This past weekend, we celebrated E’s first birthday. That’s right, a year ago our sweet baby girl entered this world unexpectedly, filling us with both joy and fear as we waited to see what the world outside my womb would have in store. It’s been an incredibly difficult year, full of hospitals, weight checks, therapy sessions, feeding issues, tears, fears, desperation, and anxiety, but also smiles, giggles, blowing of raspberries, sibling hugs, screeches, cuddles, snuggles, joy, and love.
I don't know about you, but around my house, lunch is the worst meal for a mom. Between trying to get N fed, handling dirty dishes, taking a much needed breather from the littles (husband is usually available to eat lunch at the same time and keep an eye on the crazies for a few minutes), finally pee in peace for the first time all day, toss in a load of laundry, clean up after E's previous feed, and get ready for her next one and nap time, finding an extra moment to make my own lunch, let alone eat it, is next to impossible.
As some of my posts have been over this past year, today’s is a little different from the usual nutrition talk or recipe share. I’ve always believed that we have to treat the entire person, all the fundamentals of health, in order to restore or maintain balance and wellness. I focus primarily on nutrition and exercise/movement, but I’m very much aware of and take seriously the other areas of my clients’ health and challenges. For me, movement, breath, nutrition, and rest are the cornerstones of good health. Each one of these must be addressed in order to truly reach wellness. Rest encompasses not only your quality and quantity of sleep, but your “down-time”, your self-care time, your work/play balance. Breath, likewise, is not just about simply breathing, but breathing well, breathing effectively to communicate to your body that you are ok, you are getting what you need. Proper breath is not only essential to proper movement, but also to managing stress and balancing hormones like cortisol. I work to treat the entire person, not just the number on the scale, the weight on the squat bar, or the amount of veggies your kid eats.
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions...Here's hoping that's not true! Despite my pledge to start blogging regularly again, life got in the way, and here we are nearly a month later. The good news is, I'm bringing you another stellar recipe and it's PIZZA to boot. Not only that, it's really 3 recipes in one! So, maybe that makes up for my absence? I want to write more about just what has been keeping me away, beyond simply the craziness of 2 little ones, but today is not the day for that...hopefully, soon? In any case, please have some pizza.
It's been awhile. Sorry. I'm hoping and planning to change that, getting back to at least one post a week. There's been a lot going on at home with little Miss and, honestly, I just haven't been feeling as inspired or able to find the energy to do much other than the day to day things of motherhood.
I've really started getting back into cooking, not that I'd ever really stopped, but I'd definitely been relying on more "quick", not so innovative, nothing new, dishes for months. Now, my meal planning each week focuses on at least one brand new recipe to try. This past week, that included a pineapple/chorizo rice bowl with an avocado cream. The original recipe called for actual rice. Not wanting to have to add anything additional to make this feel like a complete meal, I opted to make cauliflower rice so that there was a huge dose of veggies instead of grains. Additionally, two different "creams" were recommended, one avocado and one chipotle, both of which would be added on top before serving. While I love flavorful dishes and don't fear complexity, I also value simplicity when the end result is the same. So...I combined the two sauces, reducing prep time, and got a delicious avocado chipotle cream.
If you've never tried out the cauliflower rice thing, I highly recommend it here. The bold flavors of the pineapple, chorizo, and avocado cream make the cauliflower base literally undetectable. The texture works great, and the leftovers store and re-heat wonderfully. I saved the stems and scraps of cauliflower I wasn't able to grate to the rice-size and froze them, adding them to a smoothie this morning! (I was super skeptical, but I totally couldn't taste it AT ALL!)
Caramelized Pineapple Chorizo "Rice" Bowls
1 head cauliflower
drizzle of olive oil
½ sweet onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
½+ lbs chorizo
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup pineapple, chopped into ½ inch chunks
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Avocado Chipotle Cream
½ cup plain yogurt
1 chipotle from chipotle canned with adobo
juice from 1 lime
“Rice” your cauliflower. Quarter the cauliflower head; remove the stem, and process in a food processor or grate on a large hole cheese grater. Press gently with a paper towel to remove excess moisture and set aside.
Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add chorizo. Cook until browned. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Add butter to pan (no need to clean it!) and then add the pineapple. Cook from about five minutes, until browned and caramelized. Add peppers and cook a couple more minutes. Pour chorizo mx back into the skillet with the pineapple and peppers and add the cauliflower rice. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir to blend ingredients, adding green onions, and cooking until cauliflower rice is just beginning to soften.
Add avocado, yogurt, chipotle, and lime juice to your blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, adding a bit of water if desired to thin.
Portion rice mixture into serving bowls and drizzle with chipotle avocado cream. Devour.
In the spirit of nurturing your body and still pleasing your taste buds, here is one of our new favorite dinner recipes. It’s fairly quick, packed with veggies, and delicious. My husband asked for seconds and fought me for the leftovers the next day! Traditional Chinese “take-out” isn’t known for its health benefits. This Egg Roll re-make, however, is tasty and healthy. If you’re vegetarian, you can easily omit the pork and toss in some lentils or nuts for a bit more protein and nutrients. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m betting shrimp would also be great in this.
I know, things have been quiet on the blog front. There are a few different reasons for this, so I wanted to try to give a relatively quick update to explain my absence.
As I’ve discussed before, our daughter’s birth and life since then hasn’t been as smooth as we’d hoped. Our feeding difficulties only increased and we finally had to make the very difficult, but ultimately right decision, to have a feeding tube placed. A month into that, baby girl is thriving. We no longer fight her to feed her. She’s slowly but surely moving up on her growth curve. She no longer sobs when she knows we’re going to feed her. She isn’t currently taking any bottles or really much at all by mouth, but we’re working with a great feeding therapy team and all have high hopes of this all being a thing of the past before we know it. I’ll keep you updated on our progress, but for now, it’s just nice to not dread every feed, to know she’s getting the nutrition she needs, and to still be able to provide her with breastmilk, even if not through the means I would have liked.
On top of all that, Miss E has decided that teething and not sleeping would be a perfect new challenge now that we no longer have to battle her to eat. So…we’re tired. She’s tired. But she’s adorable and her giggles and smiles make it (mostly!) worth the stress.
I’m also working hard on trying to continue growing my business. I have new webinars in the works, my perinatal fitness certification, and a number of new “motherhood” packages I’m developing. It’s quite a process, but I’m really excited to make it happen. As with Miss E, I’ll try to keep you updated on my progress. I know it may take a while, especially because the packages involve some major new additions to my offerings, like lactation cookies and recipe “books”!
I hope you’ve all had a lovely, wonderful end to 2016 and a great, exciting start to 2017. Hoping I’ll be more present again very soon!
Sorry for going MIA. I may post more about it someday soon, but right now, I’ll just give you a quick recap. Baby girl is proving to be quite the challenge. She is struggling to figure out how to coordinate her suck/swallow and feeding her is a huge chore. It’s an hour long endeavor, 8 times a day. We’re very exhausted and between feeding her, pumping, and taking care of our active little man, too, I barely have time to feed myself, let alone put together coherent thoughts for a post!
I’ve written quite a bit about my journey with my daughter. While this blog today might seem out of the norm for my site, I feel it’s incredibly necessary. I believe in prevention and wellness through focusing on the basics of health – nutrition, activity, sleep, thoughts, and breath. Because I work primarily with mommas (to-be, hopefuls, postpartum, etc.), birth is obviously a huge part of the focus. So much attention is given to the “ideal” birth, which, by our current standards is a non-medicated, all natural birth, one where mom and baby are joined immediately and mom feels empowered and instantly able to nurse and bond. This ideal...it’s wonderful, truly, but I think it also sets a lot of women up for feeling like failures, myself included. So I want to discuss that a bit today because going into motherhood feeling like a failure isn’t good for anyone.