Monday, August 31, 2009

Someone's been eating my porridge

And it was me. I'd never let Goldilocks get away with sampling this yummy breakfast. Just like Baby Bear's bowl, she'd deem it just right, proceeding to eat the whole thing.

That's exactly what I did, with a little help from the gelatinous texture of the chia seeds. Each bite slid out of the bowl without a trace left stuck to the sides. Talk about easy clean up.

Even easier was making this simple morning meal. Although I've definitely made my share of chia puddings, I was inspired this time by Sarma's most recent One Lucky Duck e-mail, where she hyped up the importance of breakfast.

The breakfast link led to a chia pudding recipe, she fondly referred to as a porridge for breakfast purposes. This was something I've made many times when I've had fresh nut milk on hand.

Since there was no nut milk to be found, I opted instead to use banana milk. I've been making it for years, but oddly enough, Sarma had blogged about it, too, not that long ago. Now she just needed to add it to her chia pudding.

So, I replaced the nut milk for banana milk, and topped the whole thing off with sliced bananas, walnuts, a sprinkling of pie spice and a drizzle of agave. It really transformed this basic pudding into a comforting a.m. porridge that worked well into mommy and baby's feeding routine.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sleeping beauty

I know I said I wasn't getting much shut eye, but that doesn't mean my little darling hasn't been getting her beauty sleep. She just opts to do it in broad daylight.

Now, I understand that I'm supposed to nap when she naps, but I've never been good about dozing off when the sun is still up. This probably explains why I'm such an early riser. It also doesn't help that I'm tempted to just watch her snooze; she's so darn cute. It just makes for a good photo op.

Today, would've been her official due date (although I always suspected I was a week further along), as well as the start of the East Coast Raw Spirit Festival. This is the first one on my coast, and therefore, was going to be my first chance to attend one.

I remember Rawbin excitedly handing me a business card, telling me to keep those dates open on my schedule. I had no intentions of missing it this time.

Even Jeff from NaturalZing was expecting me to be there, as we started planning the idea of selling raw cupcakes at the event. I couldn't wait.

Not long after the fact, I discovered I was finally pregnant again (we've wanted this for a while now and had almost given up). Imagine my surprise when my first sonogram revealed the due date.

Obviously, Hayden is a bit too new to be toting along with me to the event, and since she's a breastfed baby, I can't exactly leave her at home yet. But, I won't hold it against her. There is always next year, and she means more to me than attending the festival.

So, instead, we'll just have our raw food at home, which isn't out of the ordinary for us. I just have to keep it simple at the moment until I get into a better routine.

For instance, I decided to make a Pink Lady for me and my little lady (I can't believe how much pink is in this house at the moment). It is my home version of the Java Green concoction (the raw version is actually called the Strawbana, but I prefer the nonraw version's Pink Lady name) I've been missing lately. Hopefully, I'll get back there again soon.

The cool raw beverage consists of strawberry, banana, nutmilk, avocado and agave, while the nonraw frappe swaps out the banana for raspberry and tops it all off with whipped cream. I like to combine the two by using both banana and raspberries, as well as some cashew-based cream on top (I had some raw pink icing left in the freezer from when I made this cupcake and cookie combo). Delish!

We also got a little messy today with an easy nobake cookie dough in a bowl (you may recall this past recipe). Just like when I was a kid (except when I was younger, we used the stove top method to meld the ingredients), we indulged in a gooey bowl of goodness, made from almond butter, cocoa powder, agave, vanilla, sea salt, oats and a little bit of water to get the consistency just right. Yum! I am no longer complaining.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let's go for a ride

Sorry I haven't had much computer time lately, but you know how it is with a newborn. I can't believe she is nearly a week old.

Anyway, I've just been busy trying to figure out her schedule, or in her case, making my best effort to switch it up a bit. The poor girl has had her days and nights mixed up. Thank goodness my diet has helped give me the energy I desperately need.

In fact, eating a lot of raw foods has really been beneficial this time around. I feel like I'm healing a lot faster, can already fit in my old clothes again, managed to avoid the dreaded stretch marks and keep a healthy glow, despite the lack of sleep.

Tuesday was Hayden's first doctor's appointment, mainly for a weight check and to introduce her to my coworkers. To my surprise, I had no problems crawling out of bed early to get myself and my tiny patient ready and out the door on time. Luckily, Matthew helped Jacob with his morning routine and took him to the bus stop (along with Paw Paw, of course) for his first day of school.

Hayden looked so cute in her car seat, reminiscent of the pic of Teddy in Caleb's onesie. She seemed happy to go for a ride initially, but then, as seen in this pic, she must have figured out where we were going. I don't think she was looking forward to being examined again.

Fortunately, she did a good job at her appointment, and mommy enjoyed having the opportunity to show her off. We even made a stop at her great grandmother's house on the way home for another flaunting session. I'm such a proud mama, and now I'm proud x 2 :-)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Looks like it worked :-)

Well, if you read my last post, you're already aware of the salad I consumed and the effects it was having. So, was it the real thing?

I guess you can tell by the picture (please excuse the fact that it was taken with a cell phone), those contractions were the real deal, and here's what I have to show for it.

Jacob would like to introduce his little sister, Hayden Claire, who was born August 21, 2009 at 2:24 p.m. She weighed in at 6 pounds 11.1 ounces and measured 18 1/2 inches long. I'd tell you more, but I think she needs my attention now. TTFN :-)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Could it be the dressing?

Ever watch "The Doctors?" Well, if you know Philip McClusky, you probably have. He proudly showed off what a raw diet did for him on a past episode.

Since viewing that show, I have continued to tune in from time to time. On one occasion, I learned about a salad that has been rumored to induce labor.

Since 1993, Caioti Pizza Cafe in California has been serving up "The Salad" to expecting moms "eager to sample a salad made world famous by claims of the labor-inducing properties of its salad dressing."

"This world famous dressing is a natural recipe made with pure olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, spices, herbs, seasonings and love. It has acquired a following among serious foodies who appreciate its balance of flavors and versatility as a salad dressing, marinade or condiment."

It makes sense, especially considering the fact that it is packed with a hefty does of balsamic vinegar and herbs, which I can only assumed include basil and oregano. These ingredients have been suspected to have labor-inducing qualities when conditions are right.

The dressing is served over romaine and watercress with walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese. I made a similar version at home minus the watercress and cheese, so hopefully the real secret is in the dressing. I've been having VERY REGULAR contractions all morning (if this post doesn't make sense, you know why). I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

An interesting combination

Just knowing that my baby girl could be making her grand exit soon has made it extremely difficult to sleep lately. Sometimes I'm up all night with false labor symptoms, while other times I'm just wide awake thinking about when the real thing might happen.

I often give up on the sleeping thing early, rarely staying in bed as long as I've planned. I end up heading downstairs to the couch, remote in hand, searching for something else to occupy my thoughts.

The other day, I caught an episode of Everyday Food with breakfast as the topic. Most of the recipes weren't something I'd eat for the first meal of my day, but I was interested in a particular smoothie combination.

Served alongside the featured Ginger Carrot Bread was a Mango-Carrot Smoothie. I can't believe I've never thought about making one myself.

The smoothie consisted of mango, carrot juice, yogurt (substitute raw nut- or coconut-based yogurt, coconut milk or banana to keep it raw; I highly recommend coconut milk), lime juice, honey (use agave to make it vegan) and ice. It was so easy that I had to whip one up today and share it with you. It was worth waking up for :-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cleaning house

I can tell my due date is quickly approaching, as my nesting instinct has been in high gear. Last week, I found myself running around the house trying to get things ready before my little bundle of joy arrives.

In fact, by the end of the week, we thought she might make an early appearance. But, since we were hoping she'd wait a little while longer (as if we have a say in when she comes out), I spent the weekend on our couch.

During my leisure, I discovered that Hayden Panettiere's birthday is this Friday, August 21. How cool would that be if my Hayden was born on the same day?

I also caught the Barefoot Contessa's recipe for Plum Crunch, which I opted to rawify for a snack. I just chopped up a ripe plum, mixed it with some pie spices and agave, and topped it all off with a crumble of almonds, walnuts, oats, prune pieces, agave and spices. Yummy for my tummy.

Eating this cleaner version is probably a good idea, as the big day draws near. I not only need to clean my house, but my body as well. I think I'm just about ready to finally meet my baby girl.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A toast to green smoothie day

I have to thank my raw foodie friend Lenette for reminding me that today has officially been declared International Green Smoothie Day. So, as suggested in her e-mail, I opted to join her in "a toast to health, high-energy living and green smoothies."

Actually, I probably would've had a green smoothie anyway, but in honor of the event, I decided to simplify this morning's smoothie and go back to basics. You know; stick to the original fruit and greens formula.

Hayden thought we (yes, she's still in my bulging belly) should concoct ours with a tropical theme, so I blended together pineapple, mango, strawberry and banana. To keep my iron level up, I selected spinach as our green and made it extra beneficial with a touch of young thai coconut water. Yum!

Hopefully, this inspires you to join in the celebration today or any other day. Raise your glass and drink up :-)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

For another little sprout

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been meaning to decorate a onesie for little Caleb, a.k.a. "YS2." You may already know his blogging parents, HiHoRosie and Yardsnacker.

Anyway, I picked up another pack of onesies today and painted up this pint-size masterpiece for their little sprout.

Happily modeling the finished product is none other than Teddy, our resident training baby. Jacob has been practicing caring for him while he waits for his real sibling to arrive.

In the meantime, we've got some more onesies to deck out. Hayden is definitely going to have her own personalized style.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Girls can wear blue, too

I don't know who came up with the idea that baby girls should wear pink and little boys should stick to blue, but I feel the need to break that rule.

Actually, contrary to modern belief, pink was once considered a masculine color, while blue was its feminine counterpart. It wasn't until recently that the roles were reversed.

So, although I'm having a girl this time (or at least I think I am; I hear those sonograms aren't always 100 percent accurate), I have opted not to overdue the pink theme. I've made sure she has a variety of colors in her wardrobe, and upon hearing my idea, my brother-in-law's wife gave Hayden a black onesie that reads, "I can't wear pink everyday."

I'm the same way; pink may be my favorite color, but I can't see myself dressing from head to toe in it all the time either. I even mix and match my accessory hues.

For instance, I'm back on a creative kick, moving on from onesies to jewelry (Don't worry HiHoRosie; I still plan of making one for Caleb when I get a chance). My mom inspired me again by requesting a custom-made necklace and earrings set for her birthday this year (I did something similar last year, and I wanted to get a jump start this time before the baby arrives).

While I was at it, I decided to make a mommy necklace for yours truly, in celebration of becoming a mom of two. Those who don't know the sex of my unborn child may mistake the blue accents as a sign that I'm expecting another boy, but I think it is still quite feminine. Besides, I look better in blue anyway.

I also took the opportunity to make some matching earrings. I just had to have a set. Maybe I'll give them to Hayden one day (when she's all grown up and having her own kids, of course) and tell her the story behind it. I'm sure she'll look beautiful in them :-)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mmm ... blackberries :-)

I am so lucky to have an ample supply of fresh blackberries coming my way. My mom has been picking them at a family friend's house, and then generously sending a good share my way.

Hayden seems to enjoy them a lot, like when I scattered a few through the strawberry spinach salad I posted about recently. She even sparked a craving for them yesterday morning, sprinkled in my raw pudding.

Another way she likes them is as the star ingredient in my Chiaberry Breeze, which you may remember from last summer. If not, here it is again:

Chiaberry Breeze
About 1 cup blackberries, centers removed
1-2 Tbsp. chia seeds
drizzle of agave nectar
touch of vanilla
dash of sea salt
1-2 Tbsp. water, as needed

Place the separated blackberries in a small glass. Using a spoon, muddle the berries to remove some of the juice, while still leaving many of the berries intact.

Add the chia seeds, agave, vanilla and sea salt. Stir to combine. This mixture should still be a little runny, so add a some more water, if needed.

Refrigerate for about an hour, so it can gel. Garnish with a few whole berries. And, as usual, enjoy!

Hayden also seems to have a thing for chia seeds. I hope this doesn't mean she'll look like a Chia Pet when she comes out. If she is anything like Jacob or myself, she'll have a full head of hair. Let's just hope her head isn't covered in sprouts.