I often get asked how I stay in shape or how I have so much energy. My husband calls it Crazy Mom Energy, thanks babe. So I thought I’d share a little bit about my eating habits, workout routine and most importantly how I keep a positive mentality.
Eating: This is a very “to each their own” topic. I don’t have any food allergies and I don’t follow any particular diet. I do make all (most) of our meals at home. I don’t count calories or macros. I eat real food. I like to make meals that are comprised of the least amount of ingredients possible per dish. Think, brussels sprouts (one ingredient), burrito (who knows what’s going into that). We do eat carbs like brown rice or white rice and whole wheat tortillas because I am not in the business of deprivation or starvation. I cook the majority of our meals to be about 80% plant based. Lately, I have been testing out non-dairy options like almond milk yogurt (I love Kite Hill) and grain-free options like making my own grain-free granola and it has done wonders for my digestive system. There are so many amazing real food companies out there now that have great chips and snacks made with very few and REAL FOOD ingredients. Also, I have pretty much cut sweets like cakes, cookies and pastries out of my diet. I absolutely do not refuse myself a treat if I’m offered one but I will tell you the honest truth, I don’t miss it. When you wake up full of energy you will thank yourself for that self-control. Which brings me to my next topic…
Exercise: There is no shortcut. Period. You have to get all of the excuses out of your system. I’ll be missing out on so much while I’m at the gym… It takes 20 mins to get there and 20 mins to get home and I have to be there for an hour and then shower!?!… I don’t want to mess up my hair…Ok, done? Your best self is waiting on the other side of those excuses. Now I won’t say that it’s so easy for me but I truly do enjoy exercising because I’ve been on the other side of those excuses for years.
They say it takes a village to raise a baby but it also takes a village to raise up and encourage a new mama. I am so grateful to my sister, my husband’s mom and brother-in-law who will drive out of their way to push Leighton around in the stroller for 40 minutes while I’m at my Pilates class. Most importantly, to my husband and my mom. If I get the idea in my head that I want to be active they either join in or work it out to help me make it happen. Having a supportive spouse is key. Investing in each other’s health is the best investment you can make for your children.
I used to hate schedules and group exercise. Since having a baby, I have tried to let go of self-manifested mental barriers. Now, I like schedules and group exercise- trust me those weren’t easy for me to give in to. I do Pilates MegaFormer classes three times a week at Pilates Plus Porter Ranch. It’s the absolute best full body workout. According to my Apple Watch, I typically burn about 350 active calories in 40 minutes. I don’t really know what that means in the scheme of things because I don’t count calories but I use that as sort of a model for my workouts and when I’m around 350 active calories I know I’m on track. Once or twice a week, I walk on the treadmill for about 30 minutes followed by high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is perfect for mamas with small babies because you can hit your cardiovascular goals as well as strength goals in a short period of time while baby is napping. I usually spend no longer than 20 minutes on HIIT with no breaks because I know my nap clock is running. Google HIIT for inspo, or you can always message me for specific moves I like.
Postpartum, as well as during my pregnancy, when I thought laying around sounded way better than being active I would weigh my options and tell myself, “You’re better for it.” I totally may have ripped that off from Nike but it’s true! You are BETTER FOR IT. You will never leave a workout thinking that you would have been better off organizing your spice cabinet. Like I said, my husband always remarks about my “mom energy”, well isn’t that an oxymoron? He is right though. Being forced to push myself through to seek out energy that just wouldn’t be there otherwise has caused me to be in a better place physically and mentally than before I had the baby. Which brings me to my next topic…
Positive Mentality: I have a six month old. I work five days a week, three in my office in Santa Monica and two from home. I have a give-or-take hour commute on both ends of my day. Truthfully, driving in traffic is more exhausting than taking care of a teething baby. But I use that time to catch up with friends and family on the phone, jot down blog and project ideas and drink my coffee! It was my “me time” even before I had the baby. You have to look at each part of your day as a way to get closer to your happiness and health goals.
We recently baptized Leighton (pics coming this week!) and before the baptism my husband and I had some lovely meetings with Father David at our parish. The conversations didn’t set out to be about any particular topic but they flowed so beautifully as though he knew exactly what our hearts needed to hear. While Father was sharing a story about a friend of his, he said a quote that has stuck with me ever since our last meeting that I wanted to share. He said, “Faraway hills always seem green until you get up close and see they’re filled with weeds.” That may sound a bit pessimistic but it was actually what inspired me to write this post. It had me thinking about body image and social media. Instagram and Pinterest can be great sources of inspiration for workouts and health goals but it can also create a terrible spiral of body comparing and shaming. Even worse, body comparing to photos that may be edited, cropped and filtered to not represent a real body goal at all. I am a real person. I am a mom and a wife. I don’t have a professional photographer following me around every day or a personal trainer keeping me on my fitness goals. I wake up everyday with a goal to say “Yes I can” to as much as possible and lay my head down at night proud of what I did and letting go of what I didn’t and committed to always being a work in progress. If I can do it, so can you. 🙂
On the days I’m not participating in group or gym exercise I love to be outdoors getting in my 10,000 steps and taking in nature. Last weekend, we took the baby to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve to check out the wildflower bloom occurring in the desert right now. We had rain the night before. As is typical with Southern California: after the rain, comes the wind. There were sustained 40 mph winds with 50+ mph gusts. Needless to say, the poppies closed up protecting themselves from the wind and cold- gotta love nature. But nonetheless, we had a nice day walking around.
Be kind to yourself and your journey.