Pregnancy Update (35 Weeks pregnant) Getting closer!!


Wow!

While things have definitely been centered around the baby the past 8 months, I will say that the past few weeks they have been kicked into overdrive.  Since, being diagnosed with ICP I now have to go to the hospital (midwifery unit) twice a week and I get my blood drawn once a week.  In addition, I’m adding chiropractic care and acupuncture to the growing list of appointments in order to ‘ripen’ my cervix.  The appointments are geared towards making sure that I will be ready (or as ready as possible) to go into labor once the time comes.  I have also been doing a lot of work at home.  Last week flew by super fast and this week even faster, which is both good and bad.  Good because things are getting done each day that passes and bad because it’s really going too fast!  I’ve almost purchased everything I ‘think’ I need before the baby is born, though it’s overwhelming the amount of items that are needed.  I’ve been trying to get in the baby room to take pictures of the walls for the blog and I do apologize for not posting them yet.  The room has little things that are in the works, but is pretty much completely finished being painted.  There are two things I need to paint and I plan on doing that within the next few days.  Tomorrow, I may do it.  I have to focus on my school work before the class is over and then I get some time before my next class starts (because I am having a baby).

Last Saturday, Scott and I had our first pictures taken as a couple.  What better time than when we’re on the last few weeks of pregnancy???  🙂

The pictures were done by a local photographer near Seattle, Wa.  Her business is Photostories by Marissa Corona and she is absolutely fantastic! 🙂

I wanted to share one of the many pictures she took from our photo session last Saturday at Pine Lake.  We are so ecstatic about how the session went and can’t wait to get our full set of photos.  This was sort of a ‘sneak peak’ for us!

She will also be photographing the baby too and that’s also very exciting!  Especially since she is planning on photographing her in her own nursery.  🙂

Black & White

Pregnancy Week 35 Saturday Pine Lake Park

I actually love her signature too, just very sweet. 🙂

Color

Pregnancy Week 35 Saturday Pine Lake CoLor

If you are looking for a fantastic photographer who is very good with people and has a very special and awesome skill (in the Washington area) I definitely recommend checking her out.

Well, I have to get back to school work.  In next week’s post, I want to include a list (and hopefully pictures) of all the things I got when prepping for the baby.  This may end up being the following week, depending on how the appointments go.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be posting any blog posts on recipes until after the baby is born.  My plate is extremely full and I can feel myself getting overwhelmed which means that I need to take breaks when I can.

Last week’s tests results also came back this week and my bile acid tests went down from 28 to 13!  This is excellent!!  Also, I am doing what’s called the NST (Non-stress test) twice a week at my appointments which basically monitors the baby’s heart rate and makes sure that in a 20 minute period she gets her heart rate up and comes back down to what is considered her resting heart rate.  She’s been doing awesome and this past time she got her heart rate up both times within the first 5 minutes, so mom got to take a short 10 minute nap for the remaining time.  We are getting more and more excited with each passing day.

The past few days Scott hasn’t been feeling 100% and had a pretty bad allergy attack which knocked his immune system in half.  Poor guy.  I’ve been doing my best to take care of him and myself during this time.  I feel for him and I wish that we weren’t both suffering from such strong histamine reactions, but tis the season for things to be fluffing around in the air.  Especially our dog’s coat which is being blown this past month-OMG!  I have never seen so much hair in one period of time, it’s ridiculous!  He’s an Akita and they do blow their coat twice a year, but because he was a puppy last year and he barely shed his coat over the fall season we got a full dose of a blown coat this spring.  Boy did we pay for that!  You could literally not pet the dog without pulling off little fluffy rabbits in the process.  Seriously!  It was overwhelming and definitely overwhelming to Scott’s system. 😦

Now, I’m on fur patrol and dog maintenance.  I need the hubby at 100% when this little girl comes!!!!

That’s all for now.  Hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy!

Till next time~

JEM-Signature

 

 

Pregnancy Update (34 Weeks pregnant) and anti-Candida, PCOS, and ICP….


Last post of my pregnancy update was at 30.79 weeks pregnant and a lot has actually happened since then.

Pregnancy-week 34

My goal throughout pregnancy was to update as often as possible with the intention of doing a post at least once a week.  However, with everything that I am working on (school, cookbook, recipe, pregnancy, etc.) I haven’t found enough time to do a post as often as I’d like.  Take for example, my last post of pregnancy update about 4 weeks ago.  At first I was a little hard on myself and then I realized that this is just the way it’s going to have to be and I have to be okay with that.  I’m working on blogging more and I continue to do what I can when I have time and quite frankly that IS good enough. No matter what the opinions swirling around in my head have to say.

The past 4 weeks have been extremely eventful and hard.  If you don’t already know, I am currently going to school for my MNT (Master Nutritional Therapist) and I take my education very seriously.  I also take my family’s health very seriously as well.  Over the past few months I’ve been helping my husband fight the yeast overgrowth in his body and if anyone is addressing leaky gut or Gaps or is following a real Anti-Candida protocol they know that it’s fairly challenging.  Luckily over the past few years we’ve eaten fairly strict and have found by listening to our bodies that narrowing our diet based on our ‘symptoms’ through an almost deduction diet is really what got us in ‘tune’ with our body.  Doing this, allowed for the transition into something as strict as an Anti-candida diet as an almost ‘natural’ next step process.  If you’d like to read more about that in another blog post I wrote click: Anti-Candida ‘Diet’.

Back to the pregnancy update…

The past few weeks I’ve been working on my own health as well.  While I am eating mainly the anti-candida diet, I am also including some fruit in my diet for the baby.  I don’t need a lot of sugar and usually eat an apple or 1/2 grapefruit each day.  I personally feel that this diet is a very good foundation diet to keep my body running optimally and deliver nutrients to my daughter efficiently and effectively.  Plus, I really don’t have the energy to make 2 separate meals for dinner when there really isn’t any reason.  Of course I eat healthier now than I did before I was pregnant.  Which actually played a significant role in helping with my analysis of my body the past few weeks.

If you’ve been following my blog or know me personally, you’ll know that I was told I had PCOS several years ago prior to being pregnant.  With that comes a lot of useful knowledge about my body.  For example, how my body handles sugar (insulin resistance) and how the thyroid functions (hormone response).  There is a negative aspect to PCOS where the label puts people in a box.  The box is: you have to take thyroid medication, you have to take metformin, you have to take PCOS supplements to help with hormone regulation.  With this prescription also comes the added bonus of being told that I will not be able to conceive (without extreme effort and very unlikely circumstances) which is obviously incorrect.

While I do believe there are some benefits of being ‘diagnosed’ with certain conditions I don’t believe that it’s the end-all be-all of who you are.  Please read my blog post where I go into depth about PCOS and understanding the thyroid connection in the post: PCOS and the Thyroid Connection.

I’ve spent a lot of time learning about how the thyroid works and how a proper diet and exercise can really help bring the thyroid into normal levels.  However, all of that practically goes out the window when you are pregnant.

During my pregnancy my thyroid (TSH) was doing this rollercoaster ride of 3.94 (week 10) to 3.09 (week 17) back up to 3.78 (week 24).  I’ve been supporting my thyroid with different supplements starting week 24 when it went back up with both Thyrocsin and liquid Chromium.  Thyrocsin has supportive supplements that help with the thyroid by aiding in the conversion of T4 to T3 as well as helping support hormone balance (with ashwagandha, iodine, and L-tyrosine) and the Chromium helps with insulin response (managing glucose levels) which work with the adrenal glands (part of the thyroid).  In addition to this I’ve monitored my glucose levels by doing a blood glucose test (at home) where I test my blood sugar levels before I eat and after (2 hours) I eat each meal.  I did this for a week straight and continued the same diet protocol that I have been for the past 2 months.  My blood sugar was great and my insulin response is fantastic.  I’m very happy with that aspect of my health.

During the last visit with my N.D. I decided to do a full blood work test.  Not a common test to do, especially during pregnancy, but being a researcher I was interested in what my blood tests came back regarding Uric Acid, BUN, Creatinine, Calcium, Chloride, Bilirubin, LDH, AST, ALT, GGT, Cholesterol, WBC, RBC, Platelets, B12, etc.  These are the things I’m studying in school so why not know my own numbers for a better complete understanding of how the body works.  I also asked him to do my TSH again but he wasn’t sure that was necessary and indicated that the insurance company may ‘flag’ him if he tries to do the TSH again without reason.  (Besides the obvious factor that I am pregnant and this is something that should be monitored.)

Blood Work Results

When I got my results back a lot of the numbers ranged from ideal to excellent, however there was one set of numbers which was extremely high for what was considered ‘normal range’ and that was the AST and ALT.  Remember, this is not a common test to preform during pregnancy and most people haven’t had this test done unless they have a reason.  When the numbers for AST and ALT came back high and I’m talking the AST norm is 0-40 IU/L and mine came back 146 IU/L with the ALT (norm 0-32 IU/L) at 250.  Those are both alarmingly high and for me this caused concern.  Although, my N.D. didn’t seem too concerned with the numbers being high because the LDH and the GGT came back low (normal) and said that he would check with the lab to see if this was ‘normal’ for pregnancy.    I was definitely ‘alarmed’ when I got off the phone with him.  The ALT and AST are liver enzymes and they reflect the ‘function’ of the liver.  I was very confused at why he was OK with the numbers being as high as they were.  Maybe I didn’t have anything to worry about and maybe I did, but I’m not the type of person that sits on things.  My brain is a highly analytical brain and problem solving is a natural skill that I can’t seem to quiet.  I called back a few days later (Thursday) to check back on my iodine levels and to find out what he heard back from the lab regarding the ALT and AST tests.  The iodine levels came back normal but he hadn’t checked with the lab yet on the numbers.  Now, my idle thoughts were starting to not be idle.  I had an appointment with the midwives on Tuesday the following week and I wanted to know what was going on with my liver.  One thing that I had been experiencing this whole time and I did bring it up to my N.D. when I had my blood drawn were 2 things. First, my leg cramps at night were horrible and second, my legs itched really bad.  My question was, did they go hand-in-hand?  What I ended up doing was making an electrolyte water with magnesium calm to help with the cramps, which helped significantly however, the itching pursued.

I started to research a ton about liver enzymes AST and ALT being high and was not coming to any ‘normal’ conclusions for pregnancy.  Because I know that the TSH was high and my T3 and T4 were ‘normal’ my thoughts about the liver enzymes became increasing persistent that something wasn’t right.  Especially this, my mother also experienced extreme itchiness when she was pregnant and my grandmother died of liver failure.  These are great factors to keep in mind when thinking about my current condition and understanding of my own genetic background revolving around liver functioning.

By the time I had arrived at my midwives I was armed with my blood lab work and knowledge about my concerns.  There were several things that this could be and none of them aligned with pregnancy necessarily but disease of the liver itself.  Cholestasis of the liver, fatty liver, abuse to the liver, and liver tumor.  All of them pointed to the fact that there was something wrong with the liver but nothing stated anything about the thyroid connection.  I sat down with the midwives and said “I had blood work done with my N.D. and my AST and ALT came back high.  I’m experiencing itching of the legs but not the palms or feet.  I don’t have jaundice and there are no rashes.  I’d like to do a bile acid test and retest my liver enzymes” and they wondered why my doctor had these tests run.  I said, I asked him to.  Surprised they looked at me and said “why?” and I said “because I have speculation that there is something effecting my thyroid (TSH) levels and that they are going up and down and while that may be considered ‘normal’ during pregnancy they aren’t within ‘normal’ range and because I am not taking a thyroid supplement I need to understand in totality how my body is preforming.” They knew I was a nutritional therapist but I don’t think they understood that I was a scientist disguised as a nutritional therapist. 🙂

They were aware of implications of AST and ALT being high and agreed that the test needed to be re-run again.  There are many things that can throw off the AST and ALT so it’s always good to double check.  On top of that they ran my TSH again (thankfully) and agreed that it’s something that should be checked often.  They also asked me to do a fasting bile acid test (from my research this was a great indicator of the health of the liver) and I promptly agreed!

The results came back the following week, Monday.  Now, 2 weeks since my N.D. said he would get back to me regarding the AST and ALT from the lab.  The midwife on the phone says “The thyroid level came back at 3.07”  (a great number considering it had gone up previously and this told me that my supplements were helping) “the liver enzymes AST and ALT came back high but lower than what they were previously” (a neutral) “the bile acid did come back high though with the normal being up to 10 present in the blood and yours is a 28”.  My heart sank.

I said “what does this mean?” because to me from research this meant a type of cholestasis of the liver, but that didn’t make sense.  I hadn’t experienced these symptoms prior to being pregnant.. no itchiness or other indicators..

she replied “This means you carry a rare genetic factor called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP)” again my heart sank, because this meant that I would most likely not be able to have the baby at the birth center through ‘natural’ means.

To confirm I said “So, I won’t be able to have the baby with you then?”

“Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend that, the risks are too high” She wanted to talk to me in person but she knew the kind of person I was and that I would want to know as soon as she knew.  She also knew that I’d want to research it (which is absolutely correct).  She asked me to set up a time with her that week (Wednesday) to go over any questions and by the time I saw her on Wednesday I had a lot of questions.  What does this all mean?

After a couple days of depression I started to pick myself up again.  My family and friends were extremely supportive and encouraging.  It means I’ll have to be induced into pregnancy at 37/38 weeks depending on the provider-but I would really prefer that it be at 38 weeks so that my body is more ready to have a baby vaginally and so my doula could be there (as she is currently in Australia).  I’m finding ways to turn things around, turn it into a positive thing.  I did much of the foot work to put myself into the position of finding this condition.  If you’ve ever known anyone who had ICP or who has gone through results of ICP you’ll probably know that most of the time it goes without being noticed up until the baby is born.  At this time there is a very high possibility that the bile acid will cross the placenta touch the umbilical cord (which is incredibly vital for lung development) and can cause high risk for fetal distress, meconium staining, spontaneous preterm labor, respiratory distress and stillbirth.  It’s not something that is taken lightly.  There isn’t enough information on ICP and I’m currently working on a thesis that revolves around identifying precursors of ICP.  I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to be supportive to me, you all have been such a blessing in my life and one that I’m very thankful for.  If you have ICP, there are some great sites that help with information for ICP such as:

If you have any questions or are dealing with ICP yourself please feel free to contact me directly at my personal email: mjr@bestfood4life.com and I’d love to help in any way that I can.

JEM-Signature


Disclaimer: This is not a medical reference for you to use should you have ICP, hypothyroidism or PCOS during pregnancy nor is it intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any of the diseases/genetic factors discussed in the topics (above) as I’m simply sharing with you my personal story.  Everyone should always talk to their doctor before attempting to take any supplements or modify their diet.

Pregnancy Update (30.79 weeks pregnant)


Wow!  It’s been almost 10 weeks since I posted a pregnancy update with picture.  Where has the time gone???  I have been ridiculously busy in trying to prepare for the baby (and you’ve heard from previous posts what I’ve been up to as far as creating a nursery with the mural, etc.) as well as working on what feels like 100 other projects simultaneously.  Here’s a picture update, I just took the picture.  I was looking for pictures I had taken since the 21st week and couldn’t find any!  I know I kept saying in my head, I gotta take a picture this week–but for one reason or another I just didn’t.  Here ya’ go!

Pregnancy- Week 30.74

Today I have an appointment with my naturopath doctor (ND) which I’m actually very excited about!  I get to look at the blood work results from the past 3 months, for me that’s very exciting.  🙂

The past 10 weeks have been riddled with obstacles and one of them was definitely the pregnancy itself.  Up until 2 weeks ago I was doing pretty good with my energy.  I’ve felt some drain on my energy a couple of days here and there sprinkled throughout the pregnancy but it usually went away after a couple of days.  Unfortunately, those days are over and I’m now feeling the pregnancy pretty much full throttle with no signs of slowing down.

Pregnancy yoga up till two weeks ago was pretty good, I felt energized after the sessions with only a slight ache the day after.  Two weeks ago I was in the middle of class and found myself checking the clock what seemed every 5 minutes.  When was it going to end?? I felt like I had been doing the class for hours only to find that 15 minutes had passed.  The class is only an hour and 15 minutes long, but still!  I caught myself looking up at one point (when there was still 30 minutes left) and as my eyes came back to the yoga class the woman next to me (who was also looking at the clock) says, “welcome to the third trimester”.  She is one week further along than me so it felt kinda good knowing that I wasn’t the only one suffering through the class.

Where is the energy?

The days pass…I have good days where I almost feel normal and other days when I am almost completely exhausted after doing two squats.  TWO squats.  I had been riding the recumbent bike for most of the pregnancy until the beginning of March when the movement was too much for me to appreciate.  I felt between nauseous and out of breath, which if you know me sucks even more because I LOVE off-road driving.  My husband attempted to take me off-roading for my birthday and made it maybe 400 ft. before I begged him to turn around with the saddest look on my face ever!  But, like I said there are good days and there are the ‘off-days’.  During Easter Sunday we took a drive to Mt. Rainier and did a little off-road driving and I did pretty good!

For the most part I’ve been really busy cooking, creating recipes, studying, food photography, business expenses, home expenses, school, studying, research, school, more school, clients, test research, clinical research, organizing, did I mention school? and purchasing things here and there to finish up the nursery and baby shopping.  The most recent purchase for the nursery were the crib mattress and the daybed mattress.  I was extremely picky about both as I wanted the mattresses to be safe (and all that entails) for her.

Infant/Child Mattresses

Most crib mattresses are covered with vinyl cover and contain off-gass from chemicals from the vinyl as well as fire retardants.  You can read more about the hazard of Vinyl Chloride here.  It’s even more important for infants and children to be sleeping in a non-toxic mattress because most infants actually sleep for 18 hours and because they are developing their bodies they are even more susceptible to the concentrations of off-gassing even more greater than an adult.  Also, there have been theories that blame SIDS on toxic bedding material and mattress material.  If you’re interested in reading up on that, intellibed (where I purchased the twin mattress from) has some information here.

There are a few great companies out there that offer options for infant mattress bedding and I strongly urge you to do research before purchasing a crib mattress.

If you’re looking for a good mattress for your crib, I recommend any one of the following:

(In order of cost, because organic crib mattresses can be pretty expensive-but worth it! Keep in mind that the price isn’t always monetary…)

  1. Quilted organic cotton & wool crib mattress  $259-$465
  2. intelliBEDmini Crib Mattress: $399 + Shipping
  3. All Wool Organic Mattress: $640 + shipping

The daybed mattress that I purchased is for when she moves out of the crib and into a bed.  I didn’t purchase one of those 9-in-1 cribs, they just weren’t for me.  I wanted her to end up having a daybed in her room with a trundle instead of a standard bed.  This way when Nana was staying the night or when she had a friend stay the night, they would have a place to sleep-but mostly the former.

The mattress I chose is a twin sized mattress that she’ll be able to use for the next 20 years.  It has a 20 year warranty and because you spend a lot of your life in bed it is incredible for your body.  In fact, it’s a better mattress then the local organic one we purchased just last year for ourselves-because it has intelli-gel.
It’s also organic, made with high quality materials and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, such as: Boric Acid (a toxin which causes skin irritation), Rayon (a synthetic fiber with various chemicals), antimony (attributes are very similar to arsenic which causes respiratory problems), Melamine resin (a form of formaldehyde), PCDE’s (a phased out fire retardant but many ‘older’ models still contain-before 2004.)

If you are in the market for looking for a bed for yourself; maybe you suffer from back pains, headaches, body aches, insomnia, and many other ailments (that can be linked to mattresses) I suggest checking this company out.  You can read about them, watch videos, or even call them and talk to their very knowledgeable staff.

Mattress company: Intellibed

This is the mattress we bought: Twin intellibed 20

I recommend you check out all the options and find which one is best for your needs. 🙂

Enough about mattresses although that has been a large portion of my life for a couple of those 10 weeks.  I was glad to finally purchase them and get it over with… now onto other things like dual electric breast pumps.

I do plan on breast-feeding but I know that I’ll need an electric breast pump for when we do travel as my goal is to breast feed for at least 1 year (with the introduction to puree food as well).  I don’t know exactly how it’s going to go, but it’s best to be prepared and if I’m going to get a breast pump, I might as well go with the dual one (as I hear from friends that it’s a lot easier to do both at the same time with the little yield at first).  I’m also going to make sure I have one just incase the breast-feeding doesn’t go as smoothly as planned as well as some back up options incase I’m not producing milk either.  (like a goat milk formula)  I am all about being prepared as much as I can be-though I really hope the breast-feeding works out!! 🙂

There is still so much to talk about but unfortunately that doctor’s appointment I mentioned earlier is coming up now and I have to leave for it.

This weekend I’ll be cracking away at the garage with the husband and trying my hardest to take it easy.  There’s a lot going on next week.  I will be posting more recipes too because lord only knows how many recipes I have to post.  Like for example Easter recipes!  A little late for that.. haha good thing I’ll be prepared for next year though and possibly a seasonal/holiday cookbook too.  Though I won’t get too far ahead of myself.  Right now, along with all the other things I’m working on I’m also putting together a cooking class for adults and kids.  It’s a nutritional educational/cooking class and I’m really excited about it!!

I hope everyone is doing well and thank you for reading my blog!! 🙂

If anyone has any recommendations for me please post in the comments section. 🙂

JEM-Signature

Pregnancy Week 21


This week, I’ve been hard at work on the nursery.  So far I’ve got 2 walls and 1/3 ceiling close to being done.  I still have a closet, another wall, the closet wall, inside the closet (ceiling/walls) and the area by the window.  Sounds like a lot but it will end up getting done soon enough.  Monday Nana comes over and is going to help paint, hopefully I’ll have the other two walls done so she can paint the trim and then the door white.  Lots to do.

This weekend Mr. husband and I will be working on the nursery mostly focusing on the closet.  For a while I was trying to figure out what to do with the closet doors, they are really bulky and kinda ugly.  We could paint them OR we could put up some cute curtains.  Curtains win! 🙂  I kind of toyed with different things to paint in the closet, but then realized that it’s a closet and once the shelving is in no one is going to see it.  Instead we’ll paint it some fun bright yellow/orange colors and then install the closet system.  I’m actually really excited about getting the closet finished because that means I can hang up and organize the closet even sooner! *eee*

I’ve been taking pictures of the progress of the nursery and I’ll post them once everything is complete.  I like work to be seen once it’s completed.  🙂

As for the pregnancy, I am feeling her move around more and more.  Her kicks are getting a little stronger but I still can’t feel them on the outside.  I’m getting more round and my hunger is pretty much the same as it was last week.  My face still seems to be the same size and my belly is getting harder.  I think she may be moving up a little this week too, which is good as she was nestling really low down there.  I can tell that I don’t have as much energy as normal.  While painting a room is normally pretty exhausting, I can definitely feel the difference.  I’m quite literally zapped of everything.  It’s like when I wake up, I’m allotted a certain amount of umph! for the day and should I choose to do that painting well…good luck for the rest of the day!

I term that feeling Zootered. 😉
(Although I just looked up the exact definition of “zootered” as I thought I just made it up.. and there’s actually a definition for it from urban dictionary.  For the record, no drugs or alcohol were used in the process of my being zootered.)

Picture from this week-Pregnancy Week 21.

Pregnancy-Week-21

As for life, I’ve still been working on getting the odds & ends together around the house.  The house has gotten even messier with the nursery being worked on.  Our room has a lot of stuff in it that I can’t wait to put back into the nursery once the room is completed.  There is still much to do before the baby arrives but we’re all so very excited!  I found this really cute monkey toy which will be her second toy purchased, the first was a rubber ducky that tells whether the bath water is too hot. (pretty nifty stuff!)

It’s ALSO getting closer to that time of the year, love-day!  (although, I do not limit love-day to only one time a year.  It’s just another fun holiday to me.)

I really wanted to schedule a romantic hot-air balloon ride which would have been even cuter since one of the scene’s in the nursery is of a hot-air balloon, but the prices are really high!   $600-$900.  Not going to happen, not with all the baby shopping still left to do.  However, it would be really awesome!  🙂  We’ll probably be going on a road trip and do something cute.  Sometimes just going with the flow and seeing where the road takes you can lead to fun adventures.

Does anyone have any exciting plans for Valentine’s day??

Thanks for reading my blog!
JEM-Signature

Juil Earthling Shoes! (For a limited time 50% off & Free shipping!)


YAY!!  Friday I got a special surprise in the mail!  My new Juil’s arrived and I’m sooooooooo excited to share them with you.  🙂

Juil-Delivery

I’m usually a girl who loves to wear high heals but being pregnant has made it less than comfortable to wear heals, especially while shopping for the little one.  I went to a few shoe stores especially DSW (one of my favorite places to shop for shoes) and tried on practically every shoe they had in my size (size 11).  Yes, big feet, but I’m also 6 feet tall too so if the shoe fits!  I couldn’t figure it out, normally size 11 fits!  However, with each shoe I tried I felt like my feet were getting bigger…  I’ve heard of feet getting swollen and puffy during pregnancy, but longer?  I don’t even have wide feet but given the circumstances I thought maybe I should try those.. and THOSE didn’t even fit.  Tried size 12, nope, too big!  I was starting to get frustrated and finally gave into trying some low heal cowboy boots, they were the last pair and they fit just fine.  I was tired and hungry and really just wanted to get out of there so I could eat and rest.  I got home and set them aside to get other things done around the house, since looking for shoes took waaaaay longer than I anticipated.

The next day I was excited to wear my new shoes.  Slipped on the right shoe a little snug.. went for the left and I couldn’t even get my foot in the shoe!  It was like I was trying to put on a size 10!  What the hell?  I lowered my lip and took my shoes back to their box.  Scott looked at me puzzled and said “what’s wrong baby?” Still with the lowered lip I pouted and said “they don’t fit!” 😦  He was comforting but I was still pretty glum about the whole ordeal.  I didn’t want to wear sneakers for the rest of the pregnancy…

Later that day I got an email from Juil saying 40% off everything with a special code.  Juil shoes are one of those kinds of shoes that are well made, organic material, and have special features like their copper dots on the toes.  They say that these copper dots help free radicals in the body by connecting to the electrons of the earth’s surface.  I love the whole concept of wearing organic materials but buying a pair of shoes based on this electron ‘theory’ alone wasn’t enough to persuade me to purchase a pair of leather flats for $115.  However, this 40% off everything definitely added a hopeful little pep-to-my step for the day.

Later that evening I showed Scott the colors and asked if he liked any in particular.  I’ve been really into the spring color ‘peach’ and have always wanted a pair of red flats.  However, I really liked the navy blue with sky blue (like my hubby’s eyes) and couldn’t decide which one to get.  Being the amazing husband that he is and seeing how excited I was about the whole thing he smiled at me and said the magical words “get both!”

After jumping for joy that he recommended such an AWESOME idea, I ordered both.  I was elated that this new possibility presented itself to me.  (Also, reading the reviews of how happy people felt in these shoes and that they fit a little larger, but really comfortably.  I was feeling really confident and hopeful about these cute shoes!)

Finally, Friday arrived and my special delivery came in a very nice package and a little letter!
( I love the packaging of these and will be repurposing this cute Juil Box)

Juil OPEN BOX

JUIL letter

Now, the time I had been waiting for.  Time to try them on…

WOOHOO THEY FIT!  SUPER comfortable too!!

Yes, I was very excited and pranced around the house like a 10 year old. (cuz ya know I’ve got that special talent of tapping into kid-like feelings) I showered my husband with hugs and kisses!  Very thankful that he encouraged me to not get just one but both!  I kept showing him my shoes throughout the weekend and he kept laughing at my joy.

Juil-In-love-with-my-options

Questions you may be wondering:

Do I notice an electron difference in free-radical removal of my body?

No, but knowing that free-radicals are on a cellular level, I don’t suppose I ever would.  However, I will say that the entire time I was wearing them I felt happier.  Should I contribute that to the dots or having a new pair of shoes?  I’ll let you know later and update this post later to let you know if when I wear these shoes, I feel any different than normal.

Do I feel more connected to the ground?

Yes, actually I do.  Oddly enough I feel more connected to the ground with these on.  It may be because they are flat and I’m used to wearing heals, but even my Born boots have the same sole thickness by the toes and I don’t feel ‘connected’ to the ground.  When I wear these I feel ‘in contact’ with the ground.  I’ve had the 5-finger vibram’s too and I still feel something different with these flat shoes.  The 5-finger vibram’s are awesome though and if you have a tendency to walk on the ‘outside’ of your feet they are definitely worth trying.  I use mine for playing Tennis but because I live on a gravel road, I do not run in them-OUCH!  I won’t be ‘running’ in these technically, but I will be ‘running-around’ in these and so far.. so good!

Does the leather mold to your feet?

When purchasing these you are supposed to wear them for a few hours each day to give the leather enough time to relax and mold to your feet so they can be even more comfortable.  I’ve worn these several hours each day and they’ve been fitting very nicely.  I’ll update you on how they feel a week or two from now after wearing them!

Am I a believer in this copper dot technology?

I’ll answer this in a few weeks, but I will say that I’m a believer enough to purchase them again!

Right now, there is a sale going on  that is even better than the original 40% off sale when I got these last week!  50PERCENT is the code and I don’t know for how long the sale is going on.  Check them out and if you are looking for a cute pair of comfy flats or some sandles or boots, check them out: www.juil.com

Scott also wanted me to get a neutral color in addition to my current collection *swoons*

So, I just purchased a pair of black/gray ones to add to my wardrobe.  Did I mention I love my husband?


Did you buy a pair of Juils and want to share your experience?  Comment below!!  🙂

JEM-Signature

Pregnancy week 19 & 20 (update)


My one sentence thought about pregnancy so far… Some weeks truly are better than others!

(My belly at 19 weeks pregnant…a serious looking baby bump this day, some days it doesn’t stick out as far.  It’s very odd. )-Baby-Bump-Week-19

Last week, week 19, I was definitely starting to feel the mommy “nesting instinct”… We still had the Christmas decorations up and the tree was still sparkling beautifully under the warm light of our cozy home.  Up to this point, I had been reminiscing of how wonderful this past Christmas was and how lovely this past holiday season felt.  Scott (my wonderful husband) and I had talked about taking down the Christmas stuff, but neither of us were all that motivated to do it.  This past Christmas was a special one to remember.

(Picture taken a few days before Christmas 2014)Christmas 2014

For the first time in many years, we both enjoyed Christmas to the utmost possibility.  No family drama, no sticky residue of painful past holiday memories, instead one that left an almost magical spell over us.  It’s no wonder we weren’t in a hurry to leave the sparkling decorations up past the 1st of the year….onto the second week… the third… maybe we would have it up around Valentine’s Day… ***Car breaks screeching to a stop*** That is until the nesting instinct struck me like a ton of bricks!  I realized that once I started getting into the nursery project and my third trimester, I wasn’t going to have time to deal with the odds & ends around the house.  Which meant that all the projects I could think of, had to be completed.  Including this internal drive to change the color feel of the house because I was so done with red and green.  Wait, wasn’t I just admiring them the week before?

(Seriously even the ‘spring-like’ green pillows were too Autumn/Winter for me.)  Pillow

Spring colors!!  I had to have spring colors like a junkie needs a fix.  Now, usually with each season I’ll change a few things like add a couple ‘spring’ center pieces to the dining table, change up the color of the placemats, shift things around… things like that, but this… this was a monster of a different breed.  One that was also rubbing off on my husband as the same weekend we took down the tree we did a complete clean-out on the fridge.  We pulled out all the components, did a spotless cleaning job (even on the glass pieces) and re-organized everything in the fridge.  Then proceeded to the rest of the house…yeah it was a busy start to the week to the max!  Though, I guess we got our Spring cleaning out of the way.  🙂

During the previous week, week 18, I started my first pregnancy Yoga class which went pretty well.  I felt like it was good conditioning for prepping the body to get ready to use the muscles both during pregnancy and labor.  Starting off the week with a good solid spring cleaning thrusted my week into overdrive.  I was running around from store to store looking for the best prices/options for everything.  I even got smarter with buying baby stuff which can be really expensive, because you have to start from scratch with everything.  Baby’s also need so much stuff! WOW!  There’s at least 10 options for almost everything out there. Strollers, baby carriers, high-chairs, cribs, mattresses, car seats, diapers, breast pumps, etc..etc..  Luckily I know some people who are pointing me in the right direction with purchasing the best options and not getting suckered into buying all the gadgets new mom’s may think they need.  This included the introduction to consignment shops.

I was a little hesitant at first, being a new mom and all, but that went away once I felt secure enough to just ‘check it out’.  SO glad I did!!  There are some pretty damn good deals at consignment shops!  Some things are brand new and others look practically brand new!  The clothing has to be cleaned anyway, so what does it matter that it’s been worn before?  Oh no, baby germs!  Haha

I found really cute outfits for as little as $1 a piece!  And I thought finding a 3 piece outfit at the mall for $10 was a good deal!   🙂  It just makes sense to look around and check out consignment shops.  You never know what you are going to find. For example, I was looking around everywhere for a large plush flower for this idea that I had for the nursery.  While looking for baby clothes and odds and ends at children stores, target, Hallmark, mall shops, and craft stores I kept my eye out for this flower I had in mind–yet, found nothing remotely close.  I walk into this consignment shop and look around at baby stuff, finding many things but no flower so I gave it a final go and asked the owner if she had any large stuffed flowers, figured if anything she might know where I could get one.  She thought for a minute and said “I think I have a large flower over by the toy section” we walked back there and sure enough.. wrapped around the pole was the exact flower I had in mind.  Bright, Colorful, and in Brand New condition for $1.25!!!  So, you see, you never know what you may find.  You may even find what you’ve been looking for. 🙂 Officially I’m hooked on consignment shops.  I’ve only been to one so far, but I have been scouting out surrounding areas for other ones and recently found 3 more in Issaquah, Wa.  It’s really cool too because they are all over the place, which means we’re bound to run into them on our many road trips and you can’t beat the prices!  Win, Win!

I would definitely say that this week was my most productive week of the pregnancy.   I learned a lot, shopped a lot, did a lot of running around, researching, completed tons of home projects,  price comparisons, cleaning, bought enough 3-6 month baby clothes to last me a while and even got some spring colors in the house!   I was really happy with how productive the week was and was looking forward to week 20.

Before I move to week 20, I wanted to show you a comparison of week 17 and week 19.  I wore the close to the same outfit so you could see the difference.  Unfortunately, this is not the best outfit to show ‘results’ of pregnancy but it is what I was dressed in when I took my week 17 photo which is the point of why I took this comparison picture.

Pregnancy-comparison-17-to-19

Week 20 didn’t start too well.  I got a big kick in the face of what pushing yourself when your pregnant feels like.  Not only did I accomplish all that and a bag of chips in one week I thought it would be awesome to go on a hike on Sunday because FINALLY there was some sun!  I love hiking and practically begged for it all winter!  Winter-hiking in Washington closer to the west coast is not impossible, just ugly.

Hiking during rainy seasons in Washington State explained: Before I begin, let me make one thing clear. Spring, Autumn and Winter in Washington state = rain. Winter season holds the worst kind of rain the unforgiving cold, thick wet, rain.  Which is nice if you love to watch it from your warm cozy dry home.  If you plan to hike, however, it’s a totally different story.  We have hiked several times in the rain, with really nice rain gear too and wound up completely drenched.  Have you tried to hike for hours in the rain? Ain’t pretty.  Last time we did an 8 hour hike, it started to drizzle halfway through and then all of a sudden torrential downpour.  I was walking in a puddle in my shoes for 2-3 hours straight.  I certainly gained a new type of respect for the Vietnam veterans who trudged through swamps for days on end.  I don’t know how they did it, after 3 hours I was already getting blisters.

We did learn a very valuable lesson from that hiking experience: If there is a chance of rain, and there is always a chance of rain in Wa, always pack a raincoat, rain pants, gators, waterproof pack protector and waterproof hiking boots.  Umbrella? Forget about it, does nothing here.  A raincoat, waterproof pack cover, and awesome waterproof boots will not suffice.  (learned that the hard way on that)  It doesn’t even matter if you have the best jacket, backpack, and boots on the market, when the legs get wet it’s all over…as the water trickle, trickle, trickles to your ankles..  heels.. then toes and you feel it like a bad scary movie too, real slow.  So, trust me when I say if you are planning on going on a beautiful hike in Washington and all the hiking is beautiful always be prepared for the worst.

On a positive note, in the spring and autumn even if it’s raining it doesn’t mean it will rain all day.  Sometimes you’ll be in a thick rainstorm one minute and the next the sun will be peaking out and you’ll be removing layers.  It does have an island charm to it most months!  Just be careful the winter months because when it rains it doesn’t plan to stop.

Where was I?  Oh yes, we finally went on a hike last Sunday.  The weather forecast was sunny with a 0% chance of rain.  I’ll take that!  We hiked close to where we live so we could get a nice warm-up for the spring hiking we would do this year.  From now on out I’m pretty sure we’re going to be doing as much hiking as we can since we’re through most of the harder winter-rain months.  There are so many places to hike in this state alone, but we do enjoy a good road trip with our hike too.  Soon we are planning on hiking Ape Canyon in Mt. St. Helens, which we almost made it to during our Summer hike around the Volcano (via the Loowit Trail #216) but decided that 25 miles was enough for us for one weekend.  Ape Canyon is pretty unique and because it’s about a 5 hour drive to the south side of Mt. St. Helen’s we’ll most likely stay the night before hiking in the morning.  In the morning we’ll be refreshed and have the energy to take lots of pictures while we venture the canyon.

Wow, I’m off track again day-dreaming about hiking…

Monday I was exhausted.  I spent all my energy the week before and what little I had remaining I gave to the hike.  My legs were killing me, my heel still hurt from Yoga the week before (because no doubt I was using muscles I hadn’t used in a long time), and emotionally I felt spent.  My hormones must have been all over the place because I didn’t feel centered.  I dragged through the day, hoping it would get better.  Tuesday was actually worse.  My hormones were completely off, I was feeling overly stressed and upset.  I waded through work and did my best to stay on track.  I had no hunger, I barely ate breakfast, and I waited until 3p.m. to have lunch.  I could tell I was drained but didn’t realize how much it affected me until it caught up with me.  After my husband came home I started to cheer up a little bit, got my appetite back and was starting to feel more normal.  We watched the movie “Fury” last night and it was alright…but, most importantly it allowed my brain to take a break and my body to rest.  This morning I felt a LOT better!  I’m back to my happy functioning self and having a much more positive outlook.  I’m being super productive (even writing a blog) and doing work at the same time!  I’m getting ready to post about a new recipe too!  This one is a dessert recipe, so keep your eye out for that one.  It’s REALLY good!

In ending, I’ll post a picture of my Week 20 Belly.  I had a little fun with this collage of pictures.
They are ‘selfies’ what can I say? 😉  Plus, I love this outfit I made up!

Pregnancy-Collage-Week-20

Hope you enjoyed this blog post!!
<3Jem

What’s in YOUR fridge?


Personal update

Phew!  This week has been pretty tiring to say the least.  I’ve been running around trying to prep the house so I can move to phase 2 for the baby’s room. Phase 1 was to find a theme.  After searching around for a couple weeks, my husband and I finally figured out what we wanted for our little girl’s room.  Needless to say, we’re super excited about it!  The theme is based off of something that really called to us and is very original.  A big plus, I get to use my creative/artistic talents to really work on the room!! Woohoo!  I’m going to love sharing it with everyone as I complete mini-steps to the larger steps.  I’ll share the theme once I receive the package with the main theme components in it. 🙂

This weekend we are driving to Renton, Wa to visit Ikea.  There, we will be picking up a daybed for the nursery (for when we have family over) and maybe a few other things for around the house to finish the odds&ends for what needs to be done.  Christmas decorations away, curtains hung, miscellaneous shelves put in, etc..etc.  I also want to get the house ready for the ‘spring/summer’ look as I know I will be very busy this summer, fall & winter!  Then it’s on to Phase 2, while I chug away at school, research, blog, cookbook, and books I need to read.  Challenging stuff but couldn’t be more excited about doing it all!


Cookbook update

Lately, I’ve been reading some of the research books I need to complete for a class I’m taking.  I am learning a ton and I even found some major components to the backing for the cookbook.  As you know there is a ton of information out there regarding health, diets, research, scientific stuff, and all kinds of ways to eat and live life.  However, my cookbook really focuses on the basics of being in the kitchen and knowing how to cook really good healthy food.  Though it’s fun and easy to do many of these recipes they are also very well-balanced in nutrition and healing the body by the foods we eat.  I also want to help guide people in the right direction with research information too.  Things I recommend that help build a foundation of knowledge for those who want to really dig their fingers in deeper to some of the principles I discuss in the book.  That has almost been the single most important concept that I want to drive home with the overall message that one gets in reading the cookbook.  Yes, I want to discuss and reveal awesome recipes, it is after all a cookbook, but I want to also help people understand that it’s also a great foundation tool for building a healthy lifestyle.

Many people I run into want to eat healthy, some love to cook, and others want to succeed in some health related goal.  Whatever the motivation is, I really bring all of those together in the cookbook with these recipes and the information prior to the recipes.  I teach a lot of concepts that can help people lose weight, cook healthier, and help ignite the creative juices that give ultimate freedom in the kitchen (i.e. not needing a recipe for everything that’s cooked and just knowing how to use the ingredients.) I’m big on that.  I want each person to be able to open their fridge or pantry and without hesitation know what they want to cook.  I do that in this cookbook, which is why it’s also challenging to write.  There’s a lot of research, case studies, and daily living that goes into this cookbook to create the formula I use for the recipes. (That’s another way of saying a lot of blood, sweat, and tears without the brutality.)


Eating healthy and making healthy choices

Which brings me to my next topic.  When I first wanted to change the way I ate, I remember thinking to myself “how the heck do people have a fridge full of vegetables?”  What do these people make for their meals? Salads all day?  How is it even possible?  This is coming from a background, like many people where bread, pasta, dough, and other grains were used to represent 50-75% of the meal, while the other 25-50% was a protein and sometimes vegetables were present.  At most veggies played a 5-10% existence in many of those meals.  This isn’t uncommon for the vast majority of people.  In fact, I often experience these similar situations from a lot from my clients and various people I talk to.  Frozen meals are common, eating out is more of a daily ritual, and cooking is putting together packaged meals.  If you look back on history and the development since the Industrial Revolution, it totally makes sense!  How it happened.

However, with more and more diseases becoming a common theme in every household and prescription drugs being the ‘remedy’ a lot of us are turning back to the ways of our grandparents and their grandparents.  We want to know how to make things ourselves.  The revolution of people making their own home remedies or using homeopathic resources to heal their body is becoming much more common.  We’re learning the importance of taking care of ourselves and starting to question western medicine and the foods we eat.  It’s quite remarkable and I’m so happy to be a part of such an important time in history.  The part where people decide the future for their kids and grandkids.  What do you want for your future?  More organic foods?  Hand-made items?  Farmers markets?  Homeopathic medicine?  Naturopath doctors?  Home remedies? Whatever it is, we’re starting to wake-up to the blindfolds that society has given us and realize that we ARE in control of our own health.

Rant about the current healthcare crisis: We do NOT have to suffer these ailments and diseases, though some of us might be more susceptible hereditarily to certain types of sicknesses, diseases, or ailments, it does not necessarily that we WILL have them.  Just that fact right there, can be inspirational to many of us.  Having a future decided for us based on a past we were given, doesn’t make any sense.  Not now, not with all this information and research that’s been done on how to ‘heal’ the body.  That is heal the body, not cover-up underlying issues so they continue to progress un-noticed. What’s happening when you go to the doctor with heartburn is a quick-fix antacid that ‘relieves’ the symptoms or when you have high blood-pressure and they give you ‘blood pressure medication’.  It doesn’t solve the underlying issues or address the more impending problems that may cause even greater problems later on in life.  Unfortunately, most doctor’s don’t have time and are not paid to care if you have heartburn to ask the more appropriate questions of why your stomach isn’t producing enough hydrochloric acid to digest the foods your eating or whether or not you are in a chronic state of acidosis.  With those who have high blood-pressure, digging deeper to find out Why the arterial walls have plaque and whether the patient’s diet consists of highly refined foods again looking at the acid/alkaline balance in the blood or using their Doctor like powers to recommend supplements or put patients on the proper diet to help heal their body. I’d like a doctor to be real to a patient and say “Look, this is the diet you need to be on, these are the supplements you need to take, and these are the exercises you need to do daily to heal your high blood-pressure.  Then, after 3 months we’ll visit again and look at your progression.”  To the patients who are ‘healing’ the doctor should adjust their diet or make decisions that address the patient’s concerns.  To the patient’s who don’t get better or just want the quick-fix then the doctor should have a real serious discussion: “If I put you on blood pressure medication, your life expectancy could drop 20+ years.  Your also putting a lot of pressure on your circulatory system which affects all the other systems in your body, including your nervous system, which does affect your brain and of course increases your chances of stroke significantly.  Taking blood pressure medication, will only ‘stall’ your body long enough where the plaque has to continue growing to restrict the flow even more, when that happens, chances of clotting are significant, even with the medication.  Not to mention, you are also compromising your immune system and increasing risk to coronary disease and countless other diseases.”  Those are the real conversations that happen in medical school, the doctor’s know what the risks are but fail to deliver that information to the patient.  Why?  To many reasons to write in this ‘rant’ section of the blog.  I will say two things, one- the obvious, I’m very passionate about this topic and two- no matter what the reason is that the doctor fails to prevent disease and focus on ‘healing’ the patient, the reason/s are not in-line with the fundamental principle that all doctor’s and medical professionals are taught in school which is “first, do no harm to the patient“.  Of course that can be taken out of context to all hell, but one theme remains: covering up a problem IS causing more harm to the patient, period. But..the doctor is the one with the degree right, he has to be looking out for your health, right?  I wish that were true in all cases.  No matter what, here’s the main thing I want to really drive home.  If you can’t get answers from your doctor or your doctor is quick to just hand you some sort of ‘answer’ via prescription drug or equivalent.  Find out more information before believing that the doctor has your best interests in hands.  You have the right to the answers to your questions.  It is your right, not privilege, to have more than 15 minutes with your doctor without feeling rushed. (Keep in mind, you are the one paying for the doctor’s time and services.)  It is also your right to contact another doctor, if you don’t like the one you’ve got, get a new one and I recommend turning to a Naturopath doctor.  Not all of them are treated the same, but you should treat your doctor, the one who is your guide to better health, at minimum the same as you would a restaurant.  If the food they are handing you is under/over cooked, tastes like shit, or is served half-assed do you go back to the same restaurant again?  If the doctor is giving/not-giving you the answers to your questions, gives you a prescription, or doesn’t seem to care about you, why would you go back to the same doctor again?  M.D. doesn’t indicate that you’re Married to the Doctor, it means they are qualified to give you the answers you deserve or at least guide you in the right direction.  If they choose not to, choose someone else who will. –end rant.

Back to eating healthy.  I didn’t find my answers to how people had a fridge full of produce and healthy foods until I questioned my doctors.  Struggling with weight problems, mood swings, anxiety attacks, emotional distress, hypothyroidism, PCOS and the related symptoms of PCOS (which are onset from the time of puberty) I hit a wall with these doctors.  I kept getting the same answers and as time passed, the symptoms and problems got worse.  The next thing I know, I am diagnosed with PCOS.  I’ve got a laundry list of prescription drugs, as well as a nutritionist who’s giving me a ‘guide-to-eat’ healthy that I’ve been following for years that got me to this point.  It was as if every road I tried to take lead me down the same path.  The answers the doctors were giving me were nothing about nutrition and instead were about covering up the issues.  I didn’t even have diabetes and I was being prescribed with metformin, because being diagnosed with PCOS, based off research of PCOS being a pre-cursor to diabetes, I was next in line to diabetes.  Had I not questioned THAT.  I’d still be taking that laundry list of prescription drugs-for life as well as STILL struggling with my weight and all the associated problems of this PCOS which according to my doctor (at the time) was un-curable.  I just had to deal with it and learn to work around my weight.  That was a pill I wouldn’t take.  I refused to be unhappy for the rest of my life, I refused to ‘settle’ with that answer and I looked elsewhere for answers.  When I did, a whole new world opened up for me and I learned a lot about the body.  I learned a lot about PCOS and many other diseases, ailments, and symptoms people suffer from ‘without’ a diagnosis.  To that, I’m very happy that I found happiness in healing my body and my PCOS.
However, I realize that there are so many people who like me, were told very similar stories from their doctor and the more I listened to others the more I learned this to be a very hard fact.  I wasn’t alone and there were many people who still were suffering, which fast-forward to today I am set on a mission to do something about.  That’s why I’m writing a cookbook, that’s why I’m a nutritionist, and that’s why our fridge is jam-packed with healthy foods…
My Fridge

AND I know what to do with them!
(and it’s not salads for every meal either-not even close!).

I’ve helped heal many other people too and I want to help even more!  We should all be able to open our fridge full of produce and healthy foods, and know JUST what to do with it!   It’s my goal to help start that process with this cookbook series I’m creating. 🙂


If you have any questions or would like to share your story too, please feel free to do so in the comments section below!

I’d love to hear or help in any way I can. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed today’s post.  Have a fantastic weekend and do something awesome for your body!

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!

My New Blog!


I’ve been really trying to get to a spot where I can blog about what I want to blog about, things I’m interested in etc.  I have a lot of people ask me health questions, cooking tips, how I use certain things, how to help with x-y-z, what supplements to take, what products I like, etc.  I also get questions on my artwork, which I’m thinking about creating a separate blog for.

Several months ago, I found out that I was pregnant and well that definitely opens a whole many doors of questions and discussion topics.  Most of them I can’t find a place to put on my own website and in fact the ‘blog’ posts that I have on my website feel really out of place to me since I’m really wanting to focus my website on the cookbook and store features (a place for people to shop for products I recommend.)  When it comes to health facts, discussion topics regarding food-politics, or anything else for that matter- I’m wanting to add another ‘category’ in order to help people find their way.  However, I’m seeing that most of the tips I read or things I use to bounce off of for more research are straight up blogs.  So, here I am.  I have thought about creating a blog for a while now and I was worried that I wouldn’t have any followers because most just know my website or they know me personally and I end up spending an hour or more talking about health tips and facts.  To which I could talk endlessly about, but have no way of broadcasting that to more than a few people at a time.  Here with a blog my outreach can be much further.  Another reason I haven’t started a blog in a while is because I’m a perfectionist to a fault and if something isn’t ‘just-right’ I usually get bogged down on it.  That’s a positive and a negative attribute, while it helps me tremendously with research it doesn’t’ usually help me with finding ‘just the right theme’ for the friggin’ blog I want to use.  Not to mention the added bonus of widgets and customization. Don’t get me started, so I’m going to embrace the ‘imperfect’ and delve into topics and interest and work on ‘perfecting’ my blog as I go.  This way, I can talk about anything I want.  Being pregnant, dealing with the food cravings, hearing about what I do to resolve those food cravings and opening the door to many other topics and eventually things that will lean into raising a kid healthy.  This will be my ‘go-to’ point of referencing my life.  I’ll work on adding my pintrest, facebook, and twitter stuff as I go.  Again, wanting to be a perfectionist I’m forcing myself out of this box where everything must align absolutely just right the first time.  That’s just not realistic and it definitely doesn’t get the job done.  It only makes me feel like a procrastinator and I’d rather things just not be perfect.  I also like the idea of having a blog where I an be more ‘myself’ and less ‘professional’ with my opinions-allowing more of my personality to blossom.  After all, success begins with the first step, right?

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you like it enough to ‘follow’.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me and ask away.  I’ll help you to the best of my ability!