April 23, 2012

Week 19: Mango Baby

Happy 19 week bday, baby!
Baby is the size of a mangooo!

Today marks a monumental day. Not simply because baby has grown to 19 weeks gestational, or because I'm just a week away from the half way mark, or because I have an appt with the midwife this week, or because my baby-bump is gigantic, or because it's my mom's birthday (wahooo!) But because of what I ate for breakfast, for the first time since who-even-remembers-when, without gagging, without moaning or groaning or holding my stomach because of the overwhelming wave of nausea it caused. That's right, ladies n' gents, miss pregnant mama Nicole had herself an entire fruity, greeny, carob-y smoothie!

The blend:
1.5 cups water (usually use coconut waters, but I ran out)
1 frozen banana
1 handful of each: frozen blueberries + frozen strawberries
1/2 scoop super greens powder
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp wheat germ
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
1 tbsp carob powder

hooray! I sprinkled the bad boy with some shredded coconut and sipped, cautiously, only planning on drinking half and saving the rest for later. But before I knew it, the jar was empty! Good baby, keepin' your smoothie down and not getting sickly over it! So. Very. Happy. Now if only I can get back into daily workouts.... I'd be a normal (joyfully pregnant) Nicole once again. Here's to leaving that in God's precious hands, giving Him complete control, trusting in Him and His plan for me fully, and not worrying even in the slightest.
Nevertheless, I am continually with You, You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory. Psalm 73:23-24

April 21, 2012

Banana Bread for the Bun in the Oven

Almost 19 weeks, but still 18 weeks. 
maternity shirts are my friend!
Oh what a week! It's been packed full of nights alone without hubby, of post-Boston-Marathon recaps from him, of cooking a few meals at rapid speeds in order to make it to choir practice only to be asked to stay home and keep my love bug company, of putting together a large retirement slideshow, of late nights and late wake-up times, of longing to get my exercise back on track and not following through, of a few loaves of banana bread, of carob sweet potato cookies, of a little bit of over-eating, of slight headaches, of baby growing.

Whew! And now I'm sitting in the sunshine on Saturday morning, trying not to obsessively plan the day ahead, taking in each minute, each birds' song, each moment of God's presence, and the silence of man. This is what I long for, this is what gives me life. Time spent with Jesus, time spent healing, growing, and learning. This is my desire.

Here's the outstanding, simple, delicious banana bread recipe:
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat, 1 cup brown rice flour)
2 cups very ripe, mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts,
2 tbsp flax + 6 tbsp water (egg substitute, can use chia seeds instead)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp sesame seeds

*Preheat oven to 350*, line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper.
*Whisk together flax and water, let sit for 5 minutes.
*Combine dry ingredients (flours, pecans, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon).
*Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl with flax gel, banana, and vanilla
*it will be a little tough, but don't over-mix it!
*Sprinkle on sesame seeds. bake for 50 minutes.
*Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and transfer to cooling rack. Once completely cooled off, feel free to slice. Or bite right into the side of it!
*Double the recipe if you're human and want a lotta banana bread for snacking!!

It's incredible when still warm, delicious at room temp with some nut butter and banana slices, and mouth-watering when microwaved and enjoyed in small, slow bites. Oh goodness me!
PS: the sesame seeds kinda threw my taste buds off, 'cause their flavor is very strong once toasted, but after almost a full loaf was consumed, I got used to it. :)

we eat:
brown rice, tofu, red cabbage, green bell pepper, Liquid Aminos, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds!
Whole Foods Recipe: kale, salt, lemon juice, olive oil, chili powder.
Pinto Bean Brown Rice Chiliiii with avocado and hubby's salsa.
hubby's green juice: lemon, oranges, apple, ginger, kale, water. I had one sip! And guess what? I tolerated it! Wahooooo! I haven't been able to even smell the blender post-blend with these green juices...since about week 7. It's incredible to taste real good food again. so happy!

April 19, 2012

Lazy Mama Wants to Escape

Survived yesterday, thank you Lord! If only I had been more productive once I got home. I could have fallen asleep early, maybe around 8:30. I could have worked on a post surrounding Edu's Boston Marathon experience. I could have worked on a slideshow project for my job. I could have done sooomething. But no, this baby-carrying mama decided to cook for a bit (productive), then browse marathon pics + edit a few (productive) and then go back and forth between checking my blog (waste o' time), checking my Facebook and email (already did this, waste of time), and reading other people's blogs (okay, just looking at pictures and hardly reading anything - WASTE OF TIME!).

Whew. Anyhow. Apparently I've decided to beat myself up about wasting so much time last night, especially since it was meant to be pure quality time with hubby by my side - the reason I didn't go to choir practice. We could've talked about baby, talked more about the marathon experience he had, talked about life, read a few Psalms. No? Too much to ask, lazy mama Nicole? Guess so.

I want to go for a long walk.
I want to sort out my mood.

But alas, it is training day at work during our lunch hour and I won't be leaving this building 'till 9 hours from now. Le sigh. I need to go mountain climbing with baby and hubby and talk to Jesus. Is that too much to ask? Too much to dream? Maybe so. Maybe we could just go to a park, instead. Deal. Bring on the weekend!

we eat!
go to: nataliakw.com, make this garden herb wraps. thank her. then come back here, and thank me. INCREDIBLE! like eating a pesto-burrito wrapped with a lovely collard green. this stuff is for real delicious -even to my meat-eating family and co-workers. Do it!
Only able to down half of this baby, then saved the rest for many hours later - soon I'll be able to tackle ye ol' smoothie again, I just know it.
rosemary bread, hummus, mashed avocado, raw veggies, sweet potato/yam fries straight from the oven. Incredible - but needed some ketchup from PCC Market, just sayin'

April 18, 2012

Week 18: Sweet Potato Baby

18 weeks and 3 days. 
we have ourselves a sweet potato-sized baby!

Exhausted. This is how you feel after what seems like an all-nighter for your body. An all-nighter for my body is staying awake and alert past my 9pm bedtime, making banana bread, sweet potato carob muffins, and blogging 'till it's time to leave for the airport and pick up my Boston-Marathon hubby for his 11pm arrival. Exhaustion is really just a lack of sleep this morning. Not a hard working, bust-my-behind type of all-day-er, not a mentally challenging 8 hours as a receptionist, eating every up and down comment thrown at me and forgetting about the constant and faithful Shield of Christ that I have been blessed with, not that kind of exhaustion. Simply a desire for another 3 hours in bed, preferrably when it's dark outside, not so much this morning with the light shining so brightly through our window's blinds you'd think it was 12 o' clock noon on a rainy Saturday.

But I've made a decision:
today is NOT about my lack of strength or energy. It's about how FULL I am in Christ, how God's strength lives in me and it will be HIM that carries me and baby through this day. I have to depend completely on my Savior, for my flesh is weak but my spirit is energized in Him. This is my hope my prayer for today. God's will be done, baby feel good on 5 hours of quality sleep, and that the migraine I feel, wanting to say hello and make this Wednesday heavy, be gooone very soon. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Even get through one day of work on little sleep. Even smile when I feel icky. Even cook a few meals for hubby + myself for the rest of the work week, although a power nap sounds like a good idea. Even go to choir tonight at church, although I'd rather be in bed and sleeping like a rock at 7:00pm. We'll see. Here goes.

Your will be done!

we eat:
in my mind, baby is the size of this burrito: whole wheat tortilla, rice, black beans, iceberg lettuce and half an avocado. simplicity at its best! and baby loved it.

April 6, 2012

Pregnant Mama's 8K Race Day

Tummy ache, unintentional, so worth it. Today marks 16 weeks and 4 days of baby-in-tummy. Feeling slightly like a rock-star, eating large amounts of oatmeal in the morning, pairing it with an energy ball and maaaybe too much almond butter (is there such a thing) and gettin' that queasy feeling shortly after. But, like I said, worth it! Food is once again a delicious, fascinating creation that I much enjoy. Exercise is actually going down, too, which throws my oh-so-well-rested muscles for a loop, for sure. And tomorrow is my first 8K race with wee baby! After skipping the Love 'Em or Leave 'Em 5K in February, the St.Patrick's Day Dash in March, and my hopes and plans of the Mercer Island Half Marathon, I'm ready for some real runnin! And real runnin' I shall do :) I have been running once a week since baby was made, either 3 or 6 miles depending on how I been feeling

race recap!!!

We munched on goodies before hand, we drove and I sang in the car, giddy as a wee-child (like the wee-child in my belly?! Maaaybe!). When we arrived, I couldn't stop grinning. This would be the fourth time we both partake in this yearly run, and all the memories returned to my mind - clear as day. The weather was crisp, the sun was shining, I met up with a co-worker who was running her first 5 mile race, and nothing could bring my spirits down!

sprouted tortilla, almond butter, wheat germ, banana, chia seeds: 1.25 hours pre-race!
gatorade/h2o mix for hubby, water for mama, smoothie post race (coconut water, banana, strawberries, coconut oil, hemp seeds, carob powder, i-cant-remember-what-else), fruit, sammie for hubby!
ready, set, JOG!!
 Edu met up with a few co-workers as well, one of whom was planning on walking the 5 mile (there is also a 2 mile run on a separate trail) and the other who was hoping to break 37 minutes (ay ay ayyy!!). My only goal with this run: listen to my body, jog at a comfortable pace, walk if needed, smile often, thank God for every step, every sight, every moment of it! and that's exactly what went down. Well, with a bit of tired-leg feel, must say.

 I tried to push myself a bit, couldn't push, decided I had no reason to push, and loved the relaxing feel of the entire run! It was warm, too, more than I had imagined, so the gloves came off, my mind took my shoes and socks off as I ran through the puddles, and I longed for a bit of rain to drizzle my forehead. But of course it continued to shine beautifully, and soon enough I found myself a few minutes after the finish  - ready to run another race and ready for more heat! 
Edu ran by my side the last kilometer, it was so motivating!
mom and dad always cheering their kiddos on!
tulips for all the finishers :)
Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.
Job 37:14  

April 3, 2012

Week 16: Avocado Baby

Week 16
Baby is the size of an avocado!

Oh baby, happy official 16 weeks! This weekend was a blast, with running (jogging) at Green Lake with my hubs, watching Forks Over Knives and being blown away by it, eating gigantic sandwiches with spicy hummus, raw veggies and smashed avocado, having a cooking frenzy before church on Sunday, getting smashed in the face with a sudden migraine that lasted a good 2 hours and faded away without being medicated (hoorah!!), throwing 2 loaves of bread in the oven sweetened with molasses, baking sweet potatoes, cooking a giant pizza for 2, creating a minestrone soup with rice noodles and sprouted beans, watching the movie Drive, chilling on the couch with my love bug, putting together a few almond butter n' fig jam sandwiches for the week, having my entire body taken over by a wave of intense nausea for about 4 minutes, recuperating surprisingly fast and then dicing up some apples for a massaged kale salad..... Whew!

This would have NEVER happened during the first trimester.

I am so very thankful for the wonders that are:

  • having energy, being joyful, less of a sensitive grump
  • rocking a baby bump
  • exercising in the morning before work
  • eating oatmeal for breakfast again without feeling sick to my tummy! 
'Tis true, today, for the first time in months, I was able to eat a bowl of warmed-up steel cut oats for breakfast! This is a very exciting moment, my friends. Especially when they were Dark Chocolate Brownie Oats with banana and almond butter! Oh me oh my, I had cake for breakfast and baby looooved it. I might be speaking too soon, I mean, I have a good long morning ahead of me and nausea technically still has time to punch me in the gut, but still... I have hope!
What are Dark Chocolate Brownie Oats, you wonder?

Well, they're a fabulous invention, rich, flavorful, filling and nutrient-packed. You cook your steel cut oats in cinnamon, rice milk and water, sprinkle with raisins and sunflower seeds. Then you mix in 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened extra dark cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of wheat germ, 1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds and mix. Dice a banana on top of the glorious microwave-safe bowl, microwave for a minute or so, drizzle with almond butter and sprinkle on some wonderful crunchiness: Kashi Nuggets are a blast! And consume, slowly, happily, perfectly.

in other eats:
quinoa suuushiii!
"monkey minestrone" with brown rice pasta: recipe from Eat, Drink, Be Vegan!
Brown Rice Blueberry Muffins with almond butter, hemp hearts n' bananananana