Tuesday, November 24, 2020

How to be green with a new baby

Being green is important to me. Everything from keeping my body to our planet healthy is a big part of mine and my family's priorities. While we are not perfect at any of it, it's more important to have everyone trying and messing up a few times, than it is to have a few people doing it perfectly. With that here's a list of some easy things we did to be green even with a baby:

πŸ’š Reusable wipes- this might not sound like a lot, but the amount of damage that wipes can do to plumbing of any kind is pretty big but most of them don't end up in our sewage system they end up in landfills and they take time to decompose. We also decided to do cloth for the financial impact it made.
πŸ’š Use rags not paper towels- you can buy a 100 pack of terrycloth rags at Lowes for $4 and they will last you for years. With a baby you clean so much more than you did before from cleaning up big messes to just tidying up so the baby does eat dust, hair, or whatever is lying around your house. 
πŸ’š Green cleaning- my baby love to lick the floor to tell me she's sleepy and of course puts everything in her mouth so I have to wash everything all the time and do it with something that wont leave traces of chemicals behind for my baby to ingest. I found a natural plant based cleaner concentrate that works to make everything from dish soap to floor cleaner and is 100% safe from doterra that has become the only cleaning product I own.
πŸ’š Gondola bamboo baby toothbrush- we all know how bad for the environment plastic is. Bamboo is a fast growing tree which is able to grow as quickly as is needed to be cut down for use making it the perfect solution for wooden products without the guilt of losing our tree population. Plus it makes a great teething toy!
πŸ’š Bamboo baby hair brush- you can forget about breaking this bad boy, they are virtually indestructible. Wood for babies is much better than plastic because it's not made with harmful chemicals. Plus when your ready to upgrade to a new one you know the bamboo will biodegrade instead of sitting in a landfill forever.
πŸ’š No more candles- candles can smell nice at times but there are a few pitfalls of burning them. 1 being the fire hazard which with a baby goes way up since your little one isn't going to understand not to pick up the candle or throw it around, but even out of reach candles can be dangerous. The fragrances used in candles are synthetic which means they are made with crude oil, which essentially means your burning crude oil in your home for you and your family to inhale as a pleasant smell. Once you start using REAL fragrances like diffusing an essential oil you will start to notice that you don't enjoy synthetic fragrances anymore because your body will start to reject the fact that the smell isn't real. The last reason is for the smoke. Candles are still something burning and release smoke into your home every time you light one. Do yourself and your new baby a favor and ditch the candles for a better alternative of diffused oils.
πŸ’š Grovia Cloth O.N.E. diapers- we decided on cloth diapers because of the cost, but also because it can be better for the environment. If you buy brand new though the environmental impact wont be as impactful so if you can find used cloth diapers grab those up- also the used diapers are more absorbent than brand new ones that haven't been broken in. We chose Grovia but I would suggest that if your going to go cloth to research the different styles and brands to see what would fit your family and baby needs best.
πŸ’š Mason Bottles- we breastfed almost all the time but when I needed a break for a nap we loved the mason bottles for feeding. The glass mason jar can be reused as a sippy cup, regular cup, and canning jar over time which makes me happy because, recycling!!! 
πŸ’š Natural bath and body care- did you know that the average person puts 5000 chemicals on their body a day. Yes you read that right. 5000. Everything from sunscreen to lotion, shampoo, body wash, makeup and makeup remover. It's all made with chemicals and none of which are good for your body at all. After you use these products and your body processes them and you excrete them, they end up back in our water cycle. They also create a dependency within you to make your body need these products. 
πŸ’š BLW- what does this have to do with going green? First off you wont be buying little one time use plastic containers of purees that end up in a landfill somewhere. Your baby eats the same foods you do so there is less food waste because what isn't eaten can be stored more easily and for a longer time (did you know that when your baby puts a spoon in their mouth and then that spoon goes back into the food. The saliva from the spoon starts decomposing the food right then making it so that your baby food spoils faster?) 
πŸ’š Compost- so I know that this can sound daunting or difficult, and I'll admit it takes more effort and time than simply throwing your scraps into the garbage can, but it's not as difficult as you would think. If you have the space you can create a compost pile out in the open, or you can contain the smell and animals by using a box. Both methods work fine. Simply take all your food scraps, dryer lint, and fallen out hair and add it to your compost pile. If you have your own garden or indoor plants you can use all your homemade organic soil yourself, and if you don't you can either sell/give your dirt to local gardeners, or use it around your lawn for some great lawn food.
πŸ’š Natural plant based remedies - going green isn't just about the environment around us but also inside us. Using natural plant based remedies helps you get in tune with your body and learn to take on diseases at home by tackling the root of the problem rather than the effects of it. Essential oils are a great way to start with natural solutions.
πŸ’š Glass Tupperware - if you haven't picked up on it yet, we are all about eliminating  unnecessary plastics in our home. Tupperware is a huge plastic source. Mason jars are a hit for storing baby food in right sized portions. I remake oatmeal for the week and freeze it in small mason jars so they are just the right size to defrost for a meal. There are so many glass Tupperware options these days so as your plastics ones fail you try replacing them with glass ones. Not only are they better for the environment but you can freeze and microwave without cooking plastic into your food, and they last forever longer so you can save money from having to buy new Tupperware each year.

Essential Oils for the Fourth Trimester

 

Fourth Trimester?! WTF?!?!?!!! honestly the first time I heard this term, I wigged out. I've already had a baby in me 9 months and you think I'm going to do it for another 3? You are soooooo wrong! Not to worry. The fourth trimester doesn't include you hold that baby in any longer. It's just a term use to describe the first 3 months of your babies life and moms recovery during the following 3 months after giving birth.

This is such a tough time for moms as we try desperately to be there for our babies while we are recovering from our own experience.

For me I was recovering from my c-section and the anxiety of needing to deliver early and the possible hysterectomy - that I ended up not needing- was really difficult. Here are my favorite products for me and baby during this time:

 

Me:

Oils:

Milk mama blend- 2 drops fennel 2 drops basil. This was my favorite blend to help my milk come in. Because of the fennel you do NOT want to use this for more than one week at a time. For more information on oils for help with nursing check on my nursing blog

Balance- balance is my longest favorite oil for mental health. This oil balances out everything bringing you to a happy Medium emotionally. This oil is infused in my deodorant and body wash so I always have it on, but during my 4th trimester I used it so much extra to help me balance my emotions so I could be my best while with baby.

Frankincense Touch- the touch oils are prediluted and in a roller bottle for easy on the go use. This was great for me because I didn't have time to mix blends or make any rollers when i came home from the hospital. Frankincense has magical healing properties by healing at a cellular level making a great oil to have on hand while recovering from any surgery. I used this oil daily along my scar once my stitches came out. Not only was it helping my visible scar heal but also my uterus and my previous scar tissue.

Immortelle- Immortelle comes in a roller ball which makes it perfect for applying. It is not diffused but that helps it be a very strong oil blend of Frankincense Resin, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Lavender Flower, Myrrh Gum Resin, Helichrysum Flower, Rose Flower essential oils to make your skin radiant. And who doesnt want to show their skin a little love after all that stretching to make room for baby. I used this on my stretch Mark's and over my scar.

Melaleuca - Tea tree is such a versatile oil that came in handy for me in my post baby belly lotion. Recipe below.

Adaptive- adaptive is a new doterra oil blend that I happened upon right when baby was born. This oil was such a great oil to diffuse any time of day. Much like balance it helps sooth and calm without making you sleepy. I also started using the softgel version of this oil for myself (see below)

Serenity- After giving birth I made some changes to my sleep routine and chose to start using the doterra reccomended sleep blend which is a combination of Balance and Serenity. Using these oils together helps regulate your emotions to a calm medium and then alows you to fall into a restful sleep from there.

 

 

Supplements:

LLV- have you heard me rant and rave about how much I love my LLV yet? Omg ok so if you haven't read my blurb on LLV here gos

LLV stands for Lifelong Vitality which is a 3-part multi-vitamin. A full dose is 2 of each vitamins 2 xs daily totaling 12 a day, so there is definitely a lot involved, but it was so worth it.

The LLV has a “tummy tamer” blend in all three parts which allows you to be able to take them without food which is sometimes necessary for new moms. I also love the energy that I got from taking these I would take the first half in the morning to help wake up and the second dose at lunch to help me finish the day strong.

1. Vegan Microplex MVZ- This formula includes a balanced blend of essential antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, and an energy complex of B vitamins presented in a patented glycoprotein matrix. It also contains chelated minerals including calcium, magnesium, and zinc for optimal bone and metabolic health, and is encapsulated using sodium lauryl sulfate-free vegetable capsules

2. Alpha CRS+ - This is a proprietary formula combining potent levels of natural botanical extracts that support healthy cell function with important metabolic factors of cellular energy. It is to be used as a comprehensive dietary supplement foundation for a lifetime of vitality and wellness.

3. vEO Mega-  This is a revolutionary, 100 percent vegetarian-friendly formula blending CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils with natural, plant-sourced essential fatty acids.

* Vegan Microplex MVZ does include Folate, but I did take an additional Folic Acid supplement

 

 PB Assist+ - scared of those after birth poops? I was. This amazing probiotic makes going to the bathroom a breeze even during surgery constipation. This is a proprietary formula of pre-biotic fiber and six strains of probiotic microorganisms in a unique double layer vegetable capsule. It delivers 6 billion CFUs of active probiotic cultures and soluble pre-biotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides) that encourage friendly bacterial growth. The time-release, double-capsule delivery system is designed to help protect the sensitive probiotic cultures from stomach acid. PB Assist+ offers a unique, safe, and effective way to deliver the well-recognized digestive and immune system support benefits of probiotics.

 

 TerraZyme- This is another proprietary blend, but of active whole-food enzymes and supporting cofactors that are often deficient in cooked, processed, and preservative-laden foods. The powerful combination of digestive enzymes found in DigestZen TerraZyme supports the body’s constant production of enzymes critical for healthy biochemical functions, including healthy digestion of food nutrients and cellular metabolism of nutrients to energy. DigestZen TerraZyme includes a variety of whole-food enzymes that help with the digestion of proteins, fats, complex carbohydrates, sugars, and fiber.

 

 Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex- My first trimester I had a lot of inflammation and pain in my hips to where I was taking 2 of these a day and the pain continued on and off during the rest of my pregnancy and into my post pregnancy life. The brand name Deep Blue® is synonymous with soothing support. It only makes sense that an ingestible supplement would complement the topical benefits of the Deep Blue product line. Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex delivers polyphenol extracts of frankincense, turmeric, green tea, ginger, pomegranate, and grape seed, and is designed to provide soothing support to aching muscles and to other occasional discomfort.

 

 Copaiba soft gel- Copaiba is an anti-inflammatory as well as an oil I used nightly even before I was pregnant to help reduce nightly stress and sleep better. Taking it now as a soft gel helped reduce the pain in my hip and fall asleep faster. I started taking this every night during month 5. Copaiba essential oil is derived from the resin of the copaiba tree which can grow upwards of more than 100 feet and can be found in tropical South America. Copaiba oil is widely used in cosmetic products including soaps, creams, lotions, and perfumes. Since the 16th century, copaiba essential oil has been utilized in traditional health practices by the natives of north and northeastern Brazil.

Mito2Max- dont want to drink too much coffee while nursing? No problem. Want to be awake while feeding and changing your baby? No problem. Mito2Max wakes you up without caffeine. Mito2Max contains doTERRA’s proprietary energy and stamina complex that enhances mitochondria function, supports stamina and endurance, helps the body adapt more quickly to the diverse activities of life, and helps increase mental energy. Acetyl-L-carnitine, a primary ingredient, supports mental health, mitochondrial function, and circulation to the brain. Oligonol is a unique and powerful antioxidant blend that combines biologically active polyphenols from lychee fruit and green tea in a form that allows them to be quickly absorbed and is effective at protecting cells against free radicals and oxidation. Oligonol also helps support improved circulation and energy, both of which are important to overall healthy aging.

 

Turmeric- after surgery your body works hard to reduce the inflammation around the area of your body that was cut into. Turmeric reduces inflammation which for me was great for recovering from my surgery but also for my hip pain I mentioned earlier. Deep blue has green tea in it so I order to not feel the caffeine effects at night I would take deep blue in the morning and tumeric before bed.

 

 

Placenta pills- I went to Delaware placenta pills to get my placenta turned into raw placenta capsules. I know it's new and odd for most of us and it was for me too at first but I have to say it was the best decision I ever made. Consuming your placenta post pregnancy helps your body re-nourish itself after 9 months of giving so much of yourself to your baby which is why most mammals do this. Not only that but it helps with reducing or completely preventing PPD, aids milk supply in coming in and staying up, energizes you and helps in your overall recovery after giving birth. Wendy walked me through every step and talked about all my options. I finally chose to purchase raw encapsulated placenta and an additional tincture for long term keep and use. If you are interested in more information on placenta pills check out Wendy's website:  Delaware Placenta Pills | Placenta encapsulation specialist excited to work for you!

 

Iron- being highly anemic during pregnancy and knowing that for some women we dont fully recover from giving birth for 10 years (yes you heard that right. Some womens bodies can take up to 10 years to recover fully) I decided it was best for me to continue on the same iron regiment I was on during pregnancy and continued to do so for the first year of my daughters life.

 

Folic acid- If you are breast feeding folic acid should be included in your diet. While the LLV Vegan Microplex MVZ already includes Folate, I decided to continue taking my folic acid to make sure baby and I were each getting enough.

 

Vitamin D- if you are breastfeeding it's important that you take all the necessary vitamins that your baby needs including vitamin D. Many breastfed babies dont recieve enough vitamin D through mommy's milk without taking a supplement. One way to make sure that your baby is getting enough is to make sure you are taking it yourself.

 

Adaptive softgels- my mood stabilizer.  This is a calming and grounding blend much like balance and serenity if they were mixed together -although without the sleepy side effects. I used this anytime I felt out if whack with life for a day and it really helped me get back to feeling myself.

 

 

Oil infused products:

Correct X- this stuff is amazing for any booboos including really big ones like c-section scars.

 HD clear- my body reacted to pregnancy hormones by making my face break out like a middle schooler so I used my HD clear skin regiment. It's a 3 part process that works synergistically, with each product building on the next to thoroughly cleanse and purify the skin, and deliver optimal hydration for a balanced moisture level. Made with pure plant extracts, the ingredients in HD Clear are gentle and calming to the skin, but powerfully effective. Using HD Clear every day will help reduce the appearance of blemishes; promote a clear, healthy complexion; and soothe the skin. HD Clear provides a natural solution for problem skin of all ages.

 

 Post baby belly lotion-The recipe for my “Baby Belly Butter” is:

1 cup raw shea butter

1 cup cocoa butter

1 cup coconut oil

1 TBS argon oil

1 TBS rose hip oil

1TBS vitamin E oil

20 drops melaleuca

20 drops Frankincense

20 drops Lavender

Heat shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil in a double boiler until liquid then remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients, mix and store in a glass jar.

If you want to use a store-bought body butter that’s fine too, but here’s why you want to add these three essential oils:

Melaleuca aka Tea Tree: This oil is great for skin.  This baby belly butter is thick and can make you break out even more so than just pregnancy breakouts. That’s one of the reasons I added the melaleuca. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, helps reduce skin redness, irritation, and swelling. The oil is a powerful solvent, which means it breaks the oil, dirt, and debris that builds up under our skin and clogs up our pores. It also helps to strengthen skin and heal cuts which helps to add to the prevention of stretch marks.

Frankincense: Frankincense is known as the King of oils. It has so many amazing benefits, not only for the skin, but for the entire body. Specifically, for the skin, its ability to revive and rejuvenate the skin makes it wonderful for reducing the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars, preventing acne, and healing minor wounds. Aside from just skin health it can help de-stress and relax the body. Frankincense is also an anti-inflammatory oil which I mentioned need a lot of. I experienced so many aches and pains in my hips, and knees, that I was taking anti-inflammatories daily. Lastly Frankincense rejuvenates and supports and encourages cellular function. Meaning that new little one you’ve got growing inside you that is trying to piece together all its cells and their functions is going to get a little extra help from this oil as well as Mama, who is getting the benefits of healthy functioning organs.

Lavender: I normally used this baby belly butter at night, and this was for a few reasons. 1. It's thick and takes a little time to dry so you don’t want to be wearing your nice going out in public clothes, PJs are best. 2. Two of the essential oils that I picked that are really great for skin health are also great for relaxation. Lavender is known for helping to relieve stress and anxiety as well as promoting restfulness and relaxation which I really needed at night since that seemed to be the only time, I couldn’t fall asleep. The anti-inflammatory properties also helped me with my joint pain in my hips and knees as well. Lavender is known for healing injured skin from burns, cuts, and scrapes, because of its abilities to quickly heal skin. This come sin great for helping to prevent those stretch marks.

 

 

Non-oils

Baby sign language: ok so this isnt a need to have product, but it does help. I started with the signs for hungry, sleepy and all finished, the basics. And I signed them all the time. My little one is now 14 months and although she can only speak dada, mama, and nose, she can communicate when she wants more or when shes all finished, when shes hungry, when shes sleepy, and learning to ask for help and thanks. So for me it's been a blessing to be able to truly understand what my baby is in need of which is why it made this list.

What to expect the first year- I know these books are cheesy but for me it gave me a sense of peace as I knew what to look for and what to help foster and grow in my baby through each month

 

Baby:

Oils:

Lavender touch- Thank you for the touch line!!! Honestly as a new mom all over again, I did not have time to make blends for me or my baby so having prediluted oils delivered right to my doorstep was a lifesaver. Lavander can be used for so much. I used it for mild diaper rash, help sleeping restfully, and along the jawline for teething pain.

 

Frankincense Touch- want to give your baby a leg up? We all do! My little one was born a bit early due to some scares we had during my pregnancy so I wanted to help her out as much as possible. Frankincense is one of the ouls that can be applied undiluted to your baby from birth, but when we are talking oils- less is more. I would apply Frankincense touch to her head daily to help her cells grow and form quickly so she could leave the NICU (which she did in 4 days!)

 

Digestzen touch- although its diluted digestzen touch still packs a punch I used the Tiny Tummies Blend(see below) on a daily basis, but when my baby was in pain I would apply digestzen touch for immediate relief to all her stomach pains.

 

Tamer- this is part of the doTERRA kids collection and is created specifically with children in mind. This specific blend helps with digestion. My little one had some digestive issues which turned out to be caused by a dairy intolerance. Until we figured out it was dairy we focused on just keeping her comfortable which meant giving her some help when she was constipated with Tamer.

 

Copaiba- this oil became a lifesaver for teething for us. Some babies can start teething early on which make many teething relief options unavailable. doTERRA Copaiba can be applied without dilution to your babys gums to help with teething pain.

 

Roman chamomile- lavender is well known for its calming properties but Roman chamomile is also a great sleep and calming oil. Just as every person is different, the oils that work best for each is us is going to be different as well. Roman chamomile is what we initially tried for teething because of how sweet it is, but she was not a fan so we switched and found copaiba. We also ended up switching from lavender to Roman Chamomile for sleep help early on because the lavender didnt seem to help her as much as the roman chamomile did and since lavender was being used for her in other ways it was nice to have some variety for her.

Nightly diffuser blends:

1. Sleepy Baby- 2 drops Balance, 2 drops Serenity, and 1 drop Roman Chamomile

2. Breath easy- 2 drops Breathe,  drops Lavender 1, and 1 drop Frankincense

 

Non-oils:

Hazelwood necklace for GERD- this is available at Baltic essentials as a necklace or bracelet. I was skeptical at first because I didnt understand the science or language behind the description of how the hazelwood would help sooth GERD but seeing it made me a true believer. Almost instantly we saw a huge difference in our childs ability to eat food and digest it without issues or pain. Best part was that I didnt need to be constantly reapplying oils to her belly which was a huge relief.

 

Gripe water- gripe water can be used from everything from hiccups to an upset stomach. I love the fact that it's a natural product that I can use with my baby to help give her relief. It's honestly hard to find effective natural products so I wanted to share this with you all. It wasnt the right fit for our stomach issues at this time but as we grew out of our stomach and digestive issues it showed effective for excessive hiccups.

 

Mason Bottles- we breastfed almost all the time but when I needed a break for a nap we loved the mason bottles for feeding. The glass mason jar can be reused as a sippy cup, regular cup, and canning jar over time which makes me happy because, recycling!!!

 

Grovia Cloth O.N.E. diapers- we decided on cloth diapers because of the cost, but also because it can be better for the environment. If you buy brand new though the environmental impact wont be as impactful so if you can find used cloth diapers grab those up- also the used diapers are more absorbent than brand new ones that havent been broken in. We chose Grovia but I would suggest that if your going to go cloth to research the different styles and brands to see what would fit your family and baby needs best.

 

Bamboo baby toothbrush- there are a million different kinds out there and the brand truly doesnt matter, but I loved these most because of the fact that my daughter loves them, and not just as a toothbrush. This turned into her favorite teething toy which made the transition to brushing our teeth as part of our routine that much simpler and enjoyable.




Oil Life Mama and Babies Rollers- these were life!!! they cover every need for new mamas and babies:

Cool Baby: 2 drops Patchouli, 2 drops Peppermint, Fill with FCO in a 10ml

Sleepy Baby: 2 drops Lavender, 1 drop Roman Chamomile, 1 drop Vetiver l, Fill with FCO in a 10ml

Tiny Teeth: 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Copaiba, 1 drop White Fir, Fill with FCO in a 10ml

Tiny Tummy: 2 drops Cardamom, 2 drops Fennel, 2 drops Wild Orange, Fill with FCO in a 10ml

Tiny Airways: 1 drop Lime, 1 drop Melissa, 1 drop Rosemary, 1 drop Frankincense, Fill with FCO in a 10ml

Calm Momma: 5 drops Balance, 5 drops Serenity, 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Sandalwood, 2 drops Ylang Ylang, Fill with FCO in a 10ml

Happy Momma: 3 drops Bergamot, 2 drops Clary Sage, 6 drops Frankincense, 2 drops Grapefruit, 2 drops Wild Orange, Fill with FCO in a 10ml

Mama Tiger Stripes: 10 drops Yarrow POM, 2 drops Cypress, 2 drops Geranium, 2 drops Frankincense, 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Wild Orange, Fill with FCO in a 10ml

Milk Momma: 10 drops Basil, 10 drops Fennel, Fill with FCO in a 10ml

Tender Ta-Tas: 10 drops Geranium, 10 drops Myrrh, Fill with FCO in a 10ml

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Essential Oils for Nursing

Nursing has been quite the adventure and honestly when I first started I didn't think I would make it. When I had  my first baby she was in the hospital for quite some time so I was pumping and I had a very hard getting my milk to come in. I had terrible PPD and after heavily supplementing with formula, I ended up giving up on nursing and pumping at about 3.5 -4 months in. This time around I was determined to nurse. Not only is it amazing nutrition and immune support for baby, but it also helps Mama with PPD.

Let me start (as I do every one of my blogs) with a quick anecdote which I hppe will give at least one mama some hope after reading. ( I am purposefully leaving out the hospital and nursing names because I do not believe that it was their fault specifically, but more so a lack of education all around)

When I gave birth, I had a C-section at 34 weeks, which meant my LO was going to have a bit of a NICU stay. When your baby is in the NICU, the doctors and nurses have very strict protocols they have to follow when it comes to food (as with most things) that are kind of unattainable for most mothers. I was expected to pump 40 ml per feeding (every

3 hours) from the beginning on top of nursing every 3 hours. I was only aloud to nurse for 10 minutes at a time and then was told I had to stop because I was going to exhaust and starve my child if I nursed her for any longer, and had to bottle feed her pumped milk. The lactation consultant came to take a look and said that baby was nursing just fine and that my milk had come in great so that there should be no issues with nursing, however the NICU nurses were all pretty determined that nursing was NOT what was best for my baby. At one point I had a nurse who would not even wait for me 2 minutes to make the trek down from the maternity ward to the NICU so I could at least try to nurse. All in all the experience was awful. I felt like I wasn't going to be able to nurse, that nursing was the wrong choice and I was full of anxiety and sadness. When I got home I talked to the La Leche Group leader in my area who gave me so much helpful insight, comfort and support.

Now while you are in the hospital under the doctors care there isn't much you can do about the protocols in place, nor is there much you can do if you are dealing with a particularly difficult nurse other than to surround yourself with supportive family and friends, but if you find your still having a hard time one thing you can do is to contact your local La Leche League leader or a IBLC to see if they can come see you in the hospital for a consult and to help support you.

After coming home from the hospital and speaking with the La Leche leader I realized that I had pumped myself into an over supply and actually had to work hard to bring my supply back down because my oversupply was making it hard for my little one to nurse properly. My letdowns were forceful which would choke her up a bit. Plus the fact that I had so much milk meant that she was getting fore milk and then getting full before she could get any hind milk. This is a problem because hind milk is the fattier milk which is the more filling milk. Also too much fore milk can make baby gassy and bloated as well as hungry again much sooner. This all meant that I was nursing every 20-30 minutes and she was super gassy and fussy most of the time.

 

So I am hoping that in reading this if you run into a similar situation, do not get discouraged, and do your best not to be the reason you over produce. If you have any questions about your supply or you are nervous for any reason contact an IBLC or your La Leche league leader to help you find one.

 

**Before I get started letting you all know what I took, let me start with a quick disclosure notice, because essential oils in general, and the products I am about to mention are not FDA regulated. So, let me confirm that I am not a doctor, or a chemist, or a prenatal specialist of any kind. No one is paying me to write what I am writing, and none of these facts have been checked by the FDA. What I will do is provide links to articles and additional material so that you can do your own research. The information given in this post is not meant to take the place of doctor treatment or recommendations and I always recommend that you ask your doctor before trying anything new. Essential oils, just like many other things can interfere with medications and treatments and should not be used without your doctors’ consent.**

 

 

 

STEP 1: The first thing I did was make sure that what I was using was legit. – Most therapeutic or essential oils out there are total BS because essential oils do not fall into a category that is FDA regulated. So, I did my research and was pleased to find that not only were the oils I was using as pure as pure could get... but that was only step 1. I do want to mention for those of you reading this that you will see me mention using some of these essential oils internally and depending on what companies you use this is probably not a possibility. If you are interested in using the same company and products as are listed throughout this blog, I can help you with a free consultation; I’ll leave my contact at the bottom of this post.

 

Another thing I did was to find myself a midwife who work in a practice in a hospital who was familiar with doterra essential oils and was comfortable assisting me from a medical standpoint.

 

Step 2: was to find out what I absolutely could not take which surprisingly there’s not nearly as much that you will find is going to be bad for you or baby while nursing.

Wintergreen

Sage

Cinnamon

Peppermint

Oregano

 

All three of these have the potential to decrease your milk supply. While everyone's experiences will differ when using oils, these are ones which have most often decreased supply in the majority of women. When these are diluted like wintergreen in the DeepBlue blend it should not effect your supply. Is taken as a small dose on a regular basis over a long period of time like peppermint in tri-ease throughout allergy season, it should not effect supply.

 

 

So now, let's talk oils for breastmilk:

 

Whether you pump, or nurse there are some oils that you are 100% going to need and some that your going to want on hand in case of emergency. So I wanted to share with you guys some of what I have found to really work well.

 

Upping Supply/Helping Milk Come In:

 

Clary Calm: so a lot of websites mentioned having clary sage, lavender, and geranium to help increase milk supply. So rather than using these all separately or blending them myself, I use Clary Calm. I have been rolling this on behind my ears after each pump. (The best place to apply is actually on the low abdomen over where your reproductive internal organs would be, or even directly to the boob if your pumping. -clary clam is not edible so dont apply to your breast if you are nursing) Clary Calm is known as doterras "Monthly Blend for Women" Its called this because it helps balance out hormones that get thrown out of whack during our cycles, menopause and even post child birth making this blend the perfect must have for any mom who's just had a baby and even more so if you plan to use your Boob juice in any way!

 

Fennel: Fennel is known for having the highest concentration of galactagogue which increases your milk supply. I used this oil in a blend called Milk Mama which is 2 drops fennel, 2 drops basil, in a 10 ml roller topped off with FCO applied around the breast(avoiding nipple) after every feeding or pumping session. This roller should only be used for 1 week because fennel has been linked to UTI infections if taken for an extended period of time.

 

Lavender: one of the most important things about nursing is to be relaxed. If you are stressed not only is your baby going to feel that and in turn become stressed and fussy making it extremely hard for them to latch, but your let down will not come as easily which will frustrate you and baby more and just make the entire situation more difficult than it has to be. Point here is to make sure you are relaxed when you are going to nurse. If you are having a particularly rough time try putting the baby down for a moment, and take a few deep breaths inhaling some lavender from your diffuser or from a drop in your hands, then pick up baby and soothe her before trying to nurse. the 2 of you being calm and relaxed will help you both through the nursing session.

doterra also has an entire line of oils designed to help you through certain emotions. Forgive, Peace and Console are 3 that I used quite often when I could figure out what specifically was stressing me out. Sometimes I was mad at myself for not being a "good enough mom" in which case I would use forgive and remind myself that I need to be less hard on myself and more forgiving, because I am a great mom and we all make mistakes. Sometimes the chaos of the world and my family and friends and the baby would just get to me in which case I needed a little Peace to help me settle. Sometimes I was a little sad about her chaotic birth, or my surgery, and Console would help me cry it out so I could get back to taking care of my baby.

Milk Mama Roller Bottle: 2 drops fennel 2 drops basil top off a 10 ml roller bottle with FCO. I use this roller on my chest after every time I pump. The blend smells actually pretty good - I was nervous about the fennel - and has been working wonders. Seriously if I forget to use it. I can immediately tell during my next pump.

Delaware Placenta Pills: Wendy did an amazing job talking me through the process, and helping me pick what was going to work best for what I needed. She also provided me with piece of mind in being fully certified and accredited. I got my pills in less than 48 hrs after my surgery and I was so happy with everything.

 

Motivation: this oil doesn’t actually help you produce any additional milk but let's not forget that mama needs a little help sometimes too. Nursing was exhausting for me as I assume it is for many women so I wanted to share

 

There are also oils that I personally did not use but that I have heard great things about when it comes to helping you milk come in such as: basil, cardamom, dill, geranium, and jasmine.

 

Cracked Nipples:

My favorite thing to do is just to put some breast milk on the nipple and let it air dry from there.

Frankincense, Lavender, Geranium, Roman chamomile, Myrrh, sandalwood, and Neroli are all great oils for your skin and so can bring relief to a cracked nipple. For best results dilute with coco nut oil and apply to your nipple after nursing. Then wipe it off before baby nurses again or you pump again to avoid getting the oils in your breast milk.

I did experiment with a fun little concoction:

1 cup (4oz) breastmilk

1 cup  coconut oil

5 drops vitamin E oil

1 drop lavender eo

1 drop roman chamomile eo

1 drop copaiba eo

 

 

Clogged ducts/ mastitis:

Lavender, tea tree, patchouli, orange

 

Keep in mind that mastitis can happen if you have a lot of milk so if you are trying to produce extra to keep a storage supply, try cutting back on how much extra your doing since this could likely be the cause of your over supply and so, the cause of your clogged duct.

 

 

Weaning:

Peppermint

Sage

Cabbage leaves

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Essential Oils for Giving Birth

I had truly hoped for vaginal birth this time around. For my first I had an emergency C section due to a placenta abruption during my first trimester which lead to a retro-placetal bleed along with my little girls inability to get all the nutrients she needed, she wanted to bust out early. I went into labor at 32 weeks and the doctors had to perform surgery and then she was in the hospital for almost 2 months. It was all super traumatic and I was determined to go for the complete opposite experience this time. Right from the start I bought the Natrual Mama baby book and was reading about water births and home births and doulas. I was talking about natural births and vbacs I was so excited to have the opportunity to actually be present for the birth of my child seeing as the last time I had been completely unconscious and woke up and was conscious a few days later not even remembering I had had a baby.

So anyways, it was a nice wish, but not at all what happened. My doctors got a scare that I had what's called a placenta accreta. Which has kind of a high mother mortality rate especially if you dont have a c-section. In the end I got a weeks notice that my baby would be born at 34 weeks via c-section with the possibility of a hysterectomy!

I guess I'm destined for traumatic birthing experience! Haha!

Anyways I tell you all this, but I'm fine.

 

 

If you are looking for essential oils to help with the first trimester, click here.

 

 

 

Here’s the thing. During my first pregnancy I was not into essential oils. I was barely out of high school and had no idea who I was yet as a person. I did know at that point that I wasn’t a fan of doctors, hospital or medication though- which is part of the reason why I didn’t find out I was pregnant until I was way into my second trimester and getting really sick. But this time around I am older, and I have grown into who I am. I know that I enjoy a natural approach to medicine and that essential oils are something I have been working with specifically for 5, almost 6 years now for myself, my family, and those around me. What I hadn’t done thus far was learn about essential oils for during pregnancy, and this was a daunting aspect for me since I found out very quickly that my first OBGYN wasn’t going to be any help and that I was now in a situation where I was going to need medication and I had no one to help point me in the right direction. My husband and I had been struggling for the past 4 years with fertility, and conceiving, and unfortunately went through the grief of a few miscarriages, but things finally took a turn for the better.

 

 

 

If you are looking for essential oils that can help increase your fertility, click here.

 

 

 

**Before I get started letting you all know what I took, let me start with a quick disclosure notice, because essential oils in general, and the products I am about to mention are not FDA regulated. So, let me confirm that I am not a doctor, or a chemist, or a prenatal specialist of any kind. No one is paying me to write what I am writing, and none of these facts have been checked by the FDA. What I will do is provide links to articles and additional material so that you can do your own research. The information given in this post is not meant to take the place of doctor treatment or recommendations and I always recommend that you ask your doctor before trying anything new. Essential oils, just like many other things can interfere with medications and treatments and should not be used without your doctors’ consent.**

 

 

 

STEP 1: The first thing I did was make sure that what I was using was legit. – Most therapeutic or essential oils out there are total BS because essential oils do not fall into a category that is FDA regulated. So, I did my research and was pleased to find that not only were the oils I was using as pure as pure could get, but a lot of the accusations online about people saying things about the products not working or being dangerous were also debunked. Whew! … but that was only step 1. I do want to mention for those of you reading this that you will see me mention using some of these essential oils internally and depending on what companies you use this is probably not a possibility. If you are interested in using the same company and products as are listed throughout this blog, I can help you with a free consultation.

 

Another thing I did was to find myself another OBGYN who was at least willing to help guide me in the right direction when it came to holistic health and contact a Douala and a midwife.

 

 

 

Step 2 was to find out what I absolutely could not take, and the list is quite long and is not the same on every site. I played it really safe only using things when absolutely necessary and even then I didn’t use anything without talking to my doctor and midwife first. Most oils are perfectly fine to having while giving birth compared to some of the longer lists of oils to avoid during pregnancy. Here is a list I have compiled of oils that shouldn’t be used while giving birth:

Peppermint- I wanted to breastfeed so peppermint was no go

Yarrow: yarrow is a blood thinner, so it should be avoided especially if you are like me and are having complications or are high risk.

 

 

 

 3. WHAT DID I BRING???

First off at the top we have my overnight stuff. A typical c-section recovery time is 4 days so I packed for 4 days:

4 of the shampoo and detangler samples- I am probably not going to be hopping in the shower right away due to my scar, but I have found that whenever I spend any time in a hospital or in an airplane, my hair always gets instantly greasy so with some help from the hubby I'm planning on washing my hair.

8 of the onguard toothpaste samples- these are actually the perfect size for 2 uses, but I'm bringing extra in case I loose, or misplace them, or if I end up having to stay longer.

1 extra chapstick- hospital air is dry so so dry so I am prepared. There is also a possibility that I end up undergoing general anesthesia in which case a breathing tube is place to help me breath which doesn't allow for any normal saliva to reach the lips for moister, thus creating super nasty dry cracked lips. Also a nervous tendency of mine is to bite and peel my lips especially when they are dry so keeping them moisturized is a big one for me.

A handful of onguard throat drops- a c-section is pretty major surgery, so I am coming fully armed against the possibility of infection. Plus contrary to popular belief hospitals are not always the cleanest places due to the amount of patients and everything they are carrying.

Balance deodorant- must have! So when your pregnant you gain water weight which once you deliver needs to come out. Its typical for women to experience an increase in sweating and BO right after giving birth. So we bring the deodorant to help make sure I dont stink every body out.

Winter itch lotion- as I mentioned,  hospital air is super dry. After any surgery, your body is spending time focusing on repairing the damage from the surgery and doesn't have as many resources available to fight off dry skin, so I'm bringing my winter itch lotion to help fight off dry skin.

OnGuard Hand Sanutizer- the NICU does a really good job of making everyone wash and sanitize before entering, but when baby is my room, I dont always have a nurse outside making everyone wash up before entering. Being that my immune system is going to be working overtime because of my surgery and baby is going to have a still developing immune system, I am bringing the hand sanitizer to offer to EVERYONE to help lower the possibility of germ spreading when they come visit.

Fractionated Coconut Oil FCO: this comes with for a few reasons. I am bringing a bunch of oils and I will probably want to dilute some of them. FCO is also great as a quick lotion for anywhere and everywhere for both me and baby (great for cradle cap too). FCO is also extremely healing for the skin and can be use to help with my scars healing process.

Deep Blue and Arnica creams: these two are for the aches and pains. Between the pain of surgery, the pain of having a baby, the pain of having to lay in a hospital bed for days on end, I could end up in loads of pain. A lot of women talk about developing restless leg syndrome towards the end of their pregnancy with sometimes effects them for a week or 2 after delivery as well. With all of these factors, I am being cautious and bringing my go-tos for aches and pains.

 

Next are the oils:

Breath Touch- the touch rollers are prediluted with FCO and perfect for on the go. Breathe has been packed to help me fight the dry hospital air.

Digest Zen Touch- I know how clichΓ© of me since I hate this smell, but I cant eat anything for 8 hrs before my surgery and that includes vitamins so the oil will have to do. A lot of women who undergo a c-section get nauseous from the over stimulation of their digestive organs so I'll be using this as a preventative method before surgery on the bottoms of my feet- to help avoid the smell.

Clary Calm-after giving birth many women experience post partum depression due to the rush of hormones being released during and after surgery. Clary calm is specifically formulated to help balance out hormonal shifts during your cycle, menopause and post delivery.  Seeing as I am having an early c-section, I may need a little extra help navigating  and triggering these shifts and hormones. This is also for helping to bring in your milk supply.

Rose Touch- with baby coming early she may need to be in the NICU for some time and not be near me as much as I would like. Rose is great for helping to mend a broken heart and for stimulating the heart chakra, so I am bringing with to help me in navigating those emotions.

Immortelle- major scar alert! Immortelle is the anti aging oil blend, but it works wonders on scaring as well.

Milk Mama roller- this a roller bottle is one that is to help my milk come in if I run into any post-OP milk issues. In a 10 ml roller bottle add 2 drops of basil and 2 drops of fennel, then top off with FCO.

Frankincense Touch- I mean really if your having surgery of any kind, your should have your Frankincense.  It has healing powers from the Gods!!! No, but really, it's an amazing healing oil that is great for not only scars on the skin, but internal healing within the body for your organs, and even deeper on a cellular level. I have the touch roller bottle to help my scar and its healing process.

Frankincense- and I have the oil to take internally to help with all of the internal healing I will be undergoing.

OnGuard- I am bringing my diffuser to my post-OP room and will diffusing onguard to help disinfect the room when we have guests and bring ten the air with its warm and uplifting scent.

Balance- balance has been scientifically shown to change the bodies frequencies and with the massive hormone releases and emtional shifts that are going to be happening after the birth and post-OP I am bringing balance to diffuse in my room on tough days as well as to apply on the bottoms of my feet. Balance is also found in the deodorant I am bringing (and use daily)

Roman Chamomile- with the chance of baby needing to be in the NICU without me and the rest I am going to need post-OP Roman Chamomile is a great option for a little relaxation and help sleeping. (I also will have lavander but that's in my purse)

Peace- this is the reassuring blend. Along with the relaxation provided from the Roman chamomile and lavender peace will help to steady my nerves at night and promote full relaxation for a good nights sleep.

Serenity- this is the calming blend. Not everything always works the way we want it to, so I am bringing the calming blend as a third option for relaxation. Sleep is so important after surgery and giving birth so I plan on getting as much as I can while baby sleeps her first few days.

 

Non-essential oil products

 I love my oils but there were a few things I needed that were oil related.

Magnesium supplements- the PP dump is a killer. Magnesium is shown to help you go easier. You can ask your dr for some while your at the hospital but the price youl pay for 1 tablet there is about the same as buying a whole bottle of it at home and bringing it with you.

Iron- with all the blood loss and fact that I'm already anemic I wanted to bring this as well.

*I will list the rest of my supplements in my fourth trimester blog.

A front zipper robe- you dont really think about this often, but after you deliver via c-section pants are a no go for a few days,really anything on your waist is a no go. I brought this robe because it would keep me covered and warm in the hospital while not irritating anything.

Tablet- I really wanted to be productive and read some of my year 1 book but I was exhausted. The maternity ward was on one floor and the NICU on another. My oldest daughter had strep so my husband had to leave right after I gave birth. Every 3 hours I would shuffle run down to the NICU to nurse and then shuffle run back up to maternity so I could pump, eat and wash my pump parts out enough for next time. At night I would try to sleep instead of eat but that was just as difficult. Then I would run back down stairs again to nurse. It was the toughest week and I'm so glad it's over. I really learned a lot that I will share with you all soon. Anyways I had my tablet because when I wasnt sleeping or running I entertained myself that way.

Books: for those of you who may enjoy a book more so than a tv show or movie, a book is a great way to help you stay occupied during your down time.

Slippers- get yourself a pair of slippers for when you go. It's cold in hospitals and your going to want to be comfortable.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Essential Oils for the Third Trimester

 Omg! My third trimester kicked my ass! I was not ready for it at all. Honestly it's taken me this long to get back to any sense of normalcy and my baby is 15 ( She was 7 months when I started writing this) months already. Mamas going through your last trimester in the end of summer heat you are true warriors and you have my undying respect, love, and admiration. That is seriously hard! 

I seriously spent the entire time trying to be indoors with AC, I was panicking about the tiniest details, and over preparing, while simultaneously being exhausted and sleeping so much.


If you are looking for essential oils to help with the first trimester, click here.


Here’s the thing. During my first pregnancy I was not into essential oils. I was barely out of high school and had no idea who I was yet as a person. I did know at that point that I wasn’t a fan of doctors, hospital or medication though- which is part of the reason why I didn’t find out I was pregnant until I was way into my second trimester and getting really sick. But this time around I am older, and I have grown into who I am. I know that I enjoy a natural approach to medicine and that essential oils are something I have been working with specifically for 5, almost 6 years now for myself, my family, and those around me. What I hadn’t done thus far was learn about essential oils for during pregnancy, and this was a daunting aspect for me since I found out very quickly that my first OBGYN wasn’t going to be any help and that I was now in a situation where I was going to need medication and I had no one to help point me in the right direction. My husband and I had been struggling for the past 4 years with fertility, and conceiving, and unfortunately went through the grief of a few miscarriages, but things finally took a turn for the better, and I am currently 32 weeks today!


If you are looking for essential oils that can help increase your fertility, click here.


**Before I get started letting you all know what I took, let me start with a quick disclosure notice, because essential oils in general, and the products I am about to mention are not FDA regulated. So, let me confirm that I am not a doctor, or a chemist, or a prenatal specialist of any kind. No one is paying me to write what I am writing, and none of these facts have been checked by the FDA. What I will do is provide links to articles and additional material so that you can do your own research. The information given in this post is not meant to take the place of doctor treatment or recommendations and I always recommend that you ask your doctor before trying anything new. Essential oils, just like many other things can interfere with medications and treatments and should not be used without your doctors’ consent.**


STEP 1: The first thing I did was make sure that what I was using was legit. – Most therapeutic or essential oils out there are total BS because essential oils do not fall into a category that is FDA regulated. So, I did my research and was pleased to find that not only were the oils I was using as pure as pure could get... but that was only step 1. I do want to mention for those of you reading this that you will see me mention using some of these essential oils internally and depending on what companies you use this is probably not a possibility. If you are interested in using the same company and products as are listed throughout this blog, I can help you with a free consultation; I’ll leave my contact at the bottom of this post.

Another thing I did was to find myself a midwife who work in a practice in a hospital who was familiar with doterra essential oils and was comfortable assisting me from a medical standpoint.


Step 2 was to find out what I absolutely could not take, and the list is quite long and is not the same on every site. I played it really safe only using things when absolutely necessary and even then I didn’t use anything without talking to my doctor and midwife first. Here is a list I have compiled of oils that shouldn’t be used during the third trimester:


Peppermint- this is only for those of you who plan to breast feed. Peppermint has the ability to deplete or inhibit milk supply so best to avoid it if possible. 


Clary Sage (and blends containing it- clary calm) or sage- up until you are in labor you dont want to use clary sage since it can induce labor. If you are thinking of using clary sage to induce labor, please check with your midwife or dr first.


Also when your close to your due date you may want to avoid large amounts blood thinning oils such as:

Yarrow

Birch Cinnamon 

Wintergreen

Birch

Sage

Clary Sage

Peppermint(if your planning on breastfeeding)


Now let's get to the good stuff! What did I use during my third trimester, and why!?

First off, if you've read any of my other pregnancy blogs you know I took my LLV. So if you've already heard me talk about it a million times please feel free to skip ahead, but for those who haven't the LLV is about to ROCK YOUR WORLD!!! 

Seriously. I swear by this stuff. Basically it's a 3 part multi-vitamin that targets 3 areas of your body: your brain, your gut, your cells. Let me explain:

LLV: LLV stands for Life Long Vitality which is a 3-part multi-vitamin. Personally, I am not a fan of prenatal vitamins because of the size of them and the fact that you have to take them with food (sometimes I don’t have an appetite first thing in the morning, but I still need to take my vitamins before I leave the house). The LLV has a “tummy tamer” blend in all three parts which allows you to be able to take them without food. I also liked this because it came as a vegan option, and although I am not a vegan most baby books will tell you to try to get as much of your nutrition from raw plants, so this seemed like the perfect fit for me. Now I was taking these before I was pregnant so by the time I was pregnant I was taking the full dose which is 2 of each vitamin 2 times a day. If you are looking to try a new multivitamin, I suggest starting at a ½ dose and working you way up because it can be a lot al at once.

Part1- Vegan Microplex MVZ: This formula includes a balanced blend of essential antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, and an energy complex of B vitamins presented in a patented glycoprotein matrix. It also contains chelated minerals including calcium, magnesium, and zinc for optimal bone and metabolic health, and is encapsulated using sodium lauryl sulfate-free vegetable capsules

Part 2- Alpha CRS+: This is a proprietary formula combining potent levels of natural botanical extracts that support healthy cell function with important metabolic factors of cellular energy. It is to be used as a comprehensive dietary supplement foundation for a lifetime of vitality and wellness.

Part 3- vEO Mega: This is a revolutionary, 100 percent vegetarian-friendly formula blending CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils with natural, plant-sourced essential fatty acids. -SIDE NOTE- during this trimester I actually took 3 of these in the morning and 3 at night because of the extra Omegas needed during that part of babys brain development. 

* Vegan Microplex MVZ does include Folate, but I did take an additional Folic Acid supplement


I also used a few other supplements during this trimester. 

Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex- I had some of the worst hip pain during pregnancy like to the point of not being able to walk at all at times. This little vitamin which I took 2 of every morning helped keep me on my feet throughout my pregnancy. Now I took the full dose in the morning because these have green tea in them because I am super sensitive to caffeine and pregnant mamas know how difficult it is to get sleep during those last few months so I was not about to add to that struggle.

Mito2Max- being pregnant is exhausting and sometimes you cant be that exhausted especially if you have other kids so for me I took Mito2Max. Being that I was getting caffeine in my DeepBlue I didnt want to drink any caffeine so I needed to find alternative forms of energy: enter B vitamins. Mito2Max is full of B vitamins to help you wake up and stay active throughout the day without any crashing or jitters.

Copaiba - I love love love copaiba essential oil, but with everything I was taking and using during pregnancy it was easiest for me to include the copaiba softgels with my night time vitamins. This bad boy does so much from boosting your immunity to relieving stress, to reducing inflammation and so much more. I used it nightly to reduce my stress to help me sleep as well as to help give the DeepBlue I took in the morning a little boost through the night.

Womens Bone Complex - I was highly anemic during pregnancy to the point of popping iron pills like candy all throughout the day and never increasing my iron levels. One of the interesting things I found out was that the calcium supplements I was taking were actually hindering my bodies ability to process the iron I was taking so I switched from a straight calcium vitamin to the women bone complex which adds some many other vital nutrients help help keep your bones strong and healthy in addition to calcium which aloud for strong bones, less calcium in my body and more iron to be processed in my body.

Iron - as I mentioned... super anemic!!! I was taking so much iron. Now everyone is different so I'm not going to talk about how much I took (honestly I thought I was too much) what I will do is tell you some of the things I learned. 1. Iron is super harsh on your tummy, so if you are taking it regularly or in high doses consider using something like orange essential oil applied to your belly to help sooth your stomach after taking a beating from iron (this is actually where the spinach and mandarin orange salad idea came from). 2. Iron isn't always absorbed orally.  For some people taking iron through foods or vitamins isn't going to do the trick, in which case asking your Dr. about an IV dose is an option that may work better for you.

Folic acid - who doesn't know about folic acid? If you are pregnant you should be taking folic acid. It helps your babys' brain grow and develop especially during the first few weeks of pregnancy, but it should be used throughout all of pregnancy. Because I was not using a "prenatal" vitamin I took a little extra on the side, but keep in mind that if you are taking LLV there is a form of folic acid in the vitamin already- also fun fact side note is that in men folic acid can help increase fertility


It's not a supplement, but I also made myself some vegan collagen gummies to help with skin elasticity here's the gelatin powder I used.



Essential oils

Immortelle blend: for skin elasticity 

Lavender: sleep aid

Chamomile: sleep aid

Cedarwood: sleep aid

Serenity blend: sleep aid

Neroli: this floral oil helps reduce stretch marks, dark spots and scared tissue. 



Baby body butter:

1/2 cup cocoa butter
1/2 cup Shea butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
Melt, mix (whip if possible), and let cool some.
1 T vitamin E oil or rosebud oil
20 drops melaleuca 
20 drops lavender 
20 drops frankincense 
Mix and store a room temp

This stuff makes your skin feel A-MAZING! unless it's the middle of summer - like it was for me- in which case you end up sweating a lot and just rolling around in a mixture of sweat and oils that feels super slimy. So this is great for every season except summer.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Peppers

These were an absolute hit!!! Those of you who follow my recipes and food posts know that I absolutely LOVE to stuff peppers with just about everything! Most of the time it works, sometimes its redundant, and sometimes its a huge success. This time was a huge success, and so after quite a few requests for the recipe I  had some time to type it all up and share it with you all!


Here are a few notes tips and side notes for this recipe to help make it fit for your kitchen and your family.

Personally I like to use chicken tenders because I feel it's easier to get them cut into small pieces before cooking them vs using a chicken breast, but if you only have chicken breasts your more than welcome to use them instead.

I baked my chicken this time, but typically I would have used the air fryer to help give it an extra crunch. The other option is to pan fry your chicken in which case make sure you are adding oil to your ingredients. My personal favorite for pan fried chicken would be peanut oil, or avocado oil, but your welcome to use whatever you like best. 

You can also skip the flour if you want a healthier version of this recipe.  For this simply cut the chicken and go right to the baking step.

Currently my garden has an abundance of cherry/grape tomatoes so that is what I used for this recipe, however it's pretty well known that Roma tomatoes are best for sauces so if you would like to substitute please feel free to use your Romas and dice them instead. If you are pressed for time you can also use canned diced tomatoes in which case you do not need to cook them as long and you can add them at the same time as your other sauce ingredients. 

I use block cheese and shred it myself. I'm not sure but I have a theory that pre-shredded cheese has been tampered with because when I shred my cheese at home and put it in a container it clumps and sticks, however pre-shredded cheese does not. Plus I like the feeling of making things from scratch as much as possible and most of the time it's cheaper. When using shaker cheese (Parmesan) however you can be almost certain that the powdery stuff is mixed with cellulose and wood pulp.* So if you want the real stuff, splurge a little (real Parmesan is expensive) and shred it yourself.

Ok, so these should be all the variations and tips for this meal, let's go ahead and get started. 

Ingredients:
1 lb chicken tenders 
2 eggs
Flour
About 20 cherry/grape tomatoes 
3 handfuls of fresh spinach
5-6 med peppers of assorted colors (if you are using large ones you may only need 4. We had these 5 and still had some stuffing leftover- not that that's a bad thing)
1 Tbsp garlic
1 stalk of fresh basil (you can use dry)
1 stalk of fresh oregano (you can use dry)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dry chopped onion (or 1/4 small yellow onion)
1 cup mozzarella 
Parmesan 
Salt and pepper to taste



Directions:
1. Start by cutting your chicken up into 1/2 cubes- you don't have to be exact with the measurement just know that when you to batter your chicken you want to have a decent amount of chicken. No one like a mouth full of batter and no chicken. You also don't want your pieces to be too big seeing as your going to try to fit multiple pieces in each pepper.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°

3. Crack our eggs break the yolks and mix them lightly in one bowl. Then in a bowl next to that use your flour and favorite chicken spices mixed together to make your batter.

4. Take your chicken, dip it into the eggs, and then coat it with your flour. (You can repeat this a second time if you want but I just do one layer) then spread your chicken out on a cookie sheet pan.

5. Bake your chicken for 30 minutes.

6. While your chicken is baking cut your peppers in half from top to bottom and put aside.  

7. Shred your cheeses! The Parmesan is optional and you only need what you would like to sprinkle on your pepper as garnish.





8.Then cut your tomatoes into halves, and let's prepare our sauce.

9. Start with olive oil garlic and onion in your pan on medium heat for about 2 minutes or until the flavors fill your nose. 

10. Add your tomatoes, reduce your heat slightly and cover the pan. Let cook for about 10 minutes, remove lid and cook uncovered for 2 minutes while stirring. Then add your herbs, salt and pepper, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Then turn the flame off, but leave the lid on.















11. (By now your chicken should be out of the oven or almost there. When you take your chicken out of the oven leave the oven on at 350°) Take your chicken bits and your spinach, and add them to your sauce pan stir and let finish cooking for 5 more minutes or until your spinach has completely wilted.
















12. Transfer your peppers on a cookie sheet and use your tomato and chicken mixture to stuff them, then top with the mozzarella. Bake these for 20 minutes.












13. Garnish with Parmesan and serve! 





















* https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/17/parmesan-cheese-store-bought-wood-pulp