Pomodoro “Pasta” with Crabmeat and Fresh Basil

Crab Pomodoro Pasta with Basil

Crab Pomodoro Pasta with Basil

I started up this new blog with intention of posting my favourite healthy meals along with fitness and life posts, but got a little derailed by a post-Mexico pregnancy surprise and subsequent new job, etc.  Also: I haven’t been cooking so healthfully.

I remember being pretty disciplined in my eating throughout my pregnancy with Jude in 2011, save for the first trimester when buttered English muffins were the only food that didn’t send me stumbling, yellow-faced and streaming tears to the vomit toilet.  But this pregnancy has been full of food fails and a total absence of the kind of discipline I’ve been kind of proud to have cultivated over the last few years.  Baby has wanted rice pudding and Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream.  On the weekend it was my Mom’s birthday celebration and I was asked to bring some coconut water and assorted drinks and I also nipped into the Whole Foods dessert section, possessed, to buy some trifle no one had asked for.  I secretly ate a quarter of it in the kitchen while everyone else was on the dock drinking coconut water.

I’ve been doing Crossfit 4-5 times a week throughout my pregnancy (except this last week which has been full of Braxton Hicks and stomach issues) — so I haven’t totally gone off the rails, but it’s time to go back to eating with some regard to nutrition and fitness.  I miss the view of my toes and I have no interest in retaining this cellulite and I have plans to be able to jump off the dock in my Mexico bikini, unselfconsciously, by the end of summer.  And though I’m not sure I’ll go back to 100% Paleo (I want to up the veggies and down the animal in my diet) – I know I want to immediately reduce carbs and get back on the healthy train.

My lithe and athletic colleague mentioned a fail-proof and inexpensive veggie spiralizer last week, I purchased one, and surprise!  Last night’s “pasta” dinner was infinitely more satisfying than rice pudding and Ritz cheese crackers.

Monday Night Pomodoro Pasta with Crab + Basil

Ingredients

Makes 2 good-sized dinners

2 cups sliced fresh cherry tomatoes (local, in season if you can get ’em)

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (best quality you can get)

2 finely chopped small chili peppers, seeds removed

2 medium sized zucchini

handful of chopped fresh basil

1/2 pound of crabmeat (this was a lot — you could probably easily get away with 1/4 of a pound and still garner the sweet crab flavour)

Steps

1. Set up your veggie cutter device.  I made Corey do it because I am notoriously bad with anything with a sharp edge but this was super easy.  Shred up your two zucchini and set in colander to drain.

2. Throw your cherry tomatoes in the blender (I just used a regular old smoothie blender) until they’re pulsed to a texture you like for sauce.

3. Heat up your olive oil on medium heat in a heavy skillet.

4. Throw in your garlic, chili peppers, and tomato and cook for about a minute and a half.

5. Add some salt and pepper and your flaked-up crab.

6. Optional: add a very small (2 tbsp?) dollop of cream if you want this to have a very smooth and rich flavour, but it’s not necessary in the slightest.

Remove your zucchini noodles from the colander, put them in bowls, and spoon hot pomodoro + crab sauce over top.  No need to cook the noodles, the sauce will warm and cook them to a perfect, delicious temperature.  Top with chopped basil and enjoy.

I envision this dish with goat cheese, or shrimp or a veggie medley instead of crabs.  All around healthy, low cal, and amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Final Countdown

 

A man with a moustache and paint-splattered jeans stands outside an open warehouse door as I lumber past, all stilt legs and comically protruding belly.  He’s holding a cigarette downward in one hand and a cup of coffee and he stops mid-drag to yell at me.

“Wow, lady, you’re pregnant and still running?  That’s incredible!  You go!” He fist pumps the air and I give him a watery smile and keep trucking, Humpty Dumpty with a ponytail and aerodynamic running shoes.

People are so nice to heavily pregnant people.  A grocer who would normally bag bananas without looking up comments on my cute toddler.  The lady behind the makeup counter at the drug store tells me that my skin is radiant. Even the 19 year old at Aritzia went out of her way to find me a long dress that would fit my curves, and then told me I was a hot mama.

I’ve appreciated every second of it for the last several months that I’ve been visibly pregnant.  But now that I’m in the final two weeks, I want to lock myself in my room with a vat of Kozy Shack and not listen to anyone anymore, even well-intentioned totally awesome random nice people.  I don’t want to tell anyone my due date, I don’t want to hear that I am a trouper, I don’t want to note a visible gasp when I admit that I’m working right up until the day before I give birth.  I remember this from the last two pregnancies as well: a kind of bitter desperation that builds into a crescendo in the final few weeks: likely a culmination of hormones and no sleep and peeing 16 times a day and wondering if your life is headed into a total downward spiral with all the changes you know are about to skyrocket.

It could be just the sheer desperation of wanting an adult discussion about something other than your distended, vein criss crossed stomach, too.  I know it’s hard for people to look at me and notice I have eyes or a brain when my belly button is exploding out of my shirt, but I’m craving the day in a few weeks when the grocer ignores me again while he runs my bananas over the scanner.

Image

(38 weeks.  Surgery is scheduled for July 3rd, so baby is coming then or sooner.  I’m such a crotchety asshole right now — the only redemption is that I already know with certainty how very worth it the baby will be.)

Advanced Maternal Age

My Facebook feed is a scroll of graduations: grade 8, high school, junior high.  There’s a series of inevitable exclamation marks below the captions, women my age, the same sentiment, reworded:

How did that happen?

I remember the day she was born and now she’s in Grade 8?

So grown up.  Time flies.

I went to elementary school with Jennifer and I remember that she invited me to her birthday party in grade 5 but not in grade 6, that she had a pair of much-coveted faux paint-splattered white jeans, that she was one of the girls who smoked in the bathroom in junior high.   And today her photos are at the top of my Facebook stream, standing with the same mouth and eyes with her gigantically tall son who is graduating from high school.

My belly, ripe and mapped with blue-purple veins, pulsates with rippling feet and tiny limbs and I am expecting my third baby at a time when some women from my small hometown are becoming grandmas.  When Nolan graduates high school, Jude will be in grade 5.  Our daughter will be in grade 3.  Sometimes it makes me want to put my head in a paper bag and other times I feel overwhelmed with the fact of my second chance at a full-fledged family, of messy Sunday omelettes and fuzzy masses of sweet-smelling toddler hair tickling my nose too early in the morning.

This is my third pregnancy but because I know with final certainty that it will be my last, I am noticing more.  I stop to look when the roiling starts in my belly, when a kick extends down my loins and causes a startle of inside-out reflexes.  I don’t begrudge the shooting-rocket belly button, the scribbly spider veins, the brand new cottage cheese, because they are battle marks and because they’re fleeting, like everything else.

****

If this were 2006 this would be a totally different blog post and I’d be writing the details about the last 5 months of our lives and then a string of comments would appear within minutes

Holy shit are you OK?

We’re thinking of you and sending positive vibes.

I am going through something exactly like this and thank you for sharing because I thought I was the only one.

You’re an asshole narcissist pin head and you brought this on yourself, bitch. (which is precisely the reason that compelling personal blogs no longer exist and you need to read about honest life grit in amazon memoirs)

It’s been a challenging few months, for sure, and that’s partially why I haven’t been writing here and partially why I need to start up again.  Our baby girl will make her entrance on to this planet in 23 days exactly and I know her babyhood will be gone in a snap, that I will be 62 in a matter of minutes, that Nolan will be grinning down at me, a graduate, in the blink of an eye.  And I don’t want to forget about any of it.

***

For those of you who aren’t friends with me on Facebook and may have missed it, I did an article last month for the Crossfit journal, and it’s here.  I also have an article in the July issue of Today’s Parent magazine and I’m going to start doing more professional writing again too.  I’m pretty stoked about an upcoming article I have for a national women’s magazine, too, and I’ll keep you posted here when that comes out as well.