How To Fuel Your Energy Tank When You’re Running After Baby

Stocksy_txpd05c29c070a000_Small_629504

We’ve all heard it, in fact we all have most likely sang it on the playground many moons ago…“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage”. So idyllic, and so blissful, the thought of bringing a baby into the family. And so it is!

After 9 months of preparation, and eager anticipation, the curtain drops and into your life comes a small miracle. Through the haze of emotional ecstasy comes a slow and steady realization that this ‘little one’ is now solely dependent on you, the caregiver. Even with all the love that you can provide, that is no small feat! From this point to forever, as a parent, you will expend physical, mental and emotional energy. That energy may wane as the years pass, but as a parent, it will never subside.

So what is the secret to getting energized and staying energized?

In order to perform admirably in duties such as the countless diaper changes and baby feedings, to getting up throughout the night and becoming entertainer in the daytime, your body and mind requires an abundance of energy!

Think of yourself as your favourite car for a moment. You have a gas tank. In order to function, and to travel any distance, you need gas in the tank. Gas fuels the car and can allow the car to perform optimally. As the fuel gets used, the gas tank empties, therefore the car will need more gas to continue to perform optimally. You still with me?

Now to you. Your body requires fuel to energize your system. Over time that fuel gets used up and needs to be replaced. Fuel comes in different forms for the human body. Check out my tips to stay energized and on a full tank:

SLEEP
This is one of the most important aspects of our lives and typically the area we cut back on most. Your body needs sleep for recovery and energy. Optimal sleep is anywhere from 7-11 hours per night. Naps are also proven to be extremely beneficial. Why not sneak a 20-30 minute catnap when the ‘little one’ dozes off!

NUTRITION
Much like the gas tank analogy, the quality of what you put in the tank is equally important for performance. The better the gas, the better the performance. Much has been said, written, studied, and documented about nutrition and its absolute benefits. Some general principles and guidelines: Reduce or remove all sugars, refined products, and processed foods. Eat the colours of the rainbow. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Drink pressed juice, or make fruit and vegetable smoothies. Add more nuts, beans and legumes. You are what you eat! Eat good, feel good!

In addition, take time to plan meals and snacks ahead of time. Have the ingredients, have meals and snacks prepared and ready to go. This time saver alone is a huge energy booster.

iStock_000023889054Small (1)

HYDRATION
The human body consists of 50-65% water. It is a crucial part to our day to day functioning. Even a 2% drop through dehydration causes lethargy, lack of focus, and low energy. A study by Loughborough University showed a water loss of as little as 5% can result in a 30% loss of energy. The recommended daily intake of fluids by the Dietitians of Canada is 9 cups (2.2 litres) for women, and 12 cups (3 litres) for men. Now that is not easy, but learning to drink on an ongoing basis is certainly more optimal than drinking when thirsty. Have a water bottle handy and drink continuously throughout the day. Although you’ll begin by running to the bathroom more, you will notice a clear mood and energy difference.

EXERCISE
There is nothing like some exercise to boost energy and promote feeling good. Exercise stimulates the body and releases dopamine, the bodies natural feel-good drug. Whether you are tired and run down, or just flat out not in the mood, if you can muster up the strength to get through a 15-30+ minute workout, (run, bike, swim, yoga) you will feel rejuvenated, self-confident, de-stressed, and energized!

CarrierFit001

Sleep, Nutrition, Hydration, and Exercise are by no means a secret. In fact, they are the pillars to leading a well balanced and healthy lifestyle. Here are some additional tips to find energy in other ways:

JUST BREATHE
Step outside, go for a walk, or open the windows. Let some clean air circulate through your lungs and permeate your system. Breathing in clean air and ridding your body of toxins is a great way to grab an energy boost. Take 5 minutes or more to connect with nature.

BE PRESENT
Sometimes when your child is playing and all you can think of is the laundry list of things-to-do, take a moment to be present. Enjoy the moments that seem to pass in the blink of an eye. You won’t regret it! Be silly, dance, play, laugh, act like a scary tickle monster, sing like Elmo. You’re kid(s) will love you for it all the more, and guess what, you’ll love yourself that little bit more too. Yay for energy!

Looking forward to greater health

OTHER MOMS (PARENTS)
Seek out other moms. They are everywhere, and most likely feeling, and thinking, the same as you are. There is strength in numbers. Call and meet up with friends for a playdate. Looking for new mom friends? Check out your local library and community centres for events and gatherings. Head out to the park. Say hi and spark up conversation at the grocery store. Find mom groups online in your area, check out ‘Mom Meet Mom’. For many, this is a welcome relief and a win-win. Some like-minded adult contact and conversation goes a long way in dispelling any doubts, fears, and concerns. In fact, you may feel energized and supported by the network you create.

Simply put, your energy can come from intentional acts and behaviors. Raising a baby is arguably the most rewarding responsibility in your lifetime. Make each day and each moment count. Nobody said it would be easy, but they all say it was worth it!

Calea

Calea is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) through the Coaching Training Institute (CTI) who specializes in helping moms find a balance between being a mom and being themselves. She is the founder of Yummy Mummy Life where she will help you in the confidence department, offering 1 on 1 signature packages designed to make your dreams happen + goals happen. In addition, Calea is also a mom & baby fitness instructor, and an essential oil wellness advocate. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Lick your lips green smoothie bowl – A smoothie you can eat with a spoon!

Start your day with a hit of GREEN!

IMG_7306

Ingredients

⅓ cucumber
¼ apple
1/2 banana
3 cubes of frozen greens (spinach, kale, arugula) or 1 handful fresh spinach leaves (if you use fresh spinach, add 3 ice cubes to the mix)
1 small piece of fresh ginger, peeled (fingertip sized) or 1/2 teaspoon of dry ginger
1 cup coconut water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
optional: scoop of protein powder, 1 teaspoon of maca, sweetener of choice

Instructions

Put all the ingredients in your blender and blend away
Pour in a cup and top with nuts, berries or granola

smoothie_bowl

This recipe started as a green smoothie bowl, then after I was done I had a smoothie. Pretty much the yummiest smoothie I have made to date. So yummy I had to share it and, bonus, it’s super healthy. This is a smoothie that will help give you energy, nourish you and make you lick your lips.

If you want to make a thicker smoothie bowl (how I like it), use less coconut water and 1/4 of an avocado.


A little note about hemp hearts:

Hemp seeds are one of the most nutritionally well-balanced plant foods on this earth. They are power-packed with a healthy dose of protein, fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals and fibre that offer the perfect harmony for the human body. These amazing seeds also contain all 8 essential amino acids required for making a complete, plant-based protein source. Hemp seeds are also rich in
omega-3 fatty acids, ideal for boosting mood, increasing brain function and reducing memory loss, as well as reducing inflammation.

Enjoy and if you don’t want a green smoothie mustache, you can always try a durable glass smoothie straw.

 

kim_sidebar

Our amazing food blogger is Kimberly Ignas from Appreciating Health, a Holistic Nutritionist with a specialty in pregnancy, postpartum, and family health. She is happiest helping mothers and their little ones live a healthy and vibrant whole food lifestyle!

5 Strategies For Avoiding Baby Burnout And Still Getting Your Workout In

You now have one of life’s most precious gifts. A darling baby has entered this world and into your life. The life you once knew has suddenly changed. There is another beautiful living being who depends on you for its survival, for love, for growth and strength.

However, there comes a time for all moms (and dads) when reality sets in. Late nights, early mornings, feedings, diaper changes….more feedings, more diaper changes!

You may be asking yourself, how can I get my workout in when I have a baby? I’m teetering on the edge of baby burnout. My emotional tank is near exhaustion, and I feel like I have nothing left to give…let alone working out. My baby is 100% dependent on me.

The truth is, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have anything left to give. I love the metaphor of being on an airplane. As the cabin crew explain safety precautions in case of an emergency, they demonstrate and remind parents that they must first put on their own oxygen mask before assisting children. Take care of yourself first!

Below are my five strategies that will provide you with what you need physically + mentally to start and finish your workout, baby burnout free.

CarrierFit001

1. Rest & Recharge

Sleep is vital in preventing burnout. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) conducted a study that found just one week of insufficient sleep dramatically alters the activity of our genes, which control our response to stress, immunity, inflammation and our overall health. When your baby goes down for his/her longer afternoon nap, skip all your to-do’s and catch some zzz’s. Use your child’s morning nap or any 20 minute catnap they have during the day to do a speedy, powerful HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session. Here’s one you can use that is just over 20 mins.
(2 minute max effort. Do as many as you can in 2 minutes and write down your score. After one set, have a 2 minute break before repeating. Try to beat your first scores).
2 mins pushups
30 sec break
2 mins squats
30 sec break
2 mins triceps dips
30 sec break
2 mins burpees

2. Eat for Energy

Your body is dependent on fuel! Similar to a car, you would never put water in the gas tank if you were wanting to drive somewhere. Your body is the same, you want to fuel your body with high impact, energy-enhancing foods. Expending energy from our fuel source is directly related to what that fuel source is. Choose foods that are colourful. Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. Eat balanced meals that are light and easy to digest. Avoid foods that are high in sugar and that are processed. Best and easiest tip to begin is to shop the outer lanes of a grocery store.

ziplocksmoothies

3. Say YES to Support

People love to help and by allowing them to, you’re creating the space you need to get rest, workout, all while giving them the gift of being of service. No one coming to your aid? Ask for help! Communicate clearly and calmly to your partner in crime what your needs are. Give your partner or another caregiver one-on-one time with baby for 30 minutes so you can get outside for a walk or do a home workout with your favourite exercise DVD. No partner? Sign up for a Mommy and Me postpartum fitness class/group where you’re surrounded with like-minded positive people.

iStock_000021335468Small

4. Get Outside

Vitamin D boosts energy levels and research shows that Vitamin D is integral for making our muscles work. Get your daily dose of Vitamin D and all it’s benefits with 10-15 minutes of sun exposure (this varies depending on your age, skin type and where you live). Kill 2 birds with 1 stone by using this time outside to push your baby in their stroller for a walk or run. Many cities are now offering Mom + Baby Stroller Classes. My personal favourite is hitting up a local park and using it as my own personal gym. Slides can be used for planks, benches for triceps dips, monkey bars for pull ups and pushing swings for squats.

5. Affirmations

So simple, so powerful…yet self-talk can be our biggest asset or worst enemy. There’s a lot comparing going on in our society to be a ‘Super Mom’ that is robbing women of joy. There is no escaping the continual monologue that streams in your own head. The ‘trick’ is to create positive patterns within your mindset. Like anything, this is a skill that can be practiced, rehearsed, and learned through repetition. Don’t be scared to tell yourself how great you are and stop the comparing. Say to yourself phrases like:

I am a great mother
I am enough
I am loving, kind, and caring
I am a role model and positive influence for my child
I have strength, health and vitality
My mothering body is beautiful
I can be whatever, and whoever, I choose to be
Today I will see the best in my child and the best in myself
I am the Captain of my Ship, and Master of my fate

Choose your favourites or create your own. Write them down, print them out, and place them somewhere visible where you can recite them on a regular basis. Use them as motivation before a workout. Create a routine of affirmation and see your attitude, and energy shift into the POSITIVE!

Now that you have 5 strategies, don’t get overwhelmed. Choosing just one of the steps above to implement is enough to wake the body up and get your energy on track.

 

Calea

Calea is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) through the Coaching Training Institute (CTI) who specializes in helping moms find a balance between being a mom and being themselves. She is the founder of Yummy Mummy Life where she will help you in the confidence department, offering 1 on 1 signature packages designed to make your dreams happen + goals happen. In addition, Calea is also a mom & baby fitness instructor, and an essential oil wellness advocate. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

Kelp Noodle Stir Fry

Being a new mom, mom of many or even a mother to older children can be hard and energy depleting.  As for being a new mom, this may be the first time in your life that you have felt such fatigue and carried a few extra pounds.  This is a common scenario for new moms and all moms alike.  Looking after yourself like before your baby arrived is a task in itself on top of the new challenges of having your little one.  Although there are no super foods, supplements or magic formula to make up for the lack of sleep, there are some key nutrients and simple nutrient dense foods that can help you recover from birth and keep up with the demands of being a mom.  As the old saying goes, you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first. This totally applies when you are a mom.

Boosting energy and balancing weight go hand in hand.  Once you start to feel more balanced throughout the day, you will find that your weight will start to balance out and your energy will go up.

Because moms are so busy, sometimes their attention to diet goes by the wayside and the ‘carbohydrate roller-coaster’ starts.  You need things that are fast to eat, grab on the go and will make you feel better FAST!  Falling into the trap of coffee, chocolate, sweets, and bread to keep you going is not helping the situation, in fact, it makes things worse.

Also, making meals that are fast, nutrient dense, affordable and delicious can be hard to come by and most times we grab foods that might not be the healthiest choices.

All the foods

Where do you start?

Look at making one pot meals, and make sure they include many vegetables, a healthy protein and lots of flavor.

Look at making one pot meals, and make sure they include many vegetables, a healthy protein and lots of flavor.

This recipe, one of my family’s favorites, is healthy, yummy and easy.

So what are kelp noodles?  

kelp noodles

Kelp noodles are a fantastic way to get micro nutrients and minerals into your meal.  You will not feel bloated like you might after having pasta noddles and there is no cooking involved.   Kelp noodles are pretty easy to find (you can find them online, health food stores and at Asian grocery stores.  At only 20 calories per serving, kelp noodles are a low calorie, raw substitute for pasta. Kelp noodles are made from kelp (a brown seaweed), sodium alginate (a salt derived from seaweed), and water. Kelp is an edible seaweed high in nutrients. High in iodine, kelp also contains over 70 minerals, trace elements, enzymes, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and 21 amino acids.

Kelp and other Sea Veggies…

– reduce blood cholesterol
– remove metallic and radioactive elements from the body (great for chemo)
– prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid condition)
– have antibiotic properties
– strengthen bones, teeth and nerve transmission
– help digestion
– soften hard masses in tumors
– used as a beauty aid – helping to maintain glowing, healthy skin and lustrous hair
* may give you super mom powers (not guaranteed)

Not all kelp is raw so you want to make sure that either the package is labeled raw or check with the manufacturer.

Kelp noodles can be used right out of the bag. Just rinse under water, pat dry and incorporate with your favourite sauces or stir fry. They really have no taste so they pick up the flavour of whatever they are mixed with. The texture is mildly crunchy but surprisingly like an al dente pasta.


Kelp Noodle, Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry

kelpnoodles
12 ounces Kelp Noodles (small bag)
1 ½  cup of cooked chicken
½ cup onion
½ cup organic frozen corn
½ cup carrots
½ cup red bell pepper
½ cup mushrooms
½ cup broccoli
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
2 Tbsp (or to taste) Wheat Free Organic Tamari
1 Tbsp maple syrup
½ cup vegetable or bone broth or water
small handful of parsley to garnish

Sautee the garlic in the olive oil. Add the vegetables and sautee until cooked. Add the rinsed Kelp Noodles along with the Tamari, maple syrup, and broth and mix. Sautee until the noodles have softened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

kim_sidebar

Our amazing food blogger is Kimberly Ignas from Appreciating Health, a Holistic Nutritionist with a specialty in pregnancy, postpartum, and family health. She is happiest helping mothers and their little ones live a healthy and vibrant whole food lifestyle!

 

Has Juggling Time Got You Tipping The Scale?

The Coles Notes to Weight Loss Victory

When life is just too busy and stressful and has us feeling as though we have no personal time to commit to ourselves, we need to stop, sit down, and organize our daily routine. Buy an organizer and begin recording what we do, if you don’t already. Here are some helpful tips in achieving our goals:

• Setting realistic goals.
The weight did not appear overnight, so stop thinking about losing it by dawn. Be patient! Set your first major goal at losing only 10% of your current weight, aiming to lose approx. 1-2 lbs. a week.

• Cut down on fat and sugar consumption
Try to eat more protein-rich foods with a moderate low-carb intake and finish your day with a low fat intake.  Always check the ingredients list on any packages. Federal law will soon insist that all products contain nutritional value on the package.

Superfood
• Do not skip meals (if you can avoid it)
You will tend to eat more at your next meal. Your mother was right when she told you to start your day off with breakfast. Anything whole-grain and full of fiber is definitely a good choice. A healthy breakfast will give your metabolism a boost and keeps it revving throughout the day.

• To survive, do not deprive!
Do not deprive yourself of the foods you crave, instead try to moderate the amount you eat.

• Ditch those annoying low-calorie diets
In the end, you are just starving yourself of essential vitamins and minerals.

• Food cannot burn fat!
So don’t buy into those ‘miracle’ foods. They don’t exist!

• If you’ve got the munchies…
Then curb it by selecting something healthy to eat like fruits and/or veggies.

• Size up your portions!
In the time of fast food culture, it’s important to learn to say no to “Do you want the biggie size for 49 cents?” Most of the time, the fast food portions are too small anyways and it’s nothing that 49 cents can cure. Try healthier eating.

Healthy pregnancy eating salad

• Variety is next to Godliness
Fill your plate with a healthy array of colourful fruits and veggies which are sure to entice anyone sitting down to eat with you.

• When on the run, think twice.
Don’t let time bully and antagonize you. Slow down when dining and consider the menu in front of you. A lot of margarines and oils go into preparing those dishes you order. Don’t be afraid to ask!

• Jump on the bandwagon!
We all need support from our friends and loved ones. Try working out with a health conscious friend or family member who is just as interested as you in keeping fit. Like-minded people add that extra little bit of motivation that you might find yourself needing in you darker times. Personal training is always a good choice, but make sure you select which trainer’s personality is right for you. Everyone is different and some are willing to push you harder and motivate you more than others!

• Eat like a cow! (Graze frequently)
What I mean is, increase the frequency of your meals to jump start your metabolism. You should be eating 5-6 times a day, balancing your carb and protein intake for each meal and try to drink two cups of water with each sitting.

• We are 80% water, so drink up!
Aim for 8-10 glasses of water a day to keep you running properly. Drinking 10 glasses a day may be hard to imagine, so at least drink two with each meal.

iStock_000038743350Large

Finally and most importantly, light a candle under your rear and get your bum in gear! In order to lose it you have to move it. A healthy eating plan needs a tag team partner and exercise is just the one. Together they will knock out your weight loss goals!

A Wave Workout for Expectant Mothers

Whether you are a competitive swimmer or a swimming novice fearful to float, aqua fitness is the perfect activity for any mommy-to-be. Aqua fitness really is the safest and most effective CORE training out there for expectant mothers. Mothers-to-be in the second trimester know how frustrating it is when crunches are not part of the equation anymore. Aqua fitness can fill that emptiness and yearning for a CORE solution.
TOP 6 Benefits of Aqua Fitness:
• Safe and effective
• Perfect for Multiple Birth Mommies
• You don’t need to know how to swim
• Uses water as resistance
• Increased energy
• Best of all, maintains abdominal muscle tone allowing you to get to pre-baby weight FASTER AND EASIER.
If you have missed an aqua fitness class, please feel free to try my following blast workout:
Warm up (5-10 mins) – Use a combination of the following movements: neck and shoulder rolls, arm and leg circles and scissor movements, walking arm circles, jogging circles

 

underwater 5

 

Aqua Blast (resistance portion: you can use water weights or no weight and complete 1-3 sets)
• Resistance- Walking lunges with twist -12 reps
• Cardio interval- Salsa- 1min
• Resistance- Bicep curls- 12 reps
• Cardio interval- Jogging 2 lengths of pool
• Resistance- Tricep extensions 12 reps
• Cardio interval- Cross country skiing- 2 lengths of the pool
• Resistance- Chest flys – 12 reps
• Cardio interval- Knee lifts -1min
• Resistance- Lateral/frontal raises- 12 reps
• Cardio interval- Electric slide or shuffle- 1min
Core strength- 20 reps x 2 sets (Ab work against pool wall)
• Pelvic tilt/crunch
• Side crunch
• Reverse crunch
Cool Down (5-10 mins)
Use a mixture of the following; Arm and leg circles and figure 8’s, slow march, gentle back and core twist and neck and shoulder rolls.
I hope that this fun and easy water workout inspires some expectant moms to take a break from the weight room and take the plunge into the pool and dive into an aqua belly routine soon. Good Luck!

 

1476192_10151819498887843_1704028082_n