Pomegranate Kale Smoothie

What is it about this "all of a sudden" obsession with kale?  Well, I'll tell ya.  Kale is a super food!  One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. (WebMD)  Kale comes from the same family as cabbage, broccoli, collard greens and Brussels sprouts.  Don't let that turn you away from it!  If you eat kale raw, then you are going to notice a cabbage/Brussels sprouts flavor to it.  The flavor changes in the different ways that you cook it!  Click over here for instructions on how to make Baked Kale Chips
The other ingredients in this smoothie are also very healthy.  Pomegranates are also a super food.  They contain antioxidants that help slow the progression of certain cancers and help the blood flow to the heart. (WebMD)  The peach and Old Fashion Rolled Oats are going to add fiber which aids in the lowering of cholesterol and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.  The frozen strawberries are being used as a sugar substitute (and helps add color to the smoothie so it doesn't look so brown), whole milk contains boat loads of vitamin D.  Lastly, the Greek style yogurt has a tangy flavor along with protein, calcium and potassium.  You can add a different type of yogurt if you want, but I go for the plain Greek yogurt over any other kind.  One, because it does not have any sugar in it and two it has added protein.
What you will need:
1 Pomegranate
1 Peach
1 cup Frozen Strawberries
1/2 cup Old Fashion Rolled Oats
1 cup Whole Milk
1 cup Plain Greek Style Yogurt
1 cup Kale (I am using Organic Red Kale)
1 Blender
First of all, we have to peel the pomegranate.  If you have ever peeled a pomegranate and ended up with a red-blood spattered shirt...you're doing it wrong.  Below are step by step instructions on how to not ruin another shirt or stain your kitchen counters!
Fill up the kitchen sink with water and put a strainer inside
Next, cut off the belly button
Gently, slice the pomegranate like you are peeling an orange.  Cut the skin enough that it cuts through the outer layer, but not too deep that your knife starts to turn red
 If you cut it correctly, then the outer layers will come apart very easily.  Before going to town to peel apart the layers, submerge the pomegranate in the strainer full of water in the kitchen sink.
Now start peeling apart the layers while the pomegranate is under water.  If you happen to break open any of the seeds, the red from the seeds will be contained in the water.  Brilliant, eh? 
As you are pulling the seeds out (still under water) the outer layers will float to the top.  It will make straining the seeds much easier if you move the peels outside of the strainer as shown below:
 Once the pomegranate is fully peeled, lift the strainer out of the water. TADA!
 Notice how gross the water is?  You're gonna get that even if you buy organic pomegranates.  No worries, we aren't going to be drinking that water! Drain it and discard the peels.  If you have a piece of shit garbage disposal like I do, don't even think about it.  Grab a Mullet-Mart bag and throw them away.
 Rinse the seeds in cool water.
Gather up all your other ingredients and get ready to blend!
 Since peaches are fibrous, make sure you dice them up before blending, so your blender doesn't take a beating.
 Always add liquid first to your blender, the blades will thank you later when they last longer:
Greek Style Yogurt
Pomegranate Seeds
Diced Peach
Old Fashion Rolled Oats
And blend!
Oops, forgot the strawberries....
 Lastly, add the kale to the mix: 

You now have yourself, a pomegranate kale smoothie!  Look at that rainbow of color in there!  Beautiful!  I like to chew my smoothie's, so I don't blend them for that long.  If you like to actually drink your smoothies, then blend for a little while longer.




Mommy and daddy instincts are kicking in way before baby is here.  Many women go through a nesting phase during their pregnancies.  If you find yourself cleaning obsessively, searching pinterest for ways to organize your closets and kitchen cabinets, alphabetizing DVDs (which are in a closet that nobody ever watches) freaking out that you don't have anything for the baby yet or doing crafts, then your nesting instincts are in full force.  I'll tell you some of the things that were helpful during this phase and some things that really didn't help at all.

Once you reach the second trimester, your energy will come back.  For some reason, I had my normal energy level throughout my pregnancy, except for the 4 weeks of morning sickness and the last 3 weeks of pregnancy. And if you know me IRL, you know that I never stop moving.  Therefore, my nesting was BAD!  Here are examples of things that I did during the nesting phase that were helpful:

Organizing The Kitchen: I cleaned out all the cupboards, wiped them down (inside and out), labeled the pantry items, cleaned the fridge and reorganized the pots and pans cabinet. 

Organized Clothes: I went through all of my clothes and made piles to donate, throw out and to store away.  It is amazing how much more room I have in my closet.  Now if I could just get dear husband to follow my lead...

Cleaning Schedule: So, I usually have a cleaning schedule for the weekends, but for some reason I felt the need to act on that cleaning schedule as soon as I got home from work...almost..every...day.

Planning Meals: On Fridays, I would go into my various cooking apps and start planning meals for the week, then on Saturday morning dear husband and I would go grocery shopping.  This continued throughout my maternity leave...then I had to go back to work.  We are slowly getting back into the swing of things when it comes to cooking and shopping.  But I highly recommend that you use your "nesting powers" to plan and cook healthy meals during and after pregnancy.  If anything, it gets you out of the house!  Here are some of my favorite cooking apps to help with the planning meals side of nesting:

  • Allrecipes.com Dinner SpinnerPro is great, because if you are a member of their website, you get access to your recipe box in this app!  You can also search recipes along with doing the fun dinner spinner thinnger. There is also a free version.  I don't know why I bought the paid version.

  • Better Homes and Garden: This app is free and is loaded with recipes.  You can buy recipe packs ranging from .99 + I bought a slow-cooker recipe pack for .99, then I was searching around the Better Homes and Garden website and found them on there; so basically I paid .99 for an iPhone app version...crap.  Stick with the free version, there are a lot of recipes to choose from.  This app has a nice feature to put the recipe in a shopping list!

  • Food Network: In my humble opinion, this is the best app for food prep and meal ideas.  You can categorize meal searches by chefs, collections and there is a seasonal section.  You can also search for recipes.  There is also a weekly meal planner for the iPad version!  Sign up for a free account on foodnetwork.com and get started.  This app also has the feature of putting a shopping list together.  The only thing I don't like about it, is that you cannot edit/add/delete folders under meals.  You have to use the desktop website to change this on a browser that has flash.  Ain't nobody got time for that!

 Cooking then Freezing: Yeah, this lasted about 3 days.  I was so tired of cooking that by the time I was done cooking for the few days after getting home from the hospital, I didn't want to cook anything for dinner.  If you have more patience than I do, I suggest cooking and freezing at least a week or two of meals for the first couple weeks, after you get home from the hospital.  People might bring you food over, but do not rely on that for all your meals.
My lame attempt at cooking and freezing.  I also made some enchilada shells and froze them.  Seriously, all of it ended up freezer burned, because the lids worked their way off the containers! Maybe I shouldn't by plastic wear from the dollar store. Next time I'm buying these!
It's a good thing the batteries in my label maker died, because I would have labeled the door with...DOOR.  I did however label the dog:


Nursery Organization: Once I had my baby showers, I was in the nursery all the time organizing clothes, socks, diapers and dresser drawers. You too, will find that you are spending a lot of time in the nursery getting things ready...and then when baby comes..you will rarely go in there!  We have a monster theme in Baby D's room and this is one of the nesting things I did with those shitty closet organizers that cost $20:     I went to the dollar store and bought bins and then created labels for each bin in Photoshop and printed them via my wireless printer (thank you Dear Husband).  I used double-sided tape and stuck 'em to the front of the bins.  They are still on there today.

Exercise: If you are one of those pregnant women that have energy all the time like I did, then exert some of that energy into prepping your body for labor and delivery.  Prenatal pilates are a good place to start.  It is low-impact and great for toning and stretching your muscles and hips.  During the second trimester I had terrible hip and back pain and the only thing that would make it feel better, was pilates, stretching and sleep.  I would never medicate those aches and pains, because it really wasn't worth medicating for something that just needed stretched out.  Check out this chick!  These are the pilates I did 3 times a week until the last month of pregnancy.  You will feel amazing!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
(sorry, it won't embed for some reason)
Part 4

Crafts, crafts, crafts: Since I was preggers during the summer and winter, I rarely wanted to go outside.  I had to go outside everyday to walk the dog, but for the most part I just stayed indoors.  In doing so, I found many crafts to assemble via pinterest.  I shopped at the dollar store for everything I made below (except for the wood rod, had to go to a craft store for that and spend $1.10)!

Christmas Tree

Glitter Candles with Centerpiece 

Decorative Vase with Ornaments and Background Lights

 Upcycled Old Christmas Decoration

 Vase for Oil and Reeds
(double-sided sticky tape rolled in glitter)

Christmas Ornament Wreath

Christmas Ornament Wreath Red and Gold

Christmas Snowflake Wreath

White Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rod with Candy Cane Crunch



Candy Cane Vase

 One Happy Christmas


And so ends my nesting period.  What did you do during your nesting phase?



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