Fit Food… Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad

I love making salads for lunch or dinner but sometimes I get tired of them so a lettuce-free salad was a nice change-up.

Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad

This Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad was light, satisfying, fresh tasting from the tanginess of the apple cider vinegar, and packed with color. It also makes up plenty of leftovers which was perfect for packing in my work lunches this week.

Since the beginning of this pregnancy Baby Zaya has decided she doesn’t like sweet potatoes so that means Momma can’t enjoy them either. After one bite of them in this dish I had to scoop all of them out so we could enjoy the rest of it without. Boo! But baby is boss for now.

This recipe is versatile so use whatever veggies you have on hand and maybe next time Baby Zaya will like the sweet potatoes.

Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad

Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:

  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 can sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • dried parsley, to taste

And Action:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the zucchini, sweet potato, tomatoes, onion, and corn to the baking sheet.

Drizzle with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then season with garlic salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly, keeping the vegetables separate on the pan.

Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until fork tender.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large bowl and add the quinoa. Toss well.

Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Pour over the veggies and quinoa, and toss to coat.

Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

 

Home Happenings… Baby Bump Week 14

Baby Bump - Week 14

Feeling:

My body has been incredibly itchy this week. I apply lotion as much as possible and thankfully that has helped. I believe the itchiness is coming from my stomach expanding because overnight my belly really popped. People are starting to comment that I’m showing which is making me so much happier to hear rather than “you don’t look pregnant”.

At night I have started to feel restless and have urges to get up and move my body, especially when I’m starting to feel agitated.

I had one really rough day with a terrible migraine that sent me home to work from home so I could be in a darker room and so I could take my migraine medicine that the doctor prescribed. The migraine was so bad it kept me from keeping any food down. I threw up all night.

Also was just made aware that I haven’t complained about breast tenderness this week. I just squeezed them to test this out and sure enough, no soreness. Haha!

Sleep:

I am getting up at least once a night to pee and then having difficulty falling back asleep. I had one day this week I had to work from home due to the extreme fatigue, nausea and headache the lack of sleep one night had me feeling. I am so grateful to work for such an amazing company with amazing management who allow for me to do this. They are so understanding of my condition.

Diet:

My diet has been complete shit leaning on fast food because the thought of food still grosses me out and I end up needing to grab whatever sounds good in those moments which usually is a large french fry and an ice-cold soda.

I really have the best of intentions to make good choices but sometimes I can’t stop the thought of a taco or french fries once it’s in my head because that is what sounds the best.

The thing is, I stay up about 30 minutes each night meal planning for the next day as well and pack my lunch bag most days so you can see my intentions to eat healthy are there.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I also spent almost $70 alone this week in fast food. There really is no excuse for this and I need to get my shit together. I just wish that my love for cooking would come back so I can break this bad habit and save my bank account.

Exercise:

Due to the restlessness I feel I end up pacing the house or finding a chore to tackle to help burn off the energy my body has. I did have a very strong desire to play basketball but after running it by Daddy he told me “HELL NO!!” and after checking Google I’m glad it was confirmed that the moves involved in the sport are dangerous for my body. Ugh.

When I am able to get a mini walk in that alone makes me feel winded so I don’t know how I thought I would be able to play basketball anyway. Haha!!

What I’m Wearing:

Nothing but stretchy pants and oversized t-shirts. I love having this excuse to dress like a bum to work and when running errands. I have also been going without makeup and accepting all of the “you look tired” comments without caring.

Looking Forward To:

This week I had multiple daydreams of holding Zaya. I can’t wait to meet her.

I am also looking forward to doing the matching mother daughter outfits after I saw a post on Instagram this week of a duo wearing the same sandals. So cute!

Bought for Baby:

Not a damn thing. I’m on a strict budget this week and with Halloween coming up, a book report project, and my fast food splurges I was over budget.

Weight:

This week I did not have one negative thought about my body image. I think the belly popping helped me to feel more “pregnant” as well. I gained 1.2 lbs this week for a total gain of 8.8 lbs this pregnancy.

I’m going to make sure I keep an eye on my diet this week and limit the number of visits through the drive thru. The amount of weight gained so far is about 0.8 lbs over the average for the first 14 weeks.

Advice:

Keep lotion handy and apply religiously.

 

 

Home Happenings… Baby Bump Week 13

This week was really exciting because we got the genetics test results back and we found out what we are having!!!

I received the call around 4:45pm on Monday evening and was sitting on J’s bed when the call came through. I was informed that everything came back negative and that baby is healthy. I was then asked if I was on speakerphone and if I wished to keep it that way. Then she said, “It’s a…!” 

I looked at my son and asked him if we heard correctly and then he exclaimed that we had to hurry up and head to Party City so we could get balloons for the gender reveal to Daddy. We zoomed up the road feeling the time crunch because we wanted to invite him over for the football game and to act like that was all it was, just dinner and football. I knew I had to tempt him with something delicious and suggested Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches.

While at Party City J picked out two of every shade of the gender colors they had and settled on a very large mylar balloon. Once we got our balloon bouquet I had to shove them into the backseat of the Mustang with J. Again, seeing how little room there was has me wanting that Lexus NX more and more. Ha!

I got the balloons and J dropped off and saw that I only had 30 minutes until kickoff and had to dash through the grocery store picking up all of the ingredients.

Thankfully I made it home in time to prep the meal and see the card that J had made for him.

I felt so nervous and couldn’t wait for him to walk through the door.

When he did, J met him at the very front with a card that read “Touchdowns or Tutus?” and on the inside he drew a photo of the three of us with a naked baby and a huge question mark over baby in red. His message said, “Welcome to the family.”

The balloons were in the corner of the dining room and they were floor length. The funniest thing happened because he took his hat off and set it down on the kitchen counter. I’m thinking how in the heck is this man missing this giant balloon bouquet?! But even crazier he’s 6′ 7″ and the balloons were right at his eye level. He freakin walked right by them and didn’t even see them. J and I looked at each other in disbelief laughing. As he came out of the pantry he asked which Philly Cheesesteak was his and I couldn’t help but have to laugh and say, “Really?!!” Confused he looks at me as I shift my eyes from him to the balloons and back to him a couple of times.

The plate he was holding was now shaking and his eyes watered up and he will claim he didn’t cry. I’ll give it to him since a tear never rolled but you could see it on his face. He was in shock.

Baby Bump - Week 13 Gender Reveal

All he kept saying over and over again was, “It’s a girl.”

After his nerves calmed we ate dinner not talking about it. I wanted him to process on his own. Once we were done eating he went outside to smoke and then he came in and had the name pronunciations for the girl’s name we already had picked out. We settled on her name right then.

Zaya Anne

He always knew he wanted his son to be named Zion and had a thought about us having twins so we had discussed girl names that started with a “Z”. He was sold on Zora or Zoey  and out of the two I loved Zoey best but one night we were watching the movie, Gods of Egypt, and one of the characters names was Zaia. I knew for the last three months if it was a girl I was going to try to convince him of this name. Well last night the spelling of Zaia was ruled out after he did a search of the name meaning and one of them was “demon princess”. Haha! So he found a name variation and we agreed on Zaya.

Zaya’s middle name is a tribute to both of our mother’s. His mom’s middle name is Ann and my mom’s name is Roxane. A good compromise was Anne.

Now we’re anxiously waiting to meet her. We’re both already so in love with her.

Feeling:

The nausea has finally let up and I have been nausea free for a couple of days now with increased energy. I was finally able to get back to my daily routine and prioritizing household chores again.

I am still experiencing anxiety over finances especially with daycare costs. I have number crunched over and over and really I am struggling to see how I am going to make it work. It scares the hell out of me. Right now, I am going to have to present a modified work from home schedule with my boss to see if we can make it work to cut my daycare expense at least in half.

Pregnancy and stress aren’t helping the acne situation. My face has thankfully cleared up but my chest is breaking out now. Ugh.

Still have extremely tender breasts and am so grateful Daddy is always able to massage them for me when needed and the tenderness is almost non-existent for a couple of days.

Frequency of urination has really picked up and to help strengthen my pelvic floor muscles I’m not answering every call to the bathroom right away. Instead I’m holding it for about 15 minutes before release. I’m also getting keels regularly as well. Make sure if you are practicing them as well that you have proper form.

My hair and fingernails are very strong and I’m wanting to take advantage of these longer nails by treating myself to an at home manicure. It has been since before finding out about the pregnancy that I had a chance to do them.

Sleep:

Ready for bed around 8pm every night and struggle most mornings to get out of bed. Up a couple of times a night to pee. Hot then cold so I wrestle with the sheets and a pillow between my legs is a must. I’ve been avoiding naps on the weekends now that my energy levels have returned and don’t like the thought of sleeping my day away. If I need one though you can guarantee I will listen to my body.

Diet:

Since I am back to feeling human again and the nausea has subsided I am back to meal planning and trying to stick to my Whole30 lifestyle. This has been easier to do because Zaya hasn’t had me experiencing any cravings. Although, the other night I did have the thought to make my homemade Olive Garden dinner and she wouldn’t let me let that idea go. So I made a copycat Zuppa Toscana and salad with cheesy breadsticks. Oh my gosh!! This was the most satisfying meal this pregnancy. I felt full and slept solid that night. Haha!!

Now that I’m feeling better I’m not having food aversions anymore. Food sounds good again and food smells aren’t offensive to me.

My biggest diet change has been the fact that I don’t drink coffee like I used to. I maybe have a cup once or twice a week but not even on a daily basis anymore. Weird because everyone knows coffee was my thing. I’m completely out of K-Cups and this more when I saw a Groupon for a 40-ct variety pack for $19 I actually passed it up. So unlike me.

Exercise:

Found in the form of household chores. I’m fitting in what I can when I can but still find myself lacking time in my day to handle all of my household and motherly duties for J. I do have best intentions of getting daily workouts in but a clean house is top priority for me.

What I’m Wearing:

My go to is sweatpants and baggy t-shirts, even to wear to work. I just stay tucked in at my cubicle and try not to move around the office too much.

My body is definitely expanding in my stomach, butt, and thighs. My favorite sweats I wore for working out prior to this pregnancy are now feeling snug.

I do need to be on the lookout for some larger v-cut sports bras since I’m starting to get spillage over the sides.

Looking Forward To:

Feeling Zaya move and my belly to move out of this awkward “looking fat” phase rather than pregnant. Only Daddy and my best friend can see the actual baby bump changes since they pay the most attention to me.

If a woman ever says she’s pregnant no matter how far along she is, never ever, and I repeat NEVER EVER!! say “I can’t tell”. It’s offensive and I feel the want to bitch slap those people who say it.

Bought for Baby:

I took advantage of a couple of Columbus Day sales and purchased a pair of seafoam green Puma’s for just $15 with free shipping and then hit of Target to check out the selection of Cat & Jack brand leggings that were 50% off and grabbed her a pair of footie jammies spending another $15.

I’m trying to focus on getting my registry completed now that I feeling a little overwhelmed with how much more still needs to be bought and thankfully I have friends who cannot wait to get together to throw me a baby shower. I will need all of the help I can get and their support is appreciated.

Weight:

I forgot to weigh in first thing this morning so I ended up doing it after breakfast. I gained another 0.6 lbs this week for a total gain of 7.6 lbs this pregnancy. I’m feeling better about this after reading numerous sites and finding out that my number is below the averages.

Advice:

Grab a copy of, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and start educating yourself if you are a first time breastfeeder like I will be. J was formula fed but for the sake of being budget friendly I need to be successful and need to be overly prepared. I have a million questions and I am beyond blessed to have my best friend to turn to with questions since she breastfeed all of her babies.

Home Happenings… Baby Bump Week 12

Baby Bump - Week 12

A couple of things… my baby bump isn’t oddly shaped, it’s my jeans with the belly band and it’s doing a weird bunching thing right now. I know I need to suck it up and buy some maternity jeans but I’m having a hard time justifying the purchase knowing I’m pregnant only another six months.

Also, you see that Mustang? Yeah that’s mine! I’ve owned three cars and all of them have been Mustangs having upgraded with every generation model change. I’m beginning to think this may be time to give it up for now until I am done with having kids because the four of us will not be able to comfortably fit in the Mustang. Daddy disagrees with me and said he would be upset if I trade me car in.

I have had my eye on a 2019 Lexus NX.  I like that it’s four door and will comfortably hold all of us with trunk space.

Feeling:

This week I have been feeling incredibly anxious, restlessness, and during the work week I was constantly on edge. I might chalk this one up to the month end crunch at work and the pressure we get put under.

I was concerned for about three days that the sadness I felt over a situation that is out of my control was going to send me into a depression. This pregnancy I have had more days of feeling sadness than I did with my first with J.

When Week 12 hit I honestly thought that was a magic number and the nausea would let up but it has not for me. If my mornings are a mad dash and I don’t eat in time then I get very nauseous and vomit. My body is still not signaling any hunger cues.

The start of the second trimester thankfully has brought with it more energy. I’m back to feeling like myself like I can make it through the whole day without a nap and look at my to do list with an eagerness to get it tackled. Because of the nausea the first eleven weeks my to do list has almost doubled in size. Time to get that sucker whittled down again.

Even though I have all of this energy back I am experiencing getting winded with walking up the steps and putting on clothes for work feels like a workout. Don’t get me started with putting on my shoes or clipping my toenails.

My body temp is running higher and I feel hot even when the house is cooled to 75 degrees which was always perfect for us. I am toughing it out to save on utility costs by turning on the fans but still I just feel so damn hot. This is probably why I want nothing but ice cold beverages.

Also… no baby movement yet that I can feel.

Sleep: 

I’m still not getting the best sleep at night except on the nights when Daddy is able to be with us. Then I feel completely at ease and fall asleep before he is ever ready to lay down and don’t wake in the night.

This morning after a night of very broken sleep I went into J’s room to give him good morning cuddles and after telling him how much I loved him I knocked out hard. He had to come wake me up about an hour later asking me if I was late for an appointment… which I was. Ugh. I probably could have laid up in his bed the rest of the day.

Diet:

I’m turned off by the thought of alcohol and food in general. Nothing sounds good. All I want is ice-cold beverages. A tall glass of 2% milk is my favorite drink right now. This was my biggest craving when I was pregnant with J too. The only difference is with J I had my milk with bowls of Froot Loops. Haha!!

Because I end up grabbing fast food out of convenience because I don’t want to cook meat at the house because of the smells I have become concerned about my body shape as the pregnancy progresses. I need to get this in check sooner than later.

My focus each night will be to meal prep before bed and to put together meals for the day ahead so I won’t wake up feeling not in the mood or wanting to vomit over the smell of opening a tuna can for my son’s school lunch.

Exercise: 

My goal this week is to reintroduce some light working out but mainly focusing on walking for cardio and of course doing Kegels on the regular. Do them!! You’ll thank me later.

What I’m Wearing:

None of my jeans zip any more, not even a centimeter, so I’ve had to add belly bands to all of them. The only thing that sucks is that my belly isn’t big enough to make the jeans feel a little bit more secure so I’m getting some sagging in the booty. Anyone who knows me would think this looks weird because I am very voluptuous in that area.

Whenever I get home I immediately remove my bra (the pain when my boobs are let free, ouch!!!) and get into cozy clothes.

Looking Forward To:

The genetic testing results should be back by the end of next week and J and I have already discussed how we will keep the secret between us until that night when we can decorate the house to surprise Daddy. We have it all planned out about how J will give him a call to invite him over to go over a school project with him and then wait to see his reaction as he walks through the door.

As for telling family, I don’t know why but I don’t have the desire to share like I did with J. The only family members that know are my Mom and Uncle. My friends on the other hand, they all know. My friends are more like family to me and their support has been overwhelming strong which I have appreciated so much because of the sadness I experienced this week.

Bought for Baby:

Nothing this week for baby. I felt it was more important for me to focus on J and his needs to a school project that’s due in two weeks so we hit up Barnes and Noble and also still have to go to the craft store to complete what’s needed for the book report.

Weight:

I gained 0.6 lbs this week for a total weight gain this pregnancy of 7 lbs. Noticing I’m holding added weight in my thighs and belly. I am glad I am starting to get some energy back so I can prioritize working out again.

Advice:

Sleep as much as you can! If you plan to breastfeed like I’m planning to do this go round so I can save almost $3,000 in the first year but not having to buy formula then keep in mind you will be nursing every 2-3 hours. The exhaustion those first couple weeks is going to be pure hell. I remember how it was with J who I wasn’t having to wake up for forced feedings because I wasn’t concerned about milk production.

Home Happenings… Baby Bump Week 11

Positive Pregnancy Test Clearblue

Back on August 9th I took a pregnancy test and it was POSITIVE! The first test I took on the first day of my period said negative the instant I peed on the stick so the week was passing by as my period was not coming and it made me feel like I was making up my symptoms.

This will be my second child, 10 year age difference… talk about hitting the reset button, haha!! This will be Daddy’s first baby!!! He is happy but also so damn scared because of some previous experiences he has had.

10 Week Ultrasound

We had our first prenatal visit on September 18th which didn’t go as well as I envisioned. Peeing into the cup to collect the urine sample was a nightmare. The toilet seat opening was so small and I’m already having difficulty seeing around my belly and through my thick thighs. I peed on my hand and got pee on the floor and had to clean it up. So embarrassing. Ugh! Once they confirmed pregnancy with the pee stick test the ultrasound tech called me back and was able to see baby with an abdominal ultrasound instead of getting it vaginally. Thankfully I was far enough along or else we would have had to do it vaginally. Daddy wasn’t able to be present for this visit but I was allowed to FaceTime him and he got to see baby and hear the heartbeat. Such a special moment for this first time Daddy. I got sent back to the waiting room to wait for the doctor. My stomach was growling and I could feel the nausea kicking in. Being the first prenatal visit I had to get completely naked so we could do the breast and pelvic exams. I was prescribed prenatal vitamins with a higher dose of folic acid and a stronger Tylenol formula for my headaches. The doctor did not ask me to change anything in my current routine or diet and told me to continue listening to my body. That lately has meant not working out and getting sleep.

After wrapping up with the doctor I was sent back out to the waiting room to get a full panel blood test done for genetics and gender testing. While I was getting poked I could feel the blood rushing out of my face and hands. I don’t like needles. The blood testing was not helping with the nausea. I finally got all of the vials filled and was bandaged up and sent on my way.

After 2 and a half hours I felt like crap and couldn’t get to a food source fast enough. The first fast food place on the right side of the road was Burger King. The food was such a disappointment but my body thanked me for putting something on my belly.

My next prenatal visit will be in one month.

In Week 11 the fatigue did not let up until I finally reached this weekend and slept for 12 hours straight Friday night making me feel like this pregnancy is less overwhelming. My work weeks kick my butt. I’ll fight naps because I feel like I’m wasting the day away but also realize how silly this mindset is because my days aren’t nearly as busy as they once were and my to-do list is growing because the symptoms keep me down and off my feet.

I have had all of the pregnancy symptoms and they have been strong! My breasts are incredibly tender and just putting on a nighttime tee brings so much pain. Nausea hits hardest when I get hungry but my body’s hunger cues haven’t been signaling properly and next thing I know I’m reaching for the closest food source to keep myself from vomiting. I have had really bad food aversions and the thought of foods make me nauseous. Doesn’t matter what it is. Food just disgusts me right now and I have to force myself to eat. When I do eat I am now experiencing acid reflux and am constipated right now. Ugh!

Weight:

I have gained 6.4 lbs already and am not going to lie, the fact that I was in the mindset of losing weight it was really difficult in the beginning to shift my mindset for a fit and healthy pregnancy. Now I don’t even think about it. I eat as needed and will eat whatever my body isn’t repulsed by.

Diet:

I’m trying to stay on top of my water intake and it has me running to the bathroom a lot. I wake up one to two times in the middle of the night as well.

Cravings:

No cravings yet because I’m still having food aversions. The only thing that sounds really good is ice-cold beverages.

Sleep:

When it comes to sleep I’ve always been an insomniac but with pregnancy I have no issues sleeping through the night minus the waking up to pee and rolling on my boobs waking me up due to the pain. Also, pregnancy dreams are no joke. They are so vivid and just crazy.

Body Changes:

My body feels foreign to me again and my clothes just aren’t fitting properly. I would live in cozy clothes if it wasn’t for my day job. Thankfully I do have the flexibility to be able to wear sweatpants if needed but I get so many looks from my coworkers since this isn’t normally allowed attire. I have started to use the belly band my bestest friend gave to me since she delivered her baby a couple of months ago. Life saver!!!

Oh!! and don’t get me started on the acne!!! I never breakout except one small zit during my period but at this very moment I have so many zits on my forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. Ugh!!! I want to wear makeup to cover them up but I also have zero desire to put any on.

Pains:

Another symptom has been achy joints. My hands, hips, knees, and feet hurt. I want to find a pregnancy masseuse. Thankfully I have Daddy for rubbing my sore boobies. Those are his until baby comes.

Bought for Baby:

I have purchased the larger ticket items already, crib/changing table combo, stroller travel system, pack n’ play, an activity playmat, some gender neutral clothing that was on sale for a price too good to pass up, diaper backpack, and picked up the book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, since I will be a first timer. J was formula fed out of convenience and fear of pain from breastfeeding. I also purchased a couple of items for breastfeeding needs: gel soothing pads, nursing pads, and a milk saver for use to put on the other nipple while baby feeds off the other breast. No milk wasted. I did get super lucky too and had a neighbor who was giving away a couple of baby items and got the Disney Mr. Ray Jumper that I really wanted!

My best friend is highly irritated at me for purchasing so much right away but I keep telling her diapers will be most appreciated at the baby shower.

Looking Forward To: 

I’m anxious to get the genetic test results back to find out baby’s gender. The doctor’s office called me today to deliver the results of my lab work from my pelvic exam and let me know the blood work may take up to another two weeks to get back.

I am annoyed with myself for not checking into the cost of the genetic testing ahead of time and to see if it is covered by my insurance which is appearing as though it won’t be because I am under the age of 35. Guess I’ll be on the lookout for that $800-$2000 bill that I found on the internet as being the average costs. Had I done my research I would have waited the 20 weeks for the ultrasound.

Since I’ll be finding out the gender before Daddy I am thinking I need to come up with a creative way of revealing the gender to him.

This one seems like a weird one but I’m looking forward to my appointment next month to see if my body will clear up the bacterial vaginosis I have. Since I am symptom free the doctor is not putting me on antibiotics yet. Of course I will be panicking until next month over the thoughts of preterm labor and lower birth weight that can be caused from bacterial vaginosis. Ugh. In the meantime, I’m refraining from sex and will be keeping a better eye on my diet, including getting a probiotic in and making sure I stay hydrated.

Missing:

I’m missing Bloody Mary’s, sushi, working out, and jeans that slide right on.

Advice:

My best advice is to take advantage when you feel well rested and get as much as humanly possible done as you can.

… and learn from my mistake and double-check to see if your insurance will cover your genetic testing before moving forward with the decision to have it done. Then again, you can’t put a price on peace of mind.