Healthy Spaghetti + Meatballs (with no prep work!)

You know when you're exhausted and the last thing you want to do is make dinner?

This happens to me often, and I find myself running through the aisles at Kroger wondering what's going to fill me and my husband up without requiring prep work! That's when I discovered this meal. It is 100% organic and took ten minutes to put together! Plus, who doesn't love spaghetti and meatballs?!

For the pasta, I used Jovial's organic brown rice egg pasta. It is gluten-free and has two ingredients: organic brown rice flour and organic eggs. I loved the taste and texture of this pasta and so did my husband! All you have to do is put the noodles in 3 quarts of boiling water for ten minutes! Easy as pie. ($5)

For the meatballs, I used Hip Chick Farms organic chicken meatballs. The ingredients check out and all you need to do is put them in the oven for ten minutes and they're ready to go! ($6)

For the pasta sauce, I used Muir Glen's organic tomato basil pasta sauce. Super simple and tasty! ($4)

While I wouldn't suggest eating this every night (definitely needs more greens!), it is a great meal to throw together last-minute and WAY better than grabbing fast food! Plus, it's affordable and organic and a great comfort food alternative! I hope you get to try this out soon!

Mastitis

Breastfeeding mamas... mastitis is the worst! It feels like a terrible flu: fever, body aches, headaches and feeling like you've been hit by a truck.

At first I didn't know what was going on but the severe breast pain quickly it gave it away.

Each time I got it I was pretty run down- whether from lack of sleep, travel or just trying to tackle too much. Each time, I definitely had more sweets than normal the few days prior.  The increase in processed sugar plus my body being worn out created the perfect storm.  I know most of us can't help the lack of sleep with a little one, but you can watch your sugar intake and work to keep hydrated! 

Below is the perfect combination that worked for me.  I was sick and couch-bound until instituting a new regimen, but after following this I felt 60% better on day 2 and completely fine by day 3! 

  • Congaplex 9/day (works as a phenomenal antibacterial) by Standard Process
  • Mammary PMG- 6 to 9/day by Standard Process
  • Thymex 9/day (if the top two don't kick it in a day or 2) by Standard Process
  • NO Processed sugars!! Sugar feeds the bacterial infection and will only make it worse or prolong your symptoms
  • Make sure you are breast feeding/pumping the side with mastitis at least every couple hours.  It hurts at first and is no fun... but you will get through I promise.  Mastitis doesn't hurt or affect your baby and actually them breastfeeding makes it go away quicker!

If you've got mastitis or want to fight against it, stay hydrated! Try to get some sleep and rest.  Minimize your processed sugar intake.  And love on your baby as much as possible! :)

Two Ingredient Berry Dessert

During cold days and nights the only thing I want to drink or eat is something warm.  I wanted to share one of our go-to wintertime nightly desserts!  This was also a hit at our Christmas Party and people couldn’t believe how simple it was! It's the perfect dish to bring to any party or your weekend brunch dates.

What makes it so simple? Frozen fruit and coconut oil are all you need!  

Put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your skillet and fill the rest with frozen fruit.  I used the organic mixed berries from Kroger, but you can get them at any local grocery store.  

Set the stove to low/medium heat and let the berries and coconut oil simmer.  Make sure you mix the berries occasionally because some of the fruit at the top stays cold unless you stir.  

Once everything is nice and warm/steamy (usually takes about 5 to 7 min), pour all the contents (and the juices too!) in a bowl and enjoy!  It will warm you up, give you a healthy 'dessert', and curb your sweet tooth!

Use any frozen fruit- my personal favorites are berries, cherries and mangos (not all mixed together).  You can drizzle with honey if you want it sweeter.  Try topping it with cocoa, coconut flakes or pecans too!  It is also really tasty drizzled over Greek yogurt. 

This is a great option for those on Candida Clear detox too!

It’s simple, tasty and takes no more than 5 minutes to make.  Plus, you get your coconut oil in.   A win win win!  Enjoy!

The Truth About Colic

Colic. The ever-dreaded screaming baby gas pain.  Luckily we haven’t dealt with colic with Samuel but we've seen a lot of it in the office. If mama’s digestion isn’t great or she struggles to digest her food properly due to low enzyme production, colic can be caused in the baby. So if mama gets on digestive enzymes (I have rotated around) then it not only helps her but also the baby too! I think that has made a MAJOR difference in why we haven’t had any issues at all with Sam’s digestion.

Enzyme production goes down with poor nutrition and stress. It also decreases with age. With stress being the biggest factor (even if it is great stress!), simply adding enzymes can make a HUGE difference. If food is not broken down and digested properly, the end product will be gas and bloating...and for babies, gas can be very painful and unsettling!! 

The ones I personally use and rotate through are Zypan by Standard Process and Food Enzymes by Nature's Sunshine (as well as a few others by those companies).  You can also dilute 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in a small amount of water to take with meals to stimulate digestive enzyme production by the pancreas, too. If apple cider vinegar doesn’t do the trick adding digestive enzymes in supplement form is probably the way to go.  

Another big factor in colic is dairy.  A lot of times mama and baby can’t tolerate dairy well.  Moms may not realize they don’t tolerate it well because it doesn’t create painful gas in them, but intolerance COULD be causing skin issues, fatigue, brain fog, bloating, allergies, etc. without them even realizing it. Whether or not you're having issues, cutting out dairy is worth it if your baby is having colic issues. If you don’t notice any changes within a couple days of cutting out dairy in your baby then the next culprits are corn, beans, and gluten.

Colic can be discouraging and stressful, but it's not hopeless! If you try adding enzymes or cutting out those foods and are still having issues, let us know!  You may need a more specific digestive enzyme and we can figure that out at our office through muscle testing! We are always ready and willing to support women as they navigate motherhood!

Giving Birth: Nashville Doula Services

I don’t know if you're familiar with doulas but they are worth every single penny. Doulas are with you throughout the birthing process to support you and your husband/partner. They've been to SO many births and know what to expect. With that experience comes support, knowledge and the ability to comfort you. They're job is to be your biggest advocate! Midwives and doctors exist to keep you and your baby safe. Doulas work to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.

In one of my birth classes, I remember someone asking, "Why would you pay someone to be there during the birth?!" But from my perspective...Why learn the hard way and try to do things on your own during the most physically challenging and painful experience of your life?!?  If someone can support me and give tips, tricks and encouragement… sign me up!! 

Of course, every mom-to-be reads a bunch of books and goes to classes, but when push comes to shove... your mind goes blank. 😉  Doulas have witnessed so many births, they know what is normal. They're there to support you during labor and reassure you the pain truly IS normal. I know my husband felt helpless when I was in intense pain, but Sandy was there to reassure him it was all part of the process. She had all kinds of tools up her sleeve and knew great positions to try to help ease the discomfort. Something I wasn’t expecting about birth is how much of a mind game it is: you have to TRUST the pain is normal and a good sign, and try to turn off your mind and let your body take over. It's insanely difficult to do. 

Sandy was our doula from Nashville Doula Services.  I would highly recommend her! She is such a sweet, gentle soul and was there the whole time from start to finish.  She has a very calming spirit and presence, and her assurance that everything was going as expected was extremely helpful (especially when I thought there was no way my labor was going end!). She also helped Garrett and gave him ideas to support me. She made sure we were eating and drinking, which seems so simple, but it is something you forget to do. She was prepared and ready for little things you wouldn’t even think of. When I think about the day Samuel was born, I am SO thankful Nashville Doula Services was involved. Sandy supported me every step of the way and I can't imagine giving birth without her help.

If you are planning to have a birth at home, in a hospital or birth center, I would highly recommend it! Make sure to ask for Sandy! 😉

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DIY - Honey Face Mask

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Let's face it, ladies. We all love a good face mask. What's even better is if it's cheap, natural and chemical free!

Honey is one of my favorite ingredients in homemade face masks because:

1. It's naturally antibacterial, so it's great for acne prone skin

2. Full of antioxidants for slowing down aging

3. Extremely moisturizing and soothing to boost that healthy glow

4. Clarifying to help open up pores to make them easy to unclog

There are so many diy honey face masks recipes out there and you can make one based on your specific skin needs. 

One of my favorites is honey, coconut oil and lavender oil!

Here are the directions:
Mix equal parts honey and coconut oil and 3 drops of lavender oil. Massage onto a clean face and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water.

After the mask I like to spritz my face with a toner of water and apple cider vinegar and then finish up with a light moisturizer. 

I promise your skin will thank you!  

Giving Birth: Baby & Co

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I will always remember September 27th and everything that went into that day.

My little boy, Samuel, was born at Baby & Co in Nashville. It was the perfect place for us and I would highly recommend it.  If anyone is looking for the feel of a home birth but the option of being close to a hospital (plus no clean up!) Baby & Co. is an AMAZING option. Their rooms are like huge, beautiful hotel suites- so peaceful and relaxing. But if I needed medical intervention, Vanderbilt is only 5 minutes away! I loved knowing that if something went wrong I had that option very close. All the midwives we worked with were so sweet, encouraging and knowledgeable.

My labor went super well (sprinkled in with labor pain 😉) and lasted 12 hours from water breaking to finish. While I was in labor they periodically checked in on me, but in general we were left to relax until contractions got very close. Since I tend to be a private person, I knew if people were constantly coming and going I'd be thrown off my groove and my labor would've slowed down, so I was thankful for some stillness! Women who give birth at B&C are not hooked up to any monitors, either!  No beeping, no cords- so you are free to walk about (well...more like crawl 😉 around). My personal favorite was just lying on the floor! They did check his heart rate every so often but it was not invasive at all- and honestly with the contraction pain I didn’t even notice them!  When Samuel came into this world they left me to have one-on-one time and didn't take him away. I am so thankful they treated me with respect and support from start to finish by being my biggest advocate! 

It was truly an incredible experience. Looking back, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.  There is so much FEAR that goes into having a baby, but Baby & Co helps break down those walls. We are so lucky to have a place like this in Nashville and I am truly blessed to have given birth to our sweet baby boy there.

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Feeling Holiday Stress? Maybe THIS can help...

The last few weeks, we’ve been hearing the same exact word from our patients: STRESS.

Stressed because of Christmas gifts.
Stressed because of money.
Stressed because of health. 
Stressed because of scheduling.
Stressed because of family dynamics.
Stressed because of work.

Christmastime is full of fun and exciting things, but even GOOD things can stress our minds and bodies! Your body reacts the same to physical, mental and emotional stress. So when your uncle and niece exchange words about politics at the dinner table, your body is losing vitamins, minerals, and energy in order to compensate for the stress. Everything is connected! Just think about the way your posture changes in those moments of mental or emotional stress- your back caves and shoulders bunch up. Your pulse rate heightens and your palms get sweaty. That is your BODY responding to emotional stress!

So if you need extra support this month, we want to share a few of our favorite adrenal supplements. These supplements will help your body recover from stress by feeding you with healthy vitamins and minerals! But first, let’s talk about why it is important to support our adrenal glands.

Your adrenal glands help your body respond to stress. The adrenals are like oil and gasoline for a car. The thyroid, another vital part of your body when it comes to stress, is like the engine. Historically, doctors have focused on supporting the thyroid when patients reported anxiety, depression and unexplainable weight gain. Unfortunately the adrenal glands didn’t get any attention until recently, when the idea of “adrenal fatigue” came into existence. Although adrenal fatigue is a hot topic in the medical community, our office has seen amazing changes in a person’s health and well-being once we started supporting the adrenal glands! We believe in supporting your adrenal glands with a nutrient-dense diet, a healthy exercise routine, and trustworthy supplements!

If you want a bit of support but don’t have time to get in for an appointment with us, here are three of our favorite supplements that target the adrenal glands!

1. Drenamin from Standard Process. We like to think of this as food and fuel for the adrenal glands. This is a great maintenance supplement to take if you don’t FEEL particularly stressed, but know the holidays might require a bit more from you both mentally and physically. 

2. Adrenal Support from Nature’s Sunshine. This is a higher powered supplement and concentrated in B vitamins. B vitamins work to balance our bodies on a brain and hormonal level. They also aid in balancing blood sugar levels, which is directly connected to your nervous system!

3. Adrenal Desiccated from Standard Process. This supplement is meant to be used in situations of extreme stress or anxiety. It stimulates your adrenal glands (think of jumper cables) in a healthy way, and helps them get back up and running again.

We are bombarded by stress, now more than ever, from work to traffic to social media to the news. It’s SO important to take care of our bodies and minds, and the adrenal glands might be a good place for you to start! We hope you are able to be present and enjoy this season, resting instead of stressing!

Delicious Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies are one of my favorite things to eat around the holidays! These are packed with protein, naturally sweetened with honey, AND super easy to make. When I was younger, my mom would take peanut butter cookies out of the oven and put a huge chocolate kiss in the center. If you've got some organic chocolate, that might be a great way to boost this recipe!

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Click here for the link to the original recipe, or look below. We copied it for you! 


Ingredients

  • 1 c organic peanut butter (no sugar added, creamy or crunchy)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2/3 c honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • Pinch salt
  • Coconut sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Combine the coconut oil and peanut butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds and if melted, stir again and let cool to room temperature.
     
  3. Combine the coconut flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
     
  4. Mix the peanut butter mixture until creamy, either with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Add the vanilla and mix again. Add in the flour and mix until just combined.
     
  5. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out a heaping tablespoon amount and roll into 1½” balls, place on cookie sheet 2” apart and press gently with a fork crosswise for the traditional peanut butter cookie look. Sprinkle a tiny bit of coconut sugar on the tops.
     
  6. Bake for 10 min, just until the edges start to brown. Cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

Delicious Sugar-Free Chocolate Cookies

This is meant to be a brownie recipe, but I wanted cookies that day so I shaped the dough into little balls and it worked great! This is a perfect Christmastime recipe and will be a crowd-pleaser! The texture is smooth and rich and dense. I ate one with a bit of almond butter the other day, and it was such a yummy treat.

The original recipe is from here, but I will put a slightly modified one below.

*PS: While this is refined-sugar-free, it's not recommended for our patients on Candida Clear, due to the use of maple syrup!

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INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup minus 2 Tbs. coconut flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder 
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature (egg substitutes will not work)
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: ⅓ cup dairy free chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil.
  • Mix together all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Shape into cookie-sized balls and bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out moist with some crumbs.
  • These store well at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days. Make sure you keep them in an airtight container, as they can dry out pretty easily!

Spicy Sugar-Free Hot Cocoa

I made up this recipe the other night, and it was SO yummy I've had it three times since! Hot chocolate is a great wintertime classic and I'm thankful there's a sugar-free option! I added a tinnnnnny dash of cayenne because I love a kick with my chocolate, but this recipe is just as good without!

Try the recipe below and let me know what you think!

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups of your favorite milk (I used a dairy-free pea protein milk!)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons organic cacao
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (optional, but always good to get your coconut oil in!)
  • 2 teaspoons organic cinnamon
  • A tiny dash of cayenne pepper

Directions

  • Heat all your ingredients in a small pot over medium heat (do not boil, as it will ruin the consistency)
  • Whisk occasionally until warm
  • Pour into blender and blend for 15 seconds
  • Enjoy!
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Matcha Chia Pudding

Don't you love delicious, healthy recipes that take five minutes to make? Us too!

We found this recipe on Vanilla and Bean's website and slightly modified it by using honey instead of maple syrup.  If you need a quick snack or dessert option for the holidays, this is a perfect option!

I copied our modified recipe below, but click on Vanilla and Bean above for the original!

Ingredients

  • 1 C non-dairy milk (I used hemp milk!)
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp Matcha Powder
  • 1/4 C Chia Seeds

Instructions

1. In a lidded container, add milk, honey, Matcha and chia seeds. Shake vigorously to mix throughly. Allow to sit 10 minutes, shake jar again so the chia seeds don't stick together, then allow to set at least an hour and a half before serving. 

2. When ready to eat, top with desired fruit and/or other superfoods.

3. Chia pudding can be stored in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Cranberry Orange Loaf

I don't even have words for how much I love this recipe. It was SO flavorful, perfect for Fall, and easy to make. I promise you won't regret adding this to your Thanksgiving meal!

I will copy the (slightly modified) recipe below, but the original is here!

Please try this out and let me know your thoughts!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup coconut flour (this measurement only works for coconut flour)
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp of cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnammon
  • 1/3 cup of raw honey  (I used 1/4 cup and it was sweet enough!)
  • 6 large eggs 
  • 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • the grated zest of one orange (it really elevates the flavor!)
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries, chopped

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F & line a large loaf pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together and give them a good whisk.

3. On a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients together and mix well. Integrate wet mix into the dry ingredient bowl.

4. Fold in the cranberries & the orange zest.

5. Pour batter into the loaf pan, use a spatula to even out the top surface. I like to sprinkle a few cranberries directly on top. They will warm up, pop in the oven & make for a beautiful loaf. Your house will also smell wonderful!

6. Bake for about 45-50 mins or until center is cooked through. Insert a toothpick or knife into the center of the loaf to check for doneness.

 

Photo from The Dish on Healthy

Sweet Potato Biscuits

These sweet potato biscuits are a great option for the Thanksgiving (and year round, to be honest) craving for biscuits! We'll put the slightly modified recipe below, but find the original on Dashing Dish

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup Oat flour
  • 1 tbs Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1 tbs xylitol
  • 1 cup Mashed sweet potato (about 1 large sweet potato)
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbs Low sugar maple syrup (or honey)
  • 3 tbs Unsweetened almond milk

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil, and spray with cooking spray. (Or use a silpat mat, or parchment paper.)

2. Mix flour, baking powder and soda, salt and spices together and set aside. In another bowl, mix together the mashed sweet potato with the other wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until everything is just combined. 

3. The dough will be slightly sticky, so I sprayed the inside of an ice cream scoop with cooking spray and dropped it onto the baking pan. However, you can also use a spoon or measuring cup to make 'drop biscuits' onto the pan. 

4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Organic Dinner for 4... all for $11!

We took a survey a few months ago, asking what the biggest obstacles are to living a healthier lifestyle. The overwhelming answer was MONEY! I empathize with this completely. It can be intimidating to scroll through beautiful Instagram pages and see spices from the Amazon and mushrooms sourced from mountains in Europe (I made that up), and everyone's thinking in the back of their minds... where do we get those ingredients and why are they a thousand dollars?

So we've been working on affordable, simple, organic recipes that EVERYONE can make!

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The first recipe we want to share with you will feed four people comfortably and all the ingredients cost $11. That comes out to roughly $2.75 per person! This would also be a great option for lunch at work! You can make it on Sunday and it will last you most of the week! It tastes great cold and hot.

The one strange ingredient in this is purple cauliflower. If you go to the Farmer's Market, you can find it this Fall! But you can just as easily substitute regular organic cauliflower. We just like the purple because it's purple! 

So without further ado...Here's our recipe for Purple Cauliflower Couscous!

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Ingredients
1 11oz box organic couscous ($2.99 for Whole Foods brand)
1 organic zucchini, chopped (82 cents at Kroger)
1 large organic carrot, chopped ($1.19 at Kroger)
1 can organic chickpeas ($1 at Kroger)
1 organic green pepper, chopped ($1.29 at Kroger)
Handful of organic spinach ($2.19 for bunch at Kroger)
1/2 Organic Purple Cauliflower, chopped into small florets ($2.50 at Farmer's Market)

Directions
1. Make couscous according to box instructions and fluff with fork. Should take 5-6 minutes.
2. Heat up large pan with coconut oil over medium-high heat.
3. Sauté chopped zucchini, carrot, green pepper, and purple cauliflower in large pan for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add spinach and chickpeas to vegetables in the large pan and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until cooked through.
5. Add couscous to vegetables and stir until warm.
6. Serve with a dash of balsamic or olive oil and enjoy!

Coconut Flour Cinnamon Bun Muffins

We loved this recipe from Comfy Belly for cinnamon bun muffins! It's a perfect treat for after dinner, when your sweet tooth is craving a bit more than blueberries. They were SUPER easy to make, too, which is a plus!

I'll share the recipe below, but click here for the original author!
 

Muffin Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk or other dairy-free milk, or yogurt
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup

Topping Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or use ghee or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional; or other nut)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well-blended.

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F
  2. Prepare a baking pan with muffin liners.
  3. For the muffins, combine coconut flour, baking soda, and salt and blend well.
  4. Add the eggs, milk, and honey to the dry mixture and blend well by hand, or use a mixer or food processor. Let the batter sit for a few minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb the moisture.
  5. Fill muffin liners about 1/4 of the way with batter.
  6. Spoon about a tablespoon of topping over each muffin and then top off each muffin with more batter, about 3/4 of the way filled.
  7. Drizzle the remaining topping over each muffin and use a toothpick, fork, or spoon to blend the topping into the batter.
  8. Bake for about 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Cool and enjoy! Store for a few days at room temperature (covered), seal and store in the refrigerator for a few weeks, or seal and freeze for a few months.

Servings 8

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My Pregnancy Journey: 34 Weeks and Counting (Part 3)

Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve had a team of people help me in various ways (and it isn’t over yet)! Along with Becca checking my supplements and keeping me in balance, which has been a lifesaver, here are some other people I’m working with for a full body approach:

  • Chiropractic. Dr. Rousseau at Kyd Kyro (http://www.kydkyro.com/) is amazing.  Yes, I am a chiropractor... but if you want someone who specializes in all things pregnancy and babies- she is your person.  Many people don’t realize how many techniques and specialties are out there, and without a doubt she is your go-to gal for pregnancy and postpartum.  Keeping your pelvis and ligaments balanced ensures an easier pregnancy, quicker delivery and helps to prevent breech babies!  While general chiropractic can help, it’s best to be with someone who is trained with specific knowledge on pregnancy and the growth of your child.
     
  • Acupuncture. Gil Ben-Ami in Berry Hill is the best. He is possibly the sweetest person on earth, and has supported me a TON with pregnancy. He’s kept me in balance with stress and life situations that’ve been thrown my way!
     
  • Baby & Co. We have been working with Baby & Co since the beginning and plan to give birth there. The environment is so peaceful and the birthing suites are like large hotel rooms. I know a lot can happen in the final days and even hours leading up to birth, but we are excited to use them!  They teach you so much and have an incredibly warm, welcoming environment. I feel so lucky that we have this option in Nashville!
     
  • Nashville Doula Services. My husband and I just started to meet with them, because I think it will be helpful to have someone who has seen birth many times to help support not only me but by husband. They were highly recommended by Becca, who first used the Vandy volunteer doula program with her first baby, and used Nashville Doula Services with her second one. I am excited to have their support, knowledge and encouragement- because it’s all a little scary... but there is a great amount of comfort in knowing they are there for us. Plus, they have post-partum care, which means they can help with breastfeeding and positioning and things I know very little about. Even if I know the anatomy behind it all, the less I have to struggle learning tricks and fighting my way through the beginning stages, the better!

I am sure I am forgetting people, but this has been our working team so far! I feel so lucky to have them working with me throughout this new journey!

Chocolate Matcha Energy Bites

We're crazy about these energy bites!

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Both matcha and cacao are super high in antioxidants. Antioxidants keep your skin fresh and glowing, help detox your body, and slow down signs of aging. Pair that with cacao's mood-boosting, energy-giving qualities, and we have a winner on our hands! 

We made these and kept half in our freezer (for a dessert kind of feel) and half in our refrigerator (for an on-the-go snack). They were SUPER easy to make and we hope you love them as much as we do!!

Recipe
1/2 cup pitted dates (softened in water for an hour or so)
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup cacao
2 tbsp nut butter
Matcha powder for rolling

Directions
1. Blend dates, almonds, and cacao in food processor until fully mixed. If your texture is not soft, you can add more of your favorite nut butter!

2. Roll into 10-14 balls depending on preferred size.

3. Roll the balls in matcha!

4. Refrigerate (or freeze!) and enjoy! 

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Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

Here is a simple recipe for the homemade laundry detergent I use.  It makes a huge batch and lasts for a long time!  (Very cost effective considering how expensive laundry detergent can be with the bonus of being free of chemicals and dyes! A WIN WIN!)

All but the Oxo Brite is available at Kroger which I ordered through Amazon.  

 

 

  • Borax (1) 4 lb 12 oz box

  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (1) 3 lb 7 oz box

  • Castile or Dr. Bronner’s Bar soap (2) bar- (I used the peppermint scented)

  • Arm & Hammer Baking Soda 4 lbs

  • Oxo Brite (1) 3 lb container (I ordered on Amazon) 

 

 

 

Grate the bars of soap (I used a hand grater which was a pain.  Other people use a food processor and say it is much easier- I'll probably do that next time).  Then mix all the ingredients together!! Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. I have a HE washer and just put it in the powder section. 

 

I store mine in a large glass container I got at Target.  

(Also- for extra dirty clothes I add in 1/2 cup to 1 full cup of baking soda.  You can get a huge bag of baking soda at Costco for a great price.)

Hope this is a helpful solution for everyone!