How I Bounced Back After Baby

Helloooo Spring! I know I am a couple days late, but boy am I excited. Spring is by far my favorite time of the year. This winter has been especially tough because 1. This was my first New England winter in YEARS and 2. I just had a baby and was stuck inside the majority of the time (hello baby blues). But now that spring is here and there is a promise of warmer weather in the near future I am oh so excited.

I wanted to do a brief post on my postpartum journey so far. Today marks exactly 5 months since little Nolan entered the world. This has been the most wonderful, challenging, loving, overwhelming months and I could not imagine my life without this little guy.

Anyway, I wanted to post some encouragement and tips that I feel like helped me bounce back quickly!

Here are my progress photos. The last is current at 5m pp

1. Stay active throughout your pregnancy and eat as healthy as you can. This will result in a healthy and steady weight gain. Everybody is different and you will gain Ā what you need to for baby, but making the effort to stay active and make good food choices will benefit you both. I will do a post later on my go to workouts that I did throughout my pregnancy.

2. Invest in a postpartum girdle. I bought a Bellefit (which I will review at some point) to wear after delivery. I couldn’t fit into it right away so I wore a compression tank top the day after delivery until I could. I think it helped “shrink me down,” but mostly I enjoyed wearing it because it made everything feel tight and back in its place. I hated how squishy I was after!

3. Walk, walk, walk! When you feel okay and are okay’d by the dr. I felt like utter s*it for 2 weeks after delivery so I didn’t start walking until then. I started with just 10 mins or so, but it was soo nice to get up and move! Walking is one of my favorite workouts and the fresh air helped the baby blues.

4. Drink a lot of water (espectially if you are breatfeeding) and eat lots of fruits and veggies! I know no brainer, but water is so so important.

5. Breastfeeding. Holy cow did the weight melt off from breastfeeding! I wasn’t active the first 2 weeks but I was into my jeans about a week after delivery (when I was wearing my girdle of course).

I know these tips you’ve probably read/heard a thousand times, but it’s because they WORK!

Remember it’s also imprtant to keep your mind healthy along with your body. Every woman is different and will bounce back or not at different speeds-AND THAT’S OKAY. You just made a tiny human after all šŸ™‚ I hope you find these tips at least motivational to start or keep up the good work!

 

 

 

5 Things Yoga Has Taught Me

For the past year or so, I have really fallen in love with yoga. I’m committed to living a healthy lifestyle as best I can and am known to get stuck into a workout routine. I was heartbroken when running began causing pain to one of my knees. I didn’t know what other workout I could do that would give me the same satisfaction. Then I decided to give yoga another try. I took a class years before in high school and decided it was ultimately not for me. I didn’t feel like it was fast paced enough and it actually bored me. This all changed when I discovered Ali Kamenova’s YouTube channel featuring her interval yoga. It was challenging, fast paced, and a lot more my style. Now I practice multiple times a week, either at a studio or at home. As I have embarked on my yoga journey, it has been more of a mental challenge than anything. Here are 5 of the things I have learned that have altered my life:

1). You don’t have to compete with everyone on everything.

I have a horrible tendency to secretly compete with everyone on anything. It’s like Monica Geller style inside my mind. It’s partly due to my lack of self confidence and that fact that I have this dying desire to be the best at everything. However, as I’ve been practicing yoga, I’ve learned that it is not about competing to see who can do tree pose the longest. To me, it is about enjoying the moment of connecting with your body and mind in a way that you do not do throughout the day. I have been working hard to apply this concept throughout other aspects of my life.

2). “Everybody can do yoga, but not every body can do everything.”

I saw this quote online and it really impacted me. I know a lot of people who are hesitant to try yoga because they think they “don’t have the body for it” or “don’t think they’ll be good at it.” I know because I was there once. However, once you get over that thought, you realize your body can do some pretty remarkable things you never knew it could. You need to keep in mind though, that you’re not going to be able to do every pose as great as the others, and that’s OKAY. Every body is different and everyone has their own strengths- so find yours!

3). It’s an unexplainable joy to watch yourself progress

It’s a remarkable feeling when you conquer a pose that you never dreamed of being able to do. The moment I was able to do Crow Pose was freaking awesome. I worked so diligently to build up my core and arm strength and one class I just nailed it. It was a sense of self confidence that I sorely missed and try to apply in other parts of my life.

4). It’s not about how many calories you burn

I’m not sure if I consider myself a true “Yogi,” because of the fact that I was concerned about calorie burn during my workout. I wanted to know that this would be a good alternative to running and my body would transform into the pictures I saw on Pinterest of people doing yoga. Now that I have been practicing for awhile, it sounds ridiculous. Yes, I do practice for a workout and health benefits, but it’s also important I recognize the mental and internal progresses I have seen in my life.

5). Appreciate yourself for what you can do, not just how you look

This is probably my biggest struggle in life and it ties in with number three. I need to constantly remind myself that my worth is not judged by my physical appearance, but my strengths and what I am capable of. It is sad that someone’s worth is contemplated by their appearance. Yoga has indeed challenged by body physically, but it has also challenged my perseverance, strength, and patience.

Yoga

xoxo Ashley

A Healthier Chocolate Glazed Donut

Hey all! I have been completely MIA lately, but this post will make it up. I promise.

Right now I have discovered a “healthier” chocolate glazed donut recipe! I just made them as a surprise for my husband who loves chocolate glazed donuts. To start out, I do not believe in diets or completely cutting out sweets- one just needs to indulge in moderation. Therefore, I take it as a personal (and almost fun challenge) to recreate our favorite unhealthy treats and make them guilt free!

My first project: chocolate glazedĀ donuts. These donuts use minimal sugar and some of the ingredients can be substituted for even healthier options, for those of you who are super ambitious.

Donut and Milk!

I enjoyed mine with milk! Perfection!

Donut Pan

Donut Glaze #2

I don’t have a wire rack, so I just placed my newly glazed donuts on a plate

Donut Glaze Close Up

I found these donuts to be super delicious (although I personally think they taste better/more chocolately when you sprinkle them with chocolate chips). They are “airy” and moist, and they’ll pair perfectly with some milk or coffee!

Now to business.

What you’ll need for the donut batter:

1 Cup Flour (For even healthier, use wheat)

1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I used Hershey’s)

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Egg

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 Cup Sour Cream (For even healthier, use Greek Yogurt)

1/4 Cup Milk

2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil (melted)

Nestle Milk Chocolate Morsels for sprinkling! (Optional)

For the Glaze:

3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Tbsp. Milk

To Prepare the Batter:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease your donut pan. I personally used PAM Coconut Oil.

2. CombineĀ the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Stir well and set aside.

3. In a separate, smaller mixing bowl, combine the melted coconut butter, egg, milk, vanilla extract, and sour cream. Mix well and combine to flour mixture. Stir just to mix. The batter will be VERY thick/sticky/ hard to control.

4. Put the mixture in a Ziplock Bag and cut a slit to pipe the batter into the prepared pan. Fill about 2/3.

5. Sprinkle as many chocolate chips as you want over the donuts before you bake.

6. Place into the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

To Prepare the Glaze:

1. Mix all ingredients. Feel free to add more sugar or milk, depending on what consistency you prefer.

2. Wait until the donuts are completely cooled and dip them into the glaze.

Viola! Enjoy!