The bounce back conundrum. 

So if you've had a kid chances are you've found pages like 4th Trimester Body Project or Birth Without Fear, etc. these amazing groups celebrate moms in all of their forms, shapes, and sizes. I love it. Every woman, especially those who have made, housed, and birthed a baby, should never hate their body. It's beyond miraculous what the female body can do, the power we are capable of... It blows my mind. Staring at my 7 month old and 2.5 year old it's like "HOLY HOT DAMN!! I CREATED THEM!!!" Like shit!!!! So yes, I'm amazed and in love with what my body has done... Butttt I still desire to get my body to a place where I'm wholly confident, healthy, and strong. Don't hate me, but I have kids and still want to look good in a bathing suit. *gasp* So like anything in this day and age you are damned if you do, damned if you don't. On one side you get the, "stop shaming moms who don't bounce back after baby" and then there's the "stop shaming moms who desire to spend time on themselves and exercise" Why is it always like this?! All it takes is 10 seconds on a comment thread of any mommy related story for the claws to come out. We are always offended. Everything is offensive. Dear sweet baby Jesus!! I'm offended, you're offended, I'm offended... Geez!! Why?! Did agree-to-disagree just fly out the window?  Since when did your opinion mean so much more than your neighbor's?! And why in the hell do we have to tell everyone?! Hell, I'm a blogger, I love giving my 2 cents about all things and I have plenty of thoughts about child raising ideals and practices... Sure, I might quietly judge or disagree with another mom for a certain behavior, but guess what?! I keep my freakin mouth closed because that mom is just doing her best! The poor mom who lost her child to an alligator attack hopefully never looked at the comment thread on a story about their situation because the terrible awful things that were said would leave even the toughest skin bruised. She was doing her best. Don't get me started on the Gorilla kid...

I've gotten off topic...

IMG_7084When I stare in the mirror, I'm gonna be honest, I'm like Meh. I don't hate my body, but I am genuinely excited about getting back into my old clothes and feeling happy with my nekkid body. I hesitate to say "get my body back" I don't want that body, I want my -amazing, birthed 2 babies naturally with no drugs, fed two babies from my boobs- body, I just want strength and stamina to chase my kiddos endlessly. I want to be able to pick up my kids until they're teenagers. Slight exaggeration? Possibly.

It doesn't have to be one or the other. We can love our bodies and all they've done and desire to spend time on ourselves excercising and getting in shape. If you're anything like me, the time spent exercising is just as much a mental cleansing as it is a physical challenge. It gets my brain right. Even if it's just a walk or a 10 minute arm series. You'd be amazed what that can do for your soul.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetOn top of exercise and good old fashioned clean eating, after F bomb I decided to wear my Belly Bandit compression gear for REALS this go around. I had it for after Roc, but was not consistent. Let me tell you consistency is key!!! I wore my Original Belly Bandit, all-day everyday for the first month. After that I tried to wear it for at least 4 hours for the following few months until it [hooray] became too big! I switched to the Mother Tucker corset after that and again wore that for a few hours a day . On top of these tummy products, I decided to try the Hip Bandit because with Rocco it was a solid year before my hips were back down to size. Guys!!!! At 5 months my hip measurement was a half an inch away from pre-baby... NUMBER ONE!!! So yea, if you're wondering if this stuff works. I'd have to say a resounding yessss ma'am. I also rock their Mother Tucker leggings, like, all the time. Just look at my past two fashion posts. I feel so good when I wear them and at the end of the day it doesn't matter what a comment thread says or Instagram or People magazine says, feelin good is all that matters!!

Get pregnancy shapewear at BellyBandit.com

Meal in a Minute… Well, 4…

IMG_9334I barely have enough time to shower or take a poo by myself, so making a healthy lunch or dinner with fresh veggies sounds utterly exhausting… Like, I didn't know it was possible to operate on so little sleep and I have a nugget, who for all intents and purposes, sleeps really well for an almost 5 month old. Like seriously. Whoa. WHOA. So my darling love, Chelsea [she is so gonna be famous one day] introduced me to these amazing Lotus Foods ramen packets! Completely clean, fat free, oil free, gluten free, and vegan! For a buck seventy-nine these suckers are a pantry staple in my new normal. To jazz these puppies up I like to add various roasted veggies, baked tofu, a handful of greens, or all of the above! IMG_9336IMG_9337IMG_9335IMG_9338 [Step 1] Follow package instructions. Basically boil 2 cups of water. Add spice packet and noodles. Cook for 4 minutes. Boom. Done.

[Step 2: Optional] Add a splash of tamari which adds a great depth of flavor. Easy peasy.

[Step 3: Optional] Add your desired flare.

[I love baked tofu. You can make your own or buy it pre-baked. To make your own, cut super firm tofu and press to remove all water. Mix tamari, honey, lemon juice. Coat Tofu and bake at 375 until firm about 25 minutes.]

 

[A handful of spinach or kale on the days that's all you've got in you. Just toss it in the water for the last minute of cooking.]

 

[I like to make a huge batch of roasted veggies at the beginning of the week and use them for ramen or tacos, etc. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, roast bell peppers, red onions, zucchini, mushrooms.]

 

[Toss in snow peas, broccoli, or zucchini the boiling water to give them a quick cook.]

 

[Top with jalapeños, scallions, sambal oelek, sesame seeds, chopped cashews, I could go on and on]

 

[Stuff your face.]

Taco Bowl Tuesday

IMG_9261I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am the luckiest girl alive because I have brilliant friends and family! After I had Rocco my bestie from 3rd grade, yes you read that right 3rd grade, came to visit! While she was only here for a few days her stay was so insanely helpful it still makes me cry to think about. Lucky for me she and her family of 7 [did I mention my bestie is also a superhero!?] often eat raw and vegan so with just what was in my fridge/pantry she made the most delectable dinner I had in ages. And because the cravings don't stop after you have your nugget I wanted it again and again, so I did my best to recreate her awesome meal! What I love about this bowl is that you can keep everything in the fridge and just throw it together when you are hungry! There are a few components, but I swear it is so quick and easy, soon you'll be craving it too!! IMG_9260[The Greens] Romaine [chopped]

Avocado Dressing [Avocado, pinch of salt, juice from 1 lemon, minced garlic if you have time]

Mash avocado until it's guacamole then toss the lettuce in the mixture, instant dressing!

[The Grains]

1 cup quinoa

2 1/2 cups water or veggie broth

1 can of black beans, strained and rinsed

Pinch o salt

Either cook quinoa, liquid, and salt like rice or throw into the rice maker and press on. Add the beans to the cooked quinoa.

[The Veggies]

Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Red Onion. Chopped nice and thick.

Toss in a pan with some olive oil or water to sauté. You only need to toss them around for a just a few minutes. You want them still crunchy and fresh tasting. Toss in a pinch of salt and black pepper.

[The "Meat"]

1 cup of raw walnuts

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

pinch of salt

pinch of cumin and chili powder, optional

Toss in the walnuts, paste, salt, and optional ingredients in a food processor. Start slowly adding the evoo. You don't want it too oily. Pulse until it looks like the texture of taco meat. Done.

Now it's time to layer your salad. Add your greens, then quinoa, then veggies, and top with your taco meat!! This dish is magical and super healthy.

Enjoy!!!

We got the beets…

photo 2I have a love affair with beets. I love them so very much. Now, until you've actually had a fresh roasted beet,  I don't want to hear it. So go and buy the beets with the greens, so they are nice and fresh, chop off the tops and follow these directions here on how to roast them. They are super easy and literally taste like candy!!! Organic beets were on sale, so I had to make a big salad. For my birthday dinner, we dined at a fabulous Italian restaurant in Little Italy and while I super enjoyed my pasta, I found myself craving my healthy friend Chelsea's delish salad, so I decided that I would have to make it myself. I had my beets, so I was halfway there. This salad is fresh and super satisfying. Serves 1 hungry person or 2 sorta hungry people [I ATE the whole damn thing myself]

1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped

1 cup of diced roasted beets, give or take, I could eat 3 pounds of beets...

handful of kalamata olives, sliced

1 cup of sugar snap peas, washed and trimmed

Kim Snyder's Dharma's Kale Salad dressing here

Whisk everything together and enjoy!! Next time I make this I'm going to put in a whole chopped avocado… You like where my head's at!? I thought you might. Also, don't be alarmed if you have fuchsia pea or purple poo after eating this salad. Beets aren't joking. I could eat this every single day… Enjoy!!!

It IS All Good

It's All Good Cookbook ReviewNowadays we want to know every aspect of celeb's lives until they tell us and then we call them snobs... or at least that's what seemed to happened with Gwyneth Paltrow. I have no idea why people give her such a hard time. Sure, she suggests clothes that cost more than 2 months rent in her "Get" posts and yes, her beloved manuka honey costs like 40 dollars a jar, but at the heart of her brand is finding balance within your own life. My takeaway has always been creating a distinct and wearable style for yourself, eating real food that's healthy AND delicious, finding local and interesting businesses to support, and to just enjoy the good things in life. At least that's my opinion. And hell, if I made millions of dollars I'd be buying Helmut Lang and Stella McCartney everything then I'd smother it in gluten free flour and expensive-ass honey! Perhaps that's untrue... Alas, I love GP and think that her GOOP brand is a super cool site for the hip chick who loves quality and values information. GOOP is where I found out about Dr. Junger, developer of the Clean diet, a detox cleanse of which I'm a big fan! Her newest cookbook It's All Good is a collection of diary, gluten, sugar free recipes that she uses while on the detox. This diet is supposed to make me look and feel good... Challenge accepted! So I decided to eat from her book for 2 whole weeks to see if she could make good on these claims. It's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewDuring the 2 weeks I was cooking a lot, but I will say that the majority of the recipes were fairly quick and easy to make. Her salads were to die for! Seriously some of the best I've ever made at home. The Mexican chopped salad was so flavorful and satisfying. It's one of my lunch staples now! The white bean and swiss chard soup is now a regular on my weekly menu, I've made it 4 times in the last month! I'm also a huge fan of her French style white beans which I paired with her mushroom and asparagus sauté. HOLY bananas!! Yum. Yum. Yum. Other dishes like the pureed white beans, while really tasty, definitely reminded me of baby food... super yummy baby food. The quinoa was delish albeit very simple, but I suppose that is the whole idea. There are meat dishes in the book which for obvious reasons I didn't try, but they all seemed clean and delish. I don't know about how I looked, but I felt great! As it turns out without gluten I immediately felt lighter, which sucks because my Lord, do I love gluten. I didn't see a huge difference in my weight or skin, but I definitely felt slim and amazingly I was never hungry. I highly recommed this book to anyone looking to clean up their diet and try some fun new recipes, it would also make a great companion to the clean diet detox! In summary: Gwynie is the bomb, buy the book!!