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Mommy Monday: 32 Weeks Pregnant! [Video]

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At 32 weeks pregnant, I am feeling large and a bit slowed down. Emotions are fluctuating a bit as hormone levels are drastically changing in the last trimester, and I’m trying my best to manage them. :)

 

Carrying Eliel (who is 2 and a half) around has also gotten to be a bit much, so often I remind him that mommy is already carrying his sister, and that he can “walk like a big boy”.

 

My main goal these last 7 weeks is to bask in the remainder of this pregnancy–it’ll most likely be my last! My husband, Elvis, and I have talked about this and believe we are content with two–our boy and girl!

 

Check out my latest pregnancy vlog above for the full scoop emotionally, physically, and mentally. And thanks for sharing and liking!

 

Let’s make it a great week,

 

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xoxoxoxoxox,

Monica Bencomo

Check out my book here!

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How to Handle Pregnancy Cravings! [Video]

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Hey guys!

 

You don’t have to be pregnant to know that pregnancy cravings are very real and sometimes overwhelming. Fluctuating hormones prevalent during pregnancy can be the culprit most often. I get demanding cravings every day, and for me they seem to hit the hardest right before bed.

 

For #fitnessFriday, I wanted to offer my personal tips I use daily for managing cravings. My diet is NOT 100% clean–that would be no fun!–but I do aim to have a balanced diet more often than not.

 

Check out my top tips below for how you can manage those cravings too–pregnant or not!

 

 


 

 

 

1) Substitute unhealthy cravings for healthier versions

Pregnant women are notorious for craving ice cream. This has a lot more to do with the calcium in the ice cream rather than all the sugar and cream. So, to get my ice cream craving satisfied, I will drink organic milk with cocoa, or a yogurt parfait. You’d be surprised, but it satisfies the craving!

 

2) Craving soda? Try this.

I often find myself craving carbonated drink while pregnant like 7 up or Sprite. I have found a great option to indulge in guilt free–carbonated water! You can find them at your local grocery store, and many have zero sodium, zero sugar, and no calories. My husband and I are addicted to them.

 

3) Indulge yourself…every once in a while!

What fun would pregnancy be if you never let yourself have a treat? I believe in having treats in moderation whether you’re pregnant or not. We have Pizza Night every Friday at our house, unapologetically. It’s fun, sets a routine, and I never feel guilty because it’s just one night a week! ;)

 

4) Don’t let yourself get hangry.

Hangry=Hungry and Angry. Try to always keep healthy snacks with you to avoid those moments when you’ll do anything for some food! My son and I always keep grapes, apples, nuts, and water with us whenever we know we’re going to be out and about all day.

 

Well, there you have it guys! My personal tips I use daily to manage incessant cravings.

Did I miss one that you use that works? If so, leave me a comment letting me know what you do below.

Have a great weekend!

 

xoxoxxoxo,

Monica Bencomo

 

 

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What a Conscious Parent Is…And Isn’t. #WisdomWednesday

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For #wisdomWednesday, I wanted to discuss a topic that I’ve been studying for a while now, and that is how to be a more conscious parent.

 

But first off–what is a conscious parent, anyway?

 

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A conscious parent is someone who:

 

1) Acknowledges their children have their own unique destiny

2) Strives to be present with their children (does not live in past or future incessantly)

3) Realizes their child is their teacher

4) Understands that learning to love themselves authentically is the best way to lead by example

5) Shows unconditional love to their children

 

…And what does a conscious parent NOT do?

 

  • They do not try to live vicariously through their children–i.e. pushing their agendas/dreams onto their kids
  • They are not interested in competing with other moms or children academically, socially, etc.
  • They don’t try to control their kids or their destiny
  • They don’t rely on spoiling kids with things in order to make up for lack of presence/love
  • They NEVER hold love or attention back if child does not perform or act in a way that appeases them

 

 

Check out the video above and let me know your thoughts…how are you going to practice being a more conscious parent? For me, I strive to remember these ideas and put them into practice. Self-love is one of my biggest values, and one I want my children to exemplify, so I am focusing on that.

Be patient with yourself and your kids. Life, like parenthood, is a journey.

 

Thanks for reading/watching/sharing–have a great week!

 

xoxoxoxoxox,

Monica Bencomo

 

 

 

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[Video] Benefits of Yoga During (and before) Pregnancy

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I will honestly admit that I am not a huge fan of yoga. I usually prefer high intensity workouts that get my heart pumping and adrenaline rushed.

 

But, with pregnancy comes the need to slow down, and of course, not perform any jarring movements, so I’ve been implementing a few yoga moves in my prenatal workouts. (Baby comes first!)

 

If you plan on conceiving and aren’t pregnant yet, take note that yoga helps prepare your body for pregnancy in the ways I listed below. A woman’s hormone levels are more likely to be in balance when participating in yoga (and maintaining a healthy diet), which will help conception occur more easily.

 

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Here are the top reasons I find yoga to be an amazing workout choice before and during pregnancy:

 

1) If you have not been working out before conceiving and would like to get healthy and start, yoga is great for beginners, as it is not strenuous on a woman’s body.

 

2) Yoga is a great way to reduce stress. Baby feels all mom’s energy, so it’s especially important during pregnancy to remove yourself from drama and be calm.

 

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3) Prenatal yoga helps keep you in shape during pregnancy, and can be done in the comfort of your own home! (Thanks Youtube videos!)

 

4) Yoga can relieve common aches and pains most pregnant women endure. Prenatal yoga poses increase strength to help mom carry her growing baby, and lessens pelvic irritation.

 

5) Yoga classes are a great way to hang with other moms to be! Pregnancy can sometimes feel isolating–especially in the third trimester when you are forced to slow down. I met many great moms in my classes, and it was great social interaction.

 

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What are your favorite workouts during pregnancy? Let me know in the comments below, and as always–thanks for sharing and liking!

 

Let’s make it a great weekend,

xoxoxoxoxxoxo

Monica Bencomo

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Wisdom Wednesday: Cutting Negativity OUT of Your Life [Video]

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Pregnancy brings tons of changes to your body, mind, and spirit. Everything can feel like it is in HD so to speak–as if all emotions and physical sensations are exacerbated. This is normal as there are surging hormones coursing through your body to create new life.

 

With all these changes, life challenges can seem daunting and overwhelming. I can honestly say I am proud of how I’ve been dealing with difficult situations this pregnancy–I haven’t repressed my emotions (which is NEVER a good idea–leads to diseases in the body like cancer, or emotional “random” outbursts!), but I’ve acknowledged them and let them go. In other words I give situations out of my control to my Higher Power.

 

Whether you’re pregnant or not, cutting toxic people out of your life is a must. If you let them remain, they will drain your energy and block your blessings. Sounds dramatic, huh?

 

Not sure if those around your are toxic or if you’re making it all up in your head? Then check the list below to see if it reminds you of some folks in your life.

 

Signs of Toxic Relationships

 

1) They drain your energy
After you leave their presence, you feel tired, “over worked” or just plain sad. This is a big sign they are energy vampires! #BYEFELICIA

 

2) You don’t feel like your authentic self in their presence
You feel like you have to act differently around them to be accepted. They feel intimidated by your true power, so you shrink. I’ve done this when I was younger and it is NEVER a good idea. Never take off your crown to make others feel better about themselves.

 

3) They are easily offended
This one is an annoying one. Anything you say or do seemingly hurts their feelings, and this is their excuse for lashing out at you. In other words, you can’t seem to do anything right! Ain’t nobody got time for that!!

 

4) They make you feel like you are cheating on yourself
When we force relationships to stay in our lives that are unhealthy, our intuition feels cheated on. We know we should leave, but we don’t want to seem mean. So we stay to appease them. Bad idea. Instead, honor your heart and obey its divine wisdom. Most likely, the toxic person your working so hard to appease isn’t worth all the fuss anyway and wouldn’t drop a sweat for you.

 

5) There always is drama lingering

Whether it is with you or some other person they are draining, they always seem to have an outstanding issue with someone. They bad talk them and wait for you to join in. You realize this is how they’d handle an issue between you and them if anything ever happened. #watchthesigns

 

If you find yourself in one of these categories with someone or some people, it is best to simply cut them out of your life. Don’t feel obligated to stay for anyone–you must honor your SELF first before you can be good for anyone else.

 

Thank you for liking and sharing. Make it a blessed, amazing week!

#TooBlessedTobeStressed

#WisdomWednesday

;)

xoxoxoxxo,

Monica Bencomo

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Fitness Friday: The One Rule Will Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals

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I heard this “rule” once–about 6 years ago while on a women’s retreat, and I’ve never been able to get it out of my head.

 

It went a little something like this:

 

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar.”

 

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It struck me, I think, as a sudden realization or “ah ha” moment, that so many of us have this backwards…so many women I talk to think that starving themselves during the day will help them get thinner, only to purge that evening when they are starving.

 

I think the idea of deprivation leads some to think they will reach their fitness goals faster. But it is important to realize that it does not work–science shows in numerous studies that starving yourself (even if only for 5 hours) leads to your body storing fat rather than burning it. The simple reason for this is that your body’s wisdom reacts to not knowing when (or if) the next meal is going to come by holding on to the fat stores for survival. Yup. This traces back to caveman days of not knowing when the next meal would be…interesting huh?

 

So next time you’re tempted to grab coffee, bolt off to work, and eat a huge early dinner to make up for it, stop and remind yourself of the above rule. Not only will you wake up feeling tons better (and not bloated), but you’ll also be healthier and leaner as a result.

 

xoxoxoxo,

Monica Bencomo

 

 

 

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Throwback Thursday: Upper Body Workout Video!

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For this blog’s #ThrowbackThursday, I brought it back with a workout video I filmed over a year ago. This video will teach you how to get toned, lean arms with some basic workouts you can do from the comfort of your own home.

 

 

 

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As stated in this video, I do recommend investing in some dumbbells if you have not already. Having some basic workout equipment at home can make all the difference to your fitness level. :)

 

So what are you waiting for? Try the moves now, or pin the video for later to do after work. No excuses! ;)

 

xoxoxoxox,

 

Monica Bencomo

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Wisdom Wednesday: 5 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Mom

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Being the youngest child of 5, I never really imagined myself becoming a mom growing up. It wasn’t until I settled into my marriage in my mid twenties that the thought of me having a part of Elvis and I became overwhelming. One day I woke up and realized our having kids was a part of my destiny somehow.

 

So, the evening we renewed our vows in front of family and friends at our restaurant, we chunked the birth control. I was terrified. And excited.

 

Within 3 months, I finally got what we both had been waiting for: a positive pregnancy test. We were speech less and stoked! The journey officially begun…

 

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Now that my son is 2 1/2 and I am pregnant with our second child, my daughter, I can’t help but relish in the lessons they’ve already taught me as their mom.

 

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Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Mommy:

1) Being a mom is the biggest source of inspiration I’ve ever had.

When it comes to taking care of my body, surrounding myself with positive people, cutting out toxic relationships, and working on my spirituality, my son and daughter inspire me to be a woman of wisdom. Of course, I’ll never be perfect, but I want my values to be apparent to my kids so they have a positive role model in their life.

 

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2) Kids do what they see, not what they’re told.

Simple, right? Yet so many of us tell our kids not to ‘be mean’ or to ‘eat healthy’ yet ourselves act nastily or binge on unhealthy food for comfort. Kids sense a double standard, and it makes them lose respect…quick. If you want your child to be his or her best, then it starts with you becoming your greatest version.

 

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3) Having a child is a GIFT.

I find it so sad when I hear moms complaining of how “their kids drain them” or other ways they feel having children somehow stole heir identity. Kids did not ask to be here, and it is up to us to take responsibility to create a positive, safe space for them once they are. Let go of the life you thought you’d have and embrace the life you do have as a mother. Thank God for your kids every day, for they are your biggest blessing!

 

When my boy was under a year :)

When my boy was under a year :)

 

4) A Love like no other.

No one can prepare you for the love you’ll have for your own kids. There is no love grander than this. It is truly unconditional. Even thinking about how much I love my son (and already his sister), I could weep, and not just because I’m pregnant! But rather because I am amazed at how big my heart space has grown as a result of becoming his and her mommy.

 

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5) Don’t let go of your dreams “because you’re a mom”.

If you relinquish your dreams in order to be a better mom, you will paradoxically be a worse mom. Why? Because kids sense everything. If they sense a mom who feels unfulfilled, overworked, and lacks purpose, they will feed off of that. Conversely, if you have a sense of identity and destiny and are consistently working towards your vision, your kids will learn that that is how they find joy. Not in sacrifice (which is a limited view of the world’s abundance), but rather in nurturing your sense of purpose in the world.

 

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So, what about you? What have you learned since becoming a mommy? Let me know in the comments below. And…make it a great day!!

#wisdomwednesday

 

xoxoxoxoxox,

Monica Bencomo

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Toned Up Tuesday: Full Body Home Workout!

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Happy Toned up Tuesday! :)

 

At 7 months pregnant (29.4 weeks to be exact) ;) , working out is getting a bit more challenging. To keep focused, I constantly remind myself that working out (no matter how tired I am at first) always improves my mood, increases my energy, and is great for baby and me.

 

Try each of these moves for a total of 3 sets and 12 reps, and I guarantee you will feel it--pregnant or not!

 

Thanks for sharing the latest #toneduptuesday workout video! Make it a fabulous day.

 

xoxoxoxox,

Monica Bencomo

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Mommy Monday: 5 Tips for a Great Maternity Photo Shoot

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Capturing the amazing moment of pregnancy with maternity photos is a must-do for any woman’s pregnancy. For 9 months, our bodies carry and sustain life until a new soul is born in the world. And once the baby is here, we often mourn missing the big bellies we were once complaining about!

 

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I recently took my family maternity photos. Once I added up the cost for outfits, the photographer, accessories, hair and makeup–I was looking at a number I was not comfortable with ( to say the least).

 

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So–I got creative, and thrifty. I ended up spending 75% less than I originally planned, and I love the photos more than thought I would!

 

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So without further adieu:

 

My top tips for a Great (low budget Maternity Shoot!):

 

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1) Choose An Up and Coming Photographer

Instead of choosing an expensive studio, put an ad on Craigslist or share a Facebook post that you’re looking for a professional photographer who’d like to add ‘Maternity photos’ to their portfolio. I received tons of answers via email, and was able to choose a good photographer a friend recommended.

 

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2) Make Your Own Outfit

I know, I know…not many of us have the time or patience to sit there and sew a dress, BUT, I can tell you I made my dress with $20 of fabric from Jo Ann’s Fashion. It only took me about 1.5 hours to sew. I started with a simple tube top bra I already had, sewed the white fabric around the bottom, cut a slit in the middle, and cleaned up the bottom by stitching it to my desired length. For bottoms, I bought $4 boy shorts from Walmart. I did my own hair and makeup, and got my accessories from Forever 21. Let’s just say my hubby was pleasantly pleased at the wardrobe budget! ;)

 

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3) Print Your Own Photos

Adding to #1 above, choose a photographer who offers a good price for digital photos on a CD. Printing your own photos from Walmart or Walgreens instead of asking them to will save you some cash.

 

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4) Have Your Poses Chosen

I sent our photographer photos of similar images I wanted to capture. Most photographers will charge by the hour…So, when it came time to aim and shoot, I knew what poses I wanted to do. We were done with all poses within an hour.

 

5) Be Yourself

I saw the vision of what I wanted our photos to look like, and chose my outfit, location, etc. based off that vision. I didn’t want to have maternity photos just like anyone else’s–I really wanted to capture my unique family, my personality, etc. Being original is priceless!
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If you know a fellow mama-to-be, please share this post with her! We all should have maternity photos to look back on and be able to relish the special moments pregnancy has to offer.

 

Ps: If anyone is wondering, our photographer can be found here: :)

 

xoxoxoxo,

Monica Bencomo

 

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