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!!

Costco Favourites

Happy Tuesday! Whenever I go to Costco and post a story of Piper and Jack in the shopping cart together (how can I not??? It’s the sweetest thing seeing them next to each other), I get asked what I buy and if I’ll do a Costco haul.

I wasn’t quite sure what the best way to share my favourites are, so I snapped a picture of the products I usually get as I walked around the store, and called it good haha. These are the foods I typically get from Costco whenever I need to restock (other than fresh produce), and are all ones I love! I’m sure I’m forgetting some, so I’ll continually update this post.

ORGANIC APPLE SAUCE

We go through one box a week, so I stock up big time whenever I’m there!

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

ANNIE’S ORGANIC MAC & CHEESE

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

BARE ORGANIC APPLE CHIPS

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

PACIFIC FOODS ORGANIC RED PEPPER & TOMATO SOUP

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

G2G BARS

It’s convenient to buy a big box when I’m at Costco, but you can use “goodfortheswole” to get 20% off your purchase from their website!

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

SAMBASON ORGANIC ACAI

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

PERFECT BARS

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

RAW, UNFILTERED, LOCAL HONEY

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

BASIL PESTO

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

HIPPEAS ORGANIC CHICKPEA PUFFS

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

AIDELLS CHICKEN SAUSAGE

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

INDIVIDUAL HUMMUS PACKETS

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

INDIVIDUAL GUACAMOLE PACKETS

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

ORGANIC QUINOA

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

JOJO’S DARK CHOCOLATE

You can also use “SWOLE10” on their website to get 10% off!

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

VICTORIA MARINARA SAUCE

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

AVOCADO OIL

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

KODIAK CAKES

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

SIMPLE MILLS CRACKERS

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

ORGANIC SWEET POTATO CRACKERS

Costco Favourites || goodfortheswole.com

How To Activate The Deep Core & Pelvic Floor

Happy Monday!! I have been wanting to post about this topic for a while because it is a HUGE part of exercising during pregnancy and postpartum, if not THE most important part. Activating and connecting the deep core and pelvic floor muscles is essential, because if you don’t know how to activate those muscles, how do you plan on strengthening them? It seems like a stupid question when phrased like that, but it’s so easy to just go through exercises without properly thinking about what you’re doing. I know I've done that before!

I often get asked, “should I feel a burn while doing pelvic floor exercises”, and “it doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything, am I doing it right?”, and “should I breathe a certain way while doing these exercises?”. The answers are 1) no, you should not feel a burn, but you should feel a connection. 2) You may not be doing it correctly. You won’t get breathless or feel muscle fatigue, but again, you should feel a connection, and 3) YES! You should absolutely breath a certain way! The information below should answer these questions a little further, and hopefully help you effectively work the pelvic floor and reap the many benefits that it brings!

***I plan on posting a video to demonstrate this, but HERE is an amazing video of a 39 week pregnant woman properly activating her deep core.

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WHAT IS THE DEEP CORE:

All of the deep core muscles function together, and everything is connected. EVERYTHING! The main muscles to know are:

Pelvic Floor: This is a hammock of muscles that connect the pubis bone at the front to the tailbone. The pelvic floor supports the bladder, reproductive organs, and bowel and forms a figure 8 around the urethra, vagina and rectum. They also work with the multifidus and transversus abdominis to stabilize the spine, pelvic joints, bladder and uterus properly.

Transversus abdominis (TVA): This is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and wraps around the abdomen between the lower ribs and top of the pelvis. It acts as a corset that holds everything together.

Internal Obliques: This muscle is a little closer to the skin than the transverses abdominis, and supports the abdominal wall.

Multifidus: This muscle is located around the back of the spine, and functions together with the transversus abdominis & pelvic floor muscles to stabilize the low back and pelvis.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT:

Strengthening the deep core muscles through movement and exercise improves overall strength, energy, decreases low back pain, hip pain, neck pain, and incontinence, minimizes diastasis recti and prolapse, and sets her up for potentially easier, and quicker labour and recovery– all while decreasing the chances of an emergency c-section.

Most women struggle with at least one of these issues, if not many of them, and properly activating and strengthening these muscles during and after pregnancy can help minimize, and sometimes even prevent these problem. That’s huge!!

STEPS TO CONNECTING DEEP CORE MUSCLES:

1. Relax the deep core muscles on the inhale. You should feel a heaviness, and a pressing down sensation. If it helps, it’s the same type of relaxation you make while urinating. If you are unsure what it should feel like, trying sitting on a stability ball. You can actually feel the relaxing of the deep core and pelvic floor muscles this way!

2. Exhale to initiate light contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. This is a LIGHT contraction. You don’t want to grip the muscles, or strain in any way. Particularly make sure you aren’t contracting the glutes. Imagine you are lifting the muscles all the way to the top of your head, and really focus on lengthening. **Tips on how to lightly contract are below!

3. Once you have contracted the pelvic floor muscles, move into the exercise. This is why each exercise should always be done slowly and intentionally. Breath out and relax the muscles - then inhale, connect the deep core and pelvic floor muscles, and do another rep.

4. You want to breath diaphragmatically breathe throughout each exercise by inhaling out to the sides and back of her ribcage, and then exhaling as you lightly contract the pelvic floor. Feel the lengthening as stated above while also adding a light wrapping “down and around” of her lower ribcage. **I will do a separate post about this later.

TIPS FOR ACTIVATING DEEP CORE & PELVIC FLOOR:

This sounds incredibly confusing at first, and honestly feels very foreign. It can also be mentally draining too because it’s a lot to think about while also trying to exercise. I get it! The best thing to do is practice this before exercising. Take a few minutes to work on feeling these muscles and activating them. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at sensing them, and the easier it will become. Practice, practice, practice!

The most difficult part is figuring out how to lightly contract those muscles, especially if you’ve just learned you even have a pelvic floor!

  1. When making that light contraction, think about lifting up a wet towel from the corners. You want to pull the muscles together, and then up. Imagine you are lightly zipping up the pelvic floor, and really think about lifting up the way to the top of the head. That lengthening is key!

  2. Avoiding sucking the belly to spine. This is a VERY common tip I see on Instagram, but it restricts deep core activation and proper breathing. It also puts force on the pelvic floor and hinders posture.

  3. Lengthen tall through the torso and top of the head to positively affect posture and deep core strength. This also stimulates connective tissue which wraps around all of the muscles, and is what brings the abdominals back together.

9 Months Of Jack

Jack will be 10 months old in a week, but better late than never I guess!

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He is the SWEETEST little guy. I think all babies have a sweetness, but he has this special, calming presence about him. He’s been such a gift to me.

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He used to be a HARD, HARD baby (which was probably because he had open sores all over his body thanks to eczema), but he’s really mellowed out and is generally a chill little chap. He only really cries when I leave the room. We’ve entered the separation anxiety stage, and it’s a hoot!

He is ALL over the place, and climbs onto everything. He pulls himself up and walks around all the furniture, and climbs on top of anything that’s low enough to get his little leg up on. He’s still a speedy crawler, and has started letting go of furniture and trying to stand up by himself (he’s lasts .01 seconds haha). It’s crazy to think that Piper was already walking at this age!

With that, changing his diaper/getting is ready is the most frustrating job in the world. He’s so wiggly and contorts his body is the most bizarre shapes to get away.

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He hasn’t had any more teeth come through this month, so he still has 8. He bites me at least a couple of times a day when we’re nursing, and it’s SO painful. We’re still going strong with breastfeeding though, and I don’t have plans to stop anytime soon. I’ll wean whenever both of us are ready.

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He squeals and kicks his legs with excitement when I put him down for naps, and goes right off to sleep. He has been waking up at 8am recently, and then goes down for his first nap around 9:30am. He sleeps for 1-2 hours, and then goes back down for another nap (timed for the same time as Pipes) around 2:00pm. He sleeps for another 1 1/2 -2 hours, and goes down for the night at 7pm. His sleeping habits have been a struggle up until this point, but we’re finally in a good routine again and him sleeping through the night is the BEST THING EVER.

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He’s a tiny bub and only in the 7th percentile for weight He’s following the growth curve perfectly though, and his pediatrician isn’t concerned at all, he’s just little for his age. He eats 500x more than Piper, so I have no idea where he puts it all. He’s a great eater, and because he has a lot of teeth, he’s eating pretty much any solid food. He likes to only feed himself though which means we have lots of bath times around here.

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He lights up and kicks his legs when he sees Piper after his naps, and tries to do whatever she’s doing. I’m still working with her on being soft and sharing (“careful” is the most used word around here), but they have such a special bond and I swear I could cry every time they just look at each other. He’s always by her side and tries to copy everything she does.

 Not their best picture haha, but this is their favourite thing to do lately. They’re the best duo.

Not their best picture haha, but this is their favourite thing to do lately. They’re the best duo.