Friday, October 4, 2013

Sweating it out: Postpartum hot flashes!? It's not menopause, just baby fluid

It is the last month of your pregnancy. You have been making another human being for 9 months. Your ankles are GONE to be replaced with fluid filled cankles. Then the day finally comes and you expel said baby out, hold that amazing wonder in your arms, look down at your ankles, and realize they are STILL not there.

So baby is out, and ankles should be back, right? Not so much. You have to actually get rid of all that fluid. Some people pee it out, and others sweat it out.  And by sweat I mean, HOLY DRENCHING HOT FLASHES!

These joyous hot flashes are caused by your pregnancy hormones yet again, this time telling your body to get rid of all those extra fluids that you needed while creating another person.

You may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night completely soaked in sweat, only to wake up the next morning and see your ankles again. Phenomenal! For some, these sweat sessions happen only at night, for others they are happen throughout the day as well. And sometimes this may last for a week or so, and for others, for over a month.

Drinking lots of water, getting your body moving, sleeping on a towel (with an extra set of pjs/nursing tops nearby) is the best way to get through this fascinating postpartum phase. Just think that with every hot flash that you are one step closer to having ankles that don't resemble tree trunks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I'm baaaaack!

Ladies (and gents of course), I'm back. Yes, I know you have been waiting with bated breath for the return of Lady Parts, and you have been parched for some information about your lady bits. Not to worry, after an amazing 7 months with my little amazing boy, I am ready to resume the blogging! And boy oh boy, do I have A LOT to write about. The whole process of being pregnant, giving birth, and all the stuff that happens after (and good lord there is a lot of stuff after that NO ONE tells you!!) has given me a whole new appreciation of the wonderful things our bodies can do. Now, I can't promise that my postings will be as regular as they were before, but I will do my best to write when the bambino gives me a chance.

While I queue up the line of interesting things to blog about, let me know if there is something that you have been wanting to know!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Maternity leave

"Where oh where are the funny, informative, awesome posts on lady parts?" you may be asking yourself. Well folks, I went and had me a baby. So I've taken a break for a little while. Somehow, writing well researched blog posts doesn't fit into my little one's schedule of eating, pooping, sleeping, and playing.

But not to worry, Lady Parts: The Manual will be back in full swing in no time, and I will have SO much more to blog about with a new (and personal) perspective on lady parts. Pregnancy and motherhood are amazing and awe inspiring experiences and has taught me so much more about lady parts that I can't wait to share with you!

Oh, the little one is up...gotta go!

Friday, June 8, 2012

What to eat? My answer to a simple question

In my last blog post I wrote my thoughts on the "cleansing" diet fad. I figured I would follow that up with a my thoughts on what we should be eating. I get questions about diet quite a bit, and figured I would tell you all about how I eat. Also, I just read Mark Hyman piece about the "last diet you will ever need" and in many ways, I couldn't agree with him more.

I like to practice what I preach, and in my opinion I lead a pretty well balanced life. I LOVE to eat. Really I do. Me and food are besties. I love all flavors and textures, love that I live in the food capital of the world (in my opinion), and I love to cook.  So, I don't want you to think I live in an imaginary lala land where my diet dictates my life.

To be clear, I don't believe in "diets". I believe in eating healthy, eating in moderation, and enjoying life. I've had friends on every kind of diet imaginable: Atkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers, South Beach, low carb, low fat, high protein, cookie, shakes. You get the picture. Personally, I just could never do it, and I definitely could never sustain it. I like to be able to have cheese (I REALLY love cheese) and bread, and meat, and wine.

This is my thinking when it comes to food: as touted Mark Pollan:  "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." It is also how I grew up, so I am lucky that my palate has developed in a way that has made it easy to follow a healthy diet.

I love my veggies, and we pretty much keep vegetarian at home. That way, when we eat out, eating meat feels like a treat, and I appreciate that I am eating something that used to be alive.I love fruit, and growing up, we usually had fruit after dinner and I have been sticking with that. I don't believe in sugar substitutes. I would always rather have a teaspoon of real sugar in my morning coffee and not have an extra cookie than substitute. I try to keep processed food to a minimum and the few processed food that I do eat are made with simple real ingredients (like Triskets, which has only three ingredients). When it comes to carbs, I eat whole wheat/whole grain, even in pasta (you get used to it and it is much more filling).  I am not a big snacker, but when I do it is yogurt,  a piece of fruit,  nuts, dried fruit, or hummus and veggies. I don't like sodas (high fructose corn syrup gives me migraines, and you know my feelings about sugar substitutes), so I drink mostly water, or I mix a little bit of fruit juice with soda, or add a lemon or a lime to seltzer or water. My home is always stocked with these yummy healthy things, so I can never make a "bad choice."

I love to try new restaurants and eat out as well, and I never feel like I am denying myself anything. When I do indulge, and trust me I do (did I mention I love pizza?), I try to balance it out with a good salad. And if I really go overboard I go a little harder at the gym.

That's it folks. Nothing fancy. No diet. Just real food in moderation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Detox diets: Fad or Fabulous?

Seems like everyone and their mother is doing a detox diet or "cleanse" these days. And it seems like anyone with an audience is trying to bank in on this trend too - Gwenyth has the goop cleanse, Dr. Oz has the 48-hour weekend cleanse, Dr. Lissa Rankin has the pink and green detox cleanse, and of course, there are the juice cleanses - blueprint, organic avenue, and the master cleanse to name a few.

What exactly is "detox"or "cleanse" diet? They are extreme diet plans, mostly focused on weight loss, that claim to flush "toxins" out of your body. What "toxins" are they targeting, you ask? Well they don't exactly say. While there are a variety of different detox diets, they mostly follow the pattern of very low caloric intake, with the addition of small amounts of fruit and or vegetables, water, and supplements of one form or another.

So dear readers, I thought I would do a little research and see what the real deal is when it comes to the whole notion of detoxing. As usual, I started out with PubMed, a national citation warehouse for medical and scientific research. And guess what I found? Pretty much nothing. I searched cleanse diet, detox diet, and other such terms and came up with nothing. Nada. Zilch.

The fact that there have been NO studies done on detox or cleansing raises red flags for me. People spend a lot of money on many of these cleanses, and yet there is no scientific proof that any of them work. And in fact, many can even cause harm. Yup, these diets often cause you to fast, which puts your body into freak out mode, so you can actually lose muscle not just fat. And such a low-calorie diet can make you feel dizzy, tired, lightheaded, and nauseous. Add a colonic or colon cleanse to the mix and your body's electrolyte and fluid balance is completely off.

My two cents if you are feeling icky and want to give your system a "boost"? Eat loads of veggies and fruits, drink lots of water, and switch to whole grains. Minimize fatty meats and alcohol. Get your body moving. This is not a "diet", but just a healthier way of living that you can actually maintain.