Posts Tagged ‘get fit’

GET FIT: Fitness Tracking

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, FOR MOMS, GET FIT, Health and Fitness, Other Recommendations, PRODUCTS

Withings Activite Tracker Watch

Another post in this series that I am determined to push out.

This time I would love to talk about tracking your fitness progress

I have recently fell in love with a company called Withings through Daily Mom. You may or may not have heard of them. A really amazing brand that has innovative and technologically advanced products for your health. Up until recently, I have just been eyeing their products for their cool design and functionality, so finally I got a chance to test them out in real fitness situations. I am in love.

GET FIT GET HEALTHY CHALLENGE WEEK 17

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in GET FIT, HEALTH, VIDEO

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Baby and ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

My entry for week 15

1. Height: 5’11, weight: 136 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). An hour of walking/running + 20 situps every hour of the day

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Continue eating whole grains, veggies and fruits only with a few servings of kefir and sardines daily (sardines are low in dioxins and mercury)

4. How well did it go:

Fitness: I wasn’t able to work out the whole week for for very good reasons. So i don’t feel too bad about it.
Water: Drinking 64 oz a day
Food: Still not eating any sweets for some reason. Even my granola cereal without any added sugar tastes too sweet. I have been going crazy when it comes to potato chips (kettle cooked salt and pepper only) and roasted potatoes. I’ve been good about not allowing too much of them. Also I’ve been entering all the food I eat into a tracking website and making sure that all my vitamins, minerals, omega 3s and protein were at 100% or above. And I can proudly say I’ve exceeded 100% on most nutrients (except for zinc) and protein.
5. Failures and slip-ups: I’d say kettle cooked potato chips. I tend to eat about a serving or two of them a day, which is fine since I don’t eat ANY sweets at all. Otherwise, no complaints.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members: Honestly, I think I’ve given everything I have for now.

8. Self Portrait: This week’s challenge was a STOP MOTION VIDEO and I had so much fun making it!






RAW OR COOKED? – GET FIT GET HEALTHY GET CONFIDENT WEEK 16

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Cooking, EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT, HEALTH, PHOTO

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Baby and ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

RAW OR COOKED?

I’d like to share something I recently found out about nutrients of certain vegetables. I was always under the impression that if you cook vegetables, you basically effectively eliminating all the good nutrients and vitamins from them, so it’s best to eat msot vegetables raw or lightly sauteed. However, it turns out it’s not true for all the vegetables, actually quite the opposite for some of them.

Check out the nutrition breakdown:

Broccoli and spinach , if eaten raw your body will absorb less than 5% of the nutrition for which you are eating them . With the exception of lettuce all the green leafy veggies must be heated. This is the only way to release the vitamin E and the Iron for your body to get at it . If eaten raw your body will get neither of those and only a small portion of the flavonoids . The calcium can be retrieved without heating .
Tomatoes if eaten raw your body can only acquire the vitamin C . The main nutrition you eat a tomato for is the lycopene! This is the enzyme in the tomato that gives it the red color.”

So green leafy vegetables? HEAT! Kale, spinach, collard greens. have an amazing spicy kale stew recipe that I really need to share with you guys.

 My entry for week 15

1. Height: 5’11″, weight: 136 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). An hour of walking/running + 20 situps every hour of the day 

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Continue eating whole grains, veggies and fruits only with a few servings of kefir and sardines daily (sardines are low in dioxins and mercury)

4. How well did it go:

  • Fitness: Did really good. I am feeling good and motivated, taking my time to do exercises rather than rush through them
  • Water: Drinking 64 oz a day
  • Food: I have this strange sweets aversion this week. I didn’t have ANYTHING sweet AT ALL. Eating really well otherwise: lots of beans, salads and vegetables with fruits.
     

5. Failures and slip-ups: Nothing really. I am very happy with this week6. Weekly challenge wisdom: Sometimes we get caught up and want to do things other than working out, but I found if you let yourself know that this hour is for exercising and that’s how it’s going to be, you take your time and actually enjoy it, rather than rush through it to be done for the day.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: Is your partner helping you and supporting you in your quest to be healthier and fitter? If not, you need to get him to be on the same page with you. it’s so much more fun to eat well and exercise when you don’t have to accomodate someone else in their eating or couch habits.

8. Self Portrait: This week Selfie challenge was  Collaborations. We were to hook up with one of our bloggy friends and do a photo together, even though we might be 3000 miles away from each other. Here’s what Teagan and I came up with. I think the tagline is really fitting :)


 





GET FIT GET HEALTHY GET CONFIDENT – WEEK 15

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Baby and ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait. 

 My entry for week 15

1. Height: 5’11?, weight: 134 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: 30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day+20 sit-ups every hour for 8 hours on cardio days. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour or more of physical activity a day.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Continue eating whole grains, veggies and fruits only with a few servings of kefir,eggs or sardines daily (sardines are low in dioxins and mercury)

4. How well did it go:

  • Fitness: I worked out every single day when I was able to
  • Water: I’m back to my KleenKanteen bottle and being hydrated.When I don’t drink enough, I start getting sooo thirsty, almost like a withdrawal.
  • Food: Food intake was perfect. Nothing to complain about.

5. Failures and slip-ups: Again didn’t do too many Kegels. I think it’s because I pee so freaking much due to my water intake and I read somewhere that you can get a UTI if you do Kegels with a full bladder and that has been freaking me out.

6. Weekly challenge wisdom: I am getting to the point where the motivation to work out doesn’t come from the fact that I will have to post my successes and failures here like it did before. I almost don’t need the challenge to continue with what I am doing and that’s a good place to be.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: Ok, this is not exactly advice but more of a request. When I get pregnant and give birth, can you kick my ass and call me names if I dare to not return back to my perfect pre-baby form? I mean really! I have to admit I tend to judge people who constantly complain about their baby weight to themselves and others but do nothing serious about it. I just really don’t want to be one of those people who’s unable to make changes or doesn’t have the willpower to. So if I EVER make an excuse or complain about my weight without obvious effort, kick me, please!

8. Self Portrait: No selfie today. Collaborations week is due next week!





GET FIT and HEALTHY WEEK 14

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Babyand ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

OMEGA-3S (fatty acids, DHA, EPA)

This week I paid more attention to my Omega-3 intake. It’s relatively hard to get enough Omega-3s in your diet especially if you are vegetarian and don’t eat fish.

The Daily RV for Omega-3s is about 2.5 grams and it needs to have a proportion of  no more than 1:3 with the Omega-6s ( which are abundant in American diets, due to processed food). Omega-3s reduce inflammation, Omega-6s promotes inflammation. So it’s very important to have a good balance between them ( 1:3), and consider that msot America diets have a 1:24 balance instead.

Omega-3s are crucial for brain development and growth ( our brain is made up of those fatty acids exclusively). It promotes good cardiovascular health and reduces inflammation. It is CRUCIAL during pregnancy, as children of pregnant women who didn’t get enough Omega-3s have a high risk of developing eye and nerve problems as well as brain development issues.

The problem is the body cannot make those fatty acids, we HAVE TO get them from foods alone. And very few foods contain enough DHA and EPA to make a difference.

I get half of my Omega-3 intake in my morning cereal and another half but having an ounce or two of walnuts. Walnuts and fatty fish ( sardines,salmon) are probably your best sources of Omega-3s. Aim for a 1/4 of a cup of walnuts or tale a fish oil supplement.

To read about ALL the benefits of Omega-3 supplementation, go here

 

 My entry for week 13

1. Height: 5’11″, weight: 134 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: 30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day+20 sit-ups every hour for 8 hours on cardio days. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour or more of physical activity a day.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Continue eating whole grains, veggies and fruits only with a few servings of kefir,eggs or sardines daily (sardines are low in dioxins and mercury)

4. How well did it go:

  • Fitness:I was pretty lazy this week and while I hit all my exercise goals, I felt I did them half-heartedly. 
  • Water: I’m back to my KleenKanteen bottle and being hydrated.  When I don’t drink enough, I start getting sooo thirsty, almost like a withdrawal.
  • Food: Food intake was perfect. Nothing to complain about.

5. Failures and slip-ups: I totally forgot about Kegels this week. I maybe did them for two or three days, but that sucks. I need to resume 100 Kegels a day.

6. Weekly challenge wisdom: I’m really proud of myself and those people who stuck with this challenge. It’s tough and it’s so easy to quit because I have no motivation, no weight to lose, but somehow I’ve been going. I feel guilty when I skip a day’s work out or eat more than I should ( never happens, but I can imagine I’d feel guilty). I love having this as a routine, as a part of my life.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: Healthy weight, good nutrition and overall health is a lifestyle choice, not a temporary state. If you just want to lose a few pounds and go back to how you were eating before, then you might as well not try. It’s about being a healthy person, which means daily effort, make it a lifestyle, and your weight will come down as a result of that. It should not be about dieting, it should be about becoming a better person.

8. Self Portrait: FAMILY PORTRAIT (for more family portraits I took for this challenge, go to Selfie Saturdays)

LINK UP HERE

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GET FIT WEEK 13

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Babyand ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

 My entry for week 13

1. Height: 5’11”, weight: 136 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: 30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day+20 sit-ups every hour for 8 hours on cardio days. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour or more of physical activity a day.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Continue eating whole grains, veggies and fruits only with a few servings of kefir,eggs or sardines daily (sardines are low in dioxins and mercury)

4. How well did it go:

  • Fitness: I was happy with my fitness this week, did pretty good and even worked out when I thought i couldn’t.
  • Water: I’m back to my KleenKanteen bottle and being hydrated.
  • Food: Food intake was perfect. Nothing to complain about.
     

5. Failures and slip-ups: I usually work out with my husband ( i get bored working out alone), and this week he was so busy he barely got out to work out towards the end of the week. I had to muster up the energy to do that without him which was hard. But i don’t feel I did as good as I could have, because I didn’t have the help.

6. Weekly challenge wisdom: I’m wisdom-ed out, to be honest! This has become a habit for me which is great. So there’s nothing new that I learned this week.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: A few of you seemed to have fallen off the wagon. Whatever excuses you’re telling yourselves, they’re worth nothing. If you’re working out on your own – great! But if you’re not, then find the strength to start it again. Every little bit helps!

8. Self Portrait: JUMP

 

LINK UP HERE

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Supplements – Get Fit, Get Healthy Week 12

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT, HEALTH

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Babyand ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.

In the course of my preparation for pregnancy, one of the topics I did extensive research on was vitamin and mineral supplements.

We all know the importance of taking daily vitamins, especially if our diet leaves something to be desired. Now supplementation it’s not as simple as pop a pill each morning if you want to do it right.

There’s vitamin toxicity to pay attention to, minerals mashing together in all the wrong ways and negating each other, proper absorption, etc etc…

Here’re a few important fact everyone taking a supplement needs to know. This is especially useful to pregnant women or those TTCing, because having proper nutrients in your body is crucial:

There are certain minerals and foods that prevent absoption of others and vitamins that aid in absoption. You need to know that to get the maximum  out of your vitamins.

  • Pretty much anything interferes with iron absorption, so if your goal is to make sure you have plenty of iron in your stores, read the following:
              -do NOT mix calcium rich foods with iron rich foods, the same goes for supplements. Take iron and calcium supplement at least 2 hours apart.
              -do NOT drink tea after eating an iron rich food or taking an iron supplement.
              -the easiest way is to make sure you take an iron supplement completely separate with iron rich food
              – take vitamin C with iron for best absorption.If you’re a vegetarian, great sources of iron include: beans/lentils,some nuts, spinach, collard greens. Make sure to add some of those at every meal.
  • If you’re taking an iron supplement, make sure to take zinc and copper with it. Iron supplements interfere with the absorption of copper, which in turn is very closely related to zinc. So if you’re taking copper, you need to supplement it with zinc and visa versa. Since excess of one will give you a deficiency of the other So since iron interferes with copper and copper interferes with zinc, you need to take all three to make sure you’re even. In nature it’s done automatically, most foods high in iron are also high in zinc and copper. Never exceed 100% of DV an any of these minerals, because of it’s close relation and intricate balance system.
  • Calcium is best absorbed with Vitamins D. Most  Calcium supplements have vitamin D in it, just make sure it doesn’t exceed 50% DV, since vitamin D has a toxicity level.
  • It’s hard to get enough DHA in a pill form and it’s pretty expensive so look for a morning cereal that is a good source of Omega-3s and load up on some avocado and walnuts.
  • FOLIC ACID: TAKE IT!!!! Please please please, if you are of childbearing age and not infertile, please take a folic acid supplement, even if you’re not “planning” any more kids. Neural tube develops during the first 27 days of pregnancy, well before most women even know they’re pregnant. Folic acid can prevent most neural tube defects in a baby as long as you take it before and during the first month of pregnancy. Unless you’re like me and plan pregnancies that meticulously, the last thing you’d want is to get pregnant, not know it for a month and miss that 30 day window.

If you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant:

NEVER EVER (unless advised by a doctor) exceed 100% of DV on any supplement. It’s hard because most over the counter prenatals stuff 200-300%DV of vitamins in it to appeal to the less educated women thinking they’re getting a better value. You are NOT! You should be getting plenty from food, so all you need to do is create a safety net.

Fat soluble vitamins get packed away in your fat thus making it possible to create a toxicity hardful to a fetus if you don’t know what you’re doing.

-Do not take vitamin A in any form but beta-carotene, that includes milk and animal products that have a decent amount of vitamin A in retinoid form. High doses of vitamin A causes birth defect and it’s easy to go over board if you’re a meat eater and take supplements
-Watch your vitamin D intake.
– Vitamin E has been linked with heart defects at birth. That is even vitamin E taken before pregnancy at as low as 2/3 of recommended daily value (DV). Now since, oil has lot of vitamin E, I suspect those finding might have had something to do with women who ate lots of oily foods that are already bad for the baby. But we can’t know for sure, and these are my personal speculations. I am not taking any vitamin E supplement, since we get plenty through oil use and nuts.

Folic acid is a MUST before you’re even pregnant.
Supplemental iron is helpful taken before pregnancy so that you go into it with your stores full of iron.
Unless you eat lots of fruits and veggies ( and I do mean lots and varied, making up most of your meals), you might not need to supplement A,C or K vitamins, since you get plenty from fruits and veggies.

Since everything tend to interfere with everything and you can’t take more than 100% of the certain type of vitamin..bla bla bla… I found the best way to make it easy is to buy each supplement separately and take them in batches:

iron+C+zinc+copper= 1st batch
Calcium+D= 2nd batch
Folic+ B+DHA+other= 3rd batch

So there you have it!

Now, my entry for week 12

1. Height: 5’11″, weight: 134 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: 30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day+20 sit-ups every hour for 8 hours on cardio days. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour or more of physical activity a day.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: My eating habits are close to perfect, however I could improve on my water intake. My goal will be 8 glasses of water daily + continue eating the way I do now. Start snacking more during the day to prepare for the first trimester of morning sickness.

4. How well did it go:
  • Fitness: It was awesome. I did everything I set out to do. Worked out daily. I feel it’s starting to become a habit, one that I will not want to give up. Yesterday, hubby and I even did both strength and cardio and abs in one day, even though we’re supposed to do cardio/strength every other day.
  • Water: I’m back to my KleenKanteen bottle and being hydrated.
  • Food:Food intake was perfect. Nothing to complain about.
    5. Failures and slip-ups: Can’t say anything here. I’m getting in the groove and getting stronger.

6. Weekly challenge wisdom: It’s true that they say it takes a while to form a habit, but once that habit forms it becomes a joy to do the most mundane things.
 
7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: Stick with it! It will get better But if you give up now, it’ll NEVER get better. You will always start and stop and start and stop and get nowhere, or give up and continue living unhealthy and overweight.

8. Self Portrait: Magic Tricks
kind of creepy, huh?

 

{for more shots, go to my photography blog, Selfie Magic}

 


LINK UP:



GET FIT CHALLENGE WEEK 11

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in GET FIT

I have to admit, I’ve been a bit MIA, especially from your blogs. I haven’t been able to comment or post much here, because it’s tax season, so I have been busy working on all kinds of taxes for our companies as well as personal returns.

Friday and Saturday I am away in Orlando to meet one of my bloggy friends, Teagan, from Echoes of a Soul. We’re both super pumped about it. I have met some of the best people online, who later turned to be some of my best friends when I met them in real life, so i consider it part of my life. Of course, we’ll take lots of pictures so you, guys, will get to enjoy our meeting as well :)

So since I spent 12 hours a day working on taxes the whole past week and will be missing Friday/Saturday, this week there will be no nutritional information, but feel free to go over to Sonya’s blog to see what she can tell you about fitness.

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Baby and ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

 

MY WEEK 11

1. Height: 5’11″, weight: 135 lb (YAY)

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: 30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour of physical activity a day. I decided to pick up the pace and work more on my abs more, inspired to go into pregnancy as fit as I can possibly be.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Start snacking more during the day to prepare for the first trimester of morning sickness.

4. How well did it go:

WEIGHT: I finally gained some. To be honest with you, I hate it. I hate being what BMI says is on the lower side of normal for me. I was much happier with my body at 131lb ( BMI’s underweight) . I feel like a cow now. You might argue that 4 pounds don’t make much of a difference, but in me they do, because those four pounds don’t go to my boobs, or my abs, or even my ass- they go straight to my legs. BIG FAT Legs.
I’d love to drop those 4 pounds right back, but I think it’s more important to be at normal BMI than underweight when it comes to trying to get pregnant, so I’ll  survive. But I’m telling ya, as soon as I get pregnant and the baby is OUT, I am back at 131 lb no matter how hard it is. Also I don’t have a problem with pregnancy weight. the idea of getting a belly or gaining weight due to a pregnancy doesn’t bug me at all. What bothers me is having to gain a few extra pounds even before I get pregnant. That just seems counter-intuitive.

  • Fitness: I rocked it! Worked out every day no matter how tired I was from my tax duty. It was super refreshing to get out and rollerblade every other day, because I was so sick of sitting couped up in my office. Also, to add an additional work out to my abs on my cardio days, I started what we call “10 an hour”, it’s a “work out program” hubby and I devised back when we were so busy we couldn’t get to the gym or have the energy to work out after work. Basically, every hour, you get off you butt and do 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups. By the end of an 8 hour day, you’ve done 80 sit-ups and 80 push ups. So I revived that tradition, increased the sit-ups to 20 an hour + 10 oblique exercises + stretches + 20 Kegels. Hours go by super fast, but I love the burn after a day of working out and the metabolism kick is amazing.
  • Water: I’m back to my KleenKanteen bottle and being hydrated.
  • Food: Great! I’ve been eating well as usual. This week I attempted to try adding more little snacks throughout the day to make sure I get my body and habits ready for possible morning sickness when I get pregnant. I don’t LIKE eating so much and so often, but I did it. I also noticed that the more you eat, the more you want to eat. So i’m very glad that I have not been “taste/calorie- dependent” for a while now. My body was perfectly happy on 1600 calories and maintained its shape and i was never hungry, or munchy-hungry or craved sweets.

5. Failures and slip-ups: Not much really. I mean I really did what I was supposed to do this week and more. I am very happy. I just wish this was about losing weight, rather than gaining it :)

6. Weekly challenge wisdom: Getting your metabolism up throughout the day helps burn more calories and also stay hungrier. It really helps you with how you feel during the day. Small exercises or stretches every hour are very beneficial.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: Adopt our 10-an-hour routine. Pick 2 or 3 of your favorite exercises and do 10 sets of each every hour. It will burn more calories by raising your metabolism throughout the day and will get an extra muscle work for you without much effort. It’s a perfect routine if you’re always busy.

8. Self Portrait: No magic tricks this week. I tried really hard to get time to take a magic trick self portrait, but  there was just no way with me leaving on Friday and the whole tax thing. I will, however, do one once I get back and will definitely post it. I have the concept in my head, I know what I am doing and it’s going to be awesome! So here’s just a mirrored selfie for now :)


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LABELS – GET FIT, GET HEALTHY, GET CONFIDENT WEEK 10

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT, HEALTH

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Baby and ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

LABELS.

Authentic Italian Pasta Do you guys know how to read labels? You probably do. But do you pay much attention to the ingredients list? Do you know which items to avoid? Probably not many of you.

I bought a great book that breaks down every possible harmful item that gets included into our common foods and once I read it, I’ll be sure to pass on that knowledge. But for now, I’d like to tell you what i DO know.

Things to avoid in food:

high fructose corn syrup

What? In simple words it’s added sugar. But not just sugar, but over-processed cheap version of sugar.
Where? Almost EVERYWHERE!
Why? If the products says natural, but you see high fructose corp syrup there, you’ll be sure that there’s nothing natural about it, considering they pumped it with additional cheap sweeteners. It bombards your body with sugar, raising yourinsulin level, causing diabetes and obesity.

Partially hydrogenated oils

What? Oils that didn’t complete a hydrogenation process. A cheap alternative to butter
Where?You can find them in chips, cookies, baked goods.
Why? They make you fat, they are disruptors of metabolic processes and a big cause of cancer. And they’re just simply bad for you!

MSG (Glutamic Acid)

What? A naturally occurring essential amino acid that has been used in the food industry as an additive and a flavor enhancer
Where? Most restaurants, specifically Chinese. Processed, packages or frozen foods.
Why?Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and had what I call a food hangover? That achy feeling, maybe a headache, weakness and a definitely dry mouth/thirst? That’s MSG to blame for. Most restaurants add MSG to enhance flavor of their meals ( why did you think restaurant food tastes so good?). But would you still enjoy the food, knowing that the great taste comes from , basically, a chemical?
FDA generally recognizes glutamic acid as safe, however we all know that FDA is heavily lobbied  by the food industry, whose only cheap ay of making things taste good is adding MSG. If you care to dig into it, you’ll learn about a certain CEO of a certain company being  good  friends with the head of FDA  at the time the MSG ruling was happening. ‘nough said.
And while glutamic acid does occur naturally in our bodies, we get more than enough eating our normal healthy diets. More than that will cause the above mentioned symptoms and possible health effects. And who wants to eat food that makes them feel sick? The tricky thing is MSG comes all kinds of different names, so you need to watch out for those too. Here’s a list of the biggest offenders

What else to pay attention to?

The higher the ingredient is on the list the more  of it the product contains, so you obviously don’t want anything that has the above mentioned ingredients anywhere in the top 5 of the ingredient list
Look for shorter ingredient list. The shorter it is, the more natural and unprocessed the food product is.

You wouldn’t believe how many brands I switched from after learning all these facts a while ago. But at least I am confident that I have some sort of idea of what I put in my body.

Now, my entry for week 10

1. Height: 5’11?, weight: 133 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: 30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour of physical activity a day. I decided to pick up the pace and work more on my abs more, inspired to go into pregnancy as fit as I can possibly be.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: My eating habits are close to perfect, however I could improve on my water intake. My goal will be 8 glasses of water daily + continue eating the way I do now. Start snacking more during the day to prepare for the first trimester of morning sickness.

4. How well did it go:
  • Fitness: This week… agh! I can’t say I did GREAT! But Iguess I didn’t fail completely. It was hard to do pilates with my knee and palms hurt, since most of the exercises are on your hands and knees. I did what I could, but I think skipped a few days due to work :( Don’t like that.
  • Water: I’m back to my KleenKanteen bottle and being hydrated.
  • Food: Ate great as usual. Tried to snack on nuts throughout the day. Found out excesses of vitamin E ( nuts) are harmful to pregnant women and those planning to conceive. Had to slow down on them .

5. Failures and slip-ups: Was too busy and didn’t work out as much as I wanted to. Since I am usually at home, working out is easy, but it’s when I run around and break my schedule that it gets hard. I need to formulate a plan in my head of what to do on day when I expect to be away from the house all day: work out really early in the morning, or the second I have time.

6. Weekly challenge wisdom: Envisioning your goals will help you push yourself harder. It was 10 pm after a very hard day of work and the last thing I wanted to do is 30 minites of pilates. But I kept picturing having an easier pregnancy and delivery and being able to look the same after birth and that made me start and finish the work out.
 
7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: Motherhood is NOT an excuse for being unfit, out of shape and unhealthy. It’s THE REASON to be better.  Are most of you REALLY ok with looking and feeling the way you do now that you have a baby? It doesn’t take THAT much effort to shed those extra pounds. It’s as simple as a healthy diet ( lifestyle) and just a little bit of exercise. I applaud to those who have joined and stayed with us through these weeks

8. Self Portrait: My friend, the Fan {for more shots, go to my photography blog, Selfie Magic}

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NUTRITIONAL DATA – GET FIT, GET HEALTHY & GET CONFIDENT WEEK 9

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT, HEALTH

Nutritional Data

While we’re are concentrating on cutting our calories, let’s also talk about nutrition. It’s such an important topic to discuss especially if you’re living on a limited amount of calories in order to lose weight. There have been a few studies that showed that people who habitually eat smaller amounts of calories, lived quite a few years longer than those who had a normal caloric intake. It can be attributed to many factors, such as not having to tax our lower intestinal tracts that hold so many toxins, or to the fact that most people consciously reducing their caloric intake as a way of life tend to eat much better.
Which brings me to this: if you’re going to cut your calories, you need to ensure you’re doing everything possible to receive all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients within your lowered caloric intake.
But just like most people didn’t know they were overeating until they were faced with the data inputted by them into loseit.com or some other calorie counting service, you most likely don’t realize that a lot of the foods you’re eating are nutritionally empty. And if you’re going to waste an already limited amount of calories on certain foods, wouldn’t you want to make sure that food gives you all the nutrients your body needs?
I talked about ,a href=”http://prebabyblog.com/2011/03/whole-grains-and-fiber-week-8-of-get-fit-healthy-and-confident-challenge/”>refined grains vs whole grain last week, which is a no-brainer.
It helps to get education on what certain foods give you nutritionally. So I wanted to share my favorite nutritional website with you: http://nutritiondata.self.com/

Take, for example, the seemingly nutritionally weak snacks I made a few weeks back. One would think that potatoes (starch) and zucchinis aren’t THAT well packed with nutrients and vitamins. Well, one would be very wrong.
Sweet Potatoes (with skin) and zucchinis are quite the superstars in the glitzy world of nutrition.

1 BAKED ZUCCHINI                                                                                                                 1 BAKED SWEET POTATO

You simply type in your food and the whole nutritional breakdown comes out in front of you! Brilliant!

Using this site, I created a special table of most commonly consumed foods ( by me) that I arranged by the amount of certain vitamins that food has. I did that specially in preparation of pregnancy to ensure I do not go overboard on Vitamin A which can be toxic to a fetus in large doses ( unless it’s beta-carotene found in most veggies) and that I receive as many vitamins naturally through food as possible and then supplement whatever is missing.

I will be a sweetheart and share this table with you. It took me literally three days to organize it into this format. I taped it to the refrigerator to make sure I pick the right foods and keep track of whether I’ve gotten my needed vitamins.
{I am also working on the minerals table, but, like I said, it takes so much time, I haven’t been able to finish it yet}

You can print this table out on legal size paper in a landscape orientation and hopefully it’ll help you pick better foods.

NUTRIENTS TABLE
{click and save as or right click on the link and chose save target as…}

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Now, my entry for week 9

1. Height: 5’11′, weight: 132 lb  ( i seem to be holding steady at 132lb. I might have to accept that that’s my weight for now and continue to eat as much as I can)

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: 30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour of physical activity a day. I decided to pick up the pace and work more on my abs more, inspired to go into pregnancy as fit as I can possibly be.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: My eating habits are close to perfect, however I could improve on my water intake. My goal will be 8 glasses of water daily + continue eating the way I do now.

4. How well did it go:
  • Fitness: I did great! I figured out that my reluctance to work out stemmed from lack of sleep. And now that Iam getting 11 hours again, I’m rocking it! Yesterday I went rollerblading as my usual work out and while showing off to hubby, fell and  bruised my side, wrists and skinned my knee and palms pretty bad. But I still went back to finish rollerblading after i got bandaged up.
  • Water: I’m back to my KleenKanteen bottle and being hydrated.
  • Food: The usual stuff, really healthy, never any meats. I tried to eat as much as I could this week, and snack on nuts in between, but it’s looking like I really can’t stuff myself with food. I’ll eat when I am hungry and stop worrying about not getting enough calories. I obviously get enough for me.

5. Failures and slip-ups: Not much really. We skipped work outs today, cuz it was so busy and I was doing the posts ( it happens every Friday), but I intend to make up for it tomorrow, like I always do.

6. Weekly challenge wisdom: I underestimated how much sleep my body really needs. I kept setting an alarm so that I could get more done, and sleeping about 7 hours a day. I was feeling like crap and couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to work out. One day I slept in, and it was absolutely amazing. I was a different me!
 
7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: Prioritize! Very few things in life are more important than your family and your health. Concentrate on that and you’ll be happy.

8. Self Portrait: Bokeh {for more shots, go to my photography blog, Selfie Magic}

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