Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bounce with me?

Happy Hump Day to you all!

What better day to give you a good booty workout? In this video I'm using the quad extension & curl machine, but not in it's normal fashion. GASP! You can totally be creative (carefully), and innovative with your exercise. It's a fantastic way to keep your body guessing with a variety of new sets, as well as keep you from the boredom of mundane routines.
Everyone is at different fitness levels. I personally did 4 sets of this with 8 reps in each, with the weight at 150lbs. However, since this is something different, I recommend trying it at a super light weight, just until you get the hang of the motion and how to get yourself in and out of this position. Once you're comfortable, slowly increase your weight until it's tough, but not impossible. They say if you can do 15 of something with ease, it's too light.
As for how to get in this funky position:
Start by selecting weight, then stand straight behind roller with it lining up around your shins (height variance may differ), use the bar handle and some leg strength to pull it up high enough to get your legs under it a ninety degree angle. The foam roll should rest on your quads, not falling off your knee, but not too close to your hips either. Once your legs are properly positioned, slide your torso down until your upper back and shoulders are resting on the seat. I place my arms behind my head, with my elbows out, as you would in a traditional sit-up, but I think you can find what works best for you, with out letting your arms do any of the work. As for getting out of it, slowly and carefully, grab the handle to pick up the weight and slide yourself back into a standing position, and gently let the roller slide down your legs, but don't allow all of the weight of it to press into your knees and lock them in.
Once there, dip your booty, as you would in booty bridges and then squeeze your glutes to push back up to a ninety degree angle with your legs. Make sure your legs are evenly spaced hip width apart, that your feet face forward, and your knees don't extend over toes.
And yeah, you caught me; I listen to old school hip-hop and rap... or Britney when I do my booty work!(;
Hope you enjoy, and would love to hear how it goes when you're super sore the next day and growing that Beyoncé booty!(:
***DISCLAIMER!: PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH ANY WORK OUT! Whether it be what the machine is intended for, or trying something different. I am not responsible for any injury acquired while doing a workout I've posted!***

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

happily eating healthy

I keep hearing people say "You know they're only pretending they like clean eating!", I've even seem dumb internet memes like this (sorry they used your face Will).
I feel I need to go on the record and say, I am not miserable when (which is always) I make healthy eating choices. As a matter of fact, I feel the absolute best that I ever have since I made the decision to clean up my eating habits.
Sure, there are people that are probably hating life with their new "magical" diets that promise lie to you to drop pounds immediately, (I'm sure you've all read my opinion on that subject.) That's not what I'm referring to, "diets" are not the same as just eating healthy foods habitually. I really have distain for the term "diet", they're temporary and often restricting of nutrients we need, and thus leave you with pseudo results, if any. Choosing to eat healthy, as a lifestyle, is the way to achieve positive results, and in turn be happy.
I find that most people that knock clean eating, either haven't even attempted to do so or are just lost on what exactly it means. In simple terms... you've got to eliminate the junk first and foremost, but then be creative; there are unlimited healthy alternatives for your old crap cravings. Don't be afraid to try new recipes, you can find millions online or ask your fellow health nut (HI!) for some tips. Eventually, healthy foods taste so much better and the junk actually starts to taste awful, and you recognize that it makes you feel miserable. You can't be lazy; as it does often require properly shopping, prepping, and cooking. However, once you get the hang of it, it does become simple, and there are definitely convenient ways to eat clean, even on the go and out to eat. Do your research and educate yourself. Once you realize what's actually in bad foods, you're much more likely if you're sane to avoid it. Figure out what type of body it is you want, while we should all be getting plenty of each food group, some people require more or less of each. Make plans and goals, and stick to them. Before you know it, you will have adopted new habits that are engrained, that's when you'll find happiness with your health and image.
I admit, I haven't always eaten this way, or worked out as I do now. I used to eat all sorts of crap, and then tried to overcompensate for it by restricting my calories to unhealthily low numbers. I wasn't happy with my image, and my body certainly wasn't functioning at it's full potential. I had stomachaches, headaches, acne breakout, sluggishness, moodiness, and I'd get sick way too often. I never connected the dots that my eating contributed to this, but oh did it. Food is fuel, and our body serves as our vehicle for life. Forgive the corniness in that. If you don't put gas in your car, does it go? No. Does it run properly if you put the wrong kind of fuel, or worse something that wasn't even meant for a car at all? Highly doubt it, I bet it even malfunctions at that point. My point is, we've got to fill our bodies with the best fuel for them, and plenty of it. After I learned this, and started living a completely healthy lifestyle, I felt like a whole new person. I no longer get sick, seriously I haven't had any illness or issues since my daughter was born (when I started this). In fact, the only stomachaches I've had are caused by the few times I did eat something crummy. My body is so acclimated to healthy and real foods, that junk food makes me so sick, and that makes it a lot easier to stay away from. I feel at my absolute best now, and am so grateful to have changed my habits to feel this way. I truly enjoy my healthy lifestyle, and everything I eat is fantastically delicious! So don't let naysayers keep you from becoming a healthier you, and hey, naysayers give it a shot too.
I'm currently creating guides that will go in more depth on this, including my typical grocery list, meal ideas (not plans, because I like to vary it up), tips and tricks, and recipes. As well as my work outs. This takes time (especially with a toddler), but I can't wait to offer it to you all. In the interim, if you have questions about any of this topic, or anything else, (I do know why flamingos are pink or why elephants can't jump, if that's what you want to ask.) please don't hesitate to contact me via my fitness instagram @blakeleyfitness, this blog, or personally if you know me.
Let's all happily eat healthy!*clinking my glass of green juice to that!(;

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Seventeen Months

Seventeen months. What? That means next month she'll be a year and a half... again I say WHAT?! She's growing up so fast.

We haven't been to the doctor since the last post, but she may have grown an inch and pound, somewhere around 21lbs and 30in long. She's still able to wear a bunch of her spring/summer clothes from last year, anything that doesn't have legs or long sleeves fits her. "And though she be but little, she is fierce."
Favorite Foods & Least Favorite Foods:
She pretty much loves the things I always mention; salmon, chicken, sweet potato, oatmeal, beans, hummus, salsa, guacamole, berries, bananas, peas, and mushrooms to name a few favorites. The only thing she won't eat is grapefruit, and that's completely understandable. You can read all about how we're raising her with healthy eating habits here.
Look Who's Talking:
New words this month: "buhdee" (birdies) to whom she loves to wave to. "Babehh" (baby) as she pointed to pictures of a friend's sister's newborn on a phone. She identifies a lot of things in pictures, especially her Daddy and I, but even something as small as the basketball emoji got her to say "ball". She's definitely got a lot to say, and she's very proud when she learns a new word. She will go about pointing and identifying objects once she knows them, and if there's something she doesn't know it's "DAAAAAAAAT?!" until we tell her over and over until she eventually learns it. She really is brilliant. Not only is she speaking quite a bit, she understands so much more. This month we learned she understands more directions... "Go get a book for Mama to read to you.", she went to room and picked a book from her shelf, then brought it to me and plopped in my lap for us to read together. After it was done, she shut it, got up and repeated the process thirteen times. She now does it anytime she wants story time, and has also learned to do with toys she wants to play with. The words she already knows are being pronounced clearer as well. You can read her previously learned words here. Oh, and she also adorably talks in her sleep on occasion.
Favorite Things:
She really loves all of her toys and books, some of which I need to get new batteries for, and she has a ton. Zany Zoo, Alphabet Puzzle, Flinstone car, Sensory Shapes, ballsballasballs, puzzles, books, Sophie the Giraffe, B. Toys cars, dinosaur, elephant rocker, the list goes on and on. It's fair to say she plays equally with them all. I also try to alternate what comes with in the diaper bag, so she doesn't get bored, so that may be part of her reason for loving everything equally. I don't believe we've hit that super emotionally attached stage yet. However, side traumatic for me story... We were at the mall and she had a sweet sea creature toy set that we got on vacation at a boutique in Florida. Well, at some point, it was lost or stolen by a runt child running amuck when I didn't have her in the stroller. I noticed as soon as we got back to the car, and panicked. Travis stayed in the car with B, while I ran back through tracing our steps and leaving my name and number at lost and found (later realizing, I wouldn't want her touching anything that had been through the mall and L&F, GROSS.) There were actual tears on my part, I don't think B even noticed. Still, when your baby loses something they love, your heart is sad for them. And yes, I know it will only get worse as she gets older and knows it and it is inevitable to lose things. Or perhaps I'll put gps in all of her prized possessions? THEN, I remembered I had recently looked at the brand on the tag of the toys... turns out I can get it at Buy Buy Baby, and don't have to go back to Florida for another. PHEW.
Favorite & Least Favorite Activities:
She loves to spend time with us, whatever we may be doing. She's definitely a snuggle love bug. Story time in my lap and watching Frozen and Little Mermaid on repeat are daily things. We've got a big time animal lover, whether she's feeding them, petting them, giving and receiving kisses, and sometimes chasing to keep up, she loves to be with them. She loves to eat... a LOT. Walking, ever since she started, she won't stop. She's proud of her new mobility, as she should be, so she's trotting around everywhere. and watching her chunky thighs waddle is the best! Like I always say, she's our Curious George and wants to know what everything is or does. Combine the mobility and curiosity, and yes we're constantly on our toes to prevent danger. My little helper, she loves to clean up. She may take things out one by one, but she also puts them back up. I also try to find ways to allow her to help me when I'm doing household chores; whether she plays in a pile of socks, I mean folds laundry, or vacuums by way of sitting on my hip, I'm teaching her the value of clean up and being helpful. Bath time, she's always been our water baby and continues to love scrubbadubdubbin. Which brings me to swimming, the kid is a mermaid. Seriously. Just like her mama, she would spend all day in the water. We have quite the bonding time splashing in fountains and waterfalls, to trying to teach her to kick kick kick while I hold her and we "swim", and give her the baby raft and she's set. If I weren't worried about too much sun and heat (don't worry, I saturate her in SPF) we'd literally spend the day in the pool.

As for least favorites, well... being separated from us, even if that means me leaving the room to pee. Getting in her carseat is hit or miss. And she usually has better things to do than stop for a diaper change. We've started putting her hands under the faucet when applicable (which she loves) to clean them as opposed to wiping them clean, because she hates that, especially her face. She also doesn't seem to hate sleep so much now, usuaully in three hour segments through the night and a pretty routine hour or so nap in the afternoon. HALLELUJAH! We're also working on patience for food, and understanding the when we "not for baby" we're not being mean. And then there was this, where she was completely over my photo shoot...
Signature Moves & Skills:
Whenever I say all gone or no more, she waves and says "byebye", she also does it in the obvious setting of saying bye to people. She even blows kisses when we say "love you". She waves and says "hiiiiiii"or "hiiiiiderrr" which sounds like "hi there" to any person or animal she likes... sometimes airplanes and trees. She's friendly. So naturally, she likes to share... which sometimes means her stuffing her mashed food in your mouth or holding the straw to your face insisting you drink, and obviously we wouldn't be rude and decline. haha. Speaking of food, her dipping skills are on point; she will take veggies, crackers, or fingers if she runs out and neatly (well kinda) dip into whatever food dip it is; salsa, hummus, guac. It's really cute. She also drinks from a regular cup with minimal spillage, though we prefer to give her lids and straws. Where she learned this growl chomp noise she sometimes makes when going to take a bite of food, I don't know, but it's hilarious. On the note of hilarity, her laugh! OH MY GOODNESS, it is the best thing ever. She also engages in laugh offs with others, and sometimes laughs at something silly she did and looks for your approving laugh. Still quite the clapper too! We learned she knows how to climb up stairs, but not down them. She's working on running too, though her walk is pretty darn fast itself. She's a dancing machine, if she likes a song, she's going to shake that bitty booty or sway side to side, or bop her head to the beat. I'm so excited for the day she starts dance class. Ahhh! When you ask where something is, she looks for it. Lots and lots of peekaboo too. Oh, and she can work an iphone, or at least press the home button to talk to Suri and swipe side to side when looking at photos. WHAT? And my favorite, when her Daddy or I ask for loves or tell her to "love on your (insert family or toy here), she buries her head into them or gives big open mouth kisses. It's heartmelting.  
Mom & Dad's proudest moment:
Well... somehow she learned to say "boo-eeez" (boobs), puts her hands in my shirt and tries to pull it down in public, when she wants me to nurse her. Classy. Actually, it's hilarious and I'm not ashamed to feed her, but at least let me sit down and throw a blanket over, as opposed to standing in line at Whole Foods. Eh, they're all natural, I'm sure they wouldn't mind.
You'll notice we call you all sorts of names; Brooklynn Rose, Brooklynn, Brooke, Brookie, Brookie Bear, Baby Girl, and sometimes your dad says Pookie (forgive him for that haha.), but whatever we call you, you're always our daughter, and that makes you the most incredible blessing we've ever been given. I have too many words to write how much we adore you and the truest joy you bring us with every single thing you do. You're sleeping next to me as I write this, and I'm just so in awe of you and your perfection, and that God chose to bless us so by being your parents. I don't mean to be a sap, one day when you're sixteen and read this you might think I'm silly, but I just want you to know we always have and always will love you every little bit! (Just like your book "I Love You Every Little Bit).