Kettlebell Russian Twist #fitness

Want a really great core workout that will help with your abdominal strength, balance and coordination? Then you need the Russian Twist!


Basically, you're working your ab muscles without doing a single sit up or crunch. Pretty awesome.

For stability during pregnancy, I planted my feet on the ground and did the twist move for 30seconds per the Kettlebell360 app instructions. However, there are a few variations on this move to make it more challenging.


As the video shows, crossing your feet and raising your heels up off the floor will make for a more challenging move.

You can also lean back more to engage your abdominal muscles, and straighten your legs out a little further in front of you.

It's a great exercise, especially when you are twisting with weight. In the video, a 30lb weight is used. If you're pregnant and just starting out, go lighter. I used a 10lb kettlebell throughout my pregnancy and that was definitely enough weight for me!

signature

Lime and Beet #juice #recipe full of antioxidants!

Not only is this juice tart and tangy, it's full of antioxidants and vitamin C to keep you going throughout your day!



2 pears
3 handfuls of blue berries
1 lime (green rind removed, white pith left)
handful of beet greens

Always juice your greens first, following them with a hard vegetable or fruit like a pear, apple or carrot. For this recipe, I pushed my beet greens through with pears, followed by my blueberries and finished off with the lime.

It is tart and tangy, definitely will make your cheeks pucker, but it is absolutely delicious!

Photobucket

Zippidy-Doo-Dah #Juice #Recipe

This juice recipe is perfect for spring and summer! It is nice and light, has a great tartness from the lemon, and is full of awesome nutrients to put some pep in your step.


2 apples, cored
1/2 lemon, yellow rind removed, white pith left on for juicing
1/4 cucumber
3 handfuls of fresh blueberries

There isn't much of a method to this juice. Once you have your ingredients prepped, run them through, swirl and enjoy!

This juice has very little grit and grime to it, is light and smooth, and has a great tang from the 1/2 lemon in the recipe. I really enjoyed it, and it would make a great refreshing juice for summer! (just add vodka? That would be yummy too!!)

Tip: I find that juicing things like celery and cucumber lead to really strong green flavours, and I'm not such a fan. I have learned that by putting in smaller quantities of these ingredients, and pairing them with a citrus and apple, really helps to cut the taste, but you still get the healthy properties from the vegetable.

Happy juicing!

Photobucket

Le Chocolat Mother's Day Primer 5km #running #fitmama #healthypregnancy

Who in the world would have ever thought that at 8months pregnant, I would complete a 5km race? Not this girl, but I certainly did and it was honestly the best race experience that I have ever had.



At the beginning of the race, not even half way into the first km, all I could think was what was I thinking? This is awful and I want to stop running right now!  Then I saw a group of people; Dad's with their kids who were cheering their moms and wives on, and they saw my shirt. They started clapping and cheering, ringing their cowbell and this little girl had pom poms. They were SO excited and it was the motivation that I needed to keep going.

While I didn't finish with the best time ever, I also didn't finish last. At the 5km marker, I was at 52 mins and my goals was "finish in under an hour." I smiled and kept pushing myself.

When I was walk/running up the last leg and saw my friend Rebecca, I was gassed, but then I saw it...the finish line. I smiled, she walked with me and I said something to the effect of needing to run and off I went. The amount of cheers, yells, cowbells and smiles were incredible! The crowd was definitely on my side, and I even had strangers asking for a hug or a photo with me after the race!
 
Having the girls at the finish line was the best. They were hooting and hollaring at me, I got a high five from a very handsome firefighter, and then they yelled that they had a puppy and I pretty much sprinted over to them! She was so cute!!!


And I even made the news! This photo was on windsorite.ca!


I ran about 4mins, then would walk a minute...run another couple of minutes...walk for a few minutes. I had some issues with my feet (my new arch supports, per my doctor, gave me massive blisters and while it felt better to run on my feet, it made my belly tight...) but all in all, I'm really proud of my will and my determination.

The aftermath has been interesting...my belly feels fine, and the little guy has been active...but he's definitely moved. He's not lying diagonally anymore...oh no. His head is right smack down low in the middle and his little bum is right in the middle at the top. Yikes!

The other issue is my left foot. Basically, if it's not wrapped and taped, it feels the same way my right did when I broke two bones on the top. I would bet dollars to donuts (mmmm....donuts) that I have a stress fracture on the top of my left foot. On my list to talk to my doctor (this time my resident, not my OB, as my resident is a little more in tune with my running and fitness during this pregnancy than my OB who pops in from time to time for baby specific needs) and otherwise just taking it easy over the next week and a bit. If there's running to be done, it will be in much much shorter splits (1min run/1min walk) and for shorter distances (3km max).

I have to give credit to Ruffles With Love for my awesome tank, fancy shoes by Under Armor and SweatyBands for my headband. My running tank certainly garnered alot of attention, and made me feel silly and fun going into my last race before I have this baby!

And yes...I'm already filling out my fall race calendar!

Cheers to another medal, a great experience and a fantastic weekend with the girls!

Photobucket

Tips for Running during Pregnancy #fitmama #fitpregnancy #pregnancy

Now that I am into my third trimester, I thought sharing another round of tips for running during pregnancy would be good. The warmer weather is finally here, which means that I'm out there hitting the (paved and safe) trails a couple of times a week.

Running during pregnancy is not without its challenges, and running during the third trimester is certainly not for the faint of heart. But...as with any exercise, as long as you are smart about it, listen to your body and are safe, it is really good for both baby and mom.


It goes without saying that you should listen to your body, but if you were running prior to becoming pregnant it can feel really limiting, and it's almost difficult to slow down your pace. What I have found works for me is to treat it like I am running for the first time. I downloaded the 5K Runner app again, and have started over at day1. Every time I run, I turn on the prompts and do a 1.5min/1min walk/run split. I'm still running, and I'm still pushing myself, but I at least have scheduled splits to follow so that I am not pushing my body too hard. A huge thank you to my doula, Jena, for suggesting this routine!

One thing that I absolutely cannot run without at this stage of my pregnancy is my belly support band.


There are many bands out there, and the one that works for me may not be the right one for you. Regardless....I picked up this black stretchy support band from Walmart (George brand, found in the maternity clothing section) and as you can see above, I fold it over two to three times, then sling it low across my belly for support. It really helps limit the bouncing on my lower belly, and I haven't had an issue with back pain (so far) so I haven't needed more support than the stretchy band.

It's also great since my running leggings are just regular leggings, with no belly panel. It helps my entire belly feel supported, which makes my run overall more enjoyable.

There will be days where you feel like your old non-pregnant self, and can do a longer run. There will be other days where you are completely gassed and do alot more walking than running. What matters is that you are out there, and you're doing something good to keep you and your baby healthy.

Lastly, hydrate. This is something that I'm not super great about, because I always feel like I'm going to pee my pants due to my weak pelvic floor muscles right now, but it is so important to hydrate your body, both for you and your baby. If possible, choose a running route with a bathroom, or do a few loops around your block so you can always circle back to your house a pit stop if needed!

At the end of the day, do what you can, when you can. I like to get out two or three times a week for a run, even if it is just 2km. Running is so amazing and I have really enjoyed my journey over the past year. It provides stress relief and mental clarity, weight loss and toning, and during pregnancy helps to set you up for an easier labour and delivery, as well as an easier postnatal recovery period.

Be smart, be safe.
Go run.

Photobucket

Hanging up the Kettlebell #fitmama #pregnancy

So for the past few weeks I've had a pain...and it hasn't been pleasant. I chatted with my doula, Jena, about what was going on and went to the doctor only to find out that I've basically overextended the ligaments in my pelvic floor.

25week belly that is shooting right out from my hips! No wonder everything is sore!


At my next OB appointment, running is on the list of topics to chat about. I cannot tell you how much this hurts my heart. While I know that I have to be safe, and I have to do what's best for the little guy and I, I really really really do not want to give up running.

When I talked to Jena after my doctor's appointment, we talked about what I have been doing while waiting for the crazy snow to go away, and the temperature to more conducive to running outside. I told her about my kettlebell circuit that I do a couple of times a week. Jena and I discussed options on how I can be active and safe during my pregnancy - her background as a pre and post natal yoga teacher helped explain some of my alignment concerns, so I could better choose the best option for me

If you haven't done something regularly prior to becoming pregnant, don't be silly. Don't pick it up now, unless it is something like a prenatal yoga or pilates class led by a certified trainer who can help with positioning, allignment and ensure you are being safe.

Don't be me. Don't mess up your pelvic floor and mucles...because they have some very serious work to do in a few months!

So, for now, my kettlebell has been put away, as have my resistance bands. Anything that involves twisting and turning, and planting my feet in one position while moving the rest of my body....it's off the table for now.

In terms of running, Jena suggested starting my 5K Runner app from Day 1 and doing shorter walk/run splits. No more 10-15minute running intervals, with 3-5minute walk splits. I am comfortable with this plan, and it makes me happy that I don't have to throw in my running towel just yet. {note: I started this on the weekend since we are having gorgeous weather right now, and it's helping tremendously!}

I have the Run for Retina coming up April 13th, then my next OB appointment on April 15th where we will discuss the future month. Fingers crossed that my doctor is ok with me running at least until May 4th when my next 5km is!

Disclaimer: there will be kettlebell exercises and recaps posting over the next couple of months, but again, I stress. DO NOT pick up a new exercise during pregnancy just because it looks fun. I did kettlebells prior to pregnancy, but not regularly enough to continue doing them through my pregnancy.

Photobucket

Keep Fit During #pregnancy with #Kettlebells!

So you've probably seen over the past couple weeks that while I have been waiting for it to warm up outside so I can get back out there and run a few km's a week, I've been doing some Kettlebell routines with the Kettlebell 360 App.


Before starting the kettlebell routine, I felt that my upper body strength was really lacking. Picking up a 38lb toddler when you're 20+wks pregnant is no small feat, so I wanted to be sure to focus on toning and strength training while I wait for the snow to melt.

My favorite move so far is the Kettlebell Halo


As you can see, it's a challenging move, but one that will give you stability in your shoulders, and build your upper body strength better than a bicep curl or bent over row. It's about mobility, flexibility and strength.

Have you tried kettlebells before? Comment with your favorite move!

Photobucket

Pink Lady Love #beet #juice #raw #recipe

Definitely one of my favorite juice recipes so far...tart and tangy, yet sweet and has a great aftertaste. The ingredients blended really well together and it is super packed with fiber, vitamin A and C, calcium, antioxidants, and potassium!


2 apples
1/2 lemon (yellow peel removed, white pith left on as much as possible)
1/4 beet (peeled)
3 large strawberries, tops removed
Handful of beet greens

This recipe has a bit more prep involved than my other juice recipes so far, but it is totally worth it. Start by coring your apples, slice them in half to fit into your juicer, then set aside. Next, peel your lemon, leaving on as much as the white pith as possible, then cut in half. Wrap one half in cello and put in the fridge for another juice.

Next, cut off the tops of your strawberries {not sure this is necessary, but it's what I do}.

Finally, wash your beet REALLY well. I found that mine were super dirty and I did not want that grit and grossness in my juice. Wash the greens really well and tear off a handful. Cut and peel a 1/4 of your beet, and your produce is all prepped.

I started with my beet greens to make sure that they would all get pressed through the juicer. Pack them in, run them through and then follow up with the rest of your produce. Swirl, and enjoy!

Photobucket

Sweet Dark Greens #juice #recipe

A week into juicing and I have to say that I  really look forward to my morning juice. They are unbelievably easy to prepare, and typically just take rinsing my fruit and veggies, maybe coring an apple or two.

It's such a healthy part of my day, and I feel really good knowing that I am giving this amazing dense nutrition to the baby. Now that I know that it is super easy, I recommend juicing to everyone who even remotely expresses interest in it.

With the exception of the gross celery based juice last week, I have really enjoyed every juice When was the last time that you got 6 servings of fruit and vegetables in one glass? Adding it once a day provides so many health benefits, and not just to you but to your baby if you're pregnant like I am!


2 pears
2 cups baby carrots
1 cup blueberries
2 cups baby spinach

To prep, rinse off your blueberries and core your pears. Before starting your juicer, pack it with your spinach, then turn on and press through. Follow with your carrots and a pear, the bluberries, then the rest of your pears. This will ensure that all of your spinach greens get processed into juice, and mix well with the rest of your fruits and vegetables.

I call this one the Sweet Dark Greens because the color is a dark mossy green, and it's nice and sweet, but mellow at the same time.

In terms of the nutrients you're going to be getting, antioxidants, beta carotene, iron, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A, calcium...and the list goes on and on. It's kind of a super juice!

Photobucket

Denny's $4 Breakfast Sandwiches, Fit and Fare! #healthy #Dennys

 
This weekend on our long drive home from Florida to Ontario, we started our second day of driving with a hearty and healthy breakfast at Denny's in Lexington, KY.

We were really excited to try the new $4 breakfast sandwiches, which come with hashbrowns, and were so pleased to see a variety of options on the new $2 $4 $6 $8 menu - great for when you are traveling and need some quick options.



The standard $4 breakfast sandwich at Denny's is an egg cooked to order, two strips of bacon, shaved ham and American cheese on a toasted english muffin.

We opted for the Fit Fare Breakfast Sandwich, which was loaded with baby spinach, egg whites, turkey bacon, tomato and pepper jack cheese, and came with a side of yogurt and berries, and a cup of fresh fruit. An awesome protein packed and healthy way to start your day!


To say this Fit Fare meal at Denny's was filling was an understatement. The flavours were great, and ever last bite was finished. It was satisfying, and a meal that you won't feel bad about going out for. The best part was the value. A healthy breakfast under $7!

In terms of the $2 $4 $6 $8 Menu, I was really pleased to see a large variety of options; really there is something for everyone. Not super hungry? Opt for the $2 pancakes! Stopping for lunch and want a great option? Get the Southwest Turkey Sandwich and cup of soup for $6! There are options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which suited us perfectly for a quick no fuss breakfast while traveling.

If you are looking for a great breakfast, with loads of value, when you are on the run, check out the new $4 Breakfast Sandwiches at a Denny's near you!

Disclaimer: I was provided a gift card by Denny's to purchase our meal and write this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Photobucket

Tips for Running in 2nd Trimester, #fitmama

So I'm back to running. The day after we arrived in the Sunshine State, I went out for my first run since the London Lady's Half Marathon and 5km {which I ran just a few days after finding out I was pregnant}


The first things that I packed in my suitcase were my running clothes; flowy tanks, leggings, socks, KTTape, my shoes, arm band and headphones. I couldn't wait to hit the pavement and get back to running.


I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with how good it felt and how my legs reacted. I was definitely expecting them to be all "what in the....we are NOT running!" but it all came back naturally.

That said, I do have some tips for you mamas out there who are considering running during your pregnancy.

If you haven't run before your pregnancy, now is not the time to start

Running takes a decent amount of dedication and training, so as with any other type of exercise, if you haven't done it before you were pregnant, don't do it now. If you want to incorporate an aerobic type activity into your pregnancy, consider prenatal aquafit, yoga or pilates.

Supportive shoes will make a huge difference

While I have loved my Nikes, I am finding that my toes are starting to get tingly after about 3.5km. They've been through the ringer and I'm excited to retire them, opting for a pair of supportive Under Armour kicks.  Look for shoes that are built for mobility and have offset laces to reduce pressure on the top of your foot (which is usually the reason your toes go numb!)

Tape Up

I have had issues with my knees {patella femoral} since I was about 11 years old. KTTape allows me to run without pain, so if you have any areas that are a little tight or have hurt you in the past, tape them up before you head out for a run {approx 20mins prior to your run to allow the tape to adhere properly}.






Take it Slow

Now is not the time to set records or try and beat your pace from your last race. This is something that is coming really difficult to me. My first run back was 2.02mi/35:05mins - a pace of 10:45/km. That's about 2:30 slower than my usual, which was pretty disappointing. My second run back was 10:39/km {2.34mi/40:19mins} - better but still slow.

Then I realized something...it's not about how fast I go, it's the fact that I'm out there that matters. I'm taking it slow, listening to my body and giving my baby every advantage to a healthy start by creating a healthy environment.

So far, I have run a handful of times, including on our cruise over the past weekend. I have also registered for my first two races of 2014 (in April and May, so I will be 28weeks and 31weeks) and am working away on my LOST running series. I completed my 15km Swan race on January 2nd.

Every step counts, no matter how fast it is!

Want to keep up to date on my running and prenatal fitness? Follow me on Instagram!


Photobucket