Tag Archives: motherhood

It’s official (no more meat) and I blame it on hormones

I gave myself the gift of vegetarianism for my 25th birthday. At that point I had long left red meat and pork behind. In fact, the last hamburger I ate was back in 1996 at my college dining hall. People always asked what led me to give up meat and to tell you the truth, it started when I was a toddler. Family folklore tells the tale of me ordering nothing but grilled cheese or chicken when dining out my entire childhood. When it came to vegetables, I was the six-year-old chowing down spinach and lima beans while my brother was hiding his veggies in his dinner napkin. And I was notorious for stealing raw potato chunks while my mother peeled and sliced them for dinner. I have always loved the salad bar, eating the skin of a baked potato, have never met a vegetable I didn’t like, and would often refuse to eat meat.

I first declared “I am no longer eating red meat” the summer of 1990. My understanding father indulged me with turkey burgers and grilled chicken that summer. Because I lived with my mother during the school year, my red meat ban didn’t stick and I occasionally ate meat to stop the dinner time battles. Fast forward to freedom college and I stopped eating red meat all together.

So the looming question…”why didn’t you like red meat”? To me it tastes like metal. Red meat has a very specific metallic taste to me. Have you ever bitten your tongue (of course you have!) and it bleeds a little… and tastes..well…metalic? I assume it is the iron (blood) of the animal. I mean, would you suck on a piece of metal??? Gross, right? But that’s what it tastes like to me. As for pork, it’s just not my thing taste, texture or smell wise.

In the entire twelve years I was a vegetarian (evolving into a pescatarian), I never once became anemic. It turns out my body (likely due to Celiac) stores iron. If I was not a vegetarian I may have had iron levels that were too high. I don’t think my vegetarianism was a coincidence, I think my body knew what to do.

Now here is the twist…10 weeks into my pregnancy and 12 years with no meat, ALL I WANTED WAS CHICKEN!! And I ATE it, and ate it, and ate it. I even ate a Nathan’s hotdog when I was 27 weeks pregnant (clearly a low point for my palate). After my daughter was born, I had some complications and lost a LOT of blood. I had an uncanny resemblance to Dracula’s daughter (‘vamp’ is not a good look for me) and was prescribed iron tablets. My CBC count stabilized very quickly which seemed to surprise the doctors. At the hospital I narrowly avoided a blood transfusion and 3 weeks later you would have never known.

Let’s fast forward again. Here we are in February of 2015. My daughter is now 8 months old and starting finger foods. I am still breastfeeding but my craving for meat has plummeted. On January 31st I cooked Ball Park turkey dogs. I prefer Applegate Farms organic, but my husband bought Ball Park so I wasn’t going to be a snob about it. They did not look like the healthiest hotdogs so I cooked them until they had stripped black wrinkly skin. Twelve hours later and for the next 36 hours I had an intestinal upset I never want to experience again. A few days later I was cooking organic turkey bacon and could barely look at it much less stomach the smell of cooking meat. It just all clicked. Just.  Like. That. I am DONE with meat again.

All I can say is that I need to listen to my body. I didn’t think twice about eating meat while I was pregnant because I knew it was not me that wanted the large amount of animal flesh protein and iron, it was my growing baby who demanded it so I just went with it. People who know me were tickled by my aversion to anything green and leafy and my new-found love of chicken and turkey. I am not sure what causes these sudden onsets of food cravings and aversions. I chalk it up to hormones. Baby J is now 8 months, eating whole foods and not requiring as much breast milk. I think this meat thing is an indication of my child getting nutrients from whole foods now and that weaning may be near.

So I guess it’s official. February 4, 2015 started my meat free life….again.

Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? What made you give up meat? Or start eating meat again?

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Day 66: Out of the rut and into the leeks

Did I ever mention that life with an infant is really hectic? Most of you probably already know this fact. So… I have ordered her an exersaucer; the kind that attach to the door frame. I am anticipating that this is the key to my evening meal preparation in peace and focus. I have had lovely visions that Juliet will dance about, safely contained in her saucer, strategically placed in the doorway to the kitchen. Essentially I have high hopes that this will keep everyone away from the kitchen while I cook and simultaneously entertain the baby. I can already hear her squeal with delight! Come on UPS! (or FedEx??)

In other news, we have got a lot of root veggies in our CSA share. One of these abundant delectables is the leek! I love leeks. They are flavorful but not overpowering. I find that leeks are good in just about any dish. One of my favorites is leeks and spinach sautéed in an omelet. Wow! The flavor is tremendous, especially if you add a bit of rosemary. Do you have a favorite way to cook and eat leeks? If so, please comment below. Happy Blogging!

A beautiful October sky

Day 59: Keep calm. It’s only Wednesday.

It was having such a relaxing morning. I was logged into work and planning the online conference sessions I would watch in the afternoon. Just before lunch I grabbed a quick shower, bathed the baby and let the dog out. Twenty minutes later as I sit down to log into the first conference session, my day takes a nose dive. In the next 30 minutes, this is what ensues: I have logged in but am unable to access the session link. I begin instant messaging our admin assistant, IMing the conference IT team, the baby (she has started cereal) has a diaper blow out so I run upstairs, strip her down and stick her in the bath AGAIN. After I get the baby into fresh clothes I walk down stairs to see the dog aggressively chewing something…hmmm…it turns out to be a power cord to some electronic device (my husband needs to clean up his various piles of ‘stuff’ laying around the house). Now it is 12:12 p.m. and the conference IT team has got me logged into the conference. Yay! Then the phone rings…. I am updated on some issues in the non-profit organization I volunteer with (not again!….). In a matter of 20 minutes, my day has taken a wild turn. By 12:45 I am making a fresh cup of coffee to nix the headache that has set in and *try* to settle into my afternoon of work. The evening took on the same erratic energy. Dinner was rice with leftover beans; not very exciting. My day ended with a crying baby up until midnight and a blocked milk duct (Ouch!). As I take a deep breath on this Thursday morning, I am ever so thankful it is a new day.

Day 45: In the wee hours…

Ah…now I remember why takeout was the choice de jour. It’s 1:09 AM and I have just gotten my 4 month old to fall back asleep. I have apparently been a very lucky new mom; my daughter started sleeping through the night at 10 weeks. In a way I have been a fool – I have taken this for granted and now that I am awake in the middle of the night, that tired feeling and the memories of the first few months of frequent night waking, feedings, and the entire 5 seasons of Dharma & Greg episodes all comes rushing back. I really didn’t know how to juggle a newborn, sleep deprivation, house, pets, husband, AND cook dinner too. I was soooo guilty, yet so thankful for takeout in those early weeks. Takeout is not an evil by any means and not eating/buying/indulging in takeout is not a statement about the food industry or a criticism. For me, it is a way to help get me back into life’s rhythm and make conscious choices about the foods and flavors I introduce to my baby. I really do believe that we are what we eat. What do you think?