Tag Archives: baby girl

10 months almost done, and so am I.. (plus: Green Smoothie Bowl recipe)

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Whoever knows me would say I’m one of these people who are (almost) always positive, happy and believe in the good in people. Well.. not lately I must confess.

I don’t know if it’s a summer heat overdose (yes, constant heat and humidity can really get too much), island fever, the (very normal I was told by other mums) feeling of being overwhelmed or still hormones (yes, nice to still think of that reason lol) – but honestly, lately even I sometimes loose my belief in human mankind and today’s society…

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Ice, ice baby!

I’m not only talking about the regularity of horrible news and terror attacks, absurde politicians who seem to take over all over the world and the constant rise of destroying the planet through greed (I can see about 26 cranes from my living room and that’s only because my eye sight gives up at some stage). No – I’m also talking about the totally mundane and daily small things around me. Super aggressive people on the roads, grumpy guys yelling at you, sometimes almost ridiculous rudeness from service providers when you simply ask them to do their job (which you btw pay them for), drivers who won’t stop for you and your baby, careless garbage bags on the pavements which make walking with a pram more difficult than a relay and just day-to-day unfriendliness which makes it really hard sometimes, even for a let’s-always-try-to-be-positive-person like me. Ok, rant over.

But seriously, all these things make me thoughtful …and sad. I wonder how a person, who wants to live a happy, healthy, balanced and hassle free life deals with these things, which surely happen to all of you in some kind or the other all over the world, right? What are your methods? Do you have some tricks which help you deal better with that stuff which life just sometimes throws at you? I don’t want to be become and will never be one of these people who just don’t care, who give a shit and just yell back. I don’t want to and even less I want all that negative energy in me! What is your secret? I’d really and genuinely like to know… Maybe I learn some new things on that topic in my course to become a Holistic Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. If I do i’ll definitely share it with you 🙂

Until then I’ll keep on trying to focus on the good in my life, life a healthy lifestyle and practice gratitude for all my blessings, and thank you universe, there are still many! But I would lie if I said above written stuff doesn’t make me sad and concerned. Maybe a little change of scene will help, too.

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First steps out into this wonderful yet scary world…

How has mum-life been with a 10-month old baby? Our little mouse has definitely developed again like crazy. She’s crawling all over the place, pulling herself up on objects, she got her first two little teeth, suffered a few days from teething like crazy, we had a few interrupted nights again since then, she became more clingy and afraid of things (hoover, smoothie maker etc.), but her smiles and hugs make my heart melt more like ever ❀ . Breastfeeding as well as introducing her to solid foods are going strong (she’s super open to all the homemade food she got so far – touching wood!) and she’s definitely growing into a little toddler girl. She’s all over the place at baby yoga, so I’m afraid today it was our last time as I will be traveling  with her the next few weeks and I’m super sad and nostalgic about it. It’s the end of an era, after going to prenatal for 7 months and postnatal for another 7. Hopefully toddler yoga will very soon pop up on our little rock – I’ll be the first to sign up! A big thank you and hint-hint to Pre- and Postnatal Yoga Malta 😉

Besides that our first Mindful Mum workshop went by very successfully! It was wonderful to see how the group of mums and partners dove deep into all the things Sarah and I learned during our pregnancies and it was a great experience to share it with them. I’m sure they’ll all be wonderful mums and dads! We’ll definitely organise another workshop in fall, so if you’re interested keep updated via our Mindful Mum Facebook page.

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Green Breakfast Smoothie Bowls

Well, last but not least it’s time for a recipe I suppose! This time I want to share our super yummy Green Breakfast Smoothie Bowls with you. They were packed with healthy ingredients, are very easy and quick to make and liked by husband and baby girl just as much 🙂 Of course you can swap ingredients and experiment with different fruits, greens, nuts and nut milks. The coconut milk from the tin made it extra creamy and decadent, but it’s not a must. I’d definitely recommend to keep the banana, oats and nuts of some kind to keep the consistency nice and thick.

What you need…
(serves 4)

  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 3 hands full of chard (or other greens)
  • 1 1/2 cups of oats
  • 1 cup of cashew nuts (or other nuts)
  • 1/2 a tin of coconut milk, fill up  the other 1/2 with water
  • 2 teaspoons of acai powder for an extra antioxidant kick
  • For toppings: berries (frozen works like a charm and is quite refreshing in summer!), banana, coconut or any other toppings you fancy  – there’s endless ideas 🙂

What to do..

Wash/ peel/ chop up the fruits and greens, throw them in the blender (layer the heavier stuff at the bottom of the blender, works easier), add oats, nuts, acai, coconut milk and water. Blend until nice and creamy. If it’s too thick you can add some more liquids. Usually I add a few drops of high quality oil to bring out the best vitamins of the fruit and veg but in this case the thick coconut milk is already fat enough.

Enjoy and let’s hope for a wonderful, happy and peaceful August ahead!

Love & sunshine (and chin up to all of you who feel like me at the moment <3)

N xxx

 

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8 months, a first separation & a rollercoaster. Plus: “Hemp pasta with chard & sun-dried tomatoes”

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Recently I read in a very sweet book about a new mum, who is a writer, that once you get a baby, the desire for your own parents increases and that our world is in constant arrival and departure mode. In the book the writer’s best friend’s dad just died when she herself was still pregnant and about to pop. Her friend described how she said goodbye to her dad and in the same conversation they talked what else they need to prepare for the arrival of the writer’s baby. These two stories amongst many others touched me a lot. This book made me cry and laugh and once more reflect about the incredible impact of having a baby. Life/ death, future/ past, yourself as a mummy/ yourself as a child – I would have never expected all these new philosophical thoughts and questions coming up through the birth of my baby girl. It’s a very beautiful and spiritual side effect. The protagonist of the book also wrote that she lit a candle for her friend’s dad and put it in the windowsill, just like her mum used to tell her as a child, because the souls are on their way to leave and the lights which people lovingly lit for them guide them the way… Isn’t this beautiful? I always wondered where the tradition of lighting a candle for a person who passed away came from… now I finally now 😉

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First time alone in so many months!!! Enjoying a book & a beer on the plane

Anyways, the moment I was writing these lines I was actually somewhere in the skies on a plane to a friend’s bachelorette weekend in Germany (actually just over the alps close to my home town Innsbruck as the captain told us just in that moment!!). It was the very first time that I left Zoe for more than a couple of hours and sitting there in peace all by myself also made me realise that it was the first time in 17 months that we’ve been separated for so long (counting 9 months of pregnancy plus incredible 8 months already!). It felt very weird, and my morning of departure was a crazy mix of being stressed, sad, nervous but excited. Now, looking back, it thankfully all went very well, Zoe was in the best of hands with her daddy and after my first wave of emotions and a refreshing shandy in the sun at the airport I actually had a blast and even managed to skip the tearful moments everybody warned me of. I was very proud of myself, my competent husband and my little girl and will definitely do it again soon and I can only recommend it to all the new mums out there!

However, after this great first weekend away my first emotional rollercoaster week started. Out of the blue Zoe started to wake up a lot during the nights and needing feeds everytime. I must say, it hit me by surprise. I’ve heard about and seen it many times from mummy friends, I read about it often but so far I was very lucky that I’ve never been sleep deprived for several days in a row and my hormones seemed fine and normal. Well… it had to come at some stage I guess. And it hit me hard. Just for time in mother’s day – har, har! Only that I didn’t find it funny at all in that moment.
For all the mums out there who suffer from constant sleep deprivation: I have NO idea how you handle it, really. You deserve my biggest, biggest respect. I don’t know how you function? If I feel that crap after only a few days, how do you feel if you have this on a permanent basis? So yes, even me, the always (nadi)sunshine (hence my nickname) was suddenly not so sunshiney anymore at all. More like a mix of constant thunderstorms and rain. It took about 3-4 days filled with full-on grumpyness, anger, feeling helpless and overwhelmed until my lovely husband prescribed me to stop with everything. Cancel all plans, forget the errands, forget the house, the laundry, the cooking, the overdue blog post, you name it – just stop it. Oh how difficult it was for me. I was really resisting it, like I needed it (but I HAVE to do this, and this and that!) – but NO! Who says that actually? It’s only in my head and when you think about it it’s often just ourselves, who create the most stress and pressure in our life. Oh man. As if I could only relax if all the to do’s are done. This will never be the case! Yes, I needed time out. I followed his advice, my wonderful hubby took Zoe for 2 nights and I slept peacefully with my earplugs in and soon felt like my normal self is slowly coming out again of the cave.
But it made me thoughtful.. am I and people like me often doing too much? Are we too active? Too social? Wanting it all at the same time? So long until we’re totally stressed out? And why is it that way? I don’t have an answer yet but I learned from last week and try to keep my days a little leaner now. Only one activity and then rest and play time at home with Zoe. And in return she presents me with a nice, long 2 hour nap in the early afternoon (like now). Also not that bad! A little me time – wow!!! And I must say, it also made me think about work and time outs. Yes, I love it so much being a fulltime mum at the moment, but yes – it’s still nice having a bit of time without your little one. Even if it’s at the office (where noone is crying, you can sit and work and focus without being constantly distracted, get a coffee and drink it as long as it’s hot.. you get what I’m saying? ;). I suddenly began to understand some of my mummy-friends and why they want to go back to work for a bit and to have something else around you than just your gorgeous little baby. So yes, again – lots of thoughts and reflections, and no clear answers but still very interesting times and experiences these days… and definitely one big learning: get your breaks and little time outs. Also if you think you don’t need them, but believe me – we all do and deserve them ❀

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If you are a bit like me, you should sometimes slow down a bit 😉

Which brings me to the end of my blog post today, a very quick and easy recipe for a super yummy pasta dish – cause sometimes it just has to go quick at night and all you want is carbs and comfort food. This pasta dish is not unhealthy at all though and if you get a good quality pasta like wholegrain or hemp, the one I used, you need much less pasta as it’s not only much healthier than white pasta but actually more filling, has a nice bite and is very comforting. I pair it with lots of sauce made with fresh organic veggies (cause there’s nothing worse than dry pasta!) made out of tons of fresh chard (Hello iron! Hello energy levels!) combined with some fresh spring onions, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and just a bit of goat cheese and pine nuts. It’s a really healthy, simple and delicious meal and a real crowd pleaser (even my friend’s little daughter of 1,5 years totally loved it).

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Lots of greens & good carbs – yes please!!!

Hemp pasta with chard, pine nuts &
sun-dried tomatoes

What you need…
(2 portions) 
All produce ideally organic if you can

  • 250g Hemp pasta (alternatively whole grain if you can’t get that)
  • A nice bunch of chard (green, red, yellow – all types work fine)
  • Spring onions (alternatively a normal onion)
  • Fresh garlic (alternatively dried, but it’s just in season here)
  • A handful of sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for about 10min
  • Half a handful of pine nuts
  • Some goat cheese (optional if your want a vegan meal)
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper or chili

What do do…

Cook pasta according to the instructions. Wash and chop all vegetables, chard can be rougher (also the stems), sun-dried tomatoes, onions and garlic smaller. Gently fry onions and garlic, add the chopped chard and fry them gently (if you have put a lid on the pan then it’ll go faster). When the chard starts to wilt, add the tomatoes, pine nuts, salt, pepper or chili according to taste. Serve with some sprinkled goat cheese on top and dig in 🙂

Thanks for reading & stay tuned on my FB page for an upcoming workshop on yoga & healthy food in June!

Lots of sunshine & love,
N xx

 

 

7 months of gratefulness & a lovely Chia Strawberry Jam which tastes like spring 

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Enjoying a spring day in San Anton Gardens in Attard

When I started writing this blog post last week, I was sitting on a bench next to a pond in San Anton Gardens, breathing in the lovely smells of flowers, feeling a mild spring breeze in my hair and watching the birds fly in the sunshine. Now I finish it sitting it in the same spring sun next to the sea with my darling Zoe playing happily away in her pram next to me. Have I ever imagined mummy life like this a few months ago?? Nope, I definitely haven’t. Sometimes I even think it’s too good to be true… And while I know from my fellow mummy friends that in a few weeks things might change drastically when our babies start to crawl and walk I’m even more devouring these quiet, peaceful moments in the now 🙂 .

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Chilling in Gozo with my parents. Zoe loves the sea just as much as we do.

A few days ago our little sunshine turned 7 months. Yes, of course she still wakes up at night and interrupted sleeps are part of my life, and yes, even though Zoe is a very happy and content baby, she also cries at times but all in all I must officially say I’m a freaking happy and grateful new mum and I fall in love with being a mummy even more every day. Who would have ever imagined the love I would feel? The worry when Zoe sleeps so deeply that I have to check her belly breathing (yes, paranoid. I know)? The joy when she cracks a huge smile as soon as I open the door to her nursery in the morning? But also the peace and tranquility when she’s nursing or napping and allows me to have a bit of time to myself, to sit next to the sea like now and to give me a chance to breathe, think, reflect and to feel happy, free, inspired and open. Have I ever sat on a bench in a past just enjoying the moment and being grateful so much?

A baby definitely changed my perspective on many things. I take each day by each day. Each night by each night. I try to go inside myself more often and listen deeply to myself: Am I happy? Am I doing the right things? Am I taking the right decisions? I’m a strong believer in the sayings “Happy mummy – happy baby” and “You have to be happy to make others happy” so I try to live accordingly to them.

What I’m definitely learning at the moment is to put ourselves first. Not to always please others, always doing others a favor, learning to say no – it’s a hard lesson for me but I’m getting better. I also think much more about my own childhood than ever.  How our parents raised us and what a great influence it makes later in life. Recently my parents came to visit us in Malta and for the first time I was consciously aware of how incredible it must be to see you own child have their own baby. The gift of life is something so incredible and I catch myself more and more reflecting on it. What will our future be like? What will our children’s future be like? Every topic on sustainability, be it protection of nature, saving the planet from too much rubbish, overfishing of the sea, politics, wars, terrorism, diseases like cancer on the rise.. The list goes on and on. Every time my head starts spinning by all these thoughts I gently remind myself that all we can do is be aware of the now, be grateful for every moment and every day and trying to be happy, sharing the happiness and enjoying the little joys of life to the max ❀ . Yoga has helped me learn this over the last years and little Zoe teaches me to do it even more! I remember my dear friend saying at our wedding ceremony “Shine brightly, together” and I think it’s important passing this on to our children.

So I try not to be nostalgic that our little baby girl is growing by the day, that all our favorite outfits are getting too small (yes, I know – I have to sort them out!), that she’s slowly getting too heavy for long walks in the baby carrier, that I can’t see, cuddle and kiss her non stop when she’s in her big new stroller.. – stop! No! I try to do exactly what she does – enjoying to see and learn new things everyday and enjoying the moment of life you’re right at NOW 😊

Which finally brings me, of course, also to eating and enjoying to cook lots of wonderful spring foods Malta has to offer right NOW! Be it citrus, artichokes or strawberries.. The fruit and veggies in the spring are just as fresh as inspiring and just as delicious as easy to prepare! As most of you know I’m a big fan of easy cooking and all these ingredients can be transformed into lovely meals without spending hours in the kitchen. Be it a nice fennel citrus salad, steamed artichokes with a parsley egg and lemon dip or the recipe for yummy and healthy strawberry chia jam which I’m sharing with you today! It’s not only good for breakfast on homemade bread or as a topping on porridge, but also lovely for tea time or a little healthy dessert (e.g. on yoghurt) in the evening ❀

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Tastes like spring! Strawberry Chia Jam

Strawberry Chia Jam

Probably all of you know the benefits of the super food chia seeds by now, but to sum it up briefly, chia seeds are a great source of plant protein, contain Omega 3 and 6, have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and help digestion. They can help you you lose weight (even more if you use this jam instead of normal one! 😉 ) because they have a low carbohydrate, are rich in natural magnesium, contain many essential nutrients and can therefore strengthen the immune system. As always I try to get organic whenever I can, for my superfoods I love the products of my Austrian friends of Green Panda but of course any chia seeds will do the job. You can take black chia, white chia, the whole seeds, ground seeds – they all work the same. Chia seeds have binding properties which makes them perfect for puddings (recipe here), jams or in baking.
If you don’t have strawberries at hand you can also try other berries like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries etc. You can add different notes of flavors likes orange blossom water, rose water, vanilla, cinnamon – play with it!

What you need…
(for a small jar)

As a rule of thumb 2 cups of washed and chopped fruit plus 2 table spoons of chia seeds work very well. For a thicker texture add a bit more chia. 

  • 2 cups of washed and chopped strawberries (or other fruit)
  • 2 table spoons of chia seeds
  • 2 table spoons of orange juice (alternatives: lemon or lime, rose or orange water)
  • Agave or maple sirup according to your sweet tooth (honey for the raw version is nice too)

What to do…
Mash or roughly chop washed strawberries depending if you like your chia jam rather fine or chunky. Heat them up in a small pot on medium heat, I added some blueberries which I had to use up but only strawberries are fine, too. Add a bit of fresh orange or lemon juice, the sweetener of your choice and let it simmer for a few minutes until it reduces and gets nice and thick. Turn of the heat. For a raw version simply blend it all in a processor instead.

Now add the chia seeds and let it stand for a while. The longer it stands the thicker it gets but I’d wait at least 15-20min. If you’re hungry and want to eat your fresh jam right now – go for it and enjoy it some home baked bread or simply brown toast with a lovely cup of tea! Alternatively store it in a jar in the fridge and use it as a yummy topping on your bfast or on your greek yoghurt as a snack. It even goes well with a  nice goat cheese and with these temperatures it would also be a lovely topping on some banana or chocolate ice cream (recipe here).

Hope you enjoy it and have a lovely new month ahead! For regular food inspiration don’t forget to follow my Facebook fan pay  or Instagram.

Big love & thanks for reading, lovely people
and don’t forget to shine brightly ❀

N xx

P.S. I’m also taking new clients for private cooking classes, and an exciting workshop on yoga and healthy food for mummies is in the works so watch this space or get in touch with me for more info.