Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Eleanor and Amelia!

Their 12 month post will be forthcoming. I wanted to take this post and reflect on the last year.  It's been a wild ride! I keep thinking that the days but this year is short. Truly, it felt like just yesterday I was walking around our bedroom in denial that I was in labor while Brad was rushing around and finishing packing the hospital bag. Now, here we are celebrating their first birthday. We've celebrated many milestones, fought through difficult feeding issues, survived on zero sleep, and somehow avoided many major illnesses (knock on wood).

For me, as their mother, in the middle of everything I just felt like I was totally winging it (I was and still am) but I've learned how to comfort them, how to put them to sleep, how to do things that make them laugh. I've enjoyed seeing their different personalities begin to develop and I've loved watching their friendship start. Eleanor and Amelia have totally rocked my world in the absolute best possible way.

This past year has been one of the most difficult years of my life, but it's also been the most rewarding year. I am thankful for our two little miracles and always blown away that we've been entrusted with them. I hope the second year with them is just as amazing as the first!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fit Mama: Clean Eating

I thought I would share a little more about what I eat. Essentially, I follow Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet. She outlines ten principles that I have tweaked to fit my lifestyle.

Eating Clean for us means no refined or processed foods. No white flour, no boxed food, no pre packaged food, nothing that has ingredients in it I can't pronounce. Exceptions to this are things in the frozen aisle that do not contain preservatives or other chemicals.

Eating Clean also means minimizing sugar, even less processed varieties. In baking I use sugar in the raw or honey. Lately I've been using sugar in the raw because I want to share my baked goods with the babies, who aren't old enough to eat honey yet. I don't use stevia because I don't like the taste. Things that are off limits are splenda, white sugar, and agave all of which are overly processed.

A key aspect for me is to pair protein with carbs. I am trying to limit my simple carbs like bread, but honestly that's the hardest part for me. I have specific health concerns (PCOS) which are better controlled by eating a low carb diet. I don't do anything too crazy, but basically I should be concentrating on complex carbs (read: veggies over fruits). I don't like vegetables and don't like a wide variety of them, but I am trying. I get HUGE sugar and carb cravings. It's really really difficult to not eat toast eight times a day. Theoretically, pairing a protein with a carb keeps your blood sugar from spiking too much which should help curb sugar cravings.

Eating clean means consuming healthy fats. "Low fat" anything is generally filled with sugar to make it taste better. Instead of getting low fat cheese, I get the full fat cheese but stick to a smaller serving. Tosca Reno says to limit dairy anyway, but honestly I have a difficult time doing that. I do buy skim milk and the greek yogurt I buy is generally made from 0% milk, but I focus on brands that do not add extra sugar. I'm loving the Chobani simply 100 lately, but I also really enjoy Siggi's Skyr. I cook almost exclusively with olive oil or coconut oil. I use real butter instead of butter substitute. Other sources of healthy fats are flax seed, nuts, avocado, whole eggs, fish (which I don't eat because I don't like it), and seeds (like pumpkin seeds). I know that dairy is kind of controversial these days. If I had the money I would likely buy organic dairy, but my budget doesn't allow for that. I also get freaked out by raw milk so that's a no go for me.

All this to say, I also allow some cheats here and there. I do believe eating clean has lots and lots of benefits, but drinking a pumpkin spice latte is not going to ruin all of my efforts. I just can't have treats all of the time. Treats should be just that-- occasional things I eat in small portions to enjoy.

I'll definitely be sharing some of my favorite recipes with you. I've read a couple of other eating clean blogs and I was struck by one who said that we need to get over eating for pleasure. I disagree. I should enjoy eating. Food shouldn't be boring or bland because it's healthy. There is nothing wrong with enjoying eating-- it's all about making healthy, cleaner choices. As always, feel free to ask questions because I like talking about this stuff!

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram! I'll be sharing about this journey using #fitmama and #mamaeatsclean. Tag me in your posts so I can keep up with your journey too!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fit Mama: Health and Goals

As you have heard me talk about a little bit before one of the hardest things for me post partum has been dealing with my weight gain. I've struggled with my weight off and on my whole life-- only in the last couple of years (pre pregnancy) would I say I really got a handle on it.

During my pregnancy I gained over 80(!) pounds. I don't even know exact numbers because I stopped having the nurses tell me. I didn't really lose much at all coming home from the hospital-- in fact I gained 20lbs over the course of first 9 months with the girls. In April I started cleaning up my diet again and have lost 15 lbs...and have camped out there since the end of July.

I am a HUGE stress/emotional eater. Give me chocolate and ice cream if I'm feeling crappy. Unfortunately those "treats" became the norm as I was dealing adjusting to twin life, dealing with sleep deprivation, and just the feelings of being isolated and alone.

I don't like the way I feel at this weight. More importantly, I don't like how I feel out of breath carrying the girls up the stairs and how I have weird aches and pains due to inactivity and extra weight. My goal isn't to be the same weight I was before the girls. I honestly don't think that's even feasible because I do not have the time to invest in running like I did before. My goal is to take off 50 lbs and to run a half marathon in March. I'll be blogging here and there about it over the course of the next several months. It's going to take hard work and dedication, as my favorite tv trainer says. More than the number on the scale, I want to be healthy again.

So as of last Monday,  I'm starting to eat clean foods again-- limited sugar, no processed foods, and basically nothing artificial. No expensive shakes or weird supplements. Just lean and clean. I've started working out again too! I'm doing a mash up of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and Ripped in 30. Last week I did level 1 of 30 Day Shred and this week I'm working on level 1 of Ripped in 30. Next week I'll jump to level two 30 Day Shred and then of Ripped in 30. I'm hoping it'll give me a baseline of fitness before I start running again.

Follow me on instagram (ZilYdal!) I'm sharing about this journey using #fitmama and #mamaeatsclean. Please join me! If you tag me I'll be sure to see it!