Posts tagged raw

More Raw Food Treats

I had some leftover nuts and apricots so I threw together this ‘raw ball’ (or, as I call them below ‘raw nuggets’) snack recipe. Just shows how quick and easy these are to make! These measurements are approximates. I literally just used what I had left and it actually formed into a nice consistency for rolling into bite sized balls.

Raw Nuggets

1 cup almonds
7 dried apricots
3 TB shredded coconut
1 date
Blend all ingredients in Food Processor and roll into balls. Store in refrigerator.

Raw Nuggets

Raw Almond Apricot Nuggets

Leave a comment »

Pina Colada Chai Green Smoothie

If you know me, then you know that the green smoothie is the holy grail of my raw food daily eating! But today, I thought I would mix up my green smoothie ingredients a bit. I had been feeling really dehydrated after my smoothies lately. This is a sign that I needed to switch up my greens because all greens have alkaloids that can be slightly toxic if you eat the same ones day-after-day. So, instead of the typical spinach, I used beet greens. I bought 6 beets for a recipe I am going to make this week so I used the green tops. Another unique ingredient I added this time was coconut meat. I was at my friend Rene’s house yesterday where her husband cracked open a coconut from their backyard to use the water. He let me take home the coconut meat so I decided to throw that in there too. I looked in the fridge and noticed my husband had cut up some pineapple last night. Hmmm…I am thinking pina colada! I added some spices to give it a chai flavor. And, wah-lah, the pina colada chai green smoothie was born!

Pina Colada Chai Green Smoothie
6 beet tops
Handful Pea Sprouts
2 Tbs Chia Seed Gel
2 Tbs Probiotic Powder
2 Frozen Bananas
5 Pineapple chunks
2 cups water
5 ice cubes
Meat from one coconut
Dash of the Following:
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamon, Cloves, Ginger, Stevia

Pina Colada Chai Green Smoothie

Pina Colada Chai Green Smoothie

Leave a comment »

How to Avoid Common Breastfeeding Challenges

I have been breastfeeding Baby Roku for 6 months and am so happy that things are going smoothly! It was not always this way though. I had a very difficult time for the first 3 months. He was getting enough to eat, as indicated by his above average weight gain, but I was in severe pain. I had mastitis twice, both times with a fever above 103. I could not imagine breastfeeding without pain as I walked around my house without a shirt for almost 90 days. I dreaded the days I had to wear a bra and cringed at the thought of wearing a sports bra to the gym (let alone the pain that would occur from the ‘bounce’ during cardio).

I wanted to love to breastfeed so bad so I did a ton of research online as well as obtained help from a few different lactation consultants in my community. I also attended my local La Leche League Meetings for support. If you are having trouble breastfeeding, I highly recommend that you do all of these things before switching to formula. Every day that I was in pain, I committed to one more day of breastfeeding and, fortunately, Baby Roku and I made it through the tough times and are successfully breastfeeding today…and I love it! I had really only planned to nurse him for 6 months, but now that things are going so well I plan on nursing him for at least a year. Another reason that I have decided to breastfeed him for longer is that I now have a better understanding of the massive benefits that he will obtain from breast milk over formula. I also like knowing what is in his food. As someone who eats mostly raw, I know what is in everything that I eat. I don’t feel like I would ever really know what is in formula including any residual BPA that might be absorbed into the formula from the container.

I would like to help moms that are having breastfeeding challenges to do their best to stick with it! I have put together some tips that helped me get through the rough period in the beginning, and I really hope that it will be helpful if you are having troubles similar to mine before deciding to switch to formula.

Proper Latch
Not until about 3 months into breastfeeding did I feel like Baby Roku and I consistently had a proper latch. There are a lot of great resources online that provide illustrations of how the proper latch should look. Here is a link to a great resource for advice on obtaining the proper latch: How to Latch. I looked at a ton of stuff online and still had trouble. I obtained one-on-one support before leaving the hospital and also consulted with 3 lactation consultants over the phone. I also went back to the hospital with Baby Roku to sit with the lactation consultant for an hour as she watched me feed. However, there was one piece of advice that really helped me finally overcome my challenges. I could not get Roku to open his mouth wide enough before latching. Someone from La Leche League told me to try lowering his head before pulling him in for the latch. So, instead of having his head right in front of my breast, bring his head in from below. This totally worked! I had been nursing him with the boppy pillow much too high. I thought the perfect position of the pillow was directly in front of my breasts, so I propped it up on the arms of my glider and set him on top. Once I lowered the boppy pillow, his mouth came from below which (magically) made him open his mouth much wider. This was a great start!

Pain Relief
Heat is your friend. Not only does it help to relieve pain, it helps your milk flow faster. Heat for about 2 minutes before feeding. If you are really sore, apply a cool compress after feeding. Pain IS NOT inevitable, however I tried very hard to do everything correctly and still had pain. I purchased some ice/hot packs that were available at target with their nursing supplies. I ended up buying 2 packs; one set I kept in the freezer and the other available for heating. Don’t overheat the packs because you can burn yourself and also ruin the packs. Also, even though the heat may feel good, do not heat for a long period of time. This can make the problem worse. A nice warm shower along with massage helps with pain relief. I started to do this every morning and found it to be a critical step in my daily routine.

What did NOT work for me was any kind of packaged soother that did not have a hole in the middle. My nipples were extremely sore, so covering them up with something only made things worse. If you do use something that covers the entire area, do not wear under your bra for a long period of time. You need to keep this area dry and free of any moisture.

Engorgement
At first I did not feel like I was producing enough milk. Then, literally overnight, I became engorged. I think this was when Roku was about 4 days old. I tried to pump, but nothing would come out. Unfortunately for me, this led to my first case of mastitis. One way to try and avoid this is to put a cabbage leaf over your breast. This actually worked very well for me to reduce engorgement.

How to Avoid Mastitis
After speaking to other mom’s, so many have had varying cases of mastitis. It can be very painful. It can be prevented by reducing engorgement (see above) and not wearing tight fitting clothing. You should also make sure that your breasts are dry before putting on a bra. My doctor gave me advice that ended up leading to another case of mastitis. He told me to use the plastic dome shaped devices that are used for inverted nipples in order to keep my bra from touching my skin. This temporarily relieved the pain of my skin touching cloth, however the pressure of the plastic ended up clogging my ducts causing another case of mastitis! I would just recommend being bra-less and shirtless as much as possible if you think you are getting mastitis. How can you tell if you have mastitis? An area on your breast will be bright red and hot. You will probably have a fever. In my case, I had a fever of over 103. Whatever you do, do not stop feeding your baby on that breast. Your baby is more efficient than a pump for extracting the milk and that will help to reduce the engorgement. It hurt a little at first when I started to nurse, but it actually feels a lot better once the baby latches. If you can position them so that there lower jaw is on the affected area, that helps too. If you are able to do this, the sucking motion actually massages the affected area and reduces the pain. With a high fever, you might think the last thing you would want to do is nurse your baby! However, it is actually it is not that bad if you just where something cool (or nothing at all), drink plenty of water, and relax, knowing that your baby will not get sick from you.

As far as taking antibiotics if you have mastitis, I would have to say that it is different in every situation. I decided not to take the antibiotics I was prescribed and ended up getting much worse with an extremely high fever. After one day of antibiotics, I felt better. I would probably seek a homeopathic remedy had I been educated about the possibility of this at the time.

Crying While Feeding
My hungry baby would cry while I was feeding him and I could not figure out why. Was it because of something I ate and he didn’t like the milk? Was he already teething at 3 months? It is so hard to know why, but in my particular case I finally found out it was because he was TIRED! He had just woken up only 1.5 hours ago, but he was already tired. He wanted to eat, but needed to sleep. After learning that he needed a nap so soon after waking, I made sure to feed him a bit earlier. I was feeding on cue, but at this particular time of day I anticipated the tired spell and fed him before it started. Another reason he cries while feeding is because he needs to burp. Try pausing the feeding to burp your baby to see if that helps them relax. They may also be crying because it is taking to long for the milk to come out. You can apply heat (as mentioned earlier) to help the ‘let down’ occur faster. The most important thing to do is to try your best to read their cues and not give up!

Leave a comment »

Sweet Sunday! Raw ‘Chocolate Milk’

Today I had an odd craving for milk. I have only made raw nut milk a couple of times to pour over my granola, but this time I wanted something a little different…Chocolate milk! I did not have all of the ingredients, so I just kind of made this up. It turned out so delectable and sweet! since I was just using what I had in the pantry, it ended up being an almond and cashew milk combo. I usually use about 3 dates, but I only had one. So I used some raw agave nectar to sweeten it up a bit. Definitely a special weekend treat (in addition to our special chai smoothie which I will share with you later). And Neil and I deserved it after the ‘scare’ we had with Dylan this morning. We went to a new church and put Roku in their daycare. We knew he would not last the whole service and, sure enough, in an hour we were called back to the nursery (via a number that flashes on a screen in front of the church). We thought it was the typical ‘I’m ready to sleep’ cry, but he had actually had an accident! He was sitting up (which he is not very good at yet) and fell over onto a leggo! Poor baby has a big bump on his head. He doesn’t seem to notice it though. I just iced it a bit and it seems to be going down. This is his first bump and I am sure there will be MANY MANY more. I had to take a photo to document this first (below). Anyway, you have GOT to try this recipe! Here it is:

Raw ‘Chocolate Milk’
1 cup almonds (soaked and dehydrated)
1/4 cup cashews
1 Date
2 tablespoons raw carob powder
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3 cups water
5 ice cubes (I like it COLD)
Blend in vitamix just as you would a smoothie!
You can strain the milk in a nut bag or sieve, however I just drank it ‘as is’.

Raw "Chocolate Milk" Made with Raw Carob Powder

Baby Roku's first bump

Roku's first bump

Leave a comment »

Great Market with Prepared Raw Food! 4th Generation Market in Boca

My friends took me to 4th Generation Market earlier this week to pick up some prepared foods for a beautiful picnic in Sugar Sand Park with our babies. The food was so awesome that I had to take my husband back there this weekend to check it out (and Roku too of course!). It is a bit of a drive for us, but well worth it. We shopped around the market first and found a great deal on avocados. They are $2.50 each at Whole Foods and less than $2 each at 4th Generation Market We also picked up some organic bananas (only 89 center per pound) and some dried apples. As for our Raw Food Lunch, I had 2 pieces of falafel which were so tasty along with the Kale Salad. Neil had the Schezuan slaw which has cabbage, celery and sprouts. It also tasted like there was a bit of ginger and peanut. We both had a Chai Macaroon AND a Goji Macaroon! So tasty and sweet! It was hard to resist the raw brownie with goji berries, but we managed to pass on it this time. For dinner, we picked up a Raw Pizza which I just ate. It was so flavorful with oregano and a great tomato sauce. It also tasted like there was a cashew cheese on top. After we finished our lunch, we went for a stroll around the area. There are a lot of great shops within walking distance of the market. We popped into Sugar Plum Children’s boutique where we picked up a really cute outfit for Roku. He is wearing 12-18 months and is only 5 months old! Must be all that tasty raw food : )

4th Generation Market

4th Generation Market

Raw Bliss Brownies

Raw Bliss Brownies

Comments (1) »

My Breakfast this morning – Green Smoothie

This morning, I had a delicious Green Smoothie for breakfast. Here is the recipe:

Two Frozen Bananas
Handful Frozen Blueberries
2 large handfuls spinach
3 stalks celery
2 tablespoons chia seed gel
About 8 ice cubes
2 cups water
2 scoops stevia (I use the scoop in the container)

Blend in Vitamix!

It was so delicious! My husband and I split it, but I also had some raw granola. My appetite int he morning is nearly insatiable! Oh, I think I had an apple too.

My Raw Breakfast 0 Green Smoothie

My Raw Breakfast 0 Green Smoothie

Comments (2) »

Roku Weighs 22 pounds! Time for a new car seat

Raw Food Babies Gain Weight Too!
When Roku neared the 22 pound weight limit of his Chicco Infant Carrier Carseat at 4 months, I had to find a ‘big boy’ car seat to replace it. So I sent out an inquiry to my friends via Facebook and my mom’s group and the Britax Marathon was the choice…hands down! Of the 10 people who responded to my inquiry, ALL 10 suggested this convertible carseat. I ordered it online through http://www.travelingtikes.com for a great price. They have EXCELLENT customer service too. Roku still hates riding in a carseat 90% of the time, however I am 100% pleased with the quality and comfort of this carseat.

Roku in his Britax Marathon

Roku in his Britax Marathon

Leave a comment »