Quick summer time lunch

Heyyyy guys!! How are things going in your neck of the woods (who says that?)?? Over here in Oklahoma, we went straight from winter to summer with only a few days of spring. And to that I say, "BOOOOO!!". Spring is my favorite season. I love seeing all of the dead trees and grass come to life with a bright green color. And the weather is absolutely glorious--it's a break from all of the cold weather and instead has a nice crisp air that isn't cold, but refreshing. Welp, I only got to enjoy that a few sporadic days. Welcome to Oklahoma weather 🙄.

 
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So because it's getting hot here (and because I'm pregnant), I'm craving lots of cold, fresh foods. Side note, I had Jason's Deli for lunch the other day with a friend for the first time in like 10 years, and the salad bar was SO refreshing!! I'm trying to remember what all I put in my salad so that I can recreate it, because it was super delicious. Do people even go to Jason's Deli anymore? I'm okay with the free ice cream that comes with every meal....🙋

Today's recipe isn't as much of a recipe as it is a guide for creating a delicious and easy lunch that can easily be prepped ahead for multiple lunches. I receive periodic packages from Bolthouse Farms (I was not compensated for writing this post) and the most recent package had their new organic vinaigrette dressings. I'm a big fan. I got this three herb and a lemon basil one. They also send us delicious juices and smoothies that Isaac loves as snacks (I liked their green juice one). 

 
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For this batch, I used Banza pasta to give it more fiber and protein and really enjoyed the hearty texture. I also used some pimiento-stuffed green olives that we had on hand, but you could use any olive to give it a nice saltiness. Feel free to use whatever veggies you wish. I wish I had had artichokes, because I think that would be a nice addition. If you try them in it, you should let me know what you think.

 
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P.S. Baby will be 17 weeks tomorrow and we find out the gender in 3 weeks. We are SO excited!!!

 
Quick summertime pasta salad--perfect for lunches!
 

I've got a secret to tell you...

I've got a secret that I've been keeping for awhile that I'm excited to finally let you in on.

These past few months have been pretty rough. Not emotionally rough, but physically. I've dealt with a lot of fatigue, nausea, high food aversions, an expanding wasteline, and general feelings of blehness...Yep...I'm PREGNANT!!

 
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Tomorrow I will officially be 13 weeks and out of my first trimester. Phew!! You have no idea how glad I am that it is finally here. I'm FINALLY starting to feel more like myself, which is such a breath of fresh air. Who knew you could accomplish so much when you actually have energy and don't want to vomit?!?

We actually found out when I was only three weeks pregnant (um, say what?? how is that even possible? that's actually really only one week of being pregnant ðŸ˜ģ). I was noticing some body changes (I think my chest size doubled overnight) and I had to pee ALL the time. Then when I didn't start my period, I thought something might be up. I took a dollar store test on Sunday, and when it was positive, rushed to the store to get a second. Sure enough, it was positive too! I cannot even describe how sweet Isaac was when I told him. He was ELATED! For the next few days every time he would look at me he would just smile and then come over and shower me in kisses. So precious. I'm not going to lie, it came as quite a surprise to me. And I freaked. Isaac and I knew we wanted to start a family in the near future, but I was training for "one last half marathon before having a baby" and wanted to have a full year of private practice under my belt before having a baby. But the Lord obviously had different plans, and I know that this child is going to be the best blessing ever.

So what has pregnancy been like for me? Like I said above, not super fun. I pretty much had nausea 24/7 from week 5-10 and am still dealing with it off and on. I'm such a pansy when it comes to having the stomach bug, and that's what it felt like for me all the time. I didn't want to do ANYTHING. I've taken a LOT of naps over the past few months. And there have been many nights where I've gone to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. Oh wait, it was that way before I got pregnant 🙈. 

 
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Y'all, it's CRAZY what happens to your body during pregnancy. I knew that we don't have much control over our bodies, but pregnancy has really magnified that for me and it's something that I'm having to learn to go with the flow with. Nausea and fatigue? Of course I knew of those. But heartburn in the first trimester?? And night sweats? Oh dear, what else do I not know about?!? ðŸ˜ģI am having to constantly learn my body as it changes from day-to-day and respond accordingly.

Which brings me to food. Food has been tricky. I went from being extremely nauseous and not wanting food to being extremely hungry (you know the hungry where you feel like you're gonna vomit? that kind of hungry) but still having major aversions. It made eating really difficult. And really unenjoyable. Guys, I have lived off asiago bagels for the past 7 weeks. I have had at least one a day because it's about the only thing that sounds good. I've also discovered quite a love for sweet tarts 😉. At first it was a little concerning that I didn't want a single vegetable (barf) and that the only things I thought I could stomach were white (or sour candies)--bread, tator tots, french fries, etc. But then I realized that it is no big deal. So I don't eat vegetables for 12 weeks! Not gonna kill me. I am so incredibly grateful that I have incorporated intuitive eating into my life, because without it, the last few months would have been incredibly stressful. I knew that at some point, I would want to eat vegetables and fruits again. I knew that I would want more fiber-rich foods. But I had to give my body time. And I am so grateful to say that I AM wanting some veggies now. I'm really grateful that I have been able to give my body what it needs when it needs it without second guessing how it is that I'm hungry 2 hours after eating breakfast. Or that I essentially want dinner leftovers as an evening snack. These past few months have been such a blaring example of how freeing intuitive eating is for me. It's hard to understand my ever-changing body, but I have given myself grace for the times when I haven't met its needs exactly (example: overshooting hunger and then going to bed and having acid reflux--unenjoyable for sure, but it doesn't mean I'm a failure).

 
 My lifeline....

My lifeline....

 One half topped with avocado and pepitas, the other half with cream cheese, egg, and chicken sausage

One half topped with avocado and pepitas, the other half with cream cheese, egg, and chicken sausage

 

As far as body image goes? If I'm 100% transparent, I was trying to come to terms with my body still changing before finding out about the pregnancy. So with pregnancy, I've experienced a lot of bloat and my waste simply getting thicker. It's been difficult not to have clothes that really fit my body. But I am learning to accept my rapidly changing body size/shape. My body is changing for incredibly good reasons--it's growing a human. But to be proactive, I bought this book after seeing that Kylie Mitchell read it during her pregnancy too. I've only read the first few chapters, but it's really nice to know I'm not alone in what I'm experiencing or feeling. It has also been super empowering to read. Guys, our bodies can accomplish so much and that is something to be thankful for and proud of!

 
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Well, that's all for now! I plan on doing some pregnancy updates in the future. I don't really know what my fall will look like or the months after having baby, but I'm just going to take it one day at a time.

Caio!!

In defense of sugar

I kid you not, as I'm beginning to type out this blog, I'm eating a chocolate chip cookie...and it's delicious.

 
In defense of sugar
 

There is a lot of controversy in the health and fitness world over what diet is healthiest, what foods should be avoided, what should be consumed, the optimal ratios of foods, etc. But what most people can seem to agree on is their take on sugar. I mean, there seems to be an all-out war on it. I hear people talking about it ALL the time: "that has way too much sugar," "that yogurt is practically like eating ice cream," "sugar is the cause of all of our health problems, and we should cut it out", and on and on. 

And while I don't encourage people to eat donuts for breakfast, Little Debbies for lunch, skittles for a snack, and cake and a coke for dinner, I do think we need to give sugar a break. You guys, ANYTHING in excess is harmful. You can drown by drinking too much water. Vitamin A in high doses can cause tumors. Too much calcium causes painful bone deposits in the joints. So I would agree that too much sugar is not a good thing. But sugar in itself is not the problem--it's about the totality of the diet. 

It's interesting to me that major proponents of cutting out simple sugars or refined sugars often turn to alternative sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, organic sugar, dates, etc. because they are "healthier" (don't get me started on people who say we should cut out fruit because of the sugar content...). But can we break those things down for a second? All carbohydrates--I'm talking ALL of them--regardless of whether they come from table sugar, maple syrup, white pasta, or beloved sweet potatoes (side note: did you guys know sweet potatoes are rated the #1 most nutritious vegetable?) are eventually broken down into the same three molecules--fructose, glucose, and galactose. The foods we eat are a complicated combination of those three molecules with varying linkages. Some have linkages that are easily digestible and some have linkages that our body can't actually digest (fiber). BUT, they are all going to be broken down into fructose, glucose, and galactose.

In defense  of sugar...carbohydrate breakdown

I get that this is an oversimplification and that a lot of other factors come into play. And I'm not saying that we should just forgo our veggies and whole grains and instead eat all refined carbs and simple sugars, but what I am saying is that we need to let go of the fear of refined sugar. It's broken down into useable energy, just as our sweet potato is. And energy isn't a bad thing. And if our sweet potato is broken down into glucose and fructose, then why do we fear table sugar that is broken down into glucose and fructose? The fear and morality we form around eating sugar is going to do far more harm that the sugar itself. Restricting sugar and then overeating/bingeing on it is far less healthy physically and emotionally than having moderate amounts on a regular basis. Fearing any food is going to wreak havoc physically on your body (um, hello cortisol!), your ability to foster relationships, and your ability to truly nourish yourself.

So I encourage you to challenge those beliefs you have around sugar. It's broken down into the exact same molecules as other types of carbs, and your body knows how to handle those other carbs. Again, I'm not promoting eating sugar all day everyday--your body is not going to feel good, and I promote eating in a way that makes you feel energized and good. But let's stop the fear-mongering that is going on around sugar and just eat our food, enjoy it, and move on.