Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving tips and a great recipe!

I teach a muscle class on Saturday mornings and I also write a monthly newsletter. I sent this out as a special bonus to the members to help them this Thanksgiving and weekend. I thought I would share this with you.

Suzanne’s Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving means family fun with all near and dears ones and it also means eating all sorts of lavish food and sweets. A Thanksgiving meal can consist of 2000 - 4000 calories! So here are some tips on how to avoid overeating on Thanksgiving. These tips will not stop you from having Thanksgiving fun or resisting yourself from those delicious and mouthwatering dishes but will simply help you to avoid Thanksgiving weight gain by taking simple precautions.

- Have a small meal before going to the Thanksgiving lunch/dinner-If you stave yourself the whole day before going for a Thanksgiving dinner then you are going to have more food that means more calories intake. Don’t forget to have a healthy breakfast!
-Drink smart-Before having your main meal drink two to three glasses of water, which will occupy some space in your stomach and will help you to eat less. If you drink alcohol, save those calories for a glass of wine with the meal. Skip the high-calorie, high-fat eggnog this year.
- Eat Slowly- Eat slowly and savor every bite. Give the food a chance to let you feel the satisfying feeling of fullness.
-Mentally add the calories you are having- You are not about to break out a food journal at the table, so try to mentally add up the calories in your head.
-Nothing like the fresh salad-Load up on salad. Salad is an amazing source of minerals, fibers and other nutrition. At the same time, it controls your appetite to consume heavy Thanksgiving meals. Remember, have a little dressing on the side or oil and vinegar.
-Limit yourself to one plate serving- Know your serving sizes and do not go for seconds! Pick baked sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables, and skinless white meat of turkey. Have a small taste like one or two bites of high fat foods like stuffing.
-Go for the roasted turkey-Turkey is a good source for a lot of minerals including zinc and potassium. Enjoy the turkey breast, which has limited calories and is tasty. Deep Fried turkey is full of calories so go for healthy roasted or baked turkeys.
- Keep yourself busy-After you had your meal, step away from the table, you are more prone to graze and eat mindlessly while sitting there. Help clean up, wash dishes, or play with the kids.
-Enjoy a small serving of dessert- Choose pumpkin over pecan pie and save a few hundred calories. Eat just the filling to take in fewer additional calories and limit trans fats. Make rules with yourself. Only have 1 sliver of dessert.
-Do not forget to exercise! Enjoy exercise in the morning. Go for a walk, run, put in an exercise DVD, look to see if your town has a Turkey Trot.
-Black Friday workout! If you are planning on shopping on Friday, put on your sneakers! Park far away from the mall and walk to it. When you are loaded with bags you will burn more calories walking back as well. Think of good form as well. Belly tight, chest lifted, squeeze your butt and shoulders back!

- Saturday Workout! Come to Elle-Fit Studio on Saturday November 26th and let us help you burn and work off those calories!
8:30 am: Workin Off That Turkey -Muscle Pump w/Suzanne
9:30 am: Dancin off the Desserts- Zumba w/Jill

Healthy Recipe!
I found this recipe in my November issue of Health magazine. I made it and it was delicious! I didn’t use the pumpkin seeds, simply because I did not have them and I had no clue what cardamom was, so I used pumpkin spice instead. At less than 200 calories a slice, serve this loaf as a figure-friendly alternative to pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin-Chai Quickbread
Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 60 minutes; Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes.
· Baking spray with flour
· 1 cup all-purpose flour
· 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
· 2/3 cup sugar
· 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
· 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
· 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
· 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
· 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
· 2 eggs
· 1 egg white
· 1/2 cup 2% reduced fat milk
· 1/3 cup canola oil
· 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
· 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray.
2. Combine all dry ingredients (through allspice) in a large bowl.
3. Whisk eggs, egg white, milk, oil, and pumpkin in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just blended. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top.
4. Bake the bread until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (60 to 65 minutes). Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes or more.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 184
Fat: 7.8g( Sat. 0.9g, Mono 4.4g, Poly 2.1g)
Protein: 4g
Carbohydrates: 25g
Fiber: 2g
Cholesterol: 32mg
Iron: 1mg
Sodium: 128mg
Calcium: 44mg

Monday, October 10, 2011

Luca's Birthday Party!

We had a blue, green, car, 1st birthday themed party for Luca. It went really well. We cleared out our family room and rented tables and chairs. I used this website for the decorations.

I got buckets at IParty and bought stickers from Vistaprint with Luca's face and Happy 1st Birthday on theme. I put blue and green wrapped chocolate in them and put them on the tables.


Kids table. Lollipops, bubbles, and party hats!

Candy! Green and blue candy, 1st birthday boy mints and m&m's. Used glass jars I got from when my husband gave me flowers through the years and bought a few at Michael's Craft. Lollipops from Michael's. Wooden cars from Michael's. I glued a few to some of the decorations. Stickers from Vistaprint. I had a few invitations that were extras, I cut them and put them in the glass jars.

Pinata! Luca's outfit from The Wooden Soldier. I actually got it for Easter but it was too big. Weather was in the 70's! It worked out perfectly! We had a great time. Happy Birthday our sweet baby boy!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Luca is One!!

My sweet baby boy is 1! I can't believe how fast this year went. He amazes me everyday. He has brought us so much happiness. My husband and I everyday just say "he is awesome". We love him so much. I never thought I could be this happy. I am truly blessed to be Luca's mom.

Luca loves books and he is a boys boy. He loves cars and trucks. Anything with wheels is "A CAR!!". He loves to push his truck around the house and say "broom broom!".

Happy 1st Birthday LUCA!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult-It still hurts.

As many of you might not know, I love to read. I actually do alot of books on cd's. While I drive to work I listen to many books. This one book I just finished, Sing You Home,was very good. But it left me bawling my eyes out sometimes. As the main character talks about miscarriages, going through infertility issues, IVF, etc. I found myself still raw with emotion about my own past of miscarriages and infertility. The pain does not go away because I have a son. Those years were the worst years of my life. My heart goes out to the many people who battle infertility and miscarriages. Its unfair and heartbreaking. My son is my miracle baby and I look at him every night sleeping and think how lucky and thankful I am to have him in our lives.
We are trying for another baby. As each month passes, I do still feel disappointment that I didn't get pregnant. Its sad to say this, I feel guilty even thinking it, I should just be happy with him, but it still hurts getting my period every month. I want to give Luca a brother or sister. I have to admit the pain is lesser than it was before I had my son but it still hurts. I am giving myself a few more months and I will be contacting my RE again. I just want to make sure all is ok and if I need to go through IVF again, I will, in a second. It was the best thing I ever did. I often think about my miscarriages and how I mend my heart I say. "They weren't Luca. God wanted me to have Luca.I was meant to be Luca's mom."

Here is the synopsis of Sing You Home:
Zoe Baxter has spent ten years trying to get pregnant, and after multiple miscarriages and infertility issues, it looks like her dream is about to come true – she is seven months pregnant. But a terrible turn of events leads to a nightmare – one that takes away the baby she has already fallen for; and breaks apart her marriage to Max.

In the aftermath, she throws herself into her career as a music therapist – using music clinically to soothe burn victims in a hospital; to help Alzheimer’s patients connect with the present; to provide solace for hospice patients. When Vanessa – a guidance counselor -- asks her to work with a suicidal teen, their relationship moves from business to friendship and then, to Zoe’s surprise, blossoms into love. When Zoe allows herself to start thinking of having a family, again, she remembers that there are still frozen embryos that were never used by herself and Max.

Meanwhile, Max has found peace at the bottom of a bottle – until he is redeemed by an evangelical church, whose charismatic pastor – Clive Lincoln – has vowed to fight the “homosexual agenda” that has threatened traditional family values in America. But this mission becomes personal for Max, when Zoe and her same-sex partner say they want permission to raise his unborn child.

SING YOU HOME explores what it means to be gay in today’s world, and how reproductive science has outstripped the legal system. Are embryos people or property? What challenges do same-sex couples face when it comes to marriage and adoption? What happens when religion and sexual orientation – two issues that are supposed to be justice-blind – enter the courtroom? And most importantly, what constitutes a “traditional family” in today’s day and age?

Monday, August 29, 2011


This is what true happiness looks like. A few weeks ago I had some pictures taken by my brother. As you can see Luca loves to give me kisses. He truly makes me laugh everyday. They a picture is worth a thousand words. My brother caught my true emotions. Looking back on the last few years, I never dreamed I could be this happy. I only dreamed of having my baby in my arms. Through all the sadness, depression,disappointment and anger I never saw that I will have real happiness. I had faith that I will be a mom but I never really knew I would ever be this happy.

What's Luca up to?

I stopped pumping at work. WOO HOO! He is now only breastfeeding morning and night and when I am home, I only work 3 days a week, he will breastfeed during the day. I love our night feedings on days I work especially. I really get to reconnect with him and feel so close. I am glad I stuck with it. In the beginning it was hard. I didn't have alot of milk and needed to substitute with formula at a few weeks old. He then developed a dairy allergy. I had to stop eating dairy. It was tough in the beginning but kept with it. Now at almost 11 months he eats everything now. I slowly introduced dairy back in my diet and his and I am happy to report he grew out of it or never really had it to begin with. This happened with my niece as well. His favorite foods are raviolis, lasagna, and pasta and meatballs. My true Italian boy!

He is sleeping incredible at night. Thank you Dr. Ferber. The best thing I ever did. About a month ago we did the sleep training on him. I wrote a blog about that. Well I am happy to report he is still doing great with it. I put him down to sleep at night usually at 7- 7:30 pm and just smiles at me and goes to sleep. He does not wake up at night. If he does he does not cry. He will play with his Elmo and bear in his crib and go back to sleep. He will wake up at around 6-6:30 am.

He is cruising around with his awesome walker. We got him the Fisher-Price Stride to Ride Dinosaur. He loves it. I figured he would have it a long time. He can ride it later. He flies around the house with it. A huge smile on his face so proud of himself.

He says a few words now too.

"Mamma", "dadda", "papa", "nana", "whats that?", he points to the light and will say"La"(light), "ca"(car), "uck"(truck). He plays peek a boo and dances when he hears music.

His favorite book is Good Night Gorilla. He gets so excited and laughs when I take it down from the shelf. We read that every night!

His favorite songs are, "If your happy and you know it" and his all time favorite since he was a newborn is the "Ants go Marching". He can be crying when I put him in his car seat and I put these songs on and he claps his hands, dances and moves his head back and forth. Sometimes we listen to them over and over if its a long car ride home :)

And lastly he loves the stairs. I didn't have them blocked off because I didn't think he knew how to go up them. Well about a month ago I found him on the second step. I said "OK you want to go up?". He went up the whole set of stairs. All 13 of them so fast. Like he had been doing it all along. It totally amazed me. How did he know to do that? Now the gate is constantly there. He is fast and when he is quiet, look out. He is doing something he shouldn't be.

I am truly enjoying motherhood. Time for another one you say? We are definitely trying. On our own this time. We will try for about 6 months and if nothing I will see my RE again. It will be nice to give Luca a friend. A part of me is so happy with just him but I don't that will be fair for him. I feel so lucky to have him but another part of me really wants to be pregnant again. Maybe really enjoy it this time without being so petrified and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel so blessed I think anything is possible. I have truly found happiness.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have had a few people reach out to me and email me. They came across my blog and wanted to share their story with me. I cant tell you how that makes me feel. This is the reason why I wrote this blog to begin with. I wanted to let people know, you are not alone, this is what happened, it will all work out in the end. Don't give up and have faith. Also when I was going through everything, I didn't have a place where I could read to see what will happen or what works. I wanted that for people. I wanted to say to whoever reads, please keep the faith. I am a firm believer if you want something, you have to believe and make it happen.

Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a mother. I wasn't into having a huge career. I just wanted to be a mother. I was not going to give up. I would of done anything to have that happen.

Now I have this miracle baby boy who I am so in love with. He makes my day when I come in his room in the morning and he dances and gets so excited when he sees me. He cant wait for me to pick him up. He just hugs me so tight or at night when I breastfeed him I just think I used to dream of doing this. I hold him in my arms and I think, it was all worth it. I was waiting for you for a long time. You were so worth the wait.

I had faith that this day would come. I think I am a better mother for it all. I feel every day with him is so special and I don't take one day for granted. He is so healthy, smart, and his motor skills are so incredible. He amazes me every day.

I want to say to you all, please have faith. Don't give up hope. You will be mothers. You will hold your sweet baby in your arms. You will hold the baby you dreamed of and waited for.

Please feel free to email me. I am always here to answer questions you have.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sleep training- Its actually works!

Who knew!

I got in a very bad habit of rocking and nursing Luca to sleep. Some nights it took a good hour and half to get him to sleep. He would fall asleep in my arms and I would carefully put him down but he would wake up. I had to start all over again. Then when I finally got him down I would tip toe out of his room. Sometimes he woke up and then I had to rock him again. Then in the middle of the night he would cry and I would bring him in bed with me. I would nurse him and just leave him in there. Then he would wake up at 4:30 am because he heard my husband leave for work. It was starting to really take a toll on me. I had to do something.
I started the sleep training. Letting him cry himself to sleep. I tried it before and just couldn't do it. This time I was determined.
The say to do the ritual, bath, book, feed, bed. We do it every night.
So the first night I nursed him, put him down awake and left the room and shut the door. He cried for about an hour. It was heart wrenching but knew I had to do it. I went in every so often to say, "Its ok, its night night time, I love you".
He fell asleep! He woke up in the middle of the night and I did not get him. He fell back to sleep. He woke up at 7am!
Second night, same thing. Nursed him, put him to bed awake and left the room with the door closed. He cried for about 20 minutes. Again he woke up in the middle of the night and I didn't get him. He fell back to sleep and woke up at 7am!
Third night, it took him 5 minutes to fall asleep! Whoo hoo!
I guess this thing really works!
I also used it on his nap today. He cried for about 10 minutes.
We are moving in the right direction.
Here is some information on it.
Good luck and have a good night sleep!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Its been a while and some advice of products for moms to be.

Well its been a while. I have been busy being a mom to my amazing baby boy. He is truly a gift and I love being a mom more that I ever imagined. He is such a great baby. I am back to work but only for 3 days a week.

I thought I would list the things I really use to help moms to be choose products and also things that I thought were a waste. Also, I did alot of research when I was picking these products. I read Baby Bargains and Consumer Reports, both books I highly recommend getting.

First off, please don't stress out to get the nursery done. If you don't have it done, don't worry about it. Your baby is not going to know that his/her bedroom isn't completed. Plus the baby is in the bassinet in your room in the beginning. Our furniture was being delivered when I was in labor! I had a changing table which I highly recommend (Sorelle Nikki Changing table) and a bassinet (Badger) so I was not to worried. I love having a changing table instead of using the bureau because I don't have to bend to change the baby. The changing table is higher than the bureau. Also, it has open shelves to I just grab what I need.
We didn't know what I was having, so I had a girl bedding and a boy bedding picked out. We painted the nursery Garland Green from Benjamin Moore. I ended up getting the Jungle Friends Nursery bedding from Pottery Barn Kids. I then put blue accents in the nursery. It came out great. I love the bedding. Great quality. I would highly recommend them for bedding.
Our furniture is Munire Bristoll: I got this furniture in white. I would recommend the furniture,but not in white. I guess because of the heat wood expands, then the paint cracks because they use paint that is safe for the baby. It shows up more in white furniture. If I had known this I would of purchased the cherry color.

Speaking of changing the diaper, I love Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer. I heard people say this was a waste, but I really like it. Those wipes can be very cold on baby's bottom.

Diaper Genie Elite: A must! Those diapers can get smelly!

Boppy Infant Feeding Pillow-Heirloom Luxe Lamb: To be honest I don't use this anymore. I found it helpful in the beginning when I was learning to breastfeed. Also it has pockets and I used to put his pacifier and burp cloth in it. I plan on taking this out so he can sit against it.

Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing: My son loved this! He took many naps in this when he was a newborn. I would recommend getting this.

Tiny Love Gymini: Super Deluxe Lights & Music Play Mat: This is a must! My son loves this so much. He just goes crazy when I put him down on this mat. Also, there is a mirror and he loves to look at himself.

Fisher-Price Precious Planet Happy Giraffe Bouncer: A total must! He loves it! This is such a life saver. I put him in it when I take a shower and put him in the bathroom with me. I also put him in it in the kitchen to make dinner or eat. I also put him in when I put an Einstein DVD on for him. He just loves it.

Baby Einstein Discovery Center: I just put him in this. He loves it so far. I have 6 nieces and 2 nephews and they all loved this. A must get!

Fisher-Price Aquarium Bath Center: I love this bath! It has a newborn sling which is great. I did however get a thermometer which was really a waste because the bathtub has a thermometer on it that has a smiley face when the water is just right and a sad face if its too cold or hot.

Skip Hop Duo Double Deluxe Diaper Bag: Ok so this bag is for if you have twins but I love it. My sister in law has the single one and its just so small! Now she has two kids and she cant fit anything in it. I have plenty of room in this bag.

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Seat: I love this car seat. My son seems to love it too. Every time I put him in it and in the car he falls asleep.

UppaBaby Vista Jake Stoller: Can I tell you this is the best stroller! In the beginning I had it in my house and used the bassinet part of it and wheeled him around the house when he was a newborn. He loved it. Now I always have it in my trunk and got the car seat adapter for it. I was going to get the snap and go but when I went to go see it I thought it was very flimsy. I just put the car seat in the adapter and go!

Kolcraft Jeep Liberty Stroller: This is what I use when I walk outside. In the beginning when he was first born, I would put him in his car seat and put the car seat in the stroller. No adapter needed. It rides great and its not too expensive.

JJ Cole Infant Bundle Me: Best invention ever made. My son is so nice and warm in there. No need for heavy sweaters or jackets. I just put him in there and he is nice and warm.

Breast pump-Medela Pump in Style: I strongly suggest you not purchase this before the baby is born. Here is my story. I didn't have alot of milk in the beginning. The baby was not gaining as much as he should. My baby would suck and then fall asleep. The pediatrician said I needed to pump to make more milk and then give the baby a bottle twice a day. I got a prescription for the breast pump. My insurance covered it. I have a cousin who did not have milk and she couldn't breastfeed. My point is, you don't know what will happen. Breast pumps are very expensive. Just wait and see if one, breast feeding is for you, you are able to do it, or your pediatrician might be able to write you out a prescription if you need it.

Baby Bjorn Carrier: Total waste in my opinion. My son does not like it and I just don't use it. I know many people that do but he never took to it and frankly I rather just hold him.

Swaddlers: I got about 5 swaddlers. People told me they were a must. My son was in them for 2 nights. He hated to be swaddled. He kicked himself out of them. He loves to have his arms free. He touches his head and face. It soothes him. (He always did that even in utero). Some babies don't like to be swaddled. He slept great. I would suggest maybe getting one to try it out.

I hope this helps you out. Please feel free to email me with any questions.