Online diary of my pregnancy: originally written August 2017
In late June, I woke up at 5am, like usual, to coach the 6am CrossFit class at ANCHOR.
I've been feeling a little bit more tired than usual, and instead of springing out of bed, I am giving myself an extra 15 minutes of rest. No biggie, I live 5 minutes from work and since I am no longer drinking coffee in the morning, the 15 minutes is better spend with my eyes shut!
Today, I felt a little off, though. I woke up having full knowledge that I had a dream I had had a miscarriage. I've been having crazy vivid dreams over the past 3 weeks. I actually asked myself when I was coaching "what is my body trying to tell me" and "do I feel empty?"
As the morning progressed I perked up, and even convinced myself to do a 20 minute WOD including box jumps (I stepped), wall balls and rowing. I felt amazing after I was done and left to get to work at Align Health Centre.
I had a fully booked day, starting off with a new patient. Just as I was getting started with this patient, I felt a nauseous dizzy and odd sensation that caused me to step out of the room.
I was bleeding profusely.
I let out a silent scream, but in my slight disorientation I quickly pulled myself together and went back to attend to my patient.
About 5 minutes later, I knew that I was so worried about myself, that I would not be able to take effective care of this person if I was not OK. Although difficult, I stepped out of the room, and asked another practitioner to take over for me and decided to go to the hospital.
My team at Align and ANCHOR stepped up and covered my day which I was so thankful for. Sometimes, admitting you are unwell and need help is a hard thing to do - especially when you're the doctor.
The hospital was great with me. The nurses were comforting as I was visibly upset, and they got me in for an ultrasound within 30 minutes, but for those 30 minutes I was waiting, I was sure I was going to find out I had miscarried. I was mentally preparing myself to accept this, as it is a common occurrence under 12 weeks, and if this were the case it simply meant the fetus was not viable and my body was doing the right thing.
As I lay getting the ultrasound, the technician turned the screen towards me and showed me that everything seemed to be ok with the fetus!
I went back to the room, still waiting for the results of the cause of the bleed. It was a large subchorionic hematoma* in the gestational sac, but that the fetus was OK.
*more information on this here: https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/complications/subchorionic-bleeding.aspx
The recommendations for healing in my case was simply resting, and to let the body heal itself. This meant no workouts until I was cleared.
So, weeks 8-12 were spent doing very gentle yoga and lots of walks.
When I had my follow up ultrasound a few weeks later, it showed healing of the tear, and that the baby was healthy. Still feeling the effects of being vulnerable in these early stages of pregnancy, I slowly added back in movement at the gym - mostly consisting of body weight movements.
How I'm feeling //
Relieved that the baby is fine.
A little restless that I can't workout, but not upset.
Anxious to ensure that I heal properly.
I'm coaching the 6am and 8:30am classes at ANCHOR, and while getting up at 5am is not problem, towards the end of coaching the 6am class I feel ready to go back to bed. I am sneaking a nap in between classes, all the while doing some positive self talk "you will not throw up, you will not throw up" sometimes this works, other times - not so good. My coach cheering yell has turned into a coach cheering normal indoor speaking voice as anytime I get my heart rate up I feel like I will vomit.
Advice I've received //
I did not do anything to cause the subchorionic hematoma - it wasn't the workout that I did, or that my job is physical. While hematomas are not normal in pregnancy, they are common and most women who experience them go on to have healthy pregnancies.
Changes I've made //
No formal workouts until I am cleared.
How I'm eating //
The smell of eggs, vegetables and meat disgusts me. I can smell it 2 floors away!
I go through hours of not being able to eat, and then moments of rolling through the kitchen consuming every carb in sight (see picture above - a sign I made for a co-worker who left her bagel sitting unattended in the staff room!)
- Dr. Alli
Photo: workout at 6 weeks pregnant at ANCHOR / crossfit. yoga. lifestyle.
Online diary of my pregnancy: originally written June 17, 2017
I decided to keep an online diary of my pregnancy around week 8.
Jordan and I knew that we wanted to start trying for a baby soon after our wedding on NYE december 31, 2016. I found out on June 2nd that I was pregnant. I immediately download the baby centre app that tracks your pregnancy and gives you a food comparison. I am currently carrying a lentil!
The reality of what's to come in ~8 months hasn't sunk in yet. I'm hosting a big party on Saturday and somehow have to avoid people noticing I'm not drinking. Jordan's on it with some pre-made non-alcoholic mimosas, though :)
First steps after finding out I was pregnant --
The first appointment I made after my positive pregnancy test was with my naturopath.
I then applied online for a midwife.
I also booked in for a chiropractic adjustment and let my Chiro know I would be seeing her monthly (or maybe more thoughout my pregnancy).
How I'm feeling --
Slightly more hungry, very tired and thirsty all the time. Also trying to be extremely in tune with my body as I navigate my day to day life which typically includes coaching the 6am and 8:30am crossfit class, seeing patients from 9:30-11, a noon workout and then seeing patients 3-7pm (as well as managing my online business).
I'm starting to think about what the future looks like with a child, and how our life will adapt. I'm hoping that Jordan will cover my maternity leave at Align, and that I can find someone for my patients at ANCHOR.
Advice I received --
- keep things to a light sweat (medical doctor)
- start supplementing (naturopathic doctor)
- stop resting your laptop on your stomach! (sister)
- stop the caffeine (on to decaf!)
Changes I've made --
- listen to my body, kept doing things I normally do, didn't push into any PRs or new skills
- took more breaks in my workouts
- was way more conscious of my hydration level
- took the following supplements each day
- prenatal, coQ10, fish oil, nacetyl, vitamin C, vitamin D
- got a lot more sleep
- stopped resting my laptop on my stomach
How I'm eating //
I already had myself at maintenance level macros, and I tacked on an extra 150. I'm tracking because I want to make sure this is the absolutely best my nutrition has ever been.
I'm super bloated, gassy and constipated. Feeling some odd pinch sensations bilaterally for the first time, just inside of where my hip flexors would be.
Still feeling pretty much normal though and not too many people know!
- Dr. Alli
the basics of nutrition --
macronutrients • carbs/fat/protein —
these are the nutrients that your body requires in large amounts everyday. Alcohol is technically the fourth macro.
protein • necessary to build + repair tissue. Important for bones, muscle, cartilage, skin & blood. Look to lean animal protein (know your source) and non-animal protein such as tofu, quinoa, broccoli etc.
carbs • provide the body with the majority of the energy needed for the demands you place on it. A carbohydrate can be either 'simple' or 'complex.' Simple carbs are a single sugar molecule called a monosaccharide or two simple sugars linked called a disaccharide. Complex carbs are multiple sugar molecules linked together and are called polysaccharides. Get the majority of your carbohydrates from vegetables, nuts & seeds, fruit and legumes.
fat • dietary fat is necessary in your diet for hormone function among other physiological processes. Look to extra virgin olive oil, butter, nuts + seeds, whole eggs etc., for your source of fat.
To learn more about tracking your macros pick up my macros e-book MINDSHIFT MACROS
"... But I can't eat carbs after 8pm?"
"Isn't breakfast the most important meal of the day?"
"I want to go vegetarian, but I'm worried about protein deficiency"
These are just some of the questions that come up each time I do a nutrition workshop.
Sometimes the thought that optimal nutrition can actually be so simple is hard for people to hear.
We've been overwhelmed with the nuances of nutrition from supplement companies focused on selling you a product, rather than a solid nutrition strategy that truly works.
When it comes to optimizing your body composition, focusing on the pillars of nutrition is where most of your energy + effort should lie - that is: your total daily caloric consumption & eating adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat that support your goals.
Let's focus less on the nitty gritty details, and lock down the basics of nutrition, first.
- Dr. Alli Cain
Same caloric intake, but just LOOK at all the food you can eat on the left!
Trail mix is convenient, but so easy to overeat. Have you ever truly measured out a serving size? They also don't contain near enough protein - although many people make the mistake of believing they do.
So while caloric dense food like the nuts + dried fruit might be an easy snack, it will not leave you feeling full. I prefer to eat more food volume because it assists with satiety, reduces the feeling of starvation and enhances compliance with macros when working with reduced calories.
Other culprits guilty of stealing your macros are things like protein bars. I know from experience that it can be so easy to trick yourself into thinking a protein bar is a healthy choice, but in reality you're just eating a lot of unnecessary sugar and calories that won't leave you feeling full. If you're trying to lose weight, or get a better understanding of how food fuels your workouts, try weighing or measuring your food for a day or two to see how on or off you are about your daily consumption.
I am an advocate for "if it fits your macros"/ flexible dieting because it is sustainable and promotes a healthier relationship with food. There is no food that in isolation causes weight gain/loss. Learning to have a variety of foods in your diet is key to long-term success.
Sometimes, in order to hit your goals, you must follow a lower macro number to get there. However, this should never be permanent. The key to long-term success is short cuts and long periods of maintenance as it pertains to your goals.
When following lower macro targets, it is important that you maximize that amount of food that you eat in order to avoid being chronically hungry. Here are some ways to boost the volume of food you eat in a day without exceeding your macro numbers.
1. High volume/low calorie VEGGIES.
The most effective way to feel full is to eat a lot of food. When you're on a cut with your macros, you'll want to do whatever you can to avoid feeling hungry. Filling your meals with low calorie, high volume veggies is a great way to feel satiated. Foods like
2. Eat your fat.
When beginning flexible dieting, your fat target can easily run out early as a byproduct of the protein and carbs you are consuming. It is a good idea to "eat your fat" as opposed to just letting it run out from the protein/carbs you eat. Eating leaner meats, and being aware of the fat content in your carb-dense food will be key. Chicken, lean beef, lean turkey, egg whites are all excellent sources of low fat protein - this will make it possible to add more mono/poly unsaturated fats to your diet like nuts, seeds, nut butter etc. You will be more aware of the fat you are consuming and less likely to overeat this macro.
3. Be aware of sauces and dressing
During a lower macro cycle, boring and bland food may make a regular appearance in your diet. Dressings like BBQ sauce, ketchup, mayo, ranch sauce may be necessary in order to keep your excitement for your meals. Be sure that you are carefully measuring and tracking these if you choose to add them to your meal. Another option is to substitute things to dress up your food that are lower carb/calorie like mustard or hot sauce.
4. Don't drink your calories
Drinking high-calorie and/or high-sugar drinks usually does not lead to you feeling as full as eating them. Limit alcohol, fruit juice, coffee with added cream/sugar and replace them with water. Use this extra room to eat-up! You will be able to fit a lot more food volume in + feel much more full overall.
5. Get enough water!
Working with 100s of nutrition clients, I've noticed that many who complain of hunger simply are not drinking enough water. Since we're tracking our macronutrients, we should also be tracking another aspect of our overall health - our hydration. Invest in a large water bottle and fill it up - you'll know exactly how much you've consumed and how much you need to hit your water target.
Dr. Alli Cain