#SUMMERSTRONG

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Holy smokes, you guys…Memorial Day is RIGHT around the corner, and before you know it, we are in JUNE!!!

 

There is never a perfect time to get started on making a change. We are never “less busy” than usual. There will always be parties, and holidays, and soccer practice, and traveling. So the perfect time to get started often has to do with something within.

 

There has to be something within you that wants to make a change. A reason. A why that is propelling you forward. Without that why, you may start something new excitedly, but then quickly fall off because you weren’t serious about making your change or you didn’t fully understand why you jumped in.

 

So maybe you are the:

 

*Former athlete turned mama who wants to get back to her old self again

*The working mom who just can no longer fit in that gym commute

*The gym rat who loves working out, but it somehow just not getting the results

*The one with the sweet tooth who cannot stop late night snacking and wants to improve with healthier habits

*The gal who just wants to feel confident in her bathing suit this summer

*The woman who is daily going through her closet disliking everything she puts on.

*The mama who just seriously is craving some ME time

*The person who is tired of being sick and tired and wants that boost to energy and motivation

 

Because I have been ALL of these women and more at some point and time…

 

And I can say now that:

 

*I am happier + healthier than ever before

*I have found a community that supports each other and lifts each other up

*I have gained a ton more confidence in myself and my capabilities

*I feel excited to get dressed in the morning

*I feel strong in mind, body, and soul

*I have opened my mind to so many more possibilities and have learned so much

 

I may never be completely confident in my bathing suit…but hey we all have our insecurities, and no one is perfect.

 

But it’s not about being perfect. It’s about improving yourself and being the best version of yourself there is.

 

If you are READY to commit to making a change. If you want to reach your full potential. If you want to be happy and healthy. If you want to feel #SUMMERSTRONG…

 

Then I would LOVE to include you in my upcoming #SUMMERSTRONG health + fitness Challenge Group starting June 5th!

 

Each person in the group will be following an at-home workout program that I will help to recommend based on your goals and interests, drink a daily superfood shake packed with clean energy and nutrition, follow a nutrition plan, have my full support as your coach, and be surrounded by other positive uplifiting challengers like yourself who will motivate each other to reach our goals.

 

These groups have been LIFE CHANGING for me, and I know if you are ready, they will be for you too!

 

Please comment below with your email address or email me if you would like to learn more! Make it a great day everyone!!!

XO,

Gina

Homemade Apple Butter

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After our recent trip to Fishkill Farms, I knew that this was going to be the perfect opportunity to finally make homemade apple butter this season. With fresh organic apples from the farm and a recipe from Skinnytaste, I decided to spend a Sunday afternoon making this delicious spread that reminds me of my childhood days. I was nervous with how it was going to turn out, but I have to say, it was pretty spot on!

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Ingredients:
 
  • 6 large apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped (honeycrisp, gala, ambrosia) – *I used a couple extra apples and the apple type was whatever we found at the farm
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, not packed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg – *For all the spices, I had an Apple Pie spice that I used instead which had these ingredients

Directions:

Place the apples in a slow cooker. Top with sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and mix well. Cover and cook high 5 hours, or low 10 hours, stirring once halfway, until the apples are tender and dark brown.

Uncover and puree with an immersion blender. *(I do not own an immersion blender, so I actually had to spoon it out and blend it in my regular blender…not really recommended, as it’s hot and this is a difficult procedure! However, it got the job done.) Cook on high uncovered 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Spoon into jars or containers, cover and refrigerate.

Makes 2 cups.

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Nico has been enjoying peanut butter and apple butter sandwiches for lunch as I did as a child, and he absolutely loves it! I have enjoyed some on toast as well. If you have other great ideas for how to enjoy apple butter, please share!

Hope you all had a fantastic Halloween last night. My boys dressed up as Curious George (Nico) and the Man in the Yellow Hat (hubby). Luca was a skeleton (with a pumpkin hat), and I was a panda (naturally). We enjoyed our neighborhood Halloween Parade, which was fabulous, and then took off for some Trick or Treating. Nico had his first candy this year, and had no idea what to do with a lollipop. It was a pretty funny experience to say the least. We let him have a few pieces…and then my husband and I had a few too many pieces…and now I need to GET IT ALL OUT OF MY HOUSE!

21 Day Fix Round 2 starts tomorrow as well as my Thankful for Fitness Challenge Group, and it’s healthy eating and living from here on out so that I am going into the holidays feeling happy, healthy, and strong.

Who’s with me?

Happy Sunday!

XO,

Gina

Why I’m Tougher This Pregnancy

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Pregnancy. What a wild ride it is…and each time is different. My first pregnancy was cut tragically short due to a miscarriage after 7.5 weeks and ended in devastation and sadness. My 2nd pregnancy, I was a nervous wreck for the entire 1st trimester and then some. Afraid to work out. Afraid of another loss. Eventually as time wore on, I started to become less nervous and embrace my pregnancy along with all the ups and down, scares, vomiting, nausea, itchiness, heartburn, early contractions, duck waddling, and more. With every sonogram (and I had a lot of them) I felt closer and closer to my Little Monkey. Eventually, on August 29, 2013, my little boy was brought into the world and everything made sense. All of that craziness was worth it, and my life was forever changed. I can’t believe that little boy is now almost 2 years old, and I have another on the way.

Most women would say that being pregnant the 2nd (or in my case 3rd) time around is more difficult. I would have to agree that it has been quite challenging. However, I think it has somehow made me TOUGHER. And here’s why:

1st Trimester Nausea & Exhaustion

I thought this was bad before, but this pregnancy was much worse! Previously, I would get sick, and then feel better, but I pretty much felt a constant wave of nausea all day every day for the entire first trimester. Even if I got sick, I did not feel any better. I tried ginger candies (I was repulsed), preggie pop drops, eating small frequent meals, and sea bands, but nothing really seemed to do the trick except letting time pass. I was also much more exhausted, but couldn’t exactly fall asleep whenever I wanted to. Knowing that I was able to get through this first rough of a 1st trimester with everything else going on in my life makes me feel like one tough cookie.

I Have a Toddler This Time Around

This is probably BY FAR the most challenging aspect of this pregnancy! Previously, if I needed a nap or I felt sick I could lay down and rest. As a stay-at-home working mom this time around, I cannot just take a break when I need to. My toddler is very active and wants to run around and play all day. He takes one nap a day, and at the beginning, I was napping right along with him! With the 2nd trimester, I gained a lot of energy back, and now I work during his nap time, but it was a a struggle in the beginning. There was a lot of time for planning during my last pregnancy, but I feel as if this pregnancy is just flying right by! Anyone that can get through a pregnancy while taking care of a toddler is tough in my book!

I am Running My Own Business

Speaking of work…since the company I was working for folded in September, I decided to take a step in a new direction as a fitness coach and freelance writer. I now stay at home with my son, work from home, and make my own schedule, but it’s also extremely tough to fit everything in in one day on top of being pregnant. Toddler playdates, doctor’s appointments, conference calls, emails, quiet time to write, taking care of the house, building a business…there is so much to fit in each day, and only so much time. I find myself working a lot of late nights trying to get it all done, and luckily my husband is good about letting me sleep in a lot so that I don’t run myself ragged.

I am Working on My Fitness

As I said before, I was previously scared to work out during my last pregnancy. I walked a lot, which was a great way to keep active, but I did not feel “in shape” at all. This pregnancy, I have been doing the PiYo program (combo of pilates and yoga) at least 4-5 times per week for at least 30 min per day, hiking on weekends, etc. My body feels so much more physically fit, strong, & toned, and my lungs have so much more endurance and capacity. I feel so much more energized on a daily basis after I have completed my workouts, and I generally just feel tougher!

I am Eating Healthier

I do feel that I generally ate pretty healthy during my last pregnancy, but since becoming a fitness coach, I have paid even more attention to what I am putting in my body on a daily basis…especially processed foods and sugars. Of course, this pregnant mama is never going to completely cut ice cream out of her diet…I mean we all have to live a little, right?!?!  Sometimes those pregnancy cravings will get the best of me for sure. I am not perfect, and will never claim to be!  But on the whole, I am conscious of what I am eating and I strive to make healthy, clean choices for myself and my growing babe.

I Have Been Through It Before

I have a newfound confidence this time around. I mentioned being afraid a lot during my last pregnancy…but this time I am more confident with my decisions, I realize that there are some things that are just out of my control, and I have to let go a little.  I generally have an idea of what to expect this time for labor and delivery (although I do understand that things could be completely different), so I am not super anxious about what’s going to happen. I understand that things may happen unexpectedly, I now know what contractions feel like (and I know to drink tons of WATER to prevent dehydration and early contractions), and I know not to freak out if I go into my regular check up and they tell me I am not leaving without a baby. I feel prepped and I feel calm.  I’m actually more anxious about how things are going to go POST-delivery when I have two children! Haha.

Curious as to what you other mamas are going through out there? How have you been feeling throughout your pregnancy? If you are pregnant for a 2nd time around, have you felt that it’s been easier or harder? Do you feel tougher as well or has it all been a lot to handle?

I definitely feel that my workouts combined with my nutrition have played a HUGE role in my “toughness” this pregnancy, both mentally and physically. It keeps me going and keeps me strong.

Happy Monday to all you Mamas, and everyone else out there reading! We had a nice weekend with family and friends. Today marks 28 weeks pregnant for this gal.

Let’s make it a great week!

XO,

Gina