What’s For Dinner? Caprese Salad and Kiwi & Strawberry Summer Fresh Salad!

This week I am sharing two fantastic recipes that are easy , quick and delicious. Enjoy!

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2 kiwis

1 avocado

4 strawberry’s

1/4 cucumber ( peeled & seeded)

spinach – few leaves

fresh mint

2 blackberries for garnish

Juice of  1 lime

dash -sea salt

1 tbsp -olive oil

  1. Chop kiwi, avocado, strawberry’s ,  cucumber and mint and combine in a bowl.     Add olive oil, salt and juice of 1/2 lime mix.   Scoop mixture into  ramekins turn over onto plate top with spinach leaves.  Garnish with blackberries.

Caprese Salad

3 tomatoes ( cut into 1/4 inch slices)

1 pound of fresh mozzarella ( cut into 1/4 slices)

1 bunch of fresh basil about 20-30  basil leaves

1tbsp olive oil

salt

pepper

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vinegar has reduced to your liking . I generally let it reduce for about 15-20 mins.  Set aside, and cool to room temperature.
  2. Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil , and then the balsamic reduction.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy !!

Do You Pee When You Sneeze ?

Do you pee when you sneeze?  When you cough do you cross your legs and hope that you do not have an accident?    Well you are not alone.   This seems to be a dirty little secret with women who have had children, but it should not be.    Urinary incontinence affects 28 percent of women ages 30 to 39, 41 percent of those 40 to 49 and almost half of all women 50 and older, according to a University of Washington survey of more than 3,000 women.     I happen to be one of those.    I had (and I use that term lightly) a prolapsed bladder.   Here is the definition from the mayo clinic for those who are unfamiliar with the term-  “A cystocele (SIS-to-seel) occurs when the supportive tissue between a woman’s bladder and vaginal wall weakens and stretches, allowing the bladder to bulge into the vagina.”   Not pleasant I assure you. What I did not know, and what I am sure many other women do not know is that there is help out there for this.    I recommend visiting your doctor, or there are many resources out there to assist you that are non surgical. For example The Fitness Doula  who focuses on the core from pregnancy through to motherhood, or Fit 4 Two who not only have programs to help you regain your core back but also have a list of resources on their site. Of course for more severe cases such as mine there are surgical options. I just had my surgery 3 days ago and spent months debating whether it was the right option for me. Finally, I decided to get it so that I could have a somewhat normal life again.   There are a few  different options (that I will not go into here )for surgery.  Best to speak to a urologist for the correct information and to decide what is best for you.  What I can tell you is that you are not sentenced to a life of pantyliners and depends, it can be fixed.   Do not be ashamed, seek out the information, its easier to find then you think.

Resources :

Center for Pelvic FloorVancouver

The Fitness Doula – Lower Mainland

Fit 4 Two –  Lower Mainland

Canadian Continence Foundation  – Canada Wide

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) – Canada Wide

Canadian Women’s Health Network –  Canada Wide

Voices for PFD –  Canada and United States

To Read:

Healthlink BC

Mayo Clinic

WebMD

IUGA.org

The trials of post postpartum depression

I ment to post this a while ago but never did. Recently I met someone else with PPD and saw how much more of a struggle it was for them to come to the realization that its normal and it happens and there is no shame to have it. I need to set that example , I was apprehensive but there is no need to be ,So hence  I am posting this.  If it helps someone along the way then posting it was worth it 😀

I sit here debating on whether or not I want to let this out to the world although many of you who know me personally know I struggled with this after the birth of my first son and now during my pregnancy with my second little one.  Its such a touchy subject for me and makes me cry when I actually sit down and think about how I felt after my first baby and how much it affected my life.   I love my son more than anything in the world and to think of what i went through just breaks my heart even to this day.

There is alot of information out there and some peoples story’s which is wonderful it really does make you not feel that alone in this when you read about it.   But regardless of how much you read and how prepared you may be when it happens to you its a shock and hard to come to terms with it.   There are many different faces to it and I can only speak to what I felt and went through.

When he was born i was happy but at the same time felt detached .   I wasn’t sure what to think , it blew my mind that I had a new baby to take care of now and would i be able to take care of him? Why wasn’t i gushing with overwhelming love right now?   That night I couldn’t sleep I stared at him laying beside me in his bassinet worried that I wouldn’t get up if he cried or what happens if he stopped breathing? Or worse yet if I fell asleep while i was feeding him and I smothered him.  How was i supposed to make sure he was safe? How was I supposed to make sure that I bathed him properly, or worse yet I didnt feel comfortable changing a diaper I just felt awkward about the whole process it just felt wrong to me somehow.   I was paralyzed with fear.    The next day the doctor prescribed me some ativan to help me sleep and i finally got about 4 hours.    When we got home it was terrifying , I walked around so worried that my son would get hurt. When I walked past the staircase with him in my arms I held him so tight worried that he would fall out of my arms and land on the floor below,  I was afraid that if I didn’t hold onto his stroller tight enough it would roll away onto the tracks of the train  and then of course I would see those images over and over again in my head.   I didnt know what to do , I was so scared that if I told anyone they would think I was a horrible mother and that they would take my son away from me.    I also started  exhibiting  symptoms of OCD..  Intrusive thoughts , checking and obsessive thoughts ( of course I didnt know it was OCD until I finally went and got some help)

I finally went to my doctor and they got me in contact with reproductive psychiatry at the local hospital.  I was put on medication to help control the anxiety and thoughts.  The only bad thing about the medication was it made me drowsy and i just hated taking it some days but within a week things improved and I started therapy.  It took me almost a year to be back where i should of been, I think part of that is I was scared of sharing everything I was feeling and thinking..  it was a hard, hard  year. Bearing your soul to someone you dont know and constantly worrying that your being  judged but I  realize that wasn’t the case.

I must admit the medication they gave me helped more then i can say.   I am now pregnant again and am showing some signs of it coming back especially when I am under alot of stress. The OCD is coming back with a vengeance in the form of checking things over and over again and of course I am becoming very anxious and the occasional thought . I do think though alot of that is from past experience  knowing what is to come, I don’t want to go through everything I went through again I don’t think anyone would want to.  I have my support networks set up so that when this baby is born that I am not alone in it and I have even started talking to a Councillor now just so that I do have someone to talk to about the bad days.     She had asked me today if I blogged about my postpartum and it made me think about how helpful it may have been to me at the time if I knew someone who had gone through it or even if there was a blog out there to read.

So her I  am bearing my soul to everyone out there. I dont know if I will write daily but I will try to document what I can and maybe it will help someone out there or make them realize that they are not alone and it happens to so many women probably more then anyone realizes. Its a terrifying experience and rightfully so but it gets better, it really really does and there is so much help out there.

My personal gongshow :D

I remember once seeing a mother with a couple of children one baby crying and the other running around yelling at the top of their lungs. The mother looked tired and I thought to myself wow I never EVER want that to be me. And of course I dismissed it and carried on with my life.  Welllllll I was that mother today:/ Shopping with your two year old and 4 month old really not a good idea especially when there are no naps and hot chocolates involved ,really really bad combo. ..  I know that there was at least one person looking at me probably thinking that they never wanted to have children.  I don’t think I have ever seen my eldest run around a mall that much :/ He just kept on going . it seems the  chocolate gave him unending energy.

Being a parent of two is rewarding ,but damn is it tiring. I don’t remember the last time I had a good nights sleep or even slept in and i have no idea when i last went to sleep before 1am.  My house eeeekkk food on the floor from my toddlers breakfast , lunch or dinner dependent on the time of day , cheerios hidden in different areas of the house for me to find, toys where you would least expect them such as in your kitchen aid mixer and a never ending pile of laundry that needs to be done.  And that’s only the beginning .   I spend my days playing with the kids , cleaning , cooking , grocery shopping and if I have time reading up on all the gossip of celebrity’s ( yes really I am one of those moms)  and dreaming of a make over that I so desperately need.   But the daydreaming usually gets cut very short when I realize i have to pack the kids up in the stroller and run up to the grocery store to grab dinner and get back at a decent time ( at least I get my exercise that way though)  60lbs of children, 40lbs of stroller and 50 – 100 of groceries all dependent on how much I can carry you would think i look like Arnold Schwarzenegger by now but no luck on that one I have some good flab on my arms where i think muscle should be.

Yes things have definitely changed from the days when there weren’t any little footsteps, or anyone calling mommy, pants actually fitting right, not looking frazzled as your running out the door to catch the bus for a doctors appointment  and not worrying about  anyone else but yourself .   I now know what unconditional love is , I know that I have a greater purpose in life, I get to re live my childhood through my children, i get unlimited cuddles and I get to see them grow up and become amazing men.  My life may be a gong show some days and I may vent but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Diabetic Friendly Chocolate Cheesecake

I found this recipe in a book called outsmart diabetes.. It does have sugar but does nothing to my numbers which is fabulous considering I love chocolate.. Its not overly sweet and very rich. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Ingrediants

1 3/4 cup of crushed graham crackers

2 Tbsp of melted butter

3 pkg of reduced fat cream cheese ( 8 oz each) at room temperature

1 1/4 cups of sugar

2 egg whites

1 large egg

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp Vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract (  I used coconut and upped it to 1 tsp and it worked so well )

1/4 tsp salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 f. Coat a 9 inch springform pan ( or a reg cake pan ) with cooking spray.  Combine Graham cracker crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Press onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Bake 10 mins. Cool on rack.

2. Place cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl. Beat until smooth using and electric mixer on medium speed.  Add egg whites , egg , cocoa powder,  salt, vanilla and almond extract. Beat 5 mins until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 1 hour and 15 mins. Turn off oven , but leave cheesecake inside for 1 hour. Remove to rack to cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve topped with fresh berries if desired.

As you can tell i was so excited to try it I had to take a piece first 🙂      Makes 16 servings..

Gestational Diabetes Snack Ideas ..

So far this journey hasnt quite been what I expected and I found the I had gotten very sick quickly of certain foods which is why I thought I would post some snack ideas. Dependent on your meal plan you can have 15- ? carbs and then a protein to balance it out for all meals and snacks. For me with snacks I can have 15 gr of carbs and then protein so based on that here are some snack ideas hopefully it will help someone and give them an idea or two if needed.

1: Melba toast and Cheese

2: 15 grapes and 1/4 cup of nuts ( almonds or cashews)

3: Starbucks Vivano ( 1/2) of it and  1/4 cup cashews  ( yes I have gotten away with it but I had to add extra protein to it )

4: Astro Greek plain  yogurt with 1 cup of blueberries.

5:Veggies and 1/4 cup of Hummus + melba toast  ( makes for a bit more satisfying snack as veggies are free 🙂 )

6: 1/4 edameme and 1 small piece of fruit

7:  small apple and 2 tbsp of peanut butter

8:  1 piece of toast with 2 tbsp of almond butter

9:  egg salad on crackers / melba toast

10: 1/4 cup of cottage cheese and 3/4 cup pinapple

11: Kashi fruit and grain granola bar + 1/4 cup of almonds

12:  Hard boiled egg and 100 gram of Activia yogurt

13: 2-3 Graham Crackers with 2 Tbsp of peanut or almond butter

14: Deviled egg and a small piece of fruit

Thats all i have for now and as I continue to learn more and try new things I will definatley add to this. If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to let me know and I will add it to the list as well 🙂

Quinoa Salad

I decided to try to make a cold Quinoa salad after hearing some great things about this grain and how good it was for diabetics. I took a couple of recipes off of the internet and this is what I came up with.   It still needs  a bit of work but I really enjoyed it and am still eating it a few days later 🙂

1 cup Quinoa

1 cup vegetable broth + 1 cup of water

1/2 cucumber chopped into bite size pieces

1 cup grape tomatoes cut in thirds

1 stalk of celery

1 carrot chopped into bite size pieces

1/4 red pepper chopped into bite size pieces

1/2 cup dried blueberries or cranberrys ( optional )

1/2 cup almond slices ( optional )

Dressing :

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 – 4 Tbsp White wine vinegar

2- 3 tsp dijon mustard

1 garlic clove

3 pinches of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook Quinoa  .. ( 1 cup of Quinoa to 1 cup of water and 1 cup of broth)  Let cool..

Meanwhile combine all ingredients for dressing and wisk together.

Add vegetables to cooled Quinoa, then add dressing mix together..

Sprinkle almonds and or berries once served..

And thats it .. Quick , simple tasty and easy..

* I did want to add some curry powder to the dressing to give it a kick sadly i didnt have any on hand.. If anyone does try this please let me know how it went .. *