Hello! I am looking forward to writing in Manila Fitness to join Ginger in this beautiful advocacy of health and wellness. This is my first blog entry and I thought I’d share how I’ve been after finishing the Cohen program.
As some may have read in my Cohen testimonial, I have gone through Cohen program for six months from December 2011 until June 2012 in the hopes of getting back into shape after my 1st pregnancy and training myself to eating healthy in preparation for my next baby.
Immediately after I finished the program (of weighing my food and finally achieving my goal weight of 118 lbs…) BOOM! Pregnancy test showed positive! =) Without any meds to help me conceive (I used to take metformin to address my PCOS – polycystic ovarian syndrome), I instantly got pregnant! =)
So how has my diet & nutrition changed after Cohen and during this pregnancy?
As I signed in to change a lifestyle, I became more aware of the things to avoid – whether pregnant or not. To achieve a healthier me (& a healthier baby), these are the things I now shy away from:
- Canned goods – Spam, vienna sausage, luncheon meat, corned beef, name it! Corned beef with potatoes used to be my favorite breakfast with rice & egg. Not anymore. So when I get that craving, I buy my own sirloin beef and make my beef craving from scratch. At least I know what I put in my food.
- Instant noodles – Pancit canton, Yakisoba noodles, instant mami – After I did Cohen, my palate is not used to taking anything salty. Much more slurping noodle soup with lots of MSG and salt. =)
- Salty snacks – I used to snack with potato chips when I get hungry. Now, I try to ensure I take protein snacks (nuts, yoghurt, cheese or airfried tofu)
- Fried foods – I pick meals prepared thru steaming, sautéed in light olive oil, broiling, grilling, or oven roasted. I even bought an airfrier so I can achieve the same crunch without the oil (I be posting airfried recipes soon!)
- Knorr Seasoning, Patis, Magic Sarap – I used to eat rice with Knorr and hot sauce all the time. I realized you can have the same tasty meals without it. Better to stick to natural herbs and spices (fresh or dried) and you’ll achieve the same lovely taste you are craving for.
- Cakes, Pastries & Ice Cream– I was never a sweet tooth. But now that I have a totally different set of hormones due to this pregnancy, I sometimes have that craving. I take these in moderation and I ensure I take it within an hour after my meal with carbs. This is a Cohen maintenance guideline, which I try to follow as much as possible to manage my insulin surge. Taking sweets on its own will result in surge in insulin, which will trigger more hunger pangs and cravings… you want to manage that! =) So for the sweet tooth, stick to a piece of dark chocolate or NY cheesecake. =)
- Breads & Pasta – Yup! Sad but true. While I was once a heavy pasta eater, in the course of my Cohen refeeding program, I noticed I’d gain weight the next day after taking pasta and bread. =( Breads & pasta are no longer my fall back meals. I limit my intake as I know my body doesn’t take it well.
- Fast food – I prefer home-cooked meals. But If I need to eat out, I pick dishes with lots of greens, less salt and non-fried.
My usual meals would be like this:
- Breakfast would always have protein. So it is normally egg + brown rice + beef, or Egg with veg + toast, yoghurt with fruit
- Snacks would be yoghurt with fruit or cheese or nuts (I love walnuts! Or just plain boiled peanuts)
- Lunch or Dinner would be brown rice + veg + protein
I ensure my plate adheres to this Harvard School of Public Health – Healthy Eating Plate. This serves as my guide. Source: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid/
What carbs do I take?
The things I listed above adhere to the Cohen Maintenance guidelines. Since I am pregnant, I could not totally take away my carbs. I noticed I gained more weight with white rice, so I make it a point to take brown rice instead. Everyday, I would ask our help to cook 1 cup every morning. That whole stash will last me the whole day. If you think that is not enough, I have considered the fact that most of my vegetables do contain carbs anyway. So I stick to that one cup of brown rice a day. If I don’t take brown rice, I have my meals with boiled potatoes, squash or kamote. =)
So far, I am 6 ½ month into this 2nd pregnancy and proud to say that although I’ve gained a bit of weight, I feel healthier and my baby is the right size – kicking and very active. Compared to my 1st pregnancy, I have passed my 3-hour OGTT / Glucose test so far, no manas or edema yet despite nearing my 3rd trim, and blood pressure is steady at 110/70. All 3 were the opposite on my 1st.
The best gift you could ever give your baby is eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle especially while she is in your womb. As moms, it is our duty to take care of ourselves as another life relies on us to live and survive =)