Monday, May 30, 2016

May Eats

My blogging may have slowed down this month, but my eating definitely hasn't!  I'm starting to get more hunger cues than I'm used to, but as I'm growing a human, I'm just listening to what the little mung bean wants.

I have been craving SALADS so much lately.  So, I've been requesting lunch trips to Izzy's a lot lately.  I'm still not quite used to cheese, though, so the salad above had wwaaaay more than I wanted.  Oh well.  Now I know for next time.

We have also been doing salads at home.  I tried these Beyond Meat chicken strips, and they were SO good.  I made the same base salad (black beans, corn, cheese, red bell peppers, and romaine), then we topped them with our preferred protein.  Co-meal win!

When I'm not craving salad, I'm usually craving a noodle bowl.  I boil black ramen with a bunch of veggies, then toss it with a little of the broth + miso and cover in sriracha.  YUM!

For Cinco de Mayo, we had a bunch of people over for tacos, and I made lentil and roasted cauliflower ones.  Yum!  For some reason, the baby does not like Mexican food at restaurants, which is a real bummer.  It seems to be ok if I make it, though.

Josh and I had a fun day mid-month at the 2nd annual Maker Faire at the Innovation Hub.  He spotted a new food truck he wanted to try, WunderBus, which had a bunch of German sausage dishes on the menu.  After he ordered, I asked if they had any veggie dogs.  The guy's face lit up, and he told me about their secret vegetarian special, a root vegetable hash with an egg.  I was intrigued, and it was SO freaking good.

Speaking of eggs, that is the one non-vegan thing that I have really enjoyed coming back into my diet.  I've been picking up cartons from the Bernice Garden Farmer's Market, and they're yummy.  I tried eating oatmeal or sweet things for breakfast, but I just ended up puking.  So, most mornings I have either avocado toast or some kind of egg dish.  This was a particularly huge weekend breakfast, but who doesn't love tacos?

I recently discovered these yogurts in the Organic isle at Kroger, and HOLY CRAP are they good.  Plus, 14 grams of protein!  They taste like an amazing curry dish.  They have been an occasional treat lately when I get hungry before an afternoon workout.

It hasn't all been veggies and protein.  I have a raging sweet tooth that I'm trying to mitigate, but one day I had to indulge in strawberry shortcake at Izzy's.  They only have this dish when strawberries are in season, so I wanted to give it a try.  It was great.

I've also been making a lot of vegan cupcakes and peanut butter cookies, so yeah, got to get that under control.  Josh isn't complaining.

Those were my eats and cravings this month.  We hit 23 weeks on Saturday and have started working on the nursery.  I'll hopefully share some before and after of that when we get going.  I'm pretty excited.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

1st Year of Marriage

On Monday, Josh and I celebrated our first year of marriage.  It was definitely a fun milestone to hit, although as this is our 11th year together, staying married for a year didn't seem like a huge deal.  We celebrate our dating anniversary in December, which we have decided to still do.  With that one, we usually go big.  So, our wedding anniversary was understated but lovely.

It also marked a big day in our pregnancy... our anatomy scan!  That's when they give you an ultrasound, take a bunch of measurements, and tell you the gender (if you want or haven't already opted to find out.)  So, I was a little more than anxious.  I didn't sleep well the night before, and I woke up completely overwhelmed and anxious.  Chock a lot of that up to pregnancy hormones, but I was a mess.  There was basically a complete melt down before we headed into the doc office.  The ultrasound room isn't my favorite place, as it was where we found out our first pregnancy wasn't viable.

I calmed down by the time we got there, thanks to Josh, and we were whisked into the ultrasound room.  I held my breath while I got warming gel on my belly, then we got to see this....

Meet our daughter!  She was wiggling around and sucking on her fingers through a lot of the ultrasound.  It was really neat.  Thankfully, everything looked really good, and our doctor was pleased.  Honestly, it looked like a bunch of blobs for awhile, but the longer the ultrasound tech looked around, the more we could see.  We got to see her skull, back bone, heart, feet, and everything!  It was a really neat experience.

I think I was in a complete state of relief and emotionally drained by the time we got out of the room.  Josh and I both thought we were having a boy, but I was overwhelmed by happiness to discover it was a girl.  More so than I thought I would, really.  I have always had a bit of anxiety about raising a girl, since I know body issues and eating disorders were a huge part of my life.  Those can happen to boys, of course, but I know the acute pain it is to grow up as an awkward girl, unhappy in your skin.  Josh and I will do our best to raise a happy, healthy young woman.

Randomly, I had kickstarted this book a few weeks before we found out we were having a girl.  I knew it would be great for a kid, no matter what the gender.

There are still 7 days left in the campaign, so if you want to check it out, click here.

I'm very close to my mom, so I'm pretty stoked to have a daughter to share life with.  It's going to be great!

In addition to our eventful morning at the doctor, Josh and I also enjoyed lunch at the restaurant where we got married, Forty Two at the Clinton Library.  We'd actually never eaten there, besides the amazing taco bar at our wedding, so I was excited.  They sent us a free meal a year ago when we got married, and we saved it for our anniversary.  

Their lunch menu is pretty short, without many veg options, but this vegetarian hash stood out to me.  We were surprised by how HUGE the portions were, and I couldn't even finish this.  Those chips were topped with black beans, chard, tomatillo sauce, cheese, and an egg.  I made sure they didn't make it runny, since I can't have that.  It was a very tasty meal, to be sure.  

We spent the rest of the day relaxing and talking about what it will be like to have a kid.  It was definitely a great anniversary.  

All of the beautiful wedding photos were taken by Jason Crader.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Vegan Cuts April Box

The pregnancy snacking continues!  Here is another run down of what I got in my most recent Vegan Cuts box.  As always, if you would like to snag a box for yourself, there are links at the very bottom of the blog.

My nausea is back with a vengeance, so keeping snacks around is a must.  If I get too hungry, I throw up.  If I eat too much, I throw up.  It's reeeeeeal fun lately.

I found this to be kind of a weird addition to the box this month, but I wasn't going to complain.  I love kettle chips, and these were yummy.

Speaking of yummy, this pipcorn was my FAVORITE item in the box.  They were teeny tiny popcorn pieces, and they were so yummy.  This bag has very low calories, and Josh and I seriously couldn't believe how much came in a bag.  Great snack.  In fact, I need to go order more of these.

So, I haven't actually had this yet.  It's been in the fridge, and I keep forgetting to drink it.  Looks yummy, though.  I might take it to our anatomy ultrasound next week.

I had to wrestle these away from Josh.  We are a dried mango family.  Yum.

So, last month, I got the mint version of these.  I liked those, but these are WAY better.  They tasted like Fig Newtons, and they were very good.

Oh tea.... I miss you so much.  I had to save these for post-pregnancy, because I'm not drinking tea.  I gave up green tea months before I got pregnant, because it can inhibit folic acid absorption, and now I'm not drinking any because I don't want any caffeine.  Soon, though, I'll be back on the tea!

I really like how the boxes usually have several of these raw type snacks.  This one was a great snack before I did some prenatal swimming a few weeks ago.

These squishy pouches kind of freak me out.  I'm waiting until the nausea goes away to bust this out.

These nuts were AMAZING!  I kept them in my backpack when we went to see Puscifer, and I woke up one morning starving.  So, I ripped into these and felt much better.  They were very flavorful.

I'm not a huge fan of gum, but these look good.

This snack bar was really tasty.  It has that raw bar texture that a lot of Vegan Cuts snacks have, and the chocolate was yummy.  As a pregnant lady, I can never have enough chocolate.

This one looks tasty, but I haven't tried it yet.  I like that there are so many snacks with fruits and veggies.

So many goodies come in the box.  I can't wait until the next one!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Pranom Thai Street Food Pop Up

A few weeks ago, I was flipping through Instagram and saw The Root Cafe was having a Thai food pop up!  It looked so good, but I couldn't get downtown for lunch.  To my delight, however, I saw the same pop-up signs last Sunday at the Bernice Garden Farmer's Market.  Pranom Thai Street Food is LA based, but they do pop ups all over the country.  You can follow them on instagram or facebook to see which place is next.

I wasn't even hungry when the smell of Thai food started wafting my way, but I knew I had to try some curry.  So, my friend Reva and I stopped off to order some food.  She got the Khao Ma Gai and I got the veggie curry.  They both looked amazing.

Reva had a little nibble on the way home, and she said hers was excellent.  I was so happy that they had a veggie option.  

My curry was full of veggies, Thai basil, and a super spicy green curry sauce.  I took a smell and packed it up to share with Josh at home.

To my surprise and delight, the curry was SUPER spicy.  Happily, I'm back in a place where I can eat spicy food again.  It was even a bit hot for Josh.  So, I threw in a huge pile of steamed kale to mellow it out a bit.  There was so much in a $10 serving that Josh and I both got a lunch out of it, and I took it to work the next day.  At work, I added some tofu and carrots to fill it out, and it was super tasty.

If you get a chance to try out Pranom, don't miss it!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pink Blush Maternity Giveaway

As you guys know, I have struggled with some body issues during this pregnancy.  I am happy to report, though, that I'm feeling really positive lately.  I know that I'm staying active and trying to eat healthy, and I have found some pretty cute clothes to help me dress my growing tummy.  I first heard about Pink Blush Maternity through other blogs I follow, and I was really pleased to see their selection of plus sized AND plus sized maternity clothes.  This is a market I feel is severely under-represented.  There are only a handful of stores where I've found actual plus size maternity clothes, and most of those you have to order online.

The folks over at Pink Blush Maternity were nice enough to send me this dress, and I really love it.  I wore it to the Bernice Garden Farmer's Market on Sunday, and as we were walking down the street, a little girl stopped me and said, "You're so PRETTY!"  It totally made my day!  The dress is nice and stretchy, so I'm sure it can accommodate my growing belly.  What I like about most of their clothes is that you can wear them post baby.  They have some nursing robes that I really have my eye on!

I think the best thing to do if you're struggling with your body during pregnancy is to remember that bodies come in all different sizes, and even though you may not have that perfect "bump," you are beautiful.  It's a tough job making a baby, so we need to continue to be kind to ourselves.

Speaking of being kind, I have a giveaway for you!  Pink Blush was kind enough to let me give away a $75 PinkBlush gift card to their online store!  So, leave a comment below telling me one kind thing you like to do for yourself, whether it's making time to read a nice book or telling yourself something you did well that day.  Make sure you include a way for me to email you.  I will pick the winner on Friday, May 13th.  Even if you're not pregnant, there are tons of pretty dresses and outfits for all sizes that would look great this summer.  Good luck!

Special thanks to my beautiful friend, Reva, who snapped these pictures of me.  I don't often pose for full body shots, but this was really fun, and she did a great job!

**Disclaimer: Pink Blush Maternity did not monetarily compensate me for this post.  They did generously send me a dress of my choosing.  I am happy to bring you posts from companies that I feel are doing good things for body positivity.  Please comment only once for the giveaway.  Unfortunately, any persons entering that have won a Pink Blush giveaway in the last 3 months are ineligible.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Life Lately

Didn't meant to take off from blogging last week, but we did a long weekend in Tulsa, and I just hit the ground running on my week.  It was a fun weekend, though, and I'll tell you more about it.  The above picture is from a USGBC banquet I got to go to at the Clinton Library a few weeks ago.  My firm won "Firm of the Year," so we got to have a fancy dinner and get our award.  I wish I'd taken a picture of my dinner, because it was yummy!  The chef made roasted carrots on a bed of puree and a really nice sauce.  There was also a chickpea and carrot salad that was quite tasty.  I've gotten out of the habit of snapping pictures of my food, so I'm trying to be better.

So, our trip to Tulsa was ultimately to see Puscifer on Sunday night at the Brady Theater.  We went early Saturday morning, though, to meet up with Josh's cousin and his family.  We had lunch, then headed to the Tulsa Zoo.  I'm a bit back and forth on zoos in general.  I refuse to go to the one here in Little Rock, because it's tiny and expensive and seems really sad.  I have had good experiences with large ones, though.  Lots of the animal habitats at Tulsa are rescue operations, where they take in animals that have been harmed in the wild.  Most of the exhibits felt well managed and large, which was nice.  We had a blast with the kids, which was the main goal.  I was pooped, though.  Being pregnant, on my feet, and in the sun was rough.  By the end of the day, I wanted to crash.

Sunday morning, Josh and I walked over to the Brady Block District in downtown Tulsa for brunch.  We were on a mission for Chimera Cafe, but we missed their breakfast and really wanted some brunch type foods.  So, we walked down the street to The Tavern.  Brunch was always a little difficult when I was eating strictly vegan, because menus are usually limited.  I'm sure I could have made something work, but this time I went for eggs.  I also split some tomato soup with Josh that was stellar.  I couldn't finish my breakfast, but it was still tasty.

I find I eat way less when eating things like eggs or cheese.  I think a lot of it is that I'm not used to how rich the foods are, and I'm also filling up on a lot more protein than I'm used to.  Those potatoes were out of this world.

After brunch we took a nap then met up with my sister, her fiance, and some of his friends.  We hung out all afternoon in the Brady Block District.  Before the concert, we ended up at Valkyrie, a GORGEOUS bar near the concert venue.  The staff were super nice, and they made me this delicious mocktail.  I had been sipping water and sprite all day, but I wanted to feel fancy, especially since everyone else had been drinking all day.

The concert was great, although I did get a little tired from standing the whole time.  We were about a mile from the hotel, and we'd walked back and forth several times.  So, by the time we got back to the room, I was POOPED.  I took this pic, because I never get this many steps in a day.  On a bad day, I get about 5000, although I try to get 10,000 a day.  This was a long day of walking, though, and I crashed hard again.

We got up the next day, took Josh's mom to lunch in Fort Smith, then made it home around 6 on Monday night.  Work was really busy for the rest of the week, but I did manage to make it to yoga on Thursday.

Since I walked so much in Tulsa, I didn't get in many workouts last week.  After yoga, though, I did get in a nice walk with my friend Erin.  We've been going to Big Dam Bridge, lately, which is a really pretty place to walk.

Overall, though, it's been a good week!

We hit 19 weeks pregnant on Saturday.  Come back on Wednesday for a blog giveaway!