Pregnancy Update: 31 Weeks

Hello! Single digit weeks left here! Things are starting to feel real and I am kind of freaking out a little. I just want to feel prepared and ready for baby and there are so many decisions to be made it really stresses me out sometimes! I have to take a deep breath!

31 Weeks

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We enjoyed my sister in laws wedding this past week which was fun but extremely tiring. Weddings=way more fun when you’re not pregnant, in case you were wondering. We are supposed to go to another wedding in June when I’ll be 37 weeks and I reeeeeeallly don’t want to miss it, but gosh it was exhausting. I’m playing it by ear and seeing how I feel.

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Still feeling generally good and able to get through the days. My main issue has been SI joint and back pain, inhibiting me from doing basically any exercise besides swimming. I plan on going to a physical therapist to get their opinion but I doubt it will help considering it never did when I had this issue before. I just want to know what I should be avoiding and what I should be doing to help this. For example everyone says yoga is so great for pregnant women but last week after my weekly class I was in quite a bit of pain. If it’s just gentle stretching on my own it’s fine but being in a class  you don’t really control the moves you do and I, craving and wanting so bad a decent workout, push myself to do the moves. At least I can still swim and hopefully the pain will subside when baby is born. I knew in my heart this was going to be an issue again since I had it before I was pregnant and at least I can say it didn’t really hit until 24 ish weeks and I was able to workout for the majority of my pregnancy.

Some other symptoms:

*Some shortness of breath and rib pain on the left side (something’s poking me! Hoping it’s a foot and not a head!)

*Random heartburn

*Severe addiction to ice cream

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*Sweet tooth in full force. Not hungry for anything but ice cream or cookies honestly.

*Feet swelling- this was lovely- especially at the wedding last week

*Sleep has been better since we got our new mattress!!!!!!! Hallelujah. I’m now only waking up like 1-2 X to pee (!!!!!!) and maybe like 3 times total each night.

*General fatigue when doing too much

After the wedding last week I basically kicked it into high gear with getting ready. I want to get as much checked off the list because May and June tend to fly by under normal circumstances! We got a door for the nursery (the room didn’t have one previously), I did some post partum food prep, and I also ordered some nursing bras and tanks.

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Food Prep- homemade frozen pizzas! This idea is brilliant because I’ve been spending like $5-6 on those Amy’s Organic frozen pizzas for busy nights. These are really going to come in handy.

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Two chicken dishes frozen and ready to cook! I also made around 30 (un-pictured) twice baked potatoes. I’m thinking I might have to do a massive prep like this once a month regularly. I still do food prep on Sundays but it is really tiring and I generally dread it. If I did this like once a month that would leave less to do on weekly Sundays.Eating healthy is hard work! But worth it. I keep telling myself that it’s worth the money I’ll save ordering out when we have a newborn.

Like I said I just want to be prepared and ease as much stress as possible for before and after the baby is born. I’m patiently awaiting my shower so I can go crazy buying up everything I don’t get. Is this stupid? Should I start buying stuff now? Waiting is giving me extreme anxiety. I feel like I should have had the shower sooner. Like all I have is a crib. With no mattress. In an empty room. And 2 nursing bras.

I’m still trucking along with the Hypnobabies birth program. Can’t help feeling some anxiety however about going ahead with a natural birth, but have to try to stay positive and stay off the internet (ha).

Well this was pretty random and rambling but I figured an update was due. I really am excited and over the moon about baby and trying not to be negative and worried but sometimes my thoughts just take over.

What made you feel most prepared for your first child? Or do you just not ever feel ready?

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Pregnancy Update- 27 Weeks

Hello third trimester!! (I think…. every thing says something different…..just go with it) It’s been awhile so I thought I’d update the ol’ blog and let everyone know how things were going. It’s been a good 6 weeks since my last update. First I have to get a rant out of the way.

Hey anyone who has a kid……there have got to be SOME good things about being a mother right? Because it seems as though when you’re pregnant and about to be a mother for the first time, all anyone ever wants to tell you is how HORRIBLE it’s going to be. Makes sense, right?

No actually it’s really annoying. I know that it’s going to be a journey and my life is going to change, but apparently according to everyone everything is going to get worse, I’ll never sleep again, never have time to do anything I want to do, and my life will be horrible.  Why do people have to be so negative? Why not, oh you’re going to be a parent, it’s the greatest blessing ever. Or- you’re going to love it! Or- life is going to be so much better!

Same thing with my pregnancy in general. People will ask how I am doing and then when I honestly reply (“oh, headaches, blah blah blah…” not complaining but THEY ASKED) they instantly tell me how much WORSE it’s going to get. Oh thanks, because I am in excruciating pain right now so you telling me it’s going to get worse really helps calm me down.

OKAY RANT OVER

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(I spy someone’s tail)

Weight gained:

I think around 20 pounds, I had a growth spurt but seems to be leveling off now. Feeling more confident about my body in general. Really trying to keep my eating in check because…..

Workouts:

This is where things get really depressing. My SI joint issues from the past have come back 10X worse. I was doing great with workouts until about week 23-24 when it started bothering me. I thought I could get around it with lighter workouts but now even doing ANY lower body work or even going for a walk puts me in pain which is really hard for me. It’s hard to see weight going on and not be able to work out. It’s hard mentally for me because working out makes me feel so much better. And I know it’s best for my baby too. I am going to try swimming and hopefully I don’t have pain after that or I’ll lose it. Right now that’s all I have…..and yoga. And I’m extremely worried about getting all my gardening done if I can’t bend over and move. Gardening and growing food is really important to me and June is the busiest month….it’s also when I’m the MOST pregnant. ARgh!!!!

Symptoms:

SI joint like I said, still occasional headaches, and heartburn which I’ve never had before and is terrible. Also some days just feeling blah and run down.

Movement:

I’ve got a little gymnast in there! Love feeling him/her move. I get nervous when he isn’t active for a couple of days but my dr said it was normal and usually he will start right up again after a day or so.

Food Aversions: Not really! Trying to get in all the veggies.

Food Cravings: Still ice cream……like all the time. And peanut butter and crackers, which was a childhood favorite of mine that’s come back from the dead.

Sleep: We just got a new mattress! THANK THE LORD! It’s a little firmer than I’d like ( I think I’m going to get a mattress topper) but the space of having a queen vs a full bed makes so much of a difference. I’m able to position my mountain of pillows without feeling claustrophobic and then waking up drenched in sweat because the bed is so small. I’m still waking up at least 1-2X to pee and the SI joint makes it difficult to sleep on my left side. I usually sleep on my right side which is not ideal but the only way I’m not in pain.

Stretch marks?  Nope!

Miss Anything? Sleeping on my back. Sometimes I allow myself a few minutes on my back and it is heaven. And I’d love a beer but I guess it will have to wait until summer.

Baby Items Purchased: My mom got us a few items and we finally got our crib!!!!!

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Also, Cuse had a good run this year but I’m already looking forward to next season because I put this on my registry.

Lol, totally necessary. We can match! Everyone is all up in arms about what they’re going to get me for baby clothes because the gender is unknown and I came up with a solution! Syracuse gear!!!

Looking forward to:

My shower in May!!! I just want to be in possession of baby stuff so I can feel like I’m a little more prepared. I feel so unprepared but don’t want to buy too much until we know what we’re getting for the shower.

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Pregnancy Update: 20-21 Weeks

Okay here we are half way through!!! Ugh, at some times it seems like it’s going fast and other times it seems like it will be forever until I meet my little baby. Trying just to take it day by day! I think it’s safe to say I’ve had it a lot worse during the second trimester than the first, which is opposite than usual. But still nothing terrible and serious going on so I’m considering myself lucky. Here’s a bump date as of today:

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I’m enjoying at little extra time this week for winter break, which is great. And we have another one in four short weeks!! Love being a teacher.

Anyways, we just got back from spending the weekend at our parents’ houses in Syracuse which was a fun time. I got to try out a new-to-me brunch spot in downtown Syracuse that was worth blogging about- called Modern Malt. It was everything I ever dreamed. My sister and I ordered the fruity pebble encrusted (!!!!!) french toast and breakfast tacos, followed by a peanut butter milk shake for dessert.

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No mimosas for me :(. If you’re local you should DEFINITELY check it out! I will be back. Okay here’s a little update on how the pregnancy has been going.

Weight gained: I think about 10-12 pounds. I was up nine from the last time that I had only gained three but that was about two weeks ago. It’s really frustrating that none of my clothes are fitting and maternity clothes are SO expensive. I also sometimes really wish that I was one of those cute pregnant ladies with just a belly, but no,  it seems as though my entire waistline has just decided to expand and make me look pear shaped on the bottom. People keep saying “you don’t look pregnant!” and I’m like….so I look like I’m getting fat?!?! Hopefully when I pop out a bit more I will look less like a beached whale.

Workouts: Still doing pretty good! I had been visiting the gym 1-2 times a week and then doing workouts and yoga at home. But I think I might switch it up and try to do shorter workouts at home like 4-5 days a week. We had a case of chicken pox at the high school and although I’ve already had it, it made me paranoid just about germs in general at the school gym. It’s disgusting and never gets cleaned or disinfected (as far as I know). High school and middle school students don’t generally follow the “wipe down after use” rule. I generally wash my hands 2-3 times while I’m in there but I figure if I can get a good workout at home why even take the chance? Thanks to my blogging favs Courtney and Giselle, I’ve had some great ideas for workouts at home during pregnancy!!

Symptoms: Still getting some headaches, which my doctor just said to take the freakin’ Tylenol (which I did) and it helped. Drinking a bit (about a half a cup) of coffee a day I think keeps them at bay as well. Sleep is getting difficult as well, trying to stay on my side. Can’t really think of anything else specifically, besides just feeling “blah” most of the time. Still having anxiety about certain things but trying really hard to keep it under control.

Movement: Yes! Around the end of 17 weeks I started to feel it. Now that I know what it feels like I realize how much he/she moves around! Some days it will feel like he/she is doing somersaults in there and other days it’s quiet. I absolutely love the feeling and it’s great to have another reassurance that I am indeed pregnant. It was hard waiting for just one ultrasound to make sure everything was okay. Here’s a pic from our anatomy scan:

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My heart just melts. I can’t wait to meet this little one!

Food Aversions: Not really anything at this point. But I’m definitely preferring cupcakes over broccoli still. Asian/ginergy- lime stuff still freaks me out.

Food Cravings: I’ve been a lot better on the diet front, but weekends are still kind of a free for all, which I’m okay with. Cheese is still a must-have.

Sleep: Been kind of crappy. Waking up anywhere from 2-5 times at night, to pee or just because I’m uncomfortable and my mouth is dry. Getting a humidifier helped a bit and cut it down to waking generally 2 times a night. I really need a bigger bed, and foresee me not being able to sleep in the bed with my husband when I get bigger. We have a full and it’s miserable. We tried going to the mattress store in Syracuse that sells organic mattresses but it was closed 🙁

Stretch marks?  Still none. Still mainly just look bloated rather than pregnant.

Miss Anything? Beeeeeeeeeer. Wahhhhh. And sushi but I know I can have a California roll or something if I want it that bad. Not like there are any good sushi places near me or like my husband would ever go, so it’s not like a struggle.

Baby Items Purchased: I got some cute chevron pattern gray storage canvas boxes at Marshall’s the other day. I have also been diligently adding items to my registry via Myregistry.com. It’s great because you can add items from any store you want, including Amazon. Since many of the things I want are natural and organic and  you may not be able to find them in stores. I am loving this option. This is not sponsored lol.

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Looking Forward To:

Besides meeting my baby….. I guess growing my bump a little more so I look pregnant and not fat? Also, for the warmer weather to approach. We have my sister in law’s wedding in April and all the fun stuff for that will also be happening soon.

 

What must haves did you have on your registry?

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Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks

Surprise! Long time no blog……. yeah I disappeared again. But for a good reason!!!! I was all excited to start blogging again following my Candida cleanse this fall, and I DID end up going through with it and completing 8 (I think it was even 10) weeks; I even started feeling better and then……BAM.

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Woops, so Candida diet…out the window. Bring on ALL the unhealthy foods. Anyways, I don’t want to talk much about that but I do love pregnancy updates on blogs. I definitely don’t plan on doing them weekly but I did want to throw a couple up here since I can look back on it and remember.

Right now I am 17 weeks tomorrow, due July 4th (AMERICA) and I’ve had it relatively easy compared to what I heard/read about the first trimester. I was blessed with hardly any nausea and absolutely no vomiting, but really that always made me anxious that something was wrong! Now that I’m well into the 2nd tri I have less anxiety but I just can’t believe I made it through the first trimester scot free. Well not totally but I feel pretty lucky.

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Weight gained: At my last appointment (14 weeks) I had only gained 3 pounds! Again, I started worrying that it wasn’t enough (dumb). Now I think when I go next week I will probably have gained at least 5-7. I literally can’t believe I’m not whale-sized considering the food I’ve been downing.

Workouts: I took it pretty easy the first trimester but now that I have more energy I have been just aiming to get as much movement in as possible! I always did yoga every day before I was preggo and I continue to now. It’s a great way to wake up considering I limit coffee and sometimes I throw in some meditation. Then I usually am at the gym doing weights at least 1-2 X a week. The rest of the days I either make sure I go for a walk (brrrrrr) or do some 20 minute quick at home workout or something. YouTube, Tone it Up and Pinterest have been life savers! Just hoping that I can continue well into the pregnancy.

Symptoms: Like I said in the 1st tri I didn’t have much nausea but I did have wicked food aversions and cravings. Sometimes I would dry heave when smelling cooked vegetables. Man, food aversions are no joke! I found myself going off the rails (esp during the holidays) with my paleo lifestyle and eating things I haven’t eaten in YEARS! (Cheese, pizza, bagels…) But I REGRET NOTHING!!! Food aversions have calmed down in the last couple of weeks and I’m slowly moving back to real foods (mostly). I also was pretty tired in the 1st tri but getting energy back now.

Lately I’ve had terrible headaches and have been trying to hold out taking anything. I think they are sinus and tension headaches, but they’re annoying and last for days!! I’ll even go to bed with one thinking it will go away and I wake up and it’s still there. Hoping that acupuncture and chiropractic appointments can help with this.

Anxiety like crazy, but this is par for the course for me unfortunately. Trying to stay off Google for symptoms. I just started acupuncture to help with this and I don’t know if it’s placebo effect or what but it seems to be helping.

Other than that….some bloating and gas (TMI) and obviously going pee like every 5 minutes. And no, like all the books say, it’s not letting up in the 2nd trimester.

Movement: Not yet 🙁 Felt a few weird things down there but not really sure if it’s just gas, lol. This is currently giving me anxiety because I know there are some people who feel movement before where I’m at right now, but I also know some people it’s more like 20 weeks. I know everyone’s different but it’s hard to wait when everyone keeps asking me.

Food Aversions: At first it was ALL vegetables, so sad. I just ate sardines for the first time today since November. Basically anything remotely healthy I wanted nothing to do with from weeks 7-12. Now they are fading.

Food Cravings: Where should I start?

  • ALL.THE.CHEESE. I seriously didn’t even miss cheese before I was pregnant and now it’s like a major food group for me.
  • Bagels and cream cheese
  • salt and vinegar chips
  • cake (yes I made myself an entire cake and ate it)
  • soft pretzels with cheese (sensing a theme here?)
  • pickles with mustard (so cliché)
  • lunch meat (of course now that I’m not supposed to have it)

Sleep: It’s been pretty good. Besides trying to sleep on my left side. My doctor said it’s fine now and as long as I’m comfy I can still sleep on my back or right side, but every time I Google it or read online it says AFTER THE FIRST TRIMESTER DO NOT SLEEP ON YOUR BACK. AHHHHH! Who to trust, Google or the doctor?

Stretch marks?  None yet! Using lotion daily.

Miss Anything? Beer and wine. Since I quit drinking for the candida diet in September, then found out I was pregnant, when I have the baby in July it will be almost a year since I drank!!

Baby Items Purchased: Nothing really, just this onesie for our little baby announcement on FB.

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Looking Forward To:

Our anatomy scan next Tuesday. We are going to keep the gender a secret!!! But I can’t wait to see our little bub. It’s a great relief every time I get to hear the little heartbeat. Every time I’ve heard the heartbeat it’s been fast so the old wives tale means that’s a girl!?!?! I am hoping it is a girl and partly don’t want to find out the gender because I want to keep the possibility alive of having a girl as long as possible. I know that once it pops out and they tell me what it is, by then I won’t care! And I’m digging our gender neutral paint in the nursery too!

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Yay that was quote an unload of information, if you’re still reading congrats! Hopefully I’ll write again in a couple of weeks after our anatomy scan.

What cravings did you have during pregnancy?

Finding out the gender: yay or nay?

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Tips to get you through a food challenge

Woman with Healthy and Unhealthy Food. Difficult choice Stock Photo

 

Hello week 6 of my candida cleanse! When you decide to do a “food challenge” whether it’s a strict candida cleanse, a Whole 30 or even just a short 21 Day Sugar Detox, it most likely seems really daunting. You start picturing all the weekends and events you have between now and the end and get anxiety about how you’ll make it through x, y and z without food/drink you enjoy. Well, at least I do. I did complete a couple of successful Whole 30’s, but those were in January when everyone else is “dieting” too.

At the beginning of this six weeks I had no idea if I would actually see this through, but I was determined because of the state of my health and the hefty price tag of the program. If you’re struggling with will power or peer pressure, here are some tips and tricks I’ve told myself to power through and still live my life.

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1. The X number of weeks will still pass whether you do this or not.

I first thought about doing the candida cleanse in Mid-August, but dismissed the idea because I thought it was too strict and I could never do it. I had calculated the number of weeks it would take and figured I would end at the end of September. “That’s way too long,” I thought and put it out of my mind. Then Mid-September rolled around, and my health was still the same. And I thought, if I had just started in August, I would have been done by now. That’s what really convinced me to do it, honestly. The amount of time it will take for you to do it will pass, and at the end of it your health is going to be better, or the same. In the grand scheme of things what is a month or two of your life if it means more health and happiness in the long run?

2. What’s more important, the company or the food and drinks?

I get anxiety when I think of trying to socialize without drinking and eating. How weird is it that we’re just hard-wired to do these things when we try to hang out with our friends. It really forces you think about what you’re doing with your life….. Just kidding, but it forces you to be creative when making plans or looking for things to do instead of just saying “oh we’ll grab drinks”. It feels really boring when you’re facing it, but when you take these things away it puts more emphasis on the people you are with and the conversation you are having instead of using the social crutch of drinking and eating. I feel like this is a post for another time, but it’s definitely something to think about.

3. Don’t fall victim to the “self-actualization loophole”

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Okay, I stole this one from Gretchen Rubin. You can read about it here. But basically when we’re trying to reach a goal and temptation stands in the way, we look for loopholes to bail ourselves out of the commitment. Self-Actualization loophole is disguised as “YOLO”-ing, or “living life to the fullest”. You’re out to dinner and you told yourself that you were going to order the salad and no dessert, but when actually faced with the decision, you cave, telling yourself “You deserve this” or “life is too short to deprive myself.” Happens to me ALL THE TIME. This is actually the #1 reason why I’ve failed challenges in the past. Because it makes sense. Yes life is too short but you started the challenge for a reason. Often times when you go off the rails, and especially if you’re health depends on it, you regret it later. Gretchen Rubin suggests you think about how you’ll feel tomorrow about your decision. If you feel like you won’t regret it, go ahead, eat the dessert and burger. But most likely you will and that’s when you need to summon your will power.

4. I’m choosing not to drink/eat these foods

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Instead of telling people (when it’s necessary, hopefully I don’t have to explain my food choices to anyone) “I can’t eat that” or “I can’t have a beer”, try “I’m not drinking” or “This is a choice”. It is, after all, a choice.  You CAN eat whatever you want. But you are making a conscious choice to better your health. It reminds you of why you’re doing this. And you shouldn’t have to defend your choices to anyone. Plus, when I have the mental attitude of “I can’t have that” it automatically makes me want to have it! And it makes other people more likely to badger you “What do you mean you CAN’T!! Sure you can, YOLO!!!!!!” People don’t have much to respond to when you say “I’m not drinking tonight.”

5. If you slip up, it’s not the end of the world.

Sh*t happens, and nobody’s perfect. It’s easy to feel like EVERYTHING IS RUINED if you get glutened at a restaurant or fall into the self-actualization trap once during your challenge. I feel like one of the bad reasons challenges are so popular is because they are “all or nothing” and people just want to go back to the way they were eating before when it’s over. So if you mess up, the whole jig is up and the challenge is over. This is an unhealthy way to look at challenges. You’re supposed to be changing your lifestyle for the better, and continue the habits after the challenge has ended. So one slip up in the scheme of things isn’t a huge deal. It’s what you do in the long term that matters.

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Candida-Friendly Granola Bars

Woahhhh….the first recipe I’ve posted in over six months. Feels weird. But also feels good to get back to blogging a little. I caught you up to speed in how it’s going with my candida cleanse. Again, I feel like I basically want to quit everyday and eat a box of apple cider donuts. And pumpkin beer. I’ve really craved apple fritters or cider donuts more than anything. Probably because it’s fall and I haven’t been able to have any of it.

ANYWAYS, you have to survive somehow with no sugar, coffee or alcohol. So I made these granola bars! These are very similar to the regular granola bars I blogged about here and make my husband nearly every week in his lunch. A version is also in my cookbook. I just left out the honey or sugar. Gluten free oats are allowed on the candida cleanse I am doing, in moderation. I like to use homemade cashew butter and it makes them kind of taste like cookie dough bars! The result is a gluten free, sugar free, dairy-free candida friendly snack. Best of all there are only four ingredients! Super simple and worth the small amount of effort.

You could add chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit if you’re not on the cleanse as well.

Candida Friendly Granola Bars

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You’ll need:

1 cup nut butter (sugar free!) *I like homemade cashew

1 and 1/2 cups gluten free oats

1 egg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

1.Pre-heat oven to 350. Melt the nut butter in a large, glass, microwave safe bowl for 1 minute.

2. Mix your oats in and stir until well incorporated.

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3. Add the egg and cinnamon and stir again until well combined.

4. Pour the mixture into an 8X8 baking dish that is greased, sprayed with non-stick spray, or lined with a silicone sheet. I like my silicone baking sheets so much! Nothing sticks.

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5. Press the mixture down until it is even in the pan.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. After cooled, cut into bars!

Makes 8 bars.

If you’re not used to sugar-less treats just be aware that these have NO sweetener, so they might take some getting used to. If you’re on the candida diet or have been away from sugar like me they should taste just fine.

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Candida Cleanse Update

Wow! Well three weeks went by fast. I expected to post more, but as you may suspect, this whole cleanse thing has been REALLY difficult and I haven’t really felt like commenting on it. This is the start of week 4 for me. I’ve wanted to quit about 50% of the days so far.

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The first week, I came down with a cold. So that was fun. Trying to deal with symptoms without taking Nyquil was awesome. So I wasn’t really sure if I felt like crap because of that or “die-off” symptoms.

What are “die-off” reactions? It’s when the toxins (candida) you are trying to kill are leaving the body too fast and your liver can not keep up. From the Whole Journey website:

“Die-off is a sign that the candida is leaving your body, so it is a measure of progress. It just depends on how much your liver, kidneys, digestive system, lymph, and blood can take to determine the intensity of die-off since everyone has a different current state of health. Die-off symptoms that persist for longer than seven days indicate that you are cleansing too quickly, and your body is having a hard time eliminating the toxins and candida fast enough. This is when colonics and other detoxing suggestions are helpful.”

The second week I wanted to quit and eat pumpkin donuts. The sugar cravings were OFF THE CHAIN. I was sure that there was no way I could do this. I was googling “is candida even real
to justify my desire to quit.

Last week (week 3) I was still dealing with some brain fog. Feeling blah, like the whole world was just underwater. Not to sound cliche, but I feel like I’m living my life in black and white. I think this was the die-off symptoms that everyone kept talking about. Either that or a reaction to one of the supplements. Some days I even felt like I was hungover. I had trouble concentrating. I was definitely ready to quit. Why am I giving up all these foods to feel like utter crap?

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I decided to look into the program a little and there was a suggestion for a supplement (I was like…..ugh ANOTHER one?) that helps with mood, energy and stress. It’s called Max B-ND and I got it on Amazon (affiliate link). Holy crap did I notice a difference! It’s only been three days but after taking a teaspoon in the morning I am no longer dealing with the “blah” feeling. I feel perfectly fine and even more upbeat. So hopefully this is going to help me get over the hump with the cleanse and finish out strong.

I was able to survive last weekend at home visiting family, without going to my favorite restaurants or going off the diet at all. It wasn’t easy. I faced ridicule by others and temptation. Next weekend I have a Halloween party, and I am worried about what people are going to think of me not drinking. I know it’s so shallow. But I was always the one wondering “why aren’t they drinking”. Hopefully they just assume I’m pregnant or something and don’t ask. LOL.

Planning on going at least 6 weeks on the diet (so two more), hopefully 8. I don’t think I will feel the need to drink until the holidays. I know that’s a whole new topic so for now I will just focus on staying strong these next two weeks.

 

What do you do when faced with ridicule by your friends/family about your diet?

What would be the hardest thing for you about not drinking?

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Candida Cleanse- Week 1

Ahhhh! I can’t believe I’m actually writing a blog post. This is crazy. It’s been since March. I don’t have any good reason why I stopped blogging. I have some ideas (I won’t bore you) but I am getting the urge to blog a little bit more so I decided to just do it today.

I guess part of the reason I’ve not been blogging for the past 6 months is because I’ve just felt kind of crappy. I don’t know why.  I don’t want to put on a facade of “everything is just perfect” when it’s not. I’ve been dealing with symptoms like anxiety and depression, fatigue and just not feeling “myself”. I’ve been going to a naturopath and have been tested for everything under the sun….you name it…. MTHFR, Adrenal Fatigue, Thyroid issues, hormones, parasites, etc. Everything negative. Great right???? Yeah I guess, but it doesn’t explain why I still feel crappy.

So I don’t know, I don’t think there’s one “answer” or “diagnosis” that I am looking for anyway. I have always been known to have a little bit of hypochondria, so I try to go about my life and just not focus on it. Google is enemy #1.

Again, I don’t think that this is the end-all be-all answer to everything, but I came across Christa Orrechio’s Candida Cleanse program from listening to The Balanced Bites podcast (duh). When I first read about candida I was like “whatever I probably have it but there’s no way I could do that for 8 weeks”. Candida is technically “yeast” but sometimes it can become overblown in the body and affect other body systems. It is caused by overuse of antibiotics and over consumption of processed sugar and carbs. (This is a very simplified explanation. Read more here).

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An overgrowth of Candida can definitely be causing some of these mystery symptoms I’ve been having. There isn’t really a “lab” test for it but I did her spit test and I did test positive. I mean it makes sense. I used to take antibiotics a ton when I was little, I tend to get really addicted to sugar and I was on birth control for over 6  years (also a factor).

So I’m to to point now where I’m like….okay….this is going to be hard but it’s not going to hurt. Over the past couple months I’m like back and forth between “why am I restricting food, this is stupid, I am making myself miserable” and “I really have to do this for my health”. I decided to just go ahead and try the candida cleanse. It’s not going to be easy. Because I tend to really torture myself once I start these food challenges and my mind tries to convince myself that it really isn’t worth it. Lately though I have been feeling like every day is a struggle to get through and I really think this is worth a shot. Do I think this is going to be the end of every health struggle I’ve ever had? No. But if there’s one thing I know for sure about myself through all of my health and food journeys is I have a sugar problem. I always feel great when I cut it out. So if an overgrowth of candida is a problem in my body, I bet trying to starve and kill it will definitely make me feel better. At worst I don’t think it will hurt. Physically at least.

I wanted to do a blog post to somewhat hold myself accountable. Plus I miss blogging :). The diet isn’t all different than how I usually eat (Paleo).

  • No grains
  • No dairy
  • No sugar (honey, maple syrup, etc)
  • No fruit except green apples, berries and citrus.
  • Limit starches
  • No alcohol

I was pleasantly surprised to find you can eat starchy foods, you just have to limit them. Same with fruit. Traditionally I have the most trouble cutting out alcohol for long periods of time. I can go a couple weeks here and there but social pressures usually make me want to have a drink at some point. For the past month I haven’t even really been drinking because I have been trying to figure out all these health issues, so I’m not even nervous about that part. I know it’s going to be tough mentally but since the program costs money, I really need to give this a shot. SO today I spent all day prepping and making food for the upcoming week.

20150920_165149This is a coconut flour crusted quiche with swiss chard, sweet potato and BACON. I  love using all of my homegrown ingredients (including the chard, eggs and BACON!!!).

20150920_165208Brussels sprouts for lunch. I am going to make tuna salad to go along with this.

I also made some coconut milk ice cream for dessert. It helps having lots of fresh ingredients that I can take right from my garden! This year was awesome for the garden (I guess I’ll save for another post). Here was today’s harvest:

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Anyway, hopefully I will remember to do weekly updates, and I hope this inspires me to start blogging again. I miss writing!

What is the biggest challenge you have with “food” challenges involving restriction? For me it’s social pressures and FOMO.

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Should you give up coffee?

You’re probably wondering WHY in the world would anyone ever give up coffee, am I right?

I was one of those people, just a short time ago. So why did I give it up?

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Rewinding a bit, to give you a background I cut back my coffee from roughly 3-4 cups a day to 1 cup a day about a year and a half ago. I was never one to say that I totally needed or depended on it, but I really do love the taste and smell and ritual of coffee. I just couldn’t totally give it up.

In January I saw a naturopath who told me I should try avoiding caffeine. I have been dealing with pretty bad stress and anxiety, and coffee is a stimulant which causes cortisol (stress hormone) spikes. I pretty much rolled my eyes and thought to myself- ‘yeah right ’ at the time. Besides, I only had one cup a day, and seriously how bad could that be for you right?

You’ve probably heard that coffee is good for you (I latched onto those articles to justify my addiction….). It probably can be. There have been studies linking it to all sorts of good stuff….all you have to do is type in “coffee benefits” and see what happens.

I guess about a week after I saw the naturopath I woke up one day and I was like “I’m not going to drink coffee this week and see what happens”. So I did it! I was having such crippling anxiety at that point I felt like would try anything.

So what happened? Honestly, not much. I didn’t feel like it had an effect on my anxiety and stress. If anything I kind of felt MORE depressed. It’s pretty hard to go teach a group of 20-25 eighth graders in the morning without coffee. I found myself just with no pep in my step that I usually had in the morning.

But I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t that bad. I didn’t die. Besides the lack of pep, I pretty much didn’t see any effects of giving up coffee- good or bad. I read that I would sleep better. That didn’t really happen. I read that I would have terrible headaches. That didn’t happen. But once I went a week, and then two weeks, and then a month I didn’t really feel the need to start drinking it again. I know there’s something not right with my health right now and I don’t feel like I should compromise it by relying on caffeine. I feel like I’m fine without it or just drinking half-caf so I’m not going to make any moves back to it when it’s not necessary. I think coffee is for healthy people, and I don’t feel that way right now, so I’m not going to chance it. Hopefully soon I can get to the bottom of the health issues I’ve been dealing with.

In the meantime, I’ve tried some other coffee alternatives that have worked out quite well! This is Teeccino, if you haven’t heard of it. It is herbal tea that “tastes” like coffee. Some people love it and some hate it. I found it to be a great alternative. I mean, it’s not coffee people, but it’s still a warm, delicious drink in the morning.

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I also have tried my share of loose leaf tea. My cousin got me a tea set for Christmas and I have been using it often.

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This is another coffee alternative- dandelion root. I think it’s a generic version of Dandy Blendtea. This is also alright, but not coffee.

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And there’s always decaf! Which I’ll have a couple of times a week. I have half caf occasionally as well.

I think cutting out caffeine is something everyone should try at least once. If you feel like you need coffee to live, it’s probably a clue that something else is off in your body. When your body is truly healthy then you can decide if you want to add it back in!

Here’s some other resources from trusted people talking about coffee:

Chris Kresser: Is drinking coffee good for you?

Robb Wolf

The Coffee Manifesto: Whole 9

Do you think you’d ever be able to give up coffee?

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What I ate {and drank} in Key Largo

I’ve mentioned before that I feel that vacations are all about the food. My husband and I had a disappointing food experience at our honeymoon (Dominican Republic) and after that I vowed that I would never do the all inclusive thing again! It’s just not my thing. I’m not a “quantity over quality” type of person when it comes to my food.

The food in the Keys did NOT disappoint!  Omg, fresh seafood and delicious key lime pie. Not to mention the drinks. I know you’re just dying to find out what I ate. I endured being “that person” taking pictures of every meal and drink for this so enjoy!

I think the first night there I had my best meal at Snappers. The whole time on the plane I was craving a margarita so that’s what my first drink was! It was fine but pricey for how small it was! My meal made up for it though.

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It was the restaurant’s special- Hogfish (I’d never heard of it before) with a conch (pronounced CONK) crust and a key lime sauce. OMG! It was supposed to be over mashed potatoes but I subbed sweet potato fries because duh.
I obviously had to end my meal with key lime pie.

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The next morning we hit up a restaurant for breakfast that had great reviews on Yelp (Made to Order Cafe). It also had some of the best food we ate there. We ended up going twice! The first day I had the “Country Eggs Benedict” which was eggs Benedict with BBQ pulled pork underneath. I had to have grits on the side since I was in the south! The grits were probably just boxed and not really worth it but the eggs Benedict was out of this world.

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That afternoon while laying on the beach I had to indulge in this:

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Because why not?

In Key West we went to another recommended restaurant called Pepe’s cafe, which looked like nothing from the outside.

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But it was amazing!! I started the party with the drink special which was a strawberry blueberry screwdriver. Had a couple of those, one accidentally ended up on my (and my husband’s) lap.

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For breakfast I went with the special which was another version of eggs benedict. It had scrambled eggs on the bottom, hogfish with hollandaise sauce and spinach and tomato. On the side was a scallion potato pancake.

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That night at dinner in Key West was pretty good. Another yelp recommendation- Southernmost Point Cafe. The view was excellent. I got pork tacos with corn on the cob. I don’t know why I didn’t stick with the seafood theme!

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We also got some great key lime pie in key west at Kermit’s Key Lime but I was too busy shoving it in my face to take a picture. It was the best key lime pie I had there (or ever).

And I guess I didn’t take any pictures of my food the third day! We ended up back at the same breakfast place since it was so hard to decide the first time we were there. And I think I was too cold at dinner to worry about taking a picture! The view was nice but the wind was cold!

I love doing these recaps because it makes me realize how much fun I had! And how much food I ate and drank!

Do you splurge on food and drink while on vacation?
What are some good places you’ve been in the keys?

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