Pregnancy Journey

Wednesday Weekly Weigh-In: Pregnancy Edition- Week 36

Currently 36 weeks, only 26 days or less to go until Jr. arrival. I am so excited to meet our newest edition that I am beginning to get impatient. Just thinking about what his personality will be like. This also will mean that my husband and I will have two children with the same zodiac signs– Taurus. If he is anything like Abby he will be unwavering, strong willed and steadfast in his opinions. All good character traits when utilized positively. I guess will just have to wait and see . . .

My belly is growing and so are my cravings. I can’t seem to sleep in and I am up every hour thirsty and with a full bladder. Hubby and my MIL (Mother-in-Love) are still convinced that baby will debut on May 3rd. Hubby specifically suspects that I will start laboring on May 2nd. Only time will tell. One thing for sure his date has already been decided by the Almighty – Most High.

36 Week Milestones & Current Events:

  • Baby is the size of a Ripe Papaya
  • Measuring about 20 inches long and weights about 6 lbs
  • Baby is shedding bodily hair, as well as the vernix caseosa
  • Forming meconium for his first bowel movement
  • Since baby has dropped Mommy’s lungs are feeling relieved
  • Increased pelvic pain and pressure since baby is in position for the big day
  • Contractions are increasing in frequency and intensity

At 36 weeks, I weigh in today at 180.6 lbs. This means I gained a whole 5 lbs since last Wednesday. Baby is definitely packing on more weight as we approach delivery day. I am looking forward to my upcoming prenatal appointment on Friday to see if I have dilated. Keep following my blog for weekly updates. Be on the lookout for a birth announcement post. I am excited to see who predicted Jr. due date accurately.

FLWE ❤

Food, How To

3 Tips on How to Deal with Coffee Cravings

While you may classify your love for coffee as an “addiction,” it more than likely is just a dependence. It is really not that difficult to kick your coffee habit to the curb or at least have more control over your coffee craving.

One aspect to keep in mind is that caffeine withdrawal does not last that long and your body will naturally reset itself after a free weeks of abstinence from consuming coffee. Yes, you may experience some side effects such as: headaches, tiredness, irritability, and trouble concentrating are all are temporary and will resolve on its own. The longer you successfully refrain from coffee, your tolerance for caffeine will also decrease.

3 Tips on How to Deal with Coffee Cravings:

  1. Quit Cold Turkey: Remind yourself that symptoms of withdrawal are only temporary. Symptoms can range mild to severe and will very individually. Some people may find it challenging to function normally and others may be able to work through the sudden transition. Withdrawal normally occurs within 12-24 hours after your last cup of coffee. The majority of withdrawal symptoms will peak after two days without caffeine but could potentially last up to ten days.
  2. Gradually Give it Up: If you are not willing to quit cold turkey, fearful of the symptoms you may encounter- slowly begin to reduce your coffee intake each day. You can even replace coffee with another caffeinated beverage that has lower caffeine. For example, the average cup (8 oz.) of coffee has about 95-200 mg of caffeine; a cup (8 oz.) of tea has about 14-60 mg of caffeine. Making a simple change, tea over coffee can assist with weaning you off of coffee.
  3. Break your Coffee Routine: If drinking coffee has become a daily routine breaking your habit is as simple as altering your routine. Instead of enjoying a cup of regular coffee you may want to opt for decaf in the morning. Another option, would be to replace your morning coffee with another beverage (tea or breakfast smoothie).

If you are struggling to break your coffee craving please share what you think causes the setback in your life? Is it the taste that you crave or the experience? Do you drink coffee for social reasons? I would love to learn more about your thoughts and experience with coffee cravings.

If you have successfully overcame your coffee dependence please share what worked for you.

FLWE ❤

Motivational Monday

Motivational Monday: New Week, God is in Control, New Doors, New Breaks, New Blessings, Prepare your Mind, Enlarge your Vision

Monday Pep Talk:

Wishing everyone a prosperous new week – happy Monday! I found this quote so inspiring this morning. I do believe that God is doing new things in my life and opening new doors. I have learned to take less control and leave it up to God; everything works out when you let God take control (Just my little spiritual nudge for this week).

Self Reflection Questions:

  • Have you prepared your mind for this week?
  • Have you set your intentions for this week?
  • Is your heart in a positive place?

FLWE ❤

Food

Sunday Meal Prep: Teriyaki Steak Stir Fry

Menu Items:

  • Petite Sirloin Steak
  • Onion and Peppers mixed
  • Broccoli Cuts
  • Asian Stir Fry Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 6 Petite Sirloin Steaks
  • 1 bag of frozen Onion and Peppers mixed
  • 1 bag of frozen Broccoli Cuts
  • 1 bag of frozen Asian Stir Fry Veggies
  • Wegman’s Teriyaki Marinade Sauce
  • Salted Butter
  • Seasonings: Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Steak Seasoning, Onion Powder, Garlic Salt

Prep Time: 40 minutes

I hope everyone had a productive Sunday. This post will be going up kind of late since I postponed my Sunday meal prep to later in the evening today. Hubby woke up around 7:30 am and hogged the kitchen up while he meal prepped his dish for this upcoming week. I decided to sleep in until about 8 am. Once I woke up I fixed breakfast and had to finish up a paper that is due for one of my graduate courses.

I started my meal prep around 7 pm tonight and I am glad I plan quick meal preps. This meal only took me 40 minutes to prepare and required little preparation. I simply tossed some salted butter into my copper pan and once it melted I tossed in all of my frozen veggies. I covered the pan and allowed my veggies to steam and cook. I then seasoned my steak with the following seasonings: steak seasoning, onion powder, and garlic salt. I tossed my steaks on the stove top and allowed them to cook in salted butter. In between watching my steak, I seasoned my veggies with sea salt and black pepper. Once my steak was done cooking I removed it from the stove and cut the steak up. Once my veggies were finished steaming I drained the excess butter and tossed my steak into the pan of veggies. I then added Wegman’s teriyaki marinade sauce to the mix and allowed it to simmer on the stove for about 3-5 minutes. Simple as that – my meal was done!

Meal prepping does not have to be a daunting or hard task. I try to plan meals that I can prepare in less than 1 hour. I recommend meals that are prepared with a sauce, as it keeps your food moist throughout the week. This is just a quick tip if you are struggling with keeping your meal moist throughout the week. For example, chicken can be a tough meat to keep moist. Opt for chicken thighs vs. chicken breast as the thighs remain moist and do not dry out like the breasts. [Comment below any challenges you face when meal prepping]

Typically, by the end of Sunday night I already know what is on the menu for the following week. However, I have no idea right now. My pregnancy cravings have been so random. I think I need more time to think about my options for next week as they will depend on my taste buds and cravings. Subscribe to stay updated on my journey.

FLWE ❤

Pregnancy Journey

35 Week Appointment Update & Jr. Due Date Predictions: Friends & Family

Today I am 35 weeks and 3 days. My weekly check up went well. I gained 2 lbs since Wednesday (177 lbs) and my blood pressure has been great. I have not dilated yet and baby is still in position and preparing for his big day. His heart rate and activity level is normal and to be expected. I will continue to check in weekly with my OB/Gyn until Jr. arrival. I really can’t imagine him waiting until his due date or after. I have been experiencing so much pressure and sleeping has been a challenge for me. It’s nearly impossible to get comfortable at night, as I toss from one side to the other.

After my appointment today I treated myself to a pedicure. This will probably be my last pedicure until after Jr. I chose a pretty blue in honor of baby boy. Self care is so important and is something I refuse to neglect.

~

Thank you for everyone who participated by commenting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with your predictions on when Jr. will arrive in the coming weeks. See below for everyones predictions. I can not wait to see who is correct or close. Currently, 4 weeks and 4 days left to go until my estimated due date 5/14/19.

Pregnancy Journey

Wednesday Weekly Weigh-In: Pregnancy Edition – Week 35

Welcome to week 35. I am another week closer to meeting our little man. I honestly feel like time is going by extremely fast at this point. Currently, there is only 34 more days until my expected due date [5/14/19]. Baby is in position and dropping lower everyday. It is beginning to get more difficult for me to carry around the weight of my belly. I often get a little off balance and have to catch myself.

While my family and I are excited for Jr. arrival; so are my friends and coworkers. I was so shocked that my job planned a baby shower for me. Initially, it was planned last week but they had to cancel it because I was admitted to the hospital. My friend and coworker Jaleesa couldn’t hold the surprise in and told me that they had it all planned out. I felt so bad to hear that they had everything planned with food and decorations but had to cancel because of me. I was grateful but did not imagine that they would replan something to surprise me at work.

So, yesterday my coworkers began acting funny- disappearing for long periods of time and scattering all around the office, in and out. I didn’t realize that they were rushing to pick up food and decorate a little. I was shocked when I went to lunch and saw all of the blue decor. It was a dead giveaway that it was for me and Jr. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness and everyone’s gift. Both me and Jr. feel the love. I want to thank everyone again for their support and kindness.

35 Week Milestones & Current Events:

  • Baby is the size of a Bunch of Carrots
  • Measuring about 20 inches long and weighs about 5.5-6 lbs
  • Baby’s skeletal development is nearly complete
  • Baby will continue to pack on more weight in the coming weeks
  • Baby is in position
  • Mommy is trying to manage the extra weight (balance control)
  • Blurry vision is still a thing
  • Contractions are becoming more frequent, stronger, and closer
  • Walking long distances or standing for too long is a task (SOB frequently)
  • Cravings: Hershey’s chocolate bars, coffee with heavy cream

At 35 weeks, I weigh in today at 175 lbs. I am up 2 lbs from last week. I have happy to see the numbers going up on the scale. It’s a reassurance that baby is getting bigger and packing on his weight appropriately. I have not experienced any swelling and I am thankful for that. I have heard many horror stories from other moms who have suffered with swelling in their pregnancy. I would say that I am in the clear from this issue. I haven’t experienced it yet and didn’t in my prior two pregnancies.

Today I posted on facebook and instagram asking for my friends and family to post their prediction date of when Jr. will arrive based off of the picture above of me today at 35 weeks. Even my coworkers joined in on the fun and circulated a calendar with their predictions.

If you have not had a chance yet to post your predictions please do so. I am also accepting predictions here on my blog. Please comment your prediction below. Keep in mind Jr. due date is 5/14/19. I am accepting predictions up until Friday evening at 8:00 pm. I will then create a blog post and share everyones name and prediction date. I can not wait to see who predicts his arrival accurately or close enough.

FLWE ❤

Fitness Journey, Health

Health Tip Tuesday: 5 Reasons to Avoid Eating Late at Night

If you are struggling with weight loss you may be over looking an impacting factor. Ask yourself: When are you having your last meal of the day? Do you find that you are snacking after dinner?

You should have a eating window set and an established cut off time at night after your last meal. Data collected from animals and night-shift workers correlate that those who eat late suffer from what they call, “night eating syndrome“. “Studies tend to show that when food is consumed late at night — anywhere from after dinner to outside a person’s typical sleep/wake cycle — the body is more likely to store those calories as fat and gain weight rather than burn it as energy, says Kelly Allison of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders” (Allen, 2015).

Data collected suggests that overall the body processes food differently throughout the day. This can be a result of, but not limited to: digestion, body temperature, hormone levels, and physical activity (Allen, 2015).

While eating late at night often prompts weight gain it can also raise your blood sugar. The spiking of blood sugar levels has been linked to raising the risks of other chronic diseases. Often, night time cravings consists of higher calorie foods/snacks (sugary or salty cravings). It is recommended to avoid late night snacking and this can be successfully done through training your not only your body but yourself. Change your mindset if you are seeking to change your current lifestyle (Allen, 2015).

5 Reasons to Avoid Eating Late at Night:

  1. Altered Hormone Function: Consuming food late at night alters your hormone function, specifically- insulin, glucagon and leptin.
  2. Increased Inflammation: Calories consumed between the hours of 7 pm and midnight have been linked to an increased C-Reactive protein, which is a indication of inflammation.
  3. Impaired Blood Sugar Regulation: Insulin produced as a result of the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day is least efficient at night. Consuming food and/or snacks that have a high-glycemic index will increase your blood sugar and impair your body’s ability to regulate your levels, resulting in increasing your risk of other chronic diseases.
  4. Increased Weight Gain: Eating late at night is linked to weight gain because the disruption of our circadian clock in our fat tissues are disrupted when consuming foods late into the night. As a result, the body is prompted to store fat rather than burn it. The body is less active at night as it attempts to slow down for the night, as triggered by our bodily clock.
  5. Elevated Triglycerides and Cholesterol: Eating outside of our circadian cycle has an impact on how our body metabolizes lipids, resulting in elevated levels.

Knowing the effects of eating late prompted a change within our family as we are all on our fitness journey. It required us to change our schedule and be consistent in our commitment. Our household enjoys dinner together each night between the hours of 5:00 – 6:00 pm. It only takes on average about two weeks to build a habit and this is a standard that we have set. We avoid eating outside of our dinner window and my husband Andrew is so strict that he will fast if he finds that eating would put him outside of our set eating window. If your schedule does not permit you to eat dinner early, adjustments will need to made to work around this. You can not use your schedule as an excuse. It is true that people find the time and dedication to do what they chose to do. If you are looking to live a more healthier lifestyle you have to want it and make the appropriate changes as needed.

Recommendations:

In the effort to minimize nighttime eating I recommend that you commit to a time window for eating. Set a time in which you will break your morning fast from the night before (breakfast= break-fast) and a time in which you will begin your fast at night (last meal of the day-dinner). If you do find that you have a hunger urge outside of your eating window replace high glycemic food/snack options with smaller and high-protein snacks (I.e. eggs, nuts, yogurt).

I encourage everyone reading this post to share your experiences in the comment section. Are you currently battling with eating late? Is weight gain a concern of yours? Is obesity effecting your health? How do you feel? Your testimony can help someone. My primary focus is to build a community around my blog but this is only possible with the help of all of my followers and readers.

Be sure to follow my Facebook page, Fit Life With Erica in order to connect with myself and others on their fitness journey.

FLWE ❤

References:

Allen, J. V. (2015, August 24). Why eating late at night may be particularly bad for you and your diet. Retrieved April 8, 2018, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/why-eating-late-at-night-may-be-particularly-bad-for-you-and-your-diet/2015/08/24/ad8b85ac-2583-11e5-b77f-eb13a215f593_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a8f4bd12bf7a

Clark, C. (2018, July 11). Is it Bad to Eat at Night? 6 Reasons to Avoid Nighttime Meals and Snacks. Retrieved April 8, 2019, from https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/is-it-bad-to-eat-at-night-6-reasons-to-avoid-nighttime-meals-and-snacks/