February 28th, 2014 · Print
One thing I’ve been meaning to talk about for quite some time: Pregnancy weight gain.
I get a lot of questions about how I’ve kept my weight gain in check, and honestly, I think it’s important to talk about, because I don’t want to give the wrong impression.
My rule for eating is pretty much the same, pregnant or not: I listen to my body, and beyond that, I try not to think about it.
That means that if I want a cupcake or two, I eat them. It means that when I felt like candy was helping keep morning sickness at bay, I kept Laffy Taffy in a container next to my bed for three months. It means that, lately, I get up most nights for a bag of M&Ms around two-thirty in the morning.
No, I don’t eat junk food all the time. I make sure to eat tons of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and other nutritious foods — overall, I’ve probably made healthier choices since August than I did before getting pregnant. But it means that I listen to how my body feels: when I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m full, I stop. And beyond that, I try to put it out of my mind completely.
At the end of my first trimester, I was a little nervous about my weight gain. I was up 7 pounds, which is above the recommended guidelines for the first trimester pretty substantially. I tried not to freak out about it, but part of me was a little nervous that I was headed for a 50+ pound weight gain.
But at the same time, I was eating the way I always do: I hadn’t made big changes to my eating habits, but I was suddenly, quickly gaining weight.
It took some effort, but I forced myself to put it out of my mind. If I gained a few extra pounds, I’d probably lose them eventually, and it felt wrong to beat myself up for a little extra weight when I was just doing what I felt like my body needed.
And now, with the benefit of hindsight, I know for sure that gaining weight early on was exactly what my body needed. I’m so grateful that I gained a few extra pounds during the first trimester, because with heartburn and general lack of space inside my body, it’s harder and harder to put on weight as the weeks go by.
But if I’d gotten freaked out about the numbers on the scale at week 14, and tried to limit what I was eating? That could have been very dangerous, for the baby and for me.
Especially now that I’ve had the experience of being pregnant, I hate the magazines that scrutinize celebrities for gaining too much weight at this incredibly sensitive time. There have been many, many days in the last seven months when I’ve felt bloated or huge or just generally frumpy compared to my pre-pregnancy self, and I can’t imagine what it must be like to have that experience in the public eye.
Because here’s what it ultimately boils down to:
More so than any other point in your life, you have so little control over your weight during pregnancy. Your body is going to do what it needs to for you and the baby, and that is something you can’t (and shouldn’t) try to micro-manage.
So my pregnancy weight gain advice is this: Use these months as an opportunity to be in tune with your body, and to reward it for the amazing work that it’s doing every day. Focus on getting the nutrition that you and the baby need, but beyond that, don’t stress about it. Your pre-pregnancy jeans will be there, whether it takes you a month or a year to get back into them.
How far along? 30 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 19.5 pounds.
Maternity clothes? Pants, still mostly in my regular tops and dresses.
Stretch marks? Still no!
Symptoms: Heartburn, heartburn, heartburn. I take Zantac or Tums depending on the day, but it’s still not enough, sigh.
Sleep: Still pretty bad.
Best moment this week: Having my mom in town to prepare for the baby shower!
Worst moment of the week: I had a momentary freak-out when work got extremely busy, but I’m learning to just take things as they come and not worry so much about things I can’t control. It all got sorted out!
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Eating without being wildly uncomfortable afterwards.
Food cravings: Cupcakes, cake pops. Every. Single. Day.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Have you started to show yet: I am huge!
Labor Signs: Nope, but getting more and more sensitive to every ache and pain!
Belly Button in or out? In!
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: My baby shower TOMORROW!!!
Tags: baby · life
February 27th, 2014 · Print
As a newly minted southerner myself, I’m always fascinated by southern culture! The first year we lived in Texas, I was surprised to find out things really are different in the south. It’s true: the pace is a little slower, the people are a LOT friendlier, and the landscape is a little more colorful than I’ve seen anywhere else.
So I was super excited to tackle some classic southern recipes in celebration for Bravo’s new reality series, Southern Charm! (Check out the trailer here!) It’s about a group of twenty-somethings in Charleston, and I love that it’s showing all the traditions of southern culture, and the behind-the-scenes drama too!
I’ve already set my DVR for the premiere on Monday — it’s basically everything I look for in a reality show! Southern aristrocrats, backstabbing drama… I. Cannot. Wait!
For this post, I picked two of the ultimate classic southern recipes: Strawberry Shortcake and Sweet Tea! (Incidentally, these are two of Chad’s favorite things on this planet, so I had a very happy husband when he got home!) One of my favorite things about southern culture is the way that it can be so traditional and so modern at the same time, so I thought these were the perfect dishes to try! They’re both recipes that his parents and grandparents have made, but they’re perfectly at home in our modern kitchen. Kind of like this show — a little old, a little new, and the perfect guilty pleasure.
(And yes, I totally ate shortcake for breakfast after making this!)
So mark your calendars for the premiere on March 3rd, and in the meantime, get in the mood by whipping up these southern recipes!
Pinch baking soda
2 cups boiling water
6 tea bags
3/4 cup white sugar
6 cups water
1 lemon, sliced
Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda into a large metal bowl or glass pitcher (must be heat-proof). Carefully our in boiling water, and add sugar and tea bags. Stir, and allow to steep for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour in cool water, stir again, and then refrigerate. Serve over ice with sliced lemons.
16 ounces fresh strawberries, stems removed and sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
2 cups whipped heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss the strawberries with 1/2 cup of white sugar, setting aside a few for garnishing. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tbsp white sugar and salt. Cut in the shortening until combined, and then add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.
Spread the batter onto a greased 8-inch cake pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden, and then allow the cake to cool for about ten minutes on a wire rack.
Slice the partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with the whipped cream and reserved strawberries, and serve.
And remember to tune in on Monday, March 3rd at 10/9c for the Season Premiere of Southern Charm only on Bravo!
Tags: desserts · food · sponsored
February 25th, 2014 · Print
Hopefully most of you know this already, but February is American Heart Month! And that’s not just because of Valentine’s Day, roses and chocolates — it’s also a month dedicated to heart disease awareness.
For a long time, awareness of the risks of heart disease in women was incredibly low. Thankfully, through amazing initiatives from the American Heart Association and people all over the country and the world, our perspective on this issue is changing for the better every day.
But it’s still not enough. Heart disease kills a woman every minute, and only 20% of women correctly identify it as their leading health threat. It can strike if you’re young, old, active, sedentary, a chain-smoker or a marathon runner.
Two years ago, around the time we left New York, I started having heart flutters that seemed to come out of nowhere. After asking my primary care doctor about it, she suggested that I go see a cardiologist, and even gave me the name of a doctor to try.
Do you know how long that name sat on my desk?
Six months. I moved across the country, completely ignoring this scary, potentially dangerous symptom I was having, for a number of reasons: I was in denial, it was too scary to know if anything was wrong, and I figured that I was young and healthy, so there couldn’t really be anything to worry about.
So I understand how women can walk around, oblivious to heart disease risks. It’s easy to be oblivious. It’s a lot less scary.
But it’s also incredibly dangerous. If Chad had told me that he was having those same symptoms, I would have booked a doctor’s appointment for him in a second. And yet, for some reason, I couldn’t seem to take that same basic precaution to protect my own health.
It’s not an uncommon problem that women have (and men, too): we can be really bad at taking care of ourselves. Sometimes it’s because we’re too busy taking care of everyone else, sometimes it’s because we’re afraid, and sometimes it’s because when we’re making our lists of priorities, it’s easy to put ourselves dead last.
In the end, I was lucky: after moving to Houston, I saw a terrific cardiologist who was able to capture my heart flutters an EKG, and who told me definitively that it was benign and didn’t need treatment. But to this day, it gives me chills to wonder about the impact of those months of delay, if it had been something more serious.
So, this month, I’m putting on every red item in my closet (well, many of them) to remind you all to take care of yourselves. Eat healthy, stay active, take steps to reduce your day-to-day stress, and make sure that you’re paying attention to your body.
And the next time you make that priority list, remember to put yourself on it too.
Tieks flats, Brahmin bag, Alice and Olivia dress, Sabo Skirt blazer (old), BCBG Scarf.