Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins

After Connor was first born I was constantly starving, and never had the time to really take the time to make a real meal during the day. If I started to, he would inevitably need me, so I started looking for easy snacks I could grab during the day. These muffins are one of my favorite. I've taken a basic cinnamon muffin recipe and replaced the oil, eggs, and milk with canned pumpkin. That swap makes them fat free! The pumpkin also makes the muffins very dense and moist. The texture is different than a regular muffin, and I prefer it.

I made these for one of the Mamas I train, Christina, and she's been asking for the recipe ever since. I'm only about 4 weeks late on this one, sorry! Christina started training with me when her daughter Bella was only 3 weeks old, and I could tell she needed something to keep her energy up. Committing to a fitness plan after having a baby 3 weeks prior is something that certainly deserves a muffin!


1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)


1 T brown sugar

1 T sugar

1/2 t cinnamon

Directions: Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until mixed. Add the canned pumpkin, and work all of the ingredients together until mixed. The batter will be thick. If batter looks TOO thick or is hard to drop into the muffin tins, thin it out with a little milk or water (I use vanilla almond milk because it's what I always have at home). Drop the batter into lined muffin tins- there should be 12 muffins. Combine the topping ingredients into a small bowl, and then sprinkle topping over each muffin. Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes!

Cute pic of my favorite little muffin ;)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Latte Break

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my busy days, training Mamas in the city, and then teaching class at night. Even though it can take a lot of effort to get everything ready in the morning for Connor, it is so worth it. I absolutely love staying home with him, but the daily routine can get a little (or a lot) monotonous, and it's great to be able to have a few hours to myself. 

When Matt watched Connor last weekend, he told me how he got a different perspective on the daily routine, and really, how much he appreciates everything I do to raise our son. He's watched him many times before, but it was the first time they had 24 hours together- without me. Matt and I are similar in terms of being busy/energetic people. Neither of us likes to just stay at home and hang out all the time. What seemed to get to him was the same thing that sometimes makes me crazy. It's awesome having all morning with Connor, especially since that's really his favorite time of day. Once he goes down for his nap though, you're really stuck. There are so many days that I don't want to watch tv, be on the computer, read, etc. I want to get out, but you can't when you're home with the baby! I've been making more of an effort to get out in between naps, and try not to let the nap schedule rule my life. 

Once I'm downtown, I grab a latte and sit down for a few minutes before I set up. These few minutes are soooo nice. 

I always write down the workout, and then post it on the chalk board inside the studio so the ladies can repeat the workout at home or the gym in between sessions. 

Awesome notebook Matt got for me!
Even if it's work related, having a little time away from baby is important. I forget sometimes that I existed before Connor. It wasn't always all about diapers, wipes, sippy cups, and bibs!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mother's Day Brunch

I'm really late on this one, but wanted to share some pictures from my first Mother's Day. We celebrated by going to brunch at The Moshulu, the location of our wedding reception. We celebrate each anniversary by having dinner there, but thought this occasion was just as good!

The food really is incredible, and the ship itself is very cool. Sunday brunch features unlimited champagne cocktails as well; that just seals the deal on how awesome it is. The Moshulu is the largest docked four masted ship in the world! You can't really tell from the street view, but the deck is beautiful, and is a great location for weddings. It was so nice walking around and showing Connor where we partied the night of the wedding. 

Connor took a turn at the wheel

Family shot!

Showing off his skinny jeans

Kicking back 
Connor is so easy at restaurants that it makes it really fun to take him out. He loves being able to people watch and interact with anyone that pays attention to him- which turns out to be a lot of people! He's very eager to give a smile or laugh, especially to other kids.

This was a perfect way to celebrate my first Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy Weekend!

Connor and I kicked it off with 4.6 miles. He had a great day yesterday; still sleeping through the night, and he was back to his 2 hr morning nap.

Well rested!
This weekend marks 2 big events- one of my best friend's bachelorette parties and my first night away from the baby. I'm so excited to spend time with my girlfriends and just relax. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about being away though!

Upcoming posts this week- half marathon training and my favorite workout wear.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Scenes From a Failed Nap

Lately Connor has been staring directly into the monitor, which picks up the image in night vision and gives him beady black eyes. It's pretty creepy to be honest. I swear he knows he's looking at me through the monitor, because he just stares!

I really don't know why, but he's started shortening his naps to about an hour each. He's sleeping through the night pretty often, so I really can't complain, but I would appreciate a 2 hr plus nap every once and a while. 

"Hey Mom, watch me do a cool flip!" 
"This one's my favorite paci. No, THIS one!"
"Hey Mom, I'm still here, not napping! Come get me anytime!" 
"Just in case you forgot Mom, I'm still not asleep. Feel free to come get me."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Almost the Weekend!

The second week of the You Better Work, Mama Workshop is now complete, and it has been so much fun. We're now up to 4 mamas, and today there were 3 babies in attendance- all under the age of 6 weeks! I trained the ladies while holding 6 week old Ben- a total sweetie that does not like to sleep unless in your arms, haha!

Today's Workout
As expected, it's hard to actually focus on the workout during the training sessions because there is so much to talk about with other moms. When you're in the thick of middle of the night feedings, swaddle issues, sleep training, breast feeding struggles, etc, it is SO helpful to talk to other women going through the same. New moms just relate to each other.

It is so crazy holding a newborn now; even though it feels like just a few days ago that Connor was that little, they just feel so tiny after being used to carrying my boy. Speaking of him, there have been some big changes lately. He's gotten so mobile (although not crawling) and at first it seemed to interrupt his sleep, but now I think he's been sleeping much better because he can get himself into the most comfortable sleep positions. Those sleep positions are pretty interesting to watch! And a little scary, too. I would prefer he NOT decide to sleep face down in the freaking mattress, because I inevitably freak until he moves. I'm scared to even say it out loud, but he's been sleeping through the night pretty consistently.

This is how he greets me in the AM
Doesn't seem comfy to me, but whatever works!

I keep telling Matt that Connor makes me feel like a stand up comedian. Everything I do results in the biggest smiles and crazy laughter. Once he really gets going, I can just look away and then smile at him- he thinks it's just the funniest thing ever. Other things that make him laugh- fake sneezes, "this little piggy", funny voices, and tickles. If I could hit pause at this age, I would. Sleeping through the night AND happy all day long? Jackpot!

Tried out the "big boy" part of the shopping cart!

I can't wait for the weekend- first Mother's Day! We're going to brunch as a family at the restaurant where Matt and I were married. I'm excited to go out and show Connor. I also can't wait for the weekend because I'm so tired; working Tuesdays and Thursdays wears me out, I can't imagine being back to full time work. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Turkey Meatballs

This is a favorite meal of mine that is quick and healthy. You can swap out the turkey for any other ground meat (pork/beef/veal blend, chicken, etc). I use a lean ground turkey, but not the 99% fat free- that ends up way too dry.

If you mix up the ingredients, form into meatballs, and then refrigerate for about 30 minutes they will hold their shape best. I really am not too particular about that, so I usually skip that step (unless I make them earlier in the day).

You can use these for spaghetti and meatballs, or for sandwiches. We usually make a meal out of it by just serving them with a vegetable on the side, and maybe a salad. Easy, low carb, and healthy.

1 lb turkey
1/4 C Parmesan cheese

1/4 C  breadcrumb (Italian blend or panko)
1 small onion diced and sautéed
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt

1 t Italian seasoning
2 T ketchup
1 t sriracha
1 egg

Dice the onion and saute in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. While the onion is sauteing, combine all of the other ingredients. One the onion is finished, let it cool, and then add to the mix. Roll into balls, and brown the meatballs in a little olive oil in the same pan you cooked the onion. 

Brown the meatballs on all sides, but they do not have to be cooked through. Add your sauce (homemade or store bought) and simmer the meatballs in the sauce on medium low heat for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through. 


Monday, May 6, 2013

Broad Street Run- Done!

It's official- I've now completed my first Broad Street Run!  Yesterday was an amazing day. The weather was very chilly in the morning, but as expected, by the time we started running I warmed up. The outfit was (of course) something I debated for a bit, and ended up wearing crops instead of shorts. Because it was so cold that morning, I'm happy I did. At the race, you can discard any sweatshirts or outer layers, and they're donated to Philadelphia's homeless population. I brought an old sweatshirt and donated it right before we started.
Looking like Minnie Mouse with gloves to keep warm!

It took at least 30 mins to get to the start

Temple University is about 2 miles in

Broad St is a BIG race- about 40,000 runners. Because of that high number, things are hectic at the start. There are many different corals, although it really doesn't matter how you line up because no one is there to check. The biggest stress is trying to access a port-a-potty before starting! I ran with my girlfriend Alia (who also had a baby this year), so we definitely needed to use the restroom before running! The good news is, you can also stop during the race (if you don't really care about time) because you're running through the city and inevitably pass restaurants that will happily let you in. 

Although I live in the suburbs now, Matt and I lived in the city for years, and really miss it. Running through the Philadelphia reminded me of the runs I used to take. We lived in Old City, and I would run from there to Society Hill, Queen Village, up to Rittenhouse, and back down to Washington Square. Broad St takes you all the way down Broad (obviously) and the view of City Hall is awesome.

City Hall
Union League
Physically AND mentally, I felt great. Although I did a modified training plan and only ran 3 days a week instead of 4 or 5 (which most training plans suggest), I think it worked out because I was still working out an additional 2 days. On most runs, I go through the "keep going, you've got this" mental conversation, but I felt so pumped up by the crowd that I just didn't have to. It wasn't until about 7.5 miles in that I started to feel a little tired. Once we were finished, my legs felt pretty beat, but I really don't feel too sore today. 

I will say that it is SO great to have a running partner that is the same pace as you! Alia and I both really didn't train for time, and ended up running each mile around 10 minutes, some just under. We were both really happy with that. 

Alia and I have decided to go ahead with the Odyssey Half Marathon, also in Philly. It's in 5 weeks, so the training is really just adding on to what we've already been doing. I predict many stroller runs in my future! The race takes you along the Kelly Drive loop, so it's a "home" race for me since I already run that often. 

A friend from high school finished 200 out of 40,000. Now THAT is simply amazing! Go Adam!

Around mile 7 
We went out to lunch in Old City at the Continental after the race. That was one of our favorite spots, and only a block from where we used to live. We were happy to show Connor around our old hood!

Connor deserved this medal after training with me!
Lastly- In honor of Mother's Day, we are offering one free session at ZAKTi! Email me for more info, or check out the class offerings at ZAKTi. My workshop is offered Tuesday and Thursday from 11-12.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Busy Busy

This week marked the first of the You Better Work, Mama Workshop. It has been wonderful to meet other moms, talk about their experiences, and share stories. It's also been great to get out of the house for a few hours during the morning! Connor tagged along on Thursday, and Matt met us at the studio to watch him while I trained. It worked out perfectly, and I know the boys had a nice lunch together :)

Connor chillin at ZAKTi

Tuesdays and Thursdays are now very busy for me because I have training in the city during the morning, and then teach in the suburbs in the evening. I found out at Sweat that I've been named instructor of the month! They're offering a special- if you refer a mom to try out any of my classes, you get a free month of membership. Pretty nice! I was honored to see signs up around the gym in my honor :) Thanks to the manager, Sharee!


This weekend also marks an important date- the Broad St run! I'm so excited for it, and feel fully prepared. I think my training plan has really worked out well. Running three days a week has left enough time to incorporate my strength workouts, and still given me enough time to feel good running. I'm headed down to the expo today, and will report back if I score any good freebies!

In baby news, Connors sleep has been all over the place. He's recently become very mobile (though not crawling yet- that can wait!) and I think he wakes himself up. He has also started to prefer sleeping on his belly, but sometimes "forgets" that he can, in fact, roll over himself. Those incidents result in screaming :(. It's really hard to figure out when to let him cry it out  (which our pediatrician recommends), and when to go in. The pediatrician reminded me that his good sleep habits can become disrupted and turn into bad habits VERY quickly. 

I've broken a few of those rules. One morning he seemed up for good at around 5:30, and that just doesn't happen around here, especially after a night when he had already been up. I pulled him into bed with me, and he fell back asleep. At around 7:30 I was up but couldn't move because he had essentially taken me hostage in bed. Once he woke, he didn't seem particularly sorry about keeping me up the previous night. 

Prisoner in my own bed
What, mom??
Some of his sleep positions are hilarious too, now that he can really move. One time he fell asleep on top of his seahorse that plays music. He sometimes looks like he's put himself in time out. He actually fell asleep here trying to rip the breathable bumper off his crib. 


I currently can't complain though, because he slept through the night last night. 

Good luck to everyone running this weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oatmeal Banana Cookies

I found this recipe when Connor was very little, and they quickly became a staple here. Although they look and taste like cookies, they're completely healthy. Just 2 ingredients- oatmeal and bananas. You can then add any additions that seem tasty to you: nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, the list goes on.

If you're nursing, oatmeal is really good for your supply, and you can also add to the effect by throwing in a few tablespoons of ground flax seed meal (also good for supply).

You can find the original recipe here.

Take 2 bananas and mash them in a bowl. Add 1 cup of quick oats. Add your mix ins (although they're optional). Drop onto a greased cookie sheet. I usually do a dash of cinnamon, dash of salt, and a few chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 until set (10-15 minutes).

So good!