Monday, October 14, 2013

1 Peter 3:3

I am sure it is quite normal postpartum to feel really gross and ugly- at least I hope it is. 
I have been having a rough time feeling beautiful in my new body. Even though I was gaining weight while pregnant I felt beautiful because I was carrying life inside me! You hear stories of pregnant women feeling fat and gross but really I loved being pregnant and every time I see a pregnant woman I get a little jealous! It is the post pregnant nursing body that is bumming me out. I am constantly hungry so I am constantly eating. I leak breast milk so I always feel a little gross and sometimes smell faintly of yogurt or cheese. (You're welcome!) I don't get out much so many days I never get out of my PJs and my hair never gets brushed! I have a love hate relationship with my hair too. I like that it is fast to just spray water on it dry it in 10 seconds and I am done but sometimes I feel slightly manish. I have a nasty incision thats still not quite healed and it grosses me out. I have been telling myself all month that I hate my weight, I hate my hair, and I hate my body. Then I looked down at my cute little baby and thought I don't want her to ever feel that way or to judge herself so harshly, and I remembered the print I put in her bathroom. 

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:3 

So these are the words I want my daughter to hear and believe yet I don't even heed them. While I don't want to skew the words into saying I can be a fat slob I need to realize there is a lot of beauty in inward character that I should be a little more concerned about, especially now that I need to be a role model for my daughter. I want to be healthy and strong and I want to care about myself and not put so much emphasis on my hair, my clothes, or my weight. 

The image I want for myself is to be a happy healthy Mom who believes what I teach Emma. 
I dont want to be overly critical or use the word "hate" towards myself! I worked really hard pre pregnancy to lose 65 pounds and I didnt do it from a place of hate but from trying to love my body and treat it well. 

I found an article online about reasons to love your postpartum body that I want to keep reading to myself in the hopes of loving my image again and getting to a healthy place mentally and physically with LOVE. This is from Nina of Modern Alternative Pregnancy:

"1. You had a baby!

Think about the miracle that bringing forth new life is. It’s amazing! And you did that! Your body needed to change to nourish this new baby. It took months for it to do that. It will take a while for it to recover. Take this opportunity to take good care of yourself. You deserve it!

2. You are wonderfully made

God created us in His image. And He gave women the amazing blessing of being able to give birth. Part of that design was a need for our bodies to change during pregnancy, as well as the need to take an equal amount of time to recover. Love that you are wonderfully made according to God’s design.

3. You’re (still) sustaining life

Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing. It allows you to bond with and nourish your baby, further sustaining her life. While you breastfeed, you need to take in even more calories than you did when you were pregnant. Remember that and nourish your body and your baby.

4. You’re voluptuous

Speaking of breastfeeding … One thing I defintely loved about my postpartum body was my ability to fill out a bra. I had friends growing up who lamented their large breasts, but I was part of the “only wearing a bra because it makes me feel like a big girl” crowd. I couldn’t wait to get boobs! And wait I did, until I got pregnant. Wow! Then I had a baby. Woo hoo! I was quite perky during my postpartum days, if ya know what I mean.

5. You’ve got battle scars

I used to put my hands on my naked belly and frown, telling my husband that I didn’t like how it looked one bit. “I do,” he’d reply. “My babies did that. I love your belly.” When I look at my bare stomach and see stretch marks, I see my “battle scars.” I proudly remember what I went through to get them and the sweet children who gave them to me.

6. You’re going through a huge transition

The body is truly a wonderful thing. And, after babies are born, there is so much change going on!Hormones need to balance out, your uterus needs to shrink back down and your body needs time to make this transition. It will end – relish the time to heal and enjoy your baby because it’ll be over before you know it.

7. You’re beautiful

I know it’s hard to feel that way under the messy hair, under-eye bags and clothes you’ve had on for days, but you are. I love that look on a new mom’s face when she gazes into her baby’s eyes. Pure bliss. You are so beautiful, mama.

8. You need extra nourishment

With my first babies, I didn’t want to eat more because I was afraid I would get bigger. I didn’t realize that I needed to eat more, and pay special attention to nourishing my body. The postpartum period requires special nourishment. Healing foods, like home made bone broths are so good for nourishing you during this time. Your body needs to heal and strengthen – give it the love, rest and nourishment it needs to do so.

9.You gave birth

Whether you rocked the natural birth you had planned or ended up with an emergency c-section, you still gave birth to your baby. Celebrate that! It’s an amazing feat that so often gets brushed off by today’s culture. After I gave birth, I felt SO empowered. Seriously, I felt like a rockstar because I had just done something that was so challenging and labor-intensive (hardy, har, har). Remembering that helped so much when I was feeling down about my body.

10. You’re a mother

Being a mother is a special gift. It might not always feel like it, but it is. Whether you have one child or eight, you have been blessed with this challenging and rewarding opportunity to raise loving, godly people. It takes a special person to do that. Just like you."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Make Me Pink!

Today felt like a pink lipstick kind of day! 

With my sassy lips I headed off to Longview to buy a new breast pump. The one that I had was a hand me down from my sister-in-law that had also been a hand me down for her! I have no idea how old it is and it worked great at first but now its starting to wear out and have a few issues. I ended up decided on a pretty cool breast pump that also happens to be the same bottles we already use anyway. Its a First Years Breastflow MemoryPump. I haven't started using it yet but it has a neat digital system that remembers your settings and looks pretty awesome. It also has a handle that allows for one hand holding. I am pretty much PUMPED (womp womp) to use it.

After leaving Target I forced my husband to take me to the Granary and get some dairy free items to help me easily transition to this new lifestyle. I found a ton of great things...

With carob chips in hand I set out to make dairy free lactation cookies. I used the same recipe I posted earlier but used butter flavored shortening and of course the carob. I also added pecans and unsweetened coconut. 

If you are not familiar with carob, it is a powder that is ground for the pods of carob trees. Carob is naturally sweet, unlike cocoa which needs tons of added sugar to make it taste good. Other benefits of carob are it's caffeine free, it aids in digestion, and it's high in vitamin E and calcium.

Also if you wanted you could give a cookie to your dog since carob is perfectly safe for animals to ingest. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In my last post I talked about trying to start getting active. I asked my doctor about milk supply problems with exercise and she said that light to moderate exercise shouldn't hurt just to make sure I am drinking plenty of water. I did a little research online and found this to be helpful. 
"Moderate exercise improves a mother’s health and has a positive effect on her emotional well-being. Some of the benefits include:

  • Higher level of cardiovascular fitness
  • Improved blood lipid profiles and insulin response
  • A feeling of well-being from improved energy and reduced stress levels
  • Enhanced maternal-infant relationship
  • Alleviation of depression symptoms in those with major depressive disorders

Research has shown that moderate exercise does not affect milk supply, milk composition, or baby’s growth. Exercising to exhaustion may have a short-term effect on lactic acid content of a mother’s milk."
The last few days the weather has been absolutely perfect. It's cool enough to go for walks which is the easiest way for me to get in exercise since baby can be with me. 

Since it felt so good I had a ton of energy and we walked for an hour all around our neighborhood. In the last 10 minute stretch to get home I got EXHAUSTED. It was really obvious that my muscles weren't used to being this active and my legs felt like jelly. Not only that but I was ravenous. I always get hungry post workout but this was like eat the whole pantry hungry. Because you burn about 500 calories a day just breastfeeding and I burned about 500 calories walking moderately for an hour (CALORIE BURN CALCULATOR) my body was really wanting me to replace those calories with food - which you are supposed to do while nursing. In fact I was told to eat about 500 extra calories a day.
I kind of feel like I eat all the time but I am eating healthy options. (now that the oreos are officially gone!) 

A lot of people talk about losing weight by nursing but the La Leche League recommends breast feeding mothers wait at least two months before dedicating themselves to rigorous weight loss efforts. By doing so, you can allow your body to become accustomed to making milk. 

I won't lie I am feeling unattractive in my postpartum body, but I really just want to focus on the health of my body and my milk supply not getting a more attractive body. I have plenty of time to get to my MILF body right???? 

I just wanted to share a few of the things I have been eating to help me feel full, keep up my calorie intake, and still be healthy. 

 For breakfast I usually eat Fruit, oatmeal or cereal, and toast with jam and chia seeds. PLUS water, coffee, and orange juice. I only have 8 oz of coffee a day and avoid caffeine the rest of the day. My doctor told me not to drink juice but its 100% juice no added sugar with pulp so I feel like a glass a day isn't going to hurt. 

 The other night I made sriracha roasted chicken. Its a whole chicken that I coated in olive oil and sriracha and baked for about an hour and a half. It was DELICIOUS. I served it with quinoa that I mixed with sauteed kale, onions, and carrots. MMMM 

And a new product I found for my dairy free diet is a butter substitute and its REALLY good. It actually tastes a lot like butter with only a hint of coconut flavor to it. 

1. Continue to walk when its cool enough 
2. Continue to cut dairy for Emma
3. Don't stress about weight 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Eat To Live!

Today was my 6 weeks postpartum visit and everything looked good! I won't go back to the OBGYN for a whole year which honestly feels REALLY weird after seeing her so much over the past 9 months.
On the way out the door my doctor gave me a diet plan called "Eat To Live" which is essentially a vegan diet. I can eat unlimited raw veggies, cooked greens, beans, and fresh fruit but a limited amount of soy milk, flax, nuts, seeds and absolutely NO dairy, animal meat, salt, or sugar and no snacking!

I personally think that you can be healthy without a vegan diet and I think that healthy snacks are important. My doctor is a vegan and really likes to push that belief but I think that a healthy well balanced diet that doesn't eliminate any food totally is a much better way to go.

My eating plan would look more like 

UNLIMITED: veggies and fruit 
LIMITED: Everything else 

Now that being said I am doing a no dairy diet for the next week to see how it affects Emma. Since she has been so gassy and in pain I decided that as a breast fead only baby that I had to figure out what was going on with my consumption that could cause her discomfort. I found that the most common culprit could be dairy. You would be surprised how much stuff you eat that has dairy in it! I originally thought "no milk, butter, yogurt, or cheese", but lots of other foods are made with dairy that isn't as obvious until you think about it. Most baked items such as bread, crackers, cereal, and granola are made with casesin, dry milk powder, and whey. Other items that are surprising are some lunch meat, and vegetarian meats and cheeses so always look for vegan options and read your labels carefully. 

Other Names for Milk Ingredients
   Caseinate (ammonium caseinate, calcium caseinate, magnesium caseinate, potassium caseinate, and sodium caseinate)
   Delactosed or demineralized whey
   Hydrolyzed casein
   Hydrolyzed milk protein
   Lactalbumin phosphate
   Casein, rennet casein
   Caseinate (ammonium caseinate, calcium caseinate, magnesium caseinate, potassium caseinate, and sodium caseinate)
   Delactosed or demineralized whey
   Dry milk, milk solids
   Hydrolyzed casein and hydrolyzed milk protein
   Lactalbumin and lactalbumin phosphate
   Lactoferrin, lactoglobulin
   Rennet casein
   Whey and whey protein concentrate

I am a huge dessert person. I have to have my sweet fix every night and it pretty much always has to involve chocolate. So to comply with my no dairy and my love of chocolate I set out on a mission to find vegan dessert options.


 I know my doctor totally approves of this decision.
I got coconut milk ice cream and oreos! I know this is not by any means healthy or helping me to lose weight but it does make me happy at the end of the day when I need something sweet. 

Here are the nutritional labels on these items 

Not too bad if you are able to just go with 1/2 cup once in a while. They do make a no added sugar version but I didn't get that one. The flavor and texture of this ice cream is AWESOME! Since its made with coconut milk its basically coconut chocolate flavor and its a lot thicker than milk based ice cream so I actually couldn't eat that much because its pretty rich. 

WHAT THE WHAT? When you go to eat an oreo usually you aren't concerned with how many calories and fat are in them so I was a little OMG shocked. At first glance I think OK well that is doable until I see the serving size. BWAHAHAH who the hell eats two oreos and says "ok done!" For this reason alone I will promise that this is the last time I bring oreos into the house! From now on I will make my own healthy vegan cookies if we continue to need vegan options. GURG 

Now coconut almond milk I can guiltlessly drink and this stuff is amazingly tasty and actually I love it better than regular milk for putting in cereal, smoothies, baked good etc. The only time I prefer cows milk is for straight drinking because almond coconut milk is thicker in consistency so it doesn't really quench thirst for me. 

So here is my unhealthy vegan indulgence.
 And the calorie intake on this bad boy is 450 calories! 

Apparently I need to buy this shirt! 

GET REAL MOMENT: When I was restricting things like oreos and sugar before I got pregnant I didn't crave it like I do right now. I think that you can help eliminate cravings by stopping the consumption of those items and finding a better option that satisfies. For instance my date fudge brownies are vegan, sugar free, and totally healthy. I could also make a smoothie with cocoa powder, peanut butter, and coconut milk. I truly find these things just as delicious as oreos so NO MORE OREOS ALLOWED! 



I am cleared to start light exercise so this week I will see how and when that will work as right now I can barely make a sandwich or do laundry! I have an exercise bike at home so I could essentially ride that while baby is napping but sometimes you just want to do nothing, or nap yourself, or eat without someone attached to your body, or finally wash your pants, or clean the dirty bathroom sink! This is why new moms cant get rid of "baby weight"! 

So lets set attainable goals. 
1. No dairy 
2. Lots of fruit and veggies 
3. TONS of water 
4. At least 20 minutes of activity twice this week (this might be doable) 
5. Don't eat the whole box of Oreos