Dairy Free + Meal Prep + CrossFit

As I hope you’ve previously read, I made the decision to go dairy free when Briar had an adverse reaction to dairy through my breastmilk. I’m not a big dairy eater in general so overall it wasn’t that hard for me to give up. It becomes hard when I’m tired and I don’t feel like meal prepping. It becomes hard whenever I’m at a party and they have pizza and I can’t have it. But, it’s worth it knowing that I’m not hurting Briar. Her face got really badly broke out for a while and the two times I ate a large portion of dairy (cereal with milk and ice cream) she projectile vomited. She also had some pretty mucusy diapers. At her two month well check appointment, I expressed these concerns to her pediatrician and he said we could do a milk protein allergy test. It would just require drawing some blood and testing it. Her test came back negative. So, I just assumed she has a sensitivity. Which is much better. I still have not reintroduced dairy. I might try around 5-6 months.

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On top of dairy free, I am also soy free, and somewhat egg free. Whenever I self-diagnosed Briar with a dairy sensitivity, I also immediately cut soy because they go hand in hand. I cut all obvious and hidden dairy and soy. I decided to cut egg a couple of weeks later because her face was still breaking out. I wasn’t really sure if it was still the dairy in my system, or if it was the eggs I was eating for breakfast. Just yesterday, I tried a paleo bread recipe that had baked in eggs and so far she’s been okay. So fingers crossed we are okay for eggs because I need protein!

I took this dairy free life as a blessing in disguise. With CrossFit, the Paleo diet goes hand in hand with it. The Paleo diet is called the caveman diet. You are essentially eating, meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. You are not supposed to eat grains, dairy, refined sugar, or anything processed. For me, it was just an easier way to incorporate this diet into my life. I very, very loosely followed it in the past, but I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to do it the right way. At this moment I’m probably about 90ish% paleo. The only thing that is keeping me from being 100% paleo is the oatmeal (grain) that I eat in the morning. At this point, I’m not willing to give that up because it helps boost milk supply.

So, what exactly am I eating. Chicken and vegetables, basically. I have no problem eating the same thing over and over again for a really long time, so it’s been okay for me. Here’s somewhat of a breakdown:

Breakfast – steel cut oats (instant) and then I add blueberries and strawberries

Snack – Protein Shake

Snack – raw almonds/pistachios

On days I workout I will have another protein shake right after I workout.

Lunch – chicken/turkey burger and roasted vegetables

Snack – oranges/apple/grapefruit

Snack – Larabar

Dinner – chicken/turkey burger and roasted vegetables

My breakfast is not paleo. And for now, I’m okay with that.

For lunch and dinner, I have to roast vegetables about every other day. The vegetables I like to use are a combination of carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, asparagus, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, just to name a few. It all depends on what I’m feeling at the moment in time and what’s on sale. I almost always use sweet potatoes though, because they are my favorite. Whenever I roast the vegetables, I normally just chose 4 different vegetables, dice them, mix them together on a baking sheet, put olive oil, salt, and pepper on them, and put them in the oven for an hour. Half way through I mix them up. I am all about quick and easy because I do not have time to waste these days. Plus, Raelynn loves to help me cut up “begetables”. I let her put them on the baking sheet, and then she helps sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Total prep time is 15 minutes at the most.

For the turkey burger, I buy premade, all natural, butterball turkey burgers. They are full of protein. I normally just grill them. It takes about 20 minutes.

For the chicken, I have found a recipe that I’ve really been leaning on because it’s so easy, it takes literally 5 minutes, and the chicken stays moist and tender throughout the week. It’s called Lemon Garlic Chicken.

Since I am meal prepping for a couple of days, I use way more than the recipe calls for so this is my recipe:

5-6 pieces of chicken (breasts)

1 TBSP kosher salt

1 TBSP pepper

1 TBSP parsley flakes

1 TBSP oregano

1 TBSP minced garlic

1 lemon (need juice from the lemon)

Put chicken in crockpot, mix spices together and spread on chicken. Squeeze lemon over the chicken. Depending on your crockpot, you can put on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. I prefer high for 4 hours. Total prep time is 10 minutes. Super easy!

Protein…this could be a touchy subject. Some people are okay with taking protein while nursing and some are completely against it. For the type of workout I’m doing, I NEED protein or else I will lose all of my muscle. The problem with the protein I need, it was a struggle to understand and research what was safe and that complied with my dairy free, soy free, and egg free life. Anything that was Whey Protein and Egg Protein was out of the question. So, I started researching and I found that I needed a plant based protein. Previous to pregnancy, my protein needs were met by a company called MRM. Their protein was not full of crap, essentially. They happened to have a plant based protein. I ordered some samples, made sure Briar didn’t react adversely to them, and she didn’t, thank goodness, and then ordered me a big ol tub of protein. My favorite protein shakes:

Morning Protein Shake:

1 cup almond milk

1 cup coffee

2 cups ice cubes

1 scoop of protein

After workout Protein Shake:

1 cup almond milk

2 TBSP PB2

1 scoop of protein

1 cup ice

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Again, I try to keep things simple and tasty. I love coffee in the morning. I love peanut butter all the time and PB2 is full of protein and way less calories and fat than regular peanut butter. Plus the PB2 powder mixes really well in a protein shake. You can also blend these. I’m just always on the go, so just adding ice to my shaker bottle and shaking vigorously works well for me.

I also use the MyFitness Pal app to track all of my calorie and nutrient intake. I need to make sure I am getting enough of everything with nursing Briar and working out. I’m not going to lie, I struggle most days to get all of my calories and nutrients in. I’ve been tracking my food intake for around 45 days and I’m still trying to figure out what works best and what foods go well together. Some days I am super high in carbs, some days I’m super high in fats, and I ALWAYS struggle to get in enough protein, even with 2 shakes and turkey and chicken. It’s a work in progress. I’m hoping to be able to incorporate eggs again so I know that will help. I feel like I am constantly researching Paleo recipes, snacks, etc. I try something new at least once a week.

In a nutshell, that’s what I do for food.

I started CrossFit back at 6 weeks. I was only going 2-3 times a week, and now slowly doing 4-5 days a week. My CrossFit box is right around the corner from work and I am only part time at work right now. I return to work full time on April 24th, so I’m hoping to be more consistent with 5 days a week. The same with pregnancy, I have just been letting my body dictate when I can and can’t do.

CrossFit has overall been going very well. I am struggling mentally and physically, which was expected. Mentally and physically, I know what my body is capable of. I could do more in my ninth month of pregnancy than I can right now. And it sucks. The biggest thing is I have no core at all. Core is key in everything I do. So, until my 6 pack decides to show up *sarcastic smile* I suppose I will be on the struggle bus.

I can feel myself getting stronger each week. I’m also putting in extra work at home so I know that’s helping. I work on a couple of different lifts every week and each week I’m getting closer to my maxes. Even though I am struggling (more so mentally), it’s very refreshing to watch myself get stronger and closer to my max lifts. I feel like it’s just a matter of time before I’m back to where I was; hopefully even stronger. I made a list of goals this year to attain in 2017 and I honestly think I can hit the majority of them by summer.

I am having a hard time coping with my body not looking like I want it to and I’m finding myself on the scale every single day. I used to never get on the scale. I’m just so impatient, summer is quickly approaching, and my body is nowhere near bikini ready. Not to mention, I have some terrible, horrible stretch marks. I’m hoping as I tone and get a little tan from being in the sun, they will “disappear” a little. I know I will get there, it’s just not in the time frame that I want. Patience is not a virtue for me :/

 

Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

 

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Let’s try this again…

I did have a really terrible day yesterday. Which prompted the really negative post.

But, last night, I actually got some sleep, so I felt compelled to write about the somewhat positives of my first 12 weeks with Briar and maybe elaborate a little more on certain situations currently going on in my life.

She is happy.

She is healthy.

She is well taken care of.

She is loved.

That’s really all that matters.

Her first month was pretty laid back. NOTHING compared to Raelynn. Raelynn screamed from the moment she came home. Briar ate, slept, was awake for a little bit, slept, and ate some more. Our breastfeeding journey was and has been MUCH less complicated that mine and Raelynn’s. I struggled with Raelynn for about 3 months with a terrible latch and bloody nipples. Briar, maybe a week, which was a welcome change. Sleep sucked, which was expected in the first month. The adjustment to two kids was weird, but we were establishing a routine.

Briar’s second month into her third month is where things started to go downhill. (I know, this is supposed to be positive, but I feel like I have to say this). She started to have colicky moments and I instantly had flashbacks of Raelynn. It was not welcome at all. I don’t know why, but I like to be in denial of certain things instead of acknowledging them and trying to fix them. Briar’s colicky behavior was probably one of them. She is now almost 12 weeks old and looking back, she probably definitely had a mild case of colic. It was nothing compared to Raelynn, but Scott and I both faced some desperate moments with Briar.

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YEP…. 

Scott’s desperate moments most certainly outweighed mine. I found myself being able to be cool, calm, collected, and for the most part able to deal with the crying. Even if I wasn’t able to soothe her, I could deal with the crying. With Raelynn, I couldn’t deal. Period. I was in a very bad place with Raelynn very early on.

Which brings me to my next point, I honestly don’t know if Scott was like this with Raelynn or not. I was so fucked up and wrapped up in my own emotions that I did not have the energy to focus on Scott. Some similarities between Raelynn and Briar with Scott, I know he did not like coming home from work with both because they would both be in the colic stage and they would both cry until they went to bed. He felt like he could not soothe either of them because he didn’t have boobs, even though Briar is somewhat taking the pacifier. But one big thing I notice with Briar is he simply loses it. He has ZERO patience with her. He gets so worked up so quick and he doesn’t realize whenever he does this, she feeds off him. My rationalization for this is, he can talk to Raelynn. Raelynn can tell him her wants and needs and he can fulfill them. He cannot do that with Briar. He finally told me he doesn’t feel connected to Briar. I know he felt the same with Raelynn, too. It’s just hard to hear. Even if I am feeling those same feelings, vocalizing something like that just hurts my heart. But, I get it. I really do. If the roles were reversed, I can’t say that I wouldn’t be experiencing the same feelings.

I read an article yesterday that kind of put things in perspective for me and my post partum depression. Even though this should be common knowledge and I should know better because I’ve been through it once…this simple statement really speaks volumes…”You can’t do it all”.

But, I am the mom and I want to do it all. I have a very hard time asking for help. I’m strong willed and hard headed and I’m not afraid to admit that. I am a controller. I would just rather do things myself, my way, instead of having someone do them for me. It’s how I’ve always been in all aspects of life. Is it right? Probably not. But, I can’t help who I am. I’m working on it. I don’t want my kids to feel this “controller” part of me. Therapy helps with that and she calls me out a lot on this side of my personality.

Back to the positives…

Briar smiles and laughs which is adorable. And when she does, it almost always seems to erase the bad night we had together.

Raelynn absolutely loves Briar. Every day when she gets home from daycare she asks, “Mommy, did she have a good day?!” So far, there has been no hard feelings about having to share her mommy and daddy. But, we also try to give her a lot of attention. Especially since it’s starting to feel nice outside, we go outside and play a lot. We try to interact with her as much as we can before we result to the TV or iPad. So far, I think we’ve done a pretty good job with managing this. Now, I’m not saying we don’t ever use the TV or iPad to give us a break because we most certainly do! We just try to do it in a positive way. We try to make it a reward for us so she doesn’t think she just gets it all the time.

Briar will be 3 months on April 22nd. As each day passes, I feel like we are getting closer to having a happier, sleepier (fingers crossed), baby.

I know both Raelynn and Briar will be strong willed like me, they are already proving it. For that, I am thankful.

Here is a picture of both of them at their 2 month appointment. Raelynn is on top, Briar is on the bottom.

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Here are some pictures of my girls.

And another 6 weeks later…

I’ve been slacking, as expected, just hoped it wouldn’t be another 6 weeks later…

Well, I’m just going to dive right in. These past 6 weeks have been pretty terrible. My thoughts are pretty scattered right now, so I’m sure this post will be too. I apologize in advance.

I am most definitely going through post partum depression again. The realization hit me over the past weekend. I seriously hate this feeling more than anything. Currently, at this moment, I am not in a good place at all.

Picking up where I left off at my last post….I was not getting any sleep, I discovered that Briar probably was allergic to dairy, I was going back to work, I was going to start back at the gym.

Briar is not allergic to dairy, just sensitive to dairy.  I am now dairy free, soy free, and egg free. She got a blood test at her 2 month appointment that tested for the milk protein allergy and it was negative. I have decided to stay dairy free since she had an obvious reaction to dairy. For the most part, it’s not that terrible. I have days where I get really pissed off that I literally have to fix every single one of my meals. There is no “grab and go” when you are dairy/soy/egg free. I was dairy/soy free for around 2-3 weeks and her face was breaking out still. I decided to cut eggs and it seemed to make her face better. I’m still somewhat unsure if she really had a reaction to eggs or not. I plan to reintroduce eggs first to see if she really had a reaction. I won’t reintroduce dairy until she is at least 5 or 6 months old. Hoping she has grown out of her sensitivity by then.

Going back to work and the gym have both been a good thing for me. I thrive on on schedule and routine. Currently, I only have one more week of working part time. I’m so ready to be back to work full time. I’m thankful I was able to slowly ease back into work, but there is too much shit to do and I’m a workaholic, so I’m ready to be back full time.

The most positive thing that has happened in the past 6 weeks is being able to go back to CrossFit. In the beginning, I was so ready to jump back in full force. My body was like, “Hell nah, girl. You just pushed a baby out 6 weeks ago.” I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal, but it was. I have NO CORE. Core is everything for all of the movements I do. I thought I would just be able to jump back in and be able to hit all of my maxes…wrong. I’ve been back in for about 6 weeks and I’m slowly getting stronger. I started out pretty slow, 2-3 days for the first couple of weeks. Then I started 4-5 days a week. Plus, I have a squat rack, barbell, and weights at home, so I’m able to do some strength training at home which has been very key for my recovery. It was very surprising to me, but I could do more in my 9th month of pregnancy than I could at 6, 7, even 8 weeks post partum. But, again, slowly recovering. Very happy to be back.

So, addressing the post partum depression…

Still…not getting any sleep. For almost 3 months, I’ve not got more than 4 hours of sleep at a time.

No sleep has, in my opinion, been the number one factor. I only know what I’ve been through with Raelynn, so all I do is compare. I don’t remember anything about Raelynn’s first 4 months of life except she just cried non stop and hated her life. I don’t remember too much about her sleep patterns. I just know she slept in the bed with us for the first 4 months.

We have tried everything with Briar. We have found some success, but we still have room to improve. She finally started to take to the swaddle. Technically, it’s a Halo Sleep Sack that we got from the hospital, but essentially comparable to a swaddle. Every night at 7pm, I feed her, then swaddle her, then take her to her room, put on white noise, and rock her to sleep in the rocking chair….

Yes, we tried the infamous put the baby down drowsy and let baby soothe herself to sleep. NOPE.

Yes, we even got so desperate for sleep that we tried, cry it out. I’m not a fan of this, but I was desperate for sleep. We tried it for 2 nights. The first night she cried for 2 hours. The second night she cried for 2 1/2 hours. Never stopped. We went in and got her eventually.

So, the rocking her to sleep works for us now. I’ll take it. Once she is asleep, which takes about an hour, I am able to lay her down in her crib. At first she would sleep until 11:00 – 11:30, she gradually made it to midnight, and now she is sleeping until about 1:00 a.m. in her crib. Two nights, she has slept until 2:00 a.m.

Sounds good right? The problem is when she wakes up. She wakes up, I feed her, and sometimes she goes back to sleep, and sometimes she does not. I tried for about 2 weeks to keep her in her crib all night and I was losing so much sleep. So, I decided after her first stretch of sleep, I was going to put her in the bed with us. In my mind, I could at least lay there while she did whatever and I could rest a little bit. For the most part it worked. However, it was not comfortable for myself, Scott, and Briar to all be in bed together. So, Scott and I do not sleep together as of right now which is a whole other issue. We take turns, one of us in the bed, and one of us on the couch. We are able to safely use the couch for Briar to sleep on because we have a huge couch and she’s not rolling, yet, so I feel comfortable with this.

So, when she wakes up, sometimes she able to settle herself, and sometimes she is not. On the nights that she is not able to, it’s terrible. We had a terrible night last night, which prompted me to finish this post because I needed an outlet. I have such a love/hate relationship with the pacifier. When she actually takes it, it soothes and she is able to go to sleep; HOW-FUCKING-EVER….she will not keep that damn thing in her mouth. She will suck a little and then spit it out and then cry. We have tried every pacifier known to mankind and pretty much the only one she likes are MAM pacifier. She goes through this vicious cycle in the middle of the night and she ends up working herself up because she can’t go back to sleep, therefore, is wide awake. It’s so fucking annoying. Like, I’m ready to get rid of the pacifier.

I’m just at a loss. I need her to sleep. I know that will come with time, which is why I’m wishing these newborn months away. I really didn’t want to do that with Briar because I did it with Raelynn. However, I didn’t regret it, and I don’t regret wishing it away now. I need to be sane for myself first, and my family second.

It is so hard for me to find a good balance in life right now. I honestly felt like Briar was going to be different. That I wasn’t going to have to walk down this post partum depression path again. Yet, here I am, with the exact same feelings that I had approximately 2 years ago.

Besides sleep, I am not enjoying much of anything. I don’t want to do anything, I don’t want to leave the house, and I don’t want to have anyone over. This was my realization that I was in the throes of post partum depression already.

Last weekend, Scott asked if I wanted to have some people over for dinner. Without hesitiation, I instantly said no.

Here’s my thought process:

  1. First of all, I was not going to cook dinner at my house and then not be able to eat it. Let’s face it; most normal people on the weekend do not want to eat chicken and vegetables, which is essentially my diet being dairy/soy/egg free.
  2. I was already anticipating the chain of events that would happen through the night.
  3. Come 7:00p.m. I was going to have to be the one that went back to Briar’s room and secluded myself for the hour – hour and a half that it took to feed her.
  4. I was not going to want to entertain anyone after I put Briar to sleep because I was going to want to get ready for bed.
  5. I was going to have to be the one that woke up with her at 1:00a.m. and deal with her antics, whatever they may be for the night.

What part of that sounds like fun? I instantly realized that I was not enjoying things like I should be. That was my epiphany that I was balls deep in post partum depression already. It was not a welcome feeling. I became extremely emotional after this. I just did not want to be in this dark hole again. I had made so much progress, only to take leaps backwards.

There are several social events that are coming up and I’m probably going to stay at home for all of them. I literally just don’t have it in me to participate. I just feeling like I’m losing control of my life right now.

Another issue…my relationship. Things are not terrible; but they are not great either. I don’t really know what I expected this time around. I mean, introducing a newborn into your life is a big deal. I totally get how couples do not make it through kids. It puts major pressure on your relationship. And, Scott is having a really hard time with Briar in general.

We have several different situations right now that we both do not like:

  • Our sleeping situation is that we don’t sleep together right now. I hate this more than anything.
  • I am the only person getting up with Briar each night. Hence, Scott gets a full nights of uninterrupted sleep every single night. I hate this. He seriously does not even hear Briar cry. I am nothing less than amazed by this.
  • Scott only has to worry about Briar from 5:00pm – 7:00pm; which is her extreme fussy time. He has expressed to me that he does not feel connected with her at all right now.
  • Scott gets to not have a care in the world. I feel as though I carry all the burden.
  • Scott gets to enjoy himself and go out with friends. He does not have a hard time detaching from Briar, Raelynn, or myself at all. For me, I’m more so envious and jealous of this. Not mad about it.
  • I feel like he does not acknowledge any of the hard work that I’m putting into this.
  • Scott gets all the time with Raelynn and I practically get zero time with her.

Whenever I realized I was experiencing PPD, I took some time to gather my thoughts and then I had a conversation with Scott afterwards. It was a good, civil conversation. I told him that I didn’t want a pat on the back because I’m doing what any mom would do, but shit, give me a break every once in a while. Like, I’m not the one that has to put Briar to sleep every night. I’m not the one that has to wake up with her every single night. That’s when he told me that he didn’t feel connected with Briar. It made me sad when he said that, but I get it. We both equally agreed that we weren’t enjoying our lives right now. That made me even more sad. We both knew this, but just to vocalize it is a different story.

Here are the positives with Scott and I. We don’t hold anything back. So, whenever we have an issue with each other or just in general, we talk about it. We love each other too much to just let things keep building until we blow up on each other. We love each other too much to just let things go. We love each other so much that we realize we will have many bumps in the road that will test our relationship, but that doesn’t mean we give up. We fight harder. We overcome. And we always do. Which is exactly why Scott and I are perfect for each other.

Hoping for a more positive post the next time around…

 

–The Kentucky Momma