Saturday, May 30, 2015

Making Good Choices (even when you haven't in a while!)

So it is no secret that for the past three months I've been struggling to make healthy food choices and maintain a good activity level. Of course I've had a good excuse (being pregnant and all) but isn't that how it always starts? You have a good excuse and soon it all spirals out of control until you're not living life in a way which would be ideally healthy for you.

This has happened to me before in my life, situations beyond my control have led to me losing track of my own health and well-being. For far too long.

And the most important thing I've learned, is that those situations are always going to happen, and sometimes you do have to prioritize other things first, but it is vitally important that you're aware of it and make efforts to get back to a good place as soon as possible!

I think I have rounded the corner here- I have more energy and feel generally better and am more able to make better food choices and get a little more active! 

I won't let the bad habits that I've developed over the past few months (eating a lot of bread and getting too muck take-out!) dominate my life. Time to rope back in a few of my better habits :)

This morning I went on a long walk down by the river with a friend of mine (Chris's on a camping trip):

I had the energy and felt really good this morning so I took advantage of it! It really helped that the morning was sunny and beautiful with a pleasant breeze :)

I ate a snack of a date roll with coconut after the walk, then came home to make a nutritious and grain-free lunch (which has been rare for me lately):

So I acknowledge that I had a rough three months and that I had a good reason for it, but those three months don't define me for the rest my life. I still have a goal of being a healthy, happy, fit and energetic mom for my kid! I also want to be a good example, and show that even though you won't always be perfect, you can always make efforts to be who you want to be :)

Feeling good today - I'd say my biggest symptom right now in the second trimester is raging emotions, haha, but I think keeping physically healthy will help my mental state (that was a strategy that worked well for me when my father passed and my world fell apart, I made sure my body had the strength to support me in a tough time).

Off to run some errands - TMI but I need bigger underwear haha :) Such is life!

Friday, May 29, 2015

2 million steps (almost!)

I've walked almost 2 million steps in 6 months! It's so fascinating to me to see the numbers laid out like that.

Pretty consistently averaging 10,000 steps a day - some days when I am tired, I only had about 8000, but I make up for it on the weekends :)

Everything else is fine in my neck of the woods. Food and activity have both been getting better and more normal every day. I'm looking forward to my doctors appointment next week, I really want to hear the heartbeat again, especially at this point where I can't feel the baby move.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend <3

Monday, May 25, 2015

BBQ, another pound, good weekend

Another week, another pound up - I like that rate and could handle it for the long haul! Apparently the baby is the size of a navel orange this week. Crazy.

I went to a BBQ yesterday, had a burger and pie and kale salad and chips. We were there from 2-10 PM though and I was hungry! No regrets about the tasty food.

I have really healthy (and minimal grain) lunches planned this week - we had a lot of meatball/tomato sauce/broccoli leftovers to pack up. Also peas and a lot of beautiful, cheap, seasonal fruit.

I'm really pleased to be getting back to my old food template more.. However, dairy is a huge component of my diet right now and it is staying for the foreseeable future! I think the calcium and non-meat protein are perfect for me right now. Lots of yogurts, cheeses, and milk right now. Meat is still not my favorite thing right now, so alternate protein sources are needed (and beans are grossing me out too).

Got in a lot of walking, socializing AND relaxing this weekend. Couldn't be happier :)

I'll leave you with a picture of the goose family from my local pond:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Doing what I can!

It was definitely time to get my body moving again - though climbing is out of the question for a while, my last hiking weekend showed me I could still put some miles under my feet.

The weekend was forecasted to be gorgeous - warm (not hot) and sunny! We headed north again to get into the forest. Chris picked something pretty isolated (Siamese Pond Wilderness) to avoid Memorial Day tourism crowds.

I hiked 8 miles - the most I've done since the first few weeks I was pregnant! - and really enjoyed it:

Great to be moving this ol' body of mine! I'm tired now (laying in bed as I write this!) but pleasantly so. We have no plans for the evening but will hit up a BBQ getogether tomorrow :)

Oh yeah - Chris treated me to sushi last night. I'm CRAVING sushi but obviously cannot have raw fish, so I settled for the veggie and cooked fish kinds. We went to a new place that rocked our world and it is definitely a new favorite. Even at hh strictest Paleo, I would eat sushi every other month. I can't get enough :)

I've been doing pretty well - staying active but getting lots of rest. Eating decently well - still some grains but getting in a ton more veggies (veg with dinner every night, carrots as a snack, spinach/banana smoothie in the morning). 

Enjoy the long weekend if you get one!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wardrobe alterations to fit the growing body...

I bought a few new things to get me through this stage of pregnancy - maxi skirts with elastic waists and loose tops. But, it's all spring/summer wear and the Northeast is strangely cold (50 degrees) after a few weeks of 80 degree weather!

So I needed to go back to my pants, which definitely do NOT fit (comfortably, anyway - I could maybe button them standing up, but sitting is not happening). I employed the little trick of using a hair tie around the button and through the button hole to give me another inch of pants :) It definitely works, but wow, I feel weird.

I think the hardest part of the weight gain is losing most of my wardrobe! I really spent the last few years completely revamping my style, especially once I started an office job, and had some really great clothes - but all fitted for a 125 pound body. I'm at about 10 pounds heavier and the slick pencil skirts, fitted tops and pants, cute dresses do NOT fit. All the colors and patterns that made me feel really stylish and fun, out. I lost most of my dresses/tops because of my chest growth, haha - everything I bought was for a super small chested woman and I am bursting out of all of it! Even my leggings don't fit anymore, too tight around the thighs and waist, making them see-through in a dangerous way, not ideal.

So, just a small thing I expected but didn't really know how it would make me feel - losing my clothes for the next 9 months - year.

I never really thought about the huge part of your public identity clothes are! It's a way to express yourself and I am definitely not able to express myself fully right now, haha :) Going with a "whatever fits!" attitude isn't as fun in the morning (and since I really don't like my job, wearing cute clothes and going for my daily walks are the only part of my day I look forward to).

I'm definitely looking forward to warmer weather so I can stop wearing pants. Wearing ill-fitting pants is not making me feel awesome right now >.<

I knew I wouldn't be one of those women who looooooooved being pregnant. It's tough physically and mentally for me! All I can do is keep focusing on the reason for this discomfort - ending up with our child, who will hopefully be healthy and happy :)

In other news, I found a wooded, pretty, quiet walking trail at my work complex! I had never seen it before because it is across a decently busy road that I never bothered to cross on my walks. But someone clued me into it and I absolutely love it. It is going to make my summer walks a LOT more pleasant (walking on a pretty, shaded forest path rather than in a sweltering parking lot).

Taking this all a day at a time <3

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hiking- harder than before!

Chris, Koda and I went up to the Adirondacks for a hike this past weekend  - the Crows. It's a short enough hike, about 3 1/2 miles, but the 1st mile is a pretty steep and constant climb, And I learned something about my body's capabilities right now - climbing isn't really my thing!

I'm not sure what it has to do with, but I think it might be my blood pressure, which is decently low in the best of times but even lower right now. I would have to stop every 10 to 20 feet and get my heart rate to come down. I would get very lightheaded and dizzy with a certain level of exertion. Walking flat or downhill was absolutely fine and I could've gone for miles more.

So we are not really looking at climbing mountains together as a family this summer and fall as things stand. There are a lot of awesome hikes that are mostly flat and lead to beautiful lakes or waterfalls and attractions like that.


I definitely miss the forests and mountains and the Adirondacks in general and I'm ready to get back out there in the coming weekends, but take it a little bit easier :)

Otherwise, I'm doing well, my hunger levels have really evened out. I don't need as many snacks between meals as I did before. I'm happy about that, because I just couldn't seem to get enough food last month! I felt nuts.

That's all for me for now - I'm working overtime this week to bring in a little extra cash, so I have less free time. But I'm still reading and I'll try to write a little bit!

Namaste <3

Friday, May 15, 2015

Coming back from disordered thoughts: listening to your body

Long post ahead, and some rambling, you've been warned :)

The one thing that this pregnancy has really put into stark relief for me is how very differently I used to treat my body when I was a teen and in my 20s. I never really "listened" to it - it's true, biological, physical needs.

When I was obese: I would stuff myself past fullness, ignoring any cues that I was too full/didn't need any more food. I would never do any purposeful exercise, despite my muscles pretty much begging for it. I ignored all the aches and pains that a 20 year old should definitely NOT have and just kept on abusing my body.

When I lost the weight, I didn't do it in a healthy way and gained a lot of disordered behaviors (or just switched them from the previous disordered behaviors that had made me fat): I would let myself get REALLY hungry, painfully so. I would go to bed, even if hunger pains were wracking my stomach. I'd eat low-cal things and not really give a thought as to nutrition. I'd exercise when I was exhausted or even sick. And there was a really awful time where I would binge/purge - a disordered mixed up with control issues as well as food issues.

It wasn't until I tried Paleo and switched my goal from thin to healthy that I really started to research what a human body actually needs to perform at it's best and live it's longest. I stopped abusing myself at this point. Exercised for strength. Ate to fuel. Stopped depriving. Stopped indulging.

But it still took years of learning these behaviors (and being really strict with myself about following them) for them to become natural. And it took years for me to realize that my body would very naturally ask for these things (appropriate amounts of foods, exercise, water, sleep, etc) if I paid attention. I had ignored the cues for so long, it took just as long to start to listen to them.

Now, pregnant, and listening to my body is more important than ever. It's all so new and the little person inside me and all the crazy things going on need very different things than I needed before - more sleep, more food, different food, different exercise, etc.

And I am glad I put in the time the past few years of working on listening to my body so that I can listen to it now, when someone else's health is reliant on my ability to do so.

But I say this because, for anyone reading this that struggles with weight/health/etc, that it is a long process to get to a good place (and I am not even in the ideal place with regards to all of this, I still struggle! But I am light years from where I was). Don't give up because it doesn't feel natural and it feels like you will be "forcing" yourself to engage in healthy behaviors forever. It takes a long time (I think much longer than the supposed 21 days people suggest) to really make something a habit. And even longer to just know that you can listen to your hunger/thirst/sleep/etc cues and know what you crave is what's best for you.

Now that I am not forcing myself to overeat or undereat, I have begun to trust that physical cues are real. I rarely have a true craving (sure, I always WANT cookies, but my body doesn't crave them, haha), but when I do, it is usually for fish or romaine lettuce - isn't that strange? I've noticed if I've gone almost two weeks without fish, I start absolutely dreaming about sushi (unfortunately a big no-no when pregnant, but eating some baked salmon or cod quells the craving, too). Same thing with romaine - I've definitely craved it when I've gone too long without a salad. In fact, at dinner out with Chris' parents the other night, I could have had any number of amazing appetizers, but I was 100% craving a salad and got the garden salad. I felt so amazing satiated afterwards.

But I will say I've been giving into wants during this pregnancy, too, haha. I've eaten more ice cream in 3 months than I have in 3 years (to quantify that, I had almost no ice cream at all the previous 3 years!). And I know I said I don't want to know my weight just the other day, but curiosity got the best of me and I stepped on the scale today. 134! I was 126 when I got pregnant (I had gained a little from my normal 122 to try and get my menstrual cycle a little more regular). So 8 pounds in just over 3 months. I'm happy with that... especially as my debilitating exhaustion starts to wane and my disgust over vegetables is also going away.

I wasn't sure what a healthy pregnancy would look like, or that it would be possible for me because I still struggle so much with body-image. But I am learning as I go, always reminding myself that bringing a healthy little person into this world is the #1 goal. Also high on that priority list is making sure that little person has a healthy, happy mother who can teach him/her that the human body is TOTALLY AWESOME and should be respected and loved and enjoyed to the fullest.

Namaste, friends, enjoy the weekend <3

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Selfie, No Weigh Ins

So I just don't want to know my weight! It's not really healthy or helpful to me right now. I do know that none of my jeans fit and the adorable new summer dress I bought at H&M a few months ago definitely does not fit, and has to go into the closet for summers in the future!

But I still have use of all my other clothes, especially since a lot of the stuff I have is a mix from when I was anywhere from 120 to 140 pounds. 

I'm definitely not trim anymore, I have a little pudge around my midsection, some of which I know is uterus and baby and extra blood and all that. But I think I'll just rely on my doctors monthly weigh ins to check in on how I'm doing. She said she would let me know if she thought I was gaining too much weight, and I will respect her opinion.

But other then a slight wardrobe change, I don't look super pregnant to people who don't know me well and I still haven't told anyone at work. I'm going to wait until obviously everyone can tell before I confirm.

Here's a picture of me from today, just so you know I haven't fallen headfirst into all of the ice cream and all of the cookies like I would actually like to do. I'm keeping a balance for my and my child's health :)

Things are going pretty well for me. Chris finished refinishing the wood floors and is in the process of putting on all the trim, but he finished our bedroom, and I'm so excited to have it back to normal!

I did not get that promotion, but I actually think it's a blessing in disguise. This isn't really the place for me. But I'm going to stick it out here for a while, and see what life brings.

Namaste <3

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Treat and a Healthy Dinner

We celebrated Mother's Day over the weekend with Chris' mom (who has done nothing but treat me like a part of the family from day one, I feel lucky to have such a great MIL!) in the Adirondacks. Activities included: hanging out and chatting on the porch, bringing Koda to the lake to swim (twice), Chris and Koda going on a small hike, and going out to a lovely dinner (I opted for a garden salad appetizer and roast chicken with veggie dinner... and got vanilla custard for dessert ;) ). It was a great visit!

But we also had a little celebration of our own, because we are excited about being parents this year!

We did a LOT of housework, but also spent some time at our local Tulip Festival (which wasn't as great as I expected, haha) and going out for soft serve ice cream after lunch. I've been dreaming about soft serve for over a month, it was a great itch to scratch.

We had a really healthy dinner to compensate for the treat - baked cod with Brussels sprouts and corn on the cob! It was really summery and delicious. I struggled after a few bites of the sprouts, though, and almost gagged. Not quite ready for all vegetables yet, haha!

Peas and carrots are easy veggies for me to get down, and I am still making smoothies absolutely packed with spinach, so I am getting in those micronutrients.

I'm making better choices, food-wise, every week. I am able to stomach more and more of my old diet as time goes on. I am still relying on some grain products throughout the day when my stomach just can't be settled, but I feel pleased with my food currently!

Finding more of a balance between what my body wants vs. needs and what is good for me!

Hope everyone has a great week - it's quite hot here, upper 80s, but should cool down to low 70s by the end of the week (I wasn't ready for spring-like weather to leave and summer to arrive just yet!).

Friday, May 8, 2015

Update on that update ;) And getting back into the swing of things!

So in my delighted excitement yesterday (it was AWESOME to go totally public, because I've been feeling like a huge weirdo just sort of bowing out of life and being quiet instead of letting people know I'm sick and haven't been participating much in life because I'm pregnant!), I forgot to mention that Chris' Cystic Fibrosis test came back - negative!

Phew. From my research, that means that there is no chance of the baby having CF - though my nurse said that there was a super small chance, that's not the impression I got from reading the CF association website. So I am letting those worries go :)

I'm still kind of on cloud nine. We cried when we heard the heartbeat. It is just such a strange thing! I know billions upon billions of women have had babies over the course of human history, and yet, it's still this insanely surrealistic beautiful thing that happened! I mushed my genes with Chris' and made a whole new human, haha, I can't get over it. I can't wait to meet him/her.

Chris is finishing refinishing the floors tonight - we just have our bedroom and the upstairs hall left. I'll be sleeping at a friend's house to escape the fumes. And then we are bringing Koda on a day trip up to the Adirondacks to see Chris' mom at their summertime cabin to celebrate Mother's Day. I'm pretty excited, the weather is going to be gorgeous, Koda loves swimming in the lake up there, and I get to see my niece again.

Then we will spend Sunday putting our upstairs back together (we packed everything in our bedroom into the spare rooms) and getting set up for the week. I also want to check out my city's yearly Tulip Fest, especially because the tulips are really spectacular this year.

So, yeah, things are ok! I'm feeling better overall but still get CRAZY tired around 8:30/9 at night. As long as I keep myself fed, my daily energy levels are good. But if I get hungry, watch out, it's all I'll be able to think about till I eat, haha. I've been keeping up my walking and incorporating one or two 5 minute little yoga sessions through the day. Listening to my body, I just don't have the strength/energy right now to do more, but hope to build it back up over the pregnancy if it is possible!

Enjoy your weekend, friends, thanks for the kind words on my last post! <3

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It is official!

We heard the heartbeat! It was strong and healthy! I'm in love :)

Giving myself permission to just be plain old deliriously happy for a little while <3

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

What's Going On:

Sorry for not updating more - but as I said in a previous post, I am just plain ol' tired AND have only the most repetitive of thoughts to share (you know - I'm hungry, I'm eating an insane amount, I'm tired, I'm a mess!) :) I have been keeping up on others blogs, though, and I definitely miss participating. But I choose sleep a lot. It is the most precious thing to me right now!

So this weekend I dog-sat for some friends, which worked out perfectly. Chris was refinishing our hardwood floors over the weekend, so me and the dog had to vamoose! I originally was going to sleep over at a friend's house and board Koda. Instead, my friend gave me some cash to watch HIS dogs AND I got to bring Koda. No expenditures for me. I'm always amazed when things fall into place so easily and perfectly!

It was fun to be with the dogs in the country all weekend - the other dogs are a Newfoundland and a beagle. The beagle and Koda slept in bed with me :) Koda got along really well with the dogs, too, which surprised me. Well, the Newfie got kind of irritated at him after Koda dropped his stick on her for the 100th time and she barked at him. He didn't even notice and went on playing. He doesn't get dog manners really well, haha. But he's sweet.

Still waiting to hear on the promotion. Word around the office is that it probably isn't going to happen for anyone in my department. But we will see!

Also still anxiously awaiting my doctor's appointment on Thursday! I want to hear my baby's heartbeat so badly. Also want to find out about the cystic fibrosis test, gah.

I'm trying to get back into exercise, but I get winded pretty fast. I'm TIRED, like crazy. Also putting on several pounds quite fast and all the hormones feel like they are messing with me. I do about 5 minutes here and there of yoga or something else light. Walking is my main form of activity right now!

That's it for me - will check in if I have updates or anything thoughtful to share :)

Namaste <3

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thai green curry cauliflower and coconut soup

Another rainy day means another soup recipe - and another successful experiment! This is another delicious fragrant and spicy soup that will warm you up, its vegetarian and vegan friendly, cheap and easy to make and is quite low in carbohydrates.

The major ingredient in this soup is cauliflower, and even those who are not cauli fans are unlikely to realise it!  It has a similar texture to a potato soup but without all the high GI carbs.  Cauliflower is a fantastic vegetable and as a part of the brassica family (also known as cruciferous vegetables) cauliflower contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, lots of fibre and is high in vitamin C, B6, K and folate. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like cauliflower decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

The coconut milk in my recipe does add more kilojoules and fat, but it is not too much across this big pot of soup, and I have chosen a reduced fat variety. If you are closely watching your saturated fat intake you could consider using evaporated milk and a few drops of coconut essence instead.  If you're in Australia you can buy a low fat evaporated milk that is coconut flavoured for exactly this purpose! 


  • 1 large leek sliced
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 whole head of cauliflower roughly chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1  can reduced fat coconut milk
  • 2 TBSP Thai green curry paste
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic (or 2 cloves fresh garlic chopped)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger 
  • 1 TBSP dried paprika
  • 1 TBSP dried chilli flakes (omit if you don't like it spicy!)
  • Greek yoghurt and coriander leaves or sliced shallots to serve


  • Slice leek, roughly chop cauliflower,  chop stems of coriander just above the roots, set leaves aside for later. 
  • Toss onion and coriander stems in a heavy based pot with olive oil, garlic, ginger, paprika and chilli flakes and saute for a few minutes. If you are not a fan of coriander or you don't have any fresh, use 1 tsp of dried ground coriander seeds. 
  • Add chopped cauliflower and saute for a few minutes. Add green curry paste and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes on low heat until cauliflower is very soft.
  • Whizz with a stick blender or food processor until your soup is thick and creamy. 
  •  I served in a bowl with a dollop of Greek yoghurt in the middle. Serve topped with chopped shallots or coriander leaves for extra bite, or lemongrass stems if you have them. Delicious with a slice of dense multigrain bread or a traditional sourdough to soak up the flavour. 
Easily serves 6 hungry people :) Bon appetit!

Happy May, Weigh In

I'm so happy it's May. Finally looking like spring around here. This was my neighborhood during my 6 AM walk with Koda:

And our tulips are almost ready to open:

It's been a slow start this year, butI'm  relishing in it :) There is little as beautiful to me as the awakening of spring and May flowers!

Since it is the start of the month, I decided I would bite the bullet and finally weigh in. I haven't weighed in almost 2 weeks, because my body has been changing like crazy, and I just wanted to work on accepting it rather than worrying about the number on the scale.

I was about 126 when I got pregnant. When my OBGYN weighed me in early April, I was 131. Today I weighed 132.5!

A pound and a half in a month is fine by me.

I'm excited about that, because that's a really normal weight gain for the first trimester, and it happened because I let go of my weight/scale focus and really worked on just listening to my body, tweaking my eating so I felt good, and never deprived my body of what it needed. 

I always am surprised that I truly can trust myself when it comes to my health and my weight and my well-being. After almost a decade of doing myself harm in those areas, it took almost another whole decade to learn the tools to take care of myself. But I still get shocked that I can do this by instinct... And my instincts are no longer to abuse food or myself. The work worked. 

When you first start the process of trying to change your life, your mindset, your habits, it seems like it will never happen. But if you just keep doing it and you keep working at it, one day you'll find that it just comes really easily. We are able to change :)

Less than a week till my 3 month heartbeat check- I'm so hopeful! 

Starting May off right on this beautiful Friday <3