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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Paleo Pregnancy - Third Trimester Recap


Our sweet baby boy arrived on June 8th at 3:32am. We are head over heels and adjusting to our new lives. More on that later.....

Need to catch up? Read about my first trimester and second trimester...


Well, my baby is still in my belly as I write this recap, but I have made it past 40 weeks and (fingers crossed) I should only have a few days left until we meet our little one so I don't think there is much else I can learn from the third trimester that I haven't already experienced. It has been an interesting few months with some unexpected symptoms, changes and surprises. My only solace right now is knowing that baby will know when the time is right...and that if I make it to 41 weeks I am rewarding myself with frozen yogurt!

So, let's talk about the third trimester...


My sleep has been all over the place this trimester! During months seven and eight, baby must have been growing like crazy because I was up in the middle of the night snacking most nights. In this final month, though, I have been sleeping really well. I wake up a lot to use the restroom or flip from one side to the other, but for the most part I've been sleeping through the night and I am always grateful for a good night's sleep because I know my days are numbered!


I have had a few days of nausea and aversions this trimester - something I wasn't expecting. There have been nights where I could barely eat dinner because nothing looked, smelled or sounded good. I usually felt fine for breakfast, but my appetite would deteriorate as the day went on. Luckily, this was only a few random days, but I am not sure what caused it. 

For the most part, I have stuck to a daily meal plan of a small-ish breakfast, lunch, and dinner and three or four snacks. My weight gain leveled off around 38 weeks and I really haven't gained any weight since then, which makes me think baby must be pretty much done growing at this point.

Luckily, I've been able to easily stick to my Paleo diet throughout the third trimester. I have had a bit of raw cheese and yogurt here and there when I was having those crazy nauseous days and only cold foods sounded good (weird, I know) and I love my little treats now and then (carob covered almonds are my favorite movie snack), but I've mostly been feeding this baby fruit, veggies and meat!

Oh, and about the frozen "celebrate" making it to 41 weeks instead of being depressed about it, our birth class instructor suggested we choose rewards. At first I was thinking pedicure or massage, but then I realized how long it had been since I have had ice cream or frozen yogurt and I decided I wanted a date with a creamy, frosty treat! If for some reason I make it to 42 weeks, I am getting PIZZA! I haven't had pizza for two years and I know I'll be trying my best to stay healthy after baby gets here so I am going to let myself enjoy some pizza the day before my induction if it comes to that. I do love pizza, but I would much rather have my little baby here in my arms.


My exercise routine has been through the ringer this trimester! I felt so awesome during my second trimester and thought I would be able to continue with CrossFit right up until the end, but some major back and hip pain that hit around my 36th week put me on the bench. For about two weeks, I stuck to swimming and yoga, but even those were very painful. I could barely walk around the house without having something to hold on to.

 I finally visited a chiropractor and immediately felt much better. He told me a lot of it had to do with the relaxin hormone that is coursing through my body, causing my ligaments and joints to relax in preparation for delivery. Unfortunately, this process was causing a great deal of piriformis and sciatic pain that radiated all the way down my leg. He gave me some awesome stretches and foam rolling techniques that I could work on at home and I have felt continuous improvement since my first visit.

I am now able to go for walks around the neighborhood practically pain free. In an attempt to not re-aggravate the injury, I am sticking to swimming, aqua fitness classes and yoga until baby comes. That being said, I absolutely cannot wait to get back in the gym! I miss lifting heavy things.


Around my 28th week we took a trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto. Kevin has issues with the term "babymoon" so we'll call it a pre-baby vacation. Neither of us had ever seen Niagara Falls and we had always wanted to go. The Falls were beautiful in winter time and everything was covered in a layer of ice from the mist. It made me think that someday soon we'll be able to take our child there. Toronto is only another hour away so we spent a few day exploring the museums and neighborhoods and eating amazing food!

If you are able to, I think it is great to get away for a few days or even just overnight. You don't have to drive eight hours north like we did, either. You can stay in a nearby bed and breakfast or rent a cabin for the weekend and just relax. I loved spending time alone with Kevin just wandering around with no particular place to be, knowing that soon enough we will no longer dictate our own schedules.

Birth Education Class

Our midwife recommended we take a birth education class outside of the hospital if we were planning for an unmedicated birth and I am so glad we did. We chose "Empowered Birth" with Angela Garvin and we learned about everything from pain management techniques to breastfeeding and newborn care.

What I really loved about the class was that even though most of us were planning for an unmedicated birth, Angela prepared us for pretty much any possibility that could arise and made us feel capable of accepting our baby's birth even if it doesn't go according to plan. She also gave Kevin all of the tools he would need to be a great labor coach! He knows all of the helpful positions for labor and childbirth, made me an awesome labor playlist and learned some massage and other coping techniques to help me through labor.


I am a neat freak in my everyday life, but I have definitely been in overdrive these past few weeks. I have made a freezer full of meals, cleaned every inch of our house, washed the cars and I do laundry almost every day to make sure we don't come home from the hospital to a basket full of dirty clothes. I am also becoming friends with my sewing machine! I've made some newborn hats from old tshirts and even a car seat cover. My next project will be these giant floor cushions. I've been working on these projects with my Mom and sister and it has been a lot of fun.

You can read more about what I've been doing to prepare for baby in this recent post "Preparing for Our New Arrival".


All in all, even at 40+ weeks I still feel really great. I have heard so many horror stories of women who are so swollen, sore and tired they can barely move so I feel very grateful to have even the level of mobility and energy that I do. I know there is no way to be fully prepared for childbirth and parenthood, but I feel we've done everything we can and now we just can't wait for the arrival of our little bundle of joy!


If you would like to learn more about following a Paleo lifestyle during pregnancy, check out my first book, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book. I cover everything from which healthy, Paleo foods to focus on to get the most important nutrients for pregnancy, how certain foods can alleviate common pregnancy ailments, how to modify your workout plan during pregnancy and over 100 healthy recipes! The book is available in both paperback and Kindle versions through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Primal Pal: Meet the Paleo Blogger (Hey...That's Me!)

Chad and Chris over at Primal Pal, an awesome, customizable Paleo meal planning service, interviewed yours truly over on their blog. We discussed how I discovered Paleo, my favorite things about Paleo and even my favorite kitchen gadgets!

Read the full interview here ---> Primal Pal: Blog - Meet the Paleo Blogger - Tarah from What I Gather

In honor of my big interview, I wanted to share this link for a FREE weekly meal plan from Primal Pal. This is a great way to give it a try and see how it works. Be sure to stop back by and let me know which Primal Pal recipes are your favorite. Click the image below to get your free meal plan!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Peppery Orange Brussels Sprouts

I was out at Hillbilly Tea for a work lunch last week. Sounds very Kentucky, right? It is amazing! The food is great and they have a lot of fun tea, too. If you are ever in the Louisville area, I strongly suggest you stop by.

Anyway, while perusing the menu I spotted brussels sprouts as one of the side dish offerings. As you know, I freak over brussels sprouts. So I had my little b'sprouts freak out at the restaurant and one of my fellow lunch guests mentioned he and his wife used to cook brussels sprouts in orange juice. I had never heard of such a thing, but it involved my favorite baby cabbages, so I was in.

I let it stir around in my mind for a few days and finally decided on a simple mix of brussels and onions with some orange juice and zest and a little spice from some ground black pepper. I let them sit in the cast iron skillet just long enough to get that crispy brown crust that I love and then added all the orange-y flavor. You should go make this now and then share some with me because writing about them is making me hungry again!

Peppery Orange Brussels Sprouts
Serves: 4 - 6

- 2 lb brussels sprouts, quartered
- 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
- zest and juice of one orange
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- a dash of salt to taste

- Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat
- Place brussels and onions in skillet and cook for 5 minutes (until they just start to brown)
- Add juice and zest and cook for an additional 5 minutes (I stir more frequently in the second five minutes to keep them from burning)
- Add pepper and salt. Stir well and serve!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

May 2013 Paleo Pen Pals Roundup

Welcome to the Paleo Pen Pals Round-up for May! If you still haven't heard the buzz about Paleo Pen Pals, it is a network of like-minded paleo bloggers who swap ingredients each month, create a recipe and share their creations in the blogosphere. Check out our Facebook page to see what we are all about and to sign up. You can also read about Paleo Pen Pals on Three Diets One Dinner intro post or my intro post.

Co-Founder Brittanie, from Three Diets One Dinner, and I were so excited to see all of the tasty recipes that came through this month and I am happy to share them with you today. If you would like to become a part of Paleo Pen Pals and sign up for next month's food swap, click here to learn more.

Read on for May's roundup of tasty recipes!

The Dirty Tamarindo from Three Diets, One Dinner (link to come)


Paleo Pen Pals is on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter @paleopenpals

Sign up RIGHT NOW for the JULY Swap on Facebook or by sending us an email with your name, email address, blog (if you have one), twitter handle, facebook page, zip code and special dietary restrictions.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Primal Pal: Customizable Paleo Meal Planning Service

I am really excited to share this awesome meal planning service with you today! You know I am a sucker for anything that is going to save me a little time in the kitchen...especially if I can still make tasty, Paleo recipes in the process. I've been aware of the good folks at Primal Pal ever since they named What I Gather as one of the "Top Ten Paleo Recipe Blogs You Haven't Heard of Yet" (thanks, guys)! Well, now I've been using their meal planning service for the past few weeks and I love the flexibility and easy-to-use features. Let's take a look, shall we...

After signing up, you'll log in with your username and password. The first screen you will see is the Dashboard, which is full of super-helpful information on how the meal planner works. I still refer back to this even after using it for a few weeks!

The best way to get started is to dig through the recipe database and add your favorites to "My Recipes". You can choose breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert and side dish recipes. When you add recipes to the "My Recipes" section, you can easily access them when it is time to plan out your meals for the week. If you are avoiding dairy, nuts, fish, etc. you can also set your food preferences and Primal Pal will alert you of any recipes that contain your restricted items.

Then it is on to your weekly meal planning calendar! This is the part that super organized people like me love. :) I start by browsing through my favorites that I have saved in the "My Recipes" section and just drag and drop the meals I would like to prepare this week. You can also browse the full database and sort by course, cuisine, or cooking time. Or you can search for recipes based on ingredients you may have on hand at home and want to use. I usually leave a few meals blank to allow for dining out and leftovers. I even add a few special snacks to have around the house each week, like fudge or muffins.

This next feature is awesome. Once you have planned all of your meals for the week, Primal Pal provides you with a customized shopping list based on your chosen recipes. Many of the items are staples that you may already have so you can go ahead and check those off before printing your shopping list.

When you are ready to get cooking, just log in to your meal planner and click on the recipe you'd like to prepare. This will bring up a screen with a picture of the recipe, ingredients list and directions. There is also a link to the original recipe. The recipe shown below is from yours truly!

That is pretty much how it works. I love that I am in control of choosing the recipes and that I can always have my favorites close at hand. The shopping list is a HUGE help, too!

Ready to give it a try? There are a couple of ways to get started. You can try the "Free Paleo Meal Plan Friday" featured on the Primal Pal Blog each week or if you are ready to dive right in, you can sign up for a monthly membership. You'll get a free 10-Day Trial to test it out and monthly prices start as low as $7.50 per month! Click the banner above to get started and definitely stop by to leave a comment letting me know how you like it!