Our Fertility Journey: part one

I recently posted about our fertility journey on Instagram. I wanted to do a post to share what our experience has been like and hopefully answer some questions I’ve received. I do also want to say again how grateful we are to anyone and everyone who commented, DM’d and text/called us to just give us words of encouragement. A million times thank you! As I said in my post, we started trying to have another baby a few months after Penny’s second birthday.

Let me start by saying I wasn’t on any type of birth control before that. I went on birth control after I had Penny but stopped after one cycle because it completely messed me up. I was so moody and miserable, everything bothered me and I overall did not feel like myself. I believe the way I described it was feeling like I literally had a black cloud over my head following me everywhere. As if my body was being taken over by someone else.  

So I went off birth control and had no interest in trying anything else. So for the next 2 years we didn’t exactly try not to get pregnant but we weren’t trying either. We always knew we wanted to have more kids and really loved the idea of our kids being close in age. However, we weren’t in a rush to actively start trying either if that makes any sense.

A few months after Penny’s birthday, we started actively trying to get pregnant. We felt ready and honestly were very naive to think it would just happen because we were having sex around the time I was ovulating. I feel like when we are younger we are told that if we have unprotected sex, YOU WILL GET PREGNANT! It was just a fact. But it’s not like that at all! At least it wasn’t for us. Actually the percentage of a woman my age (30’s) getting pregnant during each cycle is about 15%.

So, after 6 months of not getting pregnant I went in for my annual check up with my OB and asked for some fertility testing. Usually 6 months of trying was not a long time, since I haven’t been on any type of birth control since Penny was 4 months old, we wanted to make sure everything was okay. Along with some blood work my doctor tracked my cycle for one month and checked my progesterone levels to make sure I was actually ovulating. All concluded I was perfectly fertile and we were told to keep trying to conceive naturally.

After that, I decided to track my ovulation every cycle to see if I was actually ovulating when I thought I was. Freakishly enough I was, down to the the day my app told me I would be. Since we knew I was ovulating we decided to keep trying on our own and keep our fingers crossed. We did this for a year. Month after month my cycle came and I dreaded goint to the bathroom. Dreaded waking up to my period.

Then, November 2018 it was time for my annual check up again. Sadly my OB, the one who delivered Penny moved away and I needed to find a new one. I decided to book an apt. with a new doctor and transfer over all my fertility tests so she knew where we were in the process. I was extremely disappointed when I went in for my appointment and the doctor told me I wasn’t due for a check up.

She told me OB check ups only have to happen every 3 years now and that my last pap and blood work was all normal so it wasn’t necessary. After I mentioned we had been trying for a while, all she said was to keep trying! It was so frustrating and made me feel like my questions were just getting brushed off.

I went home and started to look for another OB and found Dr. L! She did a full blood work order and immediately referred me to a fertility specialist. I started seeing Dr. K at the end of January and we spent the next month or so doing all the tests! Everything from genetic testing, an HSG test, which checks if your tubes are blocked, sperm and semen analysis and more I can’t remember; all tests came back in our favor and we were given all of our options. Dr. K made me feel confident that no matter what fertility treatment we chose, the odds are in our favor. The question was which route were we going to take.

To be continued…

Let’s Chat: Whole30 take two!

Y’all I did it! I completed my whole30 and my reintroduction and I’m officially in my food freedom. And needless to say, it feels GOOD! I feel like I finally have an understanding of what foods make me feel my best and which don’t. I feel like I have a relationship with food that I always read about but didn’t really understand. Like “food freedom”, yea okay, pass the Pizza! But it’s REAL!

This was my second take at Whole30 and if you were following along last year, I attempted Whole30 and peace’d out on day 15. Mostly because I was feeling SO hungry! One thing I realized this go around was that last year, it was simple, I was always hungry because I wasn’t eating enough. And I wasn’t eating enough because I was prepping enough food which made me feel restricted and HANGRY!

This time things were different. I had already been eating paleo/whole30ish  most days of the week. I had go-to meals, I knew how to make. Also, SNACKS! Although snacking isn’t encouraged on whole30, as long as your snacks are whole30 compliant then you’re good. In my case snacking was a must. My work schedule is basically 40 in 4. I work 9.5 hours a day, 4 days a week. So having snacks on hand was a no brainer. I developed a very close relationship with CHOMPS meat sticks and RX Bars. Oh and let’s not forget Nutpods Creamer! These 3 products are still staples in my weekly grocery run. Also I’m really excited to say I have a discount code with CHOMPS that I can share with y’all! You can shop online at CHOMPS.COM and receive 15 % off your order plus free shipping with code ‘VEE15’. It seriously makes me so happy to partner with a brand that I love and who creates a clean ingredient product.

I shared the results of my reintro on my instagram, but heres the short version.

Gluten Free Grains: we cool

Dairy: nope, not friends, not even a little bit.

Gluten: I can tolerate small quantities of gluten but too much makes me bloated and lethargic

Legumes: This was the last thing introduced because I honestly don’t eat legumes like that and I didn’t miss them. I did have some this weekend and they made me bloated. Which is 100% okay with me since I never really eat them, not even hummus!

So these were my findings and like I said in my instagram post, this doesn’t mean I’m never having dairy. I mean it was Penny’s birthday this past weekend and I had cake AND pizza LOL. Did it feel great afterwards? Not even a little! my face was puffy and I felt like like I could sleep 18 hours straight, HA! But that’s okay with me because I know that’s not a frequent occurrence. So sometimes yea, I’m going to have pizza and cheese and some flan from my favorite bakery. For me that’s my food freedom. Knowing what makes me feel good, what doesn’t and having it anyway with no guilt or even second guessing it because it tastes so DAMN GOOD!

Oh and I finally stepped on the scale last week and I lost a whole 4 pounds, LOL! Even though weight loss was not the point of my whole30, I honestly thought I lost more weight. I felt SO MUCH lighter during and after my whole30. Since I removed all the foods that were making me feel bloated and sluggish, I’m sure that’s why me feeling “light” was more internally than actual body weight. I’m planning on putting together a post with all the recipes I found and loved during my whole30 and other meals I had on repeat. Also some of my favorite food bloggers!

I did want to include the following tips that I found helpful during my whole30 —

• Don’t do a whole30 when you have a lot going on that month. If you are going on vacation or going to a wedding or maybe you have a girl’s night planned. For me, I made sure I had nothing going on and it made it 1000% easier to be able to commit to my whole30.

• Don’t force anyone or guilt someone who doesn’t truly want to do a whole30, do it with you. I did that with Ben last year and when he ducked out it really threw me off.

• Have whole30 compliant versions of your favorite staples. I’m talking ketchup, mayo, hot sauce, mustard, coconut aminos instead of soy sauce was a must for me.

• Get excited about trying a new recipe. Especially a whole30 version of your favorite dish!

Hope this was helpful for anyone curious about whole30. Thanks for reading and if you are looking for more info on Whole30 I wrote this post last year when I did it for the first time and there are also tons of resources over at whole.com!

xo,

Vee

Let’s chat: Why I started blogging!

A few weeks ago my blog turned one! It was exciting to look back on the last year and see how many connections I’ve been able to make in this community. Although I don’t blog as much as I would like to or even as much as I planned to when I first started, I am SO happy I have this space. It’s where I come to look back on my words, thoughts and memories. Where I vent and let my emotions out freely without a worry of judgment. I love having this little corner in cyber space where I can share or not share anything I want!

I wanted to write this blog post to share why I started blogging and one thing I realized was that reason has changed so much in the last year. It’s become different little reasons along the way but in all transparency it has become a safe place for my sanity as well as my dark moments. I come here to work through thoughts and in the end of my sometimes dark moments, I end up feeling incredibly grateful for the life I get to live.

Let’s start by backing it up about 17 years to a very troubled and depressed teenager. I have been in and out of therapy for the past 16 years through some of my darkest moments. From an unhappy childhood to anxiety and depression and sometimes harmful thoughts, I seeked help in hopes that one day I’d come out on the other side. Something I realized during therapy was my inability to pinpoint what was making me unhappy. Because of this I was encouraged to write. Write letters to people who hurt me. Write my thoughts when I felt sad. Write when I felt happy. Write on good days and on bad. The result was what helped me work through my emotions and eventually get off antidepressants. I won’t go deeper on this subject right now but may in the future! But this is when I realized how important writing was for my mental health.

Fast forward to being 27 years old, a new mom, and moving to a different time zone away from all of my immediate family. Let’s just say I went through an emotional rollercoaster during my daughters first year of life for so many reasons. Penny was 2 months old when we moved to Arizona and after a few weeks, the excitement of finally moving away from my birthplace wore off and I found myself extremely unhappy.

I do believe all these changes threw me into a state of postpartum depressed but because I didn’t seek professional counseling, I can’t say for sure. Since I have history with depression I knew I needed to talk about what was going through my mind, not suffer in silence and not let my thoughts fester in the pit of my stomach. If I wanted to work through my emotions like I’ve had to in the past, I had to talk to someone. During this time I had a sense of gratitude for knowing exactly who I needed to talk to. My husband. And hand to heart, he’s the reason I am able to feel confident in sharing this. He listened and never dismissed any of my feelings no matter how outrageous they might have sounded to say out loud. He encouraged my writing and to see if it will help me pinpoint the root of my sadness. So I did.

A few months later we moved back to NY and things started to change. I started to find joy in other things separate from my family. I started cooking and learning about my body’s needs from nutrition to mental health. I started seeing my friends more and having “me” time. I started taking care of myself again and spending time with my husband, just the two of us. We found our intimacy again after having Penny. Our communication flourished and have been able to find our relationship separate from being parents.

I came face to face with my joys and my triggers. And honestly I feel like I will always have to work on my emotional triggers. I also realized how satisfied I felt when I wrote and connected to others. I didn’t want to only turn to it when I felt I was in a dark place. So I started my blog to share my experiences and my thoughts but also my passion for food and overall wellness. It truly makes me happy to express myself through my blog. Grammatical errors and run on sentences included! And just the possibility that my words and experiences can resonate or make one single person out there feel understood, makes my heart feel so full!

So that is why I started my blog my friends. For you, for me, for us! Through the last year it’s been my outlet for different reasons and I might not have a particular niche I write about but I’m okay with that. Being able to share little bits of everything makes me happy. Thank you so much for being here!

Happy one year, The Sunday Biscotti!

Xo,

Vee

Let’s Chat: Whole30 Meals + Products

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Hey friends!

I’m following up on my post about my experience with Whole30 last month! In this post I’m sharing some of my favorite meals and how I tried to simplify what I cooked with a toddler running around. This is still how I find myself cooking lately even though I ended my Whole30 last month. Lets jump into it!

So when planning my meals my goal was simply to stick to whole foods. My plate would have a combination of protein, veggies and sometimes fruit. Let’s start with breakfast! Here are some examples of what my meals looked like for me… Continue reading “Let’s Chat: Whole30 Meals + Products”

Let’s Chat: My Whole30-ish Experience!

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Hey there!

Last month I decided to finally do it! I was curious, I was excited and felt like I’ve been basically eating Whole30-ish anyway, so why not make it, “Instagram official” and commit to it for 30 days! So I decided that May would be the month for me to try Whole30 and reap all the benefits I’ve heard so much about. Better sleep and glowy skin here I come! 

If you are not familiar with Whole30, here is a quick break down. For 30 days you remove the following foods from your diet:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Sugar – real and artificial 
  • Alcohol

Basically, whole30 is about eating REAL FOOD! No processed junk, YES, even if it says ALL NATURAL on it, LOL! Checking ingredients and sticking to whole foods. Check out the whole30 website here, for more details!

The idea is to remove these foods for 30 days and slowly reintroduce them into your diet one by one and see how your body reacts! Hense, you figure out which foods make your body thrive and which make you want to take a 10 hr nap!

What caught my interest about Whole30, was it wasn’t a weight loss diet. I loved that the goal of Whole30 wasn’t to lose weight or get “summa ready”, It’s about finding the foods that make you feel like your best-self. And let me tell you, even though my Whole30 only lasted 15 days, due to not planning properly on my end, I was able to see which foods don’t agree with me after slowly reintroducing them back into my diet. 

I know some people may look at Whole30 as extremely restrictive, and they are 100% right, Ha! But the truth is, if you plan ahead and take advantage of the unlimited resources over at Whole30, you can do this without feeling like you’re punishing yourself!

The issue that I had was not planning my meals and not stretching out the food I had. I ended up eating through my food way too fast which caused me to go to the grocery store 3 times a week for more food. Other things like my damn oven being broken, Ben being out of town for work and riding solo on the parenting bus, contributed to my poor meal planning but I wont make excuses! Truth is, I am not a good planner in general and I am much better in a team than solo for this kind of stuff. Ben was supposed to start his Whole30 with me when he came back from his trip but ended up abandoning me. I guess the whole “for better or worse” in our wedding vows didn’t include Whole30, LOL!

So after my Whole15, I was eager to reintroduce the foods I missed! I started with oats and then moved on to my other favorites like pasta and rice. And you know what I realized?! All 3 of those foods made me feel bloated! Also, I felt full after only a few bites. As much as I craved them, once I ate them I felt like I kind of put, “the pasta on a pedestal”, if you know what I mean! Same with dairy. It just wasn’t all that. This process has really helped me realize which foods make me feel my best and which don’t. yay! 

Now I’m not saying I am going to stay away from these foods foreva eva, But now I know what to expect if I decide to eat them. Whole30’s goal is to give you food freedom and learn more about what your body thrives on. And this is different for everyone!

The question I’ve been asked the most is:

Would you try Whole30 again?

My answer: Hell yeah! And the next time I do it I will make sure I am fully prepared and I guilt trip my husband to doing it with me. Maybe even encourage other friends to do it with me. It’s just more fun that way! 

Another question I’ve been asked is how am I eating now? 

If I had to pick a way of eating, I’d say paleo with a side of ish (paleo-ish) with a side of vegetarian and sometimes even pescatarian, LOL! Okay, honestly I don’t label my diet. I don’t find any benefit personally to do so. Sometimes I eat meat and sometimes I can go weeks without it. Same with dairy and sugar. I love the idea of buying organic and minimally processed foods but spending $8 on an organic head of broccoli is just not happening people! I do my best and am realistic when I grocery shop. Whole30 helped me realize which foods make me feel my best, which has helped me in so many ways! Better sleep and more energy were the ones I noticed the most. And if you have kids you know how important those two are!

I will be working on a post about meals I had during my Whole30 and new foods I discovered from places like Thrive Market and Trader Joes. So stay tuned!

I hope this blog post was helpful for anyone doing Whole30 or thinking about it! Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions. I would be happy to answer them!

xo,

Vee