Pregnancy

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When I found out I was pregnant I was excited and terrified at the same time. I had no idea what I was in for. I knew weight gain was inevitable, nausea possible, and I was going to need a lot of new ‘stuff’. I wasn’t looking forward to blowing up like a balloon from water retention, gaining 100 pounds, stretch marks, or having swollen feet and ankles (oh, the things you hear). But Luckily, gaining weight slowly and steadily turned out to be the easy part and it was all based on the choices I made. In fact by the last couple of weeks with my big belly, I was indulging in whatever my heart desired. When else in your life are you encouraged to gain weight?

After my first doctor’s visit, I made it my goal to only gain the necessary amount, which according to my doctor was 25 pounds. I told him I was intending on continuing with ‘Insanity’ as long as possible. I’m not sure he was a huge fan of the idea but I think he knew that eventually jumping around like a nut for 40 minutes wouldn’t sound so appealing. He was totally right.

IMG_728010 weeks preggo. I laugh at that photo now, this was nothing in comparison to what I looked like post partum. haha… just can’t help it.

I couldn’t keep food down the first 14 weeks and consequently I lost weight. I remember thinking, ‘I look good pregnant. I should be pregnant more often!’ and at the same time thinking I never wanted to be pregnant again. Of course, I couldn’t express those feelings without being judged by them. Which is another thing I learned, you are judged for everything during pregnancy, from all sides of the spectrum. Don’t be offended by them or take it personally. Listen to whose opinion’s you value and smile and nod at the rest.

When it came to what to eat and not eat, I heard a lot of ‘opinions’. I had to remind myself that I cared more about my baby than anyone else and therefore I knew what was best for her (while respecting whatever my doctor told me). She needed to be fed GOOD food with lots of vitamins, minerals, good carbs/fats, and protein. Eating fast food just to gain weight wasn’t going to give my baby everything she needed just because it increased a number on a scale.

I learned a lot during those months and here’s the short list!

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1. Don’t treat your body like a garbage can. I remember reading this in a magazine before I was pregnant and it stuck with me. Yes, you are supposed to eat 300 calories more (not dine for two -contrary to popular belief) a day but not just ‘calories’, GOOD calories! Don’t spend your extra calories by eating Kraft Dinner on a daily basis (okay, I admit, i did eat kraft dinner once… and it was good… really good… but then it wasn’t). Give yourself a pass every once in a while but don’t go nuts with it. I didn’t count calories,  instead I had one extra small meal a day (smoothie, parfait, sandwich, etc). 

2. Craving’s don’t exist. At least, not the way I thought they did. I think the number one thing people asked me while I was pregnant was, are you having any crazy cravings? My answer was always no. Mostly because I didn’t really believe that my cravings were anymore different than before. The only difference was that I gave myself the ‘okay’ to eat the ice cream, popcorn, macaroni and cheese, or quesadillas, that I would talk myself out of eating before. I will say that in the first couple of weeks I really enjoyed my fair share of kids chipotle quesadillas and bites of my husbands steak. I blame my baby for that one… I have never been one to eat copious amounts of cheese, let alone steak. It’s safe to say she is her dad.

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3. You’ll end up loving your body. It’s strange, you think you’re going to hate your massive belly… and some morning when you have to rock yourself out of bed and you constantly bump into things with it, you do. But it really grows on you and you can’t even imagine not having it. The only part that stinks is when you don’t have clothes that work for that beautiful belly. Which brings me to my next point.

4. Buy maternity clothes... Your old clothes won’t bounce back from the stretching… I know. Buy the long camisoles in from Ingrid and Isabelle. You will use them and they’re meant to be stretched! No matter what size you are they will fit! I tried to avoid buying maternity pants by using the ‘hair tie trick’ and walked around my pants undone, super classy. I love Tart Collections and I LIVED in their dresses. They’re naturally long and cover up your belly and nothing is confining or uncomortable. 

They also have a wonderful maternity line which (hip hip) you can use post baby too. Every photo above was taken in a Tart Dress… I can’t say enough good things.

 

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5. Embrace being pregnant. You are already preggo… so why not enjoy it. Indulge in some of your ‘cravings’ but choose the healthier options. If you’re craving ice cream, have fro-yo or make your own Coconut Milk Ice Cream or ‘Nice Cream‘ (made out of frozen banana’s and blended with different fruits like blueberries if you’re in the mood!). If you’re craving a chocolate molten cake (me, all day), make the Vegan Chocolate Pudding Cake from Oh She Glows.

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6. Get Ready for the day: wash your hair, give yourself a facial, pick the cutest outfit in your closet and get out of the house. It will save you mentally.

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7. Move: I can’t stress this one enough… you don’t have to go nuts with it. Walk, do yoga, do the Tracey Anderson Pregnancy Project (my choice). Do whatever you can even just once a day.

8. Eat Healthy: I drank 2 green smoothies a day. Yes, two. My mom thought I was crazy but it really helped me to increase my fiber intake and keep any cravings at bay. I was usually too full to eat anything after dinner and being full pregnant is more uncomfortable than being full without a baby! There’s not enough room in there!

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9. You will be exhausted post partum. I thought I would be walking the baby weight of asap once I got home from the hospital. I couldn’t have been more wrong, besides the anxiety I felt just trying to cross the street with the stroller, I was exhausted. There is a serious resting period after you give birth and you can’t push it.

10. No lifting post partum: I thought the days of having other people carry things for me would be long gone once the baby was out safely but that wasn’t the case. I carried my bag out of the hospital and when my nurse saw she frantically yanked it away from me and told me not to lift anything heavier than my baby for a couple of weeks.  I didn’t understand why until I was home alone and trying to pour myself a glass of water while carrying C in my other arm. My body did something it’s never done, It was scary and it wasn’t pretty. Don’t do it. 

10. Sleep!!! Everyone tells you to sleep while you can. i never understood this until it happened to me. My advice is to get as much rest as possible leading up to your due date. If you think there is any chance you’re going to go into labor, lay on the couch, take a nap, and go to bed early.

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Other mama’s out there, do you have anything else to add to the list? 

Banana Overnight Oats

overnightoatslargeA lot of things have been weighing on my mind lately. Whether it’s trying to go back to work with these obnoxiously large additions to my chest, my desire to blog more often, packing, and figuring out my ‘end game’, everything is confusing me. It’s like a bunch of elves are working up all sorts of thoughts and ideas in my head but nothing is ever finished and therefore it’s a mess! My mother’s solution is always to ‘write everything down’ so here I am, writing.

Modeling isn’t exactly a good career to ‘find yourself’ in and therefore when you’re done you end up sitting and thinking, ‘fudge… what do I do now!’ However, it’s not just models. How many people know exactly where they’re going and exactly how they’re going to get there? Continue reading

Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal

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It’s 80 degrees, Valentines Day is in 4 days, and spring training is around the corner. Moving my baby girl’s things to another home twice in the next two months sounds just dandy. Isn’t it incredible how many things someone so small can have/need? Oi…I’ll be sad to leave this sunset/view but it’s been a great couple of months at home.

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I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for a while now. This is the BEST baked oatmeal recipe that i’ve found. It’s from Angela Liddon’s, Oh She Glows Cookbook. I love the recipe just as is and reheating it throughout the day for a little snack is just as satisfying. Hello to a perfectly healthy Sunday brunch item. If you’re tight on time in the morning you can refrigerate it overnight and bake it when you’re ready.

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Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal

2 1/4 cups rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
2 TBSP coconut or brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 apples, peeled and diced
1 ripe pair, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 375’F. Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish.

2 In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, combine almond milk, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla and stir well to combine.

4. Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir until combined. The mixture will be soupy. Stir in the apples and pear.

5. Spoon the oatmeal into the casserole dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the walnuts on top and gently press them down into the oatmeal with your hands.

6. Bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes until the oatmeal is bubbly and the apples are fork tender.

7. Cool the oatmeal for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a splash of almond milk and drizzle of maple syrup if desired.

8. Cool the oatmeal completely before wrapping it up and placing it in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for 5 to 6 days or in the freezer for 2 to 3 weeks.

Oatmeal Honey Cranberry Cookies

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I’m on a chocolate/sweet kick that is only great for milk production (since i know that’s what everyone wants to hear about but that’s my life now) so I am rolling with it. I latch onto every healthy dessert recipe that I see on the instagram and try it.

So, I tried making these Chocolate Chip Cookies from Fresh Heather on YouTube. They have five ingredients, Chickpeas, Coconut Sugar, Almond Butter, Baking Powder, and Chocolate Chips. They were actually pretty good for a Healthy, Gluten Free, Vegan, Chocolate Chip Cookie. However, for anyone that makes these, do NOT use a blender if you have a food processor. Hearing a blender break down chickpeas is not a pleasant sound. I would also add vanilla, a pinch of salt, and baking soda.

According to my mom, Baking Soda reacts with Chickpeas ‘magically‘ and makes things extra fluffy.

Anyway, following that idea I decided to try to recreate a Oatmeal Honey Cranberry Cookie that I typically get at the farmers market every Sunday. Please bare in mind that this is a cookie made of chickpeas so if you’re expecting it to be ‘The Best Thing You’ve Ever Ate’ … it probably won’t be BUT they are good and they are guilt free. I ate 2/3’s of them… oops.
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Oatmeal Honey Cranberry Cookies
Gluten Free, Vegan,

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Almond Butter
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup dried Cranberries
1 cup of oats
Place all of the ingredients except for the cranberries and the oats in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pulse In the oats and dried cranberries until just combined.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Scoop tablespoons of the ‘cookie dough’ and roll into balls before placing onto a Prepared Baking Sheet (Silpat, greased, or Parchment Paper covered baking sheet). Bake for 10 minutes until cracked or cooked through. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before placing on a cooling rack and eating.

Enjoy those babies.

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Oatcakes and Berry Sauce

Eggs are now 40% more expensive than they were 3 weeks ago. Has anyone else noticed this besides myself and mother in law? I’m all for the chickens but as a previous ‘Cage Free Egg’ customer I don’t understand how this new law should effect the price of ‘my’ eggs. hmmm…

Anyway, this unfortunate increase in price should prompt any and all of you to experiment with ‘flax eggs’. This egg replacement will not only save you money but add some fiber to your diet. hip hip!! It’s the perfect excuse to have something delicious and (we are going to rhyme) super nutritious for breakfast…

These cute little cakes are completely gluten free (if you use gluten free oats), dairy free, and vegan. Plus they taste like pancakes so where can you really go wrong?

I made a lip smacking, finger licking, drool worthy sauce to go over the top of these cute little babies. They remind me of my mom’s Berry Apple Crisp and to taste that memory so early in the morning is a delight in itself. You can use any sauce you would like. I would even enjoy these with peanut butter, almond butter, honey, maple syrup, or fresh berries.

This recipe makes about 6-7 oatcakes (silver dollar size). If you’re feeling little self control you will probably eat all of them but if you plan on serving more than 2 people double the recipe.

Without any further ado… the oatcake.

Oatcakes and Mixed Berry Sauce

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups plain almond milk
  • dash of vanilla (because i like it)
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (i grind mine in a coffee grinder or blender)
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (or white sugar)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • coconut oil for cooking

In a bowl combine the oats, flaxseed, almond milk, and vanilla. Stir and set aside for ten minutes. This will allow the oats to soften and the flaxseeds to take up the ‘eggy’ texture that we need for binding.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the oat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Add this mixture into the almond milk/oat mixture and stir until just combined.

Add a tsp of coconut oil to a small, non stick, frying pan and heat over medium heat. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the pancake batter into the pan to make even circles of thick batter. You may spread the batter if it’s not spreading enough. Cook until you see bubbles popping on the surface or until the bottoms are golden brown. Then flip and cook for about 2 more minutes.

Top with your favorite pancake toppings or Mixed Berry Sauce (recipe to follow).

Mixed Berry Topping

  • 1/2 pound fresh or frozen mixed berries (or any single berry of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pieces lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds

in a small saucepan combine everything but the chia seeds over medium low heat. It won’t look like enough water but once the berries start cooking they will release a lot of moisture and everything will be oh-kay. Smash the berries with a spoon or potato masher as you go. Bring the pot to a simmer for 10 minutes and reduce the heat to low. the mixture should start to thicken. Remove the lemon zest and add your chia seeds. The chia seeds help to thicken the mixture without using so much sugar. Pour the sauce into a glass or bowl to chill.

**this stuff would be so delicious with ice cream… if you happen to mix the two… just know that you’re eating a piece of my childhood. yum.

Emeril Lagasse’s Thai Curry

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The other day I posted a photo on Instagram of my lunch/favorite meal/the best curry ever. Yesterday, I had a couple of people ask for the recipe so here it is- Or rather the link to it.

The recipe is from Emeril Lagasse and is originally a Shrimp Thai Curry but I like it without the shrimp. I love to have it with water chestnuts -eat it/make it how you please-I’m not judging you.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/thai-shrimp-curry-recipe.html

Raw Cacao Truffles

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On my last birthday I was sick, sleepy, and pregnant. A true winning combo for an exciting birthday. I didn’t mind considering, for me, a good birthday is spent by eating good food, my favorite Apple Cake (thanks mom), and spending it with my family. We were pretty tame and decided to get tickets to Cirque du Soleil and have dinner at one of my favorite healthy restaurants, True Food. After dinner we struggled to find parking anywhere near the Pier where the show was being held and apparently that made me super sleepy because I fell asleep. Thus forcing my hubs to drive me home.

This year, my birthday falls on the Superbowl and for any man that would be the perfect birthday. However, for me… it’s not all that exciting since my birthday will be quite predictable. So, I decided to do something for myself and attend Kimberly Snyder’s one day retreat in Los Angeles last week. Kimberly Snyder is the creator of the ‘Glowing Green Smoothie‘ which was the first green smoothie I ever tried and one of my favorites. Anyway, It was an incredible day. I would highly recommend it to anyone else who needs a reboot in their life. I’ve never felt so calm, cool, and collected as I did when I left. During the retreat snacks were offered in addition to a GGS. One of the snacks was a Raw Cacao Truffle. I took one bite and was so so happy about what had just hit my taste buds. Ever since, I’ve been itching to get to the store and buy some cacao so i could recreate them at home. Kimberly also sells them at her store ‘Glow Bio’ if you’re ever in Hollywood, CA but we live too far for me to justify driving there for them.

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I hope you love them as much as I do. This recipe makes about 8-9 1 oz. truffles.

P.s.  Rolling them in coconut is totally optional. At Glow Bio they don’t do this but I thought it made them look super pretty and festive… plus I love coconut. 

Raw Cacao Truffles

1 cup finely ground almonds
1/3 cup cacao
2 tbsp coconut nectar
2 tsp. coconut oil
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
1. Stir together the almonds and cacao then add the nectar, coconut oil, and the sea salt. Combine everything the best you can with a spoon before using your hands. Pour the coconut into a separate bowl and set aside.
2. Coat your hands with a little bit of coconut oil and create a large ball of chocolatey goodness.
3. Roll into 1 oz. balls and swirl them in the shredded coconut.
4. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. I prefer them at room temperature.