Sunday, December 28, 2014

The First Trimester: Feeling Happy, Excited and Nauseated

Hello, and welcome to your first Trimester! Although it's a very happy and exciting time, I'll warn you... it's not all fun and games here. I'm currently 10 weeks pregnant and most of the time I feel like a cancer patient, except instead of losing weight, I'm gaining. All kidding aside... I feel very blessed to have a little life growing inside me and I already can't wait to meet the little fella (yes... cliche alert!... I already think I'm having a boy). HOWEVER, that being said, I'd like to take this time now to describe, in extreme detail, just how awful I feel and also share tips and tricks I've learned to help you survive this "wonderful time in your life".

Let's start off by discussing FOOD

It's a love-hate relationship at best right now. Every day is a new food craving partnered with a corresponding & opposite food aversion.  The really messed up part is that today's food aversion could very well be the food you were craving just yesterday! Let me elaborate... for example: I was craving pineapple last week. So, I bought a big, delicious, ripe pineapple and ate a crap load of it. The next day, I was completely repulsed by the idea of eating pineapple and a few days later threw out the remaining pineapple out of shear disgust. Super! 

Most of the day I feel hungry but at the same time I'm completely grossed out by food. An empty stomach is when you're most likely to feel the most nauseous and it's probably the worst time to try to eat. But eating will help the nausea. At first water was too hard on my stomach so I drank Gatorade which seemed to sit better.

At first, when I was about 4-5 weeks pregnant I was craving the typical "pregnancy foods" like pickles, ice cream, McDonald's Cheeseburgers and potato chips (*note: my nausea didn't kick in until week 6). Now, at 10 weeks all that stuff is a big turn off! I can barely eat anything that's overly sweet (like cookies or chocolates), or anything deep fried, or meat, ugh! It's all super gross-balls for me right now. But by tomorrow it could all change. My husband can't keep up with the daily changes so now everyday he just asks if I'm still eating: "hard boiled eggs on toast", or "all bran cereal with skim milk", "cheese & crackers" or "baked potatoes"... all of which I am currently tolerating pretty well. The absolute worst offenders for food right now is: chicken, salad/lettuce, garlic, onions, fried eggs, fish, beef (any kind of meat really), hot food (as in temperature), chocolate, coffee and anything that has a super strong odor. 

Which brings me to my next topic...

Sense of SMELL!

Ok, so if your reading this article from another part of the world I can probably smell you right now. I can smell the coffee in Brazil. If you quit smoking in 2003 you probably smell like an ashtray to me. It's not a myth about pregnant women having an enhanced sense of smell and I seriously feel so bad for dogs right now. Their sense of smell is a million times better than humans. Life must be so awful for them. An enhanced sense of smell is believed to be a large part of what makes pregnant women feel nauseous. It's the fact that everything stinks. My kitchen is the worst place for me to be right now because I can smell all of the food in the fridge, the disgusting food decomposing in the compost (even though there's only 3 things in it), the disgusting garbage and even clean dishware smells dirty to me. I literally have to hold my breathe every time I open the fridge door. My husband normally has a really keen sense of smell but he says he doesn't notice anything 'off' meanwhile I'm constantly ranting about how gross our house smells.

To cope with the overwhelming odor of everything I started closing my bedroom door and opening the window for fresh air. When I feel nauseated and overwhelmed by 'kitchen smells' I can go to my bedroom and it's cool and smells like fresh air. Also, having a hot bath with nice smelling body wash or bubble bath can be a nice escape and relaxing.

I used to LOVE coffee! I was one of those crazy coffee lovers. I was so addicted that it was the one thing I would never give up for Lent and I always felt so guilty that I would never surrender that one thing for Baby Jesus, but I figured he'd forgive me every year anyway... so I guess we're cool. But NOW, I cannot stand the smell of fresh brewed coffee or the taste of it... it's on the worst offender list. And it's so putrid to me that I don't even miss it or feel sad about it. The closest I can get to drinking coffee is instant decaf coffee but that's only when I'm trying to 'trick my bowels' into having a poop.

Which brings me to my next topic... (*TMI Alert*)


Or lack there of I should say. I used to have great poops! Sometimes two or three big, healthy cattle cookies a day! Life was great! NOW, I'm lucky if I can squeeze out one crusty, little chicken nugget every 48 hours. Whether it be due to the progesterone that slows down the intestinal tract mobility or all of the iron in the prenatal vitamins... there's definitely been a big 'hold up' at the poop factory during this pregnancy.

Through trial and error over the past 5 weeks I have just recently been having better success in this area. Here are a few things I've done to help out my Pooper:

1) I started eating all bran cereal everyday for breakfast
2) Instead of just eating soda crackers for nausea I've started snacking on baby carrots and dip as
    well (more fiber)
3) Drinking more water and fluids (aim for 1-2 liters a day)
4) I've opted for a lower iron multivitamin paired with a separate folic acid vitamin (which my
     pharmacist said was fine)
5) Orange flavored Metamucil in plain, cold water or mixed into a fruit smoothie
6) I started walking more (sometimes twice a day)

I think suffering from constipation was also contributing to my nausea. When you think about your gut being full of rotting, 4 day-old turds how could you not feel like gagging???

Which brings me to my biggest, most annoying problem thus far...


Oh Lord, the nausea! I think I'd rather have severe pain than nausea. I haven't thrown up YET... but, I constantly feel 'on the verge'. I can't imagine how bad it must be for women who throw up constantly and even have to be hospitalized with dehydration. I must seem like a total 'complainy-pants' to you guys who have suffered worse. I'm still going to complain though. What's the point of having your own blog if you can't rant every now and then?

So, I basically feel awful everyday. Morning sickness is a LIE! It should be called 'All Day" sickness and for me it gets worse as the day goes on. The evenings are the worst. I find as much as I don't want to do anything, getting out in the fresh air and going for a walk is always really helpful. Another great, enjoyable escape from feeling nauseated is a Big... Long... Delicious... NAP! (Haha! I know where you thought I was heading with that build up, but... no!  It was a penis that got me into all this mess and I'm not having anything to do with it for while ;)   

I find peppermint candies are great for a quick fix. Lemon water with ice is also quite refreshing. A lot of articles say ginger tea or ginger candies are helpful but I find the smell of ginger too strong right now. As soon as I wake up I drink a big glass of cold water and eat a few soda crackers which really helps counter the build up of acidic gastric juices. Brushing your teeth after meals helps because sometimes the lingering taste of food in your mouth can become really gross and bitter. There is an acupressure spot on the inside of your wrist that if you push hard into it it's supposed to help with nausea. There are bracelets you can buy specifically for it that have little balls that press into the spot. I have yet to try those out but I'd like too!

Another trick is not letting yourself get hungry. I have to eat every hour or two just to keep the nausea at bay. When I go to work or if I know I'll be out of the house for a few hours I have a little bag of snacks with me and water. I find that really helps! I have honey-oat granola bars (which aren't too sweet), clementines, apples, yogurt with granola, cheese and crackers, water and juice boxes. I feel like the official Snack Lady. It's the winter season here in Canada so they all keep really well in the car. The key is small, frequent meals/snacks. 

My doctor prescribed me a medication called Diclectin which is used for treating nausea in pregnant women. I did my own research on this drug before taking it and it's labelled as "Probably Safe" which, when you're pregnant, really doesn't make you feel safe at all. I've taken it for a few weeks and am now trying to take it more sporadically only when I feel I really need to. I figure the less medication I take while pregnant the better but, if I can have some much needed relief from nausea here and there I'll take that too! The medication doesn't completely take away the nausea but I find it definitely does help. It's a long acting pill so you take it at bedtime to help for the morning nausea (and it also helps you sleep) or you take it in the morning to help with afternoon/evening nausea.

Let's talk about Boobs!

My boobs are two things right now... Huge & Sore! One week after finding out we were expecting I had to go out and by a new bra because I immediately went from C cup to a D cup! Yikes!

Not only are my breasts gigantic, but they are sooooo sore! It's like constant pre-menstrual boobs. Big and sore and constantly in the way.  My aunt sent me these great Marilyn Monroe Sports Bras with removable cups that are super comfortable. She said later on in her pregnancy it helped for her to sleep with the sports bra on because having 'the girls' all willy-nilly all over the place was more painful. I also have a more bust-minimizing sports bra that I used to wear when I was exercising but now I wear it more regularly when I want to feel like I have 'normal' sized boobs OR when I want a bit less jiggle and bounce! Everything in moderation right?

Weight Gain

Soooo, I'm currently in this really awesome phase of pregnancy where I'm not my normal weight (I've gained about 5lbs) BUT... I don't look pregnant either! So, I basically just look like a women who let herself go and ate too many Christmas cookies and drank too much Eggnog over the holidays. Great! As a typical women, even at a 'healthy weight', I typically thought I needed to lose weight and tone up most of the time. So I have to keep reminding myself that I'm pregnant, and a small amount of weight gain at first is OK. Unfortunately, I read this one article that said you shouldn't gain any weight in your first trimester, and after further research I see now that that's complete Horse S*@t... but the words still haunt me to this day lol.

Here's a better depiction of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain:

My regular jeans no longer fit properly and are very uncomfortable. At first I would just keep squeezing myself into them thinking to myself, "It's too early on to be gaining weight!". Until I read a great article about another woman's experiences during her first trimester. She encouraged other pregnant women to stop trying to fit into their 'regular clothes' and just go out and buy a pair of pants that fit properly and allow yourself to feel comfortable. The writer even suggested that first trimester women should get a pair of stretchy maternity pants... which I did! And it's been amazing! So comfortable! I think it also helps reiterate the fact that You Are Pregnant... and you're just going to get bigger so get used to it! lol  I also went to Old Navy and found the 'Sweetheart boot cut' jeans I normally wear and bought a pair in a size 10 (my regular pair is a size 6). They are still a bit too big, but they are comfortable and I have some room to grow in them still!  It's amazing how much better you feel when you're wearing clothes that actually fit!

Well, there you have it! I hope you find this blog post both entertaining and informative. Best of luck with baby making OR (after reading this article) deciding to adopt instead!

What did you find helpful during your 'queasy' first trimester?


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas: Consumerism vs. The Spirit of Giving

The older I get the more I notice people saying, "Christmas is for kids", or "Christmas is all about consumerism"... they really seem to miss out and forget the wonderful meaning of the holiday season.

I still feel very much like a big kid inside and I think it's great to remember our childlike hope and excitement at Christmas time. The spirit of giving and generosity is so special and needs to be kept alive. Not only does Giving bless the Receiver with a gift, but more importantly it fosters the spirit of Charity for the Giver. The holiday season has definitely grown into a massive consumption of 'stuff' and some people even go into debt buying elaborate gifts for everyone.

Although it's important not to get 'wrapped up' in the excessive consumerism that society has turned Christmas into, it is still vital to remember that giving to other people shouldn't mean you have to break the bank. And it doesn't mean you always have to find the 'perfect gift'. Sometimes I think people get over stressed about what gifts they're giving or how much they have to spend on each person, that they forget what the season is all about. It's simply and beautifully the act of Giving. It doesn't have to be exactly what the person wanted. It doesn't have to be perfect and super thoughtful. It can be the simplest, smallest act of giving and doing for another. It's the spirit of Charity and the act of blessing one another.

Making homemade gifts is a great economical way to share with someone not only a delicious sweet treat or cute hand-knit wash clothes, but it also shares the gift of your time and energy. Spending time with one another and giving the gift of your presence and attention is another priceless way to give to your loved ones. Even the act of taking the time to write out a letter telling someone you're thinking of them or appreciate having them in your life is a very thoughtful and generous gift. It could even be simply running an errand or shoveling for an older friend or relative, or maybe helping a new mom out by cleaning her house or making a few ready made meals.

No matter how little you have or how insignificant it seems, there is always something you can do for someone else.

When you feel overwhelmed by the demands and pressure of the Christmas season don't feel discouraged. Remember that giving and doing for one another is an act of Love and it doesn't have to be overly complicated.  Simplify the season and remember to cherish the time you have with loved ones.

                     Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Bootsy xoxo

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Why You're Not Losing Weight

    12 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight

#1.You think Muffins are Healthy

In all seriousness, donuts are actually better for you than muffins. That being said I'm not suggesting people start eating donuts everyday however, in comparison to each other, donuts tend to have less calories, less sugar and less fat than muffins. Check out this link for further info:  Donuts vs. Muffins

#2.You hear Nutritionists say, "Eat More Fruits and Vegetables", BUT all You do is Eat More Fruit 

Now, before I get pummeled by a fruit salad for making this statement let me just clarify that fruit is definitely a healthy source of antioxidants, fiber and vitamins. However, people do tend to forget that fruit is loaded with calories and a specific fruit sugar called 'fructose' which doesn't make you feel full after you eat it. Fructose is different from eating plain old sugar. When consumed, sugar stimulates the release of insulin in the body. High levels of insulin are one of the signals that tell your brain you're full. Fructose however, does not stimulate an insulin response therefore your brain doesn't get the message that you're full.

Obviously, fruit tastes better than vegetables, but if you're looking to lose fat try opting for more vegetables and less fruit. Check out this link for more info: Eating too much Fruit can make you Fat

#3.You're Not Eating enough Lean Protein

This is usually the hardest part of any healthy eating plan because it requires some prep work and planning ahead. But when it comes to losing weight, feeding your muscles properly is definitely worth the effort!

Protein is the fundamental building block for the growth and repair of muscles, organs and cells in your body. You want to 'feed' your muscles because it's the muscles in your body that help to burn calories. Your resting metabolic rate (calories burnt doing nothing essentially) is directly related to your muscle mass. It is also statistically proven that after consuming protein people tend to feel more full and satisfied for longer. 

For more info check out this link: Boost your Metabolism with Lean Protein

#4.You're not Planning Ahead

Getting organized is a big part of setting yourself up for weight loss success. Eating healthy usually takes more prep time. If you end up starving at the end of the day with no healthy food options to turn to you're likely going to reach for a something that's quick and full of calories. I usually will cook up 5 or 6 chicken breasts at a time so I've got some 'ready-to-eat' protein available for any meal. I also tend to prepare several meals worth of any food I'm cooking whether it be rice, vegetables, tofu or meat. You can also boil up a few eggs at a time, or have pre-cut and washed veggies in the fridge as a quick and healthy snack. Preparing lunch the night before sounds like a no-brainer however, I see a lot of co-workers who are rushed in the morning and end up having to buy lunch at work. Work place cafeterias are well known 'Dens of Diet Sabotage' waiting to temp you in when you're starving and short on time. Planning ahead will definitely help you to lose weight and keep on track!

#5.You're Drinking your Calories

Calorie laden drinks are definitely a huge culprit when it comes to trouble losing weight. 

I'm always surprised to see people mindlessly gulping away hundreds of calories at one sitting and wondering why they're having trouble losing weight. Whether it be over sized bottles of juice, soft drinks, iced tea, sports drinks, chocolate milk, alcohol or Large Double-Doubles (or Triple-Triples even) from Tim Hortons, people everywhere are over doing it on the beverages!!!

Everyone just needs to settle down!

If you're looking for vitamins and antioxidants eat a piece of fruit instead of drinking the fruit juice. Drink skim or 1% milk instead of chocolate milk. AND... unless you're an Olympic athlete or a marathon runner you should never, EVER cosume Sports drinks. They are crazy full of calories and carbohydrates. I know it sounds super boring but WATER is BEST. 

For more info check out this link :)  Hidden Calories in your Drinks

#6.You Think You Can "Out Workout" a Bad Diet. 

The following may trigger a response that sounds something like, "Ummm.... Obviously!", BUT... just so we're clear, going to the gym does not cancel out the "Post-Workout Poutine" that you eat afterwards. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to "out exercise" poor eating choices. There are differing theories on this topic, but just remember 'Diet trumps Working Out' any day of the week. Given the option of either eating clean or working out, eating clean will help you drop excess weight better and faster. Some body builders say that 80% of how you look is diet... and I completely agree!

You may see people who are of a healthy weight, or slightly under weight, eating really fattening foods and think to yourself, "Well, they're eating junk food and they're not fat... so I should be able to eat that too right?"  WRONG. There's a difference in daily caloric intake needs for those who are merely 'maintaining' their body weight as opposed to those who are trying to 'lose' body weight. When it comes to the phase of maintaining one's body weight there's a bit more wiggle room with eating extra calories. But if you're reading this blog you're probably not at the phase yet ;)

#7.You're Not doing Resistance Training

Whenever people start working out to lose weight they mainly focus on increasing their cardiovascular exercises and forget the importance of resistance training. Muscles are one of the main contributors your bodies metabolism. Even while your at rest your muscles are burning calories constantly. By doing resistance training your activating your muscles, as well as increasing your muscle mass, and therefore increasing your resting metabolic rate. Larger muscle means more calories and fat are being burned!

#8.a)"You're Portions are Wrong" AND/OR b)"You Binge eat on Healthy Foods"

Just because you're eating healthy doesn't mean you get to eat a huge portion of it. I typically see this with the more tasty, 'healthy' foods, for example: brown rice, whole wheat pasta & bread, Fruit, low cal popcorn or rice cakes. These items are all healthy within reason. Healthy foods are only as healthy as the portion size in which they are consumed. Excess calories (whether it be from healthy or unhealthy food) will be stored as fat and will ultimately lead to weight gain.

For more info check out:
Portion Control and Weight Loss

#9. You're Over Doing it on the Condiments.

Food condiments can be extremely high in both sugar and fat content and can be a real detriment to losing weight simply because they often get over looked. Some of the major culprits are: mayonnaise, creamy salad dressings, sour cream, ketchup, syrup and jam. Just two tablespoons of Ranch dressing on a salad can add 150 calories. Mayonnaise can add 100 calories to your sandwich in a mere one tablespoon portion. For a healthy substitution try olive oil and red wine vinegar or lemon juice on a salad, and instead of using mayonnaise try avocado! Once again, remember your portions ;)

Check out this article for more healthy substitutes:

#10. You Over Eat "Low Fat" Alternatives

Just because a food is labelled "low fat" or "light" doesn't mean it's healthy and it doesn't mean you can eat more of it. 

Typically the companies that produce these foods have tried to find a way that they can make a low fat alternative taste really good. To achieve this they add more sugar. If you look at the nutritional information and compare the two you'll see the 'low fat' version will tend to have more sugar and carbohydrates than the 'regular' one. It's better to buy the regular, full fat version of food items and just stick to the proper portion sizes, or find a different, healthier substitute entirely.

This can be particularly important with individuals who suffer from diabetes. See the link included:

#11. You Dine Out and/or Order Take Out Too Often:

Of course it's fun to eat out at restaurants and get delicious, quick take out food... but you seriously need to limit how often you do this. Typical restaurant dishes are extremely high in hidden fat and calories. Before your dinner even hits the table you may have consumed several pieces of bread and butter, adding up to an extra 300 calories! Even though some menus include calorie counts of their dishes, unfortunately these can often be inaccurate. By preparing your own meals at home you know exactly what your eating and can safely keep in line with your weight loss goals.

For detailed eating out tips check out this article:

#12. You let yourself Starve

One of the biggest traps you can fall into when trying to lose weight is letting yourself get to the point where you are starving. By this point your body starts to panic and holds on to those fat cells for dear life. By allowing yourself to become desperately hungry you're more likely to eat convenience foods that are high in fat and sugar. You also enter the danger zone of potential Binge Eating. No matter how strong your Will Power is, this is a dangerous area for even the most disciplined individuals. Don't let yourself starve. Don't skip meals thinking you'll lose weight faster. Set yourself up for success. Have healthy snack options readily available either at home or in your purse while you're out running errands. 

For more information on the negative effects of starving yourself check out this article:

Well, there you have it!  I hope you find this information both helpful and encouraging. 

Remember: your goal is to lose fat and gain muscle, Also keep in mind that slower results, meaning 1-2 lbs lost per week, are more likely to last long term. Best of luck with your weight loss goals! :)


Friday, October 17, 2014

Top 9 London Fall 2014 Fashion Trends

Having just spent a week in London, England on my honeymoon one of the biggest differences I took notice of was their unique, trendy and effortless sense of Fashion. Hailing from the small Canadian University town Kingston, Ontario, I wasn't overly surprised by this noticeable difference in Fashion ;)

Here are the Top 9 Fashion trends that I noticed while frolicking about in London Town... Enjoy!

1. One of the first differences I noticed was the opposing color pallets in style. There was definitely a palpable sense that "Black is the new Black" in the U.K. Most clothing, even the denim, was all black.

2. One specific trend I noticed was black denim jeans with a single horizontal slit at each knee, so that when walking the viewer is given these quick little flashes of white, exposed skin with each stride. It was extremely rare to see anyone wearing blue jeans, and upon noticing this I avoided wearing the one pair I brought with me as to avoid any embarrassing "fashion victim tourist" labeling. lol

3. In contrast to the love of all things 'dark and mysterious', there was an abundance of these cotton candy-like, pastel Pinks and Blues often seen in the form of large, over sized, soft textured coats and fluffy, cropped sweaters and jackets.

4. The color Grey was another huge Fall Fashion trend I witnessed on the downtown streets of London. From large, over sized coats and soft, cashmere sweaters to well tailored, wool skirts and trousers, the Grey color scheme was in full effect.

5. Another surprising street fashion trend was in the absence of stilettos and high-heeled shoes. I did see some very lovely chic, sophisticated black pumps from time to time, but mostly the footwear of choice were lower heeled or flat ankle boots, riding boots or simple ballet flats. I occasionally saw young women wearing these incredibly thick, chunky rubber soled shoes, sometimes with shoes laces, that mostly resembled athletic foot wear.

Interestingly enough, most times these 'high fashion athletic shoes' were paired with dresses, skirts and outfits that you would naturally would think to pair with a sleek stiletto. Like seen here:

6. Leather motorcycle jackets are definitely very popular and were seen paired with a wide variety of different looks. Sometimes these jackets were worn with black denim pants and ankle booties or dressed up with more chic and sophisticated ensembles.

7. Scarfs were very commonly seen on the local London women. This is definitely one of the key components to nailing the "UK Look".

8. Another popular trend is large, over sized coats, ponchos, capes and cardigans to keep sophisticated London women warm and cozy while they're out making Fashion headlines!

9. Another huge Fashion trend in London is the pairing of thick, black nylons with either twirly, short skirts or basic, tailored short-shorts.

Well... there you have it! Go out ladies and get yourself some of these hot, trendy "London Looks" and feel like the International Woman of Mystery that you ARE!! :)


Friday, September 12, 2014

Chris Pratt To Host Season Premiere of SNL

It has just been announced that Chris Pratt will host the Saturday Night Live's 40th season premiere and Star Lord fans couldn't be happier!  If you haven't seen Guardian's Of The Galaxy yet then get off your laptop and get to a theater ASAP! You may also recognize him from the T.V. show Parks and Recreation where he was slightly more 'soft' and 'rotund'. Hey.. I say more to love!

For his role as Star Lord he basically went from looking like this:

To looking like THIS:

Saweet Baby Jesus on Christmas morning.... that is pretty amazing!

Some people don't realize this but he's also married to the cute and super funny Anna Faris! (and they have wee one!)  She's known for movies such as The House Bunny, Just Friends (two of my favourites) and Scary Movie!

Be sure to tune in to NBC on Saturday, September 27th for the SNL premiere with musical guest Ariana Grande.