(I look so much bigger in these pictures than I feel!!!)
Yesterday I realized that we only have about 3 ½ months left until we get to meet this baby boy!! Wow. This is FLYING by. I hope we’re ready! For now, I love feeling him moving around all the time. (And I do mean ALL the time!) Norah even got to feel him the other day!
Next week I’ll update on our ultrasound, which is this Thursday (can’t wait!), and on house stuff. It is taking us longer than I had hoped to actually get our house on the market, but I’m sure by next week it will be. It just keeps raining! (We want to take our pictures when it’s not so gloomy and when we have a chance to mow the lawn.)
I’d like to use this blog post to talk about: food.
Food has been entering my awareness more and more in the past couple of years as I keep running across informative studies, articles, documentaries, etc. At first, I was shocked every time I read that certain foods I considered healthy may contain harmful and disease causing substances. After a while, it became overwhelming to even remember which foods are safe and which are not.
So, here’s how I simplify it.
What is food?
Unprocessed Meat, poultry, fish...
Dairy products made through natural processes
Other animal products such as honey and eggs
Things that come from plants (fruits, veggies, herbs, seeds, nuts, oats…)
Can you think of anything else that is food? I can’t. But if asked to name the products they eat on a daily basis, most people would have a much longer list.
So, what ISN’T food?
Man made chemicals.
Plain and simple. If you buy pre-made packaged anything, it very likely contains chemicals, which are NOT FOOD, and which are TOXIC. Eating chemicals causes disease and just an all around state of poor health. Obviously, chemicals are especially harmful to children (and unborn children), who are still growing and developing.
If you are buying packaged food, you can read the label and see exactly what’s in it.
But chemicals are hiding in other foods too.
Animals exposed to hormones or antibiotics will have those substances in their meat, milk, and eggs.
Produce is grown with pesticides, which are toxic. I have even read, but not confirmed, that organic foods aren’t much better, because farmers almost always use some form of pesticide, even if it’s a “natural” one (which are also harmful to us), or they may just use LESS chemical pesticide and still be considered organic!
Genetically modified foods are everywhere as well, and they have not been proven to be safe for consumption. In fact:
“The organs of rats who ate genetically modified potatoes showed signs of chronic wasting, and female rats fed a diet of herbicide-resistant soybeans gave birth to stunted and sterile pups.”
“GMOs require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.”
There is also one category of...uh...things we eat, that I do consider food, but not good for you. Actually, I would call it a “filler.”
“Gluten containing grains like wheat, barley and rye require special attention because they can be particularly damaging to your health. All grains, including other non-gluten containing grains like oats and corn, are bad because they contain gut irritating lectins and mineral binding phytates.”
“When it comes to things that we, humans, are not adapted to eat and digest, wheat and its gluten protein is probably at the top of the list. It’s very sad that wheat is so omnipresent in our society though and many health conditions would probably not even exist if it were not for our high consumption of wheat.”
Come to think of it, I would put sugar in a similar category. It’s natural (so, better than artificial sweeteners), but not in any way good for you.
Now, on to application. Now that I know what to avoid, there is an AWFULLY long “Do Not Eat” list!!
So far, I’m improving, but FAR from perfect. I am still at the point where I make many exceptions, because sometimes my desire for a certain food, or the convenience of it, outweighs my concern.
- Drinking raw milk (no antibiotics or hormones, more nutrients)
- Buying only local eggs from free range chickens, though I still need to incorporate more eggs in my diet
- Buying as much local organic produce as possible, even if there’s still a possibility of the presence of pesticides
- Eating maybe 50% fewer grain products, and also around 50% less sugar (when I do eat wheat products, I try to at least make it whole wheat/whole grain)
- Almost entirely avoiding everything processed/ pre-made
- Completely avoiding fast food, but if I have to (like, on road trips) I try to find something I know won’t be too processed, like a salad
- Almost entirely avoiding eating out, mostly to save money. But a perk is knowing where my food comes from and what’s in it.
- Eating MORE veggies...because when you cut out all the junk, you have more room in your tummy for nutrient rich foods! I like to make smoothies with fruit, plain Greek yogurt, and spinach (which I can't taste in a smoothie). I add honey if it isn't sweet enough. I do like the taste of most veggies, but it's an easy way to get some extra greens.
I try to stick to this with Norah, too. The hard thing is that she has already been exposed to some junk foods, and of course, she likes them! Juice (which has lots of sugar!) and crackers seem harmless enough, but I’d rather have her stick to whole foods.
The great thing is that when I combine healthful eating with a moderate amount of exercise (I don’t consider myself very active, outside of doing what needs to be done around the house), I have noticed a difference in my energy level, which has always been on the low side.
There is a reason I chose now to start working on this. I want to be as healthy as I can be while I am pregnant. I didn’t know all of this (I did know some) when I was pregnant with Norah. I was told back then that wheat products, especially white carbs, would cause the baby to put on extra weight. I cut back a little, but not as much as I could have, and Norah was 8 pounds 4.5 ounces at birth. She wasn’t huge, but she definitely was chubby, and it didn’t bode well for my recovery. My midwife told me at the time that if I had torn any worse, I would have been going to the operating room. I want to do everything in my power to have a healthy baby, AND a healthy me!
I’m heading in the right direction, anyway. :-)
Now for some photos:
Norah wanted a "cozy spot" in her closet at nap time one day. :-)
We did manage to take a couple pictures for our house listing today:
The bedroom is not perfect, but we're still working to declutter, and I am really proud of the work we've done so far. I'm even more proud to say that except for the rugs and a few personal items I removed for the photo, this is an accurate representation of what our bathroom has looked like for the past couple of months, since I started getting serious with the Fly Lady stuff. :-)
Like I said, more on house stuff next week! Stay tuned!