In an attempt to get back on the healthy eating wagon (since Evs says just because my granola bars are healthy, eating a pan of them in a day is not), I’ve been trying to ensure I get more greens into my diet. Dinner is usually not a problem since my mother has been kind enough to be sending food our way for the last month and a bit and it’s been healthy, vegetarian Indian food (on an unrelated note, Evs has been missing meat and nearly drowned in a puddle of drool when we had it one random night).
The easiest way for me to do this is to blend it up in either a green juice or green smoothie. Depending on my mood and what we have in the fridge, I’ll have one or the other. It’s a fast, convenient way to get some veggie goodness as I juggle this motherhood thing.
Because last week we had a freak warm streak in the middle of Autumn (can’t say the same for today – it is FREEZING!), I was loving the smoothies. The best part about them is that I can throw literally almost anything in there and it will taste good. I love to add some superfood items in there as well to give it an extra boost of nutrients.
So this smoothie. Given my smoothie obsession, I was sent some rather unusual superfoods to try by the lovely people at Cheap Superfoods. They were kind enough to send some items that I normally wouldn’t buy myself (half the problem being, I don’t actually KNOW where to get this stuff and at a decent price) and so this is how I ended up with a packet of bee pollen.
From their website:
Bee pollen is considered a complete super food due to it’s complex and beneficial nutrient and mineral makeup. Bees collect and naturally process the stamen from wild flowers before bringing it back to the hive, where it is collected, untouched, and packed fresh before being sealed to lock in it’s wide-ranging health benefits.
It is packed full of protein and a variety of minerals & vitamins. It also contains a range of additional nutrients and vitamins, and is often referred to as a “complete food” due to it’s vitamin makeup of the majority of B-complex vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. Small but beneficial amounts of zinc, iron, and other minerals are also present.
Obviously those with allergies to bees, this may not be suitable but I was keen to try it.
Blueberry Ginger Green Smoothie with Bee Pollen
I added only a teaspoon of the bee pollen as recommended as you work your way up to a tablespoon.
- 1 cup nut milk (I used unsweetened almond milk, but you can use that or any milk you like)
- 1 cup blueberries (I used frozen organic blueberries)
- 1 frozen banana (obviously peeled – trust me I didn’t know that at the start) (Oh and freeze bananas unpeeled.. Just sayin.)
- 1 Mejdool date (optional – I skipped this)
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp bee pollen (if you don’t have this, 1 TB raw honey or agave/maple syrup would be just as good)
- 1 handful of spinach
1. Add all ingredients into a high-powered blender, starting with the nut milk first
2. Blend and serve!
This was good. Really good. The bee pollen, unsurprisingly tasted like honey and the ginger gave it a nice kick as well. Can you tell there was spinach in the smoothie??
Would you ever try spinach in a smoothie? What’s the most unusual ingredient you have put into a dish??
This weekend marks my first Mother’s Day. Last year, I remember I had planned to run in the Mother’s Day Classic but came down with the flu the night before and couldn’t do it. This year I have no thoughts of fitness as such, except to perhaps soak in the awesome weather we are having (um, 25C in May?!) and go for a walk. Although I hadn’t really planned for it to be so warm at this time of year so I am trying to squeeze Rehan into some of his newborn clothes. And they fit – just barely. Boy is growing fast.
I’ve already done the mushy post for Rehan’s one month, so really all I can say now is that it feels…strange. That I can now add “mother” to my ever-changing roles. It’s still a side of me that I am coming to terms with, but maybe I’ll grow into it as well. Just hope I can keep up with Rehan!
Links I’m loving this week:
- I miss Hong Kong and would love to go back even for a few days – this mini-travel guide for one of my most memorable cities had me nodding and wishing I was back.
- I saw this link on a friend’s blog and then shared again on Facebook, and it is probably the hormones but as per everything these days, it brought me to tears. The force of love – whether it’s for a child or anyone else is something to behold.
- A beautiful letter from a Dad to his daughter about her future husband (this is of course assuming she is straight and actually going to get married, but you know the sentiment is there )
- I have more and more friends of mine these days, taking that deep breath and then the plunge to leave everything and follow their dreams. Even if they don’t know what their dreams are as yet. It both inspires and scares the shit out of me. I thought particularly of this girl when I saw this article, but it applies to anyone who has a friend who has done this.
- If you, like me, find the way to people’s hearts are through their stomachs – here is a great list of yummy things to make for that special someone this Mother’s Day. And it doesn’t have to just be your mum – as Annie says “The role of a mother is a big one, no matter who is filling it.” I’m loving the baked French toast.
- “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” As we get busier and busier, the first thing to go is self-love. This great article from Tiny Buddha shows you how to be kind to yourself in a busy world.
- I loved Monsoon Wedding, and this post for Design Sponge’s Living In series reignited that love again. The colours!!!
Hope you guys have an awesome weekend!!
It has been a crazy few weeks and I write this, amazed that you are already one month old. How is that I feel like it was only yesterday that I brought you home with us, so overwhelmingly tiny that we drove home in near silence and at a crawl as not to wake you. I joked with your dad that it was the slowest he had ever driven. It was dark and cold when we arrived, after wanting to leave the hospital in the morning as we had to wait for the paediatrician to check you out. She was happy and thus so were we, and home never looked so good. I was still sore after the operation and we set up downstairs – a bed next to your bassinet. Your dad slept the first few nights next to both of us on the floor, until I took pity on him and sent him upstairs so he could also rest.
Those first few nights – it seems like a blur now, but already I miss your sleepy snuggles into my neck. I used to wake up suddenly in the night and anxiously peer over, because you were so quiet and I was afraid you had stopped breathing. But you were fast asleep, hands busted out of the swaddle and always, ALWAYS near your face. I remember laughing, because every ultrasound picture we got, you had the same pose and it was hilarious to see it in actuality.
You have grown so much in these last weeks – and I have to be honest with you – it has been tough. We’re both new to this – you and I – and we have spent the last weeks figuring each other out and getting to know one another. I can tell when you are hungry now, the little ha-ha-ha-ha noises you make and the way you not-so-subtlety launch yourself at my breast if you even within an inch near it. You’re going to be a boob man, I am sure of it.
On the subject, breastfeeding has been tough. You probably never want to know the details, but I am going to tell you anyways. I love nursing you, but it wasn’t always like that. Cracked nipples, painful, engorged breasts that saw me crying and expressing milk down the sink in the middle of the night just to get some relief, healing with cabbage leaves that made you wrinkle your nose, oversupply and fast flow that you made you scream and pull away every.single.time and made me feel like I was somehow poisoning you to finally coming to some sort of rhythm. I don’t mind the 3am feeds so much, because it gives me time to savour the time we have in the stillness when the whole world is asleep, except you and I. These sleepy feeds are my favourite, because you reach out a hand towards me and grip my finger with a strength that surprises me and I melt.
When you were a few days, even a week or so old – you didn’t cry so much – more of a whimper. But suddenly, you discovered your lungs and since then you have definitely let us know when something isn’t right. Sometimes we can figure it out, other times more recently, your dad and I have been at our wits end to work it out. I have spent many sleepless nights googling for answers and it ultimately always comes down to gas. It troubles you like nothing else and we have discovered the magic of bicycling your legs that makes you stop crying and look around in surprise at the relief. You also love music and often fall asleep as you and your dad dance along in the living room.
You already look so different to those first days – you have filled out and I love nibbling on your juicy chubby arms and thighs. You’re putting on weight like a champ and I can see myself getting a good arm workout in the future as you continue to grow. I wish I could see myself in you – I search your face looking for traces of the parts of me that I have passed down, but I don’t see it. But you look so familiar to me, that when you were born the first thing that came to my mind was “I KNOW you!”. Sometimes you remind me of your dad, sometimes of my little brother, your uncle when he was a baby. I see my mother in you and your dad’s mother as well. You are every one of us.
At the risk of sounding too mushy, there are times when I look at you and I feel tears coming. Because it hits me in that moment, that every moment from now is taking you away from me. You’re growing, fast, oh so fast, and sometimes when the light hits just right I see the little boy you will be, the man you might become. I see the possibility of your future mapped out ahead of you and I desperately hope, out of everything that life will throw at you, that you stay happy. I hope that we are still in your life and that we see you be the best person you can be. I want to wrap you up in the swaddles that you love to hate and protect you and wish you could stay this beautiful newborn forever. But I know, already you are busting out of the cocoon and setting yourself free. I realise that you are not mine, not truly, and it makes me weep because I don’t know if you will ever realise how much much both your dad and I love you. You are our first-born, our baby, and you will always will be.
Is it Friday already?? Ha – I say that because I honestly have no idea what day it is half the time. My days consist of snuggling, rocking, one-handed eating and trying to do everything else in the moments of quiet.
I’m slowly getting back into things – Evs is transitioning back to full-time work and so the days that he is home I am taking full advantage and letting them have their daddy-son bonding time which gives me space to just…be. And sleep. Mainly sleep really. We’ve also managed to get out of the house a few times and even braved the shops to get Rehan some new clothes (he’s in that awkward in-between stage of being too big for his newborn clothes and too small for the 0-3 month ones).
One good thing about having a baby is the time you have to catch up on reading – I spend the times with Rehan attached to my boob scrolling through blogs on my iPad and attending to him as he makes cooing noises or somehow manages to fall off or asleep.
So, here are a few links that I have read and loved this week.
- This made me snort out of my coffee in the morning – kids can be disturbingly creepy. My favourite – “I want to peel all your skin off”. I cannot WAIT till Rehan starts talking.
- My goal for quick, easy meals saw me bookmarking this quinoa and broccoli salad with pinenuts and coriander to make one night.
- Being an Instagram addict – I love the idea of this DIY wall art. Am very tempted to get a frame and put this up in the hallway.
- I’ve always thought that running is more than just a way to get fit and exercise. It’s literally a METAPHOR for life. Here’s 17 things running teaches you about life. I love very single one of them.
- Are women-only gyms sexist?? This one guy in London thought so and decided to sue for discrimination. I KNOW.
- Dealing with a squealing baby sometimes (ok, most of the time) makes your nerves frayed and ends frazzled and the importance of me-time has never stood out so much for me. There are just MOMENTS where I know I just need to be quietly by myself before I can be a better person to those around me. Kinda like the oxygen-in-the-airplane scenario. This post from Tiny Buddha (one of my newest fave sites!) write about how taking quiet time for yourself helps people around you.
- If you have not heard of Bad Lip Reading you need to go see THIS. It will make you pee your pants. And then when you’re done – watch the latest one for The Walking Dead. The exchange between Rick and The Governor at the end nearly made me split my stitches. You have been warned.
Have a great weekend guys!
There are good days and then there a bad days. The good days are the ones where I wake up to a cooing, gurgling baby who settles and sleeps in regularity and makes funny faces at me while I change his nappy. Those are the days where the responsibility of parenting doesn’t feel like a burden, and the days go by quickly.
The bad days are the ones where I feel like I am on a constant rollercoaster of feedings, nappy changes and hours of trying to get him to settle to sleep while I ignore the rumbling, aching pit in my stomach as it cries for food and the fogginess of my head as it aches for sleep. It’s worse when Evs isn’t here – he’s gone back to work for two days a week and those two days by myself are the longest in my life.
I stare at this little face, trying to interpret the screaming and watching with almost a detachedness at the alarming shade of red he is slowly turning and feel like a failure. I rock and soothe, and offer my breast until it is sore, but nothing seems to work. He pushes away at me, his limbs lashing out at my face as he screams. I feel inadequate, like I should KNOW how to do this, but somehow I missed the mothering memo. The voices of people telling me “I’d be a great mum” taunt me as I try and figure out why my baby hates me so much.
I haven’t changed out of my pyjamas, my hair is a mess and he knocks my glasses off for the millionth time. I smell like baby vomit and have traces of the milk he threw up on my shirt, but I haven’t had the time to change it, let alone think of a shower.
So I place him on the bed and walk away.
His screaming follows me as I walk down the hallway and will myself to take a deep breath. In desperation, I look for the packet of dummies that Evs bought on a whim “just in case”. I was pretty adamant that I didn’t want to be “that” kind of mother that stuck a dummy in her baby’s mouth, but if there is one thing I am learning – all bets are off and you do what you can.
Ironically, I can’t actually get the packet open and I pick him once more and hold him close. Tears fall from my eyes as I hold him, willing him to calm down and wondering where the hell I left my life. As if he gets it, he goes limp and nuzzles into my neck. His breathing slows, and his eyes slowly close as he drifts off, mouth slightly open.
In that moment, I feel a fierce kind of love for him that makes me forget the how the day has gone by. I kiss his cheeks and realise that he is only little, not even a month old and he knows no other way. That he will only stay this little just for a moment, and never realise it. That he is already almost a month old and I feel like I just brought him home yesterday.
He is asleep now, and I place him on the bed and swaddle him. He stirs briefly and I hold my breath, knowing that a single wrong move might mean we start the dance again, but he just yawns. Finally, I put him into the bassinet and place the blanket over him. I stand there for a few moments, and smile. He smiles in return, and I pretend it is for me, even if it just probably gas. He is angelic when he sleeps and I fight the urge to pick him up again and hold him to me. I’ve worked too hard.
Weary, I make my way downstairs and make myself a cup of tea and toast – the first things I have eaten since noon. I stare at his face through the monitor and feel myself relax.
Evs will be home soon and I can then take that shower. Showers are my me-time and I revel in them. Mum will be over with some hot food and then there will be people who I can pass Rehan to while I try and pick up the pieces of the day.
As evening falls, I think of tomorrow and how I have to do it all again. And I make a pact that no matter what, I WILL make it a good day.
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