Thursday, March 28, 2013


8 1/2 months pregnant 

Are you thinking about getting pregnant for the first time, pregnant already, or thinking of having another baby? Now that Henri is one the whole world seem to be asking us:

When are you guys going to have another baby?

I’m never sure how to answer this question because we seem to go back and forth all the time. Life slows down for a couple weeks and i’m just SURE I want another baby as soon as possible and then BAM things get crazy and the thought of being in charge of another human makes my head spin. I also just read this article about child spacing and it makes me want to wait a little longer. If you want to read it you can click here.
But I am here to admit I have been thinking about pregnancy and childbirth A LOT lately. It’s something I feel passionate about. I’ve been thinking of all the ways I will help myself have a more comfortable healthy pregnancy this next time around. Don’t get me wrong I was pretty darn healthy besides that time I ordered David to take me to Taco Bell. I know, I know! Horrible, right? I just couldn’t resist the craving.
ANYWAY! So my pregnancy was for the most part very healthy yet I did have horrible back pain particularly in the last 4 months. I would wake up several times a night in terrible pain. I tried everything, even that giant pregnancy pillow called the snoogle. It helped a little but the pain was still pretty unbearable. I remember some nights lying awake thinking I would rather be awake caring for a newborn than awake feeling so uncomfortable. A couple weeks later I gave birth to Henri.
I’m one of those women that a lot of women probably hate because my body bounced back from pregnancy pretty easily. Within 2 weeks of having Henri I slipped on my pre-pregnancy jeans and BOOM they fit! Now, I don’t think this was completely by accident, I stayed active while pregnant and ate a nutrient dense diet without gorging myself. One thing that had changed about my body however was my stomach. It was a hot mess. Literally. If I sat down my stomach flapped over my jeans and if I layed down my stomach glooped over to one side. Not only was it unflattering but my back pain still lingered. I suspected it was all part of having a weak core but in those first months of having a baby it was on the back burner. I knew I needed to do something to heal my stomach and weak back but it was just too overwhelming to think about.
One night David, Henri and I were out on a walk and I mentioned to David that my back and stomach were still bothering me (when I went on a light walk I would get stomach cramps from the exertion). “ I think yoga might help me”, I said to him. He listened and said, “DO IT.” Within a day I found a studio and we arranged with his mom to watch Henri (thanks Pauline!) and I went to my very first yoga class.
Let me tell you, IT WAS HARD. I realized in that class that I could hardly even hold my body weight in the plank position. I was just too weak. All the teachers were so kind and encouraging to me. They made it easy to keep going back. I am now convinced yoga is something that would benefit all pregnant mamas as well as being one of the best ways to get your pre-pregnancy body back. I didn’t realize I had such a “story” to tell so I’m going to split this topic into segments. So next week I’ll be writing why I think you should practice yoga if you are a pregnant mama followed by doing yoga to get back that pre preggo bod!
What kind of exercises did you do while you were pregnant? How did you get your body back after? Join the conversation in the comments below!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hazel's Home Birth

Writing and sharing Henri’s birth story was such an amazing experience for me. It was so fun to remember the day of his birth and now I have my birth story written down so that I will never forget it. I think birth is a huge experience in a woman’s life. It is her gateway into motherhood, which is incredibly life altering. Birth is intense, powerful, and unimaginably primal. We live in a society where birth is equated with pain and fear. To me, this is a very sad reality.
I’m going to start sharing other women’s birth stories on the blog because I want to give women a chance to tell their stories. I hope that in telling our stories we can help more women see the beauty in birth rather than the fear.

I’d like to introduce you to our first brave Mama! Her name is Kat and she had a very exciting homebirth!  It was fast, intense, so real, and beautiful. I so relate to her story because when I planned my birth I imagined I would be quiet and peaceful and was surprised at how not peaceful or quiet I was! I asked Kat a couple questions about her birth and I just loved what she had to say! I’m going to include our little email interview below her story so you can enjoy her answers. Before I give away anymore details here is her story and a couple lovely photos


Hazel's Birth Story By Kat Huston

I admit I was not prepared for labor and some language may be offensive to some. Sorry in advance. Oh and I know I have forgotten a lot of details.
My husband and I had been trying for a child since early 2010. Every month without fail my period would be late (that's even with recalculating my cycle). So every month I would end up peeing on a stick just to see if it was positive. It was always negative and the day after I would take the test my period would begin. By 2012 we just got in a habit of checking with or without him home. Well on March 24th 2012 my husband was away for drill with the army. I woke up in the middle of the night with the urge to pee, so since I was late I decided to take the test. It was POSITIVE! So I sent him a picture message of the test and eagerly awaited a response, mind you the text was sent at 3:59am.
Our sweet little one was due on November 24th 2012.
I was at my 37 week appointment on November 5th 2012, I was measuring normal and my little ones heartbeat was strong. We started talking about what to expect during labor but I didn't want to hear it. I wanted to think it would be peaceful and beautiful. My midwives said I need to start thinking about it since I only had a few weeks left. They told us I probably had another week before my belly dropped and a week beyond that before my water would break. We left there excited and ready for what was to come in the following weeks.
That same night I woke up with a great urge to pee and tried to fight it. I stayed in bed for another 20 minutes before I knew I had to get up. Thinking back to it I let out a lot of water in that bathroom break, we think this is when my water broke. I tried to go back to bed but woke up every so often with a strong pain in my back.
I started to think I was just getting sick. So in the morning I called in to work and told them I was going to stay home sick and get some sleep. My mom called me shortly after and I told her about my back being in pain and she immediately told me “you are in back labor, call your midwife now”. Well I listened and called my midwife telling her I didn't think I was in labor and I would keep in contact with them. Well after all the calls were made my husband woke up and asked why I was still home, I told him I wasn't feeling well and called in sick. We started talking and he figured he should go grocery shopping just in case. The midwives kept in contact with him through out the day asking if he thought I was in labor. His response was something along the lines of 'I don't know, that's why we pay you to tell us if she is'. My sister in law came over while my husband was out to help clean up the house, while he was gone my pain started to worsen. I felt like I had a horrible ovarian cyst! She started to apply pressure where my pain was and that helped a little. Well my midwife arrived around noon to make sure I didn't have an infection. All I remember of her arrival is she kept saying 'do you want me to check you?' I didn't want to answer, I wasn't ready to be in labor. Well she decided it was time to check me and all she said was “You’re really far along”. Well being as I was so early the birth tub had not been dropped off at my house yet, so they filled the bath tub in hopes I could labor in there.
My husband and I went to the bathroom and I got in the tub trying to relax and I just couldn't I kept feeling like I had to poo. So I asked everyone to leave the room so I could try. Well at some point I took my glasses off so everything I saw was a giant blur. As I was sitting on the toilet I saw some strange stuff in the tub but ignored it. Then I felt something down there and looked. All I saw was a bloody mess. I started yelling for anyone to come tell me what I couldn't really see. Well they said it was time and I needed to move off the toilet and to the bedroom. They laid me on the bed and all I remember was I was in the worst pain in my life while I was on my back. I stopped progressing while I was on my back and my midwife thought we should try sitting on the toilet again in hopes it would get things going again. I took two steps toward the bathroom and stopped with the intense urge to start pushing. I remember I kept saying 'shit' over and over again. That is not how I wanted to birth but it happened. I was crouched at the end of my bed holding my husbands legs as I would push with each contraction. I remember asking if I had to push 3 times for each contraction and them telling me I did. I don't remember getting oxygen but my husband told me they gave it to me. I remember hearing at some point that the babies heart rate was dropping but I can't remember at what point they said this. My husband was then asked if he wanted to catch the baby and he moved from in front of me to behind me so he could catch. One of my midwives took his place in front of me so I could hold on to her arms. The next thing I know I was being handed my little girl and moved to the bed. I couldn't believe it was over so fast. My little girl arrived at 2:16pm on November 6th 2012, she was 5lb 13oz and 18in. I felt like everything was so surreal for the following few weeks. It all started to feel real around Christmas was life started calming down a little.

1) What led you to choose a home birth?
My husband and I do not agree with the way hospitals treat pregnancy, we are not sick! There is no medical need to force a baby out of the womb just because it doesn't fit the hospitals time schedule. I also did not want a bunch of people I didn't know walking around looking at me. I wanted a private affair for my daughters birth, just my husband, my midwives and me.

2) What and how did you feel when you first held you baby?
When my daughter was born and my husband handed her to me I was still in a state of denial. I kept thinking this isn't real, I'm dreaming and I'm still pregnant. But I loved her, I loved everything about her she was so small and sweet. She was and is perfect in my eyes. I don't think reality hit me that she was really here until Christmas time. That is when I looked at my daughter and was just in 'ah' and there was my little girl. She was really here, I wasn't dreaming,
3) Was labor as horrible and painful as the media or the general population makes it out to be?
My labor was nothing like media portrays, while my contractions were painful I honestly thought I just had an infection. It was an amazing experience for me overall. In fact the labor was my favorite part of my pregnancy, I can't wait for number two just for that moment.

4) Anything else you would like to share about yourself?
Most everyone around us disapproved of our decision to have a home birth, but we did not let it scare us. This is what we wanted for our daughter, I wanted my daughter to enter this world as peacefully as possible.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Shopping for REAL food at the Grocery store

So you’ve purchased as much as you can locally, but you still have to fill in some gaps to make a meal, right? That’s completely normal! I make a weekly trip to the local grocery store too!

Shopping at a grocery store can be tough because processed junk screams at you from every direction (yes, even at the healthiest store like Whole Foods). It’s also confusing to have to choose between 6 different brands of milk or every style and flavor of yogurt you can imagine all claiming to be healthier than the next. It honestly leaves my head spinning.

I have some tips and tricks that have helped me navigate the weekly trek to the grocery store. Alright let’s begin!

Treat the inner aisles of the store like enemy territory!
That’s right! When I go to the grocery store I can usually count on the perimeter of the store having everything I need. Your store might be a little different but my loop usually goes like this:

First Stop: Produce. When I walk through the doors of my grocery store I am greeted by the produce section. Heres what I usually purchase:

*Apples- I try to buy these locally but they are no longer in season in Northern California and we LOVE apples. So if they look good and are priced decently I will buy them. Organic only of course because apples are on “The Dirty Dozen.”

*Carrots-We eat a lot of carrots around here and it’s tough to keep up. I’ll buy the 5 pound bag of organic carrots because whole carrots make a delicious real food snack.

*Sweet Potatoes- We eat sweet potato fries about once a week. We all enjoy them, especially Henri.

*Avocados-I usually buy two or three a week. We love Mexican food around here and avocados are a wonderful healthy fat. I don’t always purchase organic because I don’t think it’s necessary but this week I did because the organic avocados looked so much better!

*Bananas-David and I both eat a banana daily. They make a great snack for Henri too. I usually buy 12 to 14 bananas a week. If they are starting to look a little brown, I peel and slice them and stick them in a freezer bag. Perfect for a smoothie!

So that’s what I tend to buy in the produce section but of course I have more fruits and veggies I purchase from the farmers market too!

Next Stop is the MEAT COUNTER:
I usually don’t have a lot to buy here. We already have a freezer full of grass-fed beef (actually our parents freezer-thanks for helping us store it Paul and Pauline!) so I don’t buy any beef from the grocery. I also try and purchase my chicken from the Farmer’s Market but in a pinch I will buy a whole, organic chicken from the grocery store. So what do I buy on a regular basis?

* Salmon: If the wild caught Alaskan Salmon is on sale I will purchase a couple pounds and take it home and freeze it.

Shrimp: Every once in awhile, as a treat, we eat some kind of shrimp dish.

Halibut: This week Alaskan Halibut was on sale so we bought some. David loves halibut. I’ve never cooked it at home before so i’m looking forward to trying it.

After the meat counter I move on the the DAIRY SECTION where I buy:

* Organic Plain Whole Milk Yogurt-David eats yogurt with homemade granola almost every morning for breakfast. I buy Straus Family Creamery  yogurt. I chose this brand because they are local and they allow their cows to graze on pastures instead of keeping them confined indoors all day. We purchase whole milk yogurt because the fat helps you absorb Vitamins A&D in the milk, as well as the calcium. It is also more satisfying and filling. We can eat less and feel full longer.

* Milk: We used to purchase milk from the grocery store but we now purchase it from a local farmer. If I were to buy milk from the grocery store I would either buy Straus Family Creamery, Organic Valley grass-milk(this is different than regular Organic Valley), or Supernatural Kalona. With all of these brands I purchase the full fat variety. If these brands are not options for you I would choose milk based on the diet of the cows and the pasteurization style. Try and stay away from milk that is ultra-pasteurized because that’s just code for ultra dead. Low temperature grass fed milk is going to be your best choice.

*Cheese: We have a seller at the farmers market who sells wonderful, raw, grass-fed cheese but it’s pricey. Because we eat SOOO much cheese we also purchase cheese from Whole Foods and Traders Joe’s. My favorite cheese is the Organic New Zealand Grass Fed Cheddar from Trader Joe’s. It’s around $4.99 a block, which is a steal. I’ll also purchase Rumiano’s Grass Fed Cheddar from Whole foods and Kerrygold Grass Fed Cheddar from Whole Foods.

And after the dairy section I turn the corner and land in the BULK SECTION of my store. Here I buy:

*Nuts: I like to purchase a variety of nuts so we have an easy healthy snack. We usually opt for almonds, but sometimes we get walnuts or pecans.

*Rice: I buy Organic Brown Rice in bulk. I cook it as a side at least once a week. I cook it in our homemade bone broth to add extra flavor (more to come on homemade broth!).

*Oats: I used to buy granola in the bulk section, but I started looking carefully at the ingredients and noticed it contained lots of sugar and bad oils (vegetable, canola or soy) I didn’t want our family eating. I’ve since started making our own granola and it is super simple! Recipe to come...

*Maple Syrup: I purchase Grade B organic maple syrup because it contains more minerals and nutrients than Grade A maple syrup.

Of course there are other items I purchase when I need them for a specific recipe like dried beans or quinoa but this list is my “usual” buys.

I also stop and grab some:

* Salsa- We love salsa as a side on everything! I’m hoping to can my own salsa from our summer harvest of tomatoes but for now it’s a weekly purchase.

* Tortillas: We buy the Ezekial Sprouted Grain Tortillas. Unlike most tortillas they don’t contain any gross vegetables oils and because they are sprouted they are much more digestible. Plus they are much higher in protein than traditional tortillas.

Alright, at this point I have gone around the entire perimeter of my grocery store and I’ve purchased everything I need for a week of REAL food eating. There are some things I will quickly go into enemy territory (the aisles) for such as organic spaghetti sauce or a new box of peppermint tea, but for the most part the aisles are nothing but trouble...they are just too tempting for me.

Do these tips help? Did I miss anything? Leave your comments below!