I know what you're thinking. How in the world, does infared light have anything to do with health and fitness. I thought the same thing, but interesting enough, ALOT. This was a birthday gift for myself. Originally, I was most excited about it to improve sleep and muscle recovery. https://joovv.shop/amotherofnature
The research is out there for the benefits and why. We have even started working out in an infared sauna. I just was not ready for all of the personal benefits that I would have in such a short about of time. We have had our joovv for about six months now. Here are a few of the benefits that I have found since then.
-Improved sleep: The red light helps with your circadian rhythms, so even if you are not doing it right before bed or right after waking it, it still helps your body adjust.
-Improved skin: See below for my own personal pictures. I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I did not know what to expect or what to take pictures of. I had one stretch mark, it is GONE! It also helps with face blemishes. I had many sun spots, that are all gone
-Vision: Honestly, I was afraid to even look at the light, but over time, my vision (along with a few other tricks) has improved. It has improved enough that my prescription has even changed.
-Muscle recovery: On those days where your body is still feeling your workout from 2-3 days prior, this really helps. It is not magic, although some days it feels like it. I was still sore, but it did not last as long
-Kid friendly: This was definitely not the reason I got this device. But, the kiddos love to stand in front of it, just for a few minutes at a time. From the research I found, it is perfectly safe for them as well. I noticed, if they were upset, hurt, or moody, it was at least a good distraction. Red light therapy has been used to treat things like autism in children.
Now for the tricky part. These are just the things that I noticed externally, but far and infared rays do sooo much more, especially internally. I can only imagine what is going on inside based on what is going on the outside. It is proven to kill cancer cells, anti-aging effects, reduce depression, improve digestion, and tissue repair.
This device is pretty pricey. The benefits are for sure worth it, but do your own research. The good thing is that you really do get what you pay for. It last for at least one lifetime. Directed use is about 15-20 minutes a day, but it can last on the use for 1 hour a day for 100 years! The warranty is great and they will replace any part on it. https://joovv.shop/amotherofnature
For $25 off use code AMOTHEROFNATURE
Keto seems to be all of the rave these days. Both my husband and I have played around with it. Once you experiment with Keto, you are likely to dabble in intermittent fasting.
eSo much research has proven that all sorts of fasting from 16-48 hours are beneficial for men, Oddly, the research is not as true or not as available about women. Fasting is a stressor to the body. All types of stressors can benefit the body, because our bodies are so fascinating and resilient, thus learning to evolve from these stressors.
However, women, especially those pregnant and breastfeeding, already have enough "stress" on their body. I am here to discuss how small fasts (once you meet certain criteria) can benefit women in all stages of life.
I have been fasting for 12 or more hours a day while breastfeeding for over eight months now. Here are a few things that I needed to be able to do to get to that point. First of all, you MUST be fat adaptive. Your body and brain must learn to burn fat instead of glucose. For some, this might only take a couple of days, for others, it could take weeks or months. It is best to start your fast right after dinner and give yourself a couple of fasted hours before bed. You will sleep better and your body will be able to recover at it optimum level if you are somewhat fasted (not too hungry and not too full). This fast is the easiest, because you just eat breakfast once you are hungry. Remember, the goal is not to starve yourself or see how long you can go. Simply eat when you are hungry. The other thing that needs to be done with a fast, is that it should be broken with a healthy fat. Avocado, ghee, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia nuts, really any sort of nut, are all great ways to break your fast. The second criteria you should have before starting a fast would be eating relatively primal/paleo for this to be an easy transition.
Some days fasting will be harder than others. I have learned that I have to listen to my body. If I am hungry, then I eat. When you starve your body, you add those stressors back to it. Intermittent fasting should not be as much as a stressor, as it is a break for your body to process the food it has already eaten. Women's bodies are more likely to have hormone disruptions, lose their cycle, or prevent fertility if there is too much stress on the body, The cool thing about your body, is that if you are stressing it too much, it will tell you in obvious ways. Your hair might fall out, you could can weight, you could break out, or your sleep could be disrupted.
Now, the benefits I have seen. Please note that this has not affected my milk supply because I gradually changed and increased my fasts over the span of 6-8 weeks. I have fasted for as long as 24 hours and rarely go less than 14 hours. An average day would be eating dinner around 7-8 pm and breaking my fast around 11-1pm (this all varies based on the small human I am chasing around) In the morning, I will have black decaf coffee (caffeine hyper-sensitivity makes me weird) mixed with some sort of coconut oil or mct oil. At this point, I do not consider this breaking my fast. Scientifically, it is breaking your fast, but there are still benefits to not technically eating. Plus, if coffee or bone broth, or whatever you prefer, helps you prolong your fast, then you should totally do it. And I digress. Back to those benefits...
-Sleep was improved
-Muscle tone was improved
-Fasted work outs are the most bang for your buck in my opinion. You burn so much and in a shorter amount of time
Please not that I have not done a fast while pregnant, because I was not experimenting with intermittent fasting during my previous pregnancies. My OB has told me that it is the best way to eat and everyone, not just pregnant people, should be eating in a smaller window. Because researching pregnant women is prohibited for obvious reasons, let me know your thoughts. Have you done any sort of fast during pregnancy or while breastfeeding? Did it relieve or cause any symptoms? I would love to hear from you!
So very many people having been asking for my current diet. I think I have tried just about everything under the sun (that is just since making the previous post in 2015) The thing is, the more I research, the more I learn and want to change things. This is not medical advice, and this is not to say what works for me will work for you, but I have had great results. I am in the best shape of my life (I was a collegiate cheerleader and gymnast for thirteen years) and I have not been sick in a very long time. I have learned that food can help you heal inside and out and help you perform your best.
During the first half of my second pregnancy, I was vegan. Not to say this is for everyone, but it was working. I just eating my pea protein, but I was never fully satisfied (breastfeeding and pregnancy were most likely the culprits). My sister introduced me to Whole 30. This was extremely difficult for me, because it made me examine labels, which I found sugar was lurking EVERYWHERE. Also, it required me to add in animal meat. Over time, I have adapted and love this new approach. No dairy, no bread, and no gluten, have been things I have cut back since finding that they increase endometriosis. (More to come about this) Dairy makes my face break out, and nurslings usually do not tolerate it very well. So clear face and happy baby? This was an easy one to cut out as well.
A typical day for me starts with breakfast. I try to do three meals with a little snacking and only a post workout recovery snack if necessary. This is the Whole 30 approach, another huge change for me. Now my meals are HUGE. The are big enough to keep me full for 3-5 hours. My husband and I meal prep (another post to come about how we manage this one) so when he is busy and I am chasing toddlers, we have our options ready to go. Anyway, back to breakfast, eggs or leftover meat, sautéed greens, some times some fruit, and some nut butter is the norm. Lunch, I live off of avocados and sweet potatoes and that is my go to lunch. Don't judge, but some times, I mix them together with coconut butter and ghee and it is surprisingly tasty. I usually add a fish or some of of protein, it varies with my mood. If I work out, I might have a smoothie or RX bar, but try to limit them, because that is just not how are bodies were meant to process foods. Dinner is usually a mixture or repeat of breakfast and lunch. I do add vital proteins to almost every meal, wether the plain peptides, liver, or gelatin. (See the link in the supplements page) Most of the products are tasteless. All four of us eat them. I love that the kiddos can get a clean source of protein, vitamins, and minerals without tasting it or seeing it. (Let's face it, my role as a mother is to hide as much healthy stuff in their food as possible)
I plan to keep you up to date on recipes we use regularly, quick and easy snacks, and what I feed the kids of the reg, plus some humorous work out ideas that Jared has. Please let me know what else you want me to write about. Oh and please follow me on instagram @amotherofnature
Ya'll, This. Was. Good. I found this recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie and modified it a little. I was so impressed with the simplicity of this recipe, as well as, how much it tasted like REAL cheesecake.
What you will need:
3 Cups Greek Yogurt
1 Cup or Package of Tofu
Dash of Salt
1 TBSP of Lemon Juice
10 TBSP of Maple Syrup
4 TSP of Quinoa Flour (it originally called for cornstarch)
1 Cup of Honey
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Spray a pan with coconut oil (you can use a pie crust and it should make two pie crust). It tasted great without a crust. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 50 minutes. It will still be a little gooey. Let it sit for 1 hour, then stick it in the fridge over night. That's all there is to it.
Now, I did try the mixture out of the oven fresh and out of the food processor. It was gross raw out of the food processor and was better out the oven. However, the longer it chills, the better it tasted.
If you little one does not have a soy allergy, this is great for them. My little guy kept stealing it out of my hands.
First of all, I have not been very good lately about blogging my recipes. Some times, by the time something is cooked, that is all I got. I do have several "good" ones that are go to recipes that my husband and I really do enjoy, and I do plan on blogging them soon.
However, this is a simple, easy sweet potato recipe. Sweet potatoes are complex carbs and a super food. I have even made cookies with them. Usually, I like to either go sweet (where I add coconut oil, cinnamon, turmeric, and honey) or spicy like I did above.
Sweet potatoes are more of texture then a taste if you ask me, so however you season them, is what gives them the real flavor. Some people are not about adding these ingredients to their sweet potato, but just try it once before you turn your nose up to it.
I found a recipe similar to this one, but you twice baked the potatoes into muffins. Let's be honest, ain't nobody got time for that.
Here is what you will need
1 Cooked Sweet Potato (I keep cooked sweet potatoes in the fridge for quick baby food or adult food, plus it takes them a while to go bad if I do not get to them immediately) *
2 TBSP of Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 Fresh Jalapeño
1/4 Cup of Mozzarella Cheese*
*Not all sweet potatoes are the same size, so your toppings might vary based on size and preference
*I use mozzarella because it is one of the healthiest cheeses. You could you goat cheese or no cheese.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, zap in the microwave for about one minute and Ta Da. You now have healthy snack or side dish to a meal with complex carbs and protein (from the Greek Yogurt)
After much prayer, I decided to discuss how similar faith and fitness are. You might disagree, but here is what I have found.
First of all, it is a Lifestyle
With Christianity, if you only go to church, but participate in other things that might have others questions your faith or do not read you Bible, pray, etc. Then you still have room to grow and change your lifestyle.
With a healthy lifestyle, if you choose to workout and not diet or diet and not work out, then you are only halfway changing your lifestyle. Eventually a healthy lifestyle will effect your sleep (without sleep you cannot get results) and your social outings, because Americans tend to socialize where food is involved, and more than not, that food is not healthy.
Next is the factor of being Achievable
Although you are supposed to be constantly in prayer,if you do not go anywhere or do anything but study the Bible and pray in your own house. How can you witness? If you make Christianity so complex that no one would ever want to attempt that, then it does not appear achievable. That is why being achievable is important.
I think this one is easer to explain with fitness. Let's say that all I do it workout. I do not anywhere social. My only focus is to workout, eat, and sleep. First of all, that is insane. There are about abajillion other things that need to get done and that is not feasible for anyone, let alone a busy mom. A healthy lifestyle must be achievable in the eyes of others. It has to be simple enough for them to want to join. (Please note, that once you change, it is almost easier, in my opinion)
Lead By Example
You hear these words regarding faith all of the time. How could you be an example if your actions or lifestyle do not reflect what you are saying. 1 Timothy 4:12b says "Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity." NLT
The concept with health is pretty simple as well. Why would you want to change your lifestyle if all of the "fit" people you knew were overweight, sick, etc. You would want a fit person that has an example/physique to follow. (I have also found, that the better I eat, the less sick I get and the better I feel. More research has been done to prove this so).
We are all human so it is sooooo easy to judge no matter what the case. I find that women tend to be more judgmental then men, but we still all judge. Christians are to let God be the judge. Romans 2:1-2 says the following:
Let me know what you guys think!
So... Macronutrients is a pretty common word but not everyone knows what it means. It's pretty much the fancy word for carbs, fats, and proteins. Your body needs macros for every day living and specifically to fuel your body for workouts.
Lot's of people want to know what I eat, how much, etc. keep in mind that I am breastfeeding and extremely active, but I net about 2300 a day (no you did not read that wrong) that means if I burn about 200 calories exercising, I would eat 2500. There are some days that I eat upwards of 3000 calories. That being said, you do NOT have to starve yourself to get the results you want. Quite the opposite is actually the case. I eat 6-8 small meals a day and thanks to breastfeeding I snack in the middle of the night too. Basically, I just keep my metabolism running.
Before I was pregnant, a nutrionist friend of mine was trying to help me determine a good calorie rage. I think that ended being somewhere between 1700-1900.
The easiest way for me to put this is if someone ate 2300 calories of pizza and another ate 2300 of a healthy, balanced diet and all other factors and activity levels were the same, these two people would look very different.
My next point is water. I drink soooo much water. First thing in the morning, I drink a liter. I think I'm "supposed" to drink about half the water I do. My goal is usually a gallon, but I normally exceed that just by lunch time. I could go on and on about water, but basically the more you drink, the less your body stores.
Vitamins and Supplements
I am not a big fan of medicines or supplements. I consider myself a new aged hippy. However, with today's nutrition, you do need to take some sort of vitamin to help fill the cap. I take a multi vitamin. Every time I run out, I switch brands and continue to do that until I find one that I just love. Whenever that happens, I will let you know. During pregnancy and postpartum, I was taking Perfect Prenatal which was great, but I now understand that I do not need a prenatal vitamin. The only other supplement I take is Krill Oil. Its like fish oil, just more pure. Nothing fancy. No diet pills or fat burners.
Okay so I do have a weakness. It's Quest Bars. It's really one of the only processed foods I eat. They taste so good and are very convenient when chasing a small child around. I'm not saying you need these but if you have a weakness or a sweet tooth, this might help you.
My Fitness Pal
Yep, I use MyFitnessPal the app to keep track of everything. Honestly, I have been doing it for so long that I can give you a close rage of how many calories are in something and how many I have had, even without logging it. But, with my OCD TYPE A personality, I guess it gives me some control to just enter it daily. (In my spare time bahahahhaha)
An Average Day For Me
This varies so much, but my end goal is to spilt the macronutrients pretty evenly. I'm not perfect and that doesn't happen everyday, but let's say that I notice in the middle is the day that I have mainly fats, I would eat high protein and complex carbs foods such as a sweet potato and egg whites.
1. Protein Shake
I have so many different kinds of proteins that this is rarely the same mixture, but mixed with almond milk, it usually gets me going
2. Chocolate Avocado
The recipe recently blogged about, I normally eat once a day. It is full of healthy fats which is good for Breastmilk and high in protein.
3. Grilled chicken
Usually some sort of lean meat is my lunch. I try to throw in veggies but I'm not gunna lie, I don't always get to it. My proteins are plant based and have lots of veggies just in case I miss them else where.
I buy the carton of egg whites and use at least a cup on the stove top. Add some turkey bacon, red pepper, and cayenne, and you have a high protein meal that will keep your metabolism burning and help your muscles recover.
5. For the dinner time slot. I usually have some type of meat or fish like tuna steak, chicken, or salmon and a sweet potato or veggies. If I have time to cook, then this would be the meal that we eat that.
6. If I workout in the afternoon, I usually have another protein shake and/or quest bar.
7. Before bed my goal is Greek yogurt because it has slow release protein. For taste, I add protein powder and organic chocolate chips.
8. If I had a hard workout or have been up longer than normal, then one of the above would be repeated before bed time.
Eventually I will get a "good" before/after shot from postpartum, but this is at 4 in the afternoon with a full stomach and lots of water. This picture is not edited. Honestly, I am afraid to put my before and after pics side by side because other companies "steal" them to promote their latest fat burners or what not. I am happy with where I am, but everyone wants to change something about their bodies. Also, it takes 10 pounds of fat to produce milk, so I still have "baby weight" that I am holding on to as long as I continue to breastfeed.
If you have any specific questions or want more tips, just let me know.
Okay... So this is another one of those that you have to get over the ingredients because it taste delightful.
Garbanzo beans otherwise known as chick peas have so many health benefits and are loaded with protein and fiber.
Here is what you need:
2 scoops of Jamie Eason peanut butter protein (PB2 works too)
1 can of garbanzo beans
A dash of salt
2 TBSP of cacao nibs (optional)
1 TBSP of nut butter, I used cashew butter
1/2 TSP of vanilla
1 TSP of flaxseed (optional)
1/4 cup of organic chocolate chips
1 TBSP of honey
Please note that I use real sweeteners like honey because your body digest real and artificial sweeteners the same. Real sweeteners are also less processed.
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency. Mix the chocolate chips after blended.
You can make cookies by baking the batter. If you prefer cookie dough, it's ready and can be stored in the fridge. Frozen dough pops are an option too if you Popsicle molds.
My only advice is not to eat the entire mixture, if that is possible, because it makes several servings.
Okay... so beets? They sound gross and are not the most popular food, but the more research I did, I do not know why everyone is not eating more beets!
They naturally detoxify your body, boost your immune system, are loaded with vitamin B, C, and Folate, and so much more.
This recipe, like all of the things I cook, might not taste the greatest. Jared, my husband, loves it. I have to tell him to save me some or it will be gone. Some how, my 8 month old has also really been loving him some beets too.
We call it Beetza. Like pizza, but with beets lol.
A bunch of beets (usually three come on a thingy at the store, so I just go with it)
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1 cup of walnuts
A dash of salt
1 TSP of lemon juice
3-4 egg whites depending on how big your beet are. I use liquid egg whites and adjust the mixture as needed.
1/4 cup of almond flour. Again, you might need to adjust.
1/2 cup of goat cheese
Preheat the oven at 400 degrees.
Mix all ingredients in a food processor. Place on a greased pan. I use coconut oil spray. Spread the mixture like a pizza and bake for about 50 minutes.
You can add mozzarella cheese, spinach, or kale once baked and bring the oven to a boil. Then heat until the cheese is brown. The batch above was perfectly fine without that.
As a new mom, the word typical just makes me laugh. None of my workouts are typical. When people ask me what I do to workout out, my answer is that when there is time, there is not motivation and when there is motivation there is no time. In reality, I do normally do some type of workout every day except on Sundays.
Between work, laundry, dishes, working out, showering (is that even necessary at this point), you have to be Wonder Woman to get it all done these days.
I have learned that planning a day in advanced (at least mentally) you are more likely to do it. For example, I worked legs yesterday, but I had mentally prepared for that the day before (now when and where is a different story). Also, you need to eat differently on leg day to fuel your body properly, so preparation is key.
I like to do cardio as well, but there is mom guilt involved if Jace is not there. I have been extremely blessed to have a stair stepper (we call it the gauntlet) and a treadmill in our house so the goal is to attempt that while Jace naps, but that is not always possible. Stroller jogs and adding some sprints in there periodically are great too. Jace loves to "ride" in his carrier while I stair step or get on the treadmill, but I am paranoid about tripping, and he is getting awfully heavy for that. Other times, I am jumping around his walker and playing peek a boo as a HIIT workout. There are many of fitness programs out there. My favorite to follow is Jamie Eason's. She has diet, exercises tips and routines, and helpful advice for any newbies.
Jace is now at a size where he thinks it is fun to be a body weight, so that makes some workouts fun. Please note that we are also a member of a gym with a nursery, so if I feel like I can get a quicker/better workout without him or need to use more than my 20 Jace weight, some times I go to the gym.
I try to do this about once a week. If Jace will cooperate, I can put him in the stroller and use the stroller to help. Planks are great because they work several muscles groups at once. Please note that this is an advanced work out, and you might need to work up to it.
I put my feet on the end of the stroller and my hands on the ground. Alternating between my elbows on the ground, hands on the ground, abductors (we call them sexercises), rocks, side planks, and move the stroller with my legs. I set a timer for 10 x 1 minutes with a 35 second "break" between sets. It takes about 17 minutes. For the 1 minute, you do some variation of a plank, for the 35 seconds you do a hollow hold, hollow rock, jack knifes, or some type of ab movement. Let me just tell you, some times this workout is much harder than others. Some times, between sets Jace wants out or wants to play, so their are pauses, but its a fun way to include him and get a quick work out.
I will post more workouts in the future, but this is a start.