What I ate: 28 Weeks Pregnant

I can’t believe how fast this pregnancy is flying by, I feel like I need to update and talk more about it before its all over and the lack of sleep thanks to a cute little newborn makes me all crazy and frazzled.

I’ve cut a lot of food out of my diet since finding out I’m pregnant, I’ve figured out what works for me and what doesn’t work for me one bit.  It all seems to be paying off, because I’m feeling great, have a lot of energy, I’m sleeping wonderfully and all my tests keep coming back great.  A couple of things I’ve cut out is; sugar, the big bad culprit we all know is bad for us, but we just can’t get enough of it, I actually wasn’t eating that much sugar before we went to Ireland, but as soon as we arrived in Ireland it was like I just had to have all the sugar.  All those delicious first world treats and candy I’ve never tried before had to be consumed.  I don’t regret my Irish sugar binge one bit, but I’m so glad I’m off sugar again, it just makes me feel so much better and my skin just feels wonderful! I’ve also limited my fruit in take to 3 – 4 fruit a day.  I got rid of most gluten, but kept rye bread in the mix, but I started getting severe heartburn from it from just one bite, so no more bread for me.  I’ve started sprouting most of my grains and legumes for easier digestion, personally I never knew brown rice could be sprouted, but wow, does it improve the taste!  and I’ve cut out soy, unless its fermented. Here is a look at what I’ve been eating.

BREAKFAST: Around 8 am

Gluten Free Overnight PorridgeIron rich Overnight Oats

I tried having a smoothie for breakfast, but it really just doesn’t work for me.  It doesn’t fill me up or keep me going for long, also the consistency really gets me on an empty stomach.  Instead I’ve been sticking to my Iron rich overnight oats or Grain free coconut flour overnight porridge filled with chia seeds, ground flax and hemp seeds.  I top both of these with fruit and coconut yogurt.  Its so good and keeps me going till around 12 pm – 1 pm.  Overnight porridge is just so convenient, you add all your ingredients in a jar, shake it up and leave it in the fridge overnight.  You wake up to a delicious, no hassle breakfast.  Convenient.

Snack: 12 pm

Green smoothie

I don’t really feel snacky, the porridge really keeps me full and satisfied for a long time, but around 12 pm or 1 pm, I start feeling a bit of a hankering for food. I either have a green smoothie or a couple of spoons of my favourite oh mega peanut butter or nuts.

LUNCH 2 pm

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Kale salad to go

^^ Look how well it travels.

I don’t really stray to far from my trusty kale salad for lunch, its so easy to make. I usually make a big salad that last me the whole week, it keeps well and transports amazingly in a lunchbox.  The kale salad consists of  kale chopped finely and massaged with lemon juice, sprinkled with salt and an avocado smashed in.  Topped with beetroot, carrot, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, peppers, roasted pumpkin seeds and lightly fried tempeh or walnut and mushroom meat.  Other lunches I have;  a nori wrap filled with sprouted beetroot hummus and vegetables.  So yummy and filling.

Snack: 5 pm – 5 -30 pm

vegan protein shake

Like clock work I have my green protein shake at this time.  I’ve started adding moringa leaf powder to it for added benefits.  Moringa is just the best.

DINNER: 6:30 pm – 7 pm

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Amazing lentil soup

For dinner I’ve been having my Moroccan lentil soup, a coconut flour base pizza, with homemade sugar free Iron rich BBQ sauce topped with a lot of veggies.  Burrito bowls made with cauliflower and broccoli rice, walnut meat and other veggies.  and a lot more.

DESSERT:

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I usually have one block of 85% or darker, dark chocolate or Frozen banana bites with date salted caramel.  I use the salted date sauce in my protein shake for extra date goodness.

Drinks : not mentioned is all the water I drink!  I drink a lot of water some with lemon in it some just like that and occasionally I’ll have a rooibos tea latte.  My dinners change, but breakfast and lunch stays the same!  Not mentioned: I do take prenatal vitamins!

That’s just a quick peak into what I’m eating while pregnant.

 

 

Moroccan Red Lentil, Kale and Sweet Potato Soup

While everyone else is gearing up for the colder weather, I’m sitting here soaking up the last bit of Winter on these cloudy Cape Town days.   When the weather gets colder we all tend to gravitate to comforting, warming meals that make us feel all cosy and toasty.  This soup brings all the comfort, but with so much flavour, the delightful tastes of Morocco dancing on your tongue will bring all the comfort and soon become one of your favourite recipes.

Filled with good for you ingredients like kale, sweet potato, carrot and the ever so trusty red lentil, this is an affordable meal that’s healthy and easy on your pocket, yet will make you feel like you put way more effort into meal time.

MOROCCAN RED LENTIL, KALE AND SWEET POTATO SOUPserves 4

Moroccan Lentil, sweet potato and kale soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, any other oil
  • 1 shallot,  finely diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups split red lentils
  • 2 quarts low sodium vegetable stock
  • lemon wedges, coconut yogurt, fresh coriander and parsley

Directions

In a large pot over medium high heat, add oil.

Add the shallot and carrot, and saute until translucent and starting to brown.  Add the garlic,cumin, ginger, turmeric, paprika, chilli flakes and cinnamon.  Cook until fragrant about 1 minute, while stirring.  Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, lentils, sweet potato, kale and vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for 20 – 25 minutes, until the lentils and vegetables are tender.  Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Amazing lentil soup

Serve the soup with a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of lemon, garnish with fresh coriander and parsley.  Serve with a crusty bread, personally I think the soup is filling enough on its own to be served without bread, so I didn’t bother.  Enjoy.

Green Vanilla Protein Shake (vegan)

I’ve been OBSESSED with protein shakes during this pregnancy.  I made three different variations that I have according to my mood, and I’m still not sure which one is my favourite so far.  The chocolate one is yummy chocolate, the strawberry one is just amazing and the green vanilla one is just soooo good.

Getting healthy protein during this pregnancy has been very important to me and baby, this protein shake keeps me going and gives me the energy boost I need to continue with my day without getting snappy.  The average woman should take about 46 grams of protein a day and during pregnancy you need about 70 grams of protein a day, that’s almost double!  If you’re a little exercise nut and have been guzzling down your protein shakes before you ever got pregnant you will know how important protein is for you and muscle building.  Protein is essential during pregnancy, because it does most of the heavy lifting (pun intended)  in the cells, structure, function and regulations for tissues and organs.  Getting high quality protein is obviously very important for you regardless if you’re pregnant or not.

BENEFITS OF DATES

Dates are filled with good sugar that helps keep you energised for longer, they are also filled with protein, fibre, folate, vitamins, iron and they will apparently help shorten your labour and avoid having to be induced.

BENEFITS OF CHIA SEEDS

By now we all know chia seeds is one of the best superfoods around, if you didn’t, well shame on you.  These little seeds are filled with protein, healthy omega 3 fats, fibre and is slow releasing energy to really keep you going during pregnancy.

BENEFITS OF SPINACH

Popeye didn’t get an energy boost after eating a can of spinach for nothing! I don’t recommend eating canned spinach, but throwing some spinach into your protein shake is sure to give you all the same benefits.  Spinach is filled with folic acid, protein, iron, antioxidants and vitamins.  It also has a neutral taste so you wont even notice it in your shake.  Except for the colour.

BENEFITS OF HEMP SEED PROTEIN POWDER

Hemp seeds are one of nature’s best sources of plant based protein and contains 20 amino acids, this contains 9 essential amino acids which our bodies can’t make by its self.  It also contains vitamins and minerals, on top of being such a great protein house.

BENEFITS OF CINNAMON

Not only does it taste good on your pancakes, but cinnamon is great for lowering your blood sugar levels, its loaded with antioxidants and helps fight infections in the body.

GREEN VANILLA PROTEIN SHAKEServes 2 or one larger glass

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 banana, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups washed spinach
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup hemp seed powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 – 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 blocks ice

Directions

Vegan Protein Shake

Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into glasses and enjoy!

 

Iron Rich Gingerbread Overnight Oats – Breakfast of champions

I’ve got a confession to make…. I hated overnight oats the first couple of times I made it, but I’ve never actually been much of an oatmeal fan.   The texture of overnight oats just made me hate it so much, its just so chewy, like eating raw oats, but I really wanted to create a quick breakfast I could just throw together in a jar and forget about until morning.  So in came my trusty stick blender,  I decided to try roughly blending up the oats to create more of a smooth porridge instead of the chewy cold mess.  To my surprise it turned out amazingly,  definitely one of my favourite breakfasts that I’ve ever made, even Carl loves it and he’s not much of a breakfast guy.

I’ve been trying to get my nutrients from food instead of just supplementing the whole time, my blood work Iron levels actually came back great so obviously I’m doing something right.   Iron plays an important role in the body and helps carry oxygen around in the body.  During pregnancy you need twice the amount of Iron you would normally need, the reason Iron is so important for you during pregnancy, is because your body has to make twice the amount of blood for you to support your growing baby.   Helping you feel less tired during pregnancy and preventing your baby from being born to small or too early.

This oatmeal is nutrients powerhouse filled with black strap molasses that contains nutrients, b vitamins and is filled with Iron.  Oats, which controls your blood pressure and releases energy slower, keeping you fuller for longer.  Chia seeds which contains omega 3’s, protein, fibre and calcium.  Ginger that will keep your nausea at bay.  Remember to eat this with vitamin c rich fruit so your body will absorb the iron better.

GINGERBREAD OVERNIGHT OATSserves 1

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats, blended with a stick blender
  • 3/4 cup milk ( any milk you like)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp black strap molasses
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 dates chopped

For serving

  • Sunflower seeds, flax seeds, yogurt and a vitamin c rich fruit

Directions

In a seal-able jar add the oats, milk chia seeds, black strap molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and dates.   Shake well or stir until everything is combined.  Seal the jar and refrigerate overnight.

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The next morning open your jar to the wonderfulness that’s inside, if its a little bit thick add more milk.  I usually don’t sweeten it, but if you like a sweeter taste add sweetener of choice.  Scoop into bowl, add fruit, seeds, yogurt and enjoy! Easy as can be!

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