Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sugar Fasting




I am in the middle of a sugar fast. I have always had a sweet tooth..like a really big sweet tooth. So much so that I had to have something sweet after every meal. I don't know why it never occurred to me before but it's not just a sweet tooth..it's an addiction. I never like to feel like something is controlling me...heck, that's why I quit drinking and smoking. So, I'm quitting sugar for a while. I haven't actually determined how long the fast will be but I am on day 3 and really loving it so far.

Now, for this sugar fast, I am not counting fruit sugar. I am also making an exception for ketchup and almond butter. Although, I am only having very small amounts of those as well. I also don't eat any kind of sugar substitute or "sugar free" anything. I actually quit those when I found out I was pregnant last year.

At the end of the first day of my fast, I got really moody. I really think sugar withdrawal was to blame. I have been getting small headaches as well. Did you know that sugar affects the same feel-good regions in your brain?  To counteract the yuckiness of detoxing I have been drinking a cup of green tea every afternoon along with my usual 3 L of water/day. I put some Stevia in my tea but since its all natural and has a low glycemic index, it doesn't fall into the real or fake sugar categories.

The hardest part so far has been using half-n-half in my coffee instead of my flavorful Coffeemate. It's not too bad though.

My initial goal for the fast is to make it a week but ideally I would like to do it until the 15th of August (2.5 weeks). Oh and P.S. I have already lost 2.5 lbs of the 3 I had gained. Win! :)

I found some useful info about sugar addiction on WebMD:
http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-sugar-addiction

Here is a little clip from there:

Your Brain on Sugar

Sugar fuels every cell in the brain. When you overload on sugary foods, it may alter the parts of the brain that control how much you eat. In lab studies, rats that binged on sugar had brain changes like those of getting off drugs. In humans, just seeing pictures of milkshakes triggered brain effects like those seen in drug addicts. It was strongest in women whose answers showed they were more hooked on eating.

What I'm Eating Wednesday

I haven't kept up with my weekly eating clean posts, however, I have been eating mostly  clean! I had a slight hiccup with it when B was home for a couple weeks. We went out to eat more than usual. It definitely showed too...I gained 3 lbs while he was home! Crazy right?!

Anyway, I'm back on the bandwagon.

I don't usually do a "What I'm Eating Wednesday" post because honestly, who cares right? But, for my own amusement I thought I would share. 

I always have a cup of coffee as soon as I wake up (with half n half).

I eat breakfast around 11 am when Avelyn takes her first nap. This is usually my biggest meal. 
Today I made scrambled tofu and Ezekiel bread with almond butter. I had some Simply Orange with Mango as well. 


If you've never had scrambled tofu, you should try it! My husband thought they were eggs when I cooked them for him but to me, they are so much yummier.

Basically you just cut off about 1/4 block of tofu, rinse it and squeeze out any excess water. Put a smidge of butter or oil in a pan and throw in the tofu. Then, you put a pinch each of the following: Tumeric, Black Pepper, and Garlic Salt. The Tumeric is what gives it that pretty yellow color and it contains TONS of health benefits. Stir it up until it starts getting a golden brown crust. To top it off I usually put ketchup, sriracha sauce or nutritional yeast. 

I eat some yogurt for a midday snack.

 Since I'm fasting from sugar I added kiwi and some organic raisins to sweeten it up.

I eat lunch around 3 when Avelyn takes her afternoon nap. 

Oh MY GOSH! These are seriously sooo good! The idea came from a Fresh 20 recipe. 

For the tostadas I just place 2 corn tortillas on a baking sheet, spray both sides with Pam, and place in a 450 degree oven for 10 mins (that is if the oven is cold when u put them in). 




While those are crisping, I made the black bean salad with canned (no salt added) black beans, diced red onion, halved cherry tomatoes and chopped parsley. Mix in 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil, black pepper, salt, and cumin (I did a big pinch of each). stir that stuff up. mmm

When the tortillas are crisp top first with some avocado, then the black bean salad, and of course some cheese and sriracha sauce. Enjoy! :)

For a little treat this afternoon I had a handful of fresh Cherries.

Dinner is usually around 6 and I will probably just eat some turkey or ham on rice cakes with cheese. 

So, since you've been dying to know..that's what I ate! :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

7 Months

There is no way she is 7 months already! I seriously feel like I just wrote her 6 month post.










At 7 Months Miss Avelyn now...

...army crawls all over the place (she is a quick little bugger)
...eats 2-3 solid meals a day
...says "Mama" but I don't think she knows what she is actually saying
...loves to go swimming at the YMCA
...is obsessed with our cable box..climbing on it..pushing the buttons
...loves to splash in the bathtub
...nurses from me again (hallelujah..goodbye exclusively pumping)
...love love loves the jumparoo
...is beginning to get stranger anxiety
...drinks from a real sippy cup


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Plugged Tear Duct

I wrote in my last post that Avelyn had been referred to a Pediatric Ophthalmologist at her 6 month appointment. We went to see him today. For anyone needing one in the Austin area, we would highly recommend this guy (Dr. O.B. Jackson). 

Avelyn came down with something last night. I noticed she felt a little hot and was congested. She also wanted to cuddle (which never happens)...and I was happy to oblige. At her 5 am feeding I could tell she was definitely sick. She coughed a bit in her crib and has a runny nose with a low grade fever. I haven't given her any Tylenol or anything because I am hoping her fever will kill off whatever bug she picked up. 

Anyway, back to the eye dr. I got her all dressed up for her appointment. :) I even made this matching headband this morning. Seriously, it took all of five minutes. I love my hot glue gun!

 You can tell she isn't feeling 100% in this picture.

 Still cute as ever though!



 I let her play her flashcard game on my iPad. It's from Preschool Prep Academy and was only $0.99! She knows to tap the card to have it flipped and everything. We have an app for colors, number and letters!



We arrived at the dr. office in good spirits. I played with her in the waiting area.




We were taken first to this room where we met with the Dr.'s assistant. She scared the beejeezus out of us telling us how they strap the baby to a "papoose" which she describe as some sort of board..and make the parents wait in the lobby while they do the probe. B and I both practically shouted at the same time, "THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!". 
 The Dr. came in afterwards and was so nice. He looked at her eye and pressed on the membrane..trying to see if he could unclog it while we were there. He showed me the proper way to massage it...which was not the way I was shown at her regular dr's office. Basically, you put your finger where an under eye circle would be. Then you feel for the rim of the eye socket. Once you get the rim you push your finger upwards and towards the nose. Do that for 5 seconds every time you nurse the baby.

He never mentioned the papoose...thank goodness.

We were then directed to another room where Avelyn got drops in her eyes to dilate them.


She was not a fan.
 Doesn't that face just break your heart?

We waited in the lobby for 30 mins for her eyes to dilate. After they finished, we were called back to a different room where the dr checked out her eyes with some lights and magnifying glasses. Honestly, I wasn't really paying attention to what he was doing because Avelyn was crying so hard. :(


The dr. had all these antique toys that are connected to pedals. He would push the pedal with his foot and they would dance and make noise. That made Avelyn look in the places he needed her to. Quite clever right?! This doc is old-school. A woman in the lobby was telling her little girl that this was her doctor when she was that age. 

So everything worked out. We have a follow up appointment in 6 weeks to see if I am able to unclog the membrane myself. He said that she wouldn't need to be put under general anesthesia until she is about 18 months so we have time to try to correct the problem on our own.

Overall, I think the appointment went great. I will be more diligent with the eye massaging and the saline drops from now on. I will also do an update when something changes.

A fun little fact we learned while we were there...Avelyn's eye color is permanent! That means this gorgeous blue/gray color that I have been loving is here to stay!! :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gold's Gym vs YMCA


VS.



When I decided to finally make some "me" time and get back in the gym. I wasn't sure which gym would be the best for myself and Avelyn. My decision would be based a list of things:
  • ***childcare***(MOST important!)
  • cleanliness
  • activities available (group classes, etc)
  • machines available
  • comfortable environment


First, I went to Gold's because it is closer to where I live now as well as our new house. Also, I used to be a member so I thought I would be more comfortable. Initially, I thought it would be okay. B and I went inside and asked to visit childcare to check it out. I had to fill out a Guest Pass form to go back there and I liked that they took that measure of security. B didn't have to fill one out though. When we walked in the childcare center I saw the two workers on the floor with one child between them. All of the "big kids" were in the large area and there was a small area gated in to the side for infants. There was a baby alone in a swing in there...facing a wall. I started talking to the woman who worked there and telling her my main concerns and questions. I would say she was helpful but not very friendly or compassionate to my anxiety over leaving Avelyn there. The facility smelled a little bit but we left thinking it was okay.

The next morning I got all excited to work out. I got up with the baby, made my coffee, pumped, dressed for the gym and told B he was on duty. I was going to work out..or so I thought. When I walked in that day, the girl at the desk was less than friendly to say the least. I told her I wanted to sign up for a membership. She then told me that I couldn't sign up for a membership because no managers were there to approve me. I asked if I could get a guest pass to work out until 9 am when the managers were due to arrive. She told me that since I got a guest pass the day before I couldn't get another one. I told her that the pass I received was only to look inside childcare and that I didn't use the facility. I offered to sign up online for the 7 day VIP pass, but again, I had to be approved by a manager who wasn't there. Anyway, this went back and forth for about 5 mins. I finally left.. pretty peeved. A member there who saw part of the exchange approached me in the parking lot and offered to give me a day pass under her membership..but at that point I was so over Gold's Gym.

Yesterday, B and I decided to take a tour of the YMCA to see if it was a better fit. We went to childcare first and I was happy with their set up. They had separate rooms for the different ages of kids. The childcare worker in the infants room was very hands on. She was in the infant area when we got there but a child started crying across the room and she immediately went and picked him up. That right there made me feel so much better. The facility was also SO clean! It is an older facility than Gold's but you wouldn't be able to tell. They keep up with it. I spoke with a woman at the front desk who gave me all sorts of information about their programs and membership. She gave me the membership form to take home and bring back the next day.

I went back this morning, turned in the paperwork and got my photo ID. I asked for a tour of the facility and the employee was so nice and friendly. She showed us around the grounds and gave us a lot of information about each room and its use etc. This place is amazing! The indoor swimming area alone had 4 pools (a lap pool, a warm water therapy pool, and kiddie pool and a hot tub). There were lifeguards at each pool. The outdoor water park was also a huge bonus as well as the splash pad. They have a brand new cardio cinema room as well as a brand new group exercise room. The gym part was so clean with plenty of open machines and no "grunters". I could seriously go on and on! B and I were thoroughly impressed and I am excited to start working out there.

A bonus of the Y is that they have free family fun nights where they babysit and you and your spouse can get away for date or dinner! They also have so many programs that Avelyn could do. I am going to sign her up for swim lessons in the fall. 

I hope this is helpful to anyone trying to decide between these two facilities. Of course, this is just my experience. :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Me: 6 Months Post Baby


I thought I would do a 6 month update on my post-baby bump. I never feel like I am losing any weight or that my body looks different. However, after seeing these side-by-sides I can definitely see some progress.



Here are the numbers:

Day of Delivery          1 Month PP          3 Month PP          6 Month PP

160 lbs                          135 lbs                  130 lbs                   125 lbs

I still have 10 lbs to go to reach pre-pregnancy weight and another 5 after that to be at my goal. It's funny because I have felt like the scale hasn't been going anywhere..but clearly it has...just s..l..o..w..l..y..

Every single body is different. I know you hear people say that a lot but it's very evident after you have a baby. Some people only gain 20 lbs, some 30, some 45 like me! What I have learned is to not beat myself up over it anymore. Could I have eaten less while being pregnant? Probably..but it's not like I went to a buffet everyday. For the most part, I ate healthy and until I was full. That is how I have always eaten. I felt like the most important thing to do was to listen to my body during that time. I didn't want my worry over gaining weight to jeopardize that little baby.

Looking back now I can see that it would have been okay to not have seconds or whatever. But as a first time mom, I was so freaked out the whole time I was pregnant. When it comes time for the second go around, I might make different choices. I feel more confident that my body knows what it's doing.

The point is that the scale doesn't determine what kind of mother you are. For a while, I really felt like a failure for having gained so much weight. When it didn't all just magically disappear after the baby I felt even worse. Even though the weight is coming off, it is coming off the healthy way. I haven't dieted. In fact, I still just eat healthy and until I am full.

As far as exercise. I found it easy to go for long walks with Avelyn before it got too hot. Now it is just ridiculously hot here and there is no way I am making her sit in the stroller for that. That's why I am considering joining Gold's again. In fact, I am going there today with my husband to take a tour of the childcare and to see if we feel comfortable. :) She also is happy to sit and play by herself for a while so I won't feel guilty for leaving her in another room.

That's it for the update. I will keep posting my eating clean recipes and updates!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"MaMa B" - Night 1

Last night was our first night having B wake up with Avelyn instead of me. Oh glorious sleep! I slept from 11:30 pm until 4:30 am! Straight through! When B woke me up to feed her at 4:30, it already felt like I had been sleeping for days. Avelyn went back to sleep after her feeding and I woke up before her for only the 2nd time ever. In fact, it's 8 am and she is still sleeping!!



I had so much energy from all that sleep that I almost didn't need to make myself some coffee...almost.


I luxuriously read the Word while pumping this morning. :) What a glorious way to start the day!


How was "MaMa B's" night you ask? hehe. Apparently, he didn't sleep at all until 4:30 am. He said she woke up every 20 mins...sounds about right for a "bad" night. A "good" night means it was only 2-3 times total.

I think they had a rough time for a combination of reasons. First off, he was going in there when she made any noise. I let her make her little grunts and groans without intervening and I only go in there when she starts yelling to me. He isn't used to all her little sounds just yet. He also isn't used to seeing her sleep on her tummy so he went in there to flip her over another time. And to change her diaper another time.  :)

I have to hand it to him...he did a FANTASTIC job!!! What a stud!!! I am so blessed to have a husband willing to do that for me!

Watching them both sleeping this morning..I feel a little sorry for them both. My "MaMa Guilt" tried to kick in...but, if this means that in the future none of us will have to get up...it's so worth it!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

6 Month Well-Check

Avelyn and I went to the Dr. today for her 6 month well-check.

Here are her current stats:

Length: 26.25 (57%)
Weight: 16 lbs (43%)


I think her length is actually a bit longer because the medical assistant who measured her did it at a diagonal. Anyway, it's close enough. :)

Dr. B gave her a thorough exam and talked with me about what she is eating. He approved of everything I was doing but wrote down the "standard" order of foods in case I had any questions. This is what he wrote for any of you mamas who want it:

  • 6 months- 2 cereals
  • 6.5 months- add 2 green vegetables
  • 7 months- add 2 orange vegetables
  • 7.5 months- add 2 fruits
  • 8 months- add 2 meats
  • 8.5 months- eat everything


He also talked to me about her sleep. He said it was pretty common for breastfed babies to wake up alot at night if the mom is the one who goes in the room. He said that the only way to get to to stop waking up like that (if I wouldn't do the cry-it-out) was to have my husband go into the room instead of me. I told him that there was no way my hubby would believe that was the dr.'s orders ...so he wrote it down for me, "Mom not out of bed". haha! I think he might be onto something though because last time B went in there instead of me, she only woke up 1x the following nightr. Since B comes home tonight, what better time to try it out? The Dr. said it can take up to 4 days. I will definitely update if this is a success!

I had been dreading the shots all week. Avelyn almost never cries and every time she has gotten shots she screams. It is heart wrenching to say the least. I always cry with her and we go into a private room to nurse. Well this girl was a total champ today. She did cry.. but it was less than 5 seconds total! I was so relieved!! What a wonderful little gift!

I did inform the Dr. about Avelyn's right eye still having a plugged tear duct. It has been that way since birth. Actually both eyes were plugged at birth but her left eye unclogged after a few weeks. I have tried everything. At her 4 day checkup I was told to massage it a few times a day. I had been doing that. I also have tried putting some breastmilk in there as well as a warm washcloth with the massage. Nothing has worked and every morning she wakes up with boogies stuck all over her eyelashes. Some days they are so bad she can't even open that eye. Up until now, I put a few drops of breastmilk to dissolve it and then wiped it with a warm washcloth. Well, Dr. B said that 6 months was his limit for plugged tear ducts and he is sending us to a specialist.

When he first told me about the specialist he said that usually they will do a probe and the baby will need to be put to sleep. I think my heart stopped when he said that. How scary to have my 6 month old baby put under general anesthesia. I told myself right then that I would go to the initial appt but would do plenty of research and possibly delay the probe until she was a year old. Well after calling the Pediatric Opthamologist office, I found out that they can do it same-day and topical numbing is all they need. *big sigh of relief*

Our appointment is next Thursday and I am sure I will still be nervous but we have to do what is best for her. If we put it off until she is over 14 months old, she will need to be put to sleep. I do not want that!

Overall it was a good check up. I am happy she is done with shots until her 1 year!! I'm sure she is happy about that too!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Orzo Pasta Salad

When summertime rolls around, I don't know about you but I crave pasta salad! Not even just pasta salad..tuna salad..chicken salad..potato salad. Mmmm.

I've also been trying to incorporate more raw veggies into my meals. Something about your baby starting solids really makes you focus on what you are putting in your belly.

So today I combined them to create this delicious concoction. You're welcome!

Orzo Pasta Salad


1/2 c cooked orzo pasta
1/2 c broccoli
1/2 small avocado
1/4 c shredded carrots
6 cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp Olive Oil Mayo
and the secret ingredient......Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (I put this on EVERYTHING!!)

Mix the Orzo with the avocado, mayo, spices and chili sauce first so that you don't mash up your vegetables. I just threw the veggies on top! 

:) Enjoy!



Saturday, July 6, 2013

Eating Clean Week 3

You may have noticed I skipped week 2. I was at the beach with my in-laws this week and let's just say it was a bust.

Happily, I only gained 1 lb on that trip so I'm not too upset about it.

Now that I've been home almost a full week let's recap. I have been eating great since being home. I actually missed eating this way while I was away. My number 1 staple has to be rice cakes. If I am hungry and I want to feel like I am eating alot without ingesting all those calories..this is where I go! I even put almond butter and raspberries on them for a sweet treat. At only 30 calories per "cake" it's a steal! yummy..seriously..try it!

So right before the beach I weighed myself and I was down 2 lbs already since starting this journey. I weighed 125. Now that I've been home for a week I reweighed and I am 126. I know it's not the direction I wanted to go but I am relieved the damage wasn't worse!

I haven't started a real fitness routine yet. I am waiting for my hubby to get home next week so I can join Gold's Gym again. Avelyn has gotten to an age where she likes to play by herself for 30 mins or so. I am going to try to put her in the gym daycare sometime when B is home. I am so scared of this! For the first time, I will probably just do 30 mins and see how she does. I will also probably have B watching her through the glass the entire time.

My decision to rejoin the gym was made by the fact that I need some "me" time. Even if it's just an hour a day. With B gone for weeks at a time, I can get pretty worn down.
When I exercised regularly, I had so much more energy and was able to get so much more done! My moods were also better. I don't want to be selfish though so if Avelyn cries in the nursery, I won't put her in it. My fingers are crossed!! I will let you know how we do!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

6 Months

Half a year?! Already? Oh my goodness.




I would definitely say that this past month has shown the most visible growth and changes. Now it just seems to be happening so fast! Too fast!

Here are some new things she has done in the past month:

- Kissed Momma for the 1st time! (Both hands, open mouth, wonderful slobbery kiss!)
- Went to the splash pad
- Started going to Storytime at the library
- Went swimming with Emma (you loved this!)
- Mouthed "mama" when I tell you to say it, but no sound yet
- LOVE your Jumparoo
- Roll and scooch to explore the whole house! It's amazing how fast she moves!
- You can move to what you want, pick it up and play with it
- Pick up and drink from your sippy cup