Monthly Archives: August 2012

What to buy organic

As a Whole Foods newbie (and, okay, an eating healthier lifestyle newbie), I’m finding myself more and more interested in organic foods and (obvi) healthier choices. So I stumbled across reference to this on several different sites, and thought I’d post it here so I don’t forget it.

In fact, I might print it out and keep it in my wallet so I don’t forget when I’m out shopping! 
I also read that cucumbers and green beans are among the worst with pesticides. 

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FINGERS ARE CROSSED!

There weren’t even plans to start trying this month, but then we did. And now it looks like we baby danced every day we should have (two days leading up to ovulation, the day of, and one day after).

And now I realllllly want to be pregnant.

I kind of feel like I am.

But that’s probably just suuuuuuper wishful thinking. I’m sure it happens to everyone right when they start trying, and have seen what looks like a successful cycle. (Successful in that I ovulated and had sex around the right time.) And I’m sure after a few months, I’ll come back down to earth, with more realistic expectations.

But still. I feel like I am. In my gut. (Which I’ve probably just jinxed by even saying.)

So here comes the painful two week wait before I can take a pregnancy test!

I bet I’ll be driving myself crazy the entire time.

Starting Early!

Wellp.

I had an OPK with a definite positive yesterday evening. And because of it, N and I decided to just go for it. Ha, so much for all the careful planning and having another month to get ready!

We’re officially trying, as of last night.

GULP.

*happy dance* 

GULP.

Anyway, here’s something cool I read in a book about how to figure out your due date:

Add nine months to the day of your temperature shift and then subtract seven days from that date. So, for example, if your thermal shift was on, say, August 11th, add nine months (which puts you at May 9th) and subtract seven days, which would put your due date at May 2nd!

My nails could be deadly weapons.

Seriously. Because of the prenatals, my nails are ROCK SOLID.

I wish I’d been charting my temperatures for a lot longer, because this month isn’t doing much for figuring out how my body works. Based on my temps, I haven’t ovulated yet, even though I’m on day 21 of my cycle.

An OPK (Ovulation Prediction Kit), which usually shows me barely anything, has looked like this since last night:

(Last night it was a little bit lighter, but not much.) The test line is *very slightly* less dark than the control line, but I think it’s a pretty good indication that I’m ovulating. Or about to. Shit, I can never remember if the line means it’s about to happen of if it’s happened already. (I keep reading about these things–and then promptly forgetting…) Okay, so according to the Internets, about 12 to 36 hours after the LH surges (which is what an OPK will indicate) ovulation will occur.

So I’d say I’m about to ovulate! My temp didn’t spike this morning, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t  tomorrow (or the next day at the latest).

I wish I’d tracked my cervical mucus better. (I definitely will next month, when we start trying.) (Also, how funny that the term “cervical mucus” doesn’t gross me out?) (Well, okay, it still does a little bit.)

I am glad, though, to be paying attention to these things. I feel better prepared (and more so every day) for getting pregnant. Especially because I’m about to be 31 and I want to get pregnant as soon as I start trying. Which I know is wishful thinking, ha–but still, I think it’s better to know these things instead of trying for a couple months first without the knowledge/charting. I don’t think it’ll impede the enjoyment of trying, either. I think it’ll enhance it, actually.

Recipe pairings for next week

Nelson’s working today. Boo for Saturday work.  So I’m taking the day to clean house and plan some dinner meals.

And, okay, some of these aren’t the healthiest–but home cooking is SO MUCH healthier than the usual pizza/thai/fast food meals I’m used to…

Here are the recipes I’ll be trying over the next week:

Now, off to clean the house (and break out my new nonstick cookware!) and grocery shop!

Prenatal Vitamins

I thought I’d look a little more into the ingredients in prenatal vitamins–and what their purposes are, either toward pregnancy or health in general. I just switched the kind I was taking because they didn’t have Iodine or Choline (two things that one of the pregnancy books I’m reading says you should be taking).

The book: Before Your Pregnancy by by Amy Ogle, MS, RD, and Lisa Mazzullo, MD

My prenatal brand: Rainbow Light Prenatal One

Ingredients & purposes

Folic Acid — This one’s a pregnancy biggie! I knew about it even before reading any books. Folate is absolutely necessary to decode and synthesize the DNA and make new cells. Pregnancy = rapid growth of the fetus and placenta & the development of maternal tissues = higher demands for folate. Also regulates blood clotting & placenta development.

Choline (as Bitartrate) — Recommended: less than or equal to 100% RDA or DV (425 mg preconception, 450 mg during pregnancy, 550 mg during breastfeeding); Taking: 10 mg–Whoops! Need to order a choline supplement!
Choline plays a similar role to Folate. It boosts the health of cell membranes and is needed to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a chemical messenger in the brain. Critical for developing fetal brain structures and healthy memory for mom and baby.

Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) — Vitamin C forms collagen which is important for healthy bones, teeth, skin, ligaments, and cartilage. It keeps the immune system strong and helps heal wounds. It also helps with iron absorption and contains antioxidant properties that seem to block unstable molecules from causing damage and disease in the body. Vitamin C is important for male’s fertility, as it protects the male sperm cells.

Vitamin B-6 — Amino acid & protein metabolism. Promotes a healthier nervous system, immune system, red blood cells, and cardiovascular system. May help with PMS. Definitely diminishes severity of morning sickness.

Vitamin B-12 (as Cyanocobalamin) — Also needed for DNA synthesis and normal red blood cell formation. Assists in cardiovascular and nervous system health. A balanced combination of B-12 and Folate may synergistically (in a cooperative manner) reduce the risk of NTDs (Neural Tube Defects).

Vitamin B-1 (as Thiamin Mononitrate) — Helps convert carbs into energy and is important for proper function of the nervous system.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) — Assists the body in using energy from all types of foods, is essential for growth.

Niacin — B vitamin that helps cells produce and use energy from food. Is essential to maintain the health of the nervous system, skin, and digestive track.

Biotin — Metabolizes fats, protein, and carbohydrates. It may have important functions in DNA replication and gene expression.

Vitamin A (as Palmitate, Beta-carotene) — Vitamin A helps vision and it also builds/maintains the health of bond, skin, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. Indirectly, it contributes towards warding against infection via keeping the health of internal barriers to disease-carrying organisms. Warning: Too much vitamin A is potentially disruptive to fetal development. Make sure to double-check recommended dosage against how much is consumed.

Vitamin D (as D2 Ergocalciferol) — Vitamin D is both a vitamin and a hormone. It makes strong bones and teeth for both mother and baby, and helps the immune system & the genes that repair damaged cells. Vitamin D plays a vital role in the formation of a healthy egg and insulin sensitivity.

Vitamin E (s d-alpha Tocopheryl Succinate) — Vitamin E has antioxidant properties. It works with other antioxidants to protect cell membranes from damage inside the body. High doses of vitamin E can be detrimental to health. Connections are still being researched regarding the role of vitamin E in strengthening the immune system and placental connection between mom and baby, cutting the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and slowing the start of Alzheimer’s and other age-related macular degeneration.

Vitamin K (as Phytonadione) — helps with normal blood clotting & aids proteins that put calcium into bone.

Calcium (as Carbonate, Citrate-Malate) — Keeps bones and teeth strong. Aids in muscle contraction, blood pressure regulation, and immunity. Lead exposure danger is lessened in people who have healthy levels of calcium in their bodies. Leg muscle cramps are sometimes related to low calcium intake. May reduce PMS symptoms. Demand for calcium goes up during pregnancy and breastfeeding because the baby can drain most of the calcium it needs from the maternal stores, to the detriment of the mom’s bones.

Iron (as Amino Acid Chelate) — Assists the oxygen-carrying compounds hemoglobin (in red blood cells) and myoglobin (in muscles). Also plays a role in the immune system. Helps protect the body from lead poisoning. Necessary prior to conception to cope with the 45% increase in maternal blood volume during pregnancy.

Iodine (from Kelp) — Recommended: Thyroid hormones require iodine to help regulate the rate at which the body expends energy. Low iodine intake causes lowered activity of the thyroid gland and severe deficiency during pregnancy can lead to mental retardation, dwarfism, and thyroid problems in offspring. 

I need to ask my doctor about this because according to the book:

Experts caution that even though sea vegetable kelp is a natural source of iodine, it is too high a source of iodine and should not be routinely consumed, especially before and after conception.

Magnesium (as Oxide) — Activates hundreds of enzymes. Necessary for making energy and proteins. Assists muscle and nerve function & is a component of bones. May lessen PMS symptoms including headache, mood, and fluid retention.

Zinc (as Citrate) — Essential to the metabolic processes that occur inside the body. Gene expression, growth, immune system function, tissue health, sense of taste, appetite.

Selenium (as Selenomethionine) — Required by a series of enzymes with important antioxidant functions. Recycle vitamin C & work together with vitamin E to prevent and reverse oxidative damage in cells.

Copper (as Amino Acid Chelate) — Necessary part of many enzymes, connective tissue, and the protective sheath around nerves. Important for the proper utilization of iron. Too much zinc or vitamin C can interfere with copper utilization.

Potassium (as Citrate) — An electrolyte that helps regulate the balance of fluids and the acid/base equilibrium in the body. Helps with muscle contraction, including the heart, and nerve impulse transmission and blood pressure.

Information for each nutrient was found in Before Your Pregnancy by Amy Ogle, MS, RD, and Lisa Mazzullo, MD.

These descriptions are summations of what I read. Not complete or anything, and really just for my own personal use. If you stumbled upon this post from a web search, please make sure to do your own research/talk to your doctor. 

Whole Foods and Getting Healthy

Whole foods is pretty awesome. I’ve been in one for lunch before, but I’ve never actually shopped there until today. I decided to make it my go-to grocery store because it’s way harder to find SUPER unhealthy things there than it is at any of my local other grocers. Not gonna lie, I was kinda dreading the shopping experience. Me and healthy foods? Yeah, we don’t mix so well.

But I actually loved it. I picked up dinner for the next two days (tonight: London broil, orzo with herbs, and a zucchini/squash mix; tomorrow: sausage with peppers and onions, whole wheat buns, and fruit salad) and a few healthier snacks. (Healthier than my usual Doritos/cookies/crap, anyway.) Organic strawberries, bananas, baked chips, etc…

The store’s a little pricier than others, but I think in the end the benefits will outweigh the costs. I’m also going to try shopping twice a week instead of once. It sounds like a pain in the ass–and I’m sure it will be–but that way I can shop for a few meals at a time, instead of getting everything I’ll need for an entire week. That’s what I’ve been trying to do for the past year or so and it SO hasn’t been working. I end up getting a few meals worth of food and then we eat out or order in most other nights. So, you know, it might actually not cost more to shop at Whole Foods in the long run, now that I think about how much we already spend at restaurants/with delivery…

Ugh. I’m excited now, but I am realllllly hoping this determination doesn’t fade away in a week. That’s my normal pattern. Healthy for a few days and then it’s back to fast food nation. (Seriously, it’s disgusting, but I eat fast food almost every day.)

But you know the saying, “you are what you eat?” When you’re trying to conceive, that saying becomes “your baby is what you eat.” What you eat while pregnant (and even before) can make a huge difference in the way your child is formed–and it really affects their health for the rest of their life! While, unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about the crap I’ve put in my body for the past decade (or THREE), I can make changes now and through pregnancy (and hopefully beyond!) It won’t be just my body that I’m affecting for that much longer. So I’m much more determined now than I have ever been before to kick the bad food habits. I want a healthy baby.

I want a healthy me.