Category Archives: Exercise & Nutrition

A Silent Anniversary

Last Thursday I quietly celebrated an anniversary that’s very meaningful to me.  I’ve been a vegetarian for two years.

I celebrated quietly because I took a 24 hour vow of silence.  I did it for many reasons, but mostly to reflect on my two lives; the life before I gave up meat, and the life after.  I took a day of silence to remember the lives that were taken for me, and to pay respect to them. 

I learned some amazing things by shutting my mouth for 24 hours.  I found out how much is going on in my head, it’s busy up there.  Since I wasn’t able to communicate verbally, I had to use body language.  It’s amazing how much can be said without saying anything.  My son and I connected on a new level.  I was afraid he might feel ignored so I made it a point to pay special attention to him.  My husband and I also connected in a new way.  I quietly listened to him, we watched movies and cuddled.   It was a very specail day.  I’d like to do it again because  I feel I have more to learn.

I’m not going to talk about why I have given up meat.  There are so many reasons, and to me, they are really good reasons.  I am going to say that I have never felt better.  Both emotionally and physically.  Since going meatelss, I’ve had a healthy full-term pregnancy, exclusively breastfed my baby for 6 months, and now continue to breastfeed with the supplementation of solid foods.  Even will all these changes to my body, I can honestly say I have never been healthier in my life.

Following my moral compass has brought me so much happiness and meaning to my life.

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Exercise & Nutrition, Janelle's Jibberish, Meatless Monday

Trying to get out of this rut

Between a baby with the flu and teething, my life has been absolutely revovling around this child.  My house is a diseaster, the laundry is piled high, I have not been knitting or sewing, and it’s been at least a week since I last cooked a meal.

Because I haven’t been cooking, I haven’t been eating well.  We’ve been eating out more than I would like, and my fridge is not stocked with the usual goodies.  Because of these two issues, I haven’t been sticking to my vegan diet.  That’s right, I’ve been eating cheese (gasp, I know).

His crying and whining has made me depressed and feeling like I’m failing at everything.  I need to shake this and get on with life.  I’ve re-evaluated my priorities and goals.  I have a new plan, hopefully one that will work.

I want to lose about 10 more pounds.  Unfortunately I’ve plateaued for about 3 months, so I need to change things up a bit and work even harder.  I’ve added a spin class to my schedule and been doing push-ups and sit-ups throughout the day.

Mostly my diet needs cleaning up.  A vegan diet needs to be well planned and diverse if one is going to thrive eating this way.  I need to plan better, keep foods ready to eat because sometimes I just get too hungry or busy to cook.  I’ve decided to make a personal chef day once a week.

Once upon a time I was planning to make a career of personal cheffing, so luckily I have a good idea about what needs to be done.  Basically I will plan all my meals for a week, make as many ahead of time as I can and keep them in the freezer and fridge for easy meals.  If I dedicate one day a week to doing this, I think the rest of my week will be pretty easy as far as the food situation is concerned.

Luckily the baby is feeling better today and I hope it continues.  I find myself getting a little depressed and missing his usual happy self.  I know I can handle him better if I’m taking care of myself too.  

Motherhood is so hard sometimes.

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Filed under attachment parenting, Exercise & Nutrition

Committing to a Vegan diet and other goals

I’ve had a rough few weeks, but now I can say that I’m back!  Life’s back to its regular routine.  I am making some changes though, so I thought I would blog about them.

First of all, I am committing to a Vegan diet.  Indefinitely.  I know there are times when I need to be flexible, but I want to be vegan.  Here are a few reasons why I love it so much:

1. I am actively choosing compassion over killing

2. I feel GREAT when I don’t consume animal products, especially dairy and eggs

3. I don’t have to worry about weight management

4. It makes me happy.

I am undecided about what to do about the animal fiber dilemma.  I’m very torn.  I’m going to work through my stash and then decide later.  For now, I already have it so I might as well use it.  So if I can’t use the word vegan to define myself, I’m going to call myself a herbivore.

Last night I made rice and almond milks, fresh wheat bread, and slow cooked some garbanzos overnight.  I’m very excited that things are going all the way back to the way they were, like when I was vegan the first time.

I need to finish my socks this week.  I had a very difficult time knitting when we had company for the past two weeks.  I’m happy to work on them again.

I’m starting on Day 1 for the 30 Days of Sewing again.  Sewing also makes me very happy, and I just love setting time aside daily to work on it.  It is very fulfilling, and visiting in the Ravelry group is so much fun.  There are so many fun women there and it’s encouraging to talk to them, work through problems, and share our sewing projects.  The group really keeps me going.

I’m going to try really hard to incorporate sign language into the baby’s routine.  We’ve been working on it for a week, and he is responding really well to it.  I feel like he’s understanding what I’m trying to say to him.  I know the key with signing is consistency, so I’ll do my best. 

I know that was very random, but I just wanted to share my thoughts.  I hope everyone has been well.

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Filed under Exercise & Nutrition, Janelle's Jibberish, knitting, Meatless Monday, sewing

A Special Day

Today was one of those days that was special.  We didn’t do anything too out of the ordinary, but I had so much fun with my baby.

This morning I woke up and we went for a jog.  He got a little scared at the end and started crying, so we walked the rest of the way home with the baby on my hip and pushing the jogging stroller.  He cuddled up really close to me.  It melted my heart.

We went to the morning knitting group at the LYS.  He was so social and wanted to visit with everyone.  He was in such a great mood.  That’s nothing out of the ordinary, this child has the sweetest disposition.  Everyone wanted to hold him and tickle his thunder thighs. 

The conversation ventured into how cute my baby is.  Everyone admitted that he is the cutest baby ever.  I couldn’t believe this!  I was sitting with several grandmothers too.  Of course I think my own child is the cutest baby ever, but to hear other people say it is something that is far beyond flattering.

After everyone left, I picked up some new needles to try.  I browsed through the pattern books and bought “Vintage Baby Knits”.  This book has the sweetest patterns and many woolie patterns too.  It was highly recommended by my new friend.  I smelled all the soaps and let Dylan smell them too.  I think he really enjoyed this.  We of course, had to buy a few bars of them.

We stopped at the Fabric store to pick up a few things for some sewing projects I’m going to be working on.  I was wearing the baby on my front and enjoying the smell of his hair and kissing his head every few minutes.  As we were browsing through the fabric, he started laughing at all the fun patterns. 

He has this new laugh lately that just melts my heart.  It’s a strange little squeal, it’s the cutest noise I’ve ever heard.

After all this, we sat in the air conditioned car and enjoyed each other’s company while he nursed.  He fell asleep in my arms a few minutes later, and then we drove home.

The past week and a half have been hard because he cut 2 teeth about a week apart.  He’s been in pain and it is painful for me to see him this way.  He’s been very clingy and irritable.

Today was special because he’s his pleasant self again. I thought it would be nice to write about it and commit it to memory.  I love this little boy so much.  I am the luckiest mama in the whole world.

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Filed under attachment parenting, Babywearing, Breastfeeding, Exercise & Nutrition, knitting, sewing

Solids… actually enjoyable!

Hello Friends!  I’m sort of back from my vacation.  This is going to be a 4 day weekend, so DH and I are going to be enjoying every second together.

I just wanted to write so that it didn’t seem like I fell off the face of the earth, although it feels like I did.

Recently my baby reached a huge milestone- eating solid foods!  I have to admit, I dreaded this. A lot.  I’m not sure why, I suppose because of the baby books I have been reading.  They drill it in your head “no solids until 6 months!  If you start them  early they will have so many health issues” and so on.  Well, he reached 6 months 2 weeks ago and I wasn’t sure what to do. 

I knew he was ready for solids because he showed several signs.  He’s putting EVERYTHING in his mouth, he no longer has his tongue thrust reflex, he sits unsupported and was teething.  Yesterday he got his first tooth!  But mostly his poop changed.  It was still exclusively breatfed poo, but I could just tell his digestive system was ready for something more.  None of my books talked about this as a sign, but I know my baby and something had changed about it.

I started him on rice cereal for the first week.  The next week it was mashed bananas, and this week it’s sweet potatoes.  So far he just loves everything!  After he tried other foods he doesn’t really like the cereal anymore.  I don’t blame him though, it tastes like chalk.

Right now as I type I’m feeding him his sweet potatoes.  He enjoys eating and I enjoy feeding him. I made the potatoes for him, so far I haven’t given him anything from a jar and really don’t want to.  Making the food is fun!

So far the poopy diapers haven’t been a big deal.  I don’t know what I was so worried about.

Anyway, just wanted to say hello to my blogging friends out there.  I hope you all have been well!

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Filed under attachment parenting, Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapering, Exercise & Nutrition

The Postpartum Belly

My plan is not going the way it was, well, planned.   I didn’t lose a full pound this week so there’s no way I’m going to lose 6 total by May 19.  That’s okay.  I was surprised at my reaction because I honestly didn’t care.  I’ve had a huge realization this week.

I need to love my postpartum body.  A pregnant belly is seen as something so beautiful, and it’s celebrated because a life is growing inside.  When pregnant, the belly isn’t obvious until well into the second half, so there’s several months of work in there before people begin celebrating it. 

For some reason our culture thinks that as soon as the baby’s born, the mother needs to look exactly the same as before.  I was really hating my saggy, stretch marked belly and then I came across an article about postpartum weight loss.  It said it can take up to a year before your belly skin shrinks back down.  A full year!  That’s longer than I was even pregnant.

So this got me thinking… if a pregnant belly is seen as something so beautiful, why shouldn’t a postpartum belly be beautiful as well?  After all, it’s the same belly, only better because I endured the 40 weeks of pregnancy and I pushed him out with my own strength.  Not only that, but I’m a small person and I had a large baby and too much amniotic fluid.  It literally looked like I was carrying twins at the end. 

As long as I’m trying to better myself (to me this means eating healthy and exercising) then I can love my body and especially my beautiful and still round belly.  It hasn’t even been 6 months yet and I’m already back to below my pre-pregnancy weight. 

And for the stretch marks?  I thought I was going to hate them.  In fact I did so well and didn’t get a single mark until 38 weeks.  Then one day I felt my skin tear and now my belly is covered in them.  But I earned them.  I lovingly call them my “mama marks”.  And I don’t care if someone else thinks they’re unsightly.The first pic is pre-pregnancy, then 40 weeks pregnant, and almost 6 months postpartum.

I did have a few things happen this week that I am so proud of.  I lost an inch off my waistline!  Now I have 2 more inches to go until I’m all the way back.  I’ve been doing push ups and sit ups followed by yoga in the evenings and I can’t believe how well my body is toning up.  This extra workout is making such a huge difference.  I’m very excited about it.

Because I lost another inch off my waistline, I had to put away my pregnancy underwear!  This was a really big deal to me.  I wasn’t fitting in my pre-preg ones because my belly still needed the extra room to be comfortable.  Well, I’m excited to say they’re put away for good, or if I get pregnant again.

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Filed under Exercise & Nutrition

Some new goals

I’ve only managed to lose another pound in two weeks.  It’s totally my fault though.  I missed an entire week of the gym because I was sick.  I’m better now and I was so happy to dance in Zumba this morning.  I also have strayed very far from my diet.  My husband and I tag teamed a chocolate ganache cake for a party we hosted.  Luckily it was mostly eaten by our guests, but I have eaten too many of the leftovers. That’s just one thing, but for the past 2 weeks I haven’t really cared about what I’ve been eating.

So anyway, my parents are coming to visit in a little over 3 weeks.  I originally wanted to do an 8 week thing, but now I have more motivation for my weight loss.  My new goal is to lose 6 pounds by the time they come.  Is it realistic?  Yes, but not probable.  I think now that I have a reason I can really work harder and have a strong motivation.  I’m actually going to cut calories now.   I need to track my food and keep a close eye on what goes in my mouth.  Honestly eating a strict vegetarian diet and going to the gym has been enough to lose a pound a week, so now if I pay close attention to my food I could maybe lose 2 pounds a week.

I’m not doing this so I can impress my parents.  I just think that with a deadline I can work harder.  It’s nice to have an end in sight anyway.

Well, wish me luck!

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Filed under Exercise & Nutrition