My Pregnancy Journey
Pregnancy has been going well for me--really well. I feel great and am enjoying the experience SO much. I haven't felt sick and haven't had problematic issues, so I am grateful and try to keep it that way with good exercise, sleep, and real food.
The little one is kicking up a storm as I near the end of my second trimester. I can feel him all the time twisting and turning, poking and doing his daily WOD. It is amazing to feel the softness of my belly in some spots and how it gets firm in others and know that he is right there. And the cutest thing: he wakes up to my husband's alarm every morning! I can be silent and still and once that alarm goes off, I get a symphony of movement inside. So incredible!
I am really just amazed with the whole process and seeing biological principles I have studied my whole life actually happen to me. It is a fascinating adventure :)
Eating Real Food for Two
Of course I am not actually eating double the portions, but I am eating with the little one in mind. My body needs more and asks for it through hunger and satiation cues. While I know to eat meals with protein, fat, and carbohydrate, my body also likes fruit more than it ever did before and definitely likes some meats more than others--cold chicken is not one of the likes.
It is a really neat experience to listen and fuel my body and my growing son with real food: food I am making myself from quality ingredients. I can definitely tell we both thrive on home-cooked food and feel the not-so-pleasant aftermath of restaurant food: digestive not-fun-ness, sleepless nights for us both, congestions, and crankiness and moodiness for me the day following. I have even done the impossible and turned down ice cream on occasion because I am starting to get it that sugar before bed is a no-no for me.
Since I am 27 weeks pregnant (out of 40--no it doesn't really make sense as a month--is it 6 or 7?--except that I guess I have 3 calendar months to go), the fun of gestational diabetes testing has arisen.
I have read on author of The Paleo Solution Robb Wolf's site (especially this great article: Gestational Diabetes--What constitutes low blood sugar?) that many who forgo starches and complex carbohydrates like grains fail the standard Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (dosing you with 50g of carbohydrate in a sugary drink and seeing what happens in an hour--you pass if your insulin rises to the challenge and gets your blood sugar under control). They fail because that is a HUGE metabolic catastrophe on a system that is honed for dealing with smaller surges. It doesn't instantly mean you have gestational diabetes--it just means that your body is like WTF and it takes longer to figure out the mess you've made for it. So instead of subjecting my system to that metabolic nightmare and then having to jump through multiple hoops after failing the test (like an even bigger dose for a 3-hour test!) I decided to try the glucose monitoring alternative and get to play diabetic for a few days every other week, testing my blood sugar at least four times a day.
It is a fun experiment, actually, but I do respect the pain in the ass it is for actual diabetics. Through one week and a halfway through another I have learned that my body usually runs on the lower side of the spectrum (which is normal for lower carbers) and that stress and skipping meals is pretty awful for me: I hit a 54 (their normal low side is 70) one day when I let myself go five hours between meals. I also noticed that the low low correlated with extreme hunger to the point of wanting to just wolf down whatever was in sight, irritability, nervousness and gitters. Go figure! So cut someone a little slack when they get cranky before a meal--it's just their body going into instinctual "need food NOW" mode.
I also hit a 146 (normal high they told me is 130) after taking my reading less than an hour after I finished my meal. Yikes! Since you are supposed to take it an hour after starting, I thought that would be sufficient, but I lingered eating, so when I took my blood sugar it was maybe a half an hour after finishing--not enough time to get that dessert of sliced figs out of my system).
But on the whole, everything has been normal and the gestational diabetes professionals okayed my results so far. I just have to keep monitoring periodically to keep an eye on things over the danger period of the third trimester. To me, it is a really neat experiment and shows that what I am eating is fine--I just need to be sure I don't skip or prolong meals.
Breakfasts for me are usually Everett Farm eggs and McClelland's Dairy grass-fed butter with a bunch of grapes. If carnitas is in the house, I'll scramble that in with my eggs. creating one of my favorite foods ever. OMG delicious! Just remember to crisp it up in butter before adding the eggs for that extra yum factor and wear an apron unless you don't mind getting splattered :)
Since I have been monitoring my blood sugar, I have also thrown in a pre-breakfast snack (First Breakfast) of a mug of roasted chicken bone broth using the recipe below with a banana or a tiny 1/4c of nectar of the gods Everett Farm apple juice.
Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth from the recipe: The Food Lover's Primal Palate: Bone Broth
(which also provides a version for turkey bones and beef bones--check it out!)
Here's how I make our version:
Prep Time: 5 minutes or less
Cooking Time: 24-48+ hours in the slow cooker
- 2-4 carcasses of roasted chickens (I use this recipe by Thomas Keller) [or as many as you can stuff in the pot] and these can be fresh or frozen (normally I freeze them until I have enough for a batch of broth) and can stick up out of the water, but you still need to be able to lid the slow cooker
- filtered water to fill the slow cooker to about an inch shy of the top
- 1T apple cider vinegar (find the one with the mother inside--the vinegar breaks down the bones to get their goodness and you'll notice they crumble once the broth is done)
- 1T kosher salt
- 15-20 grinds of black pepper
- any other seasonings you desire: we've tried garlic powder, cayenne, and herbs and spices--but actually, I like the plain jane broth best by itself
- (and sure, you can add mirepoix and all sorts of fancy, but try the simple one first--it's delicious!)
Chicken carcasses go into the slow cooker pot.
Filtered water goes into the pot.
Apple cider vinegar goes into the pot.
Salt and pepper go into the pot...
"Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies..." sings the old fisherman from Jaws.
Now all you need to do is set that pot on LOW for its max time limit and just reset and reset and have some broth, add back in more water, reset and reset and basically you can have another family member for the better part of a week, bubbling away on your countertop and providing a feast to your senses.
The broth at first is thick and fatty deliciousness and thins as you take some out and replace with more water, diluting it. Always stir it up before taking any out. And you'll notice that you start to lose the consistency if you dilute it too much, so at that point: Turn off the pot. Cool and strain your broth using cheesecloth or a nice wire strainer (or the recipe template uses a paint strainer--neat!). Store in the refrigerator for the rest of the week or freeze for longer. Heat again before enjoying. Pretty nifty how easy and how delicious this simple recipe really is! Thanks Food Lover's Primal Palate!
I love sipping this broth from a mug--it's as warm and comforting as a mug of hot tea or cocoa. It is also a main dish when you add roasted chicken back in for the most amazing chicken soup ever.
Hope you enjoy it too and have fun with your own Do It Yourself Food Adventure!