My due date is literally one month away, which means we will most likely have a baby in 2-6 weeks! I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has flown by, even in the midst of a *historically* hot summer. In just a couple of weeks I will start my postpartum freezer prep and will hopefully be able to update here before Brother makes his big debut, but for now I will recap the second trimester AKA the “honeymoon” trimester.
Celebrations and Eating Healthy
We had plenty of celebrations in the second trimester: Easter, our second daughter’s birthday, pre-K graduation for our oldest, Mother’s Day, and the start of summer fun. I never want my daughters to feel like mom doesn’t enjoy fun times with them because I sit out from “fun” foods (although all foods are fun and have a purpose) so I always join them with a piece of cake or a couple of cookies if these are present. And I tell you what, I craved all sorts of sweet treats during the second trimester, and treat myself almost nightly with dark chocolate or nice cream.
Aside from celebrations, our everyday eating remained much the same. I always try and include a fruit and a vegetable in every dinner, sometimes lunches or breakfasts, too, as well as a fat, protein, and carb. Other than sweets, there are no specific cravings that really stick out to me from the second trimester. I was (and still am) just always trying to feed our family as cost effectively, healthily, and simply as possible. Some favorite meals we always enjoy are “bowl” meals: taco bowls, sushi bowls, and Mediterranean bowls to name a few.
As I’ve mentioned in my last few posts, my exercise routine has remained the same for well over a year now: a ten minute home workout every weekday + walking whenever I can (usually 2-4 times per week). However, with summer starting in my second trimester, I started adding in the occasional lap swimming. It is a little tough to swim laps with two small children in the pool with you, but I get in what I can when I can. I also did some prenatal yoga with Spinning Babies exercises occasionally. I find that as long as I am doing something enjoyable and achievable, I will make it happen, and I love getting exercise!
Goodbye Honeymoon Trimester, Hello Heat
I think that is all for the second trimester; it was easy and over too quickly! During the second trimester, we moved the girls into the other bedroom and put them in bunk beds, started on the baby’s room, got his clothes put away, and did some small home projects. Now I’m currently baking the last bit of this baby and literally baking in the Texas summer. I’ll be back soon with a freezer stash! As always… enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!
Alright so we are halfway through the first month of the new year, and… wow. Things are already stressful, there is tension everywhere, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, get swept away with emotion, and drown in anxiety.
I have been going to counseling (for the third time in my life; no shame here) since March; I started going as a preventative measure before I had our second daughter, Selah, to help avoid postpartum depression/anxiety this time around. Then after the first two meetings with my new counselor, the world flipped upside down, and everything turned dark, a little scary, and a lot stressful. So on top of dealing with the stress of a new baby, I, like everyone, was dealing with the stress of current events, but my counselor advised me to really look at what I can control.
So what can I control to reduce my stress? Well, I can exercise because I know that when I move my body lovingly in a way that feels good to me (that is the key), those happy hormones will flood my brain and relieve some stress. I can make sure I don’t consume too much refined sugar, as I have found over the years that eating sugary treats will work against me by making my heart race and my stress rise. I can make sure that I feed myself and my family whole, healthy foods that will nourish us and make us feel happy and healthy (as always, with A Pinch of Crazy!), and this is really what got me through this week! Knowing that I am doing the best for my family to keep us all healthy, and make sure I’m doing what I can to reduce my stress.
On top of the upsetting news that is constantly swirling around us, this past week, my family got hit with that virus. I debated writing about this because I felt like I would get some backlash. However, at the start of the pandemic, with the professional advice from both my counselor and my midwife, we decided it would be unwise for me to self-isolate with a new baby. Due to my history with postpartum depression and anxiety, the best decision for me was to continue seeing my family, and I am so glad that I have! Both David and I have large families of origin (he has three siblings, I have four sisters, everyone’s married, and I can’t even add all the grandkids off the top of my head), so we figured eventually someone would catch the virus. It was David, my husband, but thankfully he is feeling fine now (though his smell is still slowly returning), and we finished up our quarantine yesterday.
So, yeah. All in all, a stressful start to 2021, but we had a fun snow day on Sunday, we are all healthy, and I feel thankful to control what I can. Please enjoy these happy snow day pictures to take your mind off your troubles! I hope this easy, yummy meal plan can give you some ideas for healing, healthy food for your family!
Here is what I had when taking my “kitchen inventory”:
Carbs- a little bit of brown rice, half a box of spaghetti noodles, a few packages of grits, oats
Protein- half a bag of frozen shrimp, ground beef, a little bit of Greek yogurt, nut butter, cheese, Cliff bars + Z bars, hummus
Starting with these few items, I made a menu for breakfasts, dinners, and snacks, then got my grocery order in. I ended up only planning for four dinners this week because my mom brought us a meal (which she just dropped on our porch while we said our masked hellos) on Tuesday since we had to miss out on my dad’s birthday dinner over the weekend.
Like I did last week (you can read last week’s plan here), I will share our meal plan with recipes and/or short directions, and any baby modifications necessary. We do baby led weaning, so while she typically eats what we do, sometimes there are modifications necessary, especially since Baby and I usually eat dairy free.
I am also trying to start implementing more of a schedule for meals and snacks with Z; otherwise she will want to eat snacks all day. I try and offer snacks that have protein and fat so that she feels fuller longer. I am always learning, and get excited to learn new things, about feeding these little ones!
Two resources that I have loved in regards to feeding my family healthy foods are Kids Eat in Color on Instagram, and the Doctor Moms Podcast (formerly known as “Whole Mamas Club”). Also from these wonderful health-minded moms, I have learned about some supplements, so while this is different from just a meal plan, I will also share the vitamins/supplements we were taking this week to get back to full health.
I hope you can find something that works for you and your family this week, take what works for you, leave what doesn’t. Enjoy!
Baked oatmeal again with blueberries, bananas, and almond butter
Greek yogurt with honey, cinnamon, granola, and berries
Breakfast burritos with eggs, cheese, avocado, and salsa (for our slower mornings… which were almost all of them due to quarantining)
Hummus again with pretzels, carrots, and cucumber slices (for Selah I spread her hummus on toast or meat)
Hard boiled eggs (sometimes serve with mayo and/or mustard for flavor and extra fat)
Cliff bars or Larabars for the grownups, Z bars for Z
Sandwiches with nitrate free turkey lunch meat or uncured ham
For Z’s school lunch this week (thankfully was the day after our quarantine ended!) I packed healthier vanilla wafers and strawberries for her snack, and for lunch a half a turkey sandwich, baby carrots, pretzels, and bunny fruit snacks
Monday: shrimp and grits *with cheese for those that could have it* and broccoli
Tuesday: meal from my mom plus any leftovers from the night before or weekend
Wednesday: spaghetti *I used this sauce recipe* with sautéed squash on the side
Thursday: black beans and brown rice with avocado and cilantro on top and guacamole with plantain chips *I wish I had this recipe posted, but I cook dry beans in the instant pot (after soaking) with broth and water, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and lots of spices*
Friday: burritos/burrito bowls using leftover beans, rice, guac, plus sautéed bell peppers and onions, and turkey taco meat *will cook this taco meat*
Saturday and Sunday: last week’s highlights 🙂 AKA leftovers
There you have it! Our meal plan for a family of four – three meals and two snacks a day – this week’s grocery store total came out to $97, which is really pretty good! I’ll see what I can get it down to next week.
As far as supplements and vitamins go, usually I like to rely on food as our medicine, but we have been taking these off and on for months now, but really consistently these last few weeks. I love the Garden of Life vitamins/supplements as they are made from only whole foods, so I will be linking those below:
Plenty of healthy food, limited dairy (increases mucous production) and refined sugar (lowers immune support), and outside time!!!
Thank you for following along with our meals and health journey this month. I am far from perfect and know I could always do things better, so I always enjoy learning more about health and food, but I love sharing with others some of the easy things we do in our home for our health. I truly hope this helps someone in some small way! Stay healthy, have fun cooking and caring for yourself and your family… and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!
This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no cost to you, just a small commission for me.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small pantry fund for me!
Taco ‘Bout a Rough Day
Do you ever have one of those days? One of those days filled with toddler tantrums and tears, time outs, a power outage during potty time, resulting in toddler pooping on the floor, then everyone just eats PB&Js on old bread for lunch, and you sweat (because of no power) and cry while rocking the little one to sleep, wondering if you can start the day over? Yeah…me neither, and those are absolutely not examples from my actual day today…
Just kidding. This has been my day today, combined with the stress of our upcoming move and transition out of the military, plus the mom guilt over not being gentler with Zemirah during these stressful times. Whew!
Praise the Lord we are all healthy and safe, but on these kinds of days, you just need a quick dinner to throw together. Giant stuffed potatoes are such an easy, filling, and cheap dinner that everyone loves, and these Taco Stuffed Potatoes have just the right amount of spice combined with all the comfort of a baked potato. Top them with Avocado Chipotle Ranch for extra creaminess with a kick! I love making homemade sauces when I can, but if you would like to buy some you can purchase some of my favorite Avocado Ranch here; which always comes in handy on those pinch of crazy days!
No matter what kind of day you’re having, these stuffed potatoes will put a smile on your face and warmth in your belly; I hope your family enjoys!
Hummus has gained popularity in the last few years as a healthy, good-for-you food, and it is! But at the risk of sounding like one of *those* people… “I was into hummus before it was popular”. Actually, though, hummus and I do go way back.
My grandmother, Elizabeth Aijian Munroe, was a first generation American whose parents fled Armenia to escape the Turks. Because of their traumatic experiences in Armenia, they wanted to raise their children as Americans not Armenians. So they spoke English in their home and did not keep many Armenian traditions…except food. While my sisters and I wish that we knew the Armenian language or some of the customs and traditions, we are all thankful we grew up with the tradition of Armenian hospitality and food.
As a child, we lived about 6 hours north of my grandparents so it was always quite the ordeal driving down to Mimi and Papa’s. Whenever we would arrive, Mimi would always, without a doubt, have out an appetizer spread which always included hummus. To be honest, I hated it as a kid. I would much rather eat the pita bread, Armenian cheese, and kalamata olives she’d set out. Now, however, I love hummus!
My Mimi and Papa were married for 64 years, and just last year, they passed on into eternity a mere 12 days apart. So now, I see hummus in a whole new light: a love of culture, food, and hosting loved ones in your home…all in one little dip. In fact, when I was making this hummus, Zemirah helped me squeeze the lemon juice and I felt a rush of emotions (and maybe my eyes watered a bit) and gratitude as I thought about the history and love in this little bean dip. I imagined my great-grandmother making hummus with my grandmother, my grandmother making hummus with my mom, my mom making hummus with me, and now, here I was, continuing on in the tradition.
This recipe is based on the one found in the cookbook, Armenian Cooking Today, which was gifted to me by my sweet mom, who was wise and kind enough to have herself and Mimi write notes in the margins. Food has such history, can tell incredibly vast, beautiful stories, and brings us all together to enjoy eating with ones we love. I hope this simple, healthy dish can bring some history and love to your table, too.
Classic Garlic Hummus
Serves 10-12. Delicious as a veggie or chip dip, or as a spread.
One 15 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/3 cup of olive oil
Juice of one lemon
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of salt
Water as needed
a drizzle of olive oil
a sprinkle of paprika
Combine chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil in blender
Blend until smooth
Add remaining ingredients
Blend until smooth
Adjust consistency with water if needed (I like mine thicker, but not too oily and heavy, which is why I use water)
Best if chilled overnight before serving
Garnish before serving, if desired
Thank you for letting me share a little about myself and my family. I hope you keep this easy hummus on hand for a quick snack or spread, but just be warned, you might want to pop a breath mint after eating it haha! Although, garlic is nature’s antibiotic, so eat up and stay healthy! Eat all the garlic…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!