Thursday, April 09, 2015

My Whole 30 Adventure

So I've been following a Paleo diet pretty haphazardly for the past few years. Since Alita was born, I haven't really been paying too much attention to my own well being except to notice that my pants were getting tighter and tighter. My eating was controlled most of the time with random binges mixed in. Also, lots of wine. More wine than I care to admit out loud. Thanksgiving weekend, I had a terrible case of heartburn. Not a surprise, even though I rarely get heartburn, since I was eating like these were the last carbs on earth, yet it was painful and would not go away no matter how many Tums I ate. Around the same time, I was itchy and covered in red bumps. It looked like mites or something gross were eating me. I used a steroid cream, which helped, and got on a course of steroids. As soon as the steroids ended, the rash came back. I itched everywhere and had this awful heartburn. I was miserable! Our entire Christmas holiday was spent with me taking Vicodin 2 at a time around the clock and still whimpering while Rob took care of the kids. After completing a second round of steroids, 2 rounds of Elimite, and still having a rash (now kinda diagnosed as chronic hives - and by kinda diagnosed I mean my primary care doctor shrugged and I did a lot of online research) and heartburn, which felt like someone standing on my chest 24/7, I started seeing specialists. An allergist didn't think the 2 were connected unless maybe I had the h. pylori bacteria - we took a blood sample for that which later froze in their lab pick-up box. I left that office with no information but a handful of prescriptions. At least my symptoms were under control at that point. Next stop, gastroenterology! The doctor suggested an EGD scope (upper GI with biopsy) - and hey wasn't that fun! Besides inflammation, nothing of note was present in this test but at least I've met my deductible for the year. Oh and more prescriptions. At this point, I'm taking my regular meds for high blood pressure and depression and an additional 14 pills a day - some twice a day, some just in the morning, some just before bed. At least I'm not taking Vicodin any more, since the symptoms are all controlled, but this does not feel like a sustainable solution. Especially since if I miss one dose, all the issues come back within hours. Based on the story of Joe Cross, who used juice fasting to cure himself of chronic hives, I started researching dietary changes that might help me. Something in my body is making the histamine receptors go crazy, and we don't know why. Ultimately I chose an elimination diet, since it's not advised to go from straight crap diet to juice fast without something healthy in between. I was already a fan of Paleo, so I decided to try Whole 30. I loved the It Starts with Food book and the perspective of "Giving birth is hard, giving up x-item for 30 days is not hard." I was nervous about giving up wine, but knowing that alcohol is a culprit in heartburn, histamines, and other health issues, I took the plunge. I decided not to cut back on any of my medications until after 30 days. There are some online resources that were invaluable to me (I'm looking at you NomNomPaleo and TheClothesMakeTheGirl), and I did a lot of shopping. And chopping. I have never consumed so many vegetables. I started making my own mayo and ghee. Everything I cooked was delicious. I was eating *really well* and felt amazing. I had so much energy and so much less moodiness. I made one juice every day, loaded up with ginger and veggies. I looked forward to that daily juice and did not even notice that I wasn't drinking wine.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stationery card

Welcome Baby Girl Birth Announcement
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Knitting Space


So to make room for the baby, I've given up my knitting room. No big deal, once I got over it. A trip to Ikea was all we needed (plus about 100 trips up and down the stairs) and soon, all the yarn has found a new home (in an identical storage unit but who's keeping track?) in my dining room, which is now a more useful space, and quite lovely. If anyone complains about having to look at gorgeous, hand-dyed fiber during their meal, they can eat in the garage. I love the way my yarn is now closer to me and easier to visit. Plus the nursery is super cute!

More views of the dining room and yarn stash:

On the Blocking Board


I love having things on the blocking board! So fun to see the evidence of my knitting laid out before being gifted away or folded into drawers. I have been knitting a lot over the past year or two, I just haven't been finishing anything. But with a new baby coming, two issues have arisen: #1, I needed to clean out the knitting room to turn it back into a nursery, and #2, I needed to knit some stuff for this new baby.

So in the process of finding place for all the yarn, notions, and projects that were in the knitting room, I took a good look at what yarn I wanted to keep and what yarn I was willing to let go. We moved all the keeper yarn into an Ikea Expedit storage unit (identical to the one being used in the knitting room) that we set up in the dining room. Why not make that room more useful? My sewing machine is in there too. It's got a nice long table and great lighting, perfect for sewing projects, hosting a knitter's circle, and keeping all my yarn visible so that I can be constantly inspired.

Storing the unfinished projects, however, was not so easy. As I found myself trying to make room for these items, I became very anxious and worried that I was turning my home into the next episode of Hoarders. Not good. I decided to actually finish those projects, some of which needed so little work to complete that I am embarrassed at how long those projects sat there. I finished a sweater for my husband, knit in Berroco's Ultra Alpaca. it's a beautiful blue tweed yarn that will look great on him - he looks so good in blue. When I cast on, he was a smaller size than he is now, so he's got til October to lose a few pounds =) It's the Cobblestone Pullover by Jared Flood (aka Brooklyn Tweed) that, according to my Ravelry log, I started in September 2007. Seriously that is just a stupidly-long time to knit something. I also finished pair #1 from the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club, a club that I've been a member of for 3 or 4 years. Yes, I finished the first pair from the first shipment from my first year of membership in this club. Told you it was embarrassing!

Inspired by the completion of these objects, I cast on some stuff for the new baby who is due in October. A cardigan with matching cap, and two baby kimonos from the Mason-Dixon knitting book. See, the way I figure it, if I use up all my yarn stash, then I'm not a hoarder. Amirite? I also have two cousins with babies due within a week of my due date, so there is lots of baby knitting to be done this summer. After all, that's why I became a knitter in the first place. And they won't be newborns for long, so knit up!

Baby Jumper


I made this for Baby Selene, I hope it fits!
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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Running and Pregnancy

I started running in January of 2010, and ran my first 5k race in May of that year. I loved running almost immediately; after years of sedentary living and being overweight, it was a true joy to find something that was good for me and made me so happy. After about 3 months of running, I was able to go off the meds that I'd been on since having my first baby in 2003.

Last year, I ran a lot of races including my first half marathon. I put a lot of effort into losing weight so that I could be a better runner, and lost 40 pounds. For 2011, I had big plans: run most of the races I ran in 2010 to improve my times, run more miles per week, lose even more weight, weight train for better overall fitness, run a sub-30 5k. I could go on. These plans were entirely derailed when I discovered in February that I was unexpectedly pregnant.

The pregnancy is good news for us. Rob wanted another baby but wasn't willing to push for one (I think he's afraid of getting blamed for all the sleeplessness and laundry). I felt I was done, but as my boys (5 & 8) got older, I was missing the baby days. Once I found out I was pregnant, I realized how much I really did want another little one around here.

It's been great so far. I've been able to run all along, even now at 26 weeks pregnant, and I feel great. I feel better than I have with my other 2 pregnancies. I have limited my weight gain to a very healthy level - just 15 pounds so far, with 14 weeks to go. I have more energy, strength, and stamina than with my other pregnancies. I am not wallowing in my condition, laying around like a frail patient. I'm gardening, playing with my kids, swimming at the lake, lifting weights, and running.

I did a lot of research. I know that running is not just safe for pregnancy, it's good for pregnancy. It's good for mom and baby. Labor and delivery is easier; postpartum recovery is easier; baby's adjustment to the outside world is easier; pregnancy itself has fewer complications and is easier. You know what's not good for a pregnant women with a normal pregnancy? Laying around and eating all day. Gaining 60+ pounds. That's what I did with my first pregnancy, and I ended up on bedrest, with pre-eclampsia, getting induced at 37 weeks and nearly having a c-section. I had an 18-hour labor with 3 hours of pushing because I was too weak to push my own baby out. I was sore for weeks after that strenuous workout. Not something I want to revisit.

This time around, I am healthier and fitter than I've ever been in my life. Being pregnant at age 42 is not an excuse to stop taking care of yourself; it's a reason to take the best care of yourself that you can.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Run Like the Dickens 10k, December 11, 2010

Today I ran my 10th race of 2010! The Run Like the Dickens 10k in Holly, Michigan. A small race which Chuck (Charles1968) told me about; they actually had a record # of attendees this year, but it was still a nice, smallish (1000ppl), local event. The 5k started 5 minutes earlier than the 10k and ran in a different direction, which spread out the field nicely.

Chuck promised me a flat course (after our hellish hills in Hell on Halloween) and he did not disappoint. I started off too fast and held it together best I could. My splits were a bit wonky - from 10:48 to 11:44 - but I got to the finish line with a PR. My official time is 1:10:41 (11:13 pace) and I'm happy with that. I had some issues with being hungry (foolishly skipped breakfast and by the time I was running, I'd been up for over 3 hours) but otherwise it was all good.

I was not alone in this race, and it was nice to be amongst a group of similarly-paced runners. This was not the case when my paces were in the 12-13mm range. So I liked that. Next race season, I hope to be about 20 pounds lighter and in the 9-10mm range.

I didn't have my phone, but I wish I had gotten a pic of Chuck in his santa suit - green tights with santa shorts and hat, red top, and bells on his shoes. He looked awesome! So very cool to see a friend at the race, too!