New decade, new goals. Who’s with me? I’ll be discussing my primary focus right now and I hope this helps you get motivated! Especially those of you that are mamas!
Lots of changes occurred since my last post. My mother passed away August 2019 after a brave battle with an aggressive rare case of Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL). She is forever with me and especially in my son. The best part is that he has reddish hair and my mother had red hair… His smile lights my heart on fire.
From the moment I knew he was going to make an entrance into this world my dietitian brain was sending me signals. I knew that breastfeeding would be the best gift I could give my son. Not every mother can breastfeed and there is nothing wrong with that or formula but luckily I found success with breastfeeding. I exclusively breastfed which was a real challenge when at work full-time. So many colleagues asked how I did it and frankly the credit must go to my diet. I went back to work when Dominic was 6-weeks old and that is when I began to really pay attention to the types of foods I ate since I wanted to ensure that my milk production did not decrease.
Foods that promote lactation may not always work for some women but its a good idea to ensure that your diet includes them for the overall nutritional benefits. These foods are called galactagogue foods which need to be consumed in variety and daily in the diet. These foods include: flaxseeds, sweet potatoes, fennel seeds, oatmeal, almonds, garlic, dark leafy greens, and brown rice.
So to sum it up… my focus was being as healthy as possible with some indulgences to ensure that my nutrition was ideal to promote lactation.
These cookies are loaded with galactagogue foods. More importantly, these cookies taste amazing so they are NOT just for you but for the whole family!
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
1-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut oil (or butter)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup macadamia nuts (or whatever nut strikes your fancy)
OPTIONAL: To change up the sugar content you can decrease the amount of brown sugar and sub with 2-3 finely chopped medjool dates (tastes amazing)
In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients (including the chocolate chips and nuts) and mix.
Add in the liquid ingredients and mix.
Using a tablespoon or ice cream scooper – create little balls and place evenly spaced on parchment paper.
Bake for 15 minutes or 20 minutes depending on how large your cookies are. If they do not flatten then use a fork to gently press them down.
Enjoy with hot tea, milk, or even wine… I choose wine.
November. This is my favorite month because it represents Thanksgiving. When I think of Thanksgiving I think of family, good eats, and wonderful conversations. In my household, the meal is always the most poignant part since there is something for each person to munch on and no one is the odd man out. We give thanks for our friends and family while reminiscing and looking ahead – I tend to look ahead at dessert.
This is an awesome dessert because it is gluten-free and friendly for most sufferers of celiac disease. If you are trying to reduce inflammation, a great way is to reduce your intake of gluten, or one of the other many inflammatory agents which include eggs, nuts, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and trans fats. Start small by taking something out of your diet that has one of these inflammatory agents and then add it back to see how your body reacts. Negative reactions include cramping, diarrhea, headaches, gargling of the stomach, vomiting, and nausea.
Remember – – – > > > Desserts are loaded with inflammatory ingredients but remember they do not have to be 100% ‘bad‘ or ‘off limits.’ Just consume in moderation rather than the whole thing at once. Keep something to be savored.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl, fold in the pumpkin, egg, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
Add in the chocolate chips (and pecans if used) and mix well.
On a parchment paper lined tray or non-stick tray drop 2 heaping spoonfuls (tbsp sized) of batter then slightly flatten with a fork.
Cook under 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes until slightly browned on the edges or check for completion by inserting a butter knife in the center and if it is free of residue then you are ready to set them aside.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or freeze with a scoop of ice-cream in the middle…
To start your day right… Treat your inner ‘chi’ right with some breakfast that will awaken your taste buds. If you’re anything like me – breakfast needs to be quick, tasty, and filling. Impossible? No.
This is a dish that can be made almost all the time because it calls for variety! For me, I utilize different fruits for the sweet and colorful aspect (bananas, berries, or stone fruits such as nectarines or peaches) OR I change up the protein base by alternating nut butters (cashew, almond, or peanut – absolutely love all of Justin’s butters) or protein powders (soy-free or egg powders – I prefer Jay Robb Egg White Protein Powder).
Oats and chia seeds are the kicker in this dish – the gluten-free powerhouse! Oats are one of the whole grains according to the January JAMA Internal Medicine that reduces premature death from all diseases such as cancer or cardiovascular disease. To be deemed ‘gluten-free,’ as of 2013 the FDA has mandated that items that contain wheat, barley, rye, or other gluten-like ingredients, be void OR must be less than 20 PPM of gluten. This labeling also makes like much easier for those with Celiac Disease and inherently MUST avoid gluten rather than those that are following various fad or elimination diets.
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and vitamins. These tiny little seeds when wet are hydrophilic thus they absorb water/fluid and inflate/puff up and trick our stomachs into satiety/fullness. Therefore chia seeds also help with hydration and weight loss. Like I said, they are the kicker in this dish!
The pop of color credit of the day goes to… NECTARINES!
1/4 cup oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
protein base (1 scoop protein powder or 1-2 tbsp nut butter)
1 whole fruit – can be sliced, diced, or minced
1/4 cup almond milk
To taste: nutmeg or cinnamon
In a dish or jar combine oats and chia seeds then mix well with the almond milk.
Stir in the protein-base.
Top with the fruit and spices then cover with the lid to the jar or with clear wrap.
Refrigerate overnight or for at least 1-hour minimum to allow the chia seeds to be saturated.
Grab a spoon, mess up the pretty fruit layer on top, or if you’re like me, try to drink aka slurp as you drive…! Enjoy 🙂