Friday is here!! Woop woop! This week went by crazy fast because Jordan's family was in town and we hit up Disneyland and the beach mid-week, so yesterday felt like Monday to me. I have big plans for Christmas decorating this weekend and Jordan wants to hit up Santa Barbara, so we'll see!
Below are some health, baby, and pregnancy related things that I've been loving lately, and hope you find helpful! Have a happy and safe weekend!!
I am a huge lover of protein bars! I have one every single day. There are a LOT of different brands out there, some with good ingredients, but MOST are packed with sugar or artificial sweeteners. A lot of bars are advertised as "high protein" too, but actually aren't at all. Some people will tell you to completely stay away from bars for that exact reason, but bars are what keep me sane. I have a huge sweet tooth (and savoury actually...so I don't know what that's about), and as a busy mum, being able to grab a bar while I'm on the run, or when the sweet tooth kicks in has kept me on track more times than I can count. They were also THE BEST for when I was nursing! Not only do a lot of the ingredients actually help boost milk supply, but it's hard to get full when you're nursing, and it's also hard to get up and make food a lot of the time. You bet I'll be packing these in my hospital bag!
These are the bars that I personally have on hand, and are really the only PROTEIN bars I would recommend. FULL DISCLOSURE: some of these brands do occasionally send me their products, BUT I also buy them when I am out and would never share them if I didn't 100% love them all.
- Perfect Bar - Perfect Bars have slowly become my #1 favourite brand. They are the priciest, but the ingredients are amazing and they have the tastiest flavours! Dark chocolate peanut butter, maple almond, and fruit & nut are my favourites!
- G2G Bar - if you've followed me for a while, you know I've always been a fan of this G2G Bar! If you live in Utah, they sell them at Costco (something I truly miss about living there)!! These are a veeeery close second favourite. Peanut butter chocolate chip, almond chocolate chip, and coconut chocolate chip are my favourites! You can also get 20% off with "THESWOLE" if you order off their website (I use my own discount - heyooo).
- Square Organics - Square Organics recently came out with some new products, and I LOVE their new crisp bars! They're like healthy rice krispy treats! They also came out with popcorn which isn't my favourite (I don't really care for popcorn), but Jordan and Piper LOVE it! My favourites are the nuts & sea salt, peanut butter, and chocolate sea salt crisp bar! You can also get 20% off with "GOODFORTHESWOLE". Sprouts sometimes has awesome sales for these bars!
- Rise Bar - these aren't in the picture because they are a super recent find, but I really like Rise Bar! The lemon flavour is probably Jordan's all-time favourite protein bar. They have minimal ingredients, are actually high in protein, and are sweetened with honey instead of artificial crap. The chocolate coconut is probably my favourite!
- RXBar - RXBars are sweetened with dates and also have super minimal, clean ingredients! My favourite flavours are the pumpkin spice (it's seasonal so you have to stock up when you can) and the maple sea salt!
ZUCCHINI PROTEIN OATS
I've shared this on my Instagram before, but I wanted to save it on here too because it's such a surprisingly weird, but tasty breakfast! I always throw some protein powder into my oatmeal because it bumps up my protein intake (it's so easy for oatmeal bowls to get really heavy on the carbohydrate side of things), and it also sweetens things up a bit! I recently started adding in shredded zucchini too which SOUNDS repulsive, but it's such a sneaky way of adding in veggies and nutrients without changing the taste! The texture does change a little, but I'm into it!
For 1 serving: boil 1/3 cup oats in about 3/4 cup water (or almond milk). Once the oats are soft, add in ground flax seed, and 1 shredded zucchini (about 1 cup). Mix for a couple of minutes and add in 1 scoop of your favourite protein powder (I use IdealRaw - you can get 10% off with "SWOLE). Mix well and pour into a bowl. Top with whatever! My favourites are chia seeds, berries, and raw peanut butter!
I don't know why the heck I didn't get these sooner, because Avanchy bowls and plates have been LIFE CHANGING. I mean it. Truly life changing. If you've seen videos of Piper eating on my Instagram stories, then you know what an insanely messy eater she is - bless her. A for effort on trying to feed herself, but F for actual execution really. She likes to play with her food and more to the point, she likes to dump out her bowl onto the table and spread it around. Avanchy sells organic bamboo (aka good for the environment and non-toxic) baby and toddler bowls and dishes that suction to the table, so she can't throw her meal off the table anymore. I got THIS bowl and THIS plate, and they work like a charm! I highly recommend investing in these if you have a little one (they have sizes for 4+ months - 2+ years)!
FAVOURITE PREGNANCY EXERCISES #2
This is the second edition of sharing some of my favourite pregnancy exercises (you can find the first one HERE). I hope it's helpful in not only sharing ideas on how to switch up exercises during pregnancy (in a smart, safe, and effective way), but also explaining a little about WHY I like them so much, and WHY they're beneficial.
Stability Ball Tricep Dips
You can see an example of this exercise HERE (it's the 2nd exercise in the video). I never would have thought to do this exercise before this pregnancy, but I'm SO glad I incorporated this variation into my workouts. Tricep dips in general are great for working the triceps (obvi), but by adding in the stability ball, you activate the transverse abdominis (the core muscles that holds everything together during pregnancy, and is the muscle will help the most with delivery and a good recovery) because you have to use it to stay balanced on the ball. **I recommend putting the ball against a wall, so it doesn't roll all over the place.
Curtsy Lunge + Toe Tap
You can see an example of this exercise HERE (it's the 1st exercise in the video). Plyometric exercises are not smart to do during later pregnancy because the jumping exercises put a LOT of inappropriate pressure on your pelvic floor, and the hormone relaxin is working hard to loosen up your joints (as your body's adjusting to the baby you're carrying), along with preparing you for labour. That makes it easier to injure, pull, strain etc., so obviously jumping around probably isn't the best move. Plyometrics (jump squats, jump lunges, burpees, box jumps, jump rope) were my go-to exercises pre-pregnancy because they are SO effective for fat burning and getting your heart rate up. This is one exercise that I find to still be effective in getting my heart rate up and working my whole body, while also still being smart.