Nick

Kara

2.28.2010

Pancake Sunday, 19 weeks, end of month


Here was pancake Sunday - same pancakes as last week for one batch, then I tried another batch of whole wheat vegan pancakes from the Clean Eating Mama's recipe. I love pancake Sundays! Send me your recipe to try!

I did not like these quite as much as I love Avery's pancakes, but they were good!




They needed something - so almond butter was good with them.
The apple/banana pancakes are good just by themselves. So yummy!

Here's both - the apple/banana in the back and whole wheat in the front.



Then for dinner, I made a veggie lasagna and whole wheat bread. This bread was really good and probably the first time that bread turned out for me perfectly. The funny thing is that the directions said to let it sit for 20 minutes and I let it sit for 2 hours while I was doing things. I hardly kneaded the dough, but it turned out great!



19 weeks -I hit 19 weeks yesterday - this is going really fast and I want it to slow down (I want the pregnancy to be done! but I am not ready to have a baby right now!)
This week I feel like I really hit my stride. I'm tired at night but not afternoons anymore, which is fine. I try to go to bed early! This week being hit with snow had some good things that came along with it: I found a new routine that I like better!

Monday: Swim
Tuesday: Run
Wednesday: Jillian (easy day)
Thursday: Run
Friday: Run
Saturday: Yoga and Jillian (easy day)
Sunday: Run

I ended up with my highest mileage in a while: 31.4 miles and it felt good! I only swam one day but it was nice to sleep later instead of getting up so early. The past few weeks I have been running Saturday and Sunday and since I sleep in on the weekends, I was kind of dreading running both days, so I may try this new schedule, and maybe throw in another day of swimming if I'm feeling it or go later in the day or on Saturday!

End of the month challenges: The food bill was decreased - I did well on that front and will continue to try to hit a lower budget in March. For fruits and veggies, I made a conscious effort but didn't count past day 2. Getting there!

2.26.2010

Another snow day?

All week I have been super motivated to cook things from what I have, and even to run!
This morning we were hit with more snow. The alarm was set for 5am to go swimming but I took a look outside and decided not to risk it (glad I did - the Y didn't open till 7!) I would've been so upset! So - I ran today and had a great run! My runs are day to day for sure and I feel like I get slower and slower each week - already. Usually I'm right around 10min/miles for this week. Today I was able to run the full hour under 10 min pace, woohoo! It's the small things!

So last night's dinner was inspired by Rachel Ray's show yesterday. I really am not a big fan of hers, and usually her food doesn't impress me all that much, but yesterday gave me some ideas. She was making Macaroni and Cheese, and anytime I see that when I'm pregnant, I want it. I remembered what she did on the show and just made up my own amounts.



I always forget to take the picture right when it comes out! Doh!

Broccoli Mac & Cheese

2 c multigrain pasta
1 bunch broccoli
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 c cheese
1/2 c cottage cheese
3 T. whole wheat flour
1 c milk
1 c veggie broth
1 garlic clove


First- boil water and cook until almost tender (it will get baked so don't cook all the way)
2 cups multigrain/whole wheat pasta

Meanwhile, steam one bunch broccoli until almost tender - about 6-7 minutes. Save some of the cooking water and puree it in a blender.

In a large lipped pan, saute

1 clove garlic in 2 T. butter + 1 T. olive oil. Add in 1 cup milk, 1 cup veggie broth, and as much of the broccoli puree as you can handle. Stir. Add 3 T. whole wheat flour + 1 T. flax and stir constantly. Last, add 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup cottage cheese into the sauce. Continue to stir until cheese melts. Add in the pasta and stir. It is delicious served right out of the pan, but you can add 1/2 cup more cheese and bake it for about 10 minutes so that the cheese melts and browns. For the last minute, place the dish under the broiler until top is browned! Yum! Nick had it without the last part of cheese. He loved it!




And last - 4 of my readers became Examiners! That's awesome- thank you! So I wanted to put the word out again - if you are into writing and want to make some extra cash doing so, check out examiner.com! My code is 11772.

2.25.2010

More bean patties & a site to check out

Jason from CSN stores contacted me about checking out the kids furniture website.
CSN stores is a network of tons of different stores and products. If you are on the market for baby goods, check out the link where you can find tons of brand name items in all different categories. Stay tuned for a giveaway and review of some food storage products for babies and toddlers.

And now for some food! For some reason I've been motivated to make different things. I think I'm bored now that Nick's party planning is over. His scrapbook and baby book are up to date. What's next?





So far, dinners this week have been really good and relatively easy.
Monday: Eggplant Bake
Tuesday: Kale Gratin w/ Beans
Wednesday: Chick Pea patties with sweet potato fries

I used the same recipe as the black bean sliders for these, but made them bigger, and used mostly chick peas. I also added in sunflower seeds! Try these out - they look dry, but you could always grill them in oil on the stovetop instead of baking them!

Chick Pea burgers
15 oz can or 2 c chickpeas/mixed beans
1/4 c wheat germ
2 T. flax (ground or seeds)
2 eggs (used the whole egg instead of whites)
1/4 c shredded cheese
cumin and cilantro
2 T. sunflower seeds
1 T. water

Place all ingredients in food processor! Process away until smooth. Add water if needed.
Form into patties and bake at 375 - 4-5 minutes per side. Yesterday I made a yogurt/avocado sauce to go with them.

Yogurt Avocado Sauce:
1/2 an avocado
2-3 T. yogurt

Mix it up, mush the avocado! Yum yum!

We are getting more snow! I am really ready for spring! Things to do with a one year old for some old time fun when snowed in?? Fill in the blank _____________.




2.23.2010

Eats, treats, the sippy cup war

One day I started taking pictures of everything that I was eating but never posted it. Here are some eats!



Quinoa w/ squash (nice to have pureed stuff around!),
agave, cinnamon and pb on top!


1/2 a balance bar (1/4 is pictured)
These are now out of my house for good!
TOo many ingredients and too processed.

Pear, yum!

whole foods duplex cookie & thin mint!


Dr Praegers! with 1/2 a slice of cheese and ketchup


Homemade snack bar -
wheat germ, agave, coconut, chocolate chip, maple syrup
flax


peppers, zucchini, avocado, chick peas, tofu and hummus/nutritional yeast
YUM - this was so tasty and I added in croutons with Ezekial bread :)

Now I basically only took pictures until mid afternoon and then forgot -
so any dessert that I ate isn't on here, as well as evening snacks and dinner.

Cooking for Nick is so enjoyable and fun these days -
he eats mostly whatever we are eating so I'll make extra effort to make things with veggies for us.
Whenever I am trying to make something in the kitchen he comes over and wants whatever it is.
I feel like he could eat ALL day long. I just have him eating 3 meals a day with the milk a few hours later before naps. Maybe I should put some snacks in there too but first I want to get the milk drinking down!

Nick really liked this kale gratin below!


Barley Kale Gratin (adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)
2/3 cup barley
1 large bunch kale
2 T. butter
3 T. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c vegetable stock
1/4 to 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Boil 1 quart water and cook the kale (pick leaves off of stems for cooking) for 8-10 minutes till tender. Drain the kale and puree with 1/4 c of the cooking water till smooth. Add the barley to 1 qt boiling water and simmer uncovered until tender, around 30 minutes.
The sauce w/ the kale


Added in the barley!

Preheat oven to 375, melt the butter in a small saucepan, whisk in the flour, then add veggie broth. Cook until thick - stir constantly. Combine all seasonings and transfer to a buttered baking dish.

Bake until browned on top, 30 minutes.

Ok - this picture does NOT do it any justice at all - it was REALLY tasty!
Kale is a super veggie!




Sippy Cup - we are transitioning from Bottle to sippy cup and today is day 3 no bottles. The first 2 days were kind of tough, Nick drank only about 8 ounces, maybe 10. Today he was up to 15 - we are getting there. Still, though, he's drinking them before naps and before bed (from the sippy cup). Once we get the sippy down, I think we can move to just drinking it throughout the day? How do you do it with the milk in the cup?

It's the last week of the month, and my grocery spending this month has been $351. I was hoping for 250-300, but I did reduce it. I will not shop the rest of the week! I'm going to keep trying this for next month and try to keep it at 250-300! I did well but had to spend a certain amount at Trader Joe's to get money back this month for a special offer.

2.21.2010

Milk Winner & Vegan/Gluten Free Pancakes

DHA Milk Winner!
#7: Lifestudent - send me your address so that I can send you the DHA chocolate milk coupon!
Pancake Sunday!
Today I tried these pancakes ala Avery and holy moly - they were awesome!!! I had been making all different kinds - protein pancakes - too dry, experimental pancakes, amazing grass pancakes - yea.. all were pretty terrible but these were AMAZING. And great for Nick too!

Avery's Vegan & GF Pancakes: (5 good sized or 8 minis)
In a blender (or if you are lucky enough, a Vita-Mix):

a chopped apple
a banana
1/4 cup almond or your choice of milk
1 T. flaxseeds

BLEND AWAY!







Obtain the rest of the ingredients and mix together while the blender mix sits for a few:
1/3 cup dry oatmeal
2 T. whole wheat flour (or flour of your choice)
1/4 tsp. baking powder
cinnamon
vanilla
1/4 cup almond milk (or choice milk)

Add these in and blend again. Let it sit for a few more minutes while you heat up the skillet.
Use coconut oil, or whatever you use on the pan so that it doesn't stick. I love coconut oil because a little bit seems to go a long way. Cook away! Avery suggested 4 minutes first side, 3 minutes second side.

Taste: you could taste the apple-banana flavors, very moist and sweet! No syrup needed! I did put some peanut butter on top. Haha.

THUMBS UP!! A must make.



NICK was a fan but he is really into dropping all his food on the floor!


2009 Marathoners - Nike store has tons of Chicago and NYC marathon shirts on clearance.

We are having a HEAT WAVE here - it's mid 40s!! I ran 3 miles outside today. It was sooo slow and I walked up the hill in my island circle here - with all of the snow I just ran 15 laps around my island - it felt SO good to be outside. I couldn't fathom another step on the treadmill. I can't wait for spring!

2.18.2010

The snow hangover

I've definitely been in a rut this week - I'm calling it the snow hangover. I'm ready for spring! Some days are definitely just harder than others, where I'm thinking back to my "old life" where I had a routine and got up and went to work and felt like I was accomplishing something. This usually happens while I am cleaning the floor for the 3rd time because Nick won't open his mouth to eat after a few spoonfuls, chucks his own spoon and sippy cup on the floor with food on it, then grabs a placemat from the table, and pulls everything to the floor, including 1/2 a container of blueberries. Oh man. How much easier would it be to just stand in the front of a room and teach kids about the Pythagorean theorem? I'll tell you: 100x easier. However, in the end, I know I'd regret that, and miss watching my baby grow up - I can't tell you how many new things he does everyday that are so cool. The little things, like him saying 'mama' when I go get him from his nap or get him out from the car, melt my heart.

A post I was thinking about was going to be about SLEEP. They reported that Bill Clinton after some heart surgery said he was going to sleep more and have less stress. I spend many days tired, but most nights I get 7-8 hours of sleep. If I go swimming, it is more like 6 hours but I feel that I make up for it by sleeping 9 hours on the weekend. How many hours of sleep do you get?
Do you feel that it is essential to your functioning? I know that if I do not get enough sleep, I need a nap - and I'm not a napper, but there have definitely been days where I've been up with Nick most of the night and then slept 2-3 hours during the day to catch up.

What else is going on?
  • Check out the DHA post from the other day. Most of you knew what it was, and I feel like I was in the dark!
  • Running and swimming are feeling good. I was reading my posts when I was around the same time with Nick, and I was definitely running more!
  • I feel the same way about maternity clothes as I did with Nick and I hate all my clothes! I think that I am getting bigger faster with #2. It was funny re-reading my posts from with Nick, I was seriously concerned about gaining too much weight.
  • My food shopping goal is doing great - luckily this is a short month, but I am on track! I will post about it at the end of the month.
  • My eat lots of fruits and veggies goal is being assisted by the green plant drink, juices, and jelly. Veggies are hard to get down!
  • I signed up for my 7th Broad Street Run coming up on May 2nd. I plan to walk/jog this year and just finish but I couldn't end my streak.
  • I am doing a 10 mile race at the end of March but haven't run 10 miles straight outside since the Philly marathon.

2.16.2010

DHA

DHA


DHA seems to be the new thing - my doctor gave me prenatal samples with DHA in them, and then I saw them in milk at the grocery store.

WHAT IS DHA?

DHA is a fatty acid, naturally occuring in some fish and:
  • For the developing fetus and infants, it is essential in brain functioning & nervous system development & visual abilities
  • supports brain, heart and eye health
  • starts accumulating in the 2nd trimester in baby's brain (Horizon site)

Pregnant women are now recommended to get 200mg DHA/ day.
It is said that it is hard for children to reach their daily value.


What do you think?
I had never heard of DHA until about 2 months ago, which means with Nick I did not take any supplements and since I do not eat fish, I probably did not have much of it, if any. Is it the new fad or trend or something just coming out that is important?

HORIZON DHA OMEGA 3
When I went on my coupon search a few weeks ago, there was a coupon for HORIZON DHA WHOLE MILK, and they had it at Whole Foods so I tried it for Nick's bottles.
I also tasted it myself, and it tastes no different than your standard organic whole milk. We were already buying their normal organic milk without DHA. I also came across it in SILK's soy milk, but I started taking in too much soy and stopped buying that.

Are you interested in trying Horizon's Chocolate Milk + DHA Omega 3? Leave a comment below telling me what you think about DHA - had you heard of it? What do you think?

Mike from Horizon sent me a free coupon to try it out, but I have been unable to find it locally, even at my Whole Foods.

I will mail one lucky winner(selected at random) a free coupon for the chocolate milk! I will pick and post on Friday Feb 19, my due date with Nick!

For more info on the milk and DHA, click here. Also check out Horizon products coupons here. You will have to register first.

2.13.2010

welcoming an old pal; new eats;walking baby

On my shopping trip this week, I picked up a few new eats: Trader Joe's green plant drink and Ezekiel bread. The juice has all kinds of fruits and veggies in it and the color isn't that appealing, but the taste was good - aftertaste was sweet. Helen recommended the Ezekiel bread which is flourless, organic, and made from grains and legumes. It is a complete protein, just like eating eggs and milk (from the website). It contains 18 amino acids. Helen was my Dana Farber teammate last year for Boston and if you check out her blog, she is 10+ years cancer free and training for Boston in 9 weeks! I wish I was training too! The bread is not as soft as your normal whole wheat bread, but it is tasty! Good for croutons and grilling.

On the left here, I received 8 POM juices from one of my favorite companies, POM. I'll remind you of the benefits - tons of antioxidants, improved blood flow, slows onset of prostate problems and on and on. It is tart and refreshing! Check out my full post on that here. It rocks. And helps me to get in some fruit, along with green plant juice !





And then - it had been a while since I purchased store bought peanut butter. Well, I bought Trader Joe's natural creamy and I'm back in love. Welcome back, my peanut butter love! I spent yesterday eating PB & J on crackers, and adding the peanut butter to everything I was eating. I don't need it - definitely not as bad as before, but it's so good! Love the creamy non thick texture (my homemade ones seem to be dry).

Then! Have you heard about the protein ice cream recipes going around? I first saw this on HEAB's blog where I then found Mae's blog and I am impressed as ever. I had been making smoothies which were turning out to be like icees at 7-11. I asked Mae for some advice and my "ice cream" (scroll down to the bottom of post for Mae's recipe) was delicious this morning for breakfast! I put it atop a delicious whole wheat/sweet potato/peanut butter flax pancake with a dollop of cream cheese (one of my latest loves). The "ice cream" to me is like a mousse consistency and tasted like cocoa.




Here was my recipe adapted from Mae's with what I had on hand:
  • 4 cubes of ice
  • 1 tbs protein powder (hemp chocolate)
  • 1.5 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp xanthen gum
  • 1/4 cup sweet potaton
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c almond milk + 1/2 cup skim milk
Toppings: unsw. coconut,chocolate chips and a dollop of peanut butter and squirt of agave.



I made Bill some non - wheat pancakes with peanut butter agave on top for some love.
Pancakes:
  • 1/2 cup flour of your choice
  • cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 c sweet potato
  • 1 TBS ground flax
  • 1/2 c milk (almond + skim was tasty)


And last, HUMNUT(cheese) sauce ala Mae. I took a scoop of hummus, a tbs or so of nutritional yeast and water, mixed them together and added them to my black bean burgers this weekend for a delicious nutritious treat. If you haven't tried the humnut sauce yet - delicious. I've been adding to my tortilla pizza every Friday!



Nick walks! 1 year and 1 week old - he took his first steps on Saturday night just before we headed out to dinner. We thought his balance was great so we have been playing "Pass Nick" - usually he would just give into us and think it was funny and be silly. This is from yesterday - he was so happy.'

2.10.2010

another snow day

seriously? First we got dumped with 2 feet over the weekend and now another 2 feet ??
Couldn't leave the house today! Good thing for exercise TV and the treadmill right?
Nick was not a huge snow fan - but he's getting used to it.



I took the opportunity to make some black bean sliders - which Nick decided to just drop the pieces on the floor. He wasn't into them, don't you love that when you take the time to make something?
And Averie/HeAb's Maple Nut Oaties. These were very very sweet - I would reduce the sugar (maple syrup and agave nectar) next time by half.


I liked reading everyone's comments about eggs - I definitely need to clean up my act and start buying farm fresh or cage free. It was a big step for me to even eat eggs about a year or 2 ago - I was anti eggs for a long time, they just grossed me out and as a vegetarian I didn't want to be into them. Many of you said eat the yolk! And I don't know why I skip it - cholesterol? Fat?
I want the proteins from the whites but what all is in that yolk? I haven't had a whole egg in a very very long time!

Left over cake, left over cookies - there is way too much sugar in this house, and we're stuck here! Brutal.

2.09.2010

Breakfast for dinner


Had a few veggies with dinner - spinach and roasted peppers in my egg white omelet. I put the omelet in a flat out wrap. Yum yum! Food Buzz sent me a coupon for a dozen Eggland's Best eggs. I had had them before but didn't know their benefits. Here are some of the benefits from their carton:

They have higher levels of nutrients than standard eggs: vitamins A, D, E, B2 and B12,
and lower levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. The eggs don't taste any different, but with all of the extra benefits - I'll take it!

I have been buying huge 3 dozen egg cartons when I go to the market, since I eat egg whites and bake often. I have definitely cut back eggs and used flax eggs (1 tbs flax + 1/4 cup water) for much of my baking when possible, but one thing I have been questioning is whether I should be purchasing organic eggs. Do you buy organic eggs? Eggland's Best makes them - but I feel like buying organic when I am only going to eat the whites is a waste! However, I should probably keep everything consistent.

Challenges - how am I doing

I'm going to be honest - the challenge of eating certain servings of each food group - not happening. I failed that by day 3. I am trying to eat more fruits and veggies, but trying and happening are two different things.

The food shopping challenge is going really well. It's almost the 10th, I didn't shop this week and hope not to - I'm still doing the meal planning, and trying to use what is here.

Swimming has been awesome - running has been ok. My knees are definitely weak along with my ankles and I'm slacking off on yoga. I haven't rejoined my old gym though I keep thinking about it. By the time I take action it will be spring and probably a waste. I would totally pay for yoga by class I went to but they don't offer that option. Speaking of spring, I can't wait! We have about 2 feet of snow on the ground and 12-18 more inches are headed this way. Oh man!

2.07.2010

Nick's birthday party


Nick had a fun party today. Here are some pictures!


Favors for the kids - totally forgot to hand them out.


breakfast laughing at him so he'd wear his hat


singing

Faceplanting - again


He got a big boy chair and lots of gifts



My main goal was that I was going to enjoy everyone and not get caught up worrying about people. I mostly wanted to hang out with Nick and his baby buddies and parents. It was great! I did not feel like I missed anything. Next time I would just ask someone to take a video, I forgot!

2.06.2010

Nick's first birthday!



The Nor'easter of '10
2 feet of snow




Well - we got around 2 feet of snow so the party was rescheduled, but we had fun with the little guy today. It was nice to have him just to ourselves actually. Around lunch we sang to him and he had the banana muffin with the chocolate/cream cheese frosting. I think he ate all of the frosting off and totally dove into the muffin!



Back in October or November, Mama Simmons had posted a video for Moana's birthday so I've been working on one of them ever since. It is so long (20 min!) but here it is!




Watching Food, Inc now - I feel so bad for the animals. :( Yuck.