Just popping in for a little update. Firstly, thank you for all the comments and words of encouragement from my Month One post. It was so nice to hear from all of you and know that I’m not alone in these first hard weeks.

Every day continues to be an adventure with our little Noe. She definitely has a mind of her own and continues to remind us that she’s in charge. She’s grown so much over the past few weeks, everyone said it would happen but I still can’t believe it. She’s pretty much outgrown all of her newborn clothes, including the onesie we brought her home in, sigh. We still have some newborn diapers hanging around, which she’s also all but grown out of but, man, those things are expensive, so we’re trying to use up each and every one before we really can’t use them anymore.

We’re also waiting on smiles. She’s on the verge and gives a cute little grin when she’s about to fall asleep, kind of like this.

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We’re still struggling with naps. She just won’t nap unless she’s in the stroller, the ergo or on top of one of us. By far, her favorite place to sleep is on top of one of us. Case and point…

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I’m rarely able to put her in the swing or crib during the day. My body is definitely feeling the effects with soreness in my back and right side.

I love holding her but it makes for days where very little, besides reading, gets done. That’s also why it’s been so quiet around here, it’s hard to blog with one hand and cooking has been nearly impossible. I hate to admit this but dinners have been really sub par lately. By the time we actually get her down, it’s usually fairly late. The minute we close her bedroom door there’s the mad scramble to feed ourselves. Dinners have been a lot of steamed veggies with baked sweet potatoes, frozen entrees, sandwiches, cereal (it didn’t stop after pregnancy), and more pizza then I care to admit.

The other thing that happened for the first time earlier this week…we just didn’t eat dinner! Our neighbors, who also have a new baby, invited us over for a glass of wine the other night. By the time we got home and did the evening routine, it was 9:45. We both looked at one another, asked what was for dinner, shrugged and then cuddled up together on the couch and promptly fell asleep. By the time we woke up in the middle of the night, confused and exhausted, we just gave up. Sleep officially won out over food! I think that’s the first time ever. We’ve both vowed not to let it happen again though.

I did manage to make one amazing dinner last week, cauliflower chickpea korma. It was SO good, recipe coming soon.

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I’ve also made this vegan caesar salad from Oh She Glows about ten times now. It’s delicious.

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As for me, I feel better and better each day. I am feeling much more emotionally stable, that sounds bad, but my hormones have definitely leveled out in the last two weeks and dealing with the chaos of a newborn feels more manageable now that I’m not a wreck and on the verge of tears every two seconds. There are still moments but not nearly as bad as before.

The weather has been great so we’ve continued to get out for walks, by ourselves or with friends, pretty much every day.

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I’m looking forward to getting back to yoga, hopefully next week, if my doctor gives the okay tomorrow. As much as I love walking and running, it’s time to get back in touch with my core. icon smile Around Here, Lately

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That’s it for now. Noe had a rare nap in the swing while I wrote this and I made the most of it by blogging and cooking up some rice, lentils and roasted butternut squash for easy dinners. I’m going to see if I can’t make a few more things while she’s down…pushing my luck but what can you do?

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Enjoy and Exhale!

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I don’t know if these kinds of posts are of interest to readers, I do see some subscribers unsubscribe with what I’m assuming is disinterest in all this baby talk but this blog has always been an extension of my daily life and I can’t deny that it is all about the baby right now.

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This has been a long and short month. I’m not really sure how exactly to explain it but life has a way of feeling long and short, easy and hard, tiring and exhilarating, all at the same time right now.  I can’t believe the love I feel for this little creature. A lot of hours are lost just staring at her and we spend a lot of time cuddled up together, especially in the late afternoons, while I put my itunes on shuffle and sing her old country songs.

Being home with a newborn has definitely been challenging, especially surrendering to the fact that there is no routine right now. The past two weeks of being on my own with Noe all day have been difficult to say the least. This is the ultimate practice of yoga. Being in the moment, establishing the union of mother and child, shedding old perceptions of myself, letting go of vanity-filled thoughts, practicing selflessness and patience on a whole new level.

I won’t lie, there have been some seriously tough moments these past few weeks. I think everyone in our house is sleep deprived and a bit on edge, including Eli and Guy.

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Noe is a baby that likes to be held. She sleeps okay at night but it’s nearly impossible to get her down for a nap during the day unless she’s on top of me. Maybe I’m being a softie but I really can’t stand listening to her high pitched cries for very long so most of the time I’m holding her. Right now I’m typing this with one hand while cradling her in the other. Needless to say writing this has taken a long time.

Watching Noe change a little bit every day makes me excited for all the things to come. I am clinging to these first few weeks when she’s so little and soft and warm and fits so perfectly in the crook of my neck with her chubby little cheek pressed against my shoulder.

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But I look forward to seeing her smile and really recognizing us. Right now I don’t think she really sees anything except my nipple, haha.

I’ve never felt so raw and emotionally uncovered before. Postpartum hormones are no joke, add the lack of sleep and I feel like a crazy person. Poor Michael has to deal with all my crazy while also working insane hours the past few weeks as he preps for a pitch later this week.

The first night home after the hospital I cried. Big, hot tears rolled down my face as I sat on our couch in our new house with our new baby. I was overwhelmed with the idea of being a mom and also my own recovery. It’s sort of a cruel joke played by the universe. Here you are having gone through one of the most physically grueling things your body will ever be put through (God willing) and instead of getting rest, you’re given sleep deprivation. We had an in-home nurse visit us the day after we came home. After taking a look at Noe she checked me out and asked how I was doing. I said alright but she could see the raw emotions in my eyes and promptly gave me some sound advice to make sure I get outside for at least 5 minutes a day. She told me to put my face up to the sun and soak in a little vitamin D, that it would do wonders and it has.IMG 8559 1024x1024 Month One

Physically I’m feeling more and more like myself every day. The first week I started walking a little bit and have gradually upped the mileage. This week my sister was here and we did a pretty fast 2.5 mile walk. It’s a definite improvement from day 6 when I walked with my mom to Panera’s (about 5 blocks away) and was absolutely spent afterward. I’m so impressed by the body’s way of healing. And I’m very much looking forward to getting back to running again in a few weeks.IMG 8668 1024x1024 Month One

I know I’m rambling, but honestly there so much more I could talk about. Being a mom is legitimately the hardest job I’ve ever had. It’s 24/7. Apologies to all my girlfriends who’ve had kids before me. I didn’t realize how hard things were in those first few weeks. I should have texted more often to check in, or called, or visited to hold your baby for a few minutes while you folded laundry, took an extra long shower or ate lunch with both hands. I had no idea, seriously, none, You’re all bad asses!

Month One Highlights:

Weight: not totally sure but guessing around 9lbs

Likes: being held, eating, the stroller, the car, baths (especially getting her hair washed), music

Dislikes: naps, getting changed (especially putting on a new diaper), the noise the dog’s tags make when he shakes his head

Can’t live without: halo swaddles, a million burp clothes, newborn onesies (it was surprisingly hard to find long sleeved newborn onesies, especially with zippers instead of snaps)

Favorite Noe-ism: when she’s sleeping and a noise startles her she throws both hands in the air with her palms toward her face like an old Italian man yelling at a car or unruly teenager

Exercise: Walking every day

Looking forward to: running, warmer days, my morning tea and breakfast, seeing her genuinely smile at us

I guess that’s it. There’s a crying baby that needs attending to now.

Enjoy and Exhale!

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I was about to write that I’m mildly obsessed with oats right now but that would be a gross understatement. After months of eating oat bars every week you would think I’d be sick of them. But, I’m all but dreaming about oats.IMG 8568 1024x768 Apricot Oat Bars

The thing is, breastfeeding all night can make a person (me) ravenous come breakfast. By the time I get Noe fed and myself situated I could quite literally eat my own arm. Before Michael even leaves for work, I’m usually scarfing down something. That something of choice has mainly been oats in one form or another.

I’m eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly oats (I can share the super simple recipe I’m using soon) and the aforementioned oat bars in any number of variations but I thought I’d mix it up and make granola bars one day last week instead. These apricot oat bars are fairly simple to make so long as you don’t go breaking your glass dishware in the process, then try to clean it up before the dog walks over the pieces while the baby wails.IMG 8570 1024x768 Apricot Oat Bars

I used some of my homemade apple sauce in these but if you don’t have applesauce, I very rarely have it on hand, I’m pretty sure a mashed banana would also do the trick. I also used peanut butter but I think almond butter might be better in these with its milder, less distinct flavor.

And lastly, add anything you want to these. I was craving apricots but sub in any dried fruit or nut you prefer. Consider these a blank canvas.

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Apricot Oat Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack, Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 bars
 
Gluten-free, vegan apricot oat bars
Ingredients
  • ½ cup nut butter of choice
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • Dash of salt
  • ½ cup applesauce or sub one mashed ripe banana
  • ¼ cup dried apricots
  • ¼ raisins
  • ½ teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 2 cups oats, gluten-free if needed
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Grease a glass baking dish.
  3. In your food processor, add dates, nut butter and salt. Process until everything is smooth, about 2 minutes, then add applesauce for another 30 seconds until well combine.
  4. Next add apricots, raisins and chia seeds, pulse mixture a few times until everything is incorporated.
  5. Last pour in oats, don't turn on the processor, just mix the oats into the mixture.
  6. Pour oat mixture into glass baking dish, press and mold mixture so that everything is even.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Enjoy and Exhale!

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This is my first week home with Noe by myself. Michael took the last two weeks off for paternity leave and my mom was here for a week after the baby was born so these are our first few days just the two of us. Like most things, the anticipation of being on our own was much worse than in actuality.IMG 8534 704x1024 Homemade Apple Sauce + the First Days

Noe is what I imagine a typical newborn to be, having not had much experience with newborns in the past, I’m just guessing. She sleeps a lot, fusses a lot, cries when she’s hungry, wet or wants attention. She’s a champ of an eater, luckily we haven’t had any feeding issues thus far. At her 2 week appointment yesterday she had gained almost 1.5 lbs since we left the hospital! She feeds every 2-3 hours for the most part, including at night. I’m usually up with her around 1am, around 4am and then again around 7 or 8am. Funny how your views on a good night’s sleep are adjusted with a newborn. If I can sleep in between her feedings I call it a successful night.

Love waking up to this face!

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I decided that I’m not going to read a bunch of baby books or try to force a plan on the two of us. She’s 2 weeks old, I’m a new mom, we’re just going to wing it until something tells us that what we’re doing is wrong. This whole thing is like one big trial and error session, constantly trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t. One day she liked the Solly wrap, the next she screams her head off in it.

I’m just taking it as it comes and trying hard to savor each moment. Every mom I talk to warns how fast it all goes by. As someone prone to movement and getting things done, I’m trying really hard to slow down and enjoy this time when she’s still so little, stationary and young.

That brings me to this homemade apple sauce. Like most things, the anticipation of making it felt worse than in actuality. I’ve never made homemade apple sauce before. But it’s a synch to make. While my mom was here she and Michael made a run to Costco while I stayed home with the baby, and came home with a 16 pack of apples. I’ve been making my way through the batch but knew I’d never get through all of them before they went bad.

So applesauce it was.

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If you search recipes for homemade apple sauce you’ll find the sugar called for can range from a teaspoon all the way to a 1/4 cup or more. I liked the idea of letting the natural sweetness of the apples come through and only added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar but adjust accordingly to your taste.

I’m sure we’re in for plenty more homemade apple sauce as Noe gets older, glad to start experimenting now.

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Homemade Apple Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A simple homemade apple sauce, gluten-free and vegan.
Ingredients
  • 5 apples, I used fuji apples, cored and peeled
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Peel and core your apples, then chop into small pieces.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium high heat then drop in your apples, water, lemon juice and salt.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in cinnamon and brown sugar, turn off the heat and mix well.
  5. Using an immersion blender, blend the apples to desired consistency.
  6. I like my apples sauce to have some bite so I left it chunkier but feel free to blend until smooth.

One more of Noe and Dad.
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Enjoy and Exhale!

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It’s a little out of order but I wrote up my Third Trimester Recap as I went along. For those who are interested in how the last few months of pregnancy were for me I decided to post it, even though it’s over.

Week 28:

The start of a new trimester. My friend Lupe mentioned that as soon as she hit 28 weeks the shine of the second trimester honeymoon phase faded. I couldn’t agree more. It was like suddenly everything was harder. I continued to have some of the pelvic pain I was experiencing the weeks prior. I found that I could abate some of the pain with a heating pad and not running two days in a row.

Thanksgiving also fell in week 28. My sister came out to visit and we ran the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day in Wash Park like last year. I was able to run the entire 4 miles without stopping and finished in 36:54 (9:14 pace) not too shabby for 28 weeks.

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[Turkey Belly vs. Baby Belly Staredown]

Week 29:

Not much new to report in this week symptom-wise. I continued running and doing yoga. My love of oatmeal came back from the first trimester so that was breakfast pretty much everyday.

Unfortunately my grandfather passed away on December 1st so late in the week we flew to Chicago for the service. I had a chance to show my Anyu my baby bump though, which was very sweet.

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Week 30:

Hitting the thirties felt like an accomplishment. Only 10 more weeks! Baby B has always been super active and her movements became even stronger and more pronouced this week. She also got a lot of hiccups. Pretty much getting hiccups every day, if not a few times a day. It was around this week that we also decided to add a little bit more to our plate by looking for a new house. We connected with a relator and began house hunting in our current neighborhood.

Week 31:

We took a child birthing class this week. It was a little overwhelming and I had a minor emotional breakdown that night. Michael was very supportive as I laid in bed crying about how I was going to get this child out of my body.

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Week 32:

8 months! Baby B had a serious growth spurt and so did I. My newest symptom was the feeling that my upper abs were tearing apart. It made things like vacuuming and laughing rather painful. We had our 32 week appointment. Everything looked good and both baby and I were measuring right on track.

Christmas was also this week. We stayed local and made a feast on Christmas Eve, watched movies, had a couple of fires and enjoyed our last quiet holiday together just the two of us.

We also found a house we loved and put in an offer which was accepted. We went into contract two days before Christmas.

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Week 33:

Running has become increasingly more difficult. I’m still getting out about 2-3 times a week but with lots more walking intervals. My pelvic pain has subsided but carrying around all the extra weight is having an impact on my lower body. My abs are still giving me some trouble. Yoga has become my best friend.

Eating has continued to be fairly normal, besides the desire to have cereal for dinner at least twice a week. I just can’t help it, sometimes it’s the only thing that sounds good.

Unfortunately this week also brought on my first pregnancy vomit. On new years day I started to feel a little iffy. By the afternoon I knew I was getting sick. By the evening I had the most violent vomit experience of my life. Throwing up 8 months pregnant is no easy feat. The virus took out Michael too and we spent the next 4 days laid up at home. It was an awful way to spend the last of our vacation.

Luckily before we got sick we had a chance to visit with this little munchkin.

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Week 34:

I went to a Sunday yoga class. It felt really nice after being sick for so many days. I also ran two times this week and added in some days of walking. Nothing really new to report beyond more upper ab pain which my MD says is just the stretching of the fascia over my abs.

Week 35: We took our hospital tour and did our pre-registration. They had us fill out as much of baby girl’s birth certificate as we could. We left a nice big blank on her name icon smile The Third Trimester

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She’s become an excellent coffee table.

Week 36: This week happened to coincide with my birthday weekend. I was treated to all sorts of niceties including an amazing pre-natal massage. Oh my GOD! It was amazing I really recommend it, especially this late in the game. She spent a lot of time on my SI joints and I came out of the appointment feeling so much better. Michael also made me a confetti cake which I proceeded to eat for dessert every night for 5 days straight!

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In our 36 week appointment we found out that baby B was still breech. Our MD recommended a procedure called a version at week 37.

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Week 37: Version time. This is where a doctor or in my case 2 doctors try to externally rotate your baby. It’s an intense procedure, they give you a uterine relaxant that made my fingers and lips start buzzing like I’d had 8 shots of espresso. They then try, with a lot of force I might add, to turn the baby. Unfortunately after three tries she still wasn’t budging.

You’re not allowed to eat or drink anything 8 hours before your version and my appointment ended up being pushed 5 hours later than it was scheduled so I went about 18 hours without even water.

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It was awful so after we left the hospital we went to Whole Foods where I drank a huge Vitamin Water and bought an 8 pack of oatmeal raisin cookies. I ate every single cookie over the next 5 days. Suddenly wanting sweets apparently.

I’ve continued running but have cut back on my mileage. For the last two weeks I’ve been able to run about 2-2.75 miles at most 3 times per week. I haven’t been able to get to yoga due to my work schedule but I’ve been trying to do a little home practice. On days I’m not running I try to get out for a walk. What can I say, I’m a sucker for those brown eyes.IMG 8310 1024x1024 The Third Trimester

Week 38:

At the start of week 38 we moved into our new home. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, packing is my least favorite thing to do in the whole world, period. You’d think we’d be good at it by now, having moved 6 times since we met!

This move was particularly hard because I couldn’t do any heavy lifting and my energy has been waning, especially in the late afternoon. Sometimes a girl just needs to sit down, so I do, a lot.

I was also highly emotional the past week. My emotions were pretty balanced throughout my pregnancy so being on the edge of crying, laughing or killing someone at any given moment is a new thing. My last day of work and teaching was on the 30th and I think the reality of what’s to come has become a little overwhelming. Suddenly baby B’s arrival feels strikingly close.

At our 38 week appointment we checked again to see if baby had decided to turn on her own over the last week and a half but alas, she remained head up. A c section was scheduled for week 39. I wasn’t thrilled about the c section, I had really wanted to do it naturally but this was the safest option for both of us, making it a no brainer.

Knowing pregnancy was coming to an end made these last few days of awkwardness seem manageable. But, I’m really looking forward to bending forward, twisting and taking in a big breath.

I’ve run a few times this week but it’s been slow and includes a lot of walking. I didn’t expect to still be running a few days out from delivery but I’m proud of sticking with it.

Week 39:

There was only one day in week 39, as the c-section was scheduled for 39 weeks and 1 day. On the Friday before, my sister flew in. That Saturday morning we went on a 2 mile run and a 3 mile walk. We went all over the Highlands and enjoyed unseasonably warm temps. It was so nice to get out knowing that the next few weeks will be running free as I recover from the surgery.

One last photo, in the same old shirt. That poor thing has been put through the ringer.

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And there you have it. 39 weeks and 1 day of pregnancy recapped. Overall, I think I fared pretty well but writing this from the other side, I can say enthusiastically that I’m really happy not to be pregnant anymore icon smile The Third Trimester

Now that pregnancy is over I will likely write up some thoughts on the first few postpartum weeks. As I think this is a time that gets a little forgotten after the big day. I will also be taking some time off work and teaching to care for baby and hope to get back into the kitchen for some recipe creation. Look out for that in the coming weeks.

Enjoy and Exhale!

 

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It took some time to get this post out (life with a newborn) but early on the morning of February 8th, Michael, my sister and I drove to the hospital for a scheduled c-section. Our little girl was still breech and didn’t look to be turning. As is standard with breech babies, our doctor recommended a c-section. So off we drove into the dawning day with our empty car seat in tow.

A few hours later we welcomed Noelle “Noe” Connor Chase into the world. She was born with the umbilical cord wrapped twice around her neck, no wonder she couldn’t turn, and a head full of hair, which surprised everyone.

After a few days in the hospital, we are all now recovering at home and figuring out our new life as a threesome.

Welcome to the world Noe. We love you!

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Enjoy and Exhale!

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This week I officially started maternity leave. I think it’s had the opposite effect on me than is intended by the word leave. The end of working and teaching has brought on a low level of stress and just enough downtime to start really thinking about what’s ahead. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly excited to meet our baby girl but I’m also feeling nervous, emotional and anxious, which I hear is pretty natural at this point in pregnancy. icon smile Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing + end of pregnancy rambles

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To channel my anxiousness I’ve tried to keep busy by organizing the new house, getting outside and pouring over recipes online while envisioning cooking. I can’t seem to get around to the actual cooking of anything right now. My energy, which has been really steady throughout most of my pregnancy, has begun to wane. A trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond yesterday left me simultaneously wanting to scream and lie down. Maybe it’s nature’s way of getting me ready for the end of the journey. At 38 weeks and 5 days I’m hitting my limit.

I know I just said my energy is waning but the freedom in my schedule and the unseasonably warm weather we’re having in Colorado right now has made it nearly impossible not to get out for my walk runs. I’ve been out three times this week, once on Sunday (which truthfully was snowy but unbelievably peaceful and white, just look at these photos), once Tuesday and once today.

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I run about 2-2.5 miles each time with lots of walking and stretching in between. I am finding yoga to be rather uncomfortable right now. Forward folds are more like half folds and I just can’t get into anything deep enough to make it feel like I’m reaching anything. There’s a part of me that is also sort of over going to class at studios. Maybe it’s that nothing seems to fit anymore, I wear this poor Athleta running jacket pretty much every day now and even with it’s stretchy fabric it’s having trouble covering my belly.

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So, as mentioned above, when I’m not dealing with my emotional ups and downs or out walk running, I’ve been perusing food sites. Part of me feels like I should cook and freeze some meals for the coming weeks but that sounds like a lot of work and I can’t see us grabbing these freezer meals for dinner. I may live to regret not having done food prep but I just can’t be bothered right now.

What has been catching my eye on the recipe boards though and are easy enough to make right now are salads. So when it came time for this afternoon’s lunch I knew I had to mix up something healthy and green. I wasn’t feeling any of my go-to salad dressing though. That’s when I thought about mixing my ranch dressing with my yet to be shared honey mustard dressing to make a creamy honey mustard. The results were amazing. The tang of the mustard cut through the creaminess of the mayo and the honey made it just a touch sweet.

For the salad, I just threw a bunch of things together that sounded good: brussels sprouts, asparagus, avocado, some leftover red lentils and chopped apple. I loved this salad and will likely make it for Michael when he gets home from work tonight. I also have my eye on a quinoa casserole but we’ll probably end up having salad with grill cheese sandwiches instead. Like I said, the intentions are there but the follow through is lacking.

Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
 
Tangy, sweet, gluten-free salad dressing.
Ingredients
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons mayo (I used vegan mayo)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Dash of white pepper
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Dash of salt
  • For the salad:
  • 2-3 cups of mixed greens
  • ¼ cup diced apple
  • ½ cup steamed brussels sprouts and asparagus
  • ¼ avocado, diced
  • ½ cup red lentils
Instructions
  1. Place dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  2. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl then top with dressing.

Enjoy and Exhale!

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I’ve had this recipe in my back pocket since mid-December. I loved it the first time I made it but then never got a photo of it to share. One thing lead to another with the holidays, New Years, a stomach bug and the ramp up back to work. If that wasn’t enough we decided to add more change to our lives, on top of having a baby, by buying a house in January!

The whole process was super quick. We found a realtor and were pre-approved the second week of December, found the house on Dec 23rd and our offer was accepted the next day. We closed on the house last Friday and move in on Saturday. We’re hoping to paint, pack, move and get everything settled before baby gets here. Wish us luck.

Needless to say I sort of forgot about this soup. But, then I saw a kabocha squash at the store this weekend and it reminded me that it was time to make it again.

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I made a huge batch of it on Sunday night thinking there would be a little leftover to take some nice photos of on Monday in the daylight. Turns out we gobbled the whole pot up before the night was over.

This soup is seriously delicious. Like really, really good. Like so good I suggest you make it right away despite the subpar pictures and while kabocha squash is still in season.

The key to this roasted kabocha squash soup is the roasting.

I highly, highly recommend taking the extra time to roast the onion and the squash. It adds a depth of flavor that you don’t get if you just sauté the vegetables.

Yes, it takes 40 extra minutes but they’re not “active” cooking minutes. The great thing is you can roast a day or two ahead of time and then just make the soup when you’re ready.

I wanted to keep the deep orange color of the squash intact so I didn’t use the skin but kabocha skin is edible so if you don’t mind the soup being a little darker and specked with the green, then go ahead and dump the skin right in as well. Or you can chop up the leftover skin and put it in a salad. It’s really tasty.

IMG 8225 768x1024 Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup

5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Roasted kabocha squash soup. Vegan, gluten-free and unbelievably tasty.
Ingredients
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 kabocha sqaush
  • sprinkle of salt
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or Earth Balance
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ tablespoon of minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon turmeric
  • dash of cayenne
  • dash of white pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cut light coconut milk
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Slice squash in half, remove seeds and sprinkle with salt and olive oil.
  3. Cut onion in quarters, sprinkle with salt and olive oil.
  4. Place onion and squash on a cookie sheet and roast for 40 minutes or until you can pierce the squash skin with a fork.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  6. When squash is cool scoop out flesh.
  7. Heat butter in a stockpot.
  8. Add celery and salt, sauté until celery is slightly softened, add garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, cayenne and pepper.
  9. Sauté until spices are fragrant, about 1 minutes.
  10. Add onion, squash and bay leaf. Mix well.
  11. Next add the coconut milk and vegetable stock.
  12. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  13. Simmer for 15-30 minutes.
  14. Remove bay leaf.
  15. Using an immersion blender and blend soup well.

Enjoy and Exhale!

 

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Although things have been a little quiet on the blog lately, I’ve been keeping myself busy with writing for WakJogRun.

The biggest news is that my ibook, Yoga For Runners is now available on iTunes. If you’ve ever thought about dabbling in yoga and are looking for a place to start this is a great book, if I do say so myself. It was a labor of love and took a long time to come to fruition. It breaks down yoga by body part and offers 6-10 poses in each section. For example, only have 5 minutes after your run? Check out the hamstrings section for some great poses to stretch these muscles. If you’re interested in buying the book click here.

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In addition to the ibook, I wrote a few articles on the benefits of exercise and yoga during pregnancy.

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Here  and Here.

I’ve also been doing a monthly series on natural healing. Each month I explore one natural ingredients and all it’s benefits. If you’re looking for holistic ways to treat what ails you check out:

Natural Healing: PeppermintScreen Shot 2015 01 14 at 12.34.04 PM WalkJogRun RoundUp + My New Yoga for Runners Book

Natural Healing: Cranberries

Screen Shot 2015 01 14 at 12.34.12 PM WalkJogRun RoundUp + My New Yoga for Runners Book

Natural Healing: CinnamonScreen Shot 2015 01 14 at 12.34.22 PM WalkJogRun RoundUp + My New Yoga for Runners Book

 

Have a great Wednesday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

 

 

 

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Here we are in week 35! How did this happen? As the weeks roll on my body feels like it’s started to say, “okay, enough of this now lady.”  These past few weeks I’ve had more aches and pains, I swear my upper abs are tearing apart. I know this sounds dramatic but it makes simple tasks like coughing rather painful. I just keep thinking that each passing day is one step closer to our little girl and then give a little nod of thanks to my body for getting me this far with relative ease. I think part of the ease of the last 8.5 months can be attributed to eating well and working out.

IMG 8042 1024x1024 On Eating Well and Working Out

I know this concept may seem simple but it was a really important one for me to keep when I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t want to make excuses for not staying healthy, it’s pretty much the most important time to do so anyway right?

Eating Well

Honestly, I didn’t change up my eating habits all that much from what they were pre-pregnancy. I added a pre-natal vitamin and listened really closely to my body. I’ve found I’ve gravitated toward more foods rich in calcium and iron, so that’s what I’ve been eating. I drink a lot more almond/soy milk now and eat a ton more spinach, which I liked fine before but now I LOVE! I can pack away a jumbo bag of spinach every few days. I add it to smoothies, soups, salads or steam it with my nightly veggies. It’s such a great way to get iron, fiber and calcium.

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Pregnant women need between 250-300 extra calories per day (I know, that’s it!) so I usually add an afternoon snack nuts and dried fruits or have a granola bar in between meals.

My favorite new indulgence is Ben and Jerry’s S’mores ice cream, heaven. My sister introduced me to it, it might just be the world’s greatest ice cream.

All my lab work has been normal, including my iron levels, which I was a little worried about in the beginning so it’s good to know that you can continue with a healthy vegetarian diet throughout pregnancy if you want to.

Working Out

I knew I wanted to continue working out through pregnancy. The goal was the keep running for as long as it felt good. I didn’t have any expectations beyond that. One week rolled into another and here we are at 35 weeks and I’m still out there. Granted, I’m running at about an 11 minute pace and I take lots of walking breaks but it’s still something. I don’t run more than 3 miles at a time unless I feel really good, which has only been once in the last few months. On NYE I ran a whole 3.5 miles, haha.

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Like eating, I try to be really intuitive about my workouts. If I feel like running, I run. If I don’t I substitute with yoga, walking or a rest day. I get in about 2-3 running days a week and 2 days of something else. I’m hopeful that the working out will help with labor (wishful thinking?) and recovery afterward.

So there it is, nothing fancy but this is how I’ve tried to stay fit and healthy for the last 9 months.IMG 8289 685x1024 On Eating Well and Working Out

One last belly pic because I couldn’t resist.  Now on to week 35.

Enjoy and Exhale!

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