Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sour grapes at yoga, sour goodness at the froyo place

Total steps yesterday:  13,250
Exercise for today:  prenatal yoga, dog walking, drinking a PSL

Woke up this morning to get over to prenatal yoga.  Man, I was not feeling it today.  I have such a love/hate relationship with yoga, and today's class was challenging and uncomfortable.  The teacher (instructor?  yogi?  What's the right word there?) made it challenging and uncomfortable on purpose, in order to get us used to working through discomfort for when we're in labor.  Okay, fine, but let me come out of this squat now.

Shoulda held one minute, held about 10 seconds
According to this very helpful website, I burned 170 calories during my hour of yoga / mentally cursing my obnoxiously zen yoga instructor.  Which is all well and good, because I promptly drank that times two when I stopped by Starbucks for my first pumpkin spice latte of the season.  It was everything I ever could have hoped for.  

The rest of the day has been grocery shopping and errand running.  Dinner is delicious German food - there will be pictures and a post tomorrow.  Despite my excitement for it, all I can think about is this:

That's a giant cup of frozen yogurt from a new place I found last night.  It's a green apple / sour berry swirl with sour patch kids on top.  To a pregnant lady craving sour things, this was heaven, and I'm already trying to figure out how early I need to eat dinner tonight in order to be able to go out for another one for dessert.  Priorities.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Root vegetables: a love story

Total steps yesterday:  18,191
Exercise plans for today:  thwarted by a flooded gym

I'd planned on a strength workout and maybe also a run this morning, since I needed to kill time between dropping James off at the metro and work starting.  However, the locker rooms had flooded at the gym, so they closed it for the day.  I plan to take a lunchtime walk and should have no problems still getting in at least 10,000 steps, but I'm otherwise taking this as a rest day.

In other news, I'm officially at 17 weeks today.  Lil W is now about the size of a turnip!


This is the first week that I've looked at the fruit/veggie/baby comparison and thought "holy wow, that's big".  And also, it makes me want root vegetables this weekend.  Which is a little weird, since it feels like I need to clarify that I don't actually want to eat my baby, just the vegetable that embodies it this week.
I grew up with the more standard root vegetables like carrots and potatoes.  It wasn't until I married a southern gentleman that I discovered the joys of turnips and rutabaga.  James makes a rutabaga side that's basically just cut up rutabaga, boiled in salt and a bit of sugar, with some bacon or ham hock to go with it.  It is the best thing ever and I could eat it all day.

Maybe I'll ask him to make some for our anniversary dinner this weekend.  I haven't made any anniversary dinner plans, other than I sort of want it to involve pierogis and now also root vegetables.  I'll come up with something fun to do, though.  
It's funny the difference that a year can make.  Things change so quickly, sometimes unexpectedly.  I couldn't have predicted on September 1, 2012 that I'd be spending our first anniversary pregnant, but I'm glad.  I like changes.  It makes life exciting.

Except in my love for root vegetables.  That will never, ever change. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Intuitive Eating

Total steps yesterday:  15,235
Exercise plans for today:  3 mile run

This is going to be a longer post, so bear with me.  I started typing it out and realized I had way more to say about this than I'd expected.  

There was a big movement a few years back promoting intuitive eating instead of dieting.  There's a whole book series / organization that has sprung up around this movement.  I haven't read any of the books, but my understanding, and the way I choose to apply it to my life, is that it focuses on eating when you're hungry, eating foods that make you feel good, and making food part of your lifestyle, rather than a temporary calorie deficit diet.  You can read more about the official movement here.

I have never been a good intuitive eater, and don't pretend to be any sort of expert on it.  In general, I don't think it would work for me.  I am a long-term and committed food tracker.  Studies have shown again and again that tracking your food, whether through a written food journal, an online program like My Fitness Pal, or a group program like Weight Watchers, is one of the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off.  However, I'm not trying to lose weight during pregnancy, nor do I find it possible to predict exactly how many extra calories I need a day to gain the appropriate weight, so I decided for my own sanity that I would give up food logging during the pregnancy.

I'm also prone to overeating and sugar bingeing, though, so I've tried in the last few weeks to make a conscious attempt toward eating well, and eating enough, without going overboard and using pregnancy as an excuse to eat a pint of frozen yogurt a day.  Okay, twice I have eaten an entire pint of frozen yogurt in a day, but I'll come back to that.

So far, my weight gain is perfectly on track with recommendations.  Most sources I've found say that you should gain between 1-4 pounds in your first trimester, and then around 1 pound a week for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Please note that this is a general guideline - people will gain more or less, and if you're overweight or underweight, that adjusts what your needed weight goals are.  If you're super sick in your first trimester (or throughout your whole pregnancy), you might lose weight rather than gaining, or only gain very slowly.  It's not a huge deal, as long as you're checking in with your doctor and eating when you can.

I've gained about 8 pounds so far in pregnancy, which I've done by eating when I'm hungry and trying to, mostly, eat healthy and intuitively.  There are two things that have helped me significantly in eating intuitively during this time.

1.  Food logging.  Let's say that most Americans eat somewhere between 3 and 6 times a day.  We use food to fuel us, but also to express love, to be welcoming at office meetings, to entice people to a social gathering, as treats during entertainment.  Considering how often we eat, and how surrounded we are by food, it's amazing how little most of us know about what we're putting in our bodies.

This is one reason that I can't recommend food logging enough.  I used to think I was eating better by having a muffin as an afternoon snack, rather than the donuts available in the company break room.  Turns out, depending on the size of the muffin, it can be twice as many calories as that donut.  I'd make a perfectly healthy stir fry but eat twice the amount of rice I actually needed.  Food logging initially was instrumental in helping me learn portion sizes.

It also helped me learn little tricks that add up over time.  Having a hamburger?  Fine.  Make it open faced and don't eat the top bun - that's an extra 50-100 calories that you don't really need and doesn't significantly enhance the meal.  Eating pizza?  Fine.  Eat two pieces and then stop eating for twenty minutes.  If you want more, eat one more piece and wait another twenty minutes.  I'm a firm believer that everything is okay in moderation, but we need to each learn what's moderate for our own bodies.  Food logging can help a lot with that.  It taught me enough in the two years I've done it that I'm better able to predict what my body needs.  It's helped me to recognize when I'm actually hungry versus when I'm just bored or wanting to eat for another emotional reason.

If you've never food logged, pregnancy is not when I'd recommend starting it seriously.  However, it might help to take a day or two, or a few days a week, to log your food and see where you're at on average.  Don't worry about changing your habits right away - just see where your current habits put you.  From there, you can start making small changes that still give you plenty of calories but make healthier choices for your baby.  Bonus points:  any good habits learned now are ones you can impart down the road to your child.

2.  Listen to how your body feels before and after you eat.  I talk about this a bit in my refeed post from last week, but wanted to get a bit more in depth.  I took a trip a few years back to England with my mom and sisters, and food was almost always available.  I remember one day where we hadn't eaten in a bit and we marveled at how good it was to actually feel hunger.  We know what the beginnings of hunger feel like.  Pregnant women especially know this feeling.  Honor that feeling by eating when you begin to feel hungry.  Don't wait until you're starving since you're more likely to binge then.

Also, pay attention to how you feel after you eat.  Most of the time I feel pretty good after I'm done eating.  Sometimes I eat too much and, especially now, get heartburn or other discomfort.  Try to avoid this "uncomforta-full" feeling, as one friend calls it.  Trial and error helps here.  Trust me, after a few times of eating too much and feeling really, really terrible, you'll begin to want to cut back.

But also, in pregnancy and beyond, I think it's important to recognize when not great food still makes us feel good.  The bucket of popcorn can make a movie more enjoyable.  That ice cream sundae can be the perfect treat at the end of the day.  It might not fit in our "diet" or our daily calorie plan, but those extras are worth it if they help you feel good.

I felt sick for a lot of my first trimester, and I still occasionally have morning sickness now.  The one thing that always seemed to take the edge off?  McDonald's hamburger and french fries.  I know that it's not good for me.  But if it makes me not want to vomit for a little bit, it's worth it, and my baby isn't going to suffer for it if I eat junk on occasion.

I'm really hoping I can keep this same mentality after the baby is born.  Food is amazing - it nourishes us, but it's also delicious and social and exciting and comforting.  It shouldn't be something we deprive ourselves of, or punish ourselves for eating.  It can take time to figure out what our bodies need to be healthy and happy, but it's time that is very well spent.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year

Total steps yesterday:  20,408
Exercise plans for today:  Strength workout

Back in March, I spoke with my Colorado ob/gyn about trying to get pregnant.  One of his (sort of awkward) comments was that it was the best time of year to try.  When I asked why, he said I could avoid being super pregnant during the summer months.  As my friend the Spaghetti Westerner can attest, I think my doctor was very, very wise in saying this.  At least it'll be December / January during the least comfortable months of pregnancy?  I guess that's a good thing.

However, the doc failed to take one very important thing in to consideration.  By being pregnant in the fall, I had put myself in danger of not being able to fully appreciate my favorite time of year:



 That's right - it's almost Starbucks pumpkin spice latte season (aka PSLS)!  It's the most glorious time of year, which I eagerly await with bated breath, and I was so sad to think that I might miss a whole year's worth of pumpkin spice goodness.  Was a baby even worth that type of sacrifice? Luckily, my OB gave me the thumbs up on caffeine in moderation so I didn't have to weigh that cost/benefit analysis. I will try to be moderate and not drink three lattes a day, which I've sometimes done in the past in the first week of PSLS.

I've done internet research this morning, and while there's no official release date, there's some rumors suggesting the drink could arrive as early as September 1st.  James, you now know what I want for our anniversary.  The drink comes in a paper cup, so that counts as an acceptable gift for the first anniversary, right?

Also, I learned that the only thing harder to find on the internet than reliable advice on strength training in pregnancy is the release date of pumpkin spice lattes.  Why is life so hard?

In the meantime, I'm eating this as a morning snack to tide me over until PSLS begins. 


They're really good and remind me of a healthier version of the cookies that Delta gives away on their flights that I always really love.



Anyway.  I actually had a lot of nice thoughts I was going to type out today related to eating intuitively, but it's a cold-ish rainy day in Virginia which makes me excited for Fall and delicious drinks, and I got sidetracked.  So  here's a slightly fuzzy baby bump picture (16 weeks, 5 days), and there will be more on intuitive eating later.



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Extreme laziness and also Tuesday's best e-mail

Total steps yesterday:  a pitiful 4516
Exercise plans for today:  three mile run

I have had a very lazy two days.  I woke up Sunday morning with zero motivation to do anything other than lay around in pajamas and read.  So I laid around in pajamas and read.  And then I mostly did the same thing yesterday.  It was partially because I was very close to the end of a good book, so I just wanted to finish it.  But that doesn't explain the naps I took both days.  Overall, I'm not too worried about it.  A  nice aspect of pregnancy so far is that I've been a bit gentler with myself about lazy days.  I used to feel way more guilt about them, but now I'm much more forgiving.  I think it's a good thing.

But I'm getting back to it today and am planning a three mile run for later this afternoon.   I'm feeling antsy to run again.  I did realize the other day, though, that I have never actually discussed my exercise regime with my OB.  I have an appointment next Friday and plan to confirm that I'm still good to be doing everything that I'm doing.  I think it'll be fine.

Interestingly enough, the Expecting Better blog I mentioned last week had an entry this week on exercise.  It was, shall we say, inconclusive.  The heart rate standard that she mentions is fine, but like many other things I've found in relation to exercise during pregnancy, it doesn't take in to consideration your fitness level before pregnancy.  I've stopped doing interval and tempo runs, and have cut back on hill runs, all of which tend to make my heartbeat spike for short periods (which is kind of the point).  But still, I would say my heartbeat is in the 160-170 range during my runs, and maintains that level pretty consistently whether pregnant or not.  Somehow I can't wrap my head around the idea that it's safe for me to maintain that level for, say, the two hours it takes to run a half marathon when not pregnant, but not safe for me to maintain that level for the 30 minutes it takes to run three miles when I am pregnant.  But this, I suppose, is why I should check with my doctor.

And finally, I love Tuesdays because they start with my weekly progress e-mail from Fitbit.  I can check my daily progress, of course, but it's cool to see the seven day summary.  In the last week, I took a total of 87,047 steps, or 39.13 miles.  That was mostly walking - only 9 of it was running - which is awesome in its own way.  It's one reason I love the Fitbit.  It motivates me to add just a few extra steps per day.  Parking a bit further from work, actually taking my 15 minute breaks at work to walk around the building, taking Zoe on a slightly longer walking trail - all of it adds up and suddenly I've walked 30 miles in a week.  Pretty crazy.  I think I might go back through my various progress reports since getting pregnant and start a running tally of how far Lil W and I have already gone together.  So far, s/he has pretty much been the best running partner ever.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Importance of Routine

Total steps yesterday:  6,526
Exercise plans for today:  yoga

Happy Saturday!  Yesterday marked 16 weeks of pregnancy - the baby is now the size of an avocado, which is pretty cool.  I love avocados.  I hit up prenatal yoga this morning, which has become the new routine.  It's a good start to a weekend, and I actually enjoyed the class today.  We did a new pose that felt amazing for stretching out my hips and IT band.  I've had a lot of IT issues throughout my running career, so this stretch will definitely be incorporated going forward.  It gives the deepest stretch through the outer thigh, up through the hip, and in to the lower back.  Apparently it'll be great in pregnancy if sciatica becomes an issue later (p.s. please let's not have sciatica become an issue, body).  Anyway, you basically sit with crossed legs, then put one foot up on a yoga block and lean in to the stretch.  I now will recommend this to everyone:

Bonus!  You can see Zoe's tail in the bottom right, and Zebra's feet just above my left shoulder.  I love how animals just want to hang close to you.

I think routine is really important.  I'm not one of those fly by the seat of my pants people anymore - I might have been when I was younger, but now I like things to be a bit more steady.  I also find that it helps me stick to working out and eating well if I'm on a fairly regular schedule.  Most weeknights are identical:  James and I get home from work, I take Zoe for a walk, one or both of us cooks dinner.  We'll watch a show while we eat, then take Zoe out to the dog park, then come home and read / watch something / eat frozen yogurt until bedtime. 

Lately, we've been working our way through the show Parenthood.  It's free on Amazon, which is nice, and pretty entertaining.  It follows a family of four adult kids, all with kids of their own, as they wend their way through parenting challenges.  Aside from being a good show, I feel like it should be required viewing for all first time parents.  It's led to James and me having many, many discussions about how we'd handle different parenting challenges, and I think it's good to see where we agree and discuss when we don't.  So far, the one area where we've come down on completely different sides is in how to address a child with a bad grade on their midterm report.  If this happens in real life, our child will get some mixed messages.  But since Lil W will never get a D on a midterm report, I think we'll be fine.

Zoe also likes routine, and is the best dog when we follow routine and a bit of a hellion when we don't.  She's also incredibly smart.  Like, a little too smart.  Her newest trick?  She's learned the first few notes of the end credit song on Parenthood.  And since we typically take her out to the park right after an episode ends, this is what she does when she hears the song:

video

Note:  baby girl is fully asleep on her favorite lion pillow before hearing the song.  This is an awesome and hilarious trick, but does have one downfall.  If we try to watch another episode after the park, or watch one at a weird time of day on the weekends, we have to be very careful to cut the show off before the credits start, else Zoe think it's time to play when it's actually time to sleep.

She's such a good girl, though.  I hope our child is half as well behaved, and at least twice as smart.  Though I imagine that the baby will probably mess with our routine significantly.  I guess I should be ready for that?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Refeed Day

Total steps yesterday:  20,820
Exercise plans for today:  Hold a heavy book while reading

There's a concept in body building, particularly in the paleo/primal lifestyle, of refeed days.  Other people call them "cheat days", but it's basically a way to give your body a break from any strict diet you follow (note:  when I use the term "diet" on this blog, it refers to the day to day manner in which one chooses to eat, NOT a calorie cutting fad-ish short term attempt to lose weight).  In theory, refeed days can help in continued efforts to lose weight / lose body fat by sending a signal to your body that it's not starving, that there are actually plenty of nutrients for it to use, and that it's okay to let go of the extra fat stores the body likes to hold on to for times of famine.

And other blah blah blah-ness related to the theory that our bodies operate exactly as they did in the paleo period and that that's the best and only way to live.  I don't really subscribe to the whole idea, but I do think it can help a lot, both physically and mentally, to take days in which one eats what one wants and doesn't worry too much about hard exercise.  One great thing about pregnancy is that it's made me more relaxed about taking rest days, both in terms of rest from exercise and from 100% eating right (or even 80% eating right, since that's more what my diet is like on the average day).

So today is a rest day, and I'm just finishing a small piece of chocolate cake that I impulse bought at the grocery store.  The funny thing about days like this is I actually sort of feel terrible at the moment.  Not emotionally terrible - I have no guilt about eating the cake.  But I feel a little sick to my stomach from the sugar rush.  It reminded me of something said on another blog, about how you should pay attention to how food makes you feel.  If you can identify that, say, eating a piece of chocolate cake at noon makes you feel sick the rest of the day, you'll do it less often.  Maybe you'll never do it (I don't have that kind of willpower, obviously).  James and I talk about how we used to get "Taco Belly" - the horrible sick feeling in your gut after eating Taco Bell.  Anytime it's tempting to swing through that drive through (since I still love the taste of crunch wrap supremes), I can think about Taco Belly and know that it's a bad idea.

I'm grateful that the last year and a half of eating well and exercising semi-regularly has made me good at listening to my body.  I think that will help in the next six months of pregnancy.  I know I'll have the days when I eat too much, but as long as I'm overall feeling okay, then I'm confident in what my body is doing.  I haven't always been, and I'm still working on it every day, but it's a good feeling at the moment.

And now I need a post-cake nap.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Strength Training Frustration

Total steps yesterday:  11,987
Exercise plans for today:  3 mile run, maybe a bike ride

So I am really frustrated with the resources available to pregnant women who want to weight-train.  I finally made it  back in to the gym for a strength workout yesterday, and it felt really good.  I mean, I'm sore today and need to push through that, but I know it will help me in the long run.

However, I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to research strength training during pregnancy, and to say that the information out there is incomplete / inconsistent would be a major understatement.  With few exceptions, I could find conflicting information on nearly every muscle group.  "You should never, ever do ab work" vs "ab work is essential and will help during labor".  "Squats will destroy your ligaments" vs. "squats will strength your ligaments".  And so on and so forth.  The only things that seemed to be universally agreed upon were:

1.  Don't do any move that could lead to you dropping a weight on your stomach.
2.  Don't do ab or other strength work where you lay directly on your back.
3.  Don't hold your breath and then forcefully exhale while lifting.
4.  Walking lunges = bad.  Standing lunges = good.

There were also weird statements that I just plain disagree with.  Many sites said that you should use weights between 5 lbs. and 12 lbs.  Um.  I was routinely doing presses with 25 lb. dumbbells before getting pregnant.  Regressing to 12 lbs. would do absolutely nothing to enhance my muscle develop.  Plus, my baby will (ideally) weigh more than that within a few weeks of  being born.  How does it make sense to not train to carry around the actual weight that I'll be carrying in six months?  What do they think will happen?  I'll shoulder press 20 lbs. and my baby will fall out?

The bulk of research related to exercise during pregnancy is focused around cardio, but I think it's time for that to change.  I believe many, many women would happily take part in a study of what's safe and what's not when strength training while pregnant.  Cardio is huge and I love running, so I'm glad there's a lot of consistent research and advice out there to keep that up during pregnancy.  But come on.  Labor will be the hardest thing that many women ever put their bodies through.  Wouldn't it help to know what you can do to strengthen your body for that adventure?

So many women are already unsure of themselves in the weight room.  Add in a bulging stomach and its an even more self-conscious experience.  Prenatal yoga classes are all the rage - why doesn't a prenatal strength training class exist?  I would sign up for that in a heartbeat, and I think other moms to be would to.  Maybe I'll pioneer that program with the bits and pieces of legitimate research I can pull together from the scattered information out there.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I don't think he knows about second breakfast

Total steps yesterday:  18,667
Exercise plans for today:  Strength workout

My knee is feeling a bit sore after two days of running, so I'm taking today as a strength training day.  I've slacked on my strength training since getting pregnant, and I need to get back in to it.  My tentative plan is to restart Phase 1 of New Rules of Lifting - it seriously made me so much stronger than I've ever been in my life, and I can't recommend it enough.

However, as much as I love it, it's sometimes hard to convince myself to do it since I don't get many steps from it.  It's a total psychological block.  I know logically that weight lifting is good for me, and that it burns as much if not more calories than cardio, and that I really, really like when I get definition in my arms.  I also know that, having gotten tired after holding my 11 pound cat like a baby for about 10 minutes, that I can use the extra arm strength before the baby comes.  I plan to make this same face about the baby:


I imagine the baby will be making the same face as the cat.  AKA looking to the heavens and praying that I'll leave her alone soon.

I've stopped food logging since getting pregnant since I haven't wanted to be too focused on the numbers (other than the 10,000 steps a day one).  I've tried to concentrate on eating when I'm hungry, and ideally eating healthy foods most of the time.  Some days are better than others.  However, I've had to completely shift my eating habits.  I used to be a three meals, two snacks a day kind of person, with sometimes dessert.  Now I have the approximate eating habits of a Hobbit:

I would estimate half of the meals are fruit, so it's not so bad in the end?  Except I also add an 8th meal of frozen yogurt or custard at the end of the day.  Because I need the calcium, of course.  A pregnant woman's gotta do what a pregnant woman's gotta do:
#whatshouldwecallme

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

20,000 steps!

Total steps yesterday:  20,026
Exercise plans for today:  3 mile run, Zoe walk

I hit 20,000 steps (or about 9.4 miles) yesterday.  Yay!  I did have to run in place for a few minutes before bed in order to get the last 600 or so steps, but I was so close it had to be done.  Zoe did not like this sudden burst of activity and made this face:



Feeling pretty tired today, so my exercise plans might shift with my energy levels, but I'm hoping to wake up a bit soon.  Worst case scenario I might have a cup of coffee.  I love my OB for giving me the go ahead to drink some caffeinated drinks.  In that respect, I also think I might love this new blog, Expecting Better.  The author of it is an economist who analyzes the actual numbers and facts surrounding pregnancy myths.  I like hard numbers, and economists (like my husband), so it seems like it could be enjoyable.

I tried a new recipe for brussel sprouts yesterday and it was amazing.  I think James and I will be eating a lot of those in the coming months, and that makes me happy.  Fresh food is so, so good right now.  Tonight's meal plan is braised chicken and caesar salad, and I can't wait.

In other news, Zebra has  taken to sleeping in the tub all the time.  I wonder if she's just prepping for the arrival of baby when the bathroom might be her only refuge?  Or, more likely, she's just trying to avoid carpet and other surfaces where fleas might be hiding.  Either way, it's a bit hilarious when I get up in the middle of the night (as I have to all the time now) and she's just hanging in the tub.  Weird cat.

I think it might be time for me to start researching running belts for pregnancy.  Turns out that the baby bounces around a lot during runs (which I like to imagine feels like an awesome fun rollercoaster ride for Lil W), but I think it might be one reason I've been more plagued by ligament pain recently.  Got to look in to that soon.

Monday, August 19, 2013

15 Weeks, 3 Days

Total steps yesterday:  7275
Exercise plans for today:  3 mile run, Zoe walk

First, the classic locker room bump selfie (bumpie?) for the week:



It's my first day at work in my new maternity work pants and they are amazing.  I want to always wear maternity clothes.  They tend to be both 1) super soft, 2) stretchy to accommodate body changes, and 3) have shirts that are actually long enough to cover my midriff, whether or not I have a baby bump.  The workout clothes, in particular, are supportive and comfortable and I might always shop maternity workout clothes going forward.

Overall I'm feeling good this week.  I have energy again and tend to only feel morning sick one day a week or so.  I'm getting more headaches and dealing with round ligament pain, both of which are no fun, but it's so much better than first trimester.  I'm sleeping well again after a bout of insomnia last month, which I fully credit to the Snoogle pillow.  This is going to be my immediate recommendation to all newly pregnant women going forward, particularly if they were back or stomach sleepers before pregnancy.

Food-wise, all I want is fruit and frozen yogurt.  Snacks today have already included a banana, a peach, and apple yogurt, with strawberries ready to go for this afternoon.  I'm loving the summertime fruits so much and am not sure what I'll switch to if I'm still craving fruit once the season is over.

Exercise is going really well.  I'm running 3-4 days a week, walking every day, and tackling prenatal yoga once a week.  I don't love yoga and don't think I ever will, but I do appreciate how I feel after the class is over, so I'll stick with it for now.

Zoe and I discovered a new path through the woods by our house and it's made our daily walks so much more enjoyable.  It's fairly isolated and winds around a stream through a wooded area - the type of location that makes you want to believe in elves and fairies.  I miss the mountains like crazy but am also learning to love the Virginia woods.