How I am Staying Fit During Pregnancy

Good afternoon and happy Thursday! Even though I have been unable to do toning exercises, I have been trying to stay as fit as possible by eating healthy, drinking a lot of purified water, and going on daily walks. I have been gaining 1 lb a week since week 13, so I am currently 130 lbs (my pre pregnancy weight was 115) and I have about 12 to 15 more pounds to gain depending on the size of my boy. I have found many recommendations online about how many calories to eat on a daily basis, but honestly, I do not follow any of these suggestions. When I am hungry, I eat. Since the second trimester, I have been consuming approximately 1800 to 2300 calories a day. Though I do add up my daily calorie intake, I am not concerned with them. What is most important to me is where I am getting the calories from. I try my best to limit the amount of empty calories I consume on a weekly basis since they have little or no nutritional value and try to keep my diet very healthy. I am very happy if I consume 2300 or more calories from nutritional foods in one day. =D

There are specific items that I try to always have in my kitchen to ensure that I am eating healthy and nutritionally:

Fruits and Vegetables

Avocados, Organic Spinach, Organic Apples, Oranges, Frozen Strawberries and Mangos, Bananas, Tomatoes, Onions, Organic Celery, Organic Carrots, Jalapeños, Red Peppers, Cucumbers, and Garlic

Protein

Chickpeas, Cannelloni Beans, Red Beans, Organic Eggs, Organic Peanut Butter, Organic, Whole Chicken, and 90% Lean Ground Beef

Dairy

Greek Yogurt, Parmigiana Cheese, Butter and Whole Milk

Oils

Canola Oil or Olive Oil

Grains

Pasta and Whole Wheat Bread

Drinks

Orange Juice and Sparkling Water

Seeds

Chia Seeds

There are so many delicious and nutritious meals that could be created with these ingredients. I have been sharing my husband’s recipes and explaining how each ingredient in the recipe impacts the development of a growing fetus. If you would like to view some, you can click on the following links =D

Chicken Burrito

Beef Chili

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Upcoming recipes include homemade hummus with homemade yogurt sauce, chicken chili, and fruit smoothies  =)

Thank you for reading, I hope you have a wonderful day! <3

 

Responding Positively to Novel Pregnancy Experiences and Necessary Lifestyle Changes

Good morning and happy Wednesday! I am officially in the third trimester of pregnancy =D Just 12 more weeks until I meet my little baby boy. =D When I first found out that I was pregnant, I had no idea what to expect from pregnancy. No matter how many women one speaks with, it is important to recognize that each pregnancy is an individual experience. Pregnancy can impact and change one’s lifestyle in many ways, but I believe it is how a woman responds to these impacts and lifestyle changes that may influence her attitude towards pregnancy.

Impacts of Pregnancy and My Response to Them 

I generated a list describing the way pregnancy has impacted me so far and how my lifestyle has changed as a result to these impacts. Each of these took some time getting accustomed to, but each impact is positive! =D

  1. Since the first trimester, I have had food aversions to foods that I previously loved. This has proven to be positive since I substituted these items with nutritious meals and snacks that have made me a lot healthier. Thank you food aversions!
  2. Throughout all three trimesters, my body has had strict dairy consumption limitations. If I eat too much dairy, I become very ill. This has not only made me healthier, but I finally learned will power and am able to consume cravings in moderation. Thank you dairy limitations!
  3. Since week 17, I have been experiencing severe pelvic pressure, which required me to adjust my exercise routine. Since I have been advised against toning exercises, I started walking 2 to 2.5 miles a day five days a week. To my surprise, with the combination of eating  healthy and walking, I have barely lost any muscle or gained any fat on my legs and butt. I have lost muscle on my arms, but have not gained any fat. The only place I have lost muscle and gained fat is on my belly. Another benefit to walking is enjoying the beautiful fall weather and fall scenery. I absolutely love this time of year, everything looks beautiful. Thank you pelvic pressure!
  4. During the first trimester and now again in the third trimester, I am experiencing extreme fatigue. I think it is more difficult in the third trimester because I developed insomnia during week 24. Since I have never had sleeping difficulties prior to this, this new symptom took some getting used to, but I am embracing all of the hours that I am awake. I get around 3 solid hours of sleep a night without getting up. When I wake up and can not fall asleep, I have been getting up and being productive. I have been really taking advantage of the extra time I have awake. Baby boy is more active at night, so I am happy that having insomnia has given me more time to feel him kick and squirm in my belly. Thank you insomnia!
  5. Before I even knew I was pregnant, probably since week 1, the need to pee throughout my entire pregnancy has been frequent and intense. This is one of the factors keeping me up at night. Having this need to pee often gives me set breaks during a busy work day to just relax for a minute. Thank you frequent urination!

Thus far, this is how pregnancy has impacted my lifestyle. I am responding to each impact with a positive attitude and am finding the benefits of each of them. I absolutely love being pregnant. I am one happy pregnant woman =D

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday <3

Why I Avoid the Deli Line

Good evening and happy Friday! As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I started researching foods that would offer essential nutrition to my baby as well as which foods that could potentially cause harm to my baby. Three foods that I used to eat on a regular basis have been on my avoid list during my entire pregnancy. As difficult as it has been, I am just too afraid to risk it.

Deli Meats

meats

Oh how I miss my Prosciutto, Salami, and Sopressata. My mouth is watering just thinking about the delicious salty spicy goodness that could be in my mouth right now. As much as I love these meats, there is a risk of Listeria contamination on all deli and hard meats. Listeria poses a huge threat to your baby. Listeria contamination could be found in other foods as well. Please read about it on the Center for Disease Control website:

http://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/infections-listeria.html

and on the Food and Drug Administration website:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/ucm083320.htm

Over Easy Eggs

1-IMG_6326-001

I was eating these beauties every day for breakfast. I stopped when I found out I was pregnant because that delicious runny yolk can be contaminated with Listeria or Salmonella. It seems that Salmonella is not AS serious as Listeria or Toxoplasmosis, but it still may pose complications to your pregnancy and your baby.

Medium Rare Red Meat

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I absolutely loved eating juicy medium rare burgers. We would top them off with jalapeños, onions, mushrooms and avocado to create the perfect juicy burger. I stopped eating undercooked red meat because there is a risk that it could be contaminated with Ecoli, Salmonella, Listera, or Toxoplasmosis. Ecoli, like Salmonella, does not seem to be AS serious as Listeria or Toxoplasmosis, but like Salmonella, may pose complications to your pregnancy and your baby.

If toxoplasmosis is contracted during pregnancy, the bacteria causes serious risks to your baby’s growth and development. Please read about it on the Center for Disease Control website:

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/pregnant.html

http://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/infections-toxo.html

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/

and on the Food and Drug Administration website:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/ucm083327.htm

Listeria and toxoplasmosis are two bacterias found in food that pose a huge risk to your baby’s growth and development. Unfortunately, I had a toxoplasmosis scare at the beginning of my pregnancy. If you are interested, check it out here: http://thisdarlingtale.com/index.php/2015/09/05/my-cute-little-kitties-and-my-toxoplasmosis-scare/

For more information about food poisoning, please refer to the following websites:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/528520-the-risks-of-rare-meat-when-pregnant/

http://www.cdc.gov/features/holidayfoodsafety/

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/food-poisoning-during-pregnancy-topic-overview?page=1

http://www.livestrong.com/article/367332-effects-of-food-poisoning-while-pregnant/

http://www.cdc.gov/features/ecoliinfection/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/507063-the-dangers-of-undercooked-meat-in-pregnant-women/

I hope that this post was helpful =D Thank you for reading, I hope that you have a wonderful night <3

 

Limiting Exposure to Toxins Found in Plastic and Cans

Good morning everyone and happy Sunday! In this post, I will share all of the information that I have learned about the toxins that are found in plastic and cans. I provided links that will direct you to the Center of Disease Control, WebMD, and Livestrong. I hope this post is helpful =D

Plastic

What are the toxins found in plastic?

  • Phthalates

http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/phthalates_factsheet.html

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/cookware-plastics-shoppers-guide-to-food-safety?page=1

  • Benzene

http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/benzene/basics/facts.asp

http://www.livestrong.com/article/101892-harmful-effects-benzene/

  • Styrene

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/PHS/PHS.asp?id=419&tid=74

  • Bisphenol A

http://www.webmd.com/children/environmental-exposure-head2toe/bpa?page=1

http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/BisphenolA_FactSheet.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/478451-disposable-food-containers-cancer-risk/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/255205-plastic-everywhere-side-effects/

Vinyl Chloride

http://www.livestrong.com/article/530191-clear-plastic-wrap-food-safety/

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=281&tid=51

There are seven types of plastic that we come into contact with. If you look on the bottom of any water bottle, you will notice the number 1 (which is toxic) engraved into it. If you look at the bottom of a gallon of milk, you will notice the number 2 (which is safe) engraved into it.  Here are two links that will explain each type of plastic.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/158674-which-plastic-containers-can-i-safely-use/

http://blogs.webmd.com/health-ehome/2009/02/know-your-plastics.html

Cans

What toxins are found in cans?

  • Bisphenol A

http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/BisphenolA_FactSheet.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/259503-the-disadvantages-of-aluminum-cans/

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1009710-12-dangerous-chemicals-avoid-everyday-products/#slide=2

What have I done to limit my exposure to toxins found in plastic and cans?

To avoid exposure to toxins, I discontinued eating food that is stored in cans and I limit my exposure to plastic. I try to only drink out of glass bottles, and I store food in glass containers.

I hope this post was helpful! I hope you have a happy Sunday =D

My Cute Little Kitties and My Toxoplasmosis Scare

Good Evening and happy Friday!

I have three zany, quirky, and lovable kitties that are super lovable and super cute. Each of these kitties put a smile on my face on a daily basis. So how can these cats be dangerous to me and my baby? In this post, I will introduce you to my kitties, provide a description about them, and explain how they cause a serious danger to me an my baby. If you are not interested in reading about my kitties, skip to the bottom of the post where I introduce the topic of importance: Toxoplasmosis

Meet Boo Boo  

IMG_0419

Boo Boo came into our lives in March 2012. He is officially my first pet ever. He was a crazy kitten, but after a year, became the cuddly little Boo Boo Bear that he is today. Boo Boo is the quirkiest kitty of the three of our cats. When he is upset, he will drop down and start kicking the floor with his feet to warn us that he is not in a good mood. It is the cutest thing ever. His favorite past times are to chirp at birds from a window, chase flies (with no success) around our apartment, crawl into dark confined spaces, and drink running water from the faucet. He truly is an interesting and eccentric cat.

Meet Baby Jesus

IMG_3258

This kitty will break your heart. He came into our lives in June 2012. From the moment we brought him home, he was always the most gentle, kind, and lovable kitty. For the first year, we thought Boo Boo was a girl, so we originally decided to get Baby Jesus to mate with him. It was not until a few months later that I saw a pink thing come out of Boo Boo’s vagina–only to discover that he never had a vagina. We were wondering why Boo Boo was always trying to dominate Baby Jesus, usually, it is the male cat who tries to dominate the female. Well, not only was Boo Boo actually a male, but he over asserted his alpha maleness by dominating Baby Jesus, and unfortunately defiled him for about a year. This stopped when we got them neutered, which was a blessing. However, as a result to Boo Boo’s harassment, Baby Jesus developed severe kitty anxiety. When he is not anxious, his favorite past time is to lay on our chest and snuggle with us. He literally does not have any other hobbies besides staring at us. He developed such an attachment to us that he cries and scratches at our bedroom door at night until we let him in–the happiness that this cat expresses when we open the door is super cute. This cat wants nothing but our love.

Meet Owen

IMG_5695

This kitty was the best mistake ever. We brought this cat home in April 2015, and everyday since he has demonstrated his appreciation for us. Unlike Baby Jesus who wants our love, all this kitty cares about is giving us love. He does not stop cuddling with us! Everywhere we go, Owen follows and spreads his love everywhere. This cat is truly grateful to have a home and to not be in a cage.

This is the first cat we actually purchased (we picked up the other two cats from owners through craigslist). He was intended to be a gift for my wonderful mother. Matt and I spent a lot of time with kittens trying to find the perfect companion for her, and when they brought Owen and his two brothers to us, Owen instantaneously gave us so much love. He would not stop rubbing on us or sitting on us. This kitty was the winner; the perfect companion. We decided to participate in the foster to adopt program, which allowed us 30 days to return him if we were unsatisfied. My mom was never a pet owner, and though she loved him, she decided she was unhappy with owning a cat and wanted us to give him back. Matt and I had grown attached to this little guy, so we brought him to our apartment. Owen’s favorite past times are to give love to us and our other cats, snuggle with us, rub on us, chirp at birds with big brother Boo Boo, wrestle with Baby Jesus, chase flies around our apartment (successfully), and the cutest of all of our cats past times: collect bottle caps. We recently found a stash of the bottle caps that he has collected over the last few months–17 to be exact. When his stash was exposed, he had to move them to a new place. This cat is the perfect kitten.

Owen is very sickly; the people we were fostering him from took care of all medical bills during the foster period, so we brought him to the vet. It turned out that he was infected with eye herpes, and he had some parasites in his tummy. We were going to return him, but I just couldn’t do it!! There is nothing we could do for his eye herpes, and our other cats were already exposed (though they are up to date on their shots so it decreases the probability of them contracting the virus). And no, feline herpes can not be passed to humans. We actually took him to our own vet prior to taking him to the vet who has been handling him since he was a baby. Our vet ended up misdiagnosing him and giving us medications that caused him to have uncontrollable bowel movements. Thats when we took him to his original vet who gave us the proper diagnosis and it took about three weeks for Owen’s bowel movements to become somewhat regular.

This is where the toxoplasmosis scare came in.

Toxoplasmosis

I first researched Toxoplasmosis at http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/pregnant.html

Please visit the site above for more details!

Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that is found in undercooked meat. The reason cats pose a threat is because if they eat a rodent, bird, or other animal that is infected with the parasite, they too will become infected. The parasite sheds through their feces, and is highly contagious.

How does this impact me and my child during pregnancy?

If a woman becomes infected with Toxoplasmosis 6 months prior to becoming pregnant through anytime throughout the pregnancy, the child is at high risk for developing brain damage.

My Toxoplasmosis Scare

When we brought Owen home, there was a three week period where he had uncontrollable bowel movements. This caused me to clean up after him multiple times a day. I conceived in May, and found out I was pregnant in July. When I found out that I was pregnant, I was deeply concerned I contracted Toxoplasmosis from this cat while he was sick. For the first week of my pregnancy, I was incredibly anxious; fearful that I harmed my baby. We took Owen to the vet, got him tested for Toxoplasmosis, and after what seemed to be the longest week ever, we found out that he was negative! I was so excited because I knew at that point if I did have it, I would have contracted it a long time ago from my other cats. A week later, I got tested for Toxoplasmosis at my gynecologist’s office and the results came back negative =D I was so relieved after getting my results back! =D We are now in the process of testing our other two kitties.

I am so afraid of this parasite that I am probably going to get tested a few more times throughout this pregnancy.

I hope that this post was helpful =D I hope that you have a wonderful night! <3

Week 8: The Decision to Change My Lifestyle =D

Good afternoon and happy Friday =D This post is about the hours following my appointment.  I hope that you enjoy =D

I had to be gone for about 2 hours before arriving home to my apartment where my partner was awaiting my return. I will never forgot the big smile on his face when he greeted me at the door. We both smiled at each other for a few seconds, and then I said, “I’m pregnant.” The upcoming hours after telling him was a very happy and loving experience that I will never forget. We spent the entire day planning the next steps in our lives.  There is so much to look forward to =D

For about the last year, Matt and I have been doing extensive research on which environmental factors are toxic to our bodies. Personally, I started this research when I was diagnosed with Phyllodes Tumors of the breast in July 2014. Once we found out I was pregnant, we made drastic changes to both of out lifestyles. I just want to reinforce that there are no right or wrong lifestyle choices during pregnancy; my lifestyle choices are not the right way, rather they are the ones that work best for me. I want to share my lifestyle choices with you and the reasonings behind my choices. =D

In a matter of hours, the following was decided:

  1. To throw away all of our plastic tupperware and to not to drink from plastic bottles
  2. To throw away all of our nonstick pans
  3. To only have Matt clean the litter box
  4. To discontinue the use of toxic cleaning supplies
  5. To try to eat organically
  6. To discontinue eating products from cans
  7. To avoid food additives

My next few posts will explain why each of these choices were made and what we did to accommodate these changes. I hope that you find them helpful! <3

Safe Pregnancy Workouts

Good evening and happy Saturday! July 3rd was the day that I found out I was pregnant =D, and it was the day that I decided that my workout regime had to drastically change. My doctor told me to continue working out, just to avoid using weights. I want to share the steps that I took to design a pregnancy workout regime that works for me.

The first thing I did was research what material my yoga mat was made up of. When discovering it was made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), I decided to discontinue using it. PVC had been found to contain highly toxic material consisting of toxic metals and phthalates that leaches out of the mat and can cause damage to your body. For more information on PVC, please visit:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/456023-pvc-yoga-mat-safety/

I then researched the material that my weights were made up of.  I had been using vinyl weights for a few years, only to discover they they also contain PVC. For this reason, I decided to discontinue using these weights along with my yoga mat.

Since starting my pregnancy workout regime, I have been using a cotton towel to replace my yoga mat. I have not yet found nontoxic weights, but I did find a company that makes nontoxic eco-friendly yoga mats.

https://www.my-airex.com/en/

One day when I have expendable money, I will purchase one of these mats: until then, it’s the cotton towel for me =D

Now that I knew I was comfortable with my workout equipment (or lack of), I decided to research which workouts are safe to complete during pregnancy. After much inquiry, I have decided to:

  • Avoid working out while lying on my back as it may reduce blood flow to my uterus
  • As soon as I find nontoxic weights, I plan on toning my arms with three pound weights; the recommendation is to stay under 10 pounds
  • Avoid workouts that cause me to become out of breath and cause my heart to beat too fast–this may restrict blood flow to my uterus as well
  • Avoid any type of ab workout

I will be sharing my safe pregnancy workout clips with you soon! =D

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