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“You know what the great thing about babies is? They are like little bundles of hope. Like the future in a basket.”
― Lish McBride, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

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Link Love

  1. Parenting and technology… Crying babies are given pacifiers, at home kids are sat in front of a TV to distract them, and in public, many parents give their kids phones or iPads to play with. What ever happened to old-fashioned connection to soothe whiny kids?
  2. We all know that food can do many things to your body, but now a new study shows that fast food lowers children’s IQs!
  3. Interested in the primal/paleo way of eating, but reading a lot of conflicting philosophies? Robb Wolf lays out the “7 Shades of Paleo” here- the many different approaches people take to the diet/lifestyle! I am a combination between Primal and 80/20 – I do dairy very well and feel better with than without, so I include high-quality dairy as a part of my regular diet and that puts me more in the Primal camp. I also eat things here and there which are not even close to Paleo, but I figure it’s okay as long as I am eating well the majority of the time! This keeps the whole diet much less stressful.
  4. 8 Ways to determine your baby’s position in the womb! I’ve been curious about this for a while… I’ve been pretty sure that the baby is head-down for a while now by what my midwife said and the way it wedges itself into my pelvis sometimes while still kicking elsewhere. I just had what was very clearly a foot sticking out right under my rib (a common spot for this baby to kick) so I believe that the baby is in the anterior position. I also think this because my belly is nice and round sticking out. I think the baby turns side-to-side regularly, but never really turns around fully or flips upside-down anymore.
  5. This is pretty amazing and super informative… comprehensive timeline of the breastfed baby!

The Morphing Body Image

Life Until Pregnancy

I have gone through many changes in the way that I feel about my body. When I was little, I barely noticed anything but its function, and how much taller I had gotten. Around sixth grade I started to become more body conscious, with the combination of Judy Blume books, pop culture influence, and all the girls I knew starting to change. I was so proud when I got my period when I was 13 years old (on Halloween!) and finally became a “woman.”

During high school I started to feel fat, and felt the pressure of being thin. I played a lot of sports and occasionally dieted, even following Weight Watchers with my mom for a while, which kept my weight in check for the most part. When I quit my sports senior year, I gained a bunch of weight which I carried into college with me. Before Spring Break I went on Atkins and lost a few pounds, then started reading everything I could get my hands on about nutrition. Unfortunately it was all conventional advice, so although I was always eating “healthy,” I was battling about five to ten pounds of extra weight for the next five years or so. I had some self-confidence, but was never happy with my shape and envied the tiny girls around me.

When I discovered primal, a lot changed. My blood sugar stabilized, and I didn’t have to try to keep my weight down, it just happened naturally as long as I didn’t eat naughty neolithic foods. I have been more confident in my body than ever in the last couple years. I also must give props to my dear husband for always boosting me up and complimenting my body.

Pregnancy

I have loved seeing the changes in my body since I got pregnant. It really baffles me that many women spend much of their pregnancy focused on the numbers on the scale, and not the magical process. For most of my life up until I got pregnant, I viewed my body in a critical light. I would see all the things I didn’t like and judge them, try to change them. Not so much now.

Being pregnant, I am so much more aware of what my body was really made for, what it is capable of. My boobs have gotten bigger, but not because that way they’ll look better in a low-cut top… they are getting ready to become milk-on-tap for a tiny person. My belly is growing outwards, but it’s not just my belly… it is the temporary home of my growing baby who is constantly moving around to remind me what this is all about!

Oddly, I love the way my body looks pregnant. I have rarely felt pretty and feminine in my life, but I am now acutely aware of my womanhood. Yes, I am bigger, but why do I need to be a twig? My body has a higher purpose than aesthetics. I am eating healthfully (for the most part) to fuel this body and the one growing inside, and I trust that if I continue to follow its cues, my body will return to fit and the numbers on the scale to a happy place, in the months after the baby is born.

Maybe I should do a Demi Moore-style photo to look back on and remind myself my body is amazing? 😉

All About Teeth!

When I was young, I got a few cavities. When I was older, I started really caring about how my teeth looked, so I brushed often, flossed occasionally, and used Crest Whitestrips when my teeth started yellowing. My dentist even complimented the condition of my teeth, but all was not perfect. I still have a small retainer glued to the back of my bottom front teeth which my dentist refuses to remove, and despite all my brushing and flossing, plaque always seems to build up back there. Also, I have gotten a lot of little chips in my front teeth- most recently, I accidentally bit down on my fork and took a hunk out of my tooth. I was going to go get it filled, but it’s not all the way through and it isn’t sensitive, so there’s no real reason.

With all of my progress toward natural living, I figured this might be a good time to think about a new option for dental care. I have read that I’m not supposed to whiten my teeth during pregnancy, and have heard for years about how dangerous Fluoride is, but I have never bothered to really look into it or switch it up.

The other day I stumbled across this article about how Julia Roberts has always brushed her teeth with just baking soda, and it just seemed like such an easy thing to try! I even already had a custard cup of baking soda sitting on my counter, so I just wetted my toothbrush, dipped it in, and brushed away. I have to say, it didn’t taste good, and I rinsed my mouth with a minty mouthwash after. My teeth looked beautiful, though. After a couple days I noticed that the build-up around my retainer was going away- it was much easier to slip my floss in there! They feel very clean and smooth after brushing with baking soda.

I am hoping that this method will help my teeth remineralize, and maybe eventually the chip will go away naturally! Here’s an article on how to remineralize teeth naturally.

The toothpaste recipes I’ve come across seem like a little too much work for me considering I have no idea where to get most of the ingredients without ordering online, but there are plenty of one-ingredient alternatives (baking soda included) or just simpler ways to do it. I intend to acquire some peppermint oil, then mix it with baking soda and coconut oil and try that out as a better-tasting natural solution! Eventually I will update on how it all seems to be working!

Olive Oil Tasting

A whole bunch of information has come out regarding olive oil quality, and that many brands of “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” are in fact tainted with hazelnut oil, soybean oil, or some other cheap, inferior oil. This made me wonder about the quality of the brand I have stocked currently, Botticelli. I already knew enough about olive oil to look for one in a dark or tin bottle that helps prevent light and heat from oxidizing the delicate oil, so I have this 2 liter tin of Botticelli “Extra Virgin Olive Oil – First Cold Pressed.”

Botticelli EVOO

I couldn’t find anything incriminating or good about Botticelli online and it was not in the UC Davis Olive Center report. Here’s what I know about the oil:

I decided to test it further on my own.

Olive Oil Tasting

I followed Nancy Ash’s tasting advice and found the following…

  • The color is a light gold-ish green, but supposedly color varies so much that it doesn’t really matter
  • The scent is very mild and had a light fruity scent- it made me think of pear
  • The taste was very smooth, I did not detect bitterness or a peppery taste in my throat

So… I still don’t know whether it’s legit or not, but if it is real, it’s probably made from low-grade olives since it lacks the bitterness. Next time I buy EVOO I will look for the brands that passed the test… surprisingly Costco’s Kirkland’s Signature organic EVOO was certified so I will probably end up buying that!

 

18 Weeks and back from Vacay!

All of the week-by-week baby progress websites say now is a great time to get away. Not too pregnant yet, but maybe a little uncomfortable with the baby growing rapidly, rest & relaxation is key!

This past week Luke, his family, and I all headed to Turks & Caicos for a week in the sun. My usual activities include beach volleyball and drinking, both of which were off the table for this vacation. This time, I spent most of the time eating, sleeping, reading, swimming, and napping. Not exciting, but definitely restful!

My stomach wasn’t crazy about some of the food there and my body never really loves too much heat, so I just hoped the baby was coping better than I. I didn’t feel any movement all week, but I figured it was just the same lethargy I was feeling. We got back on Saturday night and I started feeling some movement again by last night while I was trying to fall asleep, and a little bit today at work. I have read that many people don’t feel much of anything before 20-something weeks anyway, so I am just happy that I’ve felt the “flutterings” as much as I have at this point!

After vacation, I definitely need to cleanse… I tried to eat well, but everything was cooked in oil and I couldn’t resist dessert after practically every meal! I also ate wayyyy more fruit than is normal for me, although it is normal for me in the tropics because it’s so readily available. Anyway, I’m going to shake this newly-acquired craving for sugar by cutting it out as much as possible. Not quite to the 21-Day Sugar Detox level because apples with almond butter are a great snack and smoothies with berries and bananas are delish, but no more desserts or chocolates for a few weeks until I’m not craving them anymore. Paleo!!!

(I was kind of bad though… I thought I was being so good getting grass-fed steak fajitas, no tortillas, from Moe’s, but then they gave me a bag of tortilla chips and I ate them all!!! Oops, not paleo…)

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Sick in the Sinus

This weekend Luke and I headed for a wedding in Vero Beach, Florida. Everything was wonderful and it was a great mini-vacation, but with a hitch. We flew into Orlando, and we were on a flight jam packed full of kids headed to Disney. I don’t mind the chatty ones, it’s the screaming and singing that gets me. It was an early flight and I wasn’t able to sleep much, and I think  caught something. I felt okay for most of the day, but Saturday night my throat started hurting.

Sunday it was killing me, and by the wedding Sunday night, I was feeling so yucky that I dipped out of the reception to curl up in bed with a book and ice water to hopefully numb my throat. Luke was able to get Advil from a lady who was attending the wedding, and that maybe helped a little bit. My throat was a little sore the next day, but my nose began running like a faucet and has been running ever since. I felt bad for the lady sitting next to me on the plane ride home… luckily I was in the window seat and would turn my head when I needed to blow my nose.

Work was pretty miserable today. My sinuses were full of pressure and I was blowing my nose constantly. I have never liked taking meds for basic colds like this, and I especially don’t want to take lots of meds now because I am trying to keep my body as clean as possible for my future baby, so here is my strategy…

  1. Hydrate – lots of water and tea!
  2. Neti pot – clear out the sinuses a couple times a day so they don’t get all clogged up
  3. Lots of tissues – I like Puffs with lotion 🙂
  4. Home-made soup – I made a big batch of bone broth last week, so I just sautéed some onions and chicken breast in Kerrygold butter, dumped in the broth, added carrots, one big chopped yam, spinach, and a little bit of seaweed just for fun, plus a chili pepper and ginger for flavor and to help clear out the sinuses, and some salt. Delicious, filling, healthy, and great for a cold!