This was a planned pregnancy, but when the pregnancy test read positive, I was still shocked! No word of a lie, I texted two of my besties saying "HOLY $#*@, I AM PREGNANT!" Complete shock, even for people trying to have a baby!
Let's rewind even more here. They suggest not telling people until the first trimester is done, which takes you to 12 weeks or 3 months pregnant (some people even say 14 weeks). That is a long time to not tell people! I get why they say that because in the first trimester, there is a higher chance of something going wrong. Let's just say that I went to 2 weddings and probably at least 10 social gatherings (3 of which were large thanksgiving get togethers) during that time with at least 5 people asking me when we want to have a baby or checking what I was drinking (and proceeded to smell my cup lol). For anyone who knows me, I am a person who is VERY expressive (my emotions show very easily, both good and bad), so as you can imagine, this was hard. We ended up telling more people than we planned to because my husband is also an excited teddy bear who wears his heart on his sleeve. Oh well, c'est la vie! But that brings us to today... I have been wanting to share this with you all so badly! So truth be told, I started writing this blog post almost 10 weeks ago so I wouldn't forget a thing so that I could help others down the line and maybe even be insightful to some men!
Some information about me:
- My pre pregnancy health plan: we decided we wanted to start trying in the summer so the 6 months leading up to that time frame, I really ramped up my health. I worked on my immune system + digestion (through acupuncture and minimizing of certain foods- gluten, dairy, alcohol, refined sugar). I got my health in order and up to date: holistic dentist, homeopathic practitioner, naturopath, massages, colon hydrotherapy, etc. My self care game was strong and better than ever! 3 months beforehand I started taking pre-natal vitamins and my husband starting taking an array of supplements that were suggested to me by Anne Matthews (Energy Tree Anne, my acupuncturist who happens to specialize in fertility but when I started seeing her it was just for general wellbeing and digestion- more on her later). I worked on getting my business in order, becoming more efficient in all areas of my life, decluttering my life, minimizing stress and making room for this baby. It was truly a beautiful time as it was filled with so much self love + self respect. I would highly recommend giving yourself time to do this if you are thinking of having a baby in the near future.
- Due date: May 23rd 2019
- Gender: TBD, I really thought it was a boy but now I am torn! I will find out around NYE time frame (20 weeks)
- Birth plan: I went with a midwife but will be having my baby in a birthing centre within a hospital. All I want is a healthy baby and would like to try the natural route, but am open to whatever is needed to get this little bean safely here! So no "birth plan" really as not much is in my control!
- MAJOR QUESTIONS I GOT: I am definitely ok with lots of questions and not uncomfortable with most of them probably because it was a quick process for us but just be very cautious with the questions you ask women of the child bearing age/stage i.e. "when are you having kids", "how long did it take", etc. It is VERY common in this day and age to try for long periods of time. They say average is 6 months so even though some people think they are being nice asking someone when they are having a baby, they could be a year into trying and very discouraged at this point. My point being, just ask yourself if someone could potentially be hurt by a question you ask. Anyways, I plan to be VERY up front, candid + blunt with my pregnancy/birth/motherhood journey so consider me an exception (or an oversharer haha!)
But here we go...
- How long did we try for: started beginning of July and was pregnant by end of August so I would say around 8 weeks! We are SO SO lucky and grateful for this as well!
- Did you know you were pregnant: TMI coming your way... my heart/intuition said "yes", but my brain said "no". Another little reminder to get out of your head and follow your instincts. The moment your egg is implanted in your uterine wall is called "implantation". This is around the exact same time you would be getting your expected next period and some of the symptoms are the exact same. For me, I had mild cramping so thought "ok we are out this month", some spotting (which can be called implantation spotting), and breast tenderness (which I normally do not get with my regular monthly period). Two days before I took a pregnancy test, I had what felt like tingling in my fallopian tubes/uterus area and at one point a very sharp feeling there too. I had never felt this before so I was very confused!
- People have different measures of first trimester, but it is 12-14 weeks longs and dates back to the first day of your last period. So basically when you expect your next period, around 4 weeks after your last, that is when you find out. And the good part is, you are already 4 weeks then (even though the baby was likely conceived between 2-3 weeks) Crazy right!?
Week 4 & 5
After finding out I was pregnant (2 days before my sister in laws wedding where I was a bridesmaids and co-MC), I was already mildly nauseas at certain times of the day, sleeping earlier and my breasts were starting to get tender (if this is TMI for you I would suggest to stop reading and to never read my pregnancy posts or to SUCK IT UP as this is a huge part of life LOL! I will still love you though). My energy during the day was very good!
Supplements- I was already taking pre-natal vitamins beforehand (I started taking in early summer) and continued taking them (I used Seroyal brand but switched to Mega Food)
Diet- most foods still but I noticed dairy made me feel nauseas. SO thirsty all the time too!
Exercise- HARD NO. I tried to but it made me feel nauseas.
Self Care- acupuncture once a week, warm epsom salt baths a couple times a week, lots of water, bed early!
Week 6 & 7
Morning sickness is a thing! Week 6 was my worst week hands down. I was lucky enough to only have it during a small time frame every day (830-10am) if I had not eaten enough so I learned very quickly that if my stomach wasn't coated with oatmeal, saltine crackers or toast, I would be throwing up (I only threw up three times in total but felt nauseas a lot during these weeks). Magically enough though, even on mornings I got sick, I felt better afterwards and the rest of the day was just breast tenderness, going to bed by 9pm and eating really simple foods! Also waking up at 3am to pee every night.
Supplements- I was taking my pre-natal during the afternoon with food when I knew they would not be coming back up. I was also taking b6 twice a day to help with nausea, b12 for energy, and magnesium before bed on some nights to help relax (all Seroyal products)
Diet- these were the weeks that changed a lot. Most foods seem unappealing to me and I was only consuming super simple carbohydrates basic. My diet basically consisted of: saltine crackers, toast, apples, gingerale, sometimes herbal teas, lots of water, pastas. I could not stomach most vegetables, meats, cheese, black teas, etc. Most of the time I would be forcing myself to eat because I knew if I didn't, I would be sick. Let's just say, scrolling through my Instagram feed made me feel queasy. My husband was always suggesting different foods to eat and make, and I would tell him to hold that thought for a few weeks. For a foodie, this adjustment was hard! ALSO still consuming so much water. I would feel so thirsty at times (think waking up at 3am hungover and feeling like you have never had a sip of water in your life and your mouth feels like a desert). My energy during the day was great still!
Exercise- I stopped spinning and doing HIIT workouts as they sometimes made me feel so tired after like I drained all my energy I had for the day. So I vowed to get in 8-10k steps a day (using my fitbit) for the time being
Self Care- acupuncture once a week, warm epsom baths a few times a week (the magnesium is great for nausea), bed by 9pm.
Week 8 & 9
The biggest difference in these weeks (and saddest) was my appetite. I frigging LOVE food and most seemed pretty gross to me. I didn't like cooking for myself, vegetables seemed gross, most meat seemed disgusting and carbs were my best friend (and so was bloating because I was carb-loading) ha! By the end of week 9 is when things started to change for the better but all in all weeks 6-10 were pretty dang good!! I think I had it very good for a pregnant lady. My biggest change was my appetite throughout. Those 5 weeks seemed like eternity! Still chugging water like its my job. I had good energy throughout the days still!
Exercise- 8-10k steps a day, started to spin again and do some strength training
Self Care- bed was now by 830pm! GRANDMA STATUS. It felt really food though and overall my sleeping in the first trimester has been AMAZING! Like 7-9 hours, mostly uninterrupted sleep.
HALLLLLEEELUJAAAAAAAAAH! My appetite was starting to come back and my first craving was crunchy vegetables and dill dip. I also wanted to cook and bake again which was so nice. I started to feel like me again!
Exercise- I feel like an old woman when I say this but I love going to the gym and walking on the treadmill for 60-90 minutes which is usually around 5-8km and watching a TV show, catching up on work emails, etc. I LOVE IT! I also am spinning once a week and doing HIIT 1-2x/week but LOVE ME SOME BRISK WALKING!
Self Care- same old, same old. Bed early. Sleeping well.
Week 11 & 12
Nausea started to come back but mainly just in the mornings when I woke up. Certain foods seemed gross again. I can also feel my stomach starting to grow and expand more as I have light cramping every so often. Baby is getting ready to start growing more and more! By week 12 its the size of a plum. I had my ultrasound (see below) where I saw my little nugget and it felt very really and was such a special moment. If you zoom in on the face, I swear I see a smile and have been telling anyone who will listen the baby already "has my nose".
Crying over nothing is a thing. It has happened to me twice (so far) in this pregnancy and I am sure will happen a lot more. It looks like this... MAJOR TEARS. husband- "Whats wrong?!"... me- "NOTHING! I DONT KNOW!"...
Exercise- still loving my treadmill walks. I am actually getting way more steps in than pre-pregnancy which is funny. Hopefully counteracting all the carbs I have been consuming.
THIS WEEK! If you are reading this when I actually posted this (3rd week of November) I am currently 13 weeks pregnant and my baby is the size of a lemon!
I am so excited to continue to share my pregnancy journey with you all! If I had to sum up my first trimester and pregnancy so far it would be...
Positives: My energy levels overall were really great! My nausea at the worst of times was maybe a 3/10 (I am very lucky) and I only got sick 3 times which was mainly in week 6! I have slept very well throughout and my dreams have been very vivid. My thirst has been strong which is a bonus as I have consumed more water than ever which is great on many levels!
Obstacles: mild nausea, but the hardest part for me was food aversions and major changes in my appetite! I said this already but as a foodie, not being able to make and eat all different types of foods was hard! This is a pretty good problem to have in the grand scheme of things as some women experience all day nausea and vomiting, cannot sleep, have low energy and feel like garbage.
I WAS AND STILL AM VERY LUCKY!! There is a lot out of your control in pregnancy and I still have a lot to learn but now that I am moving towards my second trimester I am super excited to see what it has in store. I have been told it is the "honeymoon" trimester which (typically) consists of you feeling back to normal, and your bump appearing. Speaking of "honeymoons" we have booked a "baby moon" to the Bahamas in December as it is one of the few places in the Caribbean that is "Low Risk Zika". Anyways, if you have any questions please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to help, hear any suggestions you might have on baby products, classes, etc.
- 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour*
- 1 + 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (from a carton)
- 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips (you can use regular chocolate chips too)
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
- 1 tbsp. vanilla (I really like vanilla)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and use a cupcake pan with added liners
- Mix together all the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, coconut sugar, salt + baking soda)
- Next, add all the wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, coconut milk, butter/coconut oil) and stir until well combined. I use a fork over a whisk as I often find the mixture gets caught in the middle of a whisk
- Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and spoon around 2 tbsp. into each cupcake liner. Repeat for all 12 cupcakes
- Cook for 15- 20 minutes (I cooked for 17 minutes but it sometimes depends on the strength of your oven) and let cool for at least 10 minutes
Serve with: butter, nut butter + hemp seeds, or on its own!
*if you live in Canada, get this all purpose gluten free flour at Winners/Home Sense/Marshalls- they usually have some in stock for so much cheaper than anywhere else!)
Slow Cooker Chicken Wings
- 3 lbs organic chicken wings
- 1/2 bottle chosen foods chipotle ranch (or another healthy sauce alternative)
- 1 tbsp. ghee or butter
- Place all the wings in a slow cooker and cover with sauce and butter
- Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours
- Optional: after wings have been slow cooked, spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 10 minutes at 375 degrees until crispier
That's it! Serve with baked fries, mashed potatoes, celery, carrots, salad, you name it!
- The dip is Primal Kitchen Ranch (from Whole Foods)
- The fries are Alexia brand waffle fries (baked in the oven)
- Organic chicken wings were purchased at Costco
- Chosen Foods Chipotle Ranch was purchased at Healthy Planet
Still working on perfecting these babies, but here is my recipe in the meantime!
gluten , dairy + refined sugar free
- 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips
- 20-30 pecan halves
- 1 cup caramel*
- 1 cup dates
- 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- First, mix together all the caramel ingredients in a food processor and blend until fully combined into a sticky paste. If it is too soft, add more dates or place in the freezer
- Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop 1 tbsp. of the caramel mixture onto the pan. Flatten with the back of spoon and place 2 pecans on top of the caramel (see below photo for clarity). Repeat until caramel has been used up + place in freezer for at least 30 minutes
- Once the caramel/pecan have frozen, melt chocolate in double broiler (my preference) or microwave. Drizzle approximately 1 tbsp. of melted chocolate onto each caramel/pecan and cover as much as possible. Repeat until each caramel is covered entirely and place in freezer again for at least 30 minutes
VOILA! easy, peasy + delicious
- 1 cup dates
- 3/4 cup natural nut butter (cashew, almond or peanut)
- 3/4 cup vegan or regular chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)
- Sea salt crystals (regular sea salt works too)
- Mix together dates, nut butter + coconut oil in a food processor until fully combined
- Roll mixture into balls and place in fridge or freezer for at least 15 mins
- Melt chocolate chips in double broiler or microwave (I suggest double broiler if possible as I don't love microwaves!)
- Roll each ball in melted chocolate and cover entirely. Sprinkle with sea salt right away before chocolate hardens
- Place bites in freezer or fridge for at least 15 more minutes
I HOPE YOU ENJOY THEM AS MUCH AS I DO!! enjoy xo
- 2 x O'Doughs (Gluten Free) Flatbreads
- 2-3 heirloom tomatoes (diced)
- 1 tbsp. basil (chopped finely)
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic glaze (for drizzle)
Normally I would include some garlic or onion (so feel free to add some, I would suggest 1 tsp. chopped garlic and around 1/4 cup diced red onions!) but I made this for one of my friends who is allergic to both onions and garlic so omitted!
- Roast or BBQ (this is what I did) flatbread for 10 minutes (flipping halfway)
- In the meantime, mix together diced tomatoes, olive oil + basil in a bowl until well combined
- Once the flatbreads are cooked, cut into shape of your choosing and top with bruschetta mixture
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve
Voila, easy peasy and SO delicious!
I merged two recipes here (and altered it slightly) + made some paleo, gluten free brownies with cashew buttercream frosting!
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/4 cup coconut (or almond) milk
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons paleo or vegan chocolate protein powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Cashew Butter Frosting:
- 1 cup cashew butter
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease the a cake pan/baking dish with coconut oil
Combine all the ingredients for the BROWNIES ONLY in a food processor and blend until completely smooth
Pour the batter into the pan and cook for 30-35 minutes. Use a toothpick to test (if it comes out clean, its done)
Next, blend all FROSTING INGREDIENTS in a food processor until completely smooth
Once the brownies are fully cooked, spread the frosting evenly over them
The recipe's I merged were from Paleo Gluten Free + Minimalist Baker (2 amazing healthy food bloggers!):
https://paleoglutenfree.com/recipes/best-coconut-flour-brownies-and-peanut-butter-frosting/ (except I used cacao instead of cocoa powder, added some vanilla)
https://minimalistbaker.com/cashew-buttercream-frosting/ (except I substituted with cashew butter and omitted some of their ingredients)
I have been having serious FOMO in the Instagram world as everyone in the US is having Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi. I was going to attempt to make this myself but then remembered in cooking school I learned how to make sweet potato gnocchi and it was delicious! I searched the internet and found this recipe and had to try it. The verdict: WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!
Kylie from Paleo Gluten Free, you are the best! THANK YOU for this recipe! I altered it a bit and here are my tips:
- I tripled the portions of the gnocchi so I could freeze them for later (I kept the sauce recipe as is)
- After tripling the gnocchi recipe, I added 1/2 cup more of cassava flour (I ordered this from Amazon.ca)
- Since I was mashing my sweet potatoes after boiling them, the process made them very hot so I stuck the mashed sweet potatoes in the freezer for 10 minutes before I made the gnocchi as it was too mushy to form!
- It took me about 1.5 hours in total to make all this, likely because I was a slow poke and it was my first time making!
- I added in some Trader Joe's spices to both the sauce and gnocchi
- I added in more spinach than it called for because, you can never have too much spinach!
Here is her recipe (with a few of my adjustments)! Gluten free, dairy free, paleo baby!
- 1 cup mashed sweet potato (*I did 3 cups sweet potato)
- 1/2 cup cassava flour (*I used 2 cups cassava flour because I added in more and did not use the brand she suggested)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- pinch of sea salt optional
- 1 tsp. chili powder (I used Trader Joe's chili lime powder)
*because I tripled the recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or even avocado oil)
- 1 small red onion minced
- 2-3 large garlic cloves
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour optional- as a thickener
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1.5 cups fresh spinach
- optional red chili pepper flakes to taste
In a bowl stir together the cooked mashed sweet potato and flour for the gnocchi until completely smooth. If you don't have cooked sweet potato on hand, make it by peeling a large sweet potato, cutting into 2" chunks, and boiling in water until soft (drain water from sweet potatoes after boiling).
Separate dough into four equal parts and roll out into 3/4" diameter tubes on a surface dusted lightly with cassava flour. Cut the tubes of dough into 1" pieces.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop gnocchi into it. Once they have risen to the surface, remove, and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into the pan. Add gnocchi and cook on each side until golden, then remove.
In a skillet saute the minced onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil for the sauce until golden then set aside.
Add rest of ingredients for the sauce (except spinach and leave out tapioca flour if you want the sauce to be thinner) to the sautéed onion and garlic. Bring sauce to a low boil and boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously (otherwise the flour will clump in the sauce) until sauce thickens. Then stir in spinach, let it wilt, and add gnocchi.
I HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS AS MUCH AS I DID! Once again, click on the word "recipe" up top to get her recipe and see her beautiful site!
My apologies for my blog absence! I have been in summer mode and enjoying the outdoors and all that summer has to offer!
A few months ago I decided to finally give up peanuts and almonds for good. I have taken food sensitivity tests and they are major inflammatory foods for me. They make my tongue itch, and I was starting to get hives all over my arms when I ate them so I decided to give them up because if they are causing external issues I can only imagine what they are doing internally! With all that being said, I have been using cashews a lot more in recipes. It is not the worst thing either as they have always been my favourite nut. So here we have...
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (Gluten Free + Vegan-ish)
You will need:
- 2 cups gluten free oats
- 1/2 cup natural cashew butter
- 1/3 cup mixed super seeds (I have a ziplock bag that I have pumpkin, chia + hemp seeds in and use to garnish different meals, etc)
- 1/3 cup honey (this is why they are vegan-ish, some vegans don't consume honey so if you fall into that category, substitute with maple syrup)
- 1/3 cup dairy free mini chocolate chips
- Either a silicone mold or a parchment lined square baking pan
- Mix together all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips in a food processor or a blender until well combined. You should be able to grab the mixture and form it into balls without it crumbling apart too much. If they do not hold together at all, add more cashew butter or honey.
- Finally, add in chocolate chips and stir them in manually (if you blend them in they will still taste the same but I like them with chocolate chips showing as I am a small child at heart)
- Either scoop into the molds or the baking pan and freeze for at least 3 hours. If you are using a baking pan, cut evenly into bars after the 3 hours. Keep frozen or store in the refrigerator for best results
HAPPY SUMMER! XO
OMG. I saw Erin Ireland (@erinireland) make @feastingonfruit recipe and had to try them out and I'm sure glad I did!
I am going to keep this link here so people can circle back!
summary/cole's notes version:
- they are amazing and you can make them in bulk to have in your freezer for your family! (or just yourself)
- the cookies: dates, vanilla, coconut flour + vegan chocolate chips
- the filling: bananas, coconut milk + dates
- they need to be made the day before you want to eat!
- MAKE THEM!!!