Immune Me Green Juice

Sippin' my Immune Me Juice with my new Cuppow mason jar lid!

Sippin’ my Immune Me Juice with my new Cuppow mason jar lid!

I’m sort of pissed off that I’m sick with a disgusting chesty cough.  I’m pulling out all the stops in an attempt to heal myself (hopefully before New Years Eve so I can participate–a much as pregnant women are allowed–in the festivities!).  I spent most of yesterday in bed, today I did some gentle prenatal yoga in my pajamas and then ventured out to help Josh finish up his mural downtown (11th and Market!  Go check it out! or come participate in it on First Night 12/31).  Now I’m home, back in my PJ’s, drinking some Immune Me Green Juice from Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen.

For those of you who don’t know Kris Carr–she is an incredible inspiration.  After discovering she had an incurable stage four cancer in 2003, she decided that the triple organ transplant the doctor suggested did not sound like a great idea–but neither did dying–so she set off on a journey to find healing for herself.  She is not just alive today, but THRIVING, on a whole foods plant based diet.  The woman is amazing and she also happens to be a queen juicer. I figure, if making her own green Juice can help Kris Thrive in the midst of cancer, its probably a safe bet for helping out with my cough.

Juicing takes time–there’s washing, peeling, and cleaning of equipment involved.  It also can get a little expensive (but since I don’t really by medicine, those funds are just reallocated to veggies).  For these reasons, I have a hard time doing it on a consistent basis.  Green smoothies are much quicker and are my AM go to most days.  But this is the second time since October than I’ve had a nasty cough!  So, I made my way to the produce sections of a couple of my favorite stores and I loaded up on fruits and veggies for some serious juice healing.  Here is the recipe for the one I had this evening:

Immune Me (serves 2)

  • 2 green apples
  • 4 cucumbers
  • 1 inch piece ginger root
  • 1 lemon, peeled and quartered
  • 8 romaine leaves

Just wash them up, peel if using conventional (I bought conventional cucumbers and peeled them), and juice, baby, juice!

Advertisements

How my unborn son is teaching me to listen…

Comrades Ultra 2010--A reminder of what I'm capable of--letting my baby, body, and intuition guide me through pregnancy...looking forward to some hardcore runs next summer.

Comrades Ultra 2010–A reminder of what I’m capable of–letting my baby, body, and intuition guide me through pregnancy…looking forward to some hardcore runs next summer.

I write to you from my bed.  I’ve spent a majority of the day lazying around the apartment in my pajamas, only changing out of them to go for a walk at the park.  It seems as though Santa brought me a little chest cold.  Last year, I would have ran through it.  Not so much this year.  You see, the person growing inside my womb is teaching me so much already– mostly how to listen.

There are many things I expected to happen while I was pregnant.  I knew I would gain weight and that I’d probably be tired a lot.  I knew I’d have to reduce my mileage and speed.  What I wasn’t prepared for were all the little other crazy things that have happened to my body in the past 7 months.  Each phase of pregnancy has brought different challenges.  While I comfortably ran 13 miles the day after discovering I was pregnant and kept up weekly long runs of 2-2.5 hours until about 18 weeks, there were days during the first trimester that turned into giant sleep-athons–running was a distant dream.  As the nausea and exhaustion of the first trimester wore off, I felt like I was gaining strength in many ways.  While my runs were getting slower and shorter, I could still run relatively comfortably and I could still go hard in the agility class I do a couple times a week at the Y.  As the third trimester crept up on me and my belly began to really grow, my “runs” have turned into “run/walk/waddle” most days and somedays I can barely eek out a mile before stripping down, putting on my maternity bathing suit, and hitting the pool to get the rest of my workout in.

Here’s how he’s teaching me to listen:

1) Round Ligament Pain:

This began during my second trimester.  When I run (and now sometimes when I’m just walking) I get a horrible jabbing pain in my right lower abdomen.  Its similar to a very intense side stitch.  As my uterus grows to accommodate a growing little boy, the ligaments in my abdomen  have to stretch and thicken.  Nobody told me about this!  It has by far been the most constant irritant (aside from bladder issues) while running.  Wearing a maternity support belt helps some but when its really bad, I just have to slow to a walk…or sometimes just stop.

2)  Posterior Pelvic Pain (low back pain)

This also began in the second trimester but has become most painful in the last few weeks.  PPP is the most common type of back pain during pregnancy.  Its caused by several factors–weight gain, posture changes, ligaments loosening and preparing for birth.  Most of the time it is a dull ache that radiates into my butt but every once in a while, when I shift my weight to one side for example, it is an intense explosion of pain. My midwife recommend massage, chiropractic, and wearing a maternity belt– and swimming. Sigh.  On several occasions this pain has brought me to a stop while running and forced me to either take the day off or get in the pool.  Some nights, the pain feels likes its radiating at a diagonal from one side of my butt, through my vagina, to the other side of my butt.  These nights its hard to sleep.    Little man in my tummy, you’re worth it.

3) Compromised Immune System

Again, something that I don’t remember being told before I was pregnant.  My immune system feels so weak!  This is my second respiratory infection in the past few months.  This time, I’m doing my best to nurse it early.  Keeping as chilled as possible, drinking loads of lemon water, tea, and green stuff, soaking in baths… I’m not super sick, I totally would have ran through something like this when I wasn’t pregnant but the thought of getting sicker sounds miserable when I’m already quite uncomfortable.

4) Bladder Alert!

I get up about every two hours to use the loo now at night.  Its like clock work and I’m wondering if the this is his way of training me to wake up for feedings every few hours.  I have a routine down now–wake up, waddle to toilet and pee, blow my nose (pregnancy has also made me really stuffy with weird chunky boogers), get a drink of water, and return to bed…repeat every two hours.

5) Emotional Stress and an Onslaught of Advice

I’d heard before that when you are pregnant, everyone and their mom would give you their unsolicited expertise on pregnancy, birth, and child raising.  I was still not prepared.  Some of this information is useful, a lot isn’t.  For example, the lady behind me in line at the coffee shop inside Fred Meyer who kept reminding me that coffee is not good for babies even after I repeatedly told her I was ordering a chai…or our goofy, alcoholic middle aged male neighbor who chastises me for running while pregnant…From names, to birthing choices, to what I should and shouldn’t eat/feed the baby…EVERYONE seems to know what’s best for me and baby.

Sometimes, this really gets under my skin.  On a few occasions I have really had to bite my tongue so as not to say something really mea.  But, just as with the physical challenges, I’m learning to listen.  Not always listen to what the person is telling me (although I try to be polite), but rather, listen to what my intuition and knowledge is telling me about this onslaught of opinions.  Listening in these situations takes on several forms.  Sometimes, I just try to smile and be polite and then drag the information to the trash bin.  Other times, if the information seems worth considering, I file it in my brain to be thought about, researched, and discussed.

The wonderful news is, at the end of the day, really only I get the final say about my body! When faced with the choice to listen to my own intuition regarding my body and my baby or second guessing myself based on the unsolicited opinion of someone else–I’m learning to listen to myself.  Awe- Freedom.

Okay, I need to go do a little yoga to see if I can get this baby to move away from my ribs before he cracks the poor guys (Again, he’s telling me something)!


Reducing mine and my family’s risk of cancer via my kitchen

Because I'd love to do yoga on rocks in Borneo (or someone equally as exotic) when I'm a grandma...

Because I’d love to do yoga on rocks in Borneo (or somewhere equally as exotic) when I’m a grandma…

Today marks week 27 of pregnancy.  My body (mostly my belly) seems to grow every day and I’m feeling it both physically and emotionally.  There are the obvious physical changes like my size, posture shifting, heart burn, sore back and pelvic region…but then there are the more subtle and often unexpected emotional changes that occur.  Preparing to be a mama, emotionally, is a daunting task.  Its actually the most horrifying (yet gratifying I expect) venture I’ve ever taken up– summiting mountains, living and traveling in foreign countries, running ultras all seem rather tame in comparison to this parenting thing.  Those things are temporary– you get to the top of a mountain, you complete an ultra, you finish your time in the new place (or you leave if it doesn’t work out).  Parenting is a bit more permanent.  No getting to the top, finishing the race, or moving on to the the next country/job/educational adventure.

This post is not about the emotional roller coaster I’m experiencing as I prepare to meet our baby in about 13 weeks (that’s really soon….) but rather about a recent article in the Huffington Post about plant based eating and cancer. What do my emotions about parenting and the article have to do with each other?  Well for one, one of my tasks as a parent is to raise up a healthy, strong, compassionate, and happy person–and teaching them to eat a diet that reduces their risk of cancer (along with other diseases) is just one way to do that.  Becoming a mom also makes me think of more about my own mortality.  I’ve never by any means welcomed death.  No, no…quite the contrary…and the one time I thought I might actually die (when we had to spend the night in the mountains in South Africa under a rock in the winter…and were approached by poachers in the middle of the night), I was fighting like mad along side Josh to ensure I didn’t die.  However,  the prospect of motherhood has made me even more grateful for life and my desire to live a long, healthy, joyful one has increased.

Thus, an article that quotes research stating that my dietary choices are “hugely” helpful against cancer is GREAT news.  It also solidifies my belief that raising our son and any other future children on a plant based diet is just as important as teaching them to not run into the street without looking.  Here are some tidbits from the article–but please do feel free to check it out in its entirety by clicking here.  None of its really new information–The China Study pretty much dropped this bomb a while ago but I love how accessible this article is and how simply it lays it out.

Tidbits:

  • A 2012 analysis of all the of the best studies done to date concluded that vegetarians have significantly lower cancer rates than meat eaters.
  • A new study at Loma Linda University reported that vegans have lower rates of cancer than both meat eaters and vegetarians–and the omnivores used in the study were healthy individuals eating less meat that the standard American diet.
  • Women placed on a plant based diet for just 2 weeks were found to suppress the growth of 3 different types of breast cancer (that’s just two weeks–imagine what years or a lifetime could do!)
  • The cancer promoting hormone IGF-1 is increased by animal proteins but eating a plant based diet significantly decreases IGF-1 found in the blood.
  • pppsssspppp…eating a plant based diet also reduces our risk of diabetes, obesity, and hypertension!  Excellent? I think so.