A lot has changed in my life over the past 4 months. My husband and I went from a party of 2 to a party of 3. I remember when I was pregnant, people kept telling me that EVERYTHING was about to change. Comments like, “Get your sleep now,” “Just wait till you have a baby,” and “You’ll never be able to _______ (insert verb and eye rolling here) again!” were frequent and sometimes a little unsettling. Yes, I knew our life would change. We would have a little bundle of love to take care of everyday!
So when little Gianna came into our world, we knew it would be wonderful and exhausting and funny and all of those emotions, and we were ready. We had planned ahead before we got pregnant to make sure that we were as ready as we could be when baby came. Those plans included money set aside for when I was on maternity leave, dinners stored in the freezer for the nights we didn’t want to cook, and HELP on the line for times when we needed a break.
After the first 6 weeks postpartum went by and our sleep started returning to normal, we started to settle back into our “normal life.” I started to get back in the gym several times a week. My family helped babysit, specifically my mom and my in-laws, who were all such a great help to me during that time. At first it was a little difficult to leave the baby, but I always reminded myself that she was in great hands and that I needed to do this for me – to get out of the house – to clear my head – to be on my own! As the weeks went by it got easier to balance motherhood, being a wife, cooking dinner, teaching 4 spin classes a week, and doing all of those little things everyday that moms and wives do that go unnoticed (like cleaning out the refrigerator or the splatter in the microwave). At 12 weeks postpartum, I went back to work full-time. I work out of my house, so the transition was easier for me than it would have been if I had to commute to an office. I found a wonderful nanny, who loves G and gives her undivided attention, and I can continue to help financially support our family – while sneaking out of my office from time to time for snuggles.
Now that I am busier than ever, I have to be more organized than ever. I have to be a time efficiency master in order to balance all of my responsibilities – also known as blessings! I have an awesome Erin Condren planner that I live by. It has everything in there from my scheduled workouts to my meal plans for the week. Plus it’s just fun to write in because it’s so pretty. On Sunday mornings, I sit down with my cup of coffee and plan the week. What we are eating, when I am working out, when I can squeeze a personal appointment, all juggling that around my work schedule and my nanny’s schedule. On weeks when I can stick to the schedule I am relaxed, present, happy. On weeks when I am off, I AM OFF. I am more irritable, annoyed, and not as good of a mom or a wife.
I also have 9 pounds to go to get back to my prenatal weight of 132, and I am determined to get there. So I can’t “wing” lunch or dinner if I want to stay on track in a healthy way. On Sundays I meal prep and make sure we know what is on the menu for lunch and dinner during the week, making my health and my husband’s health a priority.
Another part of making me a priority is making sure I don’t over schedule myself. If I look at my calendar and it’s packed with commitments, it makes me feel unsettled. Will I be too tired to handle all of this? When will I have time to just sit and relax? Are all of these appointment necessary, or can something be cancelled? We are in the thick of an awesome football season. My husband is at work between 5:30-6:30am most days and is home close to 7pm at night. He also works Friday nights and all day on Saturday. Our time together is precious and very limited, so we make time for date nights every other week where it’s just us – focusing on us!
And then there is the little peanut whom we love so much. The more downtime I have, the more I can focus on her. So when I feed her, I don’t watch TV or look at my phone, I just look at her. Time has already gone by too fast, and before I know it, she won’t want me to hold her anymore. On that note, I am signing off because I am tearing up, and I need to get back to my schedule, so I can hold her later.
Make yourself a priority. It’s not selfish. It’s self-love.
It’s a beautiful fall Sunday here in Annapolis. My husband is sleeping in after getting in at 4am this morning from a trip home from Memphis where his team came home with a huge Victory!
Huge victories call for pancakes and bacon and chocolate chips.
My favorite bacon comes from Whole Foods; it’s in the butcher case and it’s the Black Forest Ham. I try to have some in the freezer for special mornings like this one. I pop it in the microwave for 1 minute to thaw, and then I cook it on the stove top. It’s delicious.
As for pancakes, I prefer to eat ones that have protein powder or lots of egg whites in them. I’m not a big fan of a carb hangover in the morning – carbs with a side of sugar just leave me feeling sluggish and tired, and it’s too beautiful out to waste this day on the sofa.That’s how my protein pancakes were born. The delicious warm, soft bite of goodness, without the sleepy aftermath.
1 1/2 c. oat flour (measure out oats and pulverize in food processor)
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (recommend Vega Sport Vanilla)
1 T. baking powder
2T. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. allspice
1.4 t. ground nutmeg
2 T. sweetener of choice (stevia, honey, agave, maple syrup). I used honey.
4 egg whites
1/2 c. raw pumpkin
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Fold in wet ingredients. Do not overmix. Set aside.
Heat greased frying pan or griddle to medium high heat. Make sure surface is hot before you add the batter. Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes on each side until desired doneness. Makes 10 medium pancakes.
Top with a few chocolate chips or – my favorite – peanut butter!
Macros per pancake: 104 calories, 1.6g fat, 16.4g carb, 7.1g protein, 3.1g fiber, 3.9g sugar
I love these dense little bites of goodness because they are packed with protein (12g per bite) and low in sugar. They are perfect post workout or right before bed as a sweet nighttime treat.
Mix the following in a bowl:
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (recommend Vega)
2T. powdered peanut butter
2T. ground flaxseed
1/4c. quick oats
4t. cacao nibs
1/2c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or use plain)
1-2T. Stevia (to taste)
Form into 3 large bites. Add more almond milk if needed. Roll in unsweetened coconut.
They are very dense, so you really only need 1/2 or 1 at a sitting. I like to enjoy mine with coffee or almond milk.
**For best results refrigerate for at least 8 hours before eating.**