Gluten Free/Dairy Free & Delicious Lactation Cookies!

Gluten Free/Dairy Free & Delicious Lactation Cookies!

Keeping baked goods gluten free, dairy free & delicious is not always easy. Except with this recipe!

I believe there are so many healthful benefits to breastfeeding and that’s why I’m committed to breastfeeding Elijah for as long as possible (hoping for the recommended 2 years). That can mean being aware of the water intake, nutrition and sleep that I give my body and it can also mean giving myself extra boosts to make sure my supply matches his growth spurts! I mean, sometimes as a parent you have to sacrifice to go the extra mile for your kid and if that means eating cookies then I’ll just have to do what needs to be done. For the baby.

I’ve used this recipe several times and noticed an increase each time. I know it’s a keeper so I’m sharing it with you! I really don’t know exactly how many cookies a person “needs” to eat before they notice a difference in milk supply but I’m sure I’ve never had the problem of haven eaten to few. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

6 Tbsp. Brewers Yeast

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal

2 Tbsp Water

1/2 Cup Avocado Oil

1/2 Cup Applesauce

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

3/4 Cup White Sugar

2 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

3 Cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal

3/4 Cup GF/DF Chocolate Chips

3/4 Cup Raisins

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.


Mix together flaxseed meal and water, set aside for 3-5 minutes.
Sift together flour, brewer’s yeast, salt, cinnamon and baking soda.


In a large mixing bowl, cream together oil, applesauce and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, mix well.


Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the oil mix. Beat until blended.

Sift together dry ingredients, except oats, chips and raisins.

Add to oil mixture.

Stir in oats, chocolate chips and raisins.

Refrigerate dough for at least one hour.

Using a large cookie scoop, drop onto baking sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

Enjoy your cookies and abundance of milk!

Pro tip: if you’re just looking for delicious cookies without the increased milk production, just leave out the brewers yeast!

How do I know if a product is toxic?

More and more companies put products on the shelf that appear to be safe and read “all natural,” but are they really all that safe? I don’t know about you but I need help deciphering all that labeling jargon and I certainly don’t want to pay extra for a product that isn’t even good for me! Also, keep in mind that just because something is “natural,” doesn’t mean it’s good. Ex: It is totally natural to get a sunburn when you are in the sun too long, but sunburns are NO BUENO!

Go to your app store and download the app called “Think Dirty.” Sign in and let it take you through the tutorial on how to use the app. Healthy Living is also a great app!

The Think Dirty and Healthy Living applications are both tools that you can use to scan products and see how they rate in terms of safety. If anything rates a six or higher, I don’t touch it with a ten foot pole. If it rates between a 3-5, I check out the ingredient/s that are making it rate that high and also look them up on the The Environmental Working Group website to see why that ingredient is given a higher rating. If that ingredient is the LAST ingredient listed on the product label, I know there is only a small amount in the product. Then I make my own judgment call on whether I want to use the product or not. Products rated 1-2 are completely safe and are my top picks.

If that feels uber time-consuming, it is a great idea to find a company that has your health in mind and is committed to producing products that are safe and effective. Enter Young Living.

For example, we all use household cleaners, so let’s start there…

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization focused on environment and public health, recently came out with their Cleaners Hall of Shame list. The list includes common products you use to clean your home. These products contain ingredients containing carcinogens, asthma instigators, and poisons, which mean some sparkly cleaners, might come at a high price. Here is a snapshot of the list’s number one offender.

Check out the rest of the list here:

Click to access cleaners_hallofshame.pdf


Many of the generic cleaners contain Phthalates which interfere with hormones and are carcinogens.

2 ThievesCleaner.d

Wondering what you SHOULD use? Thieves cleaner does NOT contain those big bad Phthalates. Instead of Phthalates, Thieves Cleaner by Young Living contains two different sulfates that are derived from coconut oil and sugar. These all-natural and safe sulfates that are considered surfactants, which contain a molecule that loves water and a molecule that hates water. That means the Thieves Cleaner sticks to the surface and grabs the oil and then washes away easily with water. #ScienceIsCool

2 ThievesCleaner.a

Worried it won’t disinfect? There are several petri dish studies done comparing its effectiveness to bleach and it’s proven to clean just as well as bleach! Without the toxic chemicals! I’m literally still amazed by this on a regular basis!

It can be used on many different surfaces: counters, bathrooms, floors, toys, clothes, carpet, mirrors, windows, and more. It’s actually the only cleaner I use for my entire house!

This cleaner is also insanely cost effective. It is highly concentrated so you only need about a capful (1/2 oz) of this all-purpose cleaner in about two cups of water. With this ratio, one small bottle will yield you about 29 16 oz spray bottles of safe all-purpose cleaner. That means it’s under $1 for one spray bottle. Can’t beat that price! Time to #DitchAndSwitch all your household cleaners for the Thieves all-purpose cleaner. Living above the wellness line and saving money at the same time. Double bonus! Order Here!

The Thieves cleaner comes in a small or large bottle and you can even get a convenient spray great for shopping carts, public tables, and so much more.
Thieves Household Cleaner 14.4 fl oz or 64 oz (concentrated solution)
Thieves Spray 1 oz
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Gavin’s Healthy Heart!

During one of the high-definition ultrasounds that I received while pregnant with Gavin, they had discovered that he had a VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect). That means he had a hole in the wall of his heart which seperates the ventricles. Congential heart disease.

VSDs come in a variety of sizes, each with specific attributes that may or may not require surgery. They did several EKGs (Echocardiogram’s) on him while I was pregnant and knew he would likely need surgery but we would have to wait to do an EKG when he was born for definite answers. Sometimes VSDs can close on their own and cause no problems so we were hoping for that prognosis!

At that point, we did not know that he would be premature and that we did not have as long to wait as we had originally thought. As soon as he was born they rushed him off to do all sorts of testing with different specialty departments and one of the things they did was an EKG, confirming that he would need heart surgery but they would have to wait until he was bigger.

This was right after he was born when they took him to see the specialists, Gavin is somewhere in all that equipment!
This was right after he was born when they took him to see the specialists, Gavin is somewhere in all that equipment!

His first goals would be 1. Stomach repair/function (he was born with Duodenal Atresia and was not able the digest food), 2. Stability in all the areas where prematurity cause instability, and 3. weight gain.

Once we were home from the NICU, we began taking all measures to fatten him up. I would take a portion of the breast milk that I had pumped, wait for the fat to settle on the top (about 24 hours), siphon only the fat (hindmilk) off the top and add it to the regular breast milk. Then I would add avocado oil and vitamins to each bottle. Lucky for us, he couldn’t tolerate formula when we tried adding it to his bottles for extra calories so we had to think outside the box. People would see me making bottles and comment that it was the most complicated and time consuming baby feeding process they had ever seen!

Siphoning the fat from the milk

Gavin’s VSD was causing his heart to work extra hard to keep him alive and it was burning extra calories while doing it. We were playing catch-up in every area while still battling feeding issues related to prematurity (Preemies have to learn to coordinate the suck, swallow, breath technique in sync without choking and causing a Brady episode which means their vital stats bottom out, they turn blue and they have to be stimulated in order to breath) and a severe tongue tie. Other things his doctors told us to do were to not let him cry because it burns vital calories and to not let him get sick.

We took our job very seriously. Our house was pretty much on quarantined lockdown, used as Gavin’s personal healing sanctuary with round-the-clock skin-to-skin for most of the summer.

I still remember the day that he hit 5 pounds like it was yesterday. We worked hard for that gain and we were thrilled! Throughout the summer we had regular visits with his team of cardiologists and even though he was gaining weight, they consistently said his condition had not improved. They said his weight gain was not enough, he needed surgery but he would not be able to handle it until he was bigger.

We had been praying for healing all along and at each visit we hoped they would say the hole was closed and he didn’t need surgery, but it kept not happening.

They would let us listen to his heart for ourselves and each time we heard the whooshing of blood flowing through a hole so big that our layman’s ears could hear it was still there.

We were honestly disspointed and a little angry but we never stopped hoping.

One night stands out in my mind, I was standing over him as I put him to bed in his swing (he slept sitting up because he had reflux from being premature). I remember starting out praying a typical prayer for his heart to be healed but this time was different in the fact that I got the clear realization that he would be healed, whether it was through surgery or through God’s hand alone. I remember saying and really believing “I know he’ll be okay, I trust that he will make it through this but it would just be so much easier and better if you would simply use your power to heal him without surgery. I know you can”. There was power in that moment and several others along with it.

Moments like the time we were at my Grandmother’s Memorial (sadly, she had passed away while we were in the NICU but my family decided to wait until we were home to have a service). Someone was talking with my husband about Gavin’s upcoming heart surgery and he boldly replied, “I believe he’s not going to need surgery”.

Us at my Grandma Gladys’s memorial

It wasn’t instantaneous, we had gone to a few appts where the cardiologists said he would still need surgery and we started declaring his healing and believing for it daily. We even came to terms with the real possibility that we would need to walk through heart surgery with him and were very grateful to have an awesome team of doctors that God had given us who could bring him healing through medicine. After all, healing is healing, however it comes.

“Is this the same kid?”

At his next “routine” heart check up, August 28th, Gavin was almost 5 months old and had been steadily gaining weight. We went in for an updated EKG and to set his surgery date. We knew the drill and were just going through the motions. I’m embarrassed to say that we were honest-to-God caught off guard when it was time to hear the report of findings and his cardiologist told us the hole had closed, he would NOT need surgery and they were taking the failure to thrive label off his chart!

Getting his EKG

She looked a little unsure and confused when she said, “let me re-check his chart. Is this the same kid? No really, is this the right kid? I can’t believe it! What did you guys do to him?” Then she made us wait so she could have two other cardiologists check him out. They were all dumbfounded and said they just couldn’t believe it. I remember how happy my husband and I felt, I remember looking at each other and saying, “We can believe it”!

Today, we CELEBRATE!

My mama heart was so relieved and overflowing with joy for my sweet baby boy and all I could feel was thankfulness. Thankfulness for healing and all the people who believed with us! So if you were one of those people, we thank you from the bottom of our healthy hearts!

Update: We recently had an EKG done at 9 months old and his heart still looks great!

Cloth diapers. Really.

Its been about 4 months since i started and it turns out that i may have over reacted. Cloth diapering is not nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. The online support group has been amazing. Not a question has been left unanswered and I have not had any real problems yet!

PLUS, a friend of mine gave us her whole diaper stash which was a GIANT blessing! Since we have been able to try a variety of diapers I can tell you that they each have pros and cons but none of them have any cons that are deal breakers for us. My husband is even using them with no problems and minimal complaining!

My personal favorite is still the hybrid grovia 2 in 1 that I originally bought because they are very similar to the convenience of disposables and are super easy to use!

I feel like we have everything that we need so I can do a wash about every 5 days and never run out (I just usually wash on day 5 so they don’t get to gross). Our stash has about 5 dozen diapers. It includes the Grovia hybrid that I originally bought, Purple Unicorn with snaps and a variety of pocket diapers/ inserts. We also have 2 yards of flannel that I used for making wipes, a set of 4 wool dryer balls to help with shortening dry time, 5 dekor reusable diaper bags, 2 decor diaper pails (one for the nursery and one for the bathroom) a spray pal splatter shield, a spray nozzle for the toilet and a travel wet bag!

I use a simple homemade diaper balm made from coconut oil and essential oils. It works well to prevent rashes and never stains! Here’s how to make it:

4 oz pure coconut oil (solid form)

20 drops Essential Oil of choice (I use Lavender and Gentle Baby in equal parts)

Melt oil in 4 oz Mason jar, add EO’s (essential oils) refrigerate until solid, label with washi tape & a sharpie (or label of choice!) and store at room temperature. Ready to use anytime!

Tip: this is also great for adding quick moisture to my over washed hands!

To make homemade wipe solution, I looked up a popular recipe and then tweaked it to my preference. I love the recipe I’ve fine tuned but feel free to make it your own by adding a little extra or maybe a little less of something!

Homemade wipe solution recipe:

1 Quart size mason jar

1 Oz Dr. Bronners baby unscented pure castile soap

1 Tsp fractionated coconut oil

10 Drops lavender EO

10 Drops Gentle Baby EO

Mix all ingredients in jar and fill to top with filtered water. Once you have your wipes cut and in your dish of choice just pour the solution over the wipes. Ready for use! Store covered to maintain moisture. I find that the quart jar covers about 48 wipes with the right amount of moisture and maintains moisture until I use them up!

Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.

Cloth diapers? Really?

My “natural, whenever possible.” focused mind has been toying with the idea of cloth diapers all along but I simply haven’t wanted to deal with the mess and extra work. I’ve got enough on my plate and I deserve for something to be easy!

I knew disposables are said to have “bad” chemicals and after my husband and I did the math, we were aware of how much money we would be saving long term but I still had time to procrastinate on the decision since Gavin was too small for cloth for a long time. At his 3 lbs. birth weight, his first diaper was a size “micro preemie” which is about half the size of a post card and that was actually too big for him. They do sell cloth sets in size newborn but he was far from even fitting newborn and I didn’t want to invest in a whole set for the relatively short period of time that they would fit him.

If you’ve ever dabbled in the world of cloth diapers, you’ll understand why I felt overwhelmed and unprepared by the idea of committing to investing in a brand/style.

I asked my natural loving mom friend so many questions that I’m surprised she hasn’t blocked me (yet) and I also did A LOT of research on my own to learn about what I would use IF I were to eventually go that route. As I started to understand the lingo (which is basically like instantaneously being thrown into an advanced foreign language class!) and even tried a few options. I still felt overwhelmed and honestly, I was relieved when my top choice, Grovia All in Two’s with the hook and loop velcro closure, was still too big for him. He looked like he got eaten by a teletubby and massive leaks were inevitable. We would simply have to wait on cloth diapering. Darn 😉

Fast forward a few months. Gavin is 5 months old, 11 lbs. and has just grown into size one diapers. We got back the blood test results about Gavin’s hormone levels (he was born with hypospadias and needs a repair). They look good but he will still need testosterone he will need testosterone therapy before his repair. The only other thing we can do in the meantime is support normal hormone function by avoiding hormone disruptors. It seems like it’s time to face the music and look more closely at what we can realistically do to help him have the best chance for happy hormones, long term.

Are disposable diapers really that bad? Are the cloth diaper moms just dooms day preppers who are blowing this whole thing out of proportion? Before I make my life harder, I’m going to need to find out the truth for myself.

In my research, I have not targeted any specific disposable brand. If you’re looking for brand specific info, just look up the ingredients of the brand you’re interested in. I know the natural ones are supposed to be better but it really doesn’t matter enough for me to hard core look into each brand because even if you can find a diaper company that passes all the ingredients tests, the best brands are very expensive for everyday use.
So far, my research concludes that most disposable diapers contain chemicals that could cause adverse skin reactions, cancer, asthma, and hormone disruption.
It might seem like it’s not a big deal or the exposure isn’t enough to make a difference but I think that we all have noticed an increase in these sorts of illnesses in our society and that we have enough research to show that chemical exposure is definitely part of the problem. Some of the main offending chemicals are Dioxins, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tributyl-tin (TBT) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). That’s a good list to reference if you’re just trying to learn what to avoid. If you want to know more about WHY then read on.
Dioxins- are a broad name used to umbrella hundreds of chemicals; there are about 30 that are the most harmful to people. They are rated as more dangerous because they reside in the body and are not able to be broken down for a very long time. The worst one is called Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD). TCDD was the deadly contaminant found in the infamous Agent Orange. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals known to science and are listed by the EPA as highly carcinogenic chemicals. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions.

Sodium Polyacrylate -Sodium polycarbonate is chemical compound that is great for absorption and prevents leakage. That is why they use it in the filler of disposable diapers. It’s also been linked to skin irritations and respiratory problems and was removed from tampons due to toxic shock syndrome concerns.

Tributyl-tin (TBT) – The EPA says, this toxic pollutant is extremely harmful to aquatic (water) life and causes endocrine (hormonal) disruptions. TBT also rates highly in its contribution to pollution to the environment and does not have the capability to degrade so its toxic effects stick around wrecking not only our bodies but our planet forever.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – VOC’s include chemicals like ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene that can cause damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system as well as ear, nose, throat irritation and headaches.

Sigh, I was hoping that I’d find out that it really doesn’t matter but I guess I have to at least try now. I joined a cloth diapering support group to help with the learning curve of washing and I ordered the Hybrid live package of Grovia Ai2. Seeing how Gavin is living on a breastmilk fortified with avocado diet (for weight gain) and has several messy diapers per day, I’m going to need more shells than the average recommended but for now I will have 13 shells, 26 organic soaker pads and 6 organic boosters. At least they are cute and the investment will pay off in the long run!

Oh, P.S. Wipes? You guessed it. Same story. If you want to avoid chemicals then it matters what ingredients they have in them. They are after all being absorbed in the most sensitive of areas! I’m going to try making my own wipes with flannel and a homemade wipe solution once the diapers get here since I’ll already be washing them anyways. I’ll keep you posted on that but if you are looking for disposable, I recommend Young Livings seedling wipes. They work well, smell wonderful and can also be used as effective make-up removers and dryer sheets!

How about you? Have you cloth diapered? I’d love to hear any veteran tips you have for me!

Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.

References: https://www.epa.gov
http://www.livestrong.com/article/111348-chemicals-disposable-diapers/
http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/toxic-diapers-your-childs-disposable-diapers-contain-endocrine-disruptors

Lets talk about teeth!

Sometimes teeth are no fun for anyone. Like…REALLY no fun. Thankfully, I have a few tricks that have worked really well for us!

Instead of turning to something we’d rather not be putting into our babes’ bodies, they can get some sweet relief from essential oils. For young babies, apply diluted Frankincense, Copaiba, or Orange to the gums and along the outside of the jaw line. You can also apply diluted lavender to the outside of the jaw for additional soothing.

For older children, you can use diluted Clove or Thieves on the gum and tooth area. These bring soothing comfort to your little ones so they are able to sleep great, eat and drink with ease, and feel like the happy little campers they are!

Recipe:
15 drops Frankincense
15 drops Orange
15 drops Copaiba
fill with coconut oil (or any other edible oil!)
Mix in a 2 OZ glass dropper bottle

Drop liberally onto your clean finger or a Q-Tip and apply where needed!

This works well for big kids and adults with braces, too!

Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.