Second Pregnancy: 20 Weeks

by laury on April 15, 2014 · 6 comments

My Pregnancy: 20 Weeks


I am starting to pop a little! I know it still looks tiny upside down, naturally, everything shrinks that way. Ironically, I do feel a little smaller than I did at this point with Ella. I did not feel that way several weeks ago. I totally anticipated popping super quick with my second pregnancy, at 6 weeks I felt like I looked 10 weeks. I think I was just really bloated early on. My digestive system was going a little crazy but things seemed to have evened out. Did you feel like you carries smaller with a boy vs. a girl if you have both? Not sure that has to do with it, but I am taking it!

How am I feeling?

Amazing. Super strong. Workouts are great. I am not tired. I have more energy now than when I am not pregnant! I feel like I can’t sit still. Over the weekend I cleared out the spare bedroom, which was a disaster. It was the room we kind of placed all the boxes we didn’t want to deal with from our move. I also went through Weezy’s disastrous bedroom and closet and got her all organized. It felt really good. I have another really big exciting business project I am working on, which requires lots of computer time, and I can’t stand to sit there. he project is motivating and most of the foundations are there, I still have to plop my butt down. That makes me feel tired and tight, when I keep moving, I feel fabulous! Embracing this while it lasts, because I KNOW it won’t. Getting the most out of it now, as I grow in the up and coming weeks, I am sure to slow down. I do attribute this strength to the baby, I can tell he’s going to be super strong like his daddy! He’s giving me so much strength and stamina at this point. Happy about it, especially after everything we went through in the beginning. I thought this was going to be a super rough pregnancy. I know I am only half way there, but am hopeful for everything to be healthy the rest of the way out.



Appetite is still pretty healthy and I am craving lots of fresh foods. The taco truck opened at Whole Foods for the season, and I swear it is better than I even remember! I could eat them every single day! I have green smoothies back in my life in the morning, and we finally got our grill so we will be cooking on there a lot. I made an amazing marinade for chicken the other night, and Mike grilled and prepared our veggies. He made our Brussels sprouts even BETTER than I discussed in my last post, if that’s even possible. I felt lame sharing 2 Brussels sprouts recipes in a week, but maybe I will soon. Completely different method than roasting, and not on the grill. I think it’s my new favorite.


(pregnancy food obsession: taco salad with ancho chicken, queso fresco, Mexican slaw, romaine, Spanish onion and pico de gallo..they never add dressing and it doesn’t need it! Amazing!)

Projects While I have Super Energy:

We are working on the baby room. I need to go pick out some paint colors. We are going to go with a green I think. I need to put the crib back together. Man that was a blast.



We bought a composter over the weekend. Next up, putting in the raised beds in our backyard and the herb garden on the side of the house. I will be sure to share details about that when it’s finished! Beyond excited to grow some food!!!! PLEASE give me some tips if you have a vegetable or herb garden! I have a little help from my cousin who does this for a living, but always get great advice from you guys!


Have a great day!



The Best Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

by laury on April 9, 2014 · 4 comments

One of our favorite vegetables in our house are Brussels sprouts. It’s funny because, as a child, I wanted nothing to do with them. In fact, they made me gag. As an adult, I figured out that it is all in how you prepare them!

Do you have issues getting your husband to eat vegetables? Luckily, as PICKY as my husband is, this is one area I do not have to worry about. If it is for you, well, hopefully this recipe will change things. My secret?

Bacon fat.

Yes, you read that right. If you told me a few years ago I would happily be cooking with rendered bacon fat, I would have looked at you like you had 3 heads. Today, after research I have found that this is one the healthiest and most flavorful ways to roast your veggies. For years, we have been told to avoid the solid cooking fats, sticking with liquid vegetable oils, but unfortunately for those who have religiously followed that advice, it’s the other way around. You will NEVER find canola, soybean, or other vegetable oils in my kitchen. I do still sometimes roast with olive oil, but don’t feel so good about it. Olive oil is best used after the cooking, sautéing over medium heat, or in a salad dressing. Even olive oil can turn unhealthy when heated. And then there’s the whole controversy about olive oil not being what it claims to be! Yikes!


Think about how your great, great grandparents cooked? Duck fat, tallow, even lard. The claims about avoiding saturated fats, and well, fats in general was based off of bad science from the 1950’s (which in turn caused us to eat more carbs, sugar, and processed foods, worsening our health).  It’s incredibly important to note that not ALL animal fats are created equal! You are ONLY as healthy as the animal you are eating. So rendering fat from regular ole’ bacon loaded with nitrates, and fed GMO corn and soy is one of the WORST things you could eat. On the other hand, rendering fat from uncured, pastured, organic bacon is the way to go. Using companies like U.S. Wellness Meats or Applegate Farms, or a local farm you know and trust.

5 Reasons To Ditch The Vegetable Oils (and Margarine!):

This includes, canola, soybean, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, vegetable, and corn.

  • Vegetable oils are extracted in a factory, usually from genetically modified crops heavily sprayed with chemical pesticides.
  • Oils such as canola go through extra processing and the end result is very rancid and foul, so they will add fragrance and color to the oil to make it edible. You ever notice how you can small when restaurant food goes rancid in your fridge? That’s most likely the cooking oil they use.
  • Then, there is even additional processing, hydrogenation, (you may have heard of this) if this oil is going to be turned into a solid such as margarine, aka, trans fats.
  • The high omega-6 content in these polyunsaturated vegetable oils cause inflammation in your body, and this is what leads to high cholesterol, new studies show. We need a healthy balance of omegas-6 and omega-3 fats in our bodies, and animals raised on pasture will give us that. Not overly, factory processed vegetable oils.
  • Vegetable oils will make you fat. It’s true, eating a diet with these processed oils will increase appetite, Omega-6 is known as the cannabis of fats, an imbalance will give you the munchies!

Butter (and ghee!) has definitely made a comeback, and chances are you not only have heard about the amazing benefits of coconut oil, you probably have a jar of it in your kitchen. This saturated fat cooking oil, once demonized by mainstream medical (and still not full accepted by them), is now widely enjoyed, and we are reaping the benefits!

As a rule of thumb, we should be enjoying food as close to nature as possible So doesn’t it make sense when it comes to our cooking fats as well? Butter from grass-fed, pastured cows, coconut oil pressed from coconuts, olive oil (the REAL stuff), cold-pressed from olives, and solid fats from healthy, organic, pasture-raised (and uncured when that applies) animals!

I use coconut oil a lot to roast or cook in high heat, but coconut oil and Brussels sprouts are one thing I am not a fan of together. I can do it, but always preferred olive oil. Until this!

Rendering Your Fat:

So first, you want to start rendering your fat. If you cook your bacon in the microwave, just stop now. Not a good idea. Not as tasty, not as healthy, and you’re wasting all that beautiful fat that can be put to good use! I cook mine up in acast iron skillet until it browns, then I lye the strips on a plate lined with paper towels, one on the bottom, one on top, and it gets super crispy as it cools! Then, I get a bowl, and place one paper towel on top of the bowl, and pour the liquid bacon fat through the paper towel (it is probably a good idea to use a glass pyrex bowl with a lid). It’s as simple as that! Store it at room temperature, just like coconut oil. Melt it before using it to roast veggies and I promise, your husband, boyfriend, former veggie hater will see those greens in a whole new light!!!


The Best Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The Best Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts Method:

I chop off and discard the stems from my sprouts first. Then, if they are large I cut in quarters, smaller ones I cut in half The more leaves that fall off, the better. This is my favorite part. In fact, I may put Weezy to work one day on removing ALL of the leaves and just roasting those for a snack! Seriously, it’s the first part to go, those little leaves never make it to my dinner plate after they come out of the oven!

Then, I roast them in 1-2 Tablespoons of bacon fat, seasoning with salt and pepper for about 30 minutes. That’s it! Simple.


I love to pair these with some wild Coho salmon (another thing I have gotten VERY picky about eating. No farmed fish here! Did you know farmed fish gets fed chicken poop in addition to the GMO corn and soy? DISGUSTING!)

I make my salmon in a foil pouch, seasoned with Borsari, lots of fresh lemon juice, and a little grass-fed butter at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, (depending on the size of the filet). This is one of my 3 year old daughter’s favorite meals!



See you soon with a 20-week pregnancy update! Half-way there!


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