Pregnancy (Update up to current week 18)


Like most everyone else, the first week of January (which I consider to be this past week, starting the 5th) has been about recovering from the holidays.  My husband and I took a nice 2 week vacation that extended to the weekend after Jan. 2, 2015.  This week has been about getting back on track, setting up priorities and goals, administrative work, financial work, grocery budgets, prepping for my classes to start, cleaning, etc.  Of course, this week is also the week that I’m starting to feel more of the ‘pregnancy’ than I have been.  Here’s a fast-forward update on what’s happened for the past 18 weeks.

Week 17_Pregnancy
Image: Picture taken January 1, 2015 (day 4/week 16)

First trimester: Aside from the initial body response from what I’m guessing is the mark of ‘conception’ ranging from intense stomach pains, light-headed vertigo, and some feelings of nausea which occurred on week 5/6 of being pregnant for about 3 days.  I have been feeling pretty good!  Considering the horror stories that I’ve heard from other people of morning sickness, headaches, exhaustion, weaknesses, etc.  I did experience some feelings of being tired at the beginning of week 7, where I literally felt like picking a pen up felt like a 10lb. weight.  However, I started to drink ginger Kombucha and I felt SO much better.  My energy returned and I didn’t feel nauseas from that point on.  Any feeling of nausea and I either had half a bottle of Kombucha, drank some ginger tea, or ate some candied ginger.  After week 12, I didn’t rely on the Kombucha as much, which is nice considering I felt like I needed at least 1/2 a bottle every day which can add up $$ at $3-$4/bottle.  Ahh, the price you pay to feel normal. 🙂 I had cravings throughout the trimester too. Here’s a quick summary of the cravings I experienced up to this point: [week18, week 19 starts Monday 1.12.2015]

  • Week 1-6 I don’t recollect many cravings as I didn’t know I was pregnant or that I even COULD get pregnant. (more on that in another post -future, see PCOS.)  However, I do remember at the end of week 6 wanting sweets, especially cookies.  Which helped me in making a healthy chocolate chip cookie and ‘mock-oatmeal’ raisin cookie.  Not only were they absolutely delicious they were really healthy to eat!  And no they weren’t made of kale and spinach!  Although, that might be interesting to try one day…or not.
  • Week 7-12 I craved sweets and rice, my husband enjoyed the rice part especially since it is on our ‘X’ list of foods we do not eat.  The sweets cravings really helped me expand my dessert recipes section of the cookbook and I really made a wide variety of sweets.  The most baking I’ve done in my life-EVER!  The rice I made was of course fantastic and yet very simple.  Jasmine rice, lime, coconut oil, and cilantro with some mineral salt.  Seriously, that’s all you need for some damn delicious rice.  This is pretty much all I wanted to eat, which is incredibly abnormal for me.  Especially since rice comes in all different forms like rice noodles *ahem* Phad Thai.  But, no… I only wanted rice.  The baby is already picky about food! 😉
  • Week 12-14 I craved the hottest peppers and everything had to be spicy.  I’m not talking some cayenne or smoked chipotle here and there. I’m talking burn my mouth it’s on fire, help I have hiccups and I’m worried about using the bathroom later tonight.  It was really weird to have this extreme ‘heat’ craving and practically feel helpless to it!?  I remember saying to my husband at one point “Holy shit this food is really burning my mouth but I can’t get enough of it!  MORE!”  We couldn’t stop laughing.. and I couldn’t stop hiccupping.
  • Week 14-16 I craved goat cheese and sheep’s milk cheese.  I don’t really think it’s fair to narrow it down to those two things in particular considering this time is around the holidays and also my cravings went from one day to the next.  One day I wanted dairy free gelato, the next I wanted a gluten-free bagel with goat cheese and lox.  It really was a rollercoaster of cravings.  Not to mention I was making vegan cheesecakes and all kinds of holiday treats, food choices were abundant!  However, there was a reoccurring theme which brings me to the two I narrowed down.  We don’t eat cow’s milk because of the horrible reaction both my husband and I have.  However, the more research I read about digestive health, cancer research, and homeostasis the more I’m starting to believe it’s better to stay away from cow’s milk anyway; with the exception of organic butter which I haven’t introduced into my diet yet and don’t know if I ever will.
    [more on that in a future post.]
  • Week 17 You may not believe this, but I crave really healthy food.  I want fresh pressed juice, salads, delicious vegetables, fruits, etc.  If I had a choice between a gluten-free vegan chocolate cupcake and a glass of cold fresh pressed vegetable/fruit juice, hands down I’d choose the juice.  Which is good, because it means I’m returning back to normal.  I love the taste of fresh vegetables and fruit which is why I’m always looking for grape tomatoes and opal apples (my new favorite apple of the season).  That’s not to say that normal means I’d turn down a great cupcake, if it’s made properly without the substitutes and crappy ingredients.. oh hell yes I’d eat it.  However, I’ve noticed that during the first trimester and part of the second, even though I wouldn’t agree with 50% of the ingredients used (like soy protein isolate, etc.) I didn’t care.  If I wanted/craved it as long as it was dairy-free and gluten-free I was eating it! 🙂

Which brings me to the current week:
Week 18 It is Monday so it’s the first part of the week.  Still the same as last week so far, fairly no cravings except the goat/sheep cheese desire which hasn’t subsided so now it’s almost part of my regular diet.  Unfortunately, my husband can’t enjoy the deliciousness of goat cheese so I have to eat all of it myself -oh darn *snaps fingers*. Last week I noticed that not only was I only craving healthy foods, I really wasn’t that much hungry.  So, I’ve been playing around with different types of ‘gluten-free’ breads so I can at least get some whole grains and calories in a little bit easier.  This will inevitably force me to make my own. Here’s a picture of what I’m eating for lunch today. (I try and eat these breads when my husband is away until I can overcome the challenge-mentioned below.) Tomato Egg Sandwich This quick and easy lunch monster is an organic gluten free 7-grain bread (toasted) with a pasture raised egg (yolk runny for added nutritional value), organic nutiva ‘refined’ coconut oil (spread on the bread after I baked it), a nice thick sliced organic beef tomato, organic red swiss chard and some organic goat cheese.  Sided with some organic cherry tomatoes, NOM NOM!  Sometimes the classic sandwich really is the best way to go.  Delicious and nutritious- is there anything better than that?!  Oh in the background is an carbonated Italian sparking mineral water.

  • Mineral Water vs. Kombucha Tea: I found that bubbles in mineral water help settle the stomach and the price per ounce is far less than the Kombucha Tea.  Though, I usually buy the mineral water if the Gingerade or Trilogy Kombucha is out of stock or if I know I’m going to down a whole bottle in one day. The mineral water slows me down and I usually only drink about 2-4 ounces at any given time.  However, Kombucha is a lot healthier because of the probiotics and the ‘bubble/fizz’ in this drink is natural from fermentation instead of ‘added carbonation which also makes it better for your bones than carbonated drinks.  When you think about how healthy Kombucha Tea is, the price is way more justifiable-especially if it’s on sale for $3/bottle vs. $4/bottle.  Right now I’m in the process of making my own Kombucha Tea.  Of course I’ll keep you updated on how that goes, if all goes well I’ll be saving a ton of money on making my own Kombucha.  Woohoo! I’m very excited about that adventure.  I can see that 2015 is going to be the ‘make your own’ for pretty much everything year.  I’ll be able to blog about so much and I know it will extend into the baby adventure too, since I plan on making my own baby food when I start introducing food to the baby while breast feeding.  Don’t know what Kombucha tea is?  Read about it here.

Back to the bread, yesterday I bought a bread pan and now I’m going to start playing around with different types of bread recipes until I create one I really love.  I’ll most likely use egg, then I’ll try and make a recipe for bread that doesn’t have egg in it.  I’ll also try to make the recipe without yeast which I know is going to be a challenge but it’s worth the challenge because my husband can’t eat eggs or yeast.  I consider myself a very considerate and good wife to him, his intolerances force me to get really creative. Back to the pregnancy!  Aside from the cravings I’m doing pretty good.  Last week, my energy was at an all-time low.  I had to take a nap 2 hours after I woke up.  My naps had to be about 1-2 hours and it was slow moving.  This week is much better and I’m able to get right to work after the morning ritual. My morning ritual goes like this:

  1. Sunrise alarm goes off at about 5:30-6:30 depending on when we got to bed the night before.  This is an awesome alarm and I highly recommend getting one of these!  It beats the ol’ loud obnoxious beeping sound that makes you feel like you’re under attack no doubt wreaking havoc on your sympathetic nervous system with the ‘fight-or-flight’ hormone stressors.  It is way more expensive than your standard generic alarm but believe me it’s worth it’s weight in gold!  We’ve had this for over 2 years and it’s still working perfectly.  In fact, most of the time we wake up when it’s completely dark outside so it really does help biologically with the dawn to sunrise light stimulation.  Yes, it really works.  For those of you who like to have sound, you have 4 sound options to choose from, though no loud sirens or bells tolling-if you’re into that.
  2. After some cute snuggling with my husband, I lay in bed and meditate for about 10 minutes.  Most of the time I’m just trying to stay warm, sometimes I’m wishing that the alarm didn’t go of yet, and the goal is to relax and meditate the mind and body to prepare for the day.
    NOTE: this is the goal to which one day I hope to achieve of course, with a baby on the way something tells me it may be a while. 😉
    Side Comment: Yes, I could have left this step out of my ‘morning ritual’ but it’s my blog and I enjoy this part of my morning the most.
  3. Get out of bed and head to the kitchen to drink some warm apple cider vinegar(ACV) water [1 tbsp. of ACV with 20oz. of warm filtered water] and take supplements.  Note: all of the supplements I take in the am can be taken on an empty stomach.  I like to drink the ACV to get the digestive system going and wake-up my body and I like to take the supplements to ensure that my body is properly breaking them down and absorbing them without being slowed down by digestion.
  4. We call this step the “Lymphatic System Wake-up” coined by my husband. *Big smile*  At this point we both do something physical to kick-start the heart and get our muscles working (especially in our legs) so that we can ‘milk’ the lymphatic.  If you are unfamiliar with how the lymphatic system works, keep an eye out for a future post where I explain [in detail] how it works.  For now, I’ll keep it short and sweet.
    • A quick overview of the lymphatic system: responsible for bringing the blood back to your heart via the veins which run pretty much parallel to the arteries and capillaries.  The veins ‘lymphatic system’ filter the blood, removing debris and toxins from the blood back to the heart, it does this by using the lymph nodes that are located all over the body.  The lymphatic system do not have any ‘pumps’ and rely heavily on the heart’s ‘pumping’ action and gravity to bring the heart back to the heart.  Another reason why exercise is so vital to the human body.  Not only does exercise strengthen the heart muscle and the ‘pump’, it also contracts the muscles which push up the blood through the veins aiding in the movement of blood throughout your body.  There are also a variety of things you can do to help your lymphatic system such as particular exercises using the trampoline, yoga positions, dry brushing and using the invertor table once a day (though not recommended if you are pregnant).  Want to learn a little more about the lymphatic system?  Check out this link.
    • Examples of some lympathic system workouts: At this time, my husband does a ‘sprint & jog’ workout regimen and I do a recumbent bike heart rate challenge (intervals of revving my heart rate up and down).  We both do this workout for about 15 minutes, which is a perfect amount of time to not be considered ‘time-consuming’.  Too much time = time consuming, where you can make an excuse to not do it every morning-which turns into a non-habit and eventually removes itself from your daily regimen.  I recommend starting with a time that you can absolutely, without a doubt, do every day no matter what time you wake up.  If it’s 5 minutes, make the best of those 5 minutes and work your way up to a solid 15-30 minutes.  Start by making it a part of your day, you don’t have to go from zero to hero over night.
      NOTE: Habits take time to form and once they are formed, they are really hard to quit because they become a part of your life like brushing your teeth or smoking.  Though, I don’t recommend the latter for a variety of health reasons.  Point is, you stop questioning why or why not and you just do it.  Kind of like eating healthy, you stop thinking of food as this ‘reward’ and realize that it’s required to survive.  Part of survival is making sure your body can handle disease, infection, and toxins.  If you have a toxic body that’s constantly trying to clean itself up, it won’t be able to function as it was intended and will be more susceptible to sickness and disease.  Same goes true for healing your body as well.  That’s not to say that healthy food can’t be rewarding in taste as well as function, it can and most definitely is.  However, if you’ve lived a lifetime of unhealthy eating it’s going to take some time to recognize those benefits and that silver lining.  Trust me, I make so many delicious meals and most of them are so easy to make that I wonder how I lived so long not eating healthy.
  5. After the “lymphatic system wake-up” we brush our teeth, dry brush, shower, and dress & primp.  [I’ll write a separate blog on the ‘what, how, and why’ for brands I use for shampoo & conditioner, body wash, underarm deodorant,  toothpaste, hair products/brush, face & body lotion, make-up, perfume, and anything else I can think of that I use to ‘primp’ myself for the day.]  For now, I’ll leave it simple, because this blog is becoming extremely long, and say that I use: a clay-based toothpaste like Redmond toothpaste, a Tampico (agave stem) dry brush before showering [always brushing towards the heart], and after I shower I spray on a magnesium mineral oil.  Though I’m sure you could just as easily use the lotion.
    Warning: after dry brushing and after showering, the magnesium oil spray tingle sensation is intense to say the least!  I must be a gluten for punishment because I sort of enjoy the tingle sensation as I feel like it’s penetrating my epidermis (skin) and of course I must love dancing around the room naked like my skins on fire [not really]!
    NOTE: If you want to learn more about magnesium mineral oil, check out my blog post: Epsom Salt Baths and Magnesium Intake Explained.

All in all, the second trimester has been about finding normalcy and creating an environment that supports the new rhythm as well as changing the hair color from bleach blonde to well normal ‘natural’ looking chocolate, which if you know me personally I’ve always liked to be creative with my hair color.  I’ve also gone through some body changes, the first trimester I had to deal with the “I’m gaining weight and it’s not an instantaneous cute little bubble and instead looks like fat” and the second trimester I’m adjusted to it and even allowing myself to be happy with the husband’s comments about my ‘cute belly’.  Because I spent most of my life trying to ‘lose’ weight and finally get to the point where I actually fit happily into a size 8, I thought my weight struggles were over.  Yes, I know, having a baby is totally different, but psychologically it hits upon the same ‘wires’ as before with all the associations to weight gain.  It’s not like you just have this round ball all of a sudden, everything starts to change and it’s gradual.  Each day is different.  That’s what I’m learning.  The good news is, I know how to eat now.  I know what works with my body and I know how to read the signs if something isn’t working with my body chemistry.  The truth is, our bodies are constantly changing throughout our entire life.  Paying attention to these changes is key and making the right decisions allows me to identify and understand these physiological changes that are happening throughout my lifetime.  The best part of it all is that I healed my body and my PCOS, the weight struggle is over and now it’s about eating healthy and exploring all the avenues this healthy food unfolds.  There really are an endless amount of possibilities and I love the research and experimenting process that takes place in the kitchen.  I’m really excited to share all of my recipes, health facts, and secrets through this blog and my cookbook!

Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog, hopefully you gained something out of it too!

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