Our Baby Bean Has Arrived!

babybean

 

Our baby bean has arrived.  Miles was born on January 5th at 4:42pm.  He weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and 22 inches long.  We had a pretty smooth labor and delivery.  My OB cleared me of my Gestational Diabetes right after his birth.  Miles, on the other hand needed to be monitored for his first 24 hours due to low blood sugar.  By the second day his levels regulated and we were discharged .  Once we were home we ran into a few issues; Miles experienced weight loss due to my low milk supply.  He also had a shallow latch which was extremely painful.  After what felt like an eternity of sticking it out and my stubbornness to not give up we made it and he is now nursing beautifully (and pain-free). phew!

As most of you know, after being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes I had to change my diet significantly.  I was no longer vegan or dairy-free.  As hard as that transition was I promised myself (if it felt right) I would go back to eating a plant-based diet once I was truly free of GD.  I received the official clear from my endocrinologist just around Miles’ 2 month birthday–just a few weeks ago.  I am thrilled to say I am back to eating my plant-based diet and am feeling great.  I can honestly say, even though I couldn’t control my insulin levels with food while pregnant and had to give myself 4 insulin shots and prick my finger 6 times a day it was worth it.  This little man was a gift and I am so thankful.

I have been feeling really grateful these past couple months.  There is a great sense of bliss in my life.  A lot more than usual.  I look at my family and just smile.  These three boys in my life complete me, and I am so excited to see what the universe has in store them.  I look forward to cherishing every milestone they experience and just letting them be little.  Being present and soaking up all those sweet moments is what being a parent is all about.

I am very anxious to share more recipes with you all and have a few new ones coming your way.

Until then.

babybean2

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblr

Due with Number Two – Update

BabyBumpBlog

I love being pregnant.  When we found out we were expecting our second child I was so excited to enjoy this incredible experience again.  Being pregnant with Max was wonderful (aside from the many months of morning sickness).  I remember feeling so comfortable in my body, so grateful and incredibly happy all the time.  I was in complete awe of my body and that little being who was growing in my belly.  However, being a first time mom I worried a lot and was very anxious to meet our little man.  Being pregnant for the second time and slightly more knowledgeable, I was looking forward to soaking up every amazing moment and truly being present.

This pregnancy started out similar to my first: intense morning sickness.  By the time the nausea was finally slowing down (17 weeks), I began to have Pelvic Girdle Pain (pelvic pain that typically occurs the last month of pregnancy).  The pain reminded me of riding a bike for too long.  My body was/is basically producing a lot of Relaxin which is the hormone that helps soften the ligaments in the hips to open and expand for birth.  Because I experienced this so early in my pregnancy my doctors said that as the baby grows, the pain will just get worse (they weren’t kidding. Eek!).

At 26 weeks I had my glucose test.  I did not pass.  The next test was the 3 hour glucose test, which I also did not pass.  As a result, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GD).  As most of you already know, I eat pretty clean and healthy.  My only vices are dark chocolate with homemade peanut butterhomemade vegan chocolate ice-cream or tortilla chips with salsa.  So how in the world could I have been diagnosed with GD during this pregnancy?  Well the short story and what I have come to learn is that it can happen to anyone.

I spent the next 3 weeks trying to control my levels (which were only slightly high) with food and had no success.  My fasting levels continued to be high and my levels throughout the day began to creep up.  So I began eating what the Diabetes Educator had suggested which consisted of processed carbohydrates, dairy and animal protein.  These foods made me feel tired, sluggish and gave me zero energy.  My greatest  frustration was that this new way of eating was the complete opposite of how I eat or even felt comfortable eating and yet, nothing worked.  It became apparent that I would need insulin.  A hard pill to swallow.  I had to continue eating the way that was suggested as well as start insulin injections.  Although this new, yet temporary, way of life was so inconvenient and a complete pain, I knew I would do anything for this baby to be healthy and have a safe delivery.

I had a few friends ask me, “How could this have happened?  You eat so healthy.”  Well it turns out, for some women, no matter how healthy they eat GD can present itself.  The only thing to blame or hold responsible for this is the placenta.  Some women’s placentas just do an over efficient job of producing insulin, which makes the mom insulin resistant (difficult for the mom to use her insulin). On the positive side, once a women births her placenta the GD leaves with it.  The risks of developing Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2) post pregnancy is greater but as long as you lose the baby weight in a healthy manner and stay healthy that statistic greatly decreases. I cannot wait to start running again!

Most recently, I have developed some pretty bad sciatic pain which is making walking very difficult.  So I sit a lot.  Thank goodness I have a very patient toddler and husband.  Standing in heels for the photo above was painful but anyone who is into photography knows it is all worth it for that perfect shot. Hah!

Regardless of these challenges, I feel so blessed to carry another baby.  It truly is a gift no matter how hard it is on my body.  As I look forward to welcoming this little man into our world.  I am also extremely excited to going back to what I love.  Running around with my boys, cooking the way I want, eating what I like, blogging and just living my life the way I am most passionate.

Stay tuned for some new recipes in the New Year.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblr

Due with Number Two

Due with Number 2

Holy Moly We’re Pregnant!!!

I guess doctors aren’t always right.

There is a lot to be said about knowing your own body.  There have been many times I have put my complete trust in a doctor and most times it was in my best interest.  However, when it came to our infertility I just didn’t believe the specialist when he told us, “you won’t get pregnant on your own.  Your only option is IVF.”  In my heart I truly felt if we were meant to have another child and it WOULD happen naturally.  Though it did take my mind months to catch up with my heart.

It wasn’t easy.  I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster.  I became a little depressed, I gained weight and just felt pissed.  I had been going to acupuncture for 5 months and decided it was time to stop my sessions.  I needed to let go.  Truly and completely let go of all this baby making business.  So I surrendered.

About  later, I got a positive pregnancy test. The test didn’t even need the two minutes for it to say I was Pregnant.  I sat there thinking, “what? What? WHAT???”  Then I jumped up and literally pulled my sleeping husband out of bed and into the bathroom. “What?!?!” I said to him.  We both laughed.  He said, “take another test!”  After the second test said the same thing we both sat on our bed laughing, crying and hugging.  We are still a bit shocked this happened naturally.

Today, I am 13 weeks pregnant.  The morning sickness is still hanging around.  I am hopeful it will let up soon.  Above all, I (we) are so happy!  The baby is growing and looking very healthy and we feel so blessed!

What’s on the Menu?

I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what I am eating!  Am I still vegan? Have I transitioned to vegetarian? Am I eating meat?  Well here’s the truth: when I began having infertility issues I was very reluctant to look at my diet as a way to improve infertility issues.  I was stubborn and although I heard the many suggestion from my midwife and herbalist friends to simply eat eggs, I refused.  I refused to accuse my diet of being part of the problem.

When I started going to acupuncture I was asked again to try incorporating eggs back into my diet.  “Ugh, fine, I will give it a try,” I thought.  I slowly began incorporating eggs.  I figured if this worked, I could just eliminate them again once the baby is born.  If it didn’t work well then, I’ll give it a year.  The vegan lifestyle has worked very well for me for the past 2 years.  I am so proud of myself for committing to it for that long.  I felt great on the diet, I had high energy and I truly felt guilt free and proud of what I was putting into my body.  Life was good.  It was good until I started having fertility problems.  A second baby was really important to me and although I do not solely credit the eggs, I do feel they helped.

Today, with eggs back in my diet, I feel balanced.  I feel, whatever this baby needs to grow and be healthy, I have an open mind.  I have learned being vegan is not for everyone’s body all the time.  Whether or not I will go back to being a vegan after this baby is born, I simply don’t know.  What I do know is, BALANCE is the most important part of anyones diet. Balance is what I feel right now and I am happy and so grateful.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblr

Secondary Infertility

SecondaryInfertility

Secondary Infertility.  Who’s got it?  I do!

I know, why on earth would I share something so personal on social media?  Well the truth is, women who experience Secondary Infertility do not have much support other than their close friends and family and by posting this I hope to let other women know they’re not alone and it all kind of sucks.

“I’ve got one.  I just wanted one more,”  Is what replays in my head pretty much every day.  Getting pregnant with Max was not an easy task, it took about a year but we eventually did get pregnant and he is the coolest little dude we could have ever hoped for.

This Secondary Infertility sort of makes sense to me.  For starters, I am not young.  Diminishing Ovarian Reserve is what happens to us ladies as we get older.  I am from the generation who wanted all her ducks in a row before bringing a baby into the world.  Jobs, finances, car, house, etc.  That is what we did and that took time.  We got older as we accomplished what we felt we needed to before baby and that is okay.  I/we do not regret any of that.  I look back on my life, my personality, my attitude while I was in my mid to late 20’s and I am thankful I waited to get my act together before considering a baby.  I was selfish, a little wild and my priorities certainly were not where they needed to be.  However, your mid to late 20’s (even earlier) is when a womans body is meant to start a family.  So it makes sense that I am not as fertile as I would have been back then and again, that is okay.

The options or should I say option we were given was IVF.  While I am not against IVF, it just simply is not for me.  I am choosing to not go through with IVF for reasons I will not go into here, but I will say that if the universe has baby #2 planned for us, it will happen.  I truly believe that.  I have heard so many stories of women/couples who were told, “you will never be able to get pregnant,” and so many have beat the odds.  That could be me too.  One day, I can wake up and have a little bean growing in my belly again.  You never know what the future holds.  In the meantime, I will continue eating healthy, exercising regularly, practicing yoga, meditating and going to acupuncture.  Doing things naturally is what has always felt best for me and my body.  So we’ll see.

I will admit, I am not always optimistic and sunshine-y about this.  I have my rough days.  Max and I do a lot of activities during the week.  We are constantly around moms with two or more kids.  Usually it is moms who have a child Max’s age and another either in the bucket car seat, a sling or they’re carrying that beautiful baby bump.  Most days I’m good.  I’m so happy for those Mamas,  their growing families, and I try really hard to not feel jealous (though sometimes I do).   I certainly have those days my husband comes home from work to a sobbing wife, but he’s amazing and has been my rock through all of this.  Like the days I have those unexpected triggers.  A curious woman at the grocery store, seeing Max and asking, “Are you going to have another?” (what do you say to these people??) or hearing other moms talk about their second baby “giving him a sibling was so important…”  or my own thoughts, “I can’t imagine my life without my siblings.  Will Max be lonely?  Will he miss out on that bond?  Will he resent me?”  Ugh, just writing this is making me tear up.

Okay, back to the positive/optimistic me…

My husband and I do not know what is in store for us.  Regardless of our story, whether it be a miracle baby #2 or simply our little amazing Maxaroo we are blessed.  We have and always will feel grateful, happy and rich in all that life has given us.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

The Beautiful Illustration above by Richard Wilkinson

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblr

The Soybean

Soybean

Ah, the Soybean.  There is a lot of controversy around Soy and whether or not we should be consuming it.  I think what scares most folks about the soybean is…

  • soy crops are largely Genetically Modified (GMO) and most often sprayed with pesticides
  • soy has been known to lower sperm count in males.
  • it can also interfere with certain soy-based medications (if consumed in large quantities).

However, there are a few benefits to eating soy…

  • soy can help prevent cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms.
  • it can also regulated blood sugar and improves lipid profile.
  • it is good for eye and renal health
  • as well as aides in weight loss.

To keep it simple, and what I have come to understand is that soy is fine in moderation.  However, the ONLY soy that should be ingested is Organic and non-GMO.  Also, the less processed the food the better.

For those of you who read my blog or follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook know that I have eliminated soy from my diet for almost two years due to skin rashes. For the last month or so I have been slowly reintroducing soy back into my diet.  I am happy to report my skin has not been reacting!  After the initial reintroduction I now only eat it once in a while.  It is a great source of protein and really invites many options when it comes to meal planning.  So that being said, some of my recipes going forward may contain soy.  For those of you who still cannot tolerate soy or simply do not eat it, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding alternatives to soy.  I have a lot of tips!

So here’s to me reuniting with the soybean.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblr

Water, are you drinking enough?

Water

Water, are you drinking enough?

We have been told for decades that 8 glasses of 8-ounces of water is the recommended amount for everyone, but have you ever asked yourself, “is this right?”  How is it possible when it comes to us as individuals?  One size never fits all, so how can it be those 64 ounces a day is an adequate amount for everyone on this planet to drink.  Well the truth is there is not a lot of research behind this theory.  Yes, our bodies are made up of about 60% of water and we are always in need of replenishing that.  However, these 8 glasses a day does not work across the board.  Everyone’s body is different and the amount of water our particular bodies need may vary greatly.

The latest recommendations for our water intake is no longer 64-ounces a day.  It turns out, there really was never any scientific evidence to back up the recommended 64-ounce of water a day.  It is now recommended to simply drink when you are thirsty.  This is a no-brainer right?  Well, kind of.  You would be so surprised of how many people are not in touch with their bodies and either do not see the signs of thirst or simply ignore it. While 64-ounces are no longer recommended it is incredibly important to drink the amount of water that is right for your body every day.

When the initial 8 glasses of 8 ounces was first suggested it was the mid 1940’s and the majority of the US population was fit.  We did not have the obesity epidemic that we do today and it is clear that this recommendation needed to be updated.  However, I feel to suggest “when thirsty” is not the way to go.  We are a society of rules and guidelines.  People who are looking to lose weight and get healthy more often than not depend on guidelines.  So here is a good rule of thumb.  The amount of water you should drink a day should be half of your body weight.  For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds your daily intake of water should be 100 ounces. It is common sense that a body with more weight needs more water and vise versa.

“Water is the most neglected nutrient in your diet, but one of the most vital” ~ Julia Child

While there are so many of us out there trying to make a healthier US for ourselves, our siblings, parents, grandparents and kids the majority of our nation is still overweight.  Drinking enough water for your body type is so crucial to living a healthy life.  I have known of so many people who simply started drinking water (enough water) and lost weight.  Water is a purifier and is not only important for us to live but it also helps to flush your system and get things moving so you are able to eliminate properly every day. (Yup poop.  It’s ok to talk about it.)

My typical day begins with opening my eyes and drinking 24-ounces right there in bed.  Every night before I go to bed I fill up my 24-ounce mason jar and have it ready on my nightstand for the next day.  If you think about it you have just spent the last 7-9 hours (hopefully) not drinking any liquid so your body is in need of a healthy amount of water first thing.  This also helps to get things moving.  Yup, I am talking about poop again. By the end of the day I have drank about 3 liters of water and this is perfect for my size and the amount of exercise I do daily.

So forget what has been drilled into your head about every body being the same and needing 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water a day and maybe even forget the new recommendation to drink when thirst and figure out what YOUR body needs.  Start incorporating that into your daily life and see what happens.  Sure you’ll have to use the restroom more often, but is that really a big deal?  This is your health we are talking about.   Remember, when making changes to your diet or life changing one thing at a time is always best.  If you change too many things at once it can become overwhelming and set you up for failure.  Baby steps and water is a perfect place to start.

I hope you enjoyed reading.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblr

Easter Egg Hunt

EasterEggHunt

My Easter traditions as a child were very similar to most, I think.  My siblings and I loved dying eggs.  We would always try to top the others artistic ability.  On Easter Eve, the “Easter Bunny” would hide the dyed eggs all around our house.  Only on the main level, upstairs was off-limits and yes these were hard-boiled eggs inside the house.  Easter morning, we would wake up to Easter baskets filled with a small gift, homemade chocolates, peanut butter cups, jellybeans and whatever favorite candies we liked that year.  After we went through our baskets we started our Easter Egg Hunt.  We would usually find all the eggs.  There was one summer where that one egg we couldn’t find would make its smelly appearance.  I know, gross, but hey it is a funny family memory and my mom made sure that never happened again.  After the eggs were all found, we had to eat breakfast (an egg or two) and then we can have something from our basket.

Well my traditions have changed a bit.  Now that I am plant-based and our little guy has a slight intolerance to eggs we had to get creative.  My husband suggested hiding eggs in the yard (his childhood tradition) and maybe putting little toys in the eggs.  The problem we ran into there was all toys that would fit in those little eggs are choking hazards for toddlers.  Plus, Max has enough toys.  Candy just wasn’t an option.  Then I saw this idea on the Internet the other day and thought, “What a brilliant idea!”  It is so easy and best of all Healthy!

The Ingredients:

Whatever your little ones like!

Plastic eggs
Strawberries
Grapes
Blueberries
Blackberries
Raspberries
Kiwi
Clementines

You get the point.

Happy Easter and Enjoy!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblr

Spring is in the Air

Cloth Diapers

Ah, Spring is in the air and so are our cloth diapers…

I can not express to you all how happy I am that Spring is finally here. I am so excited for what these next months will bring.  I am looking forward to starting our garden, going to our local farmers market, spending all day out side and of course, the smell of sun-dried laundry.  Ah!  I can not remember the last time I was this excited for spring.  A big reason I am so excited is Max. This year he is old enough to really enjoy being outside and exploring the world.  Everything is new to him and I am really enjoying watching him discover the simple things.

Another thing I love about Spring is it reminds me of why we are working toward living an eco-friendly lifestyle.  Being outside with nature is reason enough.  It is very important to us to help preserve this planet for our future generations. For the most part, I consider our family to be pretty green.  The only paper products we use are tissues and toilet paper.  We make a lot of our own food such as baby food, hummusnutbutters and ice cream to avoid having to recycle the packaging.  We reuse most containers we do buy.  We also use cloth diapers and most of Max’s clothes are hand-me-downs.  Since having a baby we produce 1 1/2 bags of garbage every week (that is only 1/2 more bags that before).  Of course there is always more we can do and every year we get just a little closer to that goal.  I feel, baby steps work best when you want to make last long-lasting changes.

Cloth Diapers

I love that we use cloth diapers but I do understand the turn-off many people feel when the subject is on the table. There is the initial cost of the diapers, the extra laundry and of course the yuck factor.  Honestly, it is not for everyone but if you want to try it, do it.  You may be surprised  to learn, cloth diapers are not that big of a deal.  For our little family, it works, it was one of the best baby choices we made and it feels good to know we are not contributing as much to the landfills.  We have mainly been using cloth diapers since Max was born (disposable on laundry day) and I would not have it any other way.  We started out with baby gdiapers and as Max grew bigger we incorporated rumparooz.  Honestly, I love them both for different reasons.  The gdiapers have the option to use a cloth or disposable/flushable insert which is a great happy-medium for those who are unsure about cloth.  Also, before my little guy grew out of them, they hardly ever leaked.  As for the rumparooz, I love that they have the double gusset which holds in the mess.  Both of these diapers we hardly every experienced that “up the back” disaster and I found the cloth was so absorbent I did not have to change Max as often as his little friends were being changed.

Happy Spring Everyone!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblr