nutritionist

Is there such thing as too many vegetables?

I recently started a low carb, high fat diet. Very similar to the ketogenic diet, but I’m not subscribing to keto because I’m not using test strips to see whether I’m in ketosis or not. I have a history of being a little obsessive over what I eat, so I’d rather be more relaxed about trying out this diet. I am, however, counting my macros and aiming to keep net carbs under 40g per day (no stress though!).


You guys, I’ve learned SO much from doing this!

So far I’ve only lost 3lbs (which is fine by me, I don’t have too much baby weight left to lose), but I look like I’ve lost much more. I was so bloated and inflamed! And do you know what I’ve realized the culprit is?

EATING TOO MANY VEGETABLES

Yes, I said it. Eating too many vegetables can actually cause more inflammation in the body. You frequently hear nutrition experts recommend that you may eat “as many vegetables as you’d like” because they’re low in calories, high in fiber and are full of vitamins and minerals. The logic is there. I was drinking smoothies with spinach and cauliflower, eating huge salads with tons of veggies, and was roasting veggies every night for dinner. I stopped worrying about getting so many vegetables in and suddenly my pants are looser and my face looks significantly thinner. To be honest, I had been a little fed up with my postpartum body, more than ready to be “myself” again. I feel more myself than I have in a year and a half.

So what did I do? I took out starchy carbs like sweet potatoes and squash and started practicing more portion control with consuming vegetables, which I would previously eat without limit. I completely eliminated fruit. Even though vegetables and fruit are “good carbs”, they’re still carbs and too much of anything, even good things, can have negative effects. I also cut out legumes (mainly chickpeas and peanut butter), which I didn’t eat a ton of but I imagine was causing some of the bloating and inflammation as well.

I’ve been focusing on getting in other nutrient dense foods such as sardines, salmon, grass fed meat and eggs and healthy fats like grass fed ghee and coconut oil. I thought I ate a lot of fat before, but now that I’m tracking, I never came close to the 90-100g that I’m eating now. It’s been an adjustment but it feels good! Even though it sounds like a lot of fat and very little carbs, I have been learning balance more than anything through this process.

In addition to losing the bloat, I’ve noticed some other benefits. I am much less hungry and hardly snack. I don’t wake up hungry so I am easily able to keep the fasting window between dinner and breakfast about 14 hours. My digestion is improved and am more, um, “regular.” I don’t overeat. I experience little to no sugar cravings. My skin is clear. I’m sure I’ll notice more in the weeks to come!

Have you ever tried a low carb diet like keto? I had been so resistant to the idea of it, but now that I’m doing it, I love it!



Whole 30 - Halfway There!

Today is day 15 of the Whole30 and I can’t say enough good things about it. The Whole30 is a 30 day challenge during which you give up all grains, dairy, legumes, sugars and alcohol. It focuses on eating a whole food diet. You can read more about it here.

Here are some details about my Whole30 journey!

Why I decided to do the Whole30

I was more than ready to do some type of clean-eating reset or elimination diet when I started. After giving birth, I have been hanging on to about 10 extra pounds. And I felt it. I was still eating healthy, but no where near how I once ate before pregnancy. Once pregnancy was over, the breastfeeding hanger kicked in. I felt like I had lost all control of what and how much I was putting in my mouth. I knew it wouldn’t last forever and would slow down once Rory started eating solids, so I gave myself some grace until he reached 6 months.

In addition to feeling heavy and weighed down, I had also been experiencing some pretty bad digestive issues since giving birth (I’ll spare you the details). I had found that I had a sensitivity to nuts through Nutrition Response Testing, and avoiding them definitely made a difference, but the problem wasn’t completely handled.

How I’m Feeling

I feel AMAZING! I want to shout it from the roof tops. Seriously. For the first time in a year and a half, I finally feel like “myself” again. Obviously my body will never be exactly the same as it was, but I at least feel comfortable in my skin.

My digestive symptoms are GONE. I have not experienced one “episode” since starting the Whole30. At this point, I am in no rush to introduce any of the forbidden foods, but I am curious to find out what was causing this issue. Before the Whole30, symptoms would flare when I ate nuts; however, I started eating small amounts of nuts a few days ago and my body is handling them just fine.

I am nicer. I experienced a little bit of postpartum depression and anxiety after giving birth. Nothing crazy, but my mind and emotions were not in a good place, and it was clear through my behavior (mostly just at home. Poor Pat.) I only noticed this in the past few days, but since January, I stopped snapping, I’m crying less and when I’m in a stressful situation, I’ve been able to handle it much more gracefully.

What I’m Eating

I’ve been having so much fun cooking! I’m not creative when it comes to making my own recipes. But I’ve been cooking a lot so I thought I’d share some good recipes I’ve found with you all!

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Breakfast

  • Sautéed sweet potato and apples with cinnamon, almond butter and coconut yogurt. Make sure you buy sugar free.

  • Chia pudding. Mix 1 cup non dairy milk of choice with 3 Tbs chia seeds. Stir and let sit over night. In the morning, pour into a bowl and top with almond or sunflower butter, coconut shreds, blueberries and pumpkin seeds.

  • Banana egg scramble. Heat up 1 Tbs coconut oil over low medium heat. Mash a banana and add to the pan. Stir for about two minutes, until fragrant. Whisk two eggs with a little non dairy milk, cinnamon and about 1/2 - 1 Tbs of each hemp and chia seeds. Add to the pan and stir as if you were making scrambled eggs. It’s done when the eggs are cooked through. Add to a bowl with almond butter, blueberries and coconut yogurt.

  • Paleo Cereal

  • Eggs, bacon, roasted potatoes. Classic!

Lunch

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  • Tuna salad made with homemade or a whole30 complaint mayo. Add some chopped veggies for a crunch. Serve in romaine lettuce or collard wraps.

  • Turkey “sandwich” (make sure turkey has no nitrates, sugar or antibiotics) with avocado, sprouts, spinach on a roasted eggplant “bun”

  • Big salad with roasted veggies, avocado, protein of choice, seeds and a compliant dressing.

  • Leftovers!

Dinner

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Snacks (not typically allowed but #breastfeeding)

  • Almond Pulp Crackers

  • Guacamole and Plantain Chips

  • Hardboiled eggs

  • Flax crackers

  • Date dipped in nut butter or tahini

Other

  • Almond milk (soak 1 cup almonds over night. strain and add to blender with about 3 cups water. blend on high for 2 minutes. Use cheese cloth or a nut milk bag to strain. I put a large mason jar in a bowl and put a strainer on top of that, and squeeze the nut milk bag on top. this helps to double strain and avoid a huge mess). Or make cashew milk, which is similar but you don’t have to strain!

  • Homemade Mayo from Whole30 cookbook