Weekly Menu Critique No. 2: Bitesize sausage egg breakfast for on the go.

Summary of week: Sugar splurge and apparently I am addicted to corn chips. Which would be fine if they weren’t cooked in nasty rancid oil. I have a goal of making my own corn chips but that’s not going to happen till we get settled in down in Florida.

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What I planned:

Monday – Ground beef, rice noodle, tomato and squash bake

(save leftovers to turn into Meat loaf on Wednesday)

Tuesday – Chicken Sopa with boiled eggs, pico, and avocado

(use leftover chicken for lettuce wraps on Thursday)

Wednesday – Meat loaf, baked fries, and ceasar salad

(make extra fries to heat up on Thursday)

Thursday – Buffalo Chicken lettuce wraps and baked fries

What really happened:

Sunday – We went to evening church and stopped in early at Local Taco again. It was not as good and the chips were way too thin and broke every time I tried to dip them in the salsa.

Monday – For breakfast Felipe has been taking granola bars or cake to work and it’s not been very good for him since he’s basically a professional athlete riding 10 race horses every day. He complains of being so tired and hungry at work. So, I finally came up with a portable breakfast that he can snack on easily throughout the morning. When Felipe came home, he told me he did not get hungry at all and he had more patience with the horses. Duh! I wanted to say but smiled and said, “I am so glad.”

Sausage Egg Bites To Go

Makes 24 mini bites

Half a package of sausage

Five eggs

Grated cheese

One mini muffin tin

Butter for tin

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Cook sausage in skillet till brown (do not drain fat). Mix in grated cheese to cool down the mixture. Add eggs and beat to combine. Grease the muffin tin with butter. Use a ladel to add mixture to muffin tin. You will have enough left over for the next day. Store in the fridge. Cook for 15 minutes or until tops are spongie to touch. Can easily be save in fridge and heated up in oven the next morning. Do not use microwave.

……

Tuesday – I almost started my menu plan by getting the chicken in the crock pot at lunch but got lazy after my After Work nap and just added some of the chicken to a ceasar salad before we headed off to Salsa rehearsal.

Wednesday – We were out of data on our phones so we went to the local coffee shop for 3 hours of interneting. We ended up reheating leftovers from the lunch we had at Alfalfa’s on Monday.

Thursday – At this point my menu plan is shot and I’m just cooking whatever I find in fridge. I did manage to get one of the day’s menus done today but there was nothing left over for meatloaf on another day. Final dress rehearsals for Salsa were today, impressed I cooked at home.

Friday – The Latin Festival started today. We had a performance at a local gallery hop and then headed down to the festival to meet friends and eat street food. I had way too much sugar and suffered for the next three days. But I did dance my bootie off all night and it was kinda worth it.

Saturday – The Latin Festival continues. Our official performance was today and went great. We stayed and danced to the bands afterward and had more street food but no sugar this time.

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Local Taco on Limestone.
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The Salsa Center’s downtown performance.
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The Grateful Dead, Mommy Guilt, and Do Overs: Interview with Nichole Hannah

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I’ve decided to try something different with this interview. Actually Nichole gave me the idea. Instead of having her fill out a questionnaire, I did a phone interview with her. So, this interview will be more conversational in style instead of an academic writing. I like how it turned out, it feels more alive to me.

Nichole instructed my first class in the Tribal Fusion style. After my first teacher moved to New York, I began searching for a new teacher and since going to that first BDSS show in 2005 and being smitten by Rachel Brice, I knew that was the direction I wanted to go.

ASIDE (from the days when I considered myself an artist and not a dancer) Being a graphic design student in college, we had a plethora of stock photography catalogs laying around. I use to gather interesting photos and tape them to my bedroom wall in a collage of awesome inspiration. When I got home that night from having my brain exploded by Rachel Brice, I crashed into my bed and looked up at my wall and Rachel Brice was staring back at me. She was the only dancer image I had collected. Brain exploded again.

I found Nichole’s class 45 minutes away at the local gym. Thankfully, I had just landed an internship 5 minutes away from said gym. Score! The packed out class began with a killer warm up that had my legs shaking but I was hooked. I attribute that class with helping me to finally nail the regal posture and isolation that defines a tribal fusion dancer. (Yes, I read the interview, I know Nichole doesn’t consider herself fusion.) Speaking in photographic memory terms, the huge gorgeous lotus tattoo on her back was the memory image that was burned into my brain from that class. Sadly the internship lasted only 6 months and I was unable to make the trek regularly.

Five years later for my 30th birthday, I decided I wanted to get a tattoo and I knew exactly who I wanted to do it, the same artist that did Nichole’s lotus tattoo, her husband Brandon Hannah. See the interview I did with Brandon while I was getting my tattoo. Nichole ended up popping in during my first session and I got a graphic design and video gig out it. I began taking private lessons with her in exchange for design work and eventually joined her student troupe. Now I am proud to call this fierce, creative woman my friend and teacher.

Seven things you may or may not know about Nichole.

  1. She use to travel the country and live in a school bus.
  2. She followed the grateful dead around the country before transitioning into working Renaissance Fairs.
  3. She has studied and performed belly dance for 20 years and is cofounder and lead choreographer of Panty Raid burlesque. “At the time we started it (Panty Raid), it was a relatively a new thing. It was pre myspace, youtube and we were kinda a big deal and I am pretty proud of that, says Nichole.”
  4. She has been with her husband for 20 years.
  5. “Just about any food is my favorite food. I love fried chicken, can’t eat it anymore unless I make it myself. I am gluten free. I am always on some form of a detox.”
  6. She has backyard chickens.
  7. “I don’t consider myself an artist and I have low self esteem.”

Do you find one particular detox useful or do you switch them up?

I tried all sorts of things and now I am under the supervision of a naturopathic doctor. I am currently on a liver detox. It’s no alchohol, no processed food, I can only eat foods in their natural state. I only eat unrefined cold pressed oils, no sugar, no honey or maple syrup. Very little fruit.

 Was Aiden your first pregnancy?

No he was not, he was the first child I carried to term and delivered. He was planned.

 Did you breastfeed?

I breastfeed him. He never had a bottle. I chose to because it’s better for the baby. Also at the time I looked at it as free baby food. Why would I buy formula when I produced it myself. Breastfeeding was difficult. At first, he and I took to it right away, but when my milk came in, it got really interesting. It took us 24 hours and then we were good. For me, it was like I was carrying two watermelons on my chest. It was painful and emotional. It was difficult for a tiny child to latch on. When I was pregnant, I am pretty sure my breast outgrew my belly. I was not happy about it?

 Did you meet with a lactation coach?

I had one girlfriend that I would ask questions of, she did the best she could, but she in no way raised her children in the same mindset that I wanted to raise Aiden. It felt a lot like I was on my own. I did things because I felt like they were the best way for us. I still do things that are against the grain and different from what society deems reasonable or logical.

 Did you have a natural child birth?

I tried. I wanted to do natural but I didn’t have the advice of anyone to follow. I was the first of my friends to have a baby. I had a midwife but she was based out of a hospital. I would do things different if I could do it over again. My water broke and then labor did not begin, so they talked me into inducing with synthetic progesterone. Once you induce with progesterone your body’s natural ability to deal with the pain goes out the window. I labored with progesterone, hard labor for 12 hours. The strength to go so far, came from my husband. By the time the 3rd contraction hit, I looked him in the eye and said I can’t do this. He cheered me on for those 12 hours until he was exhausted and didn’t know what else to do. We finally gave in and took the epidural and then took a nap. We woke up two hours later and started pushing. After 12 hours of hard labor it went from I think I might be having a contraction to YES I AM in five minutes. Generally, when you labor naturally your contractions start easy and come in waves and increase in intensity and then you push a baby out. Once progesterone gets in the mix, you go straight into hard labor.

So, what would you do different?

I would do it at home or a birth center.

Did they take your baby away right away?

They left him with me. As soon as he came out, before they cut the cord, he had latched on and was nursing. I could feel him coming out of me. The cocktail of hormones that hits you when the baby comes thru the birth canal is better than anything they could give you.

Do you remember the week after?

Yes, it was a hard, scary week because now I was responsible for keeping this being alive. We left the hospital early because we wanted out of there. We spent one night and then came home. We stayed up all night watching the baby breath because we were petrified he would stop. We were so scared that we cried and then laughed that we were crying. After my fifth phone call to my midwife, she said something that really hit home,“You and your husband are intelligent people and there are a lot of less intelligent people in this world that manage to keep their babies alive.” But yeah, it was a week of bliss.

Did you stop working after the baby was born?

Prior to giving birth, I managed a coffee shop for 7 years. I left that job two months before I delivered Aiden. I had two months of kinda figuring out my husband’s business. Once I had the baby, I was still helping him out. It didn’t even require and hour a day.

Did you discover any ways to make pregnancy more comfortable?

For me, the best thing was to take everything off my plate. I put a hold on performing and teaching. The only thing I was doing was managing the coffee shop. Prior to getting pregnant, I had one performance that I had agreed to do. It was before I was telling everyone I was pregnant. I had made a costume and I barely fit into it. I made it thru that and said okay I am done. I didn’t go back to dancing till Aiden was six months old. It felt like I just jumped back into dance. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t do everything but it didn’t take long to get back at it. I didn’t have Aiden till I was 36.

Was your life after baby different that what you had anticipated?

It definitely was different than what I had daydreamed about. I daydreamed that I would have this playpen beside me and he would be content and I would be sewing and doing my thing and we would do it together…. Yeah, no it didn’t go that way. Taking care of a baby is a full time job! And you are on their time schedule. Trying to get to meetings and places on time was a little more difficult. I had to plan ahead.

Did you have any help with child care in the beginning?

No, just me and my husband, that was it. We don’t have any family in town. I don’t think Aiden had a babysitter until he was two and a half. I didn’t leave him alone with anybody. He went everywhere with us.

Did you taking any classes while pregnant?

No, I left plenty of time for napping.

What was your favorite part of being pregnant?

Just the wonder of what was going on. Just feeling that little human being inside was pretty miraculous. Feeling him moving around. I was about five months when I started feeling him. Maybe it was sooner but at five months, I was like yeah this is for sure. I only have one pregnancy to compare it to. Im sure the second one is different because you already know what is going on.

What kinda dance do you practice?

I consider it to be Tribal Belly Dance. I don’t consider it fusion because I don’t study other dance styles. I’ve always loved to dance. When I started doing Renaissance Festivals, I met two women who were belly dancers and who graciously invited me to join them at their rehearsals. They would teach me while they were practicing. One of the dancers I lost contact with and I don’t think she dances anymore. The other one became my teacher and troupe leader. Her name is Ziah Ali of Awalim Dance company.

During labor did you use your belly dance at all?

Not during my labor,  but when I was pushing him out it was very helpful. My midwife kept saying, “I don’t know what your are doing, but keep doing it”. I was able to actually use my upper abs and then bare down. I could use my lower abs and then scooch him down the canal like that.

Did you study any birth methods?

I did not. I was a little naïve and I thought well I’ve got a midwife, she will help me thru it. It wasn’t like that at all. The midwife I had, would come in the room and check on me and then leave and I guess be sitting in a room watching monitors. I was hooked up to all kinds of things, it was ridiculous. I would recommend that you study some coping methods.

What was your morning routine like before, during, and after becoming a mother?

My morning routine before the child varied. If I had to go to work, I’d pretty much get up, shower, and drive to work at 6:30 in the morning. At work I had to open the shop and brew the coffee. During the pregnancy, it was still the same up until the end. I allowed myself an 8oz cup of coffee a day. I would sleep until the last minute. Most of my pregnancy, I would wake up thinking when could I nap next. As soon as my eyes opened I was already planning my nap. I was extremely nauseous for the first four months. I never actually got sick but it was pretty strong in me. And it’s a naturally tendancy of mine to sleep when I don’t feel well. I could sleep twelve hours a day. After the baby, I gave birth to a child that likes to sleep too. Our morning routine is very relaxed. We work for ourselves. We work a second shift lifestyle. Our two buisnesses don’t start until 2 pm. We wake, up drink coffee, sit on porch, hang out with chickens, we eat breakfast together. It is pretty ideal. I love it. Sometimes, I must admit, and these are horrible words, but sometimes I feel a tiny bit of shame about our routine because it’s not the typical 9 to 5 schedule. That’s just not the life that I ever wanted to lead. Sometimes I wonder how could I make my routine different, maybe I could get more done in a day. Who knows.

Do you experience Mommy guilt?

Absolutely, especially when Aiden was first born, I feel a little bit better about it now. When he was 2 to 5, I had anxiety whenever I would have to go to play dates where there were other mothers and children. I had anxiety about correcting my child or his behavior. I was really unsure about my parenting skills and what other people where going to think. We live in a judgemental world and everyone thinks they know better than you. Im guilty of it myself. I’m a stay at home mom, I’m a home schooling parent, I run my husband’s business, I do all the cooking and household duties, and all of the shopping and finances for my family. That’s like six full time jobs. Yes, I feel guilty I’m not doing enough. There’s just not enough time in the day. I am constantly redoing my list.

So, how do you fit dance into that?

I put it off for a while. In the last three months I just started my troupe up again. I make the time that I have committed to these woman. It’s easier now that Aiden is older, but it’s still tough even though we rehearse at my home. I’m often not ready when everyone shows up because I’m still putting food on the table or dealing with a tantrum or finding a certain toy. Before re-entering this agreement with the two other women, I was upfront and honest with them. I told them I may not always be on time and they might have to do things without me. They agreed that we can work it out. So far so good.

Does Aiden have any interest in dance?

He does. When he was younger he was influenced by my dance. He’s seven now and into boy like things. He doesn’t dance with me but sometimes he’ll play drums while we dance and luckily the other ladies humor him and we let him play along to our music. When I was producing the Tribal Revival events, he would tag along with me. He often refers to and asks if I remember when we use to do those belly dance shows with live music and dancing. Its in him for sure, it will come out later.

Did you have a baby bucket list before you got pregnant?

The ultimate thing that we had to accomplish before we had a baby was to finish the renovation of our basement. But as far as a life goal, no. Once we found out we were pregnant we were like OK, let’s get this renovation done.

Did you have any awkward pregnant stories?

I definitely felt like a waddling duck. After a while I did need help getting off the couch. None of my shoes fit. All I could wear were my big giant ugh like boots. That and my breasts got so gigantic. Nothing I wore could hide them. Literally for months people just spoke to my chest. That was probably the most embarrassing part. There was not a shirt that had a high enough neckline to cover them.

Did you have any body confidence issues before or after your pregnancy?

Well, sure. I had outgrown a DDD cup and I remember crying and saying I’m not buying anymore bras. If I could have wished them to not get any bigger, I would have. This is weird but as a belly dancer and a burlesque dancer, I don’t enjoy flaunting my feminine body parts. Right? I’m a burlesque dancer and I don’t’ like to wear low cut tops. As a performer, I take on an alter ego. For me, I’m showing my dance skill over the feminine prowess. I never did it for sexual attention. It was a fun hobby, to see how good I could make this thing. I always sorta struggled with body issues my whole life. So, yeah having a baby sure did challenge me. I’m lucky that after my skin and belly bounced back. I’ve always had a round soft abdomen. I’m a little bit thicker in the middle than I was before and my breasts did go back after I stopped nursing.

Are there any books or phone apps you can recommend?

While I was pregnant I really liked BabyCenterPartners.com. They would give you a weekly updates on what was going on with your baby. I really enjoyed that. It was helpful for me to discern what I was feeling and going through. Books. I read all sorts of books, but to tell you the truth as soon as that labor kicked in I forgot everything I knew. That’s why I wish I had a doula. You need somebody that knows what’s going on and that is removed from the intense emotions of the situation. If you ask me what happened that day and if you ask Brandon, it’s like we weren’t even in the same room. Your emotions are running so high that it’s difficult to decipher what the midwife is telling you and what your original game plan was. So you need someone with a clear head to help you.

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Weekly Menu Critique No. 1

Sunday:

For the past couple of months, I’ve been logging my food choices in the mySymptons Food Diary App. In an effort to move towards a gluten free, low low sugar, and whole/real foods diet, I’m going to review my progress every now and again, for my benefit and anyone else going thru a similar process.

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– Tuesday and Friday I fell victim to convenience in the gluten-free category.

– I seemed to be really hungry all week and snacked frequently on the always available dove chocolates at work (at least they were gluten free). Need to bring some easy snacks to work to remedy this.

– The Tangy Tangerine multivitamin powder that I’ve been adding to my water seems to have too much sugar in it and I felt foggy most of the week. I used the garlic capsules to remedy that when it became too much.

– Also, I had some olive leaf extract to help with the itchy eye allergies that have been plaguing me the past two weeks. It really starts working within 20 minutes of taking it.

Monday, I got serious and planned out a series of dinners that fed off each other in a way that gave me a head start on future dinners.

What I planned:

Monday – Pork Roast and Rotel in the crockpot, steamed lemon Kale, and wild Rice

(save half of Pork Roast and wild Rice for WED)

Tuesday – Felipe’s Pinto Beans, Baked Chicken, Mashed Cauliflower

(save half of Pinto Beans for WED and half of Chicken for THUR)

Wednesday – Homemade GF tortillas, pork roast, wild rice, pinto beans, avocado, salsa

Thursday – Baked chicken and garden salad

What really happened:

Monday – It was Labor Day and we were driving back from visiting my family in TN, so I didn’t get to start the roast in the morning. We ate out at a Mexican Restaurant on the way.

Tuesday – I started off strong as planned. Pork Roast and Rotel in the crockpot, steamed lemon Kale, and wild Rice and we did all this while learning a new Reggaeton choreography for the upcoming Latin Festival at the Salsa Center that night. Which I am horrible at by the way.

Wednesday – Grilled Chicken and mashed cauliflower. Felipe started the beans but they needed 12 hrs to cook in the crockpot. I brought home some leftover grilled chicken from our catered Wednesday lunch at work. It was good because we didn’t have another crockpot to cook the chicken.

Thursday – We had a late cuban salsa rehearsal and I was too lazy to make tortillas, so we just ate the leftover Pork Roast and wild rice, and added the Pinto Beans.

Friday – There were no leftover anything and it was just as well because our daily hour nap turned into 3 hours and we had to rush to get ready for the Salsa Social that night and opted to try out the Local Taco restaurant down the street. Was really good but I felt rushed and I hope to try it out again tonight!

Saturday – There were no plans for Saturday. I  only got as far as planning 4 days in a row. Plus our fridge is really small, hasn’t gotten it’s growth spurt yet, so we can only fit 4 days worth of food in it. I wasn’t hungry at dinner time. I was getting dressed for my performance at BourBon Restaurant and although they provided us with pizzas and salad, I had one piece and then Felipe and I ate at the Taco stand down the street. Was surprised it was still open at 10:30 pm.

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They were tipping for real at BourBon that night!
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Rehearsal for our upcoming cuban salsa piece.
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Preconception Diet: The Secret to life is in the Gut

What you eat

In order to give yourself the best chance of producing a beautiful, healthy baby it is important to start thinking about it before conception. If you are already expecting a baby, it is best to start making changes right away.” Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride

It never occurred to me to prepare for pregnancy with diet. Yes, I had come across the idea in books but the paramount importance of the subject did not sink in. It seemed to me to be an extra little thing you could do with not much barring, like rubbing cocoa butter on your expanding stomach to prevent stretch marks, apparently stretch marks are genetic (you’ll hear what I think of this later).  So when I was told by my healthcare professional that miscarriage is a mystery, that no one really knows why or it could be genetic, I wanted to ask for my $500 back. Why send me for ultra sounds and weeks of blood testing only to not stop my miscarriage but to also give me such a lame answer as to why it happened in the first place.
aban791_webI do not blame my healthcare professional for my miscarriage, I blame myself. I should have been more educated. The problem today is that people are lazy and stressed because they are busy and they put all their trust in doctors and healthcare professionals who are too busy or have their hands tied by medical organizations stuck in the 1950s. When I hear that something is “genetic” that automatically translate to me that the “victim” (or the parents) of the “genetic” disorder is lazy (there’s that word again).  My understanding of genetics translates to this: a preprogram code passed down thru generations. People act like we are stuck with this code but there are studies, stories, and anecdotal evidence that people change their preprogramed codes “genetics” all the time. It just takes understanding and effort.

So, if for 100’s of years your family has lived in the same region and had relatively the same standard of living whether farmers or city folk, passing down treasured family recipes, wouldn’t you agree that you eat the same diet as your ancestors or at least your parents? That seems to me to be like a preprogramed code of sorts. Enter the age of Nutrition-as-a-Cure.

Scientists, as well as the common man, were challenged to adjust and change their view of the physical world. For the late 19th-century, early 20th-century scientist, living and non-living organic substances could no longer be kept in separate research categories. Instead, the discovery of “vitamine” verified centuries of observations, that food and life (of humans and animals) were interactive.

Even the concept of “nutrition” was abstract, something intuitively known, but not understood.  Benjamin Thompson wrote in 1795, “…our knowledge in regard to the science of nutrition is still very imperfect”.  In 1803, physician Thomas Christie, speculated that the cause of beriberi might be the “want of stimulating and nourishing diet” with the difference between disease and health dependent on “…some nice chemical combination”.

Nutrition-as-a-cure was on-track until Pasteur’s germ theory side-tracked scientists. Microbes, living-matter, trumped vitamins, a non-living organic compound.

It took another fifty or so years for biochemists to get back to the business of contemplating centuries of observations which pointed toward nutrition as the cure, and not modern pasteurization.

Beriberi, a thiamine nutritional disease, is a great example of how nutrition as our medicine, trumps Pasteur’s germ theory.

Happy Birthday Vitamines! – Pickl-It Blog

Let me if I may pose the idea of Nutrition-as-a-Cure as the answer for miscarriage and genetic disorders in pregnancy.

Let me back up to the beginning for a bit. I’ve have been researching diet and traditional methods of food prep and gardening since my Aunt Betty delivered boxes of back dated copies of Mother Earth and Organic Gardening magazines to our house when I was a teenager. I had limited resources for my experimenting but did the best I could. Now a days, it’s the time I need to continue my learning. But it was not until a twmagazineso years ago in my early thirties that symptoms in my digestive tract had me digging for my old books and magazines. I began feeling ravenously hungry and when I ate, I filled up quickly and was hungry again within the hour. I had continuous gas that made dance class an embarrassing ordeal. I woke up some mornings in a fog that had me feeling “hung over” all day. And trips to the bathroom were never an easy time. I began to notice when I ate sugar things would get worse. Something had to give. I looked up candida symptoms and found a
supplement called Candistroyer that gave me relief. It is made up of mostly garlic and some other herbs. I smelled like garlic all the time but after the third day of taking it and avoiding all forms of sugar, I was feeling human again. Shortly after, we decided to have a baby and got lucky on the first try. I kicked my new food habits into high gear and strictly followed the diet of low low sugar and no gluten. At 9 weeks I lost the baby and fell off the deep end of my diet, consoling myself with the comfort sugars I use to crave.

Now I’m ready to get serious and start again. I am going to prepare properly for our next try at creating a family and a healthy gut for baby and me.

 The baby’s gut

While in the womb, babies have a sterile gut; their guts have not been populated with bacteria.  As a baby is being born, it ingests some fluid from the mother’s birth canal. This means that the bacteria in the birth canal actually begins the process of populating the baby’s gut. 

In our modern age of widespread antibiotic and pharmaceutical use, it is common for women to have abnormal bacteria in their bodies, and thereby in their birth canals as well. For instance, birth control pills “devastate beneficial bacterial flora in the gut leaving it vulnerable to colonization and dominance from pathogenic strains.” As described in Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), improper gut bacteria can lead to small problems such as allergies and eczema, as well as big problems like autism, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. Because the baby’s gut is populated by fluid from the birth canal, women who have improper gut bacteria can unknowingly pass serious problems onto their newborn babies. 

Nourished and Nutured Blog

I believe that a healthy gut and proper spine alignment are at the core of living a happy, functional life. For the last 3 weeks I’ve been recording my food choices in an App called mySymptons – food & symptom tracker by StarGazer labs. It’s helped me to see that I am not as on point as I’d like to be to get my energy back. Below are the following changes in my diet that I am going to strive for weekly to encourage and support a healthy digestive tract so I can continue to dance with my family till I am 200!

My diet choices

No processed foods

No white flour, wheat, barley, rye, oats

No sugar other than limited amounts of green stevia

No oil except for use in skincare

No fried food – cooking at high temperatures – baking over 350F, frying, broiling, etc.) play a role in acrylamide production (i.e. cancer loving environment).

No carbonated drinks – closes off digestion

No peanuts

No fruits except grapefruit and berries which are low in sugar

No water in soft plastic bottles

No alcohol

Yes to:

Eggs: soft scrambled in butter, boiled, or poached

Butter, lard, and salt

Grass fed/ Free range meat and eggs

Lots of Vegetables

Beans and lentils properly prepared

Limited Potatoes properly soaked before cooking

Rice, millet, corn, quinoa

Full fat kefir, butter, and cheese

Nuts properly soaked or sprouted

Butter Oil/Cod liver Oil supplement

Lacto-Acid Fermented foods daily

EAT REAL

Recommended Resources 

Stretch marks 411 – Preggie Pals Podcast

Epigenetics: The Death of the Genetic Theory of Disease Transmission

Pickl-it. Good. Made Easy. Blog – Recipes and information on fermenting foods from a GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) perspective

BBL 038: How to Give Baby Healthy Gut Flora

Dr. Peter Glidden explains the 10 Bad Foods

JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet Cookbook – Recipes and meal plans without sugar or gluten

Weston A. Price Dietary Guidelines

Difference Between the Weston A. Price Foundation Diet and the Paleo Diet

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

GAPS Pregnancy Guide For Mom and Dad – A must read if you are pregnant or preparing to be pregnant!

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Miscarriage – A crossroad to life or dispair

ROADTRIP

It’s been three weeks since my miscarriage. I had my blood drawn last Thursday for a fourth time to make sure my Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) levels are all the way down. My last draw was at 500 and I got a call today from my midwife’s receptionist informing me that my hCG level is at 75 and I have to go back in on Thursday. She also informed me that I was having a miscarriage. I confirmed that yes, I did three weeks ago. This did not phase her and she continued down the I assumed typed list of questions you ask a patient who is having a miscarriage. I answered them all ending the last one with, “Yes, I feel great”. Well, it’s good to know my midwife’s office has finally realized that I am/ or had a miscarriage and we can all be on the same page.

I miss being pregnant in a way, feeling that I was living and doing for something a little extra. That I had a reason or permission to take better care of myself. I only cried at work twice. Silly me, I went back to listening to my pregnancy podcasts. I figured, since I am planning on getting pregnant again, the information will not be wasted. Luckily I broke down while I was alone, cleaning up after our derby guests and washing the towels. I decided to take a break from the podcasts that day but have listened to one or two a day, testing my emotions. Seeing if they are still lurking in the corners, digging them out and dealing with them so they don’t fester and reincarnate.

Now I am at a crossroads. I can go one way and stay in the past and continually mourn, recycling the events and mistreatments or I can look the other way to new life and opportunities with a clean slate.

5 Reasons to Keep Sulking

  1. I didn’t have a baby, but still have the baby fat. One of the biggest reminders of my loss every morning when getting dressed. Plus, I still can’t dance too hard or I start getting stomach cramps.
  2. I don’t get to dance pregnant at the Woodland Arts Festival. I never saw myself being able to hold my own doing a pregnant belly dance solo and when I realized I would be pregnant during the Woodland Arts Festival, I began visualizing all my sister belly dancers spinning around with me and my round belly. Now that we are moving at the end of the year to Florida, I have to start all over again finding a dance family.
  3. I can use my ‘delicate’ condition to continue to be pampered by my husband. Felipe has shown extra care these past few weeks, taking me out to a Mother’s day brunch, driving me to dance class and patiently waiting, and even giving in to letting me buy 20 gumball machines to start a side business. Heck, maybe I could even get him to clean the bathroom if I milk this a bit further.
  4. Lots of friends are having babies and I won’t be pregnant buddies with them. While everyone around me is going into labor and popping out babies, I am reminded by their cute baby pictures and all the Baby Center and Motherhood email newsletters that YES, I was in the pregnant club once but am no longer because my membership was somehow lost in the mail. I won’t be able to go on play dates with my friends and their babies. I’ll have to make new mommy friends, I don’t have inside jokes with and maybe they will smell funny and have poor taste in music.
  5. I have to start all over again. This sums it up. I now have to start ALL over finding a dance family, mommy friends, and my first trimester of pregnancy. Even though I was only 9 weeks, it was 9 weeks closer to meeting baby.

5 Reasons to Move On

  1. I can sleep well at night and am not tired all day. Even though I am a big believer in naps, more than one a day starts making a huge dent in your social life. Plus, having to pee twice a night and the weird dreams, don’t help in getting a full 8, 7, or 6 hours a night.
  2. I now have more time to learn about being pregnant, labor, and baby care instead of trying to pack it all into 9 months. It can be overwhelming preparing for a baby and now that I know this is what I want, I can do it with a little less stress. I plan to stay on my low sugar diet (starting next week :)) including prenatal pills and raspberry leaf tea (good for 1st and 3rd trimester).
  3. I can go to water parks this summer and ride roller coasters and all the other things that pregnant women are not allowed to do.
  4. I can go, go, go and take as many dance classes as I wish. This really helped me focus on going forward. I bought two pairs of salsa dancing shoes, since I will be able to stay awake past 8 pm and can go out dancing again. I found some comfy padded 5 inch heels by Pleaser that I hope will keep my feet happy all night and not leave me limping to the car.
  5. I can take my time developing a maternity wardrobe that I can still wear afterwards. I bought my first pair of pregnancy pants and wore them for the first time to work on the day I had the miscarriage. I’ve continued to wear them since my work pants were getting too tight and my belly is still a bit sore. They are actually super comfy, belly or no belly. And with all the twisting, crouching, and bending I do, they are like fancy yoga khakis. The week after the miscarriage, Felipe took me clothes shopping since I kept complaining that nothing fit. I bought mostly rompers and summer dressers, things that were stretchy and would not put any pressure on my belly. Having clothes that fit helped me feel a lot better and more normal again.
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9 weeks or 4 ? – Miscarriage Emergency Room Fail

Monday, May 4, 2015

I’m just going to put it out there. I had a miscarriage today.

I woke up to cramping and light spotting. I got ready for work and as I was about to walk out the door, I felt light headed. I sat down and decided to have breakfast first. I texted my manager that I would be 15 minutes late. The breakfast did not help, so I rested on the couch for a while. The cramping got stronger and I called my midwife’s office. They told me to come in immediately.

Felipe had just left for work and was texting me regularly. He asked our neighbor Marnie to drive me to the appointment. She gladly took me right over. Once in the office, I learned my blood work from the week before turned out fine and my hormone levels were on the rise. After peeing in a cup, an ultra sound, and more blood work, nothing clear was determined. All I knew was, it could be three things 1.) an infection 2.) a blood clot 3.) a miscarriage. The ultra sound showed a 4 week old baby in a 9 week pregnant body. At 4 weeks a heart beat cannot be detected. So, to me this all sounded like a miscarriage and no one wanted to admit it. I understand the midwife did not want to cause me alarm but it would have been nice to be educated on what was about to happen to me, in the event that it would happen to me, which it did.

I’m not saying I was tramatized by the afternoon events, I’m not an extremely emotional/dramatic woman at work, in business, or in my head when I process my life experiences. I tend to look forward constantly. The past cannot be change. How can this problem be solved with what we have now? If you ask my mother or husband, you may get a different story, but you will never ever see that side of me. I blog to be more openly emotional. My writing can be cold, informative, and dry. It’s a work in process.

So, Felipe met Marnie and I at the midwife’s office and we went to buy painkillers and lots and lots of ice cream and cones to go with all my ice cream. I had not had ice cream in 5 months. At the writing of this at 7 p.m., I have still not had ice cream. Anyway, by the time I got home my cramps had kicked up. I laid down on the bed with a heating pad in hopes of napping. The cramps began to intensify in waves. I felt like throwing up and went to the bathroom. I laid on the floor but could not stay in one position for long. I began to moan to try to relieve the pain. I told Felipe to call the midwife. She informed him that I must pass the baby but could come into the office or go to the Emergency room for pain relief.

The Emergency room was closer and we arrived in 15 minutes. As we were walking down the long hall to the entrance, I felt something grape size pass. It took at least 30 minutes to register me with the front desk and for the nurse to take my vitals. The nurse asked me how I knew I was having a miscarriage. I told her I did not know. I’ve never had one. Will I bleed to death? Will my insides explode? I don’t know? She was in no hurry to help or educate me. I could not sit and I paced the floor. We finally got to a room and I paced and paced and paced. The cramps became less and less and farther and farther apart. I realized I no longer needed any pain killers. Felipe called the midwife and she advised us that it was okay to leave. Just as he got back to the room, the doctor showed up and I pushed past her saying, ” I am no longer in pain, I have passed the baby. I am checking out.” She blankly looked at me as we walked by and the nurse that registered me pointed the way to the exit.

I got so involved in learning about being pregnant that I did not think to prepare for the possibility of not being pregnant suddenly. Thank you to my friends, who have been through this before, for guiding me and supporting me during this tough and confusing time.

I wish I would have read these articles before my miscarriage.

Miscarriage in the First Trimester

How to have a Natural Miscarriage (no D & C)

Here are some good websites for loss

Lost Innocents

Resources After Loss

And episode 91 of Pregtastic is a must to listen to after a miscarriage.

Episode 91 show notes: “Is miscarriage preventable? If so, how? What are the signs of miscarriage? Are there health conditions that can cause miscarriage? What goes on with a woman’s hormones before and after a miscarriage? Dr. Deborah Wachs, a Reproductive Endocrinologist answers these and other miscarriage questions.”

8 weeks- Tired, First midwife Appt, and Derby

What a challenging week! Saturday was the Kentucky Derby and during this week we were doing final touches on the main and guests houses which included fresh flowers, stocking all with food for the gluten free, vegan, & vegetarians diets, and building snack bags for the limos. Let me tell you; shopping for a gluten free/ vegan is challenging, especially with such late notice. Also, had to arrive everyday at 6 in the morning to clean both offices and stock with fresh pastries and coffee by 8 a.m every day. Then since the owner and a couple guests had come in on Sunday, we had to restock food and touch up their kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms when they left for a walk, shopping, or meeting. And finally at noon, we setup a catered lunch for the managers and office workers.

I was fortunate to have four high energy days, but this only meant until 1 p.m. and then it was a fight to keep my eyes open. Since we were catering lunch and considered working thru lunch, I couldn’t go home to nap. Usually I get to go home early on ‘working lunch days’ but not during derby week. Lucky me I was approved for overtime, ugh. So, most days when I had a chance, I took a long nap when I got home from work.

Tuesday, I had my first appointment with my midwife. They took blood and urine and scheduled an ultrasound. Because I am 35, my insurance covers genetic testing. One test, called the Harmony test, I can do at 10 weeks, will also tell us the sex of the baby. That was exciting news to hear!

Wednesday, Winstar farm(Felipe’s work place and part owner of Carpe Diem), had their “Derby party”, while the entries for the Derby were being announced over the radio. I had to work late and missed my Dunyavi choreography class but was determined to make it to the Winstar party. I raced home from work, threw on my only dress that fits and is quite snug in the chest, and headed over to the party. I was tired but in a good/cranky hungry kinda mood. They had mexican food catering. I thought it was delicious! They had tables setup between two log cabins overlooking the rolling fields. Felipe ended up winning $25 dollars in the raffle drawing and then they passed our hats and shirts to all the employees. Then we went home for an early bedtime.

Thursday I got to nap after work. Friday, Felipe called me on my way home from working a 10 hr day and told me to come on over to our down the street neighbor’s house. The realtor was showing our apartment and we were having dinner and watching Game of Thrones with Viane that night so it worked out perfect. We watched the Kentucky Oaks coverage while she prepared the empanadas. That was nice even though I almost fell asleep. Had an early bedtime that night as well.

Saturday, I got to sleep in and started cutting out a big order of LeoToes for a customer in Australia. I didn’t have to get to work till noon to touch up the houses. When I got to work, it went slow and we didn’t get done till 4 p.m. I had time to go home for an hour and change and grab a snack before I had to be back for the StoneStreet Derby party at 5 p.m. I say had to be back, but I wanted to. I would miss out on everything if I slept when I was tired. Carpe Diem lost, heck didn’t even place, but it was a beautiful day and Felipe and I got to eat pizza. I went home and took a 3 hours nap and then Felipe and I figured out how to watch the big fight on the internet, eat popcorn and pastries at midnight.

I failed once again this week to limit my carbs and sugar, but with all the leftover pastries from the expensive french bakery, I couldn’t pass them up. Plus, I didn’t get any exercise in, unless you count working overtime. There is always next week!

Saturday, May 2, 2015
Mood: good
Energy: high
Appetite: med
Morning Sickness: none
Cravings: none
Meal Notes: Granola, strawberries, and almond milk. 
2 beef empanadas. Celery and cream cheese. Beef jerky. 
2 pieces of veggie Papa Murphy pizza. 
Chia kombuchu. half a Chocolate crossiant. 
Vitamins: 2 prenatal, Reishi, Butter/cod liver oil. 

Friday, May 1, 2015
Mood: good
Energy: high
Appetite: med
Morning Sickness: none
Cravings: none 
Meal Notes: Granola, strawberries, almond milk. 
Beef jerky. Kale chips. 3 strawberry curd pastries. 
Salad and mixed fruit. 2 apricot pasteries. 
2 beef empanadas and salad. Strawberry/raspberry water
Vitamins: 1 Prenatal, Reishi 

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Mood: good
Energy: low
Appetite: med
Morning Sickness: tired
Cravings: none
Meal Notes: Boiled egg and babybell cheese.
Charcuterie and cheese tray. Chocolate crossiant. 
Chicken, salad, mixed fruit, potatoes. Grapefruit. 
Granola, berries, almond milk. Lemon water.
Homemade buffalo chicken nachos with
sour cream and jalapeños. 
Vitamins. 2 prenatal, Reishi. Butter/Cod Liver Oil

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Mood: good
Energy: high
Appetite: medium
Morning Sickness: none
Cravings: none
Other Notes: Two boiled eggs, two babybell cheeses. 
Beef tips and egg noodles, steamed squash, 
salad, mixed fruit, brownie. Refried beans, rice, 
chicken, pico de gallo, guacamole. 
Vitamins: 2 prenatal, Reishi, butter/cod liver oil.
 
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Weight: 132.0 Lb
Mood: good
Energy: medium
Appetite: fair
Morning Sickness: none
Cravings: none
Other Notes: Apricot chicken on a roll and 
coconut curry granola with strawberries and 
almond milk. Lasagna and salad. Mixed fruit. 
Lemon bar. Grapefruit. Four pieces of supreme pizza. 
Vitamins: 2 prenatal, Reishi 

Monday, April 27, 2015
Mood: good
Energy: high
Appetite: Ned
Morning Sickness: none
Cravings: none
Other Notes: Two pieces of Greek pizza. 
Apricot chicken, roll, potatoes, mixed veggies, 
Choco chip cookie, mixed fruit. Lentils and fish. 
Vitamins: 1 prenatal, Reishi
 
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Mood: good
Energy: medium
Appetite: none
Morning Sickness: none
Cravings: none
Other Notes: Steak, rice, eggs, 3 croissants. 
Frosted mini wheats and almond milk. 
Four pieces of Greek pizza and fries. 
Cucumber/orange water. 
Vitamins: 2 prenatal, Reishi, Butter/cod liver oil.