Let’s Get Social: Workout for Friends

Happy Friday to YOU!!! Oh my gosh it has been a minute since I have blogged and I have to admit, I have missed it a little bit 🙂 I have been a little busy lately and focusing more than ever on really being present to what is right in front of me and thankfully, what has been right in front of me lately has not been my computer screen 😉 More on that later! Today I want to talk about workout out with friends and using our friendships to keep each other motivated.

My aunt sent me a pretty funny group chap with herself and her girlfriends, talking about working out. You could be running a marathon together or texting each other workout jokes, whatever works for you! Friendships are great ways to keep each other accountable.  I have come up with a few things you could try with a friend or two.

When you first start out on your fitness journey, it can be difficult to keep yourself motivated. You can have a week-long streak, then stop because you missed a day and it’s hard to start again. Or boredom, self-consciousness, and doubt can get the best of you. In this case, why not get some friends involved in your workouts. Not only can you all keep each other on track, but you can also all have some laughs along the way.

Dance off the calories

Whether you sign up for a high-intensity Zumba dance workout, a mellow salsa class for beginners, or just enjoy yourselves playing Just Dance on Wii, dancing is a fun but intense exercise. It’s even more fun with a partner. A 30-minute session will burn between 130 and 250 calories, will challenge your brain as you learn the moves, will target your whole body to make you stronger, and will improve balance and coordination. The best part about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere. I would say if you were to walk into my house on a weekend, there is about an 80% chance you would catch me dancing in our kitchen with JoMarie. We love dance parties and the calorie burn is just a bonus. 

Join the gym together

Going to the gym can sometimes feel like self-imposed torture, which doesn’t help your motivation in the slightest. Getting a gym buddy might not make it feel any better, but at least you’ll have someone to cheer you on while you lift weights and push you to stay in plank for a few more seconds. There are even a few partner exercises you could include in your workout to raise the intensity. Having to motivate someone else to stay on track will also encourage you to stick to your gym schedule. In short, you stand a better chance of meeting your gym goals and reaching your targets if you take your friend to the gym with you. Even if it’s not the gym, maybe start a new program with a friend. This way you can keep each other accountable as you will be doing the same workouts as each other. 

Run together

A running buddy may make this exercise a little more exciting. Having someone to run with is an excellent way to see if you’re pushing yourself too hard; if you find it difficult to maintain a conversation while running, you should probably slow your pace a little. However, if your running partner is slightly better than you, then you have a free running coach telling you when to pick up the pace. Why not sign up for a charity run to further motivate yourselves to stay on track? I am currently working on signing up a group of my co-workers to do some charity runs together this year and also using this as some team building 🙂 can’t wait!! 

Relax together

Once you’ve committed to working out together, you and your buddy should make sure to enjoy your rest days together. By keeping each other in line, you can get right back into your routine the next day. Get in the kitchen with a friend and experiment on some new healthy and fun recipes to try!!

Our best girlfriends are special gifts that we should never take for granted! Surround yourself with your friends who are cheering you on as loud as you are cheering for them, there is nothing better than that!!

“When women support each other, incredible things happen”

Kick Back & Relax: Your Health Depends On It

Hi!! How the heck is everyone? With how busy we all can get, I have been reminded the importance of taking even just 5 minutes a day to let myself relax and center myself. I will literally go crazy if I don’t 😉 CRAZY I tell you!! Trying to find a balance with everything we all have going on in our lives can be tough, but struggling through and not letting your mind and body rest at all is actually really bad for you. Let’s talk about kicking back and relaxing a little bit!

Working long hours, looking after a family, maintaining a social life, hobbies, exercise and other commitments can be a struggle. Many of us are balancing so many different things, life can easily become stressful and overwhelming. And with so much to do, kicking back and relaxing is probably the last thing on your mind. Like many of you are probably laughing at this post with me even suggesting you “kick back and relax” right?!? I get it, I’m the exact same with myself…. I have no time to RELAX, but I have learned pretty quickly that I need to make time or I suffer even more.  It’s so important to do so for the sake of your health. You make the effort to eat well and exercise so why not take the time to de-stress and unwind when your body needs it? Here are some of the ways you can go about it… EVEN if you’re a super busy person like many of you! 

Massage

The benefits of massage are pretty great and I was not fully aware of it until I went in for a couple of prenatal massages. As well as easing tense muscles and lowering blood pressure, massage actually causes the release of endorphins (which are our brain’s ‘happy chemicals’) leaving you with an improved sense of wellbeing. Different types of massage will use different techniques and are used in different ways. For example deep tissue massage is effective for injured muscles and can promote healing. Holy Hannah though, those deep tissue massages can be a killer. It is for sure that “hurts so good” kind of thing 😉 Hot stone massage can ease muscle stiffness and reduce tension. Aromatherapy massage can help to relax as well as promote healing in different ways. For example, eucalyptus and pine can provide a decongesting effect, and lavender can promote relaxation. There are essential oil reviews all over that you could check out online if you wanted to try self massage, or get a partner to help. hint hint…back massages tonight?! I think so 😉

Hot Baths/ Hot Tubs

Okay so honestly, hot tubs gross me out a little bit but they can feel so good.  Hot Bath’s became my best friend at the end of my pregnancy and I can’t express enough how much it helped with my sore back and helped me relax. Being submerged in warm water helps to lower heart rate and reduce blood pressure. Hopping in the bath after a long and stressful day is a cheap and accessible way anyone can relax, plus it’s a calm place away from everywhere else where you can just clear your mind. This is something I’m going to try to do again once a week. Allow myself some time to take a bath and just relax. We will see how that goes! 

Meditation

Meditation focuses on mindfulness– bringing the mind to the current moment. This is my favorite way to relax myself and something I highly encourage you to try! During meditation it is so nice to not stress about the past or worry about the future. You can concentrate on your breathing and allow your body to fully relax. It taps into a deep level of calm, and has been scientifically proven to be beneficial in many ways. I partner up a lot of my time to pray with a little meditation and there isn’t anything that centers me more than that! It helps improve memory, self awareness and perspective. It lowers heart rate and blood pressure and can lead to a deeper and better quality of sleep. It’s simple to do, and looks different for everyone. If you are new to meditation, there are many apps you can download to help you get started. I personally like to have some tea, grab my bible, and spend some time in silent prayer and deep breathing. It is crazy how much of a difference this makes in my day

Do you make time to relax, for the sake of your health? I’m suggesting even 5 minutes a day… just try it 🙂 

Stay Mentally Alert With These Four Life Hacks

Good Morning and happy Monday to you all! I put together a little health post for today about our mental health, and how we can help our mind stay short with some simple activities that many of you probably already do 🙂 So it turns out, pregnancy brain IS a thing and so is “new mommy brain”. I could do an entire post dedicated to sharing just the funny, ridiculous, and entertaining things I have done, said, and forgotten since I have had my daughter. There are a few things that I try to keep consistent in my daily life, to help keep my mind going and stay on somewhat of a routine.

Being mentally alert is also good for your health. It also means you have a higher chance of living longer and having less medical problems throughout life, believe it or not. After all; your brain is the “computer” that controls your body. If it becomes inefficient, other things in your body can start to fail!

If you want to keep your mind sharp and focused, follow these simple life hacks and apply them to your everyday life:

Make exercise part of your daily routine

It’s no secret that exercising is good for your health in general. But, did you know that it’s also good for your mind too? For a start, exercise increases your heart rate, pumping more oxygen to your brain. It also helps to unlock hormones that provide a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells. No WONDER after my lunch workouts I come back to the office feeling ready to go and refreshed! 

You’ll also find that exercise is good for your mental health too. Even just going for a ten-minute walk each morning helps you to clear your mind, so to speak. Exercising has a way of just lightening our anxieties and refreshing our minds, it also decreases your chances of developing chronic depression.

Drink plenty of water

If you google “how much water should I drink each day” you will get MANY different answers. We don’t all weigh the same or are the same height so the water intake for each person will differ. In general, you should drink water when you feel thirsty and dehydrated. And if you feel hungry, drinking water could help block those hunger feelings from developing in your stomach!

Water is also good for your mind too. Our bodies use water as fuel for various functions and is a necessity for correct brain function. A lack of water can lead to symptoms such as “brain fog,” fatigue, and lack of concentration.

 

If you don’t like drinking tap water at home, it’s possible to get some water filters or just drink bottled water.

Sleep at least six hours a day

Before I was a Mom, I use to “require” eight hours of sleep. I have quickly learned that I can function just fine and feel great on six hours of sleep. When it’s bedtime, you should aim to have at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep! I can’t say I’m getting six hours uninterrupted sleep right now but we are working on that 😉 

Read for an hour before going to sleep

Last, but not least, you should take up reading before you go to sleep. Spending an hour reading a good book will help your mind to rest and get ready for bed. Using technology like TVs, computers, or cell phones will keep your mind in an alert state – not good for bedtime! Put those phones away and open up a book! You won’t regret it. 

Thanks for stopping by today!! I hope you all had a fun weekend and are ready to jump back into the grind.

 

Are You Being Help Back? How You Can Change Your Lifestyle For The Better

Helloooo! I hope you are all having a great week! It is crazy to think that January is coming to an end, how is everyone doing on those 2017 goals? Here is a little post to help you carry on with those goals.

January seems to be the month where we all like to make some changes. Those changes might have to do with losing weight, getting our finances in order or finally going for that promotion at work. But what some of us would really like is to change our lifestyle in general. This tends to cover the food we eat, the way we feel both physically and mentally, and habits that we want to pick up like random acts of kindness or reading more, and habits we would like to take out of our lives completely. But, too often we can feel held back, something stops us from achieving that lifestyle we so desperately want. So I thought I would highlight some areas that could be the cause of you feeling you can’t achieve your goals, and hopefully this might help you get back on track for the year ahead and to be the bets version of yourself. 

 

Is your body stopping you?

Sometimes we can have the very best intentions of getting fit, eating healthier and just feeling good about ourselves, but our bodies can have different ideas. You may find that you feel pain or struggle when you exercise, and that might be because you have an underlying problem like joint issues, arthritis. Which is actually more common than you would think, way more common than I realized before doing research! When exercise is painful, it doesn’t always just mean you’re out of shape, it could be another issue so just be sure not to ignore your aches and pains.  Checking out websites like RheumatoidArthritis.org offers us a lot of information. It’s worth tackling whatever is causing you pain or discomfort head on to help move on and get to that lifestyle change you are wishing for 🙂 

Is it your mindset?

Our minds are powerful tools, like WOAH powerful and they can ultimately play tricks on us. We may start with good intentions, but if you have a negative mindset and thought process then the chances are you won’t carry on or just quite when trying to pursue a healthier YOU. Negative thoughts can impact us more than we realize, so it’s important to work on that thought process and try and have a positive outlook and approach to daily life. Doing this could have a huge impact in more ways than one.

Are you setting unrealistic goals?

We all have that big goal and motivation, it will possibly be the reason you started this journey, but those goals are often the big end result, and sometimes if we focus too much on that we can get disheartened when we don’t get results. While those big dreams are good, it’s worth setting yourself small, realistic goals to help you get on track. This can be a big motivator to help you stick to the path. For instance, right now I have a small goal for myself to get up every morning BEFORE JoMarie wakes up. This way I can get downstairs, make my breakfast, let the dogs outside, and get our morning ready before mommy duty calls. It mentally helps me and is a little goal I have for myself each day. I fail majority of the time, I will be honest 😉 but I’m trying! 

Do you really want this change?

If you find yourself struggling the question you need to be asking yourself is if this is something you really want to do. Is it for you or to make someone else happy. Subconsciously you may be happy with the way things are, and someone else is encouraging you to make the changes. It might be time to address those issues. You have to do this and want this for YOU! 

Do you want to know how to stop being held back?
Finally, figuring out what the root cause is can only be a positive thing. It will help you move forward and tackle the issues before it stops you achieving your full potential. Keep positive and stay on course and you will start to look and feel exactly as you want to.

Thanks for stoping by today! I want to be sure to say with posts like this, I personally by NO means have the perfect lifestyle and these posts help me just as much as I hope to help others 🙂

Post-Baby Fitness

Good evening!! Late night post for you 🙂 I got little miss to sleep, Nick is in bed, and I brewed a cup of coffee for a late night of school work. Yep, school work. So here I sit, blogging and avoiding my school work 😉 I have recently started to workout again since giving birth and thought I would do a little post on that. Currently I am doing the Kayla Itsines 12 week BBG challenge (when I have time to do it) and I’m also getting back into my lifting program. It feels great, but I have learned some things along the way as well. Be nice to your body!! As much as I LOVE my workouts and the feeling I get after a good workout, right now my favorite workouts include morning stretch time with Jo, and planking over her cute little body and watching her smile at the ridiculous silly faces mommy makes at her.

Pregnancy changes your body in many ways, ways that I never even imagined. But I do not just mean changes to our outside appearance. Do you notice how we tend to only focus on the aesthetic side. It’s a bizarre focus really because in many ways, the biggest change is what happens internally. The feeling is indescribable and something I will not try to explain. You just change.  

It has long been suggested that pregnancy alters your internal chemistry in such a way that fitness is harder to achieve. Sure, there’s some biological basis to it as well. There’s also the fact that when you have a new baby – and despite what celebrity magazines proclaim – you’re not focused on “getting your body back”. I LOVE health and fitness and I received many questions asking if I was just going crazy not being able to workout, but honestly, no. It just hasn’t been my focus, but now that I have gotten the go ahead from my Doctor, I have started to workout again and I am learning to love my post-pregnancy body, one step at a time 🙂 It’s actually all pretty freaking beautiful! Your body just carried this little human, pushed the baby out of you, and now your body is healing so that you can live your life chasing that little human around for the next 18 years 😉 

So you’ve got your postpartum body and it is different; it’s inevitable. So is this the end? Are you doomed with a “mom body” as people call it, for the end of time? 

Of course not. Take, for example, athletes. Tennis star Kim Clijsters gave birth to daughter Jada and then came back to win the US Open. British athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill became World Champion after having her son. And these are the elites! So of course you can return to your previous fitness form – and surpass it if you so choose to. Sure, there are some things that regardless how many burpees you do or weights you lift, some things will always be different. But is that so bad? What’s important is to get to a point where you love your body and are proud of it and feel beautiful if your own mommy skin 🙂 

But how?

#1 – Reintroduce Yourself Slowly

So slowly. So very, very slowly. This is a marathon and it’s also a marathon you’re not prepared for – so be careful with it. I will be honest with you all and say I made this mistake. I was SO excited to get my first lift in after the Doctor gave me to go that I jumped right in and tried the weight I was lifting during pregnancy. Well…. I just took 6 weeks off and you lose muscle fast! I had some pretty sore core muscles (and not the good sore) and I felt pretty silly with myself. It’s not worth it!! Take it slow! 

The best way to begin is with something simple, like walking. Walking is good! This is made even easier in that you can team it with a stroller, so you get a little baby time as well. The key step is to support your body. If you have any previous injuries, tape them. Use support wherever you need to: thighs, bra, any areas you are concerned about. Make sure you have the right shoes for the job, I’m huge into reviews before I buy things, here are some reviews of the best walking shoes for women

A walk around the block a few times a week is a good way to begin. Or mall walking with your babes in the stroller during the winter months! 

#2 – Forget What You Knew Before

Ding ding ding! I need to take my own advice! If you used to be able to do X number of reps or run for X number of miles, then forget them. You can use them as goals if you really want to, but generally, it’s best to forget those numbers and create all new numbers for yourself! 

If you push to try and regain your previous stats, then you’re facing an uphill battle that you don’t need. Instead, set new records and teach yourself to find assurance in them as they improve. It doesn’t matter what you could do a year ago; look at how you compare to what you could do a week ago.

#3 – Swim

Swimming is great for your body in a variety of ways, but it’s particularly good for the new Mom. It’s also something you can share with your child as they get older. Nick and I were just chatting how we can’t wait to take JoMarie swimming for the first time! Not only is swimming a decent cardio workout, but it will also help toned and strong – all in the supportive environment of good old H20.

Just remember to take it easy on yourself and love your body! The changes can be so hard, but they are so beautiful as well. Loving your baby is your main focus right now, everything else will come when it’s supposed to 🙂

The Truth Behind Diet Trends

Goooood Morning and Happy Sunday!! I hope you all had a great weekend and are starting your Sunday off doing something that makes you happy. Aren’t Sunday’s the best?! Here is a little health post for you on some diet trends that are popular right now, and my take on them. Enjoy 🙂 **knowledge is power**

Most things in our world follow a pattern of trends. The most obvious are fashion, health trends, technology and of course, diet trends. There are different claims and pitches for almost every diet on the planet. Some are backed up by science, while others are merely bandwagons that have gathered a bit of steam. Some have clear and exciting results, while others are tried out for a bit and then shelved. With all this in mind, it can be a bit confusing knowing which one is right for you. Not all diets have to be followed exactly as they are designed, many people take bits and pieces of healthy habits from multiple different diet structures, to make something that works for them. You may just want to incorporate OR take out a certain food or a type of meal from your existing diet, to see if it makes any difference to your health. Here are some popular diet and food trends that you might want to consider trying.

Spices

Adding spices to your food has long been considered one of the best ways to boost your metabolism. Asian and Indian diets are renowned for having some of the most flavorful spicy meals around, so it can be tasty, too. The humble chili pepper is at the root of most spices and spicy dishes, and this alone has some amazing health benefits. Chillies are said to lower blood pressure, help improve circulation and ward off strokes, amongst many other things! Who knew?!? If you suffer from a weak immune system or frequently get colds and flu, adding spices to your food can be a great way to help detoxify your body. It doesn’t just need to be chili, either. Turmeric, garam masala and cumin are also powerful spices that also taste great in stews, curries and broths too. Right now I can’t take in too many spicy foods as I’m breastfeeding and I do not think Jo would appreciate it 😉 but it is nice to know of a natural way to help detoxify our bodies… just spice it up! 😉 

Zucchini noodles

If you haven’t heard about zucchini noodles just where have you been for the past year? This latest food trend involves replacing the typically ‘carby’ parts of a meal – the noodles, the pasta etc – with spiralized vegetables instead. It is regarded as one of the best diets for weight loss. You can actually use many different types of vegetables for this. Eggplant and sweet potato are both popular options too. Just make sure you are still getting some form of carbohydrate into your diet somewhere, as it is not wise to cut them out completely. Just jump on Pinterest and you can find so many recipes for zucchini or eggplant noodles, give it a try! 

Gluten free

Over the past couple of years, there has been a huge rise in the amount of people adopting a gluten-free diet. I’m sure many of you have noticed how the menus we order from now label what is gluten free. I have heard so many people be annoyed or make fun of these healthy options and I just do not get that. I understand that “back in the day” there was no gluten free and “everyone was fine” but times has changed, medicine is more advanced, and if people want to dedicate themselves to a diet that helps them be their best selves, who the heck are you to judge? For some people, having gluten in their diet just isn’t an option at all. A lot of people suffer from coeliac disease, an autoimmune disorder that there is currently no cure for. In order to keep the symptoms in check, sufferers are advised to avoid gluten in their diets. But what does going gluten-free mean for the rest of the population who aren’t coeliac, but who follow a gluten-free diet? Essentially, people who go gluten-free have to avoid any food which contains wheat, rye or barley. A lot of people claim that they lose weight, have greater energy levels and less bloating as a result of going gluten-free, but always check any major dietary changes with your doctor first if this is something you are interested in trying. 

There you have it 🙂 Your little Sunday health post filled with some goodness and knowledge!! Have a blessed day all!

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Well hello!! A little healthy lifestyle post for you today 🙂 Living out a healthy lifestyle is so much more than working out! It’s a LIFESTYLE, so it’s being as healthy as you can throughout all aspects of your life. Staying physically fit, eating foods that our bodies love, keeping ourselves mentally healthy, glorifying our relationships, feeding ourselves spiritually. Being home these lat 6 weeks, I have realized how keeping my house in SOME WHAT of an order is really important for me. I do get anxiety when things get too messy. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that sometimes the dishes will wait and clothes will sit in the dryer for a couple of days 😉 but keeping my house clean helps me mentally!

Living a fit and healthy life is becoming more important to everyone. We all try to eat healthy meals, do the right amount of exercise and keep ourselves hydrated. Being fit and healthy is not only good for your body, it’s good for your mind, and your soul. Many of us have attempted various fitness regimes, and have tried several diets ranging from the bizarre to the extreme to the normal. Yes, being fit and healthy is now a massive part of many of our lives and we see the benefits – physically, mentally, or both.

However, sometimes, we can’t allocate time to our fitness regime or diet. Time is not always an excuse, sometimes it is just our reality and I am learning that now more than ever! Our lives are busy, and keep getting busier, so it can be hard to manage our working hours with our lives and fitness or diet schedules. Whether you have just had a baby, are recovering from illness, have got a new job or are a stay at home parent, it is hard to juggle everything at once and we are, of course, allowed an off day. The struggle is REAL you guys 😉 I mean, it took me three different sessions on my blog to put this little post together, because life kept needing me and that isn’t going to stop, so trying to fit in prepping healthy meals for my family and working out can be a challenge and I know you can all relate. It can be hard to find that balance, but it is so worth it! Take advantage of those “off days” they are 100% necessary for your health and you deserver it! 

If, or when, you do have an off day it is still important to maintain a hold on your liquid intake and the state of your home. I have found quickly that keeping your home somewhat clean (as much as possible) can help so much with your mental wellness! A clean home is theorized to provide a good, working mind so even if you can’t face a trip to the gym, why not do a bit of tidying up or ensure you are keeping yourself hydrated well enough.

While cleaning your home, it is important to some of us that we keep the laundry going, OH MY WORD, I have never done so much laundry. It is never ending with a newborn…. spit ups, drool, blow outs, projectile vomiting…. you name it, it’s going down over here 😉 Let’s say (hypothetically OF COURSE) you were to wear the same T-shirt for a few days (hey, we’ve all done it), truth is, that T-shirt will be home to many types of bacteria, stray hairs and could even have a few unpleasant stains on it (enter the spit up stains). These stray hairs (thanks puppies!) and stains (thanks JoMarie!) can develop germs very, very quickly and can infiltrate your body – possibly leaving you feeling ill and definitely not able to keep up with your fitness and diet regime, more importantly, these germs could pass on to your family members or little ones! 

It may seem a bit over the top, but if you’re positive about a healthy body and mind, then the things you wear should be as clean as your insides, too. From trying out essential oils, a free & gentle laundry soap, to an air filtration system or water softener, (for instance the Fleck 5600SXT) there are so many ways you can ensure a healthy environment within your own home.  Being healthy isn’t just about working out, it’s about being in healthy environments! 
What is a step you could take this week to make your home a little more healthy for your family? I recently was gifted a, no chemicals added spray cleaner. I spray this on my countertops each evening and wipe down my kitchen. I feel better waking up the next day knowing where I will be preparing our food, handling my babies milk, and eating is clean, smelling fresh, and isn’t covered in chemical cleaner. Just a little step 🙂 

Have a great rest of your Wednesday!!

Yeah BABY! **giveaway**

Hi lovelies!! I hope you are all enjoying your week and are ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow if that is a Holiday you celebrate. We are excited to spend tomorrow with family and be one day closer to welcoming our little bundle of joy into this world. She seems to be pretty comfy as of now so we are doing our best to enjoy this time before she joins us. I am excited for today’s post ladies!! I am teaming up with Rodale Books and Jillian Michaels team, who is offering a fun giveaway for one of My Goodness readers. Expecting mama’s, or have a loved one expecting, you will want to enter this one 🙂

I have been lucky enough to be able to workout throughout my entire pregnancy. I really feel this is a huge reason as to why it has been such a great first pregnancy experience. With that, there have absolutely been days when the gym just wasn’t going to happen and working out was the last thing I was about to do. But being able to stay with my fitness routine 90% of the time and doing my best to keep a clean diet during these last 9 months, has helped me a ton! But there is so much more to know about being pregnant and becoming a mother for the first time, than just knowing you should stay as active as you can. As I’m sure many of you mom’s out there can relate, the amount of “research” I have done during this pregnancy has been insane. There is so much information out there that it can be so overwhelming but at the same time, addicting! I have always said knowledge is power but for the LOVE there is so much out there regarding pregnancy and becoming a first time parent.

giveaway

I was so excited when I was sent Jillian Michaels upcoming release, Yeah BABY! First of all, I LOVE Jillian!! For anyone who doesn’t know, Jillian is a celebrity fitness trainer who you may recognize from her appearances on The Biggest Loser. Her success is endless and her love for health and fitness is something I admire, so when I was asked to read this book and sponsor a giveaway on my blog to share some of this goodness, I jumped at the chance. Jillian has two seriously adorable children with her partner Heidi Rhoades and Jillian recently wrote this amazing YEAH BABY! book. This book is the modern mama’s guide to mastering pregnancy, having a healthy baby, and bouncing back better than ever. All things I have thought of hundreds of times throughout this amazing process of preparing for our first child.

In Yeah Baby!, Jillian, along with her team of top-notch experts, will change everything you think you know about pregnancy, arming you with the most cutting-edge information available, so you can make the right choices for you and your little one. They will help you navigate the hidden dangers in your immediate environment; understand the check-ups, tests, and treatments your doctor recommends; and provide powerful solutions for all your issues, from heartburn and swollen feet to more serious medical concerns. Also learn how to optimize every facet of your child’s development, from IQ and long-term earning potential to future level of physical fitness and even taste preferences! Yeah Baby! also features a complete meal plan with delicious, nutrition-packed recipes, and a one-of-a-kind, trimester-specific fitness program, to ensure you bounce back stronger and better than ever. You all, this book is amazing and this goodness needs to be shared! I learned so much just glancing through the book at first and then I knew I had to fully dig in.

Rodale Books is offering one lucky winner a copy of YEAH BABY!, and a really awesome HotMilk nursing yoga bra. This is such a great giveaway and I’m pumped for it as I think my mommy readers will love these items as much as I do! All you need to do, to enter is two things

1) Comment on this post and tell me if you would be using the book and bra as a gift or for yourself

2) Go follow Jillian Michaels on EITHER Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. 

The lucky winner will be randomly selected on Saturday and will be announced in my Saturday blog post 🙂 Good luck ladies!! I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of your weekend and weekend with your loved ones!

Nervous Energy: Lifestyle Choices That Keep Your Nerves Healthy

Good evening everyone!!! Coming to you with another My Goodness health post, surprise surprise 🙂 I have been working hard to bring content to my blog that will benefit us all in our health and fitness, but more specifically, focusing on health aspects that we may not think of otherwise. Knowledge is power people!! My nerves lately… oh boy!! This girl needs to pipe it down a notch 😉 I put this post together to jump into our nervous energy a bit and provided some tips for us all! ENJOY!!!

Be sure to stop by the blog later this week for a fun pregnancy update 🙂

Your nervous systems is an incredible thing. It maintains control of all parts of your body. It’s responsible for regulating movement and breathing, maintaining temperature and digesting food.

But if we don’t look after our nervous systems, it can be hard to be our healthiest self. We can develop nervous ticks, have problems swallowing and struggle to digest food, and I think you would be surprise how many people struggle with this. The subject of looking after our nervous system doesn’t come up often enough when we think about being healthy, being healthy is SO much more than eating healthy and working out you guys! We don’t think about how our nervous system might be affected by our lifestyle and environment. 

There are plenty of things that can adversely affect the nervous system and destroy our quality of life. The main cause of a faulty nervous system is poor circulation. But you can also suffer nerve dysfunction because of disease or even after being exposed to a toxic substance. People on special diets need to be careful too. A lack of B12, for instance, has been linked to nerve problems in people who eat a vegan diet. And a lack of magnesium is also a problem for those who eat a very bland diet with little variety. This is why I am careful with advice to on what diets are good and bad because almost every diet lacks something that can effect your body in ways you would never think. 

If you want to reduce the symptoms from a weak nervous system, you have to take control of your health. Here are some things I have put together that you can do to help boost that nervous energy. Take a look at these tips.

Take An Epsom Salt Bath

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Can I get a heck yes?!? For the last part of my pregnancy, I have been taking MANY epsom salt bath’s 🙂 They are my best friend right now and have many benefits.

Epsom salt is something of a cure-all. It’s used in pretty much every remedy out there. Epsom salt helps to elevate your mood and get your nerves and muscles functioning properly. Epsom salt contains lots of magnesium, and this allegedly helps to increase serotonin release in the brain. The more serotonin, the more relaxed and stress-free you will feel. 

Drink Green Tea For Brain Boost

Quick note: Green tea is one to avoid when you are pregnant 🙂

When most people think of the nervous system, they think of the finger-like structures that travel around our bodies. But the vast bulk of the nervous system is in our brains. It’s also where the majority of problems can develop. Green tea has been listed as a solution for all sorts of problems, from slowing aging to preventing heart disease. Now it’s being hailed for its positive effect on the nervous system. Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine. This chemical helps to get the brain to release dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is essential for neurons in the brain to make connections. Without it, we can feel depressed and anxious.

Some have argued that the caffeine in green tea is beneficial too. It helps with alertness and concentration. The jury is still out on whether caffeine itself is beneficial, or whether other compounds in the tea are responsible for its benefits. But so far green tea has been linked to a reduction in brain-related conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Drink two to three cups throughout the day. Add lemon too, it tastes so good! 

Drink Chamomile Tea For Better Functioning Nervous System

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Chamomile has been used for decades to treat nerves and calm people who are anxious. Some of you ladies may recognize chamomile, it is in the bedtime tea a lot of us have tried and loved!

Not only does chamomile help us relax before bedtime and calm us at night, I found a  study on chamomile in Phytotherapy Research. It found that chamomile essential oil improved the function of the nervous system. There are two ways you can use chamomile. You can either drink the stuff in tea. Or you can put essential oil in your bath and soak in it, just like with the Epsom salts.

Walk Barefoot as Much as Possible

I mean, we used to not wear shoes at all 😉 . It was only with the advent of technology that we started doing it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cute pair of shoes and I promise the next time you see me I will not be walking into the grocery store barefoot, but there is some research on the idea of walking barefoot when we can. 

I found this interesting study in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health on walking barefoot. The study found that walking barefoot had multiple benefits. These included lower blood viscosity, less inflammation, more sleep and autonomic nervous system balance. The study was groundbreaking, so to speak. And it highlighted once again how important it is for us to go back to our roots as often as we can in the modern world. I have a family member who often refers to how things used to be in the “olden days” and how many of those practices are better than what we practice today and maybe this is a good example of this! 

Walking barefoot around the house is easy to incorporate into your life. But walking barefoot outside isn’t. The good news is that you can now buy shoes that simulate the effect of walking barefoot, we have all seen those funny looking toe workout shoes right?! I have heard great things about them if you can get passed the look of them! These shoes look a lot like toe-socks. They’re ideal for when you want to keep fit and exercise.

Start Attending Yoga Class

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We’ve all heard the expression “use it or lose it.” Well, it turns out that it applies to our nervous system, just as much as it does to our muscles or cognition. One of the best ways to test your nervous system is to do yoga. Yoga is an activity that tests all aspects of your nervous system. It requires you to maintain balance and get into unfamiliar positions. It’s been shown by research that yoga helps to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol. It’s also been proved to improve the immune system and generally help make people feel better.

Some yoga poses are particularly useful in protecting the nervous system. These include the downward-facing dog pose, the inverted staff pose and the shoulder stand pose.

Getting good at yoga takes time and daily practice. Once you’ve incorporated it into your routine, it becomes hard to give up.

Thanks for stopping by for a little health read today 🙂 Have a great week!!!

All Your Questions About Nesting Answered! Impact on Health, What To Avoid and Enjoying It

Good evening loves!!! I have a post for you tonight on NESTING!!! I just had to 😉 it’s what is consuming my world and I thought a blog post would be fun as I’m recently learning of so many new pregnant mamas. So exciting!! I have a 3rd trimester post coming up for you all, as we have been told we are good to bring this little girl into the world whenever she is ready!! I figured I should get a post put together soonish. Okay so for those of you interested, lets talk nesting!

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While almost every aspect of pregnancy has been pretty fascinating to me, it’s also pretty bizarre. Our bodies change, and we were ready for that. You knew your stomach would expand to accommodate a growing baby; that your ankles might swell; that your lower back might hurt. You have probably even laughed at how real your “pregnancy brain” has been at times, in which your hormones turn your head to mush. So it’s not just the physical changes you can prepare for, but those definitely get the bulk of the focus.

One of the most interesting areas of pregnancy for me has been this nesting stage. The desire to get things right and get things done before your little peanut comes to join you. Clean! spotless in fact. For the world to be in order right before you bring a new life into it – or at least as in order  as you can manage! I pictured this stage coming with ample anxiety but instead I’m experiencing a sense of calm. As I’m walking around our house each night like a crazy person, looking for something else to organize or clean, there is a complete sense of contentment and calmness and I really love it. So what is all this nesting business about?….

Why Do We Nest?

Because we’re animals! HA! Okay hear me out on this one, it makes sense! 

That might seem like an odd answer, but it’s got its origins in pure biology. The whole reason we call it nesting is the way Mama birds prepare their nests prior to laying eggs. We humans are doing the same thing: preparation. This has been studied countless times; not every woman goes through a nesting period, but those that do describe it as an overwhelming impulse and I can completely relate to that impulse. My mind just doesn’t shut off and I often feel like I can conquer the world, so I go for it and I’m quickly reminded by my body that I am in fact pretty stinking pregnant and need to take it easy. 

Nesting really is a time when you get a boost of energy and start deciding to put things in the right place. Some of it can even be powered by very real concerns. The aftermath of labor and nursing a newborn might mean you can’t be as active in your household routine as you might normally be. So, knowing that’s coming up, you want to get things right so they can handle a little more neglect in the coming weeks.

Is It Just About Cleaning?

Not at all! Don’t get me wrong, I’m trying to take full advantage of this wanting to cleaning business as it’s not usually on my list of favorite things to do 😉 Nesting can also mean not wanting to spend time with strangers or people you don’t know well. Instead, you draw closer to the people you love and trust most in the world or may become a bit of a homebody. I have found myself becoming a little quieter the closer we get to the big day, but I think that is normal. 

Research tells us that the closer we get to the day of birth, the more we keep to ourselves. So if you find yourself not wanting to spend time with many people beyond your immediate inner circle, that’s okay too, do not be too hard on yourself! You just have a lot going on in preparation for your life taking a very big turn to parenthood. 

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Is It Always A Good Thing?

Nesting generally is a good thing; it’s a sign your body is doing all the right things in terms of preparation.

However, it can have its downsides. The biggest is in terms of stress. As you glance around your home and see a thousand and one things you want to fix, it can make you feel unstable. This can mean the desire to clean, fix and change can feel a bit overwhelming.

It’s great if you have all the time in the world to satisfy this nesting feeling, but what if you don’t? You still have a life, that does not just stop because you’re nesting. There is a chance you have a strong desire to nest and literally aren’t able to.

How Do You Cope?

The only way of managing this impulse is to try and control it and channel it into something useful. Rather than running around like a headless chicken trying to fix a million things you’re concerned about, sit and try and make a list.

This is a list of things you can conceivably do; that it’s safe for you in late-term pregnancy to do. What you ultimately put on your list is down to you and your priorities, but here’s a few starter ideas:

  • Prepare for a health emergency that isn’t related to the pregnancy itself. This can be things like bleeding gums, which is a problem for a huge amount of women in the later stages. I know this sounds silly, but I have read many stories on new mommies dealing with this. You’ve likely spent so much time and energy focusing on the baby, you’ve forgotten how you’ll cope if you go wrong. If you wake up one morning in pain, bleeding heavily and needing to seek a dentist, already have one picked out. The same applies for things like chiropractors and other issues you might stumble across. Knowing you have everything already mapped out will be soothing as your mobility becomes more compromised.
  • Clean as much as you want to, providing it is safe for you to do so. Anything that requires climbing on a ladder is best left alone, or at least delegated to your partner. So the tops of closets and high shelves in the kitchen are not things to tackle alone. If you find yourself wanting to desperately while home alone, distract yourself with something. It might seem imperative at that point in time, but the urge will pass, especially if you clean something else in the meantime.
  • Storage issues. One of the major aspects of nesting can be about organization as much as cleaning. Invest in some good storage options and ruthlessly create a manifest of everything that goes into them. This has two benefits in that it both helps the desire and is actually useful. In recovery from birth, you’re not going to want to go rifling through every drawer to find anything you need. A prepared list is going to go down a charm at this point.

It can help to focus a lot of your efforts on your labor bag. This is something directly connected to the desire to nest, so you’re going to feel you’ve got purpose. Don’t just copy things off a list either. Think the process through to yourself: what might help? What might you find soothing? I’ve really enjoyed putting our hospital bag together and I’ve taken my time to do so. 

And of course… Anticipate!

Nesting is a sign that you’re entering the final phases of being pregnant. There are undoubtedly things you will miss about this stage, but now it’s time to move on. So enjoy the phase of getting everything ready with happy anticipation, because soon it will all be worth it. This is just the beginning of the journey, and your mind and body is telling you to be ready for it. So keep a handle on the stress and make the most of every second.

I LOVED reading blog posts like this in the beginning of my pregnancy, so I hope some of you enjoy it as well!! Until next time 🙂