Posts Tagged ‘healthy foods’

Healthy Summer Popsicle Recipes

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

There’s nothing like a popsicle to cool you down on a hot summer day. But most store brands are loaded with sugar, artificial ingredients and food dyes.

Save your health, and some money this summer by making your very own popsicles at home. You can either use a Popsicle mold or Dixie cups with Popsicle sticks. If you use Dixie cups, cover them with aluminum foil and cut a hole for the Popsicle stick to go through- that will help keep the stick in place. Here are some of our favorite, kid friendly Popsicle recipes.

Orange Creamsicle Healthy Summer Popsicle Recipes

1/2 banana

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tbsp. honey

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Blend everything together, pour into a Popsicle mold and freeze overnight.

Mango Dream

1 large mango

1/4 cup full fat plain yogurt

2 tbsp. honey

1/4 tsp. vanilla

Red, White and Blue Pops

¬ĺ cup sliced strawberries

¬ĺ cup blueberries

¬Ĺ cup fresh apple juice

Mix the strawberries and blueberries together in a bowl and divide them equally into your Popsicle molds then just fill the rest of the mold with apple juice. These make a great 4th of July treat!

Watermelon Squares

Watermelon is one of those fruits that just screams summer. All you have to do to make a delicious treat is cut up large chunks of watermelon and stick in a Popsicle stick before freezing.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.

Tasty Tuesday: Broccoli Quinoa

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Pregnant and nursing mamas need to be sure to include lots of healthy foods choices throughout the day. This Broccoli Quinoa dish is a nice option for lunch time because it is a quick and inexpensive meal that is packed full of nutrients for mama! There are only two main ingredients; broccoli and quinoa. If seasoned right these two foods can be combined to make a yummy (and uber-healthy!) meal. Be sure to use fresh, not frozen, broccoli as the taste is much better and the nutritional content is higher. Serve with a side of seasonal fruit for a little bit of sweetness and added vitamins/nutrients.

I¬†actually made this for¬†dinner tonight because the day escaped past me; suddenly it was 5:30 and¬†I had yet to¬†start dinner!¬†After examining the contents of my fridge/pantry I decided Broccoli Quinoa¬†was my best option. I knew¬†it would come together super fast and that my kids would eat it. When I put Abraham’s (age 3) plate in front of him at the dinner table¬†he said to me “you made my favorite!”. That boy LOVES broccoli AND quinoa. Putting them together is a definite winner with him. I hope you will enjoy it too!

Ingredients:

3 cups water (or veggie stock)

1.5 cups quinoa

2 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning

1 head of broccoli, chopped

garlic powder to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

sprinkle of nutrional yeast, optional

Directions:

Bring 3 cups of water to a full boil. Add quinoa and all purpose seasoning. Once it starts to boil again, turn the heat to low, cover, and allow to gently simmer for approximately 15 minutes (or until all the water has been absorbed). In a separate pot, add enough water to create a very thin layer of water across the entire pot. Heat the water and once it starts to bubble, add in chopped broccoli. Cover and allow to steam for approximately 3-5 minutes. You will know it is done when the broccoli turns a bright green color. Serve broccoli over the cooked quinoa and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to taste.

-Sarah

Yummy Veggie Wraps!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Summer time is full of all day outings and picnics at the park. For us this means packing a cooler bag full of yummy, healthy foods! It’s become almost a daily routine that as I make breakfast, I’m also making and packing our lunch for the day. My current favorite lunch on the go is a Veggie Wrap! They are super simple to make plus make good use of all the garden veggies friends and family have generously bestowed upon me! :)

Ingredients:

Your favorite pita bread, flat bread, or tortilla

Your favorite hummus (can¬†substitute¬†your favorite dressing if you *gasp* don’t have any hummus on hand…kind of¬†sacrilegious in a vegan house to be out of hummus;))

1/2 red pepper, sliced

1/2 cucumber, sliced

1/2 avocado, sliced

1 small carrot, shredded

small handful of sprouts

small handful of spinach or mixed greens

1 green onion, chopped

fresh cilantro, chopped (to taste)

salt and pepper to taste

*Optional: for a heartier version packed with extra protein include cold cooked black beans and quinoa.

Directions:

Spread hummus on wrap. Layer all veggies. Fold and enjoy!!

Peace and Veggie Love All!

Sarah

Top 5 Ways to Increase Your Milk Supply

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

While having a low milk supply can be challenging and frustrating, it does not always necessitate supplementation. There are several simple things you can try at home to help boost your milk production.

1. Nurse your baby – Because breast milk production is a supply and demand process, typically one of the most effective ways to increase your milk supply is to increase the frequency at which you nurse your baby. Allow baby to nurse on demand or even offer frequently to assist in establishing a plentiful milk supply.

2. Examine Latch РOf course increasing the frequency at which you nurse your baby is only effective if baby is latching properly. A proper latch results in a more efficient supply and demand process. When baby is latched properly the breast receives adequate stimulation to signal milk production.

3. Nourish yourself – Making breast milk is a lot of work for your body. Be sure you are fueling your body with healthy foods, staying well hydrated, and well rested in order to maintain an optimal milk supply.¬† Consume foods that are known for increasing a mother’s milk supply such as oatmeal or Brewer’s yeast. Make yourself a yummy batch of Lactation Bars to enjoy. Or better yet, ask your partner or a friend to make them for you so you can focus on nursing baby and resting.

4. Avoid Use of Artificial Nipples РBabies, particularly newborns like to suck. It is calming and organizing for them to do so, hence the popularity of pacifiers. However allowing baby to engage in non-nutritive sucking at the breast as a source of comfort (as opposed to use of a pacifier) can be beneficial to the overall breastfeeding relationship and avoids any potential nipple confusion.

5. Consider Using herbs and/or Medications – If you have tried basic ways to increase milk production (such as the ideas listed above) without a positive impact on your milk supply, you might consider use of herbs and/or medications under the guidance of a health care provider. The most commonly used herbs to help increase a mother’s milk supply are fenugreek, blessed thistle, and alfalfa. There are also a few prescription drugs available to increase milk supply, however these are typically reserved as last resort options if natural methods have not been successful.

Have you experienced breast milk supply issues? If so what helped you be able to maintain an adequate milk supply for your nursling?

-Sarah

PS. Don’t forgot to submit your picture for tomorrow’s Fan Photo Friday!

3 Simple Pre-Conception Preparations

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Congratulations! You are thinking about getting pregnant! :) The period in a couple’s life when they are hoping to expand their family is¬†certainly an exciting time. While it may be a little ways away for your family, there are things you can do in advance to optimally prepare your body for¬†carrying new life¬†and it’s never to early to start!

Make Healthy Food Choices: Nutrition is probably the number one most important thing¬†you can do to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. The awesome part of this is that it is something¬†you can¬†completely control; what¬†you put into¬†your body is 100% yours to decide! Of course eating well is important for everyone no matter what phase of life, but it is especially important for women during their childbearing years. If you want to make changes to your current diet, my suggestion would be to ease into it. Drastic dietary changes are often only temporarily sustainable efforts. Perhaps start by simply adding more whole foods into your diet? One idea might be to start your morning with a green smoothie? It’s a really easy way to get in a ton of nutrients. Another factor¬†that influences¬†healthy food choices and the relationship we have with food, is¬†the common belief/misconception that healthy foods don’t taste good.¬†If you believe that then you are less likely to select a healthy food and go straight for the junk foods¬†which you know tastes good, right? Who woudn’t choose something yummy over something bland and tasteless? Eating is supposed to be a pleasurable experience!¬†However I assure you eating healthy can be delicious, succulent, invigorating, and pure decadence! If what is healthy to you is boring, perhaps experiment more with foods and flavors? You might also try imposing more mindfulness into¬†meals as described in this post. Another mental shift in eating is to focus on how foods make you feel after consuming them; really looking inward and examining how your body responds to foods. You might¬†discover that healthy foods help you feel more vibrant and energetic as well as provide clarity of mind.¬†¬†By attributing those positive qualities to the foods we use to fuel our bodies, we change our relationship with food. No longer does a donut look appealing…it starts to look like something that is going to make¬†you feel heavy, sluggish, and unfulfilled. By changing the way you eat before getting pregnant, you are filling your body with optimum nutrients needed to grow and nourish a healthy baby. And you¬†are setting¬†yourself up for continued healthy food choices during pregnancy and postpartum. Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding are a lot of work for your body and properly fueling your body can positively impact all three!

Increase water consumption: While this goes hand in hand with healthy eating, it is definitely worthy enough of separate mention. Water is quite healing and restorative to our bodies. Through large consumption of water we can help remove toxins from our body. One great way to start your day is to drink a large glass of water upon awakening. You have likely went 8 hours or so through the night without consuming any water so your body would graciously welcome a large glass of water each morning. Try to figure out a way throughout the day to have water readily available and accessible to you. Often this means carrying a water bottle with you. Investing in a quality water bottle that is easy to fill, clean, and drink from is definitely worthwhile as it is likely to directly impact how  much water you consume. By increasing water consumption during the pre-conception period, you are setting the stage to do so during your pregnancy. Staying properly hydrated during pregnancy can actually prevent some pretty serious medical issues. Something as simple as drinking water can change the course of your pregnancy, so bottoms up! :)

Be Active/Exercise: Again when you consider how much work carrying and birthing a baby is on your body, having a healthy strong body becomes even more important. If the idea of exercise means going to the gym and hating every minute of it, then of course you won’t be motivated to do it. However if you open yourself to the idea that there are hundreds of different ways to be active, you might find a type of exercise you actually enjoy such as hiking, biking, roller-blading, skiing, running, dancing, power-walking, yoga, volleyball, softball, tennis, swimming, surfing, etc. If exercise is infused into a recreational hobby, it becomes less of a ‘chore’ and something you are actually passionate about and willingly/happily devote time to. In addition to the direct health benefits of exercise, by engaging in physical activities we become more attune with our bodies which obviously¬†carries great advantages during pregnancy and childbirth.

What are some ways you prepared for pregnancy? Would love to hear your ideas!

-Sarah