Monthly Archives: April 2012

Twin pregnancy: Week 22 Update

Twin Pregnancy: Week 22

We have movers and shakers! They little ones are constantly wiggling, although still not too obvious from the outside (daddy always misses it), they are making their presence known! I met my OB today, who seems like a nice man. He tried to give me a spiel about how to eat vegetarian foods so that I absorb iron better, and he was very impressed with my knowledge! Spouting out everything I know, though, made me realize I need to start tuning up my diet, now that I can stomach most foods again. I’ve been making bean and veggie salads again, and I shovelled in some quinoa the other night. I’ve also cut way back on the yoghurt and cheese, and while I will probably continue to eat eggs, I’m trying to get more vitamin C in me (to help with the old iron absorption!). Work is starting to get hard to get through, I feel ready to start focussing on my little ones, not reviewing standard operating procedures on information requests. I am trying not to wish myself home though, I know a few people on bed rest, and it does not sound pleasant! I will happily continue working if it means I am not confined to a bed. My ankles and feet are swollen and sore by the end of the day, and I am wiped out, but I wake up feeling good again. I also started my registry, with the help of my husband’s lovely cousin (thanks Katie!) and I’m so glad I did, there is SO much to think about! Crib bumper pads and play yards and bath tubs and mirrors to hang in the car so you can see them when you look in the rear-view mirror…So many little things I hadn’t thought of! In other exciting news, our prenatal class for multiples starts next week. I just hope they keep it positive, I’m starting to find that when it comes to multiples, most information (ie: the internet) talks about how high risk it is and focusses on everything that can go wrong. So far my birth team (my midwife/OB/mom) have all been so positive and acting like having twins is perfectly normal, I don’t want to start worrying (I’m having a hard enough time with this nesting psychosis – ie: house hunting when you aren’t planning on moving!). This weekend is my last yoga weekend, I will officially be able to teach yoga! I am planning a longer post all about it, because I was – ahem – distracted for the last half of the course, so I am not planning on starting my yoga career just yet. I am happy that I completed it, and I’m happy that my weekends will be free now. Have a great weekend! Sarah

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Veggie Book Review!

Since food has been so touch and go for me, my wonderful friend Karen (not “Diaper Karen,” Karen of the thumbprint cookies) wrote a great cookbook review for your enjoyment! Thanks for pickin’ up my slack, Karen!

 

Good & Plenty

I am a big fan of cookbooks.  Unlike the husband of a close friend who once called using recipes Culinary Plagiarism, I could pour over a stack of cookbooks for hours.  My absolute favourite vegetarian guide has been the Moosewood Cookbook.  There’s a reason why it’s consistently on the list as one of top-10 best selling cookbooks.  There’s a simplicity to the recipes; it’s truly healthy comfort food.  But, there is now competition for the title of favourite vegetarian cookbook in my life.  I have discovered a gorgeous book called Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi, who (according to Wikipedia) ran a regular column for several years in the Saturday Guardian called The New Vegetarian.  Plenty is a beautiful-looking book, but that doesn’t always translate to being a Good cookbook.  However, the recipes here are inventive, and it’s full of creative and interesting combinations both vegetarian and vegan.   The Soba Noodle, Mango & Eggplant Salad that I made on Monday was a hit.  The recipe says that it serves 6, but 3 of us finished it off.   To the ladies in our book club: this is what I’m making for our next meeting! 
 
Soba Noodle Salad with Mango and Eggplant
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 fresh red chile, finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 cup sunflower oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
8 to 9 ounces soba noodles
1 large ripe mango, cut into 3/8-inch dice or into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
(note: the book version also calls for some chopped red onion, but I left it out)

In a small saucepan gently warm the vinegar, sugar and salt for up to 1 minute, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the garlic, chile and sesame oil. Allow to cool, then add the lime zest and juice.
Heat up the sunflower oil in a large pan and shallow-fry the eggplant in three or four batches. Once golden brown remove to a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave there to drain.
Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally. They should take 5 to 6 minutes to become tender but still al dente. Drain and rise well under running cold water. Shake off as much of the excess water as possible, then leave to dry on a dish towel.
In a mixing bowl toss the noodles with the dressing, mango, eggplant, half of the herbs and the onion. You can now leave this aside for 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve add the rest of the herbs and mix well, then pile on a plate or in a bowl.

I served it up in takeout containers that I ordered online…  because I have an online shopping addiction.  Also, because a bit of kitsch never hurt anyone.

-Karen.

Thanks Karen, can’t wait for book club!


Twin Pregnancy: Week 21 Update

Twin Pregnancy Week 21

So I had the 20 week ultrasound on Tuesday and….we’re having a BOY and a GIRL! I must admit, I’m very pleased with that, although I would have loved my babies no matter what, I feel like this way I get the best of both worlds, and should we decide to not have anymore children, I’ll be happy. And believe me, there was no doubt about their sex, they both showed off their bits loud and proud! They are, unfortunately, lying transverse right now, which means horizontally, little boy on top, little girl on the bottom, like bunk beds. Every night I have a conversation with them about how they need to move into a head-down position so that mommy doesn’t have to have a c-section! I can feel them wiggling all over now, especially after I eat, and I’ve felt them from the outside, but it’s still too random for daddy to catch them at it. 

I have been nesting in high-gear, I purchased a new comfy sofa, and a new king size bed for family sleeping. We moved our bedroom down to the second floor so I can be beside the bathroom, and what a pleasure my midnight pee has been, not having to navigate a flight of stairs! 

I am noticing that when I wake up in the middle of the night, it is harder to fall back asleep. My mind immediately starts racing and I toss and turn for a while (like an hour or two). I’m not sure if this is nerves, or hormones, or what, but it is really annoying, especially because I work and can’t take an afternoon nap! 

My eating is more or less back to normal, except that I don’t often have the energy to cook, so it’s either been quick dinners I can whip up, or take-out. The Husband is working hard on our new house, so he doesn’t have much energy for cooking either. In two months I can stop working (if not before, depending on how things progress) and hopefully I can spend a bit more time in the kitchen then. 

I’m very proud of myself for curing the cold I had last week, by cutting out the dairy for a few days and using the neti pot 2 or 3 times a day. I really didn’t like that neti pot at first, but you do get used to it. Of course, then I saw an episode of House where the patient got an infection in his brain from using one, which I admit has put me off a bit, but I’m sure our Canadian water is okay, right? Right? 

We still don’t have any names, and when we do, I will be keeping it a surprise until they are born. It’s only fair, I shared the sex! 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 

Sarah

P.S. Happy Birthday to my little sis Aly! She turns 18 today, I can’t believe how time has been flying by!


Blog Love!

I feel like I have officially been inducted into the Blogosphere! I have been nominated for an award! The protocol is that I pass this on, so I am interrupting my regularly scheduled plant-based/twin talk for some blogging geekdom! First of all, THANK YOU to An American Hermit Crab in Denmark, I’m so honoured! And please check out her lovely blog (in particular, her amazing Bob Marley knit doll – awesome)! Now for the rest:

The rules for the Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:
If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

1. Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
2. Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
3. Select 15 excellent blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
4. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
5. Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

I have been blogging for under a year, and since I’m still new to the scene, most of my blog loves are fairly well-established sites, so I may not get 15, but I’ll do my best:

1. The lovely Kelly at Three and a half vegans, who rocked VeganMoFo in 2011, btw, and makes the tastiest looking vegan fare;

2. Ashley at Calmly Chaotic, who is helping me survive my impending twindom;

3. Multiple Momstrosity, another twin mom who I couldn’t live without right now;

4. Live. Learn. Love. Eat. Tiffany has been so candid about raising her family on a vegan diet, she truly is an inspiration;

5. Frontier Dreams is an adorable blog about a mom of 3. Tons of knitting and sewing love here;

6. My Veggie Baby is a beautiful blog about a first pregnancy and the vegan diet. So of course, I’m a bit in love;

7. The Tie Dye Files, a great vegan site with tons of recipes and thoughts about vegan living, healthy eating, and activism.

8. Vegan Culinary Crusade, a great raw/vegan site that makes the diet look sooo tasty and easy.

Okay, so I can’t make it to 15, but that’s a good start, and hopefully some of you will check these sites out!

And here are the seven things about myself:

1. I haven’t dyed my hair in about 8 years. It gets all streaky in the summer time, so people think I get highlights, but I don’t. And I’m proud of that!

2. I have a giant stack of books beside my bed. I mean somewhere between 15-20 books at any given time. I might have a problem…

3. I played classical flute for 10 years. In fact, I was in the youth orchestra where I played flute and piccolo!

4. I did not eat mushrooms until I was 27. Don’t know what I would do without them now (well, except during queasy pregnancy times…)

5. My husband and I have a deal, I don’t paint my fingernails (he hates nail polish for some reason) and he doesn’t eat lamb in front of me. So far it’s a great deal.

6. I have travelled across Canada in a Greyhound bus twice! (well not all the way across, I went from B.C. to Ottawa, Ontario). It takes 3 days and 3 nights, and it takes 24 hours to get out of Ontario. I have also sworn to never do it again!

7. I went to an arts highschool, just like the movie Fame! I was in Literary Arts (Creative Writing) and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world!

Thanks again for the nomination 🙂

I’ll be back on Friday with big news…I know the sexes of my babies!!!


My 16 year vegeversary! or It’s dawning on me that raising kids on a plant-based diet, might be hard…

I know I’ve been tending more towards the pregnancy side of things instead of the plant-based diet side of things, but after another fantastic Greek Easter (sarcasm!), I have some venting to do. This venting may not appeal to you, which is fine, I do not judge the way other people eat. But when other people criticize the way I eat, I think I’m allowed to rant about it.

Greek Easter (usually 2 weeks after regular Easter) holds a special place in my heart because it’s my vegetarian anniversary. As you may know, it is tradition that lamb be served on Greek Easter, or even more traditionally, that a lamb be slaughtered and roasted on a spit. Sixteen years ago, after one such meal (it was store bought, not slaughtered and roasted thank God), as I was washing bloody –looking lamb gravy, I started involuntarily crying for the lamb, thinking about how it was just a baby and was taken from its mother and killed. I haven’t eaten meat since then.

Eight years later on a farm in British Columbia, I helped birth a little lamb who was then rejected by her mother. That first night, I fed her warmed up goats milk, wrapped her in a towel and snuggled with her in my bed to keep her warm. I was nicknamed “Mary” since she followed me everywhere (when she wasn’t playing with the other lambs on the rocky hillside; their favourite game was jumping from rock to rock). She would wait for me to by the fence to come back from the garden every day, and I would bring her out to the pasture to graze. Once she was full grown and didn’t need to be hand fed anymore, she went with some of the other sheep to a different farm, where she was used for her wool, but I received a solid promise she would not be used for meat. She was such a friendly sheep, because she wasn’t afraid of humans at all.

So I sit through Greek Easter, silently, eating my potatoes and broccoli and salad. I don’t complain, or make gross faces, or hint towards how disgusting I think eating lamb is. I say no thanks when it’s passed around and I endure the taunts I get from the rest of my extended family.  They mostly “baa” at me a little bit, and ask me if I want to bring some home for my husband. I have put up with this for SIXTEEN years. This year it culminated in a family member telling me that the reason all vegetarians are fat is because they don’t eat enough protein and they eat too many carbs. There was so much wrong with that statement that I was honestly speechless.

But now I have two little people coming into the world. Two little impressionable people who I want to teach compassion, nutrition, and love for all animals, whether they’re dogs and cats, or sheep and cows.

I understand that meat-eaters often feel judged by my way of eating (even though it’s my choice and has nothing to do with them) regardless of what I say.  Just by virtue of me saying “No thanks” they seem to feel like they somehow have to justify their choices.  And I understand that when a person gets defensive, sometimes they can say hurtful things just to make themselves feel better. But I can’t explain that to 3-year-olds. If these sorts of conversations continue in my family, they are going to feel judged and not know why. I don’t want them to question what they eat when they are young, they can decide how to eat when they are older and have all the information. I don’t want anyone slipping my kids some meat because they don’t think the way I eat is healthy, or because they think my kids are being deprived in some way. Am I naive to hope that for my kids eating meat will not be an issue? I don’t want it to come up; I don’t want it to be a question. I want to read books about farms to them and not have to explain why Bessie is also found on a dinner table, because there is no reasonable answer to that question!

I am a bleeding heart, I know that. I am overly-sensitive, and I allow the way animals are treated to affect me. But so what??? Why is that a sign of weakness? I fear for the day when (if I have a boy) my son realizes that Real Men Barbeque Meat, and that he HAS to have a hotdog at a baseball game.  To me, there is nothing sexier than a vegetarian man and that’s what I hope to raise, someone who is compassionate and informed, able to stand up for those who have no voice, and not afraid to be different from others. But I hope at least for the first few years, my children don’t need to hear about the rest of world’s insanity, and judgement, especially coming from their own family. I just want to protect them for a little while, and give them a safe place to eat good food.

This might be harder than I thought.


Twin Pregnancy: Week 20 update

Twin pregnancy: Week 20

Can you believe I’m half-way through?! The first few weeks seemed to go so slowly, and suddenly there seems to be no time left! I don’t have much new to add this week, other than the fact that I have developped a head cold, most of which I blame on the influx of dairy in my diet. I’m trying to reduce the amount of dairy I’ve been eating, it was just so easy to feel like I was getting my protein needs met by downing yoghurt and cheese…but I know better, don’t I? And I have a mucusy head cold to prove it. I’ve started using my neti pot like crazy to clear out my sinuses, and I’m drinking so much water I might just move into the bathroom. Other than that, I’m loving the old second trimester. I put my legs up the wall every night for 5 minutes to help with blood circulation, and I try not to wear socks with elastic for ankle swelling, but other than that I feel great. Sleeping is starting to get a bit more difficult, and I’m considering a body pillow soon. The wait is on for next Tuesday, when I’ll finally be able to share the news about what I’m having! Hopefully everyone cooperates and is in the right position…I’m definitely feeling movement, so fingers cross they want to show us their stuff! Sarah


Twin Pregnancy: Week 18 + 5d Update

I know, I owed you one 5 days ago, but time seems to be flying by like crazy, so this will have to do!

18 weeks and 5 days

Again, this was first thing in the morning, I’m not wearing any make-up and I woke up at 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep. It doesn’t seem very fair that my pregnant body is already depriving me of sleep. Well, I suppose it’s more my pregnant brain…

Last week I went to a prenatal yoga class at the Shunnya Center for the first time. The yoga is based on Gurmuhk, who wrote this beautiful book that I highly recommend. She practices Kundalini yoga, which, if you’ve never taken a class before, I also refer to as “magic” yoga. There’s a lot of chanting and repetitive movements, that always seems to me like we are reciting a spell. But it’s a spell to make you feel good! I honestly haven’t been to a straight-up prenatal yoga class yet, so I can’t compare them, but what I love about Kundalini prenatal is that is more about making you feel comfortable and excited and connected to your baby, than it is about exercise (which you get by default, but it doesn’t focus on that part). It’s like therapy for pregnant ladies, and God knows I’ve needed it! I left the class last week so happy to be pregnant, a feeling that honestly is not always there for me. I’m going again tonight!

Another new development is finally not feeling deprived by not having a glass of wine every now and then. I sulked about it for a while, but suddenly (or I suppose not so suddenly, it’s been almost 5 months…) it’s not the first thing I think about when I’m headed to a party or out for dinner (and no, I didn’t have a problem! It was just a fairly constant – and moderate – part of my life). I don’t feel as socially awkward being around other people who are drinking, and I don’t find I need a substitute (nonalcoholic beer for example) to feel comfortable.

I’m weaning myself off of my anti-nausea pills. I’m down to one a day, and hoping to be done with them this weekend. The last time I stopped them cold turkey, I ended up feeling the sickest I’ve felt so far. This time I decided to slowly stop them. I take the pill in the evening, when I feel the most nauseous. So far so good!

We are counting down the days until the ultrasound. I’ve started to feel things rolling around in there, and I feel connected to them, but I’m really excited for my husband to see them. I think it will make it more real for him – even though he already stares at my belly like it’s an alien growth – this will just make it more clear what’s going on!

I had a revelation this week that a twin pregnancy is very very different from a singleton pregnancy (not better or worse, because I can’t compare them!). I was speaking with another girl in my office who is expecting her first baby in mid-August. She is planning to work right up until August – because she won’t be lugging around more than 10 lbs of baby or have had to put on at least 35 lbs (I’ll be done mid-June…if I make it that far). She looked a bit confused when I asked her how bad her food aversions were, and she seemed surprised by my already swollen ankles. She is technically 2 weeks ahead of me – but I am technically 5 weeks ahead of where I am! Point is, I’m learning to be kinder to myself. My body is doing some seriously hard work, double time.

I’m off to Niagara Falls this weekend for my good friend Jess’s bachelorette party. We will be doing a wine tour which I will be jealously watching, but I have given myself permission to buy a bottle of wine at each vineyard and save it up for post-birth. I know I just said how okay I am with not drinking, but I WILL enjoy that first glass once the little ones have arrived!

Have a great weekend!

Sarah