When it comes to dieting I am more of the make healthier choices, watch your portions incorporate splurges when needed and do it for the long-term type of gal. I am not a huge fan of extreme diets that eliminate entire food groups at a time because for me they are not sustainable. Its definitely not because I don’t think they work. I have seen many successful people loose a great deal of weight and lead what for them is a healthier lifestyle. For me its simply because I have a hard time making a lifestyle out of it. Which overtime will equal a big fat FAIL.
The second I make the decision to eliminate a food group and do one of the more what I call extreme diets for quick weight loss, I immediately want what I shouldn’t be having. Say if I swear off carbs, I will immediately want a bagel and I never want a bagel. (We are talking pre-pregnancy here by the way.) I could probably go months without eating a bagel, however, the day that I decide carbs are off the table a bagel suddenly sounds amazing.
So on day one of the diet when I would normally eat yogurt and fruit or a banana with peanut butter for breakfast instead I want a huge bagel with cream cheese. Then for lunch a bagel burger and roasted bagel on bagel for dinner. Nothing else. Even if I do make it a day or even a few days carb free, there is just that inevitable pending carb binge in the near future. Which by the way is usually initiated with a glass of wine prior in hopes all inhibitions are lowered and I will be OK with my upcoming choices.
So, that in a nutshell is my personal spiral into food group elimination diet hell. I have learned overtime that if I make gradual healthy changes to my diet they become more of a lifestyle than a short-term fix. Now that’s just my own pathetic neuroses.
So, anyways, lets get to the point. Saturday morning, I woke up at the usual crack of dawn. I went through my daily internal argument, “just go back to sleep, the baby isn’t even awake yet…” Eventually I lose the battle and go in search for my phone flashlight app.
I started to review the stack of books I picked up the other day at the library. It took about ten minutes. And there it was, “Skinny Bitch Bun In The Oven,” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I want to be a skinny bitch pregnant girl. If it’s not too late of course, after the catastrophe that went down during my first trimester.
The first trimester of this pregnancy was 24/7 morning sickness. I was beginning to think that I would never feel good again. Food that briefly helped the nausea consisted of egg sandwiches on toast, bagels and cream cheese and children’s cereals. This period of time pretty much summed up what I consider a non-pregnant diet nightmare. What can I say? These babies are carb addicts! I have no qualm throwing them under the bus… my face is the only one showing here. They get to just shamelessly enjoy all of these carbs behind closed doors. Don’t we all wish…
So, now I’m pretty excited. I have wanted to browse some nutritious recipes and get new ideas. Liking vegetables again in the second trimester is a real perk and it opens up a whole plethora of recipe options. I begin reading the first few chapters, no drinking, smoking, and doing drugs… Check! Wow, these babies are so lucky, I’m doing so good so far. Then I got through the chapter, “Sugar Is Satan.” Any pride of any kind went out the window during this chapter. But that’s ok. Let’s get to the recipes. There is still time to turn this thing around. Then, there it was, Chapter 5, “Got Duped?” It was fifteen pages of horrifying, page turning, bad news. My world literally turned upside down. I am not going to even get into the chapters after that. You are on your own.
To briefly sum up Chapter 5, it reveals the awful truths of the dairy industry. It talks to the apparent manipulations that we have all been living with, ideas that have been ingrained in us at a young age, and the manufacturing process within this industry. We have all heard bits of information time and time again regarding the food industry as a whole, however, for me it was never anything eye opening and it was easy to get distracted and move on.
Let me just add a disclaimer here. Do not read on if you are not prepared to have to make any decisions in your future. I’m talking about decisions about anything. Wanting to learn more about the dairy industry, wanting to avoid it. I mean choosing to avoid is a decision and its not uncommon or something to be ashamed of. I’m sure advocates would tell you otherwise but I’m right there with you. If I am not ready and fully armed, I’m going to have to avoid until I am. It’s sad, I know but it’s my reality at this point in my life.
So I am sure as hell not going into any detail regarding anything I read. I found it very brave of these women, the authors, to have taken the opportunity to sideswipe you into being exposed to this controversial subject. I am feeling pretty confident that I am not the only pregnant woman that picked this book up looking for a miracle and hoping it was finally the magic answer to a healthy pregnancy and gorgeous pregnant body. Us pregnant gals can dream, ok? Don’t get me wrong, maybe if you made every change they suggest it would work. The authors are very attractive and thin! I guess I thought the big secret to being a “skinny pregnant bitch” was going to reveal itself in a more uplifting way verses the world crashing down all around type of way. What really got me was how the authors drove their points in by reminding you, “You and your baby are what you eat.” Oh, the guilt.
I’m not proud to say, it is sadly so much easier to be oblivious to the ins and outs of the dairy industry then be completely aware. This information makes me sad and life was so much easier before I read about it! I’m not proud of that statement at all. Knowledge is power. But now I have to make some changes. Damn, I was not ready for that! My 2-year old, an extremely picky eater loves her milk and yogurt, as I thought she should and now everything has been shattered. And by the way, let me say, dairy is in everything! I mean just after reading the dreaded Chapter 5, I got ready, went down stairs and made my usual bagel. Let me assure you, just doing my due diligence and feeding these babies… (Clearly NOT the magic answer to my “skinny bitch” pregnant body.) Half way through enjoying it I realize, “OMG, butter!” I’m sitting there eating butter moments after having been traumatized by dairy. This change is going to be a bigger change than I was prepared for.
Now, I am not recommending you read or not read this book but if you do just be prepared. The authors are very passionate, convincing and provide tons of sources that make it very difficult to turn a blind eye. You have very little choice about your actions after picking this book up. I have to shamefully admit that it is not ideal to completely eliminate dairy over night from my family’s life right now. But this is really in my head because of my daughter and two unborn babies.
So in typical, I read a book and now I need to change the world, irrational type of behavior the first step I took was eliminating whole milk. My 2-your old daughter drinks a lot of it so its going to be a challenge. I have begun to trial alternatives such as rice and coconut milk. She hasn’t shown much interest in it, but I will continue to seek other options and brands such as almond milk as well as incorporate calcium through other foods. This is going to take a lot of research and a bit more work to be able to accomplish successfully.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not as good as I wish I could be. I didn’t turn into an anti-dairy advocate overnight. I didn’t eliminate dairy completely from my families diet. However, it did raise a lot of questions for me. Where can I make subtle changes overtime? How can I make this a lifestyle verses a fad. Well, I can begin to browse other dairy free brands and seek out cost effective ones that can equally replace some of the foods that we eat on a daily basis all while avoiding breaking the bank. I can tap into my sister Jen who lives a vegan life in California with her husband and two children (small children for that matter that are being raised vegan as well)! Amazing. As well as continue to go to the library and learn as much as I possibly can.
We are a family on a tight budget, now more than ever. Wiping the pantries and refrigerator clean and completely starting over is not an option right now. Completely eliminating this food group seems daunting and if I don’t plan accordingly could easily only last for the short term instead of becoming a healthier way of life.
What I can promise and feel capable of doing is taking baby steps in the right direction. Gradually creating new habits with my family, making subtle changes overtime and working towards a healthier lifestyle together. For the time being, this is how we are going to have to go after having been scared into dairy submission.