Eating for Two (sort of)

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Eating in pregnancy has been a challenge at times. I am turned off by foods I used to love (sorry, Hummus). I plan a meal and sometimes have no desire for it by the time I am ready to make it. I also have to eat small meals, frequently. This was tough on my work schedule, but now that summer is here I’m finding it a pleasure to shop locally and get fresh items as they pop into my head. Here’s what’s on the pregnancy menu:

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Clockwise from top left: Pumpkin and ricotta pasta with parmesan. Homemade gazpacho with avocado and tortilla chips on the side. Pork chop on the grill with roasted pears, apples, green beans and potatoes. Breakfast egg, asparagus and grapefruit.

I make batches of foods like frittata and gazpacho (I toss in whatever fresh ingredients I have and hide all the nutrients I can in the mix). I am loving the Oh, She Glows cookbook’s Gazpacho recipe and the local tomatoes and red peppers are making this a fave to drink straight from a mason jar.

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Clockwise from top left: Baby arugula salad with goat cheese, toasted pecans and strawberry with apple cider vinegar dressing. Shaved carrot, tofu, asparagus, goat cheddar on crostini. Homemade rhubarb and custard pie (thanks, Aunt Jan!). Strawberry salad with mustard dressing and fresh cracked pepper. Steamed broccoli, grated carrot, sesame tofu and snap peas in a peanut sauce with basmati rice. Mouflata (baguette with goat cheese, garlic, olive tapenade, basil and roasted red peppers).
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Clockwise from top left: Banana bundt cake with chocolate icing! Chocolate pudding with local strawberries. Pumpkin ravioli with sage and pine nuts, cranberries and spinach. Chicken spaghetti Alfredo. Fried chicken and waffles!

I am following an intuitive eating plan – I look up what I’m not allowed to eat, strike that from the record – and eat whatever my body is craving. Grapefruit. Steak. Broccoli. Asparagus. Cereal. Papaya. Peaches. Cashew butter on English muffins. Strawberries and cherries.

Baby is getting lots of good stuff. Plus I’ve found (thanks to my sister-in-law) a great sub for my daily icecream cravings: PC makes a fantastic Skyr frozen yogurt bar in three flavours (berry, mango and caramel) – they are high in protein and delicious. There are also great Motts fruit freezies in a variety of apple and berry blends.

I’m not saying no to foods. This has been a huge blessing. I am enjoying the full palate available and really giving myself permission to eat what I want, when I want it. What a nice, guiltless approach. Sometimes it’s not so healthy: “Babe, I need you to go get me Chinese food and a Dairy Queen Blizzard.” But more often, I’m eating fresh, whole foods and feeling pretty great.

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Clockwise from top: Banana flax bread. Zucchini noodles with avocado, pine nuts, tofu, tomatoes, nuts and dressing. Mushroom pizza and steamed broccoli. Butternut squash soup with croutons and veggie burger with cheddar and bbq sauce. Fresh bowl… again.

Even though the ‘eating for two’ excuse is a bit of a cheat, I am loving the variety and healthy (with some great indulgences) that pregnancy has encouraged me to consume.What are your go-to recipes?

Have Shoes, Will Travel – Summer Travel Volume 1

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Summer is finally here. It finally feels real. Although it has been hot as hell here, summer never officially starts for me until school is out and I am left to my own devices. At 26 weeks pregnant the heat is not my friend, but I’m making the most of it with low-key pool days, virgin drinks on a patio and time spent nesting (in the a/c), planning my registry and catching up with friends.

I also, fun-fun-fun, have time now to plan my summer trip with my Mum. I’m very excited. We used to travel together when I was in high school (Italy, France, and weekend getaways). This is our first mother-daughter trip in a decade. Being a real planner, I am eager to map out what to pack. Now the criteria is more stringent than ever – I can’t treat vacay as an extended photo shoot (like our trips to Santorini, Portugal and Spain). My growing waistline and easily-triggered emotions won’t stand for a suitcase that is packed to the gills, nor clothes that are cute, but uncomfortable. This isn’t usually an issue, since I’m pretty much comfort-before-style anyways.

Today: SHOES! 

Here are my top picks to travel with – for feet that will be comfy, well-supported and pregnancy-swollen (nice, right?). Let’s start with Soludos – whose shoes are cheeky, adorable and comfortable. They tend to be very classic, with on-trend details.

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Soludos Espadrilles – these are so comfortable and go with anything. I have spent a few days wearing them in and after day two, no rubbing.

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These espadrilles also come in a variety of colours. Oh, boy! (image: Soludos.com)

As we set out for our destination, the South of England, heading to boutique bed and breakfasts in the countryside, I am keeping in mind that we will not be walking more than I can handle at this stage of pregnancy…but I still want my feet to breathe, handle some serious walking up steps, to see ruins, farms, manor houses, and to handle old-timey streets. Plus, the footwear needs to be supportive and versatile enough to match all my outfits (stay tuned for Volume II).

Cole Haan has some wonderful options in driving shoes, loafers and sporty lace-ups. I went to the outlets at Niagara and found these for $50 less per pair than online/in regular stores, plus they offer a 15% off teacher discount (always pays to ask).

The court shoes I found are in a tan, super soft leather. While I love the idea of white runners, not so much in-love with them getting dirty. Bonus, the tan colour extends the leg line, rather than cutting you off at the ankle. To the right, the Weekender LX Loafer with Stitchlite fabric is breathable and featherweight, and the bottom left is a blush loafer with awesome sole cushioning that fits beautifully and is both lightweight and supportive. I went with the two on the left. All images: Cole Haan and available here.

The last great find, after lots of research, is feel-good company Toms (they donate a pair of shoes to someone in need for each pair purchased). My two faves for a summer getaway are the Honey Leather Camilia Sandal ($120), and the Navy Slub Chambray Clara Espadrille slides ($85). Signing up for a mailing list got me a %20 discount off my purchase and they have free shipping (though returns might prove costly). I have seen women schlepping around Toronto wearing the basic version of Toms shoes , or even wearing the lace version for weddings, so the comfort seems to speak for itself.

The Camilia has a bit of a heel, but not enough to mess with posture (left), the Clara (top right) is casual, but boho and cute/practical, while the lace slip-on is the often-chosen ‘fancy’ version of a Toms shoe (though I can’t vouch for the comfort of the lace on the skin after a day of walking). All images: Toms

I cannot wait to whittle this list down as I choose the clothes that will pair with them for my upcoming trip. I will never be a stilettos on the beach kind of woman, or on the cobblestones, or even (truthfully) from the taxi to the restaurant. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to look adorable from head to toe.

What are your go-to shoes for vacations or long days out in your own hood, enjoying it like a tourist?

 

True Blue Baby

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This bump fashion is going strong, considering my preference for loose, swingy clothes I’m feeling very fortunate. Today was a comfy one (thank you Fashion forecasters for keeping running shoes as an appropriate option… I could not be more grateful).

It’s still a bit crisp in the mornings, so a bright patterned bomber is perfect for the a.m. I can’t tell you how many times I get compliments on these vintage shell and rope earrings. A friend gave them to me second hand, claiming ‘they are so ugly, I have no idea how to wear them… but I honk you can pull them off.

I take that as the ultimate challenge. If someone says it’s unwearable – let me at it.

I know I’m lucky to be feeling so good right now…Even at 7:30 am when these were taken. I’m welcoming all the changes this pregnancy body is bringing. I also just got a big delivery of maternity pants in the mail. Cannot wait to integrate them and get into some pants that don’t squeeze around my middle.

Cheers, from almost-seventeen weeks,

Xo A