Living with the In-Laws: The Food Situation

Tonight for dinner I am making my self a steak, cooked in coconut oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. On the side I am having mashed sweet potatoes. Yum.

This will be the first time that I have cooked what I consider a “real” meal in a few months. Which, is honestly, quite strange for me, as cooking real meals was my norm prior to getting pregnant and living with my in-laws.

When I got pregnant, and ended up with morning sickness that didn’t allow me to cook with out gagging, my husband cooked all our meals, and that was fine. Then, he moved and I moved in with my in-laws. Again, I love them dearly, but we eat totally differently. My father-in-law doesnt cook, and my mother-in-law doesnt like to. She cooks for him probably 3 or  4 nights a week. Dinner usually consists of some kind of protein (ground beef, chicken, pot roast) starch (potatoes, bread) and a veggie (either canned or iceberg lettuce salad). Of course, there is the occasional pasta based dish. On the nights that my mother-in-law cooked, I just ate what she cooked. Which resulted in two things: less veggies and more starches in my diet. On the nights that she didn’t cook, I would find things I could stomach making myself for dinner. Boxed soup, salads with sandwich meat, sandwiches and chips, etc.

At this house we have a WHOLE pantry of processed foods. Some of which, I think are helpful to have on hand: canned vegetables, canned tomatoes, unsweetened tomato sauce, broth, nuts, raisins. Some of which, are not helpful for me, when I am trying to eat as healthy as possible for baby; cereal, pop tarts, fiber one bars, chips, cookies, etc.  I do have one cabinet in the kitchen for my food, and I keep my pantry staples in there, and one draw in the fridge for my veggies/perishables. I don’t meant ot make this sound like I am not allowed the other food, my in-laws just promised to stay out of the ones that are “mine.”

So, what is my point? My point is that I am not surprised that I gained 10 pounds last month. Last week, I cleaned up my diet, focused on whole foods and healthy fats, and my in-laws scale read 5 pounds lighter than the doctors. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am NOT dieting. I am NOT cutting calories, I am NOT trying to lose weight, I am just trying to eat as healthy as possible, and for me this includes some treats. I also realize that the two scales could have a weight discrepancy. But, I feel better, and that matters to me.

I also, do not think it’s my in-laws fault that I made poor eating choices. I made them. It’s harder, not being in my own space, where I can control everything in my environment, but I still have the capability to make the healthiest choice for me.

And, that steak and mashed sweet potatoes I had for dinner? A.MAZING. seriously, puts a sandwich to shame.

What is Wyoming?-Leaving Home

This past week, I have been having this strange sort of feeling about leaving Idaho. I couldn’t quite put my finger on that feeling though. It wasn’t sad, scared, or nervous.  Today I finally figured it out, it feels like I am leaving home.

I left home the first time in 2001, to go to college. I grew up in Reno, Nevada and went to school at the University of Idaho, in Moscow Idaho. I knew no one, other than my grandfather who lived in Moscow. But we weren’t close. I was terrified and incredibly excited.

I have lived in Idaho now for almost 10 and a half years. In those years, it has become home. While I have lived in two different parts of the state, the whole place feels like home to me now.

I think part of that has to do with the fact that those 10 years have been incredibly formative. In that time I have:

Gone away to college, made life-long friends, felt my first heartache, had friends die, had family members die, loved in capacities that I didn’t even know was possible,  lived in a dorm, lived in an apartment, lived alone, gone on road trips with friends, had summer jobs all over the country, graduated from college, been engaged, gotten married, moved in with my husband, searched for jobs, worked at my first job, made a whole new slew of life-long friends, watched my friends get married, have babies, and get divorced, bought a house, bought a car, become a landlord, become an aunt, become pregnant, and moved in with my in-laws.

It’s alot of living that happens between 18 and 28. And honestly, there are only a few moments of it I would change.

But, now it’s time to move forward, to look forward to the incredible life changes that will come in the next 10 years.

This move to Wyoming, sort of fits. New state, new baby, new work situation.  Again, all new, just like the last time I left home. And I’m ready.

The White Devil

image via bitchingnutrition.com

Hello. My name is Allison and I am addicted to sugar. Like most of the world. Last year, after I started eating Paleo, I did a Whole30. It’s 30 days of strict paleo eating.  When  I was not particpating in a Whole30, I would occasionally eat dark chocolate and drink. Maybe have dessert once a week. During the Whole30, I did none of that. And, for the first time in my life, I felt like I  was in charge of sugar, it wasn’t in charge of me. As a former binge eater (I would ALWAYS binge on Sugar) this was huge for me.

After my Whole30, I felt more in control of my sugar cravings, and honesty,I ate a lot less of it.

And then, all together now, I got pregnant. And I started eating refined carbs because they didn’t make me gag. And we all know that refined carbs are just sugar right? Even “whole grains,” just sugar people. So, here I am again, addicted to my old friend sugar. How do I know? Because, as part of my new clean up the diet plan, I intend to going back to eating treats/sugar only once a week, and today was ROUGH. After lunch I wanted sugar,  instead of my afternoon snack, I wanted sugar, after dinner…I wanted sugar. Sigh. This is the hard part, the get over the cravings part.

But I need to do it. I feel better when my body isn’t craving that sugar high. I know that this doesn’t work for everyone, but for me, I have to go cold turkey for a while, so  I can eat sugar like a normal person. Here goes nothing!

Pregnancy: Weight gain…25 weeks.

Ok, I would love to not write this post. But I said in my previous post that I would come back and update on my weight gain.

I’m just going to say it. I gained 10 pounds between appointments. 10 pounds in 28 days. I was shocked, and surprised, and embarrassed.

During my  appointment with the doctor, I could tell she wasn’t going to say anything, but I knew 10 pounds in one month was a lot, and a considerable jump for me. So I brought it up, and she said “yes, 10 is on the high side for one month, but your blood pressure looks good, and there is no protein in your urine, so I think its ok for now.”  I of course, burst into tears. Not with relief.

I was upset, and again, embarrassed, and quite frankly, felt guilty. I was more healthy when I wasn’t pregnant. I had impeccable eating, and since getting pregnant, and moving in my in-laws it’s all back slide. I recognize that I am pregnant, and I should cut myself some slack, and really 22 pounds total in 25 weeks of pregnancy isn’t that bad, but it puts me on track to gain almost 50 pounds if I gain at the estimated rate of 1lb per week.  (Side note, I think that lots of conventional “wisdom’ is bunk, so I’m not sure why I think I will/have to gain 1 lb per week from here on out). 50 pounds feels unacceptable to me. And that is what this is really about. The behaviors that I am partaking in that I truly dislike, for me. Again, this is all about me, I am not trying to tell anyone else how they should or shouldn’t conduct themselves during pregnancy.

I believe that healthy eating involves lots of good fats, protein, tons of veggies, fruit and very little starchy carbs. Let me just say, I have not been shy about the starchy carbs.

I want to be healthy for my baby. I don’t care if I gain 50 pounds, I care if I gain 50 pounds because I couldnt stop eating donuts.

There have been several times in my life, when I’ve had a wakeup call about my health, and it was all I needed to turn my habits arounds. Today is one of those days for me.  It’s time to clean up the ol’ pregnancy diet. Time for fewer refined carbs, and more veggies. And more healthy fats. And, much, much less sugar. Damn sugar demon, you sucked me in.

So, new leaf starts tonight. Eating the way I know makes me feel good starts tonight. And if I gain nother 10 pounds in another 28 days, at least I’ll know it was while I was putting the healthiest food in my body, 99% of the time.

Pregnancy: Weight Gain on the Brain.

I have been weighing myself regularly for the past five years. I have never weighed myself daily, but usually on a weekly basis. It started in 2007, when I decided to finally get serious about getting healthy. For me, that meant losing weight. I lost about 30ish pound. Through-out that process I weighed myself once per week. During my weight maintenance I also weighed once a week.  Until 2007, I’d never been good about keeping track of my weight. I know what my heaviest weight was, because I remember the day those numbers showed up the scale. I can remember exactly where I was, and how I felt.  Consequently, I know what I weighed when I got pregnant. Two pounds up from my lightest weight since 2007, but still about 10 pounds lower than I had been the year before. I gained 10 pounds during maintenance of my weight loss, so I suppose that wasn’t maintenance?

Anyway, that is a long way of saying, I know what I weighed the week I concieved.

Prior to getting pregnant, weight gain was one of my biggest fears. I am, according to society, obese. I always worried about what an OB would say about my weight when I got pregnant, and what would happen when I did. Would my weight shoot up? Would I be one of those obese women who lose weight during pregnancy? Would I never be able to lose the baby weight? This last one was and still is my greatest fear.

I have gained weight, but I don’t know exactly how much. My husband took the scale with him to Wyoming. I know what my weight was at my first Dr.s appointment, on the Doctor’s scale. On that day, at nine weeks pregnant, I think I was up about 1 pound. The problem is, I can’t ever seem to remember what my weight was at my most recent Doctor’s appointment. I think my weight gain at my 20 week appointment was 12 pounds. Maybe it was 14.

I have an appointment in 30 minutes. I’ll update with my current relative weight gain later.

I have to admit, I’m getting more nervous. As my weight at the doctor’s office gets closer and closer to my “all time high” I find myself feeling like I should try to do things to gain less weight. NOTE- I am NOT dieting, I am NOT trying to lose weight. I know that right now, the most important thing is being healthy for my baby, and restricting in any unhealthy way is not the way to do it. I don’t believe in restriction anyway. It’s not how I lost weight. But, I find myself in a weird mental place. “What outfit should I wear today, so that I will weigh the least amount at the Doctors?” “Am I going to be able to go the bathroom before I get on the scale?”

Isn’t it interesting how the scale rules our lives and thoughts? Even at the time in our lives when weight gain is normal, expected, and desired?

Living with the In-laws…The Set-Up.

When I started this blog I thought of several “topics” that I could write regularly on; pregnancy and birth, living with my in-laws, long distance marriage, jobs (or lack there of), moving from two incomes to one, and moving to Wyoming.

In that vein, I’m going to start with a post on living with my in-laws.

I would like to add a disclaimer, that I love my in-laws. I am 100 percent grateful that they have welcome me into their home, and allowed me to take over their upstairs guest suite.

This post is just to set the scene of my living arrangement. My set-up if you will.

My in-laws live in a 2,150 square foot house. 3 bedrooms, 3 baths. One story, with a loft area. The loft has a walk-in closet and full bathroom. When my in-laws were looking at this house, my Mother-in-law was sold, solely for the loft space. She went on and on about how great it would be should anyone ever need to live with them. All of us “kids” would roll our eyes and say, “Yeah, but we’ll never need to.” Famous last words.

Fast forward 12 months, and what do we have? Me, moving in with my in-laws. We own a house here in Idaho, and decided to turn it into a rental, and have me move in with my husband’s parents. My husband took 98% of our worldy possessions with him to our rental in Wyoming, and I have basically just my clothes and few other personal items.

The guest space in my in-laws has a queen bed, a love seat, a small TV, a walk-in closet, a full bath, and a mini fridge. Probably the size of some studios in NYC! I insisted to my mother-in-law that I didn’t need a mini-fridge, but, again, I’m eating my words and I find it very convenient for keeping water cold to have in the middle of the night. My mother-in-law always trys to get me to keep food up there, in case I get hungry in the middle of the night, but since I can still manage the stairs, I figure the trip down and up for food at 3am, is probably best.

Living with parents, anyones parents, is strange after living with peers or my husband for the past 10.5 years, but I am thankful for what my in-laws have given me; companionship during a time when I could be incredibly lonely.

Hiring…myself?

For the past few days, I have been interviewing people for my job. I have to tell you, it’s  a trip.

We have about 125 applicants. When I applied for this job, I think there were 5 applicants.  Quite the difference, sign of the times right?

Before I knew I was leaving this job, I had plenty of days when I wished that I was. We all have those days at work right? Where you just don’t want to do your job anymore? I mean, for me, it’s few and far between, but they do exist. But, now that it’s a reality it’s sort of freaking me out a little bit.

I want, more than anything, to live with my husband again, but leaving my job makes me panic a little bit, and i’m starting to get a little bit emotional about it. I have a fantastic job, great co-workers, and an amazing boss. When I interview these candidates, I go through a strange succession of emotions.  Doubt, disbelief, feeling like this is MY job, and you don’t get to have it!

I sort of feel like I am leaving my baby with a baby sitter. The plan is to have the new person hired before my last day, so  can train them. I can already feel myself starting to want to micromanage the person to death. To tell them everything that I do and how I do it.

I think this is all part of making the transition to my new life. Even though my husband is already gone, not that much has changed for me, aside from that one gigantic factor. It’s all part of learning to let go, and move on. Right?

What is Wyoming?-State Nickname

You really can learn something new!

Yesterday, I was getting a quarter out of my wallet for a rare trip to the vending machine, I had a sudden craving for skittles. I try to avoid giving into my crazy, random sugar cravings, but yesterday it couldn’t be helped. One of the quarters I pulled out, was a Wyoming quarter. I noticed the words “The Equality State” on the quarter. As I walked to the vending machine, for my sugar hit, I realized I had NO idea  why Wyoming was called by that particular moniker, and really not much about Wyoming at all.

When I got back to my desk, I did what any thinking person would do, I googled. I was amazed at what I learned.

Wyoming was the FIRST state to allow women to; vote, sit on juries, and hold public office. I had NO idea. I tried to remember if I had ever learned this in school, and maybe I had, but I couldn’t come up with anything, from the recesses of my brain. If this were a jeopardy question, ” state that first allowed women to vote.” I would have come up with something like “What is Maryland?”

I have to admit, I’m quite impressed Wyoming. I mis-judged you. I truly had no idea, and I’m totally going to look more into this, and into Wyoming history.

Surprise!

Friday morning, on my way to work, my husband sent me a text that said “Guess what? I’m getting on a plane, and i’m on my way to see you!”

I promptly burst into tears, and called him to make sure he wasn’t pulling my leg. He wasnt. 🙂 Needless to say, it was a fantastic weekend spent doing lots of nothing but spending quality time together and with his family. I had several blog posts planned, but when every minute is precious, I didn’t want to spend any of it blogging.

I will be back to posting regularly tomorrow. The countdown is on for my move to Wyo. Only 20 more days till my husband comes again and only 43 days till I move. Luckily in those days, I have plenty to do at work, two baby showers (mine, totally strange) my nephews birthday, another visit from the husband, and plenty of bloggin to do. Here’s hoping it goes quickly!

You want me to what??

As soon as I got pregnant, I started reading pregnancy books. My favorite book has been Expecting 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy.  I found this book to be most comprehsensive, and very, very easy to read. And down to earth. Realistic, but with out scare tactics.

One thing that the authors made abundantly clear, was the importance of exercise during pregnancy. Of course they stressed that a pregnant woman should not START a new regime while pregnant, and should always get exercise cleared by her doctor, etc. In this book, exercise was pretty much listed as the cure for most of the common pregnancy ailments. Tired? Exercise.  Morning Sickness? Exercise. Feeling Bloated? Exercise.

I experienced a decent amount of morning sickness my first tri-mester, and there were some days when all I could manage was walking my dog 1/2 a mile. Eventually, the morning sickness passed, and I was able to exercise more normally again. I say more normally, because let me tell you….pregnancy exercise is so, so different than pre-pregnancy. I recognize that every woman is different, and please, please don’t take my advice on any of this. Please consult your doctor if you are pregnant and interested in exercising.

Prior to getting pregnant my exercise schedule looked a little like this:

Monday-early morning walk with dog, 1 hour kettlebell class at noon

Tuesday-early morning walk with dog, 1 hour yoga class at noon

Wednesday- early morning walk with dog, 1 hour kettlebell class at noon

Thursday-early morning walk with dog, 1 hour yoga class at noon.

Friday- early morning walk with dog

Saturday-long walk with dog

Sunday-rest.

Now? It does NOT look like that. First and foremost, my dog moved with my husband to Wyoming, and it’s REALLY hard to motivate oneself for a 5:30 am walk without the dog’s well being as an incentive. Secondly, every week is different. Sometimes I am tired, sometimes I am just lazy. But I always try to keep in mind that a)exercise is good, and b) rest is also good. It is about finding the balance.

I decided, that my goal for my pregnancy is to work out 4x per week. Two kettlebell classes per week, and then two other sessions, either yoga, or walking. When my husband moved, we let our gym membership lapse, so gym-going is out.  To help me achieve this goal, I created a little exercise chart, with the weeks of my pregnancy on it (as opposed to the weeks done by month) and then seven blank boxes. I fill out a box every time I do a work out. Sorta like a kids chore chart, only minus the yellow stars. Hmm..maybe I should start using yellow stars.

It’s worked pretty well, and I’m happy to report that I USUALLY get 3 or 4 workouts in.

So, how is exercise different? Well it’s harder. You have more blood volume when you a pregnant, so everything is harder (at least for me) and I am much quicker to get out of breath. I have made a few modifications to my kettlebell workouts, of course the standard rules for ab work and laying on my back, but also, no jumping (mostly because it makes me have to pee), and no lifting heavy heavy weights. I am sure some people would still consider my workout to be too strenuous, or that I use weights are too heavy, but they work for me, and I have ZERO problem scaling or slowing down when I feel like I need to.

Example: Here with the workout  I did today:

5 minute warm up

10 Kettlebell Windmills on each side. 8kg kettlebell in each hand (the rest of the class did Turkish Get Ups)

20 London Soldiers (marching with straight legs, bringing leg up to parallel, and opposite hand down to leg)

30 Kettlebell Swings. 16kg kettlebell.

20 Bicep Curls. 2 8kg kettlebells

20 Squat Presses. Two 8kg kettlebells

1 lap around the room lunges with no weight.

30 bicep curls with exercise band

30 tricep extensions with exercise bands

30 second plank on each side.

The rest of the class was able to go 2 or more times through. I only made it through the whole cycle 1.5 times. I had to pee, I had to take drink breaks, and it was just plain tough.

The hardest part about pregnant exericse for me, isn’t the physical challenge (im sure that will come as my belly gets bigger), it’s the inability to perform at the level that I am used to, and dealing with the frustrations that brings about.

But, I am going to keep at it, as long as it’s safe for me. Cause exercise is never a bad thing.