Stay Healthy Day 28: Eat Healthy Fats

Fatty foods have a bad reputation and yet healthy fats are found in some of the most nutrient dense whole foods available to us. Here are some of the best fats to incorporate into your diet:

💛Avocado
💛Grass Fed Butter or Ghee
💛Extra Virgin Olive Oil
💛Coconut Oil
💛Omega-3s from fatty fish
💛Nuts and Seeds
💛Free Range Eggs
💛Grass Fed Beef
💛Full Fat Dairy, especially raw
💛MCT Oil
💛Dark Chocolate

From Dr Axe –
“Fats are an important part of the diet, but not all fats have the same effects on health. While good fats can actually lower cholesterol levels, boost brain function and support satiety, filling up on unhealthy fats can contribute to chronic disease and weight gain.

A good rule of thumb is to steer clear of highly-processed fats that are pumped full of additives and unhealthy ingredients. Refined vegetable oils, processed meats and snack foods like chips, crackers and baked goods are generally high in disease-causing, artery-clogging trans fats that should be avoided at all costs.”
https://draxe.com/nutrition/healthy-fats/

A fantastic resource on healthy whole foods and nutrient dense, full fat dietary choices is the Weston Price Foundation. I love checking their site for recipes and information. Here are details on fats from their website.
https://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/

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Stay Healthy Day 22: Breastfeed

Did you breast fed? And if so, did you noticed something different about your milk when baby started coming down with a cold?

From a friend: Amelia was the first of mine I was truly successful with with bf so she was the first I noticed it with. One day, she’d started getting a little bit of clear nasal drainage and you could tell she just didnt feel the best. Over the next few days the color of her drainage changed and a cough came with it. At the time, she was far too young to get antibiotics or anything else for that matter (back then we were still all western med).

The change was so subtle at first that I didn’t catch it right off. This was my first time experiencing bf while having a sick baby. Several days into her little cold, I noticed my breast milk had DRASTICALLY changed color. At first I thought what the frick is this?! But digging deeper I learned just how common this is and in fact is a natural part of our bodies amazing capabilities.

When breastfed babies get sick, their mothers milk changes to accommodate babies needs and to gove baby what they need to get better. The breast milk changes and increases its anti infective properties so as to help baby get better. Kinda like having a built in natural antibiotic for baby. Higher levels of lymphocytes and granulocytes can be found in the milk of a mama with a sick baby. These are the infection fighting cells. Higher levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha, which is an infection fighting substance known as a cytokines, is secreted from the cells in the breast milk.

Breastfeeding has benefits for mom too including reduced risk for breast, ovarian and uterine cancer; reduce stress, anxiety and postpartum “blues”; reduced risk of osteoporosis; and natural child spacing.

Read more.

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New mama research list

Check out this great list of topics we feel every new expecting mother should look into. It’s great to be informed in advance to be able to make the best decisions for your family.

Also, check out these groups, pages and websites that provide additional information and support:

Natural and Holistic Living

Earthley

Modern Alternative Mama

Cloth Diapers for Beginners

Vaccination Re-education Discussion Forum

Hip Homeschool Mom Community

Wildschooling

Practical Homeschooling

Wildcrafting, Gardening & Herbalism

Foraging & Feasting

Home Birth – Assisted & Unassisted

Saving our Sons

The Badass Breastfeeder

Exclusively Breastfeeding Mommies

Natural Parenting 101

Chiropractic

Everyday Babywearing

Babywearing 101

CarSeat Safety

Car Seats for Littles

Biologically Normal Infant Sleep

Go Sleeping & Attachment Parenting Support

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31 steps to better health day 1: remove fluoride from water

Good morning friends! 🍶🍳

This month we are going to do something really special and work through a series of 31 posts (one for each day of this month) dedicated to helping you stay healthy.

So, where are we going to begin on this 31 day journey to better health?

We think it’s important to begin with something that everybody consumes (or at least should consume) daily… WATER… but not the fluoridated kind!

But why? Why shouldn’t you consume water that has added fluoride? What’s the big deal? Don’t we need fluoride? Isn’t that what prevents our teeth from decaying?

Well, no. We don’t need it, it doesn’t prevent tooth decay AND there’s actually never been a single study that proves adding fluoride to water has been beneficial or prevented anything… what’s more is that, most other countries do not add this neurotoxin to their water supplies. It’s actually shocking that people in the US drink more fluoridated water than the entire world combined!

Now, it is said that fluoride is the reason why tooth decay has rapidly declined over the past sixty years but the fact is, that just like diseases after the invention of modern day plumbing (prior to modern day vaccination schedules), tooth decay was already declining AND in other developed countries that have still NOT added fluoride to their water (like the UK), tooth decay has still continued to decline in their countries. Explain that!

It’s unsettling that “experts” claim that adding fluoride to water has been thoroughly studied and is safe for human consumption however according to the well-known toxicologist, Dr. John Doull, who chaired the National Academy of Science’s review on fluoride, the safety of fluoridation remains “unsettled” and “we have much less information than we should, considering how long it has been going on. Shocking isn’t it?

What DO we know about fluoride? We know fluoride impacts our brain health and function, as well as fertility, and that it’s associated with Alzheimer’s disease, bladder cancer, disrupted thyroid and endocrine function; plus diabetes and other health problems.

Don’t you think that it should be more closely studied and monitored?

Furthermore, fluoride advocates aren’t assessing how much fluoride exposure is actually safe for people and particularly children and babies – over the long term. Actually, according to a recent national survey by the CDC, about 40% of American teenagers have a condition called dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is a defect of tooth enamel caused by fluoride’s interference with the tooth-forming cells.

During the 1950s, fluoride advocates claimed that fluorosis would only affect 10% of children in fluoridated areas. This prediction has proven false. Today, not only do 40% of American teenagers have fluorosis, but, in some fluoridated areas, the rate is as high as 70 to 80%, with some children suffering advanced forms of the condition…

What’s more troubling is that babies that are formula fed are often given bottled fluoridated water… then they are quickly introduced to fluoridated toothpaste. Who says that is safe? In-fact infants who consume formula made with fluoridated tap water consume up to 700 to 1,200 micrograms of fluoride, or about 100 times more than the recommended amount.

It’s not even just water and toothpaste. Fluoride can be found in teflon pans, processed beverages and foods, some teas and fluorinated pharmaceuticals… so how much exposure is too much? Are long term studies being done?

Fluoride is actually not even approved by the Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) even though fluoride is considered a “medicine” when it’s added to public drinking water…

Find this all interesting? I hope so, it’s incredibly important that we inform ourselves about these things so that we may make the best choice possible for future generations.

You can find more information about this here… Attorney Michael Connett summarizes 10 basic facts about fluoride that should be considered in any discussion about whether to fluoridate water.
http://www.fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/10facts.pdf

And to top it off, here’s 50 more reasons to rethink whether fluoride exposure is a good idea.
http://fluoridealert.org/articles/50-reasons/

One more thing! Wondering how this is all connected to cancer? Well, listen up!
http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/yiamouyiannis-19931.pdf

Click to access ca-oehha.2011.pdf

Do you drink fluoridated water? Or, will you be rethinking it after reading this? I want to hear from you and spark important conversation. 🙂

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Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all; it is a pre-hormone. It helps to regulate many of the hormones in our bodies, as well as the use of other vitamins. There are two major types: D2, or ergocalciferol; and D3, or cholecalciferol. D3 is more natural and much better absorbed. Most fortified foods contain D2, because it is cheaper.

Vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium and promote proper bone health. Children who are not exposed to enough Vitamin D often experience soft, fragile or misshapen bones.

Did you know that between 75-90% of people are said to be deficient in Vitamin D (depending on skin pigment), according to the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20133466

Making sure you have optimal levels of Vitamin D can decrease your chance of:

❌ Heart Disease
❌ Cancer
❌ Diabetes
❌ Depression
❌ Fatigue
❌ Weakness
❌ Pain
❌ Cardiovascular Disease.

Studies have shown that doses of 800–5,000 international units of Vitamin D per day can improve musculoskeletal health by naturally slowing aging of the skeletal structure and reducing the rate of fractures and falls in older adults that are over 65. Spending just ten minutes per day in the natural sunshine can increase your Vitamin D absorption by up to 10,000 units – yet unfortunately most people do not go outside often enough and most people do not go outside often enough and most occupations require people to work indoors.

Did you know? Increased sunlight exposure and circulating levels of vitamin D are associated with the reduced occurrence and mortality in many types of cancer.

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3355893/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17556697

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0199265

Vitamin D has also been shown to protect against autoimmune disease by protecting cells from inflammation.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15585788

Read more: https://draxe.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms/

There are very few food sources of vitamin D (other than the sun!). Cod liver oil remains the best source but is important to balance it with vitamin A for optimal absorption, which is why a whole-food source like cod liver oil is the best idea.

Do you feel like you get enough Vitamin D? If no, read on….

Lard from pastured pigs is another good source; fish is a minor source (salmon, tuna, mackeral). All plant sources unfortunately only contain only D2, which is not well absorbed.

Vitamin D requires fat to be absorbed, because it is a fat-soluble vitamin. If you are not consuming enough dietary fat, you will not reap the benefits! This is why most food sources are fat like lard or fatty sources like mackeral.

Interestingly, these same fats can protect your skin from the sun so that you do not burn. Consume plenty of saturated fats, and plenty of water while you are in the sun (or when you get sun frequently) to minimize burns and maximize synthesis.

How do you know if you are vitamin d deficient?

According to Mercy Medical Center 42% of Americans are!

“About 42% of the US population is vitamin D deficient with some populations having even higher levels of deficiency, including pre-menopausal women, those with poor nutrition habits, people over age 65, Caucasians who avoid even minimal sun exposure, and those who take prescription medication long term for heartburn, acid reflux, and constipation. Studies show people with darker skin, such as African Americans and Latinos, are also at risk for lower vitamin D levels because high amounts of melanin in skin reduce the body’s ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight. In addition, certain chronic conditions—such as celiac disease, bariatric surgery, obesity, and chronic kidney or liver disease—can contribute to deficiency.”
https://www.cantonmercy.org/healthchat/42-percent-of-americans-are-vitamin-d-deficient/

“Of the 4962 participants interviewed in this study by NHANES 2011-2012, 1981 (39.92%) were vitamin D deficient (serum levels less than 50 nmol/L), a proportion that has remained consistent since 2005-2006, when NHANES found 40% of the population to be vitamin D deficient.”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6075634/

Do you experience:

➡️ Frequent Illness
➡️ Fatigue
➡️ Poor quality of sleep
➡️ Hair Loss
➡️ High Blood Sugar
➡️ Depression
➡️ Slow healing wounds
➡️ Muscle Pain
➡️ Obesity
➡️ Anxiety
➡️ Back Pain
➡️ Chronic Inflammation
➡️ Auto Immunity

Earthley’s natural Vitamin D Cream is based on cod liver oil, which contains both vitamins A and D, as well as some vitamin E and K2. The fat-soluble vitamins are balanced so that they can be used by the body in the easiest way possible, allowing it to be the most beneficial.

Contains approximately:
150 IU vitamin D
1500 IU vitamin A
Trace amounts of vitamin E
Trace amounts of vitamin K2
Per 1 tsp.

I have always had low Vitamin D levels despite taking high doses of Vitamin D supplements. I started using Earthley’s vitamin D cream and has bloodwork done about 6 weeks later and for the first time in forever, my levels were normal! And even during winter months! This stuff works! Learn more about this cream here.

Learn more here: https://modernalternativemama.com/2011/4/4/monday-health-wellness-vitamin-d/

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Handmade herbal tinctures

At Earthley we provide a wide variety of herbal remedies and that includes herbal tinctures. 🌿

Some of the herbal remedies Earthley offers are:

🌿 Anti-Inflammatory
This herbal extract helps to calm the body, reduce inflammation, and provide immune support.

🌿 Anxiety Relief
This gentle, yet powerful formula can: Relieve anxious feeling, encourage calm mood, improve mental clarity and focus, improve sleep quality and reduce depression symptoms.

🌿 Calm and Clarity
Helps to promote even mood, better energy, and better mental clarity.

🌿 Candida Cleanse
Fight the overgrowth of Candida and inflammation, and support your liver naturally.

🌿 Cough Be Gone
This tincture can remove extra mucus, soothe sore throats, and promote lung health and detoxification.

🌿 Digest-Ease
Get relief from indigestion, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.

🌿 Digest-Support
Promote better nutrient absorption and, as a result, alleviate symptoms like gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea.

🌿 Ease the Ache
Perfect for menstrual cramps, bloating, “heavy” feeling, heavy bleeding, mood swings, postpartum period.

🌿 Elderberry
This blend of immune-boosting herbs is like a one-two punch for colds, coughs, sore throats, and more, in a shelf-stable elderberry drops tincture.

🌿 Energy Plus
Herbal iron supplement is made from herbs that are rich in natural iron, vitamin C, and B-complex.

🌿 Feel Better Fast
Knock out coughs, sniffles, upset tummies, keep fevers in a safe range, and get you and your kiddos back on their feet.

🌿 Fertili-Boost
To help women prepare for a healthy pregnancy, and promote healthy fertility!

🌿 Immune-Biotic
Uses immune-supporting herbs to give your body a jump start to fight off germs. Take for three to seven days and kick that cold or flu to the curb.

🌿 Liver Love
Supports liver function and detox.

🌿 Mama’s Magic Milk Boost
Natural ways to increase breast milk, you have found the best lactation supplement on the market.

A tincture is a super-concentrated herbal solution.

This is how we make herbal tinctures:

Dry herbs are weighed out into a measuring cup to get a precise amount, and then poured into 1-gallon glass jars. Once all the herbs are added, we add alcohol or glycerin (diluted to the proper ratios). The jars then head to the shelf to sit for 4 weeks, before they’re strained and bottled.

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Lead found in Medela Cooler Carrier

Apparently I am behind the times on this one. Last year, the Center for Environmental Health tested the Medela Cooler Carrier and found traces of lead. I was less than thrilled to hear about this since I have been carrying my daughter’s organic milk in it to daycare for the last 2 years and used it to carry the breast milk I pumped for her at work for over a year.

Medela believes the coolers are safe and lead free, but, being the great company they are, are gladly replacing them if you are concerned. So mine is on its way back to Medela. The downside is it takes 6 weeks to receive the replacement and since I am pumping now for my 4 month old son, I needed something now.

So I went to www.reusablebags.com where this is a selection of lead-free bags. I got a Munchler’s lunch backback for my daughter to carry her milk – CUTE!!!! She will be able to use this bag for a long time. Very cute and durable. It’s a backpack style, so she can easily put it on and carry it. Highly recommend.

For my son I purchased an ACME lunch bag which works perfectly for baby bottles, much better than the likely lead-tainted freebies that you get in the hospital. I got a second one in another color that I use to carry the pumped milk. It’s a little big for that purpose, but I will be able to use the bag for lunches or otherwise when I am done pumping, which is what I wanted anyway.

Check all your milk, bottle and lunch cooler bags. Many are made of vinyl/PVC and likely contain lead. There are many very cute, lead free options available, so why risk lead exposure?

Even though the food or milk may not come in direct contact with the bag, contamination is still probable since you touch the bag, then your food, your breast pump parts, whatever the case may be.

Click here to find out if your Medela cooler is affected and if so how to return your Medela Cooler for a refund or replacement.

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Larrivo maternity nursingwear review and giveaway!!

I used to think nursing tops were not necessary, just another way for someone to make some money. Then Judy from A Mother’s Boutique asked if I would try Larrivo’s Emily nursing tunic, so I agreed. The first night I used this as sleepwear, I totally got the whole nursing top thing. It was soooo much easier than wrestling with an oversized t-shirt while half-awake at 3am as my son was desperately trying to latch on.

Showing drop cup access in Madison

Now I want to know if this baby comes in long sleeved versions as it’s getting right cold outside, and is there such a thing as a nursing robe for those cold nights, or is that taking things a bit too far?

I now wish I would have invested in a couple nursing tops and dresses that I could have worn to church, weddings and other family events that I have attended during my nursing career. The investment would have paid for itself. Yes, I’m kicking myself. After all, this is my 2nd child and my first nursed for more than 2 years. I admit I am a little slow to adapt.

The tunic has a built-in bra, so you don’t have to lift your shirt (and expose that post-baby belly), or dig down the neck opening to unsnap the cup when you are trying to discreetly nurse in public, or battle a hungry baby. It also features easy-to-use and drop down cups that snap open and closed easily with one hand (very important).

I have the tunic in Skye. Alone it looks like sleepwear, but when you pair it with some cute leggings and a jacket, you are ready for a day (or night) out on the town. Or for a business look, I think the Skye cami would look really cute under a sand-colored suit. Also, the empire waist style is forgiving – it’s slightly ‘flowy’ helping to disguise that lingering baby belly. Or can even be worn throughout pregnancy.

Comfort is also important, and the Emily nursing tunic delivers. It’s very soft and offers good bra support as well. It’s definitely comfortable to sleep in, so you know it will be comfortable for any event.

The Larrivo Emily nursing wear is a winner in my book!

You can buy Larrivo nursing tops at A Mother’s Boutique or enter to win one here! Winner will receive their choice of the tunic or dress style in either the Skye or Madison Garden print.

To be entered into this contest please leave a comment on this post which tells us which is your favorite type of nursing access – drop cup or empire – In addition, please tell us if you think you would wear these pieces for sleepwear or daywear – This is MANDATORY in order to be considered for a prize.

Get bonus entries!! You can enter for extra chances to win one of these great tunics or dresses by doing any of the activities below. Just be sure to come back here and leave us a comment for each one – letting us know which ones you completed.

1) Sign up to be a fan of Larrivo on facebook.

2) Spread the word! Tweet about this post and link back to it – be sure to include @greenparenting in your tweet and a link back to this page, and leave a comment here with a link to your tweet (you can do this once per day during the contest).

3) Spread the word some more! Post about this contest on facebook and tell all of your friends about it! (you can do this once per day during the contest)

4) Don’t have a blog, not on facebook or twitter? No problem, we want you to have extra chances to win too – so go ahead and send an email to any of your pregnant or nursing friends. Be sure to cc: us on your email (bhamgreenparent@gmail.com) and leave a comment here too! We promise not to add anyone to any mailing lists unless they specifically request to be added.

5) Purchase any item from Larrivo in A Mother’s Boutique Store – and leave a comment here with the last 4-digits of your order number. You will get 4 extra chances to win for every purchase!

That’s it! Lots of ways to win a tunics or chemise dress from Larrivo!! This contest ends 12/29/09 at 11:59pm EST. All entrants will be verified and must complete the mandatory entry before completing the ‘extra’ entries. Invalid entries will be disqualified. This contest is open to people with US-based delivery addresses ONLY. Winner must respond to email within 48 hours or we reserve the right to choose another winner.

Disclosure:
This product was received free of charge from Larrivo and A Mother’s Boutique. No compensation was received for writing this review. The opinions expressed here are my own fully, honest opinions and in no way was influenced by receiving this product.

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Organic Milk vs Hormone Free Milk

Alison asked if hormone-free milk was as good as organic.

As for as Organic milk vs hormone free, neither will have the hormone added, but the hormone “free”-only will still have pesticide residue. Organic milk comes from cows fed an organic diet – grain or grass. In most cases, organic cows are treated better (more room per cow, most organic cows graze in an open pasture), while conventional cows don’t have much room to move around. So that to me even means healthier milk since cows treated better tend to be healthier anyway, thus not needing antibiotics, etc.

art_rbst_free_milk_cnn

Hormone free vs organic – cows naturally produce hormones, so the milk is not entirely hormone free, however no synthetic hormones are added (which to me is still better than conventional milk). However, it seems as though “hormone-free” is more of a marketing term.

CNN also reported on this topic pointing out research has shown there is no difference in milk from cows treated with rbST and cows that were not. However, the author echos many who feel “science” and the FDA has let us down before and consumers are questioning the safety of, well everything.

But then again, Natural News debunks that and gives a glowing review of why adding hormones is not good, including pus getting into the milk from these cows who often get mastitis due to the overproduction of milk and these cows are then given antibiotics to treat the mastitis infection. Now, who wants all that in their milk?

Benefits of Organic Milk
Here is another very good article showing the benefits of organic milk vs conventional milk. Such benefits include less pesticide contamination, more vitamins and antioxidants, improves the quality of breastmilk and helps prevent asthma and eczema in children. Read the entire article for more benefits.

SFMilk-FamilyAs for as choosing a good organic milk, first things first – Horizon milk is not really organic, which is really sad considering it is the best selling brand of organic milk. There are several links on there, one of which is a link to thorough research of many organic brands of milk rated on how “organic” they really are. So if you choose to stay/go organic, you can choose a good brand. Also, you can usually sign up on the manufacturer’s website and get coupons — for example, Stonyfield Farm or Organic Valley may send out coupons in a newsletter.

We eat the “dirty dozen” fruits and veggies (mostly these are the ones where the outer skin is exposed like peaches, grapes, strawberries, potatoes, apples…) these are the ones that will have the most pesticides and bananas for example, do not have near as many pesticides since it is protected by a thick peel. So I get organic apples, but not bananas. I say that to give you an example that there are tradeoffs. You don’t have to go 100% organic on everything. To me, milk is one of those areas where the benefit definitely shows organic to be better.

Certainly cost is a factor. I get our milk from Whole Foods. If you drink a lot of milk or you have room in your freezer, Whole Foods gives you 10% off if you purchase a case of milk (4 gallons). We go through that in about 10-14 days, so I do this sometimes, but it’s a little hard to drink that much milk when we still give our 3 year old whole milk. And I am not sure about freezing milk, have not tried it, but know people who have with great success. And as mentioned, you can usually sign up to get newsletters which may contain coupons.

Related Articles
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