• Feeds

holiday brussels sprouts

Despite daylight savings and it being lighter earlier in the mornings, I seem to be having more trouble waking up!  Maybe it’s my body telling me I need more sleep?  Maybe it’s because I’m not sleeping well at night?  Who knows!

What I did know yesterday morning, was that I wanted a smoothie for breakfast.  Are you surprised?! 🙂

Mango Smoothie

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp pepitas
  • 3/4 cup milk

Mix it all up and enjoy!

Mid-morning, I was hungry for a snack, so I opened up a new bar I found at Trader Joe’s:

A Pure Bar

It was a bit chunkier than a Larabar, but had a similar texture.  And, a great ingredient list!

For lunch, I heated up an Amy’s Burrito.  There were slim pickings in our fridge yesterday, luckily Brant headed to the grocery store last night!

I ran out to do a few errands, and PinkBerry just happened to be there!

A small tart with mango, raspberries and brownie bites…mmmm….

For dinner, I was half creative and half boring!

A veggie burger on an english muffin with a side of Brussels Sprouts.

For the delicious brussels sprouts, I tried something a little bit new.  They would be perfect for a holiday dinner!

Brussels Sprouts with Cherries & Cheese

  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • drizzle of agave or honey
  • pinch of salt
  • grind of pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheese (i used stilton)

First, wash, rise and chop your brussels sprouts.  Then add them to a heated skillet with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil.

Turn your heat up to medium-high and make sure that they are all face down so that they brown and caramelize a bit.

After 7-10 minutes of cooking, check your sprouts to see if they have browned a bit.  They should look like this…be patient!!

Once browned, turn the heat down to medium and add your mustard, agave (or honey), salt and pepper and mix.

Then, add your cranberries and crumbled cheese.

Mix until combined.

These came out great!  They were cooked perfectly and the spiciness of the mustard really balances out the sweetness of the cranberries and cheese.  YUM!

Homemade veggies to balance out my boxed veggie burger. 🙂

pregnancy tips: nutrients you need!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor.  Everything that I write about has been researched by me for my own pregnancy.  Please consult a doctor for health advice.

We all know how important vitamins and nutrients are to our health, right?!  You should always try to consume a variety and balance of foods and nutrients to keep your body healthy and thriving.  However, when you are pregnant, it is even more important to eat those nutrients because your baby needs them to grow!

At first, I was worried that I was not getting enough nutrients for my growing baby because all I was eating were saltines, cheerios and white bread, but I was told that they baby will take all of the nutrients first, then they get distributed into your system!  Plus, at the beginning of any pregnancy, the baby is so small, that it barely needs anything at all.  I have done a lot of research to make sure that I am consuming the nutrients that my baby needs, so I wanted to share my knowledge with all of you. 🙂

Some of the most important categories to think about are listed below:

Healthy Fats

(Source)

Despite what many woman think, fat is good for you!  And, is necessary for energy production and to stay healthy.  There are different types of fat, so try to stick with the good fats, especially while pregnant.  About 20 to 35 % of your daily calories should come from healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, organic nut butters, etc.

Omega-3’s

(Source)

DHA is essential for your baby’s brain development.  It is recommended to eat fish, such as salmon or shrimp, once a week to get the necessary DHA requirement.  You can also get omega-3’s from eating flaxseed and other nuts.

Fiber

(Source)

Fiber does not contribute any calories to your diet, but it does do 2 wonderful things!  It helps you to feel fuller longer and it aids in digestion (which is definitely important while pregnant, since your digestive system works much slower than normal…).  Women need about 25 grams per day, Pregnant women need about 28 grams.

Protein

(Source)

Protein is very important!  It helps to keep your baby growing and developing, and it also helps you to produce new cells and regulate your hormones.  Protein is important for anyone and everyone.  Athletes need protein to repair muscles, as well.  On average, a 150-pound woman needs 50-60 grams of protein, but while pregnant you need at least 25 grams more per day.

Fluids

(Source)

Our bodies are made up of mostly water.  It regulates your body temperature (and your baby’s, since they cannot sweat), and helps to transport nutrients throughout your body.  Everyone should drink a lot of water everyday, but pregnant women are told to consume about 80-100 oz daily!

Vitamins – Vitamins basically help your body function.  They all perform different tasks, therefore, including a variety in your diet will help you get everything that you need.

Minerals – Minerals help to support life!  Iron is extremely important while pregnant, as well as, Calcium!  Your baby will be born with enough iron stores for about 4-6 months.  Calcium builds strong and healthy bones.  While pregnant, your baby will continue to take your calcium supply.  Therefore, it is important to get ample amounts of calcium for your baby, and to replenish your own calcium supply.

Another important topic is calories!  Many women are constantly counting calories, something that I have never done.  But, today, I decided to count them up just for fun.  An average weight woman who moderately works out most days of the week, should consume roughly 2,000 – 2,400 calories per day (much more than many women think they should eat…).  I put myself into that category.  In your second trimester (which I am in now), you should consume on average, 350 calories more per day.

I decided to calculate some of the nutrients in all of my meals today, just to see how I was doing.  I seem to be doing very well!

Breakfast

2 scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and toast

Calories ~400, Protein ~ 23g, Fat ~ 20g, Fiber ~ 4g

Mid-morning Snack

Blueberry Banana Smoothie (1 cup greek yogurt, 1 cup water, 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 banana, 2 tbsp flaxseeds, 1 scoop protein powder)

Calories ~415, Protein ~ 35g, Fat ~ 9g, Fiber ~ 8g

Lunch

Orchard Chicken Salad from Panera Bread (info taken from website) + whole wheat baguette + 8 oz. Chocolate Milk

Calories ~ 580, Protein ~ 41g, Fat ~ 10g, Fiber ~ 6g

Afternoon Snack

Homemade Trail Mix (coconut, apricots, almonds)

Calories ~330, Protein ~ 2g, Fat ~ 6g, Fiber ~ 3g

Dinner

Mung Bean Pasta with tomatoes, peppers and nutritional yeast (mixed with 1/2 tbsp butter, 1/8 cup tomato sauce, salt, pepper and pepper) + veggie burger

Calories ~430, Protein ~ 30g, Fat ~ 9g, Fiber ~ 12g

Dessert

Gingerbread muffin with 8 oz. milk

Calories ~330, Protein ~ 8g, Fat ~ 17g, Fiber ~ 2g

Workout

45 minutes on the elliptical

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Total Calories ~2485

Total Protein ~ 139 grams

Total Fat ~ 71 grams

Total Fiber ~ 35 grams

I have also been drinking a lot of water, especially before, during and after I work out.

All in all, it was a great day!  I definitely do feel like I eat a little more now, especially on days that I work out (which is most days of the week).  That baby must be growing!  I try to make every meal and snack well balanced, but treat myself as well. 🙂

manna bread review

A few months ago, Manna Bread sent me some samples of their bread for me to try.  And, by a few samples, I mean a loaf of each flavor they have!

It was extremely generous of them to send me so many samples and I greatly appreciated it!  I really do love the texture and the ingredient list of their breads.

[Disclaimer: I did receive these samples for free, but my review is completely my own.  If I didn’t like the bread, I would definitely tell you so!!]

From the website:

MANNA BREAD® is remarkably simple and wholesome, made entirely from sprouted organic grains, seeds, fruits & nuts. It contains no salt, leavening, yeast, oil, or sweeteners. By fully germinating our grains, we convert the starches into easily digested natural complex sugars, similar to those found in fresh fruits, hence the sweetness. The sprouts are ground and hand-shaped into loaves, baked at a low temperature, then packed and frozen to preserve shelf life, without any chemical additives.

MANNA BREAD® is moist, delicious, cake-like…and simply heavenly!

They are definitely right about that, the bread is extremely moist and cake-like, even after defrosting from the freezer.  The texture is awesome.  I have eaten the bread plain, with jam, nut butters, butter, etc.  It is perfect every single way.

I stuck all of the bread directly into the freezer and am just taking out a few slices as I eat it.  This way, it will keep for up to a year.

Shelf Life of Manna Bread:

Frozen (-10 F) – up to 1 year

Refrigerated (35 F) – 2-3 weeks

Room Temp (65 F) – up to 5 days

I basically liked each of the breads, but I definitely liked a few more than others.  My favorites contained chunks of dried fruit and nuts, like Fruit & Nut and Banana Walnut Hemp!

On to the review…not in any particular order.

Whole Rye

The rye bread is dense!  If you like rye bread, then you will definitely like this.  My favorite way to enjoy it is toasted with a smidge of butter and a side of scrambled eggs. 🙂

 

Cinnamon Date

Each loaf is fairly small, but very dense and filling, so don’t be fooled by the size!

You can really see the cake-like texture in the photo above!  This bread had a very subtle hint of cinnamon and a few chunks of dates throughout.  It was on the sweeter side, as most of their bread are, but I like that.

Millet Rice

Yum, Yum, Yum!  Millet bread is my all time favorite, and this did not dissapoint.  It was much more moist than the other brands I have bought, which was great.  The only downfall was that it really fell apart before I even ate it.  I love the Millet toasted with jam.

Multigrain

I liked this flavor, but it wasn’t anything special.  It was good with peanut butter, but if I had to choose, I would pick one of their many other flavors before this one.  Like, the carrot raisin!

Carrot Raisin

Look at the hunks of raisins!  I really liked this flavor, but I really like anything with carrots and raisins.  Due to the cake-like texture and the sweetness of the bread, it almost reminded me of carrot cake without the frosting!  Heavenly. 🙂

Fig, Fennel & Flax

This loaf was topped with tons of seeds!  I love that kind of texture in my bread.  The seeds were only on top though, and I would have liked more figs!  But, the flavor was good – only a hint of fennel.

Fruit & Nut

I loved this!  Generous chunks of dried fruits and nuts made it very fruity and delicious.

Sunseed

The sunflower seeds in this bread made it my absolute favorite.  There is something about sunflower seeds that I love.  They gace the sweetish bread a crunchy and saltier taste.  YUM!

Banana Walnut Hemp

I had tried this flavor before and was excited to be able to try it again.  I love bananas, so I loved this bread.  It has a lot of chunks of dried bananas throughout, which was great.  It is perfect on it’s own!

You can find Manna Bread in the freezer section of your grocery store.  Unless you are going to eat the bread within a few days, I really recommend storing it in the freezer.  For a few loaves, I cut them up into slices, then stuck it in the freezer for easy grab-and-go when you want a slice.

It tastes great toasted!

Thank you, Manna Bread, for letting me sample your bread!

a smoothie kind of week

I’ve had smoothie’s on the brain all week!  Even with the cold and rainy weather in Boston, I’ve been taking a smoothie with me everyday as a mid-morning snack.  They work great to tide me over to lunch…and give me some extra protein, fiber, and other nutrients that I am craving.

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 tbsp chocolate hemp protein powder
  • 2 tbsp flaxseeds
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3 tbsp oats

This was one thick smoothie, but it tasted great!

Mango Banana Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup mango
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 scoop vanilla sun warrior protein powder
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp pepitas
  • 1 heaping tbsp flaxseeds

This tasted delicious!!!

Berry-licious Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen berries (cherries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp honey
  • shake of cinnamon

Sometimes I like my smoothies very fruity and others I love more rich and creamy.  The beauty of a smoothie, is that you can make it any way you want!

They can contain just a few simple ingredients, or can be more complex to enjoy as a meal.

YUM!

quite the appetite

I have quite the appetite these days!  Especially on the days when I workout.

Yesterday morning I woke up to enjoy a very chilly 45 minute run outside.  It was cold out!  The first frost I have seen on cars since last winter!  I take it very easy while running these days and enjoy the scenery around me.  It is wonderful to just go for a run to enjoy it.  The last few years, I have been so caught up in training that I forgot what running for fun means!  I never stopped loving running while I was training, but my mindset was just very different.

I am loving getting a workout in on most days to move my legs and body.  I think it helps me feel better too!

After my run, I had a few leftover pancakes with pear syrup for breakfast.

And, whipped up a smoothie to take with me to work.  I have been getting much hungrier mid-morning this week, so I wanted a healthy snack just in case.  At 10:30am on the dot, I was craving that smoothie. 🙂

For lunch, I kept it simple with an Amy’s Burrito with beans, rice and cheese.

And, sliced peppers and plums.

Mid-afternoon, I snacked on a few dates and dried pineapple for a little fuel before meeting Victoria for dinner!

We headed to Rustic Kitchen for a delicious meal.  I had an awesome salad with mixed greens, sliced apples, candied walnuts, butternut squash, shrimp, cheddar cheese in a citrus viniagrette. 🙂  Yum Yum!