an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ On one of our daily walks we saw this cute family of guinea fowl, just running around.  Can you spot them?

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^^ After a rough night, that I’m blaming sugar on this view was wonderful!  I decided to make a batch of ghost brownies for Halloween and just eat one…. I don’t know if it was because I haven’t had sugar in so long, but I had a whole lot of nightmares, and I just couldn’t sleep at all.  Maybe the marshmallow ghost was just haunting me from the inside.

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^^ Sugar free, gluten free witches fingers thanks to Food faith fit, is it weird to eat fingers after Halloween?

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^^ on our way somewhere we happened to see all these kites! It was really a sight to behold!

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^^ Pretty flowers everywhere.

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^^ When pigs fly? Yes, it finally happened guys!

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^^ My pretty new diaper bag,hung up and ready.  I just want to use it already!

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^^ We started our maintenance weekends? and boy, has it been hard! I forgot to take a before photo of this area, but after the first mow it seems like we have to still trim this down AND we still have that entire upper area to go!

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^^ Hocus Pocus and a delicious finger cookie for this pregnant lady.

Happy Halloween!  How was your weekend? did you guys get up to anything fun and halloweeny?  I made some ghost brownies and fingers, we had a rather relaxed weekend, kind of our first one since moving into our new place.  It felt so good to finally take a bit of a breather and just enjoy our new home.  The best medicine is just to lie in bed a little longer on the weekend, instead of just rushing around to get stuff done!

Tips for dealing with stress during pregnancy

We all experience stress in our lives from time to time, but constant stress is not healthy and stressing during pregnancy can be linked to preterm labour and a lower birth weight, I seriously read that and think “I can’t believe with statements like that, that everyone expects me to be calm”.  Stress during pregnancy is just the worst, because most of the time with the insane amount of hormones swimming around your body trying to make you emotional for silly things you end up crying and feeling horrible about everything.  I’m your typical type A personality and we all know that stands for typical type Anal about everything personality.  I like things to get done and when it doesn’t I start wondering how people can live in such an unorganised world!  but the world is unorganised and that’s one of the reasons its a wonderful adventure to be on, so here is some of my tips to just relax and de-stress yourself during pregnancy.

TIPS FOR DEALING WITH STRESS DURING PREGNANCY

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  1. Relax: This is one I have a hard time with, there is just so much to do all the time and allowing myself some time to unwind when so much still needs to get done has been hard.  Sometimes I kind of forget I’m pregnant, but pregnancy is hard on your body and its just something you have to embrace.  Enjoy some me time, put your feet up and forget about everything that needs to get done. Tomorrow is another day!
  2. Get outside:  I’ve traded in my pregnancy workout for daily walks instead.  Getting outside when I can really gives me some time to clear my head.  The fresh air seems to clear up any mind fogginess.
  3. Ask for help: Your husband/partner/friend is not a mind reader, most of the time they can’t tell we need help; especially if we keep going on like we’re completely fine.  Ask your husband for a little more help around the house or anything you really need, they will understand and be happy to help.  I’ve been having moments when I’m just too tired to make dinner after a long day, at first I got angry at the fact that Carl can’t make anything edible, after that I decided to teach him how to cook and the basics of cooking.  It seems like a lot of work, but he seems to be enjoying it and I get to delegate and help him be able to feed himself a healthy meal when I’m not around. Every problem has a solution when you have a clear head and don’t get mad about it.  Figure it out!
  4. Meditate: Meditation is a hard one for me, I can never get my mind silent enough to be able to just relax! Somehow, lately with construction happening in the front of us and to the side, with the loudest construction workers screaming at each other and my peak stress level jumping through the roof I managed to do my own kind of meditation.  I put on some music and just have a moment on my yoga mat, doing some prenatal yoga, and a little bit of mind clearing meditation.  Find your own kind of meditation, for some people its getting in the zone and cleaning their house, who knows how you can personally find your inner peace.  I feel like I’m becoming a true yogi with that statement.  Namaste.
  5. Treat yo’self:  With everything revolving around your unborn child at the moment its easy to forget to take care of yourself.  It can be something as simple as taking a hot bath and just relaxing or it can be buying yourself something that makes you feel beautiful while being pregnant ( sometimes that feels like a difficult task).  For me it was splurging on a pair of amazing maternity pants, that actually fit properly and doesn’t have that hint of hideousness that comes with maternity clothes.
  6. Educate yourself: Read all the books, google, google, google, talk to friends with babies or your midwife/obgyn, just find out everything you need to know or are concerned about.  At the same time, don’t get too scared about the what if’s, because the internet will always tell you something simple is a tumour, educate yourself, but take everything with a grain of salt. If you’re concerned ask your obgyn, they will most likely put your mind at ease.  Now go feed your growing tumour baby.  Thanks internet.
  7. People will give you their advice:  Sometimes the biggest stress is a good meaning, slightly mean person who tells you what you’re doing is wrong, trust that what you’re doing is the best way for YOU and do it!  Laugh all the silly comments off.
  8. Avoid trigger people or situations: if you feel overly stressed out around a certain situation, avoid it! Be a little selfish, you are growing a baby! This is the time you should easily be able to avoid something for the good of your baby and yourself.
  9. Talk to someone: Sometimes the best thing you can do is just talk to someone you trust about all your concerns, get it all out and let them tell you, you’re being silly.
  10. Eat a balanced diet: Drink plenty of water during pregnancy to lessen pregnancy symptoms, eat food that will make you feel good, instead of feel good right now.
  11. Trust that everything will work out the way its supposed to.  Believe in Gods plan and have faith in yourself.

I hope these tips will help any soon to be mama out there be able to start relaxing and de-stressing.  Go on! Go take that bath/ binge watch netflix you deserve it!

Stacked Buckwheat Pancakes ( gluten free, Vegan)

I’ve fallen madly in love with buckwheat.  I just can’t get enough of this little fruit seed ( Yes, you saw that right, these little guys contain no wheat and is completely gluten free), its become my go to breakfast these days.  All the things you can do with it is just endless, I’ve been on a breakfast food craze lately so I’ve only gone as far as breakfast food; I’ve made a pretty yummy chocolate buckwheat granola, raw buckwheat porridge, buckwheat porridge parfait, warm buckwheat and the yummiest buckwheat pancakes ever!  Maybe soon I’ll venture out of my breakfast food comfort zone and start experimenting with buckwheat even more.

These pancakes are just something special its not your fluffy American pancake, but it also not your thin crepe, its in a whole class of its own with a denser consistency and a whole lot of flavour, that keeps you full and satisfied for ages, believe me! It even keeps me full and I’m in the stage of my pregnancy where I never feel full anymore, I’ve become a grazing animal that’s always looking for a quick nibble.  I stacked mine sky high and layered it with fruit and coconut yogurt , it did fall over like a badly stacked pile of pancakes, but the taste did not fade with its downfall!

BUCKWHEAT BENEFITS

  1. Contains disease fighting antioxidants: Helps fight cancer  and heart disease formation and helps protect against free radicals.
  2. Lowers cholesterol and Blood pressure levels:  This has actually been a downfall for me as I’ve been suffering from low blood pressure in this pregnancy, but adding a little extra salt with my buckwheat helped prevent that problem.
  3. Filled with protein.
  4. High in Fibre and helps improve digestion.
  5. Filled with vitamins and nutrients : buckwheat is a great source of energy boosting b vitamins, manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron and folate.

STACKED BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES14 small pancakes

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup rinsed hulled buckwheat groats, covered in water and left to stand overnight.
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp oil

Directions

Once the buckwheat has soaked overnight, place in strainer and rinse clean, they might seem slimy, so just rinse them clean.

Place the strained and washed buckwheat in a bowl, add the milk, water, flax seeds dates, salt, baking powder, vinegar, vanilla, oil and cinnamon in the bowl.  Use a hand blender to blend the mixture into a pancake batter.  If it seems a bit thick add a little more milk.

Heat a pan over medium high heat.   Pour batter about 2 tbsp at a time on to the pan.  Wait until bubbles start to form and flip.  Cook until golden brown.  Continue until all the batter is used.

Buckwheat Pancakes

serve with coconut yogurt, syrup, fruit and coconut or anyway you like them.  Enjoy!

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Early morning walks everyday with this guy.  It feels like torture getting up so early to go for a walk, but this guy makes everything so much fun.

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^^ Baby nursery details.

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^^  During one of our walks, Carl demanded a after shave balm to ease his skin.  I made this and immediately after testing it on my hands ( I always have little cuts on my hands, not very lady like) felt extremely jealous.  It smells so good, and soothed my hands and just when I didn’t think it could get better, it left my hands softer than soft.

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^^ Beard oil for demanding husbands.

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^^ Vanilla protein shakes, enjoyed on days when the blender isn’t acting up.  We should just get a new blender, but we’ve just become so good at fixing it.

 

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^^ Rainy Saturdays with a green smoothie, fruit and raw buckwheat parfait.  So amazing.  I just love buckwheat so much.

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^^ Another day, another walk.

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^^ Walks backs home with the prettiest light.

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^^ Things are getting bumpy! Its been weird seeing some peoples reaction to my pregnancy.  From comments to it at supermarkets, to people just staring at my bump like they didn’t know humans came out of other humans.  Its been really funny.

Hi friends! How was your weekend? did you get up to anything?  We wen’t on a shopping trip to get our monthly food in hopes of avoiding our local supermarket for 2 – 3 weeks.  It gets way to crazy in that area when people get paid!  Instead we’ve decided to call our next two weekend, maintenance weekends.   Our little home was left in a state and we haven’t really gotten down to the real down and dirty cleaning.  We have to wash all the windows and mow the lawn of the most insanely overgrown garden ever!

We’ve been going for daily walks together that feels like the best therapy ever.  Our morning talks are just the best, even if I hate Carl a bit every morning when he forces me to get up for walkies, like a dog, but by the end of the walk I feel so refreshed!  Hope everyone’s week is lovely!

Electrolyte Almost Instant Lemon Ice Cream

Lemon ice cream sure doesn’t have the same ring to it as lemon sorbet does? Is it just me or does it just sound completely wrong? Lemon Ice cream kind of sounds gross, but lemon sorbet….Man, now that sounds refreshing.  After everything I just said I still decided to go with lemon ice cream in my title, because this is just so much more than a silly sorbet.  Its creamy, filled with flavour and comes together almost instantly, if like me you always have a crazy amount of bananas in your freezer, please tell me I’m not the only one!  I love having frozen banana chunks readily available, who knows when I feel like a cold smoothie,  I  want to chomp on a frozen banana or when I crave some delicious nice cream.   When those days hit, I’m always prepared with all the bananas you will find in my freezer.

I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve suffered from some low blood pressure during this pregnancy.  Its usually when I’ve gone for an unplanned longer than usual walk or forgot that adding salt to your food is a good thing.  In those instances I’ve even been tempted to look twice at an electrolyte drink.  Electrolyte drinks are just filled with so many things that I don’t even like looking at and is just a whole lot of sugar.   When in fact we just need to replenish our body with a little bit of salt, specifically our bodies need the ions in salt. Electrolytes are important, because they are what your cells use to maintain voltages across the cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses to other cells.  When we exercise a lot we usually lose sodium and potassium in our sweat and this little frozen treat is made up of those two vital ingredients.

ELECTROLYTE LEMON ICE CREAM –  serves two or one little greedy goose

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Ingredients

  • 2 large frozen bananas, peeled and chopped before freezing (freeze bananas overnight)
  • 1/2 lemon juiced and zested
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract – optional
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt or Celtic salt

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and the consistency of soft serve.  Garnish with added lemon zest and serve.  YUM!

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What I ate: 31 Weeks Pregnant

I’ve been TIRED lately! Like getting up in the morning only to want to get back into bed kind of tired.  I really don’t have a reason to be tired except I’m making a human that loves to kick me from all angles.  I swear this baby just loves to flip around and kick me in new and interesting places all the time.  We’ve started going for early morning walks around our neighbourhood to get some time together and really enjoy the outdoors before it gets unbearably hot.  On our little walk we discovered the cutest little park, if it wasn’t for all the tagging on everything, it would look like the most magical park in all the land.  Little squirrels and cute little fluffy animals running around playing on the big trees, green grass that you just want to roll in an regret later and a large slide that I want to take for a spin!

I’m still feeling pretty good, I mean I’m tired, but I’m not exhausted.  Its a bearable tired that hits me occasionally, in reality I’m getting off lightly!

I’ve been feeling like a ball of stress and realised its not good for me or the baby, so I’m avoiding stressful situation and trying to meditate away everyone’s little pregnancy pokes.  Lets get to what I’ve been eating.

BREAKFAST

Gluten Free Overnight Porridge IMG_4025new

^^ Not surprising, I’ve still been on my Iron rich overnight oats kick and Moringa coconut chia overnight porridge kick lately.

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^^ See I add more variety to my breakfast.  To the left raw buckwheat porridge with fruit, this is one of my favourite breakfast of all time now! To the the right a power green smoothie bowl topped with chocolate buckwheat granola, fruit and coconut.

Snack:

If I get snacky I still grab my omega peanut butter with added flaxseed oil for a little pick me up.

Lunch

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^^ Still just eating my kale salad, baby gets angry when I don’t have my daily lunch kale salad.

Dinner

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^^ Dinner has been a whole lot of different things to the left a really  veggie cottage pie with spouted lentil a whole lot of veggies and topped with a broccoli, cauliflower and kale pureed topping.   To the right: a falafel bowl with spouted chickpeas, a homemade tahini dressing, salad stuff and a cauliflower kale rice.

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^^ Other nights we had a healthy sweet and sour stir fry with carrot noodles and a rocket, baby spinach nectarine salad to go with sprouted red lentil fritters.

cauliflower leek soup

^^ and I can’t forget this crazy good Cauliflower leek soup!

Snacks:

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^^ I’ve been making some healthy snacks on the go for quick snacking.  On the left a gluten free, sugar free black bean, chia seed and hemp protein bar.  So amazing! and to the right a flax seed date and black-strap molasses square, so good and even better for you, an easy way to get my 6 dates a day in.

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^^ I finally found some watermelon and it was just the best thing ever! Now if I could only find mangoes my pregnancy cravings will be satisfied.  I also enjoy my little rooibos latte here and there.

Vegan Protein Shake

^^ Our blender has been acting up again, I guess its not suppose to withstand the daily abuse I put it through.  So I’ve been having my Protein shake whenever I can.  I get sad when I can’t have it everyday.

I’m feeling prepared mentally and physically for my home-birth and I’m getting more and more excited everyday to meet our little baby!  Just need to finish the last bits of things and it will be smooth sailing from here on out!

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ The cutest almost fall I ever did see.

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^^ Weekend walks, that have turned into daily walks now.

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^^ I finally got some watermelon! Whoop!

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^^ We decided to take the train to Simon’s Town over the weekend.  Definitely the most run down train I’ve ever been on,  I couldn’t even see out the window.

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^^ Lovely flowers, while walking around Simon’s Town.  Such a cute little town.

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^^ I forgot what this place was.  Might have been a coffee shop or a craft beer shop.  Could be either of those.

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^^ I didn’t like the look in this birds eye while I was trying to eat a carrot stick.

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^^ Pathway to our local shop.

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^^ Beautiful view at the train station.

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^^ Getting on the train.

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^^ Saw this little guy on our walk around Simon’s Town.

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^^ Inside the Naval museum.  I’m sure they didn’t really fight dragons, but tall tales are the most interesting!

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^^ Our first fire was a beautiful success.  Now If only we made smores.

Hey friends! How have you been?  I’ve been trying to keep my stress levels down and relax more, and mentally preparing myself for the last couple of months before our baby arrives.   We still have a lot to do and didn’t even get to painting the baby’s room yet! I’ve been feeling really swamped lately, like there is not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I need to get done!  Trying to relax in our new house has also been a little difficult with all the shouting from two construction sites right next to our house, you would think the construction is loud, but no….Its the people! They’re always screaming, and whistling and just going a little bonkers, but I still love our little place!

Hopefully I get to blog more this week and get a lot done!

30 Weeks Pregnancy Update

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I can’t believe that today I’m 30 weeks pregnant and 5 days!  EEEK! It feels this pregnancy is just getting away from me! and I haven’t really had a moment to just sit back and enjoy it.    We’ve been in an insane rush, moving into our new place, waiting for things to arrive and trying to make this place a home before the baby arrives.  One of the first things we wanted to get done was our bedroom, we have the cutest little spot set up for baby A’s arrival and we are so close to being done completely with the room.  Our bedroom is on the top level of the house, so we are setting up the nursery for day time use, because we’re always doing something downstairs.

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^^ Sometimes when you ask your husband to take a photo you will get stuck with gems like this or 10 different photos of you trying to fix your scarf while saying wait.

 

I just can’t believe we are at 30 weeks already! My list of stuff to get done seems to be getting bigger and I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed! we have to get more cloth diapers, but I just order some biodegradable disposable diapers for the first week of baby A’s big arrival.  I’m preparing myself for a  really cranky baby that can’t believe how bright and hot the real world is,  having some biodegradable disposable diapers seems like bliss!

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How big is baby : about the size of a cabbage.

Pregnancy Symptoms: After all the moving, carrying stuff around, moving a couch around while Carl wasn’t around, Yes, I know I suck at being pregnant, but I just couldn’t wait! ( I was always safe guys! don’t worry) I had a moment of low blood pressure during the week, it was nothing a homemade electrolyte drink and salty popcorn couldn’t fix, but man it knocked me off my feet!  Some days have been so busy that I didn’t have time to eat healthy or I find myself accidently skipping meals, so I’ve tried to make more healthy snacks that’s quick to eat and can be eaten anywhere.  I’ve made some sugar, free gluten free chia seed protein bars, gluten and sugar free date squares and try to keep vegetable sticks close at hand now.  Baby never seems happy at lunch unless a Kale salad is involved, baby loves kale.

Sleep: I’m still sleeping wonderfully at night (Knock on wood) I hope this continues, because I get grumpy when I don’t get my beauty sleep.

Cravings: I’ve been craving watermelon and mangoes like crazy during this pregnancy, but haven’t been able to find them anywhere,  they’ve been out of season.  Hopefully I get to enjoy some soon.

Movement: Baby is always going crazy in there and just kicks me right in the ribs every second.  I’ve actually seen baby’s foot just resting on my rib, like its nothing but a thang.  I like poking at it until I get a hard kick.  Yes, I obviously deserve the kicks.

Moment of the week: Painting the baby’s nursery, painting the horns of a clay deer gold and starting to decorate the bottom nursery.  After a lot of talk about what to do with the nursery, I really wanted to do a black and white nursery, until Carl made a comment that its going to look like our baby is in Norwegian prison, but it will all be okay, because when baby is done serving time, they will be able to be placed back into society without a problem.  I decided maybe a black and white nursery wasn’t for us, instead we’ve settled on a boho woodland themed nursery, it seems so fitting,  we saw a a fox while walking around in Dublin, when little baby was conceived. I can’t wait for our cute little fox.

Exercise:  Still doing 30 -45 minutes of cardio, weight training and stretching everyday during the week and walking for an hour and a half or more on the weekends.

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So far everything is going wonderfully, I feel strong, mentally and physically.  I’m ready for this home birth and can’t wait to meet our little baby.

Creamy Cauliflower Leek Soup

Before I met Carl, I never knew people could be allergic to potatoes.  It just seemed like something so obscene to be allergic to? In so many households potatoes are a staple ingredients and can be served in a plethora of  meals.  The potato is just so versatile! but from what I’ve learned from completely cutting out potato from my diet , in a stance against silly allergies and so Carl wont feel tempted and be forced to suffer the consequences of eating delicious potatoes because I’m having it ; is that potato is a sneaky little fiend that really loves to keep extra pounds on your body.  When I cut potato out of my diet I started noticing my stomach bloat going away, unwanted pounds slipping away in stubborn areas, like my face and stomach and my skin felt and looked clearer.  Cutting out potato in the long run just made me feel so much better and I’m glad I can come up with healthier alternatives now.

Its been fun coming up with potato free recipes and surprising my little potato allergy weirdo with things he can eat and that tastes just as good.  Baked potato, how about a baked sweet potato! Crisps, try some vegetable crisps instead, mashed potatoes? Lets just replace it all with Cauliflower!

Surprisingly Cauliflower is the perfect substitute for potato, its got a creamy silky texture and is neutral in taste, but the best part about cauliflower is that its just so much better for you !  Cauliflower is filled with nutrients, minerals and antioxidants that can help you fight cancer cells from forming, boost your heart and brain health, is an anti inflammatory and its high in fibre. 

This soup is really nourishing and perfect for a cold crisp evening meal, its filled with leeks and garlic that’s great for preventing colds and will aid in your bodies detoxification needs.  Keeping you healthy and strong!

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER AND LEEK SOUPserves 4 – 6 

cauliflower leek soup

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower head, washed and cut into florets
  • 2 leeks, white and green parts only chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 – 1/2 cups of coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chives for garnish
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper for added heat.

Directions

In a large pot over medium – high heat add the coconut oil, leeks and garlic.  Saute until soft and wilted ( stir constantly).

Add in vegetable broth, bay leaves and cauliflower.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 – 30 minutes until the cauliflower is soft.

Discard the bay leaves.

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Let cool slightly, add coconut milk, salt and pepper and blend until smooth.  Adjust season and serve with chives.  Add more water if you desire a less thick consistency.

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an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Weekends are made for gluten free, sugar free graham crackers.  These were so yum!

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^^ Our neighbourhood beach was way to bright for Carl.

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^^ The sand was so difficult to walk on, but so worth it.

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^^ Pretty mountains and such a blue ocean.  Wow.

 

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^^ Pretty flowers on our evening walk.

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^^ I love this little neighbourhood, it gives me such an old school European feel.  All the kids playing on the streets, people constantly walking around and just a wonderful sense of community, and the cutest little houses you’ve ever seen.

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^^ A bit of a commotion on the beach thanks to a dog running after this train trying to bite at it.  I’ve never actually seen a train slow down for a dog before.  The dog survived the ordeal.

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^^ Magical.

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^^ Pretty flowers on the beach.

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^^ A pretty sky right in front of our little house.

Hey friends! How was your weekend? Did you get up to anything interesting? We had a completely overwhelming weekend filled with all the house things we are still trying to get done.  I’ve painted baby A’s room, but have been confused about painting the wooden ceiling or not, I really think the roof needs to be painted white to open up and brighten up this space, but at the same time I’m wondering if the wooden ceiling will go more with the woodland theme we’ve got going on in there.   So far I’m 95% in favour of painting it white.  What do you think? Should I paint it?

We’ve had glorious cooler weather here, that we’ve just been loving!  It would have been even better if we had our couch by now.  Ordering stuff online in South Africa is such a pain, in America you’ve got drone deliveries here we have to wait an unnaturally long time for anything to arrive!  We’ve also been trying to get a telephone line installed for internet, but wow its turned into the biggest deal! We apparently have to wait 5 – 21 days.   What kind of timeline is that? It doesn’t even make sense to me! Oh well! Everything is a lesson, and right now I’m learning how to have patience.

Here’s to another week! I hope this one is just as great.