Baby Dominguez: Weeks 24, 25 and 26

Second Trimester: In addition to my weekly pregnancy update, I am going to talk about dealing with work stress while pregnant, starting a registry and healthy remedies for heartburn issues related to pregnancy.

Baby’s Growth:

Week 24: Baby is the length of an eggplant!

week-24

Week 25: Baby is the size of a baseball glove!

week-26

Week 26:  Baby is the length of a butternut squash!

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How am I feeling?

I am feeling pretty good except everything I eat gives me heartburn 😦 I eliminated coffee and chocolate from my diet which helped a lot. And a friend of mine gave me a recipe concoction for heartburn which is just a glass of water mixed with a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV) and let me tell you it has worked wonders!! ACV has so many healing benefits and powerful compounds that aid in acid reflux, lower blood pressure, improve diabetes, and support weight loss. It’s a remedy for just about everything! Here is an interesting article if you are curious about learning more:
20 unique uses for ACV.

heartburn

There was one day where I must have contracted a GI bug because I threw up everything I ate! It was miserable. I was starving but couldn’t eat or else I would throw up. Luckily it lasted only 24 hours so I made sure to drink lots of water and fluids and got lots of rest.

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Weight Gained:

I have only gained one pound these past few weeks which means I’ve gained a total of 17 pounds. My baby is getting bigger and bigger each week and I can actually feel my stomach stretching.

Pregnancy and Work:

These past few weeks have been a little rough. Two out of the three people in my department have been out unexpectedly with medical issues this month and this happens to be the busiest time of year for our department. Fortunately, other staff members have helped out tremendously but I have been heavily burdened with taking over some of the more specialized tasks that my boss handles while dealing with my already heavy work load.Working late hours and under high stress is no fun when you are exhausted and pregnant!

The most important thing is that my co-workers are doing fine and they were able to come back to work after the New Year. I am glad that I was healthy enough to get us through the holidays and hold down the fort while they were out.

I coped with the stress by rubbing my tummy and humming a little melody to my baby anytime I felt bad. I would also take some time for myself and go for walks in the afternoon and late evening after work. At night, I would sing Christmas songs and practice singing lullabies to my little man while I lay in bed because I read that he can hear my voice so I would sing him some soothing melodies before bedtime. Here is a good article that I read that helped me cope with work stress: Work Stress During Pregnancy.

Milestones:

My husband and I were able to feel our baby’s first kick together. We were laying on the couch one morning on the weekend watching a soccer match and the baby was really active so I placed his hands on my tummy. He love it and was so excited. I am so glad that he can feel his movements and join in on the fun 🙂

Purchases:

We got a crib!! My mother bought it for me as a gift. It’s a convertible crib that converts to a toddler bed and a twin bed as the baby gets older.I think it’s perfect!

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Nesting Situation:

My husband and I have been getting rid of a lot of stuff in our house. Right after the holidays, we cleaned out the office, garage, bathrooms, and old guest room (which is now the nursery) so I’ve been able to visualize and prepare the baby’s room which makes me very happy 🙂

We also went to buy buy Baby and started a registry. The staff there was so helpful to us. They helped us pick out a stroller and offered their suggestions on other useful nursery items like white noise machines, types of baby bottles, a diaper genie and other baby gear. They also gave me a swag bag with free samples and coupons which was really nice. We also registered on Amazon.com and have been getting a lot of good recommendations from friends. Lucie’s List has also been very helpful to me recommended baby products and registry basics when I do my online research 🙂

Thoughts about my baby:

I had a dream about my little man! In my dream I was home cooking dinner and he just appeared in my life so I fed him, changed his diaper and soothed him back to sleep. I remember holding him in my arms and feeling him fall asleep on my shoulder and he telepathically told me that he loves me and thanked me for taking for taking such good care of him. It was such a wonderful dream. I feel like we have already met so now I am just waiting to get more acquainted with little man after he arrives.

Top concerns:

I really don’t have too many concerns right now. Everyone has been so supportive to me throughout my pregnancy. My family, friends and co-workers and even strangers. Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed when I think of everything I have to do at home and at work to get ready for baby but I am just trying to take it one week at a time and go at my own pace.

Joys:

My husband, family, friends and my doggies are my greatest joys. They bring so much happiness and positivism to my life that I don’t know what I would do without them.

One of my Mama friends recently gave me all of her professional and casual maternity wear! I was so grateful. This makes getting ready in the morning so much easier for me. I’ve got plenty of options now for dresses, pants and tops and I don’t have to go buying all these maternity clothes for myself now which is nice because they are expensive. I love it when Mamas help out other Mamas and I look forward to returning the favor.

Names?

We have some names picked out but I don’t think I will know for sure until I see my baby after delivery. I will tell you that so far my husband and I are a fan of names that start with the letter “M”.

Last visit to OB/GYN:

I was told that Baby is a half pound over the average size/weight of babies around this time in their gestational age. I don’t know why that it is but I don’t think that’s too bad.  I think that every pregnancy is different and my baby is just the size he needs to be.

I took a glucose test to see how I digest sugar and to test for gestational diabetes. I will know the results in five business days. Normally I would be very worried because I am a worrier but worrying doesn’t do anything so I am going to just wait. I feel like everything is fine but I look forward to hearing the results. I will take any action necessary in order to ensure mine and my baby’s health.

Looking forward to:

Putting up the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas songs, baking some goodies and to next year at Christmas where there will be a little person crawling around the house wearing Christmas onesies!

Final Thoughts:

As I am nearing the end of my second trimester, it seems like my pregnancy is going by so fast. My baby will be here very soon and it won’t be about me taking care of him in my belly anymore. He will be here in my home living and breathing and depending on me and his Dad for survival. I have all the faith in the world that my hubs and I will take good care of our little bundle. I have never been so ready for something in my entire life.

 

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Bond and Smolders Artisan Bakery

Hello and Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I had some pretty cool and spontaneous foodie adventures  over the weekend that this Taurus girl would love to share with you 🙂

One in particular occurred on Sunday morning. I got up early to walk and feed the dogs then headed out to the local Farmer’s Market and also thought that I would surprise my husband by picking up a yummy breakfast for the two of us.

I remembered reading an article in the New Times about a bakery that opened up sometime in the late summer/early fall last year called Bond and Smolders that sells donuts and pastries. I’ve heard rave reviews about this place so I decided to stop by and check it out since it was right around the corner from the Farmer’s Market.

As soon as I walked in, I knew I was in for a treat! I was greeted by a friendly woman at the counter who was decorating these ginormous magnificent looking homemade donuts! I saw labels next to them like maple bacon, smores galore, red velvet, peanut butter cup and nutella. They smelled fresh and looked amazing!


Although the donuts looked delicious, I really wasn’t in the mood for sweets so I continued perusing the counter top and marveled at the large variety of croissants, artisan breads, brioche, muffins, cookies, pastries and vegan baked goods that were on display 🙂

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I ended up ordering the Sultan’s Hat for myself which is made with potatoes, goat cheese,spinach and carmelized onion (below left photo) and the Madame Croque for the hubs which is  a grilled ham and swiss breakfast sammie topped with an egg and bechmel sauce on top (right photo below). They were both divine and kept us full for the entire day.

The gentleman who took my order was super nice and helpful. Since this was my first visit, he took me through the menu that was posted up on the wall so that I could familiarize myself with all of their additional breakfast options. They have quiches, salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit bowls and a wide array of coffee, juices and teas. This place should really be called Heaven!

bond smolders menu

I ordered a cup of coffee while I waited for our order which only took about 10 minutes. The coffee was great and they let you prepare it the way you want to at their little coffee station which is equipped with high-quality honey, raw sugar, cream and milk. As I sat down, I noticed how big and industrial the place looked which you may not expect when you’re looking at it from the outside. There is minimal décor but it has a very comfy and homey feel to it with plenty of seating. I read the paper while I drank my coffee and took note of the families and the younger and older couples who were all sitting down together, enjoying their meals, and receiving very friendly, down to earth service. I kinda wished that I was staying and not ordering my food to go. Oh well. There will definitely be a next time 🙂

There is something very unique and special about this place and I can’t wait to go back with my husband, friends, and family.


Bond and Smolders is located at 1622 Federal Highway (on the southeast corner of Woolbright and Federal) in Boynton Beach and is partnered with Nani’s Dough the baker and creator behind  the beautiful hand crafted donuts.  You can check both places out on Instagram and Facebook as well. If you are in the area or even if you live far way, I would definitely make the trip over there. It is totally worth it!!

Stay tuned for more local foodie adventures!!

Tata for now!

XO,
Mrs. Nice Girl

Moroccan Style Cauliflower Rice

You know when you open up a cookbook and it immediately opens up to the page with your favorite recipe?? Well I think I’ve trained my newest cookbook to do just that because lately I find myself going to this recipe page A LOT.

I just purchased a new cookbook entitled “Go With Your Gut” by Robyn Youkilis. This book contains tips on banishing bloat and healthier eating habits. It also has seventy-five digestion-friendly recipes with beautiful pictures. Pick it up sometime. You will love it!!

After following her guidebook over the past two weeks, I’ve noticed some positive changes with my digestion issues. I have been able to recognize proper hunger cues, when my belly is full (not stuffed),  I have more energy and I don’t crave crappy food. I also lost 5 pounds! Yaayyy!!!

Her recipes are delicious, unique but easy to follow and make my belly very happy. I picked this book up at a local bookstore but you can also find it on Amazon.

go with your gut

Below is a recipe that I got from her book for Moroccan Style Cauliflower Rice. I’ve always loved Moroccan food ever since I visited Morocco back in 2006. For some reason, I’ve always had a hard time finding Moroccan style cookbooks. So when I saw this recipe in her book I had to make it for my husband and I. The combination of sweet, spicy and nutty flavors was on point and even better as a leftover meal.

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Ingredients:
1 head organic cauliflower
1 cup diced white or yellow onion
½ cup diced carrot
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup of golden or regular raisins
2 TBSP chopped fresh chive
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 Cup of veggie broth
2 TBSP coconut oil
2 tsp of orange zest
½ tsp of cayenne

Directions:
1) Break down the head of cauliflower into large florets. Chop the florets into small pieces and then pulse them in a food processor until they reach a rice-like texture. Do not overchop!  Set the riced cauliflower aside. (I usually make my cauliflower rice in advance and either store it in the freezer for two weeks or in the fridge for up to four days.)

2) Preheat a large skillet over low to medium heat and melt two tablespoons of coconut oil. Gently sauté the nuts for 2 minutes to 3 minutes. (You want a golden color and fragrant aroma).

3) Add the diced onion, carrot and cinnamon and stir well, cooking for three minutes.

4) Add the cauliflower rice to the pan and continue sautéing for one minute.

5) Add the vegetable stock, raisins, orange zest, and cayenne pepper and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

6) Garnish with the fresh chives and enjoy!!

 

 

Cleansing Green Smoothie

Hello and Good morning! Happy first day of the weekend 🙂

I love waking up early on a weekend with no agenda and no place to rush off to. Although I am an early riser, my mornings still feel rushed and hectic during the week with little time to enjoy the quiet of the morning.  This morning I cuddled with my doggies in bed for a bit before going out for our morning walk.

I absolutely love our morning walks! It’s such a wonderful way to start the day. Sometimes if we’re lucky, there is a cool morning breeze that lets us enjoy our walks more before the heat and mugginess hit us.  Unfortunately that was not the case during this morning’s walk, but that’s OK. We know where the shady spots are and we find ways to stay out of the heat.

After coming in from a hot walk outside, the last thing I wanted was my usual hot mug of coffee. My body was craving something cool and refreshing so I made a Cleansing Green Smoothie! I posted the recipe below and a youtube video (<==== click here) on how to make it. The video features Katherine Nilibrink from Life Trekk.com where I got the inspiration for this delightful concoction.

Fresh Mint
Fresh Parsley
Ginger (I love ginger so I used a 1/2 inch knob)
Pineapple (you can also use green apple or grapefruit)
1 Lime
Kale
1 Celery Stick
1 Cucumber
1/2 Tablespoon of Spirulina
1 Cup of Water
Ice (optional)

 

I blended all of the ingredients with my Ninja Blender for a little over a minute and then poured the smoothie into two mason jars so I can enjoy one later.

 

I had to resist the urge to gulp it down and “chewed” my smoothie instead. I am trying to be more mindful with my eating habits and take my time enjoying my meals. This green smoothie was the right amount of chunky so I let it sit in my mouth for a bit while I chewed it and enjoyed all of the different flavors that made up my delicious breakfast drink.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and do something healthy for yourself.

 

Healthy Rewards

happy

Hello there! I hope you are doing well  and that you have some fun and relaxing items on your agenda for this weekend. My husband and I are going out on the town for a friend’s birthday party and then I’m sure the rest of it will be spent doing work around the yard and house, grocery shopping, school work and hanging out with our fur children 🙂

I’m sure that many of you may have heard of Gretchen Rubin. She is the author of the very popular and best-selling book entitled The Happiness Project. I read her book back in 2014 and I loved it! Throughout her book, she shares her scientific research on happiness and her experiments with incorporating ways to be happier into her lifestyle. What I liked most about it was that it didn’t feel too self-helpie (even though I enjoy some self-help books) and that she already was a happy person to begin with. Her main goal was just to find ways to be happier and enjoy life more which is something we could all benefit from. If you have any interest in learning about ways to increase happiness in your life, then I would definitely pick up her book or listen to her Happier podcasts.

happiness project
I was very excited when I learned about Gretchin’s Happier podcasts that she hosts with her sister, Elizabeth. I’ve been listening to her podcasts on YouTube<=== (quick access) during my morning commutes and they are very enlightening and entertaining.  Earlier this week, I listened to one of her podcasts about the strategy of rewards. It got me thinking about the ways I tend to reward myself for getting though a stressful work week and how those rewards can undermine my good healthy habits.

I have found that during busy, frustrating and hectic work weeks, I tend to reward myself with chocolate treats, visits to Starbucks and takeout food for dinner. Although takeout can be very convenient in an emergency, my priorities are to eat clean and avoid high sodium comfort food so rewarding myself with treats and takeout isn’t healthy and often continues into a normal week.

I need to start treating myself with healthy rewards like taking yoga, going to my favorite exercise class, visiting my parent’s pool, taking a warm soothing bath, getting a mani/pedi or a massage, or a new book. Rewards don’t have to be something that I have to eat. As long as I know I have something to look forward to either right after work or that weekend then I will save my money and time for the healthy reward 🙂

Healthy rewards don’t always have to be something that you buy also. Here are some other ways to treat yourself without spending money:

1) Go for a walk. Take your favorite tunes or your spouse, family member, friend or dog.

2)  Practice peaceful meditation and calm breathing.

3) Go to YouTube and find an exercise or yoga video.

4) Visit your local library and check out a book you’ve always wanted to read.

5) Give yourself a mani/pedi.

6) Listen to an awesome  podcast.

7) Write in your journal or blog.

8) Go for a bike ride.

9) Take a day off work for a wellness day.

10) Go for a drive or walk by the beach.

These are my suggestions. What are your healthy rewards?

be happy

Work-Out Cramps

Good morning!!!Happy Sundaayyy!!

This morning I woke up feeling rested and refreshed.  I took my boys for a walk around the neighborhood, made some coffee, paid some bills and tried out an at-home Tabata workout!

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It felt good to start my day by doing something healthy for myself.  That is until my work out cramps started to kick-in…Ughhh! I was just finishing up a set of burpees and about to start some shoulder press/squat moves when all of the sudden the abdominal cramping started to kick in. I tried to power through but it got to the point where I had to stop. I felt dizzy and nauseous…womp womp 😦

I took some deep breaths, put a cool towel around my neck and face, hydrated and continued to focus on my breathing. I don’t know why that happened to me. I drank water beforehand and during my workout, warmed up, drank only one cup of coffee and I didn’t eat anything. It’s definitely been a while since I’ve done a tabata style work-out so maybe I pushed myself too hard. Or maybe puking and dizziness means I’m doing tabata right?? LOL! I just don’t know.

Perhaps I am lacking some nutrients or I need to change my pre-workout diet. I also heard that yoga twists and stretching in the torso area also helps.

yoga cramp relief

Afterwards, I made a super healthy breakfast with tomatoes, broccoli, eggs and fruit and then took it easy for the rest of the day.

It really bummed me out that my workout got interrupted and I’d really like to prevent that from happening again. If any of you have any ideas or tips on how to prevent abdominal cramps during a hard work out I would really appreciate it! 🙂

The Pegan Friendly Diet

Has anyone ever heard of or tried the pegan diet? I had never heard of it until my husband showed me a magazine article entitled Going Pegan.  The term “pegan” which was coined by Dr. Mark  Hyman, is a combination of the paleolithic diet and veganism. We decided to give it a try and let me say that I am so happy my husband brought this article to my attention!

What we do is follow the 75/25 rule where 75% of our meal is plant-based and the other 25 % comes from organic grass-fed animal protein. I have never been a huge meat eater so this is very easy for me to follow.  Its also nice to know that I can enjoy some chicken or steak once in a while just as long as its not the main event of the plate (so to speak).

According to Dr. Hyman, these are the guidelines for a pegan friendly diet:

  • PLANT -BASED FOOD Make 50 to 75 percent of your plate low-glycemic, plant-based items. Choose organic, raw and local when possible.
  • PROTEIN  Eat protein with every meal and snack. If you eat animal products  then make sure they are sustainably raised or grass-fed and no more than 25 percent of your meal.
  • GOOD-FAT FRIENDLY Eat plenty of healthy fats and omega-3-rich foods like avocados, olive oil, coconut, raw nuts and seeds.
  • BAD FATS ARE STILL BAD Avoid highly processed vegetable oils high in inflammatory omega-6 fats like canola, sunflower, corn and soybean. Instead, cook with ghee or coconut oil and use extra-virgin olive oil to make salad dressings and to drizzle over cooked vegetables.
  • LIGHT ON THE LEGUMES Eat no more than half a cup of beans each day. Choose smaller beans like lentils, black and garbanzo beans over large starchy beans.
  • GRAINS Eat no more than half a cup of low-glycemic grains like quinoa or black rice per meal (no more than 1 cup per day).
  • GO FOR GOAT Avoid dairy. If consuming, try organic goat or sheep products only as a treat.
  • NO FLOUR POWER Cut out refined and whole-grain flour products to avoid gluten and blood-sugar spikes.
  • TRICK OR TREAT Make sugar an occasional treat. Maple syrup, honey and coconut sugar are fine in small amounts, but skip added sugars.
  • DON’T FAKE IT Choose foods low in pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and GMOs, and avoid chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, MSG and artificial sweeteners.

I will admit that some of these guidelines are hard for me. I have to do better about my portions when it comes to grains, I am in love with Fairlife milk, I like goat cheese but I also love other varieties like cheddar and feta, and I have a love affair with chocolate!  So I just have to modify and most importantly, LISTEN TO MY BODY!

For me, its about evolving and eating in a way that matches my values and lifestyle. I may never give up dairy or wheat or even sugar completely but any diet that encourages eating organic, grass-fed, humane and sustainably-raised poultry or beef is A-OK in my book.


If you are interested in learning more about the pegan diet, then I encourage you to visit this website:  http://drhyman.com/blog/2014/11/07/pegan-paleo-vegan/.

Have a great week!