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Energy Boosters? Teas, herbs, foods?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi Ladies,

 

I am desperately in need of some help. I'm almost to the 2nd trimester, but still incredibly lacking in energy. To the point that I can't handle it anymore, even if the 2nd tri energy boost is supposedly only a few weeks away. I'm basically non-functioning right now. Sleep as much as I can, hardly have any energy to attend to my boys (5 & 2), and cooking meals? Just the thought is so overwhelming that I want to cry.

 

I'm hoping you have ideas for energy teas, herbs, foods, etc. I know protein is supposed to help, but getting the recommended 75+ grams per day is almost impossible for me with the way I feel. I've tried starting back up green smoothies, but can't stomach them yet.

 

I plan to do nettle and red raspberry leaf tea starting this week for their pregnancy benefits, are there any herbs that you know of that I could add to that mix? Or tinctures or foods I could try? Anything?

 

I really want to do the holidays with my boys like we usually do, but have no energy to do those traditions and it makes me so sad. Plus homeschooling my 5 year old (which isn't happening right now) and all of it is making DH wonder if I can handle having three at home (not in a mean way, in a worried way.) Its so hard right now and he has to travel a lot for work at this time of year, so I'm on my own a lot, we're not near family for help, my house is a disaster and I don't have the energy to fold laundry let alone truly clean. I've let everything go and nothing is getting done, but the energy is so lacking and I still feel like crud. I just can't take anymore.

 

This is starting to become ramble-y and whiney- so I'll stop now and hope you wise ladies have some advice!

post #2 of 21

I was still drained until a couple of weeks ago. I switched back a whole foods diet and made sure I was getting at least 80 g of protein a day, and now I don't need my afternoon nap anymore and I've made 6 homemade gifts this week alone (but to be fair, my floor is in desperate need of mopping at the moment).

 

My naturopath recommended this protein powder, http://www.amazon.com/Garden-Life-Organic-Protein-Grams/dp/B0031JK96C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387221109&sr=8-1&keywords=raw+protein. For breakfast I usually make a shake with a cup of raw milk, a banana, a scoop of powder, 1 T. of cocoa powder, 1/2 T. succanat, and a few ice cubes. My snacks are either high in protein now (whole wheat toast, yogurt with maple syrup, bacon) or a piece of fruit, and meals are generally meaty.

 

My blood tests revealed my vit. D was low and my DHEA was low. So I'm now supplementing both of those too, and I'm sure that's also helping.

 

What foods are sounding good to you right now? 

post #3 of 21
Vitamin D and Iron are the things that make the most difference to me for energy. Nettles tea is also something that always helps my energy levels. Sneaking in protein with powder or something like Larabars (they have an ALT version that has more protein in it) is helpful, too.

But, honestly, when I am in the first trimester, the only thing that helps with my energy in any meaningful way is getting into the second trimester! When it's caused by hormones, there's really nothing you can do to fix it but wait it out (assuming you aren't low in iron or Vit D).

If it helps with your DH at all, I am in the same spot as you as far as keeping up with the cooking, housework, and homeschooling my 5yo. It's just not happening. But DH and I both know this is just a phase and it will pass very, very soon. Also, what you can and can't handle at 12 weeks pregnant with 2 other kids is not at all a good predictor of how you will handle 3 kids! I always tell my DH to forget about getting a postpartum doula, every woman should get a first trimester doula because the first trimester is way worse than the immediate postpartum period in my experience!
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies, just having a vent session and reading your posts is encouraging.

 

I probably am low in Vit. D with the time of year it is and being cooped inside because I lack the energy and drive to go outside is probably only making it worse. My prenatal vitamins say 1000 mg of D.  How much are you ladies supplementing? 

 

My next appointment is tomorrow, I'll be 13 weeks and she mentioned a blood draw, but I don't know if that includes vit. D levels. (I'm pretty certain it includes iron levels.)

 

Dandy Lion-  Honestly... nothing sounds good right now, even though I'm not getting sick anymore. Junk food, healthy food, it all holds the same lack of appeal for me. I drink chocolate milk. It helps me keep my vitamins down, while I can't seem to stomach regular milk at all. Its pretty much the only thing I'm getting consistently. I know its horrible for me, but everything else is sporadic. Salad? Blech. Meat? Do I have to chew? LOL.  

 

Although, that protein smoothie you posted sounds heavenly. Now if it could magically make itself. Haha. But I do think I will order the protein powder you linked to. I bought one brand from our health food store and man is it nasty!

 

Sihaya- Thank you so much for your encouragement. I will keep telling myself that its getting better! Pesky hormones! This is by far the worst 1st tri I've ever had. Though I've been tired for all of them. How are you ensuring your iron levels? Floradix supplement? Lots of meat?

 

Thank you ladies and if anyone else still wants to chip in, please do! I need all the help I can get.

post #5 of 21
How is your water intake? My midwife said I should be drinking a gallon a day! I have yet to drink that much, but I do notice on days I drink more my energy level is better.
Also, my guess for as to one of the reasons why this 1st tri is so much harder is because you have a 5 & 2 year old! Even if you aren't doing everything you normally would for them, haveing kids that age can be exhausting even if you aren't pregnant. I was a wreck during my first tri and my kids can pretty much do for themselves! I know you said family isn't close, but do you have any friends who could take them for a couple of hours, so you can get a break?
post #6 of 21

My dh isn't a fan of the protein I use, and I can't stand it without the banana (it's magic for the texture)...just so you're warned. The flavored versions are sweetened with stevia, and I can't stand the taste, so that's why I get the unflavored and add my own cocoa and sweetener.

 

My naturopath has me on 5000 iu a day + 800 in my prenatal. I would request getting your D done while they're drawing blood. I didn't realize it before, but in the winter in most places in the US, you can't get any vit. D from the sun because of it's angle. Unless you're eating a ton of fish, you're going to be low. And I found out that D pills can sometimes make people, like me, nauseous. The body has a much easier time with the drops. Good luck!

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveLife View Post

I probably am low in Vit. D with the time of year it is and being cooped inside because I lack the energy and drive to go outside is probably only making it worse. My prenatal vitamins say 1000 mg of D.  How much are you ladies supplementing? 
I have thyroid disease and an autoimmune disorder and live in a very cloudy place, so I take a LOT - 8,000-10,000IU/day in drop form.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveLife View Post

Sihaya- Thank you so much for your encouragement. I will keep telling myself that its getting better! Pesky hormones! This is by far the worst 1st tri I've ever had. Though I've been tired for all of them. How are you ensuring your iron levels? Floradix supplement? Lots of meat?
No problem, happy to be able to help. orngbiggrin.gif I take a supplement called Hema-Plex for iron and have never tested low while taking it. It is a good-sized pill, but way cheaper than Floradix and not constipating at all. It also has B-vitamins in it, which can help with energy, too.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

I will definitely have them check my vit. D levels at tomorrow's appointment if its not standard. Depending on how long it will take to get the results, I might hold off on adding supplements until I find out how much I need of everything. Or maybe start with low levels and increase it as needed. 

 

Does anyone have links to what vitamin D levels should be?? I know that the daily recommended is a LOT less than most naturopaths, etc recommend. So I'm a bit worried that they'll tell me the ADA recommends versus what I actually need. I did a quick google search, but the answers are all over the place!

 

Sihaya- thank you for the iron rec. I give Floradix to DS1 and it is so expensive! So if a good cheaper option is available for me, I will definitely go with it.

 

Lilmiss'mama- I'm sure you're right about the water intake! I'm only getting 2-4 glasses per day. One, cause I was getting sick every time I drank it and now I'm just out of the habit and two, its cold outside and I don't like drinking much of anything when I'm constantly cold. LOL.  I will see if drinking more helps!

 

Dandy Lion- Thanks for the warning about the protein. LOL.  I still might give it a try as it seems like the stuff in it is so much better than the one I've got.

 

I went outside with my boys for a tiny bit this afternoon and though it did wear me out, it was a nice change of pace. 

 

Thank you ladies so much. I'm going to talk to my midwife about my energy levels tomorrow too and will update you with what she says! Its my first time meeting this midwife, so I have no idea how natural she is versus medically minded!

post #9 of 21
So glad you started this thread lovelife! I was counting on 13 weeks to be the magical turning point, but so far, I'm still exhausted. My nausea is gone (thank god!) but food still isn't very appealing- and the idea of cooking and cleaning up makes me want to go back to bed. I'm also having a hard time getting enough protein- I'm a vegetarian and eggs (usually one of my main sources of protein) still sound revolting. I'm eating lots of nuts, cheese, yogurt and beans, but I don't know if it's cutting it. So no advice here- just commiseration! Counting down the days until I feel like my old self....I just wish I knew when that will be!
post #10 of 21
I'm wondering about my vitamin d levels, too. I feel weak and tired and get winded easily. My iron was fine when my blood was drawn. Thanks for the protein powder info. I was just wondering today how in the world I'm going to get 70 grams of protein a day!
post #11 of 21

also one of the best ways to get Iron is to eat seaweed. I saw a list of iron rich foods from my midwife and all of the seaweeds , literally blew away the iron levels in everything else on the list. If you get dry wakame and just soak a little in cold water to rehydrate it and then add it to salads or even omlettes, its very unoffensive! I love it. plus it is very cheap compared to floridix, (but I do take that too) hope you are feeling better soon!

post #12 of 21

I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly, but I think you want the level to be about 40 at the lowest. The last time I was tested I was at 26, but it was spring so I just supplemented with cod liver oil and spent time outside. This time I was 19. This is the supplement I'm on now. http://www.amazon.com/Genestra-D-Mulsion-1000-1-oz/dp/B003IG9M8O

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
So glad you started this thread lovelife! I was counting on 13 weeks to be the magical turning point, but so far, I'm still exhausted. My nausea is gone (thank god!) but food still isn't very appealing- and the idea of cooking and cleaning up makes me want to go back to bed. I'm also having a hard time getting enough protein- I'm a vegetarian and eggs (usually one of my main sources of protein) still sound revolting. I'm eating lots of nuts, cheese, yogurt and beans, but I don't know if it's cutting it. So no advice here- just commiseration! Counting down the days until I feel like my old self....I just wish I knew when that will be!

gitanamama- Thanks for the commiseration, I hate that its happening to other mamas, but I'm also glad I'm not the only one! My midwife at my appointment today said 14-16 weeks is normal turnaround point for most women. 16 weeks?! I wanted to cry

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mozado8210 View Post

I'm wondering about my vitamin d levels, too. I feel weak and tired and get winded easily. My iron was fine when my blood was drawn. Thanks for the protein powder info. I was just wondering today how in the world I'm going to get 70 grams of protein a day!

Mozado- hope you figure it out soon! This is truly awful.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shenanegans View Post
 

also one of the best ways to get Iron is to eat seaweed. I saw a list of iron rich foods from my midwife and all of the seaweeds , literally blew away the iron levels in everything else on the list. If you get dry wakame and just soak a little in cold water to rehydrate it and then add it to salads or even omlettes, its very unoffensive! I love it. plus it is very cheap compared to floridix, (but I do take that too) hope you are feeling better soon!

This is a great idea Shenanegans. I will have to find out where I can get some! I love sushi but I've been avoiding it cause of the raw fish. Do you usually get it at a regular grocery store, or do you have to go to a specialty store?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandy Lion View Post
 

I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly, but I think you want the level to be about 40 at the lowest. The last time I was tested I was at 26, but it was spring so I just supplemented with cod liver oil and spent time outside. This time I was 19. This is the supplement I'm on now. http://www.amazon.com/Genestra-D-Mulsion-1000-1-oz/dp/B003IG9M8O

Thanks for the info Dandy Lion. I didn't end up doing the Vitamin D testing today because my insurance wouldn't cover it, I decided to check and see how much it would cost first and decide what to do from there. I also called my old primary care doc and left a message to try and get my vit D levels from a test I had done this spring. Its obviously not a perfect solution, but at least it would give me a starting point.

 

Otherwise the midwife said some of what Sihaya said... the 1st tri just stinks. Your hormones are in overdrive, your metabolism is through the roof so its like you're working out all the time. As I mentioned above: 14-16 weeks seems to be about the magic number, otherwise- lots of water, lots of protein, fish oils, iron. Basically everything already said on here. LOL. Mothering ladies are awesome. :) She did recommend not upping my iron until I get my test back, but to at least make sure I was getting some through my foods, and I can safely take at least 2,000 IU of Vit D and probably a lot more, but she can't recommend a higher amount unless I get tested.

 

Hope this helps some of the other exhausted ladies out there with me!

post #14 of 21

Just so you know, there are a number of different vitamin D tests.  I got two done fairly close to one another (a while ago).  One I was low, the other threw the roof.  Turns out the test ordered was a bit different and that just made it confusing.  Looked it up and these were the two ordered: Vitamin D, 1,25-Dihydroxy, Blood and Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy, Blood.  Not sure which is best.  Maybe someone else her will know what tests to order to get good readings - particularly if you're going to pay out of pocket!

post #15 of 21
Very interesting about the test!!
post #16 of 21

I did the Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy, D2 + D3.

post #17 of 21

Your B levels are important too because is you're low on your B's then your body has a much harder time processing any iron you are taking.

 

For Iron I've never tried seaweed but it sounds great! I took Floradix (an OTC iron supplement my midwife recommended) as my iron was low. After fixing my B levels and taking the floradix I went from napping everyday and being super tired still to need no nap and feeling awesome (this was around 22 weeks). As I'm sure your Dr/midwife mentioned watching iron is super important even now because you'll go through another blood volume expansion around 16 weeks, so if you're low now you'll only go lower then unless you change something. I just ordered my floradix today as I was at a 10 at my appointment Tuesday and my midwife said 12 is the ideal #. I'm hopeful it'll help my energy levels again too.

 

GL!

post #18 of 21

Cod Liver oil has really worked well for my energy..I know when I forget to take it. Also if I dont take enough of my pure encapsulations supplement (multi-vitamin). I also noticed an additional boost when I added my iron supplement.

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have no idea what I'd do without you ladies!!

 

I got a call back about my blood draws from my check up back in May. The vitamin D test was a 25-Hydroxy and my levels were a 26, the minimum recommended by the lab is 30, my doc at the time said he prefers much higher than that. I'll talk to the midwife & see if she thinks I need to retest.

 

Also, I just got the results from my blood draw on Tuesday, and my iron is just barely in the normal range. Normal being 11.1-16 & my levels were 11.3. So I think I may need to work on that!!

 

I still can't seem to stomach any fish oils. My stomach gets so upset that I can't eat for hours.

 

Here's hoping that some of this helps!

post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveLife View Post
 

I have no idea what I'd do without you ladies!!

 

I got a call back about my blood draws from my check up back in May. The vitamin D test was a 25-Hydroxy and my levels were a 26, the minimum recommended by the lab is 30, my doc at the time said he prefers much higher than that. I'll talk to the midwife & see if she thinks I need to retest.

 

Also, I just got the results from my blood draw on Tuesday, and my iron is just barely in the normal range. Normal being 11.1-16 & my levels were 11.3. So I think I may need to work on that!!

 

I still can't seem to stomach any fish oils. My stomach gets so upset that I can't eat for hours.

 

Here's hoping that some of this helps!

Do you think  you could get the cod liver pills down? I know someone said they couldnt swallow pills but I forgot who this was..so forgive me.

http://www.amazon.com/Royal-Butter-Fermented-Liver-Blend/dp/B002M06SMU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387486837&sr=8-1&keywords=fermented+cod+liver+oil+pills

 

Otherwise if you try supplementing with Liver that has lots of Vit A/D.. you can try it ground up in ground beef or pate.

 

My iron was BELOW normal range. I finally started to supplement...based on the reviews it seems these work..and they taste like candy:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00014DAFM/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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