Author Archives: DitchTheBun

About DitchTheBun

I wear many hats; Librarian, Mum, Wife, Sister, Daughter Friend, Health and Knowledge Seeker. Here is where I explore the many aspects of me and try new things on my journey.

Living More Sustainably: Vegetarian one day a week

I fully admire those that can live a zero waste existence. It’s certainly something to aspire to. I am just not there yet. However, I really believe that if a whole bunch of us start with just some small changes it will have a massive environmental impact.

Starting over a year ago now we have been implementing changes in our home to try and live more sustainably. Interestingly, I started implementing a lot of these and didn’t mention it to Hubby to see if he noticed and commented on it or if the change bothered him. None of the changes we have made so far have phased him at all.

I thought I would share one of these every now and then. If you like the tip feel free to implement it. I know these are not new ideas. I am just sharing what small changes I have been able to easily incorporate into our lives to make our family more environmentally friendly.

Vegetarian one day per week.

This is a great example of something I started to implement without Hubby even noticing. I did this at the same time I started meal planning. This was a beautiful change to make hand in hand. Not only is eating meat free once a week good for the environment, but meal planning reduced our weekly food waste and grocery bill significantly!

I did this for over a month before asking Hubby if he’d noticed we were eating vegetarian at least one night every week. He hadn’t noticed that, but he’d been liking the meals and the organisation of meal planning. It actually saved us a lot of time over the week as we were not having that daily “what do you want for dinner?” discussion and then spending time rummaging through the pantry for options hahaha. He actually got into the process and is now much more involved in our food choices and also dinner and food preparation YAY!!!

Here’s the thing… this doesn’t have to be a complicated meal. Often this is my simplest dinner of the week. Very often I combine this with pasta night. At the moment we are both loving the Rana range of pastas particularly the Ricotta & Spinach Tortellini and the Pumpkin & Roasted Onion Ravioli. Even better when I score the family pack on sale as this gives us two nights of dinners. Especially when I chuck in some brocolli and mixed vegies. My 11 months old loves these pasta dishes as well, she doesn’t eat pasta in other forms apart from these and lasagne so that’s another bonus for us.

Honestly once you look at a couple of vegetarian meals it is a lot easier than the pressure that people put on themselves to create incredible dishes. Yes, you certainly can do that. OMG there are some amazing vegetarian and vegan dishes out there, but there are also some quick fixes.

Loving the Wildly Good range for a quick healthy vegetarian or vegan meal!
Wildly Good Falafel bites in a yum salad bowl with sweet potato waffle fries YUMMO!!!!!


Baby Frittatas

I have been experimenting with frittatas trying to make one using oat milk for kiddo who is lactose intolerant. Frittatas are great for baby led weaning and getting protein (eggs) and a variety of veggies into bubs. I made these in a muffin tin as it was easy to portion out that way. You can also freeze these.

I will say that I think because of the oat milk it seemed to take longer to cook that when I normally cook frittata.

This recipe made 11, but I feel I overfilled the cases so would probably make 12.

Ingredients

1 small carrot
1 small zuchhini
pumpkin (I like butternut, but whatever you like)
4 eggs
1 cup of oat milk (can use normal milk if not lactose intolerant)

Method

  1. Cube your pumpkin, place on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 160C (fan forced) for around 40 mins (turn half way). I would let it cool a little before using it. You will need 1 cup (I used the leftovers to mix with other veggies for meals).
  2. Grate carrot and zucchini.
  3. Heat around a tbsp of oil and cook zucchini, carrot and pumpkin for around 2 mins.
  4. Beat eggs and milk.
  5. Add vegetables to the milk mixture and pour the mixture into your muffin tin.
  6. Bake at 160C for around 20-25 mins.

Notes

  • When I use normal milk this is more like 15 mins.
  • If lactose is not an issue for you, you could also sprinkle some cheese on top before you bake.
  • As an adult these taste good, but I had to add salt and pepper haha.
  • I leave the skin on my zucchini, that is up to you 🙂


Banana Oat Pikelets

This is SUPER easy to make and it is quite possible you could make it without purchasing anything. I made this with stuff that was already in my pantry. Great for baby led weaning and they freeze well. Kiddo LOVES these! Honestly I kind of do too.

Makes around 16 decent sized pikelets.

Ingredients

1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 mashed overripe banana
1/2 cup oat milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Method

  1. Add dry ingredients to beaten egg and combine.
  2. Add oat milk, cinnamon and vanilla and combine.
  3. Add mashed banana and mix well.
  4. Heat a fry pan on medium heat, add a small amount of butter, or spray to prevent sticking then add spoonfuls of batter. When bubbles start to appear flip to cook the other side.

Notes

  • If you want a runnier consistency you can add more milk.
  • If you are not lactose intolerant then you can use normal milk rather than oat milk.
  • I served these strait up to kiddo. I also put them with strawberries and am planning to use them to introduce her to peanut butter.
  • These freeze well so in future I will likely make double batches (not going to lie I have stolen a few as well haha).

Healthy Oat Fruit Bars

I have been experimenting with Oat fruit bars/slice suitable for baby led weaning for my 8 month old who is lactose intolerant. We are trying to build up her tolerance a little by including very small amounts of lactose in her diet, but let’s be real, many of these types of things have dairy. So here’s one I have messed around with that made up a LOT of slice, she LOVES it!!! It also freezes great and I like it with a coffee or tea too, so bonus!

Ingredients

3 cups of rolled oats
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 1/4 cup A2 milk
1 1/4 cup oat milk
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup of finely chopped dried prunes
3/4 cup of finely chopped dried apricots
1 mashed overripe banana
1 grated granny smith apple
2 tsp cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (fan forced oven). Grease a slice tin – I use two medium sized ones as this is what I have.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Pour into slice tins. Bake in oven for around 45mins. You can check it’s done when it is firm and springs back to touch.
  4. Once it has cooled you can cut and serve.

Notes

  • This makes a LOT. I wanted this so I could cut into baby sized pieces and freeze. If you want a more normal sized amount you could halve everything, but I also did not want to waste half an apple and banana.
  • I used prunes and apricots, but you could replace these with any dried fruit.

New Life

My goodness life has changed. It has been a LONG time since I wrote here. Not because I didn’t want to. Life just got very crazy and my focus shifted drastically during this time.

Health journey wise I lost 48kgs and travelled overseas and was living my very best life. Every kg I lost was hard worked for. There were many reasons I wanted to undertake this health journey. One of these was to give us the very best chance of having a child. We had 4 embryos frozen and the plan was to wait until we felt my body was in the best shape (and we had saved enough) and then go back in for IVF again.

Well….. long story short… we found out last October that I was pregnant… suprise!!!

Much joy, worry, excitement, fear, etc. ensued. What can I say after 8 years of infertility and then being pregnant in the middle of a pandemic I was a barrel of emotions hahaha.

Little Miss C came into the world in May and she is perfect. I couldn’t believe it. So many joyful tears you guys. We had some initial issues with feeding which is a story I will save for another day, but generally she has just been a joy. She surprises us everyday and I still can’t believe how lucky we are.

I have missed writing here and now as I continue on my life journey as a Mum, wife, health and knowledge seeker I really wanted to get back here.

Can’t wait to share and to catch up with you all!!!


Where have I been?

Huge thank you to those of you who have contacted me to see if I am okay. This is why I love you guys!!! Thank you to everybody that has stuck in there with me! 🙂

I know I have been neglecting this space and not connecting with you all as much as I should have, or as much as I would like. I don’t really have much of an excuse, life has just been insane for many months now.

 

After we froze our embies we decided to have some time off from the fertility craziness. The docs didn’t really want to transfer the embies anyway as they felt I was too big.

I spent some time really soul searching and thinking about my life journey and how far I had come and what I wanted the next year (this year) and the rest of my life to hold. You know… nothing too heavy right?! Haha

I know I mentioned in a previous post that I had spent a lot of time researching weight loss surgery and what it could do for me with in regards to my insulin resistance, PCOS and snail thyroid. I also finally found out why sometimes my outer thighs goes numb, it is a condition where nerves get pinched randomly (can be cured or greatly improved through weightloss). So I bit the bullet, after 10 years and numerous diets and lifestyle changes I agreed to have sleeve surgery in April.

What?! I hear you say, but it is already May! Yep, that’s right, already done.

I didn’t tell many people. To be honest after so many years thinking about it and researching to come to the decision that I thought was best for me (even though I was petrified and didn’t really want to do it) I really didn’t want to hear any more opinions. So my parents knew (turns out they told a few people), obviously Hubby knew (turns out he told people too) and a couple of my friends knew.

Managed to not have a huge panic attack before surgery, mainly by trying not to think about it and just going through the motions of preparing. Afterwards I initially questioned all my so called wisdom and research because damn did I hurt. Being someone who is very independent though I was determined that even though I had just had major surgery a couple of hours before I was going to the toilet. So I did.

I pretty much had a dream recovery, slight allergic reaction to the dressings after a few days and slight infection on the surface of one of the wounds. Food wise I have had no issues. Was having issues getting enough protein, but I am getting much better at that now that I have added soft foods back in. Eventually I should be able to have all the foods I have before.

I hear people label this “the easy way”, boy is that far from the truth. For me this was (and continues to be) harder than quitting smoking. You still have to do all the work in regards to healthy food and exercise. It is just a tool, a very effective tool, but it is on me to make it work.

I have been doing well so far. Since 19 March (I am including pre op diet where I lost 6.8kgs) I have lost 13.9kgs. I am not ashamed to say that I am SUPER proud of myself for that 🙂

I know that for doctors the actual weight is what they focus on, but for me I am enjoying the non-scale victories just as much. The issue with the thigh numbness is already noticeably better which is amazing as I would get this multiple times a day previously – In the last 5 days I think I have had it once!!! I also fit into 2 blouses that I LOVED that no longer fit me. In fact they fit me better now than when I bought them! I am also much more comfortable in my car, not that I was uncomfortable before, but it just fits me better now.

It is a challenge everyday. You have to be super prepared food wise so you are not caught out. My father was suddenly taken to hospital last Friday (so a week today) and I was initially caught out a lot… loving coffee and quiches and veggie fritattas from a number of cafes at the moment for dinner as I am going straight from work to the hospital at the moment. Funny part is I can only eat about half, which then means either I get to make sure Mum has a decent meal or I get lunch the next day. Today I am stoked with my leftover pumpkin, spinach and ricotta quiche – you guys SOOO GOOD!

I find I am eating a lot more vegetarian meals. Not on purpose, just because I gravitate towards these meals as I enjoy them. I am glad though as I had been trying to move towards a more plant based diet prior to the surgery because it is supposed to be beneficial for the conditions I have. It does mean that sometimes I am not hitting the protein level I need to be so I have to be careful.

So now that I have bowled you all over with my crazy last few months tell me stories! I have missed you all 🙂

 

 

 


IVF Cycle – Freeze all

Fertility update time… update is… still having fertility issues.

We have done a freeze all cycle where I was on 300 Gonal F all the way up until trigger, with Orgalutran and then an Ovidrel and something else (Lucrin I think) trigger.

We got 11 eggs which I was stoked with. Honestly for some completely unknown reason that has always been my hope number so I was super pleased – and quite uncomfortable for a couple of days. My body had down in one month what would normally take 11 months. So YAY! But OUCH!

So 7 successfully fertilised, they said 10 were mature which is super suprising – everything must have just lined up really well this cycle. They also said they injected which was funny because we had never talked with them about doing ISCI, but it was already done so… what are you gonna do amiright?! Day 3 all 7 were still going, 6 were right on target and one was one cell behind (colour me shocked because those results are super incredible). Day 5 they rang and said only 2 could be tested and frozen, I was suprised and sad because of how well the others had been doing (and because I was still full of ALL the hormones). They said that they could take the rest to day 6 and call me then.

Day 6 they called and 2 more of them stepped up to the plate!!! So a total of 4 have been PGS tested and frozen.

Eggs

4 lil frosties 🙂

Initially they told us that because we are young and there is no history of any chromosomal issues on either side as far back as we can track that there was not really a need for PGS. We decided we wanted it anyway because we want to make sure we are only transferring embryos with the highest chance of survival, when we transferred one that was not tested and received a BFN the first thing the nurse said was, “well the embryo wasn’t tested so you just don’t know if there were abnormalities”. I wan’t to completely eliminate the chance of that so that it is one less if, but or maybe that we have to deal with 🙂

We were hoping to go straight into another cycle so we could get some banked up, but funds are seriously restricting that at the moment and I get the impression that my husband wants a break from it over Christmas.

We have a specialist appointment on the 19 December and we get the results then. Disapointed that I have to pay another $200+ in order to be told how many made it through testing. Feels like a waste! I don’t even get to see my actual specialist as she is on holidays, I get a fill in. Kind of frustrated by that.

Fingers crossed that the majority of them come back good. Hoping, hoping, hoping, hoping!!!! Come on lil frosty babes!!!


The Lord of Shadows

Well WTF book?! What even was that ending?!!! I did not expect or understand that twist, but I respect it. Shock value alone is just HUGE.

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This series gives GREAT cover!

 

I really like this series. Magnus Bane is my favourite character of this whole world Cassandra Clare has created so anything with more of him in it was going to turn my head.

I think this plot has been very well constructed. I LOVE the emphasis on family, I feel like it truly is the greatest strength and weakness of every one of the Blackthorns and those that love them. Julian may be the most unselfish character ever created, everything he does it for his family and those he loves. Interestingly there are some lines he crosses to achieve this end that I find challenge me as a reader.

I love the character of Ty, as someone who has a nephew very much on the spectrum and whose best friend has a son who is also very on the spectrum I really have liked the way in which this is explored. I found it so interesting (can’t remember if it was book 2 or 1) when Julian recalled how their father would grab Ty’s hands when he fidgeted and yell at him to be still because that was what was expected of Shadowhunters – stillness, total control. Society so expects people like my nephew and my girlfriend’s son to conform to their idea of normal, I think we should celebrate their amazing views on the world. My friend’s son for instance says what he thinks and shouts compliments at people, like, “Hey dude, I love your hair”, “Hey lady, your dress is pretty rad”, etc. What a positive way to view the world. I loved in this book how the siblings completely accept Ty for who he is and I love the relationship with Kit.

There were a lot of lovey feelings going on in this book. Interesting that I feel as though the idea or rather theme of love as a destructive force seems to be developing. Not sure if that is just me, but that is what I was starting to see solidify in this book.

That Zara chick seriously needs to get what is coming to her!

At times I do feel like I was more invested with the characters than the plot, but seriously how could I not be?! The characters are so vibrant, so completely tangible, you just want to interact with them so very much!

So in case it is not clear yet I totally recommend you read this book… after you have finished book 1… and everything else she has written – particularly the Infernal Devices!

 


Lady Midnight

Well that was a great start to a new series. I totally enjoyed this. Gosh the family dynamic and their fierce love and loyalty to each other is really something to behold.

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How gorgeous is this cover art!

 

I liked the tie ins and check ins with characters from the mortal instruments series. Emma is a great character. I like her strength and prowess as a Shadowhunter whilst maintaining the vulnerability and feels of a teenager. How much she would sacrifice for those she loves is just momentous.

So frustrated by the cold peace and their laws, it does reflect on some social issues of the day so I think this is why it struck such a note. Just not right to punish an entire people for the wrongs of the few.

The lottery was truly chilling. Freaking crazy Fae cult. Seriously what even? I guess they come in all shapes and sizes. I did like how the reality of the cult twisted in the end, that was very cool indeed. Did not really see that one coming.

Really curious to see what is going on with the character of Diane. I feel like this could be a very interesting storyline and I cannot wait to see what comes of it – hopefully in the second book.

Not sure about the parabatai love thing, does this supposed badness only happen when they are in love with each other? Because Alec was in love with Jace in the Mortal Devices books so… confused. Meanwhile how brutal teenagers can be with the excuse of it is the best decision for others is interesting. I was no where near this brutal when I was a teen and did not have capacity to be. I get they have had to grow up fast with no parents, but damn!

Definitely read this… I am off to get book 2!


6 year anniversary of TTC is looming

So the IUI was a bust. Unfortunately as AF was 4 days late my hopes had grown super high. I didn’t POAS because I really wanted that hope to last for a little bit longer. I started bleeding the afternoon before my bloods were done. I let the nurse know and said I was confused because I was extremely regular and I it was very weird for me to be more than one day off. Only to be told that Pregnyl can make AF late. *SIGH* I really wish they would tell you this stuff when they give you the medications. So I thought I would share it with you all so you may avoid being caught unawares…

So far I have learned that Pregnyl and progesterone (anything) can/will delay AF. Obviously everyone’s body is different, we may not all react the same… yadda, yadda, yadda 🙂

As we come up to the 6 year anniversary of TTC in a couple of months I find myself questioning everything. Currently I have been TTC for 70 months, 70 failed cycles. That’s such a burden you guys. One of the most natural things my body should be doing and it won’t. I’ve never even had a BFP. I know people who have had 3 children in the time I have been trying to fall pregnant once!

Here are some of the things I am questioning:

Should I be looking at a different job which is less hours and stress so I can focus more on a health journey? Could I do a secondment at work or ask to go part time in my role for 6 months or longer? But all my pay goes towards an IVF fund which keeps us moving foward and I don’t really know if I could afford a pay cut.

I know in myself I could do amazingly well in this industry. I have been the library industry version of head hunted quite a few times and I am a hard worker who isn’t afraid of change or leaping outside the box. But any amount of success in this industry would not mean much to me if it meant foregoing the opportunity to be a Mum.

 

Recently I have asked myself a very important question…

Would I be willing to basically blow up my life if it meant we could have children?

The answer is yes.

 

Is this something I need to do? I don’t know. Maybe. I don’t know.

 

What could this look like?

  • I have had doctors talk to me before about weight reduction surgery. I have never really considered it because it just didn’t feel right and I have met quite a few people for whom this wasn’t really a long term solution and they have had to have it redone down the track. During this cycle a nurse who has had it done at the FS office chatted to me about it. I asked her about the fact that we would not be able to do IVF during this time and she said we would still be able to make embryos and bank them, but that generally they will not allow us to transfer them for a year post surgery. I am very much in two minds about this, but will raise it with my FS on Thursday when we see her.
  • Leave my job or ask for reduced hours to concentrate on a health journey. This is something I have thought about quite seriously. It makes me really sad because I really love a lot of the people I work with. I would really rather not leave, but I don’t know that my job could be done in less hours. Part of me feels that something drastic like this has to happen though. I have a very sedentary life in this job and there are not a lot of ways to fix that.
    If I get the surgery discussed above I will likely have to have quite some time off anyway so who knows.
  • Completely retrain for another industry. This is something I have also thought about quite seriously. In particular I have thought about going back to uni and becoming a nutritionist that specialises in PCOS, IR and Diabetes. I have looked and have found it very hard to find specialists anywhere near me. I have also thought about going back to uni and becoming an specialist in the area of Autism. My nephew has Autism and I know a few other children who are on the spectrum too and there is a lot of talk by specialists of all the restrictions children on the spectrum will have. I would love to be a specialist who works closely with children with Autism to help them work through their own individual difficulties and overcome obstacles as well as develop techniques to help them navigate everyday life. Every single person is different, having Autism doesn’t change that, everyone is a snowflake and you need to treat them as such.
    Both of these options would include more work, stress and sedentary behaviour whilst I become qualified and established so I don’t know how realistic these choices are.

 

Has anyone out there blown up their life for this? Would love to hear your stories. Advise is also COMPLETELY welcome! I would love some!!!