4th of July Weekend 

For the 4th, we headed up to Vermont to spend time with family and take advantage of the beautiful lake and mountains. We spent the days outside, soaking in the vitamin D!

I did a pretty good job of following my own tips for staying healthy on the 4th of July. I enjoyed myself but didn’t overdo it too much! I went on long walks or ran every day which was a huge accomplishment! However, I am on a serious kick to get back in shape, clean up my diet and feel better about myself because things have gotten a little out of control…

4th of july lake rescue ludlow vt

It was Emerson’s first time on a boat. She did great, except really wanted to run around, which just isn’t possible!

4th of july ludlow vt
Every July 3rd, the locals put on a firework show on the lake. We all go out on the boats and watch the show from the water. It is such a fun tradition.

4th of july ludlow vt

My mom and Emerson had matching shirts on. My mom was super excited!

4th of july ludlow vt

Vinnie and I met up with some friends and went strawberry picking. Emerson LOVED the strawberries. They were super fresh and juicy. I can’t remember if I have ever been strawberry  picking but it was really fun and family friendly. And cheap! I love apple picking in the fall but it’s always so expensive for a bag. We got 2 large pints of strawberries for $4.50… score! 🙂

douglas orchard and cider mill shoreham vt

douglas orchard and cider mill shoreham vt

I hope you had a great 4th!

5 Tips to Feeling Good This 4th of July

To me, the 4th of July marks the height of Summer. A chance to spend time on the lake, soak up the sun and be surrounded by family and friends. It also means lots of day drinking, BBQing and treats. It is easy to fall off your normal schedule and throw caution to the wind. There is nothing wrong with that! But, if you want to try and have a balanced weekend where you have fun, enjoy some treats and cocktails but don’t totally sabotage all the hard work you’ve done, below are 5 tips to feeling good this 4th of July.

Five Tips For Feeling Good This 4th Of July

1. Drink water.
On the 4th, typically you are out in the sun, lounging by the water which makes is easy to get dehydrated so it’s extra important to drink water. My dad always says, “One drink. One water.” That’s how you can last all night, and feel good in the morning. I try to stick to this as much as I can, especially on weekends were we are drinking and celebrating a lot. Staying hydrated also helps to keep you feeling full, debloated and looking bikini ready.

2. Eat a good breakfast with lots of protein and fat.
The food you eat first thing in the morning typically sets the ton for the day. I find if I have a bagel, I want sugar and carbs all day. If I just eat fruit, I am hungry in an hour. Since there will be a lot of process foods, sugar and BBQ treats around all day, try to start your day with a good breakfast that is high in protein and fats. I love having scrambled eggs and avocado with a side of strawberry or watermelon.

3. Make sure to eat a meal.
Don’t snack through meals. Often times, especially on long weekends or holiday’s I find myself snacking a ton and then I’m like, “I just ate so many chips and cookies, I don’t need lunch.” So I skip it. But then 2 hours later, I am hungry and start snacking again and end up eating way more calories, way worse food, and feeling shitty. Whereas, if I just sat down and made myself a big salad or light sandwich with healthy fats, protein and carbs I would be so much more satisfied.

4. Move your body.
Don’t stress too much about getting a killer workout in, but try to move your body at least for 30 minutes (preferably in the morning). I find that when you move, you feel better about yourself, you feel lighter and it helps you make better decisions through out the day.

5. Don’t over think it.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in “staying on track” that it is all we can think about but that makes it so much worse. Not only does it make it hard to enjoy yourself, it makes you feel guilty every time you have something “you shouldn’t”. And then you just say “F* IT” and dig into the treats making you feel more guilty, bloated and discouraged. Try to avoid this cycle. Enjoy yourself, let go of all the pressure you put on yourself and spend time with family and friends (preferably on the water, and not around the snack table!!)

I hope this helps! Remember to have a fun 4th of July and enjoy yourself.

What are some tips you are going to try to practice this 4th of July?

Desk Job vs. Passion Job

I made it through my first week at my new job. Success!!

Desk Job vs. Passion Job
I have to admit, going into it, I was not very excited. I was putting it “out of sight, out of mind” and didn’t really even acknowledge I was taking on a new job. Honestly, I was not excited about just taking another job, in another office because I truly want to find a way to pursue health and fitness as my career. That is my passion. That is what I really want to be doing every day.

I listen to a million podcasts that all tell me what I should be doing…. “if you’re not doing what you love, you need to figure out what it is and do it… “work all day and then work on my dream job/passion job at night”… “if it is really my passion, I will find a way to make it my job”… “do both jobs until you get your passion job to a sustainable place.”

That is all well and good (and admirable), but do those people have a 1 year old at home, a mortgage to pay, mouths to feed? Ha! Also, in my opinion, there is something to be said about the comfort of a desk job, knowing what to expect, showing up, doing your job and then turning off and going home at night to your family/life. Clearly that reason, right there, is why I have taken this new job, why I have not dropped everything to pursue my passion. I am comfortable with a steady paycheck and the certainty of my daily schedule.

Desk Job vs. Passion Job

I also want to come home and be able to relax a little. As it is, with prepping for the next day, cleaning bottle and Tupperware, and making dinner, I barely get to sit down before 9pm anyway. Then I have to open my computer and start working on my passion job? No thank you, not right now.

Well this is not where I thought this post was going to go :). I started to write thinking I would share about my new job, the routine, the people, the actual work, but my stream of conscious clearly brought me down a different path. I will leave that other stuff for another time.

Have a great week!

15 Minute Total Body AMRAP Workout

Before Emerson, fitting in my daily workout was a huge priority.  I obviously had a lot of other things that I cared about and prioritized, but working out and running was top of the list. Now, there are a lot of other things that take precedence which has been a hard thing for me to come to terms with, but also just a fact of life. I am working hard to fit in my workouts but sometimes that extra half hour in bed or moment on the couch is too good to pass up!

This morning, I had to drum up motivation to workout from all aspects of life including scrolling Instagram, looking at the #tiuteam hashtag, running on the treadmill for 10 min (then stopping because I had to go the bathroom #momlife) and doing the new Tone It Up Beach Ballin’ workout. Nothing really got me excited or sweaty so I made up my own AMRAP (as many reps as possible) workout inspired by Jayme [@fit_n_clean_mama].

15 MIN TOTAL BODY AMRAP WORKOUT

This did the trick. Put me up against a clock and I’ll get to work! I made it through 4.5 rounds with about 20-30 second breaks between each set. Try it out and let me know many sets you complete!

My nutrition has been off lately and it 💯 affects my energy and drive to workout. I needed a good workout this morning to help me reset. Because I refuse to let a couple bad days completely throw me off. I refuse to give up on my goals. I refuse to quit.

This journey is not easy. I feel like every step forward ends up with 2 steps back but I keep chipping away. I truly believe one day I will reach a place I am happy with and embrace that lifestyle whole-heartedly.  I just have to stay positive, never give up, and follow my own path and my own heart. Too often I let what others think affect how I act and make decisions. Only I can get myself to where I want to be.

 

June 1st

It’s June 1. Emerson’s birth month. How the hell has it been almost a year since I had her? There’s been so much change in my life but it’s been incredible. I am a very different person today, than I was a year ago. I have an entirely new outlook on life. Everything revolves around my family, my daughter and what is best for us.  I wouldn’t change that. Yes, maybe I would like some more me time, some more moments to myself, some more time to workout or sleep, but if that doesn’t happen I will be perfectly ok with that too.


You know it’s funny… I opened up this page to write about my postpartum experience. I have had a hard time finding a new routine that includes working out (the way I used to) and how adjusting to my post baby body has been a big mental shift. Yet, the second I started writing happiness and positivity started to flow. I think that’s a good sign! I came in from a state of negativity but my thoughts and words quickly changed.

Although I’m not where I want to be in terms of my body and routine; I’m so happy. I did not know that one little human could bring so much joy to my life. Watching her learn and develop and find love in life makes me appreciate all the little things so much more.


As we head into June, I have more change approaching in my life, a new job, new daycare; leaving what has been so normal and so comfortable for so long. And ultimately, I still don’t really know what I want. I know I need to make a change. I don’t know if this is going to be 100% right but at least I’m doing something. The one thing that I think about a lot with leaving my job and finding a new one is what do I really want to do? At the end of the day, I know my passion is health and fitness and that I don’t really want to be behind a desk all day. I just don’t know how to make that a career. I think I want to spend the next year of my life trying to figure out how to do that.

This blog has been such a great outlet for me to share my health and fitness journey, my best practices and experiences but I do it so sporadic. This summer, as I turn the page on a new life chapter, I want to start writing more. I am just so shy and apprehensive to putting myself out there, even though at the end of the day that’s what I want to do. It’s a really hard dichotomy. I need to figure out which side outweighs the other and start running towards it.

So this post was supposed to be about postpartum and it turned into something so much different but it was a stream of consciousness and I clearly needed to get it out so I’m sharing it and maybe other people will resonate with it too!

 

Introducing Solids 

Emerson is approaching her 6 month birthday. She is getting so big and developing so fast. I planned on waiting until Emerson was 6 months old to give her solids since that is what the Academy of Pediatrics recommends (however, they also say you can start anywhere between 4-6 months… it’s confusing!). However, my parenting philosophy has very much been let Emerson lead. I want what is best for her and let her pave the way. Ever since Emerson was about 4.5 months old she has been super curious about food.  Every time Vinnie and I sit down to eat dinner she reaches for the food on our plate.
Introducing Solids to baby
A couple weeks back I finally gave in and gave her some banana. She absolutely loved it! It was so fun to see her get so excited and enjoy the banana so much. The next night she was so excited about food that once she finished her banana puree, I gave her a chunk of banana to hold and play with. At her age, solid food is more about the experience of eating and learning how to swallow, develop their tastebuds and playing with the different textures of food. I have researched a lot about baby lead feeding and introducing finger foods right away. Pretty much, as long as the food is soft and mussy and they can’t chock on it, it is ok to give it to them solid. I plan on doing a mix of purees and solid foods so she can learn and experience it all.
Img 5286
Shortly after eating the banana Emerson broke out in Eczema. I don’t think it is related but I didn’t want to introduce new foods until I had the Eczema a little more under control so we took a break from solids after the first few times. Now, a few weeks later, the Eczema is wayyyy better and we are starting to fed her solids again.
This weekend, I gave her some pureed butternut squash mixed with some breastmilk. She really enjoyed this too. I think Emerson is going to be a good eater! She definitely loves to eat.
Introducing Solids
Logistically, as a working mom, I am trying to figure out how we can continue to feed her solids every day. She is exhausted when she gets home from daycare. Some days she falls asleep on the drive home and is out for the night. Right now, I am thinking that I will feed her at night as much as I can and once we get a few foods under out belt, I will start to send some to daycare for her to have at lunch. I can’t even think about what we are going to do once she needs to eat real food in the morning. As it is, we are rushing out the door to beat traffic and get to work on time. Adding in breakfast for Emerson is really going to delay us a lot but I am not about to wake her up, just to feed her and get out the door so I can be at work before 9. I’ll let you know how it all plays out as it is definitely a work in progress.
Introducing Solids - Butternut Squash
I want what is best for her; I try to provide her with the cleanest, most natural, organic products I can and as we start solids I plan on making all her food so I know exactly what is in it.

Thanksgiving 2016 and the Killington FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup

As with most years, we spent Thanksgiving in Vermont with lots of family. I honestly didn’t take many pictures as I was trying to be present and enjoy the time with each other. Although we did eat multiple Thanksgiving meals…

Thanksgiving 2016

On Tuesday before Thanksgiving Vinnie and I hosted my family and our apartment because it was the only day all of us would be together. Julia flew out on Wednesday to go ski in Europe.

Ford Family Photo Thanksgiving 2016

On Wednesday we drove to Vermont.

On Thursday we ate Thanksgiving with Vinnie’s family and then walk down the hill to my aunts house and had another Thanksgiving with my side of the family.

On Friday we vegged and ate leftovers.

On Saturday and Sunday we went to Killington and watch the F I S World Cup for alpine women’s ski racing. This was a huge moment in Vermont and New England ski racing. So many people showed up to cheer on the best in the world and it was incredibly exciting to be there and a part of the historic event.  Over the two days of the event, there were over 30,000 spectators in attendance.  That’s incredible!

There were mobs of people walking up the access rode to watch the race.

Killington World Cup 2016

The spectators piled in. No one cared about the cold, rain, fog or snow. They were all there to cheer on the ski racers and take in the moment.Killington World Cup 2016

We brought Emerson along for all the fun. She was such a trooper. She brave the crowds, the noise, and the weather like a champ.

My brother hooked us up with VIP tickets so I was able to bring Emerson out of the crowds and into the warmth much easier. I still had to nurse her in public because there was no privacy to be found. Emerson was very distracted by all the commotion!

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Killington World Cup 2016

It was a great weekend with so much family time. It made it really hard to go back to work but it’s also nice to get back into a routine. This holiday season is going to be busy with lots of holiday parties and celebrations. This weekend definitely a great kick off!

How was your Thanksgiving weekend?

Halloween 2016 👻

Halloween 2016.

Emerson’s first Halloween. It was a great one.

During the day, Daycare did a parade through our office so all employees could see the cute kids in their costumes. The infants were strapped into this awesome wagon-like thing that had seats. It was so cute! Emerson loved seeing all the people in the office and was super smiley.

Emerson was a pumpkin! I went back and forth about whether or not I should buy her a “real” costume. I opted not to spend the $$ and put her in a onsie we already had with a hat my aunt made and it was perfect!

After work, I headed to Charlestown for more Halloween shenanigans. I am part of the Charlestown Mother’s Association and during maternity leave would go for walks with all the moms that had babies around Emerson’s age. There are so many moms!! We made sure to take a picture all of the babies in their costume. It was adorable!

Babys in Halloween costumes

Family photo with our little pumpkin!

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016

Lots of family came down to celebrate Emerson’s first Halloween. It was a beautiful night! I am already looking forward to next year when Emerson will actually be able to walk around and trick or treat.

This is my favorite photo and I just had to share!

How was your Halloween!?

Body Burn by Ray

This weekend I went to Body Burn by Ray. It was my first real group fitness class I have attended since having Emerson. I left feeling energized, excited and reminded of why I love to work out. Since having Emerson my life has changed, for the better, but it’s been hard to balance all the things that I used to love to do. For instance, fitness and working out have fallen to the wayside due to taking care of Emerson, working (you got to pay the bills) and quite frankly, simply being exhausted leaves me less motivated. But at BodyBurn I was reminded of why I love working out and why I have made it a priority in my life for so long. It’s refreshing and exciting! I hope I can take this feeling and use it to motivate me to prioritize working out either by waking up a little earlier or to squeeze in something for 20 minutes at the end of the day instead of sitting on the couch.

Body Burn by Ray

So let me tell you a little bit about Body Burn. It’s a cardio, strength workout in a Tabata type format in a club-like setting. The lights are dimmed (ie: the sub-par photos) and the music is loud which really helps allow you to focus on your workout and not compare yourself to anyone else in the class. The workout format is comparable to Orange Theory or Barry’s Boot Camp except the cardio machines are all different and the group aspect is during the strength. The class is a total of 48 minutes, there are 12 cardio machines and you use each one for twice before moving on to the next machine. In between each cardio you do a 40 second strength exercise. Every day they focus on a different body part for the strength segment. So, on Monday they might focus on abs, on Tuesday arms/upper body, Wednesday legs/lower body, etc. The workouts are planned out months in advance and are strategically designed to maximize muscle building and fat burning.

Body Burn by Ray strength

As a newbie to the class everyone was incredibly helpful and supportive they took the time to explain some of the cardio equipment before I got on it even if it meant cutting into one of their own 40 second cardio blocks. All the cardio equipment is motorless so you have to propel them forward, making the workout as hard (or as easy) as you want it to be. By far the hardest, and coolest, machine was the treadwall. Its a moving rock wall you climb! It was awkward at first but once I got the hang of it really fun!

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Body Burn by Ray cardio machines

Ray, the owner and creator, taught the class. You can tell by his energy and attitude that he is extremely passionate and dedicated to bringing health and fitness to every body that walks through the doors. I really enjoyed the entire workout and experience and plan on going back as much as I can. They are located in Belmont which is a little tough for me to get to all the time, but the workout is worth the effort of getting there. I hope to go back soon!

Body Burn by Ray

 

Tufts 10k 2016

For the second year in a row I ran the Tufts 10k road race for woman. My mom, my aunt and a group of our girl friends from Vermont are making it a tradition. It’s so fun, we make it into a little girls trip, if you will. They all get a hotel room and after the race explore restaurants and around Boston. I always run, but have called it quits before the drinking and eating really gets going.

This year the weather was perfect! It actually felt a little cold and windy but once we started running it was plenty warm. Tufts 10 K 2016

The race starts at noon which is so nice ’cause you can have a relaxing morning and slowly make your way to the start.

My goal for the race was to finish. I thought if I could run around a 8:30 minute mile, and walk if it got too hard, I’d be happy.  I know that seems kind of silly but since having Emerson I really have not been able to run like I used to. I fit in some quick 3-4 mile runs, here and there, but I am not nearly in the kind of shape I typically am.

Tufts 10 K 2016

I ended up running exactly an 8 minute mile and finishing without having to walk at all. I felt good but it was super hard. I had to practice positive self talk! At mile 3, I was like, “okay, you’re half way, you can do 3 more miles!” By the end my butt and hamstrings were on fire. I pushed myself the last mile and when I crossed the finished I felt almost as fatigued as when I ran a marathon. My legs were weak and my body was exhausted.

Tufts 10 K 2016 results

Knowing I would see these two once I crossed the finish line motivated me to keep going! I mean, seriously, does it get any better than that. {maybe next year I will run with Emerson in the stroller…}

Tufts 10k

On a similar note, I was so proud of my mom today. She ran the race and finished in 1:04 averaging a 10:20 minute mile. Up until the last minute she was debating whether she should run or walk. Earlier in the summer she set out to run the race and started on a make-shift training program but then I asked her to help watch Emerson when I went back to work and totally cut into any free time she may have had to train (and she hurt her hammy too). Feeling unprepared to run, she was going to walk with my aunt. Luckily we convinced her just to try and run… see how far you can go, and then walk. Well, she ran the whole thing and finished with an amazing time!

Tufts 10k
Mom and me at the finish with our #1 cheerleader, Emerson!

Another woman in our group finished 2nd in her age group! She makes me want to train for the race next year!

And everyone else had a great time, including me. It was my first race back and it felt great to be back out pounding the pavement with so many others.

Tufts 10k - the Vermont crew

This race is so inspiring! There are so many incredible women out on the course sweating together, sharing memories together and working hard together. I look forward to doing it again next year!