Eating, my journey.

Boom. Week from the crazy life, has hit the weekend.  There are so many things I want to blog about.  New favs, hitting the gym, changing routines, events, family… But time isn’t always my friend and before I know it I’m like HUH it is Feb. what?!  Well, I know it is winter time, and actually I’m over it, yet Chicago just keeps slapping us with, “WAKE up friends, snow, and lots of below zero days… you can handle it… You are Chicagoians”

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Anywho, one thing I want to discuss is eating and things we are loving right now and my journey with eating.  Several years ago I took a nutrition class.  It changed my life.  Had I taken this class early in my college experience and not as a final prerec, I honestly would have likely become a dietitian, personal trainer and worked on opening a fitness/heath/Mind Body wellness center.  Who knows maybe I still will!  Possibilities in life are endless if you work hard and reach out and grab them.  When I took the class I immediately jumped on the health food train.  I was all about eating things good for my body and my body thanked me!  I felt good, dropped weight (about 30lbs), kept it off, and started training hard.   Knowledge is power and even though the media is very health centered (not always in the best ways…) it can be a very overwhelming and a major information overload.  Different things work for different people, but I do not think you can ever go wrong with drinking TONS of water, getting in green tea, and eating clean.  Those are my simple rules.  Eat clean, drink water and sweat as often as you can.

Even though I ate clean, I was also a crazy calorie counter.  When I say crazy, I mean it.  My whole life was encompassed by counting my calories and obsessing about food.  This clearly was not mentally healthy.  I looked great, and felt great physically but I had a lot of brain fights:

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Then I got prego!

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Being pregnant (after lots of weeks not being able to eat ANYTHING) made me throw out calorie counting and just focus on healthy eats.  100% I contribute this to a healthy, mostly happy pregnancy.  I gained 23lbs and felt great and never counted a calorie.  I had fat days, days when I was like this is the worst thing on the planet…  Days where I was so over it but when I look back I had no aches and pains that come with gaining too much weight (I also have a great build for carrying btw, small frames I’m sure are diff, but this about MY journey).  When I was done being prego, I started breastfeeding and once again, told myself I would NOT count calories.  This was so much easier said then done.  Even though the scale said I didn’t have much to loose, and everyone told me I looked great… I did not feel great.  I felt soft and smushy even though I worked out throughout my pregnancy.  The calorie demons were sneaking in, but I fought them as best I could because I knew  I couldn’t provide nutrition for my little guy if I restricted my calorie intake and so started our six months of exclusive breastfeeding and zero calorie counting journey.  After he was 6 months, and I decided to keep up the relationship but also knew he was  getting other forms of nutrition, the thought of calorie counting crossed my mind once again but I decided not to and this time it wasn’t as hard of a decision.  I was working out, my clothes fit and I stayed away from the mental things that would force me to want to calorie count, mainly the scale.  That scale, I tell you… I think it hurts more then it helps on a weightloss journey but that is a story for another blog.  That six months helped me realize how much I respected my body.  It gave me my perfect healthy baby and recovered beautifully.  Over my pregnant/new mom year I finally gained a respect for not only being healthy physically but mentally. I respected my body more for all it had done and I need to treat my brain with the same respect.  I want to bring up my new family with a healthy relationship with food because as much as I wanted to deny it for so long, I didn’t have a healthy perspective when it came to food.  Six weeks post baby, right before the doctor’s appointment:

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Finally a year and a half later, I can tell you I don’t count calories.  I still look at labels and calories are visible, but because I eat clean, most of my daily eats DO NOT have a nutrition label.  They are what they are: apples, eggs, greens…  Physically speaking, once again, I feel better when I eat right.  I have cheat days and I eat mayo.  I have crazy heath days and take vitamins.  I keep it simple, don’t beat myself up when I have a French fry or a slice of French bread.  But I do always prefer the whole grains, they fill you and keep you going.  Part of my food journey is experimenting with getting in as much fresh produce as I can. With that said, Hector and I have jumped on the juicing/smoothie bandwagon again.  My father was always into juicing and I was always into smoothies.  My dad likely bought the 1st Jucieman machine ever made and worked a few to machine heaven.   We are not a juice family in the sense of apple juice or Capri sun or any of that crap.  Never have been, I will not buy it and Evan will never get it from my hands but I will offer him carrot and beet juice or his favorite green drink: kale, apple, spinach, pineapple, celery, and lemon.

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With everything in life… eating is a journey and I’m finally at a good place with my habits.  My body journey is also always evolving but I make sure to get in yoga, weights and cardio. Even if weight lifting these days is sometimes just tossing around my 27lb baby.

Happy Saturday!  Off to prep for a black tie event tonight and wrap some special birthday gifts for a super special little man in my life. EEK! need a card!!

Love,

Jen

xo

Weekend In Pictures

I promise, someday soon I will catch up with words… As far as words for this post I feel, less is more.

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Smoothie a day challenge is still going strong and I plan to blog about some of my new found smoothie love!DSC_0856

Shopping! Smoothie stuff, baby food stuff and fluers of course ;-)DSC_0854

lululemon came to the rescue when I found myself at the gym without *gasp* a hair tie!  This nifty thing was attached to my gymbag as a pull and reminded me it is a HAIR TIE.  Brilliance.  one of the many reasons I love my luluDSC_0845

Alas more insane beauty in my yard.DSC_0832so awesome.

DSC_0867 DSC_0887 DSC_0936I have the worlds best behaved baby… Even when this forgetful momma forgot daddy’s car keys at grandma’s car – he played so nicely :) *sigh* yeah Hector’s car allows him to drive whereever once you start it… shut it off you can find yourself with a real problem…

Now for momma’s day!  Hanging around town and in the Gold Coast:

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I sure as the sky is blue… Love my life and love my family.  <3 Excellent weekend.
Cheers!

 

 

Dedicated.

This time last year I was about 31 or 32 weeks pregnant, preparing for my baby shower and discussing pregnancy must haves.  This year I am chatting with one of my best friends about her huge new move and career and watching my other best friend prep for her very own little man all while enjoying every moment I can with my little man that just steals my heart – everyday:

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I’m definitely feeling overwhelmed by emotion these days.  I am both beyond grateful and totally in shock with everything that is going on around me.  My son is about to be 10 months old, my best friend’s baby is 2 years old and going to school, and my other love above is really close to the end of her pregnancy… Can time slow down just a bit? (Joanna is the only one saying No to that… but this time next year she will be on the “where is the time going bandwagon”).  This time of the year it is so natural to celebrate motherhood and all of the wonderful, terrifying and crazy things we do because we are moms.  Last year I thought I had a grasp on how much I would love my little guy, after all he couldn’t be closer to me, right?

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This was just about a week before I had little Evan, now he is in this big world… it is exciting and terrifying.

Now that Evan is happily here with us, I could not imagine life without him.  He has brought me so much joy.  This Mother’s Day I will celebrate with my own mom, my grandma and my sweet husband and extended family.  Last night I spent with my three main men: Evan, Hector and Oso (not pictured) cuddled on the couch watching a movie – it was perfection:

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I’m so blessed, and so happy and excited to spend the day with people I love.

For the moms,

Happy Mother’s Day… You are all rockstars!

Love, Jen.

 

Off to Farmer’s Market!  Yippeeee!

8 Months – Mr. Independent

Honestly, I feel like I just wrote is 7 month post.  My mom keeps mentioning how it felt like my pregnancy took years and now, at 8 months old it feels like it has been a day since Evan was born.  Honestly, time flies, it is just too crazy how quickly days go by.  Luckily, each day I fall more in love my little Evan, he is the light of my life and I’m so happy I get to share him with the world.

So Mr. 8 months is thriving, and continuing to make me crazy proud.

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He is just amazing in every way.  At this stage he is definitely more and more independent *cries* not as cuddly as he once was, he will turn in your arms and grunt because he wants to scoot around the floor.  He still indulges me from time to time, like when he is exhausted, he will place his head on my shoulder and I. Melt.

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He keeps us so entertained with his babbling and his slobbery kisses, he will place his open mouth on your cheek for kisses… it is so slobbery but so awesome.  On the night before his 8 month of life celebration I honestly felt like I splashed water all over my face THAT’S how much he loves me, tons and tons of slobbery kisses.

This month you have been eating loads of things, and we bought you your big boy carseat *cries* .

Dear Evan,

How did we get here?  You are not by little squishy baby anymore.  Father time has really played mean tricks on me.  It seemed like everything in my life before you was slow motion.  Honestly, days seemed longer – 15 minutes sounded like an eternity compared to now.  (and there is that ache in the back of my throat, the one followed by those watery eyes…) It still amazes me how priorities change when you have a baby.  Evan, mommy can’t even go to the Bulls game without wanting to rush home to you!  She has a serious case of separation anxiety!! I really cannot stress how much I want to be with you when time allows.  I’m working a lot these days and spending a lot of time away.  I know it is good for you, you are making relationships with other people and brightening other people’s days but the selfish person in me, wants you all to myself. All. to. myself.

I simply cannot stress how proud I am of you.  You are beautiful and healthy and the most wonderfully energetic lively sweet baby.  You really can sprint now when you crawl.  Just like in the movies where the parents run after the baby, that is what we do with you!  You have TONS of toys, way too many, a product of those who love you and want to spoil you to pieces you have a stash at home, at Grandma’s and and Abuleta’s house.  But you much rather play with mommy’s Amazon boxes and her hoodie strings or her plate of food, coffee mug… you are so slick ;-)  You LOVE standing.  You will pull yourself up in your pack and plays and just stand there chewing on the edge and staring at people, you can do this and entertain yourself for 10-15 minutes at a time, it is super cute.

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You are also just a ladies man, you are such a cute little flirt.  New this month?  You want momma!  I mean you really want momma.  I must say, I love this.  I love that you show affection to others but I also love that you feel safe with me, you cry for me and you are iffy around strange people.  It is an amazing feeling when you reach for me, when you are sad that you want me to hold you… When you are tired you want me rock you.  I love it, I live for it.

As you know, I’m still nursing you.  I pump 3 times a day for you (yuck, but SO worth it) – one morning I pumped very little for you, you were still sleeping.  I was so disappointed (it was right before I left for work) – I picked you up, and held you in my disappointment because I knew it would remind me why I do this, so I picked you up you scrunched like when you were a newborn and I melted.  My eyes filled with tears and we sat in your room, on the glider just cuddling together I wish I could have spent hours with you there.  I tried to burn this in my memory so I will never forget how amazing it feels to have you in my arms, asleep, so peaceful, so handsome.  The whole world could have been exploding and I would not have noticed, all that mattered at that moment was you and I and our precious time together.

Sometimes I just stop and think, how did this happen?  How are you mine?  I just cannot fathom life without you my little man.  I love you, so much.  Now I’m going to go cuddle with you and your little babbling self (I can hear you in the bedroom with daddy, Sunday cuddle time and I want in ;-) )

Love,

Mommy

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A Morning [In Pictures]

So I’ve been trying to put together a typical day for Evan and I.  So far I haven’t gotten past 6 a.m. HOWEVER, I did take some pictures so I thought I’d share those, since I’ll have to re-take them for when I can finally get through a day – or a morning of typing.

So here it goes.  I get up around 5:45 – 6:00 a.m. – Lets see if you can fill in the blanks:

Oook ok, I ‘ll give you a hint, the most versatile oil I own – for my dog. I plan to blog about the MANY uses of this oil. Ah-maze. He LOVES it, and it has made an EXTREME difference in his usually coarse coat. Coconut Oil – TJ’s 5.99 <3

Prep – Work clothes, yoga clothes, baby clothes…

Not photographed:  hair products, beauty products, ME, snuggle time, rush time, packing, the two bags + infant and infant carrier…. Super mom arms, itunes, the banana I grab to eat and the frazzledness of yours truly.

Haha, this was fun.  <3

About me, or a little anyway…

Hello world! I’m Jen. I’m a newly wed, runner, yogi, dog-lover, foodie, all around fitness junkie, oh and I’m going to be a mom!

October 2011 was quite a month for me.

I ran my first marathon (the Chicago Marathon – with a very good friend):

Got a seasonal part time job at one of my favorite stores: lululemon athletica.

Oh, married my best friend:

Went on a mini-moon:

and…. to our huge huge huge surprise:

Created a little bean brother (we found out later of course) for our awesome dog, Oso.

Needless to say, that month, changed my life.

So please follow me on my journey…

Where I love to workout:

Stay active:


Cook & Share:

Watch sports, esp. with my family:

Oooh da Blackhawks (My Sister, far right, OBSESSED & AWESOME.)

I’m also a big blog follower! I love to read, write and run… did I say run? Ok, I like weight lifting too, a lot… My gym is my happy place. <3