Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt

Gabrialla Maternity Belt, Side View
Side view, taken at 38 weeks
I hate having to slow down for pregnancy. With my first baby I took a full twelve credit load, worked as a full-time retail slave, and balanced family life. That class load? I was taking classes including Chemistry and Personal Fitness with alternating running days and strength training. I kept it up the fitness class until a couple weeks before my due date and then came back a couple weeks after to do a mile run and tie up a few other lose ends.

Sure, there were a few obstacles.

There is the fatigue which is tolerable as much as it cuts into scheduling. The worst part, though, was the intense back pain. Stretching has resolved most of that this pregnancy. I consulted my doctor and she recommended a maternity support belt. She said it would also help with that uncomfortable feeling of pressure on my cervix during running. Now, don't be alarmed, the baby was not going to pop out because I was running. In fact, the amniotic fluid works very well as a cushion so it probably feels like being bounced on someone's knee, only in utero.

The first months - mixed benefits.

I bought my medium support Gabrialla belt (for a very reasonable price on Ebay) around month four. Immediately I noticed that it did do wonders for that pressure on my cervix. I bought a size L even though I was well within the range for a M; I read a review that said they run large. Mine was actually true to size so I just pulled the velcro a little past where it was supposed to attach. It is a bit scratchy so I wear it on top of a light shirt and slather on lotion so I don't scratch my weakening skin. Some days it felt like the belt helped more than others so I think your body's state at any given day affects how much running will or will not irritate your cervix.

The last months - total lifesaver!
Gabrialla Maternity Belt, Front View
Front view, 38 weeks

I am now almost nine months pregnant. Discomfort wakes me up in the middle of the night and I have trouble finding a good laying or sitting position. I was seriously contemplating what would happen if I could not tolerate the last month of pregnancy. Finally I decided to try my maternity belt. Up until now I have mostly used it for running, my light strength training, and the school days that require toting extra textbooks. After half an hour I stopped noticing what position I was in and a few hours later I realized I was actually... comfortable. I like going around in just my husbands shirt lately but I've been putting on *gasp* real clothes so I can wear my maternity belt comfortably. It also fits me now which makes it feel more secure.

The verdict: I would definitely recommend this to any mom and wish I would have had it for my first pregnancy. (Find it on Ebay.)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ballet: Those Awful Chicken Feet

There is very little I admire more than the athleticism, dedication, and incomparable grace of a ballerina. But the chicken feet! Pointe remains one of the most torturous sounding activities in the world and it just does not make sense to me.

Enviable grace, amazing port de bras... and then the feet
Leah  (c) Melissa DooleyCC Attribution 2.0 License

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weekend Crush: Mirai Nagasu

Mirai Nagasu (c) The Skating Club of Boston
CC Attribution 2.0 License

There is something particularly serene about Mirai Nagasu.  Maybe that's why she tends to skate a pretty clean program, well at least compared to my first love in figure skating. Her laybacks are very elegant--there is definitely some flexy to love there! (See clip below from the 2013 Finlandia Trophy.)

Monday, October 7, 2013

3 Ingredient Vivid Orange Carrot Smoothie

I'm not a fan of cooking. Better put, my partner does all the cooking. Coming up with snacks for myself is a pain but when he's not around I have to survive on something, lol. One of my favorite snacks is this easy three ingredient smoothie.


  • About 2 medium carrots
  • One small orange
  • About 3/4 cups of sugar to taste

  1. Wash everything; peel and chop the carrots.
  2. Cut the orange into wedges and peel off the skin.
  3. Put about a cup and a half to two cups of ice cubes in a blender. Better yet, if you have the refrigerator setting, add ground ice.
  4. Add the sugar; you can start out by adding half of it before blending, taste it, and add more if needed.
  5. Blend & enjoy!


Every time I make this it comes out a little different based on how much of any ingredient I have. 
  • If you want it a bit less sweet or lower in calories reduce the sugar or start with 1/4 cup of sugar, taste it after it's blended, and add sugar bit by bit until you have just enough.
  • Hate pulp? Go with less orange. I recommend against straining this because you will lose a lot of the nutritional content. 
  • Want to add benefits? You can include omega-3's by adding a teaspoon of ground flax or chia seeds. Throw in a tiny bunch of a deep green veggie for an added mix of nutrients.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Weekend Crush: Michelle Stanek

I think after having Michelle Stanek's All the Time routine stuck in my head all this week it's time to make her my Weekend Crush! If you haven't seen it yet you are way overdue. And if you have seen it, I think you could use another look at her effortless standing splits at about 1:28. Just saying.


I know I just said sexy dance is not my style but this is really making me want to put in the work to dance like this. Michelle nails some crazy impressive and sultry moves. Of the sexy pole dancers out there she's the first to make me want to become her. Maybe that has a bit to do with said standing split.

Then, too--doesn't she look exactly like JJ from Criminal Minds here? My brain just jumped to JJ and Prentiss doing pole doubles. This needs to happen!

I am going to have my work cut out to nail any one of her moves. The standing split is going on my wishlist yesterday along with whatever that black magic is at :34. This may just be the motivation I need to get to my ab work after I have my baby. At least I can keep working on my splits in the meantime! I'm sure it helps that she has been dancing since she was a child. She definitely has great timing in all her performances and beautiful artistry from dance. Then on top of that all the sexy? An absolute dream.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why I will always defend the "Sexy Side"

I don't own a single pair of clear heels. The stilettos I have are babied and would never come near my treadmill so they would never be part of my pole workouts or dancing either. Yet when I read about certain organizations trying to strip the sexy side away from pole I speak out. Go sanitize anything else you want but pole--there are so many reasons not to.