Let’s turn this baby around

We’re just wrapping up our first week of our annual Holiday Sweat Challenge, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the support of my online community right now. It’s been a rough couple weeks, activity-wise, thanks to some travel, a nagging cold that just wouldn’t quit, and the fatigue.

amarillo warrior 3 with truck

Oh, the fatigue. After our annual ladies’ trip to Amarillo to celebrate my grandma’s birthday, I spent literally an entire day in bed. I couldn’t keep my eyes open or convince my body to do much more than laboriously turn over to my other side mid-nap.

I was so grateful to have my cuddle buddy and my snoogle back–from now on, anywhere I go, that silly looking, cumbersome pillow goes too—and the flexibility to decide to work the evening shift that night. Daytime working just.wasn’t.happening.

tigger snoogle
Tigger loves my snoogle, too.

tigger snoogle overhead

Taking time to rest and getting my energy back felt extra important, because I found out last week that Moonshine is hanging out contentedly in a breech position. And while it’s too early to seriously worry about that, I’d really like her to get to turning sooner rather than later, so I’m doubling up on any exercises and positions that will help encourage her to rotate head down.

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So far, my regimen includes pelvic rocks, hip circles, crawling, and getting back in the pool. It also means avoiding the “channel changing” position, which, oh dear god, I am already missing like crazy. It’s bad enough not being able to sleep on my stomach; now I can’t even recline to read or watch Scandal.

Alyse-15
The reclining days are over for me.

But if making like Cleopatra and lounging on my side is what it takes to avoid major abdominal surgery, goddammit, then I’m in.*

Anyway, back to swimming and getting moving again. Apparently the kicking and hip movements involved in freestyle (no more backstroke for me, until that baby turns!) help encourage her to float that head down. And apparently the threat of surgery is what it took to get me motivated enough to face the prospect of washing my hair daily, because I’m slapping on those goggles and shamelessly rocking a (bumpalicious?) bikini.

prana bikini
That man swimming laps totally caught me taking a sneaky photo of the pool. #awkward.

Thank you, prAna, for my bikini that stays put during lap swims and is gracious enough to work with my new figure. You saved me from paying for a frumpy maternity suit that probably wouldn’t even keep the girls covered.

I can’t help but feeling like one of those fragile older ladies at the Y who do gentle senior water aerobics. My swim usually only lasts about 30 minutes—sometimes more, sometimes less—before my back starts hurting. And when I get out of the pool, I’m that lady who goes way out of her way to use the ladder rather than hauling herself up and out. Yes, I learned that lesson the hard way, folks. #savethebeachedpregnantlady

The nice thing is, the Holiday Sweat Challenge is all about setting your own goals, so my goal is to make this baby turn.

And to do something active, even if it’s only a walk, every day. If you want to get involved (prizes!) head on over to Fit Approach and just make sure you’re registered.

* If Moonshine stays breech, I have a good chance of ending up with a C-section. While I’ll do whatever it takes to have a healthy baby, I would really, really like to avoid the surgery route if at all possible.

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

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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!

The honeymoon is over

I’m somewhere on the cusp between 2nd and 3rd trimesters, and holy hell, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.

Cresent pose with tigger emma long

After a (not hard, not fast) hike yesterday morning, the fatigue knocked me flat on my back. I spent the afternoon clearing out my DVR, tagging #sweatpink shoelaces, and snuggling Tigger.

sweat pink laces snuggle buddy

Not a bad Saturday afternoon by any measure, but I’m so not ready to say goodbye to the honeymoon second trimester, with all its energy and raging appetite.

Days like this also make me wish for a couch-time wine pairing. I settled for kombucha in a wine glass, which felt almost like having a real drink.

kosmic kombucha wine glass

This change also reminds me that, holy shit, we’re so close to her actually being here. Just 85 days until my due date, says my app. I have a mile-long to-do list before then and at this rate it’s going to take me 800 days to get ‘er done.

On the bright side, I’m starting to feel very zen about the birth. I think I’ve saturated myself in enough natural birth books to start to believe that my body can handle this, and that while it will be harder and hurt more than I can possibly imagine, I can do this. And I have the right support team in place to help make it happen.

We’ll see how long that blissed-out attitude lasts. 😉

 

 

 

Let’s talk about bras, part 2

Well, apparently this is the week I talk about boobs. And I’m pretty okay with that.

Title Nine invited me to attend their #T9FitFest, where a team of #bravangelists ply you with cheese and wine and fit you for your perfect sports bra.

t9fitfest sign
Apparently you’re supposed to replace sports bras every year? Guess it’s time to say goodbye to my “vintage” Target sports bras from circa 2005… 😉

 

I had to decline the wine (*sniff*) but did get all sorts of individual attention from a bravangelist. She asked me about my lifestyle and favorite activities, and handpicked an assortment of bras for me to try.

Loving these #bravangelists @titlenine ! #t9fitfest is a success! #myt9 #sweatpink #fitpregnancy #atx

A photo posted by Alyse Mason Brill (@alysemb) on

Most of them were bras I would never pick up for myself, and fit like a dream. How amazing is it to have a personal shopper who pushes you out of your comfort zone? (Or, in this case, into your comfort zone?) I ended up going home with the 3 reasons bra from Moving Comfort, a silky dream of a bra that… wait for it… will also work for nursing.

moving comfort bra product only

Again, my bravangelist’s genius at work: it never would have occurred me to to look for that feature in a sports bra. #somuchtolearn moving comfort bra detail

In addition to this awesome bra, there was a swag bag chock full of amazing goodies from Aveda, Osmo, Skinny Pop, and of course Title Nine. Title 9 swag bag

Hands down the BEST part of the event, though, was running into Lora from Crazy Running Girl. We’ve known each other online for years (and even met in person once, many years ago) but have been struggling to actually get together in Austin.  crazy running girl title nine fitfest

I’ve already put my new bra to the test with a handful of workouts:

A heated vinyasa class 

A BOSU workout airplane BOSU moving comfort bra   

And an UrbanKick video on Booya.

Once again, I forgot I was wearing a bra. Now that’s what I call a good fit!

Okay, enough about me and my bras. The best news is that (a) you can go have a date with a bravangelist, too. Austinites, head over to Title Nine this Wednesday and Thursday, October 14 and 15 for a free fitting with a bravangelist. RSVP here.

And (b) I get to give away a free bra to one of you! It comes with a #bravengelist fitting so you know you’ll be getting the right one. (If you’re not close to a Title Nine store, you can do it online or via phone).

Good luck!

#T9FitFest Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received my bra for free from Title Nine. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands who support AMB!