The general consensus among doctors is that if you worked out before you got pregnant, you can keep doing whatever you were doing while you are pregnant. I’ve been completely honest about this, back in December, when I got pregnant, I was way off track. The most exercise I was doing was lifting non-Paleo cookies to my mouth and eating them. That’s not awesome for me, and certainly not awesome for the tiny human I’m growing. I’ve cleaned up my eating habits quite a bit since then. (I’m not going to lie, though, I’m human, and sometimes I eat crap that I know isn’t going to make me feel my best). Now that the snow and ice have also melted, I’ve started walking again. Now, I wasn’t doing this before I got pregnant, but my doctor gave me the green light. They don’t advise going from couch surfing all the time to crossfit or running marathons during pregnancy, but taking some walks is pretty safe. So, I try to get out as often as I can for a walk. I plop our little one in her stroller, and we go. It’s nice because she loves it just as much as I do. We’ve taken walks together since I got the okay from my doctors after having her, so she’s used to be outside and getting some fresh air. I love it, too, because not only do I feel like I’m taking care of myself, and the new baby, but I feel like I’m teaching her healthy habits from the start.
So, as I mentioned in the MIA post, hubby and I have taken a “let’s do us” approach to the eating and cooking situation lately. Asisde from the fact that I’ve still got pretty bad morning sickness, I’m starting to feel much better. I no longer feel like I’m running on empty. I don’t need a nap every single day, and I am sleeping better at night. My pain has been greatly reduced and the symptoms from my IC are starting to lessen. I’ll take it. Hubby has been feeling better, too. We’re still struggling to get the little one to each much other than fruit, but I’m sure that if I just keep offering it to her, we’ll have a little paleo kiddo in no time. (That’s what I keep telling myself anyway….)
So, I’d seen this recipe for Almost 5 Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie on the PaleOMG blog. Then I saw some tweets about it. Then it kept popping up over and over and over again in my instagram feed. So, finally, I decided to see what the fuss was about. I made the recipe, adding a diced green pepper, a handful of diced pepperoni (Applegate Farms makes a fairly junk free one). I also mixed some shredded mozzarella in before I baked it, because we eat dairy. I didn’t measure it, but I’d guess that I used about a cup in the spaghetti and then another 1/4 cup sprinkled on top.
As this was baking, the family started lurking around the kitchen. We were eating pretty late, so I figured that they had all already eaten. Much to my surprise, however, they not only hadn’t eaten, but they wanted to eat something that I made. I let it bake for just over an hour, but it probably needed a little bit longer. I couldn’t take it any more though, and pulled it out of the oven, and set it on the counter to rest. I went to check on the baby, and when I came back downstairs, they had all decided to dig right in. Uh, okay. What is awesome, though, is that everyone loved it. It was so, so, so good. So good, in fact, that my husband wanted it again the next night. (There weren’t any left overs though). They all had seconds. My brother in law with the health issues had thirds. It was one of the first times since his diagnosis where he could eat as much as he wanted. He didn’t go to bed unsatisfied or hungry. That, for me, is the best part.
While we are back in New England, we are still very much in a transitional state. We are living with family at the moment, which means that we don’t have our own kitchen. With that said, comes my confession….we have been eating like garbage. There has been more coffee than water. More fast food than real food, and far more processed junk. If I wasn’t committed to Paleo before this lapse, I would be now. I feel terrible. I am in pain from my bladder condition every single day. I am not sleeping well, but I am exhausted all of the time. This is clearly my body telling me that something needs to change. Before we went Paleo, I didn’t know that I could feel better. I didn’t know that I could ease my symptoms and enjoy life more, but now I do. The proof is there, right in front of me, and it’s time to get back on track…
Well, this hiatus has been quite a bit longer than I had anticipated. I had expected to get back to the east coast, get settled in fairly quickly, and be back to blogging in a timely fashion. That has not been the case. We haven’t settled in, most of our belongings are still packed, and, aside from the baby, we’re still living out of suitcases at the moment. I had also hoped that we’d be able to maintain some degree of healthy eating during the move. That has also not been the case. Our eating habits have not been good, and I can feel it. I’m not sleeping well, am tired all of the time, and the symptoms from my health stuff are starting to resurface. The dust is starting to settle, however, and I hope to be eating well and back blogging more regularly soon.
Thank you all for being here, and for sticking it out with me during this transition! I appreciate it so much!
Way back in one of my first posts, I talked about my inability to breast feed, and what I do instead. Well, the formula that I make is supposed to be made fresh every day, or every other day. That’s not going to be possible to do while we’re driving across country during our move. One of my biggest concerns, of course, is how to feed the baby along the way, without compromising the quality of her food. So, I’ve been making extra formula, and freezing it in breast milk storage bags. I’ve laid the bags flat, thinking that they will take up less space in the cooler that way. Each bag has about one bottle’s worth of formula. What you can’t see, is that there is another stack behind this one. In all, this is about 10 days worth of food for the baby. My hope is that with enough ice, this will work for the entire trip. I’ve heard from other mothers who have done this while traveling, but not from anyone who has done it during an entire cross country move. We’ll see what happens. We do have an overnight stop planned around the half way point, where I’ll be able to reassess the situation if need be, and I can make more formula if I have to, but right now, this is the plan.
This post isn’t pretty, but I want to share with you a bit more about my Paleo journey. I have already talked about the dramatic improvements to my health in my first post. Those improvements to my health are why I tried paleo, and why it has become a lifestyle for me. It’s not a diet, or a temporary thing, this is how I live, and it’s because I feel better, and my husband feels better. It’s because I was able to stop taking 17 pills a day, and start participating in my life. With that said, I would be foolish not to acknowledge that there have been physical improvements as well. So, here goes…..
This picture was probably taken around my heaviest. There aren’t many pictures of me at this weight, but I was close to 200lbs at one point. At this point, I didn’t drink soda, and we ate a diet pretty close to what doctor’s recommend. We were eating whole grains, and watching portions, but in hindsight, I’m sure we weren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables. I wasn’t gaining any weight at this time, but I wasn’t losing any either. I was far from healthy.
In this picture, I was the thinnest that I had ever been as an adult. I was about 170lbs. I was eating 1200 calories a day, obsessing over my food choices, working full time, and working out twice a day. While I certainly looked better, I didn’t feel better.
This was taken about two months before we started eating paleo. At this time, I was taking 17 pills a day, never ventured far from home, just in case my health took a turn for the worst, and while I was working out almost daily, that was about all I was managing to do. I was spending a lot of my time in bed, or laying on the couch, resting.
This picture was taken 2 weeks after I had the baby. Not working out, not counting calories, and, more importantly, not taking any medications. I weigh less now than I ever have as an adult, and I finally feel like I’m participating in my life. I understand that Paleo isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. Yes, paleo changed my appearance, but more importantly, paleo changed the quality of my life in some really great ways.
That’s silly. Everyone can breast feed. You just need to try harder…..
That’s really what I thought. Turns out, some people can’t breast feed. Apparently, you need to process water in order to make breast milk. Sounds pretty obvious, but it had never occurred to me. Ever. I had just assumed that I would breast feed, and that it would be wonderful. Breast milk is, after all, the most nutritious food you can feed your baby, and I was trying to start her off as healthy as possible.
Here’s where my frustration starts. Not one of my doctors (and I have lots of doctors as a sick kid) ever mentioned the possibility that my diabetes insipidus might affect my ability to produce milk. If they had, I would have still tried, but it probably would have saved me an incredible amount of guilt over the issue. It also would have caused me to start researching alternatives much earlier than I did.
Soon after delivering the baby, I was told that she had a pretty severe tongue tie. Right away, we had difficulties latching, and she was immediately given commercial formula to supplement. We were kept in the hospital a few extra days, to make sure that we had a proper feeding plan. I worked with several lactation consultants in the hospital, and a home visit was scheduled for a few days later. We worked to fix the latch issue, but the baby was always hungry, so I continued to supplement with formula, as well as pump to try and increase my milk supply. The idea with breast feeding, and pumping is that the more milk you use, through feeding or pumping, the more milk your body will produce. It’s basic supply and demand. Well, for me, it seemed like the more I pumped or fed her, the less milk I was producing. So, I looked for ways to increase my supply. I ate foods that are supposed to increase supply, took supplements, tried to feed her from the breast first at every feeding, before offering her formula, and pumped every two hours around the clock. At this time, my husband was still working overseas, so I was exhausted all the time. I kept telling myself though, if I keep trying my milk will come in, and it will get easier. It didn’t. I thought that maybe the tongue tie was causing some of the problems, so we met with an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, who preformed a small procedure to correct the tongue tie. Great, I thought, now we’ll be able to nurse, and my milk will come in. It didn’t. So, I continued the supplements, the foods, the around the clock pumping. I kept meeting with lactation consultants, who lent me a commercial grade pump. This has to help, I thought. It didn’t.
Through all of this, the baby was getting most of her nutrition from commercial formula. I knew that this wasn’t idea. The ingredients in commercial formula are not ideal. I certainly wouldn’t put those things in my body, so putting them in my baby’s body was disheartening to say the least. Here are the ingredients in the formula that I was feeding her: Nonfat Milk, Lactose, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Soy Oil, Coconut Oil, Galactooligosaccharides, Whey Protein Concentrate. Less than 2% of the Following: C. Cohnii Oil, M. Alpina Oil, Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Choline Bitartrate, Choline Chloride, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Salt, Taurine, m-Inositol, Zinc Sulfate, Mixed Tocopherols, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Palmitate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Phylloquinone, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Hydroxide, and Nucleotides (Adenosine 5’-Monophosphate, Cytidine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine 5’-Monophosphate).
Contains milk and soy ingredients.
Why on earth would a baby need nonfat milk? Don’t babies need fat? Breast milk certainly isn’t non fat. And soy? (Here is a great post about why the ingredients in formula are less than ideal.) The ingredients on the organic formulas weren’t any better. However, I kept telling myself that it was just going to be temporary, until my milk came in. After about two months, and several heart to heart conversations with the lactation consultant, it became clear that my milk just wasn’t going to come in. I was devastated. As a woman, you are designed for this, and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give my baby the best nutrition possible. Her health was being compromised because of me. I felt like a failure.
Still not pleased with what I was feeding my baby, I started to research to see if there were other alternatives. There had to be something better out there for her. That’s when I found this article by the Weston A. Price Foundation. This article points out that pituitary function (mine doesn’t work) affects a woman’s ability to make breast milk. That article also referenced home made formula. A little more research led me to this article, with the recipe for formula. Now, this is controversial. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to feeding your baby, even if you can’t breast feed. You can use donor milk, which some people will argue is the next best thing. I wasn’t comfortable with that. Personally, I couldn’t trust a complete stranger with my child’s life, and while some people will argue that a woman’s diet doesn’t affect the quality of her breast milk, I wasn’t convinced. At the end of the day, you have to make choices that you are comfortable with, and I wasn’t comfortable with that. So, I ordered a kit from Radiant Life with all of the ingredients to make the formula and started making my own. The price of this kit looks expensive, but when you break it down, ounce for ounce, it was slightly cheaper than commercial formula. When you add in the cost of milk, cream, and whey, it does end up being slightly more expensive, but I was comfortable paying a bit more to be in control of the quality of my child’s nutrition. Again, you have to make decisions for your family that you are comfortable with. This formula calls for raw milk. That is another controversial topic. Raw milk is legal in my state (it isn’t in some states), but I’m sure you always substitute with the highest quality milk you can find. If it’s something you are considering, I’d encourage you to do your own research on the issue. You will need to be comfortable with your own decision, and you may need to defend those decisions to other people. Our first pediatrician, for example, was not so encouraging about this choice. I was able to find a pediatrician, however, who fully supports my decision to feed my daughter formula that I make. The process takes maybe 15 minutes a day to make, and while it looks complicated at first, after a few days, it becomes second nature. After switching my daughter to this formula, I noticed some intimidate changes in her. She started sleeping better, her skin cleared up, she no longer had diaper rashes (I change her very frequently, but she had been getting rashes on occasion), and she seemed more alert. This formula works for us. While I still hate the fact that I wasn’t able to breast feed her, the fact that I am able to offer her something more nutritious than commercial formula has allowed me to let go of some of the guilt.
With that said, this was a personal decision. It’s not for everyone. If you can breast feed, great. If you use donor milk, great. If you use commercial formula, great. At the end of the day, you need to feed your baby. How and what you choose to feed them, is your choice. You need to live with it, and be comfortable with it. I’m not here to judge anyone, or make anyone feel like their choices are wrong. I’m just here to share my story.