Saturday, April 23, 2011

These 6 weeks have flown by

I can't believe my little boy is already 6 weeks old already.  He is growing so fast.  Even me, who sees him everyday, all day, can see the changes in him.  His cheeks are getting so full and round; they are adorable.  His legs are also starting to fill out (he started off with some real bird legs), but the boy still has no butt.  Don't know where he gets that from.  :)

So I had my 6 week post-partum appointment as well.  All is good.  I checked out just fine and am good to go.  So of course, I celebrated with a 3 mile run.  I an tell you that I had been taking it easy after my OMG moment I have to lose all the baby weight and get back into running shape immediately.  I had only been running a couple of times period since then.  I feel much better that I have to.  (Thanks for all the great comments).  I am going to try get back easy.  That is going to be hard.  I am an all or nothing kind of person.  I feel like I should work out everyday, but I know that is not possible right now.  I am going to be make a goal to run 3 times a week, and of course, it won't be for long runs at the beginning.  I am also try to do some yoga.  I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Who has made the switch?

Since being on maternity leave, I saw the Oprah rerun of Veganism.  Oprah and some 378 staff members went vegan for 7 days.  A lot of people mentioned having so much more energy and feeling just better overall.  Because my nights are very crazy right now (neither kid is a good sleeper, the last 2 nights both have woken up multiple times), I know I need to eat well to help me feel better.  And of course, once you decide to become a vegetarian, all of the literature is really targeted to becoming a vegan.  So I have always had some guilt about just being a vegetarian.  I am trying to think about it through though.  I love almond milk, so that is a very easy change for me to make to sub in for regular milk.  Cheese is the next issue.  I probably should be limiting cheese anyway since I still have some baby weight to lose.  The biggest issue with cheese is with family meals.  Both the hubs as well as the daughter both love cheese, especially pizza.  They would not be happy if I made a pizza with no cheese.  Then there is ice cream.  I LOVE ice cream, which I know I probably should be limiting that too if I want to lose weight, but it is my #1 weakness.  I tried the banana soft serve and while it was very good, it did take some time to prepare compared to just dumping some ice cream in a bowl like I normally do.  And since I was toting around a newborn/infant, ease is very important.  I found a new blog not too long ago and she was doing the Crazy Sexy Diet 21 day challenge which is vegan and gluten free.  So all these things I am seeing in just a matter of days.

I had one vegan day and I have to say that I felt great.  Of course, the kids also napped well that day, so that might have helped out some.  Since then, I have been trying to limit my dairy, with the exception of ice cream on some nights.  I am wondering if I can kick the ice cream habit.  I am not sure if vegan is completely possible for me at least right now, but I think I would feel better, it's healthier, and it would probably help me lose the rest of my baby weight. 

So it has me thinking, how do you make the switch?  Especially with meat eaters in the family?  Any advice?  Any reading recommendations or websites?  Any products you recommend?  Additional vitamins I should take?  TIA!  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yummy recipe - Lentil Loaf

I had made a bunch of lentils, but didn't end up having something specific to use them for, so I started looking into the blog world for recipes.  I came across 2 lentil loaf recipes.  I had been eyeing this recipe for a while and now sounded like the perfect time to make this.

Lentil Loaf
adapted from Angela and Kate


2 - 2 1/2 cup cooked lentils (cooked in water)
3 TBS ground flax seed
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small mild onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced (I used 4 baby carrots)
1 small apple grated (I used red delicious because that was what I had on hand)
3/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup oats, ground into a flour
3/4 cup bread crumbs
½ c bbq sauce

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a loaf pan grease one large loaf pan or four small ones.
Toast 3/4 cup of walnuts in a 350 degree oven for about 5 min.
Mix 3 tbsp of ground flax with 1/2 cup warm water and stir well. Set aside for at least 5-10 minutes so it can gel up.
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and minced garlic for about 5 minutes on medium heat in 1 T olive oil, being careful not to burn. After the onions are tender, add carrot and sauté for 2-3 minutes over low heat. Add grated apple, and chopped walnuts and sauté another minute or two.  Add salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside. 
Take 75% of the lentils and place into a blender. Process until mostly smooth (some small lentils will remain!). Now take the processed lentils and scoop into a large bowl.
Add in the remaining 25% of non-processed lentils and place into bowl. Add the oil, breadcrumbs, flax egg, veggie mixture, oat flour, and ground flax seed. Stir well with a spoon and then remove the spoon and mix well with your hands, press mixture into loaf pan with your fingers.
Spread bbq sauce evenly over loaf and bake, uncovered 30-35 minutes at 350F.
Let cool a few minutes and serve!

The mixture before it went into the pan

The finished product

My plate - I paired my loaf with an organic spinach salad with chickpeas and carrots with Annie's dressing.
Definitely worth a try. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A new purchase for me

I bought some extra virgin coconut oil yesterday when I was at the farmer's market.  I had been looking for it at both the grocery store and the farmer's market but hadn't seen it yet.  I saw it yesterday, so I grabbed some up.  I have seen a lot of information on coconut oil over the past several months as well as it coming up in a lot of recipes, so I thought I would give it a try. 

Benefits of Coconut Oil
The health benefits of coconut oil include
  • Promoting heart health
  • Promoting weight loss
  • Supporting your immune system health
  • Supporting a healthy metabolism
  • Immediate energy source
  • Helps with dry skin and hair

Coconut oil is about 92% saturated fat (OMG, no) and is solid at room temperature.  Research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike and that most of them are Medium Chain Triglycerides, which do not raise serum cholesterol or contribute to heart disease, but are in fact very healthy.  Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is known for being anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal.

Most oils are light and heat sensitive, meaning that they easily turn rancid if not kept in a cool, dark place. Coconut oil is highly stable and is much more resistant to heat than other oils, even olive oil. So it's great to cook with but supposedly also great to have raw.

What to do with coconut oil?
So now I have it, I don't have any specific recipes to use coconut oil.  How do you use coconut oil?  I will be scouring blogs for recipes, so if you have any good ones, please let me know.  Also, if you use coconut oil for things other than in recipes, I am all ears. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thanks for the cyber hugs

Thanks for the great comments on my last post.  I don't know why I am so anxious about losing the baby weight.  I was not like this last time.  So weird.  I feel like a failure so much recently.  I feel like I am  not getting enough done around the house, not spending enough time with the daughter doing things she would want to do, not making great dinners, not losing the baby weight fast enough, etc.  Again, I don't know why I am feeling this way.  I was much more laid back last time.  I guess because I have been feeling better sooner, I feel like I should be getting more done, especially when it comes to losing weight.  I know I need to relax and chill out and let it be.  I am not sleeping much.  The son is not sleeping well so of course, I don't have a lot of energy to get me through the day.  I am also breastfeeding which means every 2 hours, I have to take a 20-30 minute break to feed him.  I don't mind doing it but I have to realize that, it takes a lot of time out of my day to feed the little man.  He is an eater! 

I am starting to work out again and am getting on a regular schedule with it so that is good.  I think that will continue to be the way I operate and not worry so much about eating.  I typically eat healthy, wholesome foods, so I should really worry about it. 

So I enjoyed my dessert last night (and tonight, ice cream both nights) and don't regret it.  I know I just need to relax.  I wish I could more.  Any tips to relaxing?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Do people really not eat dessert?

I admit, the only other time in my life that I had to lose weight (other than the 2-3 vanity pounds) was after I had Hope.  So I am not very versed in the dieting arena.  I can do well at maintaining, but I am scared about losing this baby weight.  I know it came off relatively easy with Hope, but this time maybe it won't.  I feel like a fish out of water.  I also have some conditions with my weight loss, like I am nursing, so I can't cut my calories too much and have to make sure I am getting enough protein, healthy fats, etc.  I am also not sleeping great at night so my energy level isn't very high, and no caffeine for breastfeeding (well I do make half caff coffee in the mornings). 

Ok, so getting to the point of my post.  I love sweets, so I indulge in dessert more nights than I probably should.  But since most of my life, I have just been maintaining my healthy weight, I felt like it was ok.  My go to dessert is ice cream (Breyer's Light Mint Chocolate Chip to be exact).  I try to keep my portions small, but I know my serving is always more than the half cup recommended.  And then sometimes we have organic semisweet chocolate chips that might find there way into the bowl.  :) 

I was looking at one of my favorite message boards last night and one of the daily posts is planned eating and exercising for the day.  I was noticing that almost no one said anything about eating after dinner, i.e. no dessert.  Now, not all of these people are trying to lose weight.  Actually I would say that most people that answer to the post are just maintaining their weight.  What?  Are none of these people eating dessert?

I eat breakfast, lunch, a snack, and dinner.  I eat dinner between 6 and 7pm.  I would get hungry if I tried to make it until the next morning to eat again.  Since I am breastfeeding I feel like I shouldn't go that long between meals.  Is that correct?  Would I be ok not to eat?  If I should eat something, what are some better choices for evening snacks? 

What do you do when you are trying to lose some weight? 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I broke down . . .

and ran.  I know it's early, but I was going crazy.  I ran slow (12 - 12:30 minute miles) to make sure little Aidan's head wasn't bobbing around and of course I wanted to go slow for myself.  I know there are plenty of people who want to flame me, but I felt ready, so I went. 

I ran 2.5 miles yesterday with Aidan and 2.21 miles today with both kiddos.  And I felt great both times.  I had been feeling a little down, not the baby blues, but feeling down that I can't get more done during the day.  Aidan isn't sleeping well so I am pretty tired  during the day.  Aidan is also a snuggler which is great because I love to hold him but I can't get much done while holding him (I am currently typing one-handed).  Running has actually given me more energy. 

On the food front, I started reading "The Four Hour Body."  It was back in December, when I was reading a post from one of my favorite blogs that I was introduced to Tim Ferriss.  I was intrigued by the post but didn't want to immediately go out and buy another health book.  So I went to see if the book "The Four Hour Body" was at my local library.  The good news was that it was, the bad news was that there was a long waitlist.  I was ok with a long waitlist since I was pregnant and not into becoming superhuman immediately.  Well I got the book last Friday.  It is quite interesting because it is broken up into different sections.  He just asks that you read the 1st two sections that spell out some of his philosophies and what he is all about.  I did and then I read the first section "Burning Fat."  He calls it the "Slow Carb Diet" and claims that if you follow it you can lose 20 lbs. of fat in 30 days.  What???  I had to read on.  Oh yeah, did I mention he said without any exercise. 

So here is how it breaks down:

  1. Don’t eat white foods.Or any foods that can be white. No bread, pasta, rice (including brown), sugars, flours, etc. Cauliflower is fine.
  2. Don’t drink calories.No juices, pop/soda, milk, etc. Stick to no-cal beverages — mainly water.
  3. Eat the same meals over and over.The idea is that if you simplify planning, the diet is easy to follow. So you map out a few meals and just repeat them over and over. Tim gives three major categories and suggests choosing something from each category to create a meal:
    Egg whites with one whole egg for flavor
    Chicken breast or thigh
    Grass-fed organic beef
    Black beans
    Pinto beans
    Mixed vegetables
  4. Don’t eat fruit.I don't agree with this but this is his thing.
  5. Take one cheat day per week.No holds barred. On Saturdays, Tim pretends he’s in a big, gross eating contest. This isn’t a perk; it’s a requirement. I won’t explain the science, but let’s just say that I agree with the many benefits of a cheat day from both research and personal experience. I’ve annihilated buffet lines in the past during cheats and still lost a bunch of fat. It’s amazing.
After tracking my calories, I noticed I was lacking in protein and even fiber on some days.  So while I am not someone who requires a lot of protein (I know this from experience), adding in cottage cheese, eggs, and beans would probably be beneficial.  I tried  to follow it more carefully for a couple of days, and gained 2 lbs.  Like I said, my body just doesn't need that much protein. 

Since then, I have been eating more salads with beans and some lowfat cottage cheese.  I think that works best for me.