Friday, July 22, 2011

Baby Moon Pillow

The team at Baby Moon (don't you love that name?) sent in an email to me here at Au Natural Baby and asked if I would do a product review of their Baby Moon Pillow. I actually always wanted a baby pillow for my daughter, but didn't know they existed. I always felt she needed head and neck support as an infant, since baby's heads are so floppy. But this product was created because the designer's daughter was developing "flat head syndrome." To counter-act that, she came up with this pillow that takes the pressure off the back part of the baby's head during day-time hours, preventing "flat-head syndrome." I think it is a genius idea. What do you think? Learn more about how the product works here. They've sent me the beautiful pillow, but since it is for babies 0 - 1 years old, I am having a friend do a review of it with her baby. I will post that review shortly. But I wanted to give you a pre-glimpse of it. They have ten cute colors and patterns to choose from, and the material is so soft, fuzzy and cozy. Buy one here on their website! They're even all made in the USA!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Penne Alla Arrabiata

I like to cook vegetarian dishes in the summer. I made this dish last week when my husband was doing a fresh juice fast. I need to make it again when he's not fasting, because he was salivating over it. Apparently it smells extra good when all you've had to eat all day are liquified fruits and vegetables. Here's what it calls for:

4 cups- ripe roma(plum) tomatoes
half an onion sliced
4 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
pinch of basil
pinch of crushed chili pepper
fresh chopped parsley
extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
500grams (1 lb) of penne

Here are the instructions. Recipe courtesy of Epicurean.

Fresh Lemonade

Summer + Fresh lemonade = Happiness. Yesterday in Primary we sang a song about summertime and lemonade. I think they go together perfectly.

Juice from 5 or 6 lemons (if you use a juicer, peel them first to avoid the peel's bitterness)
1/2 cup white sugar

I modified this recipe from one I found by Ina Garten. You can make it her way, too, but hers is fancier. I like the easy, fast way. And I think mine is just as delicious.

She chose the big glass.

Hazel happiness for Lemonade.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Introduction to HypnoBirthing

This is a video made by a HypnoBirthing Practitioner in England. It has some great footage of calm, easy births in the middle. I like that it does try to explain why we have moved into the hospitals to birth during the last two centuries.

Remedies for Leg Cramps during Pregnancy

Kathie Dolce, a Physician's Assistant and a HypnoBirthing Educator, lists the remedies for leg cramps during pregnancy. I am posting this for any pregnant woman who needs relief in those last few months when cramps literally wake you up and put a death-lock on your calves, and also for myself, so I can refer back to it when I'm pregnant again. It's a long post, but it's great information, so I'm putting it all in. I hope it helps get rid of some horrible moments in your pregnancy. P.S. If you don't want to read the entire post, here's the remedy: Drink one cup of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and Nettle Leaf Tea per day during pregnancy. The post below explains why.

Remedies for Leg Cramps
from Kathie Dolce

Too little water and/or protein in the diet are responsible for many of the discomforts of pregnancy, including high blood pressure, nausea, and leg cramps. A minimum of two quarts of water per day (and far more in the dry Colorado climate) is needed for proper hydration in pregnancy. At lease 60 grams, and preferably 75-80 grams of protein per day is recommended.

Many sources recommend extra calcium, potassium and/or magnesium to prevent leg cramps. Medical research indicates the mineral supplement most likely to help is magnesium lactate or citrate taken as 5mmol in the morning and 10mmol in the evening.
· Red Raspberry Leaf (tea or capsules) is the most easily assimilated form of calcium there is. Take a cup of tea or a capsule at least once during the day and a cup of tea or a capsule or two before bed.
· Nettle leaves is one of the finest nourishing tonics known. It is reputed to have more chlorophyll than any other herb. Vitamins A, C, D and K, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and sulfur are particularly abundant in nettles. Nettle leaves nourish and strengthen the kidneys, ease leg cramps and other spasms, diminish discomfort during and after birth, prevent hemorrhage after birth, reduce hemorrhoids, and increase the richness and amount of breast milk. It can be used through pregnancy. Dosage: 1 cup of nettle leaf tea per day (same as Red Raspberry Leaf Tea).
· Liquid chlorophyll is high in magnesium and potassium. It is a good blood builder (good for postpartum) and helps a woman to function while sleep-deprived.

Avoid soft drinks, processed meats, and snack foods, which contain a lot of phosphorus. Excess phosphorus decreases the absorption of calcium and other beneficial minerals.

Avoid standing for long periods or sitting with your legs crossed.

Walk or swim as often as you can.

Rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes when sitting, at work, at dinner, or watching TV.

Stretch before bed. Stretching your calf muscles several times before you go to bed could help prevent night cramps completely.

To stop a cramp while it's occurring, flex your foot (pull you toes and foot toward your leg). Getting out of bed and walking around may also give relief.

Use warm, moist heat on the cramp.

Do several pelvic rocks IN BED (on hands and knees, tilt hips forward and let belly sag toward the bed, the tilt back to flat back, repeat several times). Then DO NOT sit up or stand up, but gently lay over on her side. This will improve the circulation to legs by getting the baby out of the pelvis and lessen the pressure on nerves and blood vessels.

Photo via The Good Doctor

Friday, July 8, 2011

More Business of Being Born

If you haven't seen "The Business of Being Born," you really need to. It's available on Netflix "Watch Instantly" for free. You just have to be a member of Netflix. And if you haven't contributed to the "More Business of Being Born" campaign to help fund a set of 6 DVD's on your options in birth, you really should do that, too. At that link you can see the trailor for their new DVD's. I just contributed. It's just a really good education in your options for giving birth. And it will help out so many women to be more informed and educated about what their options really are when they give birth. It answers questions like "What's a midwife?" and "What's a Doula?" and "What do they do?" Are you kidding? Finally a one-stop source for all your birth options related questions. Women are going to love it. It's the best grass-roots movement for advocating safe, healthy birth since Ina May Gaskin started her birth center in Tennessee in the 70's. Thanks to Ricki Lake and her collaborator for kickstarting this worthy cause. I'm elated.

Photo via The Big Push for Midwives

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My sister just got a set of Le Creuset cookware. I was so excited for her. So the question arose, why cook with enameled cast iron? The quick answer: it's not bad for you like teflon, and it lasts forever! I'm sold. But what about how it cooks? I found out from The French Culinary Institute's Blog that cast iron surprisingly doesn't heat as evenly as aluminum and steel over a small cook top range- it takes longer for the heat to inch out to the edges. So use them on a flame that is as big as their base. That should solve that problem. However, cast iron retains heat much better than steel and aluminum, so its better for long, slow-cooked stews, soups and roasts. After three hours of simmering, the heat will have reached the edges for sure! Another great thing about these pots? You can transfer them right into the oven or over an outdoor flame because they can withstand extremely high amounts of heat.