Doing the Whole30 While Pregnant.


Yesterday was my official last day of The Whole30 Challenge and I did it all while being pregnant this time. I have to admit I’m feeling pretty great.

Let me give you a little feedback for those who are new to my blog. I did my first Whole30 Challenge last July (You can read about it here), it really changed my relationship with food, and health. I’ve even done a few more since and had great success. I was down a total of 32 lbs when I found out I was pregnant. I knew two things as soon as I found out: I didn’t want to gain as much weight as I did the first time (70lbs) and that I wanted to try and complete a Whole30 during this pregnancy.

I’ve been told plenty of times by women far more experienced than I, that every pregnancy is different. I’m here to tell you, they ain’t lying. During my first I had some slight nausea, exhaustion, and a few nosebleeds. This pregnancy the morning sickness game was on during the first trimester!!! I remember one morning sitting on the floor praying to God that I wouldn’t throw up again because there is nothing worse throwing up on an empty stomach. It seemed like anything could trigger my morning sickness. Smells especially. On top of morning sickness (lets call it what it actually is, all day sickness) I was having terrible headaches, nosebleeds and extreme exhaustion. I didn’t have the headaches with my first so it really concerned me but my OBGYN told me that it’s very common for women to have headaches while pregnant. I tried to start a Whole30 a few times during the first trimester and this baby was all like “That ain’t happening Mom.” So I listened to what baby said and ate basically anything that would stay down. By my 12 week check up I had gained 5 lbs. I thought to myself well that’s more than I’d like but considering I was basically surviving on processed carbs I’ll take it.

My all day sickness finally started to back off by week 13/14 but I was still eating like crap. Then we found out my husband was going to be working out of state for a few months and then he left for work. Now I’m the type of person that loves an excuse to eat. I eat when I’m bored, happy, sad, feeling lazy, or whatever and this just added fuel to fire. I was like “what’s the point in cooking? It’s just me and Deklin (My 3 year old)” So we started eating out more nights, I started buying crap food that I don’t normally buy, and even though I’d still buy fruits and veggies I wasn’t eating them. Little did I know I was about to have wake up call.

I knew that I gained weight before I even stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office for my 16/17 week check up. But when I saw that I had gained 10 lbs in a month (which is a total of 15 lbs in all and I wasn’t even half way!!) I was pissed with myself because I knew that I was headed down the same path I traveled a couple of years ago. I said to myself “Oh HELL NO! You need to get off your ass and start eating better. It’s time to start that Whole30 you’ve been talking about. You worked too hard to get to where you are to travel down that road again.” Thankfully the OBGYN Clinic I use,the Doctor’s don’t really care how much weight you gain as long as you and the baby are healthy.

I’ve been seeing my OBGYN for about 7 years now, so she and I have a really great relationship. She a very straight forward type of person and I like that. When I came to her after I found out I was pregnant this time, I told her 2 things: That I wanted to try for VBAC and that I didn’t want to gain as much weight as I had the first time. To which she agreed. So when she saw that I had gained 10 lbs in a month, she looked up from the chart and said “You’ve gained 10 lbs in a month, Brandy. You should watch your weight…not that I have room to say anything” (She’s currently expecting too) “But you’re the one that said you didn’t want to gain as much weight this time” I needed that kick in the butt. Right then I told her that I had plans to do The Whole 30 starting right after my son’s birthday. She told me “It’s going to be tough.” I knew it was going to tough but I needed to do it.

I kept my word and I started the Whole30 the day after Deklin’s Birthday on June 20th. That first week was awful and I wanted to throw in the towel every time I had to cook. The Carb Flu was not nice to me, ladies. I felt terrible, achey and it really did feel as though Thor had hit me in the head with his hammer. But I refused to give up. Luckily  after that week I started feeling a little bit better. My morning sickness had officially downgraded to constant nausea.

I had my 20 week check up and my doctor asked me how I was feeling. I told her I was actually feeling much better and that I had I started the Whole30. She was like “I noticed that you were down a few pounds”. I asked her if it was okay if I  could continue. Her response was “I don’t care. As long as you and the baby are healthy and you aren’t depriving yourself of calories or skipping meals. I’m fine with it.”

So here we are 31 days later and I made it. Doing the Whole30 pregnant was completely different from doing it not pregnant. I never got my burst of energy or tigers blood. I did however become more motivated to do things or more invested in nesting. For example our pantry has needed to be purged and organize for longer than I’d care to admit. I went in there one day to grab something and I just started organizing it right then.  I organized the cabinets, my sons room, the closets, etc. This is all stuff that I would normally look at and think “I should really do that. Ehh, I’ll do it later.” Now don’t get me wrong my home is still very much lived in but runs smoother with a little organization. I also have had  more patience with my son (3 is way harder than 2). I’ve been more willing to take him places or do things like go to pool at 8 in the morning.  Cooking has become less tedious of a task. I even branched out a little bit from my usual Whole30 motto (Keep it simple, stupid). I made homemade spaghetti sauce because I couldn’t find any without added sugar and it was absolutely delicious!! I stopped having headaches almost all together. Now whenever I have them I know that I need to eat a carb like a banana or a potato. My nausea has slacked off tremendously and I haven’t had a nosebleed since I started. I’ve only fallen asleep on the couch once. (It was really bad before, my husband I could be sitting in the living room and in the middle of conversation  I would pass out. Just like a little old man) My favorite non-scale victory though would have to be how much my pregnancy/Mom brain has improved. I now actually remember to bring my list with me to the grocery store. Or when I walk into a room remember why I walked in there. In addition to all of these wonderful things, I’m also down 13 lbs. Not that you can really tell because well I’m growing a baby but it’s good to know. I didn’t even bother taking my measurements this time so I have no clue if I lost any inches.

Was it easy? ABSOLUTELY FREAKING NOT!! I wanted to quit EVERY.SINGLE. DAY.  I can’t tell you how many times I texted my husband complaining “I can’t do this anymore!! It would be so much easier to pour myself a bowl cereal or order delivery. This is ridiculous and I don’t feel like cooking!!” Luckily he encouraged me to stick with it because it’s what I wanted. I’m glad I stuck with it though! I know that over the last 30 days my sweet little baby has gotten the best nutrition possible and that makes me feel really good. I’ve even made the crazy decision to continue the Whole30 for at least 15 more days or at max 36 more days. Making it my longest round of the Whole30 EVER.

  My recommendations for other women who would like to do the Whole30 during pregnancy?

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Know that it’s going to be tough
  • Build a support system ( The Twinbody App is fantastic)
  • Know that when you tell loved ones what you’re doing, you’re going get some backlash. But just remind them that the Whole30 isn’t a diet, it’s about health. You’re not restricting your calories, or even counting them, and you’re not skipping meals. You’re just eating better.
  • Listen to your body. If you try to do the Whole 30 and your baby is all like “Umm NO!” LISTEN to baby!!! Because baby is the most important!!!
  • Make exceptions to the regular Whole30 rules, if you have to. I did. My prenatal vitamin has traces of sugar and I still took every day because that’s kind of important. I snacked in between meals. If I got hungry late at night I had an apple.
  • If you need more advice or support feel free to reach out to me. Send me email at AskshBrandy@yahoo.com (I’m not an expert by any means but I will be more than happy to help as much as I can.)

The Day that Walmart Didn’t Suck

Last week my son and I headed to Walmart like we do every week for our grocery shopping. I was dreading it because well it’s Walmart and the place has a way of ruining your day. Either you get cashier a that’s been treated rudely or cursed out because of how there are only 4 cashiers working and a customer had to wait in line for more than 10 minutes, so that in return just makes them upset and not friendly. Or you run into bunch other shoppers that are just pissed because they are shopping at Walmart or maybe they’ve had a bad day. And some days if you’re really lucky you get to deal with both of these things.

After working for the Walmart Corporation (Sam’s Club)  and other retail jobs, I can tell you this: treating your cashier like poo because there aren’t more cashiers or other mundane things is uncalled for. It’s not their fault. They don’t make the schedule, a computer usually does that. If you want more cashiers, pick up the phone and give the manager of the store a call or call the corporate office. The cashiers are seriously just doing their job. Because of being a cashier and a consumer I always try to keep in mind that everyone has a bad day and sometimes that effects us in other aspects of our lives but we shouldn’t take it out on innocent people. Anyway that little rant has nothing really do with he story I’m trying to tell. So where was I…Oh yeah….

My son and I walk into Walmart. As soon as we get in there he sees the little ridding toys and video games, like always he ask if he can play. (This is usually where I lie and tell him no because they are broken. Seriously, I hope the man/woman that decided to put those things at the entrance, stubs their pinky toe and then steps on a pile of legos every day. I’ve tried telling him the truth, that results in a meltdown but if I tell him they are broken he’s like okay and I don’t have to deal with a meltdown. I know it’s bad Mommying but grocery shopping with a curious 3 year old is tough.So judge all you want.) For whatever reason this day I decided to let him ride one of the little riding toys. I even played the vending machine  and won two little toy balls. I let my son pick out the he wanted and I gave the other to another little boy.  When my son was finished with his little riding thing, we grabbed a buggy and did our shopping without hassle.

I was almost to checkout when I remembered that I needed olive oil. So we ran back down to the oil aisle. While there my son began asking me for ice-cream. I told him no because he had popsicles at home. He then started with the pretty, pretty please bit and batting those beautiful baby blue eyes at me but this Mama stayed strong.  Then this older gentleman who was probably in his late 70’s early 80’s turns to me and say’s  “You should get that young man some ice-cream, Mom.” (If you’re a parent in the South then I’m pretty sure you’ve heard some variation of that line before.) I smiled politely and explained that he had popsicles at home. Then the man started to reach for his wallet and I quickly stopped him. I tell him “You don’t need to that. He’ll be fine.” Then the older gentleman looks at me with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen in my life and says “Please, I don’t have a wife or a family. It’s just me and it would make my day to buy this handsome young fella some ice-cream”. I could feel the lump gathering in my throat, the tears swell  in my eyes and I knew I had lost a battle I won so many times before “Okay Sir, but you really don’t have too.” He smiled real big, opened his wallet and gave my son a dollar. My son thanked the man and he was so excited about his dollar. Then I thanked the man and he just smiled real big  and replied “Your Welcome”. Then he walked away in the opposite direction. I immediately walked my son over to the ice-cream aisle and let him pick the kind that he wanted.  On our way back to check out we ran into the gentleman again. I made sure he knew that we had gotten ice-cream and I thanked him again.  He smile still hadn’t faded.

Then while I was searching for a checkout lane, the cashier working the 20 items or less aisle motioned me over. To which I responded “Are you sure? I have way more than 20 items”. She said” Yes, honey it’s fine.” She let my son help her bag the groceries and turn to the wheel of bags thing. That kind of stuff is just the coolest thing to a 3 year old. She was so friendly and kind. After she rang us up, I told my son to give her his dollar for his ice-cream. He dug in his little pocket and handed her the dollar. She had another dollar sitting beside the register. She then takes her dollar and puts in the register and gives him his dollar back.  She tells him “Save your dollar for something else, sweetheart.” He thanks her and I thanked the lady and offered to give her, her dollar back to which responded “No, honey. I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t want to”. We told her goodbye and to have a great day.

As I was loading the groceries into my car, I couldn’t help but to smile. I kept thinking this is the BEST DAY I’ve ever had a Walmart. It wasn’t because people gave my kid money either, it was because they were kind when they didn’t have to be. It was very eye opening, to what the world could look like if we were just a little kinder to each other.

How to get free stuff for baby

I had just quit my job to focus on my senior year of college when I found I was pregnant for the first time. My husband had a good job but that didn’t stop me from constantly worrying about money. (I guess you could say it’s one of the side effects of growing up poor. I don’t mean “I didn’t get the Gameboy I wanted for Christmas kind of poor” I mean the kind of poor where you are using the oven to heat the house kind of poor.) The thought of  “how in the world are we going to afford all of the stuff a baby needs?!” kept crossing my mind. Then I started digging around and found some codes that allowed me to get free things for baby. Because I now have another little one on the way, I thought I’d share with ya’ll how to save on stuff for baby and some codes to get free or discounted things for baby!!

Photo Courtesy of EskimoKids.com


THE CODES:

Carseatcanopy.com CARSEAT for $50 off

Uddercovers.com UCOVER for $35 off

Sevenslings.com SEVEN for $40 off

Nursingpillow.com NPILLOW for $40 off

Bellybuttonband.com  ONEONLY for $40 off

Babyleggings.com ONEONLY for $50 off

Breastpads.com ONEONLY for $35 off

Babiesfirstbooks.com BABYBOOKS 5 free books

Rufflebuns.com   ONEONLY for $60 off

Eskimokids.com WILDTHING for $35 off

 

The codes above either covers the cost of the product or greatly discounts it. There is a little catch to these deals though, the shipping on these items can be little high. The most I’ve ever paid was $15 and the least I’ve ever paid was about $7. However that’s way less than what you’d pay for the actual product so it’s still a really awesome deal.

 

Tips On Saving for baby:

1. Buy used:

There are plenty of second hand baby/toddler/kid high end consignment shops now. You can find name brand clothing, cribs, carseats, strollers, bassinets etc. Keep in mind however if you buy a carseat from a consignment shop you need to check the expiration date on it. Most stores do this but it never hurts to take a look for yourself. (I wish there would have been a baby consignment shop open before my son was born, luckily though one opened up right after. Now there are two great consignment shops in my area that I get to shop around before this new little one makes his arrival.)

2. Buy Not Only for Now but Also the Future:

Before Deklin  was born I decided to buy this crib/mattress/dresser/changingtable combo from Walmart.com. It was only $250 for the entire thing which is a fantastic deal considering that it transitions from a crib to a toddler bed into a full size bed. For the first year it  was great and it’s even been okay as a toddler bed. However there is no way in the world I transition it into a full size bed, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with my son sleeping in it. It just isn’t sturdy enough to hold the weight of a full size mattress and the weight of a growing boy. My husband and I plan on striping it down, repainting it, and reinforcing it turning it back into a crib. (If it’s durable enough) For what we paid for it and everything that came with it, I really shouldn’t complain. The cribs done it’s job over the last 3 years, I just wish that I would’ve thought about all of the stages of the crib and if it was truly going to last. Had I known what I know now I definitely would have bought something a lot sturdier than I did. If we do end up having to buy to a new crib, you can bet your sweet buns that I’ll be buying it from a consignment shop.

One smart thing we did do the first time around was buy one convertible carseat (a carseat that grows with the baby) and an infant carseat. The convertible carseat was placed in my husbands truck and the infant carseat in my car (considering that Deklin would with me for the majority of the day). We went with a cheaper infant carseat because we knew that he wouldn’t be in it for very long. (He was in it maybe 8 or 9 months, if that. Then we bought a convertible carseat for my car.)  The convertible carseats cost a little more up front but we probably won’t have to buy another carseat until he’s 4 or 5 years old.

3. Buy Gender Neutral:

     When we were shopping around for a pack-n-play and a baby swing there were all of these adorable blue and green boyish ones or these adorable little girl ones with the little canopy drops.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to get those. But I knew I had to be smart. We knew we wanted more kids someday and I didn’t want to have to go out and buy these things over again. I probably wouldn’t have done that but I would’ve felt bad. So instead we went with gender neutral on everything big. Then we packed it away for the next baby.

4. Save as Much As you can from your First Baby

My husband called me a hoarder for saving so many clothes and all of the big stuff. I didn’t save every outfit but I did save all of the really adorable ones. (There are outfits that I saved that Deklin never even wore because he grew so fast)  Now that we know we are having another boy, he’s thankful I did. Saving the big stuff also saves us a lot of money because lets face it the price of things aren’t going to decrease, they are just going to continue to get higher and higher.

 

So there you have it my tips on how to get free/discounted stuff for baby. Please leave me a comment letting me know if these tips and promotional codes were helpful.

 

 

 

 

23 and Me

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Over the last couple of days I’ve had a few of my friends and family members ask me about information on the ancestry DNA test I took from 23andMe.com last year. So today I figured I’d talk to y’all about it and the experience I had.

  Why I chose 23andMe.com over Ancestry.com?

I chose 23andMe over Ancestry DNA for a few reasons. I didn’t care about tracing my family tree. The only thing I wanted to know was my ethnic make up. Lastly, it was the cheaper test at the time. (They run specials at certain times of the year, I bought mine in December for about $100)

  How it works?

You order the kit online and within a 3-5 days you receive it. Inside there will a test tube that you’ll spit into it and register it online. Then you’ll return it back to them and in 8-12 weeks they’ll send you the results. Not only will you receive your ethnic make up but you’ll also get information on medical conditions you could be prone to. In addition to all of that you can chose to connect with relatives. (I recently found a second cousin, I didn’t even know existed)

I would recommend this for anyone who wants to know more about their genetic make up or ancestry. It’s really neat and interesting.

 

 

About Last Week

I’m a planner, I always have been. I have backup plans, for my backup plans and even backup plans for those plans. Last week though no matter how well I planned and executed my DIY projects and recipes they failed miserably. I began to become aggravated and started questioning my ability. Then I took a deep breath and stepped back for a moment. I realized that I needed a week off from doing crafts and cooking. I needed a week off from blogging.

I know taking time off from blogging isn’t what a lot of popular bloggers would suggest. Especially, if you want to turn your blog into a business like I do. But sometimes you just need a reset so you can come back at your best. I love blogging and I enjoy making DIY crafts and food. I don’t want to ruin it by stressing myself out about it.

After taking a week off to just hangout with my husband and my little boy, I feel great I can focus creating new things. I have a ton of new blogs planned and can’t wait to share them with you. I guess sometimes you just need to take a break to return to something you love. Until next time.