21 Day Sugar Detox Breakfast Banana Chia Pudding

It’s week 2 of the 21 Day Sugar Detox for me! It’s going well and I feel great. The food prep has worked out really well. And made it SO easy for me to grab food and eat healthy. 

I also feel like I’m really starting to enjoy myself in the kitchen again. For the two years cooking really has not been on my priority list. While pregnant I just loathed the thought of putting any effort into food and then of course after I became a mom it just fell by the wayside. It’s like I didn’t even care to eat anymore. It was almost automatic. Like “oh it’s lunchtime better shove some food into my mouth”. Dinner was a dreaded chore where I would just cook the easiest protein/veggie/starch which just resulted in bland, repetitive and boring meals (we ate burgers A LOT). 

For the first time in awhile I’m back on Pinterest looking up 21 Day Sugar Detox recipes and in my cook books- looking through meals and choosing them to make. And enjoying it! Many of the meals are turning out great and also giving me some inspiration to start making my own recipes again! 

I have mentioned I’ve been having a hard time eating something savory in the morning for breakfast. I made the streusel muffins from Practical Paleo last week for breakfast but thought it was just blah. I used to eat that all the time! So I came up with this chia seed pudding that is 21 day sugar detox approved! This makes such a yummy not-sweet breakfast. You can mix and match toppings as well to make different flavors. This one is very banana bread-esque and has no added sugar. It has the consistency of pudding. Chia seeds are very high in fiber and also supply some healthy omega-3 fatty acids! They keep me very full until lunch time. 

21 Day Sugar Detox Banana Chia Seed Pudding
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Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup coconut milk
  2. 2 tbsp chia seeds
  3. 1 banana (green tipped for 21 DSD)
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  6. Toppings of choice (nut butter, pumpkin seeds, fruit if not on 21DSD, coconut flakes, nuts)
Instructions
  1. Mash a banana into a medium size pyrex or tupperware container (make sure you mix it after opening the can)
  2. Put in the coconut milk, chia seeds and cinnamon and vanilla
  3. Mix well
  4. Place in fridge for at least 3-4 hours or preferably overnight*
  5. Cover with toppings and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Make the night before for a quick grab and go breakfast!
Pencils and Pancakes http://pencilsandpancakes.com/
Also, try my 21 Day Sugar Detox Waffles for more yummy breakfast!!

P.S. I’m aware these pictures are horrible and I’m no professional food blogger. #sorrynotsorry. This is who I am. I made a yummy recipe a couple of times and I took a picture on my phone before I ate it. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. Real life!!!

 

What’s your favorite 21 Day Sugar Detox Breakfast?

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How to Food Prep!

 

Okay I am just starting this post and realizing how much more work it’s going to be than I thought. I honestly can’t believe I’ve never done a blog post about food prep. I’ve been doing this for probably 3 years. I will say there is no way I would eat even anything remotely looking like a healthy paleo-ish diet without food prep. There’s just no way. Eating real food is time consuming ad grabbing unhealthy convenience foods is obviously a lot more…..convenient. 

Now that I’m not working full time, my food prep days look a little different, and sometimes now I will prep food two days a week to cut up the job. When I wasn’t working and I was in full blown food prep Sundays mode, I would go shopping Saturday or Sunday morning and then food prep all day on Sunday. It usually took about 2-4 hours (not hands on the entire time- cooking time included). This routine was a lot harder once I had a baby but still was committed to prepping a least a couple of things. 

 

Everyone’s food prep will look a little different because we all have different needs. But I promise this is worth it and it will make eating healthier SO much easier. Throw on some music or a podcast or a book on tape and just get in a groove. 

  1. Plan meals – You need to go on Pinterest, look through your cookbooks and PLAN exactly what you’re going to have for breakfast, dinner, lunch and snacks the entire week (or two if you’re shopping for two weeks). This part is actually fun in my opinion! I pin recipes on Pinterest anytime I see something I would like to make then I go find them when meal prepping. It does take awhile. I have a meal planning template I use- if you’re interested click here and sign up for my email list to get it for FREE! 
  2. Go Shopping- Don’t be surprised when your grocery bill grows. But you will save so much money by not going last minute shopping/ordering or going out. 
  3. Start Prepping- Think about what meals you need prepped that you will not have time to took before hand. Perhaps these are your breakfasts and lunches for the week and your snacks. Maybe dinner you will have some time to cook during the week. Or maybe you can spend some time on breakfast and need lunch and dinner quick. 

My “prep” items usually include:

  • Lunch for the week 
  • Husband’s lunch
  • breakfast for the week
  • snacks
  • cut/prep vegetables for dinners
  • baby breakfast and lunch

Items that I would make for each of these things very every week! And if I don’t feel like prepping one of those items, I go with an easier option like smoothies for breakfast or lunch meat for my husbands lunch instead of making him something (normally it would be a pasta casserole, homemade pizza, homemade mac n cheese, etc). I always make my husband granola bars on Sunday for this lunch and I’ve been doing this for 3 years. They are super easy to throw together. 

Breakfasts:

Pumpkin pie breakfast bake ,

Egg muffins or casserole  ,

 quiche

Toddler muffins

Lunches:

Paleomg spaghetti squash casserole

Meatballs with a sweet potato and broccoli

Salad with sardines

Toddler mac and cheese

Snacks:

Protein balls

Nutter bombs

Rx bars (when I don’t feel like prepping)

 

SOME MORE FOOD PREP RESOURCES!

https://www.theleangreenbean.com/how-to-food-prep/

https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/how-to-do-food-prep-for-the-week/

https://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2016/08/busy-mom-food-prep.html

http://www.eatyourselfskinny.com/my-weekly-meal-prep-routine/

I know that was a lot of info- and like I said food prep is different for everyone and this is just what it looks like for me. Since I don’t work full time anymore I don’t do all of this anymore but I promise the more prep I do the better I feel about my eating that week! Please comment with any questions you have. I could post tons of recipes but I’m sure you know how the internet works. Check out my Pinterest  and follow me there for more recipes because I pin the recipes I like and use and go back to them. 

 

Some of the books I use regularly for meal prep:

 

 

 

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate!

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Easy ways to detox your lifestyle!

Happy (almost) New Year! I’m feeling happy that I have brought back the blog this year after not blogging really at all in 2016. I enjoy sharing information and sharing my interests so if you’re reading this I thank you for supporting me in this way! 

This year was another amazing one, when I looked back in my journal from 2 years ago I had written “goals for 2016”. This is what the list looked like:

  • Do yoga
  • meditate more
  • read
  • write
  • listen to music
  • train Anna (HA)

I will say that since writing that 2 years ago  yoga has become an integral part of my life. I don’t meditate as much as I want to but I do try to incorporate that into yoga. I read SO many books this year! Probably about one a week and that I’m really proud of. Instead of watching TV before going to bed or scrolling through my phone I read. And I also made it a habit to start writing more which I definitely have with the blog and a daily gratitude list. I don’t listen to music as much as I should….I don’t really know why. I have trouble finding new music I like. I’m just lazy I guess. AAAAAANNNDDD No Anna did not get trained (my dog). Can’t win them all.

I have a major goal for 2018 that I’ve already been working on and that is to GET OFF MY PHONE more. It’s a major addiction especially now that I’ve been using it for my Beautycounter business. I downloaded an app that tracks how long you’ve been on it and how many times you unlock is and I set a goal for 90 mins a day (including my ‘work’ time). I’ve been doing absolutely miserable with it. It’s important to me though especially now that my little one will see me on it all the time. So that’s my goal. Do you set New Years resolutions? I like to set little goals and write todo lists a lot usually weekly but in January I usually do a Whole30. You can read it about my past Whole30 experiences here and here

 

This year I decided to do a 21 Day Sugar Detox because Diane Sanfilippo is coming out with a new book which is a daily guide to the 21DSD. I’ve also done one before and you can read about it here! I have some recipes on this blog including these waffles which are a favorite! But too bad I threw out my waffle maker. it starts on January 8th so you don’t have to get yourself ready by tomorrow. 

So if anyone would like to join me in the 21DSD, you can order the book here and follow my Facebook page for updates, recipe and meal inspirations and more. I’m not going to document every day but I do plan on sharing if I make a good recipe or some other easy meal and snack ideas. 

Another great thing I have going on in the New Year is a FREE educational email series that will start TOMORROW! I will be giving simple swaps to get toxins our of your household and products you use. Sign up for my email list here and you’ll get the emails. If you’re already on the Pencils and Pancakes email list then you’re all set!  The series will focus on household items you can “clean up” to start living a healthier lifestyle. It’s completely free and will be brief and simple. So sign up now and thanks for supporting me!

Have a Happy New Year!

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Toddler friendly Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

 

I’m all about hidden veggies these days…because my daughter will not touch anything green or resembling a veggie. Butternut Squash has always been a favorite of mine…and everyone loves mac n cheese!  I’m not too worried about it as I’m sure it’s completely normal but I’m trying to get some goodies into her when I can using smoothies, muffins and blended sauces with pasta. 

We focus on healthy fats, properly prepared meats and animals products but veggies are important too! I whipped up this fast and easy butternut squash mac and cheese the other day and it is legit (even for mommies and daddies!) 

Ultimately I want her to choose and eat veggies on her own

 

 

 a

 

nd plan on having her help me garden next year and learn about food and vegetables but for now, we try anything we can to get her to eat healthy!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
A creamy, cheesy, toddler approved mac and cheese the whole family will love!
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb whole wheat or gluten free pasta (your choice; we used whole wheat)
  2. 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  3. 1 cup purred butternut squash**
  4. 1 tbsp butter
  5. 1 tbsp flour
  6. 1/2 cup whole milk
  7. **Preparing the BN squash has to be done in advance! I peel, cut and cube a large one, boil it, puree it and keep the extra in the fridge to make another recipe or freeze.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. 1. Put pasta on to boil according to directions.
  3. 2. When pasta is almost done, in a medium saucepan, melt butter.
  4. 3. Throw your tbsp of butter in the pan and whisk immediately, forming a roux.
  5. 4. When roux is thick and bubbly, pour in milk.
  6. 5. Whisk continuously until thick; about 3 minutes.
  7. 6. Drop in cheddar cheese and stir.
  8. 7. When pasta is done, drain and place in the casserole dish you will cook it in.
  9. 8. Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta, then mix the butternut squash in. Mix well until it is incorporated.
  10. 9. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until starting to brown on top.
Pencils and Pancakes http://pencilsandpancakes.com/
Let me know if you try the recipe! Enjoy and Happy Holidays 

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Our toddler and baby food journey

I am not by any means an expert on baby food or toddler food, but I thought I’d share our experience for those that were interested. 

Our objective was to never be perfect with everything but try to choose the healthiest foods all the time, avoid unnecessary unhealthy foods and ingredients, and to not teach our little one disordered habits or build anxiety around food. This is why I don’t feed her “paleo” or even “gluten free”. She hasn’t shown any sensitivities around any food so far so why exclude foods? I don’t want her thinking any foods are taboo or exclude foods when they work fine for her. Obviously I focus on meat, veggies and fruit first but if she eats peanut butter and jelly or mac and cheese sometimes I’m okay with that 😉

Starting Solids

We started giving her bone broth around 5 1/2 months. This was her baby first food besides breastmilk. I made bone broth by putting old chicken or beef bones in the crockpot with onions, garlic, apple cider vinegar and water and letting it cook for 24 hours. She was not a huge fan and she would always make funny faces!

The purpose of bone broth is to strengthen the gut a little in preparation for real food!

 

After she had bone broth for 1-2 weeks then we started with vegetables. Butternut squash was her first food! Then we did peas and then cooked and pureed liver and other meats. I tried to focus on meat and especially liver because babies around 6-8 months are losing their iron stores. They need extra iron, especially if they are not having a prepared baby cereal, which is what most doctors will tell you to feed them for first foods. I just figured vegetables and meat were a better choice for us. She ate the liver right up! Might as well get these good foods in while she has no idea any different!

Then I would make different purees for the sitter and for during dinner and she would eat basically one frozen puck of baby food for dinner. At first she just ate dinner. Then I started with giving her sitter lunch around 7 months too. I used this silicone tray to freeze foods! 

I also used this website, Baby FoodE a lot for different puree recipes! It’s great! And many of the recipes are very tasty! 

 

Obviously we also used pre made pouches a lot especially when I sent food to the sitters. Although I got this pouch maker set last Christmas which was awesome. I could make homemade baby food pouches and send them to the babysitters which seemed easier than using the frozen pucks. 

Moving to real food

We started giving her actual chunks of food starting around 8-9 months. Avocado at first (she would literally eat a full avocado a day if I let her, she hates it now though), then banana, chunks of squash and pieces of ground or slow cooked beef and pork, eggs, chicken (her fav) and flakes of pouched salmon from vital choice.

We also introduced sardines at this point! They are great for vitamin D (especially since she is not getting cows milk), omega 3s and calcium! She wasn’t really a fan when she started them but she loves them now. 

We also started this baby cereal at around 8-9 months for breakfast. I went back and forth about when to introduce gluten, looked at some studies and then decided on this cereal. 

She loved it! So around 9 ish months I started giving her some for the sitter for breakfast, along with lunch as well. We also introduced peanut butter at this time. 

 

Toddler meals and beyond

Around 11-12 months she loved beyond purees completely and now eats chunks of food. She eats mostly everything now, except we do try to prioritize healthy proteins and fats and avoid sugar. I don’t feel the need to let her have unhealthy sugar laden and processed food especially since she has no idea about it anyway.

 

Now for breakfast, we usually have one of the following:

  • eggs
  • whole grain or sprouted wheat toast with peanut butter or jelly
  • pre made muffins

Lunch is usually a protein paired with a carb and fat:

  • sardines
  • leftover protein from dinner
  • cheese sticks
  • she is OBSESSED with olives
  • fruit
  • cubed sweet potato
  • peanut butter and jelly
  • healthy lunch meat

Dinner is whatever we’re having- as long is it’s a healthy protein! Her favorites include chicken, fruit, ground beef and burgers, olives, and noodles. 

Snacks- we used to do puffs but then I stopped buying them to force myself to get better options:

  • Dried fruit (available at Aldi’s!)
  • Fruit cups
  • Whole apples

We also at this time (16 months) nurse 3-4X a day still. When we started solids I ALWAYS made sure to nurse before I fed her to prioritize breast milk over food. I stopped paying so much attention to that around like 9-10 months. 

Some other great resources are:

Grazed and Enthused: Alaena Haber

Megan Garcia

Liz Wolfe

 

Please leave your questions below!! Affiliate links are in this post.

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Natural and Non-Toxic Baby Products

Hello again, I’m actually getting on to post this week, go me!!!!! When I think about authentic things to post about, baby stuff comes to mind. I’m always on the search for natural and non-toxic products especially when it comes to my babe. Even though that’s not what you might have originally followed me for, it’s real life! I am just going to share some of the baby products I’ve been using that I’ve researched and gotten recommendations for baby as far as being affordable and non-toxic! 

Badger Sunscreen

I actually lost my tube of badger balm somewhere….typical. But we still have this face sunscreen stick. Great non-toxic brand. It kind of goes on white as do many zinc based sunscreens but i’ll take that over harmful chemicals in conventional sunscreens. 

Beautycounter Diaper Cream

Beautycounter is killing most of the competition in the baby department, honestly. The diaper rash cream is amazing. Baby has not had a diaper rash since we started using it. I use it once a night. If she has redness it’s gone by the morning. High quality!!!! 

California Baby Body Wash/Shampoo

My LO had a bout of eczema around 8 months and I was using Babyganics but then switched to this awesome, super sensitive formula from California Baby. It has no “fragrance” which can be a code word for some nasty chemicals. I’ve had this bottle since March and it’s still going strong. Her skin has cleared up!!

Jack n Jill natural toothpaste

It was after she had about 6 teeth that I was like…hmmmmm, should I be brushing these chompers?? We’ve been loving this flouride-free brand! She’s not super cooperative lately but I’ve read that all that matters is that the toothpaste gets smeared on the teeth. Lately I’ve been brushing my teeth at the same time so she likes to copy me!! Right now she is getting in some molars. It looks super painful but she doesn’t seem to be bothered. I know, I’ll shut up about my stupid easy baby. She’s probably going to pay me back with the bad behavior when she’s a teenager. 

 

Beautycounter Daily Protective Balm

We started using this daily protective balm and I love the consistency. I just feel like her skin is getting so nourished! It’s very thick and have absolutely no scent, which is a good thing! Every since I was pregnant and started using natural products I am very sensitive and get bothered by scents easily, even essential oils. We use this and combine it with Eucerin eczema when she gets a bad rash.

 

What are your favorite baby products? 

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Facebook Live on Pencils and Pancakes

Hi all! So tomorrow night I’m going to try something that I’ve never done before on the blog- go live on Facebook to share some information with you. 

Are you overwhelmed with trying to overhaul your diet and don’t know where to start? Changing your diet and lifestyle is HARD. Instead of stressing yourself out trying to go gluten free, dairy free, cage free, grass fed, GMO free and 100% organic, take the first steps to overhauling your diet and watch my LIVE Facebook video: 3 toxic foods to cut out now.

This is for people who are interested in transitioning from a standard American diet (sad) to a healthier lifestyle, anyone can tune in! Just make sure you’re following my Pencils and Pancakes Facebook Page.

When I talk about the way I eat, so many people are so drastically difference from me that they are turned off by the thought of eliminating everything from their diet in order to be healthy. But the truth is I didn’t do this overnight. This has been 5-6 years of gradually changing over to what I first considered a “paleo” diet but now has evolved into a diet that works for me. And I always subscribe to the idea that what I do MOST of the time is way more important than what I do once in awhile. 

So some people ask me what the first step is. If you were going to eliminate just ONE really unhealthy food, what would it be? Well that’s what this video will be about- basically the worst three things I think anyone can easily take out. And then I’ll be telling you how to get the written version of the guide including brand suggestions for multiple stores and where to buy them. So I’ll tell you what to buy instead of just leaving you out in the cold. I hope you’ll tune in to maybe see me making a fool out of myself!! 8pm Thursday, October 19th. “See” ya then! 

 

 

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Loving Lately October 3rd

I just wanted to start out by saying I am very disturbed and still processing the tragedy that transpired earlier this week. There is not much to say about it besides how horrific and sad it is but I didn’t want to just proceed without mentioning anything.  I can’t imagine what people who lost a loved one are going through. 

 

I don’t think I’ve EVER done one of these posts….but I just felt like it! I keep wanting to share these random things with people in real life and most of the time they’re like…yeah whatever. LOL So here’s a list of things that I am currently enjoying in my life

Eden’s Garden Worry Less Essential Oil

I recently discovered Eden’s Garden Essential Oils and I thought they were too good to be true. The prices are SO amazing and I just assumed it was junky or fake oils. But then I checked my favorite essential oil safety website, Using Essential Oils Safely. This company is one of their TOP RATED companies!!! I’ve been diffusing this at bedtime and absolutely love the scent!

 

Beautycounter Baby Daily Protective Balm 

I recently restocked on one of my favorite Beautycounter products, the Baby Daily Protective Balm. The little has some eczema from time to time and this banishes it very quickly. It’s also great for dry elbows and other extreme moisturizing needs. I can imagine i’ll be using it on my hands when winter comes! 

If you’re interested in learning more about Beautycounter’s safer skincare, please email me beautycounterandreahaskins@gmail.com.
 

Bringing up Bebe   by Pamela Druckerman

I thought I was done reading baby books because they tend to just give me more anxiety than help but I am really enjoying this book! The premise is an American living in Paris notices the difference between French and American parenting. French kids are good eaters and sleepers and well mannered. So what are they doing right? My interpretation is that they’re not trying so hard. Parenting in America is about competition, stress, being the best, worrying about decisions. Am I going to screw my kid up if I do X Y or Z? The authors says it seems like the French are way better at following their gut and using common sense when it comes to parenting. They don’t debate this way or that way and agonize over every decision the way we do. And they don’t give in to their kids’ every demand and whim. Some good ideas in this book!

Buffalo Cauliflower

I don’t have my own picture of this one (I’ve gotten out of the habit of taking pictures of my food….) but I’ve been obsessed with roasting the crap out of cauliflower, smothering it in buffalo sauce and then dipping in blue cheese. The first time I made it I actually did an almond flour breading and it was good, but the next couple of times laziness kicked in and I just roasted it plain with coconut oil and then coated in Frank’s Red hot. Here’s a similar recipe. 

That’s all I have to share today! Hope things will start looking up for the rest of the week.

xoxo

 

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Life Lately

WOW! I’m here! I can’t believe it……yeah I thought this blog was going to be dead. I thought this part of my life was just done, and I was planning on closing up shop in December when I had to renew the hosting fees and domain name. 

But then I just started having second thoughts. I spent so much time on my blog and it would be sad to just let it all go away. And I’m currently unemployed so I thought reviving it could possibly give me a way to spend my time….

So let me update you on life lately. I basically stopped blogging because I didn’t want to put tons of pictures of my kid on the internet. So I just stopped because if I wasn’t blogging about my kid, I couldn’t be completely genuine. And no one likes to read a blog about someone who is not genuine. I can’t blog about life and keep the most major part of my life secret. I figure I can find a way to balance sharing and privacy. Since I last blogged, I had a baby, quit my job and moved! Ha….only a little happened. 

The move

We loved our house and our little farm, but we always wanted to be closer to family. Where we were living was about 3-3.5 hours away from our family and friends. My husband started applying for jobs about a year ago and had a couple of interviews. It was nerve-wracking to kind of be in limbo about our future at times and wondering if we could even sell our house or if I would get a job, but it ended up working out. We sold our house in two weeks!! I couldn’t believe it. We are currently with my in laws until we move in a new house that we just put an offer down on if all goes according to plan. Moving is a big and scary thing but people do it all the time! And it works out in the end. 

 

The baby

Well I guess you could say she’s not a baby anymore 🙁 She just turned 14 months old and she’s the best kid in the world. I have no idea how I lucked out and got such an easy going, happy-go-lucky baby considering I’m a ball of anxiety 99% of the time. Not saying everything’s been easy but she’s just such a doll. I went back to work around when she was 4 months old which was hard. Another person we’ll miss if the babysitter we had out there whom we loved and I’m not sure what I’m going to do if I go back to work out here. There are definitely drawbacks and benefits to both working and being a SAHM I’ve learned since I’ve had the opportunity to do both. Working and pumping and not sleeping and taking care of the little one is HARD. But I did tend to cherish every single moment that I had with her. And I liked the routine a lot. She started sleeping better when she was at the sitters all day. And it’s kind of like a break to be honest! But I also was very stressed from little sleep and the regular stresses of work. Now that I’m staying home with her I love to be with her but I’m also bored…since most of my friends are at work during the day. 

She is also ON THE MOVE and just started walking recently and it’s just exhausting chasing after her all day…since the house we’re staying in isn’t exactly baby proofed and she hates being penned in. So I chase her around all day and then try to get stuff done during naps. I have a little to keep me busy since I just started a Beautycounter business. I’m really enjoying it so far and I think sharing things about non-toxic living on there made me realize how much I miss blogging. 

Food and Workouts

So during pregnancy I DEFINITELY went off the rails with any sort of diet lol. Then it kind of just kept going after I had her. I was too busy and tired to do Sunday food prep. I still did it a little but I just started to abhor the thought of cooking which is sad because I loved it so much. That’s also why I haven’t been blogging as well. But I am SLOWLY starting to try new recipes again and recently have been doing gluten free (still eating dairy because it’s just sooooo hard). It’s not so much “gluten” that’s the problem. But when I tell myself I’m being gluten free it’s so much easier to avoid lots of crappy stuff then when I tell myself “just try to eat good”. My main goal is to feel good and know what works for me, not subscribe to one sort of strict diet just for the purpose of being on that diet. I could go on for awhile about this. 

Workouts- HA! Yeah. Not doing much these says. I laugh when I think about how I used to not consider walking and yoga a “workout” because that’s basically all I do now. I had a trainer before I left our old town that was really motivating but it’s hard to get motivation on your own. I do lift some weights while watching Netflix 1-2 times a week and that’s pretty much it. But I feel fine about my body and actually lost all of my baby weight (as if that matters at all). The only reason I lost it I think is because I was too busy and stressed to think about food for the past year. So I don’t have any secrets to help you. 

Okay, this post is getting long enough. Hopefully I’ll be back to elaborate on some of this stuff soon. I’m also thinking of changing the name of the blog and/or rebranding as well. Since I’m not really teaching anymore the “pencils” part doesn’t make sense. 

What do you want to see now that the blog’s back in action??

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My birth story

Hello all 1-3 people who might read my blog! I’m obviously not pregnant anymore…. I had a baby girl who was born 7/20/16….yes that’s right, 2 weeks and 2 days after her original due date of 7/4!!! I highly suggest if you are pregnant and especially if you want to have a natural birth you do not read this; come back to it later! I found reading birth stories during my pregnancy to be extremely anxiety inducing….but maybe that’s just me !

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My midwife started talking about inducing me if I made it to 42 weeks but I was in disbelief that I actually would make it. I knew it was possible and common for first time moms to be late but I personally never knew anyone who was as late as I was. That was why it was so frustrating. Everyone kept texting/asking me if I had had the baby yet and it just got me even more irritated thinking that something was wrong with me when people were in shock that I was, yes, still pregnant. Now I will never ever EVER ever ask an overdue woman if the baby is here yet!!!! They will let  you know!!!

The “is the baby here yet?” questions sort of tapered off after week 41 because people could probably sense I was getting annoyed, but then they quickly turned to “are you getting induced?” questions. This annoyed me because it also insinuated that there was a reason to induce, which there wasn’t until I started approaching 42 weeks. My midwife had the induction scheduled but I really agonized over the decision. I knew that it would be much harder to go natural with the birth like I had prepared for, and it just seemed wrong to “force” the baby out when he or she wasn’t ready. After talking to people I trusted, I decided to just go ahead with the induction on the day I reached 42 weeks. There were many pros and cons, but I honestly felt like I’d end up with a healthy baby either way and I was so emotionally and mentally ready to meet her. It may have been a selfish decision but I didn’t feel bad about it and I still don’t really after the fact.

So I went in on a Monday night after eating a large meal. The midwife started with the gel that ripens your cervix. I was already 1 cm dilated and almost 100% effaced for the two weeks leading up to the induction so I was confident that the induction would go positively. My big fear was having a c-section. I thought I would just hang out and sleep Monday night and I didn’t really think the cervadil was going to do anything, but I was wrong. I started to have contractions about 2-3 hours later, not too painful but annoying enough that I literally only got like 1 –2 hours of sleep. I already knew I was at a disadvantage going into active labor on no sleep. Can you imagine trying to run a marathon when you haven’t slept the night before?

In the morning my midwife came in and broke my water at about 7:30, she said I was about 2 cm dilated, which I was happy about cause I doubted the cervadil was doing anything. I knew that this would make contractions more painful but I was willing to do everything to avoid pitocin. I got up and took a shower and the contractions started to get a little worse, I started having to concentrate really hard during them. I was surprised that I had no back labor at all, which was what I was prepared for because I totally thought that baby was posterior. All the strategies I had come prepared with were for back labor, so I felt totally unprepared and I just felt like there was no where to go to escape the pain. The only place where the contractions were tolerable was on the toilet, lol.

I also spent a lot of time in the tub, which helped. I probably spent the majority of the day in the tub and on the toilet. I honestly wanted nothing to do with my husband, he was trying to help and rub me, but like I said my back didn’t hurt and I just wanted to be left alone. This lead to me just feeling totally alone and like I could never get through it. When my midwife came back at about 1 pm, I was asking for an epidural. I was just so exhausted from no sleep. She said she would check me and then we would talk. When she checked I was like 5-6 cm so that was encouraging, but I thought I still had to get through transition and I just felt like I couldn’t do it. So they had to hook up an IV because I needed a full bag of saline before getting an epidural.

Knowing some relief was coming calmed me down, and I spent the next hour waiting for the IV bag to drain. When she came back she said “Let’s just check to make sure you’re not ready to push before you get an epidural.” I thought yeah right, but when she checked I was 7-8 already and she said “You could be pushing within an hour!” This was at like 2:30-3 pm. I was so happy and recharged thinking I was actually going to do this!

Unfortunately for some reason I got back in the tub and the contractions kind of slowed down. I had a suspicion this wasn’t a good thing but she said sometimes before you push your body kind of slows down and conserves energy. I wanted to make the contractions stronger by moving around and squatting but it was just so hard. 2-3 more hours passed and I felt “sort of” like I had to push. She checked and said I just had the soft lip of my cervix left and that she could reach around and move it while I tried to push.

So we did….for 2 hours. It was incredibly painful trying to push with her trying to push the lip around and stuff was just not happening. I kept saying it felt like nothing was happening and I think I was right because after 2 hours of pushing I hadn’t made much progress. I felt so defeated and like I was destined for a c-section. My midwife said basically as a last ditch effort I could get an epidural and relax (I was so exhausted…it was 7:30 pm at this point) and let the baby’s head move down more. They had to hook up me to another IV and said the anesthesiologist would be about 20 minutes……

Probably an hour an half later he shows up, full of sass and wanting to read me every risk and scary thing that could happen. I was so out of it at this point I was basically just tuning him out. The process of getting the epidural was scary, I won’t go into detail. After I got it I couldn’t feel contractions but I was shaking uncontrollably and thought I was maybe going to die, lol. My mom came in and held my hand and I just remember being so scared. I tried to relax and after a couple hours I started feeling more pressure so I called the midwife in to push (it was 11:15 pm).

Finally, after two more hours of pushing (which was much easier and less painful with epidural by the way) my baby girl made her way into the word at 12:54. To say I was ecstatic I didn’t have to have a c-section would be an understatement, because that’s where we were headed after nearly 4 hours of pushing. My midwife had called the doctor she works under in and she was very motivating during the second round of pushing and I believe that is what kept me going. She kept saying she could see the head and that I was almost there. My husband was holding one of my legs and I remember him saying “You’re gonna do it!” and finally it was over! I remember her crying really hard and I asked if she was okay!

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Even though it was a long and difficult labor I forgot it so quickly once my baby was here. It’s one day of pain for a lifetime of unimaginable joy! I did mull over how labor went and had some regret about how I handled it. I underestimated what kind of support I needed, I probably would have done better if we had gotten a doula. As concerned and helpful as my husband was, I think you just need a woman’s support during that time. My baby’s birth ended up being 100% what I didn’t want- induced, a medical event with lots of pain medication, but I can’t really spend too much time getting hung up on it. I did what I had to do and now she’s here. It was the happiest day of my life regardless.

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So I don’t know if I am going to be doing the traditional monthly updates with my daughter. As much as I want to so I can have the information down and go back to it, I just don’t know how I feel about putting my daughter’s name and pictures all over the internet. Not saying anyone who does it is wrong, and I do feel bad because I love reading those updates on other mom’s blogs….but I just don’t feel great about it right now, so if you don’t head from me for awhile, that is why.

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