Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pregnacy Related Nausea

Below are some technical highlights Dr. Michel Brown summarized from the New England Journal of Medicine:

Ginger and Vitamin B6 are the most effective, first line remedy for pregnancy related nausea.Randomized, placebo controlled trials have shown effectiveness of vitamin B6 (10–25 mg every 8 hours) in the treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.

Oral Vitamin B6 has been studied in more than 6,000 patients and controls with no evidence of teratogenicity. In these randomized trials, Vitamin B6 has been associated with 70% reduction in nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

Randomized, double-blind trials have provided support for the benefit of Ginger in the management of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

In four randomized trials with a total of 675 participants, Ginger in capsules (tasteless) was superior to placebo and in two trials, the efficacy of Ginger was similar to that of vitamin B6.
Furthermore, Ginger was not associated with other clinically significant side effects or with any increased risk of an adverse pregnancy outcome. Ginger is considered to be a food supplement and NOT a drug.

Conclusion:A pregnant woman should use Ginger and Vitamin B6 combined in an odorless, tasteless gel capsule as a first-line remedy for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. If this fails to relieve the symptoms, prescription medications can be considered.

You can read the entire article at http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMcp1003896 you can also order Dr. Brown's supplement's from Beute de Maman.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Preparing to Breastfeed

I love this article. It's a great way to prepare for nursing. It really drives home the point that it only takes 24 hours to go from a little sore to a lot sore. Make sure you're accomplishing a proper latch before you try to be tough.

Check it Out:

http://www.bestforbabes.org/prepare-the-learning-curve-of-breastfeeding/


Monday, September 20, 2010

My Baby has Thrush

Although much of the new nursing routine is instinctive for your infant nursing is much like learning to dance with a new partner. In the early days mom's nipples may become very tender and sore. Often this is due the baby's mouth being poorly position at the breast. However, occasionally it may be the result of a condition known as thrush.

What is thrush? It is a parasitic fungal disease or yeast infection characterized by whitish spots and ulcers on the membranes of the mouth, tongue, and throat. It can be easily mistaken for milk. Sometimes it appears as cottage cheese. It is important not to touch or wipe these patches away. They may become sore and swollen.

Sometimes babies with thrush will cry when they nurse. They may refuse to eat altogether. A baby with thrush can spread the yeast overgrowth to their mother's breast which can increase nipple soreness. Dr. Sears provides some great tips on how to heal thrush http://www.askdrsears.com/html/8/t083100.asp

SIX WAYS TO TREAT THRUSH
Acidophilus – this is a powder form of the normal bacteria that live in our mouth and intestines. Click on it to learn how to apply it in baby's mouth.
Nystatin – this is a prescription antifungal liquid that you either squirt or paint with a Q-tip in baby's mouth four times a day. Continue this for five days after the thrush has cleared since it can be quite stubborn. It is common for thrush to recur, and more than one course of nystatin is often needed. One good aspect of nystatin is that it is not absorbed from baby's intestines into the bloodstream. Rather, it goes right through baby and out in the stool.
Sterilize bottle nipples or pacifiers – boil them for 20 minutes each day to kill the yeast that may be residing on them.
Wash toys that baby frequently chews on in hot, soapy water every day.
Don't forget to treat mom if breastfeeding – see below.
If the candida is resistant to the standard treatments described above, in consultation with your healthcare provider, try a 0.25 - 0.5 percent solution of gentian violet applied to your nipples twice a day for three days. Gentian violet is effective, but messy. Also, apply a small amount once a day to baby's mouth, but be aware that overuse of gentian violet may irritate the sensitive oral mucus membranes of baby's mouth. Apply Vaseline to baby's lips before using the gentian violet to avoid purple stains.Warning - gentian violet has been used for many years to treat thrush. A recent study done in Australia has linked gentian violet to cancer of the mouth. However, many other professionals around the world believe that it is safe, and continue to recommend it. For this reason, we suggest you use this remedy sparingly, and for as little time as possible.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Labor Pain

One of the most common mistakes made by childbirth educators is the tendency to understate the pain. Many couples gain a false confidence as they draw near to labor only to find they were poorly prepared for the intensity of the pain. I certainly felt that way in my first labor.

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." -M. Kathleen Casey

One should never understate pain, rather plan, prepare, and work with it. If you want to achieve an unmedicated birth you must exercise regularly, practice relaxation and breathing techniques, define roles of your birth attendants, and create a strategy with your coach. If you're not willing to commit to regular practice, you'll want to consider the epidural as an alternative coping tool.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Non-Alcoholic Strawberry Dacquari

3/4 Cup Fresh Strawberries
1/2 tsp liquid stevia
1/2 cup Strawberry Daiquiri Mixer
2 Cups Ice
1 Cup Water

Blend until smooth. Absolutely Delicious.

Peach Colada

3 Peaches, cut up with pit removed
2 Cups Ice
1/2 cup canned Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream
1/2 tsp liquid stevia
1/2-1 Cup Water

Blend until smooth. Beat the Heat with this delicious treat! This makes 4 Small Servings or 2 Large Servings

Benefits of Water in Labor & Birth


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The use of water during labor has been studied and documented sufficiently to determine that there are many known facts. Few medical professionals fear that a baby will drown when born in water although it is widely accepted that babies must be lifted to the surface promptly to initiate their first breath. The cord continues to pump oxygen into their bloodstream after birth, however, the amount of oxygen decreases each minute that follows the delivery. Many hospitals have adopted specific policies and codes regarding how soon the baby should be removed from the water. Many hospitals do no permit water birthing. The reason has more to do with the expense of liability and insurance regulation than professional preference.

Here are some of the benefits of a water birth:
  • Water has a relaxing effect on mother and baby

  • Water displaces gravitational pressures of contractions

  • Water reduces the need for pain relief

  • Water softens the skin on the perineum prior to birth

Find out what the policy is on water birth in the hospital where you plan to birth your baby. Even if you can't deliver your baby in water, you can still enjoy all of the above mentioned benefits until it's time to push.

Notice the cord visible from under the towell to the exterior of the tub? This is a doppler or external fetal monitor that allows my birth team to listen to the baby's heart beat continuously or intermittently as your provider requires. I am holding the monitor in place without the discomfort of bands secured on my abdomen.

Exercising the Birth Muscles

Energy follows thought. Concentrating on birth muscles increases awareness, circulation, and brings movement & control to those areas.

Using breath control intensifies the muscular development. Using proper breathing during muscular contractions changes the mechanics of the exercies. You can use the breath control simultaneously with the contraction and relaxation of the muscles. By using them together you can tone in a unique way that allows you to practice the way you want to perform in labor. Contract the pelvic floor muscles deep inside as you draw the breath inside your body. Release the pelvic floor muscles as you slowly exhale with perfect fluid control.

Practice this technique in various positions. Some positions to consider:

Taylor Sit (cross-legged)
Cat Pose (Knees spread wide kneel on floor bend over and lean forward on elbows)
Hugging Rest (Kneel down and hug a supportive pillow, bean bag, or cushion)

All of your stretching and breathing practices will come in hand when labor begins!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Relaxation Exercise for Labor

Although there aren't very many ways to "simulate" labor practice at home, never underestimate the power of relaxation exercise. You must first learn to how to be calm in the calm if you want to successfully be calm in the storm. To begin you must be aware. Ask yourself the following questions.

How well do I control my thoughts?
Is my self talk positive?
Am I effective at self-medicating?
Am I generally up tight?
Do I have a high pain tolerance?

Now ask yourself:

How would I like to be?
What would I do differently?

Be honest with yourself. Lay down. Get comfortable. Imagine your favorite place in the world. Take note of the temperature and just control the environment in your mind for 20 minutes. Band all distracting thoughts. Stay completely focused on filling your mind with intended imagery.

When you get good at controlling your environment mentally in a quiet room. Practice the exercise in a room with mild distractions until you master your ability to stay focused. Eventually, allow others to be present and learn to tune them out.

Twenty minutes of focused relaxation is more powerful than 1 hour of R.E.M. Sleep. It's worth it. If you think your too busy or tired--you can't afford to not do it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Withholding Food & Drink in Labor?


There is a wide range of policy and practice on this topic varying from hospital to hospital. Find out what the policy is at the hospitals near you. Read more here. http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2010/08/hospital_policy_of_withholding.html

Pregnancy Related Nausea

The most common concern of women in their first tri-mester of pregnancy is pregnancy induced nausea AKA morning sickness. The most effective solution is nutrition, but I've listed a few additional tips:

1) Avoid food with flour and sugar
2) Eat small meals
3) Wear Bio Bands (Usually under $15)
4) Get fresh air
5) Use Peppermint oil for aromatherapy
6) Try Ginger Chews/Hard Candy or Preggie-Pops

Preggie-Pops are lollipops made with all natural ingredients including herbs and peppermint. They can help settle an upset stomach.

MyBirthClass recieves The New Parent Guide Seal of Approval

The New Parents Guide - Seal of Approval

The New Parent Guide recently recognized MyBirthClass with their quality Seal of Approval. You can read more in this article. http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/node/495790

Our Demo

video

I've received a few requests for a demo of our product. We've considered streaming as an option, but haven't gone that route yet. However, you can take a peek here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Benefits of Breast Milk

Breast-fed infants take in more than just nutrition with their mother's milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics call breast-feeding "the ideal method of feeding and nurturing infants." Like a magic elixir, the milk promotes the nursing infant's general health, growth, and development, while significantly decreasing the risk of infection. Breast-feeding has also been related to possible enhancement of cognitive development. It protects the nursing infant against a slew of diseases, including diarrhea, lower respiratory infection, otitis media, bacteremia, bacterial meningitis, botulism, urinary-tract infection, necrotizing enterocolitis, sudden infant death syndrome, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and allergic diseases. And, of course, there is evidence that mothers' milk protects against lymphoma and carcinomas.

Several studies indicate that breast feeding may induce an infant's immune system to mature more quickly than that of a formula-fed child. For example, breast-fed babies produce higher levels of antibodies in response to immunizations. And animal studies indicate that the intestines develop faster in newborns that nurse on mother's milk.

For these reasons the Academy of Pediatrics has some strong recommendations:

-Human milk is the preferred feeding for virtually all infants, including premature ans sick newborns.
-Breast-feeding should begin as soon as possible after birth, usually within the first hour.
-Newborns should be nursed whenever they show signs of hunger--increased alertness or activity, mouthing or rooting.
-No supplements (water, glucose water, formula, etcetera) should be given to breast-feeding newborns unless for medical reasons. Pacifiers should be avoided.
-Breast-feeding provides ideal nutrition. It is all an infant needs for optimal growth and development for the first six months.

Breast feeding also helps mothers. Nursing contracts the uterus and results in less postpartum bleeding and less menstrual blood loss over the months after delivery. Nursing women return to their pre-pregnancy weight earlier than those who don't nurse. Nursing improves bone strength (leading to fewer hip fractures in postmenopausal women) and reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and pre-menopausal breast cancer. Finally, beast-feeding is one of the best contraceptives going. It delays the resumption of ovulation in nursing women.

Despite these benefits, there are some situations in which breast-feeding should be avoided. A mother can pas harmful drugs and active infections to her child through breast milk. TB and HIV are prime examples. And infants who inherit a condition called galactosemia should not be breast-fed. Their inability to process one of the sugars in breast milk could lead to mental retardation. --P.R. Discover Magazine

What is an Episiotomy?

An episiotomy is a small incision in the tissue between the vagina and the anus just prior to delivering the baby's head. The purpose of the incision is to enlarge the birth opening during the pushing stage of labor. It's purpose may be to keep the perineum from tearing or to hasten the delivery.

Many doctors do routine episiotomies on every patient. Others evaluate the need before making the making the incision. Some doctors will massage and stretch the perineum to avoid the need for an episiotomy.

You can decrease your chances of an episiotomy by stretching the tissue in the weeks prior to birth by doing squats, sitting cross legged, toning the kegel muscle, and massaging your perineum with olive oil or grapeseed oil.

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Ectopic means "Out of Place!"

In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized ovum descends into the fallopian tube and eventually into the uterus where it implants and begins development. Unfortunately, on occasion the body doesn't do it's job quite right and in a very small percentage of cases the fertilized egg develops in the tube. In some exceptionally rare cases the egg can implant in the abdominal or pelvic area outside the womb.

Women who experience early signs of sharp or dull pain in the abdomen, vaginal bleeding, weakness, dizziness, neck or shoulder pain, or headaches should consult their doctor. Failure to identify an ectopic pregnancy can result in excessive hemorrhage or death of the mother.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Post Partum Essential - The Belly Bandit


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You can learn more about this product by visiting their home website. But I've also attached a link to their press. http://www.bellybandit.com/press_celebrity.aspx Honestly, these pregnant celebrities know that stretched out swollen abdomens don't just snap back into shape on their own.

I didn't know about this on my first baby, hence a missed opportunity. But I was ready with baby number two and the difference was amazing. It helped cinch my loose hips back together again as well...only I didn't know there was a belt specifically designed for this purpose so I just used a super strength Velcro back brace from a local medical supply store. It cost $20.00 but probably wasn't as ergonomical or comfortable as this hip tummy trimmer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pressure Point Induction

Some pregnant women report an almost immediate response of uterine contractions in relation to pressure application on specified points. When applied properly there may be a feeling of tenderness or sensitivity. But as always the efficacy of acupressure varies from case to case.

Bladder 32 pressure point to induce labor: The depression between the crease of the buttocks and the spine is the location of this pressure point. This point is midway between the dimple in the buttocks and the spine. You can find it by tracing up one of the mother's finger width's above the top of the buttocks crease. You should feel a small depression where the point lies.

Hoku pressure point to induce labor: This is the point that is in the webbing between the thumb and the index finger. The point where the bone of the index finger connects should be pressed with light pressure and massaged firmly to stimulate labor contractions. Press on an angle underneath the bone that connects with the index finger. This may also act as a natural anesthetic to pain in labor.

The Trapezius Muscle: This is the muscle that connects the shoulder and the neck. The pressure point is located about an inch or so below the highest point where the muscle connects with the neck. The soft spot there is where the pressure is to be applied at intervals. Press this tender spot intermittently to start uterine contractions

Spleen 6 Pressure point to induce labor: This point is located on the inside of the ankle between the Achilles tendon and the ankle bone. Knead this area for at least a minute. Experts claim it propels the baby’s head down into the mother’s pelvis.

Additionally, approximately 5 centimeters above the ankle bone is a pressure point, which, when massaged may help to strengthen contractions that may yet be weak and ineffective.

Pros to Pressure Point Induction: May quicken or intensify labor

Cons to Pressure Point Induction: May result in an uncomfortable false labor

Lollipops in Labor

Many women anxiously seek alternative methods of labor induction during pregnancy. Unfortunately, most of these home remedies aren't very effective. Why? Because your body isn't just being stubborn to annoy you. It has a very complex network of hormones and muscles that need to balance properly for a happy and healthy birth.

Labor doesn't have a lever like a light switch that you can simply flip on and off on a whim. But if you're contracting and you want to test whether or not it's false labor there's something you can do.

The roof of your mouth has a very sensitive pressure point that responds by stimulating uterine contractions. It also induces relaxation. Which is a fantastic combination!

Some doulas recommend pressing the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Others suggest using your thumb and sucking it to apply a little more pressure. I recommend lollipops.

Pick your pop. Dum Dums are great! Besides coming in a great assortment of flavors, they're small and can fit into the smaller region in the roof of your mouth. But eventually your Tootsie Pop or Blow Pop will fit snugly as well. This is a great way to soothe yourself while you're lounging in the tub, laying on your side, or awaiting a cervical exam.

So regardless of whether or not you can successfully initiate labor by triggering the pressure point on the roof of your mouth, you should induce some more effective uterine contractions as well as a stronger ability to relax.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Eat Cinnamon in Pregnancy & Postpartum Recovery

I found this technical abstract by the USDA Agricultural Research Service very interesting. It's supportive of statements made by Dr. Oz in his book You on a Diet. So if you're trying to avoid gestational diabetes or pregnancy induced obesity read more. The verbage is a bit technical so I've bolded the pertinent points for your convenience.

But make sure you do more than just read the article, add a dash of cinnamon to your salads, cereals, desserts, smoothies, and warm drinks. Afterall, cinnamon is an appetite suppressant!

Technical Abstract: In Western countries, over consumption of fat and/or refined carbohydrates are leading causes of insulin resistance, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome. Some nutritional factors, including many polyphenols, may be beneficial in counteracting insulin resistance associated with the metabolic syndrome.

We have shown that cinnamon and polyphenols in the aqueous extracts of cinnamon counteract insulin resistance in in vitro, experimental animal, and human studies. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of cinnamon on insulin resistance, glycogen synthesis, and body composition using an animal model of the metabolic syndrome, the high fat/high fructose-fed rat. Four groups of male Wistar rats (n=10) were fed for 12 weeks with (i) High Fat/High Fructose diet (HF/HF) known to induce insulin resistance, (ii) HF/HF diet containing 20g cinnamon/kg of diet, (iii) Control diet, and (iv) Control diet containing 20g of cinnamon/kg of diet. Insulin resistance was documented using the hyperglycemic clamp, with significant decreases in the glucose infusion rates in rats fed the HF/HF diet. Addition of cinnamon to the diet led to a return of the glucose infusion rates to the values of the control rats. Consumption of the HF/HF diet also led to significant accumulation of mesenteric white fat that was not present in animals consuming the same diet with added cinnamon. In addition, cinnamon added to the diet led to significant increases in liver and muscle glycogen, especially in animals fed the HF/HF diet. These results demonstrate that cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity with the metabolic syndrome and suggest that these effects are related to less accumulation of mesenteric fat and enhanced liver and muscle glycogen.



Project Team
ANDERSON, RICHARD
PARK, JAE
SCHOENE, NORBERTA



Publications

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Related National Programs

Human Nutrition (107)



Related Projects

Chromium and Cinnamon Effects on Insulin Sensitivity

A Study to Determine the Effects of Cinnamon on Blood Glucose



Last Modified: 07/13/2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to Regain Bladder Control Related to Pregnancy?

According to Dr. Katie Bowman, an expert in biomechanics, (http://mamasweat.blogspot.com/2010/05/pelvic-floor-party-kegels-are-not.html) urinary incontinence isn't necessarily caused by pregnancy even though pregnancy increases strain on the bladder.

The weakening in that area seems to affect both women and men with age. She explains that pelvic floor weakening occurs from a slack in the muscles due to the sacrum moving anterior or into the bowel.

The muscle should be supple like a trampoline. If you exercise your pubococcygeous muscle (Kegel) without compensating in your glutes, you can pull the sacrum even further forward and worsen the problem.

The solution? Evenly align the sacrum by toning both the anterior and posterior sides of your pelvic floor muscles. Kegel regularly, but SQUAT often.

Preparing Nipples for Nursing

At one time it was believed that women should prepare their nipples for nursing by rubbing a rough towel on them from side to side or brushing them vigorously with a dry toothbrush. The good news is: Those days are long gone.

It is now recognized by La Leche Leage International that no preparation is necessary to avoid sore nipples. The best prevention for nipple soreness is correct positioning and latch-on of baby.

-Wait to latch until the baby's mouth is wide open
-Ensure your baby's mouth completely covers the nipple
-Check that your baby's lips are curled outward
-Ask a lactation specialist to observe the latch (forget modesty and discretion it will save you hours of pain for weeks to come)

How to Handle Back Labor?

1. Pelvic Rock--A lot
2. Get in the bath tub and use buoyancy to relieve the pressure
3. Ask a nurse, Douala, or midwife how to squeeze the ischial spines at the hip joint to give counter-pressure a truly amazing natural anesthetic
4. Walk to open the pelvic inlet and help the baby move through more rapidly
5. You may want a lower back massage with tennis balls. (This didn't work for me, my back was to sensitive to the pain since the uterus is fastened to the back and my baby was occiput posterior.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The (Labor) Coach's Manual

1. Pay attention to her physical position help her get comfortable
2. Pay attention to her physical relaxation, guide her through relaxing her face and hands. Make sure she is not arching her back. Tell her to give in and let the contraction work for her.
3. Praise her sincerely
4. Let her overhear you tell the hospital staff or birth team how amazing she is
5. Ask the nurse where you can go to get her a drink, ice chips, or a snack
6. Hold her hand
7. Caress her hair
8. Tell her she's beautiful
9. Tell her how much you love her
10. Let her know the contraction won't last much longer. (Contractions are usually less than 2 minutes long)
11. Relate the pain with progress--"You're getting closer!"
12. Dim the lights
13. Walk with her
14. Put a cool damp cloth on her forehead
15. Remind her to breathe deeply and exhale slowly
16. Encourage her to close her eyes
17. Talk in a slow low voice to calm her
18. If she holds her breath encourage her to groan or growl low to relieve the pressure
19. Suggest she sit backwards on a birth stool or toilet to give counter pressure and allow the perineum tissue to relax

Is Ultrasound Safe in Pregnancy?

American Foundation for Maternal & Child Health show findings of adverse relationship between ultrasound and fetal health. ACOG does not recommend regular or routine use of Ultrasound.

Government officials recognize it may be harmful and should be used sparingly. Geneticists agree that it raises questions about it's potential of mutating genetic DNA and increasing the rate of cancer and congenital malformations.

Excessive use of ultrasound usually results in lower birth weight.

To date there is no medical evidence that any deformities are caused at birth as a result of the use of ultrasound. However, pregnant women should think twice before engaging in unnecessary, excessive, or recreational ultrasound. It is possible that cell mutation caused by ultrasound radiation may have long-term results that show up later in life.

It is wise to minimize ultrasound usage to doctor specifications and discard frivolous peeks at your baby.

Labor Augmentation via Prepidil Gel

What is Prepidil Gel? Prostaglandin E2.

Even though I'm not an advocate of any form of induction unless its a life threatening situation for mom or baby, that doesn't mean I practice what I preach. Prepidil is a fairly safe induction technique. When used in conjunction with Pitocin it reduces the rate of Cesarean section. Another advantage that it has over some of the less favorable induction techniques is that its strength can be reduced by wiping it off the Cervix if the body reacts adversely.

Unfortunately, the fast absorption of prostaglandins by the cervix does not allow your birth team to completely reverse the effects. It is very expensive and doesn't always work.

In some cases the gel works a little too effectively and sends the body into powerful expulsive contractions that can cause uterine hyper-stimulation. Serious complications rarely arise from the use of Prepidil Gel; however, expect more painful and erratic contractions than those occurring in a spontaneous labor.

The best source of prostaglandins for cervical ripening comes when you slip into something sexy and and coerce your husband into finishing what he started 9 months ago. Only engage in sexual intercourse when the bag of waters remains intact.

Regular exposure to male semen on the cervix acts as a natural and healthy ripening agent. Begin regular sexual activity at 36 weeks gestation.

How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby

The most important thing you can do is determine the time of ovulation by using an accurate ovulation kit.

-If you want a boy you must time conception as closely as possible with prime ovulation

-If you want a girl you must time ovulation three full days prior to ovulation

The smaller faster Y carrying sperm (boys) are favored for conception during ovulation. The slower more durable X carrying sperm (girls) can make there way through an acidic environment.

Other useful tips for conceiving a boy:

Ensure that the dad-to-be wears loose fitting jockey shorts
Keeps the the family jewels cool and avoid hot showers
Avoid caffeine
Deep penetration during male climax to get fast swimmers close to the cervix
Keep the moms body alkaline (lots of veggies avoid flour, milk, and refined sugars)

To conceive a girl reverse the instructions:
Dad-to-be can take warm showers
Stay shallow during ejaculation
Have mom-t0-be load up on foods that increase acidity 24-48 hours priort to timing conception

Squatting Position for Birth


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Twelve years ago when I sat in a birth class learning about birth in the squatting postion, I wasn't completely convinced it was for me. It seemed uncomfortable, awkward, and maybe even a little barbaric. But as years passed and I became a childbirth educator myself I became intrigued by the ancient wisdom of cultures past and present benefiting from squatting during birth. I made it a goal to birth my own child in the squat.

Baby number five was an assisted squat. The C.N.M dropped the lower end of the bed so that I could sit at the edge of the hospital bed with my tailbone scooted to the ledge and my legs resting on the lowered portion of the bed. It amazed me how comfortable pushing could be without the exertion of holding up my legs. Not to mention gravity working in my favor to drop the baby.

During the birth of baby number seven I crawled onto the hospital bed and turned around to face the C.N.M. The nurse raised the back of the bed to offer support from behind. Then she raised the bars on the side for me to hold. There on the hospital bed I squatted flat footed completely covered in my modest hospital gown. Three pushes later baby James arrived.

In the squatting position the perineum stretches more efficiently and the stretching of the tissue occurs with optimum alignment. It's easier to apply proper techniques such as chin down and curved back when you birth in the natural position.

When a woman squats the gravitational force is so effective there is no pulling or prodding to get the baby to move through the birth canal. It simply drops and turns on its own. All the clinician needs to do is catch.

How to Handle a Labor Contraction?

Labor Rehearsal Exercise

1.Hold Perfectly Still-Moving or Jarring the body can be painful during a contraction
2.Meditate-Choose a specific image or mantra to keep your attention
3.Abdominal Breathing- Fill your lungs with deep oxygenating breaths
4.Lay Limp-Loosen every muscle in the face until it hangs, the rest of the body follows
5.Coach should keep his hands off her back- The uterus is fastened to the back and extremely sensitive to extra weight, even gentle massage.

There aren't very effective labor simulations. It's difficult to imitate such a dramatic and powerful experience. However, many childbirth educators will use the ice test.

In this simulation the pregnant woman holds a bag of ice in her hands for as long as possible. The discomfort of the ice directly in the hands allows her to practice the five recommendations above.

The ice is removed from the pregnant mom's hands at intervals. Allowing her to relax and prepare for the next "contraction" simulation.

The ice labor rehearsal is most effective at involving the coach in establishing check points.

How to Labor Quickly?

One of the most feared predicaments of a first time mother is a long labor. The best way to avoid a long labor is to wait for nature to initiate labor on its own.

Naturally occurring or spontaneous labors are statistically much shorter than induced labors. When your baby and your body are fully ripe the body performs much more efficiently.

A soft ripe cervix opens without resistance. Contractions are powerful and progressive. Every part of the body works with a synergistic power to do the involuntary and instinctive work of labor.

Admittedly, I've only enjoyed one completely spontaneous labor. The others I buckled under the pregnancy emotions and pleaded with my provider to strip my membranes to initiate the labor process.

My spontaneous labor was two and a half hours from start to finish. The five labors induced by membrane separation took 12-48 hours. Labor contractions began slowly like a crock pot gradually building intensity. My first labor initiated with the use of an induction tool called Prepidil Gel. The C.N.M applied the Prepidil Gel at 10:00a.m. and my baby was born at 3:35a.m.

It is very typical for women to experience short labor under three hours in a naturally occurring labor. Regardless of whether your labor is long or short contractions are very good for your baby. They improve circulation and prepare your baby for respiration.

Even though you may feel big and weepy toward the end, remember that patience s a virtue. If you can wait it out the experience will be so much better for you and your baby. I promise pregnancy won't last forever!

Not All Calories are Created Equal

When pregnant it is important to increase caloric intake. But it is just as important to know how much to increase calorie consumption and how.

During the first half of pregnancy a 200 calorie increase is sufficient to nourish your body and your growing baby. So let's take a look at 200 calories.

1 Cup of Milk (200 Calories)
1 Yoplait Yogurt (190 Calories)
1 Side Salad with Light Salad Dressing (220 Calories)

That's not a lot of food. It certainly isn't enough to satisfy some of the crazy cravings that pregnant women experience. Unfortunately, someone coined the phrase "You're eating for two!" which gave pregnant women the idea that they really could justify eating whatever they want.

The result: Lots of moms gaining excess weight in pregnancy
Increased Incidence of Toxemia

By the second half of pregnancy it is okay to increase your calorie consuption another 300 calories for a total increase of 500 calories per day.

But remember to pay attention to what you're eating. Not all calories are created equal. Your body does three things with calories

1. It Burns Them (If you're active and using everything you eat)
2. It Stores Them (Think Thighs, Hips, Double Chin)
3. It Flushes Them (Removed as waste)

Many high fiber foods such as avocados are high in calories, but also very high in Fiber. This fiber drags wastes out of your intestines and in the process removes itself. In the end (no pun intended) you may lose more calories than you ate.

So if your pregnant, hungry, and watching your weight, the higher fiber foods you eat, the better.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Braxtion-Hicks Contractions

The uterus is a hollow reproductive organ that houses the baby during pregnancy. Dr. Bradley referred to this muscular organ as the baby box. The muscle fibers of the uterus run both vertically and horizontally.

During the early months of pregnancy the uterus begins to practice or exercise its ability to contract. These small warm-up contractions are most commonly known as Braxtion-Hicks.

Most of the time pregnant women can't feel the tiny contractions. However, as pregnancy advances the contractions become increasingly regular and increasingly strong. By the 39 weeks gestation most women recognize some cramping or tightening sensation in the lower abdomen.

Because the uterus is fastened to the spine. The contractions often begin in the back and wrap around the front of the belly in a forward motion. Occasionally, Braxton-Hick's contractions begin at the top and work their way down the uterus.

Typically, Braxton-Hicks contractions are painless or mildly uncomfortable during a first time pregnancy as the uterus is already tone and doesn't require hard contracting to prepare the body for labor. As the uterus stretches it never returns to it's pre-pregnancy size and condition. In subsequent pregnancies, it inevitably experiences a loss of tone.

Braxton Hick's contractions are notably more powerful and sometimes painful in subsequent pregnancies. There isn't anything you can do to eliminate pre-labor tightening. They are absolutely essential to restoring tone and strength to the uterus. But you can supplement your diet with Red Raspberry Leaf Capsules from your local heath foods store.

Red Raspberry Leaf is a completely safe uterine super food. Just as cranberries are good for your kidneys and fish is good for your brain, red raspberry leaf nourishes the the uterus.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stretch Mark Prevention

Stretch marks often emerge on a woman's body during the final weeks of gestation. Sometimes it may seem as though they popped out overnight. Stretch marks may appear on the lower and upper abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs.

It seems that the retail industry makes a big business of women who want to remove their stretch marks. Unfortunately, most women encounter disappointment after disappointment searching for the miracle stretch mark cure. It can be very expensive trying to reverse the tissue discoloration resulting from pregnancy stretch marks.

What you should know is that the underlying cause of stretch marks is hormonal changes in the body that result in low levels of elasticity and collagen in the layers of the dermis. The obvious cause is the rapid growth or stretching of dermal tissue over the body. This can be caused from either or growth spurt or a protruding belly.

It is much easier to prevent stretch marks than to remove them. But before you begin slathering cocoa butter or any other miracle cream on your abdomen keep in mind that stretch marks first occur in the deeper layers of the dermis. Once small tears begin to seperate in the the deeper tissue, they gradually manifest themselves on the outside layer of skin or epidermis. This is precisely why stretch marks are so difficult to repair--the scarring is so deep.

I won't discourage you from moisturizing the skin on your abdomen, but don't spend a fortune doing it. Combining a few drops of olive oil, fennel oil, and Vitamin E oil provides a fantastic rejuvenation for the outer layer of the skin.

What I encourage all pregnant moms to do is absorb stretch mark prevention nutrients on a deeper level. Ensure that you're getting healthy oils in your daily diet. Supplement your meals with flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, fennel capsules, or fish oil capsules. Choose a high quality fish oil as many are contaminated with mercury. Typically wild Alaskan Salmon or Cod Liver Oil are good choices.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fetal Heimlich Maneuver

A natural act that as the baby is born, the mother's intact perineum presses inward below the baby's ribcage causing mucous to be forced out of the baby's mouth and nose.

In this video you'll notice that the baby experiences a final rotation just prior to exiting the cervix. In live birth with a naturally or spontaneously ocurring labor the uterine muscles, including the cervix will maintain enough strength to gently squeeze under the infant sternum. This allows the baby to expel any amniotic fluid remaining in the mouth or esophagus. Please keep in mind that the cervix actually fits more tightly around the baby's head. Especially during the crowing stage of labor.

video

My Birth Plan

Mother: Becky Ann Turley Rasmussen
Father: Neil James Rasmussen
Mother’s DOB: 12/28/1978
Last Menstrual Cycle: 9/6/2008
Due Date: 06/12/2009
Insurance Provider: Select:Care + ID: 800561011
Birth Team: Mt. Timpanogas Woman’s Health Care/Midwives
Blood Type: O+
Allergies: Penicillin
Group B Strep Test: Positive
Gravida: 8
Full Term: 7

Labor Preferences:

Natural Delivery Without Anesthetic
Availability of Jetted Tub & Birthing Ball

Second Stage Labor Preferences:

Assistance with modesty given the family members in attendance
Reminder Squatting or Kneeling Position for Pushing
Perineal massage if necessary to avoid tearing
Request gloves to feel baby’s descent

Preferences for Baby:

Wavier of Eye Prophylaxis
Wavier of Hepatitis B Vaccination
Wavier of Vitamin K Shot
Delay cord clamping until pulsating discontinues
Immediately breastfeed baby with skin to skin contact
I Would like to nurse & massage the vernix into the baby’s skin immediately following birth

*Notice pertinent information first. If you have allergies or complications related to your pregnancy they should be listed at the top.

Most of your concerns should be addressed in the weeks prior to delivery. As you initiate discussions with your provider you should have a good idea of what to add or subtract from your birth plan. The shorter your birth plan is, the more your birth team will work to accomodate the items listed.

Standard Birth Plan

What's Wrong With this Birth Plan?



Birth Plan for Jane Mary Doe
Due Date: 1/25/10

Patient of Dr Baby Guider

Scheduled to deliver at Medical Center
12/12/2010

Dear Dr Doe and the Medical Center Staff:
I look forward to sharing my upcoming birth with you. I have created the following birth plan to help you understand my preferences for my upcoming labor and delivery. I fully understand that in certain circumstances these guidelines may not be followed, but it is my hope that you will assist me in making this the experience I hope for. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.
Sincerely,
Jane Doe

Labor

I would prefer to avoid an enema and/or shaving of pubic hair.I wish to be able to move around and change position at will throughout labor.I would like to be able to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor.I would prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.

Monitoring

I do not wish to have continuous fetal monitoring unless it is required by the condition of my daughter.


Labor Augmentation/Induction

I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially unless signs of fetal distress require internal monitoring.I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and nipple stimulation before Pitocin is administered.

Anesthesia

I do not want any kind of anesthesia offered to me during labor, though would like it available if I specifically request it.Custom note regarding use of an epidural

Cesarean

If my primary care provider determines that a cesarean delivery is indicated, I would like to obtain a second opinion from another physician if time allows.I would like my husband present at all times if my daughter requires a Cesarean delivery.I wish to have an epidural for anesthesia If my daughter is not in distress, my daughter should be given to (blank) immediately after birth.

Episiotomy

I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for the baby's safety.

Delivery

I would like my husband and/or nurses to support me and my legs as necessary during the pushing stage.I would like a mirror available so I can see my daughter's head when it crowns.Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming my daughter is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase.I would like to have my daughter placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.

After Delivery/Post Partum

I would like to cut the cord myself.I would like to have my daughter examined and bathed in my presence.If my daughter must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband or some other person I designate will accompany my daughter at all times. I would like a private room if available.After the birth, I would prefer to be given a few moments of privacy to urinate on my own before being catheterized.I would like to donate the umbilical cord blood.

Breastfeeding

Unless medically necessary, I do not wish to have any bottles given to my daughter (including glucose water or plain water).I do not want my daughter to be given a pacifier.

Photos

I would like to make a video recording of labor and/or the birth.

Other

My birth attendants are my sister-in-law, Jennifer Doe, and my husband, John Doe. I would like them to be present during labor and/or delivery.




This Birth Plan contains a lot of unnecessary information and outdated requests.


-There is no need to introduce additional birth attendants

-Many hospitals aren't equipped to donate cord blood, ask in advance

-It's unnecessary to mention film documentation, everyone does it

-Nobody shaves pubic hair or gives enema's without consent anymore


On the positive side

-This Birth Plan is fairly easy to read because of short paragraphs and bold headings

-Preferences are clear

-Allows room for flexibility


The two biggest mistakes expectant couples make when writing a birth plan are

1. Making it too long with inclusion of unnecessary or outdated information.

2. Writing it in letter format.

Working Together During Pregnancy


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Becky is great at creating a learning environment where couples can grow together. She has a way of teaching you to work together -both before, during, and after birth. And she was exactly what we needed to have the birth experience we hoped for."

Jenny & Elijah Nielson --Naples, Florida

How to Choose a Childbirth Class?














"When we initially began our birth class we were expecting our first baby as students on our way to law school and a PhD. We never could have guessed how much there was to learn in a prenatal class. Becky shed light on the sensations I was experiencing in pregnancy and prepared us for the most life changing event of our lives; the birth of our beautiful baby girl."

--Emily & Tyler Gibb
New York, NY


Preparing for Birth


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1. Taking my childbirth education class put me back in control. It taught me that not only could I have a baby without medication, I could make choices regarding much of my care as well. After experiencing natural childbirth I also discovered that I was able to recover much more easily than I did after my medicated births.

2. My childbirth class taught me the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, but did it in a way that was attainable - not overwhelming. That started me on the right path to see that I really could achieve an unmedicated childbirth and work to do so. The benefits of that choice are great. This is education I would recommend to every expectant mother and her coach!

3. Taking my childbirth education class put me back in control. It taught me the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, but did it in a way that was attainable - not overwhelming. That started me on the right path to see that I really could achieve an unmedicated childbirth and work to do so. I learned how to make choices regarding much of my care as well. After experiencing natural childbirth I also discovered that I was able to recover much more easily. This is education I would recommend to every expectant mother and her coach!

Erik & Cheryl Dunne
American Fork, Utah

Better Birth


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I have had 5 pregnancies. 2 epidural/pitocin deliveries, one c-section, and 2 natural deliveries.The fact of the matter is that without us going through your birthing classes, I would have NEVER attempted to go natural!

I had already tried once before, and failed. (I didn't even have a desire with my previous 2 pregnancies). I loved how you taught us to educate ourselves. I still remember one of our 'homework assignments' was to find out the pro's and con's of using pitocin during labor. I was shocked at what we found! I had used pitocin in both my previous labors and was surprised at how little I knew about a drug that I so readily agreed to!

I also loved that we created a birth plan! It was great for Mike and I to talk about what we did and did not want during our birthing experience before I was in labor, and to discuss it with my Dr. My recovery was so much faster because I could actually feel when I wanted to stop pushing!

The relaxation techniques I learned during your classes helped me to focus during labor. I have had a subsequent pregnancy, and that was without drugs also! There isn't even a question in my mind which birthing experience I enjoyed more! If I am privileged enough to experience birth again, I will definitely choose natural! Thank you for imparting your knowledge of natural birth, and enabling us to enjoy a birth experience we've always wanted!

-Mike & Jenalee Gardner
Saratoga Springs, Utah

Which Birth Class is Best?


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Before MyBirthClass both my husband and I were nervous about how the birthing process would go. We had no idea what to expect and did not even know where to start. I heard about the this class from a friend and thought that learning about the natural childbirth way would be a great way to start.

After our first instruction both Kevin and I were amazed by how much we didn’t know. I loved learning how to take care of my body and prepare it for childbirth. Becky was great at making us comfortable, answering our questions, and providing resources so that we could learn everything that we needed to know. She not only knew how to answer our questions using resources, but she had been through childbirth before so I knew that I could trust what she had said.

Our classes were group classes, of course, and it was exciting to be around so many people who were anticipating the arrival of a baby. Becky was great at leading the discussions and questions, helping all of us to learn what we needed to in order to have a successful labor.

While the class I took from Becky was a natural birth class, she taught it in a way that helped me to become confident as a mother and make decisions for myself. There was no wrong way, but the best way was what I chose for myself and for my baby. My birth did not go as perfectly as I planned, but because of all that I had learned I was much more comfortable making decisions and being in charge (as much as you can be) of how my labor went.

Right around two o’clock in the afternoon my water broke, but it being my first pregnancy, and not having it break in one large gush, I did not realize that it was my water breaking. I thought I had finally lost all ability to hold my bladder. It was pretty funny actually. I called my mother, pretty worried, and she laughed on the other line as she told me to pack up my baby bag and get Kevin, my husband, and head to the hospital. It was 3 weeks before my due date, so Ethan’s arrival was definitely not expected.

We arrived to the hospital and sure enough my water had broken and I was dilated to a 3. However, I was not having any contractions. On top of that, earlier I had learned that I was positive for Strep B so I would need to get the antibiotic. The doctor’s wanted to start me on petocin and while I was hesitant, I allowed it. As expected, an hour later the contractions picked up and were coming steadily. Soon after that, not knowing how long it would take for my labor to continue, I was very nervous that the pain would only get worse and I decided to get an epidural. About 2 hours after my epidural, just after midnight, Ethan arrived. While I did not go natural and not everything went as planned, I still had a positive experience because of everything that I had learned in Becky’s class. It really is true that the more knowledge you have, the less scary an unknown situation, like childbirth, will be.

My second chlidbirth went more smoothly. I felt like I was able to relax more and to concentrate on controlling the pain. I was able to stay at home for most of the labor and because I was calm, the pain was very manageable. Kevin was even able to help me this time using some of the partner techniques that we had been taught in Becky's class.

-Ann Arbor, Michigan

What Prenatal Class Should I take?


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"Every couple should take it upon themselves to become educated on the process of labor and childbirth and learn what they can do to work with it, not against it. As we took a childbirth education class from Becky, the scales of darkness fell from our eyes, and we learned that childbirth is a natural, normal, healthy, magical process--NOTa mystery of misery and woe."

-Marianne & Joshua BeutlerClarkesville, Tennessee

Childbirth Class Testimonial


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Becky Rasmussen was a highly competent and effective birth instructor. Thanks to her course, I was armed with the knowledge necessary to be in control of my birth experience and make to best choices for me and my baby throughout the pregnancy, birth, and postnatal periods. Her role as a birth instructor contributed heavily to the wonderful birth experience I had with my first baby.

-Janet & Daniel Hausen (Jaxon 4, Jonas 1)Marseille, France

Testimonial


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Taking the class from Becky gave me an opportunity to get an alternative perspective to the traditional childbirthing approach (doctors and hospitals). I liked knowing all the options that are/were available to me as a pregnant women. It allowed me to be more involved> in my own labor and delivery and have better discussions with my O.B. during my doctor visits. I also found the relaxation techniques and exercises to be very beneficial.

-Matthew & Rachael Haney

MyBirthClass Launches Perfectly Prepared




A Birth Class in a Box! Intorducing convenient, affordable, non-combative prenatal education.
http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/node/495790

Protein in Pregnancy


Experts agree that your need for protein significantly increases during pregnancy.

Why? Protein i s molecular compounds of amino acids, also known as the body's basic building blocks.


These amino acids are necessary for development of all new cells, especially those of a developing fetus. For the duration of pregnancy, we recommend an increased protein consumption of a minimum of 60 grams per day.


Women having twins or a multiple pregnancy need even more. However, it is important to note that protein is available through a variety of sources. As you increase your protein intake be careful to ensure that not all of your protein is derrived from animal products. You can obtain some of the most easily assimlated proteins from whole grains, beans, legumes, and nuts.


Protein is required for the physical growth and cellular development of your baby. It is also required for the placenta, amniotic tissues, and reproductive organs. Let's not forget that a pregnant woman's blood volume increases by 50% during pregnancy, and protein is needed to produce new blood cells and circulating proteins.


Protein is most critical in the last trimester of pregnancy. Your baby's brain development progresses the most rapidly during the eighth and ninth month of gestation. Protein is the primary nutrient essential to healthy brain development.


As you make the transistion into Postpartum Recovery protein will play an important role in healing. Protein will also increase the quality of nutrition for lactation. Add an additional 20 grams of protein to your non-pregnancy diet. Protein is utilized to produce breast milk and nourish the growing baby. Altogether, pregnancy and lactation significantly impact protein demands.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lentil Ratatouille

2 Tbs olive oil
4 cups diced eggplants (2 medium sized)
2 cups chopped zucchini (2 medium sized)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (1 medium sized)
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium sized)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (28 ounces) Italian-style par-shaped tomatoes, undrained
2 cups cooked lentils

Heat oil in skillet. Sautee eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and garlic in olive oil about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies are still crisp but tender.

Stir in remaining ingredients except lentils, breaking up tomatoes; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in lentils. Cook until warmed through.

Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese if desired.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tortellini Florentine

1 (16 ounce) package tortellini
2 TB Olive Oil
3 Cloves garlic minced
1 TBS Fresh Basil
1 pint plain yogurt (2 cups)
26 ounces of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce
16 ounces spinach, finely chopped
1 cup mozzerella cheese

Saute garlic and Basil in olive oil in large cookie pot. Add yogurt and simmer for a minute. Add spaghetti sauce, spinach, and cheese. Heat through.

Meanwhile heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add tortellini. Boil 3 minutes. Drain water and toss in Florentine Sauce.

Serve with a side of Caesar Salad. Delicious!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chinese Chicken Salad

1 lb chicken marinated in teriyaki sauce, grilled, & sliced thinkly
1 head Romaine Lettuce or Arugula
1/2 head of cabbage
1/2 head of purple cabbage
2 cans mandarin oranges
4 large carrots sliced
1 cup slivered almonds
2 TBS sesame seeds

3 ounces Litehouse Honey Mustard Dressing
1 package ramen noodles, crunched

Toss all ingredients together. Coat Dressing over Salad and top with crunched ramen noodles.

Apple Spinach Salad

1 lb mixed greens and spinach
3 lbs apples finely, diced
3/4 cup pistachios

Chocolate Shake

2 whole bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 TBS raw honey
2 cups rice or almond milk
2 TBS cocoa powder (I prefer ghirardelli)
3 cups ice

Blend ingredients until smooth. Add additional ice if necessary. Add additional sweetener to taste.

Coconut French Toast

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp nutritional yeast
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup coconut milk
6-7 slices whole wheat bread

Mix dry ingredient in small mixing bowl. Stir in coconut milk. Dip both sides of bread into mixture. Cook over medium heat on non-stick griddle. Cook until golden brown. Approximately 4 minutes on each side.

Tropical Smoothie

1 ripe banana
1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 - 2 cups water or coconut milk
1 cup ice

Blend until smooth. Add more ice for desired consistency. If you like it sweeter add 1 TBS pure maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar.

Fruit Flavored Water

2 Pears, peeled and cored
2 Apple, peeled and cored
3 Cups water
1 TBsp pure maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar

Blend all together until completely smooth. This is a geat way to hydrate and improve mood. Ensure fruit is ripe and sweet.

Tapioca & Fruit Pudding

1 banana
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
3 TBsp quick cooking tapioca
1 tsp vanilla

Combine banana, raspberries, and coconut milk in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and add the tapioca. Alow tapioca to stand in mixture for 10 minutes. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches a rolling boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Allow mixture to cool for 20 minutes until thickened. Stir occasionally and serve.

Raspberry Smoothie

1 ripe banana
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup ice
2 cups almond milk

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.

Strawberry Salad

1 package Spring Mix greens
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup craisins
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
8 oz strawberries, sliced thinkly

Toss all ingredients together and evenly coat with the dressing below.

Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing:
5 large strawberries
1/8 cup balsamic venegar
1/8 cup raw honey
1 1/4 cup coconut milk

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Chill to thicken.

Orange Smoothie

2 Oranges, peeled
1 banana, peeled
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp honey
3 cups ice

Place oranges in blender first, followed by other ingredients. Add ice last and slowly waiting for mixture to liquefy. May add a little water or pure juice to create desired cosistency.

Oriental Vegetable Soup

6 cups water
1 large onion, diced
2 rib celery, chopped
1/4 head cabbage, chopped
1/2 head bok choy, chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 head cauliflower, chopped
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 large potatoe, diced
2 large carrots, cut in match stick
2 cups bean sprouts
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb frozen peas
2 TB beef bouillon
1/2 tsp Spice unter Zip or red chli peppers

Combine everything but peas in large stock pot. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add frozen peas just prior to serving.

Vegetable Cocunut Rice

4 Cups Brown rice, steamed
1 cup coconut milk
1 can corn, drained
2 cups carrots diced
1 onion, fiely diced
2 TBS Chicken Bouillon
2 TB pure maple syrup
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

Sautee vegetables in cocnut milk and add remaining ingredients. Let simmer until most of liquid absorbs into vegetable and mixture thinkens.

Whole Wheat Pancakes/Waffles

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder (avoid aluminum brands)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
2 TBS applesauce
1 1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup water
1-4 TBS pure maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. For fluffier pancakes blend in blender. Cook over medium heat on a non-stick skillet.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

1/3 cup melted butter
½ cup honey
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 egg beaten
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup coconut flakes
4 cups homemade granola (from previous recipe in breakfast section)

In large mixing bowl combine butter, honey, peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla. Gently fold in coconut and granola. Pour mixture into greased cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into bars. Let cool and remove from cake pan. *Optional* Drizzle melted chocolate chips over the bars in squiggles before removing from pan.

Hummus

1 lb chick peas/garbanzo beans (soaked overnight and cooked on high in crockpot for 3 hours)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 lemons juiced
2 very heaping TBS Tahini
2 tsp sea salt
¼ cup water
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Press all ingredients together in a food processor. Serve warm or chilled with tortilla chips, with wraps, pita bread, or on sandwhiches.

Salsa Bean Dip

2 Red Bell Peppers, finely chopped
2 Yellow Bell Peppers, finely chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1 Can corn
1 Can Black Beans
1 Can Black Eyed Peas
2 TBS olive oil
Juice of one lime
1 bunch fresh cilantro
Salt to taste.

Combine all ingredients. Stir gently. Serve with high fiber tortilla chips.

Mango Salsa over Fish Filet

Serve over 1.5 lbs Salmon or Tilapia filet

Sautee fish in skillet or grill with:

4 TB butter
2 TBS lemon juice

1 can black beans
4 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded & finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
2 mangos, peeled and chopped
½ cup cilantro

Blend butter and lemon juice and spread evenly over fish filets. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees farenheit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile combine all other ingredients and toss gently. Serve over cooked fish with rice.

Honey Baked Chicken

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin tenders
½ cup butter
½ cup honey
2 TBS honey mustard
¼ tsp salt

Combine butter, honey, honey mustard, and salt. Spread over chicken in baking dish. Bake covered at 350 degrees farenheit for 1 hour. Baste every 15 minutes.

Picante Dijon Chicken

6-8 chicken breasts
1 ½ cups salsa
2 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS honey

Bake in covered dish at 375 degrees farenheit for 1 hour. Serve over rice.

Mandarin Lettuce Wraps

2-3 Chicken breasts, diced finely
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
½ head cabbage, chopped
2 T vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves
6 water chestnuts
2 T soy sauce
1 TBS teriyaki sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

1-2 Heads of Green leaf or Romain Lettuce

Indian Tandoori

Indian Tandoori
2 pounds of beef, chicken or lamb, cubed
2 cups plain yogurt
¼ cup garam flour
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp tumeric
2-3 fresh green chilis
4 TBS vegetable oil
1 Whole dried red chili
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste
2 TBS fresh cilantro

Blend all ingredients. Pour over meat of choice and bake covered at 325 degrees farenheit for 1 hour.

Coconut Rice

4 TBS Ghee or Butter
2 cups brown rice
1 can coconut milk
2 ½ cups chicken broth
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of saffron

Bake covered at 350 degrees farenheit for 2.5-3 hours.

Coconut Crusted Salmon

4 TBS butter
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp paprika
½ cup coconut
1 1/3 pounds wild salmon, thawed

Mix butter, salt, paprika, and coconut together. Spread over salmon. Bake at 350 degrees farenheit uncovered for 10 minutes on raised rack until salmon is cooked through and crust is lightly browned.

Mango Chicken

1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 mangos, peeled and sliced
2-3 lb chicken
2 TBS melted coconut oil or butter
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp paprika
Pinch of nutmeg
Grated lemon rind
1 cup chicken broth
Juice of one lemon
1 can coconut milk

Lay onions on bottom of baking dish. Lay mango slices over onions. Lay chicken over mango. Mix the rest of ingredients together and pour over chicken. Bake covered for 90 minutes at 350 degrees farenheit.

Thai Chicken Curry

1 Can whole coconut milk
2 TB red curry paste
3 TBS finely ground peanuts
1 tsp salt
1 TBS coconut sugar or other organic sugar
1 lb chicken cut in thin slices
1 medium potatoe, cut and diced
2 TBS chopped peanuts
8-10 baby pearl onions, peeled, chopped, and boiled
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 tsp tamarind paste

Sautee coconut milk, curry paste, peanuts and salt for 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes

Spiced Apple Pork & Rice

1- ½ pound pork loin or pork chops
1 Can apple sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1 TBS lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in baking dish and cover. Bake 1 hour at 375 degrees farenheit or in crock pot for six hours. Serve over 2 cups steamed brown rice.

Goan Potato Soup

4 TBS olive or sunflower oil
2 tsp black mustard seed
1 large onion, chopped
1 red chili, seeded and chopped
½ tsp ground tumeric
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 lbs potatoes, washed & diced
4 fresh curry leaves
3 cups water

Heat mustard seeds in oil until they pop. Stir in onion and chili. Simmer 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer on medium-low temperature for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Curried Cauliflower Soup

3 cups Whole Milk
1 Large Cauliflower
1 TBS garam masals seasoning
Fresh ground salt & pepper

Simmer all ingredients 20 minutes. Puree and serve.

Curried Celery Soup

Curried Celery Soup
2 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
1 ½ lb celery, chopped
1 TBS curry
8 oz unpeeled potatoes, washed, peeled, and diced
3 ¾ cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 TBS fresh basil
Celery seeds and leaves to garnish

Heat oil, onion, leek, and celery for 10 minutes. Add curry and simmer 10 minutes. Add potatoes, vegetable stock, and basil. Simmer 20 minutes. Process in blender if you prefer a smooth soup. Garnish with celery seeds and celery leaves. (2.4 g fiber 1.2 g fat)

Curried Carrot & Apple Soup

2 tsp sunflower oil
1 TBS mild korma curry powder
1 ¼ lb carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 cooking apple, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
Fresh ground salt & pepper to taste

Simmer all ingredients together for 15 minutes. Shake the pan to prevent sticking. Garnish with plain yogurt and carrot curls. (2.3 grams of fiber and 2.1 grams of fat)

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

1 TBS olive oil
2 tsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup dry white wine
2 TBS sundried tomato puree

2/3 cup plain yogurt or heavy cream

2 TBS fresh basil leaves

Soften onion and garlic in butter and oil. Puree tomatoes, garlic and onion together in blender. Add to broth, wine and sundried tomato puree. Simmer 20 minutes on medium-low temperature. Add yogurt or cream. Heat through and serve topped with fresh basil leaves.

Lemony Lentil Soup

2 TBS olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ¼ cup dry lentils, sorted & rinsed
1 tsp salt
4 cups spinach, chopped
1 lemon blended in food processor or blender

Sautee oil, onions, and garlic. Add lentils, water, and salt. Simmer 1 hour. Stir in spinach and lemon. Simmer 5 more minutes and serve warm.

Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Gai Kai) (***My favorite***)

Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Gai Kai) (***My favorite***)
1 ½ pints chicken or fish broth/stock
5 thin slices ginger root
2 lemon grass stalks sliced
3 Kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1 oz garlic, minced
Small bunch cilantro
1 TB oil
4 Shalltos, diced
1 14 oz can coconut milk
3-4 TB Thai green curry paste
1 pound chicken cut in thin slices sideways
A little lime juice
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced thin
1 red pepper, sliced thin
Salt and pepper to taste

Let all ingredients simmer together for 20 minutes on medium heat. Very tasteful. You can add rice if you prefer to thicken it.
The lemon grass stalks and Kaffir lime leaves should be removed as you spoon your soup. They’re for flavor, not chewing.

Beef & Barley Stew

1- 1 ½ pound lean beef meat
1 onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS oil
6 cups beef broth
1 cup barley
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms
1 cup barley
1 teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon garlic & hear seasoning
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 TBS parsley

Brown meat in oil with onion and garlic. Add barley and rest of ingredients. Simmer 1 hour on medium-low heat.

Black Bean Soup

2 cans black beans, undrained
1 16 ounce jar of favorite salsa
2 cup chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 celery stick, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
4 tsp lime juice
1/3 cup plain yogurt
12 fresh cilantro leaves

Simmer all ingredients (except yogurt and cilantro leaves) on medium heat for 20 minutes. Blend in cilantro leaves and yogurt just before serving. This soup will provide 5.6 grams of fiber per serving and only 3.5 grams of fat.

Roasted Garlic & Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium butternut squash
1-2 large onion, chopped
3 medium cloves garlic
1 TBS ginger chipped
1 tsp curry powder
2 ¾ cup chicken broth
6 oz coconut milk
2 TBs fresh cilantro

Tomato Salsa Topping:
4 ripe tomatoes
1 red bell bepper
1 large red chili
2-3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
Pinch sugar

Half and Seed butternut squash. Chop into squares and boil 10 minutes. Puree with chicken broth in blender until smooth. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and blend again. Heat in boiling pot with coconut milk. Add 2-4 TB fresh cilantro right before serving.

Chop ingredients for Tomato salsa and toss together. Serve soup warm with fresh topping.

Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

2 Bunches Spinach Washed and Rinsed
1 Head Romaine Lettuce
¾ pounds Swiss Cheese
1 box fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cottage cheese, drained
½ package bacon, cooked & crumbled
1-2 cans mandarin oranges

Poppyseed Dressing:
¾ TB Poppyseeds
¾ cups oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup honey
¾ TB grated onion
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp mustard powder
½ cup sliced onions

Toss together and serve fresh!

California Pizza Kitchen’s BBQ Chicken Salad

California Pizza Kitchen’s BBQ Chicken Salad
Garden Herb Ranch Dressing1/2 tsp dry mustard1/4 tsp cold water2 3/4 cups mayo1 cup buttermilk1 1/2 Tb apple cider vinegar1 1/2 Tb thinly sliced scallions (both green & white)2 tsp minced garlic2 tsp fresh parsley1 1/2 tsp worchestershire sauce1tsp fresh dill1/2 tsp minced oregano1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper1/4 tsp fresh minced basil(beat all of this until smooth, cover and chill at least two hours...if you're too lazy to concoct a fresh dressing, don't sweat it- Costco's Savory Ranch back by the salsa has an excellent and fresh flavor)Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken:Marinate 4-5 chicken breasts for 24 hours in the following:1 1/3 Tb olive oil1 1/3 Tb minced garlic2 tsp soy sauce 2tsp salt 1 cup sweet BBQ sauce1/2 cup Frank's Hot Sauces (this is also the secret ingredient to Winger's Sauces)(grill chicken then baste with a little bit of the reserved sauce, cube chicken into bite sized pieces and chill.)

The Salad:2 lbs tomatoes diced1/4 cup scallion greens1 head green leaf lettuce1 head romaine lettuce24 large fresh basil leaves cut thin (this is a key ingredient)1 lb jicama cubed into bite sized pieces3 cups shredded monterey jack cheese2 cans black beans rinsed, strained and dried1 can corn or three cobs of cooked corn blanched3/4 cup cilantroToss Salad with chicken, lightly coat with dressing, top with tortilla strips, and enjoy taking your taste buds on a temporary trip to ecstacy!

Balsamic Pork & Berry Salad

6 cups torn Romaine lettuce
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
½ cup thinly sliced celery
1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives
8 oz pork tenderloin
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup honey
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp pepper
2 TBS pecans or walnuts

In large bowl toss together romaine, strawberries, celery, and chives. Set aside

Trim any fat from pork. Cut into ¼ “ thick slices. Coat an unheated large skillet with 1 tsp olive oil. Heat on medium-high temperature. Add half of the pork and sautee for 3-4 minutes turning pork to ensure it is cooked thoroughly. Remove meat and repeat process with the remaining 4 oz. Set all pork aside and keep warm.

For dressing, add oil to skillet. Add garlic; cook and stir for 15 seconds. Stir in honey, vinegar, and pepper. Cook and stir until heated through.

Top romaine mixture with pork. Drizzle dressing over salad. Sprinkle with pecans. Toss together and serve.

Grilled Steak & Mango Salad

12 ounces petite sirloin steak, cut in 1” thick strips
2 TBS olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
2 TB plain yogurt
1 TB fresh snipped parsley
¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce
¾ tsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Dash hot pepper or tobasco sauce
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese or bleu cheese
1 medium pear peeled, cored, and chopped
2 medium mangos, seeded, peeled, and chopped
1 10 ounce package of torn mixed salad greens or about 8 cups
Cracked Pepper

Rub steak with 1 TBS of the oil, sprinkle both sides with salt and with ¼ tsp pepper. Wrap and chill while preparing dressing.

For dressing, stir together the mayonnaise, yogurt, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, dash of pepper, and bottled hot pepper sauce until combined. Gently stir in the feta cheese. Cover and chill for 4 to 6 hours.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Unwrap steak and grill for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from pan and keep covered and warm. Alternatively grill meat on rack until it has reached desired doneness.

Toss remaining ingredients together. Top with steak meat and serve with dressing.

Whole Wheat Tortillas

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup white flour
¼ cup oat bran
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 TB oil
1 cup warm water

Knead 4-5 minutes. Rest 10 minutes. Divide into 20 walnut sized balls. Roll each ball on floured or greased surface. Heat over medium temperature 2-3 minutes.

Swedish Rye Bread ***My Favorite***

1 ½ cups organic brown sugar
½ cup molasses
¼ cup butter
1 cup milk
3 tsp salt

2 TBS instant yeast
1 cup warm water

3 Cups cold water

3 cups Rye Berries, ground (about 5 cups rye flour)
8-9 cups white or wheat flour (or mix 5 cups wheat, 4 cups white)

Bring sugar, molasses, butter, milk, and salt to a rolling boil. While the sugar mixture is heating dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 3 cups cold water to hot sugar mixture. When sugar mixture is cool enough to touch add yeast mixture and begin adding rye flour. Mix well and let stand 10 minutes. Slowly add additional flour until you can handle dough without it feeling sticky. Allow dough to rest and rise for 30 minutes covered in a warm dry place. Punch down. Let it rise again for 20 minutes. Punch down and roll flat using rolling pin. Shape into loaves. Cut 1/4” slices diagonally across top surface of dough. Place in greased and dusted loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees farenheit for 30-40 minutes.

It's great for sandwhiches!