Hello Love Handles

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Hi friends! How are things? I’ve been doing pretty good over here. You know how I know? I’ve got this new set of five pounds. Okay, yea it doesn’t look like it from these pictures, but these were taken a few months back. I know why they’re called “love handles”. They come from the love of good food, the love of good company, the love of vacation time, and the love of warmth and cuddling on cold rainy days. This all leads to a little extra padding on the sides.
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(Cause we all work out with our sunglasses on!) AnaB-Sept-54

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Photography by: Alumbra // Outfit: Fabletics 

Five pounds are not the biggest deal, right? Well, here’s my secret to staying “fit” in my mid-thirties after three kids and a deep love of donuts, sweets and pizza. I have a five pound zone I’m comfortable with. As long as I’m in that window, I know the jeans will fit, the energy is there, and I’m not over-indulging in the not-so-healthy foods. This is not a “weight-loss mode”, which requires a more intense approach, and I’ve written about this here when I lost the baby weight. This five pound zone is how I manage my weight. I’m definitely at the top of the five pounds after vacation and Thanksgiving. I’m not mad about it, the carrot cake (that I single-handedly ate) was totally worth it. But it’s definitely time to tackle these love handles before all the Christmas celebrations take me over the edge! Here’s a few ways I do that:

  1. Get Rid of the Goods: Time to give throw out or give away the ice cream cake in the freezer, and the cupcakes hanging out on the kitchen island.
  2. Make a Plan: Plan and purchase meals for the week. This is as simple as choosing what I’m going to cook for dinner at the beginning of the week, and making a grocery run so I don’t end up at the fast food joint mid week.
  3. Have Easy Options: Have healthy snacks and quick foods to curve mindless eating and sudden pangs of hunger. Some of my favorites are green shakes, greek yogurt, fruit, nuts, protein shakes, protein and fiber bars, and sliced peppers or veggies with hummus.
  4. Temporary Cuts: When I’m out of sorts with my eating, I will cut out restaurant food, and prep all my meals altogether for a week or two until I feel I’m in control. It’s hard not to dig into the bread basket and generous portions when I’m feeling weak. Taking a break from eating out helps me get back on track.
  5. Hit the Gym: Make a date, or two or three with your gym buddy, your playlist and the gym! I’m a sucker for classes because working out in a group gets my competitive juices flowing! I like to work out just as hard, if not harder than anyone else in the class. Recently, I’ve been doing HIIT classes, barre, and zumba. I’ve said this a million times, but an active lifestyle gets easier and more fulfilling with time. Eventually, you will crave your gym time!

I hope this helps you (AND ME!) get going on these love handles. Feel free to comment, like and share this post! I appreciate you <3.

Love,

Ana B

Health Post Update

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 (Right before starting a Zumba class)

Sorry for my lack of posts lately! Between running my home, running my business and just enjoying life, I haven’t had much time for blogging! But I really do love this form of communication/expression, so I will continue as best I can :). Since I last updated you on my post-baby body, I’ve definitely put on a few pounds, some of which has been muscle as I’ve been focusing my efforts towards building my lower body by lifting heavy weight….good-bye chicken legs! I don’t weigh myself very often and I try to focus on how I feel in general. I like my clothes to fit nicely, I don’t like to feel bloated, and I love to feel energized. I’ve maintained a workout schedule of 3 days a week, which includes weighted lunges and squats, 10 minute ab routines, quick interval workouts, and zumba or dance classes at my gym whenever I can. I am not very creative when coming up with workouts, so I just try different ones I find on Instagram and incorporate them into my routine. One of my current favorite Instagrammers is “Censkiii”, she always shares really great routines. When it comes to my food, I definitely have my moments where I just wanna eat (and do eat!) fatty unhealthy food. It happens to all of us! But I always go back to the fact that healthy eating is not a fad, it’s a lifestyle that I do my best to maintain. Here are a few of my favorite foods I’m rotating now.

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Breakfast Option – This is a breakfast that my sweet husband put together for me! Eggs, tomato, sauteed spinach, mashed sweet potato, and cottage cheese. Rich in protein and fiber, very filling and yummy!
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Lunch/Dinner Option – Another great meal by my husband! Grilled steak (cooked on the stove), sweet potato chips, salad and a little guacamole. When my hubby cooks, it’s pretty straight forward since he doesn’t use recipes, but his food always taste sooo good!

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Spinach Salad – I eat this salad several times a week for lunch or dinner. It’s really hard for me to eat a salad if its too dry or tasteless. This one is pretty simple: Spinach, Tomatoes, Feta, Crunchy Tortilla Strips and whatever other salad fixings I have on hand. For the dressing, I mix 1 T Olive Oil + 1 T Honey + 1 T Apple Cider Vinegar. Simple and sweet!

photo (94) Turkey Chili Taco Soup – I made this Skinnytaste chili recipe and everyone in my house loved it, which hardly happens nowadays. When Pablo, Diego and Levi finished up their chili, I knew it was a winner! I don’t like to eat the same thing for dinner everyday, but again, I’m not creative so I always turn to recipes :).

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad – Quinoa has definitely won its place in my recipe book. I love it as a healthier alternative to white rice, it’s easy to make, and there’s a million ways to make it. I got this recipe from Skinnytaste.com and it includes lots of great veggies, like cucumber, tomatoes, and onions. Love, love, love me some quinoa!

Hope this gives you a few ideas on ways to spice up your diet and food routine.

Love,

Ana B

 



Body After Baby: Four Months Later

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Time is just flying by and I can’t believe it’s been four months since I had little Mateo! I’m really proud of my postpartum progress, not only physically but mentally as well. I have made some great nutritional changes that are making it easier to lead a healthy lifestyle.

When I reached my goal weight about two months ago, I stopped tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal. Now I just stick to a sensible diet of mostly protein and fiber rich foods. I have lost a few more pounds through weight-training, breast-feeding and eating sensibly. I believe that it’s necessary to track your foods and calories while you’re in weight loss mode. Now that I am just maintaining, I definitely get to enjoy eating out more, and let’s not forget my summer favorite…ice cream cones! However, I cook my own foods and eat clean and healthy 90% of the time. I wrote all the details on how I lost the bulk of the weight here and here. You can also scroll through the “Nutrition” link on my blog to see all my healthy food posts and updates.

My new fitness goal is to build more muscle all around and especially my lower body. Pablo (my hubby who moonlights as my trainer) has got me doing weighted squats and lunges and some serious ab workouts. I am in pain after our workouts, but I’m loving it! It’s exciting to know that I can change and improve my body, even after having three kids.

UPDATE 1/16/2015: I took a break but I am back on MyFitnessPal as MakeupbyAnaB. I am also active on Instagram at @Love_AnaB where I share more inspiration on food, family, and fitness. My beauty and fashion Instagram is @MakeupbyAnaB.  <3 Thanks for stopping by!

Love,

Ana B

 

 

 

 

Healthy Eats: New Meal and Snack Ideas

I’ve been a bit MIA on my blog lately! Motherhood and wedding makeup season has got me completely busy! I do however love receiving your emails and messages for food and nutrition advice. I thought I’d share a few things that are currently on rotation in my home.

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I used to order Pizza at least one night a week. Now I’ve been making my own pizza to control the nutrition content. It is super easy to make at home. I buy Boboli pizza crust (wheat crust is preferable). I then add pizza sauce, chopped spinach or kale, onions, peppers, mushrooms, grilled chicken breast (sliced), and reduced fat cheese. The kids really love it and it’s an easy to way to sneak in their veggies :). photo (59) photo (57)

I read about this vegan Ginger Miso Dressing at Whole Foods and have been using it on my salads. It taste delicious! I used about a tablespoon or two and mix it well into my salad . Above is an example of a recent lunch I made. Grilled salmon with spinach and tomato salad, avocado and ginger dressing.
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For snack, I’ve been eating Light & Fit Greek yogurt with fresh berries. The yogurt has a great taste and is packed with protein. It is also low on calories. These are just a few of my current favorites! I’ll be posting my four month post pregnancy progress report soon. If you have any healthy food or meal ideas, please share them with me, too!

Love,

Ana B

Healthy Eats: Three Delicious Dinner Options

Here are some recent noteworthy recipes I’ve tried that are not only nutritious, but they’re delicious and have helped me reach my weight loss goals without feeling deprived.
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Grilled Shrimp Avocado and Orange Salad – This recipe from Skinnytaste.com is supposed to have fennel but I didn’t have any on hand. I also used a bag of frozen cooked shrimp instead of fresh shrimp to save time and added spinach too. Anything with shrimp and avocado works in my book!

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This Spring Asparagus Risotto tastes just like my Aunt Nina’s famous asparagus rice, only a bit lighter. The Grilled Pollo Sabroso and rice combo will be on heavy rotation in my home all summer long :)  Recipes from Skinnytaste.com.

photo (35)One of my favorite restaurants is P.F. Changs, which I now reserve for special occasions instead of weekly visits :)  These Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps satisfy my need for asian cuisine for much less calories. These are super easy to make, especially if you buy already ground chicken. Recipe by Skinnytaste.com.

For weight loss, remember to use portion control and eat within your calorie budget even when eating healthy foods to stay on track! Would you try any of these?

Love,

Ana B

P.S. More recipes here and here.

Healthy Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin

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One of my favorite breakfast sandwiches of all time is the sausage and egg mcmuffin at McDonalds. So. Dang. Good. However, the fat and calorie content is not so good. This is a healthier version of a breakfast sandwich that is super tasty! Best part? It has bacon!
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Breakfast sandwich

Directions: Cook two center cut bacon slices in pan. Cook egg beaters with your favorite veggies like you would an omelet. Toast muffin. Spread mayo and ketchup on muffin. Then add spinach/greens, tomato, egg beater omelet, cheese, bacon and avocado. Enjoy!

Helpful Hints: 

1. If you don’t like egg beater, you can use one regular egg instead (80 calories).

2. Keep measuring cups on hand to make sure you’re not going overboard on calories.

NOTE: Snapshot of Ingredients and Nutritional Facts is from MyFitnessPal. To see all of my meals, find me on MyFitnessPal, username “MakeupbyAnaB”.

Want more recipes? Follow me on Instragram at “MakeupbyAnaB” where I post more of my quick daily meals.

Enjoy!

Love,

Ana B

 

 

Body After Baby: One Month Later

Today Mateo is one month old. The first month after giving birth has to be one of the most challenging times in a woman’s life! God knew exactly what He was doing when He made babies cute and cuddly with their irresistible baby smell. It’s what keeps us going through our recovery, lack of sleep and 24-hour baby care.

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My total weight-loss for the first month post-partum is 28 pounds. I lost the bulk of the weight in the first three weeks. In the last week, the weight-loss has slowed down to about 2 lbs a week, which is a healthy and realistic amount now that I am close to my goal weight. I do think that the body wants to return to its former self after baby, and lean eating makes it happen quick!

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These are some of the fruit and veggie staples that I keep diced and ready to go in my fridge. From top left: Assorted berries, peppers, cilantro, red onion, and parsley. I also love to have mushrooms, fresh salsa, banana peppers, and jalapenos on hand. All of these add so much flavor to omelets, chicken breast, sandwiches, yogurt and oatmeal. I have found that eating healthy has not only helped me slim down quick, but has helped my emotional state during this last month. As much as I love fast food, greasy food, and well, donuts (LOVE THEM DONUTS), those foods tend to leave me feeling tired and bloated. And I don’t think they helped my mood either. In contrast, loading up on all these healthy foods has given me a lot of energy and overall I’m handling stress pretty well nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I plan on having donuts again, and everything else I love. But I will enjoy them in moderation once I get to my goal and I’m just maintaining my weight.

My post-partum check-up is in two weeks, and at that time I’ll gradually add cardio and weight-training to help tone my body. In the meantime, I’m happy with the results I’m getting with my clean eating and no exercise. Click here to read about my meal plan and follow my Instagram at “MakeupbyAnaB” to see more of my healthy meals. You can also find me on MyFitnessPal at “MakeupbyAnaB” to see exactly what I’ve been eating daily and share my meals :).

Love,

Ana B

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. This info is based on my own research and experience, and it is what works for me, but we are all different. When it comes to your diet and fitness postpartum, go at pace you are comfortable with and works best for you.

Body After Baby: The first few weeks

Yay! I’m back to blogging! I’ve been hijacked by a nursing newborn, and our internet was down for several days. But now I finally get to share on postpartum weight loss and nutrition. collage.jpg As much as I hate showing unflattering pictures of myself, I wanted to share how my body looked a few days after giving birth. I basically looked pregnant still, and I weighed about the same! While this can be very scary to a new mom, it was my third time around so I was not surprised. It’s completely normal to have a belly after giving birth due to swelling, extra fluids and an expanded uterus, which eventually shrinks back to size. Although its recommended to eat super healthy while pregnant, I tend to really crave sweets and fatty foods. Chinese takeout and donuts and pizza, oh my! I just kind of indulge a bit during pregnancy and then get back on track once I have the baby. I gained 35 lbs during my pregnancy, which is not too bad. (A 25-35 lb weight gain is recommended for the average size woman). My goal is to lose the 35 lbs plus an extra 5 lbs I had put on prior to my pregnancy. In the picture above, I show a weight loss of 17 lbs in two weeks. This Thursday I’ll be three weeks postpartum and I’ve now lost 26 lbs. (More pics to come!)

My weight loss plan boils down to eating four to five small protein and fiber rich meals a day and keeping my calorie intake to about 1500 per day. I don’t like diet foods so these meals are based on foods that I like, such as bacon and egg sandwiches, chicken and veggie wraps, lean burgers, oatmeal with fresh fruits, healthy chicken enchiladas, breaded parmesan eggplant, and chocolate protein shakes. The first week, I was bed-bound since I was recovering from a cesarean and also nursing the baby. My husband prepared all my meals for me…yes, he’s amazing!!! If you have someone willing to help you prepare simple but healthy foods, then you can start right away. If you don’t, you will have to wait until you’re able to prepare your own meals. For almost three weeks, all my meals have been prepared at home, absolutely no eating out. It’s a lot easier to keep track of what I’m eating if I prepare my own meals. I’ve also been using a really great app called MyFitnessPal to keep track of my meals, calories, and weight loss. If you open an account, friend me (my username is “makeupbyanab”) and you can see all of my meals with ingredients and calories.

I’ve also been breastfeeding exclusively. Breast milk is the most nutritious food for a baby, and it’s the natural way to get your body back. Breastfeeding can burn an extra 500 calories a day. I won’t be able to add exercise for another three weeks, so the breastfeeding serves as my time on the treadmill :). I’m adding a whole nutrition section to this blog where I’ll share my healthy recipes and fitness tips. I’ll also share my weight loss progress. If you’re trying to lose weight whether it’s post pregnancy or in general, it’s really important to have support to stay on track, so I’ll be yours and you can be mine!

UPDATE 8/26/2013: I no longer use MyFitnessPal as I have reached my weight loss goal. You can still add me and look back at my food diaries from February 12, 2013 through the end of March 2013 for meal ideas. I am active on Instagram at @instagram/love_anab and Pinterest where I share more inspiration on family, fashion, fitness and beauty. Thanks for stopping by!

Love, Ana B

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. This info is based on my own research and experience, and it is what works for me, but we are all different. When it comes to your diet and fitness postpartum, go at pace you are comfortable with and works best for you.