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!

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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Rooibos Tea Latte

Its that time of the year again , the time when my instagram feed goes crazy with pumpkin spice everything!  All over the internet everyone seems to be going pumpkin spice nutty, even the starbucks in South Africa is hitting up the pumpkin spice season, even if its technically spring here, but hey, I’m not complaining.  Well I’m sorry to disappoint you guys, but this is not a pumpkin spice recipe!  but its an even better for you treat that’s a perfect afternoon treat or an anytime treat! With a lot of good for you qualities added to the mix thanks to the powerful Rooibos tea.  If you haven’t tried rooibos tea yet, you really should.  This caffeine free tea is native to South Africa, but can be easily bought anywhere around the world these days.

If you are still having a hard time dealing with the no pumpkin spice flavour to this recipe, I’m really sorry, but I’m not asking you to abandon the beloved pumpkin spice, I’m asking you to add some variety and who know this might become your favourite warm drink.

Rooibos Latte

I use a hand blender to get my perfectly foamy top, but if you don’t have a hand blender, throwing everything in a jar and shaking your little heart out will probably do the trick, and you will get a great workout in the process.

BENEFITS OF ROOIBOS TEA

  1. Improves skin: the tea is rich in alpha hydroxy acid and zinc.  Both of these nutrients are great for the skin and may help alleviate several skin problems including acne, pimples, sunburns, eczema and uneven skin.
  2. Anti – Inflammatory: Roobios tea is rich in polyphenols including aspalathin and nothofagin, which are two polyphenol antioxidants. These antioxidants help protect the body by fighting free radicals or unstable cells that attack healthy cells to stabilize themselves.
  3. Immune Boosting:  The anti viral benefits gives your immune system a boost.
  4. Improves Blood Circulation; Roobios tea contains chrysoeriols, which is a flavonoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This compound aids blood circulation and has been linked to reducing cholesterol.
  5. Promotes Healthy  Hair: Rooibos tea is rich in several important minerals required for hair growth. This includes zinc, calcium, copper and potassium. Regularly consuming rooibos tea may help increase hair growth and strengthen hair fibres, so hair grows healthy and strong.

(Source)

ROOIBOS TEA LATTEserves one

Rooibos tea Latte

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 rooibos tea bag
  • 1/2 heated non dairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cinnamon
  • sweetener to taste

Directions

Steep the rooibos tea bag in the boiling water for 2- 5 minutes.  Remove the teabag.

Add the vanilla, milk and sweetener, have a little taste and adjust.   Pour everything in a bowl to avoid spillage, and start using your hand blender until the desired frothiness is reached.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy with a view.  (view optional, but highly recommended!

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I’ve even used my salted caramel date sauce as a sweetener for an added extra special.

Healthy Chocolate Pudding

Since finding out that I was pregnant I’ve been on a strict clean, healthy nutrient filled meal plan.  I had a couple of slip ups in the beginning due to my insane cravings for candy, sugar and all things nice.  I got angry at Carl, because he didn’t get me a 10 donut special that our local grocery store was having, I mean blind rage, I was so angry at him I couldn’t even look at his face, it was the most irrational anger I’ve ever experience, but yet I’m still kind of angry that he didn’t anticipate my needs.  I’ve kicked those bad habits and I’m completely focused on giving baby the best start possible, what you put in you get out has never been so true in the making a human department!  That doesn’t mean I’m restricting myself from all delicious treats.  I’ve just gotten creative and have come up with such amazing alternatives, that make me feel so good and give me the energy boost I need all day.

This healthy chocolate pudding is amazing and filled with good for you ingredients that’s amazing for pregnancy.

AVOCADO HEALTH BENEFITS DURING PREGNANCY

  1. Amazing source of folic acid.  Folic acid plays an important role in the development of baby’s organs an intake of folic acid prevents neural defects in your baby.
  2. Prevents Anaemia.
  3. Filled with Calcium
  4. Rich in nutrients and minerals
  5. Helps with baby’s brain development.

BANANA HEALTH BENEFITS DURING PREGNANCY

  1. Bananas are a great source of potassium, which help regulate blood pressure.
  2. Bananas are a good source of vitamin C and helps aid the absorption of Iron.

DATE HEALTH BENEFITS DURING PREGNANCY

  1. Filled with good for you sugar and its just oh so yum.
  2. Contains Protein that helps support the growth of your baby.
  3. Filled with Fibre.  We all want a smoothly running digestive system in pregnancy.
  4. Contains Iron.  Prevents anaemia in your baby and develops a stronger immunity system.
  5. Contains Folic acid, which prevents dangerous birth defects in your baby.

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE PUDDINGserves 1

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium banana, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, pitted and flesh scooped out
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Strawberry for garnish and added deliciousness

Directions

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Place everything in a blender and puree until smooth.  Scoop everything into a small bowl and refrigerate until chilled.  Lick all your utensils clean while you wait.  Enjoy!

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Source Information Avocados, Bananas, Dates