4 months (mom/baby updates)

I feel like I just wrote the 3 month update, ahh!! I have a happy baby girl who I just want to squeeze and hug all day, and listen to her make noises!  She is awesome.

K at 4 months old ~

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.30.10 PM

Eating – she is eating every 4 hours, which makes it easier. I can’t believe I’m already at that point though. It kind of makes me sad. We went back and forth this past month with 4 to 5 feedings and finally within the last week, it is smooth with 4 feedings. I pump in the early am and before bed to keep my supply up.

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 10.13.32 AM

Sleeping – she is a champ, sleeping for 11-12 hours. Bedtime is around 645-730, and she wakes up between 6:45am and 7:30 as well. She sleeps on her belly, most of the time but spent the last 2 nights on her back.  The middle of this week she was taking 30 min naps and wanted to be held all the time – either teething, 4 month sleep regression, a leap… all of them…
yesterday she was back to long naps and happy in between. Hope it continues!  Naps are around 9-11:30 and 1:30-3:30, 5:30 to 6.  Feeding times are 7:30, 11:30, 3:30 and bedtime.

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 10.18.03 AM

At 4 months, she looks just like her 5-year old big sister!

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 10.19.00 AM

Wake time – such a happy girl! She just learned to jump in the bouncer and thinks it’s hilarious! She is coo-ing and it’s adorable, and the big change we saw this month was with reaching and swatting for objects and grabbing. Look out big sister’s hair when you stick your face into her face – it’s been grabbed and pulled out many many times.  We’re loving it when we imitate her and she tries to repeat the sound we make back to her. Rolling over – I haven’t had a chance to get this on camera yet! She does it in her crib when she’s alone!  She loves and gives big smiles to her sibs.  She is obsessed with the ceiling fans! and lights on the wall/kitchen light. Love when she has the really loud funny laughs too!

Mom updates ~

I thought I was back into my early morning routine and then this week I decided to wake up at 5 to pump and go back to sleep until 6:15 every morning but one. I need the sleep! Am I just getting older? Two of the nights my 3-yo was in visiting in the middle of the night which killed me.

I’m trying to listen to my hunger signs instead of mindlessly snacking and this week has been the best so far.
I think I’m still 9 lbs away from my postpartum weight – it’s really going slowly, but not helping with my eating habits. I’m hungry! I can feel it that I’m not ready to be hard core and strict at this point, so when I do, I’m sure if will come off!  It was nice to one day see my weight within 10 lbs away.  I’m doing 30 minute workouts most days and that’s it. Running 2-3 miles or doing a circuit.

I have been doing 30- minute training sessions that came free with my gym membership on Friday mornings that are timed and intense. Yesterday after muscle ropes was an AMRAP – 10 minutes of 5 rows on the TRX, 8 pushups and 10 squats. It was great! I got in 11 rounds.  I can tell I’m not ready to give 110% = my motivation isn’t there and I’m still tired and sort of unmotivated :/  After I posted about lowering my mileage, I started thinking I should run a 10-miler to prepare for the half marathon and then run the half marathon! But it’s more about not wanting to give my time to the long run(s), and the race day as well.  I do miss the long runs!

I’ve been struggling a little with feeling bored/lonely, and sitting around too much. I like to be on the go, be moving and out. Two of my kids are in school full day, and my 3-year old is with me 2 full days and then all afternoon from 11:30-3:30 when the kids get home.  My patience has been a struggle there.  I have been staying home for naps, and I think I just need to let the morning nap happen on the go. The baby is such a good napper, I like to stay home and let her nap, but it’s so boring for me & her big sis, that I may try to get out and see how that works. I am reading “The Hands Free Revolution” and it really helps give me perspective on everything. I’m really sad that 2 of the kids are in full day school. I miss them being little and it goes by so quickly. When I look at pictures, I realize how much they’ve grown and I’ve definitely been emotional about it!  I question if we made the right decision having more than 2 children, so that we can be sure to give all of our time and attention to everyone!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Thoughts on “The 22-day revolution” by Marco Borges

It’s been 5 days of plant-based eating and I have some thoughts for you! Remember back in 2013 I did The Plan – this would be a similar review and almost a comparison.  The premise behind this book is 3 meals – no snacks, and all plant based eating. You are also supposed to supplement with moderate exercise. The meals in the 22-day revolution are easy to make, and for the most part, satisfying. I like the meals better than those on ‘The Plan’ however, I have found that I need more protein to stay full – so I’ve added nut butter, pumpkin and hemp seeds to meals to help me to stay full.

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.28.59 PM

The portion sizes are uncertain.  Some recipes say the number of servings, but most do not – so you’ll make a recipe and be uncertain if you are supposed to eat it all or just a quarter of it, or half of it. This is pretty important and sort of vague in the book.

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.28.12 PM
2 desserts are allowed in 3 weeks. One  thing that I loved about the plan was that it was realistic in terms of coffee and dark chocolate. You could have an ounce (if I remember correctly) of dark chocolate daily, and after 3 days could drink your one cup of coffee daily. I have still been drinking coffee on this revolution, and still having my dark chocolate. I don’t think it’s realistic to skip a treat or have something to look forward to.


Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.28.52 PM

3 meals a day – this doesn’t really work for me, and I don’t think it’s good for blood sugar. The book says you can snack, but should try not to. I prefer to eat every 2-3 hours when I’m hungry.  Some of the breakfasts are so filling (ex: chia pudding, quinoa) that I didn’t need one in the morning, but the stretch from lunch to dinner, I definitely needed a snack (except the day that I accidentally ate the 6 inch pizza and then realized it was 2 servings. Oops!)  If I’m hungry, I eat! Otherwise I overeat.  So I think there are 2 discrepancies in this book – the lack of clear cut portion sizes when you are making these recipes and the lack of snacks – I think they should be built in and include variety. I need fun things to look forward to like peanut butter balls!

walnut taco salad:

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.29.19 PM

My husband is doing awesome – he’s a meat eater – on this, and finds it easier than “the Plan” which actually included meat. I think the meals are very easy to make, and I’m enjoying the variety that I’m getting into my diet. I’m using it more as a cookbook at this point picking ideas that sound good than a strict diet plan!

pico de gallo:

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.27.38 PM

We liked the cauliflower (roasted) with pumpkin seeds, the pizza looked like cardboard but was edible! the green lean juice was awesome, and the walnut tacos pretty delicious!!

Overall, I’ve added some of the easy recipes to my routine, and have really added variety to my breakfasts which I needed. No more mindless snacking this week and picking at dinner or recipes while I make them (haven’t been making them).  I like the premise behind the plan better to have enough protein in your meal to stay full, and testing what things work for your body. I learned so much from that book!  This book is more about giving me ideas for variety!

Have you tried a plant based challenge? What was your favorite meal?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Less mileage, higher intensity, more time

Here’s a little throwback for you – how I started running less from being a marathoner – but staying fit in the process.

When I became pregnant with #1, I was an avid runner! My first marathon was when I was two years out of college, and I did a few more before having kids along with some half marathons and my favorite distance – 10-milers!  I used to run 7 miles most days before school to start off the day like it was clockwork. I was in great shape and 7 miles was nothing at that point!  (Now 7 miles is a long run :/ ) I started my blog when I was newly pregnant with my son, and ran through the pregnancy while training for the Boston Marathon which was 2 months after my due date!   The first time it was easy. I still remember a colleague telling me I wouldn’t be running marathons after I had kids – it infuriated me!  And I found it easy to keep up my running while not working with just one child, and kept doing marathons after having my second and still enjoyed it!

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 11.10.13 AM

I was in my best shape when #2,  baby Kara G. was 1 year old and completed my first 2 triathlons for some variety. I was really into biking and realized I might even like it more than running!  I also signed up for 2 marathons that year hoping to get a best time at one of them and legitimately train when I found out 3 months before the first one that I was pregnant again!

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 11.04.32 AM

I ended up running the two marathons anyway – and those were the last 2 that I have completed. I have one great regret from finishing that last one – I wish I had grabbed my kids and ran through the finish with them.  Have you ever done it? They would have loved it. I hope I can do that one day. I was so tired and delirious, I wish I was thinking straight.
Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 11.05.22 AM
After #3 and a tough baby, I couldn’t find as much time to train, I started running way too soon after (ran a 10-mile race 10 days after #3 was born), became injured and lost steam. When she was around 5 months old, I discovered with help of a friend studying to become a trainer that less is more. I didn’t need to work out for an hour at a steady state to see results. In fact, that one hour at the same pace most days wasn’t doing much for me.  High intensity shorter workouts were even more effective than longer steady state workouts.  I felt awesome! I was running less but still fit. I managed to have an awesome run at a half marathon last fall without training much at all. My fitness level was at a good place – and bring on pregnancy #4.

Almost 4 months out now, I am getting back into those shorter higher intensity workouts while incorporating foam rolling and lacrosse ball rolling to stretch and work out my muscles to prevent injury as I age!  My runs are 4 miles max – and although I might enjoy a long run with a friend or my sis outside, I haven’t done it in a long time!  Since my time is limited, I am not all that motivated to spend hours running.  I signed up for the half in Philly on Halloween, but I’m not sure my fitness level is there yet. I might have to sit that one out. And I’m not sure that I’ll have the desire to do another half in the near future. I’m looking to May and hoping I’ll be in decent shape to do my favorite 10-miler!

Here’s a look at some of my training for ideas:

Unite Fitness Online provides weekly workouts sent to your inbox!
I try to do one a week but these are on the longer side.
An example:

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 9.53.09 PM

Blonde Ponytail provides strength work and circuits on her blog that I love to do almost every day. They are short and sweet!
Screenshot 2015-03-31 09.50.46

How about you? Do you prefer shorter spurts or longer runs? More cardio or more strength?

Writing this made me want to do another marathon :)  How about you!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Why I’m a morning person…

Good morning! It has been hard to get up early recently, but when I do, my day is immediately off to a better start.
I like to be woken up on my own accord – not by one of my kids staring at me or talking to me when I’m dead asleep as if I’m awake – this doesn’t go over too well!

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 7.45.22 AM

My early mornings started in high school when swim team was at 5:30am. I remember those mornings vividly – my dad had the lucky task of driving me to practice.  That was our bonding time and rides I’ll always remember. The swim team sported shirts, “we do more before 7am than most people do all day.” I loved those shirts!  For me, it was pretty easy to get up early, and it felt natural! In college, I rowed crew for a few years and again had the early wake ups!  As long as I get into the routine of getting up early and going to bed early, it is easy for me!

After graduating college, it was kind of a no-brainer to wake up early and get in a workout before going to school to teach – and I loved getting it out of the way!  It feels awesome to start your day energized and with a strong workout behind you already!

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 9.37.22 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 9.36.46 AM

Lately, it’s been harder to get super early – I pump at 5/530am to keep my supply up and sometimes stay up, or go back to sleep until 6am, then get in a short workout!  I’ll post soon about why I’ve changed my 1 hour workouts into 20-25 higher intensity workouts! And, if I need the extra sleep, I sleep! I won’t sacrifice losing sleep anymore to get in a workout because I pay for that the rest of the day.

Why do I get up early? 

It is energizing!
I feel ready to face the day.
I have more patience!
I’m a better mom.
I have a clear mind.
I can think about my goals for the day before my kids are up.
It’s quiet.
I’m more focused as I start the day.
I like to see the sunrise.
I know there’s no excuses (except sleeping in) and nothing can get in the way of my workout if I get up early. I can’t say that if I wait until later in the day. Something always seems to come up!
There’s more time for everything else!

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 9.36.58 AM
And it’s backed by research, too!  Successful people get up early! Are you an early riser?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Hands Free Revolution – the book

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 9.26.35 PM

This week I went to the library to get the 22 day revolution book, and while there I saw the Hands Free Life book – from the Blog Hands Free Mama. I love her blog! I read her posts and tear up half of the time! So I rented this book and the other book and have been working through them! If you don’t read Hands Free Mama, subscribe! She has great ideas for being present in the moment to say the least. I despise my phone! I wish we lived in a phone-less society. It is such a distraction. I try to put it down and ignore it most of the time. My baby feeding app is on there, and while I’m feeding the baby I like to go on instagram, facebook, etc, but it’s just distracting. I want to be in the moment – so I’m focusing on this goal as I read through the book and get more ideas. One thing that I did tonight was listen to my kids’ heartbeats and talk about their heart and how it was feeling today. They loved it! She writes about this in her book.  Definitely a good read! This is one of my favorites of her posts.

The 22-day Revolution book is interesting. I like the ideas and as soon as I started reading, I was able to get back on track with variety. I kept eating the same things over and over, and snacking throughout. I find it hard not to snack with the nursing and being home often, so that is my biggest goal over the next few weeks- listen to my hunger signals! No mindless snacking!  I’ll be getting ideas for meals from the book but not strictly following it.   I’ll do a little review on it soon!

Take a look at some meal planning (direct from the book) below!

Monday – raw walnut tacos + rice
Tuesday – artichoke, tomato and avocado salad + pumpkin seeds
Wednesday – cauliflower salad with broccoli, zucchini
Thursday – raw zucchini, carrot and cucumber salad with pumpkin & hemp seeds
Friday – pico de gallo supposed to be paired with eggplant…

Do you live Hands Free? What are your favorite plant based meals?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Changing your norms – eating plant based.

When I was in 9th grade in Biology class, another girl in the class was a vegetarian. I remember being so interested in this – I think she raised her hand and asked if she had to participate in dissecting whatever we were working on because she thought it was wrong.  I went home and thought about it and decided that eating meat was disgusting, and right then and there, stopped eating meat. I was 13! My family was big on tunafish sandwiches and I continued to eat that for a little while longer until I swore off all animal products.

Screenshot 2014-12-07 15.28.06

I don’t remember what I was eating back then  – I still ate cheese, pasta, and probably lots of processed fake meat products.  I was an athlete, always moving, and didn’t really think about what I was eating.  My weight and energy levels always seemed to be the same so I didn’t think about it.

Screenshot 2015-03-01 15.40.52

In college, it was tons of soy products and stir fry and salads. I went from 155 lbs of beer drinking to maintaining 125 by barely eating (and exercising as a college athlete!) so I could be in the lightweight boat on the crew team. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing (besides depriving myself!)   You can be a vegetarian and still have an awful diet!  My junior year of college I did the vegan thing for about a year. Unfortunately, within that year was when I traveled to Italy and I missed out on so many good dishes! I remember eating tons of rolls and salad – too bad for me!

Fast forward to now – I know what a healthy diet consists of  – and this does not include processed products made to taste like animal products.  Breakfast for

Screenshot 2015-02-10 20.54.35 me is usually a smoothie with Vega, spinach, banana and ice cubes, with some protein powder + sunflower seed butter (I called this peanut butter balls) on the side. Usually I can make it to lunch if I keep up my water intake (which is key!) Lunch has been more nut butter sometimes – whatever I can grab, but on good days toast with avocado, leftover veggies, a Hilary’s burger with toast, and dinner whatever I’m making or veggies. I have been falling off the wagon a little in taste-testing what I’m making for dinner around 5pm because I’m starting to get hungry (BAD!) and then making lunches at 9pm and eating while I’m making them!

I’m also finding a disconnect with family outings and old habits!  Vacations or traveling with family or having visitors staying with us is usually tricky.  My husband’s diet which is how most of us grew up is what my kids prefer to eat.  Eggs, cheese, bagels, deli meat & cheese sandwiches, pizza, grilled cheese, hotdogs, mac & cheese, lots of meat, processed snacks – things that seem normal but are not what I want my kids eating.  I think we can do better. I don’t aim to be 100% strict – maybe 90% healthy, 10% the rest – but I want my family – parents and in-laws & husband-  to see the light into the benefits of eating a plant-based diet! I have started to become frustrated when my kids ask for a bagel every morning because that’s what they have on the weekend.  Can we have pizza for dinner tonight? (every night).  Bring in the 22-day revolution by Marco Borges. We all need a restart and we’re starting on Monday.   I’m hoping that my kids will try new things, because I want them to grow up knowing what is healthy and what is not – without being crazy about it.

My good friend told me she was going to do this and since I’ve been falling off the wagon and need to get back on track, it’s a good time for me to start!

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 9.31.37 AM

I am going to take many of his ideas plus the many things that I’ve learned from The Plan to reset our eating habits.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 9.32.11 AM

Stay tuned for some feedback on this book and my meal planning for the week based on his recommendations. I won’t be following it 100%, I need a little flexibility since I’m nursing! But I need new ideas besides eating vega + nut butter all the time :)  Have you tried it? Do you eat plant based? Does your family eat like you?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Start of school, meal planning!

The beginning of the school year hit me like a whirlwind!  I started doing photography again, started getting up at 5/530 to get to the gym when the kids went back to school, and routine is back!  We started sports this weekend.  I set off to get things done when I am at home, but the time at home with just the baby napping isn’t super long! I haven’t accomplished much – which is fine! We also were at the shore the 2 weekends after school started soaking that up!

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.58.28 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.58.08 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.58.20 PM

I’m finally now just getting into a routine of getting lunches made before dinner so that I’m not making lunches at 9pm!  For a couple of weeks there, it was just go-go-go until I passed out at 9:30! Now I might be getting into a routine, maybe!

We bought these lunchboxes for this year to try out –  Bentgo Lunch

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.57.31 PM
I started with one and was trading it off, but they both loved it, so we got one for both of them.
We were previously using Easy Lunchboxes – which I also would recommend.
The difference here is that you can’t fit a sandwich in that large compartment. We don’t do sandwiches too often, so when we do I use the other containers.  That would be the only downfall. It snaps closed and is leakproof. I’ve put applesauce and yogurt into the long part, I usually put their gummies into the middle – I don’t know what else could go in there – it is SO small.  I don’t like that I’m stuck with the sizes that it is cut into versus the Easy Lunchboxes, but I like the system. With the Easy Lunchboxes, I would use containers of all other sizes, and silicon muffin cups to put a bunch of stuff into a large part.

Which lunchboxes are your favorite? And what are you packing for lunch?
Our go-to lunches are:

  • turkey & Cheese roll ups
  • cream cheese and jelly roll ups
  • PB & J
  • crackers and cheese
  • crackers and sun/peanut butter
  • granola bars
  • fruit
  • clif z bars
  • nuts/trail mix
  • muffins

I’m sort of already bored! But using 100 days of real food for ideas.

For meal planning, I found an app that is OK called Meal Planner. Do you have one that you like?

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.59.04 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.59.10 PM

Here’s the meal planning for the week!

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.57.51 PM

Monday – Pasta Fagioli and Grilled Cheese (back to school night!)
Tuesday – mahi mahi, potatoes, broccoli
Wednesday – black bean burgers, butternut squash mac & Cheese
Thursday – honey sesame Chicken, rice, carrots
Friday – make your own quesadilla
Sat & Sun – out/leftovers


Filed under Uncategorized