Batch Cooking is a practice.

by Stacey Jayne


Batch Cooking Workshop Notes.

These tips can become part of a practice for you. Don’t expect perfection straight out of the gate! Aim to slowly add new healthful habits into your life.

A helpful mantra: A little better is a little better. Remind yourself of this truth when you are just starting out.


 

  1. Make space. If you can carve out a couple of hours or if you can carve out 15 minutes here and there (set a timer!) - do yourself a favor and start to get rid of stuff that you don’t use. Kitchen cabinets should be used for functional storage, not as a place to hide things. Items you only use twice a year can go in the basement. Spices that are expired can go away. 30 Coffee mugs can be reduced to 15- the mugs that hold sentimental value? Take a picture of them so you can remember them forever! Be brutal and only hold onto truly functional items.

  2. Notice what you need (this is ongoing) skills/tools/stuff to make new habits happen. (skills/ tools= cooking techniques, time management, stuff= anything that exists in your kitchen that is used for cooking that you don’t currently have) Keep a running list of what you need to make your life simpler.

  3. Sit down (schedule this) and look at your week. What foods do you need - and how will you prepare them to make your life easier? I like to do this on Saturday or Sunday. It takes about a half hour to get it done.

  4. Make a grocery list. There are websites that will do this for you- my favorite is cooksmarts.com. The art of creating a grocery list that has items that all interweave with one another and help you to save money and NOT have food go bad… this is so hard. I rely on cooksmarts to help me!  

  5. Shop and leave yourself time to appropriately organize your fridge RIGHT AWAY or ASAP with the fresh foods you bring into your home. I empty out my fridge once a week. Just because your fridge has deep shelves does not mean you have to fill them! Keep that space moving and know what’s in there. Carrots that are peeled and in a bowl are more likely to be eaten than the ones that slowly die in the plastic bag they were bought in. Prep veggies whenever you can.

  6. Schedule time for cooking. In two hours I can make our family two breakfast options, a collection of mason jar salads, two- three dinners, and a tray of roasted veggies that I use throughout the week. Why make one meal when you can make 3 or more!?

  7. Troubleshooting: Remember that you usually don’t get it right the first time. It takes time. Notice what is in your way. What makes it more fun? What do you like/ hate about the process…make changes when you want- it’s all up to you how you get it done! Freezing items: be careful what you freeze. Make sure it is properly labeled and dated and that your freezer space is as functional as possible.

May all your jars filled with healthy food be as pretty as these! 

May all your jars filled with healthy food be as pretty as these! 


The other side.

by Stacey Jayne


I am on the other side of pregnancy!  My baby boy is approaching two years old. My big baby bump is "gone" now and my insides have adjusted back to "normal".  I like to think about all the different phases a woman's body encounters in her life, but the one that I think about the most is pregnancy. When our minds and bodies swell and the cells inside of us change forever. We grow a tiny, perfect human that will shift the course of our history in ways we cannot begin to predict while it is happening. Then on the other side of it all in the first few years of the postpartum phase we are filled with joy, frustration, concern, every SINGLE emotion in the book. It's all new, every day. We are thankful. We are busy, We are  frighteningly tired. We are deeply in love. We are desperate for structure and balance yet those perfect little humans remind us hourly how little control we have. We are aware of what we have lost, and we are forever bound to what we have gained. 

We are Mothers now.

I struggle every day to prioritize myself and my needs. I want to experience joy and love and lightness and longevity, and it's a massive struggle. I get sucked into the little teenie tornado that is my toddler and everything else falls to the side.

Recently my family and I made a really risky decision in search of joy and lightness. We picked up our lives in Brooklyn, NY and we put it all in boxes and drove it over to Asheville, NC. We had very little money and arrived with out jobs!  This is a new phase for me and our family in still deep in transition, but I believe this phase will be spectacular once it really gets rolling. I am excited to offer postpartum classes, private coaching, and free group coaching all for Mamas! Lot's of joy, lot's of tuning in, and lot's of Mama time. I am thrilled to be here in Asheville! 

Please stay in touch, and let me know how you are doing... and THANK YOU for your support as your read about the things that make me happy. 

Yours truly,

SJ


HappyHumpDay... Book review and belly/baby update.

by Stacey Jayne


Last March I came across an interview with Arianna Huffington  where she talks with Marie Forleo (love this gal) about her life and her latest book. If you have never heard of the wildly successful Miss Huffington, she is an author of 13 books, columnist, she founded the  Huffington post, and she is a mother to two daughters. In this interview she talks about her book Thrive and her current mission: to help people live more authentic and fulfilling lives by learning to live life on their own terms.  She shares the "breaking point" in her own life (which includes blood and stitches!) and how it forced her to redefine her own success and how she manages her stress levels and energy output. I went out the next day and bought the book and let me tell you, as I read it I found myself highlighting and underlining; this book resonated with me so much. In Thrive Arianna Huffington makes her lifestyle suggestions digestible and personal, so that many people can relate. At one point in the interview she mentions how vital it is for younger people in their 20s and 30s to incorporate mindful practices as it will literally effect the course of their whole lives.  

The more I work and talk with women, the more I realize that the key to a more joyful and healthy life, is truly defining what the heck that means to you as an individual. We get caught up in comparisons, chronic unmanageable stress, craving more out of life, our bodies, our relationships etc,  but we don't know how to find more because we already give as much as we can. I believe that gaining clarity, finding more meaning, feeling better in your body and mind, all of these things are possible, and with out having to add more hours in the day! It's intimidating when you feel a slave to your current habits, to your lifestyle, to what people expect of you. My biggest hope for my clients, family and friends is for them to start NOW by taking teeny steps towards prioritizing what matters to them the most. I look ahead to my own mother and my friend's mothers and I see the importance of this. I see that some of our mothers literally don't even know how to listen to their bodies at all. They are hit a lot harder as an older person by the effects of a life time of ignoring their own needs. They push through sleep deprivation, chronic pain, and high levels of stress only to arrive in their later years where they are FORCED to slow down because their bodies simply start to break down or disease sets in.

It doesn't have to be like this. You have an option to live a lighter, happier, healthier life.  I'd love to hear if you have experienced this book already and how it effected you, and I urge you to share this book (it makes a great gift) with those you love. 

There are so many quotes from this book that I wanted to include in this post, as I said half of my copy is marked up and dog eared... but I will choose from my favorite chapter called Wisdom. It's about breaking habits- a topic that always intrigues me. I remember when I worked with a life coach before my daughter was born, and she told me (this is simple but was so HUGE for me) that my habits didn't define me. I remember suddenly feeling as if I could make changes, even to the habits I have struggled with my whole life. So when I came upon this section in Thrive it really effected me. She writes: 

Some of the habits are useful and some are not. Some start out being useful and become destructive later on or in different contexts. But the internal machinery we've developed to create them doesn't discriminate. And whether good or bad, once established, habits rapidly grow roots and entrench themselves in our lives. And that's the problem- habits are a lot easier to learn then to unlearn, easier to bury then to exhume. The puzzle of habits---of learning and unlearning them---has been a focus of humanity since the down of civilization. Of the Ten Commandments, several are about resisting bad habits, such as coveting, and some are about cultivating good habits, such as honoring your parents. 

She includes this quote to bring the point home: An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil---and he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good---he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside of you--- and inside every other person, too." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."  Cherokee Legend

The book is a memoir at times, a collection of her most prized and thoughtful findings about the toxic stuff that holds us down, and the courageous stuff that can bring us to new places within ourselves. As a Health Coach I try to really hear what my clients are looking for, what they REALLY want out of their lives. I have noticed that it's almost always bigger than the size/shape of their bodies and even bigger than what kind of foods they put in their mouths.

What they do with their minds and their hearts will define how they treat their bodies, their families, the world within them and around them. 

As for an update on where I'm at, this belly is big. My body is shifting, and preparing for birth and I feel it- and everyone can see it. I am enjoying the remaining weeks with my family the way it is, and I am looking forward to seeing what comes next. I have surrounded myself with people who are supportive and loving so I have some help after baby boy arrives. I have looked back on my own history with my daughter and I aim to have this experience be a little lighter and less stressful. More joy through more support and kindness to myself. Here is the little list I have made for myself for the other side of this baby bump.

1. Don't let thoughts become toxic, find help.

2. When your heart starts to beat out of your chest, stop. Breathe. Recalculate and be kind. 

3. Stretch, and move in gentle ways to promote healing and  in a time line that makes sense. 

4. Enjoy the moments. 

 

These are MY new years resolutions. I wish the very best for you as you read this and as you think ahead to your own plans for YOUR new year. I believe you are in a good place, even if it feels scary or over whelming. We all have things that feel freaky and scattered in our lives and should take those things simply as information. It will be the information you need to move to perhaps another place that is more fulfilling. Lighter. More courageous. 

Happy Holidays to you! This is a time when so much is expected of us. We are pulled in so many different directions and our schedules are stretched to the limits. Please know that you are only capable of so much! Breathe. Pour yourself a Bailey's or Egg nog and enjoy the moments. 

santa 2014

So much love,

Stacey





Happy Hump Day! Worksheet for New Mama.

by Stacey Jayne


This past week I had a meeting with a fantastic birth educator from this Brooklyn based co. http://carriagehousebirth.com/  We met to discuss birth and to reflect on my first birthing experience a bit and to talk about how hopefully this second time will be different. My first birthing experience was long and arduous, and my baby girlie had colic. I now recognize that there are options and support systems set up for me if I happen to run into similar situations. As we were chatting, I was thinking about how lucky I feel to have found a support system as I move through this territory again. I thought a lot about what my postpartum experience was like, and how I didn't feel like I had the help that I needed, but I recognize that I didn't realize how to ask for it. Below is a worksheet for you, new Mama. I hope it will help to remind you to focus on your body and your baby and to rely on those around you that love you. If you need further ideas or support please don't hesitate to reach out to me. 

xoxo

Today's date is ____________________.

My baby is ___________________days/ weeks/months old.

This week with my new babe, if I am visited by my ___________________ (mother in law, dad, bestie etc.), I will ask them to help me with a task. 

That task is ______________________ (laundry, cooking, cleaning etc.) 

If I am going to ask them to cook something for our family, I will give them a recipe beforehand to make it nice and easy for them. This will be  simple recipe that will suit our family's needs at this time. The name of the recipe is ___________________ and the link I will send them is 

____________________.  I am happy to make their lives easier by sending them a recipe beforehand. They want to help me, and now they wont have to choose something on their own.  I'm awesome. 

I understand that my goal and job right now as a brand new Mama is to heal my body and care for my baby. I will not apologize for asking for help. If I am a SUPER new Mama, and I am still bleeding out of you-know-where (which I will for a while), I understand that I must take it easy. On the days that I bleed heavily, I understand that this is sign to rest. I will do this

I understand that this rest period is a phase that is important for me and my new babe, and if I need help in the coming weeks of any kind I will ask _______________ or ________________ or ______________to come over and give us some support. They will be delighted to help me; giving them specifics will make their lives easier.

Right now I will take ______________ (amount) of deep breaths. I will relax my shoulders and my jaw. I will drink some water. I will do some gentle stretching while thinking loving thoughts about my body and all the work it's doing. I will try and eat healthful foods and sleep when I can. 

I promise to take each day as it comes and to NOT wait to ask for help. That's how I roll. 

I'm amazing.

Signed, 

___________________________ 

Here are two recipe ideas:

 

Baked Egg and Kale Cups
(can be shared with kids 8+ mos)*
1-3 egg “cups” per serving depending on appetite and what else is being served

Grocery List:

Olive or canola oil, for greasing pan
Kale (about 1 large leaf per serving)
Eggs (1 per “cup”)
Grated Parmesan, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

 

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin, place on a baking sheet, and set aside. Wash and trim kale; steam until bright green and just tender. (This can be done ahead of time.)

2. Line cups of prepped muffin tin with leaves of steamed kale making sure to cover as much of the muffin well as possible. Leave a little bit of kale sticking up above the surface of the muffin tin. You’ll need about 1 large leaf per “cup”; it’s okay to layer smaller leaves in one “cup.”

3. Crack one egg into each well of the muffin tin covering kale. Sprinkle eggs with Parmesan, salt and pepper. Bake for 17-25 minutes, until the egg yolk is set as you want it.

4. Remove muffin tray from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before carefully popping out the egg “cups.” Serve warm.


Beef Barley Soup
Skinnytaste.com 

Grocery List:

1 tsp oil

1-1/2 lbs lean beef round stew meat

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, chopped

6 cups water

1 - 2 tsp kosher salt, to taste

2 bay leaves

2/3 cup dry barley

fresh ground black pepper


Directions:

Heat a large heavy pot or dutch oven on medium heat. Add oil and beef, season with a little salt and brown meat a few minutes.

When meat is browned, add carrots, onion, celery and garlic to the pot and give it a good stir.

Add water, salt and bay leaves and bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce heat to low and coverSimmer covered over low heat until the meat is soft, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Add the barley, adjust the salt if needed and add fresh ground pepper. Simmer an additional 30-35, remove bay leaves and serve. Makes 7 1/2 cups. Leftovers only get better and make a great lunches; this also freezes great if you want to make freezer meals for the month. To make this soup gluten-free, you can sub the barley for quinoa.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pressure cooker instructions: Follow all the steps with the meat and carrots as instructed above, when you add the water and cover and lock the lid. Cook in the pressure cooker for about 30 minutes on medium low heat. Remove from heat and when the pressure cooker is cool enough to unlock the lid, remove and add barley. Cook an additional 30 minutes uncovered.

Love to you this week Mama!

xoxoox

S

 


Happy Hump Day! Your inner D-bag.

by Stacey Jayne


Sometimes, you're a real douche bag.

you're a douche


To be more specific, the part of you that is a douche bag is just north of your shoulders, and often wanders aimless into potentially offensive, morbid and hateful places. I'm talking about your brain... and mine too. Here is an example of something that my douche bag brain did to me just last week.

The situation was this: I had just arrived at the gym. I was tired, a little cranky, and feeling big and weird (otherwise known as almost 8 months pregnant). I put my outside duds away in a locker and found a treadmill to claim right next to a tall, thin, non-pregnant woman who was running. She looked confident and happy. I slowly started up my machine and began my workout: walking. I hooked up my ear phones and started to watch Queen Latifah (like I usually do if her show is on, I love her) when I noticed that my tall gazelle-like neighbor looked over at my TV screen more than a few times. 

Here is where my inner D-bag came out to play. Just so we are clear: the dialogue you see below happened entirely in my head.

Runner: OH... nice workout you're having... think your actually doing anything? You're just walking. I mean, you're watching TV. How can you seriously think that you and your round weird body can do anything healthful while walking and watching Queen Latifah? How fast are you going anyway. Oh man... 3.3?? That's nothing... I mean you might as well get off and eat fig newtons because that's basically the same as whats happing right now fattie.... (she went on and on until...)

Me: Are you effing kidding me?! I'm growing a human. I just got here... and I'm warming up... and JUST YOU WAIT TILL I BRING THIS PUPPY UP TO 3.5! Then I'll show you. Also I'm doing my best lady... I'm DOING MY BEST!

...This bizarre and mean dialogue went on in my head for another minute or so before I even realized what was happening. 

My own inner douche bag made the whole thing up. I was actually judging myself. My (lovely, tall, skinny, non-pregnant) neighbor had nothing to do with me at all! I let my own crankiness and insecurities get the best of me and my thoughts. 

False and negative thoughts can become the truth... if you let them.

This happens to me sometimes when I'm feeling anxious or nervous about something. Anxious and nervous thoughts waltz in and take over for hours, sometimes for an entire day. At some point I realized that I didn't want to think those thoughts. I didn't want to be anxious, nervous, afraid... none of those sounded good to me. So here is what I have started to do to counteract my inner D-bag. 

Awareness.  I take notice to the negative or false thoughts. I literally say to myself: Wow Stacey, you just had an entirely fake fight with someone who you don't know who most likely doesn't even know you're there. You made it up girl! It's all in yo' head. 

Take a breath.  Literally. I breathe deeeeeply. I relax my shoulders, my fore head and my jaw. I let those deep breathes bring me into the present moment. 

Reroute.  Then I decide to take my brain some place else perhaps a little sunnier or more truthful, and to help make that happen I choose a....

Mantra. A short sentence or even a few powerful words. They are simple, truthful and positive. I repeat it over and over for a couple of minutes, while taking deep breaths. I say my mantra in my head mostly. Sometimes I will say it out loud, but it's actually more effective (for me) if I think it. 

To conclude:

I'm sharing this with you, because I know we all do this. We all make up stories and let our thoughts run wild into ugly and false places. We all at some point in our day, are letting fear, anxiety and negativity get the best of us. 

You are nicer than your D-bag thoughts. You are doing your best. Give your brain a brake and push your inner D-bag to the curb. You can use my approach, or you can even try a great app which I found for one of my clients called "Calm". This app will lead you through simple meditations that will calm your thoughts and your body. 

PLEASE, please reach out if you need help kicking that douche bag's ass. You deserve to have the brain space to celebrate how amazing you are.

Love to you,

S








Happy Hump Day: Boo! It's your Hoo-ha.

by Stacey Jayne


As I delve into some new, spooky territory (hoo-ha health) I feel compelled to share a few things with you. And speaking of spooky, Happy (almost) Halloween to you, your family and your hoo-ha! My curiosity with the hoo-ha started about 5 years ago, after I had my daughter. To cut my long and creepy birth story super short, it ended with an emergency cesarian section. Post recovery wasn't so bad. I rested, my scar healed quite nicely and I was feeling ok about the whole thing. I am thankful that I had no complications whatsoever with my surgery. 

We are about to get a little personal here friends, so you may want to dim the lights and light a candle. 

There was an unexpected thing that I did run into: crazy hoo-ha pain. When my partner and I started to figure out how to be intimate again postpartum, I found that the whole experience was excruciating, which surprised me and my friends when I brought it up with them. I had had a cesarian section! Wasn't I supposed to have gotten off "easy" in that respect?! The pain was very confusing for me, and when I brought it up to my Dr, she mumbled something about postpartum dryness, and that it shouldn't last for too much longer. She led me to believe that I was still having a normal recovery and should maybe just wait it out. The pain persisted, and my confusion and sadness grew- I could barely get a tampon up there without experiencing massive pain. 

Turns out that I had some damage to my pelvic floor. Just in case you are wondering the pelvic floor is the muscles, the ligaments and connective tissue of the base of the abdomen which supports the female organs. When learning about the pelvic floor, I found that women experience pain and other chronic issues with their hoo-ha's all the time. Some are: incontinence (bladder control problems), prolapse (when the organs in your pelvis drop down into the hoo-ha instead of sitting in their normal position), and pain associated with having sex. I also found that the health of their pelvic floor is generally never brought up postpartum by a Dr unless you bring it up first. I also found that it was "normal" for many women I know to experience various levels of postpartum incontinence. From: oh, I just sneezed and bam! undies wet... to: I can't even go running anymore (of course I'm wearing a pantyliner) without having to come home and completely change my underwear and pants. I also learned that the number one reason women end up in assisted living when they're seniors is due to incontinence, and yet there still doesn't seem to be any regular attention given to postpartum women in this manner. 

THIS IS AN ATROCITY. 

One of my client's mothers (she is in her 60s) can't even travel anymore due to her hoo-ha issues (prolapse, pain and incontinence). This is very common,  and makes me feel like I'm taking crazy pills. How have we let it go this far? Ladies, Halloween or not, this scares the piss out of me. 

If you are one of the women out there who experiences pain, incontinence, chronic dryness or itchiness or any other lingering hoo-ha symptom postpartum... I want to tell you that you are NOT ALONE, and there are options out there to make it better.

My current mission: (which will really begin to take flight after I have this little dude in the winter) is to continue to create a community of resources for postpartum women. And whether your kids are 3 months old or 30 yrs old, there are still things you can do to improve your situation. Since so little information is readily available to address these hoo-ha problems, and so little attention is given to them, the more I've realized we have to step it up. Women should not feel like they have to wait out their pain and wet undies until things maybe get better. We deserve resources to help us feel healthy and vibrant and that includes the health of our hoo-ha's!  As a pilates teacher, I am limited in the kind of healing I can offer women because usually their conditions need more attention than just exercise.  I have been contacting other professionals in this field to strengthen my awareness, and to be able to connect my clients with a variety of helpful healers. 

What can you do right now about your hoo-ha situation?

You can start by reaching out to your OBGYN/Dr to talk specifically about what your symptoms are. If they cannot help, keep on going. There are some physical therapists that focus only on pelvic floor health, reach out to them to find out about what kind of services they offer. You will ask them to help you figure out what is going on down there: are your pelvic floor muscles weak? Are they too tight? Both? Even though your symptoms may seem to indicate one or the other, it is not always obvious what is going on. Some yoga instructors, and pilates teachers (like me!) are working to help their clients find resources as well as guide them to find exercises and stretches that will help aleiviate their symptoms. I have found that for some women it takes a bit of a cocktail of healers to help them achieve better pelvic floor health. But you can take your situation and health into your own hands. Don't give up. 

Here are a couple of books which I have found to be super informative. 

The Female Pelvis Anatomy & Exercises
By Blandine Calais-Germain

And here is a product for those of you who already know you need to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Read the reviews to see if this product will suit your needs. 

 

To conclude:

It seems that here in the US the established medical community sort of ignores Mama's body right after pregnancy has ended! The whole 40 weeks gestation period is about your growing baby AND your changing body. Once that kid is out, It's all about the babe and the Mom is usually too tired to focus on her own health. It's a sad state if you ask me, as it sets the stage for a life time of viewing Mom's body as if it were second fiddle to her families needs. One thing I always say is happy Mama = happier family. I would love to help you prioritize your own well being so in the future you can feel like a million bucks. I know plenty of other coaches/yoga teachers/ and other fitness and wellbeing specialists who feel the same way. I urge you to talk to other women in your area about these issues, and ask them whom they have connected with to help them feel better. If you live in the NYC area, I can totally help you find support. 

As always, I wish the very best to you just as you are today Mama. You are not alone in how you feel, and your needs are valid and real. If any of this brings up feelings or thoughts for you, please share with me- I'm always here with open ears. 

Love and goodness to you, your Hoo-ha and all the rest of your world.

XO

Stacey

 

 

 

 

 


Happy Hump Day! Preparing for the tough stuff with your parter.

by Stacey Jayne


Preparing, nesting, predicting. OH MY! 

Preparing our ears for new cries and everything else that will come along with them. 

Preparing our ears for new cries and everything else that will come along with them. 

If you are preparing for the arrival of your baby, you may be in a similar place as I am. My main goal is to make our living space feel less cluttered and as functional as possible! This is what they call nesting, and I have been a bit of a maniac for the past month or so.

Btw if you need organization inspiration with your nesting, check out my bestie Fay Wolf. She's an organizing genius, and here is her sight : http://neworderlove.com/

 

This is our second baby, and I am also preparing in other ways as well. I'm pushing through my cranky tiredness and keeping up a gentle yet consistent exercise routine which I have shared in my past couple of posts. I'm trying to keep my weight in control by avoiding too many sweets and processed foods and focusing on a low glycemic diet. And the other big thing I'm doing is reflecting on how my partner and I handled our first baby experience so I can predict what may come up for us again.  One of my favorite things to talk about with postpartum moms is how their relationship has shifted with their partners.

A little personal story: when my man and I met with our doula before the birth of our daughter in 2010, she said these exact words: have you guys talked about what is coming for the two of you?... because of course there is a birth, but in some sense there is also a death. The birth of your child and the death of your life as just two. At the time I remember thinking well that's a pretty freakin' morbid way of looking at it! ...but in retrospect; she was so right. Scott and I were who we were on March 28, 2010 but then something completely new began on March 29th! Since then we have grown as a couple and found a new us, which is totally different than the old us. At times I mourn our old life and the ease and spontaneity we had, but most of the time I celebrate who we are as a family and how we practice love, kindness and joy in our home.

So it seems, to follow along with our doula's sentiment, we will be experiencing another birth and another death soon. The day this baby boy comes into our world we will be 4, and the 3 of us will be a thing of the past. Freaks me out, makes me cry just thinking of potentially shifting the goodness that the three of us have so far. But I am also filled with pure excitement as I wonder what and how it will all happen.

As Scott and I make space for the new us I thought I'd share what we are doing to prepare for our growing family (If you are reading this with your first baby on the way, just enjoy who you and your partner are today and be open to the unpredictable yet delicious ride you have ahead of you!).

 

1. Reminisce

We look at pictures of Ivy's first few months in our lives and remember it all. We talk about the beautiful and the not so smooth (and maybe even downright ugly) moments too. What worked? What would we both like it to be like the second time around? We talk about the birth, her colic, the little lessons we learned; it all helps us to look ahead.

This was Ivy's fourth day of life... when I think back I can remember some of these days, but now I feel like I can barely imagine her NOT being over four years old. Memory lane is funny. 

This was Ivy's fourth day of life... when I think back I can remember some of these days, but now I feel like I can barely imagine her NOT being over four years old. Memory lane is funny. 

 

2. Predict

When we were both zombies and emotionally drained we had to figure out how to help each other. I think at times the ugly stuff is just going to take its course, but other times it helps just asking your partner Is there anything I can do for you today? or Do you want to take a walk or a nap and be alone for a while? or Shall I book that ticket to the Keys for you so you can avoid your massive break down...? Whatever the tactic or question is, we know that we will be looking out for one another. 

3. Be kind

We try to thank each other for the hard work we both do. We take deep breaths together when the time is right. We acknowledge that we will both feel stuck at times, but how can we help each other shimmy out of it? I mentioned this in a facebook post the other week: how you bring up certain topics with your partner is important. For example, if you are in the middle of an internal rant about EVERYTHING YOUR PARTNER SUCKS AT AND HOW HE/SHE JUST DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOU AND THE BABY... yeah... take a breath. Or ten. 

Wait.

Give it an hour or a day. The next time you and your partner are in a good mood, maybe with a glass of wine or while enjoying something delicious together, say thanks for the support they give you and then gently bring up what was bothering you. For example you can say I'm so thankful that we are in this together cuz it's been so so challenging. I'm struggling with keeping up with the folding of the baby's clothes and It's making me feel nuts. Maybe we can both rock it out together?

You can find your own words, but I urge you to talk, not to bottle it up. 

To conclude 

What you have with your partner evolves. When the stakes are high (exhaustion, raging hormones, crying baby) there simply isn't space to sit back and think rationally about everything that's evolving and why. Bringing kindness to the table and keeping an open mind with one another takes practice. This is the "work" in a good relationship. "Work" isn't a bad thing, it means you both care, and you both don't want to risk hurting one another. Look, there are times when things feel off  between two people, and it can take some time to get back into the groove with them. But I'd like to think that there is something we can do about it if we bring our awareness to it and keep communication lines open. 

Best to you this week Mamas! Remember we are not alone. We are in this together. If there is anything you want to share with me, or with your partner I urge you to find the right time to come out and say it. Be kind, but be honest and don't forget to b.r.e.a.t.h.e. 

XO

Stacey

 

 

 

 

 


Happy Hump Day! Strong arms AND belly.

by Stacey Jayne


Baby Ivy in her daddy's arms.  This was our Moby wrap, which was basically the only place she wanted to be. I can't believe I have another baby coming... Looking at this picture brings me happy tears and anxious heart flutters. So much ahead of us. 

Baby Ivy in her daddy's arms.  This was our Moby wrap, which was basically the only place she wanted to be. I can't believe I have another baby coming... Looking at this picture brings me happy tears and anxious heart flutters. So much ahead of us. 

Your changing body! 

During pregnancy the weight of the belly and growing breasts makes for extra strain on the spine and neck. Mamas shoulders often become rounded forward, especially once we start nursing and constantly holding our babes. After my daughter was born I was recovering from a week of labor, and a Caesarian section. On top of that she had colic and wouldn't calm down anywhere but in our arms. The physicality of life when your baby arrives is at times overwhelming. My postpartum recovery was very much like many of yours: stressful, painful, confusing and at times also very lonely. I of course felt blessed to have my little Ivy, but I was lost and amazed by how much my body had to adjust. 
With this pregnancy (over four years later) I realized how important it was to get my body ready for the journey. The journey of the forth trimester and beyond! Last week I posted some of the exercises I do to strengthen my legs and tush, this week I'll go over what I've been doing to keep my upper and middle body in shape. The great news is that you don't need a gym for any of these! I use either 3 or 5lb weights, or cans of food.

Top picture is your posture as your begin: stand tall, long neck, feet hip width apart. The bottom right picture is the WRONG posture! Don't slouch! As Mamas we do a lot of rounding forward, avoid that and save your shoulders!  How to?  1. Start with a tall frame and your belly drawn in, and your arms long by your sides. Lift your arms up as if you were the letter T, then return back to start position. Repeat ten times. 2. Lift your arms out front directly in front of your shoulders. Repeat ten times. Do this in front of a mirror if you can so you can watch your posture. Correct posture is the MOST important thing here- these moves not only strengthen your arms, but also your spine! Mamas we need this so badly especially after baby comes. 

Top picture is your posture as your begin: stand tall, long neck, feet hip width apart. The bottom right picture is the WRONG posture! Don't slouch! As Mamas we do a lot of rounding forward, avoid that and save your shoulders! 

How to?  1. Start with a tall frame and your belly drawn in, and your arms long by your sides. Lift your arms up as if you were the letter T, then return back to start position. Repeat ten times. 2. Lift your arms out front directly in front of your shoulders. Repeat ten times. Do this in front of a mirror if you can so you can watch your posture. Correct posture is the MOST important thing here- these moves not only strengthen your arms, but also your spine! Mamas we need this so badly especially after baby comes. 

Using cans of food instead of weights is a great idea for those of you who don't want to clutter your home up with extra stuff. I sometimes use two jars of tomato sauce when I'm visiting my MIL's house. No excuse to miss a workout!  How to? 1. Start in the position of the top left picture and extend arms up toward the ceiling, then back to start again. Repeat ten times. 2. Notice in the bottom pictures that my shoulders are away from my ears, and I'm also relaxing my jaw. Start with cans or weights just above the nape of your neck, and extend up, then back to start. Repeat ten times. 

Using cans of food instead of weights is a great idea for those of you who don't want to clutter your home up with extra stuff. I sometimes use two jars of tomato sauce when I'm visiting my MIL's house. No excuse to miss a workout! 

How to? 1. Start in the position of the top left picture and extend arms up toward the ceiling, then back to start again. Repeat ten times. 2. Notice in the bottom pictures that my shoulders are away from my ears, and I'm also relaxing my jaw. Start with cans or weights just above the nape of your neck, and extend up, then back to start. Repeat ten times. 

I aim to have a lifted long spine. My shoulders are away from my ears and my belly is lifted.  How to? 1. Start in a squat position with your arms bent and shoulders pulled up into your ribs. Keeping your frame still, extend the arms back till they are straight. Squeeze the shoulder blades together a bit then return to bent arms. Repeat ten times. 2. Push ups can be done in a few different ways. Against the wall, on your knees, here I decided to be outside enjoying my deck before it gets too cold. No matter where you are make sure you are in a stable place, and keep your body long and completely straight! Try doing a set with your elbows out to the side, and then a set where your elbows are pulled in towards your ribs. You will find that they work different places. Keep you belly pulled in and your neck long. 

I aim to have a lifted long spine. My shoulders are away from my ears and my belly is lifted. 

How to? 1. Start in a squat position with your arms bent and shoulders pulled up into your ribs. Keeping your frame still, extend the arms back till they are straight. Squeeze the shoulder blades together a bit then return to bent arms. Repeat ten times. 2. Push ups can be done in a few different ways. Against the wall, on your knees, here I decided to be outside enjoying my deck before it gets too cold. No matter where you are make sure you are in a stable place, and keep your body long and completely straight! Try doing a set with your elbows out to the side, and then a set where your elbows are pulled in towards your ribs. You will find that they work different places. Keep you belly pulled in and your neck long. 

I like to use the ball to help stretch out my side body and my back. You can even do your stretches while your dogs play around you!  How to? Top left pic I stand tall and gently stretch over toward the wall. It's hard to get those side stretches in and this is a gentle way to do it. Top right pic I keep my hands on the ball and reach up through my fingers. I am NOT shrugging my shoulders, they are relaxed and down, but I am using my arms against the ball like this to lift upward focusing on the spine. Imagine in this position that gravity is lifting up through your spine instead of down. Breathe and enjoy this for a few deep breaths. The bottom two pics are really just a downward dog against the wall. Hands are flat against the wall, feet flat hip distance apart. I look to feel as if my tush is reaching out and my belly is lifted up. My shoulders are relaxed and my jaw is released. Breathe and enjoy this for a few deep breaths. 

I like to use the ball to help stretch out my side body and my back. You can even do your stretches while your dogs play around you! 

How to? Top left pic I stand tall and gently stretch over toward the wall. It's hard to get those side stretches in and this is a gentle way to do it. Top right pic I keep my hands on the ball and reach up through my fingers. I am NOT shrugging my shoulders, they are relaxed and down, but I am using my arms against the ball like this to lift upward focusing on the spine. Imagine in this position that gravity is lifting up through your spine instead of down. Breathe and enjoy this for a few deep breaths. The bottom two pics are really just a downward dog against the wall. Hands are flat against the wall, feet flat hip distance apart. I look to feel as if my tush is reaching out and my belly is lifted up. My shoulders are relaxed and my jaw is released. Breathe and enjoy this for a few deep breaths. 

For Mama's belly: Diaphragmatic Breathing. 

(This information is taken directly from Anne Martens Prenatal Pilates Book.) Diaphragmatic breathing will not only support your overall well-being, but also promote core conditioning. This exercise can typically be practiced during pregnancy and immediately after birth. In fact, practicing this exercise directly after birth will help the uterus contract, help manage the pain of these post delivery contractions and help the body rid itself of medication. Incorporate this exercise into your recovery routine directly after birth by practicing 5 deep breaths every 30 minutes- 1 hour. 

Why does the diaphragm weaken during pregnancy? 

As baby/babies grow during pregnancy the diaphragm becomes compressed within the base of the ribcage, making breathing more difficult. To breathe, the body requires recruitment from the muscles within the upper shoulders and upper back. The recruited muscles often become tight and may contribute to a kyphotic posture, one where the shoulders are rounded forward. Also the diaphragm shortens and stiffens, the quadratus lumborum (QL), a muscle that anchors the rib cage and aids in diaphragmatic breathing, becomes tight. As the QL muscle tightens it spreads the ribcage laterally and puts greater lateral force on the rectus abdominus, contributing to a diastasis within the recti. 

How to promote core strength with breathing exercises? 

Diaphragmatic breathing stretches the diaphragm during the inhalation and contracts/ tightens the diaphragm during the exhalation. During the diaphragmatic breathing the diaphragm will work synergistically with the core muscles, especially the TVA, obliques and rectus abdominus. A stretched and strengthened diaphragm will promote optimal breathing capabilities, proper posture and strong abdominal support.  

How to?

Start seated with your back against the wall or a straight comfortable chair. Place one of your hands on the bottom of the ribcage, and the other hand on your naval aligning the hands over the midline of the body. Begin with a deep exhalation and empty the lungs keeping your shoulders and chest relaxed. Notice how the muscles underneath the top hand tighten the ribcage, pulling both halves of the ribcage together and down. Notice how the muscles underneath the bottom hand pull the navel in toward the front of the spine, and up closer to the heart. Notice how these muscles narrow the abdomen (front, back and sides) as a corset would. Inhalation: Keeping the shoulders and chest relaxed and still, take a deep breath in and fill the lungs up. Don't force it, just imagine they are filling up completely. Now notice the muscles underneath the top hand streching the base of the ribcage and abdomen in all directions. Notice how the muscles of the bottom hand realx and passively allow the naval to float into your hands. Gradually as you progress, focus on breathing lower and deeper. As your strength grows be aware of the navel moving further back to the front of the spine and and then slightly up closer to the heart. 

To conclude...

You could sit back and let your exhaustion get the best of you. Some days I do. But having gone through this once I will suggest you find time and prioritize the exercises that are right for you. You and I are different, and you know what is best for you and your growing baby. I urge you to listen to your body, but also to not entirely give in to it. If you keep a consistent and gentle but lively exercise routine during your pregnancy, you will be very thankful you did. It's much easier to get back on track after baby comes if you have never truly gotten off track. 

If you have any questions about any of this information, or if you want to share something that is going on in your body and mind, PLEASE do. We are in this together, and know that I am always here with open ears.

Best to you this week Mamas!

XO

Stacey

ps I made pumpkin almond muffins twice in the past couple of weeks- I am going to share MY recipe and also the original. Enjoy!! We did for breakfast, snacks and fun. 

Ingredients for Pumpkin Almond Muffins!

1 cup almond meal/flour
1 cup canned organic pumpkin
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tbs vanilla extract

1 tbs maple extract

1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp of chia seeds

¼ cup chopped walnuts

¼ cup chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend well by hand.

Use paper liners and divide muffin mix among 10 cups.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until muffins are cooked all the way through.

Cool and then serve, and eat with a smile. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Happy Hump day! A little secret my midwife told me about weight gain.

by Stacey Jayne


How to gain weight, but not too much.

preg stick

SO. I was sitting in my midwife's office for my second visit since I found out I was preggers and I asked her cautiously: Do you have any suggestions for me? I'm starting this pregnancy heavier than I have been in a while, and I would love to have some tools to help control my cravings and weight gain in general.  She thought about it for a few seconds and said: Well, this is a touchy subject. Honestly sometimes I talk about weight gain with my patients, and sometimes I don't. Women can get very overwhelmed with this subject, and very upset at the thought of their changing bodies and uncontrollable cravings... and rightfully so! But since you asked, here is what I suggest: go online and check out the gestational diabetes diet. Find recipes that you like and try to stick to the guidelines as best you can. Basically it's three meals a day and two snacks. Lots of water, avoid juices and sodas- don't drink your calories. And keep exercising- I know you will be tired, but keep moving. Most of my patients find that it's VERY easy to follow this diet. It's safe, It's delicious and all it is, is a low glycemic diet. 

I LOVED hearing this. Personally I love when someone gives me a very definite place to start. I went home, got right online and starting finding delicious recipes that were really basic and easy to prepare. Boom! I felt empowered, inspired and like I could control myself within those guidelines. 

Here is the gist of the diet- but let me be very clear and say that I have not been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. However, I am following the guidelines for this low glycemic diet for weight management purposes. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the steps below are great guidelines for you. Work with your practitioner to best suit your needs. 

1. The diet aims to have your calories and carbs evenly distributed throughout the day by eating three meals and two snacks, or five balanced meals a day. Be consistent about WHEN you eat and the AMOUNT of food you eat at each one. Your blood sugar will remain more stable if your food is distributed evenly throughout the day and consistently from day to day. DO NOT SKIP MEALS. 

2. Eat a lovely hearty breakfast! In my experience, if I have a good amount of protein with my breakfast then I will have enough energy to get to my first snack of the day with out getting shaky or foggy-headed. These are signs that your blood sugar levels are off. An example of my breakfast: I often will make hard boiled eggs in the morning with whole grain toast and some salsa or sliced tomatoes on the side. Or I will make oatmeal with almond milk, some chopped nuts, a little nut butter mixed in, topped with some fresh fruit and / or maple syrup. Pay attention to how you feel after breakfast. If you are starving or craving things in an hour, then try adding MORE protein and healthy fats to your meal. There are tons of vegetarian and vegan options out there too.  

3. With each meal you have, look for a balance between carbs, fat and protein. For example a great snack is an apple AND a small handful of nuts or carrots AND hummus or some cheese. Combining a carb (veggie or fruit) with a fat/ protein (nuts, cheese etc.) will help your body to digest more slowly. You will actually feel sated, and stay sated for LONGER. Another meal example: I make a salad for lunch. In my salad I throw in (for example) nuts, seeds, beans, cubed sweet potatoes. I make sure that there is a variety of carb, fat and protein sources going into it so I actually feel fuller after I eat it. Aim to eat mostly whole unprocessed foods for your meals and you will find that you are WAY less hungry throughout the day. Eating less processed foods will truly help to control your cravings too. Win, win. 

4. Limit or avoid all together sodas, fruit juices, flavors teas and sugary bottled drinks. They are LOADED with sugar (flip that bottle around and check out the label- every 4 g of sugar is a tsp. Some drinks have over 30g of sugar and that will totally throw your blood sugar out of whack). Try drinking bubbly water with a splash of juice to limit your intake of those empty calories that are found in the drinks I have listed above. 

5. Milk is high in lactose, a simple sugar, so you should limit the amount you drink and find an alternative source of calcium. I use unsweetened almond milk here in our home and it's a BIG hit. We also get our calcium from other dairy sources and leafy greens as well. 

6. Keeping up a consistent level of physical activity during your pregnancy is another key way to even out your blood sugar. If exercise is new to you, talk with your doctor or midwife about an appropriate amount of exercise for you. I will share in next week's post what I have been doing at the gym. Perhaps it will inspire you to find your own routine that feels awesome for you!

Meal Idea: One poached egg on top of a slice of tomato with some avocado on top. Add some s&p if you like. Try to keep this on whole grain toast to keep the glycemic index low (notice I gave in to the delicious white italian bread).  

Meal Idea: One poached egg on top of a slice of tomato with some avocado on top. Add some s&p if you like. Try to keep this on whole grain toast to keep the glycemic index low (notice I gave in to the delicious white italian bread).  

Meal Idea: Quinoa and arugula salad with chick peas and diced tomatoes. Dress this in some fresh squeezed lemon juice and a bit of olive oil. Add some s&p if you like. 

Meal Idea: Quinoa and arugula salad with chick peas and diced tomatoes. Dress this in some fresh squeezed lemon juice and a bit of olive oil. Add some s&p if you like. 

Money saving tip: Check out costco to get items like this in bulk. Quinoa can be VERY expensive, but it's a great healthy grain you can add to salads, soups or as a side dish on its own. If I'm going to make it as a side dish I usually cook it in veggie broth to give it some flavor. 

Money saving tip: Check out costco to get items like this in bulk. Quinoa can be VERY expensive, but it's a great healthy grain you can add to salads, soups or as a side dish on its own. If I'm going to make it as a side dish I usually cook it in veggie broth to give it some flavor. 

Meal idea: over night chia pudding. This picture is ONE way you can make this delicious meal. Here is the recipe that I have been following and it's super yummy: 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of rolled oats (NOT quick or steel cut), 1/2 cup of yogurt (whatever flavor you like- if you choose plain greek you will want to add a bit of honey to sweeten it up) 4-5 walnut halves, 1 tablespoon of raw pumpkin seeds, and a shake or two of cinnamon. Mix it together with a spoon and let it sit covered over night in the fridge. YUM!

Meal idea: over night chia pudding. This picture is ONE way you can make this delicious meal. Here is the recipe that I have been following and it's super yummy: 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of rolled oats (NOT quick or steel cut), 1/2 cup of yogurt (whatever flavor you like- if you choose plain greek you will want to add a bit of honey to sweeten it up) 4-5 walnut halves, 1 tablespoon of raw pumpkin seeds, and a shake or two of cinnamon. Mix it together with a spoon and let it sit covered over night in the fridge. YUM!

To conclude... 

The diet is simply whole grains, fruits and veggies, avoid drinking empty calories, balanced meals and snacks... 85% of the time. The rest of the time, enjoy yourself. Love your body, your growing baby, this phase that is short in a life that is long. The phase (pregnancy) will seem loooong at times, it may seem never ending. It can seem as though your lovely body is further away from what you know it to be, and like the stretching and shifting of skin and bones will change you forever. Well... that is true, and it is a beautiful gift that only women get to experience. You are a Mama and you are not alone. Keep your chin up in whatever way suits you and enjoy the ride the best you can.

AND don't forget to reach out for support when you need it!

Best of luck to you this week and lots of love,

SJ

 

 

 


Happy Hump day for the Pregs. Feel good, part two.

by Stacey Jayne


Feeling good. 

preggie bellies

It's Happy Hump day, where I share valuable information for those who are in the same place as I am: knocked up! I will also share tips and info for postpartum mamas, as we are in very similar territory. Pregnancy is much like the postpartum realm in that our bodies, minds and hearts are still evolving. I aim to help women keep their bodies and their minds a priority even when we are tired, feeling physically awkward and emotionally drained. You need and deserve to feel the best that you can, and I'm here for you. I understand what a constant struggle it is to juggle it all. 

Week one was about immune boosting. This week I will share with you how I go about managing my sanity. Managing stress levels is tough, and I suspect many mammas struggle with this too, and rightfully so! Life is very different from what it used to be. Remember life before you decided to become a human maker?  The ease of walking into a coffee shop, ordering whatever, paying, then leaving while sipping a cup of something lovely. The ease of staying an extra 40 minutes after work to chat and chew the fat with coworkers about nothing and everything important. The ease of walking around with a purse that suited the occasion and the outfit. The ease of meeting your partner at a bar for a couple of drinks for fun on any given Tuesday. The ease... in general. Go ahead and think about it for a while if you wish; I just did and it was very pleasing.   

Now, most days have a reeeeaaaaal sense of urgency.

You know the sense of urgency I'm talking about? Your frantic brain processing 7 to 23 different tasks at once, phone in hand to reference the time, heart pounding: what did I forget? How am I going to get a chance to pick up dinner? I thought I was so much EARLIER THAN THIS?! Why does my hair look like i just got caught in a street brawl? How I can maximize my time so I can get as much done with my clients, housework, cooking, friends, family etc. as possible?!

You need to manage the frenzy so the frenzy doesn't manage you.

I will now share with you 4 things I do to prioritize my own sanity! Learning to prioritize my own needs makes me a better Mama and I suspect it will for you too.

One: Exercise. 

Most postnatal Moms in the 4th trimester and beyond aim to "get back" to their "normal" bodies again. The (sad) truth is that we actually can never go back again. It's impossible to go back! The good news is that we can move forward, with the plan to feel better, stronger and smarter than we were before. After I had my daughter, I just didn't feel like myself. My body was different in so many unpleasant ways. I felt stuck and confused and quite frankly very unsexy. It takes time to relearn the norms of your bod again, especially if you've had a handful of confusing postpartum issues. Women don't talk about it enough, or at all. We also probably just wish everything unpleasant would fade away. So now I make it a priority to exercise at least 3 days a week. I have decided to NOT JUDGE myself if I don't have much time or energy for this, because I know that ANY exercise is good exercise and helps to make me stronger and MUCH less stressed. Anything goes (I talked about this in my last post). Walking, biking, jogging, whatever! If you are having a hard time with scheduling - find a friend! I can guarantee you there is someone out there who needs someone to take a walk with. You get to talk, gossip, laugh... it won't even feel like exercise! My time at the gym is the time when I am alone, I am getting in touch with how my body actually feels, and I am usually working a few things out in my head. It's a win, win, win. 

Loved this! It was set up outside of the Lululemon store nearby where I live. 

Loved this! It was set up outside of the Lululemon store nearby where I live. 

Two: Put ENOUGH time aside.

Running errands, shopping for food, returning or buying that sweater, dropping off clothing at the cleaners.... all that running around you do. BE REALISTIC when you schedule these things. Even with how long it takes to get your hair done so you aren't running down the street with wet hair, rushing and sweating to relieve your baby sitter. Stop running Mama. Unless you have your sneakers on and you are literally going for a run- make sure you leave enough time to get things accomplished. You deserve to leave yourself an extra half hour so your heart doesn't have to be in your chest. Breathe, and try and plan accordingly. 

Three: Who's vacuuming? 

REGARDLESS if you are pregnant or postpartum- if you find that keeping up with the needs of your home is making you stressed out and crazy- get help. Who can help you with your home? Perhaps you will hire someone once a week, twice a month or even one time a month to do the big stuff (deep clean bathrooms, vacuum, mop floors, do some laundry, etc.) This will be money well spent. OR perhaps you can sit down with your parter to give him or her a better idea of what you are going through. You can say: Boo, I need your help, I'm about to jump in front of a bus. Would you mind washing the toilets and doing all the folding each week till I am up to it again? Or maybe you can ask a family member for help? I know whenever my MIL asks me if there is anything she can do, I say... YES! Truth- I had to learn to let someone help me, and I also had to learn to ask for the help I needed. Have a sit down this week with those who support you to be honest about your needs in this department. Below is my favorite explanation of the whole process! Thank you Carol Channing. 

Four: Put it in the cal

Especially postpartum Mamas: if you don't schedule it, it won't get done. Sex. Cooking. Filing. Walking. Laughing. I HATE to be this unsexy about day-to-day life, but getting things done is far too important to me to wait around for the EASE to come back. That ease is long gone. Try scheduling your whole day for 3 full days. Schedule your shower, gym time, meeting a friend for a cup of coffee... if it's important to you, put it in the cal. Doing this will actually help you MANAGE THE FRENZY! You may even end up with extra time. 

To conclude: Life when you are pregnant or postpartum is just not easy. I have shared what has helped me, but you are your own Mama. The best thing you can do is to find ways to reduce stress through prioritizing your own needs. It took me a while to get the hang of it, and I still struggle with it weekly, because that is the nature of the beast. Start small and take steps towards your goals. I believe in you! 

Tip for preggies:

If salads aren't your thing right now, try sneaking greens into a yummy recipe. This is a quinoa salad with chick peas and diced tomatoes in a lemon juice and olive oil dressing. For me, the beginning of my pregnancy was in the summer, and I naturally craved veggies, but I can tell as the fall is upon us, I will be naturally craving more cooked foods and baked goods. If  you have ways that you sneak greens in your diet that you would like to share with me... please do! I'm always hungry.

If salads aren't your thing right now, try sneaking greens into a yummy recipe. This is a quinoa salad with chick peas and diced tomatoes in a lemon juice and olive oil dressing. For me, the beginning of my pregnancy was in the summer, and I naturally craved veggies, but I can tell as the fall is upon us, I will be naturally craving more cooked foods and baked goods. If  you have ways that you sneak greens in your diet that you would like to share with me... please do! I'm always hungry.

Tip for postpartum mamas:

Having trouble finding time to get to the gym? Find a mommy and me class for you and your bebe. You will get a chance to move your bod, while connecting with other women just like you. Stay after the class and get to know some Mamas; they all need to talk and you may meet an actual new friend. Enjoy it!

Having trouble finding time to get to the gym? Find a mommy and me class for you and your bebe. You will get a chance to move your bod, while connecting with other women just like you. Stay after the class and get to know some Mamas; they all need to talk and you may meet an actual new friend. Enjoy it!

How to prioritize yourself this week:

I think this whole article is about making yourself a priority, but there IS one more thing I will add. I often run into Mamas who apologize a lot, for everything. Notice when the words I'm sorry come up for you, and if you feel they are truly merited. I'd love to hear if some of you get caught apologizing for things that are rather just the way life is. I'm sorry we are late, I'm sorry this didn't come out the way I wanted it to, I'm sorry I'm under dressed....

You are enough. You are enough. You are perfect and doing your best. 

Thanks for reading, and being awesome.

xo

Stacey

 

 


Happy Hump day for the Pregs. Feel good, part one.

by Stacey Jayne


I have (approximately) 15 weeks till my unborn enters this crazy world.

20 weeks, in Rhode Island. 

20 weeks, in Rhode Island. 

My plan is to share once a week, on "happy hump day" (Wednesdays), various exercises, nutrition tips and valuable information for those who are in the same place as I am. I will also share tips and info for postpartum mamas, as we are in a very similar place. Pregnancy is similar to the postpartum realm in that our bodies, minds and hearts are still very much evolving. I aim to help women keep their bodies and their minds a priority even when we are tired, feeling awkward physically and emotionally drained. It's very hard to make yourself a priority. You are a Mother.  You need and deserve to feel the best that you can, and I'm here for you. I understand what a constant struggle it is to juggle it all. 

Week one. Feel good. 

It is the almost the fall. Children are back to school and families are reentering the "grind" as the summer slips away. For me this is happy time! It's fall. The trees paint the streets with bright and new colors, people bring out their warm and cozy clothes, and on the first really cold day I feel like I can hear Mrs. Claus yell out to her Mister "Honey... try it ALL on again, we hit the margaritas pretty hard this year." It is my all time favorite season. In fact this past weekend I marked the coming of the cooler weather by making my favorite baked good. Super moist pumpkin bread, which is a vegan recipe, so you can make out with the spatula if you want. I add chia seeds (I pretend like it's a healthier recipe than it is) otherwise I follow the recipe completely. I have a hot oven, so I only need aprox 60 minutes for it to be fully cooked- so keep your eye on that. 

What is really on my mind right now: keeping myself and my family healthy. Immune boosting! Here are 5 things I do to keep us boosted. But please, honor your own needs and norms and consult a doctor before you make any changes to your diet.

1.  Vitamin D- actually a hormone. 

Most of us are vitamin D deficient! I have purchased a liquid supplement which I take every day, and I share it with my man. I also bought one for my 4 year old daughter which I put in her water bottle every day. Most people think that vitamin D is a really a vitamin, but in reality the active form of vitamin D is one of the most potent hormones in your body, and regulates more genes and bodily functions than any of your other hormones. It plays a crucial role in your immune response, a role seemingly far superior to the synthetic immune responses that seasonal vaccines elicit. Having read enough at this point to really start to believe in its effectiveness, I make taking this supplement part of our morning ritual. 

2.  Elderberry extract

I started taking this supplement last year and I share it with my whole family as well. I noticed that last year- my daughter's first year in a school setting- she didn't catch all the colds that were going around. The few times she did seem like she was coming down with something, I gave it to her twice a day (instead of once a day).  I also would do the same for myself; if I woke up feeling under the weather, I took it up to 4 times during the day, and it worked wonders! I swear this extract truly saved us last year. It is not cheap, so look around on the web for sales or coupons if possible. But don't let the price scare you. IMO It works. Some more info:

Elderberry syrup works in a very specific way. A virus enters cells by puncturing their walls with tiny spikes that cover its surface. The active ingredients in elderberry bind to and cover the spikes, preventing them from piercing the cell membrane. The viral spikes are also covered with an enzyme that the virus uses to break down the cell wall. Elderberries have high concentrations of bioflavonoids, which appear to inhibit the action of this enzyme.

3. Probiotics 

When I was a kid I was constantly sick. I wish we'd kept track of how many times I was put on antibiotics from childhood into my early twenties. The constant use of antibiotics will do a great job of killing the bad bacteria that causes illness, but sadly it also kills the good bacteria in our gut. Our immune system goes hand in hand with our digestive system. A good probiotic can help to rebuild that good bacteria and play a big part in immune function. You will see other positive side effects too perhaps in your own regularity. I started taking it every day for a couple of weeks, then I backed off and now only take one about twice a week. I also found one that I give my daughter too. It's chewable. She loves to take it, it tastes good, but little does she know how she benefits from it! 

Sneaky health coach mom... I'll tell her some day. 

4. Real food

I'll keep this simple, because I think it's one of the easiest things we can do to help ourselves and our families stay healthy. Git yr fresh seasonal veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans and high quality animal products if you choose to eat them. Keep most of your food intake fresh. It takes practice and organization (this is what I work on with my clients), but I feel that my life has changed in so many ways by just following this rule: eat real food. Avoid processed foods when you can. Limit sugar intake. There it is. If you are struggling in this area, or you need new ideas and inspiration- stick around. I will be here for that, but honestly the web is full of people just like me who want to help you too. Find a voice that speaks to you. If your kids are in school, you can form or join a wellness committee. What you focus on is what you will become. Infuse this task with fun, love and hope, and over this school year you will start to see major changes in your family and yourself.  

5. Move your body, move your mind

If you are not currently getting physical exercise at least 3 times a week, you are doing your body and your lovely brain a giant disservice. What counts as exercise? SO much! You don't have to be running or biking or rowing to qualify, just walk. Add walking into your daily routine here and there, and it will add up! I aim to get to the gym (because I genuinely like it there) 3 times a week. If you don't fancy the gym, again just get outside and get walking. I'm also on my feet a lot, and walk to most appointments and errands that I need to get to, but that's the norm for city living. If you don't live in a city, try parking further away from where you need to go and get your groove on that way. Ask friends who work with you, or live near you to meet you. Make it an opportunity to hang with your friends! This will take practice and organization, but I promise you will get so much out of it. Exercise and mood very often go hand in hand. I can't tell you how much it helps me to manage my stress levels. So get out there and find something that allows you to move your body and get your heart pumping! 

Tips for preggies:

Having trouble getting out for some exercise on your own? Invite friends and family. Make your next outing a walk someplace lovely. Everyone will benefit and you will get your heart pumping. 

Having trouble getting out for some exercise on your own? Invite friends and family. Make your next outing a walk someplace lovely. Everyone will benefit and you will get your heart pumping. 

Tips for postpartum mamas:

Pick one area of your house and de clutter it! How does this help you? A de-cluttered home can help you to make space for other magical things to happen. For me, when I look around and see a messy life, I feel like my life IS A MESS. Get some alone time this week and clean something out so you can have more clarity all around. It's very cathartic. 

Pick one area of your house and de clutter it! How does this help you? A de-cluttered home can help you to make space for other magical things to happen. For me, when I look around and see a messy life, I feel like my life IS A MESS. Get some alone time this week and clean something out so you can have more clarity all around. It's very cathartic. 

One way to prioritize self care this week: 

Pick a mantra (a short easy saying you make up yourself) that can help to calm your mind when you need it to. The one I have been using recently is: It's all good. This may sound incredibly simple, but right now, it's exactly what I need. Have you ever used a mantra? Try it this week and let me know if it helps. My mind often gets in my way, so anything I can do to calm it is good. I usually take a few deep breaths while I think or say this mantra. It's aaaaallll gooooood. 

Best of  luck to you this week! Feel free to share what is working for you. It always helps me to know that some one else out there is in just the same place as me. 

Happy Hump Day!!!

xoxo 

SJ

 

 


Wrap it with greens

by Stacey Jayne


Most of us (humans) don't eat enough fiber. Myself included. Suggestion: experiment with your wrap sandwich by switching up grains for leaves. How to?

Cut the leaf off the hard rib down the center. (You don't have to do this BTW- feel free to leave it there and make a big wrap!) 

Cut the leaf off the hard rib down the center. (You don't have to do this BTW- feel free to leave it there and make a big wrap!) 

  This is curried tofu "nada egg" salad that I used for my wrap. You see in the background the wraps I've made for my husband. He likes to use the sprouted grain wraps along with the collard green. You may try both and see which one you fancy. 

 

This is curried tofu "nada egg" salad that I used for my wrap. You see in the background the wraps I've made for my husband. He likes to use the sprouted grain wraps along with the collard green. You may try both and see which one you fancy. 

I like to cut up a bunch to have them on hand in the fridge. I also love to spread hummus on collards. Again you can make any old wrap you like! Yum. 

I like to cut up a bunch to have them on hand in the fridge. I also love to spread hummus on collards. Again you can make any old wrap you like! Yum. 


November 18th 2013- be there or be... confused.

by Stacey Jayne


I am preparing for this! Join me - let's make this a conversation. How can we feel less confused about parenting? How can we promote a healthy self image for our kids? How can we look within ourselves to connect more with our kids? I will be covering these topics, and hope you will join me on November 18th in Farifield, Ct. Click this link for more details, and to buy your ticket. Tix will NOT be sold at the door. 

Can't wait! 

Love,  

SJ

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A few things you may not have known about garlic.

by Stacey Jayne


It's week two of my "Let's boost the crap out of our immune system" blog series! I'm happy to announce that my daughter WAS sick last week. Ok well I wasn't happy when she woke up boogery and sneezy, but I felt that it was a real opportunity to do what I really know how to do: use my special healing powers (real foods, sleep, apple cider vinegar) to blast that cold right out the door. One of the things I went really heavy on was GARLIC. Thought I'd pass some things along so you and yours can benefit too!

My little medicinal friend.  

My little medicinal friend.  

RAW

This word makes me think of one person: my mother, Patti. This is how she uses the word raw.  

BUUUUUT we are talking garlic here. And raw is a REALLY good thing! I made a big batch of chicken soup and added a few cloves to it. I cut them up and let them sit out on the counter before I threw them into the recipe. Adding the garlic at the end helps to retain the maximum amount of flavor (or flava as Patti would say) and nutrition. The best thing you can do actually is to chop it up really really well and throw it in the dish AFTER it is cooked. The less you cook it, the better. Why is garlic so amazing?

1. Garlic has antibacterial and antiviral benefits

2. Garlic has anti-cancer properties

3. Garlic has major anti-inflammatory benefits 

4. Garlic is able to lower blood triglycerides and total cholesterol  

5. Garlic just may jump off the counter and do your taxes... I'm not sure about this one, but man let's put a sparkly cape on these little guys and see what they can REALLY do.  

So friends, this week why don't you take a jaunt over to your local farmers market and pick up some of the freshest garlic you can get your healthy little hands on. Chop it up super small and add it in as many dishes as you can! Let me know what works for you too. Please share your recipes and success in the comments below. We are all in this together, and your stories will surely benefit another reader.  

A little about me, if you're new to the party:

I make it a priority to buy local and organic foods as much as I can. I plan for the week, buy in bulk, absolutely use my left overs and I get courageously creative with our meals to save time and money. Since avoiding GMOs and other questionable icky unnatural ingredients (not only in food, but also in our cleaning products and self care items) is super important to me, I give it the attention it deserves. Over time using quality organic foods has draaaaaastically changed our lives for the better. I'm no expert, I'm just good at experimenting so I've learned a lot. 

My mission...

Is to inspire you to live a courageously healthy life that you loooove. I'm hearing from my clients/friends/family that they simply want to feel better. They want to feel more in control of their health. Not only is this possible, but it can be a friggin' party. Small steps, big results. Lasting change takes time, but luckily life is long.

(I invite you to take a deep breath after reading that last sentence.) 

Pretty please comment below and tell me what you are excited about as the seasons change. I'm excited for pumpkins, and bangs, and shivery walks around my neighborhood with my pooches and my family... Oh man do I love the fall. 

You. Freakin. Rock.

Love,

SJ

 

 


Let's boost the crap out of our immune system.

by Stacey Jayne


Eat what's local and make it colorful!

Strike up a conversation with a local farmer. Ask if they have visiting hours, or special events. Most of them do and they make a great date or afternoon activity!

Strike up a conversation with a local farmer. Ask if they have visiting hours, or special events. Most of them do and they make a great date or afternoon activity!

Let's start where we are right now. At the end of the summer with only a few weeks left, lovelies. You have an opportunity to follow right along side the change of the seasons. This particular season shift is my favorite: summer into the fall. A new school year, windows open with the cool breeze visiting my dreams at night, cozy layers, and delicious and colorful foods appearing at the farmers market. Pumpkin, squash, root veggies, cauliflower etc, they reeeeally make my taste buds happy. The most amazing secret that you will only get to experience with seasonal eating is: the foods that the earth is producing (right freakin' now!) will prep your immune system for the coming cold/flu season. A pumpkin's sneaky little seeds, for example, are extremely high in a variety of vitamins and minerals. Here is some info taken from an article called "What's new and beneficial about pumpkin seeds?".

"Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed extracts, and pumpkin seed oil have long been valued for their anti-microbial benefits, including their anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Research points to the role of unique proteins in pumpkin seeds as the source of many antimicrobial benefits. The lignans in pumpkin seeds (including pinoresinol, medioresinol, and lariciresinol) have also been shown to have antimicrobial—and especially anti-viral— properties. Impact of pumpkin seed proteins and pumpkin seed phytonutrients like lignans on the activity of a messaging molecule called interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) is likely to be involved in the antimicrobial benefits associated with this food." How amazing is that?! Please take the time to check out that article to see what your options are for enjoying them this fall.  

When you visit the farmers market (this weekend?) you will see foods that were just picked locally. Why is this so special? One BIG and very tongue pleasing reason, is that the fresher the fruit and veggies are, the more incredible and flavorful they will be. The fruits and veggies that you see in the super market can be between 2-3 weeks old! Perhaps they look fresh, but they have lost many of their nutrients traveling to get to the supermarket. For example, tomatoes often come from Florida, California, or Mexico. They are picked when they're green and firm. After picking, the tomatoes are put in a large room, and ethylene—a colorless, flammable gas (C2H4) derived from petroleum—is piped in.  The ethylene triggers the creation of enzymes, which break down cell walls and turn starches into sugar. The tomatoes begin softening and turning red. This is why my father aways says (in his deepest bronx accent) "Nothin' like a gaaawden tomato Staaaacey!" and he's absolutely right! Not only is the flavor amazing, but the farm fresh fruits and veggies are much higher in nutrients and minerals- which will absolutely boost your immune system!

So visit your farmers market.

Enjoy a variety of colors and cook up a wide spectrum of vitamins and immune boosting goodness! You will most likely be able to pick up everything you need for a few delicious meals. Fresh dairy, fresh baked bread, fruits, veggies and some markets even have meats, fish, wine and beer! You will get to know your local farmers, get to experience a part of your community AND you'll be giving your body exactly what the earth is making for it: fresh, nutrient dense foods. 

One of the local stands that I visit weekly.  

One of the local stands that I visit weekly.  

There's little somethin' for everyone! 

There's little somethin' for everyone! 

A little about me, if you're new to the party:

I make it a priority to buy local and organic foods as much as I can. I plan for the week, buy in bulk, absolutely use my left overs and I get courageously creative with our meals to save time and money. Since avoiding GMOs and other questionable icky unnatural ingredients (not only in food, but also in our cleaning products and self care items) is super important to me, I give it the attention it deserves. Over time using quality organic foods has draaaaaastically changed our lives for the better. I'm no expert, I'm just good at experimenting so I've learned a lot. 

My mission...

Is to inspire you to live a courageously healthy life that you loooove. I'm hearing from my clients/friends/family that they simply want to feel better. They want to feel more in control of their health. Not only is this possible, but it can be a friggin' party. Small steps, big results. Lasting change takes time, but luckily life is long.

(I invite you to take a deep breath after reading that last sentence.) 

Pretty please comment below and tell me what you are excited about as the seasons change. I'm excited for pumpkins, and bangs, and shivery walks around my neighborhood with my pooches and my family... Oh man do I love the fall. 

You. Freakin. Rock.

Love,

SJ

 


After bump.

by Stacey Jayne


Whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned veteran, consider these 5 tips to keep postpartum stress under control.

 

Can you help me fold the fitted sheet, mom's napping. 

Can you help me fold the fitted sheet, mom's napping. 

Ride the roller coaster of emotions.

You will go from kissing your baby’s tiny fingers and toes to grieving the loss of your old life (no one really talks about this!) and worrying about how you will ever figure “it all” out, all in the space of a single diaper change! You and your partner will be tired and anxious. To help you stay connected, talk about what's bothering you, and try as hard as you can to schedule a date night so the two of you can take a few deep breaths together. Talking about the ups and downs with your mate will surely bring on a few good laughs too!

Relax yo' standards.

Hide the broom. Clean the bathroom with a fresh baby wipe. Check out groupon or amazon local for house cleaning deals and treat yourself.  Serve cold cereal and peanut butter toast for dinner when you're too tired to prepare a meal. This particular stage in life is temporary, so take a deep breath and don’t be hard on yourself.

Get out.

If you're going stir-crazy with a fussy newborn, take the baby out for a walk. If you can, let someone you trust take over for a while. Getting out to take a breath all by yourself will feel weird and delicious. Your role on this planet has just severely shifted and it’s vital to create space to process that. For me, taking a walk was usually exactly what I needed.

It starts with you.

1. Staying hydrated will be a game changer for you and your partner. Drink 16- 30 ounces of water upon waking every single day to help boost your energy and avoid headaches. 2. Don’t read too many books that focus on a strict plan for you and your baby. I’ve witnessed so many first time parents who just want the answers and solutions to the issues that are going to come up. Parenting and baby books are almost like diet books. There are many ways to do this job. You and your baby are unique and will find your own patterns and norms. 3. Get some fresh air. 4. Sleep when the baby sleeps — and work out a nighttime schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby. 5. Make sure you have lots of colors (from fruits and veggies) in your diet. I like to cut up a bunch of “grabable” veggies that will last me for 3-4 days. 6. Don't be afraid to set aside your social graces, either! Let trusted visitors care for the baby while you get some much needed rest. 7. Do something you enjoy every day, either with the baby or on your own. Good habits will help you find the energy you need to care for your baby.

Keep it light and seek a helping hand.

When you need to head out, give yourself extra time to pack up and change the inevitable out-the-door dirty diaper. I mean WAY more extra time than you think. Like, an hour. Trust me. Parenting in the beginning is a challenge, even on a good day. Feeling depressed or having trouble adjusting to life with a newborn is normal.  Practice deep breathing, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many people who would LOVE to help you in this time. Learning to handle the new stress in your life can help you enjoy and celebrate being a parent even more!

Kiss those baby toes for me!

xo

SJ

 

 


30 Days, days twenty6,7ate9.

by Stacey Jayne


If you're a city dweller and you're anything like me, getting away from the tall buildings and into a bit of nature is reeeeeeally delicious.

Peaceful in Massachusetts. 

Peaceful in Massachusetts. 

Man, it's so good to be with old friends. For those of you who have moved away from your best friends, or who have best friends who decided to find a new zip code, you know the feeling. When you are with your closest friends, you remember where you came from and who held your hand while you were taking your journey as a younger you. Even though you really don't know what their current day-to-day life entails, you look at their faces and memories come flooding back. You see the face that you looked at you when you were carrying books to your fourth period class, or the face that shared your first ever dorm room, or the face that helped you through your first heart break. It's beautiful. In my opinion, everything about life feels so much better when you are with your best friends. I'm feeling so thankful that my friends continue to embrace who I am as I continue to reinvent myself. They always meet me with supportive questions and they even know how to cheer me on and boost my cautious nerves. This past month has been really wonderful, but very busy. I knew a lot would come up for me and get in the way of doing this little project. Updating my courageously healthy blog as much as I have been able to has put me in a state of reflection and awareness. I've been more aware in general of what's going on in and out of my kitchen (my refrigerator has never been cleaner!), but most of all it's helped me get a clearer vision for my work and how I can be of service to my clients, family and friends. It also has helped me see what parts need to be in place for me to be truly successful. What kind of support I need, and how much planning and work needs to be done for my career. It's all good information. 

Best picture ever. Our first night out of the city was delish with my my two besties and their kiddies. Good times. 

Best picture ever. Our first night out of the city was delish with my my two besties and their kiddies. Good times. 

Some of you are in the beginning stages of experimenting with your diet and lifestyle. The beginning can be very tough, I totally get it. Finding a safe place and space in your life to be able to explore new habits is a daunting task for many reasons. I wanted to give you a few tips based on what has worked for me to make it easier. Here's a little Q&A list that may soften your experience.

Q. What can I say to my family and friends when I'm just starting a new program and trying to be "good"?

A. You can start by warning them before an event or gathering, to take the pressure off yourself. Choose the person who you feel is the most supportive in general and tell them what your doing. You can say something like "Hey friend, I'm just starting to experiment with my health so I can feel better. I realized that not only is changing my diet inexpensive, but it's giving me the opportunity to see how my body feels when I eat certain foods. I was wondering if you would help me "deal" with the other people in our circle who may be less supportive?" If some one asked me something like this, not only would I want to throw my arms around them and give them lotsa love, I'd cheer them on for being so courageous and brave. Now, if you know for sure that being around family and friends in a time like this is a bad idea... stay away till you know you can handle it. Shifting addictive or unhealthy habits takes structure, support and sanity.  Emotions that come up when your past and your future meet can be too overwhelming, so hold off for a bit, love. When the newer you feels courageously ready, you will know it.

Q. I'm sluggish, stressed, and not able to loose weight. I feel really stuck and don't have any ideas, extra time or money to fit healthy living into my life. What the heck should I do?!

A. Great question. 

1. Start first with your gut. What is your gut telling you? What is the most important thing you can do to shift the way you feel? Exercise is often the answer for many of my clients, family and friends. The easiest way to add more exercise into your busy broke life is to walk more. Park a mile away from work and walk there. Park in the furthest corner of the parking lot and carry heavy bags with your strong arms.  Get off the train one or two stops early. Or leave your car keys or train pass at home and walk to work if you are close. When going to the gym is too tough to fit in or too expensive, just walk more! I promise you will feel better in your body and your mind.

2. Drink more water. Most of us are dehydrated. Drink pure water. Add lemon if you want to be crazy.

3. Veg more. This has two parts. If you are not eating vegetables every day, you are missing out on the nutrients that will help your body heal and your brain function. Also if you don't let your body "veg out" to release stress, your body won't heal. If your life is stressful (who's life isn't?!) it may be the reason your body is holding on to excess weight. Take three deeeeeep breaths right now and think of something you are thankful for. Then go steam some broccoli.

Q. I need help getting started. I can't do it on my own. Who should I ask?

A. I would recommend that you start with your doctor. Get some blood work done and talk to him/her about what your plans are, also get a copy of your blood work and do some investigation of your own. Are you vitamin deficient? Most of us are, and it can effect your energy levels and ability to lose weight. If you are ready to invest money in your health- which I can't recommend enough- I would get a health coach. I can help you find one in your area that will work in your price range. It will save/change/reboot your life. Working with a coach is amazing because they focus on your individual needs and goals. They are supportive, creative and tough. They are what you need them to be, and they will connect you with the tools you need to succeed. You can also work with a personal trainer, pilates teacher, yoga teacher, nutritionist and you are allowed to "interview them" to see if it's a good fit. Make sure you show up with a few questions to see if your personalities mesh well. Also ask if they give a discounted intro session, some will.

Ok friends, onto food. My recent travels made me realize a few things about how tricky it can be to keep up with the healthy norms you practice at home. I found that by preparing for our car trip with healthy options (nut butter and crackers, apple slices, popcorn, water bottles, dried fruit) we were able to avoid the fast food trap. Being prepared really pays off! As for the length of our stay with my besties... my daughter and I enjoyed all the same foods as everyone else did for the most part. I just made sure that there were always healthy options within reach. Carrots and hummus, yummy salads, lots of fruit... all this made me feel awesome. Each night there were delicious green salads and a whole grain salad to pick on too. I was able to pick and choose what my body wanted. I left feeling happy healthy and full of love.

My favorite part of our kitchen adventures were our fresh juice cocktails.

Fresh Juice cocktails! 

Here were my two favs:  (you will need a juicer)

1. Take off the skin, and roughly chop 1 pineapple, 2 oranges, and a lime or two. Fill a pint glass 1/2 way with ice, add about half seltzer, a healthy shot of your choice of booze- we used tequilla- and top with about a an inch (or more) of fresh juice. This will make quite a few drinks, so make sure you are thirsty! Your mouth will be SO freakin happy.

2. Remove skin from 4 oranges and three lemons. Fill a pint glass 1/2 way with ice, add about half seltzer, a healthy shot of your choice of booze- we used vodka- and top with about a an inch (or more) of fresh juice. These cocktails are so refreshing. I could almost drink them all day. :)

Here was a fun breakfast for the kiddies: 

Egg in a hole.  

Egg in a hole.

Egg in a hole.

Whole grain bread of your choice- gluten free would totally work. Butter or oil a non-stick pan- we used coconut oil. Crack and egg and keep it in a small bowl near by. Cut out a little hole in the bread and throw it in the pan. Immediately pour the egg in the hole. Cook till you please, eat with a smile. Thanks to my bestie Laurie for making these for us!! She's a genius.

I wanted to share a recipe I made last week that was a hit. Seed-satinal Paleo Breakfast bars. I didn't get a pic of this, but I made them right before I went away for Scott to munch on and they were gone when I got home! Score. This bar is full of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. It is gluten free, nut free and vegan.

A note about the foods I choose:

I make it a priority to buy local and organic foods as much as I can. I plan for the week, buy in bulk, absolutely use my left overs and I get courageously creative with our meals to save time and money. Since avoiding GMOs and other questionable icky unnatural ingredients is important to me, I give it the attention it deserves. I feel that cheap food (I'll talk more about this later) is an illusion. Over time using quality organic foods has drastically changed our lives for the better. I'm not an expert, I'm just good at experimenting so I've learned a lot. 

My mission as a health coach is to help you live a courageously healthy life that you love. I'm hearing from my clients that they simply want to feel better. They want to feel in control of their health. Not only is this possible, but it can be joyful. Small steps, big results. Lasting change takes time, but luckily life is long.

( I invite you to take a deep breath after reading that last sentence.)

Thanks for taking this 30 day journey with me! Let me know your thoughts along the way. Where are you with your health? What's in your way from having a healthy life?

I want to be a resource for you, so reach out and share your story!

You. Freakin. Rock.

Love,

SJ

PS. If you are new to my blog, go ahead and "like" me on facebook and sign up for my newsletter. I will send you healthy doses of love and insight on how to make courageously healthy choices fit easily into your already lovely life. Oh, and please share your thoughts below. I'm the curious kind. 

 

 

 

I grew boobs with these girls. How awesome is that? 

I grew boobs with these girls. How awesome is that? 


30 days. Day twentyonetwothreefourfive!

by Stacey Jayne


Let me begin with something of high importance.

Macarons.  

Just delicious. Trust me.  

Just delicious. Trust me.  

 The gluten free macarons I spoke of last week, you guys! My friend used this recipe for the cookie part, and here is the recipe she used for the filling. If you have the energy to make this you will NOT be bummed when it's over. And if you were to serve them for guests or friends they will think you rock the crap out of your kitchen. 

 This past weekend was filled up with busy fun and love. Friday night I had thai food and wine with a girl friend. Saturday my daughter and I were out the whole darn sweaty day with friends at the farmers market and playing in prospect park. Then we met up with friends for italian ice. Then she convinced me to eat dinner at a restaurant near our house.  Sunday was spent with my dad, at a street fair here in Brooklyn (on Smith street) drinking afternoon cold brews, and dancing to a great band. I was happy on Sunday night looking back on it all. I did have some internal struggle about giving in fully my family's needs rather than sitting at home writing and working on my next courageously healthy program. But I HAD to give in... and I decided to release any guilt or anger or whatever emotion would have crept in to nag me while I was having a lovely weekend.

Then when Monday night rolled around as I was preparing for a client phone call I noticed many flying pests in our bedrooms... flying ants to be exact! We also found some in the kitchen. After using this organic insecticide our whole house reeked of wintergreen... which doesn't sound too bad, but I felt like someone shoved me inside a tube of toothpaste, with a bunch of flying bugs, no less. Very exciting. 

So! I'll share the highlights of what has gone on in our kitchen. It's been a nice balance of last minute meals and creative experiments. Here are some fun pics. 

 

Breakfast: Poached egg on top of a bed of spinach which has been dressed with olive oil, lemon juice s&p. Oh and I threw a few capers and raw pumpkin seeds on top.  YUM. Totally satisfying.  

Breakfast: Poached egg on top of a bed of spinach which has been dressed with olive oil, lemon juice s&p. Oh and I threw a few capers and raw pumpkin seeds on top. 

YUM. Totally satisfying.  

String beans from my little garden!! So proud, I am. 

String beans from my little garden!! So proud, I am. 

This was SO much fun. Spring rolls made with rice paper! Inside is sliced red pepper, cucumber, carrot, sliced tofu tossed in rice vinegar, sprouts and corn from the cob.  I made a peanut dipping sauce too! I plan making this many times. It was very easy to make.  I used this recipe for inspiration. 

This was SO much fun. Spring rolls made with rice paper! Inside is sliced red pepper, cucumber, carrot, sliced tofu tossed in rice vinegar, sprouts and corn from the cob.  I made a peanut dipping sauce too! I plan making this many times. It was very easy to make.  I used this recipe for inspiration. 

Soba noodles with scallions, pine nuts, shredded parm cheese and sauteed spinach. I used this recipe. 

Soba noodles with scallions, pine nuts, shredded parm cheese and sauteed spinach. I used this recipe. 

Breaded tofu squares. Used with the soba dish, I'll use this recipe again to cut up and throw in salads. They were great leftover the next day!

Breaded tofu squares. Used with the soba dish, I'll use this recipe again to cut up and throw in salads. They were great leftover the next day!

This is a italian pasta dish, heavy on the veggies. Ingredients used: GF elbow pasta (this is my favorite kind), chopped cherry tomatoes, red peppers, black beans, leftova cubes of tofu from last nights dinner, shredded parm cheese, broccoli, and fresh basil. As The pasta was cooking I threw the broccoli in the water to steam for five minutes. For dressing I used the juice of one lemon, olive oil, s&p, dijon mustard, and a pinch of sugar.   YUM.  

This is a italian pasta dish, heavy on the veggies. Ingredients used: GF elbow pasta (this is my favorite kind), chopped cherry tomatoes, red peppers, black beans, leftova cubes of tofu from last nights dinner, shredded parm cheese, broccoli, and fresh basil. As The pasta was cooking I threw the broccoli in the water to steam for five minutes. For dressing I used the juice of one lemon, olive oil, s&p, dijon mustard, and a pinch of sugar.  

YUM.  

My version of macaroni and cheese. I put some of the GF elbows and broccoli aside from the dish above, mixed in some cannellini beans, olive oil, then I add quite a few healthy shakes of nutritional yeast. I add a little sea salt as well and stir till it mixes fully. The more nutritional yeast you add, the more "cheesy" it will become. The white beans thicken it up a little too... Ivy loved it. 

My version of macaroni and cheese. I put some of the GF elbows and broccoli aside from the dish above, mixed in some cannellini beans, olive oil, then I add quite a few healthy shakes of nutritional yeast. I add a little sea salt as well and stir till it mixes fully. The more nutritional yeast you add, the more "cheesy" it will become. The white beans thicken it up a little too... Ivy loved it. 

A note about the foods I choose:

I make it a priority to buy local and organic foods as much as I can. I plan for the week, buy in bulk, absolutely use my left overs and I get courageously creative with our meals to save time and money. Since avoiding GMOs and other questionable icky unnatural ingredients is important to me, I give it the attention it deserves. I feel that cheap food (I'll talk more about this later) is an illusion. Over time using quality organic foods has drastically changed our lives for the better. I'm not an expert, I'm just good at experimenting so I've learned a lot. 

My mission as a health coach is to help you live a courageously healthy life that you love. I'm hearing from my clients that they simply want to feel better. They want to feel in control of their health. Not only is this possible, but it can be joyful. Small steps, big results. Lasting change takes time, but luckily life is long.

( I invite you to take a deep breath after reading that last sentence.)

Thanks for taking this 30 day journey with me! Let me know your thoughts along the way. Where are you with your health? What's in your way from having a healthy life?

I want to be a resource for you, so reach out and share your story!

You. Freakin. Rock.

Love,

SJ

PS. If you are new to my blog, go ahead and "like" me on facebook and sign up for my newsletter. I will send you healthy doses of love and insight on how to make courageously healthy choices fit easily into your already lovely life. Oh, and please share your thoughts below. I'm the curious kind.