That Red Cup Of Happiness…

I have always been a coffee lover, well since I was 16 anyway… And to make matters even worse and cliche, I have always had a soft spot for Starbucks coffee, particularly the special edition blends. YES, I am well aware that there are some other coffee shops with waaaay better-tasting coffee, I will not deny that, but for some reason, I always come back to Starbucks. So you can understand my disappointment when I wasn’t able to take a sip of the amazing Pumpkin Spice Latte edition simply because I know that too much caffeine is not good during pregnancy and I cannot for the likes of me get out of the house without my morning coffee. I just can’t and that is final! So I am stuck to one coffee cup per day and right now I am not complaining as I just adore the Christmas blends that Nespresso released.

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That said, as much as I love my daily Nespresso coffee I just can’t resist the annual red cups from Starbucks. I just can’t! So you can imagine the struggle I have been experiencing ever since they were released this year. That said, I have also been experiencing pregnancy brain on a whole other level lately and thus it only dawned on me a few days ago that I can have DECAF! Yes, DECAF! I know, it basically sucks, but that is the best I can get right now while still enjoying the Christmas blends and so I will go with that and have as many of the lovely, fattening and sugary red cups of happiness as I can this December, sans the whipped cream of course!

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On me:

Dress – ZARA; Boots – Steve Madden; Bag – Atelier Lemnia; Sunglasses – Dior; Bling – Swarovski (bracelet1, bracelet2 and ring) and L’Art de Medeea necklace; Watch – Apple

Which brings us to today’s post! Ever since I realised that I can actually enjoy a red cup all I could think about was what type of outfit should one wear to fully show the appreciation of that DECAF lightbulb! And what better outfit than one that simply screams Christmas. Well, at least it screams Christmas to me. The deep tartan print of this dress is as Christmas-y as it gets. It is from ZARA (of course) and it will probably become a Christmas favourite, as, aside from the lovely print it also has enough room to fit a 34-week pregnant belly therefore it will have enough room from now on to fit the entire Christmas dinner. I felt the need to pair it with the khaki-green Steve Madden long boots because for some reason I felt they went well together.

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On D:

Shirt – Replay; Jeans – ZARA; Shoes – Converse x John Varvatos; Sunglasses – Ray-Ban; Bling – Fossil and Constantin Nautics; Watch – Apple

Naturally a little red clutch could not miss the opportunity to match the red cup and my personal favourite right now is the one from Atelier Lemnia. Since it was a lovely sunny warm day outside I decided on skipping the coat as I have pregnancy heat waves anyway and also because the hot liquid I was so psyched about kept me all warm and happy throughout the photoshoot. I also wore my sunglasses because, as you can see from the photos, we had yet another day of perfectly clear skies. As per usual, I wore my favourite pair, the Dior SoReal.

D, despite being happy for my new found coffee independence, did not really feel like dressing festive and opted for a more comfortable but equally nice outfit and obviously for a full-caffeine drink. He decided to wear a classic denim shirt from Replay and his black skinny jeans from ZARA. I fully appreciated the fact that he knows not to match his denims as that, in my opinion is a big fashion faux-pas! He also wore his black Converse x John Varvatos sneaks as well as hie black Ray-Ban sunglasses. All in all, he kinda matched my outfit in a sense that his too was comfortable enough to bring to Christmas dinner – which to be honest starts at lunch and ends late in the evening.

As for the bling part, I did go a bit overboard because I chose not one, but two Swarovski bangles, a Swarovski multi-ring and a beaded necklace, which is from L’Art de Medeea. I decided on the beaded necklace because I liked the way its colours worked – not matched – with the colours of the dress and I did feel that the dress needed a bit of bling as it seriously lacks in that department and hey, it’s December, the month of bling. D was a bit more toned down than me and only opted for his Fossil and Constantin Nautics bracelets, while we both wore our Apple Watches.

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Thus far, this December has been really good to us both temp-wise as well as precipitation-wise and despite the fact that I really wish to get a fully snowed-in photoshoot, I seriously hope we will not get much snow in Bucharest at least until we are home form the hospital with the little bundle of joy. Looking at the weather forecast, not much will change this week and that means that we will take more and more pics of the last weeks of pregnancy.

L.

 

 

4-5 days per week…

…more like 4 days per week, but hey, I try… Most weeks I manage to go up to four days per week of eating healthy and keeping my cravings in place, but I confess that there are some weeks when I don’t even make it to three days without craving something sugary or fatty. As for the other two to three remaining days of the week, well, since recently I have become able to ingest some meat, I try and incorporate it into my diet because I feel that animal protein is important during pregnancy and my baby should not miss any nutrients because of my eating choices – this does not mean that I am a vegetarian or a vegan in my day-to-day normal non-pregnancy life, but usually I only eat meat once per week at best because of some digestive problems that I discovered a few years ago. That being said, as you can see I do not feel sick towards cheese hence I have to keep it under control as I do tend to over-indulge in all cheesy things. YES, I looooove cheese!!! It is the glue to my life, but I confess that cheese immediately travels on my beee-hind so no over-eating it for me!

I am the type of person that weights every single food that is on my plate, to the point where some might say that I have mental problems, but over time I have come to realise that this is the only way to know exactly what goes into my body and when. Before my pregnancy, I ate way less fruit and I think fruit is actually responsible for my weight gain so far – well, that and the fact that I am having three cheat days per week as opposed to 1 1\2 before. Since I am not allowed to go to the gym, I have to keep everything in check hence the 1200-1300 kcal per day and the abundance of small snacks (that are actually not so small). Before, I ate my last meal of the day at 5 p.m. and then off I was at the gym for two hours and by the time I got home there was absolutely no way I was prepping a meal, no, my only goal was to reach my bed as fast as possible, but now, I feel hunger striking as late as 9 or 10 in the evening so I always keep cucumbers at hand as they seem to not disturb my sleep much.

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These photos represent my actual situation and they were taken on Tuesday. While I try and keep everything as easy as I can, both the calorie count as well as the food options depend on the actual season I find myself in. For example all of last summer I craved garden tomatoes and watermelon and I have to tell you, the amount of watermelon that I ate on a daily basis is somewhat illegal hence I did pack a bit more calories than this autumn menu provides. Now I am currently dreaming of iceberg salad and kiwis even though iceberg salad was never my favourite, on the contrary actually, I have always hated it, but now I absolutely love it. On Tuesday I did not have any cottage cheese at hand, but I have to tell you that I try and eat one serving (175 gr) of cottage cheese – try the lighter versions – just for the high protein levels it provides. While during the summer my menu was way redder than my autumn picks (this one is mostly green), I do try as much as possible to eat all the colours of the rainbow but I do tend to listen to what my body craves right now and apparently it wants green stuff.

Breakfast:

I always try and have a healthy full breakfast and, if you look closely, this is the one meal that packs the most kcal as well as fibre and good fats and that is all thanks to the half avocado I eat daily no matter what. I always start my day with a glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice and water because I have to tell you, catching a cold during pregnancy is the worst thing that can happen to you (no nose-drops hence lack of sleep and mental sanity) and this juice provides lots of vitamin C on a empty stomach. At first I started eating avocados because of the high cholesterol levels in my blood, but now, since that is sorted out, I eat it for the all-around benefit it provides. I like to eat it raw as dessert after I indulge in two hard-boiled egg whites – great source of protein – and one yoghurt – much needed calcium. I always have a cup of coffee and my usual choice is a Nespresso capsule. This quantity is fine during pregnancy and it gives me the much-needed energy throughout the day. Since I was never one to drink my coffee black I like to top it up with coconut milk – but no sugar for me because as you’ll in the nutritional analysis at the end of this post, I get a lot of sugar from the fruits throughout the day therefore I do no add sugar in anything.

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Lunch:

Lunch is probably my favourite meal because it is both sweet and hot. I like to have a cup of tomato soup and most of the time I do not make it myself but buy it ready-made from the supermarket. I will try and make some more varieties of cream soups myself – I really want to try and make a mushroom soup for a while now – as I always love a good hot soup in the middle of the day. This is the only hot meal I eat throughout a normal day and I think it is very important to not skip cooked meals. For dessert I love to eat a big bowl (about 300 gr) of seedless grapes. These are the only grapes I like and I am always quite happy during autumn the moment D starts buying them for me.

Dinner:

For dinner I usually have some sort of leafy green salad with a dash of avocado oil and a bit of cheese. I think it is important to eat your leafy greens daily as they provide lots of iron and fibre while not packing virtually any kcal and definitely no fats or other nasty stuff. I know, it would be a lot better if I replaced the iceberg salad with baby spinach, but hey, cravings are cravings! I usually put no more than a teaspoon of avocado oil in it and about 40 gr of light white cheese (calcium and proteins), but normally I use a cup of cottage cheese (it is a lot healthier!). For dessert – it seems like I can’t have one meal without something sweet and that must be curtesy of the little lady growing inside me – I like to eat a Granny Smith apple. As with the grapes, I am very strict about my apples – I only like the Granny Smith type. The apple provides lots of fibres and vitamins and is very good for the baby.

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Snacks:

I usually have two snacks per day and while you might think that they are evenly distributed, they are not! Both of them are after lunch and both of them contain cheese (did I mention I love cheese?). The first snack of the day consists in a cup of cherry tomatoes – I already miss summer’s garden tomatoes – about 20 gr of cheese and a kiwi fruit. Ever since I got a cold in August and could not really treat it with anything I try and ingest as much natural vitamin C as possible and therefore kiwi is a daily must!

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The second snack usually comes later – at around 9:30 in the evening hence the reason it needs to be lighter than the other – and consists of two, maybe three cucumbers, 20 gr of cheese and a kiwi fruit. This snack does not disturb my sleep at all and it is quite satisfying thanks to all the water content of the cucumbers. Usually after this snack, both D and I go out to walk our doggie (here she is) for about 30 minutes and that’s all the exercise I get during the day.

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Liquids:

Before being pregnant, I usually drank 5 l of water per day, but now my usual consumption comes at about 3,5-4 l daily. I always try and listen to my body where hydration is concerned and never try and force myself  to drink more or less. The glass of lemon drink in the morning is included in this quantity. I think it is very important to drink lots of water throughout the day, but mainly I trust my body to tell me when and how much water I need.

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That’s it, this is what I eat during the week, from Monday to Thursday and sometimes Friday (very rarely!) during my pregnancy. These eating habits haven’t changed much, besides the extra 200-300 kcal per day and a lot more fruit, but then again, I used to go to the gym daily for about two hours, so most of the weight gain is explained solely by that. On the remaining days of the week, I try and satisfy all my cravings (see here 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) as well as some other things that I never usually eat (yes, I had a bucket of KFC twice during this pregnancy – let the shaming begin!). All in all, I try and stay sane and eat whatever I like but mostly healthy, hence the 4-5/2-3 ratio. I find it a lot easier to stick to my diet for longer it we manage to do our shopping for the entire week on a Sunday. For some reason throwing food away does not sit well with me so I feel obliged to eat it. I feel lucky that my last month of pregnancy will be during Christmas as I am going to get big by then anyway and I will be able to indulge in all the Christmas goodies without feeling guilty or fat – yes tons of gingerbread and panettone included! But until then I am trying to not pack lots of kgs as I am well aware that this is not healthy for me nor for my baby.

Scroll down a bit more to see a full nutritional analysis of what I ate on Tuesday – vitamins and all – all curtesy of the new apple watch D got me and the lovely MyNetDiary app which is quite complete where nutrition is concerned.

L.

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Current Blogging Situation!

I wanted to write a different blog post today – a beauty one, but apparently WordPress has a few saving issues and it completely deleted the one I wanted to publish today (note to self – write on the notepad first!). Since their customer support is closed until the 23rd of September I can’t find a solution until then. Just keeping my posts short and clean. Yes, I am a bit upset than two hours of work are gone forever!

The thing is, I also find myself in a nearly impossible writing environment as you can see from the pics I’ve published. We are in full renovations and I am writing from the kitchen where my office has been moved – at least now I can say that I use the kitchen on a daily basis for more time than it takes our Nespresso to deliver the perfect coffee in the morning. We are hoping to finish the actual renovations by Monday, but after that is when the hard part comes – us having to actually go through all our shit and throwing away most of it. Hopefully we will finish everything by the end of October (that is when the last pieces of furniture arrive) and we will be able to post detailed ‘after’ photos. 

That is it for today, and I sincerely hope that WordPress will get its shit together soon!

L.

Coffee lover over here!!!

I’ve been drinking coffee on a daily basis for over 14 years, so one could say that I’m a full-on coffee addict. I can’t go a day without my miracle liquid. True, I never ever drink more than one cup per day and I am very picky when it comes to which type of coffee I drink. I’ve always drank it with milk and more recently with either coconut milk or almond milk, but I never put any sugar in it. When I say that I’m picky, what I mean is that I can smell bad coffee miles away. Apparently, when it comes to coffee, my taste buds tend to be very rigid. I’m also responsible for D‘s daily coffee intake as before he met me, he rarely ever drank any, but now, neither of us can get through the day without our morning sip.

All that being said, you have to understand my skepticism when I was contacted by the team at Skinny Coffee Club for a potential social media collaboration. What I had to do implied testing their product, and IF I liked it I was supposed to post a few pics of me drinking their coffee on my Instagram account. Being the curious type, especially when it comes to new products on the market, I accepted, thinking that if I don’t like the product, we can terminate our agreement at any time. I’d like to underline the fact that I’m not receiving any money from them, nor am I in any way obliged to write about them or promote them in any way. Which brings us to today’s post: THIS PRODUCT IS AMAZING! Like, really, really great! The only reason I’m reviewing this on our blog is because I want to let people know what products actually work. You won’t find any product here that I don’t like here, simply because some products might work for some people but not me and I don’t really like the negative vibe a bad review gives. This review is based solely on my own personal experience.

Currently I’m finishing my third week on Skinny Coffee Club, but to be honest, I couldn’t wait to write about it from week 2 (that’s when I started seeing the results). Now, let’s be clear on something, during the past three weeks, both my diet and my fitness routine have been off. My diet has been mostly filled with pizza or some other sort of bad food and on top of it all, I haven’t been able to go to the gym either (semi-busted shoulder, plus D got his new tattoo). So this review is based on a streak of bad habits on my part and the product still worked. I did’t gain any weight and my tummy is flatter than ever. I know this coffee is responsible for all this because if by any chance I get three consecutive days of pizza, I’m bloated like a pregnant woman in her second trimester. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty!

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What it claims to do:

  1. Lose weight in one week without exercise
  2. Improve complexion
  3. Burn fat
  4. Help maintain weight after weight-loss
  5. Increased energy
  6. Amazing taste

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Now let’s see the results I’ve had with it over the past three weeks:

  1. I did lose about 1kg, but I did have a hectic schedule (food, workout, sleep – wise)
  2. It did clear my complexion
  3. Since I lost some weight, I supposed it burned some fat
  4. It did maintain my tummy flat just as if I was still hitting the gym on a daily basis
  5. It did give me enough energy to last throughout the day
  6. You have to give it a few days to actually get accustomed to the taste.

Let’s talk about the taste part a bit. First of all, it mainly consists of green coffee, so it’s not as tasty as regular coffee, but after a few days on it, I’ve really started to love the taste, especially when mixed with coconut milk. Since you can’t find any ingredient list on their site, I’ve analysed the product and came out with these ingredients: Organic Green Coffee Beans, Chlorogenic Green Coffee bean extract, Siberian Ginseng, Chorella, Pure Matcha Powder, Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Organic Brazilian Coffee. In my opinion, it’s basically coffee on steroids!

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I usually use a teabag instead of a French Press, as it’s easier and less messy in the morning. If you do decide to check this coffee out, you’ll find hundreds of testimonials and reviews online, so there’s absolutely no point in me writing down how it helped other people.

All in all, I can’t wait for April to be over, so I can give this wonderful product another try, this time combined with a healthy diet and my usual fitness routine. Next month I’ll probably post another review for this product including before and after pics, measurements and weight, so stay tuned! And start drinking Skinny Coffee Club!

L.

P.S.: If you’d like to order the coffee and give it a try, just use code LAVINIA20 at checkout to get a nice discount on your order!