Category Archives: Lifestyle

She Left Paw Prints on My Heart

If you’re wondering how to cope with losing your pet…

If you recently lost your pet…

If you are in the midst of making one of the most difficult decisions of your life to put your dear pet to sleep…

If you’re grieving your furry little friend more than you ever thought possible…

Read on.

What is it about our pets?

Die-hard pet lovers agree that our pets are our kids. They’re members of the family. I’m a mom, but not just to my human baby – to my fur babies too.

In the midst of my agony over the loss of my cat and as I struggled to tell my story and make sense of how excruciatingly difficult it has been for me to deal with this, a close friend of mine put it so beautifully…

She said the love we have for our cats is intuitive.

There are no words between us and yet we know each other intimately. We get one another. We share a deep love that doesn’t need words. Everything we want to say is communicated in other ways.

I thought that was so intelligent. And it’s true. Think about how we connect with other human beings. It’s usually through words. That’s how we build relationships and form strong bonds. But with our pets, there’s no need for that. Because we have so much more.

My girl’s story 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself trolling the internet trying to find someone else who went through something similar – or better yet, the same – as what I confronted with my precious little Boopsie. (Cute story about her name: we named our little brown tabby Betty but it wasn’t long before her name morphed into Betty Boop (I’m a HUGE fan), then Boops, Boopsie, Boopser, Boopsinator, Honey Boopser…need I go on?) Unfortunately, I didn’t find what I was looking for. So, I’m gonna tell you our story on the off chance that you’re going through something similar, or the same, or different but hearing our story helps you find comfort in some way as you try to figure out how to cope with losing your pet…

Back it up 18 months

At the end of August 2014, when I was 36 weeks pregnant with Brody, all of a sudden, one Sunday in the late morning, Boopsie couldn’t lift her head. She was walking around with her head down and when I called her name, she kept trying to lift her head to interact with me, but couldn’t. My husband and I rushed her to the emergency vet clinic. At first, we all thought she just strained her neck. Maybe she and her brother had played a little too rough. Maybe she jumped off something and landed weird. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

The vet told us to take her home and monitor her. The next morning, she still couldn’t lift her head and my gut was telling me something else was going on here. We took her back. This time, they took her vitals and checked her blood.


Her potassium was extremely low.


Apparently, when a cat’s potassium pummels downward like that, it can present itself in a number of ways, one of which is this downward dropping of the neck. Her potassium was so low, the only way to treat her was to keep her overnight on IV fluids to bring it back up. A whole night without my Boopsie? Aaaahhhhhh! I cried, and hoped and prayed the IV would work and that she’d be okay, but we didn’t know… Sure enough, the next morning, they said her levels had come back up beautifully and she was well enough to go home. Thank Goddd!


Now of course, there’s an elephant in the room. A question that hasn’t been answered. Why did this happen? And the answer is that it could have been a number of things – kidney issues (but they hesitated to focus in this direction because she was so young and on a great diet), dehydration (possible but unlikely), cancer or some other disease (but likelihood was low because everything else seemed good and she bounced back so beautifully) and total fluke (sometimes cats can be mysterious and finicky animals). We decided to take her home and monitor her, do a follow up blood work test a couple of weeks later and then keep a close eye. Her blood work weeks later showed no abnormalities. All good.

So we carried on.

But something always haunted me about what happened because we never got a definitive answer… I was constantly telling her to “stay healthy for me, Boopsie, I need you…”

Fast forward a year and a half back to present time

It was a Sunday in the late morning. Again. (Weird, eh?) She was just ahead of Brody and I going up the stairs and I noticed she hobbled up the last few and then instantly had to sit down.

My heart sank.

I called her name and prompted her to come over to me a few steps away. As always, she looked at me, responded and walked a couple of steps before she had to rest her hind legs again.

“Something’s wrong with Boopsie!” I exclaimed to my husband one room over.

He observed her behaviour and then asked me what the game plan was. “I hope it’s not her potassium again…” he said.

Bloody read my mind. We both knew it.

I made the decision to take her in. Myself. Hubby offered to go, but I insisted. I wanted to take her. I needed to take her. It was like a part of me already knew. And if something was seriously wrong, I wanted to spend every moment I could with her.

I put Brody down for a nap and took her to the same emergency vet.

What the vet revealed

They say moms have a kind of instinct and intuition unmatched by others. When you’re a mom, sometimes you just know. While the technicians and doctors were hesitant and almost doubtful at first to say, yes, this does look like the same issue you dealt with before, I was adamant about telling them the entire story from a year and a half ago.

They ran blood work.

I’m so thankful that once we got in a private room with the vet, they let us stay in there while they ran tests and waited for results. My Booper is an outgoing cat in her own environment, but pull her out of her home, in that god awful crate and then into a vet’s office and it’s a whole different story. She was shaking like a leaf in the waiting room and even though I tried to snuggle her, she was too scared to be anywhere other than underneath the blanket inside her crate – but she managed to peer through just enough to keep an eye on me sitting beside her as I stroked her head and spoiled her with Greenies treats (her absolute fave!).

But in the small examination room just the two of us, it was a different story. After a few minutes she warmed up and we shared a few wonderful hours together. Close and cuddly. I’ll always treasure that time…


“You were right to bring her in,” the vet said when she came back with the results.

Potassium and phosphorus way, way down.

Once again, her levels were so low, the only course of action was to keep her overnight on IV. And this time we took it a step further and decided to do a few more tests on her the day after: an ultrasound to see if anything was going on internally as well as a blood sugar test to see if there was perhaps clotting somewhere, diabetes or prevention of blood flow to her legs.

It killed me to say bye to her. I knew how scared she was (me too) and the thought of going home without her was terrible.

You’re never really prepared…are you?

So I say I had a feeling. Sure. I did. But that still didn’t prepare me for what I was about to learn.

First off, things weren’t looking great because my checkup phone calls Sunday night and Monday morning didn’t reveal the superb results I was praying for. Unlike last time, her levels weren’t bouncing back up beautifully by any means. The doctors weren’t sure if we would be able to bring her home Monday night. She continued on IV all through Monday and was booked for the ultrasound Monday late afternoon.

4:00pm …
5:00pm …
6:00pm …

I was literally going CRAZY waiting for the phone call.

All I could do was plead with God and the universe that whatever it was they were going to find (because I knew it had to be something) that it would be manageable. Something she and we could handle and treat.

To no avail.

FINALLY, at 6:20, the call came through. Amidst a very needy and whiny 18-month-old clinging to me and getting extremely upset that I wouldn’t let him play with my cell phone, I struggled to give him attention and take in everything the vet was saying to me.

“Well, your little Betty is a very interesting case,” she started off. I hate that she said this because it sounded so light. It gave me false hope right from the get-go. But the words about to come out of her mouth were nothing but heavy.

My cat had a blocked ureter

The ultrasound revealed that Boopsie’s right ureter (which is the tract that runs from the kidney to the bladder) was almost completely blocked. This means almost no urine was able to pass through from the right kidney to the bladder. It was likely some kind of stone that she developed, the cause of which is unknown.


Surgery. Big. Invasive. Serious. Uncommon.


Insert an implant tract (an implant ureter) that would act as her knew ureter to pass urine from the right kidney down to the bladder. The vet later described the level of intricacy and specialization in such a surgery saying that the surgeon would be dealing with the ureter and the implant that are so tiny they could be compared to a string of spaghetti.


Some cats get the surgery and go on to live great lives. Others need a second surgery.



I hate this part because it feels horribly wrong to talk about price when it comes to saving a life. Animal, human – it’s all the same. That’s just me. But I need to give you an idea of the level of seriousness, specialization and complicatedness of this diagnosis and associated treatment.

Before the surgery, she’d need to stay in the hospital on IV to get her levels up a little more. For the one night so far, we were in for $2100. The ultrasound we got was $500. Before the surgery, they require a cat scan in order to gain a really accurate view of the issue. $2000. The surgery itself is $5000. Boopsie would have needed at least 3 to 5 days in the hospital afterwards to recover. $800 per day. To evaluate her levels, subsequent blood tests would be needed before the surgery and after. $250.00 each time. All said and done? In the vicinity of $15,000.

Here’s the real kicker

So all that I explained above isn’t everything.

There’s more.

A big additional factor.

Boopsie had a heart murmur. Stage 2/3. Apparently stage 3 is the brink. It’s right around this threshold where heart murmurs start to cause real problems in the animal’s life.


An animal with a heart murmur is at a higher risk to be put under with general anesthetic.

The questions you MUST ask yourself as a pet owner

There were just too many things. Boopsie’s was a highly complicated case. They said it to us over and over. There was nothing common or routine about it.

So we had to ask ourselves…

  1. Is this cat even well enough to go through the surgery?
  2. Would she ever be the same?
  3. Would her heart have failed her right on the table?
  4. Or worse, would she come out of the surgery perfectly only to have her heart fail her 6 months later?
  5. How would she cope with surgery and hospitalization for at least a week?
  6. How much stress and suffering would she experience?
  7. How much pain?
  8. What if she was one of the cats that needed a second surgery? Then what?
  9. Is it worth it to put her through all of this?
  10. Am I doing this for her or for me?
  11. Do we need to consider the other oh-so-dreaded option?

Making the decision to put a pet to sleep

It pains me even to type that.

It’s scary.
It’s horrifying.
It’s agonizing.
It’s ridden with guilt.
It’s impossible…

How? How can we make such a decision to end a poor, helpless animal’s life? Physician assisted suicide is illegal nearly everywhere in the world.

“It’s an animal. It’s different.”

I ask these people, have you done it? Have you had to go through it? Have you wholeheartedly experienced it?

But for those of us who love our dear pets so deeply, there’s something we need to know.

Animals don’t understand. (This is probably why it breaks our hearts to see them suffer because we know they don’t get why.) We can’t reason with them and explain to them… “Okay, so you need to stay in the hospital for a little while, then you’ll have surgery, but after that we’re hoping everything will be fine, you’ll be healthy and you’ll be running around the house again…”

Everything they do – everything they know – is instinctual.

I’m a dog. I like to lick people’s faces, chase after balls, run around the backyard, gnaw on bones and snuggle on the coach.

I’m a cat. I like to have free reign of the house, scratch the furniture, play with toy mice and feathers attached to springs, jump up on the table and chase after my owner’s feet.

Back to my Boopsie. The generalized weakness she had in her hind legs must have been so scary for her. She must have been confused and bewildered. She must have been in some kind of pain not being able to pee properly. She must have felt so frustrated wanting to follow me and come sniff my fingers when I called to her, but couldn’t because her legs failed her.

I feel insanely guilty for putting her to sleep. It still eats me up inside. BUT, the more I think about it, the more I analyze her situation and the more I really and truly consider what the alternative would have been, the more I believe that I may very well have been suffering a different – albeit WORSE – kind of guilt if we’d made the decision to do the surgery. Because then, I may have been forced to watch her suffer in a way I never could have imagined. And for what? The mere hope that we made the right decision? Meanwhile we were left with no source of confidence, no guarantee, no big likelihood of a flawless recovery without complications down the road.

How to find comfort

I know you’re struggling right now, trying to figure out how to cope with losing your pet. There are a number of friends and experts I’ve spoken to along the way who have helped me deal with everything I’ve gone through and am still going through over the loss of my girl. These people have provided me with tremendous insights that I now want to share with you. I hope they help you find comfort too.

  1. The decision to have a pet is a very brave one. Why? Because we know with almost absolute certainty that we’ll outlive them.
  2. Some are here for a long time, some are here for a short time. That’s just life.
  3. Pets don’t understand suffering and pain. So then, should we put them through it?
  4. You have given your pet a wonderful, loving home that they otherwise wouldn’t have had. If yours was a rescue, just think of where they’d be without you.
  5. The decision to put a pet to sleep is a selfless act of caring. Nothing less. When you make the very difficult decision to send your pet to the Rainbow Bridge, you spare them their suffering and you assume it upon yourself.
  6. Being there with them in their final moments and seconds is the last amazing thing you can do for them. Your pet can die in comfort, without fear and without loneliness because they’re close to you. 


I can still feel Boopsie’s body relax and give way into my arms. I had no idea I’d be able to hold her through it all. I kissed her a million times, pet her, spoke to her softly and gave her all the love I had to give in those last few minutes. I’ll never forget the feeling. Although it’s something that haunts me and that I still replay over and over again in my mind, I can’t explain how good I feel about doing it.

I knew it would be hard.
I knew it would be painful.
I knew it would be unforgettable.
I knew I had to do it.

Although it was ridden with heartbreak and sadness, there was something beautiful about it. The fact that I got to hold her so close was comforting in some strange way. Her and I shared our special bond right until the very end.

How to cope with losing your pet – the takeaway

I’m not over Boopsie yet. Not sure if I ever really will be. But one month later, I am better. If you’re in the first few days, you’ve probably been trolling the internet in desperate need of something – anything – to help you cope with losing your pet. So, here are the steps I took to get me where I am today. Use none, use one, use some…

  1. Let yourself be upset.
  2. Cry as much as you need to.
  3. Ignore the people who don’t get it.
  4. Surround yourself with the people who do.
  5. Talk it to death.
  6. Get all the information you can about your pet’s condition.
  7. Research, research, research so you find the support you’re looking for about your decision.
  8. It’s okay to search for ways to feel better but at the end of the day, know in your heart that nothing will.
  9. Except time.
  10. Give it time, go through the grieving process – it sucks but it’s healthy and you have no other option but to do it.
  11. Remember all the good times.
  12. Re-focus your anguish on the things in your life you’re grateful for.
  13. If you have another pet at home, show them tons of love.
  14. When you’re ready, consider giving a new pet a beautiful home.

Celebrate your pet’s life

Sure, I am hoping this post helps at least one other person find the comfort they’re looking for but I’m really writing this for myself. This is my tribute to Boopsie. It’s my way of getting it all out…of saying goodbye.

I vividly remember the day we went to meet and bring home our little girl. She was in a foster home with a woman who had about 15 other cats living with her – some resident cats, some rescues. Little Betty Boop was in a washroom with her littermates. As we slowly opened the door, she scooted out between our legs. My mischievous little Boopsie. I loved her right from the moment I laid eyes on her. I held her in my arms and she instantly began to purr. Yup, this was her. Home bound!


Our other little guy at home was so eager to meet her that we likely rushed that introduction. In any case, it wasn’t long before she settled in to her new home and crazy brother (all the male cats in her life have always treated her like one of the guys – I like to think this feisty female creature asked for it rough).


We didn’t get long.

Boopsie’s life was only three and a half years long. Not nearly long enough. But like I said above, I find comfort in the fact that her life, in its entirety, was the best it could have possibly been. When she was found on the street by the rescue agency, she was eating dirt! I gave her all my love, the best diet money could buy, Greenies treats (her true obsession), a big house to run around in, tons of toys, never ending cuddles, attention and conversation.

Yes, I’m serious.

Boopsie and I had conversations with one another. A lot.

I think the most special quality about Boopsie was her need to chat. All day. Every day. She was the most vocal cat I have ever come in contact with. I’m a Chatty Kathy myself, hence the instant connection.

I miss her yapping.
I miss her presence.
I miss her big beautiful eyes.
I miss her loud, soothing purr.

I miss her.

We love having two cats in our house and our Hanky Panky definitely needs a buddy. So I know we’ll adopt another cat soon. But it won’t be to replace her. It will be to give another cat a special home. It will be to honour Boopsie’s life by giving my love to a fellow feline companion.

Life won’t be the same without my Boopsie and she’ll always have an exclusively reserved place in my heart.

Can’t wait to cross the Rainbow Bridge with you, Boopsie. Until then, be happy sweet girl, just that side of Heaven.



Inspirational Quotes Every Working Mom Should Read on a Monday

Here’s your Monday Mama Motivator.

Need a little help kicking your ass into gear today? There’s nothing like a solid quote that hits home and knocks you out of your Monday funk.

Even better, here are a bunch of inspirational quotes that I’ve compiled just for super amazing working moms like you (but who need a little reminder every now and then). Let’s get your feet off the ground for work, business, home, baby and everything else that Monday brings!

  1. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. – OPRAH WINFREY
  1. The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. – NOLAN BUSHNELL
  1. When you’re in the thick of raising your kids by yourself, you tend to keep a running list of everything you think you’re doing wrong. I recommend taking a lot of family pictures as evidence to the contrary. – CONNIE SCHULTZ
  1. I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed. – MICHAEL JORDAN
  1. Cry if you need to. – WHITNEY SHAFFER
  1. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. – HENRY FORD
  1. Nothing will work unless you do. – MAYA ANGELOU
  1. There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. – JILL CHURCHILL
  1. The phrase ‘working mother’ is redundant. – JANE SELLMAN 
  1. Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary – it’s an act of infinite optimism. – GILDA RADNER
  1. Your house will be messy but it’s all worth it. – SARAH RAY
  1. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. – CONAN O’BRIEN
  1. If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money. – ABIGAIL VAN BUREN
  1. Good things happen when you go for it! – ALAN WEBB
  1. You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you. – MAYA ANGELOU 

So, I don’t have any “quotes” of my own, but I do have a few words to share that’ll hopefully elevate your mood, spark that energy inside you and keep you goin’ all day long.

  1. Don’t think about it, just do it. If you leave yourself too much time to complain, to wallow in the difficulty, to remember how tired you are, well then even if you do get around to doing what you need to do, you’ll be in a horrid mood to do it.
  2. Remember, it could always be worse.
  3. Focus on the positives in your life. All the amazing gifts you have. See the everyday teeny-tiny miracles.
  4. Know that you’ll feel great when it’s done and you gave it your all.
  5. Tell yourself you’re amazing.
  6. Tell your kids they’re amazing.
  7. Breathe.
  8. Smile.
  9. Laugh. LOTS.
  10. Notice the beauty all around you. Trust me, it’s there – we’re just usually too busy to recognize it.


Got a few Monday inspirational words to share?

Do tell!

How to Lose Your Pregnancy Belly in a Week and a Half

That’s what I did.

No, it’s not a lie.
No, I’m not exaggerating.

10 days after the birth of my son … MY. BELLY. WAS. GONE.

Shocked? I was too.

I know there are lots of resources out there that claim to offer the perfect solution or program to help you lose your pregnant belly in X amount of time. Trust me when I say that over the last 8 and a half months, I’ve given this a lot of thought. Particularly after receiving a countless number of compliments about how I look post baby (not gloating, just stating the facts) and after seeing my weight on the scale go back to exactly what it was before, even though I’m still breastfeeding.

And I believe I have a solution. But not like the others out there.

Mine’s more reasonable.
More realistic.
More difficult but more effective.
More manageable over the long term.

It’s not easy and you have to be committed to it.

So here’s how to lose your pregnancy belly FAST…

BEFORE you get your pregnancy belly

For ladies that care about their figure (ahem, hem … I guess that’s all of us), the first pregnancy is downright scary. You have no idea how your body will handle the pregnancy, how you’ll be able to look like a sexy pregger and not a balloon, and how you’ll manage to lose all that baby weight when your little one finally arrives.

Well, guess what?


[tweetthis]Losing your pregnancy belly starts before you even have one.[/tweetthis]


Pregnancy is HARD on our bodies. It’s even hard on a fit, healthy body never mind a loosy-goosy, haven’t-seen-a-gym-in-a-year, no-idea-what-vegetables-taste-like kind of bod.


[tweetthis]The best thing you can do for your post-pregnancy body is take care of your pre-pregnancy body.[/tweetthis]



  1. Eat well. I mean it when I say that this is really the be-all, end-all. Consider all other points useless if you don’t eat right. I talk more in-depth about this a little further down.
  2. Do cardio. Don’t like the gym? Find something else to do to get your blood flowing. Jog, walk, swim, go out dancing, have sex!
  3. Tone. I never tire of seeing the shocked looks on people’s faces when I tell them, “No, I don’t lift weights.” I hate weights. Maybe it’s hereditary, maybe it’s from my gymnastics, dance and karate days, maybe it’s all of the above, but yes, I’m naturally muscular for sure. BUT, let’s go back to point #1. Diet. For sure, it’s at least partially my diet. A big part! If you’re eating Big Macs and Cheetos, you ain’t gonna look toned. EVER. So when I say tone, I’m not talking about weights. Although, if you’re down, lift ’em! Rather, I’m talking about stuff like the plank, abs, pushups and band work – all exercises you can do at home.
  4. Sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. Get lots of it. I am a huge advocate of sleep. And I’m proud to say that because I place it in such high priority in my life, even as a new mom who’s working and running her businesses, I have yet to find myself at a point of sheer exhaustion and total malfunction. We need sleep to stay healthy. Experts say catching forty winks is just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to our health, weight and overall wellbeing.

Alright, so you’ve got a good thing going on. You’re not pregnant yet. But you’re physically ready.

WHILE you have your pregnancy belly

There are two of you now. But you’re not eating for two! Here’s where so many of us make our mistake.

You get pregnant.
You’re excited – elated, in fact.
You’re exhausted.
Your body is working triple overtime to make another human being.
You’re not drinking.

In other words…


[tweetthis]When you’re pregnant, you feel entitled. Damn straight.[/tweetthis]


Entitled to have that tub of ice cream from Baskin Robbins.
Entitled to have seconds at dinner.
Entitled to sleep more and do less.

As you should!

But you can do all these things and still maintain at least some form of control during your pregnancy. And this control is what will make it possible for you to lose your pregnancy belly fast.

The key is BALANCE.


I’m a huge believer in balance…
Balance between work and play.
Balance between saving money and spending it.
Balance between nights out and nights at home.
Balance between exercise and rest.


Drum roll please…

Balance between going off the deep end and maintaining good health.

But it’s hard when you’re pregnant, right? We feel so entitled to do (or not do) and eat (or not eat) anything and everything we want that we totally forget about balance. It’s difficult to stay in control when you’ve got one cooking in the oven!

  • Your hormones are all out of whack
  • You’re an emotional rollercoaster
  • You’re annoyed by the fact that your entire life has already done a 180 despite the fact that you’re still sans baby (while your husband’s hasn’t changed in the slightest)
  • You have no idea how your body’s going to handle the pregnancy
  • You don’t know what’s “good weight gain” and what’s “bad weight gain” because regardless, you feel fat every day

What is a poor pregger to do?


[tweetthis]To lose your pregnancy belly fast, you need to keep your sexy shape while you’re rockin’ the belly.[/tweetthis]


Here’s what I did and what I recommend:

  • Eat well during the week, let loose on the weekends.
  • Maintain a little restraint.
  • KEEP working out! Just take it down a notch so you’re not overexerting yourself.
  • Drink a ton of water. (This should keep water retention in your body at bay and hopefully help you avoid swelling or edema.)

AFTER you give birth

Okay, let’s get one thing straight here.  My regimen below, DID NOT START until 2 months AFTER I gave birth to my son. No way in hell was I doing anything except breastfeeding and sleeping in the first two months. My whole point here is that if you were in good health BEFORE you got pregnant, and if you maintained some form of balance WHILE you were pregnant, then guess what?  Those unwanted pounds AFTER you give birth will fall off so fast your head will spin!

Most soon-to-be mamas and new mamas think after they give birth is the hardest part. But actually, if you gave two sh*ts about your bod before you got pregnant and if you maintained some form of healthy eating and exercise while you were pregnant, well then this part is easy!

You see, the first two parts of my “How to Lose Your Pregnancy Belly in a Week and a Half” program are the most important. That’s the key. And I believe it’s where so many of us go wrong.


[tweetthis]If you’re fit before pregnancy… And fit during pregnancy… Then you’ll be fit after pregnancy in no time.[/tweetthis]


Okay, so my belly was gone in a week and a half. BUT! (And this is a big but.) It didn’t exactly look like the toned, flat, bikini stomach I was used to seeing in the mirror. Sure, the belly was gone…but the skin was all loosy goosy nasty! In other words, I still had work to do. But unless I decided to wear a bikini outside on brisk fall walks, no one was the wiser. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t determined to abolish all that jiggle!

Here’s my after birth routine.

Wait a second…this looks awfully familiar.

It’s the same as the BEFORE routine. Yeah, go figure. But there’s a few revisions you should know.

  1. Eat well – and more, if you’re breastfeeding. Again, check out the details of my diet down below but eating healthy should be your top, top priority if you’re determined to get your full figure back. If you’re breastfeeding, get used to ALWAYS BEING HUNGRY. And I mean, ALWAYS. I am literally never full. Not after breakfast, not after lunch, not after dinner. Not after seconds, or thirds, or dessert. Not ever. Although you’re burning hundreds of calories a day making milk for your baby, this doesn’t mean you need to pack in the midnight snacks and give up on our body for the next year. Again, back to balance. Be reasonable. Treat yourself but don’t go crazy. Eat more protein, veggies and fruits. Have seconds at dinner and forget the cookies before bed. And mama, best of luck because when you’re always hungry, this is extremely difficult to manage.
  2. Do cardio. Get back to it – whatever “it” is for you.
  3. Walk. Having a baby is the best excuse ever to go walking. Even when your wee little one is a newborn, fresh air can be very beneficial (for you too, Mama).
  4. Tone. How else do you think you’re ever going to see those ab muscles again? Tone, tone, tone. Nothing crazy, but regular ab strengthening exercises every day can go a long way.
      1. The plank. I don’t think very many people know how insanely good the plank is for your body. Not only does it work your abs, but also your arms, shoulders, back, butt and legs. And the best part is you can do it anywhere!

      1. Abs on the foam roller. You can get a decent foam roller for $30. It’s so easy to tuck away behind a couch somewhere and pull it out whenever you want. Next time your little one is doing tummy time, why not do a little tummy time of your own?

  5. Sleep. You’re a parent now. Of course there is an endless sea of things to do but guess what? If you don’t get enough sleep, none of those things are going to get done anyway. Sleep deprivation can have horribly negative effects on your daytime function. You owe it to your baby, yourself and your partner to get enough sleep. You’ll be a better mama, a better wife and a better YOU. Plus, let’s not forget the objective we’re talking about here…you’ll be in a better position to shed the pounds if your body is as well rested as it can be. So if baby’s up till midnight and waking every two hours to eat, stay in bed till noon. Feel like you could use a nap? Lie down when your little one does to catch up a bit. Do it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t feel guilty about it. You need it. You deserve it.

The best diet…for your body, your health and your state of mind

Like I said earlier, what you eat on a daily basis is more than half the battle when it comes to getting back that sexy bod of yours.

And you want that because…


[tweetthis]There’s nothing hotter than a fit, toned mama![/tweetthis]


I’m going to tell you about my “daily diet”, and by “diet”, I’m referring to what I eat, not a predefined program that I follow, and by “daily”, I’m referring to most days, as in what I eat when I’m at home – not out at a restaurant or on vacation.

Breakfast: Fruit Smoothie

(Banana, apple, pear, kiwi, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple, almond butter.)

Check it out…


So I have those two glasses there. And the bowl beside them? That’s my little guy’s ration. He loves it too. Honestly, I can say with absolutely surety that this is my favorite meal of the day.

Lunch #1: Salad

(Green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale, baby spinach, cucumber, tomato, mushroom, extra virgin olive oil, and squeezed lemon or balsamic vinegar depending on my mood.)


When I first started eating this way (I’ll explain why in a minute), I really missed my lunchtime sandwiches. But now? I don’t feel right later in the day if I’ve missed my salad for lunch.

Lunch #2: Eggs and Sweet Potatoes

(Other than a few spices on the potatoes, these are the only two ingredients – oh, and coconut oil.)

Yeah, that’s right. I have two lunches. Or at least that’s what I call them. Here’s where I change it up though. One day, I might have eggs and sweet potatoes because Hubby offers to make it for me (this is a daily for him). The next, I might scrap the sweet potatoes and eat just the eggs. Some days I eat the yolk, some days just the whites. Other days, I might avoid the eggs altogether and have an afternoon snack of veggie leftovers from the night before, rice cakes or mixed nuts. And if I’ve got leftover turkey breast or chicken, I usually throw this into my salad as a protein kicker and an extra fill-me-up.


Dinner: Mixed Veggies (fried, barbequed or steamed) and a Protein (chicken, beef, lamb or seafood)

When it comes to veggies, anything goes. From leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower to carrots, turnips and squash, I love it all. We usually cook up some kind of assortment to keep things interesting because if there’s one bad thing about this diet it’s the fact that it gets pretty damn boring after awhile. As for protein, we usually barbeque – and in the winter, fry or bake.


So what do you notice about this diet?

  1. There are no grains.
    That’s right. And I’ve said “grains” and not “carbs” because too often people use these terms interchangeably. But in fact, fruit has a ton of carbohydrates in it – not to mention the sweet potato, which I have a couple times a week. So, my diet isn’t “carbless”, it’s grainless. And as a matter of fact, I’m not totally grainless. Usually once a week, we make quinoa and once in a very, very, very blue moon, we make rice or pasta (usually brown rice, spelt or kamut pasta).
  2. Dairy’s out.
    Humans are the only animals on the planet who drink milk from another species (as adults). There are a whole host of reasons that many doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists and dieticians advise against the consumption of dairy – cow’s milk in particular. Just a few: it doesn’t benefit exercise performance, it isn’t a great source of calcium, there’s no evidence that it’s actually good for your bones, it’s loaded with saturated fat, and it can actually exacerbate stomach issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and other allergies. For me, my stomach just can’t take it on a daily basis. And my stomach issues are the fundamental reason I eat the way I do. I went through such pain and discomfort in the past and realized that it was grains (primarily wheat) and dairy that were my issues. But even though I can’t eat any other way, I also choose this diet because of the way it makes me feel…like a million bucks!
  3. There’s an overload of vegetables.
    Damn straight. Here’s where all the nutrients are, mamas! I challenge you to go 2 weeks eating a ton of vegetables (replacing grains and carbs) and report back about how you feel. I guarantee that afternoon crash will be non-existent. That tired, lethargic feeling you’re usually battling on a regular will dissipate. And your energy levels and overall clarity will be sky high. Seriously. I wouldn’t eat so many veggies if they didn’t make me feel so damn good.
  4. There are TWO lunches!
    Absolutely. C’mon, I’m a breastfeeding, working out, active mama here. I’m starving most hours of the day. There’s no need to feel guilty about an extra meal in the day when you’re eating super healthy. Something else to keep in mind, when you’re reaching for seconds on a huge bowl of pasta, it makes sense to attempt to refrain yourself. But when we’re talking about lean protein and fresh veggies, the more the merrier! It’s a different kind of full. You could have thirds and fourths and still feel 100% satisfied without getting “the Itis”.

At first it’s hard. But it gets easier.

Like anything else, the beginning is the most difficult. We don’t like change. We like things to stay as they are.



[tweetthis]To get results in life, we have to be willing to work for them.[/tweetthis]


I’m not even going to try to sugarcoat this for you: this lifestyle is the pits in the beginning. But give it just TWO WEEKS. That’s it. And if you’re not fully converted, you will be soon. It’s really hard to turn back when you feel like such a better version of yourself.

To sum it all up…

No, there’s no quick fix to lose that pregnancy belly.

My approach is about BEFORE, DURING and AFTER.

It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.

Sure, my advice will help you lose your pregger belly, but there are so many other reasons to consider it too.


Did you lose your pregnancy belly fast? How?

Keep Things Simple

Life is already complex. From learning and development, to maintaining good health, to building relationships, to figuring out how to make money, to living and environmental issues, to career ups and downs, to baby rearing…the list is never ending.

We’re women. It’s in our nature to over-think, over-analyze and over-complicate things. Most of the time we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Call it instinctual, call it habitual. At the end of the day, if we can hone ourselves in, take a look at the big picture and identify the most simple solution, you never know…it just may work! Keeping it simple doesn’t need to be so hard.

My Most Recent Case of Over-Complication

My little prince is 4 months old now. And up until about a week ago, my husband and I simply assumed that this guy was a fussy, high maintenance (“HM” as I call him) night owl who needed to be rocked to sleep day and night, and who had to stay up until at least midnight if not 1 or 2 am before going down for the day. Needless to say the little one and I would sleep until 11 or noon the next day just to feel somewhat functional! And so has been our routine for the past 4 months.

I assumed that when my little guy was ready to go to bed at 8pm, he’d let us know. Ummm…how exactly did I think he was going to do this? Who knows because I never even tried to change the schedule. I kept thinking to myself, “Man, how long is this ass-backwards routine going to last?”

It wasn’t until we went to our friends’ house for New Year’s Eve that our heads really started to spin as we realized our stupidity. They’d already “sleep trained” their son at one month of age!

“It Seems Way to Simple” – Try it Anyway!

baby-cribOn New Year’s Day, I flipped my approach. Something incredibly simple dawned on me…

Baby looks tired so I’ll lay him in his crib.

DUH! Right?

But prior to January 1st, it didn’t go down that way. I’d recognize that he looked tired (maybe), then wait for him to play himself into total exhaustion, and finally frantically rock him to sleep in my arms once he became despairingly fussy!


When I placed him gently in his crib on New Year’s Day for his first nap after returning from the slumber party at our friends’ house, guess what? He went to sleep! No rocking, no shushing, no back-breaking activities. A serious breakthrough, to say the least. And then it became evident that my little prince had been giving me the signals all along. He’d been telling me what he needed and I’d been ignoring it thinking the only way he’d go to sleep was if I was breaking my back in the process.

How to Keep Things Simple In Your Home Life

I want you to learn from my stupidity. (That’s actually the whole objective of this blog.) So the next time you just can’t seem to figure something out in your personal life, try this:

  1. Don’t overthink anything before it happens. In other words, be careful you don’t come down with a mad case of the “If my husband doesn’t get off the computer…” “If my baby wakes up in the middle of the night…” “If my mom overstays her welcome…” “If my friend can’t make it tomorrow night…” You know why? Because 9 times out of 10, it won’t happen!
  2. If it does happen, think of the easiest (and most stress free) solution and try that first. Instead of yelling at your husband, ask him calmly again, maybe he just lost track of time. Instead of breaking your back and working yourself up, try consoling your baby sitting or lying down. Instead of getting annoyed at your mom, have a conversation about limits and boundaries. Instead of freaking out on your friend, roll with the punches, be understanding, find something else to do.
  3. Live in the moment. Man, the number of times I’ve caught myself planning for the afternoon, thinking about what’s going to happen tomorrow or dwelling on something stupid I did a week ago…scratch that. I can’t count them! Be present. Relax. Listen to Erma Bombeck (truth: to me, this is a Van Wilder quote but turns out the real brains behind it belong to this lady):


“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”

How to Keep Things Simple in Your Business Life

Just like it can in our personal lives, business life can be overly complicated too. When you’re a new mom, there ain’t time for unnecessary biz stresses! Here are a few pointers on how to dial it back, ladies:

  1. Pre-plan your day. The night before, have at least a rough idea of what you want to accomplish tomorrow. And don’t cram too much in! (Side note: don’t think I haven’t realized this point TOTALLY contradicts my “live in the moment” point above. But let’s be real, life doesn’t function smoothly – and simply – without a little planning.
  2. Don’t over-commit or over-promise. Remember, you’re a mommy now and that means there’s a new boss in town: that non-stop eating, pooping tiny tot you gave birth to!
  3. Tell it how it is. Be honest with your clients. Explain your situation. You might be surprised how much support you get. Speaking of simple, Mark Twain put it nicely:


“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”


Have you mastered the art of keeping it simple?

How do you do it?