Carrot & Radish Slaw with Mint-Turmeric Pesto (Paleo, AIP, Whole30, Vegan, 21dsd)

carrot slaw with pesto

 

I am all about shredding my veggies in the food processor. It is such a quick technique for preparing vegetables for salads and skillets! Just peel and chop your veggies in small enough pieces to fit through the lid of your food processor and it does all the work! I use the Cuisinart 11-cup Food Processor and have been for years. They have an 8-cup model, but I highly suggest getting the larger cup size. You’ll want to make a huge bowl of this tasty pesto slaw for lunches all week!

 

Get the recipe for Carrot & Radish Slaw with Mint-Turmeric Pesto!

 

What other recipes on Grazed & Enthused

feature easy shredded veggies!?

 

Butternut Rice with Beef & Nut-Free Pesto

 

paleo aip beef pesto

 

 

Lamb with Olive Tapenade Rice

 

Ginger Cookie Crunch Ice Cream (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

 

ginger cookie ice cream
There are five food groups for me: meat, seafood, fruits, veggies and CRUNCHY food. I love a good crispy carrot stick, and I usually nibble on those while I cook dinner (so I don’t eat said dinner’s leftovers for the next day!) But on the AIP, it’s hard to get that crunchy sensation  outside of veggies and fruits. Enter Mission Heirloom. Enter 1-ingredient, grain-free Yucan Crunch. Enter my mouth.

Yucan Crunch is a 100% organic, non-gmo AIP-Friendly cracker made from yuca root fiber!

 

Mission Heirloom is a well-known Paleo-friendly restaurant in California that offers organic and biodynamic foods free from grains, soy, legumes, etc. They are very in tune with the needs of the autoimmune community and have special AIP menu items available all the time! I have contemplated taking a trip out to the San Francisco area just so I could dine with them!

 

Yucan Crunch can be topped with an assortment of sweet and savory toppings! Just toast to your liking in a pan or in your oven (I eat them without toasting for time’s sake) and get creative with toppings!

 

 

How I Crunch

  • Layered with pate, avocado slices and kraut for a nutrient-rich 5-minute breakfast or lunch!
  • Smeared with coconut oil, a touch raw honey, sliced strawberries and sea salt for a low-sugar treat!
  • Topped with mashed sardines, avocado, lime juice, sea salt and diced cucumber for an omega-3 rich lunch!
  • Finely crushed and blended with dates, coconut oil, orange zest & rosewater for a Middle Eastern inspired energy ball!
  • In this Ginger Cookie Ice Cream – little crunchy pieces are coated with ground ginger for a no-bake anti-inflammatory summer dessert!

 

 

Yucan Crunch is now available on Amazon! You can even Prime it!

 

 

This ice cream tastes like a ginger cookie but is made with coconut milk & sweet potato! I use my Whynter Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker for the creamiest homemade ice cream!

 

Ginger Cookie Crunch Ice Cream

Preparation 0:10 2017-04-29T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 0:00 2017-04-29T00:00:00+00:00 Serves 3     adjust servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients except the Yucan Crunch, 1/2 tsp ginger and the coconut oil in a blender on high speed until smooth. Transfer to your ice cream maker.
  2. Churn ice cream according to manufacturer's directions. Meanwhile, toss the Yucan Crunch pieces with the coconut oil and ginger until well coated in a small bowl. When ice cream is almost finished churning, mix in these "Ginger Cookie" pieces until fully incorporated in the ice cream.
  3. Serve immediately or store in a glass container in the freezer for up to 3 days. Leave at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften prior to serving if not serving immediately.

Cinnamon Raisin Protein Bars – with Healing Collagen! (AIP/Paleo)

Collagen Protein Bars

 

The one food I’m sure to eat every single day is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.
I will buy 3 to 4 canisters at a time because I get anxious if I’m running low. Having a convenient protein option when you have food allergies is KEY. Protein keeps me from being hangry. I know the Paleo community is all about the fat but for me protein + veggies = life sustained.

 

My favorite way to use Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides right now is in my Pineapple+ Grapefruit Digestive Tonic recipe. I made it this weekend with the addition of strawberries and cucumber. So dang refreshing. As I type this, I’m excited to go to bed so I can wake up for that delicious drink. It’s so full of fiber and it really fills my tummy (known to be an insatiable bottomless pit, quite frankly.)

 

I’ve also added it to my Cranberry Fig Collagen Protein Bars and a whole bunch of smoothies like my Pina Colada Smoothie Bowl. Collagen definitely does what its purported to do… and I can’t say that about most supplements. I find most supplements to be a waste but this stuff has been in my daily rotation for over a year and a half. I really amped it up during pregnancy and with breastfeeding the extra hit of protein is helpful for my supply.

 

These Cinnamon Raisin Protein Bars are another great way to get your gut-healing goodies in. I love all the Paleo energy ball recipes out there but a lot of them use dates, and I’ve been keeping my sugar/treat intake lower recently.

 

These Protein Bars are also nut-free so they make the perfect school snack for your kids (just make sure they stay cool)

1 review

Cinnamon Raisin Protein Bars

Preparation 0:10 2017-04-29T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 0:00 2017-04-29T00:00:00+00:00 Serves 9 squares     adjust servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, combine the raisins, coconut, sweet potato flour, collagen, cinnamon and sea salt until a fine and moist crumble forms.
  2. Add in the coconut oil and process for 1 to 2 minutes until you achieve a dense mixture that sticks together. Add in water and process to help smooth the ingredients.
  3. Press mixture evenly into a 4"x6" parchment-lined glass dish. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours until solidified. Slice into squares using a sharp knife. Best stored and served from refrigerator.

Toasted "Couscous" with Pine Nuts + Raisins

Before I get into this delicious, easy and fast Paleo & Whole 30 & AIP-adaptable side dish…let’s chat about what I’ve been up to lately!

 

I have so many ideas swirling through my head for blog content that would provide such value to expecting and new moms, and I want to get it out there! But the irony is being a stay-at-home mom leaves me almost zero time to get any of it done! So I took the advice of many women and hired a nanny just 6 hours a week to start.

 

It’s already made a big difference in my happiness, peace and productivity. I look forward to the two morning a week when I leave the house to go work and run errands baby-free. And Grace doesn’t even notice when I leave – she loves her nanny so much! 

 

This was such a necessary step in our relationship as mother and daughter. It provides us independence from one another so we can continue to pursue our daily interests and explorations. It’s wonderful for her to connect with another woman so quickly, and I’m much calmer knowing I have someone to help me during the long weeks.

 

My husband is gone almost 60 hours a week AND works when he gets home, so I was getting worn down fast trying to juggle the blog, Beautycounter and baby (and a baby who wakes up at least 2x a night to feed). 3 B’s I’m super passionate about and there weren’t enough hours in the day for all of them.Obviously the human B gets all my attention first!

 

Now onto this tasty Lebanese-inspired easy side dish! I’ve been loving pan-toasting or roasting my cauliflower rice lately because it doesn’t steam cook and get mushy but instead keeps it’s firmer bite.

 

This is necessary if I’m going to call a dish “couscous” because a true Middle Eastern cous dish is not a mushfest. This “rice” dish is flavored with toasted pinenuts, raisins, parsley, mint and lemon + so addicting. It’s so easy to make it could easily become a frequent go-to for your family.

 

I ALWAYS keep an abundance of fresh herbs in my fridge. Just wash and dry them well and wrap them in paper towels in a sealed bag, and they will last a couple weeks for sure. I have fresh vibrant parsley that is almost 3 weeks old in my fridge using this storage method! Fresh herbs are incredibly dense in minerals, provide bright flavors to your finished dishes and are plain old beautiful to look at!

 

What should I serve this with?

What about my AIP Beef Shawarma or my Crispy Lebanese Chicken?

Toasted Cauliflower Cous Cous with Pine Nuts & Raisins

Toasted Cauliflower Cous Cous with Pine Nuts & Raisins

Preparation 0:07 2017-04-29T00:07:00+00:00 Cook Time 0:12 2017-04-29T00:12:00+00:00 Serves 4     adjust servings

Fragrant Middle Eastern-inspired low carb cauliflower cous cous side dish! Serve with my Beef Shawarma or Crispy Lebanese Chicken linked in the blog post.

Ingredients

  • 1 olive oil
  • 1 finely diced white onion
  • 2 pine nuts
  • 12 Trader Joe’s frozen organic cauliflower rice
  • 1/4 raisins
  • 2 finely chopped fresh parsley and mint leaves
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1/4 sea salt

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stainless steel skillet. Add white onion and a pinch of sea salt and sautee for 3 to 4 minutes until browned. Add pine nuts and toast for 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Add cauliflower rice with another pinch of sea salt to the pan and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 to 6 minutes until the cauliflower is crisp tender. No mushy cauliflower rice! Continuously stirring the rice releases the steam so your cauliflower rice toasts rather than steams in the skillet.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the raisins, herbs, and lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice and sea salt, if desired.

Recipe Notes

I prefer to use jumbo raisins because they are more plump and juicy. You may use 3 cups of homemade riced cauliflower in place of the Trader Joe's rice. For AIP, omit pine nuts and replace with equal amount chopped dried apricots.

 

AIP Italian Calzones

AIP Italian Calzone

 

AIP Italian Calzone

 

My AIP Stromboli recipe has been such a hit with us pizza-deprived humans that I made an Italian Calzone version for my monthly feature on Autoimmune Wellness! Have you been craving pizza on your grain and dairy-free diet? Look no further than either of these recipes! They have cured many, many, many pizza hankerings in our community. These Stromboli and Calzones may be my life’s greatest accomplishment outside of the birth of Grace… because a tummy full of pizza makes for a happy and fulfilled human.

 

 It’s a super flexible recipe:

  • Replace the arrowroot starch with equal amount of tapioca starch, if desired. 
  • Add a variety of finely diced vegetables like onion, mushroom and zucchini
  • Use a variety of starch white-fleshed sweet potato. I’ve been wondering if this recipe will work with pureed green plantain! Have you tried the Stromboli with plantain? Let us know in the comments!
  • Use any type of AIP-compliant savory sausage or meat like ham, pancetta, or prosciutto. 

 

Enjoy, my pizza-craving soulmates! 

GET THE RECIPE ON AUTOIMMUNE WELLNESS!

 

AIP Italian Calzone

Pineapple + Grapefruit Digestive Tonic (AIP & Vegan)

pineapple grapefruit tonic

Pineapple & Grapefruit Digestive Tonic

I have been including grapefruit in my diet most days of the week recently. My intuitive eating had me craving citrus all winter and I will easily enjoy 4 mandarins or 2 grapefruit or 4 mandarins AND 2 grapefruits in one day. I quickly realized why I was craving citrus.

 

My digestion hasn’t been totally amazing since giving birth. I found it difficult to digest fats, especially saturated fats, my chronic constipation returned in bouts, and I was even having difficulty tolerating larger amounts of water which was leading to dehydration and more constipation.

 

Oddly, this last bout began suddenly on December 12th and lasted almost 2 months until I sought help. I have been seeing a colon hydrotherapist for 4 weeks now and my digestion has returned to normal. I used to see one a few years ago, intermittently, in times of need when my Hashimoto’s and leaky-gut induced constipation lasted weeks at a time, but I had never established a weekly treatment. I plan on writing an article soon on colon hydrotherapy because I rarely hear it discussed in the whole foods and natural health movements, yet it has been such a beneficial therapeutic treatment for me almost 10 years now. 

 

Which brings me to why my body has been craving citrus, particularly grapefruits, like mad. My digestive problem was low stomach acid. Citrus, particularly grapefruit and pineapple (not a citrus fruit per se), assists digestion in multiple ways.

  • First, they contain fiber which we know is vital for gut health.
  • Second, pineapple contains bromelain which is an enzyme that can help break down our foods, which is important if you have low stomach acid and an impaired ability to do this on your own.
  • Third, grapefruit, my colon hydrotherapist told me, can increase the acidity of your stomach leading to improved digestion and break down of food. This is particularly important to those of us with autoimmune diseases since poor digestion can exacerbate leaky gut and food allergies.

 

Even if you don’t have low stomach acid, this Grapefruit + Pineapple Digestive Tonic is DELIGHTFUL and a lovely way to increase your consumption of vitamin C and enzyme-rich citrus, which we can ALL benefit from!

 

Pineapple & Grapefruit Digestive Tonic

 

1 review

Pineapple & Grapefruit Digestive Tonic

Preparation 0:05 2017-04-29T00:05:00+00:00 Cook Time 0:00 2017-04-29T00:00:00+00:00 Serves 1     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium grapefruit
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup filtered water (or coconut water)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Instructions

  1. Peel and remove the pith of the grapefruit. Chop into segments.
  2. Blend the grapefruit segments and remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and frothy. Pour and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You may add Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to this beverage for a hit of gut-healing collagen.

Baby Equipment: Helpful or Hazard?

Baby Equipment

 

The early stages of child development can be related to the stock market. It changes every day yet it’s fairly predictable, and the better you understand the why’s and how’s of it, the more likely you will make choices that support its successful growth.If there’s one thing that is certain about parenthood and child-rearing, it’s that we all want what’s best for our children. We may go about it different ways and to the best of our abilities, but our end goal is to raise capable, independent, creative, socially-adjusted, loving, and empathetic humans. At least that should be the goal of parenthood.

 

As a new parent, traversing the early years of your child’s life can seem like an endless question and answer session. We are full of questions and rely on others we view as more experienced for the answers: pediatricians, family members, neighbors, teachers, parenting book authors, bloggers, and GOOGLE. Mostly, Google. Some parts of parenting don’t come naturally – like how we should discipline or feed our children. These choices are marred by our past childhood experiences, TV shows and movies, or a narrow understanding of the complex brain and body of a newly-made human.Another area of parenting that we may be unfamiliar with is what we purchase for our children.

 

Visit any baby store or online baby retailer and you will be inundated with category after category of  “must-have” baby items. As a new parent, you may assume you need one of each! Why else would they make a diaper wipe warmer or $350 baby monitors if we didn’t need them? Let’s ask ourselves, why do manufacturers produce products? To make money. Sometimes to solve problems… but mostly to make money. Look at your own credit card bill for proof.

 

And what problem are many baby equipment manufacturers trying to solve? Babysitting. Parents naturally want babies to entertain themselves for part of the day, so they can get stuff done. I get it… right now I have piles of laundry that need to be folded, a full dishwasher, and a stack of mail yet to be opened. But I use nap times to get that stuff done and am fully present during wake times, keeping close observation on my baby and interacting with presence.  I make this analogy to begin my discussion about infant equipment and toys because we can all relate. We’ve all been sold “must-have” products that proved to be “must-give-away” burdens after just a couple months.

 

As a pediatric occupational therapist, I have strongly formed opinions on the types of equipment and toys we expose our developing babies to… they aren’t all harmless and in good fun. These opinions are guided both by my education as well as professional experience and research. Below I take a look at the most common baby equipment items that parents may want to reconsider using with their children. Don’t feel bad or scared or nervous if you have been using this equipment. Just make an informed decision about whether or not you are going to continue using it – that’s my only goal of writing this article!

 

MAJOR TAKEAWAYS IF YOU’RE SHORT ON TIME

  • Baby equipment steals valuable time from your baby that could be spent exploring their exciting new environment in developmentally-appropriate ways. 
  • Baby equipment may place your baby’s joints in undesirable and unsafe positions that can hinder healthy physical, sensory and proprioceptive development.
  • Baby equipment should not be used as a babysitter. Instead, place your baby in a safe gated and/or baby-proofed area on their back with developmentally-appropriate toys nearby. This teaches self-directed, independent, and creative play and allows for freedom of movement.
  • Baby equipment is a waste of money as your baby will quickly grow out of or tire of a swing, bouncer, seat, or walker. What costs much less and is more appropriate? A blanket, a silk cloth to play with, a ball, blocks and a stuffed animal.
  • Baby equipment is dangerous and can lead to injurious falls resulting in head injuries and broken bones, especially if manufacturer’s instructions are ignored or use is unsupervised. 
  • Baby equipment places babies in positions they are not developmentally ready for which may result in insecurity, fear and “skipping” developmental milestones such as crawling. 
  • If you’ve been using baby equipment, don’t fret. You can make an informed decision on whether or not you want to continue using it. I suggest coming up with safer alternatives for the equipment’s purpose such as baby-proofing an area of the home for free play.

Floor time allows for developmentally-appropriate play that naturally progresses gross and fine motor skills following the baby’s internal lead and motivation. Sensory balls, wooden blocks, and wooden teethers can be manipulated, thrown, passed from hand to hand and help develop healthy coordination, strength, and control. 

 

BUMBO SEATS

Bumbo seats are one of the most common pieces of baby equipment I see parents purchase. Bumbo seats are foam booster-type seats you place on the floor to keep your baby in an upright position before they can get into that position themselves. Bumbo seats now come with harnesses that strap the child into the seat to prevent past safety hazards such as a baby falling out of the seat. Parents have told me they use Bumbo seats so their baby can look around or so they have a “safe place” to put the baby while the parents do chores around the home.

I actually have a solution to that problem that is free.So what’s wrong with this harmless-looking baby seat? First and foremost, it restricts movement like most baby equipment. Babies of all ages have a deep internal desire to explore their environments in a way that only freedom of movement can provide. When a child is strapped into a piece of baby equipment for hours and hours a week, that is quality time that should have been spent on the floor wiggling around in whatever way the baby pleases.

When an infant is placed on the floor in a safe space, they have the ability to engage developmentally appropriate muscles that will eventually result in better control of their bodies….and this leads to the self-esteem required to participate in creative and independent play.Not only that, but the Bumbo Seat stabilizes the postural muscles and hip joints in a dependent position with the hips placed lower than the knees and the feet floating above the floor. This awkward position both shortens muscles and ligaments and deactivates joint proprioceptors, disallowing for natural weight-bearing positions like tummy time or laying on the back or side.

On top of that, it places the baby’s pelvis in a posterior tilt (bum slightly tucked under their hips) which is the least ideal pelvic tilt for any human, at any stage of development. This results in shortening of hip flexors, oppositional muscle imbalances, and disengagement of the abdominal muscles.

VERDICT: DITCH IT!

Where can you place your baby so they can look around, play with toys, and experience this new enthralling world? On their back. Simple. Set aside a safe play area in your home where you can lay your baby on his or her back while you do chores nearby. If your baby is able to roll over and crawl, it’s best to use a gated play area to keep them in a contained, baby-proofed space. Floor time has been shown in research to support the successful development and progression of gross and fine motor mastery, so before you add a Bumbo seat to your registry or use that hand-me-down from your neighbor, don’t discount the natural progression of development which starts ON THE FLOOR.

 

WALKERS

Walkers have made the news for the last couple decades after thousands of children a year were being injured in falls and accidents. They were flat out outlawed in Canada in the early 2000s, and American manufacturers altered their design so that babies couldn’t move quite so fast and far on wheels, limiting chances of falling down stairs or using the walker to gain access to dangerous items in the home like cleaners and stovetops. I won’t go into the scary details of some of these accidents, but they are enough to make a parent’s stomach turn and hyperventilate.

Walkers, even those harmless looking activity center walkers (see photo), need to be reserved for a baby who can independently walk and must be supervised in a baby-proofed environment at all times. My biggest peeve with walkers is that we’re essentially asking our children to participate in a major gross motor skill they are neither physically or mentally ready for. If a baby cannot walk unassisted, they should not be pushing a walker around the home. If you couldn’t physically run at a 15 mph pace, would you want to be placed on a treadmill set at 15 mph?

Why do we try to rush our children’s development with baby equipment like walkers then? Humans have their entire lives to walk and run, so why do we so want our 10-month-old to be walking already? I truly believe that as parents we tend to subconsciously project our expectations on our children. We feel a sense of pride every time our child hits a milestone, so we competitively hyper-focus on milestones and how we can achieve them as quickly as possible.

VERDICT: DITCH IT!

Babies learn to walk anywhere between 9 months and 15 months of age. And anywhere in between is completely typical. If you truly are concerned about your child’s lack of mobility, please get a free evaluation through your state’s early intervention program with a licensed occupational or physical therapist. They will be able to tell you if your baby truly has developmental delays preventing them from reaching particular gross or fine motor milestones.Ideally, your baby will teach themselves to sit, scoot, rock, crawl, pull to stand, cruise along furniture and then once confident with their stability and strength… take their first steps. There is absolutely NO NEED for baby equipment – humans have been learning these skills for thousands of years without the “help” of plastic wheeled toys.

 

BOUNCERS and EXERSAUCERS

A lot of the same reasoning behind limiting the use of Bumbos and walkers for infants is the same for bouncers. Strapping a child into a position they cannot get into themselves limits their ability to explore their environment, weightbear (which sends messages to their central nervous system via their joints and is extremely important for motor control and sensory development), and have adequate time in preparatory positions (i.e. back, tummy and side) that develop the skills for more advanced gross motor skills like crawling and sitting.

VERDICT: DITCH IT!

Again, placing your baby on his or her back in a safe space with you nearby and a few developmentally appropriate toys within reach is all your baby needs. Not only will this reduce unsightly equipment in your home, but you will save money on a useless and potentially harmful plastic product. If you use bouncers for naps, instead I suggest using a vibrating rocker like the Graco Lounger which is also an excellent choice if your baby has reflux. It places baby in a slightly inclined, safe position on their back suitable for short naps. It’s low calming vibration is less likely to overstimulate their sensory system unlike a bouncer. 

 

BONUS: BABY SLINGS (A CASE FOR MODERATION)

Babywearing is a term that has created a whole new industry and coalition of like-minded mamas. It allows mamas to comfort their baby while still being able to use their hands for personal tasks, or for caregiving tasks for older siblings. Slings and carriers are pretty fantastic if you’re the outdoorsy type – we take Grace for hikes in ours all the time! I also baby-wear for times of convenience such as grocery shopping, going on a beach walk, or running errands, but the amount of time I use a sling or baby carrier a week amounts to no more than 5 hours.

Baby-wearing is very popular in the Paleo and natural motherhood communities, and I totally get why. Mothers have a primal desire to be close to their children, and wearing them against our bodies has been shown to help regulate their body temperature and heart rate in premature babies, improve bonding, and make breastfeeding more convenient. Who doesn’t want to have their baby snuggled up to them all day? While that may be what we want, when babies reach about 3 months of age, they really deserve to have freedom of movement. And that just can’t happen if they’re strapped to their mamas all day.I met a woman at the grocery store this week who commented on my Ergo Baby 360 Carrier (which I recommend over the Baby Bjorn carrier). She said she wore her baby for 3 years straight and “never put her down on a playmat once”. She said it with pride. I smiled but internally I cringed.

While this is an extreme case, I added baby slings to this list to provide a different perspective on baby-wearing and to make a case against this extreme or even baby-wearing all day at home so you can “get stuff done”.Imagine having your baby strapped to you for most of the day while you do tasks around the house or run errands. He’s with you while you clean toilets, wash dishes, walk your dog, and make dinner. While this closeness is lovely, that is a lot of waking time that your baby is unable to move and wiggle and weightbear as he may please.And that doesn’t even consider positioning faux-pas that may occur with a mal-fitted sling. If baby’s spine and hips aren’t aligned well in a sling or baby carrier, and they maintain this position for many hours a week, musculoskeletal issues could result. Babywearing International is a non-profit organization that holds meet-ups around the country so mamas can try out different options and get fitted properly. I highly suggest finding one of these meet-ups through their website if you choose to babywear.

I also want to point out the musculoskeletal and postural deficiencies that can result for the babywearing mother. Babywearing front-loads your body with additional weight it is not used to carrying (remember pregnancy?). This can bring your pelvis into a posterior tilt, shortening hip flexors, tightening hamstrings, and pulling on your hip and knee joints (which may already be more lax than usual from pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones).  I also find it’s easy to disengage my abdominals when I’m baby-wearing which further exacerbates this non-ideal pelvic positioning. This is of particular importance for new mothers with weak pelvic floor function (me, me). Motherhood and caregiving tasks are already a repetitive strain on the body, and excess babywearing may increase chances of injury. Pregnancy may have already altered your gait, pelvic stability, and core strength, so our post-partum bodies need extra TLC from proficient healthcare professionals such a pelvic floor therapists, personal trainers, chiropractors and acupuncturists.

VERDICT: MODERATE IT

Babywearing is amazing and I 100% support it. But if you find that you’re defaulting to placing your baby in a sling to calm them down or help you “get stuff done” (especially after the age of 3 months) for many hours a day or week, I suggest transitioning some of that time towards independent floor play. This will both help your body AND your baby’s body. Your baby will learn to feel secure playing independently on the floor. You can help facilitate this security by observing nearby on the floor with them while allowing them to manipulate toys on their own, or simply wiggle around on the floor to their own rhythm. We do not need to entertain children; this big, beautiful world provides adequate stimulation and experimental learning opportunities.

Remember, mamas, just because one of the above pieces of equipment didn’t affect your child, it may exacerbate developmental issues in another child. We must agree that our babies are unique individuals with unique needs, and a piece of equipment that seemingly didn’t cause issue with our friend’s baby or our first-born, may be a negative environmental stimuli for another child. Like with all parenting choices, approach them using both your intuition and self-guided information gathering with careful observation of your individual child’s needs, capabilities and pursuits. 

AIP Instant Breakfast Cereal (and it’s really, really delicious!)

 

aip oatmeal

 

Breakfast! How did you grow up enjoying this meal? We mostly had breakfast cereal because mornings were rushed, and I have to say my twin sister and I were moderately obsessed with cereal up until our early twenties. I remember one time in college we both couldn’t sleep and we walked into the kitchen at the same time to have a bowl of Toasted Oatmeal Flakes. Glad those days are over.

 

One of the first things my husband and I bonded over was our childhood love of Cracklin’ Oat Bran, and how we never met another person that wasn’t 82 that liked it. There’s just something so comforting about sitting down with a bowl of cereal and milk. Maybe it’s pulling on the strings of nostalgia or something about the cold milk and the crunchy lightly sweetened cereal. And then we have oatmeal – I used to demolish a bowl of Instant oatmeal every morning. I topped it with cinnamon, bananas and blueberries and microwaved those little Quaker Instant Oatmeal packets – yeesh. Where the heck was my protein in the morning?

 

I seriously didn’t start eating protein for breakfast until I went Paleo and it squelched my blood sugar swings, so now I always include some protein at breakfast every day. Even if it’s a scoop of collagen protein in my smoothie or coffee or mug of broth. There are some mornings when I’m just not in the mood for leftover dinner for breakfast though and want something a little more familiar to my yesteryears. And now there’s a new AIP-Friendly Instant Farina that fills that void! I tried this cereal 3 times this weekend to be sure I loved it enough to recommend it! 

 

INTRODUCING….AIP INSTANT FARINA by Pure TraditionsThis AIP Instant Breakfast Cereal is made from just 5 ingredients: coconut, tigernuts, konjac root, cinnamon and sea salt! It is a finely ground powder that you add hot liquid to (like water or coconut milk) and let sit for 2 minutes as it thickens. The less water you add, the thicker the porridge which is how I like it! It tastes like Cracklin’ Oat Bran, in fact, so I’m a huge fan! I am super impressed with the taste!My only complaint is the serving size is small, so if you want to make it a filling meal you definitely need to top it with some hearty fruit like bananas and berries. I would also serve it with a side of bacon or a protein smoothie so you are eating it with protein too.WHAT I LOVE

  • Low in carbs if you prefer a lower carb diet
  • High in fiber which may be helpful if you have constipation
  • Unsweetened for an anti-inflammatory, low-sugar diet
  • Super convenient for traveling or busy mornings
  • Kid-friendly – convincingly the texture of oatmeal
  • Sold by Wild Mountain Paleo which offers over 100 AIP products that after often cheaper than Amazon sells them for!

NOTE WORTHY

  • Small serving size – I would say it’s more like 3 servings per bag rather than 6 servings as stated on the label. Still a good price at only $2.50 per serving of high quality ingredients and a convenient option! On AIP, having a few convenient options is worth its weight in gold.
  • Konjac root may be irritating on a gut sensitive to fiber – it’s a small amount and is used to help thicken the porridge when liquid is added. I found it helped stimulate a bowel movement and with Hashimoto’s, constipation occurs at times, so I didn’t mind this side effect. 

1 review

Warm Banana Instant Oatmeal

Preparation 0:05 2017-04-29T00:05:00+00:00 Cook Time 0:02 2017-04-29T00:02:00+00:00 Serves 1     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Pure Traditions Instant Farina
  • 1/3 cup warmed coconut milk
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 banana, sliced and lightly sauteed in coconut oil
  • shredded coconut, for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine Farina and coconut milk in a bowl with the maple and cinnamon.
  2. Let sit 2 to 3 minutes to thicken.
  3. Top with sauteed banana slices and shredded coconut. Serve warm.

Our Tongue Tie Revision Story

 

I had a reader ask me to discuss tongue and lip ties on the blog. Because I’m not a pediatric dentist or lactation consultant, I would rather share our story with tongue tie and how we got it revised. It’s highly important to educate yourself about the signs of tongue and lip tie prior to birth, so that you can better detect them early on. This will prevent breastfeeding, feeding, and speech complications that can lead to negative impacts on development. I knew Grace had tongue tie even though 3 doctors and 1 lactation consultant told me she didn’t. My instincts were right. Tongue and lip ties have been noted in pediatric medical literature for decades, but awareness is just starting to ramp up now on timely diagnosis and revision. Most pediatricians are not trained on their diagnosis so I highly, highly, highly suggest visiting a reputable pediatric dentist with experience in laser treatment for proper diagnosis. Ask around local mom groups – you’ll find one in your area!

Okay, If you’re a new mom or mom-to-be, you may be wondering what in the world are tongue and lip ties!? Let’s start by discussing the anatomy of our mouths. Our tongues don’t move freely within our mouth like we may think – they are actually adhered and anchored to our bottom palate by a frenulum (a folded mucous membrane). This also goes with our lips which are adhered to our top and bottom gingival ridges with their own frenulums.This is normal. We need these structures in our mouths to be anchored by these frenulums so we can better control them. They help us annunciate our words, latch on a nipple, and roll our “R”s in Spanish class. But when the attachment impedes mobility, problems can occur. I’ve worked in pediatric clinics where the speech therapists have discovered many children referred to them for speech issues actually have tongue tie. Once they have the revision at a pediatric dentist, their speech improves drastically over night and within a few weeks are discharged from therapy. 

Tongue ties and lips ties are fairly easy to diagnose at birth if you have the right team of healthcare providers. A baby may have difficulty opening lifting their tongue, latching on a nipple or bottle, or using the propulsion of the tongue to bring milk or formula to the esophagus for nutrition. This was our case. Grace was born at only 5 1/2 pounds. She had very low blood glucose levels at birth and was monitored for 72 hours in the hospital. This may have been due to my 4 day labor when I could barely keep any water in my system let alone food. We weren’t able to bring her glucose levels up within the first 12 hours outside the womb because she was feeding inefficiently (which we now know was due to posterior tongue tie).

DAY 1

On the first day of her life, her glucose levels were so low they whisked her away for lots of testing for a couple hours. I counted the minutes until they brought her back to me. Everything came back normal but she wasn’t receiving adequate nutrition via breastfeeding (keeping her glucose low) even though she looked like she was latching. The nurse told me she needed formula and she needed it fast since she wasn’t waking up (low glucose results in sleepiness). I felt incredibly hopeless, sad, angry, and frustrated when she told me that. I told her to go away, I wasn’t feeding my baby soy formula, and I’ll figure it out. But I couldn’t. Nothing I was trying was working and the lactation consultant was too busy to come see me. Side note: I had told a female friend who has 2 kids I wanted to bring homemade formula to the hospital just in case something happened and Grace couldn’t receive breastmilk. She looked at me with such disgust for even suggesting that, I felt ashamed. My instincts told me I should have had a back up, and I didn’t listen to them.

 

I’m not saying everyone needs a breastfeeding back-up plan, but not introducing formula to my baby was so important to me, that my gut instinct told me it was better to be safe than sorry. (This is not a discussion on formula v breastmilk, by the way. I understand some babies require formula, but there are better formula options than the crap gmo soy formula they have in the hospital. We also required a round of antibiotics so I was extremely upset at how we were “starting out” with her gut microbiome.) ALWAYS listen to your instincts. The most frustrating part was I had loads of colostrum – the nurses were all coming in to see all the colostrum I had been pumping! They were fascinated! But I had barely seen my baby’s eyes in the 20 hours since she was born because she was so low on blood sugar and didn’t have enough energy to open them. The nurse made me feel guilty for not being able to feed her. For the second time, I let someone else tell me how I should feel and what I should do, even though it was against my maternal instinct. Since that day, I’ve never let someone else determine the choices I make as a mother, even if it means hurting someone’s feelings or disappointing them. 

DAY 2

Before the hospital lactation consultant could get to me, the nurse fed Grace a bottle of soy formula. I wanted to crumble. I cried, I screamed, my stomach had a pit in it like I’ve never experienced. Because this woman took my baby from me and did something to her that was so against my newly maternal instinct, I could have ripped her head off her body. I had PLENTY of milk… enough for triplets, and my new baby was receiving GMO, corn-syrup soy formula as her first food. But the ILLC hadn’t had TIME to bring me a pump so I could pump colostrum and feed her through a bottle.It was 100% the most defeating moment of my life.

 

To this day, I am still very bothered and think there should have been another way. This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t delivered in a hospital and had been at a birth center. I just know it. But you can’t change the past. Thankfully, I put up such a fuss about that one bottle, they knew we had to find an alternative or they were going to have a real problem on their hands (me + my hormones).FINALLY, the lactation consultant came to see me. While she felt guilty she came too late to save Grace from soy formula, she checked on me pretty non-stop for the next 24 hours. I was hooked up to a hospital-grade pump every hour for the next 18 hours to pump as much colostrum as I could to make sure my body got the signal, “Yes there’s a baby here who needs milk, she just doesn’t know how to get it yet!” Thankfully, my milk did come in on day 4. With a vengeance. A story for later.

 

DAY 2 TO 3

I was also feeding Grace every hour with a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) – we taped the little tube to my boob so Grace could simulate sucking on my nipple while really receiving my pumped colostrum from a bottle through the tube. There’s a photo of me naked in the hospital – one boob hooked up to the breast pump, Grace in football hold on my other side trying to latch, while the SNS is taped to my body and dangling over my shoulder. I was still smiling at least. During this time, Grace had to receive a glucose heel prick test every 8 hours for 48 hours. It was pure torture watching her scream, her foot bleed and have to be bandaged up 6 times in the first 2 days of her life. The doctors wouldn’t send us home until her glucose levels were normal for a full 24 hours (3 prick tests in a row).Imagine waiting to hear some really exciting or devastating news 6 times in the first 2 days of your child’s life. If she failed the test, we had to start over. That happened 3 times. Devastating. I just wanted to be home with my little girl and enjoy her, not subject her to pain and testing. We were in the hospital for 2 extra days because of this in addition to 2 days of labor (and 2 days of labor at home previous to that). We were beyond exhausted. I had accumulated a total of 10 hours of sleep in 7 days. I didn’t know that was humanly possible.

 

DAY 4

Finally on Monday night (I delivered Friday night), we got the okay to go home after she passed 3 tests in a row. All our hard work paid off and my little girl only had to receive one bottle of formula. I was nervous to go home because she still wasn’t latching super well but the lactation consultant at the hospital gave me her number and a list of other LCs that could do home visits. That night at 8pm my milk came in hard and fast. My engorgement was so painful, I vowed to never have another child. You would think a 4-day long back labor with a herniated lumbar disc would have turned me off from another pregnancy, but in that moment engorgement was unbearable. The worst part was Grace wasn’t eating well so she was unable to relieve any of the pressure. My husband and I thought my boobs were going to explode. They’re usually a B cup and were a G CUP that day – I’m not kidding! I looked like Pamela Anderson. You may be chuckling if you’re also a new mom – I was NOT expecting to have such an oversupply!  

 

DAY 5

tried cabbage leaves, warm shower and hand compression, pumping for relief, nothing was working. I called one of the ILLCs that the hospital LC gave me and left a voicemail that said, “Hi Dawn. I need you to come over to my house ASAP. It’s an emergency. My boobs are going to explode.” She arrived within 30 minutes. After showing me some tricks to relieve “the worst engorgement she has ever seen in 16 years” (an award I hope I never receive again), she also told me she thought Grace has a tongue tie. She couldn’t tell because Grace at that point could barely open her mouth because her tongue was pretty much stuck to her bottom palate. It just kind of laid flat, slightly protruding from her mouth, but with a lack of mobility.

 

She referred me to a pediatric dentist who was able to see me the next day at 1 pm for imaging and consultation. If they found a tongue tie, they could revise it with a laser procedure in 5 minutes on the spot. It would be $400 for the procedure. It could have cost $4,000 and I would have written them a check immediately. I so desperately wanted my girl to eat. At this point, she had been pulling on and off my breast for at least 12 hours a day and not getting much milk. 

 

DAY 6

At the appointment, our very kind dentist took photos of Grace’s mouth using a small laser camera. Sure enough she had a major posterior tongue tie that was hard to see without the camera. My husband started crying when he realized she would have to get the semi-painful procedure. I didn’t cry. My instincts told me it was for the best, and I was actually excited for her to be able to use her tongue properly. My sweet little girl went into the procedure room alone while we waited in a separate room by ourselves. Even with both doors closed, we could hear her scream when they used the laser to snip her frenulum. She cried for a few minutes and they brought her straight to me and she started breastfeeding immediately. It was different already. She was gulping down milk with the tell-tale nutritional sucking movement of the jaw that my LC had showed me to look for. 

 

DAY 6 TO 16

We were instructed to massage the area 3 times a day for 30 seconds with a clean finger for 10 days. This never bothered Grace and she didn’t cry when I did the massage. The area turned white as it healed and then eventually the whiteness went away. At the follow-up appointment, she was given the okay. Everything had healed well. She also had been breastfeeding like a champion since the procedure and finally gaining weight instead of losing!SINCE THENGrace has been an AMAZING eater since she had her tongue tie revised. She is now eating solids without issue, babbling and saying “Momma” and trying to say “Milk” (her two favorite things, let’s be real). I am very appreciative of our LC Dawn for sending us to a proficient and experienced pediatric dentist who made us feel comfortable. We submitted the bill to insurance and are waiting to hear back on whether or not they will cover it. I don’t care either way – I would have had to spend way more than $400 on formula by now if we hadn’t been successful breastfeeding.

  Feeding anywhere and everywhere, including in the Whole Foods parking lot on multiple occasions those first few months!

 

Breastfeeding is my #1 priority in life currently. I even decided to stay at home and not go back to work until she weans because I want to protect my milk supply and our breastfeeding relationship. The benefits of breastmilk on her longterm health and immune system far outweigh any other choice I could make in this life for me or for her. This is why I’m sharing our story. I don’t want another mom to have to go through what we went through with Grace in the first week of her life. Tongue ties and lip ties are incredibly common, and not all of them are going to affect a baby’s ability to nurse or latch on a bottle, but that same tongue or lip tie may affect their ability to speak in a few years. Or it won’t. You just never know. I suggest doing your research on Tongue and Lip Ties before birth so you can look for the signs. Also have more than 1 Lactation Consultants’ contact information on hand for an emergency visit and research a local pediatric dentist that does laser tie reversal (they heal faster and are less invasive than the conventional snipping method).

 

My biggest advice if breastfeeding is important to you: BE PREPARED. It doesn’t come easy for all of us for a variety of reasons, but the more you know from the start, the quicker you will be able to solve any issues like ties that may come up! And always, always, always follow YOUR instincts. Mama truly does know best. 

KELLYMOM IS MY FAVORITE RESOURCE FOR ALL BREASTFEEDING RELATED QUESTIONS.

HERE’S A PAGE OF ALL HER TONGUE TIE RESOURCES!

AIP "Chocolate" Fudge – Two Ways! (AIP/Low-Sugar)

My husband and I celebrated Valentine’s early this year. We were supposed to go to one of my good childhood friend’s wedding, but Grace decided that this weekend was a mighty fine time to cut her first tooth. On Friday evening, she was screaming at the top of her lungs and I couldn’t figure out why. I looked in her mouth once she calmed down, and that poor little tooth was just breaking through! This explains why last week was so difficult.

 

It also explains why I ate more than my fair share of this fudge. We women sure do love to stress eat on some chocolate. I wonder why men don’t do that. It must be some sort of biological mechanism… like when our brain perceives we’re stressed it doesn’t want us to shut down and make fertility a non-priority, so it makes us crave fatty sweet things? Making this up as I type by the way. But if you know why, please share. 

 

We went to the farmer’s market Saturday morning. Our new city has this really amazing produce stand of dozens of vegetables for a good price. They’re all organic and locally grown and fresh as fuhhhh…dge. So I made us grilled local grass-fed flank steak with chimichurri sauce, steamed artichokes with lemon oil, a big salad of baby lettuce and olives, and roasted broccoli with Primal Palate’s new Garam Masala spice blend. Then we drank too much white wine, tried to watch Secret Life of Pets but I fell asleep with my very sexy blue-light blocker safety goggles on. Then my husband texted a picture of me to his friend. Sensual per usual. 

 

Spiced Maple Caramelized Sweet Plantains + Garam Masala Plantains and Apples using Primal Palate Garam Masala blend!

 

So I’m freakin’ obsessed with that spice blend and the Chinese Five Spice blend that are in their new Taste of Asia 3-pack. Those two are both nightshade-free and the accompanying Curry blend has cayenne in it, so I’ll be saving that one for my husband. Their spices are way, way, way better than anything you’ll try from the grocery store. You really need to try them + they’re on Amazon Prime now so no excuses. Prime Up Your Life. I use them everyday, pretty much on every meal. We used the Garam Masala for macaroons, rice, a pork and veggie skillet and this plantain and apple side dish I’m sending out to my newsletter subscribers only. Then the next day I made Spiced Maple Caramelized Sweet Plantains. Holy tropical starch balls, those were good. 

 

FUN FUDGE IDEAS

Strawberry or Raspberry Crust: Crush freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries and press the crushed mixture into the mold once its been filled and before it’s been refrigerated.

Peppermint Fudge: Add 8 to 10 drops (or to taste) of peppermint oil to fudge mixture before setting.

Toasted Coconut Fudge: Refrigerate fudge until hardened and then use your hands to quickly roll fudge into round truffles. Roll in toasted shredded coconut. 

AIP

Preparation 0:10 2017-04-29T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 0:05 2017-04-29T00:05:00+00:00 Serves 8     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 1 small ripe Haas avocado, chopped
  • 3 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (optional but recommended*)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil, maple, and coconut milk  together over medium-low heat. Whisk in carob powder until combined. Remove from heat for a few minutes before transferring the still-warm mixture to a food processor.
  2. Add avocado, collagen,  and salt to food processor and blend until you achieve a silky chocolate fudge. Add in the arrowroot and blend briefly until combined.
  3. Spoon fudge mixture into desired silicone molds and place in refrigerator until set (2 to 3 hours). Remove from molds prior to serving. Store in fridge. You may also use the warm fudge as a topping for coconut milk ice cream or fruit.