Early Christmas present for you!

Hi guys, the Goodness Magazine has been very generous by passing on a gift to all of my followers. They giving you a free mini copy of the current December issue, that a few of my recipes appeared in.

The Goodness Mag FREE - Instagram & Facebook

In this mini issue you will find some delicious Christmas recipe ideas, including the Vegan Christmas Plate, Banana Hemp Nice Cream and Christmas Special Carrot Cake!

The Goodness Mag FREE - Instagram & Facebook2 (2)Just press this link below and view your free copy of my new favorite magazine for healthy mamas.

http://thegoodnessmag.com/FREE

 

 

Risotto with Shiitake Mushrooms, Sundried Tomatoes and Peas

A couple of days ago I finally received my copy of Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen. I didn’t even know Chloe Coscarelli had written another book, but as soon as I found out I added it to my Amazon order. I have a been a long time fan of Chloe and have previously bought and cooked recipes from her other books, Chloe’s Kitchen and Chloe’s Vegan Desserts.

I am really excited about this new book because it combines my two favorite things, italian food and guilt free delicious vegan recipes. You probably noticed on my blog that I have many Italian inspired recipes that are recreations of the food I grew up with and other traditional dishes that I have eaten in Italy or always wanted to try. So I am so excited to get some ideas on how to better veganise my favourite recipes.

You can see a sneak peak of Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen on Amazon and Google Books.

Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen: My Vegan MoFo Cookbook of the Week

This recipe below was adapted from Chloe’s White Wine Risotto with Shiitake Mushrooms and Peas from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen. I used dried shiitake mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in mine. Both have really strong flavours that really shone through. Marco was a bit scared when he saw the shiitake mushrooms, but he ended up being really happy with the taste of this risotto and wanted to have the leftovers for lunch the next day.

DSC03179Risotto with Shiitake Mushrooms, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Peas (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

6 cups vegetable liquid stock

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (soak for 10 minutes and slice in strips if large pieces)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup chopped fresh italian parsley

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

ground black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Take medium pot and heat the liquid stock.  Leave it on a simmer while you start cooking the rest of the recipe.

2. Take a large skillet and heat olive oil on medium to high heat. Then add the onion and shiitake mushrooms. Saute until the onions have softened and are translucent.

3. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Saute for 1 minute so that the garlic is fragrant.

4. Add the rice and the white wine. Stir through and cook until the white wine has been absorb.

5. Begin to ladle about one cup at a time of liquid stock into the skillet. Stir frequently. Add another ladle of liquid stock once the first has been absorbed and continue until the rice is cooked and there is no more stock. This should take about 20-25 minutes.

6. Add the peas, italian parsley, sea salt and ground black pepper. Stir through until the peas are warmed through. Adjust seasoning if you need and then serve.

*Serves 4

DSC03183So far I have made a couple more dishes from my new favorite cook book. Last night I made Lemon Herb Cannellini Beans (Cannellini all erbe e limone) with Spinach and Mash Potatoes with Garlic and Sea Salt (Purè di patate con aglio e sale marino).  This was the most delicious creamy, cheezy bean dish I have ever had and was really simple and quick to make. The main ingredients are cannellini beans, garlic, nutritional yeast, plant milk and lemon juice. The Mash Potatoes were also really creamy and delicious thanks to the fresh garlic and plant milk.

For dessert I made Olive Oil Pancakes (Frittelle all’olio di oliva). I’ve never cooked pancakes with olive oil and I usually don’t use that much baking soda, but they came out so fluffy and delicious. For a recipe with only 5 ingredients I was really happy with the results and so was Marco. Usually he lathers his pancakes with nutella, but was content with natural maple syrup. Can’t wait to serve this the next time the mini-Marco’s come to visit.

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The Goodness Magazine

Live Blissful has been featured in the December issue of The Goodness Magazine, #1 magazine for Healthy Mamas! Recipes from my blog have been shared by many other websites and blogs, but this is the first time I have been featured in a magazine. To say that I am happy is an understatement. I am so excited to be recognised by such a gorgeous upcoming online magazine, alongside other healthy foodies and nutritionists from around the world.

The Goodness Magazine was started by two creative individuals, Bamik and Nathan. This magazine is a testament to their journey, in which they learned about nutrition and the power of food,  overcame their struggle start a family, and connected with many inspirational people who shared their passion for healthy living. Their magazine won’t only entice you with delicious wholesome food, but also shares home ideas and connects the readers with like-minded families from around the world.

The Goodness Mag Issue 6 - Dec - Cover

The December issue features an interview with the beautiful Laurentine ten Bosch, director and producer of Food Matters and a recipe from the passionate paleo chef Pete Evans. As well as many more great Christmas recipe ideas and how to eat well over the holiday season.

I am also featured on two pages in the goodness bites and goodness treats sections. There is a small bio about me and few of my recipes including my Carrot Ginger Mojito, Raw Chocolate Banana Pudding and Mixed Berry Pudding with Ginger Snap Base.

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I would like to thank The Goodness Magazine so much for the opportunity to appear in their stunning magazine. After a hard year it was nice surprise, which has re-inspired me to get back to doing what I love and end the year an even better note.

If you would like to subscribe to this magazine you can do so at  the App Store or Google Play Store. You can also have a 7 day free trial via both of these stores. The magazine is available from any device including iPad, iPhone, computer, laptop or Andriod device.

Hope you like this magazine as much as I do!

Great Northern Bean Casserole with Sliced Potato Topping

Last night I really felt like a flavoursome, creamy beany casserole with potatoes. I knew exactly what I wanted but couldn’t find a similar recipe to get some ideas. I also needed to use the opened unsweetened soy milk that was on its last legs and some great northern beans I had cooked up that afternoon. So this is what I came up with. I probably shouldn’t of started cooking at 7pm but it was worth the wait. Marco loved this dish so much. He was even happy to eat it again for his next two home-made work lunches.

What’s your favourite vegan bean casserole?

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Great Northern Bean Casserole with Sliced Potato Topping (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients for Casserole:

1 cup great northern beans, soak for 8 hours or overnight or 2.5-3 cups cooked beans

1 medium brown onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 celery sticks, diced

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup white wine

1 teaspoon sweet hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

sea salt

2 cups vegan chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup unsweetened soy milk

3 tablespoons arrowroot flour

Ingredients for Potato Topping:

4 medium potatoes, peeled

sea salt

olive oil

black pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves

Method:

1. First place the soaked beans in 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil, then place on a simmer and cook for 40-60 minutes or until tender. While the beans are cooking skim the foam of the top of the water. Once the beans are cooked drain the water and leave to the side to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

3. Place the potatoes in a medium pot with water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring the water to the boil and cook for 10-15 minutes. Afterwards drain the potatoes and leave to cool down.

4. Take a large oven safe skillet and heat the olive oil on medium heat. Then add onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

5. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

6. Add the white wine, tomatoes, hungarian paprika, mixed herbs and half teaspoon of sea salt. Stir through and allow the wine to absorb into the vegetables. This should take about 5 minutes.

7. Add vegan chicken stock, soy milk and great northern beans. Bring to the boil, then leave on a simmer for 20 minutes. While its cooking add the arrowroot flour and stir frequently while it thickens up.

8. In the meantime slice the potatoes into rounds and leave to the side.

9. Take the skillet off the heat and top with the sliced potatoes. Start from the outside and then work your way in.

10. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season with sea salt, black pepper and thyme leaves.

11. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then if place the oven on grill and brown the tops of the potatoes for 5 minutes before serving.

*Serves 6 as a main

*I recommend serving this casserole with steamed vegetables or a fresh salad

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Delicious leftovers for a hungry pregnant woman…

DSC03155Like this recipe? Then you might also like my…

Cottage pie with  Borlotti beans and Porcini mushrooms

Cottage pie with Borlotti beans and Porcini mushrooms

Kidney Bean and Vegetable Stew with Cheddar Dumplings Topping

Kidney Bean and Vegetable Stew with Cheddar Dumplings Topping

 

Tempeh in a Tomato Red wine Sauce with Spaghetti

I have had the worse flu this past week. I haven’t been this sick in over a year. I never take medication for the flu or get the flu shot and and normally I’m only sick for a couple of days. This time however it has been  a lot harder for my body to spring back from. Perhaps because I’m pregnant. But slowly I’m getting better and less reliant on my tissue box.

So I haven’t been that inspired in the kitchen this past week. Today I was feeling a little better so I tried to create a delicious tempeh dish that Marco would actually eat. Marco hates tempeh with a passion. So I haven’t cook it in a while. Luckily I took a gamble today and he actually enjoyed lunch.

Tempeh Piccata from Chloe's Kitchen (Chloe Coscarelli)

I was inspired by Chef Chloe’s Tempeh Piccata that I made a while ago. I absolutely loved that dish. But haven’t made it again after the reaction I got from Marco and his mother. I assured them they would like it but they really didn’t. They aren’t big fans of capers or acidic flavors which I think made it a lot worse. I wanted to try making something similar but with a tomato based sauce with lots of flavor so that no one knew they were eating tempeh. Marco’s dad certainly didn’t know what he was eating. He asked what meat is this and then asked that I leave him some for dinner. So it was a tempeh success!

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Tempeh in Tomato Red wine Sauce with Spaghetti (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

olive oil

300g tempeh, sliced into thin triangular pieces (I used Nutrisoy Organic Tasty Tempeh)

1 small red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup red wine

2 tomatoes, diced

sea salt and black pepper to taste

250ml good quality tomato pasta sauce (I used Aldi’s Just Organic Basil and Garlic Pasta Sauce)

250ml filtered water

4 serves of spaghetti to serve

Method:

1. Take a large heavy based pan and heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium. In batches brown the tempeh on each side. Remove from the pan and leave to the side.

2. Add some more olive oil and then add red onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes and once it starts to brown add the sun-dried tomatoes and saute for a couple more minutes.

3. Add 1/4 cup of red wine to the pan. Once it has been absorbed, return the tempeh to the pan, add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and another 1/4 cup of red wine.

4. Once most of the wine has been absorbed add tomato pasta sauce and water. Allow it to come to a lite boil, then leave on a simmer for at least 10 minutes or until the pasta is ready. If it starts to dry out add some pasta water to the sauce.

5. Cook the pasta according to packet directions and serve with the sauce.

* Serves 4

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Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Stew

One of the first macrobiotic dishes I ever tried was Adzuki beans with Squash. I remember the first time I made this dish my family and our international students really didn’t like the look of this dish. They thought I was a bit crazy to put these ingredients together and refused to try it. I guess back then I thought it was a bit weird too, but we have all come along way since then. This time I decided to spice this dish up a bit with some additional ground spices and more veggies. It is a very hearty nourishing dish, which pairs well with steamed brown rice.

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Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Stew (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

filtered water

1 cup dry adzuki beans

1″ x 1″  dry kombu

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small brown onion, sliced thin

1 garlic, diced

1 medium carrot, sliced thin in half moons

1 leek, white parts only, sliced thin in half moons

1 celery, sliced thin

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon himalayan sea salt

4 cups pumpkin, remove skin (optional) and chopped into large chunks (I used kent, but you can use kabocha or butternut pumpkin if you prefer)

1 tablespoon tamari or shoyu

Method:

1. Soak the adzuki beans overnight with filtered water and kombu.

2. Drain the beans and place the adzuki beans and kombu in a pot with some fresh filtered water. Bring to the boil, then cover on a low heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until the beans are cooked. Then strain and leave to the side.

3. Heat olive oil in pot or large pan. Then add onion and garlic. Cook on a medium to low heat for 4-5 minutes until they have browned.

4. Add the carrot, leek and celery and cook for a further few minutes, until they begin to soften.

5. Add the ground cumin, ground sweet paprika, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and himalayan sea salt. Stir through the vegetables and cook for another minute or until the spices are fragrant.

6. Add pumpkin and a cup of water. Bring to the boil, then leave on a simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked.

7. Add the aduki beans and tamari. Cook for a further 5 minutes and then serve.

*Serves 4

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Sweet potato, Red Lentil and Piquillo Pepper Soup

Soup again tonight! After 43 degrees over the weekend, it has really cooled down here, especially in the evening. So I thought I’d get my soup fix in before summer really arrives. This soup is thick, creamy and has a smoky spicy kick. Exactly what I needed to keep me and bub nice and warm.

DSC03024Sweet potato, Red Lentil and Piquillo Pepper Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

3 medium sweet potato, cut in to cubes (about 6 cups)

olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup red lentils

5 cups vegetable stock (1/2 cup water)

8 roasted piquillo peppers, plus more to garnish (or 4 roasted capsicums)

1  teaspoon liquid smoke

cayenne pepper to taste

sea salt to taste

natural coconut yoghurt (or savoury soy yoghurt) to garnish

black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

2. Place sweet potato on a tray, drizzle with some olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes or until cooked.

3. In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and then add the onion and garlic. Saute for 4 minutes or until translucent.

4. Add the cumin, ginger, cinnamon to the pot. Sauté for 1 minute or until the the spices are fragrant.

5. Add the red lentils and 1 cup of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then put on a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Add 1/2 cup water if too dry.

6. Place the roasted sweet potato, red lentils, piquillo peppers and 1 cup of vegetable stock in a Vitamix or blender and blend till smooth. You may need to do in 2 batches. Alternatively you can place all the ingredients in the pot and use a bar mix to blend.

7. Return the ingredients from the Vitamix to the pot. Add 3 cups of vegetable stock, liquid smoke, cayenne pepper and sea salt and stir through. Bring to the pot to the boil, then place on a simmer, season with more sea salt if you need before serving.

8. Serve the soup topped with natural coconut yoghurt, ribbons of piquillo peppers, black pepper and drizzle some olive oil.

*Serves 4-6

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Second trimester so far (Week 20)

I’ve finally made it to my pregnancy half way mark! It’s week 20 already and I can’t believe how quick time has gone. Ever since I hit week 13 I immediately felt so much better. No more nausea, food aversion drastically improved, no more constipation or breast soreness and I was way less tired. I was feeling almost too good that I didn’t know if I was still pregnant. I barely had put on much weight either. By week 16 I finally had my first appointment the birth centre, where Marco and I got to hear the baby’s heart beat for the first time. I couldn’t believe how fast it was in comparison to mine. I had only put on an extra 2.5 kg by that stage and was getting a bit concerned that my appetite hadn’t improved. However my tummy has continued to grow and by week 18 everything changed. I suddenly started to needed to snack between meals and felt the baby kicked me for the first time. I wasn’t sure at first that it was the baby but over the past couple of weeks I find that my baby has become more active in the evenings and early morning. My little one had decided that stretching out diagonally is the most comfortable position, since my stomach usually sticking out to the right. Since the baby has started kicking so much I have become an eating machine. I am constantly hungry, that my stomach growls if I don’t give into my hunger straight away. Below you can see the growth of my tummy. I was really confused why I my tummy looked so big in the photos and not in real life. Marco assured me that yes the camera wasn’t lying and then I realised a few weeks ago that I have a skinny mirror in my bathroom.

16 weeks 5 days

18 Weeks

18 Weeks

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20 weeks 2 days

20 weeks 2 days

20 weeks 2 days

Today we went for our long awaited 20 week morphology scan.  Since I opted to not get down syndrome screening, I haven’t seen the baby since it was only a little sesame seed at 7 weeks. In fact I haven’t even seen the doctor or had thorough appointment with the birth centre. So you can imagine how excited I have been for this appointment. I had trusted my body that I would produce a healthy baby and all would be well. But I found myself feeling increasingly nervous during the ultrasound that something might be wrong.  So I am delighted to say that according to the sonographer the baby appeared to be completely healthy. We also asked to find out the sex of the baby. Until now we have just been calling it Peanut, so I am happy to start referring to it as a her. That’s right I am having a girl! Well of course its not 100 percent until I see her again when she is born. But I am very happy that I should be having a little girl in 4 more months. To be honest I really did want a girl from the beginning but when I started to feel the kicking I wasn’t too fussed. Marco just wanted a healthy baby from the beginning and didn’t understand why I had such a strong preference. I guess I just really wanted a mini me.

Its a Girl

Over the past two weeks I have been trying to track everything that I eat. In the past when I was trying to loose weight or make health changes I tried to writing down everything I ate. It really did help me keep on track and to see where I was going wrong. I really wanted to make sure that I was giving the baby as much variety, as well as different flavour threads to enjoy. In the first week I managed to eat 58 different foods and 5 flavour threads (Italian, Indian, Mexican, Thai, Turkish). Last week I managed to up that to 75 different foods with 3 flavour threads (Italian, Japanese, Mexican). I am really happy with this improvement with my diet and hoping the baby is enjoying all the different flavours through her amniotic fluid. I have also been adding juices and smoothies back into my routine. I haven’t been able to get fresh organic apples for a few weeks now so I decided to make a juice with the abundance of oranges that I order every week. My favourite juice at the moment is Orange, Carrot and Ginger. Marco is also a really big fan, even though he’s not a big juice fanatic. It went down really well after the crazy heat wave we had yesturday in Brisbane. Can you believe it was 43 degrees celsius! Only 2 days before I was wearing cardigans and sleeping with a douna… DSC02989 Orange, Carrot and Ginger Juice

Ingredients:

2 oranges, skin removed and sliced in quarter

2 carrots, washed and sliced

1 knob of ginger, washed

Method:

1. Place all the ingredients in a cold press juice and enjoy!

*Serves 1

Another fanatic recipe that got me through first trimester nausea was Ginger Lemon Tea. My naturopath actually told me about it and it was really easy to make. It also lasts for ages as the lemon preserves that ginger.

http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/delicious-drinks-support-your-immunity/rise-and-shine Morning Sickness Ginger Lemon Tea

Ingredients:

1 knob of ginger

1/2 lemon, skin removed and sliced in half

filtered water

agave, honey or other natural sweetner to taste (optional)

Method:

1. Place the ginger and lemon in a cold press juicer. This should make about 100ml, so store the rest in an airtight container.

2. Add 1-2 teaspoons of the ginger lemon juice to a cup with some boiled water. Add sweetener if you like and enjoy.

Cream of Broccoli and Potato Soup

One of my favourite soups in recent times is broccoli soup. I usually add at least one potato for creaminess and then let the Vitamix do most the work. This is not one of Marco’s favourites. I usually threaten him with my broccoli soup when I don’t feel like cooking so that he will go pick up some Thai. However he really liked this recipe. He was a bit apprehensive at first but thoroughly enjoyed it. The cashews give an extra creaminess that was missing without the cream. I promise  your family won’t know this recipe is dairy free when you use cashew cream.

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Cream of Broccoli and Potato Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews, pre-soak for an hour if you can

1/4 filtered water (plus 2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 medium dutch cream potatoes, chopped in cubes

1 medium broccoli head, roughly chopped (include the stem and leaves)

3 cups vegetable stock

sea salt and black pepper

hemp seeds and nutritional yeast to serve

Method:

1. If you haven’t already pre-soaked the cashews, then place them in a small pot of water and boil for 10 minutes to soften.

2. Place cashews in a high speed blender with 1/4 cup of water. Add more water if the consistency is too thick. Scrap out of the blender and leave to the side. No need to clean the blender.

3. Place the potatoes in the steam and steam for 15 minutes.

4. Place the broccoli in with the potatoes and steam for an additional 5 minutes or until cooked.

5. In the meantime heat a large pot with olive oil, then add the onions and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

6. Place onions, garlic, potatoes, broccoli and 2 cups of vegetable stock in the high speed blender. Blend until smooth.

7. Add the blended ingredients back to the pot and place on a medium heat.

8. Add the cashew cream (leave some for garnish later) and 1 cup of vegetable stock to the pot and heat through.

9. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

10. Serve with a teaspoon of cashew cream, hemp seeds and nutritional yeast.

*Serves 3 large serves or 4 medium

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First Trimester

Although I’m already 19 weeks pregnant I thought I would share some of my experiences from my first trimester. Looking back now it feels so good to be past this period of my pregnancy. I really had no idea what I was in for, but it was still worth it, even if it didn’t feel so much at the time.

Just before I found out I was pregnant I was going through a major transition in my life. After my father’s death I decided I needed a fresh start. I applied for post graduate studies and finally worked up the courage to quit my job. I had also convinced my darling Marco that yes I was going to get an amazing new job to help pay our home loan  and renovating costs for our new dream kitchen. I still wanted to have a baby, but I thought I could get a jump start on making these changes and then I would be ready. At the time I had also been told by my doctor, psychologist and naturopath that I should wait a little longer till I tried to get pregnant. They were worried that it wasn’t a good time for me and were all convinced that I wouldn’t be able to fall pregnant anyway due to the stress I had been under the past few months. So I took their advice… Well by the time I did there was already a little person growing inside me.

Three days after quitting my job, Marco suggested that I take a pregnancy test (5th August). I didn’t think I could be pregnant, but he thought something strange was going on with me. I started smelling foods in the house that weren’t there. Fairy floss, fish and chips, spaghetti bolognese. I didn’t realise at the time but these phantom smells were my childhood favourites foods.  Something else that also convinced Marco that I could be pregnant was my increasingly large breasts. I didn’t think much off it. Yes my period was late and my breasts were enlarged, but I had a really irregular cycle that I had only just started tracking for my doctor in recent months. Was it always this irregular? I’m not really sure but we just assumed it was due to stress. I usually tracked my period by the increased size of my breasts a couple of days before it was due. The only really strange thing was that my nipples were so sore that I felt like had been breast feeding. This was not a sensation that I had ever  felt before. Anyway so after breakfast and delicious coffee we took a trip to the chemist and bought a test.

In preparation for the pregnancy tests I had to drink a lot of water. I usually have a pretty weak bladder, but for some reason after 2 litres of water nothing was happening. It was like my bladder was too scared to tell me the answer. After an hour of waiting it finally happened. After taking so many pregnancy tests in the months before the last thing I expected was to see two purple lines. I flew down the stairs and told Marco the good news. To my surprise he was really, really happy. He just couldn’t stop smiling and neither could I. So after we calmed down a little from all the excitement I booked myself a doctors appointment and messaged my naturopath.

Pregnancy Test 2 (2)

About a week later we got the confirmation that we really were pregnant. The doctor assumed we were six weeks, but I needed an ultrasound to confirm the age of the fetus. So next we were off to the radiologist and got to see our little baby for the first time. We couldn’t believe how tiny it was, only about as big as a sesame seed. At the date of the scan our little baby was 7 weeks and 3 days.

Baby 7 weeks and 3 days (2)As soon as I found out I was pregnant I made a few changes straight away. I stopped taking my happy herbal tonic and gave up coffee. I also began monitoring what I was eating, so that I made sure I was getting a good combination of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. Within the week I began taking a new lot of special supplements for the baby’s nutrition.

First trimester symptoms started pretty much as soon I as found out I was 6 weeks pregnant. On top of terrible coffee withdrawal migraines, I began having all day morning sickness. This led to severe food aversion. The only thing I could really eat was bread and avocado. The thought of anything else made me want to throw up. The smell of coffee or the thought of a healthy green juice also turned my stomach. I also couldn’t cook. Just chopping a vegetable made me sick. Unfortunately being the only person in this house that can cook I was forced to suck it up and made lunches and dinner for Marco and his father. Other first trimester symptoms included falling asleep by midday,  feeling dizzy when I got up from sitting down, getting fatigued from walking up the stairs, headaches, waking up 5 times per night, going to the toilet every 20 minutes, terrible constipation and a strange rash on my back.  Feeling so terrible really took the excitement out of being pregnant. I didn’t realise that the first trimester comes at you so hard and fast. On the upside my skin looked amazing. I stopped wearing make up all together.

By week 11 I started to feel a little bit better. I had began eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and I could last until about 2pm before going for a nap. Most of my extended family found out I was pregnant by this stage as well. My mother was so excited that it just kept ‘slipping out’. I busting to tell people as well but I was scared of an early miscarriage so I tried to hold my tongue.

On week 12 I took a trip down to Melbourne for a couple of family birthdays. It was there that I finally cracks and ate animal products. I had previously spoken to my naturopath about my limited diet and she suggested that I include a few clean animal products in my diet so that my baby would get some protein. I was completely off beans and grains so I was scared off the effect my diet had on my baby. My family also didn’t know what to make for  me and I could tell they found my diet a little bit annoying. I bought some hummus and tofu, which I was eating at just about every meal with some bread and avocado. Anyway it was the slow cooked lamb shanks and cannoli that made me give me. I had been craving meat like crazy for weeks, probably due to the lack of iron in my diet. So as bad as I felt I also felt a lot better. I didn’t give in to the home-made chicken schnitzel though, which was hard watching everyone enjoy it.

While I was down there, mum and I did go a bit crazy on baby clothes. I discovered the Purebaby factory outlet and tried to buy as much unisex baby clothes as I could. Purebaby is an organic baby clothing brand that also don’t use any harsh chemicals or dye. The clothes are so adorable, well made and affordable.

By week 13 I had arrived back from Melbourne. So Marco and I got some baby announcement photos taken by my mother’s partner, Ted. It felt so good to finally announce to the world that I was pregnant. Although I wasn’t showing too much I still felt the need to tell even strangers that I was pregnant. I was also on a high because I found out I had been accepted by Brisbane’s only mid-wife led birthing centres. It is still in the hospital, but is designed for women who want to have completely natural births with only a midwife present. I was considering a home birth since I didn’t want to give birth in a hospital. But this was a good compromise that made Marco and my mother feel a lot better.

I’m back and I’ve got some news…

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As much as the first trimester felt like it was going to last forever it has gone past really quick. I was scared that I was going to be one of the few that continue morning sickness throughout the pregnancy but by week 13 everything changed. I still had food aversion but the nausea was completely gone. When I did start to feel better I was a little sad that I didn’t feel so pregnant anymore.

During this period I was also at university doing Post-grad Museum Studies. Studying was really hard with baby brain and headaches. I found it hard to focus on what my lecture was saying or retain much information. Luckily I had only enrolled into one subject, so I was able to take my time for all of the assignments. In the end I was really happy in what I achieved. I got really good grades and successful put together an extensive museum exhibition proposal. So all in all I really enjoyed this short period of my life.