So in case you're wondering why this space has been so dead for the better part of this year, rest assured that there's a very good reason! I was going to continue to keep mum about that reason but have decided that there's no point in hiding it anymore...quite simply, I'm pregnant and we're expecting our first child in mid-October! To say that we're excited would be an understatement, to say that I've been a bit too harried to blog would be a bigger understatement still. Generally speaking, I've had a very peaceful pregnancy thus far (knock on wood)...no morning sickness, no food aversions (or cravings really, except more of a sweet tooth than I've ever had in the past!), no extreme fatigue...none of that! I've been going about my routine as usual, though alternating between bouts of cooking as I normally would and some periods of laziness. Luckily Luis is a great cook and has been doing his part, and of course living here in Bangkok means that it's very convenient (and relatively cheap) to eat out or order food delivery. The main difference now...other than being too lazy to properly style, photograph and write about my culinary exploits...has been my natural concern about eating well and doing my best to make sure that I'm giving this baby the nutrients that he/she needs (yes we know the gender, but I'm not announcing that just yet...a girl has to have some secrets after all!).
It's particularly challenging as a vegetarian, though I saw a nutritionist early on who gave me lots of good tips. I'll be writing more about pregnancy eating based on what I've learned sometime later, but for now I just wanted to share a recipe for a simple smoothie that packs a nutritional punch for a pregnant woman (or anyone for that matter). Berries are known to be a superfood, though unfortunately the fresh ones cost a fortune here since they are imported. Luckily frozen strawberries, blueberries and raspberries abound, and for this smoothie I used banana (the benefits of which are well-known) and frozen raspberries, which are a great source of vitamin C, potassium and lutein (important for healthy vision). I'm currently 31 weeks along (only 9 weeks to go!) so well into my third trimester, when the baby's brain development is proceeding at a rapid pace. Thus for a good dose of omega-3s, I added a tablespoon each of Chia seeds and ground flax seed (you can grind whole flax seeds yourself or buy it already ground). If you're in North America, you can get Chia seeds and flax seeds at places like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or any health food stores. In Thailand, ground flax is available at Villa Market, while Chia Seeds can be found in Radiance Wholefoods (though I get visitors from the States to bring them for me).
Enjoy this for breakfast with a couple of slices of whole-wheat toast and a scrambled or boiled egg...an ideal morning start for a pregnant woman or anyone who is concerned with eating well!
RASPBERRY BANANA SUPER SMOOTHIE
1 1/4 cups milk of your choice (I used skim. Soy or rice milk would also be fine)
1 large banana, sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen berries of your choice
1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
1 tablespoon Chia seeds
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
Handful of ice cubes
1. Mix all ingredients well in a blender. Enjoy!