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Tag Archives: Health

I hope all of you had a wonderful (and safe!) New Year’s Eve!

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t been here much. I’ve been working on a new website! While this blog will always have a special place in my heart, I realized that I have outgrown it. I decided to start fresh, with a new focus that I’m super excited about! I’m not deleting this blog right now, but I won’t be posting here anymore.

I hope you’ll all join me at my brand-new site, AshleeFit.com. I have so many things planned!

For now, it’s still under construction…But my first post is up, and I’d love it if you would take a look!

Thank you to my wonderful readers…This blog has been so much fun, and was the perfect learning experience. I hope to see you all soon at AshleeFit.com!

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Is it just me, or is everyone having babies all of a sudden? I think there are at least five ladies I know that are expecting, and a handful recently welcomed little bundles. Where are all of these babies coming from?

Wait…never mind. I know where they come from.

Of course, whenever I talk to my expecting friends, the conversation ends up focusing on being healthy. I can remember being extremely conscious of my health during my pregnancy, and I know a lot of women feel the same way. Check out the nine tips I discovered that got me through that wild nine months** (including a couple to combat the dreaded morning sickness), and let me know what your tips are in the comments!

  1. Eat! Look, right now is not the time to count calories and go crazy avoiding carbs. Now is the time to eat! Your baby needs a lot of nutrients, so make sure your diet is full of fruits, veggies, and lean meats. Your doctor will discuss any foods you need to avoid (like raw fish).  As much as possible, stay away from a lot of junk food and sugary snacks. Otherwise? Go ahead and fill that plate…
  2. But don’t go hog wild. …But, you just said to eat! I know, but here’s the thing…You still have to be sensible about what, and how much of it, you’re putting in your body. Your doctor will talk to you about a reasonable amount of weight gain, and trying to stay close to that limit will help you continue to feel great through your pregnancy. Gaining too much weight can cause a number of issues that range from mild discomfort to dangerous for you and baby.
  3. Take that vitamin without feeling queasy. Prenatal vitamins are a must, but sometimes they can be a little hard to swallow (literally… have you seen those horse pills?!). Taking them on an empty stomach is a sure way to make you feel a little barfy, and I found that if I took mine mid-meal I could avoid that. Even if you can just eat a couple of crackers before and after taking your vitamin, it will help***.
  4. Combat that morning sickness with food! Try this tried-and-true from a friend of mine: Before going to bed, put an (unopened) bottle of water and a granola bar on your night stand. Before you even get out of bed in the morning, eat the granola bar and wash it down with some of the water. My friend did this every morning and swore it kept her morning sickness at bay. Keep snacks in your purse, and if you get that hungry/sickie feeling during the day you can get a little something in your stomach to settle it.
  5. Cherry Coke to the rescue? Ok, I know I just said to avoid sugary stuff but… This is a trick a nurse told me about. Whenever they have someone that’s got some pretty nasty nausea, they have the patient sip Cherry Coke. Something about the cherry syrup seems to calm the stomach. I’m not saying you should be chugging it by the gallon, but if a snack isn’t helping to calm the beast you might give it a shot.
  6. Breathe deep to avoid barfing. There are a lot of natural ways to calm the morning sickness monster, and a friend of mine sword by this one: Take a long, even, slow breath in through the nose. Release it slowly through pursed lips. Continue until you feel better. Sure, you might look silly stopping a conversation to do this, but I think you’d be more embarrassed if you barfed on your boss’s shoes!
  7. Exercise You don’t have to be as hardcore as the CrossFit mom, but a little physical activity every day will go a long way toward keeping you feeling great. Talk to your doctor first, but consider water aerobics. The water in the pool will support your belly, and your back might get a little relief!
  8. Don’t read all of those pregnancy books A friend of mine let me borrow a couple of hers when I first found out I was pregnant, and I think I got to chapter two before I had to put it down. It was terrifying! It was like going to a family reunion and listening to all of your female relatives drone on and on about their horror stories. Look, it may not be a bad idea to have one around for reference, but don’t sit down and read it cover to cover. You’ll only stress yourself out with all of the what-ifs you’re reading about.
  9. Find a doctor you trust I adored my OBGYN so much that now I actually look forward to my yearly poke-n-prods. She and I developed a wonderful relationship, and I trusted her completely. She was able to quiet my fears and I always felt like she was really listening to me. If you have a doctor you don’t feel comfortable with, go somewhere else. The rapport between you and your doc can set the tone for your entire pregnancy, and it’s a stressful enough time as it is. Do you really need to add not liking your doctor?

So there you have it, my favorite tips for a happy, healthy pregnancy. Do you have any tips to share? How did you fight the morning sickness monster?

** I may have been on The Doctors, but i am not one. Please get your doctor’s ok before doing anything!

** Please be cautious when taking any type of pill when you’re pregnant. There are some potential dangers out there that could put your baby at risk. Zofran, for example, is an anti-nausea medication that has been reported to cause birth defects. Please consult your doctor and do your research first!
Click here for more information.


Today marks the one – year anniversary of my three pound tumor removal. If you’re new around here, or if you just want to take a stroll down memory lane, click here, and here, and here, and of course here to read about Fred’s Twitter fame.

Anyway,  I won’t include actual pics of ‘ol Fred here, but they’re in the posts I’ve linked to above. Yes, including the infamous “tumor in a bucket” pic.

Getting that nasty thing removed was the best thing I’ve ever done for my health. I’ve felt better over this last year than I can ever remember feeling.

Going through a pregnancy with a giant tumor was pretty anxiety inducing. In the very beginning,  my family doctor told me I would be very high risk and would likely miscarry. Way to be positive, doc (for the record, I no longer go to that office). I spent a lot of sleepless nights worrying over my sweet little peanut. I couldn’t bring myself to share anything baby related on social media for fear that I’d lose him.

I found a wonderful (and infinitely more positive) doctor. She made us aware of risks, but in a way that was far less terrifying. I got to have an awful lot of ultrasounds, mostly because my little stinker would hid behind the tumor and the doc would have trouble finding his heartbeat. I always felt better after those appointments.

People tell me all the time that I “got the easy way out” because I had a C-section. Nothing about it was easy. A nurse at the hospital was kind enough to inform me that they were reserving a few bags of blood for me because, “you’re probably gonna need it.” Having a giant, blood sucking tumor just hanging out in your uterus makes your chances of hemorrhage go way up. I was almost convinced I would bleed to death before ever getting to see my baby.

The day my sweet boy was born, I cried a little from relief. He was here, he was safe and healthy. He was beautiful, with a head full of hair and eyes that seemed to see more than a brand new baby should. It was over.

And six months later, it was really over. Fred was removed, sent to be examined and then disposed of (so far as I know). I’m still a little bitter that I didn’t get to keep him. Women are having teddy bears made out of their placentas and I don’t get to keep my three pound tumor?! Bullshit.

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Left: The day before surgery Middle: The morning after. Right: Today

I had my annual poke n’ prod a couple of weeks ago, and my doctor has declared me to be tumor free, which was awesome news since the little mnfers tend to grow back. The longer I can keep from sprouting siblings for Fred, the longer I can put off a more drastic treatment…Namely, a hysterectomy.  I don’t know that I want more kids, but I know I don’t want to so firmly shut that door just yet.

So happy birthday Fred, wherever you are. I can’t say that I miss you but I do think of you often.


Yesterday was my last post-op appointment (catch up here, here, here, and here if you missed all of the surgery excitement)… After checking my incision my doctor announced that I was released and that I could (slowly) return to normal activities.

HOORAY!

Little does she know, I already started doing that. Actually, she probably does at least suspect… See, the morning after my surgery, she was checking on her patient across the hall from me…My door was open and she stuck her head into my room, probably expecting me to be sleeping (it was 6:30 am, after all). Instead, she discovered me shuffling around the room wearing pants. The look of bewilderment on her face was priceless, and when she asked what I was doing I could only be honest with her…

“Cleaning? Just straightening up, really… There were some things on my tray table I wanted to throw away…”

She just shook her head.

<End tangent>

So I asked if I could start working out. She gave me the ok as long as I didn’t overdo it…And this morning I knocked out my very first post-surgery workout.

Guys, I might have…maybe…possibly…Um, there’s a chance that I over did it a bit. Really just a teeny bit, though, because now I feel pretty awesome and, more importantly, I did not die.

did you die

I did not, sir!

So yesterday was a super great day because I got released AND I got to drive for the first time since my surgery. Today was also an awesome day, since I got to work out and I lifted O in his carseat for the first time. I thought it would rough since I went a month without doing it… I mean, it’s not like he got lighter… But no big deal!

Thank you to everyone that sent me well wishes, happy thoughts, prayers…and to everyone that has emailed or texted me to see how I was doing. It meant a lot to me that so many people cared about little ol’ me!

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I really wanted to title this post Magically Healing and Awesomely Wonderful Chicken and Wild Rice Soup… but that seemed a little long-winded. It’s true, though… this soup is practically guaranteed to cure what ails you.

Well, it’ll make you feel an awful lot better. Just for fun, I’ve included links to the health benefits of the ingredients so you know I’m not full of it. Well, at least not in this case.

Want to make it? Of course you do! You need:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 32 oz boxes plus one 10 oz can chicken stock (I use low sodium)

2 boxes long grain and wild rice mix (I used Uncle Ben’s)

1 red onion, chopped

3 or 4 stalks celery, chopped

2 or 3 regular carrots or a big handful of baby carrots, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bouquet garni (fresh rosemary, sage, thyme bundled in a coffee filter and tied with string)

Creole seasoning (I like Tony Chachere’s) or crushed red pepper

Ground ginger

Celery salt

Chicken bouillon

Ground black pepper

Salt

Fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper your chicken, then bake at 350 for 20ish minutes or until its internal temperature measures 170 degrees. Let cool.

Throw everything else in a stockpot over medium heat. Use as many carrots and celery stalks as you like. Go wild with the Creole seasoning and ginger or use small amounts if you’re not a fan of heat. If you really want lemon flavor use the juice of a whole lemon… I had half of a lemon leftover from making lemon cookies so I used that. In small amounts, you don’t really taste GINGER! or LEMON!, you just get a hint of each.

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it up and toss it in the soup.
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Put a lid on it and do some kitchen cleanup.

I like to remove the bouquet garni when things really get to bubbling. If you want a stronger herb flavor feel free to leave it in as long as you like. Give the soup a stir, put the lid back on, and leave it alone for 20 minutes or so.

You’ll know the soup is done when the carrots and celery have softened, and when the rice has poofed up. You can add more liquid at this point if you like…the rice will soak up a lot of the liquid and thicken the remaining broth. If you like a soupier soup go ahead and dump another can of chicken stock in.

If you find yourself with no chicken stock, use one bouillon cube dissolved in a cup of boiling water.

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Great googly moogly, this is good soup. Magic soup.

Serve it with lemon wedges, crackers, or crusty French bread and butter (my favorite).

 



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