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pregnancy tips: working out

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor.  Everything that I write about has been researched by me for my own pregnancy.  Please consult a doctor for health advice and before starting any exercise program.

Staying active while you are pregnant is important for many reasons.  For one, it keeps you sane and keeps you and your baby healthy.  You will gain weight while you are pregnant, and 25-35 pounds is about average, depending on your starting weight.  But, too much weight isn’t good for you or for the baby.

It was really hard for me to workout during my first trimester because of the way that I was feeling.  I felt sick and tired for the majority of the day, so working out was not a top priority.  Luckily, it was summer time and I love to be outside, so I did try to fit in quite a few walks.  Walking actually made me feel better!  The sickness would subside for a bit, and I would feel like myself again (kind of :)).

During my second trimester, I worked out as much as I could.  I took it easy, of course, but I was able to run, walk, swim, lift light weights, etc.  I felt great!

Now that I am in the third trimester, it is definitely harder.  I just feel big!  And, the tiredness has come back, so working out seems to take a backseat some of the time.  There are just certain days where I feel like rest and relaxation is more important than fitting in a workout.  I still try to get in some form of exercise 4-5 days per week, inclusing walking, the elliptical, swimming and using resistance bands.  And, I feel great on days that I do!

You don’t have to workout while you are pregnant, but the majority of people would recommend it.  Not only does it keep you healthy and in shape throughout your pregnancy, but it will help you during labor as well.  Every woman’s body is different, and some may not be able to workout while pregnant, but even a 20-30 minute walk 4-5 days a week will help with your breathing and circulation.  It will also keep your baby healthy!  And, who doesn’t want that?!

I’m not going to lie, nowadays when I go to the gym, I feel a little weird!  Over the past 7 months, I have not seen any other pregnant woman at the gym!  Yes, people definitely look at me when I am on the treadmill or swimming in the pool, but who cares?!  I am doing what feels good for me, and keeping my baby healthy.

If you would rather workout in the comfort of your own home, then I highly recommend this DVD!

Summer Sanders goes through 3 full length (or express) workouts specifically for the first, second or third trimesters.  I am loving supplementing my walks with this DVD because they use resistance bands to build some strength (which will help when carrying the baby) and a lot of squats to prepare you for labor.

The most important thing is to have fun!  So, get out there and enjoy the fresh air and time by yourself while you can. 🙂


my favorite veggie

I can honestly say that brussels sprouts might be my favorite vegetable.  People either love or hate brussels sprouts, I don’t think that there is anything in between.  They can have a bitter taste if not cooked properly, but they are yummy and crunchy is cooked well!

Last night we made another dish from 101cookbooks.com with some substitutions.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Apples (recipe here)

Since the recipe can be found from Heidi at 101cookbooks.com, I will just let you know what we changed:

  • 2 herb chicken sausages instead of tofu
  • 1/3 cup pepitas instead of pine nuts
  • chopped brussels sprouts instead of shredded
  • added shredded parmesan cheese on top

I don’t think that these changes/substitutions changed the flavor of the recipe at all.  If was super quick to make and delicious!  We both kept saying “Mmmmm…” after each bite. 🙂

The chicken/tofu and apples are sauteed with maple syrup giving the a subtle sweetness.

And, the brussels sprouts are cooked until browned and caramelized.

Everything mixed together was delicious!

We served this over a bed of quinoa (cooked, then mixed with 1 tbsp maple syrup, salt and pepper) and sprinkled it with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Backing up to breakfast, which was a yummy bowl of oatbran cooked with 1/2 banana, vanilla and cinnamon.

Topped with chocolate almond butter, banana slices and coconut.

Lunch was a tuna fish sandwich mixed with dijon mustard, relish and stuffed into a pita.  With an apple on the side.

Before dinner I snacked on a Luna Bar…

…and headed out for a 45 minute jog.  It was chilly, but felt great to be active outside in the cool weather.

keeping active

Happy Wednesday!  Thank you all so much for the congrats!  We are so excited to have a little one on the way! 🙂

It feels so great to have our baby news out in the open…it will make it so much easier for me to post my meals and recipes and tips.  I don’t have to worry about slipping with cravings or if what I eat is just plain wierd!

I woke up yesterday morning and snacked on 2 slices of toast with maple almond butter.  Then, I headed outside for a run.  I have been trying to keep as active as I can because I think that it will help me throughout my pregnancy.  There are wonderful benefits to working out while pregnant, but I just have to remember to listen to my body and rest if that is what I need.

I make sure to always carry water with me (or stop at the water fountains frequently) in order to keep hydrated!  I definitely get tired more quickly now, but I still feel good while running (and swimming and walking).  It is nice to not worry about time, just to run by how I feel.  I have really been enjoying it!

I walked for about 10 minutes, ran for 35 minutes, then walked for another 10 minutes.  I love my warm-ups and cool-downs now, whereas before, I hated them and often skipped them!

After my run, I whipped up a smoothie to get some nutrients and protein.

In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen berries (cherries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp honey
  • shake of cinnamon

Blended in the Vita-Mix for about 30 seconds until smooth.  And, served in my new glass smoothie jar!

I saw this idea awhile ago, but just got around to having my Dad drill a hole in the lid.  Just take a glass mason jar, drill a hole in the plastic lid and enjoy your smoothie.  It fits my glass straws perfectly!  And, I don’t have to worry about plastic or anything spilling.  I love it.

Smoothie’s taste great on humid days.

When lunch time rolled around, I didn’t really want my packed lunch.  So, I stopped at Panera Bread for a salad.

BBQ Chopped Salad with romaine, corn, black beans, peppers, tomatoes and tortilla strips.  Ranch dressing and BBQ sauce on the side.

I drizzled on a little BBQ sauce and shook it up.  It was a great salad dressing!

After my salad, I snacked on some a lot of dried canteloupe spears.

I skipped my afternoon snack today because I wasn’t very hungry, and surprisingly I still wasn’t hungry when I got home!  For some reason, I haven’t been very hungry at night…but, I know I need the extra fuel!

Dinner was simple, but so delicious!  A salad with CSA greens, dried cranberries, kaia curry flavored sprouted sunflower seeds and honey balsamic dressing.

And, a grilled cheese with apple on flax grain bread.

This was a perfect light dinner…and it made it feel like fall with the apples.

We’re having a pizza party tonight!  Have a great day. 🙂

how to give your smoothie staying power

Lately, all I have been wanting for breakfast is a smoothie.  I think it has to do with the heat and humidity.  Smoothie’s are cool and refreshing and don’t weigh you down.  I love how simple or complex they can be!  If you are using them as a meal, just make sure to pack them with protein to increase the staying power.

Good ways to add protein into your smoothies:

  • nut butter
  • nuts
  • protein powder
  • yogurt
  • milk
  • oats

A smoothie can definitely be made into a meal by adding a few extras other than fruit.  Try a tbsp of peanut butter or pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for extra iron or hemp seeds for extra protein.

This morning, I was feeling like chocolate, so I mixed away in my Vita-Mix!

  • 1 frozen banana (the key to a thicker smoothie!)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (antioxidants!)
  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 tbsp mango jelly
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • dash vanilla
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds (extra protein)

It was a pretty yucky color, but sure did taste good!


I try to stock up on frozen fruit when I am at Trader Joes because they make excellent smoothie additions.  The frozen fruit adds depth to the smoothie by making it thicker and colder.

Moving on…

I have been so thirsty lately!  Has anyone else been?  It must be the weather because I already drink a lot of water, but have been drinking so much more recently.  Darn humidity!

I wasn’t really hungry for a mid-morning snack, so I skipped right to an early lunch since that was on my mind – leftover Stuffed Patty Pan Squash!

Packed in two seperate containers to prevent them from tipping over and heated in the microwave at work, they were just as good as last night.

Along with the leftovers, I had a blueberry yogurt and 2 apricots.  A pretty well-balanced lunch if you ask me. 🙂

An afternoon snack included Livin’ Spoonful raw crackers (filled with nuts and herbs and oh so flavorful!) and lemon hummus.

And, a Refresh Glo Bar.  I loved this flavor.  Chocolate and mint is a favorite combination of mine!

I’m thinking of a quick run tonight before dinner, then I’ve got another quick and yummy recipe to whip up.

See ya!

on-the-go snacks

It was SO hot out yesterday!  And, it seems like this weekend isn’t going to be ANY better.

I was on-the-go all day long, so I needed some healthy and portable to-go snacks.

I felt like heading out for a run in the morning, but once I stepped outside I knew the air-conditioned gym would be a better idea. 🙂

Before I left, I mixed up a delicious concoction of Lemon-Lime Amazing Grass + Lemon Lime O.N.E. Coconut Water + a splash of water.

I added 1 scoop of the Amazing Grass to my shaker and filled it up with 6 oz. coconut water + 2 oz. water.

It was good!  Very lime-y.

I also grabbed a Heaven GloBar.  I loved this flavor because of all of the coconutty flavor!

This new Amazing Grass makes me feel great.  It leaves me feeling energized without drinking caffeine.  I love it.  And, mixed with this new Lemon Lime Coconut Water from O.N.E. made it taste even better!

I received a few samples of their new coconut water flavors from O.N.E., including this Lemon Lime.  They came out with 3 Active flavors that contain coconut water along with a mix of natural energizers that help replenish you before, during and after a workout.  My initial thought about the Lemon Lime was that it tasted too sweet, but mixed with a little water before my workout, it tasted great.  After my workout, the sweetness was perfect!


I got to the gym and started with a 5 minute warm-up walk on the treadmill, then hit the weights circuit style:

(3 sets of each)

  • 21’s
  • squats with overhead press
  • triceps kickbacks
  • deadlift with upright row
  • chest press
  • triceps extension

Then, I ran 5 miles on the treadmill and did a 10 minute cool-down walk.

It felt great!

Once home, I craved a smoothie – a Chocolate Cherry Smoothie!

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 2 tbsp vanilla hemp protein powder
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp cacao
  • 4 oz banana yogurt
  • 1 cup filtered water

Poured into a to-go mug to bring with my while running errands.  YUMMY!

Once I made it home, it was time to make our way down to NYC for the weekend.  I wasn’t ready for lunch yet and I knew we would be having dinner upon arrival, so I packed a few road trip snacks.

Avocados travel very easily.

Just cut it in half and remove the pit before packing.  Bring along some spices to sprinkle on it and pack a spoon!  Then, enjoy on the road.

Homemade juice also travels easy.  Just make your juice (and clean the juicer before leaving!) and pour it into a glass smoothie cup for easy travel.  This way you can throw it in a bag and not worry about it spilling all over.

In the juice:

  • 5-6 celery stalks
  • handful carrot tops
  • 4 small carrots
  • 1 knob ginger
  • 2 small apples
  • 2 small beets

Deliciousness. 🙂

I also packed a container of pre-cooked lentils and a fork.

All together – juice, avocado, lentils – this made a decent meal and kept me occupied on our drive.

Off to explore, have a great weekend!