Banana Chia Pudding (Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan)

img_3427-640x427Recently I had 4 gorgeous days to myself. The whole zika virus in Singapore and Malaysia means I was advised not to travel. The decision did not come easy as the trip was to celebrate my brother in law’s wedding. It was meant to be a family affair, one that hubby and I looked forward to for months. Still, being pregnant means there are more risks- one that we are not willing to take with reported cases of mircophely associated with the zika virus. After giving it some thought, we decided to have hubby and Ash travel without me. 

I mentioned in my previous post that this pregnancy has somewhat been different for me. The first one was full of excitement and joy. I was sick but happily sick. I might be spewing in the toilet and looking grey for most of the pregnancy, but the idea of having a baby- one that we were told we could never have, just seem so overwhelmingly blessed. I struggled big time with working then as the nature of my work means long hours and travel in the car. 

This pregnancy is our 2nd miracle. We have defy odds. With the pregnancy comes joy in the first second and panic in the second. Many thoughts flew through my mind. I have just settled back to regular work. One that I enjoy going to, feeling challenged and stimulated. As most would agree, the people you work with are just as important as the work. I was beginning to feel like I am settling. Then bam. Pregnancy means I would have to take time off and with much uncertainty to where I will go when I return. 

Then it is the awareness. The awareness of what will come ahead. The sleep deprivation, the thoughts of juggling with a pre scholar and a baby, the labour process- or in my case, awareness that the doctor would recommend c-section the 2nd time round, the cries that you may never soothe, the concern that I may not be able to give this baby as much as I did with Ash… img_3430-640x427

It also came with a lot of nos and rejections. The no travel to Asia to see my parents/in laws/bil wedding, the no you got to rest because you have some spotting and cramps, the no you have to stop doing so much, the no you have to reduce intensity of the workout, the no the darn pants won’t fit anymore… and of course, the no to Ash when he wanted me but I had no more fuel to give. Then we were put on a ‘higher risk” list as bub came out positive with one indicated of down syndrome. Suddenly, the focus was more on knowing that his heart will be ok, and there are no deformities. When that happened, the guilt set in on how can I worry with SUCH LITTLE things when this little life may not have even existed? 

This verse struck firmly in mind. 

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 

God is good and our prayers have been answered. Things will work out eventually. Right now, we are back to being at the low risk marker. I’m feeling better. And the trip? It was a blessing in disguise because I have not experienced 4 whole glorious days to myself … in what I cannot remember when. 

What did I enjoy?

-HOT drinks and meals

-On my own agenda. A quick duck to the shops? No problems! 

-Groceries done in 30 minutes

-Shopping. Proper shopping

-Silence

-Sleep

-Concentrating on a friend’s conversation

-Clean house

-Less laundry

-No crumbs

-I can play the music I want to hear! 

-Being by myself in the toilet and shower

-Hot long showers

-Did I mention sleep? 

So the 4 days ended and I’m definitely feeling more refreshed. The madness will begin and it will be a long time till I get this freedom again. 

I’m sharing this lovely pudding that I have been having for a snack (or post dinner 4th meal of the day). It’s quick, easy and definitely healthy and tasty. img_3433-640x427

[yumprint-recipe id=’148′] 

 

Smacked right in my 2nd Trimester….

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Woah! A blink and it’s already October. My last post was in July! While I managed to write in my first trimester, hitting the 2nd trimester was getting into me. A few challenges hit us as we had to navigate through this pregnancy. A few scares + exhaustion + nausea over took me. Yes, you read it right. I’m still experiencing morning sickness although it is certainly a lot better as the weeks goes by. Things are certainly looking up and I’m feeling much better. 

I haven’t stopped cooking and baking. If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you will noticed that I’m still cooking away. Even more so as I went on gumtree and bought Thermomix. Yes! After hesitating for 2 years, we decided that I will need another sous chef as we approach being parents of 2. My food processor is starting to show it’s age after 7+ years of weekly use so we decided to splurge on a fancy machine. 

My post today though is an update of how I have been managing fitness and food through the 2nd trimester. I still have not yet weighed myself but using clothes and what I can do as workout as a gauge. 

What has not changed?

  • I still workout 4-5 times a week. 
  • I continue to do boxing, HITT, weight training and metabolic conditioning
  • We continue to eat with a focus of nutrition
  • My meals and snacks are usually planned out 

What has changed?

  • My workouts have been modified. At week 20, I realised I can’t do full burpees anymore. At week 22, I get an odd sensation even doing a modified burpeee (without pushups). I regressed and do squat with a wall pushups. I’m finding I can’t run as much, or do jumping lunges/squats. Abs workout are more pilates core movements. 
  • I take breaks and slow down. If I have a harder workout on Monday, Tuesdays are gentler.
  • I eat more carbs. On the days I work out, or the morning after, I tend to indulge with two slices of sprouted bread. 
  • If I feel more hungry, I eat. I don’t use to have morning tea, but I find that I do get hungry 2-3 hours, so it is better to anticipate it and have something ready than to eat “whatever”. 
  • My snacks have changed. I eat even more protein. I snack on eggs, greek yogurt, cheese, nut butters, bananas, nuts, avocado… Basically, it has more variety and I’m eating more often. I’m eating more dairy simply because I feel like it. 
  • I try to sleep more. 
  • I drink a lot of ginger tea
  • My coffee intake has decreased. Probably an average of 2 coffees a week. 

Compared to my last pregnancy, I certainly do not get the cravings for refined carbohydrates as much. Perhaps it is about reading my body better, or by increasing unrefined carbs, it get what it needs. 

My mood has been terrible for the first 20 weeks. I felt that I was walking in a cloudy haze, feeling absolutely miserable. Constant nausea, exhaustion, and trying to meet my expectations of how I do my job, operate at home and being a present focus mum was so not working. Many times I resorted to the I-baysitter, using devices to keep Ash entertain while I lie on the couch. I even fell asleep reading him a story before! Poor kid. Learning how to scale back and say no was something that has never been easy for me. It was also what prompted me to take a break from blogging and just focus on getting my health back on track. I take naps when I do get Ash down for one. If I’m unwell, I totally stop exercising for a few days. I started scaling back on some commitments. 

I’m not sure when I will be back writing. I do still want to use this space to reflect on this pregnancy and document more food experiments. I’m still very much active on Facebook and Instagram so please hop that that see more. Till the next time, take care 🙂 

 

img_4587Me and Bump at around 20 weeks

News Flash! Hello Baby 2!

I have been quiet. 

For this reason. 

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We are happily and excitedly expecting our 2nd baby! 

 

Our history indicate that having 1 baby is a miracle. To be able to experience this another time, is truly a God’s gift. We prayed, we left it to God’s hands and surprisingly (or not so), it happened. 

 

I think back to my first trimester with Asher. Oh what joy, oh what fear and what agony. The knowledge that miscarriage is higher for us. The unforgiving morning sickness that left me hugging the toilet bowl. The visit to the doctor’s office which he told us it’s hospital or rest with monitoring at home. The non-stop-eating. The non-stop-puking. 

And then 3 years passed. Here we go again. 

The first trimester

Fortunately, I haven’t had much spewing. Just non stop nausea, fatigue, headaches,bloating and feeling “sick”. Still, I count my blessings that I continued to work, having to take minimum time off as I cope with these symptoms + viral infection. 

I had to admit there were times where TV was my life saviour while it entertained Asher as I sit resting. Ginger tea, and water seems to help. Eating regularly works too. I was perpetually hangry. Often feeling sad, pale, unhappy,and angry even when there isn’t any food in sight! 

I learned though, and stocked our fridge and pantry with relatively nourishing and nutrient dense food. Yes, I did had dim sum twice, and totally craved for zamberos and it’s black rice for 2 weeks in a row. Yes, we bought a packet of sweet potato chips once, but we shared it out and finished it only 4 days later (a mean feat!). I did crazy things like making myself a banana, cacao, date, almond milk, peanut butter shake at 8:30am in the morning just barely 2 hours after breakfast. Oh, and I heated that one up too. Hubby fried an egg for me at 10:30pm at night and I had it with kimchi. 

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Me having my hot cacao banana date drink.

Mostly though, I managed to eat well. Eating more, but better than when I had Asher. I attribute it to better eating habits, but also filling my body with more nutrient dense food prior to conception. With Asher, I was craving for heaps of carbs and I always wondered if me going low carb was a contributing factor. I was stuffing myself with breakfast biscuits (No way!), rice and just whatever carbs that I could get my hands to. This pregnancy, I didn’t have that urge to. I just needed to eat. I’m still fearful of weight gain, and my bump is noticeably bigger, but I feel like I have a better relationship with food and nutrition. 

Pregnancy is definitely a test for me. I feel fat, big and it’s a little sad saying farewell to my skinny jeans at week 8. Amazingly, I managed to fit into non-maternity clothes till week 13 and has only recently started taking out those to wear again. 

It is an ongoing process, I will have bad days, I shall admit that. Already I feel that I am gaining weight too quickly despite eating relatively better (it is still more). I feel that it is so easy to give in, and had to be conscious about it. Perhaps it is a combination of hormones, or my old self lingering (with my ease of weight gain), but I just have to keep going and keeping tabs. Hubby has been a great encourager and monitor. 

In terms of exercise, I had a few breaks, but mainly maintained with less intensity. I can’t seem to get a 16 kg turkish bell up, I have slowed down, and every workout seems to be harder work. This is all expected I suppose and I will keep chugging on. I’m proud that I’m still deadlifting, and squating (still doing 32kg gb squats). Listening to my body and slowing down. My motto is to “Turn up and if I don’t feel well, just stop and leave”. So far, I managed to finish all workouts, despite the pace and lesser intensity. 

Baby’s health is going ok. My NIPT was great but scans revealed that I need more monitoring. That again, reminds me that there are greater things to be concern at this stage. It’s not something I can control but only in God’s timing will I know what will happen. 

Asher is excited to be a big brother. Often speaking to my tummy and then saying “baby isn’t talking to me!” oh that poor little man! Soon, he will learn I am sure. 

So here we go! I will be back to update of course, Heaps to chat about. Still, this time round, I’m going to be documenting my journey and thoughts on being a parent of 2! 

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(me and my bump!)

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