Tag Archives: baby

Cannellini Bean & Basil Dip, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and life with our 13 month old toddler

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Do you know that feeling of losing touch with time and space? Days and weeks keep flying by, mornings playing, afternoons at playgrounds, weekends with friends and suddenly you realise, oh my god – it’s end of October already! Since Zoe is born this happens even more to me and funnily, despite life passing by in super pursuit mode, it feels so full and filled with fun and adventures all the time, that a few weeks can seem very long at the same time, too!

Every day brings something new, faster crawling techniques, climbing up new objects (yay, mummy – look, I can sit on the living room table!), the start of new funny conversations while we walk up and down the hill everyday, new ways of making faces (her latest is leaning her head to the side and giving me the cheekiest grin from down there), moments of laughing our heads off together and moments of desperation cause someone just does not want to eat dinner for some reason. No, – there is never a dull moment with a toddler 😀

Life of a toddler is endless adventure <3

Life of a toddler is endless adventure ❀

There is something about that feeling of being wiped out and tired, but also satisfied in the evening , when your baby is finally in bed and you can lie down on the sofa for 15min before making dinner for yourself and hubby who usually comes home from work too late for Zoe’s bedtime. Yes, being a mum is hard work, but I love it. And I more and more admire all women in the world who juggle two or more children, who work or who don’t have families around, like us, to help. In contrary to the past, when I didn’t have a child but of course made up views on maternity leave, working and stay at home mums,  – now this has all changed.

In my opinion, whatever works is right. I understand mums who can’t wait to go back to work because they feel they get crazy at home, I feel for mums who have but don’t want to go back to work because of financial reasons, I totally understand mums who give their child to their grandparents a lot because they are close and I admire those who decide to put their career on hold to focus on their child, cause it’s all they ever wanted. I got rid of all my pre-assumptions and I wish everybody could be open and respect whatever way. Being a mother is often very stigmatised in today’s modern world. Whatever you do, there will always be someone who thinks the opposite way would be better and believe me, there’s nothing more annoying than having to defend yourself why you chose this or that route for yourself. No matter if it’s towards men (rarely), women (more often) and especially towards other mothers (most) – there is no right or wrong. There is no competition. Nobody is perfect and we all love our children and try to do the best we can, all in our different and beautiful ways ❀

But of course we all know these moments of self doubt. When we ask ourself if it would be better another way, if we try hard enough, if we work hard enough, when we think all mums we know do so much better, look so much cooler and are so much more successful than ourselves. I always try to remind myself, looks can be deceiving. Especially with social media these days, when everything looks oh so perfect and great, everyone so stylish and pretty. But I can only tell from myself and also my close mum friends around me: we all have dark moments, doubts, fall backs and disappointments. We need to cry, to rant and to talk things through before we get crazy. What would we do if we weren’t there for each other? And who could understand better than all the other fellow mums who walk in very similar shoes?? I for myself promised myself these days to be more gentle with myself and try to be aware of it when I feel under pressure. To embrace all insecurities and losses. To be open and honest about them and trust in fate and the universe, that all things happen for a reason and are important for us to grow..

As some of you know, I’m currently studying with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) to become a Holistic Health Coach. Their core concept is so simple and it so resonates with me. You can have the perfectly healthy food on your plate (they call it Secondary Food), if your main areas of life like relationships, physical exercise, career, spirituality (called Primary Foods) are not in balance you still won’t feel happy and healthy in your body. As Joshua, the founder of IIN often says in his lectures (he’s a really nice, calm and funny guy): “You can eat all the kale in the world, but if you hate your job and/or spouse (for example), guess what? The kale won’t do anything for ya.” It’s really fun to go deeper and learn more about all different kinds of diets, but above all to learn so many interesting things about health coaching, how to improve your life and dig deeper into your own self and take care of your own happiness. I guess it’s a never ending journey and I really enjoy the course so far! At the moment we are practising the first part of a Health Coaching Programme, called Health Histories. So if anyone of you is interested in being my guinea pig, please drop me a note on nadisunshine@me.com or PM me on my Nadisunshine Facebook page – of course it would be totally free of charge 🙂

So, enough talking for today. Let’s get to the yummy and healthy recipe for this month.

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Cannellini Bean & Basil dip & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Today I wanna share with you how to make a super easy Cannellini Bean & Basil dip & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. Both are the perfect addition to a Sunday brunch, a hearty bfast or an ideal snack or light dinner. I paired them with my favourite kind of breakfast eggs and some home baked bread, the Life Changing Loaf of Bread from the wonderful blog My New Roots. (It’s a beautiful seed bread which is so incredible nice and easy, please do yourself a favour and check it out if you’ve never heard from it.) This bean dip is a wonderful healthy staple in our fridge and a great source of protein for toddlers and adults alike. And much better for you than the store bought cream cheese! Give it a try 🙂

What you need…
(for a nice bowl for 4)

  • 2 cans of cannellini beans (rinsed)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 hands full of fresh basil (washed & dried, stems removed)
  • Good quality salt (e.g. Himalayan, sea salt etc.)
  • Cumin
  • Olive Oil
  • A couple of cloves of garlic (peeled & sliced)
  • 1 box of  cherry tomatoes (washed)

(As always preferable go for organic & local ingredients whenever you can)

What to do…

Preheat your oven around 180 degrees Celsius for the cherry tomatoes (I roasted  at the same time as I baked the bread  – energy saving, aye :). Put  tomatoes and garlic in an oven proof dish, drizzle with olive oil,  salt and pepper. Roast them until the look nice and wrinkly (I had them in there for around 30min).

For the dip, put all ingredients in your food processor. I like to put lighter ingredients on the bottom (herbs) and heavier ones (beans) on top as they mix easier and blend until you reach a nice smooth consistency. Use a bit more olive oil or add a splash of water if it seems to thick. Season to your liking.

Serve with nice home-baked bread or some organic rye bread (there are a lot of nice flavours on the market. I like the brand Biona). Both, the dip and the roasted tomatoes keep for a few days in the fridge.

Of course you can always play with the ingredients and I encourage you to do so! The nicest combinations come out of experimenting – so don’t be shy to swap beans (black beans, butterbeans, chickpeas), use different herbs (cilantro, parsley, fennel green) or spices (harrissa, dukkha, ..) – there are endless varieties!

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Until next time I wish you all a wonderful month ahead, that you’re gentle, open and forgiving to yourself and others and maybe also find a little moment for self reflection about your own Primary Foods in your life ❀

If you feel like a little nadisunshine spark every now and then, come and visit me or drop me a note on my FB page or Instagram. I always love hearing from you!

Big love, lots of sunshine & yummy food,

N xxx

 

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.

zoe-walking

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.

smoothie-bowls

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

 

9 1/2 months, lots of special moments & a scrumptious Bircher Muesli recipe

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Gosh! What is going on this month?

For the last 2 weeks I’ve been wanting to sit down and write this blog, postponed it again, postponed it again – I must say, life with a baby is a busy one, much more than I ever thought!

To be fair we had a lot of exciting stuff going on.. we went on a lovely trip to our home country Austria, crossed the country from the West to the East twice by train, went to a funeral, a wedding, enjoyed lots of precious moments with family and friends and soaked up the lush and green beauty of Austria ❀ Yes, it’s always great to be home.. no matter how much we love our life here on the little rock, Malta.

 

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Our little traveller enjoying the different views in Austria

Mummy life was pretty exciting too! Zoe spent her first nights without mum and dad and did really well with her granny, she once again proofed to be a super traveller, no matter if it’s in a plane, bus, car or hours on the train, she suddenly began to love all different kinds of fingerfood (yay, little foodie baby!), started to push herself around (not crawling yet, but won’t take much longer I’m afraid!), we celebrated our first Father’s Day and today, exactly 1 year ago my big love P and I got married in Gozo, with little Zoe still in my belly, dancing and rocking for three days in a row! Oh well, I guess she has a little party gene in her – lol!

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A very pregnant me – exactly 1 year ago at our wedding pre-party on a boat in Gozo

 

With all this stuff going on, my psychological sanity has been pretty well, with many helping hands when we were at home, which was sooo lovely for a change! And amazing summer weather once we returned to Malta, which makes life so much sweeter, especially if we hang out together in the shade next to the sea and start our first little attempts in the baby pool ❀

It was a good month, I must say. And I must say, I’m also quite excited and nervous when I think about what I’m gonna write in my next blog post, as another big thing is coming up these days: on Sunday, 26 June 2016, my first workshop in cooperation with my dear yoga teacher and friend Sarah, from Pre- and Postnatal Yoga Malta on Mindful birth centred around yoga and healthy eating for all pregnant mummies-to-be. For more info, check out all details on our FB page here.

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Our first workshop centred around yoga & healthy eating takes place on 26 June 2016

But enough stories of my life for now, let me share the recipe of one of our favorite breakfasts this month:

A scrumptious Bircher Muesli

This muesli is so simple, quick and so lovely. It’s refreshing, healthy and can be prepared in bulk which I love doing since I’m a mum as it simply saves so much time and trouble in the morning. Recently Zoe even tried some of it when we had it in bed in the morning and she absolutely loved it! (If you try that be careful to pick the nuts out for your little one to avoid choking). Another time I made some more and offered some to a friend, since then she’s pushing me to post the recipe – so here we go, lovely 😉

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A scrumptious Bircher Muesli

What you need….
(Serves 2)

  • 2 cups of oats
  • A few nuts, seeds & dried fruit of your liking (I simply used my good old muesli mix which usually contains oats, sunflower/ pumpkin/ flax & chai seeds, as well as some raisins, goji berries, almonds and hazelnuts)
  • 1 apple, washed & grated
  • 4 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt (full fat, as I never go for low fat products – good fats are good for you! There’s a ton of information on this topic around, e.g. in this article)
    Vegan version: coconut or soy yoghurt
  • Cinnamon

What to do….

Soak the mix of oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit in your favorite bowls with hot water (just cover them with boiled water and add a bit more). Give it a good stir and let it stand for 10min or while you make yourself a nice cup of tea, lemon water or have a shower. Grate the apple, add half of it to each bowl, add the Greek yoghurt, mix it all nicely and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon. Dig in 😀

If you want to make a big batch just multiply the amounts written above and store it in an airtight container or a big jar. Very handy indeed!

Hope you enjoy it & spend lots of relaxed & happy mornings while you eat it.

Wish us luck for the workshop & have a great month until next time..
Sunshine, love & lots of good food ❀
N xxx

 

 

 

4 months, a new life & the rediscovery of Thai food

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H is for Happiness (115)

Today a year ago I found out I was pregnant.
Today 4 months ago our sweet little mouse Zoe was born.

4 months in which she hasn’t stopped bringing joy, giggles and love into our house and hearts.
4 months full of new situations, questions, occasional worries, unexpected grins and sudden attacks of love that you’re not sure if your heart is about to break of it.

Words can’t describe how happy I am to have her in our life.

Yes, it’s definitely true that your life is changing dramatically as a mum. Maybe not for everyone.. especially not if, like many women here in Malta, have to go back to work after 4 months (that would be now for me!), often full-time and have to leave their baby in a nursery or, if they’re lucky with nanna (Maltese for granny). But even then, your life will never be the same again as it used to be before. The nights are sometimes interrupted with night feeds and if not you can’t believe it that your baby is so quiet so you just have to go there and check if she is still breathing. Sounds crazy? I know! But suddenly there is this big love and sense for responsibility in you which I’ve never known before. This little human is totally dependent on you, and the way how it trust you is just heartbreakingly beautiful. Today was Zoe’s first baby swimming lesson. Imagine her, floating in a pool, so huge for her in comparison to an adult, but totally relaxed on her back with only my hands supporting gently her head and spine. This is real trust. Do you trust someone that much?

Suddenly you get lots of flashbacks to your own childhood. You start to understand the unconditional love of your parents and how much they care for you. A baby not only shakes up the parents’ life but it has a huge ripple effect. On grandparents, siblings who become proud aunties and uncles, friends – be it girls or guys – who suddenly show you completely new sides of their personality, be it insecurity, softness, affection.. Why? Because they are overwhelmed with the same feeling. The magic of a baby.

Of course a baby is not everybody’s cup of tea. And some people might fade out of your life because you can’t continue your life as it used to be. No more boozy dinners or dancing at festivals on a regular basis, several yoga classes a week and time to hang out after. Your priorities change, but change is good and makes you grow as they say.

Unfortunately also cooking lost some priority for me in my life these days. I’m mainly thinking quick and easy now, and if things can be cooked in bulk, stored for several days or be frozen so I don’t have to cook from scratch everyday. I only realize now, how much time I dedicated to cooking! Thinking that I was into simple food already, I only start realizing now how many trips to different shops for different ingredients it took and how many hours of inspirational reading and the cooking as such I had in hands (next to a bottle of wine of course!). Anyways, this is a new chapter and it’s time to adapt.

One of my recent (re)discoveries is Thai food. I’ve been into Thai food for ages but somehow lost touch with it over the last few years. Now, by coincidence (concretely leftovers from our New Year party inspired me), I came back to it and fell in love all over again!

So let me share our favorite dish these days:

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Thai fried rice 

What you need…
(Serves 4)

  • 1 onion
  • 1 thumb sized ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 ts of soy paste & 1 ts of chili paste (thanks to my friend Hardy for the recommendation!)
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce (skip for a vegetarian version)
  • 2 limes
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of cooked rice (I prefer brown)
  • Approx. 500g of chopped veggies (I took peppers and spring onions with the chicken and zucchini with the beef but you can experiment with all kinds of veg)
  • Approx. 500g meat (I took chili and maple sirup marinated chicken strips one day, some beef filet strips the other day and even minced beef another time – worked great with all of them. For a vegetarian version skip the meat or fry some tofu cubes)
  • Fresh cilantro

Heat up the sesame oil in a big pan and start frying the chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Add the pastes and mix it.

Add the meat and stir fry it, add the vegetables and sauces and stir fry for another 1-2 minutes. Crack the two eggs on top and mix it all up.

Add the cooked rice and stir. Add some more of the sauces to taste (careful with the fish sauce as it’s quite intense) and another bit of sesame oil.

Serve with lime slices and fresh cilantro on top.

Dinner is ready! (And of course I still have a glass of red wine with it 🙂

With these basics you can make any a huge variety of fried rice versions. You can even replace the rice with rice noodles if you want to. Swap the veggies, change or skip the meat as long as you have the rest of the other ingredients.  

So for now, let me go back focus on my little princess who by now woke up and is patiently sitting on my lap and I hope it won’t take too long to blog to you again. So long, keep on following my FB page which is updated more regularly as it’s simply easier and quicker these days than sitting down to write a whole blog post.  Still love it though I must say 😉

Wishing you all a very happy new year, filled with good food, giggles and love!

N xxx

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PS Photos of my pregnant self by the talented Angela from H is for happiness

The calm before the storm.. 

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Dar-Tal-Kaptan Gozo

Dar-Tal-Kaptan B&B, Ghasri Gozo

It’s already a week ago that we went to Gozo for our last little weekend trip before baby arrives and I don’t want to miss the chance to praise the cute gem which we found in Ghasri:  B&B Dar-Tal-Kaptan. Don’t miss to scroll down further for a yummy smoothie recipe and lots of book tips and recommendations how to help pregnancy the natural way.

Review B&B Dar-Tal-Kaptan
From the moment of your arrival, the hosts Peter & Warren spoiled us with their friendliness, a super cosy home with spacious rooms and lots and lots of attention to detail all over. The rooms are all decorated in different themes (ours was Serenity <3) and offer lots of privacy and comfort. We had our own little kitchenette with water, teas, coffee and a bowl of fresh fruit in the fridge waiting for us. The views from our room and own terrace were just lush and green and perfect for a daily gently yoga session in the morning. Blissfulness and calm are the words which come up my mind when I remember these moments…

Breakfast let my foodie heart beat faster. Next to all the usual things like cold cuts and cheeses, fresh fruit and veg, yoghurts, muesli etc Warren made us a different healthy smoothie with interesting combinations in his Vitamix and freshly prepared eggs every day. When you decide to just chill and read at the pool like us (see book tips below), you’ll get cold flavored water with fresh herbs from the garden (think rosemary and lemons) and a little surprise during the day like slices of frozen melon (such a simple and yummy idea!) or an organic apple sorbet.  Peter and Warren are always up for an interesting chat when you feel like it but give you total privacy at the same time. With joy I remember inspiring conversations about food, yoga and traveling… 🙂 It was the perfect place for us to just relax in their wonderful garden, paddle on a lilo in the refreshing pool or reading on a sun bed in the shade and enjoying the sound of the palm trees in the wind and the green around us.

To guarantee absolute relaxation the B&B generally has a no child policy but when you book all 3 rooms you can bring children which we’ll definitely try to organize with our friends in the future.

Thanks for an absolutely wonderful weekend, guys! We’ll surely remember it forever and will try to come again soon 🙂

The Calm Before The Storm Smoothie
Of course I also had to recreate a bit of a twisted version of Warren’s smoothies, so here comes a yummy new recipe for a healthy smoothie.

Next to lots of goodieness from organic wheatgrass powder (alkalizing), cinnamon (good for digestion), I added my chocolate pregnancy vitamin protein powder, so if you’re not pregnant please take raw cacao and a protein powder of your choice instead (e.g. pea or hemp)

Chocolay green smoothie

What you need..
(1 portion)

  • 1/2 a banana (if you don’t have one at home, I always keep chopped up frozen ones in the fridge – you never know when you feel like the next raw banana ice cream hehe..)
  • 1 cup of milk of your choice (I used organic brown rice but you can take almond, soy, oat or even organic cow’s milk if you drink it)
  • 3 tablespoons of chocolate protein powder (I used this pregnancy powder throughout the whole pregnancy which was great, but you can also just use your favorite protein powder and add 2 teaspoons of raw cacao)
  • 2 tablespoons of wheatgrass (or any other greens like spirulina, chlorella etc.)
  • 2 pinches of cinnamon

What to do..
Easy peasy – put it all in your blender, mix for a minute and enjoy 🙂

 

Books and other pregnancy tips

Book tip: Bountiful, beautiful, blissful

Book tip: Bountiful, beautiful, blissful

Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation
This book is pure bliss and positivity for the bump, heart and soul, even if you’re not into yoga and mediation – I promise. Recommended by my lovely Prenatal Yoga Malta teacher Sarah at the wonderful freemyme in Sliema.

The Gentle Birth Method: The Month-by-month Jeyarani Way Programme
Lots of helpful tips about visualization, relaxation, nutrition and especially holistic recommendations for each week e.g. which areas of the body to work on with reflexology. Talking of reflexology: if you’re lucky to be in Malta go and get some appointments with Cat from Butterfly Therapies, nothing makes you calmer and more centered 🙂

Die Hebammensprechstunde (freely translated “Consultation-hour with a midwife”)
Recommended by German speaking friends this book is like the bible of natural oriented midwives. Full of tips about herbs, teas, essential oils, homeopathy etc. So so happy I listened and bought it! So far in German only which is a real pity – maybe I should approach the author and propose to market it in English speaking countries 😉 Many of the herbal tea and oil mixes you can even buy in pharmacies in Austria and Germany so I asked my mum to send me some. But at least I found some good sources for homeopathy and essential oils here in Malta as well if you’re looking for some get in touch with the lovely homeopath Ashley from Tigne Holistic Centre or the always helpful Charlene from Soap Cafe.

The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting
Only in the beginning stages and partly a bit extreme but I get the idea of introducing a routine and will maybe take out some elements (some others definitely not 😉

This list of recommendations would not be complete without mentioning Robert Grech from Osteopathy Malta who helped me several times with an existing hip issue which came up again during my pregnancy and was sorted out completely within a few appointments. Yep, you don’t have to suffer physically, just because you’re pregnant – just get help and do something against it!

Also, thank you to Dini Martinez, a lovely friend, yoga teacher and experienced doula who travels the world with her family on a sailing boat (check out Sailing Yoga Family) for holding a great workshop on pregnancy and birth a few months ago which was really inspiring and helpful, too!

Last but not least I also want to say that I’m really impressed and positively surprised by the 7-week-parentcrafts-course organized by the Malta Midwives which is available for free at Mater Dei Hospital. I didn’t expect a lot and took out heaps and heaps of great information. Keep up the great job ladies!

What a network of wonderful people I have in my life, aye? Feeling really blessed and grateful to have you all here on this little island ❀

Now all I can say is that I’m super excited and I hope all these preparations will help our big event ahead and maybe help some of you, too. Of course you can never really be fully prepared and everything can always go differently all the time but in the end I think it helps to know what’s gonna happen, what you can do to help to do it the natural way and to tell yourself you prepared yourself as good as you can.

Let’s just hope it will all go well with the final spurt, birth and afterwards and I’ll definitely keep you posted.. One thing I know for sure, it was an amazing process and experience so far and I’m super grateful for all the love around me (you know who you are!), all the things I learned so far and look forward to the new chapter ahead!

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the blog or the nadisunshine FB page.

 

Lots of love & good vibes, especially to all the other mummies to be out there ❀
N xxx

Shhhht! Why has it been so quiet in here? About magical surprises, love and of course food.. 

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Yep, I confess I’m guilty. I haven’t been blogging in quite a while and while some of you might not have noticed as my nadisunshine Facebook page (give LIKE it if you haven’t done so yet) is still regularly updated, some others might have noticed a break in posting my own recipes here, on my blog. First, sorry for that! Second, I had a very good excuse for it 🙂 The reason, how it often does, lay in my belly. Not a bad gut, nor a sudden lack of appetite – nope, it was a very simple but also magical reason: nadisunshine is getting a baby ❀

Next to this wonderful miracle I also got married to the love of my life recently (which was planned long time before) so you can imagine lots and lots of changes were suddenly coming up in our lives! Not only the idea of becoming a parent, a big life change ahead etc. but also it really affected my big passion of food and cooking. If you still wonder why, let me explain my journey of the last months a bit…

How it all started..

About a year ago I was looking for holistic approaches to boost my fertility in a natural way after we didn’t get pregnant for a while. My research lead me to traditional chinese medicine (TCM) and after joining some free online fertility summits I decided to join a  programme with a TCM practitioner in London starting in January 2015 for three months to bring my body in the best shape possible in a natural and holistic way. Also I knew I would be busy with preparing our wedding in June, so a baby wouldn’t be in the focus of my attention for the coming months ahead. It would rather be a preparation to get my body in best healthy shape for a baby after the wedding. As the story goes something typical happened! Many people often told me you’ll get pregnant when you least expect, just don’t focus on it. Ha, if that was so easy! But yep, I can only confirm it! Two weeks before I was about to start my programme (imagine lots of traveling, parties and Xmas drinking) I fell pregnant and I didn’t even realize/ think of it for a few weeks! Well, but it happened – just as everybody said!

The first trimester – an adventure

Slow cooker beef chili with lots and lots of vegAfter consulting with my TCM practitioner I decided to do the programme anyways as it’s also highly beneficial for the first trimester in pregnancy which is the most risky part of pregnancy normally. Sounded perfect, but then the tricky part started.. Next to a specific herb mix which my TCM practitioner sent me regularly, I had to change my diet drastically. I was very lucky not to suffer from nausea ever (Yay! Thank you universe!) but I was very, very tired for the first three months. Not the best conditions for putting my usual diet upside down! For optimal fertility and pregnancy TCM believes in  keeping the body warm.  So no more raw juices and smoothies, salads etc as according to TCM they are cooling down the body. But this wasn’t even the hardest part for me… In TCM meat, especially red, long cooked meat, ideally grass fed and organic is the wonder weapon for fertility and pregnancy (so think stews, broths, thick soups, casseroles etc). On top of that I was told to have it every day! At least some bone broth. Phew! You have no idea how hard that was for me… It was. Really and truly harder than I ever thought. All my cooking and shopping routines, creating new recipes and inventing new creations – all was suddenly stuck! The only chance I had was – like in the very early days – to consult my mum via the phone regularly, get input and explanations, ideas and recipes to try (bless her!). I had to research different types (and names!) of meat and moreover find a trustworthy butcher here in Malta (not so easy like at home in Austria where organic local meat is available very easily). Not such a cool task when you work and feel dead tired all day anyways.

Home made bologneseHowever, I somehow mastered it and at some stage kind of got used to it and I must say I think it was really, really worth it. My tiredness improved and I had a very pleasant and easy pregnancy. My test results were always great and while many mummy friends almost couldn’t believe how well I was, even my hubby and I got used to all the warming and strengthening kind of food we had all winter when it’s getting really unpleasant here in Malta (yep, you read right – it’s damp, cold and houses are horribly insulated and without central heating). Once again, as always in life you do get used to new circumstances.. I made lots of soups with bone broth, bolognese, Greek dishes with beef and aubergines, got a slow cooker for chilis and still always sneaked lots and lots of good veggies inside. As you can tell from the list above minced grass-fed beef was the easiest for me to handle.

Back to the (veggie) roots

Soon my first trimester was over and I decided to not continue with the programme as it’s unfortunately quite expensive. Anyways, it was definitely worth it, I learned a lot and always – aways! – felt in the best of best hands for any question I had, be it pregnancy or diet related. I felt energetic and strong, safe, protected and well taken care of and so did my hubby who thankfully always supports and appreciates me and my interest & experimenting in healthy cooking 🙂

Well and now, already in my third trimester and meanwhile married to my big love with a beautiful baby bump I must say it was a really interesting ride so far! Being pushed in cold waters to change was once again really good for me.. I learned new things, adjusted and now found a new, healthy middle way. I now understand from the TCM perspective that meat can be a very powerful and strengthening medicine (there is a reason why after birth and when you’re sick as a child you were given bone broths) and I learned that as much as I love raw food, juices, smoothies and salads it’s not the most beneficial when it’s cold outside and especially when you’re planning to get a baby what you want in your belly is a warm, cosy nest for your little one. Once again I was reassured in buying local and seasonal (normally your local foods fit the temperature you need, meaning they have a cooling or warming effect) and pushed to learn more about food as a medicine.

The end.. not quite yet

Well, now we’re in the middle of summer here in Malta and it’s steaming hot outside. So obviously I’m back to a lot of raw foods, salads, cold soups and juices – but now it makes sense as my body desperately needs to cool off. In exactly 6 weeks we await the arrival of our little one and I can’t tell you how excited and at the same time nervous I am. For the first time ever my life is full of question marks.. who will our life be with a baby? Will I still love my life as much as I do now? How will it affect our wonderful relationship and how will my life change career wise? All I can do now is surrender to the change ahead and trust in the universe – and as always, believe in the fact that change means development and growing ❀

I really want to thank my lovely hubby for being so sweet and patient and always being there for me…
My mum who is always giving me advise and ideas and mainly unconditional love..
My dad for his incredible generousity and endless interest in me and my life..
The universe for sending us our booboo (baby’s nickname as we still keep the gender a surprise)..
My wonderful friends for always being there for me (and sometimes gently pushing me back to blogging 😉
And all the lovely people who still follow my blog and like my Facebook page (with numbers growing even though I didn’t even blog anymore!) – I promise, I’ll try to keep up with it again!

Now back to cooking..

Fig energy balls

Enough chit chat – now finally back with a recipe which I loved a lot lately as it gives me an immediate energy kick on top of many healthy benefits (mainly iron, proteins) which baby and I need a lot of these days…

CHOCOLATY FIG ENERGY BALLS

What you need….
2 cups of dried figs (chopped and soaked)
1 cup of dates (chopped and soaked)
1 cup of cashew nuts
1 cup of ground almonds
1 table spoon of cacao nibs & raw cacao each
1 tea spoon of vanilla essence
Pinch of salt

What to do…
Start by soaking the dried fruit for a few hours or over night. If you only have a normal processor like me this is crucial not to damage your gear (even though it would be the perfect excuse to finally get a Vitamix, I know ;). Drain the chopped and soaked fruit and put them in the blender with vanilla essence, raw cacao, pinch of salt until well combined. It’s fine if there are still some chunkier pieces inside. Add the chashew nuts until they are broken in small bits. Then add ground almonds  until you reach a consistency which is nice to roll into balls (you will feel if you need a bit more to make them stick better).  In the end add the cacao nibs, give it a last mix (by hand) and roll the mix into little balls. Store in a box for at least a week. This makes quite a lot so spread the yumminess with your friends 🙂

Enjoy & sending lots of love,
Nxx