Be Present: October

standard October 2, 2017 Leave a response

As the year gets closer and closer to an end, I find myself scrambling to finish all the things I wanted to do this year. Then I stop and remember, I had a baby. That alone was a huge accomplishment. But I also find it nice to have these monthly posts to look back on and see how much has actually been done, even if it doesn’t seem like it. And now I have a whole fresh new month to keep working on tasks to get me closer to my year-end goals.

I mention this in my yearly goal posts, but I use power sheets to focus, brainstorm, let it all out, and bring it all back together. And then I share here the big things for each month. 2018 power sheets are going to be available later THIS MONTH, so if you’re interested in having something to use as a strategic goal setting guide for your business, your family, your life, go grab a set on October 25th!

September in Review:

1. Read 4 books.

I didn’t feel like I read that much, but Goodreads reminded me that I did indeed read 4 books last month. I think this one is hard for me because I don’t consider anything that’s not just for fun. I read baby books, nutrition books, reference books, etc all the time without even recognizing that I read (I know that sounds weird). And it’s not just that I need a novel to make it count, its more like the relaxing, evening wind down reading that I need to get me in a mindset to sleep well.

Best book I read this month? Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things. Extremely timely, well written, and with a perspective that really made me think about my own unconscious prejudices.

2. Update Celebration Nutrition services.

Phase 1 is complete! When I started my business, I offered counseling packages by time frames. As I have met with people over the past year, I have found some common themes that have led me to further narrow down and focus my expertise on a few key areas. Namely  vegan/vegetarian nutrition and mothers in all stages of having babies (pre-pregnancy, prenatal care, postpartum, and breastfeeding). I updated my services to reflect this change, allowing clients to know upfront what to expect out of each package, and to ensure I am able to present the best information for each person I work with. All services are now subject based, and counseling packages include intuitive eating, introduction to vegan/vegetarian nutrition, expectant mamas, and vegan athletes. More services for postpartum and breastfeeding mothers, as well as easier meal planning are coming later this year.

3. Carve out time for weekly self-care.

I realized the need for this when I started spending Saturday mornings running solo without a stroller or heading off to Whole Foods to work and savor a decaf latte. Now that I have childcare help and can run most days on my own to clear my head and work from Whole Foods at least once a week, I had to find new ways to spend some time both NOT working and NOT worrying about my daughter. The best time to do this now is Sunday nights. Even something as small as couch time with a glass of wine or a bath with a book has proven so beneficial to unwinding after a busy week and gearing up for a productive Monday. If you are a mama, and you haven’t made time for yourself, do so. Even just 15 minutes a week alone without your brain going a million directions. We all need it.

October Goals:

  1. Update editorial calendar for Neat & Nutritious (much more nutrition-related content coming soon!)
  2. Finish my first postpartum/stroller race.
  3. Complete phase 2 of Celebration Nutrition services updates.
  4. Plan WEEKLY date nights.
  5. Walk 10k steps every day (work days make this surprisingly difficult!)

Summer Goal Setting

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Run Austin: Postpartum Edition

standard September 25, 2017 Leave a response

I had grand plans of running all throughout my pregnancy. Of being one of those women who made fitness and pregnancy weight gain look easy and fun. Then morning sickness hit. And pregnancy exhaustion. I was pretty much flat out on the couch nauseous and napping for months, well past the end of the first trimester. Everyone said it would get easier after week 12. For me, it took well until week 14 or 15. My last run had been at week 5, so once I had the energy to get back out there, it had been long enough that my body was starting over, confused, heavy, and slow. Which IS OKAY! I accepted this and kept my run/walk routine until it no longer felt good, and I moved to just walking.

I managed to run two races during my pregnancy. One at 16 weeks and one at 24 weeks. I was shocked at how well I did during the first race, having very little training beforehand, due to the abovementioned exhaustion and nausea. And the second race was awesome. But also the last time I really ran, and ran strong. I mostly walked with some sprints after that.

Postpartum, I was not cleared to exercise in any form until 9 weeks postpartum, and even after that I wasn’t supposed to run right away, instead, letting my body ease into movement again. So it was maybe 11 or 12 weeks in that I even attempted a 1 minute on/off plan.

I very slowly started a couch-to-10k plan, repeating days and weeks as necessary. And now, 6 months postpartum, I can manage 5 miles in an hour, though still with some walk breaks. Running with a stroller is no joke! I finally signed up for my first postpartum race, the same one I ran at 16 weeks pregnant, the Run Free Texas 80s 8k. Not sure how I will fare with those hills and a stroller, but we will see! The goal is to beat my pregnant time of an hour, and since we’re still a few weeks out, that seems manageable to me.

I had grand plans of running a marathon this year. But my body isn’t there. My heart isn’t there. My head really isn’t there. Just thinking through the logistics of racing that long with breastfeeding is more than I care to figure out at this point. So marathon plans are on hold until next year. And instead I think I’m going to tackle Decker as my big end of year goal. Maybe the entire Distance Challenge again. But we’ll see how this first race goes first.

The big lesson learned? Listen to your body. Go slow. And know its okay to change course. Our bodies are amazing in what they can do, especially if we give them the love they need.

Anyone else gearing up for the 80s 8k? This is the third year I’m running, and it’s slowly becoming one of my favorite (albeit hilly!) Austin races.

Simplify: Traveling with Baby

standard September 18, 2017 Leave a response

If you’ve ever wanted to simplify your belongings and your life but thought to yourself, “I could never get there” or “I really NEED all this stuff,” then go take a 6 or 8 week trip. There’s nothing like an extended time away from home to make you realize what you actually need every day to not just survive but thrive.

We traveled for 6 weeks with a 3 month old baby. We packed two suitcases, 2 computer bags, a diaper bag, and a car seat. And no, we didn’t even use everything we packed, but it was pretty close. And yes, we bought stuff once we arrived at our destination. Namely, baby necessities and a few household items. Our goal was to make the day-to-day as normal as possible for our daughter, in order to make our lives easier (i.e. NAPTIME). However, despite our best efforts, traveling across time zones and being away during that dreaded 4 month Wonder Week/sleep regression is generally going to be a nightmare. Even our best efforts didn’t do much to help with that, but we survived.

Navigating airports, home rentals, cable car hills, and numerous skipped naps taught me a few things about simplifying travel with a small child. Namely, you really don’t need that much, but the few things you do need, you really will get every penny of use out of.

Top 3 Things to Take When Traveling with a Baby

1. Baby wrap or carrier.

LIFE. SAVER. If you only take ONE thing, take this. Child doesn’t want to nap, and you need to get stuff done? Child is unsure of new surroundings and needs to get used to environment? You desperately need to get out of the house? Babywearing is the way to go.  Especially when going through airport security and a long flight. I prefer my Solly Baby wrap over a carrier, especially at the airport, because I was able to also carry a backpack without the straps from a carrier getting in my way. I also easily got a sweater or jacket on and off without looking ridiculous.

2. Lightweight stroller.

We decided not to lug our beloved BOB stroller with us, just because of its weight. Instead, we ordered a smaller, lighter stroller to be delivered directly to our rental and then flew home with it. And while I missed being able to run on days I was solo parenting, it was really nice to have something that maneuvered easily through city streets and hills without the added weight.

3. Sound machine.

A sound machine was not on my baby registry. It was not even on my radar, until I was reading something online and stumbled upon a blog post that highly praised the NEED for one. I immediately hopped on Amazon and bought that exact one, and its been amazing. It’s just enough white noise to drown out almost anything without being super loud. And no matter where you are, it makes the room your baby is sleeping in sound and feel like home. I honestly don’t know where we’d be without this item right now. Along with my breast pump, it was the only other thing I insisted upon having in my carry on vs checking because I could NOT risk it getting lost in transit.

How have you handled traveling with an infant? Any other must-have items you’ve learned about along the way?

 

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