Aug 11, 2014

Mommy Wars: An Intro to the Madness


No matter what stage of life you are in, there will undoubtedly be people with opinions - whether you ask for advice and whether it's advice that you want. In the realm of moms, you have no idea what you are up against until you are actually in it. Breastmilk vs Formula, Cloth vs Disposable diapers, CIO vs AP and the list goes on and on. Granted I've only been a month for less than 6 months but truly - and it frankly disgusts me the amount of fighting, making moms feeling bad about each other (sanctimommy-ing), and boasting about how great of a parent they are. 

I've always felt like in my life, I've incurred more opinions that a lot of people based on my life choices and things that have happened to me. When I was 14 my brother passed away, and someone actually uttered the phrase "aren't you over that by now? My brother died when I was 1 and I'm fine." When I married a Jew - we lost the priest a few weeks before the wedding over paperwork. When we chose to get our daughter both Christened and receive her Hebrew baby name - I know we were judged for trying to figure out how to do both. And now, just recently I blasted for getting my daughter's ears pierced. Why do we spend the energy to judge harshly others decisions? 

As the mommy wars rage on, I am constantly perplexed and amazed by how little slack we cut each other as women. We see disapproval in the eyes of other mothers when we say how long we breastfed (Too long? Not long enough?), or whether we have decided to go back to work versus stay home. Is it not hard enough to attempt to raise children thoughtfully, while contributing something, or bringing home some (or more) of the bacon? Why do we feel so entitled to opine, often so negatively, on the choices of other women? Perhaps because there is so much pressure to do it all, and do it all well all at the same time (impossible). - Gwyneth Paltrow
Over the next few weeks I will be getting into some of the topics that plague the mommy wars, why they rage on and lastly, my thoughts on how we can stop it. 

“The smug sense of superiority that comes from denigrating another mother’s values can be very seductive,” says Judith Stadtman Tucker of The Mothers Movement Online, a national organization for mothers to discuss social change. “Over and over again, that’s exactly where mothers get hung up.” -via

Aug 10, 2014

ChaLean Extreme, Shakeology and 100 Happy Days

This week I started on my body makeover challenge. Over the last few months I have tried to loose the baby weight and get back into healthy shape - but with the baby, it's been really difficult. I started the Couch to 5K program and while I really enjoyed it - I didn't feel like it was something I could really commit to. I have been signed up for Weight Watchers but frankly, with being at home...I can't remember to ever log I get sad reminders everyday to track it.

So I went in search of a program or weight loss program that I had hoped would work. I started looking into Herbalife -- I talked to a few friends on Facebook but in truth, I really wanted to sample a product out before spending the kind of money it entailed. I know a lot of friends who have had amazing results with it. But I shelved that idea...and kept looking. Until my friend Meg (hi Meg!) posted asking if anyone wanted to try samples of Shakeology and I jumped at the chance to be able to try the product before getting it.

I was pleased more than I thought I would be. Both the chocolate and vanilla flavors were absolutely delicious! I did some more research and discovered you can order something called a "challenge pack" - which is a month of Shakeology and a workout routine from Team Beachbody! After much discussion with  my hubs...I decided to take the plunge and order the ChaLean Extreme Challenge pack with vanilla bag of Shakeology!

Which leads me to this - I am doing the hashtag journey of #100happydays and why I decided to jump in. The ChaLean Extreme workout is 90 days - so I figured I would give this a try and share something that makes me happy everyday! I am truly hoping that I can complete this workout and frankly...feel badass while getting back into shape! I am super excited -- and actually already on day 6! Follow me here...yay! I love sharing photos and well hey, it gives me an excuse to post a photo everyday! Haha

So join me. Start a new workout today. Join the hashtag frenzy --- and find something about your diet and change it. I stopped drinking Pepsi...and I miss it already.


Aug 7, 2014


As an exclusive pumper for the last 5 1/2 months, I must say I've come to grow tired of so many different questions and opinions about what I do for my kid. The truth is - it's no one else's business, so naturally...everyone has an opinion. 

Check out this other bloggers post...

Reposted with permission from original blogger. 

Mommas become exclusive pumpers by one of two ways: by choice or by necessity. Those who choose to pump might be doing it because they don’t like the idea of nursing, but they still want to give their babies the benefits of breastmilk. Mothers of multiples might prefer pumping because they can pump milk for all of their babies at each pumping session instead of nursing babies one at a time. Maybe it’s because they’ve dealt with abuse in their past that makes it difficult to nurse for psychological reasons. Or perhaps its because they prefer to know exactly how much their babies are eating at every meal. Those of us who found ourselves here unexpectedly pump because our babies had latch issues, were premature and unable to be held or nurse while they were in the NICU, were born with conditions like cleft lips that made nursing impossible, or had severe illnesses or medical needs that made nursing difficult, etc. Either way, it is a very personal decision and sometimes we get a little sensitive to what people say to us. So please, think before you say any of the following:

1. Well have you tried ___?
First of all, we probably didn’t ask you for your opinion. And secondly, whatever you’re about to suggest, we promise you we tried it. That one nursing position that is so comfortable for your little one? Yep, tried it. That expert you swear performs miracles? Saw her. Or maybe we couldn’t afford to see her. Bait and switch? Trying to nurse in the shower? Begging, pleading with our littles ones to just make it work? Yes, all of it. Trust me, if we wanted to nurse, we probably didn’t turn to pumping with open arms and without trying to make it work somehow.
2. It’s not really breastfeeding.
Oh, but it is. Exclusive pumping gives babies all of the same amazing benefits of breastmilk that nursing does. Both are different forms of breastfeeding. We may not be breastfeeding in the traditional sense, but that’s still what we’re doing.
3. You should have tried harder.
No one likes a quitter, right? Telling me that I should have tried harder implies that I failed. Or that I didn’t care enough to try harder. When Liam and I were working with a lactation consultant, I asked her if there were any babies that weren’t able to successfully nurse. Oh, we have a great success rate, she said. The only times we haven’t been able to get a baby back to breast is when their parents give up trying. Well that makes me feel good. It’s not that we didn’t try hard enough or that we quit, it’s that we chose to end the tears and frustration and reclaim some of our sanity. When I finally made the decision to stop trying to get Liam to latch, this cloud that had hovered over our momma-baby relationship was lifted. He was much happier and eventually, so was I.
4. Just put him to breast. He’ll nurse.
While some mommas and babies begin their nursing journey very easily, it’s not that way for everyone. Just because nursing is natural doesn’t mean that babies automatically know what to do as soon as they’re born. It can take time or sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. It’s a little more complex than just holding a baby next to your chest.
5. Just switch to formula already if it’s so hard.
There is nothing wrong with formula. It’s not poison. It gives babies the nutrition they need when mommas choose not to breastfeed or when breastfeeding isn’t an option. But for some mommas, breastfeeding is something that was really important to us. So even though pumping exclusively is hard and we hate it, we take pride in knowing that we’re able to provide breastmilk for our babies.
7. You have to pump again?
Does the baby have to eat again? Then yes, we have to pump again. We don’t hook ourselves up to a breast pump because we love it. Those with oversupply can get away with pumping fewer times a day, but for many of us, we have to pump each time baby eats or order to have enough for the next feeding. With a newborn, that means every two hours during the day and every three hours at night. Skipping a pump means there might not be enough milk for baby’s next feeding. Waiting too long between pumps puts us at risk for clogged ducts and mastitis.
8. Pumping is so much more convenient – you can pump on your own schedule and anyone can feed baby.
This is only partly true. Yes, anyone can feed baby. And yes, our pumping schedules don’t always have to line up exactly with baby’s feeding schedule. We can pump in the car or fit in pumping sessions during naps, between appointments or after baby’s asleep for the night. But it also means that when we leave the house, we have to remember bottles, milk, ice packs, coolers, our pump parts, pump and the car adaptor or battery pack that makes it work. When pumping at home, we’re trying to juggle taking care of our babies and anything that needs to be done around the house with our pumping schedules. Nap times aren’t always predictable. When Liam was little, he would nap anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours. There were times where I had just sat down to pump and he was awake again. Or I was only halfway through an hour-long pumping session and had to stop before I was completely empty. We don’t pump on our own schedule – that’s dictated mostly by our babies. And some days it’s hard to make the necessary time for it. Many of us do not choose to pump exclusively out of convenience and really struggle with the burden of managing it all, especially when it’s not what we wanted in the first place.
9. Poor baby…he’s missing out on all that bonding time.
If you missed my post from yesterday where I talk about bonding with baby, you can read it HERE.
10. At least you can breastfeed. Not everyone gets to, you know. 
You’re right. We are blessed to be able to do this for our babies. We understand that there are circumstances where mommas want to be able to breastfeed and it’s not an option for them. We understand what it’s like to want something and not be able to have it happen. There will always be someone in a worse situation than ours. But that doesn’t have to void our feelings about our own situations or invalidate our grief over the loss of a nursing relationship.

How you can support exclusive pumpers instead:
  • Tell us what a good job we’re doing.
  • Help us find time to pump during the day, which may mean taking care of baby or getting dinner on the table.
  • Encourage us to keep going because you know it’s important for us to do, despite how difficult it is.
  • When we get excited about how much we pumped or how we figured out to do a certain task while pumping, celebrate with us.
  • Remind us how much our little ones are benefitting from all of our hard work.
  • Hug us when we cry. Sometimes that’s all we need.
World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7. During this time, and National Breastfeeding Month, is when we celebrate and support mothers who are breastfeeding their babies and to promote awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding. I fully support mommas giving their babies the nourishment they need by whatever means they can, whether by choice or circumstance. This is not meant to be a breastmilk vs. formula debate, because I believe that healthy babies AND mommas trump the pros and cons of either. Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing pieces of our breastfeeding story and my experience of pumping exclusively. 

And don't forget to support all momma's out there !

Miss Audrey girl & her bottle. Look at that grip on my arm

Aug 6, 2014

Curbing Cravings

disclaimer: I am NOT a medical professional. Before making any drastic lifestyle and nutritional changes please consult your doctor

If you're well...human. It is quite natural to have food cravings. Oreos, cake, soda - you name it. You probably crave it and well, it's probably bad for you. But we all deal with it, some have more of an issue with it than others...but we will all have a time in our lives where we are sitting in the corner eating a sleeve of Oreos.


So what can you do? After I had our daughter, I found that pumping out 60 oz/a day leaves me starving and ravenous for food - mostly junk food. And I realized after I plateaued in loosing weight - I needed to start to watch what I am eating, fully aware that I still need to take in a decent amount of calories.

So how did I change? I realized that around lunch time, I was starving - and not just for lunch - for snacks and treats. I needed a way to satisfy both a new to eat lunch and a new for the sugar that my body was burning through.

Solution: protein shake...with a twist.

Sara's satisfying protein yumminess:
8 oz Light Vanilla Silk (soy-milk)
1 banana
2-3 strawberries (if in house)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 scoop GNC Chocolate Lean Protein
4ish ice cubes

It has both the chocolate factor and the filling of a lunch with fruit and a hint of peanut butter. Making for an all-around filling lunch

Still - we will all get cravings, moments where we fill our blood sugar drop. Here are some tips to fight the urge to eat a bag of Cheetos when that happens.

- via Food Network..

Grab Some Gum
Looking for something to mindlessly munch? Pass on the candy and opt for sugarless gum. It keeps your mouth occupied and helps fight cavities when you chew after meals.

Sweet and Chewy
Instead of sugary taffy and candy, opt for a small handful dried fruit. The natural sweetness will curb sugar cravings plus the hunger-fighting fiber will help keep you satisfied.

Chocolate for Chocolate
Jonesing for chocolate? Go on, grab some chocolate! Instead of denying yourself completely, indulge in a measured 1-ounce portion for only 150 calories. Choose chocolate with the highest percent cocoa content for the greatest health benefits.

Searching for Salty
Instead of deep fried potato chips and cheese doodles, grab a salty snack that will do your body good. Salted nuts give you some healthy fat and protein and have much less sodium than chips.

Skip A Slump
When the clock strikes 3 p.m., steer clear of the drive-thru and vending machine. Beat an afternoon snooze with a nutrient-fill snack like a yogurt, trail mix, or HE-approved snack bar.

Craving Crunch
Salty fried snacks will leave you hungry (and with greasy fingers), snag some dry whole grain cereal for a more healthful and figure-friendly munchie.

Creamy Dreamy
When only cool and creamy will do, go for the smooth and tangy goodness of nonfat Greek yogurt. Swirl in a drizzle of honey, jam or natural peanut butter for some flavor.

Late Night Power
The best way to avoid eating late at night is to get in enough healthy calories throughout the day. If you do find yourself in the kitchen after hours, opt for low-cal healthy treats like frozen bananas and grapes or air-popped popcorn. Get more ideas for smart late-night snacks.

Warm And Cozy
If you know you’ve eaten enough but the urge for more strikes, sip on a soothing cup of herbal tea. It’s a calorie-free way to keep your mouth and hands busy.

Sloppy Seconds
Most of us eat too quickly no matter what meal it is. Before you go back for more, wait a full 10-minutes to decide if you’re still really hungry.