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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Farmer's Market Haul, Meal Photos, Meal Plans, Baby Bump

My camera battery died and since we moved recently, it took me a while to find the charger. So, I missed out on taking a lot of food and grocery haul pictures and this post is a jumble of things from this week. I went food shopping at Food Lion, Target, and the local organic store with beaucoup couponage, though it didn't help with my effort to grocery shop less often. 

Here is my farmer's market loot from today. We didn't need much because we have most of what we bought last week:
Peaches, canteloupe, black walnuts, and some kind of peppers
Meal Plan for This Week 

Falafel with Edamame Hummus
Quinoa Burgers with Spinach
Paddy Pan Squash (Possibly Pasta?)
Eggplant Parmesan
Leftovers Night
Gardein "Chicken" Tenders and French Fries
Marinated Portabella Burgers

The one and only tomato growing on our balcony garden! So red! And all squishy because it's heirloom.

Vegans, look away! The next two meals are dripping with cheese. It was that kind of week.

I refilled these staples from bulk containers from the local organic store. Yes, vegan chocolate chips are a staple for me.

Baby Bump at 18 weeks, 1 day! Definitely its biggest so far!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Vegan Junk Food: Popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain! Eat it all the time and have a happy tummy! I make it in large quantities because it stores pretty well and takes a while to go stale. We also buy it in bulk from for pretty cheap, and organic! Seriously, our popcorn stash will last us forever.

You can add whatever you'd like to popcorn, but my go-to is Earth Balance, Nutritional Yeast, and Cajun Seasoning. If you do not use Cajun Seasoning or Old Bay, you should include a little bit of salt. Other yummy toppings are Italian Seasoning and Garlic Powder. By the way, that is not Parma, just Nutritional Yeast, though Parma is great. Basically Nutritional Yeast with little bits of walnuts. I cannot imagine ever eating popcorn with Nutritional Yeast ever again. So delicious.

This may look a little scary, we had the burner too high. Pour a bit of oil at the bottom of a pot, a little salt, turn to medium heat and add your popcorn kernels. Stir or shake pot often to prevent sticking and burning. It will cook very quickly! Take off the heat once pops have one second between them and pour into another container immediately, preferably with a bit of Earth Balance to melt it. Mix it up and dig in!  

What is your favorite way to enjoy popcorn?

Pregnancy Update

How far along? 18 weeks

Due Date:  December 30 (for now) Based on my LMP and the size of my belly/height of my uterus I think it will be moved up! The sonogram in 2 weeks will decide!

Total weight gain/loss:
 4 lbs total gained 
That I know of. My doctor does not want me to check my weight on my own so I only find out once a month.

Maternity clothes? All the way. except for some gym clothes that I am stretching out so probably won't be able to wear once I back to normal size. Oh well.These yoga pants are too comfy to stop wearing. 

Sleep: Only getting worse. Left hip and left shoulder hurt so much from staying on my left side. I am going to start sleeping sitting up with pillows between my back and the wall and my legs extended under blankets. The good thing is that I am getting by just fine on about 8.5 hrs of sleep a night and no naps. In the first trimester, I had to get 11 hrs plus naps! Also, my body is no longer waking me up as much to drink so I wake up dehydrated and terrified about how it's affecting Baby Squiggles.

Best moment this week: This one will reveal me to be a crazy cat person. One morning, I woke up to  one of my cats lifting the blanket off of my belly and licking it all over. That was her first affection toward the baby :o)

Also, got our first fluff mail (cloth diapers!!)

Movement: I think that I definitely have felt movement! Each one has felt different and been in a different location but at least one of them had to be Squiggles. I feel a movement once a night and it's always when hubby is reading/talking/singing. I have to be silent and still. 

Food cravings: Popcorn with nutritional yeast because I was out of nutritional yeast...until today! Mmmmmmmm

Food aversions: None

Symptoms: I'm dealing with the sciatica alright. A little heartburn, a little itchiness. Also, this started at maybe week 13 but I haven't mentioned the 'leaking.' Well, not really leaking, but I get white wet stuff at the tip of the nipples which dries into yellow crustiness. Sounds really gross, but it's exciting because I'm already producing colostrum and getting ready for breastfeeding!
 Only two weeks until our anatomy scan when we will hopefully see the genitals! And learn the health of organs and measurements and the pregnancy will be halfway through. Wild!

Labor Signs: No way

Belly Button in or out? The bottom part is practically out, right where the top of the uterus pushes it. Soon soon I will be an outie!

What I miss: Fewer financial worries

What I am looking forward to: Building up fluff (cloth diaper) collection, hubby being able to feel/see movement
Milestones: Definitely have felt movement

Monday, July 25, 2011

Recipe Review: Potato Tacos

 Yesterday, we made Potato Tacos from the website The Kitchn. We made the recipe and use the site for the first time and were impressed by both! I was very excited for hubby to find this because he loves Mexican food. I am not a big fan, and I have been avoiding Mexican restaurants since becoming vegan(ish) because I read others' blog posts about not being able to avoid lard, etc. To make some Mexican noms at home, we would be in control!

To start with, I ate some guacamole that we had  made that morning while we cooked. This was avocados, garlic, chili powder, salt, pepper, lime juice. Hubby added tomatoes to his.

Frying potatoes in olive oil.
Boiling two ears of corn.
Preparing the filling- garlic and peppers.

Frying the corn, garlic, peppers, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
I warmed the tortillas in a crepe pan. 
While the filling was frying and the tortillas were warming, hubby chopped up the  toppings- avocados, cilantro, scallions, and tomatoes.
Changes We Made to the Recipe
  • We were out of onions, so we added some onion powder instead.
  • We had jalepeno peppers so used that instead of poblano chiles. 
  • Also did not have celery, now to think of it I should have added celery salt/seed.
  • I could not find corn tortillas so we used whole wheat tortillas. Also, I'm sad because every brand that I found has way too many ingredients :o( I should try making my own!
  • We used russet potatoes and left the skins on instead of peeling as called for. 
Overall Impressions
  • The site suggests that if you do not like cilantro, to sprinkle the potatoes with cumin instead. I think cumin or coriander would be great on the potatoes no matter what because they did not offer much flavor.
  • Made 6 tacos.
  • Hearty and filling and satisfied this wary-of-Mexican-food girl! Pregnant at that.
Here is the finished product!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Non-Toxic/Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Stash

I recently cleared out my nail polishes and started purchasing and swapping for non-toxic brands! At first, my goal was to use only 3-Free polishes for my health, especially being pregnant. However, I am pleased to learn that each of these brands is also cruelty-free (does not test on animals).  I swapped for all of these on Makeup Alley except for the American Apparel polishes. These are only a few examples of brands available in 3-Free.

3-Free nail polishes do not contain Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, or Toluene. 

Zoya, in addition, is VEGAN!  

ZP479 Pippa, ZP388 Purity, ZP434 Lulu

ZP280 Pasha, ZP313 Lexi, ZP230 Emmanuelle, ZP483 Goldie

36497 Peacock, 36594 Hunter, 36496 Passport Blue

OPI and China Glaze are newly 3-Free so their older polishes are not.

NLG04 Dancing in the Isles, NLB20 Chocolate Shakespeare, NLN30 Grand Central Carnation,
NLE50 Pamplona Purple

NI133 Turbo Teal, NI235 Blues in the Night

77029 Black Diamond

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Farmer's Market Haul, Meal Photos, Baby Bump

Plans change. We're flexible! We made most of the meals we planned this week, but we ended up doing a leftover night last night because leftovers were taking over the fridge and I did not feel like freezing them. We eat leftovers for lunches and I thought that would take care of it, but I guess we cooked many servings. Also, we are getting Indian food with a friend tonight. Probably making potato avocado tacos tomorrow and save stir fry and falafel for some other time. Here are some pictures of what we've eaten but I think I've posted pictures of these type of meals before. 

Indian Chickpeas with Spinach and Cilantro. I usually serve with brown rice but I was forgot and was too hungry. We ate this with frozen samosas.

Summer Veggie Risotto. I use whatever seasonal veggies are available. This has squash, green beans, and carrots. In winter, we make butternut squash risotto. We use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese.

Pesto Pasta with Peas. Again, we use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese. Homemade pesto with basil from the garden. We also started using walnuts instead of pine nuts because they are so much cheaper.

We visited the farmer's market today in the heat and got lots of goodies. We got half a giant canteloupe for 50 cents, paddy pan squash, giant garlic, lettuce, green beans, tomatoes, and eggplants. The only other fruit was peaches which we would have gotten but the line was ridiculous. Hoping for some berries soon! 

 I took some photos of Ian's lunch- a wrap made with lettuce, tomatoes, salad dressing, muenster cheese, and chips!

And he took a picture of my bump before we went out this morning- there is my new desk we assembled and you can see my smoothie in the background!  17 weeks and 1 day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Grocery Haul and Meal Planning

I made it out to Food Lion to buy the rest of the food I needed for meals this week. I think I also got what I needed for next week's meals! This is really exciting because I used to go grocery shopping 3 and 4 times a week, when I was not planning and pregnancy made me so fickle. A lot of wasted gas and time. Now, I may be able to go to a box grocery store once a week, farmer's markets when possible, and the organic store once a month right after my GYNO appointments. Hubby and I have had such disappointing fruit from stores lately that we are determined to only buy fruit from farmers. Hope it works out!

Random stuff: tortilla chips, Crystal deodorant, and an indulgence- York pieces
Baby spinach, frozen peas, ginger, cilantro, carrots, avocados, asparagus
Veggie broth, whole grain pasta, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, brown rice
I also got pita bread but it didn't make it into a photo. 
Meal Plan for Week of 7/25

Black Beans and Rice, Quesadillas
Peanut Sauce Rice Noodles with Broccoli
Crepes with Roasted Asparagus
Sauteed Squash with Sage Pasta
Pesto Pizza
Chili with TVP
Leftovers- needed to add a leftovers night because the fridge starts to overflow! 

Pregnancy Update

How far along? 17 weeks

Due Date:  December 30 (for now)

Total weight gain/loss:
 4 lbs total gained 
That I know of. My doctor does not want me to check my weight on my own so I only find out once a month.

Maternity clothes? Yes, almost entirely! Just packed up a ton of regular clothes. Funny story: Had a surprise job interview and had to wear maternity clothes. My suits no longer fit and what I wore was not dressy enough. Also, I did not want to it be apparent that I'm pregnant. I think I pulled it off!

Sleep: I don't even look forward to it anymore. The good news is that whereas in the first trimester I felt that I need 11 hrs of sleep a night and a nap, I now do not nap and sleep about 8.5- 9 hrs. After reading this article last week, I am terrified of sleeping anywhere but my left side and do it absolutely exclusively. It's not fun, very uncomfortable and painful on my left hip.

Best moment this week: Possibly feeling movement, getting crib in the mail, ordering a couple of cloth diapers, lots of nesting!

Movement: Maybe!! Definitely a few feelings that may have been the baby but it's so hard to tell! Sometimes bubbles, twice a thump.

Food cravings: None

Food aversions: None

Symptoms: New big one this week is (I think) sciatic nerve pain. Oww! Starts at my lower back above my right butt cheek and radiates down the thigh. Either caused by baby position or a slipped disc. I am waiting to discuss with the doctor until my 20 week apt., but I don't think anything will be done about it. Making it difficult to exercise.
 Biding my time until August 12, Squiggles had better get in a good position!

Labor Signs: Absolutely not. No Braxton Hicks even.

Belly Button in or out? In

What I miss: Clear skin, freedom of sleep

What I am looking forward to: More movement, setting up the nursery as pieces trickle in, visiting friends and family (we are close with very few people we live near unfortunately)
Milestones: Possibly feeling movement

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blogpost Share: Cruelty Free Consuming

Had to share this blog post from Karris on products and brands to avoid because they use cruel animal testing. Animals are tortured in the name of food, cleaning products, and cosmetics but it is easy to purchase only from brands which are cruelty-free! Please read this post and for more information on cruelty-free cosmetics, check out her You Tube channel. Thanks for caring!

NYC Trip and Restaurant Review

For our birthdays, we splurged for tickets to a Broadway show! Hubby's never been to one and I haven't since high school. It was going to be a longer trip, but because of the baby on the way we decided to save money and make it a day trip. We drove ourselves and paid $80-$100 in tolls, ridiculous.

I did my research beforehand for vegan places to eat on other blogs. Unfortunately, they are all far from our theatre and we didn't want to take the metro. I was so excited to find Otarian restaurant  on Happy! just a few blocks from the theatre and where we parked. 

Otarian is a small restaurant with locations in New York and London. All food is appropriate for lacto-vegetarians meaning the only animal derived ingredient you will find is dairy. However, most food is already vegan and if it comes with cheese you can get it made vegan. Most items are gluten free. All are free of nuts and some other allergens and if you order something Asian-y it is made with tamari instead of soy sauce which contains wheat.

Otarian hails itself as the only carbon-free restaurant. Everything is compostable and nothing is air-freighted to them. Best of all it is delicious and reasonably-priced! Most foods are lunch appropriate (wraps, burgers, salads) and some you can buy premade but the "hearties" could satisfy a dinner such as lasagna and Indian entrees.

No trashcans or recycling cans here!
Of course, we scarfed our meals before I thought to take pictures. I ate a Sweet Potato Falafel Wrap which is served cold. It was yummy but don't go in expecting a taste at all like falafel. The hummus was good but I did not care for the carrot chutney sauce. Hubby ate a Tex Mex burger which was not vegan and he loved it. We both had french fries with a delicious homemade barbeque sauce.

This is called "Choco Treat" Vegan but not gluten free. Mmmm!

Chocolate mouse! So rich and yummy with chocolate chunks. Gluten free but not vegan (contains dairy).

Combining both of the desserts was the BEST!

The Broadway Show was saw was Book of Mormon, a comedy by the writers of South Park and the musical Avenue Q which we already love. It was excellent!

In the lobby waiting for the show to start. You can't see my belly or dress :o(
Cast sign outside the theatre doors...yeah, we waited there for 2 hours for the air conditioning!
There's Baby Squiggles!

Mostly Vegan Grocery Haul and Meal Plans

To be accountable, I am posting what I bought at one grocery shopping trip. I went to Shoppers which is my least favorite- less organic and vegan and local than Food Lion and the organic store- but it was convenient for where I had to run errands.

Our breakfasts and lunches are on our own, but here is what we will eat for dinner this week, along with salads hopefully. All meals are vegan except the pesto pasta will have parmesan cheese.

  • Pesto Pasta with Peas 
  • Indian Chickpeas with Rice and Samosas
  • Broccoli, Mashed Potatoes, Morning Star 'Chikn' Strips
  • Veggie Stir Fry with Brown Rice
  • Falafel
  • Veggie Risotto
  • Potato and Avocado Tacos 
Vegan stuff for lunches and snacks. Potato chips, bbq potato chips,  rice noodles, triscuits, tons o' hummus, wraps.

A ridiculous amount of dairy. Really unhealthy.The Annie's are from Target- everything else I bought there was not food.  Unfortunately, no dairy within hours of where I live is organic or other more pleasant labels. Cheddar, provolone, parmesan, and port wine cheese, cheddar crackers, cheesy potatoes.

The produce at our particular store is not so great in quality or selection but here is what I was able to get. Squash, broccoli, green onions, baby spinach, button mushrooms, green beans, russet potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, onion, corn

Other things. It was hard to find good fruit but I got blueberries, bananas, and a lime. The tortillas are for tacos and I was out of canola oil, though I usually like to get the Spectrum brand.

What I needed for this week and could not find or could not find in good quality. Bummer that I have to use gas to go to another store but so be it. I would love to get more things from the farmer's market but we keep going out of town when those occur.
  • Veggie broth
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Low-sodium tortilla chips
  • Ginger
  • Avocados
  • Strawberries, pears, peaches
  • Asparagus
  • Pita bread

Friday, July 15, 2011

Come Into My Garden

We have three containers of strawberries. We had delicious strawberries for a while and we are hoping the new green leaves will mean new flowers and new fruit!

Catgrass gone to seed. Dying lettuce. Basil we grew from a seed, trying to prevent it from flowering! Need to pick it more.

This basil plant was old and time for it to floewr. On the side you can see a baby basil plant we grew from a seed.

I've had two hibiscus plants for over a year.

Tomato pot #1! These just keep growing tall without many flowers yet.

The lettuces we grew from seed tasted great at first but are not doing well. This looks diseased. 

Tomato pot #2! The first and only tomato!

Here it is! This tomato has been going for about 3 weeks.