June 28, 2012

Recipes for Mom

Can we pretend that it's Mother's Day and I am gifting my mom with something she has been asking me for by writing this post and dedicating it to her? Can we just pretend? Or can everyone just pretend they aren't usually reading a pregnancy-type blog and embrace that this is also a food-blog and let me give this post fully to three recipes that have a special place in my tummy's happiness level? Can we? oh can we?

Okay, thank you.

Italian Tofu & Sprouted Grains
for two.

this photo is a snapshot of (my foot along with) a brown rice, broccoli version of this dish!
This dish was made by accident when I found myself with almost nothing in the refrigerator besides half a large tomato, a small zucchini and some green onion. The spices and seasoning I chose really make this dish marvelous. I edited the recipe to make it more vegetable-loaded, but keep in mind this can be tweaked based on whatever you have in the fridge. It’s a gem in that way!

The bulk:
•    1 medium zucchini, diced
•    1 large tomato, diced
•    1 green onion, diced
•    1 handful baby carrots, diced
•    Any leftover vegetables you have in the fridge, diced! (broccoli and bell pepper are incredible additions to this!)
•    2 servings sprouted tofu, cut into cubes
•    ½ cup uncooked sprouted grain trio from Costco
•    1 /2 cups water to cook your grains

The flavor:
•    3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
•    Italian seasoning
•    Dried parsley
•    Salt and pepper
•    Paprika
•    Coconut oil for cooking

*I am very carefree with the measurements on seasonings and spices, so I just add more of whatever flavors I want to stand out (nutritional yeast, paprika, Italian seasoning) and less of the unnecessary things that exist simply because it’s a chef’s way (salt n’ pepper, extra parsley for fun)

1.    Cook your grains: ½ cup grains + 1 ½ cups water, covered, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle, steamy simmer and let them cook for about 15 minutes or so. Make sure it is either low-boiling or bubbling just like you would cook rice. Leave covered even after it is 100% cooked, can remove from heat if you wish, once it’s done.

2.    Bring a nice-sized fry pan to medium heat, don’t let it get too hot or everything will stick to the bottom. I like to bring mine to medium then bring it down just a tad while cooking.

3.    Melt the coconut oil (one tablespoon or so) in the pan, and toss in all the diced veggies with the seasonings and a splash of water to prevent sticking. Cover and cook, gently moving the veggies around every few minutes, for about 5 minutes.

4.    Add water by the tablespoons (more or less, I really just fill an 8oz glass half way with water and toss it in the pan whenever I see it’s getting a bit dry and it works wonders) to the center of the pan, move all the veggies and spices around so they are well coated. You really only want about a centimeter deep of “gravy” in the pan. The final result will be liquid-free, but it helps with the cooking process to have moisture in the pan, and helps to prevent crazy burning of the tofu and veggies.

5.    Move the vegetables to the edges of the pan and place the tofu in the center; you can move the cubes around a bit so they find themselves well coated by the thin gravy-like sauce you have created. Cover and cook, checking every few minutes to make sure it isn’t sticking to the pan. Brown the bottom of the tofu cubes, then flip each cube individually and brown the other side.

6.    Add a hint more of water if needed, stir the veggies with the tofu gently and toss in your cooked grains. Consume.

Green Juice Joy
for two.

Husband and I drink this every morning Monday through Friday for breakfast (well, him for breakfast with a quinoa muffin and me for mid-morning snack after a bowl of chia gel and muesli with buckwheat) and I try to make it in the middle of the day, between meals on weekends so we can get in our daily greens. Keep in mind that the greens can be played around with. Anything from purple kale to spinach, collard greens to, well, no greens at all – it all will leave you with a delicious, refreshing juice to boost your nutrient intake for the day and keep your body happy and healthy. But know that if you do boycott the greens, you’ll have to eat a giant salad at some point today, and that, to me, takes too much time. Put it in a blender!

Also, we use a Blendtec blender for this juice. You will need a high-speed blender otherwise you may find yourself with pieces of greens trying to be slurped through a straw, and that just isn’t what this juice is about. You could also juice the greens separately (if you own a nice juicer) and blend the green juice with the fruit. Your choice!

•    2 large oranges, cut the top and bottom bits off, then shave the sides with a knife like you would a pineapple
•    1 lemon, cut the same as the orange, leaving a little bit of peel for flavor
•    2 apples, cored
•    1 knob of ginger, peeled
•    6 leaves of beautiful kale
•    1 cup water
•    Ice

1.    Cut your oranges, lemon and apples into chunks for the sake of your blender’s life span. Dice the ginger into itty bitty bits so they don’t get stuck in your straw. Wash the kale and de-stem it. Place the citrus fruit in the blender first, then the apple, then ginger and kale, pour water over top. Blend until 100% creamy and liquid beautiful, serve over ice. Or pour into your giant-ist mason jar, add ice, put the lid on, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes or so. Then consume it’s ice-cold amazingness.

•    High in calcium
•    High in dietary fiber
•    Very high in manganese
•    High in potassium
•    Very high in vitamin A
•    High in vitamin B6
•    Very high in vitamin C

Lentil Burgers
makes many.

I usually make a large batch of these and bake or fry them on the stove top, and then I place them in a parchment-paper lined glass dish and leave in the freezer for oh-snap-I-don’t-have-dinner-prepared type of nights. Edu is in love with them! He even asked that I make him some after his last half marathon, which is huge since he always has steak after his big races! We usually serve them open-faced on a toasted Ezekiel sprouted bun with the works: mashed avocado (made guacamole with lime juice and his homemade salsa), tomato, raw bell pepper, mustard, pickles, and a collard green or cabbage “lid” so it’s easier to eat. Served with sweet potato fries – this dish is a keeper in the Carrillo household!

Also, feel free to mess with the ingredients list. I find I do a different recipe each time I make lentil burgers, and I’m trying to make a more protein-packed patty as opposed to the usual “1 cup lentils 1 cup breadcrumbs” combo that leaves me scratching my head wondering why I am eating it on a bun in the first place since most of the patty itself is in fact: bread. Play around with chia seeds, flaxseed meal, wheat germ, cooked quinoa or raw quinoa flakes to increase the protein (it’s a bigger after all!) and avoid having to use so much grain (oats, brown rice flour, wheat flour). I’m borrowing a recipe from a website since I really have no set-in-stone recipe and I don’t want to give you my goofy measurements that will only leave you with a funny textured patty that needs a little more or little less of this/that. I don’t measure much. Ever. Unless I’m baking.

From Culinary Adventures in the Kitchen – edited a lot because it made more sense!

•    1 cup  dried lentils
•    1/2 cup quinoa
•    1/3 cup hempseeds
•    ½ cup grain flour (oats, brown rice, wheat)
•    1 flax/chia egg (1 tbsp to 3 tbsp, stir and let sit)
•    Salt and pepper to taste
•    Garlic, to your liking
•    Paprika, Italian seasoning, chili powder, oregano – be creative and free!

1.    Cook your quinoa (1/2 cup quinoa to 1 cup water, bring to boil. Low boil for 15 minutes, cover, remove from heat, let sit) and your lentils (I use sprouted bean trio from Costco so it takes 5 minutes at a rapid boil (1 cup beans to 3 cups water ratio), then 10 minutes covered off of heat, drain remaining liquid).

2.    Place half of the lentil in the food processor with all of the seasonings (adjust to your liking) and the quinoa.

3.    Place seasoned lentil, quinoa mixture in a mixing bowl and add the grain flour, hemp seeds (can use chia seeds or soaked flaxseed). Mix until well combined. Let sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes so all of the flavors marinate and the seeds soak up remaining liquid.

4.    Check consistency of raw patty mix: too dry? Too moist? Add wheat germ, quinoa flakes or nut flour (grind any nut/seed in food processor until it becomes a nice flour and before it becomes a paste!) as needed, trying not to use too much grain flour since you simply do.not.need.it.

5.    Fry in a pan with a thin layer of coconut oil until brown on each side. Let cool, then freeze if you wish, or eat 4 burgers right then and there. Remember to dress your burger incredibly well ‘cause that’s what makes an outstanding bite!

Dark Chocolate Blizzard Bowl
makes 2 desserts

The other day we were driving home from somewhere and my hubby told me he had a crazy hankering for some ice cream. I told him we could stop wherever he wished, even a frozen yogurt place right by our home. But he decided against spending a penny and was all for "could you make me a really good ice cream at home?" which set me on a hunt. A hunt for the perfect raw, vegan ice cream recipe. I stumbled across a few dozen, but didn't like the sound of having to use either frozen banana or a cup of soaked cashews. I wanted something different! but alas, the frozen banana group won the battle and I found the best dessert known to the Carrillo home. I recently realized it's the exact texture of a really good DQ Blizzard, hence the just-now-invented name for the dessert. Delicious, rich, satisfying. Must do.

  • 2 frozen bananas, cut into chunks (for the blender's sake!)
  • 1 handful walnuts or raw cashews
  • 1 cup or so of almond milk (can use water)
  • 1 handful frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons carob powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened extra dark cocoa powder
  • 4 dried plums (prunes!) or 1 handful raisins
  • ice + water if needed
Blend that beauty! I add ice, or more frozen strawberries, if it's too runny. And sometimes I run into the blender not wanting to do its job so I had a few splashes of water while it is running. It's a true delight when topped with Pure2Raw's frozen peppermint patty bits and or shredded coconut, even fresh fruit. The topping ideas are endless. Try them all!


Love you, mami. Enjoy healthy eating ma' dear!

June 27, 2012

Week 29: Acorn Squash Baby

Week 29
Baby is the size of a (giant) acorn squash!
**Average size: 15.2-16.7 inches, 2.5-3.8 lb.**

But let all who take refuge in You rejoice
Let them ever sing for joy,
and spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may exult You.
Psalm 5:11

This week we had an appointment with my rock star midwife, Amanda, and she answered loads of my questions. So this post is themed "answers with the midwife" on her behalf. First, she took and sent my bloods away for an iron and vitamin D test. We chatted about how I've been feeling and under what circumstances should I page the girls at the office. She measured wee-baby and listened their heart. 

Amazing fun:
* From here on out we're going to have every-two-weeks appointments! So exciting! Home stretch, here we coooome!
* We need to start looking at carseats this month just incase baby decides to arrive early.
* The office just found themselves an ultrasound machine, and spent all of today doing free ultrasounds for their patients - so we were able to see our little monkey again!

Baby decided it was a good day to suck on their umbilical cord, even though it looks like they're blowing a spit bubble! I love seeing baby's profile, it makes papa-to-be and me want to hold them and meet them so much!


  1. What's the deal on heavy lifting at work?
  2. What if I don't birth the placenta right away?
  3. What is done to prevent tearing? Should I have a water birth? Would an episiotomy ever be performed at home?
  4. I'm uncomfortable on my side, is it okay sleeping on my back if I don't feel any dizziness or discomfort?


  1. Heavy lifting can be dangerous with pregnancy because of the risks of weakening the pelvic floor. Lifting can require a lot of abdominal and back muscles, so you have to be careful with anything over 30lbs. I took this as, "be careful" but also am keeping in mind that keeping up with the kegals should strengthen the pelvic floor muscles as well. Also, if I'm working so hard to keep my kegal exercises consistent in order to strengthen them muscles, I shouldn't be heavy lifting at work since it'll probably just ruin everything down there and cause all of my hard work to be useless. 
  2. Some women take up to a full hour (or more) to birth the placenta naturally. In many hospitals, waiting anything over 30 minutes is crazy business and they would then jump on in to help mom with the placenta's birth. If there is no bleeding occurring, there is no reason to rush the second birth and thus they would simply wait. In the end, if no placenta greets the world post-baby greeting the world, they would extract it manually (that's with their hands!) and it does hurt. Oh joy! I'm praying that it will make its way out of my naturally. We had a lovely lady come into the pediatrician's office with her newborn and her midwife did have to manually remove her placenta. Poor lady could hardly walk and the baby was 5 days old by then. Let's give it up to oxytocin and its power to contract the uterus and push our that placenta!  
  3. To prevent tearing, a crockpot is nearby, full of warm water and wash clothes. The wash clothes will be placed on the perineum to soften and loosen it for birth. Squatting while birthing isn't recommended, for gravity works in your favor and tends to push baby out very rapidly, which can cause tearing of the perineum. An episiotomy would not be performed at home. A water birth would help with tearing prevention, as well as helps mom to cope with the contractions during labor and calm her down. Having a tub full of warm water is recommended (tub should cover mom completely) even if water birth isn't planned. Many woman hit the wall towards the end of labor and wish to go to a hospital for an epidural, and sometimes switching from the bed (or couch, floor, where ever) to the warm water is very helpful for the birthing mother and the strength of the contractions. I was kind of looking forward to skipping the birthing tub fee and squatting somewhere to have this baby, but this made me want to look into renting a tub and enjoying all of its perks. Also, I would most definitely prefer natural tearing to an episiotomy since the healing time is so much quicker. And I figure, if God created this baby's head (or shoulders, or entire body) to be that big, well, He can also provide me with enough strength to push that baby out - let me tear if I need to! Go perineum, go! I can imagine warm wash cloth doing insanely delightful wonders, as well. So I'm very appreciative for that.
  4. Many woman well into pregnancy feel much more comfortable sleeping on their backs at night. Our bodies do a magnificent job of turning to the side if any discomfort occurs during sleep. A body pillow is helpful for many woman because you can wrap it between your legs, under one of your arms, across your back and under your neck. The "you can't lie on your back while pregnant" rule comes from cases of weight of the uterus pushing on the vein that pumps blood from your lower body to your heart, which can cause dizziness for mom and eventually can affect baby. Women will feel discomfort way before baby does - this made me feel good, because honestly, without any body pillow in my ownership, I can't handle sleeping on my side very much. Everything just flops over and weighs me way down. I love sleeping on my back but it's as if I feel nervous and guilty while doing it, even though it feels so insanely comfortable. I am looking to invest in a nice body pillow, though, or just continue to have a pillow between my knees when I decide to sleep on my side. 
Well there it was! It was an awesome appointment, like they all have been. And seeing baby today in the ultrasound was such a blessing. They check his/her heart, lungs, kidney, fingers, the amniotic fluid surrounding baby, his/her "parts" (they warned us and I happily looked away - it was funny because not even the midwife knew what she was looking at right away, and baby kept kicking when they were looking between their legs - as if they knew that their gender is a surprise until birth - making it hard for the technician and the midwife to get a peak! We return in 2 weeks for another appointment, and from here on out I will be looking into a free 4D ultrasound in our state, that a friend told me about. Although, I could definitely wait until their birthday to meet them! We'll see what happens.

The Eats:
Buckwheat with almond milk, cinnamon, raisins, homemade fig jam, almond butter, the works.
Our new favorite dessert: Dark Chocolate Carob Blizzard! Walnuts or cashews, almond milk, h2o, frozen banana, frozen strawberries, ice, extra dark cocoa powder (unsweetened), carob powder, crumbled up peppermint patty from the freezer

this only cost us twelve dollars! I love me a little farmer's market :)
tofu, brown rice, veg, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, oh goodness.
chia gel with cocoa powder and their friends!
I love me an awesome Groupon! $16 for this box of organic local fruit - it's been tasting increeedibly good!
We found super nicely priced unsweetened shredded coconut (Bob's Redmill brand) on Amazon.com and adding it to some chia gel and muesli, with hemp hearts and Rainier cherries, was such a good idea this morning! This breakfast was fabuloso!
 Happy almost thirty weeks pregnant!!!

June 24, 2012

Seattle Rock N' Roll Half Marathon

Happy marathon and half marathon day weekend! On this past lovely Saturday in the Carrillo household, baby and mama were able to cheer on papa as he ran his 9,000th half marathon on the streets of Seattle (okay, so he's done this particular race 3 times, once for the full marathon and twice for the half - but I truly couldn't even start to count how many times he's ran 13 miles, either in race mode or just for "fun").

It was such a fabulous morning! We woke up at 4:30 am and commenced the day. I thought I was going to be exhausted since this week has been packed-full of sleepiness (third trimester joy?) but I was so awake and so excited to watch my love bug as he prepped for race day. We packed the following foods: 3 quinoa brown rice muffins (see recipe here courtesy of Veganomicon) with homemade fig jam (dried figs, banana, water and orange zest) and almond butter for hubs, buckwheat cereal for me, oranges, bananas, and a mini-larabar for snacking.

Thankfully we arrived pretty early and Edu was able to do some warm ups and jogging before the start. He was a lucky duck and found himself in corral 1 of the first wave (there were more than 40 corrals, people had to wait such a long time to start - insanity!) so he was off right at 7:00am. Mama, papa and I hung out by the finish line which was right around the corner from the start. For some reason time flew by and the first half-marathon finishers arrived so quickly! We did a little walking to and from the car, a bathroom break or two, and some chit-chatting, but honestly I don't know where time went 'cause we only had to wait 20 minutes or so for the first placers to appear.

First place was a fella that finished in one hour and six minutes - so stinkin' fast for 13 miles. Pre-pregnancy, I had never reached the big 13, but I did run 10 (while training for my first half, that ended up in me being injured before the actual race) and calculating my pace I'd say I could finish a half marathon in just around 2 hours. So the fact that these guys finish the race more than 50 minutes earlier than I do puts things into perspective for me!

Anywho I was testing out our new camera and taking snapshots of the finishers, while counting each one since Edu hoped to be in the top 50 overall. I really wanted to end up with awesome pictures of my love bug as he came to the finish, but of course I got really excited when I saw him from afar (in the top 35!) and ended up taking pretty lame-o photos. I'm extremely skilled at accidentally cutting off his legs in pictures, as well as forgetting to center him in the shot. Oh the joys of learning photography!!


He looked amazing when he finished, like he had just jogged a 10K around the lake or something. We ran to him and, although we were separated from the finishers by a fence, shouted his name and took pictures of him like true paparazzi family members do! He was smiling from ear to ear, talking to the guys that finished right before and right after him, all patting each other's backs like they're old college buddies and congratulating each other. So much love!

Edu says he feels very good about the race in general. He was hoping to break 1 hour and 20 minutes for this race, but is pleased with his official time of 1:21:09 and placed in #38 of over 14,000 people! The humidity was at 100% (no lies) but thankfully clouds didn't let the sun shine too hard on the runners, and they avoided raining like crazy, as well. The spectators (us) enjoyed decent temps and sun breaks while we waited for our loved ones.

Awesome business: the first place finisher of the full marathon lives in our neighborhood! Edu has passed by him on leisurely runs in the early morning hours, as well as during training season(s). It was cool to see a local win the big race!

Oh, baby and I were exhausted after the race. I know we only watched, but goodness me, I felt like we had run at least a 5K - uphill or something. But hey, that counts as my Saturday workout, no? I tried doing some prenatal yoga once we got home, unfortunately my body wasn't even able to stretch, so I ended up hanging out on the couch all day with hubby. It was blissful.

Happy half marathoner, love of my life!

June 20, 2012

Week 28: Eggplant Baby!

Week 28
baby is the size of an eggplant!
Average size: 13.6 -14.8 inches, 1.5-2.2 lb.

"May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to live in such harmony with one
another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that
together you may with one voice glorify
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 15:5-6

dear (28 week old) baby in my tummy, thank you for finally starting to kick mommy's insides so I know you're alive and well. Thank you for listening to papa and I sing to you at night, and responding promptly with a gentle punch to my ribs. Thank you for having hiccups 3 times and making me giggle. Thank you for doing turns and twirls and moving my stomach in goofy ways. Thank you for growing so big that I struggle to find a comfy position in bed at night. Thank you for hanging out with me during the start of this third trimester, your papi and I are so excited to meet you soon!

It's true, folks. I'm officially (kinda?) starting trimester numbah three. Praise God! This week has been a bit strange - I've been hit hard with a huge and powerful wave of sleepiness and, because of this, haven't woken up before work to exercise for three days straight. What excuse do I have? I just looove me some pillow. Pillow, pillow, pillow. I have bursts of energy at night, allowing me to cook, read blogs, read in general, and even chat with hubby (and baby) for up to an hour once we're lying down in bed. This of course makes bedtime a lot later than our good intentions are planning on, and I naturally gift the body with the joys of sleeping in later than planned. So, here's to going to bed at a decent time (for us that's around 9:15pm) so we can get out of bed at a decent time (5am for me to fit in a workout, 6am for him to fit in a run). We'll see!

Oh, stretching. Today and yesterday have been a heck of a lot of fun in the stretching department. I feel like my uterus is doing what it's supposed to: growing big, stretching wide, as baby grows from the size of lemon to the size of a watermelon, but goodness me... it's getting really "tuggy" down there! I feel fab when I'm sitting down at home or at work, but once I have to stand up and walk around, I truly feel there is some sort of mechanism that is pulling the uterus' muscle lining in opposite directions. Yesterday it didn't hurt much at all, it was simply me - pregnant - stretching. But today, oh snap! I could hardly walk, and I was grimacing in the face all the way down the hallway at work. Painful stuff, my friends. I guess I should just be "breathing it out" to practice for the glorious contractions in September, no? 

Welcome to the first trimester? Just starting today I have been feeling extremely snacky. And by snacky I really just want to say that I'm in the mood to eat. all. the. time. It feels a little like the first trimester - for those rare moments when I didn't feel sick to my stomach - I wanted to eat everything I could dream of. This included everything on every food commercial on TV. Oh my. Food sounds delicious, every type of food sounds delicious, and today for the first time in months I actually stuffed myself full to the brim! Case and point: giant lentil burger, ripped in half, flattened (to make "two" burgers), on top of sprouted Ezekiel bun, avocado, tomato, romaine, mustard, bell pepper, zucchini and a collard green "top bun" with a side of jicama "fries" covered in nutritional yeast + paprika with a hint of olive oil for browning and some agave-sweetened ketchup. Told you. So, very, full. But it was so... very... worth it! Who's up for ice cream?!

Weight gain celebrations! I am officially (unofficially since I have no good idea of what my weight was before pregnancy since we had returned from Mexico and always lose 10 or so pounds down there from all of the physical activity we do mixed with zero snacking and only 2 or 3 wonderfully satisfying meals a day) up 15 + pounds! Go baby, go baby go. Yes, mama and baby are growing like weeds (aw, what a sweet choice of words) or like small children on the Western diet (that's the U.S.A. diet, people) mixed with zero exercise (video games and couches are fun!). And I am kind of in love with my tummy. It feels amazing to not worry about your love handles, or your thighs, or your arms not looking muscular and toned. I work out and feel strong, my hips are widening, my sides are thicker than they used to be, and I feel beautiful. Hubby does a wonderful job at making me feel beautiful, too. He loves this round-tummied wifey God has placed in his life and we love the baby that's causing it all. It's a blessing. It's a joy. 

On to the eats! For tonight is "Bradley Method classes at home" night (see last post)! 

chia pudding: chia seeds + almond milk + cinnamon + sunflowers + banana + raisins + strawberries + almond butter = breakfast.
almond sunflower seed pate (with celery, onion n' mustard) over raw herb bread with collard lid :)
collard green chips from the dehydrator! lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, hemp seeds. oh my fantastic!

the beast that made me full for 4 years.
A friend recommended this place near my home! LOVED it!

that juice was outta-this-world good! so refreshing. The watermelon really sold it for us!