Virtual Gratitude 5k Giveaway Winners

Monday, November 30, 2015
It looks like today is actually three post Monday! I just can't get enough of talking to you guys!

I'm very excited because it's time to announce the winners of the Virtual Gratitude 5k Giveaway!!!

I first want to thank everyone who came out for our first annual Virtual Gratitude 5k and Giveaway. We had a great turn out and a lot of fun planning and putting on this event! I can't wait to see how it grows in the coming years!

I also want to thank our amazing sponsors for participating in our dream of encouraging others to start a healthy holiday tradition! We really appreciate your involvement!

Virtual Gratitude 5k and Giveaway Winners

Pro Compression Marathon Socks - Christina Wood

XX2i France 1 Sunglasses - Kristina Odom Saravia

XX2i France 2 Sunglasses - Caroline Curly Cardine

XX2i USA 1 Sunglasses - Lindsey McRoberts

Ohmk Tank - Sarah Sweet Blonde Fit Life

Bare Bones Body Gift Pack - Melissa Benhaim

73 Threads Sweatshirt - Tiffany Donaldson

73 Threads T-shirt - Robin Parker

Congratulations to all of the winners of our giveaway!!! If you won, please check out the product link above and let us know your size/style/color (where applicable). If you won gear from Pro Compression or XX2i, email Amber at If you won gear from Ohmk, Bare Bones Body or 73 Threads, email me at

DIY Natural Antiseptic Spray

Hi friends! How was the holiday weekend? Ours was fantastic. I'm very excited because today we are announcing the winners of the Gratitude 5K and Giveaway! Be sure to check in later, when they are announced!!!

I have a great natural antiseptic spray recipe that I want to share with you today. 
With a very active two year old, we experience a lot of scrapes and bumps throughout our day. This is a very useful tool we keep handy for every day use. I keep some in the diaper bag, with my workout gear, and in the kitchen. It's a DIY, all natural, antiseptic spray that not only has germ fighting properties but also soothing and healing properties. 

All of the ingredients in this antiseptic spray are natural, gentle, and each serves a very important purpose. 

Lavender oil is soothing, antibacterial and can help prevent scarring. Frankincense oil can help prevent against tetanus and sepsis, and can also act as an anticoagulant to help control bleeding. Tea Tree oil (or Melalecula oil) is a great natural antiseptic used for cuts, abrasions, burns, bee stings, and insect bites. Witch Hazel is an anti-inflammatory, and also helps control bleeding and bruising. Vitamin E oil promotes healing and Aloe Vera Gel soothes, while speeding up healing time by improving circulation. 

1 tbsp. Witch Hazel
2 tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel
2 tbsp. Vitamin E Oil
10 drops Lavender
10 drops Frankincense
10 drops Tea Tree (or Melalecula)
Small spray bottle

Add all ingredients to a glass measuring cup and mix well. Pour mixture into small spray bottle. I buy mine from Chemistry and Co on Etsy. Fill remainder of spray bottle with water. 

We love this spray for all of our cut and scrape needs. Another very cool thing about it is that it doubles as a hand sanitizer, for when we are in a pinch! 

Enjoy your day!

What's your favorite cut and scrape remedy for your family?

36 Weeks

I'm writing this post, sitting on my birth ball, and I catch a reflection of myself in the window. All I can think is "Dannnnng girl! Thats a lot of baby!"

Baby's Size: 18.75 inches...the size of a crenshaw melon

Weight Gained: 30 pounds

Overall: I'm feeling ready. I still have a couple of day's until I'm full term (37 weeks), but I'm feeling ready for labor and birth.

Symptoms: Tons of cramping all throughout the day, in the lower half of my belly. My colostrum is also in and readily available for baby Zoe. My breasts are sore. I'm experiencing a heaviness in my low pelvis and pelvic floor region. I think I may have dropped judging by pictures and feel. That doesn't necessary mean anything though. I could still go for another few weeks.

Emotions: My emotions are still very up and down. I'm not so much crying over little things, as I am feeling overwhelmed in large groups of people.

Nesting: Like crazy. I have been nesting so much this week. Every night I seem to find something that needs to be cleaned right at that moment. I'm also extremely vigilant about keeping everything in order, just in case I go into labor.

Evening Primrose Oil: Per my midwifes suggestion, I've been using evening primrose oil to help prepare and nourish my cervix.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: I've also been drinking red raspberry leaf tea a couple times per day, to help tone and prepare my uterus for labor and birth.

Nettle Tea: Nettle tea can be advantageous in helping heal the uterus after the placenta detaches. It can also prepare your uterus for managing the loss of blood during labor and birth. I've been drinking it once per day.

Cravings: Still craving orange juice. Also peanut butter and nutella.

Aversions: The smell of cooked fish, cooked meat and eggs. Also the smell of dirty cloth diapers...which is weird because in the past 2 years I've never noticed a smell!
We've been cloth diapering Aria since she was 8 weeks old (with the exception of when we are out of the house).
But lately the smell of dirty diapers (cloth in particular) has been hard for me to stomach. Since we haven't been using cloth the past few weeks, we've been using the disposable Honest diapers, full time. While I don't love the idea of disposables full time, I do really love these diapers. We first tried them a year and a half ago as an option for when we are out of the house.
I do have to say, at this point in pregnancy, especially with my overly sensitive nose, the convenience factor is really nice. I do also love that they are all natural, no chemicals, eco friendly, made with sustainable materials and cruelty free.

Braxton Hicks: I'm getting tons of braxton hicks. Every time I walk the dog, get up and down off the floor, do the dishes (weird, I know).

Exercise: I'm moving slow. Moving quite slow. Lately my workouts have been yoga, pilates, strength training and walking. I'm still doing the plank challenge, which is definitely tough, but I'm loving it.

I'm really looking forward to rebuilding after this pregnancy and sharing my experience with you. I didn't share my experience last time but I feel like it's important to do. The postpartum period is very deep and can be challenging physically, mentally and emotionally, to some degree, for many mothers.

A big part of that challenge is understanding your new body. The body changes dramatically with pregnancy. It changes permanently. Not in a way that you can't get back into amazing shape or that you can't even get into better shape than you were in before getting pregnant.
Rather, the journey to reacquainting yourself with your body and rebuilding your strength, is essentially, building a new relationship. It's important to recognize this new relationship and find the best way (which may be a new way) for you to nourish and rebuild from the inside out.

I'm looking forward to that journey. Embracing the changes, and finding the new, stronger, more fierce, version of me!

We're getting close! And I'm so excited!

Immune Boosting Smoothie Recipe

Friday, November 27, 2015
Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday yesterday. We had a full day of fun and family. And tons of good food.

We started with the Gratitude 5k where we all had a blast! Aria is much faster than I realized. I thought I had a good 12 years before she was faster than me...but I'm rethinking now. I need to get my butt in gear asap.

Even Baby Zoe rocked it.

I can't wait to choose and announce the winners of each of the awesome prizes from our amazing sponsors!!! Remember, you have until Saturday to post your results and enter the giveaway!

I've been on a huge smoothie kick lately. Every morning I have been craving them. Maybe it's my body's way of telling me it wants even more fruits and vegetables.

With it being cold and flu season I've been taking advantage of our daily smoothies, and making healthy, antioxidant packed, immune boosting smoothies, for the whole family. This recipe is one of our favorites! Even Miss Aria, the pickiest of picky eaters, can't get enough!

1 cup kale
1.5 cups blackberries
1 frozen banana
1 lime peeled
1 cup coconut water
(you can also use regular water)

Add all ingredients to blender, and blend until smooth.

Enjoy your Friday friends. My sister is visiting and we're off to get our tree. :)

How was your holiday?

What is your favorite immune boosting food? 

Cardio & Superset Full Body Fit

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday and soaking in some fun family time. We started the day with waffles and smoothies. I have been craving smoothies every day this week! Which is kind of funny because it's suddenly 20 degrees every morning and all I want is a cold smoothie.

In the spirit of having a healthy holiday, I have a great cardio and superset workout for you!

I absolutely love this workout. It's one of my favorites. It is the perfect combination of short cardio bursts with strength training supersets, targeting your entire body.

The short cardio bursts are great for boosting metabolism, they're beneficial for your heart, they increase your stamina and endurance and they're appropriate for any fitness level. Basically you get the most bang for your buck with these intervals.

A superset is where you perform two exercises back to back, without rest. Supersets are a great way to break through a fitness plateau. Because rest is eliminated, it also saves time, making the time it takes to complete the workout, shorter.  Eliminating the rest period also sneakily turns the entire workout into a cardio workout, which is fantastic for your heart.

This workout can be done at home or at the gym.

Medicine Ball

Move through each round with no rest between exercises. 
Between rounds take 30 - 60 seconds rest. 

.5 mile warm up run
15 medicine ball squats
10 one leg squats (right leg)
15 medicine ball squats
10 one leg squats (left leg)

.5 mile run
12 dumbbell overhead press
12 side lateral raise
12 dumbbell overhead press
12 side lateral raise

.5 mile run
12 overhead tricep extension
12 tricep kickback
12 overhead tricep extension
12 tricep kickback

.25 mile run
12 hammer curls
12 small arm circles forwards (with weight)
12 hammer curls
12 small arm circles backwards (with weight)

.25 mile run
30 second forearm plank
30 second right side plank
30 second forearm plank
30 second left side plank

This Cardio and Superset Full Body workout can be modified depending on your fitness level and goals. If you want to incorporate more running, double the distances and increase speed. If you have limitations that keep you from running, you can perform the running portion on the elliptical.

Now that I've reached the point in this pregnancy where I've had to stop running, I do the running portion on the elliptical. It is still a fantastic workout.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone! Don't forget to get out there and move!

We're headed out for the Virtual Gratitude 5k! Come join us!!!

What's your Thanksgiving workout?

What's one thing you are thankful for?

Positive Changes on Have My Cake

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Good morning! You may have noticed some changes on Have My Cake lately. I just wanted to take some time to talk about them today and let you know what's happening.

First, I've updated the "About Me" page to reflect what Have My Cake is truly all about, including a little more about me. I wanted to give my readers (you guys!) a clear indication of what kind of goodness you can expect to find here. You can read the updated page here: About Me

I've also updated my posting schedule. Over the past few months I've begun posting much more regularly, but up until October, I still wasn't completely consistent in posting days. Beginning a few weeks ago, I'm now posting four days per week;
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
So be sure to check in on those days for new posts!

Have My Cake has become a lot more active on social media as well. You can follow me and check out what were up to here:


And surprise! I've joined Periscope. I'm so excited to start connecting with you guys in that way! I plan to start scoping soon! Find me on Periscope at @havemycakeblog.

The reason for all these changes is because I've been fortunate enough to be able to dive in full force to this amazing subject matter that I'm insanely passionate about; health, wellness, fitness, family, nutrition, natural living, motherhood, and helping women to feel empowered in making healthy choices for themselves and their families.

With all of these positive changes, I felt it was time to kick it up a notch on Have My Cake and give you guys the best of what I have to offer!
It has been a wonderful ride so far and I'm so excited to see what's next.

As always, thank you so much for reading!!! :)

Don't forget...there are only 2 days left until we kick off starting a healthy new holiday tradition with our Virtual Gratitude 5k and Giveaway! Check out the post for details on how to get involved, our amazing sponsors, the awesome prizes, and even more great info! I can't wait to *see* you guys out there!!!
Virtual Gratitude 5k and Giveaway

Happy Tuesday Ya'll.

Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Monday, November 23, 2015
Good morning friends! How was the weekend? Ours was lovely. I cleaned the house from top to bottom. And then I thought to myself...when did I cross the line where cleaning my whole house is exciting?

On a hungry whim I also threw together this beautiful sloppy sandwich.

Sautéed shaved brussel sprouts, tomato, veganese, daiya pepper jack cheese and sliced tomato on sourdough bread.
It was to die for! If you haven't tried the shaved brussel sprouts from Trader Joe's, you really should! I sauté them with olive oil, salt and pepper. They're so versatile! I put them on sandwiches, wraps, sprinkled on salads, or even eat them with a spoon. So good.

Let's talk about metabolism. Oh that sneaky beast. Remember when you were in your teens and you could eat anything wanted and not only feel fantastic...but it didn't affect your body make up at all? Ahhh to be young again.

Metabolism is the process in which your body converts what you eat and drink, into energy.

For many people, age related weight gain is largely due to a dramatic decrease in calories burned. Meaning, as we age we often are less active. This can be due to a lot of different factors. We become busier in our lives with less time for exercise, many jobs involve sitting at a desk, taking care of our families leaves us exhausted, our interests change, etc.

Additionally, basal metabolic rate, which accounts for 50 - 70 percent of total energy expenditure, can slow from 1 - 2% per decade. In short, total calories burned decreases with age. 

What can we do to maintain a healthy metabolism?

There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to maintaining a healthy metabolism. Your nutrition, fitness and physical activity level, lifestyle, and muscle mass all play a big part in keeping your metabolism at a peak level.

Here are some great tricks for boosting your metabolism and keeping it at it's peak!

1. Avoid Calorie Restrictive Diets

While restricting calories can be tempting, restricting too much sends a signal to your body to slow down your metabolism and conserve calories, rather than burning them.
You are much better off burning calories you've consumed, through exercise.

2. Hydrate

Drink 2 - 3 liters of water per day. Aside from all of the other amazing benefits of drinking water, it does great things for your metabolism. According to WebMD, ten minutes after drinking 17oz of water, your metabolism speeds up 30% and reaches its maximum boost 30 - 40 minutes after.

3. Eat All Day

Aim for small meals every 3 - 4 hours. This keeps your body in a good balance of intake and using energy, without excess calories to store. Additionally, it helps you to develop a positive relationship with food.

4. Interval Workouts

Interval workouts are by far the best workouts for your metabolism. Mixing in fast paced intervals rev up your metabolic rate faster than doing a steady paced cardio workout AND it will continue to do so up to an hour after you finish your workout. Intervals preserve muscle, while increasing fat burned.
High Intensity Interval Training stimulates production of your human growth hormone, by up to 450 percent during the first 24 hours after your workout! This is awesome because HGH is responsible for increased caloric burn.

There are a ton of different types of interval workouts you can do. Do a search online or on YouTube and you'll be able to find a ton. They're also great because you can do them in the gym or at home.

5. Build Muscle

Lean muscle mass is your friend! Just adding 5 pounds of lean muscle mass increases your caloric burn by 150 calories per day, on it's own....without a workout. That extra lean muscle mass will help you in the cardio department too. You'll be able to burn an average of 600 calories per hour during your cardio workouts.

To build lean muscle effectively, be sure to do a full body strength training workout, to target all of your muscles as a whole.

6. Omega 3's

Omega 3's balance your blood sugar and reduce inflammation, helping to regulate your metabolism. Good sources of Omega 3's are: salmon, fish oil, flax seed oil, walnuts, chia seeds.

7. Eat Breakfast

Not only eat breakfast...but eat a big nutrient dense and (healthy) fatty breakfast. It literally jumpstarts your metabolism and sets the stage for efficient calorie burning throughout the day.

9. Fidget

Research shows that fidgeting can help you burn an extra 350 calories a day. Take advantage of any chance you have to move throughout your day. Pace while you're on the phone, sway when you're standing, run up the stairs, bounce your leg while you sit.

10. Organic Produce

Studies show that one of the biggest causes of weight loss resistance is toxicity. The pesticides on conventional produce are blamed for slowing metabolism. When you can, opt for organic produce and meats.

Have you noticed any changes in your metabolism?

What are your favorite metabolism boosting tips? 

What has worked for you?

12 Things to do During the Last Weeks of Pregnancy

Friday, November 20, 2015
Happy Friday! I'm feeling a little antsy lately. While my body is yearning for slow, easy movement...the newest issue of Triathlete Magazine just arrived...and I'm itching to train. I layed in bed before going to sleep last night, reading through and daydreaming of bricks, body glide and spandex.

While I don't have anything on the books yet...I do plan to start rebuilding my core and my strength as soon as I'm cleared to exercise. Then I'll have to see what my body is up for, from there. Realistically I'm aiming for a few running races through the summer, with (hopefully) 2 triathlons during August. I'll most likely stick to the sprint distance this coming year.

As much as I'd love to come back fast and furious, I know that a slower comeback will be essential for making sure I start rebuilding strength from the ground up, without any holes. I jumped back in after having Aria way too fast, which left me with a lot of weaknesses and resulted in a pretty bad pelvic instability injury.
Armed with knowledge, experience and an awesome triathlon coach, I'm doing it right this time! Patience, patience, patience.

I'm just 5 weeks from my due date, and in anticipation of Zoe joining us, I've begun looking over my "last few weeks of pregnancy list".

1. Pack your hospital/birth center bag.

Sure 35 weeks may feel like bit early to pack your hospital back, but I assure you, it is not. Labor and birth are unpredictable as it is. Having your bag prepped and ready to go, can eliminate some of the anxiety of the unknown. Additionally, if you do go into labor earlier than expected, you don't want to be rushing around trying to pack, while you're body is trying to labor.

2. Familiarize yourself with the carseat and install it. 

You don't want to be trying to figure out how to adjust the straps or the size of the straps, the first time you buckle your very new baby in. If you familiarize yourself with it ahead of time, you can approach the situation with  much more confidence...which goes a long way when you are transporting a tiny, helpless human, for the first time.

3. Actually, while were on the topic...familiarize yourself with all of the baby gadgets.

It can be very helpful to just know how all of these contraptions work before using them for the first time on a live baby. I did not do this last time. The postpartum hormones, leaking breasts, silly exhaustion, combined with navigating a new baby's cries, all while trying to figure out the new bouncer or open the pack and play, is unnecessary stress for you.

4. Meal Prep.

Freeze as many meals as you can in those weeks leading up to your due date. This will be hugely helpful once baby arrives. The first few weeks are survival mode, just because of physical exhaustion, healing and caring for your sweet baby. Having good, hearty meals on hand will save you.

5. Make your labor plan.

Start thinking about a few different scenarios. Not to the level that you feel stressed about it. But, just incase you need to call in some back up.
If you go into labor midday, while your partner is at work, who will be available to be there with you? If you have a very fast labor and are home alone, who could be available to take you to your birth place on a moments notice? If you have other children, who could be available to care for your children if your partner is not home?

6. Buy some postpartum clothes.

There will be a period of time right after the baby is born where you won't be big enough for your maternity clothes, yet you won't be small enough for your pre pregnancy clothes. Buy a few things that are loose fitting and make you feel good.

My go to's are usually a few loose button up shirts (also make breastfeeding easier), leggings, and loose sweaters.

7. Prep pets.

Bringing a new baby into the home can be an adjustment for pets. Both of our dogs handled Aria's arrival very well. When we brought Aria home we took her hat and blanket for the dogs to sniff first.

But even before that, while I was still pregnant, I started walking around at times with a baby doll wrapped up, so the dogs would get used to seeing me holding the baby. Additionally, the baby sat on my lap while on the couch, and during other times the dogs would normally be in my lap. This got them used to the idea that they couldn't always be in my lap anymore. They would sit next to me and I would give them attention, while holding the pretend baby.

I also periodically played video's on YouTube of babies crying, and walked around with the baby and the video, so that they would have the opportunity to get familiar with the sound, before bringing in the actual baby.

8. Prep older children.

Use this opportunity to spend some extra time with your other children. During this extra time, talk to them about the baby and ask questions. See how they feel. Talk to them about some of the scenarios, easy and challenging, and talk to them about how they can be involved.

9. Clean all of the things you absolutely don't want to clean. 

You know that closet that you've been meaning to get to for months? Or the basement stairs that have needed sweeping and vacuuming for a while now? Or those cabinets that are full of odds and ends? Take care of them now. Once baby comes you will have even less time to do these things you already can't seem to find time for. If you don't do them, then will continue to loom over your head. If you do them now, you won't even have to think about them again! It's a nice relief.

10. Identify your support system.

Knowing what support you have can be very important for a new mom. What family support is nearby to help if you need an actual presence? What friend support is available if you need to call someone to ask a question to, or just to talk about your experience? Those new mommy hormones can be a beast, and having a friend you can call can be extremely helpful! What type of support is available if you need assistance with breastfeeding or with bottle feeding? Are there any positive mom groups on social media you could join?

11. Prep for feeding baby.

If you're breastfeeding, make yourself a couple of breastfeeding stations.
Breastfeeding stations can be just a small collection of things that you will find handy while you are feeding. You can make a few boxes of these items and store them in the nursery until baby arrives. Then you can stick one in each of the places you feed most often. Breastfeeding stations often consist of things like nipple cream, nipple pads, snack (Larbars are great), a water bottle, burp cloth, magazine or book, and tissues.

If you're bottle feeding, have your bottles prepped and ready to use.
Before baby comes, sterilize and wash all of your bottles and nipples. Store them in an easily accessible place. It can be helpful to set up a bottle making station right on your counter. There's a good chance that you'll be making a lot of bottles with one hand, and having everything out and readily available to you can really help.
Buy a couple back up bottle brushes. Familiarize yourself with your bottle warmer, if you are using one. You also may want to think about some feeding stations.

12. Think about baby's sleeping situation.

Where are you planning for baby to sleep when you bring him/her home? Do you have a couple of options available, just incase baby doesn't like the sleeping arrangement you're hoping for?
There's nothing like spending $300 on a bassinet to find that your sweet baby hates it and having to scramble at the last minute to find another option. :)

I hope you guys find these to be helpful. I'm starting right from the top, with my birth center bag this weekend!

What's on your list for the last few weeks of pregnancy?

What are your plans for coming back to exercise after baby?

Plank Challenge & Homemade Vapor Rub

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Happy Thursday! We're rolling right through this week. I'm looking forward to the weekend because for the first time in about 2 months, we don't have any events to attend. Which means, we can get to work finishing up prepping for this baby. I'm feeling the need to pack my birth center bag, like yesterday.

Our doula is also coming over on Saturday to touch base with us, as we get closer to the big day. I love when she comes to visit. She has such a sincere way about her. It feels like our birth is just as important to her, as it is to us.

I've been slowing down in the exercise department lately, so I'm excited to tell you guys about this challenge I started yesterdayday, with an awesome blogger friend, Amanda.
Amanda at Unapologetically You is hosting a Plank Challenge for the remainder of November, to help finish out the month strong, with a strong core. Check out her post for the challenge info and for a free printable to go along with it! Join this pregnant mama for some planks!

I completed the first day after putting Aria to bed last night! It was a 30 second forearm plank.

Honestly...I had to work hard to get that 30 seconds! My core is hustling these days! Supporting my big buddha belly is one tall order.

I mean, look at that belly though!

One baby? Or a litter of puppies?

I actually do love planks. They really are super for your core and strengthening your transverse abdominus (ie. the sides of your "core box), which can sometimes get separated during/after pregnancy).

All of our colds have finally run their course. I actually didn't even get much of a cold. Just a little congestion, which is amazing considering pregnancy weakens your immune system.

Whenever I see or sense some of those winter cold symptoms creeping up, I always whip up a batch of Homemade Vapor Rub for our chests and feet.

Traditional vapor rub has a number of ingredients on the list that I'm not interested in putting on our skin. Namely, petroleum. Petroleum carries a warning not to let it near your eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin. Yikes! Although you may not be putting it directly on those body parts...your skin is a highly absorbent organ. It absorbs everything that touches it. The last thing I want is all of these wacky ingredients getting into our bodies.

So I looked up some recipes and started making my own, the winter before last. There's something comforting about knowing exactly what is going onto and into our bodies.

It's one of my favorite cold remedies. When a stuffy nose or a cold starts creeping up, I put it on our my chest, or the bottoms of my feet and put a pair of socks on over top. The feet is actually my favorite place to apply!

It's so easy to make and smells fantastic.

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
3 Tablespoons of Shea Butter
10 Drops of Eucalyptus Oil
10 Drops of Peppermint Oil
5 Drops of Lavender Oil

You'll also need a small glass jar to put it in. I use a tiny mason jar.

Add all ingredients to your small glass jar and mix well. I like to store it in the refrigerator, to keep it a little solidified, yet still soft. Also for the cool effect when applied.

The ingredients are very easy to find as well. You can buy them on Amazon, and in most Whole Foods stores. You don't have to use these exact brands, but these are what I use...

Spectrum Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil
Raw Shea Butter

Just a note...all shea butter isn't created equal. The reason I like this brand is because it is of great quality and it's easy to whip up for different recipes. Some shea butters can be very hard. 

The essential oils we use are Young Living. However, you can use whichever brand you like. Whole Foods sells a brand of oils called Aura Cacia. They are reasonably priced and they are readily available in the store, which is nice. We used those when I just started out with oils and they were good.

Well, have an awesome Thursday friends. I can't wait to hear how your homemade vapor rub works out!

What are your favorite cold remedies?

How much do you love or hate planks?

10 Steps to Happy SAHM

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Happy Tuesday! How is everyone doing this week before Thanksgiving? I can't even believe were already almost to Thanksgiving. You know what that means though, don't you? That means next Friday I am free to get our Christmas Tree and start decorating! 

Today I started the day with some yoga and stretching. My whole body feels so tight and so crowded. Especially in my hips! It almost feels like all of my flexibility is gone right now. 

This feels heavenly on my hips, my pelvis, my back and my tail.
My body is doing so much amazing work right now and I'm trying to give it exactly what it needs. But the limitations can be tough to swallow. Especially during the third trimester when things seem to change daily. 
All of this change is indicative of the vibrant little girl who is growing inside me right now. I try to remind myself of that daily...especially when my body starts blowing up with water, like a balloon. 

Transitioning from being the person I worked 31 years to become, into the person I never knew I was meant to be, was the biggest change of my entire life. It's an amazing, all encompassing, fearfully beautiful transformation to become a mother.

A big part of this change, for me, was becoming a stay at home mom. 

I went back to work after Aria was born, like planned. I took my 12 week maternity leave and went back to a job that was very meaningful to me. As the weeks passed, I started feeling a pull to be at home. It got stronger and stronger. Long story short, the stars aligned and PJ and I were met with the decision of whether I work or stay home. After weighing our options we decided I would leave my job and stay home full time. 

Transitioning into being a stay at home mom felt very natural in many ways, because I wanted it so badly. So many parts of it were so beautiful and felt so meaningful. I also really embraced the organizational parts of being the main person who kept the house running, because I enjoy that type of stuff. 
But, there were also some big learning curves. After the dust and excitement settles, it can be lonely, heavy and monotonous, at times. 

Over the past year home I've learned a lot about myself through this big transition. I've learned about how to balance both myself and being mommy. When the day's become challenging, refocusing on these things can help me get back to that place where things feel beautiful and meaningful again...or at the very least, a little less insane. 

1. Get dressed every day. 
Every morning I get dressed, put on a little make up and do my hair. Just taking time to take care of myself and feel good about how I look, helps remind me that while I'm mommy, I'm also a beautiful, ass kicking woman. 

And just incase you're wondering...workout clothes do count as getting dressed. As long as you feel good in them...rock whatever makes you feel sassy. I actually feel best when I'm wearing running or yoga tights, a top and a pair of toms. 

2. Make the bed.
I can't give any concrete evidence for why this helps...but it makes such a huge difference on how I feel about the day. Just try it. It's so helpful. 

3.  Have a plan.
This is a huge one for me. We have a weekly plan that we stick to pretty well. Our schedule consists of one consistent activity per day. This way the day doesn't just go by in a blur without really accomplishing anything. Also, just that little bit of structure is helpful for both Aria and I. She knows that on Mondays she can expect the library class. If it's Thursday she goes to gymnastics. Etc. Etc. 
There is still plenty of open time during the days to make last minute plans, run errands, go to the grocery store and get other things done. Or even to just decide to snuggle and watch a movie. But just having that one consistent activity can really break up the days and the week.  

Here is our weekly "schedule":
Monday: Library Class
Tuesday: My Gym Class
Wednesday: Pizza Wednesday at Grandparents
Thursday: Gymnastics
Friday: Play Date

4. Get out of the house.
In addition to our weekly plan, I try to get us out of the house as much as possible. This serves a few purposes.

It breaks up the long days. We have fun experiences together. We interact with and meet new people.
The house stays cleaner when we are out. Sometimes when we're having one of those "tough" days, just a change of scenery can make a huge difference. It also gives us a chance to get creative. Aria LOVES having a choice between two things... so I can come up with 2 options of things for us to do, and she get's to pick. She is always tickled with getting to "pick" what we do.

Here are some of the random things we get out of the house to do. I'm big on not spending money, so as often as possible, we opt for something free.

Park - Sometimes the park down the street, sometimes we will drive to another town to find a new park.

Petco - It might sound silly, but we have a blast in Petco. Aria loves looking at the fish and turtles. We also always see friendly dogs with their owners. The employees know us and are so nice. We finish up the trip picking out treats from the treat bar, for the dogs. It ends up costing about $3 at most.

Library - There is a library the next town over that has an awesome play area.

Walk - We take walks around the neighborhood looking for animals.

Visit - Grandma at work.

Beach - Now that the weather is colder, we bundle up and walk the boardwalk.

Feed the ducks - If you live near any water, this is a fun activity that never get's old for toddlers.

Walk the mall - We go before the mall opens and start at one end, and walk to the other. Sometimes we wear our colorful track suits, just like the ladies who walk the mall. Before 10am, the mall is empty, so we can walk, run, be silly and most importantly...get energy out ;)

5. Use nap time for yourself.
I used to spend Aria's nap time cleaning and getting things done around the house. Then I started to realize that was literally the only time of the day that I was alone, not taking care of anyone. Now I use nap time for myself. I relax, drink some kombucha, surf the internet, blog, do yoga.

I need this time for myself. It helps keep me balanced and reminds me to take care of myself. 

I clean the house throughout the day, while Aria is awake. She want's to help, and I welcome the help...although it makes things go a little slower. I think it also helps her learn a little of responsibility, rather than growing up thinking things magically end up done. 

6. Keep a planner.
Although my to do list is constantly, incredibly long, I still find that keeping a planner and writing it all out, allows me to let go of some of weight that I would otherwise be carrying. Throughout the day I check my planner, cross of what we've accomplished, and make progress on what needs to be done. Rarely does a day result in everything being crossed off. But just seeing the progress that was made, is inspiring.

Not to mention, being in charge of the families appointments, events, and finances, it just helps me keep my head on straight. 

7. Get moving.
Getting any exercise is incredibly beneficial for the mind and body! Aside from the obvious physical benefits...exercise also helps with stress and mental fatigue, it's a natural energy booster, it improves sleep, helps with focus, prevents cognitive decline, and helps you tap into creativity...just to name a few.

Now, as a busy mom, I do realize that it can sometimes be hard to get out to the gym. Because of that fact, I do a lot of workouts from home. I wake up an hour before Aria, to get in a workout. Or after she goes to bed, I spend the first 30 - 45 minutes doing some strength training, yoga or pilates. When I have an extra hand, I take those opportunities to get out of the house to the gym or for a run! I know the thought of giving up sleep, or that coveted alone time in the evening, sounds less than ideal...but trust me, it's totally worth it.
I am 100% more likely at my best when I get a workout in. 

8. Use the crockpot.
Using the crockpot free's up a ton of extra time in the evening. We put together the crockpot meal early in the morning (together) and then once the evening rolls around it's an easy transition to dinner time. It also saves on dishes to be done. If you're looking for some of our favorite crockpot recipes, check out this post Fav Fall Crockpot Recipes.

9. Straighten up before going to bed at night. 
Sometimes this is the last thing I want to do after a long ass day...but it is one of the best things I can do to ensure that we start off the day on a positive note. I take 20 minutes at the end of the night to buzz around the house and straighten everything up. It makes waking up and starting the day so much nicer, when I walk downstairs to a clean house and an empty sink.

I feel much more ready to tackle the day when it doesn't start with me mentally adding things to my "to do" list, as I walk through the house first thing in the morning! 

10. Have something that excites you. 
It's important to have something just for you. Some sort of outlet to express yourself. For me it's blogging and teaching/personal training in fitness, health and wellness.

I absolutely love writing, sharing, and creating on this blog!
I also love being able to help women find their healthy place through fitness, wellness and food. To help them find the tools to be empowered to make the decisions that are right for them! It's no secret that I truly believe in the extraordinary strength of women and I am so passionate about using that strength to be the best version of ourselves...and kick a little ass along the way.

How do you manage things as a SAHM?

How was your transition to being home? 

34 Weeks

Monday, November 16, 2015
Good morning! How was everyones weekend? Ours was nice...but a little funky. We have a cold running through our house. While PJ and I can tough it out, it has knocked Aria on her butt. She's pretty miserable. Poor thing. 
We've been having lots of soup and lots of rest. 

The good news is it should have moved it's way though the house and out, by Thanksgiving. 
Speaking of Thanksgiving...Are you running the FREE Virtual Gratitude 5k with us on Thanksgiving? You could win some great prizes just for participating! Check out the post for more info: Virtual Gratitude 5k

Baby's size: 17.75 inches, the size of a cantaloupe. I'd be willing to bet, this beast is actually the size of a litter of puppies.

Weight gained: 27 pounds. With Aria I gained 33 pounds total. I think I'll be surpassing that this time. I have a healthy diet. I exercise. But man I just keep putting on the pounds.

Overall: The third trimester exhaustion has set in. Aria has been waking up a lot at night lately, as well. She's old enough now that her imagination is running wild. The minute she wakes up at night, instead of putting herself back to sleep, she tiptoes into our room, like the night stalker, and get's 2 inches from my face to start whispering "Mommy". I'll pull her up into our bed to see what's going on. Sometimes she yammers on about something on her mind or a dream she had. Then boom, she's asleep again. Occasionally I'll get up and go lay with her in her bed, but most of the time I'm so tired that rolling my walrus self out of bed is out of the question.

Symptoms: Heartburn. Oh the heartburn. My breasts have started to hurt as well. I can tell that my hormones are starting to shift because of the changes in some of the things my body is producing. I know that's probably so disgusting that I just said that...but I'm just being real with ya'll.
Each time your hormones shift during pregnancy, that's one surefire way to tell.
I'm having a lot of random cramping and tightening. My uterus seems to be practicing for the big event.

Emotions: My emotions have been up and down lately. I've cried a lot more than usual about all kinds of strange things. I'm also feeling overwhelmed a lot, which is indicative of hormone shifts for me.

Cravings: Orange Juice all the time. For the first time this pregnancy, I actually asked PJ to go out to get something to satisfy a craving. I just couldn't go on another minute without a giant glass of orange juice on Saturday night.
I've also been craving eggs benedict.

Aversions: The smell of parmesan cheese.

Exercise: My exercise has changed the past week. I mentioned the other day that I had a funky run. The baby has had a bit of a growth spurt and that put my body over the edge. On my run, last Wednesday, I started having contractions. Real contractions that started in my uterus and extended down into my legs. I stopped running and walked back to my in-laws. PJ and I sat outside together, while I breathed and centered my mind...and drank a lot of water. After a few minutes they subsided.

I've replaced runs with walks. Lots of walking. I'm still doing yoga, strength training and pilates regularly.

My body feels so big and really stiff right now. Stretching and yoga feel the best during this stage of change. Aside from whatever my workout is during the day, I also stretch before bed.

Movement: Zoe moves like crazy. She is so much more active than Aria was, and I thought Aria was very active. Her butt is up so high, and she's constantly kicking and punching. Sometimes it feels like she's doing her own triathlon in there.
I may or may not have daydreams of Aria, Zoe and I doing triathlons together in 15 years.

Nursery: Zoe's room is finally coming together. We moved the furniture in this weekend. Aria was very excited to help. She brought in her little wooden tool kit and helped PJ put the crib together. When they were finished, she even brought her pillow and one of her blankets in for Zoe. It was so sweet.

Intuition? I don't know what it is...but I just have a "feeling" about this baby. I think the feeling may be that she will come early. Obviously I'm not completely sure... It's something though. She's up to something.

I had a "feeling" when I was pregnant with Aria, as well, and it ended up being that she was planning to literally sprint out of my womb in less than 5 hours, a week early.

Enjoy your Monday friends. We're off to the grocery stores.

{Postpartum} Birth Plan

Friday, November 13, 2015
Happy Friday friends. How are you? Things here are going well. I'm psyched that it's Friday! 

I had a minor bump in the road with running this week, which was kind of disappointing. 

On my last run I started to experienced some very uncomfortable contractions. My belly was fully contracting and they were extending down into my legs. Of coarse I stopped running, and walked the rest of the mile. When I returned to my in laws, I drank a lot of water, and sat outside with my husband, deep breathing and trying to relax my mind and body. 

It was a little disappointing because I'm 34 weeks along and I was hoping to run all the way until the big day...but the pregnant body is wise and it was trying to tell me something. I remember experiencing similar happenings around this time, with my last pregnancy. I tend to grow very low babies and they put a lot of pressure in my pelvis, hips and on my pelvic floor, earlier than usual. 

That's okay though. For the immediate time I've replaced runs with long walks, strength training, yoga and pilates. And you know what...all of those feel good and are still challenging!
Of coarse, at this size, rolling out of bed is challenging ;)

I'm really excited to share this prenatal yoga video, I've been doing, with you guys! It's a flow for strength and stability. It's a really awesome work for the pelvis and the pelvic floor, to get you ready for the changes of the third trimester, and for birth. I really like the teacher and her style. I especially love the attention she pays to preparing the muscles of the lower body, to have good strength for labor, and the postpartum healing process. 
The workout itself is perfect for the second and third trimester.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Preparing for Birth. You can find it here
I have had a number of questions about making a birth plan, what each of the options I talked about in that post meant, and why it was important to us. So, I decided to break down how we made our birth plan, into a series of posts to help other mama's out there prepare for their births as well.

The series will include:

Birth Plan: End of Pregnancy
Birth Plan: Labor
Birth Plan: Birth
Birth Plan: Postpartum

I left off last week talking about the Birth portion of the Birth Plan. This week we are discussing the different options we weighed for the Postpartum portion of our birth plan.

These options were unique for us this time around, because for my last birth, we focused so much on the labor and birth parts of our birth plan, that I didn't even realize how many questions are thrown at you postpartum!
As a doula, this is a topic I make sure to offer up to my clients for discussion, so they don't get bombarded with questions that they haven't have time to think about, immediately after giving birth.

This time around we are educated and we've discussed all of our options to determine what is best for us! And it feels empowering!

Immediate skin to skin
Once baby is born, you have the option to have the baby placed directly on your chest, for skin to skin contact. Or if you'd prefer, you can have the baby dried and cleaned up first. 

There are so many documented benefits to immediate skin to skin contact, that we  knew we wanted that. I can also say that for me, immediate skin to skin with Aria was the most natural feeling thing I have ever experienced. 

Cord Clamping/Cutting
The evidence behind delayed cord cutting suggests that delaying cutting of the cord until it stops pulsating, can be very beneficial to the infant. It gives the baby normal, healthy blood volume for life outside the womb. It offers baby a full count of red blood cells, stem cells and immune cells, and helps baby to maintain positive iron stores. 

If you are planning to bank cord blood, and you are hoping to delay cord clamping, that may be a good discussion to have with your care provider. Research suggests that even if you choose to do cord blood banking, you can still delay cord clamping. However, I've had clients who's care providers did not offer delayed cord clamping, if they are cord blood banking, for various different reasons. I've also had clients who's care providers didn't believe in the benefits of delayed clamping, so it's always a good question to ask if it's something important to you.

Routine Pitocin
Once the baby is born most care providers give a small amount routine pitocin to help ensure safe delivery of the placenta. If you have an IV, it may be through the IV. If not, it may be in the form of a shot. I've also seen care providers give it in the form of a small tab that dissolves in mom's mouth. 

For my birth with Aria, I felt pretty upset when I found out that I was given pitocin without my consent. It's common practice in most birth places, and many mom's don't know they've received it. 
For this birth, I don't want any procedures done without my consent, so this was a question I asked my care providers early on. While, I'm not against being given pitocin after the baby is born, for the purpose of delivering the placenta and decreasing the likelihood of bleeding, I am against anything being done without my knowledge. 

Save Placenta
If you choose to save your placenta, most birth places require you fill out a release form. Some don't like to release the placenta, but most of the time you can work it out with your care provider. 

I wanted to make sure we could keep my placenta for encapsulation. I struggled with the dramatic shift in hormones after having Aria and I want to try placenta encapsulation, to attempt in helping with the shift. I've seen placenta encapsulation really ease new mothers emotions and hormones, a great deal. If there's anything I can do to help with that dramatic shift and the emotions that follow, I'm open to it.

 There are a number of other recorded benefits to placenta encapsulation. If this is something you're interested in learning more about, you can find a great deal of information for both sides, online. 

Routine tests and vaccinations
This was one area where PJ and I neglected to do much research last time. There are a couple of routine tests and vaccinations following baby's birth. Some you have the option to waive. Their requirements can vary with different birth places, so asking your care provider about the routine tests and vaccinations after baby is born, is a great question! And then doing your own research to see what they're all about and if they're important to you.

Some of those tests/vaccinations are:

Vitamin K - for blood clotting.
Erythromycin - to avoid transmitting chlamydia or gonorreah to baby, and in rare cases causing blindness
Hepatitus B Vaccine - to catch Hepatits B as early as possible. You can generally opt to do this with your pediatrician instead of in your birth place.
Circumcision - Some options for circumcision are: at your birth place, some pediatricians offer it, a mohel, or opting not to circumcise.
PKU screening - heel prick blood test to detect certain metabolic disorders that can be devastating to baby.

Bathing Baby
Within a few hours of baby's birth, the staff at your chosen birth place will offer to bathe your baby. Whether or not you choose to, is up to you. Some parent's choose to have baby bathed in those first 24 hours. Some wait a little longer than 24 hours, but do it before heading home. Some also choose not to bathe baby at all while in the hospital or birth center, and wait until they get home. 

When babies are born, their skin is extremely sensitive. To protect it, babies are born covered in a white waxy substance called vernix. While the vernix protects the sensitive skin, it also protects from infection when massaged into the skin, acts as a natural moisturizer, and can keep baby's temperature regulated. 

How long you want to wait to bathe baby is completely up to you. It may be a good thing to think about before baby comes, because you'll be asked in those first few hours, what you'd prefer. 

We won't be bathing the baby while we are in the birth center. Since we will be leaving the birth center within 12 hours of birth, her first bath will happen at home a few days after birth. I want to keep the protective vernix on her skin a little longer. 

Just a note: With any of these postpartum/newborn procedures you opt to do (aside from circumcision), you can request they be done in the room with you.  

Enjoy your Friday friends! We're off to the chiropractor and then trying to fight off this cold that's attempting to invade! Happy baby planning!

What was/is on your postpartum birth plan?

Is there anything you are doing different the second time around? 

Favorite Fall Crockpot Recipes

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Happy Fall and soon to be Winter! I mean...Thursday. It's coldddd here...but as you already know, I'm totally loving it. Hats, scarves, boots...bring it on.

Of coarse I say that now. Just wait until I go into labor and there's 5 feet of snow on the ground and I can't get to the birth center.

One of my favorite ways to simplify our crazy week is using the Crockpot!

Growing up I was not at all into cooking. I didn't know how to cook anything, nor was I in any way, interested in learning. I survived my college years eating salads from a bag, pasta and whatever my friends were cooking when I casually invited myself over, during dinner time.
I actually remember numerous family members trying to buy me a Crockpot when I went away to college. I put up such resistance! I just couldn't understand why everyone and their mother was trying to give me this thing!

Now I bow down to my Crockpot! We use it 2 -3 times per week through the fall and winter. Especially now that things are so busy during the day. It takes a ton of stress off of dinner time and even free's up time for me during the evening, that I would normally be prepping dinner. It's also another fun way for Aria to help cook, which she loves to do.

 Our favorite Fall Crockpot Recipes:

Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken - No 2 Pencil

The day we started making this chicken, we never bought another rotisserie chicken again. It's so easy and the family loves it! It also yields a ton of leftovers for lunches and other meals. Aria loves when we make quesadillas with the leftovers! Also, instead of foil under the chicken, we use carrots!

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs - All Day I Dream About Food

I used to shy away from cooking spaghetti squash because it felt so tedious to do in the oven. Cooking it in the crockpot is so easy and sooooo delicious!

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Pork - Host the Toast

If you want to lighten up the spice, you can go easy on the jalapeno or skip it all together. Either way, you'll have a bangin sandwich!

Easy White Chicken Chili - Gimme Some Oven

Our house is full of chili lovers. When we veer off the traditional path, this is most definitely a favorite. I always get compliments on the avocados! They add a new touch and a different texture.
It's a perfect dish for a cold day!

Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala - Creme de la Crumb

Chicken Marsala in the crockpot is completely different than any time I've ever cooked it in a pan. It's so juicy and just perfectly seasoned.

Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers - Pinch of Yum

I am in love with these peppers! And the fact that they are meatless doesn't phase anyone in the house!

Crockpot Beef Carnitas - Eat Live Run

This is PJ's favorite dish on this list. He says he could eat them every day. The flank steak can be a bit pricey, but in all honestly, it's TOTALLY worth it! The warm corn tortillas are are the bomb too!

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies - Damn Delicious

We love this meal because it's a complete meal in one pot. Chicken, veggies and potatoes. No need to dirty any other dishes (which I love) and everything is right there ready for you. Also, the way everything cooks in the juices adds a lot of flavor!

Have you always loved your crockpot?

What are your favorite crockpot recipes? 

Running in the Third Trimester

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Is anyone else having an awesome day? I totally am. Last night I went to bed about 2 hours earlier than usual. I needed it!!!

Yesterday, as the day went on, I started to feel like absolute hell. Mind, body, soul...everything.
Being pregnant the second time is so different than the first. During my first pregnancy I recognized when I needed rest and I made sure to rest.

This time around it doesn't even cross my mind. Not that I'd really have time to do that anyways. Every morning I go into mommy auto pilot, just "gettin shit done". That's really the best way to put it. Before I know it, it's 3pm and I'm frustrated because I have no energy left and I just can't for the life of me figure out why?

Then I look down at my belly...
Oh yea, I'm SUPER pregnant right now.

Somehow I forget that I am pregnant constantly. Poor Zoe. I guess second child problems start early.

I've been taking full advantage of my pelvic injury finally healing, and I have been getting in as many (short) runs as possible over these past 4 weeks. It has felt incredible to get back to running. The wind isn't exactly whipping through my hair, or anything like that...
It has just felt good to get back to something I love and something that I do just for me.

Missing out on 6 weeks of running, and then coming back 6 weeks further along in this pregnancy, I have definitely been met with some changes from where I left off at 24 weeks pregnant.

I do recognize all of the things I'm noticing and feeling, from running during the third trimester in my pregnancy with Aria.

This is how I've been approaching running these past few weeks...

Pay attention to everything my body is trying to communicate. 

This can be a tough concept for athletes, as we are conditioned to push through discomfort. I know it was for me during my first pregnancy. I had to remind myself over and over again that when my pregnant body talks, it's very wise and it's time to listen.

Third trimester running can feel pretty tough on my body, even being in good shape. The third trimester is a time of significant and fast changes. The body is preparing for labor (yes, even this early), hormones are constantly fluctuating, and the baby is putting on weight quickly. The round ligaments are getting more and more overtaxed as my belly grows outwards.

The extra blood flow and internal pressure of the baby feel much different in the third trimester. These two factors I find that I have to pay especially close attention to. The extra blood flow during pregnancy can be upwards of 40 - 50 percent more than is usually in the body. This can cause aches and other discomfort in your legs and groin area, as well as light headedness. I'm experiencing the aching in my groin and legs, even when I don't run. It's just a part of pregnancy for me.

I also have a short torso, with little space between where my hip bones end and my ribs begin. So I grow babies outwards and downwards. My babies sit low low low, which introduces a lot of pressure into my hips and pelvic floor. The further along I get, the more I have to be aware of how that's affecting things.
To help with this throughout pregnancy, in addition to running and working out, I do a lot of pelvic floor work.

Be aware of my balance. 

I have an extra 25 pounds all on the front of my belly and most of the time I carry it just fine. There are those moments where I unexpectedly lose my balance. I've tumbled over a few times playing with Aria and slid down the stairs a couple of times. When I'm not pregnant I've been known to trip and meet the pavement with my knees or my face.
I take special care to keep my feet on solid and even ground these days.

Letting go of the runners high...for now.

Running, one of my favorite things, now feels somewhat awkward, which can be tough to digest. I miss the runners high I usually get from running. On one hand I feel like one strong mamma jamma to be kicking butt this far into my pregnancy. But on the other hand, in the third trimester my runs consist of me shuffling along slowly and I don't feel the same satisfaction when I'm finished.

I do have to say I enjoy the look on peoples faces as they see me go by. ;)

Keep it short and stay close.

This trimester I've limited my runs to a one mile loop right out the front door of my in-laws house. That way I'm nice and close incase I need anything. If I feel like a longer run than a mile, I can just loop back around again.
Plus, having the baby in the head down, right there on my bladder, position, I can't go more than a mile without having to use the bathroom.

Walk breaks are my friend. 

If I feel like I need to walk, I do. Honestly, the last 2 weeks, I've worked some walking into all of my runs. During the third trimester I find that my walk breaks are due to the cause of discomfort in my uterus, round ligaments, groin area, or because I start to cramp. It doesn't have anything to do with being winded or tired, which I feel is good. Hopefully thats a testament to the hard work I've done to keep my cardiovascular system in shape.

Accepting wherever my body is that day.

During this trimester I feel like my body changes day to day. Rather than sticking to a firm training schedule, I gauge how my body feels that day. If running isn't in the cards, I accept it without disappointment. Instead, I'll get in some exercise that does feel good that day. Some of my favorite alternative workouts during the third trimester are Yoga, Strength Training, squats squats squats, Pilates, Barre and a good old long walk.
Just a tip...all of these classes you can find online for free. 

If you do find that you have to stop running earlier than you were hoping, it's okay to cut yourself some slack. It doesn't make you any less of a runner! You've done an amazing thing for yourself and your baby, thus far, by taking care of your body. And you still are doing something amazing, by recognizing and respecting your body. Just because it's time to stop running this pregnancy, doesn't mean you have to stop working out! You can still get some great training in.

There are so many variables that affect how running feels throughout your pregnancy, that are all out of our control. Every body is different, every pregnancy is different and even every day is different. That's why it's important to pay attention to your body and how you are feeling each and every run.

I'm starting my 34th week of pregnancy. Running is changing each week...sometimes each day. I feel my last run for this pregnancy approaching. I was hoping to run until my 40th week this time around, but I can tell that my body has other plans. And I'm okay with that.

Because I also know that I am grateful to my body for being strong and amazing. It's carried me and my babies through two healthy pregnancies, while working hard to stay fit. Whenever that last run comes, I'll be ready to accept it.
For I know that last run will be followed soon by the beginning of rediscovering myself again, through running. Making and reaching new goals. Challenging myself in new ways. And learning new bounds for how extraordinary the female body is.

What were your favorite workouts during pregnancy?

How long were you able to run into your pregnancy?

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