You probably see me post and talk about Challenge Groups – and you might be wondering what they are, what we do and why it is so effective. That’s because we camaraderie, goal-set, and the daily support all play a huge role in helping you stay accountable and ultimately reach your goals… whether your goal is eating better, working out more, losing weight, or a mix of all three.
What is a Challenge Group?
The #1 secret to success with any fitness and nutrition program is staying accountable to your health and fitness goals — and that’s exactly what Challenge Groups help you do. Challenge Groups are led by a coach (ME!!) and are comprised of people just like you who all have committed to getting healthy and fit.
These groups are most often hosted on Facebook and focus on three main areas:
Ever heard the phrase, “results are made in the kitchen?” It’s true. To lose weight or build muscle following any workout regimen, it’s important to dial in your nutrition, and drinking Shakeology.
Most of us don’t eat in a way that allows us to get the nutrition we need just from our food, and new changes to our diet or exercise habits can increase the demands on our bodies.
That’s why Shakeology is so critical to your journey. It helps to address nutritional gaps in our diets and builds the strong nutritional foundation we need to feel better. And when we feel better, we do better, making smarter choices and taking on bigger challenges.
Whether you’re a meal prep pro or you’ve never cooked a thing in your life, I will be there to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the nutrition part of the challenge. And provide you with meal plans and recipes.
Challenge Groups sometimes focus on one specific Beachbody program at a time or sometimes it is fun to mix it up with challengers doing different programs and at different fitness levels. All Beachbody fitness programs include a workout calendar developed by certified fitness professionals. The goal of the program is to help you get the best results while also building in recovery time.
Support is key to staying accountable. That’s why your coach, and often, your fellow challengers, play a major role in helping you reach your health and fitness goals.
Throughout the duration of the challenge, I will check in on you daily, start conversations, and share tips to help you make it to the end.
Why Challenge Groups Work
Studies have found that weight-loss programs that involve a third party that holds you accountable, as opposed to you going it alone, may significantly improve your chances of reaching your goals.
Research by theInternational Journal of Consumer Studiesalso found social-networking groups provide 4 main types of support: emotional, instrumental, informational, and affirmation.
Trust and empathy are often huge factors in a person’s weight-loss journey. I will help create a safe, non-judgmental environment for you to ask questions and provide emotional support along the way.
As a result, Challenge Groups are great for both beginners as well as those who never miss a chance to work out.
I will provide their challengers with assignments, worksheets, and tools to lead them to success. Challengers are encouraged to actively engage with the group on a daily basis by uploading post-workout selfies, meal prep photos, and more.
There are more than 30 Beachbody workout programs, and there’s sure to be at least one that will fit your fitness needs and preferences. I will be there to give you the information you need to not only understand the program you’re using, but also to help you select the program that’s right for you to reach your specific goals.
Sticking to a challenge takes dedication and participating in a Challenge Group gives you the affirmation you need to keep going. Missed a workout? Didn’t stick to the meal plan for a few days?
Your Challenge Group and your coach can help give you the motivation you need to pick up where you left off. Once you’ve completed the Challenge Group, I can help you choose your next program so you can maintain your results.
In a world with countless distractions, a Challenge Group is a place where you can focus 100 percent on your goals and feel supported as you strive to reach them.
So I recently bought an Instant since I keep hearing that it is the next best thing and I am pretty sure it has cut down meal prep time by a lot!
I have been craving Thai Chicken of some sort, but it usually takes too long, but I officially found this really good recipe that satisfied my Thai chicken cravings!!
1 – 2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (I use Braggs Liquid Aminos as a healthier option)
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
green onions, chopped for garnish, optional
Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pressure cooker pot, select Browning. When oil is hot, brown the meat in small batches, do not crowd the pot. Set the browned chicken on a platter.
When all the chicken is browned, add chicken broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, and red pepper. Stir to combine.
Add the browned chicken to the pot, along with any juices that have collected on the platter. Cover pot and lock lid in place.
Select High Pressure and 9 minutes cook time. (It will take about 10 minutes to reach high pressure.)After 9 minutes cook time, turn off pressure cooker and use a quick pressure release. Remove chicken from the pot leaving the sauce.In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water. Add cornstarch mixture to the sauce in the pot stirring constantly. Select Simmer and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. After sauce thickens, add chicken and coat with the sauce.Serve garnished with chopped peanuts and green onions.
Feel free to use this Thai Chicken over top of brown rice or whole wheat pasta with a side of green beans to get in your veggies too!
Well I yet again struggled to make it on here and I hate to use excuses because I don’t like them myself lol!
It has been a busy last week and a half… but I mean really, isn’t it always busy?! I feel like we never slow down! Even crazier, I thought working from home would give me so much more time to do things… but I must say, I would LOVE to add a few more hours to my day to actually get what I need accomplished!!
Anyways, I am 9 weeks post-partum since having baby J (Josiah) and he is just incredible!! We have had slight issues with weight gain and lots of gas and fussiness… and now reflux, so we are trying to adjust what we need to make him happy and content! While mommy is trying to stay calm and not stress… easier said than done right?!
Last week, my middle son Weston was sick (diagnosed with croup) and the day he finally goes back to school after 5 days, Josiah is now sick! A newborn being sick is NO fun and so hard because they can’t tell you what is wrong! But his cough sound terrible and he is running a fever and has diarrhea.
Despite my kids being sick and me not being able to get as much work done as I wanted, I am thankful that I am able to be home and take care of them!! And I am working on my fitness journey and doing what I can!!
Meal prep went down Sunday to prep for my first week of 80 Day Obsession and it looked like this!
We know nutrition is key right? It is such a HUGE part of our success with our health and fitness journey, so meal planning and prepping is going to have to be a priority! With the 80 Day Obsession, the nutrition plan is very specific so it basically tells you when to eat what types of food… so for those who do not know what to eat, this is going to help you!!
Here are some meals I am eating this week!
I am pretty proud to get back into my workouts finally after some issues with myself 2 weeks after giving birth that occurred. But now it is just managing keeping Josiah calm while I get through my workouts!
There are moments when I get to workout with just my weights…..
And moments where my baby is one of my weights!! Either way, I am DETERMINED to get through!! I find it funny because J is actually more calm when I am wearing him and working out.. I think he is use to the bouncing since I worked out all throughout my pregnancy!!
It’s a bonus when my hubby works out with me!! It gives me extra push and motivation to keep going when I want to give up!
I want to finish off with this… I mentioned how I have been busy, having sick kids and trying to heal, keep a business going, while taking care of the home… As we struggle, we simply are going through a season!! That season will not last forever and is only temporary…
Yesterday and today, I have let everything build up and have been extremely emotional and it has been a struggle for me to not break down.. ok so I have broken down a few times… but when I am weak, I get a sign to read or listen to something to help me know that I am not alone.. and that I WILL overcome whatever it is I am struggling with! I want to share my signs with you…
If you are struggling or going through a season, know there is someone very powerful that has your back!
Thanks to my husband Brent for opening this and leaving it on the table for me.
And thanks to a great friend MC who introduced me to this song to help me realize I need God to change me and help me grow through what it is I am going through!
Ok, so he is not crying because of what I am holding, he is crying because he was not ready for the photo shoot!! HAHA!! Anyways, I am here because I have had SOOOO many people ask me about being pregnant or breastfeeding while drinking Shakeology… ya know, that superfood health shake that has so many veggies that is has the amount of 6 servings of salads?!?
Well, I am DELIGHTED to share my own experience with you, as well as some other info, stats, and feedback regarding us mommas-to-be and new mamas fueling our bodies with this meal replacement superfood shake while pregnant or breastfeeding our babies! I used Shakeology DAILY throughout my entire pregnancy and continue to drink it daily today!
*Please note, while I was pregnant and drinking Shakeology, I did NOT take a pre natal vitamin since all the vitamins and minerals are already in Shakeology… the only thing I added was a folic acid supplement!
First things first, if you have not been following me and my journey throughout my pregnancy, I am 7 weeks post-partum from delivering this beautiful baby boy and it was also my very first home birth experience and it was INCREDIBLE to say the least!! I had a wonderful midwife who is just amazing, along with the rest of a great birth team to help me deliver my babe all natural and a birth photographer Lexi (F 2 Photography) to capture such incredible moments during my labor!
Baby Josiah “baby J” is now growing big and strong and his favorite hobby is… eating, pooping, and sleeping!!
So now that I bragged about my boy and how amazing he is lol, lets get down to it!!
Is drinking Shakeology while breastfeeding or pregnancy safe?!
I am not a doctor, nor an expert, so if you have medical problems or are extremely skeptical, the safest answer for me is to talk to your doctor/OB and show them the nutritional facts and label! But I will say from a nurse standpoint, along with being a momma who wants best for their kids, I found it being an easy healthy meal for me to take while trying to get the proper nutrition for me and baby!
I see so many people (including myself my last 2 pregnancies) eating fast food, foods with artificial sweeteners, and that are processed… so we are eating foods that are full of chemicals that we have no clue what they are actually doing to our body. It is so important to have a well balanced diet, and eat the proper foods, and to stay away from chemicals and processed foods as much as possible!
Shakeology During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Concerns
Some doctors don’t want patients to take Shakeology during pregnancy and nursing due to the following concerns:
1. Shakeology is Not Approved by the FDA
Some doctors will only approve supplements that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, the FDA does not approve any dietary supplements.
2. Vitamin A
Too much Vitamin A (in retinol form, from animal sources) has been linked to birth defects. However, the Vitamin A in Shakeology is beta-carotene, with which there are no correlating issues of any kind.
If consumed in large amounts, this herb can cause premature birth. In India, it was traditionally used to strengthen the uterus in anticipation of, and during pregnancy. The herb has a spasmolytic effect, which has resulted in modern Western medicine restricting its use, especially during pregnancy. However, many experts say that it is safe during pregnancy, in small doses.
4. Ginkgo Biloba
Shakeology contains less than 50 mg of Ginkgo Biloba, and weak scientific evidence has indicated that it might possibly induce labor and that it has an antiplatelet effect that may prolong bleeding time.
Shakeology’s Official Answer: Can I take Shakeology when I’m pregnant or
“Shakeology should only be taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers under the direction of their physicians. As with all of our supplements; we recommend that you consult with a healthcare professional if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or if you have any medical conditions. SPECIAL NOTE FOR VEGAN FORMULATIONS: Shakeology is dietary supplement in a food form, and since our vegan formulas are not fortified, the levels of any one nutrient should not be an issue for anyone or for a pregnant woman. Pregnant women need to careful about levels of Vitamin A (10,000 IU is the upper limit), but the amounts we have at unfortified levels are similar to those found in unfortified foods and in fruits and vegetables. Accordingly, pregnant women should consider their intake of vegan Shakeology as part of their normal diet, but should not rely solely on Shakeology to meet the needs of pregnancy for nutrients like, iron, folate, Vitamin A, or calcium.”
Where Can I Find Shakeology or Get More Information About it?
This boy right here is one healthy and happy baby!
And is his breastfed Shakeology brother Weston that is 5 and his 7 year old big brother that still drinks Shakeology on a regular basis because it’s what they call “their healthy dessert!”
If you are a mommy-to-be or a breastfeeding mama and are looking to start or continue your journey of living a healthy lifestyle and want more information on getting started with Shakeologyand/or a fitness program that you can do right at home, email me at Deidra.firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject, title “Pregnant or breastfeeding mama”!
Testimonies from new moms who breastfeed and drink Shakeology
“When I started with Shakeology a couple years ago, my oldest sons was just 1. I had bought the 21 day fix program to help me lose the baby weight. But my milk supply starting dropping. With my goal to breastfeed until my son was two. I stopped the 21 DF workout and moved to something more fit to my lifestyle. Along with switch gears, I also left behind the one thing that allowed me to get my breakfast meal in ( my hardest meal of the day) SHAKEOLOGY! Any one who is breastfeeding know that your calorie intake and eating healthy food is super important. Well let me back track a moment. Before starting the 21 day fix I was feeding my little one and pumping at least 5 oz on each side. When I lost my supply, I was down to a once on each side. I tried fenugreek tables ( 2, 3X a day) l Upped my water intake to a gal. Was eating oatmeal every morning while having a glass of mothers milk. All things I was told would boost my supply back up. Nothing was working. So when nothing to lose at this point, I reordered my Shakeology and guess what?! Within two weeks my supply was increasing. I’ve been drinking Shakeology for 2.5 yrs with the exception of a couple month here and there. Never once has either of my boys had an issue with me drinking it.” –Lynsi McKinney
“I am 3 months post-partum, am breastfeeding, and also am drinking Shakeology. I love that Shakeology fills me up and helps rid me if my cravings, but I also love that I know my baby is getting the benefits of the nutrients in the shakes as well! I have not seen any negative effects fromy baby, nor has it negatively affected my milk supply. I love my daily dose of dense nutrition! I have used both vegan and regular chocolate with no negative effects to BFing with either” -Becca Bennett
“Shakeology helped with my energy both in pregnancy and after baby when your I’m throughout the night nursing & then wake up to have 3 big kids to get off to school. It’s nice to have a tasty, filling, energetic boost for breakfast on the go. I also need to have a big meal so prenatal vitamins don’t make me nauseous. With Shakeology, it’s my prenatal vitamin and breakfast in one.” -Jessica Shumar
“I drank Shakeology throughout my second pregnancy. I regulated my digestion, curbed a ton of pregnancy cravings, and enjoyed feeling confident that my baby was getting a wonderful blend of nutritious ingredients every day. My total weight gain for this pregnancy was 20 pounds, as opposed to my first pregnancy weight gain of 70 pounds. My baby girl was born perfectly healthy and happy at just over 9 pounds! We are now enjoying our breastfeeding journey that incorporates Shakeology on a daily basis. I continue to curb cravings that we breastfeeding moms encounter, and I was able to return to my pre-pregnancy weight within two months. I’m absolutely convinced that my healthy, densely nutritious breastmilk is responsible for my baby’s thriving growth and that it’s given her the best start possible for her own healthy life! I would greatly encourage any mom-to-be to incorporate Shakeology as part of a healthy, balanced diet for herself and her bundle of joy on the way!” -Misty Nelson
“I started with shakeology when my first child was 5 months old. I was able to feel an increase in energy after about a four day stretch of use. I just felt better all over and was able to get back to running and working out without feeling completely drained even though i was working full time as an RN and also breastfeeding and pumping all day and night. I continued to use shakeology through breastfeeding and then also getting pregnant again. With my second child I felt great even right after birth. The energy I had post partum actually surprised me. Even with having a newborn and a 2 year old to chase after. The only thing I did different was that I was drinking shakeology the entire time through pregnancy and post partum. I feel that it has helped with my energy and filling in nutrient voids even with a healthy diet and especially on days I seem too busy to get in all my meals.” -Kayla Mayes
So it has been over a week since I posted last and I am sooooo sorry.. I have been trying to get acclimated with having a new baby around… and let me say, it’s different than it was 5 years ago!! Maybe its me being older, or maybe it’s the fact that my little bug doesn’t like sleep!! LOL
Anyways… I am excited to be back and share with you how post-partum life is!! It’s tiring!! But amazing!! I am so in love with this little man and he looks SOOOO much like his daddy it’s unreal!!
As I was looking back at my post-partum journey with my last baby boy, I couldn’t believe the mindset I have this time and how my body is so different… the pictures I am showing you is 6 weeks post-partum with both pregnancies…. the only difference is, I actually took care of my body and health this time around!!
The first image is when I started my fitness journey with Beachbody… I was a full time nurse, taking master’s classes, and had a 6 week old and a 1 year old at home.. I was miserable and hated to even look in the mirror! I ate too much fast food during pregnancy and slacked on working out big time. But I got into my home fitness programs with Beachbody and joined an online accountability support group to help with a free Beachbody coach! The daily accountability and following a regimen with a workout program and nutrition guide made all the difference! I got results, I gained new healthy habits, and I felt good!!
This time around, I maintained everything I learned from my Beachbody journey and continued the healthy eating and exercise throughout my 4rd pregnancy! And it made my pregnancy enjoyable and afterwards, it has helped me with recovering and feeling pretty darn good for just having a baby!! Yes, I had some complications and have not been cleared to workout yet, but hopefully tomorrow I will have some good news from my OB!
Since I have not been working out, I will admit I really struggled with eating healthy the last couple weeks.. I mean, I did better with my pregnancy with eating than the last couple weeks, but I am ready to move on and get over myself lol.. So yesterday, my challenge group that I run for my team and challengers who have fitness goals have inspired the crap out of me, and I decided I am jumping on board with them.. at least with the nutrition part! They are doing the 80 Day Obsession! It is a new fitness program by Autumn Calabrese (fitness expert and bikini competitor) that is done at HOME. It is 80 days long, and focuses on Abs, Arms, and Booty (A$$)!! These ladies are ON IT and in our pre season alone, are already seeing results and learning tons about timed nutrition, using workout blocks, and eating for fuel, not just for the heck of it!! So I needed badly to get my nutrition on point with them!!
Egg whites with 2 yoke, spinach, chicken, and shredded cheese 2 red, 1 green, 1 blue
Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and granola (Kashi cereal) 1 red, 1 purple, 1 yellow
Hard boiled egg whites, fresh veggies, hummus 1 green, 1 blue, 1 red
Of course, most of my food, especially lunches and dinners, I cook and prep in bulk.. so I have sliced sweet potato and tilapia baked with seasoning, chicken, turkey burger, quinoa, brown rice, all ready! And yes, my hubby and kids eat this food with me!
Dinner is served
It is so crazy how much of a difference eating healthy will do for your body and how you feel overall!! Just getting strict again was a decision I knew I needed to make for me, but also because I am breastfeeding my baby boy and he is getting the food that I ingest also, so I want him to get the best of the best!
So… if you are a new mom or a mom, or just want to get on board with your fitness and health journey and want daily support and accountability like we are giving each other, join in on the fun and lifestyle change!
Please fill out the application below to reserve your spot in my February Fitness Group! Spaces are limited!!
¼ cup Braggs Liquid Amini (or low sodium soy sauce)
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
⅛ cup lemon juice
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
6 chicken breasts or 3.5 lb chicken
Combine all ingredients, except for chicken, in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
Remove a half a cup of marinade and reserve for basting the chicken later.
Place chicken in a large, ziploc bag and pour marinade over the top. Close securely.
Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours (I found it was delicious when I marinaded it for 30 minutes and 1 hour).
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
Optional, but makes this recipe taste even better:
If you bring the reserved marinade up to a boil, let simmer until slightly reduced, it makes a wonderful sauce to go on top of the chicken.
ENJOY!!! I loved this meal with our home made green beans with potatoes and ham and a little fruit on the side!!
If you are looking to start your fitness journey or get off that plateau, look for motivation, and help with nutrition, please fill out the application below for a spot in my online fitness challenge group where you will get daily mentoring along your fitness journey!
I have been wanting to do this post, but am just finally getting around to it!!! So if you have followed my journey at all, I have shared that I was going to have my very first HOME BIRTH! It had nothing to do with my OB doctors because I truly did like them a lot! But I really wanted this for the experience.. a peaceful environment, my kids around to be a part of the birth, no pain medication, and to walk and eat even going through the stages of labor!
Sound crazy?? It may, but now that I have actually experienced it, it was the BEST decision I could have made for us! I know not all births go smooth and home births are not for everyone as medical issues and complications can arise, but I was healthy, had no complications, and felt it was right for us… so we did it!
My due date initially was December 21st. At 36 weeks, we realized (my friend, midwife, and I) that based on my date of conception, my real due date was Dec 9th! This picture was the day before Josiah came!! My boys, myself, and my husband went to church, then a trip to the mall to see Santa!
On Sunday, I was having small contractions all day long, and Monday morning came and my contractions were getting more closer and more regular! I was 3 cm the past week and 60% effaced so I was curious to see if my body was progressing.. since both my previous births, I was induced at 1 cm. My midwife came and I was 4 cm and we decided Monday was the day!! So my hubby and I did tons of walking and moving to keep things progressing!
My birth plan was all laid out… I had a perfect plan, knowing that there was potential for that plan not to happen… I knew there were chances of complications, so of course, car seat was in car and hospital bag was packed for precaution.
My birth plan– I watched videos, did lessons, and read books on hypo birthing and water births. I learned that I could “breathe the baby out”. I know people laugh when I say that, but I had all intentions of doing so. I learned how to relax every muscle in my body and I had birth affirmations hung up in my bathroom around my tub that were bible verses that my kids wrote for me. The affirmations were a way of reminding myself of my beautiful kids I already have, and that when I am struggling and in pain, God is my strength and can take away my fears and pain. I wanted candles around my tub with my flowers that my husband and I got on our wedding day from my sister in laws. I also had my Christian playlist on Amazon music so it takes out the commercials and plays all my favorite songs that are positive and relaxing to me.
I made it to 9 cm like a champ! I was able to walk around, eat and drink, and it really did help me focus on other things than just the pain and contractions. I never in a million years though I would be able to tolerate my body at 9 cm … I mean I remember screaming for an epidural with my first child at 4 cm! So this was a HUGE step for me!
My kids came home from school when I hit 9.5 cm.. and I thought for sure they were going to miss it, but then things started to slow down a bit. The labor continued….kids played like a normal day… I had a very good friend of mine here with me who know my kids well and she did such a fantastic job at keeping them busy, along with my husband helping and making sure they were cared for! The boys came in the room here and there and we talked a good bit, ate, and then got ready for bed.
There were moments of being extremely uncomfortable, so I would get back in the pool, focus on my affirmations, breathing, relaxing my muscles throughout my body, and my husband was by my side the entire time.. praying over me and Josiah.
My midwife was absolutely amazing. She wasn’t just there to pop in and check me and leave again like in a hospital… this is not putting OB doctors down… let’s face it, they have more than one patient at a time and do not have time to stay with one patient! But my midwife was so calm, loving, and empathetic! And she brought another midwife with her so we had extra hands and help if need be which made me feel even better about the experience!
When I made it to 9.5 cm and my contractions started slowing down, we realized Josiah was not moving down at all.. 3 hours later, after doses of Pitocin, I FINALLY made it to 10 cm, but my body still wasn’t doing what it needed. So I did some pushing to help Josiah move down the birth canal. I ended up pushing for 2 hours… and I think the hardest part of this experience is that I had a really bad cough so every time I was told to take a deep breath to push, I would start having coughing spells which prolonged my ability to push down and out. Painful, exhausting, but worth it…..
Because then this little miracle arrived!!! Although my delivery didn’t happen in the tub like I thought, I still had my home birth and unmedicated that I wanted! I delivered Josiah in squatting position (I am telling you, my practice with squatting totally paid off because my form was pretty good)! The pain of his head coming out was indescribable… then his shoulders… but that 10 seconds of the most severe pain ever experienced brought us together!!
And who knew you had to birth another baby after the one in your belly…. ya know, the placenta?!? Oh my word.. I thought it was going to be easy… but my placenta was stuck!!! My pelvic floor was extremely tight… maybe from a lot of exercise?? But it was intense.. I had to push for an extra 1 hr and 25 minutes just to get that sucker out!!! I was getting nervous because my midwife was trying as much as possible to get it off without causing any extra bleeding, but it was not budging! Finally, after the 1 hour 25 min, it came out and I could be with my baby boy!!
The next morning comes and its time for the boys to wake up… because of course only my kids sleep through a mother in labor 20 minutes after falling asleep!
The boys were THRILLED to see their new baby brother!!! We have all just been wondering what this little man looks like!!
And this was their reaction!!!! My youngest Weston who is 5, was pretty in love on the moment he put his eyes on him! He even wanted to give away his brothers Elly blanky to his new brother lol!!
Chase who is our 6 year old, was so proud!!! He wanted to hold him instantly!!! He was so gentle and his loving personality came out and it was just amazing to see!
This is one proud mommy right here with her boys!!! Each of them have such a special place in my heart!! We are so blessed!
Daddy got the first smile though!! And it was the cutest moment ever .. caught right on camera!! I love watching daddy bond with our new baby boy!! As a blended family, Josiah makes 6 kids total! So seeing him first hand with OUR child together, and as a newborn, is pretty amazing!
And then mommy works from home, so 2 days later, I may have been on a call with the leaders on our team! And Josiah made his special appearance to say hi! I am so thankful to have a business where I work from home and do not have to leave him! I started my fitness business 5 years ago after my 5 year old, so I always went back to being an ER nurse which was my career prior to my fitness business… and I hated to have to leave my kids… So Josiah is our first that I will be home with from the very beginning!! Now let’s hope I can apply my time management skills and put them to good use!!
This whole home birth experience was such a different, but amazing and memorable experience!! I would not have changed a thing and I am so glad I followed my instincts and what I truly wanted, despite being nervous about the pain and outcome. I knew in my heart if I trust and believe, then all things work out for good!
At 38 weeks pregnant, I am getting so excited for my very FIRST HOME BIRTH experience!!! So I will tell you now, I am NOT an expert at this, but I am pretty excited and feeling confident with how I have prepped for this!
I have my birth plan, and DO plan on having a water birth! My goal is to be as comfortable as possible, to be able to move around my home and room as needed to control the pain without being confined to a hospital bed or hooked up to medication. Please note, I am NOT putting ANYONE down for choosing hospital route as I did it 2 times with my boys.. and I understand there definitely are circumstances and own choices and preferences which you are totally entitled to! I simply was MISERABLE and between the medication/epidural, I was sick, vomiting, and want a different experience this time around!
So I am going to give you some of my top items/supplies that I am using/will be using to have the best home birth experience possible!!
POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS FROM THE BIBLE
I want all my kids (2 boys of my own and 3 bonus kids) to be a part of my birth experience.. not necessarily physically being present and watching this all go down, but for me… when I think of them, I relax! So this was a PERFECT way for me to have my mind in the right place during my laboring! My kids picked parts of the scripture that is just perfect for this experience to help me calm my nerves and relax and think of them and of course the Lord! He is what will get me through this no matter how difficult it may be! God made us mommies to be able to deliver and before pain meds were made by man, natural births were the only way to go! These positive affirmations are going to be by my side the whole time!!
I am not particularly a person who constantly uses essential oils and mixes a bunch to cure everything, but I have used them and see benefits with certain oils. I have also watched friends experience births using oils that have been successful in helping with relaxing, pain relief, etc., which is why I will be using just a few oils during my birth process! Below I will explain the oils I am using and what each one is used for!
Essential Oils during Laboring/Birth Process
Peppermint has a cooling effect, so it can be great when mom is hot, sweaty and tired… during PUSHING!
Peppermint on the tongue, 1 drop at a time
Peppermint in water: You can use this as a diluted sprizter which acts as an anti-nausea agent. Best during transition on a cloth for your face, forehead or chest.
You can also massage into back, hips, and temples — anywhere but your eyes after mixing with carrier oils. Or simply place a small drop on your tongue. For a burst of energy, inhale the aroma.
This can also be used to stimulate mom to pee if she’s having a hard time going by just simply dropping it into the toilet.
Many find clary sage to be helpful to make contractions stronger. All you need to do is uncap it, sniff and contractions can get stronger.
Clary sage is also a great option when it comes to minimizing tearing and relieving muscle tension resulting from emotional stress. It reduces your cortisol levels and acts as a natural anti-depressant when applied topically to an acupressure point on the inside of your ankles.
Doulas are a big fan of this essential oil. When applied at the last stages of labor, the mother can really get into a euphoric state.
To use, dilute a few drops and apply on skin over reproductive organs. Or, place a drop on each palm and inhale between contractions.
Note: DO NOT use this unless you’re ready to give birth and have consulted with your doctor.
It’s commonly used as support for your perineal tissue during your labor and birth. Application of it ‘down there’ is said to reduce your chances of tearing and trauma due to its natural healing properties.
Frankincense is a calming oil that’s especially useful toward the end of the first stage of labor.
Place a single drop on the center of both of your palms, or rub some onto your lower back and tummy. Besides relieving pain, this essential oil can also help heal a tear after childbirth.
Ok so you got some of the items I will be using to prep for my labor and delivery, and now I am going to share a little more, but also more necessities for after this little baby boy arrives!!
Don’t mind my sense of humor in my video… I am making this fun and exciting!!
Used to help heal the soft tissue and any tears or abrasions in your perineal area after birth.
To use, simply wet the seaweed with water and apply right at the opening and your mucous membranes where any soft tissue damage could have occurred.
Replace as needed or after you go to the bathroom. Use for a few days or up until 2 weeks after delivery.
Afterbirth Sitzbath by WishGarden Herbs’-
This is an herbal soak made specifically for women post-birth to soothe minor irritations. It is a unique formula of herbs and sea salts that helps to restore delicate tissues after birth, AfterBirth Sitzbath can also be used to support a healthy urinary tract.
TO USE: Soak in soothing sitzbath 1-3 times a day after delivery for up to 2 weeks. Place a handful (approximately 1/3 cup) into a quart of boiling water. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Strain out herbs and reminaing liquid to warm water in sitzbath tub, available in most pharmacies. Less conveniently, a large bowl, or small tub, may be used instead. Be sure not over-dilute in full bathtub.
After birth, your perineal area will be swollen and painful… so usually at the hospital, they give you those large diaper pads and ice pads to break and feels like your basically wearing apillow right?? NOT comfortable in the least bit!! Not that after birth is comfortable, but if there is something we can do to make it a little better, then lets do it right?!
So these padsicles are literally just pads you use when you are on your menstrual cycle, and you pour witch hazel in them, roll them back up, put them in a ziplock bag (I use gallon bags) and put them in the freezer!!
After you give birth, you can take them out and unwrap them and use them just as you would for a normal pad, and they will cool you off and ease the pain!! FYI, these will not be solid rock in the freezer as if it were water and ice! So it will fit and shape your body and underwear!
NEXTTT… Let’s talk boobies!!! Guys, not in a bad way!!! God gave us these to feed our babies and keep them healthy!!! Whether or not you decide to breastfeed, that is up to you!! I personally will be
and did with my last 2 boys!! My goal is to make it up to a year!! My first, I breastfed for 8 months, and with my youngest, I only did for 3 and was put on a medication that prevented me from feeding which I was so sad about… so I am on a mission to bond with my little baby boy and breastfeed as long as possible!!
I was told about bamboobies and how comfortable the yoga nursing bras are… so I grabbed myself one, along with the washable nursing pads!! I am so excited to use them as they simply go in the wash and I will not spend a ton of throw away pads where the leakage seeps through!! They also
have night time pads which will be great to use if baby Josiah decides to sleep throughout the night!
I got the yoga nursing bra and the pads from amazon.com … being a PRIME member does wonders for you when you need things quick!
And you know how when your breastfeeding, the other side usually leaks everywhere and you waste milk? Well, waste no more because these bad boys are supposedly amazing and works like wonders!! I will be using these silicone suctions to save as much milk as possible!!
If you are interested in grabbing yourself a set of these silicone suction breast cups, click to order!<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0779SWT2Z/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0779SWT2Z&linkCode=as2&tag=deidramangus8-20&linkId=7318785784fc1358cc8a146505814801″><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B0779SWT2Z&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=deidramangus8-20″ ></a><img src=”//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=deidramangus8-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0779SWT2Z” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />
So there you have it!! My top essentials that I am using and will be using during my first home birth experience! Although I am 38 weeks along right now, I am SO ready to deliver this baby!! I am at the end where I just feel ready… not a bad feeling, but the time is coming!!! So prayers for a healthy delivery and baby are welcome!!
If you have any tips and extra necessities and supplies that helped you with pre-labor, during labor, post labor, and for the baby, throw a comment below so we can all help each other have a wonderful and memorable experience!!
Did you know you are more likely to success with a fitness routine and also have WAYYY more fun when you are doing it with another person?!? This is exactly why our Super Trainer Tony Horton, who is also the creator of P90X and 22 Minute Hard Corps, created his FIRST partner workout called Double Time!
There is something extra special about this program that gets me excited though!! I love when fitness and a healthy lifestyle is centered around family, and THIS is a perfect opportunity for you to workout with your husband/wife, children, or even friends!! This is a way to keep each other accountable, reach huge fitness and health goals, but have fun and bond at the same time!!!
Even at 33 weeks pregnant, I am able to get in a workout and move without feeling exhausted and overworked!
What is Double Time?
Double Time™ is Tony Horton’s first fitness program that makes living a healthier lifestyle something you can do with another person. You and your spouse, a friend, or your child will take on daily partner workouts and healthy eating for 30 days. Just having that person around is going to give you both motivation to complete the entire program and help you build stronger bonds along the way! After all, studies show that you’re more likely to put in effort and to succeed with a fitness routine when you do it with a partner. Double Time™ is a 30-day program with total-body workouts (all 32 minutes or less) that feel more like play and less like work!
Who’s it for?
Any partner pair you can think of! This program is great to do with any family member, such as your spouse, parent, kid (recommended age is 8 and older), or a friend. Great for all fitness levels.
18-32 minutes, 5 days a week, for 30 days
The Beachbody Buddy Ball or equivalently sized ball such as a dodgeball or volleyball.
I am so excited to host my Double Time Family Challenge group in November! If you are interested in this opportunity, please fill out the application below!
The requirements are that each participant is committed to participating in the group, completing the 30 day workout calendar, making healthier meals and snacks and replacing 1 meal a day with Daily Sunshine or Shakeology for the duration of the group.
I have been on my own fitness journey for 13 years and for the past 5 years, my kids have been on this healthy lifestyle with me and I am so excited to teach you what we have learned from this journey!