Oattie Spelt Protein Pancakes

We’ve been into the Sunday morning pancake thing.  I try to make extra so as to have easy breakfasts for Leif for the next few days.  I often make these up the night before and then just add the liquid in the morning.  Makes for a quick pre-hike breakfast!

Ingredients:

2 cups oat flour

2 cups spelt flour

1 cup rolled oats

4 Tablespoons chia seeds

2 Tablespoons baking powder

2 scoops Vega Protein powder or vegan protein powder of your choice

2 tsp pumpkin spice mix

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup squash (I used butternut)

4 cups water or almond milk or mix of both!

 

Instructions:

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl

Mix in Squash, water and vanilla and stir well

pour pancakes over med-high skillet and flip when the batter begins to bubble.

Cook second side.

Top with nut butter, bananas, black strap molasses, berries, seeds, what ever the heck you like to top your pancakes with (well, maybe skip the powder sugar or fake syrups…)

Power Up!

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If these pancakes can get a pregnant lady with a 30 pound child on her back up a mountain, they can do anything!  Dream big, kids!


And then she was pregnant.

In my last post about fertility and our desire to have another baby, I spoke about my irregular periods, upping my fat intake to level out my hormones, and the possibility of taking clomid to get me to drop an egg! The putting on fat part was quite easy– a lot less running and more calories.  Boom, 2 pounds in the blink of an eye.  Still, I didn’t really think I was ovulating so I just had it in my mind that we would need to wait until my next period and then we’d start the clomid.  However, something it me kept me from going to the pharmacy to pick it up. I decided I would wait until I started and then go get it right away.  No sense in spending the money if my period never came, right?  So we waited.  We waited and I took pregnancy tests like multiple times per day when my period was “late” (which really means nothing when your cycle is irregular).  I was using cheap-o’s so I didn’t care that I’d go through multiple a day.

One afternoon, when I was tossing Leif’s diaper in the garbage, I noticed that one of the test strips I had thrown out had double lines.  Wait? What? My heart skipped.  Obviously, it was way past the 5 minute “read by” limit.  I took another one right that moment.  And sure enough, after about 4 minutes, the faintest positive line appeared.  So faint I thought I was making it up.  I sent a photo to a friend.  She was certain it was positive.  Me, not so much.

The next morning, I took another one.  Negative.  Sigh. I drove to Target and invested in a 2-pack of digitals. Negative (my pee was pretty diluted by that point in the AM).  I put it out of my mind that I could be pregnant.  I impatiently waited until the next morning.  My bladder woke me up at 4 AM and I rushed down stairs, determined to not let that first pee of the day go to waste.  I first tried the cheap-0.  Positive.  I busted out the last prized digital… my heart pounding out of my chest.  The three minutes seemed to take ETERNITY.  When YES flashed on the screen, I gasped, covering my mouth so as not to scream with joy and wake the house up. With hands in prayer, I placed them on my forward and let out a “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”

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It’s two weeks later.  Because I have such irregular cycles, my midwife ordered an early ultrasound to date the pregnancy.  I so anxiously awaited that appointment.  On Monday, I got to glimpse at that little sweet pea and see the little waves of the heart beat (117/min–perfect).  The ultrasound put me about two weeks behind what I had thought but I know its not a perfect science and Leif came right smack in the middle of my original due date and the due date I was given after my ultrasound. So, I’m just over 6 weeks and expecting an early July baby.  Come on, Summer!

I’m thrilled to be pregnant.  I’ve wanted this for the last couple of years. While I tried to prepare myself mentally for the physical shift, it still is hard.  With Leif, and with this pregnancy, my body changed a lot in the first trimester.  I have already put on a couple more pounds and my pants are feeling uncomfortable already.  My tummy is not the washboard it was over the summer.  But then again, I couldn’t get pregnant over the summer… From a body image point, the first trimester is the hardest for me.  The medical world says you shouldn’t gain more than 5 pounds in those first months but I have already gained 3-4 (okay, 1 or two of those were before I got pregnant) and I have 6 weeks to go in this trimester. I gained between 5-10 in my first trimester with Leif and I remember feeling a little shamed by my health care provider–like I was subtly told I needed to slow it down.  Then, it leveled off and the last month of my pregnancy I was told I needed to gain more! sigh.  I, of course, delivered a perfect, 7 pound healthy baby boy.

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After talking to and reading stories about other athletic women and their weight gain during pregnancy, I’m finding that women who are training at relatively high levels tend to gain more in the first trimester than average women.  Why?  Well, I think for one, our bodies need the extra cushion.  We have less body mass/fat to begin with so our body compensates to sustain the pregnancy.  Also, for me, the intensity of my training has gone down significantly.  I don’t feel like myself.  My energy levels are low and I just don’t have the stamina to run 10 miles at 7 min/miles right now.  Also, I’m recovering from an injury.  To top that all off, I’m eating heartier foods than I do in the summer.  Its a perfect storm for putting on a little extra cush– pregnancy hormones/need for fat, exhaustion, nausea, lowered training, increased calorie in take…

Yesterday I was feeling pretty gross about my body.  The waist band on my leggings was digging and the scale showed a number I haven’t seen since before I got back into running shape post surgery.  I started thinking, “oh my god, how am I going to keep my weight under control during the first trimester?  What if I gain 60 pounds?  I’ll never be fit again!”  And then I stopped myself.  Time to put the pants that don’t fit away for now, find the ones that do and embrace my changing my body.  I might not be going for 20 milers or busting out sub 7 miles but I’m moving my body everyday, I’m eating healthy, and most importantly, my pregnancy appears to be normal and healthy! So, to the crazy perfectionist in my head that says I need to keep my body in check, I say, “Shut the F up.”

I’m beyond grateful to be carrying another human in my body…to have another heart beating within me.  To think there will be another little human I love as much as Leif just blows my mind.  I’m going to embrace this soft belly and celebrate it as it grows over the next 9 months.

Anyone else tend to gain more than “recommended” in the first couple months of pregnancy?


The Art of Curry

Curry: a vegetable dish cooked in an Indian-style sauce of strong spices and turmeric and typically served with rice.

A couple years ago, my friend Salomi, gave me curry lessons.  Her family moved to the US from India when she was a child and the tradition of curry runs deep in her veins.  I learned from her that there is no one way to cook a particular curry.  Recipes don’t really do justice to the art of curry making.  This is why I have never posted a curry recipe on my blog–I don’t have one.  I work with the spices, coconut milk and veggies until I get it just the way I like it.  I make a big pot of curry once a month or so and we eat it for the good part of a week.  Its so warming and healing.  The spices in curry work to fight inflammation in the body and boost the immune system. A great fall and winter food to keep you warm and healthy.

In this post, I am going to try to break down my curry dance.  None of these ingredients are set in stone.  I usually start with cumin seeds but I was out and didn’t want to make a special trip to the store so I played with different options.  You should too!  Start slowly with the spices and gradually add more to taste!  All the spices are “to taste”.   I like mine a bit spicer than my family so I hold the chili powder and just sprinkle it on my serving. And if you’re at a loss, shoot me a message and I’d be happy to have you over for some curry making fun.

This recipe makes a big pot.  We eat it each night with alternating grains and a salad.  We’ll probably start with amaranth tonight and work our way through brown rice, quinoa, millet, and maybe even teff this week!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 inch chunk of fresh turmeric, minced
  • 1/2 inch church of fresh ginger, minced
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • mustard seed
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • turmeric powered
  • salt
  • peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2-3 cups chopped brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups peas
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2-3 cans)
  • 1 roasted butternut, pumpkin or squash of your choosing
  • 3 cans coconut milk
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes or 4-5 cups chopped fresh if in season
  • 3 curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Instructions:

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  1. Pour a little coconut milk in the pot and bring up to a simmer.
  2. This is normally when I would add the cumin seeds and roast them a bit but this time I used mustard seeds
  3. After a minute or so of stirring the seeds in the coconut milk, add in fresh turmeric, ginger and garlic.IMG_1602
  4. Let these simmer for a couple minutes, stirring constantly and adding a little more coconut milk if needed
  5. Add in the diced onion, continuing to stir.  Cook until the onion becomes translucent.  At the same time, begin sprinkling in the other spices. The Turmeric powder will give your curry a pretty yellow color.  Taste, stir, sprinkle.IMG_1603
  6. Add in the sweet potato and brussels sprouts, continuing to stir until sweet potatoes soften
  7. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, peas, butternut, coconut shreds and curry leaves and bring to a simmer.
  8. Stir in those chickpeas!
  9. Simmer as long as you’d like. This gets better with time.  I transfer mine to our crockpot and keep it on warm until we eat it all up!


The Magic of Whole Grains.

During the 80’s and 90’s, America was all about “low fat” higher carbohydrate diets. People were buying low fat and fat free cookies, candy, and white bread like somehow these foods would magically help them lose weight and turn them into health machines.  As we know, this didn’t happen.  Americans continued to gain weight and experience levels of heart disease, diabetes and cancer at higher levels than ever before.  Then Dr. Atkins swooped in and put people on diets that contained almost no carbohydrates and focused on animal proteins and fats.  People lost weight but weren’t healthy and disease continued to sky rocket.

Here’s the thing, we need all three macro-nutrients to function optimally.  Different people need different amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fat depending on their individual make up as well as their lifestyle.  For myself, I find that I am strongest, leanest, and happiest when I’m eating a diet very high in unprocessed carbohydrates– like close to 80 percent.  The difference between the way I eat and the low-fat dieters of the 80’s and 90’s is that I’m eating whole foods.  Red Vines, no matter how “fat free” and delicious they are, will make you sick if you eat very many of them.  Food companies are on to this as well.  General- Mills is no dummy.  They have listed on their cereal boxes “Whole Grains!” Sorry GM, Lucky Charms are NOT whole grains.

Whole grains are high in fiber as well as a essential enzymes, iron, Vitamin E and B-Complex.  They have been an essential part of traditional diets for thousands and thousands of years.  They are also delicious and warming and there are some great choices for those with gluten sensitivities!

Why do some modern diets say we should avoid whole grains?

Whole grains contain phytic acid.  Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient.  It binds to nutrients and prohibits proper absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium.

But here’s the deal:

Phytic acid can be removed from your grains by simply soaking and rinsing your grains before cooking them!  You can also cook them with a small piece of seaweed to add zinc back in!  It’s that simple, guys!  Not all grains need to be soaked. Below I have listed some of my favorite grains, if they need to be soaked, and how much water to use.  Soaking literally just means soaking them in water for 2-8 hours.  Drain and rinse them in a fine mesh strainer and then add the amount of water needed for cooking.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer until all the water is absorbed.

Gluten Free Grains:

Brown Rice, Soak, 1:2 Ratio Grain to Water

Amaranth, Soak , 1:3 Ratio

Buckwheat, soak, 1:1 Ratio

Whole Oats, soaking not necessary but overnight oats are da’bomb, 1:3

Rolled Oats, soaking not necessary, 1:2

Millet, Soak, 1:3

Wild Rice, Soak, 1:4

Quinoa, Soaking not necessary but since them to remove natural pesticide, 1:2

There you have it!  Eat your whole grains, but soak them first!