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.

Full Day Of Eating: Piper Edition

Piper's eating habits have changed drastically over the last couple of months. She used to be an AWESOME eater, and would eat a ton of great food. Lately, she's become a little more opinionated in all areas, but especially with her food. 

Her pediatrician warned me at her 2 year appointment that kids generally stop eating as much between 2-3 years old, and to not be worried about it. It's a little frustrating sometimes when I make her lunch, and she won't touch any of it *eye roll*, but I keep offering, keep providing lots of options on her plate, and I don't ever make her something different if she refuses to eat. If she doesn't eat anything, I just put it in the fridge and give it to her again later. 

She turned 2 in May, and while she definitely doesn't finish everything, here is a day of eating for her that's pretty typical of how she normally eats: 

BREAKFAST

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1 pasture-raised egg, 1 sprouted ezekiel toast with mashed avocado.

SNACK

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Yogurt from Trader Joes. She used to looooove yogurt, but now only takes a few bites. 

LUNCH

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Cucumber slices (her favourite), 1/2 slice of sprouted toast with peanut butter, a few slices of banana, carrots, and turkey slices. 

SNACK

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Chicken sausage, apples, and cheese slices

DINNER

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This wasn't her plate, obviously haha, but this was my dinner, and she had a bowl of sweet potato, black beans, corn, and avocado slices. 

Full Day Of Eating

I'm kicking off this Monday with a full day of eating from last week! Every day isn't perfect, and I try to just eat what feels GOOD. I don't count calories or macros, but I am mindful of them. For example, if I eat a breakfast that's higher in carbs (like a big acai bowl), then I'll try and focus more on proteins and healthy fats for my next meal. I feel the best when I get a good balance of everything at the end of the day, and it's just what works for me!

PRE-BREAKFAST

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I had warm lemon water with apple cider vinegar first thing (read the benefits of that HERE), and then brewed some crio bru (read the benefits HERE) and took it on our morning walk. We live 5 minutes away from a High School track, so we head there and do a few laps every morning. 

BREAKFAST

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This looks incredibly unappetizing haha, but it's what most of my meals look like. I've been eating overnight oats daily lately and I'm still not sick of it. I combine 1/2 cup oats, 3/4 cup liquid (I usually just use water), and 1 scoop of IdealRaw chocolate peanut butter protein (use SWOLE for 10% off) and store in the fridge. When I'm ready to eat it, I add peanut butter, strawberries, and hemp seeds, and it's so filling, good for the milk supply, and tastes so good!

SNACK

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2 rice cakes, nitrate-free turkey, arugula, mustard, and microgreens

LUNCH

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I had leftovers from the sweet potato nachos I made for dinner the night before. I posted the recipe HERE. The leftovers are just as good and I had to have two bowls.

SNACK

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Alright. WHY HAVE I NEVER TRIED DATES BEFORE?? WHY?!? I saw a box at Trader Joes last week, and I always see people using them in recipes, so I figured...sure, why not. I tried one when I got home, and I never got around to using the rest of them in a recipe because they're so good! Holy moly. I had a couple with peanut butter and hemp seeds on top, and it was so tasty. 

DINNER

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I talked my mum and sister into going to Protein Foundry for dinner with me, and we all got acai bowls (Piper and I shared mine). I love this place. 

SNACK

I went to the gym after Jack and Piper went down, and finished with another IdealRaw chocolate protein shake, along with a scoop of Collagen For Her collagen peptides. 

Dealing With Stress

Thank you to Febreze ONE for sponsoring this post. I was compensated for my time, but the product review reflect my own opinion.

Dealing With Stress || goodfortheswole.com

Being a mother of two littles so close in age is obviously a bit stressful, and becoming a single mum while doing it has added a liiiiiittle more stress to the mix. I wouldn't say I am a pro at dealing with it by ANY means, but I am learning, taking it day by day, and doing what I can.

No matter what kind - or degree - of stress is going on, I think it's incredibly important to acknowledge it - and find simple ways to handle it. Stress has a HUGE impact on our health, and overall well-being, and it can wreak havoc on our system if we don't find healthy ways to address it.

5 WAYS I DEAL WITH STRESS

Dealing With Stress || goodfortheswole.com

ENVIRONMENT: One of the biggest things that adds to, or takes away from, my stress is my environment. If there are piles of laundry to put away, toys everywhere, etc., my stress level increases by like 100%. There's not a whole lot I can do about the toy situation, because Piper is a messy tornado, but keeping things as clean as possible makes me feel like I somewhat have my life together.

Dealing With Stress || goodfortheswole.com

Febreze sent me their newest product, Febreze ONE Fabric & Air Mist, that is free of aerosols, dyes, and heavy perfumes, and I've been spraying it around the house daily. Having a clean and fresh smelling environment helps so much with stress and brings me a "ONE state of mind". Febreze ONE doesn't have that overpowering "fake" smell that a lot of air fresheners have (and that leave me with a headache, honestly). Having a nice smelling environment seems so simple, but it has made a massive difference for me. My favourite is the bamboo scent because it leaves a light, simple freshness, and bamboo is actually known to help people feel calm. Sign me up!

Dealing With Stress || goodfortheswole.com

MOVEMENT: It's only obvious that I'd include this one, but it has been a huge help. I don't have any postpartum goals like I did after having Piper, because I'm in a different stage in life now. Instead, I tune into my body every day, and figure out what it wants and what will help me feel the best. Sometimes it will be a hard, sweaty workout, but most of the time it's a long walk outside, or an easy run, or even just some stretching. Often my body just wants rest - and I respect that. Sometimes exercise can be the BEST stress reliever, but other times it can add to stress and make the situation worse. Checking in with myself every day helps me figure out what my body needs.

JOURNALING: I used to be an avid journal writer, which is probably why I like blogging. I actually haven't done it as much since having Piper, but my therapist got me started on writing in a journal every day now. It helps me get my thoughts out on paper, acknowledge how I am feeling, and address my emotions. While it hasn't taken away any stress, it helps me deal with it in a healthy way.

Dealing With Stress || goodfortheswole.com

NOURISHMENT: Another no-brainer, but this one is huge. It's no secret that there's a huge link between nutrition and stress. We can't often change the amount of stress we're facing, BUT we can choose what we put into our bodies - which can either help, or make the situation worse. Sure there are days I don't have much of an appetite, or there are days all I want is chocolate and ice cream, but for the most part, I try fueling my body up with tons of nutrients because it makes me FEEL good. 

Dealing With Stress || goodfortheswole.com

RELAXATION: The last thing that has helped me deal with stress in a healthy way, is doing something relaxing every day. Having two little ones makes this a quite challenging, but I often take just 5 minutes during nap time, spray some Febreze ONE to set the mood (I'm not just saying that, I really do), put some calming music on, and just clear my head. It helps me check in with myself and let go of the stress and negativity that's circling through my head. 

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Febreze is letting me giveaway a bottle of Febreze ONE Fabric & Mist to TWO people. Super simple and basic to enter - just comment below!