I found this quote at the very beginning of my pregnancy and it stuck with me the entire time. This might sound weird coming from a pregnant woman, but the time really seemed to just fly by...and I wanted it to just slow down a little bit! Today seemed like the perfect day to post this because today is my due date...but did you know...only 5% of women actually give birth on their due date? From the very beginning I've said I would go at least a week late, so we'll see if my prediction comes true. The feelings I've had the last few days I'm sure are to be expected but I'm just now fully realizing that at any time now, I transform into a "mama"....and to think about what that actually means is sort of mind blowing :) Also, I know everyone says it, but just thinking about it and visualizing how our every day lives are going to change SO MUCH is so excited and a bit frightening. I can't wait and I know Dan feels the exact same way!
I have wanted to write this blog for a while but kept putting it off....but I wanted to share with you all the "stuff" that I learned going through this process. I'm obviously not an expert and you might not agree with my thoughts 100%, but that's COMPLETELY fine. I know that everyone is different and what worked for me might not work for you. However, the one thing I HAVE to stress:
So many people just go with what is "normal" and don't ever think about WHY it's done! Even if you read through everything and think I'm crazy :) that's OK...at least you read through it and formed your own opinion!
I may be a little different than most people because I knew years ago that I wanted an all natural, water birth with a midwife. This was basically because of the influence of my older sister (she had 3 home, water births) but honestly, the thought of laying on my back with my legs up in the air with a handful of people standing around, watching me go through one of the most amazing and life changing experiences...did not sound like my cup of tea. So that played a part as well! I love the midwifery approach and it's definitely something that I wanted to be a part of. Midwives view pregnancy and birth as normal life events that are best protected through education and support. They use medical procedures only when there is a specific concern for the health of the mother or baby.
I did A LOT of research on my own to figure out what I wanted and didn't want, I asked tons of questions and read a few books. I found out that quite a few of the tests and procedures that hospitals do while you're pregnant, during labor and even after labor are unnecessary and have NO medical benefit...AND guess what? You don't HAVE to do everything they tell you. Yep...the rebel in me came out and I declined quite a few things!! Personally, I didn't feel comfortable just going through the slew of tests without first knowing WHY they were doing them and the more I dug into the facts, the more empowered I felt. I also shared everything I learned with Dan and we made these decisions together! Please also keep in mind that I'm referring to low-risk, healthy pregnancies...there is definitely a time and place for doctors in birth and if you're high-risk some of what I'm saying might not apply to you.
This is one blog that has been seriously amazing for me. It provided a lot of really great information! http://wellnessmama.com/6214/pregnancy-prenatal-care/
Check it out!
Here is an overview of the stuff we did or did not do during this pregnancy:
My midwife looked at the ingredients in Shakeology and she was completely fine with me continuing to drink it and use it as my prenatal vitamin. I just supplemented with some DHA. I also did buy some raw prenatals off of Amazon and used those sporadically on days where I didn't drink Shakeology. A few weeks ago I started to get heartburn from it and it was messing with my stomach a little so I decided to just stop drinking it for now and take the prenatals.
I was already eating a pretty healthy diet before becoming pregnant so I didn't have to change much...other than eating just a little bit more! Technically you only need to eat 200-300 more calories except I was working out still 4-5 days a week so I ate just a bit more than that to make sure. Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I heard "Oh just eat it...baby wants it"...or "You're eating for 2 now! You should really eat that." It drove me bonkers because if anything, pregnancy is when you should really focus on eating the GOOD STUFF....loads of real, nutrient dense food that not only fuels you and gives you energy, but it feeds your body, your baby and helps them grow. I ate ALOT of these foods:
I really didn't have any weird cravings...which I really do attribute to paying attention to my body and what it was asking for...instead of what my brain would tell me sometimes (NO, you do NOT need Taco Johns at 10:30 at night) and I've gained roughly 28 lbs as of right now....which is exactly what I was shooting for.
Being active before pregnancy definitely makes it easier to KEEP being active, so if you're not currently doing anything 3-5 days a week to move your body....you should really think about changing that!! I was doing T25 and doing some lifting before getting pregnant so I just kept doing that as long as I could. When I couldn't do the jumping in T25 any more, I just followed the low impact modifier. I did wear a heart rate monitor all through the first trimester because I had heard keeping your heart rate a bit lower was a good idea...but that ended up not being entirely true :) so I stopped wearing it and just listened to my body. Towards the end, I started doing more yoga and alot of lower impact workouts and just doing them at my pace.
Unless your activity is dangerous to the baby or yourself, there is no need to quit working out when you're pregnant...but make sure you talk to your midwife or doctor about what you're doing!
The necessity and safety of routine ultrasounds in a low-risk pregnancy is something that a lot of people don't know much about. They've become so routine and normal, it's now expected that you'll get multiple ultrasounds over the span of a pregnancy. After reading quite a few different articles about the risks vs benefits, I had decided not to have any (except to allow the midwife to check the heartbeat at appointments). But at 22 weeks the midwives I was seeing at the time, told me they weren't sure that my due date was correct so if I wanted to have a chance at a water birth I had to consent to do a dating ultrasound....which we did. We ended up doing the shorter version which was roughly 15-20 minutes long. If I'm being completely honest, it was fun to see the profile of our little one but it still pissed me off that I was forced into doing something I didn't really want...and then they only changed my due date by 1 day :)
Here are a few articles that I read through:
I've chosen to forego all internal exams (cervical checks) mainly because I feel like it messes with your mind more than anything (especially towards the end of the pregnancy). They could tell you that you're 3-4 cm dilated and you could walk around like that for weeks....or they could tell you you're not dilated at all and then you could go into labor the next day!! Your body is in control and knows when the baby is ready. TRUST it.
This is one test where most people don't realize that they have options. The traditional method is to drink 50 grams of a nasty, orange glucose solution and then an hour later they draw your blood to check how your body processed the glucose. Because we eat pretty healthy, there's no reason I would ever consume that amount of sugar and carbohydrates in 5 minutes, so who knows how my body would react. The risk of a false positive is definitely there and if that happened, that would require a 3 hour long test....plus I've heard it just tastes horrible.
I chose instead to do an alternative test which I had to suggest. I don't even remember where I read about it, but my midwife agreed to it, so it's worth suggesting if you don't want to drink the orange crap. The alternative test that I did was a 2 hour test where they drew my blood and then within 20 minutes I had to eat an entire bagel, a banana and plain greek yogurt which I added a tiny bit of honey to. I then sat and read a book for 2 hours, went back to get my blood drawn and I was on my way!
There are a few other tests that they offer (CVS, CF, Downs Syndrome) and we declined all of them. Basically if it wasn't medically necessary we decided not to do it. Some of them are outlined in this article...but we basically declined them because if he/she did test positive for any of them it wouldn't change the outcome of our pregnancy....and there is always the chance for a false positive which would cause more stress than needed. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/prenatal-tests.aspx
Testing for Newborns
There are quite a few tests that hospitals will automatically do when your baby is born...sometimes without your consent. After doing research on all of them here is what we decided to decline and why:
Eye Drops/Ointment: Only needed if the mom is at risk of having sexual transmitted infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Vitamin K Shot: Helps prevent Hemorrhagic Disease but if you're having a natural birth (no c-section, no epidural, no forceps, no suction) and allow the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before cutting as well as eating foods that are rich in Vitamin K, you shouldn't have to give this to your newborn. If you have to, go for the oral option and not the shot.
Hepatitis B Vaccine: Not necessary if mother has tested negative. More info here: http://kellybroganmd.com/article/hepatitis-b-vaccine-for-your-newborn/
And I think that's it! If you made it to the end, good for you :) That was a bit longer than I planned on!! Happy to answer ANY questions if you have some!!
This dish is one of my all time favorites. Whenever we go out for breakfast or brunch, I always search the menu for biscuits and gravy. I always look for it but I don't always order, I'm super picky when it comes to my biscuits and gravy, probably because I do enjoy making them myself. I'm one that says if I can make it better at home why should I order it out in a restaurant.
Another reason I don't order or eat this dish a lot is that your traditional dish isn't exactly the healthiest thing out there. Biscuits loaded with butter, white flour and probably sugar and sausage gravy that is loaded with more butter and flour. Nothing against butter, but when combined with flour, doesn't make for the healthiest combo. I've traditionally made my own version of this dish the same unhealthy way. So with this version I decided to make some substitutions and take this traditional dish and make it a little bit healthier.
A little bit of an aside, but my parents stopped by the morning I was making this dish. My dad's first comment when I told him what I was making, "Oh, shit on a shingle." The story behind that is when he was in the army, this was a normal dish that they were served. By the nickname though, they must not have been a quality biscuit or gravy. I guarantee that this recipe will not taste or look like shit on a shingle.
Since I'm not a baker and for sure not a Paleo baker I do need to give credit for this biscuit recipe to Jules at www.paleocomfortfoods.com. After quickly browsing his site, I for sure will be going back for other recipes.
Lastly, I don't think a biscuit and gravy dish is complete without a couple of eggs that are fried over easy. Nothing better than a runny yolk that gets soaked up by your biscuit. This will definitely be our new biscuit and gravy recipe. These biscuits were so light and fluffy too, I can see us using this for any and all biscuit needs. So even if you don't like the idea of "shit on a shingle" you can least have a new healthier biscuit recipe. Hope you enjoy!
We know that EVERYONE travels during the Summer. There are so many vacations/road trips and I'd say most people do not plan their snacks and meals ahead of time! The problem with not planning ahead is you are a lot more likely to grab a candy bar or some pringles as well as a Mt. Dew at the first sign of hunger. Bad idea!
We want to share with you some of our favorite, easy snacks that we bring with when we're traveling by car or by plane!
Bring a cooler and fill it with:
Don't forget the forks and napkins! And YES, you can fly with a cooler as your carry on...just no liquids and don't fill it with ice until you get through security!!
So it's been over one month since we came home from this INCREDIBLE event in Las Vegas. Our heads are still swimming with all the awesomeness that took place while we were there. I have no idea where to even start...but the beginning sure seems like the best place, right??
This trip was VERY unlike the "typical" Vegas trip...this was definitely NOT a vacation. We definitely viewed it as more of a business trip than for pure enjoyment. We were running around from the moment we landed Wednesday night. Right after we checked in to our hotel (The Signature which is connected to the MGM) we took a road trip to Whole Foods to stock up on goodies for the week. For information on how all that went down and how to eat healthy while you travel head over to The Cook & The Coach Facebook page and look for our post on June 23 about it.
Thursday morning we attended an awesome training event that was put on by Lindsay Matway who was the 2013 Top Coach. This event's them was SHINE! Lindsay invited a number of her top coaches to come and speak on different topics that have helped them grow their businesses...I LOVE learning from so many amazing people.
We also were able to hear from Carl Daikeler, Beachbody's CEO. Even if you aren't a Beachbody coach I highly encourage you to search out some of his speeches. He has a great message for anyone that is looking to grow as a person either personally or professionally. One particular point that we took away from his speech was in regards to facing your fears and weaknesses, and instead of running from them, facing them head on. Rather than just being ok with a weakness or fear, find a way to grow so that you can overcome the things that are holding you back from everything you've ever wanted!
Thursday afternoon we worked out live with Chalene Johnson and did her newest workout, PiYo with over 1,000 other coaches. After the workout we attended the opening session where we heard from Beachbody's executive team, fellow coaches and celebrity trainers. There were some big announcements about new products being released:
The last big announcement was that next year, Summit will be held in Nashville and not Vegas...which makes us very happy :)
To end our Thursday night, we got all dressed up and attended the Sequins and Studs party. The party scene isn't really our favorite BUT Laura had earned tickets to the party by working hard in April and May.....PLUS we actually got to have a quick photo op with Chalene Johnson. She was running around photobombing people...so obviously we let her. And to cap off the night they had a huge fireworks show!
Friday morning came pretty early...5:30 am to be exact...because we were up and waiting in line for the live T25 workout with Shaun T. It was totally worth it though. The more we're around this guy, the more we love him. His message is SO uplifting and positive.
After we finished our workout we cleaned up, grabbed some breakfast and ran over for the general session to listen to Darren Hardy speak. You literally just go from one motivational speaker to the next...that was kind of the theme of the weekend! If you have never heard of Darren Hardy, we HIGHLY recommend you pick up his book The Compound Effect or go check out his website www.DarrenHardy.com.....his message applies to everyone and is applicable for any experience life throws at you!
After lunch...guess what...we listened to MORE amazing people talk about what has made them successful in this business. The thing that seemed to be constantly repeating itself in almost every session (from Darren to Hardy to Carl Daikeler to a top coach) is you need to always be growing and working on YOURSELF and if you focus on helping others you in turn will help yourself. It is this constant cycle:
Friday afternoon I was able to participate in a VIP area and workout with Tony Horton. There were thousands of people in the room we were in, but I was 1 of maybe 100 people that got a front and center spot. You better believe me that I brought it during that workout. I worked out like I was auditioning to be in the next P90X workout infomercial. I'm still waiting for my phone call, but it was an amazing experience.
Later that afternoon we ended up running into Tony in the hotel of the lobby of our hotel and he was gracious enough to take the time to snap a photo of with us. I know he gets swarmed all the time especially at an event like this, so it meant a lot and spoke a lot to his character that he took the time to do that.
The rest of our Friday evening was fairly low key unless you get excited about eating a 3 lb lobster and 26 oz New York Strip. That is what I did, unfortunately I had to split it with 2 others. Laura was invited to the Star Diamond Reception by her coach, Lacy Salander...so she was hob knobbing it with the who's who of the Beachbody world. Next year we will both be qualifying for that one.
Saturday morning involved another early morning workout, but is was one like I have never seen or been a part of before. There were probably 8,000 coaches all packed into a parking lot outside. The energy was electric and an overall amazing experience. We got a 15 minute workout from multiple celebrity trainers including, Tony, Shaun, Chalene, Autumn, Rachel, and Dan. Needless to say it was a great workout.
After the workout we attended our final general session in the MGM arena. This session was awesome for a couple of reasons. We were able to hear Diana Nyad speak. This woman...at the age of 64, swam from Cuba to the Florida Keys. Talk about a story about never giving up! She told bits and pieces about her life, how she got into swimming and then how that turned into long distance swimming. She also told her story about swimming the 110 miles form Cuba to Florida!!! She was quite the inspiration and encouraged us to set goals that are bigger than you can imagine, and then simple DOING the daily things it takes to reach those goals.
Our day continued into the afternoon with more amazing trainings from some of the top coaches. We listened, we learned and we walked away from it all ready to go out and share that knowledge with our teams.
Summit 2014 ended with a celebration of top coaches and customer success stories. It literally ended with a bang!!! Carl Daikeler, Beachbody CEO, got "fake" shot out cannon as part of the skit they put on for Top Coach Lindsay Matway. There were a couple of highlights that night, one being we got to hear from the Top 10 Beachbody Coaches from 2013. Each of the coaches was given a chance to speak for a few moments. We were amazed, but really we weren't at how most of the coaches referenced or thanked God for helping them get to where they were on that stage. It really just helps us solidify our belief that we are part of an organization that believes the basic Christian morals of loving others and doing whatever we can to help others. It's not about making a ton of money (even though it's possible)...it's not about status...it is all about growing as an individual yourself and then helping other people do the same.
The other amazing part of the night came when they they awarded the winners of the Beachbody Challenge and these two lost over 400 lbs combined!!!
One quote from the guy that won: "Before starting on my journey I was just waiting for the day I was going to die....now everyday I look forward to living!!!"
THAT...my friends is what it's all about...and WHY we do what we do. This is not about selling...this business is about OTHERS and helping/inspiring other people.
So we will leave you with this final thought that we took away from our time down in Las Vegas; Are you making the most of this ONE, CRAZY, BEAUTIFUL life that we have to live?
The hardest part about making this is the chopping and finding fresh ingredients. After that, it is super easy and here is how I did it. I juiced all the citrus in a bowl and added the cider, then I added the jalepeno pepper, onion, and garlic to the citrus juice to "cook" it with the acid so it would take a little bit of the bite away from those ingredients. Then just mix everything together. If you want to make it a little more hearty and make it a main dish, you could add some black beans or maybe some cooked shrimp or chicken.
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.