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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DIY Motivational Measuring Cups (to encourage portion control!)

When I went on my weight loss adventure in 2011, I found one of the best ways to track my portions accurately, every-time I wanted to snack – was to eat straight from a measuring cup.

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I kid you not!

And let me tell you, it DOES work. You can have peace of mind knowing you’re getting the exact amount the nutrition label lists per serving, and it also trains you to “eyeball” your portions later on. Eyeballing makes dieting and eating healthy feel less like you’re dragging yourself around in chains, because you’re hardly having to think about the size/weight/measurement of your food.

But let’s be honest – holding a measuring cup can look a little awkward, even when we’re chowing down by ourselves. It’s a cooking utensil! That’s why I decided to improve upon this little habit of mine by spicing up the outer appearance of my cups – and adding a mood boosting statement of support on the handle. I can’t wait to hear/see what mood boosting lines you come up with! Be sure to leave a link/picture to your motivational cup in the comments below, because I have a special surprise for those who are willing to showcase their creations on my blog.

TO GET STARTED

What you’ll need:
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  • Measuring Cups
  • Decorative Duct Tape, or in a pinch, pretty band-aids (you’re using them for their grip and color, don’t be grossed out!)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Paint (optional)
  • Fancy paper, gems, beads, ribbon or whatever you’d like to spice it up (optional)
  • Black Marker for writing – but I recommend printing out your quote, it makes it look so much nicer. I didn’t do this on this particular one of course, tsk tsk on me!

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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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Sneaky Little Fast-Food Tricks For The Healthy Mom (Or Preggo!)

Can you smell it?

Can you smell it?

Convenience is a tempting little devil, especially if you’re out running errands and you know by the time you get home you’re not going to feel like cooking.  It’s also true if you’re pregnant, and the little monster precious baby in your womb is screaming, “CAKE!  Burgers… no wait, I meant fried chicken! Yeah, fried chicken!”

I don’t condone eating out.  Not one bit!  I try to “eat clean”, but I love my fast-food joints just as much as the next.  And with a little discipline and planning, you can make your stops at them guilt-free.

Moderation by tracking calories, fats, saturated fats, sugars and sodium is the key.  If you know what you’re putting in your body at every meal, you should know, for example, how many grams of allotted protein you have left that day that you can use, or fat, or sugar… you get my drift.  Would you get more bang for your buck eating unprocessed foods at home?  Well, of course!

But sometimes a girl’s gotta have her a decadent quickie at the local burger joint.  Plus, it’s cheap.  And you’ll soon learn in this blog, that I do love to budget.

Here are a few of my tried and true methods:

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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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