What I’ve Been Eating Lately

food, pregnancy

First, a disclaimer: I am not at all what you would describe as a “healthy eater.” I follow no prescribed diet. I still eat white flour and sugar. I would like to be better, but in the past couple of months nothing has sounded good to me to eat except for McDonald’s, Ben and Jerry’s, and Mexican food. I’ve felt good enough in the past couple of weeks to start to avoid those things again, but I am still having days where I’m just like “nope, need a fried chicken sandwich.” I’m not proud, but that is where I’m at right now. It is also probably why I gained more than the recommended amount in my first trimester. I’m trying not to care, because I am active, but still I care. I can’t help it.

This past week Sunday, I told Bruno that my big goal was to not go out to eat or get fast food for the next two weeks. I told him I did not care how bad the food I was making at home was (bad for you), but I wanted to do whatever it took just to prevent myself from ordering a pizza or eating Ben and Jerry’s from dinner. I figured even if everything I ate was smothered in cheese, even if I ate Eckrich farm sausage (I know it is disgusting and really bad for you, but it tastes so damn good), as long as I was not eating out that was good enough for me. It is Thursday, so, so far, so good. But the weekend is coming.

Anyway — here is a little bit of what I’ve been eating the past few weeks, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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I’ve been craving buffalo sauce on everything, so I figured I would give this buffalo chicken casserole a try. It was good, but almost too much tomato, not enough buffalo. Also, for whatever reason quinoa has not tasted good to me at all. I blame pregnancy, not the recipe.

breakfast

Here’s a standard breakfast – kale, coconut, yogurt smoothie (from the Eat Slow, Run Fast cookbook), with homemade banana bread with butter and coffee. Frankly, this has not been enough. Within two hours, I am starving. Breakfast is something I need to figure out.

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This soup was a big hit in our house. The only thing I think I would change is I would not cook the noodles in the soup and add them later (making it no longer a one-pot meal, but still pretty easy). The surplus of leftovers was amazing and delicious, but the noodles were so soggy by the end. Still. I will make this again.

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Another breakfast: yogurt smothered with granola and maple syrup.

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When Bruno cooks: ground beef, veggies, and potatoes. Nuun water on the side. I’m having a hard time with ground beef still. I used to love it, as in, I love cheeseburgers especially with bacon. This has been one of our throw together meals for a long time.

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Sausage, kale, sweet potato, and ricotta cheese. I threw this together after grocery shopping on Sunday. It was delicious. Probably not the best for you (hello sodium and sulfites), but still delicious. I love sausage, but I cannot find any “healthy” brands from our local Kroger, or maybe I’m just not aware of it. I would like to think the kale made up for it. Ha!

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Lunch this week — bbq chicken made with Montgomery Inn bbq sauce (because, Ohio!), salad with all the good veggies and all the bad salad dressing (see above about trying really hard to not go out to eat), and homemade sour dough bread with butter.

Not pictured: pizza from a local pizza place, Ruben sandwich from a local restaurant, buffalo chicken sandwich from a local pizza place, McDonald’s fried chicken sandwich, fries, and holiday pie (what is this deliciousness?), and pizza from another local pizza establishment.

I’m trying, people. Trying. And don’t give me that Yoda stuff, I’m pregnant.

xo, Ali

First Trimester Pregnancy Update

daily life, pregnancy

Tomorrow marks the end of my thirteenth week of pregnancy and the beginning of my fourteenth. Depending on where you look, this means I have ended the first trimester and am not beginning the second. Onward, I say, because I cannot believe that I still have six months to go (due date is June 3). It seems like a lot can happen in six months. While I do not want to rush the time, I also just kind of want to get there already.

But the last three months — that is what I am here to talk about. I severely underestimated pregnancy. Or I severely overestimated myself in response to pregnancy. Either works. I spent most of September, October, and the first part of November consistently all-day sick. At a certain point, I became used to the nausea. What I struggled with were the headaches and eyesight problems and the hormonal depression. Frankly, I really did not feel good.

I am happy to say that around the week of Thanksgiving things picked up. I’m still getting sick, but maybe every couple of days now. On Saturday I had eyesight and headache problems, but with declining frequency. And most importantly, I feel like the depression I was in for most of September through November has lifted. I’m regularly anxious Ali again – ha!

But in all seriousness — feeling as down as I did in the first months of pregnancy was not something I expected at all. I know about post-natal depression, but depression during is not something that I knew anything about. Apparently, it is quite common. That helped. Honestly, it helped to tell myself “This isn’t you. This is your hormones doubling at warp speed.” It was still hard, but it allowed for some separation between myself and how I was feeling.

I’m not sure when exactly I began to feel like myself again, but I am still trying to keep an eye on it. I think working out regularly again helps. Not getting sick all the time has helped me keep a regular schedule — something I need to do for my anxiety, but I think also helped how low I was feeling. It is hard to feel ok when you are laying on the couch because one of your eyes is foggy and cannot focus, you have a headache, and every time you move you have to get sick. And while I love Ben and Jerry’s and buffalo chicken sandwiches from the local pizza place, I’m not sure having my diet revolve around them has contributed to a state of mental well-being either. Physically feeling better has helped me mentally and emotionally for sure.

I have gained more weight than what is “recommended” for the first trimester already. Starting a few weeks ago, I started seeing numbers on the scale I have never seen before and those numbers have consistently inched higher and higher. The other week I went into CrossFit and my coach (a female) mentioned my baby bump. I was super excited because I thought I was finally developing one and I was happy to have someone notice. That said, I’m not sure if it that is a baby bump or a Ben and Jerry’s bump. Probably a little bit of both!

babybump

Food baby or real baby? 

On a more positive note — I’ve written about my struggles with insomnia on this blog before. I have had no problems sleeping since becoming pregnant. I sleep like the dead. I fall asleep instantly. I still sometimes wake up in the night, but I fall right back asleep and then proceed to oversleep. This confirms to me that my insomnia is probably hormonal. I know I’ll probably not be getting much sleep soon, so I appreciate all that I can get right now.

I’ll be providing an update on how running and crossfit are going sometime next week, but in the meantime I’m happy that I’m starting to get back on a regular schedule again. I’m grateful to be nearly-finished with my dissertation and do not feel so go-go-go right now, which helps because though I am feeling better, I still feel tired all the time. And most of all, I’m grateful to be starting a family.

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : November 26 – December 2, 2018 (12-13 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, cycling, pregnancy, running, training

There were some highs and lows to running this week. I missed two of my runs. I had an excellent long run. Mostly, though, I felt good during my work outs – both running and CrossFit. Right before Thanksgiving, during CrossFit, I felt wiped out. Like so wiped out that we were supposed to five rounds of a work-out and I could only manage four in the time allotted. My energy felt much better this week.

Diet might be helping with that. Leaving my diet of Kraft macaroni and cheese and Ben and Jerry’s for a return to green morning shakes and actually home cooked food has helped immensely. It feels good to be back in the kitchen again. I still crave fried chicken smothered in Frank’s Red Hot, but lately that has been on top of salad instead on two pieces of white bread. That said, I still had two pizzas this week and plenty of dessert — but that was more for social rather than craving reasons.

Ok — so work outs for this week:

11 – 26 : 30 minutes on the new bike trainer. 9 minute warm-up, 4 x 1 minute sprint with 4 minute recovery. Not yet having the fancy accoutrements for knowing how far, how much power, etc. for my bike, I have no idea how much I did except that I sweat a lot.

11 – 27 : Rest. Went to the chiropractor for low-back and tailbone pain.

11 – 28 : Rest. I was not feeling good on this day.

11 – 29 : Run. 20 minutes, 1.82 miles. 10:43/mile. CrossFit: 5 x 500m row sprints with 5 minute recovery. Splits: 2:06.2, 2:04.5, 2:10.7, 2:13.3, 2:08.8. I did this work out in 8-2-18. I did about the same, no PR, but I was happy with how it went given how crappy my aerobic capacity has felt lately.

11 – 30 : Run. 45 minutes, 4 miles. 11:18/mile. This was pretty slow, but I took a pretty hilly route and underestimated how much those hills would wind me. There was a lot of walking on this “run.” CrossFit: Strength. Shoulder press – 3 sets for every 2 minutes 30 seconds: 55 lbs., 60, 60 (could only do 2), 60 (could only do 1), 55 lbs. My one-rep shoulder press is 60 lbs. so I guess I improved by now being able to do three?

12 – 1 : Rest. Horrible headache and eyesight problems.

12 – 2 : Run. 75 minutes. 7.44 miles, 10:05/mile. I may be running while pregnant and feel like I’m sucking air through a straw, but I can still negative split like a boss: 10:37, 10:26, 10:21, 10:14, 10:06, 9:57, 9:24, 9:00 (for the last .44). I cannot express how happy I am with this run. I know I will get slower through the months, but this run made clear I didn’t lose all the fitness I developed when I took a break during my first couple months of pregnancy. It may have been a very foggy and creepy looking run (see below), but I felt so much joy!

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Baw-Beese Trail in the fog. 

Totals : Running. 2 hours 50 minutes, 13.2 miles. CrossFit. 2 hours. Cycling. 30 minutes. All – 5 hours 20 minutes.

Onward!

xo, Ali

 

Monday (Ok, Ok, Tuesday) Miles : November 19 – 25, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, pregnancy, races, running, training

There’s a new game I like to play: What is Causing Ali’s Aches and Pains? Working out, sitting too much at a desk, or pregnancy. This has been the story the last two days as my tailbone aches and I wonder if this is from dead lifts last week or just general pregnancy or the fact that I did a lot of driving over the weekend. Or perhaps all of the above? After this post I’m making a call to the chiropractor.

This was my second week of consistent running. I’m not training for anything, but following Hal Higdon’s Winter training plan. A lot of the “running while pregnant” advice I read suggested going by minutes instead of miles. Supposedly, as you grow slower, it is less disheartening. I’m so grateful to be back at it again, I’m not sure how disheartened I would even be.

I will admit that first week out there was hard. I huffed and puffed. This week, the second week, was significantly better. I know I will continue to get slower, but I felt good. I did not feel like I was huffing or puffing. Instead, it felt leisurely, enjoyable, even if slow.

11 – 19 : 15ish minute run, 1.45 miles. 10:46/mile. CrossFit: Strength – build to three rep max for push-press in seven minutes. I managed eighty pounds, a PR. WOD – AMRAP 7 minutes, 10 push-presses @ 35 pounds, 30 single-unders, 3 double-under attempts. I managed six rounds plus five push-presses. I even managed successfully some of those double-unders.

11 – 20 : 45 minute run, 4.36 miles. 10:19/mile.

11 – 21 : 30 minute run, 2.8 miles. 10:34/mile. CrossFit: WOD – 40 calorie bike followed by 4 rounds – 8 split jerks (45 lbs.) and 8 dead lifts (85 lbs). This was hard. Dead lifts are hard for me. I have improved so much in my back squat, in really almost everything I have done in CrossFit except for the deadlift. I was supposed to do five rounds and could only manage four in 19 minutes 8 seconds.

11 – 22 : Thanksgiving! You know what this means…Turkey Trot! I was not planning on running one and then decided at the last minute to run the hometown trot. I’m glad I did, because I did much better than I thought I would be able to and felt damn good too. 3.15 miles in exactly 28 minutes, around 9ish per mile. Race report here.

11 – 23 : REST.

11 – 24 : REST.

11 – 25 : 60 minute run, 5.5 miles. 10:57/mile.

Totals: Miles run – 17.2 miles, 3 hours. CrossFit, 2 hours. 5 hours.

Onward to next week!

xo, Ali

The One with the Baby News

blogging, books, daily life, Harry Potter, health, pregnancy, running

Ok, ok so it has been almost three months since I have posted and with good reason too!

Things have been going on. And I am very happy to say that all of them are good.

I left you September 5 with some thoughts on working from home. Soon after, I ran Run Woodstock 5k and half-marathon. I ran just ok, actually terribly. I ran that race a half hour slower than I did at Run Legend. I knew it would be harder, but that I was that much slower bummed me out. I felt tired and exhausted. I had no idea why. I thought, perhaps, I was over-trained. This is probably true. I took some time off running.

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Me after the Hippie Half-Marathon at Run Woodstock. Probably pregnant here! 

I focused on teaching and my dissertation. I only have two more classes to teach right now and all my dissertation chapters are approved — I need do some edits and revisions, but I should be able to defend in February!

A little over two weeks after Run Woodstock, I still felt tired and exhausted. I was starting to get a little suspicious. On a Wednesday morning, I asked Bruno if we could pop by a Walgreens to grab a pregnancy test before we went to campus. Later that morning, I informed Bruno that yes, I was indeed pregnant. Very pregnant. Those lines were dark!

I’ll admit that I was surprised, but very pleased. We had wanted to start having kids as soon as we knew that I would have my dissertation done before baby no. 1 arrived, so the timing is very good (especially now that chapter five is approved). Baby C is due next year in early June. I will be waddling across that stage mid-May to get my Ph.D. diploma. Proudly waddling.

I want to be careful about how I write what I say next, especially because I know that I am very blessed and happy to be pregnant. I do not want to seem like I am complaining thoughtlessly or without compassion for women who have been struggling to get pregnant or who have lost babies.

That said, from about three days after I found out I was pregnant until probably about a week or two ago, I was having a very hard time. Normally, I’m an anxious person, but the increase of hormones made me well, frankly, depressed. I felt like a complete mess of vomit for the last several weeks and felt sick all the time. I could barely eat anything, barely cook anything because the smell of anything sent me running (the only running I did) to the toilet or trashcan. I regularly had severe headaches and was exhausted. I know. I know. All of this is normal. Many have gone through this before me and will do so afterwards. I feel silly for even complaining. And I’m lucky, happy, etc., but I would be lying if I said it was not hard.

The little energy I had was directed to prepping for class and crawling to the finish of writing this fifth chapter. I barely did anything else. I have no idea how women who go to regular jobs do it. There was a week that aside for teaching Tuesday night class, I barely left the house because I was afraid I would spend most of that time in a public restroom getting sick. This did little for the depression problem.

Quick shout out to Bruno for taking care of the majority of cooking and cleaning and having incredible patience during this time. Marry a man who, when you are having a meltdown because of how terrible you feel and how you feel bad for having a meltdown for how terrible you feel, surprises you by taking you to get a professional massage that very afternoon. Then, for his birthday, when you regain your ability to function like an actual human being bake him a layered coconut buttercream cake.

I feel better. I only get really sick every three days now, instead of what felt like every hour. Full disclosure: I worked with an orange Home Depot bucket that said “Let’s Do This!” next to my computer for just in case. I still went to CrossFit about 2-3 times a week, but the week before last I started running again. Last week I ran a Turkey Trot 5k. I am cooking again. I went on a full-blown baking spree last week in the kitchen. I’m doing my holiday re-read of Harry Potter. Rejoice! I am starting to feel, at least for now, like myself again. It feels good.

With that said, I’m hoping to finish the 2018 year of blogging and running strong. I am interested to see how running as a pregnant lady goes. It will be a new chapter in my life, one that I’m very happy to begin.

pregnant

xo, Ali