Expecting more + dark chocolate sea salt bark

by Kim on July 9, 2014

For the past two days, I’ve been struuuuggling to get up in the mornings. At the start of the week, I was already exhausted from our weekend trip (Mason was up for about two hours in the middle of the night one of those nights—thaaanks buddy), and then I stayed up a little later than I should have on Monday and Tuesday nights (thanks, Orange is the New Black).

This also means I’ve been missing my morning workouts, which has been hugely frustrating. But when my body’s already stressed from lack of sleep, I don’t want to pile on much more stress with exercise anyway. (Remember, the body can’t tell the difference between kinds of stress. It reacts to a tough day at work, an intense workout, and a lack of something it needs in the same exact way–by going into fight-or-flight mode and cutting corners on some of the processes you want it to be doing, like burning fat and maintaining your immune system.)

So tonight, I’m officially committing to an early bedtime AND an AM workout tomorrow.

Luckily, I’m getting a little help on the working out part.

I happen to have just gotten some well-timed fresh inspiration from Sara Haley, a well-known pre- and postnatal fitness trainer, who reached out to me and asked if I’d like to try her prenatal program, Expecting More.

sara haley

Um—YES.

I’d actually been eyeballing this program a few months ago, but wasn’t ready to commit to the price. (That was before I knew you could download individual workouts online for $10, vs. buying the entire DVD–score!!)

The program includes a variety of cardio, strength and dynamic flexibility exercises, with workouts ranging from 20-50 minutes in length. There’s a Sweat Sport workout that incorporates sports drills and a Sweat Funk workout that’s full of dance moves.

Along with the workouts, you get a workout calendar with suggested guidelines for each trimester. Sara refers to each trimester by a special name: Strong, Fun, or Sexy. Haha. :)

strong fun sexy
I haven’t had a chance to try any of the workouts yet, but stay tuned for a full review, coming soon!

In other news, I have a recipe for you.

IMG_4629

A pregnant girl needs her chocolate, people.

I’ve made two batches of these in the past week–Brent actually asked me to stop making them because he can’t trust himself around them. (I think that’s a compliment?)

I like them because they’re SUPER quick and easy to throw together, I usually have all the ingredients on hand, and they involve dark chocolate (by far my favorite of the chocolate family).

dark chocolate sea salt



Ingredients:

1 c. coconut oil, melted

1 c. dark cocoa powder

6 Tbsp. honey or pure maple syrup, to taste (maple syrup for vegan)

4 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. sea salt, to taste (I put mine in straight from the grinder, so I’m not sure exactly how much I use—be careful not to over-salt!)

1/2 c. mix-in of your choice (optional)—I used the cashew pieces from Trader Joe’s in this batch, but some other things that would be awesome are macadamia nuts, dried cranberries, pistachios, almonds, shredded coconut, crushed pretzels, etc.

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into an 8×8 baking dish (or larger for thinner bark) lined with parchment paper, wax paper, or foil. Freeze. Cut into squares and store in the freezer.

 

Did you know that dark chocolate happens to be loaded with magnesium, a mineral that the average person tends to be deficient in? (Here’s a great article from the Wellness Mama about this.)

Magnesium is important for roughly a bazillion and a half things in the body, from sleep (hello!) to bone health to blood pressure regulation. I’ve actually been supplementing with it off and on throughout my pregnancy to help with leg cramps and constipation. (It totally works wonders for both!)

Moral of the story: enjoy your (dark) chocolate!

xoxo

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jade July 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I did this last night too, I couldn’t really fall asleep easily enough, but got suckered in to finish the Season 4 of Pretty Little Liars (I just had to find out how it ended). Cue the late bed time and then I still had to wake up for my 6 am alarm and now I am dragging.
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Giselle July 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

That sounds like an awesome workout! The chocolate, OMG! Sounds amazing! I actually make a chocolate sauce with cocoa, maple syrup and coconut oil that I pour over The Hubby’s Paleo Mug muffins or our banana froyo. It’s amazing!
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Caroline @ The Little Things Blog July 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Wow- this looks delicious! Good luck on your earlier bedtime.
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Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries July 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm

I did Sara Haley’s Expecting More DVD all throughout my pregnancy and loved it! She’s super fun and her workouts are challenging but not over the top. I hope you enjoy it too!

Mmmm the chocolate looks so good! Definitely giving this recipe a try!
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Kim July 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm

That’s good to hear! I’m so excited to try it!
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