Current Favorite Yoga Poses (First Trimester)

Does your fitness regime go in cycles?  Are there any elements of your health-fitness regime that you are currently loving or craving?

Yoga has always been a key point in my health.  It’d come and go, but it was always there.  With this period of my life, it’s presence is even greater.  I practice most often at night after Susanna is asleep and while Scott is working.  It’s my time just for me… and I cherish it.  (Though some times, I practice with Susanna and laugh my face off at her silly antics!)

My practice is currently a very simple one and often I’m repeating my favorite poses.  I’ve discovered recently that my hips have been very tight and in need of opening.  Enter my first favorite pose…

Tree!  I absolutely adore the stillness, the learning the new balancing action, the gentle opening of the hip, the strength, etc.  What’s caught me off guard has been that I really like having my arms open, as opposed to at my heart or upward.  I also adore having a more elongated spine, especially after carrying a toddler for much of the day and bending to play with her.

Another favorite pose…

Boat!  There are days when I’m all about planks and more, but some days I just want to work the core and more.  Boat has been a great go to for a core work out when varied with others.  1 minute repeats mixed with other poses or core work is a wonderful happening at this time.

Continuing the favorite poses is…

Bound ankle!  This has always been one of my top 3, but with my hips being a bit tighter of late, I’m loving loving this one.  Holding it for 2-3 minutes is a blessing and helps just right.

And finally…

Bridge!  After a long day with an active toddler, often involving many hours in the yard working or exploring, bridge is a relief for me.  My body flows into it naturally, and stillness envelops me.  I love it!

Do you have favorite yoga poses or favorite anything health related at this time?  

A Gluten Free Pregnancy

Are you gluten free?  Did you have any unexpected changes during your pregnancy(ies)?

Let me offer a disclaimer now, I’m just me and this is my story.  I’m not a doctor, a medical professional, a nutritionist, etc.  All thoughts are solely mine.  Anything that you might choose to do during your pregnancy or life related to your health and food is your responsibility alone and consulting with a doctor/medical professional/or nutritionist is recommended.

Whew… but you never know….

This pregnancy has made me get in touch with my gut and my mouth.  I’ve learned very early on what I can and cannot eat.  It’s been humbling and heart warming.  It’s been painful and eye opening.  I’ve had to take a serious look at life, at my food, and at what I want in my body and around me.  Plus, who I want to be- for me, for my Scott, for our Susanna, for this little one inside, and perhaps even for others.

Backtracking… I went gluten free about three or four years ago to try it, because a friend and I chatted and I decided from that conversation and my own research that I might have a gluten sensitivity.  I never met with a doctor, medical professional, or nutritionist.  I took myself off of gluten during the summer, right after school ended, and observed my body.  I listened to it, I watched it change, and I felt good.  Really good.

I stayed gluten free until the start of the next school year and teacher workday breakfasts.  I found it challenging to eat GF and sought the community of others.  Community and eating have always been a challenge for me.  I chose to eat “gluten light” (my own phrase) for the next year or so, but again, struggled at times when out and about or with family who didn’t understand and ate differently.

Back to the present… During the first few weeks of this pregnancy, I felt like crap.  I wasn’t sure if it was a combination of hormones, emotions, worries, other internal and external stresses, or food.  After the weekend with Scott’s parents visiting, I realized it was food. I thoroughly examined what I was eating, what I ate, and what caused me the most ick and pain.  Everything returned to gluten-based foods.

Crud.  Boo. Duh.

I decided I had to go gluten free for the remainder of this pregnancy and beyond.  It’s not easy, but my ability to function as a human was severely impacted.  I was in pain and I didn’t want to do my “jobs” as Mom and Wife.  All of my normal fun times were also limited because I felt like crud. Crud.  Something had to go.

I could continue on in misery and be a “cruddy” (in my own judgmental perspective) me, wife, and mom, but I didn’t want that.  I wanted my body to be healthy.  I wanted to enjoy the pregnancy.  I wanted to enjoy time with my Scott and our Susanna in our beautiful coastal Washington town.  I wanted to soak in life and celebrate, as opposed to looking back and being whiney with bad memories.  I wanted to be able to tell my future child, “I listened to my body and put you and health first.”

So the gluten free pregnancy journey is underway.  It’s going quite well.  My body is a ton happier.  My energy levels are up.  My gut no longer cries.  I no longer want to lay in bed in agony at the end of the day cursing myself for eating food that I knew wasn’t best.

It’s likely easier because we’re not traveling and eating on the road a lot, but even when we do, I’ll find a way to eat gluten free.  My body needs a different experience than gluten.

I’ve noted that I will be gluten free beyond the pregnancy.  That’s my intent.  These 9 months are a point of change, a point of calling into action what needs to be done.  It’s awesome.

There are still some things I need to work through mentally on acceptance, but that’s life.  A few heart-to-hearts with myself and it’ll be done.

I’m not sure how much of this I’ll document, but I’m open to it if others want it documented more.  Just shout or let me know.

What foods did you crave or not during your pregnancy(ies)?  Did you notice any changes in how you ate during or after your pregnancy(ies)?

Grateful Pregnancies Part 1

For what are you grateful at this moment?  For what are you-were you grateful while being pregnant?

Being grateful shifts one’s perspective and life.  It can make anything better, and transform situations.

As we journey further into this pregnancy, I’m stopping to share moments of gratitude that I experienced while pregnant with Susanna and some from this pregnancy.  I hope you’ll share some of your own, so we can all appreciate the beauty of life and gratitude.

  • Moving at 20 weeks with Susanna. Scott and I were able to grow closer during that trek from Virginia to Utah.  We met with family members along the way, saw sights that neither of us had seen, and revisited old spots, too.  It was the last time we’d ever make the trek with a 17-foot U-Haul and an auto transport.  Oh, sweet move…
  • Working from home with this one.  While I completely appreciated the stability of my middle school teaching job, the flexibility of working from home this time has been a huge gift!
  • A phenomenal OB recommendation in Utah. Scott’s niece gave birth three weeks before I did and she shared her OB practice with me.  I’m forever thankful to her, as it was the best group for me-us!
  • Beach and park walks with this baby. When the rain isn’t pouring, we’re walking with Susanna to the beach and/or park to play and swing.  They’re amazing moments that make us all happy and keep us moving.

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  • Susanna’s kissing her future sibling. She knows that the sibling is “deep down inside” and to be gentle with him.  Her kindness towards him already makes me melt and I love it!  (Thank you, sweet girl!)
  • Breaking free of old ideas with Susanna. This goes back to the work-life reality.  It was completely scary, but totally liberating to shift how we worked.  I’m thankful we did, for the foundation laid for this pregnancy is incredible!
  • The old gnarly rocking chair in my classroom.  With Susanna, I could barely keep my eyes open after teaching four classes, so I’d curl up in an old rocking chair under a blanket and nap during lunch.  I loved that rocking chair!
  • Our greenhouse now.  It’s a constant reminder of growing beauty, of nourishing life, of patience, of care, and of love.  We all adore playing there, and sometimes I have a moment to rest while sitting on a driftwood stool there.


Won’t you share with us your moments of gratitude at any point in your life or day… Thank you!