Post Holiday: Getting back on Track

Original Post Date- March 2018

Updated- July 2018

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I am going to be honest with you guys. Last year I lost the baby weight when Noah was around one years old and somewhere towards the end of the year, I gained some of it back. I didn’t feel comfortable, my skin wasn’t the best and my confidence was low. I made it a 2018 goal to get my health back on track. I find it difficult to get back to eating right and working out after a long holiday, but I want to share a few tips that seem to help me refocus after a break.

I am sharing some workout ideas, snacks and “healthier” recipes now! 

National Nutrition Month

Since January, I have been working out consistently, eating better, and I feel like myself again. I have started taking Smarty Pants vitamins (you can find them at Whole Foods or here) and have made adjustments to my diet. Currently, since I am pregnant, I am now taking these prenatal vitamins, which are easy to take everyday and satisfy my constant sweet craving.

Let’s first start with the workouts…

Workouts

The Barre Code– This gym and I go way back. I started with them when there was only one studio and it was actually called “Barre Bee Fit”. Now, they have studios all over Chicago, and in fact, the country. The classes got me ready for my wedding and have helped me stay in shape, but I slacked off after I had my son. 2017 wasn’t the year of exercise for me. I rejoined and I am so glad I did. I forgot how much I loved it. Everyone is so friendly and supportive, no matter your fitness level. Barre Code offers cardio, strength and restoration classes.  My favorite is TBC- Total Body Conditioning. It is strength, cardio, and HARD, but so rewarding.

Image result for barrecode imagesI think my favorite part are the challenges they encourage everyone to participate in. Every few months, they do a challenge for prizes, raffles, etc. Right now, I started their annual Spring it On, which is 15 out of 21 classes. Difficult, but gets you ready for spring. The next challenge is SPF (Strength Power Fuel), starting in June. I am already excited to participate in that one.

Definitely check it out if your elliptical workouts are starting to bore you!

Update: I am currently pregnant and still going 3-4 times a week. All the instructors are super helpful and will help you modify any exercise.

(Side note- I am not sponsored in any way. I genuinely love it and see such great benefits)

Home Workouts

1. I started these online workout classes when I couldn’t make it to a class or the gym in January. You wouldn’t think they are challenging, but they really are! They definitely get raise your heart rate and you work up a sweat for sure. My husband still does them every morning (he’s an early bird) and it has helped him also get back into shape.

It’s perfect when babies are asleep or you don’t have time to make it to the gym. They range from 15-35 minutes:

2. This is going to sound obvious, but sometimes, cleaning the house while Noah sleeps is a workout for me! I make sure I track my steps and I can get thousands. I put on a good playlist (warning, it’s very pop) and get my heart rate.

  1. “1, 2, 3” — Sofia Reyes (featuring Jason Derulo and De La Ghetto)
  2. “Single Ladies” — Beyonce
  3. “Anaconda” — Nicki Minaj
  4. “Low” — Juicy J (featuring Nicki Minaj, Lil Bibby and Young Thug)
  5. “On to the Next One” — Jay Z
  6. “Mi Gente” — J. Balvin and Willy William (featuring Beyonce)
  7. “Roar” — Katy Perry
  8. “Get Me Bodied” — Beyonce
  9. “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself” — Jess Glynne
  10. “Work B**ch” — Britney Spears

Snacks

Snacking is one of my biggest areas I need to improve. My snacks always seem to end in meals (sigh). All about portion control. Here are some I like:

  • Saffron Road Chickpeas (you can find them at Whole Foods or here).- I have a slight addiction to chickpeas, so these are perfect.

Saffron Road Organic Crunchy Chickpeas, Chipotle, 6 Ounce

  • Kirkland Almond Butter on a rice cake with a banana and chia seeds.
  • Bark Thins- I like these because it satisfies a sweet tooth, but uses a few, simple ingredients, Non-GMO Project Verified and there are so many different kinds. Click here for more all the flavors.
  • String Cheese- I have one almost everyday.
  • Turkey and cheese rolls ups- I like Hillshire Natural turkey from Costco.

Recipes

  1. Salads– I have one every Monday. I like that you can add whatever you want! My go-tos are corn, chickpeas, avocado, tomato and feta cheese. I am not a huge salad dressing person, but I use olive oil, salt, and pepper. You could also take any premade salad and make it your own by adding a protein like chicken, egg or any extra veggies. I am really trying to remain meatless on Mondays and so far, its going well. (click on photo to see post)

2. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos (click on photo to see post)

Serves 2-4

Ingredients: 

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes), peeled and sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Spicy black beans

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ⅓ cup water
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Extras 

Top with avocado, guacamole, feta cheese or salsa

  1. Roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Using foil, line the baking sheet. Toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, cayenne and salt. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  2. Prepare the black beans: Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cumin and chili powder and cook for about 30 seconds while stirring. Pour in the beans and water. Stir, cover and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and use a potato masher or a fork to mash up at least half of the beans. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and cover until you’re ready to serve.
  4. Add your toppings and serve with warm tortillas!
  5. Enjoy!

3. Rice, Asparagus, and Chickpea Skillet (click the link for ingredients and directions)

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4. Asian Chopped Salad with Steak (Click on link for ingredients and directions)

Asian Salad with Steak Marinade recipeAsian Salad with Steak Marinade recipe

5. Recipe: Egg Muffins with Turkey Bacon and Kale (Click on link for ingredients and directions)

easy egg recipes

Some extra tips:

  • Add cottage cheese to your eggs! It makes them fluffy and gives your extra protein (Click on photo to see post)
  • SLEEP! I always eat better with 8 or more hours (I actually can’t function on less than 7)
  • Add fruit to your water! I like lemons.
  • Make small goals: workout 2-3 times a week. I try to set this goal every Sunday based on my schedule for the week.
  • Go for a walk! Track your steps. Bring your kids (it’s more of a workout!) You get a lot of steps just running errands.

I hope you find some of these tips helpful and I would love to hear any tips you guys have! Add your comments below or DM on Instagram. They have definitely helped me get back on track after some time and I hope they do the same for you!

And as always, thanks for following and you can sign up for weekly email updates here.

Until next time,

Christine

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