Easy Protein Shake

I’ve been on the hunt for fast protein sources lately.  With my gigantic 8 month old still nursing and my seeming inability to pay attention to my own health during our recent move, I’ve come into some health problems.  A friend of mine reminded me that “protein protein protein” will solve the majority of my problems.  After a big face palm and a “duh,” I got to work.  The following is a recipe for a shake with 21g of protein (yes, 21!!!):

  • 2 Tbsp of peanut butter
  • 8 oz of whole milk (or more to taste)
  • 1 Carnation Breakfast Essentials packet in Milk Chocolate
  • 1 banana
  • Blend until smooth and enjoy!
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Calorie Counting?

I’ve always had snide comments about thin women who count their calories because I never saw a reason for it. The whole, “I can’t eat that piece of bread, I’ve had too many carbs today” thing completely annoyed me. But with the amount D eats every day, I have become one of those women.

After losing 2.5 pounds without trying and hitting my bare minimum weight, I decided I needed to be more careful about my nutrition. On my next trip to the grocery store, I picked up whole milk versions of my favorite dairy products, purchased Nutty Bars, and some Snackwell caramel corn (just for the heck of it). Earlier this week a friend told me about MyFitnessPal, and now I’m hooked.

My profile is set to an active lifestyle and I created an exercise called “Breastfeeding” filed under cardio activities for lack of a better category. I now know exactly how many calories I need to fill in what’s being taken out. I love how easy it is to add food, water or exercise and that so far everything I’ve eaten was already in the database. As an added bonus, there’s an app for my phone so I can add things immediately instead of waiting until I can get on the computer.

So yes, I now count my calories. But it has definitely opened my eyes to eating a healthier balance and it is teaching me what it takes to get in shape while still keeping up with my son.

Oh, Breastpump! How I’ve missed thee! Not.

Little V was blessed with extreme colic and acid reflux which lasted us well beyond the length of the “average” infant.  During this time, we learned A LOT about treating both.  By the age of 8 weeks, V was eating twice the amount she actually need and was still asking for more to soothe her terrible heartburn.  This, combined with my bodies ridiculous speed of expelling breast milk, lead me to become an “exclusive pumper.”

But where did this leave me?  There’s the constant question of pediatricians everywhere, “Breast or bottle-fed?”  Ummm…. Both?

Until my body quit producing milk (at an unfortunately early month), I pumped and bottle-fed V.  I was able to pump three times a day and produce enough milk for all of her feedings.  At that time, we used Playtex Drop-ins and I used an electric Medela double-pump with a hands-free bra so I could do other things while sitting in my uncomfortable dairy-farm like state.

I was never ashamed that V required pumped milk; I was very proud to do whatever it took to give her the best of the best.  I even ate an incredibly bland diet free of coffee, tea, chocolate, citris, tomatoes, and nuts simply so she could still have breast milk.

Which brings me to today.  D is now seven weeks old and was a fabulous nurser from day one.  He has gained a ridiculous amount of weight and is now taller and heavier than the average three-month-old.  He has always been a very gassy baby, but it has gotten so bad that I’ve decided something must be done.  Enter breast pump.

That’s right, I’ve spent yesterday and today bottle-feeding and pumping once again to aid this child’s aching tummy.  As I sit here pumping for the third time today, I can’t help feeling defeated.  I feel frustrated, angry at myself, and tired just thinking about the sink-fulls of breast shields, collection bottles, and nipples, the freezer bags and the constant shuffle from pump, to freezer, to fridge, to bottle, to sink.

I know there is nothing I can do to slow the speed of my milk or to create less in a way that will still keep up with my growing child.  I know I should feel blessed to even have such a problem.  But I’m down and out on the fact that my body doesn’t work like it’s intended to so it can feed my baby.  I’m guilty over letting his belly hurt for so long.  I want to cry over the days spent trying to quiet his.  And while I know that some day in the coming weeks I will be ready to admit pride over “doing whatever it takes to give my baby the best,” I’m just not there yet.  I need my time to grieve and to feel sorry for myself.

Slowly, I’ll get there. I’ll get used to the luggage it takes to be a pumping mom again.  In the mean time, I’ll just laugh through my teary eyes as V lifts her shirt, pushes two tiny cups against her belly and says, “My turn pump a-milk!”