A Fun Weekend

This weekend, Ellie had a lot of adventures with food and going downtown! I thought I’d post a couple of the many many photos I took over the weekend.

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Ellie eating broccoli

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Ellie eating a banana

We tried Baby Led Weaning – I’ll blog about that experience later

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Our little trip downtown

So, I planned on this nice little adventure downtown, just the two of us as James was working. In my mind, we would peacefully ride downtown, get out, walk around by the river, and then she’d sleep as we drove back home. The reality of the trip –

1) she screamed the whole time I was trying to park because she was ready to get out of the car

2) Turns out she crapped out of her diaper and down her leg, so before we even left the car, I had to change her diaper and lucky me, I forgot any additional clothes, so I just cleaned the inside of her pants and put them back on

3) I had a hard time deciding if I should put her in the baby carrier or the stroller so I thought, oh, I’ll carry her one way and put her in the stroller on the way back. Well, she wouldn’t go in the stroller so I walked around downtown with her in a baby carrier pushing an empty stroller around

4) oh, speaking of empty strollers, I tried to go into the Pink Azalea, and lifted the stroller onto the step in the store, then when I realized it was not going through all of the tables, had to back out of the store very awkwardly

It ended up being fun, but the days of just peacefully popping in and out of places is over. Me trying to get into Spill the Beans was another story, but you catch my drift.

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Ellie eating an orange which she LOVES

So, she really loves oranges, but I think they irritate her tummy because of the citrus, so we’ll hold off a bit.

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She has on her spring dress! It’s warm here in the south!

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Her new play area – it helps us keep our living room clean and it’s set up for her to enjoy it all at the same time! ADD here we come

Since I have been reading about the dangerous effects of tv watching for infants, I decided to create this play area for her. It does help keep the living area a little cleaner, it’s in a brighter spot, and it keeps me from being tempted to turn on the television. I don’t know how I’m ever going to catch up on Real housewives and Southern Charm, but I’d rather miss those shows than have a child with ADHD when she’s 7.

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We’re at my mom’s here and I’m trying to breastfeed her, which she is not interested in because she sees a pillow with tassles

It’s getting harder and harder to breastfeed her anywhere but my bedroom. She is so curious about EVERYTHING. She wants to touch EVERYTHING. And she lets you know if you aren’t getting what she wants. Awesome.

Meal Plan for this week!

One of the things I’ve learned from healthy eating is that my life is much simpler if I create a meal plan for the week. Using Pinterest is a life saver because I can pin yummy meals as I see them and come back to them later to decide what to cook. I’m creating a meal plan here so that if you’re wanting a healthy diet, you can take a look at what I cook and see if anything is interesting!

Monday:

*Breakfast – bacon, eggs and banana

*Lunch – Applegate gluten free chicken nuggets (they don’t contain any dairy, soy or gluten) they taste really good and they don’t use antibiotics^, green beans (I just buy the frozen beans at whole foods, the 365 brand)^^, and an orange

^I grew up southern so it’s just in my palate to have “fried/breaded things so this is my way of doing so. 

^^I use frozen veggies at lunch because while I understand that buying whole beans and snapping them then cooking them is the best option, I have to work, and I have an infant. You can do what’s best but frozen is the best alternative to fresh. Studies have shown that the metal cans are NOT GOOD. 

*Dinner – Pan Seared pork chops with apples and collard greens^, gluten free chocolate donut (I had 2 and realized that was WAY too much), coconut milk

^I didn’t have any chicken broth, vinegar, nothing so I just boiled them with 2 pieces of bacon. My husband said they were bland, but all in all, I thought they were good. Next time, I might try an actual recipe although the collards themselves are good. 

Tuesday: 

*Breakfast – Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Cereal with Earth Balance non soy spread

*Lunch – left over dinner from Monday evening, almond milk chocolate bar (dairy free/soy free, So Delicious)

*Dinner – Ribs^, broccoli^^ and carrots^^^

^I used a dry rub for this, I can’t even remember what I put in it – it was brown sugar, cayenne pepper, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, coarse sea salt, and some other stuff too

^^I just steamed it with no seasoning

^^^they were glazes (the earth balance spread and brown sugar) 

Wednesday:

*Breakfast – Brown Rice cereal again with a banana

*Lunch – ok, I messed up here because I planned on having leftover pork chops again but I forgot in all of the errands I had to do, so I ate a smoothie and forgot to eat lunch. Not good.

*Dinner – Roasted herb chicken^, roasted asparagus^^ and a sweet potato, gluten free donut

^olive oil, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, and dried rosemary

^^olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper 

Thursday

*Breakfast – eggs and bacon, half of a banana (I split the other half with my daughter)

*Lunch – leftover pork chops, green beans, almond milk car

*Dinner – FREE NIGHT – this means we can do whatever we want but it will probably be leftover ribs

Friday

*Breakfast – eggs and bacon, some type of fruit, maybe a pear because Ellie is trying new things

*Lunch – Frozen grilled chicken breast (organic), frozen mixed veggies, 365 brand

*Dinner – Out to eat

I buy all of my groceries from Whole Foods and while I catch a lot of heat from this from people (oh it’s so expensive), it’s easy to shop, I know they have standards and requirements to sell food through them and everything is labeled well. Each item is specific in saying if it has soy, dairy, gluten, etc.

Also, the weekends are kind of a free for all. I need to get that under control, but when eating lots of fresh items, I usually have to go back to the store on Friday anyway.

I’ll try to post these once a week so it can help inspire your healthy meals. You can see that I’m not 100% nothing fun, and I’ve lost a lot of weight. I do eat some grains, I do eat some sugar, because in reality, who can be perfect all of the time? And who wants to?

My breastfed baby and my idea of schedules

I’m one of those people that really really wants to be super organized but am not. If you could see my desk, you’d understand. I somehow make it all work, but here is an example: I bought a couple of plastic containers and some folders in order to organize my desk. One of the containers is dedicated to personal stuff, specifically tax information. Yet, all of my receipts and tax stuff is in the bin “to be filed” and has been there since January 2013. So, yeah…. neither is my baby.

I had a big plan for Ellie when she came into this world. I was going to put her on a schedule – she would eat every 2 1/2 hours, she would nap at 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, and she would go to bed at 8. Yes, this was going to work. And then I had Ellie. And she wasn’t interested in that schedule. My pediatrician told me in the hospital, “now feed her every 3 hours, and don’t let her go past 4 hours”. I thought, oh okay – no problems there. Ellie wasn’t interested in 3 hours, she wanted to eat every hour and a half. Ok, we’re eating more frequently than I thought, but I’ll just go with it.

My thoughts: “why does this baby scream when she gets hungry, jeez”

I read all of the books that said, catch your baby before she gets hungry, look at hunger cues, etc – This was my baby’s hunger cues: tongue, tongue, SCREAAAAAMMMMMMMM. Oh, she’s hungry. Or it would look like this, “sleeeeppp…sleepppp…. WAKE UP SCRREAAAMMMIINNNGGG…”

So yeah – that’s when I decided, the schedule will come later, I just need to focus on getting food in this baby ASAP.

Then we had the food allergy and it made sense why she was so hungry, her little tummy was irritated. Some babies eat more when that happens and some eat less. I got the baby that ate more and more and more. But even after getting my diet straightened out, the periods of time in between feedings has only varied by about an hour in 6 months. In the beginning, she ate about every hour and half. Now, she eats between 2 – 3 hours, it varies depending on naps, where we are, and how interested she is in a toy. I asked my pediatrician when Ellie will start spacing out her feedings, and she said, “you know, some babies just eat every 2 hours and that’s it”.

I said, “Oh.”

She said, “yeah, sorry.” (She actually has said that to me a lot. Like, when she told me I can’t eat any dairy or soy which basically meant, all delicious food. And when she found out Ellie had reflux. and when we found out that she still had blood in her stool even after cutting out all the good stuff in my diet).

A side note, my lactation consultants (I saw several while in the hospital, as well as in my breastfeeding class) felt very strongly that if you want to breastfeed, you must breastfeed on demand. She said that schedules DO NOT WORK FOR BREASTFED BABIES. I told her that I had read the book, Babywise, and that I planned on attempting that. She looked at me like I had a third eye. I didn’t realize that the American Academy of Pediatrics had actually come out with a statement AGAINST that book for the amount of babies who failed to thrive due to that book. Whoops…

And when I logically think about it, I eat when I’m hungry. On some days, I may eat lunch at noon. Some days, I may eat lunch at 1:30, but it’s always different. I don’t know if that’s just me, or if it’s the world, but I doubt as adults, we eat the exact same time every. single. day. So why do I expect my baby to do the same? And I really don’t mind. I’ve found that her sleep has developed the same as all the other babies I know of, without me really trying to force her to do anything, so I’m just going along, trusting the process, letting baby lead the way.

So all you breastfeeding mamas, please know:

  • It gets better
  • You’re doing a good job
  • Listen to your baby, she/he know what they need
  • Their cries do mean something, listen to them
  • It gets better
  • You’re doing a good job

Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free Pasta Dish

Last night,  I got a little creative and made my own pasta dish. I LOVE Italian food but since I can’t eat wheat or dairy, that cuts out pretty much anything you can eat. I saw a picture on Pinterest of a stuffed pasta shells and decided to give it a try.

WARNING: I AM NO FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER – this is basic straight from the iPhone photos, so judge it more on the taste vs the look 🙂

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Stuffed Turkey Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground dark turkey meat
  • baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion (you can always add more, I just don’t love onion so much that I want to use a whole one)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Tbsp of Basil, dried (or to make it better, use fresh basil)
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • grapeseed oil (or whatever oil that is ok to use with high heat)
  • Some type of Marinara (you have to check the ingredients – most marinara have some type of soybean oil in them – for this I used Barilla)
  • DeBoles Rice Pasta noodles

Instructions:

First, start cooking the noodles per the instructions on the box. Be careful with gluten free/rice noodles because they get soft very easily and will tear easily. I usually add a little bit of oil to keep them from sticking. Preheat oven to 325. Pour oil into skillet, then garlic & onion. cook until soft and fragrant on medium. Add mushrooms and cook until soft. Add turkey meat and season with basil, salt and pepper. Lastly, add marinara, turn to low and let simmer.

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To assemble, lay the lasagna noodles flat in your baking dish. Fill the middle with the mixture, then roll them up. I used a small baking dish (8×8), and got 6 rolls. Layer the top with the mixture and place in the oven for about 15 minutes.

*You can always add cheese to the top if you don’t have an issue with dairy – or you can get the dairy free cheese. I don’t like it, so I’d rather go without

**I wanted to add spinach but forgot about it until it was too late.

It was actually quite flavorful and reheated well the next day. Obviously, the full cheese, full wheat version tastes better, but when one can’t eat that stuff – you just improvise!