On my way to 10,000 steps

15 Jan
Last week I met up with a nutritionist and walked around the Superstore learning about nutrition issues (compliments of Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies).  I think that I’m already relatively knowledgeable about nutrition, but I figured there was no way I could know as much as a trained nutritionist, so it would be good to see what she had to offer.
It turned out to be a great session, although the blustery weather appeared to have deterred the other participants.  Of the 8 who were supposed to show up, I was the only one at the beginning, and then one other mom (who has two kids, so who can blame her for not being on time?) joined us partway through.
I can never think of the questions I want to ask when the nutritionist comes to the HMHB drop-in, but this time I got to chat with her one-on-one and ask her about the advantages of goat’s milk versus cow’s milk, sodium nitrates in prepared meats, the perils of mechanically-separated meat, sulphites in dried fruits, and the nutritional value of white flour or white rice versus the brown kind of each.
At the end of the session, the nutritionist asked us some "skill-testing questions" to make sure we had been paying attention (winks) and the other mom and I got prizes.  We were allowed to choose between canvas tote bags (REALLY nice ones, too) and pedometers.  While I loved the tote bag and would probably have put it to good use, the truth is that I already have quite a number of bags, and I’ve been thinking for quite a while that it would be a good idea to have a pedometer.
Marusia told me a few months ago about the "10000 steps" program, which is supposed to be the optimal number for health.  A little digging into the subject shows that there is no medical research to actually back up that particular number, but since the average sedentary person takes just 2000 to 3000 steps a day, 10000 is obviously a few more — and activity is clearly one of the things that makes us healthier.
The first couple of days I wore it, were days that I spent in the house with Jade.  Sure enough, I was doing around 3000 steps (I think I hit 4000 one day).  Yesterday, since I actually got out to walk the dog, I hit about 8700 by bedtime.  (It’s true: in some ways, Michael being away is good for me!  Of course, it also helps that Jade’s naps are now more regular and — paradoxically — more flexible.)
I usually forget to put the pedometer on first thing in the morning, but I actually clipped it to my pajama bottoms today, so I got to count the first 500 steps in my day.  It’s 4:15 now and I’ve hit 7127 so far — so it’s looking good to beat out my previous record.  I figure I’m in pretty good shape if I do around 8000 because about 5000 of my steps are with a baby on my back and going up and down hills, so they’ve gotta count for at least a little more!
Anyway, I’ll keep trying to hit 10000, just because it seems like such a nice round number.  Funny thing is, I’m sure that if Michael does 10000 steps in a day, he can cover twice the distance I can.
On a side note, Jade’s legs were getting too long for the position we’d found for her in the amauti; we’d been getting her to sit at the bottom of the pouch with her legs straddling either side of my waist, but that wasn’t working anymore.  Yesterday’s walk was an uncomfortable affair, as she was trying to climb up my back and kept leaning way to one side or way back and pulling at the fabric around my throat.  But today we managed to work out a pretty good partnership and we were both happy during the walk.  She now stands with her legs apart at the bottom of the pouch and she can peek over either of my shoulders and giggle at Nanuq as he runs toward us.  When she’s tired of standing, she just bends her knees and squats inside the pouch.  When she leans over too far, I use my elbow to knock her back into place and reach inside to reposition her foot so that she’s standing up straight again.  Now that she’s so big and has an opinion on what she gets to do, it’s much more about developing a mutual system (as opposed to just stuffing her in back there, as we could do when she was smaller).  I can even get her out of the amauti by myself now (which I was able to do when she was swaddled, but had had trouble with this winter).  Now I just have to work on getting her in by myself, which might be easier now that she knows where she’s supposed to be, too.  Maybe I’ll give that a try tomorrow.
Too bad wrestling a squirmy baby on my back doesn’t count for any steps!

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