Monthly Archives: August 2013
PG Safe Mani-Pedi
Ladies, you don’t have to skip this feel and look-good activity while you’re pregnant. Get your usual Mani-Pedi at the nail bar by following those simple safety tips :
1.Make sure there’s proper ventilation in the nail salon as fumes might be unsafe to inhale.
2.Make sure the tools being used have been sterilized or even better bring your own nail kit.
3.Avoid having your cuticles cut to reduce risks of infections.
4.Use “3-free” nail polishes : Free from 3 toxic chemicals DBP (dibutyl phthalate), toluene and formaldehyde that cause serious complications in fetus. Popular brands OPI, Sally Hansen and Essie are 3-free.
Favorite PG Phone Apps
My Pregnancy Today by BabyCenter: My pregnancy day by day, fetal development images, Pregnancy checklist, Award-winning videos, Birth clubs, due date calculator and nutrition guide.
Pregnancy Buzz by The Bump: Daily updates including what’s going on with baby and my body, customizable to-dos and appointments, and my own weekly pregnancy photo gallery!
My Pregnancy Kit
1. One A Day Women’s Prenatal with DHA: to help keep you and your baby healthy. Prenatal Vitamins are crucial, they help reduce the risk of some serious infant health problems. Start them at least 3 months before pregnancy and keep taking them during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. A decent prenatal should contain primarily 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid, 250 mg of Calcium, 30 mg of Iron and other important nutrients like with Omega-3, zinc, manganese, iodine and vitamin B6.
2. Rejuvahealth Sheer Dot Knee-Highs: to help prevent your beautiful legs and feet from swelling (no one wants to have prego-Kardashian feet!), and to keep your varicose veins from getting worse. Combine fashion & comfort with some cute knee-highs offering subtle support.
3. Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil: to help you avoid the appearance of stretch marks or make them less visible. To be used before, during and after pregnancy. I love how this oil keeps my skin moisturized and soft and I’m addicted to the heavenly almond fragrance.
4. City Baby New York: to guide you, new mommy, in the Big Apple. This book is really a must. It covers everything from insider tips, up-to-date statistics on local hospitals and doctors, class offerings for parents and children to a rundown of New York best stores for maternity clothes, baby outfits, toys, books, and more.
5. La Grossesse des Paresseuses (Miss Lasy is Pregnant): to prepare you to all the pregnancy steps with smiles and giggles! Practical pregnancy guide and super fun read in French.
6. Maurice Carême par Domitille: to keep you serene during the inevitable stress and mood swings. I love listening to these children poems written by Maurice Carême (a famous francophone writer of children poetry) and sung in the soothing voice of Domitille. Research suggests that fetuses exposed to classical or calm music show higher levels of mental and emotional intelligence.
7. Nike Oceania Textile Low Blue Sneakers: Start your pregnancy on the right foot by treating your feet well! As winter is approaching, sneakers will be my everyday errand shoes. Keep in mind that later in the pregnancy, feet may grow larger or/and wider so opting for a ½ or a 1 size bigger can help keep the feet more comfortable particularly if your last trimester will be in a hot climate. Walking is one of the safest and most practical exercises you can do throughout your pregnancy and you can couple it with another hobby… for me that usually means nature time in Central Park with my first Bugaboo passenger and the inevitable detour to Madison for some shopping therapy!
Foodies! Delight in the last days of summer with my selection of refreshing seasonal soups!
Soup “is the new black”! Tummy friendly as it consists mostly of cooked and/or blended ingredients, it is usually light in Kcal particularly when it’s a potage or a clear soup instead of creamy and is super nutritious since it is mostly or entirely a combination of veggies full with essential nutrients. Soup can easily replace a complete meal when it’s a combination of veggies, protein and complex carbs. While most people think of soup as a way to keep warm in the winter, soup is really fabulous all year round! What’s better than a zesty Gazpacho or a Minty cucumber with yogurt during those last days of summer?
It is a soup originally from Spain prepared nowadays mainly with tomato, cucumber, red pepper and onion. It is basically a blended salad. That makes it even better than many other soups whose ingredients loose many of their nutrients in the cooking process. It’s super quick and easy to prepare if you have a blender and could be made in a big batch and stored in the fridge to be served later in many ways like an appetizer, a main course with a side or simply as a refreshing and super healthy drink.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 4 medium tomatoes finely chopped
- 2 small cucumbers finely chopped
- ½ red pepper finely chopped
- ½ red onion finely chopped
- 1 small Jalapeno pepper chopped
- 1 clove of garlic chopped
- 700 ml tomato juice
- Juice of 1 lime
- 40 ml or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp of ground cumin
- ½ tsp of fresh ground pepper
- Salt (optional, take into consideration that the tomato juice used covers for the salt unless it’s homemade or unsalted)
Place ½ of the amount of the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, onion into the blender bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix. Let it chill in the fridge then serve topped with the rest of the chopped veggies.
Minty cucumber with yogurt
It is my favorite summer soup. Cucumber itself is very refreshing and hydrating as its main component is water (96% water). It’s also a diuretic, that means it helps flushing out water surplus and toxins. Choose this soup for stocking up on protein, Calcium and
vitamin D. Try my mom’s recipe; it’s the simplest and the easiest:
- 1 lb (~500g) plain low fat or fat free yogurt (preferably Greek yogurt)
- 1½ cup (~375 ml) water
- 5 Persian cucumbers or 2 large cucumbers
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp crushed dry mint
- ½ tsp salt
Chop cucumbers finely. I prefer to keep the skin particularly if the cucumbers are organically grown and that’s because a major part of the cucumber nutrients are found in its skin! Also the deep green color of the skin makes a great color contrast with the yogurt. Mash garlic. Add the water to the yogurt and mix to make it more liquidy. Add the cucumbers, garlic, salt and mint and mix with a spatula or a kitchen spoon. This soup can be a perfect match for a wide variety of dishes.
4 Weeks Belly: Not There Yet
Farmer Market Finds
Last Saturday at Abingdon Square Greenmarket: On an attempted shopping spree in the West Village, we passed by a farmer market and the day suddenly transforms into a veggie splurge and later into a luscious dinner feast.
In Season now: Eggplants, sweet and sour green & red tomatoes, purple basil…excellent ingredients for a pasta primavera!
I have special feelings towards figs. This delicate fruit has a big nostalgia effect on me. Back in my childhood in my small Mediterranean village, I spent a lot of time with my brother, sister and my zillion cousins climbing a fig tree deep down my grandfather’s orchard. We played house on this tree but mostly we ate a lot of fresh green figs! These were pure happy and delicious moments. Besides my childhood nostalgia, there’s nothing like the sweet tingling taste and the beauty of a fresh fig. God is so good at designing fruits! Fig is actually known as “nature’s most nearly perfect fruit” because of its wide-ranging nutritional benefits: super high in fiber, calcium, iron and potassium particularly when it’s dried. Check this delicious in season Tartine garnished with figs that I recently had at Maison Kayser, my favorite UES brunch/lunch spot.