I love food and I love to eat. So you would think the whole breastfeeding-eat-all-the-food situation I’m in right now would be heaven. But let me tell you this, getting in enough calories every single day, to maintain my milk supply is really tough! Eating has become a full-time job!
Full-fat coconut milk has been a life saver – mainly in the form of smoothies but recently with quick blender puddings, like this Banana Coconut Pudding! I love it because it takes me about the same length of time to make as a smoothie, but I make a huge batch that stays in the fridge and I can eat it for days! (as long as the hubby doesn’t get to it first…which happened…words were exchanged…)
Additionally, my stomach has been a little off in the mornings – it always is when I don’t sleep well and the kiddo is teething, so clearly not sleeping well. Starting with a small bowl of pudding has been a great way to start the day with food, but not overdo it on my digestive system!
Gelatin vs. Chia – chia seeds are fun. I’ve made chia pudding before, and it’s yummy (as long as you use the full fat coconut milk and not the white-water-no-nutrition almond milk). But chia seeds are the plant-based alternative to gelatin. Which for someone like me, is counter intuitive. I’m always looking for extra ways to get gelatin (especially the grassfed kind) in for gut-healing, so I would much rather make a real pudding, instead of a chia-one. But that’s just me!
Banana Coconut Pudding
Quick blender pudding, with nourishing and satiating ingredients! Dairy-free, sugar-free, paleo and AIP!
Fermented foods are a staple in every single traditional culture, and their absence in the typical North American Diet, is likely a major contributor to poor health. I’ve written about gut heath and fermented foods many times on this blog already, so feel free to check out those posts:
Sauerkraut was my introduction to fermented foods, and for a lot of people this is an easy add-in to their diet – especially if you like sauerkraut, pickles and olives. However, the combination of fermentation and cabbage can be a little too much for the fermented food rookie. And if you are interested in making your own fermented foods (which I highly recommend for 2 reasons,  it becomes inoculated with microbes from your environment and  it is a fraction of the price), sauerkraut has a fairly long fermentation period – 3-4 weeks. So instead, I recommend Fermented Carrots.
These are my favourite way to introduce fermented foods to kids and adults alike. A little sweeter for the rookie-palate, and with a 4-7 day fermentation period, they are a great intro to home-fermenting.
(Option: Garlic Dulse Fermented Carrots)
Ingredients & Equipment
2 lbs carrots
4 tsp fine-ground sea salt, or garlic sea salt (my preference!)
OPTIONAL: 1 heaping tbsp dulse
2 cups filtered water
2 more heaping tsp sea salt, or garlic sea salt
silicone muffin liners (my preference, but you can get creative)
1. Slice carrots as thinly as possible. I recommend using the slicer attachment on your food processor. (Note: save your carrot tops for making broth!)
2. Add to a bowl, and toss with sea salt, or garlic-sea salt.
3. Optional – add a heaping tbsp of dulse for extra minerals and thyroid support!
4. Toss well. Spoon into jars, packing carrots down as tightly as you can.
5. Create a brine by mixing 1 tsp salt (garlic salt) with 1 cup of water, and adding to the jars of carrots. Add enough brine to cover carrots completely.
6. Use something to hold the carrots under the water. I like to use my silicone muffin liners!
7. Place in a cool, dark corner of the room, out of direct sunlight. But don’t put them in a closet or cupboard where you can forget about them (learned this one the hard way!). Check on them every day to make sure the carrots are still below the water. If not, add a bit more brine, or push down the muffin liner. Let ferment for 4-7 days. Start checking at 4 days to see if you like the tangy flavour. I usually ferment for 5 days.
I love adding a spoonful to salads, or just on the side of a meal. When I was breastfeeding, my favourite snack was to toast 2 pieces of GF bread, spread half an avocado on each piece and top with these bad boys. Delish!
What’s your favourite fermented food? Have you tried making it yourself? Share in the comments below!
NOTE: Baby girl arrived on her due date, and I had assumed she would come late since the majority of first time pregnancies do, my plan was to leave this blogpost for the week after my due date when I had nothing to do. So, I wrote this 4 months postpartum, and did my best to remember everything!!
Welcome to the third and final (thank goodness) instalment of my personal experiences during my pregnancy. If you haven’t read the first 2 parts (and if you want to!) check them out here and here.
My third trimester was also pretty uneventful, aside from the fact that my stomach was small but I needed to eat a lot. I definitely felt pregnant, but was surprised by how much I was still able to do. Fatigue started to set in after 30 weeks, which was exacerbated by the hottest summer in 75 years. Thank goodness I had a job that allowed me to wear sundresses and flip-flops! My boss is the best. Ha! But seriously, I would have had to leave work much earlier if my dress code wasn’t flexible.
Major Trends / Lessons Learned in my 3rd Trimester
Calories – I found weeks 27-37 pretty tough for eating. Not because I was having any aversions, but because I had no space in my stomach! So as much as I don’t like the 5-6 small meals a day, that’s what I ended up doing. I ate protein & veg heavy meals (salads with meat, fish stirfry etc), with some fat of course. And in between my main 3 meals, I would have carbs & fat. Plantain chips, banana & PB, frozen cherries and coconut milk (one of my favourite treats ever). Ham sandwich. Oh how sick I was of ham sandwiches by the end of my pregnancy! The best part was when she dropped at 37 weeks and I suddenly had a ton of room! Bring on the gluten-free pizza!
Blood Sugar – I tested my morning blood sugars (I kept an eye on them off and on since about 25 weeks, especially since I opted out of the glucose testing) and they were really, really low! No wonder I was waking up so shaky. I started eating before bed again, like I did to prevent morning sickness in my first trimester. This made a huge difference for how I felt in the morning and also how I slept!
Crossfit – I really started to pull back. I even stopped 10 days before baby girl arrived (when I assumed I’d crossfit the day I went into labour, lol) to conserve my energy and strength for when labour started. See full details here. My whole goal at this stage was to maintain strength and keep moving my body. Crossfit kept me sane during the last few weeks where I felt like my body was not my own. Being able to lift weights made me feel pretty darn happy!
Sleep – I started having sleeping issues towards my final trimester. As someone who sleeps amazingly well (anywhere, everywhere, at the drop of a hat, lol) this was a new experience for me. And it wasn’t that I was uncomfortable. I’m a side sleeper, so the belly didn’t really impact that! So since that wasn’t the case, I couldn’t figure out what it was for a long time! I started implementing all of the usual tricks, which I pretty much do all the time already (always protecting my circadian rhythm!):
Epsom salt bath with lavender EO every single night. I made the water not too hot and only stayed in for 20 minutes.
Took magnesium before bed.
Started eating before bed! I randomly stumbled across an article on insomnia (that had nothing to do with pregnancy), which suggested that in some people who struggle with frequent night-wakings, it is actually a dip in blood sugar that causes the waking. I thought this was interesting and was suspicious of my blood sugar dropping, because (a) I wasn’t waking up to pee every time (although that did happen like clockwork between 2:57 and 3:06 every single night – weird), I was just, awake, and (b) with the amount of muscle I had, and the amount of activity and lifting I was still doing, I was craving carbs like crazy – and not cookies and sugar carbs – real, nutrient-dense carbs, so I knew I needed them. Ham and avocado sandwiches on GF bread immediately before bed happened every single night this trimester. If I skipped or tried something else, I didn’t sleep! Pregnancy is nuts, lol.
Sore Muscles – this was something I didn’t anticipate, but makes complete sense. My body was SO sore from lack of mobility. Specifically my back. I couldn’t do anything with my back except keep it in mostly one position. No bending forward, backwards, twisting…nothing. So all the muscles in my back were constantly aching from not doing anything! You know that feeling if you’ve been sick and in bed for days? Yeah, that was all of the time from about 32 weeks on. Crossfit helped a ton, as did epsom salt baths – I had one every single night during this trimester. But the best thing I did for myself was go for a massage every 2 weeks, the last 9 weeks of my pregnancy. Made all the difference in the world.