A Day In The Life of Pregnant HEAB

by HEAB on September 16, 2010

Hello my almond butter loving friends. If you're new to HEAB, you may like to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive my posts via email. Thanks for reading!

Yesterday, I received an email from a reader with several questions regarding my diet and activity. So, I decided to post another entire day of eats, answering her questions along the way.

As you know, breakfast was 2 pieces of warm cornbread topped with reduced sugar strawberry jam and 2 cooked eggs.

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Lunch was a scramble made with 1 strip of bacon, 2 eggs, cherry tomatoes, 1 ounce goat cheese, fresh basil, wing sauce (Steph, I remembered!), and topped with 1/2 chopped avocado.

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Reader Q: I enjoyed the scrambles you showed yesterday. Do you have suggestions for alternatives to butter?

HEAB A: I am a big fan of butter and ghee, and I do not think either are bad for you. If you’re looking for a vegan option, then I would recommend coconut oil. It works well for high heat cooking, and in my opinion, it’s an excellent source of fat. However, in most of my scrambles, I simply cook my eggs and other veggies in bacon fat. You want to know why scrambled eggs taste so good when ordered from the local diner…try cooking them in bacon fat, and you’ll have your answer. :)

Reader Q: What were the other meals you enjoyed that day?

HEAB A: I usually stick to 3 meals a day and rarely snack. However, my meals are pretty large. For instance, after yesterday’s scramble, I enjoyed 2 small pieces of cornbread, warmed and served with HEABified coconut milk and strawberry jam (Inspired by Sarena – thanks Sarena, it was delicious!).

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Yesterday, I did get hungry in the afternoon and ate 1/2 of a square of unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate and then ended up eating the other half a couple of hours later.

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Dinner was a grilled grass-fed finished burger made with hummus, basil and onions served atop Brussels sprouts, onion, celery, and carrots stir-fried in butter.

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Post dinner, I ate two small plain oven-baked sweet potatoes.

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Reader Q: Do you think you could have eaten like this if you were a runner? How did it differ from your running days? When in your life have you felt the best? Leanest? Toned? Strong?

HEAB A: Back in my running days, I ate more carbs. Lunch probably would have involved tortilla chips and instead of dark chocolate in the afternoon, I would have eaten a bowl of cereal with yogurt or maybe an apple with almond butter. I also ate more sugar, especially when training for longer races…let’s just say there was a lot of ice-cream happening post-dinner. Personally, I feel my best with less sugar and less cardio in my life. Yesterday’s workout was an hour long walk with my dogs. We did our 3-mile hilly walk. I used to run the same route, but walking is a great workout in and of itself. It took me a while to accept that, but for the past 2 years or so, my exercise has consisted of nothing but walking, yoga, and some hiking, and up until I was pregnant, I have never been more toned in my life. Try going to a yoga class and look around at the regular attendees. I guarantee you will find yourself among a room full of beautiful long, lean, and sculpted bodies, and I bet many of them never even set foot in a gym. I actually loss weight when I quit running, and you can read more about here and here.

This is how I eat. I am 34 years old and have tried many different ways of eating. You can read about my diet philosophy here. My body does best on a low sugar, high fat diet. Yes, I ate 4 whole eggs yesterday, a 1/4 pound of beed, goat cheese, bacon, 1/2 avocado, coconut milk, and dark chocolate. I have no idea how many fat grams that adds up to, but I know that fat usually makes up at least 50% of my daily caloric intake. Again, this is what works for me. Also, keep in mind I’m growing another person, and from the research I’ve done, it’s super important to get plenty of fat (saturated included) along with a good dose of protein while pregnant. My iron levels have risen a bit, but are still low according to my latest blood test results. Therefore, I try and get in some red meat at least several times a week. Interesting to note that my iron went up when I stopped taking iron supplements and started eating more beef. Oh, and my blood glucose levels were normal. So, no gestational diabetes – yay!

Any other questions? I’m always just an email away. That being said, please keep in mind that I am not a doctor or licensed nutritionist. I do not write up meal plans. I can simply share with you what I have learned from my own experiences.

{ 125 comments }

Jessica @ How Sweet September 16, 2010 at 8:18 am

I had no idea that you were 34, but you certainly don’t look it. I actually thought you were 28-29!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:20 am

Love you Jessica! ;)

VeggieGirl September 16, 2010 at 8:23 am

Looks like a delicious day to me! :-D

Alex September 16, 2010 at 8:26 am

Mmmm! I love your day :) Have you ever tried baking with the chocolate bar? I was just thinking about that the other day while I ate a bar for dessert…

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:21 am

Alex,
I have baked a lot with the semi-sweet ones, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried baking with the unsweetened. However, I want to try this recipe with it, subbing coconut milk for the condensed milk: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/bakers-classic-chocolate-fudge/Detail.aspx.

melissa @ the delicate place September 16, 2010 at 8:26 am

i would never have guessed 34, you look like you’re in your 20s! also, i would have totally eaten anything/everything you cooked yesterday. when am i coming over for dinner? ;)

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:22 am

Melissa,
Thank you, and you’re welcome for dinner anytime at HEAB’s place! :)

Talia @ Texas Gunslinger September 16, 2010 at 8:32 am

I also feel my body responds well to lower sugar and higher, natural fats. Training for a competition has been rough only as far as keeping things pretty low-fat, but at least I still get to eat nuts, olive oil and salmon to get those healthy, natural fats in. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to cut out fats even more. Thank goodness I don’t have to find out!

I do, however, count down the days until I can eat avocados again! My very fav and something I can see you eat a lot of! YUM!

Blessings to you and your little HEABlet! :)

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:23 am

Thanks Talia, and until avocados are back in your diet, the HEABlet and I will make sure to eat extra for you. :)

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg September 16, 2010 at 8:33 am

I’m the same way– it took me a while to accept walking as a serious exercise, but now I LOVE it! I crave my daily walks!

Holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 16, 2010 at 8:34 am

HEAB I thought you were in your 20s!

Thanks for sharing your day of eats — I think you eat healthy meals that must taste great (um hello, butter and bacon fat!!!) :)

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

Thanks Holly. :)

Michelle (@ Housewife in the Raw) September 16, 2010 at 8:34 am

Preach it mama! I very much agree in finding the diet/eating plan that is best for you at this specific time in your life. I’m doing really good on a high raw/high fat diet, but I know that may change in a few years as my body changes. Have you read Nina Planck’s Real Food for Mother and Baby? It sounds like it might be right up your ally.

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

Michelle,
Another reader sent me Nina Planck’s book, and I have about 30 pages left. Totally right up my ally – you know me quite well. :) That book is wonderful, and I would recommend it for any mama-to-be!

Courtney (Pancakes and Postcards) September 16, 2010 at 8:40 am

Thanks for sharing. I wish I ate more like you do! Your scrambles, salads, grilled veggies, etc are always so colorful and nutritious. I have way too much sugar and carbs in my diet but am always exercising so it has been hard to make a big change.

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 11:02 am

Courtney,
Yeah, I ate more carbs back in my running days as well. However, I really do think you can get most of the carbs you need from veggies and whole grains like brown rice, etc. Sugar really isn’t necessary unless you’re running marathons, etc….but it sure tastes good! ;)

Jenny September 16, 2010 at 8:50 am

I love your blog! and enjoy reading on the days of pregnancy as I am working on becoming a mom someday soon in the future too, so its educational for me as well:)

Just read up on your switch from running/heavy weights to mainly yoga. I am wondering about switching also as the time in the gym is becoming less exciting- are there any yoga DVDs you recommend? I have done a few DVDs and taken some classes here and there but haven’t found many at home DVDs that give a good workout and are a tad holistic. Also, is it safe to do most yoga poses in the first trimester? Do you only have to watch what you do in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters?

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:57 am

Jenny,

Thanks so much for reading and how exciting you want to become a mama someday soon! I’ll be the first to admit that my first trimester was awful, and I vowed never to do it again. However, that is all in the past now, and I can finally say that I love being pregnant. It’s just so amazing to feel the HEABlet moving and kicking around.

As far as yoga goes, my first recommendation is to find a good studio in your area. I did not fall in love with my practice until I started going to a studio. The yoga classes offered at my gym never did much for me. The teachers were good for the most part, but yoga in a big cold aerobics room is not ideal. Also, it is so important to learn correct form in the beginning, and I love going to smaller classes where the instructor can pay attention to each student and adjust them. Most studios offer beginner level classes. However, they can be pretty pricey. Below are several great at-home options:

For DVD’s, I really like Polly’s DVD (www.yogaisyummy.net), and I have some of the Sarah Ivanhoe DVD’s as well. They are all great. I also like finding free yoga online:
Polly has some great online videos perfect for beginners. They are all about 10 minutes in length, completely free, and a great place to start b/c she does the yoga along with you.
Dave Farmar: http://www.davefarmar.com/. His podcasts are pretty advanced and free. However, I’ll be honest, his constant talking drives me nuts!
I also really like Sadie Nardini half hour power series. Maggie posted a link here: http://www.thesaladgirl.com/2009/01/07/refreshing-power-yoga-sequence/.
Yoga to the People has 9 different 60 minute power yoga classes you can download as well: http://www.yogatothepeople.com/tryOnlineClass.shtml
You can try tons of free 20 minute classes over at http://www.yogadownload.com, one of my favorite yoga websites. Love all their classes, especially the new videos.

Honestly, I didn’t do any yoga in my first trimester or any other exercise for that matter. I had some ovarian cysts, and had to take it really easy in the first few weeks. Then, when those cleared up, I felt so sick, that I had zero energy for Downward Dogs. I think most yoga poses are okay in the first trimester except for inversions, but I’m no expert. I would check with a certified yoga instructor first.

Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any questions. Another great resource for you would be Averie over at http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com. She’s a yoga instructor as well as a mom, and has been a great resource for me throughout my pregnancy. Best of luck to you!

Marcia September 16, 2010 at 8:54 am

I love reading about your philosophy. I’m still trying to find the “best” diet. I can pretty much digest everything – which is good! But I’m not sure what’s best for me.

On the exercise thing…it’s often hard for real runners to accept the walking exercise philosophy. I’ve done both. I used to walk a lot (completed 3 Breast Cancer 3-days). Then last year, I took up running…really took up running, more than ever before. Tempo runs, long runs, intervals. I ran two half marathons, some 5k’s, a 10-miler, and an 8.3 mile leg of a marathon.

Now, I’ve never been considered speedy…I always fall at the 50th percentile. My 5k pace is about 8:50, my fastest half was at 10:00/mile, and my best pace for a “long” run was 9:34 (for the 10 miler). Cardiovascularly, I cannot believe how “fit” running made me.

But then I got injured. Sciatic pain from muscles. Physical therapy has helped, but has not eliminated it. And it sometimes migrates to the hips. Then I tweaked my knee. So I haven’t run since my first sprint tri 3 weeks ago. And I’m trying to get off injury.

One thing I learned through this whole running thing, is that there are running snobs, and everyone else. The running snobs say stuff to my niece like “real runners don’t use I-pods” (as my niece is getting ready to run a race…in a tutu). Other running snobs pooh-pooh the Galloway run/walk method. Others talk about how walking is so “Boring”. You know, if you have the kind of body that can run…fast, long, without injury, for years…yay! Lucky for you! Leave the rest of us alone.

I saw a recent article in a woman’s mag at my visit to my parents’ this year that was a “walking program”. I thought “hmm…too easy!” (I was still running back then.) Then I realized…wait…it was a 5-day a week plan (M-F), and it added up to 16 miles. That is more mileage per week than I was running when I was training for my half marathons, except for the peak week or two.

Sorry this got to be so long! Needless to say with the hip/leg/knee pains, I am walking, biking, swimming (which I didn’t really learn to do until 2 months ago, and now I swim in the frigid ocean!!), doing yoga, doing some weights, working my core. I’d really like to try Zumba. I keep thinking about other health clubs in town (I’m at a cheap one), but they are SOOO pricey, and with full time job and kid, I can barely make it to the gym 2x a week. I prefer killing two birds with one stone, like biking to work once a week, or walking to the grocery store.

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:49 am

Marcia,
Thanks for your comment, and I’m really sorry about all the injuries. Sounds like you’ve had a bit of a rough time, but at least you are still able to be active. I think biking to and from work and walking your errands is a great way to fit in exercise.

I’ve encountered those “running snobs”. Gosh, I used to be one of them, and I was never even very speedy. Again, it took me a long time to accept that walking is good exercise. I always tell people that if you love running, then stick with it. However, if you’re dreading your runs and forcing yourself to do them, then in my opinion, it’s not worth it.

Anyway, I hope your body heals soon. Just keep listening to it. :)

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) September 16, 2010 at 8:57 am

I knew you would like that! Now I need to do it with some strawberry preserves! My father-in-law would be so proud of you! I think cornbread is on my to make list today. As for your eating habits, I don’t know about you, but it feels so good when you finally find what works for your body type. We are all different and use fuel in so many different ways. I really appreciate you sharing your diet because we all learn different things from reading what works for others! Oh and I swear I feel better in my 30s than I did in my 20s! Have a great day Heather!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:33 am

Sarena,
I was a mess in my 20′s. My 30′s have been so much better!!

Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 16, 2010 at 9:01 am

Love all your eats! Especially the sweet potato after dinner treat. Talk about a healthy dessert! ;)

Lauren at KeepItSweet September 16, 2010 at 9:01 am

thanks for sharing- i am going to check out those other posts you linked to!

Stacy September 16, 2010 at 9:07 am

Yay no gestaional diabetes! I agree with your eating philosophy. I feel a great deal better and more energetic when I have a higher protein and healthy fat in my diet.
I had my first yoga class this past Tuesday, wowza am I sore. I have been lifting weights and power walking every other day for a year, but yoga provided me with another level of working out. I used muscles that I didn’t even know I had. And for the first time during a work out, I was able to quiet my mind :) I focused on being in the moment,on my body, and working towards getting into the challenging poses :) So happy I am finally trying yoga. I have been missing out!! I agree with the regular butter. I much prefer putting something that is all natural over a long list of ingredients.

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:32 am

Stacy,
I’m so glad you enjoyed your first yoga class. Even if I haven’t been in a couple of weeks or try a new teacher, I am always sore. That’s one thing I love about taking different classes – you are constantly challenging your body in new and different ways.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) September 16, 2010 at 9:12 am

I feel like your little is going to come out wanting oats, almond butter and pickles mixed in with his/her milk ;)

eatmovelove September 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

I just want to say AMEN TO FAT! (although I eat sugar…I won’t go there) – I love that you ate 4 WHOLE eggs, and all that other “jazz” too. I eat so much nut butters, eggs, cheese, high-fat milks, hummus, etc – that I wonder :( – but meh. I am also on a burger streak lately – ground beef burgers! (no grass-fed here though).

Now – I just need to get on that bacon!

Marisa @ Loser for Life September 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

34 looks good on you, Heather!!!

I loved hearing how your eating has changed along your journey. I am most impressed with how in tune to your body you are. I am striving for that!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:30 am

Thanks Marisa – you’ll get there! :)

Felicia September 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

With all that healthy eating I have a good feeling your baby girl is going to be healthy and beautiful.
One of the main reasons why I love your blog so much is that it serves as a healthy reminder to get a good amount of fat in. I still have irregular periods and struggle with my diet and what works best for me, and I think its mostly because there is so much information out there and I struggle with what I should be doing. Go all raw? More protein and less carbs and fat? More fat and protein and less carbs? At one point my mind was in a billion different directions, and it led to binging and unhealthy habits which I am still struggling to overcome.
My goal is to just try to eat intuitively and give my body what it is asking for, and try not to stress over ever single bite. Thanks for sharing your daily eats :)

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:29 am

Felicia,
I think you are on a good path…there is so much conflicting info. out there, and it takes a while to sift through it all. Just keep listening to your body. You’ll find what works best for you. :)

Sylvia September 16, 2010 at 9:51 am

Oee, I tried one of those baking squares… I made a face as I was biting into it because it was just too bitter. Surprisingly, the semi-sweet squares were just a tad too sweet as well… Hahaha, I’m like Goldilocks with chocolate :-D

And I completely agree on every diet is different for everyone else. No one person is the same, and what works for you might not work for me and so on and so forth. Even now, I appreciate fat but I still do my best to watch the fat intake, especially since I’m been a sloth with exercise ;)

nicole September 16, 2010 at 9:59 am

Hey! You know, I have to admit that as soon as I’m done with this 10 mile race I have coming up that I will probably start walking more and do more yoga. After training for my first half marathon I got so burned out that I decided it wasn’t FUN to run anymore. When I got the stress fracture in my foot last year I walked a lot becuase it was all I could do and I didn’t really lose much of my endurance. I also didn’t gain any weight. In my experience I’ve been at my fittest and leanest when I was doing a lot more walking and less running. When I was a waitress in college, I barely had time to run but I dropped weight like crazy. I swear that walking 4-5 miles a day kept me more fit than running. If I only had the time to walk 5 miles a day now with a full time job I would! I never felt stressed out about walking either!
Have a great day!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:26 am

Nicole,
Yes, walking is great, and I remember those waitressing days…on my feet for hours. It was great exercise! Hope you have a wonderful day as well. :)

Courtney September 16, 2010 at 10:06 am

Have you thought of adding molasses to your diet for increased iron? Just a thought, as I have been loving it in my oatmeal and homemade granola lately ; )

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

Courtney,
Yes, I tried blackstrap molasses, but it didn’t help that much. Although, it tastes really good mixed with warm almond or coconut milk! :)

Heather (Heather's Dish) September 16, 2010 at 10:08 am

i really love that you share what you eat…you always have super unique combinations and they’re always amazing!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:24 am

Thanks Heather. :)

Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

I like your eating philosophy simply because you listen to your body and its needs. My body craves whole grains. Cereal, oatmeal, BREAD, quinoa. It loves those grains and runs super well on them.

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 10:24 am

Michelle,
My body loves oatmeal too…and grits these days! :)

Chelsea at Striking Balance September 16, 2010 at 10:29 am

You look so much younger than 34, Heather!

I admire that you eat in a way that works for you, and not how anyone tells you that you should eat. And I must add, your food always looks amazing and filling!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Thanks Chelsea. :)

Alyssa September 16, 2010 at 10:51 am

Heather, I just want to say that you are so incredibly inspirational! You also are a completely devoted and highly respected blogger. It really means a lot to have you answer my questions about my teeny weeny blog that I love so dearly :-) Thanks for keeping me motivated at what I love!

~Alyssa

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Alyssa,
I’m always here for you, no matter what the topic. Thanks for your kind worlds. :)

Sagan September 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

LOVE eggs. Best fuel ever!

If you like grass-fed beef, have you tried bison and elk? Elk and bison sausages, stir fry meat, and burger patties rock my world :D

Your baby’s going to grow so strong and healthy will all those tasty nutrients.

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Sagan,
I love bison! However, I’m not sure if I’ve ever had elk…I’ll be on the lookout for it. Anything that can be made into sausage usually gets two thumbs up from me. ;)

Megan (Braise The Roof) September 16, 2010 at 11:18 am

Thanks for sharing this, HEAB! It’s refreshing to read about someone else’s diet that’s so uniquely tailored to them. I find that a lot of people (myself included, at times) can get caught up in the trendy healthy foods, which isn’t all bad but if you’re just eating what everyone else eats you’re probably not listening to your own body!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Megan,
It’s hard not to get caught up in the trends. Trust me, I still struggle with this. Don’t know why it’s so difficult to listen to our own bodies sometimes, but I’m trying! :)

MoniMeals September 16, 2010 at 11:26 am

Long live the healthy fats. It is really what works for you and your body, in order (to stick with a routine) and to live and have a healthy lifestyle. ;)
Thanks for sharing HEAB, I think you are helping many people!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Thanks Moni. I’m trying. :)

Caitlin (EatFeats) September 16, 2010 at 11:34 am

My diet is the same way when I do a lot of working out! I agree that I feel best when I don’t push my body past its limits.

janetha g. September 16, 2010 at 11:36 am

i am w/ jess, i had no idea you were 34 either! not that it is a bad thing, but i thought the same as jess.

it was fun seeing what pregnant heabs is eating. that dinner of the burger over veggies looked SO good, i need to recreate it sometime soon. lots of my favorites.

you are so right about the bacon grease! another thing that makes eggs so good is using well seasoned cast iron skillets. we were lucky to get marshall’s grandparents’ full set of cast iron skillets~ from tiny to large. after nearly 50 years of seasoning.. let’s just say they make remarkable eggs.

is there one specific food that you have found you have been eating a LOT of since becoming pregnant? one the HEABlet goes crazy for?

love you, heather!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:08 pm

J.G. Bean,
Thank you for agreeing with Jess. :)

I am jealous of your cast iron collection. We have one 12″ skillet, and I love it. However, I bought it new, and it’s still not perfectly seasoned. Working on it!

One food I’ve been eating a lot of? Well, it’s changed. First trimester, I wanted Pop-Tarts, Saltines, turkey dogs, and OJ, and now I’m just craving my normal eats – nothing out of the ordinary like dirt or Tide…thank goodness! However, I’ve noticed that these past few days, I’ve really wanted citrus. Need to pick up some oranges soon. :)

Love you too my friend. :)

Bekah September 16, 2010 at 11:38 am

I remember the first time realizing both yours and Deb’s ages as well, and I was most definitely surprised. You both wear your age very well.

Gah- LOVE eggs on top of cornbread! (But with honey, its even better.) :) The jam looks good though..

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Beeks,
I know – I thought the same thing about Deb. She’s so gorgeous. Hope all is well in New York. Miss you!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Heather, you are SUCH a giving person! I get asked almost daily for a day of “daily eats”. However, I never post them b/c it just seems like a lot of work for ME, and that I will get very little out of sharing it all. You are clearly a better woman than I :)

I love that you are owning your diet choices, you speak clearly about dairy, ghee, red meat, fat, protein, and don’t mince your words, compromise your choices, or pander to the crowd and are unapologetically doing what’s right for YOU, but are totally non judgmental in the process of others, and you encourage everyone to find her own path. Amen to that! You rock! :)

I get emails asking me what my secret is. I always say, 3 decades of leg work to figure out where my protein, fat, carb needs are, to figure out what exercise and how much or little works, and where that all intersects w/ food allergies, pregnancy & nursing, it’s all such a trial and error basis. I barely have it figured out for myself, let alone to try to guess what someone else needs to be doing! I love that you are rockin’ your own choices, and have figured things out, for you!!

:)

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Averie,

Don’t you think being a bit older helps? Gosh, I look back at what I was eating in my early 20′s or late 20′s for that matter, and I was still a mess. Tons of diet soda, etc. I think I’ll always be a work in progress, but I keep coming back to this same type of eating because it works for me. Why I keep trying other ways of eating, I have no idea. Again, always learning. :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 16, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Omg YES, age/maturity/wisdom + trial & error and not being afraid to change things up til something works, yes, it’s all a huge factor. Just about the time I was beginning to figure things out in my late 20s, I got pregnant. Then pregnancy, long term nursing, and all the changes one’s body goes thru during those times, then it’s just been in the past few years, truly, my early 30s that I have it *sorta* figured out :)

Case in point, I thought strength training was pretty lame b/c I didnt know any better up until 8 mos ago. And then I did a fitness competition and LOVE lifting now. So always tweaking and being open minded on all accounts is key. And age helps facilitate that :)

Mallory September 16, 2010 at 12:07 pm

haa i get those emails every single day, but yours makes sense as this is mostly a food blog…me im just like FRIKIN EAT FOOD. but still, youre food looks overly drool-worthy haha. and swe seem to agree on just about everything dietwise so im just gonna start sending all the food blog lovers here lol.

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Mallory,
That works for me. :)

Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey September 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

It’s so cool that you’ve found what works for you and your body. I’m still trying to figure it out.. it can be so hard. I’m not feeling as good as I usually do, and I’ve been trying like crazy to recognize what’s different about my diet. It feels the same though, so I don’t know. Bleh. Hopefully I’ll get it figured out soon!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Kelsey,
You will. Just keep listening. :)

Cailin @ Stir Crazy September 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Having gone through a pregnancy myself (my little guy is just over 1 now!), it’s interesting hearing other people’s “diets” while pregnant. I still ate the way I usually do, but with a lot more cereal :) My body wanted carbs! All your food choices are right up my alley, and I’m particularly intrigued by your breakfast… I never thought of adding jam to the cornbread and eggs. Looks delicous!

I’m still trying to figure out what foods work best for me. I feel like it’s such a learning process! Thanks for sharing :)

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Cailin,
Trust me, there has been much cereal consumed. During my first trimester, all I wanted was cold and crunchy (‘cept for my Pop-Tarts. I preferred those toasted. Hehe.). Cereal is still my go-to snack when I wake up at 2 AM starving. CD knows that Puffins must be well stocked at all times. ;)

And yes, figuring out what works best for each of us in a long learning process, but stick with it. You’ll get there. Just keep listening to your body. :)

polly September 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I have one question for you.

When are you moving to my neighborhood so we can walk together everyday? I will bake bake the cornbread and CD can make the chili. :D

Really, my friend, you know I LOVE YOU and YOUR EATS! I love your philosophy. I am not sure why it took me well into my 30′s to realize that all the crazy cardio and running was just NOT good for my soul or my body. YAY for yoga and rest and sleep and BEEF and butter and yummy food.

By the way.. just had the YUMMIEST salad! (not a veggie in sight, mmm :P )

A few handfuls toasted walnuts (maybe a quarter cup? maybe more :P ) plus one apple, cut up, and a cut up grilled chicken breast. SO simple. Just add lots of sea salt and eat up! I promise it’s the combo of heavenly Fall-ish flavors and yummy. Oh yes. :D hehe

Have a wonderful day, my friend!

I’ll let you know when a house goes up for sale on my street, okay?

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Polly,

Lurve you!!! Yes, keep your eyes peeled for a cute house for sale…4 bedrooms, fenced-in backyard, perhaps a mud room for our messy pups. :)

Your veggieless salad sounds wonderful. I must make that soon!!!

Steph September 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm

So glad you didn’t forget the wing sauce! Haha! I love a little kick to all my food – even red chili/chipotle dark chocolate (good with ice cream). Reminds me – have you tried bacon dark chocolate? I personally haven’t tried it – in my mind it just doesn’t seem right lol.

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Steph,

The Vosges bar? Sounded good in theory, but I’ll be honest, it tasted a bit odd. Wouldn’t buy it again, but might try making my own.

Kate @ Walking in the Rain September 16, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I was so afraid of fat when I was on Weight Watchers. I’ve recently been advised to add fat to my diet, have been amazed at some of the changes. The skin on my hands is better (it used to be dry and cracked) and most days I can eat three meals no sweat. When on WW it seemed like I was always hungry and always eating.

I’m intrigued by your snack of baking chocolate. Did you have to “ween” yourself off the sweeter stuff?

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Kate,

My skin was the same way. I posted before and after pictures of my hands here: http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/2010/01/28/fat-is-our-friend/. Crazy!

Yes, I did have to ween myself off the sweet stuff, but now all I crave is the Bakers. I like other dark chocolate, but milk is definitely way too sweet! One night, I NEEDED chocolate, and the Bakers unsweetened stuff was all we had in the house. So, I started out eating it by dipping it in almond butter, and now I love it all on its own. Try it! :)

Matt September 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Love your diet! Rock on :)

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Thanks Matt. Feeling is mutual. :)

Nikki September 16, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I loved this post, HEABers! More specifically I love that you’ve found what works for you and makes you happy and that is what you stick to rather than what ‘trends’ are out there.

Btw, I posted my MaraNatha giveaway – Sunflower Seed Butter (not almond butter, oops!)

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Nikki,
Oh gosh, thanks for letting me know. I am so stocked on nut butters right now that I would feel bad if I won your giveaway. Hopefully others will make their way over there. That Maranatha sunflower seed butter is good stuff!!!

Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) September 16, 2010 at 1:40 pm

This is a great, informative post! I think you’re doing a GREAT job preggers, Heab and your baby is going to be very healthy :)

xo
Kris

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Thanks Kris. :)

Laura September 16, 2010 at 2:25 pm

A really insightful post actually! You are clearly doing something right in terms of diet as you always look so glowing!! 34?? No bleedin’ way!! What a gorgeous, and YOUNG looking 34 year old!!!xx

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Laura,
Yep, 34. Thank you! :)

Little Bookworm September 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Really interesting post Heather! Unsweetened chocolate sounds different. Does it still taste like chocolate? I’ve had 90% before.

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Little Bookworm,
The unsweetened chocolate took some getting used to, and out of all the brands I’ve tried, I really only like the Bakers stuff. I had to have chocolate one night, and it’s all we had in the house. So, I started out by dipping it in almond butter, but now I love it all on its own. If you liked the 90% stuff, then try it. Also, it’s so much cheaper than other brands of dark chocolate!

Melissa @ TryingToHeal September 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I’m happy you’re doing everything you feel is best for your body, no matter what society says we should be eating. pfoo on them; let us eat in peace!

:D I can’t wait to see HEABlet and learn her name!!! so exciting!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Melissa,
Yes, pfoo on them! ;)

Amanda B. September 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm

De-lurking to let you know that your blog has been very inspirational to me. I’ve always struggled with horrible sugar cravings and fluctuating energy levels, and after reading HEAB I decided to try increasing the amount of dietary fat I eat and seeing if that changed anything. Coming from a “fat will make you fat” background, I was super nervous about gaining weight, but it’s been great for me! My energy levels are so much better, I no longer crave carbs constantly (okay, I still have a sweet tooth, but no more energy-crash-induced sugar cravings) and I actually look a lot leaner, though I don’t regularly weigh myself so I don’t know if I lost weight. I’m looking forward to adding more yoga to my workout routine, although I’m not sure if I can give up running because I honestly love it. Thanks for sharing your opinion honestly :)

Amanda

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Amanda,
Thanks so much for reading and for delurking to let me know how you’re doing. I’m so happy to hear that are feeling good with more fat in your diet. It seems like people are fearing it less and less, and I hope the trend continues.

Again, thanks for your comment, and I say if you love running, then stick with it. :)

Katie September 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I wish I could eat all that fat. My body does not react well to a high fat diet. But, sugar? Yep, it LURVES sugar!

HEAB September 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Katie,
Yeah, high fat is not for everyone…luckily for you, mustard is fat-free. ;)

Katie September 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm

So true. As I sit here eating steamed kabocha covered in curry mustard. :)

kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com September 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm

i had almost the exact beef meal with veggies for breakfast this morning except i wrapped it up in a tortilla, and used bison instead. definitely good tho!
and i also have sweet potatoes in the oven right now! i love that uve been craving good portions of sweet taters. theyre the worlds healthiest food :) if i was pregnant im sure the amount of sweet potatoes i eat would make my baby come out bright orange..lol…now that would be something ;)

mmm i like ur pregnancy eats! actually, it seems the baby is craving healthier foods, aside from the odd ice cream or two ;) YUM :P

XOXO <3

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Kelsey,
Well, she is now…the healthy cravings in the first trimester didn’t really exist, but I am so glad sweet potatoes are back in my life!

homecookedem September 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm

What a lucky baby to have such a healthy mama eating such nutritious foods!! You’re doing great!! :)

BroccoliHut September 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Very informative post! Love the looks of your dinner with the brussels sprouts and burger. Yum.
PS The fact that you snack on sweet potatoes makes you my hero:)

A Teenage Gourmet September 16, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Heather, I will be in Nashville on Monday, October 4th for another visit to Vandy! I would love to meet for popsicles if you are interested. :)

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Sami,
Sure, that works. Sometime in the afternoon perhaps?

tea September 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm

looks delish, but no fruit :[ boo.

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Tea,
I eat fruit, but not very often. Fructose is not my friend. However, I love peaches and blueberries in the summer, and there is nothing like a crisp apple sometimes! :)

Runeatrepeat September 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Thanks for posting this! I love that you eat so healthy – but it’s also about how it makes you feel. This is the intuitive eating I strive for :) Love you.

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Thanks Monica, love you too. :)

Pure2raw twins September 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Heather you are so sweet to take the time to answer all these questions!!! I have tried eating 3 meals, but since I am always surrounded by food due to my job, I tend to just snack more. Although I tend to eat light to heavy, so my evening meals our pretty large ; ) And this is what works for me…and oh yes love fat too!! haha

I agree, I have more looking more toned now that I do no more running. I actually do not really miss running. Yay I see other bloggers running and doing races (which I have two coming up that I am not looking forward to), but I love walking! Always have…a few years ago, for a whole summer I would walk uphill for 45 minutes a few times a week and my legs never looked better…haha, trying to get back there. ; )

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Pure2Raw,
I used to do a walking incline workout on the treadmill, and my butt got so solid. Love those hills! :)

Annie@stronghealthyfit September 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Love your perspective- I would like to not feel tied to running. I do love it, but it would be nice to take a break sometime. I’m doing more yoga these days and you are a huge inspiration for that !

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Annie,
That makes me happy to hear, and don’t be scared to take a break from running every once in a while. I promise sometimes a good walk is all we need. :)

vanillasugar September 16, 2010 at 7:26 pm

oh heather girl you have got to try what i sometimes have for breakfast. i’m fairly certain you’ll dig it. it’s just a plain old pb&j on 12 grain bread with a slice (or two) of sharp sharp cheddar. FABULOUS.

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Vanillasugar,
Um, yeah, that does sound fabulous. However, I’d really just like to skip the pb & J, + cheese and just dip the bread in your reuben dip. ;)

Ginny September 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm

We are getting a Trader Joe’s next year! I’m so excited – thank you for all of the ideas on what to get there!

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Ginny,
Awesome news. Don’t know what I’d do without my TJ’s!

Namaste Gurl September 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

You’re so cute– and I love your theories about food and fat, as you know I completely agree with them :) LOVE my fats, too!

I also love that your SOOOO in tune with your body– not everyone can do that. In fact, not people do, they go on diets, deprive themselves, then gain the weight back, and the cycle goes on and on….. So well done. I’m trying to do that more and more– and i need lots of fats (healthy ones), unprocessed grains, protein, and lots of vegetables. I’m finding that lots of fruit–as i’ve done in the past– isn’t super well-fitted for me. It makes my stomach unhappy which I don’t want to do. i still include some, but not lots.

Your stir-fry and scramble look amazing, by the way. Love all the color. And hummus? What brilliant addition to burgers, I’ll have to try that in a vegetarianized way :) Just has a sweet potato today– my fav. Too bad they’re not grown locally around here!

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Thanks Namaste, and yes, try adding hummus to your next homemade veggie burger. It works as a great “binder”, and I love the added flavor as well!

fartygirl September 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Glad to see you’re enjoying the Baker’s!!! Quick question – I know that preggo ladies are supposed to stay away from caffeine. But I can see that you are still having a little bit. Is there a specific amount that doctors say is okay? I can’t imagine going nine months without choco!!!!

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Fartygirl,
200 mg or less…which adds up to a good bit of dark chocolate. :)

michelle September 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I’m a reluctant runner and looking for a way out :) Have you ever tried Bikram yoga? I have a studio close to me and and I’m thinking that it might just be punishing enough to convince me to swap the cardio for a challenging yoga class.

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Michelle,
I have tried Bikram, but after a month of hot yoga I ended up completely dehydrated and in the hospital. It was my own fault as I let my electrolytes get all out of whack, and I’m always a little weary to recommend it to other people now. I will say that it will whip you into shape fast, and I really did enjoy the classes, although I preferred the vinyasa classes in the heated studio rather than the Bikram classes.

michelle September 18, 2010 at 5:15 am

Wow that is far out! Thanks so much or warning me about that because the web site only says to drink plenty before class. From your experience they should be warning people of the risks. It does make sense and I can only imagine how much fluid the body must lose in a 90 min class.

HEAB September 18, 2010 at 9:31 am

Michelle,
Yes, just make sure to hydrate well before class and eat plenty of salt the day before. Also, immediately after class drink some kind of electrolyte drink – like Emergen-C Electro Mix.

Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) September 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

Hells yes to fats! I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that I do better with lower sugar, higher fat too!

I keep some honey and maple syrup around, but I only use them in small amounts. Most of the time I use stevia, but even then, my sweet tooth really calmed down when I stopped eating so much sugar. Oddly, fruit doesn’t have the same effect.

LJ September 17, 2010 at 1:15 am

Heather,

Again, this is why I love you! You don’t profess to know what works for everybody; you just know what works for you. That is something that we should all find out and accept, for ourselves and for others.

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Thanks LJ. :)

Scott in Ohio September 17, 2010 at 7:49 am

The truth in your diet/nutrition posts always comes through so well.

You may feel that you are being repetitive, but keep on posting. So many people are confused about what to eat that your message needs to be heard.

Big eye-opener in your post for me was your iron levels going up AFTER dropping the supplements. VERY interesting.

Long story, but I quit taking ALL supplements this week and I already feel better. What the heck??

Glad to hear no diabetes!

Good weekend wishes to you and CD.

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Scott,
So interesting about your supplements as well – please keep me posted.

Yeah, I was taking Floradix and another iron supplement, but I felt bloated and awful, and according to my last blood results they weren’t helping. So I stopped taking them our first week in Michigan and ate beef with CD almost every night. When I got back, my levels had risen a bit. Definitely food for thought. ;)

Hope you have a good weekend as well!

Natalie September 17, 2010 at 11:58 am

great to read – love the balance in your life. thank you for sharing.

Alisa September 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Egg, jam, and cornbread? Now that has to be some sort of pregnancy craving right?

Well, you know my diet philosophy is very similar to yours, sans the dairy of course for my own allergic reasons, so eat up that fat! I just had a salad with homemade creamy cashew dressing (lots of it), avocado, and chickpea cakes fried in coconut oil – so I’m not one who can lecture low fat either :)

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Alisa,
Nope, I can’t blame the cornbread/eggs/jam combo on the HEABlet. That was all me! ;)

Janice - down the veggie road September 19, 2010 at 8:34 am

Hello , I have enjoyed reading your blog for awhile now and always want to comment but honestly after reading your about page I felt I wanted to call you up and pick your brain for hours and your success and how you were able to get healthy and lose weight etc-;) congrats!!!
I have been struggling to lose 40 lbs for a long time now – actually went vegan for almost 6 mos then just vegetarian (love eggs sooo much) and now
The Hubs and I eat a more pescatarian diet with lots of grains veggies beans nut butters Soy -little dairy and seafood 2-3x wk and I don’t have a sweet tooth so outside of my coffee creamer and an occasional glass of juice or wine or frozen yogurt 1x wk I don’t think I consume much sugar – BUT despite working out and eating well I struggle to lose ANY weight- my dr says I need weight watchers and I am considering seeing a nutritionist as I think I do not eat the right foods FOR ME…..
Which after righting this book to you (see I could have called ;) hehe)
I LOVE that you found what works for YOU- cuz I have been for the last 18 mos eating LOW fat LOW cals and my Hubs has
Lost 60lbs but it IS NOT working for
Me……so did you consult with someone -
How did u figure out what works for your body??
Thanks for listening
Congrats on baby
Blessings
Janice

HEAB September 19, 2010 at 9:21 am

Janice,
Glad you found me and thanks so much for reading. :)

As far as finding out the best diet for my body, I did a post on it, and you can read it here: http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/the-heab-diet/. For me, low fat did not work…and honestly, I don’t think it’s a good way for anyone to eat. Some people can handle more fat than others, but our bodies need fat to function. Does that mean sitting down to half a jar of nut butter? No, but it does mean getting in a good dose of fat everyday to keep everything in balance. I eat butter, beef, salmon, coconut, whole eggs, etc., and I feel great. I stay away from sugar and my weight stays down. That’s what works for me.

My advice to you is simply to experiment. It sounds like the low fat/low cal thing is not working for you. So, try something else. It may take some time and lots of patience, but you’ll get there. :)

Dana September 21, 2010 at 8:18 am

You dont eat a lot at all! I probably easily eat that much in a day and i assure you i have no baby growing inside me. People have a warped perception of ‘ alot of food.’ Plus, if your hungry, you need it!

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