Our get out of the house morning routine

Nathan and I have split up childcare by time of day, meaning I take Mackenzie in the mornings and he takes her in the afternoons, so we can each get some work done. (More on how that’s working, or not working, in an upcoming post!)

I’ve found that for the sake of my sanity, we have to get out of the house in the mornings. Otherwise I end up still in pajamas, with makeup creased down my face, and the crazies in my head spinning out of control.

alyse mackenzie warrior 2 zilker park
Yay, we made it to the park!
tigger stick at zilker
Tigger loves this routine, too.

Of course, getting out of the house with a baby is an art that for first time moms, takes some practice to get used to. Some mornings, just brushing my hair feels like a major accomplishment—forget loading up the baby, stroller, and diaper bag into the car and getting ourselves somewhere else. My sunglasses and keys always seem to be in different rooms, and I never have enough hands to pacify a screaming baby, find my stuff, and get out the door.

That said, over the last few weeks I’ve been consciously working on a routine that seems to ease those roadblocks to getting out. Here’s what’s helped us:

Collect your belongings the night before

alyse mac tigger with diaper bag
I learned the hard way you always, always need your diaper bag with you. Whoops.

Every night after Mac falls asleep, I spend about 10 minutes collecting all the rogue items that have scattered around the apartment: pacifier, my wallet, headphones, diaper bag, water bottle, baby carrier, etc, and load them back into the diaper bag so that’s ready to go in the morning. I also restock  the diaper bag with diapers, burp cloths, and backup outfits.

Have a get-everyone-fed routine

We start the morning with Mackenzie’s (fourth) breakfast, then after a diaper change, I put her in her bouncy chair so I can make coffee and a smoothie. Feeding and caffeinating myself is so important and really affects the rest of our day.

alyse mackenzie smoothie

My smoothie is a protein explosion that also includes oats and spinach to help with milk supply.

manitoba harvest hemp protein smoothie ingredients

manitoba harvest hemp protein smoothie and baby

I’m super in to the new Hemp Protein Smoothie from Manitoba Harvest – the berry flavor is delicious, and it includes greens. One less ingredient to pull out of the fridge!

Just fucking go

It’s really easy to get caught up in “oh, maybe I should wait until after her next meal / diaper / nap before I go” decision fatigue. Whenever I find myself waffling, I remind myself to just fucking go. Nursing, diaper changing, and naps can all happen in the car / in public / wherever they need to happen.

mackenzie napping postnatal yoga
This nap happened during our postnatal yoga class. She’s so good at savasana.

 

alyse mackenzie at zilker
This is also a nap. Funny thing, we get way better nap results when we’re out and about.

 

So that’s how we’re doing it, so far. It’s far from perfect; it still takes us an embarrassing amount of time to leave the house and also to come back in. But at least we’re out and about. 🙂

Staying holiday healthy

I’ve been doing a ton of traveling lately. In less than three weeks, I bounced around between 5 different cities on the west coast without a single stop at home.

There was the wedding in Monterey:

nara's wedding seagull officiant

 carmel beach triangle pose

A work meeting in San Francisco:

Obviously, this is not my actual meeting...
Obviously, this is not my actual meeting…

Thanksgiving in Tahoe:

swan pose tahoe jamie alyse tigger dancer pose tahoe

A visit in Sacramento:

ted alyse dogs tree pose granite bay

And studio prep in Portland.

liz alyse jamie flex and flow

Not too shabby an itinerary, eh? Luckily, I did the long hauls via plane; I’ve found that more than two hours in the car puts my back and body into a cranky, stiff, whiny funk, so I’ve opted out of as much driving as possible. Even so, all the air travel and the changes in elevation and the new environments take their toll, especially since with each city, this baby bump just. gets. bigger.

(Also, my face keeps getting puffier. As do my cankles. The zippers on my boots are at half mast, and I had to order a new pair of sneakers, 2 sizes larger than my go-to Converse).

What’s a girl to do when her cankles outgrow her calves?

Well, pack some snacks, naturally.

2015-11-18 19.28.57

All the snacks. I am the crazy snack lady on the plane who does nothing but respond to emails and eat snacks.

Outfit + lunchskins: coordinated. #suchanerd
Outfit + lunchskins: coordinated. #suchanerd

Luckily, I’ve yet to get sick or suffer any real repercussions from all this travel and airport time. I attribute it to (a) all the snacks, especially the vitamin C-packed mandarins I’ve been inhaling, (b) obsessively washing my hands, (c) avoiding plane bathrooms as much as (pregnantly) humanly possible, and (d) staying really well hydrated. I’m kind of wrapped up and in love with SOS’s recovery drink right now. Even though it’s intended for exercise or hangover recovery, I’ve been using it as prevention and recovery for my generally compromised immune system. It’s also a nice way to hydrate that is not water (boring!), coconut water (gross!), or Gatorade (those chemicals can’t be good for Moonshine!). The mango flavor is bomb.com and since it’s a powder, you can take on an airplane or anywhere else you go. 

travel essentials SOS rehydrate Hemp heart bar

I keep the handy little packs in my purse along with my bars and my prenatal vitamins and my nut butter packets and …. all the other things.

SOS rehydrate

There’s so much packed into my purse already it’s hard to imagine just how much I’ll be lugging around when she’s actually here and has her own independent needs. I guess I’m just practicing the mom thing already.

Packing in all the protein

I don’t usually do WIAW posts, but I’ve been experimenting with Mighty Nut powdered peanut butter and have literally been including it in everything I eat (protein explosion! whee!), so wanted to share all the versatile ways I’ve been using it. Also, it’s Thursday, so I guess this isn’t really a WIAW post. 

I’m supposed to get between 80-100 grams of protein a day to help this baby grow, and since I’ve been mostly ambivalent toward meat, I’ve been working on better ways to pack more protein into every meal.

Breakfast:

mighty nut smoothie

In the smoothie. My go-to smoothie is yogurt, spinach, frozen berries, Mighty Nut, and Hemp Pro70 protein powder. Usually with a splash of water to help my low-powered blender combine all those things into the delightful combination they are. I like using the powdered peanut butter instead of regular nut butters for pure laziness’ sake: less cleanup. It’s also lower fat and lower calories than peanut butter, if that’s something you care about. I think Tigger misses having a regular spoon to lick, though.

Oh, and topped with hemp hearts, of course!

mighty nut spoon hemp hearts smoothie

Lunch:

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I’ve been making these protein packed salads with eggs, avocado, nuts, more hemp hearts, and tons of veggies. Sometimes with a little salmon added on top if I can stomach salmon and if I haven’t had much fish that week.

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I top it all off with a peanut dressing because peanut dressing makes everything more delicious.

Oh, and the protein doesn’t hurt, either.

My peanut sauce recipe isn’t exactly a recipe; I don’t measure. But here’s what goes into it, to taste. 

Peanut Sauce non-recipe

  • Mighty Nut powdered peanut butter – usually the original, sometimes flax & chia
  • Tamari
  • Splash of lime juice
  • Minced ginger
  • red curry paste
  • Togarashi (or regular red pepper flakes – but omg, if you have togarashi, it takes your sauce to a whole new level)
  • and some warm water to help it all mix together into the right consistency

I’ll often make enough peanut sauce to have it for dinner, too. And lunch the next day. And dinner. And… you get the picture. 😉

Dinner

2015-10-19 12.44.57

Roasted veggies, avocado, peanut-sauce marinated tofu, and… wait for it… peanut sauce! Often there’s also rice underneath and/or a fried egg on top. I could eat this every day. It’s the perfect meal. My husband doesn’t agree so sometimes I have to eat other things.

Dessert

I haven’t been all that into sweets lately, but sometimes I WANT to want to eat something sweet. Like, hello, I’m pregnant, I should be eating ice cream. I should be DEMANDING ice cream.

 

So I started having double peanut butter yogurt for dessert. I mix Mighty Nut (usually chocolate, because duh), plus a tiny bit of agave, into plain yogurt, and then top with peanut butter granola. It’s the perfect not too sweet, protein-filled end of day treat.

 

Oh – and if you want an actual dessert, albeit a very healthy, low sugar, protein-packed one, check out these yummy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Here’s a sneak peek: 

 

Fit body bakery cookies plated

 

This baby will probably be born either with a deep and unshakable love for nuts and nut butters… or she’ll be allergic. Praying to any and all powers she’s not allergic. There’s just so much joy in nut butters. 🙂

 

Hopefully I’ve got you salivating for peanut butter. And hopefully you want to try some Mighty Nut of your own. (If not, never speak to me again).

 

You can win a flavor of your choice (woot!) by entering below!

 

 

Mighty Nut Powdered Peanut Butter giveaway

This post is sponsored by Mighty Nut. All opinions and obsessions are my own. I so appreciate you supporting the brands that support the sweat pink community!

Baking healthy and busting stress

Ever since college, I’ve used baking as a way to beat stress. Finals would find me up to my ears in batter and surrounded by a throng of salivating roommates.

I’d spend hours meticulously decorating sugar cookies with my vast sprinkle collection. It was a soothing way to avoid Chaucer or Faulkner and retreat back into happy memories with my mom and brothers, decorating holiday cookies or just-because cookies.

Yes, those are dinosaur sprinkles on the left. Be jealous.
Yes, those are dinosaur sprinkles on the left. Be jealous.

 

Now that third trimester is nearly here and the fatigue has me limited to basically one active pursuit a day, I’ve turned to baking again to help keep me chilled out. And since a multi-hour operation felt a little daunting, I was extra grateful to have a cookie mix by Fit Body Bakery to test out:

Fit Body bakery conquer it cookie instructions

The concept is awesome: it’s a healthy cookie base that you can keep as-is or add to until you create the cookie of your dreams. For all you gluten-free, paleo, and/or no-refined-sugar folks, these mixes were MADE for you.

I’m not any of those things, but I love the idea of (a) a simple cookie base that I can use as a starting point for anything, and (b) a kitchen helper for those times I need to bake with certain dietary restrictions in mind. Being in the fitness industry, I am often around and eating with people with the above dietary preferences… and I wouldn’t have the first clue where to start if I had to make a sweet treat they could actually enjoy!

The mix is super easy: all you need is an egg, some kind of fat (I used butter), and water. Easy peasy.

Fit Body Bakery ingredients and mixer

Of course, I wasn’t stopping there. I knew I had to make cookies in my favorite combo: peanut butter and chocolate. To keep with the healthy theme, I used Mighty Nut powdered peanut butter with flax & chia.

I just mixed the Mighty Nut with water as indicated on the package, and added it to the mix.

These were on track to being the healthiest stress buster cookies I had ever created.

Fit Body Bakery dough in mixer

 

The dough came together really easily. I found I needed to add a tiny bit more water than is called for to get it to all stick together.

 

Fit Body Bakery cookies on sheet

 

Love this – a workout while you wait for your cookies. Because you know those are the longest ten minutes EVER.

Fit Body Bakery mix box bake time workout

The cookies came out fluffy and pretty – no collapsing or flattening at all.

 

 

Fit Body bakery cookies baking sheet overhead

Fit Body Bakery cookies out of the oven

Fit body bakery cookies plated

They have a nice, light, and melty texture that totally worked for me. Again. And again.

And if you weren’t convinced yet, here’s the kicker: my husband, an ardently anti-healthy-cookies person, liked them too.

Want to try a Fit Body Bakery mix for yourself? There’s also muffins, brownies, and pancakes, oh my! Use the code SP15 for 15% off at FitBodyBakery.com. Expires 11/30/15.

I received a mix of Fit Body Bakery Conquer It Cookies and a package of Mighty Nut to try. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands who support the #sweatpink community!

Getting out of a rut

The last few weeks have been very much a time of transition. I’m watching my body shape shift before my eyes, and Moonshine has been kicking up a storm. She wakes me up in the morning with her ferocious little jabs, then celebrates with a happy dance after every meal and in every savasana.  (She’s clearly my and Nathan’s daughter; eating is already her favorite activity).

All this movement, and the increasing proportion of clothes in my closet that just don’t work anymore, is making this whole baby business a hell of a lot more real.

Cue freakout.

I had a moment, last week, while I was walking the dog. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, wearing what had become my uniform for the last two weeks or so: branded cotton tank, wrinkled maternity shorts, and birkenstocks.

Because every bump photo needs some duck lips.
This was literally my uniform for nearly a month.

 

I have this rule for myself. Basically, the ONLY real rule I have for myself: don’t go outside looking like a homeless person. Just because pajamas are my default state of being doesn’t mean the rest of the world has to experience my tattered sweats, sleep creased face, and crazy hair.

I had drifted really, really close to breaking my cardinal rule. It’s a slippery slope, y’all. And while I could push the boundaries while we were in Tahoe—where dusty outdoor gear is the universal uniform—it doesn’t blend in so well in downtown Austin.

More than that, my clothing complacency was just an index for what was happening in the rest of my life: I was slipping. Meal planning and grocery shopping was basically nonexistent. Planning for the baby (and maternity leave?) was something I had been avoiding. My exercise was getting haphazard (and occasionally offensive).

Something had to change. Many things had to change. I had to get my butt in gear and start owning this big thing creeping up on me and my waist size.

I started with the clothes: I went and got myself some maternity-friendly tops so I could pretend to be more put together when I left the house. I even invested in a maternity LBD that will carry me through a couple fall weddings and the holiday season.

sweat pink
More on this dress later – it’s magical.

I started grocery shopping, and actually making myself delicious, nutritious things to eat. Moonshine is doing all sorts of happy dances.

I’m also diversifying my snacking opportunities (since I find myself needing to eat every couple of hours, I was in a serious snacking rut). My Bulu Box provided just that opportunity to change it up without having to commit to new products at the grocery store.

sweat pink lovebulu

The chicken jerky, especially, is rocking my damn world. I haven’t been much on the meat train, for whatever reason, but for some reason this salty savory jerky is the exception to my meat aversion rule. Probably because I fall immediately in love with anything that involves basil. Hooray for lean protein! (Happy dances are happening).

My Hemp Heart Bites are making a regular appearance in my purse, too. I love having little protein rich snacks handy at all times, and these are chock full of omegas (so good for Moonshine’s brain development!).

sweatpink hhbites

I’m doing better on the exercise front, too. I’m recommitting to yoga, and even found a prenatal class I like.

sweatpink yoga

 

I’m also rocking out my home workouts on my BOSU.

sweat pink bosustrong

Then I tackled the work thing (or at least, started to). After reading a ton on the internets, trying to find other moms-to-be who run their own businesses, and trying to figure out just how they managed TWO babies without letting either one suffer, I decided I just need to create my own reality.* I made myself a Do-or-Die-Before-Baby list so I can make my absence easier for my team, and I’m actively trying to make myself dispensable so that as few people as possible are depending on me.

I’m feeling so much better already. So much more in control of my life, my health, my career. There’s still a lot of opportunity to improve – but all trends are pointing in the right direction.

In closing, I leave you with this:

2015-09-07 09.21.39

p.s. You can get 50% off a 3-month subscription to Bulu Box with the code SWEATPINK.

p.p.s. You can get 15% off Hemp Heart Bites with the code HHBitesLaunch15. You can also enter to win a case of Hemp Hearts by sharing a photo of how you and your family stay active and tagging @manitobaharvest #hhbites!

* That said, if you’re someone who had a baby and runs her own business, and wants to keep running her own business, I would LOVE to hear how you did it. I’m really struggling with this, and my online searching was pretty unfruitful. 

I received the BOSU, Hemp Heart Bites, and the Bulu Box for free. All opinions and life plans are my own. 🙂 Thanks for supporting the brands who support the Sweat Pink Community.