I have (approximately) 15 weeks till my unborn enters this crazy world.
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.
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:
Tips for postpartum mamas:
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!!!