Friday, December 14, 2018

Weekly Link Love—Edition 7

The First Six Weeks

Six weeks has come and gone! I remember when Mazen was a baby repeating to myself “the first six weeks are just about survival.” I mentally prepared for the same this time around. I re-read Mazen’s first six weeks post, and overall have most of the same things to report this time around. I would say Mazen was a little harder to soothe and calm than Birch. Mazen had to have all five of the Happiest Baby Ss (swaddle, side, suck, sway, shush) and Birch is usually happy with 2-3 of them. Some people have told me that might be because I’m a more relaxed mom this second time around.

I might be more relaxed, but it hasn’t been easy! Birch’s first month was hard mostly because I was only getting about 5-6 hours of broken sleep a night and we had several minor-but-annoying issues (see below). But right around one month he started sleeping a little longer, and since then we’ve been sailing a little smoother.

Our first month started out with a nasty sickness the first week we were home. Thomas was very sick for two days and I was mildly sick for one. That did not start us out on the best foot.

Then I started to have signs of yeast and we were diagnosed with thrush. Birch was given two weeks worth of nystatin. His symptoms were always mild from the thrush itself, and I believe the nystatin caused a snowball effect of secondary symptoms that led to even more problems! I ended up having to take oral Diflucan a week later when my shooting pains got a little worse. But that seemed to finally knock it out.

Birch was pooping ALL the time during his two weeks of nystatin. I just thought he was a normal poopy newborn. He was waking up frequently at night and pooping, sometimes going 3-4 times in a row. His little bottom got so raw from all the wiping, so we had to deal with a bad diaper rash as well. However, as soon as the nystatin course was complete, his pooping regulated to much more reasonable frequency. He started sleeping longer right away, and his rash cleared up quickly. Finally we were normal! I’m not sure what we could have done differently, but I do caution anyone with babies prescribed oral nystatin to look for those side effects.

Lately we’ve been getting anywhere from a 3-5 hour stretch followed by 2.5 to 3 hours for the last two night segments. (Most nights are 3.5/4 + 3 + 2.5). I’m getting closer to 8, sometimes 9 hours of broken sleep, and that is so much better than what we were doing.

B slept in the rock and play for the first month. When we first tried putting him in the bassinet, he cried and we gave up quickly. I think we probably could have just done a little more soothing, but we switched to the rock n play for a month because he liked that right away. We successfully transitioned to the bassinet at one month. I’m so glad because it was expensive and also I feel more comfortable with him sleeping flat on his back than reclined. Our Halo Bassinet has the vibrating feature, and I think that has been key! B seems to love any of the vibrating chairs he has been a guest in, so I just ordered this one which was so cheap!

B is nursing 2-3 times a night, depending on when “bedtime” is (sometimes it’s 7; sometimes it’s 9:30 – we never know when naps end and night begins!) What has been AMAZING (knock on wood) is that nighttime soothing has been at a minimum. I remember having to spend a long time getting Mazen back to sleep at night. Birch needs a fair amount of soothing for naps, but at night I put him awake in the bassinet and he coos and grunts around for 10 minutes and then magically falls asleep. The whole “drowsy but awake” thing never worked for me before. I am HOPING that this leads to self soothing and sleeping through the night without sleep training, but only time will tell (and the four month sleep regression!)

This photo was taken of a nap, hence the paci, but we don’t use one at night….as of now. I remember Mazen got so addicted to his that we’re trying to avoid it for nights. B does love it for naps and when he’s fussy. He’s just learning how to really hold it in.

Naps are either 30 minutes or less in the bassinet or crib OR nice a long in the solly wrap or in someone’s arms. It’s kind of a trade off: do you want time or your arms 🙂

We like the Woombie but I like the Ollie a little better!

Breastfeeding has been just as hard this time as the first go-around. Both of my boys had shallow latches that widened with age, and I think my nipples just need that first month to get used to it all. The yeast made this time around very painful at times. I actually wonder if I had some yeast with Mazen too but just didn’t know what was causing the pain. As of now, breastfeeding is mostly comfortable and we’re in a good groove.

I am trying to be a bit more proactive with pumping this time around. (I ALWAYS type pumpking!!) My pump from six years ago was a giant Medela that I always thought hurt and never got much milk. I have a Motif Duo that I LOVE that I got for free through Aeroflow Breastpumps. They actually do all the insurance legwork for you and your pump simply comes in the mail. The Motif is small, cordless, rechargable, super portable, and much more comfortable than my old pump. Around six weeks I have started to pump just a small amount (like 5 minutes per side) about 30 minutes after the first morning feeding. I am not going back to an office so I don’t need a huge stash, but it’s been so nice to have bottles in the fridge just in case I need them. I can get a full bottle in 2 days compared to maybe a week of collecting let down milk (which is also more of a hassle.)

Magnetic Birch outfit!

Thomas is a wonderful dad! I said to him the other night how cool it is that he went from knowing almost nothing about baby care to being an expert in caring for his own. At night he does the diaper change while I get all set up to nurse, and it’s been so nice to share the nighttime duties. He’s also great with baby wearing and diaper changes. Birch’s favorite activity with his dad is bath time! He LOVES his bath and never cries.

Both of my boys were around 8 pounds at birth, just over 10 pounds at one month and 11 pounds at 6 weeks. As many of you often say, my genes must be super strong! (Either that or Thomas and Matt are more similar than we all realize 🙂 )

Can you tell them apart?? Some of my family members got them wrong!

You can probably tell who is who based on the photo and outfits, but they are so similar!!

I honestly did not remember taking this photo of Mazen, so I laughed out loud when I realized I have the same one with B!

The Kickee Fox jammies have been our favorites!!

Their eyes!

I have no doubt these brothers will be close. Mazen is head over heels for his little bro!

My favorite photo of the first six <3 Wheeee!!!

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

5 Recipes I’ve Made for 5 Years Now

Hi, friends!

Over the years, I have created and published soooooo many recipes – yet it’s amazing that I make the same ones again and again.  I definitely have some tried-and-true favorites, and I know you guys love a lot of the same recipes. Great minds think alike, right? Personally, I think the key to recipes that stand the test of time is that they’re both super easy and (obviously) delicious. Many of my 3-ingredient dinners or make-ahead meals are just so convenient and end up in our regular rotation. Even after 5 years, we just don’t get tired of planning them into our weekly meal plan.

That said, here are 5 of the recipes that I’ve made for the past 5 years (or more). If any of these recipes haven’t been tested out in your kitchen, I highly recommend giving them a try, especially during this time of year when we are all short on time, but still want to keep our diets in check. And, of course, I’d love to hear your CNC favorites (both past and present), so make sure to leave me a comment and let me know. Enjoy!

Cheesy Garlic Herb Brussel Sprouts with Sausage

Garlic Mustard Drumsticks

Loaded Baked Potato Chicken Salad

Paleo Morning Glory Muffins

Gluten-Free & Egg-Free “Cookie Dough”



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Holiday Round-Up: 28 Cookie Recipes

Thanks to PaleoHacks for today’s holiday recipe round-up. Enjoy, everyone!

It’s the holiday season, and that means it’s time to preheat the oven and bake up a batch of cookies! We’re here to start the festivities with this listicle of 28 grain-free cookie recipes.

From bright and zingy lemon and coconut cookies to a Paleo-friendly take on classic chocolate chip cookies, there are so many deliciously gluten-free options to explore in your kitchen.

If you have dietary restrictions, check out the nut-free recipes, AIP-friendly choices, and the keto-friendly cookies. Each cookie is 100 percent Primal and free of gluten, grains and unhealthy processed sugar. No matter your dietary needs, we’ve got a satisfying cookie just for you!

#1 PaleoHacks | Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

All you need is 30 minutes from start to finish to whip up these super-easy chocolate chip cookies.

#2 Jay’s Baking Me Crazy | The Best Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

These almond flour beauties studded with chocolate chunks are just begging for a dip in creamy almond milk.

# 3 PaleoHacks | Coconut Flour Shortbread Cookies

Buttery shortbread cookies get drizzled artfully with melted chocolate, which cools to form a delicate shell.

#4 Tastes Lovely | Paleo Almond Butter Cookies

With just a handful of ingredients, these buttery, almond butter cookies are even easier to whip up than most peanut butter cookies.

#5 One Lovely Life | Paleo Ginger Cookies

Crisp-edged, soft-centered ginger cookies are a must this time of year. Skip the optional sugar roll at the end, or use a Paleo-friendly substitute like coconut sugar.

#6 Joy Food Sunshine | Paleo Zucchini Breakfast Cookies

Zucchini – in cookies?! It helps make the final product extra moist – we promise you won’t even know they’re in there if you blend them into the batter just right.

#7 The Big Man’s World | No-Bake, 3-Ingredient Coconut Cookies

It doesn’t get much easier than a no-bake, three-ingredient recipe. Simply mix shredded coconut, coconut oil, and your sweetener of choice in a bowl, form into cookies, refrigerate, and enjoy!

#8 Food Faith Fitness | Crockpot Paleo Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Did you know you can make cookies in a crockpot? These square cookie bars spend a few hours “baking” up low and slow, leaving you plenty of time to complete your to-do list, run errands, or nap.

#9 Nom Nom Paleo | The World’s Easiest Cookies

Everyone needs a foolproof, super simple cookie recipe in their back pocket. Made with just a handful of ingredients, these cookies taste like chocolate-covered shortbread.

#10 Evolving Table | Super Soft Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans

Pecans add seasonal warmth to these ultra-soft cookies. Tip: You can easily make these vegan by subbing in coconut oil for butter and flax eggs for the eggs!

#11 Golden Barrel | Paleo Nutter Butter Cookies

Crunchy almond butter cookies sandwich a sweet and creamy almond butter filling – what could be better?

#12 Almost Supermom | Ultimate Double Chocolate Chip Paleo Cookies

These cookies double up on the chocolate, featuring both cocoa powder (opt for raw cacao powder for even more nutrition) and chocolate chips.

#13 Perchance to Cook | Paleo “Sugar” Cookies

Fluffy, vanilla-flavored cookies get their sweetness from honey and maple syrup for a simple, chewy indulgence.

#14 Downshiftology | Mint Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Would you like a peppermint mocha in cookie form? Reach for these mint double chocolate chip cookies, the perfect holiday-inspired flavor profile.

#15 What Great Grandma Ate | Nut-Free Cassava Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s tricky to find a nut-free Paleo cookie, but these tasty cassava flour-based chocolate chip cookies fit the bill!

#16 Lexi’s Clean Kitchen | Maple Meringue Cookies

We can’t get these lightly sweet, crunchy yet light-as-air meringue cookies out of our minds.

#17 Physical Kitchness | Paleo Maple Walnut Cookies

Loaded with warm flavors from walnuts, maple, cloves and cinnamon, these cookies are autumn personified.

#18 The Endless Meal | Chunky Monkey Paleo Banana Cookies

These nutty, chocolatey cookies are topped with banana slices – an ideal sweet breakfast on the go.

#19 Nesting with Grace | Paleo Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

You just might want to set these Christmas-inspired cranberry cookies out for Santa this year.

#20 Unbound Wellness | AIP Chocolate Chip Cookies

Carob chips replace chocolate in this AIP-friendly cookie recipe.

#21 A Saucy Kitchen | Paleo Pumpkin Cookies with Molasses

Pumpkin is the ideal cookie ingredient – it adds tons of flavor, acts as a binder, and adds moisture. This recipe proves it.

#22 Traditional Cooking School | Paleo Sugar Cookies with Pumpkin Glaze

These sweet and fluffy cookies are glazed with a pumpkin icing for a treat you’ll crave all year long.

#23 Paleo Cupboard | Paleo Coconut Vanilla Iced Cookies

Nutty almond flour cookies are finished with a smooth iced top for an irresistible treat.

#24 Real Food with Dana | Paleo N’Oatmeal Cookies

There are no actual oats to be found in these batch, but coconut, flaxseed, and raisins do a pretty good job of mimicking the texture and flavors of a real oatmeal cookie.

#25 Not Enough Cinnamon | Lemon and Coconut Soft Cookies

These zesty and fragrant lemon cookies will melt in your mouth – what more could you ask for?

#26 The Big Man’s World | Flourless Keto Chocolate Cookies

No added sweetener is necessary in these keto-friendly cookies made with chocolate chips and nut butter.

#27 Chocolate Covered Katie | Low Carb Chocolate Chip Keto Cookies

Finally, there’s a way to enjoy classic chocolate chip cookies on the keto diet. Opt for stevia and a Paleo-friendly milk to keep this recipe Paleo, too.

#28 Wholesome Yum | Low Carb Keto Shortbread Cookies

Buttery shortbread cookies are best paired with a warm cup of coffee, hot cocoa or tea.

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The post Holiday Round-Up: 28 Cookie Recipes appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.



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20 Clean Eating Christmas Gift Ideas

These 20 clean eating Christmas gift ideas are wonderful for clean eaters and non-clean eaters alike!

I’ve done gift idea roundups before, but thought it would be fun to do a new one for this year. I… Read more →



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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Master Your Macros Challenge [Starts January 7th]

Hi, friends!

Can you believe it’s already December 13th? Holy cow, the holiday season is flying by! I also can’t believe it’s just about time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions and goals. Ok, ok… I know the whole New Year’s resolution concept gets a little overhyped, and I’ve personally gone back and forth as to whether or not I am going to partake this year. However, I know myself, and I know that I love fresh starts and making plans (Type A right here) to move myself towards achieving my goals.

What I’ve found throughout the years is that ACCOUNTABILITY works really well for me – whether I am making a resolution at the new year or any time throughout the year (aka the “10,000 Steps Per Day Challenge”). Even better is taking on a goal with friends or a community, who is experiencing the same challenges and successes – and who is there to support you all along the way. It truly makes the experience more enjoyable and helps you get that much close to achieving what you set out to do!

That said, I am SO EXCITED to share the Carrots ‘N’ Cake “Master Your Macros” Challenge! This group challenge is intended to jumpstart your motivation, teach you about macros, and help you “master” how they fit into your lifestyle with the support of the CNC community. Tracking macros is different for everyone, which, of course, is why they are so great. Once you figure out how they can work for you, they become an awesome tool for healthy living and balanced food choices. During the challenge, you’ll work with a nutrition coach to find the right macro balance and eating habits to fuel your lifestyle and goals.

Related (since I get this question a lot): You don’t need to follow a specific diet to track macros. You can be vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, AIP, low-carb, etc., and macros will still work for you. The thing is – if you don’t know how to hit your protein goal, for example, macros can be challenging. Working with a nutrition coach to address some of these personal challenges will teach you what you need to do, so you can go off on your own and track like a champ!

Ok, back to details about the challenge…

The “Master Your Macros” Challenge starts on January 7th for everyone, but you have the choice of a 4- or 8-week plan. Each plan includes your own personal macronutrient calculation (protein, carbs, and fat for both workout and rest days) as well as one-on-one coaching to help you through tracking challenges and support you throughout your plan. You’ll also receive recipes, grocery shopping lists, and the support of the CNC community via our private Facebook group.

Which plan is right for you? You can choose between a 4- or 8- week macro coaching program, and the best fit totally depends on your goals. If you have longer-term goals, need accountability, or you’re newer to counting macros, join the 8-week challenge. If you are someone who has counted macros in the past or just needs a motivation jumpstart, the 4-week option is a great choice. Both plans are included in the “Master Your Macros” Challenge and will receive plenty of weekly motivation and support to help you succeed!

I’ll be joining you guys for the challenge and supporting you through the 4- or 8-week journey. (Let’s just say, I’ve already taken full advantage of the holiday season, and I know I will need a jumpstart once the new year comes! Holy cookies and booze!) I’m really excited to do this together – share recipes, weekly wins, and struggles. It’s motivating to know you aren’t alone in the journey – plus, ACCOUNTABILITY is huge for helping achieve your goals!

Does this sound like just what you need to start the new year? Come join us and rock your nutrition goals in 2019! Sign up by picking your program from below:

We start January 7th, so be sure to mark your calendars!

 



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Why Grip Strength Matters—and 10 Ways to Build It