Monday, December 10, 2012


I think I knew this, but reminded myself this weekend that I need to have meat protein at each meal.  It doesn’t matter if I am otherwise eating good food, if I eat eggs or dairy as my protein more than one meal in a row I do not feel good at all.  Since I cut out sugar and grains I also have been getting random episodes of feeling shakey/jittery, like my blood sugar is bottoming out.  I am sure this is a temporary adjustment but I perhaps need to increase my good carbs for the time being while my body adjusts.  I had friends over this weekend and did have a gluten free cupcake (ok fine, or two) and it did NOT make me feel good.  Always helpful to reinforce good habits!

My mostly paleo baby is possibly trying to self-wean.  He REALLY likes food but I was planning on nursing him until 18 months or so—we will see if that happens.  Right now he only is nursing maybe once or twice a day and zero to two times at night (last night I had to get up to pump at 3am because he was still sleeping soundly—a first!) Our ND recommends we both take some cod liver oil and vitamin D so we will work on getting that in, though I do give him tuna and sardines occasionally at least. This morning he tried egg yolk for the first time and loved it (though he likes just about everything!).  He does have a tendency to get a little constipated (oh you so want to know this I’m sure)—I am not sure if it’s hard for him to digest some of the stuff I’m giving him, or he needs some probiotics or something else.  So we are experimenting.  When it gets bad I back off on the protein and give him mostly fruit and a little starchy vegetables for a couple days which seems to help.  Now that he is nursing less I feel like he needs protein though so it’s a guessing game.   He also LOVES bananas which is not helping things move along. 

I made chili with ground beef and a little liver (shhhh, don't tell) and homemade bone broth for dinner.  How have I never made beef bone broth before?  It is unbelievable.  In fact, I might drink some right now before I go to bed.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Paleo Reboot-- week one

As promised I have gotten my act together since Thanksgiving.  I am doing a Paleo  + dairy/weston price-y thing and so far it's great!  Good bye gluten free bread and excessive chocolate (I started buying 88% dark chocolate and it has minimal sugar so I can eat a square and be done).

Stuff I'm eating:

Breakfast: 3 eggs, sweet potato, butter, sauerkraut (I never liked fermented veggies before but I'm starting to get over it-- I gave some to Max this morning with avocado and he LOVED it). A couple times I've made a sausage, sweet potato, apple bake.

Lunch:  leftover dinner or new favorite:  sweet potato, tuna, and kale all mashed together (Max also loves this)

Dinner: meat of some kind (chicken/beef/pork etc), potatoes or sweet potatoes, green vegetables.

Snacks: plain whole milk organic yogurt, almonds

Sometimes I throw a little cheese in there, drink a cup of bone broth, eat a pack of seaweed etc.

I am currently obsessed with the balancedbites podcast, and am loving their take on paleo as being a "nutrient seeker"-- this was what was missing before-- I wasn't working hard at getting the maximum quantity of NUTRIENTS.  Oh, and I'm not at all doing low carb anymore-- nursing requires a lot of calories and carbs.

This weekend we were traveling to visit family and I managed to avoid sugar but there wasn't much variety or nutrient density-- I ate a lot of salami, cheese, and flackers (crackers made of flax seeds), in the car-- when I got home last night I was dying for kale, which we are out of, but I did eat seaweed and a cup of bone broth to get some minerals and nutrients in.

 My little man likes pretty much everything I feed him from meat to vegetables to coconut milk and pumpkin (which is what he had for breakfast). 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Getting it together

One of the downsides to being a professional in the world of nutrition is people in your life expect you to have it all together.  They look to you as an example.  Everyone from my family to my babysitter to my coworkers are interested in what I'm eating, and if I have it in my house, or I eat it once it is seen as an endorsement.  That is a lot of pressure.  And now I am feeding an almost 10 month old, who is interested in everything Mommy and Daddy are eating and I feel overwhelmed by all of it because while I have a lot of information, I don't have all the answers, and I don't even follow my own advice sometimes.

Even more than the fact I don't have a ton of time with a full-time job and a baby, that is what has kept me away from this blog.  But at the same time blogs that are bossy and take the tone that they know everything sometimes irritate the crap out of me.  So here it is-- I eat probably 70% whole foods, paleo-ish, with too much gluten-free bread and way too much chocolate.  I have been experimenting with dairy-- I think I am doing better with cultured dairy than I used to-- yogurt seems ok, and cultured butter, small bits of cheese but too much dairy gives me a stomach ache.  My digestion is not all that good.  My energy is up and down, but I also have a child who is a terrible sleeper, which is the other part of the puzzle-- being chronically exhausted doesn't lead to making the best food choices.  I am still breastfeeding so I need a good dose of calories and carbs, and I realized recently I eat meal portions I would have eaten pre-pregnancy and then I'm still starving an hour later and I eat too much sugar or bread.  Eating MORE real food helps.  Planning ahead, cooking ahead, and being best friends with my crockpot helps.

I do need a reset, a chance to give my body a break from sugar and grains again, so after Thanksgiving (which we are celebrating Friday instead of Thursday) I'm going to do the Whole 30/sugar detox deal until Christmas.  It's not going to be low carb.  Low carb does not work for me even when I'm not nursing.  Though I could stand to drop some body fat it isn't actually about that either-- my main concern is that I am the primary food supply for my kid-- I plan to keep breastfeeding until he's 18 months or so.  But getting more nutrients in and not abusing my poor gut would be a good thing.

Max eats 90% food I make with a little bit of Ella's Kitchen stuff thrown in for convenience.  He mostly gets pureed food-- generally a starchy vegetable (sweet potato/carrots/squash) and or fruit (apples/pears mostly), sometimes greens and usually bone broth. He gets cod liver oil maybe every third day when I remember to put it in his food. In the past couple weeks I've started adding chicken and tomorrow he's getting leftover beef stew, pureed.  He does munch on brown rice puffs, but it's more for him to practice eating then substance-- he probably ends up eating a teaspoon of actual rice as mostly they end up on the floor. I don't otherwise give him much in the way of grains.  He does eat chickpeas a few times a week as I discovered at a party that he adores hummus.  He sometimes will feed himself pears or banana, but so far self-feeding is messy and not very nutritive.  He's an enthusiastic eater and likes everything I've made him so far, though not a fan of the majority of commercial baby food for some reason, other than the Ella's kind.

As he approaches a year, I have to make some decisions about if I will introduce dairy, if so when and what kind (goat? cow? raw? organic? only cultured? etc.) and at what point I will give him a bit of gluten to test for a reaction (I don't anticipate gluten being a big part of his diet, but I need to know what if any reaction to expect if he gets it accidentally.

I would love to get more exercise-- I get to the gym 1-2 days a week.  Less if Max is really sleeping poorly, more if he's doing better.  3-4 days a week would be awesome, but sometimes (most times!) I am just too tired.

I would say I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and back to my pre-paleo, pre-crossfit body but I really could do better and want to do better.  Soon.  Crossfit is not in the budget at the moment and doesn't have childcare, so I'm doing a weights program on my own at a gym with daycare.

So there it is-- the ugly truth.  The dietitian is not perfect. But working on getting better for sure.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

An update and an introduction

First of all, I would like to introduce you all to Max, born January 23 and weighing 9lbs 3 oz. I think he is pretty cute :)

Still, that blog isn't about nutrition and now that I'm out of the throws of pregnancy I have some thoughts on food to share.

I did not have an exclusively paleo/whole foods pregnancy. I would say I ate very healthy meals of mostly protein and vegetables once the first half of my pregnancy was over and I stopped feeling so nauseated, but I also ate a fair amount of sugar and refined (gluten free) junk food too, though I did not overeat-- just could have made overall better choices.

Over the course of my 41 week pregnancy I gained 39 pounds. I admit I was a little panicked about how hard that weight was going to be to lose. By the end I was retaining a LOT of water and was very uncomfortable-- my rings didn't fit, my shoes got tight, my face was puffy, I had cankles-- it was not cute. Exercise was mostly out of the question-- I was just too huge to get around. I did discover swimming towards the end-- if I had started this sooner I probably would have done that a lot more because it really helped.

Here's me at 40 weeks, huge and puffy:

Overall, it was not optimal but in the moment I felt like I was doing the best I could.

For several weeks before I gave birth I went on a crockpot cooking marathon and cooked and froze as many protein-type foods as possible so we would have healthy food available after the baby was born as my husband, who has many other talents, does not cook at all. I also decided that in addition to gluten and dairy, which I always avoid, I was going to cut out eggs and tomatoes. (Originally this was going to be all nightshades, but potatoes have happened). I especially wanted to avoid tomatoes because when I was a baby being breastfed, my mom said every time she ate tomatoes I would scream like crazy. And too many eggs give my mom eczema, plus I tested somewhat sensitive to them in the past, PLUS I ate eggs every day in my third trimester so I thought I probably should take a break from them.

I decided to support my breastfeeding I absolutely need starch in my diet, so in addition to yams and potatoes, I am eating rice, including a little bit of gluten free rice bread. I find I digest rice well (as opposed to most other grains) so I feel fine about this.

My diet now is not exactly paleo, but it is 98% whole foods and high protein. Every morning I have a green smoothie with almond milk, pumpkin seed protein powder, kale, fish oil and frozen fruit. On the side I have two slices of rice bread with nut butter.

Lunch and dinner are some kind of meat, often salad because it's fast or sauteed kale, and potato or yam, very occasionally some rice.

I snack on apples and TONS of trail mix, which I make myself out of the bulk bins at the grocery store of various raw nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate. I am certain I am getting far too much omega 6 in my diet but honestly I have a 6 week old, it's kind of a miracle I'm eating as well as I am, so eventually I will cut back on that but for now it's sustaining me.

Supplements: still taking my prenatal and fish oil, plus I am taking garlic and grapeseed extract, recommended by my midwife after I had a case of mastitis (basically a breast infection). I also am taking heavy duty doses of probiotics after the aforementioned mastitis required antibiotics.

I don't know if it was because I lost a lot of fluids giving birth to my 9 pound baby good genetics, or my fairly clean diet, but I lost 25 of those 39 pounds in the first two weeks after giving birth and now, at 6 weeks post partum I only have 6 pounds to go to get to my pre-pregnancy weight (though I wouldn't mind losing twice that). I definitely have some work to do in the gym to rebuild a lot of lost muscle and fix the ab situation, but overall I feel like I'm pretty much back to being myself again. (Not that I can get into my favorite jeans, but hopefully I'll get there somewhat soon).

I've been thinking a lot about how I want to raise my son regarding food, paleo or otherwise, how big of a control freak I want to be (lately M has been eating way too much pizza and other crap because I haven't been doing a lot of cooking and that's what happens when he fends for himself-- not sure I want to have gluten in the house at all when Max starts eating solid food). I haven't quite decided yet-- I'm glad I have at least six months before I have to think about real food with the baby.

After several weeks of exhaustion and anemia due to blood loss (which I probably still have-- midwife will do blood work next week) I am finally really feeling ready to start exercising again. (Unfortunately my son will not take a bottle of pumped breastmilk so it's kind of hard to leave him for any length of time, but hopefully we will get there soon so I can hit the gym).

I am not sure how much better I could have really done food wise while pregnant because so much of what I felt was hormonal, but if I had it to do over I really would have worked harder at getting exercise in the second half of my pregnancy. I let my gym membership lapse and the weather didn't cooperate very well with walking outside and honestly I was just tired and kind of lazy about it.

I'll probably post here again occasionally when I have nutrition related thoughts to share, but I post much more often over at Sassy Chicken about mommy things if you are interested.