Wednesday, May 13, 2015

34 weeks + a crappy week

I'm not going to lie, this past week has been awful. 

My husband had surgery on his throat, nasal septum and tonsils and has had a horrible recovery (vomiting up bags of blood in the hospital, intense post-op pain, heaps of medications to keep track of) and I have had some sort of cold or flu rendering me pretty much useless.

I just feel totally worn out, emotional and puffy. And I *think* I found the beginnings of stretch marks on my upper thighs, which have admittedly grown a lot over the past year. I am now over twenty kilograms heavier than I was at my lowest weight this time last year, so I suppose I should expect my body to complain a little. Interestingly, my huge pregnant belly is still yet to show any skin trauma- my doctor even asked me what I use to keep it moisturised! FYI, coconut oil after a shower and sometimes Bio-Oil before bed. I also drink a shitload of water and organic, full-cream cow's milk; maybe that is helping too?

On the plus side, my dermatitis appears to be clearing up, as shown in below photograph. As mentioned in a previous post, I have been cleansing with liquid African black soap, splashing and rinsing off diluted apple cider vinegar in the shower, and using pure aloe vera gel as a moisturiser.  The fading of the blotchy red rash on my face has been a huge relief as it was making me feel extremely self-conscious, and I think that's the last thing you need when you are already toting around a watermelon, your thighs have begun to rub together when they never have before (left, meet right!) and none of your pretty shoes fit anymore.

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Wet hair don't care

Today has been a day of no errands (thank God) and a lot of sleep. I seriously feel exhausted. Tonight I will eat my dinner (baked tofu and sweet potato with raw kale and nutritional yeast), watch "Masterchef," eat something yummy for dessert and have an early night. This baby growing business is really taking it out of me at the moment!

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Tonight's dinner

Saturday, April 25, 2015

cold snap

It has been so chilly this week! I much prefer this weather to the summer heat, and have been getting through it by layering up in boots and scarves and making a nest of my bed.

Highlights for this week was receiving a few parcels in the mail full of baby and mama things (peanut butter and jelly Larabars for a hospital-bag snack, breastfeeding supplies, a silicone teething necklace, a nursing bra, tiny baby nail clippers, reusable breast pads!) , and starting to pack away tiny little baby clothes in their designated crates. Thanks for washing them all, Mum! Shit is getting pretty real around here. My hospital bag is almost packed too, but I will tell you about that when it's done.

I am almost 32 weeks into my pregnancy which is super exciting, although I seem to have turned into a bit of a third-trimester sloth. Laying around eating, reading and watching DVDs has never been more tempting, and unfortunately I have been making some pretty crappy food choices. Time for a clean-up both for my sake and bub's.

The clean-up (which I am actually pretty excited about, because I have a lot of healthy snack and meal ideas for the week) began at the farmer's market this morning where I met Emma for coffee and bagel, then picked up a massive bushel of curly kale, green apples, celery, bagels for the freezer, organic sausage and vegetable rolls, and brown onions. I already have lots of carrots, pumpkin and broccoli in the fridge so I am pretty set for meal prep this week.

Winter smoothie for the win

Instead of devouring a packet (or two) of Tiny Teddies, Dunkaroos or ice creams (it's too cold for that anyway!), I made a delicious winter smoothie for my afternoon snack. It's a winter smoothie because it is warm from an extra-long blending in the Vitamix and it has plenty of nice spices to boot. Yum. I love pumpkin anything- roasted, made into chips, custard, added to a latte, baked into a this smoothie is good for that. Now I will go away and have pumpkin dreams.

Winter Pumpkin and Banana Smoothie

1 banana
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2-3 big medjool dates
Handful almonds
1/4 cup oats
1 cup milk (I used organic full-cream, but you could use non-dairy too)
1 teaspoon maca powder
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Sprinkle of nutmeg
Knob of fresh ginger (tip of your thumb sized)
Pinch pink sea salt
3-4 drops liquid butterscotch stevia

Blend until the jug feels warm. Pour and enjoy! Just a warning, it did turn out pretty sweet so if you prefer a more savoury taste feel free to reduce the number of dates and skip the stevia altogether.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

31 weeks + massaged kale salad

Started my Sunday at the farmer's market with my favourite cousin Emma eating freshly baked blueberry bagels and drinking coffee in the chilly weather. After breakfast we headed off to get our produce (I got organic milk and butter, a huge bunch of kale, butternut pumpkin, broccoli, green beans, lemons, carrots and ginger) then I went home and had a huge nap. An excellent morning for sure!

Everything pregnancy-related is going well and I am really enjoying it. I have been drinking a tonne of cold milk (and splurging on the delicious organic kind from the market) every night as well as hot raspberry leaf tea with honey to help "tone" my uterus in preparation for labour. The tea is also good for digestion, which is a side effect I enjoy as well- makes my stomach feel warm, comfortable and settled. I have been absolutely ravenous since the third trimester began, and have to make sure that I always have a snack within arm's reach. My ribs and back have been aching a bit but other than that, no real complaints.

My skin has been a lot better this week; it is much less red and inflamed, which makes me feel much less self-conscious about it. I think it fares better in the cooler weather, plus I have evolved my skincare routine to washing my face in the shower with liquid African Black soap (see some info about it here), splashing on some diluted apple cider vinegar and rinsing with water, then drying myself and gently massaging in some pure aloe vera gel. This combination seems to be good. My Mum and I went shopping yesterday and both treated ourselves to a jar of Burt's Bees eye cream which seems to be helping soothe the dryness around my eyes (plus I feel so fancy applying eye cream- I guess I am twenty-five now, so it might be time to start looking after that area!). I also made a face mask yesterday afternoon using some warmed-up honey and some mashed banana and it was totally amazing! My skin was smooth and it really calmed down any inflammation I had.

You become a bit skin-obsessed when you get pregnancy dermatitis because it is just so frustrating!

Now I am munching on my favourite massaged kale salad for dinner and waiting to watch "My Kitchen Rules." Massaging the kale for this salad makes it more palatable and easier to digest as it breaks down the fibrous leaves before you even chew it. 

Jane's Massaged Kale Salad

5 big leaves of curly kale
1/2 apple
Handful walnuts
Handful dried cranberries
Olive oil
Orange juice
Sprinkle of salad seeds (optional)

Strip kale off the stem into bite-sized pieces, wash and dry. Place kale into a bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil into the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and get massaging! Press and squeeze kale between your hands until it softens and turns a brighter green. Once kale is done, chop apple into bite-sized pieces and add to salad. Toss with walnuts and dried cranberries, drizzle some orange juice over the salad and top with some salad seeds.

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Yum! The perfect autumn salad
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Any combo of toasted seeds will do

Thursday, April 9, 2015

eyelash tint

I got an eyelash tint today at the beautician after my orthodontist appointment today. I totally tripped over on an uneven bit of pavement today and people saw, so I figured I deserve it.

Worth it. I feel so much better even though it is such a small change. Girl treats!

Monday, April 6, 2015

long time no blog + third trimester bliss balls

It has been a really long time since I have even looked at this blog and believe me, a lot has changed since I last posted. I will give you a little run-down of the events that have transpired since I last wrote. 

I am currently 29 weeks pregnant with a little baby girl (which means that I would have been pregnant the last time I posted here but had no clue at the time! Freaky!) and absolutely over the moon about it. Overall it has been a wonderful pregnancy; bub and I are both healthy and growing as we should, Luke and I are super in love and I feel so blessed to be growing our very own human. I adore my baby bump and feeling her kick and twist in there.

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It definitely looks bigger from the side, trust me

Some parts of the pregnancy experience have been a struggle; I had all really bad nausea and food aversions every day for the first 14 weeks or so of the pregnancy, although this thankfully has passed and made way for a very healthy appetite! I have also been dealing with stubborn dermatitis on my face (ONLY on my face! What?) that was probably triggered by all the hormonal changes from pregnancy. This has been difficult as it is impossible to treat and is affecting my self-esteem a bit, but I am just trying to remember that my friends and family value me for more than just clear skin, and hopefully it is just a phase my skin is going through that will pass after little baby is born.

Happily, the minute the pregnancy test showed the positive (after being about a week late on my period) marked the last day of the bulimic episodes that were plaguing me since getting out of hospital at the end of May 2014- after all, an eating disorder and a pregnancy cannot live together in harmony. I have been eating a large variety and quantity of food, have gained a healthy amount of weight for how far along I am and have a nice round baby bump out in front. I also made the difficult decision to start eating meat and dairy again after the crazy food aversions made it very difficult to maintain my usual dietary habits, and am not sure what path I will follow with my diet once the baby is born.

I think I will keep blogging for the remainder of the pregnancy at least (only 11 weeks to go!) and hopefully will continue when I have a newborn. I wanted to post today because I just created an awesome recipe and wanted to share it with my Mum, although I did somewhat tailor it to my pregnant-girl dietary requirements! I shall call them Third Trimester Bliss Balls, as they provide a shitload of good nutrients for what really is a particularly tiring time during the pregnancy. The walnuts and coconut are full of good fats, the dates and molasses are high in iron, the spirulina is high in protein, the prunes and chia seeds are great for keeping you regular (a pregnancy must) and the maca powder helps to balance out crazy pregnancy hormones. Plus, they are delicious!

Third Trimester Bliss Balls

2 cups walnuts
1 cup dates
Big handful prunes
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp molasses
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp maca powder
2 tsp spirulina

In the food processor, pulse the walnuts. Add the dates and prunes and process again. Add 1/2 cup desiccated coconut, chia seeds, coconut oil, molasses, cacao powder, maca powder and spirulina and process the lot until it starts clumping together. Roll the balls in the remaining 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut and place balls in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes: You might need to play with the nut/dried fruit ratios to make sure the mixture is not too dry and not too sticky. Too dry = add more dates and prunes. Too sticky: add more nuts. If you like a chunkier ball, process for a shorter amount of time. You can also play with quantities of the superfood powders to suit your taste.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

leg day

Today my sister and I went to the gym for leg day and it was the best. We did squats, lunges, the leg press, hamstring curls, and rounded out the workout with some sit-ups. Jelly legs afterwards! I certainly earned my post-shower Sunwarrior chocolate protein shake.

It is so much more fun going to the gym with a workout buddy, that's for sure.

Hi guys

Frilly socks!

Now we are heading off to Floriade (flower festival) for date night. Apparently there is a ferris wheel, food and cocktails, so I'm in.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

vegan again

I have some food-related news...I have reconnected with my vegan self (and am feeling very happy with my decision). 

I am jumping back into the vegan rabbit hole (carrot hole?) without a lot of support this time, as last time my restrictive diet culminated with a hospital stay and diagnosis of ED-NOS. Not this time, people! I know that I have to increase my volume of food this time as grains, beans, fruit and vegetables are not as calorie-dense as vegetarian foods such as cheese, yoghurt and Questbars. 

I am going to do it properly and make sure that I eat enough. Besides, I have put heaps of work into building my muscles at the gym that I don't want to throw it all away but having no energy and not having enough protein!

Starting to get muscle definition on my shoulders!
I am sad to give up my Questbars but am very excited about this development and feel that I am more than capable to design a nourishing, filling vegan diet for myself this time around. I wish that people would trust me more with this! But I understand why they don't...

I am on day two of going completely vegan again and I feel fantastic. I made brown rice porridge with berries for breakfast this morning and it was delicious. My passion for food really emerges when I explore a healthy, plant-based diet full of wholegrains, fruit and vegetables. I even feel more "myself" when I am vegan. It's hard to explain...I think it's just because my food is more in line with my ethical beliefs than when I am eating vegetarian or pescetarian.