Monday, September 19, 2016

The Best Sports Bras for Nursing Moms

Since Quinn was born, both my real life and internet friends have asked me about my favorite sports bras when I was breastfeeding. Of course, I realize sports bras aren’t the ideal undergarment for nursing a baby, but life happens and sometimes you need to feed your little one right before, during, or after a workout. (Hey, it’s just a tiny bit of sweat, right?) The ones mentioned below are all-around awesome when it comes to support, comfort, and, well, easy access when you need it.

I know it’s been a little awhile since I nursed Qman, but these sports bras continue to be some of my favorites (particularly for running), which means they definitely have some longevity when it comes to my exercise wardrobe. I wore a number of them when I was pregnant and still continue to wear them today. With that, here are the best sports bras for nursing moms!

The best sports bras for nursing breastfeeding moms

Juno Sports Bra – I know I’ve mentioned this sports bra on CNC a zillion times in the past, but it’s truly one of my long-time favorites. It served me well during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond. I still wear my beloved Juno for long-distance running because it’s a sports bra that basically has it all– plenty of support, shape (no uni-boob), full coverage (no crazy cleavage), soft-padded keyhole back closure for proper fit, and adjustable straps that completely un-Velcro when you need it. And I love that it’s a racerback to go with all of my tank tops.

Fiona Sports Bra – The Fiona is similar to the Juno, but it’s not a racerback. I’m a big tank top person, so I often picked my Juno over my Fiona. The Fiona is still an awesome sports bra for nursing because it has front-adjustable straps that completely unhook with the same molded, lightweight cups for a natural shape and lots of support. It just depends which style you like better. FYI: Some colors are on sale right now for $30!

Soma Sports Max Wireless Sports Bra – This is a new-to-me sports bra, but it actually inspired this blog post. Soma sent it to me, and I was pleasantly surprised by the style and fit because it was so comfortable and supportive. (It reminds me of the Lululemon Ta Ta Tamer.) But what set this sports bra apart as a nursing sports bra (or just a really customizeable one) is the front-adjustable straps that are S-hooks instead of Velcro. They stay nice and flat again the chest, and I know they’re not going anywhere!

Maia Sports Bra – This sports bra has some serious coverage. It’s quite generous and covers a good portion of the chest. The support is almost like two-in-one since there’s molded cups to maintain shape and underwire to support each breast individually. Once again, there are adjustable straps and a soft-padded back closure for a great fit and plenty of comfort for fuller-cupped women.

Question of the Day

Mamas: What’s your favorite sports bra for breastfeeding?



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Dear Mark: Gene Editing

Decision Fatigue: The Hidden Hurdle

 

Creating Change Through The Brain

Most people step into a gym for the first time in an attempt to change something about themselves they don’t particularly like. Whether you are beginning a fitness routine for weight loss, pain loss, or simply to appease a friend, the goal is to change something significant about yourself – and change soaks up a lot of RAM in the brain. Change also means you will have to change something about yourself on the inside before the outside can change.

Unfortunately people spend so much time researching WHAT to eat and HOW to exercise and not enough time researching HOW TO THINK. A person can easily become unhealthy eating fatty and salty snacks. But the snacks aren’t the culprit. How we think about that salty snack is what gets us into trouble. Addressing the snack itself is putting a band aid on a hemorrhage. Asking someone to eat almonds instead of chips could temporarily work, but if that person is working an intense schedule full of anxiety, appetite suppression and blood sugar crashes, it’s safe to say that the easiest, tastiest and most available food item will be the snack of choice at the end of the day – that means the potato chip will slide back into the diet rather quickly.

We need to start addressing causation on a larger scale, but that starts with you. As part of a society that pumps more money into pharmaceuticals than fresh markets, it’s pretty safe to say we’re conditioned to target symptoms rather than causation, and it’s up to you to break free of that thought process.

Examples:

  • When we have a headache we get headache medicine. Better solution: do movement practices that relieve tension around the shoulders and neck. See video: https://youtu.be/M5jXqE9ynRQ
  • When we are tired we over caffeinate. Better solution: listen to your body’s signals and rest!
  • When we have a metabolic disorder we reach for pharmaceuticals. Better solution: change lifestyle choices which cause metabolic disorder.

 

  • Some of these alternative answers might sound like obvious, sound solutions.
  • So what gives?
  • Why don’t we do it?
  • It may not be that we lack willpower, it’s that the average person is drowning in thought bubbles and self-care, including diet is getting pushed to the back burner. Perhaps it’s less of a priority since availability of food has never been an issue for the last century (another topic). Food will always be there, but our jobs and incomes are always on the line, so they tend to take priority and soak of most of our emotional resources.
  • Our willpower is also being soaked up by more sales, marketing, social and travel outlets than any humans have ever encountered. The average grocery store holds roughly 44,000 choices, one hour of TV runs dozens of commercials, and you, my friend, are being asked to buy all of it. Even a decision not to buy any of these services or goods offered is still a decision. You may encounter close to 1300 decisions in a day without even realizing it.

    One of the heaviest drivers of pain, obesity and poor self esteem are poor lifestyle choices. But the over stimulative nature of modern society brings on more decision making, more choices, and thus more decision fatigue than ever before in the history of humans. Decision fatigue leads to depleted willpower, and thus leads to poorer choices, and poor choices lead to more poor choices.


    Resisting Temptation is a big part of your day

    Most people spend an enormous amount of energy resisting temptation. Some research indicates that working class people spend 3 to 4 hours a day resisting temptation.

    Ever wonder why the candy is at the cash register?

    Most people think it’s because you have to see it while you wait, but it’s really there for a much more profound reason. It’s because you are exhausted, not physically, but mentally.

    Research on decision fatigue has been going on for nearly two decades. Decision fatigue describes a process of cognitive decline due to a series of mentally taxing decisions. Many things can contribute to decision fatigue, such as the amounts of decisions made in a specific time period, the emotional weight of each decision, and the individuals capacity for handling stress. Every day, each individual decision you make soaks up a relative amount of willpower. In the case of the grocery store, you have to walk through an entire maze of choices before you get to the most colorful and tempting choices of all.

    Most interestingly, much of the research has shown that poorer or lower income individuals show less willpower at the cash register because each decision they make throughout the store is more mentally expensive. If you have some cushion, you may weigh the purchase of grass-fed beef vs. the cost of USDA grade beef based on cost or nutrient value alone. But a person scrounging for dollars has to weigh that seemingly simple choice against the cost, nutrient value, car maintenance, a doctor visit later in the week, and the electric bill. Every single decision has a higher energy cost, therefore, spends much more willpower per decision. Therefore people with lower incomes tend to buy more junk food.

    But there is a silver lining. Your dietary habits can also improve or impair your decision making capacity. Calorie deprivation and irregular blood sugar reduces your decision making capacity, while adequate nutrition improves it.

    Todd Heatherton at Dartmouth University found that people who are calorie deprived show far less willpower than those who are well fed. Once the calorie deprived individuals were fed (carb rich foods) they showed a 50% increase in willpower via grip test, but that willpower was short lived (about an hour to two hours). The groups that were fed some glucose + protein showed the longest sustained willpower of all (3-4 hours).

    Tips to defend against decision fatigue:
    Eat well before you go grocery shopping. Fuel your mind with protein and healthy carbs for better willpower.

    Plan workouts ahead of time. Willpower is a valuable commodity during your movement practice. You should not be distracted or disengaged because your brain is multitasking during workouts.

    Eliminate as many useless decisions as you can during the day – Urgent vs. important task lists are very helpful in these scenarios. See previous post: http://ift.tt/28Mt9Hl



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Spooky & Silly Weekend

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Hope y’all had a great weekend!! We had a wonderful time with Karen last week. She was here visiting, and packed in all the fun, and practical jokes she could. She and Mazen took their annual visit to the Halloween store (yes it’s already open!)

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Karen also scared me with fake poop, a rubber snake under the sink, and this scary lady who was hiding in my closet!!!! (Remember the Booger Man she actually took on a beach trip?!)

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We took KK to the airport on Friday afternoon, and Mazen sure was sad. We entertained ourselves by playing spiderman with Mazen’s new deconstructed soccer goal!!

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Friday night I went out to dinner to Commonwealth before going to the Sturgill Simpson concert!

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Jalapeno hushpuppies –

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The Commonwealth Salad –

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And the chicken with coconut broth, swiss chard, and plantains.

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The concert was great!! I don’t know too many Sturgill songs, but I loved his voice and style.

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Saturday morning I had eggs, toast, blueberries, and coffee.

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Mazen and I went to the gym. I did a super quick workout because I wasn’t feeling it, and when I picked him back up he said “Why are you back so soon? Go workout more.” Ha! I should have, but it was nearing lunchtime, so we went home to eat. Leftover chicken noodle soup we made with KK!

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Then we went grocery shopping! It’s fun to go with Mazen now, as he talks to me and we discuss fruits and veggies together (and all the not-so-healthy foods he wants me to buy!)

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After that we headed over to the Belmont Bash, a block party for the neighborhood.

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Mazen loves the Belmont Park playground, so we played there for a while and did a little shopping. I bought a turkish towel from Michael Turk & Company. Can’t wait to try it out!

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And also this growth chart ruler from Buffalo Gals! This is such a great idea because you can take it from house to house. I’m planning to hang it in the office.

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The best kettle corn I’ve ever had –

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We went to Brazos for dinner! My favorite.

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Chips and tacos FTW. The top one had mashed potatoes on it. Not sure I’d get that one again, although it was good. The pork belly one  – with pickled watermelon – is my all-time fav.

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Here’s to a happy, healthy week!

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High Low High 14

Hello, hello and a very happy Monday to you!

How was your weekend? Do anything fun? Feeling good about the week ahead?

Once again, our weekend was jam-packed. It was all fun stuff, so I’m totally not complaining, but it seems like it was just Friday. Holy cow, it was a whirlwind weekend for sure. Anyway, I love a good High Low High post as a way to recap the weekend, so here we go with edition #14!

HIGH: Visiting friends and celebrating their little guy’s first birthday with an adorable under the sea party theme. Isn’t this cake amazing!?

first birthday underware sea cake

LOW: Qman throwing up on the drive home. There was a buttload of stop and go traffic and he was in the backseat reading a book, so the combination of the two gave him motion sickness. Poor kid.

HIGH: Unpacking our fall decorations! Yayyyyyy!

Crate & Barrel French Cows

SAMSUNG CSC

LOW: Realizing that we need more fall decorations! Haha! Things definitely look a bit bare around the house, so I will be hitting up Homegoods later this week.

HIGH: Having friends over on Saturday night for take-out Greek food, drinks, and football. It was such a good time and we had SO MANY LAUGHS!

LOW: Waking up on Sunday morning and realizing I probably had a little too much fun. Oy. Getting old is tough.

HIGH: Getting back on track with a meal plan from Designed to Fit Nutrition! We recently added some new recipes, so I’m especially excited to try them out this week!

designed to fit nutrition plan

LOW: Having a brand new meal plan and high motivation, but then barely having any (healthy) food in the house. Whomp whomp. (I went to Trader Joe’s later that morning.)

HIGH: Attending the Cycle & Sweat Fitness Block Party at the Derby Street Shoppes. What a fun event. Full recap coming soon!

cycle & sweat event

LOW: Realizing that my new purple leggings show sweat in some rather inappropriate areas, which means they’re now “lifestyle” (not workout) leggings. I am one sweaty gal. Haha!

HIGH: Using my new diaper bag and absolutely loving it! It has tons of pockets, compartments, and accessories, and it’s truly the perfect size– roomy, but not TOO big. It could totally double as a regular purse. I actually like it even more than my old one AND it cost like half the price!

SAMSUNG CSC

LOW: Ok, I really did love my previous diaper bag, so it was a little sad getting rid of it. So, here’s what happened: We had a little vomit incident last month, and I just couldn’t get the smell out. No matter what I tried, it smelled like a puke-y, fishy aquarium. Blah. It just had to go.

HIGH: Making progress in our master closet (i.e. adding recessed lighting, taking down ugly shelving, patching holes, and painting) because we’re getting a new one later this week! So pumped!!!!!

IMG_1706 (720x1280)

HIGH: Finally buying a tripod, so I can make some workout videos for you guys! Any requests? Smile

Giveaway Winners

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered the giveaways on CNC recently! Here are your winners:

Sports bra from the Moving Comfort Collection at Brooks Running

Katy Mabry

Front runner – liked on Facebook

CocoaVia Prize Pack

Lindsay B

Unsweetened dark chocolate!

Congrats!! Please email me at tina@carrotsncake.com to claim your prize!

Question of the Day

Your turn! Share a high and low from your weekend!

P.S. You can still purchase one of the “Happy Hour Starts Now” tanks to benefit the CCFA! They’re only available for another week, so be sure to hop on it! 🙂



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