2017 Kelly Brush Ride

This weekend we went up to Vermont for the Kelly Brush Bike Ride to raise money for the Kelly Brush Foundation. I have been doing this ride for years and love being involved in the Foundation. Every year at the ride I have so much fun and see all my old friends from the skiing community.
Kelly Brush Ride
This year I almost didn’t go because the Tone It Up Tour was in Boston and they had asked me to Volunteer. I was so close to skiing the bike ride to go to the Tour. I mean, I would be able to meet amazing women, work out, drink Rose and experience something new. Now that I write that, I am questioning my decision!

At the end of the day, I wanted to be with my family. Vinnie and Emerson were going no matter what and I didn’t want to spend the whole weekend alone. Sue me, I am addicted to my family!

Kelly Brush Ride

I am sad I missed the Tone It Up tour, but I had a lot of fun riding with my sister, Vinnie and longtime friend, Annie. We cycled 50 miles together and managed to laugh the whole way. My butt and neck are sore but endurance wise, I managed!

I expected to lose steam and have to really dig deep but I was ok. Even though I am not in the shape I would like to be, I am not as bad as I sometimes think I am!

Kelly Brush Ride

This year the Kelly Brush Foundation reached a whole new level of awesome. They had over 800 riders and raised $500,000 for people with spinal cord injuries and spinal cord prevention. That is truly incredible and a huge milestone. I was really honored to be a part of the day and happy I made the trip to Vermont to be with my friends and family on such a special day.

Kelly Brush Ride

Weekly Workouts – Week of 9/4/17

Monday: 4 mile trail run (Labor Day Weekend)
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 30 min TIU toning + yoga at home
Thursday: 15 min TIU sunrise sculpt; 3×5 toning moves; 4 mile run (33 minutes)
Friday: 16 min arm routine – TIU flex friday; 30 minute run
Saturday: rode 50 miles for KBF
Sunday: 20 min yoga at home
How was your weekend? What did your weekly workouts look like?

Balancing Life, Work and Family

I have so many things I want to do. For some reason, I just can’t commit and spend time on any of them. Instead of picking one thing I have five and none of them are getting the attention that they truly need. Rather, I’m working a full-time job, that I really don’t like, and it’s just dragging me down. I get emails from work and I just want to ignore them because I don’t care, I get home from work and I’m so deflated that I just want to sit on the couch and watch TV. I feel lazy and unmotivated which I hate.

I don’t mean to complain. I hate to be negative. But I’m just feeling tired and discouraged and like I have no real path.

Img 0147

The one thing I do know is I love my family and I want to spend as much time as I can with them. I just don’t know how to do that, have an income, and not feel like I’m just going through the motions.

Here is a thought: If I spend a half an hour on each end of the day I might be able to do some of those things I like to do while still working my desk job until I can figure out my next move. Hmmm… I think that’s gonna be my plan. I’m gonna try and get up a half an hour earlier to work out every day and then at night I’m going to try and spend a half an hour working on a passion projects whatever that may be, maybe it’s this blog maybe it’s a Podcast idea, maybe it’s becoming a health coach. But I’m gonna spend a half an hour at night, a couple times a week, trying to figure out what I truly want to do. To be fair to myself I’m going to try and do it 3-4 days a week so that I don’t put so much pressure on myself to do it every single night. I know that’s unrealistic and if I miss one night, I am the type of person who would just give up and say it’s not possible.

Balancing Life Work and Family

Hopefully this will help me feel like I’m doing more for myself and making a plan for my future doing something I truly want to be doing. It’ll make me a happier person and in return a better wife and mother which is ultimately all I want.

Here’s to giving it a try! I will let you know how it goes 🙂

 

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Oat Bar

I am always trying to find quick, easy meals I can prepare in advance so I can just grab ‘n go in the morning as we are rushing out the door to daycare and work. I love making egg muffins or oat bakes because you just have to mix up the ingredients and throw it in the oven.

This week, I was lazy and didn’t do any meal prep on Sunday. I woke up on Monday morning bummed I didn’t have anything ready for the week so naturally I decided to start meal prepping at 6am. I quickly threw together this recipe and I am super happy with how it came out. It is moist, but not too moist, and sweet, but not too sweet. It is filling and easy to make and it will last you all week which means it meets all my criteria!

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Oat Bar

Emerson even ate it for dinner last night which is an added bonus. I love when we have meals prepped that the whole family can enjoy!

This breakfast was inspired by Tone It Up Blueberry Lemon Zest Muffins. I added some protein and took out some sugar. You can drizzle with maple syrup or top with a dallop of peanut butter. Both would be amazing additions to this berry delicious breakfast!

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast OatBar

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Oat Bar

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Calories per serving: 140

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain oats
  • 1 scoop Tone It Up Vanilla Protein
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 lemon, juiced (save the rind for zest at the end, optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • coconut oil spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (except blueberries)
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together
  5. Fold in the blueberries
  6. Spray a baking pan with coconut oil spray and add mixture
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  8. Sprinkle with lemon zest
http://www.comfyconfident.com/2017/08/01/blueberry-lemon-breakfast-oat-bar/

 

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!

Img 5225

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?