January 31, 2012

Week 7.2: Blueberry Baby

Still 7 weeks pregnant.
Still have a blueberry-sized baby.

Sick a dog. Can’t enjoy free time. Nausea. Extreme, intense. Always have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Insanity.  Thirsty always. Makes nausea go away a little – but also makes me nauseous just thinking about drinking it. Beans sound awful, but taste good. All I want is French bread and saltine crackers. Haven’t had either, yet. Cooking is hard. Makes me super sad – since the kitchen was always my favorite place in the house. I HATE the kitchen now. Wish this baby could be fine off French bread and PB&J sammies on fluffy white bread. If only. I’m thinking of hiding broccoli in spaghetti sauce, carrots in muffins and greens in smoothies. If only I could hide the beans somewhere? Sick as a dog.

•    I can handle fats like nuts, seeds and avocado
•    I crave carbs because they sound so good on my sensitive tummy
•    I sip water (ice!) like nobody’s business – but when crazy nausea hits, I don’t want anything to do with water. This gives me dry mouth and makes me feel sicker I’ve learned. Poo!
•    Icky bowels still live strong, it makes “morning sickness” much worse – so foul!
•    I’ve been eating black beans for dinner and a lot of raw onion. Both have brought doom into my life. Horrible, awful, gut-wrenching gas and bloating and a nasty after taste (and onion burps) that threatens to stick with me forever. But I need IRON! BEANS!
•    Workouts have changed so much. Bodyrock.tv is a thing of the pre-pregnancy past. I ran at 5 weeks in Mexico (2 weeks ago) but haven’t had the chance to run since. I hope to go back to 3x/week on my feet. I love walking outside and the 77 stairs inside my job-killer! I’ve been concentrating on low-impact weight-lifting, lunges, squats, kettlebell and today: Brazilian dance on On Demand TV through Comcast! I’m shooting for maintenance here – not new muscles or 8-pack abs.
•    Fruit sounds SO much better than vegetables! I’ve skipped carrots twice this week and opted for apples, kiwi, oranges and bananas. Snacks consist of Mary’s Sesame Crackers, coconut granola bites, spinach smoothies with coconut oil and hemp seeds, a piece of rosemary wheat bread, and raisins with almonds. Breakfast is oatmeal, carbs, carbs, carbs. And dinner almost never sounds good but has tasted lovely each time (lentil curry soup, beans, French fries….)
•    I’m emotional. I want to cry and yell often. Nausea makes me grumpy in general – I want to love food again!
•    Weird side ache (sharp pain) yesterday – and pinchy, sharp pains in tummy today. Some 3 hours later: just a crazy bathroom break.

The end!

January 30, 2012

Week 7: Blueberry Baby

Week 7
Baby is the size of a blueberry!

where the baby at, yo?!
Week 7 will be in bulletins, if that’s okay with you.

•    Baby makes it hard to cook dinner. Foods and meals that I love make me sick to my stomach
•    I have to space my meals apart throughout the work day based on my appetite (which is usually non-existent)
•    I’m able to exercise in the AM. Only different is that I’m scared to sweat too much/push too hard since I’m not sure if it will hurt the baby.
•    Baby makes my muscles ache even after low-intensity exercise
•    Baby made me think I could eat non-stop all day… but this makes my body tired, sluggish, and bloated (woohoo!)
•    Baby likes carbs (oats) in the morning, spinach cocoa smoothie at about 10am and fruit/2 bites of lunch at noon, then a little “lunch” until 5am. I’ve had black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo and tortilla/bread every evening for 3 days. Enjoy it so much so!!
•    Sensitive *boobies* in the shower for the past 2 days! This is beand new- I thought it was mooost definitely a myth from crazy pregnant people. But no, it seems to be very real.
•    Baby doesn’t like the thought, sight or smell of many foods, but usually mommy can eat them and baby does okay.
•    CRAVINGS: grilled cheese, XXX Root Beer Burgers (the ones that are the size of a basketball), Subway, bread, pickles, veggies in baguette, cheerios and other bland cereals, as well as toast. But the only one I actually gave into is pickles. But for just two of these tiny pickles it’s already 250mg sodium! Oh to make my own pickles. Anyhow…

lentil burgers, beans, frozen veggies cooked in ye' microwave, salad from work
a million MG of sodium seitan loaf from a co-worker. I definitely squeezed the fella under ice water before cooking, not worth 500mg sodium/serving, my friends!
roasted veg, salad, unsweetened ketchup babes
I cooked mole verde from scratch! So happy! Hubby ate it with chicken, I ate it like soup with tortillas. Aaand yes, that's Mexican rice, too. I felt like a gem that night.
I wish I were 8 months pregnant and looked as lovely as her, and that lifting 5lb weights was more of a challenge. But I'm taking this one day at a time, it makes me nervous to push too hard!

the end!

January 22, 2012

Week 6.5: Sweet Pea Baby

6 weeks pregnant.
baby is the size of a sweet pea (still, since I blogged yesterday, crazy woman!).

Today baby let me eat KALE! Thank you, baby! Although, I did have to stop myself from gagging upon taking the first bites. Silly baby.

•    Sweet tooth baby: giant chocolate smoothie, then spoonfuls of uncooked coconut granols cookie batter. Then a stomach ache. Worth it!
•    Queasy baby: very distracting during church, Costco trips, drive to Costco, drive home
•    Mexican baby: wanted NEEDED black beans, pico de gallo and homemade corn tortilla chips for lunch immediately upon arriving from Costco.
•    Full baby: then I was incapable of moving because I was so full and the Serrano chili pepper set my mouth on fire, making me feel thirsty, but unable to quench my thirst because of the “I’m too full to move” issue.
•    Cookie baby: the “too full” thing magically left my mind during the coconut granola cookies’ photo shoot. I ate one. Delicious.
•    Chef baby: I was able to cook for 8,000 hours in one night
•    Ice, Ice, Baby: I was very nauseated all day, but found that sipping cold water took it away. Then I recalled hearing about woman and crazy pregnancy cravings and one of those being ice chewers so I filled my smoothie jar (34oz) with large ice cubes and sucked on them during my “chef baby” cooking afternoon. And it was delicious! Not only that, but after about an hour, the nausea vanished! Praise GOD!
•    YES BABY: happy baby then let me cook 1 loaf of sandwich bread, 1 loaf of rosemary bread, 2 pizza doughs, everything else, watch Lord of the rings. 8:14 I want to sleep so bad!

Thank you, ice miracle.


The end!

January 21, 2012

Week 6: Sweet Pea Baby

6 weeks pregnant.
baby is the size of a sweet pea!
aaand Washington is getting boat loads of ice and snow! Yay, joy.
•    Sweat during super-easy leg workout today, 1,000 water breaks were needed
•    Tummy only handles greens if they’re blended in smoothies
•    Bread and cheerios sound delicious
•    Cashew ranch = turns off today, yet fantastic yesterday (what the beans?!)
•    Ice water helps with icky stomach sensations
•    Trying to mix beans one meal, nuts at 2nd meal for protein
•    Wondering about too many vitamins (or too much of a certain vitamin/mineral) with the food I consume and the supplements – issue?
•    Icky bowls x800 in AM and PM only. None during the day
•    Too much salt in beans = craaazy thirsty mama
•    Baby hates being hungry, forces mommy to feel overwhelmingly nauseated
•    Baby hates chili, broccoli and greens. Mom is sad
•    Baby gets made while grocery shopping. Mommy doesn’t think anything looks edible in the grocery store, except for French bread.
•    Baby doesn’t like being too full. So mommy tries to eat like a mouse. This doesn’t go well, mommy continues to eat like a medium-sized cow.
•    Baby hates the smell of beans, broccoli, cashew ranch and EVERYTHING!

Le sigh...

I did get to eat THESE, though:
Chocolate, coconut green smoothies with banana, coconut oil, flax, unsweetened cocoa powder, blueberries, oats, rice milk.
molletes! french bread, mashed black beans, avocado and pico de gallo.

January 15, 2012

Week 5: Appleseed Baby

I waited for my basal temp to be high for 18 days before taking the first pregnancy test. We were in Mexico visiting Edu’s parents, and I had a feeling I was pregnant – based on my temp alone. I didn’t have any symptoms, except for sleepiness. I blamed the fatigue on the high elevation in Mexico City. I also broke out like crazy and found my face covered in acne like a teenager. I felt like 92-year-old tired woman and a 13-year-old struggling with acne. Anyhow, Thursday, January 12th I took my first pregnancy test at 3:30AM during my first morning pee. The $12 test told me to wait 3 minutes for the results  - and the 2 lines confirming pregnancy appeared in less than 3 seconds. We're pregnant!

Waiting on the baby bump, of course!
Once the family heard the news, we found ourselves with these adorable gifts! Yes, we got tears in our eyes.

  •  Sleeping at 8:00PM seems like a GREAT IDEA 
  •  Digestive discomfort (gas and..the other thing.. for 10 days straight) 
  •   Tummy shrunk, can only eat small portions
  • Exercised easy at first, then it got more difficult within 5 days
  • Lettuce, greens, make me nauseated 
  •  Ice cold water & bananas take away nausea
  • A few light headaches and dizziness\
  •  Depression, anxiety
  • Sensitive and sad
  • Unexplained laziness, man!
5 weeks pregnant!
BABY is the size of an appleseed (based on my ultrasound taken at week 9). How sweet!

January 13, 2012

The First Pregnancy Post!

January 9, 2012, I was in Mexico City, Mexico, with my husband and his lovely family. I had recently bought a new notebook for note-taking on nutrition and workouts, and I had started to research Vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables. Listed was the name of the vitamin or mineral, where they are found in foods and what they do for the body. I was trying to absorb every bit of it, talking to my mami (“in-law”, which I nevah call her, ‘cause she’s my mom, yo!)  in the living room while I inhaled the internet’s words. 

edu, me, papa, mami, Carlos (Edu's brother)

My faaavorite meal in Mexico! Beans in their own broth, roasted cactus with veg = tacos!

family picture on our last day!

breakfast, breakfast, freshly made carrot/orange juice, loads of fruit, pecans, raisins
running a steady 10K with Pablo, Edu's brother, sans pregnancy symptoms wahoo!

Two days later, on January 12, 2012, I started to research what my body and the new, wonderful, slightly surprising, growing-baby in my body needs during pregnancy. Edu and I found out we are expecting our first wee-baby some 9 months later, and it was time to crack down on this food business and make sure I wouldn’t lack in any of them good nutrients for baby! Forget mommy, girls, it immediately turns into all about baby… and my every intent was to continue full throttle on the whole-foods plant-based vegan diet. ‘cause fellas, if I can get vegetables into baby now, I have to take advantage of it. Who knows? They may never eat broccoli again once they meet the world. 

What I learned from Google searching:
needs to increase from 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight. Calculate your protein needs by: dividing your body weight into pound by 2.2, giving you your body weight in kg. Multiply your weight by 1.1. this tells you how many grams of protein a day you need (side note: I didn’t actually do this calculation business. I just kept in mind: more protein!)
Good sources of plant protein: vegetables, dark leafy greens especially, legumes, grains, nuts/seeds.
Pay close attention to these nutrients during your pregnancy: iron, protein, calcium, folic acid and B12. And add about 200-300 extra calories a day for a singleton and 500 for twins (holy macaroni! I thought a friend had told me that the 150 extra cals from a glass o’ milk and a PB&J Sammie was all we needed once pregnant?!)
YOUR IRON needs to approximately double because of increased blood volume and the iron needs of the developing fetus. Iron needs during pregnancy increase between 32mg and 49mg a day! Good eats are: legumes, beans, peas, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, seeds. Include Vitamin C: fruits and veggies, which help improve iron absorption. Dairy, tea and coffee can interfere with iron absorption – watch out!
YOUR CALCIUM needs are about the same before and during pregnancy, at least 1000mg/day. Eats: dark leafy greens, seaweeds, nuts and dried fruit! Many foods contain at least some calcium, so plenty of whole foods will contribute to your overall calcium intake.
FOLIC ACID is essentials – deficiency leads to neural tube defects. Vitamin B12 is also necessary for cell replication. Vegan diets tend to be higher in folate than non-veg diets. Still take a prenatal! Eat: asparagus, lentils, hazelnuts, broccoli, barley, beans, walnuts, dark leafy greens, brussel sprouts. 400mcg/day.
YOUR B12 needs are very important, occurs naturally in animal-derived sources. It’s stored in the body; but material sources of B12 do not cross the placenta – so consume mucho B12! Find yourself a daily supplement. Eats: B12 fortified nutritional yeast.

FIRST TRIMESTER: the fetus is about 4 inches long after 3 months, weighing about 1oz, all functions begin to form – organs and nervous system: heartbeat, arms, fingers, legs, toes, hair and teeth buds. Eat about 300 extra calories/day for baby and mommy. About 3-4 pounds weight gain during first trimester. This period is where you can’t necessarily see that you’re pregnant but it is when you feel the most changes (lame! Give me a baby bump, I’m impatient!). *then I read about morning sickness, tender breasts, increased urination, fatigue, food aversions/cravings, dizziness , heartburn and constipation, your mood/emotions, and making an appt with your doctor* hooray! 

Onto the …. PREGNANCY MEAL PLAN! Oh shoot, why did I do this part? Way to set yourself up for first-trimester failure, Nicole. Onto what I wrote…

[AM drink]

2 bananas
4 strawberries
1/3 cup grain
15 almonds
2 TB chia seeds
1 handful parsley
1 date
carrots, cucumber, kiwi, walnuts, raisins, pear, sunflower seeds

grain, bean or legume, veggies
[PM drink]
orange, lemon, kale, apple, ginger, celery

bean, veg, grain

And I decided to calculate all of their nutrients, more or less, based on meals I eat often, hoping to see good numbers at the end of the table (calories, protein, fiber, iron, folic acid, calcium and fat). I am pleased to say I hit a hiiigh amount of calories (what whaaat need my calories, baby!) and protein, and fiber, and everything. But, that was just on a every-morsel-of-food-I-ate-on-my-imaginary-day-in-my-head. 

Dear baby,
Are you getting all the nutrients you really need? Let me know.

Onto… EXERCISE! Regular exercisers can continue their routine based on how they feel throughout pregnancy. No jumping during first months. Keep it around 30 minutes long. Drink a lot of water and don’t let your body overheat. Listen to your body! *insert drawings of very pregnant women doing good-for-ya stretches*

Then there was the mistake of looking at changing my exercise routine since I had a baby in me. This was a big, big mistake. I should have, wish I had, continued by regimen daily, changing it depending on how my body felt. But no, I had to read the following rules and things went downhill (but more details on that another  day):

EXERCISE & PREGNANCY (brought to you by Google): Great for staying fit during pregnancy, benefits during childbirth. GOALS should be maintenance, not dramatic gains. Look for a basic program that focuses on major muscle groups. Maybe enlist personal trainers that have experience with pregnant women and exercise. 
* check with your doctor to make sure it’s okay for you to continue at current pace while pregnant.
* Lighter weights and more reps. Your joints are already loosened by increased levels of the hormone relaxin during pregnancy, so avoid overloading them! Instead of leg press with 30lbs for 8-12 reps, do 15lbs for 15-20 reps.
*don’t do the “valsalva” maneuver – exhaling completely without actually releasing air. It can result in rapid increase in blood pressure and intra-abdominal pressure which decreased oxygen to the baby.
*NO WALKING LUNGES. Risks injury to connective tissue in pelvic area.
*WATCH WEIGHTS that they don’t fall on abdomen. Resistance bands are better/safer than free weights.
*DON’T LIFT WHILE FLAT ON YOUR BACK after the first trimester, which puts pressure on the major vein: vena cava – which diminishes blood flow to brain and uterus. Tilt bench to incline for weight lifting.
*LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you feel muscle strain or extreme fatigue, modify the move.
walking lunges are fine if you already do them regularly
*don’t start a brand new routine, continue what you already know
*3x/week strength training
*3x/week running, jogging, or walking
*seated row with band
*shoulder lateral raisies
*plie squat with chair
*insert drawing on Baby Bells workout below!

Whew. That's enough for post #1 on this baby-in-my-tummy. 

January 7, 2012

Guayaba and Papaya

"Keep your eyes on Jesus. Focus on your Savior when life throws obstacles at you, and He will gently guide you step by step on His path for you. Make God your primary awareness, trus Him to get you through any rough patches. His presence enables you to face each day with confidence." Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Blessed be GOD, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them, which are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

We are in Mexico City, Mexico. The morning was breezy and cold, the sun hasn't stopped shining strong and warm since around 10 o' clock, and I just ate grilled cactus, while everyone else dove into chicken enchiladas.

It has only been 24 hours since we arrived here, and I am so thankful for all God has done! We were greeted by 20+ cousins, aunts and uncles, and a delicious bowl (or two) of pozole with a vibrant plate of greens, packed with slivered almonds, sprouts, all 3 colors of bell peppers, and a jamaica dressing. Bedtime was 12:00am, wake up time naturally happened at 7:30am, and we went for a run at 9:00am.
Elevation is very high here (more than 8,000 feet!) which makes running a little less than easy, even for the lovers of the sport. So, needless to say, I didn't attempt or plan on attempting to break any personal records. Nor did I decide to run a specific distance or for a certain time - I just wanted to jog 'till I couldn't jog (or breathe) no more! And that's what I, we, all did. We just moved - and it was wonderful! The heat started to make itself more apparent, and I quickly realized that catching up on the latest nutrition/running news with my brother-in-law wasn't the best idea. Breathing became less effortless around kilometer 3, so I simply snuck in a few sentences whenever I felt the desire to, then quickly shut my mouth and focused on everything but the hard-to-breathe-want-to-quit voice in my head.

10 kilometers, 6.2 miles, 59 minutes and 17 seconds. "What time do you usually do?" my bro asked me, to which I smiled at responded, "between 53 (PR) and 57 minutes". And I didn't mind a bit. I may have been record-breaking speedy 7 days ago, but today was twice as enjoyable. I mean, I'm running in MEXICO! This cannot be compared with Green Lake, although beautiful, peaceful and splendid, it truly can't. Mexico is too wonderful to have a man-made lake take its place in my heart, too dang wonderful.

Then the satisfaction of the fruit-addiction deep down inside of me was fed, fed real good. My mami's classic juice was blended for everyone to share: pineapple, apple and parsley. With that was a plate of papaya, which was only my seeeccooond time tasting the rich fruit - last time being 2 years ago in Mexico at a small restaurant and it tasted like stinky something or other which I thought was its normal taste only to be told it had gone bad after I gave it two chances to become friends with my taste buds - also a guayaba, a sweet, yellow-fleshed fruit with small crunchy seeds inside that are fully edible and only add to the guayaba experience, a handful of green grapes, aaand freshly squeezed orange juice from the juicing neighbor only two houses from us.

And then I realized, with a belly full of wonderful vitamins and minerals, that God has truly blessed me. This family is so loving, so willing to make sacrifice after sacrifice for their children, so open and welcoming to their daughter of three years, and I'm so thankful. That, and, having so many colorful fruits and vegetables in season year-round is mightly fantastic! It is as if you all time favorite Farmers Market were open all. year. round. It is a dream!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Cris, Pablo, Edu and myself right before movie night!