MCLV Pregancy | Pregnancy Morning Routine

I’ve always loved reading morning routine blog posts or watching them on YouTube. It’s fun to see how people approach a new day, see the good habits and positive ways that people like to start their days with.

But I have to confess that I’ve always been secretly resentful that, as an early morning worker bee, I didn’t generally have time for much self care, reflection, or any relaxing habits in the mornings. From the ages of 22 to 37, I’ve gotten up for work before 5am, and headed straight to the office. Sometimes without makeup, let alone after meditating, journaling, and leisurely sipping coffee on my porch while the sun rises.

With California’s 2020 shelter in place order, however, I’ve finally gotten a taste of the work-from-home life. I’m still starting work early, but without a commute to take into account, I’ve definitely had more of a morning routine since quarantine went into effect in March.

And, to top it all off, I started the second trimester of my pregnancy almost as soon as we were sent home from the office, so I was able to kick of T2 with a new sort of morning routine.

{So grateful to have moved out of San Francisco in the past year and to have been able to enjoy SIP with a bit more space and closer to nature!}

5:15am: Make the bed and change into “work clothes” which meant leggings and tunics until it warmed up, and then flowy dresses. I found that it was important to not wear PJs or loungewear for work, because changing after work was a good way to “end” the work day. If that makes sense. 馃檪

Wash face + apply skin care.

5:30am: Turn on computer and start work, sipping on water bottle w/ ginger + mint leaves. I had trouble with water during my morning sickness period, but once T2 started, I had no trouble drinking water on an empty stomach again.

After I finish my water bottle and take my probiotic and psyllium husk, I would have a glass of warm lemon ginger tonic.

Next up – COFFEE. Yes, the dedicated tea drinker was suddenly craving coffee. And after no caffeine during the first trimester, I was happy to add a Nespresso pod into my morning routine plus oat, cashew, or hazelnut milk. Delish!

8am: Breakfast! I LOVED having access to my kitchen all day and took full advantage, making whatever I was craving. Oatmeal, protein waffles, scrambles, yogurt with granola – All favorites during my pregnancy.

Up next – Supplements. I started the pregnancy very preoccupied with nutrients and supplements, only to have my doctor talk me back off the ledge. She said that my prenatal was great and that took care of most of it, so everything else was overkill. Here’s what I ended up with for the majority of my pregnancy:

11am: Workout time! I’ll be sharing a full post on my 2nd Trimester workout routine, but I was thrilled to be feeling great and able to continue my workouts the whole time. During my first trimester I talked about how fatigued I was and how important it was to listen to my body. During the second trimester I had more energy and motivation, and was able to manage a midday sweat session {in the office/nursery turned home gym} and a walk after work most days. I also LOVED doing dance cardio – Such a mood boost.

12pm: Lunchtime and reading the news.

What’s YOUR morning routine like during the year of Corona?

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MCLV Pregnancy | My Morning Sickness Tricks & Tips

Let me go ahead and preface this with – There is no cure for morning sickness. It’s just one of those things that you just have to muddle through. That being said, I found a few ways to minimize my morning sickness, that proved helpful.

My morning sickness kicked in around week five and a half, and initially I was kind of glad. I wasn’t feeling particularly pregnant, so it was the first real sign to me that there was actually something going on. The novelty and elation faded rather quickly though. It’s just a miserable period that you have to get through. You basically feel hungover for a few weeks to months.

Note: There are some people who have HORRIBLE morning sickness. Living on the bathroom floor, needing to be hospitalized for fluids, takes over their lives level of morning sickness. If you feel like what you’re experiencing isn’t normal or manageable, please reach out to your doctor!

Here are a few tips & tricks that helped me survive this lovely period of pregnancy:

Small Meals:

As soon as I started to feel super hungry, the nausea kicked in. And once it kicked in, it was nearly impossible to get rid of. So I spent weeks 5.5 through 11 or 12 trying to eat lots of small meals throughout the day to avoid getting hangry, which seemed to snowball directly into morning sickness.

Hydration:

I needed to be very careful about how I hydrated during this period. I’ve been in the habit for years of drinking a full water bottle each morning when I wake up, and that became a hard no. I had to slowly sip water during this period, or risk the nausea coming on strong. I also ate lots of juicy fruits and water-packed veggies like cucumber and celery to help with the hydration since I was drinking less water throughout the day.

Sleep:

This may have been unique to me, but I found that I had worse morning sickness on days after a poor night of sleep. So I worked on my nighttime routine and really focused on getting the necessary rest to give me a fighting chance the following day. Luckily I was so exhausted that it wasn’t too challenging for me.

All the Ginger:

Ginger candy. Ginger chews. Ginger tea. I kept them in my purse, the car, my desk, and on my bedside table. All total lifesavers.

Peppermint:

I’ve always loved peppermint and in my first trimester it saved me yet again. I used peppermint essential oil in my diffuser. I kept a little roller of peppermint oil in my purse to sniff like smelling salts when I was in the car. And I carried peppermint lip balm, mints & gum in my purse for a minty boost when I was out and about and starting to feel unwell.

What about you – If you’ve gone through this, what’s your favorite morning sickness hack?

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MCLV Mange | Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Dates

I love an easy dessert. Combine simple ingredients with a seriously delicious end result, and I’m a happy, happy girl.

These date-based dessert bites are a winner. Sweet date-y goodness mixed with rich chocolate and salty nut butter. What could possibly be better?

{Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Dates – Vegan, Paleo & Gluten-Free}

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Dates – Ingredients:

  • 12 whole dates
  • 1/4 cup of nut butter
  • Bag of chocolate chips or chocolate bar
  • Sea salt for finishing
  • Optional: Coconut oil

Directions:

  • If you’re using dates with the pits, remove the pits – Using a small knife cut a slit across the top of each date. Place the dates on a parchment paper or tin foil lined baking sheet, or in a large freezer safe dish with a lid.
  • Fill each date with your nut butter of choice and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • While they’re cooling down, it’s time to melt your chocolate. You can microwave it, but I personally think it turns out better if you pop them on the stove top in a small pan with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Stir until smooth and even.
  • Once the 15 minutes is up, take your dates out of the freezer and dip them one at a time into the melted chocolate. Coat each date completely before returning to the baking sheet/container.
  • After they’ve sat for a minute or so, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Let them set for 10-15 minutes in the fridge before eating.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge. If you don’t like to eat them cold, you can let them “thaw” for 5-10 minutes before enjoying.

Enjoy!

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MCLV Pregnancy | First Trimester Exercise & Workouts

I recently referred to the first trimester as the best three month nap of your life and that really is an excellent description. I can say, without a doubt, that fatigue was the biggest symptom of my first trimester. More so even than nausea or headaches or nasal congestion.

As someone who has had trouble sleeping on and off for years, the first trimester was a glorious return to easy, no effort sleep. But as someone used to working out and cooking dinner every night after work, I was shocked by how little I felt capable of for the first three months of my pregnancy. I routinely fell asleep in the car on the way home from work at 4:30pm, could barely manage to reheat leftovers for dinner, and passed out cold well before 7pm for a sold 8 weeks.

So what did that mean for my workout routine? It meant that I had to be gentle with myself, listen to my body, and take a step back my workouts. I went from two workouts a day 5-6 days a week to one workout a day, 7 days a week.

I have done a midday workout for years, since I’m lucky enough to have an office gym, and have had a calendar reminder set up in my Outlook for years to ensure that I don’t schedule things during that window. It’s a habit that really paid off, because that workout window became my only time to workout during the first trimester. I was awake, still had energy, and was usually excited to move my body. Sometimes I was tired or busy or just plain not in the mood, but I went anyway. If I wasn’t up for much, I’d just walk on the treadmill.

But, for the most part, knowing that time was my only chance to stretch, move, and break a sweat, meant that I looked forward to it.

When I found out I was pregnant I immediately started Googling workout modifications and prenatal workouts and started a long list of questions for my doctor. Her response? Do what feels good and when it becomes uncomfortable, stop. Simple right?

Note: Be sure to talk to your doctor about your individual needs and chat about changes you’d like to make in advance. What worked for me may not work for you, so it’s always best to discuss with your doctor prior to making any shifts in your lifestyle and activity levels, especially during pregnancy.

So, since I was physically feeling okay and didn’t have much nausea at 9:30am, I turned to the Tone It Up app. I started an 8 week weightlifting and strength program almost as soon as I found out that I was pregnant, and loved it. I felt strong and empowered. And on days that I felt bored, I supplemented with whatever other types of workouts sounded appealing.

I also ran and took Mighty Pilates classes on weekends for most of the first trimester.

With the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester, staying active was a great way to show my body some love and I’m glad that I kept myself motivated.

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MCLV Style | Easy Summer Dresses

I love a good Summer dress. Well, to be fair, I love most dresses. I mean, what’s not to love? One piece and you’re done. Easy peasy.

But I have to say, after months of leggings, I’m especially ready to break out the warm weather frocks this year.

So bring on the easy Summer dresses! {Some of these are on SUPER sale, so be sure to check them out!}

Floaty Florals:

Casual & Easy to Wear Frocks:

Midi & Maxi Madness:

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