Winter Has Come + A Treadmill Workout

Ok, it is really really cold out.  Like cannot feel your face or your hands and the air literally hurts your skin. Why do I live in New England again?  I always question this decision in the winter.  But every year, without fail, Connecticut quickly regains its wonderful charm in the form of beautiful springs, summers, and falls.  You cannot appreciate the good without some bad, right?  We are braving it by staying home and eating pancakes and drinking copious amounts of coffee.  Life is hard, right?

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Today I come to you with my new go-to treadmill workout!  We re-joined the YMCA before Christmas and I am SO happy about this decision.  This membership comes with 2 free hours of child care each time you go.  Even though Ella struggled at first, she now loves going to the child care room.  Yesterday she even ran into the child care room shouting “Bye Mama!  Hi Kids!” .  Jack pot.

Going into this pregnancy I was not in as good of shape as last time.  When I became pregnant with Ella, I was fresh out of marathon training and my body was in tip top shape.  This time around?  Not so much.  I am trying to stick with a run/walk routine that ends up having a pace of 12 minutes / mile.  Not speedy by any means.  But I still get a nice sweat from this, and some wonderful endorphins.

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If I have the energy and the time (and there is something good on the treadmill TV), I can usually convince myself to walk until I hit 4 miles.  I try to do this workout 3-4 times a week and for now that feels really good.

On days I am not running I am walking and doing some weight training.  I am working on a post that features my pregnancy weight training routine.

Do you have any go-to treadmill work outs?  Any tips for battling boredom on the treadmill?

Its a…

GIRL!!!

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Adeline Taylor Peters

You were a wiggly little thing during the ultrasound yesterday.  You made the technician work extra hard for the right picture to know your gender, and kept Mommy and Daddy on our toes the entire appointment.  You looked perfect, and are developing just as you should.

I cannot wait to meet you, little one

Pregnancy #2- Everything (and I mean everything) through 18 Weeks

Time for a pregnancy update!  Very wordy post below !  Here are all the nitty gritty details about this pregnancy so far!

As a form of birth control I was using the Mirena IUD, which I had implanted about 8 weeks after giving birth to Ella.  I had this device removed on August 19th, and was told it would probably take my body a few cycles to regulate and not to expect to get pregnant right away.  I began to spot right away, but never really got what I would consider a full period.

We started to try without really trying.  With my doctor telling me that it could take a few cycles, I felt no need to start to track my temperature or pull out the ovulation test strips.  We became pregnant with Ella so easily that I figured it would just happen again.  I was really flying blind.  I had no true cycle start date to go by and the IUD had been implanted for nearly two years, so I had no idea of a possible ovulation point in my cycle.  I had no real idea of when a test could possibly be positive.

We continued to live our lives, and even had an amazing long weekend in Rehobeth Beach for the wedding of a very dear friend the weekend of September 20th.  Having no idea when a test could be positive and knowing that this wedding with college friends would have the beer and wine flowing, I decided to bring three different tests.  One to take the morning we got there, one before the rehearsal dinner, and one before the wedding itself.  All three were negative, I had the time of my life , and I figured we just didn’t get pregnant this cycle and it would work out before the end of the year.

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On the morning of September 30th I woke up at 2AM and literally SPRINTED to the bathroom.  Barely making it before getting sick.  I was sick and dry heaving for the next 3 hours .  It suddenly dawned on me about an hour into this horrid affair, “Wait.  I must be pregnant.”  So I got dressed, went to work, and taught what will go down in history as the worst yoga class EVER.  After class I high tailed it to the CVS around the corner, bought two EPT’s and walked as fast as I could back to my yoga studio.

Less than 5 minutes later I was greeted with a thick , dark second line.  I was genuinely shocked.  When I took my first test with Ella I had to squint to see the very vague second line.  But here it was, glaring back at me, irrefutable evidence that I was pregnant.  I. WAS. SHOCKED.

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I immediately called Stephen, who did not answer.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays at that time I was out of the house by 5:15AM and he was in charge of the morning.  Getting himself ready for work and Ella ready for her 7:30 pick up from Grandma.  So to say he is busy on those mornings is really an understatement.  Eventually he called me back, I told him the wonderful news, and he could not have been more thrilled.  We were going to be PARENTS again!  To a new BABY!  Truly amazing.

At that point I was 5 weeks along, and showing a due date (according to Baby Center) of June 6th.  I immediately was having symptoms that I simply did not experience with Ella.  Immediate weight gain and bloating, and EXTREME nausea to go along with it.  I expected to show sooner than I had with Ella since this was my second baby, but the constant all day nausea was a total and complete shock.

I ended up being incredibly sick through the entire first trimester.  I vomited at least 10-15 times a day, I ended up losing weight, I cried from pure exhaustion everyday.  I could not believe how different this pregnancy was than the one I experienced with Ella.

I ended up getting a prescription for Zofran and this was a total game changer.  If I ate something before lifting my head off the pillow in the morning, took a magic little pill, and then drank a bunch of water ALL before getting out of bed in the morning then I could usually manage.  I had to eat something bland every two hours or else the nausea would come back and once that happened it was like I entered a dark hole of vomit and dizziness and nausea that I could not escape.  I lived on Eggo waffles and was truly surviving hour to hour.

Somewhere around the 11 or 12 week mark the dark cloud lifted and I was able to function again.  My energy came back, my appetite returned, and I started to feel like myself again.

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My last day of truly terrible sickness was the day before Thanksgiving when I was visiting my family in Pennsylvania.  Luckily it ended by Turkey Day, and I was able to celebrate with friends and family.

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Once my energy returned the weeks really started to fly by.  I am running again, going to regular prenatal yoga classes, and trying to embrace this time in pregnancy where I am not yet uncomfortable but I still have a glorious belly to rub.

Running has been wonderful.  I am even trying to sneak in walks on my off days.  Finding my old “The O.C.” DVDs has made the treadmill that much more bearable.  Does anyone else remember that show from high school?!  One of my all time favorites.

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So far I have gained 8 lbs, which is less than half of what I gained at this point with Ella.  I am trying my hardest to not gain 50 pounds this time around.  Last time that made everything harder.  It took over a year to lose the baby weight, and it took me a long and sad time to get back into running shape. I have lived and I have learned, and this time I plan on doing things differently!

So here I sit, 18 weeks and counting.  I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy is flying by.  I am trying to enjoy this lovely second trimester feeling for as long as possible!

Glorious Mornings

I have always been a morning person, so its no surprise that my absolute favorite meal of the day is breakfast.  I firmly believe that mornings should be enjoyed and they truly set the tone for your day.  Since I have a VERY early rising toddler and we do not need to be anywhere on days I am home, breakfast always feels luxurious and amazing.  I know someday soon there will be school to rush off to and children will not as willingly get out of bed.  So I am trying to savor my mornings as much as possible while I can.  There is always fresh brewed coffee (I have this pot, which I always set the night before, other wise sometimes the coffee gets lost in the shuffle and never made.  Which is just unacceptable in my eyes).  I love to make big batches of homemade pancakes and waffles on the weekends and then freeze them for easy breakfasts during the week.  I love the taste of fresh fruit in the morning.  And I love the sound of cooking eggs.  Breakfast is my spirit animal.

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Lately I have tried to pack as much nutrients into breakfast as possible .  I find I make better choices throughout my day (at least when it comes to food) when I make a good choice first thing in the morning.  That being said, I have a few morning must-do’s as well as a go-to nutrient packed (and easy to make!) breakfast to share!

1. Tongue scraping.

Tongue scraping is something I started practicing when I learned about Ayurveda in Yoga Teacher Training.  This is an oral hygiene practice that is exactly what it sounds like.  Using a tool to scrape the tongue to remove bacteria, toxins, and other yucky stuff.  You can read more about tongue scraping and why it is so good for you here.  I feel like the yucky morning feeling that is in my mouth when I wake up is instantly gone when I tongue scrape, and its nice to know my body is not reabsorbing the toxins it pushed out onto my tongue during the night.

2.  Warm lemon water

After tongue scraping I always drink a tall glass of warm lemon water before ingesting anything else.  It helps get things moving in my digestive track, and gives me a nice natural boost of energy.  I was not someone who believed in the magic of lemons until I actually started to do this myself.  Now I fully believe that this habit not only gives me energy, but it helps with my skin, cleanses the liver, and keeps me hydrated.  On those early mornings when I a limited in my caffeine intake because of pregnancy or breastfeeding, this habit is a life saver.  Read more about why this is so good for you here.

3.  Layered Yogurt Bowls

My relationship with yogurt has always been up and down.  When I first set out to lose a few pounds after college I thought I had to choose the lowest calorie yogurt that tasted the best (hello Dannon Light and Fit).  As I learned more about processed foods and how to properly fuel my body, I turned to organic greek yogurt .  I will go through spurts of having greek yogurt everyday followed by periods of time where I cannot even look at one more container of the stuff.  Right now I am in love with it and I am having it every day.  For this mornings layered yogurt bowl I used chia seeds (these things are magic, I tell you!), Stonyfield plain organic greek yogurt, blueberries, walnuts, a banana, a few pomegranate seeds, and raw oats.  I layered all ingredients in a narrow glass dish so that it looked picture perfect.

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And then proceeded to mix it all together and gobble it down with an extra large mug of half caf. This was eaten at 5AM (yes EATEN at 5AM.  Ella was up at 4:30 today!  YIKES!)  and I was not hungry until well past noon, even with a 3 mile run thrown in there.  A breakfast that is delicious, fast, and keeps you full?  Yes please.

Do you have any morning rituals that you follow?  What is your go to breakfast? 

Goodbye 2014…

As 2014 comes to a close I am feeling very reflective.  Looking back at the year and wondering what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I can do better in the coming year.

This year coming to an end feels especially bitter sweet.  At the end of the year I will hand off my duties as manager of Downtown Yoga. Without going into too much detail, the owner of the studio could no longer afford my services and I find myself without a job as we head into 2015.  I am sad because I so enjoyed my position at Downtown Yoga.  I loved the people, I loved the instructors, and I loved knowing that I was helping to deliver yoga to the masses.  It will be odd to find my footing as a 100% stay at home mom for the time being.

I truly enjoyed the juggle of working part time, it gave me enough time outside of the house to still feel independent and enough time with Ella to feel like I was still very involved with her life and upbringing.  I am honestly very nervous about this transition, especially since we are heading into some very bleak New England winter months.  I am going to have to work hard to still carve out me time, especially since there is another little one on the way !

And with that, I leave you with my resolutions for 2015!

 1.  Make myself a priority.

Again, this will be especially important as I transition into a life as a stay at home parent.  It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day aspects of running a house and raising a child.  Wake up early, coffee, breakfast, morning activities, lunch, nap time, afternoon, dinner time, bath time, bed time, repeat every single day.  The three things (outside of my family) that I truly love in life are fitness, friends, and food.  I will aim to utilizing my gym child care, make prenatal yoga a priority every Monday night , ensure I make time for girls chats over large mugs of coffee (and larger glasses of wine) , and keeping my kitchen interesting and low stress.  One aspect of being a stay at home mom that really excites me is that I feel I will be able to really focus on the health and well being of my family by making sure we are well fed with wholesome foods and wonderful home cooked meals.

2. Make my marriage a priority

I believe that transitioning into parenthood is one of the most wonderful , yet the most difficult things a marriage can experience.  Over the last almost 2 years I feel that Ella has become the dominant priority in my life, and not only have I suffered as a person but my marriage has gone through some hard times as well.  With long hours of work and short hours of sleep, tensions can sometimes run high and its easy to allow resentment and hostility to creep into even the most loving relationship.  We are at our best when we make time to communicate with each other, eat dinner together, go to bed at the same time, and do not just zone out in front of the TV at night.  I want to invest in finding a baby sitter we like, and in becoming more creative with what we do together.  I really like the idea of at home date nights that do not involve the TV, but instead cooking a wonderful meal together in the kitchen.  Talking, drinking, cooking and coming back together not as parents but as two people who love each other and chose to spend our lives together

 

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3.  Transition into being a mother of two

I have no idea what being a mother of two will look like.  I am excited to see Ella become a big sister .  I am very excited to witness all those amazing milestones of the first year again, but this time with the seasoned eye of a mother who has been through it once and who knows that all things baby, both good and bad, are so very fleeting.  This time, with the knowledge that eventually most babies sleep, I am excited to savor those middle of the night feedings.  This time, with the knowledge that it will get easier and less painful, I am excited to breastfeed and actually take the time to enjoy the feeling of empowerment that comes with knowing you can provide everything your baby needs with your very powerful body.  And this time, with the knowledge that the weight eventually comes off, I want to be more forgiving of myself when it comes to my “post baby body”.  The theme of this transition will be patience and forgiveness.

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Actually, I believe this is going to be my theme for the entire year of 2015 as I transition into being both a stay at home mom, and a mother of two.  Patience and forgiveness, yes, lets start there :)

 

Fall and Butternut Squash Soup

October is one of my absolute favorite months.  There is no holiday craziness yet, but you can feel it coming on.  And it is the true kick off to my absolute favorite season.  Oh, how this girl loves her some fall in New England.  Pumpkin patches, apple picking, leaves changing, red wine, hot soup on the stove, cool nights under the comforter, and hot coffee is finally acceptable again. I totally embrace how cliche my love of this season is, and I own it.

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I am pretty sure this e-card was created after someone had a conversation with me.

We have been easing into our fall with lots of pumpkin coffee, and leaf collecting on our favorite trail.  In the next few weeks there will be pumpkin carving and apple picking.

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And now!  A recipe!  One of my favorites for fall.  It is a crock pot soup that is healthy to boot.  Enjoy!

Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • One butternut squash cubed (I cheated and bought the pre-cut one this time
  • Soup greens (my grocery store sells this really convenient little package of them.  If yours does not, its just a few carrots, celery, a small onion, and maybe a parsnip or two.  The butternut squash taste is so over powering that you really don’t taste the other flavors anyway)
  • Chicken or vegetable broth

Directions:

Chop, chop, chop. Slide into the crock pot. Cover in broth and maybe a little water.  Set crock pot to 8 hours on low.  When you are ready, use the immersion blender to blend everything.  If you like a thicker soup be sure to take out some liquid before you blend.

Scoop into your favorite soup bowl and enjoy :)  You could always a nice fall garnish like roasted pumpkin seeds!

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Any other great fall recipes out there?

I ran 5 Miles

Summer 2014 has been about many things.  Drinking beer, hanging out with friends, spending time in the back yard with Ella, grilling awesome food.  Exercise happened, but not as intensely or for as long as I would have liked.  I went for 3 mile runs a few times a week, but never really pushed my pace .  I always “planned” on 5-6 mile runs on the weekends but breakfast outings with my family, or afternoons in the back yard during nap time just sounded so much better.

As a result of all the beer, burgers, and non-running; I am starting fall with a solid 8 extra pounds on my body.  I realize 8 pounds is not a huge deal.  But on my small frame, it is noticeable and it may take a while to come off.

So I am re – committing myself to exercise and good eating on the weekends.  I say on the weekends because during the week I have excellent eating habits.  As soon as Friday night hits?  Its like I’m on death row and I cannot order a pizza fast enough.

So on Monday morning I set my alarm, I laced up my sneakers, and I headed out the door for 5 miles.  I told myself today was about distance not pace, but I absolutely could not go home until I had run 5 miles.  And man alive, it felt amazing.

Cheers to a fall filled with running !!

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Hey there!  Lets dive right in shall we?

How is it almost October?  I swear this year has flown by in a flurry of change.  Both good and no so good.  Remember when I said 2014 would be a year of settling and routine and being content?  Yeh, not so much .

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When I last blogged I was teaching a few yoga classes and week and was home with Ella the rest of the time.  I was merely teaching yoga, and not really involved in the running of any of the studios where I taught.  We went on a lovely Naples vacation in March, and when I got back a big opportunity had fallen into my lap.  One of the studios where I was teaching, Downtown Yoga, was in serious need of a manager.  They needed someone who could manage not only the studio and the yoga instructors, but also the money and the “business” side of things.  Cue music and hallelujah angels and lights.  DREAM JOB.  Yoga AND accounting?!  Pinch me.

I started working at Downtown Yoga just 1 day a week to help clean up their books, and bring a little organization to the studio.  While I was doing this I was still teaching at all my other studios.  I slowly by surely fell in love with Downtown Yoga and its mission.   We want to bring yoga to the masses no matter their income level, and want to create an enlightened society by using yoga as a medium for community out reach.  By the end of May I was managing Downtown Yoga and had left all my other positions .  I was teaching a 6AM “Rise and Shine” yoga class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then staying the rest of the day to work on the business side of things.

Over the summer I revamped the studio completely.  New software system, new payroll system, interviewed new instructors, created a new schedule for the fall, volunteered our time at tons of yoga events, and laid all the ground work for a successful fall.

Well my hard work paid off.  On September 5th Downtown Yoga hosted a big open house, and man alive was it a success.  New yogis, new memberships, lots of amazing energy surrounding the studio.  I could have asked for a better  culmination of all my hard work over the previous few months.

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Now I can finally say that I am the happiest and most fulfilled I have ever been.  I have been given an amazing gift and I do not intend on wasting it.  Through my work at Downtown  Yoga I am able to help the Hartford community, run a small business, teach yoga, and DO ACCOUNTING.  And the VERY best part?  I am home with Ella most days of the week.  The days that I am home are not broken up by rushing to teach this class or that class.  I can 100% concentrate on her and what she needs.  And then two -three days a week I get to concentrate 100% on my studio and what I need.  Its a win-win if I have ever seen one.

Since leaving SS&C over a year ago my life has changed and evolved in so many ways.  I now get to live my passion and work with people who are committed to leaving this world just a little bit better than how they found it.  Leaving my corporate job was easily the best decision I have ever made.

And this little girl?  I literally can’t even.  She is 19 months old and thriving.  New words everyday, running, smiling, laughing, and being so so silly.  She loves Elmo something fierce, and gives the best hugs in the universe.  She is a creature of habit and does best when we stick to a routine.  But is also easy going enough that sometimes the routine can be put aside.  She is the light of my entire life and I find so much joy in that smile and those blueberry eyes.

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Now that things are settled I really am hoping to start blogging again.  About both our family life and things we do, and about the studio and our different initiatives.  I am still striving for balance and still trying to be a mom and be me, and I cannot wait to actually start documenting this as 2014 winds down.

5 Day Juice Cleanse and Juicer Review

Hi friends!  I have officially drank the kool-aid and I am a total juice convert.  I love juicing.  I love the taste of juice, I love the rush of energy from all the nutrients, I am a juice juice juice freak.  I received the Omega VRT juicer for Christmas .  I cannot express enough how much I love my juicer.  It is easy to clean, it so efficient at removing the juice from the fruits and veggies, and it is super quiet. I have not found once thing that I don’t like about it yet.  There are less expensive versions out there, but if you are serious about introducing juice into your life and diet I fully recommend you make the investment in the Omega.

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After receiving the juicer for Christmas I went all in and did a back flip into the world of juicing.  I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and immediately visited Joe’s website looking for recipes and tips.  When I found the 5 day cleanse I knew I wanted to do this.  It would be an awesome kick start to 2014, and a way for me to make sure juicing became a part of my life for the long haul.  I gave myself the first 5 days of 2014 to clean up my eating in order to make the cleanse a little more manageable.  I did not want to feel so terrible as all the crap was leaving my body that I threw in the towel.  I do not have the luxury of napping or simply not teaching a yoga class during the day because I am feeling tired, so I used the first 5 days to find the juice recipes I liked the best to use during the cleanse.  Once I narrowed down the juices I wanted to use, I got to work.  I prepped all 5 days of juices in 1 afternoon.  IT. TOOK. FOREVER.  I am really glad I did it this way though. I do not think I would have been as successful if I had to prep AND juice everyday.  Prepping all at once on Saturday really made it easy!

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So here is the low down on how I was feeling during this whole thing:

Day 1:   Felt a little twinge for coffee.  But mostly felt great throughout the day!  I did not teach any yoga this day (I purposely started it on a day off) so had plenty of energy.  I felt pretty tired by the end of the day though, and went to bed really really really early. Day 1, total success.  Juices: I drank 2 Carrot, Apple, Lemon juices , 2 Green Variety’s, and 1 Un-Beetable

Day 2: Woke up feeling awesome.  Plenty of sleep, and ready to start day 2.  I felt the rush of energy after my morning juice that people talk about.  I taught a power yoga class at noon and felt great.  Little head ache toward the end of the day, but I chalked it up to not enough water during the day.  Started to miss the sensation of chewing. JuicesI drank 2 Carrot, Apple, Ginger juices , 2 Green Variety’s, and 1 Un-Beetable

Day 3: Best day yet.  Woke up feeling amazing, again.  And feeling CLEAN.  I just started to feel so light and clean and like nothing was dragging or holding me down.  Pretty amazing feeling if you ask me!  JuicesI drank 2 Sunrises juices , 2 Green Lemonade’s, and 1 Un-Beetable

Day 4: Ok, I am tired of this.  I still feel awesome, but man, I would kill for some coffee.  This day was my busiest of the week (3 yoga classes taught, starting at 6AM and ending at 8PM) so I am sure that had something to do with it.  I was ready to chew again. But I knew I could stick it out for one more day, especially since I had put this all over Instagram. Accountability, people! JuicesI drank 2 Sunrises juices , 2 Green Lemonade’s, and 1 Un-Beetable

Day 5: yay yay yay!  I get to have coffee tomorrow!  And chew!  Can’t wait.  I can stick this out for one more day, but I am ready to kick this ol’ cleanse to the curb.  Even though they still tasted good, I had to hold my nose by the time I got to the last juice on the last day and just choke it down.  But I did it!  5 days, 25 juices, no solid food.  JuicesI drank 2 Sunrises juices , 2 Green Lemonade’s, and 1 Un-Beetable

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Over all, I am so glad I did the cleanse.  It was an awesome way to detox my body after what I put it through over the holidays.  I shed some weight, got my system back on track, and gave my digestive system and much deserved break.  I would totally and 100% do this again, and I am sure I will.  I now incorporate juice into my life at least 4 times a week.  It gets expensive and is time-consuming, so I do not juice everyday.  I especially like that it boosts my fruit and veggie intake.  I am very good about trying to get the recommended amounts, but man, some days it is just hard!

Do you juice?  Have you done a cleanse?  What is your favorite juice recipe?