Thursday, October 16, 2014

Whole 30 while breastfeeding- Making this work

Let me tell you something about having two kids under three, a job and trying to blog.  It doesn't work very well.  The last 11 months have been an adventure in trying to figure out some food issues both for me and for my baby.  He has chronic eczema.  I eliminated dairy, eggs and nuts months ago.  I determined that eggs cause him to flare, but even with that cut out, he was still having constipation and his eczema was not totally clear.  We had a stressful Summer where we had to move out of our house for three months while some structural work was done and we lived in places that weren't conducive to doing much cooking and the food choices were not great-- too much processed stuff, too much takeout and not enough vegetables.  I was stressed, exhausted and started having difficulty with my breastmilk supply, and Marshall stopped gaining enough weight.  Finally, a couple of weeks ago we moved home and I immediately started a Whole30 challenge.  I have not been 100% truly, completely squeaky clean paleo since before I got pregnant with Max, who is almost three years old.  My previous attempts were too low in calories and carbs and I would quickly crash and burn because I was starving.  FINALLY I seem to have this figured out, for the most part.

So Whole30 + Breastfeeding FOR ME looks like this (your mileage may vary):

1. Breakfast is either leftovers from the night before, or a green smoothie with coconut milk, kale, frozen berries, chia seeds, and grass fed gelatin,  I usually drink half for breakfast and finish it later.  I also have some meat or bacon on the side.  Oh also a lot of coffee with coconut milk.

2. Mid-morning I might finish my smoothie or have a handful of almonds, more coffee

3. Lunch is meat, a sweet potato with ghee, some kind of vegetable

4.  In the afternoon I either eat a second lunch or an apple and almonds

5. Dinner is same as lunch

I can not emphasize enough how important having a decent dose of carbs and eating frequently has been for me.  I haven't been working out as much as I hoped because we all came down with some kind of lovely respiratory illness (thanks preschool germs!) I am not sure if it was adjusting to fewer carbs/sugar withdrawal, or being sick but I felt HORRIBLE for the first week or so.  I still sometimes get really tired in the afternoons which I think is adrenal fatigue given that I have a baby still waking up at least twice a night.  When I remember to take my vitamins I also still take a prenatal vitamin, probiotic, extra vitamin C,  adrenal glandular, vitamin D and Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

You are not supposed to weigh yourself during whole30 but I have and I'm already down 4# and weighing less than I have in years.  This stuff works friends.

And here is the absolute key do doing whole30 with a family and a job:  you have to cook ahead.  It's your part-time job.  At a minimum dinner has to make enough for all four of us to eat for lunch the next day too, but ideally I'd get a couple days out of it.  So  I make three pounds of salmon at a time, or an entire chicken, or five steaks.  The four of us eat twenty pounds of sweet potatoes a week! (Not only do I eat them twice a day but both kids absolutely love them).  I make 10# at a time in the oven, and then put them all in the fridge to grab and reheat.  I also will roast large pans full of veggies every couple days.  By doing all of this I don't have to cook a whole meal every day and on days I work I try to make sure there is either something in the crockpot or we have leftovers since I often have to get up at 4:30 am for work and I'm usually too exhausted to think straight when I get home.

I don't make stuff that's complicated.  Baked yams, roasted vegetables, meat that's baked or cooked in the crockpot.  I rarely make things that require standing over the stove or lots of ingredients because I just don't have the time.  Throw it on a pan, put it in the oven or the crockpot-- that I can manage -- stuff I can do with a baby hanging on my pant leg and a toddler begging to help.  It isn't exciting but it works. The whole family isn't paleo yet, but we are working on it.

What I miss: I like a little stevia in my coffee and I will go back to that after my whole30 ends unless it triggers ongoing sugar cravings.  I miss eggs-- I may challenge them again soon and see how he does with them-- the eczema is 90% better most of the time, but it also is never completely gone.  I give him probiotics and sometimes zinc on the recommendation of our ND, and trying to get better about giving him fermented fish oil. I do think his weight and digestion are back on track at least. Not sure what else to do there.  My birthday and Marshall's first birthday are next month and I am hosting a big family Thanksgiving.  I'd like to stick to paleo-fied treats for those and otherwise avoid sugar.  It is my life long nemesis and I'm better off without it, even the healthier kinds like honey.

There it is, my first blog post in months and some real progress.  I'm about to turn 35 and I am feeling good about the track I am taking with my health.  

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