Sunday, May 8, 2011

Consult with the Holistic Health Counselor... Plus a Rant

Last night I finally had my phone consult with the Holistic Health Counselor, the one who is an expert on all things Weston Price.

First, let me get this off my chest. I said to her that I had gained a bit less weight than the average woman in pregnancy thus far, and she said, "Yes, but isn't that typical for a woman who was overweight when she started?"


That stung.

This woman doesn't know me, she only knows what information I have shared with her.

And my pre-pregnancy BMI was 25.3, so yes, technically, I was overweight (overweight is a BMI of 25 or higher). But somehow, I had never thought of myself as a person who was overweight.

I feel mad at myself that this is bothering me. I keep calling myself stupidwhitegirl for letting this bother me. Labeling me as overweight is NOT personal. She's not saying I'm mean, or selfish, or unproductive, or unlikeable, or even unattractive. She's just using the medical terms that I gave her.

Why is it that in my culture (white, urban, middle class or upper middle class), being overweight is in anyway connected to self worth?

The fact that we have an epidemic of both obesity and eating disorders is not surprising to me in the slightest. We use food as a secret friend and protector, while simultaneously worshiping those who are extremely thin. What if we just saw food for what it is and saw weight and body size as a lot less important? I bet that there would be a lot fewer people at the extremes of weight, and a lot more healthy folks congregating in the middle.

I've done so much work to commit to never dieting again, and more importantly, to never dieting again... WHO CARES (aka "why do I care") what my weight is???

At this point, I don't know if I even want to go back to my old pre-PCOS weight. I finally got rid of the clothes that fit me back then, since they were woefully out of fashion by now anyway. I just don't know that I need to live life as a size 4-6.

But what I do want is to be healthy for my baby. To produce uber-healthy breastmilk for her, to start out, and later, to be strong and vibrant and long living for my girl.

To that end, I do want to continue to work on my eating. I think I am making wonderful progress, and I very much want to stay focused on that, the great work I am doing (and the dividends it is already paying, like my improved skin).

So here were her suggestions, based on the food recall I gave her.

  1. Eat more (high quality) protein. Apparently fruit with yogurt (for breakfast every day) and smoothies with whole milk (for dinner most days) do not have enough protein. 
  2. Eat more high quality snacks, focusing mainly on animal products and nuts. 
    1. Try to avoid the Cliff Mojo Bars (too high in sugar). 
    2. Try raw milk keffir -- more filling than yogurt. Try not to drink it ice cold. 
    3. Nuts are also good. I should try soaked, dehydrated ones since regular nuts nauseate me. 
    4. Raw milk cheese is very filling, especially from her favored vendor 
    5. Organic, nitrate free, sweetener free processed meats like prosciutto and and beef sausage are also quick, filling snacks that I can grab on the go, even while I am working.
    6. Vegetables do not make not filling snacks. Except for avocado. 
  3. Balance the protein at each meal with ample quantities of fat, vegetable if desired, plus something fermented or with probiotics to aid absorption (the Weston Price folks are huge on fermented foods... I wish I knew of any that I liked). Oh, and drink broth with meals... another way to aid absorption and stay full, longer. 
  4. Make sure I am eating enough -- my meals may not be providing enough sustenance.
  5. Try to limit fruit a little... meals may be more filling with less fruit (I did find this to be the case pre-pregnancy -- a salad with chicken kept me full longer if I didn't have a piece of fruit for "dessert" afterwards). Try substituting "sweet" vegetables for fruit -- things like acorn squash, sweet potatoes, carrots -- when I crave fruit. 
  6. Order my food from her farmers' group -- it can all either be stored in the refrigerator for long periods of time or else can be frozen. Things to order: 
    1. raw milk
    2. raw keffir
    3. chicken carcasses for broth, preferably including the feet (yuck! but apparently they contain tons of gelatin, which increases the absorption of nutrients)
    4. pastured lard, especially important for those lacking in Vitamin D, which I have been in the past (vitamin D deficiency is a bitch -- do consider getting yourselves tested -- getting supplemented has made a world of difference to my energy levels)
    5. pastured eggs

She is going to send me recipes to make my own dark chocolate (cool!), my own coconut oil (rich is lauric acid, especially important for babies -- it's even added to commercial formulas), my own ketchup and ginger ale (I hate carbonated things, so I will make mine with plain water instead of Pellegrino), kavass (a fermented beet beverage, and with a subtle flavor) plus a summary of all of her suggestions.

Now I'm off to try eating my yogurt plain, without fruit. Here goes!


  1. Girl, I've seen your pictures, I have no idea where you're hiding any weight that would give you a BMI of 25.3 - must be all muscle!

  2. Seriously Abby, you look great, very healthy in your photos. And you're doing great with pregnancy weight gain. It's all going to come off breastfeeding, don't worry.
    Now I just have to say that raw milk products scare the bejeezus out of me as they are a known source of past E coli outbreaks. Be careful! (unsolicited concerns aired).
    Happy Mother's Day to you!