted to talk to you today about circuit training. This type of workout is definitely one of the most efficient ways to get a workout if you don’t have a lot of time or equipment.
There are several reasons I love circuit training, so here they are:
– strength training and cardio combined
– doable anywhere
– works the entire body
– blasts fat and builds muscle

So what are you waiting for?

How this workout works:
for-a-chance-to

You will do each exercise for one minute each, then move on to the next exercise. When you have done one set of all the exercises rest for one minute, repeat this cycle 2-3 more times. Then cool down and stretch. As you get fit, try seeing how many reps you can do for time or add resistance. I recommend using the exercise library at https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-main/ if you need exercise tutorials. Enjoy!

Peace, Love and New Mom Life

Hi There!

Yes, I know how long it’s been since I’ve written…I have been a little preoccupied though. Baby Erin entered the world on July 30th and life’s been a whirlwind ever since.

I’d love to tell you the past 8 weeks have been a fairy tale, and don’t get me wrong, I love my little one, and I love being her mother. It just seems as if the rest of the world had a vendetta against me for having a baby sometimes. Thankfully my husband is very supportive, and although I was diagnosed with postpartum depression, I seem to be returning back to normal relatively quickly, according to my doctor.

Just a side note: if you have a new mom friend that’s suffering from postpartum depression, just reach out. Even if you don’t know what to say, just listening and being there for her without saying a word speaks volumes. Unfortunately this wasn’t my experience across the board…I won’t go into detail, but it is very damaging when you feel like those around you lose any kind of faith in your abilities to function…Leave that stuff to the professionals.

Little Erin is pretty wonderful though. She entered the world at 8 pounds and 1 ounce and hasn’t stopped eating ever since…(She gets that from Micah.) Is motherhood easy? No. Is it wonderful? Yes. Erin is already holding her head up very well and loves tummy time…and yes, she is already a music snob. LOL.

Oh, but I still hold the record on napping…that is no contest…I confess to reaching for my coffee mug immediately after nursing…

My favorite part of having this Sweet One to take care of though, is the snuggles. Ahhh, the snuggles. When she falls asleep, it’s as if the rest of the world pauses for a moment. This little chunky angel loves going on walks in the stroller or baby carrier. She goes straight to sleep when I do slow squats with her strapped to me! (Yay for exercise!)

Erin has started smiling a lot in past week and a half, which is so neat! She makes faces like a cartoon character and loves to wiggle…my goodness, I know now why I felt her trying to kick her way out…she was…

transitioning-into-motherhood

Speaking of exercise, I’ve never been so happy to work out in my life! Doing stand-up squats and walking was about the limit of what I was allowed to do…I’m someone who likes to pick up heavy weights, and all that mess was messing with my head. While a lot of women start back to working out after 2 weeks, I had to take it slower than most because of receiving a blood transfusion at the hospital. It took me about a month before I started to feel like myself energy-wise.

Once I started walking about 3-5 times a week, the weight started falling off. Nursing causes me to have to keep my calorie intake at a pretty high level, but I try to put high quality calories in because it Erin’s and my nutritional needs more efficiently. Oh, and I’ve never wanted to just chug a bucket of ice water like I do now…In the mornings, I wake up and feel like I just walked through a desert.

There’s been a lot of changes in our household…saying “hello” to new friends and saying “goodbye” to old ones. As tough as that might seem right now, Micah and I believe some of the tough decisions we’ve faced as a family in the past few weeks are for the best, and that “In every element of rejection, there is divine protection.”  And God is never late or early, but you’ll never meet anyone more punctual. No one walks with him without facing trouble, but the trials we face can drive away or make us take refuge in Him – I choose the latter of the two.

img_0094

Micah and I definitely have sleep-deprived, new parent look going on in this picture….haha.

A dear friend of mine once told me that I would reach a place in my life where the question I needed to ask was not “Why?” but “Lord, what could you be to me in this situation that you couldn’t be in any other?” I believe that as we are in this whirlwind of change as a family, both good and not so good, that God wants to be our protector, refuge, provider and friend who sticks closer than a brother. Something that I have come to know so much more deeply in the past 2 months. He is also my joy…dealing with post partum depression has been a struggle, but I haven’t lost my purpose. Sometimes God brings us the biggest blessings, like Erin, to push us through dark days. “Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny himself.” God sends us the greatest joys in life when we are about to go through the toughest trials. Romans 8:28 says, “For we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

I would definitely say that having a baby has grown the relationship Micah and I have as a married couple. Having to work through so many decisions together has made us grow closer in so many ways. One thing that I’ve learned is that it is so important for us to always have each others’ backs. You can both be insistent on being right or, you can work together as an act of love towards your spouse. Good parenting is the definition of teamwork.

So to sum it up, motherhood is not easy, but it is easily the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, and I would do it all over again.

 


 

 

 

 

28 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have in Your House

Hi There!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. Getting ready for Baby Erin to make her appearance has preoccupied my time and energy, as well as getting used to working from home – I’m a freelance writer and musician/worship director. It’s been an adjustment, but I’m glad that I have the opportunity to stay home with little Erin after she’s born, which should be some time in the next two weeks.

That being said, with all the preparations going on, one thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is what we’ll be eating, especially for the first two weeks. I’ll confess, I probably haven’t done as much freezer cooking as I should. But I have been collecting an arsenal of super easy recipes, and we just got a steal on a new blender, which we desperately needed, so we can make smoothies, after all, if you’re nursing you need something fast right?

Through the years, Micah and I have learned that if we want to eat healthy, there are certain foods we can buy in bulk to have on hand, so we won’t be tempted to grab fast food. Even though there’s two of us, soon to be 3, we’ve learned how to prep and freeze certain foods when they go on sale, so that we can get the best deals,and there are some foods we do eat a lot of quickly. You’re food list might look a lot different than mine, but I’m attaching a list for you to use so you can stock up on these delicious and nutritious foods too. It just so added up that we have 20 staple foods that we keep in our house on a regular basis. This is one of my favorite ways to plan a menu for the week. Why are these our staple foods? Continue reading “28 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have in Your House”

The Beginner’s Guide to Macros

Disclaimer: the advice in this post is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Before beginning and exercise regimen or diet, seek counsel from your healthcare practitioner.

There are lots of dieting fads out there, so many that it can be overwhelming to try to balance nutrition for the average healthy person who just needs a basic guideline to help them figure out the amount of nutrients they need on a daily basis. They say there is no magic formula, but there is a simple way to manage nutrient intake, and that’s where macronutrients come in. Macronutrients are divided into 3 groups: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The USDA recommends the following ranges for macronutrients, based on your activity levels:Protein: 10 – 35%, Carbohydrates: 45-65%, Fat: 20-35%.You need all 3 of these categories in order for your body to function at it’s best. And the word macro means big, so think of tracking macros as looking at the big picture of your overall nutrition. Still wondering “why these categories”? We’ll tell you.

Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of cells and muscles. The 8 essential amino acids found in many animal proteins and even a few plant proteins can help you build muscle and repair tissues in the body. Lean protein is necessary to refuel after a workout. Protein also keeps your metabolism functioning in a healthy way. Several lean sources of protein are chicken, lean beef, quinoa, whey, greek yogurt, lentils, and fish.

Macros

Carbohydrates

The carbohydrate category probably contains the largest variety of foods. When counting macros, carbohydrates include, fruits, vegetables, and starches. Although many look at macros as simply energy in vs. energy out, I encourage you to remember that the quality of the fuel you put in your body does count for something. Carbohydrates help preserve muscle and low glycemic carbs, such as sweet potatoes, help stabilize blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates also restore energy levels. Examples of nutritious carbohydrates are strawberries, broccoli, and brown rice.

Fats

In the 90’s, fat was a dirty word in the nutritional sense. People were obsessed with everything being low-fat. However, the human body needs healthy, unprocessed fats in order to store energy and transport nutrients effectively. Imagine trying to have a healthy metabolism without your body being able to transport the nutrients you receive from other foods, pointless, isn’t it? Fats make this happen for vitamins A, E, and K.  Healthy sources of fat are nuts, avocado, coconut oil, and extra-virgin olive oil, as well as small portions of real butter.

If you have trouble making sense of nutrition and and figuring out what you need and in what portions, tracking your macros can make keeping up with your food intake much simpler. Just remember to get your nutrients from healthy foods, and you will be well on your way to eating a better diet in no time!

Sources

https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5904/how-to-determine-macronutrient-needs-based-on

https://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/DRI_Macronutrients.pdf