Week 7 Pregnancy – What to Expect

At 7 weeks pregnant I found myself going through so many emotions on top of the crazy morning sickness.  In my head I thought I was prepared for pregnancy but I just had no idea it would happen at all rather than as fast as it did!  Suddenly my world was turned upside down, I had to watch what I was eating, I could no longer drink, socializing was difficult and I was in this weird place between trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life, let alone how to even accommodate another person.  Don’t get me wrong, this was amazing news and we were beyond thrilled, but you still go through some of these emotions and its completely normal!

I was afraid I was losing my identity, my freedom, myself!  What I didn’t realize is how this process was starting to change me and preparing me to be a mom.  I think that’s why we have 9 months to adjust while our baby grows!  It’s needed becuase you are about to make one of the biggest life changes and you need time to accept and prepare for that!  I’ve asked so many other pregnant women and mothers and this this is part of the process and it’s completely normal.  Don’t freak out or think you are a bad person or mom because you are having feels of doubt and anxiety.

As far as my body, that was another struggle.  Every morning was a fight to get up.  Not just like a normal morning  “I want to sleep in my warm comfy bed and not get up in the cold”, but physically can’t get up.  Exhausted beyond any measure.  Before this I was a morning person and LOVED getting up and getting in a good workout to start my day.  At 7 weeks i was lucky to get in 1 morning workout during the work week let alone my normal 4-5 day a week workouts.

I was constantly nauseated and light headed to where I needed to take breaks from getting out of my bed and walking to the bathroom.  It felt like there is something literally sucking the life out of me.  Where the hell did my energy go?  Before I would wake up, kill a 6am workout and have much energy going into the workday.  Now, I’m not allowed caffeine so even that saving grace is now longer an option.  My dr said I can have one small cup a day (300mg) but I just avoid it becuase I really want to function without it.  I started with a small cup of decaf 1-2x week or a chai latte but during those early weeks only wanted a few sips then was done so it very quickly broke my 1 a day coffee habit.

I resorted to setting my alarm an hour before I even had to get up, eat 2-3 saltines and drink hot lemon water with fresh ginger slices to help with the nausea.  It was taking me about 2-3 hours to get over my queasy stomach before I wanted to eat any real food.  However, I did find that eating something – mainly carbs – really helped with the nausea.  So once I was able to make breakfast, usually toast with an egg, oatmeal or homemade (anti queasy) muffins and able to keep it down I could finally start moving.  From start to finish the process was about 4-5 hours give or take.  However, I have a full time job so even though I was still feeling queasy I still  have to walk to the subway, manage through the subway ride for 30 minutes and walk to work.  I would usually start to feel better by lunch time.  This process was very hard for me in the beginning.  Things were just so easy before and I totally took for granted the small things.  Now I constantly feel like I’m on the verge of getting sick and have to actually take it easy.

Onwards and upwards!  I had to stay positive and moving and try to get in my 45 min walk because I always make a point to get some sort of exercise at least 30 minutes a day – other than just my commute!  I would also try to get in some resistance or light weight training on the days I felt better.  A typical breakfast on those days I would have a protein smoothie bowl after my workout which consisted of the following:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop plant protein
  • Top with granola, cacao nibs and unsweetened coconut flakes

 

If you find this information helpful in any way I’d love to hear from you!  This blog is for all of you so I’m happy to share any valuable information!

If you want to follow along my journey that is currently 18 weeks follow me on Intagram @angieRhart1 !  I’ll try to get myself up to date on the blog in the meantime!

Whoa baby!

Its official, we are expecting!!!! Very excited to announce and share my journey with all  of you.  Its been a crazy journey so far and we have so far to go!  I’m currently 17 weeks pregnant and found out this news at about 5 1/2 weeks.  The pic below is shortly after finding out to start tracking my bump journey and I’ll backup through my 1st trimester and also take you up to date on my progress as well as provide tips on what I’m eating and how I’m staying active given the ups and downs day in and day out of pregnancy.

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Finding out I was pregnant was crazy because I wasn’t expecting this to happen so soon and yet just weeks prior I found myself in a playing a head game with myself fearing the unknown whether I could or could not become pregnant at my ripe age of 36!  Now by all means this is not a ripe age but in maternal age, some parts of the country – or the world for that matter – consider this a “geriatric or high risk” age.  Those of you that follow me or know me are well aware I do not consider myself old and I live my life more active than most 20 year olds.  However, for women the state and age of our eggs is well, diminishing as we approach our late 30’s into our 40’s.  We are born with x eggs and they are eliminated month by month until we progress into menopause.

When I was living in the Midwest, I was told from my early 30’s that I needed to freeze my eggs because my eggs were becoming old or aging.  I found myself so emotional after every annual appointment I would call my mom and cry every single time.   When I moved to New York, my primary doctor gave me a speech about how things are different and we have so many options available and I didn’t have to be concerned at this point about being high risk.  My OB laughed at me when I asked him if I was high risk.  So now I was starting to see a variance of medical and personal onions ranging by region of this country so you can imagine my mind had slowly started to ease.  The thing is we are living longer, have more information at our fingertips about how to stay healthier and things have changed, people!

At 5 1/2 weeks I was still feeling good.  It felt like I was just ovulating and going through normal monthly hormonal changes except my boobs were out of control and beyond sensitive!  That weekend hubby and I had planned a little getaway to DC rather than doing a traditional Thanksgiving and it was a perfect way to spend some time together and see the sights in DC.  Thankfully at that point, I was still feeling like myself with tons of energy and a regular appetite.  However, this was the point where I realized being in social settings and going to dinner was going to be a bit frustrating as I couldn’t not retrieve to my standard glass of bold red wine.  Instead, I found myself being as creative as possible in the mocktail arena.  And needless to day, mocktails can be fun and make you feel like a functioning part of society!  This is also one of the first dead giveaways that a woman may be pregnant around friends or family.  We found it easier to steer clear of that issue as much as possible until we were officially in the clear and into the second trimester.  However, there were occasions where we had dinner with friends and while trying to be discrete, it was not so discrete with the clueless waiter what was happening and became a very suspicious giveaway on a couple occasions.

The other frustrating part was ordering.  I love food and the thought of eliminating some of my favorites and having to dance around every dish with questions of every last ingredient was quite daunting.  However, as time progresses, it does get easier.  In the first trimester carbs became my primary friend and heavily weighted macro so that made things a bit easier!

prego-gym-5-weeksI was still working out as usual and was still able to maintain cardio at a higher level with ease and was lifting as usual but I made sure to take it down a notch just to be careful.  I started re-thinking the way I worked out and thought more about what was safe for me and baby and what my body actually needed as opposed to what I thought it needed.  I’ll talk more about this later on as it does get more difficult but at this early stage it was still early and new.

This is a journey and all so new to me so I hope you all enjoy me sharing.  Would love to hear feedback and welcome any questions on anything you would like to hear about my pregnancy or anything else!

 

 

 

Best Ever Veggie Burgers with Flare!

When I decided to make these veggie burgers I got my inspiration from Pinterest and honestly there are a LOT of great recipes out there.  Because I had so many veggies in the fridge I wanted to use I created my own based on what I know I do and do not like about traditional veggie burgers.  First, I like mine to be so fresh the almost fall apart when they are heated up.  To me, that is the epitome of freshness.  I don’t like dry or bland veggie burgers so I made sure to add a lot of spice.  WARNING: the recipe while making it DOES NOT look inciting but if its made with real veggies and beans, it shouldn’t be.  So don’t freak out.

When making veggie burgers its essential to make sure you include all of your macros in the burger since this will be your primary meal with possibly additional sides.  Because I made a larger batch and wasn’t sure how I would use them I did just that.  Pack them with beans & legumes for protein, oats for whole grains, and of course loaded them with veggies.

First you will want to start with your mixture of vegetables.  I took what veggies I had in the fridge and chopped them up and put them in the food processor.  I like when the veggies are ground up with the beans, oats and flour so I prefer to use in a food processor, however, its perfectly fine to mix in a bowl.  Just make sure you get your veggies chopped nice and small.

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The veggies that I used include the following:

  • Carrots
  • Red Onion
  • Purple radish (however this is not necessary and you can use another crunchy veggie of your preference.)
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Red & yellow peppers
  • Green Onion

 

 

 

 

 

Once your veggies are chopped/diced/sliced every which way then place them in a bowl and put them to the side.  Rinse your beans if you are using canned, and rinse them well.  I use a strainer and let them set over the sink until all the water is drained.  This will helping the burger forming process later on.  Once they are drained, pat them with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture and add them to your veggie mixture.

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Next, you want to prep all of your remaining ingredients and have them accessible – or at least that is how I like to have them.  That way you can mix and add as you go to ensure the consistency is on par.

Now because this mixture was a double recipe it was too large for my food processor so I took about half and mixed it then took the other half and did the same.  WARNING: if you are using a food processor just make sure not to over process your mixture.  It can become watery and just end up looking like mush.  You want it properly mixed but not over mixed, make sense?  I know, its a fine line with veggie burgers!

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Once you have mixed the beans and veggies combine into one large bowl.  Here is where you will add your flour, oats, spices and oils.  Below is what it looked like when I combined everything together.  Again, NOT PRETTY but trust me, delicious in the end!!!!

Step 1:

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Step 2:

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Step 3: Let cool.

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Final Step: Add toppings!!!

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Now its time for the fun to begin!

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 5-8 minutes

Total Time :30-33 minutes

  • 1/2 large red onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/4 large purple radish, chopped
  • 3-5 stalks of green onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6-8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 mini peppers (red, yellow, orange) or 1 large, chopped
  • 2-3 handfulls of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 – 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free whole grain oats
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour (chickpea flour)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp of SPICEOLOGIST Greek Freak

In a large bowl, combine veggies and beans that have been rinsed and drained.

If you are using a food processor, this makes a double batch so make sure to split the mixture in two, process and transfer into a new large bowl.  Take the second half of mixture, process and add to larger bowl with newly processed mixture.  Otherwise, you can process the veggies separate then the beans and transfer to the same bowl once both are processed.   If you are mixing by hand, make sure to mix well!

Once you have the mixture into one large bowl, add the oats, spices,and chickpea flour, egg and mix well.

Get your stove top ready on medium-high heat with about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan.  Don’t worry you will be adding more as you cook more patties!  This makes about 16 patties, depending on the size of the patty you want.  make them as large or small as you like, just remember they are quite soft so the larger they are the less you can fit in your skillet.

Form into ball-like patties and drop them into your heated skillet.  The oil will help with sticking and forming the patties as they cook.  Don’t worry about making perfect patties before they start cooking, they will form as you cook.  Leave cooking for about 3 minutes then try to flip them.  Cook on the opposite side for about 3-5 minutes or until they are well-browned at the top.  I flipped mine a couple times as it became easier to flip as they hardened.

Set the patties aside on foil or parchment paper and let cool for about 5-10 minutes.

Continue with the remaining mixture and keep adding oil as you go as the pan will start to dry out.  You want to make sure you have enough oil so they cook and so you are able to flip them.

Finishing touches:

In this particular photo I cooked two fried egg whites and topped my burger with whole fat organic Monterrey jack cheese, the fried egg white, smashed avocado, chopped olives and sriracha sauce.  It was absolutely scrumptious!!!!

I posted this photo along with several other food photos on my instagram if you want to follow along @AngieRHart1.

 

 

 

 

Work snacking healthy and simple

Looking for some nutritious snacks at work without all the prep time?  There are just some days we all don’t even have time to use the restroom, so why would we have time to go out to lunch let alone prepare lunch the night before?  The alternative then becomes the processed, sodium packed foods you find in your frozen food aisle at the grocery store, salad bar at work or the nearest food emporium.  This can not only become expensive but it tends to typically contain hidden calories and fat even though you think you are eating healthy!

The other option is taking time to meal prep on Sunday or the night prior.  Now I’m a huge proponent and love to prep, but with life, work, families and etc. it sometimes becomes an impossible feat.  Most of us are not in the business of body building and have many other priorities so it becomes this monster of a task to have healthy prepared meals in advance.  Now in the absence of having prepared meals, you start to snack and if you were any where like I do, the snacks are NOT healthy!

I’m here to help make this easy and take out the guess work and added stress.  I’ve had numerous creative trials with my office snacks & lunches and as long as you have a few simple ingredients it takes 2 minutes to create something delicious and nutritious.

Things to pack for this easy snack.

  1. Plain Greek Yogurt.  I prefer Fage or Siggi’s plain because they are low in sugar (<5g) and high in protein (15-17g) per 150g container (or individual size).
  2. Granola.  Whether it’s prepared or homemade the secret is to look for natural granola without the sugar.  My gauge is typically to search for granola with 10g of sugar or less, which is hard to find!
  3. Fresh Fruit.  Always have some on hand to add to any smoothie or bowl.  Berries and bananas are a staple for me because they are easy to add.  While traveling a banana and apple work great.
  4. Protein Powder.  No matter where I am, its always on me.  Either opt for a small container or the single serve pouches are great for carrying in your purse, suitcase, cupboard, laptop bag for work and etc.  Never leave home without it.  I prefer plant based options like Plant Fusion, SunWarrior, VegaOne, Garden of Life and many more.
  5. Superfoods.  I buy bulk hemp seeds, dried goji berries, chia seeds, maca powder, spirulina and more to have on hand at all times.  These can be easily added to any smoothie or bowl and are easy to take in small plastic containers or ziploc bags.  There are many health food stores that also sell individual pouches of these items as well.

Directions:

  • Mix a scoop of the protein powder(or 1 serving size) with the greek yogurt (1 serving size).  Once you have formed a good mixture that is evening mixed you are ready to add the toppings.
  • Chop up 1/2 banana and lay the slices on the mixture
  • Add your fresh or dried fuit
  • Add 1-2 tbsp of granola

Sprinkle with your superfoods and you are ready to enjoy a tasty protein packed snack!

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Strawberry protein powder + greek yogurt 2 tbsp Goji berries 1/2 Banana 1/2 tbsp chia/hemp seeds 1 tbsp granola

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Let me know your thoughts on what you like to see posted!  I’m no journalism major by any counts but I love sharing healthy recipes, workouts, and just inspiring in any other way I can to help YOU lead a healthy life.

The SUPER in Hemp

We hear all this buzz about hemp but what does all of it mean? We are inundated with information about SUPER FOODS! How do we differentiate and choose just ONE or even a couple SUPER foods to add into our diet? Which is most important for me and why? Its all very confusing to navigate and understand all of the information we are given.

I really enjoy learning about foods and the impact they have on the body. I’ve also tried to alleviate natural symptoms that I’ve had just through normal everyday mental stress, physical stress on the body and natural hormonal side effects. I have really taken the time to go through the benefits of some specific super foods that I choose to incorporate into my diet. Through my own testing and trial and error, I’ve found a few that I use and would like to share to hopefully help others. Today, I will focus on Hemp Seeds.

Hemp seeds are high in nutritional value and contain 20 different varieties of amino acids and all nine of the essential amino acids.  What’s the deal with all of these amino acids? What do they actually do? Why do we need them? Some essential amino acids can’t be naturally produced by the body and we don’t always produce all essential amino acids.  Therefore, we need to supplement through food or other supplementation. Eating hemp seeds gives the body all the essential amino acids required to maintain health, and provides the necessary amounts of amino acids the body needs. Eating hemp seeds could also aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. How great is that?

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Hemp seeds also contain high amounts of protein. This helps to strengthen the immune system, thereby, reducing the instances of diseases, besides helping in excreting toxins from the body. The question then becomes why choose hemp over other foods with amino acids? There is no other food that contains the high level quantities of essential fatty acids found in hemp seeds. Even flaxseed and other nut or seed oil, that contain very high amounts of vitamin E and other minerals does not compare. It has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fatt around a three to one ratio.

You can consume hemp seeds in a variety of ways and its probably the easiest to sprinkle on your food, blend into your protein shakes or smoothies and bake with them.  I LOVE having the shelled hemp seeds on hand in a small container and I sprinkle a small tablespoon on my oatmeal or toast in the morning.  I also sprinkle into my homemade granola or topping for my smoothies.  It adds some texture and you don’t really even taste them.

 

Hemp seeds has no known side effects when consuming them. However, you should always remember that excess of anything is bad, so make sure that you consume just enough to keep your body healthy.  Cheers to your health and taking great care of your body!

 

 

Eating for your life

People ask me daily what I eat and how to avoid temptation and stay on track. Food should be viewed as fuel for your body. Something that enables you to have energy, focus, and get through the day. There are enough struggles we deal with on a daily basis and food should not be added to the list of complications. Food can be a joy. It can be enjoyable making it, eating it and sharing with others.

Food also can be our enemy. It can be something that drains us of energy, gives us stomach aches and makes us bloat, makes our skin break out, causes weight gain and give us anxiety after eating bad food. Why not make our food work for us not against us? Why not eat things to invest in our future selves? Why not eat things that make us feel good and make us look and feel beautiful?

If we were to only look at food as something that could not only make us feel better in our daily lives, but prevent diseases, slow down the aging process and produce an unlimited amount of benefits we would all choose to eat healthy without hesitation. There is no simple solution. No diet. It’s a reset of your mindset. It’s a lifestyle. Being healthy is something we choose to do every single day. Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture. Relax. Reset and Repeat.

PB Protein bites (V,GF)

One of the most vital times to replenish your body is within 30 minutes after a workout.  Throughout the years I’ve spent training and trying to get the perfect balance of when to eat and what at to eat, and this has been my discovery.  I started noticing my recovery was faster, I had more energy throughout the day, and during my future workouts I had to ability to push harder during the most challenging parts of my workout.  The right meal at the right time makes all the difference.  Your body needs the right fuel to gain muscle and improve fitness levels.

I started playing with the recipes that had the right combination of carbs and protein.  I also wanted something that would be quick and I could throw in my gym bag and eat immediately after a workout.  One of the recipes I whipped up that’s quick, easy and delicious are these peanut butter protein bites!  I absolutely love them!  I store them in individual bags in the freezer and pull them out every morning and throw them in my workout bag.

Combine the following in a large bowl:

1/2 cup of vanilla flavored protein powder( I use pea/rice/hemp & chia protein or use your protein powder of choice)

1 cup quinoa or millet puffs (found in the cereal aisle at most health food stores with no additives like sugar and etc.)

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

2 tbsp raw agave

1/4 cup cacao chips

Mix thoroughly and form into 1- 1 1/2″ balls and place on a flat cookie sheet.   Makes about 6-8 balls. Place into freezer for about 30-45 minutes.  Place into individual baggies for easy use and enjoy after a workout or enjoy as a snack.

PB Protein Bites

 

 

Meal prep made easy for clean eating

We all know it takes time to plan, shop and prepare meals for the week.  Some of us are limited on time with families, extra curricular activities, work and other demands calling our undivided attention all week.  Let’s face it, we are ALL busy people!

The worst part about meal prep is that it’s a little painful in the front end but the beauty is that it creates a lot of extra time later in the week.  By having my breakfast, lunch and typically my dinners planned all week I never have to stress about meals.  I know I’m getting all my macronutrients, in the proper portions, no matter what situation I find myself in that day.  So with proper planning early on, your life becomes much easier throughout the remainder of the week.  It’s like anything in life, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  Whether it’s business, your finances, your health or anything in life for that matter.  Planning makes all the difference.  You won’t regret the up front time it takes once you realize how it eases up your schedule later on.

I made this cold protein packed salad to pack for lunches to accompany my fish this week.  This total prep on this salad today was about 10 minutes because I already had the quinoa cooked and refrigerated.  When I make meals I make the large portions of the cooked ingredients so it saves on prep time and I can use in other ways.  I cooked this quinoa two days prior and sautéed in water with 1/2 of a vegetable bullion cube that contained 15g of sodium.  Great option to add taste without the added salt.  I added minced garlic and pepper for added taste.  After bringing it to a boil I sautéed it covered for about 10 min or until the majority if the water was absorbed.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

I used the following ingredients and mixed everything in this large bowl above.

1 can low sodium organic black beans

1 can organic sweet corn

1 cubed cucumber

3 chopped Roma tomatoes

1 cup cooked quinoa (refrigerated)

2-3 tbsp Liquid Aminos (soy assume alternative with added nutrients and not all the added sodium)

Recipe above made 4 servings

The salad covers my macro nutrients in terms of complex carbs and some added protein.  I also wanted the additional protein so I added fish.  The only missing macro is my healthy fat.  Grab an avocado and you’re covered.  Generally I’d use 1/4-1/2 of the avocado with my meal, depending on the size of the avocado.

I baked 1 Ahi Tuna filet and 1 salmon (both wild caught and typically found in frozen foods)

Bake at 350 for approx 20-25 min.  For added flavor the below ingredients are a natural way to season.

1/2 fresh squeezed lemon

1-2 TSP fresh ground pepper

1-2 TSP garlic seasoning

Between the two filets I made 3 portions.  Paired with my salad I have a 3 fully prepared nutritious lunches for the remainder of the week!

 

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I hope you all enjoy!  Happy Prepping!

 

Travel food for thought

Whenever I travel I’m always prepared with the appropriate mix of my healthy macros. Macronutrients are a combination of protein, fats and carbs that perform essential roles in the body.  I eat very clean so try to avoid processed foods.  When traveling there are limited food options, most of which are generally processed.  Preparation is key!  Rather than get caught in a situation with limited options, I bring all the essentials such as nuts, berries, flax crackers, protein bars and protein powder.   I really like the nut mixes containing super foods such as mulberries, golden berries and goji berries to help keep up my energy.   I like to have healthy options and rather than having to stress about feeding myself every 2-3 hours I come prepared.  Again, can’t stress the importance of preparation.

The picture below is a collection of healthy food options that I picked up at a local health food store.

Travel snacks

For this trip I grabbed the following staples:
1.) Protein bars – (Square bars, Vega Sport bars and go Macro Protein bars). All are vegan, non-GMO, gluten free and as close to natural as you can get with no less than 10g of protein per bar.  Try to seek out the highest protein bars that contain natural ingredients.
2.) Nuts – I chose an energy mix containing all raw ingredients including: cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, mulberries & golden berries). I also grabbed a bag of raw almonds.
3.) Carbs – just so I have a good balance of carbs and protein I got these protein packed flax crackers with a savory flavor.
4.) Protein Powder- I chose Vega One and Vega sport to mix with water. Again this brand is plant based and as close to natural you can get with high protein. I also love Plant Fusion, RAW, Sunwarrior and hemp protein. If you’re on the road and can’t easily access a milk substitute like almond milk you want to choose one that mixes with water and TASTES GOOD:)
5.) WATER – I can’t say it enough but staying hydrated is key for your body. Flying dehydrates the body and skin so keep water on hand at all times and DRINK UP!

In airports or in flight you can typically get a fruit like a banana, apple or etc. I would pair this with my almonds or protein shake if I’m hungry. You can always bring an empty water bottle and fill at the airport. Most airports now have filtered water stations. Worst case you can always pick up a water at the airport. Also, you are traveling via train, automobile or boat you can always access fruit or water.

So next time you are traveling just remember to think ahead and prepare for a healthy trip. Hopefully you find these tips helpful! Happy Travels!