Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Dietitian's Pregnancy Food Journal

If bare bellies bother you.. well, too late:)  
But really, can you see her little bootie (hint: she's hanging out to the left of my belly button)?  She is notorious for making herself known these days and loves to stick her little body parts out for all to see/feel.  She's got her work cut out for her when she arrives this summer.
After my OB appointment last week, I decided to start journalling my food intake/meal times.  I preach up and down the benefits of journalling for weight loss + maintenance - but never thought about it doing good in healthy weight gain in pregnancy.  
One thing I realized is that I have been eating a lot of the same foods.  Mainly because whatever it is is easy, convenient, and thats what sounds the best to my belly at the moment. 
Something that has been on the forefront of my mind has been every sammie variety known to man,  and therefore I've been eating a TON of Subway.  Traveling for work these last several weeks and eating out - I mostly stopped in for a footlong on my way to the hotel to chow down on while lounging in the king size bed all to myself.  
Since being home.. I have been able to control what I'm eating much easier, allowing me to get in some solid wholesome meals and snacks. 
No better place to start than breakfast, right?
Oatmeal + Ground Flax + Peanut Butter
my go to breakfast about 4 of the 7 days a week.  Other times I'm eating yogurt + fruit or almond butter toast + banana.  The toast in the morning has been giving me heartburn, so that has been more for something I eat in the afternoon (snack). 
I usually have 1 or 2 cups of decaf coffee and 3 tablespoons of creamer in each cup + 18-20 ounces of water 
 L U N C H
Lunch is boring.. really.boring.
I am good for either one of three things:
 1.) a sandwich (duh) 
2.) leftovers (if they haven't completely grossed me out)
3.) the veggie/protein bowl (pictured)
4 ounces deli rotisserie chicken (heated in the microwave) + Mediterranean Quinoa + Steamed Broccoli + 1/4 cup (pasteurized) feta cheese
I found these single serve packs of quinoa blends by Archer Farms at Target and they have changed my life!  The Mediterranean and the Moroccan are my favorites.
I drink about 28 ounce of water + 1 Diet Coke at lunch
I think about this Diet Coke all day.. it is like my special treat!  
No harm to me or my babe for drinking a good ol' DC.  
 Occasionally I'll head out for lunch with a handful of my co-workers- so nice to get out of the office here and there!
Chipotle Bowl (barbacoa, double meat + pinot beans + fajita veggies + salsa + sour cream + guacamole + lettuce + cheese)
I skip out on the rice because rice and pasta make me SO full these days. 
 S N A C K S 
Snacks are pretty habitual for this dietitian. 
Greek Yogurt. Fruit. Greek Yogurt. Luna Bar. Greek Yogurt. Cereal..
See a pattern?  One thing I do focus on (and this is general nutrition, but also beneficial for my fellow PCOS'ers) is always always always pairing a protein + carb.  Carbohydrates are our body's number one fuel source for energy, so it gets used up really quickly (mostly by our brain) and we end up feeling hungry sooner than we should.  Eat an apple by itself and I'm hungry in a half hour. Add in some nut butter or cheese and that snack carries me over much further to my next meal time.  
Protein slows digestion and keeps that food fueling your body rather than the quick intake of glucose (carbohydrate) acts on its own.
Your biochemistry lesson for the day:)

One of my favorite 'treats' (aside from the Diet Coke, ya'll) is reduced fat chocolate milk
High protein, low sugar, low saturated fat - and oh-so delicious!
 Steel City Pops sets out on their Pop Trail every Wednesday.. so when your place of work is on the Trail and among this week's flavor options is Blood Orange, you play your part and pick up two.
the honeycrisp - pregnancy talk at its finest.
Add an ounce or two of swiss cheese and call it a snack.
 Becoming one of my favorite things to eat after I come home from work in the afternoons:
whole grain toast + peanut butter + 1/2 banana + berries
 D I N N E R 
Dinner is whatever we make of it.  After many weeks of this pregnancy passing by with 'wasted' ingredients in the fridge because I didn't have the energy to cook, we decided that me planning just one or two meals a week was the smart way to go (hence my lack of weekly meal plan posts)
I love using my crock pot, throwing together a yummy casserole or grilling chicken to go on top of a great big salad.
A couple dinner meals from this last week:
Mexican Chicken Casserole + 1/2 avocado + 1 tablespoon nonfat Greek yogurt
 toasted naan flatbread + chopped kale + chopped romaine + grilled chicken +  bbq ranch dressing
(dressing: lowfat ranch dressing, bbq sauce, apple cider vinegar)
More of our (healthy) family dinner ideas HERE
So, there we have it.  My eating habits are relatively close to the same everyday - but I don't count calories or protein the way I did while pregnant with Parker and Jolie. 
In general, pregnant (with a singleton) women need between 2,200 calories and 2,900 calories a day. A gradual increase of calories as the baby grows is the best bet to remain healthy for mom and baby.  The first trimester does not require any extra calories.  During the second trimester an additional 340 calories a day are recommended.  For the  third trimester the recommendation is 450 calories more a day than when you are not pregnant.
WATER: I have a 20 ounce water bottle that I fill multiple times a day - counted three times between breakfast and lunch and three times during the afternoon.  I usually stop drinking after dinner in fear that I'll be awake way too many times during the night for trips to the potty.  I completely relate my relatively heavy water intake to any lack of swelling.
I hope this was helpful!  Feel free to email or comment with any questions you might have:)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

27 Weeks

banner / little dovie 
scarf // loft (old)
denim shirt // loft (similar
How far along? 27 weeks 
Total weight gain: 15 pounds
Maternity clothes? While I am most comfortable in yoga pants and tee shirts, most of said tee shirts are becoming quite short.  Showing off the underbelly is all the rage in the confinements of the four walls I call home.  I've been browsing pinterest for non-maternity style/fashion to sort of twerk my brain on ways to expand the maternity wardrobe (see photo above) I feel like I've been through and back already. While we all wish we looked like her, I am feeling rather whale-ish in everything I put on.  With warm weather in sight, I have collected more maxi dresses this go round of pregnancy - I am loving these: here, here, + here.  It has been pretty warm this week in Texas - and I'm thankful to have another option aside from shorts to wear this summer.  
Sleep: Its all good.  I have been getting really tired in the evenings - ready for bed before 8pm!  Finding a comfortable position has been interesting.  The all too familiar attempt to roll from one side to the other with this heavy belly in flooding back.  Especially when one has a full bladder at 2am and really can bring herself to get up to go.. 
Best moment this week: Anytime I feel her move - it is the best.  She's been flip flopping a lot- she was head down at my appointment last week, but I am pretty sure she made a complete flip back to breech over the weekend.  I can actually feel baby when I touch my belly- her little bootie sticks out more often than anything - it is almost like a special bond I get with her in that moment to feel her with my hand on the outside of my belly.  Favorite.
Miss Anything? Nah.  I got excited for new nail polish and came home after getting it with grand plans to paint my toes during nap time, but sadly, painting my toes proved to be a feat in and of itself.. I really need a pedicure (hello, sandal season!).  Maybe I can convince Jordan to paint my toes for me.  Maybe?  Bueller?
Cravings: Still loving sandwiches (subway cravings start at 8am), carbonated anything, peanut butter toast (only in the afternoon.. something about eating that in the morning gives me heartburn these days), yogurt (3-4 times a day), fruit (we go through strawberries, apples, and bananas like water), crunchy ice, Starbucks fruit teas.
Symptoms: I've noticed that I get heartburn a lot easier these days.  Water is a crazy culprit, believe it or not.  I have to be careful to drink slowly.. and actually ice does me better.  I didn't deal with it in twin pregnancy (weird), but with this one baby she is giving me all kinds of crazy pregnancy dealings.  Heartburn- I do not like you.  
Looking forward to: I had a conversation yesterday with a sweet friend about the arrival of her first - the books she was buying, the classes she was taking, and the necessities she thought she needed while she was preparing for all of this 'newness' and uncharted territory yet to come.  Jordan and I were chatting last night about the differences in expectations of this pregnancy versus the arrival of Parker and Jolie. I/we kind of know what to expect with this little sister's birth- the processes and what the 'plan is'- and with Parker and Jolie there was so much unknown I forgot about the excitement there was to be had about the actual arrival of my first (and second) babies.  I think about the day I will meet her multiple times a day.  The little details of her face, her tiny feet, and the smell of her baby head.  As I approach my last trimester, all this is becoming more real that I get to experience the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced in my entire life- becoming a mom, again.  So, so lucky.  I cannot wait!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jolie's Journey | Torticollis Update

Read about Jolie's Journey from the start HERE
recently had some questions asked about Jolie's torticollis and realized that after I shared our 'journey', if you will, with Jolie from months two to ten, I never gave an update as to how it all has come together, what steps we took to continue to work through this disorder she was born with and how its been since she was called 'cured'.  
A picture popped up on my TimeHop feed last week, and I shared it with my sweet friend Sarah, and while we both reminisced about them being so teeny the one thing we noticed pretty quickly was that baby's tilted neck, hiked shoulder, and very apparent struggle with torticollis.   
If you have followed this blog for some time, you know of our PT visits, the TOT collar, and the process that it was to overcome that tight neck of her's - but its clear now that she's got zero issues whatsoever, and her daddy and me are ever so grateful.  
We started at 2 months with PT for Jolie and went consistently until she was 10 months.
Can we just talk about how LITTLE she was?  This was her very first visit to therapy.  
Time goes so quick.  I tried my best not to blink.
We made it through 8 months of bi-weekly, weekly, bi-monthly.. and then finally monthly trips to physical therapy when we were released after her final visit.  At that time she was 'cured' but remained with a pretty pronounced tilt, especially when she was tired, upset, or sleeping in her carseat.  She would revert back to her comfort level and often times hike her shoulder up to compensate for the tilt she continued to have.  At this point (10 months old) we were still stretching her many times a day, and continued to do the exercises we learned in PT, but she wasn't ever very tight anymore (the first stretch in the morning was usually pretty tight, but the rest of the day she was fairly flexible) and the tilt was more of a habit than lack of mobility. We asked about options for correcting the tilt, and our PT talked about the 'tot collar'.
10 months // hiked shoulder + head tilt  
While our amazing therapist did everything she could to assist us, the eager parents, in educating ourselves and working with Jolie on a routine basis, she explained there want much left she could do with her in therapy or we could do with stretching to correct the tilt- and it might just be a 'Jolie thing'.  We understood, but we were not okay with her having a tilt for the rest of her life (surgery will not fix it.. for Jolie is was a habit and laziness because she was 100% mobile and her range of motion was excellent), so we ordered the tot collar when she was 10 months old.  
To be completely honest- I was VERY against the tot collar.  I was tired of appointments, stretching  exercises and worrying about her lack of desire to hold her head up straight.  I was tired of messing with a sleeping Jolie - arranging her so that the way she laid in her crib or slept in her carseat didn't exacerbate the tort more than it already was.
I was done with all of it.  
I think we were both exhausted from dealing with it. But, Jordan persisted after reading and reading and learning more about the effects of long-term, untreated tilt/torticollis - we were not going to let this slide by as a 'Jolie thing'  
10 months // hiked shoulder
10 months // side slouch + hiked shoulder
We started the tot collar at 10 months wearing it 5-6 times a day for 30-45 minutes at a time.  Some friends and family were confused as to how often she was to wear the collar - and it isn't at all like a helmet, and we could put it on as often or as little as we like.  She usually wore it while we were at home - but occasionally if we were out running errands we would always have it with us.  
We did continue to stretch her about once a day in the morning just after she woke when she was the most tight.  After her first year we didn't feel the need to stretch her at all, but continued therapy with the tot collar several times a day.
After 4 months of consistent wear, we finally decided it was time to move on from the collar.

This picture remains one of my proudest moments.  It may seem so silly, but for the entire year we worked with her there were so many says when I thought we were seeing results and progress and out work with Jolie's tort was paying off.. and then she'd revert, regress, and fall into her habits of tilting her neck.  The moment I realized what I was looking at in this picture- I sent it to Jo's therapist with proud mom words of thanks for all her help.
NOW, nearly a year to the day of her last wear of the tot collar, we have zero issues with tort or struggle with a tilt at all whatsoever.  Jordan and I truly believe that the tot collar resolved the issue of the tilt completely and we are really glad we opted for her to wear it.  The collar isn't something you have to get through your doctor or physical therapist, but if you are interested in using something like this, I would 100% recommended having fitted at the PT or chiropractor's office.  It can be really confusing if you don't know what you are looking at or how to fit it.. I remember opening the box and looking hard with a ruffled brow at the tubing and straps- but after we took it to our physical therapist's office and she fit it to Jolie's neck it all came together for me.
While this tilt we battled is common and most often associated with torticollis, it is correctable, without surgery, and completely non-invasive.  
The tot collar is optional and not a required thing (like the helmet), but I would seriously suggest and recommend the tot collar if you are going through an experience similar and have questions.  After being left with little option for Jolie after her release from therapy with this continued shoulder hike and tilt to her weak side, I don't think it is something that a toddler will grow out of, but that's just my opinion:)  
So thankful for this little girl.  She has been a soldier from day one in the womb, and I am proud to say, once again, we have overcome.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Texas Blues

It is amazing how much change there can be in just one year's time.  Looking back to the pictures we snapped last year when the girls were just a couple month's past their first birthday, well, comparably they look like teenagers in these pictures.  It has been super wet/rainy and not optimal for picture taking in a random roadside field - but I was determined to carry on our bluebonnet tradition that started last year.  
Driving to a birthday party last weekend we passed a small patch of bluebonnets that was just right up the street from our neighborhood.  It was small- but it was FULL.  I was so overly excited that it wasn't 'too late' and they hadn't all been trampled.  With a busy week ahead, we made plans for Saturday morning after breakfast to take the short trip up the road to get into that field.  
 They didn't hate it - and were actually having fun playing out in the beauty of the weather that was Saturday.  Jolie was pretty freaked out by the flowers last year, and this year tolerated them well. 
This picture makes me laugh.. only because I feel like I am looking to the future of picture taking the twins.  
If thats not a 'sister pose' if you ever did see one..

Do bluebonnets have a smell?  The girls took  their time to take a whiff or two here and their as they ran through the flowers.

 Parker looks like a giant in this picture - but I can assure you that just about 2 inches and a pound or two doesn't fit the image at all.  Sweet Jo Grace is really petite, but standing next to her sister (who is standing closer to me and on higher ground) she looks extra teeny.

 ..and I'll leave you with a pouting Jolie for a few giggles.  This girl and her accessories.  I made her leave the sunglasses in the car and it was devastating to the toddler heart - clearly.
NEXT year the littlest sister will find her place right there in between - so crazy to think..
But I just can't wait!

headwraps // shelby chic boutique (parker) + s.a.k. threads (jolie)
overalls // old navy
crop bubble tops // s.a.k.threads
moccasins // hello moccs
Bluebonnets 2014


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Nursery Progress | French Vintage

My brain has been working hard on Baby 3's nursery.. I feel like I've gotten my entire head wrapped around the how's and what's of the room - but putting it all out into work has been slow to start.  With Parker and Jolie's nursery I didn't get to pick out anything in person.  I was on bed rest fairly early on in my pregnancy (24 weeks), and was not really involved in their nursery planning.  Pinterest was new-ish to me + the thought of growing and birthing two babies at once filled my thoughts throughout the day.  I built the ideas for their room as I went along.  I remember buying their nursery rocker (online) and thinking- I could make that work..
All that being said- this go round with baby room planning has been way fun for me.  Getting to browse at my leisure all the little things that make a nursery whole and then picturing it coming together is just too much for this pregnant mama to handle. Her currently un-finished room is empty - and would you believe me if I told you it is my favorite room in the house right now?
it is.  totally.
This custom banner from the olive grove shop came in this week.  I plan to hang it over her crib that sits in front of the wood wall.
My repurposed wood wall.  So completely in love with how it turned out.  I sent my ideas over to Stella + JD of The Rustic Door and hoped that it would come together the way I had been picturing it in my head.  They far exceeded my expectations and it looks awesome!  
in progress:
We have other things 'in-progress' and I will say that I had a fantastic trip to Canton First Monday's earlier this month.  I made out with several steals, including the nursery rocker that I thought I was never going to find without spending an arm and a leg on it.  $70.  yep, seven-zero.  I plan to have a cushion made to match her bedding.  Another thing that we still haven't decided on, but I have visions! 
I have been fortunate to find some pretty perfect pieces for Baby 3's room without breaking the bank. 
One thing Jordan and I decided + agreed on pretty early on in this whole pregnancy gig was we needed to find a way to be financially smart with how we built her 'dream' nursery.  Since the twins were born, we have been making it by with the vehicles we owned prior to their arrival (I drive a 4-door Jetta TDI and Jordan drives a 4-door Chevy), but with a third little miss on the way we are being forced into finding a larger car to oblige our growing family.. clock is ticking and I can just feel the dollar bills flying out of my pocket when we are simply browsing - not even test-driving!  
I can't wait to share pictures of the entire room.  I know, I am missing about a million things... I have a running list of things we still need that I kindly detailed as follows.
Nursery Things To Do List:
paint the room
..waiting on her rug to arrive before we pick out paint colors - thinking of a rose pink.
hang chandelier fixture (Canton steal)
Buy a rug
..should be arriving soon!
changing table (check!)
..with the help of Stella, we were able to thrift and re-do a pretty great piece
rocking chair (check!)
crib (check!)
..we are re-using the crib that both Jordan + Jenna used.. it is a wood spindle crib that we handed over to Stella and JD for another project for them to do for us:)  Next best thing to NOT purchasing a wrought iron crib (good gracious they are expensive)
decide on crib bedding
fabric banner (check!)
hang shelving (another Canton find)
changing table hardware
hang shabby frames
..planning on forming a collage to arrange over the changing table (opposite of the wood wall)
..I would love to find a great big clock to hang on a wall, little vintage trinkets, a great decorative tray
lighting (lamp for the changing table)
..I have the lamp shade, just need the perfect base!
I won't even go into the "baby buy" list... It stresses me out to think about that one.  We have A LOT (hello, two of everything..) that isn't totally worn out from when the girls used it just two years ago, and I'm so thankful for that.  We spent a weekend not too long ago pulling it all out and taking account for what we have and what we will probably need to get. We do need a few accessories here and there, a changing pad, crib mattress, probably some new bath towels..  
And some other stuff..
the list continues to grow and my mind continues to wander into the precious baby girl clothing section of the store. 
f o c u s.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

26 Weeks + baby update

banner / little dovie 
How far along? 26 weeks 
Total weight gain: 14 pounds - I was informed by my OB this week that I've not 'gained very much weight.. most women have gained over 20 pounds at this point.'  I am eating - but sticking mostly to the healthy stuff, which is mostly likely part of it.  She sent me off with instructions to go buy ice cream as 'it has lots of calcium!'  She isn't super concerned at all - if it was causing my growing girl some issues she'd be questioning my food intake a little more.  My belly is making me feel enormous everywhere else, baby is growing perfectly.. and if you happened to have followed me through my last pregnancy with the twins, I only gained about 38 pounds with them.  So, I feel like I'm on track.  My dietitian brain left there with the decision to start keeping a food journal to track what I am eating to make sure I'm getting enough.  Don't you now I'll be sharing that here pretty soon:)
Maternity clothes? All day.  If we women all thought that yoga pants in general were comfortable, how about you try maternity yogas.  My word.  The leggings I'm wearing above make me wish there was a 'touch and feel' button my my computer so you could experience the comfort that I am (and still, currently..)  I havent taken them off since they arrived in the mail this week.  This entire line of 'beyond yoga' for a pea in the pod is outrageously comfy.
Sleep: You know it.
Best moment this week: Attempting to pinpoint the best moment of my week is getting tough.  The days run together:)  But, I will say it was a pretty great feeling when we pulled up to the driveway of Jordan's parent's from being gone all week long at my nutrition conference and there they were.. my sweet girls sitting in the front yard waiting patiently.  Parker all but did a backflip when she saw the car come around the corner, and when I opened my car door they both bolted to give me the biggest bear hugs.  I MISSED THEM so much- and knowing you were missing, too is the best feeling in the world.
Miss Anything? Not really.  I have *complained* that it is really hard to move around these days.  By 7pm - the kitchen is put away and cleaned up from dinner, the girls are bathed and in their jammies, and I feel like I might pass out right then and there.  I am moving REALLY slow these days, and I suppose I never got this way with the twins' pregnancy for a couple reasons; 1.) I didn't have toddlers running circles around me, and 2.) I was laid up in the bed at this point for most of the day on modified bed rest.  It was at 26 weeks with the girls that I was placed on full bed rest.  SO I wasn't having to move, work, cook, clean, and car for a couple of babies.  I can see the difference in situations, but getting short of breath after a few spins on the living room dance floor with Parker and Jolie isn't how I expected it to be, really.
Cravings: Aside from the fact that I have attempted to visit every sandwich place within a 5 mile radius of my home and work.. its the usual desires: fruit, yogurt, blow pops (buying them in bulk), cereal, water, and anything carbonated.  Passion Fruit Tea from Starbucks has struck my fancy recently, too. 
Symptoms: Sleeping with the humidifier has all but 'cured' my former symptoms of congestion.  If only I had listened to the blogs I scoured when I was pregnant with Parker and Jolie.  Becoming tired really quickly, and becoming full after just small amounts of food.  Something I am all too familiar with the last time I was pregnant. 
Looking forward to: Things are about to slow down pretty significantly for me (work-related), and I am really excited about that.  I am ready to enjoy my last trimester with my family + friends- and with summer approaching, I am WAY excited.  I have never been this eager for the summer months of Texas to arrive - but with the girls being another year older and at such a fun age, its going to be good.  

baby girl update
I got another sonogram this week - a follow-up from the last check on baby girl at 24 weeks when I was measuring 3 weeks ahead at fundal height.  It turns out that while I had high amniotic fluid 2 weeks ago, I had the same amount of fluid around her this week.. so my OB called me 'stable'.  
She came in with the look of relief on her face and casually said "I am so glad I could walk in here with good news to tell you."  Meaning, two weeks ago she was pretty concerned with the amount of amniotic fluid I was carrying around, but since I literally have not changed a single bit.  
The risk of preterm labor and prolapsed cord are the most common for high amniotic fluid, and I don't want either of those to happen - so I am relieved, too!  
As for this belly, I am measuring about 30 1/2 weeks along at 26 weeks.

After a solid check and measurement (this sonogram sort of reminded me of the sonogram at 20 weeks), all is well and good with that growing girl!  She is measuring about 7-8 days ahead, as she has been since week 20, and her heart, kidneys, brain, and structure all look great!  She sat very still while Dixie (the sonographer) checked her heart vessels out, and we got to see that sweetest little profile she has.  Even Dr. Walsh mentioned that she resembles greatly of her sisters.

I can't wait to meet her.  


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

WE EAT | Garlic Kale + Cashew Shrimp Fried Rice

How many times have I thought about the easy way out for dinner?  More than I can count on my hands (and toes for that matter..) - especially when I am exhausted out of my mind after work + a full afternoon of toddler games.  Add an active fetus that feels every need to kick (head-butt?) me in the crotch multiple times a day, and I'd say I'm done before I even walk into the kitchen.

Some how 'take-out' smells, tastes, and means so much more when I am feeling this way.  But then.. realizing the amount of monies that I don't have to spend on a family meal for now four people if I make it myself.. wins out most of the time.     

Garlic Kale + Cashew Shrimp Fried Rice
serves 4
adapted from how sweet it is
2 cups brown minute rice
1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil + 4 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
12 ounces raw medium sized shrimp, peeled + deveined 
1 (6 ounce) container baby kale
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2/3 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Bring stock and oil to a low boil.  Add brown rice and cook according to package directions.  Set aside.
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sliced  onions and give a good sprinkle of salt and pepper, stirring well. Cook until soft and begin to caramelize, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in another tablespoon of olive oil and add your shrimp - stirring constantly.  As the shrimp begins to turn pink, add the kale, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring every minute or so, until the kale wilts. Scoop out the shrimp-veggies mixture out of the skillet and into a bowl. 
Add a 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil to the same and increase the heat to medium. Add the eggs, quickly stirring the entire time they cook, which will take about a minute. Remove from the pan.
Turn the heat up to high and add the remaining olive oil. Add in the cooked rice, tossing to coat, then let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes to toast and get golden. Stir, breaking apart any pieces, and repeat for another 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat another 1 or 2 times until the rice is a bit crispy and golden (do not skip this step!  You'll thank me).
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the soy sauce.  Add the shrimp, veggies and eggs back in, then mix in the cashews. Drizzle the toasted sesame oil over top and serve!
I can take or leave the chicken these days.  Pregnancy the first go round pretty much changed my tastebuds for poultry in general - so, it was no surprise for my complete aversion this go round with baby three.
But- what I am into is seafood.  All kinds of seafood.
Little shrimps, too.
 This was Parker and Jolie's first time with eating shrimp.  While they have had plenty of dishes with shrimp included in the past, I have purposely thought to dig out the shrimp before making their dinner plates.  On this night I felt brave to offer it to them - knowing well enough that the foreign food on their plates could have ruined the entire meal.
Good news.. it wasn't a complete fail at all whatsoever.
 I've decided my kids love rice.  Even more than pasta.  No matter what is mixed in.. and in this case - kale, garlic, cashews, shrimp, + onions. 
They inhaled it without a second thought.

 The best part about this meal is that you can completely change out the ingredients of this dish to meet your personal or family taste. 
I picked some pretty easy veggies and the fastest cooking protein you can buy, but you can totally add in any veggies you like (the original recipe called for a red bell pepper - and I completely spaced out and forgot to add it in) and mix up the protein - chicken, tofu, pork - or go all veggie .. which is sounding awfully great for next week's meal plan.
Whatever you do.. don't skip the toasting of the rice before tossing it with the veggie/protein/egg mixture.  Hands down MAKES the entire dish- no matter what you've got in that pan.

If you haven't tried kale yet, now is a good of a time as any.
Kale is super duper healthy and would be the optimal choice over the Easter candy we are all still grazing.
Am I right?



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