Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tasty Tuesday - Mac & Veggies

The recipe you've all been waiting for! I'll be posting the ingredients a little differently so you can make it Vegetarian or Vegan! :) Everyone I've ever fed this to has LOVED it. It's tasty and really good for you. :) My toddler devours it, my husband eats two bowls, my friends never leave left overs. You can play with the veggies you put into it, this is what works for our family and for the color we like. :)

Let's get into it shall we?

Set 1:
1 Red Bell pepper, large dice
1/2 Zucchini or Yellow Squash, large dice
2 cloves Garlic
1 handful Spinach
1 medium Carrot, large dice
1 Orange Bell pepper, large dice
1/4 Red Onion
1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

2 to 3 cups milk or oat milk or water

Set 2:
3 tablespoons wheat flour
3 tablespoons butter OR coconut oil
1 dash Chili Powder

Set 3:
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese OR 3 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
Salt and pepper to taste

6oz Whole Wheat Pasta, cooked and set aside


1. Place all  ingredients in Set 1 into a blender and blend until smooth. Start at a low setting and work your way up to make sure you get rid of chunks. Set aside.
2. In saucepan, melt coconut oil or butter. Whisk in flour one tablespoon at a time, until completely absorbed. Simmer 10 to 15 seconds. This will get rid of the flour taste so many sauces end up having. At this point, I like to add the chili powder on this step. Don't be afraid, it won't add spice.
3. Slowly, add mixture from the blender to the saucepan. Whisk into flour mixture completely before adding more. It will clump up a little at first. Adding slowly will help avoid lumps.
4. Once you've worked in as much of the vegetable mixture as you'd like for the consistency of sauce you prefer, start adding in the cheese or Nutritional Yeast and mix until combined.
5. Pour this sauce over your noodles.

Congratulations! You're done! Enjoy your masterpiece!

Next week may be a twofer! I want to share my Potato Soup AND Oat Milk recipes. We shall see! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Riding an interesting wave

Good evening readers :)

It's evening here, anyway. :)

Today I was able to see the positive in a situation that would have really sent me over the edge. My car was broken into. Lock on the driver's side was picked and everything was riffled through. It was disconcerting, but did not break me.

The car seat was left in the car, as well as my Ergo carrier. My life straw and solar lantern were left. The emergency kit was taken, as was an empty box. I'm glad my family is safe. I'm glad we still have the car. I'm sad for the person that decided this was a necessary act.

Maybe I'm better balanced, maybe I see people differently. I kept going, riding the wave of progress, of action instead of reaction. Tomorrow is Tasty Tuesday! I'll be posting my Veggie Mac and Cheese. You'll love it! Kids, picky husbands...everyone I've fed it to agrees, it's delicious. :)

I'm thinking of starting some other theme days, but I can't quite put my finger on what I want to post here. We'll see.

In the mean time, I hoping for health for all of you! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tasty Tuesday - Roasted Veggies

To try and keep myself accountable to the people I keep promising recipes, I've taken an idea from a woman I love dearly and you are now going to be getting Tasty Tuesday! All sorts of recipes to help you get nutrition into your daily routine! :)

Today, my recipe is called Roasted Veggies. Super inspired, I know. :) It's a super simple meal to toss together in a pot with whatever veggies you have in the fridge or pantry. Here's what tonight's meal included:

5 Golden Potatoes (I also like purple or red potatoes in this, approximately one medium sized potato per person)
5 Mushrooms
3 cloves of Garlic
2 handfuls Spinach
2 medium Carrots1 Yellow Squash
1 large Red Bell Pepper (if you like green, by all means, use that. It makes my tummy unhappy)
1 can Garbanzo beans, drained (you can also use Kidney or Black beans) 
1/2 crown of Broccoli
1/2 crown of Cauliflower
1/4 Red Onion
3 tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 teaspoons Nutritional Yeast
1 to 3 teaspoons Liquid Aminos, depending on taste
Pinch Chili Powder
Pepper to taste

Before you get all crazy telling me it doesn't look easy now, read through the directions. 

1. Melt coconut oil over medium heat in large pot.
2. Chop/dice all veggies, add to oil
3. Add seasoning
4. Heat throughout and cover, turn heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, stir and allow an additional 5 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. (Hint: if you cut the potatoes in smaller chunks, it won't take as long)

It's literally that simple. And you can add and subtract veggies as the seasons change. I like to keep potatoes as the base, but also add in sweet potatoes as they come into season. :)

This feeds a good number of people and is super quick to get on the table. The chopping really isn't all that much. For the spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and onion I use my "Slap Chop". Perfection. :)

It was filling, nutritious, and my two year old loves it. 

p.s. I think I'm staying here for the time being. We'll see. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Birth of a Warrior

This post is about a fight. It's about how a person came to be where they are now. It's about leaving selfishness behind. This post is the birth story behind my son, Gideon. But, the warrior was me.
To fully understand the story, you have to start at 31 weeks gestation, when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Up to this point I was planning an all natural birth and delivery. A week later, when I became insulin dependent, my midwife scheduled a c-section "just in case" for March 8th. (Which I found out meant "this is what we're doing".)
Now, March 6th, I had a huge emotional break down because I was still so confused as to why they insisted on a c-section and felt like my choices were being taken away. At dinner, B called his mom, a former NICU nurse who still spoke hospital. She googled, just as I had and talked me through the reasoning. After this talk, I was at peace, knowing that it was best for my baby. I still wanted to labor naturally though, it was so important to the chemistry of my hormones and those of my son. I went to bed a bit uncomfortable, but I just chalked it up to another pregnancy pain. I was at 39 weeks, there were pains in places I didn't even know I had.
2:30am March 7th, I woke up to go to the bathroom, but felt a weird twinge around my belly. I waddled into the bathroom and found that my mucous plug had dislodged. "Sweet!" I thought, "now I know I'll be waiting an unknown amount of time!" -_- Not amused, I crawled back into bed.
About two hours later I felt another twinge, as well as two hours after that. This time I told B that I thought I was contracting, labor was starting all on it's own. (Cue my internal happy dance.) Gideon was ready to get this party started.
I dropped B off at work and told him that I was going to walk the mall, nothing better than walking to get some good contractions going, plus, I didn't really want to be cooped up at home. I still had a non-stress test to get to. I walked the mall for two hours and steadily felt my body doing what it was supposed to do.
Just before test time, I felt a shift in my body, something told me that I needed my husband around, so I picked him up and he got to hang out with me while Gideon made the lines on the monitor dance. The nurse said she'd probably see me tonight, I had gone through three contractions while hooked up to their machines.
So, what did I do? Told my dear sweet man that we were going back to the mall to walk. In all my reading and study, that's what was recommended.  I felt like we walked for hours before I grabbed Bs arm and asked to go back to our apartment.
I rested. I ate. All pretty normal. We had dinner around 6:30, pretty standard for my shot and meal schedule, but as we settled in to watch a movie, I started to feel the erratic sensations become much more rhythmic. By 8:30 they were consistently 10 minutes apart. (I have to stop here and thank the love of my life for doing all the timing so I could just relax and be in tune with my body.)

I started writing this over a year ago. I keep having to stop and come back to it. Shall we continue? For you, it's a matter of scrolling and words, for me...it's a matter of MONTHS.

At the point of 10 minutes apart, by B and I decided that I should probably call the doctor, just to make them aware of what was going on. If you remember, I was scheduled to go in the next day. So, we call and I get the most anxious response ever. "Go to the hospital. You have a c-section scheduled for tomorrow."

Took a shower, packed the last couple things. Went to Labor and Delivery Triage. And waited. Not only was I hooked up to the monitors, but Gideon was non to happy about being there. So, an hour later, we were told to go home, eat and get some rest.

Now, dear friends, if you do not live somewhere that is lucky enough to have In N Out, you will not fully appreciate what you are about to read. I missed my snack time and needed something. I wanted protein desperately. Where did we go? In N Out. As I got out of the car, I felt a little pop and gush. That's right. My water broke. Pushing past my husband, I waddled into the bathroom as fast as I could to make sure nothing was absolutely wrong. By the time I came out, husband had a bag of food in his hand, and I couldn't eat any of it, because I needed to go back to the hospital. On the 15 minute drive, contractions started trying to rip my pelvis from my spine. (Ok, not really, but that's what it felt like.)

The handsomest man I know drops me at the main entrance, now complete with a sheriff, and goes to park the car. Again, I waddle as fast as I can toward the elevator, only pausing in my breathing to say our last name, and start trying to spell it. The sheriff only responded, "I'll ask him when he gets in here...."

Back to being hooked up, then some more laboring with my dear husband who now smelled of cooked onion and delicious burger. (I found out later that he felt completely useless, and kept making lame jokes to try and ease that feeling. None of them were funny, y'all.) In all honesty, I was not there laboring for that long before they started prepping me for a c-section. They were just waiting on my midwife and OB to come in. It was slightly late and both were in bed.

Everything moved very quickly at this point. The shaving, the wiping...the nurse poking me multiple times to try to establish an IV, and me basically trying to get B to do it instead because my laboring brain figured he'd be able to find the vein more efficiently. My midwife showed up and scared all the nurses, told me I was doing great and escorted me to the OR, giving the assisting surgeon the evilest of eyes when he asked me if I was in labor. The nurses in the OR rolled their eyes, and moved between us. I wanted to waddle over and smack him, little man had different ideas. :)

I remember the anesthesiologist saying he wasn't going to start the epi until Dr. Brown was in the building, they had been very very clear about that. :) Having labored up to that point without any medication, I appreciated the extra time with my body. Then the doors opened and there was a feeling like my whole body was going to sleep.

"Where's B? Is he in her yet?" "He's getting dressed, he'll be in very soon." "I don't want him to miss it." "He won't." "Good, can you please adjust my leg so it won't fall off the table?"

Then B was at my side, he took a peek over the curtain and saw my insides sitting on my tummy. Lovely. He likes to tell people that part. Pressure, movement, then a pop...and a cry. :)

"Gideon, sweet love, you're ok. Mama and Daddy are right here. Go...be with him." And the echoing of times and numbers being called around the room. Before I knew it, B was holding our sweet big boy and I was nearly done. I don't remember how I ended up sitting up, but I did and they handed me this little wrapped boy and I fell in love...hazy, medicated, "I can't think" love. 2:26am, March 8th, 2013

In recovery, this tiny little nurse heard I wanted to breastfeed right away and with a few pillows and her climbing on top of me to help me adjust, we started our first latch. And he was a champ.

Was a c-section my plan? No. However, I will say, after everything that so many people have said about being bullied or horrible hospital experiences with it, it was amazing. I felt cared for and important in his birth process. I recovered really well in the hospital. I didn't take any morphine or vicodin. I got up and walked a couple steps that evening, I had to get out of that bed. Little man walked the halls with me whenever I got up. That boy was an explorer from the word go. :)

I'm thankful for this process and experience. I stood by my choices and then made sure I was doing the best for my son, and you know what? He came out better than anyone could have thought. His blood sugar? Perfect! His APGAR? Perfect! He did end up needing to be warmed up a bit the second day, but that's because being born is hard work, and he slept a good portion of that time. :)

I say this was the birth of a warrior because, I found out a lot more about myself and my abilities through all this. And I realized that no matter what circumstances came up, I would have a healthy happy live baby going home with me. That was the goal, and that's what happened.

To move or not to move

Well hello again!

I know it's been a while. I'm sorry dear readers. In the time between, I've started a company from scratch with one of my best friends and started on a journey of inspiring healthy living by partnering with another company. So, yes, two businesses and I'm still doing the stay at home thing with my kiddo. Who will soon be 2 AND A HALF. When did that happen? I remember writing the "here's why I haven't written in a while" and picture of my sweet smelling, sleepy newborn.

Anyway. The title of this post is a lot of what I'm think lately. I really can not decide if I am going to migrate everything I have here over to WordPress or not. I don't want to post too much more on either place until I really get a good feel for it. I know how WordPress works. Which is nice. I also love the community here and would be starting over there. I'm not sure if Blogger can handle the plans I have for both my business and personal branding ventures. (Don't I just sound so professional and all marketing savy or something?)

So, I thought I would do what I used to do when I had a dilema, come to my blog and write it out in the late minutes of the evening. :)

I'm on Instagram now if you'd like to see what I'm doing until I make my choice. Which will be in the next few days because I have got to get some content up that I've been rolling around. Not to mention, I have some tasty recipes that need to fill your bellies. Search for MandaDPanda and you'll find me, you'll get a brief look at what I've been up to. Which includes dropping nearly 60 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly. And I want to help other people see health and become participants in their own life changing journey. But that is a whole different post.

Which blogging platform will win? I'm not sure. I mean, I already have two blogs on WordPress. One for B, and one for Tandem. But I also have this here, which is older than both of them. *sigh*

Who's ready for a recipe for delicious Mac and Cheese? Full of veggies and no one will know!!! Unless, you tell them. And why would you do that? :) That's the next one coming up y'all!

Talk to you soon,