Friday 29 April 2016

High Five For Friday- 29.04.16

I always love Fridays, but this week I REALLY love Friday!  We have driven to see Hubby after he worked last weekend.  We are happy to see him and I am enjoying a little break here and there.  Here are my five:

1.)  We survived our 6 hour drive here.  I did this drive 2 weeks ago with just Miss. E and Penny (our dog).  It went well last time and went well this time.  I am so thankful to have a good traveler for a toddler! (I hope that saying that out loud doesn't change anything!  I still have to drive home!)  Miss. E slept for 2 hours and spent the majority of the other 4 looking out the window for "birdies" and "cows".  Thank goodness!

2.)  Miss. E is LOVING her sunglasses and it cracks me up.  She looks so cute in them!

3.)  I had a good couple days at work.  Someone has applied for my job and I hope they get it!  It would really make things easier for us and I could spend more time with Hubby and Miss. E.  Here is a picture of Miss. E "doing dishes" in her kitchen this weekend.  I love these moments and I look forward to having more of them together when I don't have to be at work so much!

4.)  I did my Fit Test with my Bikini Body Mommy workouts and I beat all of my scores!  I am so happy that I am feeling so strong and I am excited to keep improving!

5.)  Last Saturday, after I got Miss. E to bed (no small feat!), I curled up with some cherry pie and one of Joanne Flukes "Murder She Baked" novels.  I so enjoy having time to relax and read.  It doesn't happen very much, so I enjoy it when I can.

How was your week?  Join the lovely ladies below for the H54F link up!

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Healthy Living Series- Week 4: Nutrition

When it comes down to it, the vast majority of us know how to eat properly.  We know that fruits and veggies are good for us and that donuts are not.  We know that moderate portions are smart and stuffing ourselves to the brim isn't wise.  We still seem to struggle with making good choices.  Let's be honest- junk food tastes good!  It triggers happy zones in our brains and we like to indulge.  Stress, fatigue and convenience leads us to poor food choices.

Here are some tips that have helped my family and myself stay on track with our nutrition:

1.)  Eat at the table.  I know that people are busy and have different schedules, but eating together as a family promotes healthy eating habits.  Meal times are important for sharing the experience of a meal, enjoying conversation and mindfully eating our food.  It is easy to overeat when we are distracted by a television and it is easy to scarf down more than you need when you are eating a rushed meal at the counter.  It takes your stomach 20 minutes to tell your brain that you are full.  It is much easier to allow this time if you are enjoying the meal with the people you love.  Even if you aren't able to do this every meal or even every day, try to do it as often as possible.  Can't get everyone at the table for dinner?  How about breakfast, then?  Can't do meals every day?  How about 3 times a week?  It is certainly worth the effort.

2.)  Limit sugary drinks.  When Hubby and I were struggling to conceive our first child, we really tried to clean up our eating habits.  We both enjoyed pop (or soda, as I believe my American friends call it).  Instead of going cold turkey we set limits for ourselves.  We made a rule that we could only have 3 pops a week.  When that became easy, we limited to 2 and finally to 1.  I am happy to report that neither of us indulges in sugary drinks every week.  We will have a pop on special occasions or occasionally.  It has been a great boon to our health.  The surprising thing for a lot of people is that juice can be just as bad.  Juice has a lot of sugar.  We only give juice to Miss. E as a treat.  We prefer to avoid all the extra sugar that juice can bring.

3.)  Try to choose whole foods.  We all know the rule.  The less processed the better.  Aim to choose 1-ingredient foods most of the time.  1-ingredient foods are food that are simply what they are.  An orange is an orange.  A cucumber is a cucumber.  A steak is a steak.  These foods don't have hidden salt or sugar.

4.)  Meal Plan and prep ahead of time.  Meal planning isn't my favourite thing to do, but it is so important.  When I plan ahead, it is easier to stick to healthy eating.  I don't rely on take-out or frozen pizzas because I already know what I am going to make for supper.  If you want more information on how to meal plan, please visit my friend Whitney's blog, Come Home For Comfort.  She has some great tips for meal planning!  I have recently starting prepping veggies to keep in the fridge for handy snacking and it has made such a difference!  We reach for what is ready to go, so have healthy options ready to go.

5.)  Indulge every once in a while.  Everyone needs a treat now and then.  It is okay to eat sugar or "junk food" once in a while.  It just shouldn't be your go to.  Enjoy your treats and then get back to eating a healthy diet.  Life is about balance.  All or nothing doesn't work.

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Healthy Living Series: Week 3- Adequate Sleep

The irony is not lost on me that as I write this post, it is 25 minutes past my "bedtime" on a work night.  Ugh.  We have been away for the past week and I am playing catch up!

Sleep is super important to your overall health.  Your body heals and does important work while you sleep.  The recommended amount is 7-9 hours for women.  I am happy to say that I usually meet that target, although that there are definitely nights when I don't!   When you have young children, sleep can be interrupted.  I am okay with that.  Babies grow up and stop needing midnight cuddles.  I am going to enjoy the cuddles while I can!

I try to stick to the same bedtime every night and I try to wake up around the same time every morning.  I do have a toddler who helps with the wake up call if I want to sleep in!  I usually go to bed at 11 p.m. and I wake up around 6 a.m. on a work day.  On my days off, I will sleep until 7 a.m..  Sticking to consistent bedtimes and wake up times helps your body find a routine, which can make it easier to sleep.

Before I go to bed I try to get my stuff in order for the next day (especially if I have work the next morning).  I have a bath or shower.  I pray and sometimes write in my prayer journal.  I then go to sleep.  My bedtime routine helps to relax me and get me ready for bed.

I struggle to get enough sleep every single night of the week.  I can usually do it 4-5 nights out of my week.  The nights that I don't get sleep are often because Miss. E is having a bad night, or I am getting things ready so that we can sell the house.  Life is fluid and we can't always prevent every interruption.  My best advice is to make sleep a priority.  Try your best to set a bedtime and stick to it.  Make a goal to get enough sleep 3 nights a week and then increase that to 4.  Slowly work your way up to a consistent bedtime.

Do you have any tips that help you get enough sleep?  I would love to hear them!

Sunday 10 April 2016

Healthy Living Series- Week 2: Water Consumption

As humans, 60% of our body weight is water.  We need water in order to function properly.  Proper hydration maintains our electrolyte balance, helps digestion, carries waste out of the body, and carries nutrients to our cells.  Dehydration can cause many issues.  Mild dehydration can cause fatigue and headaches.  Severe dehydration can cause heat exhaustion, seizures and in extreme cases: death.  Scary stuff.

It is important to a healthy lifestyle to drink enough water.  There are many recommendations out there about how much water we are supposed to consume.  The Dietitians of Canada recommend a fluid intake of 3 L (12 cups) per day for men over 19 years old and 2.2 L (9 cups) for women over 19 years old.  Fluid intake refers to just that: fluid.  Water, coffee, juice, soda, and tea: they all count.

I am terrible for remembering to drink water.  I usually have a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast.  Once my day gets going, my fluid intake gets put on the back-burner.  I usually realize sometime around lunch time that I am super thirsty.  I then chug as much as I can, which isn't always helpful.

I am making a commitment to drink 8 cups of water every day in addition to my morning cup of coffee.  I have been using a large plastic (BPA-free, of course) tumbler cup or a large water bottle to track my water intake.  I know that I need to drink 2 of the tumblers and 2.5 water bottles  in order to meet my quota.  I keep it near me so that when I see it, I remember to take a sip.  It has actually been working really well!

*NOTE*  It is dangerous to consume too much fluid, so you should always trust your body.  If you are not thirsty, you shouldn't force any more fluid into your body.  Sticking near the 9 cups per day can help make sure you don't overdo it.

Friday 8 April 2016

High Five For Friday- 8.4.16

Oh man!  It is definitely Friday.  I have spent a good chunk of my morning trying to convince my computer to work.  Grrrrr.  Oh well!  I am using my tablet today, instead.  Hubby is playing outside with Miss. E, who seems to have caught my cold.  Poor kid!  Here are five highlights from my week:

1.)  The weather has been absolutely beautiful.  Sunny and warm!  We have been outside for walks and playtime.  It is so nice to see the sunshine again!

2.)  On Monday, I did my Bikini Body Mommy "Fit Test".  I did the fit test with heavier weights and still improved my scores!  I was so excited!  I am also starting to see some muscle development and feel stronger!

3.)  Miss. E had a good dental appointment.  It is always kind of nerve-wracking taking her to these kind of things, so I was happy it worked out well!

4.)  We had a couple fun play dates this week.  Play dates are great for both Mommy and toddler!

5.)  I got to bed on time several times this week.  It was great!  I am fighting a cold, so the sleep is definitely needed!

Sorry for the lack of pictures.  My computer is acting up so I am typing this on my tablet.  Please check out the other H54F posts using this link.  Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Healthy Living Series- Week 1: Exercise

Welcome to my Healthy Living Series.  Ever since my recent miscarriage, I have been trying to focus on rebuilding my health.  I ended up with infection, then a D&C (minor surgery) and spent the 2 weeks after my surgery recovering.  My doctor didn't allow me to do much physical activity while I was recovering.  When all was said and done, I felt weak and tired.  I am sure some of my fatigue came from the emotional toll that the miscarriage took.  I do know that the weakness and some of the fatigue occurred because I had lost a lot of my physical strength.  I made a "Get Healthy" plan and started to implement it.  I am basing this series on my "plan" and my own experiences with it.

I am starting the series with Exercise.  It is the first thing that I started implementing with my "Get Healthy" plan.  I have always been an active person.  I am not athletic, by any means, but I believe in the importance of fitness.  Cardio activity is good for your heart and strength training is extremely important for your bone health.  I find that being fit makes my day to day life easier.  At home, I am able to chase and lift my toddler when I am fit.  I can do my work much more efficiently because I have energy.

If you are new to exercise, I suggest starting with walking.  It is a low impact exercise with huge health benefits.  All you really need is a good pair of shoes.  I love to walk.  I walk my dog and push the stroller.  I like to walk with Miss. E and go on "adventures".

After I had been cleared for working out, I started my current exercise program.  I use Briana's Bikini Body Mommy workouts.  I am currently doing the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 4.0.  I like that the workouts are short (15 minutes-ish), challenging and free.  I access my workouts on YouTube.  I have been doing the workouts for a few weeks and I am already seeing results, which is great!  

I am able to lift and carry Miss. E for longer, now.  She is getting heavy and I wasn't able to hold her for very long before.  I also have better energy, which is so beneficial for both my work and home life!

Another benefit of exercise is the boost to my mental health.  Exercise releases endorphins, which are "feel-good" hormones.  I have always had a great mental benefit from exercise.  It is my most important reason for exercising.  I always feel better after a workout or a walk.  If you are stressed out or feeling down, exercise can help. 

What are your favourite ways to work out?  What are your favourite benefits?

Friday 1 April 2016

High Five for Friday- 01-04-16

Oh my!  It is April!  When did that happen?  I am happy that it is Friday!  Here are five highlights from my week:

1.)  We had a fun Easter weekend.  We attended Easter Sunday mass, which is always so uplifting!  He is risen!   Alleluia!  Miss E. managed to behave herself, despite the lengthy service.

  My brother was down and it was so nice to see him.  My Mom set up an egg hunt for Miss. E and she had a blast!  She was having so much fun that my brother and I had to take eggs out of her basket (without her knowing) and hide them again!  It was a really nice day.

Playing with her sidewalk chalk that the Easter bunny brought.
2.)  I received a lovely surprise in the mail from Carlton Cards.  I had liked a giveaway photo of theirs on Instagram and I won some free greeting cards!  I love Carlton Cards so I was very excited!

3.)  Hubby and I had a date night.  We went to the city for supper (authentic Italian pizza- yum!) and a movie.  We saw "Allegiant" and we really enjoyed it.

4.)  Miss. E stayed with a friend of mine while I worked on Wednesday.  My regular babysitter had a funeral that day.  Miss. E had a blast with my friend and her daughter, which is always so nice!

5.)  I stuck to all of my workouts this week, despite the Easter festivities.  Yay!  I did make the mistake of downing a leftover cupcake from Easter right before I worked out on Monday and I almost made myself sick.  Almost.  Never eat something heavy before a workout.  It doesn't end well!

I hope you all had a great week!  If you want to join in, link up with the lovely ladies below!