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My Favorite Prenatal Workouts

Today I’m linking up with Katie’s Healthy Habits link-up! Thanks for hosting!

The information being shared in this post is based upon my own experiences and should not be taken as medical or professional advice. Please speak to a medical professional before making changes to or beginning a prenatal exercise regime.

A number of weeks ago, I wrote about my thoughts on prenatal exercise. Luckily, through the majority of my pregnancy, I’ve been able to continue to workout; although, being 27 weeks pregnant, my stamina has definitely slowed down and that’s why I mainly focus on workouts that are designed specifically for pregnancy because they’re much more gentle on the pregnant body. So today, I wanted to share some of my favorite prenatal workouts with you.

Suzanne Bowen’s Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre Workout

Prenatal BarreThis is the first prenatal workout DVD I purchased after reading Kim’s review of this workout on her blog. It quickly turned into one of my favorites and is one that I do at least once or twice a week. It’s my first introduction to the Barre method, which by the way, I’m loving. It’s gentle enough for pregnancy, but quite effective. I definitely feel it by the end of the DVD and the next day.

It’s broken up into four segments – Lean Lower Body, Slim Upper Body & Core, Cardio Sculpt and Aligned Stretch. Each of these segments are approximately 20 minutes long with the exception of the stretching segment which is approximately 10 minutes. I’ll either do the entire DVD or sometimes I just do two or three of the segments depending on how I’m feeling. The only equipment needed is a chair, a mat and a light set of dumbbells.

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga has really been a life saver for me throughout my pregnancy so far. I get stiff easily and my muscles and joints can get very achy, so I need to do lots and lots of stretching to ease the discomfort. Yoga is perfect for that! I attend a local prenatal yoga class at least once a week. You know I’m a fan of group fitness, so I love being in that type of setting, plus it’s great to connect with some other moms to be. The instructor is very knowledgeable and really tailors the class to our needs. She asks us every week what we’re feeling and about our ailments, and based on our responses, she’ll incorporate moves that help to relieve lower back pain, round ligament pain, pelvic pain, etc.

If I can’t get to the class or need some additional yoga sessions during the week, I’ve found several YouTube videos that I’ve really been enjoying. The first one can be found HERE and the second one can be found HERE.

Whether I go to the prenatal yoga class or do one of the YouTube videos, after I’ve completed my session my body always feels so much better and much more limber than before I started. And in addition to stretching, I also love the focus on relaxation and breathing. Being stressed is the last thing you want during pregnancy, so yoga definitely helps calm the mind.

Suzanne Bowen’s Long and Lean Prenatal Workout

Long and Lean PrenatalThis DVD is the newest in my collection of prenatal workouts and so far I’m very pleased with it. This is a non-impact workout that focuses on fusion movements based on dance, Pilates and yoga. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that my fitness level isn’t where it used to be or what, but honestly, I find this workout to be quite challenging – in a good way of course. You will definitely feel the burn!

You use your own body weight, so no equipment is needed expect a mat if you’re working out on a hard surface. It’s broken up into three segments – a standing routine, a mat routine and a stretching routine, which leads right into relaxation segment where you can meditate and enjoy the calming music. The DVD also includes a bonus postnatal Pilates mat workout that focuses on strengthening and toning your abs after baby (obviously, I haven’t tried that routine yet).

Jessica Smith TV

I discovered Jessica’s YouTube channel while searching for prenatal workout DVDs and I was pleasantly surprised to find that she offered 3 full length prenatal routines. The first is a 20-Minute Low Impact Prenatal Cardio Workout, which I like to combine with the 20-Minute Prenatal Total Body Strength Workout and the 15-Minute Prenatal Total Body Stretch Routine. All of these routines are low impact, but will raise that heart rate to a safe level for pregnancy. The only equipment needed is a mat and a light set of dumbbells for the strength routine.

I’ve only tried the prenatal routines so far and seeing as I’ve really enjoyed them, I look forward to giving her other workouts a try after the babies are born. She has quite a variety of workouts and has released several DVDs, so there’s something for everyone even if you’re not pregnant.

Denise Austin: Fit & Firm Pregnancy

Fit and Firm PregnancyAnd last, but not least, this a workout DVD that was lent to me by one of my co-workers. It’s tailored for all aspects of your pregnancy, and focuses on strength, “perfect pregnancy posture” as well as reshaping your body after baby is born. The first segment is 5 minutes in length and focuses on breathing and core awareness, then there is a 20 minute cardio workout, which is adapted for all three trimesters as well as two 20 minute toning segments for the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. And finally, there is a bonus 10 minutes bounce back workout that focuses on ab training. The only equipment needed is a mat, a chair and a light set of dumbbells for the toning routines.

You can easily do one of the workouts or all three depending on your fitness level for that day. This DVD is very low impact and, in my opinion, not overly challenging; however, it works perfectly for days when I want to move my body, but I’m feeling tired or just not feeling myself.

And for more awesome prenatal workout ideas, be sure and check out Brittany’s post where she shares some of her favorites as well!

What’s your favorite prenatal workout?
Have you ever tried the Barre method?

Are you a fan of yoga?

KEEP IN TOUCH!

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WIAW #46 – Blueberry Muffins and Cookie Dough

It’s been a LONG time since I joined in on the WIAW party, so I’m excited to be back today. Thanks to Jenn for hosting!

Over the past several weeks, I tried a few new recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, so today I have not one but two recipe reviews for you. The first one is Healthy Blueberry Muffins from Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean. I just so happen to LOVE blueberry muffins. They’re by far my favorite, but they can be super unhealthy and fattening, so I will thrilled to discover this particular healthy version, and now that blueberry season is here, I have an excuse to make them.

Blueberry Muffins2First and foremost, this recipe is super simple and I typically have all the ingredients on hand, which makes them very convenient to whip up last minute. One of my favorite parts of these muffins is that not only do they taste delicious, but they’re very moist. I mean, one of the worse things is a dried out muffin, right!? Well, these are not at all that way. They just melt in your mouth. BUT, I’ll foreworn you, they’re quite addicting – like I may have had two or three in one sitting! ;-) Oh, and they’re also Justin approved!

Blueberry Muffins1 The second recipe comes from Linz @ Itz Linz. When she posted her recipe for Healthy Cookie Dough, I was more than excited seeing as cookie dough is one of those foods that I absolutely adore. When the recipe has cookie dough in the title, I’m all over it and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint. This recipe requires a minimal amount of ingredients and can be made in a matter of minutes.

Cookie Dough1Oh and did I mention that it tastes exactly like cookie dough, but without the guilt (and the raw eggs)!? Yay! You can top it off with any of your favorite toppings, but you can never go wrong with plain old chocolate chips. In fact, as I’m typing this up, I think when I get home, I need to whip myself up another batch of this stuff. It’s just that good!

Cookie Dough2Well, there you have it! So be sure and check out Lindsay’s and Linz’s recipes. You certainly will not be disappointed!

What’s your favorite type of muffin?
Are you a cookie dough fan?
Favorite cookie dough mix-ins?

KEEP IN TOUCH!

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Week 27 – Pregnancy Brain

Hey there friends! How are you all doing?

I just need to complain for a moment about one thing – PREGNANCY BRAIN! I mentioned this a while ago, but oh my gosh, has it gotten worse. There are days where my mind is literally barely function. I tell my co-workers to tell me nothing important because I won’t remember it after about a minute. No joke! I can’t spell, I can’t get my words out sometimes and I literally drop EVERYTHING…I mean EVERYTHING! It’s insanity! The dropping stuff thing is REALLY driving me nuts, especially since bending down to pick something up is no easy task these days! I’ve become such a klutz. I can only hope that this will get better once the babies are born! Ugh!

Okay, okay, enough complaining, now on to my 27 week bumpdate!

27 weeksBabies’ size? A rutabaga (13.6 to 14.8 ins and 1.5 to 2.5 lbs).

Maternity clothes? I ordered a couple of maxi skirts from PinkBlush Maternity last week for a few special occasions coming up in the near future (e.g. maternity photos, my baby shower and a wedding). They’re supposed to arrive within the next couple of days. I’m crossing my fingers that they fit!

Stretch marks? No!

Sleep? I had a few nights where I had a hard time getting comfortable, but overall not too bad.

Best moment this week? A few nights ago, the babies were moving around like crazy. I had Justin sit on the couch next so he could see their movements. We sat their for a few minutes staring at my stomach when finally one of them moved (it was a big one too!). Well, it startled Justin and jumped like a jack in the box was going to pop out! It was hysterical! I died laughing! hahaha…so funny!

Miss anything? The usual…runny eggs, cold cuts, sushi, my typical workouts, sleeping on my back, etc.

Movement? All the time! They’re movements are getting stronger and stronger by the day. Sometimes I think they’re doing somersaults in there!

Food Cravings? Ummm…none that I can think of.

Anything making you queasy or sick? I’m still getting those bouts of nausea once in while for no reason at all. It comes and goes as it pleases. I imagine it has to do with the hormonal fluctuations.

Genders? A BOY and a GIRL!

Labor Signs? No.

Symptoms? Mostly the same syptoms as I described a couple of weeks ago; although, my lower back (especially on the left side) has been really hurting quite a bit these days. I’ve been doing A LOT of stretching and yoga to help ease some of the discomfort.

Belly Button – in or out? Out!

Wedding Rings – on or off? On.

Happy or Moody? Happy, happy and happy!

Looking Forward To? Our friend is coming over on Saturday (which also happens to be my birthday!) to take maternity photos! I can’t wait!

Did you experience pregnancy brain during your pregnancy?

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Evoke Healthy Foods Muesli Review

A number of weeks ago, I was sent some muesli cereal from Evoke Healthy Foods. Evoke makes “nutritionally-focused muesli cereals.” All of their products are non-GMO project certified, contain 5 grams of sugar or less per serving, are 100% whole grain and are vegan and kosher. Their product lines include certified organic, gluten free and low fat options. One of my favorite aspects of these products is that the ingredients profile is minimal and that they provide great nutritional benefits. All of their products contain:

  • No refined sugars or artificial sweeteners.
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
  • No cholesterol.
  • No sodium.
  • And are not baked or toasted, so their are not made with harmful chemicals that are associated with toasted/extruded grains.

Pretty impressive, huh!?!

evoke-logo-web

Although, I knew about muesli through the healthy living blogging community, I had never had a chance to give it a try until now, and I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious and hardy it was. I’ve eaten it cooked hot like regular oatmeal, I’ve added it to plain Greek yogurt, to smoothies and I’ve made Gina’s Breakfast Cookie Dough Cereal. All options are delicious!

The muesli cereals come in resealable bags, which is perfect to keep at work or to travel with. Plus, there are a number of different options to choose from, so lets take a look!

MORNING ZEN

Morning ZenMorning Zen is gluten free and sweetened with nothing but fruit. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is high in fiber. It contains certified gluten-free oats, raisins, almonds, cranberries (cranberries, apple juice, sunflower oil), flax seeds and pumpkin seeds.

ANTIOXIDANT

AntioxidentAs the name implies, this muesli blend is rich in antioxidants. It’s sweetened with nothing but fruit and is low in fat. It contains organic oats, goji berries, blueberries (blueberries, apple juice, sunflower oil), organic rye, walnuts and organic cocoa nibs. This one happens to be one of my favorites; hence, the almost empty bag! 

CLASSIC SWISS

Classic SwissClassic Swiss is certified organic, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is high in fiber and contains 40% fruit and nuts. It contains organic oats, organic raisins, organic almonds, organic cranberries (organic cranberries, organic evaporated cane juice, organic sunflower oil), organic flax seeds, organic dates in organic oat flour and organic rye.

SUPER MUESLI

Super MuesliSuper Muesli is wheat free, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is high in fiber. It contains organic rolled oats, organic cranberries (organic cranberries, organic evaporated cane juice, organic sunflower oil), almonds, coconut, chia seeds, hemp seeds and quinoa flakes.

ATHLETE FUEL

Athletic FuelAthlete Fuel is certified organic, sweetened with nothing but fruit, is the highest in protein and lowest in sugar and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In contains organic  oats, organic raisins, organic almonds, organic golden flaxseed, organic rye, organic pumpkin seeds and organic cashews.

There’s not a bad one in the bunch and with all these great options, there is something for everybody. So, be sure and stop by Evoke Healthy Foods website to find out how to purchase these products, to check out their blog and some great recipes using the products described above.

Have you ever tried Evoke Healthy Foods products?
Have you ever tried muesli before?
What’s your favorite way to eat muesli?

Disclaimer: Although I was sent the above products, I was not compensated in any way to give this review. All opinions are of my own.

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Week 26 – Third Trimester

Hi friends! So, today is a big day because it marks my entrance into my third trimester! Eeeeek! How did I get here so quickly!?! I feel like I just found out I was pregnant, but in reality that was months ago. Wow! AND, as the time continues to fly by, I’m getting more and more excited. Everything is really starting to come together, which is a big deal for Miss Type A personality over here! ;-) It’s a great feeling to be checking things off our to-do-list and to see progress. I’m definitely feeling less panicked than I was in the beginning on many levels. I know (or at least right now, I can only imagine) it’s going to be A LOT of work having two babies, but I know Justin and I are up to the task. We make a good team and; although, I’m sure we’ll have some tough days ahead, I know it’ll all work itself out in the end and it’ll all be SO worth it!

Okay, time for this weeks bumpdate!

26 WeeksBabies’ size? A head of lettuce (13.6 to 14.8 ins and 1.5 to 2.5 lbs).

Maternity clothes? No.

Stretch marks? No.

Sleep? Still going pretty well!

Best moment this week? A few people aren’t able to make it to the baby shower and they’ve already started sending gifts, so its been pretty exciting to come home and see boxes at the garage door. I love being able to put those items in the nursery.

Miss anything? The other day, I was going through my closet to see if any of my regular tops still worked at all and after trying on numerous things, the answer to that question quickly turned into a NO! Later, I told Justin that I miss my old clothes and I definitely do. I didn’t want to by a huge wardrobe of maternity clothes because in reality, I would only be wearing them for a short period of time, so right now, I don’t have a huge selection to choose from. I try to be creative with my outfits and mix things up as much as I can, but I’m definitely looking forward to wearing my pre-pregnancy items again.

Movement? Yes! They’re movements are getting stronger day by day and my stomach is starting to get somewhat distorted at times as they change position. We can also see they’re movements from the outside as well. It’s so amazing to watch my stomach move all around and know that our little ones are in there. I can’t wait to meet them!

Food Cravings? Not really.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Not anything in particular, but sometimes out of the blue, I get super nauseous and then after a little while, it passes.

Genders? A BOY and a GIRL!

Labor Signs? No.

Symptoms? I’m experiencing a lot of the same symptoms as I mentioned last week – none of which are at all severe. In reality, it actually was a pretty good week. The only new symptom is on Wednesday, I noticed a slight numbness and tingling on my outer left thigh that went down to my knee. Justin looked it up on the Internet and the likely explanation is that it’s cause by a pinched nerve in my back – probably due to the position of the babies. Although, it really hasn’t bothered me too much and has eased up a bit since then.

Belly Button – in or out? Out!

Wedding Rings – on or off? On.

Happy or Moody? Happy and getting really excited that I’m entering into the final phase of my pregnancy journey!

Looking Forward To? This week I’m focusing on organization of the nursery. I touched on this a bit last week, but I really want to focus on how I want to organize diapers, clothes, toys, books, etc. I already have some ideas in mind (thank you Pinterest!), but now I just need to make those ideas a reality.

Current mamas and mamas to be, what were your thoughts entering into the third trimester? Were you nervous, anxious, scared, excited, etc.?

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13 Tips to Stay Healthy While Pregnant

Hi all! Happy Monday!

Pregnancy is such an important time to take care of your body and be as healthy as possible not only for yourself, but also for that little one growing inside you. With that being said, Jenni @ Fitzala put together an amazing post where I, among other mamas and mamas to be are sharing some great tips on staying healthy while pregnant, so be sure and head on over to Fitzala to check it out!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a 26 week bumpdate. See you then!

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Drool Worthy Pins #12

Firstly, how in the world can it be the end of July already!?! Summer is going by so quickly; although, I’m not complaining because that brings us that much closer to meeting our new little ones! :-) And secondly, since it’s the end of the month it’s time for another edition of Drool Worthy Pins. There are so many recipes on my MUST Try Dishes board on Pinterest, it’s ridiculous, but yet I keep pinning anyway. I just can’t help myself! There are just way too many drool worthy dishes out there.

AND, with that being said feast your eyes on these beauties! Happy pinning!

*The links are embedded in the pictures, so you can easily re-pin them if you want*

HONEY LIME PEACH SALSA

CLASSIC MARGHERITA PIZZA

QUINOA, KALE AND SUNDRIED TOMATO

VEGAN ROASTED RED PEPPER PASTA

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE

COOKIE DOUGH FREEZER FUDGE

THE BEST COCONUT FLOUR CHOCOLATE CHUNK BARS

NO BAKE TRIPLE ALMOND BREAKFAST COOKIES

What are you pinning lately?
Do you pin more recipes than you’ll ever get to try?
Which of these recipes will you likely make first?

KEEP IN TOUCH!

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