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Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Are You REALly Ready for a Baby?

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

I knew nothing about real food and natural living when I got pregnant with my first child. And there was nothing natural about the process of fertility treatments with no explanation why my body wasn’t working.

Fast forward a few years (and more treatments and another child) to when I got pregnant naturally with my third. I knew so much more. My lifestyle was so drastically different (like drinking raw milk and eating raw liver instead of being terrified of anything raw during pregnancy).

It was almost like for the first time I was REALly ready for a baby.

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

What Was Missing?

As I look back on all three pregnancies there is one thing I wish I had had – a week-by-week guide based on a traditional way of living.

For all you mamas-to-be you are in luck! It does exist now!!

The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide To Pregnancy and Childbirth has everything you ever wanted to know – from what’s going on during the first two weeks (that you aren’t actually pregnant) to natural birthing options, placenta encapsulation and best stroller options. For real, it has everything!

Genevieve Howland (author and founder of mamanatural.com) has helpful tips on easing morning sickness naturally, what nutrients you and your baby need at different stages and the benefits of breastfeeding.

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Great Read

I’m a Type A person that wants to read every little detail about what’s going on during pregnancy. I sometimes wish there was a day-by-day or hour-by-hour handbook (seriously, I’d read it). So it’s been so fascinating (even when not pregnant!) to read this amazing resource.

In fact, it’s so cool I’ve caught my nine-year-old reading it!! I’m just careful about which parts she’s reading.

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Get Yourself Ready

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or know someone else who is this book is a MUST! Grab a copy for yourself and one to give away.

Looking back on my baby shower there are really only a handful of things I needed – cloth diapers, a good baby carrier (love my BabyHawk!), a bouncy seat…and a pregnancy guide that showed me how to do things the REAL way.

Are you REALly ready for a baby? That’s kind of a loaded question – nobody is really. But whether you feel ready or not, the Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth is for you!

I have been compensated for my time to write this review but all opinions expressed are my own. I have not been paid to post a positive review.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Broth For Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs

Broth For Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs | Homemade Dutch Apple PieBy now I’m sure you’ve heard about the benefits of bone broth.  It is great for healing the gut, for boosting the immune system and for adding essential vitamins and minerals to the diet.  It is important to consume broth every day.

But what if you don’t like soup?  Or maybe you just can’t stomach plain broth?  There are many recipes that incorporate broth.  I have a lot of delicious ones on my site, like sloppy joes, sweet and sour meatballs, beef stroganoff and stir fry.

Those are great lunch and dinner options  But I personally like to start my day with broth.  I love getting a nutritional boost right away.  Plus I think it’s important to eat a big breakfast to really fuel your body.

I do eat soup most mornings.  It’s easy.  I just use whatever broth and leftover meat and vegetables I have on hand.  But I know not everyone can stomach the idea of soup for breakfast.Broth For Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

So I’ve come up with some easy ways to get broth into your breakfast.  You won’t even know you’re eating it!

One way to easily eat broth for breakfast is in your scrambled eggs.  I came up with this version of eggs for my son who is allergic to dairy.  I couldn’t use raw milk in his scrambled eggs.  But milk alternatives can give a strange flavor.  So I started using broth.  It works so well!

Skip the milk.  Add some broth to your eggs and cook them as usual.  It gives the eggs a great flavor!  Plus you’re getting a nutritional boost.  The combination of broth and eggs is a power packed breakfast.  Add a piece of toast with homemade jam and you’ve got a complete meal to really fuel you for the day.

Do you start your day with broth?  It just got a little easier.Broth For Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Broth For Breakfast Series: Scrambled Eggs
Serves 2
Scrambled eggs cooked in broth.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup broth
  2. 3 eggs
  3. sea salt and pepper to taste
  4. 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, butter, lard or bacon grease
Instructions
  1. Heat the broth and oil in a small skillet.
  2. Once the broth starts to simmer add the eggs and seasoning.
  3. Stir the eggs to break the yolks and cook as you would regular scrambled eggs.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Bedtime Beverage

Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple PieDo you have trouble falling asleep at night?  Or maybe your kids have a hard time winding down at the end of the day?  Mine sure do!

Except for one…the baby.  How does she go to sleep?  She nurses and falls fast asleep.  Mother’s milk is warm and has the perfect balance of nutrients to help a little one nod off to sleep.  It is comforting and nourishing.

So how does that translate to everyone else?  Surprisingly ice cream (the kind made with real, whole ingredients) is about the closest thing we have to breast milk in terms of its nutrient profile.  It has a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat.

You could definitely indulge in a dish of ice cream to see if it helps you get sleepy.  But I have a drink that might work better.  It’s like warm ice cream!

Raw cream or whole milk is the ideal base for this drink.  If you can’t have dairy you can use full fat coconut milk and add a little extra gelatin for the protein balance.Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Egg yolks are added because they are packed with vitamins (especially B) and a little bit of protein.  The cream or milk has lots of healthy fat.  Gelatin gives more amino acids and protein.  Plus the gelatin makes it all easier to digest.  The sea salt helps you absorb everything and adds trace minerals.  The syrup also helps digestion (sugar is easily absorbed) and gives balance to the drink by adding carbohydrates.

At bedtime you need your adrenals to settle down for the night.  Having a balance of sugar, salt and fat will help your body accomplish that.   You can also add a small starchy snack along side the bedtime beverage to really balance out the components.  A couple soaked graham crackers or even a slice of sourdough bread are perfect.

This bedtime beverage is like a nutritionally boosted version of the warm milk you grew up drinking at bedtime (yes, there was some truth behind that).  It’s almost as comforting and calming as mother’s milk.  It tastes great too!

This drink can also be very helpful during the first trimester of pregnancy.  Even if you can’t get much else down this will give you a nutrient boost and may be soothing to an unsettled stomach.

There is no fancy equipment required for this drink.  Just a small pan and a whisk.  It only takes a few minutes to make.  Don’t forget to save your egg whites for baking.  They store well in the refrigerator or freezer for a long time.  I like to use them for making gluten free bread!

You won’t have to convince your kids to drink this before bed.  Offer a soothing bedtime beverage that tastes like ice cream and I’m sure they will gladly oblige.  Then watch them settle down and drift off to sleep.  Mother’s milk is wonderful for helping little ones get to sleep.  Now everyone else can do the same.Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Bedtime Beverage
Serves 1
A warm drink to help you sleep at night.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup heavy cream, coconut milk or whole milk
  2. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1 - 2 tsp. collagen or gelatin
  5. 1 - 2 egg yolks
  6. optional: 1 - 2 tsp. cocoa or carob powder
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. If using gelatin let the mixture set for 1 minute.
  4. Gently warm the mixture over low heat. Do not let it boil or you could curdle the milk or cook the egg yolks.
  5. Pour into a mug and enjoy before bed.
Notes
  1. This can be made with just the cream, syrup and salt.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Simple Smoothie Series: True Blue-Berry

Simple Smoothie Series: True Blue-Berry || Homemade Dutch Apple PieToday I’ve got a smoothie that is sure to please everyone.  Who doesn’t love blueberries?!

This true blue-berry smoothie gives a double shot of flavor with both whole blueberries and blueberry juice.

A blueberry smoothie is great for really little ones because you can leave out the sweetener and it still has a lot of flavor.  Just be careful how you serve it so it doesn’t get on everything!

If you or your kids are adventurous you can also add a few pieces of roasted beets.  A little goes a long way in terms of changing the flavor.  But it also adds a lot of nutrition.  If you don’t tell your kids it’s in there they might not know.  It won’t change the color.

You can also easily add elderberry syrup to a blueberry smoothie for extra immune system support.

If you are dairy free you can leave out the yogurt and add a bit of powdered probiotics instead.  The smoothie will taste great without the yogurt.  Or you can add some coconut milk for texture.

Every summer we load up on fresh Michigan blueberries while they are in season and freeze them.  Then all winter long we can have delicious smoothies like this, knowing we’re using fruit from the peak of freshness.

If you do not have a blueberry stash in your freezer you can get frozen organic blueberries at the store.  They are a better option than any fresh berries you find in the winter since it is not blueberry season.

Blueberries are my favorite fruit…and a blueberry smoothie is my favorite flavor.  What’s yours?Simple Smoothie Series: True Blue-Berry || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Simple Smoothie Series: True Blue-Berry
Serves 2
A healthy smoothie bursting with blueberry flavor.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  2. 1/4 cup pure blueberry juice
  3. 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt or coconut milk yogurt
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 2 Tbsp. honey
  6. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  7. 1 Tbsp. roasted beet (optional)
  8. 2 Tbsp. elderberry syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
  1. To make this into popsicles simply pour the smoothie into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.
  2. If you serving the smoothie to a child under one year of age leave out the honey.
  3. You can omit the egg yolks if you are allergic to eggs.
  4. The yogurt can be left out or replaced with coconut milk yogurt or coconut milk to make this dairy free.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/


In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Meal Plans Week of 2-16-14

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Good morning.  This is an exciting week.  Why?  I will be leaving the first trimester (yeah!).  And the weather is starting to change.  We might have a couple 40 degree days!!  It’s like a heat wave.  Sadly it will come with rain…and then get cold again and freeze.  But I’m excited for some warmer weather.  Spring is coming.

We really don’t have too much going on this week.  Monday and Tuesday are winter break, so no school.  We still have Kindermusik, dance and MomBreak.

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Last week we managed to make some special Valentine’s Day cupcakes and heart-shaped pancakes.  I don’t have any big baking plans this week.  But I know the kids are anxious to do more baking with me.  Maybe we’ll make a batch of graham crackers or muffins.

I’m still not feeling great, but am noticing minor improvements.  I was able to do some decent house cleaning yesterday.  And we even went out to eat!

I also had bloodwork done.  Just standard pregnancy stuff.  Everything looks great.

Hopefully this week my kids will give me a few minutes to write so I can post my health update.  It’s been fun to look back at last year and see just how much things changed.

For now it’s time for the menu.  What are you eating?  Eet smakelijk!

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*****MENU *****

S (church)
L – cp beef roast w/ vegetables
D – leftovers

M (make graham crackers, no school)
D – hot dogs and brats, french fries, beans

T (bake bread?, no school, AKM, RKM)
D – (prep ahead) – chicken noodle soup, bread

W (co-op)
D – (separate) – tater tot casserole, applesauce

Th (dance)
D – (separate) – beef and bean burritos

F (MB)
D – sausage, chocolate chip scones, smoothies, sauteed zucchini

S (nephew’s birthday party?)
D – at party or grilled steak, baked potatoes, broccoli w/ cheese sauce (on side)

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Meal Plans Week of 2-9-14

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I made it.  I made it through yet another week.  And now I have to plan meals.  I really don’t want to think about food.  In case you missed my little secret, go check out why I could care less about food right now.  But my family must eat.  So I’ll do my best.  Hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll be feeling better and be able to start eating better.

Our week isn’t too busy.  Both kids have Kindermusik.  I have to go grocery shopping.  I have a MomBreak steering team meeting.

Last week I made homemade gummies for the kids.  They always love it when I do.  The one problem…a huge batch is already gone.  We’ll see if I have enough energy to make another batch this week.  I love having them on hand since they are so healthy.  I also made myself some squash scones.  I figure it’s at least a little bit of vegetable I’m consuming.  Since Friday is Valentine’s Day I told the kids we might be able to make cookies or cupcakes.  I hope I can actually do it now.  I would love to make either granola bars or breakfast cookies that my son can eat.  We’ll see what time and energy allows.  I think that’s it for kitchen projects this week.

Last week I finally pulled out the box of maternity clothes.  So this week I get to wash them all.  And see if there is anything I can wear yet!  Today is a big day for me.  12 weeks!  Quite a milestone.

I hope to work on my health update this week.  There is so much to tell!!  Be on the lookout.

Here is this week’s menu.  As usual right now I’m going for simple and tolerable.  How about you?  Eet smakelijk!

sourdough pizza

****MENU****

S (church, make gummies)
L – cp pork chops, noodles w/ gravy, broccoli
D – (separate) – pizza, grilled cheese

M (make breakfast cookies or granola bars, put away laundry)
D – lasagna, beans

T (AKM, RKM, orchestra, make chicken broth)
D – (prep ahead) – cp roast chicken w/ vegetables

W (Meijer)
D – sloppy joes, salad

Th (bake cookies/cupcakes, dance)
D – (early) – beef and bean burritos

F (MBST)
D – heart -shaped pancakes w/ strawberry topping, scrambled eggs, roasted cauliflower

S ()
D – grilled steak, baked potatoes, broccoli w/ cheese sauce

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Poached Eggs

Along with our new potatoes last night we tried a new form of egg – poached.  I had never made them before.  And Justin and I had never actually even had one.  I’ve always been a little scared to try making one…cooking an egg in a pan of water sounds tricky.  But in one of my recent issues of Cooking Light there was a little tutorial on how to make poached eggs.  It sounded really easy.  So I gave it a try.  It really was very easy.  And quick!  And they taste great.  Very similar to a soft boiled egg.  These days I try to eat at least one egg a day.  And the runnier the yolk the better (the less it’s cooked the more nutrients it retains).  So this was perfect.  And even more perfect with our fresh eggs from Lubbers Farm.  Do you see the color of that yolk?  Amazing.  Rebecca is hit and miss with eggs.  Just depends what mood she’s in and how her gag reflexes are working 😛  So I just made her scrambled eggs last night.  But she did try a bite of mine and said she liked it.  Maybe next time I’ll make one for her too.  Now that I’m eating eggs so much it’s fun to experiment with different ways to make them.  This one is a winner for sure.  It would be very good served right on top of hasbrowns or a piece of toast to soak up all that rich, creamy golden yolk.

Poached Eggs

Fill shallow pan with about 2 inches of water.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.  Add a few tsp. of vinegar.  Crack each egg into a small dish.  Gently pour egg into water (it will sink to the bottom at first).  Let cook for about 3 min.  Remove from water with slotted spoon to drain.  Place on plate, potatoes or toast.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Enjoy!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Meal Plans Week of 11-7-10

Good morning.  Anybody else out there NOT a fan of the time change?  It’s easy to set your clocks back.  But not so much your body’s clock.  Just praying that Rebecca isn’t up an hour early today 😛  Hopefully the adjustment won’t last too long.

Made it through another week.  I’ve now passed the 13 week mark.  Officially in the 2nd trimester.  Woo hoo 🙂  Gradually starting to feel better, but still have a ways to go.  Especially when I push myself a little too much like I did yesterday.  My body lets me know :\  And although a few sweets are starting to sound/taste good my tummy does not like them one bit.  Sweets still make me feel sick.  So I have to avoid them as much as I can.  Last week was pretty busy, but quite productive at least.  Yesterday especially.  We bought a mini van!  It’ll be ours on Monday.  Yesterday we also signed up for our cow share at Lubbers Farm and will be starting our raw milk pick up on Tuesday!  So exciting.  We will have access to raw milk for 14 weeks…basically throughout my 2nd trimester.  Which is very good timing.  The other good thing is that their waiting list restarts every time they open up winter shares.  So now we are close to the top of the list for a full time share.  And we also have access now to their homegrown eggs, beef and pork.  And we can buy cheese and bread there too (Little Rooster Bread Company…their son).  It was so much fun to see the farm, see how everything works, hear their story, etc.  On the flip side of our busy day we had to skip naps for both Rebecca and me…not such a good idea 😛  We also had a surprise visit from my parents last night.  It was good to see them.  But it got Rebecca to bed even later…and wore me out even more.  So last night and this morning are pretty rough.  I’m actually having to pause every few minutes while typing this post and see if I need to make a quick run to the bathroom…or grab the garbage can 😛  Not fun.

This week is turning out to be very busy too.  Today is church.  Monday I have a lot of shopping to do.  We are doing an Operation Christmas Child shoebox this year.  So Rebecca and I will go pick out toys, etc. for that.  I also have to do my regular grocery shopping.  And I need to get to the hardware store to get some 1/2 gallon mason jars for our milk.  I hope they have them.  Otherwise we can buy them at the farm, but they are more expensive.  Justin has council in the evening.  Tuesday I have an appt. with my psychologist, we have to pick up milk and Justin has class.  Wednesday is Kindermusik, and Justin has a missions cmt meeting (although he might skip it so he’s not gone 4 nights in a row this week).  Thursday Rebecca and I are getting together with friends in the morning, and Justin has another meeting at church in the evening.  Friday I might go to Heffron Farms for milk and butter.  But we’ll see how our milk supply is doing by then.  Our raw milk will not be enough for our family every week.  So I’ll still need to buy other milk.  If we find we want more raw milk we can sign up for another share.  But we’re starting with one gallon a week.  Saturday I am taking a cloth diapering 101 class at a local baby store.  Other than that we might do some shopping.  We’re finding that there is a lot to get done in the next few months.  Funny how the upcoming arrival of a baby will do that 😛  Thankfully we can cross mini van off our list.  But we still need to get furniture and finish Rebecca’s room.  And we had a guy look at our basement bathroom this week.  We’d like to finish the shower in there so it’s a fully functional bathroom when we have guests.  And it’d be nice to have it done before our Christmas guests arrive 🙂  So we need to pick out tile and finalize those plans.  Those are two of the big ones that we’re focusing on first.

At MOPS on Friday one of our mentor moms talked about having balance in our lives.  It’s something we all struggle with…me for sure!  I tend to go full force in one area of my life and neglect others.  So I’m going to work to find a little more balance in my life.  I love to do stuff in the kitchen.  And that won’t stop.  But I need to do other stuff too.  So I am going to try to start scheduling other activities into my days instead of only cooking, baking, etc. with all of my free time.  I’d like to be a little better about cleaning.  So I’m going to try to accomplish small tasks every week…things that normally only get done once in a great while.  They will be simple things that can be done in 5-20 min.  Like clean one refrigerator shelf.  Or clean windows in one room.  Little things that will add up over time.  And all of the cleaning won’t seem overwhelming.  I also want to use one morning a week to do something fun/creative.  I’m going to start with my sewing maching I think.  I think this will give my life a litlte more balance.

At MOPS we also talked about being thankful and how we can teach this to our children.  So I would like to be more active about this with Rebecca.  One thing we’re doing is the OCC shoebox.  I am also trying to ask her once in a while what she is thankful for.  And I’d like to do a few crafts related to thankfulness.

I did finally start baking again last week.  I made chewy granola bars, two batches of pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes and coffee cake.  Most of it was for MOPS.  Hopefully I can do more baking for us soon 🙂  I also got some of my kefir grains going again.  Glad to know I didn’t kill them 😛  Since we’ll be so busy this week I don’t intend to do a lot of kitchen projects.  I might try to bake something for our friends.  And I would like to use my sourdough to make a new batch of english muffins.  I also still need to make myself a new batch of grain free granola.  That’s about it for this week in terms of baking.  I do need to deal with the rest of our brussels sprouts…which could be quite an undertaking…4 stalks…lots of tiny sprouts.  And we stopped at the orchard yesterday (just down the road from where we get our milk!).  So I have some squash to bake and freeze too.

Lots of stuff going on this week.  I hope I’m up for it.  Still not ready to plan regular breakfasts.  I still eat toast w/ pb most mornings.  Maybe next week.  Here’s what’s on the menu.
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Breakfast options – toast, english muffins or bagels w/ pb, granola bars, muffins, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, poached eggs, breakfast sausage, yogurt w/ granola, smoothie, oatmeal, egg puff, hard boiled egg, leftovers

S (church, make bars, bake squash, prep sd)
  B – bagel w/ pb, avocado (me), soaked cinnamon raisin coffee cake, fruit (Justin)
  L – leftover carrot pumpkin souffle, peas, pumpkin muffins
  D – chicken taco potatoes. pearsauce
 
M (make english muffins, shop for OCC, groceries, shop for jars, council)
  B – sourdough english muffins w/ butter, pb, jam, fruit, avocado
  D – squash and sausage soup, crackers w/ cheese
 
T (prep fruit, clean dishes cupboard, Dr. V., pick up milk, class, soak grain for wed)
  B – leftover carrot pumpkin souffle, avocado (me), breakfast cookie, pineapple (Justin)
  D – taco salad
 
W (work on sewing machine, KM, missions cmt)
  B – fried eggs, avocado, toast
  D – shrimp and veggie stir fry over brown rice, couscous or quinoa grilled hamburgers, sweet potato fries, beans, pearsauce
 
Th (prep brussels sprouts, Target, Heffron Farms, DT mtg)
  B – fried egg, avocado (me), sourdough english muffin, fresh fruit (Justin)
  D – french toast, sausage links, fruit, veg.
 
F (clean bathrooms, fabric store, Target, prep brussels sprouts, clean fridge, freeze butter)
  B – sausage, avocado (me), french toast (Justin) 
  D – pan seared salmon, baked sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts
 
S (clean fridge, sort laundry, chop veggies, laundry, cloth diapering class, sewing project, OCC shoe box, thankfulness craft)
  B – fried egg, avocado, brussels sprouts (me), yogurt, granola, fruit (Justin)
  D – sloppy cornbread, roasted carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts, peppers and onions

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Food and Personal Goals of the Month – November 2010

November…time for the holiday madness to begin 😛  And snow?  This month my main goal is to start getting back into the swing of things as I gradually feel better.  And adjust my eating as I transition into the 2nd trimester.  Bring on the meat! 🙂  There are plenty of repeats from previous months.  But some new stuff too.  I’m particularly excited about the potential for getting raw milk…starting this month!  I’ll give more details below.  Overall I’m just excited to be on the upswing.  Here’s what I’ve got planned for the month.

FOOD

1. Eating for pregnancy, specifically the 1st and 2nd trimester.  Now that I’m transitioning from the 1T to the 2T there are some different foods I need to emphasize.

Essential nutrients throughout pregnancy:

B Vitamins – meat, poultry, lentils, whole grains or Brewer’s yeast
Vitamin C – fruit and vegetables or raw juice
Vitamin E – olive oil and nuts or vit. E supplement (Dr. Ron’s)

Essential nutrients during 1T (vitamins – organs and limbs are made up of vitamins and need them to develop well):

Vitamins A and D – butter, eggs, pork, seafood or cod liver oil

Essential nutrients during 2T (bone and muscle formation):

calcium and protein (meat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese, eggs or whey)

2. Reduce grains.  As I start feeling better I want to cut back on grains again.  Give my gut all the help I can.

3. Eat in season – apples, pears, pumpkins, squash, root veggies.

4. Food preservation – Possibly can more applesauce, dry fruit, bake/freeze.  I need to do some major restocking of my freezer.  I already started yesterday with a large batch of chewy granola bars.  Hopefully there will be plenty more baking to come.

5. Chewing – continue to try to chew my food more thoroughly.

6. Raw milk – A few days ago I got an email from the local dairy that I’m on the waiting list for.  They have open shares for the winter since they don’t make cheese in the winter.  So they have shares available Nov. – Feb. 14.  Justin and I need to discuss it and decide in the next couple days.  Honestly it sounds like an ideal situation.  I’m feeling better now, so I don’t have to worry about being too sick to pick it up.  I don’t have to make a full commitment to a cow share since it ends in Feb.  And it will be done before the baby arrives (when I may not be able to pick up milk anyway).  Plus it would be so healthy for me and the baby right now.  Especially since milk is a great food for the 2T.  I still have to look at all the details, but I’m hoping it will work out.

HEALTH

1. Continue my healthy eating/lifestyle series. Potential topics – microwaves, nitrites/nitrates, artificial ingredients, aluminum, soy, phytates, nuts, gluten/grains, sugars and dairy.

2. Research topics

a. digestive process – I need to do this to continue working on my OCD. My perspective of what’s normal has gotten skewed over the years, especially since my colon surgery. I think learning the details about digestion and what really goes on will really help me. Learn what healthy digestion really is and how our bodies use what we eat.

b. pregnancy and childcare – learn more about natural care during pregnancy and for raising children (i.e. nutrition, cloth diapers, first foods, etc.).  I also need to start making a list of everything we’ll need to buy and do before baby #2 arrives.

COST REDUCTION

1. Continue recording spending and sales.
2. Food budget – go down to $120/week now that the farmer’s market/fresh summer produce is done.
3. Continue to plan meals based on sales/what we have on hand and on what’s in season.
4. Continue to make as much food as possible from scratch.
5. 2nd hand shopping when necessary.
6. Simplify – continue to minimize where possible.

FAMILY/PERSONAL

1. Sewing machine – I really would like to get back into sewing. I haven’t done it in years. And I think it would be a great way to save money. And a good skill to teach Rebecca some day. I loved having homemade clothes growing up. Hopefully I can do the same for my kids. My first step is to figure out how to work my sewing machine 😛 It’s my grandma’s old machine. Nice, but confusing.  Maybe if I set a small goal for this month I can accomplish it…just figure out how to thread the machine!  If I can get the bobbin in/threaded I’ll be all set.  Then I can look for a beginner project.  And fix the pile of clothes sitting next to the sewing machine 😛

2.  Be creative – Not sure what this is going to look like, but I feel like I’ve just been getting through each day for a while now.  And need to get back into doing creative/fun stuff again.  It really is one of my passions…to be creative.  And I have not had a chance to do it for quite a while.  I haven’t decorated a cake since April.  I haven’t done any hand work (blankets, etc.) for years.  I think it will be great for me personally.  And I want to get Rebecca’s creative spark going too.  So here are some potential ways to be creative this month: cake decorating, sewing, drawing, baking, cooking, photography, decorating the house (Rebecca’s room, baby’s room, etc.), crafts with Rebecca.  We’ll see what I come up with.

3. Activities

a. Kindermusik
b. nursery cmt (meeting Nov. 15, nursery duty Nov. 14 and 21)
c. Little Lambs (Rebecca’s class at church. I help on Nov. 28)
d. MOPS (meetings Nov. 5 and 19)
e. Start Christmas shopping
f.  Do some more thorough cleaning

4. Fun stuff.

a. CAO concert? – There is a Calvin Alumni Orchestra concert on Nov. 13 that is geared towards kids.  We might take Rebecca.
b. cloth diapering workshop? – There is a local store that has a cloth diapering 101 class that could be very helpful for me.  The only problem…it’s the same day and time as the CAO concert.  So I can’t go if we decide to go to the concert.
c. WI for Thanksgiving – We’ll be visiting Justin’s parents for Thanksgiving this year.

5. Rebecca – some things to do with Rebecca this month:

a. Keep working on potty training
b. Keep working on letters, numbers, spelling/sounds, counting, math, etc.
c. Teach her a little more about babies
d. Keep working on her new room – find a dresser.
e. Start transitioning her to a toddler bed for both night time and nap time.

6. Memorize scripture – still have to figure out which passage to work on.

7. Long term goals.

a. Overcome OCD
b. Stop using miralax

I’m looking forward to feeling better, getting back into the kitchen, cleaning my house and being more creative this month.  And as always to see what God has in store and how he wants to use me, my passions and my talents.

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Meal Plans Week of 10-31-10

Happy Halloween!  It feels strange to say that since Halloween is done for us already.  We had a party on Friday and handed out candy last night.  Rebecca was intrigued by it all this year and definitely a fan of the candy 😛  But not a big fan of kids in costumes…especially if it involved a mask.  At least she liked all the girls in princess costumes.

Thankfully I’m starting to feel a little better.  A little more energy.  A little less nausea.  A few more foods are starting to sound good.  It’s nice 🙂  Although feeling better and Halloween coinciding wasn’t that great…chocolate anyone? 😛  Really not many sweets sound appealing yet.  But for some reason chocolate is ok 🙂  You know it’s bad when I haven’t eaten ice cream in about a month.  And still have no desire.

Last week was long, but we had some fun and got some stuff accomplished.  I had my first OB appt. and heard a healthy heartbeat!  So thankful for that.  And so happy to moving into the 2nd trimester.  Not too much work in the kitchen yet.  Although I did manage to feed my sourdough and my kefir grains.  We’ll see if my kefir grains are dead or not.

A fairly busy week this week.  Although our plans will have to be tentative depending on how Rebecca is feeling.  She came down with a cold on Friday.  She’s pretty stuffy and has had a couple rough nights.  Plus she wouldn’t nap yesterday.  So we’ll see.  Praying that Justin and I don’t catch it.  So far so good.  Today is church…for Justin.  Rebecca and I will be staying home.  Monday is grocery day.  Tuesday is election day.  Get out and vote!  Justin also has class.  Wednesday is Kindermusik, and I have a dentist appt.  Rebecca is going to come in with me for the first few minutes to check things out (nice that our hygienist is a friend :), then Justin will take her home.  Won’t be long before she’ll have to go in for her first appt.  Thursday evening Justin has a thing at church for the seniors.  Friday is MOPS.  My table is bringing breakfast.  No plans yet for Saturday.  Maybe we’ll do some more mini van shopping (did a little more yesterday).

In the kitchen, I’m hoping to start doing a little more this week.  I need to do some baking for MOPS.  Aside from that I’d like to make a new batch of sourdough enlish muffins.  And if time allows maybe make a new batch of grain free granola and/or some other breakfast foods to start restocking the freezer.  I also have to do some veggie work.  Justin picked our first stalk of brussels sprouts.  It’s HUGE.  I think it will take me an hour just to cut all the sprouts off.  And there are several other stalks still in the garden.

Hopefully this week I’ll be able to start normal breakfasts again.  But for now I’ll stick with the breakfast options.  Maybe by next week I’ll have them planned out again…when I’m sure I can wait for Justin for breakfast without getting too nauseaous 🙂  Here’s what’s on the menu this week.
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Breakfast options – toast, english muffins or bagels w/ pb, granola bars, muffins, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, breakfast sausage, yogurt w/ granola, smoothie, oatmeal, egg puff, hard boiled egg, leftovers

S (church, make chewy granola bars)
  B – leftover risotto, avocado (me), blueberry muffins, grapes (Justin)
  L – chicken noodle soup, crackers and cheese
  D – omelettes w/ ricotta cheese, canadian bacon, beans

M (wash/trim brussels sprouts, groceries, put away laundry, change sheets, clean bathroom, prep english muffin dough?)
  D – cashew avocado chicken salad sandwiches w/ bacon and cheese, brussels sprouts

T (make english muffins?, cut up pineapple, vote, Harvest Health, class, make cleaners, iron)
  B (early) – sourdough english muffins w/ butter, pb, jam bagel w/ pb, avocado (me), breakfast sandwich (fried egg, cheese and candian bacon on english muffin) (Justin)
  D – cobb salad w/ bacon, hard boiled egg, tomatoes, cheese, peas, nuts

W (prep soup, KM?, bake muffins, dentist, soak flour)
  B – bagel w/ pb, avocado (me), banana pineapple kefir smoothie (Justin)
  D – crockpot broccoli and three cheese soup, grilled cheese

Th (bake coffee cake, make pancakes, bake muffins, iron, senior coffee)
  D – CA chicken, baked sweet potatoes

F (make cleaners, clean bathrooms, MOPS)
  B – bagel w/ pb, avocado (me), pumkin pancakes (Justin)
  D – leftover broccoli cheese soup, pumpkin muffins

S (make kefir, laundry, co-op order, mini van shopping, raw milk orientation)
  B – whole wheat cinnamon raisin coffee cake, avocado, fruit
  D – carrot souffle, pumpkin muffins, home canned peaches

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.