Paleo Postpartum

I had an epiphany this week.  Several times I heard/saw/read references to people cutting back on carbs to assist with postpartum weight loss.  Hmm, I’ve done the Atkins diet before – definitely not my thing with my love of fruit – but they were not preaching drastic low-carb, just eliminating unnatural sugar and reducing starchy foods like bread, corn, and white potatoes.  I also just started reading “Eat Right for your Type“, a book about eating foods that are ideal for your blood type, and it listed grains and corn products as the biggest hindrance to weight loss for my B+ blood type.  Really?  Interestingly, I ate very little of these foods before I got pregnant.  I was on a mostly pescatarian diet (lots of fish and veggies), but during the nauseating first trimester, simple carbs (hello Fruit Loops!) were the only thing that appealed to me, and I’ve been eating more of them ever since.  Even though I’ve been counting calories, I have noticed recently that a whole lot of my calories are coming from simple carbs, mostly because they are easy and having a baby doesn’t leave me a lot of free time.  After my weekend popcorn binge, I was feeling incredibly bloated Monday.  Since then, I’ve drastically reduced my carbohydrate intake, getting it mostly from the fruit in my daily smoothies.  Even with little time for workouts, I feel much better after just a few days of carb-cutting!

A decade ago, the diet buzzword was “Atkins”, now it seems to be transitioning to “Paleo“.   They are very similar in that they promote more protein and low-carb, but Atkins (at least the modern version) allows for processed foods as long as they are low-carb, while Paleo is all about eating naturally.  Seems to me that was Dr. Atkins’ intent as well before commercialization took over and the company needed to sell more than just books, but I digress.  So is eating a “caveman cuisine” safe while pregnant or breastfeeding?  I found an interesting blog (click here) that explores this topic.  To summarize, yes, and it could actually be very beneficial.

paleo-food-paleolithic-nutrition-foodpyramid-1

 

I am not, and will never be, a lover of meat.  I could go the rest of my life without another piece of steak or chicken and be totally fine.  In fact, I spent a couple of years eating almost exclusively vegetarian and the only thing I really missed was fish, and the occasional cheeseburger.  Plus, after sampling just about every diet out there over the past decade, I’ve learned to just eat things in moderation and still get in the best shape of my life leading up to my pregnancy.  That being said, I DO think it’s time for some diet tweaking.  Just counting calories isn’t enough; it’s time to return to nature and re-adopt a more Paleo-friendly approach.  Only time will tell if I helps heal my body while still nourishing my baby!

Starting Over – Diet Day 1

The holidays are over and it’s back to reality.  And my reality is that I’ve gained 8 pounds since my 30th birthday 6 months ago!!  I saw it in the mirror and felt it in my clothes, but remained in denial or just plain oblivion until now.  Even my size 8 “curvy” jeans are suddenly tight.  I was a little worried about stepping on the scale this morning after an entire holiday season of sugar-binging.  As I stood there staring at my number, it seemed impossible to comprehend that I’d reached my new high – the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life – despite my 3 to 5 workouts a week and mostly vegetarian diet.  I guess that old saying about not being able to eat whatever you want after 30 is true.  Dang sugar!!!

So here I am, once again.  Wasn’t I here this time last year also?  How do we break this cycle?  I suppose I’m starting over, but at least I know what I need to do.  Time to break out the food journal and the workout log, turn up my nose to sugar and processed food, and get back to the healthy eating habits that I know so well but have recently chosen not to follow.  And when I hit my new goal, perhaps 3-4 months from now, vow to never, ever, get to this point again.  I even took “before” pictures in my bathing suit this morning just to help it sink in and will probably keep the picture close by during this journey to help me overcome temptation.

Do you know what’s scariest to me?  8 pounds = 24,000 extra calories that I consumed above and beyond what my body needed.  How the heck did I eat that many extra calories working out as much as I do!?  So now on a reasonable 1-pound-per-week weight loss regimen (cutting 3,000 calories per week), it will take me 8 weeks just to get back to where I started!  Geez, talk about depressing.  Trying to focus on a positive, at least my weight loss tracker will look better after starting at a higher number! 

Why wait until the new year, I want to start today!  I will start posting my food & exercise  journal with each new blog, as well as my weight loss tracker on Fridays after my weigh-in…  partly for accountability, and partly for whomever out there might need some healthy menu ideas or calorie information.

Tuesday      
Food Description Calories Fat Carbs
2 eggs 140 10 2
1 cup 2% milk 120 5 11
1 cup fruit juice 100 0 20
Banana 100 0 21
10 almonds 70 6 1
Baked potato with sour cream 200 3 35
Large salad w/ veggies, lt dressing 300 6 15
Baked fish with lemon 150 2 1
Baked okra 110 3 12
       
Grand Totals 1290 35 118
       
Vitamins     Yes
Workout – 20 min cycle + yoga; weights + 3 mile run Yes