Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Heart Healthy Grapes

Did you know that May is Mediterranean Diet Month?  I'd like to think that a lot of the inspiration for my personal diet is derived from the Mediterranean Diet and it's a diet that's continually proving to be great for overall health and longevity.

The Mediterranean Diet might also bring to mind thoughts of delightful glasses of red wine, however Welchs' 100% grape juice is another way to reap those heart healthy benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and concord grapes. Since I am STILL several weeks away from me enjoying any red wine or other libations, Welch's 100% Concord Grape Juice suits me just fine.  
Ingredients for salmon recipe
The benefits of Welch's can be attributed to polyphenols in the specific Concord grapes.  Concord grapes have a short growing season and don't travel too well, hence why you might not see them in the grocery store a lot.  However, their thick skin and crunchy seed make them a great source of antioxidants from polyphenols.  All of that helps contribute to heart health by supporting healthy blood vessels and circulation.
For those of you concerned about sugar in juice it's important to remember a few things....always read the label of your juice.  ALWAYS.  You're looking for 100% fruit juice and ironically make sure it's the juice you want.  Some juices are "blends", so you're not getting all of the fruit benefits you might be searching for.  Second, it's about portion size.  1/2 cup of juice is a good serving size and that will count as 1 of your daily fruit servings too.

Earlier in the month of May I made an appearance on the national TV show, Daytime, to talk about heart health and made some fun Mother's Day recipes using Welch's.  

I loved the grape chia pudding and I even used some of the leftovers as a base in Kyle's smoothies the next week.  The salmon was great too, I just think I overcooked it as bit as I'm prone to do.

Have you cooked with grape juice?

Love and Concord city,
Carissa & Kyle

Recipe links:
Grape Juice Chia Cups:
Spiced Salmon Filet with Grape Juice Glaze:

The TV segment was sponsored by Welch's, I was not compensated or required to write this post. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 37 weeks

We are full term baby!  Yes, I'm talking to you little #BabyB!  It's been 6 weeks since I shared an update and it feels like a lot has gone on.

BabyB has a cousin now, we had a baby moon, finished the nursery, packed the bags, and now against my better judgement I feel like I'm in the "waiting game" stage of pregnancy.
Here's the 411 on 37 weeks:

Weight gained: Although it doesn't feel like it we're up to 35 pounds.  I don't feel like I look 35 pounds bigger, but according to Mr. Scale it's the truth.  I would like to not gain anymore, but I'm still planning on eating enough and making sure that BabyB is getting what she needs, so if we make it to 40 then we do.  Wow.
37 weeks with Grandma
Workouts: Somedays just walking from the car to the gym in 90 degree heat feels like a workout!  I'm down to about 3 actual workouts a week.  2 strength training sessions with Kyle, 1 elliptical session, and usually 2 shorter walks outside.  Again, it's SO hot outside that walks are tough. I'm sure my neighborhood enjoys the waddle going by.
Pregnancy Clothes: I've reached the point where I"m too stubborn to buy anything new. Good thing I work from home and Kyle has lots of men's basketball shorts for me to wear. #sexy

In preparation for a TV segment I'm taping this week I did rent a dress from I figured the $50 was better than buying a dress for 1 wear.  I typically like the maternity section from Target, but their fabrics don't look great on air. I'll share pics after the segment Friday....if we make it that far.....

Symptoms: Lots!  Up until week 36 I was still getting lots of leg cramps and some insomnia.  Around 32 weeks I switched my prenatal vitamin to the Similac prenatal which had more magnesium and calcium and I noticed a reduction in leg cramps.  I also had some days where I was just a grump.  Sorry world.

Yesterday was my 37 week appointment and I can say that my mental state and symptoms have changed since then.  At 36 weeks there was no sign of dilation or effacement and yesterday my doctor was shocked to see that I dilated to 3cm and was 75% effaced.  Now that could mean something or it could mean nothing.  However I am now over analyzing every little feeling!  I have I'd say 3 contractions per day now and I find that in general I feel worse and nauseous when I need to eat.  Is Baby B coming soon?  Who knows....

Food Aversions:  I'm hungry, but I don't want to eat.  Even "cheat" foods don't sound great, but I'm still loving orange juice and lots of berries and cherries.

Food Cravings: Besides one serious need for a cupcake (which Kyle fulfilled splendidly) no real cravings.  I'm super thirsty during the day.

Movement: She's a pretty good mover and now I'm to the point where I have to pay attention to that sort of thing.  Which again...makes me worry more.  Moms how do you do it?  In the past 2 days she has "dropped" considerably lower and her movements are much farther down.  Lots of rolls and less kicks, but moves.
Stretch marks: None and the belly button is flat as a pancake but NOT out.

Miss anything: Not worrying!  I know that as a Mom you will always worry, but it will be different once I can see her face and don't have to think that I am not noticing something I should be going on inside me.  Oye!

New Baby Items:  I "think" we're all set.  I'll share nursery pictures next week, but aside from baby shampoo I think we are good to go.

Fun story: Last week I took part in a Publix commercial.  Well, not so much "me" but the baby bump.  They needed a pregnant belly for a social media ad and I was the one for the job.  You won't see my face at ALL in the commercial, but any belly shot is all #BabyB!
Getting Ready: Last Friday my mother in law came over to help make freezer meals for once the baby is here.  I think I got a little over-ambitious!  We spent close to 3 hours and I made close to 20 different meals.  About half of them are packets that can be thrown into the crock pot and the others are cooked turkey meat dishes.  Kyle is picky and doesn't really like any casserole and I don't like leftover chicken, hence the high turkey concentration.
We made: 2 turkey lasagnas, 2 bags of turkey meatballs, turkey marinara sauce with veggies, crock pot buffalo chicken, crock pot taco chicken, crock pot ropa vieja, crock pot pesto chicken, and crock pot Italian chicken.  The freezer is full and ready to go!  I'd still like to make some protein bites for last minute snacks and 2 bags of turkey chili if I have freezer room.
And now we wait....when do you think #BabyB will make her debut?
Tips for those last final weeks Moms?
What I'm really in labor will I know?
Do you really need special baby laundry detergent?

Love and tick tock,
Carissa & Kyle

Past Updates:
31 weeks
27 weeks
20 weeks

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

2015 Expedition Everest Challenge

I am not a fan of things ending.  Especially not things that I am fond of.  Expedition Everest Challenge...I am sad to see you go.  After 8 years of Yeti's and late night parties we closed the door on the most unique RunDisney challenge.
I, along with 37 runners, were in attendance at every single challenge.  The year it rained, the year it was a severe Thunderstorm, the years it was in September, the years it was in May, the years when we had a silent obstacle as to not disturb a hippo baby that was just born.  Oh the memories.
The Tampa Bay Boys who I loved cheering on every single year! 
It's particularly bittersweet for me, because this was the only race my sweet Kyle would run.  He liked to run it with his sister and I always promised him a trip to Animal Kingdom and brunch at Boma the next morning. At least now Kyle will be in attendance at the kids races to cheer #BabyB.
Interviewing Kyle pre-race 2014
For those of you who don't know Expedition Everest is a night time race challenge set at Disney's Animal Kingdom.  The runners tackle a roughly 3 mile run with 3 obstacles on the course and then they get a set of clues and race to finish a scavenger hunt in Animal Kingdom.  I heard from many runners that this year's clues were the toughest ever and volunteers made sure that you actually had the right answers before finishing the race. This year the event was also reduced to just the race and a small expo/packet pickup at Animal Kingdom.
Being 8 months pregnant, I took it a little easier than normal and took some breaks in the woods between announcements.  What do you think of my campsite?
Another thing I loved about this race was that the fastest runners didn't always win.  Sure you had to finish the race portion swiftly, however a lot of times the placement came down to getting the clues right and quickly.  I had fun seeing the same names and teams fight it out to win year after year.  Shout out to my pals Christy and Ben who after placing 4th last year took home 2nd in the co-ed division.
I am sad to bid farewell to Gary Ericcson and the legend of the Expedition Everest Challenge.  Someday you will just be a tale passed down to generations of RunDisney fans. But I can say I lived it...all 8 glorious years!
Riley, John, and I...your "happy" announcers!
I also want to take a moment to wish all those heading to DisneyLand for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend the best of luck.  It makes me so very sad to say that I won't be there.  For the first time in 11 years, I am missing a RunDisney race.  After talks with my doctor and Kyle, we decided that flying 5 hours at 36 weeks wasn't the best I will be in Orlando stalking #TinkerBellHalf on social media.  But don't worry...I can't wait to get back in the action for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend in September.

What's your favorite RunDisney event - past or present?
If you could dream up a new race what would it be and when?

Love and not yeti to go,
Carissa & Kyle

Catch up on RunDisney posts: