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Archive for May, 2010

Summer Foods

Its been a summery week here in Boston!  Andt looks like it is going to be a very nice Memorial Day weekend.  I don’t have any huge plans….Dave is heading to Seattle to visit the nephews (so jealous!) before heading to work in San Fransisco next week.  Having to travel back and forth to the west coast is exhausting, and I don’t envy him at all for all of the travel and jet lag.  But this week, it works out well because he can make a stopover in Seattle to visit family.  I wish I could go, but because its a work trip, its the company that pays for the cross country flight.  I don’t think they would pay for me to tag along!  🙂

The pool in our apartment complex opens this weekend…Perhaps I will get up the courage to go down there sporting my new baby bump! I wouldn’t mind doing a little pleasure reading in the sun before school becomes insane next week.

With the warm weather, I am craving ice cream and smoothies.  I came back from my workout this morning and made a very refreshing yogurt parfait.  I blended frozen strawberries and blueberries in the Magic Bullet and then layered it with vanilla yogurt.  So simple, but so delicious and refreshing!

That really hit the spot!

Dinner last night also makes me feel like summer is here. I grew up on Cape Cod and many summer weekends were spent fishing and then eating our catch for dinner that night.  I didn’t go fishing yesterday, but I did have some frozen Tilapia from Trader Joe’s.  It may not have come straight from the ocean, but the convenience of Trader Joe’s frozen fish can’t be beat.  I had just read Tammy’s lastest creation and decided to make my own version of her fish dish.

After defrosting the fish, I brushed the fillets with honey and then rolled them in bread crumbs.

Dave’s was rolled in Panko bread crumbs, and mine was rolled in gluten-free crushed Rice Chex.  It baked for about 10 minutes at 375.

I paired the fish with a mix of brown rice and mixed vegetables. Dave actually ate all of the vegetables you see in this picture!  And he liked them!

Envision 2 crescent rolls on the side and that’s what Dave’s plate looked like.  🙂

Tonight is our weekly pizza night.  I never get tired of pizza night!  Using polenta as a crust or using Chebe’s gluten-free pizza dough has allowed me to continue enjoying our weekly tradition.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Stay safe and enjoy the unofficial start of summer!! 🙂

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When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I started researching was exercise guidelines.  Working out is a big part of my life (and mental health!), and I didn’t want to give it up.  I also didn’t want to harm my growing baby.

At first, I came across guidelines like: keep heart rate below 140 beats per minute, don’t sweat, and stick to swimming and yoga.  But on so many pregnancy boards (including Baby Center, which has become an addiction!), there were many, many highly active pregnant women.  I also started reading about how those old guidelines for exercise during pregnancy were outdated and not based on empirical research.  Most importantly, my doctor told me that the guidelines I had read were outdated and that I could safely continue my usual exercise routine, as long as I listened to my body and stopped if I didn’t feel well.

*One caveat: There are situations where exercise is not okay during pregnancy.  Women with a history of preterm labor may be recommended to avoid strenuous exercise.  Women who have been sedentary would likely be recommended to take it slow in adding an exercise program.  And a doctor would most definitely recommend that anyone experiencing cramping, bleeding, discharge, or contractions stop exercising and be evaluated before continuing any exercise program.  Bottom line: every situation is different and it is important to continuously check in with your doctor.*

One of the recommendations I found repeatedly was a book called “Exercising Through Your Pregnancy,” by James F. Clapp.  He discusses research that has been done on exercise and pregnancy and how it contradicts so much of what was once believed. What a great read this has been.  I am only 40 pages in so far, but I am intrigued by what research has shown!

A couple of things I have found interesting so far:

  • When pregnant, blood vessels dialate in response to the hormones released.  This results in an increased volume in the circulatory system.  Initially, there is not enough blood to fill up this new space, resulting in fatigue, racing pulse, nausea, dizziness, and other unpleasant symptoms of early pregnancy.  Eventually, blood volume and cardio output increase by 40%, “filling up” the greater volume created in the circulatory system.  As a result, those pesky early symptoms usually dissipate by the end of the 4th month.  Exercise has the same effect on the body, pregnant or not! The woman who exercises and then becomes pregnant has a greater ability to adapt to the changes of pregnancy because her body is already conditioned to know what to do when the volume of the circulatory system increases and blood flow increases.
  • Both pregnancy and exercise can improve the ability of body tissues to take up and use oxygen. The author describes the “training effect”of pregnancy, arguing that it is likely that the combination of training and pregnancy condition the body so that there is an increase in in aerobic capacity after birth!  There are reports of increased performance of athletes in the months after giving birth…it may be because of this conditioning.
  • Studies have shown that the placentas in women who exercise through early and mid pregnancy grow faster and function better than the placentas in women who are healthy, but not active.  More oxygen and more nutrients get through the placentas of exercising moms-to-be, than those who are inactive.

I love the science of this and reading about how these studies were conducted.  Again, I am only on page 40 and there is much more to read and share. But I was excited to share a couple of fascinating tidbits with you all.  Most of you reading are women who value fitness as part of a healthy lifestyle.  And many of you are, or will be mothers someday.  It is validating to know that in most pregnancies exercise is not only okay, but is beneficial to mother and baby.

According to this book and according to my doctor, running is safe during pregnancy.  However, I have been away from running for 4 weeks due to persistent groin pain (much better than it was, but not gone).  My doctor confirmed that it is likely due to the bodily changes of pregnancy (things shift down there, you know!), and it was probably exacerbated by the amount of running I was doing.  Its disappointing because I really want to run.  But I am listening to my body and keeping to the elliptical, which doesn’t aggravate the pain.  Who knows, maybe it will miraculously get better and I will be out there running with a 7 month baby bump!  🙂

Speaking of belly bumps (and for family who could care less about my exercise analysis and just want pregnancy updates!)….here are the 21 week belly pictures!

Not so noticable from the front

Some what disguised by clothes

A definte bump!

What is amazing is how it grows through the course of the day!  This was in the morning, but by evening, it is significantly bigger  Its pretty incredible.  Also incredible, is also how active our little man is!  He moves around a lot and he is now strong enough for Dave to feel the movements through my belly.  I can’t even imagine right now what those movements will feel like in another 19 weeks!

I am working on a yummy, blogger-inspired dinner, so I’m off to monitor the oven.  Have a good night everyone!  🙂

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It is in the 90s here in Boston today!  It feels like summer which is so, so exciting!  Summer means the beach, moving into our new house, and entering my third trimester.  Its going to be a big summer!

In time for the hot weather, I received a sample of a smoothie mix to review.   Sequel Naturals is an amazing company!  I contacted them once to request a sample of their Vega supplements, and they continue to contact me with offers to test this or that.  I am more than happy to oblige.  Especially because I have really enjoyed their products!   Given the heat we are experiencing today, I didn’t wait to give this a try…

The directions say to add 2 heaping tablespoons of the mix to 1/2-1 cup water.  However, I like to jazz things up a little bit.  I added a 6oz. almond milk, half of a frozen banana and a tablespoon of Chocolate PB2 (because there is no greater combination than chocolate, banana and peanut butter!).

I was really excited about this product because it  contains probiotics, those tummy friendly bacteria that my poor belly can always use more of!  It is also high in Omega 3s, something that pregnant women should be getting a lot of (I take a EPA/DHA fish oil supplement too for this reason).

With 12 grams of protein, 5 grams, of fiber, and only 3 grams of unsaturated fat, I was impressed with the nutritional stats.

I was even more impressed with the taste.  This was a great smoothie and helped me cool off after returning from 4 1/2 hours of chemistry this morning!

I will say that I tried just a little bit mixed with water and without anything extra added in. Alone, it was a little bit grainy.  Not bad, but a bit grainy.  With banana, peanut butter, and almond milk, it was perfect!

I have now begun my 6 weeks of Organic Chemistry.  Its going to feel like a long course, fitting in a semester into 6 weeks and trying to pack up our apartment at the same time.  But at the end of it, we get to move, unpack, and settle in… and I get to begin the nesting period!  🙂  Wish me luck!

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Spring Cleaning

Where have I been?!  Well, on Thursday night, my computer appeared to have died.  Not a good thing when you are buying a house, having a baby, and planning a weekend of nursery shopping!  Thankfully, it turned out to be only the battery, so $100+ later, my computer is up and running again.  Phew!  About half of my course load is on-line, so a computer is a necessity!  Not to mention for blogging!  🙂

After the computer scare, I have been spending my time backing up files (which I should have done long ago!), and organizing photos into albums for easy uploading.  Not fun, but definitely a necessity.  I have no excuse but laziness for not having done this before.

The other thing that has kept me from blogging this weekend???  With sales at Babies r’ Us, this was the weekend to tackle the biggest purchase of all!.  We started our registries and selected our nursery furniture.  It was exhausting!  We actually came home on Saturday and fell asleep!  But we are now much more organized in terms of what we need.

Dave did a good job.  The dads at Babies r’ Us look like deer in the headlights!  But Dave hung in there until the end.  There were a couple of tense moments though…

Do you know haw many pack n’ plays there are to choose from!!

In the end, we registered for a lot of necessities and picked out nursery furniture.  A great big thank you to my very generous mom and dad who have insisted on buying their first grandchild his bedroom furniture.  We are incredibly thankful!   My grandparents bought my bedroom set when I was born, and my parents had always planned to do the same for their grandchild.  I don’t think they thought they would have to wait so long for the grandchild though!

Palisades - Dark Walnut - Babi Italia  - Babies"R"UsThis furniture will be with him a long time, as the crib transitions to a toddler bed and then to a full sized bed.

The other big purchase we made this weekend?  I am so excited!

LLBean and REI are having big sales on the BOB Revolution stroller, so even though we won’t be needing it until a little later on, we jumped at the sale.  This is one thing that rarely goes on sale and is quite a pricey purchase.  We were tipped off by my sister-in-law (Hi Lisa!) who reminded us that Diapers.com will match any price if you can find a product for cheaper than it is advertised on their own website.  AND they don’t charge tax or shipping!  We got a great deal and after ordering on Sunday night, it will be here on Tuesday!  We are very impressed with Diapers.com!  I can’t wait to start running with Baby G!

I have a new product to review for you, but I think I will hold off until tomorrow.  I still have some spring cleaning to do on my computer.  Unfortunately, that also means cleaning out my google reader.  Its too overwhelming to look at!  I am very behind on the goings on in the blog world!  😦  My organic chemistry course starts tomorrow, but I will do my best to catch up!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Barring anymore unforeseen technical glitches, I should be blogging more consistently again.  🙂

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I can’t believe how absent-minded I was last night.  I was a bad blogger.  I had a wonderful evening with Heather, Melissa, and Julie (formerly of cookies and cheese)….and do you think I remembered to take my camera out and snap a picture of my beautiful Whole Foods salad or these beautiful ladies???  Nope!  Completely forgot.

In my defense, I was a bit frazzled by the time I got there.  I had a doctor’s appointment at 4:20.  Plenty of time to get to dinner at 5:30.  But at 5:10, we was still waititing to go in!  Finally we were called in, it was 5:15.  The appointment went just fine (I am measuring just right and the baby’s heart rate was strong. Phew!), and fortunately, it was quick, so I was on my way to dinner at 5:30.  Too bad 128 looked like a parking lot!  It took 30 minutes to make a 10 minute drive.  Thank you to Melissa, Julie, and Heather for being so patient!  I had a great time and I can’t wait to get together again!  🙂

I am enjoying my time off before the start of my hellish Organic Chemistry course which begins next Tuesday.  I had a relaxing day…reading blogs, exercising (still on the elliptical….damn injury!), and running a couple of quick errands.

I also had time to actually make a dinner with real ingredients.  On the menu tonight was one of  my favorite things.  Cheesy Speghetti Squash Alfredo.  I love one pot meals where you can throw everything into one pot and have only one dish to wash.

Into the pot went:

  • 1/2 of a spaghetti squash
  • artichokes
  • diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 can of salmon
  • 2 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese
  • a couple of generous handfuls of baby spinach

All mixed together and dished up with some parmesan cheese!

I have a happy belly now and am looking forward to a nice bowl of chocolate ice cream later on.  Edy’s is buy1 get 1 free at Shaws this week!

Thank you all for your raves over the baby clothes my mom and I found.  It was such fun!  I am 20 weeks now.  Exactly half way there!

Have a good night everyone!

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Shopping for Baby G

I don’t consider myself to be too stylish.  I’m not up on the latest trends.  Jeans and a sweater/top are pretty standard for me.  But it turns out, I have pretty good sense of style when I am not dressing myself! My mom and I had such fun shopping for Baby G this past weekend and this little boy is going to be one stylish fella!

When I started this blog, a big part of my motivation was to be able to share what I was doing with family and friends.  So for all of these people, I am going to post all of the newest purchases for Baby G.  It turns out that I met an amazing community of people and brand new friends through the process of blogging…and I realize that not everyone may be super excited to look at baby clothes (regardless of how adorable they are!).  So to everyone else who would rather talk fitness and food, I apologize for boring you today.

Alligator Ensemble: bib, shoes, socks, overall, and onesie! (12 months)

Khaki pants and whale onesie

Short overalls for next summer

Cords and Sweater Vest (3 months)

Frog (6-9 months) and Duckie (3-6 months) Sleepers

Winnie The Pooh Sleeper

Super-soft reversible coordinated outfit (3-6 months)

Choo Choo Train Fleece Jacket (3-6 months)

Simple Long-Sleeve (can't pass up $1 clearance items!)

The tricky thing about shopping in the summer for a baby that will be born in October is that everything on the racks is summer clothing.  So a couple of outfits we got are outfits that won’t fit until next summer.  No point in getting a cute pair of shorts for a 3 month old who will be 3 months old in December!

Luckily, we found a couple great finds on clearance racks that came from the fall and winter lines.  This was my absolute favorite!

Catepillar Halloween Costume!

Baby G will be born just before Halloween and I know I will want to do a Halloween photo!  But I also know that seeking out a costume will not be on the top of my priority list come October.  So when you find an adorable costume on clearance….you snag it!

Although there is still a lot to register and buy for the the baby (nursery furniture, swing, stroller, car seat, and on and on and on and on and…), we will now take a break from clothes shopping for the baby.  My very generous sister-in-law (Hi Lisa!) is excited to purge some the the clothes her 8 month old twin boys have outgrown (Hi Oliver and Will!).  Having a boy is going to work out quite well in the clothes department!

A great big thank you to my mom, who went above and beyond in outfitting her grandson-to-be!  I told her she didn’t have to, but there’s no refusing a woman who has been waiting to be a grandmother for the better part of the decade!

Tomorrow I promise to post something food related!  I have babies on the brain!  I can’t help it!  🙂

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Weekend Fun

I had such a nice weekend, I’m sorry its over.  My mom came to visit me while Dave was away on a business trip and we had so much fun shopping for Baby G.  My mom is in grandma mode!  She even stopped at another mall on her way back home this morning because she hadn’t had her fill of baby shopping!  I took pictures of everything, so I will post them tomorrow so far away family can see what a stylish little dude this baby is going to be!   Dave will be home tonight so I want to show him all of our fashion finds first.  🙂

Aside from baby shopping, we did a little grown up shopping too.  I was way overdue for new sneakers.  I think the groin pain I am feeling now is due to a combination of things: pregnancy-related ligament stretching, lots of running, and old, old shoes.  I loved my sneakers, but I got them before the half marathon I ran in November!  With 30-40 miles/week, they needed replacing for quite some time.  Stupid me!  Mom also needed new sneakers.  After having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in her knee, we wanted to make sure she had the right shoes before she started a walking program again.

We went to the Greater Boston Running Company.  It is a great store because the folks there are really knowledgeable and can evaluate your stride to fit you for the proper shoe.  I brought my old shoe and the gentleman helping pointed out something I hadn’t realized.  Look at the tiny wrinkles in the shoe:

He explained that those wrinkles are there because the cushioning inside has broken down.  Yikes!  I got the same Saucony ProGrid Guide sneakers.  They served me well afterall.  But I will make sure to replace them sooner this time.  I should have known better, as I had to take some time off of running last summer as well when I didn’t replace my last shoes in time.

I love getting new running shoes.  I just wish I could run in them!  Oh well.  My groin pain is slowly getting better, so I know I am doing the right thing.  Thanks to everyone who sent their get well wishes and their concerns.  The elliptical is my new friend for now. 🙂  Don’t worry….the elliptical is not hurting me.  What I am experiencing might be related to ligament stretching that occurs during pregnancy, and I will be interested to hear what my Ob/Gyn thinks when I see her tomorrow…But it is in no way related to the baby and is not endangering the pregnancy in any way.  I have experienced no cramping, fluid loss, bleeding, or any of the other warning signs that pregnant women are supposed to look out for when exercising.  This is strictly related to me and my own aches and pains.  And fortunately, it is slowly getting better.

One last interesting tidbit…. The associate helping me at The Greater Boston Running Company suggested that I come in to be fitted again for sneakers after the baby is born.  Not only will it be time for new sneakers by then, but he said that pregnancy can cause changes in the feet and in pronation.  Interesting, huh?

There was a little more shopping we did, other than baby shopping and shoe shopping…  I am not wearing maternity clothes yet, and I am hopeful that I won’t have to buy anything that is specifically maternity wear because summer is on its way.  I have flowy dresses and elastic waist shorts that should see me through the summer just fine.  All that being said, my belly is indeed growing.  This is me, one day shy of 20 weeks:

Thanks to low-rise jeans, these are my same old jeans.  But shirts are going to get tight soon.  So my wonderful mom treated me to a couple of looser tops.  She got me this shirt and another in white, along with this pretty  scarf.

The shirts fit nicely now and will also accommodate my belly as it grows.  🙂

If you like ooohing and aaaahing at cute baby clothes, come back tomorrow.  And if you’re sick of hearing about babies (so sorry!)….come back on Wednesday to hear about my fun blogger meet-up planned for tomorrow night.

Have a great start to the week everyone!

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