Lactation Cookies

Paleo lactation cookies

So I hate baking but decided to take a shot at some lactation cookies since I hear all the galactagogues (milk producing foods) in them are great for maintaining milk supply, and hey… It’s a treat I don’t feel bad about eating!

Here’s the recipe I used, I adapted it from this one I found on mama natural.

PS, If you don’t like the taste of fennel you can substitute it for 2 tbsp of flax seeds, I personally like the taste but it can be a bit overbearing.

Recipe

Ingredients
4 cups organic rolled oats (blended or whole, I’ve used both and it works fine)
1 cup organic coconut sugar
1/2 cup organic cornstarch
1/2 cup Brewers yeast (I got this in the supplement section at whole foods)
1 TB fennel seed, ground (can sub for 2 TB of ground flax)
2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup, plus 2 TB coconut oil
4 eggs
2 TB organic blue agave
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup of organic dark chocolate chips

Yield 20 large cookies

Directions

Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Put your 4 cups of rolled oats into a high speed blender or food processor (I used my nutribullet). Blend until the oats are ground but not completely smooth.
Measure out 1 TB of fennel seeds and grind until fine powder. ( or use 2 tbsp of ground flax seeds)
Put dry ingredients into large bowl and mix.
In a smaller bowl, put your almond butter, melted coconut oil, honey, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Pour the contents of smaller bowl into the dry ingredient bowl. Mix well with spoon or clean hands.

Grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil. Form flat balls, I made mine pretty big because I wanted them to be more like a breakfast bar but you can make them smaller if you want them to be more like cookies.
Bake cookies in oven for 8-10 minutes. Check for slightest browning on outside of cookie.
Take out and transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
Enjoy warm, or let cookies cool to room temperature.

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Stroller Walk

Today I took the baby and the pup out for a nice walk. My muscles were pretty burnt out so I know if I did another strength workout it might be too much. Walking is the perfect exercise for the day after a tough workout, it helps stretch tight muscles, clear the lactic acid out of your system (that is what causes muscle soreness) and helps prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), you know that feeling when you wake up two days after your workout and can’t move? Yeah…that’s DOMS. Along with all the other health benefits of cardio exercise I really just like to walk to explore our city.Santa Barbara I moved to Santa Barbara two years ago, and I have to say I haven’t really been taking advantage of just how great it is here! When I first moved I was slightly reluctant and didn’t think I would ever feel at home. Now that I have made some friends, got used to a new gym, know people around town, it’s really feeling more like home everyday! I’ve decided that since the baby loves the stroller and our dog is getting bigger so he needs his walk everyday we are going to try to venture out and try new places instead of just around the neighborhood! Today we hit up Shoreline park. This is the perfect place to workout by the way, lush green grass, amazing views, stairs and a jungle gym… What more do you need?! We did an hour power walk, I took the stroller instead of my tula this time, and made sure we stopped occasionally to take in the breathtaking scenery. When we got home we all crashed, dog included, for a nice afternoon nap. It was really nice to have an hour of uninterrupted time, yes I had the dog and baby in tow but they were quiet, I silenced my phone and just took it all in.

I feel this is when I get my best thinking done, I can really refocus on what I want to do with the rest of my day, week, year and feel less like a chicken running around with their head cut off. I have a tendency to always take on a little too much, I’ve gotten used to having multiple jobs at the same time as going to school and having an active social life. Now that I’m a mom I have to fight that urge to want to do it all. I can’t say yes to every social event we are invited to and I can no longer take on that 3rd job because ‘they really needed me!’ I count being a mom job #1 by the way, I’ve never had a job with so much responsibility! I find it’s when I take the time to really dial in on what makes me happy. When I focus on doing my best at that I end up feeling more fulfilled than ever. I read a great quote today, I’ll share it below! So now, where should we walk next?! I’m thinking its time to go hiking again…maybe bring my husband along this time!

clinton kelly quote Click for Source

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Fitbit Flex Review

Fitbit flex reviewDecided to write a quick review on my Fitbit flex. My little one is sleeping so I know I only have 30 minutes (she’s not really into naps, which makes it hard to get anything done, ugh)…and GO. I really like this product so that is why I am sharing this review with all of you! I did not receive compensation for writing this review. First off, I bought my fitbit last Christmas as a present to myself. Bought it here . I had been using the step tracker on my phone and found that pretty motivating so decided to shell out the extra cash and take it up a notch. Now if you are familiar with the fitbit lineup there are a few different models. I decided to get the flex for a few reasons, a) I wear a watch for work everyday so I didn’t need the fancier model that has the time display b) I wanted one to wear on my wrist and not clip on my clothes and c) It was in my price range as I decided I wanted to spend $80-$100. I chose the fitbit over other brands because they seemed to have the best reviews out of others that I read comparing multiple brands. This product is excellent for those people who live a fairly sedentary lifestyle but are looking for simple ways to add some more activity in their lives (e.g. office workers). It is great for all other populations as well as it brings awareness as to how much or how little you are moving everyday! I really like the fitbit app, it is easy to use, easy to view, and I have never had any problems with my fitbit syncing with my iPhone over Bluetooth. Lately I have been using it in conjunction with MyFitnessPal app (which I will also write a review on one day) and this has been interesting because it actually ‘lets you’ eat the calories that you walked off throughout the day! I am still not entirely sure how this is calculated because it seems to change throughout the day, but I trust their science on that one. What this means is if I was tracking calories and I was nearly at my daily goal and hadn’t ate dinner yet I knew I had to get moving somehow if I wanted to stay within that limit. Personally, I’m not a calorie counting kind of person, but this strategy works for a lot of people. It is small, easy to clean, comes in cool colors (which I REALLY need to get some new bands for mine because when I bought it I think it only came in blue or black and now they have fancy pink and turquoise ones!). I like that it gives me an alert when I am within 2000 steps of my goal, usually this motivates me to do some extra cleaning around the house or take the dog out for a walk. Also it has a wicked battery life, I think I charge it about once a week and mine is a year old!

Some negatives include, a) not sure how accurate it is at times, for example, when I burp the baby because I am moving my hand back and forth it counts that as steps. b) The band isn’t the greatest at staying fastened, it has fallen off at times at the grocery store or the gym when I go to pick something up, but there are probably better clasps to put on the band but I just haven’t looked into that yet. Anyways, it would suck if it fell off and I didn’t notice. So bottom line…whether you are a nurse who is on their feet all day, an office worker who needs to increase their daily step count or a stay at home mom like me who can do 10,000 steps without leaving the house get this device! Anything that will help develop accountability is awesome, and by even increasing your step count by 2000 steps a day (which is easy as pie) you will burn an extra 60-100 calories. It might not seem like much but every little bit counts!

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Diastasis Recti Kinesiotaping Video

Was requested by baobeimaternity.com for this video…put this together tonight! As I say in the video always consult a pro before doing this yourself but thought this is a good reference for doing this at home. Enjoy!

PS. If you haven’t noticed, I have a speech impediment (hence why I hate doing videos) and the word DIASTASIS is impossible for me for some reason, so I make up my own pronunciation 😉

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Should I workout while sick?

Exercise and the Common Cold

So I don’t know about everyone else, but I have found that since giving birth to my daughter I have had way more colds than usual! It must be the combination of less sleep and increased stress taking a toll on my immune system. The good thing is since I am nursing I pass those immunities onto our little one, so I’m the only one that has to suffer through these awful sicknesses! This is the second cold I have gotten, nothing crazy but still enough to make me feel crappy. It probably doesn’t help that we are going through a 4-month sleep regression so I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a while. I find it kind of crazy because before all this I had a bulletproof immune system. Thanks to working in healthcare I haven’t even had a sniffle in 3 years, even made it through a whole pregnancy without getting sick! Today I felt like being a smarty pants and doing some research, so just a heads up…this post is packed full of it! I know this can be boring for some but I am a closet nerd and this does slightly excite me.

The big question is

Should I still exercise with a cold?!

Out of courtesy to others at the gym I probably would find somewhere else to workout for a few days, nobody likes the guy beside them sniffling up a storm, but contrary to popular belief, exercise (in moderation) is actually good for you and won’t make your sickness worse, and hey, it may even make it better! There has been lots of research on how exercise prevents sickness, but not very much on its effect on the body once you’re already sick. The general consensus seems to be that if you have a cold (runny nose, headache) and not the flu (vomiting, fever) it is safe to participate in moderate exercise (walk, light jog, etc.), although heavy exercise isn’t recommended (and I feel like that would be pretty tough anyways). By the way I look at it any sort of activity is better than sitting around the house feeling sorry for yourself! You can read more about that study here. A recent review of the literature shows that the relationship between exercise and preventing colds works on a J shaped curve (see below), this means that moderate exercise is the best for preventing illness and decreasing the stress response in your body, but high intensity exercise can actually have a negative effect (so maybe all that Crossfit lately has been working against me a little).  If you would like to read more about this click here. Ultimately, working out 4-5 days a week at a moderate intensity level will help you to be the healthiest you can be!
J shaped immunity exercise and colds
As I sit here and contemplate if I should go to Crossfit tomorrow I came across a study by Rakel et. al (2013) that looked at the association between moderate exercise and mindfulness meditation and their effect on acute respiratory infection (common cold). They measured this based on how much money was spent on medications, doctor visits and missed days of work during the duration of the cold and flu season. They found that those who participated in mindfulness meditation vs those in the control group had the greatest cost benefit, and those who exercised also had a cost benefit, although lesser. This suggests that those participants missed less days of work and spent less money on medications and doctors visits, which implies fewer or less severe illnesses. Now this study is preliminary so there’s still work to be done on the subject but I think those results seem pretty promising! It is pretty much saying that even just thinking about being well can make you healthier? I’ll take it!
If you aren’t familiar with mindfulness meditation it is incredibility hard to describe, everyone who studies this sees it a little different based on their own background and beliefs. I did a big research paper in school on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), so this is why this study popped out at me as interesting. Basically mindfulness is a state of mind and a way of being. If you consciously make yourself more aware of how you feel and use this concept to guide your meditations it can ultimately lead to stress reduction, which can lead to less chance of getting sick! To explain this concept here is something I would say to a client to guide them through a mindfulness session for pain reduction. (I’m totally just making this up on the fly so bear with me here..)
I will ask you to close your eyes, breathe deeply, inhale and exhale, listen to your heartbeat, feel the blood pulsing through your veins, feel the slight tickle of hair on the back of your neck and warm sun on your face. Now focus on that nagging pain in your lower back. Visualize that pain dissipating, dissolving away, your muscles getting softer, your shoulders getting heavier, your breaths getting deeper, feeling more and more relaxed with each exhale, feel the pain leaving your body with each breath… Get the idea??

Here is an article regarding the healing power of mindfulness…
Here you can learn more about mindfulness meditation…

Okay, after totally veering off topic I think I came to my conclusion. Right now I am going to lie in bed and think about feeling better (mindfulness meditation)! Tomorrow will be day 5 of this annoying cold, so I will go on a nice walk (moderate exercise) as I have been doing all weekend and hopefully be back to normal by Tuesday! Power of positive thinking right? The most important thing while your sick…KEEP UP THOSE FLUIDS. Since I am nursing I am doing my best to drink tons of water to avoid dehydration, which drastically affects my milk supply (I learned from experience). Here’s hoping that I don’t get sick again this winter! One last thing, don’t forget that most cold medications aren’t recommended if your breastfeeding, so unfortunately like me you just have to tough it out. Bah.

As always, please consult your doctor before partaking in any physical activity. Each person is different and my recommendations are solely my own opinion and not medical advice.

References

Nieman DC. Exercise, upper respiratory tract infection, and the immune system. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1994 Feb;26(2):128-39. Review.

Rakel, D., Mundt, M., Ewers, T., Fortney, L., Zgierska, A., Gassman, M., & Barrett, B. (2013). Value associated with mindfulness meditation and moderate exercise intervention in acute respiratory infection: The MEPARI Study. Family Practice, 30(4), 390–397. doi:10.1093/fampra/cmt008

Weidner TG1, Cranston T, Schurr T, Kaminsky LA. “The effect of exercise training on the severity and duration of a viral upper respiratory illness” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998 Nov;30(11):1578-83.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/health/nutrition/25best.html?_r=0

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