Nov 17

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

The Holidays are here and I couldn’t be more excited! Thanksgiving is next week, then Christmas shortly after. We get our Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving and with having a new baby it is going to be so much fun!

Holiday shopping can get crazy when the stores are crowded and it can be very stressful. Last year I tried to keep myself on a budget and get as much shopping done as possible in a couple trips. Since I have had baby #Adam I have loved online shopping, especially when they give me free shipping!

Aside from the crowded stores adding stress to our lives, I never know what the heck to buy people. Personally, I love exercise clothes and restaurant gift certificates. Here is a list of some healthy holiday gifts I was thinking about yesterday. If you have one to add comment below!

  • Gym membership (If you can afford)
  • Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods gift certificate
  • Exercise clothing
  • Workout headbands
  • Dumbbells (every mom needs a pair of these in the house)
  • Healthy cookbook
  • Personal training session
  • Stylish gym bag
  • Fitbit or heart rate monitor
  • Dark chocolate or high quality chocolate
  • Wine
  • Blender for protein smoothies and/or some high quality protein powder to go with
  • Coffee machine (because every mom needs at least 3 cups a day)
  • Crockpot (because who has time to cook)
  • Refillable glass water bottle (especially when breastfeeding)
  • Manicure gift certificate (because lifting our kids is is like lifting weights and I like to look good!)
  • Massage
  • Healthy magazine subscription
  • Gift certificate to Life Alive (a delicious vegetarian restaurant in Lowell, MA)
  • A nice warm sweater since we live in the freezing Artic for what feels like a million years
  • A basket full of healthy snacks and a gift certificate

Obviously, the holidays are not about presents but hopefully this list will give you some healthy ideas. I am just excited to spend the time with my family. Little Adam is going to get spoiled but how couldn’t I spoil this little guy?!?!

Adam and Santa 2014

Adam and Santa 2014

My favorite brand of yoga pants after having a baby. They are affordable and don't make you look fat.

My favorite brand of yoga pants after having a baby. They are affordable and don’t make you look fat. Available at Target for $15!

 

 

 

 

Nov 10

Peanut butter oatmeal bars

Last week was my first week back to work from maternity leave and I will be honest my heart broke a million trillion times. I hated every second of leaving Adam with other people. As the week went on, it got a little easier but not by much. The first day my stress level was so high I couldn’t eat which is really unusual for me since usually I stress eat. And I didn’t prepare anything for lunches so I ended up eating candy and crap. This week I am prepared; I have a rice and chicken dish, some fruit and I made these wonderful peanut butter bars. They are easy peasy and you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen!

Peanut butter oatmeal bars

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup honey (I would do half this amount next time since I thought they were a bit too sweet or you could sub this out for sweetener of choice)
  • 1 tsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp brewers yeast
  • Couple chocolate chips for the top

Melt peanut butter and honey on a low heat in a pan or microwave until melted. Mix everything in a bowl until blended nicely. Grease an 8×8 pyrex or whatever pan you have, you can also use parchment paper to line the pan with. Press the mixture down firmly into the pan and refrigerate for 2 hours till cold. Cut into bars and eat!

These will curb my sweet tooth and are easy to just grab as a snack. Oats, brewers yeast and flax are said to help with breastfeeding milk production, so mom’s try ‘em out and let me know if they work!

PS. Moms out there, did you pump at work? I did all last week and IMO it is the weirdest thing I have ever done, but sure I will get used to it. xo

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Oct 26

My experience so far with breastfeeding

Note: These are just my experiences. I understand that breastfeeding isn’t for everyone and that some people have reasons that don’t allow them to breastfeed. :) I am not biased at all.

Every mom asks the big question, to breast feed or not? Right off the bat I knew that I would want to try considering I am in the nutrition field. When Adam was born he was a couple weeks early and he was having trouble latching onto the breast and as a result he had low blood sugar, so we had to supplement with formula. Of course as a new mom I was terrified! I was thinking OMG he is going to starve and then when supplementing I was asking myself if I was feeding him too much. It was a crazy mind game.

We spent a week in the hospital because he had low blood sugar, jaundice and had to have phototheraphy. Even when we went home he didn’t latch great, he would just move his head ferociously not really grasping onto the nipple. Finally after crying my head off I called the lactation consultant, she said they could come out next week and that what was going on with Adam was very common for babies born a couple weeks early. Luckily, after a couple more days of schooling Adam got the hang of it and lactation didn’t even have to come over. ;) I am glad I stuck with it. The best position for us to feed is the “Football Position” it is great because he lays on a pillow right under your arm you bring his head and neck right up to the breast and stuff your whole nipple in his mouth! Don’t be afraid to get the whole nipple in there that is what you want for a great latch.

This week is my last week of maternity leave and after almost 3 months of being exclusively breastfed we have another monster to tackle! We have been trying to introduce him to the bottle so when he goes to his grandparents and daycare he can eat, but he is refusing the bottle pretty badly. He won’t even take the bottle from my husband. It is crazy, he cries and screams and just dillydallies not drinking it. He is spoiled. :)

Some things I have learned from breast feeding are to have confidence and patience. As a new mom you are faced with sooooo many things and it will make your head spin if you don’t stand confident and have patience. This may be your first child and you have never breastfed before but it is something we are born to do and it is instilled in us from millions of years of women doing it, so at least give it a shot and if it doesn’t workout for whatever reasons don’t let it eat you up and make you feel bad, at least you tried. You know your baby the best, nobody else. If he is crying feed him, change him, hug and kiss him, don’t worry about schedules or charts or some article online saying that he is going to get fat if you feed him to soon. Seriously. And as for patience, well patience is needed all times of the day for a million reasons.

Here are some more of my experiences, thoughts, and what has been working for me.

  • I love breastfeeding, it’s time well spent with my son. I couldn’t think of any other thing I would prefer to do then look in his beautiful eyes.
  • I let Adam drink as much as he wants, the baby’s body utilizes all parts of the breast milk so don’t limit them. They will generally stop themselves from feeding once your breast has emptied. Sometimes Adam just wants a sip or a snack. I always offer the other side just in case he is still hungry. He generally eats about 1-4 ounces per feeding and that usually takes about 10-20 minutes per breast every 2-3 hours.
  • I pump once a day and store milk for when I have to go back to work and send him to his grandparents and daycare :( I am sure I will be pumping at work so I can store extra otherwise my milk supply may dwindle.
  • My favorite websites for breastfeeding information are Kellymom.com and Bellybelly.com.au both these sites are filled with info on breastfeeding. I could sit there and read for hours, I am a BF info junkie!
  • Some people have told me to be careful of certain foods for example spicy foods but I have not had a problem with this yet, I have had a diet rich in all kinds of foods so far and nothing has had an impact on him.
  • I am all for breastfeeding in public, but have not come to the point where I want to engage in it. I don’t mind doing in front of certain family or friends but you will not find me at a restaurant with my boobie out. Maybe the second child?!?!
  • As I said earlier YOU KNOW YOUR BABY BEST! Do what you feel is right, don’t listen to anyone else. <3

Feel free to share your story below! I would love to hear it.

Adam and I

Adam and I

 

#adambomb

#adambomb

 

Adam and #georgethebasset

Adam and #georgethebasset

 

Sep 28

Spicy Turkey Chili

I love Sundays because my husband usually makes something delicious for the Patriots game. The game is not on till Monday this week but lucky for me he’s still making something yummy.

This recipe calls for habanero peppers and since we love spicy foods in this house we added them, but feel free to eliminate them.

***Important note: This chili is nicely paired with Chocolate Fudge Brownie Gelato for dessert!

 

Yummmm

Yummmm

Spicy Turkey Chili 

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 15.5 oz. (1 can) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt & pepper
  • 2 habanero chili peppers

In a pot brown the turkey, red pepper, onion and garlic. Then add in the beans, tomatoes, habanero pepper and spices. Let cook for 30 minutes on medium. Top with some cheddar cheese. Enjoy.

The might Habanero chili pepper (hot)

The mighty Habanero chili pepper (hot)

My boys watching the Patriots.

My boys watching the Patriots. Can you see Adam in the middle?

 

 

Sep 27

First strength workout 8 weeks post-partum

This week I did my first strength training workout almost 8 weeks postpartum. And boy oh boy am I sore! It’s a good sore though.

Honestly, I was soooo scared to go back to the gym, after being sick, lethargic, and not working out most of my pregnancy and feeling like a beached whale at the end it was hard to go back not sporting my pre-pregnancy body. But then I thought, you just grew an effin human, show yourself some love! Nobody at the gym cares if you’re bigger than you were before, that’s why everyone is at the gym… and if they do care what I look like screw ‘em.

After I gave birth I really let my body recover, I rested, focused on spending every second with my son (which I still do) and I incorporate walking every single day. Yesterday when I lifted weights I felt great, I went slow and controlled and not heavy at all.

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Here is the workout I did: 2 sets of 12, took me 30 minutes and Adam was in the room next to me (daycare) so moms there’s no excuses, we need to stay strong and healthy for our kids! My trainer was awesome letting me go at my own pace and modify.

  • Seated cable rows 30 lbs.
  • Lat pull-down 40 lbs.
  • Single arm bent over rows 8 lbs.
  • Stationary lunges, holding 8 lbs. weights
  • Bicep curls 8 lbs.
  • Light deadlifts that were more of a stretch, 8 lbs.
  • Chest flies 8 lbs.  (I did these flat this time but will definitely do inclined next time, too much pressure on my back and tummy)

I was happy to focus on back work considering I feel like a hunch back with poor posture and bad alignment since I am nursing my son. Moms definitely work on your backs!

As you can see there is no ab work in here. Why? Because all these exercises incorporate your abs and sit-sups are not beneficial to the postpartum woman and can result in hurting yourself. Plus doing sit-ups and crunches are bogus and boring IMO! My focus is on clean nutrition and then when I actually lose the belly fat and I know my stomach and pelvic floor is healed I will possibly start adding in some of those exercises. But to be honest I would rather sprint then do a crunch. Sprinting is the ultimate full body core exercise!

I am going to attempt to take this same class today. I did take some pictures of my 7 week postpartum body, I am too chicken and will not be posting on social media or here, but will keep you all posted on my progress.

When did you start working out postpartum? I would love to hear what exercises you did!

xoxo

Stay strong mommies!

 

 

Sep 10

Sweet Potato & Sautéed Kale #MacMuffins

Howdy friends!

I have been doing a lot of word play lately with my last name MacArthur…as you can see I called these #MacMuffins and been calling my son a #MacNugget. hehe.

Having a new baby is such a delight, but juggling things and doing them one-handed is very hard so it’s nice to have some healthy pre-made foods in the fridge for when I am hungry. Also, as a breastfeeding mom I am trying to have a variety of foods in my diet and keep a nice balance between carbohydrates, protein and fat. Which will keep me feeling full longer and also supply my body with the nutrients it needs to feed my baby.

You all know I am no culinary expert and I like to make easy foods so it helps when I save kale left over from last nights dinner and have a sweet potato already in the fridge, BAMMM! (In Emeril Lagasses’s voice) Prepping and keeping small things on hand really helps when you want to whip up something quick.

Delicious!!!

Delicious!!!

Sweet Potato & Kale #MacMuffins

  • 4 eggs
  • guts of 1/2 sweet potato (throw away skin)
  • handful of chopped kale (sautéed or raw)
  • handful of cheese of choice, I used mozzarella
  • salt and pepper
  • cupcake pan and liners

Preheat oven for 10 minutes at 350. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Pour into lined cupcake pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until done. Eat warm or let cool, store in fridge for a grab and go breakie or snack! Recipe makes 6 #MacMuffins.

cupcake

Sep 04

1 month as a mom + my favorite baby products!

Today is Adam’s 1 month birthday, where did the time go? I just may cry, he’s growing way too fast. I feel like it was just yesterday Scott and I were driving to the hospital in the middle of the night…

As any mom would, I LOVE staying home with him, feeding him and taking care of him. Even though some nights he would prefer to stay up and party. :)

Right after an #adambomb

Right after an #adambomb

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Sadly, my little #Macnugget is out growing his newborn clothes and diapers, how can I stall time so he stays small!?!? Luckily, we got sooooo many wonderful things at my baby shower that we really don’t have to buy anything for a while.

Since I have only been a mom for one month I don’t know about every product and gadget out there just yet. But since I am experimenting and learning the ropes, I decided to compile a list of my NEW MOM MUSTS. Keep in mind these are just things I like but would love to hear the products you recommend or don’t like.

MY NEW MOM MUSTS

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  • Babies R Us Neutral 6-Pack Terry Burp Cloths. They say breast fed babies don’t spit up as much as formula fed babies, but guess what? They still spit up. Good to have these handy!

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  • Graco Stylus Click Connect Travel System Stroller. This stroller car seat combo has been great! The car seat easily clicks into the base in the car and the stroller rides very smooth. This stroller pushes up hill and through sand very nicely. I definitely plan on buying a jogging stroller for the spring but until then this will do!

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  • Graco Pack ‘n Play On The Go Travel Play Yard. This has been my all time favorite thing so far, we have it in our finished basement and he sleeps in it while we are watching tv and when he gets bigger he will be able to play in it since it goes from sleeper to playpin.

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  • Zip-up long sleeve pajamas with the feet covered. It is so easy to have him in his pjs all day, to not have to worry about him losing a sock or putting on a sweater is nice, especially since we have the air conditioning on. Just zip him up and he’s ready for the day.

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  • Dream On Me 2-in-1 Bassinet to Cradle. We put this bassinet right next to our bed since I don’t feel comfortable leaving him alone in his crib yet, it gives me such peace of mind. Definitely recommend having your newborn sleep in your room with you for the first couple months!

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  • Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump. If you are breast feeding you will most likely want to get a breastpump so you can store milk. This breastpump is awesome, it’s almost the same as the industrial one they let you use in the hospital and the best thing is that most insurances cover it!

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  • Babies R Us 2.4 inch Color Video Monitor. As a new mom I am obsessed with my son, the thought of leaving him for a second makes me crazy. If he is asleep and I need to run downstairs to put the laundry in the drier I take the monitor with me so I can see him. This brand is affordable and the customer service is awesome!

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Sep 01

Happy Labor Day + 15 Minute Fat Blaster

Happy Labor Day! This holiday is supposed to be work free right? Well, not from working out!

My hub and I were just talking about what kind of exercises we should put on this workout and he came up with walking lunges for your booty and triceps dips for those arms! Go ahead and thank him.

This quick workout will get your muscles burning and heart rate pumping. Who seriously has hours to spend at the gym? I don’t, especially now that I have a baby. Short and to the point workouts is how I roll. :)

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