Peggy Emch is the owner of The Primal Parent, where you can find tons of quality information about eating while pregnant, raising your kids healthy, taking good care about yourself post pregnancy and during the pregnancy. As a whole you can find a lot of information about nutrition. Peggy has a B.S. in mathematics and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Colorado and have spent the last 10 years since researching nutrition, writing blogs, articles, a novel and an album. I personally reccomend you to read her article When Good Health destroys a Perfectly Decent Marriage. Through this article I was introduced to her website and I was fascinated by her determination, outlook on life and the openhearted share of her life troubles! Whatever I say about Peggy won’t be enough to show her outstanding personality and sharp mind so I am really excited to let her introduce herself:
Ines Subashka:What was your nutrition like before you started doing paleo?
Peggy Emch: I had been a vegetarian for 13 years. I ate way too much plant food, not enough protein, and way way too much dead processed food. I had celiac disease and didn’t know it and was severely deficient in many nutrients. I actually tried to eat “healthy” all my life but, like most people, I didn’t know what that meant.
IS: What was your pregnancy like? How did you eat? Did you follow a specific nutrition plan or you just ate everything in sight “ to make sure you are eating for two”?
PE: Well, a pregnant woman isn’t actually eating for two. It’s more like she’s eating for one and a fiftieth. So no, I didn’t see pregnancy as a license to overeat. Quite the contrary, I was very careful about what I ate. My baby’s health depended on it.
I ate the Paleo diet as outlined in Loren Cordain’s book. This was six years ago. My pregnancy was easy and pleasant for the most part. I still was not eating the ideal diet for my body but it did make me quite a bit healthier than I’d ever been before and I managed to avoid some of the miseries of pregnancy. I didn’t have morning sickness, didn’t get stretch marks, I wasn’t tired all the time, and felt happy. I only gained around 14 pounds and my baby was born around 7 pounds.
IS: And what about working out? Did you work out during the pregnancy?
PE: Before I got pregnant I was a runner. I had been training distance and speed for a couple of years. Within a few weeks of getting pregnant I lost interest in training. This happened before I even knew I was pregnant. What I really felt like doing was walking. Most of the time while I was pregnant I walked 5 miles a day. I also did crunches to keep my abdominal muscles from splitting and, until the baby was too big, I continued doing pushups as well.
IS: How did people around you accept your new lifestyle? Did they support you?
PE: My husband at the time supported me and that was all that really mattered. I’ve never cared what people think of what I do. I do what I need to do and that is all. I’m a very logical type of person.
IS: Most people that know you and have visited your website, probably read the article “ When good health destroys a perfectly decent marriage”! What advice would you give to other women or probably men that are willing to make a life change for the better, but are somehow drawing back on it because they are afraid that their relationship with the spouse will suffer?
PE: I understand their fears. My husband and I had been together for a very long time and were quite close in many ways. Breaking up isn’t something I ever wanted to do. Once I started to see myself changing, the notion that he may not change did occur to me. It was a sad and scary thought. I did everything that I knew how to keep our relationship together. Towards the end, that even meant ignoring what I already knew to be fact: that there was nothing between us. My parents had stayed together in a loveless relationship “for the kids”. I thought maybe I could do it too. I thought a million things. Breaking up was very scary for me because I hadn’t worked in years. I had had a man by my side for so long I didn’t know what I would do all by myself.
Changing my diet didn’t really break up my marriage it just gave me the clarity to see that we were a bad match and it gave me the strength to leave against the odds. Every relationship is different.
If a woman is in an abusive relationship, I hope that getting healthy would give her the strength she needs to leave. If a couple is having problems because of irritability or depression or laziness, the diet changes may give them the peace of mind to finally get along. It just depends on the couple. In our case, we were two very unhealthy and inexperienced people who got together very young. Our paths diverged. Anything could be the impetus when it’s bound to happen anyway.
IS: How about your daughter? Do you make sure she eats healthy or do you let her eat just like the average child( sweets, chocolate, junk and so on)?
PE: She eats healthy. She nursed for a year and a half and I made ALL of her baby food from scratch. I don’t believe in prepared foods in packages and so I never fed them to her. When my daughter was 3, I introduced a few processed foods just so that she would know them and not go crazy for them later. She’s almost six now and is quite happy eating well. She eats more processed food than I do (which is pretty much none) but still, that’s very little and there are some things that are totally off limits. She knows why and she knows her substitutes. She loves meat and natural Primal foods. She ought to. She was raised on them since before conception.
IS: How did your life change since you started paying attention to how you fuel your body?
PE: In a thousand ways… literally. People are animals too and no animal can thrive on processed foods. Even zoos know that!
IS: What kind of exercise routine do you have now?
PE: I got out of “routines” after I went Paleo. Years ago, before I changed my diet, I did a routine at the gym and ran a certain number of miles each week and was very disciplined about exercise in general, but I don’t feel the need for it anymore. Now a days, I ride my bike and walk a whole lot since I don’t drive very often. I snowboard and rock climb too. When I think of it I do pushups and pullups at home. I also sing, so my abs are rock hard. And I get up and down from the floor a whole lot since I don’t use furniture. And since we don’t watch TV we end up playing and being active quite a bit.
IS: If you had to give one advice to people, something that you’ve learned through your experience, something that will help them live better, what would it be?
PE: Don’t care about what other people think of you. It is petty and will only set you back from achieving your goals and becoming who you truly want to be.
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And one picture from yesterday 🙂