Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Snow!!

You know we've gotten a lot of snow when IU cancels classes. That's right... the university cancelled classes through noon today! I had to reschedule Hayden's dr appt this morning, as the dr's office only kept one of their locations opened in town. Since it was across town instead of five minutes away, I figured I'd be safer (esp after three nurses called three different times since 7:30am) just to reschedule for next Tues. Maybe we'll just go play in the snow... Lauren already had fun yesterday afternoon!

(**An edit from earlier... IU is now closed ALL DAY!!!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hayden and Mommy

Wow, so hard to believe that Hayden is almost 2 months old already! It's a little late, but he had a great 2-week checkup (on 12/8). He was 21 5/8" long (75%) and 9 lbs 8 oz (75%) -- only two ounces shy of birth weight! The doctor was very pleased and didn't need to do the jaundice check.

Hayden adjusted quite well to life outside the womb. He was immediately sleeping 4-5 hour stretches at night and has been breastfeeding wonderfully (although he recently started what I call "fussy nursing", so let's hope we can get that figured out soon). He has now started sleeping anywhere from 5-7.5 hours at night, then waking to eat and sleeping for another 2-3 hours. Just this week I've noticed more of a pattern, with him sleeping a large chunk of the morning and then again late afternoon. Let's hope it continues! He's also started having more breaks in between his nursing. He used to nurse every 30-45 minutes after taking a long nap -- and would nurse a good 4-6 times before sleeping again. Let me tell you... that was not easy on me! I still nurse him on demand, but am going to start getting him on a schedule very soon (and he seems to be helping me!). I'm also working on getting him to go to sleep a little sooner at night (it's currently around 12:30am), and going to sleep on his own more. He has done it a few times, I just want to make it that way permanently!

Hayden has been such a blessing and wonderful addition to our family. He is such a happy little guy, and is already talking, cooing, laughing, and grinning like crazy! The adjustment to three kids hasn't been as tough as I imagined, but that's not to say it isn't hard. Just getting out the door -- or rather getting READY to leave the house -- is the hardest thing. Now that Hayden isn't so newborn, it is easier for me to get things done. One of the toughest things for me is not having everything picked up or having to put things off for a bit. But, I'll take spending time with my new little guy. :)

As for me, I had my six-week postpartum check two weeks ago. Everything is back to normal and I was cleared by the doctor for all activity. He told me I had this having-baby-thing down! :) Now I just need to start back into my yoga and running. I also need to start better watching what I eat. With nursing I get SOOO hungry that it's hard to eat great every single time. We do eat mostly at home (I'm starting to stock up on freezer meals and am meal-planning better) and the kids and I try to snack healthy most the time. But it's tough when 2-3 hours after eating dinner I'm ready for another whole meal! I only gained 25 pounds this pregnancy, and have another 8 to lose for pre-prego weight. Of course, I was in the process of losing weight when I got pregnant, so there's really much more to go! At least I'm wearing a smaller size jeans now than I was last year! Great motivation to keep losing. :)

Hopefully I can keep updating about Hayden. It's not often I get to sit, think, and write! :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

8 (Un)Healthy Foods

Because my mom is a dietitian and I generally like to eat healthy, I take an interest in learning about food. I recently read this article and wanted to post it. One of my pet peeves when it comes to eating is dieting. I don't believe in diets -- I believe in eating healthy and everything in moderation. A main element of diets is limiting, and if you cut out or limit something you're bound to fail. I especially dislike when everything is fat free or low fat -- you do need fat in your diet, and there's healthy ways to do it. Another thing is diet soda... Just read the article, which was written by a registered dietitian.

Think these 8 foods are healthy? Wrong!

Even if you haven't bought full-fat mayo or sugary soda since blue eye shadow was in style (the first time), you may be getting duped into less-than-stellar food choices at the supermarket. The culprit? The "health halo." "From a distance, some foods seem like healthful choices because of the way they're packaged or labeled," says Janel Ovrut, MS, RD, a Boston-based dietitian. "But just because a product's marketing gives it an aura of health doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you." Here, eight notorious health food impostors, plus smarter swaps that up the nutritional ante and still give you the flavor you crave.

Baked potato chips
Yes, they're lower in fat. But they're still high in calories and low in nutrients, with little fiber to fill you up.

Smarter sub: Popcorn. You'll get the salt and crunch of chips plus fiber, and around 65 percent fewer calories per cup. Look for oil-free microwave popcorn or brands that are air-popped or popped in healthful oils such as olive or canola.

Health bonus: Heart-healthy whole grains. Adults who eat popcorn take in as much as 2 1/2 times more whole grains than people who do not, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Try: Good Health HalfNaked pre-popped popcorn, made with olive oil. One serving (4 cups) has 120 calories, 0 g sat fat, 4 g fiber.

Gummy fruit snacks
Although these products may contain some juice, they're usually nothing more than candy infused with vitamins. They also contain high fructose corn syrup, which is linked with obesity, and heart-unhealthy partially hydrogenated oils.

Smarter sub: Fresh or dried fruit. Both are packed with filling fiber, which you'll miss if you opt for gummy snacks.

Health bonus: Cancer-fighting antioxidants. Real fruit is loaded with immune-boosting nutrients that fruit-flavored snacks could never mimic. A recent Greek study found that women who ate the most fruits and veggies were the least likely to develop any type of cancer.

Try: Peeled Snacks Fruit Picks dried fruit ( One serving (one bag) of Go-Mango-Man-Go has 120 calories, 0 g sat fat, 2 g fiber.

Light ice cream
Light ice cream can have fewer calories than regular, but there's no guarantee. Take Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche light ice cream: With 220 calories per 1/2 cup serving, it's still higher in calories than the average full-fat ice cream, which has around 140 calories per serving. What's more, some light ice creams can lack the rich taste you crave, so you're less satisfied and may be inclined to eat more than one serving.

Smarter sub: Dairy-free ice cream. Soy and coconut milk ice creams may save you a few calories, and they have a creamy, satisfying texture.

Health bonus: Digestion-friendly fiber. Some dairy-free ice creams are made with chicory root, a natural source of inulin, a prebiotic fiber that can increase healthy bacteria in the gut and help the body absorb calcium and iron.

Try: Turtle Mountain Purely Decadent, made with coconut milk. One serving (1/2 cup) of vanilla has 150 calories, 7 g sat fat, and 6 g fiber. (Studies show that the saturated fat in coconut may not raise cholesterol like the saturated fat in butter and meat.)

Diet soda
In a 2008 study, researchers linked drinking just one diet soda a day with metabolic syndrome — the collection of symptoms including belly fat that puts you at high risk of heart disease. Researchers aren't sure if it's an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers' eating habits that caused the association.

Smarter sub: Flavored seltzer water. It has zero calories and is free of artificial sweeteners but provides fizz and flavor. Beware of clear sparkling beverages that look like seltzer yet contain artificial sweeteners — they're no better than diet soda. Or try a sparkling juice; we recommend watering it down with seltzer to stretch your calories even further.

Health bonus: Hydration (without chemicals). Water is essential for nearly every body process.

Try: Your supermarket's low-cost seltzer brand. The taste is the same as the bigger name brands.

'Calorie-free' spray margarine
Even though some spray margarines claim to be "calorie-free," labeling laws allow products with fewer than 5 calories per serving to claim to have zero calories. So, while one spritz may be inconsequential, the whole bottle could have as much as 900 calories.

Smarter sub: Spray-it-yourself olive oil. In this case, a bit of real fat is more healthful and flavorful — and within a reasonable calorie range if you watch your portions. Investing in an olive oil mister ensures you don't put on too much.

Health bonus: Decreased inflammation throughout the body, which helps your heart and lowers cancer risk, thanks to monounsaturated fatty acids.

Try: Misto olive oil sprayer. Find one at any kitchen store for around $10.

Nonfat salad dressing
Fat-free salad dressings are often packed with sugar — so your dressing may be loaded with calories. Ironically, a salad without fat is not living up to its potential. "You need a little fat to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K and other nutrients," says Katherine Tallmadge, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Smarter sub: Oil-based salad dressings. You'll get good-for-you fats instead of the saturated fat found in some creamy dressings. Look for ingredients like olive oil, vinegar, and herbs.

Health bonus: Vision protection. As many as five times more carotenoids — antioxidants that are essential for eye-sight — are absorbed when salads are consumed with fat rather than with no fat.

Try: Newman's Own Olive Oil & Vinegar Dressing. Two tablespoons have 150 calories, 2.5 g sat fat, 0 g fiber.

Low-fat cookies
Do you remember the SnackWell's craze? Low-fat cookies are still popular, and many dieters think they can indulge guilt free. The problem is that most of these snacks are made with extra sugar, which means they often have just as many calories as the full-fat version, if not more.

Smarter sub: Oatmeal cookies. These are a great way to indulge a cookie craving while also getting whole grains. Not all are created equal, though: Skip those made with high fructose corn syrup, white flour, and butter in favor of varieties made with honey or cane juice, whole wheat flour, and oil.

Health bonus: Lower cholesterol. The fiber found in oatmeal keeps your body from absorbing bad cholesterol.

Try: Kashi TLC Cookies. One cookie has 130 calories, 1.5 g sat fat, 4 g fiber.

100-calorie snack packs
You might want to skip these if you're trying to lose weight. A recent study showed that people may eat more food and calories if the portions are presented in small sizes and packages. With smaller serving sizes, study participants didn't feel the need to regulate their intake, so they ate more than one portion before feeling satisfied.

Smarter sub: A small serving of almonds. Their healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, and protein will tide you over until your next meal.

Health bonus: Stronger bones. Almonds are an excellent source of bone-building magnesium, as well as the immune-boosting antioxidant vitamin E.

Try: Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds. A 1 oz serving has 160 calories, 1 g sat fat, 3 g fiber.

By Nicole Ferring, MS, RD for Prevention; found at

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