Results of Pregnancy:
2. Moderate to High lack of sleep
3. Difficulty concentrating
4. Belly pouch, similar to that of a mother Kangaroo
5. New found respect for convenience foods, especially those in the breakfast category
This week it became clear to me that I need a lifestyle overhaul. In the spirit of true transparency, I’d like to take you through a typical day in the Harris household- one that I’ve repeated several times in the past 6 weeks.
It’s 5 am, the baby is hungry and would like a snack and something to drink. I oblige because I’m his Mama and I am technically the only one who can provide him with those things. Around 5:30 my husband begins to stir and slowly gets up to prepare for his day at The Store. As the manager of a brand new restaurant in a town with almost no restaurants, you can imagine he has been a little busy. The baby and I go back to sleep, waking only to Feed (I feel like a zookeeper…) every 2 hours, until at least 11 am. Yesterday we got up at 1. I get up and make myself some tea with almond milk because the baby can’t tolerate the cow’s stuff. I won’t have breakfast because we have no breakfast food in the house that isn’t cereal. I tried to boil some eggs the other night for the morning, but left them out for 12 hours. Apparently there is some health concern with room temperature eggs? Who knew?
We both stay in our p.j.s until I get my act together and decide to walk to The Store. I like to take the baby and sit at a table, creepily watching the workers and checking their every move. They all know I’m secretly in charge, right? It’s only about a 5 minute walk there and back, and that will pretty much be the only exercise I’ll get for the day. I bought a jogging stroller in hopes that I might take up running again when the baby was born. What a joke.
We’re back home in the late afternoon, early evening, and all I’ve had to eat was some tea and possibly a bagel with tuna if I can scrounge one up at The Store. Maybe I’ll eat some pretzels for dinner, or a wrap with turkey in it if I’m lucky. AJ is asleep most nights by 9 pm, and I’m back in my p.j.s watching movies and reading blogs on my computer. What an existence. I might have spoken to 1 or 2 people, but mostly the baby and he can’t really hold a great conversation. And due to breastfeeding, I need at least 2200 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. With what I’m eating, I’d average maybe 1000. I’m bone tired and my rheumatoid arthritis is ravaging all the joints in my body. Time for a makeover!
Recently my family, initiated by my Dad, undertook a serious and regimented vegan diet. They eat no animal products, and very little soy. They consume an endless amount of vegetables, with very little sugar or oil, an almost no fat outcome. The diet is meant to reverse the harmful effects of obesity, making you shed some serious lbs. We all know how my Elimination Diet turned out, but I’d like to borrow some of their initiative. I’m not going Vegan, or even Low Fat. I do have that delightful kangaroo pouch and “Muffin top” leftover from the past 9 months of gestation, but at this point I’m more concerned with getting enough healthy food and vitamins into my system so I can have energy to do something,anything. I’m starting with Breakfast. Most important meal of the day. While some people might say cake for breakfast is bad, I say nay!
In order to boost my vitamin intake, I’ve decided that every meal needs to have at least one good vegetable serving, and even more would be better. Sweet potatoes are an absolute super food when it comes to health, and there is no better time than Fall to savor them. I would also try pumpkin, but it is non-existent here except in a can, which costs $15. No thanks. Sweet potato bread is considered Quick Bread- which has really no resemblance to bread other than it’s baked in a loaf pan and can be cut into slices. A dense, muffin like cake, it can easily be filled with dried fruits and nuts, and it is easy to keep the fat content down if you replace the oil with applesauce. This is an easy way to sneak a vegetable into your kids diet too- they will never know the difference! Paired with a cup of antioxidant tea and some fruit, it’s not a bad way to start the day. Next up, healthy lunches, dinner, exercise and *gasp* social interaction!
Sweet Potato Bread
I altered the original recipe by cutting out 1 cup of sugar, swapping the white flour for whole wheat, and using half applesauce and half oil. It tasted very healthy. Next time I will only cut out 1/2 cup of the sugar and I’ve updated the recipe as such. If you want a sweeter and less of a health-food kinda loaf, up the sugar and try the white flour version.
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup water
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (Bake at 350 F (176 C) for 30 minutes)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional. I left them out and didn’t miss them)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and grease a large 9 x 5 in loaf pan, or two small loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine sugar, applesauce and oil and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and beat together. In a medium bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, whisk well to incorporate the baking soda throughout. Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, alternating with the water. Do not over mix! With any quick bread or muffin recipe, and especially ones with whole wheat, just mix until combined or else your outcome will be tough. Stir in mashed sweet potatoes, and nuts if you so desire. Pour batter into your greased loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing it to cool completely. Store wrapped at room temperature for up to one week. This freezes well if doubled wrapped in plastic.
If you are interested, here are the nutritional facts for my healthy version:
Serving Size: 1 slice
Serving Size per loaf: 12
Amount per Serving
Calories from Fat 54.0
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 0.92g 4%
Cholesterol 35.83mg 11%
Sodium 88.5mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 25.36g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3.08g 12%
Protein 3.67g 7%
Est. Percent of Calories from: Fat 30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calories needs.
For more information on daily calorie intake, visit www.livestrong.com