So… BOY or GIRL? Come vote before July 15th!

So… to set the scene… It is now July 7th and we have had the sex of the baby in an envelope since JUNE 13th! To me, the real joy of this is seeing Carrie’s face knowing she cant handle secrets. We finally took the envelope out of our possession and gave it to Classic Cakes in Carmel. To say that Carrie is DYING to know, would be an understatement…. I know, I know… this is like a sick little game I am playing with her; but hey, she was the one who wanted to have a gender reveal party! (miss Pinterest herself).

What do you all think: Boy or Girl?  I am thinking girl (kind of) and Carrie is set on a girl.  We have each had dreams which is why we have “convinced” ourselves of this.

Is it a Boy or a Girl?

 

We are having a gender reveal party with our families on July 15th, so I have to be patient and wait like everyone else!  We have ordered our cake and are looking forward to celebrating with everyone!

Carrie will be posting all of the “wives tale’s” and which ones ended up being true or false

What made/makes you think you were/ are having a boy or girl?

Here We Go… The Start of Trimester TWO

The start of my second trimester.

13 weeks : Baby is the size of a peapod.
14 weeks: Baby is the size of a Lemon
15 weeks:  Baby is the size of an apple!

Weight gained
My last weigh in was on June 2 – my 12 week apt and I hadn’t gained any weight yet.
I will go for my 16 week appointment next Tuesday so I will be able to fill you in better but according to my scale we are looking at about a 5 lb gain.  ahhhh

Workouts
13 weeks – I finally found my motivation again.  Justin and I started hitting the gym.  We are creating a plan and can’t wait to share some videos and workout tips!  We traveled a little this week for a Wedding in Michigan but I was still able to remain fairly active by walking around and touring the town of Frankenmuth.  Fyi you should totally check this place out – super adorable town!

14 weeks – Walking was my main source of exercise this week.  I am wearing my fitbit daily and trying to reach my 10k daily step goal.  I want to remain active to make this as smooth of a pregnancy as I can!  I have incorporated weights back into the routine but taking my time and going very slow.

15 weeks – Starting strong with long walks as well as getting ready for our neighborhood garage sale.  (I need to get rid of junk to make room for our new addition)  I am hoping to make it to the gym and try some new exercises this weekend!

Symptoms

13 weeks – My skin is changing and not in that “oh you are glowing” way.  I am experiencing small bumps on my face and arms.  I of course had to ask the dr. who said it is completely normal (whew).  Another thing I noticed this week is that my motion sickness in a car has been exacerbated.  The “Gummy Bear” does not like to sit in the car for extended periods of time!  (yes I call our baby a gummy bear)

14 weeks – I started to feel a little cramping in my belly.  Don’t worry I have bought an at home heart monitor to check in whenever I get nervous.  After calling my sister and some other nurse friends I have learned that it is the ligaments stretching and completely normal.  These aren’t sharp pains but they are definitely something that caught me off guard.

15 weeks –To be completely honest I am starting to struggle with self-esteem issues a bit.  I don’t have that pregnancy belly yet but things are definitely starting to stretch.  My skin has improved but I still have a long way to go.  I am self-conscious about the bumps on my arms and afraid to use certain lotions because I don’t want it to get worse.

Whenever I start feeling down I pull out my monitor and listen to the heartbeat to get some perspective.  This keeps me in check.

Food Cravings
13 weeks – I think I ate 5 lbs of grapes.  No joke.  Thank you Costco!

14 Weeks – Steak – I want steak and potatoes all the time.   Justin even stopped on his way home to get me a potato because I wanted one really bad. It was a downpour outside.  Thanks J!

15 weeks – Gummy Candy.  I want gummy bears and gummy worms!  Sweets!Yes please!

Sleep Patterns
13 weeks – Sleeping much better and not waking up as much to use the bathroom.  My bed time has moved from 8:30 to about 9:30.  I am getting back to my old routine.

14 weeks – Improved yet again!  I have actually started wearing my fitbit to sleep and have been tracking it.  I am getting 8+hours of good sleep per night.

15 weeks – Waking up a lot to go to bathroom again.  Takes a little longer to fall back asleep.

Funny stories
I have started to use a hair tie to extend the buttons on my pants- not all of them but a few pairs!  I like to send Justin random pics at work for a good laugh.

Let me know about some of your funny stories!

 

The First Trimester of Pregnancy… Let’s Get Real!

What better time to write my first blog on pregnancy as I lay here wide awake in the middle of the night. Luckily for me pregnancy hasn’t been too hard. I’ve made it through my first 12 weeks with minimal morning sickness, no weight gain, slight shortness of breath, frequent urination, weird food aversions, a newly developed personality disorder, a super sense of smell, a constant need for Justin and extreme fatigue. I am talking about sitting at my computer with my eyes about to close at any second kind of fatigue. The only thing that keeps me awake is the fear of being caught in my “cover-up”

Let’s go into detail on these symptoms shall we?

Shortness of breath. Seriously? Yes, I am talking walking up my stairs and feeling like I ran a marathon. This is due to increased levels of Progesterone (a hormone you will learn to hate) It is difficult at times for your body to adjust to these crazy hormone levels. Seriously I was beginning to questions by readiness to handle a baby if I couldn’t handle walking up the stairs.

No weight gain. This seems like it would be great and while there are parts of it that are there are also parts that sucks. Example, packing in to a conference room with 20 employees and only 12 chairs in really inconvenient. I don’t look pregnant so no one wants to give up there chair to a slightly chubby girl who apparently had a big lunch. According to my doctor it is normal not to show for your first few months. I don’t think my sister showed until her 6th month.

Food Aversions- Wait you want me to touch that raw chicken and cook it? Umm I’ll pass. This was probably the worst part for Justin. For the first 10 weeks, I removed myself from the kitchen unless you wanted a dinner made of cream of wheat and toast. Most people think you crave things and maybe that will come but in these first three months mine was the opposite, I despised food. I only wanted dull bland food. Eating for me was a challenge because I never felt hungry.

Personality disorder – ok, ok I may be over exaggerating here but my goodness let’s talk about feeling crazy. I cried to Justin one night because I missed Rylan who was just in the other room. I contemplated waking him up because I wanted a hug. Side note – DO NOT WAKE a 4 year old up for a hug unless you want to lay there with him while he falls back asleep.

Frequent urination – I thought this would come later in pregnancy as your belly gets bigger and things get cramped. Forget that…sip of water = go to bathroom. Glass of water = 5 times to bathroom, bottle of water = game over.

Extreme fatigue – I’ve always liked to sleep in. Like clockwork, Justin is up at 5 while Ry and I sleep until 8:30. Typically I was going to bed at 11 or 12 on a weekend. Now I go to bed at 8 and still sleep until 8:30. I only wake up because Ry tells me too. It’s just not feeling tired though, I am talking you feel this fatigue all through your body. You honestly feel like someone is sucking the life out of you….oh wait they are. All Jokes aside this has been the worst part for me. I am talking no motivation. I cringe at the thought of walking up the stairs knowing that I will be out of breath when I get there. Simple tasks have taken on a whole new meaning.

Super sense of smell – this is no laughing matter. I about showed the whole fish department and the local Kroger what I ate for lunch. Oh you drank 24 hours ago, I know I can smell I mean tell. I’ve heard of this before but man oh man is it crazy. All I can say is thank goodness Ry is out of diapers.

Lastly, my need for Justin- I handle being alone fairly well. After all he used to travel for 3-4 days a week. Once he got promoted and took this new role his travel has died down drastically. On this rare occasion he had to travel for work my personality disorder kicked in. I was emotional and just wanted him home. When he left I felt a little punch to my gut. Biology has a crazy way with these things. (I balled like a baby to the airline when his flight was delayed and he would get stranded if they didn’t make up time in the air – poor customer service rep) I know he probably feels like at this stage there isn’t much he can do (other than remind me to eat proteins – which he is good for) but honestly the best thing he can do is just being there. It makes everything seems so much better. He has no idea how much I appreciate the nurturing side that doesn’t show too often.

Have similar feelings you would like to share? Let me know!

The Greatest Father’s Day

 

As I sit reflecting on the past few years of my life I know that I have been truly blessed.  I have met and married the man of my dreams, created a new life that includes an amazing son, Rylan and made some great memories with our little “unit”.

Today, I am excited to announce that we are expanding our “unit”.  Baby Linder will be arriving in December. 

I have been documenting my pregnancy and will be sharing it on the blog.  This will serve as a way for me to always look back and remember this completely wonderful phase in our life.  I look forward to hearing your stories, as well as sharing our journey on a healthy and fit pregnancy. Let the rollercoaster of a cravings (probably mostly unhealthy), exercise (or lack there of), fiscal responsibility and the continuous adventures called life, continue!

Summer = SHIRTS OFF!!

Today, I started a program to start “cutting” or “leaning out.” This is no easy task for us that work fulltime jobs AND have kid(s) AND have homes to take care of. So this is why I am going to jam pack it into SIX weeks. By then, it will be mid-July and I will have a good base to enjoy the second half of the summer… extremely fit and relaxed. The idea behind my program is to incorporate the Keto Diet and a lifting regimen that includes High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) during the rest periods between sets. Also, I want to make sure I am not in the gym for more than 45 minutes or so… since it is so nice at night!

Thought Process on Keto Diets:

  • A low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It’s referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF)
  • When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin.
    • Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source.
    • Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body.
  • Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.
  • Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
  • The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates.

Things you can eat:

  • Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
  • Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, etc.
  • Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
  • High Fat Dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries
  • Fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats (The Skinny on Fat and Cooking Oils)

Things to stay away from or limit:

  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal
  • Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges
  • Starches – Potatoes, etc..

Remember – to lose weight, you need to expel more calories than you take in… and that will be different for every person! Since I don’t want complete Ketoses so I can continue to build meaningful lean muscle mass – I am aiming to have 50% of calories come from protein, 45% fats and 5% from net carbs. Reminder: Protein and Carbs each carry 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 grams per gram!

For this program, a scale will be very helpful… over the next few weeks, we can give you hints of my workout program, pictures on progress, thoughts on HIIT, meal plans, etc…

Let us know what you think!

 

 

Adobo Sirloin

I love Spicy food!  Not as spicy as Justin would like but this recipe is the perfect amount of spice for me.  Today I want to share with you Sirloin with adobo sauce.  This recipe is high in protein and even higher in flavor… perfect for your Macros and healthy eating

First let’s run down the ingredients.

  1. 1 teaspoon cumin
  2. 1 can finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – or you can leave the whole if you prefer
  3. 4 – 6 oz sirloin steaks
  4. Juice of 1 lime
  5. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  6. 1 teaspoon dried oregano

This dish is so easy as it only takes 5 min to prep and 10 minutes to cook.  However you will want to marinate your sirloin for 2 hours to really get the full flavor.

Now let’s give you the directions.

  1. In a small bowl, combine, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, chipotle peppers and the adobo sauce.
  2. Season your sirloin with salt and pepper to taste and place into a large Ziploc bag with the marinade.  Seal the bag tightly and shake the marinade so that is covers all the sirloin.  Refrigerate for 2 hours shaking the bag occasionally.
  3. Prepare the grill to high heat and coat the grates with cooking spray.  Once the grill has reached the heat cook your steaks to your desired readiness.  Let the steaks rest for 10 min and serve!

This recipe will serve 4

Macros:

39 grams of protein / 237 calories/ 2 grams of carbohydrates/ 7 grams of fat

Let us know what you think!

 

Build Up Cents (and sense) with Credit Cards

Before I met Justin, I was a “debit card only” girl. To me, it was an accountability partner… I couldn’t spend more than I had. Also, credit cards scare me as I had overused them in college and luckily had the help of my parents to bail me out.  To me credit cards were a way of living a lifestyle that I couldn’t afford.  Imagine being 21, getting your first credit card and feeling financially stable, when in reality I had no more than 600 dollars in my checking account.  Drinks all around (I think I am getting a hangover at just the thought of those Captain and Cokes)! Well… it took years to get my credit score back up and back to a level playing field.

However, once I met Justin, who is a constant budgeter, planner and all around finance person, I found out I was (mostly) wrong in my approach and thought process. Ok, let me rephrase that, because I am never wrong J… I was simply missing the other side of the story.

Use a credit card and the reward program correctly, it can be just that… a reward! BUT, if you don’t use it wisely, forget it… you’ll hurt your credit score, be in debt and pay a lot more for that Tori Burch bag than the original sticker stated (guilty pleasure).

Not that I am a millennial (am I aging myself?), but a recent survey from Chime, showed that 70% of Millennial’s prefer a debit card, and 80% of them want a debit card with rewards. However, 68% of those that wanted debit rewards, didn’t have them.

So what can credit cards get you?

  1. Points for travel, shopping, etc…
  2. Cash back (up to 5% in some cases!)
  3. “Status” on airlines, hotels, concerts, etc.
  4. Purchase Protection
  5. Help avoid foreign transaction fees if traveling abroad
  6. Could aid in the increase of your credit score
  7. 0% balance transfers/ promotional periods (see number 1 below)

All done by spending the money you were already going to spend! However, here are some things you NEED to think about/ avoid:

  1. Pay your bill in full every month and on time (make a budget and know it, we do)
  2. Monitor Your Account
  3. Use your awards
  4. Know the annual fee and balance it vs. how much rewards you may get
  5. Shop around for the best rewards/ credit cards that fit your lifestyle (we did and do)

All in all, I have been able to get free meals, checked bags, free airline tickets, etc… by opening my eyes and becoming aware of credit cards and rewards.

Want to know more about my budgeting journey or where to look for the best credit cards/ rewards? Ask us!

 

The ‘skinny’ on leg day…

Ahhh… the “dreaded” leg day. Once upon a time, I too could not stand leg day, or working on my legs at all. After all, don’t they get enough of a workout? Think: we play tennis, ride bikes, walk around, carry babies… you get the point. They are the most used muscle in our daily routines. However, just like eating your vegetables, the older I get, the more I understand the importance of keeping them in top shape!

But, here are just a few reasons why you NEED to attack your legs (besides the fact you probably only work them once a week but yet they account for 50%+ of your body and muscles…

  1. Become a better athlete
  2. Burn more calories
  3. Reduce injuries
  4. Improve balance
  5. Go longer distances… faster too
  6. Heighten your metabolism
  7. Increase range of motion

Because we use our legs so much they are outfitted with a higher proportion of endurance muscle fibers than the chest or biceps. Legs need a higher volume of work

First of all, you don’t want to look like one of those people at the gym who has the upper body of a Greek God and then down below… well, you look like a chicken. However, it is not just about size (I fight against genetics with size, but size doesn’t necessarily mean strength). Leg training is hard but productive since compound movements like squats, leg presses and deadlifts will elevate your testosterone levels and call upon other muscle groups; leg workouts are a total body effort.

Before we get to the ABC’s – let’s talk inspiration and toughness (whether you’re looking to shed cellulite or grow your physique)! Any of you that have gone on a long hike or are preparing to go attack the legs in the gym, know that it is a mental struggle. It is proven that the more you work on mental strength, the more you can endure. Look forward to the challenge – after all, life shouldn’t be a cake walk (pun intended). Be consistent and watch your body and mind grow

The “terrific two”

I kid you not… for men AND women, there are no two exercises more important than the squat and deadlift.

A. These exercises work your whole body. Besides the targeted quads and glutes, these exercises work:

  1. Picking up and putting plates on the bar or holding dumbbells, squeezing the bar through the workout engage your arms.
  2. Driving up through the heels engages your calves.
  3. If you do squats and deadlifts properly, you have to stabilize yourself and push through your core, working your abs… the terrific two are a key component of having that six pack.
  4. Upon completion you drive up and through the chest.

B. There have been many studies and articles highlighting how the terrific two help boost and release natural growth hormones and testosterone significantly more than any other exercises… this will significantly aid in total body muscle growth. Oh – and that mention of hormones? Yep, that also aids in fat loss, just as efficiently in some cases as doing cardio.

C. Joint strength. Whether you’re a parent carrying a baby, an elderly person or a world class athlete, you’ll build strong knee, hip and ankle joints leg training, reducing your risk of injury. Adding weight to your exercises? This can help in the prevention and management of osteoporosis and arthritis.

This article was non-gender specific, but there are a host of different benefits for men and women (Carrie can attest). Want to know what they are? Want to know how to get started? Reach out!

So get out there and attack those legs! Happy healthy living

Is Popcorn a Healthy Snack For You? Pop in to find out!

You can no longer go down the chip aisle at the grocery store and not see endless bags of pre popped popcorn.  I am talking brands like Skinny pop, Boom Chicka pop, and smart food just to say a few.  Sales for these products have risen over the past few years and they are marketed as a nutritious alternative for chips.  For example, skinny pop has only 39 calories per cup with Zero trans fat, but does it have any nutritional value?

In its most basic form, Popcorn is not bad for you, but that all changes on how manufacturers pop the kernels – using either hot air or oil –and the kinds of flavorings they add.   Air-popped and eaten plain, popcorn is a healthy whole grain food that is low in calories (about 30 calories per cup) and high in fiber (about 1g per cup).  On the other hand, oil-popped and flavored popcorn is a different story. Large buckets of sweet popcorn from the cinema, or packets of gourmet, flavored popcorn can be high in calories and loaded with sugar and/or salt.

To make sure you are getting a product that had benefits every item must:

  • Contain only recognizable ingredients
  • Have no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners (stevia and monk fruit are OK)
  • Never list sugar as the first ingredient
  • Have a reasonable serving size
  • Taste absolutely amazing
  • Cost a reasonable price

After some research here is a list of the 3 best bagged popcorn.  These selections have no more than 200 mg of sodium and 5 grams of sugar per serving, avoid hydrogenated oils (which can increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes), and ideally use only eight ingredients or less.

1.)    Angies Boom Chicka pop – lightly sweet.  It is vegan, non gmo and made with only 4 ingredients. ($3)

2.)   Skinny Pop – black pepper.  This has a great flavor only consisting of salt, pepper, popcorn and sunflower oil. ($3)

3.)   Sexy pop Nantucket salted – made with only 23 ingredients- Butterfly popcorn, sunflower oil, and sea salt. ($5 – if you can find it!)

Let us know what your favorite popcorn is!

The Skinny on Fat and Cooking Oils

Recently, we were asked what type of oil we cook with. While I do cook (and can), I lately limit it to eggs in the morning and grilling. Why? Because Carrie LOVES to cook! However, her and I have talked, read and constantly gone back and forth on what types of cooking oils we should be using. My cousin Kelly recently asked if she should be using Coconut Oil due to the perceived health benefits, but was hesitant since it has a higher saturated fat content. While I am NOT a dietician, I am an avid reader and inquirer to friends that are dieticians. Here are some educational facts and thoughts:

Trans-Fat (Bad):

Trans-Fats are man-made and should be avoided at all cost! In a 2015 Harvard Public Health Research article, they stated that for every 2% of calories from trans-fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%!

Saturated Fat (OK):

Think whole dairy products (whole milk, whole cheese, etc.), red meat and coconut. Moderation in my eyes should be key here. For most of us that have done health screenings know the chart that links eating “a lot” of saturated fats to higher overall cholesterol and could raise the harmful LDL cholesterol. While we don’t avoid them in our diets, we do monitor the consumption

Mono and Poly unsaturated Fats (Good):

Think olive oil (mono), canola oil (mono), nuts (mono), avocado (mono), fish (poly), flax (poly). These fats can help replace saturated and trans-fat to still help satisfy hunger, cooking, raising HDL cholesterol (good), possibly helping prevent heart disease/ lowering blood pressure.

So what do we cook with? Our primary go to is canola oil ($). Along with its health benefits, it has a pretty high heat tolerance to handle most cooking and doesn’t have a taste. If we are looking for a higher heat tolerance (for instance, pan-searing) we opt for avocado oil ($$$) or olive oil ($$). We choose not to cook with coconut oil so it doesn’t transfer its taste onto our food and so we can enjoy our saturated fat in the form of red meat or semi-whole dairy

Want to know what brands we’ve liked and not liked or have comments? Reach out!

Happy cooking and happy health

Sources: Harvard