Team INSPIRE — What is it all about?

Happy September! I cannot believe it’s already Labor Day, and already September!!! Wow, the summer flew right by. August was a phenomenal month thanks to Team INSPIRE! My team exploded to 34 members within 34 days, and I have truly never been part of a more passionate and inspiring community. So — what is team INSPIRE, and what are we doing?

Team INSPIRE is my team of fitness fanatics and professionals all working toward one goal — to help as many people as possible become the very best version of themselves. The team is made up of several trainers, moms, a sports psychologist, chef, stylist, nurses, teachers, accountant and more! All of us have one common bond — the desire to inspire others to be fit and healthy both internally and externally.

Team INSPIRE started when I decided to link arms with BeachBody (makers of P90X and Insanity) as an extension of my fitness business and PT mentorship program, but it’s developed into far more. All of the members of my team are automatically enrolled in my business mentorship program. We are focusing on the purpose that drives our individual brands. For example — Christy from The Total Lifestyle Companion is an amazing chef. We set up a strategy and she created a phenomenal eBook with healthy recipes to offer with her fitness and nutrition accountability groups.

inspiringPersonally, I am still staying 100% true to my Fit Parenting brand. I am still running and marketing my successful Online Boot Camp and Eat Clean Challenges (in fact, I have one starting today), and I am also able to offer great BeachBody workout plans as applicable to my clients. For example, a former PT client of mine contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked me to come up with a low-impact plan for her to do at home. I was able to offer PIYO (a new low-impact BeachBody program) as an option, and she purchased. I generated 25% commission from the sale of the workout plan, and I will still keep her accountable, answer questions, and give her tips.

Several of the ladies on Team INSPIRE are already trainers with several years of experience. However, many are also choosing to become certified via my PT business mentorship program — woo hoo — so fun! I am helping these ladies learn how to market their businesses, decide on a niche market, and land clients for the businesses in combination with BeachBody initiatives as applicable.

We are implementing tried and true long-term digital marketing strategies to reach and influence more people online with no spammy sales tactics or friend and family solicitation. In fact, I did not solicit a single friend or family member for my initial team of 34 (besides my hubs, but that doesn’t count :).

If you are a fitness professional with an established brand, or a fitness enthusiast who is hoping to take a leap into the fitness industry, but you’re not sure how — join us! It only costs $39 to sign up to be on Team INSPIRE, and you will receive thousands of dollars worth of training in branding, marketing, relationship-building, professional development, and more. I would love to partner with you and help you take your fitness business to the next level. There are no monthly expectations for my team members. I am simply here to help you establish a successful business and take it to the level that you choose — with the time commitment that you can realistically work into your weekly routine. Let’s make this world a healthier place one person at a time!

Please note — if you are already a BeachBody coach, I am also offering my mentorship program for current coaches for a small fee. I have several women enrolled who are not on my team, and they are doing a fabulous job implementing my strategies and seeing ROI (return on investment).

Contact me via Facebook (facebook.com/amanda.coletress) if you would like information about joining Team INSPIRE or to be contacted about my PT business mentorship program.

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work from home

Work from Home: Fast Track to Team Beachbody Success

work from home

It is such a privilege to be able to work from home and spend time with my kiddos.

Are you hoping to work from home, but not quite sure where to start or what type of business to pursue? Have you considered a fitness business, but are a little nervous about generating enough income to make it worth pursuing? Are you unsure of how to market and brand yourself online effectively? Do you need help managing your time, creating a website, balancing life and work?

These are topics that I love to address via my health and wellness business mentorship program. Over the past year, I’ve worked with numerous young professionals and helped them ramp up a wellness business with the ability to work from home. A business that has the potential to generate a significant income. Personally, I’ve worked in the fitness industry for 10 years, but it was only recently that I found my sweet spot as an independent contractor at a gym, leading online and in-person boot camps, and training clients at my convenience — from home, with the reality of a significant monthly salary.

Last week I decided to expand my fitness business and mentorship program influence by linking arms with Beachbody, the makers of P90X and Insanity. There are several reasons that I decided to pursue this partnership. However, one of the main reasons I decided to join Beachbody was because I have observed that a good friend of mine thrives with the company while staying true to her personal brand, faith, and family — all while being able to work from home with her two kiddos. Last week, I stepped down from an amazing (40K) project because after only a few weeks working on the project, I was having to sacrifice precious time with my family. It was extremely hard to step down because I felt that the project was a perfect fit for me. I loved the team, the passion of the company, and the marketing I was asked to complete. However, after several sleepless nights, I put my family first and quit the project.

work from home

I truly believe that if you close a door on an opportunity for the right reasons, another (even better) opportunity will pop up! I signed up to be a Beachbody coach last Monday and have been able to join forces with 15 amazing individuals as part of my core team! I was told yesterday that my team broke a record for fastest growth within the Beachbody company — WOW!

As a team of Beachbody coaches — we will be promoting some amazing workouts — P90X, Insanity, PIYO (new program with a cross between yoga and pilates), T25, and more — all from home! We will also be starting accountability groups for customers who would like to try the programs and are hoping for daily encouragement, inspiration, and guidance. Coaches receive 25% commission on products, and also have the opportunity to build teams to qualify for generous quarterly bonuses — not to mention some super fun trips to amazing places.

The coaches on my team have been automatically enrolled in my business mentorship program (a huge additional value). Via my mentorship program, I train them on digital marketing best practices, social media strategy, how to set up a website, how to organize, sealing deals, the hook and pull versus push mechanism, and tons more. I tailor the program to each individual.

Here’s something you may find interesting – guess how many times I posted a Beachbody logo on my personal social media platforms, or messaged friends within my circles to ask them to join my company. Just guess …

Zero. That’s right — I did not post one single Beachbody logo or send anyone a canned email message asking them to join my team. However, my team hit a record for fastest growth within the company. Crazy? No … There are some great strategies that help to hook and pull users into customer and coach relationships with this company. There are also some sure fire ways to turn people off and cause un-follows on social media. My team is learning the art of marketing (versus selling). We are passionate about helping as many people as possible get fit and healthy both physically and financially. I truly believe that if we keep the right priorities up front, we will be successful. After all — none of us need another creepy sales pitch on our social media feeds — am I right?!

Several current Beachbody coaches have also reached out and asked to join my business mentorship program for a small fee. I am thrilled to help these individuals take their businesses to the next level online as well!

If you are at all interested in joining my core team of Beachbody coaches or participating in my mentorship program, please friend me on FB and send me a message. Don’t worry, I won’t push or contact you if you’re not interested — but if you have an inclination to join, I would be thrilled to send you info! I believe that this is the very best time to join the Beachbody company. The company has proven that their workouts are tried and true over the past few years. They continue to come out with new workouts, and prove their effectiveness time and time again. Beachbody also understands the value of accountability and compensating their coaches (feet on the ground) generously. Last, but certainly not least — the coaches who have gone before us have done all the hustle. They have worked extremely hard to effectively and enthusiastically share the brand. If you ask 100 people on the street if they’ve heard of P90X, 90 percent of them will say YES! Wow, that makes my job all the more fun and effective.

 

Join me as I take my fitness business and mentorship business to the next level!

I started a new in-person 6 week boot camp round this week. So fun!

I started a new in-person 6 week boot camp round this week. So fun!

I hope you’re having a great week! Mine has been full of swimming, family time, boot camp, and entertaining. My in-laws and brother-in-law are at the “Tress resort” (AKA my house) for the annual Tress family vacation. Our weather has been perfect for swimming this week, and today it’s a bit rainy (great news for my lawn) so we plan to shop versus swim.

It’s been 14 months since I quit my full-time digital marketing job and became 100% self-employed last year. Since then, it’s been whirlwind of new clients, business opportunities, campaign initiatives, start-up projects, and more. I’ve truly enjoyed every new project that I’ve been a part of, but it has taken some time to find my “sweet spot” in terms of work/life balance. Just last week, I had to step away from an awesome project that I was really passionate about – simply because it was taking too much time away from my family. It was very hard to step away, but I know that I made the right decision.

As a result of leaving that particular project, I had some extra time to consider my fitness business and business mentorship program this past week. My goal is to continually grow and expand the reach of my businesses. Over the past few years, I’ve tried a few at-home workout programs including P90X and Insanity. I really loved the Insanity program in particular, and even incorporate several of Shaun T’s moves into my boot camps. I knew that these workout programs were part of a larger company called Beachbody. I was also aware that individuals could sign up as Beachbody “coaches” to promote the workouts in a marketing relationship. Over the past few months, a few Beachbody coaches have signed up for my mentorship program. It has been fun to work with them and learn more about the mission and vision of Beachbody.

I hope to retire at 34 and allow Brandon to cut back to part-time shortly thereafter so we can enjoy as much family time as possible while the kids are growing up.

I hope to retire at 34 and allow Brandon to cut back to part-time shortly thereafter so we can enjoy as much family time as possible while the kids are growing up.

Earlier this week, I reached out to a Facebook friend of mine who is a phenomenal mom with two kiddos. She’s guest posted on my site, and I’ve respected her business sense and social media influence. I simply asked her how much she makes monthly with Beachbody. Her answer blew me away. I won’t disclose the figure, but let’s just say it takes a lot of shock me … and it completely shocked me. She and I set up a phone call, and I liked everything I heard. So, I decided to sign up as a Beachbody coach after chatting with them about a non-compete agreement since I have my own professionally produced DVDs. My desire with the Beachbody company is to expand my fitness and mentorship business reach and make as many people as possible fit both physically and financially. I would like to have the ability to retire at age 34, and allow Brandon cut back to part-time shortly thereafter.  I am on track, but I think this Beachbody company partnership will only help to expedite the process.

It’s been an awesome few days as part of the Beachbody company. This week, I am actively recruiting 10-15 individuals to be part of my core Beachbody team. The members of my team will automatically be enrolled in my business mentorship program, and we will use the curriculum from the program to ramp up their Beachbody businesses online. So far, I have 4 team members officially signed up, 2 who have verbally committed to signing up today (or who have tried and had website glitches), and several others in the pipeline for my team. Woo hoo! I am so excited to work with these young professionals and help them make a significant income while working 100% from home and helping others become the best version of themselves. My main focus with my team will be to develop a healthy work/life balance and learn how to properly and effectively market to experience the best possible ROI (return on investment) of efforts.

Would you like to join my team and become an influencer online in the fitness industry? I would love to help you ramp up a business that you can do from the comfort of your own home and is easily duplicated/multiplied. If you would like more information about joining my team, please fill out the form below. I will email you to set up a 5 minute conversation.

Vega Sport Energy Bars Review

Pic on the left is 6 years ago, and photos on the right are this past weekend.

Pic on the left is 6 years ago, and photos on the right are this past weekend.

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend with your families and are enjoying a fabulous start to the week. We were in the pool for most of the weekend, and it was wonderful!

This past week, I started an in-person boot camp in town. I led one last summer starting two weeks after Baby Cole was born, and it was a TON of fun. I have already really enjoyed getting to know the ladies in the boot camp, and I can’t wait to see their results. Like my online boot camp program, we are combining effective HIIT workouts with some running, and proper nutrition. I am following the eat clean challenge that I created with my online and in-person boot campers, and I feel SO good. Honestly, even after delivering two babies, I believe that I am the healthiest I have ever been.  Here is a photo (left) from 6 years ago before I had any babies or the stresses of my own company and a house to manage, and two photos (right) from this past weekend. It IS possible to be fitter and more healthy AFTER having babies.

A huge part of my personal wellness plan includes a clean, whole foods, balanced approach to my food intake. 6 years ago, I was careful to “count calories,” but not necessarily eat the nutrient dense foods that my body needed to fuel my workouts. Now, I don’t count calories at all or measure portion sizes, macros, etc. I eat clean, whole foods to satisfaction.

The chocolate coconut almond bars were SO delish.

The chocolate coconut almond bars were SO delish.

My current food intake is a high veggies, high protein, high [good] fats plan. Recently, I had the opportunity to taste-test the Vega Sport Energy Bars as part of a SweatPink and Vega Sport Fuel Your Better campaign. The box I received was chocolate coconut almond. Oh my goodness … SOOOOO delish. I am a sucker for anything chocolate and almond, and adding in the coconut gave the bars a perfect taste.

The Vega Sport website says the following about these amazing bars:

“Moist and delicious, plant-based Vega Sport Energy Bar is easy to eat mid-workout to help you go the distance. Each function-focused bar features:

  • 27 g carbs from whole food ingredients
  • High and low glycemic carbohydrates for immediate and sustained energy
  • 1 g Omega-3

Formulated by Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete and bestselling author on performance nutrition, Vega Sport Energy Bar is part of the three-stage Vega Sport Nutrition System.

Non-GMO, gluten-free, and made without artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, enjoy Vega Sport Energy Bars in Chocolate Coconut Almond and Apple Cherry flavors.”

Visit the Vega Sport Fuel Your Better to learn more about how to properly fuel your body for workouts. The site is fabulous and very informative. It covers the topics of motivation, overtraining, stamina, muscle burn, and the importance of proper fueling.

I am so thrilled that I had the opportunity to taste-test the Vega Sport Energy Bars, and I definitely recommend that you try them as well! Enjoy.

Mother’s Day Giveaway!

We are installing a pool and cannot wait to swim!

We are installing a pool and cannot wait to swim!

It’s amazing to realize that Mother’s Day is coming up and we are almost in summer mode! Our weather in Ohio was absolutely horrendous this winter, so I am eager for consistent Spring weather and the start of summer. And guess what?!? We are installing an in-ground pool in the backyard! I am so pumped, and the kids can’t wait to swim every day this summer. We are hoping the pool is finished by next Friday.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am holding a giveaway for YOU — fellow fit mamas and friends. I’ve had the opportunity to review a great stroller hook and yummy protein powder just for mommies. And, of course, I will add your choice of my Fit Pregnancy or Body After Baby DVD for the winner.

photo (20)

This makes trips to the shopping mall and grocery store much easier!

Have you ever been walking around the mall, park, or grocery store and struggling to carry you purse, plus diaper bag, plus gym bag, plus groceries, plus — and the list goes on. I know I have! Well, the Baby Bubz stroller hook is perfect for adding an extra hand. The stroller hook rotates and secures to your stroller or shopping cart with strong velcro straps. I can now leave room in my grocery cart for groceries versus my diaper bag, and purse!

Happy Mother’s Day — I want to extend a 40% discount to anyone who wants to purchase this stroller hook on Amazon. Please use the following coupon code: PQ6MUHDW. The package comes with two hooks for only $9.99. 

I also had the opportunity to enjoy some Mommi 3-in-1 protein powder in my shake this morning! I am still nursing Cole, so this is a great way to get some much-needed protein, essential vitamins, and nutrients I need to fuel my day.

Mommi_3-in-1_Launch Photo

Here is some info below from the Mommi company’s official press release.

“Most women who are pregnant or nursing aren’t aware that they need an additional 25 grams of protein daily, or between 70-95 grams in all,” said Dr. Yvonne Bohn. “It can be a challenge for women to manage weight while ensuring they are getting the extra protein, essential vitamins and nutrients they need – like DHA for the baby’s nerve and brain cell development. Mommi 3-in-1 is an easy way to get everything nutritionally women need during pregnancy in one place. It is essential for giving women and their babies a strong, healthy and wonderful start.”

Miss Emma enjoyed the protein shake too!

Miss Emma enjoyed the protein shake too!

You can purchase Mommi 3-in-1, order a sample, and get delicious recipes, weekly pregnancy tips and more, by visiting mommi.com. You can also connect with Mommi on Facebook at facebook.com/MommiLife, on Twitter at twitter.com/mommihealth, on Pinterest at pinterest.com/mommihealth and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+MommiLife.”

The package instructions said to add the powder to milk. However, I crushed up some ice, threw in a bit of water, a scoop of peanut butter, the protein powder, and had a delicious shake. Miss Emma and Baby Cole loved it to and referred to it as ice cream.

So, here’s how YOU can win the protein powder, and a copy of either my Fit Pregnancy or Body After Baby DVD!

Leave a comment on my blog for each of the actions you complete below:

 

Thule Chariot Chinook: Multifunctional Child Carrier and Double Jogging Stroller

Thule Chariot Chinook 2 Double Jogging Stroller

Baby Cole is absolutely loving the Thule Chariot Chinook.

Are you looking for a phenomenal jogging stroller? Or perhaps you’re expecting baby number two and hoping to purchase a multifunctional double child carrier. Well — look no further. I’ve had the privilege of working with Thule to test and review the Thule Chariot Chinook 2. WOW — what an amazing product.

The Thule Chariot Chinook 2 is unlike any multifunctional child carrier or jogging stroller I have used. The stroller is extremely smooth, safe, attractive, lightweight, and adaptable.

Prior to owning the Thule Chariot Chinook 2, we were unable to go on a fit walk or jog as a family of 4. What a treat to be able to workout together now that the weather is nice in Ohio.

Thule Chariot Chinook 2 Double Jogging Stroller

Miss Emma held Cole’s hand on our first trip with the double jogger so he would feel safe. Too cute.

Emma and Baby Cole are thoroughly enjoying their rides in the Thule jogging stroller. Cole was a little hesitant the first time we went out for a run, but Emma held his hand to be sure he felt confident traveling at high speeds with me behind the wheel. Too cute.

Thule Chariot Chinook 2 Double Jogging Stroller

The kiddos are very safe in the carrier.

One of my favorite aspects of the carrier is the safety of the seat features and adjustments.  We keep the neck support in the carrier on Baby Cole’s seat, and Emma is strapped in securely on her side as well. I certainly feel confident taking the kiddos out on a variety of grades and terrains. We have traveled to the park and even done a little off-roading with the Chariot. Even on grass and sand, the stroller is smooth and easy to maneuver.

Let’s talk about adaptability. The Chariot Chinook 2 is not only a double jogging stroller. It is a carrier to use behind a bike or even skis. How cool! Thule sent me the bike attachment to test out, and it’s very easy to attach and utilize for a transition to bike rides.

Thule Chariot Chinook 2 Double Jogging Stroller

We’ve even done a little off-roading with the multifunctional carrier.

One other huge advantage to the Thule Chariot Chinook 2 is its all-weather versatility. The carrier comes with two covers — a screen and a rain guard. If you have any experience with Ohio, you know our weather can change at any moment. It’s great to have the covers available in the storage areas of the stroller just in case we come upon a rain storm.

We are headed out for a run!

We are headed out for a run!

Miss Emma informed me the other day that she was “going out for a run.” I went outside with her and she immediately wheeled the stroller out of the garage and climbed inside for me to push her along on a run. Too funny. The carrier is so comfortable for the kiddos. There is a seat recline option, and adjustable suspension as well.

If you are looking for the very best multifunctional carrier and double jogging stroller option for your active family — I highly recommend the Thule Chariot Chinook 2. Visit their site and let me know if you have any questions about features. I look forward to utilizing our Thule jogger for years to come.

Have a wonderful day — we are headed out for a run 🙂

4 Tips on How to Incorporate Kids into Your Workout

Read this awesome post from Michelle about how to incorporate kids into your workout. I’ve gotten to know Michelle via my mentorship program, and can’t wait to help her take her personal training business to the next level. 

Michlle

My name is Michelle and I am a NETA certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. I love training and teaching aerobics as it gives me the flexibility to be at home with my 3 daughters who are 5, 3, and 4 months. I write about fitness, health, faith, and my family at livefitwomensfitness.com. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter: @livefitfitness and Instagram: @livefitfitness.

I remember after the birth of my first child I panicked. When will I ever have time to workout? What happens when my daughter dosen’t nap as much? At the time I didn’t have a gym membership. I had some free weights, a jogging stroller and a treadmill. At first I utilized nap time and as she began to be awake more during the day I had to become more creative. Health and fitness is such an important part of my husbands and I’s lives we wanted to teach our children that it’s part of our everyday routine and incorporate the kids into our workouts.

It hasn’t always been easy, I have had days in which I wanted to run to the gym while working out at home, winter is always rough and as they have become older we have adjusted into a nice routine.

It usually starts after I feed my four-month old daughter. I prep my five-year old to hit up her workout gear. I tell her it’s almost time to workout. I have it laid out and ready. She has her own little workout tee and pair of shoes. She also has a pair of pink 1 pound weights that she uses all the time while I’m lifting. We have a few old iPods with kid friendly music. She grabs it, I get on my treadmill and she hits play and our workout begins. She listens to her music and I listen to my headphones on my treadmill while she runs around our basement. Usually while she is running I cheer her on, count on your mark get set go and pretend she is in a real life race. She absolutely loves it and so does my three-year old. After the cardio comes the weights. My daughter often asks mom can you be our workout teacher (I teach aerobics) and we practice counting a lot during this time. I explain little things about why we lift, run and eat healthy. We even have a little workout handshake. It seems as over time this has become such a habit and part of our everyday routine. My children believe it or not actually help me on days when I’m feeling unmotivated. They say mom are we gonna workout? Great little accountability partners! Here are my favorite four tips and tricks to incorporating kids into your workout:

1.Pick up some gear for your kids. I love my workout clothes and if you checked my closet I probably have more than normal clothing! My daughter was always trying to wear my tank tops and running shoes. She would change constantly during my workout and interrupt it. That’s when I got her a little running tank, shoes and a headband. While she gets changed I prepare for my workout and it gives me a chance to get my thoughts together about what I am going to do for my cardio and weight routine. I have some toy bins in the basement that are an assortment of different toys then upstairs and that’s usually were the kids head after they lose interest.

2. Use it as a learning experience. I was a runner in college and would love for my girls to become runners. I would never push a sport on them and want them to choose freely and have an idea of different ways to engage in sports and working out. Find a local park or running trail. We often go for run in the jogging stroller and the girls get to watch soccer practices, softball, cross-country, track and various other sports practicing and we talk about how each sport is different and someday they can pick what they like the best. I often take them to the local track in town and we look at the shapes on the track, count the numbers on both the track and football field. They bring a little ball and kick it around and run the track while I run sprint repeats, perform plyometric drills, and stretch.

3. Have fun with them. I always tell them first we will go for our stroller ride and get mommy’s workout done and then we will play on the playground. I remind myself it’s not gonna look picture perfect and the least I can do on some days if they aren’t feeling the workout is just let them get out and play. If we are at home I will end up do a quick HITT routine or three 10 minute segments of jumping jacks,push-ups, planks, and sit-ups in my living room while they crawl all over me.

4. Find a local gym. I have my days were I workout at home with my children, days were we go to the park or track to run and days when I teach and attend classes at a local gym. This has been so much fun for my children because they have met friends(while they stay in the child watch) and we often have play dates after we are all done working out. I call these ladies my fitness friends and we swap recipes, workout ideas and these women are great accountability and support in my life!

I hope this has left you feeling encouraged in moments were you feel discouraged from the interruptions from diapers, bottles, and preparing lunch for kids in the middle of your workout. Give it a few weeks and you will find a routine that will work out for you and your children.

How Many Calories To Eat While Breastfeeding

Cole slept nearly 12 hours straight last night. He is exclusively breastfed.

Cole slept nearly 12 hours straight last night. He is exclusively breastfed.

I have several clients in my boot camp program right now who are breastfeeding. I am exclusively breastfeeding Cole as well. I feel very blessed to be able to breastfeed, and I am thankful for the opportunity to work with clients who are doing the same. One question that I receive very often is this, “How many calories should I eat while breastfeeding.”

Here’s the deal. Every woman is different. All of us have unique nutritional needs, and there is not one perfect number for me to tell my clients re: calories. However, here are some guidelines.

  1. You burn a few to several hundred calories per day when you are breastfeeding. It is important to be sure you are eating enough of the right foods to allow your body to produce enough milk. For me, that number varies based on the amount of working out I do in a given day. Generally, I eat between 1500-2000 calories per day. However, keep in mind that I am short, LOL.
  2. Drink, drink, and drink some more! I drink a glass of water at every feeding, and try to stay hydrated throughout the day. I have literally never been more thirsty than when I am breastfeeding. Stay ahead of your thirst to prevent dehydration and a drop in your milk supply.
  3. Eat nutrient dense foods. If you eat foods with empty calories, your supply will decrease. Focus on lean protein, veggies, fruits, good fats, whole grains (in moderation), and dairy (in moderation). Personally, I feel at my best when I eat a modified Paleo diet. That lifestyle is not for everyone, but I feel much better when I eat minimal wheat and dairy.

Personally, I have to pump a few times a week so that Cole has milk at the sitters or in the evenings if I am training at the gym. On the days that I pump, I often have to eat and drink even more. It is important to listen to your body and eat when you are hungry.

Breastfeeding is a great way to drop excess pregnancy weight postpartum. However, that is only true if you are eating the right amount of nutrients from whole foods. If you are eating junk foods, you will not lose weight. Likewise, if you are not eating enough to fuel your workouts or help you produce milk, your body will start to store fat. Eat when you are hungry, and stop eating when you are satisfied.

Are you breastfeeding? Do you have any tips to keep up your milk supply?

get your pre-baby abs back

How To Get Your Pre-Baby Abs Back: Top Three Tips

get your pre-baby abs back

Two months postpartum, and a photobomb by Emma and Cole

How can you get your pre-baby abs back after delivering one baby? What about getting your pre-baby abs back after delivering two babies or more? Here are my top three tips.

1. Maintain a fit pregnancy and continue to work your core during pregnancy.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I maintained a very fit pregnancy with both of my babies. I not only continued to work my core, I focused on core. If you have a copy of my Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout DVD, you know that the core segment is one of the toughest segments in the DVD. Core and abdominal workouts during pregnancy are controversial in the fitness and medical worlds. However, in my experience, it is so important to continue stimulating and strengthening your abdominals, lower back, and hamstrings, if you want to prepare effectively for labor and delivery, and bounce back quickly and get your pre-baby abs back fast after baby. My doctor was supportive of ab exercises in the supine position (on your back) through my entire pregnancy, and I continued an intense combination of abdominal moves until D-Day.

2. Eat clean through pregnancy and postpartum. 

Abs are made in the gym and in the kitchen. It is so important to eliminate empty calories from unhealthy foods. That’s not to say I don’t eat treats on occasion, but for the most part, I focus on eating lean protein, good fats, complex carbs, etc. Personally, I did a modified Paleo diet during pregnancy, and continue to eat mostly veggies, fruits,  lean protein, and minimal grains/dairy. Be sure you are not eating too many calories, but also be sure you are eating enough of the right foods. Contact me for a one-time consult if you are unsure how to eat healthy.

get your pre-baby abs back

6 week postpartum check-up. I bounced back quickly after continuing my Fit Pregnancy DVD and Body After Baby Boot Camp DVD.

3. Work your core consistently after labor and delivery.

Obviously, to get your pre-baby abs back, you need to work them hard after you deliver. I was cleared to start exercising 2 weeks postpartum, but be sure to check with your doctor and get clearance before you start a postpartum workout routine. Planks, floor crunches, and twist crunches were my favorite exercises when I first started back with core work after I delivered my babies. I did not have any problems with Diastasis Recti (separation of the abdominal wall), so I could safely working on getting my abs back shortly after I delivered. There is a great ab circuit in my new Body After Baby Boot Camp DVD as well.

Remember — be patient. I won’t tell you that, “It took 9 months to grow a baby so it will take 9 months to get your body back” — Personally, I think that advice is annoying and false. From my experience, if you are committed to a healthy lifestyle through pregnancy and postpartum, it can take as little as several weeks to bounce back to your pre-baby body. However, please keep in mind that everyone is different. Ultimately, focus on gaining back strength in your core, eating clean, and taking care of your body, and your abs will make their appearance in time. I still have a bit of stretched skin in my midsection, but overall, I feel great about how I look (and my hubs is happy — so that makes me happy. He even said that he thinks my abs look better now than they did pre-pregnancy!).

I am looking for a few people to review my new DVD. If you are interested in a kick-butt workout, want to get your pre-baby abs back quickly, and have been cleared by your doctor to start a postpartum fitness program, please contact me.

What Eating for Two Really Means

Family Photo Beach Sunset

I am thrilled to feature Jessica Oliva as a fit mom guest blogger. She has a great perspective and I think you’ll really enjoy her post. 

My name is Jessica and I am a wife and stay at home mom to my 20-month-old son, Philip. We are expecting our second baby in early December! I am also so excited to be studying for my personal training license through NASM.

I am passionate about fitness and healthy eating and think both are essential for women to be healthy and the best possible care providers for their families. I started my blog, Fit Mama 4 Life, to help motivate women to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to discuss topics in my everyday life such as pregnancy, parenting, healthy eating and fitness that I know other moms can relate to.

I cringe when I hear women say, “I’m pregnant.  I can eat whatever I want.”  While it’s easier to justify eating poorly when you can say, “the baby wanted it,” it is now, more than ever, a vital time to eat as healthy as possible for the proper development of your growing baby.

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Before I begin I have to mention a few no-brainers.  First, taking a prenatal vitamin is necessary each day.  Also, drink water, LOTS of water.  I aim to drink 60 ounces per day.  It’s a challenge for me but so important!  Go buy a huge water bottle and bring it EVERYWHERE you go.

Eating when you’re pregnant shouldn’t be that different from your normal diet with a few tweaks, but this is assuming you are eating clean and avoiding processed foods, but let’s face it, most Americans do not.  Your prenatal diet, much like your normal diet, should be well-balanced.

A diet high in protein is essential (70 g per day), especially in the third trimester for your baby’s brain, which is rapidly growing at this point.  An abundance of fruits and vegetables are necessary to nourish you and your baby with vitamins and minerals.  Dairy is key in providing calcium and Vitamin D for healthy bone, muscle and heart growth in your baby.  Whole grains are sources of iron, magnesium and Vitamin B that provide energy for your baby’s development and helps build the placenta.

As for how many additional calories you should eat, most resources say 300-400 additional calories per day depending on how far along you are and if you were underweight or overweight to begin with.  However, my rule of thumb is to listen to my body and to eat when I’m hungry – but nutritious food that is.

Here are a few meal and snack options to get you started:

  • Breakfast:
  • Oatmeal or steel cut oats with cinnamon and fresh mixed berries (I usually do strawberries and blueberries)
  • 2 whole grain waffles with sliced banana and strawberries
  • Scrambled eggs (1 whole egg and 2 egg whites) with a whole wheat bagel thin with avocado spread on top
  • Non-fat Greek yogurt (I buy Fage with the fruit, but only use half of the fruit) with low fat granola and half a banana
  • Cereal (Kashi/Raisin Bran) with skim milk and bananas or berries

Pregnancy 27 Weeks

Lunch:

  • Salad with chicken breast (garbanzo beans, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, and whatever cheese I have in the house) and apple slices with peanut butter
  • Tuna on whole wheat toast and fruit
  • *It’s important to watch your mercury intake while pregnant so I only have tuna once in a while
  • Roasted chicken breast (not deli meat, I buy it from Trader Joe’s pre-packaged) on a whole wheat bagel thin with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato and avocado

Dinner:

*Since there are so many options you can mix and match one choice from each category.

Protein:

  • Chicken breast
  • Tilapia/cod/haddock
  • Shrimp
  • Ground turkey
  • Lean Beef

Grain/Starch:

  • Sweet potato
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain/gluten-free pasta
  • Butternut squash

Vegetables

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots

Snacks:

  • Hummus with pretzels, carrots or pita chips
  • Almonds
  • Cheese and whole wheat crackers
  • Apple slices with natural peanut or almond butter
  • Larabar
  • Protein Shake (almond milk, almond butter, frozen berries, one scoop of  chocolate whey protein powder)
  • Non-fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit

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Now I have to mention a few obstacles to eating a well-balanced diet when pregnant.  In the first trimester 2/3 of women experience nausea and vomiting.  It is hard to keep anything down, never mind trying to eat a balanced diet.  Eat what you can, even if its only broth, crackers or toast, and stay hydrated.

Another obstacle is crazy pregnancy cravings.  Remember, I’m in this with you so I totally get it!  What I try to do to fulfill my craving is to replace it with a similar but healthier option. For example, if I’m craving chocolate I’ll slice some strawberries and bananas and top them with two teaspoons of Nutella.  If I’m craving ice cream I’ll opt for frozen yogurt with chopped nuts, fruit or a few chocolate chips.  Now don’t get me wrong, occasionally I will cheat and have what I really want but only a small amount.  However, it’s not okay to eat a sleeve of Oreos or a quart of ice cream!

Proper nutrition is so important for a healthy pregnancy and baby, and that’s what eating for two really means .

*Please keep in mind that I am not a nutritionist and I am having a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy.  Your doctor might recommend a better diet for your specific situation.