Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Balls

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Balls - www.goodfortheswole.com

Today is the official first day of Fall! Wooooohooooooo!

I know this is so cliche, but Fall is my all-time favourite season. Halloween is my favourite holiday. Scary movies are my favourite movies. Pumpkin chocolate chip are my favourite treats. It’s all a good time really.

This time last year I was dead sick with first trimester nausea, sickness, exhaustion so I didn’t take full advantage. So this year, I’m soaking every second of the season up…starting with these pumpkin chocolate chip protein balls! Delicious, nutritious, and great for nursing mamas too (starred ingredients help boost milk supply)!


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats*
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein (I used this one from Vital Proteins)
  • 1/3 cup natural nut butter (I used peanut)*
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (the ONLY ingredient should be pumpkin)
  • 1 Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds*
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts*
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs (you can use dark chocolate instead if you want)
  • Dash of pink himalayan salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and roll into small balls. Store in fridge or freezer.

The Pelvic Floor

Pelvic Floor Strengthening - www.goodfortheswole.com

I posted a little about this on my Instagram yesterday, but I feel so strongly about women strengthening their pelvic floor. I can’t tell you how often women I coached would complain about incontinence, and peeing a bit whenever they laughed, sneezed, exercised, etc. I know this is such an embarrassing subject (and I feel weird writing about it ha), but it’s an extremely common issue with women, especially after giving birth. The pelvic floor muscles are weakened during pregnancy and labour, which can result in diastasis recti, hip pain, problems lifting weights and like I said, incontinence.

A lot of women struggle with these issues after giving birth, but no one talks about it because it’s awkward and embarrassing. I get it. But taking care of those internal muscles are so incredibly important!

During my pregnancy, I did some research on the pelvic floor, and immediately started incorporating some strengthening exercises into my daily routine. Postpartum, I haven’t hadany issues with pelvic pain, ab separation, or incontinence. I strongly believe this is because of work I put into keeping my pelvic floor muscles strong.

Pelvic Floor Strengthening - www.goodfortheswole.comI’ve posted some of the exercises here, here, and here. Dana, from activewithd, focuses on this topic and is a great resource. If this is something you, or anyone you know, is struggling with, I would recommend going to see a physical therapist and having them work with you to fix any issues!

Post Workout Nutrition

Post Workout Nutrition

Since I posted about the importance of post workout recovery here, I wanted to share some of my favourite post-workout snacks. I am by no means an expert on post workout recovery. I’m just sharing what I do and what my body has responded well to. Every one is different, so I would recommend playing around with the amount and types of carbs/protein you eat afterwards, to find what works best!

My goal for my post workout is to get a 1:1 ratio of carbs and protein. I try to shoot for 20-30g carbs and 20-30g protein. When you workout, your muscle glycogen (stored energy) stores get depleted. It’s important to eat carbohydrates after a workout, to replace those stores. One thing I have recently learned is that fruit after a workout is not the most ideal carbohydrate. Our bodies store glycogen in the muscle and liver. Fruit is made up of mostly fructose, which is metabolized by the liver and can only be used for liver glycogen. Although fruit is important and should still be consumed, it is not an effective source of post workout carbohydrates since it does not restore depleted muscle glycogen.

So I aim for a good carbohydrate to replace my muscle glycogen, along with protein to help in muscle recovery and aid in muscle growth.  Although fats are SO important to eat throughout the rest of the day, they’re also not ideal right after a workout. They are digested slowly and, when consumed with your carbs and protein, they slow down the absorption of everything. Meaning, your body doesn’t get the quick carbs and protein it needs. I eat a lot of healthy fats throughout the day (especially because they’re super important for breastmilk), but I focus on just carbs and protein right after a workout.

I also drink BCAA’s after a workout, and this is the brand I’m using right now (20% of all Unico supplements with the code ‘theswole’).

BCAAs

Here are some of my favourite options for both on-the-go post workout snacks, and ones you can make from home:

Quick Post Workout Snacks:

  • Protein powder: I hadn’t found a protein powder I absolutely loved until a couple of weeks ago. Most of the ones I’ve tried had a weird gritty taste, or just weren’t what I was looking for. I kept seeing Vital Protein pop up on Instagram, and I looked further into them and I am so impressed with their products! They have pasture-raised collagen protein which is not only beneficial for building lean muscle, but it also promotes healthy bones, skin, hair, nails…literally everything. I’m currently vibin’ on the cocoa and coconut collagen whey!
  • Protein bars: My ALL-TIME favourite protein bars are G2G (20% off with ‘theswole’), Squarebars (20% off with ‘goodfortheswole’), and RXBars. I always have at least one of the brands in my cupboard. (PS. I don’t get commission for those discounts. I just eat those brands a lot and they gave me a code for you guys to enjoy too).
  • Lifeway: I recently discovered Lifeway Kefir and I can’t say enough good things about the brand!! They’re cultured milk smoothies in all different flavours and they are sooooo, soooo good! They’re high in protein, calcium, probiotics (so important for a healthy gut!), and vitamin D. The milk is from grass-fed cows and they actually have a smoothie with whey protein too which is what I’ve been drinking for my post workout recently. It has a perfect 1:1 ratio of carbs and protein, it’s fast and convenient, and it tastes good!
  • Overnight oats: Mix 2 scoops vanilla Vital Proteins organic whey and 1/2 cup almond milk and store overnight in a jar. When you’re done with your workout and ready to grub, top the oats with a cut up peach and 1/3 cup of Lifeways lowfat peach keifer. This is sooooo good! Especially since peaches are so juicy right now.

 

Other Post-workout Ideas:

  • Protein oats: this is one of my favourite post workouts because you get good carbs and good protein, and it tastes so good! I cook 1/2 cup of old fashioned rolled oats in water, then add Vital Proteins cocoa and coconut whey protein powder, pour some lowfat coconut chia Lifeway yogurt over the top.
  • Protein pancakes: I use Kodiak cakes all the time (I get them from Costco) to make protein pancakes. I add a scoop of Vital Proteins cocoa and coconut whey protein in the mix before cooking it to bump up the protein. I serve it with Triple Berry Tart Perfect12 from Lifeway poured over the top (instead of syrup). It tastes amazing, and it adds a little more good carbs and good protein too!
  •  Chicken & sweet potato
  • Eggs burrito: I buy these wraps every week because they’re so easy and versatile. I cook 1 whole egg and 2-3 egg whites, add in veggies (spinach, peppers, and tomatoes are my go-to) and wrap it up in the tortilla.

Spin Workout

Tonight I have my spin class (whoop whoop) and I’m already pumped for it! I used to teach an early morning class from 7-8am twice a week while I was pregnant, and I WAY more enjoy teaching in the evenings. More people come, and it’s something to look forward to!

Here’s today’s playlist and plan for tonight. Lemme know if you try it out. Just like I mentioned here, I plan in lots of intervals so my students and I get the most we can out of the class. Holla!

  • Geronimo: warm up, slowly increase resistance
  • Automatic: medium resistance, fast jumps
  • We Found Love: gradually increase resistance, reach MAX tension
  • Birthday: fast sprints during chorus
  • Imma Be: high resistance, out of saddle during chorus
  • Just Dance: high resistance, jumps
  • Titanium: out of saddle hill climb
  • It’s Time: recovery, alternate between out of saddle
  • Toxic: rolling hills
  • Watcha Say: HEAVY resistance, out of saddle during chorus
  • Somebody to Love: jumps
  • Take Me to Church: climb out of saddle, climb in saddle
  • Sexy & I Know It: sprints
  • Heartbeat Song: gradually increase resistance but keep speed

4 Month Update

www.goodfortheswole.com

Piper turned exactly 4 months on Saturday, which also happened to be exactly a year from when I found out I got a positive pregnancy test (I wrote a little bit about that experience here). Also, how cute are these LetterFolk signs???

I know this is SUCH a cliche thing to say, and I never fully got it until I had a baby of my own, but I can’t believe how much she’s grown! Aye karumba. I swear she was just this tiny little thing!


She’s hit that whole “4 month sleep regression” thing, and randomly feels the need to wake up EVERY hour throughout the night *insert dead face emoji*. For the most part, she’s a good sleeper and typically sleeps from 9:30-7:00am. We moved her from the cradle in our room, to her crib in her own room and I still miss having her sleep by me. I get so nervous that something will happen to her, and I won’t know!


She is a ravenous beast these days, and wants to eat non-stop. On the plus side, her legs are beginning to chunk out quite nicely. I’m so pleased.

She’s rolling both ways now. I’ll put her on the play mat while I do dishes or something, and I’ll look over and she’s rolled and rolled all the way to the other side of the room haha. It’s always a surprise to see what position she’s gotten herself into.


Jordan usually bathes her at night, but if he’s working late or doing a school project, I’ll go in the bath with her and she loooooves it. We’re usually in there for an hour and she just smiles and giggles the whole time.


She’s definitely more aware of who she’s with and more importantly, when she’s not with me. I didn’t realize she was so attached until we left her at my mum’s house while we went to dinner for Jordan’s birthday. Apparently she screamed the whole time and wouldn’t even drink the milk I’d pumped and left for her. Poor thing. She was whimpering in her sleep when we got back. I felt so bad (for Piper and my mum). Usually Jordan watches her while I teach an hour spin class once a week, but last week he couldn’t so I took her to my sister’s house to play for an hour. She screamed as soon as my sister looked at her haha. I don’t know what her deal is because she’s a little angel for me and Jordan ha. She follows me whenever I leave a room and cries if I’m gone for longer than like 30 seconds. Aye, aye, aye. Can you say #needy!

She’s an awesome baby and gets cuter by the second, I swear. We’re going to her 4 month Doctor’s appointment today for more shots which are the saddest things to watch. Poor babe.

Friday Favourites

Healthy Human Life


I have been eyeing Healthy Human Life’s bottles for a loooong time, and finally got some! Obviously, we all know that drinking water is important for our bodies, but it’s especially important to stay hydrated when you’re working out (and SO important if you’re nursing too!!). I’ve found that having a water bottle always with me helps big time, otherwise I forget to drink! The reason I really wanted a Healthy Human Life bottle is because it’s BPA free and lined with stainless steal, and it stays cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. Every time I open the bottle I’m surprised at how cold it is. It seriously catches me off guard haha. I honestly, honestly can’t say enough good things! I got this one and this one, and I loooove them.

Lifeway Probiotics


In my post about the supplements I take, I mentioned that I take a probiotic. Even though I do supplement, I try to eat a diet containing lots of good bacteria as well. I recently came across Lifeway Kefir, and I’m so impressed with them. They contain good bacteria, the milk is from grass-fed cows (holla), and they’re high in protein, calcium, and vitamin D! I’ve been adding them to smoothies, eating with fruit, or just drinking as a post workout (I’ve recently been drinking this after a workout because it’s so easy, but also perfect for recovery!). I’ve found them in pretty much every store I’ve been to!

Perfect Bar


I’ve seen Perfect Bars all over Instagram, but hadn’t tried them until this week! The great thing about having a “fitness related” Instagram, is that I get a lot of ideas, recipes, motivation etc. from those I follow, but the bad thing is that I end up wanting to try out a million and one different products. I only post about the ones I absolutely love though and use regularly, and Perfect Bar is now one of them! ALSO, they are on sale at Sprouts right now for buy one, get one free…so I bought some, and have been back 2x this week to get more. So sue me. They contain complex carbs, high quality protein, and are packed with superfoods (kale, spinach, alfalfa, etc <– you totally can’t taste that though ha). Like I mentioned in my milk supply post, they are awesome for boosting milk production because they contain healthy oils, seeds, and nuts!

Spin Workout

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On Wednesday I taught my second spin class since having Piper and it was awwwwesome! As much as I love being a mother, it’s also nice to have some time to just be “Becky” and do things I used to enjoy before having her. I teach my classes in a HIIT type fashion (I posted here about the benefits of HIITs), and we do different type of intervals with each song! Here’s the workout from Wednesday y’all:

  • Sunshine – warm up, slowly increase resistance. keep rpm 90+
  • Sorry – add resistance every 30 seconds
  • Beauty and a Beat – fast jumps. increase resistance throughout
  • All the Small Things – sprints during chorus
  • More – out of saddle entire song. intervals of hip isolations
  • The Way I Are – rolling increase (switch between high and low resistance)
  • Trumpets – jumps/recovery song
  • Safe and Sound – keep rpm 70+, increase resistance throughout
  • Dark Horse – MAX tension whole song
  • SOS – fast jumps. mix in hip isolations
  • High You Are – add resisntance every 30 seconds. sprint during dub
  • Wavin’ Flag – out of saddle whole song
  • The Show Goes On – sprint during chorus
  • Pour It Up – MAX tension whole song
  • Bridges – cool down/slowly reduce resistance
  • Fever to the Form – streeeetch!

Rock n’ Play


My sister bought two Rock n Play’s for Piper and her baby when we went to Newport, and they were AWESOME! They’re super light to carry and fold up easily. I’ve been using it ever since for her naps during the day, or for when we’re at family’s houses etc. She sleeps really, really well in it, and just looks so cosy! Now that I’ve tried it, I would DEFINITELY add it to my “must haves” for babies!

Benefits of HIIT


HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It has become pretty popular these days because it is effective. Most people, when deciding they want to lose weight, jump on a treadmill or elliptical and go for a looooong time. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is not the most effective for fat loss. When you do regular cardio for an extended period of time, your body starts saving the fat for later energy, and will burn muscle. Muscle has a high calorie demand, so your body wants to get rid of that to save energy. Burning through muscle is the WORST thing because muscle boosts your metabolism! Usually, the lower your muscle mass is, the higher your body fat percentage increases, so we want muscle!

HIIT workouts are very short, but again they’re effective! You get more out of a HIIT workout (as far as fat loss and boosting metabolism), then you would get from running on a treadmill for 60 minutes. Of course, I’m not saying long distance running, or types of endurance cardio, are bad! There is a time and a place for everything. But I’m talking about the BEST type of exercise for losing fat and getting the MOST out of the time you put in.

HIIT workouts are short intervals. There are many different types of HIIT workouts, but the ultimate goal is to get your heart rate up and reaaaally push yourself for a short period of time, and then have a recovery/rest period to let your heart rate come done a little bit. THEN you bring it right back up and repeat those intervals!

You can do this to a song by pushing it hard during the fast chorus, and bringing it down during the slower parts. You can do it a little more structured, like 20 seconds of hard work, 10 seconds rest. Or 30 seconds of hard work, 30 seconds rest. Or 40 seconds of hard work, 20 second rest. As long as you’re switching back and forth, and pushing HARD during that intense part, you’ll get the benefits!

You can do this with running (run/jog or jog/walk), swimming, bicycling, or with plyometric exercises such as burpees for 30 seconds, then taking a break, and repeating.

This is my favourite, FAVOURITE type of workout because, with a new baby, I don’t have a lot of time to exercise. I do HIIT’s for about 15-30 minutes, depending on how much time I have available. If I’m going to put in time to exercise, I want to make sure I’m getting the very most out of it!

Some of my favourite HIIT workouts are posted here, here, here, and here.

You can easily make up your own and continually switch things up! If you’re new to exercising, HIIT’s are AWESOME! You can start with brisk walking for the “high intensity” part and slowly build your stamina to running for the “high intensity” part! HOLLA!