My home birth story : The Fast Birth of Arren Yuki

The birth of Arren sure will be a memorable one.  This little guy has had spunk since inside the womb.  From taking his sweet time to get out of the breech position, making his mommy crawl around on a carpet every day, doing obscene poses to nudge him into the right position.  He eventually decided to flip into the right position for birth after that it was all smooth sailing until my due date and he decided  that he was just so comfy in the womb that he just did not want to come meet us! This little guy has some serious attitude and we just love him for it.

My due date came and went, and I started realising, that baby will come when baby is ready! I tried all the little labour inducing tricks, with no luck at all and decided to just be patient.  Until….the new year came rolling in and I still had no baby?! Even my midwife was getting worried and asked if it was time we tried the castor oil method.  I was really apprehensive of taking castor oil, because I just wanted baby to be completely ready to meet us and not have any problems once he was out.  The night before we saw and felt the baby doing his practice breathing, and I just felt like taking the castor oil would just not be right.  We scheduled an appointment with the midwife for the next day, but I just knew that baby would be here soon.

On 2 January 2017 we watched a show in bed and fell asleep.  I was actually having such a lovely sleep dreaming about essential oils when at 2:05 am 3 January,  I woke up to my water having broken.  Man, it was such a weird feeling.  I just remember getting woken up and saying “oooh”.  Carl woke up ( hes been on high alert for weeks and every sound I made would put him in “It’s  go time” mode) and asked me whats wrong, as I walked to the loo,  I say walk, but it was more of a weird wobble, trying not to dirty everything in the beginning…I told him my water broke, we both could just not stop smiling as we knew it was baby time soon.  I decided to take a shower and get myself cleaned up as I prepared for what I thought would be a marathon labour.

We went downstairs had some tea, while I prepared snacks and treats for the midwives and Carl.  At this point I had no contractions…..As we talked, while drinking tea, I kept bouncing on my exercise ball and then….my water broke again……….this time with even more force…..I was so shocked, firstly because I just changed my clothes and secondly because my water broke again?!

I went upstairs to go change again and ran down only to have MORE water come out…..at this point I just couldn’t believe how much water was in my body…. and how much clothes I’ve gone through without any contractions.  At 3:15 am contractions started.  I downloaded this contraction timer app and it was just the best thing ever! It gave Carl something to do, without me hating on him for asking stupid questions.  We called our midwife and we all decided she could wait a little bit before coming over..I could still easily talk through contractions and we were all preparing for the long haul.

I asked Carl to bring me two blocks of ice I ate one without a problem and threw the other one at Carl because it wasn’t a good size…..Yeah, labour brings out the monster in you.

The contractions were getting more and more intense. so I decided to get some relief from the pain in the shower….at one point I wanted to live in the shower, we called our midwife and told her its time to start heading over.  I still didn’t feel like I was going to have the baby any time soon.

Soon after that everything started feeling way more intense, I remember thinking if I still have 5 – 12 hours left of this labour I’m just not going to make it, the sweet, sweet release of painkillers were looking pretty good to me right then.  I kept thinking transition would be way more intense. so I didn’t even realise I was in the transition stage at that point.

Carl called the midwife again at that point because he was getting freaked out by my intense labour grunts……..I felt an insane need to push and felt down only to feel baby’s head.

I felt my entire body felt relieved and I just had this natural instinct that washed over me.  As I shouted at Carl that the baby is here.  He decided it was time to phone the midwife again to tell her what I said.  I rushed out of the shower and felt like I needed to push.  I pushed down once and felt the baby’s head coming out, I kept thinking I’m not stopping until his head is out.  I screamed at a shocked Carl to get a towel as he ran the wrong way,  I shouted again that its behind him.  I told him to get ready for the baby as I gave one more push.  Carl caught baby Arren at 4:20 am.

We were both so shocked at what just happened that we just sat there looking at our perfect baby that had a good cry and stopped as soon as he was in my arms.  We just sat there crying saying how beautiful he is for what felt like an eternity……after the shock wore off I realised I was in a squat position not knowing what to do now…..we were both trying to figure out the placenta cord and if I could sit on it or not.  We decided that staying in that position was safer.

Carl went to open the door for the midwives and a whole wave of relieve washed over me they instantly made me feel calm and relaxed.  I was so happy to see them because I just didn’t know what to do next….I mean you plan for your baby not the placenta?

They helped me get up, made the bed extra comfy for me and baby and got us settled.  They gave me angelica drops to help get the placenta out, but I was just so done with pushing.  I was on one chilled out boat that would have ripped out the placenta at this time just so I wouldn’t have to push anymore.

I got into the squatting position and the placenta just dropped out.

He came out a whopping 3.89kg/8 pounds! 55 cm /21 inches tall and a head size that felt way bigger of 35 cm.  He also got a 10/10 on his apgar score! Our healthy little chub monkey.

Hes just been pure bliss to have around.  Its been hard at times, but everything is just worth it to see his little face.

We decided on the name Arren Yuki, before we ever started trying to have a baby.  We actually have names ready for all our future children.  Yeah we are those people!  Arren means mountain warrior and Yuki means snow in Japanese.  Our little baby was conceived in Ireland and the mountains that surround this beautiful city made our hearts race, and finally made us feel like we found the perfect home for us, in the most beautiful country to us.  We chose Yuki as his second name because we were looking for snow all over Dublin and finally found it walking through Tick Knock forest, it was around that time we conceived little Arren. Japanese people also believe that your name reveals a part of your soul so our little snowflake will always be something special to us.

I never want to forget the day my heart grew so much bigger and that’s why I’m sharing it here.

P.S eating 6 dates a day really did give me a fast labour.

P.P.S If you’re looking for the most amazing midwife and assistant in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, the world.  You should definitely contact Marianne at spiritual birth! From the beginning she made me feel at ease and helped me have an amazing pregnancy and birth.  From what she suggests you eat during pregnancy to all her helpful tips on supplements she was just amazing.  Check out her website here.

Date Energy Bites

If you know me you  know I hate gluttony, its just one of my pet peeves, I’m all about moderation and eating a healthy diet that’s light on the planet; I want to leave behind a light footprint on the planet.  As light as I can in this day and age.  You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, and why I’m talking about this on a date recipe?  Well, it all started with Tim Noakes.  Man, I don’t know the guy, but boy do I dislike him.  If you don’t know who he is he created the banting diet.  A diet I feel is not environmentally light and is just really damaging to the planet.  After receiving a cookbook of this guy as a gift and trying to see if there is actually anything I would make in the book, I just got more irritated.  I’ve made a few banting recipes for my parents in law who are on this diet, and I just hated it.  Its so heavy on dairy and meat, it even made Carl sick when he ate it.  I mean 3 cups of cheese, mixed with another cup of soft cheese all mixed in with an insane amount of eggs and just to top it all off lets just add a truck load of meat, I don’t know if its just me, but that does NOT sound healthy to me.  I mean, hello cholesterol?  As I was flipping through this cookbook, wondering whats wrong with this guy, I came across a date ball recipe.  I stopped because you know I didn’t think date balls required a lot of ingredients.

Boy, was I wrong!

As I went through the ingredients list, my anger for this man just reached a level I didn’t think  it could reach.  Eggs in date balls? Cream in Date balls? Why does everything have to contain eggs with this guy! I don’t think eating such a large animal product diet is good for the planet, we all share this planet and  I think his diet is so popular here, because people here don’t want to eat consciously and think about where their food came from.  The idea of skipping meat for one meal is impossible to some.  Yes, you will lose weight on a gluten free sugar free, high fat and meat diet, but what about your environmental impact.  Okay! Okay! rant over.  I’ve just been mulling about this for so long and felt like I Just needed to get it off my chest.  So lets get on to this recipe.

Medjool dates are just the best thing to ever come out of nature.  Its natures delicious candy, that I now believe really helped me with my short labour time ( 1 hour and 5 minutes).  These little energy bites actually got created thanks to my intense labour preparation.  I was expecting the standard 6 hours at least labour, so for weeks I was preparing little energy boosters to keep Carl and my midwives going.  During the last couple of weeks of waiting for my baby to arrive ( better late than never I suppose), I was starting to get a little tired of waiting and craved a whole lot of comfort food.  Lamingtons was one of those cravings.  I was out of gluten free flour and really didn’t feel like baking and decided medjool dates are yum, but could be yummier.  Anything dipped in chocolate pushes even the most boring recipes over the edge.

These are really easy to prepare, the hardest thing is making a double boiler to melt some chocolate or you can just use a microwave, will keep your energy up and give you the boost you need with a whole lot of delicious to go with.

DATE ENERGY BITES – 10 bites

 

Ingredients

  • 10 soft medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, the darker the better. We like 85% – 90%
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 10 roasted almonds

Directions

Place an almond in every medjool date.

Place the dates in the freezer for 5 minutes, it will make the chocolate stick easier.

Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl and microwave until soft.  Remove and stir until completely melted.

Dip the dates into the chocolate, get it completely coated and dip in coconut flakes, get it completely coated.

Place on plate and chill in the fridge until set.

I tried these with different toppings like chia seeds, with just the chocolate and goji berries, but the coconut flakes one is my favourite.  Feel free to experiment until you find a topping you just can’t get enough of.

He’s HERE!

We’ve been in newborn baby bliss for almost two weeks! Time really is flying…taking care of the cutest little addict around, pooping himself and puking all over us, has just been the best. Sometimes really tiring, but little Arren Yuki knows he owns our hearts and we will just do anything for him.  Like never putting him in the bassinet because he just hates it so much.  I never in my wildest dreams thought a bassinet would bring someone such unhappiness, you would think its made out rusty nails or something? Its not, its all comfy and wonderful, but being held in mommy’s bony arms all day is just way better.  I’m enjoying this time being confined to the bed or couch, being taken hostage by the cutest little heart thief around.  He only needs me for such a short amount of time, so I’m just trying to soak in all this newborn baby goodness, while I can.

During this pregnancy and now postpartum I’ve realised that people just generally suck.  People tend not to listen to how you want to raise your child, and feeling disrespected all the time is apparently just the norm.  Carl and I both feel like no one cares to listen what we’ve  said and have felt a little to a lot disrespected.  I think its mostly just the fact that no one actually listens anymore and people make up versions of reality in their head that suits their tastes (that makes them feel better).  Our little family means everything to us and we just want to give Arren all the opportunities we never received.   I want Arren to live a happy life knowing he can be whoever or whatever he wants to be.  He can love who ever he wants without me judging him, and knowing I will always listen completely to what he has to say, I never want him to feel like he can’t talk to me about his worries.  I will never tell him to do what I say not what I do, I wan’t him to see the good and learn from that.  This little monster has filled my heart with so much joy.

Sometimes you just have to take the reigns of your own life and do what you think is best for your family.  Carl and I both discuss everything in great detail and weigh all our options before we make decisions.  It feels good to be with an intelligent, strong minded man that voices his thoughts and researches everything like crazy.  Hes already such a good father to our son and the fact that hes been such a big part of this pregnancy ;never missing an appointment and being so proud of little Arren already is just a joy to watch.  I can’t wait to see the man our little baby becomes with such a lovely dad showing him the ropes and I can’t wait to see Carl grow more and more in his father role.

Here’s like a million more photos of Arren, if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen some of them there.

^^ Hes always just staring at things.

^^ Making cute faces.

^^ Or being utterly serious.

^^ Sometimes he just wonders. what the hell is mommy doing.

^^ Or he thinks hes home alone.

^^ This was when he was 2 – 3 days old, check out my beautiful knotted hair, thanks to sleep deprivation and not being able to take a bath.

^^ Gas never looked so cute.

^^ 1 day old and I was already rocking the hair knot.

 

 

Chocolate Pregnancy Shake

Yes, I’m still pregnant and after a very positive midwife appointment I’m feeling really good again.  Baby is in a good position, I’m healthy, baby is not too big and the midwife and I both decided that baby should come when the baby is done developing and is ready to face the big scary world.  While I wait I’m just going to get enough sleep, meditate and go for walks until baby is ready to meet us.

I feel healthier than ever during this pregnancy, I’ve really been making a conscious effort to eat healthy, avoid anything that doesn’t  make me feel like the glowing pregnant woman I deserve to be and just give my baby the best food I can possibly give him/her.  I’ve mostly just been craving sweet delicious things this pregnancy, which has been strange for me, because I’m more of a savoury kind of gal, but I felt like a fruit junky and have had weird cravings for donuts and cake.  You don’t know how strong you are until you prove to yourself that you WONT touch that cake.  To keep my sugar cravings  in control, I came up with the most delicious medjool date chocolate shake, filled with good for you ingredients, protein and all those yummy dates that’s suppose to help shorten your labour,  whats not to love and I mean it just tastes so good.  Way better than the best chocolate shake I’ve ever had and that’s saying something, because this is the best chocolate shake I’ve ever had.

WHY EAT DATES DURING PREGNANCY

The number one reason should be that its really delicious! filled with nutrients, fibre (what every pregnant woman needs more of), a great source of potassium , iron, anti oxidants and helps regulate blood pressure.  It will also give you that energy boost you so desperately crave during pregnancy, but even with all those amazing benefits the best thing about dates for a pregnant lady is.

It will help shorten labour.  Yes, you read that right!  Women who ate 6 dates a day during their ninth month of pregnancy had good progression during labour.  They were also more dilated on arrival to hospital and laboured for 7 hours or less.  Dates have a compound in them that mimics the hormone oxytocin  which causes contractions.

Hopefully all my religious date eating pays of during labour.

CHOCOLATE PREGNANCY SHAKEserves 2

Ingredients

  • 4-6 medjool dates pitted
  • 2 large frozen banana, peeled and chopped before freezing.
  • 1 and 1/2 cups non dairy milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 heaped tbsp protein powder
  • 2 -4 tbsp cocoa powder ( depends how chocolately you like it)
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds – optional
  • ice

Directions

Place everything in your blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into glasses and enjoy.

You can’t be pregnant forever…..but it sure feels like it.

Pregnancy is a funny thing.  For some, they just hate pregnancy from the get go, for me? I’ve really loved being pregnant.  Until my due date came and all of a sudden it felt like I’ve been pregnant for a lifetime.  Its hard waiting for baby when you’re constantly getting pestered from EVERYONE; asking if you’ve had the baby, why haven’t you had the baby and that the baby keeps getting bigger the longer he cooks inside.  I’ve been surprisingly calm throughout everyone’s little remarks and just kept saying baby will come when baby wants to come, but man, its starting to feel like I’ve got a 30 year old living inside me that just doesn’t want to move out and expects me to serve it  whatever it wants while I get kicked and punched the whole time.

I’m still here and I’m still waiting for baby, I’ve now tried all the natural methods for inducing baby, just to give baby a little nudge, but alas baby isn’t ready to face the big world yet, so I’m going to give baby the time he needs to keep on cooking.   This will not last forever and I’m so eager to meet my little baby, but right now I will enjoy the last bits of this pregnancy.   Even if I feel like a small bus with a really odd shaped belly button.

^^ We all need the cliche baby bump holding pic..Right?

^^ baby makes 3

^^ We will just lovingly stare at bunny until we have baby.

39 weeks Pregnancy Update

39 Weeks! I can’t believe I can go into labour at any time now!  I have to admit knowing the baby can come so soon is hella boring! I mean the wait is just so boring, the not knowing and wondering if this braxton hicks contraction will be the start of labour! We had our midwife appointment yesterday, and everything is still all set for the home-birth.  I’ve started moving all the home birth supplies into the room, where we all decided it would be best to labour in and of course have the baby in.  I’ve started having all the little food items I want around for snacks for the midwife and Carl, so we wont be too frantic when its go time.  I froze some fruit for myself and have coconut water ready just for me!

I’ve really started feeling insanely worried about the education system in this country, I’m not the biggest pregnant lady I’ve ever seen, but I am pregnant…The looks grown ups give you as they rubber neck to just stare at you is insane.  A man actually kept telling me shame, on my pregnancy the other day, and I was just so shocked.  What’s so horrible about being pregnant? why is it worth telling somebody you don’t know shame the whole time?  People look at you like you’re suppose to be locked inside your home for 9 months so they don’t have to see your face.  When you go for a walk all of a sudden you’re endangering your unborn child? We need to get educated on pregnancy, breastfeeding and especially home-births.  I’ve actually stopped telling people I’m having a home-birth, because of the ridiculous comments I keep getting.  Soon I will have my little baby in my arms and will probably deal with a million more comments from people that’s just not welcomed!  Having a baby is not just physically tough, its an emotional roller coaster! and a whole lot of strange comments.

39 WEEKS PREGNANCY UPDATE

Sleep : I’m actually still sleeping pretty well.  I never got one of those weird pregnancy pillow snakes? because Carl looked at it with shock and asked where is he supposed to sleep? I’ve done pretty amazingly without it and have gotten great sleep, I just prop a pillow in between my legs and I’m good to go or I use Carl as my cuddling snake pillow ( Yes, I don’t know what those pillows are called?)  Lately I’ve been getting up more to use the loo, but I fall back to sleep really fast.  I figured out pretty early on the key to good sleep in pregnancy is exercise  and not eating anywhere close to time you want to go to sleep.

Mood: Impatient, yet peaceful. Baby can come when every baby wants to come.

Movement: This baby likes to move and cat stretch all over my belly, sometimes it feels like the baby is stretching and kicking my heart, but its all good.  Carl thinks the baby and I are a comedy troop, baby does something silly and I make a comment back at the baby.  My favourite one of late has been telling the baby,  he/she is living in a person stop treating it like a crappy apartment!

Body: I haven’t gotten any stretch marks so I’m happy about that one.  I don’t know if its a genetics thing or not, but my sister didn’t get any stretchmarks on her stomach, where she applied pregnancy creams, but she did get on her legs and thighs where she didn’t think she needed to apply.  So I think religiously applying pregnancy creams and oil during pregnancy is a must!

Exercise: I’m really glad I exercised throughout this pregnancy, I feel like it kept me strong and helped me not get all the nagging pregnancy symptoms that everyone suffers from that and a good eating plan really made for a smooth pregnancy.  I really enjoy the what to expect when expecting (be fit) workout routines for pregnant ladies available on youtube.  I actually built muscle tone without ever feeling like I was overdoing anything, walking throughout pregnancy made me feel less stressed out and the prenatal yoga I found on youtube was just the best ever in helping me open my body up and help prevent a lot of cramping!

I hope this will be the last update and that soon I will have a cutesy little baby to post about!

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ We got lost trying to find the entrance to Noodhoek beach, but we stopped to take a look at this view.

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^^ walks on Noordhoek beach, on the hottest windiest day.  I’m getting really tired of having huge pores and sweating all the time.  Its way to hot here.

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^^ The previous photo Carl had a Trump hairstyle going on thanks to the wind.  It was obscene!  but you would never tell by this photo.

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^^ soooo windy.

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^^ Almost baby time!

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^^ I asked Carl for a jumping photo, I forgot he somehow hurt his back while getting into bed and have been suffering from old person symptoms.  Maybe he’s just absorbing all my pregnancy symptoms I’m suppose to be having.

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^^ We tried to have a picnic on Sunday, but the wind and heat was just too intense for us! We rushed home and tried to cool of by drinking a lot of iced water and regret making our outside fire for food grilling.

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^^ Feeding pillow! Can you believe Carl sewed this together for me, while I took a nap! Obviously I’ve got a great little seamstress on my hands here.  I found this fabric and just loved it! I also found another orange-y African print fabric that I turned into little zipper pouches for my diaper bag.  I’ve been getting really tired of all the cutesy, kitchy things that people gift you when they find out your having a baby.  I don’t know why everything has to look so cheap and crap? or plastic? I’m so tired of seeing pooh bear things.  Also trying to find anything that’s really gender neutral in this country is near impossible! I’m trying so hard to have a low impact child on the environment, but yet people seem to think that includes giving me bottles that actually still contains bpa, toys that were banned in all the first world countries and diapers that I wont be using. FRUSTRATING! Oh well! Our donations pile is just getting bigger and bigger, most of the stuff we can’t even donate to orphanages, because they don’t even accept it!

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^^ Pretty little gingerbread house in the nicest light.

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^^ Beach walks

Hi friends! How was your weekend?  I can’t believe how soon it is till baby time.  I’m so eager to get this labour over with! I’ve actually been having a great pregnancy, but the anticipation that any day now labour can start is killing me!  I’m ready for my little baby!  Did anyone else feel like this during the end of their pregnancy?

Birthdays and the season to give

On Wednesday I celebrated my Birthday! I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. Carl made a pretty accurate statement the other day,  saying this has been the fastest, yet slowest year ever….and even if that doesn’t make much sense its completely true.  This year has been rough for us, I mean Ireland was amazing, but being back in South Africa has been exhausting and tough.  When we first got back we tried to rent the cheapest place we could find only to find out we were not even gonna be able to afford it, we were living pay check to pay check, and not getting anything out.  We could hardly feed ourselves, and with the news of baby we had to put money aside to get all the baby things we needed and prepare for all the medical costs.  If it wasn’t for Carl’s parents that assisted us we wouldn’t have been able to eat at all.    Our money situation has gotten better, but everything else is still crazy here, I have faith everything will work out, but its hard not to feel run down, from the constant bad luck we’ve had here.

So this year for my Birthday, because there is nothing I wanted to do in Cape Town and even though things have been extremely hard for us all I wanted to do was help the incredible amount of homeless people in Cape Town. Sometimes you just have to pay it forward.   I got all the ingredients together and decided to make food packs and have ice cold water ready to give to anyone in need.  I have to admit that during our long car ride stuck in the most insane African heat, I really wanted to crack open all those bottles of water and just go to town!  I showed some restraint and just suffered through the heat.  As we were driving trying to find the usual beggars that knock on your window asking for money, we realised as soon as you want to give people stuff they are nowhere in sight!  I couldn’t believe what an easy drive we had!

We finally decided to go to this one park that we know a lot of the homeless sleep at, and off we set to try and give people food.  It was really strange for me to try and get out of my comfort zone and actually go up to people to ask them if they were hungry, the guy that gave me the confidence I needed was a young man that was looking through all the trash cans for something to eat. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look of complete gratitude on this mans face as he said yes, and scurried off so fast, to go eat his food.  After that we felt confident and walked up to all the people sleeping on the grass with all their worldly belongings in a grocery bags, and offered them the sandwiches.  They all seemed so eager and happy, as they said God bless and thank you.  I was sad when we ran out of our care packages, but Carl and I both decided we want to do this more often.  My heart felt so full as I almost waddled along in the heat of the day at 9 months pregnant, giving people a meal that was specially  prepared for them.

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^^ Pre-Birthday sunflowers and a card.  I felt so loved! I got three cards from Carl for my Birthday.  Usually he gets me no cards, I started feeling like I was in a cardless marriage.

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^^ I made a raw carrot cake for my birthday! It was sooooo good.  Who needs sugar or gluten! Seriously! This is sooo much better.

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^^ Would you like a bite.

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^^ We collected some pine cones for our little mantel to add a bit of holiday cheer.

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^^ Birthday selfie!

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^^ The food packages contained.  A fresh sandwich, banana, a Christmas cookie, crisps and a some small candies.

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^^ Baby’s first food drive. img_5201new

^^ My belly looks all wonky here, but what you gonna do! I’m growing a human!

Soon I will have another member in my December birthday gang!

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Went for a hike on the hottest day….It kind of felt like I was walking around in hell, maybe its just because I’m 9 months pregnant and heat is just a no go.

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^^ Praying on the mountain.  After the terrible year we’ve been having, praying on the mountain seems like the only logical thing to do.

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^^ The view was nice.

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^^all you need on a hot day is some home made sushi…YUM.

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^^ Testing out lactation cookies.  These ones are definitely my favourite!  Sugar free and gluten free.  It reminds me of a seed cake.

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^^ Teff flour gingerbread men.  Sooooo good.

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^^ Christmas cookies!

Hi guys! How was your weekend?  We’ve been busy! We’ve had to open our house up to people interesting in buying and man! is it a nightmare.  People constantly walking in your rental while I’m just trying to relax before the birth, can kind of start driving you insane. Not to mention that you have to keep changing your plans to accommodate the realtor, but oh, well.  I’ve been preparing a lot of freezer friendly confinement meals, as well as little work treats for Carl.  You don’t realise how exhausting a whole day of cooking is until you’re covered in flour, have weird substances all over your clothes and you just wonder if you should just burn the house down instead of trying to clean it!  But I’m nearly done with my list, just finishing up a couple of my last recipes today and we are set!

I’ve been feeling so glum and excited these last couple of days.  Excited for the baby to finally be here, baby has been the best thing to happen to us this year and just glum about how this year really has kicked us down and brought me so low.  Sometimes it feels hard to smile through it and have faith that things will work out, but I do believe things will get better soon.  Sometimes we need these hardships just so we can see what we are made of.

Healthy Date Squares (sugar free, gluten free, vegan)

Date squares are one of those recipes that make me think about my grandmother, she would always have date squares, fig bars and jam cookies at her house and as a snooty little kid, I always wondered what her deal was.  I mean where is the chocolate? why is she always shoving a jam like spread in all the sweet things and why can’t we just dip this in chocolate? I remember never wanting to try her “healthy” weird things, but when I got older I tried a date square and man oh man! did I love it! the sweetness of the dates with the buttery crust had my head spinning in a whirlwind of love.  Back in the day I classified that as me being healthy, and with such large quantities of sugar and butter, you know its really not that good for you.

As I’ve been trying to eat my large quantities of dates a day for an easier labour ( I’ll let you guys know if it works) I’ve gotten really tired of eating it in oats or smoothies.  I just started not being able to hit my date quota, so these little healthy date squares are my solution!  They are a tasty healthy treat filled with good for you ingredients, made with a small amount of sweetener in the crust, because come one guys! Dates are sweet enough! and coconut oil instead of butter.  its the perfect little grab and go snack that everyone will love.

HEALTHY DATE SQUARES16 squares

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats ( gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds ( I just add flax seeds to the rolled oats while blending it to give it a nice roughage kind of consistency)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp xantum gum
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Directions

In a bowl add the dates, 1 tsp vanilla and boiling water.  Stir around until covered.  Let sit.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ or 180 degrees C.

Add the oats, flax seeds, cinnamon  and salt to a food processor.   Process until you’ve reached the consistency of a wholewheat flour, not to flour like.

Add the sweetener, xantum gum, vanilla and coconut oil.  Pulse until it forms a dough.

Grease a pan.  Take 2/3 of the dough and press it tightly into the pan, making sure its nicely pressed.  Wipe down your processor and add the dates mixture,   Pulse until smooth.

Spread the date mixture over the oats mixture, spreading evenly.  Take the rest of the oat dough and spread it over the date mixture and keep pressing it down.

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Bake for 20 – 35 minutes or until lightly golden all over.  Remove from oven and let completely cool before cutting.  Serve.