Thursday, 22 May 2014

What’s Normal After Birth

What’s Normal After Birth


Birth to 6-8 Weeks After Delivery
You’re tired and generally not feeling like your old self yet.
Stitches and tissue damage/tears may feel tender.
Your post birth bleeding should have ceased.
You may be a little fearful of or cautious when performing bowel movements.
You may have difficulty straightening up/standing tall especially if you birthed via C-Section.
Your C-Section scar is still healing and may be tender. You will have to modify getting up and down from the sitting and lying down positions.
Your pelvis might be feeling very unstable and loose or conversely you might feel a general tightness in your pelvic region.
Your abdominal may feel loose and unsupported.
Your muscle may be tight and achy especially around your hips, shoulders neck and backs of your thighs.
You may have some degree incontinence – urinary, gas or fecal.
You may have difficulty mentally connecting to your Pelvic Floor muscles.
You might be experiencing some neck, bicep and shoulder pain and general tightness in your upper body due to the demands of breastfeeding

Your best actions: REST AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, no lifting anything heavier than your baby, begin gentle stretching, get a specialist Post Natal massage and nourish your depleted body through OPTIMUM NUTRITION, homecooked good food! Ultimately , start reconnecting gently to your body especially your Pelvic Floor gently but also let Mother Nature Do Her Job too!


8+ Weeks Post Delivery
Your Post Natal bleeding should have stopped or the flow reduced considerably and the colour of your discharge become very light. If this isn't the case, please seek advice from your Health Care Professional.
You should be generally pain free but your C-Section scar might be tender or be painful if you over exert yourself. The area around the scar might also be numb.
Your bowel movements should be easier and have returned to a normal rhythm, if not take a few teaspoons of Linseeds soaked in hot water before bed to help re-establish a good rhythm.
Your pelvis may still be feeling very unstable and loose or conversely you might feel a general tightness in your pelvic region.
You may still be experiencing some degree of incontinence – urinary, gas and possibly fecal.
You may still have difficulty connecting to your Pelvic Floor muscles.
If you are still feeling tired, check with your HCP whether you need to take an Iron Supplement.
Ensure you include a high quality Vitamin and Mineral Supplement in your diet and also supplement with Omega Fish Oils.
Apply the principles of high level Optimum Nutrition to replenish your Post Natal body after Pregnancy.
Keep well hydrated with water and fruit teas.
When given the go-ahead start exercising according to your level of recovery.
Include a regular stretching programme.
Take advantage of ANY opportunity to be still, quiet and rest.
Prioritise your self-care and the care of your baby, housework and the rest of life can wait until you get your energy and strength back.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Proud Mummy Moment :)

My little V is using a communication devise to speak. Or rather is learning to use it ;)
Today was very very very proud mummy moment. She can not speak. The only word she is able to say is 'Mama'. She can't speak due to oropharyngeal dysphagia as one of the symptoms of her undiagnosed neuromuscular disorder. Not being able to speak is a missing link in language development. It so much harder to learn/understand the concept of letter-sound. Reading-writing etc. She will be 6 next month, she is in year1 in school. 
Today as she was fiddling with her communication devise, she spelled a short sentence and to be honest I did not expect her to be able to spell any single word except 'mom' and 'dad'. But OH MY did she surprise me, she actually spelled a sentence! And then she signed what she wrote. Love her to bits!
Here is the video of her doing it :) 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Very tasty banana blueberry buckwheat bread/cake

Finally, I got together a recipe for a cake made with 100% buckwheat flour and no sugar. It is moist but soft and airy. Not a dense bric like most of its kind.
From my search on internet, all recipes I've found call for half amount (or less) of buckwheat flour and some sort of other gluten free variety. Or if it's all buckwheat, it is quite bitter, more savory or needs sugar added in quite a quantity.
This cake I fed to my fussy eaters as a main meal. You can easily pass it for one.
*EGGS.
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods money can buy - they are a natural source of many nutrients including high quality protein, vitamins and mindeals.
Eggs are naturally rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium and iodine. They also contain vitamin A and a number of other B vitamins including folate, biotin, pantothenic acid and choline, and essential minerals and trace elements, including phosphorus.

*BLACK TREACLE
100gr of black treacle has 100% of your DVA of Iron. It is also high in calcium 50% of DVA, Magnesium and Potassium.

* BUCKWHEAT flour
1. Good source of high-quality, easily digestible proteins. This makes it an excellent meat substitute. High protein buckwheat flour is being studied for possible use in foods to reduce plasma cholesterol, body fat, and cholesterol gallstones.
2.  Fat alternative. Buckwheat starch can also act as a fat alternative in processed foods.
3. May help diabetes.
New evidence has found that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes according to Canadian researchers in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
With a glycemic index of 54, it lowers blood sugars more slowly than rice or wheat products.
4. Great for the digestion.
5.Buckwheat contains no gluten and is not a grain. It is therefore great for celiacs and those on grain free and gluten sensitive diets.
And many many more.
*FLAXSEED
Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.
*BANANA AND BLUEBERRY
If you don't know, just Google.
 
So here it comes:
5 over rippend bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup of Apple butter click for the recipe or use apple sauce.
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tbsp of Stevia
1 tbsp of Lyle's Black Treacle (or molasses)
Juice of one lime
2 cups of Buckwheat flour
2 tbsp of ground Flaxseed
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1to 2 cups of blueberries
1 tbsp of cinnamon IF using applesauce instead of Apple butter.

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350c or gas mark 6 (just a guide).
Mash bananas with a juice of one lime. Add bitten eggs, vanilla, apple butter, milk, treacle, stevia and beat all together for a couple of minutes. Then slowly add flour, flaxseed, salt, baking soda and powder, and cinnamon if using.
Once all beaten together, fold in blueberries.
Cake or loaf tin, grease with butter or put in baking paper to prevent sticking. Pour the mixture in and put in an oven for 45-50 minutes, check with a toothpick or knife if it's ready. You know when you stab it, the cake, nothing should be stuck to the toothpick.
I did sprinkle it with icing sugar this time for kids :)
Enjoy! And please come back to tell me if you liked it :)

Unsweetened Apple Butter YUM!

First, a bit of a story :) Last summer, when I went to Las Vegas, a friend took me for a road trip with camping to El Dorado County Wine region. We camped with Adventure Connection in Coloma, California. They provided two great days of wine-tasting and rafting!On the first morning we got together, talked about our day and departed for the El Dorado County Wine region. We visited 2-3 wineries and then stopped to enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch. 

After lunch we visited another 2-3 wineries and Jack Russell Farm Brewery, where I have been taught a super funny game (especially after all the wine and beer tasting and with really great company;) called Cornhole. 
Playing cornhole game
















Jack Russell Brewery  
At the end of the day we headed back to camp for a delicious Barbecue dinner. We have returned to camp with time to enjoy the peace of the river over dinner.
Not dinner but breakfast, still the same beautiful view :)
The next day, after a delicious breakfast, we shuttled to the top of the river for exciting rapids, which included Meatgrinder, Triple Threat and the infamous Troublemaker. I have even summoned the courage to get out of the boat and swim through one of the rapids! Our trip concluded with a big barbecue lunch back at camp.
So, during that first day, one of the wine tasting stops was at the little market like shop called Apple Barn located alongside Carson Road. There were two kinds of wine I have fallen in love with. They tasted so gorgeous! One was Kandi Apple and the other was Apple-Blackberry. I have also spotted an Apple butter amongst huge variety of jars. I have heard about apple butter form movies, internet and so on but have never tasted one. So out of curiosity I bought a jar of unsweetened apple butter and brought it home to London. We LOVED IT! My older daughter finished it in one day... and was asking for more and it is not widely available here in UK... And thats how I decided to attempt to make it myself. I have searched on line for recipes, bought apples, found the over ripened dessert variety on clearance so they cost me almost nothing. And voilà! My kid can't have enough, I make a few jars at a time but they don't last long. Eaten up very quickly :))
So here is what I do: 
I do not have exact measures, never do. Always to taste. Each time you make apple butter, it will taste a bit different depending on the apples you use. The sweeter apples are, sweeter your butter will be.  
 Best buy your apples on farmer markets, where you can taste the apples before you buy. If the apples are bland so will be your butter. 
25-30 apples (depends on how concentrated you want it to be and how long you cook, it makes up to 8 pints of butter).
I start with 1tsp of:
Cinnamon(can use sticks), Ground ginger, Ground Cloves, Ground Cardamom, All spice, Vanilla (in any form you like).
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar as a preservative.
Core and slice apples and put them in the pan as you go. I love using my Ikea apple slicer . It cuts the prep time in more then half.
When it's full put on  low for about 2 hours (as they cook down add the rest of the apples if all didn't fit in in the beginning), stirring occasionally. After 2-3 hours, when apples are soft, I add spices and vinegar. As you see from the pic, I add at least 1 tbsp. of cinnamon, it's great metabolism booster(if you're dieting ;).
OMG The smell in the house is amazing! Who needs air fresheners? After I add spices and vinegar, I cook for another 2-3 hours, until the apple's skins are absolutely soft, and juice is reduced. Again, the time depends on apples, how juicy are they. Just stir and use your judgement. (some recipes call for 10 to 24 hours for cooking!) When you think they are about ready, I use hand blender to blend. I put the arm of the blender straight into the pan and blitz until smooth, just don't forget to take vanilla and cinnamon sticks OUT! Taste and add more spices I think it needs, maybe more cinnamon and cloves. If apples were too sour, and the butter tastes too zingy, I sweeten it with apple and pear spread(highly concentrated no sugar added). That's the one I use. 


But once it is blended, be very careful, it gets stuck to the bottom very very easy. So finish cooking to the consistency you like and don't forget to stir. Once it cools down, it gets thicker. Put in jars. For long shelf period use waterbath canning or similar.
We eat it with bread, crackers, smother cakes with it, use it instead of Apple sauce in baking recipes... By dressing up a jar, it can serve as a very yummy and pretty present.
Enjoy and tell me how it went :) If you liked it or not, if you tweaked the recipe to improve :)