Smoothie Saturday

Smoothie Saturday! In the spirit of fall, I wanted to create a pumpkin pie smoothie. I got all ready with my ingredients and canned pumpkin, which I thankfully tasted before adding to the blender. Tasted like fish. Guh. It had obviously gone bad, who knows how long I’ve had that can in the pantry. FAIL.

So I made another kind of pie smoothie :)

AppleCoco smoothie

 

Enjoy! Let me know if you try it.

Sleep regression (again!) and salade Niçoise

Always a busy day with an infant! Baby Boy has been going through another sleep regression. I thought it was due to the schedule change while we were in Cuba, but it’s already been 2 weeks since we’ve been back and he’s still been waking up a few times a night. So of course I googled it at 3:30am last night. And there it was…sleep regression at around 8 months. I remember doing this at the 4 month mark, which is another sleep regression time. 12 months is another one. So that made me feel better and will help me hold on for a couple more weeks! One a night wake ups, please come back!

This morning, Baby Boy hung out in the #circleofneglect (what my sis calls it…ha!) while I cooked some apple chunks.

 

image3

He loves to snack on these in his mesh feeder.

image1

It also gave me some time to make my much needed coffee–8 month sleep regression over here! sigh. My coffee is a bit odd, but I love it! Instant coffee, almond milk, carob powder, and xylitol. Yum.

image2

I made him a smoothie made up of water, banana, and organic wild blueberries. He drank it right from a cup and loved it! I mixed some with his cereal as well and he gobbled it up. Definitely doing this again with different fruits.

IMG_3786

It’s getting pretty fun to experiment with different fruits and veggies for his meals. I feel a bit behind and think I’ve been a bit too conservative with what I’ve been feeding him, so I’m trying different combinations now without fear. He still hates lumpy food though, so I still need to puree it pretty well, but he can handle it a bit thicker. So we’re progressing.

What’s on for dinner tonight? Salade Niçoise! This salad is on our weekly rotation. I can’t make it frequently enough for the Mr. Over time, I’ve found some quick shortcuts to make this salad as quickly as possible. Let me know if you try it out!

Salade Nicoise

Productive day and a quick dinner

I’m back! I went on hiatus in order to work on a postdoctoral funding application–it took up all my ‘free time’. And by free time, I mean when my mom babysat Baby Boy while I typed away. But it’s now submitted and out of my hands!

We had a pretty productive day over here. Started out at our fave brunch place, Mocha Mocha. If anyone is in Toronto, check it out–avocado in everything! What’s not to love?

Nana came over and spent time with Baby Boy, so the Husband and I whizzed around the house doing laundry, unpacking (from a Cuba trip 2 weeks ago! Shame…), and tidying up.

I didn’t feel like cooking much for dinner, so I made my go-to kale salad (recipe below), heated up some ready-made veggie spring rolls, and roasted some chestnuts on the stove. So random, but so good!

Our simple dinner!

Our simple dinner!

Kale and Avo Salad (serves 2, or 1 if main meal)

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and kale torn up in bite-size pieces (I used a bag of pre-washed and torn up kale for an even faster meal)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (I usually buy organic frozen corn–by the time I make the dressing and I’m ready to eat the salad, the corn has already thawed)
  • 3-4 sun dried tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup mix of you favourite nuts and dried fruits
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Place kale and salt in large salad bowl and massage the salt into the kale for a minute or two. This will soften the kale, which will be more enjoyable to eat.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix up. That’s it! I devour this salad at least once a week. The great thing about kale salad is that it will hold in the fridge for a day if you have leftovers. But you won’t have leftovers :) Enjoy and let me know if you try it!

Sleep regression

To all parents out there, let’s talk sleep regression. I know I’m not alone. Baby Boy slept pretty well for the first 4 months, waking once or not at all each night. Four months hit, and his sleep changed overnight. He now wakes up twice a night and I feel like I have no choice but to feed him again the second time. I’m no fan of the crying and for now anyways, I say no thank you to all the advice telling me to avoid feeding him and to try to put him back to sleep. That took us a couple of hours one night.

Advice is given almost every day by everyone. Don’t feed him at night, give him water instead of milk, dream feed, soothe him on the boob…it goes on and on. And I find myself looking for even more advice, or maybe it’s reassurance that others have gone through this, online. Googling ’4 month old sleep regression’. Yup. Apparently it’s normal. They’re developing rapidly at this age. Sleep will go back to normal. Sigh. Too much info.
I’m actually dreading going to his 5 month appointment because I know his doctor will tell me I should’t have fed him the second time per night and that I probably developed a new habit.

But you know what, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to keep your sanity. And then you read blogs and articles that make you feel a bit better. Like this one sent from a friend and fellow parent. The article also links you to a series on infant sleep written in Psychology Today, basically saying that infant sleep has no pattern.

So I say do what feels right, whatever works for now. That’s what we decided to do. And you know what? I’m ok with waking up twice a night to breastfeed my little man. It makes him happy and soothes him back to sleep. That makes me a happy maman.

Sesame Devilled Eggs and 4-Month Doctor Checkup

Baby Boy got his 4-month shots today–poor little guy. He wasn’t in a good mood all day, so we took a few walks to help him sleep it off. I hope he sleeps through the night as usual.

A few weeks ago I wrote about starting the 30-day HIIT challenge. About a week later, I felt like I pulled a muscle during one of the workouts. I mentioned this to the Mom & Baby bootcamp trainer and she thought that the pregnancy and breastfeeding hormone relaxin may be the culprit, especially when doing non-symmetrical exercises (which is how I got injured, during 180 degree jumps). I’ll have to come back to the HIIT challenge in a few months. So to switch things up and keep myself injury free, I moved on to do the Jillian Michael’s 30-day shred challenge. Today was my second day, and it feels great! There are 3 workouts, 1 at level one, 1 at level 2, and 1 at level 3, each 20min long. So I planned out to do 10 level 1 workouts, 10 level 2 workouts, and 10 at level 3. I also scheduled active rest days every four days of workouts. Mom and Baby bootcamp is also going on once a week. Hopefully the 30-day shred challenge will help me lose some more baby weight!

On to today’s recipe: Sesame devilled eggs. These are so tasty and a great protein-packed snack.

Sesame Devilled Eggs

Serves 2

  • 5 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • Peel the eggs and slice them in half length-wise. Carefully remove the yolks and place them in a small bowl. To the yolks, combine the tahini, tamari, chill garlic sauce, and sesame oil. Mash it all up and carefully spoon 1 tbsp or so back into the egg whites. Finish off by sprinkling the sesame seeds over top. Enjoy!
IMG_2577

You can tell I had some trouble peeling those eggs!

Batch cooking and the answer to all the crying

Oy. Last night was a doozy. Baby boy went to sleep at 9am, woke up at 12am and it took the husband 1hr to get him back to sleep, then at 2am, when I fed him and it took me 1.5 hrs to put him back down to sleep. Then he woke up at 6:30am, fed him, and back to sleep until 8:30am. I don’t like those nights, but as long as they are rare, I’m ok. This morning’s nap also took me an hour to put him down. We had no idea what was going on until I stuck my finger in his mouth–and there it was. A tooth was poking through his gums. Poor little guy. Just when you think you have it down, they throw you a curve ball.

Today’s workout was Mom & Baby bootcamp in the local park. Mid-day snack: avocado on brown rice cakes, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper.

DSC_0512

I also did some batch cooking this weekend:

  • Caribbean burgers (beef, jerk seasoning, spicy mango chutney, onion bouillon cube, egg, panko bread crumbs)
  • Hoisin burgers (I subbed out the onion soup mix for an onion bouillon cube with ingredients I can pronounce)
  • Quinoa with diced zucchini and raw basil pesto (I like to keep a batch of quinoa in the fridge–I add it to salads or eat it with some veggies and leftover protein for a quick meal)
  • Grilled sausage with arugula pesto (you can probably reduce the salt in the pesto)

For dinner, we had grilled halibut on a cedar plank, with a side of grilled peppers and portabello mushrooms. Yum! Now time for bed–hopefully the little guy will sleep through the night!

Anyone have any tips to reduce teething pain?

Sleep Training and Sesame Avocado Boats

Another day of Mom and Baby Bootcamp and it was HOT out! Burpees and bunny hops in 30C weather. Fun times.

I was at my parents’ for the weekend, as the husband was in BC for work. It helps to have extra hands to help out during the day with Baby Boy. Every time I go to my parents’, I seem to learn a new way to soothe him. My mom just seems to have the magic touch. So this weekend was no different. I learned a new way to hold him when he needs soothing, looking outwards and on his side. We walked around my parents’ garden and looked at plants and trees, and he loved it. Sleep time was pretty good as well, and I’m currently following the gentle method of sleep training from the Sleep Lady. I know that every baby is different, and not all methods work for all babies, but Baby Boy seems to be responding really well to this method. There were a few instructions that I avoided because I thought would be too tough to do, like not letting him sleep in the swing, or putting him down drowsy but awake. Once I tried it though, it wasn’t that bad, and the results have been really great. He slept all night a couple of nights ago, and last night he slept from 9:30pm to 4am, fed him, then back to bed until 7:30am. Not bad. And finally in his crib! I was getting worried, as he was outgrowing his bassinet fast. We’ll see how he does tonight.

On to dinner. I stopped by the fishmonger on my way home from bootcamp and grabbed some wild sockeye salmon for dinner. I made a cumin and spicy mango chutney crust, alongside asparagus with a honey lime vinaigrette. I subbed basil in for the mint. Yum. We started off with sesame avocado boats as appetizers–so tasty! The boston lettuce leaves are so delicate and buttery you have to try it. This recipe was an adaptation of Kimberly Snyder’s lettuce wraps.

Sesame Avocado Boats

Serves 29696_1406062816

  • 8 boston lettuce leaves
  • 1 avocado
  • 8 green olives
  • 1 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

DSC_0516

Cut the avocado into cubes, place in a bowl and drizzle the tamari sauce and sesame oil over it. Fill the leaves with the avocado mixture, add an olive to each lettuce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. That’s it! Hope you enjoy them.

DSC_0520

Sleepless Nights and Coconut Bliss Smoothie

Today we started off our day with a Mom & Baby Bootcamp. We’ve had some pretty good nights lately, even a full night sleep once (yay!), but of course, last night was a bit tougher. Baby Boy woke up at midnight for a feeding but had some trouble falling back asleep. I’m convinced this happens on the days I have coffee. So I’ll be avoiding caffeine again. So waking up this morning was a bit tough, but I had to push and get us out the door for bootcamp. It was a tough workout, but I feel so amazing once it’s done! An after workout smoothie topped it all off. This smoothie is delish and is an adaptation of Kimberly Snyder’s summer smoothie. Enjoy!

Coconut Bliss Smoothie

Serves 1 9605_1405526027

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp shredded dried coconut
  • 1 tsp bee pollen granules

Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend away!

IMG_2902

Breakfast and a Sweet Potato Salad

Last night was a toughie–Baby Boy woke up at 3:30am for a feeding, which was great because that gave us a 6hr stretch of sleep, but he wouldn’t go back to sleep for hours! By the time we got him to sleep, we were wide awake and it took us another hour or so to fall back asleep. Sigh. Tis life with a 3 month old! So of course, I woke up tired and didn’t go to my Mom & Baby bootcamp. But I’m hoping I can catch a nap today and do Day 2 of the DailyHIIT 30-day challenge. I did Day 1 yesterday and it was definitely tough, but you keep going knowing that it’s only for 12min. Gotta get that body back!

Once I changed and dressed Baby Boy, I put him in his little reclining chair and made a quick breakfast–egg in a hole! It’s a super quick breakfast, easy to make, and the toast actually makes it easier to flip the egg. Start with a slice of toast and use a wide glass to cut out a hole.

IMG_2898

Heat some coconut oil in a small frying pan, place the toast in the pan, and crack an egg in the hole.

IMG_2899

Easy peasy! I ate my toast with some pickled hot pepper slices and honey mustard. And can’t forget about my nursing tea either.

IMG_2900Next up: Kimberly Snyder’s recipe challenge–making my own version of her sweet potato salad.

Sweet Potato Salad with Cashew Sauce

Serves 4

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks 9484_1404853083
  • 1/4 red onion, diced into small pieces
  • 1 small yellow pepper, diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 batch of my cashew sauce

Steam the sweet potato chunks until soft. I usually cook the potatoes in about 1-inch of water in a pot, boil, then simmer for about 15min. Place the potatoes in a bowl, add onion and yellow pepper, and mix in the cashew sauce. Serve at room temperature.

IMG_2901

Enjoy!

Kale, Quinoa, & Sweet Potato Salad

Another week, another adaptation of a Kimberly Snyder recipe. One of my favourite combos is kale and garlic. They are delicious sautéed together as a side, or mixed in with other ingredients, like I did below.

Kale, Quinoa, & Sweet Potato Salad

Serves 2-4

  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces 9264_1403711070
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp pure sesame oil
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Pinch hot pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn into small pieces

Combine quinoa, sweet potato, salt, pepper, and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20min.

IMG_2725

Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, sesame oil, honey, tamari, and hot pepper flakes in a small jar and shake vigorously. Set aside. Smash the garlic cloves into a puree.

IMG_2726

In a large frying pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Stir for 30sec and add kale. Sauté over low heat for about 4min, until the kale turns a bright green.

IMG_2728

Comine the quinoa mixture, dressing, and kale into a bowl. Serve as a side for 4 people or as a main meal for 2. This salad is delicious served warm or at room temperature.

IMG_2731