May, 2014

Mind Blowing Pesto Pasta

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As promised, here’s my most absolute favorite way to eat the yummy pesto recipe I posted a few weeks ago!!! This is my go-to dish when I need to serve an army and I want to sneak feed them healthy, plant based goodness!!! What they don’t know won’t hurt them… Is that how that saying goes?! Dude, that’s awful. But in the case of this delish pasta, the fact that there is not a stitch of cheese or oil should and will quite literally blow your mind. Ha, people use the term literally too much… but again, with this pasta it’s so healthy and yummy, be warned, your head could explode. Okay, here’s how easy this shiz is.

Step 1. Cut a hole in the box Follow and make this Pesto Recipe

Step 2. Boil Water

Step 3. Add your favorite pasta [I’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s brown rice fusilli, so good and totes gluten free] to boiling water

Step 4. Add chopped green beans and asparagus to the boiling water party for the last 5 minutes of the pasta’s cooking time

Step 5. DON’T OVERCOOK YOUR PASTA

Step 6. Drain pasta and veggies, leaving just a tablespoon or so of cooking liquid with the pasta

Step 7. Stir in pesto

Step 8. Enjoy like a Boss!!!

 

So 3008…

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Blissful pink purse - 07Blissful pink purse - 04images by Kelsey Erin Photography | [tee] old Banana Republic, I love this one and this one [leggings] ancient Forever 21, but these fit the bill nicely [jacket] old conscious collection H&M, obsessed with these 2 Loft jackets, here and here [bag] Rebecca Minkoff desire satchel [shoes] Report from Nordstrom Rack, this pair is reasonably priced and super cute [ring] Betsy & Iya

I spy a belly bump!!! This outfit is fully comprised of pieces I bought ages ago that just so happen to be majorly in fashion now… I’m patting myself on back for being so 3008 and not 2000 and late. These leggings were a master purchase for 12.80 back 6 or so years ago and they are literally the most perfect hip-chick pregnant lady accessory. I feel so thin and rockstar when I wear them. Unfortunately, as it gets hotter these will sadly have to be retired, but I plan on rocking them as long as possible! They fit the same dressing standards as my favorite AA leggings which I posted about here!! I’m super pumped about my Nordies Rack sneaker find, 30 bucks yo!! They have just the cool kid factor of the much more expensive ones I was eyeing and still may one day purchase, but for now these guys are doing the trick! Also, this may be my favorite purse ever! It’s the envy of many and I found it at Nordies Rack nearly half off. Sadly the style and color is very much a distant memory of seasons past. I was able to find a ton on eBay and a few in the hot pink and turquoise, so if you are in love check that out!!

Workin’ on my Fitness!?

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Pregnancy is a weird, weird, weird time for your body! If you are like me, you have made exercise a mostly regular part of your life. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that it’s necessary for my sanity to exercise often. When I found out I was preggo back in January I’m not gonna lie something about the idea of exercise made me nervous, like oh-my-God I’m squishing it or is that gonna hurt the baby!??! Completely irrational fears!! You should note, I am NOT a doctor. My advice is not the end-all be-all. My personal Doctor, was not only super supportive of my vegan diet, he encouraged regular exercise. Pilates, yoga, light weights, etc etc. Basically avoid getting punched in the stomach and you’re pretty much clear . Talk to your Doc before starting any new exercise while preggs.

I have long been a fan of Tracy Anderson [despite all of the trainer bashing that follows her] and when I found out that she had a dvd set that followed her throughout her own pregnancy, I was totes onboard. It made me feel more at ease knowing that she was dealing with the same things and that, even better, month-to-month the exercise changed. I bought it immediately. Now here’s the part where I tell you that I then exercised 3-4 times a week and felt so wonderful… Yeah, horse shit. I have never been so tired in my freaking life. I barely wanted to eat anything other than rice and toast for weeks 5-9, all smells made me want to barf and I was truly amazed at my ability to fall asleep during a meal. I used the dvds 4, maybe 5 times during the first trimester. I found that walking and taking nice light hikes was more my speed during the first 3 months. It definitely kept my nausea at bay.

Around 13 weeks, I was able to start doing the dvds regularly. I would aim for 2-3 times a week and at least one light hike thrown into the mix. Now at 18 weeks, I like to do the dvd’s Monday-Friday, while I have the energy I am totally taking advantage. I’m a big fan of how Tracy explains why the exercise is good for us and baby. You can tell she understands the preggo body. I love working on lifting my very large ass and keeping my arms tiny. When I start my morning with her dvd my day is truly more productive and focused, which I suppose could be said for any workout, but especially during pregnancy when you can feel so scattered and tired!!

Now, I am a stickler for variety which is why I love that the The Pregnancy Project changes each month, but even still I like to add a touch of something different to freshen up my workout. Once or twice a week I will switch out TPP for the Pure Barre Prenatal 2 dvd which was lovingly gifted to me by the best sister-in-laws in the world! This dvd has similar movements to Tracy’s, but definitely kicks it into high gear. The founder of Pure Barre, Carrie Rezabek Dorr, is 26 weeks preggo in the video and I at 18 weeks I look like I ate her and a burrito… I see how it is lady, game on! The pace is quick and the workout is legit. I am a HUGE advocate of barre classes! I think they are amazingly fun and seriously affective! They are also brilliant for preggos with their constant focus on hip opening! I really like this dvd and my ass has never hurt so badly. My only critiques are firstly, that it is definitely not for the beginner, there is very little direction on proper form which to me is so important in barre and extra important while preggs. I would suggest taking some actual in-studio classes first to nail down your form!!! Secondly, there also isn’t a ton of explanation for what to do as you grow even larger. So without any modifications, I’m definitely considering this a 2nd trimester dvd, but again, it’s an AWESOME total body workout and damn if your ass doesn’t BURN!!!!!!!!

Blissful pink purse - 28So here’s some real talk. One of my very real concerns getting pregnant was my changing body and dealing with extra weight… Sure, a selfish fear, but a fear non-the-less. I’ve definitely had a moment or two where I get overwhelmed by all the physical changes thus far. When yet another pair of pants doesn’t fit or a piece that used to be flattering is now a disaster, I’ve had a serious breakdown. I think the harder part is dealing with the growing hips and booty, at least for my body type. I’d like to blame the tears and emotions exclusively on hormones, but it really is shocking! I’ve found the best way to combat these feelings is exercising regularly. The truth is my growing belly is amazing and I’m actually pretty obsessed with it and I’m already more than a little in love with this baby!!! At the end of the day, you are doing such important work housing this little alien, so take it easy on yourself and stay active for everyone’s best health.

Vegan Manicotti

photo 4photo 7I love CARBS!! Pasta is seriously my weakness in life and during pregnancy I have never wanted it more! I few weeks ago manicotti was literally the only thing that I thought about… Luckily I have a super healthy, super vegan recipe that makes my soul dance!! Like for reals, I’m dancing right now just thinking about eating this meal!! Yum, yum, YUMMMM! On top of actually tasting really good, it has zero added oil, no added sugar! Now, I know there is the ongoing great soy debate, but my research tells me that non-gmo soy in it’s whole form[tofu, miso, tempeh] is a great addition to your diet 2-3 times a week. Tofu is a great sauce of protein, calcium, and iron, all super important for your health, but even more so when you are carrying a little one!! Enjoy!!
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Serves 2 (doubles easily)
8 manicotti noodles
“Ricotta” Filling
1 package organic[ALWAYS] super firm tofu, pressed*
2 cups frozen kale, defrosted and strained
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of dried basil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the noodles until they are mostly cooked, but still have a more crunch than al dente about 8 minutes. They will finish cooking in the oven, you don’t want soggy noodles. Heat the kale up and strain out all the extra water. In a food processor or blender mix all of the ricotta ingredients until it’s a smooth paste resembling cheese. Stuff cooled noodles with the filling. I like to use a spoon to push the filling all the way through. No one wants a bite without filling, boo. Cover with sauce and pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve with a salad and extra sauce!
*Pressing the tofu is important for this dish, you don’t want any moisture from the tofu to ruin the consistency of the “ricotta” filling. So I wrap the tofu in a few layers of paper towels then a kitchen towel. I place a heavy pan on top of the tofu with a few heavy cans and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Presto!photo 6