Are You Disrespecting Your Child with this Type of Attention?

Good VS.BadAttention





This past weekend was the 4th of July, and I went to visit my mom and her husband with my 2.5 year old.

There were many people there from both sides of the family, and while I don’t blame (ok, maybe I do a little) them, I couldn’t help but to notice how unconscious so many people are about how they interract with children. I don’t blame them because the very culture we are all brought up in has a fundamental phobia and lack of understanding around children. If you look around, childism is covertly operating all throughout society from the way we speak to kids, to the way we educate them, to the way we don’t allow them to go many places, etc. In this post I want to address the way we speak to them. It is ironic because when people do it, they actually think they are being friendly or engaging the child in a respectful way, but they are actually mocking and belitting them because they are coming from the stance that the child is dumb.

The child being dumb may not be the conscious thought had by the other person, but remember, childism is unconscious, mostly. It is woven into the fabric of society. One (of many) exchanges between my bright 2.5 year old son and another adult went a bit like this:

*My son picks up a hat, examines it, and puts it on his head*

*Adult immediately gets up in his face and says,

“What you got there buddy?! You got a hat? You like putting hats on your head?!”

*My son stares back with a furrowed brow*

“Look! I got a hat on, too! Do you like my hat?! Do you have a lot of hats back at home?!”

*My son takes the hat off, throws it on the ground and walks away*

“Haha! Well, ok! Fine then…”

 

Upon first reading this you might think, “What’s the big deal? Seems like a nice guy trying to talk to your kid.”

And yes, I do not doubt the good intentions, but ask yourself, do you think he would have spoken this way to another adult who put a hat on? The likely answer is no. My son was simply minding his own business and modeling what he sees adults do (putting on hats without a fuss) only to get put under a huge microscope and have someone make a big deal about him putting a hat on. I often see that adults have this way of abrasively intervening on children when they are in the midst of things like exploration, thought, and imagination.



Another example is when my son was in the family room alone and totally focused on this helicopter toy. He was completely absorbed in this helicopter and it’s functions when this same adult walked in and exclaimed,

“You got a helicopter?! Can you make the noise a helicopter makes?! Can you go WOOOSHWOOSHWOOSH?!”

To which my son replies, “Noooo!”

I know my son enough to know that he isn’t being a brat to this person, he is simply objecting to his abrasive attitude the only way a young child knows how.

Don’t get me wrong. I think attention is a wonderful commodity and the anecdote to so many of the problems that arise with our children. The key is to undertand what kind of attention is helping and what kind of attention is hurting.

The type of attention that is hurtful is when the giver of attention (usually an adult when it comes to children) wants something in return. They want a certain response, like for the child to act cute or give them certain feedback. Normally,  I see the adult responding with something like, “fine then,” in a bitter way when the child doesn’t engage back in the way they desire. They come to the child with an agenda to entertain and expect to be entertained back by the child on some level. It is given with the assumption that they are smarter and the child needs their input. That what the child is doing in that moment isn’t “enough” and they need to add more to the situation by asking obvious questions and dumbing themselves down “for the child.” I see this in adult relationships, too. When people dumb themselves down for others, what they are saying is that they don’t trust the other person to “play on their level,” so to speak. This behavior is actually unkind because it doesn’t give the other person the opportunity to learn and grow.

Helpful attention is unconditional and without agenda. It is simply present to where your child is emotionally and open to their feelings and thoughts. It is available when they need it, and it is trusting that when they need it they will ask for it (assuming that they have been made to feel safe in doing so). It is not abrasive and it is not unwarranted. It is understanding that sometimes the most respectful thing you can do is allow space. I know that if my son wanted to show me helicopter noises, he would. Oh boy, would he! He doesn’t need coaxing or prompting. It is a sense of radical trust in your child. That they have their own built in system that tells them when they want you for things like play, presence and attention.

Think of it like this: What it your friend was walking her dog? Would you walk up to her and say, “What you got there, Sarah? Is that a puppy dog?! You like dogs? What do dogs say, Sarah? Can you say, ‘RUFF RUFF!?

I won’t even go into how someone tried making my son say, “magic words” before handing him a toy boat that he asked for. That is for another post, but it is important to note the many ways we treat children that we would never dare treating our peers.

“Hey Chantel, can you bring me my book?”

“What do you say, Tim? What are the magic words? C’Mon…what do you sayyy???”

I would never honestly say this to my friend. Tim. So why would I say it to my child?



I understand that some people will think that I am being extreme or thinking too much about this, but I ask that you really consider these ideas. Why do we speak to children so radically different than we do each other? Sure, they don’t fully understand everything that adults do, but they understand so much more than we often give them credit for, including the nuances in how we treat them differently. There are ways that you can speak to them in a way that meets them developmentally, without undermining their intelligence. They might not have the language to explain what is happening for them when we do this, but trust me, they feel it.


Free Webinar

**If you would like to discover 3 Key Truths to Being a Radically Better Parent to your Toddler, then please join my FREE WEBINAR and LIVE Q&A that I am hosting on July 12th!

CLICK HERE to register and for more information!

Continue Reading

Meet the Woman who Believes Mental Illness Should Not be Medicated. [WATCH!]

Untitled design (1)





Meet Kelly Brogan MD.

Kelly is a holistic psychiatrist who talks openly against the negative effects of pharmaceutical drugs and how she successfully gets her patients off of them.

Kelly believes that most (if not all) mental illness stems from things like poor diet, artificial lifestyles, and stress, and that people can be treated naturally, even in extreme cases of mania.

As a mother, I have been obsessing over Kelly’s blogs because we really align with our views on things like childbirth, antibiotics, stress, etc. Check out Kelly’s website to read all of her amazing articles that I have been reading and sharing in recent weeks.  There is a whole section dedicated to mothers and how we can take back our power in terms of our children’s health, as well as our own.

Screenshot 2017-06-27 at 2.59.21 PM

Finally, watch this amazing video interview that Kelly did with Marie Forleo. She goes in depth about why she believes so many people (especially women) struggle with depression and why/how she thinks mental health can be treated without drugs. Here is a sneak peek quote from the video:

“–it’s become my belief that the body is one of the most sophisticated, you know, mechanisms on the planet. And we are just beginning to look through the keyhole of how it does what it does. And so, it doesn’t really make mistakes. Any time you have a symptom, anything from a sore throat to a headache to something like, you know, mania, it’s actually an expression on the part of the body. It’s attempting to get your attention so that you can look at different areas of imbalance in your life. And those can be nutritional, they can be environmental or they can be psychospiritual.”

And please check out Kelly’s book, “A Mind of Your Own,” to learn the truth about depression and how you can treat yours.





Continue Reading

Curing Infertility: How I Treated My Hormonal Imbalance and PCOS, Naturally.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset





Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

By: Shelby Salinas of Sunshel.com

In my previous post, I talked about my struggle with hormonal imbalance (PCOS) before my pregnancy. In this post, I’m going to get into the details of what worked for me. Please keep in mind that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all prescription. I put this plan together after a lot of research and close attention to my body and symptoms. My advice to you is to take some of my ideas, do your own research, and begin introducing these things into your daily routine. See what works and what doesn’t. Journal and keep track of your symptoms. Get to know your body!

Note: A lot of the focus here was on healing the gut. This is absolutely crucial if you want to get your hormones back in sync. You have to work holistically and the gut is usually the best starting point.




Herbs & Supplements

  • Vitex also known as Chaste tree berry (I started with a tincture from a local herb shop and then moved on to capsules).
    • Supports the body in sustaining and increasing progesterone levels. Many women with PCOS have low levels of progesterone due to unopposed estrogen. Vitex helps the body to balance estrogen and progesterone for a healthy, regular menstrual cycle.
  • Maca Root (capsule or powder form)
    • Supports healthy progesterone levels in the body. Maca is an adaptogen. It helps to balance hormones, but does not contain any hormones itself. It is able to do this by nourishing and balancing the endocrine system. And it’ll give you an energy boost!
  • L-Glutamine
    • Supports gut maintenance. Plays a critical role in digestive and brain function.
  • Ceylon Cinnamon (organic; in my morning smoothie)
    • Increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone in women, which helps balance hormones. It also stabilizes blood sugar and aids in the treatment of insulin resistance.
  • Coconut Oil (organic, raw, unrefined; 1 T in my morning smoothie)
    • The caprylic and lauric acid in coconut oil play a key role in protecting the digestive tract, helping with inflammation and the gut.
  • Vitamin C (prefer the powder because you get a higher dose without swallowing a handful of capsules)
    • Mood and immune booster. Beneficial for those with low progesterone. I could go on and on about C, really. It was a no-brainer to add it to my regimen.
  • Turmeric (capsules and powdered spice when cooking; you can also buy raw turmeric root and add slices to your smoothie)
    • Amazing, amazing, amazing. Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune-boosting, and a major digestive aid.
  • Probiotic (I used Garden of Life Women’s formula)
    • (Duh!) Anyone trying to treat PCOS and build/maintain a strong, healthy gut needs to include a high quality probiotic and fermented foods in their diet.




Morning Green Smoothie

This was the most important part of my routine because it gave me a healthy start each and every day. I used berries as my fruit of choice, because they are low-glycemic and lower in sugar than tropical fruits like mangos and pineapples. This was an important shift for me and I still choose berries to this day.

  • 1/2 cup organic blueberries
  • huge handful organic greens (spinach, baby kale, etc)
  • 1/2 cup hemp or almond milk
  • 1 T organic, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 scoop Vega Protein Powder
  • 1 dose of my L-glutamine powder
  • organic cinnamon powder
  • water + ice to desired consistency

 

My Diet

I stuck to my vegan diet, of course, with a bigger focus on organic whole foods. The main components were beans, whole grains, vegetables and seeds. Low sugar is a must for getting rid of candida and other issues surrounding leaky gut. Low to no gluten was important for me, as I noticed that it aggravated my body. This was clearly evident on my skin–and still is. I get little flesh-colored bumps on my cheeks and arms. No caffeine. It is highly acidic, elevates cortisol levels and isn’t at all nourishing to the body. No alcohol. I don’t even need to explain this one. For me, drinking alcohol is anything but practicing self-love.

If you haven’t already been eating a whole foods, vegetarian diet, this might seem too “strict” for you. In that case, I would recommend that you simply focus on increasing your intake of whole, plant foods in the beginning. Veggies, veggies, veggies! Some meal ideas include the following…

  • Vegetables sautéed in coconut, avocado or olive oil. On a bed of brown rice, with your favorite spices. I love adding coconut aminos to the pan while cooking–yum!
  • Brown rice or quinoa pasta with your favorite sauce. Maybe marinara or avocado basil pesto.
  • Roasted vegetables. Add to a salad, wrap, rice, or just eat them up.
  • Veggie burgers with avocado and sauerkraut + a side of roasted or sautéed vegetables. I love oven baked fries!
  • Salads. (Skip the ranch dressing and cheese, though.)

Here are some blogs with great recipes: Oh She GlowsCookie and KateHealthy. Happy. Life., Vegan Yack AttackDetoxinista.



A note about hemp seeds: Hemp seeds contain a type of omega-6 fat called GLA (gamma-linoleic acid). Studies show supplementing with GLA can support healthy progesterone levels.They’re also a great source of plant-based protein. I like to sprinkle them on pretty much anything– salads, soups, baked goods, oatmeal, rice and beans.

 

Exercise

I have never liked intense exercise, running or gyms. In fact, I honestly don’t think the human body is built for long-term, strenuous exercise and there is a definite connection between overexercising and infertility.

“Intense exercise lowers progesterone and throws off your hormone levels,” says Sami David, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist in New York City. “Endorphins can suppress your FSH and LH, the hormones in your pituitary gland responsible for producing eggs, and the ovarian hormones estradiol and progesterone, making it harder for you to get pregnant or more likely to miscarry without knowing it.”

It’s important to get moving every day, but not to over-stress your body. In my case, I opted for yoga and walking around my neighborhood.

  • Yoga: There is no doubt that yoga can do amazing things for your health–body and mind. Because I felt so weak and unbalanced at the beginning of this, I opted for slow yoga. No crazy poses or heated rooms. Just deep, focused breathing and light movement.
  • Walking: My walking was more like an extension of my yoga practice. I took walks around the neighborhood and focused on my breath. Fresh air and sunlight are major components of true health, and they’re often overlooked these days.

 

Environmental Toxins: Home & Body Care

I stayed away from conventional body care products and consulted EWG’s “Skin Deep Cosmetic Database” before purchasing anything. It might seem crazy, but this does matter. No more BPA or nonstick pans for me. Instead, I opted for a glass or stainless steel water bottle and cast iron or stainless steel cookware. Now, I try to keep plastic in my home to a minimum.

 


 

So that’s it. After following this plan for only four months, I had my first normal cycle in November of 2014. A month later, during my second normal cycle, I got pregnant.

My pregnancy was such a joy! Absolutely no morning sickness. In fact, with the exception of mild fatigue and moodiness in the first trimester, I felt vibrant and healthy throughout. Elan was born naturally and I healed beautifully.

I realize that we all have different bodies, situations and histories. All I can say is that I noticed an enormous shift in my life when I chose to treat my body with the utmost love and respect. For me, that meant no drugs or “quick fixes”. It meant getting to the root of my imbalance and having the strength to make the necessary changes to my lifestyle. I hope you’ll give it a try. 🙂



 

Shelby Salinas is a blogger (sunshel.com), maker (lilabotanicals.etsy.com), mama of one vibrant toddler, and a bigadvocate for conscious, intentional living. She is currently studying Ayurvedic Medicine and you can find her on Instagram — @sunshel where she talks about all things healthy living.shelby

 

Continue Reading

Watch how these Acrobatic, Minimalists Want to Raise Their Kids!

Radical





I remember when I was pregnant (and even before) I had all these ideas about how I would raise my future child(ren). I was very passionate about child rearing years before I considered having my own, so research was something that was fun and natural for me. By the time my son was born, I felt very prepared and well-equipped.

One of the most common and frustrating things I would hear from people when I would passionately talk about kids as a non-parent was some version of, “haha, yea! You just wait until you have your own kids! You’ll be singing a different tune.”

It’s true that some things can only be learned and experienced once we become actual parents to another human, but to be honest, I stand true now to everything I thought was important before I had my son. Some things we understand on a deeper level and we don’t need a child to get the biologial and physiological imperatives of raising humans. I call it radical parenting, but truth be told, it is only radical in a world that had bought into the superiority model and commercialized version of parenting. It is actually original parenting before everything else came along.

That’s why I really love Conor and Brittany. They are two people who have put a lot of thought and consideration into having a child before they have gotten pregnant. Consciousness around child raising is something we are seeing more and more of, and it is so refreshing to see two people go down this path, pre-pregnancy. And because their desires for parenting align so much with the message here at EBM, I wanted to give them credit for their thoughtfulness and share their intentions with you all. I am so excited to watch them become parents. Take a look!




C+BIf you want to discover more about Conor and Brittany, make sure you follow them on Youtube and Instagram where they spread the message of health, freedom, sex positivity, partnered acrobatics, minimalism, travel + MORE!

IG:

@conorandbrittany

@simpleliving13

@thrivingminimalist

 

YouTube:

Conor + Brittany

Brittany

Conor

Continue Reading

Spanking Kids is a Result of Your Pain, Not Their Behavior.

Hurt PeopleHurt People.




quotemirror

 

What I am about to say is probably going to upset a lot of people, but…

Hitting children (yes, spanking is hitting) is an extremely childish response that reflects a lack of emotional maturity and self-control. Odds are, if you spank your child, then you, too, were spanked. Therefore, you also were not taught how to regulate emotions. You were taught that you hit when you feel a lot. It is a cycle that is literally hard wired into our brains, and it requires much energy and effort to break the cycle and rewire the way our brain responds.

There’s also a more vulnerable piece here:

….Spanking also reflects the pain you carry. 

This same idea goes for our children. If they are acting in ways that you deem unacceptable or “bad,” it doesn’t mean they are inherently bad, it means they are in pain, having trouble, and struggling with something. You see, children don’t have the capacity to communicate what is going on inside of them, so they act it out through behavior. For an adult who wasn’t taught to identify their emotions and own them as their own, spanking or swatting is, unfortunately, the easiest way to respond to a child who has triggered us. We are literally being exactly like a child when we hit. We are in our child minds because we were not taught a better way.

I believe that things like anger and frustration are surface emotions. If you can go a layer or two deeper, you will almost always feel more tenderness and sadness or something that feels more vulnerable. This is true for children as well. It is our job as adults to identify the deeper feeling that is driving the “bad” behavior, not join them in their chaos. For example, if your child runs out into the street, for most of us, the immediate feeling is anger and frustration. But beneath that it is fear. We fear for our child’s life because they could get really hurt, or worse, and that is scary because we love and care about them so deeply and couldn’t imagine life without them. That is the more vulnerable truth. That is what will connect you to your child. That is the message you can send to them in one way or another and have them actually feel you. They don’t need pain to feel you. They can feel love, too. The question is, how committed can you be to letting your guard down enough to let them feel your heart, instead of your hand?




I know many parents will laugh and claim that their child won’t listen to a firm, yet loving, authentic response. To that I asked, have you ever tried? Also, laughing is a defense mechansim when something feels vulnerable, which is what I am talking about here. It requires us to change on a fundamental level, and that is scary because it pokes at our identity to self (assuming you are like me and were not brought up to express authentically and vulnerably).

If I could tell every parent who chooses spanking as a tool to correct behavior ONE THING, it would be this:

Spanking has nothing to do with the behavior of your child, and everything to do with your inability to cope with how it triggers your own emotions. Spanking is also easier when you take the behavior personally and think that it means something about you. Me vs. Them mentality.

So what can you do?

I think the most important steps to take are ones that totally rearrange your perspective on toddler/child behavior. We have to have a basis of understanding of the inner workings of a child’s mind to have the incentive to choose a better route. If we are simply committed to the school of thought that says, “kids are just brats,” then yea, everyone wants to smack a brat.

Here are a few ideas that you can start to adopt that will really help you when it is feeling intense with your child:

 

Parenting is a long game: 

So knock it off with the things that only get you short term results. Sure, spanking “works,” as in, it puts a stop to unwanted behavior, but stealing also works if I want something from the grocery store. I get the thing I want in the moment, but it isn’t the best way to go about it. Not to mention, I am left with feelings of paranoia and guilt that bleed into all other areas of my life. So yes, parenting is a long game. You are in this for the long haul, so commit to the dilligent work that it takes to raise a human. Hitting is lazy. Parenting takes a lot of time and energy. Explaining over and over, getting on their level, communication, repetition are all required for children. They are not supposed to “get it” the first time, or even the second or third. They are brand new to this world and don’t come with all the concepts and understandings that adults have. They have to learn it and it takes time. You might have to explain it twenty times. That is normal. It doesn’t mean they don’t listen, it just means they are still figuring it all out. If they are older then they might be testing boundaries. This is also normal and I would be worried if my child was so docile that he never tested boundaries. I am an adult and I still test the boundaries of those around me. You can simply state what you see and hold to your boundaries. This is how you establish trust.

There is actually nothing wrong with a tantrum:

Isn’t this great news?! I cannot tell you how many times I have heard parents justify hitting because their child is throwing a tantrum. Again, there is nothing wrong with it, so you are free of the obligation to end it. You can just let them have it. I know. What a relief, right?

Look, I get it. Many of us were raised to believe that our emotions in their fullest (and even mildest) expressions were unwanted and a problem. I am here to tell you, they are not, and so, neither are your child’s. Feelings happen. They don’t have the brain capacity to regulate emotions (see next point). The greatest gift you can give your child is the permission to feel their feelings. If you do, chances are they won’t be an adult who grows up unable to show emotion, only to later take it out on their kids who trigger them.

“But what about if we are in public?!”

Then get right with yourself. That feeling of embarrassment and the urgency to make it stop this instant has nothing to do with your child. Those are your feelings based on your beliefs about what it means about you to have an upset child. I think if you develop an undertanding into what is going on in those moments, it makes it less embarrassing.

Toddlers and young children don’t have fully developed brains:

They literally cannot help their behavior much of the time. They are dominated by their right brain, for starters. They don’t fully develop the left brain traits of logic and control until later. Their outbursts and doing things you told them not to is not because they are brats. They literally cannot control it. Here is a quote from the book, ‘The Whole-Brain Child’, by Dr. Dan Siegel:

“when a child is upset, logic often won’t work until we have responded to the right brain’s emotional needs.”

So if your child is not “listening” to your words, ask yourself if you are listening to their emotional needs that their behavior is reflecting in that moment.

For a more in depth understanding of your child’s brain development and how it influences their behavior, please read this book!



Your child is not giving you a hard time. Your child is having a hard time:

Make this like your mantra. When you are feeling out of control and wanting to yell or hit, remind yourself of this. It takes you out of the me vs. them mentality and allows you to feel compassion for them. It also calls for you to seek solutions because you see that they are having a problem. If you can recognize that their behavior isn’t to be taken personally, then you can see them objectively and act from there, rather than from a victimized position.

The point of parenting is not to control another person, anyway:

andy-parents-behavior

Somewhere along the way we adopted the idea that our jobs as parents is about controlling these tiny humans and making sure they are obedient. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to raise an obedient child. That doesn’t mean I allow him to call all the shots and run amok, either. It simply means that I am perfectly fine with him questioning and challenging everyone and everything, including me. If you have a particularly bold child, be thankful, and learn how to play, negotiate and encourage cooperation there. Look at where it is hard to let go of the idea that our children need to be acting “perfect” at all times. How does it make YOU feel when they don’t? How were you treated when you acted in a way that made your parents uncomfortable? How did it feel?

“Morality is doing what’s right no matter what you’re told. Obedience is doing what you’re told no matter what’s right.” – H.L. Mencken

Punishment or making someone pay is not necessary in order to learn lessons:

We have this really unfortunate idea in our culture that children can only learn through pain and punishment. I have even heard, “If you don’t punish your kids, how do they learn?!”

The same way you learn. Natural consequences, cause and effect, and having people around you that you can trust to tell you how you affect them. It is actually sad and very telling of people’s view of their own self-worth when they believe pain is required to teach a lesson. It suggests revenge and retaliation as the preferred method of teaching. Discipline (coming from the word ‘disciple’) means, “to teach”, and we know humans can be taught without being hurt in the process. Of course, this requires a certain amount of skill and emotional intelligence from the parents, which can be lacking if they, too, were not treated respectfully as children.

If it doesn’t promote connection, drop it:

If your actions create disconnection between you are your child then they are not worth carrying out. I know many people like to claim that hitting makes kids respect you, but it does not. No one respects anyone who hits them. No one. They might fear you and comply because they are afraid, but that is not respect. Our ultimate goal in parenting should be to maintain connection with our child. Choose actions and words that reflect that, and remember, you can still be firm and set boundaries and maintain connection, just like you might with your spouse. It is what will have them trusting that they can come to you later in life when issues arise.



“to enter into a state of pure connection with your child, you can achieve this by setting aside any sense of superiority.”
Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent

 

The hard part about conscious parenting is that if we are going to connect to our child’s emotions, it means that we have to connect with our own, and so many of us spend a lifetime avoiding that. Knowing that your child can be a reflection of yourself and your own pain isn’t always easy to witness, but it is rewarding in the end, for both you and your children.

FOLLOW EBM ON FACEBOOK for more reading like this.

childrenquote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Mother’s Day Poem: Ode to the Inner Woman in Every Mother.




I am mom
I am me
I am mindfully Beating To my own beat
Once the magazines I glee-fully read
Convinced me I was nothing, without a glossy haired head and red full lips
Swaying hips And hipster clothing
All to draw in the men of my choosing
Let me tell you the story of how woman became mamma
Let me illustrate the current drama:
You see somewhere along the line I forgot what is mine
As my life seemed to unfold
There was something I was constantly told
And as I became wife and mamma
I fear something precious was lost
And for mothers day, I want to reclaim it
And tie a ribbon on that box
The tv shows, the movies, the other women
Dripped wisdom
Sarcasm
and wit
About the certain way I would fit You see, they said, I would fit- In the square hole
Although I was a round peg.
I would push until eventually I would break
Broken from my body would be my sense of self
As I answered to the call of materialism,
motherhood and martyrdom became painfully intertwined
Practically hard to distinguish
Yet on the slip side was the happy switch
Turn it on at all times Smile and oblige
The object of wealth, spreading rapidly across the shelf-
Of the stores where I pushed the stroller around
Un-connected to my child
In body or mind
And then I left it all behind
Little by little,
I made a new start
I peeled away the layers of nonsense to find Broken from my soul would be my wild heart
Tamed from my mind, would be my inspired notions
I drank the potion
I drank the poison as some say
And the only saving grace is it led me to you, my baby

 

[Order Now for Mother’s Day]

And now I take your hand
I lead you to a better land
Let’s get outta here,
I say Let’s run and play
Because as I became mother
I let go of another
I let go of Me
And now that woman,
well she She gets in her “me time”
That’s what they call it
But its allocated, celebrated and somewhere underneath that all
Only leading more so in supporting out downfall
Because me time needs to really be all the time
Because mothers need to really be whole
And no, this isn’t a feminism, self-righteous, self-loving plea
In fact, once again I bring it back to the baby
Because the mother that gives herself to her child
The mother that is woman without being mild
The woman that is mild in her looks
The woman in the leather jacket and boots
The woman with the purple hair
The woman saying I don’t care
The woman in the science lab
The woman earning her Phd
The woman that works full time
The woman that stays at home
The woman with ten children
The woman with one
We are all mothers, we are all the same
No need to compare, align and blame

And that one- That is not scanning for approval
That is not hand cuffed to parenting books
That is not judging or being judged
That is depressed
That is tired
That is blessed
That knows that food, water, safety and love are all her child needs
That doesn’t bleed for society
That knows dirt is healthy Food should be real
That doesn’t slave away for more toys
That doesn’t steal time to fill voids
That allows time to move slow
Simplicity to prevail
That fails
That flounders
That is messy
That is true
This is the greatest gift we give you
Authenticity, raw and true
We, as mothers who are celebrated right now
Let us celebrate being whole, not perfect
Let us celebrate being fractured, not broken
Let us celebrate our truest inner joys
That we share with our little girls and boys
Let us give them honesty and grit
And let’s hope as they celebrate us
It is this that they cheer for
It is the woman you are
It is all that you stand for
Not just what you give
But the way you live
It is not just what you do
Or how you sacrifice
But how you gave us life
And love
And mostly, how you created others
Yet still created and sustained the true you

By: Olivia Treubig
18471393_10155742120916030_268823309_nOlivia is a publisher, poet, writer, mom, new age feminist and nature lover.
She draws on her graduate level education and experience as a parent, wife and woman to describe the beautiful, comical and complex. She attempts to constantly simplify and practice mindfulness, as she finds life with 4 kids to usually be anything but simple and calm.
For more mindfulness & parenting poetry, follow Olivia here:
https://www.facebook.com/575parenting/
Subscribe to her hyper local parenting newsletter here
https://coldspring.macaronikid.com/
Check out her copywriting and design services here:
www.mrandmrswrite.net
Continue Reading

Are Vegan Diets Healthy for Kids? Check out what this Vegan, Breastfeeding Mom Eats in a Day!

ellen





There is often a lot of controversy around strictly vegan diets, especially when it comes to feeding kids a vegan diet.

This Maui mom has had two vegan pregnancies and raises her family on a plant-based diet that consists of an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Ellen Fisher is also an advocate for home birth, peaceful parenting, and natural health/living. Watch in this video what she eats in a day as a breastfeeding mama keeping up with the nursing demands of her toddler. This family looks super healthy to me!





Continue Reading

Why You Should Think Twice About Prenatal Ultrasounds.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset




Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

“The casual observer might be forgiven for wondering why the medical profession is now involved in the wholesale examination of pregnant patients with machines emanating vastly different powers of energy which is not proven to be harmless to obtain information which is not proven to be of any clinical value by operators who are not certified as competent to perform the operations.”

— Sarah Buckley, MD

By: Shelby Salinas 

I’m now in my second trimester — 14 weeks, to be exact — and I have yet to hear my baby’s heartbeat.
It’s a weird feeling, to be honest. During my first pregnancy, I had no idea about the dangers of prenatal ultrasound. The second I saw those two pink lines, I knew I had to get an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible. I had to know that my baby was alive and healthy. I had to know that this was real. And for many of us modern mothers, that requires a heartbeat.

But then I got my hands on one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read: Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah Buckley. She raises a question that nobody else is even bothering to ask. 

Is it safe to expose your unborn baby to ultrasound? 

In short, the answer is “we don’t know”. Now I’m not sure about you, but that just doesn’t cut it for me. Why would I want my child to be a human experiment for this technology?





Prenatal Ultrasound: The Facts

Ultrasound has never been proven safe.

To this date, there are absolutely no studies comparing the development of children who were exposed to ultrasound versus those who weren’t. Despite the lack of safety studies, this technology continues to increase in exposure and intensity (from 46 to 720 mW/cm2 — more than 7 times the limit in 1992!)

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists doesn’t even recommend routine ultrasounds.

But there is plenty of evidence suggesting it could be dangerous.

If the actual data doesn’t change their minds, maybe just reading about the other uses of the technology would help them connect the dots: It cleans rust off of pipes. It kills sperm. It heats muscles. It changes the migratory patterns of whales. – Carla Hartley, midwife

  • A University of Washington study found experimental evidence that early ultrasound could perturb brain development and alter behavior, and may contribute to Autism severity.
  • Another recent study done on mice found that fetal exposure to ultrasound can alter typical social behaviors, a conclusion that may be relevant for autism.
  • This study found that those who received 2 or more prenatal doppler scans had more than two times the risk of perinatal death compared to babies unexposed to doppler.
  • There’s even an entire book, containing 50 human studies conducted in China that provide empirical evidence of ultrasound hazards to humans.

In summary, some of the major risks include:

  • Miscarriage and perinatal death
  • Intra-uterine growth retardation
  • Damage to the developing brain

Even at low levels, ultrasound can produce physical effects to fetal tissue such as a rise in temperature or jarring vibrations.

Temperature increases can cause significant damage to a developing fetus’s central nervous system. Among mammals, elevated maternal or fetal body temperatures have been shown to result in birth defects in offspring. (Hello, we avoid hot baths for a reason!)

Your unborn baby can hear the ultrasound and it’s as loud as a subway train.

Could this be why ultrasound is connected to speech delay? In 1993, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study that examined 72 children between the ages of 2 and 8, who were suffering from speech delay of unknown cause. These children were twice as likely to have been exposed to ultrasound in the womb than those in the control group.

Can you imagine the intense fright and the spike in stress hormones the baby experiences from an ultrasound not to mention the likelihood of damage to the little developing ears from 100-120 decibel ultrasound waves?



Oh, and by the way, hearing loss begins with exposure to sound at only 90-95 decibels, much LOWER than the sound the baby would hear from a routine ultrasound or a doppler heartbeat check. — The Healthy Home Economist

Doppler could be even more dangerous.

I read somewhere that 30 seconds of doppler is equal to a 30-minute sonogram because it uses continuous rather than pulsed waves. While I couldn’t find the data to back this up, doppler ultrasound has been shown to cause significant heating — especially in the baby’s developing brain.

 

Guidelines for Ultrasound Use

  • Ultrasounds should never be performed during the first trimester in a low-risk pregnancy. They should only ever be conducted if there are specific medical indications.
  • The operator should have a high level of skill and experience, as well as an understanding of the potential dangers.
  • Minimum intensity settings only.
  • A session should last no more than 3 minutes, 5 minutes at most.
  • Women should avoid multiple sessions.
  • Stay away from non-medical 3D ultrasounds. There is a potentially higher risk to the baby, due to the higher acoustic output required for high-definition images. Definitely not worth a keepsake photo, in my opinion.

 

My Experience: A Mother’s Intuition

With my first child, I received the following:

  • 1 vaginal ultrasound at 8 weeks pregnant.
  • A sonogram at around 14 weeks pregnant.
  • A way-too-freaking-long anatomy scan at 20 weeks pregnant.
  • Doppler at nearly every appointment with my midwife, including when I was in labor.

Agh. It’s hard for me to even type this out, knowing what I know now.

What’s interesting is that it didn’t take me long to feel that something was off. Have you noticed that most babies move away from the wand whenever it’s near? This was the first red flag for me. My son hated it — as they all do — and now I understand why.

 

The other time I felt my intuition at work was during my 20-week anatomy scan. The ultrasound technician wasn’t very experienced and she took her time scanning every tiny part of my baby’s body. As the minutes wore on, I began to feel anxious and hot. That energy flowed out of my feet, as they shook on the table, and I asked her “How much longer?”. Something in my body was telling me to get the hell out of there, and it took every ounce of control to keep from jumping right off the table. Tears began to form as I looked over at my partner, communicating to him with my eyes that I would never subject myself or my baby to this again.



 

What I’m Doing Instead

There are plenty of other ways to check on my baby, they just require a little bit of patience.

  • We can use a fetoscope to hear the heartbeat at around 20-24 weeks.
  • Also around that time — or even earlier — I’ll feel my baby moving around in the womb.
  • At future appointments, my midwife can palpate my belly to gain an understanding of baby’s position. Kicks and hiccups are other helpful clues.
  • Connecting with my baby. Talking to my baby. Trusting my intuition. Having faith in my body’s abilities. Modern technology is life-saving in certain situations, but it is also the cause of disconnection between ourselves, our bodies and our babies. Instead, many of us put our trust in doctors and their machines. It is incredibly healing when you make the conscious choice to take your power back as a woman.

For those of you who want to investigate further, Carla Hartley put together this extensive list of resources.

**Note: I fully understand that ultrasound does have its place. If a major problem arose, I would definitely consider using it myself. The points discussed here are in reference to normal, low-risk pregnancies.

shelby

Shelby Salinas is a blogger (sunshel.com), maker (lilabotanicals.etsy.com), mama of one vibrant toddler, and a big advocate for conscious, intentional living. She is currently studying Ayurvedic Medicine and you can find her on Instagram — @sunshel where she talks about all things healthy living.

 



 

Continue Reading

6 Common Baby Items that Interrupt Your Child’s Natural Development.

6 Common (1)





6 Common (1)

Something I often witness in the world of child-rearing is that many practices and products are in place at the convenience of the parents, but are in turn, disserving the child it is aimed to support. In a time where ageism has unconsciously seeped into the fabric of society, I guess it isn’t a wonder why we have such a difficult time connecting to the innate functions and needs of our children. One way I see this showing up is in the products that are mass marketed to parents and have caught on as sought after components to raising a baby. In my own opinion, (and some compelling research) these items are tacky and unpleasant, at best, and can undermine a baby’s innate intelligence and interrupt natural development, at worst.

The most empowering thing (well, one of the..) I realized as a mother is that we often times overcomplicate raising children, and we don’t have to. In fact, everyone, including your child, benefits when you don’t. Not to mention you save time, money, and frustration in the process. Here are 6 items that you can do without (mostly) because they can do more harm than good:



 

1) Strollers

I want to get this out of the way first because it will probably be more controversial (so hopefully you keep reading). In short, anything too confining for long periods of time isn’t optimal for child development, because children are not meant to be confined. Many of the things I list will be addressing the issue of over confinement of children. The stroller has children taking on a passive role. Have you ever seen a toddler in a stroller? They can look pretty lifeless. This isn’t the natural state of a child. Once children can walk they can walk along side you, and before then they can be carried in arms or in a carrier. Look I get it. They’re heavy, your back hurts, prolapse, etc. I am not saying to ban strollers always forever and ever. They have a time and a place. I am simply saying that they are way overused and I think it looks like we are carting around a bunch of injured and immobilized people. I didn’t buy a stroller until my son was 16 months old and even then it only stayed on our front porch and I used it a few times a week for several months to push him around the block for nap time. We never took it out in public and I never missed it. I say that to prove it is possible to be out and not ever use a stroller. Yes, it is true that I had a couple of advantages such as only having one kid and a partner at the time who would be the one to carry him. With that said, I was out plenty of times with him alone and never used a stroller. Now he is 2.5 and walks everywhere. Again, I am not saying we should ban strollers, nor am I judging you for using them. I just want to offer a different perspective and raise awareness in how we use them. Katherine Martinko writes in her article titled, ‘Why Strollers are Making Kids Passive, Uninquisitive and Fat,’

“Kids learn how to navigate and maneuver with agility, develop muscular strength, and burn calories. Walking also forces kids to make independent decisions constantly, which in turn teaches them that they have unique desires; according to researchers, this is a crucial step for socio-emotional development.” 

Another important thing to note is a young baby’s need for touch and body contact. Studies actually show that babies who are touched and held more are less likely to develop emotional, behavioral, and social problems than children who had this need met. Lack of touch also raises cortisol levels (the stress hormone). I don’t think that just because one uses a stroller means that they don’t touch their baby, but over a prolonged period of time, the frequent use of devices that detach us from our children when we’re supposed to be in contact (think of cribs, too) can have an effect.

 

2) Bulky Shoes

shoes

Some things I understand are easy to buy into, but nothing is harder to see for me than a rapidly growing baby foot trapped in some bulky shoes, or a baby trying to walk in tennis shoes. Ok, so a lot is harder to watch, but you get the point. I know that parents are concerned with safety and believe shoes are a must, but if that is you then I would recommend opting for thin, no arch sole shoes instead. A really good option are the Sayoyo Brand shoes, and if you live in a colder climate where cold is your concern then check out these Zutano’s.  My absolute favorite baby and toddler shoe of all time are from Little Pitterpat. They are 100% Vegan and have the cutest designs, in my opinion. My son has had two pairs of these. The have an organic cotton line, and are nonrestrictive, meaning they allow the feet and toes to spread out as they are meant to. Right now you can get 10% off a pair of these shoes if you enter the code EARTHMOM. Just go to the “apply shop coupon code” in the shopping cart under “how will you pay.”

You’re welcome 😉

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittlePitterpat

Personally, I would recommend no shoes at all until they are walking, but even then, we opted for our son to be 100% barefoot. I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and I know that shoes make a cute outfit, but atrophied feet isn’t cute. Wearing confining, raised sole shoes while the foot is growing and a human is learning balance and walking can cause a slew of issues such as weakened foot muscles, bow-leggedness, poor posture, and poor agility to name a few. To read more about foot health and why my son doesn’t wear shoes, check out a previous article I wrote where I interviewed my son’s father- a barefoot, long distance runner- on this topic. [Read it here].



 

3) Baby walkers and Exersaucers.

Items like these display our fundamental lack of trust in our children’s natural abilities to accomplish milestones. Not only their ability to learn to walk on their own, but also to entertain themselves. I’m not sure how we thought humans learned to walk for the entire history of humanity, but I promise it wasn’t with the assistance of a walker. Walkers are for the physically impaired, and our children are far from tha. Quite the opposite, actually. They were born with all the mechanisms they need to know how to walk without assistance. Walkers allow mobility beyond what a child is actually capable of, and therefore they cannot navigate themselves as well and are prone to accidents. Dr. Allan Green, pediatrician says,

“They find delight in accomplishment as they achieve their goal of a toy out of reach. Later, the focus of their work will turn to pulling themselves upright. Babies who use a walker skip some of this magnificent developmental journey. With their toes in an unnatural position, they glide across the floor with ease, moving upright before their time.”

 

4) Bumbo Seats

There’s a pretty consistent rule that I like to follow when it comes to babies. If they can’t do it on their own then don’t do it for them (there are exceptions, sure). You see, babies are pretty simple. Eat, sleep, poop (basically). Everything else comes with time and on their natural developmental journey. We don’t need to hold up their hands to walk them (and we shouldn’t), we don’t need to shove a spoon in their mouth to feed them (they will eventually do this on their own), and we don’t need to place them in big bucket seats to have them sitting up before they are physically capable of doing so by themselves. I will admit, I had a Bumbo gifted to me and I used it a few times before I was really thinking about this concept. I’m not a saint. There is a reason that physical therapists have spoken out against this baby seat. Colleen Harper, P.T. told the Chicago Tribune,

“No equipment enhances a child’s motor development; equipment is a ‘babysitter’ so that a parent can cook dinner, eat dinner or take a shower,” Harper said. “A gross motor skill like sitting is achieved through movement and practice. Children fall out of Bumbo seats because they do not yet have the requisite strength, balance, and coordination needed for sitting.”

Bumbo claims that sitting in their seat places the pelvis in a type of tilt that supports lumbar extension, but Physical Therapist Mary Weck says it does the exact opposite.

“It puts the baby’s pelvis in a posterior tilt, which facilitates lumbar flexion, not extension. That puts the baby’s chest behind the pelvis. Then the head has to come too far forward. It’s no longer positioned directly above the chest.” 

You can read the full article in the Chicago Tribune [HERE.]

 

5) Baby carriers without hip support.

babycarrier

Need I say more?



 

6) Baby Jumpers.

jumper

If everyone could see the miraculous capabilities and intelligence that is innate to children, contraptions such as these would quickly and easily be seen as undermining and offensive. The problem with these jumpers is similar to that of walkers and poor baby carriers. They provide a false sense of motor development, which in turn hinders true motor development, and also promotes poor posture because the weight is supported by the crotch, hips, and underarms, which has the baby leaning forward instead of upright. To jump, the baby has to push off with her toes, so it is likely that she will use her toes when trying to walk, which is improper posture. Poor posture has been linked to things such as depression, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, breathing problems, etc.

 

Fighting off all the excess that we’re told we need can be difficult, but totally possible. It comes down to being informed and gaining awareness of what it takes to raise healthy children. Then, everything we are bombarded with that doesn’t fall into that category will easily and effortlessly fall away. You won’t even see or consider it anymore. Parenting becomes cheaper, less stressful, and you get to relax into the knowing that you don’t need to constantly entertain and push your child to reach milestones. They will get there on their own time.

 

marvaquote




 

Continue Reading

Factory Farming: What the Dairy Industry Doesn’t Want you to Know.

moocows



moocows
Photo taken by Hannah McNeely
By: Ellen Fisher

My sister took this beautiful picture of a wild and free mother cow with her calf while hiking here in Maui. By far, the hardest food for most people to release from their diet is cheese. I cannot count how many times someone has come to me in desperation for advice on how to rid themselves of their addiction to cheese. Yes, you read that right; I said addiction.

Humans are the only species on the planet who drinks milk after they are weaned off their mothers. We, humans, are also the only species on the planet to drink milk from another species. You will never see a monkey drinking milk from a giraffe and you will never see a pig drinking milk from a tiger. It just does not happen in nature. We have been conditioned by the media and the dairy industry, with big help from our “honorable” government, to believe that we need milk to survive, thrive and be healthy. When quite the opposite is true. I have had a number of well-meaning mothers come to me with real concerns over the health and well-being of my child simply because I am not feeding him the breast milk from a cow. I have also had many mothers come to me for advice on what to use as a substitute for cows milk for their child who is allergic to dairy- as if cows milk somehow has these essential nutrients that we cannot get anywhere else.



If I handed you a glass of pig’s milk would you drink it? No, what’s that you say? That’s disgusting and absurd? I couldn’t agree with you more. What about a glass of dog’s milk? Horse milk? Still no? Then why on earth do we think it is normal and delicious to drink cow’s milk? I know why. It’s because we have been duped. We have been brainwashed and spoon fed lies.

The dairy industry’s major selling point is that milk drinking prevents osteoporosis. Yet staggering statistics show otherwise. The countries that consume the highest amounts of dairy (such as the United States, England, and Sweden) are also are the countries who have the highest rates of osteoporosis! This is because all animal protein is highly acidic. So when animal foods are ingested the human body often leaches calcium from our bones to balance the acidity in the body, leading to its excretion in the urine. So we actually are promoting osteoporosis by drinking cows milk. These findings are not widely known to the public for one big reason: MONEY. The dairy industry is doing everything they can to convince you that you need to consume the breast milk from a cow to be healthy. Corporate news cannot properly bring you accurate reports because they are funded by their advertisers. For more detailed information on how hard it is to get truthful nutritional information to the broader public, read the book “Whole”, by Nutritional Biochemist Scientist, T. Colin Campbell. It is a wonderful read and one of my favorite informative books.

It is estimated that 75% of humans across the world are lactose intolerant. That means three out of every four people on this planet, when they drink milk, experience one or more of the following: diarrhea, stomach ache, gassiness, bloating, ear infection, and excess mucus. This should be a sure sign that maybe, just maybe, we are not physiologically designed to thrive on the breast milk of another mammal, just as every other species in the world is not either. Your body is trying to tell you to stop drinking cows milk!



All mammals are born with an enzyme known as lactase. That enzyme breaks down the sugar known as lactose. As we mature we loose that enzyme. So it is normal to be lactose intolerant as an adult. But of course, the dairy industry then creates a new product known as “Lactaid, where they inject the enzyme into it, which is obviously not normal and not natural at all. The dairy industry tries to tell us that they know better than we know our own bodies. But they don’t. Your body knows best.

Most people do not actually know the process that takes place in order for their dairy products to get to the table. A glass of milk has just as much cruelty, if not more, than a piece of steak. A female cow only starts producing milk once she becomes pregnant. Contrary to popular imagination, dairy cows do not produce milk just to produce milk. They specifically produce milk for their babies. These factory farmed cows only become pregnant by artificial insemination. There is no sex on the farm. A bare hand or long steel device is shoved into their vaginas to inject them with bull semen.

So now the cow is pregnant. Usually, within hours of birth, calves are stolen from their mothers. Their babies can become so distressed from the separation that they become sick, lose weight from not eating, and cry so much that their throats become raw. The male calves have little value on the dairy farm. So they are sold at auction and are either raised for beef or go to the veal industry, where they are put in small crates, fed an insufficient diet, deprived of mother’s milk, cannot turn around in their crates and never see the light of day. The veal industry only exists because of the dairy industry. The female calves are also taken from their mothers because we want the milk for our own consumption.

How would you feel if you had your baby torn away from you?

I will emphasize again, the reason babies are stolen from their mothers is to prevent the calves from sucking up the milk they want to sell to the public. We vote with our dollars. By drinking a glass of milk, eating cheese at restaurants, and putting cream cheese on your bagel, you are voting that you want baby calves to be stolen from their mothers.

 

Some people have this idea that animals do not have feelings and cannot think and use their brain. Animals use their legs to walk, bowels to defecate, mouths to chew, and eyes to see. All of their body parts work as it is supposed to. Why would we not think they can use their brains to think and feel as well?

“The worst scream I have ever heard, and let me tell you, I have heard them all first hand. When I started finding out about this stuff, a little over 15 years ago, I was like everybody else. I didn’t believe it was that bad. I thought everybody was exaggerating. But unlike everybody else who just blows it aside, brushes it off, I actually went to go see what was going on. I spent six weeks at Thorn Apple Pig Valley Slaughter House in Detroit in 1993. I broke into animal research laboratories, I broke into fur farms. I went behind the scenes at every circus and every rodeo that came through Michigan. But the worst scream I have ever heard was a mother cow on a dairy farm. As she screams and bellows her lungs out day after day for her stolen baby to be given back to her. And I can only imagine the same scream every woman in this room would make, if somebody held you down after birth and stole your newborn baby from you. ” -Gary Yourofsky




My aunt once told me of how farm life was for her growing up in Indiana which painted a very different picture. She spoke of her experience milking dairy cows where the calves generally were allowed to drink some of his/her mother’s milk and grazed on pasture. She could not possibly believe the things I am describing to you now to be true and strongly resisted this information. Her imagination still wants to believe that the milk and cheese she now buys from the grocery store comes from that same picture. But it definitely does not. Over 95% of animal foods consumed in America today comes from factory farms. All these billions of livestock animals produced each year live concentrated together indoors in terrible unimaginable conditions.

Approximately 40% of dairy cows are lame by the time they reach the slaughterhouse. They are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones so they can produce more milk which enlarges their utters to extremely painful dimensions. It is estimated that 70% of all the antibiotics sold in the US are being fed to animals on factory farms. Mastitis (inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue) is common amongst dairy cows. Any nursing mother who has experienced mastitis knows just how painful this is. Machines are hooked up to the udders of cows several times a day to suck them dry. Infections and pus form inside and outside of the udder and the pus is then sucked out of the milk! Pasteurization only sanitizes the pus, it does not eliminate it. Each glass of milk, by USDA standards, is allowed up to one eye-dropper full of pus. Organic cows milk actually has more pus than non-organic milk because when cows get infections, which is quite common on dairy farms, medicines aren’t used to treat the ailment. When cows no longer produce massive amounts of milk after 5-7 years, they are sent straight to the slaughter house. When given a chance, cows can live up to 18-25 years.

“The human body has no more need for cow’s milk than it does for dog’s milk, horse’s milk, or giraffe’s milk.” – Michael Klaper, MD

Really quick I want to touch on the subject of babies who are fed formula and not fed breast milk. In the world we live in today, there is not near enough emphasis on the importance of breastfeeding. So often, women are not properly encouraged and supported to fully understand their bodies, their babies’ signals, and the importance of a healthy diet for nursing, which can lead to problems down the road on their breastfeeding journey. There is so much I could say when it comes to the subject of breastfeeding, so I plan on doing a whole post on this subject. Stay tuned for this one.

So do you know why it is so dang hard to give up dairy products such as cheese, and why it truly can become an addiction? It’s called casomorphins- protein fragments, derived from the digestion of the milk protein, casein. The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphins is that they have an opioid effect. Mother cows, before birth, produce this substance in their milk to make sure that their calf stays close. Actually, all female mammals do this too, including humans. It is not morphine, but it sure is a version of morphine under a not so disguised name of casomorphins. The casomorphins are stored in the fat of milk. This is why higher fat dairy products in particular, such as cheese, butter, and cream can be the hardest food for people to cut out of their diet. Knowing this, it makes perfect sense how this component plays a huge role in the mother/baby (and toddler) nursing relationship. Milk is addicting in every way, shape, and form.

So now what? How do you get rid of this extremely unhealthy addiction? Kick it to the curb and cut it out like a drug, because quite frankly the human body treats it like a drug. When an alcoholic makes a life changing decision and goes to a treatment center to get help, does the counselor give him/her “cheat days” to drink a beer on the weekends? Does the counselor say, “Once a month or so should be fine, and feel free to drink a little bit on a special occasion”? No, of course not. The best course of action to get rid of an addiction is to cut it out completely. The longer you go without it, the easier it will be to rid yourself of even the thought and desire to touch such a product.



If you are looking for a “substitute” for milk, stop right there. Let’s called it what it really is. It is an “alternative” to satisfy your desire for milk. When people use the word “substitute” for replacing milk in their diet it sounds as if cows milk is the standard of what we humans should be eating, when it clearly should not be. Today I’ve chosen two different recipes which are big hits here at the Fisher house!

coconut-milk3

coconut-milk5

Fresh Coconut Milk

the meat of one young coconut
the water of one young coconut
2-3 cups water
1/4 a vanilla bean, scraped
optional: for a sweet “milk” add 2-3 dates
Blend all ingredients on high until smooth. Kid’s love this creamy smooth milk.

 



Creamy Cinnamon Milkshake

4 frozen bananasbanamilk
1-2 fresh young coconut waters
5 Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Blend all ingredients on high until smooth. Add more coconut water if you want a thinner consistency, add less coconut water if you desire a thicker consistency. I’m not even kidding you guys, this milkshake is so creamy, sweet and satisfying! And it isn’t filled with pus, hormones, processed sugars, and a baby cow’s breast milk. Make sure your bananas are ripe before freezing them: no green tip with lots of brown spots! Drink the whole thing for breakfast for a sweet and satisfying start to your day. Of course, make a larger batch if you desire more. 

Cheers to health everyone! Let’s leave the cow’s milk for baby cows and human milk for baby humans, shall we?

In Love and health

Mango Island Mamma, Ellen Fisher




image1Ellen Fisher is a passionate advocate for breastfeeding, veganism, home birthing, gentle parenting and an all around eco-conscious way of living. She shares her passions through her social media outlets on Instagram (@ellenfisher) and YouTube (channel name: Ellen Fisher). She also has two vegan recipe ebooks out on her website at ellenfisher.com. Ellen became vegan over 10 years ago which helped heal her ailments of anorexia, poor digestion, and acne. She has had two fully vegan pregnancies and Ellen and Andrew’s children have been raised on a healthy vegan diet since birth.

Continue Reading
1 2 3 5