Pregnancy is a lesson in letting go.

pregnant-stress-stockI just came to the end of my third pregnancy and it was a long ride! I was tired, irritable, sick, frustrated and elated all at the same time. At the beginning of the nine month journey I felt great, working out almost everyday, cardio, barre, yoga you name it. Making myself healthy smoothies in the morning and overall eating well. I thought “this is gonna be my best pregnancy yet!” Then BAM! About 2 months in, I was sick, tired and had no motivation what so ever. I wasn’t exercising and I was eating whatever I could stomach, mostly crackers and lots of high carb meals like pasta, as they seemed easier on my stomach than anything else. Things got a little better month 4 and 5, then I pretty much went back to being extremely tired, irritable and overall not feeling good.

My point in telling you this is not to get sympathy, as I know many women have much harder pregnancies than I’ve had.  I simply want to express how when it comes to being pregnant, and honestly in most areas of life, we have very little control. Our bodies are in charge. I would love to be the woman running 3-5 miles a day up to when I give birth but that’s just not in the cards for me. I realize part of getting yourself to do things like exercise and eat right has to do with motivation, no matter how you feel, but much of the time how you feel takes away that motivation. Especially when your energy levels are very low. It becomes very depressing actually. You just want to feel “normal” again.

At some point you just need to let go and ride it out. Realize that the way you feel won’t last forever and take advantage of others willingness to help you. Part of what made me sad during my pregnancy was my inability to do all the things I was doing before, not just for myself but for my family and friends. I’m terrible at asking for help, I feel guilty that someone else is doing what I think I should be and have to learn to let go of that. People want to help, as long as you’re not taking advantage of it of course.

Now that I’m three weeks post-partum I feel like a new person. It sounds strange but even though I have a new- born at home I’m getting better sleep then I was the last few months of being pregnant! I’ve started walking again and ready to get back to working out as soon as my body is ready. Now that I’m feeling better my instinct is to workout like I was before my pregnancy. But, my best advice is no matter how good you feel post baby, wait until your doctor gives you the go ahead to do high impact exercises again before you attempt anything to strenuous or you’ll just slow down the recovery process. For example, I took a longer walk last week than I should have and it set me back a few days in my recovery.

I’m back to walking only a few miles every other day at this point. Next week I’ll do a little more and soon enough I’ll be back to exercising the way I want to.

Stay tuned for more on how I get back in shape after baby and tell me how you do it. What do you do to look and more importantly, feel good while juggling mommyhood?

 

 

 

8 to Great: Week 6

Hopefully you’ve gotten the swing of HIIT training and I hope you like it and are getting the full benefits. If you are doing this type of training consistently and giving it your all you will see results! That brings us to this weeks challenge…

1) Weight Training. This week I want to talk a little about the importance of muscle training. To get the full benefits of working out, tone up and slim down, you need to add weight training to your regimen. Doing this for just a few minutes a day will tremendously help increase your metabolism and weight loss. Included in the HIIT workouts I’ve been giving you is some weight training using your own body weight, that is part of the reason this type of exercise is so effective. But, if you want to really increase your results and get that six pack you always wanted you must do more focused exercises.

If you have no idea what exercises to do for each muscle group there are lots of videos on YouTube to help. I’ve been doing a lot of the Tone it Up workouts lately. You may know Kareena and Katrina from their show on Bravo. They have some really great, SHORT, videos that help you get “toned up”. 🙂 Here’s one for your legs and booty that’s terrific. Let me know how you like it at Hilary@ugobabyfitness.com.

2) This weeks HIIT. Tabata format just like the previous weeks.

High Knees. (20 seconds on 10 seconds off for 4 rounds, total of 2 minutes.)

                 
Squat with kick, right leg then left.

08-Squat-Kick

 

Burpees.


Lunge to kick. Right side then left.

ReverseLungeFrontKick

8 to Great: Week 5

I’m sorry for slacking on the week 5 update! I went away with my parents and children for some sun and fun. I planned on updating while I was on vacation but decided my time with family was more important. This is a good time to talk about how taking breaks are so important and necessary.

The boys and I vacationing in Florida

The boys and I vacationing in Florida

1) Part one of this weeks challenge is to take  break! And no, not from working out. 🙂

Mental congestion is a real thing … and it’s affecting us all, since our brains need downtime to process, sort and organize the massive amount of information many of us take in every day. Meditation can help, but breaks during the day are important too.”

“In a few days, you should start to notice your stress levels decrease a bit, and also your productivity and creativity increase. When the brain is given time off, it can return to task more efficiently. Research also says that you will make more ethical decisions, and better ones, since your brain will have incubation time, which allows you to be a smarter dot-connector.”

Studies show that those who take lunch  breaks and vacation regularly instead of working at their desk and saving those days off for emergencies only are far more productive, creative and add more value than people who do not take that much-needed time off. This week I would like you to monitor your breaks to see how much down time you are actually giving yourself and then try to improve on it, making sure that A) you are giving yourself enough free time and B) you are using that free time wisely. For example, don’t use that free time to play video games or read depressing news. Do things to actually clear your head like meditate, workout, perform yoga poses, take a walk, or read some uplifting literature. There are lots of books out there on how to think more positively that can be helpful, like Wayne Dyers “The Power of Intention“.

2) Plan for warm weather exercise. Now that the weather is getting nicer think about what you will do for exercise come the summer months. Hiking, biking, swimming in the ocean etc… It’s so much easier staying fit when the weather is nice isn’t it!?? Even going for a jog outside can be enjoyable in the right environment, far better than the treadmill! Plan some cool trails to check out, maybe even plan on healthy picnics along the way.

3) Workout. This weeks HIIT is as follows: (20 seconds on 1o second off for each exercise)

– Skaters with single leg squat. Modification: Step side to side instead of jumping.

skater to single leg squat

– Kick to a punch, right side for 10 seconds and then left for 10 seconds.

kick to a punch

Take a one minute break.

– Plank tucks. Modifications: Jump in and out for more intensity step in and out for less.

plank-tuck

 

– Steam engines. Modifications: Jump side to side to increase intensity, step to decrease.

steamenginefull2bw2

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section or email me at: Hilary@ugobabyfitness.com

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert

8 to Great slim down challenge: Week 4

running buddy

Spring is finally here! I hope you are starting to see results from the weekly diet and workout challenges I’ve been posting. If you are genuinely following along and doing the workout at least 3 times a week you will see results.

Here’s this weeks challenge:

1) Find a workout buddy. Studies show that people who have friends they workout with are much more likely to get themselves to the gym or go for that jog then those who don’t. I even found a couple of applications that helps you find someone in your area with similar workout interests to partner with.

1) SportPartner.com

2) ExerciseFriends.com

If you use one of these sites or have used them please let me know if you had any success and if you have advice or tips on how to get the most out of using these sites.

2) Bag you snacks. Get a box of zip lock bags and portion out your snacks for the day / week. I suggested planning your meals ahead of time, this is a great way to plan your snacks and make sure you aren’t over doing it and a good way to make sure you’re not buying to many packaged good that are full of preservatives and other junk that isn’t good for you. If you are having trouble thinking of healthy snacks here are 100 ideas I found…

100 Healthy Snack Ideas

3) Workout. Here’s this weeks challenge. Again, this is an HIIT workout in Tabata format (2o seconds on, 10 seconds rest for for reps each exercise)

Round 1

1)Squat with medicine ball (if you don’t have a medicine ball substitute with some dumbbells or a few books). For this exercise you are going to squat down as far as you can, holding the medicine ball with both hand in between your legs, arms straight. Come up and swing your arms up over head ball in hands.

sumo-squat-with-medicine-ball

2) Plank with leg raise. Get into standard plank position and raise one leg off the ground then switch. If this is too difficult, knees on the floor and raise.

plank with side taps

Rest for one minute.

Round 2

1) Box jumps. Modification: Step ups.

box-jump

2) Planks with side taps. Again, in standard plank position, tap one foot out then switch. Modification: Bring it to your knees.

plank with taps

And relax…

Repeat this series at least once more, maximum 3 reps.

Let me know how you like this weeks workout and if you would like me to include anything for next weeks workout. I’m open to suggestions so please send them in!

Stay motivated, summers almost here!

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert

8 easy ways to cut calories…

cutting calories

Wanna be happier with what you see on the scale and more importantly in the mirror? Here are some easy ways to cut calories out of your daily diet that you may not even notice.

1) Cut out the cream and cut down the sugar in your coffee. The amount of sugar and cream you put in your coffee can make a big difference in your calorie in take for the day. Try using reduced fat milk or skim and less sugar. I don’t recommend using sucralose (Splenda) or sugar substitutes as they have found health risks attached to both and I find that they make me more tired and irritable.

coffee

2) Eat more protein earlier in the day. Have an egg, yogurt or peanut butter (Sunbutter if you’re allergic to peanuts) on whole wheat toast at breakfast. Studies show that eating more protein early in the day keeps you more full and energized throughout the day.

3) Stop drinking your calories but don’t switch to diet. There are over 100 calories in your average can of cola and many of us don’t just drink the can anymore with the 20 oz. bottle option that’s supposedly 2 servings. These are empty calories giving you little energy and certainly not giving you the nutrients you need to get through your day. Drink more water. Hydrating has so many benefits including giving you a feeling of being more full so you eat less.

On the diet tip, diet sodas contain sugar substitutes that both drain your energy and have been shown to lead to obesity and heart disease, among other things.

4) Whole wheat pita for lunch. Using whole wheat pita bread for your sandwich instead of regular bread will save you 70 calories.

5)  Use whipped butter instead of stick butter. It contains fewer calories since there is air added to it in the whipping process. Just stick to the same amount you would normally use!

6) Pat away grease from your slice. You’re pretty much alone if you don’t love pizza and it’s incredibly hard to avoid. So when in Rome, no pun intended, pat your pizza with a napkin to rid it of excess grease. This can cut up to 100 calories!

7) Afternoon break. Lot’s of us enjoy a coffee break in the afternoon and end up getting calorie ridden lattes instead of plain old coffee. Try and cut back on those afternoon calories by going for the skinny latte when you can. This will save you about 70 calories.

8) Bag it. Portion out your snacks for the day in zip lock bags so you know exactly how much you are eating. And try to make those snacks fruits and vegetables!

Do you have anything to add?

Thanks for stopping by!! Hope you all are doing well on your 8 to Great challenge this week!!

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert

8 to Great Slim Down Challenge: Week 3

How was this week for everyone? Have you been tracking your calories, working out, eating a healthy breakfast, meditating and finding ways to fit exercise in your day besides your scheduled workout?

Do you notice that these activities are all healthy habits that you are building upon each week? What healthy habits should we create this week?

1) Think of the world as a gym. For example, I must have run up and down my stairs 15 times this morning getting my children and myself ready for our day. Some might find this incredibly frustrating but if you think of all of the exercise you’re getting it makes it quite fulfilling! Try making this thought process a habit, whenever you are “forced” to do  more physical activity to accomplish anything in your day, don’t get angry or annoyed be happy that you are getting more of a workout, burning more calories and doing something really good for your heart.

It’s proven that those who have stairs in their house live longer. And you don’t have to have a house, there are stairs everywhere! Find some and start climbing! If you live in an apartment building take the stairs instead of the elevator. I used to live in a 5 story walk up in Boston’s South End. No elevator. I would walk 2 miles to work and still go to the gym. I didn’t complain about it, I loved it because I was in great shape!

2) Sign up for a local race for charity. Isn’t it great that you can be fit and philanthropic at the same time? Find a local race that you can commit to training for and will help motivate you in your goal to get healthy. If you’re not a runner there is walking, cycling and swimming races you can train for.

3) Workout! I’ve been giving you HIIT workouts to perform, but I simply ask that you get at least 30 minutes of real deal, concentrated exercise a week. Walking, running, yoga, pilates, cycling, swimming, Barre, hiking, whatever! I don’t care, just get of your behind and commit.

Here’s this weeks HIIT. (Tabata Format, download an application on your smartphone to keep time) I will also be posting a great abdominal exercise for you to perform at least twice this week.

 Squat hop. (20 seconds on 10 second break 4 intervals) Modifications: Add weights to intensify or simply squat without the hop for less intensity.

Bicycles. (20 seconds on 10 seconds off 4 intervals)

Take a 1 minute break.

Front and back lunges. (20 seconds on 10 seconds off for 4 intervals)

Step ups. (20 Seconds) Modification: Add weights for more intensity.

Repeat this workout up to 3 times. Once or twice will still give you a great workout so don’t be discouraged if you can only get through it once! It’s tough, that’s why it burns so many calories. You are building muscle with these workouts too which heightens your metabolism and keeps it going all day long, even when you are sleeping!! That’s why building muscle is so KEY to losing weight and keeping it off.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions on how to live a healthier / happier lifestyle.

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert

Eating and exercise, how to get the most out of both…

Eating and exercise, key ingredients to being healthy and fit but if you don’t do it right you’re not going to get the most out of either. I asked Lisa Caldwell, Nutritionist for Whole Foods Market and Kitchen Confidant, to give us a few pointers on how to get the most out of our food.balancing-diet-and-exercise

Food, glorious FOOD!  By Lisa Caldwell

Real food, not the “hey, you’re looking pretty, sitting there in that package on that shelf, bet your tasty!” I am talking about real food, with nutrients, required by the body for function, energy and regulation.  The type that helps us get closer to our ideal selves no matter how we work out.

Let’s take a brief look at what is going on with real, whole foods, what they can do for us and some simple foods that can easily be incorporated into to our lives.

NutrientsCarbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Vitamins, Minerals and Water. Our body requires these six nutrients to function.  Real Food has nutrients, so we want them in our bodies to help us function properly.  Fortunately we can find them in a variety of different foods.

Technically, there are three energy-yielding nutrients.  Energy, fuel, gas… the food world calls it a Calorie! Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats all supply our bodies with calories or energy.   Our bodies desperately need them so we can do Zumba, pick up our kids or get through our day without “crashing”.  The other side to supplying us with energy is if they have vitamins and minerals naturally present with them, then our bodies have an easier time taking care of us and doing what we need it to do!  For Example: Vitamin C makes it easier for Iron to get into our cells, and therefore use the Oxygen that comes along with it.  The B Vitamins are crucial in the conversion of Carbohydrates into Energy and Vitamin E helps out with Protein to protect our skin and fight free radicals.

So how does all of this come together with working out?

Most seem to equate working out and eating “right” with being “good”.  It beats the alternative with being “bad”, right?

After the short, snarky paragraph on calories…. How about taking a look at combining real food with working out as plain old “this is just how it works”?  After looking in on the cellular level, what each “system” needs to make you feel like the 200 hours you have spent away from your bed was worth it… could you remove the concept of “good” or “bad”?   Because honestly, no one food makes you good or bad, it just may not do anything for your hard-at-work body, period.

Therefore, you are having to work twice as hard…..  and who wants to do that?!

Here are some simple foods and combinations to consider having at different times of the day.  They are made with real, whole foods, supply quality calories, are nutrient dense (so vitamins and minerals are present), are familiar and they can be “cross utilized” in another meal.

Breakfast – as stated in the previous article, the most important meal of the day.  Rolled Oatmeal with dried or fresh fruits, Almond Milk or Coconut Milk.  Breakfast Burritos – fresh eggs, scrambled with some spinach, garlic and shredded cheese.  A frittata that you have sliced and placed in a tortilla wrap. Breakfast smoothie- fruit and vegetable combo with a twist!  Check out the recipe attached!

** Breakfast can be hard to put together in the mornings, however, all the items that I have mentioned can be made up ahead of time.  Yes, you read that right… you can make it all 2-3 days before and just grab and go!

Lunch – Spicy Fiesta Chicken – frozen brown rice, pulled rotisserie chicken, salsa and shredded cheese.  Combine in a bowl, place into a microwaveable container and heat before serving.  Options : add spinach, black beans, corn and guacamole to liven it up or put it in a wrap!  White Bean Salad with Shrimp, Kale and a Dijon Tarragon Dressing… see the attached recipe. Three Bean Chili, or last night’s beef chili over brown rice instead ?

Snacks – the standard staple – Natural Peanut Butter and Fruit Preserve Spread on Whole Grain Bread.  Boring? Consider this: The Fruit Spread is a simple carbohydrate, bread is a complex carbohydrate with fiber and the peanut butter is a high quality protein with healthy fats! All in one sandwich!  Yogurt parfait – whole fruit, plain yogurt (no sugar) and granola or trail mix.  Smoked Black Bean dip with baked, lightly salted Tortilla Chips or vegetable sticks.

Dinner –  Dark Leafy Green Salads with pulled chicken, sirloin or fish.  Asian Style Chicken Wraps, food and fun – see recipe on our new Recipes page.  Fish Tacos!  Everyone loves fish tacos! Sweet Potato Salad – roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, mangoes and red peppers.  Add your favorite Lime vinaigrette and voila! You have a new go to favorite!

If you have questions as to how this can all be done within a short period of time, quick tips, techniques and or products that can be utilized to implement some of these items into your life, let us know!  All of these foods are real, whole and only want to contribute to all that you already do!