Thursday, July 30, 2015


Had my 6 month check up today: I'm healthy, baby is healthy and growing right on track with a strong heart, my blood counts increased back into the acceptable range, and I gained 2 pounds since my 5 month appointment! All is well and totally on track :)

My doctor was pleased (since I did my "bulk" gain the previous month) but said I'll do some serious gaining in the next 3 months - averaging a pound a week, especially as the baby grows from 1ish pounds to 7-8 pounds!

Eating really balanced lately - lots more nutrition than I was getting in my first trimester, that's for sure. Also getting my muscles back on track, because I want to be strong enough for the birth and post birth times.

Other things are rough: the transmission died on my car, we're selling it and starting the process of getting a new (used) car - not that we can afford it! But whatever, I've accepted the situation and haven't let myself get so anxious herb set that it is affecting me physically.

Having a bunch of other stupid life problems (insurance and crap like that) and also worrying about several friends going through a hard time, regarding their health. It's scary.

Despite the stress, my BP was 94/64- low as always!

So just busy - busy writing my dissertation, busy dealing with this car and financing, busy clearing out my brother's old room then putting the nursery together, and busy just trying to live the rest of my life! I'm tired :)

So that's what's up with me in case anyone was wondering. I'm still reading blogs and following social media to distract me during the day at times, but haven't had a ton of energy to write my own.

Namaste <3

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Warm winter quinoa porridge - my favourite morning recipes.

Quinoa porridge with currants, cinnamon, strawberries and maple syrup.
The winter has been cold and I've been cooking porridge for breakfast most mornings and thought I'd share with you some of my tips. Most of us know how to make porridge from oats, but I can't eat oats, so my experiment this winter has been with quinoa. And what a successful experiment it has been!

Are you a quinoa fan? Quinoa looks like a grain but its actually a seed and comes from a relative of the spinach plant, and what a tasty and versatile seed it can be. Cooked by itself it has a mild nutty flavour, but will rapidly absorb whatever flavours you cook it with. You can use it plain in place of rice or cous cous, or cook it flaked like oats. It's gluten free, low GI (it has a glycaemic index of 53) and is high in protein. What's not to love? (for more on quinoa click here --> Notes on quinoa

First decision you need to make is if you would like to make your porridge with whole grain quinoa or with quinoa flakes. Flakes will give you a creamy porridge very similar to oats, and are much quicker to prepare and cook. They are, however, a bit less versatile. Whole quinoa seeds take longer and give you a chewier nuttier texture, but the one bag of quinoa can be used for all manner of things, from salads to risottos. I tend to mix it up a bit from day to day, so I'll give you the instructions for both.
Clockwise from top: quinoa seeds, chia seeds, currants, quinoa flakes, pepitas
(shredded coconut in the middle and bananas and strawberries of course!)

Creamy porridge with quinoa flakes
This is my rapid everyday porridge and gives you a creamy finish.

  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup milk of your choice (I use dairy but rice, soy, almond milk would work fine too, you could also cook in water if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsps something to sweeten - I use honey or maple syrup, but you could use brown sugar, stevia or anything else
  • small handful of currants (optional)
  • Put 1 cup milk in a heavy based pot on low heat. Add vanilla essence. Bring to simmer.
  • As soon as it is simmering turn heat down and add quinoa flakes, cinnamon and currants. Stir on low heat for 2-5 minutes until milk is absorbed and creamy texture is achieved. This doesn't take long so don't walk away!
  • Serve with a drizzle of your favourite sweetener, fruit, nuts or whatever toppings. 
Optional extras:
Peanut butter, banana and honey quinoa porridge. Heavenly!
  • I've already mentioned the currants - I love adding them in with the cooking porridge and they add a bit of caramel sweetness to the porridge, like a surprise!
  • I also enjoy chia seeds, which are packed with fibre and omega 3 fatty acids, I usually stir a tablespoon through at the end for crunch.
  • My standard go-to toppings are fresh strawberries or blueberries, a tiny sprinkle of shredded coconut, flaked almonds and pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Frozen berries would also work fine as would any poached fruit.
  • You can try grating apple into your porridge and adding a little more cinnamon, some maple syrup and crushed walnuts to taste like an apple strudel!
  • If you're feeling like a tasty comforting treat try adding a spoonful of peanut or almond butter at the end of cooking to melt into your porridge, and top with sliced banana and a drizzle of honey. Just amazing!

Chewy porridge with whole quinoa
If you have a little more time, only have some whole quinoa seeds handy or prefer your porridge more chewy and less creamy then here's an option for you. I like it both ways and tend to mix it up a bit - strictly speaking this is not really like oats porridge at all, but hey, it tastes good too! Whole quinoa takes around 20 minutes so if I'm making it this way I tend to get it cooking the night before while I'm cleaning the kitchen after dinner, then pop it in the fridge ready for the morning.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa (white quinoa is the quickest to cook and mildest in flavour, I tend to use a mixture of white red and black just for colour and a bit more taste!)
  • 1 cup milk of your choice (I use dairy but rice, soy, almond milk would work fine too, you could also cook in water if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsps something to sweeten - I use honey or maple syrup, but you could use brown sugar, stevia or anything else to taste
  • Nutty chewy whole quinoa is another choice for breakfast
  • small handful of currants (optional)

  • Wash your quinoa seeds well in a fine sieve under running water (quinoa has a natural coating called saponins to protect it and this can taste bitter. Many commercial supplies have been pre-washed, but if you're not sure, spending 5 minutes to rinse it is well worth the time). 
  • Put 1 cup milk in a heavy based pot on low heat. Add vanilla essence. Bring to simmer. 
  • As soon as it is simmering turn heat down and add quinoa, cinnamon and currants.
  • Cook slowly in a covered pot on low heat for 15-20 minutes or so until milk is absorbed and quinoa is chewy but not hard. Check it regularly so it doesn't burn on the bottom
  • Once it's cooked I keep it in a container in the fridge, and when ready to serve in the morning add a splash of milk and give it 60 seconds on high in the microwave for steaming porridge!

Optional extras:

Blueberries, chia seeds, a sprinkle of coconut and walnuts! 
  • Just like with the flakes, I often add currants - I love adding them in with the cooking porridge and they add a bit of caramel sweetness to the porridge, like a surprise!
  •  My standard go-to toppings are fresh strawberries or blueberries, a tiny sprinkle of shredded coconut, and I often add crushed walnuts - another tasty source of omega 3 fatty acids and the flavour mixes well. 
  •  If you feel like something a tad more exotic, add cinnamon, star anise and some cardamon seeds as the quinoa is cooking and serve with yoghurt and a drizzle of honey. Tastes like a chai latte! 

If you need any better reason to consider cooking breakfast, have a read of my blog post on the beauty of breakfast here, and for another tasty option you might like to try cooking up some of my mini-breakfast frittatas (great for lunchboxes too!) or mix your own muesli. 

However you decide to make it, I hope you enjoy your lovely winter quinoa. Share with me here or on Facebook any other flavour ideas you may have!

Bon appetit!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

25,000 Facebook friends

Today isn't just any Saturday night here at LGH headquarters- tonight we have had our 25,000th friend join us on our Facebook page. WOW! Thank you everyone for spreading the word about simple eating, home cooking and living a healthy lifestyle, about moderation, balance and making changes that last. Stop dieting, stop following crazy programs and all that self torture. Love yourself, be happy and just eat real food! Share with your friends and lets keep on spreading the word! 


 Lean Green and Healthy

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sorry I haven't been posting...

I'm just a little sad and overwhelmed right now, and doing my best to do some self-care during this time.

My physical health is excellent however, and the baby is doing well. So there's that :)

Will try to do an actual post soon <3

Monday, July 20, 2015

Feeling special

Well, I haven't been blogging nearly enough lately - our page has been going gangbusters on Facebook, and the chat group is busy, active and supportive, but I haven't always got around to penning my thoughts in here.
This morning's wonderful surprise from my GP colleague Edwin Kruys means I need to get back to it- and get my book finished too!

Read his list of top Australian GP bloggers - yours truly gets a mention along with a bunch of talented medical colleagues, I'm among illustrious company!

Thanks Edwin!

Oh and if you haven't found us on social media yet:
and I'm @LGHtweets on twitter
Share the lean green love!! hahaha

Friday, July 17, 2015

Treat Night

Chris came home from traveling all week today, so we treated ourselves to an easy night - he picked up Chipotle for us and brought it home, so I can have dinner right after work.

I got a salad with chicken on it, fajita veggies, salsa and sour cream. I constructed it off their online menu, see you can actually see the different calories of things as you build your meal. That was really helpful, to help me avoid picking every single high calorie item on the menu! The sour cream was my splurge :) I skipped the vinaigrette, opting to use the sour cream as the dressing.

The coffee shop down the street from us just started selling ice cream too. As a promotion, they were giving away free scoops of ice cream today. Free ice cream, no-brainer for me! Especially since my eating has been spot-on this week again (been back on track and feeling good!). 

Obviously, since it was free, it was a nice reasonable portion. I got peanut butter fudge, and I am more than satisfied :)

It's been really nice to be back to normal, to have five or so days of eating moderately and healthfully with A focus on nutrition, and then indulging in a little treat. I wrote that blog post some days ago about treats being treats, not the norm. And it was a good reminder. It's been nice to get back to that, because that ice cream tasted better than if I had been having ice cream every day! And no guilt at all for eating it, which is also nice. There shouldn't be guilt surrounding food like that.

I have my brother's fiancée's bridal shower on Sunday, and it is in New Jersey, so I have a bit of a long day that day. But it will be nice to see my family and her family again!

Enjoy the weekend.

Namaste <3

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Staying Active Throughout the Day

I've been having some really great step counts lately. With the nicer weather, it's just been so much easier to get out and get moving, especially now that I'm feeling better.

Chris is away, so I'm walking the dog first thing in the morning. I have three breaks during the day that I take walks during. I also walk around right before my shift starts.

Once you're in motion, it is a lot easier to stay in motion!

When I'm sedentary too much, I find it very hard to find the motivation to get moving throughout the day. Inertia!

Also, I've been reading that it is beneficial to stay active throughout the day (not just be sedentary for most the day, have an hour so where you are really active, and go back to being sedentary). 

Mission accomplished!

Today was a little tough - I started to get overwhelmed with all the things I have to do when Chris is gone. Got momentarily stressed. But I managed to get my house chores done, write a couple pages of my dissertation, take the dog out to the pet store, buy myself some Ferrero Roché (ate two truffles and saved one for tomorrow!) and settle in for the night calmly.

And I am tired, especially after being active all day - another benefit! So goodnight <3

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Belly Pic!

So that's me, 5 1/2 months pregnant :) Just in case anyone had lingering doubts that I am gaining enough weight for the little one! I'm not totally in love with my body at the moment, but I don't mind the belly :) The butt and upper arms could stand a little more trimming up. But hopefully I'll get back there eventually now that I am back in the world again and eating much better!

But that pregnant body got me and the baby up a mountain, so I can't complain too much - I felt on top of the world in that moment :D

Monday, July 13, 2015

Hiking while Pregnant

My blood pressure issues have definitely settled down to a normal range and my energy is back. And I have been missing the mountains something fierce lately. So I told my husband that I was ready to hike in the High Peaks again. I picked one that was only 6 miles round-trip, and has one of the less steep ascents (the climb is spread out - not so vertical).

And I had an amazing day!

The hike went well, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, and we ended up getting the summit to ourselves for 45 minutes (rare on a beautiful busy hiking day!).

I relaxed on the summit and felt my baby move - was so excited to be able to carry it up the mountain safely with me! I made sure to hike at a much slower pace than normal, keeping my heart rate slightly elevated but always even, and my breath calm.

I was so happy that day - elated, really. I forgot how much I gain from hiking and being in the wilderness.

I slept in the car on the way home, though :) Definitely tired me out!

It's going to be a hot week here, hope everyone has a great start to their week <3

Thursday, July 9, 2015

When are treats treats?

Last night, our group of friends flocked the recently bought house of another of our friends. To flock someone means to cover their lawn in pink plastic lawn flamingos :)

It's always fun, and our friends expect it now (which is why sometimes we wait six months or more to do it! Just to get a little bit of a surprise in), and it becomes a fun group activity.

After flocking, about a dozen of us stormed a local ice cream parlor and got ice cream. I've been super on point with my veggies and protein this week and keeping portions moderate, so I decided I would definitely have ice cream with them. I got a small peanut butter and jelly cone, and it was totally worth the splurge!

And then I walked into work this morning and there were donuts for everyone, and there will be cupcakes later.

I had to remind myself that a treat is only a treat if you have it once in a while. And I don't want donuts, cupcakes, and ice cream to become my norm! 

My doctor actually reminded me of this at my last appointment - saying keep treats moderate so that my weight gain doesn't continue at the pace it was (I was having nightly treats for months after getting pregnant! The doctor didn't think I had gained a dangerous amount of weight, but wanted me to slow it down).

I'm consuming a decent amount of sugar every day - it is the season of awesome fresh fruit! So I've been eating blueberries, cherries, strawberries, various melons and more throughout the week. That sates my sweet tooth plenty.

Typing this out helped reinforce to me that I won't have the donuts this morning or the cupcakes this afternoon. I was waffling a little on that (I'm weak - I love sugar!!!) but I know what is best for me and this baby. Got to focus on more nutritious stuff and leave the sugar to the fruit and occasional treat. I have a bridal shower I am throwing this weekend which will have lots of SUPER awesome treats, so I want to save my treat-eating for then :D

Everything else is going well with me. I started my new position and I like it much better than my old one (other than that they made my schedule later so I get home later, boo). But, otherwise, I enjoy my days a little more than I used to.

Baby is moving all the time, now. It's crazy and I'm not used to it at all! It's really special, though and I've been enjoying every second :) I can't wait for he/she to wake up in the morning so I can feel him/her and say good morning!

That's all for now. Namaste <3

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Eating, Moving, My Belly

We went up to the Adirondacks this weekend, and had an awesome time! I slept well in the cold mountain air, walked over 14,000 steps every day, and ate a lot of delicious food (no BBQs though!).

I had a salmon dinner on Saturday that was amazing!

And I got an omelette with toast at the town diner this morning!

Chris and I didn't do any big hikes, but did a lot of little walks around the area to get to some really beautiful places.

AND it became quite clear to me that, no matter what I wear, my belly is visible to everyone, so I have to start embracing it and stop hiding it so much.

It was a restful weekend - though active! - and I ate well, but didn't go overboard. I think I am pretty much back to my old way of eating, I'm not having crazy hunger pains and feeling out of control, so other than the reintroduction of some grains and dairy, I'm starting to feel like my old self as far as eating goes!

Just started week 21 of the pregnancy. Time is flying!! We ordered the crib and will buy curtains and a rug soon, too. Getting very, very real. Enjoying feeling the baby move more and more, too <3

Enjoy your week - take care of your hearts and bodies!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

5 months

And a very healthy baby!

That's all that's important in the end!

I'm up to 144 - so an 18 lb gain from conception. Yikes! I thought my weight gain had slowed hahaha but the baby is a pound, now, and the right size, so that's great :)

Other things are not awesome (they changed my schedule at work to a later shift, grrrr) but I'm starting a 3 day weekend right now and hoping to relax!