I’m Here!

I promise I am still around, although my lack of posting is suggesting otherwise.  I have been dealing with some technical blog issues…again (they have all been worked out, for good this time), and I haven’t been feeling well.  The good, and exciting news is that I am back and ready to start posting delicious recipes again, and I am expecting our third child!!!

Yes, I am pregnant, and we are really excited!  I am 15 weeks and everything looks good so far.  I am also welcoming my second trimester with open arms, and am slowly starting to feel better – I am still battling bouts of nausea, but overall it has been much better the past week.

During the first trimester I struggled with major nausea, very little vomiting, and headaches.  The nausea is pretty par for the course for me, but the headaches are new to this pregnancy.  The combination of the two made life difficult, but I have made it through and I hope that it continues to get better.  I still get headaches and am still battling occasional nausea, but the nausea is no longer constant and I haven’t suffered with both at the same time in over a week (knock on wood).

This post is specific to recapping my first trimester from a healthy lifestyle perspective.  Overall I would grade my first trimester as a B – or C as far as my lifestyle is concerned.  Here are a few of my thoughts and reasoning.  Please keep in mind that this is a personal grading, and is specific to me and my personal circumstances – everyone is different :).

  • Nutrition
    • Meal Times – as I mentioned earlier I was battling constant nausea and eating became challenging. I had to eat almost as soon as I felt hungry – if I waited too long it was bad (really bad), and I would go from nauseous to starving within minutes.  There was no rhyme or reason to the timing…basically my eating window was really small and random, which made planning meals and meal times difficult.
    • Food Choices – Because of the nausea and really small and random eating window, my food choices weren’t always very good. There was a select variety of foods that I felt like I could stomach.  Cooked vegetables were completely off the table, which is usually a staple in my diet.  Below is a list of common things I ate, you will probably notice it is not the most nutrient dense food list.
      • Cottage cheese and multigrain crackers (Costco has some ancient grain crackers that became by best friend)
      • Toast – specifically whole wheat English muffins with butter and organic jam
      • Chicken – as long as I didn’t have to cook it, grilled or roasted chicken usually worked
      • Salads – occasionally; these were completely dependent upon my mood, and I always tried to take advantage when they sounded good.
      • Hard boiled eggs
      • Grapes, tomatoes, and oranges
      • Chips and salsa – I had to force myself not to eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      • French Fries – thankfully I rarely ate these, it was too much effort to go get them, but they almost always sounded good
      • Mashed potatoes – once again I rarely ate these, mostly because cooking them was too daunting of a task
      • Rainbow Sherbet – this is a new one, and thankfully short lived. Ice cream was too rich, but cold sherbet tasted so so good
      • Candy – I am not a big candy eater (I much prefer rich indulgent treats to cheap candy)…but not while I am pregnant apparently. My husband LOVES Sweedish Fish and Milk Duds (both are two candies I  NEVER eat), but they sure tasted good there for awhile
      • If I was hungry, and I didn’t have a somewhat healthy option around I would eat whatever was available (i.e. pizza, my kids graham crackers, biscotti (something I bought on a whim at Costco because they were on sale and sounded good), etc.
    • Cooking – cooking during my first trimester was pretty much non-existent (it is honestly still hard to bring myself to cook a meal), consequently we ate out way more than we usually do. Usually I could eat a salad when we went out, but not always.  I tried to make healthier choices, but there were times when a side of rice and beans was all I could stomach, or a grilled Panini was too much to resist.
    • Hydration – I have always been really good about drinking plenty of water, but during my first trimester it was all I could do to drink anything at all. I had my husband buy me some Ginger Ale (which I thought was awful), and I drank Izzy’s (naturally flavored carbonated fruit drinks – they aren’t awful, but they do contain sugar, and are not an ideal way to hydrate).  The bottom line was I didn’t drink enough, and more water probably would have been really beneficial.
  • Exercise
    • I could not bring myself to go to the gym – I just couldn’t do it. Instead I went on a daily 3 mile walk with my little boy in the stroller.  I usually prefer high intensity workouts that include weight and resistance training…but the daily walks were actually one of my first trimester “wins.”  The weather was beautiful (crisp fall mornings), my little boy LOVED it, and it honestly helped ease my nausea.  I always felt better when I was done.  I walked a minimum of 3x a week, and most weeks I got in 5x.  I even had a few days where I felt good enough to do a light jog…so even though it wasn’t my ideal workout, I was really pleased with my daily walks.
    • Besides my daily walks my days were pretty sedentary. I was really tired and felt pretty good about myself when I got the necessities done, let alone staying busy and active throughout the day.
  • Looking Forward
    • Looking forward to my 2nd and 3rd trimesters I have a few goals in mind to keep my pregnancy healthy
      • Start weekly meal prep up again. I am learning that having healthy options readily available is crucial for me during pregnancy.  My will power and ability to “wait” to prepare something healthy is almost non-existent.  It’s not great when I am not pregnant, but it is definitely worse when I am.
      • Prepare frozen dinners – as I mentioned earlier, cooking had gone almost completely out the window during my first trimester, and the desire hasn’t quite returned yet. I am hoping I can prepare some easy freezer meals that will make cooking dinner more tolerable until I feel like cooking again.
      • Keep healthier indulgences available instead of sugar laden commercial candy. I don’t want to make a goal to stay away from sweets while pregnant, because honestly, it is pretty unrealistic for me…but I can try to have some healthier options available.  I will probably make a batch of my Flourless Dark Chocolate Brownies and Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies to keep in the freezer.
      • I would like to get back into the gym. I worked really hard for the muscle tone that I had, and I would like to avoid losing all of it (I know I will naturally lose some during pregnancy).  The gym isn’t a MUST for me during pregnancy, but as long as my health allows it is important to me that I at least keep up with my daily walks (I couldn’t do any form of exercise after 20 weeks with my little boy, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that doesn’t happen again)
      • Finally, and most importantly. My main goal for this pregnancy is to really appreciate what my body is doing.  I have had bad pregnancies in the past, with bad recoveries, and during those times it was hard to appreciate that my body had successfully grown or was growing a beautiful baby.  I want to be as healthy as I can for me and my baby, and not obsess about body changes – that was also difficult when both of my other pregnancies resulted in 50 pound weight gains.  I am hoping that putting a large emphasis on proper nutrition will help me feel better and allow me to focus on the beauty of pregnancy instead of counting down the days until I am no longer pregnant.
    • What I would have done differently
      • I gave myself a C to a B- for my lifestyle grade during my first trimester, and looking back, there are things I would do differently.  I would say I will keep these tips tucked away for next time…but there is a very SLIM chance that there will ever be a next time for our family…so perhaps you will benefit from these tips.
        • Prepared freezer meals as soon as I found out I was pregnant – I wish I would have taken advantage of the week or two before the nausea hit and prepared as many things as absolutely possible to stash in the freezer
        • I should have bought simple ingredients and recruited my husband to cook some of the meals – he is not much of a cook, but if I would have requested he make something simple for dinner, I am sure he would have been happy to do it. I honestly didn’t even think about it, and I am nearly positive it never crossed my husband’s mind (or he would have jumped in)
        • Experimented more with ginger, it is really supposed to help with nausea, and I gave up after ginger ale
        • Try to make naps a priority. I really think I would have felt better during the day if I had been able to take an hour nap.  I realize this is really hard, especially with a 3 year old that doesn’t nap…but I could have put him in his room where he is safe and happy (he plays great by himself in there and he can’t get out), and laid down for a little while, but I didn’t make it a priority and instead went through the day tired and miserable.