Fitness in the Kitchen

Fitness in the Kitchen

Workouts & recipes fueling a busy, healthy life.

Kester Lewis – The Birth Story

Early the morning of November 10th whether I was ready or not (I wasn’t), my life changed forever.

I became a Mom. 


I still can’t believe that it happened, that I gave birth to a little human life and I’m about to share the story with you. Surreal for sure. 

So if you aren’t into detailed birth stories I’m warning you…there will be nothing super graphic, but it was childbirth, so…just sayin’ I won’t be offended if you leave now and come back for the next recipe or workout post. :)

Here’s how it all went down:

It was Sunday night, November 9th, we had just come back from a time of study with our church small group, and were settling in at Mom and Dad’s to watch the historic rivalry showdown Packers vs. Bears. And since I’m a Bears fan I will say no more about how that game went. 

Pete and I grabbed some cheese, crackers, and apples to snack on and a short while later my brother arrived with his family. We watched the game, talked, and I felt TOTALLY fine, no clue of the coming adventure we were about to have. 

Around half time my sis-in-law left to put her kiddos to bed, and then when 10pm rolled around we decided to head in the direction of home as well. I got up off the couch to use the bathroom before leaving, and half way there GUSH, it was like a huge water balloon breaking between my legs!! You read about pregnant women that experience a trickle running down their leg and they are like ” I think maybe my water broke?” Not so for me. There was no “I think” about it. It was like a lake on my parent’s bathroom floor. 

I called to Pete and told him what had happened and then asked my Mom if I could borrow some pants. Once I was changed we left the dog there with Mom and Dad, and headed back to our place to get ready for the long (or so we thought) labor ahead of us. 

My plan all along was to labor at home as long as I could stand the pain, and then head to the hospital to give birth there with the midwife. Of course, a plan is only just that, and with labor plans can change often and quickly.

When we arrived home I got in the shower right away (not knowing when my next one would be) and Pete packed some last minute things into our bag for the hospital, and some snacks, like sparkling water, fruit, nuts, trail mix, and protein bars. Since it was my first baby we were anticipating a longish labor and wanted to be prepared. From everything I’d read, and heard in our birth-education classes first labors on average take at least 8 hours. 

Once I was out of the shower I changed into yoga pants and a tank top, preparing myself to be comfortable.


Token selfie before entering contraction land.

Pete got in the shower, and around 11:30pm my contractions began. 

At first they were no big thing, I started timing them on my Iphone while wandering around the apartment doing things. We called the birth center just to let them know my water had broken and they advised me to hold out at home until my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart consistently for 1 hour. “Try and get some sleep” that was the advice I got. 

My contractions were getting more intense and I told Pete that I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so we decided to watch a few shows together to take my mind off the contractions. While we watched I timed contractions, they were about 7-8 minutes apart at this time and lasting around 45 seconds to 1 minute each.

After 40 minutes (2 episodes) of Parks and Rec the contractions had gained intensity and the only position that was comfortable was being on all fours on the floor. Pete massaged my lower back between contractions which helped alot, and recorded them for me. 

Around 2:00 am my contractions had gotten quite intense and had been 3-4 minutes apart for about 45 minutes, and I told Pete that we needed to go to the hospital. I rode in the back seat and shivered while the contractions hit me over and over like a giant wave I felt like with each one I might not stay afloat.

We live about 25 minutes from the hospital where I had chosen to deliver, so we arrived in the emergency room around 2:30 am where a nurse met us, and accompanied us to the birth center on the 2nd floor. I had two SUPER intense contractions on the way to the birth center, and ended up riding the last few yards to the room in a wheelchair…I kind of a felt like a huge pansy. 

The nurses on duty settled me into a labor and delivery room right away, checked me and told me that I was 3 cm dialated, but almost complete effaced already. Then they  began to attach the needed equipment to monitor baby’s heart rate. At this point the last position I wanted to be in was on my back on the bed, but they couldn’t monitor the heart well enough unless I was in that position. Pete was awesome and so supportive as he let me squeeze the flesh out of his hand as each contraction came and went. He also fed me ice chips like a boss out of plastic cup, ice never tasted so good.

After about 45 minutes in the labor and delivery room baby’s heart rate was confirmed to be good, but contractions were so painful (I had even thrown up once due to the pain) that I told Pete I needed an epidural if I was going to last through the labor. It wasn’t what I orginally wanted, I wanted to try and have the baby naturally, but I could feel my muscles tensing, and I knew I would soon start cramping up if I didn’t get some relief. 

Pete called the nurse in and around 3:30am she checked me again and told me I was now 5 cm, and then she started an IV with fluids and assured me that the doctor that would give me the epidural would be there in about 40 minutes to give me some relief. The nurse also told me I could now get up off the bed if I wanted and get in a warm shower, or labor on the birthing ball, or get in a more comfortable position. She assured me she would be out in the hall monitoring my contractions and when things progressed she would call the midwife in. 

I was all about this idea of getting off the bed, so I rolled to the side and started getting up on all fours on the bed to get down, and a SUPER intense and painful contraction hit me and dropped me flat. And then almost instantaneously I felt the urge to push. 

This totally freaked me out so I yelled at Pete to call the nurse back into the room right away! I felt so bad for him, he had no idea what was happening only I knew that baby was coming and now!!! There would be no time for that epidural!  The nurse asked what we needed and Pete told her that I was saying I was ready to push. 

The nurses sprang to life ran in the labor and delivery room with tons of supplies. One of the nurses was asking me if I really did have to push, I assured her I did, and she said, okay, here we go. The second nurse ran out to call the midwife as the nurse had confirmed that I was completely dialated at this point (yep, 5 cm to 10 cm in about 10 minutes!) and baby was coming!

You guys, I was SO scared. The nurse assured me that she’d delivered babies before and there wasn’t anything I needed to worry about, but my midwife wasn’t there, and I’d never done this before, but there was no turning back and no waiting.

Just minutes later, around 3:45 am I began pushing, as each contraction came I pushed harder. I must have been in the zone because I don’t remember at all when the midwife arrived, but it must have around 3:55am (because it was moments before Kester’s birth) and she was faintly telling the nurses that if I didn’t get him out soon, I would need oxygen, I guess, his heart rate was dropping quickly. 

I heard the midwife’s calm voice as she told me, “you need to push this baby out right now.” So with the next set of contractions I pushed with all I had, and his head emerged. Our baby had the cord wrapped around his neck and chest, but the midwife was able to slide it off quickly as the rest of his little body was being born. And our sweet bundle, Kester Lewis, entered this world at 4:02 am.

Wow…15 minutes of some intense pushing and my sweet son was born and laid crying on my chest! It was incredible, amazing, emotional, and I felt spent. My legs were almost jumping out of the little stirrup things they were spasming so much. It felt awkward, but I was also pretty distracted holding my  bundle of blessing.

Immediately after Kester was born, un-beknownst to me there was lots of blood and Pete told me later that my midwife was getting a little worried because it kept coming and she didn’t know the source. However, momentarily she found the problem and informed us that I had a varicos vein in the birth canal that had ruptured due to the quick birth, and that they would be calling in a specialist doctor to repair it. I also tore a bit, and she told me the same doctor would stitch that was well, while he was down…yonder. ;) 

When the doc arrived any pain I felt from the numbing shot, and the vein repair was nothing in comparison to the pains of labor I had just experienced. I was also holding my little Kester and the nurses had draped a heated towel over us both, best.feeling.ever. 

Since Kester was born at 4am we had several hours as a family before any visitors came. It was really nice to have time to adjust and realize that we are now 3, and let the moment sink in a little. 


We had celebratory sparking water at 4:30, and then each tried to get a wink or two of sleep. But, it was a just so exciting and new. The brand new little life we had created. 


I still can’t believe that he’s ours. And I can’t imagine my labor going any better than it did, and I know that there were people praying for me, and for that I am so grateful. 

This week we will celebrate Thanksgiving for the first time with our families in 5 years! And we have SO MUCH to be thankful for. God is the giver of good gifts, and Kester is not only an amazing gift, but he has made our lives complete. 

As I finish typing this post, little Kes, is 2 weeks old and I find myself loving him stronger as each moment passes.

I simply can’t imagine our lives without him. 

 So, that’s our story, and just the beginning of a great adventure! 


Liesl November 25, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

He’s Here!! ~ Our Precious Kester Lewis Hypki

Life with a newborn is crazy:) 

Our sweet baby boy, Kester Lewis Hypki was born a week ago Monday, November 10th at 4:02 am!!  


He is a little peanut.

He is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen, and this first week has been full of firsts for his Momma & Daddy…learning to nurse, swaddle, and anticipate the needs of a little human being. Yet, I’ve loved every minute so far. I mean, that is not to say that there hasn’t been hard times, when I’ve felt like the worst Mom ever. But when I look at my precious boy’s face, love is all I feel. Here are some sweet pics of my little man!


Pete snuggling Kester just hours after birth. My two favorite guys! 


First tummy time!



Trying some more tummy time at home…he loves it. 



I plan to post his birth story next week,because it was pretty unreal, and not what I was expecting AT ALL but until then, I’m going to go enjoy all the Kester snuggles I can manage! 

We are so grateful to the Lord for a healthy, happy, and gorgeous baby! We are very blessed.

~ Liesl

Liesl November 17, 2014 4 Comments Permalink

“40 Weeks” Full Body Workout

So…November 7th, the due date for my little bambino, and here we are, nothing exciting to report.

Everything is good, the little dude is healthy and just squirming along in there. Still freeloading off all the goodness that my body has to offer, and not showing any signs of wanting to enter the world yet. I mean, I can’t say I blame him, it’s supposed to snow this weekend. 

However, this mama wants him out. Sick of being preggers? YEP. That about sums it up. That and I don’t want to have to consider interventions to start labor, I want him to come naturally if at all possible. 

With all that in mind I’m still working out, walking alot, putting hot sauce on everything this week in effort to naturally move him along. :) We’ll see what happens.

So…today I thought it would be fun to share a “40 Weeks” Full Body Workout with you guys!!

This workout is awesome because you can do it pregnant or not pregnant by simply modifying the amount of weight you use, and your intensity! 

I just completely this workout yesterday, at 40 weeks pregnant, so no excuses ladies! It’s a perfectly, refreshing way to jump start a workout program gone stale! Also, you can easily do a few rounds of this workout in your home gym while your kiddos are napping!

So here’s the workout:

~ 40 Weeks Workout ~
After warming up with some light cardio and stretching for about 5 minutes, do each exercise one after the other, circuit style, with no rest between exercises. Then rest for 30-60 seconds and complete the entire workout again for 3-5 rounds. (depending on your fitness level) 


1. One foot elevated Squat Thusters – 10 each side
Stand with your legs just wider than hip width, toes turned slightly outward, with one foot elevated on a step. Hold two dumbbells so the edges are touching your shoulders. Keeping your chest up and pushing your booty back squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then push through your heels back to the start, and as you reach standing position push the weights overhead (not pictured)then bring them back down to your shoulders, and that is one rep.

2. Squat Jumps – 12
Squat down into a normal squat position, no weights, and push through your heels and glutes into a jump. Land with soft knees moving into another squat right away.


3. Barbell deadlift with mixed grip row – 12
Stand with feet hip width apart, and knees slightly bent. Holding a barbell in mixed grip (one hand palm facing you, the other hand palm facing forwards), bend at the waist keeping the barbell close to your shins until you feel a pull in your hamstrings. Pause and perform a barbell row, lower the barbell and reverse the move back to the starting position. 


4. Kettlebell/Dumbbell Swings – 12
Here’s a video on the how to! 


5. Plie squat with upright row – 12
Stand with you feet wider than hip width and toes turned out. Hold a heavier weight in front of you. Keeping your back straight lower down until your thighs are parallel to the ground then push back up to the start, and at the top pull the weight upwards leading with your elbows to complete the row. 


6. Broad jumps onto a step (or non – pregos, box jumps) – 12
Stand back from a step or box, bend your knees and hinging at the waist propel your body up and forward in a jump to land on top of the step. Then jump back, or step back off the step to the starting position. That’s one rep. 


* If you are pregnant and even if you are not remember to always listen to your body. If you are tired, take extra breaks, and make sure to stay well hydrated drinking water throughout the workout. And as always, if you feel any pain, STOP, and check with you doctor before proceeding with this or any workout. 

Let me know if you try the workout! I’d love to hear how you liked it. 

And here’s to a baby in my near future! I’m hoping he chooses this weekend to meet his anxious Momma and Daddy.

~ Liesl


Liesl November 7, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

Slow Cooker to Freezer: Individual Cranberry Apple Steel Cut Oatmeals

In preparing for baby Hypki I really wanted to have some quick breakfast options on hand as well as dinners. 

I froze a few of these delicious muffins, but also wanted to try something new…freezing individual portions of “heat & eat” steel cut oatmeal. 

If you aren’t familiar with steel cut oats they are made by simply taking the oat kernel and grinding it into smaller pieces. Where as traditional rolled oats go through a longer process of steaming the kernel, rolling it, steaming again, and then toasting before you buy it in the well known Quaker carton at your local grocery. 

So, why choose steel cut oats? 

Because steel cut oats are a cracked grain, they take longer for the body to digest than rolled oats which are more heavily processed. And because of the longer digestion time they have a lower glycemic index and don’t cause your blood sugar to spike like more heavily processed types of oats, such as rolled, or the worst out there, instant oatmeal. Also, steel cut oats are hearty, filling, protein packed and delicious!!  

Now on to this incredibly easy recipe! 

To continue with my slow cooker kick I decided to make them that way.

Here’s what I did:

First, I oiled the bowl of my slow cooker lightly with coconut oil, and then added the following:

3 cups quick steel cut oats (you could use regular steel cut oats as well, but the cooking time would probably be about twice as long)
10 cups water
1 extra large honeycrisp apple, sliced thin

3/4 cup fruit juice sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 fresh cranberries
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
3/4 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract




Next I gave the mixture a little stir, and left it to cook on low for 4 hours while I did some laundry, dishes, prepared grocery lists, and hit the gym for a total body 38 week workout. And wow…did our apartment smell lovely upon my return!! 

Once the oat mixture was finished cooking, I scooped heaping servings into lightly greased muffin tins, and froze for about 30 minutes. Then I wrapped each in saran wrap and placed them in freezer bags. Done!  



This recipe made 20 individual servings, and to eat just thaw however many servings you need the night before in the fridge. Then in the morning, place in a bowl, break up each individual oatmeal, top with your favorite milk, and microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring in between…and feast! 


To amp up the “fillage” factor of your morning bowl of oats, top with nuts, nut butter, your favorite milk, or a bit of greek yogurt! 


* Also if you like your oats a little on the sweet side add a touch of honey, pure maple syrup, or coconut sugar. 

Let me know if you try the recipe! It’s mighty tasty!

~ Liesl



Liesl November 7, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

Grain Free Cranberry Maple & Spice Muffins

Muffins…they are my test of a good bakery. If they have moist, plump, tasty muffins they get my vote. 

I also adore baked goods with fresh cranberries. If said bakery has a fresh cranberry muffin, I’m sold, even if I’m not hungry. ;) 

Fresh cranberries remind me of the holiday season. They are perfectly tart, and the taste just pops in your mouth. Cranberries are naturally low in calories, but watch the labels when buying the dried variety, as often they have added sugars. They are also high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin E! 

Cranberries go well with lots of flavors including citrus, lemon, lime, orange, but also pumpkin, and savory dishes as well. 

So, about these muffins. 

I wanted to make a grain free muffin that was moist with light texture, but also full of spice and cranberry goodness! These are pretty much what I was looking for. They hit the spot with a hot cup of tea on these cold, late October evenings. 


Grain Free Cranberry Maple & Spice Muffins

1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
the juice of half a large lemon

2  2/3 cups almond flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. baking soda
dash of sea salt 
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (you can chop them if you like, I just threw them in whole)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and fill a muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer blend the coconut oil, applesauce, and maple syrup. They will blend better if you warm the applesauce and maple syrup slightly in the microwave. Then as the mixer is going add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each one. Finally add the lemon juice, and vanilla, beat again. 

In a seperate bowl combine the almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet mixture and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. 

Finally stir in the cranberries by hand. 

Fill each muffin tin with a heaping 1/4 cup of muffin batter, and sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon if you like. (yes please!) Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the middles of the muffins are set. Cool and enjoy! 



Hope you had an amazing weekend, and are ready for the week ahead…I know our week is SUPER busy, and not only have I been fighting a cold, but being 37 weeks and 6 days is kicking my booty. :) Yet, being busy passes the time much quicker, so I can be grateful for that!

What is your measure of a good bakery? When you walk into a bakery where do your eyes wander first?

~ Liesl 



Liesl October 22, 2014 1 Comment Permalink