The Bradley Method

I am home again after leaving last Wednesday to head to Orlando, Florida for a training workshop to become a Bradley Method birth instructor.  This method of natural childbirth was named after Dr. Bradley who was responsible for getting husbands allowed back in the labor/delivery room with their wives.  For women, he gave them a chance to be free of the influence of drugs which makes the delivery process harder and more likely to need medical intervention.  Women learned how to relax and work with their bodies so that they and their babies could be alert at the birth and start bonding and breast feeding immediately.

I still have to finish up my academic requirements, but should be sending in my completed course work by the end of the week.  I am excited to start teaching, especially because I think many men take a back seat to the mom once she becomes pregnant.  Mom gets all the attention.  But with Dr. Bradley's approach, the husband gets trained as the coach.  The husband becomes a vital partner in the process.  Personally, I don't know how I would have gotten through my first birth without David's help.  He provided counter pressure for my back labor and helped me relax muscles I hadn't realized I had tensed up.  But with his help coaching me, I was able to labor rather than be in pain.  It was absolutely hard work, but not painful.  Through the thorough education on the birth process given in Bradley classes, David never had to worry or wonder what was going on.  He could recognize the emotional signposts of each stage and be prepared for what lay ahead.

I remember this very short conversation with David.  I was in transition and I said, "This is really hard," and he told me what a great job I was doing.

We watched many, many birth videos over the weekend and it was very frustrating to realize that the majority of women don't realize that their birth will be much less painful if they choose to have a natural childbirth. (preparing for it, of course!  You would take swimming lessons before you jumped into a swimming pool, so you should equally prepare to give birth!)  On my plane home yesterday, I was talking with the passenger next to me.  He and his wife are expecting their second baby next month.  His wife had an epidural with the first and had to have her pancreas removed due to complications from the epidural.  He said that afterwards, they researched it and it turns out that it is not that unusual, but "they don't tell you that before you have it."  So I asked him what they were going to do with this birth.  He said she was planning on having the epidural again.


Jamie Oliver may be having a "Food Revolution" but we need to have a "Natural Childbirth Revolution."  What most women know about giving birth is what you see on t.v. or in the movies and that is mostly women screaming in pain and wanting their drugs NOW!  Those of us who have had unmedicated natural births need to get the word out that there is an alternative to drugs and elective cesareans.  If you see a pregnant mom, be sure to share your story with her.  If they don't know, they can't choose.  And last time I checked, a lot of people in this country are very concerned with women having a choice when it comes to their reproductive health.  That choice should be between natural birth and medicated, not just which cocktail of medications will they be taking during labor.

 To School or Not to School

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 Don't Go There Shaun T!

Okay, I just did day 5 on the Insanity program.  I keep going back and forth on my motivation on this program.  I was reading on the message boards for Insanity that month one is just a warm up for month two.  The workouts get longer and harder.  Say what?!  So I really procrastinated doing the routine this morning.  I have been getting up and just getting right to it.  Today I didn't start until almost 8:30... dragging my heels as I was worried about the intensity that a workout titled "Pure Cardio" might entail.

But when I got into the warm up (that is really a loose term when applied to Insanity!) I could already see that it was easier for me than on day 2.  I could push harder and last longer on each exercise.  So I was feeling pretty good about that and it gave me the motivation to keep going.

But then... during the stretches Shaun T starts talking about how nervous he is about today's workout.  Can I just say that having Shaun T saying that he is nervous does not instill courage in us struggling beginners?!  lol...

But not to fear.  Yes, the workout kicked my posterior, but I was also encouraged again by my ability to keep going and it felt better than day two.  I also did noticeable better with the push up jacks.  A push up jack is where your feet go apart when you lower your chest, as if you were doing a jumping jack with your feet  I didn't have to do my "girl version" of push-ups with my knees on the ground.  I did full on push up jacks.  Now THAT is motivating!  I am truly amazed at the results I am already seeing in just five days.  Oh, and most of the intense soreness has moved out as well.  I guess I really can do this!

One more day and then a day off.
Bring it on!

 2 Days of Insanity

The Insanity workout dvd's arrived here on Saturday.
Sunday I did day one which is the fit test.  This gives you a baseline for yourself so you can keep track of how you are improving.  Today was Cardio Plyometrics.

Oh. My. Gosh.

The warm-up on this workout is a better workout than any other cardio routine I have ever done - live or dvd!  I downed 24oz of water and had to refill my bottle during the workout.  By the time he went straight from the suicide drills into the next set without a water break, I knew I was going to get in the best shape of my life by the time the 60 days are up.  Either that, or I'll be dead!

Here's hoping I can move tomorrow!

 You Know You're a Redneck if... take your kids on an Easter egg hunt in the Bass Pro Shop.

Yup.  I did it.

The kids had a blast.  We got there a little late, so a lot of the eggs had been found already.  But some nice guys back in the hunting section had a stash and kept hiding a few more out for my girls to find.  Yeah, it does a mother's heart proud to watch her girls searching scrupulously among the ammo and camo tents for easter eggs. :)

They even had free pictures with the Easter Bunny.  

And crafts.

Definitely not your traditional Easter day, but it worked for us!

 Happy Resurrection Day!

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I'm one of those crazy people that really likes to push myself and be challenged.

For instance, I remember back in the days when I was hitting the gym twice a day.  Before work I would run on the track.  After work I would do weight training, working a different muscle group each day.  My normal routine in the morning was to run for 1/2 hour.  But if I was late, I did a 12 minute routine called Guerilla Cardio.  This workout called for a 4 minute warm up jog, 4 minutes of interval sprinting, and a 4 minute cool down jog.  The interval sprinting is 20 seconds of full on sprinting followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Eight sets and you have done your 4 minutes.  It may not sound like a big deal, but according to Muscle Media:

Before you get too bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the prospect of doing “only” four minutes of cardio a day, I need to warn you—this ain’t as easy as it seems. In fact, Dr. Tabata notes that even the  Japanese speed skaters—who, remember, are Olympic caliber athletes—had to “lay down on the floor after the training.”

The first time I did it, it literally brought tears to my eyes!  That was back in the day when I took my vacation at what was then called Red Mountain Adventure Spa in St. George, Utah.

Mornings started with a vigorous hike into the mountains.

A little mountain climbing for leisure activity.

(yup, that is me up there)

So you see that I am not one to shy away from a physical challenge.  It's probably why natural childbirth appealed to me too.  Anyway, this winter I bought a mini-trampoline so I could start getting some exercise while it was too cold to get outside.  It was a nice little warm up for me.  But then I saw this:

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Now that's what I'm talking about!  Guerrilla Cardio taken to a whole new level.  The dvd's have been ordered.  Game on!

 Think Outside the Bun

Another quick and easy meal.  A high raw sandwich.  These are romaine leaves layered with guacamole, raw cheese, mustard, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, and raw sunflower seeds.  Delicious!  These are really filling and easy to customize with your own favorite raw toppings.

 Happy Healthy Breakfast Recipe

Let me start by saying that I am very picky about my raw food recipes.  They must be easy to make and delicious or I am just not going to bother. (except for Juliano's raw carrot cake recipe, which is time consuming but soooo worth it!)

I finally have a raw breakfast cereal that fits my standards.  I love it!
So do the girls...

She took the whole mixing bowl and finished it off!

I call this easy breakfast Blueberry Cereal.  This is an adaptation of Marvelous Muesli from The Complete Book of Raw Food.  Here is how I make it.  Bear in mind, I don't typically measure anything - I eyeball it!

In mixing bowl, dice 1 apple and 1 banana.  Mix in about 1/4 - 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries. (the frozen turn the cereal a nice purple color as they defrost, which the girls enjoy)  Add 1 or 2 handfuls of raisins.  In food processor or high power blender chop 1 handful almonds and 1 handful walnuts.  The almonds come out in small chunks and the walnuts come out finely chopped which makes a nice blend for the cereal.  Stir well.

This makes enough for me and the girls for breakfast.  For the whole family to enjoy for breakfast, I just add another 1/2 apple and banana and go a little heavier on the other ingredients.  You could easily substitute other nuts or berries.  Yummy and filling!