Holy major hiatus, Batman!

My DEEPEST apologies to any readers who were following this blog and finding it to be either entertaining, or helpful.  My personal life during the third trimester decided to take itself on a marathon run into chaos, and I simply have not had the time to sit down and dedicate my priorities to writing fitness and nutrition articles.

I am very happy to announce that I’m back, and here to stay as far as I am concerned!  I’ve missed catching up on my followers, and plan on doing so over the next several days, which is good… because I’m in my four week countdown to having my baby.

Exercise has slowed to three days a week.  I’m strength training twice a week, and doing cardio once (technically more like twice as well, but I don’t count gentle walks as cardio).  I have never had to cut back on my sets during strength, either.  My reps are longer now, too!  BUT!  Apparently pregnancy gives superhuman-ness, because my shoulders are more cut than they’ve ever been?  What the heck?  Haha.

I had once mentioned taking this niche blog on a more personal route – and I think I’d like to incorporate that, starting now.  This is the internet and it’s still a hobby for me, and seeing as how I’m not employed to write… I hope you enjoy me opening up more about my life!

First things first – HOW ARE YOU?!  Give me the latest scoop (if it isn’t already posted on your blog).  How’re the workouts?  What’s your nutrition goal this week?  Seen any good movies?  Do you fancy big toes or little toes?!  Just kidding.  You can answer that later, if you want.  😛

Let’s take a look at the baby in my belly, shall we?

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(Sorry for the poor quality, this was taken on my phone for Facebook!)

How far along: 36 weeks, 2 days.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 20 lbs.Though I am feeling like there’s more to come for SURE… will find out this Friday.

Maternity clothes: Are being used every moment of my life. Also, I highly recommend maternity underwear, they are simply the best thing you can do for your body when even cotton granny-panties feel like they are cutting into your groin.

Stretch marks: Miraculously, none. I have many white/silvery friends from my weight loss a few years ago, and this leads me to believe my skin has more elasticity because it had already been loosened up from that weight gain. Hey, I’m not complainin’! I thought I’d had one right above my navel, but my husband has confirmed that it is indeed a BIG OLE VEIN.

Sleep: The second trimester was a nightmare… third trimester, I’ve become used to it. But honestly, I’m sleeping much better! I am easily wake-able, at least 3 times a night to do my business (sorry) and the lightest noise can bolt my eyes open. But if you take out the interruptions, I’m getting 5 ½ to 8 hours. Which to me is a mind reliever, because I realized I want to be well rested for labor.

Best moment this week: Feeling both their feet and fists from the outside. I was lying awake in bed around 2:00 AM, and little Mc (as we call them, the gender is still unknown to us) had been doing their normal shimmy.. I suddenly felt distinct little knobs, that had ridges in them, and there were four of them (two feet, two hands). It was wonderful and it’s not something I think I’ll ever forget.

Movement: All the time. I have a posterior baby, which means you can literally see everything from the outside because we are resting spine-to-spine. I have had people’s eyes on my belly in public because you can see movement easily through my clothing, when I’m sitting at the doctor’s office or just getting our groceries. It’s really embarrassing at first and makes me feel a little violated, haha, but then I remember that they’re probably just as mesmerized as I am! Which would be why they’re staring.

Food cravings: I honestly never experienced an intense need or desire to the point of rabid activity… but I have had days where I think of a certain food MUCH more than others, or it just tastes so very, very good that I’ve GOT to have more. I would say peanut butter, milk, and cheese. So, forms of protein!

Gender: Who knows. I’m trying not to be biased, I’m hoping that everyone who has said it’s a boy hasn’t jinxed it! I’m packing a distinct little girl’s outfit and a little boy’s for going home, though… I figure I can always keep one or the other for the next baby or consign them!

Labor signs: None yet! Braxton Hicks are sometimes associated with cramping, but that’s only if I’m inactive or dehydrated.

Belly button – in or out? Still holding in!

What I miss: Nothing yet!

What I am looking forward to: Meeting my daughter or son, but I guess that’s obvious. And getting through labor and delivery naturally. It’s my goal, for personal reasons (I do not condone medication or surgery), but I understand if medical intervention would be necessary then I’m obviously going to take it!

Milestones: Finding out that they weighed 5 lbs, 9 ounces in week 35! Beautiful!

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What I Ate Today: A sort-of recap! {At 29 weeks pregnant}

Pre-pregnancy I maintained my weight on 1800 calories a day.  This is considerably low for the amount of exercise I was managing to push through week to week (3 miles of running a day, heavy weight training a few times a week, physical labor night shift job).  As I work through my pregnancy, I look back and realize I probably could have gotten away with a lot more.  However, seeing as that’s the number I set my goal to everyday and got so used to, it’s the one I’ve chosen to base my pregnant nutrition on.  This means I’m attempting to hit 2100 whole, healthy calories a day.  But it isn’t easy… especially with slow digestion, and I mean SLOW.  Sometimes a girl’s gotta add a couple treats in here and there for fillers!  Or nutrition shakes.  But I’m sort of selective with those.

That being said, I have never found tracking what I eat to be more fun than it has with this baby.  I’m normally, well, easily excitable when it comes to meal planning, anyway – once you’ve lost a substantial amount of weight in life, you change your habits permanently.  My favorite lifestyle change is meal planning and counting calories, because I need that accountability to keep from gaining again.  But man, when it comes to feeding not only your body but somebody else’s, too?  FUN!

I love knowing that I’m trying to hit all my food groups and I love feeling their movement with certain ones.  This baby is active 24/7, but they really like unprocessed protein and homemade baked goods (but who doesn’t, haha).  So far I’ve put on 14 beautiful pounds and I’ve never felt more alive nor more attractive in my life.

So.  Want an intimate look at my diet?  (Can we not call it that, though?  Blech!)

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The Exhausted Mama: Should You Exercise On Little Sleep?

Clock - credit: lusiIf sleep is limited, the risk of injury spikes.  Performance levels will be half of what you’re normally used to, which will either A, disappoint and discourage you, or B, cause you to overexert yourself.

As much as it sucks, especially if you’re pregnant or a sleep-deprived mommy trying to fit in workouts, taking a day to rest is necessary.  It might be a no brainer to some, but for the beginner or the woman who wants to accelerate her fitness/weight loss this is so frustrating!  You’d much rather workout than take the opportunity to nap if it arises.  You’re already seizing extra ways you can exercise and balance everything else, you really don’t have time for this!

But you do.  Believe it or not, tissue repair happens when you’re getting ZZZ’s, so even if you worked out with weights the day before and you wanted to do cardio the next, accepting that chance to nap instead of exercise is still better than logging those burned calories.  This means aiding the process in building toned muscles, which is good!

Think you’re getting enough sleep, even with a crying baby or pregnancy insomnia, but still lack the energy you’re positive you should have?  Ask yourself these two questions, you might be surprised what they reveal to you.

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Prenatal Vitamins – Which brand is right for you?

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Hate swallowing pills? Don’t we all!

Thankfully, the “tasty gummy craze” bit onto Prenatals. Not only are they easy to chew and come in tropical flavors, they might just assist you in the first trimester when morning sickness strikes, and the idea of taking medication makes you gag.

Folic acid isn’t the only top priority in your daily vitamin – studies show that especially beginning in your second trimester, the need for extra iron and calcium is incredibly important for optimal baby development and growth. Plus, if you’re facing food aversions, sometimes the only way to ensure you’re getting to that magic milligram number is to take a vitamin.

Swinging back towards the title of this post – what are your options for these must have pills? Does organic really mean anything? How important is a prenatal with DHA, really? And can you purchase the bare minimum generic brand and still hit the healthy baby-growing jackpot?

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The Tank Top Weather Arms You Want – In 10 Minutes!

Main Image Spring is just 8 days away!  When did that happen?

Probably around the time you realized Christmas and New Year’s were over… the months just fly by, don’t they?

With brighter and fresher days ahead, and all of that notorious outdoors spring cleaning we get ourselves into, the idea of toned arms become more and more appealing to us.

Free weights are a great way to achieve firm, defined muscles in a short amount of time.  Up your protein intake and apply my favorite moves using heavier dumbbells.  Note:  My example pictures are for pregnant women or beginners/novices to follow.  The moves have been modified (one seated) and with lighter weights to ensure safety.  Tweak as you please if you’re postpartum!

Ready to pump some iron with me?  Let’s go! Continue reading

The Lowdown On Maternity Wardrobe Essentials + FREE Giveaway

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It starts off with a bang.

Wow.  You need more stuff.

But do you, really?  By the end of this article, you will gain ideas on how to build your own personal style in pregnancy.

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My Top Ten Pregnancy Superfoods

Pregnancy Superfoods

Please pardon my fabulous, fabulous pajama pant bottoms and admire the lovely, rich green color of the avocado.

During pregnancy we all know that it’s important to make those extra 200-300 calories count and pack a nutritious, optimum punch.

I’ve put together a list of my personal favorite, top ten pregnancy superfoods that get the job done not only for pleasing baby and helping them grow, but for those taste-buds of yours, too!

10.  Avocado
Let’s start off with something I think we all are familiar with – the glorious avocado.  While commonly used in guacamole, this particular fruit has healthy omega-3’s and keeps a growing appetite in check for quite a long time.  Pair it with beans, whole grain rice chips, or use it diced as a topping on some grilled chicken. Continue reading