My Fitness

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Eating Well

Being pregnant and managing my weight has been quite the challenge. During my first trimester I lost weight, which I hear is not uncommon. But then I thought I had to make up for that lost weight and I ended up gaining too much weight! Then around my 20th week I found out the basics of how you're supposed to eat - only an extra 500 calories a day. Well, I didn't do that. But now I do!

I think maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle is important no matter who you are but especially important when you're pregnant. First, and most important, when you're pregnant, you are the sole provider of nutrients for your growing baby. I'll be held accountable for how I treated my body as well as my baby's body during pregnancy. Not only in a judgment day kind-of-way, but also when my child is born; ADD is linked to even small amounts of alcohol consumption, overly fat babies are linked to my dreaded High Fructose Corn Syrup, underweight babies are linked to not enough protein etc., allergies are linked to an unbalanced diet. Now, we could get very paranoid about all of this, but the grace of God is enough to cover our mistakes in ignorance and in knowledge. I check labels and ask Felipe, my husband, to measure out an acceptable amount of chocolate milk (I just don’t trust myself). Maybe you need to do more help, maybe less.

Here’s what I ate for lunch today:




I baked the chicken breast (free range, vegetarian diet) at 350°for 20 minutes with nothing added, not even herbs. I don’t know if my chicken is just better quality, but it’s delicious baked with nothing added. I then diced it and a hard-boiled egg and topped a salad with both. The only salad dressings I use are oil-based. I don’t use them in excess as demonstrated in these two pics.



Notice the before and after dressing images are very similar. I think some people don't like this because we need to re-program our taste-buds to accept God-given food instead of the processed foods we grew up on. I also drink water. Just straight up drinking water (our tap water isn’t very safe- old lead pipes). [Being pregnant, I stay away from tea because of the caffeine, also it messes with my sleep. I don’t drink soda, except as some special treat (as long as it’s caffeine-free). And I don’t like coffee! Juices are too sugary and usually are HFCS-packed!]

End product:

I did add a slice of garlic bread that has who-knows-what in it. I didn’t prepare it. It tastes good and might have been made from margarine. But it isn’t in excess and is definitely not a habit. For dessert, I sliced an apple and dashed some cinnamon to top.



It was delicious and filling!

The second reason for maintaining a healthy diet is to provide myself with a healthy body. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. This is one way that I glorify God with my body.

The third reason that I can think to maintain a healthy diet is my husband. My husband is such that he would love me even if I were fat and wrinkly and smelly with warts. He loves me for who I am not what I look like. But he’s still a man! There’s a sort-of attack on men’s visual stimuli and I can help in my own small way by providing him with something else pretty to look at. I don’t wear make-up (that’s another story) and I usually wear sweats now that I’m pregnant. But my body is my husband’s and I want to make sure he is always attracted to it.

It’s encouraging also when he sees me working at maintaining a good body for him (and myself) and he thanks me! He knows that there’s the stereotypical house-wife who gets fat and lazy and thinks that she’s entitled to everyone else serving her. He knows that it’s a fear of mine to become haughty, self-seeking and self-serving. I’ve asked him to keep me accountable for such sinful actions, and one way he does this is encourage proper behavior. -just like what you would do with your children or students or your dog even.

oh, and I exercise. but not so much since getting pregnant. Any suggestions on exercises to do while pregnant?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Femininity - How I Feel Feminine

This is what our kitchen/laundry room looked like when we got home from work today:


(Can you see the dishes piled in the sink?!)

This is what it looks like now!




This might make some feminists unhappy. It might even make some non-feminists unhappy. But the only reason I'm sharing is because of how happy it makes me feel! When going about my day, I don't feel especially feminine getting a manicure or going shopping or getting a make-over.

What truly makes me feel feminine is showing my husband that I love him. Right now he's taking a (well-deserved) nap after work. So before he could wake up and help me, I decided to clean all the dishes, pots and pans (we don't have a dishwasher) and do the laundry as well as sweep and clean the floor.

I feel most feminine showing my husband honor. I feel like a woman when I clean dishes. It makes me smile. When I can get to the laundry without my husband even realizing it, it brings me joy!

I think the reason I feel so good about cleaning for him is that in a way I am cleaning for God. God has revealed himself so much through my husband. We are commanded in the Bible to "do all for the glory of God" and "in humility count others more significant than yourselves". I struggled with doing this before I met Felipe, but Christ helped me by showing me what that characteristic should look like for ALL human-beings by giving me some one to practice on. Hopefully, now when I meet others, I can better demonstrate God's love because of the practice I have at home.

And look at this bonus I made for him! (Maybe this will get him out of bed!!!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grocery Shopping!

Today my husband and I went Grocery Shopping!

On our list was the normal bananas, salad, jam, eggs, and such. Here's a pic of what I bought!



The only thing not depicted was the chicken and turkey. I am pleased to say that the most unhealthy thing I bought was Special K! I just love the stuff!

One thing I am always particular about is corn syrup. None of the items I bought (except my little sinful Special K) were made out of corn. I checked every label. And that's why I had to buy two small jams...all the big ones were made out of corn - ew.

My chicken is Harvestland Chicken, which is preservative-free, additive-free, and even cage-free chicken. I highly recommend this chicken. It has a comparable price to "bad" chicken, but even if it is a bit more where you are, it is worth it.

My turkey was Honeysuckle White. My turkey was all natural and ground and definitely not Tysons!

Bananas are bananas. It doesn't matter if there are pesticides or not because you don't eat the peel. My only concern is what is in the soil, though, that the roots absorb. So it is possible that it does matter. Organic bananas were not an option. Once we move back to the metroplex though, I'll be able to shop Whole Foods all the way!!!!

I like my eggs to be from the same type of chickens that I eat. So I buy Great Days which I couldn't find too much info on, but I at least know they are fed a vegetarian diet and not cow or other chicken. ew.

Polaner jam is great tasting and contains no corn! It was the only brand not made from corn (as I shared before).

Salad is salad. Once, again though, I can't wait to be closer to a Whole Foods where I can buy salad without pesticides.

MILK! No, not just milk, CHOCOLATE MILK! And not just chocolate milk, PROMISED LAND CHOCOLATE MILK!!!!!!! The stuff is so good. Cows without hormones. mmmm!

Then there's the Special K. Yep, it contains so many ingredients, you'll fall asleep trying to get through them all. This is where I slip. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO TASTE SO GOOD, SPECIAL K?!?! So good and yet so bad, that's what I call a sin.

Ok, so did I really just write an entire blog entry on what I bought at the grocery store? Kind-of. But maybe you noticed that it was all a lead into my little soap box I like to call, "Take down the tyranny of the corn industry that is causing us to all die horrible early deaths!" I'm just kidding, I don't really call it that.

Lauren, why don't you like corn?

Good question. I love corn. I just don't love most American corn. I'm not making a political statement, I'm making a produce statement. Check out some more informative people like, The Bitter Truth guy. He talks about how high fructose CORN syrup is chemically inequivalent to natural sugars and he relates it to the rise in obesity in America. America has so much corn that we use it to make everything, even strawberry jam.

King Corn. Then check out this unbiased film by a couple of boys who decide to plant a single acre of corn. Why? Because they did a hair analysis that determined that most of who they were (chemically) originated with corn. It's a comical and informative, without being political, film. I think the best part though is when they eat the corn that they raised. It's disgusting. We learn with them that the corn that farmers grow nowadays isn't even edible because the overwhelming majority of it is turned into HFCS, (high fructose CORN syrup).

On a different note, did you know that corn farmers are subsidized water costs and if they don't use a certain amount, whether they need it or not, they will be cut off? It seems to me (albeit, I'm no expert) that much of this future water crisis could be diverted for at least a little while if we let farmers only use the amount they needed...just a thought.

Food Inc. Then check out this very political (not presidential-type political, though) film about the food industry in America. It's disgusting. WARNING! Get all your fast food before you watch this film!

I still have an occasional soda and a more occasional bowl of cereal. And I'm not trying to make people feel bad. This is information that I didn't know about until a few months ago and thought I would share.

I spend more on my monthly budget for better quality food. I spend less on my monthly health bills and medical expenses because I simply don't have any.

Better quality food + moderate exercise = higher quality life = longer natural life = being a good steward of the body given by God

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today's Journey to the Midwife!

Today my husband and I had subs in the classroom while we took our monthly trip to Tyler to visit our midwife.

This is what I look like just days ago:



My husband is so encouraging because I see "fat" and he sees "baby"!

Driving up to the Labor of Love birthing center in Tyler, TX:



Our welcoming crew!



One of the birthing rooms:



Vicky, our midwife!



Taking measurements and checking out the baby:



Everything is good!

Here's a short video (25sec) of Vicky finding the baby's heartbeat that my husband recorded!



Good job, sweetheart! Thanks for the video! (I didn't even ask him to do it!)

Here's that great man opening the car door for me!



Here's our midwife's information. Feel free to call her just for some informative literature:



Find them online here!

We've decided to go with a more traditional midwife instead of the alternative in-hospital ob-gyn. There were several factors to us deciding this route. Initially, I had been introduced to midwifery when I was a teenager and a lady I knew used a midwife and had her children at home. One of her baby's head was even stuck but the midwife was so knowledgeable and specialized in natural births that she was able to maneuver the baby out without even having to break the baby's collarbone or needing to rush to the surgery room.

You may be thinking of infant mortality rates when using a midwife. One video that my husband and I watched called The Business of Being Born spoke about how most countries (developed and developing) use midwives. I confirmed this with my over-seas aunt who said that she never used a doctor until she had one of her four children in the US. Only the USA specializes in ob-gyns. You might consider that the US has the best mortality rates, but according to the CIA World Factbook, the US doesn't even make the top 25%!

It seems even Oprah is jumping on the new US, midwife bandwagon.

I don't want to try to convince you beyond that, but I will mention one or two more things. Watch the videos, do the research, you can ask your US doctor, but chances are they will be rather biased. Most US doctors are skilled in emergency births, and as such, are prone to see emergencies everywhere. How is it that so many other countries don't need so many cesarian sections? Is it just that their women are somehow better evolved than ours?

For one things, consider the mechanism of reaction for pitocin. According to childbirth.org, with pitocin " fetal distress is more common" and that's because the artificial hormone causes the contractions to become harder and more regular. This may sound like a good thing, but the body inherently knows how hard to push to deliver its own baby (with some exceptions, but not as many as you're thinking). Because pitocin causes labor to be more harsh than God intended, many complications do occur that your doctor should be there to handle. But if your doctor hadn't given you that drug, you wouldn't have needed him/her...or the epeideral. It becomes cyclical. The doctor is on a time schedule and isn't there the entire time like a midwife would be. He wants the baby to come on his time and so gives pitocin (maybe he thinks he doesn't want this woman to suffer and wants the labor to go faster for her). The pitocin makes labor so much more painful that she needs an epideral. One of the side effects of the epideral is prolonged labor necessitating more pitocin...

Whatever you choose or think you wife should choose, make sure you are educated. This little blog post shouldn't be enough to convince you of anything. But I thank you for reading.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Entering Motherhood



I can remember when I was a small child and even a teenager how I fantasized about being a wife and mommy. That's all I wanted to do. Even with society pressuring women to be feminists and climb corporate ladders, I didn't care. I wasn't standing up to them, necessarily, I just didn't desire those things. I just wanted to be that perfect June Cleaver who vacuumed and sewed buttons and ironed all while being beautiful and putting out a gorgeous dinner.

I realize that Mrs. Cleaver is fictional and much of her perfection is also quite fake. So many women seem to think, though, that since it isn't ALL possible then they won't even try.
I've been married for just a few months now (since June 20, 2009). I've heard people tell me that marriage is 50-50. It's a partnership. Each member is equal and should put in just as much work. But I think our marriage is more than that, and (for us) it will be a mutual submission of desires. We won't be a 50-50 marriage, but instead we will be a 100-100 marriage. My theory is that when each couple gives 50-50, then when one falters you won't add to 100. But when I falter, my husband has enough to cover both of us because that's what he's expecting from the beginning to have to do. When my husband doesn't have the strength to give 100 (or even 50%) then I have enough to make up for that lack.
Maybe when people say 50-50 they mean the same thing. But I know of at least one girl who says that if her husband isn't giving everything then she doesn't need to either. This breaks my heart. I don't love my husband because of what he can do for me. I love him because of what I desire to do for him. We have a Christ-based love. We try to emulate Christ's example of sacrificial love by giving everything even when the other person is sorely lacking. We both lack. And by God's grace we both give.
I enjoy vacuuming. And this is an easy task for me to do to show my husband that I love him. My husband enjoys cooking; and it is more than his delight to show his love for me by cooking. I do not enjoy ironing. But the amount of love I have for my husband makes even ironing an enjoyable experience just because I know that by simply ironing (and it is simple) I can show him I love him - it is such a practical way to show him I love him. Why wouldn't I iron for him?
Well, I continually try to find more and better ways to love my husband. By bettering myself, keeping my mind sharp, keeping my physical shape, and numerous other tasks I show him that I love him. What's wonderful is that he doesn't need me to do these things, he doesn't ask me to do these things, he doesn't push his will on me, and he even does a lot of chores before I get to them. He doesn't care if I do them or not. But he does feel loved whenever I do do these simple tasks.
There have been times (like during my first trimester) that even getting my own glass of water was difficult. And he was so loving to do EVERYTHING! I didn't ask. He just sees a need and fills it. I don't think he even thought about it. He swept. He did the laundry. He cleaned the bathroom. He did the dishes. And he would continue to do them today if I wasn't doing them. But I love him so much that I want to do those things. It's like a fun competition to see who can clean things first.
We both work. It's been hard on me to work and be pregnant - to those of you who do it successfully, I admire you! I'm a high school algebra teacher and this is not an experience (teaching) that I want to replicate ever again. Maybe your job is less stressful?? Maybe I just don't manage my stress well?? I'm not sure. My husband wants me to never have to work again. I want to be June Cleaver. Once this baby comes, I'm a stay-at-home mommy just like I've always wanted to be!
This next part seems to make many of our friends uncomfortable. But I think it's just our culture. My husband and I (and little Caleb whenever he comes; due May5) are moving back with my in-laws while my husband completes his PhD. They have this little suite of sorts with a room for us, a nursery and a bathroom in-between them. It seems perfect. In most cultures this is normal to have several generations in one household. At first I wasn't completely comfortable with it. But when I saw how excited they were and how comfortable they were with it, it really eased my mind. Then, it started reminding me of how Jesus has gone to prepare for us a room at his Father's house. SO it seemed that even Jesus was comfortable with it.
update: turns out moving in with them was not good and we moved out shortly after moving in.