5 Postpartum Nuggets

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even though this was my 3rd time giving birth, i left the hospital with a few share-worthy gems from the amazing, seasoned L & D nurses who assisted us during our stay.  WHAT a job.  i am impressed and inspired by the L & D nurses every single time i see them in action!  i can imagine that there is no typical day in their world; every shift brings a new adventure. 

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as i sat up in bed to prepare to receive my epidural, i felt another contraction coming on.  i distinctly remember my nurse instructing me to just hold her hands and breathe until it passed.  well i squeezed the crap out of her hands!!!  it was the last contraction i remember enduring before the meds kicked in and i appreciated her so much for sacrificingherbody helping me through it.  whether you are a 1st time mom or pro, i hope these nuggets of info help you out too:

the more the..not so merrier :(

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the more kids you have, the more intense your uterine contractions will be while nursing. HELLO!  oh my word.  i knew to expect them as i nursed Kosi in our postpartum hospital room but whoa.  hearing one of my nurses say this confirmed that i was notcrazy.  after about a week or so, thankfully the contractions went away completely though. 

but first,

we know that as baby sucks away (especially in the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth), it aids your uterus in returning back to its normal size and position. however, if you have a full bladder before baby starts going to town, it could cause your uterus to shift and unnaturally settle to the right or left of its original position as it contracts (because your bladder is obstructing its path).  this could potentially be a problem if you plan to have more children (e.g. tilted uterus).

fiber up

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most likely you are given stool softeners during your stay at the hospital post-birth. it is extremely important to keep that going once you get home. extremely.  chug plenty of water as hydration helps to keep things moving along too. upping the fiber in your diet while in the hospital (have/add in some dark, leafy greens with every meal) and once home is crucial to keeping your digestive system running as smooth as possible as your body heals. the less processed your diet, the better.  prunes are one of my go-to natural laxatives (thx, Dad!) and a handful of them per day is golden.  although i did not tear 'down there' this round, i did have some pretty disrespectful hemorrhoids.  #whatisTMI

ouch! #thatstings

when you get back home and take that first amazing, uplifting, incredible shower (they really do make you feel THAT good), don't forget to use scent-free, alcohol-free body wash.  keep that going until you heal completely.  i cracked open one of the Johnson & Johnson baby shower gel's Kosi received for a shower gift; it was perfect and didn't irritate my lady parts.  very important! if you did tear or received stitches, a soothing sitz bath helps you heal and keeps things from getting stiff down there.

one less thing to worry about

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HAIR.  so as most of you know my hair is 100% natural now and i'm loving the versatility that comes with it!  this is the healthiest my hair has ever been and i have not one regret about my decision to finally let go of the creamy crack.  micro braids are normally my protective style of choice, but i'm loving faux locs and i'm rocking them for a second time thanks to my girl, Ogechi!  i cannot stress enough the convenience a cute, protective style is for the 3rd tri and postpartum stages.  focus on everything else; surviving those last uncomfy weeks or months of pregnancy, your new babe once he/she arrives, and should you have a visitor or three at the hospital or home, you'll be (somewhat lol) picture ready already! now all i need to do is just get some microblading done and i'll really be set, haha

if you found this helpful, let me know below and please share!

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when you're pooped and can't poop #PreggoProbs

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i sat here and laughed at my post title for waaaay too long. but uhhh, fit friends, there is absolutely nothing funny about constipation, preggo or not.  it can be incredibly painful, draining, and helloooo hemorrhoids :( .  if you're pregnant and experiencing sickness on top of that, double whammy, right!?  what's going on? your pregnancy hormones (progesterone) weaken your bowel muscles making them sluggish and slow to do their job, and your expanding uterus is taking up the room your bowel would normally use to do its thing. it's a lot going on in there! what makes this process easier on you?  start with adding more fiber-rich foods to your diet, something you can totally control.  you don't want to go from 0 - 100 though as that could bring on bloating and gas;  you've got to pace yourself with fiber.  you can do it!  you need 25-35 grams of fiber daily, so quick, read these examples and tips of what you can eat to get you there.

  • 1 cup of raspberries = 8 g fiber

  • 1 cup split peas = 16g fiber

  • 1/2 cup lentils = 8g fiber

  • 1/2 cup black beans = 8g fiber 

  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato = 6g fiber

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats = 5g fiber

  • 1 medium artichoke = 10g fiber

  • 10oz of spinach = 8g fiber

  • 1 medium pear = 6g fiber

  • 1 cup sweet corn = 4g fiber

  • 1/2 cup shredded wheat cereal = 6 grams fiber

  • 3/4 cup bran flakes = 5g fiber

  • 1/2 cup of edamame = 9g fiber & 11g protein!

  • half an avocado = 5g fiber

  • 1 cup cooked broccoli = 5g fiber

  • 5 prunes = 3g fiber 

  • 1 medium apple = 4g fiber

DSC_0101-01 here's a fiber rich snack i've been enjoying lately!  i don't even want to chance belly bloat by eating dairy, so unsweetened cultured coconut milk has been my go-to instead of plain, greek yogurt. i top it with fresh, sweet summer berries and *bran flakes.  it's a plus that the berries are on sale around this time of year, and the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present are wonderful for baby and i.DSC_0104-01there is always a hungry visitor lurking around my food shoots...always!DSC_0107-01no kisses, no fruit!! :)

4 more ways to keep things moving along:20160614_160133hydration. keep chugging water and don't let up.  it's no secret that i've never been great in this area but this pregnancy has given me no choice but to keep water bottles everywhere!  i wake up in the middle of the night sometimes craaaaazy thirsty. i fill up my tumbler above before heading to workout and i've started adding fruit to my sparkling water again; it helps.  upping my water keeps me running to the bathroom twice as much, but it's worth the sacrifice.  whatever i can do to escape constipation, i will.  down 8 full glasses per day, and more if needed if you're active and moving.  also, a little 100% prune juice in your sparkling water works as a great, mild laxative, as well as real prunes. IMG_20160614_074232keep moving.  regular exercise encourages regular bowel movements.  even a 10 minute walk counts; just do something, mamas.  prenatal yoga, step aerobics, water aerobics, zumba, spinning...just go!  if you're not moving around, chances are your system ain't either!  i'm currently 15 weeks and counting and feeling GREAT again, thank God.DSC_0871-01keep it clean.  your diet of course!  now, my 1st tri definitely wasn't the cleanest. most days started with a breakfast of eggs and toast, but everything after that? crackers, sparkling water, and a 5pm bed time.  i was just trying to get through the day without making my evening sickness worse or come faster and literally nothing sounded or looked appealing.  except Mexican food, haha.  do your best and realize the cleaner (low-no process foods) you eat though, the smoother your system will run. it's that simple. your 'plumbing' is already being reworked to house your baby; don't make it have to work so much harder.DSC_1155-01pace yourself.  not only should you eat slower, you should also eat more frequently.  at one point in my first trimester if i ate too little, i made myself sicker.  if i ate too much, i was completely miserable. you gotta get it just right but one thing you do not want to do is overeat.  as i stated above, the pregnancy hormones slow our digestive systems way down so it takes even longer for our food to travel on through.  i repeat, do not overeat!  overloading your system is not cool at a time like this! plus, if you're ingesting a ton of highly processed food at that? trust me on this one.  don't do it.  5 to 6 meals a day with plenty of water in between is your best bet, not 2 or 3 large ones.  remember, this too shall pass. :)  


 thank you for weighing in on some of your favorite Trader Joe's finds via Instagram recently! i find a new, cool, must have item every single time i go.  this mini haul we got:20160613_220012Tandoori Naan - i pay upwards of 3 dollars for 2 pieces of naan elsewhere but found 4 in a pack for 1.99 at TJ's! super STOKED about that!  my boys love them with cheese and turkey pepperoni on top. cooks right up in 8 minutes under the broiler (these come frozen so thaw them first).

Cookie Butter Ice Cream - this was aaaaaall Chiso (5) yall, lol!  instead of stopping by Chick-Fil-a like i planned for a single serving, a pint seemed like a better idea.  i told him to pick out a flavor and this is what he chose. that's my boy, hahahaha

Sunflower Seed Butter - ever tried it?  if your kids have nut allergies, then this, my friends, is their 'peanut' butter right here!  it's simply roasted sunflower seeds blended up until super smooth and creamy.  we are allergy free over here; we just love this stuff though. 

*Bran Flakes - i go to TJ's JUST for this cereal!  inside is exactly what you expect-- bran flakes. nothing more, nothing less. no bells or whistles needed. it has a pinch of sweetness and the crunchiness of the flakes paired with some cold, unsweetened vanilla almond milk? a 1st trimester woman's dream breakfast, lol. i used to eat it dry after first waking up to keep sickness at bay for a while and it helped a ton. 5g of fiber per 3/4 cup serving, remember!

Mac and Cheese - guys, i picked up the wrong box of mac and cheese!!! i meant to get their Reduced Guilt Mac and Cheese instead, whoops. next time, next time. anyway, Dego and i still killed this entire box in one sitting.  

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk - a dairy-free staple in our home.  i enjoy this variety and Silk the most. 

Roasted Plantain Chips - what can i say... Grazers R US :P 

Q: keep it going! what other TJ's items are so awesome you have to tell somebody else about them?? i overheard a woman basically command and shout at her friend to, 'get the orange chicken!!!' while in the frozen foods aisle, ha.  it must be that good; have you tried it?

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breakfast in 3! w/ Modern Oats

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fall is basically here and it's back to school time, parents!  we are all busy. we are all often scrambling to get ourselves and our kids together and out the door in the mornings. been there!  actually i'm there every day.  now that Chiso has started preschool (no tears from either of us, yay), i make sure he is focused and ready to learn before he leaves the house. how? some brefus! yes, breakfast.  it's incredibly important for everybody, so don't downplay it or sweep it under the rug.  statistics don't lie, peeps.  easy, to-go options in the form of healthy carbs are the way to go, not unhealthy, sugary, prepackaged, instant, frozen junk.  they need good, wholesome, nutrient dense foods that their bodies recognize so they can perform at their very best.  start this with your kiddos NOW!  they will only get busier and busier as each year passes; by the time they are teens and beyond breakfast will be second nature (and hopefully non-negotiable).  parents, we must send our babies off right and set them up for success.

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if ya follow my blog or my Insta account then you'd already know how much Chiso (4 yrs) despises all vegetables.  however, he still loves oatmeal something serious!  so when this very special delivery hit our doorstep,  Chiso went BANANAS and could not wait to crack it open.

'yummy oatmeal, mommy!!!' yep, Modern Oats was officially in the building. look at all the pretty colors and tasty flavor combos!

  • 5 Berry
  • Mango Blackberry
  • Apple Walnut
  • Goji Blueberry
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Chocolate Cherry
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Chiso is nowhere near as indecisive as i am and chose 5 berry immediately.

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there's an oatmeal cookie recipe on the back of the carton that i'm totally going to try!  anyway, if you don't/can't whip out a pot to boil water, then don't.

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microwave a mug of water (enough to cover the top of the dry oats) until it's pretty darn hot (bout 2.5 min),

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carefully pour it into the carton, put the top on,

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and in 3 minutes you've got a nutritious, power-packed, start to your busy day.

i love that:

  • i can pronounce and recognize every single ingredient
  • gluten-free & non-GMO
  • small & portable w/ a lid
  • it's naturally sweetened from the antioxidant rich fruit
  • filling & hearty
  • incredible flavor combos
  • my kids ate it ALL!
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toddler tested, fit mom approved.

and dad!

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i whipped up the apple walnut flavor for Dego.  there were chunks of apple, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins and walnuts in each bite.... delish.  

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aaaand i ate my brekky right along side them. so exciting. lol. if you haven't seen my IG posts, my wedding anniversary is coming up and my hubby hasn't told me exactly what we're doing, but that i should pack a bikini!!!!!  so, i wanted to tighten up a lil' bit these last few weeks and get serious with my nutrition.  sure i eat oat bran and egg whites every morning anyway, but i miss being able to snack in moderation (quest bars, arctic zero, wheat thins, goldfish crackers, fig bars, dark chocolate covered raisins, kettle corn) whenever i please!  maintenance mode (concerning my calorie intake / body fat percentage) is fun and where i belong right now, but i just want to bring my best package to the beach, hahaha.  master trainer and 1/3 of the 6 Pack USA team, Brian Egwuatu quickly drew up a customized meal and workout plan for me that has got me wondering if i ever want to compete in a bikini competition again LOL!  it's been 3 years or so of not having this many restrictions, but hey, the more change you desire, the more restrictions you must make.  it is what it is.  plus i'm working on an outrageous 2 week timeline so just know ya girl is over here STRUGGLIN' for the cause!  once we are done frolicking and celebrating i will happily return to maintenance beast mode. 

i HATE leg extensions!!!!!!!! that is all.

anyway, if you'd like your very own Modern Oats variety pack, you can order them right here via my FFL Store!

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we did a Modern Oats Periscope yesterday too; check it out via katch.me along with all my other past scopes if you're interested.

Q: you're rushing outta the house and have not eaten breakfast yet.... what do you do? be honest!

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**this post contains an affiliate link; this means i will receive a commission if you purchase this item through my link.  you will not pay more when buying a product through my link. thank you for your continued support!**

light, fluffy, healthy Sweet Potato Oat Bran Pancakes + Headband Giveaway!

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       halfway to friday, guys!!!  Chiso (the 4 yr old) requested pancakes for dinner last night, so i added some roasted sweet potato into my usual recipe and BAM. these were so tasty we devoured another stack his morning for breakfast!  you do need a high powered blender for this recipe for optimal cake fluffiness, fyi. 11403083_10102555765702216_6265772524055854844_n

Sweet Potato Oat Bran Pancakes

the stuff:

  • 3/4 cup dry oat bran
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk
  • 2 egg whites (from real eggs, not the carton)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup roasted, soft sweet potato
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 packets granulated stevia (optional)
  • dash sea salt

do this: 

  1. set griddle to high and coat with no stick cooking spray
  2. add egg whites into high powered blender and 'whip' them for about 30-45 seconds until super fluffy (we received a Ninja Blender from our dear friend Diamond this past Christmas and i have been using it every single week since then!)
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  4. add in everything else!
  5. blend oh high speed for at least 1 minute until super smooth
  6. let batter sit for approx. 5 minutes. oat bran is suuuuper absorbent and will need a few moments to do its thing
  7. spoon batter onto griddle (make as many cakes as you'd like; the size is your call)
  8. when you see bubbles start to form on the top of the cake (approx. 3 min), flip!  (ensure the color is golden brown and not pale)
  9. cook an additional 2-3 min on this side
  10. top with pecans and powdered sugar and your fave sugar-free syrup! we use Walden Farms.
nutritional facts for the entire stack: 363 cals, 11g fat, 71g carbs, 21g protein, 10g sugar

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neeeext, i get asked about my wide headband often and i finally answered with deets on IG recently. it's a @firstlinebrands Dri Sweat Edge and boy do i wear it often. it absorbs all my awesomeness (sweat) and keeps everything beneath it nice and dry (dem edges).

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they now have more color options on their website if you're cool enough to color coordinate your gym gear like that.

20150204_223116_1-1so, who NEEDS one!? i'm giving away a free Dri Sweat Flex (see pic above) to someone that needs help preserving their hairdo  while they get their sweat on!

how do you get in on this?

*ahem*

SHARE this post and comment below with your answer to the following question:

WHAT is your fave type of cardio and why?

no cardio hater over here!  some of my fave forms include spinning & kickboxing.

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don't forget make these cakes and tag me on Insta or Tweet me a pic!

have you tried out Periscope yet!? i'm having a ton of fun with it and posting vids daily. check us out, follow (fitfoodiele), and say haaaay!

le

twice baked southwest sweet potatoes

 up and at it eeeearly this morning again gettin' sweaty with the stair master. i thought it was pretty cool to see my own sweat on the machine but when you really think about just how GERMY gyms are it's pretty disgusting! wiping your machine down before you use it eases your mind a little..but far from a truly effective germ blocker.  also, if you're like me you've got your phone, ipod, headphones, etc. with you that you're constantly touching in between sets. wash your hands and wipe those items down before you leave! if you use weight gloves, wash them often and don't even think about driving home in them. eeeeewwww.

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i told Sonny if i start going hard with the snooze button to simply push me out of bed.  for real. 9 times outta 10 i severely regret not getting up to get my workout in.  it jump starts my mood, my productivity, my drive to accomplish some goals on my to-do list... i need my early am workouts. my day depends on them. when i skip, it's like i never wake up and really get going until the day is pretty much over. which means getting to bed is a must but sometimes difficult with these unpredictable little people.

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 fighting through some soreness from all the lifting i've been doing, but it's nothing some consistency won't fix.  'starting over' physically after being quite active is always a humbling experience for me. it gives me a bit more mercy on the first timers that take my classes for sure lol.  anyhow, 8 weeks postpartum today,

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and 8 weeks old for this little guy <3 .  the back of his onesie says 'focus on me'. loves it!

i was inspired to whip up this sweet potato recipe via Instagram earlier today.

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Twice Baked Southwest Sweet Potatoes

the stuff:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, roasted
  • 1/4 cup sweet summer corn
  • 1/4 cup low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheddar almond cheese
  • 4 oz grilled chicken breast, chopped into chunks
  • 1 heaping tbsp Mrs. Dash Southwest seasoning blend
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste and avocado for presentation

do this:

  1. set your oven broiler to high and coat a square 8 x 8 pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. halve both sweet potatoes and scoop out the insides (but leave some around the edges so the halve can stand on its own) and add it to a large mixing bowl.
  3. add all seasonings, corn, half of the green onions, black beans, 2 oz of chopped chicken, and half of the shredded cheese; mix well.
  4. spoon mixture back into the 4 sweet potato shells evenly and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, green onion, and chicken chunks and arrange them in your prepared pan.
  5. place pan in oven (not too close to the broiler flame though!) and let it go  for 12-15  min or until the cheese is melted and the tops are browned/crisped.

20140812_151336_1once done, top with tomato and avocado. make it pretty.

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hey these can even be vegan if you nix the chicken!

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 makes 4 servings. for 1:

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 yall enjoy!

le