Sunday, April 22, 2018

Blackberry Mint Superfoods

Fresh Mint. Superfoods. Collagen. Fresh Berries = Heaven 

You all know how much I love my superfoods and you also know how much of a supporter of collagen I have become since having the baby and having to deal with all the postpartum hair loss I had. In the beginning, I was using the unflavored collagen and putting it in my coffee each day. Then I got selected to be a vital proteins ambassador a few months ago have had the opportunity to try many of the different products aside from the plain flavor. This month's delivery included two I have been anxious to get my hands on. Mixed berry and blackberry dark chocolate collagen. Naturally, I wanted to play with these and put them into my daily superfoods that I like to drink.

I loved this flavor combo together so much I decided I better include the recipe on my blog for my clients to check out. The fresh mint totally makes the recipe. I used extracts a lot when I am making my drinks, but nothing can top the freshness of this one. Don't skip out if you are going to try this one.

Here is what you will need:
10 ounces of water
8 ounces of ice
1 scoop of Vital Proteins Dark Chocolate and Blackberry collagen
3 springs of fresh mint - rip them up before putting them into the blender.
1 cup of blackberries
1 packet or scoop of chocolate shakeology 

Blend and enjoy! Garnish with a mint leaf.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What Nobody Tells You About Having A Miscarriage

When Lightning Strikes Twice - Part 2 

I suppose you could call this blog post entry part two. Sunday I shared with you the events leading up to our miscarriage, but I left you hanging in the dark after that. So here goes an update. The post is graphic and it could leave some of you feeling uncomfortable. There are lots of triggers below for those who may have dealt with this before. This is your warning before you go any deeper. This post is a little "deep" and may bring up past issues.
Sunday night I was bleeding a ton again. I passed clot after clot. I called the doctors yet again and they said I could come in, but they couldn't make any promises that they would do the surgery in the middle of the night because it was still the weekend. I didn't want to deal with all that kind of waiting around so I stuck it out at home. I ate an entire cauliflower pizza with my hubby, watched the ACM awards and spent the evening crying and stressing about what was to come tomorrow. I tried to work to stay busy, but I couldn't take my mind off of it all. They told me no food or drink after midnight but I still had no clue what time everything was going to take place the next day.

That morning I woke up to dull aching pains and more blood. I called every hospital number under the sun that I could find that morning trying to get in touch with the people who would schedule the surgery. By 8:00 am I was already hungry, impatient and in tears because I had no answers. Finally, they told me I was for sure on the schedule for the day, but they had no idea what time yet. I was on standby. Totally not a place that you want to be when you're just wanting to get something like this over with.

Around 12:30pm  I got the call to come in. At this point, I was starting to have what felt like labor pains. Cramping and aching. I was starting to really worry I was going to pass the baby on my own. As we drove to the hospital I kept telling my hubby I feel like I am in labor. Once we arrived at the hospital they got me in right away and said they were going to rush me back because they had a spot open up. I was glad about that because all I wanted was for this nightmare to be over.

In between surgery prep and starting my IV the blood clots started passing faster and faster and all of the sudden I was gushing blood everywhere. The labor pains also started to kick into high gear. I kept having the same feeling that I did when I had Grace and Carter. I felt like I just needed to push. If you have ever had a baby, you know exactly the feeling I am talking about. Our bodies are smart and when they are ready to get something out of you, there is little that can be done to stop it. After a few more blood gush episodes I decided I needed to go into the bathroom.

I wasn't quite ready for what was to come behind that closed door. Sure enough, my body was ready and I passed our baby moments before they took me back for surgery. It was the one thing I so desperately didn't want to have to deal with because I didn't think I could handle seeing it. It looked just like they do in all of the diagrams that you see in the doctor's office. Little eyes, tiny fingers, and feet. It scared me to death to pick it up, but I wrapped it in a paper towel and took it back into the room. This is the part where I started to really lose my shit.

I set it down near my husband and started to cry and emotionally come undone. He held me tight and tried to calm me down. Neither of us was up for this part. The doctor came and decided to start me on some of the drugs to knock me out and get me out of my misery. In the meantime, the nurses took the baby away and started to finish prepping me to take back for surgery.

I was a mess. I remember my husband kissing me and hugging me and me asking him to pray for me. Then they wheeled me away.

They still wanted to do the surgery even though I passed the baby because there was still lots of tissue and placenta that would need to be removed.

I am allergic to many of the different narcotics out there and we shared this with the team beforehand. They planned to use something different and would try to combat the reactions with different allergy medicines. What should have been a quick in and out surgery and recovery turned into a very long day. What they gave me caused a reaction that was slowing down my breathing and causing swelling and itching everywhere. They gave me what seemed like every drug under the sun to make the allergic reaction stop. I went back at 2:00 pm and never truly was up and with it until around 10:00 pm. I was beyond looped and exhausted and my husband was beyond worried about me.

The following days have been filled with waves of grief and comfort. Some moments I am fine and some moments I just can't stop crying. We have been surrounded by people who care. Our doorbell just kept ringing the last few days as flowers and fruit and foods have shown up. Loved ones have stepped in the watch the kids so I didn't have to and my inbox keeps overflowing with messages of support. It means a lot and it's helped a lot with the healing.

What most people don't know it how utterly emotional this is. They don't understand the hormones or the recovery part. They don't know what to say or how to act around you. What I can tell you from experience is that being there matters more than you realize. Send the flowers, make the meal, drop a card in the mail. Send them a text. Do whatever you can to let them know you care. Realize it may take them time to call you or get back to you, but your efforts are appreciated and they matter. What they really need right now is to know that they are not alone. Everyone will grieve a loss like this in a different way. What is important is that you make them understand there is no right or wrong way to do this and that you are here when they are ready.

Far too many women go thru exactly what we did this past week, but they do it in silence. Some never even got to share the joy that they were expecting. This isn't something you want to navigate thru alone. Share your story if you're going thru it or if you have been thru it. Realize that you won't ever get over it, but you will get thru it and that it doesn't get better but you do get stronger and that you are never alone.

For those dealing with a miscarriage or infant loss don't hesitate to seek support from a professional. They can help you seek light in your darkness.

Thanks to everyone who sent us things, visited, prayed, called, messaged, helped out. We love you lots and cannot thank you enough.

Kevin & Sarah

Sunday, April 15, 2018

I am sorry but there is no heartbeat anymore...

When lightning strikes twice... 

When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. - PSALM 61:2
The statistics are that one in four pregnancies will end in a miscarriage at some point. We were part of those stats two years ago before God gave us our daughter Grace. Yesterday we learned that lightning can strike twice and that sadly baby number 3 would be joining our other one in heaven instead of here on earth. 

Over the past week, I had been experiencing light bleeding. Nothing to be alarmed about or so I thought. It was the dark kind. I just assumed it was some cysts breaking or something. Honestly, I was not that concerned because I decided to take the faith over fear approach to this pregnancy. Then Friday we went to the zoo and I did a lot of walking and a lot of stroller pushing. That night the bleeding changed. It went from dark to bright red and I began to pass a few clots. I started to get nervous but again wasn't ready to sound the alarms just yet.

Then Saturday came and I started to be in pain and the bleeding and clotting started to get worse. We traveled home to visit family that day so I wanted to ride it out and planned to go to the hospital that night. 

On the way home I called my midwife and she was actually on call. I told her I was coming. Luckily we left my son back home with family so we only had Grace our youngest with us. I really didn't want to take her to the emergency room. I wanted her to get a good nights sleep at home and stay away from the hospital germs so I begged my husband to stay back. 

I found myself starting to put up walls around myself. Brick ones. The ones you put up when you know you're about to really get hurt. My heart knew what was coming later that night. As much as I wanted to have my husband there, I also wanted to keep him from the sadness. I argued a bit about him letting me go alone. He didn't want me too, in fact, he begged me to just allow him to come and bring the baby along. I needed to do this one alone for some reason. After much debating, I won. He packed my bag for me and hugged me hard before I left. While keeping him back probably wasn't fair to him and his own grief, I really needed to be sure the baby was home safe and sleeping and quite honestly I didn't want her there while I had to deal with all of this. 

You see, I traveled this road once already. Two years ago almost to the T. We lost the last one April 15, 2016 and on April 14th, 2018 I was alone when I was given the same news then. It's almost eerie that it happened so close to the last. While I didn't want to do this again, I knew I already knew how to. 

The check-in process was quick and they got me into a room pretty fast. You could tell everyone was nervous for me and the news they might have to deliver shortly if things didn't look good. My nurse first asked if she could check for fetal heart tones or if I would prefer doing a bedside ultrasound first. I got choked up and declined the heart tones. I needed the news to be cut and dry. I needed to either know that it was gone or it was okay and the heart tones would not necessarily tell me that. 

Soon the doctor came in and said they would just take me for an ultrasound soon. He offered to start the IV for fluids and do some bloodwork but I declined all of it. I just wanted an ultrasound before I did anything. Everyone was very understanding and respected my wishes. 

It took about 40 minutes of waiting in that quiet little room before the ultrasound nurse came to get me. Those 40 minutes passed by so slowly. I spent the time praying for a miracle, but also more than anything praying for strength. Your mom instincts kick in and you just know. I knew my baby wasn't with me anymore. Now I was just waiting on confirmation of that. 

She took me into the room asked a few questions about my due date and when the last ultrasound was and then started on the ultrasound. She kept the screen turned away from me but her face told me what I already knew. She asked again how many weeks I was "supposed to be" then paused, swallowed hard and turned the screen towards me. She calmly said I am so sorry honey, but your baby has passed away. There is no heartbeat anymore. No matter how ready you are to hear those words it still feels like a sucker punch to the gut. I had a really hard time looking at it on the monitor. It's back was facing me and it was just lying there lifeless. I took a moment to take it all in then asked her to turn it away. I could feel myself emotionally coming apart. 

I went into the bathroom to splash water on my face and try to get it together. Then she walked me back down to the little ER room I was in before. She quietly said I am so sorry a few more times then left me to myself. 

The doctor then came in and sat a chair down beside the bed. He started to lay out my options as far as ending the pregnancy. I stopped him and told him I already knew what I wanted. I had done this before and I didn't need to hear it all over again. 

I wanted a D&C and quite honestly I wanted it sooner rather than later. The trouble is I went in on a Saturday and they won't do those types of surgeries on the weekend unless it was an extreme emergency and in my case, it wasn't. 

He called down my midwife. She greeted me with a huge hug and just a huge sense of peace. We talked, or I guess I could say she talked and I nodded while choking back lots of crocodile tears. She said they would call first thing Monday and try to get me scheduled for surgery that day to remove the remains. 

Some of you might question why I am choosing the D&C. While some women prefer to pass the baby at home on their own, I have no interest in that. From a mental health standpoint, I need this to be over quickly. I can't do long and drawn out. When you do it the natural way it can take a very long time for all the tissue to come out and for your levels to return to normal. It can also result in the need for a D&C after as well so this is the route I picked. Emotionally it's all I can handle right now. 

When the nurse came in with my discharge papers she handed me a packet with all kinds of grief stuff in it and a charm in honor of the baby I lost. At least that's what I think is in it. She told me it was something special. Honestly, I haven't touched any of it yet. That can be for another day when I am ready.

I needed out of there fast. I wiped away the tears, stuffed the paperwork in my bag and headed to my car. It was shortly after midnight at this point and I had about a 30-minute drive ahead of me. I opened the sunroof and let the fresh air pour in while I played the radio as loud as I could stand it. I cried the entire way home. It was the kind of crying that only comes out when you are truly alone and heartbroken. 

My husband was at the door to hold me when I walked in. We just cried together. We laid in bed and talked for awhile until I fell asleep in his arms. 

Today we did everything under the sun to stay busy. We grocery shopped, we cleaned, we even went to lunch and had a few drinks to take the edge off of life today. We did that last time this happened too. 

Hopefully tomorrow we head to the hospital for the surgery. The process will take most of the day, by the time I go thru pre-op, the surgery and the proceedure then I will come home to sleep off the annestesia and recover. 

Then comes the hard part. The emotional rollercoaster that comes after dealing with a loss like this. The hormones. The "baby weight" with no baby anymore.  Telling our son that his new brother or sister won't be joining us; instead that it went to heaven already. All of it. It's hard and last time taught me there wasn't a right or wrong way to handle it. Instead to focus on one day at a time. Some days I wanted nothing to do with anyone and some days I couldn't stand to be alone. I leaned into my husband last time and it brought us even closer together. We are planning to do the same again this time. 

If you can do anything please pray for strength for us in the coming weeks. If you are a loved one or a close friend please know that my distance some days won't be personal. It's just how I get thru and also please know sometimes I will need you to "make me" come to dinner or come out or just do something fun. 

Please realize that what I am going thru sadly, is very common. One in four of your friends will deal with a miscarriage at some point in the pregnancy. Let it be eye-opening, but don't let it make you fearful of your own pregnancy. Enjoy every single day that you are pregnant and believe that everything will work out just fine. Faith over fear always my friends. God's plans are always bigger and better than our own even if it doesn't always feel like it at the moment. 

Thank you all for the love and support both last time this happened and this time around. 
Kevin & Sarah 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

2B Mindset- A New Approach To Nutrition

Time To Change Your Habits

Well, the secret it out. On May 2nd Beachbody will be launching a new approach to nutrition. This is something that has been in the works for a very long period of time and it is going to be the missing piece for so many who have had long-term struggles with nutrition. I am going to share with you answers to some of the most commonly asked questions that many of you have about the new program. Please take a minute to check it out and see if this is something that might work well for you. 

What is 2B mindset? 
2B Mindset is a revolutionary video-based weight-loss program that will change your mindset about food, your body, and losing weight. Instead of diets that focus on what you can’t eat, this simple and easy approach will have you focused on what you can eat so you feel full, satisfied, and in control without ever counting calories or points or measuring food. “You can lose weight happily,” says co-creator Ilana Muhlstein MS, RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist), who lost 100 pounds herself— and kept it off—using the 2B Mindset principles. She’s helped thousands of others lose weight through her private practice in Beverly Hills and a clinic at UCLA. She’s going to share her favorite tips, tools, and strategies with your customers to help them achieve their weight-loss goals while still living their lives to the fullest.

What is included in the 2B mindset kit? 

What makes this program so unique and effective? 

It’s not a diet—it’s a mindset. Most diets have an end date. But because your customers will be shifting the way they think about food, they can use the 2B Mindset principles for the rest of their lives. Also, most diets require deprivation. The 2B Mindset shows them how to get to, and maintain, their ideal weight, while eating foods they actually enjoy, so they always feel full and satisfied—and happy.
The 2B Mindset is also extremely easy to follow:
• No counting calories, no measuring food, and no using food containers• No cutting out food groups• No deprivation or feeling hungry• Ability to follow the program even when you are at a restaurant, a party, or on vacation!

Can 2B mindset be done along with exercise? 

Absolutely. The 2B Mindset does not require exercise, but it’s encouraged and it’s considered “extra credit.” Sure, the program focuses on nutrition and weight loss through the foods we eat. But once your customers lose weight, they’ll want to start moving.

Think this might be for you? 
Fill out the application below and I will be in touch to help you get started as soon as the program launches. 

In addition, you can also join my private informational group to learn more about the program and my upcoming better nutrition boot camp where we will be using the 2Bmindset program. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Matcha Newbie In The House 

matcha, matcha smoothie, vital proteins, vital proteins recipes, sarah griffith

I am the queen of smoothies and all things health related so you might find it surprising when I tell you that I actually have never had a matcha drink. I have had things with matcha in it, but never by itself. As you all know I am a member of the Vital Proteins ambassador program so I get the opportunity to try new things each month. I decided to spring for the matcha peach collagen and see if I liked it. 

This smoothie that I put together was way easy and perfect for spring. I liked the strawberry addition and the peach that is already in it gives the drink a nice mellow healthy taste. 

Here is the simple recipe. If you don't already have the collagen you can get it thru the Vital Proteins website. Their shipping is insanely fast. 

14 ounces of water 
8 ounces of ice 
6 large ripe strawberries 

Combine ingredients and blend. 

* Please keep in mind as a Vital Proteins brand ambassador I receive monthly product to review and share. I do not receive commission or pay based on any purchases. *

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Beachbars - Coming Soon

  • Protein-Dense Calories
    This crunchy, chewy snack bar has 10g of protein, 4g of fiber, just 150 calories, and only 5–6g of sugar.
    Calorie for calorie, BEACHBAR has a higher proportion of satisfying protein per calorie compared to four other leading snack bars.†
  • Exceptional Protein-to-Sugar Ratio
    Both flavors of BEACHBAR are made with whey protein crisps, versus some other leading brands which are made with a fruit base. This means BEACHBAR delivers more satisfying, muscle-promoting protein (10g) than actual sugar (5–6g) per bar.
  • Indulgent Ingredients for Great Taste
    Research shows taste is the #1 decision-making factor in choosing a bar and BEACHBAR delivers. Packed with nut pieces and nut butters, crunchy protein crisps, dried fruit,‡ and real chocolate chips, BEACHBAR will satisfy any sweet tooth.
  • Flavors
    It comes in two delicious flavors, Peanut Butter Chocolate and Chocolate Cherry Almond.
  • Not All the Bad Stuff
    Finally, both flavors are gluten-free, have 0g trans fats, and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
  • If you want the indulgence of a bar packed with nut pieces, nut butters, real chocolate chips, and 10g of protein with just 150 calories, your choice is BEACHBAR.
‡Chocolate Cherry Almond flavor only. 

BEACHBAR combines crunchy protein crisps with whole foods including fruit and nut pieces, real chocolate chips, and creamy nut butters to deliver delicious, satisfying goodness in every tasty bite.
Peanut and Almond Nut Butters
A source of protein and ber that adds a creamy texture. No one likes a dry, crumbly bar.
Dried Cherries
A flavorful source of beneficial dietary fiber and phytonutrients. Plus, they taste great.
Whey and Pea Protein Crisps
Whey protein delivers all nine of the essential amino acids. Pea protein is a plant-based protein source that also supplies key amino acids. And they’re satisfyingly crunchy 

Real Chocolate Chips
Derived from cocoa beans, which contain phytonutrients known as flavonoids. Rich and delicious, the way chocolate chips should be.
Diced Peanuts and Almonds
A source of beneficial monounsaturated fats (the good kind). They also provide protein and fiber and add a rich, nutty flavor.
Pomegranate Juice
A source of phytonutrients, and revered for centuries as a powerful fruit. It provides tart, fruity sweetness 

BEACHBAR is Low-Glycemic. The Glycemic Index (GI) measures the effect of a food on blood glucose.
Low-GI foods release their carbohydrates slowly, causing a lower blood glucose response. This helps avoid a large spike in blood sugar and the “crash,” or dip, in blood glucose that often follows and may cause you to feel sluggish. If this wasn’t benefit enough, low-GI products may also help with staying fuller longer.

That's why we designed BEACHBAR to be Low-Glycemic. In fact, BEACHBAR actually has less sugar than protein. 

Retail $39.80
Coach $29.85 

Retail $79.60
Coach $59.70 

Retail $119.40
Coach $89.55 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Why I Had To Quit 80 Day Obsession

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession meal plan, 80 day obsession and pregnancy, 80 day obsession drop out, first trimester fitness, hashimoto's disease,

At the beginning of January, I set out with one big goal and that was to FINISH the new 80 Day Obsession program from START to FINISH. I wanted to be able to say that I did the entire program and be able to share my awesome results. I went all in with my workouts and committed to the nutrition plan.

Phase one I was spot on. Didn't skip any workouts, ate according to the plan and totally nailed it. Then at some point during phase two I started to notice my thyroid was having a "storm" and things were off. I was having trouble staying warm and was cold all the time, yet I would wake up covered in sweat during the night. I was experiencing extreme fatigue and was having trouble keeping up. I would wake up each morning feeling exhausted even after hours and hours of sleep. Anxiety started to set in as well. When enough "sirens" went off I decided I better get some labs done and get back to the endocrinologist.

At the same time, I started to feel like my period was finally coming back. This was a big deal since technically with breastfeeding and being pregnant I hadn't had one in over two years. It never came, but I felt like it would. Once I got the lab work set up and an appointment booked with my endo I decided to take a pregnancy test just for the heck of it. Well, I made the mistake of taking an old one from when we tried for Gracie. I didn't have the box anymore or the instructions or know the brand. It left me with two pink lines, but I wasn't sure what those lines even meant. YES OR NO? I told my hubby the next day and I took a second test a few days later. This time I went with digital. IMMEDIATELY it said pregnant. I was shocked, but it also explained a lot.
80 day obsession, 80 day obsession meal plan, 80 day obsession and pregnancy, 80 day obsession drop out, first trimester fitness, hashimoto's disease,

I went to the doctor for the initial appointment and honestly, I went in rather cold. Since having walked the road before with a miscarriage you protect your heart and try to stay unattached. I requested we just cut to the chase and not do anything until I had an ultrasound. I needed to see a baby and a strong heartbeat before this could be real for me. That appointment was on a Thursday. My ultrasound was scheduled for the following Tuesday.

Before I could get to that appointment I wound up in the emergency room that Monday night with gallbladder pains. Stabbing pain was all thru my right side. Painful enough that I would have rather been giving birth. The hospital I was at was worried about possible complications with the baby. They didn't have a pelvic US machine at that hospital and were having trouble finding the baby. They were worried I had miscarried or that it was in distress.  They wanted to send me to a hospital where they could provide better care for both of us. That night I took a fast ride by ambulance. I was numb. Not just from pain meds, but because I knew what types of decisions I would be facing later if that baby had in fact already passed away.

When I got there I was given an ultrasound right away and got to see our sweet little baby. Strong and steady heartbeat and growing right on track with where it should be. That night I got a due date and pictures to take home to share.

Two days later I had my endo appointment and she really was tough on me. She gave me a hard time about how much stress my body was really under between the thyroid issues, the gallbladder stuff and trying to keep up with exclusively breastfeeding and trying to navigate the first trimester of pregnancy. When we talked about my current levels of exercise she was less than thrilled with my six hours a week commitment and the intensity. She said it was absolutely too much and it was a recipe for a miscarriage. She told me to think long and hard about where my priorities were.

That night I experienced a lot of bleeding and thought for sure I was miscarrying. The next morning I had another ultrasound and got to see the baby again. The heartbeat was even stronger and everything was just fine.  It was, however, an eye-opener and it meant I needed to come up with a new plan.

Sure I wanted to finish the 80-day program especially with less than 30 days to go, but I also want a healthy baby so this is me throwing in the towel. It is probably a good choice anyway because the program is NOT recommended for those who are pregnant. I will be picking up with 30 days of yoga for now to finish out the first trimester then will go from there as a move into the second and hopefully at that point am feeling a little less exhausted.

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession meal plan, 80 day obsession and pregnancy, 80 day obsession drop out, first trimester fitness, hashimoto's disease,

To those of you who were following along with my postpartum journey I just want to say thank you for all the love and support. Please feel free to fill out the application below if you would ever like to work with me in one of my challenge groups. I am always taking new clients.

Sometimes it's important for us to remember when things don't go according to the plan, simply make a new plan.