The following is a contributed post. Thank you for your support! 

As humans, most of us put a lot of our trust in blind faith every day. That may seem like a controversial statement, but don’t misunderstand – it’s not a comment on religion, one way or the other. It’s more to do with the fact that we use and put our trust in things without truly knowing how they work.

Don’t get me wrong; we know they work. We know they wouldn’t be available for sale if they didn’t, and hadn’t been through rigorous testing to prove it. The toaster you used at breakfast. The aspirin you used to remove a headache before lunch. The car you drove home. They all work.

But … how? I’m not saying you don’t know. You very well might. But a lot of us don’t know. The toaster works due to electricity. The aspirin uses chemical formulation. The car … it’s internal combustion something or other, right? After that is where most people’s certainty runs dry. And the same is true of exercise.

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Calories, Energy, Work And Then Something Else…

Here’s what we learn in basic science at school when it comes to working out and fitness. We eat food, which puts calories in our body. Calories are a measure of energy. We use up energy by doing exercise. If we use up more energy than we take in, we lose weight.

That’s as much as some of us know – more than quite a few people know, actually. Do we know how the energy gets from the food to our bodies and why we gain weight if we don’t use it? Would it be fair to say that if I said it was carried around by little creatures who made muscles work by rubbing the food against them, you’d half believe it?

Go on, you can admit it. But for the avoidance of doubt, that’s not how it works. Here is a fun guide to how exercise affects your body – what’s actually happening when you work out.

Your Muscles

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Whatever exercise you’re doing – whether it’s lifting for bulk or aerobic exercise for weight loss – your muscles are at work. In order to contract and move, they use a substance known as ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). This is an energy-carrying enzyme. Nothing at all to do with little creatures rubbing food on muscles. Promise. To make more ATP, the body uses oxygen, which comes from…

Your Lungs


After a short time working out, we’ll start to breathe heavier. For some of us, that time is shorter than for others. But it’s not a bad thing. Your breathing rate is increasing because your muscles are calling for more oxygen. While exercising those muscles can use up to fifteen times more oxygen than when you’re at rest. On account of all the ATP you’re making, using up all that energy.
If you’ve been on http://exercisebikesexpert.com/the-best-spinning-bikes/ and are hitting the exercise bike, those lungs will be delivering oxygen to…

Your Heart

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If you’re using a particularly fancy exercise machine, you’ll be able to see your heart rate, and see it rising. It’s doing this because it needs to deliver oxygenated blood to your muscles. The more you do this, the more efficient your heart will get at doing it – it creates more blood vessels. This has the added benefit of reducing your resting heart rate and your blood pressure.

That’s good news – the heart can only sustain raised activity for a certain period of time. You want a lower resting rate and lower blood pressure. Raised blood pressure is a major risk for conditions such as heart disease, and mental health issues like stress. Exercise is also good for…

Your Brain

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Regular exercise increases blood flow to your brain. As well as assisting you with focus, this will contribute to the growth of new brain cells.

If you’ve had issues with mood disorders such as depression in the past, you’ll know what people say. “Get out, go for a walk, you’ll feel better.” And while it may sound like a cliche, it does actually work as https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/regular-walking-can-help-ease-depression/ shows.

Frequent exercise means that you will be releasing more of the neurotransmitters that affect mood control. So by hitting the treadmill or the exercise bike, you’ll be gaining the chance to feel fitter and happier.

So there you have it. It’s sometimes hard to motivate yourself to work out, and on occasion you just won’t want to. But if you didn’t know before how it worked, now you do – and the more you do it, the more motivation you’ll have. And that’s not just inspiration speaking. That’s SCIENCE.

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A New Day In Our Lives

by Lauren on January 13, 2017

Isaiah has been home for a week and although things are definitely different, I haven’t felt too overwhelmed with changes, nor has Grayson I believe. Isaiah is such an easy baby compared to how his older brother was, and I know it can change, but for now, we are enjoying a slow transition into this new lifestyle.

The nighttime feedings are going pretty smoothly since he is both bottle and breast fed.  Since he is still so small and doesn’t really have his full cheek strength developed quite yet, the doctor advised me to nurse as much as I want, but also supplement with bottles of pumped milk to ensure he is getting everything he needs to grow.  Thankfully, Isaiah nurses like a champ and he also takes the bottle well, so I can’t complain because it makes things very nice for splitting up the feedings.

John usually takes the first feeding of the night and I grab the second one.  On this particular night, he was up at 4am, so I nursed him, pumped and then went back to bed until about 7am.  John kissed me goodbye on his way out the door and I realized both of my boys were still sleeping.  What a peaceful morning to begin it sipping coffee in the quiet.

It didn’t last long as Grayson was up shortly after, followed by Isaiah who was ready to eat again.

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Yep, definitely getting this kid’s hair cut today!

After I get the boys fed, I eventually get to eating something of my own.  We have been so blessed by so many meals from friends this past week.  My good friend made me a delicious pumpkin baked oatmeal so I enjoyed a nice helping along with some sunflower seed butter and strawberries.

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After breakfast, Grayson played and watched an episode of Blaze while I pumped and snuggled with the babe.

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The plumber came a little while later to fix our downstairs toilet, exciting I know!

I believe what happened next was I got a shower.  Sometimes, a shower is the highlight of my day and in this case, it was.  10 minutes of quiet time to myself….I’ll take it!  So I’ve managed to get a good system down in terms of showering.  I bring Grayson and Isaiah up to my room, lock our bedroom door and give Grayson his LeadPad while he hangs out in our bed.  Isaiah comes into the bathroom with me (usually sleeping) while I shower and get ready.  The whole process takes about 20-25 minutes and both boys are great during that time.  Praise the Lord!

After I get ready, I get both of the boys dressed and then we come down to work on lunch.

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We eat lunch, I feed Isaiah again and then I get them cleaned up.  So the one issue we are having is that Grayson has not wanted to nap since Isaiah came home.  He does bedtime great, but naps have been a struggle.  The only way I can get him to sleep is if we go for a “car nap.”  I haven’t been partaking in car naps since taking both boys out in the cold and driving around hasn’t sounded appealing at all, but yesterday it was warm and I knew his therapist was coming in a few hours and if he didn’t get a nap, it would be a disaster.  So I bundled everyone up and we got in the car.

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Fortunately, (and maybe a little unfortunately) there is a Starbucks’ Drive-Thru less than 5 minutes from our house, so I swung by there, grabbed a latte and enjoyed a little quiet time as both kids slept.  Once I got home, I was able to transfer Grayson to his bed to finish his nap (sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t) so it was a total win yesterday!

I got some work done as the kids slept and enjoyed my latte.  Pure bliss!

Grayson got up about an hour later and we got to work on making some snack balls.

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I’ve been trying to make sure Grayson feels included and since Isaiah is so little and doesn’t require much other than eating right now, I’ve been taking the opportunities when he is asleep to really focus on play with Grayson.  He is finally in the stage where he loves to help me with anything…cleaning, cooking, etc.  His favorite part of this particular peanut butter protein ball recipe was testing out the chocolate chips…who can blame him?

I’m sure I fed and pumped in between all of this as well.  A little later, Grayson’s speech therapist came (have I mentioned that we started Early Intervention for Grayson?  I will post more about this all later) and we worked on some structured play/speech for about an hour.

After she left, I let Grayson watch another show while I fed and pumped again and then worked on making him dinner.

John got home and we ate, cleaned up, and he took over Grayson while I tended to the little one and practiced some baby wearing with our ring sling.

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I think he’s still a little small, but I actually got him wrapped well and he definitely enjoyed it.

After Grayson went down, John and I settled in on the couch, watched an episode of The Affair, and hung out with our little bug until we all passed out.

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So this is what our days look like for the most part now.  I am planning on getting back into the gym (just to work) soon, and I know Grayson will appreciate getting out and back into his routine.  It’s been tough with a toddler in the winter and not being able to get outside and run around, but we’ve been dealing pretty well.

I’m also feeling great in terms of healing from my C-section. I have a doctor’s appointment next week to check on the progress, but I am hoping I will be cleared to workout again in another few weeks.  I’m definitely excited to start teaching again soon!

Well I hope you all have a fun weekend planned.  We are finally planning on breaking out for a little as a family….probably just to the grocery store, but out of our cocoon nonetheless.

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Have a great Friday!

 

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Something’s Cooking: Make Meal Times Less Stressful and More Healthy

January 11, 2017

The following is a contributed post as part of a partnership. Thank you for your support!  What can you do to make mealtimes less stressful? Well, there are a few things you might want to consider. For one thing, you need to try to work out how you can improve and boost the experience of […]

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“Fun” Exercise? Get Fit Without Having A Fit

January 9, 2017

The following is a contributed post as part of a partnership. Thank you for your support!  Eurgh, exercise. Even the word is enough to make me stress-eat and pile on 20 pounds. Well, it used to be that way. I’m sure that’s how the prospect of getting up and working out must seem to you […]

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Complete

January 7, 2017

Complete is how I feel at this very moment.  After 3 weeks in the hospital followed by 16 days of Isaiah being in the NICU, I am so happy to tell you all that we are all finally home! We were able to bring Isaiah home yesterday morning and have been soaking up every single […]

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My Mama Heart: Thoughts on the NICU, Postpartum, and Body After Baby

December 28, 2016

It’s been a week since I delivered baby Isaiah and it has been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. As most of you know, I had him six weeks early due to a complication in my pregnancy.  Even though he is healthy and growing fine, he is still just too little to bring […]

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Welcome To Our World Baby Isaiah

December 23, 2016

Oh my, what a few weeks this has been.  But throughout it all, I’d like to introduce you to the incredible outcome we received. He is here!  Isaiah Gabriel Roy, born on 12/21 weighing 4 lbs, 9 oz, 18.5 inches long. I made it to 34 weeks before I had the scariest experience of my […]

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Finding Beauty in Brokenness

December 18, 2016

Well friends, I know you’ve been following me on this uneasy journey through the final weeks of this pregnancy and I wish I could tell you things are going well, but unfortunately, I’m reporting back from the lonely confines of a hospital room where I will probably be stationed until the baby is born. I […]

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On the Go to On the Couch & a Recipe for Raw Fig Bars

December 15, 2016

Thank you all so much for your kind words from my last post.  I am so happy to reveal that I am home and resting “comfortably.”  I say “comfortably” because I can assure you, bed rest with an active 2 year-old doesn’t exist.  It just doesn’t. I was discharged on Tuesday afternoon after the doctor […]

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An Unexpected Scare (Baby Update)

December 12, 2016

Hey Everyone, First, I need to say thank you to all of the comments, texts, emails and messages that some have outpoured over the past few days after seeing what had happened via my Facebook.  For those that may not know, allow me to catch you up on quite a scare we had last week. […]

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