Monday, February 25, 2013

Adventures in Juicing: Week 4

Beyond Juice

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

I have so enjoyed this series on juicing from In previous posts I have shared how awesome our juicer is, and all the delicious, fresh, organic juice I have been making. But this week I wanted to touch a little bit on how versatile the juicer is. Sure, it makes delicious juice, but it is also a useful kitchen appliance and is much more versatile than you may think. 

The juicer I own (Hurom Slow Juicer) works like a mortar and pestle to crush the produce, so it doesn't have blades or generate any heat (which can destroy some nutrients). When you juice, you are left with a nice big pile of pulp from the produce you have squeezed dry. It's perfect for the composter if you have one. But, there are other, useful things you can do with all that fibre! You can run steamed veggies and fruits through the juicer and combine the pulp and juice to make your own baby food or even soup! You can use the pulp to make your own marmalade, or you can add it to baking to boost the recipe's fibre. 

Because my juicer is not a blender, I can juice anything I can chew. You can even use the juicer to make almond or soy milk! And juicing greens is no problem. Since they aren't getting pulverized by blades, there is no gross stringy texture to deal with in the juice either. 

I am really excited to use it for baby food once this new little guy is ready. For now, my favourite thing is to use the pulp in baking. Here is my favourite recipe. Peanut loves it, and I love that it's super simple to make, and pretty healthy to boot. Of course, I like to heat it up and slather it in butter, so there goes the health factor for me! ;) 

Whole Wheat Carrot Raisin Bread
Makes 1 loaf
Prep time: approx 5 mins
Bake time: 1 hour

3 medium carrots
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup - 1 cup of honey 
(original recipe calls for a whole cup, but that is a lot. It's tasty, but I have made it with 1/2 a cup without sacrificing much taste.)
2 eggs
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325F. Run the carrots through the juicer and save the pulp. 
(Also, if you are like me and very rarely have fresh, juicy raisins on hand, soak your old, wrinkly raisins in some warm water for a bit to re-plump them a bit.)

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. 

In a separate bowl, mix the apple sauce, oil, eggs and honey together. Then stir in the pulp and the raisins. 

Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well blended. The batter should be very moist. If you have reduced the honey you may want to add some of the juice from the carrot into the batter if it is too dry. 

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. 

Bake for approximately 1 hour until it passes the toothpick test. 

So there you have it...the juicer is a versatile creature! It has so much more to offer than juice.

I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have. It has been such a great, healthful journey for me and my family. 

If you are interested in getting a juicer for your family, I highly recommend SPUD's juicing program. Not only do you have the option to purchase the juicer in small, manageable weekly payments, but you also have access to delicious, fresh organic produce for your juicer delivered right to your door. I can honestly not say enough about SPUD. Beyond the service they provide, they also have the best customer service I have encountered in a long time. It means a lot to be treated like a valued customer in this day and age, let me tell you! And the convenience can't be beat. SPUD is my worst-kept secret. ;) 

*Please note that this series is sponsored by, as they provided the juicer and the organic juicing produce in order to facilitate this series. But all content and opinions are completely my own (as usual!). 


Saturday, February 23, 2013

He is way or another.

For some context to this post, check out my first birth story here, and my previous post about our VBAC dilemma here

As the days leading up to my due date are quickly flying by, it is seeming more and more like surgery is going to be our fate. 

If you read my previous post about our VBAC dilemma, you will know I was conflicted about what to do with this pregnancy and delivery. In the end, after weighing our options and discussing it all with my OB, we decided the best choice for us would be to book a scheduled cesarian section for 40 weeks (my due date), and if I go into labour beforehand naturally, we would attempt a VBAC. My OB thought this plan would give me the best chance of having a "natural" birth (I dislike this term, but will use it for lack of a better one...). It gave me the extra time to go into labour on my own, but since this baby is looking to be pretty large (although not as large as Peanut!), which was a big factor in why my previous birth ended in surgery, if we waited too long we might be setting ourselves up for another failed labour. 

And that is sort of my fear; that if we attempt a labour and delivery again that it will fail, and I will have endured all that pain and effort and feel like it was all for nothing again. In comparison, the scheduled surgery just seemed a lot more calm and at least we know what to expect. 

I have never felt 100% about this decision, or any of the other options. I wish there was a third choice (baby magically transports outside of body?!?). Mostly because I have a big fear of the unknown and of things I have no control over. I like to feel like I am in control, but as we all know these little people have a way of taking that all away from you, even from the very beginning! 

Because my belly is very large again, I have been assuming that I would go into labour before the surgery. I don't know why this would be any different than last time. I was huge last pregnancy and Peanut was stubborn until the very end, staying in as long as he possibly could. I guess I just assumed my water would break, or I would start having regular contractions and I would get that whole experience (we were induced last time, so that never happened for me). There is still time (4 more days), but as the hours fly by I am becoming more accepting of the fact that a surgery is going to be the most likely option at this point. 

I know that it can change at any moment, and the plan is still to attempt labour if it does, but I guess I have just become rather apathetic about the whole thing. Not to say that I am not worried, as I most definitely am. Both options are scary to me, and I am very worried. 

So much so, in fact, that I have given very little thought to actually meeting this new little guy. Last night Hubby was watching the hockey game, and the announcer was interviewing the curler Kevin Martin. My Dad was a competitive curler back in the day, and so when Hubby said "Are you excited to meet him?" I was super confused. Why would I be meeting Kevin Martin? Was my Dad going to some sort of Brier event? And why would I be excited about it? I mean, I am sure he's a super interesting guy, but he is not really on my list of "People I Would Be Excited To Meet". Most people probably don't even know who he is. I just sat in confused silence for a minute or 2 until he rephrased the question to "Aren't you excited to meet our little guy?!" CLICK. Ohhhhhhhh. Yes, I suppose I am. But to be honest I haven't really thought much about it, and that makes me a little sad. I have thought a lot about the birth and that whole experience. And I have thought a lot about the logistics of after his arrival; how things will go, how Peanut will do with a new baby brother, nursing, all that jazz. But I haven't thought much about what he will look like, be like, smell like. I haven't though much about whether he will look like his brother. And it's hard to do that, because I am so preoccupied with the fear of the birth itself. 

One good thing about that though is that I get to be awestruck and surprised about him when he does finally make his arrival, however that happens. We still don't have a name chosen for him. So it's going to be a decision we make once we see his adorable face. And that's the thing I try to keep remembering:  the birth experience will be over, and it will soon be a memory. The most important thing is that he is coming. One way or another, he is going to make his grand entrance into this wonderful old world, and we will get to meet him. How he arrives doesn't really matter in the long run, as long as it is safely. 

And so whether he comes on Wednesday when he is scheduled to be born, or before then if he comes on his own time, he is coming. 

Can't wait to meet him! 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Adventures in Juicing: Week 3

1. It's an easy way to bump up our daily recommended intake of fruits and veggies. Instead of making sure we prepare and eat enough fruits and veg, we usually get at least 1/2 of our recommended intake from one glass of juice in the morning! Of course we still eat fruits and vegetables throughout the day (like apples...I am currently addicted to Jonagold apples and could probably eat like 5 a day! Oh pregnancy...). And it's important that we do, as we still need the fibre, etc. from eating the skins, etc. But it sure is nice to know that I have all those vitamins and minerals covered now without thinking of creative ways to shove them in our diet!

2. We are using a much wider range of vegetables than we did before we started juicing. I admit I am pretty picky when it comes to vegetables. As an example, I would never eat kale, beets or cucumbers (despite my years in Thailand, where cucumbers accompany every meal it seems, I still don't like them!) whole, or even use them in a dish. But when you add it to a cup of juice, the flavours mix so nicely, that I actually enjoy them! And for someone who has issues with textures (like me!), it's perfect because I don't have to worry about the texture when it's in a cup of juice. 

3. I am wasting so much less produce. Sometimes fruits mysteriously never ripen. They go straight from green and unripe to shrivelled and pretty tasteless in a day (mango...I'm looking at YOU!). This drives me batty, as it's not appetizing on either end of the spectrum. So you are stuck with either eating a gross mango, or tossing it out, which is a huge waste. I no longer have this dilemma as I can just juice it. Whether it's still a little unripe or a little past it's prime, once it's thrown in the juicer it's as tasty as can be. Greens that have lost their crunch are still tasty when juiced, even if they would be dreadful in a salad. For this reason alone I am hooked on making juice. And the other thing is that you can use the pulp that is leftover from the juice for baking, etc. Tossing some carrot and apple pulp into muffins is a great way to boost the fibre in the muffins, and to reduce the waste.

4. It's fun! Coming up with new combinations to juice is a lot of fun. It's interesting to try to meld different flavours and see what you can come up with. I haven't really experimented much with adding anything to the juice (I saw a recipe that used coconut water with fresh's on the plan for this week!), but this is a whole other delicious world that I am excited to try. There are just so many possibilities and so many things to try, that it never gets boring. 

5. It's a healthy choice for my family. Because the produce I use to juice is from, it is organic, and local (when possible). So I am eliminating a lot of the pesticides and chemicals from imported produce. And because I am controlling what I put in to each glass of juice, I am eliminating any added sugars and preservatives that come with many store-purchased juices. And there is no packaging to recycle, or throw out either. The best part of all though is that it is so convenient. I mean, all I do is put my tupperware bin out on my doorstep and then collect it in the evening, and it's full of fresh, organic produce. I shop from my couch. It's awesome. And as an aside, I have to say it is the best produce I have ever purchased. It is always in great shape, and is so incredibly tasty. Sure, the apples are not the size of a baseball, but honestly? Apples that big creep me out. Produce should look like it's been grown, not created in a lab! I love knowing which farm my produce has come from and that I am supporting local farmers. 

*Please note that this series is sponsored by, as they provided the juicer and the organic juicing produce in order to facilitate this series. But all content and opinions are completely my own (as usual!). 


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Am I Able to Do It All Again?!

We are just playing the waiting game now for New Baby. I am 37 weeks today, which means FULL TERM. ACK!


So as I get up every day and think "will today be the day?", I am thinking more and more about what is going to happen after he arrives. It has been easy to get caught up in the whole delivery and how that is going to go, and so far that has been our focus. But I have started to think about what life is going to be like with a newborn again (and this time with a toddler as well!). 
Mommy amnesia is a powerful thing. Without it, I doubt there would be as many kiddos running around! I have a hard time remembering precisely just how labour felt last time, and how the recovery was. I remember it being super painful, but beyond that I can't describe it. Similarly, in my head it feels like the newborn stage with Peanut was a breeze compared to the craziness of the toddler we are currently experiencing. In my mind I think back to the days when he was content to sit in his little bouncy chair, or be worn in the wrap. He stayed where you put him. He was happy with a couple little toys hanging in front of him, or his Sophie the giraffe to chew on. All in all, he just didn't do much. And in my head that feels like that's how it was. 
But in reality, I know it was much tougher than that. If I really think about it, I remember him constantly being hungry. Which was exhausting, and for quite a few weeks was incredibly painful due to thrush. I remember every time he latched I basically yelled out in pain. I also can remember that he didn't really sleep for very long, and that those wake-ups every few hours were also exhausting, to say the least. So what I am saying is that in reality it was a lot tougher than I remember it being. 
So am I going to be able to go through all of that again, and still be a good mom to Peanut? I think some things will be easier, as we have the benefit of experience. With Peanut I remember getting so frustrated and upset with nursing and feeling like I was never going to get it. But this time I have the benefit of knowledge and experience to tell me I can get through it, and to seek help if something is wrong. Hubby and I also have the benefit of knowing the drill when it comes to the whole baby thing. We won't get so upset or flustered if New Baby is crying as we know it's just part of newborn life, and we know how to effectively troubleshoot. We are confident parents now, whereas with Peanut we were scared and hesitant and had no clue what the heck we were doing. 
Dude. We are having a baby. 
I know that there are so many unknowns that seem like they will be impossible at the moment: 
How will we love another child the way we love Peanut?
How will we cope with a new baby? 
How will we deal with going back to the no-sleep newborn haze?
How will we be as parents to 2 instead of just 1?

And almost always the answer from experienced parents is: You just do
You somehow have enough love for both. 
You somehow make it through. 
So I am banking on the "We just will". I know it's going to be tough, and there will probably be moments when I think "What the heck did we do?!" but that the awesome is going to far outweigh the scariness. 
At least I am sure that it will be that way, right?!
My sweetness being a true Canadian: Hockey and a toque! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Adventures in Juicing: Week 2

You can check out week 1 here.

We've had our juicer for almost 2 weeks now, and I have to say that we are loving it! I was a little wary about having another kitchen appliance...I have a bit of an addiction it seems. And usually we use whatever new gadget a couple of times and then it gets banished to the Cupboard of Doom where we only try and dig it out once every 10 months and when we do we have to pull absolutely everything out of the cupboard to reach know what I mean, right?!

Anyway, the juicer hasn't left our counter since we got it. We make at least 1 glass of juice a day with it. It's almost addicting, actually. Once I apprehensively started putting fruits and veggies in very strict combinations according to set recipes, I was hooked. I started thinking of all the different things I could juice, and all the different combinations of juices I could make. JUICE ALL THE THINGS!!!!

We have a couple recipes that came with our weekly SPUD delivery that we love, and they are in our standard rotation. For veggies, I am more of a kale girl, and Hubby is in love with the beets. 

My fave is the Morning Nourish Juice:

1 pear
1 handful of kale
1 apple
2 stalks of celery

Usually I make some juice in the morning and I give a little to Peanut diluted with water. As scared as I was of juicing veggies, it's actually not that bad! So I always make sure to have some veggies in it if Peanut is having some. He loooooooves it. His favourite? Kale. Who would have ever guessed? I normally don't really give Peanut juice, but I feel confident about giving him fresh, organic, homemade juice where I control what goes in, and with no extra sugar. 

For the adults in the house, we love that we can "eat our veggies" without actually eating them! It's awesome to get the nutrients from fresh fruits and veg without having to prepare them. I get so bored of trying to invent new ways to serve carrots. Well, nothing is easier than tossing them in the juicer! Of course we still eat actual fruits and vegetables as well, as we need the fiber and other goodness, but it's nice to know that we are getting our daily dose of vitamins and minerals so easily. 

Hubby's fave is ABC Juice:

2 apples
2 carrots
1 beet

but he always adds some citrus as well, usually by adding 1 grapefruit. 

But my absolute favourite recipe that I have made so far was a tropical-inspired cup of deliciousness!

1 mango
3 spears of pineapple
2 oranges

I could see this being a very delcious adult-beverage in the summer time with the addition of a little coconut rum. Yum yum! I didn't get a picture because I basically downed it the second it came out of the juicer. 

I really get excited every Thursday to get our SPUD delivery. It's always fun to see all the fresh organic fruit and veg just sitting there, unsuspecting that in the next day or so they are going to be crushed into delicious juiciness! One of my other favourite things about juicing is that I have so much less waste of produce. If something is a little under- or over-ripe I just toss it in the juicer with a few apples and it is salvaged. 
One lesson I learned very quickly...make sure you go easy on the ginger. A little goes a VERY long way. The first time I used it I made some apple and pear juice and threw in a little knob of ginger. It was probably double what I needed, and I ended up with one very spicy glass of juice! Ack!!
If you are interested in trying out juicing, has extended their very popular juicing promotion until February 7th! You can either buy the juicer in one payment, or pay for it in small weekly installments. When you sign up for their juicing program, you get $140 worth of organic fruits and veg for your juicer delivered right to your door free! You can check it out here: Juicing Program

*Please note that this series is sponsored by, as they provided the juicer and the organic juicing produce in order to facilitate this series. But all content and opinions are completely my own (as usual!). 



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