What a great question! There are several great websites for recipes. Our group thought the following would be good. We hope they help you!
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Congratulations on the family expansion! First and foremost is to pick a weight goal that works for you. Second, if you lose weight at a rate of 10% every six months until you reach your goal weight, you will keep it off better. Finally, physical activity plays a vital role in both weight loss and weight maintenance. The recommended physical activity level is 30 minutes most days of the week.
Start with a food log and track for two weeks, exactly what you eat. This helps you see what type of foods you eat and how often you snack. After that I would look at the amount you eat (servings). Using the food label of the foods you buy, monitor servings or amount of servings. Set some goals then, e.g. “I would like to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day” or “I will only eat two snacks daily vs three.” You can also use the Myplate website, www.myplate.gov to help you with a meal pattern and serving sizes.
Plan your meals as much as in advance as you can, which can also help with a food budget. The same goes with planning physical activities. Start with an activity that could incoporate the twins, perhaps at 30 minute walk. If you plan for it, you are more than likely to do it and not skip it! Good Luck!
A food allergy is an immune system response. Food intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. The symptoms you provided may be caused by food allergies or food intolerances. Most food intolerances are found through trial and error to determine which food or foods cause symptoms. If your symptoms do not disappear when these foods are eliminated I would recommend allergy testing. A skin prick test or blood test for IgE antibiodies is commonly used to determine if an allergy exists. While there are no genetic tests to determine risk for food allergy, a family history increases the risk the child will have a food allergy.
Planning, planning, planning! That is the best advice I can give when it comes to a busy schedule and healthy meals. Try to set aside some time before grocery shopping where you can plan your meals for the week. This will help budget for food as well as cut down on time spent during the day deciding what to make. Another suggestion would be to spend an afternoon cooking and freezing meals for the week. Try to be active at work if possible, if you can go for a walk during lunch or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Unsweetened decaf tea can be a good alternative for water but I would not suggest that as your only source of daily fluid intake. Water should be your primary choice of beverage!
Current artifical sweeteners on the market including Stevia have been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration and are considered GRAS or Generally Recognized As Safe, for use by consumers. Artifical sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet sodas and other products are safe for most people and there is no credible evidence that these cause cancer. Some side effects reported with the use of Stevia include nausea, bloating, dizziness, and muscle pain. I would suggest using Stevia in moderation, about 1-2 packets a day to keep the risk for side effects low. Stevia is safe for use with diabetes and has not been shown to raise blood glucose levels.
You are not alone when it comes to loving the taste of butter. Butter is unfortunately high in saturated fat, which we know is the fat we need to really limit. It is recommended to use spreads because they are lower in saturated fat and made with polyunsaturated fats, that body can break down to use rather than store, like saturated fats. The ones with which we are most familiar are Promise Buttery Spread and Country Crock, that have only 1.5 g saturated fat. They are also easy to use in the kitchen when using other recipes. However, I recommend that you take time at the grocery store and look at all soft spreads and find one you like.
Congratulations on the meal planning!!! What a great step forward. Your question is a good one, because I myself have this problem as well. If you have a place to store snacks, then you can bring those in from home. Find some that you are willing to try. Some examples we use are yogurt, fresh fruit or vegetables, string cheese, peanut butter and crackers, nuts, or trail mix (which is easy to make rather buying it) . These are just few things that are easy to keep on hand.
If you were exercising before becoming pregnant then you can continue at the pace you were going. If you can continue to get in 30 minutes of cardio a day with 3-4 days of light strength work that would be great. As a full-time worker that can sound daunting especially if you are experiencing 1st trimester sickness. If you did not have a regular exercise routine prior to pregnancy then you need to start slow (light intensity and short time) and continue to add more time to your workout. Some good gym cardio machines would be the elliptical, the bicycle (early pregnancy), and walking on the treadmill. (You can run if you ran before, but do not start to run as part of your workout.) Pilates, yoga, and some other classes can also be good workouts, but be sure to inform the instructor that you are pregnant so they can give you variations to the routine if necessary. Swimming is another low impact form of exercise that is great if you have access to a pool and/or pool group lessons.
Knowing that exercise is a priority for your health thus with your little one’s, I would recommend evaluating your schedule and set up realistic goals for each week. As you meet those goals increase the amount of time/days to your workouts each week. If you feel any cramping or sharp pain in your lower abdomen area (this will likely occur as you get further along, then you are pushing yourself and it’s likely your body’s way of telling you to slow down.)
Before bedtime I would recommend a snack that includes protein, fat, and carbohydrates. To prevent running high through the night I would keep it between 1-2 carbohydrate servings or 15-30 grams of carbohydrates. Protein and fat are important throughout the night as well to help prevent a low blood glucose reading. Some suggestions to try:
Meal Planning is not a favorite among a lot of people, but it works the best. We often find ourselves in a crunch after work, or “so hungry I need something quick” moment. It happens to all of us. One thing that can help is planning out your week’s menu. It does not have to be a complicated meal each night. For instance, if you cook a meat sauce, freeze it. Then you could use it for spaghetti, beef stew, tacos, sloppy joe’s, etc through out the week. Also, using a crock pot is very popular again. Many people are cooking roasts, chicken, soup, casseroles, and so on, so food can be ready when you get home. Buying frozen vegetables, such as the steamer bags, makes it easy to have side dishes, and you don’t feel like you have to make a salad every time. Spicing up the vegetables with oil and spices is better than adding salt to it.
Flavored water and water with artificial sweeteners are appropriate as long as it is very low calorie or 0 calories. These beverages will count towards your daily fluid intake. If you are trying to limit your sodium intake be cautious of the added sodium in some flavored waters. I also suggest adding cut up fresh fruit to water as an alternative. You should consume at least 8-12 cups of water (64-96 fl ounces) a day. However, you may need additional water when exercising or in hot weather. The general 1 quart (4 cups) of water is needed daily for every 50 pounds of body weight.
On the basic level, extra calories that you consume and do not burn off turn into storage for potential future use…aka fat. Most individuals need 0.8g/kg body weight of protein per day. Extreme endurance athletes may need up to 2g/kg protein per day. Anything above that will likely be excreted through your urine or turn into fat. Eating an adequate amount of protein will help to build muscle if you are doing strength exercises on a fairly regular basis. However, you do not need over 2g/kg body weight of protein to “help” better build muscle. The best way to decrease/prevent fat on your body is to not eat more calories than you are burning and to participate in regular cardiovascular exercise. The best types of protein to eat in general are lean meats like boneless skinless chicken breasts, 90%+ lean ground beef, fish, lower fat dairy foods, nuts, beans, etc. These are all meant to be eaten in moderation. Keep in mind that fats are not bad, but a lot of them are not beneficial for building muscle and decreasing fat.
So, in general to gain muscle and decrease fat, I would recommend eating a well balanced diet with 0.8-1g/kg body weight of protein per day and participate in regular strength and cardiovascular exercise.
Example of protein needs.
Typically one ounce of meat has about 7g protein.
People who are trying to quit smoking or may have an obessive complusive disorder, have been reported to use the “rubber band method”. There have been no recent studies that this method works to curb food cravings. It may stop you from eating at that moment, but you are really not changing the behavioral thought behind it. A great way to figure it out is to decipher if you are physically hungry, or just wanting to eat
Gluten free foods are for those with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance. People with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance develop an adverse reaction when eating gluten. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Celiac Disease is diagnosed by gene tests, blood tests, and a small intestine biopsy. Some people who may not have Celiac Disease may have gluten tolerance. Gluten intolerance can only be diagnosed if symptoms improve with the elimination or reduction of gluten from the diet. A gluten free diet is not always healthier because many gluten free products have more fat and calories than the foods they replace. Overall, it is not necessary to follow a gluten free diet unless you have Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance.
Sodium itself does not cause headaches, but high amounts can contribute to high blood pressure, which gives headaches. Frozen vegetables are a good choice, but make sure there are no sauces included. Steamer bags are a good option. If you can only get canned, then rinse the vegetables one time to get rid of the extra juice which contains good amount of sodium.