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. 

RECIPE – Sweet Tooth Anyone?

Thank you to Christina Zvicer of be loved nutrition for her recipe contribution. I’m sure this cake will make many a mommy very happy!

Zucchini Cake

This recipe is low sugar, is dairy/gluten free and has healthy fats! Can you believe it? 

Course Dessert
Keyword Cakes, SweetTooth
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 cake
Author Christina Zvicer, be loved nutrition

Ingredients

  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 1 cup almond butter *you can use raw organic
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar *or your choice of sweetness
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash sea salt
  • 1 egg *optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees celsius.

  2. Grease 8×8 inch cake pan with coconut oil (or make into cupcakes/muffins).   

  3. Peel, chop and blend zucchini in food processor/blender until smooth.

  4. Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl (or blend).

  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick runs clean (adjust to less time if making cupcakes/muffins).

  6. Top with your favourite icing and ENJOY!

Recipe Notes

Christina Zvicer, RYT, RHN | be loved nutrition. Support that goes beyond food ingested and incorporates the person as a whole, physical and spiritual being.

 

RECIPE – Say no to Gatorade! Say yes to Labour Aid!

Here is a recipe that is so easy to make and store, allowing you peace of mind that you’ll have your super juice ready for your birth!

Labour Aid Drink


Say no to Gatorade! 

This amazing drink replaces electrolytes and hydration, which is important as dehydration can slow labour! It also provides energy during the birthing process, taking small sips after every contraction. 


*TIP* try to pee every hour to make space in the belly, making it easier to push baby out!


Course Drinks
Keyword Birth Juice, Electrolyte Boost, Hydration for Birth, Labour Aid
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 jug
Author Christina Zvicer, be loved nutrition

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water *or more, depending on how strong you want the taste to be
  • 3 cups coconut water *you can choose flavoured or unflavoured
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice *lemon juice is delicious too
  • 2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • ‘Calm Natural’ magnesium powder supplement *this can be purchased at your local grocery store

Instructions

  1. Add magnesium powder to BOILING water to ionize, creating a more absorbable form of magnesium. 

  2. Let this cool and then add to the rest of the mixture to it. 

Recipe Notes

Store in fridge/freeze in water bottles or ice cube trays until needed.

 

Christina Zvicer, RYT, RHN | be loved nutrition. Support that goes beyond food ingested and incorporates the person as a whole, physical and spiritual being.

Tips + Tricks…coping tools for birth

Birth Tips + Tricks

Birth…what an astronomical journey, ride, rush…whatever you call it, your baby’s birth is a momentous time! Without the use of certain coping strategies that I learned prior to delivering, I am not sure I would’ve managed as well. I’ve personally explored the following tools during my past three births and, holy cow, they DO really work! Whether it’s to take the edge off of your next contraction or to simply tune inward, pushing through the distractions in and around you.

Explore, practice and OWN them because, when you’re in the thick of birth, and you don’t think you can possibly get to that next contraction…maaaaaaaaaaybe a Mantra will get you there! It’s worth a shot. So, will you choose to fight or flight? If you choose to fight, read on! 

Body Melt

This scan from head to toe allows to to tune into the areas in your body that frequently cling to stress. Take note of those places so you can quickly access them during your birth. Here’s how to do a body melt. Close your eyes to help tune inward. Start from your forehead and scan all throughout your body, releasing anywhere that is clinging to stress. Spend a lot of time in your face (tight jaw, furrowed eyebrows, flared nostrils). These areas connect to your bits, which you only want to be open during your birth! Spend a lot of time scanning your vagina! We women can hold a great deal of stress in there and in the pelvic floor muscles. Continue scanning through to your tippy toes. Let it all go with each loooooooong exhale, feeling the tension and stress melt away.

Mantra 

A mantra is filling that inner voice inside your head with the right words. Birth brings challenge, there’s no doubting that. Sometimes those words of encouragement or strength can help tremendously. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself to find the fight within! Choose words that bring you power, strength, courage and peace. Some favourite examples I’ve heard over the years are, “There is an end, There is an end” or “Strength, Serenity” or “I trust my baby, I trust myself”. Find words that have an impact for you, then share them with your birth partner so they can remind you when times get tough! 

Movement

Always remember this tip…dance your baby out! Movement is an incredible and effective way to get baby moved down into the optimal position for birth. While pregnant, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which helps your joints become more loose and open. Your pelvis is made up of four bones, which need to open up as baby progresses down during birth and for the pushing stage. Your movement helps the pelvis open up and get baby nicely positioned. Also, studies show that upright birthing positions can reduce your labour time…nice, eh? So move, walk, climb stairs, squat, lunge and dance that baby down and out! Also, try to change positions every 30 mins, if possible. This also helps move things along. Giddy up!

Visualization

Close your eyes. This immediately mitigates about 30% of distraction into the brain. Take your focus inward and imagine yourself in a safe place. It could be anywhere…somewhere real, like your big cozy bed or someplace totally made-up, like the top of a rainbow! Experience this place with all of your senses, looking, touching, smelling, hearing and maybe even tasting things around you. Spend as much of your time there in that place of complete safety and serenity. Visualization has a powerful effect on a stressed brain. You may practice it at home and think there’s not much power there, but when you’re moving through each stage of labour, visualization can sometimes be the tool to help you escape and focus that energy inside to get the job done. 

Third Eye Focus

The Third Eye is also referred to as the Sixth Chakra. It is located on the forehead, between the eyebrows. Start by rolling your eyes into back of your head, focus there in the middle of your forehead. This sensation can help invite a calming sensation to the muscles surrounding the eyes. It’s a powerful and simple meditation to maintain your energy and focus inward. 

Birthing Breath

Practicing, what I like to call the Birthing Breath, will likely become one of your most powerful tools during birth. The breath has the capacity to reduce pain and relax the body/mind. This tool is about connecting your breath down to your bits during your contractions in both early and active labour. Remember, you want your bits, or pelvic floor muscles, to remain open through each rush, or contraction. The breathing techniques below will help achieve this. Here’s the dilly:

Firstly, focus on loooooooooong out-breaths, which is an exhale that is longer than an inhale. Imagine for a moment, that someone cuts you off in traffic…you let our a big, hard, maybe noisy sigh! That’s your body’s intrinsic way of inviting calm and peace inside when in a stressful situation. Secondly, you’ve probably seen many Hollywood films portraying birth via mom on her back, legs up and screaming at the top of her lungs. Nope, try to avoid that scenario! Besides the unhelpful position of being on your back, which we will get into in another Blog, the high-pitch screaming is also not useful during birth. So what should we do instead?

Try different out-breath sounds that promote an open jaw and relaxed frame. Horse lips is a great example that you can practice. I like it because it helps to keep your jaw open/loose, which also speaks to your bits. Clenched jaw = clenched bits (says, Ina May Gaskin). Another sound you can try is, chhhhhhhhh. Remember, draw that exhale out as long as you can! And, the last, but most powerful sound you can practice is the low moan (from the chest). This sounds similar to an Om in yoga…or an orgasim sound. Ha, yes indeed! Labour and orgasims are related too, if you can believe it! But I digress. Always try to vibrate the sounds from deep within your chest. This action helps keep your bits open during the contraction. Take a slow inhale, then let out an audible exhale, nice and long! These vibrations help guide baby down into that optimal position for birth. Don’t be afraid to be noisy now, because sounds will come out of you during labour that you did not know you could make! So rock this birth like the powerful goddess you are! You got this!

My final note here is to say that if you went into your birth with a vision of how it should end up, but it didn’t go that way, that’s ok! It’s more than ok. If you feel you owned every decision during your birth, that you were supported and that you were informed, then that detour in the plan is, well, is how your baby was meant to come into this world…whether that be at home in the water or at the hospital by cesarean! It’s all part of the journey!

Lots of sweet baby 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.

Prenatal Yoga…not your typical yoga class!

After a wonderful pregnancy and the birth of my daughter in 2010, I realized my passion for anything and everything to do with bumps, babies and beyond. This fuelled my decision to become a yoga teacher and specialize in prenatal! Since then, I have become a Doula, teach Prenatal Yoga and host Prenatal Workshops (or ‘Bumpshops’) that support pregnant women and their families.

Enough about me now, let’s talk about you!

Fantastic news! You’re pregnant, but now what? What modifications should you make to the way you work out? Should you take specialized prenatal classes or stick solely to your original fitness program?

Sticking to your usual fitness regime is great (as long as it doesn’t include bull riding or sky diving), but supplementing that with a specialized prenatal class is key! These classes help you to learn about the physiological changes happening inside you, such as, increased relaxin, expanding uterus, rapid hormone changes, shifts in centre of gravity, etc. and the pre-cautions to take to honour those changes.

Understand, you’re not ‘weaker’ because you’re pregnant, not at all in fact! You are a fearless, powerful Goddess capable of amazing feats! Always remember to celebrate your beautiful, bountiful self!

Prenatal Yoga classes do just that! They help you connect to with your self (breath, body, mind), your baby and with other mamas. Classes can enhance comfort, calmness and flexibility. Conscious breathing and supported physical movement are at the core of most prenatal yoga classes—these elements are crucial in prepping you for labour and delivery.

Below are 10 Reason’s why I love Prenatal Yoga.

  1. Connect with other women experiencing the journey of pregnancy—build community and sisterhood
  2. Deepen connection with your baby and your self
  3. Learn effective breathing techniques to aid in the birth process
  4. Improve sleep, relaxation and comfort—calms the nervous system
  5. Reduce pregnancy symptoms—shortness of breath, swollen ankles, nausea, tiredness, headaches, moodiness, carpel tunnel syndrome and more
  6. Improve physical strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for the birth process
  7. Empower your fearless Goddess—tapping into your intuition and inner wisdom
  8. Provide clarity and insight while creating your birth vision by useful learning tips and tricks
  9. Create a space for ‘you’ time—nurture yourself by slowing down and settling inward
  10. Learn helpful tools to aid in pain relief during the birth process

Every Prenatal Yoga class is different—find one that suits your needs with a teacher to whom you can connect. Passion, information and a love for ‘bumps’, I love this stuff!

Lots of sweet baby love,
Salina

 

Babe & Me