Five Things Friday

Another week come and gone! This week has been a nice, busy, but relaxing week getting to visit with friends and family.

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1. Seriously, where did fall go?! It’s the official first day of Autumn today (my absolute favorite season) and it’s been in the upper 80’s pretty much all week (and humid) and is going to continue till almost the end of next week. It’s crazy. The leaves are still starting to really change and fall though and that is reassuring. We picked up some pumpkins today and we were all in tang tops and shorts, it definitely felt out of character.


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2. The pre-sale for Beautycounter’s Holiday sets were this week. And. You. Guys. There is seriously so much goodness coming up this fall/winter. I know that’s a major tease, but I just can’t help it. I’m practically bursting at the seams to see the kits in person.

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3. Honeycrisp Apples. I haven’t been in to apples too much lately/over the summer. I find that my body does tend to crave different foods with the seasons and in the summer gimme all the berries, cherries, & peaches. Now with the weather changing (… well sort of) I’ve started to crave the crisp crunch of a juicy apple and this time of year Honeycrisp are my favorite. I made a trip with my mom and sister to a local produce stand/market that I was told by multiple people had the best honeycrisp apples in the area and I was not disappointed. Dipping a slice in to some nut butter. So. Good.


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4. Back to Beautycounter, I have been using two items from their Rejuvenating line consistently over the past month and have been loving the results. The rejuvenating is the line for aging gracefully. I love knowing these products have some extra ingredients to help keep my skin looking young but does not have the harmful ingredients that many conventional aging products have. I am going to do a post on my skincare routine next week and will talk about these products a little more in depth then so stay tuned!

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5. Speaking of aging {gracefully}, it’s my birthday tomorrow! I personally love birthdays and while yes it’s always a little weird to be a year older I love celebrating birthdays and getting to acknowledge and be thankful for all that I have learned and how I’ve grown (figuratively because I haven’t literally grown taller in over a decade) over the last year. I will be right on the cusp of joining the 3-0 crowd. I have no “before 30 bucket lists” that I’m trying to get through over the next year, I am just excited to welcome another little one to our family and see what adventures are in store for us.


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Have a wonderful weekend!

<3 – Brittany

My day at Expo East

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Expo East for one day. I follow many different bloggers from the “real food” and “paleo” world and I had heard about Expo West this past spring out in California and longingly wished to be able to go to check out new products and goods coming out but 1.It was in California and 2.You have to be in the natural food world whether as a retailer or blogger or product producer, etc and none of those were me anyways. Well fast forward several months and after reading through a Whole 30 email post they wrote about being at Expo East in Baltimore in September and it really peaked my interest seeing as Baltimore is only 25 minutes away from where I live. So I checked in to it and the expo had the same stipulations as Expo West as to who could go. I had my blog, but I’m definitely not big by any means in my readership or reach right now. It will hopefully continually grow, but I’m not anywhere near the readership of the people I follow who I heard about the expo from so I didn’t really think that would be an option for me to go, but there was an ability for medical practitioners to buy a pass and being a Physio I was able to buy one and go check it out! So for looking at health products potentially for my patients and also getting to check out all the new natural and health food products, I was in.

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I was able to send my little guy back to his old Daycare for the day and I got peruse the convention center without interruption. While there I was talking to a vendor and they stated that this expo was about 3x smaller than expo west and I cannot even imagine how many vendors where there and I would have definitely needed more than one day to go through it all. I really could have used two days to check out Expo East, but was really glad I at least got to go for one day.

The expo took up the whole convention center. There are 4 floors and 3 out of the 4 had vendors in them. The third and fourth floors were the “hot products” pavilions and the booths were a little bigger but still had a lot of vendors. The second floor was mainly all educational sessions (I believe) which I did not attend and then the first floor was the other area with all the other vendors and was huuuuge and had so many different companies and booths to walk by/through. I have attended the APTA’s (American Physical Therapy Association) big yearly combined sections meeting and that’s big and the exhibit hall is a lot to take in and go through, but this was seemed so much bigger (and probably was). I was there from when the vendor halls opened in the morning at 9:30am till almost 2:30pm. Towards the end of my day I didn’t feel like I had done a lot, but then I looked at my Fitbit and was at almost 13,000 steps for the day. I wasn’t quick, but I was on my feet and constantly moving all day – and walking back to the car and sitting in my car riding home my right low back/SI and side was telling me so. That’s normally where I feel the most discomfort when I am more active, but it wasn’t too bad thankfully.

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I didn’t eat too big of a breakfast and actually never even had a formal lunch. There were so many samples to try and multitude of food options that I didn’t even need to. I tried to be careful and not over-do it especially with sweet foods and I did pretty good. My stomach felt a little off in the evening, but really not too shabby for all the different foods I tried. It was fun to meet and see many of the owners of companies/products that I love and also see some of the new products they are going to be launching. It also was nice to try some products that I’ve been too apprehensive to purchase in the store because I’m afraid I won’t like it and they’re normally not the cheapest items around. I value mine and my families health and I do my share of buying items to try them out, but I also try to be smart and really only try out items that I’ve head something similar and know I will enjoy or it really sounds good. One of the items that I really liked that I had wanted to try but had been on the fence about buying myself was drinkable veggies. The traditional drinkable veggie – V8 – was never anything I liked and I’ve always been wary of trying a gazpacho soup also, so I was just apprehensive. There were two main companies that I tried of drinkable veggies: Zupa noma and Bonafide Provisions. I am kicking myself because I didn’t try all the flavors, but I did try several of each and I was pleasantly surprised because they were really good. I’m excited to buy them occasionally and have on hand as a good “snack” option to hold me over between meals or even as something to eat eventually during labor as having good nutrient base, calorie profile and easy to get down since you drink them. The flavors that I tried of Zupa that I really enjoyed were the Yellow pepper turmeric and tomato gazpacho. Bonafide provisions (they also sell bone broth and use it with their veggies) that I enjoyed were Renew and Revive.

Side note – most of my pictures were taken from my instagram stories, so they’re not the best and will most likely have words and hashtags and such on them. I didn’t get pictures of everything so I may grab stills from websites also.

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There were definitely trends in a lot the products. Many companies are adding collagen to their products and matcha tea is very popular right now. There was also a lot of chickpea stuff and popcorn. I don’t feel the best with legumes so I didn’t try much (any?) of the chickpea products. I got to try a really good bottled matcha tea drink by Matcha Bar. It was super smooth tasting and even the plain without excess sweetener had great flavor. I was super excited to take a full bottle home with me, but stupidly put it in the freezer with dry ice on the way home and it exploded (extreme sad face emoji). I will be on the look out to buy it again for sure. Vital proteins also is coming out with a matcha collagen and I got to try that mixed with coconut milk and it was also really good. It’ll be on my list of items to buy from them. I love their collagen and got to take two of their travel collagen peptide packets. I love adding it to my morning coffee or smoothie as an added protein boost without added flavor. I also think it really helps my nails, hair and skin a lot.

So sad ūüôĀ

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Another food that I love to use daily and try different varieties of is ghee. Tin Star foods had their ghee their, which I love and have used in the past. Another company I got to try was 4th & Heart. They are coming out with a chocolate ghee and it was to die for. They also have flavored ghee and I loved the California Garlic flavor. I was able to get a small travel packet of it and I cannot wait to buy some.

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I had been looking for Fire Cider in my local health foods stores and couldn’t find it, so I was super happy to find the Fire Cider booth and talk to the ladies there. They were so nice and great to talk to and I was able to get a small bottle to trial at home and found out where I should look to buy it in stores. Fire Cider is an ACV drink/tonic that is kicked up a notch. They have different varieties but the one I tried has honey, oranges, lemons, onions, ginger, horseradish, garlic, turmeric, and habanero pepper. You can drink it as a quick shot or dilute it in water. It has a serious kick and I have been taking it as quick shot for an immune boost and also to help with the wonderful acid reflux that I’ve been getting with being pregnant.

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I love finding options for snacks that aren’t always sweet. Don’t get me wrong I love a piece of dark chocolate or candy of some sort, but sometimes I’m just craving salty and 4505 Meats had several flavors of pork rinds and they were delicious. I’ve never really had pork rinds (chicharrones) as truthfully I thought they sounded kind of gross, but I really like them and the BBQ flavor was so good.

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I have been eating Siete tortilla chips for months now and love them. They are a great gluten free alternative to regular tortilla chips and I don’t think you can tell the difference at all. They are actually my tortilla chip of preference. The lime is my favorite (they have original, lime and nacho flavor). I was able to try their gluten free tortilla varieties and I was super impressed. The almond flour one was most like traditional flour tortilla but I liked them all and the cassava and coconut was my favorite (they also have a cassava + chia tortilla).

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Wild Friends nut butters were SO good. The picture below is a new product of oats + a packet of nut butter and it was divine. I can’t wait to purchase some for my pantry.

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There were several nut milk companies and I didn’t try them all, but several of them and Elmhurst really stood out to me. Each milk (they have unsweetened and sweetened varieties) had a simple and clean flavor and you could actually taste the nut that it was made of. It reminded me of making homemade nut milk but without all the work. We generally use almond milk at home and both the sweetened and unsweetened varieties were great and then as a treat I tried the chocolate milked peanuts and mmmmm is all I have to say about that!

For reference here is a picture of the ingredient list of their milks. Like I said – simple – and really good.

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And last, but not not least Serenity Kids baby food. We did baby led weaning (BLW) with our little guy, but we did and still do give him pouch food from time to time with traveling nor when we needed a meal in a pinch. Any of the meat varieties always made me cringe and I could never bring myself to actually give him them, but at tim I wanted a good no filler/weird ingredient protein option in a pouch. Well now there’s Serenity Kids, and yes guys, I actually tried a taste of the three flavors and they weren’t bad at all. The product are launching this fall and I can’t wait. The creator/owners of the company were also wonderful ladies to talk to and I cannot wait to support their business and know I’m giving my kiddo quality food on the go.

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So there ya have it! I know I’m probably missing a brand or two that I really liked, but this is a pretty good round up of my top favorites. Definitely check out their websites and if you try any of them or have tried them let me know what you think! I’m so happy I got to go and it just helped to reinvigorate me to seek out good, delicious, & quality brands that are working to improve the quality of food products for myself and my family.

<3 – Brittany

Five things Friday 

It’s been a busy day (and last evening) but I am finally getting around to today’s post.

  1. I spent all day in downtown Baltimore at Expo East. It’s an expo for natural&organic food retailers and producers, beauty products, homecare products and more. The expo actually started on Wednesday and goes till tomorrow. I wish I could have gone for more than one day to really take in all that was there and see a session or two, but I’m just glad I got to go at all. I’m going to do a recap of it and my favorite brands/products I found next week. I’m excited to go back over all the goodies I got to try! 
  2. The weather switched up and was a lot warmer and more humid this week. Really made me realize how much I love fall and that I’m ready for sweater weather, crunchy leaves and cozying up with a blanket in the mornings and evenings.
  3. I am celebrating my 10 year high school reunion this weekend. That sounds so weird to say (type) out loud. I’m getting quite close to 30 and this picture rings so true. 
  4. Since we’re headed home for my high school reunion my little guy and I are going to be sticking around town for an extended stay (the hubs has to go back to work). I’m so excited to get to spend more time with my family and see friends that I don’t get to see often. 
  5. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22… Not my age (see above) but the Cleveland Indians!! They just set a MLB record yesterday for the most consecutive wins in history. They are killing it and I cannot wait to see what the post-season holds for them.  ( source )

Have a great weekend!
<3 – Brittany

Exercise and my pregnancy

I have thought about and tried to start this post several times. Mostly because I wasn’t sure what angle I wanted to write about. Do I go over what I did with my first pregnancy? Do I just start with where I’m at right now? Do I just start from the beginning of this pregnancy? Etc., etc.

My little Crossfit-ing family

So what I decided (for now) is this post will be a a little bit of all the things I was thinking about above because it doesn’t feel complete if I don’t give a little bit of background. I have always been active with on/off spurts after high school and I’ve dabbled in a lot of different things from running programs, to all at-home DVD workouts, to a mix of gym classes and gym equipment workouts, to yoga, to triathlons. Leading up to my first pregnancy I had finally taken the plunge and checked out Crossfit (and convinced my hubby to do so with me!). As a PTA – on my way to being a PT – I initially thought Crossfit was the most ridiculously fad workout that programmed extreme workouts and just served to injure people and give the clinic I worked at business. The last comment was partially true – and can be still to this date, but in general I think that aspect has gotten a lot better at many gyms. Yes, there will always be people who push too hard and do too much and get injured, but Crossfit, in my opinion has come a long way in its mindset for the “average joe” coming in to the gym and scaling to still knock you out and make you dead tired and like you got a good workout in (whether the metcon workout is 4 minutes or 20) but also reducing your risk of an overuse injury or injury in general. This also depends a lot on the box (Crossfit gyms are commonly referred to as a “box”) you go to and the coaches there. I am lucky to have found a box that takes their programming and quality of their coaches very seriously. It means only the best for the members. I’ve talked about them before (I think??) –¬†Crossfit Cove is the best.

Prior to being pregnant

I started Crossfit in August of 2015. I had done a lot of reframing my thinking around what a good workout can look like and also the Crossfit framework and why it maybe wasn’t so bad after-all. I had researched it a lot and so I knew I’d get my butt kicked (I was coming off a relatively no exercise time period after being in PT clinicals for 6 straight months), I was aware of what a workout would look like. I fell hard for not only the workout but the community that my box in-particular fostered. The owners are two of the most amazing people around and the love that they give to the box and business shows in how dedicated the members are to the gym. I was only doing Crossfit for about 3 months when I found out I was pregnant. The first trimester nausea and general “blah” feeling hit and I really backed off my workouts quite a bit, but then I felt really good in my second trimester and was able to get back to 1-2x/week of Crossfit workouts till I was about 34-ish weeks along. After that point the high intensity and movements of a Crossfit workout – even knowing I could scale as needed – just did not sound appealing to my body and I went in to more of a nesting phase favoring walks and more “gentle” movements.

Pictures above and below from the Crossfit 2016 Open fun and general workouts at Crossfit Cove

I’m about 4.5-5 months pregnant throughout these photos

I had my son towards the end of July 2016. I was in no rush to return to any high intensity workouts. ¬†At about 2 months postpartum I did go to a workout or two. They felt okay, but not great and after trying it out I knew my body was just not ready for it. I overall felt really good after the birth (ya know, after being able to finally sit on hard surfaces again), but especially after trying to go back to Crossfit I just knew that wasn’t what my body needed at the time. This may not be the case for everyone, some may do just fine going back to working out at the 6-8 week mark (when/if the doc says it’s okay), but it needs to be intentionally guided and there needs to be an understanding of what is still going on in the mom’s body, because that whole first year (especially if the mom breastfeeds, but if not, it still is) is a hugely transitional time.

Here I am post-workout (I think) sporting my new Nike Metcons with a bump update

Side note: My feeling over this has evolved over the past 2 years, but especially the past year …With my education and training I truly believe in the postpartum, especially immediate postpartum period, as a time of rest, bonding with your baby and easy gentle movements. I am strongly against all the “bounce back”, “body back after baby”, “get rid of the tummy” mindset. I am not against wanting to feel more like yourself, wanting to feel better in your skin and being able to get back to exercise, but I think there are much better ways to do it than much of the mainstream media says and that the targeted ads to new moms are damaging. We spent 10 months growing a human inside of us, we birthed the baby and yes, it takes more than 6-8 weeks to get back to “normal” whatever that is. I know that for many mom’s complete rest and little activity is not a possibility, especially if it’s not your first baby, and I mean, you have a newborn so “rest” and “sleep” are relative terms also, but the shaming and guilt that is portrayed for those who don’t “bounce back” or get back to all they used to be doing right away is awful. I’m going to stop myself here and not go off on a tangent about postpartum care again…

Me – in the middle – with the owner+coach of my gym and another amazing coach. I seriously love these ladies <3

Continuing on, I really did not return to any regular exercise routine till about a month a half a go. So going in to this pregnancy was a whole different mindset and ball game, where my body was concerned, compared to my first. Granted I had not been doing regular exercise for a long consistent time prior to my first pregnancy, but it was still very different. I knew though, God-willing, there wasn’t going to be a lot of time between my pregnancies and that did affect my decision to (not) getting back to exercise, along with just enjoying this first year with my little guy. This sounds counter-intuitive, because research shows it’s better to be in shape/working out before and during your pregnancy, but I wasn’t completely inactive (I do have a toddler) I just wasn’t doing organized activity/exercise. I would actually argue that this past summer has been the most consistently active I’ve been in a long time. I’ve gone on more walks and trips to the playground than I can count. And pushing a toddler in a stroller, even a nice jogging stroller, is no joke after a little while. With such short time between my pregnancies I also knew that I didn’t want to wear my body down either. Crossfit is a great workout and I love it, but it’s taxing and it spikes your cortisol (stress hormone) and sticking to more easy movement activities felt best, especially with all the crazy hormone ride my body has been on since the fall of 2015.

Post-WOD glow taken the other week

I’ve been active this summer but not Crossfit active, so when I finally started feeling better in my second trimester about 4-5 weeks ago I felt ready to get back to Crossfit. Have I slightly cherry-picked my workouts? Yes. Have I been suuuuuper sore? Yes. Am I glad to be back in the gym? Yes. Like I said above, the community is like none other at my box and just being there gives me an endorphin rush – most the times no workout needed – it’s just an added bonus. One thing with this pregnancy is that I’ve started to get some right low back/sciatic pain and pubic symphysis pain earlier than with my first. I did have both of these symptoms with my first pregnancy – I think the combination of not being as physically fit, it being my second pregnancy, my body has already stretched once, etc has played in to this. It feels good to be building some increased external stability surrounding my pelvis but I’m also being careful and really trying to listen to my body and what it tells me day to day. Does that mean some mornings I had planned to workout it just doesn’t happen? You-betcha. While it’s disappointing at times I know it’s for the best. So in general I’ve been doing 1-2x/week since I’ve been back. On days I don’t get to the gym I normally go on a walk with my little guy or sometimes I just have several “rest days” a week and that’s okay. One thing I’m trying not to do is stress about it. The most important thing to me is growing this baby and being as “healthy” as I can, and each week that may look different and that’s just fine with me.

Have a good rest of your day! I’ll see you Friday for another Five Things Friday post.

 

<3 – Brittany

Five Things Friday

  1. I have had a hard time hitting my stride this week. With having Dustin (my husband) home an extra day I just haven’t gotten in to a groove. Last night and today especially I have just been in a funk. Part of it might be pregnancy hormones, but either way it’s not the funnest. I have a lot of thoughts swirling in my head regarding life plans and professional/career plans and it has just made for me feeling extra emotional. Phooey. I had planned to post about my workouts/Crossfitting while pregnant this week also, but the words have just not been flowing. So it will either be coming this weekend or next week.

  2. Enjoying fresh farmer’s market salads on repeat. I’m not a tomato lover, but we’ve gotten an heirloom tomato the past couple weeks when we’ve gone and the flavor has been amazing. You just really can’t beat the fresh flavors of homegrown/locally grown produce. So it’s been a huuuge bed of fresh salad greens, sliced heirloom tomatoes (avocado here and there), sliced goat cheese and a combination of Tessemae’s ranch and Primal Kitchen’s greek vinaigrette salad dressing – I have been obsessed.
  3. The weather has really cooled off this week. Being able to sit on the porch with a hot cup of tea or coffee in a cozy sweater and enjoy the crisp air. No sweater in the picture below as it was past the cooler morning phase – but still wonderful.

  4. We have two cats and my little guys LOVES them. Our one, Carlos, is much better with him than our other (Roo), but if we are monitoring them they both do not too bad. But especially if our guy is feeling extra cuddly and we give Carlos some neck scratches or are close by he’ll let him lay on him/hug him and give kisses. It’s super sweet to see him show affection towards the cats.

  5. We are hopefully going apple picking this weekend. We didn’t go last year and it’s a tradition that I love so I’m excited to be able to do that this year. The weather is supposed to be nice also which is a plus. Pictures from apple picking at a local farm in 2015 (my how things have changed – and not just my hair length and color!)


    <3 – Brittany

Five Things Friday

Happy Friday and Happy September!

  1. This week has been a little more low key for us. Our little guy caught a cold so we did a lot more around the house in the hopes of squashing the bug quickly. So lots of porch playing and walks in the sunshine. Thankfully we are on the upswing and he seems to be doing well and neither me nor the hubby have caught it so far.
  2. I finally got around to prepping/making several recipes for easy grab-and-go snacks. I made one of our absolute favorites Energy Bites from Gimme Some Oven along with another energy bite/bar recipe that was very similar I just added some extra seeds and such to it. And then breakfast blueberry banana oatmeal muffins. They all turned out great and it’s been so nice to have them on hand.
  3. I am so excited that Inkwell Press launches their 2018 planners next week! I have been using Inkwell Press Planners for the last 3 years and love them. I do use my phone to keep track of appointments on the go, but having the traditional pen and paper to keep track of things makes my heart happy. And I’m trying to keep things more streamlined where I write things down and having {most} everything in one place – constant work in progress – and having the planner helps. The covers and colors they are using for 2018 are gorgeous. 2018 is going to be another crazy year where organization and planning will be key (we will have two under two very shortly in to the year!) and I just cannot wait for the launch.
  4. I regularly listen to podcasts and while a lot of the podcasts on que I may skip a week here and there, there are several that I listen to pretty religiously every week. I use apple so there is a podcast app and it’s super easy to find, subscribe and listen to them. When I was working it was a great way to pass the 40 minute commute each way. My current favorites are:
    1. Young House Love has a Podcast
    2. Chris Loves Julia Podcast with Preston Pugmire
    3. Girls Gone WOD Podcast
    4. Balanced Bites: Modern paleo living with Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe
    5. The Pelvic Health Podcast
    6. The Modern Mamas Podcast – my newest addition that I’m loving
       

      I’m also cherry picking different podcast episodes related to pregnancy and birth which I will probably go over in another blog post all on its own. There’s SO much information out there and even though my little guy isn’t too old and it hasn’t been too long since I did the whole pregnancy, labor and birth thing I’m always searching to learn more to know, do and be the best I can related to those topics and motherhood in general.

  5. We have visitors coming this weekend! The in-laws are coming for a visit this weekend and I can’t wait to have some family time. The weather is supposed to be beautiful and it should be a fun weekend.

Cheers and have a good weekend everyone!

<3 – Brittany