Getting back on the horse

I had two big, beautiful boys for my friends a little over four weeks ago. They are happy and healthy and thriving with their daddies. One weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces, and the other 6 pounds 11 ounces! I gained 18 bazillion pounds in order to provide them with the best possible start in life. My biggest pregnancy struggle was letting myself gain weight and trying not to feel awful about it.

Now I know for some women, the baby weight just “falls right off” after giving birth. I am not one of those women. Extra weight sticks to me like…well, a bunch of fat. I was going to come up with a humorous metaphor but my brain is coated with an extra layer of fat and I can’t think of anything.

I’m exhausted! I’m still huge! And I can’t do anything about it yet! I can’t exercise yet because of c-section surgery, and I’m not supposed to try to lose weight yet per my doctor. However, I feel like crap and really want to start low carbing again to try to feel better. If my doctor gives me the go-ahead, I’m going to start July 15, six weeks post-twins.

I’ll weigh in that morning and start on a two-week Induction phase. For those of you uninitiated into the Atkins world, Induction is a severe limiting of carbs to jump-start weight loss. I love it. It’s such a huge motivator and confidence booster to lose a few pounds right away. Also, for me, it’s a chance to acclimate my taste buds to not expect sugar. By the end of the two weeks, carb cravings are generally nonexistent for me.

So Monday, July 15, is my start date. Who’s with me? I’ll post my new weight loss chart that day. In the meantime, please contact me if you have any questions about Induction or carrying healthy, happy twins for friends…I’m pretty good at both!

Pea Soup

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I had a craving for pea soup, but I don’t love ham or its relatives. I found the best recipe for ham-free pea soup here. Yum!

I followed Ina’s recipe as is, minus the crispy ham on top. I’m sure bacon or pancetta would be great on top, too–but it doesn’t need it. Make sure to use a decent extra virgin olive oil, one that’s actually made from olives and has a greenish tint. My grocery store favorite is California Olive Ranch (no, they’re not paying me to say so!) There are generally coupons for it every few months in the paper, too.

Prego update: I’m 25 weeks pregnant with the surrogate twins. I had an ultrasound a few days ago and both boys were doing flips. I don’t know how they have room in there since I look as if I’m full term. It’s going to get interesting as the weeks progress; I already get out of breath from walking up my stairs! Yikes.

I’ve gained an ungodly amount of weight but I’m eating pretty well. Today is leftover pea soup and grassfed sirloin day. I might even throw in a baked yam. It’s normal to gain a ton with twins, it’s just hard for me as someone who has struggled with my weight for so long. I’m excited to get healthy again after the twins are born. I’m a weirdo, right? I should probably be enjoying my “license to eat” a bit more.

Prego Giant

Yesterday was 20 weeks pregnant with the twins. That’s more than halfway, since they won’t let me go more than 38 weeks. Last week the dads came for an ultrasound, and we found out that both babies are boys! The dads are pretty excited, though I also think the reality of having two babies at once is setting in for them.

I look as if I’m 7 months pregnant, maybe more. I actually have gained EXACTLY enough weight for the twins. It’s a lot, but I’m shocked I haven’t gained more. I am still focusing on eating mostly healthy, organic, grassfed, real food. In fact, I bought two tiny grassfed sirloin steaks for myself to cook in the next day or two. Does anyone have any cooking ideas? I’ve never made sirloin before. I’ll probably just salt, oil, and sear it, then top with a bit of pepper and butter at the end.

Pregnant and carbing…

Well, folks…as a few of you know, I’m 13 weeks pregnant with twins.  Don’t worry, they’re not mine!  I’m having them for good friends of mine, and they’re genetically unrelated to me.  Now that we got that out of the way, second major reveal: I’m eating carbs!

Unlike my first pregnancy, this one has left me feeling generally unwell and unable to eat much.  Unfortunately, with twins, I am supposed to be eating 3500 calories per day.  Yes, you read that right.  Even using butter, full-fat meats and dairy, that’s impossible for me without adding in some carbs.  I’ve even had to resort to Saltines when I couldn’t stomach anything else.  The horror!

I’m still attempting to eat organic when I can, low carb when I can, but my first priority has to be for the twins’ health.  If that means I have to suck down the Frankendrink Ensure with High Protein to get enough calories, so be it.  I’m hoping once I feel a little better I’ll be able to stomach healthier foods.  Even my awesome low carb shake turns my stomach right now!  Boo!

If anyone out there has been in a similar situation, I’d love to hear from you.

PS–I thought about posting my weigh-in but I would probably cry.  I actually haven’t gained much yet, but even as someone overweight to begin with, I’m supposed to gain 31-40 pounds for the twins.  Whoa.

 

Chipotle Black Beans

I confess: I haven’t made beans from scratch since I was a teenager. I never, ever think to buy dried beans while I’m at the grocery store. Recently I’ve been on a mission to eat more budget-friendly, while maintaining a healthy, organic-when-possible diet. Dried beans = a lot of filling food for very little money. With a few cheapo ingredients you can make an exceptional meal!

1 16-ounce bag dried black beans
2-3 tablespoons kosher salt (halve if using table salt)
2 bay leaves (optional but add a nice flavor)
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
1 tablespoon kosher salt (halve if using table salt)

Dump beans onto a sheet pan and pick over for stones. I always thought that was an urban legend, and of course I had a small white stone in this bag.

Pour beans into a big bowl.

Dissolve 2-3 tablespoons kosher salt into water.

Pour over beans and refrigerate overnight. If you’re in a time crunch, you can just rinse the beans and triple (yes triple) the cooking time.

When you’re ready to cook your beans:

Rinse and drain beans.

Dice one onion and sauté over medium heat in a tablespoon of oil in a 4-quart saucepan.

Mince or grate 3 or 4 cloves of garlic.

When onion is softened, after 4-5 minutes, add garlic and cook for about a minute.

Pour in beans and enough water to cover by an inch.

Put in a bay leaf or two if you have them. You could also add cilantro in this step if you don’t think it tastes like poison.

Bring to a boil (may need to turn up heat).

Turn down heat to simmer then cover and leave it alone for an hour.

Add a tablespoon or so of kosher salt and a few teaspoons of adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers (I finally find these in my grocery store after years of searching, Goya brand in the international foods aisle). Next batch, I’m going spicier and dicing a few peppers, and adding more adobo, but two teaspoons gave it a nice, mild spice.

Stir then return to a simmer and cover for another hour.

Taste, add more salt and more adobo if desired. I suggest simmering ten minutes or so if you add more adobo, to cook the adobo and meld the flavor into the beans. If the beans are still hard or “al dente,” they need to cook longer. I suggest slightly increasing your heat, then check the beans every ten to twenty minutes.

Serve over rice, with salsa, or eat them straight–you really can’t go wrong!

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