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 to place your Young Living order after you have already become a member!

There are a two different ways that you can place your young living order after your initial sign up. You can either place an Essential Rewards Order (ER) or you can place a Quick Order (QO). Both are designed to benefit you differently, according to your needs. The most important thing is getting you your order, the way you want it and I’m going to help you get the best benefits along with it!

Ordering on Essential Rewards for the first time? Most wholesale members enroll in a program called Essential Rewards (ER). This makes a ton of sense for you if you are ditching all the toxic products in your life and switching to a more healthful lifestyle, if you are going to place an order at least once a month or if you just like to get free stuff!

Ordering on ER truly is the best bang for your buck. You get a percentage of what you spend back in points to redeem for more products. I earn 25% back on everything that I buy which means that I can use the young living products I know and trust in place of most of the household products that I would normally be buying anyways! Transfer buying, as they call it!

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How to place an order on Essential Rewards:

  1. Sign into your virtual office account using the login info that you choose when you became a member.
  2. On the left hand side, click Essential Rewards and then click join now.
  3. Add the products that you want to order and click save monthly order.
  4. Check your total personal volume (PV), NOT your total dollars spent and make sure it is what you need it to be in order to qualify for the promos you want (if you want any this month!)
  5. Select your payment/shipping method and DONE!

It really is that simple! Your customized order will ship on the same day each month and you can choose/change it at your will.

When you are enrolled in the Essential Rewards program you get a monthly box of whatever products you choose. There is a minimum order of 50 PV per month required to stay active in the program. PV value is different than dollar value. Each product has a PV value but generally speaking, the PV value and the dollar value are about the same on most products.

As an Essential Rewards Member, you:

  • Get reduced shipping rates
  • Qualify for free monthly promos
  • Get discounts on products that are exclusive to Essential Rewards members.
  • Earn reward points which you can cash in for free products (this alone is like gold to me)!
  • Can cancel it anytime, for any reason
  • Have no membership fees
  • Get additional loyalty gifts, based on how long you are enrolled.

If you are ordering as a wholesale member then there is literally no reason not to jump on this program. Even if you don’t plan on ordering monthly, you have nothing to lose some pretty cool things to gain! (you do have to call and cancel if you decide you want to- but that’s easy)

PV Assistant:

Once you are enrolled in the Essential Rewards program, I highly recommend that you turn on the PV Assistant. It’s a tool that allows to you to set the minimum PV that you want to hit each month. It helps you by adding products of your choice to your order, should you go under your preset minimum PV. This is helpful in the case that something in your ER order goes out of stock before your order is shipped. This has happened to me before and it is very sad. It will lower your PV which could affect any promotions you were planning on getting that month and if you go below 50 PV then it will take you off essential rewards all together, causing any reward points that you have accrued in the past to disappear.

PV Assistant is located in your Virtual Office on the left hand side under Essential Rewards. Just set your PV assist to send you whatever items you tell it to as replacement items. It will not change, add or replace anything you have in your current ER order unless something goes out of stock!

I personally like to fill mine up with everyday must have oils that have a variety of price points. I also like to add common oils that I can give away as gifts but let’s face it, I’ve never received anything that I didn’t want to keep for my self 😉

Changing your ER order each month:

  1. Login to your virtual office account using the login info that you choose when you became a member.
  2. Go to Essential Rewards, my monthly order, change order
  3. Choose the products that you want, save monthly order
  4. Check your PV total, NOT your total money spent and make sure it is what you want it to be in order to qualify for the promo’s that you want.
  5. Select your payment/ shipping info and done!

Reasons to order on Quick Order:

  • If you are not enrolled in Essential Rewards.
  • You are redeeming your Essential Reward points.
  • You want to place an additional order in the same month that your ER order has already been placed. (people might do this if they forgot to order something, if there is a sale or if they want to qualify for the monthly promotional items twice!)

To place a Quick Order:

  1. Login to your virtual office account using the login info that you choose when you became a member.
  2. Choose the products that you want
  3. Check your PV total, NOT your total money spent and make sure it is what you want it to be in order to qualify for the promo’s that you want.
  4. Enter payment/shipping info and done!

You can still qualify for promotional items based on the total PV that you order in your quick order so watch for the monthly promotions!

I hope this was helpful, please let me know if you have any other questions!

Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.

 

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.

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