Real Food, Organic Food, Raw Food... where to start?

I'd like to start off by saying that I am a food hypocrite. I strongly believe in eating healthy and sustainably... at least theoretically. In practice, I eat junk piled on top of junk. I prefer things wrapped in bacon, topped with cheese or doused in chocolate syrup. Yes, I know it's bad for me. I know I'm not getting enough nutrition, and I know I'm spending way too much money eating at restaurants and my middle section is jiggling more each passing day.

But, since we've decided to try and have a baby, I've started looking into my options for a healthy diet. I've read countless blogs, articles and books about what nutrients babies need, what toxins end up in the womb, how our bodies process nutrients, etc. And it's OVERWHELMING. It's especially frustrating to see all these different theories contradicting each other.

What I do know:
  • I want to eat as much organic food as possible. I don't want any pesticides or toxins harming my baby. I also appreciate that organically grown food is up to 30% more nutrient dense than conventional. 
  • I want to avoid processed food. Refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, weird chemicals, preservatives...yuck. No thanks!
  • I want to try and get all the nutrients my body and baby need from the food I eat and not rely on vitamins.
  • I want to not stress myself out about every detail of what I eat. Being pregnant is stressful enough on its own.

Celebrity Natural Birth - Gisele

According to, Gisele Bundchen had a home water birth. Way to go, Gisele! Even wealthy celebs with access to the "best doctors" are choosing to take a more natural course for birthing. See the article at

The only disturbing part of that article is the comments from users that follow. There was lots of encouragement, but quite a bit of bickering about epidurals. One lady even suggested that childbirth is too much for women to bear without pain relief. I sure wonder how millions of people were born before epidurals came around!

(via Unnecesarean)

C-Section rate HUGE in China

I know I'm late to respond to this NY Times article, but dang! Almost half of the babies being delivered in China are via c-section,  and mostly at the mothers' requests. There's some really disturbing factoids in this piece! I suggest you read the whole article if you get a chance. 

"The WHO, which reviewed nearly 110,000 births across Asia in 2007-2008, found 27 percent were done under the knife, partially motivated by hospitals eager to make more money."
"Women undergoing C-sections that are not medically necessary are more likely to die or be admitted into intensive care units, require blood transfusions or encounter complications that lead to hysterectomies, the WHO study found."

FAM - The best of both worlds!

I swore off hormonal birth control after I discovered that each method I tried had some awful side effects. I also knew I needed a better method that I could use in order to be able to conceive when I wanted to and also for when I start breastfeeding. For the last few months the hubby and I have been practicing the Fertility Awareness Method, otherwise known as Natural Family Planning. First off, let me just say that this is not The Rhythm Method. It works, and it's scientifically proven.

How it works: You chart your body temperature every morning with a basal thermometer. You daily check the consistency of your cervical fluid (not as awful as it sounds) and you check the position of your cervix. By doing all of this, you can determine when you're fertile.

Why it's awesome:
1. You can use it for birth control or to achieve pregnancy.
2. No hormones involved. No pill, patches, shots, rings, etc.
3. It makes you more aware of how your body works.
4. If you're trying to get pregnant, you will know the exact date of conception so you won't have to guess your due date.

The few cons:
1. You have to be diligent about charting in order to be accurate.
2. Some women find it a bit invasive to check their cervix.
3. There's a chunk of days in the month that you either have to abstain or use a barrier method if you're using FAM for birth control.

The best resource I found for FAM was Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.