Chia Seeds

Remember those silly commercials for Chia Pets? The awful terracotta, simply add water-and-watch-it-grow ridiculousness that somehow we all had at one time? Yeah, I had a Garfield Chia Pet that I loved.

Did you know that you can eat the chia seeds? Did you know that they are amazingly good for you? Originally the seed comes from Mexico and Central America. They were consumed as a main staple because of their amazing benefits. So why have we forgotten about them?

A Tablespoon of chia seeds contain about 40 calories, but those calories carry an important nutritional punch. They contain fiber, protein and omega-3’s. You can use them in so many different ways, from adding it to baked goods, smoothies to soups and stews. They quickly absorb water and swell, they are fun in your mouth (almost like tomato seeds) and they fill your belly so you don’t have to eat as often.

Chia seeds also might be beneficial for a PCOS diet because it offers so many good things in such a little package. Of course consult with your dr to decide if it is a good addition to your diet.

Chocolate Chia Seed Energy Bars

These bars are wonderful in so many ways because they contain lots of proteins, fibers and healthy fats. In addition they are perfect for simple take along snacks, and can satisfy that sweet tooth without refined sugar.

Soak the dates ahead of time to help ease the load on your food processor.

Ingredients
1½ cups pitted dates
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole chia seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds (unsalted)
1/2 cup coconut (unsweetened you can find these at health food stores)
optional: sprinkle of salt

Instructions

Purée dates in food processor until a thick paste forms. Add cocoa powder, chia seeds, vanilla and almond extracts. Pulse until all ingredients are combined. Add the almonds and coconut; pulse until nuts are well incorporated into date mixture.

Spread large sheet of wax paper on work surface. Transfer date mixture to wax paper, and press mixture into 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. If desired, you can even out the edges by trimming them with a knife. Wrap tightly in wax paper, and chill overnight.

Unwrap block, and cut into 8 bars. Sprinkle with a bit of salt (if using). Re-wrap each bar in wax paper and refrigerate leftovers in an air-tight container.

A little rant:

As a pregnant woman who knows that my body does not effectively process sugars and carbs I try to make sure that what I put in my body is good for me and good for my baby. I occasionally have a soda, or fast food chinese or a piece of cake. I do, I have and I will again. I am not a saint. But I am keenly aware that I have a better chance of developing gestational diabetes. I have chosen not to take the glucose test, as I do not believe that dumping all of that sugar into my body at one time is healthy. I would never put my body or baby through that. My dr. and I have agreed that I will have my glucose monitored for the rest of the pregnancy. The mothers group that I am part of is currently going through their glucose tests, and failing. Which in turn brings my palm to face. Seriously? If you know that you have a greater chance for developing gestational diabetes, why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to avoid that? Fast food, sweets and pasta are not good for you and not good for your baby. Stop eating that shit. Now. I started this blog because I wanted to document my struggle to eat right and deal with my body as it pertains to food, weight and PCOS. It has gone the way of a surprising PCOS fertility success story. I started overweight, I admit this and own it. I was 20 pounds over weight, and during this pregnancy (I am 28 weeks now) I have gained a total of 9 pounds, that’s it. I do not use pregnancy to eat whatever I want when I want it, I do not use pregnancy as an excuse. If you are currently a pregnant woman with a history of PCOS and find yourself failing your glucose test, please take responsibility for what food goes into your mouth and the decisions you make.

Advertisements

Baby Greens with Tuna and Mixed Vegetables

I am sorry I haven’t written a helpful post in such a long time. I am finally starting to be able to eat ‘real food’ again, and things are starting to appeal to me. But it has been a long couple of weeks of yogurt and graham crackers. The baby is doing fine. We had our 12 week ultrasound on Friday and J. was able to see the baby for the first time. I have never seen him so excited.

I haven’t been very good about eating a low carb diet, as the only thing that I could stomach were simple carbs, bread, fruit, crackers, rice, noodles etc. But now that I am feeling better I am interested in fish and chicken, and lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. So I am transitioning to making better choices for me and baby.

Today I had a tuna salad. I have read quite a bit on pregnancy and high mercury levels. A pregnant woman should monitor mercury heavy foods and avoid ingesting too much. To say that in another way, you don’t need to cut these mercury heavy fish out of your diet, just eat them in moderation. Guidelines state no more than “12 oz of low mercury fish should be consumed weekly”

Baby Greens with Tuna and Mixed Vegetables

Baby Greens with Tuna and Mixed Vegetables (from Martha Stewart)

  • 4 cups (2 1/2 ounces) baby romaine lettuce
  • 3 cups (2 1/2 ounces) baby spinach
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled into ribbons (3/4 cup)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 ounces radishes, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 6-ounce jar tuna packed in olive oil, drained, oil reserved for dressing (I like Tuna in Water)
  • FOR THE DRESSING
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (reserved from tuna)

Directions

  1. Make the salad: Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk together mustard, vinegar, shallot, lemon zest and juice, water, salt, and pepper. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until dressing is emulsified.
  3. Toss the salad with the dressing, and serve immediately.

Read more at Marthastewart.com: Baby Greens with Tuna and Mixed Vegetables

To Drug or Not to Drug…..

I went for a follow up appointment today. Just your run of the mill, here is the medications you can take, here are some pamphlets and magazine articles to read, to do’s, don’t do’s and on and on. At one point the lpn  started to explain that at some point in the future I will need to take a glucose test. To which I think I might have audibly snorted. Glucose? I can already tell you that my body does a shit job of glucose management. So I asked her if there was anything that I should be doing to control my pcos…she scrunched her nose and said she didn’t know but she would go ask the ob/gyn. She returned a moment later with a smile and told me that no, there was nothing that I should be doing. I know in my heart that I need to do my own research, but sometimes it is just easier to listen to what the professionals say. So I relaxed a little bit. Maybe 15 minutes later on my way home the phone rings from the dr’s office. The lpn calls me to tell me that she realized I had been on Metformin and was going to encourage me to go back on it, at least until the 12 week (which is 3 weeks away).

 

So now I face the dilemma. Do I go back on Metformin? This means being sick because of the meds and being sick from pregnancy. It means dumping chemicals into my blood stream and into the blood of my forming baby. The effects to the baby have not been studied fully, some drs’ say stop as soon as you figure out you are pregnant, some say take it until you are 12 weeks and some encourage women to continue to take it throughout the whole pregnancy. What will happen if I start taking it again after being off for 3 weeks, will the change in blood sugars disrupt the fetus?

 

And if I don’t go back on to Metformin, will there be a higher chance for miscarriage? I already feel in these past few weeks I have lived a life-time with this little bean. And if I do lose it, I will always wonder….what if I had just taken the drug?  I can’t imagine losing it, I have already devoted enough ill feeling, low energy days to the cause. Will I develop gestational diabetes and need to take insulin?

 

Anyone with any advice is welcome to chime in, in as far as I have read it seems the general consensus is to take the metformin as the benefits outweight the risks. But we live in a drug crazy society, where the answer to everything is to take a pill, and I just can’t get behind that philosophy. I am sure that diet has a lot to do with it, and lately being unable to eat anything but high carbohydrates I have certainly fallen off the plan.

 

My intuition tells me to not take the drug and modify with a healthy diet. My dr. says otherwise.