RECIPE – Decadent Coconut Banana Chia Pudding

This recipe is the perfect start to your day!!! Enjoy!

Decadent Coconut Banana Chia Pudding

Easy overnight chia pudding with all the healthy fats to nourish and support the postpartum period.

*Tip: make a few of these in advance and keep them for snacks and breakfast for the week. 

Course Breakfast
Keyword Healthy Treat, Postpartum
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 pudding jar
Author Jen Casey, Next Bite Nutrition

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup almond milk *or milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful walnuts

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine chia seeds with can of coconut milk, maple syrup, almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. 

  2. Stir well and refrigerate overnight or for several hours until pudding sets up. When ready to eat, top with sliced banana and walnuts. 

  3. Optional additions are cacao powder, pumpkin seeds and berries. 

Recipe Notes

Did you know that you need calories, healthy fats and fibre to help balance postpartum hormones, for brain health, to heal after childbirth, and to increase the quality of breast milk?  As new and busy mamas, we need to eat to nourish ourselves to fill our own cup, and the easier the recipe, the better! Try this chia pudding that you can make the night before so it is ready for your busy morning the next day.

 

 

Jen Casey, CNP | Next Bite Nutrition Coaching. Offering Weekly Meal Plan Subscriptions with healthy, nutritionist-approved recipes and grocery list emailed straight to your inbox. 

In the Beyond

We mamas carry a lot on our shoulders, guilt, worry, fear, confusion…and I wish I could tell you to put it all aside, but I personally know that it isn’t easy. What I can offer you are breathing and movement techniques to…help take the edge off. Building in some of these simple practices into your everyday routines can be beneficial to you and your family.


Gate Flow to Kneeling Bow
  • Start on your knees with your leg extended to the side (toes facing forward).
  • Slide your hand down your extended leg and reach your opposite hand up.
  • Plant your raised hand on the ground (adjust your bent leg, drawing your foot towards the centre line).
  • Raise your extended leg up into Kneeling Half Moon.
  • Lastly, bend the knee on your raised leg. Grab a hold of the top of your foot.
  • Push your foot into your hand and extend it upwards.
  • Continue this for 2 cycles.

*repeat for opposite side


Simple Lunge Flow
  • Start in low lunge with your front knee stacked over your heel.
  • Tent your fingertips on your mat and settle your pelvis towards the ground.
  • Lift your heart towards the sky and settle your shoulders down.
  • Take a deep inhale.
  • Exhale and start to flow back settling into modified splits, taking your nose towards your knee.
  • Continue this for 5 cycles, flowing with your breath.
*repeat for opposite side

Tighten Your taco! 5 tips for strengthening your pelvic floor

If you ask your mother if she could jump on the trampoline without using the bathroom first, chances are she will say, “no”.

There are generations of women who think just because they’ve carried and birthed a baby, that their body will forever be broken. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With proper information and practice, you can gain strength through your pelvic floor during and after pregnancy, and once again be free to sneeze without needing to cross your legs…I’m talking about incontinence here!

Besides incontinence, your pelvic floor muscles are also responsible for other factors, such as sexual pleasure…um, important, right? Strengthening these muscles can also help to relieve constipation, restore/prevent prolapse, reduce low back pain, hold in tampons/menstrual cups and decrease frequent urination. Holy smokes!

As a woman’s belly becomes more bountiful during pregnancy, pressure gets put on the pelvic floor, which can weaken the area. During this time, you want to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles through specific connection exercises (see below) and avoid any pose or movement that could put added pressure on the floor. Postpartum, it’s important to continue with these specific exercises to maintain strength and connection. So, how do you tighten your taco…big wink*!?

Below is a description of the Connection Breath Exercise, but make sure to read these 5 tips first:

  1. ALIGNMENT. Samantha Jones in Sex and the City does a lot of things well, but I don’t think she gets her strong pelvic floor muscles by engaging her bits  while sipping cosmos at the bar! Her posture is all out of whack! Alignment is key as you prepare for these exercises, ensure you’re sitting up tall before you begin (ears stacked over shoulders and shoulders over hips).
  2. BREATH. Forget everything you know about breathing. But don’t stop breathing…dear god, what I mean is breathe sideways. As you prepare for the Connection Breath, take a few breaths and focus on your inhale. Imagine your belly is a balloon and swell through the front, back AND side bodies, opening up the rib cage and pushing your breath deep down to your belly.
  3. RELEASE. Don’t just Kegel to contract! Actually what’s just as important is the release! Women can hold a lot of tension in their bits so simply focussing on the contraction, or lift of your pelvic floor, can often do more harm than good. Inhale to release mama!
  4. VISUALIZATION. Sip a milkshake through your vagina..one of those thick creamy milkshakes that you have to get going by sucking vigorously on the straw half a dozen times before it wells up. Exhale to lift your pelvic floor, as if you’re stopping the flow of urination.
  5. CONNECT. This exercise is a practice of connecting you with your pelvic floor, the muscles that sit at the base of our pelvis, and the transverse abdominus muscles, located deep below the navel. So, at the end of your exhale, draw your lower belly in 10%. THAT’S how you connect the pelvic floor (aka: mula bandha) and transverse abdominus (aka: uddiyana bandha). Be aware…don’t do more than a 10% engagement because then you’ll be contracting your rectus abdominus (aka: six pack).

Here we go…

CONNECTION BREATH

Sit up tall and bring your hands to rest under your belly.

Gently close your eyes and start to take your focus inward, tuning into your breath.

Inhale, slowly breath in and feel the expansion through your front, back and side bodies.

Exhale long, feeling the belly and the ribs gently draw in.

On your next inhale, focus on releasing the muscles of the pelvic floor, those that prevent the flow of urination and passing gas. 

Then on your exhale, start to lift these muscles up, imagine picking blueberries up with your vagina.

Inhale again, breathing sideways into your ribs and soften and release your pelvic floor.

Exhale, contract your pelvic floor, this time, imagining you’re sipping a milkshake up through your vagina.

Inhale, and again, fill yourself up like your filling up a water balloon, releasing between your bits.

Exhale, lift up, and at the end of this exhale, pause…and connect with your lower tummy muscles (transverse abdominus) giving baby a very gentle hug from below the navel.

Repeat this for three more cycle on your own, pausing in between cycles to steady your breathing if necessary. 

After your solo cycles, gently open your eyes and steady your breath.

 

Lots of sweet love,

Salina

Prevent & Restore…What is Diastasis Recti?

OMG, what is wrong with my belly?”. That’s what I thought when I first saw a ridge form down my tummy in my first trimester, pregnant with my first babe. I wanted to investigate further and was surprised that more people weren’t talking about this very important topic! I had to share! Check out this video to see what I learned about Diastasis Recti.

 

VIEW VIDEO HERE

 

 

*This video is for informational purposes only. Kukoon Yoga is not directly affiliated with products promoted in this video. We simply want to share what we learned and what we loved about postpartum wraps and care.

Post-Natal vs. Babe & Me Yoga. What’s the difference?

I am often asked what the difference is between Post-Natal Yoga and Babe & Me Yoga. The truth is, they are very different in style, intent and mood. To better grasp these differences, I interviewed one of our amazing yoga teachers, Jessica Blissett, who specializes in these classes.

 

Me: What’s the main difference between Post-Natal Yoga and Babe & Me Yoga?

Jessica: Both of these classes are unique for different reasons. In Babe & Me Yoga, we focus on connecting with baby through movement, music and play. The practice can be quite challenging, but I wouldn’t compare it to what you experienced in your pre-pregnancy practice. As we know, our babes can be distracting. Whether this is welcomed or not in class, it means that the movements don’t always get the targeted attention you might want or expect. Overall, this class is about nurturing the bond between you and babe, as well as the surrounding community of new mothers.

In Post-Natal Yoga, we are able to focus more on movements and address a proper routine for the postpartum recovery. We bring our attention to the breath, abdominals/core, upper body openings and general strength. It’s a time just for mamas to get away and receive the self-care they need, but rarely give themselves when caring for everyone else around them. There is, surprisingly, no Post-Natal Yoga classes offered in the area beyond Babe & Me Yoga, which as I described above, is entirely different. After receiving my training in this specialized class, I felt there was a need to fill that gap and provide a class tailored specifically around postpartum exercise. This is a class for anyone who has experienced pregnancy and birth, whether you’re 6 weeks or 20+ years postpartum!

 

Me: Why practice yoga after I’ve had a baby?

Jessica: Yoga allows you to channel your inner wisdom and intuition. This helps you understand your body’s new limits and avoids pushing you beyond your comfortable edge. After pregnancy and birth, your body needs plenty of time to recover. Although you may feel ready for your pre-pregnancy 10km run, bootcamp or Zumba class, a more gentle regime can benefit you inside and out.

Yoga helps to connect our body, mind and breath. In class, I try to keep the movements fluid to honour the transition the body has undergone as organs slowly begin to move back into their place, which can take up to one year to settle. Yoga also helps to strengthen areas of the body weakened by pregnancy and birth, such as the pelvic floor (mula bandha) and core muscles (uddiyana bandha). Lastly, most yoga classes incorporate breathing exercises (Pranayama), something that has vastly changed since your bump arrived. Body, mind and breath connection—that’s why yoga compliments postpartum exercise.

 

Me: Why should women slowly ease into an exercise regime after baby arrives?

Jessica: Your body has undergone vast changes after pregnancy and birth. As your bump grows, areas of your body can become weak, such as the pelvic floor muscles that sit at the base of the pelvis. These important muscles help avoid ‘pee’ accidents (because no one wants to continue to cross their legs when they sneeze), as well as makes sex more pleasureful *wink*! Bountiful bellies can also weaken the core muscles (not talking six-pack abs here, rather the inner layer of abdominal muscles under the belly button). You’ve probably heard of the dreaded “mummy tummy”? Minimizing, or eradicating this bulge means your “team” of muscles (pelvic floor, core) need to be working together. If you push yourself too hard, too soon after baby arrives, you can create permanent damage to these already weakened muscles. It’s important to honour the shift our bodies have made in creating life for nine months, then delivering that light into the world. Take your postpartum exercise regime slow and mindful. There’s absolutely no rush here ladies! You are all beautiful, goddess mama warriors!

 

For more information about Post-Natal Yoga, click here.

For more information about Babe & Me Yoga, click here.