Top 20 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

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Like most of you, I really can’t function without coffee, but shockingly it’s not the first thing that I down in the morning. After waking up and checking my emails, playing WWF and catching up on Instagram and Facebook, I stumble downstairs, and have my apple cider vinegar “cocktail” while I’m waiting for my coffeemaker to warmup.

I’m sure you’ve heard a ton about how apple cider vinegar is sooo good for you, and that it has a ton of benefits, but really what is it good for and what are those benefits?? Here’s a list of 20 things that ACV is used most commonly for:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Regulates the pH balance in your body
  3. Soothes bug bites
  4. Helps to prevent/reduce acne
  5. Helps to relieve nausea
  6. Helps to relieve heartburn and acid reflux
  7. Helps to relieve sinus pressure and infection
  8. Helps to reduce inflammation
  9. Dissolves kidney stones
  10. Prevents the flu
  11. Helps to reduce cholesterol
  12. Helps to lower blood pressure
  13. Helps breakdown fat
  14. Helps to relieve bloating
  15. Helps to lower glucose levels in diabetics
  16. Helps to relieve migraines
  17. Helps to kill cancer cells and slow their growth
  18. Helps to relieve asthma
  19. Helps to relieve allergies
  20. Gets rid of warts, and nail fungus

With all of these benefits, why wouldn’t you give it a try??  If you want more info on it’s benefits, uses, recipes and more then definitely check out the Bragg website.  I only take it once a day (as opposed to the suggested three times a day by Bragg) and have found that it’s helped a lot of with my acid reflux, bloating, preventing the flu and honestly, I just like the way it makes me feel overall.

Does it taste amazing? No, not really, but honestly I think a shot of Jager or wheatgrass taste worse.  You do get used to the taste after awhile and it’s actually good for you so just give it a shot (no pun intended).

ACV Cocktail recipe:

  • 8 oz. water
  • 1-2 tsp. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp. organic honey, maple syrup or agave (optional)

 

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Pregnant Holiday Outfit

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I love getting dressed up but in my daily life there aren’t that many occasions to get decked out so when the holidays roll around I get super excited to whip out my party dresses and get all dolled up for parties and different events.  Since I’m preggers this year, it’s def been a bit of a challenge finding cute holiday outfits to fit my growing bump.

Honestly, I’ve found that most maternity wear is super heinous, not flattering, and way overpriced for stuff you’re only going to wear a couple of times, so I’ve just been buying stuff from regular stores in a size bigger that I’ll be able to wear post-preganancy as well.  Forever 21 has been a favorite place for me to shop during my pregnancy, and this whole outfit is from there.

The faux fur jacket can be easily dressed up like I did with this dress, or dressed down with a pair of jeans and boots, and this dress is a looser, boxier cut that will totally work post-preganancy and would even be great for a 20’s flapper/Great Gatsby themed costume as well!

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Dress, Forever 21 (not available online, similar here, here, and here)

Jacket, Forever 21

Pregnancy Weight Gain

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As a first time mom, my main focus during my pregnancy is to make sure that my baby is healthy and safe, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the least bit concerned about how much weight I was going to gain as well.  I was naive enough to think that I would be able to control the amount of weight that I would gain and I thought that if I ate well and worked out regularly there was no way that I’d be packing on a ton of weight…ummm yeah, not quite.

I soon learned that I had NO control over my body and the pounds that I was going to gain.  I’m one of those people that weighs themselves everyday, not because I’m obsessed but just because it makes me feel accountable, and there were many times that I would step on the scale throughout my pregnancy and freak the f**k out when I saw the number climb up.

I just didn’t get how I was gaining so much weight, even though I wasn’t eating that much differently than normal, and was still working out 4-5 days a week.  There were days where I would step off the scale on the brink of tears feeling frustrated and like a fat ass, and I would cry to my husband about it and he would look at me like I was crazy and say “good, I’m glad you’re gaining weight, it means that you and the baby are healthy”.

I literally wanted to strangle him when he said that to me, but then I realized that he was right.  I was gaining the right amount of weight, and whatever weight I gained was going to be the right amount for me to have a healthy baby.  So I’ve switched my mentality – all of the weight I am gaining is good weight that I need to gain to ensure that I have a healthy pregnancy and baby, and that’s what matters, nothing else.

That being said, I still wanted to know what the recommended weight gain was during pregnancy, and where it comes from, so here’s a simple breakdown for you.

The weight gain recommendations which are based on your pre-pregnancy weight and BMI (body mass index that you can calculate here):

  • If you were underweight (BMI under 18.5)  you should gain 28-40 lbs.
  • If you were in the normal range (BMI between 18.5 – 24.9) you should gain 25-35 lbs.
  • If you were overweight (BMI between 25 to 29.9) you should gain 15-25 lbs.
  • If you were obese (BMI higher than 30) you should gain 11-20 lbs.
  • If you’re having twins and were in the normal range 37-54 lbs., overweight range 31-50 lbs. and obese, 25-42 lbs.

How do those pounds add up?  We know it’s not all baby and burgers, so here’s a breakdown of those extra pounds:

  • Baby:  7-8 lbs.
  • Placenta: 2-3 lbs.
  • Amniotic fluid:  2-3 lbs.
  • Breast tissue:  2-3 lbs.
  • Body fluid (water): 2-4 lbs.
  • Blood supply: 4 lbs.
  • Uterus: 2-5 lbs.
  • Stored fat (needed for delivery/breastfeeding): 5-9 lbs.
  • Total:  25-35 lbs.

In the first trimester you’re supposed to gain 1-5 lbs., and then each week after you should be gaining about a pound a week.  I didn’t gain a pound each week – I would plateau for a few weeks and step on the scale one day and BOOM would be 2-4 pounds heavier than I was the day before, and then would plateau again for the next couple of weeks and wouldn’t gain any weight, but everyone is different in how they gain, and when they gain so don’t compare yourself to anyone else because you’ll just drive yourself crazy.

So now that we’ve gone over the weight gain, how about the weight loss post-pregnancy?  The average post-birth weight loss immediately following delivery is around 12 lbs., and in the next couple of weeks after that you’ll lose even more (especially if you’re breastfeeding) and the average weight loss 2 weeks post-partum is about 20 lbs., which is kind of amazing if you think about it!

We’ve just got to remember that it took 9 months to put on the weight, and it’s not going to come off immediately and that’s okay.  Of course it’s easy for me to say this now as I’m still pregnant, and I’m sure I’ll feel differently when I’m stuck at that “I can’t get these last 10 lbs off” stage, but I guess I’ll just have to wait until I get there and complain to you guys about it then 🙂

 

American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life

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I’m so honored to be be featured in my local magazine for my volunteer work with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event!  I’ve been involved in the downtown San Diego Relay for Life since it’s inception in some way or another, and I’ve seen it grow from an event that had around 100 participants and $8,000.00 raised in that first year, to the largest Relay in all of San Diego county, and one of the top 20 Relays in the entire state of California, with thousands of participants that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.

We all know someone who has been affected by cancer, and through the Relay for Life we can join together to celebrate those who have won their battle, remember those who have not, and fight back against this terrible disease. This really is a life-changing event and there are Relays going on year-round all around the country and the world!! Check out www.relayforlife.org for more information about this amazing event and how you can get involved.

Get Your Glow On: The Best Products for Glowing Skin

Get Your Glow On!
As women, we're used to faking lots of things: smiles, cries, tans, orgasms, etc. and now that I'm pregnant I've found a new thing to fake . . . my pregnancy glow.

Pregnant or not, what women doesn’t want luminous, glowing skin? I’ve had facials, peels, IPL, and have tried tons of different Skincare products to try to achieve that natural glow, but honestly none of them have given me the kind of natural glow where I could just walk out of the door without any makeup feeling like my skin looked amazing. Now that I’m pregnant, I was hoping it was my time to shine but I never got that pregnancy glow that women rave about so I’ve taken matters into my own hands and have just been faking it.

I’ve gotten tons of compliments about how I’m glowing lately, and I let people think it’s that natural preggo glow, but here’s what I’ve really been using to fake it:

Nars, The Multiple:  This is the best stick option available in a variety of colors that you can use on your eyes, cheeks or lips anytime you need a pop of shimmery color.

  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette:  You know how certain light makes your skin look absolutely amazing?  Well this trio of powders is meant to do just that – it diffuses and softens the way that light reflects on your skin so no matter what light you’re in, you’re always going to be camera-ready.
  • Benefit, High Beam:  If a soft, pink, dewy look is what you want, this is what will give it to you.
  • Bobbi Brown, Shimmer Brick:  Bronzed Goddess anyone?
  • YSL, Touche Eclat:  If you buy only one product, this is it.  No sleep, no problem – this magic wand erases those dreaded under-eye black circles and instantly brightens your entire complexion.
  • Josie Maran, Argan Illuminizer:  One of my favorite natural brands, a bit of this mixed in with your foundation will give your skin a mega-glow that will last all day long.