October Unprocessed

A couple of weeks ago I signed a pledge for October Unprocessed. As the name suggests its a challenge to eliminate processed food products for the month. I’m pretty good about eating healthy food and cooking most of my food myself anyway, but with the new baby in the family I’ve been slipping lately. I really need a kick in the pants to get back into some of my healthy habits … and start losing this baby weight.

I was really unprepared to start today. I didn’t get a chance to get my grocery shopping done before the challenge started, so I had to figure out breakfast with what I already had on hand, which wasn’t much.

Well, first of all … let me back up … I think there could be many different definitions of “unprocessed” so I’ll start by defining my intentions for the challenge. The official website suggests going by the “kitchen test”, basically meaning that if it could be created in your own kitchen with whole food ingredients it is allowed. So even though some of the food items maybe be packaged and sold in the grocery store, because they contain only whole food ingredients they are acceptable. Hummus would be an example. Obviously some reading of labels will be necessary.

The challenge also suggests defining your own exceptions to the challenge. It doesn’t have to be an all or none thing. The point is to make progress and set intentional exceptions (if any) before the challenge begins. My intentional exception to the challenge is for eating out. While I will try to make smart food choices in restaurants throughout the month, I’m not going to get caught up on every single ingredient I order and whether or not it’s “clean”. My other intentional exception will be for a camping trip that I’m going on at the end of the month. Again, I will try to make smart choices, but I can almost guarantee it won’t comply 100%. I mean … you can’t do camping without S’mores. Amiright?!

Breakfast today, with what I had on hand already was: 3 egg frittata with Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage (clean) and onions and peppers. An apple on the side.

After breakfast I finally got my weekly grocery shopping done, and stocked up on clean ingredients so hopefully the rest of the week won’t be a problem. I threw together a quick late lunch when I got home.


Baked Tilapia, Roasted Balsamic Broccoli (a new fave!) and Quinoa & Kale. The Quinoa and Kale is a frozen packaged product from Costco and is clean according to the “Kitchen Test”: Organic White Quinoa, Organic Kale, Organic Red Quinoa, Organic Garlic, Organic EVOO, Sea Salt, Organic Black Pepper.

Dinner will be Lemon Thyme Baked Chicken with Curry Vegetables. Do those 2 flavors even go together?! .. I have no idea. Truth is I signed up for Emeals last week, and I’m letting them do the work for me. They create my weekly meal plan and grocery list, they give me the recipe and I just follow it. It takes all the thinking out of the process. I did Emeals a few years ago and really enjoyed it, but I started wanting to explore different recipes on my own and cook what I wanted instead of following a specific meal plan. Well, now that I have the baby I don’t have time for all that anymore. I want someone to tell me exactly what I’m eating, what to buy and how to make it. I’m a week in and so far I’ve liked everything on their Clean Eating plan. Hopefully with that secret weapon I’ll be able to complete this challenge with no trouble.

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Big Brother/Big Sister 5K 2014

Two years ago I swore to myself I would never do this race again! But this year I came across a drawing on Facebook by Earth Fare grocery store to win a free entry and on a whim I entered the drawing. I am a sucker for value, after all. I wrote: “This was my first 5K that I ever did back in 2009 and I just had a baby 6 weeks ago, I would love for it to be my first post-baby 5K”.  I had actually forgotten that I had entered, and when I remembered the day before the race and checked the page I was surprised to see that I actually won one of the 3 entry giveaways!

Since this is a family friendly race I initially intended to run with Bennett in the jog stroller. I just got a new BOB Revolution Flex and wanted to put some miles on it, but at the last minute I decided that it might feel really good to run on my own. I hadn’t gotten a chance to run outside without pushing the jog stroller since he was born. I ended up leaving the kids with Tim at the start/finish line and ran alone.


While I was pregnant I had fantasies about the day when I was able to run again, just me, and how good it was going to feel. I will tell you one thing, running with an extra 35 pounds on your body is HARD! Post partum running is definitely not the same as pre-pregnancy running.

I have only done a few short walk/run sessions so far, so I thought a good goal for this race would be to shoot for trying to finish it without walking … much like the first time I did the same race in 2009. I didn’t look at the time or pace on my Garmin, although I did definitely check the distance a few times. The first 2 miles were difficult but manageable. The last mile was an all out struggle to the finish! I did manage to finish it running though, and was proud of that.

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Garmin said 29:13, and 9:21 pace! I was thrilled with that, and actually ended up winning my age group as well as a door prize!


Exactly what I need.

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Baby is Here!

Well, I’m a complete loser face. I left you guys hanging at 30 weeks.

Bennett Marshall was born on August 1st, and it was love at first sight!



The day Bennett was born I turned 38 weeks. I had a hair appointment at noon that day, but before I went I decided to walk on the treadmill. I had been doing a few short walks here and there the final week of my pregnancy, but each one was getting more difficult and shorter. The day before he was born I was only able to walk 1 mile before my back hurt too intensely to continue.

The day of his birth I jumped on the treadmill hoping for another 1 mile walk, but at 1/4 mile I was absolutely unable to go any further because of the back pain. I got off the treadmill and tried to rest on the couch. The pain was intense, but I took a hot shower which loosened it up some and went on to my hair appointment. (I just DON’T miss those things!)

During the drive to the salon I realized that the constant back pain was now coming and going every few minutes. Because the pain wasn’t in my abdomen, and because it started immediately after my walk I didn’t attribute it to contractions necessarily … I just thought I had overdone things. The next few hours the pain became more intense and more regular. Finally I gave up and texted my doctor, he told me to go to Labor & Delivery Triage at the hospital to be checked.

By the time my husband came home from work and we drove to the hospital the pain was so intense I knew it was THE day. Sure enough after seeing my contraction pattern my doctor decided to go ahead and perform my repeat c-section. I hadn’t even told any of my friends or family that I was contracting and headed to the hospital, so there was a mad scramble to get everyone there before the surgery. Luckily my mom, who lives 2 hours away, was already in town visiting my grandmother who had broken her back a few day prior and was in the hospital herself.

It was so surreal to be the one laying on the operating table, after helping so many moms through that process as their nurse over the years. Of course I did it with Lincoln, but that felt like a million years ago at this point.

As soon as I heard Bennett’s first cry I started sobbing myself. I was so relieved to have him safely in the world and in my arms.

The past 5 weeks since his birth we’ve spent a lot of time snuggling and getting to know each other … his favorite time of the day is our long morning walks and runs. I like to think he remembers all the walking and running we did together along the way. So glad to have my little partner in my arms! Daddy, Mommy and big brother are all totally in love!


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Heading Towards 30!

I haven’t posted as much as I wish I had during this pregnancy, but I don’t want to leave everyone hanging at 21 weeks …

Today I’m 29 weeks (+4 days)!

In the last few weeks we’ve had a couple notable things happen: first I had my Gestational Diabetes test, which came back with a borderline result. When I was pregnant with Lincoln I was positive, but because of my lifestyle changes I was really hoping to be in the clear this time around. My result was 140 (the exact limit of a normal result), so although I don’t technically have diabetes I still need to be careful. My doctor advised that I monitor my eating more closely, and so far I’ve done a crappy job of that.

The family and I had a lovely beach vacation last week, and I kind of let my diet slip … ok, I paid no attention to anything diet related at all … but now that we are back home, I’m ready to get serious and do what is best for this little one.

We also had a 4D Ultrasound about a week ago, and got some precious pictures!


Those are his feet by his face in the first and third pics! He’s sitting breech (bottom down) and is folded in half. Doesn’t look comfortable to me, but apparently he likes it!

The workouts are getting impossible harder, and now I’m just in a total “do what you can” mode. I’ve quit doing CrossFit at this point, and I’m very close to calling it quits for good with running. I ran twice last week for 3 miles each session and my back just kills! Right now the only thing that feels decent is the elliptical and walking. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’d really like to try for a run on Friday when I turn 30 weeks, so we’ll see. I envisioned myself being one of those moms who comes in to deliver her baby after having run 5 or 6 miles that morning, but I’m realizing that is just not going to be the case for me … and that’s really ok.

I almost forgot the most important news! At my last appointment we scheduled my repeat c-section. If everything goes according to plan, Bennett will make his arrival on August 11th.

The final countdown begins!

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21 Weeks! Moving Right Along.


Yesterday I hit the 21 week mark. The last few weeks have zoomed right by, I’m sure I won’t be feeling that way before long though.

I’m really starting to feel much more fetal movement than I previously have. It’s quite obvious several times a day now and especially so when I lie on my back at night and pay attention.

I’m up 22 pounds at this point, I’ve really been packing them on the past 3 weeks or so. While I’m not really worried about it, I probably need to start paying closer attention to what and how much I’m eating. The past few weeks have been out of the ordinary with birthday parties and various events.

I’ve still been exercising quite a bit. Some days running feels good and some days its tough. My bladder has been the biggest issue, I can only run for about 8 or 10 minutes before feeling like I need to pee again. So frustrating, especially on days when I feel great otherwise.

This week looked like this:

Monday – CrossFit Workout
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Ran 5.5 Miles
Thursday – Attempted to run, but only made it 0.69 miles and was cramping so switched over to the elliptical for 30 minutes.
Friday – Rest
Saturday (today) – Ran 5 Miles

The next milestone I’m looking forward to is viability at 24 weeks!

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16 Weeks

I keep putting off blogging because I haven’t yet had the time or desire to sit down and write my review of the Mercedes Half Marathon that I ran a couple weeks ago. I really really want to keep on top of my pregnancy blogging though, so for now I’m going to skip the race recap and just do my weekly pregnancy update.

I realize this may not be interesting for many people to read each week, but its something I want to be able to look back on down the road and remember so I’m sharing it anyway. When I was pregnant with my son I had a blog (http://sweetpeamcqueen.blogspot.com/) but unfortunately I didn’t write very often. Now that I’m pregnant again and wanting to compare my experiences I’m wishing I had kept up with it more.

Sooo ….

Week 16. I’m actually 16 weeks and 4 days now, my weeks change on Friday.

Last week I was sick with laryngitis and sinus junk most of the week. I was able to do the bare minimum, but not a lot of exercise happened until later in the week.

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Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 45 min Elliptical
Wednesday – 4 mile Treadmill Run
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 8 mile Run
Sunday – 3 mile Run

Running is still feeling ok so far. I’m having to take some walk breaks here and there, but I think that’s to be expected and I’m really making an effort to be fine with that.

Weight – Gained 0.8 pounds. 13.8 total.
Cravings – Cottage Cheese and Gelato. I had to let go of the cashews, they were making my stomach hurt from eating them in such massive quantities.
Aversions – None! Totally back on my normal eating routine. Mostly Paleo, with a few treats.
Goals – Keep eating healthy, stick to reasonable portion sizes. Log food, but don’t count calories. Get atleast 10,000 steps a day (I bought a FitBit and I’m addicted to it!) Keep running, keep CrossFitting.
It’s a … – BOY! Bennett Marshall is his name and we found out that he was a he at an elective ultrasound at 15 weeks.

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Hello, 2nd Trimester!

I was going to wait to write this post until a day when I actually got dressed like a normal human being, but reality is that I live in workout clothes, pajamas and scrubs. I can go weeks without even drying my hair or putting on “regular” clothes. So here it is …

Today I am 13 weeks (+3 days) pregnant. This is the beginning of the second trimester! Woohoo!

I can’t decide if time is going by fast or slow at this point. Day to day flies by, but the weeks are creeping. At this point I’m really anxious to find out whether this baby is another boy or a baby girl. I should know in about a month or so. My gut says girl. But my gut has been wrong before.

The last two weeks I have been feeling MUCH better than I did the previous weeks. I never had any major morning sickness, but my exhaustion level has been off the charts. Many days went by where I couldn’t do much of anything except eat and nap. I was too tired to cook, so there were lots of take-out meals. Thankfully, the exhaustion is now just mild fatigue and I’m able to cook and eat healthy meals again.

Exercise-wise I’ve stuck to almost a normal schedule. I’ve decreased my running mileage slightly compared to pre-pregnancy, but I’ve done something almost every day. This past week’s exercise looked like this:

Monday – 5 Mile Run
Tuesday – 50 Minute Elliptical
Wednesday – 5.2 Mile Run
Thursday – CrossFit
Friday – 2 Mile Easy Walk
Saturday – 8 Mile Run
Sunday – 4 Mile Run

Here’s how everything else is going down:

Weight – Gained 10 pounds. Don’t care.
Cravings – Cashews and cottage cheese.
Aversions – Meat (except ground) and all vegetables especially green ones. Thankfully this is over, made trying to stay Paleo impossible.
Workouts – Running and CrossFit, at almost my pre-pregnancy level. Getting slower with running, but still comfortable. Modifying some CrossFit moves and weights as needed.
Goals – To continue exercising as long as possible. To eat clean, healthy meals going forward with occasional indulgences. To not worry about weight gain as long as I’m meeting my exercising and eating goals.
Looking Forward To – Finding out if this baby is a boy or a girl, and feeling movement.
Special Moments So Far – Seeing baby move and have the hiccups on ultrasound. Finding the baby’s heartbeat on my home doppler at 9w3d.

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