Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Since Baby J was born, my energy level has had peaks and valleys.   There were the early sleepless days, where I would literally fantasize about checking into a hotel somewhere solo, ordering a dirty martini from room service, and then sleeping for 12 hours straight.  Then, about 8 weeks in, that truly desperate-for-sleep feeling eased up a bit, and left in its place just a lingering exhaustion.  You know like on a morning when you have to catch an early flight, and your alarm clock goes off just a little too early for your liking, and you're fine, but think, "Wow, if I could just catch a nap, this day would be so much better"?  Well, every day you feel a bit like that, except the exhaustion is matched and dominated by your overwhelming love for this small being, which makes you run on a happily demented adrenaline high.  

In my case, I was just getting functional on this adrenaline fix when it was Week 12, and time to return to work (oh, FMLA, you cruelly short national policy, you).  And move.  And be homeless for 2 weeks in between.  But that is another post for another time, because what we are talking about here is energy.  Lack of it.  Especially when, like I said, you are learning to run on this adrenaline high, when suddenly life ups the ante a bit, and you not only have to get dressed and speak in complete sentences, but you have to do so in a professional environment.  Tricky! It was right around this time that the demands of life started overwhelming the adrenaline, and the truly manic exhaustion set in.  I'd like to extend a heartfelt apology to anyone who had to deal with me in person during this time (you know who you are), and give the husband yet another shout out for that wonderful thing known as unconditional love (thanks B!). 

In my efforts to continue to get my body back together during this time, I was regularly seeing my chiropractor, who is also a holistic health practitioner.  He's a tad kooky, and prone to humming show tunes to himself, but he has also saved me from my chronic back pain for the last 3 years, and I've come to respect his advice.  He told me that the only way to get my energy back was to fortify my diet with protein in a major way, and so, we come to the real point of this post: how do you like to add protein to your life, without ingesting large and unnecessary quantities of meat?  You've seen that I like to cook with beans, and they are a great source of healthy protein, but what the holistic doc was getting at was that I needed lots of protein-packed snacks in my day, throughout the day, to avoid those peaks and valleys. This is probably true for anyone with an active lifestyle, new mama or not. 
Some of my favorite protein snacks are:

That milkshake-looking thing would be a banana and almond butter smoothie, which is oh so satisfying, but I suspect I need to cut down on those if I ever hope to get back in my old pre-pregnancy jeans.  And I can't hang with hard-boiled eggs thanks to a stint on the South Beach Diet in 2003 when I seriously OD'd on them.  Unless they are deviled, I am not interested.  So, beyond these items, what are your tricks for getting more protein into your diet, short of gnawing on a chicken leg?  In particular, I am looking for items with a lower fat content than nuts and such, due to the aforementioned jeans issue. And what else do you do to keep your energy up?  Other than suck down mass quantities of this (which is already an obsession for me):

I'd love to hear your ideas!


  1. i'm a fan of good ole beef jerky (which, oddly enough, pairs beautifully with my other high protein fave: low-fat chocolate milk). i could pick you up some of the homemade, grassfed, ferry building variety if you'd like. i'm headed there saturday.

  2. Organic peanut butter on apple slices. Or three year old gouda with apple slices. Or the gouda by itself with a dab of dijon.

  3. I love my sleep, so this update is helpful, i.e. good to know what lies in my future post-bebe.

    Now excuse me while I go rock in a corner with some deep breathing for a bit... ;-)

    And for the record, you have been SUPER pro at work and everyone here at VLS would say the same thing. You have set the bar high, Director D'Antonio - now tell me how you sat calmly through all those mtgs. when Judah would dive & roll & kick the heck out of you, like baby Collins is inclined to do. Every day. All day. oooph!