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.