Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Primal Style Roasted Turkey

Sweet Potato Pie

Cheesy Keto Biscuits

Keto Turkey Gravy

Scalloped Potatoes

Postpartum Essentials

Here we are just over two weeks in to newbornland, and I’ve had some time to gather my thoughts on the must haves that I’ve relied on to get us from one nap, nursing session, and soothe to the next. If I were to have another baby (which is currently not the plan!), I would reference this post and make sure all of these items were in stock and set up before going into labor. I did so much organizing before Birch was born yet I really didn’t think much about what I would need during my recovery and first weeks. I hope this list is helpful for those of you expecting babies in the future!

For Mom

Make sure you have plenty of pads in different sizes. I actually ran out and had to send Thomas to the drug store!

A friend gave me this Motherlove Sitz Spray and it was amazing!! Sitz baths are often recommended to ease swelling and encourage healing for the bottom area, but the thought of sitting in a shallow bath tub (or some kind of bed pan) is the LAST thing any new mom wants to do. This spray, on the other hand, one can apply in a simple spritz and get the good effects of witch hazel and more.

Frida Momwasher (just get the bundle – everything they make is awesome). A friend gave me this too and it’s the peri bottle of all peri bottles! (A peri bottle is like a mini bidet for moms.) I came home with two from the hospital, but the Frida one got the job done so much better because it angles up. This is definitely not an essential, but I had to recommend it because it was awesome!

Earth Mama Nipple Butter  and Motherlove Nipple Cream. You’ll want to have some kind of nipple cream and I love both of these brands. I never liked the plain lanolin cream because it’s very tacky and hard to spread on tender nipples. Both the Earth Mama and Motherlove creams go on super smoothly so there is no pain. The Earth Mama brand smells like chocolate because it’s made from cocoa butter! I also recommend stocking up on a pack of these Lansinoh Soothies for cooling comfort.

Bravado nursing bra. A lot of people say to wait to buy your nursing bras until after breastfeeding is established so you’ll have a better idea of what size and style you prefer. I totally agree for your long-term bras. That said, you definitely need to have at least one nursing bra from the get-go. This one is my favorite for those early days because it’s super comfortable. I prefer a more structured bra after the first six weeks or so, but I am living in this one right now. While your breasts are changing size and sensitive, a nice seamless, comfortable bra is key.

Gilligan & O’Malley Nursing Tanks. These are my favorite nursing tanks from Target because they are affordable, supportive, super long to cover the tummy, and comfortable. I ordered a few other (much more expensive) kinds to try, but returned them because these are my favorite. I don’t wear a bra with these so I either wear a nursing tank + top layer OR my Bravado bra with a nursing friendly shirt.

Sleep nursing bras and pull-down tops. Put these into the optional category, but at nighttime I don’t want to bother with clips so I love these “push over” style sleeping bras and t-shirt tops that have elastic necks that you can just pull down.

Disposable breast pads. Maybe you will be lucky and not have insane let down like I do, but I have gone through a hundred of these pads already. I wish I could wear the reusable one for something a bit more green, but I leak through those in a hot second. Definitely get yourself a box of nursing pads to have on hand in case you need them (bring a few to the hospital) because this is one of those products that if you need it, you NEED IT NOW or you’ll be soaking through your shirts at every feeding.

And don’t be like me and forget to get all of this out of storage until it’s 9 pm on your first night home and you can’t remember where you stashed all your nursing clothes!

For Baby

Sure, babies don’t need much. Diapers, wipes, warm clothes, some blankets, a crib. However, the following items have made our lives a lot easier.

My Brest Friend. The dorkiest but most necessary nursing pillow for newborns. This pillow clips around your waist and holds the baby up high so he’s next to your breasts instead of down by your lap. A lifesaver for your arms and much better than the Boppy, which lacks structure. In fact, don’t even bother buying a Boppy. I used mine once in the hospital and haven’t touched it since. (I bought the black and white cover on Etsy when Mazen was born.)

Solly Wrap or other baby wearing carrier. Hands down my MVP first two weeks item is the Solly wrap. Or any wrap. (Moby, Boba, etc.) I do SO much baby wearing because, as we all know, newborns do not like to be put down! Birch is happiest when I am holding him, but it’s great to have two hands and be able to move around. I also think the snugness of the wrap calms him much like a swaddle would, so that’s an added perk. B takes nearly all of his daytime naps in the Solly, although sometimes I am able to transfer him to the Dock-a-tot or swing. I got a hand-me-down Solly after Instagramming you guys and I like it a lot more than the Boba because it’s not quite as stretchy and the fabric is amazing. But it’s basically the same style as the Boba/Moby. I would like to eventually invest in a ring sling as well! And we still have our Boba/Ergo style carrier for when he’s bigger. The Solly is also great for dads! When Thomas was working from home the first week or so, he would wear Birch while he did computer work.

Dock-a-tot or lounger. Is the dock-a-tot worth it? Day 1 I would have said no, but on day 14 or so, I say definitely. You don’t need to spend $199 – any baby lounger will do – but I do love the size and style of the DOT more than other loungers out there. It’s great to have a spot on my couch to plant Birch when I need to run to the bathroom or let him catch a between-sides nursing nap. While he can’t roll over yet, the firm bottom is a better surface than the couch itself for him to rest on, and I know he won’t roll into the cushions. I also like that it’s up off the floor and away from the dog and prefer it to bouncy seats because it’s much quicker to get him in and out of without straps. It’s also a lot bigger than some of the other loungers out there, so I think I’ll be able to use it longer. I don’t think there’s anything magical about its “hugging” style that makes him want to daytime nap in it, but he has taken several naps in it (with us next to him on the couch for safety). Lastly, a minor detail but something important: I love how the marble looks with my home decor. So to me, that does kind of make it worth $199 : )

Rock ‘n Play. Mazen slept in the rock n play for a few months when he was born, and for some reason I thought I had given it away. But just a few weeks before Birch was born I found it under the guest room bed. I barely gave it a thought because we had bought the Halo Basinet (which I was really excited about!) and I figured we might use the RNP for a downstairs baby resting place. I had no intention of using it for actual sleep. However we quickly learned that B hates lying flat on his back in the Halo, and I seriously don’t know what we’d be doing for nighttime sleep if we didn’t have this. I did ask our pediatrician about the safety of it since there has been some controversy about flat head, etc. and she said it was fine to use in these early days but to try to transition to the Halo Basinet or his crib sooner rather than later. While I don’t love how low to the ground the RNP is, I do love how lightweight and easy to move it is, unlike the beast of the Halo that makes getting in and out of bed a big harder. Also, the ROCK feature of the RNP is great. I can rock it with my foot while sitting on the edge of the bed. I hope we’ll be able to use the (very expensive) Halo Basinet in time!

Ollie Swaddle. My sister gifted this to us, and it’s the most simple and easy to use swaddle out there. That’s the #1 reason why we love it! B’s arms rarely break out, and the fabric has a great feel. I swaddle and unswaddle him 50 times each night, so the speed at which I can do this in the Ollie is worth every penny. Definitely an MVP item!

Diaper changing liners. This is one of those products that you don’t know you need until you are washing your changing pad for the 10th time. I always put a liner down on our changing pad because poop stains and pee sprays. I found this box of 500 of them on Amazon, and the price is so much better than the Munchkin ones. We dirty at least two liners a day, so we will likely use all 500! I love that these are simply white as well. They are the perfect size.

Baby Connect App and White Noise App. These are my two favorite baby apps. I use Baby Connect (which costs $5) to track nursing and sleep. Totally optional, but also very helpful to cross check with baby’s cues and know when to look out for them. I used it with Mazen and still have his weight and height tracked, so it’s nice to be able to put that data in too. And the White Noise App is a lifesaver when we’re on the go or otherwise away from our Hatch machine. It calms B instantly, and there is something about the pitch of this white noise that is more magical than other kinds I’ve tried.

And last but not least, don’t forget to buy a couple of big bottles of hand sanitizer for visitors and siblings. And lots and lots of diapers. More than you think you’ll need!

I have a REAL FOOD blog post coming for you tomorrow that I’m super excited about. Hint: it involves mermaids + Quaker oats!

This post has lots of affiliate links. Thanks for your support! 

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I am going to be attacked for writing my next book: Feeding You Lies

I was naive when I started blogging on Food Babe back in 2011.

I thought everyone would be happy about what I wrote because I was helping people. 

I had no idea that my investigations into the food industry would produce such a firestorm. 

I thought if I just told the truth on my blog, everything would get better.

I thought the food industry would change because people would demand it once they learned the truth.

After we succeeded in changing dozens of food company ingredients and food practices for the better, we (the Food Babe Army) became a TARGET. Droves of critics were unleashed to take me down. They were organized by people with deep pockets, with a mission to protect the billion-dollar processed food and chemical industry.

Now that I look back, I see how ignorant I was to think that nothing would happen to me. 

This group of critics weaseled their way into major newspapers all over the place, and said horrible things about me (that I was crackpot and a bimbo, and worse). This was done to damage my credibility and to make me look like an uneducated crazy person.

And at the time, reporters believed that these critics of mine were independent experts – without financial ties to the food industry – and so they allowed them to be the antagonist in these stories about me as an activist.

At first, I couldn’t pin down exactly what was going on. I had my suspicions, of course, but I couldn’t really prove that these people were getting money from the industry.

And then slowly, but surely, the truth started to reveal itself.

I submitted freedom of information act (FOIA) requests and received hundreds of internal emails. I met with someone who admitted he had edited my Wikipedia page, because he was paid by a firm to discredit my work. I talked to other experts and went behind the scenes to really figure out more about what was going on.

My eyes were opened to a whole world of corruption…

What I have now found, is compelling evidence showing how these critics were connected to and were taking money from the food and chemical industries. I also uncovered how the industry will stop at nothing to keep their unhealthy products on the market, even if it means lying repeatedly to the public. 

And, this series of events led me to realize that… whoa, there are SO MANY LIES that the food industry has told us over the years. They manipulate us to buy their products and they use dirty tactics just like what the tobacco industry has done. I had an epiphany. I knew I had to tell people all about this.

I knew I had to get this out to the public and my next book was born… 

This book – which I call FEEDING YOU LIES – is being printed this week and getting ready to hit bookstores in just a few months. It is not something that has ever been written before. It’s told from my perspective and shares personal stories on how I figured out the lies that needed to be exposed.

When I decided to write this book, I was pregnant and pitched it to publishers, and by the time I got a publisher and was ready to write it, my baby was born. I spent the last two years becoming a mom, trying to figure out how to raise my daughter and continue being an activist. And, now that she is almost 2, I am back.

I’m ready to get back in the fight again. Now is the right time for this book to come out.

Certain individuals and companies do NOT want their lies to be published and that’s why I know this book is going to really open me up to attacks.

And to be honest, this will not be easy for me. That’s why I really need your support. 

The best way you can support my new book is by pre-ordering a copy. You can do that here online or at your local bookstore. The book will be shipped to you on its release date on February 19, 2019, so you will get to be one of the very first people to read it!

The reason why pre-ordering the book is so helpful is that this sends a signal to bookstores everywhere that they should carry FEEDING YOU LIES when it comes out in February. We need to get this book into the hands of more people, as quickly as possible, when it hits stores.

I really want every single one of you to pre-order this book and to tell your local bookstores to carry it. That is the only way we are going to get it out there…

The media likely won’t be reporting about it. Do you think that the morning shows are going to have me on their network while their sponsors are Kellogg’s and General Mills?

I’m not going to rely on traditional media to get this book out…

I’m going to be relying on you.

I’m relying on you to help get this book into the hands of more people. 

This will continue to educate the public about the lies of the food industry and let them know how they’ve been duped. We exposed their dirty ingredients in the first book, and we are exposing their dirty tactics in the second.

Many food corporations have NO DESIRE to help us be healthy. They want to continue selling us their sugary, toxin-ridden products. There is nothing admirable about selling food that makes people sick. Just like we got major multi-billion dollar corporations to change in the past, we will do it again when their lies are finally revealed in this book.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting the pre-order of this book, asking your local bookstores to carry it, and for sharing this with your friends. You are courageously helping me stand up to the Big Food industry that always puts their profits over people. It needs to stop. 

Here’s where to pre-order your copy of FEEDING YOU LIES:

Xo, 

Vani

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