Wednesday, October 3, 2012

First Post! Introduction, and what's for dinner?

Hi! I'm going to start a blog, inspired by the many that I follow. I've blogged before, for a long time actually, but I've closed that blog and now I'm starting a new one. Here's a short introduction:

My name is Jax, and I wear many hats. My most important one is mommy to my son, Colton, born in January 2011 (he's 20 months right now). I'm also 21 weeks pregnant with another boy, due just a few weeks after Colton's birthday. I have an awesome husband and a crazy cat who is on anti-psychotic medication. Everyone around me is a boy, and my boys love to eat. And I love to feed people. Although I wanted my second child to be a girl, I guess it kind of makes sense that I'm going to spend my life surrounded by very hungry boys. My toddler eats twice as much as me and I'm supposedly eating for two.

I also love to workout. My passion is teaching Body Attack, a sports-inspired cardio, plyometric and conditioning workout class that after almost six years, continues to challenge my body and mind. The longer I teach it, the more I love it. I was listening to Body Attack music while I was in labor with my son, I swear that is how much I love it. I'm also a certified Body Step instructor and although I don't teach it as often as Attack, I love it and aim to take it at least once a week.

I work also, at a professional job, for health-related software program that enables physicians to dictate and send medical records to hospital systems.

So, being that my jobs are all related to health, fitness, and being a wife and mommy, I love feeding my family well. I also love to bake, and while that may be a paradox, I believe creatively cooking healthy meals to be a great excuse to occasionally indulge in some fantastic dessert that makes one buckle at the knees.

I'm totally fascinated by pregnancy and fitness, and my 2012 New Years Resolution was to get my certification in pre and post-natal personal training. I purchased the materials to study and then promptly discovered I had a huge surprise awaiting me - baby number two. And I forgot to study. So maybe I'll do it in 2013?!

So I want to talk about pregnancy and working out and all the (hopefully) delicious food I'll make and experiment with. I'm probably going to bore you with some of my toddler activities as well. Hopefully it will entertain some out there and inspire some ideas for how to be healthy and fun with your family.

Here's a belly picture my husband took of me today at 21 weeks. I was pretty awesome about taking belly shots with my first pregnancy, but during this one I've totally dropped the ball on it. So, it was a pretty big surprise when I saw what looked like a cantaloupe stuffed up my shirt. That's my son, Colton, creeping by. As previously mentioned he is constantly eating. I wrote down what we both ate today and he passed me by like 700 calories until he went to bed and I ate salted carmel chocolate chip cookie bars after dinner. In my defense, I almost never let myself indulge but I really wanted to. Also in my defense, as huge as my stomach looks, I've gained less weight this pregnancy than I had while pregnant with Colton.

For those that know me, I can stress about my weight and the numbers on the scale after years yo-yo dieting and gaining and losing the same 30 pounds. I seemed to get the hang of it about five years ago, when I lost the weight yet again and actually kept it off (until pregnancy). I was super stressed about gaining weight while pregnant with number one (SUPER), assuming that losing the baby weight would be same war I fought many times before. It turns out, I really did have the hang of it, and then thanks to changing a few more things in my diet, breastfeeding for over a year and a half, and Body Attack, I ended up losing 43 lbs after I gave birth. I started this pregnancy at 122 pounds and I'm lingering around 130 right now, which is still 5 pounds less than I started my first pregnancy at. I hate watching the scale go up every week, but my experience taught me that not only is losing the baby weight fairly easy, but also taking care of kids is a tremendous amount of work (who knew?!) and therefore a great way to burn calories.

People constantly ask me whose baby I'm watching, because my son looks nothing like me. Don't judge a book by it's cover though. That boy is all me. Super expressive, quite tenacious and high-spirited, this boy said his first words at 7.5 months old, and at 20-months old talks in full sentences. Except he has his pronouns backwards. Examples: "Mommy, I pick you up!" and "You're coughing, you're coughing. You're OK!", while coughing. He's also very funny and loves to say or do whatever necessary to get attention. Yesterday he told me after throwing his plate of food across the room that "Huckie is very, very bad. Huckie threw food on floor. Very bad" (Huck is the cat, and although he is very bad, he was not involved in this particular crime). One-and-a-half-years old, and blaming the cat, ladies and gentlemen. Here we are, two peas in a pod.

So I'll start my first post, what I did and ate today. Well, I spent the majority of my day up until 2 pm having my usual morning sickness and mono-like feelings, and then I started feeling better. I've had a tough last ten days working out and teaching. Two weekends ago I decided to do a long-distance run; I'm training for a 7-mile leg for the Baltimore Running Festival in a few weeks. I used to be a long-distance runner in my past life, but a bad knee injury has made it impossible for me to seriously train for anything. I've run four times since August to train for this race. I started at four miles and last weekend got to six-and-a-half miles. I assumed I would feel sore the next day or two after, but I've actually had some insane pregnancy-related blood-flow issues in my calves that got majorly aggravated by that run. I won't bore you with details, but I'm going to see my doctor tomorrow because it was so painful I thought something was seriously wrong. I haven't had a good workout since. But today I somehow got a good feeling, and I went to my weekly Body Step class, and I was actually able to workout quite a bit harder than I had in almost two weeks. I'm still not 100%, but I'm not sure if I'm going anywhere but downhill from here (see cantaloupe).

For dinner, I decided to make something that I've been thinking about for over a year, and then was inspired by something similar I saw on Pinterest. I love pizza, but one of the things I aim to do in order to keep my weight down is avoid bread of any kind. I do let myself have it, but if I can avoid it, I will. My idea was to slice up a giant, fat eggplant and somehow bake it to be strong enough to be a sort of pizza holder. The pin I found featured a zucchini but this pregnant woman has such a strong aversion to zucchini that even typing this sentence is making me gag. So gross. Anyways, I sliced up my eggplant into one-inch rounds, like so.

 I placed it on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. I then brushed it on both sides with garlic-infused olive oil (I should post my technique for that), and broiled it on high for four minutes, each side, until it started looking a little dehydrated. It actually would be much better grilled, but I didn't feel like going up to my deck to do that. Plus I don't actually know how to turn my grill on. Post broiler:

After broiling I turned the oven on 400 degrees, and starting adding toppings. I chopped up some of the garlic I had used to infuse the olive-oil, added some sliced sun-dried tomatos, pizza sauce, mozzarella and dried parmesan cheese, and pepperoni. I baked the pizzas for about 13 minutes which was just enough to melt it. Normally I like my cheese almost burned and bubbling, but it was 9 o'clock and I didn't feel like waiting any longer. The finished pizzas:

You may be thinking that cheese and pepperoni is so bad for you, but because eggplant is like 10 calories a slice, I loaded those puppies up with as much of the good stuff as I wanted. Next time, I will add basil to it, which I meant to do, but totally forgot. I calculated the calories to be something like 120 calories per slice, so three pieces is only 360 calories and that's a lot of food. Yummy! Hopefully the toddler will eat it tomorrow. He loves pizza but has an on-and-off relationship with eggplant.

I'm going to take it easy tomorrow with the exercise because I'm teaching Attack on Friday night and attending a special Attack event Saturday morning. I alternate teaching on Thursday nights, and so I reserve my off-Thursdays for fun with Colton. Can't wait! 

Eggplant Pizza:

One Fat Eggplant, any size
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (Garlic infused olive oil is preferred)
Pizza Sauce
Toppings of your choice (I used chopped roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatos, cheese and pepperoni)

Slice up the eggplant into 1-inch thick pieces. Brush lightly with olive oil on each side. You can grill the eggplant, a few minutes on each side, or put a wire rack on a cookie sheet and place it under the broiler on high four 4-5 minutes each side. Remove the rack, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Spoon pizza sauce on one side of the eggplant, and add your toppings. Bake for approximately 13 minutes or until your cheese is cooked to your liking. Let them cool for a minute or two so you can pick them up and eat them like little personal pizzas!

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