Thursday, September 15, 2011

8-wks post-partum: Falling Off the Bandwagon

In case you're new to reading my postpartum posts or you forgot the original plan, here it is:

Nutrition-wise I am slowly working my way back to The Endo Diet. I will be sticking only with my stevia & agave nectar. I'm still avoiding all soy & corn. I will, of course, be re-tested for all foods, once my hormone levels start to return back to normal. The reality is: I still have endometriosis, PCOS & an increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Eating this way is a lifestyle for me, not a diet.

Fitness-wise I will be slowly working up to a regular workout routine. For now, breast-feeding is my main form of burning calories!

1 Week Post-Partum: slow to moderate walking everyday (or most days) as I feel up to it strength-wise

4 Weeks Post-Partum: begin doing pelvic tilts & leg slides and gradually increasing to crunches and/or sit-ups, as my abdominal gap starts to close.

6 Weeks Post-Partum: start introducing cardio classes again (such as Zumba/Kickboxing/etc) and begin the C25K running program (as my midwife allows).

3 months Post-Partum: start introducing toning/stretching classes again (such as Yoga)

5 months Post-Partum: start Jillian Michaels' circuit training


Now, here's reality at 8-wks postpartum, LOL...

Nutrition-wise No more elimination diet! Woot Woot! I am back on dairy & gluten. And sugar. Oy. 

Between weeks 6 & 7, I weaned completely. I had tried everything and Baby A would not latch, despite trying every single week. Pumping had become an issue as well, as I wasn't producing enough. 

Here's a recap: Baby A didn't latch right from the beginning. Then when she did latch right, she wouldn't stay on for very long without crying and screaming. My production had always been really low, despite trying everything to amp it up. After 4 weeks of both of us being frustrated & it causing bonding issues, I decided to primarily pump & feed her breastmilk via bottles. Everyone was soooo much happier! Then, I got Vertigo & couldn't pump for almost 24 hrs. I went from producing just enough for her to eat, to producing half of what she needed. Again, I tried everything to amp up my production. Nothing work. Eventually, it started taking me 45 minutes of pumping just to get 1 oz of breastmilk (baby A was eating 3oz per feeding!) To top it off, my electric pump broke. That was the final straw for me.

Not-to-mention, I had/have many strikes against me. 

  1. Baby A came out not breathing, so I didn't get to hold her for the first hour. So, she obviously didn't nurse. So, I missed out on the hormonal surge.
  2. She didn't latch right for the first 2 weeks, which frustrated her & caused her to eventually not want to latch at all (and she still won't... I just tried again last week).
  3. I have PCOS, which messes with your hormonal makeup and causes milk production issues, as I had experienced the entire 6-7 weeks.
  4. I got the Vertigo, which decreased my milk production even more.
  5. I had part of the placenta still inside me & it didn't exit my body until Baby A was 3 weeks old. That also messed me up hormonally & affected my milk production.
Anyway, all of that was to say, I was sad & frustrated (and pretty much experienced all 5 stage of grief) that breast-feeding didn't work for me this time. But, it didn't. And I can honestly say I tried just about everything (hyper-pumping, talking with 2 lactation consultants, seeing my midwife, seeing my Kinesiologist, seeing my Chiropractor, drinking Mother's Milk Tea, trying supplements, etc). It just didn't work.

So, how does that play a role into nutrition? 

Well, as most of you seasoned readers know, I was a compulsive overeater and sugar addict for many many years. What does that mean? I used food as a drug to numb myself. And once sugar is in my body, it's very very hard to get the cravings and mental "fat talk" to go away. Dealing with depression from not being able to nurse (the 4th of 5 stages of grief), I turned once again to sugar. I'm not proud of it. But it is what it is. 

I'm currently in the stage of finding a healthy balance for healthy sweeteners that work with my body (stevia & agave nectar only) and cutting out processed sugars that don't work with my body (white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc). I'm also dealing with the mental game that a sugar addict deals with when they aren't treating their body right. When I'm putting healthy things into my body, the "voices" are minimal or not at all. When I'm putting unhealthy things in my body, the "voices" run rampant and the cravings are killer. I am confident, though, that prayers and support will get me back to my healthy ways. And the guilty & grief from not breast-feeding are finally gone, making it easier to get back who I am truly am... Healed, Healthy & Whole.

And for those of you wondering how Baby A's colic and reflux are doing... colic is pretty much gone! Hallelujah! We will experience it here and there, but she's usually consolable in some form or another and it's no longer in the middle of the night. We get lots of smiles during her waketimes! (Now if we could just get her to stop being so wide awake and happy as a clam after her 3am feeding!) The reflux, however, has taken a turn for the worst. She's frequently refluxing after almost every single bottle and is often times visibly uncomfortable and fussy during her feedings. We've had her medication switched from Zantac to Prevacid, but I'm not sure it's helping. Please keep Baby A & the reflux in your prayers.


Fitness-wise I am right on track & have been slowly working up to a regular workout routine!

1 Week Post-Partum: slow to moderate walking everyday (or most days) as I felt up to it strength-wise

4 Weeks Post-Partum: began doing 3 sets of 15 crunches 3 times per week, as my abdominal gap began to close

6 Weeks Post-Partum: introduced the  C25K running program & have yet to introduce group fitness classes, due to scheduling conflicts. I also signed up for a 5K schedule for October 29th!

Here is the C25K progress (my latest run):

Ran w/@Sarah. Did NOT want to run. Wasn't as bad as I thought! 3 mins run were easy peasy. First 5-min run was death, but hit my "runners high" in the last minute or two of my 2nd 5-min run! Woo-Hoo!

Duration 0:21:30 | Calories Burned 158
Average Pace 13:36 / mi | Average Speed 4.41 mph


And now for some post-baby visual progress.

From beginning to now...

5 Days Post-Baby
Wt Lost since delivery: 14 lbs
8 Weeks Post-Baby
Wt Lost since delivery: 21 lbs

And from last month to now...

4 Weeks Post-Baby
Wt Lost since delivery: 26 lbs
8 Weeks Post-Baby
Wt Lost since delivery: 21 lbs

4 Weeks Post-Baby
Wt Lost since delivery: 26 lbs
8 Weeks Post-Baby
Wt Lost since delivery: 21 lbs

So, as you can see, I've gained 5 lbs since last month. There are a few factors that have contributed to that:

  1. My Diet. I haven't been eating every 2-3 hours. I haven't been eating complete meals. And I've added sugar on an almost daily basis. All of these things have contributed to my 5 lbs in 1 month weight gain. 
  2. PCOS. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is hormonal and contributes to rapid weight gain. Though, I refuse to let that stop me and be an excuse! I will continue to fight this!
  3. Breast-feeding. Or the lack thereof. Breast-feeding, on average, burns about 500 calories per day. Though I have adding in running 3 days a week, it is not burning anywhere near 500 calories per day. (More like, 1/5th of that!)
And this is why I love having a blog and doing progress posts! I am able to look back and make sense of a weight gain. It takes the guilt factor (and vicious self-hatred cycle) out of it. So, now I have goals for the next month...
  1. Eat every 2-3 hours consistently.
  2. Eat complete, whole food, healthy meals.
  3. Remove processed sugar & stick to the sugars that work for my body, in moderation.
  4. Keep moving my body!

And now, for where my little peanut...

Adelyn Anna, 8-weeks old
98th %ile for length
29th %ile for weight

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Great MN Get-Fat-Together Fair!

We usually don't attend the fair because it's expensive, hot, lots of people and crappy food. But, every year my DH's work holds a company picnic and gives away a bunch of prizes. And every year, we inevitably win tickets to the state fair. So, off we go. This year was no exception, so here's my recap!

Food #1 (pre-fair): Sweet Martha's Cookies
We cheated and bought these cookies in our local grocer's freezer section and ate them at home the night before the fair.

We had a lot of other foods that we wanted to eat at the fair, plus we got 2 dozen for the price we would've paid for about 7 cookies at the fair.

My Critique: These are amazingly delicious (and not good for you, of course)! You can not eat just one! I'm pretty sure I ate 1/2 dozen in one sitting! This is a favorite fair food for the locals in MN. Definitely worth eating every single year.

Food #1 (@ the fair): Pronto Pup
Pronto Pups are essentially corn dogs, but are not made with cornmeal or corn flour. Instead they are made with pancake batter based mix. You can read about their history here. They've also been featured on Food Network's Unwrapped show. You can find out how to make a Pronto Pup here.

My Critique: I like corn dogs as much as the next guy. And last year, the Pronto Pup I had was so tasty that I had to make sure and get one this year! Bad. Idea. Though the hot dog itself was seasoned well (and uniquely, I might add) the breading was soggy. Major disappointment this year. 

Food #2: Tom Thumb Mini Donuts
I was craving mini donuts for awhile leading up to the fair, so I was particularly excited about getting these! Tom Thumb Mini Donuts' slogan is, "Light As a Feather."

My Critique: These mini donuts live up to their slogan! They were so light and just melt in your mouth. Mmm... I didn't really want to share. These donuts will be added to my "must have" list the next time we return to the state fair. It was also fun to watch them make them! (see pictures below)


And then we had a little too much fun with the donuts! :) I highly recommend playing with your food.

I see you!

Food #3: Cheese Curds
Cheese curds are a regional delicacy also known as "squeaky cheese" because when bitten into, they should squeak against your teeth. They have a very mild flavor and are sometimes salty. Deep-fried cheese curds (like the ones at the fair) are covered with a batter and placed in a deep fryer.

My Critique: These cheese curds didn't even need the ketchup! They were soooo good by themselves. Again, I didn't want to share! The MN state fair has 3 different cheese curds company/stands. These were from The Mouth Trap Cheese Curds stand in the food building. Another must-have at the fair!

Food #4: Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (on a stick)
This is just exactly what it sounds like. Balls of chocolate chip cookie dough on a stick that are dipped in batter and deep fried and topped with powdered sugar. This was a brand new food item at the fair this year!

My Critique: This entire item was a complete disaster. The powdered sugar went everywhere. If the "ooey gooey" part meant falling off the stick before you could eat it, then they got it right. And the batter that the cookie dough was dipped in, wasn't fully cooked. It was like eating raw cookie dough dipped in raw batter. Yuck.

Food #5: Deep-Fried Pickles
Deep-Fried Pickles are made my slicing dill pickles, dipping them in batter and deep-frying. They are commonly served with Ranch dressing or Bleu Cheese dressing. This used to be located in the food building and called, "The Preferred Pickle" but it now has it's own building and is renamed, "The Perfect Pickle".

My Critique: This will forever be my go-to fair food. If I could pick only 1 food item to eat, this would be it. These have never disappointed me. Some year, I'm going to get the "take home batter" and make them at home!

Food #6: Chocolate Covered Bacon Pig Lickers
This was located at the Famous Dave's building. It's cooked bacon with a coating of chocolate and topped with sea salt.

My Critique: For some reason, I was expecting this bacon to be hot & crispy (but how would the chocolate solidify then, right?). Instead, it was soggy and cold. Chocolate is chocolate, but I didn't even taste the chocolate because the sea salt was so overpowering. Sea salt: Because apparently bacon isn't salty enough. I was hoping this food would perfect the salty/sweet combo that we all love, but fell a long shot! I took one bit of this and refused to eat anymore of it. This was by far the worst thing I ever ate at any fair. Steer clear!

Food #7: Chocolate Covered Cheesecake (on a stick)
A piece of cheesecake on a stick dipped in chocolate and frozen. Then covered with chocolate sauce.

My Critique: This wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good either. None of us thought it tasted like cheesecake and we weren't expecting it to be frozen, either. All I could taste was the chocolate sauce. This was a one-biter for and I was done.

Food #8: Minneapple Pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream
Another brand new food at the MN state fair this year. According to their website: "A modern twist on an old favorite. Fresh and no preservatives. Apples inside a deep-fried flaky crust and topped with cinnamon and sugar."

My Critique: The cinnamon ice cream was amazing! In fact, my DD only wanted to eat the ice cream and, unfortunately, I can't say I blame her. This tasted like a glorified dessert "pie" like the ones you can buy in your local gas station. They did, however, have a pretty fun stand. (see pictures below)


Food #9: Chocolate Shake from the Moo Booth
The Moo Booth at the MN state fair is a really fun exhibit with all kinds of things from a milking parlor to butter carving contests! There is also a booth where you can get vanilla, chocolate or strawberry shakes.

My Critique: One year I got the chocolate shake and it was ah-mazing! Last year we got a strawberry shake and I wasn't impressed. So, this year I wasn't planning on getting another one. But, I was craving ice cream and it sounded good, so over to the Moo Booth we went. We got chocolate and again, it did not disappoint. Maybe I just don't like strawberry?

Winning Show Cow
That's A Lot of Milk!

Food #10: 1919 Root Beer Float
1919 Root Beer is "the creamiest, full-bodied, draft root beer available." Learn how to make your own perfect 1919 Root Beer Float here. It's made with real granulated sugar & real vanilla.

My Critique: There are tons of root beer stands around the fairgrounds, but I only settle for the best...1919 Root Beer. Top it with ice cream and caramel sauce and what could be better? A must-have!

MN State Fair Must-Have's: Sweet Martha's Cookies, Tom Thumb Mini Donuts, Mouth Trap Cheese Curds, Deep-Fried Pickles, Chocolate Shake (from the Moo Booth) and a 1919 Root Beer Float
MN State Fair Don't Have's: Pronto Pup, Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Covered Bacon, Chocolate Covered Cheesecake (on a stick) and Minneapple Pie

Note: I do not recommend eating this much processed sugar-laden and fried food when your body is not used to it. We were all very very sick afterward in unmentionable ways! Also, I didn't eat all this food by myself! We shared everything 3 ways and some things I took 1 bite of and decided it wasn't for me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

Popular Posts
My top 5 most popular posts from this week. Check them out, if you missed them!

  1. Life Change Steps Intro + Step One
  2. Guest Post: The Whitson Granola
  3. 10 Tips to Control Gestational Diabetes without Medication
  4. Meet Adelyn Anna: My Hypnobirthing/Waterbirth Story
  5. Healthy Fast Food...In a Glass!

Blogger Love - Referrals
A big THANK YOU and shout out to the following bloggers, who were the top referring sites this week! Check out their blogs, if you haven't yet!

  1. The Fowble Five
  2. MN Food Bloggers
  3. Daily Garnish

Blogger Love - My Favorite Posts
These are posts written by fellow bloggers. These are my favorites from this week!
  1. Remembering Then...And Loving Now @ From Marriage to Motherhood
  2. ELC Day #23 Ratatouille Bruschetta @ Minnesota Locavore
  3. Balanced School Lunches for Picky Eaters @ Simple Bites
  4. Chocolate Chunk Toffee Bars @ Oh She Glows
  5. Nutella Granola @ Peanut Butter Fingers
  6. Rising Above the Negativity @ Eating Bird Food
  7. Big Hats @ Layered Black
Just For Fun - Popular Search Words
These are the top keywords that people have used this week to find my blog.

  1. Don Lee Veggie Burgers + Ingredients
  2. 3 Weeks Postpartum Feeding
  3. Burritos for Diabetics
  4. Diet for Healing Endometriosis
  5. Floating Point
  6. Got Pregnant Following Endo Diet

Just For Fun - Countries Visited
People from all over the world find my blog! Here are the countries that visited this week (besides the USA).

  1. United Kingdom
  2. New Zealand
  3. Canada
  4. Indonesia
  5. India
  6. Mexico
  7. Thailand
  8. Argentina
  9. Germany
A special THANK YOU to all my readers! YOU are the reason I write this blog. YOU make all the effort worth it! I am grateful for each and every one of you. 
Amykinz, Foodie4Healing

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Guest Post: The Whitson Granola

When I first had Baby A, one of my closest friends, Jonell, was kind enough to bring me some homemade granola. The granola was so delicious, that I asked her if she'd be a guest poster and share her recipe with us. Enjoy!


Hi, I'm Jonell! I am on a food journey and have at times been more committed to eating right, and that as of right now I am realizing again just how important that it is and as I am able to focus a little more energy into what we eat again following adjusting to kid #2:-)  I love recipes that make me want to eat right because they taste SO GOOD.  Like the granola, which is also fun to adjust based on whims of fancy- like using cocoa powder to flavor the granola without adding too many calories or carbs.

THE Whitson Granola

1 c. canola oil (or coconut, etc.)
1 c. honey
1 Tb. vanilla
1 small container quick rolled oats
1 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
2 c. wheat germ
1 (+) c. fine flake coconut
1 c. pumpkin seeds
1 c. chopped pecans, walnuts, etc.
1 1/2 c. flax meal

1. Warm oil, honey, and vanilla in microwave
2. Mix together dry ingredients
3. Pour heated misture over dry ingredients and stir together well
4. Bake at 325, stirring every 15 minutes until golden brown (about 45-50 mintes)

VARIATIONS: And here is where I have had some fun.  You really can't go wrong.

Chocolate Granola: Add 2 Tb Cocoa powder to the dry ingredients, and a few mini chocolate chips if you want.  I also put in sliced almonds, the coconut, and pecans into this mix.

Cinnamon Coconut: Add 2 tsp cinnamon to the dry ingredients, and a cup of coconut after baking (enhanced coconut flavor)

Coconut Macademia Nut: Add 2 cups coconut and Macademia nuts to the dry ingredients.  Add 2 tsp coconut extract to the heated mixture.

AND I'm sure you could do a lot more!  I'm right now playing with the idea of a Maple flavored batch with either maple extract or maple syrup (and pecans, probably).  I also confess that I do not usually put the sunflower seeds in, as it has too strong of a "nut" flavor for me when I do (it's like it is too early for sunflower seeds?.  I also haven't found pumpkin seeds for a reasonable price, but Trader Joe's has Pampinilla seeds, which are kind of similar.

This recipe really is delicious and I hope it appeals to you, too!