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    6 years ago

Monday, September 25, 2017

Vegan Queso

Vegan Queso

This recipe I landed on and adapted, I needed a vegan alternative to cheese (I love cheese, but it can impeded your body's ability to absorb iron, and I need my iron to be up!)


2 Cup Cashews, Soaked for 1 hour
1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Water
28oz Can Diced Tomatoes (or I used 14oz of tomato sauce and 1 diced fresh tomato)
1 Jalapeno


1. Soak Cashews
2. Blend cashews, nutritional yest, water, lemon juice and fluid from diced tomatoes on high until smooth
3. Saute jalapeno and tomato (fresh or the pieces from the canned tomatoes)
4. Mix all together and keep stirring on medium heat until thickens.
5. Refrigerate to store, serve warm & devour!

Thomas Week

This past week was nothing sort of challenging.   

So many things hit, on top of it already being a hard week.   The 22nd of each month is hard, and from what I gather talking to more experienced Loss Moms, it will always be hard. 

Subconsciously it sits in the back of my mind when it's coming up.   

In addition, we had some hard things come up this week.   Like getting calls from the cemetery that our stones were in, and from the hospital that we had additional autopsy results.  Things that no parent should ever have to hear. 

The week culminated in a wonderful event, an event that I was able to tell Ben before we arrived:

Everyone here is just like us, everyone here has a baby in heaven too.

Being able to say these words to Ben gave me comfort too.  Just like us.

While we have so much support, it's hard because unless you've lost a child, it's very hard to truly understand the waves of grief that go with it all. Some days you feel normal, others you feel like you are drowning.   Or in the case of this week...some weeks you feel like no matter how hard you try, you are being pulled to the bottom of the ocean with sand bags attached to your legs.

Here's Ben all suited up for our event.

I had the pleasure of having a friend come this week, I didn't realize how much I would need her, but she truly came at the right time. She even did a morning workout with me!  

Here is another favorite photo from the week, from me teaching.  It's rare I get photos of me since I'm usually either teaching or taking photos of the class, so I love when someone snaps one!

We ended the week getting these amazing photos from a photo shoot we did last  month with a friend, who was also supposed to be our photographer for Thomas, she did an amazing job of capturing what we have as a family.

And here is a stone that is being made for a garden I'm creating in honor of Thomas, a way to be with Thomas and Ben at the same time.

In food news, I am newly in love with 'chickpea tofu' since leaving out dairy and eggs (and trying to avoid soy).   What I love about it is that I can 'add' anything in to it to season it.  This is curry tofu!

I've also been getting into stuffed squashes thanks to our CSA, this is some homemade cashew cheese mixed with a stuffed kale southwestern squash and some chickpea salad!

And my  new favorite, a veggie burger on toast with cashew cheese!

The cashew cheese was insanely easy to make -lemons, nutritional yeast, tomato, jalapenos and cashews.  It took about 5 minutes after I soaked the cashews. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Seasons of Life

I thought this was an important way to start this blog post.  As we are coming up on 4 months since Thomas passed, I am finding myself looking at various babies and realizing Thomas is stuck in time. He's stuck as a newborn, and I'll never get to know what he'd 'be like'.  Some days it leaves me hopeless, some days I float, and other days it leaves me bitter and angry.  I don't like being bitter and angry, it's not me.

I look back at photos of my pregnancy and I see pure joy in my face.  I had experienced a loss, with my miscarriage at 12 weeks, so I had worry...but I also had joy once I started to get to the final weeks.   Once I hit 35 weeks I truly thought: This is it, this IS actually going to happen.   

I am finding 4 months out that I am 'more me' than I had been, but I am also realizing that I won't ever truly be the me I used to be. There is a knowledge and void I now have, as well as a deeper appreciation for life that I never had before.   This new me is hard, because it reminds me that when I lost Thomas, I also lost a big part of who I was.

I am working to figure out who the 'new' me is.  And I am grateful that each day snippets of the old me come back up.  I am finding joy in my workouts, for one. Instead of doing them as a survival method, I am doing them for my health.   In the beginning, I was doing them for some sort of routine, some reason to get up and not give up.

Here I am with my little guy, he has gotten 'more' of me then ever before this Summer, he is a reminder of the miracle that it is to have a child make it here safely.

This month also started my first 'full load' of Mommy & Me classes.  To be honest, I was worried.  But it's actually been wonderful.   Occasionally I catch myself, I hear a mom introduce herself and give her child's age and realize Thomas should be that age, but it's also been nice to go back to some of our 'before' habits, and this was a big part of our routine.

With the Summer closing to an end, and the passing of my first season of grief, I am going into the fall focusing on some of my health habits that I let slip this summer.   Flossing is a big one, as well as getting up early enough to read personal development before my workout.    It feels 'good' to be back to these old I'll have to-reconquer nail biting. 

I also am officially one week into my current accountability group - a place where I mentor and support others (mostly women) on how to clean up their nutrition, add in fitness and most importantly love themselves along the way.   As a result, I've recommitted to MY nutrition, and here are some of my favorite meals from this week!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Disney Or Bust

Last week ended on a very rough spot.  I didn't realize why until I was sitting in the OBGYN's office in tears.   It hit me, just like last time the 'rough' had everything to do with the anticipation of my appointment.  Going to that same office where I used to get so excited, now has very hard memories.

The good news is, once the appointment was over, all that sadness and anxiety that had been festering slowly started to release, and just in time for our Family trip to Disney.

We planned this trip very last minute, we planned it after Thomas died because I needed a place to go that didn't have Thomas 'in' it. All our other Summer plans had been made with the expectation of having a newborn.  I needed to go somewhere fun and happy and exciting that was just for us.

That being said, I have seen Thomas all around us this entire week.

I will start with this photo, because butterflies for us (like many others, I'm sure) have become a sign of Thomas.   Before heading to Disney we went to a local museum that had a butterfly garden, this photo was taken at that garden.

Since getting to Disney, I have seen more butterflies than I have ever noticed before at Disney (quite honestly, I've never noticed any here, and now I am seeing them constantly).

Before leaving home, I also had found a lot of solace in some flowers that came to me from various people.   One thing that I loved after Thomas was born was the flowers that came into our house. I love the brightness of them. I know not all Loss Moms enjoy flowers after a child dies, but for me it gave me something to brighten my days.

After the first 2 weeks the flowers started to die, and with them my sadness welled up again.    So now at 3 months out, it was amazing to me that on one of my harder weeks, flowers came back into our kitchen from various friends.  I also rediscovered some flowers that I had dried from various arrangements after Thomas - I had lost them, and this week they magically appeared.   Thomas sent them to me when I most needed them.

Once we hit Disney, I was worried, worried that the other moms and babies would trigger me, but fortunately they haven't and I think a big part of it is that this trip was planned knowing we would only be a family of 3, so the triggers don't feel so harsh.

I also am continuing my routine here at the hotel gym with fitness (albeit, food won't be perfect).  It always amazes me at hotel gyms how much I realize I miss my at home gym.  I never thought I'd say that, but it's true!

I set up camp in the corner with my ipad, water and mat.  It worked but I miss my space!

But that doesn't mean I can't still get up!  Hard or not, it's always worth it.

An added perk of getting up early at Disney to workout is the wonderful view on the walk to the gym!

Plus, this little guy kept insisting I do my workout when  I asked.  I actually did ask him if I should work out on his birthday and with no thought whatsoever he responded:

Yes mom, you HAVE to.

Working out first thing actually helped me, not that I'm surprised, because it got me up and moving so we could get to the park earlier!

And now for some food news (in no particular order)!

In the hotel I made sure to bring my immersion blender, starting each day with my favorite smoothie.

...and of course I had to freeze some bananas to go with it (yep, the mini fridge freezes bananas just fine!)

We also made eggs daily in the hotel - a simple trick: Take 2 eggs and scramble them in a glass container.   Put in microwave for 30 seconds at a time stirring between spurts.  And voila! 

I added eggs and cheese to a wrap and had a wonderful meal!

...and this was all made possible thanks to a new service by Amazon for cities and populated areas called Amazon Now. We literally had veggies and fruits delivered in 2 hours to our hotel room.

And bananas, lots and lots of bananas!

A quick  lunch that I was able to make was a wrap with hummus, veggies and a veggie burger.

And then at home I rounded up what I could find for some food prep, including a chickpea mash and veggie ratatouille!