Whole 30 Convenience

WHOLE 30 | Thirty days done and not ready for it to be over! We’re both feeling really good, are making strides in losing weight and inches, and are seeing better performance at CrossFit and honestly, in life.


I love my convenience foods (mostly bars) for my on-the-go days. It’s really hard for me to sit down to a breakfast (I’m a bit better at lunch). Totally get this goes against the Whole 30 mindset, but can’t beat the grab-and-go for when I’m literally grabbing and going with the kids, work, CrossFit, etc.

I was asked by Reviews.com to share their protein bar reviews. I didn’t agree with the list at all. While I honestly haven’t tried any of the bars in the list, my first impression is it’s a list of options chock full of processed, nutty, sugary options; I didn’t see this as the best resource. Reviews.com did eliminate bars that didn’t have 10G or more of protein. So they took a stand in their reviews with an emphasis on protein, and some other factors they list. I respect the stand … just not the results.

We have some of our own favorites – a few of which are Whole 30 approved – but we base our selections on total ingredients (not just protein). *None of the following content is sponsored – just my personal opinion.*

LARBARS – Gluten free * Dairy free * Soy free * Non GMO * Vegan * Kosher. I don’t feel guilty sharing with the kids and I definitely sneak ’em so I can savor all the yumminess. My favorite is cherry pie – dates, almonds, and unsweetened cherries make up this little bad boy. Sooo tasty! And extra good right out of the refrigerator. Not a ton of protein (5G), but it’s definitely filling and hits the sweet tooth cravings. Best price has been from Sprouts at $1/each.

Rx Bars – Chad bought a sample box for us at the start of our Whole 30. Touted as “No B.S.” with the ingredients listed right on the front. We didn’t have the ones with peanuts (because duh, legumes), but the others were tasty. Again a great sweet tooth and on-the-go Whole 30 option. {If you want to try one – get the MINT one – like a Thin Mint but SO MUCH BETTER!} We bought the sample pack for $25 from the website.

Our entire family favors the San Diego-based, family business of Perfect Bars. These are NOT Whole 30 approved, but most bars are paleo (again, not the peanut butter ones!). The most cost-effective way to purchase is at Costco. $20/box for 12 bars and Costco seems to have them on sale about every quarter. Sometimes Sprouts will have them on sale, too. Perfect Bars have no preservatives, so you’ll find them in the refrigerated sections. The bars range in protein – 9 to 17 grams – and I’m definitely full and energized after having one.

What’s your favorite bar to grab and go with? Have you tried any on the Reviews.com list? Share your thoughts!



We have been hit hard with the crud the last week. Noses like faucets + deep, painful coughs + low-grade fevers have meant sleepless nights for the entire team. Our Little Miss is on the mend (hopefully her cough won’t linger!), but I’ve been miserable all weekend. The coughing is the worst and I’ve gotten very little sleep.

I’ve been loading us up on fresh squeezed oj and lots of green smoothies to try to rid us of this monster as soon as possible!

I did make it to the final week of the CrossFit Full Strength challenge – for two of the three days. Killed the workouts, but am doubtful 16.1 is going to happen, which is a bummer because (despite the brutal 20 minutes), it is movements and weight I can handle for Rx. I know that’s not guaranteed in any of the next WODs. I just don’t think my lung capacity can handle anything more than walking right now.

Prayers for speedy recoveries appreciated!

Six-Week Challenge: Week 3

We are halfway through the CrossFit Full Strength six-week challenge. I’m loving every minute of it. The time of day, the women, the coaches, and the opportunity to get back to basics has been very rewarding for me.

As I mentioned previously, the challenge comes with a nutrition component. I haven’t really focused on this part. I’m definitely drinking a lot more water – especially on the days I workout and before I head into the workouts, I have been eating a Perfect Bar. Costco recently had a great sale on them, so we stocked up! It’s the perfect amount of protein to consume before lifting.


Week 3 WODs:

Seventh WOD

Seventh WOD

Seventh WOD: For time, 400m row, 30 lunges, 15 ring rows, 15 thrusters (65#), 15 k2e, 400m row – 9:19

Eighth WOD: 10-1 hang power cleans (65#) + weighted sit ups (10#) – 8:00rx

Ninth WOD: 5×5 back squat – last set 100#; 3rds 400m run + 15 push ups – 12:24


Post Partum: Weeks 12 and 13

Awesome week and finally made it to Back Alley in addition to yoga and walking. Feeling excellent! I’m attending the 101 classes twice a week. This is allowing me to ease back into it and minimize any scaling. I’m also still wearing my heart rate monitor to now gauge my capabilities without a baby.

Some things I’ve learned in my short three months as a momma:

1. CrossFit is the best way to start shedding that baby weight. Shouldn’t come as a surprise, I know, but after just two days, I can see and feel a difference.

2. The minute you don’t have clothing back-up, the baby will have a blow-out. Thanks little miss for christening my come back to the box with a blow-out mid-WOD. Glad you’re comfortable in just a diaper!

3. That being said, less really is more! All of the sudden my car is full of stuff – bags of returns, swimming gear, workout gear, library books, a stroller, dog gear – and our baby is only three months! We love the Skip Hop pronto changing station. We now have three because they are totally genius. I keep mine stocked with diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, Advil, first aid kit, extra outfit. When out and about, I can easily just grab it to change her – in the car, in a random bathroom, at the box, etc. We have three because we keep one in each car and one with the stroller.

4. Drive-throughs are a mom’s best friend (and I don’t mean the McDonalds!). Thanks Starbucks for keeping me caffeinated and hydrated while I keep my baby sleeping in the back seat.

I’m sure it’s old news by now, but love that CrossFit HQ is finally giving some attention to all the awesome women out there who CrossFit while pregnant. Be sure to watch the latest video, if you haven’t already.

For a quick snack pre- or post-WOD, I recently made these no bake protein bites from HeandSheEatClean. Super simple to make and who can beat the no bake part?! I also made mine lactation friendly by adding in a tablespooon of brewer’s yeast. You can easily sub the peanut butter for almond butter for a more paleo-friendly option. YUM!

And we have been meeting the newest CrossFit babies! Both Katie and Sara delivered healthy, precious babes. Aren’t they darling?

With Katie and Baby Rounds at Back Alley

With Katie and Baby Rounds at Back Alley

Meeting Baby Hillman at the hospital.

Meeting Baby Hillman at the hospital.

Postpartum Weeks 10 and 11

As I mentioned in my previous post, my number one goal is to preserve my ability to make milk. However, I am equally eager to shed some of these added pounds in the next few months. This balance is a huge mental challenge, especially because I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I read a blog post by Blonde Ponytail on “Body after Baby,” which provides great tips, number five being the most important for me: BE PATIENT.

In the spirit of CrossFit’s constantly varied mentality, I have been working out slowly and strategically OUTSIDE the box. Yoga. Barre. Running. At home weight training. Easing my body back into it before I hit the big weights. Week 10 I managed some running and yoga. This week, I worked in a Barre class and managed to do something Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Not too shabby. Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum and work in some higher intensity.

In the meantime, I’ve received some great questions from readers about my experiences while pregnant.

Did you increase [weight] during your pregnancy? My doctor said to stop lifting at seven months. I see you did not do that. I am no where near the weight you lift but did you decrease your weight the last few months? Yes, but I understand I’m an anomaly. My coach and I worked closely together to monitor this. But my body craved and thrived with bigger weights. I hit a number of PRs on a number of Olympic lift in my third trimester. As always, work closely with your doctor and coach before attempting this and LISTEN to your body.

After having your baby have you lifted weights? While traveling recently, I visited two boxes and did some Olympic lifts, but I haven’t been to my home box yet. I have done some free weights at home. I’m trying to balance a lot and I hurt myself around weeks 5/6 postpartum with a kettlebell workout, so I’m hypersensitive because of that.

I want to try to keep my core as strong as possible so it isn’t as rough getting my mid-line back in shape after the baby. I do a lot of planks, but do you have any other suggestions? During my pregnancy, my core modification was v-sits on the box. It was amazing for my mid-line post-baby and something I plan to do daily next baby. Planks are also great, especially if you can vary with side planks and leg or arm raises.

What things did you stay away from in the second and third trimesters? Again, do what makes you feel good and work with your coaches to determine modifications. What worked for me, might not work for you. With that said, here are the modifications I used:

  • Once I started to put on weight, I couldn’t do pull-ups (that isn’t a strength of mine and something I was working on prior to my pregnancy). I subbed with ring rows.
  • I avoided inversions, but I know previously featured athletes Sara and Katie had no problems with handstand walks and push-ups. Coach & I subbed in something else entirely for me here.
  • Sit-ups became v-sits on the box (though I did sit-ups longer than some of the other athletes thought I should have. I probably could have gone longer, but I let them get in my head.
  • Push-ups became problematic third trimester because of my protruding belly, so I worked on push-ups on the wall.
  • I slam my body during burpees; in the first and second trimester, I subbed with push-ups and jumping jacks; third trimester it was wall push-ups and air squats.
  • Box jumps became step ups.
  • I didn’t do any bench press and in the second trimester stopped snatching. Usually, I just did another lift. I did a lot of shoulder work my entire pregnancy, which was to my advantage because it’s a weakness of mine.
  • Running was uncomfortable in the third trimester so I walked or rowed.
  • I stopped yoga at week 35 or 36 because the positions got too uncomfortable.

Any lessons learned? I wish I would have eaten cleaner/more paleo so I wouldn’t have gained as much weight. Ironic I know because I was poo-pooing the doctors for scolding me. Live and learn. But the reality is that losing these extra pounds is a tricky physical and mental challenge for me because I’m up against a low milk supply + a strong desire to nurse for 12 months.

I also wish I had known my heart rate prior to becoming pregnant. Any readers out there who are trying to get pregnant: I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor now and learn what your body is capable of before you get pregnant. That way you can better modify and understand your limits.

All-in-all, I was blessed with an easy pregnancy, delivery, and first two and a half months. I appreciate my support system and all my readers.

And nothing like getting major inspiration watching the CrossFit Games, which are live on ESPN 3 this weekend. Be sure to tune in and watch some of the best. Wish we were there again this year! Such an awesome weekend, celebrating the sport we love.

Any words of wisdom or modifications to add?

Pregnancy Week 37

I was a machine this week. It’s as though my body knows it’s preparing for a WOD of a lifetime. I’m in total training mode – mentally and physically.

I have gotten plenty of sleep. I am eating super healthy/paleo. I’m continuing to rock the whiteboard. It’s pretty freakish seeing some of the scores I posted this week. More on that in a bit … as for the week …

We had our weekly doctor check-in on Tuesday. Since I dropped dramatically in Week 36 and I had two friends deliver two weeks early, I was positive I would be well on my way to dilation. WRONG. I’m barely at one centimeter.

I got over it quickly, realizing this actually set my mind at ease and I wasn’t about to deliver any second. I still need to put my feet up mid-afternoon, but I could focus my energy on finishing my last full week of work and spending quality time with my boys and friends.

Afternoon snooze with pooch

Afternoon snooze with pooch

On Monday, I picked up the stroller from REI. How awesome is this? The bike department put it together for me! Saved us such a headache. Thanks REI! On Thursday, we took advantage of the Phoenix Fire Department‘s awesome car seat installation service. I highly recommend seeking out similar assistance from wherever you purchase and/or live. Friday, we drove to the hospital during rush hour to test a route and see how long it took. Just another way to put our minds at ease and do our best to prepare.

Stroller is ready!

Stroller is ready!

Big brother is ready!

Big brother is ready!

Pooch enjoying the dry run drive to the hospital

Pooch enjoying the dry run drive to the hospital

Saturday was devoted to my girlfriends and it was glorious. We met at a local trail for a moderate 3.5 mile hike. Sweating on the mountain was the perfect way to start the day. That afternoon, we ventured to a local, swanky resort for pool and lounging time. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was such a nice, casual day focused on good friends and laughter. We all got plenty of sun and enjoyed poolside service all afternoon. The bump is now nice and brown!

IMG_7803 IMG_7806 IMG_7800 IMG_7798

Girls pool day!

Girls pool day!

I feel like I’m accomplishing all the pre-baby suggestions from everything have read. Chad and I had a day of pampering. We’ve splurged on a nice meal and many smaller ones. I read a book. We’ve gotten our financials and legal stuff in order. I’ve enjoyed a pedicure. We’ve spent quality time with friends. We purged and organized. We packed the overnight bag. We have slept. We updated our CPR certs. We have gone to mass often. I feel really good and will reflect on this time knowing we were well prepared physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Week 37 WODs:

April 7 warm up: 250m row

strength: overhead squats 20-15-10-5; ended on 90#

metcon: 12 min amrap: 6+18; heart rate got to 167

  • 6 hang cleans (135/95) I did 75#
  • 6 box jumps (30/24) I did 20″ step ups
  • 6 wall walks I did shoulder work with 5# plates 3 moves 6 times each

April 8 warm up

Wedding week front squat with Kel

Wedding week front squat with Kel – 115#


37 week front squat 135#

37 week front squat 135#

37 week front squat - 135#

37 week front squat – 135#

strength: front squat, find 3 rep max. Sara and I got to 135#. Looking back in my journal, the last time I did front squat, 3 rep max was the week of my wedding with my bridesmaid Kelly. I lifted 115# on June 6. This week, I posted one of the highest scores on the whiteboard, despite having 30 extra pounds and a kiddo in the way. Like I said earlier, freakish!

Whiteboard freak!

Whiteboard freak!

metcon: 4 rounds for time (I did 2 rounds): 13:24

  • 200m run
  • 10 snatch balance (95/65) I did front rack lunges 45#
  • 200m run
  • 15 ring dips

That evening, I did a 2.5 mile walk with the hubs and pooch.

April 9 warm up

175# deadlift

175# deadlift

strength: deadlift x3. Worked to 175# with Sara

metcon: KAREN: 150 wall balls (20# ball) for time. Coach Melissa put a 10 minute time cap on it. I used a 14# ball and got 106 reps in 10 minutes. I really wanted to get to the 150 in 10 min., but had to keep breaking because my heart rate was going above 170.

April 10 warm up

strength: strict press/push press/push jerk 4×6 Got to 85#; strict became impossible around 75# because I was sacrificing form with my bump. Lifted with a visiting guest from CrossFit North Atlanta.

metcon: 21-15-9 completed in 13:10

  • chest to bar pull ups I did ring rows
  • power cleans (135/95) I lifted 65#
  • slam balls (25/15)

April 11 Girls hike. 3.5 miles in 40 minutes with Hadar, Sara and Frankie

At the top!

At the top!

Food: biggest craving continues to be ice. A woman at an ice/water shop (it’s a thing in the Valley) told me it’s common in pregnant women and typically due to anemia. Interesting!

Pregnancy: Week 35

35 weeks in the box

35 weeks in the box

Ahhhh…homeward stretch! This week, we made it to 30 days from our anticipated due date. Pretty darn crazy.

We’ve been working on the house; I guess in some circles this is considered nesting. We’ve been eliminating, organizing, consolidating – and it feels damn good. I’m definitely more on the organized minimalist side and a good dose of spring cleaning always puts me in good spirits.

All the elimination has also provided plenty of space to organize Baby L’s collection. Our friends and family have been so generous that there isn’t much left for us to buy. So, a huge public THANK YOU!

We did venture into the overwhelmingly large Buy Buy Baby this week to test “drive” strollers and car seats. Holy moly is that store full floor to ceiling! I am so thankful we didn’t start our registry there; I’m afraid I would have taken one look at all the stuff and turned to run. Registering for the baby was difficult to begin with; I can’t imagine dealing with the over abundance of options in Buy Buy Baby to put an actual registry together. For those curious, we registered on Amazon, which offers a super, user-friendly guide to walk new parents through the basics, and Target for ease in our daily lives.

My husband, being the savvy online shopper that he is, found our stroller (BOB Sport), car seat base and adapter through REI at $100 less than Buy Buy Baby with the same 20% discount + free shipping (score!). I have a feeling it’s going to feel much more real seeing those contraptions put together in our house.

While on the subject of registering, I had a revelation this week. So many people are surprised we haven’t found out Baby L’s sex. Going to baby prep classes, we’ve learned we’re in the minority because everyone wants to be able to “plan” and “have control.” However, what I’ve found is that it’s given us more control – we have received almost 80% of what we registered for in the colors we like (green, yellow, gray). I having a feeling many people who announce gender automatically get all pink or blue, but that’s just not our thing. And I love the way Baby L’s space has come together – focused on our colors and theme (dogs!). So, for those of you out there thinking you lose control and the ability to plan, think again!

The other fun project I tackled this week is a wreath for the front door. I wanted it to be spring-time/Easter focused, but the one I loved on good old Pinterest didn’t come with instructions and I was struggling to find coral colored felt in the local craft stores.

Spring rabbit wreath ... without Pinterest instruction

Spring rabbit wreath … without Pinterest instruction

So, I created one in Baby L’s colors (mustard and gray). The most difficult and time consuming part was wrapping the foam wreath with yarn. I loved making all the felt flowers (based on tips from Paper & Stitch) and took three nights to make them. Three nights because I just kept adding to it. I’d hang it on the door and mull over it; add more. I think it turned out pretty perfect!

Our front door is ready for Baby L!

Our front door is ready for Baby L!

Wreath close-up

Wreath close-up

Leslie was fired up last week about the way my nurse practitioner responded to my breast reduction. She reached out to a Facebook mommy group and was directed to a website dedicated to women who have had reductions – Breastfeeding After Reduction. I haven’t spent a lot of time on there yet, but love Leslie’s passion and appreciate her doing some legwork for me!

The other thing I’m strongly considering to help with milk production and overall postpartum recovery is placenta encapsulation. I’ve had a few friends reap the benefits of this and I figure that it can’t hurt! I’m now seeking someone in the Valley that’s reasonably priced and convenient. Recommendations welcome! And if you’ve had any experience with this, would love your input.

Week 35 WODs:

Wednesday, March 26:

warm up

Strength: Overhead squats 6×3 Sara and I got to 90#

35 weeks overhead (3) 35 weeks overhead (2)

35 weeks, overhead squats, 90#

35 weeks, overhead squats, 90#

Metcon: we did a modified Nancy – 5 rounds for time of

  • 15 over head squats at half of what we lifted in strength portion (45#)
  • 250m row

It was a chest burner! I finished in 18:22.

Saturday, March 29: I dedicated this pregnancy version of the CrossFit Games Open 14.5 to Doyle, who we lost a year ago today. It was a tragic loss for my entire family and a day doesn’t go by where I don’t think of him or one of his funny sayings/words of wisdom. Never in my life have I met someone more selfless or stoic.

With Mimi & Doyle - July 4th - 2012

With Mimi & Doyle – July 4th – 2012

During his funeral, the first reading was from the Book of Micah:

Micah 6:8

Micah 6:8

Since then, that verse has become the Team Leatherman family creed.

Even a modified version of 14.5 was a chest burner and exceptionally grueling. I powered through in honor, ending my rounds at 9:45, with Micah 6:8 on repeat.

CrossFit Open 14.5

CrossFit Open 14.5

I did 21-15-9-3 thrusters at 65# and step-ups instead of burpees (my belly is too big at this point and I tend to slam myself down during burpees anyway). My heart rate almost got to 170, so I had to take a few water breaks to trim it back, but felt good finishing!

35 weeks 14 (2)

Crossfitandpregnant version of 14.5

Crossfitandpregnant version of 14.5

Coach Melissa determined the modifications and got both Sara and me through it.

Meghan and Sara with Coach Melissa!

Meghan and Sara with Coach Melissa!

Food: I’m craving iced tea, which is unusual for me outside pregnancy. I’m still drinking coffee and I love a nightly ginger ale. Ice is also a weird craving. I love all my drinks to be overflowing with ice. Totally random. Food has been fairly paleo. We’ve been starting our day with a fruit & greens smoothie, ever since our San Diego trip. I’m at the point now that if I don’t have one, it effects the rest of my day’s energy and focus. I do eat Greek yogurt and still love ice cream (but that’s definitely always a craving, pregnancy or not!). I’m not trying to be strict paleo or beat myself up over anything. Just focused on 7-8 servings of fruits and veggies with good doses of protein.

Feeling: My hips are definitely expanding and are tight. The extra weight can be felt if I have to stand for any length of time. The weekly visits to the chiropractor is definitely relieving a lot of my discomfort. It gets to a point where I can tell I haven’t been in a week to see her. The heat ultrasound she gives me on my shoulder blades reduces a lot of inflammation and pain. Don’t know what I’d do without her!


Athlete Profile: Sara Hillman

Sara and I met through our Phoenix affiliate. She has been a member of Back Alley CrossFit since it’s garage days and watched it evolve into the mid-size affiliate it is today. She was one of the first people to make me feel welcome and at home. Since then our friendship has forged and she’s become my CrossFit preggers partner in crime!

Due August 2014, Sara experience a rocky start to her first pregnancy. Luckily, the bleeding stopped after close monitoring and lots of rest. Once she was given the go-ahead, this momma-to-be has been all CrossFit focused!

Her story:

It was August 2012. Belleville, Ill. native Sara HIllman was three months from her wedding in Phoenix, Ariz., and needed something that was going to take her workout routine to the next level. That summer, she had been observing “these CRAZY people running by her house in the Arizona heat, pulling fire hoses and flipping tires.” Needless to say, curiosity got the best of her. She worked up the courage to ask how to join. “Well, technically, I made Aaron (my fiancé at the time) stick a very professional letter with my resume attached in the mailbox politely asking if I could start working out with them.” Classic Sara move.

She was addicted from the beginning. “I have never had workout routine that has been so consistent and natural for me. I grew up a competitive gymnast so some components of CrossFit come easy,” Sara said. “The parts that do not come easy I like the challenge and I like seeing the progress in ability. I know that I perform better with others around me and a coach to hold me accountable.”

Naturally, she looked fab for her wedding:

Sara's wedding day

Sara’s wedding day
©2012 Chadwick Fowler

Fast forward a few years and Sara and Aaron are excited to welcome their first baby. CrossFitting during her pregnancy has helped her maintain her sanity. Almost 20 weeks in and finally in her second trimester, she meets monthly with a nutritionist, thanks to a program at work. During the last year, Sara was able to establish a pre-pregnancy baseline for her body composition. At this point in her pregnancy she has gained 9 lbs and five of those are lean muscle mass.

Hillmans announce their expected babe in Key West

Hillmans announce their expected babe in Key West

In addition to proven results on the scale, Sara has continued to pr, she’s participating in The Open, and she receives tremendous support from Aaron, her coworkers and fellow CrossFitters. When she feels discouraged or overwhelmed, “…all I have to do is look around me for inspiration and reminders of how blessed and privileged I am.”

Hubby Aaron watches as Sara competes in 14.1.

Hubby Aaron watches as Sara competes in 14.1.

She chuckles when she thinks of some older women coworkers who insist she shouldn’t lift a box recommend she lighten her purse + work bag. “I think in the back of my mind…. If you only knew what I do at CrossFit.”

“NEWS FLASH: I am not the first person to have a baby. Our grandparents and parents did this before the Internet and self-help books,” said Sara. “A woman I work with was one of 15 kids raised on a farm in rural Minnesota. I  think about what her mother went through raising children without all of today’s conveniences and I am truly inspired by her heartiness. Every person here on earth had a pregnant mother and I think if they can do it, I can do it.”

Right on, Sara. Right on!



More on Sara:

Other exercise practices: Yoga, Pilates, running

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: My goal is to keep my sanity, keep my muscles, and not become as big as a house! Most importantly I hope that I am creating an environment for me and my baby that will results in a healthier pregnancy, an easier delivery, a speedy postpartum recovery, and a baby that loves to exercise. There are numerous benefits to early motor development for children and active lifestyles, my goal is to create that for my baby. I used to teach a mommy and me gymnastic class for babies ranging from six weeks to three months.

Finding CrossFit and Back Alley has allowed me to stay committed to my goals and to an exercise routine while thoroughly enjoying the people and the shenanigans that go on at the gym. I have gone through phases when I lived more of a sedentary lifestyle. I hope to never go back to that. When my alarm goes off in the morning I have that internal battle … ‘you are pregnant you need to sleep but then I remind myself that I don’t know what the future will bring, how I will feel, how my baby will be doing so I drag myself out of bed.’

Early morn split jerks are good for the soul

Early morn split jerks are good for the soul

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it?: I had an inconvenient first trimester. Nothing crazy or scary just a reminder that I cannot control everything. I was not getting to the box and my diet was anything that had carbs and cheese. My doctor has said a few things that has helped keep things in perspective: “Honey, you are pregnant during flu season there will be vomit.,” and “Sometimes it does not matter how much we are working out it’s our diet that will determine our results.” These tips have stuck with me.

I work with three Family Medicine Doctors at the University of Arizona College of Medicine–Phoenix. They know more about me and my CrossFit lifestyle than my OB would ever know. They have truly supported me and encouraged me to continue CrossFitting while pregnant. They are constantly asking me for updates and checking in on my progress in pregnancy and at CrossFit. The best part is they have all worked very closely with my OB office through residency or their own pregnancies. The attention and advice they have given me is priceless.

Don't drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

Don’t drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration?: YOU [CrossFit and Pregnant’s Meghan Leatherman].I cannot imagine trying to navigate through all of this without you forging the path before me in the box.

I also really don’t know what CrossFitting while pregnant would be like without Coach Melissa. She helps me modify as need be and at the same time she does not let me off the hook easy. She has a true talent for coaching with compassion and heart. Sometimes I think she knows my limits more than I do.

Setting 14.1 strategy with Coach Melissa

Setting 14.1 strategy with Coach Melissa

14.1 in action with Melissa and Aaron cheering and coaching her on.

14.1 in action with Melissa and Aaron cheering and coaching her on.

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned I am learning: The human body is truly amazing. It is such a blessing to be pregnant, healthy, and able to continue working out in a way that brings me such emotional and physically satisfaction. I am learning that my body is going to change and my never be the same but that will be OK because I will be a mother and I will continue to CrossFit when I feel good.

Nice deadlift!

Nice deadlift!

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: To quit comparing myself to others. Every person is different, every pregnancy is different, and every workout is different. I am currently in last place in amongst Back Alley for The Open. It is hard to be OK with that.

Sara working hard early in her preg

Sara working hard early in her pregnancy

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle?: Clean with a side of carbs and cheese. I have always preferred a more natural/ organic approach to eating. I grew up in the Midwest with a huge garden and a father that killed most of our dinner options. We had elk for dinner the other night and I have been searching for a butcher that sells game ever since. You can taste the difference in real food especially when you can pronounce all of the ingredients.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: My boss told me, “If you feel good, your baby feels good.” It seems so simple, but so perfect. There are so many warnings; don’t let your heart rate go over 140, don’t squat below 90 degrees, lifting your arms above your head will cause a miscarriage, don’t eat turkey, etc., but all that matters is that I am listening to my body and I (we) feel good.

Favorite quote: This one is from my wonderful Aunt Debbie…


No child of mine, I used to cry

Before the stork had fluttered by,

Will ever throw a temper fit,

Or bite or scratch or whine or hit.

Or wear a diaper ‘til he’s three,

Or sit for hours and watch TV.

Or dawdle so he makes me late,

Or leave his spinach on the plate.

Or act, in short, like other kids,

Who’ve made their parents flip their lids.

But, with the patter of baby feet

Are forty million words to eat.

-Betty Billup

 Favorite girl WOD: Fran

Three words that describe me: Animated, Loyal, Devoted

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: Probably doing a home renovation project.

Don't get in this momma-to-be's way!

Don’t get in this momma-to-be’s way!

Pregnancy: Week 33

14.3 going down

14.3 going down

During the week, there was little focus on CrossFit, but a ton of focus on fun and good food!

Momma and Frankie scrunched in like sardines

Momma and Frankie scrunched in like sardines

Sending momma on her way

Sending momma on her way

We returned to the Valley on Sunday and enjoyed the final 48 hours with my mom. She was able to enjoy the sun and help us with some baby prep tasks. She took off Tuesday afternoon and that evening, we welcomed some of our favorite friends, who were escaping the Wisconsin snow for sunshine.

Aunts Kenny & Jenny watch us during 14.3

Aunts Kenny & Jenny watch us during 14.3

Their arrival prompted me to do some good, mostly paleo, meal planning. For the mornings, I baked paleo banana bread, a veggie-filled quiche, fresh-squeezed orange juice and then made daily veggie and fruit based shakes to get our day started clean.

Since it’s prime grilling season, dinners included tri tip with spinach salad and green beans, BBQ chicken with grilled asparagus and wild rice with mushrooms, and cheeseburgers with tomato salad. Makes my mouth water for more!

The nights were late and filled with talking and laughing, which didn’t really promote early WODs. I haven’t struck a great balance between getting enough sleep and my workout availability throughout my pregnancy. That and food quality/weight gain are my two greatest take-aways. I would like to take what I’ve learned this time and focus more time and energy the next pregnancy on strict-paleo and a rigid workout schedule.

Besides our awesome house guests, the hubs and I took spent some quality time together at our church on Friday night. Every Friday during Lent our parish hosts an incredible fish fry. While not paleo, it’s a fun, inexpensive meal that provides us an opportunity for fellowship.We enjoyed it so much last year and are so glad to have another year to participate.

Most recently, the church has also launched a monthly date night for engaged and married couples. We attended last month and loved it, so we attended again Friday night. It’s the perfect time to help us focus on our Trinity – God + us. This Friday, in particular, the discussion was based on trials and tribulations couples face and how to handle the decision making process. To kick-off the discussion, we attended the Stations of the Cross as a group to help focus on self-sacrifice and the need for community during tough times. Since we’ve faced a number of complicated decisions already in our short marriage, the topic was timely and useful.

We have started to build my “push playlist.” It includes everything from Lady Gaga + R. Kelly’s “Do What You Want” to REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.” Looking for recommendations on songs to include. I’m approaching this like I would a WOD – intense and focused – so anything with a strong, aggressive beat is perfect. Suggestions?

Week 33 WOD:

CrossFit Open 14.3. As I previously mentioned, I didn’t register for the Open and I don’t regret that decision. However, when this WOD was announced, I knew it was my wheelhouse and Coach Melissa confirmed that.

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
95-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
135-lb. deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
155-lb. deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
185-lb. deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
205-lb. deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
225-lb. deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch

My score: 77. Had I not stopped to put on my 33 week sticker mid-WOD, I probably would have made it to the next round of deadlifts (185#).

For those concerned about me lifting, deadlifts are one of the olympic lifts I excel in and I had Melissa by my side coaching me through breathing, reps, and breaks. I also always wear my heart rate monitor to ensure I keep it at a steady rate; for this WOD it was between 160-165, my average for WODs. And, I haven’t jumped on boxes since the start of my pregnancy for fear of falling. I simply step up (which is recommended by many coaches/doctors for any general athlete to save on the hips and Achilles).

Melissa talking me through strategy

Melissa talking me through strategy

33 weeks

33 weeks

All smiles

All smiles

Melissa & crew coaching me on

Melissa & crew coaching me on
The hubs killed it

The hubs killed it

Pregnancy: Week 28

It was a great week focused on yoga and long walks with pooch. My body is craving the yoga. The stretching and quiet time feels amazing on my expanding body. During shavasana, the baby gives me happy flutters. That makes up for the many poses I can’t do because of the babe’s positioning.

We had our monthly check up this week and met with one of the female doctors in the practice, whom we adore. She’s a realist and clearly loves her job. She walked through what I should expect in these final weeks and we also discussed my weight gain.

I’m up 26# and with the exception of my face rounding more, I’m primarily carrying all that weight on my front. The tatas are a heavy burden! We talked about how much I’ve grown in cup size; she was shocked at the dramatic jump and rationalized that as I was implying, majority of my weight is in my chest. Glad she agreed after the scolding I received last month from another (male) doctor in the practice.

While I haven’t really restricted myself of what I’m eating, I am conscientious to make sure I am consuming enough veggies, fruit, protein and calcium. I have definitely veered far off the paleo track, but our nightly meals are centered around our traditional paleo cooking. I’m having lots of yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and grain; more than I have in a year. It’s obviously going to take a toll on my weight, regardless of growing another human. The reassuring thing is that I know with strict paleo and heavy doses of CrossFit and hot yoga, the extra gain will slide off once Baby arrives.

My paleo sous chef

My paleo sous chef

This appointment was also the time for my whooping cough vaccination, Rh factor shot and my glucose blood work. I was poked and prodded from head to toe!

To ease the eczema on my face, I found my trusty bottle of Bio Oil. This stuff is magic! After using it morning and night for a week, the dryness has subsided and the dullness/patchiness isn’t as extreme. Bio Oil is also known for working wonders on stretch marks. I’m going to start using on my belly and chest to help.

We ended our week with a date night at our church. It was a great opportunity to spend some quality, spiritual time together and meet other couples in our parish. It was much needed time for us individually and together.

Saturday was full of “nesting.” We bought some awesome furniture from a new boutique – Twigs and Twine. Then it was on to tackling the garage, which was in much need of organization and sorting. We felt very accomplished by the end of the day!

Baby L's dresser

Baby L’s dresser

Awesome new chair

Awesome new chair

Week 28 WODs:

Feb. 3 – Flow Yoga with our favorite instructor. She provides lavender soaked wash cloths during shavasana. It adds such a nice touch to relaxation! I’m going to make sure we have some of her water soluble lavender oil on hand during labor since it has such a calming effect on me.

Feb. 5 – Centered Yoga, filled with hip and pelvic openers. Many of the poses will come in handy in April!

Feb. 6 – 2.5 mile walk with pooch, enjoying the gorgeous day, and deep cleaning the house. I mean deep; I worked up a good sweat!

Feb. 7 – 3 mile walk with pooch

Yoga with these gorgeous ladies!

Yoga with these gorgeous ladies!

Feb. 9 – Yoga with my lovely ladies, outside in the gorgeous sun. Can’t think of a better way to start the day!