Happy Holidays! I will be taking a short break from blogging for the holidays. I’ll be back in the new year with a ton of new content that I have been working on behind the scenes and just maybe a few big surprises. I plan to be back January 2nd but until then you can find me on Instagram.
After indulging in a variety of your favorite Thanksgiving foods your stomach might be craving something a little lighter however what about all those leftovers? These salads will help you use up your leftovers while also filling you up with greens because let’s be real as tasty as it is green bean casserole is hardly a green vegetable. If salads have you turning up your nose don’t worry there is a secret recipe at the end that will use up your leftover squash and still make you say YUMMMM.
- Roasted Butternut Squash (delicata or kabocha would be great as well)
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Dried Cherries
- Hemp seeds, crushed hazelnuts or almond flakes
- Greens of your choice - I recommend organicgirl PEPPERGREENS
- Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar or Lemon
- This is a super easy salad to assemble especially with leftover roasted veggies. Simply toss your roasted veggies, dried cherries and hemp seeds together and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar or lemon; alternatively one of the organicgirl Salad Love dressings would be a great addition.
- 1 Delicata Squash, washed, cut into rounds and seeds removed
- 1 box organicgirl PEPPERGREENS
- 1 Gala or Fuji Apple, thinly sliced
- 1/4-1/3 cup Walnuts
- 1/4 cup organicgirl Salad Love Lemon Agave
- Maple Tahini Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 3 tablespoons Tahini
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 3 tablespoons water
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the delicata squash rounds on the pan. Spray the squash with a light coating of coconut oil spray (optional) and season with salt and pepper. Place sheet pan in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes; until the squash is cooked through. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet before adding to salad.
- While the squash is roasting make the tahini sauce my simply whisking everything together.
- Toast the walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat just until they start to get a little bit of color. Remove and allow to cool.
- To assemble: Divide the greens between four different plates, top with a few slices of apple and squash. Drizzle a tablespoon each of the lemon agave dressing and the tahini sauce over the salad. Crush a few walnuts between your fingers and sprinkle over the salad.
- Delicata squash skin is super tender so there is no need to remove it just give it a good wash.
- Feel free to serve this salad family style by placing the greens in a large bowl, top with apples, squash and walnuts and dress just before serving.
- Toss the apple slices with a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning.
This post was sponsored by EverlyWell through my partnership with Fit Approach. As always all opinions and test results are my own.Our sweet baby girl has finally arrived and so has the return to breastfeeding. It also means having to be mindful of what I eat and drink, how hydrated I am and that I am getting enough nutrients to support my body and my growing babes.
That being said I have had my concerns about a few things including my DHA levels. It’s estimated that 75% of Americans are deficient in DHA and I feared that due to my diet and lack of supplementing that I would be deficient in DHA.
But what is DHA?
- DHA is a vital Omega 3 Fatty Acid for a baby’s health as they grow during their first 2 years.
- DHA is crucial in a child’s early development, in particular for their visual acuity and cognitive development
What does the EverlyWell Breast Milk DHA Kit Do?
- Measures a Mother’s DHA Levels.
- Identifies whether or not your own diet is sufficient to supply your breast milk with a DHA level within the recommended, healthy range for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
To take the test it was fairly easy all that is required is a few drops of breast milk, which I easily collected in my manual breast pump (this one is a serious game changer). Place a few drops of the breast milk on a sample card, let it dry briefly and then package it up and return it to be tested. Results are then emailed to you in just a few short days.
So what did my results say?
Let’s just say I have a bit of work to do. I will be having my yearly physically in about three months and I will be making sure to ask to have my DHA levels retested once I have increased my daily DHA intake.
So how does a vegan get DHA?
- Supplements. I personally take (err….I’m getting back to) a vegan omega that includes DHA.
- Algae. I know not the most appetizing of sources but these days they come in powdered form and can easily be added to a smoothie.
Would I recommend the test?
I found the test to be really eye opening. I knew that my levels would probably be on the lower side due to my plant based diet but I had no idea they would be so incredibly low. This test has encouraged me to talk more with my doctor about ways I can increase my DHA levels as well as give me the kick in the butt I needed to get back to taking my supplements.
Receive 15% off your EverlyWell Breast Milk DHA kit with code: RWT15
The last weeks of my pregnancy were a filled with many a worried and anxious night. At 32 weeks our baby had decided to flip to a breech position and little did I know that the next 8 weeks would be a roller coaster of emotions and actions to try and convince baby to flip to head down. Prior to 32 weeks baby had been head down at various points in my pregnancy so we knew that it was possible for her to be in that position which meant she had the ability to return to head down.
At 32 weeks spinning babies became my most visited website, I must have gone through 1/3 of a bottle of peppermint essential oil that I rubbed over the top of my bump to help encourage baby to flip and when she still hadn’t flipped at 35 weeks I went to acupuncture to help encourage the flip.
My acupuncturist gave me a moxa stick to do at home. I’m not going to get into all the details but basically you light it on fire – sort of like a smudge stick or palo santo- and then you hold it for 10 minutes (or rather your partner does) at the outside of your pinky toe. The heat of the moxa is said to stimulate things and can help encourage movement. So for the next three nights Neil spent 20 minutes serenading my left and right pinky toes with the moxa stick while we watched Designate Survivor.
While I hadn’t fully given up hope I just knew at my 36 week appointment that she was still breech. I was correct and my midwife suggested we go to another midwife who is known for helping manual flip babies so we set up an appointment for the following day. At this point I am on the verge of panic. What do we do if this baby doesn’t flip? I can’t have a home birth but will I be able to have a vaginal breech birth at the hospital or will I end up with a c-section? What do we do with the kids if we have to have a hospital birth? How can I mentally prepare for all of this knowing that this baby could come anytime?!
That night we did moxa just like every night that week and as I lay in bed I felt thought I felt the baby move. I didn’t want to get my hopes up so I spent the entire day anxious to see how our appointment would go. We arrived at the office and the first thing Midwife M did was check the position of baby with her portable handheld ultrasound machine. Her immediate response? “You don’t need me.” We couldn’t have been more thrilled. This baby had flipped overnight and now I could relax….or could I?
The next few weeks passed and at my 38 week appointment my midwife suspected that baby had once again flipped back to breach. I was heart broken. We made another appointment with Midwife M and headed straight to her office after my 38 week appointment. As we drove there Edith said “maybe the baby will flip on the way there.” Neil and I smiled and told her that would be great if that happened but it isn’t likely. We arrived at the office and Midwife M first checked manually for baby position and her initial reaction was breech but to double check she took out the portable handheld ultrasound machine she found that indeed babe was still head down. Cue happy dance, sigh of relief, and an intense urge to do anything and everything to get this baby out before she changed her mind and flipped back to breech.
At this point my midwife and I both had hit the point where we knew it was time to encourage this baby to join us earth side. I started going to regular acupuncture, used naturopath herbs, essential oils, walked as much as long as I could and went down the standard list of things to encourage labor. Nothing seemed to be happening though. Only mild Braxton Hicks contractions and nothing else really happened until around 39w3d when I ‘finally’ lost my mucus plug and was convinced that this baby would arrive in the next 48-72 hours. However that didn’t happen and my due date came and went. Feeling defeated and convinced we still had days to go I decided to schedule a last minute date night. I had been invited to a grand opening party for a new vegan pizza spot and since our sitter was free and it was at a time Neil could attend I scheduled our date. Little did I know that this babe had other ideas.
To be continued…
I might not love football but I do love snacking and I can appreciate the food aspect of football. I mean who doesn’t love a reason to gather with friends and enjoy sometime together all while eating delicious food? I know I’m game.
The thing about any gathering whether it be game day or simply a gathering of friends is not to stress about making everything perfect. Focus on making a few really great things, buying a few really great things and just having fun. I have learned the hard way when it comes to stressing over parties.
A simple food addition to any gathering is some really great nuts. They are fun and easy to snack on, you don’t have to do any work and they taste great. Now if you’re looking to do something a little more impressive than try out one of these snack mixes. We have your traditional savory blend and then a fun sweet, salt and a bit spicy blend.
Sweet & Spicy Wasabi Snack Mix
- 1 cup corn flakes
- 3 cups wheat Chex
- 1 cup pretzels
- 1-6oz container of Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Almonds
- 2 tablespoons buttery spread
- 1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat oven to 250F. In a large bowl combine the corn flakes, chex, pretzels and almonds. Melt the buttery spread and then add the vegan Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and maple syrup. Toss the buttery spread mixture with the cereal and nuts to coat evenly. Spread out on to a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to full cool before enjoying or storing in airtight containers.
Smokehouse Snack Mix
- 3 cups wheat Chex
- 2 cups pretzels
- 1-6oz container of Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds
- 3 tablespoons buttery spread
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Preheat oven to 250F. In a large bowl combine the corn flakes, chex, pretzels and almonds. Melt the buttery spread and then add the vegan Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and spices. Toss the buttery spread mixture with the cereal and nuts to coat evenly. Spread out on to a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to full cool before enjoying or storing in airtight containers.
I have to say my favorite of the two is the smokehouse because I’m just simple like that but my hubby is all over the wasabi mix. I think in that mix the cornflakes really makes it. With any of these mixes you can really sub in any of your favorite items such as bagel chips, other styles of pretzels, other cereals, crackers or even popcorn. The only thing that I think is essential is the buttery spread mix and the nuts.
What do you like to serve up on game day or at a gathering with friends? I like to do snack mixes like these and then hummus and fresh veggies, olives and one or two cooked snacks such as vegan buffalo wings, artichoke and spinach dip or flatbreads.
This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Ditch the chips and grab some Game Changing Flavors this football season! Enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Football Party Prize Pack, get great savings and ideas for delicious snack hacks at GameChangingFlavors.com
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Stayfree® via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Stayfree®.
I first started practicing yoga at home using DVD’s and podcasts and as I became more confident in my ability I started to attend classes. Nowadays, I find that the amount of time I spend on my practice goes in waves. Sometimes I practice every day of the week and other times it’s only once per week. When I was pregnant with Edith I had the most consistent practice and not only did it keep me active while pregnant but it gave me confidence in my body, strength, and a sense of community.
While I didn’t practice as much yoga during my pregnancy with Alder I have returned to a regular yoga routine, especially gentle yoga for post run stretching. The problem is, and this may be TMI for some of you so if it is skip to the next paragraph, but as a postpartum mama sometimes in the early months you just need a little extra security so I’m thankful for the creation of things such as Stayfree® pads, kegels and pelvic floor physical therapy. Luckily yoga has also helped me to strengthen up all of those muscles I forgot I had when I was pregnant and hopefully I won’t need to use anything for extra security, of course until that time of the month makes its impending return.
These days making it to the yoga studio isn’t the easiest but I have a few times since Alder was born and hope to get out more as the months go by and he gets to be a bit older. While I can’t make it to the studio that doesn’t mean that I’m not practicing, it’s actually quite the opposite. I have been using My Yoga on Gaiam TV for going on four months now to get my dose of yoga in each week. Some days I do a longer practice and most days I go for a quick post run stretch. I am thankful I am able to find time to quiet my mind and relax my body even if it’s just 15 minutes at home in between building block castles and changing diapers.
New year, new you! Yoga is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and who better to lead the yoga-lution than you. Inspired by athletic wear, Stayfree® pads feature flexible layers that move with your body from child’s pose to side crow. Visit http://www.stayfree.com/ to find which product best fits you or visit our Facebook to learn more about our mission. Also, don’t forget to use your Stayfree® purchase to get a 30-Day membership to My Yoga on Gaiam TV and access FREE yoga classes online now through March 12!
I didn’t plan on taking a break between Christmas and New Year’s but it seems that is what is happening. We have lots of family things planned over the next few days and I am taking a break to focus on that. I will be back January 1st to start my 365 days of blogging! Cheers to New Year and see you in 2015!