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A Grand Adventure is About to Begin

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A Grand Adventure is About to Begin

— Winnie the Pooh

Seth took me on a date the night we took the pregnancy test that said positive. It was funny because we had been trying for several months and I had taken countless tests and was “over it”. On the way home we realized we needed milk or our daughter would freak out on us in the morning, so at checkout he surprised me by throwing a little test on the conveyor belt. Then the adventure began!

I fell off the face of the earth and onto my couch for the next 3 months because I got incredibly sick! I was hoping I wouldn’t because my pregnancy with my 2nd boy Jamie was so smooth. But this one reminded me all too much of my 1st girl JoJo. So unfortunately the joy that overcame me when I found out I was pregnant was majorly overshadowed by extreme nausea 24/7.

Then the mom-guilt set in. How could I be so ungrateful for this amazing life experience and especially for the 3rd time? Seth and I had always planned on having at least 3 kids, and with my “advanced maternal age” we felt grateful that it was happening at all. But I was MISERABLE!!! On top of it we had just moved to Hawaii, aka paradise, and my friends were always asking me how much I was loving my life in the most amazing destination. All I could think was “when I think of Hawaiian beaches I want to throw up.” Haha oh how hard that 1st trimester was.

A few weeks ago we decided to come out with the news officially on our personal Facebook and Instagram accounts and my angel mother in law Laura put together this gender reveal that we live streamed from our family reunion at Hayden Lake. She had a pinata filled with the baby’s gender colored candy and rose petals in either pink or blue. Here’s the video if you want to enjoy our surprise…

But I already knew!!! I was so sick with JoJo that I bought into the wive’s tale that you are sick with one gender and not the other. Now I’m just waiting for her to ‘steal my beauty’ because at the end of my pregnancy with JoJo someone told me that too. Thanks – I guess that means I used to be attractive haha:). But no matter the pregnancy woes it’s all worth it, right mamas? At least I can say that now that I’m feeling much better!

So it’s Week 18 and I’m actually feeling SO MUCH better minus the fact that my 2-year old gave me a nasty cold that I can’t take drugs for. But the nausea is gone yay! I feel for you mamas that go through what I did – and some much longer than I did. I’m here for you.

2 days after I found out I was pregnant we did this fun Mommi photo shoot with some of the most incredible mothers I have met in Honolulu since moving there in April. So this is a little flash-back that I took because I knew I would want to use at some point for the big announcement.. and that day is here!

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Big things are coming and all in little packages – while I work on bringing this little baby to the world we are working on new and exciting things in prenatal nutrition. Some products I’m really excited about! That’s all I will say for now because this has taken MUCH longer than I thought it would… but it’s coming and hopefully very soon!

Check back in for updates and I promise I’ll be better on our Instagram and Facebook page so follow the journey!

5 Smoothie Hacks for a Healthier Pregnancy

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Sometimes a nice, tart, fruity smoothie is the only thing that sounds good when you are pregnant (or am I speaking for myself???). The problem is you still might not get everything you need nutrient-wise for your growing baby. Here are a few hacks to get the extra vitamins/minerals and protein you need, without compromising on taste for your crazy sensitive taste buds.

  1. Coconut Milk Ice Cubes – If milk isn’t doing your body good because you can’t choke it down, try this. Use water as your main liquid in your smoothie/shake, and then instead of ice cubes to make it frothy, add a few frozen coconut milk cubes instead. Freeze them and then throw them in a zip lock in your freezer to make it easier next time you pull out the blender. Coconut milk is FULL of healthy nutrients, like calcium and fats that you desperately need while growing another human.
  2. Crushed Flax or Chia Seeds -Like peanut butter needs jelly to make a delicious sandwich, you need Omegas to help make a healthy baby. But often you can’t stomach the smell, let alone the taste of fish oil. We get it – it’s awful! So try crushed flax seeds in your smoothie/shake. They will blend into your drink so smoothly you will hardly notice, and you will get those Omega 3’s you need without the nasty aftertaste and/or burps throughout the day. It’s a great alternative.
  3. Pregnancy-safe Protein Powder – You are technically supposed to get 75-95 grams of protein every single day during pregnancy (you need more if you are having more than one baby!). Even if you are a major carnivore, it’s hard to get that much when you are pregnant. So try a pregnancy-safe protein powder! If you aren’t sure about the safety, check the label. There will be a warning sign specifically for pregnant/nursing women. Or you can just try Mommi 3-in-1! It was designed for pregnant women so it’s full of good nutrition that won’t harm you or baby while you are growing together.
  4. Oats Oats and more Oats! – Carb is no longer a 4-letter word when you are pregnant! It’s time to rejoice but only if you are getting the right kind of carbs and not shoveling white toast and mashed potatoes down your throat all day (but no judgement if you are – that’s what I did when I was sick and pregnant and I had 75 pounds of weight gain to show for it). Eat better carbs to improve energy, help fill your belly, add an amazing full flavor to smoothies/shakes, and wait for it… boost milk supply if you are breastfeeding! Seriously oats do WONDERS for your breastmilk supply. If you are like me you aren’t high on oatmeal or warm food while you are pregnant and not feeling great. But adding them to a smoothie is a great way to go. We have a ton of recipes on our Instagram @mommihealth.
  5. Drink a Rainbow – I could not keep down green smoothies while I was pregnant. No matter how hard I tried to eat like a beautiful vegan goddess, my body (or baby, who knows) rejected it EVERY TIME. However, I found that when I added a frozen banana to my smoothie/shake alongside spinach and kale, I was good to go! The tangy creaminess of the ripe and frozen banana covered up the taste of the greens but I still got all the benefits. So think about adding all the colors to your shake if you can’t keep down the pure green goodness. And if you can drink the green while expecting, then more power to you!

Do you have smoothie hacks of your own? We want to know what they are! Let us know how these work for you as well – we’d love to hear from you and make more suggestions to our pregnant/breastfeeding friends out there. Afterall, it takes a village!  Happy smoothie-making mamas!

 

How to Forever Capture the Beauty in Pregnancy with Leigh Castelli Photography

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Pregnancy is such a beautiful time of life, and yet we often feel ugly, swollen, sick and exhausted when we are right in the thick of it. It’s funny how you can look back and remember all the good, but it’s much easier said and done to soak up and focus on all the good moments, when accomplishing one of the most difficult things we will do as women – creating life.

So it’s amazing to me when the beauty of pregnancy can be captured so perfectly through photography – and when I first saw these images from Leigh Castelli Photography after our Mommi Photoshoot, I was blown away. The way she captures love and light and life are astounding. I wanted to experience it all over again in that small and powerful moment.

If you haven’t done maternity photography or aren’t sure if it’s for you… I say go for it. Leigh is located in San Diego if you are anywhere nearby – we are so grateful we had her in our backyard – she’s incredible!

The ONE Ingredient That Makes Hair Healthier Than a Prenatal

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When I was in college and definitely not trying to get pregnant, I was taking prenatals. Why, you may ask? Well I had just gone to a hair school to get a cheap haircut and the girl gave me bangs. And let’s just say that bangs were not a good look for me. So I needed my hair to grow… STAT. I went to the closest grocery store, grabbed a bottle of prenatals, and started a routine. And I’m telling you, it grew like Jack’s beanstalk.

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Fast-forward 10 years and I found myself taking prenatals again, but this time I was pregnant. I was also lucky to have a lot of pregnancy-safe protein powder with prenatals and DHA lying around (thanks to Mommi:). Hair growth is not something I anticipated or even thought about while designing Mommi 3-in-1. I was looking specifically at prenatal health for the baby and mother’s benefit.

But naturally, it was a perfect fit for hair growth as well. And what I discovered was a really cool hidden benefit. The protein in Mommi was helping my hair grow just as much as the iron, biotin, copper, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, & E found in the shake (prenatals & DHA). So it was like a Blake-Lively-hair-party-for-9-months-and-beyond experience. Win win win win….winning (like Charlie Sheen but with way better hair).

Basically, protein in your diet helps the body to produce keratin, which is fundamental to the hair structure. When keratin weakens, hair strands are more prone to breakage. To nourish hair with protein, eat a diet that includes high-quality, lean protein, aka Mommi 3-in-1.

Hair

Don’t believe me? Give it a try? What have you got to lose? Definitely not your hair! Do you have any tips or tricks for hair growth that you want to share? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @mommihealth. I’d love to hear them!

Vanilla Cream Cupcakes from Eat Your Cake Too Were Definitely Favoring One Gender

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Who doesn’t love a delicious and absolutely GORGEOUS cupcake to reveal the gender of your unborn baby? As we were putting together the pieces for our recent Mommi photo shoot I was ecstatic that Kristine Guerrero of Eat Your Cake Too was willing to create her brilliant cupcake and cake masterpieces for us to enjoy. Our “baby shower” would not have been complete without them.

It was so much fun to see all of the genders revealed from our 12 beautiful Mommi mamas and to find out all at once that 9 of the 12 were boys!! And I’m not going to lie… it was really fun eating her baby shower mint ombre cake (see my enjoyment below) and sneaking cupcakes here and there as well! No shame in enjoying good cake!

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It Takes a Village to Get Through a Pregnancy

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I know when I first found out I was pregnant I thought I would have this whole 9-month growing a human thing down. I had done a lot of hard things. Endured personal losses, navigated through the world of single dating in my 20s and early 30s before finding my match, fighting my way up the ladder in my career, battling anxiety, etc. I’m not complaining – I have had a great life so far. But we each have our struggles and I felt like I had overcome them pretty gracefully. Then I got pregnant.

I had always longed for the experience of pregnancy. Growing and dressing a cute baby bump, enjoying the pregnancy glow, indulging a little more with the “I’m eating for 2 excuse”. Then at the end of it all I would get to snuggle and love on a perfect little baby. That is the scenario I had dreamed about since I was 6 years old and realized I wanted to be a mom.

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So when I actually realized my dream and found out I was “expecting” I was 3 months into my marriage and totally excited and very clueless. I remember going out to celebrate with my mom and sister 4 weeks in and looking forward to ordering my usual BBQ chicken salad and split pea soup at California Pizza Kitchen in La Jolla, CA. For the first time the nausea hit me like a wave. I ended up eating only the free bread and butter on the table (…and let the pregnancy weight gain begin). The next week I just struggled to get through each work day. I told my husband to stop touching me and that his smell was bugging me, and I was irritable at every turn. My skin broke out like it did when I was 13, and I didn’t get a baby bump, I got baby chub. My whole body started swelling up. At the end of 9-months, I was eating an entire pineapple a day to try to get the baby out (it doesn’t work by the way!), I had gained a whopping 75 lbs, and I looked like I had elephantitis. But the one thing that did come true from the fantasy I had dreamed up over all those years was the perfect baby girl I got at the end of all of it.

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The end goal of having my daughter definitely got me through the entire 9 months, but during those excruciatingly long days of endless nausea, mashed potato-eating contests and constipation battles, it was my friends, family and support system that rallied. I HATE asking people for help and yet there I was helpless, and they were they without a second thought. Supporting me along the way and getting me to the end goal. Perfect strangers even stepped up to help me out on airplanes, with groceries, and letting me cut in line in public restrooms. It just felt like the village was getting me through – I was definitely not alone.

Going through all of that really inspired the direction of Mommi. I started the company with a team of awesome people when I was about 3 months pregnant, and the goal was to create superior prenatal nutrition (because carbs just weren’t cutting it and I knew it). I hated knowing that other pregnant women were struggling with the physical and emotional hardships of pregnancy just like me and I wanted to help.

Our vision is to bring women together during this difficult and confusing and wonderful time of life called pregnancy. Smart – Healthy – Strong.

A few days ago we started doing something we will do regularly throughout the year. We brought together a group of 13 beautiful pregnant women at different stages and we bonded during a photo shoot. We shared stories, ate gender reveal cupcakes and took maternity photos that we will share with you in a few weeks while we also get ready to announce a new product line! We are so excited about all of the support and love we received that photo shoot day and cannot WAIT to share the beauty of that day and these pregnancies with you.

We have some big announcements coming and we are so grateful you are part of this movement with us! For a chance to become part of the early adopters of new Mommi products make sure you are signed up for our newsletter and share this link with anyone you know that is thinking about getting pregnant, already pregnant, or breastfeeding a newborn. Our new products are designed specifically for the things you go through during pregnancy.

Connect with Erin Schurtz on Instagram @mommihealth – Twitter @erinschurtz – SnapChat @erinelton

The #1 Thing I’ve Learned About Building a Business So Far

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I sat in a conference room in Salt Lake City about a week ago and started telling the story of Mommi to a panel of investors… 2 years and 9 months since starting it… and I almost broke down and cried. Some happy tears mixed with sad – but the tears were brimming just the same. It seemed like everything that I had been through personally, and with a team of some of the best people I know, had culminated to that very moment and the future of everything hung in the balance. There is a lot of good that comes from acting on a dream or even a whim, but that pivotal meeting last week caused me to look back and ask myself if it was worth all it has cost to get to this point. And here’s what I realized…

The Gut Check

A few years ago I worked with a mentor that I admire greatly. She is a successful business woman that has built many companies, and she kicks butt. I figured if I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur I had to figure out her formula and follow it, because as she had told me, “it’s an uphill battle if you want to build a company as a woman, and you can’t make excuses along the way.” One day she asked me what I would do if I had important meetings scheduled the same day that my daughter became really sick and needed to go to the doctor. What would I choose to do? Would I cancel everything and stay by my daughter’s side… or would I leave her in the capable hands of a caregiver, check in with her by phone when I could, and return when business was taken care of? It was during that conversation that I realized I just couldn’t do it that way – it wasn’t in me. I would cancel the meetings and stay with my girl. And I wondered if I could build a successful company without my family becoming a casualty along the way. It was a huge moment for me in deciding whether to move forward, or throw in the towel.

The Reality

 

Now, I’m a long way from calling myself a successful entrepreneur, but I have definitely worked very hard to make this idea of improved nutrition for women a reality. But when I look back on the past 3 years the things I am most proud of are the moments in between. I recall the time I stayed up until 3am to work on a presentation only to go to bed and 5 minutes later my sweet JoJo who had slept so well since 9pm the night before started crying for her mama. Her dad was deployed at the time so I woke up and just held her, and fed her, and rocked her 6-month old little body back to sleep. I wondered if I was sacrificing too much and missing out on her childhood until I realized I was making memories just by being present in that quiet moment in the middle of the night. That moment was ours alone and I stared at her in wonder over the little girl she was becoming and how grateful I was that she was by my side during that first exhausting year of building a business (and becoming a mother for the first time because that was exhausting enough:).

FaceTime Husband of the Year

 

Then there were the desperately-needed FaceTime calls from my husband in the middle of the night even when JoJo would actually sleep, but a business situation was keeping me up all night. Last year I had a critical decision to make and only hours in which to make it. I was 7 months pregnant with my Jamie, and I was absolutely sick with worry about what to do. Even though he was across the world, it seemed like Seth always knew exactly when to call. I just cried and cried to him for about 45 minutes and he just listened and then offered up sound advice. I remember thinking about how weak I was – this so-called leader of a team that couldn’t make a tough decision when it mattered the most, crying to my husband who I was supposed to be strong for during a long deployment. But I just couldn’t carry it all, and he was strong for me. That moment is forever ingrained in my entrepreneurial journey, and I love my husband all the more for it.

Me, as a Bystander to my own life

 

Stuck on my computer several months ago I was watching my children play while I worked on my laptop a few feet away and I experienced another amazing moment. My new baby boy was just staring adoringly at his older sister, cooing and grabbing her face as she tried to mother him. I realized that through my absentee moments of putting out fires or endless designing of new marketing strategies, my kids were still able to build a strong sibling bond that will last a lifetime, and I was just a bystander. A really happy, grateful bystander.

What it all boils down to

 

So in that conference room in Salt Lake City last week, all of that flashed before my eyes – the conversations about what makes a successful female entrepreneur, the missed and captured moments with my husband, daughter and son – and I asked myself again if I thought it was all worth it. And the answer is yes, but not because I’ve built this business. It was because of all the moments of being an imperfect mother, wife and company founder that came in between.

 

Last week I wanted to do a photoshoot to share the story of Mommi, and it was interesting that in planning it with Christy Odom, our amazingly-talented photographer, we decided that it should actually be all about my role as a mother. Because in the end, while building what I want to be the perfect product, and perfect company, the most “perfect” thing I’ve built is my family, something at times I thought I was missing out on. When I watched this video Christy made I realized what has ultimately brought me to this place in my career and more importantly, my life. It’s family.

 

Instagram Repost—Happy New Year From The Schurtz’s

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We tried to link our newsletter to our instagram post about our year in review! But technology got the best of us and it just would not work. So here is a repost of our Family New Years Photo and our instagram post.  I even included your comments, cause well we love to share!  

Thank you everyone for such great support and all the love in 2015. Watch out 2016 we have some ahhhhmazing things to share!

For now, follow us on Instagram @mommihealth and at @erinschurtz or also try our new family account @thehawaiifour.

  • erinschurtz2015 – what a year!! We survived a full deployment, got@byronjoseph back from his mission to Mexico, welcomed the sweetest baby Jamie boy into our family, lived with the wonderful @byronelton & @lindaelton for a few months this summer, took the coolest trip to Utah for an Elton family reunion where we found out both@lexiwallis AND @meganelton are pregnant, got a new cousin in the family handsome Krue (thanks to@carlyanncarlson & Chad), and took a trip to Arizona to visit Seth’s parents Jim & @lauraschurtz – amongst other things!! I’m so grateful for the blessings in my life. This is our last selfie of 2015 – I sure love my people. Let’s do 2016 together in style! #happynewyear everyone!!!

  • tarahbcHappy New Years you guys! We love your sweet family Cheers to a fabulous 2016!

  • erinschurtz@tarahbc we love you guys!!! Happy new year! Get home so we can hang out!

  • pregnancyperfectHappy new year, beautiful mama!

  • rockwhititJojo really Nailed this selfie!

  • erinschurtz@pregnancyperfect happy new year lady!!! All the best to you and your family

  • erinschurtz@rockwhitit She’s slowly and surely starting to get it hahaha!! Happy New Year!!

Prenatals—Are They All the Same? What Do I Really Need?

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It’s a new year – a new you – and maybe even a new baby! Whatever your situation, you can benefit from a good prenatal supplement. But not all prenatals are alike!

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Say what? The standard of prenatal nutrition varies from company to company and from pill to gel cap to liquid drink to protein shake (think Mommi). The levels and source of vitamins are the important things to watch for in making sure you are getting everything your baby needs (and you too) for a healthy pregnancy.

So I spent a little bit of time yesterday with our awesome CMO—Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Yvonne Bohn. We talked about all sorts of fun things but most importantly and what I wanted to share here is what are the trends for prenatals in 2016?

  1. Lower levels (or elimination) of Vitamin A – if you were cursed with acne like I was when I was a teenager, you are likely familiar with Accutane and/or Retin-A – both strong in Vitamin A, to clear up your skin. If you endured these treatments you also probably had to take pregnancy tests for the duration because those high levels of A can lead to birth defects.

  2. Gummies – who doesn’t like a gummy bear and especially when it’s good for you! These little gummies of goodness taste great and give you the prenatals and… get this… the DHA (fish oil no less) you need during pregnancy. But beware – you have to take 2 to get the daily recommended value and they don’t have iron because iron simply doesn’t get the gummy to gum. And many have high levels of sugar. So read the label and be mindful that you may need to take an extra iron supplement.

  3. Smaller size pills – for some reason if you don’t normally have a hard time taking a horse pill, you definitely do during pregnancy. Smaller-sized vitamins are becoming more popular – just make sure they are still packed with the levels you need to optimize nutrition.

  4. Drinkable prenatals – there are many studies on the positive effect of getting your vitamins in liquid form – they absorb quicker, act faster, and help with nausea that often hits shortly after taking large pills that tend to sit in your stomach and slowly dissolve.

Staying informed is so important for new health trends during pregnancy but there is a lot of noise out there and things change ALL the time – for a good rule of thumb we love Web MD’s Guide to Prenatal-Vitamins for what proper prenatal nutrition looks like. If you want to be really secure in your choices, compare this against the supplement facts on your prenatal of choice.

And “bottom’s up” if that includes a Mommi prenatal protein shake!! 🙂

Eat for 2 ‘Guilt-Free’ This Thanksgiving – Traditional Thanksgiving Favorites Made Healthy

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Let’s face it – you feel like you have just eaten Thanksgiving dinner every single day that you are pregnant. So why add to the discomfort of growing an entire human by stuffing your face full of stuffing and turkey and pie, etc. etc. etc.

Thanksgiving Table Newsletter

We feel you – so over the last month we have tried making it easier on you by finding awesome and healthy recipes, and trying them out (you’re welcome:). We compiled our favorites for you to enjoy… drum roll… GUILT FREE!! **Side note – my favorite personal trainer Jane says that the average person eats about 3,800 calories just for Thanksgiving dinner alone! Not that it isn’t worth it once a year… but if you can enjoy the same wonderful taste without all the calories than why not??? We hope you enjoy – let us know your favorites! (Just click on each photo to get to the actual recipe)

Turkey

BrusselsSprouts

MashedCauliflower

CreamedCorn

Stuffing

SweetPotatoCasserole

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