Happy Easter from our family to yours!
May your day be filled with happiness and laughter!
Happy Easter from our family to yours!
May your day be filled with happiness and laughter!
Time flies… I’ve repeated this many times and will say this over and over again… I feel like the time is just like sand fleeting through your fingers; and I am desperately trying to hold on to every single moment. Yesterday my baby turned 8 months old!
Justin and I have watched Sofia reaching many milestones over the past month. She first stood up on her knees and several days later was able to stand up while holding on to her little car.
Yesterday, she tried to climb a couch by stepping on her car to get to the 8 months sticker as I was snapping the picture above…
She loves to pull herself up in all the places you *me?!* would never think of: “Oh, mommy, you’re cooking? Let me pull myself up on a bottom drawer of the stove, so I can see better!” She’s done it all: kitchen drawers, garbage bin, chairs, sofas, TV stand, toilet… *Who needs the Discovery Channel? There’s so much to discover at home!* I honestly think she would do at least 10 pull ups if only her grip was stronger!
Sofia also started clapping on International Women’s Day. How fitting! I was overjoyed. It was the best gift of all!
This week our baby girl even started waving hello/bye-bye. She’s doing it in her own endearing uncertain way, and I’m trying to engrave it in my memory.
We’ve introduced new foods as well! New types of cereal, fish (haddock), avocado, cauliflower, pear, peach, nectarine, pineapple, and mango.
Feedings can be messy. I love watching Justin getting frustrated when Sofia splashes food all over the tray by hitting a spoon with her tiny hand. Somehow he is always caught ‘by surprise’. In response to his mumbling, I say, “Wait till she starts eating on her own!” *Fun stuff!*
Sofia is a big girl now because she even tried drinking water from a grown up glass. *It’s a big deal, don’t you think? Wink!*
While she really loves drinking water, she is still getting used to doing a starfish on her back at the swimming pool. *More on the swimming classes next week.*
Sofia also became my official running buddy. Over the past week, I’ve gone running with a stroller 3 times and it was a blast along with puddles of sweat. *Haha!*
What have you been up to, my friends?! Stay tuned, many interesting posts are coming up in the near future!
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “Las Vegas”? The bright lights that dot the Strip? Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood? The clink of coins in the slot machines?
If you ask Josh Furlow, health and fitness should rank pretty high up on that list.
Furlow is the Senior VP of Operations of the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series. Every time the series touches down in Las Vegas, it becomes the city’s biggest outdoor fitness event – the Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon. And in just a few short years, it and other events centered on fitness and health may well eclipse gaming as Las Vegas’ biggest allure.
The city’s gaming industry has reported big revenue losses for the sixth year running, according to CNN Money. The situation doesn’t look like that’s changing anytime soon, either, especially with online gaming companies gaining even more ground through lucrative jackpot games with a low barrier for entry.
With the gaming industry in the virtual dumps, large-scale events, conventions, trade shows, and expos have helped Las Vegas roar back from the economic downturn in recent years.
Not only is the Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon a big draw for health and fitness enthusiasts the world over, it has also helped stimulate the city’s economy. In 2014, for example, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the event generated almost $85 million worth of direct spending.
The brains behind the marathon have also recognized a great opportunity to further capitalize on Las Vegas’ spot as the premiere convention destination in the United States. For the non-runners, they’ve also set up the Las Vegas Health and Fitness Expo. Both events will start on November 10th, 2016, with the marathon concluding on November 12th and the Expo closing its doors a day later.
Other health and fitness events have also recognized the opportunity for synergy. This year’s installment of Interbike, the biggest bicycle industry trade show in the US, for example, will start on September 21. On the same day, CrossVegas will kick off the year’s cyclocross World Cup season. One guess as to where both events are taking place.
With all of these events and more on Las Vegas’ calendar, the day may not be that far off when it becomes the next big health and fitness mecca in the US.
Good morning, beautiful people!
As promised, today I will tell you about Sofia’s baby yoga classes.
Those of you who have followed or have known me for a while are well aware of my love for yoga. What you may now know is how it all started.
My first encounter with yoga happened when I was still in elementary school. I remember my dad pulling out this book with pictures of strange looking people. *Not to discount this guy’s talent, it’s actually quite impressive what he’s doing here… but, c’mon, you we all know what I’m talking about! Haha!*
Anyhow, let’s move on. I remember being very intrigued, but at the same time being super confused. Breathing through the pain? Moving slowly? Breathing on counts? To add to my confusion, it went pretty much against my rhythmic gymnastics training and I didn’t see the point of standing in a pose where nothing was pulling. *I was flexible, remember?*
I never read that book *No colorful beautiful pictures, remember?*; nonetheless, I my fascination never faded away and I kept on leafing through the pages every now and then. Fast forward to my early twenties, curiosity was still there. What was different is that now I wanted to learn. I’m turning 30 later this year *gasp* and I’m addicted to yoga. I love how practicing yoga makes me feel and don’t plan on quitting. Those stretches feel way too good! *It’s crazy how our bodies change, don’t you think?*
I actually wanted to attend prenatal yoga in addition to my prenatal aqua class. Unfortunately, both class were held at the same time, so I improvised.
Sofia’s first yoga class happened when she was almost 2 months old. I was thrilled to have that experience with her, yet I had no idea as to what to expect.
Well… It was interesting! Definitely not what I expected, but there is nothing wrong with it! I guess going into it I was thinking yoga flows… deep stretches… What I forgot to account for is BABIES! *Duh?!* Also, generally baby classes are great for socializing; thus, majority of moms were beginners and we had to go at their speed. *Once again, there is nothing wrong with it. Just regular overambitious self! Haha!*
All jokes aside, there is a big deal I learnt at baby yoga classes!
Probably, the coolest part was learning various stretches for babies. Sofia still enjoys them!
First, we would warm up babies’ various muscle groups, just like we do for ourselves, starting with upper body.
Lay baby on her back on the floor. Hold on to her wrist. Lift baby’s arms up and then bring them down. Repeat 5 times.
Begin in the same position as before, but alternate sides: Right arm – up, left arm – down, switch sides. Repeat 5 times.
Still on the floor, spread baby’s arm out to the sides, bring them on across her chest, and spread them out again. Repeat 5 times.
The next stage is a lower body warm up.
With baby lying on her back, hold her feet or lower legs. Gently push one leg up toward her chest while extending the other. Switch sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.
Now do the same, but with both legs simultaneously. First push both knees to the stomach, then extend to the floor. Repeat 3 times.
It’s time to do a bicycle! Guide your baby’s legs in a circular motion as if pedaling a bike. Do the movement 10 times, then reverse the direction.
With the baby on her back, lift her legs perpendicular to the floor. Gently stretch them to the sides, like a mini split, then bring legs back in the Buddha pose while crossing legs one over another. Repeat 3 times while alternating the leg on top.
While on the back, bring baby’s knees to the stomach. Move the legs in a clockwise circle, then reverse in a counterclockwise motion. Repeat 3 times in each direction.
At this point, the baby is warmed up for full body stretches.
*In this video Sofia is 4 months old. I was simply playing around with her while doing some of these stretches.*
Lay baby on her back. Hold baby’s right wrist with your right hand and baby’s left foot with your left hand. Gently pull baby’s left foot to her right shoulder while bringing her right hand across to her left hip (baby’s leg should be above her arm). Repeat 3 times, then switch sides.
With baby’s feet in your hands, gently bring them to your baby’s nose. Don’t force it. Repeat 3 times.
Beginning with your baby on the floor on her back, grasp her forearms (if your baby still doesn’t hold her neck properly, you can hold your baby under her arms while still supporting your baby’s neck with your fingers). Gently bring your baby to a sitting position, then to standing. Then in reverse: back to a seated position and, finally, on the back. Repeat 3 times.
I may have forgotten a move or two, but you get the gist of it. Sofia absolutely loves these exercises. Believe me, you will be rewarded with multiple smiles while bonding with your baby at the same time!!!
You may also be curious as to how YOU can practice yoga with a baby by your side. No worries, mama! You can still do it!
First of all, the baby can be cooing right NEXT TO you.
Your baby can be ON you.
You can also hold your baby in your ARMS. Most importantly, make sure that you are stable in any given pose. If needed, stand by the wall or hold on to a chair for extra stability; but if you’re still in doubt, just put your baby down. It’s better to be safer than sorry.
Don’t forget to make it a fun activity for both of you. Babies love interaction!
Have you done yoga with your baby? How do you engage your baby?
Salut, mes amis!
How have you been?!
Spring is almost here! Even though it is still very cold here in Montreal, I am full of excitement. Spring is my favourite season. I love it because everything around starts to bud and blossom, coming back to life. I can’t wait to go for long walks again and finally start training for my first half marathon. I bet Sofia will have a blast in her stroller accompanying me!
Many of you have asked about my fitness journey since giving birth in July. The truth is I had to, as they say, proceed with caution. Surprisingly, I was given very little guidelines at the hospital in regards to how to recover from having a cesarean. Naturally, I did have a few hiccups here and there when I would ‘push’myself too much without even knowing it and I would end up in a lot of pain that would prevent me from moving completely. I had to be cautious and patient, which, as you can only imagine, is not very easy for an active person like myself.
I started by taking short stroller walks around the block, then slowly increased the distance to 3 and eventually 5 km.
In October, the incision sight didn’t bother me as much. I thought it would be a perfect time to jump back into it by incorporating 30-day challenges into my daily routine *read more here*: I started with a squat challenge in October, then embarked on an ab challenge in November, and finally ended up with an upper body challenge, which I found on Pinterest, in December.*Please, let me know if you have a good link for proper credit*.
In the beginning of January I knew I was ready for more, so I signed myself up not for one but for two challenges, both were totally free and could be done from the comfort of home.
One of them was a 30-day Yoga Camp by Adriene.
I’ve been following Adriene for close to 2 years now. I’m honestly in love with her videos! I totally think we could be best friends if I ever got to meet her. I love Adriene’s approach to yoga: Find What Feels Good. What was different about this yoga camp is that Adriene focused on mental well-being as well. I thoroughly enjoyed daily mantras and emails to go with it.
If you wish, you can start Yoga Camp at any time by signing up here. *You will thank me later!*
Another challenge that I embarked on was an 8-week challenge by Tone It Up.
I admire Karena and Katerina so much. They are best friends in real life, great fitness role models and entrepreneurs. They were able to build a great online community, which I’ve been a part of for over a year now.You can opt in to get their nutritional plan and buy extra video workouts (which I did), but it is not necessary as there is always a free option available. I love their energy and continuous support through social media and emails.
It never occurred to me that there is a big Tone It up community in Canada, including Montreal! To my surprise, I was recently ‘found’ through one of my hashtags I used on Instagram by one of the girls from Montreal community, so I am really looking forward to meeting them at the next meet up!
The next 8-week challenge starts within a few days. To hold myself accountable, I’d like to show you my progress from the previous challenge. There are no drastic changes as I haven’t made any changes to my diet. It is more important for me to be able to nurse my baby for as long as I can rather to lose an extra pound or two. That being said, I love how much stronger I have become in such a short period of time. It’s awesome to be in control of my body again!
What was your fitness journey after having a baby?
*Haven’t read my birth story? Head over here!*
Earlier this month I was given an opportunity to review Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars. I am very honored to do it since it’s a Canadian company.
If you’ve never tried hemp seeds, hemp products have a slightly nutty taste. According to care2 article, hemp has the following 5 health benefits:
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart bars are crafted with the goodness of hemp and other tasty ingredients too. They’ve whipped up three different delicious flavours to choose from: vanilla, chocolate and apple cinnamon. Each 45 gram bar contains 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegas, so whether you grab one for a pre-workout snack or nutrition on the go, these convenient bars are sure to get you through even your busiest day! Needless to say, I was very curious to try out the two flavors I was provided with: Apple Cinnamon & Chocolate.
Ingredients: Hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds), organic coconut palm sugar, organic brown rice syrup, dried apple, cinnamon, organic apple flavor, pectin, organic sunflower oil, organic caramel flavour, rosemary extract.
I definitely liked this flavour a lot! It’s not overly sweet, yet satisfies a sweet tooth. I had it as an afternoon snack just before my workout. It was light and filling and gave me the boost I needed.
Ingredients: Hemp heart (shelled hemp seeds), organic brown rice syrup, organic coconut palm sugar, organic cocoa mass, organic dutch-process cocoa, organic chocolate flavour, pectin, organic sunflower oil, rosemary extract.
It took me a few bites to appreciate the taste of this bar, mostly because it’s been a while since I had dark chocolate. *I’ll blame Valentine’s day for this! Haha!* That being said, I can see myself enjoying it before a long run or simply as a snack.
Manitoba Harvest is running a photo contest:
Tag @manitobaharvest #hempheartbar #fuelledbyhemp #sweatpink @fitapproach for a chance to win a box of your favorite flavor of Hemp Heart Bars!
A winner will be chosen each month!
Eligibility: open to US and Canada residents
Also Manitoba Harvest offers a discount to all of my readers. The discount code hhbarlaunch1015 will get you 15% off! It expires on March 31, 2016, so go ahead and take advantage of it!
What is your favourite hemp product?
Well, well, well… Hello there, lovelies!
How have you all been?
The life has been nothing short of AMAZING in this part of the woods. I’m pretty sure I’ve already said it at least a thousand times, but I love, love, LOVE being a mom! It’s such a rewarding feeling. Plus, Sofia has been such a great baby. I am sooooo lucky!
Can you believe she is 7 months old?! I know, I can’t. Time flies waaaaay too fast! I mean, I love see her grow, but I also want to freeze this moment forever. I’m torn…
Here is a quick ‘time lapse’ for you.
Favorite things: Skin-to-skin contact and eating non-stop 🙂
Loves sleeping in a stroller and in a swing, daily walks, daddy’s lullabies and a colorful painting in the living room. ‘Oh, and give me that booby back!’
Sleeps through the night, gives smiles every now and then, started going to a yoga class. ‘Aroo, aroo, aroo!’
Very talkative, rolls over from back to stomach, enjoys dancing classes in a carrier and playing with toys on her play mat, sleeps in her own room. ‘Mmmmm! My hand is yummy!’
Holds her head very well, treats mommy and daddy to occasional giggles, loves doing airplane and stretching, experiments with funny sounds and smacking her lips. ‘That mobile thing on my bed is fascinating, I’ll definitely try to catch one of those rotating starts sometime soon!’
Loves to talk, sleep on her tummy, explores surroundings by rotating on her belly and likes to lean forward in a booster seat. ‘Who’s that dog licking me all the time? Also, I have feet? Let me taste them!’
Fascination by Bella prompted crawling because there is an absolute need to touch that doggy and take away her ball. Loves taking out mommy’s National Geographic magazines from a TV stand one by one. Can sit but has to hold herself up with her hands, flips from stomach to her back. Started on solid foods (first cereal is barley cereal, vegetable – carrot puree, fruit – banana) and water, but breast milk is still the very favourite. Goes to a swimming class. ‘Oh, no, I just dropped that toy… Thank you for picking it up for me! Actually… it’s kind of fun! Go pick it up again!’
Loves laughing at daddy’s jokes and when he picks her up by hands and feet. Can sit on her own. Reading lift the flop book Toes, Ears & Nose only one time is NOT sufficient. Bella’s tail, door stoppers and wires are the best toys. Also it is always a great idea to crawl to check on what’s happening in the bathroom and kitchen. Tried out many foods so far, but the absolute favourite are sweet potato, butternut squash and zucchini puree. ‘Is eating chicken necessary? And, mommy, that applesauce thing is just blaaaah…’ Drinking water is fun (has to run down the face and make a bib wet or, otherwise, what’s the purpose?)! Nursing is most entertaining when mommy’s face is being pulled in all directions.
This week there will be a couple of more posts, so be on the lookout!
Can you believe it’s the last day of 2015?!
I can’t help but to reflect on what a wonderful year it has been.
I have so much to be grateful for! Our baby Sofia and 4-legged baby Bella, our family and friends, old and new.
And last but not least, my beloved husband.
I’ve definitely had some tough situations to deal with this year and he’s always been there for me. As they say, through thick and thin till death do us part. He is my best friend, and I still can’t fully grasp how lucky I am to have this man in my life and that two of us created our beautiful precious baby.
I know it will probably sound absolutely crazy, but when I was pregnant, it seemed like a miracle that there was someone growing in my belly. And now, I am a mom. I LOVE being a mom! It is such a rewarding feeling.
I haven’t been much in the blog world this year. I guess, it’s mostly because I wanted to live my experiences and not to spend a lot of time writing about them. That being said, I am so grateful for my blog friends and readers. You are like an extended family to me and I value more than you can ever imagine!
I am so excited for 2016! It will be a year full of firsts for Sofia. It’s so inspiring to watch her push her boundaries each day. My aspiration for 2016 is to grow too. I want my little girl to be proud of her mommy.
I am wishing you all a beautiful year ahead. Make it memorable. Make it count. Tell your family and friends how much you love them and appreciate them, don’t wait for special occasions to do so. Love. Create new memories. Share smiles. Don’t forget about people in need. Don’t be greedy. Get stronger day by day. Be healthy.Be happy. Explore new horizons. And be the best possible version of you not for everyone else but for YOU!
A little late, but Merry Christmas to you all!
I hope your day was filled with love and happiness in the company of friends and family just like it was for us! *Sofia had a blast tearing off the wrapping paper!*
So many great things have happened this month! I will shortly write to you about my impromptu baby yoga challenge, but if you’d like you can have a sneak peak on my Instagram account.
Until then, enjoy your time with your loved ones and don’t forget to tell them how much you love and appreciate them!
Living in the Moment
where happiness and fitness meet
wellness comes from within
A space to capture my love of healthy eating, fitness, and traveling the world.
Stories from an unwavering spirit trying to find balance
All the living.
Connecting to Friends, Old and New, Through Recipes, Gardens, and Dinner Parties
where happiness and fitness meet
where happiness and fitness meet
where happiness and fitness meet