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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

I've got a cleaning lady coming for the first time today and realised that I basically don't have any cleaning products. When I am cleaning, I just throw a couple of things together on the spot, but as
somebody else is coming in, someone who's probably used to cleaning with ready made products, I figured I had to whip up a couple of things, to cover the basics.

So I made:

  • No streak Glass Cleaner using this recipe on Whole New Mom 
  • Bathroom cleaner with this recipe on Crunchy Betty
I tweaked the Glass cleaner by adding a couple drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil. My original, store bought (but eco-friendly) glass cleaner had Eucalyptus and I rather liked that. As we use very little scented products in general, some scent now and again is welcome. Given that Eucalyptus is air purifying and we've all got a bit of a cold (seriously, is this summer in Belgium? Missing Africa already), this is a good way of getting rid of bacteria and adding some aromatherapy to our home.

I usually have scented vinegar (like this) on hand for making my on the spot cleaners, so I don't need to add essential oils, but I haven't come around to making any since I moved back to Belgium. Yet writing this post (and receiving some lovely rosemary from a friend) reminded me to do so. 
I do have a bottle of store bought eco-friendly all purpose cleaner on hand for days when I don't feel like mixing anything up or lack the supplies.

Find more homemade cleaners on my Pinterest 'cleaning' board







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Monday, July 28, 2014

Postpartum Paleo Freezer Meals - Recipe Roundup Post

The early days with a new baby can be hectic, tiring, earth-shattering... preparing food may very well
be the last thing on your list. It's better to be prepared, than to rely on stir of the moment eating that may have you rely on fast foods, low in nutrients at a time where you need these nutrients the most.

Freezing foods during your pregnancy will leave you with a nice stock of healthy meals that are ready to be popped in the oven or reheated on the stove. This list will give you the inspiration you need to get started.

Breakfast
Frittata breakfast muffins on Real Food RN
Grain free waffles on Real Food RN
Pineaple banana green smoothie on A Harmony Healing
Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Cups on Fresh Bites Daily

Soups


Creamy Coconut Green Chilli Chicken Soup from Delicious Obsessions
Chunky Chicken and Vegetable Soup on The Organic Kitchen
Thai Chicken Coconut Soup on Delicious Obsessions
Curried Beet Soup on Fresh Bites Daily
Nettle Leaf Soup on Fresh Bites Daily


Greens Soup on Fresh Bites Daily
Chicken and Dumpling Soup from Healing Cuisine by Elise
Smoked Turkey and Pea Soup on Healing Cuisine by Elise



Mains

Bison and sweet potato stew on Delicious Obsessions
Slow cooked pulled porc on Economies of Kale
No bean sweet potato chilli on Happy Healthnut
Grass Fed Beef and Vegetable stew on Delicious Obsessions
Easiest Crock Pot Taco Meat on Delicious Obsessions (or this one from Fresh Bites Daily, which doesn't require a crock pot)


Simple Chicken and Vegetable Curry on Delicious Obsessions
Beef and Parsnip stew with marjoram on Gutsy by Nature
Hidden Liver Meatballs on Real Food RN
Spicy Pork on Fresh Bites Daily
Salmon Casserole from Healing Cuisine by Elise


Ginger Cranberry Pork Roast on Mama and Baby Love
Ginger beef on Divine Health from the Inside Out
Three Freezer Recipes on Divine Health from the Inside Out


Snacks and Sides

Crustless Quiche with beets and Greens on Fresh Bites Daily
Zucchini Casserole from Healing Cuisine by Elise
Zucchini Mushroom Crumble from Healing Cuisine by Elise

Sweets
Lemon Macadamia Coconut Blueberry Muffins on Delicious Obsessions

Sauce

Homemade pizza sauce on Real Food RN

Freezing tips
How to slice and freeze avocados on Real Food RN
How to freeze herbs on Real Food RN


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Friday, July 25, 2014

Preparing Your Postpartum Time

Even though our culture tries to breeze over it like it is nothing, the postpartum time is truly a sacred time in the lives of our babies, as well as in the lives of the new mother. Hormones rage through your body, your little one needs to adapt to a new... well... everything! You might feel frazzled or insecure, your partner and other kids need to adjust to this new creature in your midst.

The postpartum experience can be destabilising and tip over an otherwise healthy mom into PPD if she is not well surrounded. Better to avoid than to heal, you can plan for your postpartum time to be a happy time, a time of connection and recovery.


Learn about natural postpartum healing
Every mother's body needs to adjust to the change in hormones and the radical shift in your body. Luckily, you can assist your body with gentle, natural remedies.

Prepare the needed supplies in advance. You can order them online and have them delivered, but it will be useful to have them close instead of having to run around looking for herbs etc. 

Ensure Healthy Postpartum Food

Having a freezer full of lovely, nutritious meals, will ensure you and your family eat well and get those nutrient dense foods even when you're too tired or worn down to cook. Start cooking ahead of your delivery. Know that you can freeze soups and sauces for six month, meat or fish dishes for about 3 months. Get lovely in season products and cook them when you feel up to it during your pregnancy. 
If you want to make sure you stick to the deal, you can organise a mamaBake with friends. Ask around if your friends or family are bulk preparing, maybe you can get a batch too?

Look out for a post about post-partum freezer meal later this week.

During your pregnancy, look into home delivery services, anything that cuts down your shopping time and running around. Maybe you have a local brewer who does a weekly round with milk, juice and water. With the additional bonus of being in glass bottles - less toxic exposure!!
Can you get a weekly fruit and veg basket from a local farmer or food co-op?


Get Help

Try to find out who will be around to help you after the birth of your baby, and make clear arrangements ahead of time. Do you have a friend who can come babysit the older kids once a week? Maybe your mom wants to do your ironing? Maybe your inlaws can drop by and bring some food once a week?

Consider what you'll be comfortable with and talk it over before your baby is born. You will need help the first couple of weeks. Making sure you have all the help you can get will be a huge benefit. 

If you don't have someone to help you out regularly, look into hiring help. In the US, you can get a postpartum doula. If you're in the UK, you can hire someone specialised in postpartum care through an organisation such as Nursing Personnel . Most European countries offer some form of assistance with your local family care centre. 
These people can help you with your household, the care for your baby and yourself.

Prepare your postpartum wardrobe

Having soft, comfortable clothes, that also look good, will ensure a good mood during the postpartum time. If you will be breastfeeding, you'll need adapted clothes that enable you to nurse in all situations; without hassle. 



Is your partner having a baby shortly? Read about how you can help and become a perfect postpartum partner.
Read about how postpartum care is organised in Ivory Coast



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Monday, July 21, 2014

Pregnancy and Birth Preparation - Third Time Around

Today, I wanted to share with you what I've been doing this pregnancy. I have to say, it's been quite a
lovely pregnancy overall. No huge emotional turmoil such as I had when I was pregnant with my son. I did have some nausea and was extremely tired the first few months, but other than that - and a couple of small discomforts - this one really is a breeze...

You might think there's little if any prep to do for a third pregnancy... Hey, I've been around the block twice, should know the deal, no?

Well... No. I think every pregnancy is different, and every one is an opportunity for growth. And so I take it with both hands.`

**This post contains affiliate links, if you buy through them, I earn a small commission.**

Mental prep
I have been reading as much as I can. So far, these are the books I've read:



I'm also taking a private hypnobirthing course. I'm really enjoying it, as it forces us to take tame off and relax, which isn't always easy if you're homeschooling two other kids, so it's a fixed moment of relaxation. The kids have also been practicing the meditations with me and I really see the benefits. I must admit that I'm not as focused on it as I would like to be, but it's ok.

Excercise and posture
I've been doing prenatal yoga as much as possible (which is much less now that I've been single parenting for nearly three months). I'm using a UK DVD called "Penatal Yoga with Tara Lea" which I'm really enjoying. The full practice is both intense and relaxing and she pays specific attention to comman aches and pains (my sciactica thanks her!). I actually bought it before I was pregnant with my son. I didn't have a strong yoga practice by then and found it tedious, boring really, to start with such slow movements, but now I love the workout and it's really challenging - in a good.
I'm walking with the kids, daily.

I got myself a yoga ball to help with lower back and hip pain and a better posture and an orthopedic pillow to raise my legs when I'm on the sofa, which will hopefully help with my tired legs and varicose veins. Beats propping up with pillows by far!!

Nutrition
As far as nutrition goes, I try to eat plenty of fruit (and loving that it's berry season), I'm taking Salus Floradix Iron + Herbs and Nordic Naturals - DHA. When I got back from Liberia, I had my blood drawn, because I was feeling so sluggish and did have a lack in B vitamins and Vit D. Taking these supplements and getting some sun has replenished all this in about a month. (And I do feel much fitter).

I drink a prenatal infusion off and on (when I think about it). You can find my pregnancy infusion recipe here. 

Support
As I mentioned, I'm following a private hypno course, which has been really fun because it allowed us to meet a like minded person, which is always a blessing. I'm also visiting my manual therapist/acupuncturist, who'm I've know as far as I can remember.
I'll be trying prenatal shiatsu next month.

But the thing I was pretty anxious about was 'medical' care. In that I want only the necessary and more mental support than modern medicine offers. You may remember that I pretty much failed at that in my last pregnancy, ended up with an unassisted pregnancy and even UC.
This time around, I wasn't sure? To UC or not?
Then I found this amazing midwife who's really in tune with us and who offers exactly the kind of care that I craved for.

Aftercare will be handled by a local midwife, I'm still scouting but this is a question for a little later on.

That's about it... I think I'm getting pretty good at this ;)





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