About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!

10 Things That Surprised Me About Pregnancy

Hi Friends!

Well, I’ve made it to the 33rd week of pregnancy. A while ago I started thinking about some of the things I’d heard about pregnancy vs. how things were actually going for me. I thought it might be fun to make a list of some of the things that have surprised me about my pregnancy journey. Since everyone’s journey is different, I’m sure that people will disagree with me on some of these. and agree with others. This is a recap of  my experience so far and I think it’ll be interesting to look back on this list when it comes time for kid #2 and see how it changes!

10 things 10 Things That Surprised Me About Pregnancy

So, here they are (in no particular order):

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1. How “not tired” I was until about 30 weeks.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been tired. I’ve taken my fair share of naps. I get tired more quickly. However, before I got pregnant, I was prepared to be bone-crushingly, in bed at 8pm every night, kinda tired….and that hasn’t been the case. I did notice starting at about 30 weeks that I’ve been needing a few more naps and definitely have been more tired than I was earlier in the pregnancy.

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2. How slowly my bump has grown.
This is probably the biggest one. When I think pregnancy, I always have the image of the hugely pregnant lady with the giant midsection. I was super surprised how long it took for me to actually “look pregnant”. I’d say it took until week 27 or 28 before I really looked clearly pregnant when wearing a non-form fitting shirt. Up until then I personally could tell my bump had grown a lot, but it wasn’t clearly evident to strangers/people who don’t see me everyday. Even now, at 33 weeks, I definitely feel pregnant and definitely have a bump, but it still doesn’t quite match up with this image I had in my head of how I thought I was just going to feel gigantic the whole time. I’m sure this will change in the last 6-7 weeks of pregnancy, but it’s been interesting to watch and wait for the first 3/4 of my journey.

3. How hard it is to explain what it feels like.
In my opinion, unless you have been pregnant yourself, you will never truly understand what it feels like. It is almost impossible to find the words to describe some of the things you feel, why you’re so uncomfortable and what’s going on inside of you. Trying to describe baby kicks, this burning I feel when my ab muscles are stretching and ripping, the enormous amount of pressure on my bladder all the time, how yes- I felt sick yesterday, and the day before and still do today….when I try to explain these things, I feel like people look at me with no clue what I’m talking about.


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4. That it’s possible to feel sick for so many days in a row.
I had a feeling that I would struggle with nausea when I got pregnant and I was correct. What I didn’t think was that it was possible to feel nauseous every.single.day. for so many days in a row. Certainly it improved from my earlier weeks to later, but there has still been at least one point in every day where I felt nauseous. Couple that with other pregnancy pains, heartburn, etc and there hasn’t really been a day since I got pregnant that I’ve felt what I would call “good”. Just bad or average. But I know it’s worth it.


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5. How excited hubby would be.
I knew he would be excited to be a dad. I just didn’t have a clear picture of HOW excited. He got excited the first time he felt the baby kick…and he got excited every.single.time after that. The smile that lights up his face each time is absolutely priceless and I’ll never get tired of watching his reaction. He was excited to decorate the nursery, help me pick out the baby gear we needed and put together things like the carseat and stroller. He’s been to every single doctor’s appointment and paid attention in our classes so he’s ready to support me during labor and delivery. It’s a beautiful thing. Love him.


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6. How much I didn’t read about what to expect.
Before I got pregnant, I figured I would want to read and know every little detail about my pregnancy journey. But once I actually got pregnant, I found I had very little desire to do so, even though I bought a bunch of books. I read the basics but I found I wasn’t very interested in reading how things changed week to week with the baby and what I should/shouldn’t be doing. Maybe that’s weird, maybe it’s because there’s so much info out there that it can feel overwhelming, I don’t know. I just feel like this parenthood journey is different for all and I don’t want to have a huge number of expectations about how things should go, because then if they don’t go that way, I’ll just get all stressed and worried. I’d rather just tackle things as they come.


7. How much things didn’t change week to week.
I know there are bloggers out there who write weekly updates while pregnant, but for me, I felt pretty similar each week. I didn’t have a ton of cravings that changed week to week or varying symptoms – I pretty much felt crappy every week from week 5 on icon smile 10 Things That Surprised Me About Pregnancy


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8. How much “baby” stuff there is out there.
Trying to put together a baby registry was by far one of the most overwhelming things I’ve ever done. Everyone has their opinion about what you need, what products are best, etc. It’s exhausting to sort through and pick what’s best for you. And it’s super hard to resist buying baby clothes icon smile 10 Things That Surprised Me About Pregnancy


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9. How I’ve dealt with my weight gain.
I’ve had my fair share of body image issues and before I got pregnant, I was really worried about how I would react to gaining 25-35 pounds. I’ve been super proud of myself for a) staying motivated and eating as well as I could b) staying consistent with my workouts while pregnant and c) how accepting I was of each pound I gained. It think my motivation and commitment to a healthy pregnancy helped me gain weight slowly, which made the overall weight gain seem less overwhelming. I also didn’t spend a lot of time on the scale. I tried to only get on once every couple of weeks or so and I think that helped me not panic as much.  Still, even though you know the weight gain is normal and necessary, it can be overwhelming…but I’m proud of myself for keeping my diet balanced and working out,  but also enjoying treats and letting myself rest when necessary.


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10. How excited others are about baby bean.
I knew that close family and friends would be excited, but I’ve honestly been overwhelmed by how excited pretty much everyone in my life is for us and our pregnancy journey. From family and friends, to acquaintances, to my readers, to people I’ve never met – they’re all filled with genuine love and excitement over the baby I’m carrying and I’m so grateful for it!

So there you have it! And just as a little add on, I thought I’d answer some of the typical questions others answer in their weekly bump posts since I haven’t really been doing anything besides a little blurb in Bean Bytes occasionally.


How far along: 33 weeks + 3 daysTotal weight gain: about 20 pounds I’d guess. I haven’t weighed myself in a couple of weeks but I was at 17 last time I did.

Maternity clothes:  Pretty much all I wear now. I have one drawer full of the only clothes I can wear now and there’s not a ton in it so laundry every week becomes extra important! Mostly one pair of shorts, one pair of yoga pants and lots of maternity tank tops…plus a couple maternity shirts.

Stretch marks: Not yet. I’m prone to stretch marks and already have lots on my inner thighs and hips from before I was pregnant, so I won’t be surprised if I end up with some but for now I’m just putting on my cream and hoping for the best.

Sleep: Not too bad. I sleep sitting propped up with a bunch of pillows, which I’m used to since that’s how I slept when I  got super bad coughs as a kid.

Best moment of this week: The ultrasound we had last friday. Always fun to see him on the screen.

Miss anything:  I miss lifting heavy weights. And I miss workouts being hard just because they’re hard…not because I’m pregnant!

Movement: All the time. He moves around a ton but this past week it seems he’s slowed down during the day and then really picks it up at night after dinner.

Food cravings: We were just talking about how I haven’t really had any weird cravings. Although for the past week, I’ve been craving apples. I think that’s partly because I’m just ready for Fall!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Eating too much or not enough makes me feel sick. I still feel nauseous each day at some point but it’s not really tied to certain foods.

Have you started to show yet: Yep, you can definitely tell I’m pregnant.

Gender: Boy!

Labor signs: None yet.

Belly button in or out: Was just talking about this yesterday too! It’s in, but pretty much flat. I’m hoping it’ll stay that way and not pop out, but we’ll see.

Wedding rings on or off: I haven’t been wearing mine lately but that’s mostly because I have to take it on and off everyday to workout and I usually just forget.

Looking forward to: Him coming! It feels like we’re finally in the home stretch.

Latest Symptoms:  I’ve been having a ton of pain in the muscles in my upper back, between my shoulder blades, which makes it uncomfortable to sit for a long time…but when I stand, I’ve been having some pain in my pelvis/pubic bone region…so there’s really no comfortable position. But as long as I don’t overdo it on my workouts and avoid certain things that seem to make it worse like lunges, it’s manageable. Plus of course nausea, heartburn, being tired, etc icon smile 10 Things That Surprised Me About Pregnancy

Current Baby Prep: We don’t have much left to do. The nursery is done…we just need to wash the sheets and clothes. Last night we put together the stroller and carseat. Hubby has installing carseat bases in cars on his list of things to do.


Let’s chat:
Moms, what was one thing that surprised you about your pregnancy?


Bean Bytes 105

Hi Friends!

Time for another round of Bean Bytes. I hope many of you are enjoying the long holiday weekend and have lots of time to catch up on fun stuff like blog reading!

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How To Wash & Store Kale via Organically Mo
11 Little Ways To Get Through Monday via Joy the Baker

This is amazing:
A Row For The Community via Back To Her Roots

Want to get faster?
8 Tips To Implement Speed Workouts via Run To The Finish

Balance Is A Sparkly Unicorn via Food Fitness and Family

Things to consider:
Do You Really Need To Cut Out Certain Foods via Brittany Lesser
5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight via The Real Life RD
3 Tricks For Getting Dinner Ready Fast via Eating Made Easy
Why Starbucks Pay It Forward Chain Matters via The Sweet Life


To think about:
Use Your Gifts via Carla Birnberg
What I Wish I’d Known About Money In College via Our Freaking Budget
Would Your Great Grandma Recognize Your Food via The Good Life
Inconvenient Blessings via Delights & Delectables

For the runners:
Finding Balance Between Speed & Distance via Pavement Runner

Try them:
5 Back To School Routines To Make Life Easier via Raising Healthy Eaters
Build Your Own Workout Finisher via Your Trainer Paige
Tips For Eating Gluten Free On The Road via Gabby’s Gluten-Free

Love this:
Learn the 10 Principles of Design From These Posters via Hubspot


The Anatomy of an Optimized Blog Post via Hubspot
Lessons Learned From Injury via Love Life Surf
3 Biggest Health Pitfalls of a Busy Lifestyle via The Valentine RD
10 Things You Should Know About Sending Your Child To Daycare via The Avid Appetite
Hiking Tips For Beginners via Dar You To Blog
Tips For Back To College Budgeting via Live Travel Eat Run

For the pups:
Homemade Dog Treats for Fresher Breath via A Healthy Slice of Life

How To Foster Conversations With Kids via Live Do Grow
Minimalist Gift Giving via Run to the Finish


Good reads:
Why Your Crunches Aren’t Working via Well of Health
Dropping the “Just” via A Healthy Slice of Life
Pregnancy Weight: The Great Debate via Balancing B
5 Hacks To Promote Body Confidence via An Avocado A Day

On working out:
How To Not Skip Your Afternoon Workout via Hungry Hobby
5 Reasons To Workout In The Morning via Musselfit

Good tips:
10 Tips For A Healthy Tailgate via Love and Zest


For the runners:
Top 10 Running Drills for Speed & Efficiency via Matters of Course
9 Comical Running Mistakes & How To Avoid Them via Run to the Finish

Good reads:
7 Ways To Be A Healthy, Happy, Mindful Mama via Mind Body Green
Why I Love My Mom Body via Char Eats Greens
Your Child’s Lunch Makes Me Feel Inferior via Real Mom Nutrition

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Peanut Butter Smores Parfaits 19 thumb Bean Bytes 105

Peanut Butter S’mores Parfaits
Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Pancakes
Hidden Veggies 2 Bite Brownies
Peachy Pineapple Kale Smoothie
Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies
Farro with Carrot Top Pesto
Southwest Farro Salad
Black Quinoa Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
100 Easy Chicken Recipes
Kombucha Sangria Smoothie
Curry Vegetable Burgers
Grain Free Nuttzo Waffles
Double Apple Bran Muffins
Veggie Burger Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Peach Green Tea Spritzer
Coconut Oil, Honey & Sea Salt Popcorn
Thai Green Curry Turkey Burgers
Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies
Southwestern Corn & Sweet Potato Bowls
Peach Slump With Maple Caramel Sauce
Wild Blueberry Caramel Galettes
Cucumber Chicken Salad Bites
Strawberry Quinoa Oatmeal Bars
Hatch Chili Chicken Lasagna
PB Banana Bacon Muffins
Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins
Single Serve Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies
Homemade Sprinkles
Waffle Fry Slider Burgers
Vegan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Snack Cake
Sweet Chipotle Grilled Salmon
Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

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That cartoon IS Marcus.

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Do it.
New mower wheels!
All the electronics.
My office mates on Friday

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We had a busy baby week last week. On Tuesday night we went to a breastfeeding class. We were supposed to bring a baby to practice various positions. I brought a stuffed owl – it was cheaper. The class was pretty informative and covered a lot of the basics and questions I had. I’m sure I’ll have more once I actually start doing it myself, but it was a good foundation class. On Friday we had another ultrasound at the specialist to recheck the fluid in his kidneys. It’s still there, but doesn’t seem to have gotten much worse…..so we’ll go back in a month so they can monitor it one more time. Everything else looked good. He weighs 4 pounds 9 ounces. On Saturday we spent all day at a Labor and Delivery class. It was a LONG day. I got up early to walk the dogs before we headed out and then we were in class from 9-4:30…but I’m so glad we went. The teacher did a great job explaining a lot about the labor and delivery process, what labor signs to watch for, when to come to the hospital, etc. We got a tour of the maternity floor of the hospital, practiced labor comfort techniques and learned about the risks and benefits of various interventions, medications, etc. It answered a lot of our questions and also helped up prepare a list of questions to talk to our OB about at our next appointment. We both left feeling a bit more comfortable with the whole process, which is a good thing!

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How and Why To Do A Life Audit
10 Easy Recipes Kids Can Help Make
Do The Crazy
Does The 80/20 Rule Work For Everyone?
Repurposing & Resharing Older Content
Postpartum Fitness- How I Overcame Being Discouraged
DIY Compost Bin
35 Things You Never Knew About Your Brain
Food Storage Infographic
10 Things To Never Say To Your Kids
An Open Letter To My Post Partum Body
How To Get Conversations With Your Kids Going
Why Blogging About My Marriage Made It Stronger
How To Approach Brands As A Blogger
Orthorexia – An Interview With The Balanced Blonde
Stop Watching The Years Go By
The Advice I Refuse To Give My Children
How To Cue In Group Fitness Classes


check it out Bean Bytes 105

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Today’s the last day to enter the Best of the Bean Giveaway!


Sunday Food Prep Inspiration 80

Hi Friends!

Time for another round of Sunday Food Prep!

Here’s what I did last weekend.

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Here’s what some of you have been up to:

Nora at A Clean Bake:

This week, we didn’t have time to go grocery shopping so I am prepping and meal planning from what is already in the fridge, freezer and pantry. That means lots of salads and stir fry dishes to use up odds and ends!
So I prepared:
  • Spinach and kale for salads
  • Pearled barley
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Chicken, pork, salmon and tofu (defrosting for dinners)
  • Cole slaw
  • LIghtly steamed brussels sprouts (great as a change-of-pace salad base) and string beans
  • Roasted cauliflower
  • PB&J overnight oats
  • Black bean veggie burgers
  • Frittata for breakfast
  • Chicken sausage
  • Pre-portioned carrots and celery + hummus
  • Sugar-free lemonade

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This week Gus (5 month old yellow lab) wanted to say hi! He typically hangs around in the kitchen while I am prepping food for the week. He absolutely loves carrot sticks:) Here is what I did this week:
 - Washed and prepped organic romaine for salads
 - Washed, peeled and chopped carrots
 - Cut up strawberries (one container for me and one for my fiance for work)
 - Made a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip power bars (recipe on the blog!)
 - Cooked a large batch of orange chicken and broccoli for dinner Sunday and leftovers for lunch
 - Baked gluten free chocolate zucchini mini loaves to freeze in individual baggies and enjoy as an indulgent treat here or there!
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Some tips from Valerie at The Sweet Seed -
In this meal plan, I made egg cups for breakfast, fish + veggies + carbs for lunch, chicken + veggies + carbs for dinner, and fruit and nuts for snacks. 
foodprep far with text Sunday Food Prep Inspiration 80
I prepped/cooked:
- banana chocolate chip raspberry muffins
- pulled chicken in the crockpot
- all the fixings for Mediterranean salads (chicken, quinoa, red peppers, red onion, grape tomatoes, feta and roasted red pepper hummus)

I had a muffin with fruit each morning. I made salads for lunch eat day with the ingredients in the big photo. We used the pulled chicken to top sweet potatoes with salsa. Also, one night I wanted something different for dinner, so I threw some pulled chicken, quinoa and random veggies into a bowl with salsa. It worked!
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Are you food prepping this weekend? Send me your pic! I’m out of submissions!

Here’s what I need from you:

Email me the following:
1. Your Name
2. Your Blog URL (if you have one)
3. A photo of your food prep
4. A short description of what’s in the photo. Tell me what you prepped and how you’re going to use it during the week!

Every Sunday, I’ll post a roundup of the photos I received that week so that you guys can see what others are preparing and hopefully get some inspiration and ideas! I’ll keep this series going for as long as I receive photos, so send one every week if you want to!

Send to: theleangreenbean <at> gmail <dot> com

Tweet and Instagram your pics as well to inspire others!! Use the hashtag #sundayfoodprep . Remember that in order for a pic to be included in the post, you have to email it to me! If you have more than one pic, please make them into a collage before sending!


Want more inspiration and tips? Read these:

Top 10 Foods for Sunday Food Prep
How to Prep Food on the Weekend

Weekend Prep for Easy Weekday Meals
How to Eat Healthy in College
How to Eat Healthy During the Week

And check out the Food Prep Tab for links to all the previous Sunday food prep posts!


Let’s chat: Are you prepping food today? Whatcha makin’?


Wild Blueberry Ice Cream

This post is sponsored by The Wild Blueberry Association of North America. I was compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hi friends!

It’s Friday! Let’s celebrate with ice cream. This is the last in the series of recipes I developed for the Wild Blueberry Association. In case you missed the first three, I also made:

Wild Blueberry Turkey Burgers
Wild Blueberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
Wild Blueberry Zucchini Bread

And this month, it’s all about ice cream! I actually developed this recipe several weeks ago so it could be included in the ebook they’re giving away to everyone who entered their Taste of Summer Sweepstakes, which ends today! (Go check it out!)

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And now it’s finally time to share the recipe with all of you. So let’s chat about ice cream for a little bit.

For me, there’s something about summer and ice cream that just go hand-in-hand. As a young child, we used to visit a place called Cup & Cone almost weekly. It was a small free-standing shack that served ice cream during the Minnesota summers and it shared its parking lot with a retired train caboose. I can still remember the thrill of ordering and devouring my ice cream cone and then spending endless hours climbing on, running around and wandering through that caboose with the other local kids.

As I got older, I spent my summers working for a landscaping company. We worked long hours in the hot Kansas sun and let me tell you, there was nothing better than getting off work and heading straight to the local ice cream store where we could sit in the air-conditioning and enjoy some ice cream.

As an adult, my husband and I often ride our bikes to our favorite ice cream store to enjoy a summer treat, and with a baby on the way, I can’t wait create our own family ice cream tradition!

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Yet, while going to get ice cream brings back a lot of memories for me, sometimes it’s not the most economical choice. Especially during the summer when I seem to crave it all the time! So, to ease the burden on your wallet, the next best option, in my opinion, is to make your own! With the help of a relatively inexpensive ice cream maker that pretty much does all the work for you, you can spend your summer dreaming up and creating dozens of your own ice cream flavors that are customized just to your liking!

I’ve had a lot of fun with my ice cream maker over the years, both recreating store-bought favorites and coming up with new ones. As I started brainstorming for my newest flavor, I knew I wanted to include Wild Blueberries for several reasons:

  • The color- so vibrant and pretty to look at.
  • The flavor- wild blueberries are smaller and more flavorful than regular blueberries making them ideal to use in recipes like this where you really want their flavor to shine!
  • The health benefits – ice cream is not always the healthiest dessert option but the addition of Wild Blueberries means your ice cream gets a healthy dose of antioxidants. Wild Blueberries have been shown to have positive effects brain and eye health, heart health and more!

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As for the mix-ins, I’m a huge proponent of pairing blueberries and chocolate together, so I added some dark chocolate chips. I also added in some crumbled graham crackers for a touch of added sweetness. To keep the ice cream making simple, I kept it egg-free and instead of all cream, I used some 2% milk to make it a bit healthier without sacrificing flavor or creaminess!

Here’s how you make it!

Wild Blueberry Ice Cream
An easy, homemade ice cream recipe with delicious mix-ins and vibrant color!

  • 2 cups frozen Wild Blueberries
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup crumbled Graham Crackers
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

  1. Combine first four ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed.
  2. Pour into ice cream maker (do not overfill).
  3. Turn on ice cream maker and let run for approximately 20 minutes. As the ice cream starts to thicken, you may need to scoop out some if your ice cream maker gets too full. Consider it a taste testing opportunity!
  4. About 2 minutes before turning off, pour in grahams and chocolate chips and let run until mixed in.


Pretty simple right? My apologies to those of you who don’t have an ice cream maker. You could try just blending and pouring into a pan and stirring every so often while freezing but I make no guarantees!

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Grab a spoon, friends. It’s time to dig in!

Let’s chat:
Have you ever made homemade ice cream?


August Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

Hi Friends!

Time for another Foodie Penpals Reveal Day!

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This month I was lucky enough to be connected with Erin who blogs over at Erin’s Inside Job! I got to meet her in person a couple months ago at Fitbloggin and she’s a total sweetheart. Here’s what she sent me:

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She’s getting me ready for fall and I couldn’t be happier about it! My package included:

  • Pumpkin Fig granola- haven’t tried it yet but I just know it’s going to be amazing in my fall yogurt bowls
  • Cranberry Almond GFB bar- I hadn’t tried these bars yet and I actually really liked it!
  • Maple & Pecan Kind bar- I don’t eat a lot of bars but when I do, KIND is one of my top choices. Hadn’t tried this flavor yet- it was yummy.
  • Homemade cookies- YES. Amazing. She made Oh She Glows Trail Mix Cookies. They’re GF and vegan and holy cow are they delicious.

Thanks so much Erin for a great package!


If you want to participate next month, here are the details:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. 
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans.  

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for September, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 

You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th!

If you participated this month, link up below and go check out a few other posts to see what they got!