Homestretch-My Exercise Routine and Nutrition at 31 weeks

Homestretch-My Exercise Routine and Nutrition at 31 weeks


Sara Fitness-15

This pregnancy has been different in so many ways, specifically I feel that I have been pregnant forever!  Everyone says it goes by so fast, which is true, if you are not the pregnant one :). But then I realize I only have 9 weeks left (well probably 10 since I think this baby will be late just like Caleb) and that seems crazy. But then late July seems so long away from now.

I posted my exercise and nutrition in my first trimester, again in my second and therefore wanted to do one more post for my third trimester.   The biggest changes that I have noticed, is though I am feeling overall pretty good, I do feel that I am slowing down a bit which is expected, but hard for me.  Working out 6 days a week and with the same intensity is getting harder. I am also having to modify more and more.

Here are the biggest changes since my last post at 23 weeks:

  • I stopped teaching cycling classes and my high intensity strength/cardio combo class at 28 weeks. Cycling was getting extremely uncomfortable, I would start to cramp a bit from being in the forward flexed position and my form on the bike was really starting to be compromised. My knees were starting to flair out to make room for my belly. I did not want instruct a class with poor form so I stopped at the end of April. In my other class, I was having a hard time demonstrating all of the moves with proper form as well as doing the plyometrics.  I think that it is important for an instructor to be able to show proper form, therefore I also stopped teaching that class. I am still teaching a quick, upper body only strength class for the next few weeks and will be done by the end of May.
  • I am modifying more and more because of my growing belly. I am modifying the majority of my CrossFit lifts and many of the exercises I have cut out completely.
  • Cardio exercise is again becoming harder. I am still walking 6-7 days a week and trying to get in at least 1 elliptical session a week.  I aim for 10,000 steps a day and some days I get 15,000 and some days as little as 6,000. I still do get some cardio exercise during my CrossFit workouts and lifting since they tend to be more metabolic in nature at a faster pace.
  • Other fun changes with the last trimester is having a really hard time sleeping since I get up on average 3-4 times a night to use the restroom. “They” say this is to prepare you to get up with a newborn, thanks, but I do not need preparation, I just want sleep! The lack of sleep is a challenge for most new moms (and personally, what I think the hardest part of having a baby is initially) as this can affect so many other areas of your life. I know I am hungrier, do not exercise nearly as well and my overall mood, patience and energy level are affected significantly when I am not sleeping well.
  • Physically, I am much more uncomfortable at night which is probably due to retaining water which makes you feel much bigger. I am also back to having some SI joint pain at night, but overall I feel blessed that I am not extremely uncomfortable yet (ask me in July when it is 98 degrees out 🙂 )

Sara Fitness-06

Here is an example of my current workout schedule:

Monday: CrossFit, walk dog (usually 20-30 min during the week, longer on weekends)

Tuesday: Hot Yoga, dog walk

Wednesday: CrossFit dog walk

Thursday: Teach 45 min Upper Body Strength, dog walk

Friday: Really varies, sometimes group exercise strength class, sometimes cardio and lifting

Saturday: Elliptical and weights or rest

Sunday: Rest with the exception of a walk

Changes in my nutrition:

I have noticed, I am getting fuller faster which I remember with Caleb since I am going to start running out of room since my cabbage patch kid (my pregnancy email updates said the baby is the size of a cabbage this week) is starting to take up much more space. However, my hunger levels are fluctuating quite a bit (unlike my 2nd trimester when I was just hungry all the time). I am either hungry all day or not very hungry.  Days I notice I am hungrier, I am having to graze a lot more because small amounts fill me up but I am hungry just a few hours later. My cravings are pretty much gone and am still aiming for lots of vegetables, fruit and lean protein. I am still eating a much higher carbohydrate diet that usual.  My heartburn has intensified a bit as well as indigestion which again was similar with Caleb at this point in my pregnancy.  I have gained about 21-22lbs at this point, again very similar to where I was with Caleb which I ended at 29lbs total. I weigh myself once a week. I am not overly concerned with my weight gain but would like to stay around 30lbs.

Here is a quick sample of my nutrition, again, not much different from the other trimesters with the exception of probably the quantity.

Breakfast (one of the following) plus I always have a cup of coffee  with a generous amount of cream, first thing in the morning.

  • Protein shake and Almond Flour Muffin or ½ English muffin with cream cheese or nut butter
  • Egg, Cheese, Sausage and Spinach Sandwich and small amount of fruit
  • Yogurt with fruit and homemade granola


  • Huge salad with protein, apple with nut butter
  • Leftovers from dinner night before


  • Protein bar
  • Popcorn and handful of nuts
  • Nothing if I ate a late lunch


I am still planning 5 or 6 meals a week.

  • Protein (chicken, bison, shrimp, steak, sausage etc.), vegetable (green beans, salad, Brussel Sprouts etc.) some type of carb (sweet potatoes fries, beans, couscous etc.)

After Dinner:

  • Some type of chocolate and spoonful of peanut butter or cookie butter
  • Graham cracker with peanut butter, glass of almond milk

Again, not crazy changes to my nutrition as I am still trying to eat healthy 85% of the time but am trying to both listen to my hunger cues and stop when I know I am going to be uncomfortable.

I would love to hear from any other pregnant mamas how your routine has changed throughout pregnancy.

As always, thanks for reading and I would love to hear from you!


Sara and BB2

Honoring Our Bodies-Why is it so Hard?

Honoring Our Bodies-Why is it so Hard?

Double 16x20

Last Sunday I was in a kickboxing class and it was not going awesome. I have been struggling to find cardio exercise that feels comfortable and good in my body and at 26 weeks pregnant the choices are dwindling. Though I do walk and lift a lot and do not do nearly as many endless hours of cardio that I used to, I still like getting a good sweat on from good old fashioned cardio exercise.

Looking at my pregnancy journal from Caleb, I was working out and doing a lot more cardio than this time around. I am trying to be okay with that since I feel that I am slowing down faster with this pregnancy which is probably because I am two years older and running after a very energetic two year old.   About halfway through class…I thought this kind of sucks. Don’t get me wrong, the teacher and class were great but it just did not feel right. Just walk out Sara. No shame. You do not have to be bad ass.  Why did I even have to have this inner dialogue? Why I could I just not honor my body and say hey this isn’t going well and leave? I finally told my inner self to shut up, walked out and went to walk on the treadmill and do a few min of lifting. Was it the best workout ever? No. Is that okay? Yes. But sometimes I need a little convincing of that.

I am competitive and I know that. But as I try to emphasize to my pre- and post-natal clients…pregnancy is not really the time to be competitive or try to be a bad ass. Do I think you should exercise throughout your pregnancy if you have no complications? Heck yes! Do I think you should start exercising when you are ready after baby? Heck yes! I also think there are other times in your life that you do not need to be competitive or a bad ass such as super stressful times like job changes, divorce, moving, sickness and injury.

But why do ‘we’ have such trouble honoring our bodies?

I think because lately trending in the fitness industry it is often ‘go hard or go home’ or ‘no pain, no gain.’ Now do not get me wrong, I do think you need to get out of your comfort zone often while working out to get results but do we need to do that 100% of the time? No.

So as I walked out of the class (and honestly when pregnant with Caleb, I might have humbly walked out) but this time, with my head held high, I walked out and was okay with it.   This may seem silly to some but as a fitness professional, I do not like quitting a workout, especially a group workout where others might wonder what is wrong with me or that I could not keep up.   But who am I kidding? No one there cared that I walked out. I found the teacher afterwards (since she was a colleague) and just let her know that I was okay and that is was just not feeling right. Many people are worried about what others might think of them at gyms or in classes but most people are too focused on themselves to worry about other people.

So I again reminded myself that I chose this pregnancy and I want this. I also am so grateful for this pregnancy as I know many others struggling with infertility treatments and was blessed to not have to go through that again. So I told myself to ‘get over myself’ :), checked my ego at the door as I left and knew that I did the best I could. This is going to have to be my mantra over the next few months as my workouts will become more and more difficult. But I will remember to be grateful for this life that I am growing inside and to honor my body where it is at that exact moment.

Switching the mindset to honor your body can be challenging but powerful.   If you are too busy too train for anything specific then just make your workouts be about maintaining. Going through a major life change as mentioned, then maybe your workouts are about reliving stress and regaining focus. Injured? Workouts should be about rehabilitation and strengthening the injured area/body part. Pregnant? Just moving and exercising in a way that makes you feel good.

So maybe it’s time we honor our body exactly where it is at this exact moment. Not where it used to be or where we want it to be. But being grateful for what it can do right now.

Have there been times in your life that you have had a hard time not honoring your body? What did you do to change your mindset?

I would love to hear from you.



The Comparison Trap-My Belly is Bigger than Theirs

The Comparison Trap-My Belly is Bigger than Theirs

I walked into the room and immediately thought “Omigosh, I am so much bigger than the other pregnant women in here.”


Myself, Hillary and Shira, 23, 20 and 17 weeks pregnant.

I went to an amazing fitness and business retreat this past weekend in California.   One of the incredible presenters and one of my very good friends Jill Coleman of JillFit Physiques was talking about The Success Mindset. She was talking about what a success mindset was NOT and the number one mindset she listed was “the comparison trap.”   The comparison trap meaning just as it sounds, getting caught in a trap of always comparing ourselves to others.

There were 2 other pregnant ladies at this retreat who I knew were a few weeks behind me. As I sat there and listened to this I thought back when I first walked into the room and automatically compared myself, specifically my belly size to their bellies. Omigosh, I am so much bigger than them. I cannot believe they are only a month behind me. I am going to be huge.

Instead of seeing us as all beautiful women whose bodies are literally building and growing a baby, my thoughts immediately went to how I looked compared to them.   Though I know I had some of these feelings when I was pregnant with Caleb, I do not remember these thoughts bothering me as much. Maybe because I showed earlier this time (which is very common) or feel bigger at this point or maybe because it was my first pregnancy and had really no idea what to expect or how big I was going to get.

But why the hell does it matter if their bellies were smaller than mine? They should be! They were not as far as along as me.   Heck, one of them was 6 inches taller than me, of course she looked different! I am constantly telling my clients that every body is different, genetically, hormonally, and physically.   Every pregnancy is different for each woman. All of these differences are what make us unique and is also why there is no one exercise or nutrition plan that works for everyone, pregnant or not.

How could I always be trying to reassure and tell my clients that everybody is different yet, there I was comparing my body to theirs?


As I started to reflect on this more and more over the next few days, I realized that I often fall into this comparison trap without consciously knowing it.   Wow, her arms are way leaner than mine, her hair looks so much better than mine, she makes more money than I do, she can lift more than me even though I work in fitness. Working in the fitness industry, my comparisons tend to be focused on the body.   I think many women compare themselves to other women.  Is it a sign of insecurity? Maybe. Is it a sign of jealousy? Maybe.  I am sure the root of it for each women is different as well.  Honestly, I am not sure why I tend to do it.

I believe working in the fitness industry is hard on one’s body image. And though I think the industry has done a good job in recent years in embracing strong and powerful women, a good physique is still regarded as important in most areas of the industry. How can I tell someone how to lose weight or to get lean if I am carrying around extra pounds? How can I seem credible? I do feel pressure to stay in shape. And though I feel that I am a fairly confident person, I do worry what people think when I step on stage to teach a class or when I train a client.   I like working out and eating right but I am probably never going to be 120lbs with 12% body fat without starving myself and I have to learn to be okay with that. I remember being nervous when I started teaching after giving birth to Caleb. Do I look good for having a baby 10 weeks ago? Are my abs supposed to be this flabby still? Honestly, I was not really sure since my body had never gone through it before.  I did not know how long it usually took for someone to return to pre-baby weight or  when someone’s abs would look kind of normal.  But you know what? I have realized (and this past weekend really helped me) that I do not have to be the leanest person with the rock hard abs to be a good personal trainer, group fitness instructor or knowledgeable about nutrition, pre- and post-natal fitness.

For the most part I have learned to accept the fact that I will never have abs like I did before giving birth. I have learned that I will never be a healthy 120lbs as my body does not like to be at that weight. Though it has been a process for me, I look into my baby’s beautiful blue eyes and realize he is worth every physical change I have gone through.   I am also filled with gratitude about being able to become pregnant again without infertility treatments regardless of  what physical changes may come again.

For me, I am naturally very competitive and though that serves me well in some areas of my life, I also have to work to keep this trait in check. There is always going to be someone better than me in every area of my life. Someone will always be leaner, someone will always make more money, so why waste time and energy comparing myself to them? Before this weekend, I do not think I realized how much I was falling into the comparison trap on a regular basis in a lot of areas of my life.   I am so grateful for the retreat as I learned so many things but I am mostly grateful for the experience of opening my eyes to the fact that I need to take my own advice and realize that we are all different and that is what makes us great.

I am proud of who I am, I am proud of what my body can do physically, mentally and emotionally. I am proud of the amazing little boy I brought into this world and proud to be bringing another beautiful baby into this world. We are all unique and that needs to celebrated. I am my own authentic self.




Shira Nelson

Hillary Paris Fitness and Wellness



My Exercise Routine and Nutrition at 23 weeks Pregnant

My Exercise Routine and Nutrition at 23 weeks Pregnant

Now that I am well into my 2nd trimester I wanted to do another post about my exercise routine and nutrition,  as many women ask me about it. Though I am still working out almost daily, I have definitely started to make some changes and more modifications.  I definitely feel better than I did in my first trimester, therefore in weeks 12 to about 20 my workouts did pick up in intensity quite a bit. However, they are now starting to decrease again in intensity due to my changing body.

The following are the biggest modifications I have made in the past month or so:

  • The biggest change has probably been with my cardio exercise. I have for the most part completely stopped running with the exception of very short 200-400 meter runs at CrossFit at a very slow pace.   How in the heck I ran until 27 weeks with Caleb is beyond me.   It honestly does not feel good anymore and that is my number one rule for working out during pregnancy….if it does not feel good or right do not do it. Everything from my neck down to my knees, just seems to be jiggling when I run :). The impact feels much greater than during my first pregnancy (which is probably true since my core and pelvic muscles are most likely not as nearly as tight as before) and I do not enjoy it so why do it?   There are other options for cardio exercise.
  • I have decreased my weights at CrossFit in general but especially during technical lifts. I am still lifting as heavy as comfortable at the gym but during CrossFit workouts, I have dropped my weight as my stomach has gotten bigger and my center of gravity is shifting. I do not feel as safe lifting the weights I was doing previously.
  • Though I am still teaching spin 1x a week, it is getting uncomfortable. I taught until I was 7 months pregnant with Caleb but doubt I will make it another 6 weeks. I will soon be phasing this out as well.
  • I am no longer doing any exercises lying on my stomach. I will still lay down on my back for a short period of time but feel more comfortable with incline positions.
  • My core work is entirely planks and plank variations and the core engagement you get through lifting. I am no longer doing sit-ups or really any variations.

Here is an example of my current workout schedule:

Monday: CrossFit, walk dog (usually 20-30 min during the week, longer on weekends)

Tuesday: Gym workout, 30 min elliptical or stairmill intervals and all body lift or CrossFit depending on the workout, dog walk

Wednesday: Teach 45 min cycle/15 yoga flow, dog walk

Thursday: CrossFit, dog walk

Friday: Teach 60 min Strength and Cardio class, dog walk

Saturday: Whatever I feel like.. Sometimes a group exercise class, sometimes elliptical and weights, sometimes yoga

Sunday: Rest with the exception of a walk

So this is actually pretty similar to my schedule in my first trimester though I am consistently going to CrossFit 2x a week because I feel better. I have not been as good as getting to yoga the last few weeks and would like to get back to going once a week. Over the next few months, I will most likely be doing incline walking on a treadmill and elliptical as my main form of cardio.


When I looked back on the blog I wrote at 14 weeks pregnant and what I was eating then, nothing has changed much as far as my meals go. However, the most significant changes are that my nausea is gone and because it is my 2nd trimester, I am much hungrier. With my first pregnancy, I gained about 5 lbs. in the first trimester, 14 lbs. in the second (about a 1lb. a week) and 10 during my last trimester. This time, I did not gain any in my first (probably due to my nausea). So far, I have gained a total of 14 lbs. so I am a few pounds less at this point than I was with Caleb. I try not to focus on the exact number but I would ideally like to stay between 25-35lbs of total weight gain.   That is the amount recommend for healthy weight individuals to gain during pregnancy but I know that every woman is different and some will gain more and some will gain less. The most important thing being that the baby is healthy and growing at a healthy rate.

The hunger this time around has been a bit of a challenge because I am often not hungry for the most nutritious snacks.   I generally want crunchy, salty or sweet snacks. I also have to be okay with the fact that I honestly might be hungry 2 hours after eating a meal. Though I try to make sure it is not dehydration or boredom, I have to realize that I am growing another human being and should be hungrier than normal. This mindset is often hard because as a fitness professional, I have followed some rigid nutrition rules in the past that can really affect this mindset and I sometimes think that I ‘shouldn’t’ be hungry 2 hours after I had a meal. I try to make sure my meals have plenty of protein and vegetables and some fruit. Though I believe nutrition is important all the time for our overall well being, I think it is even more essential during pregnancy because you are passing on those nutrients to another human being.   It has just been harder for me this time around and I get hungry but do not always want protein and veggies. I want gummy bears and graham crackers. 😉 So I am trying to make the best choices but it has been a struggle.

Here is a quick sample of my nutrition, again, not much different from first trimester with the exception of probably the quantity.

Breakfast (one of the following)

  • Protein shake and Almond Flour Muffin or ½ English muffin with cream cheese or nut butter
  • Eggs with some type of carb (1/2 English muffin) and fruit
  • Yogurt with fruit and homemade granola, breakfast sausage


  • Huge salad with protein, apple with nut butter
  • Leftovers from dinner night before

Snack (this is where I struggle the most as I am hungry but usually just want to eat junky carbs)

  • Protein bar
  • Fruit/Nut snacks with nut butter
  • Whatever I feel like and can find in my pantry 🙂


I am still planning 5 or 6 dinners a week.

  • Protein (chicken, bison, shrimp, steak, sausage etc.), vegetable (green beans, salad, Brussel Sprouts etc.) some type of carb (sweet potatoes fries, beans, couscous etc.)

After Dinner:

  • I pretty much have something small and sweet every night. Generally, some type of chocolate and a glass of almond milk. Might go out for frozen yogurt once in a while or order a dessert to split when eating at a restaurant.

So really, not a lot different but I definitely think I am eating more this trimester. I do remember being really hungry with Caleb during my 2nd trimester and then during my third, getting fuller so much sooner.

I will blog again towards the end of my third with my last changes in my exercise and nutrition routine.

As always, I would love to hear from you!


Sara and BB2

How this Pregnancy is already WAY Different than my First

How this Pregnancy is already WAY Different than my First


12 weeks with Caleb                             12 weeks with BB2

Many women have told me that each of their pregnancies were different. I was so lucky to have such an easy pregnancy with Caleb that I was hoping for the same scenario with the second one. Sadly, I was wrong. Within a just a few weeks of being pregnant with my second child, I could not believe how different this pregnancy already felt. Below are the major differences I have had thus far and I am sure there are more to come since I just have started my 2nd trimester.

  • Morning Sickness should be called All Day Sickness-I did not have an ounce of morning sickness with Caleb (I know I was incredibly lucky!) However, with this one, sure enough from about 4-10 weeks I was very nausea and not just in the morning…pretty much all day. I know again that this was a fairly short time as I know some people are sick for many more weeks, but this was new to me. I was lucky to be able to keep food down but did not feel well most of the day. I also struggled with this as I generally feel pretty good physically so to not feel good day in and day out for weeks was a challenge for me. I literally was eating ginger candy minutes before I had to teach a class just to get through the class. 🙂  Luckily, the nausea has pretty much completely subsided.
  • Energy Levels-I did have bouts of low energy with Caleb but nothing like I had in the first trimester this time. Now, I am not sure if it is the pregnancy or having a toddler that made me so exhausted  (I am sure it is a little of both) but I felt like I had to peel myself out of bed most days. I was just utterly exhausted. I am feeling  a little better now that I am further along.
  • Food Aversions and Cravings-Again with Caleb, no strong food aversions or crazy cravings. I mean some days coffee did not sound amazing like it usually did but nothing really turned my stomach. My biggest craving with Caleb was cheese (which ironically is one of his favorite foods) but nothing crazy. This time around, there were days I could not eat eggs, or drink coffee or meat or high protein foods (which I usually love).  Two of my favorite things are protein bars and gum (HA! I know…weird) and I could not stomach either. Because of my nausea, I wanted carbs and not really the clean kind…usually straight up bread. I tried to find a somewhat healthy alternative so I was not just eating loaves of bread all day which usually ended up being a ½ English muffin with cream cheese or nut butter or some oatmeal in the morning. I usually do not eat starchy carbs at dinner but noticed if I didn’t during this time, I was hungry shortly after dinner. My cravings were crazy specific too as in “I want frozen yogurt with this kind of topping.” My food aversions have mostly subsided and cravings come and go but I have noticed my hunger levels are increasing again in my second trimester.
  • Physically Harder-At about 6 weeks pregnant, I ended up hurting my back. I believe it was during a strength class I was teaching, though I had been teaching it for over a year and did not do anything different. It is possible that the increase in relaxin in my body (a hormone produced during pregnancy that relaxes ligaments) contributed to this injury or I just tweaked something. I was in quite a bit of pain for a few weeks. After I finally felt better, I started having SI joint pain (the sacroiliac joint, the joint between the sacrum and the ilium of the pelvis). I just have not felt as physically strong or good this time around. I feel much older than just 2 years since I was pregnant with Caleb.
  • More OverwhelmingFor many the first pregnancy might be overwhelming as there are so many unknowns. However, for me this one has felt a little more overwhelming. We were just so thankful to get pregnant with Caleb that I was pretty relaxed and stress free during his pregnancy. This one has just brought up so many more questions and fears. How will we be able to afford child care? Should I go back to work full time when I have 2 little ones? How will I handle the mornings all by myself? Should we move into a bigger house or finish our basement? Though I am much less anxious about the rest of the pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and all the things that come with first time motherhood, there just seems to be more to think about this time around.   We will also not be finding out the sex this time around, which is obviously by choice but there is a little more unknown when it comes to that too! 🙂

As I said, I am sure more things will continue to be different with this pregnancy but these are the major differences I have noticed already. I would love to hear what other mom’s experiences were with 2nd and 3rd pregnancies. Were they significantly different? What was the biggest differences you noticed?

I would love to hear from you!