Subscribe to our newsletter.

Categories

Two Under Two

Hi! Been a while huh? A lot has changed over here. We moved for the 500th time and had our baby girl, Willow, on July 26th.

Willow Elizabeth Gray

 

All is is well with her so far. We had a somewhat stressful end of the pregnancy because she was measuring small so they diagnosed her an IUGR baby (intrauterine growth restricted). I had an ultrasound once a week and a non-stress test (checking her heart rate) twice a week.  No actual problem was ever found so we sort of assumed she was just a small baby and guess what? She was…kind of. She was 6lb 7oz so not that small but compared to Brooke (8 pounds) she was small.

Anyway, she was and is healthy so that’s all that matters.

Sleep and Emotions

So, it’s been two and a half weeks. I’m really trying to enjoy the newborn stage this time around. Last time it was pretty tough. So far, emotionally, it’s been easier. I don’t feel quite as depressed as I did last time. I go up and down of course. Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed by our situation but I know lack of sleep has a lot to do with it.

My babies

Willow has been an okay sleeper. She typically sleeps 2-3 hours at a time although a couple nights ago she was up about every 45 minutes-it was torture! Thank god Brooke is a great sleeper and wakes up around 8 so I don’t have to get up too early.

I think I am enjoying this stage more this time around but I admit, I’m looking forward to her getting a little older so she will sleep better. It’s such a shame these newborns have such a terrible sleep schedule. It would make a world of difference with just like, 6 straight hours of sleep!

The Birth

All I can say is, epidurals are amazing. So, because we were diagnosed with an IUGR baby, they wanted to induce me a week early. Sounds counter intuitive right? Apparently, small babies have a higher risk of mortality and morbidity the closer they are to 40 weeks or beyond. So, they induced me at 39.

Since I was induced, the day was just long and painful. They gave me pitocin to start contractions which lasted forever. When they told me I was 5cm dilated-and that’s it- I decided I wanted an epidural. Willow was sunny side up too so I was having a lot of back pain. I just decided, what’s the point? Labor is hard enough so why not make it easier on me and my body with an epidural? It’s not a dangerous option by any means so I tried it out.

After the epidural, I was basically a difffernt person. I suddenly had a rush of energy which was only because of the lack of pain. It was awesome! Not to knock natural birth, but seriously, wow. I didn’t feel a damn thing and I was thrilled.

The pushing part only took 45 minutes this time compared to the almost three hours with Brooke. It was a little weird because I never really knew when I was having a contraction so it was hard to know when to push, but it could have been worse. I could have been feeling every contraction :).

It was a very different experience but all was well in the end. Willow was healthy and so was I and that’s all that matters!

The Bod

I’m healing up pretty well (I think) and starting to get antsy about working out again. It’s still too soon, so I’ve been trying to go on walks and focus more on my diet.

I ate fairly decent during the pregnancy but am definitely a sugar addict. Ugh, damn you sugar. It’s just so good. Getting off the sugar train is going to be challenging. I’m trying to start slowly by finishing up sugar laden foods (like granola and flavored yogurt) then replacing them with healthier options. I know myself well enough to know if I cut it out cold turkey and think I’m replacing it all with veggies, that’ll last a day and the veggies will soon be in the trash.

That being said, I’ve really been enjoying salads lately, but probably because I use ranch dressing. That will be another switch: lower calorie dressing.

I gained almost 40 pounds during this pregnancy. I think I gained a little less with Brooke but I started at a lower weight this time. It’s amazing how your abs feel after birth: nonexistent (bowl full of jelly ha).

I’m planning on documenting my body after baby journey. I’m not a fan of the these post-partum pictures, but I think pictures are a good way to measure progress.

Here’s a before picture taken back in October (I was planning on trying to gain more muscle but then I got knocked up oops) compared to my two weeks post partum bod.

image

Ughh…awkward pictures.

Starting Weight: 105
Pregnancy weight at 39 weeks: 138
Weight two weeks post partum: 127

I was thinking I’d drop more weight than I have, but I think I’m being impatient.

So that’s my starting point! Next week, depending on how I feel, I might start doing a Jillian Michael’s 6 pack abs in 6 weeks DVD. I’m definitely not expecting 6 pack abs (although I’d be cool with that), I just want to get some strength back.

I will keep myself accountable through the blog! It’s up to you guys to make sure I don’t fall off the wagon :).

 

by the way, this post took me 3 days to finish. You’d think it would be epic but in reality life just gets in the way! I also wrote it on my Ipad so forgive any typos.

 

 

Delt Homicide

Scary name, huh? Well, I can’t take credit for it. This is a workout I found on Bodybuilding.com’s website.

First of all, you should check out their website if you haven’t before. No, they aren’t paying me or “encouraging” me to tell you that. I just think the title “bodybuilding” can sound intimidating and not what you’re interested in, but they have great workouts.

You can pick a muscle group, or checkout other people’s transformations and the workouts they do. It’s pretty awesome! I promise doing a workout from their website won’t result in you looking like a bodybuilder….you have to work for that (and really really want it). But I can tell you you will get a good, hard workout!

Anyway, this workout is by a lovely young lady, Dana Linn Bailey who is ridiculously ripped so I trust her workouts will be tough.

From Bodybuilding's Website

From Bodybuilding’s Website

I tweaked a few things from the workout because I wasn’t 100% sure about some moves. Here is the original workout. Here is what I did:

  • Reverse Cable Fly’s- warmup of 15 reps
  • Face Pulls- warmup of 15 reps

superset:

  • Reverse Cable Fly’s- 4 sets of 8-10
  • Face Pulls- 4 sets of 10
  • Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise- 4 sets of 8 both arms
  • Cable Upright Rows- 4 sets of 10

superset:

  • Single Arm Shoulder Press- 4 sets of 10 using 15lb weight
  • Lateral Raises- 4 sets of 8-10 using 8lb.
  • Underhand Grip Front Raises- 4 sets of 8 using 8lb. These were hard!
  • Front Raises with Plate- 25lb plate 3 sets of 8

Good shoulder workout!! I love working my shoulders. They’re definitely my favorite muscles to train. My least favorite? Legs and Abs.

What’s your favorite muscle to train?

How to Make Oat Flour

This is so ridiculously easy it’s not really a “how to” post…more of a short sentence.

So, oat flour is great because you can use it as a gluten free substitute while baking (that being said, sometimes oats can be cross contaminated and actually have gluten. In general, whole rolled oats should be gluten free).  It also has a decent amount of fiber and is not a highly processed food.

I’ve only used oat flour in one recipe: Jamie Eason’s pumpkin protein bars. I’ve made them numerous times and they’re a pretty good homemade protein bar.

I researched oat flour a bit more though and it turns out, you can use it as a 1:1 substitute for all purpose flour. For example, if this recipe called for two cups of all purpose flour, I could use two cups of oat flour.

oats.jpg

You can buy oat flour if you’d like (that might be a simpler option if you 100% need it to be gluten free), but you can also make it. If you have whole rolled oats in your pantry, then you can make it! All you do is grind the oats up in either a blender, food processor, or even a Magic Bullet (<– what I do because I’m too lazy to clean a blender or food processor).

It’s so easy, that’s it! You have your oat flour. You could probably grind up a ton of it at once and freeze it so it keeps longer. I just grind up the amount I need when I need it.

I made those pumpkin protein bars again yesterday and they came out yummy as ever!

oats1

 

I’m sure you get a finer grind if you use the food processor but I don’t really mind a whole oat or two in my pumpkin bars.

Oat flour

Oat flour

oats3

 

Mixing my Vanilla protein powder. I found this brand at Walmart and I am not a huge fan so I use a little less than the recipe calls for.

oats4

oats5

Done!

Done!

oats7

oats8

What I do with the protein bars is portion them out. I wrap 2-3 in Saran Wrap, freeze them, then take them out one pack at a time so I don’t eat a million in one day. If you’re like me and lack self control, I highly recommend doing that!

image

Oat flour success!!

One of these days I’ll have to give it a whirl in another recipe and see how it does. I’ve read that it comes out pretty well. There are so many different flours and they all create different outcomes so we will!!

 

 

Have you tried oat flour? Any suggestions on how to use it? Any good homemade protein bar recipes?

 

Gym HIIT Workout

Thank you for the nice comments about our new addition! Mondays the big day…boy or girl? :)

 

So, the picture associated with this workout suggests that it uses Kettlebells-it does not. Sorry, false advertising. I’m still new to using Pic Monkey to edit photos and I needed a picture, so I took one of our Kettlebells. They’re lovely aren’t they? Anyway, the workout does use a bosu ball, medicine ball, and a dumbbell.

hiitfeb.jpg

Sorry, the green color looks a little bright at least on my computer. Here is a breakdown of each move:

Gym HIIT

*Perform each move for 1 minute, 2-3 times*

Up and Over’s with Bosu and Medicine Ball- place the bosu ball on the ground, blue side up. Start with right foot on bosu and left on the ground holding the medicine ball in your hands. Bring the medicine ball overhead, then jump up and over the bosu so you switch feet-now the left foot is on the bosu and right on the ground. When you land, squat down bringing the medicine ball down towards the ground, then back up overhead when you hop up and over again. So, you’re going back and forth squatting down and also bringing the medicine ball overhead and back down. Hopefully this one makes sense, it’s a little hard to explain. Let me know if it doesn’t, I will try to take a video.

Bosu Ball Tucks- Flip the bosu over and place hands on top so you’re in a plank position (blue side facing down). From there, tuck knees in towards your chest, then back out into plank. So, it’s like the beginning of a burpee, just not the whole thing (just the knee tuck).

Burpee with Side Jumps over Bosu- Place the bosu on the ground however you want (you’re not really using it in this exercise). Start on one side of the bosu, perform a burpee with pushup, then side jump over the bosu to the other side. Perform another burpee.

Ninja Jumps- These can be a little tricky. If you’re not comfortable with these, do squat jumps instead. Start on your shins on the ground.  From there, use momentum from swinging your arms and jump up landing in a squat, then come back down to starting position.

Deep Goblet Squats- Ooooo let it burn!! Grab your dumbbell and hold it between both hands in front of your chest. Starting position is actually a squat so thighs are parallel to the ground. From there, squat lower-ass to the grass friends- then back up to squat position. So, yes, you are in a squat of some kind the entire time. Ouch.

V-Ups with Medicine Ball- Grab your medicine ball and lay on the ground legs extended out in front of you and arms overhead (holding med. ball). Crunch up, bringing legs up and your arms overhead to meet your legs so you look like a V, then back down to start. Try to keep legs straight if you can.

 

I love the bosu ball!! There are a million things you can do with it and they’re always challenging. It’s an awesome way to create some instability so you’re forced to use your core in order to balance.

Hope you guys like it! Let me know if you give it a whirl!

 

Adventures in Mommyhood

Hey guys! It’s been a while. I really do have the intention of blogging every day every month but apparently that’s just not going to happen. I try.. I swear.

Anyway, I have some exciting news: we’re expecting baby #2!

This isn’t brand new news (I am almost 19 weeks), but we haven’t really “announced” it. I kinda mentioned it on Instagram which is lame, I know. No official Facebook announcement yet (also lame, but ya gotta do it). The hubs wants to wait until we have an ultrasound pictures of the babe which will be 1 week from today! Yes, we are finding out the sex. I can’t wait 20 more weeks..I wanna know now!

pregphoto.jpg

 

That’s pretty much a terrible comparison, but yes, I am showing a little bit! I have to find my little chalkboard it’s somewhere in the garage…ugh sounds like a project.

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty good for the most part. This pregnancy has been a little different in that I’m way moodier (lucky for my husband and child…and everyone else who comes in contact with me).

I’ve had a lot more ups and downs: one minute I feel great, the next I’m crying on the phone to my husband because my neck hurts and Brooke keeps slapping me in the face. I’m actually laughing now reading that-but that really happened…earlier today actually.

I really don’t want to be a crazy mother who doesn’t appreciate the things she has and/or isn’t grateful for each day. I recognize hormones and probably exhaustion (thanks to Brookie poo) have something to do with this, but I still don’t like it.

I’ve always been a happy person so feeling unhappy, angry, emotional, etc. makes me really uncomfortable and sad. So, I’ve been trying to change my outlook. I’ve been taking more yoga, reading, even been to acupuncture.

snowga!

snowga!

By the way, “snowga” is fun for like, 5 minutes, then it’s just cold.

I just downloaded this book to hopefully help me find some peace and calm:

bm

Gettin’ my Zen on…I’ll let you know how that turns out :).

sn

(I love Seinfeld anything…serenity now, insanity later…)

Anyway, some days are better than others. Which I guess is just life. I try to stop my internal bitching and take a look at my daughter who is amazing and perfect in every way.

b1

 

b.jpg

 

She could play outside all day long, which I love. Summer is going to be a blast with this one.

 

It’s nice to blog again….I have a new workout for you guys I’ll post tomorrow. I tried it today I think it’s pretty killer!

Have a great day! Hopefully you’re all staying warm..spring will be here sooo soon I can feel it (Arizona, California, and Florida, this does not apply to you since it is always spring there..boo).

Quest Bar Winners!

Hi guys! We have our winners….. (also want to apologize for the grammatical errors in this post I’m doing this on my iPad).

I picked numbers in a super official way: had my husband give me two random numbers. I figured even by using a number generator I could cheat if I wanted to so what’s the difference? (That being said these are the only toe numbers he chose I swear).

17 and 30!

That’s Hayley and Laurel! Congrats guys! I will shoot you an email and give you details.

Thanks everyone!

Homemade Almond Milk

I don’t buy almond milk regularly, but sometimes I like to add it to my smoothies (when it’s not like, ten below). I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago and she had some almonds soaking in a bowl on her kitchen counter. She told me she makes her own almond milk regularly. She has a baby my daughter’s age so I figured if she could do it, I could at least try it once.

Homemade is (almost) always better so I picked up a big ol’ bag of almonds from Costco and made me some milk!

almond

 

Now that I’ve made my first batch of almond milk, I’m now realizing this bag from Costco will last me a lifetime (I think there’s almond butter in my future).

I measured out 1 cup of almonds, covered them with water, then let them sit overnight.

almond1

 

The next day, I drained the water, rinsed the almonds, then added them to my food processor. Next, I poured 2 cups of water in with the almonds and started to pulse. I blended the almonds for a couple of minutes (or maybe around 4?) until it was a white liquid.

almond2

 

almond4

 

Next came the tricky part. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that tricky I’m just..special.

So, get out your cheesecloth or nut bag (yes, those are a thing). I picked cheesecloth. I attempted to cover a colander with my cheesecloth and place a bowl beneath the colander. I poured the almond milk over the cheesecloth and I think I kept most of the almond meal out….but my almond milk may be a little chunky.

almond5

 

Kind of a mess…but this is on me not the almond milk process. I just need to become more familiar with my cheesecloth I think.

aldmon6

 

Almond meal mess.

You might notice some maple syrup back there in that picture….After I had a little bowl of almond milk, I added some maple syrup just to sweeten it a touch. I just added it to taste. You could use honey, stevia, sugar-or nothing! You could also add vanilla, cinnamon, whatever you’d like really. I think next time I will try some vanilla bean.

As for what to do with the almond meal, I’m not sure yet. I know I can add it to muffins or breads but I haven’t really looked into it. I stuck it in the refrigerator so hopefully I can think of something soon!

almond7

 

I tried some in my coffee too! :) Yum.

 

Have you ever made almond milk? Any ideas on what to do with almond meal?

Quest Bar Giveaway

Ooooo I have an awesome giveaway for you guys. So, you may have heard about Quest bars before (I’ve mentioned them on here a few times). They’re a high protein, low carb snack bar and they taste awesome. The taste is really the best part. I feel like there are so many bars out there that are high in protein, low in everything bad, but taste just awful. Finally, one that is actually edible.

quest3

The stats are pretty darn good. For example, Vanilla Almond Crunch has 190 calories, 8 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbs, 18 grams of dietary fiber, and 20 grams of protein. So, the net carbs are only 3 grams and they come from the nuts in this particular flavor. They are a little high in calories, but every bar is if you actually want something substantial.

mm brownie!

mm brownie!

There are lots of flavors of Quest bars: apple pie, peanut butter, banana nut muffin, brownie (yum), white chocolate raspberry (also yum), and my favorite, chocolate chip cookie dough (many others too). To see a full list of the flavors (you should check them out in case you win!), check out their website here.

Brooke likes white chocolate raspberry

Brooke likes white chocolate raspberry

If you pop a chocolate chip cookie dough Quest bar in the microwave, I swear it tastes like a cookie. It’s so good.

microwaved for too long oops

microwaved for too long oops

Most bars have ingredient lists that are insanely long, especially protein bars. These are really pretty simple and their website actually breaks down each ingredient they use (link is here).

**I just want to clarify, Quest did not and has not ever sent me bars for free (but they should). I contacted them because I think they’re awesome and wanted to do a giveaway with a product I actually really like. So, here’s the giveaway!!**

Two reader’s will win a box of their choice!  If I was a winner, I would probably pick either cookie dough or their new flavor double chocolate chunk!

chocchunk

 

Again…microwave those puppies…you won’t regret it.

Here’s how to enter:

  • Leave me a comment…about anything :)
  • “Like” Quest Nutrition on Facebook and let me know you did.
  • Follow Quest Bars on Instagram and/or Twitter and let me know you did.
  • “Like” me on Facebook…yay :)

This giveaway is open to everyone! Remember, TWO winners!! I will pick the two winner’s on Monday.

Good Luck!

HIIT Workout #4

It’s that time of the week again…(I hope I don’t say this every week but I probably do): HIIT time!

I tend to write HIIT workouts that I can do both at home or at the gym. I, personally, love finding home workouts that are equally as challenging as a gym workout. Some days I’m just not making it to the gym so having a home option feels pretty good. My daughter typically naps for an hour so I have no excuses!

This workout is a Pyramid workout so we start with 10 reps of an exercise, then move to 20 of a different one, then 30, etc. all the way up to 60 then back down again. You can go through this once or 2-3 times. I suppose you could go through it ten times if you really want to :).

Here’s the workout:

  • 10 Judo Pushups
  • 20 Burpees
  • 30 Single Arm Tricep Pushup (switch arms at 15)
  • 40 Lunge Jumps (20 on both leg unless you’re a rock star then go ahead and do 40 on each!)
  • 50 Low Jacks
  • 60 (seconds) of plank

Remember to go back down to 10! Then finish off with another 60 second plank because…why not?

Here’s a breakdown of the some of the not-s0-familiar exercises:

Judo Pushups:

Judo-Pushup

 

(source)

These are awesome. My shoulders are sore every time I do these. You basically start in a downward dog position, then perform a pushups (of sorts), but instead of pushing back up, bring your head and shoulders through so you end up in the last position shown. Then go back the way you came!  Here’s a video because this description can be a little confusing.

 

Single Arm Tricep Pushup

one-arm-press-ictcrop_300

15 of these (on both arms) should burn! This picture is actually a perfect example of the exercise. You’re basically just pushing yourself up using that one arm (focusing on triceps).

 

Low Jacks

I couldn’t find a great picture for this so I’l try to explain it. You’re basically squatting down, hands on top of your head, then jumping your legs out then back together. So, it sort of looks like a jumping jack (same jumping movement) you’re just keeping your legs bent so it starts to burn like crazy.

 

I think the other exercises you guys probably know by now! :)

I’m going to try this workout later today at the gym. I hope you guys enjoy it!

Fitness Fantasies

I was going to title this post “Fitness Goals” but some of these things may stay in the fantasy category. All I can say is, I got big dreams so I better hop to it!

Marathons (ain’t done with you yet!):

New York City

nyc

 

(source)

I love races with tons of spectators and I’m guessing NYC  does not disappoint in that department. I also love the fact you get a tour of the city-Chicago is the same way.

Unfortunately, this marathon is a lottery (so you may or may not get in). If you do get in, you’re lucky enough to pay like $250 bucks for an entry fee…yikes. So, this one is on my list but maybe a little down the road. After Boston 2 years in a row, I think the entry fee alone would make my husband sick.

Boston

photo 1 (2)

 

Oh Boston…what a mess. It’s still on my list because technically I didn’t finish. They extended an invitation to those who didn’t cross the finish line this year but this would have been my third year in a row and it’s just getting exhausting (training, traveling, expenses, etc). One of these days I would love to go back and finish. Maybe I can re-qualify with the NYC marathon? :)

Rock and Roll Arizona Marathon

az

(source)

I’m from Arizona but have never ran a race there. It would be such a great race because the sun is always shining (almost always), it’s relatively flat, and it’s in January so it’s not hot: perfect!

You know what else I’d love to do? Run a marathon-or any race-with someone I know. I usually do all my races alone but I have done a few with friends and it is so much better. So, if any of you have a race you’re going to sign up for (in Colorado maybe?) let me know!

Other Races (not marathons):

Leadville 100

Leadville Mountains 2(source)

This is for the straight up crazies.

The legendary “Race Across The Sky” 100-mile Run is where it all started back in 1983. This is it. The race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all. (source)

So, nothing like a marathon. Not even close. A part of me wants to do this because it is an unbelievably insane challenge. A different part of me is not interested. The part that doesn’t want a life of knee pain. I’m also curious how these runners train for this thing? Do these people have jobs? Just nutty. But awesome.

Speaking of nutty…

An Ironman

ironman-triathlon1

 

Because you’re not tired after a marathon right? Keep going!! Ha.

These people are another group that makes me wonder….do they have jobs? Families? Do they fall off the face of the earth while training for a year? I don’t know but I kind of want to find out.

An ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. So…first I need to buy a bike. Then practice riding the bike in a parking lot because it’s been like, 10 years since I’ve been on one. Swimming is a whole different story. Basically this one’s going to take some time to train for.

Fitness:

Bikini Competition

bikini2

 

(source)

So, some of you may be thinking, “those girls are way too muscly” or that bikini comps are a little degrading or narcissistic. Maybe they are….but all I know is these girls work their butts off. In the gym and out. An incredible amount of discipline. It’s sort of similar to other races/competitions in that the prepping is the hardest part. It would absolutely be a challenge but I think it would be rewarding in the end (at least to say you did it once). Speaking of, check out Better with Veggies. She just did her first competition and did an awesome job. Hard work pays off!

 

Where to start? Basically any of these races/competitions are going to be a crazy amount of work. I’d also like to have another baby sometime in there so, like I said, some of these may be fantasies…or maybe just a few more years off. We’ll see!

 

What are your fitness goals or fantasies?