Going Deep with Sarah and Teresa: Living that Vegan Life, Sleep, & Keeping Marriage Spicy
How do you keep your marriage spicy? -Jenna
Sarah: My husband and I have been together for 12 years this summer. He still gives me all the feels. When I hear his key in the door, my kids and I look at each other and make surprised faces and we all run to greet him. It's pretty magical. After having two kids though, our lives revolve around them and our work, and it leaves little time for just the two of us. We take that hour after the kids go to bed to decompress, work, talk, watch a show together. Sometimes we will have a glass of wine and discuss the week or things that are going on in our lives. “Date night” when you are a parent is SO important. It feels good to go out and have dinner and be one on one. I know Eric and I feel so connected when we get this time to focus on each other. I also love the idea of dating my husband, it’s sexy.
Teresa: We always engage in deep communication with each other. There's nothing sexier than getting closer to each other amidst the craziness of life, marriage and kids. We also try to take time out and have my mum watch the kids so that we can get some food and have a laugh together (trying not to always talk about the kids when we are on date night!). We also will listen to the Eckhart Tolle podcast together in the car after we drop Bodhi off and then discuss it afterwards. This "us" time is maybe unconventional but it perfectly suits our needs as a couple.
Do you have any books or website recommendations that could help us learn more about holistic pregnancy/birth and our options? -Miranda
Sarah: We love Ina May's books - I also love Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin. Also, Dr Sears book, “The Baby Book” was my little go to guide for any question I had in the middle of the night. It’s like a baby encyclopedia. It gives you the natural, conscious parenting, and holistic choices to try for so many things that come up along the way.
Teresa: Anything and everything Ina May Gaskin. Both Sarah and I LOVE her. In my opinion, she is the very, very best at what she does. I have many other books I enjoyed but to me, she is the Holy Grail. I also love The Birth Hour podcast and the blog "Birth Without Fear". It's so important to empower women on their pregnancy and birthing journies.
How do you manage a vegan diet as a family, ensuring everyone is getting enough nutrition? -Tara
Teresa: Our family does it pretty seamlessly. We usually make sure we have a serving of veggies/fruit with each meal, a starch, and a plant-based protein whether it be quinoa, beans or veggie meat made from pea protein. Our children feel really passionate about not eating animals and their drive and commitment to it keeps inspiring us to stay on this path.
Do you have any advice for how to maintain proper nutrition as a vegetarian/vegan during pregnancy? How do your nutritional needs change during pregnancy and postpartum? (including what are your favorite supplements to take as a vegan)? -Miranda + Stacie
Teresa: Always ensure that you're taking a great multivitamin. Our absolute favorite to take is Dr Shulzes, it covers everything!! Then it's pretty simple to ensure that you're having enough protein- choose plant based proteins such as beans, nut butters, lentils, quinoa, chia seeds, oat barley. I treated my pregnancies in a similar way to my post partum months, just being very conscious about what I was putting in my body. The breastfeeding demands a lot from my body so I consume more during my PP period then during pregnancy. Oh and drink waaaaay more water than you think you need!
What are your favorite recipes for vegan baby food? -Tara
Teresa: Anything from Ohsheglows.com is incredible. Try this link- these are fantastic kids snacks that we eat a lot at our home: Oh She Glows Snacks. I tend to use my vitamix a bunch, we purée lots of fruits and veggies for Forest to eat and sprinkle it with chia seeds for protein. He also downs my vegan banana bread, recipe taken from Angela of Oh She Glows too. Next try mashed cinnamon sweet potato! Just bake peeled sweet potatoes in the oven, chuck in a bowl, add a dash of almond milk and cinnamon and smash it all together!! Forest's fav snack!
How do you manage to get enough sleep with your babies in order to fuel your day and yourself? How do you balance? -Michelle
Sarah: We co-sleep so if our baby isn’t sleeping well neither do we . I don’t always get enough sleep - I try to nap when I can, but good food during the day, food that nourishes my body, including smoothies and dark greens, gives me so much energy and helps me to stay healthy. I also love coffee. My husband and I also take turns with the morning routine, which means on the weekends I get to sleep in on saturdays and he gets to sleep in on sundays. We both look forward to that so much. It really helps us to feel rejuvenated.
Teresa: To be perfectly honest, I would not be getting as much sleep as would be deemed ideal! We co-sleep with Forest and end up co-sleeping with Bodhi for the last half of the night. It just means broken sleep. I fall asleep around 10:30pm and the kids wake up up about 6:15/6:30pm. It's brutal some nights as Forest is on the boob a lot. Other nights, if I can get to sleep by 10, I will feel refreshed. To refuel, if I'm feeling pretty zonked, I ask Mark for an hour each day to either take a bath with lavender oil, take a nap, do some reading or play the guitar. He goes to the gym for a couple of hours each day so he always makes sure I get to have at least one hour to myself and it really helps me to recharge the batteries.
What are your personal and also kid routines for morning and night? -Charlotte
Sarah: My personal nighttime routine includes a shower and my favorite oils ( body and face oil) i shower in the mornings when I have time too, a shower feels like a nice fresh reset. For the kids, we bathe them and put balms on them. Then we dress them in pjs read some books, sing some songs, and put them to bed. Wyatt falls asleep on his own but I still rock Esme in a carrier to sleep and lay her in the dock a tot on the floor next to my bed. When I go to bed I bring her in with me.
Teresa: Morning time; we all lie in bed for about 15 minutes talking about our dreams. Forest and Bodhi start the day with lots of "cuggles" which Forest asks Bodhi for and vice versa! They're so sweet together in the mornings. We get up, get both boys dressed and head upstairs for breakfast, lunch box packing and some morning play time. Then it's teeth brushing, hair brushing, backpack packing and then I take them both to drop Bodhi off to school. After school we play at home, maybe do a play date, have a soccer class or just come back to our house and jump in the pool. Then we either cook dinner together or Postmates food to our house. We brush teeth, bathe every other day, do 3 books in bed, sound machine on (Brian Eno- An Ending on repeat) and then Mark will take Forest and pat him to sleep in our bed and I'll snuggle with Bodhi to sleep in his bed. Some nights if Forest is extra sleepy he will fall asleep nursing during the books!
How do you deal with fears, changes, and the unknown? -Theresa
Sarah: If we are talking in terms of being a new mommy with a baby... talking things out with other mommy friends, a doctor you trust, and you partner is so helpful. I’m not the kind of person who can hold anything inside. I need to talk about it. With my kids, and especially during the postpartum period, I was so afraid of everything. The things I was scared of were completely irrational. So there was nothing more to do than to discuss them or they were going to paralyze me, and I would never get any sleep. It really helped me to find out from my doula that all these feelings are TOTALLY normal, and postpartum can cause MAJOR anxiety. Growing more into a “mom” community really helped me to realize we all go through this, so it’s good to communicate and rely on each other as well.
Also, when fears come up with our kids, we talk about it. Communication is so important. Even when our kids are afraid, if you let it live inside of you it becomes so much bigger than it is. We talk about everything and try to find a solution, as a couple and as a family. Wyatt is afraid of fire, so we have had a lot of conversations about this lately. If he isn’t ready to let it go he will say “I need to keep talking about it.” It helps him with his fear.
Teresa: I'm open to whatever comes my way. Parenting has taught me to be very flexible and malleable. If fears arise I just observe them and then get to the root of what's triggering them. I often find that once I've reached the source of the fear, it dissipates as quickly as it's shown up. Our family life and routine is always changing, so we actually do well with change and I love the spontaneity of life. It's about embracing it and turning each shift in to an opportunity to grow and adventure!
What was your favorite movie to work on? -Gilmar
Sarah: For sure American Made. It was my dream job, and it was a truly magical experience.
Teresa: I would say I've had the most fun on: Warm Bodies, Berlin Syndrome,The Choice, Take Me Home Tonight, and The Ever After.