Weight Loss During Pregnancy

**BLOG UPDATES- Have you noticed the new list of giveaways on the left sidebar? There's still time to enter! Also I've added more links on my Gestational Diabetes page to include more recent posts**

I had a hard cold reality check during this pregnancy: Being pregnant is not a license to eat all you want because you are now "eating for two".

In reality, a pregnant woman only needs about 100-300 extra calories a day to give the growing baby all the nutrients it needs.

We don't need to double up on portions or eat ice cream all day in the name of our child's growth!

In fact, if pregnant women were to double up on anything it would be healthy whole foods- good protein sources, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lots of water.

How much weight gain is too much?

It all depends on the woman's pre-pregnancy weight.

If a woman is underweight pre-pregnancy, she may be given a range of 28-40 pounds to gain.

Normal weight? 25-35 pounds

Overweight? 15-20 pounds

Obese? 11-20 pounds

If you're carrying twins, these ranges are a bit higher.

Where does all this weight go?

From the article linked above from Web MD:

8 pounds
2-3 pounds
Amniotic fluid
2-3 pounds
Breast tissue
2-3 pounds
Blood supply
4 pounds
Fat stores for delivery and breastfeeding
5-9 pounds
Uterus increase
2-5 pounds
25 to 35 pounds

Is it ever safe to lose weight while pregnant?

During my pregnancy I've read a lot of articles and books about nutrition during pregnancy.

Seems like everyone agrees that pregnancy is no time to go on a diet to lose weight or restrict calories.

However (make that a huge HOWEVER), what about women like me who have been put on special diets?

Restrictive? Not entirely- just my carb intake.

But still- cutting back on my carbohydrates has me increasing my fat and protein just to keep my calorie intake up so that baby can grow!

How having Gestational Diabetes affected my pregnancy weight gain-

According to my doctor's scale, I was 212 at the beginning of my pregnancy.

At 28 weeks, I weighed 231.

That is a gain of 19 pounds.

Because I was considered overweight pre-pregnancy, my weight gain was pushing the limits!

After starting the gestational diet, I've lost weight. 

At 37 weeks I weighed in at 220 lbs.

I lost over 10lbs in almost 10 weeks! Now that's great, if I wasn't pregnant.

So of course the big concern was- Is baby growing properly?

The week before my weigh in (so 36 weeks) I had an U/S with a GD specialist to make sure baby wasn't growing too large.

(Remember? One of the risks with GD is that the baby will grow too big too fast because of the extra glucose.  The biggest sign they look for is a large tummy, which is out of proportion with the rest of baby's body).

Well at 36 weeks baby weighed in at 5 lbs 15oz (round that up to 6lbs)! That translates to the 60th percentile.  Out of all the babies that are 36 weeks, my baby weighs more than 60%.

Now, that doesn't cause any real concern because 50% is just an average.  So of course some babies will weigh more or less than 50%.

And baby's tummy size? Right on the average mark!

Baby is growing right on track.

My OB/GYN (different from the doc that did the U/S at 36 weeks) hasn't expressed any concern over my weight loss.

He knows I'm following the GD diet and has even told me that losing weight was a good thing since I gained so much in the beginning.

But my GD doctor has expressed concern.

Every week I scan in my glucose results and my food log of everything I ate (how much, when, and how it was prepared).

One week they asked how my weight was progressing.  When they found out I went from 212-231-220, they were concerned I wasn't eating enough.

Their solution?

I was told to eat more fruit with my snacks.  Add more fatty nuts to my snacks.  Bulk up on protein.

Basically eat more but do not go over my carbohydrate limit for my meals.

Now this was really frustrating for me!

WHY? I've been following their meal plan and have on my own increased my protein intake.  I eat peanut butter EVERY.DAY.   It's hard to change your eating habits so quickly and then have to change everything up again.

I have one doc that isn't concerned about weight loss and one that is worried I don't eat enough. I expressed my frustrations to one of the nurses at the specialty clinic and she basically apologized for the mis-communication and gave me some well deserved praise and encouragement (I'm like a puppy- all about positive reinforcement!).

She said I was doing great with keeping my numbers in check and that she understands how difficult it is to change eating habits so rapidly.

That made me feel a lot better.

Plus, she probably deals with crazy hormonal women all the time and knows just the right things to say =)

The good news about all of this?

My eating habits are lot better now and I'll probably be able to keep this up after baby arrives.

Also, since I haven't gained that much weight during pregnancy, it will be easier for me to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

I only have about 2-3 weeks left of testing my blood sugar 4 times a day, keeping a food journal, and keeping in touch with multiple doctors.

I'm ready for Baby's arrival!

Holiday Blog Challenge Day 9

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

A while back I posted about my fitness goals for 2012, after baby arrives and I get the green light from my doctor. You can read the original post here, but I'll summarize it for you, too.

1- Run a 5K under 30 minutes.  This is a 2011 goal that needs to be revisited. 
2-Sign up for a longer race.  I would like to run anything longer than a 5K (looking at some fun half-marathons right now!), but with no expectations.  No finishing times, no split goals, nada.  I just want to run and participate.  

A new goal for 2012? Clean up my eating habits!

Since being diagnosed with GD, I've had to watch my carbohydrate intake and follow a meal plan. Confession? I've been following the meal plan but not by being as healthy as I should be.

Example? I'm allowed 3 servings of carbs for lunch/dinner.  1 serving = 15 grams of carbohydrates.  You know what has 3 servings of carbohydrates (45g)? 1 Beef Supreme Chalupa and 1 Beef Taco from Taco Bell.  YUP.  Even with GD I have found a way to eat junk.

Even worse? I've been losing weight since being on the GD diet. Now, it's not bad to lose weight during pregnancy- as long as baby is growing.  What's bad about losing weight is that I can still eat crap "within my limits" and lose weight.  It's a false security.

So for 2012 I want to limit the amount of junk food I eat.  I should start building my collection of healthy recipes now, right? The only issue is that recipes sometimes intimidate me- they either take too long or get too messy.  Ugh, just something I need to get over and really look into simple, quick, realistic recipes.

I've asked this before but- What are your goals/resolutions for 2012?


Holiday Blog Challenge Day 8


Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Let's get to the goods!!

For Christmas I would really really love to get some new work out gear.  My current work out ensembles consist of old, cotton, 2 sizes too big t-shirts collected as souvenirs and a couple of basketball shorts I've had since high school.

Yes, you read that right.  High. School.

I have one pair of "yoga" pants that I wear often.  They are capri style and I got them from Target.  However, they are cotton and seem to soak in the sweat instead of making it disappear.

My shoes? I've had for over a year.  They are from Asics, but I have no idea what the make/model are on those babies.  Also, I use them for everything- cross training (elliptical, stationery bike, etc...), running, walking, and sometimes wear them to work to keep my footsies warm (yes, we get cold in Hawaii!).

I found these two tops from YMX by YellowMan.  The shoes? Asics (hey, I like to stick with what works for me!).  I love these tops because they both feature a Polynesian print.  And they're pink! My favorite color =)


The shoe (sorry so blurry) from Asics is meant for low mileage- beginner runners (that's me!). When I get new shoes, I promise to myself to only use them for running and to log my miles.  One of the easy ways to prevent injury, right?

I would also love a membership to my favorite Bikram Yoga studio.  I used to volunteer at the front desk a few years ago and received FREE classes in return.  It was great!!

Once baby arrives I would love to get back into yoga.  I always felt like dying in the middle of the practice but felt like a rockstar while walking back to my car, dripping in sweat and gulping down my VitaCoco!  I imagine I could one day do this:


And of course after all that running with my new wardrobe & shoes, and after intense yoga sessions, I'm going to need to freshen up!

I would love a new bottle of my fave perfume: Chance by Chanel


And anything from Sephora:


What's on your Christmas wish list?


Holiday Blog Challenge Day 7


Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Well, it's no secret that I celebrate Christmas.

And just as an FYI- A Complete Waste of Makeup, this blog topic includes Kwanzaa as a choice.  Just had to mention that Kwanzaa is NOT a holiday that takes the place of Christmas! You're probably wondering how the heck do I know, since I'm obviously not African-American.  Long story short- in college I was part of a multicultural organization that included clubs like the Jewish Student Union, Black Student Union (BSU), Filipino Ugnayan Student Organization (FUSO), Association of Chicana Activists (ACHA), and others... BSU would hold Kwanzaa celebrations on campus and invite everyone to join, so YES, I've participated in Kwanzaa before with the BSU.  It is to celebrate their heritage and just so happens to fall near Christmas. Like how Veterans Day is in November?  No one celebrates Veterans Day instead of Thanksgiving! Kwanzaa isn't celebrated instead of Christmas. *steps off soap box*

Moving on...

I celebrate Christmas. 

I like to decorate as early as possible.  I'd even start in October if I wasn't afraid of being burned at the stake for celebrating Christmas WAY before Thanksgiving.  So I compromise and start publicly sharing my love for Christmas in November. Yes, I'm one of those people!

I celebrate Christmas all season long (yes, Christmas is a season for me, not just a day!).  

We put up a Christmas tree and decorate it.

We like to drive around the island and look at the city decorations.

Most years we're spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with family friends.

But this year? We may be celebrating Christmas with the arrival of Baby L!

We don't have very many traditions set in place, yet.  

But we are excited to start creating our own traditions with our little family very soon!



Treadmill Dancing Queen

Cure for my Monday Blues!

Watch the first one, w/o the sound over.... YOU GO GIRL! I think it's great she's enjoying the treadmill this much! This lady has mucho coordination! I would have been flat on my butt in 2 seconds flat!

And then watch this:


Seriously- I love her moves!! She is awesome!

Holiday Blog challenge Day 6


Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Well, the first thing that came to mind was yet another pumpkin recipe.  

But I figured I'd spare you all and try something new.

So I scoured boards on Pinterest (You can follow me here!) to see what desserts I would like to try out (maybe someone can bake them and bring them over for me? Thanks!)

First up? Marshmallow Snowflakes.  I would love to learn how to make my own marshmallows! I heard it's super easy but haven't done much research into it...

And of course Pumpkin Cupcakes! I actually had a recipe for this from a magazine... somewhere around here... I made it and it was delish!!

I also love anything chocolate and mint so these White Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes are also on my "Need to Try" list.

Followed by Fruit Pizza! I remember one year at my grandmother's house in California (I must have been 7 or 8 years old), my aunt was visiting and made this delicious Fruit Pizza with flattened out cookie dough, cream cheese, and fresh fruits.  It was sooooo good!

More desserts!

Also on my treat list? Well, if I wasn't pregnant anyway... Pumpkin Eggnog Martinis and Dark Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes!


What are your favorite Christmas Desserts/Treats? 

Don't forget to link up your post =)


I Grow Humans. What's Your Superpower?

Earlier this week, as most people are aware, the Victoria Secret Fashion Show aired on TV.

From my friends on Facebook and Twitter, I read a lot of mixed feedback.

Many women gave credit where credit is due-

"Wow, these women look great!"

"Look at those abs"


and so forth and so forth...

And as many positive comments there were, there were just as many negative ones-

"Where did they find these little girls?"

"Ugh, excuse me while I throw up now"

"Great.  Now I really feel insecure"

I viewed the show as a mostly inspriational.  These women were beautiful! Any insecurities I felt, were not due to them being fabulous, but were due to me, not loving me.

And most of these women are either blessed with great genes and naturally stay thin (yes, ladies, such women do exist!) or have to work really really hard. Like Adriana Lima.  I posted an article on Facebook where she talks about what she goes through to prepare for the show. You can read the full article HERE.

Neither type deserve to be bashed for being "too skinny" or not looking like "real women", whatever that means.

I'm all about loving every body type.  Would I love to look like a VS model one day? SURE! But I know my body type and it's not likely that I'm going to grow about 5 inches in height and lose 100lbs.  My body just isn't built that way.

But that doesn't mean I can't be inspired to lose weight and be healthy! I've already been building myself up mentally for my new workout routine once I get the green light from my doctor.  I want to get back into running and work on my strength training. 

What's the point of all my rambling?  Well I've read quite a few blogs that have touched upon this topic.  And it really dug up a gem for me- We should be loving our bodies now, loving ourselves now.  Not when we lose those last 10lbs, not when we are in a healthy BMI.

If we can't love ourselves the way we look and feel now, who else will?

I'm not saying be complacent with an unhealthy lifestyle.  I would never advocate that.  I'm saying love yourself enough, whether you want to gain or lose weight, to get yourself healthy.  Use self love as motivation!

My girl Ali at Running W/ Spatulas has got the right idea- whenever something negative comes to mind about your body, flip it into a positive! Instead of getting down on your hips, remind yourself your hips give you sexy curves! Or instead of focusing on flabby arms (not that you have them!), tell yourself that your arms are STRONG.

What part of my body do I get down on?

Pre-pregnancy, it was my belly.  I hated the way my belly stuck out.  I always felt I looked pregnant, even though I wasn't (and didn't even comprehend what a REAL pregnant belly looked like!).  It was flabby and weak.  I had strong legs, loved my butt (yup, I said it!) and even though I gave up my strength training regime after college graduation, I could still see the contouring in my arms.  The only thing I was insecure about was DA BELLY!

Now that I'm pregnant and my belly has gotten bigger than ever, I've grown to appreciate my body more.  Granted, I would not want to look 8 months pregnant after I give birth, but I can stare at my bare belly and not hate it.  In fact, I kinda like it now. 

Inside my belly I'm growing a human.  Not an ulcer or a kidney stone, but something with a soul and a purpose.  This human being inside my belly is meant to accomplish great things and has a purpose for someone, some thing, in this world. 

Because of pregnancy, I've found a new appreciation- and dare I say love- for my belly.

Here is what I look like now @ 37 weeks, stretch marks and all.  I thought I'd hate the stretchmarks but they really don't bother me.  Honest confession- I've had stretch marks on my hips and thighs since puberty.  So they're nothing new.  But now I have them in the middle of my belly, up above my belly button.  And they'll be there for LIFE. 


But that's OK. 

Because while I may not look like this:


I'm pretty awesome.  I grow humans.


Holiday Blog Challenge Day 5


Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Another reason to love the holiday season? Dressing up!

Out here in the islands we are WAY more casual when it comes to special occasions and dressing up.  

Granted most of the ladies here love to wear their pretty dresses, sparkly jewelry, and glammed up makeup when they are out on the town but when catch them at a family gathering?  Everything is toned down... WAY down.

It's pretty much a guarantee that if someone showed up in sequins at one of our family gatherings the response would be 1) "Oh where are you off too? You're not staying with us?" or 2) "Why you gotta show off and be all fancy for?"

It's one of the things I miss about living in the "mainland".  I could get dressed up to my hearts desire without running into someone who would ask, "Why you all fancy, huh?".

You can bet money on the fact that if I show up to a family party for NYE, I would be in jeans, a t-shirt, and a jacket (just in case it drops to the low 70s.  I know. Be jealous).  I would also put on make-up because I know lots of pics will be taken that night. 

And probably wear pretty earrings. 

But that's about it.

The night would be spent chasing after my nieces/nephews/cousins, pouring drinks for the everyone, stuffing my face, and not worrying about ruining my outfit.  

But ideally?????

I would love to go to a "fancy" cocktail party hosted by friends and get all dressed up.  In fact, if/when we ever move back to Maui I would love to host a cocktail party for my friends- with the request for "cocktail attire", of course! I think dressing up is fun and everyone looks so good!

So if I had somewhere to go this year, I would probably rock one of these dresses:


As you can tell, I love sparkles!!

And for accessories? These really caught my eye:


But for a night spent with the family?  I think I'd take the jeans and t-shirt combo- it's all about comfort sometimes!

What's your ideal Christmas/NYE outfit?

If you're participating in the challenge (it's not too late to jump on in), don't forget to link up =)


Holiday Blog Challenge Day 4


Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Well, it is no secret from this post that one of my favorite all time movies is ELF.  I can watch this movie everyday! When I watch it, I turn into that annoying kid that says all the lines before the characters.  You've been warned!


Another favorite of mine is Eloise at Christmas Time.  I've only seen it a few times- and most of that was just in bits and pieces.  But the antics of this little girl are borderline annoying and hilarious! I think part of the reason I can tolerate this little 6 year old running around The Plaza Hotel during Christmas is that her charm reminds me of my grandmother, Eloise.  My grandma is the youngest of 13 children.  From the stories told by her older sisters, she was SPOILED! When her older sister Marian was alive, she would tell me silly stories of my grandma and the trouble she would get into.  Plus, I think it's hilarious to hear the characters yell, "ELOISE!!" when she stirs up trouble because I can't imagine someone yelling like that at my grandmother! 


And another favorite?  Love Actually.

Love Actually

I love all the characters in this movie.  It just warms my heart and makes me feel all giddy inside.  It totally pulls on all my heart strings and gets my emotions all worked up.  Exactly what I love in a movie!

Can you believe that there is one classic I've never seen? Yes, Christmas' #1 fan has missed out on a classic.

It's a Wonderful Life

Wonderful Life

Well, this season has just started! It's not too late for me to pick it up somewhere.  I'm determined to watch this movie this year.

What's your favorite Christmas movie/TV special?

Don't forget to link up if you're participating in the Holiday Challenge! Let my followers know who you are =)


What I Ate Wednesday

A trend here in BlogLand is writing themed posts for the day.

Some of my fave blogs have themes such as "It's OK Thursday" or "Speechless Sunday" or "Three Things Thursday", etc...

Today? I'm jumping on the bandwagon with "What I Ate Wednesday" and linking up with my girl Jenn on this one.

*And through her post, I found another blogger named Jenn from Peas and Crayons and linked up with her, as well!*

I usually don't do themed posts because my writing style is more "free spirited" so to speak- I have a hard time fitting my thoughts into certain criteria and usually end up saying "screw it" and write whatever I want anyway.

It's one of my fave things about blogging- I write about whatever I want, whenever I want! And of course try to make it interesting to my readers.  I'm all about engagement, yo!

Moving right along...

You remember these Pumpkin Pancakes?  Well, I had some left over pumpkin and left over Chobani 0% Vanilla Yogurt. And left over Cool Whip (hello! I wasn't about to let my husband eat the entire container!).

So I decided to make a dip! A co-worker of mine brought in a Pumpkin Dip the other week and hers was delish! She used cream cheese, powdered sugar, Cool Whip, pumpkin, and related spices.

I decided to try my hand at it and see if I can make a version that was GD healthy- meaning not so much sugar and sneak in a way to get some protein.

It was a match made in heaven using left over ingredients from those yummy pancakes!

I mixed the rest of the pumpkin (about half a can), 6oz of Chobani Vanilla Yogurt, 2tsp of cinnamon, 1tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp of cloves.  Honestly I think I put too much cloves because at first it was really overpowering, but my tastebuds adapted and it came out delish!

I also scooped in the rest of the Cool Whip Lite.  It's important to note that I "folded" the ingredients in so as to not break down the consistency of the yogurt.

The result? A tangy pumpkin dip- perfect with cinnamon sprinkled Wheat Thins.

pumpkin dip

I'm not sure about the nutrition information but I do know that when I ate this last night as part of my evening snack, I had perfect glucose numbers this morning! 

The sweetness on the Wheat Thins blended well with the yogurt in the dip.  I think next time I might make my own cinnamon toast pieces and spread this dip on top.  YUMMMM!

Feel free to link up your "What I Ate Wednesday" post so we can all join in on the fun!

Holiday Blog Challenge Day 3


Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

One of my biggest memories of Christmas growing up is my mom kicking me out of the house for a day while she decorated for Christmas.

This woman went all out! By the time I would come home in the evening, she had the tree up and decorated, all the kitchen towels switched out, her snow village set-up, the bathroom covered in Santa paraphernalia, and a 5ft stocking hanging on my bedroom door (my bedroom was the one place she was not allowed to decorate.  There had to be boundaries somewhere! So she decorated my door).

Now I know that for someone who has recently professed their undying love for all things Christmas, I sound like a Grinch.

But as I reflect on the reason why I didn't welcome my mom's decorating with open arms, I realize that it was because I was never involved!

Once I got my own place in college, I was so happy to finally be able to decorate the way I wanted to decorate.

Even if that meant just a tree...

My first tree was a small 4ft something tree.  It was real.  And we decorated it with whatever fit our budget at the time. 

There wasn't a theme or color scheme.  

It was simply decorated.

Since moving back to Hawaii, we have gotten our own tree (yes it's fake) to decorate year after year.  

Because we're budget conscious, we use the same decorations year after year.  However, this year our tree is looking kinda sparse. 


But I love it!  There may not be much to it, but there's an ornament on there that you can't really see (and of course I forgot to take a picture of it last night!).

It looks kind like this, but is all green w/ no hibiscus flower.

Latte Ornament

It is called a Latte Stone and is one of the major symbols on Guam.  Chamorros (natives on Guam) used to build their houses on these stones that sometimes could reach 7 feet tall! The husband and I got this ornament during our trip to Guam back in February.  

Latte Stone Park

This year we decided to start our own tradition.  We'll collect ornaments during our travels and to mark special occasions in our lives.  Our tree will probably never have a cohesive color scheme, but the theme will always be about US.

Just the way we like it.

What does your holiday decor look like?


Things to Note...

First things first.

I like to give credit where credit is due.  I mentioned in this post about my new Thanksgiving Tradition that I was inspired by other blogs.  What other blogs you ask?

Well, by the Gourmet Runner herself!

I knew she had posted somewhere about that yummy deliciousness but I couldn't find it! So I got in touch with her and she gave me the link to share with you all. So go check her out!

Have you seen my sidebar lately?

First thing you'll notice is my button.  What the heck is a button, you ask?

It's a great way to share some blog love! If you post my button on your blog, let me know and I'll return the favor! I currently have 2 buttons from other blogs that I really enjoy reading.  A button is a great way to connect your readers with other great blogs.  All you gotta do is enter the HTML code in the box within your blog and voila! Don't forget to email me if you do!

Also? I'm a member of 20 Something Bloggers. It's a great place for 20 somethings who blog to connect and support each other.  If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, check it out!

Other things to note? GIVEAWAYS!!

If you scroll down you'll see a list of links of current giveaways that I'm participating in.  I encourage you to check them out and enter for yourselves! It's a great and easy way to score some free loot =)

Scrolling down some more- you can "like" Isle Style Living on Facebook, Follow me on Pinterest, and connect with me through GFC (Google Friend Connect). Staying connected is a great way to get the latest details on my journey to a healthy lifestyle!  You can also find me on Twitter @IsleStyleLiving (I couldn't find a widget that would work properly so if you know of one, help me out!).

Holiday Blog Challenge Days 1 & 2

Neely at A Complete Waste of Makeup is hooking up with her girl Amber for the Holiday Blog Challenge!

Challenge Accepted!  Some you might remember the challenge I started earlier this year... and never finished (ahem).

Maybe I'll go back to that and finish it up- I hate loose ends and that challenge has been haunting me!

Anyway- I decided to take up this challenge because 1) It's only 10 days (versus 30 like the last one) and 2) it's about my favorite time of year!

Here's the complete list of topics, which I grabbed from here:

Monday November 28th: Fave gift received EVER
Tuesday November 29th:  Fave holiday tradition, new or old
Wednesday November 30th:  Holiday decorations/decor
Thursday December 1st:  Favorite Holiday movies/tv specials
Friday December 2nd: Ideal outfit for Christmas/NYE festivities
Monday December 5th:  Christmas dessert/treat recipe
Tuesday December 6th: How do you celebrate the holidays? Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, etc.
Wednesday December 7th: Christmas wish list
Thursday December 8th: 2012 goals/resolutions
Friday December 9th:  NYE memories/pictures

Do you want to join in on the fun? Here's what you do.  Add this button from A Complete Waste of Makeup, and link up your post below on my blog and at A Complete Waste of Makeup.  Don't forget to spread the word to your blog readers, Twitter followers, and Facebook friends!

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

OK- On to the CHALLENGE!

Thinking back to my 20+ Christmases, I can't really put a finger on my FAVORITE gift.  I've been really blessed and received some often gifts in my days. I remember bikes, dolls, games, and books from childhood.  As I got older I received beautiful jewelry from my parents and boyfriend (now husband <3).  I cherish all those gifts and at one point or another, each gift was a "favorite".

So I'm going to share my most memorable gifts.

First up?

Super Nintendo Entertainment System! I remember being sooooo excited when I opened this gift.

And also because my dad took FOREVER to set it up.  And then he decided to "test" it out to make sure it was working, while I sat on the couch and whined waited patiently for my turn.

The game that was included with the system was Super Mario Paint.  My best friend and I could spend HOURS on this game! There were "coloring pages", free style, a music composer (my personal fave), and a silly game where we had to swat at flying insects.

SNES Collage

And coming in at a close second....

Our first home computer- A Gateway 2000!

Gateway 2000

I remember this gift because my parents wrapped each part separately! So it looked like I had a bunch of gifts under the tree but once I opened them all they all connected to our very first computer! I must have been 11 or 12 years old.

I was able to type up my own research papers and using dial-up, connect to the internet.  I set up my very first email address using Hotmail (can't remember what it is now!) and even created an AOL screen name so I could chat with my friends after school.

I also remember getting in trouble because I was constantly tying up the phone line hehehehe.

What was your favorite gift ever?

Usually I spend Christmas with my family on Maui.  Christmas Eve is usually spent at my grandparents' house with all my cousins and aunts and uncles (dad's side).  There is a huge buffet spread (my grandpa, uncles, and dad are GREAT cooks!) and one of the uncles dresses up as Santa and hands out gifts to the little kids.  My family will play music and sing Christmas songs in the backyard (we live in Hawaii, remember?) and eat and eat and eat until we can eat no more!

Most of the family will just end up spending the night (any spot on the floor is up for grabs!). Because my parents are divorced, I usually will then spend Christmas Day with my mom.

This year? Well, I'm looking forward to starting our own traditions.  Our baby may be here by Christmas Day so we'll be busy getting adjusted to our new family.  Or baby may decided to bake a little more and you may just find me stuck on the couch watching Christmas movies.  Either way, this Christmas is sure to be a life changer for us and we couldn't be more excited!!

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Don't forget to add a link to your Holiday Challenge Blog Post:


New Thanksgiving Tradition- Pumpkin Pancakes!

Whooo hoooo! Christmas time is here! If you've read this post, you know that Christmas is my most favorite time of year.

Before jumping into all of that- I wanted to share a part of my Thanksgiving with you all!

One thing I look forward to during this Fall season is the food! I love love love anything pumpkin and when I saw a few bloggers posting about Pumpkin Pancakes, I knew I had to jump on the bandwagon!

The husband and I decided to have a real low key Thanksgiving this year.  With the baby on its way, we wanted to enjoy our time to ourselves and really soak in the final moments of "just the two of us".

I couldn't just let the day slip away without doing something special.  So I decided to try my hand at Pumpkin Pancakes.

I started out with this recipe from Chobani.

Then I made a few modifications.  The recipe calls for 12oz of Vanilla 0% Chobani Greek Yogurt.  I decided to swap 6oz of yogurt for 6oz of pumpkin.


I folded 6oz of yogurt with 6 oz of pumpkin (I folded versus beat/mix to keep the texture of the yogurt) and then added one egg (whisked) and 1/2 c. of milk. Then placed the mixture on the side.



I then added all dry ingredients (according to the recipe above), and added the pumpkin spices according to the recipe on the back of the can.  It called for 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, and 1/4 tsp. cloves. Now this is where you can take some liberty with the recipe.  When I mixed the dry ingredients together, I couldn't smell the spices.  I LOVE this mixture of spices so I added 1/2 more (1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/8 tsp. cloves).  With the added spice the aroma smelled just perfect!


I then added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and it was REALLY thick.  Maybe because I only used half of the yogurt?  Or because I used whole wheat flour?  I don't know.  It was more of a muffin dough than pancake batter.  So I improvised and ended up gradually adding about another 1 C. of milk, to get the desired consistency.


Once the consistency was at my desired point, I poured the batter into a pan on medium heat, waited until I saw consistent "bubbling" (technical term right there) and then flipped.

Topped the Pumpkin Pancakes with butter and a scoop of Cool Whip light.  Served with scrambled eggs (gotta have my protein!).


My critique on my specialty pancakes? There were OK.  Changes I'd make? I'd probably add more yogurt so that the batter isn't so initially dry- and instead of Cool Whip Lite I'd use real maple syrup.  I had to make some changes since I wasn't sure how this meal would affect my glucose levels.  The pancakes weren't light and fluffy but more moist and dense- I attribute this to the pumpkin.  Tasty (because I added more spice!) but not the consistency I was looking for.

Would I make this again? Absolutely! Now that I know what to expect and what changes to make to this recipe, it will be even better next year.

So how did this breakfast affect my glucose levels? It was high.  I mean really really high.  After one hour my glucose should be under 140- it was 153.  I tested an hour later and should have been under 120- it was 132.

The next morning we had some leftover batter so I made smaller portions and just had one instead of two.  It was still filling since the pancake was thick.  And it didn't spike my glucose numbers at all!

Lesson learned- Keep the portions in line and glucose levels will be just fine!

Hope all my U.S. readers enjoyed their Thanksgiving Holiday!


It's OK Thursday

Hi Friends!

So I picked up on another blog trend: a link up! A blogger writes a themed posts, encourages readers to write a similar post and then add a link to their themed post on the blogger's wall!

Sound kinda complicated? Well it's not, I promise!

Today's theme is It's OK Thursdays from A Complete Waste of Makeup. Go check it out and read her post.  Then notice all the links on the bottom? You might recognize a few of those blogs or some might be new to you.  It's a great way to find new blogs!

Its Ok Thursdays

Hey, It's OK...

...if you tell your husband the reason why you need a new bottle of perfume to last you the next year is so that the baby will recognize your scent.  If you stop using it or change scents, baby might get confused!

...if you don't want to let that jerk of a driver cut in front of you, after you saw him/her in your rear view mirror speed all the way to the front of the turn lane instead of waiting his/her turn like the rest of us.

...if you correct people when they make comments of how big you're getting with, "The baby is getting big."

...if when people say, "You look tired.", you respond with, "Thanks! YOU TOO!".

...if you're mourning the vacation that would have been.  I had planned to leave for a 2 week California vacay on Friday night.  But the trip has been postponed until the baby arrives.  Yes, I'm bummed about missing my trip and will probably be a grump all weekend.

...if someone asks you a question and you respond with, "Did you Google it?".

...if you're having breakfast for dinner not just because it's budget friendly, but because it's just GOOD!

So tell me, because today is "It's OK Thursday", what's OK with you? 

Feel free to leave a link to your own "It's OK Thursday" post!


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

There's no easy way to say this so I'm just going to come right out with it.

I'm one of those people.

You know, the type that thinks it's NEVER too early for Christmas!!

Yeah, I said it.  And I'll say it again.


I've seen comments all over Twitter and Facebook about how retailers are pushing Christmas too early, commercials for Christmas shopping are jumping the gun, and people who put up their Christmas tree before Thanksgiving are CRAZY.

Well call me CRAZY.  If I could put up the tree right now, I would.  But being 34 weeks pregnant makes it kinda difficult.  But trust me that I've thought about it!

Seems like the concern is that we're just glossing over Thanksgiving and heading straight to the commercial nightmare that has become Christmas.

Valid concern, for sure!

For me, putting up a tree and listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies doesn't mean I'm forgetting about Thanksgiving.  If anything, it's a way to PREPARE for the Holiday of Thanks.

As a Christian, Christmas and Easter are the top two most important holidays of the year.  Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, and Easter is when we celebrate His ultimate sacrifice- His death for our lives.

Christmas to me is more than just shopping for the best presents.  Take away the glitter, the lights, the parties, and the gifts- we can get to the heart of the holiday. 

Even though Thanksgiving isn't here yet, I love getting into the Christmas spirit because the Christmas season is truly a time of thanks, good tidings, and new beginnings.  I feel that Thanksgiving is more of an extension of Christmas.  Sort of like the pre-party.

Thanksgiving is a time where families come together, share love and laughter, and give thanks for the many blessings in their lives.  Why stop there?  Christmas is also a time where families come together and reflect on their blessings, shower each other with love.

I don't understand why there is a set timetable for these holidays.  In my opinion, November to January is an entire season to celebrate with thanks and love.  Why wait to get into the Christmas spirit? Is it sooooo bad to be spread Christmas cheer in November?

Why not set the mood for the Christmas spirit in November and have it carry on into the New Year?  What is the big deal? Trust me that I will celebrate Thanksgiving and reflect on all that I've been blessed with in my life.  I'm thankful for my family, my husband, our bundle of joy that will arrive soon, my job, being able to live in Paradise.

But that doesn't mean I can't listen to some Christmas tunes or put up my Christmas tree. 

Or watch Elf on repeat. 



Fitness Goals for 2012

As my pregnancy starts to enter the final stretch (about 6 weeks to go!) and 2011 begins to wind down, I'm thinking about my goals for next year.

Last month I revisited my goals (well, really only one) for 2011. I didn't reach my goal this year, but I will set my eyes on it for next year.

So my first goal in 2012 is to run a 5K under 30 minutes. My official time for my very first 5K was 38:51, about a 12:34 pace.  In order to reach my goal for 2012, I'd need to run faster than a 9:40 pace.  I need to shave about 3 minutes off my pace.

Is this doable? I think so. With proper training I should be able to hit this goal, right?

How I plan to accomplish this: Well, if baby arrives by its due date, and labor & delivery goes smoothly, I should be able to start a light exercise routine 6 weeks after birth, so early February.

I plan to take it very slowly so that I don't cause any injuries to myself.

I can't really predict how my body will feel at that time, but I think I'll start off with 30-45 minute walks.  Of course I'll listen to my body and stop if it's too painful, but I think that's a good foundation.

Once I'm able to work up to 45 minutes, I'll use the training plan I used earlier this year.

I'll walk for 4 minutes, run for 1, and repeat for 45 minutes.  I can slowly build to walking for 3/running for 2, walking for 2/running for 3, and so on.

Using this training plan I was able to go from not even running for a minute to running almost 2 miles, no stopping by the end of April (so about 3 months). That was HUGE for me! HUGE!

I'm also going to make some time for strength training and cross training.

I know runners that run more than triple my goal distance are usually involved with cross and strength training as a way to avoid injury and help the body become more efficient at running. Well, if it works for them at those longer distances, it should help me as a beginner runner with my short distance (short being relative to 10+ miles- 3.1 miles is still pretty tough for me!).

Basically I'm taking the same goal and strategy for 2011 and pushing forward in 2012.

Another Goal for 2012?  Sign up for a longer race! After my first 5K, I realized that I'm closer to my goal than I thought.  So if I reach my goal in the summer, then what? Do I just give up? NO WAY!

I call this my back up goal, for when I knock my first goal out of the park.

I'm going to run a longer race (so anything longer than a 5K) before the year ends.  No time goal- just finish.

I've been reading a lot of race recaps lately and I'm still unsure if I want to run my longer race here in Hawaii or travel.

I love to travel so if I can fit in a race with a vacation, I'd be a happy camper!

Have you started thinking of your goals for 2012?- I've been thinking about them, but only have 2 set in stone.  Both are fitness goals and I think I want to also have a blogging goal and a new mommy goal.  I still have time to come up with something!

How are you goals for 2011?- Well, as I wrote in a previous post, I did not reach my 2011 goal.  However, I revisited my goals in October and have been on track for a healthy pregnancy.  I've had a few spikes in my glucose levels but my doctors aren't too concerned.  So far, so good.


Frustrations with GD

One of the scariest moments of this pregnancy was being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GD).

You can read about my related GD posts here.  My previous posts have covered my initial reactions, my fears, my plans, things I eat, and pretty much dealing in general.

Before I even took the Glucose Screening Test (GST, also known as "the 1-hour" test), I did a lot of research about what GD is, how is it diagnosed, and how is it treated.  I've touched a bit (ok, maybe closer to a lot) on GD before and you can check out some of the information on the Gestational Diabetes tab above.

What I want to get out in this post are some of the inconsistencies with diagnosing and treating GD.  I found during my internet research that many people feel that GD isn't even a real disease and that the diagnosis is so flawed that treating this "so-called" disease is actually dangerous.  The issue seems to stem from the fact that the guidelines for testing vary and the test results itself are questionable.

After being diagnosed with GD, I found an online support group of other moms to be, also due in December, and also battling with GD.

There are many threads posted within our group about meal plans, high numbers, strategies, work out plans, etc... that we quickly noticed that many of the women were being treated for GD differently.  Of course, every pregnancy (and every woman) is different so there is no cookie cutter treatment plan but the plans varied greatly enough where an abnormal test result for one woman is completely acceptable to another and vice versa.

I dug a little deeper because I was curious about other differences or inconsistencies that existed between our treatment plans.

Here is a brief summary of what I found:

Glucose Screening and Glucose Tolerance Tests ("1-hour" and "3-hour" tests, respectively)

We were given different instructions prior to taking our tests.  Wouldn't this affect our diagnosis? Before taking my 1 hour test, I was told to fast after midnight.  Some of the women in my group were told to eat normally, others were told to fast, others were given no instructions.  It seems to me that the difference in instruction could have greatly affected our results!

For the 3-hour test, I wasn't given any clear instructions.  I took it up on myself to fast since that is what my Google results told me.  (I should have just asked my doctor, I know, but too late now).  Again, women were told to fast, eat normally, and others were told to increase their carb intake.

Shouldn't the guidelines before the screening and tolerance tests be identical?  Wouldn't this be a type of control for the lab tests? I'm no science gal but I do not that basic instructions before a lab test should be consistent if we're going to use the results.

For a quick recap, during the 1-Hour exam a pregnant woman is told to drink 50g of glucose in this sweet syrupy drink.  An hour later blood is drawn and glucose levels are measured.  During the 3-Hour exam, a pregnant woman has her blood drawn first (called the fasting draw), then 100g of glucose is given in the form of a drink, and then later blood is drawn at 3 1-hour intervals.

During the 3-hour exam some women are not allowed to walk around or engage in physical activity.  They have to just sit there during the whole ordeal.  Other women are encouraged to walk around after drinking the glucose.

I now know that walking greatly decreases my glucose levels after a meal and can't help but wonder if I were allowed to walk around, would my numbers have been different?

Treatment of GD

After being diagnosed, most women are put on a GD friendly diet- low(er) carbs and more protein. Most attend a class with an RN and a Dietician.  We learn how to eat and how to test our glucose levels in the morning (fasting) and after meals. Granted, since each woman is different, our meal plans will differ to some degree. Some women can't have fruit or milk in the morning or before noon, some have no restrictions in the morning.

So where are the significant inconsistencies? They lie in testing our glucose and whether our levels are abnormal or normal.

I test my glucose levels 4 times a day: fasting, 1-hour after my first bite for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I also have 3 snacks in between meals. My fasting number needs to be below 95 while my number after meals need to be below 140.  Sometimes I can test 2 hours after my first bite if finishing my meal takes longer than 30 minutes (like at a restaurant).  If I test 2 hours after a meal, my number needs to be below 120.

Some of the women in my group test after 1 hour, others after 2. Some women need their glucose levels to be below 135 and some below 130 an hour after a meal. Others only test at 2 hours (their glucose limit is the same, 120).

So some of my glucose results that are above 130 would raise a flag for their doctor but is perfectly acceptable by mine.  *It's important to note that the levels of 95 and 140 were given to all the ladies in my diabetes education class, not just me*.

Same for the fasting number.  Mine needs to be below 95 but other women were given limits of 90 or 100.

So why does this all matter? 

If there were inconsistencies before, during, and after these tests- how do we know the test results are accurate?  There seems to be some vital controls missing.

There are also some groups of thought that feel the treatment of GD through a restricted carb diet does more harm than good.

Don't get me wrong- I am NOT saying that we should throw GD out the window and forget about it.  From what I've read, there are risks to the baby that result from insulin-dependent diabetes (pre-pregnancy).  It seems that the diagnosis and treatment of GD stems from that.

When GD is not controlled and glucose levels are extremely high, not only does mom have to create more insulin but so does baby.  Baby's pancreas goes to work overtime to deal with the high levels of glucose that cross the placenta.  And that's normal- when we ingest too many carbs, a healthy pancreas goes into overdrive to break down the glucose.  When the body no longer responds to the insulin or stops producing it that's when we have issues.

What's scary is that in uncontrolled glucose levels with baby's pancreas working overtime, once baby is out of that environment (high sugar in mom's blood), baby's blood sugar can dip dangerously low after birth.  And that is scary.

I understand the risks but wonder if maybe just maybe there is a better way to diagnose and treat GD.  Maybe something a bit more consistent??  I think I'd feel more confident in my treatment if I knew the diagnosis and treatment didn't vary so much from doctor to doctor.

There's not much I can do about it now though. So I'll keep trucking with my meal plan and exercise routines and trust that I'm doing the best for my baby.  That's all a parent can do right?

I have an ultrasound appointment in a few weeks to check up on baby's growth.  I'm praying all is normal and that my hard work is paying off!


Blog Housekeeping

First of all, I'd to extend a warm aloha to all my new followers!

Second of all, you may have noticed a few changes around here.

I changed my banner to include a picture.  This picture was taken by moi at Waimea Bay.  It's one of my favorite beaches in Hawaii!

During this time of year the waves get pretty big... so big you can feel the sand beneath you tremble when the wave crashes!


But during the summer? The ocean here is like a lake... calm, glassy, and so refreshing!

Also something new: MY BUTTON!

Using super easy tips from my girl @ Jenn's Adventures, I learned how to create my own blog button.

So what the heck is a blog button? It's a way to share some blog love!  

If you look at my side bar on the left (<----- that way) you'll see I posted one of Jenn's buttons for her Speechless Sunday series.  

And I'm all about returning favors (um, blog favors people!) so if you created a button and want to share, just let me know! I'll grab yours if you grab mine (oh goodness this is getting out of hand!). Just grab the code at the top of my sidebar =)


Also I wanted to give all my followers a head's up- I'm reaching my 100th post soon and would like to do another giveaway to my followers! 

The catch? You need to be a follower before I post #101.  So spread the word to share some of the giveaway fun!

Weekend Recap & Aloha Salads Review

Oh Monday- Back so soon, are we?

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Ours was pretty standard- ate, shopped, ate again, thrifted, ate some more, rearranged our apartment...

You know, pretty standard.

And yes, I now use "thrift" as a verb.

thrift (v)- To find a great deal, to shop with the intention of not paying even close to full price.  Also used as thrifting and thrifted. Derived from the adjective thrifty.

There you go.  Thrifted.

The highlights?

I found a $3.50 Banana Republic blazer at Goodwill.

Yes, you read that right- $3.50!! Originally marked for $7 (and can you believe I even debated that price?) but at the register it was 50% off!


We also found another gem this weekend, this time a food gem.

One day for lunch we ate at Aloha Salads.  

The hubbs and I have never ate there before.  Honestly, I wasn't in the mood for a salad but needed something healthy and with the right balance of carbs.  Most salads I know of are very low carb, which is OK most of the time, but I have a range I need to meet for my Gestational Diabetes.

From it's website:

Aloha Salads has expanded since 2003, opening stores in Kahala Mall Shopping Center and Kapolei Commons Shopping Center but its core mission remains the same—to serve healthy, fresh, locally grown food of the highest quality at affordable prices.  It remains dedicated to supporting local farmers and fishermen while providing its customers with the freshest, healthiest and most delicious ingredients available.  Our field greens come, not by boat from the mainland, but straight from the North Shore of Oahu.  Our tomatoes come ripened on the vine in Hau’ula, Hawai’i delivered by the farmer himself.  Our mangoes come from a farm in Mokuleia, Hawai’i, handpicked at the perfect ripeness.  Our ahi comes, always fresh, never previously frozen or injected with CO2 straight from Hawaiian waters. 
Aloha Salads deeply cares about its customers’ health.  To that end, its signature salad dressings are made without the use of hydrogenated oils or trans fats.  Instead, they are made with Canola or olive oils.  Even its breads are made without the use of such oils.  Their sandwich breads are made with extra virgin olive oil and nutrient powerhouses like flax seeds.  The pita bread is entirely fat and sugar free.

The husband ordered a Chicken Curry Wrap.  I couldn't find that item on their menu to give you all the great details but basically it's a curry chicken salad wrapped in pita bread with fresh veggies.

His verdict? It was REAL good!

I ordered the Kahuku Spinach Salad.  I saw that it came with pita bread so I was happy to get some of my carbs in there.  The salad included spinach, Kahuku Shrimp (grilled), avocado, egg, bacon, and tossed in their own papaya seed dressing.  The shrimp tasted like it was grilled FRESH- you know when shrimp is firm and still juicy? Yeah that was the sweet spot! The shrimp had really great seasoning- kinda spicy but went so well with the rest of the salad.  I thought about offering the hubbs a taste but used my better judgement!


The best part of the entire meal was knowing that all the ingredients were local!

It was a bit more than we expected for salads, but hey, when you're paying for such great quality, what's a couple extra bucks?

For my salad, hubby's wrap, and 2 drinks- total was around $23.

But we were so impressed we're definitely going back soon.

There are 4 locations on Oahu (again, from their website)

Downtown Honolulu, Kailua Shopping Center, Kahala Mall, and Kapolei Commons.

Hope you all had a GREAT WEEKEND!! 
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