Mommy Brain Postpartum

So they say that women have issues with their memory while pregnant (often called mommy brain!). Well, I am fairly convinced that mommy brain continues for months and possibly years postpartum! I used to have an amazing memory (seriously, nearly photographic), which helped me in so many aspects of life including school, work and friendships.  So what happened?! I am 10 months postpartum, and I still have days where I cannot remember why I went to the store, or if I brushed my teeth in the morning.

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10 Things I Learned About Vacationing with Baby (and staying healthy too!)

vacation with baby We just returned from our 7-day trip to an all-inclusive resort in Mayan Riviera, Mexico. I was against going with a 7 month old baby, but when my parents offered to meet us there we thought we would give it a shot! So here are my top 10 things to consider when traveling with a baby, advice from a new mom!

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Protein Smoothies

So I definitely go through phases with how often I am making protein smoothies. Sometimes I will drink them everyday for breakfast and then other times I will go weeks without making one. Right now I have been drinking them a lot to save time in the morning! I have been working much more lately since our daughter just turned 7 months old,  so I find myself running out of the house and needing breakfast on the go!

Over the years I’ve had different favorite recipes so I thought I’d share some them with you here!

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2015 Mothers Day Gift Guide

2015 Mother’s Day Gift Guide for the Fit Mom in your life (even if that happens to be yourself) !

1. Fitbit Step Counter– If you haven’t read my review yet, read it here. Nothing makes you feel more productive than racking up steps just doing chores around the house! Find them online or at a Best Buy or REI near you. ($99.00-$129.00)
Fitbit flex review
2. Tooks Headband with Built in Headphones  – I just recently purchased this for myself since my headphones were always falling out when I ran outside. Love them. I can listen to my music and keep my ears covered at the same time (yes… I know, sounds crazy because I am in California but I have super sensitive ears that hurt in the wind so a headband is a necessity) $19.99. Order online and use code TOOKSTEN for 10% off.

Headphones
3. LUCY Athletic Wear – I just tried this brand for the first time recently, and I have to say I really like their stuff. It’s not cheap, comparable to other top brands out there, but definitely good quality and designed with the ‘mom’ in mind. I love my Endurance Run Capri ($79.00). They pretty much thought of everything with these pants from mesh ventilation and extra pockets. If you live in Santa Barbara be sure to attend their Mother’s Day Event! By letting them know you are a client or follower of Fit Mama Santa Barbara you get 20% off your purchase from 10:00-2:00 PM on Saturday May 9th!
LUCY La Cumbre
4. Asics Running Shoes – If you are looking for a good pair of running shoes stop right here. These shoes rock my world. Not only do they look great (they come in funky colors) but the supportive insoles and gel cushion make running a whole lot more comfortable. If you are into cross training or weightlifting they have shoes for that too!  Find them for $65-$170, You can buy online or at any sports store near you. If you live near an outlet store even better! Remember, running shoes are kind of like bras, you need to find a pair that fit you perfectly in order to be comfortable all day!
SHOES
5. Indoor Culinary Herb Starter Growing Kit – One thing I hate is buying herbs at the market. I buy a whole bunch of parsley to use one piece and end up throwing the rest out! Why not grow them at home with an indoor kit? I’ve never tried this, but it’s definitely on my to do list. Order one online here ($34.99)!

herb growing mothers day gifts
6. Too Faced – The Little Black Book of Bronzers – $60.00  at Sephora.com. You know what the secret to a healthy glow is when you have a baby? Good bronzer. This pack of eight unique bronzers is great for the person who isn’t sure what color looks best or who’s skin tone changes throughout the year. My morning makeup routine takes me about 2 minutes flat but I never miss this step. I use Pink Leopard because the subtle blush tones take away from the zombie look on extra bad mornings.
Too Faced Cosmetics Bronzer
7. Baby Bullet – Okay, I admit, I totally thought this was unnecessary when I put it on my baby registry. But now that our 6 month old is eating real food, I love it. I can easy puree pretty much anything that I have in the fridge for a quick meal for her. The little containers are great for storing food for a couple days and have a little date reminder on them too! The price is a little steep at $59.99 but you can buy it online from Bed Bath and Beyond and use a 20% off coupon (you know those ones you get ALL the time). Free shipping on orders over $49.00.
mothers day gift guide 2015

8. For Two Fitness Maternity Tops – These are a really great gift for the Fit Mom to be! With cute sayings you are sure to find one that suits the pregnant mama in your life. They are great quality, long enough to cover a bump and are suitable for any activity. Can’t wait to wear one of these next time I’m pregnant! $49-$56 Order online here, free shipping on orders over $75 or $5 flat rate.
for two fitness tanktop training for two
9. Life Factory Glass Water Bottle – So we all know that you must drink more water while nursing, but it seems to be harder and harder to remember when you are taking care of a little one. Get one of these awesome glass bottles to help motivate you to stay hydrated. $22.99-$25.99 for 22oz bottle. Order them online here or find at a retailer near you.
Life Factory Glass Water Bottle
10. Photo Book – So you know all those photos on your iPhone or on Facebook? Why not make them into a pretty photo book that you can keep forever! I like to make one of these once a year to showcase some of the best times that we had together as a couple (and now as a family!) There are lots of websites that offer this service, and Shutterfly.com is always running sales to be sure to check for coupon codes before ordering!

Also, if you didn’t know this, before I order anything online (or even when I go to certain stores like Michaels) I always check www.retailmenot.com for current coupon codes. Most of the time you can save something or at least get free shipping!

There you have it! My top ten wish list for mothers day (or any day really) this year. Happy shopping!

Be sure to check out my next blog post that I am currently working on analyzing the ‘Risks and Benefits of Endurance Training’.

mothers day gift guide 2015mothers day gift guide 2015mothers day gift guide 2015mothers day gift guide 2015

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April is OT Month

So as you know if you’ve read my biography I am an Occupational Therapist (OT). Most of the time when I tell people what I do for a living I get, “That’s cool…so what is that exactly?” Since April is OT month I decided to write this post to share some of the reasons why I seriously LOVE my profession.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

An Occupational Therapist is a health and rehabilitation professional. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages who need specialized assistance to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives due to physical, developmental, social, or emotional problems. Occupational therapists use the “occupations” of self-care, work, and play/leisure activities to increase independence, enhance development, and/or prevent disability. To achieve these goals occupational therapists may also adapt the task or the environment. (Source)

Where Do Occupational Therapists Work?

OT’s can work in many different settings. They work with children at school to assist with activities such as handwriting or socializing with others. They work in communities helping adults with brain injuries or disabilities re-integrate into the community or be able to function independently at home. They also work in special settings such as hand therapy clinics or spinal cord injury rehabilitation centers. The list goes on, as these are just a few examples of where you can find an OT.

Personally I have always enjoyed working with adults. I currently work in skilled nursing facilities with geriatric patients who have difficulty completing their activities of daily living (eating, dressing, bathing, etc) due to a physical or cognitive decline. Through the use of therapeutic exercises, therapeutic activities, cognitive retraining and neuromuscular re-education I am able to help my patients become stronger and more independent so they can ultimately return home or to a lower level of care. As an OT I work to make changes to the person, enviroment or occupation in order to ultimately increase health.

OT model Image Source OT model PEO

5 Reasons I Love My Job

  1. It’s Rewarding!
    It’s the best feeling ever to watch others make positive changes in their lives! The most rewarding part of my career is seeing a patient get stronger and healthier so that they can do the things they want to, or need to, do on their own.
  1. Different Settings
    The job description of an OT varies greatly depending on where they work and with what population. Since there is so much variety you can always find new places or different career paths to take, which prevents burn out and increases job satisfaction.
  2. Client Based Practice
    A big part of being an occupational therapist is helping patients do the things that THEY want to do in life. By having your client be an active participant in goal setting and treatment planning you achieve better outcomes and more effective therapy, as people are able to work towards goals that are important to them. For example, I had a man once tell me that his goal was to be able to play golf again by the spring, although we needed to work on strength and tissue healing we were able to create a customized treatment plan to make sure that he could do the things he needed to do to get back out on the golf course!
  1. Treating the ‘whole person’
    Working as an OT I have learned the importance of treating the whole person (mind, heart and body) rather than focusing on just the physical aspects. By being able to adapt the task or the environment you can make things that may of seemed impossible a reality. For example,  through training clients how to use assistive technology and adaptive equipment people with spinal cord injuries can lead full and productive lives despite their physical limitations.
  2. Perfect combination of creativity, science and problem solving
    By using all three of these skills OTs are able to make meaningful changes in someone else’s life. I love that there is room for some creativity because sometimes the solution isn’t always black and white! For example, I love using whatever I can find at the dollar store in order to make adaptive equipment for my patients to use at home, most of the time it’s the simplest gadgets that make the biggest difference! The possibilities are truly endless!

If you have any other questions about how an Occupational Therapist can help you be sure to send me an email or check out http://www.aota.org/ for more information.

This post was inspired by Christie at MamaOT.com . Check her out! She is a pediatric OT and has an awesome blog full of advice and resources for those who care for or work with young children!

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