Tagged: tea

WIAW #28 – Noms and Motherhood

Hello, friends!!

After a brief blogging hiatus thanks to this little beauty:
Emma at her Baptism

I have returned with my favorite post of the week… What I Ate Wednesday!! I figured this was my best bet for getting a post up these days, as I haven’t been cooking too much of anything new to share a recipe with you, nor have I been working out regularly yet, as I still have two more weeks until I see my doctor again (though, I won’t lie, I’ve been trying to squeeze in a few minutes of yoga every day and I’ve been taking the little miss for walks in her stroller around the neighborhood!)

As always, shout out to our lovely host, Jenn, at Peas and Crayons!! First, we shall discuss my eats from yesterday…then…motherhood!

Breakfast: Every morning is a little different lately, as Emma’s sleep schedule is still not exactly a schedule quite yet. Yesterday I was up from 4:30 to 6:30 nursing her and changing her and lulling her back to sleep but I went back to sleep and she woke me up at 9:00 with her “MOM I’M SO HUNGRY!” cry. So first thing as soon as I’m up I feed her for a half an hour while my belly rumbles. I’m starving by the time I get to make my own breakfast…which winds up being 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites with Frank’s Red Hot, a whole wheat English muffin with smart balance, a handful of sliced strawberries, a banana, and a giant mug of English Breakfast Tea. While I was making my eggs…which were meant to be over easy…I heard Emma poop from two rooms away (she is a powerful pooper) so I ran to change her and my yolks cooked all the way through. If that’s not unconditional love I don’t know what is. 😉

eggs and fruits

Snack: My first snack of the day was a Kashi Chocolate Almond and Sea Salt with Chia bar…which is mighty tasty and fairly healthy for a prepackaged granola bar…while nursing the little lady. My second snack of the day, also enjoyed during a mid day nursing sesh, was a perfect plum! It was less than two bucks for two pounds of these babies at Wegmans this weekend and I was all over it!
kashi bar
plum

Lunch: Lunch was kind of an ordeal yesterday. Just in that, in a perfect world, both snack times would have been lunch were I not feeding a hungry, hungry baby. I finally got the munchkin to fall asleep so I made this delicious taco salad. My father in law walks into the kitchen and says “it’s quiet in here”…sigh…and right on cue she started screaming. I put my salad down, change her diaper to discover she had a huuuge blow out and I needed to change her onsie, too, and of course I actually put away the laundry so they were all upstairs. I finally had her dressed again and she starts sucking her hands like a maniac ( that’s baby talk for “feed me immediately, woman” for those who don’t know) so of course, I fed her…for forty minutes…while staring at my salad waiting to be eaten.
taco salad

Snack: An oldie but a goodie…plain Greek yogurt with peanut butter, honey, and some chocolate chips. Although after 4-weeks it does feel like my appetite has finally evened out, I pretty much feel starving alllllllll the time. This snack helps. 🙂
pbchip yogurt

Dinner: Sometimes I think everyone needs some cheese and bacon. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I had my cheese and bacon on top of some homemade potato wedges with some scallions, broccoli, and a quick chipotle dipping sauce (1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 of a minced chipotle in adobo, and a pinch of salt.) It was banginnnnn!
cheesy bacon potatoes

After dinner it was about 8:00pm and I made myself a glass of chocolate milk before I sat down to feed the baby again. By 10:00 she was satisfied, changed twice, and snoozing…so I hit the hay, too. We slept from about 10:30 to almost but not quite 1:00am before she woke me up for more noms.

Late Night Snack: These Luna Protein Bars have been a godsend during my late night feedings. They are pretty small but pack a whopping 12 grams of protein – which means I can eat them quickly and actually feel satisfied for a while! I enjoyed this bad boy in bed by the soft glow of a nightlight, while feeding my baby girl at 2:00am. Obviously I would choose the chocolate peanut butter flavor…but the cookie dough is quite delightful, too.
luna protein


So there we have a full day of eats for nursing mom, me!!

NOW ONTO MOTHERHOOD!!
I’m not gonna lie to you…these last four weeks have been a whirlwind for sure! I am completely flabbergasted that my baby girl is four weeks old today and will be a full month old this weekend!! Even when my days have no real distinct beginning or end it’s astounding how quickly time is going by. I’m doing everything I can to soak up the moments I have with my daughter while she’s this teeny tiny person…but I notice changes in her every day and I can’t help but be excited by what the future will bring!!

ABOUT BREASTFEEDING
My decision to breastfeed is one thing I receive the most questions about and I can say without hesitation that I know it was the right choice. “Are you sure she’s eating enough?” is a common question. Here’s a fun fact: yesterday I fed Emma for a grand total of 6 hours and 24 minutes. I’ve been using a fancy app the last two weeks recommended to me by my dear friend and fellow new mommy, Desirae, called “Feed Baby” which helps me to time and keep track of feedings, diapers, sleep, and it has been SO helpful! Then we get to “Are you sure she’s not eating too much?” *sigh* Sometimes I think it’s a bigger pain in the fanny to EXPLAIN breastfeeding to people then breastfeeding is itself! Even when I’m running on two hour of sleep at a time I am very patient with my baby. I am much less patient with grown-ups. Lucky for me, I feel very blessed that the important people in my life support my decision to breastfeed! I really wish more people would educate themselves about breastfeeding…and in general…before making assumptions about the well-being of my child.

ON MY POSTPARTUM BODY
Something I find particularly fascinating about some other women, and society in general I suppose, is how often you hear that a body is “ruined” after having a baby. It’s so common to hear other women complain about how their body was never the same after giving birth. There was even a part of me that was concerned I may feel the same way after having Emma. I can tell you now, though, that I cannot for a moment understand how anyone can feel that way about their body after their baby is born. I LOVE my postpartum body. Sure, there are parts of me that are still squishy…I had a baby four weeks ago! But my squishy body was the home of my beautiful, baby girl for 40 weeks. My hips may be wider, my butt may be smaller, and my clothes may fit me differently, but I could NEVER hate my body after it gave me the greatest gift I have ever received. Once I’m in the clear to work out again, I will be doing so of course. But I certainly won’t be obsessed with “getting my body back.” What I will be focusing on is making the most of this new, beautiful body I have now, and seeing what other amazing things it’s capable of doing.

What I Ate Wednesday #9

Good morning, all!! Happy hump day! I’m going to keep today’s What I Are Wednesday post short and sweet (like me)! This is actually everything I ate yesterday…I decided to plan for this post ahead of time for once! I feel like that’s something I need to get used to doing  – planning things ahead of time – what with a baby on the way. We’ll see how that works out I suppose. 😉  A big thank you goes out to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting this fabulous link up. Enjoy my eats!

Breakfast: Two banana chocolate chip muffins with some decaf lady grey tea. Perfect and toasty warm on such a freakin’ cold day! Noms!

muffins

Snack #1: 1 hard boiled egg with two Morning Star Farms veggies sausage.

eggandveggiessausage

Lunch: Leftover spinach and artichoke dip (I made it for New Year’s Eve but didn’t wind up eating any because I ate so much other food!) with a handful of tortilla chips and a dozen baby carrots. I also had a few Brookside Chocolate Blueberries! (Thanks, Nicole!)

spinachdipchocolateblueberries

Snack #2: A Wegmans brand honey flavored blended greek yogurt. I’m a fan of Wegmans brand greek yogurt…I still prefer chobaini most of the time…buuuuuut I REALLY prefer paying 66 cents a cup instead of $1.09!

yogurt

Snack #3: String cheese!! They never got old. I’m telling ya.

stringcheese

Dinner: John and I had a really great arm workout at the gym and I was suuuuuuuuuper hungry when I got home. I marinated two tilapia fillets in a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, garlic, and just a tiny bit of brown sugar while I let them defrost in a ziplock in a big pot of warm water for 5 minutes. I cooked them really quickly in a skillet with the marinade which turned into a lovely glaze. I popped a pouch of Uncle Ben’s Brown Basmatti Ready Rice in the microwave and tossed together a quick Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Asian Chopped Salad and dinner was done in twenty minutes! I covered it in green onions and more sriracha and devoured it.

teriyakitilapia

Dessert: After all of that dinner I was still kind of hungry and wanted something sweet, so I melted together a tablespoon of peanut butter and a tablespoon of nutella and plopped a sliced banana on top. Ya know – plopped is not a very appetizing word now that I think about it. Oh well. It was effing delicious. Then Johnny and I watched Dads, Brooklyn-Nine-Nine, and I proceeded to fall asleep on the couch during New Girl. Oh well!!

 

dessert

 

What was your favorite thing you ate this week so far?! I loved my dinner last night…I’ll definitely be making my tilapia that way again, soon!


Par-tea, Tapas, and Good Times!!!

My goodness does time sure fly. I haven’t posted at ALL  for the whole month of April and I’m just realizing this today!!! Wtf mate?! My apologies for the absence, but…

huzzah-lolcat-268x200

 

I HAVE RETURNED!!!!

So where have I been, you ask?

Well, it’s been a busy month so far!

I spent the first weekend in Charleston visiting some of my hubby’s extended family. We had a super time!! We got to enjoy a street fair, some shrimp and grits (my first time! amazinggggggggg. so glad i don’t live where i could devour them every day!) and (my personal favorite part…) we got to visit the ONLY tea garden in the USA!

The Charleston Tea Plantation!!!

Goodness, gracious me I was so thrilled to get a chance to visit. Tea is, hands down, my favorite beverage. All kinds really – black, green, oolong, white. It doesn’t matter. I’ve hardly ever met a true tea I didn’t like.

*PREPARE FOR TEA SNOBBERY*

By true tea I am referring to only the leaves that comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant…which is the only plant that tea comes from. Any other “tea”  you may come across, like peppermint, roobios, or chamomile are herbal “teas”. These don’t contain caffeine naturally, like the Camellia Sinensis plant does. All black, green, oolong, and white teas contain caffeine naturally. There are various methods for decaffeinating tea that comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, though it will almost always still contain about 1% of its original caffeine content. Heh.

I became particularly passionate about tea while I was working as a Barista at Starbucks. When patrons used to come in and ask  if we had any decaffeinated green tea my store manger (who was the worst) would always respond “Yes! Our Refresh tea is a decaffeinated peppermint green tea!” LIESSSSSSSSSSSS! It’s peppermint tea. Period. In a green package. Ugh.

So now you know the difference between true “tea” and herbal tea!

*STEPS OFF OF SOAPBOX*

ANNNYYWWHHHOOOOO…It’s really wonderful to have an opportunity to see the way something you enjoy a daily basis is planted, grown, harvested, and processed. Here I am with some baby tea plants!!!!

And here are some tea plants growing in the fields!!!

tea!

Charleston was a great trip!!! Then last weekend, John and I had an AWESOME time with some awesome friends/family in Baltimore!!

We spent our first evening at home in Harrisburg at probably my favorite restaurant I’ve ever been to there…Manga Qui’s Suba Tapas Bar.

The first time I visited Suba was for my bachelorette party and we had an amazing time sharing lots of outrageously delicious tapas and cocktails!!  It’s a tiny place, seating maybe 30 people, but it’s totally worth waiting for! I’d have to say my personal favorites from their menu are the Pa amb Tomaquet (Catalan inspired grilled bread rubbed with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and tomato) Suba Tacos (Fried crispy tilapia, salsa rosa, avocado,mango cilantro salsa, shredded cabbage) and Queso Flambeado (“flaming cheese” with chorizo and Bacardi 151). Here’s me and the Queso Flambeado and my bachelorette party (just in case the sash and silly veil didn’t give it away)!

flamingcheese

When it comes to cocktails, Suba’s Red Sangria is amazing and loaded with fresh black and blueberries!! It’s not too sweet or  too dry and dangerously delicious. I also tried their Firefly cocktail, which is made with House-made habenero infused tequila, mango, Bacardi Limon, Midori, lime and mint. It was insane!! Having an icy cold beverage set your mouth on fire is such a bizarre and fun experience! If you’re ever in the area, you MUST go to Suba.

Then, of course, we finally got to Baltimore.  We visited the National Aquarium and got to see some fishies and sharks and turtles and tree frogs and puffins and sloths. I am such a little kid when it comes to visiting aquariums and zoos…I LOVE THEM!!!! Here’s the gang! (We did NOT plan our outfits out, btw. Just so happened to match … oopsies!)

thegangAfter the Aquarium, we hit up Fells Point. We wandered for a bit then grabbed some beer and dinner at Max’s Taphouse! An awesome bar and pub style establishment where you order your food and drinks at the bar! Such a cool place!! We all shared platefuls of guacamole, steamed mussels, buffalo chicken fingers, french fries, tortilla chips, and a crab quesadilla with chorizo. So much food!!! All delicious!!food

Finally, Sunday morning we grabbed brunch at Teavolve (can you tell I picked this place out?!). Everyone loved their food! We had wonderful service, too. My cousin, Bill, got their Funnel Cake French Toast which seriously looked straight from a carnival and it was super tasty, as he was kind enough to share! The hubby got a smoked salmon bagel and my gal Susan got a breakfast panini with chipotle sauce and avocado.  I had eggs benedict with crab and avocado and I can’t tell you the last time I enjoyed breakfast/brunch so much. It came with super delicious roasted potatoes and fresh fruit, which I shared with my hubby because I was so full!!! I enjoyed their house made tea infused white sangria, infused with a ginger peach white tea. It was lite and perfect. I had to enjoy the tea by itself, too, just for good measure. 🙂tea

So as you can see, I’ve been a pretty busy bee lately! But you’ll be getting some new recipes soon!!!! Until then. 🙂

 

Kath inspired oatmeal

For those of you unfamiliar with Kath Eats Real Food, I suggest you change that. Kath Younger has been blogging (about food of course) since 2006. Her story is pretty inspirational, and she’s currently studying to become a registered dietitian.

For those of you unfamiliar with me, before my time spent here at Rowan,  I was studying to become a registered dietitian. I changed my path at the end of my third semester at Montclair State University, when I decided that not only did I want to be fluent in nutrition but that I wanted to express my love for food and nutrition in writing, which I’ve loved to do for as long as I can remember.

So that’s essentially where I am today. Although my fascination with nutrition has never escaped me, my focus today is also on finding affordable ways to enjoy healthy (and alright sometimes not-so-healthy but realllllyyy tasty) meals and sharing them with you in whatever which way I can.

Now, back to Kath. If you head over to her blog, you’ll notice that this young women has an obsession with oatmeal. This is totally cool in my book. Although it took me quite some time to grow a fondness for oatmeal, I’m finally able to appreciate not only the wonderful nutritional value, but its versatility. Kath helped.

Here is my Kath inspired oatmeal. I hope you like it as much as I did!

Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal

  • 1 cup water, nonfat milk, or a combination of the two
  • 1/2 cup plain, quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Splenda
  • 1 tablespoon sweetened, dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, toasted walnuts

Begin by heating the water or milk in a small saucepan.
When it begins to boil, stir in oats. Continue to stir, about five minute, until the liquid is absorbed and oats are desired consistency.
Reduce the heat to low, mix in the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and Splenda.
Pour into bowl, top with cranberries and walnuts.

    1105091025a**I served mine with a steaming mug of Tazo Joy tea.**

    Good morning sunshine!

    1029091053I guess technically it’s afternoon now. Regardless, I love the early morning and I LOVE my great big mug – or bug as I shall refer to it from now on –  and I love tea with milk and honey! This morning was particularly lovely because not only did I get to enjoy a steaming bug of tea, but I also remembered I had a loaf of Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Bread that I made and saved for a rainy day in my freezer. HOORAY!

    So I defrosted a few pieces, sliced up an apple to enjoy with it and snuggled up on my couch to watch the Rachel Ray Show, which I do when I can in hopes of finding inspiration for an upcoming meal.

    1029091052

    Delicious & Nutritious

    Anyway, this last week has been kind of lame for me. I’ve been working nights all week and have hardly had any time to cook anything at all. And that, my friends, makes me sad. 🙁

    In the upcoming weeks,however, I plan to take culinary journeys to Germany, Jamaica, England, and maybe even a brief trip to Texas. I’m also hoping to snag an interview with someone who – for the time being – shall remain nameless because I don’t know if I can get it. FINGERS CROSSED! So be on the lookout for new posts containing interviews and new, scrumptious recipes! I can’t wait to get cooking again!