today is day two of our post-thanksgiving cleanse. no meat, eggs or dairy. the next 6 days are essentially a vegan diet. today we had red and white quinoa with grilled vegetables for lunch and spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce for dinner. they were both so good that i may enter them into our usual meal rotation! i think it's recipe time.
DECONSTRUCTED STIR-FRY (QUINOA WITH GRILLED VEGETABLES AND SAUCE)
1 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 large red pepper, julienned
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper
a small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 cup of white or red quinoa (we used both)
FOR THE SAUCE:
3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
the juice from 1/4 of a lemon
1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon of chili garlic sauce, such as sriracha
1. Fire up your grill or place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Toss the vegetables with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables on both sides until soft and covered with nice, dark grill marks, about 4-5 minutes per side.
2. Meanwhile, put the quinoa in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cover with 2 cups of water. Place some slices (4 or 5) of the fresh ginger in with the quinoa. Simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is gone, about 10 minutes.
3. Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
4. Remove the ginger slices from the quinoa and spoon a generous amount on each plate. Top each pile with some grilled vegetables, and spoon a few tablespoons of sauce over the top. Eat it!
i wasn't expecting much from this dish. i like quinoa, but i wouldn't say i LOVE it. that said, i LOVED this dish. It was so healthy and flavorful! I will definitely be making this again.
today was a pretty relaxed day. sylvie and i hung out this morning while travis taught his class. we read books, watched yo gabba gabba and sesame street videos on youtube, and took a bath. she was in such a good mood this morning! travis went into the studio for a few hours this afternoon, and i worked on illustration commissions while sylvie napped. i got a lot of work done, and that always feels good. i think it's time for a shower followed by some hot herbal tea. have a great night!
travis and i, like the rest of america, ate a disgusting amount of heavy food this past week. we are using this week to detox. today is day one of a nine day detox diet of our own devising. the diet plan is as follows:
DAY ONE: no meat or eggs
DAY TWO: no meat, eggs or dairy
DAY THREE: no meat, eggs, dairy or grains
DAYS FOUR-SIX: raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, etcetera ONLY
DAY SEVEN: add grains
DAY EIGHT: add dairy
DAY NINE: add meat and eggs
in addition to the restrictions above, we are also cutting out refined flours, sugars, caffeine, and alcohol for the duration of the diet. we are doing our best to eat all organic, as well.
we ate vegetarian today, which isn't all that unusual for us. we both love meat, but i think we may like vegetables more. for lunch we ate at one of our favorite veg places in town. we both enjoyed different versions of tofu curry. for dinner we ate tuscan white bean and roasted garlic soup. i shredded some parmesan on top because i can't have cheese for a week starting tomorrow. i can't even recall a day when i've gone without cheese EVER. <3CHEESE<3
as a way of holding us accountable during this diet, i will post each day with our menus. i may even include a recipe or two! cooking is one of my very favorite activities. no matter how bad a day i've had, i know i am competent in the kitchen and can put a nice dinner on the table. would you like the recipe for the tuscan white bean and roasted garlic soup? i thought so. it's a mash-up of a few different recipes i stumbled across.
TUSCAN WHITE BEAN AND GARLIC SOUP
4 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon each of dried rosemary, thyme and fennel seed
1-2 bay leaves
2 cans of organic great northern beans, drained and rinsed well
1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
1 bunch of kale, ripped into bite-sized pieces
10-15 cloves of garlic, separated but not peeled
sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Pour all of the water and vegetable broth into a 6 quart or larger dutch oven. Stir in the rosemary, thyme, fennel seed, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add in the beans, potato, and kale. Let simmer for an hour with the lid cracked.
2. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put the garlic cloves into some aluminum foil, sprinkle with a little water, and seal the foil into a pouch. Roast for 35-40 minutes, until the garlic is soft and slightly browned.
3. Once the soup is done simmering remove half of it from the pot. Squeeze all of the garlic cloves into one of the soup portions then puree using a traditional or stick blender. Stir both halves of the soup back together. Season to taste and top with some shredded parmesan cheese.
this soup was delicious! it is naturally fat free and very filling. we had enough left over to freeze a few portions, as well. soup is just so comforting at this time of year. tomorrow we say goodbye to milk and cheese for a week. stay tuned to see if we make it!
oh, and since this is a baby blog, here are some pictures of my girl.
check out that head control!
in contrast to my last post, which was all about what has me down, i would like to take this opportunity to talk about what has me feeling thankful. i know thanksgiving has come and gone, but i believe that being thankful shouldn't be a once per year thing.
first, i am thankful for this handsome guy:
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. he is patient, sweet, caring, and knows exactly when and when not to indulge my crazy.
i am thankful that we did this:
and, subsequently, brought this little girl into the world:
she is our greatest accomplishment and is truly more than the sum of her parts.
today, and everyday, i am thankful for our families and friends, good food, a warm bed, and always having just enough to get by. i am thankful for music to lift up my spirits and people who make me laugh. i am thankful for the written word and the gravity it carries. i am thankful for the people who read this blog and have chosen to keep doing so through the good and despite the bad. i feel proud that this blog has caught and kept the attention of so many wonderful people, some of whom i am now blessed to call my friends. i am thankful for your support and kind words. i am thankful for the reader who emailed me early this morning and shared her postpartum depression story with me. her honesty and kindness inspired me today.
this is the post i vowed to write and subsequently decided not to write. then i realized that this is not something unique to me. thousands of women deal with similar issues everyday. perhaps it is presumptuous of me to think that a blog post could show a total stranger that she is not alone. then again, perhaps it isn't.
the best place to start is the beginning. two or three weeks after sylvie was born, i began to cry often and at length. we're talking multiple times a day, everyday. i chalked it up to hormones and sleep deprivation. it never stopped, however, and it began to worsen. somewhere around three weeks ago, i realized that i was terrified to be alone with my baby. i felt out of control and completely incompetent as a mother. i agonized over every little parenting decision i made as if somehow each tiny mistake would screw her up for life. my self-confidence was at an all-time low. i was not able to sleep, even when sylvie and travis were sleeping. i let the anxieties of the day swim around in my head. i fixated on them and my mind never shut off.
i began to hear sylvie crying when she wasn't. i know this is normal to some degree. my husband will often hear her too, at night or in the shower. the difference is that he can distinguish the real from the fake. i cannot. i woke up every hour or so, all night long, thinking i heard her cry. i heard her in the grocery store, when i knew that she was home with her father. i heard her everywhere i went, whether she was quiet or sleeping, with me or not.
i dreaded being alone with her, especially at night. everything gets harder at night. sometimes, like any other baby, she will cry and cry and cry for an hour or more. some nights, most nights, i couldn't take it. i just sobbed with her in my arms. i screamed. a few times i put her down in her crib and bashed my head into the wall or slapped my face as hard as i could. i didn't understand why i couldn't do this. i truly believed i was failing her as a mother. i never got the impulse to hurt her. only myself. i felt as if i needed to be punished for losing patience or not knowing how to cope.
a couple of weeks ago i was alone with sylvie while travis was at class. it had been a particularly trying night. i put her down to sleep, but she wouldn't stay down for more than 5 minutes at a time. i tried to tire her out and put her down again. she wasn't hungry or wet, hot or cold. then she got over-tired and the crying began. 45 minutes in, i lost it. i put her down in her crib and just screamed. not at her or at anything in particular. i just screamed. i hit my head into the wall. hard. i sat on our deck in the cold, while she cried inside. i called travis and he came home early from his class. i called my parents and told them how i had been feeling. i cried a lot that night, but i came out of it feeling so much better. i found the number of a large psychiatry practice nearby. i wrote down that number to call the next morning. i had a plan.
i called that office the next morning (a friday) and set up an appointment for the following monday. i have been seeing a licensed therapist once a week and will likely start with a psychiatrist to discuss medication options. i am feeling a little better, but i know we're not out of the woods yet. i love my daughter and my husband more than anyone or anything else. i want to get better for them. i want to be the best mother and wife that i'm capable of being. i want to be the mother and wife i know i can be. i don't want to hurt myself anymore.
this blog started as a touchstone to keep my friends and family informed during my pregnancy. i has become so much more than that. it has served as catharsis after sylvie's birth and now for this. it is an outlet on the tough days. writing here is something i always looks forward to, despite how sad i may feel. my experiences are not unique, but they are mine.
we've been having a blast here in columbus. besides going to the zoo and eating a TON of delicious food, we also had a blog buddy meet up with dani and her adorable baby girl, ava. dani and i (and travis) actually went to the same college, but didn't know each other there. go figure. ava and sylvie are only a couple of weeks apart in age and were both born at around 37 weeks. when i found out they live in columbus, i knew we just had to meet one day!
we met on for lunch on sunday at north market. dani and her mom are so sweet and ava such a little doll. i hope we can hang out again next time the three of us are in town!
sylvie was calm and collected at first, but started crying when ava did. the power of suggestion!
i love when virtual friends become actual friends. the internet can be a magical thing. i have met so many wonderful, inspiring girls through this blog. if i could only meet jess, allie and henry, and a few others! i hope it happens one day!
travis, sylvie and i are in ohio to celebrate the upcoming holiday with my in-laws. today was an unseasonably warm 65 degrees, so we spent the afternoon and evening at the zoo. (you may recall that the last time we tried to go to the zoo, my gallbladder intervened.) every year, around the holidays, the columbus zoo extends their hours until 9 at night and covers everything with christmas lights. sylvie slept for most of our visit, but woke just in time to see the trees light up. so pretty. i took over 60 pictures during the 3 hours we spent there. these are my (20+) favorites.
sylvie is finally at the age where she is totally digging books. we read books together all day long. her favorite is brown bear, brown bear, but i think it's only because i do a bunch of different voices and make all the animal sounds when we read it. she also loves chicka chicka boom boom. i think the graphic illustrations really get and keep her attention.
we read her a book every night now as part of her bedtime routine. it is one of my favorite parts of every day.