Archive for Food

ReLearning to Eat

From Nov 7th 2011 until very recently, I’ve been eating for three {or 14 weeks for four}. At first, that meant pouring through mom of multiples books for sample eating charts, foods recommendations & recipes to try to reach the goal of 3000 {then 2700} calories a day. I was told to add all the protein & fat I could because I was growing multiple babies {who’d most likely be preemies} & needed all they could get before they arrived. I switched to higher fat milk & subbed extra real butter on everything. Gone were any low calorie yogurt, cheese, cream cheese, breads, crackers, etc.

Then Z & L were born & my hard work eating all.the.things paid off as they were huge in comparison to their other NICU residents.

And boom. I was told by NICU LCs & MoM breastfeeding books to up my calories & fat again after L & Z were born to keep up my milk supply. So I was once again eating everything I could plus sticking with my ice cream before bed routine. In about 9 months after they were born, I’d lost the 50 lbs I’d gained pregnant plus 20-25 more. I was wearing clothes I hadn’t dreamed I’d ever fit into again while eating whatever I wanted {pretty cool, right?! Breastfeeding FTW}.

Then even when L & Z started eating solids as their main nutritional source & we started cutting nursing sessions, I kept up my big breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner & dessert routine. It’s what I knew & what my stomach was telling me I was hungry for. I was busy & tired & usually somewhat overwhelmed by life & just doing what I could.

Cue 19 months post-partum. Today. I’m still nursing L before bed & Z during 1-2 dream feeds a night. Yes my 19, almost 20, month old son doesn’t STTN {& nor do I} but that’s a whole other post. I’m still trying to drink a lot of water {although thankfully not the 100 oz I was doing while pregnant & EBFing} & maintain calories of hopefully healthy food to pass through in my milk. But honestly, my eating is kinda of a joke some days. My constant {especially strong post-nursing} sweet tooth & the holidays didn’t help.

I’ve gained back 15-20 of those pounds I’d lost. My post-multiples lower belly is a mess of chub & stretch marks & my boobs will never be where they once were. I do have kick ass arm muscles for someone my size thanks to carrying 50+ lbs of toddlers multiple times a day though. Multi-mom bonus!

I’m okay with my body shifting. Hello, I grew babIES! And at some point, I’ll find time from somewhere to work out & see about tightening up those stomach muscles. But my priority now is relearning how to eat. This might sound crazy, to some, but it’s been 26 months since I was eating for just me & I’ve kinda forgotten normal portions!

It doesn’t help that I’m on my own with getting all three of us up & out the door in the mornings. My prior life breakfast routine of leisurely eating cereal isn’t an option as I’d have L & Z going after my spoon or food while I run around the house. This past weekend, we hit up Trader Joe’s for some quick & healthy week night meals {L & Z like to eat by 6p which makes recipes with a lot of effort or cooking time a non-option} as well as their organic milk & yogurt & breakfast items for me. So I’m going to admit that instead of my usual two bagels with cream cheese when I get to work at 830, yesterday am, I ate a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese at home. While I peed. & L & Z dumped out their sock drawer. Because that’s the 5 2 mins I had to eat.

I bring my lunch to work most days & have started to pack less. And I’m cutting out my mid-afternoon snack since we usually eat dinner early.

Dinner is tough because, like I said above, it has to be made quick & I still want high calorie foods to bulk up L & especially Z. I’m not a short order cook & I want us all eating the same thing.

And I’m not ready to give up my beloved dessert forever but have cut it out some nights this week. I’m motivated. But not that motivated. :-P

So, long long long story short, I’d love to hear how, post-baby{s}, you got back to normal or the new normal.

Signs of Fall

I love summer- the warmth, the extended daylight, the beach.

But every year about this time I’m reminded why fall is my favorite.

College football begins to dominate my TV on Thursday nights through Saturday evening. The countdown is on until Zach & Lucy’s first NCSU game next weekend.

Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream. And their $3 pumpkins.

Cool mornings that mean grabbing a new-to-us green polka dot jacket. {Have I mentioned how much fun it is to dress a little girl?!} And yet days are still warm enough to get another wear out of my favorite jean skirt.

The full green trees of summer slowly turning into an explosion of color that will soon litter our front lawn.

Stopping by Bruegger’s Bagels on the way to work & discovering their fall line. Pumpkin bagels, cranberry apple bagels & the best pumpkin cream cheese I’ve ever tasted. Yummy!
Brugger's fall bagels & pumpkin cream cheese {& yes, I might’ve enjoyed both bagels for breakfast! How could I choose just one?!}

I love fall!

What’s your favorite sign that it’s arrived?


In full disclosure, Bruegger’s sent me an email alerting me about their new fall menu & then graciously gave me coupons so I could try it too! But their delicious food speaks for itself & the opinions & photo shared are all my own.

Red Gold Summer Grillin’ Burger Party

It’s no secret that I don’t eat beef or pork. And thus, I don’t cook it {I don’t really know how}.

It’s also no secret to those that know him that my husband is a huge burger fan.

So when we heard about Red Gold tomatoes Summer Grillin’ Party, we were both all in for this one! Red Gold kindly sent a few different kinds of their diced tomatoes as well as recipes for making awesome summer burgers.

I purchased ground turkey from our local HT & decided to try their Italian Turkey Burger first. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate a four ingredient recipe!
Red Gold turkey burger mix

I mixed meat, an egg, breadcrumbs & the diced tomatoes by hand then made them into 8 generously sized patties. We George Foreman grill partied & in less than 30 minutes, healthy, delicious burgers were on the table for all four of us.
Turkey burgers

It was the first time L & Z {who were both sick} tried burgers. They both likes them more than I thought! I was a huge fan & the burger connoisseur was impressed too! And yes, I overcooked the second batch because we were too busy eating & they were still good!

Next up to try? The Caribbean Chicken burgers this weekend!

Red Gold graciously sent me the tomatoes, recipes as well as two aprons. Local readers & friends, leave a comment if you’d like me to share the apron love with one of you!
Red Gold apron

{Lucy & Zach modeled one of the aprons as I was opening the package.}

Red Gold is also excited about their Facebook Summer Grillin’ contest. Be sure to check out their FB page & follow along with the #RGparty on instagram.

Moving Up

I’m feeling sappy this morning after just dropping Lucy & Zach off in their new daycare classroom. They’re transitioning to the toddler room. But it appears they’ve done well enough the last two days to be there all day today.

I left them sitting in lil chairs up against a lil table eating cheerios. Like big kids, y’all! What happened to my babies?!

This new classroom does sippy cups. So that means we are now a bottle free household {except for ones for me to pump into}. That is so weird after months & months of having bottles all over the sink & counter, to see sippy cups there now.

Sippy cups

Our boon grass drying rack taken over by sippy cups {& pump flanges}

Zach’s made the transition to sippys well. Lucy & her nursing-loving self hasn’t taken to them quite as easily {she’s still EBF’d other than daycare}. We bought out a local Walmart’s Nuby sippys with the bottle-like nipples on Sat as we found that’s what they’ll use the easiest & it meets the “sippy cup” definition.

daycare sippy cups

Wednesday’s sippy cups. Daycare ready!

Seems like these changes are rolling off Zach & Lucy’s backs pretty easily. But I teared up in the van on the way to work thinking about how grown up they’ve recently become!

The big change up next: adding in whole milk. We might start that on vacation next week. Someone hold me!

Working Mom Breakfast

I’ve always been a breakfast person. And I don’t limit traditional breakfast items to before noon. Some of my favorite pregnant snacks were yogurt & cereal.

In the past, I sat down & had {usually} cereal every morning before work. Occasionally Eggos or bagels if we were lucky enough to have the pantry stocked. Yummy items like homemade waffles, pancakes, eggs & French toast were reserved for lazy weekend mornings.

These days there are rarely ‘lazy’ anythings. Especially not mornings. I’m doing good if I’m throwing back cereal while nursing or packing my lunch or waking up a kiddo. And a Quaker banana nut soft baked bar with a banana {easily thrown in my purse while running out the door} are my mid-morning favorite.

But I do pass a Bruegger’s Bagels on my way into work. {& thankfully also a Kangaroo express for the 25 cent diet coke Roo cup refill!}

Bruegger’s has always been a lunch/brunch favorite since NCSU college days. I got hooked on the Herby Turkey sandwich {on an asiago Parmesan softwich please}. I rarely deviate from my order. But if you recall, I partied with the executive chef Smith for their 30th anniversary & realized limiting myself to my beloved sun dried tomato spread wasn’t doing me any favors.

I’ve recently stopped by the Bruegger’s across from work for a to-go breakfast sandwich {with bagels for snack & the next day in tow} & on another occasion for lunch. While I admittedly got my beloved Herby Turkey for lunch, I did switch it up & also try one of chef Smith’s new salads too. I loved the sweet tangy taste of the blue apple salad.

The new Sriracha Egg sandwich kick started my morning.

image

I went with an asiago Parmesan bagel versus the traditional plain bagel & as I said on instagram, holy flavor party in my mouth. I loved the spicy chili sauce!

The following morning, husband & I both enjoyed the Morning Glory bagel with cream cheese. It has a perfect sweet flavor & for busy moms like myself, can be fairly neatly eaten in the van on the way to work!

I was sent coupons so that I could try Brueggers new summer menu items for purpose of this review. I wasn’t otherwise compensated. Nor were my ravings on their new menu persuaded by their generosity.