Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 - The Blog is Back

Happy New Year friends!

I feel like I keep reading this over and over, but I have to say it too - I can't believe it's January!

I think it's safe to say that 2015 FLEW by at record speed. As it turns out, every parent was right, life really does move quickly when you have a baby!

And with Mason, we've had our hands especially full.

Literally y'all! Baby Mason is 26 pounds of squishy baby love, and he is constantly on the go. Crawling, cruising, pulling up - this baby is never in one place for very long.

Our holiday season was a good one - fast but fun. It was hard balancing work life and home life, but luckily I work with a great staff and an awesome team of volunteers who make that work bit easier.

And while the home life was good too, it hasn't been easy. I'm still struggling to figure out who I am in this new world of being Mason's Mom. Breastfeeding really limits my freedom - time wise and diet wise. I have to be available for nursing or pumping so often, and I have to be sure I eat enough in a day to have a good supply. Taking care of myself seems to be the last item on the list...every day. Plus Parrish and I have gotten in to a terrible routine of pizza or tacos for supper for the last 2 weeks!

Which, while delicious, doesn't help my energy level.

So in lieu of "resolutions" for the New Year, I am recommitting myself to healthy habits that I made in past years. I'm starting slow and aiming for a 50/50 balance, meaning if I can just make it to the gym 2-3 days out of the 7 then I will call that a success. Same goes for cooking at home, if I can make a healthy meal 2-3 days out of the 7 then I'm on track.

My hope is that by adding in goals that I've accomplished in the past but on a smaller scale, then I will be able to figure out how to make it all work for 7 days a week later on in the year. Plus, as we get closer and closer to the year mark, breastfeeding is become a teeny tiny bit less of a commitment. Mason's desire is waining and hopefully he'll wean soon.

And luckily I'm not starting from zero, I have maintained one of my healthy habits.

Healthy Habits I’ve Maintained:
- Sweet Tea Ban
Not easy for a Southern gal, but worth it for me! There are so many empty sugary calories in sweet tea and the more I drink unsweet tea with tons of lemon, the more I crave it!

But I still have quite a few that I want to add back in.

Healthy Habits to Bring Back

- Water by the Gallon

I used to drink a gallon of water a day because I exercised so much; I needed the hydration. But now that I'm chasing Mason around all day it has been harder to remember those 8 cups. PLUS Mason is constantly trying to drink out of my cup when I have one on hand, but these are all just excuses. I need more water!
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Plus I have a steady rotation of 24 oz. cups with straws that make drinking water super easy. Yes, I am often a lazy human being – it has to be easy!
 -Portion Control
Honestly, this hasn’t necessarily been by choice - I struggle to meet the calorie quota for breastfeeding. BUT emotional eating is becoming an issue again. I have definitely battled with emotional eating in the past, and I can feel it creeping in again. Breastfeeding is not an excuse to eat an entire bar of chocolate.
 -Healthier Salad Dressings and Condiments
I LOVE condiments! Seriously. LOVE. Ditching Ranch Dressing a few years ago was really hard but it made a HUGE difference in my overall health and ability to lose and maintain a healthy weight.
Umm…do you remember when I realized that I was eating 520 calories in Ranch dressing alone?!? Just for one meal?!?
Sadly, exhaustion has made me lazy, and back on the bottled dressing. While I’m definitely not back to where I was before (slamming a bottle a week) I’m not happy with where I am.
I love the Organic Ranch Seasoning from Spice Hunter, but I will use Hidden Valley in a pinch. It’s loaded with MSG but sometimes I pick my battles.

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I also didn’t buy anymore Ranch dressing this past week at the grocery store. There’s a lot to be said for making it less accessible. Laziness always wins out for me.
-Spaghetti Squash Swap
Eating less gluten free pasta is definitely a good thing for me personally: physically and financially. And I do genuinely love the taste of Spaghetti Squash. (Plus it is so darn good for you!) I fell out of the habit for tons of reasons: seasonality, exhaustion, time constraints, laziness…. But I do want to bring it back in to the meal rotation.
Two of my favorite Spaghetti Squash recipes:
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
- Getting Regular Exercise

Definitely a tough one. Figuring out WHEN is the biggest issue right now. Even though I'm awake at 5am, I aim to get to work between 7:30 and 8am. Breastfeeding keeps me at the house until 7 am most mornings. I've thought about trying to make it to the gym at night, but this doesn't seem feasible. Hopefully, as Mason begins weaning, I'll have more time in the morning. AND fingers crossed that adding this back in slowly, just 2-3 days a week, will work - I miss those enorphins!
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-Meal Planning

This is seriously a necessity. The pizza and taco cycle MUST END.

I'm hoping that you guys can help me stay motivated....or even better, maybe you have some advice on how to figure out the balance as a newish Mom!

And what about you? Did you make a resolution for the New Year?