Choc Chip and Chickpea Cookies

cooking

 

My husband and I are in the middle of doing a 30 day nutritional cleansing. I thought it was going to be really hard but surprisingly it has been amazing. My husband is doing the full thing, I can only do parts of it due to breastfeeding. Let me tell you, in less than 4 days he is already looking great. His skin is glowing, he’s not looking bloated anymore and I can just see the weight is dropping off him. He has more energy and he is feeling very excited.

The only problem is that we have a toddler in the house who wants to eat and eat and eat and eat. So yesterday I decided to try out this Chocolate Chip and Chickpea cookies recipe, see if these healthy alternatives would cut the mustard.

You know what they were not bad, not bad at all. I have had a few of you ask for the recipe, so here it is:

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies

taken from The Healthy Mummy Guilt Free Desserts Book

*Makes 16

1&1/2 cups tinned chickpeas
1/2 cup light peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
85g dark chocolate chips

Method: Preheat oven to 200C. Put the chickpeas into a colander and rinse well. Place in a blender or food processor, along with nut butter, skim milk, vanilla extract and baking powder. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto lined baking trays. Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

The Healthy Mummy plans and recipes are great and definitely worth the investment. I am going to try out the Chocolate Layer Cake this weekend. Love it when you can eat naughty foods that are healthy.

Australia, It’s time we reworked the maternity leave policy.

kids play

It has been a while since I have blogged about anything. Seriously, how fast is this year going?

To be honest I have had to really prioritize what I can do and unfortunately this blog was a bit further down the list than I expected it to be. You see I have been studying and ‘mother’ing and ‘housewife’ing. And April was so full on with the two long weekends, visitors, trips away and people getting sick.

So I felt that something had to give and like I said, unfortunately it was this blog.

I normally get quite disappointed in myself when I don’t achieve all the things that I set out to do. But in this instance I was actually proud of myself for standing back and recognizing that I just didn’t have the time. The course I have been engaging in has really helped me put a bit of perspective on my life.

Since having kids I feel that my brain is on a constant whirr of ideas, dreams, future goals etc. I imagine what I want my life to be like for my family and there seems to be this inner battle going on in my brain.

Career or no career? Do I follow my career path? Do I focus more on the kids? Is it important that I have a job that will challenge and evoke me? OR Is it more important I just bring in some money but have flexibility for my children’s sake? Do I stay true to myself or sacrifice for my children?

I don’t live close to the city (I mean seriously, who the hell can afford to live close to Sydney city) but that is also fine by me cause I love where I live and I am glad we are here for my children’s sake. But again that comes with a price and that is the travelling to and from work, which means less time spent with my darling cherubs.

For the past 2 years I traveled 1&1/2 hours to and from work, 5 days a week, sometimes when traffic was bad that could blow out to 2 or 3 hours travelling. It was tiring and my mother’s guilt got to me many times about the fact I was abandoning my son or my employee’s guilt when I couldn’t stay back like my fellow colleagues did.

My eldest is three now and in two years time he will be off to school and there he will have 11 weeks off a year. Yep, you heard me right, 11. Hmmm, lets ponder this for a moment… I get four weeks off a year and so does my husband. So that is a total of eight weeks off a year. Not really sure how that works if you have no family to support you on those remaining three weeks. And does this mean the end of joint holidays with my husband?

The era that we live in today, unfortunately requires two incomes to support a family. Our expenses are ridonculous (yes that is ri-donc-u-lous) from housing, electricity, petrol and everything else that comes with having a family. On the other hand the era we live in today also has a lot more equality with the sexes and there are a lot of great policies out there supporting families. Maternity leave, paid parental scheme, paternity leave, flexible hours and conditions etc.

Yet, unfortunately a lot of these policies are implemented by people not machines. So you have to rely on the fact that your managers will allow you to incorporate these policies into your life. I do also feel for the employers too. They have a business to run and I am sure it is a right royal pain in their arse that parents ask for flexibility.

But as my Dad once said to me “Where do these employers think their next generation of employees come from?” Hmmm true dat Dad.

baby moustache

Sometimes I think that maternity leave is all wrong. Yes a newborn baby needs you for survival and I think we definitely need to be able to take time off to nurture the new baby. However I think kids really need their parents when they are at school. This is a vital part of growing up and becoming that ever so important member of society. Those years at school can make or break someone and really it is up to the parents to guide their children through the tumultuous years of school.

Maybe (and I am sure all those non-parents out there will boo me down for this) parents of school children need to be given 6 weeks off a year. Or 4 weeks annual leave and 3 weeks work from home leave.

Parents are so under the pump these days to raise their children the right way yet we have less flexibility to ensure we are doing the job right. We feel pressure from all corners to ensure we do all our roles properly and at 100% at all times.

I also don’t think these flexibilities have to just be for the Mothers either I think it is important that Fathers get flexible working arrangements too. They are parents too and they play a vital role in the upbringing of our next generation.

Ok, maybe I should get off my soap box now.

All I am saying is that I think that we can really look at and re-work what paternity leave means. Let’s ensure that the next generation is raised appropriately and with as much love and attention as possible.

Then hopefully, Mothers and Fathers all over Australia, can release their inner battles and just get on with enjoying their children and careers. I think it would definitely make for a happier society with a hell of a lot less guilt.

What do you think about re-working the paternity leave in Australia?

How do you tame a toddler?

Taming Toddlers

Master K our beautiful 3 year old son has really been testing us of late. Sometimes he is the sweetest little thing, telling me that I look pretty or that he loves me. He will surprise you with his affection and adoration for you and it just melts your heart.

And then there are the other times when he calls you a ‘poo, poo, bum, bum’ or screams at you like you are murdering his toy lion. He will kick and scream his way through the day and when you discipline him for the 400th time, he turns around and tells you to ‘cut it out, don’t YOU talk to ME like that’.

It’s moments like these that I wonder, geez am I doing this all wrong? Is this kid going to grow up to be a horrible person because I wasn’t able to figure out how to discipline him at 3. Is my worst mother of the year award on its way via express courier?

My husband and I have conversations at lengths about the best way to deal with his meltdowns. Send him to his room, don’t send him to his room, try to reason with him, threaten the removal of toys/TV/anything fun and the list goes on.

What gets me is how the hell do you get a 3 year old to actually listen to you? My biggest thing I can’t get my head around is how I get my son to stop and listen to what I am saying. He is a bright kid and he definitely understands what you are saying to him but in those isolated moments of insanity the ears switch off and the battles begin.

Halloween toddler

We take him to swimming lessons every week and I spend the entire 30 minutes calling out from the seats ‘Master K stop jumping around, don’t you squirt water at people,sit on the step, listen to your instructor’. Just writing about this makes me cringe. Urgh I am one of those mothers. But he gets in that water and the energizer bunny comes out to play and this has resulted in him having near drowning incidences in the past. So you can see why I am on edge.

I definitely don’t expect my son to be perfectly behaved and I get that he is only 3 years old. But sometimes I feel that maybe I am doing it all wrong and maybe I missed the ‘How to deal with toddlers’ chapter in the raising children manual we all get when we leave the hospital.

Yesterday I had to call a company about our TV (long story, short: its broken) and the first time I called them as soon as I had that phone to my ear Master K kept talking to me in his booming voice. He then proceeded to stomp around the kitchen and start going through all the drawers. Before I called them back the second time, I calmly spoke to him and explained that I needed to call them back so that we could get a TV fixed and I really need him to just be quiet so that I can hear the person talking to me on the phone. He acknowledged this and said he understood. Well I think you could have seen the steam coming out my ears from the moon as soon as I started talking again he just looked at me like “Lady, this is on, try and concentrate with this noise”.

Let’s just say it was Master K: 2, Mummy: 0

Don’t get me wrong I love my little man so much and his brilliant one liners like “Mummy the TV doesn’t work because Daddy pooed on it” and his big heart that melts mine every night when he tells me to have sweet dreams and that he loves me THIS much, make the hard times a bit more forgettable.

But please if anyone has any suggestions on how to tame my 3 year old so that I feel like I am actually in control please let me know below. I’m all ears, well eyes.

Recipe of the Week – Vegetable & Lentil Pilaf

Ok so it took me a bit longer than expected – I won’t lie, I was totally procrastinating. I’m not lying when I say I really hate cooking.

chicken leek pie

Anyway I did say I was going to cook a Chicken and Leek pie, but the thing is, it was my birthday dinner and hey I shouldn’t have to cook on my birthday. So my husband cooked the pie and also at my request a Summer Berry cheesecake – they were delicious. And really if you look at it hard enough, if it wasn’t for my suggestions we wouldn’t have delighted our tastebuds with these winners. Ok long shot, I know!

Anyway you will be pleased to know I have officially cooked a meal, in fact two meals.

I have started The Healthy Mummy 28 day diet and exercise plan. I’m not normally one for doing diets but over the last few weeks I have really slacken off in the eating well department. I was really not eating enough food and the food I did eat was pretty crap, no nutritional value. In fact, I think it was starting to affect my milk supply for my little one. I really needed someone to do the thinking for me.

So we started the plan on Saturday and I had my regular breakfast berry smoothie with the addition of The Healthy Mummy vanilla smoothie powder. Delicious. Followed by the Turkey wrap and then ‘TA-DAH’ for dinner I cooked the Vegetable and Lentil Pilaf.

the healthy mummy dietthe healthy mummy diet

 

My husband had headed off to the footy for the night and normally when I am cooking for just me it ends up being a cheese platter and glass of wine. This night I was contemplating pizza. Actually I had even started to order a pizza, via the app, as my baby boys were playing up and it was all too much to have to prepare and cook. I was so close to ordering that pizza but then (thankfully) the angel in my head beat that little devil down and said “It is only day 1 of this diet and you are already going to give in – weak. WEAK!”.

My angel was right, what was I doing? I was trying to convince myself that waiting for a pizza for 40mins would be quicker than cooking a meal that took 40mins. So I didn’t give in and I cooked my little heart out. (I will point out it took me about 40mins to actually come to that decision).

And… it actually turned out and it was super easy to make. You literally whack everything into a pan, let it boil and then simmer for 40mins. Ahh this cooking thing is quite easy (ssh don’t tell my husband I said that).

the healthy mummy diet   the healthy mummy diet

I also did all of that with a baby strapped to me, so that really was a great test of The Healthy Mummy’s diet plan – TICK baby test complete.

Tonight I cooked beef and vegetable skewers but I will save that story for another time.

Find out more about The Healthy Mummy’s 28 day diet & exercise plan.

 

Is it possible to ‘have it all’?

Sometimes I think I actually enjoy living my life in a state of stress. I have always been like that, I definitely work better under pressure.

For instance, in January I gave birth to my second child and while I was in hospital I had a lightening bolt moment that starting a blog about my experiences and challenges was the next step. Week two of my newborn existing I had set up this blog and was off and writing.

Since then I have met up with fellow bloggers, attended a workshop and started a very extensive online course. Oh yeah, I have also had a demanding 3 year old and newborn to look after, we have had two birthdays, relatives staying and a new house to unpack.

I honestly have not stopped since I went on maternity leave. I don’t really have time to catch up on sleep or just chillax.

relax, family time

Well today I decided that I was just going to lie down with my 6 week old and sleep for 10 minutes until he feel asleep – 3 hours later I woke up. Oops there goes all my plans to study and clean the house.

I realised in that moment of waking up how I have been burning the candle at both ends a bit and maybe I need to slow it down a little. Just maybe, I need to stop and smell the roses because this time with my kids (especially my newborn) is so precious and I will never get it back again.

I have two boys who absolutely worship the ground I walk on and one day that will change. Of course they will love me but most likely they will be a lot closer with their Dad than me, which is totally fine. I would just hate to look back and regret the time I have with them now. I don’t want to say to them “Sorry I wasn’t paying attention properly because I was juggling too many things back then”.

Don’t get me wrong I am not in anyway going to stop doing what I am doing now, I am just going to manage my time a bit better and just slow it down. I don’t need to achieve everything today, as long as I get to the end result eventually that is ok with me.

This mentality is definitely something that has changed in me since entering my 30s. In my 20s I was always a ‘must have it now’ type of gal but now I realise there is no point getting to breaking point if that’s what having it ‘now’ means. You just need to be like the tortoise and be consistent and work hard and you will achieve the same results.

I think as women, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to have it all and do it all. I think the key to having it all is being satisfied with lowering the expectations slightly and realising if you want everything then you need to be willing to slow the speed down and sacrifice a bit from each area of your life. Because unless you are willing to do that then really it is impossible to ‘have it all’. Everything in your life really needs to be balanced for you to be able to ‘have it all’

Do you think we can have it all? What does having it all mean to you?