10 Days of Real Food-Day 7. Pancakes

Just catching up?  Read about the 10 days of Real Food Challenge *here*.

Today I started my morning off a little bit differently.  I decided to bring some Pinterest recipes to life.  I was going through my pins yesterday and I came across one for pancakes that would be acceptable to eat while doing the Real Food Challenge.  They sounded interesting, but very good so I decided to give them a try.

1 ripe banana mashed + 2 eggs all whisked together +1 tsp cinnamon & 1 tsp vanilla=light, fluffy and naturally gluten free pancake.  It made two pancakes, the first one didn’t turn out exactly round so it’s hiding underneath the top one :-)  This pancake mixture reminded me a lot of a crepe.  I will probably me making these again this week, but adding in some oats & almond butter for some breakfast “staying power”.

Madelyn decided that she’s been spoiled mommy enough with the awesome sleeping she’s been doing the past few days so she decided to pull an all nighter last night.  So instead of eating lunch, we snoozed right through it.

When we woke up, I hopped in the shower and snacked on some hummus and veggies.  We were very happy to get visits today from Auntie Liz & Auntie Sarah :-) It was nice to see some new faces.

For dinner we had leftover chicken from last night with a salad and potatoes.  I snacked throughout the morning on the usual favorites (apples, almond butter and trail mix).

I’m almost done with the 10 day real food challenge and the biggest take away I’ve learned is to read ingredients.  A lot of the prepackaged foods that we think are healthy, really aren’t that beneficial for you.  My goal is to try to eat more real whole foods and less prepackaged food.  Environmental > Factory.  Of course I’ll allow myself a treat every now and then, but I’ll be a little more conscious about what ends up on my plate.

 

10 Days of Real Food Days 5 & 6

If you’re just tuning in, you can catch up *here*.

Day 5 I started the day rather well.  It was a perfect Autumn Sunday morning.  I woke up ate an apple with almond butter, laced up my running shoes and headed out the door with my neon orange Nike hoodie & black lulu pants.  I had my longest run postpartum (a 5k in 37ish minutes).  It definitely wasn’t my best time but I was proud of myself for going that far -I’m still trying to find the perfect running route for our new neighborhood.  I came home, put up yesterday’s blog post and ate some breakfast (oatmeal with blueberries and peaches).  My plan was to clean our bathroom, shower and head to the grocery store for some groceries.  But after writing yesterday’s post, I bopped around online, took care of Madelyn, and started cleaning the bathroom but instead of hopping in the shower I just cleaned our whole house and before I knew it, it was 6pm.  Grocery shopping did not happen and so enters carryout pizza from DiCarlo’s.  :-/  I was doing so good with the real food challenge until that little thing called life got in the way.  Days with an infant just seem to fly by.  But I’m back on track after that little slip up.

Day 6-A new day.  For breakfast, I made myself some homemade apple cinnamon oatmeal…so much better than the prepackaged apple cinnamon oatmeal.  I cut up a fresh apple and mixed it into some oats, sprinkled some cinnamon over it and added almond milk.  Pair that with some pumpkin spice coffee and you have yourself the perfect fall breakfast.

For lunch, my sister came over and we snacked on a few different things: a sweet potato with almond butter, cucumbers, and trail mix.  After lunch, we strapped Madelyn into our new jogging stroller and took her for a walk.  While we were walking, chatting and enjoying the day, I couldn’t help but think to myself that I picked the best time to have a baby because I have maternity leave during some of the best weather of the year (in my opinion).   I was talking with a friend about whether we’d rather be pregnant in the dead of summer or in the dead of winter.  Both have their challenges (she’s due in December), but I said the dead of summer.  The days are longer therefore giving you more energy.  Pregnancy already saps so much energy from you, I’m sure the shorter days of winter doesn’t help this problem.

Tonight for dinner, I made a slow cooker creation: beer flavored chicken.  I chopped up 1/2 of a white onion, seasoned 4 chicken breasts with dill, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and then poured 1 bottle of New Grist beer into the pot.  I cooked on high for 5 hours and served it with some brussels sprouts (seasoned with olive oil, lemon and parmesan cheese) and a sweet potato-the reason for all the sweet potatoes the past week? I went grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and instead of selling them individually, they sell them by the bag so we have a lot to eat-same with the avocado.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a new breakfast that I’m excited to try!  It doesn’t involve oats, egg bakes or smoothies :-) Until then I leave you with this:

Little words of wisdom

 

 

10 Days of Real Food Days 2-4. 3 ways to eat Avocado

I had to compress the last few days of my 10 days of real food challenge.  Just as we were starting to get into the swing of things, someone went through a little growth spurt & when that happens I follow the rule “when baby sleeps, mom sleeps.”  Especially after two nights of being up every two hours.  But such is life.

I’m not going to recap every single thing that I ate, only the more exciting stuff.  But know that lots of apples and almond butter have been consumed as snacks the past few days.  I forgot how good that combo is.  When I was pregnant, almond butter did not at all sound the least bit appealing to me, but I’m making it up for it big time postpartum.

Last week, hubs and I went to Trader Joe’s after the little one’s doctor’s appointment.  One of the more exciting finds that I found were things little snack packs:

Instead of buying the big bag I opted for a big bag of smaller bags that I can just throw in my purse and eat on the go or in a hurry.

One of my lunches consisted of a lot of healthy fats.  A baked sweet potato topped with almond butter served with an apple and a 1/2 of a avocado.  It kept me pretty satisfied until dinner time.

For dinner one night, I made chicken cacciatore in the slow cooker.  Hubs requested this one dish, but instead of making it how I normally do, I googled a simpler/healthier recipe and found one on Weight Watchers website.  I scooped it out and served it on top of quinoa.  I was pretty satisfied with how it turned out.  A link to the recipe can be found {here}.

Friday morning’s breakfast consisted of an avocado smoothie as well as last three of my egg muffins heated up.  Because I loved how quick and easy the egg muffins were, I’m going to make them again this week but add some different ingredients in them and double recipe.  The avocado smoothie consisted of 1 avocado, 1 cup unsweetened plain yogurt, 1 cup almond milk, ice cubes and honey to sweeten it up.  The avocado throws people off but I really love them.

Friday’s lunch was a sign that I really need to go grocery shopping and pretty much just found whatever I could to make something edible and healthy.  I really wanted tuna salad and I was in luck because we had a packet of tuna in our cupboard.  Instead of adding mayo, I added an avocado to help with texture and taste and then I added almonds, dried cranberries, garlic powder and pepper.  It was really good, a little bit of sweet and salty and I didn’t really miss the mayo.

Yesterday, Madelyn and I went out to brunch with my mom and sister.  We visited one of my favorite restaurants, Cafe Hollander.  I enjoyed an omelette with a side of fruit.  After breakfast I ran some errands and went to Kohls’ to spend some Kohls’ cash.  Even though hubs calls it a gimmick to get you back into the store, I still can’t let it go to waste-it’s like throwing away free money!  I ended up with a Nike dry fit bright orange hoodie, perfect for the fall running season.

Last night for dinner, LC and I spent the night out.  My mom and sister came over to babysit Madelyn and the hubs and I went to a cookout/bon fire at a friends house.  She made the most amazing/moist chicken breast I’ve ever had on the grill.  I ate that with a really tasty salad some made and some hummus dip I had made.  It was really hard to pass up some of the other snacks there, but I managed.  I had my Malbec to keep me happy :-)

Nothing like bringing in the first night of fall with a bonfire, friends and red wine.  Lucky for us, Madelyn was sound asleep when we got home around 11:30 pm and she slept until about 4 am and woke back up at around 7.  After that last feeding session, I woke, snacked on an apple & almond butter, pumped went for a run.  I love my daughter, but it’s nice to get some “me time”, something I don’t see a lot of during the week because of LC’s work schedule.

I’m off to enjoy some oatmeal and pumpkin coffee. Enjoy the first official day of the fall season!  What’s your favorite thing about fall?  For me it’s the comfort foods, change of colors and Pumpkin spice lattes :-)

10 Days of Real Food-Day 1. Apple Crisp

When I set out to do the 10 days of real food challenge, I totally forgot about the huge bag of apples that I had planned to make apple crisp and other apple-y goodness with.  How on earth was I going to make apple crisp without adding sugar??  I looked at a recipe that my mom had given to me and looked to see how I could revamp it so that it still fell under the “Real Food” guidelines.  Done & done.  I even substituted the butter for coconut oil. Easy peasy and oh so good. Maybe tomorrow I’ll look up a recipe for real vanilla frozen yogurt in the vitamix and make this baby a la mode.

Naturally Sweetened Apple Crisp {print recipe}

Ingredients
  • 9 apples thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1 1/2 C Oats
  • 1 C chickpea flour
  • 1 C pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 C maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1/2 unrefined coconut oil
Directions
Preheat oven to 350.  Layer the apples in a 9×13 baking dish.  Sprinkle the 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1TBSP chickpea flour, and the one cup of maple syrup on top of the apples, then gently toss so that the apples are evenly coated.  In a separate bowl, combine the oats, 1 C chickpea flour, 1/2 C maple syrup, baking powder, baking soda, nuts, cinnamon, and coconut oil. Mix with your hands. Then when you’ve got a crumbly texture, sprinkle on top of apples evenly.  Bake in oven for 45 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy :-)
How did eating go the rest of the day?  I started my morning off with a bowl of Bob’s Redmill gluten-free oats mixed with blueberries, peaches, and unsweetened almond milk.  With the real food challenge you can have dairy, I just try to stay away from it as best as I can because it irritates my stomach.
For lunch, I munched on a pre-made salad from Trader Joe’s.  It was good, but you have to eat these right away (I bought it on Monday) because the lettuce was getting a little wilty. If I wouldn’t have eaten it today, it would’ve been garbage by tomorrow. It was a mixed greens salad with pecans, blue cheese and I topped it with Annie’s raspberry vinaigrette.
For a post workout snack (snuck in some zumba via Xbox today while someone napped), I ate an apple with almond butter and reheated two egg muffins.
Tonight’s dinner was leftovers from last night.  Yesterday, was the perfect weather for chili so I made our favorite: Sweet potato and black bean chili.  It was just as good, if not better than last night’s serving!  I think adding some cheese may have had something to do with it.
I think day 1 of the real foods challenge went rather well.  If you just set aside some time to pre make some things (egg muffins/dinner for two nights instead of one), it’s really not hard to do.  Like I said in the previous post, we generally try to eat as whole/real as possible, but sometimes life (new baby) can get in the way and deter us from that and it becomes more about convenience and less about nutrients.  I’d like to try and make my own bars one of these days because that’s generally my snack of choice to grab & go.

10 Days of Real Food

When one of my favorite bloggers & friend posted this status update on Facebook last night, I became intrigued-

A food challenge-10 days of real food.  For the most part, I try to eat as whole & healthy as possible.  But with the newest addition to our family and trying to get into the swing of things, “real food” sometimes just doesn’t happen.  Instead of taking time to make myself a quick lunch, I grab a Luna protein bar just to get in any nutrition and calories so that I can keep up the energy (and my supply) to feed the little one.  Last week when my grandma was visiting, she brought along her famous peanut butter cookies & pecan sandies made with gluten-free flour, and I can’t even begin to tell you how many cookies I consumed.  My excuse was, “I need the extra calories to support breastfeeding Madelyn.”  Yes, it is true that you do need to consume 500 extra calories while breastfeeding.  False, that it should come in the form of delicious cookies.

So, in an effort to clean up my eating, not only for me but for the daughter I’m feeding, I decided to embark on this challenge.  It’s been a while since I’ve partook in any kind of challenge and what better than to start with one that will make me more conscious of what I’m eating and that will allow me to take some time to nourish my body a little bit better.

What you CAN eat

  • Whole foods-product of nature not industry
  • lots of fruits & veggies
  • dairy products & UNSWEETENED yogurt (this pretty much cuts out any flavored yogurts)
  • whole grains
  • seafood and locally raised meats
  • water, milk, all-natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee or tea. Beer & wine.
  • Snacks-dried fruits, popcorn, nuts, and seeds
  • All Natural sweeteners-honey, 100% pure maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates.

What you CANNOT eat

  • No refined grains-white rice, white flour etc.
  • No refined sweeteners-sugar, corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff
  • Nothing packaged that has more than 5 ingredients in it
  • No deep-fried or “fast foods”

Here’s a link to the copy of the official rules {here}!

Looking over the list of what you can eat vs. what you can’t makes this challenge seem fairly simple.  My only hurdle will be the sugar-you don’t realize how much sugar is added into a lot of the “healthy” foods we eat until you start looking at ingredients.

Anyone willing to join Sarah and me on this 10 day challenge? There’s also a 100 day challenge, which I might partake in at the beginning of next year…I don’t want to let the holidays down :-)

I’ll be back later with a run down of how the first day went.

 

A New kind of Muffin

Last night I left my husband & baby at home and went dancing with some of my girlfriends.  It was the longest I’ve yet to leave Madelyn but it was just what I needed.  Hubs took care of  the little one so that I could go to Zumba with some of my friends.  The class was killer and the instructor was awesome.  This is the first class I’ve taken in awhile without having my big baby belly and without having to modify too much-I forgot how challenging it could be.  It was also the first time I’ve taken it with friends-SO MUCH MORE FUN!

This morning I woke up and really wanted some eggs.  Madelyn was sound asleep so I used this time to get in the kitchen and get creative.  I was going to make little egg bakes in ramekin dishes but decided to make them in muffin tins instead.  That way, I could heat, grab and go with them throughout the week.  Being a new mom, you don’t have a lot of time to sit and enjoy a nice breakfast-you never know when they’ll wake up- so my mornings have consisted of a lot of gluten-free bagels, Luna protein bars and smoothies.

I was really happy with how this combo turned out.  The main ingredients are chopped kale, mushrooms and gouda.  They were pretty amazing and I’m looking forward to breakfast tomorrow :-)

Print This

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 c chopped mushrooms
  • 1/3 c chopped kale
  • 1/4 c milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 c shredded gouda cheese
  • 1 1/2 T flour (I used pamela’s gluten-free all purpose)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Whisk the eggs.  Add all the ingredients and stir in evenly.  Line a muffin tin with 10 liners and using an ice cream scooper, fill the muffin tins evenly.  Bake in oven for about 25 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

They were so easy and quick to make, that they might be making an appearance at Tuesday morning breakfasts when I go back to work :-)

The 1st Month-We Survived

Time can slow down at any point now.  I honestly cannot believe that Madelyn is one month old already.  I know it sounds cliche, but it seems like just yesterday we were on our way to the hospital.  Even though this bundle has been in our lives for a very short period of time, it’s hard to remember what life was like before her.

 This month has been one of the toughest of my life-mentally, physically & emotionally.  The first day we brought her home from the hospital she cried and cried.  I thought maybe the hospital screwed up and gave us the wrong baby!  Trying to figure out what she wanted based on her cries was hard in the beginning, but once I listened to my gut instinct (and to Madelyn of course) it got easier.  Even though this is my first baby & I’ve had lots of helped from experienced moms, no one knows your baby better than you.

Sleep. One of the hardest parts about month 1 has been getting used to the sleep deprivation.  Newborn babies sleep a lot, but what I overlooked is that their sleep is broken up into short spurts.  One night, Madelyn woke up almost every single hour.  As we’re getting into routine over here, her sleep is getting better and ranges from about 3-4 hours at a time during the night.  Win.

Eat. I was one of the lucky ones that was born with a baby that latched on 10 minutes after birth.  The process of getting her to breastfeed has been a breeze.  The act of breastfeeding is a different story.  I thought it would be simple and it really is now that I’m past the first few weeks.  My milk didn’t come in right away, so she just fed on colostrum for a few days.  I didn’t have a strong let down either, so I couldn’t even pinpoint the exact time of when my milk did actually come in.  One problem I had (and still struggle with) is having Madelyn stay awake long enough to get what she needs.  She gets to the breast and within 10 minutes she’s falling asleep.  In the beginning, I would just stop and let her sleep only to have her wake up 45 minutes later crying and hungry.  I felt like I was feeding her all day.  It became exhausting but I pushed through it.  Now, I’ve got tricks up my sleep to help keep her awake and nursing on both sides.  I also pump after I nurse in the morning and at her last feeding at night.  Sometimes I leave it for LC to give her if I run out and do errands.  I try to store & freeze at least 1/2 of what I pump so that I have some on back up for when I go back to work or when someone watches her.  My doctor did tell me what formula would be best to use, but as long as breastfeeding is going well, I’d like to keep that as a last resort.

Emotionally.  The transition into motherhood can be a difficult one.  You’re sleep deprived.  Your hormones are completely out of whack.  Your body is just not at all what it was before.  I’ve read other new mom bloggers that just make it seem like a cake walk and that they’ve got it all together.  I’ve cried a handful of times.  Both out of happiness and frustration.  I’ve yelled at my husband when he was only trying to help.  I’ve sat and cried in the shower.  I questioned myself as to whether or not I am doing a good job.  But I’ve also cried because I can’t believe the that I’ve been blessed with this little girl who brings me so much joy-who smiles at the sound of my voice as she’s waking up, who laughs in her sleep and who seems so eager to learn about the world around her.

What She loves.   The other day while we were eating dinner, Madelyn sat calmly in her chair.  I looked over at her and said to hubs, “I can’t believe she’s actually here.”  Despite the trials and tribulations of the first month, I thank God every day that we’ve been given a healthy, happy baby to take care of and nurture.  It amazes me that someone so small has such a big personality and knows what she wants.

  • She loves to move around and be worn in the Moby wrap.
  • The large balance ball has been a lifesaver for both gassiness and soothing.
  • She prefers to fall asleep on your chest as opposed to on her back in your arms.
  • She LOVES her vibrating chair and up until today, cried every time I tried to put her in her swing. Today, she fell right asleep.
  • The laugh she does in her sleep makes me laugh.
  • The smile she gets when she hears me calling her name as she’s waking up melts my heart.
  • Bath time relaxes her.  We gave her a bath yesterday and she almost fell asleep in the tub. I think we have a little water baby on our hands.
  • Her funny expressions make my day.

  • She loves to cuddle with you and will take her little hands and rub them against your chest, almost like she’s trying to give you a massage.
  • She enjoys being read to and instead of looking at the book, she stares up at me with those big blue eyes and I read to her.

Happy 1 month of life baby girl!  You have brought us more joy than I ever thought possible.  I’m looking forward to watching you grown into a happy, loving little person :-)

Fun Photo Friday-The Littlest Packer Fan

Last night in our house it was definitely the girls versus boy.  Despite how wonderful my husband is, his one major fault is that he’s a Chicago Bears’ fan.  We always have fun bantering back and forth about whose team is going to win.  When we found out we were pregnant, we went back and forth over what team our little one would cheer for.  I obviously won that argument :-)

When I was in the hospital a few weeks ago, hubs had to leave for a little bit to go to his fantasy football draft party.  When he returned, he came back with the cutest Packer cheerleader outfit from some of our friends.  It looked so big for her, I thought for sure we’d have to wait until later in football season for her to fit into it but I put it on her and it fit perfectly.

So far, the Packers are off to a winning start against the Bears.  I’m just happy that I’m setting her up for success and not disappointment…

Happy Friday!

A hint of Fall

The past three and a half weeks have been spent doing a lot of this…

and this…

Staring at and cuddling all day long with my blue-eyed peanut.  Watching her change and grow the past few weeks has been truly amazing.  We’ve been doing tummy time almost on a daily basis and her head and neck control seems really advanced for such a young age.  A few hours after I delivered her, she was laying on my chest trying to lift her head and look around.  She loves to see what’s going on around her.

This past week, I’ve been slowly trying to get to somewhat of a normal routine pre-Madelyn.  I went for a few power walks and did a low intensity 20 Zumba sesh on the Xbox (although it did not feel like low intensity).  I also made dinner twice last week.  Hubs and take out were responsible for the other 5 days.

Night one was maple glazed salmon, parmesan risotto and asparagus.

The second meal was bacon parmesan brussels sprouts and maple apple pork chops.  Last week, we got a touch of fall weather in Wisconsin and I cooked accordingly.  The apple, maple syrup and brown sugar baked pork chops were a hit.  The  drive thru line outside of Starbucks was longer than usual.  I suspect everyone was getting their pumpkin spice latte on.  As much as I wanted one, I wasn’t quite ready to treat myself yet.  Not with 80 degree weather the following day.  As much as I love the coziness that the fall weather brings, I’m not quite ready to embrace the season yet.  Sometimes I feel like holidays come earlier and earlier each year.

This week my grandparents are here from Arkansas visiting us and the baby.  My grandma brought along some gluten free peanut butter cookies, gf sugar cookies with pecans and a gluten free apple pie!  So good but definitely on a sugar overload this week.  She also made us a Mexican fiesta yesterday with chicken enchiladas and mole sauce, rice and beans.  My uncle came over yesterday and stayed for most of the day.  He just can’t get enough of little Madelyn.  She was crying and being really fussy yesterday so my uncle took her from me and rocked her right to sleep.  I have nicknamed him the baby whisperer :-) I think she was just a little overstimulated from all the excitement yesterday because tonight it’s just LC and me here with her and she’s being the perfect little angel.

I’m off to enjoy some quality time with my husband and catch up with some of my favorite blogs!  I hope you’re enjoying your evening.

Absent

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I just wanted to drop by and say hi and to inform everyone that life as a new mom is going well. I’m taking a little break from blogging to spend some time with my precious peanut and get to know her a little better :-) I’ll be back with some updates soon. Until then I leave you with a sneak peak from our newborn photo shoot.