Les Mills PUMP

It’s been about a month since I started Les Mills PUMP.  And while I am still taking it easy because of a shoulder issue (a self-diagnosed injury, believed to be the result of many hours spent leaning over the crib), I can already feel and see a difference.

I don’t think I have ever fallen in love with a workout this fast.  I love the cast.  They are lean and ripped and I want to look like the girls. The music is AWESOME!   You can definitely tell that PUMP isn’t just a workout but it is a science.  The people behind the scenes worked hard to create a program that will live up to its name. I also did a little research and according to the information on the Les Mills Website, the programs are rechoreographed every three months.  I hope they continue to release new programs through Beachbody. Although, I have to admit that taking an actual class seems like it would be really fun and exciting.

Les Mills Pump is based on the idea of “The Rep Effect”.  This type of training is geared towards building and shaping long, lean muscle by using low weights with high repetition. The trainers in the videos show you the correct way to do the moves.  I am still working on the “Clean and Press“.  For some reason, I find that to be the trickiest one.

I am proud to say that Beachbody has done it again.  I am happy to be part of the Beachbody company.  They continue to provide programs that help me reach my goals.  Now, if I could find the will-power to be more consistent with my eating habits.  That little voice in the back of my head keeps saying “Any day now, Regina.  It’s time to make some <permanent> changes to the grocery list!”

Homemade Vegetable Soup

Our 18 month old woke up last week with the sniffles. I cringed. We just got back into a good sleep routine. We originally followed the Sleep Lady Shuffle (you can check out a previous post for more information), and it worked wonders for our terrible sleeper. Then, her first set of molars came in…all at once! After a cold and a couple more teeth, we managed to have a few nights of amazing sleep.

The morning she woke up with a cold, I took her to the park for some fresh air. I didn’t think that showing up with a sneezing toddler at our usual storytime was the brightest idea. When we got home, she ran for her crayons and I ran for the kitchen. I wanted to make her soup for lunch. I made her chicken soup the last time she got a cold and it didn’t go over well but I figured it was worth another shot. Even if she just drinks the broth and eats the pasta, she has to be taking in some of the nutrients from the vegetables, right? Let me clarify. My daughter likes some vegetables. Mushrooms, onions, and broccoli are her current favorites. I just find that silly.

So, you can imagine my surprise when she ate EVERY piece of carrot and celery in the bowl. She would point and name each of the veggies as I tried to remain calm. Here is how I made the soup– I never really measure anything so I will try my best to be as accurate as possible!

I chopped celery, carrots, onions, and mushrooms into bite size pieces and sauteed them in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. I used one stalk of celery, one carrot, half of a medium onion, and four white button mushrooms. I added salt and pepper–a few twists from each of the grinders. You can always add more later so it’s better to add less and taste as you go. I let the veggies cook until they were soft. I added two cloves of crushed garlic and cooked for another minute. I used a 14oz can of low sodium chicken broth. You could use vegetable broth or even make your own stalk too but I was short on time. I brought the broth and veggies to a boil and let them cook while I made some Pastina,  her favorite pasta. I combined the pasta and the soup and sprinkled on some grated cheese.

It took about 25 minutes to prepare and there are leftovers.  Oh, and I added a ladle of the pasta water to the soup because I ended up with more vegetables than broth.   Frozen peas would be a great choice to throw in the broth while the pasta is cooking.  Potatoes are nice in soup but they definitely take longer to cook.  Also, rice would be a yummy substitute for pasta.

Cold and flu season is right around the corner, so be sure to give this recipe a try if you need something that is quick and easy to prepare.  Here’s to our little ones staying healthy and eating more veggies!

Snoogle Up

By Christmas of 2011, I was 5 months pregnant.  And by pregnant I mean, I had a very round belly.  I was proud of my belly.  It made me happy.  Until it was time to go to sleep.  My brain kept me up more than anything during my pregnancy.  Although, there were many nights when I couldn’t get comfortable.  I did some research and I put the Snoogle on my Christmas wishlist.  My sister-in-law and her husband bought and wrapped my gift and I think it was the biggest one of the year.  Of course I knew what it was (we don’t really do surprise gifts anymore–a topic for another day) but I was still excited.
If you are pregnant, get your Snoogle NOW! Wait. I don’t think it really matters. Get a Snoogle even if you aren’t pregnant.
I loved the pillow because it supported my back while I slept on my side. I had to say good-bye to the nights of belly sleeping. No one told me how bad my hips were going to hurt in the early (and again in the later) stages of pregnancy. About a month into the first trimester, the uncomfortable feeling associated with my ligaments stretching, would prevent me from falling asleep. If I woke up during the night, I would feel the aching in my hips. I know if I had a Snoogle then, it would have made a big difference.
There are many Snoogle Sleep Positions.  I alternated between the “Tummy Tuck” and the “Back to Back” ones.  I have heard that sleeping with a pillow between your knees helps to alleviate pressure and pain in your lower back and the Snoogle did that for me.
I think the Snoogle is a necessity and you shouldn’t wait for the Holidays. Go and splurge on yourself and snuggle up to your Snoogle, tonight!