Thank you for following my weight loss journey!

Week 6

Initial Weight Week 1: 130

Final Weight Week 6: 123

Thank you for following my weight loss journey for the last six weeks. I still have a couple of pounds to go but I am proud of my success so far.

For me, the hardest parts of reaching a healthy weight are exercising, avoiding eating out, and skipping convenience foods. I am still in search for ways to make my exercise more effective… thinking about getting jogging stroller, but I can’t justify the cost unless I am sure I will use it (and I’m not sure).

Here is my prescription for a healthy diet:

–          Choose water has your main beverage

–          Try to eat as many vegetables as you can (especially bright colored ones)

–          Eat fruit when you want something sweet (preferably ones that are in season and locally grown)

–          Experiment with new healthy foods that you haven’t tried before

–          Bake, broil, or roast meats

–          Limit total grain intake and choose whole grains

–          Try to  limit eating out to once a week (very difficult for me)

–          Exercise often (the recommendation is 30 minutes on most days)

–          Treat yourself, but don’t cheat yourself!

Remember that life is all about balance and making the changes and choices that are right for you and your family!

What is your healthy eating “prescription”?

Adding Exercise

Olivia ready to exercise

This guest post is by Rachel Tainey, and is part five of a six week series.

Week 5

Starting weight: 125

Ending weight: 123

It’s almost go time! Three more weeks until Miami, and I am pretty happy with my weight loss so far. I have already lost seven pounds and I hope to lose at least three more. This week I have continued to be dairy free…. well, mostly. (I had cheese twice.)  I am still loving my coconut milk and coconut yogurt. Somebody told me about coconut ice cream and I’m dying to try!

As a dietitian I teach people that in order to lose weight and keep it off, a healthy routine should include nutrition and physical activity.  In addition to helping you reach a healthy weight, exercise has numerous benefits, including mood elevation–and as sometimes-sleep-deprived mamas, don’t we always need that sometimes? For me, healthy eating is much easier than exercising.

I wish I liked exercise. My mom is one of those people that goes to the gym every day and sometimes twice…but I have never really liked going to the gym, despite having memberships on and off throughout my adult years. I am the kind of person who is always in search for the right “fit” when it comes to exercise. I have gone through many phases looking for the perfect exercise match (kind of like exercise dating, ha!). I have tried roller blading, hot yoga, aerobics, home videos, and spinning–to name a few! The only thing that I have stuck to is walking. I love to look around and clear my head and the best part is that I can do it any time, any where, and with DD.

This week Olivia and I have been vamping up our walk routine and have been taking longer and much more intense walks. One day we took a nice walk with friends through the steep hills of Westchester, and my butt thanked me later! This morning we participated in a beautiful two mile walk at the NY Botantical Gardens. DD loves being outside and so do I. Ever since she was a newborn, we would take walks together, even if it was just five minutes so that we felt that we did something for the day!

Walking is all good, but I need ways to make it higher impact. I’m going to try walking faster, hiking up steeper inclines, and walking with weights (which would be hard to do with a stroller).  Do you have any ideas?

What types of exercises have you tried? What’s your go-to way to get moving?

Did you know The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year is now for sale? Are you interested in learning more about gentle, mom and baby-friendly practices that foster a joyful, connected relationship? Want to introduce a pregnant friend to natural parenting? Check out our website or head over to Amazon to grab your copy today!

The surprise benefits of going dairy free

Week 4:

Starting weight: 127

Ending weight: 125

This is my fourth week of trying to lose weight and get healthy! This week was a little different… Last week my five month old daughter was diagnosed with eczema. I felt so bad for her. Her skin is so dry and I think that it itches, causing her to be mildly fussy. The pediatrician told us to use several topical lotions including a steroid cream. Besides the side effects of steroid use, there is strong evidence that steroid use is linked to osteoporosis later in life. I have had eczema and asthma my whole life and have been on various types of steroids many times, so my chances of getting osteoporosis are very high. I  really didn’t want to increase DD’s chance of complications later on. She’s only five months!

I decided instead to use coconut oil mixed with breast milk as a topical ointment and to try a modified elimination diet. The most common dietary triggers for eczema are dairy, wheat, eggs, and nuts. This week I decided to eliminate dairy from my diet to see if it would help. This is a big deal for me; I LOVE cheese, yogurt, and all things dairy. But I love DD more. I cried on the first day. For real–real tears. However, overall it really hasn’t been that bad. I have been using a blend of coconut and almond milk in my coffee and it’s quite tasty. I have also been eating almond yogurt, which is a little hard to get used to. I think I like coconut yogurt better. The hardest day for me was when I went to a mixer for the school I will be attending in the fall, and all they served was a platter of stinky delicious cheeses, crackers, and hummus. I was so proud of myself for abstaining from those amazing looking cheeses.

I am not quite sure if the dairy elimination is helping DD yet, but her skin is much softer, and she seems a little happier, so I am going to continue being dairy free for a while. The best side effect of the dairy elimination project was that I lost two pounds this week without really trying! Dairy, especially cheese, can be high in fat, especially the dangerous saturated fat. By cutting the saturated fat out of my diet, I also cut out extra fat. Amazing!

Are you on or have you ever been on an elimination diet? What did you eliminate? What was the most difficult adjustment ?

Hooray for small, healthy changes

Initial weight: 128

Final weight: 127

I was determined to get back on track this week and I am satisfied with the one pound weight loss (although I wish it was a little more).

There are things that I am proud of myself for this week:

  1. Sticking to my no juice, no soda rule- I have always had an issue with water–it’s just so plain! I know that water is crucial to every function in our bodies and I preach the benefits of water to clients daily…. but it has always been a hard one for me. I haven’t had a any juice or soda and I have increased my water tremendously! I really owe it to my new water bottle. I have a new pretty, purple, brita water bottle that I am obsessed with. It makes me want to drink water! I am like the stubborn two year old that will not drink from a cup until she is presented with the prettiest Dora cup. That’s me! I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s true, and if it gets me to drink water, then hooray for the pretty purple water bottle!
  2. Saying no to the dessert case- Every week I go to Starbucks to do work and every week I am confronted by the display case of yummy looking desserts (see picture). For the last three weeks I have successfully ignored the case and have only purchased decaf coffee (with skim milk and a little sugar).  To satisfy my sweet tooth I made yummy blueberry muffins which were delicious and had all natural ingredients.
  3. Branching out- I had fallen into a lunch/dinner rut of eating all of the same foods all the time. This week I made a spinach pizza on whole wheat crust that was amazing. I also had a delicious spinach and butternut squash salad that I bought at a local gourmet supermarket (If you live in Queens or Long Island go to North Shore Farms!).
  4. Walking- Olivia and I have been walking every day for about 30-45 minutes. It’s great, we both love being outside! I do need to ramp up my exercise though, I am thinking about buying a baby and me yoga video.

Overall, I feel that I have made some positive changes, but now I really need to crank it up for the next three weeks!

Have you made any small healthy changes that you are proud of?


Did you know The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year is now for sale? Are you interested in learning more about gentle, mom and baby-friendly practices that foster a joyful, connected relationship? Want to introduce a pregnant friend to natural parenting? Check out our website or head over to Amazon to grab your copy today!

Remembering there is more to beauty than looks

My baby, 4.5 months

Week 2:

Starting weight: 128

Ending weight: 128

This was the second week of my own personal weight loss challenge. I was so proud of myself for losing two pounds last week…so proud that I allowed myself eat large amounts of restaurant food on two occasions this week. Let’s face it: it’s really hard to eat healthy at restaurants because of the large portions and high fat ingredients. It’s okay to treat yourself by going to a restaurant once in a while, but two times in one week really put a halt on my weight loss efforts this week. I’m going to keep that in mind for the next five weeks!

Speaking of restaurants…I wanted to share something that happened to me while out this week. I went to a delicious Italian restaurant in Manhattan and had a really good time…until we were leaving and the hostess smiled at me and congratulated me on my pregnancy! ( I am 4 and half months post-partum). I was stunned. I’ve heard about women making this horrible faux pau, but I never would have dreamed it would happen to me! What was worse than the actual comment though, was the way it made me feel. I automatically turned her seemingly harmless comment into “You are fat” in my head. I couldn’t get that comment out of my heard for days.

I know that I shouldn’t care about her off handed comment. I know that I should be confident in my body, beauty, intelligence and self worth, but instead I suffered a major blow to my self-esteem. I provide nutrition counseling for obese adolescents who are constantly battling with their self esteem and in this moment I finally understand how they must feel. All women of all sizes, shapes, colors and ethnicities are beautiful and strong and we shouldn’t feel so much pressure to be a certain weight or look a certain way! And certainly we shouldn’t feel bad about our weight after going through the most beautiful process there is: pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby.

So, I’ve made a conscious choice to let go of the negative feelings that the hostess’s comment brought. I want to lose weight for me–not to fit the societal norm of what a woman’s body should look like.  Everywhere we look in the media we see beautiful celebrities at a few days or weeks postpartum, who look just as thin as they did nine months earlier. It’s important for us to keep in mind that we do not have to compete with Giselle or Jennifer Lopez. We just have to eat healthy, exercise and be the best mamas we can!

Have you ever been asked if you were pregnant when you weren’t? How did it make you feel?

Post-partum Weight Loss Challenge: One Mama’s Journey

Hi, Mamas!

My name is Rachel T. I’m a Registered Dietitian who specializes in healthy lifestyle modifications for children and families. I am also the proud mother of a beautiful 4 month old baby girl, Olivia.  During my pregnancy I gained 35 pounds and I still have 10 pounds left to go before I reach a weight that I’m comfortable with.

This is the first time in my life that I have been really concerned about my weight. I am also hungrier than I have ever been before, thanks to exclusive breastfeeding (well, exclusive pumping).  Thankfully making milk burns tons of calories (about 500 a day), so I attribute most of my weight loss to breastfeeding–yet another reason to love nursing my babe!

On June 8th I am heading to Miami for good friend’s bachelorette party, so that’s good motivation to drop those last ten pounds! So for the next six weeks I will be kicking my butt in gear and sharing my weight loss journey with all of you.

My philosophy on nutrition:

– Moderation, moderation, moderation

– Don’t skip meals ever

– Don’t drink your calories–stick to water

– Skip diet foods and drinks, which contain loads of chemicals–especially toxic for nursing mamas like me

– Eat a varied diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and healthy dairy

– Treating yourself is okay (as long as you remember it’s a treat)

Okay so all that being said, since Oliva’s birth I have broken two of my cardinal rules! I have been skipping breakfast almost every day and I have been drinking way too much juice (…and I hate to admit it…soda).  So these are going to be the two major areas I work on.

I also plan on cutting down on my portion sizes and increasing my fruit intake (I’m pretty good with veggies!).

Week One

Initial Weight: 130                 Final Weight: 128

Week 1 triumphs

– I tried coconut milk yogurt for the first time. Not sure if I love it yet, but it was pretty good.

– I only drank water and seltzer (and of course decaf coffee, with skim milk and sugar)

– I ate breakfast every day

– I lost 2 pounds, yay! ( a healthy weight loss is about 2 pounds a week)

Week 1 issues

–  I ate more prepared foods than I want, like Kashi or Amy’s frozen meals for lunches. I need to work on this.

– I ate half a cupcake yesterday. Eek! That was definitely a treat.

– Today I was really craving French fries and came so close to getting them…but I ate wheat thins with hummus instead. While it’s a good compromise, I probably ate too many crackers!

Here are some pictures of my meals from this week and a picture of Olivia eating her favorite doll!

For new mamas, what have been your challenges when it comes to returning to pre-pregnancy weight? What questions do you have about making healthier choices?


Did you know The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year is now for sale? Are you interested in learning more about gentle, mom and baby-friendly practices that foster a joyful, connected relationship? Want to introduce a pregnant friend to natural parenting? Head over to Amazon to grab your copy today!