Today on the blog, my good friend Lisa! I quickly mentioned Lisa on this post, but I wanted to have her on for a full interview! I’m so thankful to have her in my life + I knew she would have some great insight for you guys. Lisa is the first mom (she just announced she has another on the way!) in our big group of high school friends that still stays in touch + always has a hoot together. She is very conscious about what she feeds herself + her family and is one active gal. I’ll let her tell you more!
Ames: Introduce yourself + tell us about your job.
Lisa: Hey everyone! I’m Lisa: a wife, mother and God-lover. My husband is Mark, our daughter is Maven and our new baby is expected right around Thanksgiving. I’m a girl who loves her fashion, aspires to travel the world and truly loves cooking. I enjoy spending time with family and friends and always try to make health and fitness a priority. In my professional life I work in the field of public health. I am a specialist at a local health department where I plan, implement and evaluate programs to improve population health.
I want to say I am truly humbled and honored to be a part of Amy’s blog! I was a little apprehensive to complete the interview when I read all of the questions because I am by no means a super mom, nor do I have it as together as I would maybe hope. My days of long runs or extra long strength training sessions, or weeks of working out every. single. day., have had to adapt to a life with a one year old and now another one on the way. Some days I prioritize spending time with Mark and Maven over a good workout, simply because that is what’s best for me and my family (especially after a long day at work or after my husband returns from work travel). A: I love this Lisa! Well said. We do continue to try to live a healthy and active life as a family, though. So, I hope I can bring a perspective of balance that will resonate with some of you; and thank you Amy, for having me! A: Of course!
A: You recently ran Ragnar Cape Cod with a baby on board! How was that experience? Is running harder with a baby on board?
Lisa: For those of you who don’t know, the Ragnar Relay Series is a run completed by a team of 12 individuals split between two caravans (or less for those ultra runners out there) who consecutively race nearly 200 miles in relay fashion. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss! My three individual legs in Ragnar Cape Cod totaled near 17 miles and had some great scenic views of the cape. I would say the experience was really good! My team is so much fun (we’ve completed a few destination Ragnar’s together now) and my body simply amazed me. I had the strength and stamina to run the distance even with a baby on board! A: That’s AMAZING! I ran Ragnar (Madison to Chicago) and I was exhausted and so sore by my last stretch, I can’t imagine doing it with a baby on board.
Running is a bit harder for me during pregnancy. Unfortunately, I don’t really have the glowing pregnancy experience that some do, especially in the first trimester. I’m usually feeling very ill and need a lot of extra rest. Ragnar Cape Cod did take more of a toll on me than usual due to the lack of sleep, but I just had to recoup some extra rest and replenish my body to get back to my usual self.
I know some preggos can run right up until their due date, but for me, there came a point when it was just too uncomfortable, so I will continue to enjoy logging some miles now while I still can! A: 🙂
A: What does your typical workout week look like?
Lisa: As I mentioned before, my typical workout week is a new kind of typical for me. I aim to find a balance A: Using balance all over the interview, I like it 😉 between getting in some good workouts and just staying active on a regular basis. My goal is always to work out 4 days a week. (It doesn’t always happen as planned, though.) I like to mix it up between running (intervals, hills or distance), strength training, circuits and yoga. This past winter I started taking an Orange Theory Fitness class once a week to switch things up and loved it! I’m taking a break from the classes now though, as I’m starting to modify the workouts more in pregnancy. The remainder of the days each week I really try to still be as active as possible. Whether that means taking walks as a family, walking the mall on my lunch break, chasing after Miss Maven at the park or doing squats and lunges while she plays, I do try to fit something in.
There are weeks where this isn’t perfect and there are weeks I wish I could do more, but for now it’s about compromise and doing my best to stay active. I want to lead by example so we can have a healthy little family! A: Yes!
A: Give us a peak into your daily diet.
Lisa: I have so many staples in my daily diet; this could be tough to answer! Breakfast usually starts with a protein shake (Isagenix (vanilla) with half a banana and PB2) A: PB2 is awesome in smoothies! 🙂 or yogurt with berries and granola. My go-to morning snacks include veggies with hummus or avocado, almonds or an apple with peanut butter. Lunches vary, but I really try to get in a good serving of vegetables here. I like to switch it up between salads, soups and veggie sandwiches or wraps. I do occasionally go out to lunch with colleagues, in which case I still try to make a healthy selection, but alter dinner plans to accommodate for a larger daytime meal.
Dinners can be really tough if I don’t plan ahead! By the time I pick up my daughter after work and get home, she is ready to eat (seriously, when we walk through the door she wants to go in her highchair) and only is up for a little while before bath and bedtime, so things have to be quick. Pre-cooking or prepping ahead of time, or even using the crockpot, are usually the best answers for us during the week. Regular dinners usually include some variation of chicken and veggies and often are accompanied by a sweet potato. Omelets filled with veggies are super quick, grilling can also be relatively fast (especially if Mark can get home a little early 😉 ), and a good stir fry can be a reliable go-to. We do like to make a healthy variation of homemade pizzas on occasion, too!
A: How does Maven’s diet differ from that of her parents?
Lisa: Maven’s diet actually doesn’t differ from ours too much at all. She is a very good and healthy eater! I pack up Maven’s breakfast and lunch on days that I work along with my own, so she often has something very similar to what I have during the day. I love to see her eat broccoli like it’s candy and scoop in peas by the handful. This girl loves her pancakes and waffles though! When we do make these breakfast items, we tend to add mashed banana to the batter and even add blueberries to pack them with nutrients. She loves it!
A: Motherhood sure seems like a good fit for you! What are your favorite parts of being a mom? What have the biggest challenges been?
Lisa: Motherhood is such a blessing and a true joy. Seeing my baby learn and grow, having her smile at me, snuggle with me and watching her personality develop are all simply amazing experiences. The love I have for my daughter is something that cannot be rivaled!
I would say my greatest challenge of motherhood has been finding time for myself. Between all of my responsibilities, devoting time to my family, work and other commitments, I can find myself with very little time to do anything for “me”.
A: I recently needed your support when I had a work weekend with zero alone time (Drew was home all weekend, so I went from nurse to wife as soon as I walked in the door). Do you manage to sneak in any alone time with a husband + job + baby?
Lisa: Because my biggest challenge in motherhood has been finding “me time”, I have to say I don’t do as good of a job sneaking in alone time as I wish I did. It’s something I am working on, and something Mark and I are working on as a couple. Mark has been incredibly supportive of allowing me to create more time for myself. A: He is one sweet guy! It can be difficult to want to spend time away though when there are days I have very little time to spend with Mark or Maven (I want and love to be with them!), but it’s important for me to have time too. Sometimes it’s the little things such as just running an errand alone or my quiet drive to work after drop-off that I’ve come to appreciate, and other times Mark and I make a more conscious effort for me to have time alone. He may take care of dinner and bedtime routine so I can go to Orange Theory or meet a friend for dinner. It’s all a work in progress, and we will continue to work on it so not only me, but Mark, can also have some time alone.
A: I know you are a busy bee. How do you find balance with such a busy schedule?
Lisa: It may sound redundant at this point in the interview, but I’m still working on finding that balance. Some things I do enjoy to renew myself in a busy schedule though include yoga and spending quality time with those I love. As a family, we also look to God to keep us balanced in everything we do.
A: How did you get back in shape after Maven? Any suggestions for new moms?
Lisa: Yes! My advice is to be active (before) during (and after) pregnancy! Establishing healthy, active habits during pregnancy will not only make it easier for your body to bounce back, but also makes it easier to continue the habits once you’re home with a little baby. I worked out as much as my pregnancy allowed the first time, and plan to do so this time around too. As for post-partum fitness, I went on baby-wearing walks just days after Maven was born as a transition back into my workouts. I started slow when I went back to the gym, but it felt so good to get back into the swing of things that it didn’t take long before I was back to my regular routines. Other incredibly important pieces of this puzzle for me are proper nutrition and breastfeeding (it truly does burn a lot of calories!).
A: How has pregnancy the second time around been?
Lisa: Pregnancy the second time around has been notably easier than the first. (I had a really, really tough first pregnancy for a variety of reasons.) I may have to attribute “easier” to being distracted by a toddler though 🙂 I have been a lot hungrier with this second pregnancy and have had to manage that by eating lots of frequent, small meals and incorporating several snacks into my days. This go-around time seems to be flying by, and our new baby will be here before we know it!
A: Any exciting plans for the summer?
Lisa: This summer will be full of trips to the zoo, to Hoyt Park pool and spending as much time outdoors as possible. We’d like to take a couple of trips “up north” and Mark is really keen on going camping (I suggest glamping as a nice alternative 🙂 ) We are in the process of building a new house, so I’m sure that will bring some excitement to our lives this summer too! A: Such an exciting season of life!
Thanks again for having me, Amy! Keep up the good work!
Thanks for taking the time to do the interview Leeeeeesa! You’re the best.
I hope you guys picked up some good insight here. Lisa definitely is a model of consistency. Have a great Wednesday -Ames.