What to do When Motivation Leaves You

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We all know the days where we just wake up, CRUSH our workouts, eat healthy, have success in business… and essentially just freaking WIN the day, right?

But what about the days where we feel just so BLAH and UNMOTIVATED?

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Well, my friends, that’s where HABIT kicks in.

I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I was going to be a person who exercised 6-7 days a week, focused on healthy nutrition, and read or listened to something everyday that would help facilitate a positive mindset.

I developed small HABITS, over time. I started with fitness. I found a workout I could do at home (I had the opportunity to go to a gym but never did), printed out the calendar, hung it on my closet door, and gave a huge, satisfying X on each day I did my workout.

It wasn’t perfect, or pretty, or every day, but I was establishing a habit.

My next step was to focus on healthier foods. I had no formal training in nutrition – but I knew the basics. I started getting rid of packaged, processed foods. I started drinking more water. I started drinking Shakeology for a meal, especially to help keep my vitamin & vegetable servings up.

Then, I started surrounding myself with other people who had similar goals. 

It is MUCH easier to stick with something when you know someone’s got your back, right? I’m confident enough to admit I wouldn’t be in nearly as good of shape now if it weren’t for the ladies who have kept me accountable these years. I don’t meet with them in person; I check in with them online — but even that gives me a sense of being a part of something bigger than myself. We are so much more willing to give up on ourselves than on other people, right?

Then.. HERE’S THE BIG SECRET!!! 

I just repeated those behaviors.. day in and day out. When I had a bad day, I got back on the wagon the next day.

Is it easy to do? YES. But it’s also easy NOT to do. 

Over & over again I hear the saying “Successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.” It couldn’t be more true. If you want something, you just do it – even if the motivation isn’t always there, and you do it daily. Of course, you want to step back every so often and make sure you’re on the right path for YOUR life + your goals, but then it’s time to get to work again.

 

So yes, even pregnant, even growing in size… I still do my workouts.  I still eat healthy. I still read or listen to something that will improve my mindset. I still show up to help other people.

Sure I’m motivated more some days than others — but now I do it because it’s HABIT, and it’s what will keep pushing me along the success curve, rather than the failure curve.

Maybe this wasn’t the answer you were hoping to hear, but I can tell you it’s the one that works.

Show up, and never give up. Just. Keep. Swimming.

More next week!

XO

Ash

Pregnancy Update – 24 Weeks. Acid Refluxing. Baby Bumping. Staying Active.

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Well, hey there! I’m on the cusp of week 24 in this whole growing-a-human journey, and I must say while I still have a good bit to go, time is going by FAST.

It’s been a minute since I’ve given updates on what life is like right now, so heeeeeere we go!

PREPARATIONS

SO MANY THANK YOUS to our family & friends for the gifts and hand-me-downs! My sister in law especially has been such a lifesaver. This weekend she gave us a crib, a bassinet, TONS of baby clothes, and other random helpful things that us, as new parents-to-be, had no idea we needed.

Brian is also painting the baby room — just the same color as the rest of our walls, but it really needed painting. So now baby H’s room is the same light gray/blue as the rest of our house and it looks a lot better than the old dark blue.

My Alabama baby shower is on February 17 – and my mom & sister will be in town for it! Yay! So after that point, we should know what all we still need, and we’ll have a few months to get everything in order. Overall, things are coming together and I’m impressed at the smoothness of it all.

HOW/WHAT I’M FEELING 

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I am feeling some kicks!! Well, mostly they feel like butterfly flutters, and they’re too soft for Brian to feel anything, but I feel them multiple times a day. My placenta is in the front, which softens some feeling for me, but over the last week or so she’s really making movement and I know what I’m feeling isn’t just my stomach or indigestion.

Also, acid reflux is a struggle… but it’s not terrible. Most afternoons I’ll get a bout of acid reflux but it’s usually over after I eat something.

I don’t fit into my jeans anymore… so sad 😦 But yoga pants are my best friend, and I haven’t had to get into maternity pants yet. Though I am excited to get a pair of those maternity jeans!

I’ve always been pretty open about talking about this, but I am not sure I want multiple kids. Of course I’ll never say “never”, but if our lives are fulfilled with one, I don’t feel any pressure to have another one. So, with that in mind, I want to be as minimal as possible when it comes to things we’re collecting for little babies, and for maternity clothes for me. So far, so good, but I know things will shift a bit as we head into the 3rd trimester.

It’s also been a bit uncomfortable for me to sit for longer periods of time, and I’ve noticed some shortness of breath. These come in pockets, but mostly they’re a passing feeling.

And yes! I do still exercise daily. My routine is 6 days a week, with Sunday being completely off or light yoga. I really credit this to feeling so much better when it comes to having energy and being able to sustain energy throughout my day.

ANY CRAVINGS?

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Mostly just breakfast food! I love eggs, toast and fruit. I pretty much eat it daily for breakfast. I also am glad that I’m still craving veggies. I get 7 servings in each Shakeology shake that I have, but I like to eat more vegetables throughout my day — sautéed kale is a favorite, along with bell peppers.

While I have been over-indulging a bit with the sweets (if you live in Birmingham… all I’m going to say is try Sprouts’ fresh cookies. OMG.) I’m overall proud of how I’ve taken care of my body so far during this pregnancy.

I’ve gained about 5 pounds (say what?! I thought you didn’t weigh yourself, Ashley!) I DON’T weigh myself, but every time we go to the doctor, Brian looks at what I weigh (I cover my eyes) and tells me how much I’ve gained. I don’t need to know my weight, but I am curious about how much I’ll gain during pregnancy.

We go back again on Thursday and I know I’ll have gained more by then. It’s a different feeling for sure– having my whole life/livelihood being about staying fit + helping others… to know that my body will be growing and getting bigger. I think what helps me is controlling what I can control. I don’t need to “eat for 2”, and I get motivated to eat healthier knowing that what I consume, she consumes. I can’t say I love that my body gets bigger, but I know it’s for an amazing purpose. And I’ll have one heck of a motivation to get my body back in shape this summer!

All for now — thanks for checking in on my journey!

 

XO

Ash

Coconut Oil is all you Need

Okay so maybe it’s not ALL you need (you know, things like water, and vegetables, and family, and love and all that are important 😍) but really, if you’re looking for a natural product that has SO MANY USES, look no further than coconut oil.

You could google & find probably 100 uses for it, but I want to share my top 3️⃣that I personally swear by (& swear I’ve noticed a difference doing these things).

1.) OIL PULLING

Before you spend a ton of money for professional teeth whitening (which, let’s be honest, we’ve all thought about) try oil pulling first.

Grab a jar of organic coconut oil, take about a half tablespoon scoop, and swish in your mouth like mouthwash for 10-15 minutes a day.

I know that can seem like a long time, but I set my timer while I’m getting ready in the morning and am busy doing other things. Then, spit it out (not in the sink, either outside or in the toilet- it can clog the sink).. and repeat daily.

Oil pulling naturally removes toxins from your teeth and naturally whitens. I’ve been pulling daily for several months now & have truly noticed not only a brighter smile 😁 but less sensitive teeth.

 

2.) Cooking

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So you’ll need two coconut oils : a jar for personal care, and this amazing spray for cooking!

We LOVE Trader Joe’s coconut oil cooking spray. Think Pam– but a much healthier alternative. We use this spray anytime a recipe calls for a greased cookie sheet. If you don’t have Trader Joe’s near you, check out Amazon!

 

3.) Preventative stretch mark cream

My last use for coconut oil that I use DAILY is to prevent stretch marks. I’m heading into my 23Rd week of pregnancy and my belly is growing. There are a ton of products on the market – some super pricey- but coconut oil is always at the top of the list to prevent stretch marks. Of course nothing is 100% guaranteed to work, and some stretch marks can be inevitable- but I’m a fan of proaction instead of reaction.

Every night after I shower, I take a spoonful of coconut oil and rub it on my belly, chest, and hips. I plan to do this every night through my pregnancy to help keep my skin hydrated and less likely to leave me with stretch marks. So far: so good, and I’m going to keep it up!

 

I don’t know where I’d be without Coconut oil.. we go through a few jars a month but it’s one of the best, natural products I’ve added in to my healthy regimen.

I hope you find these uses helpful for you.. and if you use coconut oil regularly for something else, leave me a comment & tell me about it!

 

Til next time!

Core de Force : Pregnancy Results!

Well, I DID IT!

I committed to completing 60 days of the Core de Force workout program and I am feeling pretty darn good about myself.

Core de Force is an MMA-inspired cardio + toning program. I streamed the workouts every day in our spare bedroom, modified the core workouts, and felt like a badass after the end of the 60 days.

This is technically a 30 day program, but I felt like I was just getting into my groove, so I added on another round and spread out my journey through this program over 2 months.

And…. here are the official photos!

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Notice they are also coinciding with how far along I am in my pregnancy. This is my first pregnancy, and with being very active I haven’t really “popped” yet, but I know that’s coming 🙂

Though I will say, I am so, so grateful to able to exercise every day of this pregnancy so far. I believe it’s given me more energy, kept my focused & working on my business daily, and helped to keep my appetite in check (no I am NOT a perfect eater, and I’ve had my fair share of ice cream during this timeframe, but I have been mindful not to overeat. I aim to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full).

 

So. What did I modify in this workout program??

  • I didn’t do any moves on my stomach. I would modify by doing a similar-type moving standing up
  • I did the core workouts, but used a lot of support. I didn’t actively “crunch” my abs, but I did work my obliques & held planks
  • I was mindful to not push the heavy cardio days if I was tired. I got through the movements at my pace, and didn’t worry if I wasn’t up to par — heck, I’m proud of myself for pushing play everyday — who cares if I’m not the most intense person showing up?!
  • Other than that, I followed the workout schedule to a T, occasionally shifting around some workouts days but always getting them in

 

Okay Ash, what’s the point of this blog post?

Well, first, it’s to toot my own horn a bit 🙂 I’m PROUD I completed 60 days of working out 6-7 days a week without missing a beat. I’m proud of the strength that my body has developed, and even if I can’t do a ton of push-ups, they have gotten better because I’ve gotten stronger.

But it’s also to be real with you & share my pregnancy journey. I was active before becoming pregnant, and I’m active now. My body & baby are safe. Sometimes we get scared of the things that “could” happen. Fortunately, I’m not a worrier by nature (I DO get stressed, but that’s another topic for another day), and I adapt a mindset of, it is happens, we deal with it. I’m not going to spend my time worrying about what COULD happen, though I do my part in taking care of my body and keeping my health & Baby H’s health as the priority.

I don’t judge any woman with what they choose to do or not do during their pregnancy. I’m just here sharing my story in the hopes it inspires some people to make healthy choices.. whether you’re carrying a child or not.

I firmly believe my pregnancy is as smooth as it is because of my lifestyle choices, compounded over time. It’s the little things we do each day that curve us to success, or curve us to failure, right? (If you want to read more on that, pick up a copy of The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Today. Seriously, do it.)

Okay, that’s all for now. I’ve gotta figure out what workout program is next on my list, starting tomorrow!

More next week!

Ash

 

 

A Day in My Kitchen

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So I’m going to take a pause from pregnancy today — things are still going great, still working out, still just a touch of acid reflux but other than that Baby H is rocking out.

I wanted to share today what a typical “day in the life” looks like in my house when it comes to meals. As a health & fitness coach, the BIGGEST question I get is “What do I eat?”.

While I will say that there is no ONE plan that works for everyone, there are several things that I think can work for almost everyone. And that’s because it’s not a diet, or a pill, or anything restrictive. It’s about eating to sustain a lifestyle.

You guys already know by now, I’m all about moderation. I am the girl who will have ice cream, bagels, and (when I’m not pregnant) wine + craft beer. I’m not training for a bikini competition, I’m happy with my body, so I’m not going to feel like I can’t enjoy my life.

That being said, I actually also really enjoy HEALTHY food. It’s amazing what you can pick up on when you’ve seen how your body feels when it’s being given junk, and when it’s being given fuel. I’ve been on both sides of the fence and I know how I feel after each type of food – and I’m betting you do too.

DON’T KEEP READING if you’re looking for a picture-perfect meal plan, or anything meat-gluten-dairy free. I eat pretty much everything in moderation, like I said before, and that works for me (it’s also kept me feeling pretty great during pregnancy). But to answer questions on what meals look like for me, let’s dive in….

BREAKFAST 

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Breakfast is usually around 10:30am, after I’ve gotten up, meditated, drank a full glass of water, did my workout (usually 30-45 minutes) & started a bit of work for the day (perk of being my own boss, I make my own schedule!). I typically have:

  • 2 eggs with Himalayan salt and pepper
  • 2 pieces of toast with Earth Balance vegan butter
  • handful of fresh fruit
  • sometimes sautéed kale & peppers

Along with eating this food, I typically drink my shakeology with this meal:

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Shakeology can be in place of 1 meal a day, but lately I’ve been drinking it with breakfast because I love having a bigger meal to start my day. I NEVER miss a day – it’s got superfoods that I need!

 

LUNCH

Lunch is the dark horse of my meals. If I’m going to forget or skip a meal, it’s lunch. I dunno why.. maybe because I’m wrapped up in working that I don’t think to stop and take the time to eat it. BUT, I’m working on that! I told you I wasn’t perfect. When I DO eat lunch, it’s usually around 1:30 or 2pm and consists of:

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Protein like chicken, and a vegetable. I also like grilled chicken salads — I’ll throw some chicken on top of arugula & kale, along with some carrots. Dressing is a vinaigrette of some sort, and I’m careful to NOT use a lot. (PS – it helps when we prep lunches like we did here! So easy!)

 

DINNER 

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I could lie and tell you my husband + I get all fancy when it comes to dinner, but we don’t. Usually when we try a complicated dish, we don’t like it. So our go-to meals are SIMPLE (are you sensing a theme here?!)

  • a protein (like fish, chicken, or ground turkey)
  • a carb (like couscous, rice, sweet potatoes)
  • a veggie (we love everything, but especially asparagus & green beans)

Brian usually comes up with some sort of awesome seasoning for the protein & the veggies, that’s his forte. And there we have it! An easy, modifiable dinner.

 

Of course I love dessert. But some of my tips to NOT overindulge on sweets after dinner are…

  • eating a small handful of refrigerated chocolate chips
  • have a shakeology or vanilla “recharge” shake at night
  • have a PIECE of dark chocolate

 

And that’s pretty much a typical meal plan in the Howard household. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; nutrition doesn’t HAVE to be complicated. You just have to find what works for you (& your family, if that’s relevant) and find easy recipes that you can enjoy each week. We’re all busy; no one has time to create gourmet meals every night, so just start to come with YOUR typical meal plan, build on it, tweak it, and make sure you actually enjoy the food you’re eating.

Life is meant to be lived, food is meant to be eaten. We can have it all.. in moderation 🙂

How I’m Preparing for Once the Baby is Here!

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Well, hey! Seriously, I’m humbled that you’re still keeping up with my prego-journey. I’m also pretty proud of myself for keeping this commitment weekly. High five Ash!

Okay, let’s jump right in….

Brian & I will find out the gender of our baby in TWO DAYS! Our appointment is Thursday, January 5th and we’re getting something called an “anatomy scan,” which basically means they will get to check out all the vitals of our little one and be able to tell us the gender (& that he/she is perfectly healthy which of course is what we are expecting and praying for).

Don’t worry, we’re not keeping it a secret 🙂 We’ll be making a public social media post on Thursday evening to share with everyone. (We decided against any gender-reveal parties. Nothing against them.. we’re just super weird & really don’t like attention —side note, 3 years ago I cried when I found out my mom was trying to throw me a surprise bridal shower and begged her to cancel it. I know. WEIRD. I just prefer to not be the center of attention — So we’re just going to call our families first, and then share with everyone).

Saturday will also mark my 20 weeks… so in pregnancy terms, that means I’m officially HALFWAY through this thing. If you’ve read previous entries of mine, you know I’ve really had an easy time so far which I’m hoping continues. I’ve only noticed slight changes in the last week or so — mainly being I’m getting a little more bloated & have been experiencing a little bit of acid reflux. Which stinks because that was the symptom I used to get when I’d be hungover. I’m like c’mon universe! I have had zero alcohol for months- don’t give me that! 😉

SO. What are we doing to prepare?

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Uhh, here’s the thing: not that much right now.

Are you falling in love with our unpreparedness yet? Soooo I know it may be customary to want to get things done right away, but we’re not in any rush.

Maybe it’s because our marriage has been one long series of crazy big decisions and moves and constant re-adjusting, that we’re really not too worried about it. Things will come together.

You may know that we bought this current home only back in November, so things still aren’t quite together. BUT, here are some things that, at halfway through, we’re doing to prep for Baby Howard :

  • We’ve designated a bedroom for the nursery and have cleared it out (it was previously our “throw-everything-in-this room-and-shut-the-door room”)
  • I’ve had a baby shower with my side of the family when I was home in Pennsylvania over Christmas (again, not super traditional. I was less anxious this time. We just had family & friends meet at a nice Italian place for dinner & I opened gifts)
  • I’ve been proactively keeping my body healthy: working out 6-7 days a week, putting coconut oil on my belly like CRAZY #nostretchmarks, daily meditation with my feet up the wall for reverse circulation, getting plenty of sleep, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding stress as much as is realistically possible. I’m not a worrier by nature, so I’m not kept up at night worrying the baby may have this or that. I trust it will be healthy and unless I know otherwise, that’s my belief & I’m sticking to it
  • Our friends have been so, so thoughtful and have already gotten us things we really need : a pack n play, a play mat, onesies, gift cards, adorable little toys, books, and most importantly, they love us and support us.. which means more than any gift (but thank you for the gifts! seriously!)

 

And that’s pretty much all she wrote, folks. 

Why?! Because the best thing I can do for myself & the babe is to take things one day at a time. If I get too caught up in details, in what we DON’T yet have, in things that COULD happen… well, I’m doing a disservice to both of us, right?

Take your life a DAY at a time. I’m finishing up the book “The Obstacle is the Way” and a common theme is to remember how brief our time is. Not in a morbid way, more of in a “does this really matter?” why. It’s important to remember this life lasts forever for no one, so any day is a good day to think about what really matters.

So while I don’t know what the future holds, I do know that I can focus on the present moment: choosing health for my body, mediation for my mind, love in my heart, & trust that things will all come together.

GRANTED. I’m no Buddha, and I struggle with this every single day, but at least by becoming aware of what’s important, I’m more likely than not to make some changes to shift my life into a more present, happy one. And what baby doesn’t want to be born into that environment?!

 

More next week. Thanks for keeping up with my journey!

XO

Ash

What You Can 100% Expect While Pregnant!

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SO! I’m 19 weeks pregnant, and it’s blowing my mind that I will be HALFWAY through this growing-a-human journey next weekend… holy what the what?! How did that happen??

I think I shared this in my last entry, but we find out the gender in exactly 8 days. I’ll be sharing it as soon as we know, so you won’t have to wait in suspense 🙂 (also, I may be vastly overestimating how much people care about my little babe & whether it’s a boy or girl, but I’ll be posting it anyway!).

So here’s what I want to address today… there is one thing that I 100% GUARANTEE YOU CAN EXPECT IF YOU’RE PREGNANT. 

Ready for it?!

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EVERYONE WILL HAVE A COMPLETELY UNIQUE EXPERIENCE!

Surprised?!

This is the thing. I used to get all bent out of shape when I’d hear about SOMEone’s morning sickness, SOMEone’s insomnia, SOMEone’s horrible pains and aches and heartburn and nausea.

But that was THEIR journey, this is mine. I have yet to find someone who experienced EXACTLY the same thing I have in these 19 weeks, and that’s the beauty of each person being an individual.

The *only* advice I would give someone (who would ask me first! I’m very into avoiding unsolicited advice) is that I can’t tell you what to expect, and I would advise you against thinking anyone else’s experience may become yours too.

To recap my journey in a nutshell, for example, I have had zero morning sickness. I was extra tired my first month (naps were my best friend), and my appetite pretty much disappeared. After month 2, that leveled out and since then I’ve been feeling completely normal. I have energy to exercise (moderate to high intensity) 6 days a week. I drink a superfood shake that I (& my OB) trust to give me the nutrients to fuel my body & my baby, and I supplement with a prenatal vitamin. My tatas (is there a professional way to say “boobs”?? IDK) have grown a bit and are a bit more sensitive.. but that’s pretty much all I’m noticing right now.

As you can see in the first picture, I’m not quite developing a belly yet, but I know that’s coming. I also know ladies develop their bumps over different times in their pregnancy: some have bumps before me, some will develop after me.

Have my hormones changed? Of course they have. But my husband and I have also been going through a stressful time just in terms of making some big decisions (we are fine! it’s just some extenuating circumstances)… so I can’t quite say my emotions can all be blamed on pregnancy hormones.

Basically, I want this post to be your permission to not worry about what “could” happen to you. It doesn’t matter what your mother, sister, friend, or neighbor experienced. You are YOU and you’re going to have the journey your body is designed to have. YES, I feel strongly about taking the best care of our bodies during this time.. that’s why I will continue to exercise right up until labor (unless of course I need to stop for any medical reason.. but I’m a hard worker bee and as long as I’m safe, I’ll be continuing to sweat every day), but I do think we all just need to recognize our bodies are so unique, and they also inherently know what to do during this time.

But to leave you with some tips SHOULD you choose to follow them: I’ve found daily meditation has helped with my breathing and my patience– I use the app HeadSpace and do a 10 min guided meditation daily. While meditating, I put my feet up a wall to reverse blood flow and give me a burst of natural energy. I drink a TON of water, I exercise, and I get a lot of sleep.

I am actually really loving this time in my life. I can’t say I know how the next few months will be, but if it’s anything like the last 4, I’m looking forward to it 🙂

See ya next week!

Pregnancy & Shakeology.. Is it Safe?

 

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Ah yes, the ever-common-question… can I drink supplements while pregnant?

But really, the only question that matters to ME is… can I drink Shakeology while pregnant?

As always, let me preface this entry but saying I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist.. I’m a health enthusiast, a Beachbody Coach, a 200 hour certified yoga teacher, and someone who has been exercising 6-7 days a week for the last 3 years.

I very often get the question from my female clients if they should stop drinking Shakeology or taking any additional supplements while they’re pregnant or nursing.

I can’t tell you what to do, because again I’m not your medical advisor. But now that I’m expecting myself, I can only tell you what I’ve decided/been cleared to do.. and that is continue to drink this superfood shake every single day.

Let me also say that different doctors will certainly have different opinions. If you’re looking to get a professional’s advice, though, I do recommend bringing in the product you have a question about. Give the doctors a reason to tell you yes or no, and get SPECIFIC answers why.

So first, let’s back up….

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I have been *seriously* on my fitness & health journey since 2013. In that time, I’ve been exercising very regularly, with very high-intense workouts. I’ve also been drinking Shakeology DAILY. Now, I’m not going to get into all the details about why I love this shake & why I stand behind every ingredient that is carefully put into it, but just know that I’ve made this a part of my diet, daily, for years. And honestly, I’ve never felt better.

When my husband and I were open to the idea of having a baby, and we “let our guards down” so to speak 😉 I LITERALLY got pregnant, like, immediately. Within 14 days; after being on birth control for 9+ years. I don’t know the exact reasons for this, but do I think having these superfoods in my body & working out everyday had SOMEthing to do with the speed of this happening? Of course I do. (Again, it doesn’t mean if you’ve had trouble conceiving you’re unhealthy, or doing anything wrong. My heart goes out to you as I know what an emotional topic that is. But I’m just sharing my story in the hopes it can help or bring some answers to those reading it).

Now… let’s get to the point!

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At our first OB-GYN appointment in October, you better believe that my first question was “Can I continue to drink my superfood shake?” I showed her the ingredients, braced myself, and…

She said it was fine 🙂

Here are the important things she did want me to keep an eye out for: Since I do still take a prenatal supplement, I needed to be sure I wasn’t getting more than 150% daily value with the supplement + Shakeology of vitamins A,D,E, and K. I also needed to be getting 800mg  of folic acid & 200mg mg of DHA.

We found a supplement that provided us with those specifications, as we double-checked to make sure I wasn’t getting too much or too little of one thing when combined with my daily shake.

And that, my friends, is really all there was to it. A month after our initial appointment, I had blood work done and everything was normal. The baby’s heart rate is healthy, and in just over 2 weeks we’ll be finding out what little gender is growing in me, which is still pretty freaking crazy to think about (how am I almost 29 and just NOW appreciating the capabilities of a human body?!).

MORAL OF THE STORY, or blog post, is this: I personally continue to exercise 6-7 days a week, avoiding crunches and anything that has me laying on my belly or back (so I can pretty much do 95% of Core de Force workouts- another reason I love this program!) I drink vegan Shakeology every single day, I remain as active & healthy as I possibly can be.. and at 17.5 weeks, I’m feeling just fine.

Better than fine, in fact, I’m feeling really good! Besides the fact that I’m having to pee about double the amount that I’m used to, I don’t really have anything different to report. I’m looking forward to developing a belly, feeling kicks, and all that. But I’m not complaining that my energy is high, my workouts leave me feeling empowered, and my shake keeps my immune system happy & healthy.

At the end of the day, you have to decide what you’re comfortable with. But I trust the makers of Shakeology, I can see what it’s physically done for my body, and I’ll continue making it a part of my daily diet throughout pregnancy & into breastfeeding, once that time comes.

Whatever you do, just choose HEALTH. Choose “tough” over easy. We are making these choices now for a better future. Whether you’re expecting or not, choose health for YOU.

More next week! Happy Holidays!!

Pregnancy is my Reason, Not my Excuse

SURPRISE! We’re expecting!

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Well, it’s actually not a surprise if you’re on Facebook or Instagram, since we announced it there first 🙂

My husband Brian and I are excited to announce that after several fun-filled, busy years of marriage, we are expanding our family by one more.

I found out late September, and we did a pretty darn good job of keeping the secret from most everyone, even our parents, until after Thanksgiving. It was kinda fun to have this secret, plus we wanted to wait until the 12 week mark just so make sure everything was ok.

So here’s what I want to talk about today; as you can see (I mean, you’re on my website right now, you can literally see) I’m a health & fitness coach by profession. What does that mean? It means that part of my job is to exercise, maintain a healthy/balanced diet and lead others by example. (I know, pretty sweet job, right? But that’s a conversation for another day).

FIRST, I want to be SUPER CLEAR that I am not telling YOU what to do if you are pregnant. (You probably have way more experience than me; I’ve never done this before!) I’m simply bringing back my blog to share what is working for me, since I made the commitment to myself to be as healthy and safe as I can throughout this experience. So, I want to share that my OB doctor knows my level of fitness, what I’m doing, supplements I’m taking, and has given me the OK on it all. & I’ve decided to be firm in my belief that pregnancy is my REASON for exercising and fueling my body with good nutrition, NOT my excuse to let those things slide.

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At the time of this writing, I am 16.5 weeks along. Most recently,  I committed to 30 days of a high-cardio program (it’s a home workout program from Beachbody called Core de Force —-> MMA inspired combination workouts along with some pretty intense strength workouts. Bonus though: no equipment needed!) with modifications. I don’t do the specific “core” workouts and I don’t lay on my stomach for any moves. Other than that, I’ve completed the 30 days and I’m committing to another 30 days before moving on to a new program.

I have doctor’s appointments monthly, and my baby’s health is just fine — great heart rate, and last we checked, the little one is active — just like mom! We find out the gender on January 5, 2017, and I have my gut feeling but we’ll see if I’m right 🙂

So, I want to thank you. Thank you for allowing me the space to share my journey during these next few months. I want to be clear I am NOT judging what other women decide to do during their pregnancy. I just know that exercising daily has made me a more productive, patient, happier person, and I owe it to myself, my husband and my unborn child to be the best me I can be.

My due date is May 27, 2017, and my goal is to exercise 6-7 days a week, of course listening to my body and modifying when needed, up until that time.

This baby is my reason for being active, for continuing to build my business from home so my husband and I can stay home with him/her and not have to put them in daycare. & you better believe that lights a fire in my belly to do all I can for this peanut! More next week!

 

What is CORE de FORCE?

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I am SO PUMPED for this new program to release on OCTOBER 31! I’ve been waiting for a new Beachbody program that appeals to the masses — and I really believe THIS is it.

So far, I’ve been able to try a few “sneak peek” workouts via Beachbody on Demand until the full program releases, and here’s what I’ve learned so far:

 

WHAT IS THE PROGRAM LENGTH?! 

30 Days

HOW LONG IS EACH WORKOUT?

Between 30-45 minutes

EQUIPMENT NEEDED?

No

WHAT ARE THE WORKOUTS LIKE?

Each workout is broken into 3-minute “rounds” — just like a real boxing match. In those 3 minutes you’ll alternate between addictive Boxing, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai-inspired combinations, bodyweight training, and cardio spikes that kick your fat burn into overdrive

WHAT ABOUT THE MEAL PLAN?

Portion-controlled eating. For those familiar with the 21 day fix program, it’s similar. You’ll be eating from containers from each food group, replacing a meal a day with Shakeology (or the performance stack), and staying within your “container bracket” for calories.

WHEN CAN I GET THIS PROGRAM? WHEN DOES YOUR GROUP START?

The program officially releases on 10/31/16, and my official CORE DE FORCE test group will launch on November 14, 2016. Right in time to STAY in shape for the holidays!

WANT TO BE THE FIRST NOTIFIED WHEN CORE DE FORCE IS AVAILABLE?

Fill out the your name & email below and I’ll be in touch as soon as the program releases!

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