What I Eat As A Breastfeeding Vegan Mom

What I Eat As A Breastfeeding Vegan Mom

I can’t believe it’s been over a month with Willow. She’s an actual angel, in case you were wondering. Ha! We’re already finding a pretty good groove (for now, anyways!) I’ve been able to get in the kitchen more to bake and make dinner for Joe, at least. It’s been so nice being able to do that… makes me feel awesome and you know, well-fed. I’ve definitely been more hungry as a breastfeeding mama, but continue to lose the baby weight. I ended up gaining 33 lbs this pregnancy and have already lost 20+ of it. Happy to be feeling myself – happiness all around, really. There are definitely days where I feel off (and irritated) – especially when she’s fussy (like yesterday) but today seems to be off to a good start. A vegetable soup is on the stove and I have a butternut squash in the oven. Small victories.

But anyways, here’s what I’ve been eating lately.

And as always, follow along on Instagram for more plant-based food inspiration. That’s where you’ll find me these days as I continue to soak up all the newborn moments. xx

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What I Actually Used In My Hospital Bag

What I ACTUALLY Used In My Hospital Bag

As promised in my first minimalist hospital bag post, I’m here to share what I actually used in my bag. Apparently, there is a big difference in what you pack and what you really use. And I thought I packed minimally!

This is my own experience, so it may be much different for you. But I did just want to update and share – maybe it will help you decide what to keep or nix when the time comes for you. I know that if we do have a second baby, I definitely will be packing much lighter.
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Vegan Crunch Wrap Supreme Taco Bell

Vegan Crunch Wrap Supreme

Two weeks into motherhood and I couldn’t stay out of the kitchen. I was inspired to make this recipe by Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen. Are you a fan of her YouTube channel? I love her videos and personality… and she is always cooking up something awesome. Like vegan crunch wraps. I can’t remember the last time I had a crunch wrap supreme from Taco Bell… maybe 8th grade? After seeing her video, I couldn’t get them out of my head and had to go and make up my own version. She uses beefless crumbles and potatoes for her filling, but mine is a bit different. I hope you like this alternative.

Also, I know I said I’d be taking a break (and I have been) but I’m happy to post at least once a week. When Willow is down for a nap, I honestly cannot sleep. Plus, she has been pretty good sleeping through the night, so I don’t feel the need to nap during the day. Focusing on the blog and getting in the kitchen definitely makes me feel myself and adds some normalcy to life (especially in the very beginning when everything was new!) If you are on Instagram and follow me, you’ll notice that I am doing my best to keep up there, too.

But okay, onto the recipe. Who doesn’t love Taco Bell when it is cruelty-free?!

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Resources for a Vegan/Plant-Based Pregnancy

20+ Resources for a Vegan/Plant-Based Pregnancy

I can’t tell you how happy I am to have gone through my very first pregnancy plant-based. Knowing that my Willow was literally powered by plants made me so happy. I felt great during my pregnancy for the most part (which you can read more details about in my first, second, and third trimester posts). Of course there were the typical aches and pains, but I always felt very healthy with no crazy issues. I gained exactly what I needed to gain and had nothing but good reports from my doctor with each visit. I’m very grateful to have been so lucky – and I do feel that eating vegan/plant-based contributed to much of this.

So many people – friends, family, and strangers – have been curious about my pregnancy and ask questions concerning my diet. Some people were skeptical and would make some unnecessary comments (to those people, I would kindly reply that I feel amazing and my doctor says I am doing great) but most were genuinely impressed. I’ve also connected with a lot of you on Instagram who were also going through a vegan or plant-based pregnancy, or were maybe interested in transitioning. I received so many questions through IG messages/chat and trust me, I would happily reply because I love talking about it!

At any rate, I am totally rambling, but the point is… I know a lot of people have questions and concerns or maybe just need some meal inspiration. I documented a lot of my pregnancy on here, so I want to compile all my posts in one spot. I hope that you find what you are looking for below – or comment and ask. We’re all different and may have different needs, but this is my personal experience and I hope that it inspires any else who may have an interest in a similar journey.

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What I Eat As A Vegan Food Inspiration

Plant-Based Life: What I’ve Been Eating Lately

Hi loves! I started compiling these meals at the tail-end of my pregnancy, but there are also some post-baby meals in here. I’m so fortunate to have amazing family and friends to bring over lots of meals while we got through the first week with a newborn. Thank God, right? Because I am STARVING. Breastfeeding is no joke. Lots of plant-based/vegan food inspiration below the cut!

And as always, follow along on Instagram for more plant-based food inspiration. I’ll be there much more often these days rather than on here while I find my groove as a mom. xx
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Willow's Birth Story

Willow’s Birth Story

I was debating writing this post. I feel like it is a really personal thing to put out into the world, but it is also so beautiful that it could also be a missed opportunity to not share it. I’m going to try my best to keep it short and sweet, but I really do want to share because I have to say – I had the most peaceful labor and delivery… I still can’t really believe how smooth it went. I’m very lucky, because I know this is not the case for everyone. Since it is also fresh in my memory, I wanted to write this sooner rather than later.
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Willow Nina

Our sweet sunshine girl has catapulted herself into the world! I can’t even begin to describe what this last week has felt like. It is truly indescribable, as cliche as it sounds.

Willow Nina was born on September 14th at 10:01 PM, coming in at 7 lbs 9 oz, 20 inches. Dark hair, doe eyes, and the sweetest button nose, she’s the perfect blend of her mom and dad. We’re absolutely smitten and have never felt anything like this. Neither of us were ready for the surge of emotion and love in the moment you meet your baby.

As you can imagine, this week has been a whirlwind and extremely overwhelming (in a good way). So, a short and sweet post for now – birth story to come!

Thank you to all who have expressed their excitement and well wishes. The love and support means the world to us. Very excited to share more soon! xx Bianca, Joe, and Willow

My Third Trimester Recap

My Third Trimester

I can’t believe I am actually sitting here writing this… this pregnancy FLEW BY. I feel like a lot of women say that it dragged, but not for me. Maybe it’s because the summer always flies by usually? I’m definitely not complaining – because oh man, I cannot wait to meet this sweet girl.

So here we are – a third trimester recap!

Also before getting into the rest of this post, I want to say that this is going to be one of my last post for a bit. I am going to take the time to focus all my energy on my beautiful girl and the first few months of motherhood. There may be a post here and there (especially if I am feeling inspired – trust me!) but nothing consistent or forced. I plan on being back full-time in the New Year (or at least 2-3 posts per week). If anything, I may try to keep up with the “what I’ve been eating” posts during this time because they are easy enough and I enjoy compiling those. They seem to be popular, too! Plus breast-feeding will mean A LOT of food for mama.

Regardless, I will be actively posting on Instagram and keeping up over there! So please follow me there for food posts, baby updates, and more. Then come January 2018, I’ll have lots of posts with musings and new insight on plant-based/vegetarian parenting and life with a newborn. I’m already counting down the days until I’ll be back. I’m going to miss being on here regularly, but I do think this is for the best. I want to make the very most of the days to come! And I know that I will come back inspired as ever.

So again, please connect with me on Instagram. I’d love to have you there while I’m temporarily absent from here. I’m so grateful for all of you. Thank you for following my journey. xx
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Easy Apple Pie Recipe [Vegan + Gluten Free]

Good morning, friends!

With our autumn baby around the corner, I wanted to get in some fall things before we’re too tied up and tired to do much of anything (except soak up her presence!!) The weather has cooled down and the air has that smell and perfect crisp to it. I’ve been loooving it so much. First activity on the list: apple picking. I always joke that I must have been a gatherer or forager in my past life because I love it so much. Berries, peaches, apples… doesn’t matter. Give me a basket and a field of fruit and I’m content.

We visited Narrow Lane Orchard – if you are local, this is a must for yourself or family. They also have peach/nectarine picking in the summer and even blackberry picking. When we went, I was really excited to see that they had a few blackberry bushes around that weren’t picked over. Literal heaven on earth – they were so sweet and juicy. Nature’s gems.

But back to the apples – I grabbed quite a variety, including Honeycrisp, Macoun, Liberty, McIntosh, Courtland, and Gala. For 1/2 peck bag, it cost only $10.

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Benefits Warm Lemon + Ginger Water

Healthy Habit: Drinking Warm Lemon + Ginger Water

I’m always working on incorporating new healthy habits into my lifestyle. This is one that took me a while to stick with, but I am happy to say that I’ve definitely incorporated it much more lately (and hopefully will get better once the weather cools!) I’m up around 5:30/6 am, and the very first thing I do is either drink a large glass of water or make my mug of this and then spend the next hour or so blogging, catching up on other blogs, etc. It’s my favorite “me” time and sets the tone for my day. Soaking it up as much as I can now before my entire morning routine changes!

I am glad I’ve stuck with it because I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in my skin (which may also be in conjunction with pregnancy). Nonetheless, it’s become a comforting part of my morning routine, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts and the benefits I’ve found while browsing the internet. Both lemon and ginger boast a number of benefits – inside and out.
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