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About this blog

Nutritional and fitness advice, quick yummy recipes and relaxation techniques to help YOU BUSY MUMS to feel full of energy and confident in your own body.

Welcome to Happy Mummy Happy Baby blog. My name is Eva Lindsay and I’m an Abu Dhabi based busy mum, certified yoga instructor and a health coach working with busy mums. I am a true believer that as a mum I am directly responsible for the happiness of my own child. And I also noticed that if I feel rested healthy and happy there is a positive direct impact on how my daughter feels- and vice versa:). Through my own experience, experiments and education in health and fitness field I am also convinced that a diet, physical exercise and self-care play a major role in how we overly feel as mums. Having a daughter on my own I also know how demanding it is to be a mum and how little time we have for ourselves not even speaking about the time we are left with to cook from scratch. In this site I share quick but healthy and kids friendly recipes, simple relaxation techniques as well as some fitness tips how to get back to our desired self in order to feel full of energy and comfortable in our own bodies. 

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Happy Mummy

This blog post is a continuation to my previous post where I share my top 3 tips for quick post-partum recovery

To mention again my post-partum with Emilia (my first child) was everything but smooth and quick.

Maybe for many of you mummies my tips are nothing mind blowing as this all came to you very naturally… but for me I had to learn hard way. So if you are anything like me – ambitious control freak who has trouble to slow down and relax – you may appreciate this post:)

IV. First few weeks spend all of  your free time by getting to know your baby

 It is horrible to say but the truth is all I felt about Emilia as a baby was-  although very much loved and wanted she was “a bit” inconvenient at that time.

Why don’t you sleep child-  I have things to do!!!!

I had no help except of my husband…He is a great daddy but still he leaves to work at 8am and is back at 6pm.

I was studying one year long course at Integrative Institute of Nutrition. The birth (very long and traumatic) was followed by problems with breastfeeding and prolonged postpartum healing etc. So learned from my own mistakes I promised myself that this time I will slow down to maximum. I would not study, I would not work, I would not exercise until I am healed and mostly until my inner voice tells me I am ready to take some incremental steps to add on to my day. Instead I focused on getting to know Sami, learning about his natural rhythm and later enforcing a routine based on my observation.

This is how our day looks now (give or take hour here and there) He is such an angel baby. Maybe he was born like that maybe he just likes our routine???:) who knowsJ

V. Allow your family to settle well around a new routine

Whether I wanted or not our family routine had to change. And I have to admit  I often don’t have a good relationship with a “change”J

But this time I prepared myself to be open minded and just go with the flow and make necessary changes where required.

1.Mornings

Are CRAZY now!!!

Emilia has to wake up at 6 am  (used to be 6.30 or 45am) and after that she needs to be fed washed and dressed up.  Lunch box prepared. AND in the same time Sami gets up anytime between 6 and 6.30am and guess what? He  needs to be changed and fed too!

Adjustment simply means I can’t do my morning meditation or walk or any other exercise. That has to simply wait. Same for my husband. But this time I know this is all just a phase and it will be possible once again to go back to our ideal morning routine.

2.Afternoons

Are EVEN CRAZIER:)

I used to partially prepare dinner during Mili’s nap time now I have to prepare completely out it to fridge in such a stage that it needs just warming up or uncovering. We used to go outside to have friends over for a play date or we went to beach or pool or park or we biked or walked to the grocery. Adjustment is we have to wait until Sami gets up from his afternoon nap till 4.30pm and gets fed. We are ready to leave the house for a walk at 5 and because of his short “awake span” we are back at about 5.30 or 5.45pm.

3.Evenings

CAN’T BE MORE CRAZY:)

So Sami has a witching hour from 6pm.So we learned that we simply can’t have a family dinner all of at 6PM anymore. It is either me or my husband who eats with Mili and the other one massages and baths Sami meanwhile. Then once they are finished Mili gets bathed as well and then she plays a bit before story and bed time (it used to be play time straight after dinner and then bath time) I used to prepare Mili’s lunch box in the morning as she was leavening to nursery 7.30 now she has to be out of house 7 am. So the lunch box has to be almost ready to pack to her rucksack in the evening. (what we do in the morning I just transfer “the keep cool stuff” to her cool bag and to keep warm stuff I microwave and put the thermoflask.

Summary:

TIP 4: This is nothing new but I think this is the most important lesson after having Mili.

Don’t plan anything else for your postpartum other than to rest and feed. Yes you read it well…. And let me repeat it again. Nothing else other than taking care of your baby and yourself! Not even an online study program you can follow based on your time availability.

First few weeks just observe. Babies usually have their natural rhythm. At least both of mine had.  If you find any repetitive patterns, try to enforce them in the later weeks. If you notice your baby likes to sleep in the morning from around  8- 9am and gets tired at 6pm then start there. The easiest is to build a morning and evening routine. The middle of the day will fall in place gradually.

TIP 5: Give up in advance on all of your morning routines. You might be lucky to fit them back in no time. But give up first to avoid disappointment. Be at peace with it. Everything is just a phase and your mornings will soon have more structure again. If you have a second child who needs to go to nursery get the clothes| uniform ready in the and prepare lunch box in the morning. It is often helpful to even have a breakfast ready like overnight oats or muffins or quinoa pudding.

TIP 6: Keep it simple. Don’t try to do too much. Especially if you have an older child afterschool activities might be just way too much in the early days. Your older child won’t get behind because of few months of having a stroll with you and the new-born. In fact it might be exactly what he need just right now.

TIP 7: If you don’t want to give up on healthy dinners (or want to start with healthy eating) get some food prepared and freeze it for the very early days. Later you just need to prepare the dinner when the baby naps. Get it ready to the stage you literally just take it out of fridge when you get back home from your afternoon walk or when the dinner time comes. Babies gets tired around 5-6pm. It is better to expect that you need to firstly bath your baby and have a dinner later or your husband and younger child have a dinner while you bath your baby.


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Happy Mummy

After my first child Emilia was born I was never officially diagnosed with post-partum depression but let me tell you I wasn’t well for a long time. In fact it is a real miracle I am still married and our daughter has turned out as an emotionally normal child;) Well as normal as 3 years old can be anyway:).

This time around I planned my postpartum differently as simply I learned my lesson. I didn’t want to go down that road again.

I couldn’t let Emilia down. I needed to stay sane to be able to give her as much emotional support as I could during her own transition to a big sister.

Not 100% successful of course – I don’t think it is possible to avoid completely the emotional roller coaster, the inevitable ups and downs caused by hormonal imbalance, sleep deprivation and all the challenges that the new-born brings along… but…. more or less I am happy with how things went the last 8 weeks.

IMG_0311-300x225.jpgNext few posts will be all about my simple but powerful tips how this time I managed to recover fairly quickly. (and by recovering I mean emotional health too as it is as important as your physical one, in fact  I am  a big believer there is a very strong connection between those two)

I. My biggest advice is  “PLAN as much HELP as possible!”

  1. Doula support Best decision ever we chose a doula to support us not only during the birth but also weeks before and after Sami was born. I can’t say more positive words about our decision. If you have some extra money it is so worth to invest into your physical health as well as into your emotional health. Much have been said and written about benefits of having a doula and I can only confirm.
  2. Family members. My mum in law stayed with us 4 weeks before Sami was born and my mum came the day when Sami was born. I understand it is not for everyone as living for that long with your family under one roof can often be a bit stressful but overall it was another good decision we made. I felt loved, supported and mostly I felt Emilia had a full attention when I couldn’t be with her.
  3. Other helpers. I finally made a decision to have a part time helper. For a long time I was against as I was always considering what THE OTHERS back at home would think of me?…But honestly I can’t care less now as I mostly care about what my husband think of me when he gets home after his whole day of being mega busy and what my daughter thinks of me when she gets back from her schol. With this extra help Emilia and Sami has a happy mummy who is not running on empty every day because there is simply too much to do to keep the household running. I learned I don’t have to prove anything to anyone and mostly I don’t have to prove anything to myself either. I prioritised my family and my love for my job and I am very comfortable with it.

II. I gave up on exclusive breastfeeding much earlier this time

So this might be controversial. But I want to make a point here as I believe this decision made loads of things much easier. I want to highlight that I really don’t want to promote bottle feeding. I understand breastfeeding is the best. But if for any reason you can’t do it….Please don’t beat yourself up for it for too long. I did 6 weeks with Mili and almost mentally collapsed. This time I started topping up on the 4th day. Don’t get me wrong I still cried and I was very upset about it but quoting my doula” I like my mental health too and it is as important as my physical one.” I listened to my intuition and rightly so It turned out my boy is a big lad (75th centile) and he drinks already now 150 ml of milk every 3 hours. Given my milk supply (and yes I tried everything possible to increase it I even ate my whole encapsulated placenta) I really doubt I would be able to satisfy his needs. Maybe yes maybe not I will never know …..but the mix feeding WORKS for us. We are both happy.

Summary

TIP 1: Invest into doula.  I can’t be more positive about our decision. You can find the benefits of having doula here.

TIP 2:  Plan as much help in advance as you can get. Ask your partner to take as many work days| weeks off as he|she can. Get grandparents, friends and nannies on your help list. How much help you have really reflects on how quickly you heal. On top of it it having help after your baby is born lowers the chance of a baby blues and possible postpartum depression.  If you think you can manage on your own- let me tell you definitely can! And you will as you will have no other choice! but having help might be the difference between remembering and enjoying your first weeks with your baby and complete fog for 6 months. Signed as my own experience.

TIP 3: Plan what kind of feeding you want for your baby in advance. Read a book or internet articles about breastfeeding, bottle feeding and mix feeding. Have a contact ready for breastfeeding consultant who can come to your house if necessary. Freeze homemade lactation cookies and have homeopathic medicine and lactation supplements ready at home. But be open minded to deviate from your decision.  Don’t beat yourself for too long if your plan A doesn’t work. The formula is not a poison!

3 more tips to follow in the next post!


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Happy Mummy

In my first pregnancy I suffered hugely from sciatica kind of pain in my right hip radiating all the way to my sacrum. At the end of pregnancy I could barely step on my leg.

This time around I have 0 pain and I want to believe it it not a coincidence.

Sciatica pain in pregnancy is very common and here are my tips how to avoid it.

1.Pay a visit to a chiropractor

I can’t be more positive about my few visits at the chiropractor during this pregnancy. There is never too late to pay a first visit but I would recommend to book yourself maybe around week 20 and then according to the need. Besides any sort of back related pain relieve there are studies available proving that chiropractors can hugely help also with the outcome of the natural birth.

2. Maintain a lower body strength training

I do believe that adding on some hamstring and glut strength before I got pregnant second time really helped to keep my hip more stable. With Emilia I didn’t do any strength training but during this pregnancy I did minimum 2 sessions a week. If I didn’t have time for full 60 min work out I would stick to 10 min lower + 10 min upper body work out.

 3. Spinning babies balancing exercises

Emilia was also on my right side of my uterus and I had a back labour at the end which wasn’t a fun at all. I think her not beeing in an optimal position had a contribution to the hip pain.

This time around I can feel the baby is already in a very different position. a) I think it is that I am better aligned thanks to the chiropractor work b) I did loads of balancing exercise that you can

check on https://spinningbabies.com/


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Happy Mummy

I loved loved loved loved loved this recipe!

I have to be honest baking is not something I am good at or I enjoy. But for these amazingly yummy and healthy chocolate brownies I am quite happy to invest 70 min of my pressure time.

Preparation time: 20-30 min    Sweet-potatoe-chocolate-brownie-225x300.

Cooking time: 50 min

Ingredients:

FOR THE BROWNIES

  • 500g of sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 12 medjool dates
  • 6 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 100g of ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100g of ground oats
  • 6 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

FOR THE ICING

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of cacao powder

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (fan).
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about twenty minutes, until they become really soft.
  3. Remove them and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates.
  4. Remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato date combination. Stir well.
  5. Place into a lined baking dish and cook for about forty-five to fifty minutes, until you can pierce the brownie with a fork and bring it out dry.
  6. While the brownies are cooking make the icing by simply melting all the ingredients together and stirring well, then place in a fridge for 15 to firm up a bit.
  7. Remove the brownies from the tray and leave to cool completely before icing. Spread the icing on top.
  8. Cut into desired pieces and enjoy!

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Happy Mummy

Let’s be honest. It is hard a hard job. Craving sugar is one of the most common cravings in pregnancy.

doughnuts500-350-300x210.jpgUntil like 30 weeks I felt I had things under the control. Last 9 weeks – not so much:)  After every main meal I do feel now there is something missing and unless I have something sweet my taste buds are not fully satisfied.

Here is the trick though…You don’t have to torture yourself by not giving your body what it craves. Just try to stick to as healthy treats as you can get. Combined with a healthy balanced diet rich in nutrients and topped with some exercise you don’t have to worry about having something sweet every day. I craved lot more sweets this pregnancy and certainly ate more of the sweet stuff and still put on only 10 kg and I am feeling strong and fit.

My tips to satisfy your sweet tooth quickly

! Before you try any of the following  have a big glass of water with squeezed half of lemon. Often your sweet tooth is just that you are thirsty. If that does’t help try these:

  • table spoon of honey
  • few squares of dark chocolate at least 70% in cocoa
  • fresh fruit even those high in fructose like mangos, pineapples etc.
  • dried fruit like dates, apricots or prunes
  • kids biscuits with no sugar content:)

or try any of the following recipes. Any of them take longer then 60 min and you can have your healthy treats supply for at least 4 days  always handy waiting for you in your fridge or handbag whenever you have a “need:)”

http://evalindsayhealth.com/super-easy-fruit-and-nut-energy-bar/

http://evalindsayhealth.com/easy-amaranth-biscuits/

http://evalindsayhealth.com/oats-and-sweet-potato-cake-bars/

http://evalindsayhealth.com/chocolate-zucchini-loaf/

http://evalindsayhealth.com/sweet-potato-and-almond-bliss-balls/

http://evalindsayhealth.com/banana-peanut-butter-icecream/

http://evalindsayhealth.com/chocolate-pecans-energy-bar/

http://evalindsayhealth.com/coconut-blueberry-muffins/

And sometimes there is just nothing really bad about having that big Starbucks chocolate cake or a regular ice-cream:) Just chill and enjoy it!

Good luck!


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Happy Mummy

Approved by Emilia! Great for lunch boxes and good mummy snack too;)

Preparation time: 10 min    snackbars-e1502727782341-225x300.jpg

Cooking time: 0 min

Ingredients:

  • 50 g rolled oats
  • 50g macadamia nuts
  • 150g apricots or dates
  • 100 g raisins
  • 4 tbsp fresh orange juice or apple juice
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Method: 

  1. Toast nuts and oats for several minutes on a dry frying pan on a medium heat until oats turn golden.
  2. Mix the dried fruit and the juice in a food processor until you achieve a smooth a paste.
  3. Place nuts, seeds and oats into food processor and bland until finely chopped.
  4. Combine  the oats/ nut/ seeds mixture with the fruit paste.
  5. Line a baking paper, spread the mixture to 1 cm thickness.  Place baking paper on the top as well and press to make the top nice and smooth.
  6. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour and then slice into bars.
  7. Keep it in the airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze.

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Happy Mummy

So last two days I really felt like pregnant ladies are meant to feel sick and not allowed to do anything other then sit, feel heavy, uncomfortable and must be excluded from fun and feeling normal!

Yesterday I went with Emilia to water park and the guard told me off because I stood ” too deep” in a kids wave pool in exactly 1.2 m. Even for me that meant the water was barely touching my shoulders. Explanation was that the rule here is ” pregnant women are not allowed to go that deep!”

And today I was almost not allowed to go to soft play (i had to argue my way in) with my 3 years old- I was recommended to sit down!!!! Well I would prefer to put my feet up and sip a cup of coffee really! But explain it to my 3 years old who has got so much energy that can distribute to many.

What is wrong with the world!!!????First and foremost every pregnant woman knows the best her current fitness level and what is appropriate for her and what is not anymore. Secondly when did pregnant women became so weak and sick like? Our great grandmas would still work on the field throughout their whole pregnancy and give a birth to their children straight on the field and then in few hours go back to work.

Being pregnant and if cleared out by your doctor you can stay fit throughout your whole pregnancy and you certainly don’t have to feel like you can’t possibly do 1 hour in soft play or a pool! And it doesn’t require a lot of effort.

Here is me 31 weeks pregnant doing my favourite 10 min! (no excuses – everybody can find 10 min) upper body work out. All you need is just dumb bells based on your fitness level- I was using 4 kg one. here (normally when not pregnant I would do 5-10kg).

You can read more articles about how to stay fit healthy and positive during your pregnancy here:

http://evalindsayhealth.com/category/prenatal/


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Happy Mummy

So last two days I really felt like pregnant ladies are meant to feel sick and not allowed to do anything other then sit, feel heavy, uncomfortable and must be excluded from fun and feeling normal!

Yesterday I went with Emilia to water park and the guard told me me off to stand ” too deep”  in a kids wave pool in exactly 1.2 m. Even for me that meant the water was  barely touching my shoulders. Explanation was that the rule here is ” pregnant women are not allowed to go that deep!”

And today I was almost not allowed to go to soft play  (i had to argue my way in) with my 3 years old- I was recommended to sit down!!!! Well I would prefer to put my feet up and sip a cup of coffee really! But explain it to my 3 years old who has got so much energy that can distribute to many.

What is wrong with the world!!!????First and foremost every pregnant woman knows the best her current fitness level and what is appropriate for her and what is not anymore. Secondly when did pregnant women became so weak and sick like? Our great grandmas would still work on the field throughout their whole pregnancy and give a birth to their children straight on the field and then in few hours go back to work.

Being pregnant and if cleared out by your doctor you can stay fit throughout your whole pregnancy and you certainly don’t have to feel like you can’t possibly do 1 hour in soft play or a pool! And it doesn’t require a lot of effort.

Here is me 31 weeks pregnant doing my favourite 10 min! (no excuses – everybody can find 10 min) upper body  work out. All you need is just dumb bells based on your fitness level- I was using 4 kg one. here (normally when not pregnant I would do 5-10kg).

 


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Happy Mummy

I am 35 weeks pregnant!

at-the-gym-e1500793286809-225x300.jpgLast 2 weeks were tough. I developed bad piles from the pressure of the baby and I literally could’t move or sit or simply enjoy myself. Joys of pregnancy yay!

Not being able to be active drove me absolutely crazy! It is all fine and healed now. (combination of hot sitz baths, cold compresses, ointments, suppositories, Aloe vera gel 99,9% gel worked wonders!!!)

Today first time since we came back from Slovakia I went to gym and did short arms and legs work out and stretched with few sun salutations. I felt so good to be back to exercising!

Exercise for me is not only about the physical results it is about mental health, feeling good in my own skin and brain.

When I was in the gym I could see how surprised people were watching this hugely pregnant woman lifting weights, do squats and downward dogs:) There was one lady who even asked me if that is ok for a woman to be this active at this stage of pregnancy???

So again back to the same rules

  1. First and foremost you need to get a green light from your health caregiver that you and your baby are all healthy and you have low risk pregnancy.
  2. You need to adjust your exercise to be pregnancy friendly. Lower the weights, avoid core work outs, no extreme jumping, holding breath, slow down the cardio and just simply listen to your body.
  3. Take into the consideration what was your activity level before you got pregnant

After that there is no reason why you should stop moving. Staying active while being pregnant has so many benefits not just for you but for your baby as well.

Benefits of staying active while you pregnant

In-the-liftJPG-e1500793904700-225x300.jp1. Increase of  energy level

Growing a baby is a hard job resulting in increased fatigue. Form my own experience being pregnant twice exercise kept me full of energy throughout all trimesters.

2. Lower your risk of certain pregnancy-related complications

Studies suggest that exercising during pregnancy can lower the risk of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

3. Reduce pregnancy discomfort

Pregnancy comes with all sort of joys. Ligaments cramps, swollen legs, weight gain, back pain…I experienced all of this but thanks to the regular exercise I kept it under a control.

4. Help you to relax and stay positive

For me this is one of the most significant reasons why with both of my pregnancies I was determined to stay active. With all the hormonal changes going on in your body it is so easy to fall in the vicious circle of bad mood swings. Thanks to regular exercise I stayed reasonably happy and positive:)


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Happy Mummy

This is one of my favourite pasta sauces I make on the occasions I need a quick dinner and kids love it! It freezes well so you can make a double portion and store the left overs in air-tight containers for the times life is too busy.

Preparation time: 10 min    IMG_1357-300x225.jpg

Cooking time time: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 can of tuna
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes or 2 kg of fresh tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • peppers
  • black olives (optional)
  • basel (optional)

Method:

  1. In a pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add  crashed garlic  half the onion, saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes and basel season with salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer uncovered on medium heat for about 20 min until thick.
  4. If sauce still tastes acidic, add some honey or butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.
  5. Add the sauce into food processor. Process until smooth.
  6. While you prepare the sauce in a separate pan heat the oil and add the onion and fry for about 2 min.
  7. Add the tuna and grated carrot. Saute for another 3-5 min.
  8. Mix the tuna with the tomato sauce. If you like you can mix in some black sliced olives.

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Happy Mummy

With this post I certainly don’t want to put any pressure on ladies who for any reason can’t exercise during their pregnancy. We are all different and we have different time availability and progress of our pregnancy.

The purpose of this post is to help mums who would like to stay active or are in doubt which exercise is appropriate in their pregnancy.

Some important facts about exercising while you are pregnant

Pregnancy (if low risk) is a healthy state of being. You are not sick you are just pregnant. That means that if your doctor (midwife) gives you green you are allowed any exercise which doesn’t target your core muscles directly and doesn’t involve too much of jumping. Simply put think of your exercise whether it doesn’t place direct pressure on your belly or doesn’t cause an unwelcoming effect on your baby.

Most of the medical care providers dropped now even the myth that expecting mums shouldn’t raise their heart beats above 150 per minute. As long as you used to this level of activity before your pregnancy there is no reason you should stop doing it now.

My tip how to modify or choose the right exercise

  • If you used to go to gym before you got pregnant you can keep going just slow down a bit, avoid excessive jumping, drop or lower the weights and avoid exercises like planks, crunches, Russian twist etc.
  • If you used to do loads of running, you can continue running. Just take it easy, slow down a bit until it feels comfortable. Your body will tell you when to stop. Usually that happens around week 19-20.
  • If you used to do yoga keep doing it: just avoid boats, planks, back bands, jumping, closed twists, lying on the back and inversions.
  • If you haven’t been exercising before for your pregnancy-  go to special pregnancy classes or download special pregnancy yoga /strength training, go for brisk walks or do some swimming.

The point is:

The more active you stay during your pregnancy the better you will cope physically and mentally as well. This is my own experience (2 pregnancies).

I get it. Time is always an issue. So don’t get trapped in the 60 min exercise block nonsense. Move when you can. That means anytime you find 10- 20 min block – use it!

I went for a quick 20 min walk yesterday after I put Emilia to sleep and it was great!

Or I do quick sun salutation (10 min or so) in the morning before Mili wakes up or while she plays around. This san salutation is modified and suitable for any stage of pregnancy.

 


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Happy Mummy

I always plan my meals around protein. Every day I opt for different protein- white meats, red meats, seafood, meat free protein.

I got spoiled in Abu Dhabi knowing that you can buy here almost anything at any point of time. You can feel just very little of a season aspect when it comes to choice of fruit and veggies in the shops. Everything is imported!

Recently I started ordering every week 9kg box of organic veggies and fruits (mostly locally grown,  some are imported). It is good value and good quality and I like to bring to our life here a bit of “natural”.

Every week the selection is slightly different. This encourages me to a completely different approach to planning my meals. Rather then planning the meals bases on what I fancy I plan based on what I have and what I simply have to use. Sometimes it is veggies or fruits I would have less of preference to buy.

This has really revolutionized my cooking last few week and also made it different and bit more fun.

Last week I had in my box  also some big tomatoes and aubergine. I can’t remember last time I bought aubergine.  So this is what I made for our dinner yesterday yum yum!

Tomato stuffed with aubergine, mozzarella cheese and basel

Preparation time: 10 min    tomato-300x225.jpg

Cooking time time: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 aubergine
  •  1 onion
  •  3 garlic cloves
  •  3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup basel
  • 1 mozzarella cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Fry the onion for 2 min then add the eggplants and basel and fry until golden brown. Add the garlic at the end and stir for another 2 min. Set aside.
  3. To prepare the tomato cups, carefully cut tops off of each tomato and scoop out seeds and pulp with a melon baller or spoon. Reserve the tops.
  4. Stuff the tomatoes with the eggplant mixture and place them in the baking dish and bake for about 20 min.
  5. At the end top each evenly with mozzarella cheese. Place the reserved tomato tops to the baking dish (not on top of the tomatoes). Broil tomatoes until the cheese is melted and lightly golden.
  6. You can serve it as an appetizer or as a side dish (chicken or fish goes nicely with it).

 


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Happy Mummy

I would love to say “I can’t believe 30 weeks passed already:)))”

bump-e1497336936756-300x300.jpgThe truth is I feel like I have been pregnant at least TWICE AS LONG lol. Temperatures in Abu Dhabi has climbed to 40s and my due date seems to be still way to far….On the positive side I extremely enjoy my maternity leave:). I gave myself just few small work related projects to finish by June otherwise I concentrate selfishly on myself:)

A brief recap on my 2nd pregnancy

  • No major complications- knock knock on the wood
  • Healthy baby- perfect size- knock knock on the wood
  • 5 kg weight gain since the beginning of the pregnancy
  • All blood tests are fine- No issues  (so far) with iron, vitamin D or diabetes

Some things are easier some things are more difficult to handle.

What is easier

  • Less of indigestion (although it has been worse last week)

With Emilia I suffered enormously from acid and constant burping:(

  • Less hip pain

I have a hip pain now and then but way less then in my first pregnancy – I praise the strength training focused on the glutes and back -it seems to be helping a lot!

  • Better sleep

As long as the baby number 1 sleeps I have an amazing sleep. I do wake up several time a night for a toilet visit but I usually go straight back to sleep.

What is more difficult

  • My bump is bigger this time

Towards the end of day I usually feel like my belly is about to burst.

  • This pregnancy goes really slowly

Because I have been showing much earlier this time I feel like I have been pregnant for years lol:)

  • Bad mood swings

I do suffer from bad mood swings. Specially in the afternoon I often feel a bit low:(

  • Back pain

I guess because of the size of the belly my back tends to be in loads od discomfort- specially towards the end of day.

Tips to ease the discomforts of your pregnancy. Or what do I do to stay sane:)

I. Food

IMG_9167-225x300.jpgNutritious food is important for a good mental and physical health. We all know that. It is even more true during the pregnancy. It is also a truth that it is impossible to be 100%. Pregnancy cravings, lack of time, baby number 1, tiredness that all contributes to the days when it is simply hard to cook from scratch. I certainly eat this time more of “treats” (muffins are my thing:) then in my 1st pregnancy.

MY TIP: Try to be good for 80%. The rule of thumb is: each main meal should contain veggies to roughly cover half of your plate. The rest of your plate is divided into half protein and half whole grains.

In another words make the best possible choices you can over the week. (or weekend if that is easier) and then allow yourself to have treat days or individual treat meals (whatever that is for you)…If possible shoot for homemade deserts or biscuits or buy higher quality and try to stay away from processed chocolate bars, biscuits etc. They are super high in sugars and additives.

II. Exercise

strenghtraining-300x279.jpgWe all know exercise is good for us. This is even more true during the pregnancy. Staying active is not only important for you to stay fit and get back to your desired self after the birth in no time but also it is important for the health of your baby.

I honestly don’t know what I would do without my exercises. It doesn’t only keep the physical discomforts of pregnancy at its minimum but also the endorphins do really their job. I feel absolutely amazing every time I force myself  into little walk or do my yoga practice or strength training.

MY TIP: Shoot for 2- 3 hours of exercise a week.  Remember these doesn’t have to be 1 hour blocks. Whenever you find 15- 20 min use them! Great is prenatal yoga, prenatal strength training, swimming or brisk walk .

If you anyway struggle to fit it because of lack of time then think walks whenever possible-  get of one bus stop sooner, or walk the stairs, carry your shopping bags etc.You can also do your exercises from home, there are some amazing pregnancy online programs now here are two I can 100% recommend:

Home

Compilation: Prenatal Yoga

 

III. Self care

selfcare-172x300.jpgSome of mums feel naturally amazing and beautiful during their pregnancy. I did with Emilia. With this one I had to help myself a bit. I can’t stress enough how important it is for your good mental health to carve out some mummy time and pamper yourself to feel beautiful and positive. At the beginning of this pregnancy I really didn’t feel beautiful neither positive. In fact I felt the right opposite and it was really bothering me:(

MY TIP: Even if it is 30 min a week have a bath, go for coffee with your friend, pamper yourself- go for a pregnancy massage or manicure…. buy some nice maternity clothes to feel comfortable and beautiful-when I feel tired or simply not well in my own skin this really works for me. I literally force myself into long shower and put some nice clothes on and….make up! The effort always  pays off!

IV. Relaxation – stay calmly with yourself

relaxation-261x300.jpgWe often take time to relax physically but very rarely we take time to calm our minds. (and they do work 24 hours a day). Pregnancy often brings along mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, even depression. Trust me I know all about these in this second pregnancy.

MY TIP: Find a comfortable silent place (ask our partner to babysit or anybody else who could help to stay with your children meanwhile) close your eyes and listen for 15 min to a relaxing music. Or find a guided meditation on youtube or at apple store. Go for a walk. Have a bath. If you do hypnobirthing course listen to the “tapes”. Or do whatever makes you to slow down and stay in silence with yourself. 10 min a day is ideal. If that is a luxury then even 10 min a week is better then nothing.


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I finally found a biscuit recipe that even my daughter would be happy with:) For those who look for recipe which doesn’t include any of the traditional ingredients like wheat flower, oats, eggs, sugar you might like to try this one:

Preparation time: 15 min

Baking time: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp Vegetable oil (I used olive oil)IMG_0847-300x300.jpg
  • 1.5 cup Maple sirup
  • 6 Tbsp Water
  • 2 cups Amaranth flour
  • 2/3 cup Arrow root starch
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2/3 cup grated Carrot
  • 2/3 cup Raisins

Direction:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  2. Combine all the wet ingredients and all of the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add carrot and raisins at the end.
  4. Using a palm of your hand flatten the biscuits to 1 cm thickness.
  5. Grease the tray with a butter.
  6. Bake for 12-15 min until lightly brown.

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I am a big fan of batch cooking! It really works for me as I either use the left overs for my lunch next day or lunch box for my daughter or I freeze it for the “days  in hurry”  when my only option to have a healthy food is to “defrost it”.

This recipe is great example of “batch cooking”. Same chicken used ones for dinner and lunch next day with different sides.

Cashew crusted chicken with creamy asparagus 

Preparation time: 15 minIMG_0705-225x300.jpg Cooking time time: 15 min

Ingredients for chicken:

  • 500 g chicken breasts
  • 1.5 cups cashew nuts
  • 1 beaten egg
  • salt
  • pepper

Ingredients for creamy asparagus (2 portions)

  • 40 baby asparagus stalks
  • 2 cups of sliced white button mushrooms (or any other of your choice)
  • brocoli (optional )
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 3-4 tbsp of double cream
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fresh thyme (optional)

Direction

  1. Preheat the over for 170 C.
  2. Cover the chicken breasts with a beaten egg firstly and then with cashew meal and taste with some salt and pepper.
  3. On the pan fry each side for about 2 minutes.
  4. Then move the chicken into the oven for about 10 min.
  5. Meanwhile stir-fry mushrooms first for about 5 min and then asparagus. Stir together for about another 2 min (add a parboiled broccoli if you wish) and add some crashed garlic continue to stir fry for another 1 min.
  6. At the end add the double cream and taste with salt and pepper.

MY TIP: Save the chicken left overs and you can use it in your salad next day.

IMG_0709-225x300.jpg


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So grateful for every testimonial my clients write for me.

Thank you Martina choosing my prenatal yoga program for your second pregnancy. It was a pleasure to meet you and to watch your little one to grow. I wish you all the best!

—————–

IMG_0674-300x227.jpgI decided to join a prenatal yoga program to stay fit during the whole pregnancy. I can say it helped me in many ways, such as sharing with other mums or mums to be feelings and thoughts about this phase. I really appreciated the benefits of yoga to both body and mind such as balance, flexibility, strength..it really helped to prepare for to the birth. Eva is a very empathic teacher, she follows the mood of the group, inspiring personal improvements, which come shortly. “

Martina B., Abu Dhabi, Al Zeina

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I love this recipe as it really takes 20 min and you make enough of portions for 2-3 filling breakfasts for both mummy and your child.

Preparation time: 10 min

Cooking time time: 15 min

Ingredients: Quinoa-pudding-300x300.jpg

  • 1.5 cup of quinoa
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 15-20 ripe middle size strawberries
  • honey (to your taste)
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Direction

  1. Boil quinoa according to the instruction on the package
  2. After add full can of the coconut milk and stir for 5 min
  3. Add a honey and chia seeds
  4. Divide into individual portions
  5. Blend the strawberries and poor over each portion (you can make few layers as well)

 


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The weight of your growing baby is going to put a pressure on your lower back. The spine has a tendency to pronounce more and cause a very common lower back discomfort.

Specially at the end of my day or after a long walk I feel my lower back is very tired and it needs a special attention. But

If you look for a quick fix and as a busy mum you have only about 5-10 min spare here are my 9 favourite exercise to help to release the discomfort quickly.

I. 90 Degree Angle pose

 

  1. Place the palms on the wall or chair or table
  2. Step back into 90 degree angle pose
  3. Press your palms against wall or table (chair) and draw your tailbone back
  4. Keep this pose for 10-15 breaths

IMG_0492-225x300.jpg

II. Deep Squat

  1. Keep your stance about 50-70 cm wide heel to heel
  2. Turn your toes outward
  3. Bend your knees and squat down
  4. Palms on your heart centre elbows pressing against your inner knees
  5. Lengthen your spine draw your shoulders down

IMG_0507-225x300.jpg

III. Forward bend

  1. Feet are hip width distance
  2. Bend forward
  3. Soften your knees

IMG_0514-225x300.jpg

IV. Triangle pose

  1. Arms are shoulder level
  2. Feet are right under your wrist creases
  3. Turn your right foot 60 degrees in left foot out
  4. Reach towards your right right foot and tilt
  5. place your palm ob your shin bone
  6. Look up, straight forward or down at your toes
  7. change sides

IMG_0525-1-225x300.jpg

V. From a triangle pose place a block in front of your right toes

  1. bend your right knee
  2. place your right palm on the block
  3. Lift the left leg up t be parallel with the floor
  4. change sides

IMG_0532-225x300.jpg

VI. Stuff pose

  1. Sit down and stretch your legs up
  2. Flex your feet engage your quadriceps
  3. Palms are either side of your hips pressing against the floor
  4. Straight back keep your spine long and straight

IMG_0544-225x300.jpg

VII. Cat and cow pose

  1. Place your knees (aligned with hips)  and palms (aligned shoulders) on the mat
  2. Inhale lift your tailbone, arch lower back, middle back and then upper back, Look up at the celing
  3. Exhale draw your tailbone down, then U shape your lower back and upper back, chin down towards the chest

IMG_0552-225x300.jpg IMG_0566-225x300.jpg

VIII. Childs pose

  1. From table top pose, bring your knees mat width distance
  2. Stretch your arms forward
  3. Bring your hips down
  4. 5-15 breaths

IMG_0570-225x300.jpg

IX. Downward facing dog

  1. From a childs pose keep your palms stick to the mat as you are coming back to table top pose
  2. Lift your hips high up
  3. Keep your knees soft or draw your heels down and your knee ups up

IMG_0592-225x300.jpg


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Another recipe which made it to my library. Easy, quick, acceptable for the toddler and of course healthy are always the basic criteria.

You can put these patties in your sandwich or it also goes nicely with a salad. For the little ones you can serve it with any sides they like. (rice, veggies, pasta, couscous)

Preparation time: 10 min IMG_0399-300x225.jpg

Cooking time time: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 4 x 170g chicken breast fillets, chopped
  •  1/3 cup (80g) ricotta
  •  1 tablespoon milk
  •  4 spring onions, trimmed, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (or basel or dill)

Method:

  • Place the chicken, ricotta, milk, spring onion and tarragon in a food processor and season with salt and pepper.IMG_0402-300x225.jpg
  • Pulse briefly until the chicken is evenly minced – don’t overmix.
  • Using damp hands, form the mixture into 8 small patties (about 2cm thick), then chill for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a large non-stick frypan over high heat. Add oil, reduce heat to medium, then cook the patties, ifor 4-5 minutes each side until browned and cooked through.

 

evalindsayhealth.com


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Mili is now having opinion about everything! Recently she started refusing foods that she quite consistently loved for about 1 and half:) Simply put she is convinced she doesn’t like it.

Ok so this is really irritating 🙂

Among these foods she always enjoyed are also fish cakes, shrimp cakes and burgers or meat balls. Shapes-252x300.jpgSo yesterday I really fancied shrimp cake  which we didn’t have for a while… but what

IMG_0384-300x225.jpgabout her? Will she eat it?  I had an idea… What if I make some shapes out of the shrimp cake? Would that help?

It turned out it did!!! She quite happily atet all of her pieces and was quite excited about it. Yay! Mummy: Mili = 1:0:)))

Today I am making meat balls so I will try the same strategy and plus I will involve her into making shapes. Lets see what happens:)

 


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It is always so encouraging to receive a positive testimonial about my work…Dear Rana, I wish you all the best for the birth and super quick recovery! It was my honor to meet you and to be there watching your baby growing!xxx
—————-
thumb_IMG_0370_1024-300x200.jpg“After few months of prenatal yoga training with Eva, I really liked the way she teaches and I always felt better after her class no matter how I started. She was always following our mood and energy levels to design her class. She is professional and informative yet very friendly and flexible when needed. Highly recommended if you are looking for a good results and not so traditional yoga teacher. “
Rana, Abu Dhabi, Al Zeina

Check on my programs here:

evalindsayhealth.com/#WorkWithMe


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Now I know why this pregnancy is so much harder! And NO it doesn’t go so much faster!

Few days ago I was whole 16 hours on my own at home. (1 afternoon and bit of the next morning. )
The rest of my family and our visitors went desert camping.

In a way I did exactly what I did when I was pregnant first time. That time I had only few classes to teach, no child
and my husband worked during the weeks in Serbia so we were together only weekend.

While I was alone this time and I did something during those 16 hours I awalys asked myself what I would do if this was my normal day now…

IMG_0360-300x225.jpg16-17:30: I watched movie
I would be entertaining Emilia
17.30 – 18.15 : I went to the shop to buy my dinner. The dinner that I and ONLY I fancied
I would be in our kitchen already cooking some super compromised dinner

18:15-19:00 I had a peaceful dinner at out balcony. Feet up.
Dinner (not always quite and chilled) tydiining up the mess, playing with Emilia
19:00- 20:00 I went for a walk. Bliss!
Bath time, story time, bed time

20:00- 21:30 I watched Teld talks
Exhausted but trying anyway to have at least some time to talk to my husband or watch some telli (not always the most intellectual programs as I am too tired for that)

21:30- 7:30 I SLEEEEEPT without interruption!!!!!
21:30- 5.30 am – some sleep

7:30- 9:00 I did meditation and yoga practice
5:00-6.30 – Mummyyyyy I am AWAAAAAKE!!!

9:00- 9:300 I had the most simple but amazing and chillaxed breakfast
6:30- 7:15 Lunch box prep, Breakfast prep, Toddler prep, Mummy prep, Walking child to nursery

9:30 – 10:00- Prep for my class
8:00- 9:00- PREP for my classes

No wonder I absolutely loved my first pregnancy and I didn’t feel even a little tired!!!!

Picture 1: 20 weeks pregnant 2014
Picture 2: 20 weeks pregnant 2017
Picture 3: The most amazing breakfast while I was alone at home: Boiled eggs (6 min), feta cheese, sautéed spinach, walnuts, blueberries, olives, herbal tea YUUUUM


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Lunch boxes are a nightmares for many of us.

But with few tricks and set routine it doesn’t have to be that hard to provide fresh and full of nutrients food for your little ones.

Emilia goes to nursery were food is not provided so every day I have to pack snack and lunch. As I like Mili to have warm lunch but in the same time I don’t have time to cook 2x day her lunch is usually left over from previous dinner+ some additionals and snack is some fruit or veggies + some kind of healthy fats and proteins.

The best is to prepare the lunch box night before in case you are not too exhausted. Chop the fruit and veggies. Put all in separate containers into the fridge so that in the morning you can just warm up and transfer to a thermo flask or cool pack.

IMG_0037-300x224.jpgThis was one of Mili’s lunch boxes last week.

Snack= Green smoothie left over from previous afternoon snack. Spinach, cucumber, ginger, lemon and pear.
Pita bread triangles with cheese, strawberries and cucumber.

Lunch = left overs form previous dinner- basmati brown rice, green beans and roasted chicken.


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Perfect snack! Loved it!  Excellent both for mummy and her toddler and lunchbox. It also freeze well in air tight container.

Preparation time: 10 min IMG_0256-300x267.jpg

Baking time time: 30 min

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of almond meal (or equal quantity of spelt flour, or equal quantity wholemeal plain flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup sultanas or cranberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ – 2 cups grated sweet potato (skin included)
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds

 

Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin with baking paper
  3. Mix chia seeds,  grated potato, almond meal, oats, dry fruits,  baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs lightly and add the oil and sweetener
  5. Pour mixture into a greased and lined loaf pan
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, until brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

 


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And this is also still hard for me to accept as of course I would love Emilia to eat nicely all the time…I am still learning…

Last week the same dinner she ate all of this. Fish, Snow peas and roasted potatoes  and was even asking for more. This week she almost didn’t touch the fish neither the roasties but ate loads of the snow peas.

Emilia-e1490162415482-225x300.jpgReason? There actually are lots of possible reasons.

  1. The weather
  2. The development stage
  3. Teeth
  4. Sickness
  5. This week their body needed different nutritional composition
  6. They simple didn’t feel like to eat
  7. They didn’t like the colour of your t-shirt or the plate:)))

We will never know what was is exactly. But don’t beat yourself for not providing a dinner they loved! There was nothing wring with your cooking or the meal. Try again next time and I guarantee the result will be again different!


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