I’ve never really been a white picket fence kind of girl. Sure, I grew up in a nice house in the suburbs but I never found myself saying “yes! This is it, this is the dream!”. To be honest, I’m not all that great at dreaming. I knew I wanted to make a comfortable living and that was honestly about it. I never dreamed of having children. In my earlier years of life I told everyone that I was never going to have children, we can all see how well that statement worked out! Now here I am, a single mother with 2 small children living in an incredibly expensive state, whoopie!
I love my children to death, don’t get me wrong there. I would walk through fire and burn to death before I ever let them feel pain (serious stuff right?!). But it’s really, really hard. Especially when you are forced to live with your parents, therefore having an additional two parental units to contend with. I need a way to be my own person again, with my boys.
Here enters the tiny house dream. The tiny house movement is becoming incredibly popular for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is because it is allowing people freedom from major debt. Housing costs have skyrocketed in the last decade making it next to impossible to own or rent a decent place unless you and your spouse (if you have one!) make at least 6 figures a year! For about 25k you can get yourself 250 square feet of bliss! Sounds pretty killer right?!
And how adorable are they?! Because your dealing with significantly less square footage, you can afford to splurge on things that other people would have to cut corners on when building your own house, such as buying that gorgeous ceramic double bay farm sink you’ve always wanted!
Tiny houses are also way more sustainable. You can design them to be completely off-grid if you’d like, with composting toilets (not as gross as they sound!) and solar panels.
The issue that I am currently facing is that zoning laws make it incredibly difficult to put down roots anywhere around here. If I build my house on a trailer and classify it as an RV, the law dictates that you can only spend a few days per month in the RV. It cannot be used as your domicile. And if you choose to build it on a slab then you have to comply with building codes which specify a minimum size for the structure of which a tiny house would not be compliant. (SIGH!!!!!)
So I’m left between a rock and a hard place, but dare to dream right?! One day I will own a tiny house, on a tiny farm with my tiny family (which may include a good man someday, and definitely dogs!)
I’m a veteran Mommy, as I am sure many of you are as well. I can also imagine that many of you, much like myself felt insecure after giving birth about your post baby body. Sure, it was great when you were all curvaceous and bootylicious when you were 9 months large but it’s not seeming so cute now. In the haze of breastfeeding and changing poopy diapers you are wondering when/if you’ll ever get your pre mommy body back.
Well have no fear mamas! It takes time but rest assured that if you work at it you will be able to be comfortable in your own skin again. Before you go jumping on the treadmill and doing a million crunches though please take note on whether you’ve developed diastasis recti so that you can learn how to approach activities in a safe manner and not injure yourself.
Diastasis Recti is a condition that many women develop during their pregnancies and it can even affect men and children in rare cases. DS is the separation of the abdominal wall as the belly expands to make room for your growing baby. Women with more than one child (hand raised!) are more likely to develop this condition as are women over 35. This separation of the abdominals is often what women call their “pooch” after a few months postpartum. It’s usually that last stubborn area that women think they need to “lose” from when in reality they need to repair that area and nurture it in order to get their body back.
Diastasis Recti can cause lower back pain as well as constipation and urine leakage (tried jumping on a trampoline lately?!). In worse cases it can even make it hard to breath and move and even cause a hernia if you push your body too hard too soon. You should take precaution when doing normal abdominal workouts such as crunches and planking because they can end up doing more harm than good until your DS is repaired.
Personally, I didn’t realize that I had diastasis recti until my second son was 2! I was working out constantly and doing a million ab exercises but my poochy belly was impossible to get rid of and I had no idea why! I had heard about the condition but never associated it directly with myself. I started having alot of lower back pain but I just figured it was from my job and the copious amounts of Yoga that I was doing to try and get back into shape. Needless to say, I tested myself for DS and discovered that I definitely have a separation of my upper abdominal muscles (womp womp)!
So how do you test for DS? Lay flat on your back and bend your knees with your feet flat on the ground. Put your left arm behind your head and then compress your abs into a gentle crunch. Take your right hand and gently press down on your abdominals. A DS is a separation of 2.7 centimeters or wider. You can use your finger widths as a gauge. If you find that your separation is wider than 2 ½ fingers please consult your doctor! Wider separations put you at greater risk for hernia and serious back issues!
The good news is that there are exercises that you can do to help repair your Diastasis Recti. I have taken a break from most other physical activity to focus on repairing my DS before I begin seriously exercising again. Here’s a few examples of some exercises. I found these from wiki but there are a ton of examples on pinterest and such.
Core contraction – In a seated position, place both hands on abdominal muscles. Take small controlled breaths. Slowly contract the abdominal muscles, pulling them straight back towards the spine. Hold the contraction for 30 seconds, while maintaining the controlled breathing. Complete 10 repetitions.
Seated squeeze – Again in a seated position, place one hand above the belly button, and the other below the belly button. With controlled breaths, with a mid-way starting point, pull the abdominals back toward the spine, hold for 2 seconds and return to the mid-way point. Complete 100 repetitions.
Head lift – In a lying down position, knees bent at 90° angle, feet flat, slowly lift the head, chin toward your chest, (concentrate on isolation of the abdominals to prevent hip-flexors from being engaged),slowly contract abdominals toward floor, hold for two seconds, lower head to starting position for 2 seconds. Complete 10 repetitions.
Upright push-up – A stand-up push-up against the wall, with feet together arms-length away from wall, place hands flat against the wall, contract abdominal muscles toward spine, lean body towards wall, with elbows bent downward close to body, pull abdominal muscles in further, with controlled breathing. Release muscles as you push back to starting position. Complete 20 repetitions.
Squat against the wall – Also known as a seated squat, stand with back against the wall, feet out in front of body, slowly lower body to a seated position so knees are bent at a 90° angle, contracting abs toward spine as you raise body back to standing position. Optionally, this exercise can also be done using an exercise ball placed against the wall and the lower back. Complete 20 repetitions.
Squat with squeeze – A variation to the “squat against the wall” is to place a small resistance ball between the knees, and squeeze the ball while lowering the body to the seated position. Complete 20 repetitions.
Always remember to “blow before you go”! When lifting anything of any significant weight (this includes your kids!) take a deep breath in and blow the air out before lifting. This engages your abdominals which helps to knit them back together as well as protecting your lower back muscles. Also, please please please do not try to pick anything up with a flat back! Always lift through your knees, not your back. Lifting from a simply bent over position puts so much additional pressure on your lower back! Lifting a 10 pound object puts approximately 1,150 pounds of pressure on your lower back! Always try to squat when lifting heavy objects. Your quads and your lower back will love you for it I promise! I hope that this post was helpful for anyone who thinks they may be suffering from Diastasis Recti. Please note that I am not a doctor. I am simply sharing with you the information that I have learned through my own research and the exercises that I am doing to work on repairing my own DS. Consult your physician before you attempt these exercises if you have any concerns.
Checking in for week 2 of the 21 Day Sugar Detox. Week 1 was rough I’m not going to lie. Technically, you could say I failed. But I’m going to say I slipped. My moms birthday was Tuesday and I simply couldn’t pass up the strawberry shortcake! Live and learn right?! I’m still trucking forward however because the way I figure it I could fall of the wagon completely or I could keep working on it!
So week 2 is off with a bang! I’ve planned and prepped and now I just need to execute! I’ve been cleaning a lot last week and this week and being out in the field can be really hard because you’re running around town all day long and the temptations are endless! I will do my best to power through it though.
Week 2 plan goes as follows:
Pork hash with 2 eggs
Tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, carrots, banana chocolate chia pudding with Almond butter and salad.
Roasted chicken with rutabaga, turnip, onion and parsnip
Turkey burgers with sautéed chard and mashed parsnip
Fingers crossed for a successful week!!! Happy Monday Everyone!
Have you heard the hype about Hydrolyzed Collagen yet? Maybe not? Well let me fill you in!
Hydrolyzed Collagen is a more intensive version of gelatin. It’s derived from pasture raised cows or wild caught marine sources. Gelatin helps to make up for missing amino acids in the body. The major differences between gelatin and Hydrolyzed Collagen are there chemical properties (i.e. the ability to set liquid) and their digestibility (Hydrolyzed Collagen is easier to digest!).
So why do you want to add Hydrolyzed Collagen into your life? Firstly, it has powerful anti aging properties for skin, joints and bones. It helps the connective tissues stay strong and flexible and helps to improve their mechanical properties. It also can help clear up skin problems! What’s not to love!
So how do you use it? Good news is, it’s super simple. You stir two tablespoons into any beverage hot or cold and voila! That’s all there is to it. Yay for easy health improvements! You’re welcome!
Kind of had a rough day today. I found out early this morning that my youngest cousin was in a horrific dirt biking accident. He’s hopefully going to recover but it definitely rocked my emotional boat today. I’ve been super distracted and definitely sad. I know that every day can’t be perfect but man does it suck when bad shit like this happens!
I’ve also been cleaning a ton this week! I work for an eco friendly cleaning company which is amazing and I love my job! I work in the office but when duty calls I have to go out in the field and get my hands dirty!
One of the main tasks of any house cleaning is vacuuming. My company uses these really awesome backpack vacuums that are super efficient. After a few days of constantly wearing that 35 pounds on your back while moving and bending and squatting your lower back gets pretty tight! I have been using my acupressure mat to the fullest extent this week!
What is an acupressure mat you ask? It is a foam mat that has little plastic needle points that hit close to 8,000 acupressure points! It can take some getting used to but the benefits are amazing! Acupressure mats have been shown to increase circulation, increase energy, relieve chronic neck and back pain, improve sleep and insomnia to name a few!
I use my acupressure mat in conjunction with soft music through my headphones to have a peaceful meditative experience. I will lay on it for at least 15 minutes per day and I always feel AMAZING when I’m through! I have been using it consistently now for a few months and I can say that it helps to relieve my lower back pain, especially after a hard day of cleaning! It also helps me feel relaxed and re centered and it definitely helps me sleep!
I urge you to try one out for yourself! This is the one I have Here. I love ProSource products because they are pretty equivalent to the more expensive name brand products but for half the price! I have a ton of ProSource stuff and they have all been great! Also, if you have Prime, you can start acupressurizing (that’s totally a word right?!) in 2 days! It’s worth it, believe me!
With a billion groceries stores seconds from most houses, many will question why they should even bother to try and grow their own food. I’ve compiled a list of a few great reasons why you should consider attempting to have a vegetable garden!
1: It will save you money!
Fresh veggies are usually the most expensive part of a family’s grocery bill. This is often due to high cost for shipping the veggies long distances from southern places that grow vegetables all year round. When you eat seasonally in your garden you’re able to save a ton!
2: It’s better for the environment
Not only are you decreasing the carbon footprint by not buying veggies from far away, you also aren’t contributing to the excessive amount of pesticides and air pollutants being released into our environment through conventional mass farming.
3: It’s a very active hobby/lifestyle
You’ll be raking and hoeing and digging and planting and watering and all the other tasks that go along with gardening and it can be some serious manual labor! You’ll be tired and sore (but in a good way!) when you’re done with this! It also gets you outside in nature and away from social bullshit!
4: You’re putting less crap in your body
Conventional farming methods are riddled with pesticide and chemical use. The vegetables you buy in the store can absorb these chemicals therefore passing them along to you in the process of devouring them. Sure, the government says it’s safe, but do you really trust them? Growing your own foods ensures that you are treating your plants with love and care, not poison.
5: It’s fun! And it gives you a great sense of accomplishment knowing that you raised the food on your plate!
I hope these 5 simple facts will help steer you in the directing of at least attempting your own small garden! It doesn’t need to be big or glamorous! Look up container gardening! Get out there and get your hands dirty! Trust me, you won’t regret it!