Baby Fat

No, I am not referring to J’s adorable rolls and chunky little thighs that are just so dang cute, but my Baby Fat, or leftover chub thanks to my sweet little bundle of joy.

I *shouldn’t* care about the extra ten pounds I’m lugging around, but I do… At least a little bit. Yes, I am aware that my body created a miracle and I have a healthy baby boy. Shouldn’t that be enough?

If you want to know what a woman feels like six days, six weeks, or even six months in my case postpartum, try this little experiment. Replace all of the clothes in your closet with identical pieces that are two sizes too small. Then, make room for at least fifteen items that are too long, too loose, and sort of reminiscent of a muumuu. Now you know how we feel.

Defeated.

Depressed.

Fat.

And no, that does not make us selfish mothers. I thank my lucky stars every night and every morning for my baby boy. And then I attempt to get dressed and curse the pregnancy gods for my post-baby belly.

Love my baby. Hate my belly.

Love my baby. HATE my belly.

In all honesty, I am being a little hard on myself… It’s not that bad. But aren’t we all our own worst critics?

I am determined to lose at least five more pounds before throwing in the towel, which would put me five pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight… Before getting pregnant, I could lose five pounds in a weekend. Things aren’t quite so easy anymore. In addition to eating healthy vegetarian meals, I am ready to bring out the big guns. These are all of the tricks that have worked for me in the past, and a few new ones that I am ready to try.

1. Water. Lots and lots of water. 

Drinking water all day long has always helped me maintain my weight with minimal effort. When you’re dehydrated, your body experiences the same symptoms it experiences when you are overly hungry- sleepiness & low energy. When you feel hungry, you might actually just be thirsty. Grab a glass of water and give it ten minutes before reaching for a snack. Also, drinking six cups of cold water a day can raise your resting metabolism by about 50 calories a day.

2. Beans, beans, the magical fruit…

I eat beans in almost everything I eat. My absolute favorite are garbanzo beans, but I also love black beans and pinto beans. Because I am a vegetarian, the majority of my protein intake comes from beans. Beans are full of fiber, which not only keeps us fuller longer, but also moves fat through our digestive system faster so that less of it is absorbed.

3. Fish oil

It is believed that omega 3 oil improves the flow of blood to the muscles during exercise and helps to stimulate enzymes which transport fat to where it can be used up for energy. Now if I could only get around to the whole exercise thing…

4. Whole-wheat everything

Whole-wheat is not only chock full of fiber (see #2 above), but high in complex carbohydrates, low in saturated fat, a source of protein, and a storehouse of nutrients, as well.  According to Discovery Health, it is a “microcosm of what your diet should be.” I actually prefer the taste of whole wheat pasta and bread to their refined counterparts.

5. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a regulatory effect on blood sugar levels and simultaneously increases insulin levels in the body. It helps prevent increased storage of fat and enables you to lose weight. In addition, cinnamon delays the passing of food from the stomach into the intestine. Hence, you feel satisfied for a longer time and eat less. Lastly, cinnamon helps the body to process carbohydrates more efficiently and this assists you in losing a few pounds. Studies show that abdominal fat is more sensitive to the effects of cinnamon than fat from other parts of the body.

-www.fitday.com

*I will take a 1,000mg supplement of cinnamon per day.

6. Green tea

Researchers say that substances found in green tea known as catechins may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat.

7. Three square meals

Some people do best with six small meals a day, but I lose weight and maintain my weight more successfully with three meals a day. I don’t measure food or count calories. I simple eat until I’m full. Click here to learn why two meals a day may be better for weight loss than grazing.

8. Super foods

There are many foods identified as “super foods” for one reason or another. The following list of foods is beneficial not only for your health, but weight loss in particular. You can find the full lowdown here.

  • wild salmon
  • apples
  • quinoa
  • lentils
  • olive oil
  • eggs
  • yogurt
  • sweet potatoes
  • kiwifruit
  • edamame

And now for the two I haven’t tried…

9. Raspberry Ketones

According to Dr. Oz, raspberry ketone causes the fat within your cells to get broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster. The recommended dose is 100mg per day. To get the same benefit from the whole fruit, you’d have to consume 90 pounds of raspberries!

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

It is believed that apple cider vinegar accelerates weight loss, because it helps control blood sugar levels and suppress appetite. It is recommended to mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. It is best to use organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to get all the good nutrients.

***

After a failed attempt of baby-led weaning last week, I have come to the conclusion that Baby J is not ready for food of any kind. No mush, no purees, no solids, nada. Therefore, the meals I am preparing for dinner this week will revolve around the ten weight loss “super foods” listed above. I have not given up on baby-led weaning, however. We’re just putting it on the back-burner for awhile.

SundayGreek Quinoa & Avocado Salad

 723990f335a1e6d93a1b26c564478180

MondaySweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

201247d99b9c5114fdff308ac4e8213e

Tuesday- Spinach Linguine with Edamame Pesto

*I will use whole-wheat linguine

IMG_6443.CR2

WednesdayAncho Lentil Tacos

5680829545_96116a692e_z

ThursdayCheesy Quinoa & Broccoli Patties

quinoapatty

I’ll let you know next Sunday how this plan plays out. Hopefully, I will lose at least a pound or two!

XO,

Elleigh

Advertisements

Black-Eyed Peas, Please!

Once again we face another new year, a time when many of us reflect on the previous twelve months and make resolutions for the those to come. Me? I’m not a resolution kind of gal, because quite frankly, I don’t stick to them. Ever.

If I resolve to adhere to some kind of crazy, extreme diet, I inevitably find myself face-deep in a bowl of mac and cheese by the third day. Okay, second day. Needless to say, I don’t do diets, and I don’t do resolutions.

But what I do do (cue laughter from my 4th grade class) is eat healthy 90% of the time. And not just because I want to fit into my skinny jeans. I actually like healthy food, and I enjoy cooking, too. Unfortunately my days of homemade nightly dinners have pretty much ceased to exist thanks to my little one, but every now and then when the stars align just right, I am able to knock out a delicious and nutritious dinner.

This is a recipe I found on Pinterest quite awhile ago, and it is one of my go-to recipes. Shockingly, my husband enjoys it as much as I do- We have very different palates. It is super easy to throw together, too. I’m hoping Baby J enjoys it as much as we do when he starts eating solids next month, but I won’t hold my breath.

*You can find the original recipe here.

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole New Year’s Style

*photo courtesy of eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress.com*

blog-38

Ingredients

Texas Black-Eyed Pea Tempeh- use as much or as little as you want

BEPTempeh-300x132

(Click picture for info on tempeh. If you’ve never had tempeh, you should try it! It is very versatile and tasty. You could also use plain tempeh, garbanzo beans, or chicken as a substitute, or you could leave the protein out altogether.)

One 10 oz can condensed Cream of  Mushroom soup

1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise 

2 tablespoons milk- I use skim

1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, etc.)

black pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste- I put red pepper flakes in EVERYTHING I eat, and not only because I like them. Check out this article highlighting the benefits of this ingredient.

2 cups cooked broccoli- I also sometimes include chopped red bell pepper, diced onion, mushrooms, and/or edamame. I always sauté my veggies in olive oil and use a lot of fresh garlic.

1 1/2 cups  COOKED quinoa

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To cook quinoa:

3/4 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear.  In a small saucepan combine the quinoa, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible.  Fluff with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8×8 in or 5-6 cups) casserole dish – or individual ramekins – with vegetable cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, and spices until well mixed. Stir in the tempeh, quinoa, and broccoli.

Spoon mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden.  Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.

***

I have included links above with various ingredients that I use frequently in my cooking. I am a vegetarian, so I am always looking for creative ways to include protein into my diet. The links will take you to websites that explain the benefits of each highlighted ingredient.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions this year?