My 2 year hiatus, explained

January 2019. That is the last time I updated this blog.

I knew it had been a long time, but I didn’t realize it had been 2 full years. Whoops!

I’ve been thinking the past few weeks about how much I miss writing and how I wanted to get back into blogging as an outlet for myself, and realizing how long it has been since I have utilized this creativity helped me understand why I’ve been missing it so much.

Now, I want to help you (and myself) understand where I’ve been for 2 years.

The last time I blogged, it was a few weeks before I had our second baby, Annabelle. She ended up being breech and I ended up getting a c-section, which was frankly pretty traumatic for a lot of reasons. She and I were both healthy, but it was a struggle those few days in the hospital. I was in a lot of pain and I was struggling to bond with my baby, which of course made me feel like a terrible mom. Then, a week after she was born, I got some kind of flu-like virus and had to just rest. Once I got some actual sleep that night (thanks mom), I woke up the next day feeling literally like a brand new person and like a new mom, too.

It was a start in the right direction, but for the most part that rocky start just stayed rocky. The transition to two kids was HARD. It was so hard for me. Some people had told me their own transition to two kids was easier than their first, and I am jealous of all of those people. I struggled so much with balancing how much both of my kids needed me–Annabelle needed me physically and required so much energy as a newborn (and was so fussy for the first 5 or 6 months of her life). Liam was adjusting to not being an only child and while he was (and still is) so sweet with his sister, he wants all of my attention all of the time. For the first 6 months of A’s life, I felt like all I did was feed children and try to get them to stop crying. It was exhausting.

The second 6 months of her life, Annabelle became so much more pleasant and easy-going, thank God. But as we transitioned out of her fussy newborn stage, we transitioned into Liam starting kindergarten and everyone in the family being sick for about 5 straight months. I wish I were exaggerating, but that is literally what happened–at least one person in my house was sick every single week from mid-October 2019 until mid-March of 2020. We had ear infections, sinus infections, strep, croup, common colds, coughs, stomach bugs (yes, bugs plural), and the flu. Robbie and I were lucky enough to get the actual flu the week before schools and life shut down for COVID in March 2020.

So when the pandemic hit earlier this year, I was already at a severe mental and emotional deficit. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and resentful of how relentless life was feeling. Needless to say, the pandemic has exacerbated those feelings; losing the support system of school and daycare, not seeing our family for weeks at a time, becoming a stand-in teacher to help my son with schoolwork, and helping Annabelle through several delays we’ve discovered have been more than a struggle.

It actually makes me laugh to think about it. Last year, I told Robbie that my focus word for 2019 had been “thrive” because I knew it was going to be a year of changes and transitions and I really wanted to thrive through it. In December of 2019, I did not feel like I was thriving in any way, shape, or form–I was barely hanging on. I told him that I wanted to make “thrive” my focus word for 2020 as well (oh, how that makes me laugh today). In his wise way, Robbie told me that he wished I could see myself the way he saw me, and that I was doing a great job–he suggested I make my word “acceptance” for 2020 and stop being so hard on myself. Maybe he’s psychic.

As I look forward to the end of 2020, year of the dumpster fire, that’s what I’m trying to do: accept the curveballs life has thrown at all of us, accept that I’m doing the best that I can under the circumstances I’m in, and accept that this is just a season that will pass. It’s easier said than done, but it’s a mindset shift I’ve been working on since March and will have to keep working on as the pandemic rages on and the beginning of 2021 looks to be much of the same.

So, that’s where I’ve been. I needed to take some things off of my plate these past 2 years, and writing was one of the simplest things to remove. But now that I’m missing being creative in this way and missing sharing my thoughts here, I’m excited to get back into it. 2021 is going to be a year of resting, repairing, and rebuilding, and this site will be included in that.

Thanks for sticking it out with me.

Healthy Freezer Meal Options

With a baby coming sooner rather than later, I wanted to make sure I had some healthy meal options for the freezer.  Lord knows I’m not cooking for a bit, and my husband probably won’t be feeling up to it either!  We are blessed with a great church family who have already told us they’ll be setting up a meal train (woot woot!), but I wanted to have some options for our freezer, as well.

  • Cauliflower crust pizza–we love the CauliPower brand!  It’s easy, it’s pizza, my kiddo will eat it without fighting us on it, and it makes me feel better than other frozen pizzas.
  • These blueberry muffins–now that we know my kiddo is allergic to tree nuts, we don’t use almond flour and just sub in gluten free flour.  These muffins are healthy and filling as a breakfast or a quick snack.
  • Gluten free waffles–we love these blueberry waffles and they work for breakfast or a quick dinner
  • Homemade burger buns–these aren’t “healthy” per se, but they taste amazing, I know what’s in them, and we can use them for all kinds of sandwiches
  • Tomato sauce–yes I use canned sauce too, but this sauce is flavorful and perfect for our favorite sloppy joes!
  • Black bean soup–you can make a batch, and freeze in individual servings or in servings of 2-4.  This is true for any soup!
  • Italian Pork Roast–this is a recipe I’ll prep beforehand, put in the freezer, and then dump into the crockpot to eat that night.
  • Maple Mustard Chicken and Potatoes–again, prep beforehand, keep in freezer, then cook in crockpot.
  • Chicken Fajitas–prep, freezer, crockpot.  Sensing a theme here?
  • There are 3 weeks worth of slow cooker recipes on this blog!

If you prep meals ahead of time to cook in the crockpot later, be sure you clearly write on the baggie to label what the meal is, how long it needs to cook, and when you prepped the meal.  Those meals are good in the freezer for 3 months.

What are your go-to freezer staples?  I’d love to get a few more ideas before it’s baby time!

Keeping It Simple

If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you probably see me posting the same meals over and over again.

I tend to eat the same meals when I find something I like. I make my shake the same way almost every day.  I buy the same foods at the grocery week after week.  I saute some spinach to put over toast for breakfast and eat some yogurt or some cottage cheese with it.  For some people, it seems boring to eat the same things all the time, but for me, it’s a necessity!

Whether you’re 34 weeks pregnant like me, or just someone who’s busy and doesn’t want to spend a lot of time each week and each day figuring out what to eat, keeping it simple helps SO MUCH.

Here’s how I try to simplify eating healthy:

  • I create different meal options for me to choose from throughout my day.  I make sure each meal has a serving of protein, veggies, and carbs.  I spread out fruit throughout the day, and add in healthy fats as well.  I use my container system and current weight to figure out how many servings of each type of food I need, especially to ensure I’m eating enough during pregnancy and nursing.
  • For example, this is a sample of the types of meals I’ve created in the past to choose from:
    • Spinach sauteed in coconut oil on Ezekiel toast, and Greek yogurt with fresh berries
    • My daily shake with banana, PB2, coconut flakes, flax milk, baby spinach, water, and ice
    • Baby carrots with hummus, a pear, and Ezekiel toast with coconut oil
    • A dinner option, like my family’s favorite sloppy joes

When I find simple meals that I like and taste good, I stick with it like white on rice.  Especially preparing to have my second kiddo and become a momma to a newborn and a 5 year old, I need to not think much about what I’m eating.  I also need to make sure I’ve got healthy meal options so I’m not eating Lucky Charms and Oreos all day long.  It keeps me sane, it keeps me healthy, and it helps me continue to feel awesome even as I’m gaining weight and getting bigger the closer I get to delivery!

If you are someone who needs to mix it up more with your food but still wants to keep it simple, you can approach your planning a couple of different ways.  You can either create all new menus each week, or you can plan for a certain menu Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Sunday and another menu Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday.  It will probably take some trial and error for you to figure out what kind of planning system works for you, and to find meals that you really enjoy!

Be sure to search through my site to find different recipe options–there are lots of meals on here to choose from and experiment with!

And just like that, I’m a Food Allergy Mom

A few weeks ago, Robbie was out of town and Liam and I went to dinner with my parents.  They had some little brownie bites (the size of a mini muffin) that I used to bribe him to use the bathroom before we left to drive home.  I have no shame in that bribing game.  Once we were in the car and driving, he took one or two little bites of the brownie and said it made his tongue and mouth feel weird.  I took a bite of mine and realized there were chopped walnuts in it.  It concerned me, for sure, but I also kind of thought that since he doesn’t like nuts, that Liam was just making an excuse to not eat it.  I actually drove with the interior lights on because it was dark out and I wanted to be sure I could see him if he got hives or something.  He didn’t, everything was good, and then I forgot about it.

Cut to a few weeks later: we went to Liam’s already-scheduled allergy appointment to check on the progress with the allergy drops we started with him this year.  I mentioned the brownie incident, we had a skin test, and long story short: Liam is allergic to tree nuts.

We were kind of shocked at the diagnosis.  He doesn’t like nuts in general and just doesn’t eat them, so thank God he’s never had a severe reaction.  In fact, we don’t even know if he’s had a reaction at all before the brownie, but I’m thinking that he has been reacting mildly and just didn’t know how to express it.  He has eaten some things that he described as “spicy” that shouldn’t have been at all, and it’s likely that it was something I cooked with almond flour or almond milk.  In fact, some of the recipes I’ve shared on this blog that use almond flour (like blueberry muffins) he suddenly said he didn’t like anymore.  I thought he was just being picky, but now I wonder if he was having reactions and just couldn’t tell me.

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks doing all the research I can about tree nut allergies, and let me tell you, it is some scary stuff.  I cannot tell you how thankful I am that Liam hasn’t gone into anaphylaxis or had severe reactions before we knew he was allergic.  I am so thankful that the only allergy we have so far is tree nuts and not more of the top 8 allergens.  And I’m thankful that as of now, we don’t have to worry about “shared lines” or products that may be processed in a plant that also processes tree nuts.  But, we still had to make a few changes.

  • I actually had some chopped walnuts and pecans from some dishes I made at Thanksgiving (dishes that thankfully Liam didn’t eat), so I threw that out.  Walnuts were the tree nut that Liam had the biggest reaction to.
  • I had some treats in the freezer that I had made with almond flour that I threw out.
  • I had some almond milk in the fridge that I threw out.  I’m basically the only person who drinks it, but when we run out of dairy milk we use my almond milk for cereal and French toast.  It’s best to just not have it in the house!
  • I threw out the raw almonds and almond flour from the pantry.
  • I checked all the labels of the crackers and snacks that we have in the pantry, and the sauces we have in the fridge, to make sure it was all nut-free and good to go.

So I cleaned everything out of the house, and got a couple of substitutions for what I got rid of.

  • I already had regular flour and gluten-free flour at home, so I’ll use those instead of almond flour.
  • I got some coconut milk to replace the almond milk, but APPARENTLY coconuts count as a tree nut even though they are a fruit.  Insert eyeroll here.
  • So now I am trying flax milk.  The jury is still out as to whether it’s a hit.

We are definitely still learning–a day after his diagnosis we went to the store and got Honey Nut Cheerios, not thinking a thing of it.  It wasn’t until a couple of hours later (before Liam had a chance to eat any) that I realized DUH THERE ARE ALMONDS IN THIS CEREAL.  It’s even in the name!  But we’re learning.

Stay tuned for some nut-free treats and meals as we continue to navigate this new part of our lives!

**Just in case you need to do some research about food allergies yourself, you can check out American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology or Food Allergy Research & Education.

Pregnancy = A Long Hiatus + My Healthy Pregnancy Plan

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Well, after a loooong break from blogging, I’m feeling ready to get back into it!

I’m officially in my second trimester now, which means that I’m feeling mostly like myself again, other than needing to pee about every 10 seconds and bumping my growing belly into people on accident.  #oops

The first trimester was a whole new experience for me.  This is my second pregnancy, so while you’d think I’d know exactly what to expect, I really don’t!  Not only has it been 5 YEARS since I was last pregnant, but this pregnancy has been completely different than my first time around.  5 years ago, I didn’t have any kids at home and didn’t work from home at all, and I spent all of my first trimester at home alone on summer break from my teaching job.  It was AMAZING.  This time, I am home full time with my 4 year old and my work-from-home jobs.  I was lucky to not be super sick, but the tiredness was beyond anything I remember from the first time around.  I mean, SO TIRED.  Like, I need to lay down all freaking day and sleep for a million hours tired.  Luckily, that has passed and I’m feeling much better.  I’ve also been getting really dizzy, which I didn’t have at all with my first pregnancy, and while it’s getting better, it’s really forced me to change my normal routine even more than the fatigue.

I wasn’t able to work out at all during my first tri because the dizziness was so severe–and I really miss it!!!  I gave myself a complete “health pass” for my first tri because I really just needed to survive.  I couldn’t deal with the mental energy to meal plan and meal prep like I normally do, so I just gave myself a pass.  Now that I’m in my second tri, I am getting back into my prenatal workouts and eating healthy.

My first pregnancy was extremely unhealthy–think no working out at all and eating multiple milkshakes per week–and not only did I gain an unhealthy amount of weight, but I also just felt terrible the whole time.  During this pregnancy, I am so thankful and excited that I have gained the resources and skills over the past 3 years to know exactly how to have a healthy pregnancy, and I plan on doing just that!

So, my plan is to focus on my choices and my behaviors; I want to focus on how I feel rather than what I way.  If I’m staying active, eating healthy, and feeling good, I’m not going to worry about what the scale says.  If I’m feeling bad and making poor choices, I’ll know that I need to adjust–not because of what the scale says, but because of how I feel.

I will say that one pleasant surprise so far this pregnancy is that my depression and anxiety haven’t been as severe as I had feared.  The hormonal shift of pregnancy the first time around was very difficult on my mental health, although I didn’t realize that’s what was happening at the time.  This time around has been much better so far, thanks to the winning combination of a different pregnancy, regular therapy, and medication.  #winning

I’m excited to share this journey with you and continue to share my favorite recipes and health tips!

Mexico 2018, aka My Earned Vacation

I posted a few weeks ago about my trip to Mexico and how it even came about, and I wanted to share some overall thoughts and pictures from our trip.

It was SO MUCH FUN.  We really needed that time away to just be together for a couple of days and it was a blast!  We enjoyed the food, the gorgeous ocean views, a couples massage, an excursion to Tulum to see the Mayan Ruins, and just hanging out with absolutely nothing on the agenda.  And, of course, some awesome live workouts with my favorite trainers! 😉

Robbie actually came to one of the live workouts with me which was a lot of fun.  He is very competitive, so I knew that even if he struggled through the workout that he wouldn’t let me last longer.  We were both struggling!

It was really so awesome to be on this trip with so many other coaches, knowing that we had all worked to help people change their lives to earn this trip.  I loved having Robbie be able to experience this company and what we do for people–and what they have done for us!  He has always been supportive of my business, but it’s different when you can experience it for yourself.

My favorite parts of the trip, besides just being there, was finding one of my FAVORITE trainers at the pool and him letting me take a picture with him.  So cool!!!! I fangirled hardcore and definitely was a weirdo.  The other favorite part was having Robbie tell me that he was thankful for me earning the trip for us and that next time we would have more people from our team there.  OUR team.  Love that!

I’ll be working hard to change even more lives this year to earn a spot on the 2020 trip–will you be there with me?  Fill out the “Join My Team” application link above and let’s work together to change lives!

MEXICO!!!

As of the publication of this post, I’ll be enjoying a relaxing vacation on the beach in Mexico!  I’ll be making a full recap post in a couple of weeks, but I wanted to share the backstory of this trip and why it’s so special!

When Robbie and I got married, we had an awesome honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort and made a plan to go back on our 5th wedding anniversary.  And then we had a kid instead!  So our plan was postponed until our 10th wedding anniversary.  And then I decided to quit teaching and stay home.  So luxurious vacations at all-inclusive resorts were out of the question.

Except that they weren’t.  In my business, we have the opportunity to earn invitations to trips that change every year–some years they are destination trips like to Disney, some years they are cruises, and some years they are beach vacations.  In February of 2017, I found out that I had earned a spot on the 2018 trip–to an all-inclusive resort.  I was SO EXCITED to tell Robbie that I had earned our anniversary vacation just like we had planned–because I help other people change their lives!  The hard work I put into my business (while I was still teaching full time, mind you) had earned me this amazing trip, and a year before our 10th anniversary.  And, my continued work in 2017 earned us deductions on our trip cost!  My income from the work that I do at home has completely covered this entire trip–from earning the invite to paying for the room to paying off the flight!

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I am so so proud of my work and the people that trusted me enough to let me guide them on their journey–without YOU, my awesome #owningitwithwhit crew, this wouldn’t be a reality!

And the best part is that ANYONE who is a part of this business has the opportunity to earn the same invite!  There isn’t anything special about me, other than I work hard.  If I can earn this trip, anyone can!

I’ll be sharing a ton from this trip on my Facebook and Instagram, so make sure you’re following me to see what we get to experience on our trip.

If this sounds awesome to you and it’s piqued your interest, let’s chat about you joining Team Dream Achievers!  There is nothing like it, and the rewards personally and professionally are amazing.  Comment or email me (wweaver0@gmail.com) to chat about joining the team!

Following a Program Strictly vs. Finding Balance

Several people have asked me why I’m being “so intense” about this 80-day program I’ve been doing (by the way, I only have 5 days left!).  That’s kind of a loaded question because when someone asks me that, it’s probably a thinly-veiled way to say, “Hey, weirdo–you’re being super crazy.  Cut it out and be normal.”

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And that is totally fine to feel that way.  I felt that way about health and fitness for a long time–don’t be so intense!  Be more balanced.  But you know what else I felt during those times in my life, when my health view was much more “balanced”?  I felt uncomfortable.  I felt bloated.  I felt pain with acid reflux.  I felt guilty for everything I ate, even if it was healthy.  I felt shame that my clothes were tight.  I felt disappointed that I wasn’t more disciplined and wasn’t treating myself better.

It’s pretty important to me to NOT feel that way.  For me, I needed to have a period of time where I was strict about my food and my fitness because spending time being relaxed about it didn’t make me feel good.  And that’s the bottom line for me.  It’s not really about the fact that I was overweight and put on 20 lbs.  It’s not really about the fact that I was eating emotionally to deal with my anxiety and depression.  It’s not about some idea of “fit” that I wanted to fit into.  It all comes down to the fact that I just didn’t feel good, and I wanted to feel awesome.  Period.

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This 80-day program has made me feel AMAZING.  Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, too.  I feel strong, confident, capable, energized, fit, lighter, motivated, inspired, and fueled.  I feel awesome, which is exactly what I wanted–and it’s because I’ve been following this fantastic meal plan and doing every single workout every single day.

Now, will I repeat this program and do it as strictly as I am right now?  Nope.  Here’s why:  right now, during this first round of the program for me, I’m in a test group, which means that I volunteered to do the program exactly as written to see what results I can get by actually following the program.  Yup, I volunteered.  Here’s why: I wanted to see what my results would be if I actually followed the program.  #duh  I have spent a lot of time in the past couple of years doing programs and rocking out the fitness, but not at all following the nutrition.  I wanted to challenge myself, build my discipline, and prove to myself and everyone else that I COULD DO IT.  And I’m just a few days away from accomplish that challenge, and I’m so proud I could cry.  Actually, I have cried a few times.  It’s a big deal for me!

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Does that mean that I think everyone should strictly follow a plan all of the time?  Nope.  I *do* think there is something very important for your confidence and mental strength in following a meal plan/program to see what that program can really do for you, and to show yourself that you are capable, but it’s really unrealistic to think that we can all be 100% on it with nutrition every day forever and ever amen.  That’s not life!  Sometimes we need to have those periods of time where we are more disciplined and we do need to strictly follow a plan–and there are other times where we are strong enough in our discipline to be more “balanced.”

And that’s what my next round of this 80-day program will be about!  Yup, I’m doing it again!  Once I get back from Mexico, I’m starting it all over again.  But this time, I won’t be in a test group and I won’t be following the meal plan as strictly as I have been; this round will be all about me finding what works for me–how often I can indulge without going off the rails.  What I can indulge in without giving myself crazy sugar cravings.  What I really *want* to indulge in and what I don’t miss as far as unhealthy foods.  What I need to stay away from because it gets me off track.  And I’m really excited to experiment with it! Keeping this feeling of awesome going is my goal.

Have you been stuck in a place of “balance” that really is just making you feel bad?  Maybe sticking to a plan will help you, too.  Comment or email me at wweaver0@gmail.com to chat about joining my next group!

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Why It Took Me So Long To Get Back on Track

Did you catch my latest Facebook Live??  I have been thinking a lot about how off track I got in 2017 with my health, and why it took me until January 2018 to get my crap together.  I’d love for you to check out this piece of my story and let me know what you think!

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Don’t Give Up Before You’ve Started!

During the course of this 13-week program that I’ve been doing, I’ve had so many people tell me the exact same thing I told myself before I started day 1: “There’s NO WAY I could do that!”

You guys, we have to stop telling ourselves that.  YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS.  Maybe you have no desire to do something–that’s fine.  Maybe you’re ready for it.  That’s totally cool.  But to tell yourself that you are UNABLE?  Nope.  We need to quit that.

When you tell yourself that you “can’t” do something, you’re giving up before you’ve even begun.  And even if you do start to make some action towards change or progress, you’ll eventually quit or self-sabotage–because you’re telling yourself that you’ll fail.  Whatever we tell ourselves in our minds tends to become our reality–so when you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, or you’re not strong enough, or not whatever enough, that is what you truly believe, and your actions will reflect that.

When I started this 13-weeks of commitment to my health, I had to own up to the fact that when I said, “I can’t do this,”  it was about being afraid to fail.  I had to tell myself that I can do ANYTHING and that I am capable of amazing results.  I literally wrote that on my bathroom mirror so I see it every day.  I have spent a lot of time during this program changing the way I talk to myself–and look at where I am right now.  I’m sticking to the program!  It’s not easy, and it takes work, but I AM CAPABLE.  If I had kept telling myself that I couldn’t do it, I would have quit a long time ago.  I’m so thankful that didn’t happen!

I’ve had a lot of different times when my clients will tell me that my programs just don’t work for them–and that’s totally fine, because not everything works for everyone.  But most of the time, when someone tells me it’s not working, I can trace it all back to their mindset at the very beginning and what they were telling themselves.

So many of us give up before we even start with the negative dialogue we have inside our own heads.  The world is already negative enough–we don’t need to add to it with our own negativity toward ourselves.  And even more than that, we need to practice building each other up as we work on building ourselves up.

Starting today, right this second, when you find yourself telling yourself those lies that you can’t or you’re not good enough or whatever else you tell yourself–STOP.  Stop in your tracks, remind yourself that you are strong and capable of amazing things, and just keep going.  Because you ARE capable of amazing things.