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January 2014

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The main reason I started this blog is to help educate people who want to live happier and healthier lives. There is so much information floating around these days, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not. I will be the first to admit that I had some unrealistic expectations of myself postpartum. I assumed that being fit and eating healthy, all of my weight would just fall off. Sure the last 10 lbs would probably be “tricky”, but nothing I couldn’t handle and certainly they wouldn’t stay on longer than about 4 months. I am currently 4 months postpartum, and here to tell you the truth about baby weight.

My Midwife put it to me this way, “There are two types of women that breastfeed, those that can’t keep weight on, and those that can’t lose the weight until they’re done breastfeeding. Unfortunately you will probably fall into the latter group.” Awesome. After 42 LONG weeks of watching the numbers on the scale increase, there was nothing more I wanted than my “body back.” I know all the Moms reading this right now are nodding in agreement. Being a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor adds some extra stress as well, since I feel like people have high expectations of me. Maybe they do and maybe they don’t, but I definitely strive to be the best example for them that I can. So now, at 4 months postpartum, I have an extra 14 lbs that just WILL NOT BUDGE and although it’s not what I thought would happen…I’m finally okay with it.

After labor and delivery, you are left with a beautiful child and…a still slightly enormous belly. Except it’s not hard and there’s nothing moving inside of it anymore. It’s just all soft, squishy uterus. Ewww. They say it takes about 6 weeks for your uterus to return to it’s “normal” size. Your organs also have to shift back into place—there’s a lot happening in there. So it’s expected that it takes some time for things to return to normal. I lost more than half of the weight I gained in the first 10 days. I got compliment after compliment and I thought to myself “Oh yeah, this is so easy.” Everything I heard about breastfeeding made me believe that the weight was just going to fall off. And it did…but it was mostly water weight, and it stopped after about three weeks. From 3 weeks postpartum until now, I have lost a whopping 4 lbs. and let me tell you, my diet has been ON POINT. I’ve been exercising and eating right, so what is the dang deal?! It’s frustrating to say the least. I walk around “sucking in” because I feel I can no longer get away with saying I “just” had a baby. I feel like others judge me and honestly, those without kids probably do. I’m sure they assume I’m just not putting in the work to take care of it. And I now realize that that’s just not the way postpartum baby weight works when you’re breastfeeding. At least not for me.

So, you’ve had a baby, you’re breastfeeding and your hormones are still super out of whack—I mean come on, when is my hair going to STOP falling out already? And there’s this other thing—you are the sole food source for a little tiny human being that you just grew inside of you. I’d say that’s kind of a big deal. Truthfully, it is absolutely normal for your body to hang on to an extra 10-20 lbs while breastfeeding. Your body is AMAZING, and it is going to do exactly what it needs to do to ensure that you can produce and supply enough milk to nuture your child. I think that’s pretty freakin’ amazing. It’s just like in pregnancy. I remember agonizing over every pound I gained, wondering if it was true “baby weight” or if it was because all I felt like eating were carbohydrates. Looking back…I shouldn’t have stressed nearly as much as I did. My body was creating life!

I see other women’s posts online about how all of the baby weight just “fell off” and how happy they are, and I find myself wishing that was me. But it’s not me, and there’s a darn good reason that’s not me. My body is doing exactly what it needs to be doing. Having birthed a child (sans epidural, at that), I now have so much more respect for my body. If it wants to hang onto 14 lbs, well so be it! I’m fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed, which I know is more than a lot of women can say. Although there are lots of crappy side effects, I am truly grateful that I am able to provide food for my sweet baby. I know that my body will get rid of the weight when it is time. Right now, I am eating a super clean, healthy diet not because I want the weight to come off, but because that is what my body needs to provide the most nutritious milk for my son. I also know that the healthier I eat—the healthier I feel. The healthier I feel— the more I want to exercise, the better my relationships are and the better wife, mom and friend I am.

Instead of looking at these last 14 lbs. as being “stubborn baby weight” pounds, I look at them as “necessary milk supply” pounds, and that changes everything. Attitude is everything, so make it positive. Act positively, think positively, be positive. You created life, and now your supplying your baby with the nutrients he/she needs to grow and be healthy and happy. STOP thinking about this baby weight RIGHT THIS MINUTE and be PROUD of yourself.

Here’s to all the breastfeeding Mommas out there! You are amazing! Here’s to positive thinking, healthy milk supplies and healthy, happy babies!

Melissa

Oh my goodness…guess who’s teething?! Yes, our little bundle of joy has just about every tooth possible coming in at once. Between the teething and the virus he picked up, he’s been a mess and consequently, so is Mom. But that’s another story.

As far as the teething goes, I have been lucky to talk to some very smart, natural people about how to handle this. There’s also some great information online, if you can sort through the mess of information (some true and some not) on the internet. Here is an article I found extremely helpful as I matched my son’s symptoms with the appropriate homeopathic remedy. Mommypotamous also has some great information on the subject. It is very important to watch your baby’s symptoms and to use the appropriate remedy for the best chance of success.

Dosage For Homeopathic Remedies:

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

Truestar Health

So far Hyland’s teething tablets have not worked, but Camilia has worked like a charm! I am also experimenting with Pulsatilla and a homemade remedy made with Clove Bud Oil. I will keep you updated on what works best via the Facebook page.

Baltic Amber Necklaces

I also picked up an amber necklace for him. Baltic amber is a natural analgesic (pain reliever) that can have a soothing and calming effect on teething babies and toddlers. When amber is worn on the skin, (the necklace is not meant to be chewed), the skin’s warmth releases small amounts of succinic acid from the amber which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. (Note: consider for a moment the various soaps, lotions and fragrances you put on your skin. Toxins from the beauty products you put on your skin also make their way into your bloodstream). Amber’s anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties are also recognized by allopathic medicine.

I picked up our amber necklace from The Nappy Shoppe in Plano, Texas, but you can also find them online. Be sure to buy your amber from a reputable source, as the amber must be real amber to work as explained above. Raw, unpolished, light amber is supposed to work the best, but be sure that the necklace you get for your child is safety knotted! Try searching “The Art of Cure” on Amazon.com if you prefer to purchase online.

Amber also has many benefits for adults as well. Natural healing amber necklaces can relieve pain in the head, neck and throat areas, and are good for congestion. They are also highly effective for controlling the pain of rheumatism, arthritis, and aching muscles and joints. Baltic amber is an anti-anxiety remedy that rids fatigue and weariness, fights chronic inflammation and restores energy. So of course,I had to try it for myself! Stay tuned for how that’s working for me.

Be sure that the amber necklace is in contact with your child’s skin. Also, the necklace should not be worn while sleeping. Instead, double wrap the necklace around the ankle. I alternate ankles each night.

What have you used to help your teething child deal with side effects of teething?

Peace, love and homeopathy,

Melissa

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Please contact your doctor (preferably a Functional Medicine Specialist or Homeopath) for instructions on how to treat your child. The post above is just my personal opinion on the matter.

 

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

Get ready for THE most amazing banana bread you’ve ever eaten. Yes, ever. Not only is this bread delicious, but it’s PACKED with protein and fiber!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~8 servings
  • Prep time: 12 minutes
  • Cook time: ~50 minutes

Ingredients

Wet

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar (or raw honey if you’re not vegan)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • ~1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (add  at the very end, after dry ingredients have been combined with wet)

Dry

  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup gluten-free quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds (sprouted has more nutrients).
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds
  • A few dashes of sea salt
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 2 dashes of nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice (optional: walnuts, almonds, pecans)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 360°.
  2. In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients except for almond milk together until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix well. Almond milk slowly, until the mixture is moist, not soupy. You will not need more than ~1/2 c.
  5. Drop mixture into a 9″x5″ pan* and spread evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for ~40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and check the bread. You may need to cook the bread for an additional 5-10 minutes without the foil on to brown the top. I sometimes even throw the oven on broil for a quick 2 minute to brown the top. 
  6. Let cool, then slice and enjoy the world’s best banana bread! You’re welcome! 🙂

* If you use a different size pan, your cooking times may vary. For instance, if you use muffin tins, your cooking time will be shorter.

Feel free to be creative with the ingredients! Nuts, seeds, raisins, etc. are all great additions, and if you don’t like something, feel free to omit it! Enjoy!

Melissa