Where I’ve been…

I’ve been a slacker on this blog, I know. And it’s not like I’m spending hours at the gym, although I am spending more time packing healthy lunches for E and I. I do not like the 35-40lbs I gained on this pregnancy. Although folks say I look “small,” I know the reality is that there is no way that weight is all baby and increased fluids.

I was not consistently tracking food throughout most of this pregnancy. That plus the inability to work out at the level of intensity I was doing before I got pregnant plus my lack of desire to work out once I could no longer run or take spin classes resulted in too much weight gain early on.

Fortunately, after our vacation in late April, I got my crap together and started tracking religiously since then. And as a result, I’ve been making better choices. That’s not to say I don’t have the occasional Dairy Queen Blizzard or McDonald’s soft serve cone, but I make sure it fits into my daily calorie budget: 2,000 calories. After living off of 1300-1500 calories for the better part of a year, it’s more than enough for all the healthy stuff, my dairy and fruit cravings plus a daily treat. Each day features a snack of cereal/milk/fruit or a smoothie made with Greek yogurt, frozen fruit and milk. I swear it’s the highlight of my day. My favorite smoothie recipes so far:

  • Black Forest Smoothie: 1/2 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup skim milk, 3/4 cup frozen cherries, 1 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Chai Smoothie: 1/2 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup chai tea concentrate, 1 small frozen banana
  • Banana Cappuccino Smoothie: 1/2 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1 small frozen banana, 2 tsp instant espresso powder or 1 TBS instant coffee. (I’m sure Via would work well too!)

Lately I’ve started grilling or poaching a bunch of chicken each Sunday night and using it to make a week’s worth of lunch salads for Evan and I. It sounded like it could be boring, but we’ve managed to really diversify our salad options. The rotation includes:

  • Asian Chicken Salad: chicken, mixed greens, cucumber, snap or snow peas, shredded carrot, red pepper, slivered almonds, ginger vinaigrette. (Sometimes mandarin oranges will make an appearance.)
  • Buffalo Chicken Salad: chicken tossed in wing sauce, tomatoes, mixed greens, cucumber, celery, carrots and light ranch dressing.
  • Taco Salad: lean ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken) seasoned with taco seasoning, cheddar, romaine, tomatoes, jalapeno slices, diced avocado, homemade salsa vinaigrette (sometimes I add corn or black beans)
  • Italian Chicken Salad: chicken seasoned with Italian herbs or marinated in light Italian dressing, mixed greens, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, olives, shaved parmesan and a light Italian dressing.
  • Apple Harvest Chicken Salad: chicken, mixed greens, cucumber, sliced green apple, craisins, walnuts, goat cheese, raspberry vinaigrette.
  • Strawberry Fields Salad: chicken, mixed greens, sliced strawberries, blueberries, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, homemade berry vinaigrette.
  • Sometimes I intend to make a cold noodle dish (like Thai peanut noodles or soy sesame noodles) that we can toss on top of greens and load with fresh veggies to prevent total salad boredom.
  • And finally, beet salad: Diced beets, goat cheese, grapefruit or orange sections and champagne or citrus vinaigrette on arugula. Sadly, E is definitely against beets so this one is all mine.

I’m also meal planning. I continued this even when I wasn’t food logging. It definitely helps to make sure I’m on top of my fruits and veggies, but it’s essential to smart grocery shopping and ensuring we don’t over-purchase or have to make three more runs to the supermarket because we forgot stuff.

I’m still testing out new recipes, although not as frequently as before. Most recently, I made Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella’s pepperoni sauce as a topping to steamed zucchini. It actually convinced Evan to eat zucchini, but I am trying to develop a lower fat and calorie version of the sauce.

Also, for the past month, I’ve been swimming regularly (now up to 4 times a week) and although it’s been way too dang hot for walking, I’m trying to fit more of that in (typically in air-conditioned malls or stores, but I could get my ass to the gym if I was so inclined–the crowds I battled in the winter should have moved on to outdoor activities by now).

Our due date is  12 days away, but if he’s anything like his father (or, for that matter, most first born children), he’ll be late. I was hoping for a July 4th weekend baby–partly because I’m ready to meet this kid, partly because I’m just about mentally checked out of work and partly because I need him to be born this early so Evan and I can make some commitments later in the month. Selfish and unrealistic, I know, but it’s Evan’s brother’s wedding and there’s a huge craft show in Maryland that I want Evan to be able to go to.

In the meantime, I’m just wrapping things up at work and doing random odd jobs around the house to keep me busy. Sunday, that includes scrubbing the kitchen. Last week, it was reorganizing the pantry. (In fact, there has been a lot of organizing and cleaning as we make room for The Kid and prepare for sleepless nights.) It’s also included writing thank you notes for baby gifts, trolling for new books to read while I’m on leave and keeping my family updated with our now weekly appointments with the midwife. What’s left? Not much:

  • Updating my iPod and cleaning up my iTunes. I’ve had a ridiculous time getting iTunes to work lately and I’m not sure why.
  • Finish writing Thank You notes.
  • Organize computer files, including scanning and backing up my old taxes.
  • Updating our rental insurance.
  • Organizing a huge pile of recipes I’ve been accumulating.
  • And perhaps making an adorable owl mobile using this pattern which I discovered MONTHS ago, purchased the felt and have since done nothing with.

Aside from that, hospital bags are packed and we’ve stocked up on seasons 1-3 of Dexter on DVD and adjusted our Netflix queue to get us through zombie-like days and nonstop nursing. The cat is chilled out more–possibly as a result of using Feliway, increasing her play time and training her. Yes, I’ve trained a 10 year old cat. She now knows to go to time out (space between the sofa and bookcase where she can be alone) if she’s mad and she knows to hop up on the windowsill to watch me leave for work each morning.Yes, I’ve become the crazy cat lady!

What are you all doing with your summer?

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8 responses to “Where I’ve been…

  1. 12 days away. That absolutely blows my mind.

    You’re doing such a good job nesting! I can’t wait to see Charlie!

  2. Ooh, I need to try that pepperoni sauce since Gayle raved about it so much on the show (well, everyone did).

    It sounds to me like you’ve done fabulously through your pregnancy. Believe me, it is such a blip on the radar down the road. I nursed both of my babies forever (well, 2 yrs. 9 mos. each, back to back, so like almost 6 yrs. of nursing…yikes). Now they are so big and that seems like such a distant memory. Wahhh. Enjoy it ALL!!! I know it’s hard sometimes in the moment when there is so much stress and so little sleep…but nostalgically it is all magical and lovely. Ha.

    I’m so excited for you and the upcoming big event!

  3. In the home stretch and we are counting down right here with you.
    I had a small fit when I read this little article I ran across about a causal link between environmental triggers of PCOS.
    http://www.dailyrx.com/news-article/dangerous-plastics-women-11405.html
    Did your endo ever discuss possible triggers with you?
    I found a box of Cadbury’s eggs on clearance and thought about you. I had to pass them by cause they are on my current restriction list.

  4. Wow, only 12 (or so) more days! So exciting! My birthday is this Saturday and let me tell you that having a bday around the 4th has it’s pluses and minuses. You always have a great fireworks display to watch near your bday, but often people are out of town, making parties difficult.

    I love those salad combos you’ve been making. I was surprised the first time I poached/boiled chicken with how juicy it stays. It’s a great way to go. I’m going to give a couple of those salads a whirl this week.

    My main plan for the summer is to enjoy my new puppy, really establish a workout routine (in addition to the healthy eating plan that I seem to have down pat), read a book a week (or thereabouts) and to be more social.

  5. Please tell me how you trained your cat to go to timeout. I would love to know your secret.

  6. Erin: All I started doing was using a stern tone while calling her name and, walking behind her, ushered/pointed her to her “safe spot.” This is a place in the house where she usually hangs when she wants to be left alone or if there are strangers and the house and she wants to survey the environment first. We were consistent with doing this every time she hissed or exhibited other aggressive behavior. Now, we generally only need to call her name sternly and point to the spot and she’ll go there–or she goes there on her own when she’s angry. We did not use treats to get her to go there because we didn’t want her to get confused and think we were rewarding her for the behavior.

  7. Leslie: I read that study (or a similar one) awhile back. I go back and forth with “believing” my PCOS diagnosis (especially since I got preggers with PCOS and ON the Pill), but regardless, avoiding the BPA–although difficult–is smart.

  8. Caroline: Pepperoni Sauce = HEAVEN! Lord knows its the ONLY way I got E to eat zucchini.

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