And then I got Pregnant …. Now what do I eat?

It has been a long time since I blogged! I think I needed a break, but not anymore and I am using this random day in February to start back up again! It’s not really a random day, it is the day before the Eagles are in the Super Bowl, however, it is random for this blog and I am telling myself now that I will make a conscious effort to keep up with it.

Anyway, it has been quite a year … I had an amazing bachelorette party weekend, the best wedding I ever could have asked for followed by an even better honeymoon to Hawaii! And, this just in, I am pregnant!! I am extremely excited, but don’t think the concept of having a child has registered enough to make me nervous … right now just none of my clothes fit and I feel like crap, yes, this means I am still only thinking about me, but also brings me to my next point … I feel that I may have blacked out or never have been paying attention when every other woman was learning how awful the first trimester is! For the last ten weeks, I have been exhausted, super bloated and felt like I am always going to get the worst period of my life tomorrow. Everyone else seems to have known this was going to happen, except me … I was completely blindsided. And, to top it off, I have been eating super super healthy, but learned at my doctor’s appointment, the fun appointment where you hear the heartbeat and learn your baby is zooming all over the place … I even started crying uncontrollably when my doctor handed me our first baby picture, that it does really matter what you are eating the first trimester as long as you are taking your prenatal vitamin … apparently the first trimester is considered a wash. It would have also been nice to have known that, but I was afraid to get any books in fear that I would miscarry or not have a heartbeat or something … That was silly of me.

I am sort of joking about all of this, even though it’s the worst to eat super healthy, but feel like I downed a large fully loaded pizza and a quart of ice cream, I still wouldn’t have come home to cheese steaks, pasta and cookies, it’s just not my style. And, don’t be fooled, I cheat all of the time, however, I do try and get these foods in daily:

  • Vegetables
  • Dairy
  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Salmon (twice a week … no more that 12oz)
  • Lean Meat
  • Eggs
  • Grains
  • Legunes .. also twice a week
  • Dried fruit and nuts … I think I over did this in the beginning … hehehe
  • Water
    • From this diet … I have put on about 18 pounds. I have no idea how because it is pretty much what I was eating before … my nurse almost had a heart attack when I told her my starting weight … under her breath she said something about a nightmare, but then I learned she was the type to literally take her ring off when weighing herself … perspective! And, my doctor said not to worry and embrace it as long as I wasn’t eating a carton of ice cream and a box of girl scout cookies every night … I’m not, so in my head, we are cool.

      Anyway, this blog is about the first item on my list … vegetables. I am not going to lie, I am not really that good at eating the recommended 5 servings of leafy greens recommended a day. My mom is super good at roasting vegetables and eating them through out the week, but I didn’t seem to get that jean so I needed a new solution. Smoothies!! I found a lot of good recipes such as Joe Rogan’s Kale Smoothie, Ambitious kitchen Green Goddess and Fit Foodie Finds Detox Green Smoothie Bowl, however, I learned that I just like plain blueberrie and spinachm which I am sure many people do, but took me some serious time to figure out. I literally measure out six cups of spinach and one cup of blueberries and blend. I don’t even use water. Water was producing way too much smoothie and I think it was making me even more bloated so I just blend the blueberries first, leave the blender running and add one cup of spinach at a time and finish it off my blending in 5 ice cubes. This produces one 20 oz smoothies. Sometimes, I mix this up and do a banana and half cup of blueberries ro a cucumber and three cups of spinach or throw in some protein powder or chia seeds … It kind of depends on my mood. I know this is nothing fancy, but sometimes, I don’t want fancy, just healthy 🙂

Yoga Schedule

I teach yoga now.  I only have one real class, but I love it.  It is my favorite thing I do:

C1: Corepower Yoga 1: Wednesday 6pm  @ Corepower Yoga: Walnut Street. 

C1 is a beginner vinyassa flow.  It is the same every week as it is designed to build strength and flexibility. However, for beginner or experienced yogi’s, this is one hell of a workout.

I say only one real class above becasue i also teach John Paul a class every morning.  We get up at 5:38, yoga in our yard starts at 5:45.  Once I am more versed, we will offer classes to those in our neighborhood …. exciting!!!

200 Hour Teacher Training

I did it!! I am a certified yoga instructor!   I have officially completed 200 hour training and Extensions at Corepower Yoga Walnut Street (CPY).   Even more exciting, I am teaching a beginner vinyasa flow once a week at CPY at 6pm on Wendesdays and a Wake Up Yoga class on Tuesday mornings in my office building.  That’s right!

whole group

Here is our whole motly crew!

group and instructors

This is the extensions group with our stellar instructors!

The whole Teacher Training program at CPY was incredible.  I learned so much about myself, gained strength, both physical and mental, and confifencce … I am more happy then I ever thought i would be.  It helped that my whole group was fantastic … I love them all.   When I began, I did not understand how emotionally attached I would get with all of these folks … It is a feeling like non other.

Teacher training was fun, but also very intense … 9 hours of class time, plus 60 yoga classes in 9 weeks on top of my full time job.  I was exhausted, but, I am not going to lie, it was all worth it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  It helped that my supper supportive fiance person cooked, cleaned, did laundry, picked me up from the train …. he helped me every way he could … I couldn’t have made it through with out him.  I am one lucky chick.

One of my favorite parts of teacher training, was our Karma project.   We built kits out of donations from KIND for Our Brother’s Place’, a local shelter in Philadelphia,    As we were building, I learned that the owner of Crossfit Center City, Wylie, founded UliftU, a program that teaches unemployed, formerly incarcerated and homeless a job skill in the wellness world so they are able to go out in the world and be successful.  We walked our kits over to Wylie’s CrossFit gym where we took a half hour yoga class with two of the UliftU participants.  They were so .
getting ready
Building our kits!!
On the way there
On our way there …. it was cold.
Yoga class with the members of UliftU!
All of us
 The whole group!!
My whole experience thus far has been completely amazing and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Life after the Whole30 … The reintroduction process.

My body hates pizza.

I have been off Whole30 for a couple of weeks now and have had, in small doses only, beer, wine, cheese, peanut butter, other legumes and sugar,but not that much just cause I haven’t felt like it and also it  so I might as well keep that habit going.  None of these items have effected my weight or the way I felt.  Then, I had pizza. … I still felt very full the next morning.  I weighed myself and to my horror, gained 7 lbs.  I only lost two pounds through this whole process … one in the thirty days and one more following.  So??  I am never eating bread again!! Okay, this is a lie and I do not believe in absolute statements, but I am going to try and stay away from bread as much as I can.  It’s just not worth it and so, I therefore, went on a quest to find pizza alternatives  sans bread.  I am not really into the idea of gluten free crust even though I have never tried it.  I have no basis for this opinion other than I just feel like it’s not the healthiest alternative.

Moving along, I found several inspirational websites such as Empowered Sustenance, Bustle and Hella Wella.  And, learned that pizza can be made on zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, cauliflower (I feel like this is probably a tad bit tricky), spaghetti squash and the list  goes on.  This evening I attempted pizza on portabella mushrooms … it was so fantastic, easy and fun.  Even though, there are several recipes online, I just went to Acme and picked up what I felt looked good.groceriesMy ingredients:

  1. Olive oil (not shown)
  2. Onion
  3. Sweet sausage
  4. Portabella mushrooms
  5. Goat Cheese
  6. Kale
  7. Tomatoes
  8. Colby Cheese and Pepper Jack Cheese in the form of string cheese.  This happened because I initially was only going to use goat cheese, but then decided that was taking away from the pizza feel and i had turned my meal into bruschetta.  So, I ran down the block to Wawa and got the only cheese there i could melt.

To get started, I preheated my oven to 425. cooking in progressI cooked the onions and sausage in olive oil. Five minutes on each side.

mushroomsAt the same it, I sauteed the mushrooms in olive oil … also five minutes (ish) on each side.

Almost doneI layered, goat cheese, shredded kale, diced tomatoes, sausage and a mix of colby and pepper jack cheese over the mushroom. And put them in the oven for 5 minutes.

Finish MushroomThis is an awful picture of my finished product.  Clearly, I need to work on taking pictures.

Finished on a plateHere is another finished product picture.   Still not that good, but better … sort of.  Regardless, I am beyond thrilled on how this turned out …. the meal was delicious, satisfying and light 🙂  Plus, there is plenty of left overs for a scramble in the morning.
And finally, this is me with the food…..
selfieI took this picture with the intent to send it to John Paul to demonstrate how I was cleaning as I cook. However, after taking the photo, I discovered it does not look like I am trying to clean as I go at all.  My kitchen is a mess!! So, I kept this to myself.



Whole 30 Complete!! My journey!

I pretty much think of myself as a healthy person … I work out a lot, try and eat right and  have a blog about what I know about nutrition and working out. However, I am not perfect and when my soon to be sister in law suggested she, John Paul and myself try the Whole30 diet, I thought why not? The holidays were a little rough on my waist line and, even before that, I have been eating bread and having a drink at every meal, I could use a good detox!! So we embarked on our 30 day mission to exclude alcohol, grains, legumes sugar except in fruit, soda, and honey and no grains. What does that leave? Meat, seafood, eggs, a lot of eggs, so many eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats ie: oils, nuts and seeds. The three of us created a What’s app group called Whole30 squad and shared every meal … And, two weeks in, we gained a fourth squad member, John Paul’s Mom, Dianne. At first, Dianne tried adding cheese to her salads … we quickly rectified her ways and were soon all on the same page.

I honestly did not think I was going to be able to do it … I have done something similar before and gave up two weeks in. But, Whole30 was a piece of cake. I was never hungry. The meals we made, shared and learned were fantastic. And, I really bonded with john Paul and the women in his family through recipes, encouragement, comfort and creativity.

Fajita Tray ... we made this a lot. Sometime with Chicken and sometimes with Sausage.
Fajita Tray … we made this a lot. Sometime with Chicken and sometimes with Sausage.
We made this a lot too. Turns out I love butternut squash almost as much as I love peanut butter ... almost.
We made this a lot too. Turns out I love butternut squash almost as much as I love peanut butter … almost.
So many eggs!
So many eggs!
We took a lot of trips to the Acme
We took a lot of trips to the Acme
Snacks are better this way.
Smiley Face Banana









Food we wanted to eat, but didn't.
Food we wanted to eat, but didn’t.
Tea helped me through many afternoons.







What I Learned.
Obviously, I eat too much. I know this is not a diet, but really? Who cuts sugar, alcohol, carbs, legumes, and grains from her diet for thirty days and only loses one pound? This chick. I did not cheat at all except for when I accidentally ate some barley on day 22. It’s ridiculous. I think I even eat more than John Paul … he lost 30 pounds. His sister lost at least 10 and his Mom is still going.

However, despite my lack of weight loss, I feel great!! I have a ridiculous amount of energy, I sleep like a champ, my skin is more clear, sort of,. The Whole30 people call this ‘non scale accomplishments.” Whatever they call it, I am sticking with it. … where, by sticking with it, I mean I am adding peanut butter and wine back into my diet …. Let’s not get crazy, I can’t live without those two staples. And every once in a while, I am going out to eat … I am not turning into a food obsessed lunatic. Other than that, everything else is staying out.

Additionally, I learned that egg yolk tastes ridiculous good with bananas, that I LOVE sweet potatoes,  that I crave donuts when there is no sugar in my diet …. donuts were literally the only thing I wanted and I don’t even really like them and that, it turns out, I really love black coffee and tea …. for years I convinced myself it was all about the cream.

I can also make delicious and creative new dishes.  .

It took 30 plus days for me to understand, Whole30 really and truly is not a diet. It is hard to comprehend at first as I restricted all the foods I love from my life and that to me means diet. However, instead of dieting, it is a way of life. A life where I simply excluded processed food and replaced it with real food. This is my new style and I love it all!!!!

First reintro food
First reintro food

Since completing our 30 days, John Paul and I have continued

Whole 30 Diet Prep Day

Tomorrow, John Paul and I are starting the Whole30 diet created by Melissa Hartwig … she is pretty cool. We set up a whats app to remain in constant communication with our third group mate, Amy (John Paul’s sister and my soon to be sister in law) on our daily meals. We are supposed to report everything we ate via social media, but decided food reporting through facebook is a bit to aggressive for this crew.

Whole 30 … Basically meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats ie: oils, nuts and seeds. No sugar except in fruit, no alcohol, no soda, no honey and no grains for thirty days.

We started our day with before shots to measure progress followed by a trip to the store. …. We were there for ten minutes (maybe it was 20, but it was still a very short excursion …. it is counting the time we spent waiting in like at check out) and spent $153 in Acme for two days of food meals …. that seems high, but it’s ok as we will use some items for more than two meals such as small tupperwears for our homemade salad dressing and the two big bags of nuts I got for our protein salads! John Paul and I stocked up on the following: 4 avocados, 4 bananas, 2 apples, pre wrapped chicken, lean red meat, mustard powder, parsley, thyme, paprika, spaghetti squash, almond slivers, cashews, 2 cartons of eggs, tomatoes, celery, diced canned tomato and 1 bag of grapes … tonight, I will prep us for tomorrow:
Breakfast: Fratata, avocado and 1 banana
Lunch: Protein salad with chicken and homemade basic mayo dressing (I am pretty nervous about this part) and one apple.
Dinner: Browned red meat, tomato sauce and spaghetti squash..

I’m not going to lie, I am very excited about this.

Last day of junk eating consisted of scrapple, eggs and toast for breakfast and rib-eye roni sandwich from fresnos for dinner … I had chocolate color pretzels, peppermint patty and a peanut butter smidgen as well 🙂

You will see. I also made the video above in fear I would be unable to finish my blog post, but I was wrong.

Yoga Kicks My Butt

This week, I attended five yoga classes at Sojourn Yoga in Drexel Hill. This happened because I got an idea in my head … Yoga Teacher Training. Core Power Yoga has a class starting in the beginning of October … I love it there. I get my ass kicked every time!!!. However, it’s three thousand dollars to attend … Ugh!! My very sweet parents even offered to help me pay for it. That is ridiculous and I would be taking advantage of their generosity. In reality, I should pretend I’m an adult and sign up for a payment plan, but I just can’t right now. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a very worthwhile investment and I fully intend on pursuing this endeavor in the near future. However, I have many trips planned, fixes to my house, and so much more, that I need to try to be conscience of my spending. For now, I purchased an unlimited monthly pass at the yoga studio down the street and am going as much as I can. Side Note: I am not going to lie, secretly, I am still thinking about living in the moment, doing the teacher training and worrying about other financial responsibilities later … this back and forth in my head is just a dramatic thing I drag myself through to make myself feel like a responsible person … it’s silly. Stay tuned.
Despite how active I am, I found out this week, I am in awful yoga shape. I didn’t feel it till this morning at my 8:30 Still Class. I was so stiff. I could hardly move … It was so embarrassing. I do think it is in part an afrwe effect of yesterday’s “run.” I learned last week, that the Philadelphia Marathon running from November 18th – November 20th includes an 8k in the weekend lineup. I can do that. I might even be able to do the half, but I need to get training, which entails three small runs a week and one long run on the weekend. I think the pain started yesterday when, two and a half miles into my long run, I suddenly had to go to the bathroom so badly that I could not run anymore. How odd I thought, but now, looking back on the situation, I believe this sudden urge to poo was brought on by the magnesium supplements I have been taking … perhaps it’s time to ease up on my daily intake. Anyway, I was convinced I was going to poop my pants … Recently, I have heard this happen to several people and I know I wouldn’t handle it well so I slowly walked over to Rite Aid, where they graciously allowed me to use the employee bathroom. This was far more embarrassing than not being able to move at Yoga. I felt like I had to purchase something so I go a blue Gatorade. For some reason, holding the bottle while running was an asinine and foreign concept so I downed the Gatorade and started to run. Terrible idea. My stomach was to full to move and I had to walk home. I went some crazy weird way, I don’t know why and ended up walking very very far. I believe this, in combination with being shockingly out of shape, attributed to my disastrous and painful morning at yoga. I took my stiffness as a sign to give my body a running break and went and played tennis with my Dad. But, no more breaks, tomorrow, it is back to one yoga class and one small run. I just have to keep pushing through … it is about to all feel sooooo good!!!

Philly Free Streets. I am a curmudgeon.

Today, I am feeling the effects of 35. My 35 year old self is a curmudgeon and I feel terrible about it. Everyday, small occurrences remind me I am aging, but today, my mid thirties mind set and all its awfulness is heightened by the event,Open Streets Philly. Last year, I would have been elated by this concept. I would have gotten up at 7 am on a Saturday with John Paul in toe for a day jammed packed with physical activity. I would have acquired a bike and gone the full ten miles one way and ten miles back and wandered around until someone kicked me out. This year, I want nothing to do with this event. It sounds awful. Crowded, bikes wizzing by, and people running in front of me at a diagonal … In my old age, I hate all of those things. And, most importantly, what is everyone doing with their cars??? All cars left on the street will be towed after 3am Saturday morning?? Is that even allowed?

I have changed! What has happened to me? This is no way to be, but I couldn’t help it …. All of these negative things thoughts just popped in my head. Fortunately, that is only my emotional side. The side that cried at 50 First Dates the other night!!! I’m nuts. My reasonable side knows this is a fantastic program to get Philadelphians up and moving, which, even at 35, excites me more than I can describe. When I moved back to the Philly area 7 years ago, Philly was in the top five fattest cities in the United States. I remember because I was appalled and disgusted. Now, according to Salon.Com, we are not even in the the top ten … the unfortunate ten are: Memphis, TN, Shreveport, LA, Indianapolis, IN, Jackson, MS, New Orleans, LA, Chattanooga, TN, Mobile, AL, San Antonio, TX, Greenville, SC and Little Rock, AR … Instead, Philadelphia has made it to the fourth best walking city in the United States …. That is amazing!! I still have no intention of attending Open Streets Philly …. I am staying home to paint my bedroom in the suburbs, which, hopefully, will allow my cranky ways to subside enough to wish all the ambitious folks attending a fantastic day … It will be a blast!!!

Welcome Back Post!!!

Oh my goodness! It has been so long since my last post. I have missed my blog, but I have been running all over the place …. I have so many things to discuss, but will keep it short. I went to Longwood Garden’s Nightscape, which was absolutely amazing. I may even prefer it to the Christmas Show … it was a lot less crowded, warm, and there is live music on Thursdays. I cooked a few dishes that I will add to my recipes page, got sick and missed three get togethers … two birthdays and a trip to the Aquarium, went to a some dinners, watched a lot of Mr. Robot, and took some long walks … I decided I have pudged out a bit and my half hour workouts are not cutting it …. I need more exercise, so I walked 7 miles a day all last week … not going to lie, probably the main reasons I have been neglecting my blog. It lead to some early mornings and late nights, but I did it and I felt great. I took one walk after work one night behind the art museum. It was beautiful, however, upon return, I learned, via facebook, a woman was walking on the same path was hit in the head with a fish. It’s under the catogory “weird news” on channel ten … just saying. I can’t even wrap my head around this story … it is totally nuts.

Confession: I didn’t make it through the week. My walking expeditions sort of came to an end Friday. I went to see Adele on Friday night, she is so charming, it is rediculous. I don’t know why she just wasn’t on stage at age five just being awesome. Anyway, that day I only got a four mile walk in that morning. I meant to walk before the show, but ended up at the bar instead … it’s ok. I had fun. On saturday, I slept in too late, guess I had too many drinks at happy hour, and headed to the shore to my Aunts house without walking. She is 84 and looks amazing. Healthy, happy and full of life …please knock on wood. It was a blast. She told me she was borderline diabetic, but lost weight and cut carbs and it all went away … awesome. I did not feel too guilty about missing my walk, I swam in the water for about an hour and a half … the water was amazing. I had to get out because my eyes started burning from the salt. And, walked about 8 miles. 4 in the morning and 4 after a barbeque with John Paul’s family.. I am so impressed with my dedication.

Last night, my ability to walk was hindered by a bowling outing with work. I went bowling with work last night. That was embarrassing, I am a horrific bowler. I bowled a 54 in the second game, which is really really good for me. And, everyone tries to give me pointers, which are the same pointers I have heard a 100 times from other people and just don’t work … Regardless, it was fun. Good food, good drinks, good people. I am very lucky … I have an excellent work crew.

This morning I had to get up too early for work for a walk and tonight John Paul and I are seeing South Pacific at the Walnut Street Theater. We are season ticket holders and bring the age average down by about twenty years. However, last year, while I was in the bathroom, we almost made friends our age … John Paul apotted another fellow in his mid thirties and went over to talk to him in hopes he was also there with his girlfriend and they would be our new theater best friend. Apparently, it was going well until the guys girlfriend / wife came over and boxed John Paul out of the conversation. Needless to say, the new friendship did not amount to much and we have not seen them since.

Tomorrow, I am back on track …. I am walking because I believe it is such an underated activity. I have always lost a few pounds walking and could really use that right now. I am going to start again tomorrow. And go to yoga .. that’s right.