My Favourite Supplements

After my last Q&A on Instagram (I save them to my highlights if you’re ever bored and want to flick through haha), I had lots of questions about certain supplements and if/why I take them. I figured it might be helpful to just write and link it all here so it’s easy to refer back to!

**These are all products I used during pregnancy (except the pre-workout), and while nursing. I can’t tell you what you should or should not take because I am not your doctor. Run everything by YOUR medical professional first.

In other news, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

PRENATAL

If there is any chance you could get pregnant, it’s a really really really good idea to take a prenatal every day. Prenatals are crucial for that early development, which is happening before you even find out you’re pregnant. It’s also recommended to take them while breastfeeding! My favourite brands are Garden of Life and Rainbow Light and Garden of Life. **Make sure to ask your own doctor if you are pregnant or nursing.

FISH OIL

Fish oils are one of my favourite, favourite supplements. I don’t love fish, so I like being able to still get the benefits. High quality is really important with fish oils, because a lot can be very high in mercury. I love Nordic Naturals! They’re great for hormones, brain (there’s a lot of research with fish oils and depression), heart, joint, and eye health. It’s also helps baby’s brain and eye development during pregnancy (obviously talk to your own doctor before using any supplement during pregnancy). **Make sure to ask your own doctor if you are pregnant or nursing.

PROBIOTIC

The gut is our bodies engine, and the gut microbiome, or all of the trillions of bacteria in our digestive tract, is really responsible for keeping us healthy. If you scrapped up all of the bacteria in your gut, it would weigh around 3-4lbs - so even though they are small, there are TONS and TOOOONS of them! We acquire most of the first microbes at birth, while passing through the vaginal canal, and from there, our diet, environment, and lifestyle determine the health of our microbiome, and how much good bacteria we have. The more good bacteria in the microbiome, the healthier we'll be! I use Silver Fern Brand probiotics. I use Children’s Probonix for Jack and Piper. **Make sure to ask your pediatrician for your kids, and own doctor if you are pregnant or nursing.

COLLAGEN

I started taking collagen right after I had Piper, and haven’t stopped since! It’s great for gut health, skin, hair, nails, joints, muscles, digestive health, and reduces fitness recovery time. There are a few brands that I’ve tried and like, but my main concern really is that it’s from a pasture-raised, grass fed source! The brands I use are Collagen For Her, Great Lakes Gelatin, and Vital Proteins! I definitely notice a difference in my hair, skin, nails, and muscle recovery! **Make sure to ask your own doctor if you are pregnant or nursing.

PROTEIN POWDER

I’ve only talked about Ideal Raw a million times before, but it really is my favourite protein powder! It’s plant based protein, but doesn’t have that gritty texture like all the other kinds I've tried. I like the ingredients, and used it while pregnant and nursing (obviously with the okay from my OBGYN). The chocolate peanut butter is sooooooo good! You can use SWOLE for 10% off, too! **Make sure to ask your own doctor if you are pregnant or nursing.

PRE-WORKOUT

I actually haven’t used pre-workout in a little bit, because I kept forgetting to buy more, but I actually really liked using it every now and then to help me get more out of my workout. I never drink any caffeinated soda or coffee or anything, so my body is really sensitive to even a little bit of caffeine. I like WMNutrition’s all-natural pre workout because it isn’t too much, and doesn’t make me feel weird or tingly. **I did use it every now and then while nursing Jack, but I ran it by my doctor, and again, this was the only caffeine in my diet. Make sure to ask your own doctor if you are nursing.

Mum & Baby Holiday Gift Ideas

**See my fitness & health related gift idea post HERE!

MY WORKOUTS

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Obviously my Pregnancy Workout Guide, Pregnancy & Postpartum Workout Subscription, and “Regular” Workout Subscription are something I’d recommend for pregnant and postpartum mamas. They are workouts that I 100% stand behind, and were put together from my education as a certified personal trainer, certified women’s fitness specialist, and certified pregnancy fitness, and certified pre/postnatal exercise specialist. They are not only SAFE workouts for pregnancy and postpartum, but they are designed to also be EFFECTIVE, and strengthen the muscles that need strengthening to help prevent abdominal separation, support your pelvic floor, and help your body prepare for and heal after delivery.

LOOPY CASE

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I’ve had my Loopy Case since February, and I SWEAR by it! I hardly ever drop my phone anymore, and the few times I have (or when Piper has), it’s been totally protected. The loop at the back stops it from slipping out of my hand, and I loop it around my finger all the time when I have my hands full of bags & babies. It’s SO handy! Every mama needs one. I don’t have a code, but I follow someone who does! Use “SWENSON10” for 10% off

FAWN DESIGN

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I loooove my Fawn Design diaper bag! It has lots of pockets, easy to clean messes, and I like that it doesn’t look so diaper bag-y, if you know what I mean.

FRESHLY PICKED

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I also have a Freshly Picked diaper bag, and love it just as much! I’d recommend either one, honestly! This one is a big bigger, so it’s great for days when I’m out for longer periods of time. If you sign up for their Fringe membership, you get it for 20% off! You pay $10 a month for the membership, but it just adds that $10 to you account to use on their site. It rolls over, so if you don’t use it that month, the next month you’ll have $20 if you account. Everything is 20% off and free shipping that way too!

FACE MASK

I love small little gifts like this clay face mask, because it’s something for a mum to use for a little self care!

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I used a Solly Wrap with both babies, and it was the BEST! Sometimes it was the only way I could get them to sleep! I loved having them so close to me, but also being able to get things done with both hands!

PROMPTLY JOURNALS

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I’ve shared Promptly Journals a few times on my Instagram stories, but I have 2 of their journals for Piper and Jack, and it makes keeping track of their milestones, memories, and things I don’t want to forget SO easy. They prompt you with questions at each age, so you can remember it all. I felt overwhelmed trying to figure out a way to keep track of their lives, and have loved using these journals!

PLAY KITCHEN

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Play kitchens are Piper’s favourite things to play with at other people’s homes, so I got her one for Christmas (still have to set it up though…sos). She’s going to love it! I got in on Amazon for $99, but it’s on sale for $79.99 right now!

VELCRO FOOD

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My mum bought Piper something similar to this last year for Christmas, and she LOVES it. It keeps her busy forever, and she still asks to play with them all the time.

POP UP PIRATE

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I used to play Pop-Up Pirate all the time as a kid, and bought the game for Piper for Christmas. I ended up getting it out and letting them play with it because I couldn’t wait haha. We play with it EVERYDAY now. It’s such an easy, entertaining game for little kids.

BABY BASKETBALL

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Jack looooves balls, so I got him this little basketball net for his birthday. It’s supposed to go in the bath, but I just put it on the Fridge, and he puts the ball in and out of the hoop alllll day long. It was the cheapest present I bought him, and is definitely his favourite!

BOOKS

Both of my kids love reading, and it’s the only time I can get them to sit still these days. These are some of their favourites:

Each Peach Pear Plum

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Where’s Spot

The Pout-Pout Fish

The Napping House

First 100 Words

Health & Fitness Holiday Gifts

MY WORKOUTS

I wouldn’t be a very good business woman (lol I don’t know if I’d ever consider myself that, but ya know) if I didn’t mention my Pregnancy Workout Guide, Pregnancy & Postpartum Workout Subscription, and “Regular” Workout Subscription that I have available. They are workouts that I 100% stand behind, and were put together from my education as a certified personal trainer, certified women’s fitness specialist, and certified pregnancy fitness, and certified pre/postnatal exercise specialist. They are not only SAFE workouts for pregnancy and postpartum, but they are designed to also be EFFECTIVE, and strengthen the muscles that need strengthening to help prevent abdominal separation, support your pelvic floor, and help your body prepare for and heal after delivery.

SENITA ATHLETICS

If you’ve followed me for longer than 2 seconds, you’ll know my love for Senita Athletics runs deep. 99% of the workout clothes I wear are from their store because THEY ARE THE REAL DEAL. Super affordable, high quality, and so many cute options. They have hands down the best nursing sports bras I’ve ever tried. I’m not even nursing that much anymore, and I still wear them for most of my workouts!

BOOTY BANDS - $20

These booty bands don’t roll up when you put them on/work out. They’re super thick (a booty band snapped and hit my eye once, and it was not a good time), and I love the colours! Highly recommend!

STABILITY BALL - $20

Another deep love I have is the stability ball. It’s an AMAZING way to create instability and activate the deep core muscles. SO helpful during pregnancy and postpartum, and just in general! My workouts all require a set of dumbbells and a stability ball because it’s that beneficial!

GORILLA MATS - $80

Yes, Gorilla Mats are definitely pricier than other yoga mats you can find, but they.are.worth it! I didn’t get what the hype was about until I tried one. They are the perfect size, so you can do your WHOLE workout off one. They don’t slide around (which is the BEST thing about them), and they’re thick and well padded.

THE DAY DESIGNER - $30

I' feel like I’m going to keep repeating myself throughout this post haha, but this is another FAVOURITE product! I’m at the end of my second year of using Day Designer planners, and they are where it’s at! It helps me keep track of projects, deadlines, appointments etc. in a really clear and concise way. I would 100% lose my mind if it wasn’t for this planner. I attribute all of my productivity and sanity to it.

SET OF DUMBBELLS - ~$20

The price varies based on the weight you want, but if you are limited to working out from home (like most mums are), INVEST in a set of dumbbells!

FOAM ROLLER - $22

I *try* to foam roll before stretching after a workout. I do sometimes forget, but it’s so good for muscle recovery and rehabilitation, and is an easy way to take care of your body!

HYDROFLASK - $29

Hyrdo Flasks are great for keeping water cold (or hot!) throughout the day. If you struggle with drinking enough water, get a good water bottle like this - especially one with a straw! It makes it easier to take lots of sips throughout the day!

STANCE SOCKS - $25

I bought some of these Stance Socks a few weeks ago, because I just found out they sell the “Invisible sock” kind. They are the ONLY type of socks like this that don’t fall down at the back (you know what I mean…when the sock slips off your ankle?? It drives me mad).

SQUARE ORGANICS - $25

I have loved Square Organics since I was pregnant with Piper! They’re a natural, vegan, chocolate covered protein bar, and they let me create a combo pack of my favourite flavours for Christmas! It is available for purchase until December 18th, AND it comes already gift wrapped for free! AND you can get an additional 20% off with “goodfortheswole”. Pretty cool if you ask me!

IDEAL RAW - $35

Another deep love is Ideal Raw’s chocolate peanut butter protein. Holy moly. I have it every day, and it never gets old. It’s plant based, but it’s gritty like all the others I’ve tried. I use it while pregnant and nursing, but you have to ask your own doctor if it’s right for you! You can use “SWOLE” for 10% off any of their products!

METAL STRAWS - $10

I bought a pack these straws last year, and I’m surprised how much I use them. They come with a straw cleaner too which is so helpful!

COLLAGEN FOR HER - $36

I love Collagen For Her, and use it in my diet almost daily. I personally kept using it during pregnancy, and while nursing, but you have to ask your own doctor if it’s right for you!

VOORAY

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I’ve and a Vooray gym bag for over a year now, and it’s still in perfect condition! It’s the perfect size, has lots of pockets, and a separate compartment for shoes too!

SUDIO HEADPHONES - $99

I’ve had these Sudio headphones for two years, and I still love them! I have another one of their products, but I think these big headphones are still my favourite. I’ve never had them slip off (even when doing burpees and other jumping exercises), and they cancel out the noise around you. The best!! I believe “goodfortheswole” gets you 15% off on their website too!

INSTANT POT - $80

I joined the trend and got an Instant Pot for Christmas last year, and I’m SOOOOO glad I did. My first experience using it was very overwhelming/mildly terrifying, but it’s awesome and I can’t imagine life without it. If you’re a mum, and have little time for cooking - this is for you!

STASHER BAGS - $12

Again, Stasher Bags are a product I have loved forever! I use them for storing food in the fridge and freezer, traveling, and for the kids snacks when we’re out and about. I don’t buy plastic baggies anymore, and just use these instead! SO worth the investment!

REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS - $12

I’m nowhere even close to perfect, but I’m trying to be a little better at reducing the amount of plastic we use. Especially when it comes to food. I bought these on Amazon this summer, and they’ve been great!! I use them at the store, and also wash the produce in them when we get home!

HEALTHY HUMAN TUMBLER - $27

These are similar to Hyro Flasks, but I drinking my smoothies or hot drinks from them. These tumblers keep food and liquid hot or cold, and I love having them on hand!

G2G BAR - $20

G2G Bars are another staple I’ve had in my life for a long time. I LOOOOVE their flavours (I think peanut butter coconut chocolate is my favourite). I eat them allll the time…currently snacking on one right now actually…and the ingredients are actually helpful when you’re nursing too! You can use “THESWOLE” to get 20% off!

Daily Life

The kids and I moved into our own place last week, and have been busy getting settled! I love it, and Piper keeps saying, “I love our cozy house, mama”, so I think we’re all fans! Most of our furniture still hasn’t arrived, so it’s pretty bare still haha, but it’s suuuuper nice being in our own space again, and having all of our own things.

I haven’t done a ‘daily life’ post in a while, and I wanted to throw one up of our day and how it’s structured with entertaining the kids, and fitting in work right now.

MORNING

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Jack used to sleep in a little longer than Piper, but now they’re sharing a room they tend to wake up at the same time (read: Piper yells at Jack to wake up as soon as she opens her eyes). I nurse Jack, and they usually play with toys for a little while I get Piper’s milk and get their breakfast ready.

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Today’s breakfast was banana, raspberries, yogurt and toast for them, and wheat sourdough, mashed avocado, arugula, poached egg, cherry tomatoes, and micro greens for me. I usually make my breakfast when they’re eating theirs otherwise it gets tooooo crazy.

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Depending on how messy breakfast is, I do baths after breakfast or after dinner. This was definitely a morning bath type of day haha. Eek. Luckily both of them LOOOOVE baths and could stay in there all day, so I cleaned their bathroom while played and drenched me with water.

I got them ready for the day, we read a couple of books, and then Jack went down for his morning nap (he goes back down about 1 1/2 to 2 hours after he wakes up).

Piper helped me unload the dishwasher, clean up after breakfast, clean the other bathroom, and we started playing with blocks when Jack woke up after 45 minutes. Loved that.

AFTERNOON

We hit up Ikea to some things for the house, and came back for lunch. They had Annie’s Mac & Cheese, corn, steamed green beans, and cucumbers, and then both went down for their afternoon nap.

I cleaned up after their lunch, and got in a workout - a 3 mile run and THIS glute circuit. I followed it up with a scoop of IdealRaw chocolate peanut butter protein, a veggie wrap posted HERE. **You can use ‘SWOLE’ for 10% off any IdealRaw products!

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Nap time is when I try to get the bulk of my work stuff done. I want to do a full post one day of what it all entails, but yesterday I answered time-sensitive emails, finished some content work I am doing for a company, and Jack woke up again before I could get to anything else.

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I nursed him, and we read books, and played until Piper woke up. We took the scooters and tricycle outside and walked around the neigbourhood, then played at the park (there’s one in our complex which is awesome).

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EVENING

We came back inside, and I started making turkey chili (using THIS recipe). I didn’t add in as much of the spices so it would be too hot for the kids, and added plain greek yogurt to cool it down for them. This is the hardest time of the day (4-6pm), because Jack only wants to be held, and Piper wants all of my attention too. I make as much of dinner as I can while holding Jack, and distract him with snacks the rest of the time haha. I don’t normally like Piper watching shows, but every now and then I let her watch a little one while I make dinner for us.

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After we eat, I get them ready for bed, read books, and we clean up their toys. Jack goes down first, and Piper drinks her milk and we read/sing songs. She goes down and then I clean up after dinner, do more work, and take a hot bath while I watch Netflix and have some JoJo’s dark chocolate (use SWOLE10 for 10% off).

Haha…no wonder I'm so exhausted at the end of the day. These kids keep me busy, but I love it.

Friday Favourites

Except on Monday. It’s all good. I have my life together, I swear…

Here are some of my favourite things that I find helpful in regards to being a mum, and trying to live a healthy lifestyle! Happy Monday!!

TRUE LEMON + COLLAGEN PEPTIDES

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I have been drinking this mix regularly since the beginning of the summer, so I have no clue why I’m only posting about it now. True Lemon is a natural mix that I like drinking during the afternoon to mix up plain water. I add in Collagen For Her collagen peptides (I believe “GOODFORTHESWOLE” gets you 10% off) because they are unflavoured and it’s just an easy way to sneak in collagen.

MENTAL HEALTH

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I’ve always known mental health is important, but going through a divorce has given me a whole new appreciation for it, and I see the direct impact it has on physical and just overall health. IT IS SO IMPORTANT. I recently started following Alexa Allred (@allredyalexa) on Instagram. She is a Mental Health Therapist, and shares helpful tips, advice, and mental health education on her page. Even just seeing her posts and stories pop up are a nice reminder every day to check in and make sure my mental health is taken care of too!

SHARK MOP

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When I went to Washington D.C. to visit a friend a couple of months ago, she was raaaving about her new Shark mop. You know you’re old when you get so excited about cleaning supplies haha. I ordered one on Amazon, and it really is the best! Jack and Piper are the messiest eaters known to mankind, so meal times look like a giant food fight took place. It’s so easy to just plug this mop in, and quickly sanitize the floors. It uses steam which I love because Jack’s crawls around the floors, and having chemicals all over the place stress me out. You just add water, and the steam kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria. I could go on and on, but just go and read the reviews. I’m a fan!

WORKOUT SUBSCRIPTION

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Obviously, I’m going to bring up my newest workout subscription! This one is designed for anyone wanting to workout effectively from home! I don’t get to workout at the gym very often, so most of my workouts happen from home. I know a lot of women/mothers can’t get to the gym either, so I hope this helps! For more information, go HERE!

NURSING SPORTS BRA

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Senita Athletics just released another style of nursing sports bras. Since starting Good For The Swole, I’ve had the chance to try nursing sports bras from different companies. Senita Athletics are hands down my FAAAAVOURITE nursing sports bras. They are comfortable, supportive, and the padding inside doesn’t bunch up when you pull it down to nurse (you know what I mean????). I have a smaller chest, so both styles of nursing sports bras work great for me, and I love them both. Their newest one has more coverage, and offers more support. If you have a larger chest, I’d opt for this one, but both are AWESOME!!