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!

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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.

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Picnics on the beach.

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^^ I  wanted to feel how cold the water was without getting wet so I just stood there until a wave lapped at my feet.  I kind of look like a child from behind….My workout pants seem to be getting baggier and baggier…..bad workout pants, you should stay up.

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^^ The most dramatic towel shaker ever.

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^^ Shark watch flag.

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^^ Found a little friend on our walk.

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^^ early morning walks, making friends with fluffy weird haired cats, while I have fluffy just got up bed head hair.

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^^ Invited my parents in law over for lunch and made these two desserts! A raw chocolate pie and a crushed lemon tart trifle.  So good.

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^^ Picnic with a view.  I only ate my avocado sandwich and a couple pieces of fruit, the wind was so intense, all the food was covered in sand almost instantly.

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^^ Birds being dramatic.

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^^ So many of them.

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^^ my parents in law got me an early birthday present, the most amazing food processor/ blender ever.  In an instant I had the most amazing sunflower butter without oil.  It tastes so good and is so creamy.

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^^ Made little drool bibs/neckerchiefs for the baby, because all babies needs to be gangsta while drooling.

Hi friends! How was your weekend?  Is everyone still recovering from Thanksgiving binge eating? Over the weekend we decided to go for a little beach picnic we were all set to take a walk down to the beach, but I was standing in the sun really early in the morning by the way, sending someone a text I realised I might not make it back in this heat.  It was like standing in an oven before 8 o clock in the morning.  So we decided to drive to beach, when we got to the beach, it was insanely windy! Its one of the things I hate most about Cape Town, the fact that it can be so hot and the wind can be so cold, yet harsh that you just don’t know what to do.  We powered through and continued as planned with our little picnic.

On Sunday we invited Carl’s parents over for lunch and I cooked up a mini feast.  I warned Carl about the risk of eating large quantities of dairy and oil when he’s been on a clean eating diet, but he didn’t believe me, I couldn’t stop laughing when he got badly effected by it and wanted to vomit, while having a headache and stomach pains.  It was a lovely weekend and we finally feel kind of ready for this baby to arrive!  I can’t believe how in a couple of weeks I will be holding my little baby in my arms, while asking baby A, “why did you have to abuse mommy from the inside so badly?”  I hope everyone has a great Monday and an even better week.

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Our first package from amazon arrived! Before the stuff we ordered from South Africa… Pretty silly I think!

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^^ Walks around Kalk bay, are always interesting.

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^^ old signs.

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I love this garden statue!

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^^ Cacti in cute little cups.

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^^ I’ve been missing Ireland like crazy lately, well I’ve been missing anywhere that’s not here, but Ireland will forever have my heart and these saints made my heart hurt a bit.

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^^ Pretty flowers on our walk, can you spot the bee fattening himself up?

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^^ This place is apparently the best place to eat fish and chips.

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^^ Really disgusting fish drying!

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^^ Harbour boats.

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^^ Everything is so colourful.

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^^ I finally found a mango! My sister told me about a fruit stall selling mango and I couldn’t wait to get one!  The beach and a mango, seems almost too good to be true.

Hi friends! How was your weekend? is everyone ready for thanksgiving/ friendsgiving? We’ve still been on a mad rush trying to get everything done before the baby arrives and getting all the herbs I need for my confinement.  We want everything to be really well stocked so the confinement goes really smooth.  With the mad rushing to sort out everything before baby, confinement for a month, resting and bonding with baby seems like pure bliss!

Hope everyone has a great week!

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ A daily walk that ended up at the beach…again…. We’re not even beach people, but when its cloudy we love it!  I also took my new diaper bag out for a spin.  It held everything! Even my camera!

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^^ I accidentally painted my baby bump! Whoops

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^^ Carl turns into a model on windy days.

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^^ This seagull was walking so gently on the wet sand, it was like he really didn’t want to get dirty.  I feel you little guy.

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^^ Every morning its cloudy, but by the afternoon the wind seems to have blown away all the clouds, come on clouds! We need rain! stand strong.

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^^ I don’t know what was the deal with these geese, but Carl thought they wanted bread, I was convinced I saw murder in their eyes, while I ran away screaming this is the worst day!!!!

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^^ Pretty memorial flowers left behind on a bench.

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^^ Walking, walking, walking!

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^^ Pretty flowers on the side of the road.  Nature is always trying to prettify ugly things up.

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^^ Gluten free, Sugar free pumpkin bread.  This tasted delicious, but was a little bit too soft in the middle! Back to the drawing board!

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^^ Enjoying a watermelon lunch, wondering when will mangoes be in season! My craving is killing me! I can’t even find one overly priced out of season imported from who knows where mango lying around somewhere!

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^^ Always matching.  We found a baby pair! Soon baby will be matching to! Sorry baby.

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^^ Beautiful light.

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^^ Geese ignoring Carl.

Hi friends! How was your weekend? We’ve been busy, busy, busy! We’ve been in a slight panic mode, when we realised we basically have a month left before this baby arrives!  We still have so much to do and get, but Cape Town really does not make it easy for us. Everything closes before 2 on a Saturday or requires a long commute to get anything, and shopping on week days is just not an option for us, work keeps us busy!  Sundays we attend three hours of church that can sometimes feel like a million hours, and keeping the Sabbath day holy after that, doesn’t give us much time to sort out everything on our to do list!

We’ve started ordering stuff from amazon, just because delivery is faster than most of the South African online shopping experiences we’ve had! For all our organic needs we order from faithful to nature, they have been amazing and delivered within a day! Like it should be!  Stocking up on our biodegradable diapers has been easy with them by our side!

At my last midwife appointment, my midwife asked me if I’m ready for labour and I’m so ready, I don’t think she usually hears first time moms, being excited about labour. I feel like the pain we endure as expecting mothers in labour, prepares us, and shows us how strong we really are and that we can do this motherhood thing, but I’ll let you know how I feel when I’m actually in labour.   I’ve given Carl the heads up about the transitioning period and told him he should just remember I love him before I get mean, and he should just keep encouraging me if I feel like giving up.   I can’t wait to meet our little baby in a month, our midwife told us Baby A is thin and long, with a small head, after seeing Carl’s giant head as a baby and how he seemed to have grown into it as he got older, I’ve been really worried about what I’m in for, the head thing was a bit of a relief!

Happy Monday, Hope everyone has a lovely week and gets to everything they need to get done this week!.

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Found this really inexpensive chest of drawers for the baby’s room and gave it a little make over.

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^^ I wanted more of a woodland green, but I just didn’t have enough paint stainer to get it there.  Happy surprises, because I really like the way it turned out.  Later on I spray painted the knobs gold.  Walking around with a face mask, while pregnant felt like a ridiculous sight, but things need to get done!

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^^ Nursery break! I’ve been desperately looking for a fiddle fig tree, with no luck at all.  I’ll find you my beautiful planty friend!

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^^ Made the best sugar free, gluten free pumpkin pie bars ever! It was like magic in my mouth, the gingery crust, made me feel like crying tears of happiness! I was floating my own boat hard while thinking I’m a recipe genius!

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^^ My cute little kitchen friends.

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^^ Protein shake in the baby’s room!

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^^ Kind of done with the baby’s mobile, I still feel like I’m missing one little woodland friend? What do you think?

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^^ The guinea fowl family on our walk again, these guys really know how to make you feel bad, when you try to pass them, and they all scatter like you’re the biggest murderer on this planet.

Hi friends!  Whew! Its been a couple of days hasn’t it?  I’ve just been so busy with all lives demands and trying to get everything ready for the baby! I still feel like I have so much to do and buy!  I’m starting to feel just a tad overwhelmed, but I downloaded the hypnobabies app on my phone and its just the best thing to listen to!

I feel like this week has been a whirlwind for the entire world……I try to keep my blog neutral and easy, but what is going on with the world? I’m still in so much shock about the US elections and the effect this will have on all the other countries and I just can’t believe people chose fear again so soon after brexit.  In the beginning of the year I couldn’t wait to see what humans were going to do next and now, I’m like how is such a racist, sexist, completely insane man, going to be president? but who knows maybe this will be the time were people stand together and realise fear is not the answer, we should live with kindness and treat people kindly.   Okay! Rant over!  I felt like I needed to say something about all the craziness right now!  Things will get better, the earth is too beautiful to not care!

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!

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.

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Pretty clouds over lions head.

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^^ Probably our last hike at lions head.

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^^ Raw beetroot ravioli stuffed with sunflower cheese.

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^^ Pretty succulents.

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^^ Roses popping out.

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^^ A walk on the promenade.

Hello friends! How are you doing? Did you get up to anything this weekend.  We had a horrible weekend where nothing wanted to work out, I almost got knocked off the trail on lions head thanks to the trail runners not worrying about anyone else, and to top it off it was such an insanely hot day before 10 that I started feeling like food in a microwave just slowly cooking away getting radiated.  I’m really not looking forward to Summer back in Africa, but I’m trying to survive by having my eye on the prize.

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.