August 24, 2010

Mornings Reinvented!

Forget coffee! After drinking this smoothie, you won't need it!


Some days I start with my Incan Warrior Hot Chocolate, but due to the extreme AZ summer heat, terribly hot even at 6am when I start my day, I've been switching it up with this ice blended velvety nectar. Here is the recipe; I go back and forth between this and my green smoothie. I have my green smoothie daily, but sometimes not until mid-morning.

I find this Nana-Cacao smoothie gives me the boost I need to get in a quick morning workout. I drink it about 30+ minutes before my exercise routine or yoga… I follow up my workout with a pinch of local bee pollen, and 1-2 oz of raw aloe vera gel, from my plant, or from the store, whichever I have time for that morning. Enjoy!

Recipe: Raw Nana-Cacao Smoothie

1 Organic Banana
2 Scoops Raw Maca Powder
2 Scoops Raw Cacao Powder
1 Scoop Amazing Grass Powder, Cacao Flavor
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
(more if desired)
2 Cups Almond Milk
Ice Cubes
(As an occasional twist you can add a scoop of Organic Raw Almond/Peanut Butter!)

Blend and enjoy the massive energy boost for breakfast!

August 23, 2010


Chia seeds that is, which yes, comes from that fun little “Chia Pet” we all had or saw back in the 80’s. Who knew it was actually not just a lovely eyesore, but an amazing power food for our diets? Not me, until the past several months I had no idea just how amazing Chia seeds are for your health. The benefits are outstanding, and worth a second glance!

Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) are extremely high in Omega 3 and are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber! 30% of Chia seed oil is Omega 3, 10% is Omega 6, which is the perfect balance of essential fatty acids for our bodies. These vital fats help protect our bodies against inflammation (such as arthritis and heart disease), and actually contain more Omega 3 than salmon! Chia is the richest non-marine whole food source of Omega-3 and dietary fiber currently known to man.

There is also evidence (scientist are researching, but I’m going to consider it fact) that Chia seeds help in reducing blood pressure (have you had a previous pregnancy where preeclampsia was an issue? Eat more Chia!) According to the American Heart Association, Omega-3 fatty acids can normalize blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, while helping promote healthy heart and blood vessels.

Chia seeds are highly hydrophilic (can absorb large amounts of water) and can hold a whopping 10-12x their weight in water (flax seeds only absorb approximately 6-8x their weight in water)! This makes them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies (especially for athletes, and those who practice Bikram yoga, like me!) With six times more calcium than milk, and with greater amounts of high-quality protein than the one found in soy, Chia also helps strengthen muscles and bones.

Eating Chia seeds can actually slow down how fast our bodies convert carb calories into simple sugars, which scientist are researching as having great benefits for diabetics especially… there are studies indicating that Chia seeds can control blood sugar! Therefore they are excellent for those looking to drop a few pounds in a healthy way. How does this work? The Chia seeds actually turn into a gel-like substance once they enter our digestive system, which causes some of the food (calories) we eat from getting completely absorbed into our system. This also makes you feel full faster, reducing your appetite. Chia´s insoluble fiber reduces digestive transit time and removes toxins as it passes through the digestive tract. This assists our bodies in flushing out digestive waste faster than almost anything I’ve seen! It acts like a magnet to toxins as it moves through our intestines, it is really amazing. They are an excellent source of raw dietary fiber.

Chia seeds are an
excellent replacement for flax seeds, for those who have an allergy or are otherwise sensitive to flax seeds, such as myself (usually accompanies a gluten allergy/intolerance and/or Celiac Disease). Flax seeds, although good in their own right, are often difficult to digest.

Now for my Chia seed soap-box moment; if you are pregnant, Chia seeds are a MUST for your diet. I say MUST and I mean non-negotiable! Your developing baby desperately needs the Omega's in Chia seeds to facilitate optimal neurological development and more. Eating Chia seeds is an excellent alternative for my Vegan and Vegetarian friends, and even if you are a self-proclaimed carnivore, you still need these little wonders to flush out all the toxins and waste from your carnivorous diet. For my pregnant mommies, these little seeds will help you to banish pregnancy water retention, as they absorb, absorb and absorb water and toxic build up in your body. They will provide you with the proper fats you need as you begin to build and produce colostrom, and a healthy placenta.
For my postpartum mommies, Chia seeds are
amazing at helping to shed those pregnancy pounds! Just watch as they flush out your body of excess fluid and toxins, and the benefits from the fiber will speak for themselves. If you have had trouble with constipation or those pesky hemorrhoids, these little seeds will be a lifesaver. Add Chia seeds into your diet to lose the baby weight, while nourishing your body at the same time with antioxidants, Omega's, fiber, calcium, protein and more. I love Chia seeds. I eat them constantly. I would venture to say that in any given day I eat a 1/2-1 cup of Chia seeds, sometimes more or less, depending.

So how do you use Chia seeds? How can you incorporate them into your daily diet? It’s so easy! I eat them all day, every day, and LOVE them. Chia seeds have a completely neutral flavor and color, and therefore integrates seamlessly into almost any recipe. In Mexico, Chia seeds are soaked in fruit juices, and they call it Chia Fresca!

I enjoy toasting a slice of gluten free bread, spreading some organic almond or peanut butter on top with a little bit of raw honey, then sprinkling a load of Chia seeds over the top. It is crunchy, sweet and gives you a HUGE energy boost. I also sprinkle them on top of half an apple with a tablespoon of peanut/almond butter. They are yummy in a yogurt (if you eat dairy), and can be added to fruit salad with some slivered almonds, SO tasty.

Toss a tablespoon or so into nearly every smoothie, and after a little while the seeds turn to gel, and you don’t even notice they are in the smoothie. Especially if you blend them with a berry smoothie; the seeds are so tiny, you can’t differentiate them from the berry seeds!

Daily I try to incorporate Chia seeds into almost every raw snack that I make, including my superfood bars, balls and squares. I sprinkle the seeds on top of my gluten free granola, add them to my quinoa and any other gluten free snacks or baked goods I make.

Here are a couple fantastic recipes to try, I love them and use them frequently! And if you haven't already figured it out, Chia seeds are 100% gluten free!

Recipe: Chia Trail Mix Squares

1/2 Cup Raw Almonds
1 Cup Organic dried Apricots
1/2 Cup Dates
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 tsp Organic/Gluten Free Vanilla
1/2 Tbsp Organic Chia Seeds

Put everything into the food processor, adding the lemon zest and vanilla at the very end. Form into little balls, squares or any other shape you like, and refrigerate!

Recipe: Strawberry Chia Pudding

2 Tsp Organic Chia Seeds
1 Scoop Raw Organic Maca Powder
2 oz Almond Milk
1 Tbsp Raw Almond Butter
Basket of Fresh Strawberries

Grind Chia seeds up in a blender or food processor along with chopped strawberries. Mix together with the other ingredients in a bowl, serve chilled! This is a great summer "desert" or you can eat with gluten free (or other) granola in the morning for breakfast!


Where can you find Chia Seeds?




August 17, 2010

My Naturally Well Baby

Since having Mia, I wanted to make sure that we continued our household tradition (okay my tradition, Steve is learning as we go) of doing everything as naturally as possible when it came to Mia’s care. I eat everything as organic/raw/superfood as possible, use castile soap, almond or coconut oil for body moisturizer, etc. And that is why I only use plant-based cleaning products, and wash her in organic plant-based soap/shampoo, when I use it that is. I try to use soap on her as infrequently as possible, to keep her skin moisturized, and to allow her build up a healthy amount of flora.

Speaking of flora and good bacteria, that is the purpose of this blog! Well one of the points. Check out Dr. Greenes book, ‘Raising Baby Green’ if you haven’t already for tips about all-natural child raising and home living. I loved it, and found so many great solutions in it for things like household cleaning products, and we now use Dr. Bonners Castile soap now exclusively (Steve’s not too thrilled about this, but he’s getting there :)


When I began seeking a Naturopathic Pediatrician, I was overwhelmed. But then I found Dr. van der Veer and her website through a referral from a friend. I called, and this wonderful woman actually answered her phone! And then talked to me! For 25 minutes. I was blown away. Never in all my years have I actually gotten a doctor on the phone who would talk to me about all my concerns, and then set up an appointment with me.
I mainly wanted to talk with her about vaccinations for Mia. I am against them partly, and the other part of me isn’t sure. I needed help, and she gave it.
Steve and I LOVED meeting with her one Saturday, and she gave us over two hours of her time at her home office. I’ve never felt more comfortable, and heard. Dr. van der Veer was really listening to our concerns and providing us with information to help in our decision making. It was a phenomenal experience.
One of the things she immediately prescribed are the Ther-Biotic Infant Formula Probiotics for Mia, which we ordered and began giving to her.


We have been able to terminate the use of any Mylicon as a result, and Mia has had no digestive issues at all, and her spitting up, burping and gas has grown to a minimum. Most impressively since she started on the probiotics several weeks ago, is that Steve caught a really bad flu virus, and was at home for 3 days with it. I thought for sure Mia would catch it, but she never had a sniffle! I’m not saying this is exclusively because of the probiotics, I know that my superfood and nutrient rich diet and the fact that I exclusively breastfeed are big factors. But Mia has had one tiny cold with congestion, and that was prior to the start of her probiotic regimen. I am convinced that they have really help build up her immune system, and strengthen her digestive system. This was especially important to me since Steve and I have chosen to omit certain vaccinations, and delay many of them as it is. This is not a choice we took lightly, and spent many, many hours and days doing research, discussing, and talking to experts. One of which is Dr. Baral at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in South Scottsdale. We were able to attend one of his seminars, which was amazingly informative. One of the key things he strongly encouraged that night (I was only 8 months pregnant at the time we attended) was the use of infant probiotics, especially if you are omitting, or delaying any vaccinations. Probiotics can do wonders for any immune system, especially that of our tiny infants and children.
So when I consulted with Dr. van der Veer and she brought up all the same information, I jumped on it, having somewhat forgotten about the seminar at that point. That is why I am encouraging/reminding all of you about the importance of probiotics here.

Dr. van der Veer has also come along side of me helping me with some of my own postpartum issues, and been such a lifesaver. She has me on a regimen to help strengthen and support my immune and digestive system as I breastfeed, and help keep my stress at a minimum with my busy schedule.
I would highly recommend checking out her site, and calling her for a phone consultation with any concerns you may have with your little one, especially if your baby is struggling with any gastric reflux, allergies, eczema, constipation, etc.

Dr. van der Veer will take the time to hear your concerns and really talk with you about a plan to help resolve what can be resolved. I just wanted to pass on this information because I have been so thrilled, and am so grateful for her support in these first few months of Mia’s life.
The Ther-Biotic Infant Formula probiotic can be found here on Dr. van der Veer's site, and is only $30/bottle, which will last you quite a while, since it is powder, and you only give 1/4-1/2 tsp daily. Mia loves when I give it to her (on my finger), she thinks she is getting some kind of special treat. Oh is she ever! I'm giving her good health, no great health, which is the best gift any of us can give to our sweet babies and children.

Check out Dr. van der Veer's site if you'd like, or to contact her for an appointment/consultation.

August 16, 2010

Apple Cider What?

Apple Cider Vinegar is some fantastic stuff, let me tell you. And everyone who squirms at the thought of drinking some vinegar for health or even a weight loss aid, I like to remind you that if you are into any vinaigrette dressings, or cooking with balsamic vinegar, this isn’t far behind. Its really not that bad, I promise!


Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is made by a fermentation process (remember the Kombucha blog?) similar to how alcohol is made.Sugars in food are broken down by yeast and bacteria (fermenting grapes into wine, rice into sake, grain into whisky, etc.), turning it into alcohol; if it ferments further, you get vinegar (ever had a bad bottle of wine? Tastes like vinegar). The word vinegar is from the French language, meaning “sour wine.” So in the case of apple cider vinegar, you take guess what, yes, apples, pulverize them, and then the sugar in the apples is broken down by yeast and bacteria (referred to as, “the mother”) producing the vinegar. ACV is an effective natural bacteria-fighting agent that contains beta-carotene (helps counteract against damage from free-radicals), pectin (helps reduced bad cholesterol and regulate blood pressure and many vital minerals and trace elements such as potassium (helps eliminate toxic waste from the body), calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon and fluorine, all vital to health. ACV also contains malic acid which is very helpful in fighting viral (lots of colds and flu’s lately?)fungal and bacterial infections (struggling with UTI’s pregnant gals?). Malic acid dissolves uric acid deposits that form around joints, and eliminates it, helping to relieve joint pains. ACV also contains acetic acids, which apparently slows the digestion of starch which can help to lower the rise in glucose that commonly occurs after meals (weight loss after baby!). On top of everything, ACV seems to help clear skin conditions, especially blemishes! I have typically clear skin at all times. But last week I noticed a big old zit threatening to arise on my lower jaw. I hit the bottle (of ACV) ;) for a couple days, and that little dude never surfaced and is gone.

ACV is proving to have a positive effect on several areas in health, including diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressure and heart health, cancer, and (drum roll) weight loss! ACV has the effect of making people feel full for longer periods of time. It also aids in digestion and elimination, easing constipation (Ladies, let’s not be shy, this can be a problem postpartum), and because of the good bacteria it can help prevent UTI’s and aid in strengthening the immune system overall. Other theories are that ACV helps to speed up metabolism, and decreases water retention (also a need in us pregnant and postpartum ladies; ACV was a huge help to me).
With diabetes, studies show that ACV may help lower glucose. One study showed that people with type 2 diabetes who took two tablespoons of ACB before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%.
As a personal testimony I can tell you that in all my years of drinking ACV I noticed the most beneficial results postpartum. It has helped alleviate water retention, ease my digestion, keep my skin clear throughout all the hormonal changes (that and my super-superfood diet). And on the rare day when I’m feeling, well, not so smooth, it fixes me right up. So if any of this hits home with you, give it a try! It certainly can’t hurt. Since I am breastfeeding, I make sure to drink it just after I’ve fed my little pumpkin, just in case she doesn’t like taste in her next meal. I asked my doctor about it, and she said, “do you eat a lot of food with balsamic vinegar?” and I told her I most certainly did, to which she replied that it shouldn’t be a problem breastfeeding or otherwise. But please, as I always say, ask your own doctor if you have any concerns. Here’s to your health!

Recipe: Apple Cider Vinegar Purple Elixir


2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (I prefer Bragg’s; you can increase amount as desired, occasionally)
8 oz Purified Water
2-4 oz Organic Concord Grape Juice (just the juice with no added sweetners, like R.W. Krudsons brand:
1-2 dropperfuls of Stevia OR 1-2 teaspoons of Raw Organic Honey.

Mix, drink, feel the health!

August 15, 2010

Desert is Served!

Recipe: Perfectly Pecan Squares

2 Cups Organic Raw Pecans
2 Cups Organic Pitted Dates
3 Tbsp Raw Organic Hemp Protein Powder
3 Tbsp Raw Organic Maca
1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
1 tsp Organic/Gluten Free Vanilla
½ tsp Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan Salt
½ tsp Organic Cinnamon
½ tsp Organic Nutmeg


Place half of the pecans and half of the dates into the food processor, along with the hemp, maca, cacao, spices and vanilla. Turn on food processor, and slowly add remaining dates and pecans as you go.

Pulse until finely chopped. If mixture feels a little dry, you can add a teaspoon of raw coconut oil.

Roll into medium-sized balls, and press into square shape. You can always use an ice cube tray as an alternative or other mold. I just do them by hand. Keep refrigerated. These are very yummy with Tazo Decaf Chai tea and almond milk. Enjoy!


August 14, 2010

If You Schedule and You're Happy, Clap Your Hands...!

Schedule Your Baby. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. You’re not doing yourself or your baby any favors by feeding on demand, letting him/her sleep when they want to, or responding to them 50 times during the night, or “rescuing” them from the nap that is “just not working” today.

(Mia Jordan, 6 months old, after her 6am feeding)

You may have “read all the books” or not read a single one past “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” and that’s okay. I am going to break it all down for you right here and now, in a simple little nutshell, what works from what I’ve seen and experienced on my own. I should say here for the record, that I do have 10+ years of nannying, including nighttime nannying, otherwise known as a baby nurse, and in the most recent years have began working as a Sleep Consultant to new moms. I have been a baby nurse for 2 different sets of quadruplets, was a daytime nanny for quadruplets (ages newborn to 1 year) and a nanny for other newborns-1 year of age, as well as older children (just so that you don’t think I’m basing what I say off of my own six short months of personal experience).
But I can say that the methods I used on other babies have proven true as I’ve used them on my own daughter, and so now my confidence in this simple schedule is concrete and permanent. So here you go…

It’s what I call the block or segment method. Nothing fancy, and it’s been laid out already in books such as:


On Becoming Babywise (and Toddler Wise),


Secrets of the Baby Whisperer


Colic Solved and

Pick Nick’s Brain (an online ebook about naps and schedules, a great resource:

When baby is still itty-bitty (2 weeks-4/6 weeks), you’ll more than likely be on a 2 hour block schedule; around 4-6 or 7 weeks I recommend moving to a 3 hour block schedule, if at all possible. This can be a challenge for exclusively breastfeeding moms, but not at all impossible. And with the block method there is a LOT of grace, so don’t worry.

During this block, follow the simple sequence of events (as laid out in Babywise) of first eating time, then wake/play time, followed by naptime. This sequence of events is very important mainly because you want separation between sleep and eating time. You don’t want to get baby in the habit of having to eat his/her way to sleep every time. This could become quite a pain when you are exhausted and having to breast/bottle feed baby to sleep every single night, or when you’re out and about in order for them to take naps. You want them to learn to fall asleep on their own when they have to, and with your help when available. Learning to fall asleep and self-sooth are both skills that very new babies do not yet posses. So I personally and professionally do not recommend “letting them cry it out” when they are still so small, under 6 weeks; self-soothing is a skill you have to teach your baby, just how you would teach an older child to ride a bike. You’d never just expect them to know how to ride a bike, you have start with training wheels, then holding on to the bike, and finally letting go. This can take time as your child builds up confidence in their own skills and balance on the bicycle. You would never let go on their first time on the bike. In the same way, you cannot expect your tiny infant, who is used to only your womb and does not have their days/nights organized yet, to be able to get themselves back to sleep, or put themselves to sleep in the first place. That is why we used all kinds of sleep cues, and a routine to assist them, like training wheels, in organizing their nights and days, and what is sleep time and wake time. But first let us focus on the schedule in general.

During your 2-3 hour segment, baby will wake from a nap, eat soon thereafter (it doesn’t have to be immediate, especially if you they are waking up a ½ hour or so before they are supposed to eat again) and then have anywhere from 40 minutes to 90+ minutes of awake/play time before going down for a nap. Yes, there will be days when everything gets all jumbled up and you will have a “fail day” and that is OKAY. Remember, every segment is another chance to turn it all around. It’s no big deal, do NOT beat yourself up. Just start again!
Sometimes baby will fall asleep as you are feeding them, and there will be nothing you can do to keep them awake. That is alright. Shake it off. Some day’s baby will not want to sleep at all, and may miss a nap completely in the segment due to being out and about, teething, over-stimulated due to new people, surroundings, etc., and that is fine. Brush it off and reset. But
always reset!
Ideally, what you want to keep in the back of your mind as your go-to structure is the feed-wake-sleep order of events in a 2-3 hour time block. This is your mantra.

So, let’s say you are on the 3 hour block, as my daughter at 18 weeks. She first wakes at 7am, and barely gets through a feeding before wanting to go back to sleep. I let her, and she sleeps solid until exactly or just before her 10am feeding. She eats at 10am and then I get her up for the day. I change her, and take her into her play area. She plays and we read a book or two, make breakfast, start some laundry or get ready to leave the house, whatever is going on that day. When it is time for her nap (she has about a 90 minute max for awake time right now, sometimes a tiny more or a lot less), I take her into her room, I close the shutters, swaddle her (get a Miracle Blanket ladies!; they have a great how-to video on swaddling that is so valuable, especially if you feel like you have no clue what you are doing!), put in her pacifier, rock her for a few minutes, and then lay her down in her crib when she’s groggy, but not totally asleep. (*A note on swaddling: Even if you think your baby doesn’t like to be swaddled, press on. Babies love the feeling of security, even if it seems they are fighting it. Rarely have I ever experienced a baby who truly fights and “hates” to be swaddled). I leave the room, and she falls asleep. That’s how it goes now, however, but it wasn’t always that easy. If you lay baby down and they cry, it’s okay -do your naptime/nighttime routine; lay them down, and have a pre-determined amount of time in your mind that you are okay with baby crying.

If it’s only 5 minutes to start, that is fine. Let him/her cry for five minutes, then go back into the room and without picking baby up, try and soothe him/her, by stroking their hair, rubbing their back/tummy, putting the pacifier back in, etc. Then go back out of the room, and let baby cry for the next pre-determined amount of time, such as 8 minutes this time. Then go back in if baby does not fall asleep, and try once again to soothe them without picking them up. Leave the room. If baby does continues to cry after the third amount of pre-determined time, go back into the room, and while keeping the room dark/door closed, pick baby up, and gently rock them for a few minutes. After they have calmed down, go ahead and lay them back down, using all your sleep cue techniques that you’ve been using, i.e. putting in the pacifier, brushing your finger over their eyes, rubbing back/tummy, etc. This is how we train our babies to self-soothe, as I was mentioning before… the “training wheels” we are giving them as they learn to “ride the bike” on their own before we take them off, and eventually let go. Giving them the paci, rubbing their back, using a Sleep Sheep or mobile or other such item are all cues that remind them that this is sleepy time, not wake time. And eventually they will learn on their own how to calm themselves once they realize it is sleepy time, but this takes a while. You may have to do this sequence of events over and over for a couple of days, or even a week before baby gets the hint that hey, its naptime whether I like it or not, I’m going to go down for a nap. You are not doing this to be mean, you are doing what is best for your baby.

Babies do 80%+ of their growth and development while they are asleep. Sleep is crucial for them! As a newborn and for the first 4-5+ months of life, babies need to be sleeping at least 14-17 hours during every 24 hour period. So keep offering those naps in the segments, and eventually baby will learn to take advantage of them. If you are gun shy to the whole Babywise mommy following, check out:


Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. I loved this book and it helped provide even more perspective and assisted me in finding the balance. There are many other such books available, so don’t be shy, get one, or hire a Sleep Consultant or Baby Nurse for a couple of hours/nights if you need some hands on help. Learning these techniques isn’t easy, and it can be even more difficult when you are sleep deprived, over-stimulated and overwhelmed yourself.

Adjustments will always need to be made with the schedule. Nothing is perfect, life requires a constant pursuit of balance, grace and occasionally a need for bumpers down the bowling lane. But I can promise you that if you start baby’s life out on a schedule, you will set them up for success, as well as your entire family and home life. Things will be more predicable then you think, and you can actually start to reclaim your identity as a human being, and begin to relish in your new identity of a Mommy, and a fantastic one at that.

In our home, we recently went through a big change with my daughter Mia’s schedule, as she is now 6 months old, and we had some family schedule changes that have required us to change her schedule. Mia now first rises at 6am. I fought this for
so long trying to make her hold off until 7am, which was her old first feeding time. But an important lesson I learned is, are you doing the best time schedule for baby, or for you? Did I want to start waking up at 6am every morning? Not so much. I am traditionally not a morning person. I’d rather be up all night every night, then rising that early in the morning, ha! But Mia began waking at 6am, so I had to adjust things so that we still had structure and predictability, but now we were working with her new stage and needs.
Since I am still exclusively breastfeeding, I have Mia on a 3 hour block still. She can occasionally go 3 ½ or 4 hours, but not often. I assume that she will when I start adding cereal into her diet, but for now, we are still at 3-3 ½ hours. So now Mia eats first at 6am, and then is up for the day. I get her up, change her, dress her, and let her have some time on her play mat with her toys. She goes down for her first nap by 7:30am. She is up by 8:15-8:30, and eats again at 9am. She stays up for another 90 minutes or so (her wake time is beginning to extend as she gets older) and then goes down for a nap. I close her shutters, put in her paci, turn on her mobile, hold her for a minute, kiss her eyelids, and then lay her down. She goes down every time because she has been used to these sleep cues for 6 months. Even when she fights the nap, she still will lay there and nap for at least 20-30 minutes, and then one or two of her naps will be longer during the day. She then eats again at 12pm, then 3pm, then 6pm, and that is her last “awake” feeding of the day. After I feed her at 6pm, she gets a bath, minimal stimulation (no toys), I read her a book in the rocker, and then she is in bed by 7:30pm. I am still giving her a 6
th feeding of the day, as a “dream-feed” where I go into her room quietly, leave it completely dark, and without a word I breastfeed her in the rocker glider, softly burp her, and lay her back down without arousing her at all, or as little as possible. Sometimes she burps, sometimes she doesn’t, and if she needs a burp it’s not uncommon for her to wake an hour later crying, in which case I go in and burp her, and she falls immediately back to sleep. She then sleeps until 5:30 or 6am, when I feed her and we start the day of scheduling over.

I know this may seem “easier said than done,” but if you approach it with the idea that your goal is to do the 2 or 3 hour block, and you can mess up and get back on track as you go, it will be do-able. I promise! Always try the “right way” and eventually things will begin to fall into place. Does my daughter still wake up in the middle of the night sometimes? Absolutely. But I never, ever feed her prior to 6am. I will let her whine or cry for a little bit, then try soothing in her other ways, mostly just giving her the paci, or sometimes offering a burp is what is needed.
This is
so important. Stick to your guns. Your baby needs sleep. Don’t confuse them by feeding them in the middle of what they are learning to be nighttime. You have to help them get that sleep so they can grow and develop into healthy little people. They will thrive on the schedule and predictability. Your baby only knows what it wants; it is your job to give them what they need.

(Mia sleeping on Mommy's lap at 2 weeks old)

P.S. Always feel free to email me questions about your baby, sleep issues, schedule problems, and I will use all my expertise and experience to give you the very best answer that I can. But even I am not omniscient, or perfect, but when we all put our heads together, solutions can be found for almost any baby/child issue!

Beer Is Back Girls!

If you're anything like me (a gluten-free gal 4 yrs. and counting), then you have missed having a beer every now and again. I am a huge fan of wine, my husband and I have a great little collection, but since I've had Mia, and my doctor suggested, I have been super into beer again. When I had my first sip of Green's Double Dark Ale, I almost fell over! It was the best thing I'd ever tasted (as far as beer goes). Per doctor's orders, I needed to "have a beer" to promote healthy lactation, which of late, hasn't been so abundant for me.
It worked! I wasn't sure it was going to since gluten-free is, well, gluten-free, but it did the trick just as well as traditional beer would have.

I have been thoroughly enjoying them, and have branched out trying a few others out there (Bards Tale Beer, Anheuser-Bush's Redbridge) but as far as I'm concerned Green's is FAR superior (Green's is an import). They have three delightful brews; Endeavor Double Dark Ale (my personal fav), Quest Tripple Blonde Ale (second fav) and Mission Amber Ale.Photobucket

Greens Beer’s ( are “allergy free” because they do NOT contain any Gluten, Crustaceans, Eggs, fish, Peanuts, Soya beans, Milk, Lactose, Nuts, Celery, Mustard, Sesame seeds, sulphur dioxide and sulphites. They even carry the Free From Food Award located on their website: Photobucket

The grains they DO use are: Sorghum, Millet (both high in trace elements such as zinc and barley, but 3x and 2x more, respectively), buckwheat (high in Fagopyrins which decreases blood cholesterol and is high in protein) and Brown Rice.

Now, let me just say for the record that I am not "promoting" the drinking of alcohol during pregnancy or lactation in any way I am simply sharing with you what I've done/do, and if you are like-minded perhaps it will work for you as well. Don't forget the name of the blog, My Fat-Free Pregnancy and Beyond... and this yummy gluten-free beer is definitely included in my own personal beyond! My husband loves that I sometimes pop open a beer on a Friday night now (after I've given Mia her last feeding and put her down for the night), pour it into the biggest frosty beer mug you've ever seen (that I keep in my freezer for this purpose specifically) and sit down next to him on the couch to relax together. You can now BYOB to BBQ's and more, and simply state your allergy. My husband, a beer drinker himself has even admitted that the Green's beer is very, very good... "for not being real beer" he adds. ;)

I've found Green's Beer at Whole Foods, BevMo (in the import section), and Total Wine (in AZ), along with the Bards and Redbridge.

So enjoy your beer with a tasty gluten-free pizza this weekend, and let me know how you like it!

August 13, 2010

Little Bit 'O Quinoa by my side...

Quinoa is a complete protein source, containing a balanced set of essential amino acids. It is easily digestible, packed with fiber, phosphorus and high in magnesium. It’s so good for you! I cook it and use it in place of rice with dinner meals , I use it for breakfast cereal as well, and many other things! I like to purchase my quinoa at for only $3.99/lb. But of course you can get it at your local health food store, such as Sunflower Market, Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc.

Good Morning Quinoa


1 Cup Cooked Quinoa, or more if you’d like (if you don’t cook it fresh, warm it on the stove from the fridge)
½ -1 Cup Almond Milk
¼ Cup Chopped Almonds (or walnuts/pecans)
Dash or two of Cinnamon
I dropperful of Stevia, or 1 Tbsp of Raw Organic Honey (no agave nectar girls, its worse for you than high fructose corn syrup!)
Dash of Sea Salt
½-1 Cup chopped Organic Fruit of your choice; I usually use peaches, berries, banana, or my favorite, green apple!
*Optional: Buttery Spread –I use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread when I feel like it, instead of butter

Toss it all together and heat everything until warm in a saucepan. You can sprinkle the nuts on top afterwards as an option. Make a big batch and re-heat for mornings when you’re in a rush. Enjoy!

Cool Quick Quinoa


2 Cups of Organic Quinoa prepared according to directions. Cool (either in fridge, or let stand still).
1 Organic English Cucumber (you can use ½ or so if it is very large)
3 Organic Green Onions (you can sub whatever onion you happen to have, about a ½ cup chopped)
1 Large Organic Avocado
*1 Cup Organic Cherry Tomato’s cut in half or more (this is optional; my husband hates tomato’s)
1 Bunch Basil (you can have fun with this, and try other herbs, I’ve used mint, cilantro and parsley)
¼ Cup Balsalmic Dressing of your choice (I LOVE the Unforgetable’s Balsamic Dressing)
Dash of Sea Salt (or Pink Himalayan Salt)
Grind or two of fresh black pepper

Simply chop cucumber into quarters/bite-sized pieces, as well as avocado and green onion, then add to quinoa. Toss everything together, adding the sea salt and pepper, then drizzle with the dressing, toss/coat evenly, and ENJOY! This is really good chilled in the fridge, and you can make a huge Tubperware of it and keep in the fridge for a snack.

August 12, 2010

Recipe: Raw Cashew-Coconut “Cookies”


1 Cup Raw Cashews
1 ½ Cups Raw/Organic Pitted Dates (or 1 large handful)
½ Cup Organic/Raw Shredded Coconut
1 Tbsp Raw Organic Coconut Oil
1-2 Tbsp Raw Tahini
1 tsp Organic, Gluten Free, Vanilla

Toss all ingredients into food processor, chop until finely ground.


Using a teaspoon, form small mounds, and press into round and slightly flat shape with hands.


I love these plain, but you can also add on top some raw cacao, using a basic recipe for raw chocolate. In a pinch (and this is the way my husband prefers it) you can use Nutella (if you are not dairy sensitive, it does contain skim milk). Just spread a dab on top of the cookies for a real treat! Keep refrigerated.


August 1, 2010

Recipes: Little Black Balls

Little Black Balls (Recipe found David Wolfe’s Superfoods book, I’ve modified slightly)

¼ Cup Organic Raw Hempseed
½ Cup Organic Raw Cacao Powder
1 Heaping Tbsp Raw Organic Maca Powder
2 Tbsp Organic Raw Coconut Oil
3 Tbsp Organic Raw Honey
2 Tbsp Organic Spirulina Powder
Dash of Sea Salt (or Pink Himalayan Salt)
1 tsp Organic, gluten-free Vanilla Extract

Toss it all into a food processor, or I just use my Bosch mixer with the dough hook, mix on low until it forms into a large ball of dough. Separate into small pieces and roll into little balls.

As an option, you can roll the balls in raw organic finely shredded coconut, or finely chopped organic raw almonds. I’ve even rolled them in Cacao Nibs, which is crunchy and fun. Put balls into a sealed container or plastic bag, and leave in refrigerator.

I eat these balls throughout the day… There have been days when I’ve survived on them almost exclusively, not that I am recommending that at all.
They give you a great boost of energy, and are packed with the complete protein found in the spirulina, protein from the honey, tons of iron and magnesium from the raw cacao, and so many other amazing nutrient properties (see my blog on Superfoods). Take them with you in a baggie or grab a couple in a paper towel as you’re running out the door or sitting down to breastfeed/bottle feed baby, and enjoy!