About this Blonde
Filed In: pregnancy
You may remember the lovely Carley of Oh Baby Nutrition from my previous post of her. If not, take a gander, she is amazing. I love literally anything she touches because she does so with knowledge, compassion and beauty. Beauty in that everything she creates is really well done AND thoughtful. So, I have been STALKING her for the release of Baby Knows Best (an intro to first foods), and it is FINALLY HERE.
Here’s the thing, I received it in my inbox today, already read through everything and watched the video, and again I am SO impressed. Carley, you have my heart.
And, you should know I am not receiving any type of compensation for this post. She gracefully gifted me the guide and is so kindly offering all of my readers.
- Super easy to read
- Beautiful to look at
- Her voice is wonderful and soothing on the video
- The 40-minute video explains SO SO much and so well done
- An amazing place for ANYONE to start regardless of your food knowledge, beliefs, etc.
- She makes you feel like you are simply evolving your baby, and not shaming you for whatever you may have previously believed
- She makes a SUPER compelling case for baby led food weaning
What I want more of
- All of her recipes
- One on one time with her (I want to be her real life friend. If I lived in Vancouver, I would just sit at her house and raid her fridge.)
What is it? Exactly as it sounds, the baby is in charge of eating food as he/she is ready. Baby eats what you eat, basically. You want to avoid purees and allow the baby to eat a mixture of soft finger foods. ALL OF WHICH, Carlie explains beautifully in her guide. We do actually do some purees with Teddy bear, but for the most part, he eats what I eat.
“In short, Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is skipping thin and runny purées and not feeding your baby with a spoon. Baby Led Weaning means offering your baby (age appropriate) foods that are soft-cooked and cut or mashed into small easily manageable pieces.” (source)
If you are pregnant, want to have babies, have a small baby who will soon be thinking of solids, you need this guide in your life. Purchase it, download it, save it and thank me later. I really, really, REALLY wish I had this when Wynston was born. We did not do the baby led food weaning way of eating, and he is the PICKIEST man you ever did meet. Teddy on the other hand is 8 months old and will eat basically anything, ANY GODDAM thing you put in front of him.
Carley is being super generous and gifting my readers 10% using the code “glitter” at checkout. Friend, her guide is worth it full price. And then some. Trust me, solid foods are more daunting than breastfeeding or even sleep training, when you are clueless. Get her guide.
x to the ohhh,
You know what really chaps my ass? When someone says I am SO lucky that I did not gain a ton of weight during pregnancy. Or that I am SO lucky that breastfeeding has gotten the baby weight off. While I realize genetics has a hand in how our bodies grow, change, react and adapt, I have some good genes, but mostly I WORK FOR MY BODY. And yes, my mom blessed me with a big booty, and a small waist. I used to hate my butt. Hate it. I used to loathe my itty bitty naturally skinny friends. And then I found a way to be happy, and embrace my curves. But here’s the thing, while I embrace my body whole heartedly, I also work MY ASS OFF to feel good in my body. Yes, I work my ass off to appreciate my ASS.
I swear this rant has a point, and the point is, I am not lucky. It is not a coincidence that I feel good seven months after having my second baby. I worked my ass off to feel that way. So, today I thought I would share with you the top reasons I was able to get back to my pre-baby body without luck, but with good old fashioned work ethic.
My Top Tips for Getting Your Body Back after BABY!
- I took care of myself and did not indulge while I was pregnant. Here’s the thing, I know women have cravings and this, that and the other thing, but when you eat real food, you crave the nutrients you and the babe really need. So, yes, I am being a super uber bitchy snob and this one, I did not use my pregnancy as a reason to overindulge, or say ahhhh I will lose the weight later. I just could not. I am sorry my loves, I am. I know you are preggers and you DO deserve that cookie, you do. (Read: What to Eat While You are Pregnant)
- I was patient and kind to myself. What I have learned in the past 10 years of what I consider “biohacking” my way to health is that there is no such thing as change over night. Hell, there really isn’t change over a month. It takes months and months to sustain the change you really, truly, deeply seek to SUSTAIN. So, I try to attack my diet and fitness with a kaizen like approach, small steps, small change overtime leading to big change. If you are not paying attention it seems like a drastic change occurs, but really, lots of small steps have been taken to achieve that BIG change we all seem to crave. (Read: Be Kind to Your Pregnant Body)
- I surrendered to the moments that overwhelmed me. It’s funny because a lot of my friends and family think I live in the gym. I don’t. And when I am there I workout for MAYBE 25 minutes. Maybe. And I am MAYBE there 4 times a week. MAYBE. I just do not have the time, nor the energy. And, you should NEVER force a workout. Surrender to what your body and small children need the most. Surrender. (Read: Surrender and Make Coconut Chicken)
- I moved when I was pregnant. I walked hills every single day. It kept me sane and in shape, I believe. I even created a prenatal workout program for myself, WHICH I hope to share soon! (Read: Walk and I don’t Feel Like Moving My Body At All)
- I rebuilt my body slowly, and what I believe to be smartly. When I was cleared to workout again, I went to the gym on average I would say 4 times a week, and completed 25 – 30 minute workouts. I was entirely focused on building strength from my core outwards. Meaning, I focused on building strength from the inside out, utilizing bodyweight workouts and eventually HIIT intervals and calisthenics. I chose movements that made me stabilize my core and activate the transverse abdominis muscle (I did a mini instagram blog post on this, check my feed for a plank.). Planks, ab roll outs and myoatic crunches are my jam. Let me tell you though, that first workout when I could do MAYBE one pushup from my knees was extremely humbling. I am still rebuilding strength seven months postpartum, and that is something we need to remember as new moms, our bodies went through a lot and will take time to rebuild and regain strength. That is OKAY. Don’t kill yourself on day one, week one of your postpartum workouts. This is the time you need to have the most patience and kindness for yourself. Again, surrender. (PS I do have a workout plan that is composed of the workouts I do, and I share my workouts on Instagram.)
- High quality meat, like we are talking the best most humanely raised meats as possible, if they are not possible I do not eat them. And, I eat meat maybe once or twice a week. MORE ON this topic later.
- Fermented foods every single day. Kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir and kvass Mostly from the Happy Pantry! I am convinced their beet kvass changed my life for the better. (An entire post is coming soon on THIS as well.)
- Raw dairy as much as I crave, I get mine from a food club which gets it from an Amish farm
- Veggies as much as I would like
- Fruit, not a ton but I eat what I like
- Protein pancakes, primal lactation and paleoish bacon cookies (coming soon)
Me and Teddy 6 months postpartum
That’s it. I eat real food. That is the #1 weapon. I eat foods my body can DIGEST and then use for energy and nutrients and avoids storing them as fat. For the most part. At the end of the day what matters the most in your food is quality, quantity and consistency. Do not ask me how many calories I eat in a day, because I have no clue. All I know is I eat the real food that I crave. Nothing is really out of bounds, but quality is super important to me.
So, those are the behaviors that got me back to where I want to be. While I would like to add some more muscle. I continue to be kind and patient with myself. The reality is, I have two small children, two-three-ish jobs and big dreams and not enough hours in the day. So I do what I can. But, I do not negotiate on feeding my family and myself the most real foods as possible, and I get myself to move. Not everyday, and not for hours on end. I move for minutes, and in those minutes I am focused. There’s really no secret, just the desire to maintain sanity. To me sanity is a healthy thriving body. Because I have simply felt what it is like to feel shitty in my skin, so feeling really good is a matter of emotional well being.
Be good and kind to you.
x to the ohh, Whitters
You guys! I have the best post for you today.
I have been
stalking following Carley of Oh Baby Nutrition for quite sometime now and I am obsessed with her beautiful spirit, and sheer knowledge when it comes to women’s health, really. But specifically focusing on the needs of momma and baby. You will all love her! She is SUCH a wealth of information so please check out her website and follow her on the insta-machine!
I really love her philosophy – we tend to have very similar ideals (EAT FAT) and agree on one very important thing, every person, every woman is so vastly different that there is no such thing as ONE perfect diet. I love that everything she does appears to be coated in love, and if I had found her maybe four or five years ago, I’d be on Skype with her everyday trying to figure out what I could do to live a better life and hopefully get myself knocked up.
Oh, and she’s Canadian, which makes her pretty amazing. She is likely the classiest most wonderful thing that has ever graced this blog!
So ENJOY! xo
Interview with Carley of Oh Baby Nutrition!
Can you give us just a quick bio and tell us how you came to be involved in such a wonderful area of health and wellness for females during their childbearing years?
I’m a Holistic Nutritionist and I specialize in naturally nourishing mama & baby through fertility, pregnancy & postpartum. The pregnancy and birth of my son deeply reinforced my devotion to help other women thrive during their childbearing years. Proper nutrition is essential for both mother and baby, but figuring out what that means can be very confusing. By combining the wisdom of traditional cultures with the findings of modern science, I hope to empower women with knowledge and confidence.
If you could give women who are trying to conceive just one piece of advice when it comes to the role nutrition and conception play, what would it be?
“Preparing your body nutritionally for conception is one of the most important things that you can do for your child’s future.”
The type of diet you have before and during your pregnancy directly influences your child’s lifelong susceptibility to disease, and even permanently affects their appetite, metabolism, intellect and temperament. By providing your body with highly nourishing foods, and avoiding those that reduce fertility, you can increase your ease of conception and give your baby the healthiest start possible.
All traditional cultures had sacred fertility foods and they went to great lengths to see that women were fed a highly nutritious diet prior to conception. They knew that this would result in babies with higher intellect and greater immunity, so they saw it as essential to the strength of their future tribe. This sacred wisdom isn’t passed down generation after generation like it was then.
What are your favorite pregnancy foods?
Every woman is different and her nutritional needs will be too. Each pregnancy comes with its unique set of cravings and aversions. Generally speaking though, during pregnancy I recommend lots of protein, healthy fats, traditionally fermented probiotic rich foods, water and bone broth throughout. My favourite nutrients to focus on for each trimester are:
1st trimester: Colourful vegetables and dark leafy greens for micronutrients and folate.
2nd trimester: Iron rich foods (like grass fed beef) to support blood volume expansion.
3rd trimester: Plant based calcium (like beet greens), vitamin D & omega 3 rich foods (like wild salmon) to support skeletal growth, brain development, and to help mama build her stores for breastfeeding.
Any books or resources you recommend for women looking to become pregnant or who currently are pregnant?
For birth: the classic, Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth (<<ME TOO, ME TOO!!), can’t be beat. It encourages women to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies during the birth process.
For nutrition: my favorite read is Beautiful Babies by Kristen Michaelis. It’s brilliant.
You mentioned on Instagram that saturated fats in particular are super important for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, can you elaborate on that?
Fat is so misunderstood in general, but saturated fat in particular. Healthy fat is one of the most nourishing things we can consume for our reproductive system. Too much unhealthy fat and/or not enough healthy fat is a leading cause of infertility. As a guide, stick with naturally saturated fats such as coconut oil, pasture raised butter or ghee. Monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil. Polyunsaturated Omega 3’s from fish. Steer clear of industrial seed oil and artificially saturated fats including “heart healthy” margarine and vegan butter spreads.
I was so moved by your birth story! Do you have any short winded advice for women embarking on a natural birth?
Thank you! I’d say…. Educate yourself. Educate yourself. Educate yourself. Choose a birth team that is aligned with your philosophies and who will advocate for you during the birthing process. Remember that your health care providers work for you! Ask questions like: are there any interventions, mediations or procedures that are standard protocol or mandatory in your practice? Or, in what situation is delayed cord clamping not possible? I switched providers half way through my pregnancy because I realized that my midwife’s governing body had certain restrictions that could get in the way being able to have the birth that I wanted. I chose to birth in my home with the support of a Traditional Birth Attendant and it was the single most empowering experience of my life.
Can we Americans work with you? If so, how can we get in touch with your programs?
Yes! I Skype with clients from all over the world. I also have a very exciting launch coming up next month to nourish fertility, pregnancy and postpartum women… The Mama Cleanse: 10 days to reclaim your health. Think less deprived detox and more giving your eating habits the old clean sweep.
Any parting words you wish every woman in her childbearing years could know?
My very favorite quote from the one & only, Ina May Gaskin,
“Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
Wow. I loveeee that so much, and I too am in love with Ina May Gaskin!
Thank you so much to the beautiful Carley Mendes, it’s an honor to have you here sharing your light.
x to the ohhh,
So first off, I am not a nutritionist, nor a doctor. These are my personal beliefs based off of years of diet research and experimentation, and two very healthy pregnancies. Keep that in mind as you read through and wonder if this is right for you. I simply get asked a lot: What do you eat, how do you workout while you are pregnant? You are not swollen, what’s your secret? So today, I thought I would share.
If you are in your early pregnancy, you are at the super vulnerable stage. You are googling everything, wondering if it’s okay to eat this or that, how to avoid gaining too much weight, and simply trying to figure out how you will keep this small child you are now harvesting alive. You are already gaining weight, but no one knows you’re pregnant so you just feel chubby and irritated. I have been there my friend. My body put on a good 5 pounds in the first 2ish weeks of both of my pregnancies. Both times I had no idea I was pregnant, and both times I had a meltdown over it. So to you I say, sugar, it’s gonna be alright. Those 9 pounds you’ve already gained are totally okay. Take a breath. Get some flowy clothes that make you feel pretty and just know that this phase will pass quickly. If I could hug you, I would.
The good news is, you are in good hands and I am about to give you my bestest tips for eating and not turning into a whale while you are prego.
Before we start, in case you want some info about my body:
Weight Gained: With my first pregnancy I gained a total of 25 pounds, eating this way. I am 34 weeks pregnant now and have gained 20 pounds thus far. I feel like I will likely hit 25 again in the next 6 weeks. We see!
Weird Cravings: Not really any… I guess I wanted Pop Tarts my first pregnancy, but none this second go around.
Ailments: First pregnancy, nada. Second pregnancy, just a few spider veins in my right leg, but this is due to my hips being out of alignment BEFORE I done and got knocked up. I have had no heart burn, no gestational diabetes, no constipation. All is good.
What and How to Eat While Pregnant
I think my simplest (and most powerful) secret is that I nourish my body, and try my best to listen to it. I do not follow an exact requirement or intake of certain foods, I simply have evolved my body into a way of eating that allows me to actually crave the nutrients I need.
I listen to my body and what it needs.
How? Here’s are my top tips for nourishing your body and that little monkey inside for a healthy pregnancy.
1. Eat. Eat Real Food.
I will not lie to you, no pregnant woman wants to gain the weight. We despise it, Even though it is for the baby and yadda yadda yadda. Show me a woman who loves feeling like she is fat, and I will bake you cookies every month for a year, for the rest of my life. I digressed. Anyhow. You have to EAT and EAT REAL FOOD while you are pregnant. In my first pregnancy this took me a minute to be okay with. I kind of yo-yo’d with weight the first few months because I did not want to get TOO fat. Mistake. Huge Mistake. I literally would try not to eat “too much” all day, and then binge at dinner because I was hungry, and my baby needed nutrients. It was not until I really fell into the primal way of life in 2nd trimester did I really start to feel good in my own skin, and thrive.
Don’t be me. Eat when you are hungry, until you are full.
2. Try the Weston Price (WAPF) or Primal Lifestyle on for Size
In a nutshell this is how I eat:
- Clean meats (humanely raised, pasture-raised, grass-fed, organic, etc.). Everyday.
- Good fats. Grass-fed/Pastured/Raw/Organic Butter or Ghee. Avocados. Coconut oil. Coconut butter. Avocado oil. Olive oil. Bacon. Every damn day.
- Eggs (organic + pasture raised) Everyday. Plus I add raw yolks to smoothies. Yep. Raw. Yolks.
- Raw milk organic and pasture raised. Almost everyday. I craved it a lot in the first trimester and it helped soothe any morning sickness I had. SWEAR!
- Grass-fed cheeses and yogurts (for the most part they are raw, organic AND pasture raised). Almost everyday. The last trimester I wanted yogurt every day. Like a bad habit.
- Eat some greens and a dash fruit. Almost everyday.
- Nuts. A few times a week/ish.
- Indulge when you feel the urge. Like a fucking turkey grinder on white bread with Doritos from Gourmet Baggers. Errrmm like once a week, maybe more, maybe not at all some weeks.
So I really have fallen in love with this way of life. It keeps my weight rather effortlessly on point, and better yet, I just feel so amazing in my own skin. Here are the exact pregnant and nursing diet recommendations from the Weston A. Price Foundation. I do not follow these guidelines exactly, for one, I cannot be bothered to eat exactly this many eggs, or that much butter or whatever. That way of eating does not work for me, and by that way, I mean the measure every bite of food, regimented way if that makes sense. I think this is a super helpful recommendation for someone just starting out in this lifestyle, but once your body gets used to this level of nourishment, you can listen to your body for what it needs! I swear. It’s fucking life changing.
3. Build your plate with Fat, Then Meat, Then Greens, Then Maybe Fruit or Tubers
Seriously start with fat.
The most important nutrients (Vitamins A, D, E and K) our bodies need are FAT SOLUBLE meaning they need fat in order to be assimilated and used in our bodies. Do NOT fear the fat, your body needs fat. So does your babe. Read this on INSULIN + FAT. Not to mention, fat slows down the absorption of glucose in your body. So if you eat a heavy carb/sugar meal, the fat in the meal will slow down how your body uses that energy, which is good. When insulin is panicked and rushed, it just sends that shit straight to fat storage. So eat some fat to avoid the sugar and carbs to be instantly STORED as fat. Really though, read this.
Then add some humanely raised meats.
Then some greens.
Then maybe some fruit or tubers (like sweet potatoes).
4. Watch your blood sugar and carb intake
If you are in your first trimester, tell me you don’t just want to shower in all the carbs. The carbs. All of them. Give them to me. Now. Fact. On days I indulged the urge to have a bagel in my first trimester, I felt terrible. On days where I ate some bacon and eggs, I felt amazing. No nausea, no nada. It really, really is my belief that your growing body and babe to be need GOOD fats. You may think you are in need of carbs, but try a dose of fat first and see if that does not help. Think butter, eggs, avocados, bacon, and coconut anything!
Pregnancy cravings can be tough because you want to eat, you want to feed your babe, but when you do not satisfy the urge of whatever nutrient your body is actually looking for because you gave it a butter croissant, you will be hungry in like 30 minutes. Basically, insulin will tell your body to keep eating because our cells and the baby’s cells did not yet get what they needed. So we are constantly hungry whilst we are prego because we are serving lots of needs. If those needs are not met with REAL nutrients, you will gain more weight because your body will keep telling you to eat because it really really needs those nutrients. I know, short and confusing, but trust me, NUTRIENTS are number one. Read THIS.
What I am saying is listen to your body. If it craves a certain fruit, eat it. What I am not saying is that carbs are evil and should be avoided your entire pregnancy. I am saying, do not SHOWER in the carbs you crave. Try to eat the fats first. Try to eat more nutrients. You will feel better and ACTUALLY satisfy your cravings.
Fruit doesn’t have any sugar, yahoo! Okay. Fruit has sugar, just not table sugar. Some fruits have a lot of sugar. Even though your fresh squeezed orange juice has no ADDED sugar, it was born with natural fruit sugar in its little plump body, so your cup, too, will have sugar in it.
Ever down a glass of OJ and feel ravishingly starved in like 30 minutes?
P.S. Lately I have been eating dates on the reg to prepare my body for delivery! So good. My body also has been wanting oatmeal (maybe because it helps with breastmilk supply?) so I have been soaking oats and making oatmeal. Not all carbs are evil, you just want to be able to DIGEST THEM.
5. Don’t Use Cravings as an Excuse
Okay. I know you need a rice krispy treat, or a bowl of panda puffs, OR POP TARTS if you are me. But, you don’t need them every night, or even multiple times a week. I feel like some women definitely overdo it here. I am sorry, I know, I am totally a bitch for saying this. Yes you are pregnant, it is not a punishment that deserves a reward. Sure, you should totally reward yourself here and there. But if you hide behind the “Ah, I am pregnant, I will get back in shape in 9 months!” or the “I can’t wait to not be pregnant to start eating well!” mind frames, you will gain more weight than you will like. There is no better reason than growing a small child than to start nourishing your body. Start now.
Okay getting off my high horse.
Instead of indulging in crazy nightly cookies, or brownies or cake batter, whatever, give yourself a piece of dark chocolate, or a date roll every night. Treat yourself! But do it with something that will NOURISH you and your babe too. A note on treats, here.
Make these Treats:
6. Walk. Everywhere.
I cannot stress this enough. Walking will not only prepare your pelvis and booty for delivery, but it actually helps you burn a lot of fat. AND it is therapeutic. AND it will help you from getting swollen and super uncomfortable.
Do some yoga. Workout how it feels good.
7. Relax. It’s gonna all workout.
Try your best to listen to your body for what it needs to be fed and how it wants to move. Feed it good foods and you will not gain a million pounds and feel like a gorilla.
Fact. Fat storing hormones INCREASE on our hips and buttocks when we become pregnant so that we STORE calories there to feed our baby in case a famine hits. TRUE STORY. Feeling fuller in your donk? You probably is a little. I am, FOR sure. But it will go away. I promise. Just enjoy them applebottom jeans and the boots with the furrrrr my friend.
All my love to you!
x to the ohhhh, Whitters
Yo-ho, did you know I am preggers, again? If you don’t follow me on the insta, it’s time.
I am almost 18 weeks now, and basically missed my entire first trimester. As in, I did not know I was pregnant. I just thought I felt terrible and exhausted all the time because I was finishing and releasing the book. When I went to the doctor for my initial 8 week appointment, I was way further than we thought. Whoops. Well, here I sit gestating and just trying to keep my head above water and thought I would share a few thoughts with you.
This pregnancy has been different than my last. I am tired, all the time. Queasy, most of the time. Have had headaches, almost every night. And I have no desire to workout. The only thing that feels good in my body is yoga. And walking. But even walking feels like a rough go sometimes. Some people say my symptoms are harsher because I am going to have a girl (which I have no idea yet). I say, maybe I am just tired from working, chasing a toddler and trying to look a little bit like a wife. In my first pregnancy, I found a way to sweat everyday and I loved it. Today, I do yoga and my body is tired for a day or two. Granted, the yoga classes I am taking are challenging and since I have not moved much in the last couple months my muscles are adjusting. But, it is rather hurtful.
I am trying to take it all one day at a time, be patient and flexible with my body, and as always move in the way it feels good. I always preach listening to your body, so for now I am just practicing a taste of my own medicine. Mentally and physically I feel so amazing after stepping out of every yoga class, so for now, that is how I am going to roll. But I am curious, have any of the mommas out there felt this way? (Assuming you are a psycho-workout-or-die type of human like me, but even if you’re not.)
You know the truth by the way it feels.
Anyhooters, I hope you all are well. Once I get my groove back, I will be posting a bit more and trying to eventually post some bumpie vids. (Bumpie = bump selfie as coined by the amazing Kate of So Cal Runner Gal.)