Weekly Menu: Easy Staples

standard October 9, 2017 Leave a response

Now that my sweet baby is 7 months old (where has the time gone!?), we are venturing into the world of solid foods and all the mess that comes with it. I expected the food mess. I was not ready for the scheduling mess and kitchen disaster and mental load that came with it. Do we now have to have family dinner at 5:30? How do I feasibly DO that when I work until 5 or 6 most days? What can I make that a vegan, a meat lover, and a baby can all eat without making 3 different meals? And how, logistically, do we handle cooking, eating, cleaning up, bath, and bed time all in the span of an hour and a half? Ugh. Mamas who have gone before me, wear your crown. And wear it proudly.

I feel like I JUST got into the easy routine of baby in bed, then 20-30 min prepping dinner with minimal effort or cleanup, relaxing on the couch, and bed by 10. Now dinnertime feels like a stressful scramble, and once baby is in bed, I have all these hours free. What do I do? Work? Clean? Read? Go to bed early? It’s a whole new open world of evening free time that I somehow forgot about.

ANYWAY, back to dinnertime. Most meals we eat, I can easily take part out and prep for baby, and add meat if needed for the husband. My main issue came from the fact that most of our meals I had already premade and frozen, so cooking parts separately were a little difficult. I am slowly on a quest for baby and family friendly meals, similar to what I used to make way back in the old days of the blog when I was still figuring out how to feed just the two of us and actually cooking all the time. And while I will not be going back to cooking from scratch every day, I am figuring out what meals work best in a pinch, are easily modifiable, and can keep everyone happy and full. Here are a few favorites we are enjoying this week.

  1. Back Pocket Stir Fry with Noodles // My go-to pantry staple from Pinch of Yum
  2. Butternut Spice Risotto // A fall favorite.
  3. Roasted Root Vegetable Rice Bowl // Add peas and tofu for extra protein and a little color.
  4. Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Sweet Potatoes and Rice // A hearty easy dish from Cookie + Kate
  5. Braised Coconut Spinach & Chickpeas with Lemon // One of my best recipe discoveries from pregnancy. This dish also freezes beautifully.

More family meal adventures ahead! And probably some plant-based Baby Led Weaning recipes as I start getting more adventurous on the baby food front.

Have a delicious week!

 

Be Present: October

standard October 2, 2017 Leave a response

As the year gets closer and closer to an end, I find myself scrambling to finish all the things I wanted to do this year. Then I stop and remember, I had a baby. That alone was a huge accomplishment. But I also find it nice to have these monthly posts to look back on and see how much has actually been done, even if it doesn’t seem like it. And now I have a whole fresh new month to keep working on tasks to get me closer to my year-end goals.

I mention this in my yearly goal posts, but I use power sheets to focus, brainstorm, let it all out, and bring it all back together. And then I share here the big things for each month. 2018 power sheets are going to be available later THIS MONTH, so if you’re interested in having something to use as a strategic goal setting guide for your business, your family, your life, go grab a set on October 25th!

September in Review:

1. Read 4 books.

I didn’t feel like I read that much, but Goodreads reminded me that I did indeed read 4 books last month. I think this one is hard for me because I don’t consider anything that’s not just for fun. I read baby books, nutrition books, reference books, etc all the time without even recognizing that I read (I know that sounds weird). And it’s not just that I need a novel to make it count, its more like the relaxing, evening wind down reading that I need to get me in a mindset to sleep well.

Best book I read this month? Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things. Extremely timely, well written, and with a perspective that really made me think about my own unconscious prejudices.

2. Update Celebration Nutrition services.

Phase 1 is complete! When I started my business, I offered counseling packages by time frames. As I have met with people over the past year, I have found some common themes that have led me to further narrow down and focus my expertise on a few key areas. Namely  vegan/vegetarian nutrition and mothers in all stages of having babies (pre-pregnancy, prenatal care, postpartum, and breastfeeding). I updated my services to reflect this change, allowing clients to know upfront what to expect out of each package, and to ensure I am able to present the best information for each person I work with. All services are now subject based, and counseling packages include intuitive eating, introduction to vegan/vegetarian nutrition, expectant mamas, and vegan athletes. More services for postpartum and breastfeeding mothers, as well as easier meal planning are coming later this year.

3. Carve out time for weekly self-care.

I realized the need for this when I started spending Saturday mornings running solo without a stroller or heading off to Whole Foods to work and savor a decaf latte. Now that I have childcare help and can run most days on my own to clear my head and work from Whole Foods at least once a week, I had to find new ways to spend some time both NOT working and NOT worrying about my daughter. The best time to do this now is Sunday nights. Even something as small as couch time with a glass of wine or a bath with a book has proven so beneficial to unwinding after a busy week and gearing up for a productive Monday. If you are a mama, and you haven’t made time for yourself, do so. Even just 15 minutes a week alone without your brain going a million directions. We all need it.

October Goals:

  1. Update editorial calendar for Neat & Nutritious (much more nutrition-related content coming soon!)
  2. Finish my first postpartum/stroller race.
  3. Complete phase 2 of Celebration Nutrition services updates.
  4. Plan WEEKLY date nights.
  5. Walk 10k steps every day (work days make this surprisingly difficult!)

Summer Goal Setting

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Run Austin: Postpartum Edition

standard September 25, 2017 Leave a response

I had grand plans of running all throughout my pregnancy. Of being one of those women who made fitness and pregnancy weight gain look easy and fun. Then morning sickness hit. And pregnancy exhaustion. I was pretty much flat out on the couch nauseous and napping for months, well past the end of the first trimester. Everyone said it would get easier after week 12. For me, it took well until week 14 or 15. My last run had been at week 5, so once I had the energy to get back out there, it had been long enough that my body was starting over, confused, heavy, and slow. Which IS OKAY! I accepted this and kept my run/walk routine until it no longer felt good, and I moved to just walking.

I managed to run two races during my pregnancy. One at 16 weeks and one at 24 weeks. I was shocked at how well I did during the first race, having very little training beforehand, due to the abovementioned exhaustion and nausea. And the second race was awesome. But also the last time I really ran, and ran strong. I mostly walked with some sprints after that.

Postpartum, I was not cleared to exercise in any form until 9 weeks postpartum, and even after that I wasn’t supposed to run right away, instead, letting my body ease into movement again. So it was maybe 11 or 12 weeks in that I even attempted a 1 minute on/off plan.

I very slowly started a couch-to-10k plan, repeating days and weeks as necessary. And now, 6 months postpartum, I can manage 5 miles in an hour, though still with some walk breaks. Running with a stroller is no joke! I finally signed up for my first postpartum race, the same one I ran at 16 weeks pregnant, the Run Free Texas 80s 8k. Not sure how I will fare with those hills and a stroller, but we will see! The goal is to beat my pregnant time of an hour, and since we’re still a few weeks out, that seems manageable to me.

I had grand plans of running a marathon this year. But my body isn’t there. My heart isn’t there. My head really isn’t there. Just thinking through the logistics of racing that long with breastfeeding is more than I care to figure out at this point. So marathon plans are on hold until next year. And instead I think I’m going to tackle Decker as my big end of year goal. Maybe the entire Distance Challenge again. But we’ll see how this first race goes first.

The big lesson learned? Listen to your body. Go slow. And know its okay to change course. Our bodies are amazing in what they can do, especially if we give them the love they need.

Anyone else gearing up for the 80s 8k? This is the third year I’m running, and it’s slowly becoming one of my favorite (albeit hilly!) Austin races.