Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Successful new parent tips (SAHM -type tips)

I love the meet-up group/play group I found for my son.  The women are great and the kids are funny.  I am more than positive that not only is my meetup group fantastic but all the other ones as well.  The age group at the playgroup is 6 months to 5 year old- the 3-5 year olds are siblings of the younger toodlers.  I know believe it is important for SAHM's to find other mothers and their babies to hang out with because not only will you have some grown up take time and your child will socialize with other babies which I think is SUPER important for their development.  Another important tip is that if possible make sure you have someone (husband, family, friend, neighbor, or professional) to watch your baby for just a couple of hours a week. I have Lee watch Rocket during my bike rides or tempo runs just because I need time alone with my thoughts.

These tips are not something that I created as they are in almost every mom blog or article written about retaining your sanity while being a new parent it is just I wanted to add my affirmation to these already well-known and used tips. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Month and Different Focus

The eve of December brings such glad tidings for me! First off, the end of my semester is next week as I have mentioned before and I am SO happy about that. Second, in a previous post I explained how the next month will be daycare free (i.e. no baby playmates for Rocket) well I am glad to say that we have just be accepted into a playgroup in Fayetteville area- so YAYYY for him and for me :-) Those were the two most important changes or happenings that December will bring.

"And now for something completely different"- I love Monty Python and the Flying Circus; I am currently losing weight and have been since I gave birth nearly 11 months ago. This weight lost is a concerted effort to not only get to my goal weight of 125lbs- I am currently 152lbs, but also become much better at eating a healthy plant based diet. Although I know the things needed to make that work I like many others have my slip ups that sometimes only last for a meal or other times a week. Not that I want this to be a weight loss blog but I wanted to give myself another reason to be accountable to the things I eat by sharing on the interweb my goal weight and how I intend to get there. And because I love lists so much here are the three ways that I will continue to lose the extra weight I have:

(1) eat a plant based diet- no diary,no meat, natural occurring oils only (avocados, nuts and seeds). Most days this is not a problem and now I am finding it easier to not to eat processed foods and foods containing diary and meat.

(2) do a combination of moderate intensity cardio and interval cardio as well as full body circuit training. Overall my goal has been to be active 5-6 days a week. Most weeks I easily achieve this.

(3) be kind to myself and if I stray from my plan not to lose control and completely forget why I want to eat a more natural and wholesome diet and why I want to strengthen my body.

Well that is enough for now. By the way because I did not mention this before I have lost 82lbs since the birth of my son.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

End of November

I am going to credit the overall success of accomplishing (in various degrees) all of my November goals by blogging about them. I was able to recall my goals and make an effort to actually accomplishing them, which is much better than before when the goals would be forgotten and never thought of again.

Today was a day for getting things done and Rocket was a sport about getting in and out if his car seat which is always a relief.

I tried my hand at a vegan pound cake tonight and despite my initial taste which I thought was a little weird, I know love it. Funny how that happens.

Perhaps I will post that recipe and more recipes on here. Still not sure what kind of blog I want this to be. My favorites to read are vegan food blogs.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The end of my semester and No daycare for Rocket for a month

With just a few more weeks (including finals) left in my fall semester, I find that although I am overly elated at it's end (more so than any semester before because being a parent to a baby and a student is HARD); I am also a little forlorn. The daycare I take my son to is pretty awesome and the babies that he interacts with three times a week are pretty special guys and girls. Not only with Rocket miss them but I am going to miss them too for that month break.

Back story: I live in Hope Mills, NC and UNC at Pembroke is about 40 minutes away and I commute back and forth about 4 times a week. In between my morning classes and early evening classes I have a two hour block and I visit my son at daycare. I nurse and play with him and then also play with other 4 babies during that time.

So when I say I will miss them it is because I will as I also interact with them. In addition to my sadness of missing the babies, I am also aware that I will be depriving Rocket of his companions that he is used to during the week. I know that Rocket enjoys the other babies and that they all benefit from each others company.

That is the problem: Rocket's daycare although convenient during the semester is not so convenient at semesters end.

Lee and I are still trying to come up with a solution to this problem that allows Rocket to have some baby companions time and me some "me" time. There are options but in my opinion just not very good options.

Not sure what I want to do but I do know I have only a few weeks to figure this out.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Goals, Ect..

I know that it is not the middle of the month yet but I wanted to assess my goals at the week in a half marker just so that I know where I am and what I can do to reach my goals each week.

(1) Running 3 times a week. Last week I ran two times a week so I am still going to count that as a win because two is better than one.  This week I am not going to flake out on my Friday run like I did last week!  I have already run once this week on Monday. It was a hill workout on the treadmill and it was only 1 mile, but I can promise you that 1 mile was TOUGH. My max incline was 17% which is killer.

(2) Meditate once (+) a week.  Last week I really did not meditate but I did have a couple of quiet moments to myself while I did yoga. Rocket was clinging to me while I was in Mountain pose but I did have a moment of reflection so I am going to count that as a kind of win.

(3) Reading Martin's "A Dance...":  I did read a few chapters so another win for me.

(4)  Read to my son everyday.  I read to Rocket 3 times last week. I think I am not picking the right times to read to him because he usually crawls out of my lap after just a few pages.  So I am going to count that as a lost because it is really imperative that I read to him everyday. Monday I did read to him even it was only a for a few minutes. 

(5) Turn in quality paper...I added the (...) because next week is when my first paper is due.  I have checked out three books to assist me with my paper on "Eastern Religions Influence on the Western Society".  Boring title, I know but the content should be fairly interesting. 

(6) Declare November a "no meat month".  I ate meat three days in a row over the weekend. So another lose for me.  Monday was a meatless day and so is Tuesday so far ((thumbs ups)). I am looking forward to the rest of the week also being meatless.

(7) Getting Rocket to sleep in the crib regularly. The opposite has happened these last 5 days as Rocket is still sleeping peacefully and cozily next to me and Lee in our bed. Another lose ((disappointed sigh)) I need to resist my desire to have Rocket sleep with us. 

and finally

(8) Washing the dishes at night rather than in the morning.  I have washed the dishes at about a half and half rate each night/morning.  This is a higher ratio than before so I am going to say that I am kind of winning at this. 

I hope to do this again sometime next week because this definitely holds me accountable to the goals that I make for myself! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Green Smoothie and Granola

Here is a recipe for a smoothie sip or you can eat in a bowl with some yummy granola mixed in :-).

2 handfuls of spinach
1/2 cup of So Delicious coconut yogurt plain
3/4 cup of non dairy milk
3 frozen whole organic strawberries
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 frozen banana

Blend until smooth

This can be served in a glass and sipped through a straw or served in a bowl with granola stirred in. I use Cascadian Farms Fruit and Nut Granola :-)

I wish I could say this wonderfully yummy concoction was from my own brilliant mind but I will sight inspiration from the following vegan blog Oh She Glows

As the weather is turning from cool to cold I know that my smoothie days will come far and few as my soup and stews days will dominate until Spring.

Last night Lee made a delicious and hearty vegan Potato and Leek soup that I am looking forward to eating the next couple of days.

Until next time...

I added a picture of Rocket enjoying the smoothie :-)

Monday, October 31, 2011

November Goals

Last October I wrote down a few goals that I wanted to work on during the month and I found that to be helpful, especially after giving those written goals a once over during the middle of the month to see how I was doing. This month I like to do the same thing so here they go:

Goals for November
1. Run 3X a week
2. Meditate one or more times each week.
3. Finish reading George RR Martin's "A Dance with Dragons"
4. Read to my son every day (and not Martin's book).
5. Turn in quality papers for the two classes that I have papers due in.
6. Declare November "no meat month"
7. Get Rocket sleeping REGULARLY in his crib rather the bed with Lee and I.
8. Wash dishes the night before rather than the morning (gross I know).

I am sure that there are more things I would like to work on but I think that for now those are the most important to me.

Happy month of November :-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Luck of a Beginner

Today I talked to a dear friend who said she had started a blog and then suggested to me to start my own blog. I immediately thought I have no time to start/maintain a blog and I said the same to my husband Lee. He responded back that I could start off with a weekly post and see what comes of it. ((Cringe)) as I knew he was right. And now that brings us here to me typing my first post. Setting up a blog is MUCH easier then it has any right to be, hence the "beginner's luck themed" title as it seems that all the stars are aligned for me to begin my blog.

A brief introduction if you will: My name is Alexandria. I am 23 and currently residing in Fayetteville, NC. For all purposes I am an Army Wife. Once I was in the National Guard; Lee and I met while in Advance Individual Training (AIT) for paralegals. My husband's name as you may have inferred is Lee and we have a tremedously wonderful and self-possessed baby boy that we nicked-named Rocket. Rocket is going on 10 months and is also a Lee, but both of us detests the nomer Junior.

Now for a break down of my blog's name. I am a flexitarian who is transitioning into eating a complete plant based diet; some would identitfy that as becoming vegan but I feel that the term "vegan" is not just a dietary change but a socio-political identification and I am just not there yet. After giving birth back in January of 2011, I started researching (i.e. internet trolling) ways to the drop the 70lbs I had gained. I was not looking for the quickest way to do this but the healthiest way and I stumbled on (and not the PeerTrainer which lead me to Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live and the rest they say is history. I knew that I would breastfeed and I wanted to make sure that my son was getting all vital nurtients he could from me naturally; therefore all of what I read in Fuhrman's book "Eat to Live" made complete sense to me. I have not done his 6 week Eat to Live plan because I am breastfeeding still and need to still to eat many healthy fats (avocado, raw nuts, coconut oils if cooking) and that plan calls for a restriction on those fats but I have lost all 70lbs I gained and then some in the 10 months post birth. The surplus of engery that I have when I eat a nutritarian diet: this means eating LOTs of green veggies, colorful veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans, and raw nuts is so incredible that all the coffee in the world (a slight exaggeration I am sure) could not replicate this. I can go weeks without eating animal by product but occassional I give in and so I like to say that I am transitioning rather then having had fully arrived at eliminating meat and diar
y from my diet. They say what is good for the goose is good enough for the gander and I have applied that little expression with how I feed my son as well. I make all my son's food and while I was pureeing his food he had lots of vegetables, fruits, and avocado Now he is on to finger foods I am doing the same but that is a new experiment for me as well. I have NOT introduced meat or diary into his diet and probably will not ever (a mother can hope can't she). That ends the bit about Veggie Mama, and now for Runs for Cheers part: I love running and am finally back to running at my pre-pregnancy frequency and intensity. I have just started my current running plan so I am excited to share that as well on this blog. My November goals (I will be making a separate post for this soon) include to run 3 times a week; in October I ran 2-3 times a week. If you are my friend on Facebook!/alexandria.f.lewis and see that I am about to start a run please by all means cheer me on!! I need it trust me :)

And that concludes my first blog post.