What I’m Looking Forward to…

Before I dive into this post, I realize my blog is kinda funky to read on desktops these days. Apparently I messed up the coding and have spent WAY too much time trying to figure out how to fix it. I need to hire someone who can help! Thanks for your patience as I navigate my way through that; it may be a little while.

Now onto the good stuff. The words I need to write for myself to get through a challenging time and I will totally encourage you to do the same.

What I’m looking forward to after the pandemic has calmed down:

  1. Hugging. Even just typing the word I get teary-eyed. Thinking about hugging my family and friends makes my heart want to both break and leap out of my chest at the same time. I am such an affectionate person so not being able to hug and touch right now is SO very hard for me.
  2. Being with my family. I haven’t seen my family in THREE weeks. I miss them all so DANG much. Our parents are used to seeing my kids on a weekly basis. I can’t wait until we can all just be together again.
  3. Social gatherings with friends. Even hanging outside with the neighbors right now is challenging because the kids          don’t understand the 6-foot concept. How are we supposed to manage that? Anyone have tips? The little ones just don’t  get it.
  4. The GYM. Three days a week I would take the littles to the childcare at the gym and I would have “me” time for two          hours; workout, emails, work, etc. This played a huge role in my mental health. I am still trying to find the new balance      and somehow work some mental health time into my days. I have been waking up early to either let my creative juices      flow on the blog, or walk on the treadmill, but I could a use little more as could Dana.
  5. Not being fearful of going places. We legit have to avoid each other like the plague, because, well. For friendly                midwesterners this one is tough. We are nice people. We like to hold the doors for each other, knock around a weather      joke, and just be friendly. We can still be friendly of course, just from a safe distance. I know it will be a while before we      can chill a bit on the anti-bacterial and wipes, but it doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to that day! I have my anatomy  scan next week and I am honestly pretty nervous to have to be out in public, something I never thought I would say.
  6. Travel. I am in denial that my long-awaited trip to go see my GF Diane in Arizona is more than likely going to have to be    canceled. It is at the end of April and I still haven’t been able to face it. I guess I’m hoping for a miracle. I have been            looking forward to seeing my girl and spending the weekend with her in the sun. I even bought a new swimsuit.
  7. The boys (and myself) getting back to a normal routine. School, gym with mom, going to grandma and grandpa’s, and just having the freedom to go ANYWHERE! The zoo, the library, the parks…oh it will be so incredibly amazing.

I realize this list could go on for a while. I am going to hang on to all of these thoughts about what I am looking forward to after this nightmare has boiled over. I have to. You have to. I was listening to a video from Mel Robbins (if you don’t follow her yet, you absolutely should), and her words are what inspired this post. She said to think about the future, and even a date if you can, and imagine what you will be doing at that time.

We can’t change what is happening now, but we can make the most of the situation. It has been inspiring to see people reaching out to one another and trying to life each other up; helping where they can, even if that is simply a positive comment or hearts in the window.

Being home with my babies 24/7 has been totally exhausting, but when I feel frustrated I remind myself of how lucky I am to get to spend this extra time with them. This reminder comes into play alllllll day long because I have lots of tough moments.

I am enjoying getting creative with dinners. My neighbors and I have been sharing our dinner ideas with each other via snapchat and it makes me SO happy.

I am so thankful for Facetime and Zoom, keeping us all connected on a more intimate level.

I am thankful that my job is allowing me to work from home, something that was pretty much a “not a chance” in the past.

I am thankful for all of my family and friends who keep me smiling on a daily basis.

I am thankful I have a safe home, with clean water, food, warmth, and internet. =)

I am thankful for my favorite fitness instructor at the gym, who is providing fitness classes to her people via Zoom.

I am thankful that I can let my emotions out.

And of course, I am thankful for all of the people who are keeping our world up and running and who put themselves at risk every day to help us all get through this.

This post boils down to this: focus on gratitude, positivity, and making the most of this situation. I will continue to do it for myself as hard as it may be some days, and I think you should too. We are in this together, and we will get through this together.

I love you all.

 

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First Pregnancy Versus Fourth Pregnancy

This will be fun.

First of all, I’m pregnant?! It seems I forget pretty often because there is little time to think about it! The three little people that are dependent on me don’t seem to understand that I am growing a human and expect me to keep up with them as if nothing has changed. The blessing of this is that it keeps me active and it has definitely made this pregnancy fly by.

Symptoms

Throughout this pregnancy I have been dealing with an Ulcerative Colitis flare. With past pregnancies, pregnancy hormones (or something) put my body into remission at about week nine. Not this time. Typically I would dive straight into my supplemental regime and kick this to the curb, but alas, adequate studies have not been conducted with supplements enough to make me feel comfortable with the “risk”. My symptoms have improved but I am still dealing with it today. That being said, this could attribute to some of my exhaustion, but mostly I would attribute it to the little people honestly. I’d say I’m a pretty tough little lady.

At the beginning of pregnancy, I dealt with mild nausea, but nothing that ever sent me to the toilet. I thank God often that I have had four pregnancies without extreme nausea. I experienced fatigue in the first three months, making sure I was tucked into bed by 8 pm at the latest.

Round ligament “discomfort”. I won’t call it pain because it’s nothing compared to labor, but the uterine growth and round ligament stretching has been way more intense this time around. This one doesn’t make sense to me. Doesn’t my body just know what to do? It’s been stretched many a times already so why is it screaming at me so much this time?! Oh yes….I don’t sit still very often. That could be part of it.

Diet

I’m a dietitian as you are all aware. That being said, I can tell you that my diet has been far from optimal lately. The beginning of the pregnancy was mostly white carb focused: gluten free bread, cream of wheat, crackers, cereal, but I was able to get a whole buncha healthy stuff in there too. When the nausea subsided, it was back to the usual nutrient-rich meals. Then COVID-19 hit. I’m at home with all of the boys. As much as I aim to focus on nutrition for myself and my family, we are in a bit of survival mode as we all are. There are a lot of baked goods going down around here, let’s just leave it at that. =) In all fairness, I know I am still doing a heckuva job trying to feed us all with nutrition as BEST as I possibly can given the circumstances. So there’s that.

Cravings

I’d say my cravings this pregnancy around are more intensified. As I mentioned, the Pop Tart craving wouldn’t leave me alone. There has been a lot of pizza yearned for and consumed this time around. I was really into fruit at the beginning of pregnancy but that has now normalized. I guess it was most intense in the beginning of pregnancy. I feel pretty normal now. Kind of boring compared to my first pregnancy.

Weekly Bump Pics?!

I was religious about taking weekly bump pics for all three of the boys’ pregnancies. This time around, I’ve gotten maybe five, three of which I took as selfies.

19 week pic. I have seriously BUMPED since this picture was taken.

When will it feel real?

In lieu of our current life situation, my mind is heavily focused on remaining positive, keeping my family and loved ones safe, and making the most of our home life situation. There is nothing that really needs to be done to prepare for the arrival of baby except to buy some super teeny tiny diapers. Because we aren’t finding out the gender, I would like to sort through the newborn baby clothes bin to find some gender neutral clothes to hold us over, JUST in case a little girl decides to join the family. If it is a girl, there will be a whole lot of pink flowing in this house, you better believe it. So I guess there’s that too.

My appointments with the midwives have been every five weeks. Everything is looking perfect. I have my anatomy scan next week. My first one was canceled due to the virus. As of now, Dana will be able to join me for that appointment. My following prenatal appointments will be completed over the phone which is going to be so weird and sad because I won’t be able to hear my favorite little heartbeat noise that I so look forward to at those in-clinic appointments.

I’m thinking that maybe the ultrasound will make this pregnancy feel more real?

When I was pregnant with Bode, I remember spending so much time planning for the nursery. The amount of hours I spent looking for a rug and wall decor seems completely unreal at this point. For goodness sake I even sewed him a baby blanket! I remember sitting in the nursery once it was completed, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my sweet boy.

I am equally as excited about baby number four, there is just less time to think about it. I am planning on diving into the childbirth books in the next couple of months so I can begin to mentally prepare for labor and delivery, something that I seem to keep putting off in my mind.

I think I’m going to wrap this post up although I feel like I could go on and on. It’s becoming a bit of a doozy.

_____________________________________________________________________

I pray that everyone is staying healthy and safe. Take care, friends.

xoxo

 

 

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How to Find Your Hunger Cues

You’ve heard me say that a big part of owning a heathy relationship with food and our bodies is that we need to listen to our bodies and the cues that they gives us. When we are hungry, eat. When we are satisfied, stop. When we are tired, sleep. When we are thirsty, drink water…

So what do you do when you have spent such a long time ignoring the hunger cues that you can’t even recognize them anymore? 

Don’t worry, we can find the those cues again.

1. First of all, stop counting calories and tracking your every food move.

I understand if you want to track your intake for a few days because you’re interested in “seeing where you are at”; that’s okay. But remember, the counters are generally off by quite a bit so it’s only giving you a very general idea of what your body is actually taking in. Do it for a short while if that is what you feel you need to do, but then STOP after a few days.

With tracking, instead of listening to what your body is asking for, you are often letting external factors dictate your decisions. For example, you’ve been tracking your food and beverage intake all day, and it’s now 7:30 pm and you are starvin’ Marvin. But shoot, you’ve already hit your calorie “limit” and you don’t dare go over. By all means, grab a glass of water first and make sure you’re not just thirsty. After you’ve had some water, if you’re still hungry, don’t ignore your body! That’s a cue! Eat something. Remember, some days are appetites are greater than other days. LISTEN.

Our bodies stop giving us hunger cues after years of ignoring them due to external factors. Many times, instead of feeling hungry, people who have “lost” the hunger cues may start feeling lethargic, low energy, and well, hangry. Even though their stomach may not be growling, they need to eat to reenergize.

2.  Give your body consistent energy.

Feed your body with enough food throughout the day to keep it adequately energized. Fuel the fire. When we go for long periods of time without eating, our body begins to go into starvation mode, and eventually shuts off the hunger cues. It’s main focus then turns to hanging on to every last bit of energy it can because it doesn’t know when the next meal or snack will be coming in. This one can be especially tough for those that have been dieting for any amount of time or if you’ve been a breakfast skipper your whole life. Starting your day with a fruit and vegetable smoothie is a great place to start!

3. Pulling it all together and being mindful of the hunger scale.

Okay, you’re working on listening to your internal hunger cues, you are feeding yourself with consistent, adequate energy, now let’s gear our attention towards the hunger scale. Understanding where you are at on the hunger scale, will help you to decide when you need something to eat, especially as you are working on building that trust back with your body.

Try and eat when you are at a 3 or a 4 on the hunger scale. Waiting until you are at a one can often lead to poor food choices and/or over-eating.

Print this graphic off and put it on your fridge so you can start to familiarize yourself with it and practice, practice, practice.

More questions? NEVER hesitate to contact me at beautifullynutty@gmail.com, or on Facebook, Instagram, wherever. I am here for YOU.

xoxo

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As I scroll through old blog posts…

Holy moly…

was my thought as I scrolled through very old blog posts. All the changes that have happened over the span of the past nine years since I started this blog. Not knowing who I truly was, but wanting to find out. Just at the beginning of my nutrition career. Trying to find balance in life and health. Posting about daily eats and taking awful photos. After making an update to the blog recently, I lost a lot of the photos from old posts. I’m kind of sad about it, but also kind of okay with it (if I really want to dig up the photos, I could–it would just take a while).

For fun. My very first blog post: The Beginning of Beautifully Nutty

(MOOOOOSEeerrrr Bear! We miss you!!)

 

Fast-forward to now.

I have found myself. I am more confident. I surround myself with positivity.

I am still working on my career. I have three beautiful boys and one more baby on the way! My husband and family continue to support me through my career endeavors, health endeavors, LIFE, and crazy ideas. I write blog posts with more purpose but less often.  I continue to worry less about what others think and focus on my own wellness and the wellness of my family.

Although still unsure of where the next part of my journey may lead me, I feel excitement in knowing that grand motions and changes are in my future.

I am always tempted to erase my old blog posts because they are so far from who I am today, but then I stop. That old version of me is still a part of who I am and has helped to shape the path to who I am today. So although embarrassing, they are a good reminder to me of how far I’ve come.

Cheers to the past, to the present, and to the future!

xoxo

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Mindful Eating Versus Intuitive Eating

Mindful eating versus intuitive eating. Although very similar, these two concepts have different meanings.

 

Mindful Eating:

image credit

  • Using your senses when choosing food.
  • Really paying attention to what your body is asking for.
  • Honoring hunger and fullness.
  • Taking time to taste food and slow down, realizing when your body is satisfied.
  • Paying attention to how your body responds to food.
  • Being aware of external factors that may interfere with listening to your body’s cues.

 

Intuitive Eating: Intuitive eating includes mindful eating, however there is more to it. 

image credit

  • Being aware of the diet ideas that have been instilled in us over the years, and learning how to reject the diet mentality.
  • Self-love.
  • Self-care.
  • Body acceptance.
  • Find pleasure in food.
  • Drop food guilt.
  • Build a healthy relationship with food.
  • Learning how to manage negative self-talk.
  • Finding exercise that YOU love. Not what someone else tells you to enjoy.

Both mindful eating and intuitive are useful tools that can help you build a healthy relationship with food AND your body, and help you to hone in on your body’s internal cues!

 

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Joyful Movement

Body movin’, get your body movin’.

 

This post is coming at-chya straight after taking a gluteus max-out fitness class at the gym with my FAV instructor, Nicole. Meaning, I’m still rolling the post-workout endorphins and struggling to walk down the stairs….

Endorphins or not though, let’s chat about the importance of finding JOYFUL MOVEMENT. Literally meaning, movement or activity that brings you joy, makes you happy, leaves you feeling like a bad-A in the best way possible.

Do you hate exercising? Do you scowl every time you walk into the gym or head to the basement to the treadmill?

WHY?

The reason WHY is most likely because you haven’t found an activity that you truly enjoy, and that my friends, needs to change today. You don’t hate exercise, you just don’t enjoy the activities you’ve tried.

There is no reason to be stuck in this life doing something you hate because guess what? There are so many other activities to try and finding something you love will make you want to go and go and go again.

Dance.

Swim.

Run.

Take group fitness classes.

Yoga.

Strength train at home watching You Tube videos or Beach Body.

Walk.

Bike.

Play basketball.

Clean the house from top to bottom (or feel free to come clean mine).

Cross country ski.

Play pickle ball.

I’ll stop now.

There are endless possibilities just waiting to be discovered. If you don’t like something, then try something else, but at least give it a fair chance.

Drop the excuses. Don’t wait for January 1st. Find your JOYFUL MOVEMENT.

Mic drop.

 

 

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Where I’m At Now…It’s Been A While

Ok…it has been what feels like a half a century since I last checked in here, so HIIIII!!!

Everyday apparel, obviously. 

This blog was originally created as a platform for me to share recipes, health inspiration, wellness ideas, and really it was a creative outlet for myself.

So just for fun, let’s see where we’re at now:

I’m not nearly as creative in the kitchen as I used to be, and when I am, I never take the time to write OR measure ingredients in order for me to actually share a recipe. It doesn’t mean I don’t totally delight in doing my thing in the kitchen because I do, I just don’t record it. As for the time-consuming, 50-step recipes, they’ve gone out the window for now. They’ll be a time for them again in about 20 years.

I feel like I’ve finally found exercise that I LOVE. It took me years to overcome the intimidation of group classes. I didn’t know what weights to grab, everyone would know I was the newbie, I didn’t feel strong enough, my endurance level is not where I wanted it to be, I’d never keep up….the excuses continued to keep me away. Until, I stopped caring what other people think. So what that I can’t do all of the burpees? So what that I can’t do every push-up. Guess what? I made it to class and I’m doing the best I can and no one else cares anyway! I love the energy of exercising in a group; it pushes me to work harder because I’m competitive by nature. The upbeat music keeps me going. The motivation from the teacher excites me and inspires me. I found my thing. I still do my own thing because I can’t make the class times work with my schedule all the time, but it’s just not the same.

I continue to feel stronger as I can manage heavier weights and longer cardio sprints. My confidence continues to build, and my cares about others think continue to fade even further as I take a breather to break it down to a 90’s rap song in the middle of class. Guys, go take a class at a gym or a studio or where ever! I will come with you! Life changing.

If there’s ever any complaining about having to go the gym childcare center (which there rarely is because they have made friends there now!), I remind them WHY mommy needs to be at the gym. To keep my body healthy. I then relay it back to them because let’s face it, at that age, they are self-absorbed even though they don’t mean to be: I want to be healthy and strong so I can hold them, run with them, go biking with them, make delicious food, and be around for a very very long time.

It goes without saying that life with three boys ages five and under requires a whole bit of my energy. Goodness, I adore it. Holy moly they keep me healthy. I’m finding that my boys thoroughly enjoy helping me in the kitchen which brings me so much joy I can hardly even express it. I continue to teach them about what it means to be healthy, and they are starting to absorb some of it!

I continue on my journey of self-improvement just as most of us continue to do. I am learning a lot about myself throughout the process. As I become older and wiser, I am learning what matters to me, what doesn’t, what and who deserve my attention, what brings me down, and focusing SOOO much on finding positivity, surrounding myself with those who lift me up, and mostly, finding some self-confidence that I seriously lack. It is still a long journey to get where I want to be, but I am pretty excited to say I am making progress.

What on earth is this post even about? I guess I just wanted to check in with myself and check in with you. I LOVE writing on here and geez louise every time I do, I tell myself I’m going to do it more because gosh darn it, it feels good. I still don’t know what direction this blog is going to take, but the answer doesn’t have to come any time soon. In the mean time, I will continue to post my randomness that comes to me.

xoxo,

Melanie

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Every Day Smoothie

It’s FRIDAY! My favorite day of the week, by far.

Way, way back in the day (like four years ago?!?!), I shared my every day breakfast smoothie. This is the smoothie I have almost every single day. I am a person who likes variety when it comes to my food, so to say I have this bad boy almost daily is kind of big deal. There’s no way I would choke down a nasty smoothie no matter how good it was for me. Okay, maybe I would, but I promise you this one is delicious.

This is a super simple way to kick-start my day with fruits, veggies and protein. I have changed and adapted it over the years to amp up the amount of protein because this girl NEEDS it to maintain my energy, as we all do.

I figure it is time to share the revamped recipe with you all and then you can decide for yourself if it is a yay or a nay!

Here ya go…

Do you like the pine needles on the front porch? Merry, merry Christmas!

Cutting to the chase, here’s the recipe:

Every Day Smoothie
5.0 from 1 reviews
Print
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 smoothie
Ingredients
  • ¾ of a medium frozen banana
  • ¼-1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 heaping scoop protein powder (I prefer Orgain Chocolate Fudge)
  • ¼ cup powdered peanut butter (PBfit)
  • 3 small handfuls of greens (kale, spinach, chard, etc.)
  • 1-2 tsp chia seeds or flaxseed (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients into blender as listed. Blend until completely smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour.

It feels great to be back by the way!

xoxo

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New! Nutrition and Wellness Services!

Beautifully Nutty is open for business!

There’s been a lot going on over here within the last week. I was hired by a local spa as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist! I am an independent contractor so I have my own business, but I am working in the spa and we are all a team.

Ecstatic, nervous, grateful, giddy….these are just a few of the emotions that I have been experiencing throughout this week.

So what does this mean exactly? This means I will be meeting with individuals and groups (either in person, or via “telehealth” calls) to help them meet their health and nutrition goals. I will also be holding cooking classes, wellness workshops, going to events and so much more!

This.is.a.dream.

I still can’t believe this is all transpiring.

Here’s the thing, I want to work with YOU. Whether it is to help you reach your health goals, to be your accountability coach, to listen to your health or nutrition concerns, to ignite a passion for cooking, to help you to feel better, let me be your person! Everyone has their own personal health goals, and I would love to be the person to help pave the way for you to reach those goals.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Email me at: beautifullynutty@gmail.com

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support!

xoxo

Melanie

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Clean Eating: Back At It

Helllllooo! How are you all?!

I finally found my way back into the kitchen and I am stoked about it. After 11 weeks of eating whatever the heck I wanted, including loads of chocolate, ice cream, and Christmas goodies, my body was less than thrilled. I was starting to just feel pretty blah. I decided it was time to get back on the clean-eating train.

I’m doing a bit of a “cleanse” where I am removing caffeine, alcohol, dairy, soy, peanuts, processed sugars and gluten for a little while. I plan on sticking to this for at least a few days to give my body a jumpstart, and then I will continue with a much cleaner eating plan versus what I had been eating! I will definitely add soy back in eventually and a little bit of dairy, but I do know that I am somewhat intolerant to cow’s milk so I will continue to moderate my dairy intake.

Here is what I have been eating these last few days!

Egg salad: This time I left out the capers though because I forgot.

egg salad

Raw “brownies”–I can’t keep my hands off of these.

fudgy brownie bites

A lentil salad from the book, “Clean” by Alejandro Jungers. I wrote a bit about the Clean diet back when. It’s full of lentils, veggies, and pineapple. It’s definitely different; not my favorite but not terrible.

Homemade gummy snacks with grape juice, gelatin, and a drop of lemon essential oil. A nice little treat!

grape juice gelatin

Katie’s buffalo chicken quinoa which I made for dinner last night! This was so delicious and so easy to make! I used red quinoa which is why it look different from Katie’s.

buffalo chicken quinoa

I stocked up on veggies and made sure they were cut up and ready to go:

  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • celery
  • broccoli
  • asparagus
  • spinach
  • romaine lettuce

Mini mini burgers with grass-fed beef from the local co-op.

Cashews to snack on as well as brown rice cakes. I also made sure to buy a bunch of brown rice tortillas.

Almond butter and sunflower seed butter. Not as good as peanut butter but just wanted to give my body a bit of a break from it.

Frozen fruit, frozen spinach and almond milk for smoothies.

We have LOTS of good food around here!

Needless to say our grocery bill was a little high this week but it is SO worth it. I need to get my body back into a clean state. I’m already feeling better after just a short time of eating better. The saying is true, “you are what you eat.”

What are your favorite healthy whole food snacks?

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