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!

Pets and Essential Oils!

Our animals certainly deserve the most natural care, just like we do! Sometimes it’s hard  to know if certain oils are safe or exactly how to go about making an oil safe by diluting it. Thankfully, my sister created this very helpful post with some fun recipes to help us out! Just click the link and enjoy! 

I once saw my sister put a few drops of oil on her crazy hyper boxer/ lab/ pitbull mix and I was shocked to see Bailey calm down in maybe a minute. I had never seen anything like it, and I had been close to this dog for a long time. That moment was when […]

via Essential Oils for Dogs — How To Be Myself

100 miles!

I’ve taken it pretty slow when it comes to getting back into shape after having Gavin. I’ve cosistantly done “something” when it come to occasional exercise but honestly, for the last 9 months, my main goal has been to survive.

I was however, inspired by an unusual event last fall. I had woken up at 6am to pump milk for Gavin (again). When I was done, I tried going back to sleep for half an hour and it just wasn’t happening.

That’s when I realized I was insane and I was wasting a perfectly good chance to go for a morning run by myself! I instantly jumped up as quietly as possible, tip toed past the baby, the dog and the husband like a stealthy ninja, grabbed a shot of Ninxia/Nitro, a couple drops of EN-R-GEE oil and practically got dressed in the garage out of fear that I might wake one of them up and ruin my chance!

As I excitedly opened the garage door, (why does that have to be so loud?!) my hopes and dreams were instantly smashed with the realization that it was raining. Hard. Why had it not occurred to me that it could be raining outside? Seriously. Stupid rain was trying to ruin my chance to go running with out dragging a stroller, dog, picnic basket and overnight bag along! (okay, the last part is an exaggeration but sometimes it feels like it might not be). Nope. Not gonna happen, I decided that though i am sweet as sugar it’s unlikely that I would melt and I went anyways. (so proud of myself!)

In the end, it stopped raining, I got my best distance and time since before I was pregnant and the sun was even out part of the time!

After that, I decided I wanted to go 100 miles in the fall. Walking and running both count. I just have to get in the steps! I loved the goal because it was attainable yet challenging and I ended up making it down to the 1/4 mile with only 8 hours to spare! I felt quite accomplished and loved that I was able to use this “movement” goal to balance all my fitness so decided to make it a regular thing. That’s right. 100 miles per season. I can do that! Right? Well, Winter started December 21st, right before Christmas and my baby had surgery on December 26th so I’m getting a late start… I don’t know if I can do it this season but I did get some cute new shoes for motivation.

You see, I believe in setting yourself up for success 😉

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!

It’s back to work I go!

After taking the last 9 months off work to be a full time mom to my brand new preemie, Gavin, I’m going back to work!

By the way, it’s not like I “simply” had a baby and took 9 lovely months of planned maternity leave. It’s more like I was just living my life when my water spontaneously broke 8 weeks early. This event put the world as I knew it into an abrupt halt and marking the beginning of the most powerful life experience that both my husband and I have ever had!

I own massage therapy business and it’s been a big part of who I am for the last 10 years. I love massage and I love my clients. I’ve never minded working because I genuinely love what I do. Even the tedious behind the scenes stuff (AKA QuickBooks & Insurance Billing) isn’t so bad when you’re doing what brings you purpose. When there is a client that you care about attached to each transaction and when you get the old fashioned satisfaction of putting in a good days work at the end of each day, you don’t mind the hard work.

However, bringing my new found pride and joy into the mix certainly changes things. Ever hear about moms having all the feelings about returning to work after having a baby? How spending one minute away from their baby is pure torture? Yep. That’s a real thing. The kicker? Don’t judge me.

I work from home so he’ll actually be in another part of the house with a trusted family member or friend. I said don’t judge me! I can hear you judging me. I know it sounds pathetic but what if I’m in a massage when he first crawls or at the rate he’s growing, learns to drive?!?! I just hope that if any of these things do happen, whomever is watching him is smart enough to lie to me about it.

All in all, I’m happy to go back. I’ve honestly missed my clients and it will be nice to have a little outlet doing something I love. I’m excited because things are different now and I feel like I have the same set of tools but more compassion and experience to bring to my clients.

None the less, who could blame me for loving the chance to hang out with this guy all day?

What are Essential Oils & how do I use them?

Essential oil is the “lifeblood” of a plant because the oil protects the plant from disease, provides nutrients and helps to repel insects. They can be found in the plant’s flower, stem, leaves, bark or fruit.

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Essential Oils were mankind’s first medicine! Today, they are still used to bring health and healing to the body (physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally).

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Essential oils are very complex containing hundreds or thousands of different chemical compounds; this is what gives each plant its unique healing attributes and characteristics.

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Essential oils should smell exactly like the plant they come from – nothing more, nothing less. Often, companies will add things like vanillin to make them smell sweeter. Do your oils smell like a plant or a dessert? If it says 100% pure but it smells sweet, chances are something else has been added. This means that the therapeutic properties are either decreased or nonexistent. 

Another thing to look for on essential oil is expiration dates. 100% therapeutic grade oils do not expire because they do not have anything added to them, like preservatives. 

Essential oils are NOT the same as vegetable and/or olive oils. Vegetable oils are obtained from the fatty parts of a plant like the nuts, seeds, or kernels and are greasy. They can also go rancid over time. Young Living’s essential oils do not go rancid or expire – sweet! In the essential oils world, we refer to the kitchen oils (olive, coconut, avocado, grape seed, etc…) as carrier oils since they are often used to dilute the potency of therapeutic grade essential oils when applying to your skin.

If you’re wondering what on earth a “carrier oil” is…look no further! A carrier oil is a vegetable/nut/plant oil such as grapeseed oil/coconut oil/sweet almond oil etc. that can be used to dilute an essential oil. You have A LOT of options but here is a fractionated coconut oil that I like. Carrier oils ensure that essential oils applied topically are comfortable and prevent waste due to excessive application. Dilution with a carrier oil does not inhibit the effectiveness of the essential oil in any way.

Great times to use carrier oils would be when you are using oils on young children, when you are ingesting an oil for the first time, when the back of the oil bottle tells you that you need to dilute, and when you are using a “hot oil”. A hot oil is an oil that, when applied to the skin, can cause a “hot” or “burning” sensation. Diluting these types of oils can eliminate the sensation or make it more comfortable 

Three ways to explore the benefits of essential oils:
-Topically
-Aromatically
-Internally – Young Living has a specific line called the Vitality line. Oils from this line are OK to ingest. 

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Safety is important when it comes to using essential oils. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the information available, but using common sense and starting gradually will help ease any sort of intimidation you might feel as you begin using essential oils in your everyday life.

Store essential oils in a cool, dark place with lids tightly closed (and always out of reach of children). Always use and store EOs in glass containers, especially when drinking them in water, since most plastic products contain chemicals that can be broken down by the oil. Oils break down plastic because it is a toxin, they do not harm your body because your body is non toxic and organic!

Citrus oils are photosensitive and when applied to skin, they may cause a rash or dark pigmentation on skin exposed to UV rays or direct sunlight within 1-2 days after application.

Two holes EO’s should never be applied.. EYES AND EARS! Should irritation or accidental contact with eyes occur, never use water to clear the EO (they are not water-soluble). Instead use a V6 vegetable oil complex or other carrier oil (such as coconut oil or vitamin e oil) to cleanse the area and reduce discomfort.

You’ll also want to keep carrier oils (like coconut, olive, vitamin e, sweet almond oil, etc.) on hand for dilution when necessary.

Again, these are just general high notes on safety and usage information. EOs are an amazing, natural way to approach health and wellness for your family, but because of Young Living’s purity and grade of oils, they should be used with knowledge and respect. This is said not to scare you, but for you to realize that they DO work and can successfully be implemented into your family’s daily life with common sense. It is my hope that you’ll start this journey and discover the ability to use natural resources to treat yourself and your family. You won’t regret it!!

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Now, friends, why choose Young Living when there are so many other companies out there to choose from? I’m going to be honest here; some of those companies are cheaper. A lot cheaper. This is hands-down one of those cases where you get what you pay for. Yes, you *can* buy a $5 bottle of oil but *buyer beware* you’re receiving an inferior product.

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Young Living is the only company out there that has what is called the “Seed to Seal” promise. This has such a huge impact!  It means that Young Living controls every single aspect of their production line. They own their own farms. They plant their own seeds. They cultivate their own crops. They use essential oils on their plants. They oversee everything, literally, from planting the seed to sealing the bottle. They can say with a 100% guarantee that they know what is inside each and every bottle, and that they are pure beyond a shadow of a doubt. They don’t compromise quality just to get the product out there. If it’s not perfect and up to par, they don’t bottle it. It can’t get more comforting than that!

In our house, we have been working on living as toxin and additive free as possible. This is why I chose Young Living. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and if I’m going to be consistently using these products on the skin of myself and my loved ones, I want to know exactly what I’m getting!

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Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.