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- What Items are Actually Needed Postpartum (for mom)
The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. There are a LOT of recommendations online for what moms need during the postpartum period. However, I found that a lot of these lists contain things that are not really necessary. I found the same with baby items. A lot of things people recommend are not really needed for the baby. I’ve found that actually very little is needed for moms postpartum. Some things are nice to have but aren’t actually necessary. I’ve broken it all down for you in this post! So save your money and read on! The important things that are needed postpartum are not actually things, they are systems of support and food! See my post here for How to Prepare for the Fourth Trimester (Postpartum). Must-Have Items: A long phone charger Hopefully, you stay in one place for the most part postpartum (the bed or the couch). Having a phone charger handy is really nice. Snacks You will most likely be hungry after giving birth. Eat when you’re hungry! Stock up on snacks and keep them close. Water Just as you’ll be hungry, you’ll be thirsty too. Especially if you’re breastfeeding! Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Chapstick For whatever reason, myself and many other moms had the driest lips after giving birth. A tube of chapstick felt 100% necessary! Adult Diapers Diapers for mom are needed as there is a lot of bleeding postpartum. Hospitals provide moms diapers during their stay, and some hospitals send diapers home with moms, but I found that I went through a lot of diapers in the week following birth, so stock up ahead of time. I used disposable diapers for the first week and then transitioned to pads during the day and diapers at night for another week. Everyone is different though, and some women bleed heavier for longer. Pads At some point, you’ll be able to transition out of diapers and into pads. Stock up with a few packages ahead of time. I bought one package of maxi pads, and used them all within a week and a half! In hindsight, I wish I had purchased period underwear as it's reusable, it would have been more comfortable and would have saved money in the long run, as most women bleed to some extent for several weeks. Here is an excellent pair. Peri bottle If you plan on a hospital birth, most hospitals send one home with you. However, this one is MUCH nicer. It’s an item that will get used enough that I think it’s worth investing in. Stool softener After pushing a baby out, you will NOT want to push anything else out for quite a while. Go ahead and buy a stool softener to have on hand after giving birth, and take them as soon as you can. My provider recommended Colace as it’s safe for breastfeeding. Nice items to have: Herbal Perineal Spray After I pushed my baby out, this cooling Perineal Spray felt so healing. It’s cooling, and great for recovery from episiotomies, or hemorrhoids or swelling. I used it pretty generously those first two weeks postpartum. Comfy, high-waisted underwear When I transitioned from diapers to pads, I quickly realized that I needed granny panties. I also wanted something with “tummy control” just to help me not feel so loose and empty. I found these online, and LOVE them! They are the perfect pair for postpartum. However, in hindsight, I would have worn period panties and saved myself some money. Nice items to have if you’re planning to breastfeed: Every woman is different, but breastfeeding can be really simple or really hard for different people. Some women find the only things they really need to effectively breastfeed are their breasts snacks and water. Some women find that they need to exclusively pump, and others find that formula is the best option for them. But if you plan to breastfeed at all, here are some great items to have on hand! Nursing bras Usually, I’m a no-bra kind of gal, but to my surprise, I wanted a nursing bra during the postpartum period. When I went without a bra, I found that I leaked onto my shirt fairly often. A nursing bra was nice to hold bra pads and/or a silverette nipple shield. It also just helped me feel a little more put-together during that time period. I also wanted something looser and cozier than my usual bras. I opted for cotton sleeping nursing bras, and they’re functional and comfortable! Nursing pads I opted for reusable nursing pads, but you can buy disposable ones. These come in handy when your milk comes in, these are great to keep the letdown from soaking through your bra and shirt. Electrolytes If you’re breastfeeding, staying hydrated can feel like a full-time job. I found myself with headaches many days because I slacked on drinking water. I found myself also craving other, more hydrating liquids, besides just water, like juices, teas, and electrolytes. A better option for electrolytes than Gatorade are these packets as they contain cleaner ingredients and lots of good minerals. Happy Dutcts Tincture I purchased this after it was recommended to me, thinking I may not use it. However, the day after my milk came in, I woke up with the most painful, hot, hard breast! I had one (or a few, I’m not sure) clogged ducts. If you know, you know. It’s a bit miserable. In addition to hot showers, hot compresses, and massage, I used this tincture religiously. By the end of the day, the breast was back to normal, and this tincture will become a permanent fixture in my medicine cabinet until my baby is weaned. A good water bottle A large insulated water bottle with a straw is so so nice to have postpartum. Hopefully, you stay in one place (the bed or the couch), and if you’re breastfeeding you will be thirsty! I also recommend one that does not require two hands to pick up, and often one arm will be holding a baby or trapped under a baby. Here is the one I got. Nursing pillow A nursing pillow is very nice to have if you plan on breastfeeding. It’s not necessary as you can prop yourself or the baby up using a regular pillow or towel, but having one is very nice. Silverette shields Silver is a powerful antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal agent. For these reasons, they are very healing for sore, dry, or cracked nipples. I personally preferred the silverette shields to any nipple balm. Haaka A haaka is a silicone manual breast pump. It’s perfect for catching letdown in the other breast when nursing. If you’re planning to breastfeed, this is a great little tool to have on hand. Nipple balm Nipple balm is great to have on hand for new breastfeeding moms! You will want it for dry (and heaven forbid, cracking) nipples. I also found it was just nice to have as my breasts grew in size I slathered the balm all over to keep them from feeling so tight and stretched. A breastfeeding pump I personally do not pump very often, as I don’t want to create an oversupply and risk more clogged ducts. However, for the times I have had clogged ducts, I was extra grateful for a pump, as I used it to keep the milk moving and help draw out the clog. I also anticipate using it more when my baby is a little older to build up a small supply. This is the one I use, and I really like it. However, again, I don’t pump very often, so a more experienced pumper could probably give a better recommendation. Extra nice items to have, but not at all necessary: Herb sitz bath A herb sitz bath a few days postpartum felt like the greatest luxury! Someone gifted me sitz baths from Made on Acorn Hill, which is a very small, local business in my area. I also used the sitz bath diluted in my peri bottle for a few days. Here is the link to the one I used, but there are many herbal sitz baths out there. Portable fan When my milk came in, my hormones were doing crazy things, and I found myself having hot flashes! We bought a little portable fan for our baby to use in the summer months, but I pulled it out for myself postpartum because I was HOT! Robe A robe A nice bathrobe is again, not at all necessary, but so nice to have. I know myself and many other women don’t wear many clothes immediately postpartum, but a comfortable robe is so nice to have, especially if you’re breastfeeding. How to prep: I made myself a few postpartum baskets to keep around the house. I used thrifted wicker baskets for this and made myself little stations or kits. In the bathroom, I kept one with diapers, pads, a peri bottle, and sitz spray. In the bedroom, I kept a basket with diapers and wipes for midnight diaper changes, and breastfeeding items such as nipple balm, silverette nipple shields, a hakaa, a fan, chapstick, snacks, and a water bottle. I also carried this basket out to the living room with me when I sat there during the day. The basket method worked well for me, as they were mobile, easily refillable, and kept things a bit more organized and centralized. The postpartum period can be a very challenging time. It’s so good if you can to prepare yourself ahead of time with a few things to make life easier once the baby comes. Let me know your postpartum must-haves in the comments!
- How to Prepare for the Fourth Trimester (Postpartum)
The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. Postpartum can be an equally hard and beautiful time. A fresh new baby is so beautiful and floods the body with oxytocin! A body that just birthed a baby though needs a lot of support and rest to heal. Milk coming in, baby blues, poor sleep, and balancing other responsibilities can be very overwhelming! For these reasons, it’s important to prepare ahead of time for the postpartum period. It feels like most people focus on baby's needs during the postpartum period. However, mom needs just as much, if not more support than baby does. A new baby. is really reliant on mom, so it's so important that mom stays healthy and happy. For this reason, this post focuses on mom’s needs. The 5-5-5 Rule Prepare to follow the 5-5-5 rule. 5 days in bed, 5 days on the bed, and 5 days around the bed. This allows your body the rest it desperately needs after giving birth! Those first 5 days especially, you’ll most likely want to stay in bed as your body will be sore and tired! If you had an uncomplicated vaginal birth, you may feel better before the first 15 days are over, BUT remember that you have a lot of internal healing to do and continue to rest. Ask for help If it’s at all possible for you, arrange for someone to come stay with you that first week (or two) after your birth. Your mom, a sister, a close friend, or a hire a post-partum doula. With a sore, tired body, brand new baby, and rapidly changing hormones, small tasks like going pee, taking a shower, and eating a meal are a big deal! Having someone there to help and support you is so so needed! Even if your spouse or partner is at home with you, it’s still so helpful to have an additional person there. If one person can’t be there all the time, ask a few friends to cycle through and visit to help clean, cook, or hold the baby while you take a shower or just take a break. I also found it so nice to have someone there to tell me that what I was experiencing was normal and/or I was doing the right thing. The experience and reassurance of another mother was really invaluable to me during that time. EAT! Most likely, after you give birth and your milk starts to come in, you will be hungry. This is for good reason! Your body needs nourishment to heal and now care for a new baby! Take care of your body with nourishing meals and snacks! The postpartum period is NOT the time to try and lose weight. It’s a time to heal, recover, and bond with your new baby. I have another post about nourishing foods to eat during pregnancy. These foods are also so nourishing for the postpartum period! Fixing a meal during those first few days postpartum can feel virtually impossible. If you’re able to, plan ahead and stock your freezer with meals in the third trimester. The easiest way to do this is when you cook a meal, double the recipe, and freeze half for after the baby comes. Setting up a meal train can also be really helpful. It’s so nice to have a hot meal brought to your house a few times a week when you’re freshly postpartum. Set expectations for visitors Having friends and family come into your home to help with chores, cook a meal, or help take care of you is so so beneficial! However, it is NOT beneficial to have visitors come in who expect you to host them. You do not need to be worried about keeping your house clean during this time or making someone else feel comfortable. Visitors who come in and offer to hold your baby while you do chores are also not beneficial. Set gentle boundaries when necessary. I personally asked my spouse for help setting these boundaries, which helped take some of the mental load off me. Practice intentional self-care Self-care during the postpartum period can feel so challenging and nearly impossible some days, but is so healing! Self-care for me postpartum was my mom or husband holding our baby while I took a hot shower or Epsom salt and herb bath (after waiting about a week after giving birth). Shaving my legs, dinking around the house, and walking around the garden were all glorious activities postpartum. I was also privileged enough that I could take my baby to my mom’s house after she got off work, and throw pottery for an hour while she held the baby. Doing something I enjoy for an hour a few times a week was SO nice. I recognize that these things are not possible for everyone (especially those with multiple children), but do what you can. Ask for help and have grace for yourself. Gather Resources Many women find that they or their baby (or both) need extra support from professionals after the baby comes. It’s really good to have these resources lined up before baby gets here so that you can just make a phone call. Your provider or a doula can likely give you great recommendations. A few providers to research beforehand and keep their contact information are a lactation consultation, a chiropractor, a pediatrician, a pelvic floor therapist, a mental health therapist, and a craniosacral therapist. Stock up Stock up on household essentials like groceries, toilet paper, and other essentials. Also, stock up on postpartum needs. Of course baby items like diapers and wipes, but also mom’s postpartum needs (again diapers). See my post here for What Items are Actually Needed Postpartum (for mom) The fourth trimester can be one of the most challenging times in a woman’s life. I heard from several friends before giving birth that they were miserable or in survival mode for months after their baby was born! It’s not like that for all women, but regardless, it’s so beneficial to do a little preparation beforehand to make this time period easier. Let me know in the comments what you did to prepare for your newborn!
- Natural Remedies for Uncomfortable Third-Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms
The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. For most women, pregnancy is not a cakewalk! I can only speak for myself and my experience, but pregnancy (particularly the first and third trimester) kicked my butt! The third trimester comes with its own list of challenges and uncomfortable symptoms, and it’s oftentimes easy to take a conventional approach to manage them (painkillers, Tums, etc.). However, many symptoms can be managed just as effectively with a natural/holistic remedy! I do want to emphasize again that I am not a medical doctor. I am not a midwife or doula and have no formal medical or birth training. I AM however a brand new mom who is fresh out of the third trimester (and in the fourth at the time of writing this). I worked with my midwives to manage my uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, using natural and holistic remedies, and I would like to share what worked for me and what I learned! Always consult your provider before supplementing or using tinctures or herbs. Hopefully, you can find a good midwife or other naturally-minded practitioner. I had a wonderful experience under the care of midwives, and really can’t recommend midwifery enough as opposed to conventional care! An experienced midwife is really invaluable when managing symptoms holistically! There are MANY more uncomfortable symptoms that women experience, such as swelling, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, etc, but because I didn't experience these symptoms, I won’t write about what to do for them. This list is based on my own experience and what worked for me, which I hope you find valuable! Here is a list of common pregnancy symptoms and ways of managing them: Poor sleep Poor sleep can be caused by a LOT of things I learned. Restless leg syndrome, leg cramps, itching, a kicking baby, racing thoughts/anxiety, and then just good ole plain insomnia. Here are some of the things that worked for me: 1. Create a cozy nighttime routine. A warm Epsom salt bath with essential oils, a podcast, and candles was AMAZING at helping me wind down for bed. The last few weeks of pregnancy I did this almost every night! Bonus, the Epsom salts are great for leg cramps, and the essential oils are great for itching (especially peppermint, as it has a cooling effect that lasts even after the bath). Limiting screen time and/or blue light-blocking glasses is also very beneficial. 2. I learned that restless leg syndrome is often caused by low iron. Iron drops naturally in all pregnant women in the third trimester as blood volume increases rapidly (to prepare for birth). I increased iron by supplementing beef liver, spirulina, chlorophyll, and n.o.r.a. tea. I also increased my consumption of beef, beans, oatmeal, and orange juice. 3. I was recommended Passionflower and Skullcap tinctures for anxiety/racing thoughts, and these helped tremendously. This was all under the supervision of my midwife, so please consult your provider when supplementing. Overwhelm/Anxiety Feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed were big for me in the third trimester. I felt like there was so much to do, so much to learn, and so much that could go wrong to worry about! What helped me was: 1. Making lists. This may not be an effective way of managing anxiety and overwhelm for many people, but it is one of my personal favorite ways of just getting the thoughts out of my head and organizing them onto paper where I can work through them and cross them off. I made lists of things I wanted to research, things I wanted to do, things I felt needed to be cleaned, etc. I just kept these lists on the notes app on my phone and slowly chipped away at them as I had the energy. One day I would clean a section of the house while listening to a podcast on spinning babies. And the next day, I would listen to a book on hypnobirthing while organizing baby clothes. And then I could go and cross those items off my various lists. If you think your brain may be similar to mine, give it a shot. 2. For anxiety, again I used passionflower and skullcap tinctures at the recommendation of my midwife. (Consult your own provider). Aches and Pains I experienced a lot of aches and pains, which I believe is the most common complaint in the third trimester. The bigger I got, the more pain I had. My pelvis in particular caused me a LOT of pain. Here are some things that helped me: 1. Do what movement you can. This got progressively harder and harder as I grew, but helped a lot. Movement is also especially important if you want a natural birth, as regular movement keeps your body overall healthier and helps move the baby into a better position (research spinning babies if you want to learn more). Take daily walks, even if they’re very short. Wear a belly support band when walking, as this can help relieve a lot of discomfort. Gentle yoga (particularly the cat/cow pose and other intuitive hip movements) helps a lot. Strengthening inner thigh muscles can also really help take the strain off ligaments. 2. See a chiropractor. A chiropractor can be of tremendous help at both alleviating pain AND helping your baby move into the optimal position for birth. When choosing a chiropractor, look for one who is trained in the “Webster method”, which is an evidence-based method specifically for pregnant women. 3. Sleep on a firmer mattress. I discovered that a firmer mattress relieved a LOT of my pelvic pain when we went camping and I slept on a very hard surface. I woke up and felt SO much better! The further I got into pregnancy and the bigger I grew, sleeping on a firm mattress gave me less and less relief while a soft, memory foam mattress caused me more and more pain. We luckily have two beds in our home (one firm and one soft), so I was able to sleep on the firm mattress during pregnancy. We ended up purchasing a firming mattress pad for the other mattress (because it was the one in our bedroom and we wanted to cosleep). Round ligament pain Round ligament pain was something I did not experience often. After talking to a friend who has had 5 children and experienced round ligament pain with some of her pregnancies, and not others, here is what I think I did to prevent it. 1. The few times I did complain of round ligament pain to my midwives, they recommended a magnesium/calcium supplement (1000 mg of calcium and 500 mg of magnesium). I took this supplement from about week 14 of pregnancy and occasionally increased the dose when I experienced leg cramps (under the supervision of my midwives). 2. I wore barefoot shoes and/or went barefoot. This is in direct opposition to much of the advice you might hear. I heard several times people would recommend extra supportive shoes during pregnancy. However, shoes with a lot of support disrupt our natural posture. Barefoot shoes encourage an overall healthier posture (no heel lift, so knees, hips, and back are in better alignment). If you have never worn barefoot shoes and are currently pregnant, listen to your body. Feet can take some time to adjust to supporting themselves after years of being supported by shoes. Read my post here on why you should switch to barefoot shoes to learn more. 3. I did a lot of gentle movement throughout pregnancy. Walking was the main form of movement I did, but I also practiced gentle stretches, the Miles Circut, and other intuitive movements. 4. I received chiropractic care regularly from about week 20. A chiropractor trained in the Webster method does not do much or any of the traditional cracking and popping. Adjustments are gentle and encourage a little massage. Every visit, my practitioner spent a little time on my round ligaments, which I’m sure helped keep the pain at bay. Muscle cramps Muscle cramps can be SO painful, and I remember waking up several times to severe calf cramps in the middle of the night. Muscle cramps can be caused by several things, but a common one is mineral deficiencies, specifically magnesium. The body requires a LOT of extra nutrients and minerals while pregnant! My midwife recommended increasing my dose of the calcium/magnesium supplement, and it helped tremendously! The supplement I took was a serving size of 2 pills (1000 mg of calcium and 500 mg of magnesium), so I simply increased my dose to 3 pills (1500 mg of calcium and 750 mg of magnesium). This was done under the supervision of my midwife. Epsom salt baths were also beneficial as they contain magnesium. Bonus, an increase in magnesium can help soften stool, so it’s also a great solution to constipation! Acid Reflux Acid reflux seemed unavoidable for much of the third trimester, due to a baby squashing my stomach and esophagus. Eating small, healthy meals instead of large meals does help. Cutting out spicy foods, and processed food also was very beneficial. I also took papaya enzymes with meals, and this was VERY beneficial. Itching: At some point in the third trimester, I began to itch due to my skin being stretched. It was particularly bad for me in the evenings when I laid down to try and sleep. Everything in between my stomach to my upper thighs itched like crazy! Before I realized it was due to my skin stretching, I thought maybe we had picked up bed bugs or fleas somewhere, and I continuously checked our mattresses and other furniture for the culprit. No pests though, just a rapidly growing body. Here’s what helped me: 1. A nightly bath in Epsom salt and essential oils. This helped SO much! A good bath helped with not only itching but also winding down for sleep and muscle cramps. I used peppermint to help with the itching as it had a cooling effect, and lavender to help me relax. 2. A good moisturizer helps a LOT. I prefer a tallow-based moisturizer instead of a conventional lotion as it has simple ingredients, is free of additives, and it’s more compatible with skin than other lotions and oils. I liked to add a bit of peppermint essential oils to my tallow to cool irritated skin. I applied generously anywhere that was stretching, and therefore itching, at least twice a day. Warning: I would not recommend peppermint essential oils after you give birth as it can slow the milk supply coming in. And that’s it! I hope that this post gave you some good tips and that you find relief from uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms! Honestly, writing this postpartum I remember very little of the discomfort, and literally all of my pregnancy discomfort vanished almost instantly! So be encouraged that this is all temporary and the oxytocin rush from holding your new baby will likely wipe away even the memories of discomfort and pain! Want more pregnancy content? See my posts here: 5 Superfoods to Eat to Prepare for Pregnancy (and While Pregnant) Surviving the First Trimester (Tips for a Holistic Natural Pregnancy) Strawberry Iced Pregnancy Tea
- Nutrient-Dense Potato Soup (with Lion's Mane Mushrooms)
The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. Jump to the Recipe This potato soup is the BOMB! I love most soups, but this one is one makes the top 3 for sure! This soup is creamy, super flavorful, and PACKED full of nourishing ingredients like lion's mane mushrooms, lentils, bone broth, and, of course, potatoes. It can also be cooked in one pot, so cleanup is super easy! What makes this soup so nourishing? Potatoes: Potatoes are an excellent whole food carbohydrate! They are easy for the body to digest when cooked, unlike many other common carbohydrates like grains. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium. And that's not to mention they are delicious! Lentils: Lentils are a good source of plant-protien, which can be difficult for the body to absorb due to the chemical composition of the plant. However, soaking lentils makes them easier to digest, and pairing them with an animal protein (like bone broth and bacon) gives your meal a more complete amino acid profile, making the protein in lentils usable in the body. Lentils are also a great source of potassium, fiber, and folate! Lion's Mane Mushrooms: Lion's Mane mushrooms are known as a medicinal mushroom, meaning they have healing and health-promoting properties. You can probably find lions mane in some form at your local healthfood store as the benefits are well-documented and accepted! Lion's Mane mushrooms are rich in vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin and minerals such as manganese, zinc, and potassium! Lion's Mane is an absolute powerhouse of nutrients! Bone Broth: Bone broth is a food that I would also consider a powerhouse of nutrients! Bone broth contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K2, iron, zinc, selenium, and manganese (many of these are nutrients that many Americans are often deficient in). Bone broth is packed full of collagen and gelatin which is excellent for promoting good gut health. I like to incorporate as much bone broth as possible into my diet for the full range of amino acids, which is very important when eating head to tail. To learn more, see my posts here for: What is an Ancestral Diet? Homemade Bone Broth Recipie 10 Meals to Sneak Bone Broth Into Nutrient-Dense Potato Soup Cook Time: 40 minutes Serving Size: 6 Tools Needed: Cutting board, knife Large pot Blender (Here is the one I use) But an immersion blender would work well. Ingredients: 6 large potatoes 1 large yellow onion 5 cloves of garlic 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup lentils (See Notes) 1/2 cup dried or fresh Lion's Mane Mushrooms (See Notes) 5 cups bone broth (see my recipe here) 2/3 cup heavy cream 2/3 cup sour cream 1 1/2 cup milk 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon chilli flakes 1 teaspoon cummin 2 teaspoons salt 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper 8 strips of bacon 1/3 cups diced green onions (optional) Instructions: 1. Cook the bacon in the pot. Once the bacon is cooked, set it aside and drain off the lard. 2. While the bacon cooks, chop the onions and garlic. Add both to the same pot where you cooked the bacon with the butter and cook on medium/low until the onions are transparent. 4. While the onions and garlic are cooking, chop the potatoes. Add them to the pot with bone broth, lentils, and mushrooms. 5. Cook until the lentils and potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes if you soaked the lentils ahead of time). 6. Blend the soup to your liking using an immersion or regular blender. 7. Add seasonings, cream, sour cream, and milk to the soup and mix well. 8. Chop the green onion and bacon to add as toppings. 9. Serve and enjoy! Notes: I used dehydrated mushrooms that we purchased from our local farmer's market. These can also be purchased online here in powder form. They can also be foraged during the fall. I have foraged them before, and chose to make a "crab" cake and also blended them into a curry. They are actually one of the easier mushrooms to forage! Other mushrooms can be used in this soup as well. I've used oyster mushrooms instead of lion's mane, but many varieties of mushrooms would be excellent in this soup! And if you're mushroom-averse, you can leave them out altogether! I recommend soaking lentils at least 2 hours ahead of time, so they cook faster and are easier to digest. However, if you forget, don't fret, they will still cook well. This soup is a fall and winter favorite in my house! It's so warm and tasty and relatively easy to make! The bone broth, lentils, and bacon help balance the meal with a good amount of protein. Adding in medicinal and/or foraged mushrooms is an excellent way to boost the nutrient content of this soup AND it's a great way to sneak them in if you have any picky eaters in your house. Blended mushrooms on soup are much more palatable than dishes like lion's mane "crab" cakes. I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do! Let me know if you try it and like it and if you use other mushrooms besides lion's mane! See my other recipes for using foraged food, like Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto Recipe and learn why I focus on locally sourced and nutrient dense food from my post What is an Ancestral Diet!
- Pumpkin Granola Date Bark
The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. Jump to the Recipe! I have been seeing a LOT of recipes for either granola bark or date bark this season, and they all look absolutely delicious! I'm currently at the end of my pregnancy, so I've been trying to up my date consumption! I'm always on the hunt for recipes that use a lot of dates! This recipe began forming in my brain after I saw that Trader Joe's sells pumpkin bark this time of year! And I thought "I can make that better!" This recipe uses a lot of good whole ingredients that make me feel good about what I'm putting in my body! The granola has plenty of nuts and seeds and pumpkin of course! Dates are incredibly nourishing to the body, and chocolate is good for the soul! This recipe is the perfect little snack as it's full of good proteins and plenty of fiber. It's PERFECT alongside a hot cup of coffee! Pumpkin Granola Date Bark Time to Prepare: 1 hour Serving Size: 60 squares Number of Ingredients: 12 Tools Needed: Skillet Baking paper Rolling pin Microwave safe bowl or double boiler Spatula Ingredients: The granola: 2 1/2 cups of oatmeal 1 cup of either walnuts or pecans 1/4 cup chia seeds 2/3 cups of pumpkin puree 1 stick of butter 1/4 cup of maple syrup 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon vanilla Other: 1 package of dates (about 5 cups) 2 cups of chocolate chips Pepitas Sea salt Instructions: 1. Heat up your skillet on medium heat. Begin melting the butter. 2. Mix together oats, nuts, and chia seeds. Add to the pan and begin stirring to incorporate. 3. After the butter is well incorporated into the other ingredients, add the maple syrup, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. 4. Stir continuously for about 10 minutes. 5. Lay a sheet of parchment paper and spoon granola out of the skillet onto the paper. 6. Lay an additional sheet of parchment paper over the top of the granola and begin flattening with a rolling pin. The granola should be between 1/4 and 1/2 inches thick. This step must be done while the granola is still hot as it will begin to harden as it cools. 7. While the granola cools, remove pits from the dates and lay them on a sheet of parchment paper. Add an additional sheet of parchment paper over top, and begin flattening the dates with the rolling pin. As you roll and flatten the dates, trim the edges and add the small trimmings to any gaps in the center, so you get a solid sheet of dates. 8. Once you're satisfied with the dates, carefully flip the parchment paper with the dates over on top of the granola (with the parchment paper remaining on top), and roll out with the rolling pin to help the two stick together. 9. Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler. If using a microwave, be sure to stir every 30 seconds or so to prevent burning. 10. Pour the melted chocolate over the dates and spread evenly. 11. Sprinkle pepitas and sea salt on the melted chocolate. 12. Set in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the chocolate to fully cool and harden. 13. Once the chocolate is cool, cut into squares and enjoy! And that’s it! This recipe is both delicious and packed full of nutrients! It’s perfect for the fall season! Let me know if you tried this recipe and what you think! Want more nourishing recipes? See the ancestral eating page of my blog for more! I love to create easy, nourishing, and delicious recipes that follow the concept of eating ancestrally!
- The Definitive Guide to Growing Carrots in Zone 7b
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. Carrots are a crop that seems straightforward, but many people have a surprising amount of trouble with them! For years, I grew teeny tiny, mishappen carrots that often tasted more like dirt than carrot (even when washed), and I’ve seen many other gardeners do the same thing year after year. Carrots are supposed to be big, thick, and sweet, and you CAN grow them that way! After 5 years of trial and error, I am happy to present to you: The Definitive Guide to Growing Sweet Carrots in Zone 7b! (Modify for your growing zone). Plant at the end of summer: Despite what the internet tells you, carrots do NOT like heat and so should NOT be planted in the spring in zone 7b. When carrots are planted in the spring, the summer heat makes the plant put more energy into the leaves and eventual flower instead of the root. 7b is a HOT zone! So hot in fact, that many tropical plants like luffas thrive in our sticky hot summers! Carrots are cold tolerant and produce a much sweeter vegetable if grown in the colder months. The cold forces the plant to put its energy into the roots so it will survive the winter (and hopefully make it to summer where it can flower and spread seeds to reproduce…the goal of all plants). That being said, plant carrots in the middle of August. The late summer heat helps them sprout and then just as they’re getting big, the weather cools down and forces the energy of the plant into the root. Choose a good variety: Now I know, it can be VERY tempting to grow the rainbow carrots that you saw at the hardware store. And while I always encourage experimentation in gardening, know that usually, these do not do as well as other varieties. Instead of just picking up whatever variety of seeds your local hardware or feed store has in stock, do a bit of research first. What are your carrot-growing goals? Do you want sweet carrots, carrots that store well for months and months, extra-large carrots, purple carrots, or just carrots that are easy to grow? A quick internet search will steer you in the right direction. I’ll help you out a bit here: A good variety of sweet carrots (these also store very well): Danvers carrots Storage carrots (and carrots that grow extra long): Imperator carrots Purple carrots: Purple Haze Carrots Easy carrots to grow: Nantes carrots As you can see, there are lots of options out there! And odds are, it will take a bit of trial and error to find the varieties that you like and that grow well in your garden. If you’re really good, grow a few different varieties, label them, and then keep track of what does well in your space and what you like. Thin your carrots: This is NOT a fun step in growing carrots, but one that is absolutely necessary! I always delay thinning my carrots because it seems like such a waste, but it just has to be done. After your carrots are a few weeks old, comb through them and pull up seedlings so that you’re left with one seedling about every 3 inches. This ensures that each plant has plenty of room to grow large. When carrot seedlings are not thinned, their growth is restricted and you’re left with small, crowded carrots. Again, not a fun step, but don’t skip it. If you follow these steps, you should have a beautiful healthy carrot harvest in early winter! I harvest my best carrots in December. A few other tips and tricks: Be sure your soil is healthy and free of rocks or other obstructions. Anything blocking carrots’ roots’ downward growth will either stunt it or deform it. Be sure to till your soil well. See my post here for 5 Ways to Ammend Poor Soil in the Garden Make sure pests cannot eat your carrots or carrot greens. I find that pests are less of a problem when planted in the fall as many insects die off with the first frost. However, a layer of mulch will help prevent beetles from munching on your carrots. Cats and chickens are my personal worst pests. Cats can easily kill a huge portion of freshly planted carrots when they see the freshly tilled soil as a litter box. Chickens LOVE carrot greens and will eat the greens down to the carrot top, stunting the carrot’s growth. To keep cats from using the garden bed as a litter box, I like to lay down a piece of wire fencing or chicken wire so that they can’t dig. To keep chickens out, I built a fence around my garden. See my post here for how I built a garden fence on a budget. And see my post here for how I keep chickens from destroying my garden My last tip is to not leave carrots in the ground too long. When the roots have been in the ground too long, they may either begin to get mushy and decay OR they get really tough and inedible. I’ve made both of these mistakes. Some sources say carrots are ready for harvest 2-3 months after planting, but I’ve found that my carrots take a bit longer to be ready. Keep an eye on your carrots' growth by digging around the base of the stems to expose the carrot tops. When the carrot tops are about an inch in diameter, you’re ready for harvest. And know that some carrots, despite your best efforts will remain tiny while others grow big. And that’s it! My guide to growing big, delicious carrots in zone 7b! This guide can be easily modified for different growing zones. For example, if you live in a colder environment, you can likely plant carrots in the spring and they will do great in the summer months! I’ve learned to grow carrots (and most other plants) through trial and error, and even when I do all the things right, some years I still might get a dud harvest. So be patient, and if a crop fails, just try again next year! Want to learn more about gardening? See my other posts on: 10 Mistakes New Gardeners Should Avoid 10 Things to Plan in the Fall and Grow through the Winter 5 Things to Do in the Fall Garden
- Small Mobile Farm Stand Design
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. I have wanted a little roadside farmstand for a few years now! Back when we first bought our house in 2019, I really wanted to replace our grass with a meadow of native flowers and sell fresh bouquets! However, that idea was scrapped when our grass grew to an unmanageable height and the packets of seeds I spread only produced a handful of flowers. However, the original idea of the farmstand stuck with me, and I’ve thought about it every year since. Every year, there was always something preventing me from doing it. “I don’t have enough flowers.” “The produce from my garden is not pretty enough.” “Our hens don’t lay enough eggs.”, etc. This summer though, we visited the Finger Lakes region in New York, and there were farmstands everywhere! They were all so cute and unique, and I came home ready to open my own! I knew that if I waited for everything to be perfect, I would never do it, so I just did it! We have only had the farmstand open for a few weeks now, but we love it! Ours does not make a ton of cash, but it’s an excellent way to break even on chicken feed and sell extra produce that we won’t use. The design for our stand is very simple. I contemplated building a more permanent structure for a while and even drew up the plans and made a materials list, BUT the mobility is a must-have for us as egg production will likely go down in the winter months and we won’t have flowers or veggies to sell. The mobility allows us to just pull the whole thing away for winter storage. The design also uses very little lumber and was SUPER easy to build! It’s also perfect for a cooler, which we needed to keep eggs and veggies cool. We used all scrap material and spare hardware for this build. The only thing I purchased was the cash box, and I’ve linked a very similar one here: https://amzn.to/3L14y6I This design can be modified very easily based on what you have available to you, your skill set, and your personal preferences! My hope is that this post just gives you the inspiration you need to start your own! The Design: We used a small mower trailer as the base of our design. You can buy these at your local hardware or feed store for between $130-$250. However, you can also likely find them for sale used in your area for much cheaper. They are often listed on Facebook Marketplace in my area. Ours was a given to us by my parents, and it might be as old as I am. Before it was a farmstand, we used it for all sorts of projects! And if we need it again for another project (like moving large amounts of dirt or woodchips), all we have to do is lift the frame out of the trailer. We built a frame using 2x2s to sit down in the trailer. We used recycled tin for the roof, and I added a small shelf for produce. On one side, I added an additional piece of wood to secure the cash box. The only tools I used for this job were a circular saw, drill, and metal shears to cut the tin. I attached our sign to the top of the frame so that it can be read from the road. To prop the trailer up and keep it level, I used a few bricks on the front, and a few cinder blocks under the rear of the trailer. When we want to move the farm stand, I simply pull the bricks and cinder blocks out and set them down in the trailer before moving the whole thing with our lawn mower. We keep a cooler set down inside the trailer for produce and eggs. I simply taped our prices and a little bit of information about eggs to the top of the cooler. Tips and Tricks: Signage is very important. We have two additional signs in addition to the pricing taped to our cooler. Our roadside signs are individual fence panels painted with the items that we sell: eggs, organic veg, flowers, and fruit. I attached eyes and hooks to each sign so that they can be easily removed and rearranged. So when we don’t have fruit to sell, I simply do not hang that panel. These signs also have the added bonus of looking very cute in my opinion. After a week of being open, we quickly realized we needed an open/closed sign. It’s not realistic for us to keep it stocked every single day, especially because the eggs need to be kept cool. So when it’s open (usually Fridays through Sundays), we flip the sign to say open, and when it’s closed, we flip it to say closed. It doesn’t get any easier than that. We chose this method over posting hours to allow more flexibility on our end (like if we go out of town for a few days). And that’s it! This design is about as simple as it gets! It took me an afternoon to build it and get set up, and would take all of 5 minutes to move and disassemble! There are MUCH nicer and prettier designs out there, but this one is simple, mobile, affordable, and doable! I also happen to think it’s really cute.
- Nourishing Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. Jump to the Recipe Fall is right around the corner and a few days of not-miserably-hot weather have me all excited for the coziness that fall brings! To be fair, it is August at the time of writing this, which is the height of summer here in Tennessee. BUT we have had a few days of temperatures in the low 80s and it’s got me all ready for the season change! While I LOVE the cool weather, fall leaves, and abundance of mums everywhere, pumpkin food and drinks are my absolute favorite way to embrace the season! I love baking pumpkin bread, muffins, and pumpkin cinnamon rolls every year. And of course, I enjoy a good-ole pumpkin spice latte (or cold brew) from my coffee shop! While there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a beverage from your local coffee shop, why not save $6 and make it at home, using whole foods that nourish your body? This recipe is packed full of nourishing foods and makes me feel good about having one regularly. What makes this drink so nourishing? Pumpkin: Pumpkin is RICH in all kinds of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some have even called it the superfood of fall! Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is a natural sweetener and my preferred way to sweeten most foods instead of conventional white sugar. It also has the health benefits of being high in antioxidants and offering nutrients like riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and potassium! Raw Cream: Raw milk and cream are an absolute powerhouse where nutrients are concerned! It’s cram-packed full of vitamins and minerals; everything a calf needs to grow and thrive in its first few months of life! Conventional milk sold in grocery stores is usually from commercially raised cows (meaning fed grain and given hormones and antibiotics). Conventionally raised cows are not healthy animals, and so the milk they produce is not nearly as good for consumption. Milk sold in grocery stores is also pasteurized, meaning cooked to kill any harmful bacteria. However, pasteurization also removes many of the vitamins and minerals! For example, the following nutrients are 100% present and available in raw milk but reduced in pasteurized milk: Vitamin A is 35% reduced, vitamin C is 25-77% reduced, zinc is 70% reduced, B vitamins are 38% reduced, calcium is 21% reduced, and probiotics are completely destroyed. When sourcing your raw milk, talk to your farmer. Make sure the cows that the milk is coming from are healthy. I always look for grass-fed cows that have not been given unnecessary antibiotics or hormones. Egg yolk: Consuming raw egg yolk is something that some people are not quite comfortable with yet. However, the nutrient profile of egg yolk is hard to match in any other food! Egg yolks are rich in protein, choline, fatty acids, and almost all of the essential amino acids a human body needs. Nutrients in egg yolks are bio-available, meaning easy for the body to digest and absorb. Be sure to source your eggs from a trusted source. Free-range hens produce richer and more nutrient-dense eggs as their diets are more diverse and therefore more nutrient-filled. If your area allows it, a small backyard flock is low maintenance and so fun! See my post here for 5 Reasons to Let Your Chickens Free Range AND Solutions to Common Problems! All that being said, this drink is not only delicious but also GOOD and nourishing for the body! Nourishing Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Tools Needed: Blender French press (or a pitcher/jar and a filter to make cold brew) Ingredients: 2 cups Cold Brew Coffee 1 tbs Maple Syrup 2 tbs Pumpkin puree 1 tsp Cinnamon ⅓ cup Raw Cream Instructions: 1. Prepare your cold brew: Add half a cup of ground coffee to 2 cups of filtered water. Leave this is the refrigerator for 16-20 hours. (See Notes) 2. Add to your blender, one raw egg yolk and maple syrup. Blend for 1-3 minutes until the mixture is light yellow and frothy. 3. Add to the blender the cream, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon. Blend another minute until the milk is frothy and all ingredients are well incorporated. 4. Pour the cold brew into a glass, leaving a few inches of space, and then add the pumpkin cream to the top. 5. Sprinkle with more cinnamon, and enjoy! Notes: If you did not think ahead to what beverage you might like in 16-20 hours' time and do not have cold brew coffee ready in your refrigerator, then you can just make a cup of coffee and stick it in the freezer to cool down. I won’t tell. Brewed coffee does have a slightly different flavor, but it’s still delicious in my opinion. Most people do not have access to straight raw cream, and instead buy whole milk from their farmer. When you get your milk, notice a line at the top of the jar or carton. this is the cream. When making this ice cream, do not shake or stir your milk, and take milk from the top, so that you get mostly cream. If you do not have access to raw cream or milk, regular cream is of course fine! Opt for organic, grade A milk from grass-fed cows if at all possible as this milk is high quality and will have a higher quality nutrient profile. If you do not tolerate dairy or prefer a dairy-free option, coconut cream is the best replacement. If egg yolks sketch you out a little bit, just leave it out. The final product will be slightly less rich than the original recipe, but still delicious! And that’s it! This recipe is both delicious and packed full of nutrients! It’s perfect for the fall season (especially if you happen to live in an area with fairly warm autumns, like Tennessee). This recipe is for a cold drink, BUT it could very easily be modified for a hot latte! Let me know if you tried this recipe and what you think! Want more nourishing recipes? See the ancestral eating page of my blog for more! I love to create easy, nourishing, and delicious recipes that follow the concept of eating ancestrally!
- Ancestral Meals: Camping Edition! (9 Different Meal Ideas for 3 Days of Camping)
The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. Recently my husband and I went on a week-long camping road trip in New York and then down through West Virginia. We camped out of our minivan, which I would highly recommend as it’s so easy and comfortable! Whenever we go on a trip like this, I always plan our meals ahead of time, so that we’re not eating out. It saves money and it’s significantly healthier! Most camping meals are highly processed foods (ramen noodles, boxed rice or pasta, etc.) For several years now, I’ve scoured the internet for ancestral meals to cook while camping, and I have found no such suggestions! SO, I decided to write my own! A bit about ancestral eating: Ancestral eating focuses on local and nutrient-dense foods. It means eating head to tail, meaning all parts of the animal that can be consumed are consumed (organ meats, bone broth, and the more gelatinous cuts of meat). Ancestral eating is EXCELLENT for the human body, and leads to overall good oral and physical health! It’s really all about getting back to the basics of food. Read my complete post about ancestral eating here! My Goals: Most foods that you would eat at home could theoretically be brought on a camping trip with enough preparation and the right tools. However, my goals were easy meals, few dishes, and little/no raw meat, as we use a cooler and then do our cooking and cleaning outside. That proved to be difficult since high-quality meats are a huge staple in ancestral eating. I also wanted lunches with minimal prep and little to no dishes. Usually, during the day, we’re out and about, so I wanted something quick and easy. What we brought: We brought a cooler, propane stove, small knife, pot, and skillet to cook with. We always bring two plastic plates, two plastic bowls, two spoons, and two forks. Instead of bringing a cutting board, we just chopped any veggies or meats on the plastic plates. We also bring a collapsable dishwashing bin to wash dishes in after meals. If you're interested, you kind find our gear here: Our cooler (This is an expensive purchase, but WELL worth it, as it stays cold for many days! Also watch out for sales, as we were able to buy ours on sale and save a ton of money!) Our water jug Our camping stove Our dishwashing collapsable bin Breakfasts: Homemade energy balls I made the recipe up for these energy balls on the spot, but they turned out SOO good! The ingredients are dates, oatmeal, walnuts, peanut butter, and collagen powder. They are calorically dense and full of bio-available proteins (mostly from the collagen powder)! I used organic ingredients and peanut butter that is free of seed oils and added sugar! They are super easy to eat for a quick breakfast or an on-the-go hiking snack! Yogurt and homemade granola with fruit Opt for a high-protein yogurt like Greek yogurt and a granola free of seed oils or other additives. I made my granola ahead of time because it's super easy and I can easily use whole, organic foods at home. I used oats, walnuts, maple syrup, butter a bit of vanilla in mine. You can use any fruit that you like, but I opted for raspberries. Eggs on sourdough toast This meal does require using a skillet, which means an additional dish to wash, but it’s one of my favorite breakfasts, so worth it to me! You can add avocado for a bit of extra fat, fiber, and flavor! Lunches: Cheese, salami, and crackers This is a go-to lunch for me! Camping or not, it’s a favorite. I used organic, nitrate-free salami with clean ingredients and organic pepper-jack cheese, and I added some carrots and fruit to the side. I also use Mary's crackers as they're made with clean, all-organic ingredients. BLT’s BLTs do take a bit of extra work but are still very easy to make for lunch while camping. The key to keeping this meal quick and easy is to precook the bacon and keep it in a plastic bag in the cooler. You can also pre-wash and cut the lettuce and tomato. I opt for homemade mayo to avoid unwanted additives like seed oils, but there are brands out there with really good clean ingredients, like Primal Kitchen. Pre-made chicken salad on sourdough This is also a super easy meal. I made the chicken salad ahead of time and kept it cool in the cooler. Again, I opt for either homemade mayo or a good brand like Primal Kitchen to avoid seed oils. Dinners: Chicken and rice Don't let the photo fool you into thinking this is a bland meal! We heavily seasoned this chicken, so it's a delicious dish! You can either bring pre-cooked shredded chicken or find a good brand of canned chicken. I also used store-bought bone broth instead of water to cook the rice, which added tons of flavor and boosted the nutrient content of this meal! I also measured out seasonings beforehand into a plastic baggie, so that I did not have to pack individual seasonings. Potatoes, chicken sausage, bell peppers, onion hash This is one of my FAVORITE meals we ate while camping. It does take the most prep work as everything has to be chopped, but it’s well worth it. I opted for pre-cooked sausages and brought potatoes, onion, and bell pepper from my garden (that’s why the potatoes are purple). The only thing that needs to be kept cold is the sausage. The veggies don’t need to be stored in the cooler. The key to this meal is to use a good amount of butter to cook everything and dice the potatoes into very small cubes so that they don’t need to be boiled beforehand. Hamburgers on sourdough This was the one raw meat we brought with us. We brought frozen patties with us and ate this meal early in the trip to prevent the patties from thawing and potentially leaking into the rest of the cooler. We used sourdough bread instead of traditional buns because I have not found a brand of buns with clean ingredients. Snacks: Beef sticks Chips and salsa (I opt for Siete chips as they're made with avocado oil.) Energy balls Fruit and peanut butter Pre-mixed adrenal cocktails This is one of my favorite hacks! Instead of packing orange juice, coconut water, trace mineral drops, and salt all separately, I simply pre-mixed a batch in a bottle of orange juice before leaving. We stored it in the cooler and poured a little cup whenever we wanted. Read more about adrenal cocktails here! More Tips: We always bring our own water with us when we go on a trip. We started doing it years ago because we didn’t like the taste of tap or bottled water in other cities, but now we do it because our water at home is filtered. We use a large 3-gallon bottle for most of our water, but we also freeze plastic water bottles at home to use as ice packs in our cooler. On a longer trip, the ice will eventually melt and we will have a few bottles of additional drinking water. At that point, we buy a bag of ice to put in the cooler. I hope you enjoyed this post! These 3 days of eating looked a bit different from our normal routine, as we usually don't eat that many nuts, peanut butter, or oats, but these foods are convenient and can be prepped in a way that they're easy to pack and eat on the go. As always, eating well is not about being perfect! We definitely stopped at Subway driving out to New York and definitely did not pass up donuts at an apple orchard! Want to know more about ancestral eating? See my other posts: Ancestral Eating Meal Prep Tips and Tricks 5 Books That Led Me to an Ancestral Diet Principles of an Ancestral Lifestyle Why Buy Organic?
- Peach Red Raspberry Leaf Iced Tea
The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. Jump to the Recipe The Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Red raspberry leaf tea is SUPER beneficial for pregnant women! My midwife recommended I drink one cup of tea for each trimester I'm in (1 cup in the first trimester, 2 in the second, and 3 cups of tea in the third trimester)! That's a lot of tea! Red raspberry leaf tea is known to tone the uterus to help women prepare for labor and birth. For women who are not pregnant, it can help ease menstrual cramps and play a part in regulating the menstrual cycle. It's also full of antioxidants and can help ease digestion. Peach Red Raspberry Leaf Iced Tea Cook Time: 20 minutes Serving Size: 6 Needed Tools: A pot large enough to hold 6 cups of water A saucepan (or similar) A large pitcher or glass jar A large strainer A spoon or spatula A large funnel Ingredients: 1/3 cup of Red Raspberry Leaf tea 6 cups of filtered water 1 lemon 4 cups of peaches (about 3 peaches) 1/3 cup of maple syrup Instructions: 1. Add water and tea to a pot and bring to a low boil. Once this temperature is reached, turn off the heat and leave the tea on the stove to steep while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 2. Add strawberries to a pan and turn the heat on low. Add the maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow the peaches to reduce and the mixture to thicken. Stir frequently to not allow the mixture to stick to the edges of the pot. Simmer for about 20 minutes. 3. Strain the tea into a pitcher or large jar, and discard the tea leaves. 4. Remove the peach mixture from the heat, and add to the strainer over the pitcher or jar. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the mixture around the strainer to extract as much syrup as possible. 5. Add the juice from the lemon to the mixture and stir thoroughly. 6. Allow to cool in the fridge before enjoying or just pour over a large glass of ice to enjoy immediately! If stored in a sealed container, this tea should last 2-3 days in the fridge. This is the perfect beverage for pregnant ladies in the summer months! Even if you're not pregnant, this tea is still delicious! Looking for more pregnancy tips? See my other posts! Strawberry Iced Pregnancy Tea 5 Superfoods to Eat to Prepare for Pregnancy and into Pregnancy! Surviving the First Trimester (Tips for a Holistic Natural Pregnancy) 4 Steps to Prepare for a Holistic Pregnancy
- Nourishing Homemade Peach Ice Cream (using Raw Milk)
The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. Jump to the Recipe Homemade Ice Cream is one of our favorite things to make! Peach ice cream is excellent during the summer months when peaches are ripening, readily available and so so good! This recipe also makes me feel good about eating ice cream as it's absolutely PACKED with nutrients and free of additives found in conventional ice cream. Raw Milk Raw dairy is a superfood! It’s cram-packed full of vitamins and minerals; everything a calf needs to grow and thrive in its first few months of life! Conventional milk sold in grocery stores is usually from commercially raised cows (meaning fed grain and given hormones and antibiotics). Conventionally raised cows are not healthy animals, and so the milk they produce is not nearly as good for consumption. Milk sold in grocery stores is also pasteurized, meaning cooked to kill any harmful bacteria. However, pasteurization also removes many of the vitamins and minerals! For example, the following nutrients are 100% present and available in raw milk but reduced in pasteurized milk: Vitamin A is 35% reduced, vitamin C is 25-77% reduced, zinc is 70% reduced, B vitamins are 38% reduced, calcium is 21% reduced, and probiotics are completely destroyed. When sourcing your raw milk, talk to your farmer. Make sure the cows that the milk is coming from are healthy. I always look for grass-fed cows that have not been given unnecessary antibiotics or hormones. Nourishing Homemade Peach Ice Cream Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1.5 - 2 hours Serving Size: 4 Tools Needed: Cutting board Saucepan Strainer Blender (Here is the one I use) Icecream maker (Here is the one I use) Ingredients: 3 cups of raw milk, making sure to get the cream from the top. If you have access to straight raw cream, I would recommend about a cup of raw cream and 2 cups of milk. (see notes) 5 egg yolks 2/3 cup of maple syrup 3 peaches 1 teaspoon vanilla Instructions: 1. Dice the peaches into small cups and add to a saucepan on low heat 2. Add 1/3 cup of maple syrup to the saucepan and stir frequently for about 20 minutes, until the mixture is soft like a jam. 3. Set aside to cool in the freezer for half an hour or in the fridge for one hour or longer. 4. Once your peaches are cooled, add the remaining 1/3 cup of maple syrup and egg yolks to a blender. Blend until you have a creamy custard consistency. 5. Add the milk, peaches, and vanilla to the blender and blend until thourally combined. 6. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and wait until it's fully formed (about 20-30 minutes, depending on your ice cream maker). 7. Enjoy! Notes: Most people do not have access to straight raw cream, and instead buy whole milk from their farmer. When you get your milk, notice a line at the top of the jar or carton. this is the cream. When making this ice cream, do not shake or stir your milk, and simply pour directly into the blender, so that you get a good amount of cream. If you look closely, you can see the cream line in this picture. This peach ice cream is the perfect dessert for a hot summer night! After I made the recipe for this post, my husband ate two heaping bowls! It's delicious! It's also a dessert that I feel good about eating. Using whole, high-quality foods, this recipe is nutrient-dense and free of the usual junk you find in store-bought ice cream (like artificial gums, preservatives, seed oils, and sweeteners). Food can be both nutritious and delicious! Want to learn more? Visit my other posts for more recipes and information on ancestral eating! What is Ancestral Eating? Nourishing Raw Milk Mocha Ice Cream
- Strawberry Iced Pregnancy Tea
The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you. Jump to the Recipe At a recent prenatal appointment, my midwife recommended I start drinking N.O.R.A. tea to help with some of the uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms I was having. (I love that I see a practitioner who recommends holistic and natural remedies before conventional supplements or pharmaceuticals). N.O.R.A. tea is a blend and stands for nettles, oat straw, red raspberry leaf, and alfalfa. After I started drinking it, I did a little research and was stunned at the huge list of benefits it offers! Some midwives have a policy that all their patients must drink N.O.R.A. tea during pregnancy because it can prevent many complications in labor! If you’re pregnant or looking to become pregnant, look into it! This Strawberry Iced tea is the PERFECT summer beverage for pregnancy! It's cold, refreshing, and full of healthy herbs that offer a huge list of benefits to pregnant women! The Benefits of N.O.R.A. Tea Again, some midwives make N.O.R.A. mandatory for their expecting mothers because it can lower the risk of complications in delivery. N.O.R.A. helps tone the uterus, supports liver function, can help prevent post-partum hemorrhage, and optimizes the absorption of nutrients (vitamin C and iron especially). In addition to these benefits, each herb in N.O.R.A. is nutrient-packed and has its own list of benefits! To read more about the benefits of each herb in N.O.R.A., a doula named Jenni-Jenkins has an excellent post on the subject! Visit her post here to read more about it! Strawberry Iced Pregnancy Tea Cook Time: 20 minutes Serving Size: 6 Needed Tools: A pot large enough to hold 6 cups of water A saucepan (or similar) A large pitcher or glass jar A large strainer A spoon or spatula A large funnel Ingredients: 1/3 cup of N.O.R.A. tea blend (see notes) 6 cups of filtered water 1 lemon 3 cups of strawberries (see notes) 1/3 cup of maple syrup Instructions: 1. Add water and tea to a pot and bring to a low boil. Once this temperature is reached, turn off the heat and leave the tea on the stove to steep while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 2. Add strawberries to a pan and turn the heat on low. Add juice from half the lemon and maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow the strawberries to reduce and the mixture to thicken. Stir frequently to not allow the mixture to stick to the edges of the pot. Simmer for about 20 minutes. 3. Strain the tea blend into a pitcher or large jar, and discard the tea leaves. 4. Remove the strawberry mixture from the heat, and add to the strainer over the pitcher or jar. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the mixture around the strainer to extract as much liquid as possible. 5. Add the juice from the other half of the lemon to the mixture and stir thoroughly. 6. Allow to cool in the fridge before enjoying or just pour over a large glass of ice to enjoy immediately! Notes: N.O.R.A. tea can be bought as a blend, or you can make your own blend at home. Here is a link to a blend. If you're planning to drink N.O.R.A. tea throughout your pregnancy, it is more cost-effective to make your own blend at home. Simply add equal parts of each herb. Here are links to each tea individually: Nettles, Oat straw, Red raspberry leaf, and Alfalfa. Strawberries for this recipe can be fresh or frozen. I used strawberries that I harvested from my garden and froze. If you're buying strawberries, frozen is likely the more affordable option. If stored in a sealed container, this tea should last 2-3 days in the fridge. This is the perfect beverage for pregnant ladies in the summer months! Even if you're not pregnant, this tea is still delicious and full of beneficial herbs! Looking for more pregnancy tips? See my other posts! 5 Superfoods to Eat to Prepare for Pregnancy and into Pregnancy! Surviving the First Trimester (Tips for a Holistic Natural Pregnancy) 4 Steps to Prepare for a Holistic Pregnancy