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.
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.
“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!!!
The days are starting to turn into a blur again and my life has turned into a constant cycle of 3-hourly feeds, burps, issues with gas and poo explosions. Who knew something so tiny could possibly be considered a weapon of mass destruction?? Lucky for him, he’s pretty cute and I’m not so bothered about poo anymore.
Eating has become something that happens when it happens – my body clock is all over the place and often breakfast is somewhere around lunchtime because sleep > food. Every time.
Also, it has to be convenient – none of this la gourmet stuff for me at the moment – I can tell you scoffing down a handful of grapes while having a baby attached to your boob is a skill.
The other day, I had a few moments to myself and I was pottering around in the kitchen when I thought I should make some granola. I had some greek yogurt cups in the fridge that would make a quick a tasty snack or breakfast when I needed something quick.
Then I couldn’t actually be bothered turning the oven on, given Rehan could wake and demand SOMETHING with the potential to crack it to high-pitch squealing standards and so looked for something non-bake.
And then, this.
BETTER than granola, but unfortunately I didn’t have all the ingredients to the original recipe. So I subbed what I had, omitting the puffed rice and sticking with oats and just adding whatever I could find in my pantry.
AND, since I used rice malt syrup (brown rice syrup) – it’s also conveniently fructose-free.
At the last minute, I noticed the bag of cacao nibs I had bought on a whim a few months back (as Evs rolled his eyes and placed in the pantry with all my other “healthy shit”)and never really found the time and recipe to use them in and decided to add a handful in. Cacao nibs are made from raw cacao beans and full of antioxidants and magnesium.
Best. Idea. Ever.
It turned it from a peanut-butter granola bar to a CHOC peanut-butter granola bar. I have since made 3 batches of this, and it has become my go-to meal when I am feeling peckish. The last batch I made, I probably added in a *touch* too much syrup (was wanting to finish the bottle) and they became delightfully sticky that I turned them into balls rolled in shredded coconut rather than bars.
These are really good on the-go, new mum or not – they’re easy to make when you have a few minutes to spare, packed full of nutritional goodness and really filling to boot. They are vegan, gluten-fee (if you use gluten-free oats) and fructose-free if you use the rice malt syrup. The best part is that it can be easily modified to suit all tastes and combinations – sub maple syrup/honey if you like, chocolate chips for the cacao nibs and you can definitely add whatever you like as well!
Dry (use scant measurements)
1 & 3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 TB ground flaxmeal
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional – can use to roll in)
Wet (use generous measurements)
1/2 cup rice malt syrup (sub for honey (will not make it vegan)/maple/agave syrup)
1/3 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy and loved the peanut bits in it)
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence (optional)
1) Add all dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix together.
2) In a separate (microwave-safe) small bowl – add wet ingredients together and heat for 20-30 seconds. Mix together.
3) Pour wet mixture into dry and mix until well combined and it’s all evenly distributed.
4) Put mixture into a shallow pan and spread and flatten it down so it covers the pan.
You can then cut it into 12 now and store each one separately, or leave them in the pan. If making into balls, wet hands and roll into balls, covering them in the shredded coconut. Store them in the fridge – this will help bind the ingredients and make them easy to grab when hungry
Seriously good – even Evs liked them and said they tasted like healthy Reeces Pieces. Check out the original post for some fun modifications and combinations!
It feels like it’s been a while since I have a done a weekend post, and I blame…well….there’s a few things to blame, but I won’t go there. Because it is the weekend and that deserves happy thoughts! I have officially started my maternity leave so for the first time in a very long time, I have endless days in front of me (well as endless up until the point baby decides to make an appearance!) with nothing to do and nothing to think about. The last time I felt this way was when I finished my university degree and hadn’t started my first job – those few months in between were glorious and so full of possibility and TIME.
The heat has been relentless over the last week or so with temperatures way above what is considered decent for Autumn, and only in the last day or so have I been able to get some relief from the weather.
So what am I doing with my time?? Good question.
Well, because Evs has always said that I’m quite insane – I signed up to Marie Forleo’s b-school that started on Tuesday. She is insane, she is hilarious and no-nonsense and I feel like I have learnt so much in the mere days I have started this course. It was a huge investment on my part, both financially and given I don’t actually have a business yet – but I have an idea, actually two, and that means a lot of change for me in the coming year.
What does that mean for this blog??
Nothing much really – but, what it will be is that I am going to keep this space as a space for me – to write. To share my life and ramblings, to not try and fit every passion of mine into one little box. As I inch closer to having my world completely turned upside down, I need a place that I€ can come to and just pour my heart out. I had stopped that with my old blog, fearful I had given away too much of myself, but you know what – it was HONEST. It wasn’t always positive but it was REAL.
I like to think I have grown since that time, and I will keep this place a positive and safe one for me. I will be sharing what’s on my mind, motherhood, marriage, my daily life and of course – these weekend links.
What I am then going to do is sometime in the near future (not sure when yet, perhaps once I have slightly gotten over the sleep deprivation-survival stage of parenthood) is launch my new site that will primarily focus on everything health and wellbeing. This passion of mine, I think is too big for this blog and it deserves its own place in the internet. I am going to be gentle on myself and take it very slow – these are all ideas, but the spark has been ignited and I’m surrounded by people with similar passions and drive that I am going to make this work.
So….that’s my plan. And once the new site is up and running, I’ll let y’all know.
Onto this weekend’s reading!
There’s something else that I’ve been counting down the days to and that’s happening on March 31. C’mon people – Game of Thrones Season 3!! And to gear up for it, Thought Catalog found a video that takes us back to the time of the mid-90’s when Xena and Hercules ruled and did a trailer for Game Of Thrones in the same style. Oh you know you would have watched it back then as well.
When it comes to trips, I find myself becoming a bit of a frantic planner – I NEED to have some things certain and planned. Evs, surprisingly, while he is the most OCD organised person there is in every other aspect of life – actually likes to go with the flow. What are you? What about your partner/travel buddy?
“Shadow careers… (are) things we do that are not our true calling. We get a lot of certainty out of our shadow careers, but not true fulfilment. Imagine the artist who chose the corporate route instead. Or the writer who chose to be an attorney. Or the healer who chose to become an insurance agent. Or the entrepreneur who took the 9 to 5 because it was a more certain path. The shadow career is a false expression of who we really are”I read this post from the lovely Connie Chapman (*fist bump* last name share!) and it really resonated with me. I feel like that it could have been written directly to me and I’ve taken the first steps to move out of mine and the world’s shadow.
I have bookmarked this post because it will be PERFECT for the baby’s nursery. Such a simple DIY, it looks great for parties as well.
I was actually going to try this if baby was showing no sign of coming after my due date. There IS actually a scientific reason to why this has been suggested in the first place but this hilarious article made me laugh out loud (because I’m uncomfortable and pregnant and willing to try anything to get baby out).
Ok questions – what would you, dear reader, like to see more on this blog? Happy that I’ll be sharing MORE of my brain-farts with you? Will you check out my health blog when it gets launched??
When I think of traditions, I inadvertently go back to those that made my own childhood. Some I have no idea why I did them, some I relished and looked forward with uncontained glee and others I reviled and have now turned my back on.
In this season of celebration and holidays, it seems like traditions are everywhere. Some families do a big Christmas, some have a casual affair. Some make a traditions of heading to the shops at 2am on the night before Christmas Eve and eat ice-cream as they watch the crowds of shoppers file by. Some sleep through the festivities or head to the mountains to wait till it’s all over.
The thing about them, no matter what they are, is that they create memories. Memories that can be looked upon with fondness in those moments when we feel a little lost.
Sitting here, my hands over my growing belly, feeling the baby kick me once again, I wonder what the traditions are going to be that he/she cherishes. What are going to become those memories?
I didn’t think I had any, but as I remembered the years past I realised that somehow – Evs and I had carved out our own. Things we had done year after year had become our traditions.
Our traditions now include midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Given that we both aren’t massively religious, it’s one of the one times we do go to church. For Evs, being part of the church community on Christmas Eve brings back memories for him from when he was a child. For me, I love the sense of joyfulness and belonging that one night gives him, and in turn, me. Ever since the year when we slipped into the back of the church and stood beside strangers, even while I fumble with the words to respond to, muck up when I’m meant to kneel and say “Amen” or that I accidentally threw out the communion wafer one year – it’s something we do together.
After mass, we pull into our street and sit in the car for a few minutes. The street is dark and quiet, save for the few houses that have put up lights outside. Our own Christmas tree lights up in our window, adorned with the decorations that we bought the first year we moved into our first house. That year, I had wanted Christmas to be special and while we lived surrounded by unopened boxes and mismatched furniture – we had our tree. Over the years, the lights have slowly died leaving only blinking points of orange and blue, reminding me that we need to replace them. Maybe we will. Maybe we won’t and those flickering orange-and-blue lights will become part of our traditions too.
It’s past 1am, but we exchange our gifts to each other. We always do it on Christmas Eve. The others we will open when we meet with family in a few hours. But, that moment, it’s just us.
This year we make gingerbread cookies after giving into my cravings since I had tasted them at a friend’s house a few weeks earlier. I had messaged her for the recipe and she obliged, yielding in soft, spicy cookies that Evs and I ice into the wee hours of the night.
We have a tradition of Christmas lunch with Evs’ parents (this year, lunch was at my sister’s and then a belated Christmas lunch on Boxing Day with Evs’ parents – but it was still the same) – there is always champagne and boxes of chocolates. There is a platter of fine deli meats, cheese and antipasto, prawns with garlic aioli which helps our hungry bellies be prepared for the main dish which is always a buttery, creamy lobster.
Once our stomachs have stopped hurting and heaving for a moment, we go for round two which consists of traditional Christmas pudding with homemade custard.
Tradition also decrees that we have a Christmas barbeque, but we go vegetarian at my sister’s this year and it is not lacking. In fact, I’ve bookmarked one of the recipes for a repeat performance at our traditional New Years Evs barbeque at our house in a few days.
Our traditions also include family. From both sides, where more food prepared with the labour of love appears and is eaten, belts undone, pants loosened and plates saved for later.
Gifts are given – small, thoughtful and just what we needed. The older generation settle down around the couches to snooze and chat, the TV quietly on in the background, while the those who are still able to move head down to the lake where we throw a Frisbee and relive our childhoods again on the swings.
It’s simple and it’s quiet and I think back onto these traditions with a full heart. It blows my mind that this time next year, I’ll have an almost one-year-old. I savour these moments that show they will be the last of of when I am just the parts of me that I have grown to accept – a sister, wife, daughter, friend.