Sunday, September 18, 2011

I love NYC in the fall.

I had a perfect New York day today.

Ian and I met two friends for a fantastic brunch at 12 Chairs in Soho for brunch this morning. What does a pregnant woman really need except for some cheese blintzes and a lovely Israeli breakfast plate? (Answer from Ian: a whole lot). Really though, the food was fantastic, and my fresh mint tea was so good on a crisp morning.

After brunch, we went to the Film Forum and saw a matinee: The French Connection.

On our way home, Ian and I got off the subway a few stops early, purchased some chai and apple cider (respectively) and had a nice walk back to our apartment.

I can't say that I've seen any leaves changing colors yet, but everyone looks a little happier, a little less stressed out, and just a little more willing to smile. I'm looking forward to visiting our farmers' market tomorrow morning and getting some fresh produce for the week.

I think part of this change is an openness I'm learning to foster; I feel like I spent so much of the first and second trimesters of this pregnancy (and our move to New York) stuck inside various uncomfortable symptoms. Although it's never fun to not feel well, or to broken out in an awful rash, or... you name it, I think there is something to be said about dwelling on the awesome and amazing nature of what my body is doing, how all of these little inconveniences are for this new life, and how everything that is weird or gross or painful has a chemical/hormone behind it to help this new little baby grow and thrive!

In the first week of our birthing classes, the instructor talked for a few minutes about really living in the moment, whether you're having a great day, uncomfortable with the weight of the baby and swelling feet (what? who?), in labor, going on two hours of sleep with a colicky baby... no matter what. This is really fantastic advice; it made me think about how much time I've focused on the negative and not looked at the big picture or just enjoyed what has been happening.

As this will most likely be Ian's and my only child, and thus my only pregnancy, I really wish I had spent more of the pregnancy in an empowered, aware state. I wish that I had tried more to look at the positive and the beauty of what is happening, what we are doing and building together.

On that note, I'm off to do a little prenatal yoga before bed and practice my squatting.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fall is Here: Pumpkin Muffin Time!

I know, they sound odd, but these muffins are wicked delicious! I found a recipe on and tweaked it to my liking (and my attempts to be a little healthy in my muffin-making endeavors).

My changes:

  • I made 18 regular-sized muffins instead of the 6 giant muffins. Do I love a giant pumpkin muffin? Yes, yes I do! Would my midwife kill me if she knew the amount of carbs one of those has? Yes, yes she would.
  • I used all white whole-wheat flour, which made them a little less cake-like, but I'm okay with that
  • instead of using all oil, I used mostly applesauce (1/3 cup maybe?) and topped off the measuring cup with oil
  • I added about 1/4 cup ground flax
  • I added a decent helping of cinnamon
  • I added 1/2 cup of craisins to the wet mix with the crystallized ginger. I would recommend adding a full cup, 1/2 cup was not enough!
  • I adjusted the icing - I only had dark molasses and it was strong tasting the first time I made the icing. That batch was scrapped, and I remade it without the molasses, adding a little vanilla and a generous teaspoon of cinnamon.

Weekly Menu

  • Oven-Roasted Miso Sesame Salmon, served with Brown Rice and Stir-Fried Bok Choy
  • Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Almonds, served with Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous (one of my all time, favorite meals!)
  • Salt- and Pepper-Crusted Pork, served with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots with Fresh Herbs
  • Spring Green Salad with Sausage, Sprouts, Apple, and Homemade Sage Croutons
 You may notice these meals getting progressively meat-packed. My midwife said the swelling in my feet would improve if I ate more protein. After doubling (at least) the protein I eat every day, my feet really do look and feel so much better. I wouldn't go so far as to say they are back to their normal size, but compared to where they a month ago, these feet are sexy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: My Ántonia

My Ántonia
My Ántonia by Willa Cather

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've heard fantastic things about this book for years and finally read it. It was a nice, gentle read but I can't really say I loved anything about it except that Cather presented a strong woman as a central character, which is rare in literature. I'm actually surprised that so many people are so worked up about it. I can't help asking myself, did I miss something here? If so, we can only blame it on my gigantic pregnant belly and the fact that I exclusively read this book during rush hour on the 1 Line.

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