Hi! My name is Amanda Ellis Whittaker, my nickname is Panda! I'm 30 years old and a life-long New Yorker currently living in the UK with my husband (husbabe), James, an entrepreneur and downhill mountain biker, and our 13 month old, Bodhi, an avid eater and overall life enthusiast (seriously - he loves EVERYTHING). I'm currently 26 weeks pregnant with our second boy, we relocated from NYC to the UK in February of this year, and found out we were pregnant on my birthday RIGHT after we'd moved (happy birthday to me)!
I'm first and foremost a wife and mother, but for my sake and sanity I'm also a few other things: entrepreneur (currently run 2 online businesses with husbabe), I'm part of a founding team currently working on an app + community for people around the world who grow their own food (at home or micro/urban farming), and I also am a community management consultant after having worked at TED Conferences for several years as a community manager and community engagement specialist
I'm a READER - one of the best things about breastfeeding apart from connecting with baby is being able to catch up on reading! I'm active - I love dancing, but also spinning, running, yoga, at-home and on the go exercises either against body weight or with weights/bands. I walk everywhere - we haven't bought a car since moving, and I walk outside every day. It's the best way to learn about a new city and to get in extra steps throughout the day.
My favorite prenatal exercise is definitely yoga - connecting with your body during pregnancy with controlled movements and breath is a great way to check in with yourself and to appreciate your body. Also chasing after a toddler! My favorite postnatal exercise is gentle to moderate hiking - being outside in fresh air is amazing if you're at home with a new baby (you can get cabin fever so easily!) and also carrying a newborn in a wrap, sling or carrier is another really nice way to be close while still being active.
My fitness philosophy is eating well, work out your body and mind, be outside, and appreciate your good health and the things it can do for you and your family. I don't work out or eat good, real food to look a certain way, I do it to feel strong and confident in my body. Also, if you're feeling good, you can take better care of those you love!
One of the things I'm most proud of is during my first pregnancy I traveled to India for work to run a days-long workshop, and I also organized a large-scale week-long event for 500+ people from around the world when I was about 1 month away from my due date! Our first pregnancy and birth story is very special for our family; I ended up having an emergency c section after going into labor naturally and pushing for quite some time; I was disappointed that we couldn't maintain our original birth plan but it was safest for the baby and me, and our son is AMAZING and to look at him makes me feel certain that anything you have to do to give birth (whether that's turn away from your original birth plan, have surgery to be safe, or even adoption or surrogacy), it's the right thing for YOU and your family. Also our family is committed to using as little plastic as possible, shopping local and supporting small farms and businesses!
You can find me on Instagram @amandapanda_abracadabra (we also have a family account @WhattheWhittaker that is smaller and mainly just fun stuff from traveling/being parents) and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandapanda.abracadabra.ZAP.
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