Protein Packed Sunflower Seed Butter

You might not know this, but Carl and I both have a LOT of food allergies; its made eating a bit difficult, but it also made me  try and heal our bodies from the inside out.  Over the years I’ve experimented with a lot of diets and healing foods  to see what really works and what’s just a myth. Somehow I managed to basically “cure” our allergies.  A lot of detoxing and fermented food, taking vitamins religiously and never getting too hungry has played an important role in our recovery and healing process.  One of the most important things seemed to always lead to a healthy gut equals a healthy body.

Carl never really had a severe allergy towards peanuts ( his throat would slightly close up and he would get hives), but we found with a healthy gut and eating organic peanuts he wouldn’t have the same problem as what he would have when consuming normal peanuts.  I’m not a DR and I don’t suggest you start messing around with your allergies,  rather work around your allergies or experiment with allergy pills nearby, but don’t take my advice, do what works for you.

I think its so fun to try and come up with alternative ingredients and figuring out having your favourite meals without a risky allergy prone ingredient.

In comes : Sunflower Butter

Sunflower butter is an amazing alternative to peanut butter, easy to make and packed with so many nutrients.  I buy sunflower seeds in bulk to make all sorts of wonderful things. Its way cheaper than other seeds, not to mention that roasted sunflower seeds makes an amazing snack.

The better your food processor the creamier you will get your sunflower butter.  I use a Braun food processor, its not as expensive as other processors, but its really powerful and gets the job done.

BENEFITS OF SUNFLOWER SEEDS

  1. Supports healthy Thyroid function: the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating body temperature, heart rate, the production of protein, and controlling the rate of your metabolism.  Keeping your thyroid happy plays an important role in a healthy body.
  2. Helps with muscle cramps:  Sunflower seeds contain a high number of magnesium that helps ease muscle cramps.
  3. Helps ward of diabetes
  4. Improves skin and hair.  Sunflower seeds contains vitamin E which helps give your skin a healthy glow.
  5. Helps to prevent cancer due to the high antioxidant content.

SUNFLOWER SEED BUTTER

Ingredients

  • 2 cups lightly roasted sunflowers, The lightest brown you can manage.
  • 4 Tbsp light tasting oil like canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 – 2 tbsp sweetener to taste
  • 1/4 cup protein powder of choice

Directions

Place the roasted sunflower seeds in a food processor.

Start processing.

The mixture will go from a flour consistency to a clumpy mess.  When it stops moving pour in the oil and scrape the sides.

Continue blending until desired consistency is reached.

Add the remaining ingredients and blend one more time.

Store in a jar and eat like you would any peanut butter.

 

 

Picnics in the Gardens Pt 2

A sleeping baby and a beautiful view is all you need for a romantic picnic lunch.  Arren seemed to love sleeping outside in the shade.  It might have been the cool breeze or the soft little bed we made for him, but this guy had a lovely nap.

We went a little overboard with the things we took with and managed to not take the one thing that we really needed….a CARRIER!  The stroller was a bit too big for some areas and there were a lot of areas without a pathway that we couldn’t explore, there is always next time right.

The stroller did make a perfect little push cart for all the stuff we didn’t want to carry. I felt like I got a great workout pushing the stroller around.  I even tried running up the hill while pushing the buggy just to get it over with.  It was such a bad idea! My dress got caught on the wheel and I nearly face planted into the ground! I learned my lesson about patience!

 

As the day went on Arren started losing more and more clothes, if we stayed any longer he would probably have left in just his diaper!

No outing is complete without a poopslosion and lifting a naked baby trying to get everything off him right?

Who can be mad at that face?

Birthday’s are way better with a squishy baby around!

 

Picnics in the gardens Pt 1

Nothing says it’s party time like a picnic in Kirstenbosch gardens right? well throw in a cute little baby and you’ve got yourself a party.

For Carl’s Birthday we decided to head to Kirstenbosch botanical gardens for a fun little family picnic.  It didn’t start off that great as we had a crying baby that just did NOT want to be in his stroller at all, but when we decided to carry him he started cheering up.  We somehow chose the worst route to go on while holding a baby and pushing a stroller that seemed to have everything we’ve ever owned in it, UP hill.  Who needs resistance training when life does such a good job at it.

We found a shady spot under a big old tree to make our little home  and to make a little nest for our sleeping angel. While Arren had his  cat nap, we got to dig into our picnic feast.  I’m just loving this stage of Arren’s life, he just brings a smile to everyone’s face that sees him, he’s all smiles now and is the happiest when he gets a diaper change in nature.  He really turned up the cute factor while being naked in public.  We might have a nudist on our hands here.

Sitting in between the mountains with our little Arren in our arms felt like the perfect way to celebrate Carl’s birthday.  We loved it so much we ended up staying until after 6pm!

 

As the day went by Arren lost more and more clothes, but he did so well with his first full day outing.

a birthday post

Yesterday we celebrated Carl’s 30th Birthday! As I was going through the photos of our full day of adventures yesterday, my heart just swelled to 500 times its normal size.

Marrying this guy was one of the smartest decisions I could ever make, not just because he’s so incredibly handsome and seems to be getting better and better with age, but because with him I’ve laughed harder than I’ve ever laughed, he’s seen me at my worst ( he caught our son when he was born), he’s the first person I want to tell things to.  He loves me unconditionally even when I act completely emotional.  He’s kind, loving and just amazing.  I’ve witnessed him turn into the best father I’ve seen, he was born to be a father.  He’s just so patient and kind.  Seeing him with Arren makes me fall deeper in love with him every day!

He’s always up for an adventure even now we end up pushing a stroller with all our crap in it around while carrying a baby around, because Arren wants to see the whole world.

Thank you for being my best friend, the best father and an amazingly funny and talented person.  I love you so much. Happy Birthday Carl.

My people

Happy St Patrick’s day! I can’t believe its been a year since we were in Dublin for St Patrick’s day.  Here is a flash back photo of of one of my favourite St Patrick’s day photos in Ireland.

These two guys just screamed St Patrick’s day to me in a see of green, they really stood out.

It’s so strange how fast things change in a year.   Last year we were walking the beautiful streets of Ireland and today I’m covered in spit up and being kicked, by the most intense baby kicker in the world.

but

I wouldn’t change it for a thing, these two together make my heart burst with love and make all these earthly trials worth it, because being with them is just the best!

Dirty Dancing and Bombay Nights

Carl and I have mastered the art of baby entertaining while enjoying dinner.  We’ve also mastered the art of eating with one hand if Arren isn’t in the mood for our lame parent entertainment.  Itis strange how you somehow turn into the lamest person you’ve ever known as soon as you have a baby? The lame parent initiation seems to come as soon as you see dirt or dried up milk on your babies cheek and somehow without thinking you use spit to clean it off.  It feels like a distant memory the days where I was cool and didn’t use my own saliva in an attempt to clean my son!  Just bring on the butterscotch candy, cough drops and I will be ready for the next step into lame parenthood!

At least we will be lame together!

We take dates in any shape in form these days, we don’t need to get dressed up to enjoy each other’s company. We decided to make an Indian inspired dinner and really get Arren involved in our romance, because what’s more romantic than pretending to be Patrick Swayze and lift him like in dirty dancing.  The only thing missing was for time of your life to be playing in the background.

Just look at that posture! Arren’s got a promising career waiting for him in baby dancing.

Nothing says I’m I’m a dad like a burp cloth over the shoulder.

Here’s to all the cool kids that turn into lame parents! Its fun and worth it!

P.S we will have an Arren free date on Monday! My sister has been begging to baby sit him and seeing as its Carl’s birthday on Monday we decided to take her up on that over.  We might just go home and take an uninterrupted nap for an hour or go really crazy and get a bagel!

Fry dates with a baby

Friday isn’t called “fry”day for nothing and what better day to go on a little spontaneous date than Friday! When you get fries with that, you know it’s going to be a good day.  Our first tiny night time date was of course with little Arren, because what kind of date would be baby free?  Because right now he might be in college before we go on a one on one date, but when your baby brings all the fun and cuteness to the table how can you not want to take him everywhere.

While waiting for our fries we walked around the little pier and admired all the little lights.  Arren was mesmerised by all the lights and the joys of a night time outing.

The best part of our little date was how well Arren slept that night! More dates please!

Indian Red Lentil Fritter Protein Bowl

You know what gets me excited? Bowl food.  The best kind of food requires a bowl! Cereal, Ice cream, soup and pudding just to name a few.  It’s also just so convenient, take stuff you have and just dump it into a bowl, garnish with some parsley and voila, you have yourself a fancy meal.

Since becoming pregnant I’ve become the messiest eater in the world, nothing seems to want to make it into my mouth or stay on a plate, at least now I don’t have the big belly that things can just bounce off of.  Bowl food makes things a little less messy and its harder to get a baby foot in a bowl than it is getting it on a plate.

Obviously you can see that my love for bowl food runs deep! My go to recipe is my amazing falafel bowl recipe, but when I don’t have tahini on hand I love my Indian inspired bowl.

This bowl is filled with grains, legumes and a whole lot of vegetables, that’s all you need for an amazing protein bowl recipe anyways, right, but this one gets topped with a wonderful nectarine sauce to balance out all the delicious flavours that this recipe consists of.  The yum factor is over the top!

INDIAN RED LENTIL FRITTER PROTEIN BOWLserves 4

Ingredients

Red lentil Fritters

  • 3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed and soaked in a cup of water for 3 – 4 hours or overnight
  • 1 cup spinach, washed
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or more according to your taste
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • salt and pepper to taste, I’m quite heavy handed with my salt to really get a taste going
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • oil for frying

Roasted Carrots and Beetroot

 

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large beet peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp fresh turmeric chopped
  • half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Turmeric Rice

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of water

Nectarine dressing

  • 1 nectarine, chopped
  • 3/4 cup coconut yogurt  or yogurt
  • zest of half a lemon
  • half a lemon juiced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp liquid sweetener

Assembly

  • chopped red cabbage
  • Chopped fresh coriander

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C /  425 degrees F

Red lentil fritters

Drain the red lentils well and rinse.  Place all the ingredients into a blender and grind until smooth-ish, with some grit to them.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.  Form little 1 tbsp disk with your hands and drop into the oil.

Fry until golden brown on both sides.

Place on paper towel.

Roasted Carrots and Beetroot

Mix everything in a bowl until well covered and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until tender.

Turmeric rice

Add the oil to a pan and saute the garlic, ginger and turmeric.

Add the rice and water and season with salt.  Stir.  Its ready when the water is evaporated.

Nectarine yogurt dressing

Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth

Assembly

In a bowl add 1/2 cup of rice, roasted vegetables, chopped red cabbage, red lentil fritters.  Drizzle with dressing and garnish with coriander.  Serve

Musings of First time Parents – 2 Months

It feels like it was just yesterday that I wrote my musings for the first month! Nothing makes you realise how fast time goes by like a baby, before having Arren a month didn’t feel like such a big deal, but now when I see all the milestones we go through on a monthly bases as humans I feel more grateful for the time I have in this earthly life.

A lot has happened this month;  The best thing that happened this month is definitely the fact that Arren finally likes his dad! I think we finally wore him down with all our intense ” You will like your father” techniques! Hey, it worked! Everyday just keeps getting better with this guy!

MUSINGS OF FIRST TIME PARENTS – 2 MONTHS

  • We’ve figured out how to bounce Arren to sleep in a shorter amount of time.  It might look weird to people, but hey! It works! It also  causes slight cramping instead of one long cramp from an hour of  “normal” bouncing.
  • You wont know how to stand still without your baby in public.  I start bounce standing when talking to people now.
  • Going out with a baby means taking everything you own ,because you don’t know if you will need it or not.
  • Being late will just become the norm.  Even if you get up really early, have everything ready a poopslosion can turn into an impromptu bath time.
  • Making it to church at 9am is a distant memory.  Things just take longer and its okay, soon we will figure out how  to leave the house before 11:30.
  • Arren can go from a happy smiling baby to a sad baby within a minute.  Babies are bipolar.
  • Everything is worth it, because of that amazing little person in your arms.  The cute baby smiles, giggles and coos will make your heart melt.
  • Why is there vomit on everything???
  • Arren is more engaged now and loves to play.
  • A more wakeful baby also means more time to figure out why he’s crying.
  • Arren went to his first funeral this month and I saw first hand the comfort a baby can bring to everyone around them.
  • You wont believe how many photos you take.

 

2 Months with Arren Yuki

Another month has just flown by and all of a sudden Arren doesn’t even seem like a baby anymore! He’s grown so much and is getting spunkier each day.  I just can’t believe how much I love this little weirdo.  He’s been having longer periods of wakefulness, he really uses this time well, trying to be the cutest baby he can possibly be.

We’ve been trying to take him out more, but boy, we still look like deer in the headlights.  We usually have a whole lot of things in our hands that we don’t end up using, but hey we are slowly getting into a rhythm as a family of three.

This guy is such a tall baby, he doesn’t even seem like a baby anymore he’s so tall! He’s growing rapidly and I just keep wondering where did my tiny little baby go?!  I’m breastfeeding Arren Yuki exclusively and things are going great.  This guy has been a natural from the beginning he’s had a great latch and with help from my midwife, we mastered breastfeeding from the beginning.  I’ve found out Arren is allergic to gluten,  so I’ve taken gluten out my diet now.  I didn’t have that much gluten before, but I did have a piece of toast here and there, and almost everything seems to have surprise gluten in it.

I’m really happy that I kept exercising and eating healthy during pregnancy, its played such an important role in my postpartum recovery.  I’m still trying to get moving and actually do stuff, but  most of the time Arren doesn’t want anything to do with that nonsense, he just wants to be held and cuddled.  He doesn’t even like being used as my exercise equipment! I still use him as a weight, when he’s not looking; shhhhh, don’t tell him.  I’ve started sneaking downstairs in the morning to do a quick workout.  I’m loving the tone it up workout series.  It’s such a great start to my morning and gets me pumped to carry around a growing baby the whole day!

ARREN’S 2 MONTH UPDATE

  • This little guy is all smiles and giggles lately.  It’s been really fun trying to get him to giggle.  He really brings out my silly side.
  • Hes kicking away a storm.  When he gets excited he starts kicking vigorously.  It’s the funniest thing ever, it looks like he’s trying to run away.
  • He loves being carried looking over the shoulder, he holds my arm so nicely while he looks at the world in awe.  He uses his other hand to steer me by my hair like I’m a horse.
  • He’s been really liking the baby in the mirror lately, he hated the baby in the mirror before and would scream at himself.  I think he saw the other baby as competition.
  • All the cooing! He coos all the time and one of his coos sounds exactly like Hello! It’s just the most amazing thing.  We’ve decided he should start a baby band called The Coos with his baby friends.
  • Everything goes into his mouth.  He’s started putting everything he can pick up into his mouth.  We got him this cute little crinkling lion and the first thing he did with it was give him a little taste.  We’ve also fooled him into taking his pacifier like that.  If he puts it into his mouth by himself he doesn’t hate it that much.
  • The witching hour here is more like the witching hours! between 5 – 7 this guy just seems to reach his limit of being overstimulated, grumpy and sleepy or maybe he’s just sick of seeing my face and looks forward to seeing his dad.  Either way, it’s hard!
  • He’s starting to sleep better at night, he doesn’t need to feed as much as he used to.  This guy sure knows the difference between night and day.  He gets grumpy if we don’t start winding down and take him upstairs to the room for his bedtime routine.  It’s like he’s got a little watch on him.
  • He smiles at everyone.  I feel like we have to work so hard for a smile and then wham! A new person just looks at him and a smile happens.  It’s really unfair!

This guy is such a little joy to be around! Watching him grow is just amazing.