My “Pregnancy Diet” Journal-First Entry
22 weeks pregnant (exactly 5 1/2 months) -18 weeks to go
I've decided to blog my journey to give up sugar and junk like I told the ladies on the 22 week page of the pregnancy message board I belong to. Please feel free to follow along. I'm trying to keep a record of my progress for myself and this is the easiest way for me to do that. Pregnant or not, hopefully you'll join me in the fight against junk!
I'm not actually on a “diet” where I'm cutting calories, I've just decided to “eliminate” empty calories by cutting out all the garbage since I'm pregnant. But I don't know what else to call it for blog purposes. I'm open to suggestions!
Here's why: I have read many things and heard from many OBGYN doctors including my OB that sugar in the mother's diet is a big factor when it comes to how big the baby will be at birth. I know there are just some things out of our control, such as genetics, but why take that gamble if you can make better changes to your diet that not only helps the growth of the baby, but also helps you in keeping the excess weight down and gets you on the right track for a healthier life in general. I was 6 lbs and DH was 5 lbs, but my daughter was almost 9lbs. So I know diet and sugar played a role in that because I didn't watch what I ate as much with her. Also, we have a lot of people in my family and DH's side too with Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure and heart problems and weight problems, etc., so I'm trying to help prevent a lot of that stuff too, in myself by making better choices now in my early 30's that will hopefully last me throughout life, as well as giving a great start to the baby in the belly as well as the baby who is taking a nap right now. That is also why I was so adamant about breastfeeding with my first born despite how hard it can be in the first 6 weeks or so. Studies show that you can reduce the risks of Type 2 Diabetes, breast cancer, allergies and a million other things by simply breastfeeding.
With my first pregnancy I hardly gained that much in the first and second trimester. I actually lost over 15 lbs in the first trimester due to a weird virus I caught on Kauai which landed me in the hosp for a week at 7 1/2 weeks pregnant and it lasted throughout my 2nd trimester. My doc said he was concerned about me not gaining enough weight at first, I was no where near even gaining back the 15 I had lost, so I just started eating whatever I wanted, and didn't think about it because he gave me the green light, right? So I had junk food, dessert, fast food, late night snacks of Honey Bunches of Oats which is pretty sugary, on top of my regular meals and it actually backfired on me because I developed some really bad habits that were hard to break for a long time after the baby was born even. And then I was used to eating like that and having sweets a lot when I really should have been having healthy meals, but just more volume, and more healthy snacks too. So by the end of the pregnancy I gained more than HE thought I should have, which makes you feel like you did something wrong and he was like, you're gaining too much now, so stop. Well, I already had the bad habits and I was miserable since it was the very end of the pregnancy, which made me eat more. So this time I'm making some changes early. I didn't actually start exercising regularly with my first pregnancy until week 27, but then I was swimming laps almost daily as well as doing the eliptical machine and walking the hills in my neighborhood plenty.
So, Summer was 8 lbs 9.8 oz, and it took forever for me to push her out, (and I'm not a petite person by any means. I'm curvy, have “good birthing hips” as I've been told, haha, and I'm almost 5'9” and when not pregnant, I usually weigh around 155-165ish, so I've never been petite. And still it was work getting that big baby out!) so this time around I'm making a conscious effort to cut out all excess sugar, chemicals, processed foods, etc. That doesn't mean I'm eliminating whole and natural foods that contain sugar naturally, like fruit and stuff. I'm still eating whole grains, good carbs, fruits, nuts, veggies, including the ones that back in the Atkins Diet days were deemed “bad for you” like carrots and potatoes. I've never been one to just eliminate a necessary food group in the spirit of fad dieting, mainly because I'm trying to get people to make better food choices, become more aware of portion control and exercise more as a Pilates Instructor.
However, I am OK with kicking the sugary coffee drink habit, the occasional Saturday morning donut binge, the “quick” run through Taco Bell or In-N-Out Burger because I didn't plan my lunch properly, the nightly peanut butter and fudge ice cream sundae just because “it's time to watch a netflicks”, and lets not forget my absolute favorite; the big fatty restaurant breakfast of an avocado, cheddar cheese and crispy bacon omelette, home fries and sourdough toast with enough butter to choke a horse and plenty of regular coffee with so much cream and sugar you'd think I was just drinking warm milk...a breakfast which more times than not made me feel like talking a long nap the minute I left the restaurant despite having only been awake for about 2+ hours...stuff like that. Let's face it, NO ONE needs any of that stuff, but especially when you are trying to grow a human being from scratch in your body, and the foods you eat play an enormous role in that, you don't need all the artificial chemicals and greasy fat and processed and altered sugar that make food taste yummy. You need lean proteins, whole foods, whole grains, fresh produce, milk, eggs, yogurt, stuff like that. So when I say that I'm giving up sugar, I mean the yummy treats listed above as well as all the junk that people buy pre-packaged with preservatives, chemicals and “made-in-a-lab” ingredients.
So these are some of the things I have totally gone cold turkey on or am trying to go cold turkey on at the moment:
-adding additional sugar to foods and drinks (like iced tea, coffee),
-prepackaged food and junk that lists ingredients I can not pronounce nor have in my cupboard,
-any and all fast food/fried food, including fast food salads and fast food salad dressings that are loaded with sugar and chemicals,
-anything that has an artificial sweetener-which is way more harmful than regular sugar since it's all chemicals made in a lab to taste like sugar,
-sugary coffee drinks, all soda drinks and jamba juice type smoothies (that I didn't make at home),
and then of course the typical players in the diet game:
-cakes, cookies, candies, pastries, donuts, muffins, (unless I made it at home with modified ingredients.)
...basically anything you'd find in a Starbucks pastry case, at an AM PM/ Seven-Eleven, or in a vending machine. It's a work in progress. I'm not perfect, but this is my goal. I tend to do better when I have written it out and have some guidelines to follow, so that is why I've decided to keep track on my blog as a journal.
But I'm definitely not talking about an extreme dieters version of “not having a carrot because it's bad for you, but I'll have a diet coke and 8 pieces of bacon to go with my 4 eggs!” Haha! P.S. That was an actual breakfast someone I know had during their Atkin's Diet days, meanwhile I was eating an egg white scramble with diced grilled chicken, spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese with whole wheat toast and fresh fruit...and MY breakfast was the “unhealthy” one! Gotta love it!
So for the past few weeks I have gone cold turkey on sugar and a ton of junky foods. It was really hard at first; I'd say for the first week for sure, and I had a lot of cravings for my usual junk snacks that were usually on hand and many times I would “almost” fall into old habits like running through Taco Bell for a taco and an 8 layer burrito before or after grocery shopping. Mainly because I wasn't prepared with something healthy in the car, or I didn't eat a balanced enough breakfast that should last me a few hours while running errands, or simply because it was a bad habit to treat myself with a comfort food like Taco Bell because I was having a stressful day because my two year old threw a tantrum in Target because she wanted out so she could push the cart-meanwhile she needs a diaper change cuz she pooped in isle 4 and of course the diaper bag is in the car, it's dangerously close to nap time and I've still got a bunch of things on my list! I tend to eat when stressed, and a day like this can be a very typical one with a toddler...so I find myself stressed A LOT these days. I think a major factor for me is just being more prepared in general, but with quick and healthy snacks especially.
However, like I said, I'm not “perfect” (whatever that means anyway) and I do have my one daily splurge of “manmade sugar and chemicals”, haha. Pretty much every morning my husband makes me about a 12 oz (decaf) latte and I add 2 TBSP of my favorite flavored creamer. So depending on which one I use, it's about 10-12 g of sugar/latte. But it's better than the caramel macchiato I would normally get at Starbuck's. I don't make my own bread or multigrain cheerio's, so those are packaged items, but I do get whole grain bread with nuts and seeds in it. Which has more calories per slice, but all that extra stuff is good for you so I'm OK with the extra calorie count. It's high in fiber, so that helps in the calorie department as you know if you have ever done Weight Watchers.
Anyway, so this is my goal. To follow this plan for myself in hopes for many things, but mainly I'm hoping to keep the baby around 8 lbs, 7lbs would be great too, but please God, no more than 9!! haha! Because I'd like to have a natural birth (it's now referred to un-medicated I'm finding out) because a natural birth these days just means vaginal. Anyway, so my hope is to continue to stay low risk in the pregnancy so that I can have some other options for birthing like outside of the hospital with a midwife perhaps, and have a water birth in a birthing center or even at home without I.V.s and fetal heart monitoring and all that stuff that IMO just gets in the way of the birthing process. We'll see. Our birthing class starts later this month and runs all through the 3rd trimester, so I'll find out more about other options that are completely typical in other parts of the world, but here in the US it's not considered the norm, so you really have to fight for it. Which is a disservice to women in my opinion.
Happy Baby Baking to my fellow preggo mama's in week 22 on the IAP message board who are following along and who are joining me as well! We can do it! Cutting out one sugar packet at a time! Haha!
Let's keep the conversation going over on our facebook page, My Tales From The Crib!