Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Check-in 5/29 Mompetition

     I finally ordered a sit-to-stand type toy for Nathan! I am really excited. He is still struggling to hold his own weight up (unsurprising, since he is quite heavy!) but I don't think I've given him enough encouragement to even try to pull himself up. Very excited about that!

      I've been trying to give Nathan as much time sitting and almost-crawling as possible. Recently received one of those floor mats that fit together like a puzzle - it is a lifesaver! Our place is one story, hard wood directly on the concrete foundation. Not a great place for an uncoordinated baby to learn! He is doing quite well at holding himself sitting and in the crawling position. So hilarious though - he can pretty much only move backward when attempting to crawl. We set him up facing away from his crib, and over the course of a couple minutes he ended up crawling backward right underneath it. He didn't think it was as amusing as we did. Poor guy.

Mompetitive Me
     Despite how well I know he is doing, and how different babies develop at varying rates (and all that) I keep noticing my default reaction toward my mommy friends (with babies of similar age) is competitive. One of my old coworkers has a beautiful baby girl a couple weeks older than Nathan, and she is already pulling herself up to stand! There are so many factors that go into a baby's progress (and Nathan is by no means 'behind' for his age) and yet I keep thinking "I'm not helping Nathan practice enough" or similar sentiments. Luckily I realize that I am being ridiculous and get over it quite soon after. I just find it interesting. Will this last, I wonder? If he plays sports will I get this same attitude? Most likely, I was pretty competitive growing up and I know my husband is the same (only more so). At least I know about it now, so I can try to balance it out and prevent it from getting out of hand!

     I had about a week with the increased carbs per day and my supply is great! It was a little high for a couple of days (I needed to rebuild my freezer stash anyway) and now it has evened out at a higher capacity than before. My means of adding to my carbohydrates was to do my typical diet and just add a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. That alone is 27 carbs (I like steelcut or irish oats). Feeling good! Re-lost the weight we had gained on our first carb day, and had a carb meal instead this last weekend. No gain! And it was much more enjoyable. I highly recommend a carby MEAL instead of full day. But if you're like me, you will have to learn the hard way the first time. That's alright, it just puts you a few days behind.

Me Time
     Just the other day my mom, sister and I went for pedicures. It was pretty nice actually! I never consider myself all that girly, so I wasn't sure about going for something so decidedly girly. It was a nice change of pace for me. I haven't painted my fingernails in at least 2 years, and who knows the last time my toe nails were painted! It definitely made me want to do more thinks of that nature and I ended up adding some (clear) polish to my fingernails.

I think this post is getting long enough, so I will end it. I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend!

I entered Nathan in a magazine cover contest - if you'd like to vote for him the link is


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Keto: (Final) Week 6 Summary

Total Weight Loss: Over 20 pounds!

I cannot believe six weeks have already passed! This has been quite a learning experience for my husband and me. I actually got the encouragement and excitement to cook something every single day, and to try lots of new items to increase our variety of foods for longer-term success!

For my husband and I, the ketogenic lifestyle is worth following for most of the time. We have both hit somewhat of a plateau so we are looking to bump it out with some carb-heavy days (once a week).

I wanted to delay today's post in order to include my notes from my first carb-filled day in a month-and-a-half!

The first thing I noticed was that my breasts were fairly engorged in between feedings. I didn't have a bunch of random letdowns or anything, but they were definitely full and hard. They have not been like that in months. Because of this, as I really did not think carb intake would affect my supply much at all, I have decided to increase my carb intake by 20 grams per day. 40g of carbohydrates each day now, except for once a week possibly.

My energy level after the first sugary and starchy meal leaped up. It was great though, because we headed directly to the zoo and ran around pushing a stroller on a timeframe (a certain amount of time was paid for in our parking spot). If we had left it at that, I would probably feel fantastic right now and I'm sure it would have only helped our overall weight loss. But we had to overdo it. That's just who we are. We had to learn the hard way. So, we had giant burritos for lunch and pizza and breadsticks for dinner. And don't forget the delicious cake we had for dessert!

As a direct comparison: I never felt full for very long today. Carbs may fill you up, but only for a short time. Meats and fats, however, fill you up well and for a long time. Today I'm sure we careened past our typical daily caloric goals, but on keto we would be plenty full even before hitting our calories for the day. Energy levels spiked and dropped in between snacks/meals all day long today, whereas they are typically fairly level throughout the entire day. Actually, today was a really interesting day to go through such a drastic meal change after 6 weeks of one particular food ratio.

Next week, if we get back within our goal ranges, we have decided to have a carby meal, not a carby day. Blegh.

Edit: 5/21 My recommendation: If you are breastfeeding while going ketogenic and your supply is low, increase your carb intake. Anything below 100g of carbohydrates in a day is considered 'low carb' and will help you lose weight when compared to the typical American carb-heavy diet. All day yesterday I had a huge oversupply, and today there are still some leftovers of the same. Once this wears off I will go to the new 40g of carbs per day plan, and see how that works for me.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Check-in 5/18/12

Wow, it has been a challenge logging on to post about everything this past couple of weeks. I have suddenly become very stir-crazy at home and the weather has been especially lovely this past few days. This has, of course, lead to any excuse to go out and enjoy it! Play dates, trip to the park, random errands that involve driving or walking somewhere. I absolutely love it! Plus we could really use the extra vitamin D up here in the Northwest.

I joined a bowling league with my mother - we just started yesterday! I am excited to get a bit of time without baby to keep my own sense of individuality, some more social time with my mom, and for Jason and Nathan to get some exclusive bonding time!

Around the house we are going through a big ordeal where the end result is either us moving out or getting a loan modification. I am going through all of the items we have accumulated (much of it to excess, we really do not need this much) and trying to donate as much as possible. Watching Hoarders definitely helps. Seriously, just go to Netflix, turn that show on, and try NOT to start packing up/trashing/donating things. Impossible, I say!

This is my final week of exclusive KETO, after which Jason and I are going to try carb days once a week to revamp our weight loss. If we end up gaining during these days, however, we will have to change our game plan and possibly just go back to solid KETO for a few more weeks.

Nathan is getting ever closer to figuring out how to crawl! It is amazing to watch him learn and figure things out for himself. Our hard wood floors are a bit too slippery so I think that may be holding him back a little bit. He is very efficient at rotating, and that's always hilarious, but he is getting some movement in there! More each day, it seems!

Monday, May 14, 2012

New Foods!

Since Nathan had gotten sick I sort of fell behind in sharing new and different foods with him. In fact, for about a week and a half after his fever I was so concerned with rebuilding my supply I think I only fed him mushy foods once or twice!

So I am way overdue. Today we shall try out mango for the first time! I have been hesitant with new fruits just because of the possibility of a citrus allergy, but that's just my first-time-mommyness (that's a word, right?)  coming out. Now that I am back in action with blending up home made baby meals, I might have to start making combinations to keep things interesting for him!

This week we will be trying mango for the first time, and chicken! I'm not sure how the chicken will be since it sounds just awful. I might add ginger or apple to it to give it some flavor.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

KETO: Week 5 Summary/Check-in

Weight Loss: 4.5 pounds!

I apologize for the lack of posts this week. I have been a bit under the weather! Some bug I caught magically despite being home most of the week. This week the real struggle was when I started feeling sick. Whenever I'm nauseous the only thing that seems to settle my stomach is delicious starchy carbs. Like plain bagels or saltines or something. However, as that is off of my diet (and there's no guarantee that would still work for me) I have simply been suffering. The other problem (only exacerbated by the nausea) is that I'm not putting enough effort in to be creative and eat different foods. We went to Costco, bought a lot of the same stuff that we liked and could have on our diet, and as expected I am sick of a bunch of it now.

Luckily, we made a quick trip to a grocery store and bought some different meats that we haven't been eating and I should easily make it through my six week goal of KETO.

One thing that happened, and I have been careful but after a while it is easy to get lazy, happened just yesterday. Jason and I took a trip to the market to have lunch and drinks outside in the beautiful sunshine, and we found a new brand of diet root beer. Awesome! Sugar-free and in a glass bottle (somehow it always tastes better in a glass bottle, doesn't it?). I tried it out, and thought it was a bit off in flavor. Oh well, I thought, probably because I'm used to Splenda as my sweetener and this used Stevia. I basically forced myself to drink it because we'd spent the money and I hate to waste things. Only after I finished it did I notice the calorie count on the side of the bottle: 160. Diet sodas typically do not have calories. Somehow, after noticing and grabbing one of the diet root beers, I have grabbed the regular version for the second. And FORCED myself to drink it. 42 carbs. I was mad. If I was going to have so many carbs why did it have to be something I didn't even enjoy? Gah.

Anywho, so now I'm testing to see if I'm still in ketosis (I was this morning) or if I'll be dealing with another keto flu. Super frustrating. But the main thing is, it's ok to make mistakes. Just keep going with your usual plans, do not let it discourage you.



Holy Grail Pizza Crust

This pizza was alright, however I have had entirely too many almonds and so I think that may have colored my opinion a bit. Also, tomato paste has a weird sweet taste to it, so I recommend tomato sauce. The texture was pretty good though, much better than that cheese crust we made previously.

Make it again: Not anytime soon. Maybe once I'm over this sickness.

We also have been experimenting with taking regular recipes and subbing in splenda and almond or coconut flour to cut the carbs down. We tried this with a brownie recipe (on a baking cocoa box) and it was alright, however much too sweet for my taste. My husband loved it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Review: Medela Pump in Style Advanced

I was not paid to endorse this product, these words are my own. Affiliate link.
The Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breastpump - shown with the included cooler, ice pack, 2 bottles, and pieces of the pump itself in a portable bag.

As much as I've discovered I would rather breastfeed than pump any time, any day, always; if I do have to pump it is made bearable by this kit. In fact, it is a little bit fun using this kit simply because it includes everything you need and is very convenient on the go. Medela, as a brand, comes highly recommended. This  breastpump in particular got a great response by all of the nurses and doctors I encountered at the hospital when I went into labor. Not to mention the fantastic online reviews that lead me to purchase it in the first place. 

This breastpump:
  • is quiet - very important when you finally get the little guy to sleep
  • has an adjustable speed for the ideal comfort while pumping
  • has 2 modes - stimulation mode and letdown mode in order to produce more letdowns per session
  • all fits into the little carrier bag (and has room for other essential things like a small purse, phone, etc)
  • comes with a wall plug and a battery-powered adapter
  • has differently-sized breastshields to get the most comfort and best output

If you make the mistake that I did, which that was wait until directly after giving birth to read the instructions, you might think that all of the settings and modes seem complicated. However, I assure you this is just baby brain mixed with exhaustion. Just try on the pump and play with the different settings until you find what works for you.

One thing you will want to do is purchase the set of different sizes of breastshields because it only comes with one size. I don't know about you, but I have no idea how to tell if it fits by measurement alone (24mm? How do I measure that?) so I just tried the different ones and compared them to the diagram that shows how your nipple should fit in it. 

Price for this varies depending on where and when you buy it. I recommend Amazon, because I saw the price actually drop down to $230 at one point, but then it goes up to $300 at times as well. So, keep an eye on it (if you put one in your Amazon shopping cart it updates you to price changes).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Keto: Week 4 Summary

Weight Loss: 2+ pounds
Our scale stopped giving reliable weights early in the week, and after 3 days we finally gave up and bought a new one. Unfortunately, I couldn't weigh myself on both  to compare the weights and see how I've actually done this week. Oh well!

Wow! I can't believe I've stuck to the KETO lifestyle for four weeks! I do believe I've been in ketosis the entire time (after 2 days maybe), as well. Two more weeks and I will have a day off to celebrate my birthday!

This week has been quite stressful, actually. Last week poor Nathan was sick and since then my supply has been on the low side. I was really worrying (for the first time since Nathan was first born) that he wasn't getting enough to eat. Of course, the stress can negatively impact breastmilk supply so it was like a horribly cycle for a good few days. Despite this not starting until 3 full weeks into my keto lifestyle, in the back of my mind I was paranoid that this diet was causing me to have a low supply. Despite the fact that carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient and have little-to-no impact on breastmilk supply. I knew this and yet, something about being unable to feed my baby makes me doubt all that I've learned.

As I continue on this lifestyle choice, it gets easier and easier. There are downsides, if you can call them that. For instance, one day I was daydreaming about all of the delicious sweets I might have on my birthday. Big mistake, apparently thinking about carbohydrates can actually raise your insulin levels as well. That day I did not lose anything. Also, early in the change of eating habits, the temptations can be quite powerful. People all around you walk around in this world where carbs make up the majority of their diets. And can they be blamed? The supposed food pyramid states very clearly that you should eat whole grains and breads as the biggest part of your daily diet. Finally, this diet is a little pricier than many others. Meats are expensive, and on this lifestyle you go through a lot.

It is all worth it to get healthy. I am by no means barring carbohydrates from my life, but for right now this is what I need.


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These are definitely tasty! Especially from the freezer. They are easy to make and high in calories if you're having a hard time hitting your calorie goal.

Make them again? Definitely!

Oopsie Rolls

These are quite popular over in r/keto and with good reason! One of the main things we aren't allowed while eating low-carb is bread. These oopsie rolls are just made up of eggs and cream cheese and allow for sandwiches and other bread-like additions to meals. You can also customize them into cheesy rolls or sweet rolls, or whatever the meal calls for!

Make these again? Yes!

Flaxmeal Pancakes

Very good! One of my favorite foods pre-KETO was pancakes and I do miss having them from time to time. There was even a chocolate sauce (made up of just heavy cream, cocoa powder, and sweetener) that went really well with these pancakes as well.

Make them again? Oh yes, loved them.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

So good! I made a couple of alterations to this recipe (I skipped the flour, so it was a little on the runny side) and I am super picky so I skipped onions as well. Also, to make it more keto-friendly, instead of milk I used heavy cream and a little water. Loved it!

Make it again? For sure, I will be making it again and trying for more of a chowder texture next time.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Check-in 5/3/2012

So, since Nathan's sickness, it has almost been business as usual at home.

As much as I expected otherwise, Nathan isn't quite pushing up into the crawling position just yet. He has done it a couple of times, but that's it. However, his balance while sitting on his own is getting much better! He'll still have a couple of random faceplants when he over-reaches for one of his favorite toys. Always funny.

One thing he is really good at is rotating while on his tummy. If I set him down in his crib before he's actually sleepy, he'll end up rotating 180 degrees and facing the wall, for whatever reason this pleases him greatly. Loves it! Unfortunately, he does this everywhere. We are living on the bottom floor of our tiny condo, and have hardwood floors directly on the cement foundation. Very hard surface. I have this little yoga mat that I put his blankets on so he can play without getting dirty (our cats tend to walk/track litter everywhere). This little setup used to work just fine, but almost immediately when I set him down he rotates so that he can slap the dirty floor! Gross! *Sigh* I guess I'll have to start cleaning the floors more often. :-p Especially once he is actually crawling!

It's amazing to see him continue to explore new things. Right now it might appear as though he is smacking some of his favorite items/people (ahem....) but really he is exploring the smacking/thumping/thwacking sound and feel that occurs when he manipulates different objects. It used to be that when he awoke from a nap, he would call out to get my attention to come pick him up, but now the only way I know he's up is when I hear a "thump, thump, thump, thump" from his crib mattress. It actually took me a couple of days to figure out exactly what he was doing because as soon as I get in the room (I tend to vocalize my presence) he'll stop and look for me. So I had to sneak in!

He also seems to have discovered his hands for the first time ever. It is like the stereotypical  druggie who gets high (in a movie) and just stares at his hands like "Whoa....". So funny.