Once a Month Mom-Cooking in bulk

In light of my recent positive pregnancy test, I decided that I needed to plan for the next several months.      I start getting morning sickness around week 6.  With the last pregnancy, it began on day 1 of week 6.  Of course, in my head I have psyched myself into thinking all sorts of dramatic things.  But, we can save that for another post.

Having morning sickness is THE WORST feeling in the world to me.  I loathe being nauseous.  Everyone has their personal discomfort limits, and mine is the first months of being pregnant.  I am miserable and unpleasant to be around.

So, having done this early part 3 times already, I decided to try and help myself and my family out while I am still able.

When I was 8 month pregnant with Spencer, I tried something called Once a Month Cooking.  The idea is that you shop and chop the first day, then dedicate the entire next day to meal prep.  You freeze the meals and then over the course of a month, you defrost them and enjoy!

Since food is starting to smell odd to me already, I knew that I needed to plan ahead.  I ran across this website.  AMAZING!  I am wheat intolerant, and my younger son is allergic to dairy/milk.  So, I gave the Gluten free Dairy free menu a whirl.   It is a combo of breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And the food is delicious!  There were a couple of items I decided not to prepare since our families weren’t keen on the main ingredients.  But, all in all–yummy!

The other great part is that they have a section on Baby food, Vegetarian cooking, and several others.  The very best part is that the site is free!  The site asks for sponsors, but it is optional at this point.

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Wheat Intolerance

I subject myself to torture.

On purpose.
Every few days.
It could easily be avoided, but I lack the self control to get a handle on it.
I have a wheat intolerance that causes severe abdominal cramps, pain that causes me to double over, and gas. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough add in chronic constipation, heartburn, and bloating. Couple these with pregnancy and you have a recipe for a very grumpy human being.
Yet I still eat wheat knowing full well that I will be in pain as soon as the food hits my lower intestines. I suspect that because the reaction is delayed that I tend to ‘overlook’ it in favor of the instant gratification of the flavor on my tongue. I have compared my ‘problem’ to drinking too much, having a horrible hangover the next day, swearing you will never drink again, and then doing it all over-again and again. The cycle of self-abuse (is there such a thing?).
The short story is that I have always had digestive issues. Since I was in grade school, I have suffered from unexplained tummy aches, constipation, and overall intestinal distress. When I started college however is when it really seemed to spike out of control–I was often in constant pain.
I saw a doctor on campus who said I had IBS, and put me on meds to help regulate the peristalsis of my intestines. It helped with the constipation, but not the with the pain or other symptoms.
Then, about 4 years ago, I met Elizabeth. We were coworkers and friends and she convinced me to try giving up gluten. I gave it a try and after just 4 days I was totally pain free. After having abdominal pain most days for decades I couldn’t believe how great I felt. I remember it like it was yesterday–feeling healthy and pain free for the first time.
So, why do I still eat wheat products–here are a few examples: bread, rolls, pasta, pastries, bagels, crackers, cookies, cake, baked goods, brownies (my personal favorite), Golden Grahams cereal, graham crackers, most cereals and cereal bars, soy sauce, pita bread, couscous, licorice, many candy bars and some ice cream…wheat flour is in practically every prepared food on the market.
I cook at home with frequency which helps to curb my appetite for these forbidden things. But, what about when I travel, or when I am not at home, or when we eat at someone else’s home? Yes, I need to plan more. Yes, I need to have more self control. Yes, I need to be more prepared when I leave the house to resist the temptation.
But what I really want right now is for my tummy to stop hurting from the french roll I ate at lunch.
If you are curious about wheat or gluten intolerance, or want to find some great wheat and gluten free recipes look here, and here.

Family Challenge

The in-laws (Grandma, Bobbotz, SIL, BIL, and cousins) hubby and I all saw one another this past week. They came to town for a few days to visit and enjoy our wonderful town. We went to LegoLand, swam in the hotel pool, and overall just chilled out (most often with a cocktail).

As we were consuming food and drink the conversation kept coming back around to wanting to lose weight and be more healthful overall. I have struggled all of my adult life with managing my weight and consequently my self image.

When I was younger, I was thin and healthy. I didn’t worry about my weight, although as a tween and teen I thought I was fat. What teenager doesn’t, right? But, by the time I was out of the teens and into my twenties, I did have a weight problem. I didn’t know how to eat in moderation, what foods were good for me, or how to eat a balanced diet. More importantly, I didn’t know how to cook.

Looking back in time, I was likely 20 pounds overweight. When the diet drug fad hit, I jumped on the bandwagon! I lost all of my extra weight and then some… Not long after I lost the weight, the diet drugs I was on were banned, and the lbs crept back on. *sniffle*

When I moved in with my hubby, 5.5 years ago, I had been on Weight Watchers for a year or 2 and managed to lose 20 pounds. So, for me, I was at an all time (drug free) low. I was also running 10-20 miles a week. I ran a handful of 1/2 marathons, one full marathon and then decided to hang up my running shoes for a while. I had plantar faciatis in both feet and was tired of getting up at 5am on most weekends.

Hubby and I started to eat out-A LOT! We had a large monthly spending budget on the company credit card that was designated exclusively for entertainment. Whoo hoo! The 2 years of drinking and eating took their toll, and by the time I waddled down the isle on our wedding day I was the heaviest I had ever been.

A year later I managed to loose 15 pounds and was down to a reasonable weight. That was when I found out I was pregnant. During the course of my pregnancy I gained…wait for it…55 pounds. I stopped asking my weight at the doctors office and I certainly wasn’t going to depress myself by stepping on the scale at home.

When I came home from the hospital I got on the scale and had only lost 6 lbs!!! My son weighed 8.1 lbs. The next several months consisted of non-stop breastfeeding and caring for a newborn–the pounds melted off. I ate anything I wanted and kept loosing weight. I am now at my lowest weight since my diet drug days.

The reason for this diatribe is to help me understand my eating habits and feelings about food. As well as to reveal my insecurities and reservations about food. I feel good right now and I want to make sure that I continue to eat good foods, that I can maintain my weight and most importantly I want to be certain that I am setting the best example I can for my son.

So, as a result of our debaucherous weekend we came up with this–

The Biggest Loser internal family challenge. Here’s the rules (as created by hubby)…

1) Weigh in using the scale you plan to use on 8/9/08. Send your results via email to the group. There is no embarrassment and no cheating – we are family after all..

2) The winner will be determined by the combined percentage of body weight lost between now and 8/9/08. The winning family will receive $50 from each of the other two families for a combined $100 prize. Here is an example of what I am talking about.
– Assume hubby weighs 100 lbs. on 7/16/08 and loses 10lbs by 8/9/08. That would be 10% of my total body weight.
– Assume wifey weighs 50lbs and loses 10lbs by 8/9/008. That would be 20% of her total body weight.
– Combined, this would be 30% lost.
– Get it? Good.

3) Good luck out there. If you have any complaints or concerns, please feel free to put melted butter on them and eat away. It only helps out my cause. 🙂

We are all officially weighed in and ready to rumble. My hope is that I don’t sabotage myself, as I often do when faced with competition. I suspect that I afraid of losing (no pun).

Fresh from the farm –delivery 3

This week fresh from the farm is:
Lemon, sweet lettuce, salad mix with edible flowers, pink or white grapefruit or corn, garlic chives or French sorrel, bok choi or purslane, Chioggia beets or red radishes, cucumbers or green (or purple) beans, summer squashes and bouquet of flowers. Sugar Baby Watermelon, plums, peaches, Dorcett apples, apricots or oranges.

I sent a message via their website to get clarification about what was being delivered and how their substitution policy worked. As we don’t seem to be getting everything they post on the web.

For example this week–we didn’t get garlic chives or french sorrel, or bok choi or purslane. So, perhaps we made it up in some other item. I don’t know, but I feel frustrated since it costs a fair amount.

I haven’t heard back from anyone yet, but my renewal came in the mail yesterday…so I hope to hear soon!

I love having farm fresh produce delivered to my door!

This weeks delivery includes the following vegetables and fruit! I cant wait until it arrives!!!
Avocado, red potatoes, medley of summer squash, beans or cucumbers or corn, radishes or turnips, chives or basil, Seabreeze salad with edible flowers, leeks, Valencia oranges, tat soi or purslane and bouquet of flowers.
Grapes, grapefruit, peaches, Fuji apples and fresh picked and frozen mulberries.

Kugel

Every Thanksgiving my Granny would make a Kugel. I remember the smell of the kitchen while it was baking, the way it looked, and ummmh the way it tasted. But, my Granny must have cooked it from scratch, because I have never seen a recipe. I think I might have recreated it just right this year (my Granny passed away 10 years ago, and I have been trying every year since).

Mix all ingredients together:
2 small bags of Egg Noddles (cooked)
20 oz cottage cheese
20 oz sour cream
1 package of cream cheese (chopped up)
1/2 package of Velveeta (chopped)
raisins (golden are my preference)
3 beaten eggs
1 C Milk
Cinnamon and sugar to taste (the kugel should be slightly sweet)

Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a deep pan. Line the bottom with a light layer of crushed corn flakes. Poor Kugel in, crush corn flakes lightly on top.

Bake for 45-60 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown and warm throughout. Allow time to set up and cool. Serve with meal.

3 day weekend

Hubby and I decided to nix any and all planning this weekend, and just let it unfold as it should. We had a few things on the to-do list, but mostly fun things we wanted to perhaps do this weekend. Nothing to serious, and hardly any chores.

How nice it has been so far! Friday-we had a relaxing dinner out, and watched a movie at home. I didn’t sleep very well on Wednesday and Thursday night.
Saturday we got up and went to the local cafe, took our coffee with us for our typical neighborhood walk with the dog. I read through some recipe books, and picked out some things I wanted to try and prepare this weekend. Made a trip to the store, and set out in the kitchen to try my creations.
We invited some friends over to partake in the festivities and had a very nice relaxing evening.
I had on my list to make:
1. Chex mix
2. Macaroons
3. Horchata
4. Steak Fries
5. Banana Chips
The list seems a little odd now that I look at it. But, whatever, I am pregnant. I made 3 of the 5 things. And plan on making the other 2 tomorrow.
Today, we got up and walked for coffee, but didn’t do the neighborhood walk. Instead we went downtown to a baseball game. We sat in the Toyota Terrace, which was fancy and fun. We won the game, which made it even better. The seats in this section were much more comfortable and roomy that our other seats, and they provide food and bar service to your seat-if you wish.
The San Diego weather lived up to expectations and while overcast this AM, it cleared to a perfectly blue sky in the mid 70’s this afternoon.

I feel really happy and lucky these days. My third trimester has been by far the best. I am actually very much enjoying being pregnant. There are the physical limitations of course-it is getting more difficult to move, and more painful. I am having a harder time sitting without things starting to hurt, or go numb. I often times cant breath, and have to pee pretty much all the time. My round and broad ligaments are aching and constantly nagging. I think I felt my first wave of braxton hicks contractions late last night and through the early part of today. What I not feeling is emotional, unstable, sad, depressed, hungry, or hormonal. So, all in all — I feel great!

We hired a doula to assist with the labor, birth, and breast feeding. We went back and forth on whether we wanted to have someone with us during the labor and deliver. We have spoken with several people who opted for it on both sides. Some said that they wanted to keep it private and between husband and wife, and some were really grateful for the support that the doula offered to them both. I think all if all we opted for one because we want to be sure that we are doing all we can to have a natural childbirth with as little medical intervention as possible. We want the best possible experience, with the safest overall outcome.

I have even been giving thought to the idea that I wouldn’t mind if people were at the hospital while I was laboring or during delivery. And originally i didn’t want any one to visit us in the hospital, and I think I have changed my mind on that as well.

As it gets closer, and since we engaged a doula I have come to realize a few things. The first is that the key to a successful labor is to trust yourself and your body. I keep reminding myself that a woman’s body was made to bear children. I also keep telling myself that delivery is a one way path. It has a set time frame, and wont go on forever. The goal no matter the road is all the same. I just need to get there. So, having now watched multiple births in our childbirth class, and read about several on line…I feel a lot better about the possible outcomes. The last thing I realized is that I have little control over the physical outcome of the delivery. I cant control how easy or hard my labor will be, or how big the baby will be, or if I will have a tough time pushing him out, and my worst fear–how much or little I will tear. I just need to be ready for all of the possibilities and know that I did my best to assure the best possible outcome.

Lastly, I cant believe how fast the time has gone by since we first found out we were going to have a baby, and how much I have changed in the last several months.

I am lagging on posting pictures and baby shower details. But, I have all day tomorrow open and plan on handling some details then. Stay tuned my friends.

Division of Labor

My job during the day is as a software trainer. I tell people how to do things all day. My personality type is such that this is very satisfying to me. I like to tell people what to do, how to do it, etc. I am a leader (and if you know me even a little bit-bossy and I like to be in control of my destiny).

However, when I get home I get tired of telling people how to do things, and my patience level is worn down. This is what lead me to the decision that I needed to be in charge of cooking and shopping for our household.

This wasn’t an easy decision, and I thought about it long and hard (after of course, I struggled and fought with my husband trying to get him to cook and meal plan). But, alas the easiest thing to do was to take charge and do it my way.

So, I told my husband that I wasn’t going to fight him anymore about cooking, or tell him where things in the kitchen are, or what food items we have and don’t have…I was just going to do it myself and save myself the hassle and him an earful.

He laughed at me 1. for being so effected by this decision 2. for getting irritated every time he asks where X is and 3. for sharing with him all of my thoughts up to this point. This is why I love him. He can poke fun at me and all of my ridiculous ways and love me anyway.

The strange part about this decision, is that since I told him (2 weeks ago), he has cooked 3-4 meals on his own, and went to the store!!!