Category Archives: Noms

Nursing Trail Mix

A recipe for a good, protein filled one handed snack.

Go to Costco.

Buy a container of each kind of nut you like (pecans, almonds, etc…), same for dried fruits (apricots, cherries, craisins).

Buy the four pound bag of chocolate chips. Laugh that you will ever want that many chocolate chips. You’ll see. You’ll see.

To make: Cover a dinner plate with one kind of nut. Microwave it for 5-7 minutes, until the nuts are toasted. You may need to stop halfway through and stir the plate around. Wait for them to cool and confirm they are toasted to your liking. Repeat for each kind of nut. While doing this, chop up any large dried fruit pieces, like apricots or mango. Mix nuts in a bowl as you go. Add dried fruit and chocolate chips the taste. Mix well and store in an air tight container, preferably at your nursing station.

Almonds, pecans, craisins and apricots make approximately 10 cups of trail mix, or a three day supply for a new, breastfeeding mom. This is especially good given the unceasing hunger of a mom whose milk has just come in and her need for snacks high in protein and vitamin c. It’s also shelf stable and can live in your nursery without fear of spoiling. Don’t use a container with a difficult lid, since she’ll probably devour a lot at 5am nursing a baby.

Advertisements

Yesterday in Food

The past week, it seems like I am never, ever eating enough and everything results in low blood sugar nausea. As a result, I am eating constantly. Here, I made you a list:

8:15 – granola bar #1, small glass mango smoothie, iron pill

9:15 – almond butter (yes, from the jar, don’t you judge me), apple #1, coffee

10:15 – granola bar #2

11:45 – (large) handful chocolate covered almonds

1:30 – lunch! chicken apple sausage, arugula salad with chili lime almonds & brie, apple #2, more coffee, prenatal vitamin, DHA

3:45 – brie & crackers (no more sugar!)

4:15 – granola bar #3

5:30 – graze nut box (yes, even with a 6:30 dinner date) (referral link)

6:45 – far more than I care to admit of a tater tot appetizer

7:15 – dinner! cheeseburger & salad. and maybe some more tots.

9:15 – oatmeal cookie

11pm – granola bar #4

And then the burger or tots gave me horrible stomach troubles at 3am last night that have still not resolved themselves. So that was fun.

Moral of the story is I’m giving birth to a granola bar.

Food Nesting

My freezer is cooler than your freezer.

My freezer is cooler than your freezer.

The wife had a wedding the weekend before last and I told her at 32 weeks that in no way was I going to be working at wedding at 36 weeks pregnant. I really enjoy working weddings with her, but they are long days (at least 12 hours), with lots of walking, carrying and general hustle. My last two weddings, my Fitbit ranked 20,000+ steps. The physical and emotional toll of it was just too much. So her mom came up to help and I stayed home and cooked for two days straight.

I’m not even kidding about that. Look at the before and after of my freezer. Look at them. Are you scared? I’m scared. I spent something like $300 on groceries prepping for that, but we easily have 3 weeks of food in there. And I would look at what I did and go “I don’t know why that took so long, I only made 8 dishes” but dude, cooking is work! It takes time! I forgot that somehow.

The only thing I’m not pleased about is the lack of vegetables in all of this. I’d really wanted to throw some zucchini in my burritos, but costco & target didn’t have any, so I went without. I figured I can still eat all of this with salad when the time comes anyway.

My jumping off point for this was Don’t Panic: More Dinner’s in the Freezer, a book I’d gotten on Kindle when it was on sale for $1. I really only used one recipe from it (Apricot Bars), but the tips and tricks for how to make and freeze stuff was invaluable. A lot of the recipes I could take or leave (not a lot of veggies, using frozen bread dough instead of making pizza dough, etc…), but still, something like that is a great resource. Here’s what I did make.

Martha Stewart Chicken Penne Bake

Honey Lime Avocado Popsicles (hoping to be a labor snack)
Banana Bread
Lactation Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Pizza Dough
Spinach, Bacon & Mushroom Calzones (using this kitchn how to)
Apricot Bars
and burritos. So, so many burritos.

Do you want to learn how to make burritos? Come close, children. First, you don’t need a recipe or any references, but if having some will make you feel better, read this Kitchn tutorial.
1. Crockpot 6 chicken breasts with a jar of 16oz salsa (I used Mrs. Renfro’s Jalapeno Salsa because we both like that, but it is spicy) for about 8 hours. Shred with 2 forks.
2. Cook up a bunch of rice. I did 1.5 cups dry brown rice, which I think made 3 cups cooked rice? Could also do quinoa or another grain.
3. Add a bunch of black beans. I used 4 regular sized cans of rinsed beans.
4. Mix 1-3 together. The rice will absorb the extra liquid, so your burritos will still have the flavor but not be drippy.
5. Cool to room temperature.
6. Make into burritos! I added the Costco Mexican cheese mix to each tortilla underneath and on top of the 2-3 serving spoonfuls of filling. That used just about a bag of the 2 bags that were in a Kirkland pack (so about a pound?). I used the Kitchn’s tutorial and it worked super well (though I did have to look up how to roll a burrito on the internet).

That made about 18 burritos using 10″ tortillas. I filled up the remaining 6 tortillas with a shredded pork tenderloin I’d crockpotted with salsa verde with a smaller amount of rice and black beans and had about 3 cups leftover. I would have sauteed some onions and zucchini and thrown those in if we had the zucchini, but you could add other veg too – mushrooms, peppers, that sort of thing. I had also thought to do a mashed sweet potato burrito, but ran out of steam. And also tortillas. And freezer space.

I used two containers of aluminum foil and a box of gallon ziploc bags getting this all in. And I’m still not done. I have a bunch of hummus from a recent baby shower I’m going to freeze for snacking and I’d like to cook some chicken breast pieces and freeze those to defrost later for salads.

Also, I underestimated how physically exhausting it is to stand in a kitchen while 36 weeks pregnant. I used to do Friday night cook-a-thons similar to this in my single days, except that I’d get shitfaced on cheap wine and listen to podcasts while doing it (I was a classy youngster with a roaring social life, what can I say). I had to take an hour break several times during the day because my feet were the size of the burritos I was making.

In the end though, making all the burritos was the least time intensive and yielded the most results out of everything. I may have to make this a monthly habit to help keep lunch costs down.

Food, Redux

27 weeks in, I can definitely tell you that pregnancy changes your relationship to food. I used to wake up at 9am on Saturday, take the dog on an hour walk and then spend an hour mowing my lawn before having coffee. Now I have to eat a protein bar before I leave the house because I can’t wait an hour to have my actual breakfast at work.

I also don’t go anywhere without emergency snacks (a packet of nuts) in my purse. I got caught places without food too many times.

In my unblogged about 20 week midwife visit,* I got put on a version of the paleo diet. I wasn’t eating enough protein, eat only meat and vegetables. Nothing white, no sugar, no artificial sugars, no beans, no corn, no potatoes, maaaybe quinoa just meat and vegetables. So, I ate salad for a month. I felt guilty for having sugar in my coffee and buying the honey roasted nuts by accident. I told Graze I was lactose intolerant and gluten intolerant. I had one splurge a week, except when I had three on vacation.

See, when I get advice from a doctor, I don’t half-listen. I kind of go crazy. I’d actually specifically picked this set of midwives over others because I knew I would get into disordered eating otherwise. Welcome to life following the rules and being a fat girl. You get in this desperate rut to prove to people that you’re not one of those fat girls,** that you have to color within the lines and do exactly what you’re supposed to do.

I also had my blood glucose because I’m a fatty fat fat fat (read: my BMI) and that my mom got diabetes… at 60. So the more I read into the visit, the more I saw that my food choices and my body were unacceptable to a healthy pregnancy and that I was going to get diabetes and I’m a terrible baby grower. (Never mind my regular exercise routine, that I was still under pre-pregnancy weight at the time and that I was eating pretty decently before that)

I came back for my 24 week visit and glucose test and was told I was eating too much protein. And that the midwife I talked to didn’t understand why I had my glucose test moved up. And she thought everything looked fine. I celebrated by eating a piece of pizza and then reintroduced bread into my life. I remembered how awesome peanut butter sandwiches are instead of just eating peanut butter with a spoon. I had an ice cream bar a few times a week again. I found out I passed my glucose test with flying colors. I had chips and queso to celebrate.

But this is a digression. Somewhere in finding another way to make yet another salad with chicken, beets, nuts and cheese appealing and worrying that my produce choices of pickled beets, carrots and apples were too high in sugar, my relationship to food changed a bit. I still calorie track like a mo-fo (Fitbit for the win!), but I also don’t really care if I go over. I’m not feeling guilty if I splurge. I just want eating habits that make me happy, that are automated enough that food doesn’t run my brain and that I don’t get defeated by the idea that we don’t have any thawed chicken for dinner.

It’s a process, but I’m getting there. Still working on thawing the chicken.

*I actually did write a blog post about it, but wordpress lost the draft and I care enough to resurrect. This is the gist, anyway.
**This is all bullshit anyway. You are who you are. Your body is not separate from you, nor a tool under your control. Society’s determined to judge us all on something, it’s just reserving real vitriol right now for fat women. (way more than it judges fat men, probably because mainstream culture already feels ownership over women’s bodies anyway)

Hungry: A Time Line. In GIFs.

6:15 – Hey, I’m kinda hungry. But I’m stuck in class for another 2 hours.

6:40 – OMG, STARVING, FOOD NOW.

6:45 – Ugh, I’m kinda nauseous.

7pm – Man, I’m tired. Can we nap instead of class?

7:15 – Everything about this class is bullshit, the professor is awful and I hate his face.

7:30 – Heartburn.

7:40 – Why is there still no food? I am so sad about this. I want food and everything is hard.

7:45- Why did I forget to replenish my emergency snacks?

7:55 – Elaborate fantasies of the food I’m going to eat outside of class that do not include items on the midwife approved diet.

8:15 – THIS CLASS IS NOT OVER AND I AM FULL OF UNENDING RAGE.

8:25 – CLASS IS OVER. FOOD ME NOW.

9:25 – Heartburn. Again.

Fin

Heartburn Help!

A few weeks ago, in a moment of desperation, I submitted a question about how to resolve my heartburn issues to The Kitchn. Well, happily, they ran it on Friday. While I did not get the magical recipe list I’d been hoping for, I got some good advice on how to help resolve this. Ones I’m looking forward to trying out:

  • Baking soda in water
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Giving up my pride and taking some damn zantac

I’ve tried papaya enzymes, which really does nothing, unless it’s supposed to be some kind of long term solution, in which case, I don’t have the patience for it. I’ve got a huge bottle at my desk, so I’ll keep taking it with meals (and plenty of water, because it leaves a chalky aftertaste that is nauseating), but blerg.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure it’ll end with the Zantac, but getting to that last step is hard. I really wanted to go as chemical free as I can in this pregnancy. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve taken Tylenol. I finally gave in to this week’s super high pollen counts and started taking my claritin. I’ve drastically reduced my caffeine intake. And I’m not even sure it’s worth it, but that’s the narrative, right? If you do anything, your child will have adverse effects and if you don’t, your child will definitely have adverse effects.

I was really kind of hoping to get some magical recipe list to work from with this post. I’ve really lost my cooking mojo along with all my energy. The extra thought required to make a meal is just exhausting. Neither the wife or I really want to cook lately – stress and general fatigue are taking tolls on both of us for different reasons. It’s going to have to change, well, a lot of things are going to have to change with the arrival of this little stranger, but this is a big one. I’m planning on having my 8 month nesting freezer attack, but we’ll have to see what happens. We even tried a trial of Plated (referral link) to try to jumpstart us cooking again, but to no avail. (Plated review – it’s a great service, but at $12 per person per dish and $20 shipping, it’s definitely not cheaper than takeout).

Oh well. It’ll get there again.

 

 

Water

Did you know that if you don’t drink enough water, you will give birth to a raisin? It’s totes true.*

So, yes, in theory, people are supposed to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to flush out toxins, be hydrated, blah blah blah go fill your nalgene.

Pregnant peeps are supposed to hit 10-12 glasses a day. And they have their engorged uterus pushing on their bladder, so then they have to pee ever 3 seconds. It’s super fun. Plus, in the first two months, I had constant dry mouth, so I was pounding back water. And then running to the bathroom. And then filling my water bottle on the way back from the bathroom.

Happily, the dry mouth vanished, I think because I’m transitioning into the honeymoon trimester (where all I want is red meat and junk food… yay?). I also really like drinking water, especially if I can put Mio in it, though I’m starting to worry that the splenda will give the kid an extra limb or something. I also am currently addicted to Fitbit and their calorie tracking includes water tracking, so I’ve been using that to stay on track. Yay.

*It’s totes not true.