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Monday, July 21, 2014

Yummy Mummy Monday: Easy BBQ Recipes

BBQ season is in full swing! If the weather's hot it's perfect to enjoy some sun and avoid overheating the house with the stove & oven.

Some of our family faves are ribs, burgers, fish (we're coming up on an epic salmon run here in BC soon!) and veggie skewers (you need to have a little green to go with all that BBQ protein! ;)

So, to go with all this vitamin D, here's some quick & easy ideas to toss on the barbee!

BBQ Menu: 
Homemade burgers with veggie skewers & yam fries

 Mouth- Watering Homemade Burger Patties 
You can't beet a fresh, homemade patty!
Makes 4 patties

1 lb ground meet (for a fresh alternative try ground buffalo-amazing! Ground turkey or a chicken breast are also great lighter options)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 white or yellow onion, diced fine
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 egg
1/3 cup bread crumbs (for a gluten free version, use gf breadcrumbs or finely chopped kale)
Optional: 1 tsp each of ground paprika, chipotle chilli and/ or cayenne for added flavour & kick

Mix everything in a bowl & shape into patties (if skipping the breadcrumbs, it may be a good idea to cook the patty on a piece of foil to avoid it crumbling over the bbq grates). If using a chicken breast in place of a patty, create a dry rub with the garlic, onion & spices. Grill on medium heat until cooked through; approx. 10 minutes.

Serve with your favourite buns & fixings (we love avocado for a yummy substitute for mayo)
If you're on an uber health kick, swap the bun for lettuce leaves- a fave for those on a paleo or gluten free diet.

 Veggie Skewers 

Kick up the nutritional value & add flavour with some seasonal veggies
Makes 4- 6 skewers

1 zuchinni, sliced into medallions approx. 1/4" thick
Red & green bell peppers, chopped into 1 1/2" chunks
Red onion, chopped into 1 1/12 chunks
Other ideas:
Mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, mango chunks

Alternate the veggies on your skewers (make sure they're bbq safe- we had a set melt once!) leaving some space between items to cook. Pop on the bbq for approx 10- 15 minutes, covered at medium heat.

 Yam Fries 
A sweet & smoky twist on your typical spud side!
Makes 4- 6 servings

2 large yams, peeled & cut into wedges (see photo)
1- 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chipotle pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Combine the oil & seasonings in a large bowl & toss in yam wedges. Mix until evenly coated. There are two ways you can tackle these: slow cook them on the grill for approx 30 minutes in a foil pouch with a tbsp or two of water until soft, then place on grill to char; or place directly on grill at low heat for approx. 30 minutes & then turn up heat to medium to char (it depends how much you want to babysit them- the foil pouch & water will be a little more forgiving if you're distracted by your company offering you a fresh beer every few minutes!) ;)

Enjoy with your favourite dipping sauce (try combining garlic, onion, avocado & chipotle in a food processor for a mayo dip alternative)

Great, now I want to BBQ! Hope this inspires you to fire up the grill!

Image Sources (in order of appearance):
Let Them Eat Burgers!- Epicure Selections- courtesy of Renee Schuck (learn about this Amazing Mom here!)
Veggie Skewers- Katherine Petrunia
Yam Fries- Health.com

July posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Friday, July 18, 2014

Healthy is Sexy: Catching Up on the Juicing Craze with Sexy Juice

​Everywhere you turn right now, juice is all the rage. At home juicing, cold- pressed, fresh squeezed... what the heck is all the hype about and what does it mean to you and your family? Will has been a dedicated juicer for some time now and a dear friend of mine swears by it. But here's my confession: it can be messy and time consuming. Worth the work? Yes, definitely. But for many of us, time is of the essence and sometimes adding a kick of nutritious goodness means picking up something out of convenience.
So, for all you busy Moms & Dads looking for a boost, or for those picky kiddos who just don't dig their fruits & veggies, a serving of fresh juice could be a great on- the- go solution. There is some scepticism about many of the options out there, so to help me figure out where the benefits lie I spoke with the lovely Summer from Sexy Juice to help me wrap my mind around the juicing craze. 

Healthy is Sexy!

TPB: What are the benefits of having juice in your diet?

S: There are so many!  First though I should clarify that these are the benefits of COLD PRESSED juice.  Cold pressed juice contains the most whole nutrients, enzymes, minerals, and proteins; this is because of the way cold pressed juice is extracted - no heat!   Drinking a cold pressed juice is such a easy way of ensure you are getting your daily nutrition.  
I am the mother of a three year old and an entire day can go by and I've only eaten a couple bites of her scraps.  If I can start my day with a juice, that is 16oz of pure goodness - nothing processed.  You really do feel amazing, if I can go as far as to say elated.  When I first started implementing cold pressed juice into my diet, they are so nutrient dense it was an actual physical reaction, I felt amazing, alert, energized.  They taste great.  

TPB: What are some good ingredients to look for?
S: If you're going to drink one juice every 1-2 days I would suggest to go with a greens one - especially with kale.  Anything with dark leafy greens will be good for you all around.  However, drinking 16oz of fruits and veggies - you can't go wrong.
TPB: Can you suggest some 'top 3' combos? (ie for a cleanse, energy, etc)?

S: I don't think any specific combo is better than another.  All fruits and veg have so many benefits.  However, here's a good way to look at it: if you want beauty, go for something with beets; if you're looking for energy, find something with chia seeds or ginger.  It comes down to taste, if you like the taste you are much more likely to drink it often which is key for the juice to be most beneficial.

TPB: What are some popular juice(s)?
S: Our Good Morning Sunshine seems to be the most popular, anything with pineapple is really popular too and our nut mylks are a bit hit. 
Everyone is different and everyone has their favourites but my team spent a lot of time and effort crafting and re-crafting these recipes so they taste good and your body will crave it.

TPB: Any other info that's important for people to know about juices? 
S: People often get caught up that they have to do a cleanse to get the benefits of a cold pressed juice, which can be really daunting.  They're just a great item to include in your diet, cleanse or no cleanse. I have a lot of mom customers who have 3- 4 a week. They're good just to have in the fridge on those crazy day's when food seems to be the last priority. 
About Sexy Juice: At Sexy Juice our message is 'healthy is sexy', it's not about being a certain size, the things we aquire, the color of our hair, how put together we are.  We are encouraging our readers to keep health simple, go back to the basics by feeding your body whole and un-processed ingredients.  Keeping this things on hand is key to success, you truly will feel amazing from the inside and that shines through to the outside - every time.​ 

For more info about this awesome local company and to learn about their workplace program, click here! Find them on Facebook and Twitter & Instagram: @s_e_x_y_juice 
Want to find out what all the hype is about??? Sexy Juice has offered a 10% discount to TPB readers on orders over $50. Use promo code. THEPAMPEREDBABY at checkout to redeem.
The promo code can be used towards a 1- day cleanse for choose from their a la carte menu.

Images courtesy of Sexy Juice 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Yummy Mummy Monday: Popsicles!

Wow. Summer is in full swing. And it's hot! 
If you live in the Lower Mainland or surrounding areas, you know what the temperatures have been like lately. And while we definitely appreciate a change from the grey & rain we get for most of the rest of the year, we appreciate a cool treat to help us cool down. What could be better than a classic popsicle? Why not try your hand at making your own healthy versions? Take advantage of all the delicious berries & fruit in season and whip up some healthy sweet treats. Whether you make them for your kids or for the kid in you, these delicious pops are a Summer must- have. 

Each recipe makes 6 popsicles. 
Tip: If using popsicle sticks, freeze for approx 30 minutes before inserting sticks. Allow 3- 4 hours for popsicles to freeze completely.  

Sparkling Fruit Popsicles
A fun way to get your kids to eat fruit!
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 kiwi, sliced
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, quartered
Sparkling water or coconut water (for a grown- up version, try with champagne or sparkling wine!) ;)

To Make
Fill popsicle moulds 1/4 full with sparkling/ coconut water, followed with alternating fruit pieces
Fill the rest of the mould with sparkling/ coconut water & tap lightly to remove bubbles
Freeze & enjoy! (the carbonation of the sparkling water is refreshing on a hot day!)
(Tip: Add the fruits by colour to make a rainbow popsicle)

Blackberry Coconut Popsicles
A delicious dairy- free option!
Coconut milk
2 cups blackberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
Juice of one lime (optional- but adds a refreshing kick!)

To Make
Wash & strain blackberries, then puree them in a blender. Pour through a strainer to remove seeds.
In another bowl combine coconut milk, vanilla extract, & honey (and lime juice if using)
Pour alternating layers of the two mixtures into the moulds
Freeze & enjoy!
(Tip: If in a hurry, you can blend everything together in one bowl & skip the layers)

Berry Yogurt Popsicles
Enjoy seasonal berries in abundance!
1 1/2 cups yogurt 
1/2 cup milk (sub with coconut milk for a tropical twist)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, & blackberries are great local options)

To Make
Mix yogurt, milk, & vanilla in a blender
Mix in berries and pour into moulds 
(Like with the blackberry coconut popsicles, you can blend the berries with the yogurt mix if you prefer everything blended)

What's your favourite way to cool down in the Summer? Have a favourite popsicle recipe? We'd love to know about it!

Image Sources (in order of appearance):
July posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Party Planning 101: The Truth About Parties

I am going to be honest: this post was intended to tell you all about how to plan a birthday party (or any special event, really) that was both stress- free and as cute as those photos you covet on Pinterest and Instagram. I'd be lying if I told you planning Ari's first birthday was stress- free, but as this post hopefully shows, you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to have a great party.

Overall, everything worked out and I was happy that my hard work paid off, but there were a few bumps in the road on the way (the hubby and I totally ended up fighting as we juggled all the day- of prep for the family party). For any Mom planning a birthday party, or celebration- or for any lady who has a shower, wedding, or other special event to plan, I hope this gives you an honest & realistic idea of what is involved.

Proceed With Caution!
Like so many friends I know, it started with Pinterest. I pinned ideas that I loved and before long had more than a few ideas about what I wanted to do, a theme, and how all the little touches would make it perfect (this process very much reminded me of planning my wedding, and how easy it is to get carried away with ideas). It isn't hard to get excited- and overwhelmed- by all of the cute and beautiful ideas out there for special occasions. But I have learned that like so many things, you have to prioritize. It's easy to get carried away!

Break Up the Celebrations
I am very lucky to have some wonderful friends that I wanted to share the occasion with, and knew that it would be best to split up the celebrations into a friends party and a family party (the family party alone would be around 20 people!). I decided to go with pink and gold, with Minnie- Mouse inspired polka dots and decor. 

And now for the fun!

The Decorations
Tip: Save money by making some or all of your decorations. Get creative with dollar store staples such as streamers, tissue paper & ribbon- the options are endless! (I made tissue tassels & streamer curtains that made a big impact without dropping a lot of money).
Keep decorations that can be re- used for other parties & celebrations (like multiple birthday parties!)

I carried the pink, gold, & polka dots throughout both parties, re-using some of the decorations for both. A fun bonus was the Minnie Mouse balloon sculpture courtesy of Coco Globo balloons- it was the perfect fun finishing touch I was looking for.

The Family Party
From this...

...To this!

The Friends Party
From this...

...To this!

Thank you to Coco Globo for the Minnie Mouse balloon sculpture!

The Goodie Bags
Tip: Keep these fun favours budget friendly by combining some homemade goodies with 1 or 2 larger items.
I did slightly different bags for the lil ladies & gents (but all had some sugary treats for the parents, including some homemade candy skewers!)
 For the lil gents: 
Bow tie from Cutie Pie Boutique
Sun visor 
Sidewalk chalk
Candy skewer & lollipop (for Mom & Dad!)

 For the lil ladies: 
Clippie set from Cutie Pie Boutique
Sidewalk chalk
Sidewalk chalk
Candy skewer & lollipop (for Mom & Dad!)

The Food
Tip: Don't be afraid to ask for some help with the menu! I was fortunate to have my Mom and Mother In Law help with the family party and one of my girlfriends contributed beautiful homemade cupcakes for the friends party to help offset the cost & work.

The cakes lovingly made by my mama in law! (I LOVED the smash cake!)

And the gorgeous cupcakes my friend made for the friends party- eek those bows!

The freebie cake from our local Thrifty's (you get a free cake when your lil one turns one!)

Even though these ideas show girly colours, you can easily swap them to suit the colours of your theme. I hope some of these ideas inspire you for your next special event- whether it's a birthday party, shower, or wedding! oxox TPB 

I want to say how grateful I am to Cutie Pie Boutique and Coco Globo for helping me make these celebrations extra special. See below for info.

Cutie Pie Boutique- adorable hair accessories & rompers for your little lady!
Etsy Store
Instagram: @cutiepieboutique

Coco Globo- amazing balloon sculptures for all your special events needs!

July posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Monday, July 7, 2014

Yummy Mummy: Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

For today's Yummy Mummy Recipe we're offering up a healthy twist on a classic: spaghetti.

We're swapping out the beef for turkey and pasta noodles for spaghetti squash in this version. A great gluten free & paleo option. All we have to say is Yum. Yum. 
Thank you to our friend Bronwyn for sharing her recipe with us! 
Yummy Mummy Recipe: 
Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash
From Bronwyn: A family fave in my house are my homemade turkey meatballs. They are quite easy to do and bake up nice and quickly.

For the Turkey Meatballs: 
500g ground turkey
3 eggs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups Panko bread crumbs (you can swap for gluten free)
2 teaspoons hot sauce
Sprinkle salt and pepper.
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
To make:
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients together (I do it with my hands) in a big bowl.

2. Roll the mixture (again with your hands) to make balls of about 1 inch around. The size of the meatballs will affect the cooking time.
3. Place meatballs on baking sheets. Bake for 15 to 18 mins (or until edges are browning).

To bake spaghetti squash: 
1. Preheat oven to 425F. 
2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. 
3. Drizzle squash flesh with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
4. Place cut side down on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. 
5. Roast until squash is tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.
6. When cool enough to handle, gently scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands and transfer to a medium bowl to mix with sauce.

This can be made with regular spaghetti noodles or spaghetti squash. Top with your favorite tomato sauce.

Image Sources:
Pasta: My Story in Recipes
Turkey Meatballs: Bronwyn Wilson 
Spaghetti Squash: Steamy Kitchen 

July posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Friday, July 4, 2014

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Nutrition Guide

Do you know what your body needs for calories and nutrients when you're pregnant or nursing?
If you're planning a family, have a baby on the way, or are nursing, it's important to know and understand what your body needs. Adding calories isn't an excuse to meet more chips (sorry ladies!) or chow down on your favourite naughty snacks 'just because'. To help you learn what to eat to encourage a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, & a healthy mama, we spoke to dietician, Kristy Pemberton. Here's what she had to say...

Calorie requirements increase in pregnancy by about 10 - 15 percent. If you think of this in food terms, it is only about 200- 300  extra calories  or an extra large snack (e.g. one sandwich, or pot of yoghurt  and handful of nuts). So ‘eating for two’ is not an excuse to eat what you want, in fact eating too much can increase risks of gestational diabetes.

Calorie needs can be broken down per trimester : 
First trimester no increase in needs 
Second trimester: about 340 calories extra  (2 small snacks) 
Third trimester: about 450 calories extra (small meal).  
Calorie needs increase due to the increase in metabolic rate and the needs of the growing baby.  The further along in your pregnancy the more calories you need. However this is partially offset by fat stores laid down in early pregnancy and the lack of activity in later pregnancy.   The body is pretty adaptive and optimal weight gain has been achieved with less than optimal calorie intakes (e.g. morning sickness etc). 

There is an increase in calorie requirements during breastfeeding because of the need to produce breast milk. Calorie requirements tend to increase over the first six months of baby’s life  as breast milk increases. The average extra daily energy requirement for breastfeeding 475–500 calories per day. However even if your calorie intake does not increase, breast milk tends to remain adequate.  Because the nutrition status of the mother only has a small effect on the amount and make-up of breast milk the sufficiency of breast milk supply should be judged by baby’s growth and development, not on what the mother is eating.  

If there is any concern that the supply is not enough please talk to your midwife or doctor about what can be done. It is important that women understand the relationship between infant demand and milk production so that they do not introduce infant formula unnecessarily.  Well nourished women often have fat stores that are a good source of energy to support adequate breast milk. On average a woman will lose approximately 800g per month for the first 6 months of breast feeding.  Demand-fed infants effectively regulate their energy intake (and milk volume), so the volume a baby drinks depends on milk concentration.  

It is not wise for a breast feeding woman to go on a calorie restricted diet  (e.g. less than 1800 calories) to lose weight as some studies have shown this can reduce breast milk volume, especially in already lean women (however concentration was not looked at). Women need to allow adequate time to readjust after pregnancy, and weight loss after delivery to pre- pregnancy weight should not be expected to occur before 9–12 months. 

Weight Gain
There is no calorie level that women should eat, as it varies widely between individuals and very few people ‘count calories’.  Rather we want to eat enough to achieve optimal weight gain.  This is based loosely on body mass index (see the guidelines below). If you are gaining a lot of weight this can predispose some women to gestational diabetes and if not enough weight is gained it can impair the growth of the baby.  Weight gains outside the Institute of Medicine’s suggested ranges are associated with double the number of poor pregnancy outcomes as weight gains within the ranges.

Body Mass Index
Recommended weight gain
Less than 19.9
12 - 18kg
Between 20 and 26
11.5kg – 16kg
Between 26 - 29
7 -11 kg
Over 29
 Source: Institute of Medicine 1990.

The recommended rate of gain is approximately 0.4 kg/week in the second and third trimesters; for women with a lower BMI it is approximately 0.5 kg/week; and for women who are overweight  it is approximately 0.3 kg/week. This is only a guideline and it is common for women to gain weight slower or faster than this.
What to Eat
When pregnant it is important to follow a healthy diet that is relatively low in sugar, saturated fat, and salt, and to avoid too much processed foods.  When cooking, follow healthy cooking guidelines such as removing fat from meat, grilling, steaming or baking instead of frying; avoid adding too much extra salt and sugar, etc. Here are some healthy eating guidelines:  

1) Choose at least six servings of breads and cereals each day
e.g.  1 slice of wholegrain bread, 1 cup of pasta or rice, ½ of cereal or muesli, try other grains such as quinoa, lentils etc.  
These provide carbohydrates (sugar and starch), fibre, and nutrients such as B vitamins and minerals. Women who are pregnant should not be on a low carbohydrate diet.

• Eat plenty of breads and cereals, including rice, pasta, breakfast cereals and other
grain products.
• Choose wholegrain varieties because they provide extra nutrients and fibre. They
also help prevent constipation.

2) Have at least three servings each day of milk or milk products, preferably reduced- or low-fat products.
e.g. 1 glass of milk,  2 slices of hard cheese, pot of yoghurt (150g)
Calcium requirements are higher in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Pregnant women require milk and milk products as sources of protein, vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and iodine.
• Choose reduced- or low-fat milk, yoghurt and hard cheese.
• Milk and milk products provide most of people's calcium. If you do not eat these foods or eat very little of them, ask your doctor or dietitian about other calcium sources.
• Calcium is also found (in lower amounts) in foods such as wholegrain bread,
broccoli, canned salmon, sardines, spinach, baked beans, and tofu.
• If you are drinking soy milk, choose one that is calcium-fortified (check the label).

3 ) Eat at least 2 serves of lean meats, chicken, seafood, eggs, cooked dried beans, peas and lentils, and nuts and seeds
e.g. 2 slices cooked meat (about 100 g),  1 medium steak (120 g),  2 drumsticks or 1 chicken breast or leg (110 g), 1 medium piece of cooked fish (100g), 1 small can of canned fish (tuna, sardines, salmon or mackerel (90 g)), 1 egg (50 g), 1 cup canned or cooked dried beans, 1/3 cup nuts or seeds, 1 cup tofu

These foods give you protein, iron, zinc, and other nutrients which you need more of during pregnancy.  Iron is important for healthy blood and for the development of your baby. During pregnancy, it is important to have enough iron to prevent iron deficiency or anaemia.  Iron found in lean meats, chicken and seafood is absorbed well by the body (haem iron).  However eggs, beans, peas and lentils, and nuts and seeds have a form of iron that is not as easily absorbed (non-haem). 

Having foods high in vitamin C (broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, kiwifruit, mango, pineapple)  with your meals will help to absorb non haem iron. This is especially important for vegetarian and vegan women, who can find it hard to get enough iron.  Liver is a good source of iron, but eat no more than a small piece (100 g) once a week as it is high in Vitamin A.

Requirements of iodine are also higher in pregnancy; you can take a supplement that contains iodine especially for pregnant women. Seafood and eggs are also useful sources of iodine.

Fish is recommended 2 – 3 times a week because it is a source of omega -3s, which are important for baby’s brain development.

Food safety when choosing fish and seafood:  High intakes of mercury are unsafe for your baby. Some fish have higher levels of mercury, although there is little concern with canned tuna, canned salmon, mackerel or sardines, farmed salmon, tarakihi, blue cod, hoki, john dory, monkfish,  and flat fish like flounder. Fish that have higher levels of mercery (longer-lived and larger fish) include: uncanned wild-caught (not farmed) salmon, uncanned albacore tuna or mackerel, kahawai, red cod, orange roughy and ling can contain more mercury, so consumption of these should be limited to three 150 g servings per week.

 A small number of fish (eg, school shark, southern bluefin tuna, marlin, and trout) should be eaten only once a fortnight or not at all if consuming other types of fish or seafood.
If you don’t like fish you can take fish oil, but make sure it is a good quality one that has been tested for mercury and don’t exceed the guidelines on the bottle.

4) Drink Plenty of Fluids Every Day -  Aim for eight to nine cups of fluid each day.
Extra fluid may be needed during hot weather, after activity, or if you are vomiting or constipated.

Water or reduced- or low-fat milk are the best choices.
Be aware that caffeine consumption may affect your babys growth during pregnancy. Caffeine is naturally occurring in tea, coffee, and chocolate and is present in many cola-type or energy drinks. Watch the amount of caffeinated drinks you are consuming while pregnant. No more than six cups of tea or instant coffee, or three single shot espressos, or one double shot espresso coffee.  Also be careful with herbal teas; some can have an effect on hormone levels. Tea should be consumed away from meals as it reduces your ability to absorb iron from your food.  Limit soft drinks, flavoured waters, fruit drinks, cordials, and diet drinks because these are low in nutrients and may be high in sugar. 

Special Concerns:          

 If someone has any of the below conditions they should ask to talk to a dietitian:
• are 18 years old or younger
• have a medical condition affecting their eating, such as diabetes
• are having more than one baby (eg, twins or triplets)
• eat very little or have a history of eating problems
• are vegetarian or vegan.

Kristy Pemberton is a dietician living in New Zealand. With her husband Nigel, they have travelled all over the world and continue their globetrotting through work and pleasure.

If you found this post helpful & informative, please leave a comment below! We would love to have Kristy back with more great nutrition articles!

June posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique