I know something you don’t know!!! Na-na-na-na-NA!
I’m 22 weeks today and feeling good! In my 20th week we learned whether Baby McGowen is a little girl or a little boy! So exciting, I can’t hardly stand it.
One thing that’s crazy is my ever-changing baby belly. Some days it’s huge, others it’s hardly noticeable. Some mornings it’s small and then it expands throughout the day each time I eat. Witness for yourself with exhibit A below:
Things are moving right along and days are passing quickly. I’ve been emotional lately about Jordan not being my only child anymore. We are so happy for the new baby, what a blessing it is to us all! And while I know my love will just multiple, I still find it hard to wrap my mind around possibly loving another human as much as I love Jordan (except for Will, but that’s a different and equally powerful kind of love). I know I can and I will. But for now I’m taking this opportunity to soak up every minute I can as a mother of one… before my heart completely explodes from love in abundance.
In my next few posts I want to talk about some of the ways I’ve been (attempting) to stay healthy and fit during my pregnancy. This includes juice blending, kettlebells and salt baths. This does not include Krispy Kreme, Swedish Fish, and Chick-fil-A waffle fries which have magically appeared all up in and around my mouth recently. Yeah. Today, we’ll go with juicing.
I love all things nutrition, health, fitness and natural. And one of the things I am very vocal about is my affinity for green juice. I. Love. Wiggles. (Sorry, a joke for George.) Anyway, I love green juice. And I will sing its praises until the day I am no longer on this great green planet with its great green juice. Then I will sing to Jesus about how wonderful it is as well. But, duh, he already knows the words to this song! I could go on for years about all the feels I have for my liquid gold, but I know you’re probably already wondering why you’re reading this, so I’ll keep it shortish.
First let me say that I technically blend, not juice. I think I’ll call it “Bluicing” from now on. Long story short, I prefer to blend because it preserves the much needed fiber, is easier (I’m sorta lazy, okay!) and the blender I use, a Vitamix, is pretty much the best thing that’s ever been invented. It does everything.
In a nutshell, bluicing is my life blood. Here’s why:
- Jam packed full of live enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amazingness
- Provides tons of fiber
- It tastes like the Nectar of the Gods
- It detoxes, nourishes and balances all systems of the body
- Can assist in weight loss (if you’re in need), gut healing, and overall well being
- Provides endless amounts of clean, long lasting energy
- Regulates digestion
- Super powers your immune system
- Great way to incorporate more fresh veggies into your diet
- Awesome snack for kids
- Is the best supplement to an already healthy eating style
- It makes me happy! Seriously, the best mood booster ever
That’s just a short list of some of the reasons I love it. If you’re interested in juicing or blending, here’s a basic guideline to create your own libations…
1. Base (choose 1 cup of liquid, add to bottom of blender with 1/2 cup of crushed ice)
- Decaf Iced Green Tea
- Herbal Tea of your choice
2. Greens (1-2 cups of your choice. Just be sure to switch it up, don’t use the same greens every time and always use more greens than fruit)
- Kale (curly, baby, dino)
- Dandelion Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
- Mache Rosettes
- Carrot Greens
- Beet Greens
3. Fruit (choose 1 cup fruit, mix and match as you like)
4. Add-Ins (I always use ginger, mint, cucumber, parsley and lemon. They make for a fresh, vibrant flavor and add a bazillion good nutrients)
- Ginger (1″ knob)
- Mint (10-12 leaves)
- Lemon (1 lemon or the juice of 1 lemon)
- Parsley (handful)
- Cucumber (1/2 of one)
- Turmeric (1/2″ knob – this is a very dominate flavor, just fyi)
- Cayenne Pepper (1/8 of a tsp – this is great with watermelon)
- Spirulina (use according to product instructions)
- Bee Pollen
- Chia Seeds
- Ground Flax Seed
Choose your items from each category, blend and get happy!
Green juice is best when used the same day it’s made. The above measurements are good for about 40ish ounces of juice. This is a good amount for two people, but I often drink it all myself When you do store it in the refrigerator, put it in a glass container (I use a mason jar) or if you don’t have glass, at least use a safe plastic, then you can put the jar in a brown paper bag to protect from photosensitivity each time the refrigerator door is opened. And again, drink it within the same day it was made. Remember, there’s not a right or wrong way. You’ll find things you like more than others, combos that work better than others and stuff you just can’t stand. And that’s okay.
It’s also okay to start with less greens and more fruit until your palate learns to appreciate these new flavors. Try your best to source fresh, local, in-season produce (search for a CSA in your area!). It’s good for you, good for your community and good for the earth. Frozen fruits are okay in a pinch and some even argue that they’re more nutrient rich since they’re flash frozen immediately after being harvested. I haven’t researched much about this, so I can’t say. I like to freeze my own fruits for later use when possible. And I also like to pre-cut all my ingredients, bag them and freeze enough for a couple weeks at a time and this really cuts down on prep time. So, for the days you’re in a hurry you can just grab a bag, dump it in your blender, add your liquid and go.
I also like to keep my green juice blends “cream” free – meaning I don’t add anything creamy (milks, bananas, avocado, oils, nut butters, yogurt, etc). This is just my preference as I feel they take away from the “zing” factor of the juice. But below are some smoothie options which do include these things and will be a great starting point for kids. And anyone who needs to warm up to the idea of drinking their greens.
1. Base (1 cup of your choice, ice)
- Almond Milk (Whole Foods 365 and Silk are both carageenan free)
- Coconut Milk
- Cow’s Milk (try to get organic pastured milk, or better yet, raw if possible)
- Orange Juice & Milk combo (sounds weird, but it’s really good)
- Coconut Water (I’m not a fan, but lots of people love this)
2. Greens (1 cup)
- Kale (baby)
3. Fruits (1 cup)
- Anything really
4. Fats & Proteins
- Avocado (1/2 – trust me, you can’t even taste it and it makes the shake super creamy!)
- Coconut Oil (1 tbsp, great with pineapple and banana for a tropical taste)
- Nut Butters (1 tbsp, peanut, almond, cashew – great with banana)
- Greek Yogurt (2 tbsp – full fat, plain, organic)
- Seeds (1 tbsp – chia, flax, or hemp)
- Gelatin (1 tbsp – Great Lakes Kosher Hydrolysed)
- Lemon Juice (to taste)
- Raw Cacao Nibs (these aren’t like regular chocolate, they are more bitter, but still good)
Add liquid first, then the rest of your ingredients, blend and enjoy! These are best when drank immediately after blending as it will begin to separate over time.
Remember that calories and sugar content add up quickly which can take away from the health benefits of drinking the smoothie to begin with. If you don’t eat any other fruits or sugars throughout the day, then one fully packed smoothie isn’t going to hurt, but always take into consideration everything else you’re eating. And in case you’re wondering – yes, natural healthy fats are good for you! And adding them to smoothies is an excellent way to get calories into your kids if they’re being stubborn eaters. So before you give Ensure or another processed high calorie drink, try making your own using good fats and proteins as listed above.
I hope this has helped anyone who may be juice curious. This is just my take on it all after doing it for a few years. There is a cornucopia of juicing/blending/smoothie information out there, so Google away!
That’s all I’ve got for now… here’s my survey, better late than never.
22 Weeks Questionnaire
Size of Baby: Baby is the size of a Papaya, and last week at the ultrasound measured in at 11″ and 15.7 oz. We’ve almost got a footlong 1 pounder in there!
Symptoms: Allergies (but I think this is more weather related), still have the hail damage on my butt and thighs, sensitive gums. But all in all feeling really great.
Total Weight Gain: 10 lbs. I gained 5 lbs since my last post four weeks ago!
Food Cravings: Strawberries, green juice, cereal, plain Lay’s potato chips (give me all the salt!) and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Best Moment So Far: Seeing baby in 4D, learning the gender!
Movement: All the time. Baby is really active first thing in the morning and late in the evening. Currently it’s in breech position so I can feel all the little kicks really low which is quite an odd feeling. Hiccups are pretty regular
Labor Signs: N/A
Belly Button In Or Out? Still in.
What I Miss: My husband, sunny summery days, running sprints (I just don’t have it in me at this point).
What I Am Looking Forward To: Buying Jordan a pet rat for his 12th birthday, celebrating said birthday, going to CA in April!
Thanks for hanging out with me, my people! Next time we’ll talk pregnancy exercise and delayed cord clamping (maybe). Love.