The number one question that makes me shudder. Not because of the insensitivity of it, but because I have NO FREAKIN’ IDEA what being pregnant feels like. It’s like my brain will fully not let me believe it. I guess one would say that I knew that I wasn’t pregnant because I didn’t ‘feel pregnant’. And maybe when I am, I will feel this elusive emotion that everyone talks about.  Your brain remembers patterns, and my pattern is disappointment, every month so I’m unsure that I will ever be able to ‘feel’ something that I’m so worried I never will get to feel. Does that make sense? I’ve heard from other woman who have had to go through the fertility treatment that they’ve taken pregnancy tests for months on end just to make sure they really were STILL pregnant. I can see myself doing that.

My Monday started off good – I was 3 days late on my period, and that was making me feel pretty positive! Even after the spotting started and I questioned every characteristic of it, I still had hope!!

  • Oh well it’s just a little bit, should be okay
  • OH well it’s brownish pink so still okay
  • it’s a lot but still only when I go to the washroom …
  • Oh now it’s a little more, might still be okay

But I woke up this morning with the full on flow looking me right in the eye. Even after seeing that they still make you do a pregnancy test, just to make sure.

The hospital called me and we discussed the possibilities of jumping right into the next round but the monetary repercussions of going back to back aren’t worth it and they suggest for your well being  to skip a month.

Part of me is relived. The emotional toll this takes on someone is just so crazy I’m not entirely sure I can put it into words. Plus, we are going on a New York City trip next Thursday and that would really impede on our travels/relaxation that is so desperately needed.

The other part of me is worried, another month of not being pregnant, another month older. As woman we are constantly chasing that youth and hanging on to those fertile years. Doing everything we can to stay looking and feeling young but time is just not on our side. Just this past week I’ve had a sprained wrists and I did something funny to my left foot. You know, that ‘something funny’ feeling we all get once in a while that may or may not go away on it’s own but will definitely be back if you wear those heels again. What were you thinking anyway??

The Coffee Conundrum

I “quit” coffee a few weeks back to see how it would affect me and cut out an extra stressor in my life. I realized it affected me more than I thought it did but I also just LOVE coffee. Over the past few weeks I found my brain constantly trying to rationalize just having a cup of coffee. I had set rules and as long as I followed them I was happy with myself. I went a while without drinking it and then it seeped into a weekend thing. I would have it later on in the day but the past 2 weekends I had it when I woke up. Like, this morning for example. And yesterday…. and then on top of that, last week I had it 3x during the week. This is a major fail on my part, I’d say. Not to mention, twice I had horrible stomach pains. SO as of today, back on the no-coffee wagon. It’s a good time to jump back on as I officially started the IUI process yesterday.

Intrauterine Insemination Process

The First step for this process was getting my monthly bright red flow, as they call it at the fertility clinic. I woke up yesterday morning half dreading the day but also hopeful about my friends memorial and then I saw it: My period decided today was a good day to show up. Two days early. I saw it as a sign from Amy beyond the wall telling me “go on love, have that wine today – you’ll need it”. I call the hospital, even though I had already scheduled to go in on Monday morning to set up an ultra sound which, I really have no clue what they will be looking for while I’m on my period but I will update you guys on that next weekend because I will have 100 questions for the doctors.

Also, I decided to look up the success rate on the first round of IUI treatment and it’s 10% for woman over the age of 35. Great. I gotta lower my expectations quite a bit going from here.

Goodbye Friend

I wasn’t sure I wanted to use this headline for Amy’s Memorial or for the departure of fish from my diet this week. I chose the first one.

I had lunch with my friend Meagan and by lunch I mean we had gelato at 2pm on Tuesday. She looked frazzled and stressed and I just wanted to hug her. She asked me to help her with the decorations for Amy’s memorial and we wracked our brains trying to figure out what to do. We are both type A and I think we stressed more than we needed to. We borrow plants from Meagan’s mom and one of  my generous clients (that was also in a super convenient location

haha) and bought colourful decorations from the dollar store. I personally think we did fantastic with the short notice but I might be biased.

 

The day came and I met up with friends for a lovely brunch and mimosa’s at Earl’s. My partner was so generous enough to drive our little drunken butts to the memorial. I’m unsure if I would have cried more or less if I were a bit more sober. The whole experience was exhausting and I

 

was hoping it would put some closure but I’m still unsure what that closure is. I guess we just move on and remember the good times.

RIP Amy <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding “the One”

I’m continuing with my process of eliminating meat and doing pretty well. You see, all this is about diets and finding the right fit for you. The best diets are the ones you don’t have to think about. I’ve helped many clients find ‘the one’. The One Diet that works so easily for them that they lose weight and can eat pretty much what they want as long as it falls within that diet. For some people it’s eating clean, others it’s Whole 30, Intermittent fasting, Paleo, vegan, vegetarian. The point being, you shouldn’t have to hate what you eat.

I had a conversation the other day with a client about how her kids eat so differently and they both are thin. I commented that as adults we try to force ourselves into these diets because we think they work better than others. Her daughter eats carbs carbs carbs all day and is basically vegetarian and her other daughter is a meat and potatoes kinda girl. Both thin, both completely different eating habits.

That triggered me into remembering that for a huge part of my life, I was a vegetarian. From the age of 12 I quit eating meat. I always disliked meat and the texture and one day I saw a hanging moose in my garage and I freaked out. “That’s it!” I told my parents, “no more meat for me. I am now a vegetarian”. I can’t remember exactly how my parents reacted, but they were very accommodating to say the least. My mom would make me my own separate meals than the rest of the family so she could ensure I was still eating enough. But i ate carbs. Lots of them and I was always thin! In fact back then I only ate fish. No eggs or anything else. Today I want to keep eating fish and eggs but I wanted to try a whole week with only eating eggs sometimes.

Long story short: i lived, I feel okay, I’m not run down and it’s like my body is happy I’m not eating as much meat and fat! My mid section was growing and I blamed it on the fertility drugs, but I’ve lost the 5 extra pounds I had gained and I’m back to my happy weight of 120lbs.

That being said, I want to reiterate that just because this worked for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Many people gain weight on a vegan diet. Many people gain weight on a paleo diet. I have clients who eat Whole 30 and are looking amazing and I have clients I have made go vegan and are losing weight like it’s their job. Find the diet that works for you and stick with it. If you enjoy something, you will be more likely to stick to it.

Happy Sunday!

So yesterday I kept track of what I ate during a typical Sunday. Today, although not ‘typical’, is another story. It’s nice and easy when you’re home just sitting and relaxing by the pool to saunter up and make yourself a nice healthy salad but when you’re on the road all day – in and out of clients homes and running errands – it’s much, much more difficult.

My first meal of the day was a handful of almonds with an apple at around 11:30am while I was driving to get my oil change. I’ve been trying to push my first meal to a bit later in the day as I’m awake so darn early that if I woke up and ate at 5am I would be eating all day.

My second meal I call “lunch” I suppose was the same veggie burger that we had last night for dinner.

My third and last meal was a cauliflower and chickpea salad with lemon tahini dressing that I so kindly included in next weeks meal prep email and that was when i got home at 7:40pm.

To be honest, I wasn’t really that hungry for it but I ate it anyway because I go to bed so darn early I knew I wasn’t eating any later.

 

First meal of the day – 12:30PM

I woke up fairly early to food prep and workout. Although this is my first ‘real’ meal of the day, I was snacking on some stuff while I was food prepping to make sure that, you know, the food isn’t horrible! That plus a coffee gave me enough fuel to do a 45 minute leg and boxing workout. Then I really wanted to swim some laps because the weather is finally nice so that prompted me to push breakfast even further – that being said, I wasn’t actually hungry so it didn’t bother me too much.

Buckwheat, coconut and date crepes

Makes 6 large crepes

  • 1 cup of almond milk unsweetened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of buckwheat
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut flakes
  • 2 dates
  • whisk all together and pour into hot pan with melted coconut oil
  • I topped with with strawberries, banana, almond butter and maple syrup

 

 

 

Snacks while I’m hanging pool-side

I’m having a Real Pop – made from local vendors. All real ingredients.

And a teeny, sad glass of rose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinnertime: Veggie burger with roasted asparagus

  • gluten free bun
  • wholly Veggie Patty – gluten free and vegan
  • spinach, tomato, cheddar cheese, avocado and sauteed mushrooms and onion

Thursday morning we had our IUI orientation for infertility. Basically, they shove you in a room with other couples who are in the same boat as you are and explain to you what will happen and how much it will cost. It was a strange feeling to look around and see other people who for some reason, like yourself, cannot conceive naturally. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect but I didn’t expect such a large variance in people.  Not a single person there “looked” like us.

There was an overweight couple with tattoos, a thin athletic couple, an african american couple and a multirace couple. Then there was us: a small athletic girl and her ‘dadbod’ boyfriend. I assumed everyone would be older but we all seemed to be the same age, which was the weirdest part to me. They told us a lot during this meeting but the thing that stood out to me the most was that they get funding for 400 couples a year and the year starts on april 1st and they usually run out by October. Those are some scary numbers.

When you’re trying to conceive, you see pregnant people everywhere. It seems you are the only person in the world who cannot conceive easily. But when you actually sit down and talk about it, people will tell you about so-and-so that they know that is going through the same process as you or how their friends have tried for 7 years. It’s not so simple, afterall.

Later that night

, I was out walking with my girlfriend and explaining the process to her. Every single step that I will need to take from calling in with my Cycle Day 1 to when we have a final ultrasound to determine if the baby (if it works) is still alive. she said, “that seems so stressful” but I disagree. The process is tedious, yes, but to me knowing as early as Day 18 if the insemination worked is so relieving! The waiting is the hardest part. Waiting to see if I get my period or not is so fucking annoying i can’t wait to just relax after day 18 whether the insemination worked or not.

Last weekend was mother’s day

, and it is one of my most disliked holidays. For one, my own mother passed away from lung cancer 10 years ago and for two, I am not a mother despite trying for years. So I took myself to a spa in Collingwood for the weekend to relax and just get away. I drank rose, I took a million baths, I read a whole book, I went to the Scandinavian Baths and I ate good food. Life is all in what you make of it. I Hope everyone else had a wonderful Mother’s Day and celebrated the way you wanted to!

For the past month or so I have been trying to sit down and write about becoming a vegan. I wanted to experiment what happens when you turn fully plant-based but I haven’t been able to write a blog about it because, well, I still can’t stop eating fish and eggs.

The main question on my mind lately has been “why the fck are you always so goddamn hungry!?!?” seriously. How are vegans always so thin when all I want to do is shove carbs in my face. I wake up in the middle of the night to eat, I wake up ready to kill someone, after I eat I have anxiety about needing to eat more, I reach for cupcakes and protein bars all the time.

I think I need to speak with someone who has been eating vegan for a long time, and someone that has been vegan for a short period of time. Part of the reason I love paleo so much is that it’s easy, filling, and all my cravings are gone! I don’t reach for the sugar as much when I’m paleo.  Also, the meals are much more interesting. After almost a month of being vegan (besides an egg a day or a fish a day) I’m sick of it. The food is bland, I feel so spacey, I’m tired all the time and I just don’t want to eat another goddamn vegan meal! haha

I’m going to keep going though, I think I have some ideas to curb some issues. I have ordered a bunch of vegan freezer meals so I can stop trying to make elaborate meals. I am eating more nuts and will buy some cinnamon roasted almonds so I can eat a few of those if I get the sugar cravings. If anyone has any other ideas, please send them my way.

I was scrolling through Instagram last night and I was starting to salivate over all the delicious treats that I could get after work today. Treats from local shops such as gluten free cupcakes, gluten free donuts, ice cream, the list went on and on. It took me a second, after I had planned out my whole route to purchase these items, to remember that just LAST Saturday i had done the exact same thing and I still have 3 cupcakes and a pint of carrot cake ice cream in the freezer.

I seem to do this thing where I hoard healthy food just in case one day I don’t have the time to cook, or I become poor all of a sudden and I still have that vegan chili I made a year ago (which, to be fair is probably not good anymore and just this second i realized i should eat that stuff sooner rather than later).  On the flip side though, I find it impossible to leave treats in the freezer for another day. My mind thinks,  “If it’s there, i will eat it and I might as well just eat it to get rid of it because it’s tempting me and I’ll just want more!”. (My mind works in run-on sentences). All of that is bullshit because if it’s there i’m thinking of it and if it’s not I’m still thinking of it because I am seeing it all over social media. I wish I could say I were stronger than my cravings, but i am not. So this morning, I went through my list and deleted all the accounts that post delicious, but unnecessary, treats.

So now what?

I’m still pissed about the weight I had gained thanks to the Femara but I wasn’t doing anything about it. Meaning, I wasn’t changing what i was doing. It’s so important to reassess every part of your weight loss journey because we get into this habit of thinking, “well, doing this has worked for me before so it will work again i just have to keep doing this” even though ‘this’ isn’t working anymore.  So if it’s not working, we must change it.

What I ate this week

First and foremost I always make clients record their food for 7 whole days. Why seven? because that gives me a look at their whole week including weekends. When making a meal plan and calculating macros, we always use a calculation that will make clients ideally lose 1lb a week with a 3500cals deficit. I say, ideally because nothing when it comes to weightloss is easy. Not one single person will be the same. Some clients lose weight immediately with any small changes, and others it takes us months to get the perfect plan.

So keeping that in mind, I am a meal prepper so I eat the same freakin’ thing every single day for a whole week. Let’s take a look here:

  • 1 cup of coconut almond milk (80) with matcha latte (30cals)
  • 1/6th of a butternut squash and veg frittata that had about 250g of feta cheese and 10 eggs (250cals)
  • kale, potato and white bean stew (164cals)
  • apple (80 cals)
  • coconut bar (190 cals)
  • broc and cauliflower soup vegan (120cals)
  • Hillarys vegan burger (120cals), sauteed veggies (147cals) a fried egg no oil (72 cals) and cheddar cheese (200cls)
  • handful of cashews (160cals)

total: 1383 cals for the day and I did cardio and yoga so I need to be consuming calories.

If a client sent me that, I wouldn’t say they are overeating but i would make their choices better. I would start by removing unnecessary snacking. If you find yourself snacking frequently, that is because your meals aren’t nutritional enough. I also find that I end up eating right after i ate a meal before waiting to see if I’m actually hungry.

By simply removing the morning ‘latte” and the Jennie’s Coconut bar (or larabar – any bar really) I would be saving 300cals/day. So in a week i’m saving 2100 cals which equals to 8400 cals/month which is 2.4lbs/month. I think that’s a good start.

So what is the takeaway from today’s blog post?

  1. Don’t do too much right off the bat.
  2. Record what you’re eating – take photos or keep track in my fitness pal
  3. Assess the food quality and habits
  4. If there is anything that stands out as ‘unnecessary’ – take it out!
  5. Fruit and veggies are never a bad way to go when it comes to snacking, bars will always add extra calories and cravings. If you find yourself reaching for a snack bar midway through the day, reconsider adding more fiber or protein to your lunches and breakfasts

 

When your whole life has been staying fit and healthy and thin, and you step on the scale one day and realize you have gained 6lbs on your small frame – the most you ever have – life and your struggles smack you hard in the face.

I had read enough about femara to know that I would be gaining weight. The drug blocks the estrogen hormone in order for your progesterone to be prominent so the environment in your body is ideal to conceive and bear a healthy embryo. In doing so, you get hormone imbalances that cause weight gain – specifically in the midsection – as you would when you are going through menopause. Many, many MANY women suffer with this around the ages of 40 and above and they come to me incredibly frustrated because in their minds, they are doing everything they should be, and yet here they are, not losing weight but GAINING weight.

I don’t have a magical answer for this except eating less and moving more.

 

On the edge

In my current situation i need to step away from that mentality as my goal is not to be losing weight, for the first time in my life, but it is to conceive a child. My mind is reeling with confusion and stress and when i step on the scale and I’ve gained another pound from 2 days ago, I don’t know what to do anymore. With a history of eating disorders, my mind goes to a dark place. A place where I start second guessing my current goal and thinking of completely stopping everything we have been doing for 2 years. It’s like an incomplete task. How long do we keep going for? And when we decide we are done trying, I must now prevent pregnancy from happening so I don’t end up with a surprise in 1, 2 or 3 years or more from now when I’m ill prepared and not wanting that in my life anymore.

 

It’s a tough position to be in as i find myself struggling with thinking i don’t actually want a child. As someone who has always been adamant about not wanting children, it’s confusing to switch your mindset to think about the future. Future Leah will be happy she had a child, I know she will but Present Leah isn’t sure. I have met people who just LOVE children and babies and knew their whole lives they wanted to be mothers/ a parent but I never ever had that thought. I’m sure I’m not the only one because lately I’ve had friends ask me seriously, “are you SURe you want this?!” and they go on describing how they don’t regret their child persay, but they regret choosing motherhood. I’m just sitting at the edge and this comments are pushing me closer and closer. Add that to the way I’m feeling about the weight gain, and i might be jumping over. However,  I’ve come this far, is this where I want to end the journey?

Every day I put on a happy face and tell my clients that they are beautiful no matter what and should love themselves first and foremost and focus on being healthy and strong. I whole heartedly believe that and in that moment, I am saying it to myself as well.

Think of where you are and all you have accomplished and do not ever look at yourself with anger or hate because it will not help get you where you want to be.

I do this annoying thing every so often where I want to change something about myself. It’s not even really about changing myself as a person but more like, trying to challenge myself. There is so much information out there about health and nutrition that I sometimes like to just try things myself and see how it turns out.

My new ‘thing’ is quitting coffee. I was a late coffee bloomer. I drank it here and there on occasion but never first thing in the morning. I didn’t actually become a full on coffee drinker until I moved in with my old roommate, Hillary. She had this amazing espresso machine and once she showed me how to make espresso, I was hooked. I went from one shot of espresso in a latte or cappuccino a day to two. Which, I know is not much so I was curious to see how quitting coffee would affect me.

Two Fridays ago I read about the new ruling in California for coffee shops to state the possible risks of drinking coffee and its carcinogenic component but then I read (https://www.livescience.com/61598-lawsuit-warns-of-coffee-cancer-risk.html) so I wasn’t too concerned with my consumption. However, it did spark my interest in trying to quit coffee. I love it but I know it increases the stress hormone and I already have so many stressors in my life that I can’t change so I have to try to eliminate those that I can control. Stressors such as: Driving, traffic, owning a business, trying to conceive, and exercising. I don’t want to give up exercise and even though it’s technically a positive stress, it’s a stressor nonetheless. In my head I didn’t want to quit forever. I still wanted to have coffee with friends here and there but I really wanted to remove the habitual first-thing-in-the-morning-coffee. When you wake up at 5am, you shouldn’t be using coffee to wake up, you should be sleeping enough so you’re rested and not needing a coffee.

So I just wake up on Saturday morning, and I don’t have coffee. No withdrawal symptoms, nothing out of the ordinary but I was told they would start around day 3. So day 3 rolls around, absolutely no withdrawals! Slight headaches but nothing I couldn’t handle. I go  5 days without drinking it and then I have a coffee at 9am. Immediately I am so jacked up on caffeine I feel like I could run a marathon. I then proceed to have full on anxiety all day. It was awful! Nine pm rolls around and I can’t sleep. When I finally fall asleep I have crazy nightmares and I wake up almost every 2 hours.

I realize now that coffee is not my friend. Which is sad because I love it and probably have 10 bags of coffee in my freezer. Anyone need coffee?