We are more than the way our body looks in a photograph. Oh, so much more.

I was scrolling through Health.com yesterday and fell upon this article:

The Amazing Way Pink Responds to Body-Shaming Tweets

To say I was annoyed that this happened to her is an understatement.

To say that I’m annoyed that this is constantly happening in our society is an even bigger understatement.

When did we get health so disgustingly confused with physical appearance?

Whether it’s about how a woman looks in her dress at an event (by the way, if I’m going to be vain, Pink looked beautiful and I can’t believe anyone would ever think to shame her appearance)…or whether it’s about getting back that “body after baby”…I’m just so tired of it.

I rarely seek out this kind of media anymore because it’s not only encouraging these photographers/writers/haters to be so unrighteously critical, but it’s not good for my own self-image either.

Listen America, can we please just stop judging each other based on how we look on the outside?  Health is utterly important, but physical appearance is not an indicator of someone’s health or happiness status.  So instead, how about we start supporting each other in living happy, healthy lives?  How about we quit analyzing the way a person appears?  How about instead of “ways to lose 5 pounds” it’s “ways to prevent illness” or “ways to have more fulfilling days?”   How about we stop shaming and start encouraging.

Let’s start seeking inward, looking at hearts, actions, and intentions.
Let’s start truly caring about people.

Healthy Living Survey

Hope you’re having a good week so far!  Taking it easy with a fun survey today…

1. What did you eat for breakfast? 

Today I went for an old favorite…hot oats with coconut butter, cinnamon, hemp seeds, blueberries, and peanut butter.

hot oatmeal breakfast

2. How much water do you drink each day? 

A lot!  Even before I was pregnant I drank a lot of water each day, and now it often feels like I can’t get enough of it.  I’d say between 9-12 glasses a day right now.

3. What is your current favorite workout? 

Walking!  I go for a walk almost every day.  I’m also enjoying some strength training workouts – I do one or two a week (this one is currently my favorite).

run path

4. How many calories do you eat each day?

I have no idea – I really don’t care about calories.  I bet if I had to count now though it’d be a whole lot!  Baby needs FOOD.

5. What are you favorite healthy snacks? 

smoothies, an apple with peanut butter, a banana with almond butter, hummus with veggies and crackers, hard-boiled eggs

apple snack

6. What do you usually eat for lunch? 

I eat lunch at home every day so it really varies – I love that I get the whole kitchen to choose from and usually have time to cook up something if I want to.  Often I’ll have leftovers from a recent dinner, eggs with avocado toast, a salad, some kind of meat with some variety of potatoes, or even just a huge smoothie.  I snack again in 2ish anyway!

7. What is your favorite body part to train?

Assuming this is non-pregnancy training…lower body.  But I enjoy doing arms/shoulders/back too.

8. What is your least favorite body part to train?

Core workouts are easily my least favorite.  They always have been.

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

Let’s say “less healthful” food cravings…I’d say it’s cookies, but I don’t get sugary cravings too often anymore.  I definitely chalk that up to eating extra protein and healthy fats.  When I really want cookies though I often will make my own version  to fulfill my craving and enjoy the treat but not have the excess sugar consumption that’s in store-bought cookies.  Who really likes store-bought cookies better anyway?

peanut butter avocado cookies from lindsay at the lean green bean blog

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements? 

I currently take a whole food prenatal vitamin each day and a DHA supplement a couple times a week.  Both products are from The Honest Company.

11. How often do you eat out? 

Probably once a week on average.  I like to cook and we like to save money (and eat healthier) by eating in.  Usually though Jesse and I will go out somewhere for a meal on the weekends.  We definitely eat out more living in CA than we ever did in MN because there are so many awesome places to try here.

Jesse - Tacubaya - Mexican food - date night - friday dinner

12.  Do you eat fast food?

nah…though the exception to that is Panera or Chipotle once in a great while.

13. Who is your biggest supporter? 

My husband, my sister, my friends.

brooke & danica - finished dirty girl 5k mud run

14. Do you have a gym membership?

Yes but I don’t use it as nearly often as I should.  Being pregnant put a damper on my desire to attend fitness classes :/

15. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?

8-9

16. Do you have a “cheat” day? 

Nope!  I don’t believe in that sort of “dieting.”

17. Do you drink alcohol? 

Yes.  Well, not right now of course.  But non-pregnant me enjoys a social drink.  If I’m being truthful, I’m looking forward to a glass of red wine sometime at the end of this year.  (can you drink alcohol when breastfeeding? I’m guessing not…I need to look into this.)

18. Do you have a workout buddy? 

No, not a human one anyway.  Zida goes for a walk with me almost every day, but she’s a little more spaztastic than I’d like and there’s also that whole thing about having to carry around her poop.  #worthit

zida - california - walking trail

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle? 

That’s an easy answer for me:

My Self-Confidence.

It’s changed my life in nearly every way (that’s the beauty of holistic health), and I’ve even seen it “rub off” on family members and friends, too.  What a blessing that’s been!

20. What is the last healthy thing you did? 

Talked with a friend on the phone…relationships are an important aspect of health, too!

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I’d love to hear your answers to…

#3.  What is your current favorite workout?

#13.  Who is your biggest supporter?

#20.  What is the last healthy thing you did?

Link Love #9

I’m guest posting over on Sarah’s blog today about two verses from scripture that relate to our health – be sure to check it out!

And then there are several awesome links below to look into as well.  I tried not to let it get too pregnancy/baby-heavy ;)

Link Love - www.itsprogression.com

–> Why Children Should Avoid Artificial Dyes  (from Laura at Mommy Runs Fast)
why we should all avoid them, really.

–> A Message for the Anti-Vaccine Movement (from Jimmy Kimmel)
I realize this is a controversial issue, but I just love how bluntly he shares his opinion.

–> 12 Foods to Boost Your Mood and Energy (from Food Matters)

–> 42 things that change when you have a baby (from Baby Center)
finally someone is positive about having kids – I’m so tired of hearing the negative stuff!

–> High Protein Breakfast Round-up (from FitFluential)

–> Baby on the Way?  How to Handle Saving Money and Paying off Debt (from Rachel Cruze and Dave Ramsey)

–> Jinger Duggar Shares Testimony  (from the Duggar Studios YouTube channel)
beautifully said.

–> Pregnancy and Body Image (from Madison at espresso & cream)
it can be a tricky thing navigating through pregnancy and self-image somedays as it’s challenging to always be confident in an ever-changing body.  the beauty and blessing of the whole miracle keeps me positive about it though, and Madison makes some great points in this post.

–> 5 Ingredient Olive Oil Bread (from Liz at I heart Vegetables)
yum!

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April: Seasonal Produce

Happy April 1st!

No April Fools’ Day jokes from me today.

Spring is here and that always means one special thing to me…fresh in-season produce is back!

This certainly varies depending on region for how early in Spring you see fresh foods popping up at your farmers’ market, and I’ve got to say that’s one thing I’m excited about in regards to living in California.  I have very high hopes for the markets here in the coming weeks!

Let’s take a look at what’s in season for this time of year…

When you eat fruits and veggies that are currently in season, you consume produce that contains an even higher nutritional value.  The produce is also more flavorful, fresh, and cost-effective!

September produce from the farmer's market

Be on the lookout for the following fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market, food co-op, and grocery store this month!

fruits:

  • grapefruit
  • honeydew melon
  • mango
  • oranges
  • papayas
  • rhubarb
  • strawberries (my favorite!)

veggies:

  • artichokes
  • asparagus
  • avocados
  • beets
  • beans (fava, green)
  • broccoli
  • cabbages
  • carrots
  • chard
  • chicory
  • chives
  • cucumbers
  • endive
  • fennel
  • garlic
  • greens (including dandelion, collard, and some lettuces)
  • sweet onions
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What about Springtime do you look forward to most?
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Link Love #8

Check out something to read below!  There’s a good variety…enjoy!

Link Love - www.itsprogression.com

–> 5 Conversations to Have Before Getting Married  (from Colleen)
each of one these is so important!

–> Legs + Abs + Arms Boot Camp Workout (from Julie)

–> 6 Things to Help Kick Anxiety to the Curb (from Food Matters)

–> Buying Organic to Avoid Pesticides?  Science Confirms you have the Right Idea (from takepart)
of course it matters!  it’s important to avoid those freaky chemicals as much as possible.

–> 10 Things to NOT Do When You’re Pregnant (from Colleen)
spot.on.  Do not Google!  And the fact that I weep at everything having to do with birth and newborn babies…oy.

–> The Worst Health Mistakes People are Still Making?  Here are the Top 10… (from EatLocalGrown)

–> Why Diets Don’t Work (from Laura)
absolutely.

–> Egg Waffles (from Lindsay)
so smart!

–> The 3 Nutritional Jobs You Have as a Parent (from Eating Made Easy)
my goal is to truly have all 3 of these on point with our children…do you agree with them?

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How I’m Exercising During this Pregnancy

The fitness aspect of this blog has really been lacking lately, and I miss it!  I miss writing about half marathon training, strength training, all things running, and lessons I learn from yoga that help with my running.  I just kind of miss running right now!

But it’s all fine and good – I obviously wouldn’t trade anything about this pregnancy for a single run – I’m just looking forward to challenging myself in that aspect of fitness in the future.

pregnancy workout

Today I thought I’d share what I am doing for workouts during this pregnancy.

I’m clearly not running – not that I think running during pregnancy is bad, it’s just that I don’t think it’s right for me.  My body (cycle, hormones, etc.) was sensitive to it before getting pregnant, so I’m not willing to risk anything by running now.

I’m also not trying any workouts that are brand new to me.  I fear doing anything that could throw me off balance or challenge me so much that I push too hard (I tend to be really competitive with myself).

That’s the thing about fitness during pregnancy though…every single woman is different, so she needs to listen to her body and choose whatever is right for her and her baby.

I’m doing something active each day, and I try to pay attention to how I’m feeling that day to guide what workout I choose.  I’m also more aware of how I feel during workouts – no more trying to zone out during cardio, I try to pay close attention to how my body is responding.

Here are the workouts I’m currently doing during this pregnancy:

  • Walking – lots of walking.  This is my go-to.  I enjoy it, I can really get moving and work up a bit of a sweat if I want, and I know that it’s just really beneficial for my body and this growing baby.
  • Strength Training.  I do 1-2 strength workouts a week, just right in my living room while watching tv or listening to music.  I often do workouts like this one….squats, lunges, push-ups (on my knees because that’s just how I roll these days), bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, (short-lived) side planks, etc.
  • Yoga.  I’ve been to a couple prenatal yoga classes at our gym, and I often do some yoga at home.  I don’t do anything fancy or even do it for very long, but I’ve found that I get really tight really quickly lately, particularly in my hip flexors, so I do some sort of stretching every day.
  • Cardio on the Stationary Bike and the Elliptical.  These are in our apartment’s fitness room, so I sometimes hop on these machines for a day’s workout.  I don’t go nearly as intensely as I did pre-pregnancy, but they always make me sweat a bit and they’re a nice change-up from walking.

The thing with pregnancy though is that things are (literally) changing every day, so I’m trying to be sensitive to those changes and just go with the flow in terms of adjusting my routines.  So far, so good.

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If you’ve ever been pregnant, what did you do for movement during that time?

If you’ve never been pregnant and are curious, what questions do you have about working out when pregnant? 

I’m no fitness expert but I can answer about my own my experiences so far.

Foods for a Healthy Heart

After sharing that new workout last week in honor of Healthy Heart Month, I figured I’d look at heart health from a different angle…food!

Foods to Eat for a Healthy Heart

These foods promote heart (and overall cardiovascular) health:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, etc.)
  • broccoli
  • salmon
  • sardines
  • liver
  • citrus fruits, particularly oranges and grapefruits
  • raw or fermented dairy (always full-fat)
  • berries, especially blueberries
  • walnuts
  • other nuts too, especially almonds, pistachios, and macadamia nuts
  • potatoes (certainly including yams and sweet potatoes)
  • chia seeds
  • fish oil and cod liver oil (omega-3 fats)
  • avocado
  • extra virgin olive oil (not heated is best)
  • asparagus, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, really all veggies…
  • apples
  • whole grains (arguably)
  • dark chocolate (real dark chocolate – aim for at least 80% cocoa, but the higher the better)

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" - hypocrates

Remember that exercise is incredibly important to heart health!  (You just can’t out-exercise a poor diet.)

Quality sleep for 7-8 hours a night is also a must for heart health.

And for anyone who currently has heart problems, cholesterol problems, or family history of heart disease/problems, I highly recommend watching this video by Dr. Axe:
Advanced Tips for Reversing Heart Diseases

I hope this is helpful!

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New Full-Body Workout for Heart Health Month

February is deemed American Heart Month to bring awareness to heart health.

One way to take care of our hearts is to exercise – to move our bodies each day.

Exercise doesn’t have to be in the form of vigorous exercise.  While Crossfit is awesome, a fast walk is incredibly beneficial for our hearts, too.

Today I wanted to share a workout that you can do right in your home with a pair of dumbbells and a little space.  When we do strength training workouts (using either bodyweight or added weights), we strengthen our hearts, too -blood pumps faster to the area specifically being worked, and when you do a workout like the following with brief or no breaks, you’ll feel your heart rate rise, too.

I recommend using challenging weights for this workout, and if you’d like, you can add weights for the lower body moves as well.

Search on Youtube for any move you’re unsure of to see a tutorial of the proper form.

If you’re pregnant, this workout is absolutely adaptable – I did it just yesterday.  I used somewhat lighter weights, rested a bit more than I otherwise would have, and was cautious about staying balanced.

Enjoy!

Heart Health Month Full-Body Workout

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they’re back…

This blog needs more food, yes?  So I’ve decided to bring back the What I Ate Wednesday posts.

I used to post these weekly, and in their long absence, I kind of miss the sharing.  I honestly have fun reading through others’ WIAW posts (I get a lot of meal/food ideas), so I figured I could participate and share mine once again.

rp_wiawphotobutton.jpg

I probably won’t post every single week, just because life doesn’t always allow for it nor does every week have something interesting to share, but be prepared that food talk is back!

*If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can check out this post for all the details on #wiaw – Jen’s got the scoop.*

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my food journal from Monday, December 8th…

breakfast

green smoothie for breakfast - wiaw

a green smoothie that included;
frozen spinach
frozen banana
frozen mango
ground flaxseed
maca powder
apple cider vinegar
and water

mid-morning snack

homemade pumpkin bread loaf

after breakfast I baked a loaf of pumpkin bread, and then after my workout I helped myself to a big piece

lunch

tator tot hotdish

leftover tator tot hotdish*
*sharing my version of this classic Minnesota recipe tomorrow

afternoon snack

apple snack

coconut macaron Larabar snack

an apple and a Coconut Macaroon Larabar
(some things never change)

dinner

mexican food plate dinner

I’ve been making a version of this go-to meal for months now…
I sauteed 2 eggs and half of a bell pepper in butter, sprinkled with a ton of sea salt and black pepper, then I stir in some salsa, and serve it alongside more salsa, half an avocado, and some (local freshly made) tortilla chips!

dessert

homemade sunbutter chocolate cup

and a homemade (just 4 ingredients, lots of healthy fats and antioxidants) chocolate sunbutter cup to end the night

plus lots of water throughout the day!

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Does your state have a famous dish?

Minnesota has quite a few gems, some good, some scary ;)

What’s your go-to quick and easy meal right now?

Are you a fan of What I Ate Wednesday posts?

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have you entered this week’s giveaway yet?

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introducing…Wellness with Danica: Holistic Health Coaching with Danica Buss

Oh friends,  I’m so very proud to (finally) introduce you to my new Health Coaching business:

Wellness with Danica

Wellness with Danica Logo

-overcome life’s obstacles and build on a solid foundation of holistic health-

It’s a personalized 6-month program designed to fit your individual lifestyle and needs.

I work with men and women of all ages, and these are areas I specialize in:

  • overcoming emotional eating
  • lasting weightloss (a lifestyle change, not a fad diet)
  • healing hormonal imbalance
  • basic whole food nutrition and cooking education
  • brides-to-be who want to be ready for not only their wedding day but for a healthy marriage and life ahead

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, this will be an in-person program.

If you live anywhere else in the country, the program will be via Skype or phone call!

Please feel free to look around my website – you can read all about my approach to healthy living.

Sign up today for your FREE 50-minute consultation so we can chat and see if this program is a great fit for you!  I’d love nothing more than to work with you.

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Thank you all for coming along with me on this adventure. Your love and support means more to me than you’ll ever know.

with so much love,
Danica

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