The photo down below is just a week later - so, 12 or 13 weeks. Amazing the difference!
When deciding what steps to take to get back into shape after Sprocket arrives (Sprocket is the baby, which is probably pretty obvious....but you never know), the first thing I considered was my nutrition. After all, about 80% of your body composition can be attributed to what you put in your pie-hole.
Naturally, I thought about the Paleo Diet. I did some preliminary research (on discussion boards, mostly), and it appears that a lot of women find that the paleo diet doesn't work for them post-partum, but, that Paleo + Dairy works great. Maybe you need to drink milk to make milk. Maybe these particular women couldn't get enough calories without the dairy. Who knows. But, what I do know, is that I have also come across stories of nursing mamas who do not consume dairy, and do just fine. In fact, when babies appear to be having an allergic reaction to something that mom is consuming that is getting passed down through the breast milk, dairy is high on the list of things to remove from the diet to see if baby improves. (Wheat and Soy are also high on the list. Shocker.)
So, I have not completely decided on one diet of the other. (By "diet" of course, I mean "type of eating", and in no way mean that I will be restricting calories!!!) I have a bit more research to do. I'm thinking paleo is the way to go, but I also want to see what the research says about amounts of protein, fat, and carbs I will need to intake. I'd like to have a bit more of a game plan than just "going paleo". Maybe.
All of this talk of the Paleo Diet reminded me of how completely and fully I fell off the paleo bandwagon when I got pregnant. Twice, actually. (The second time was in Los Angeles when I went to a breakfast joint where they served fresh, hot, cornbread muffins. Wow. That was the beginning of the end.) Now, I probably could have stuck paleo, honestly, but it would have been hard. Really HARD. Where I normally crave vegetables and meat, I found myself craving bagels with cream cheese, and sourdough bread. Sourdough bread. I don't even like sourdough. At all.
Doing some reading in a book I borrowed from my midwife (Anatomy and Physiology for Midwives by Jane Coad), I learned a little bit about prenatal nutrition. Here's the cliff's notes:
- The energy requirements for pregnant mamas is only about 200 calories/day especially taking into account the decreased energy expenditure of most pregnant women.
- Protein requirements are only about 1.1g/kg/day (or, about 65 g for someone like myself) and in fact, high protein intakes during pregnancy have been linked with increased risk of congenital abnormalities in the offspring. That's probably why I felt that my protein intake was drastically reduced - it was.
- High fat diets during pregnancy are not recommended, again, because abnormalities can develop. Research suggests that a diet that is around 30% fat and 50% carbs is optimal. I am taking that with a grain of salt, of course, because I completely disagree with a lot of "recommended" diets.