Simple Food Swaps

There are so many things to think about as a parent. I know, I feel ya! You probably know there are some super simple food swaps you can make to create a healthier pantry and a healthier family. But since “Reading Food Labels” isn’t a major in college or even a high school course, you may not know how to make healthier choices when shopping! Below are some simple food swaps you can make when shopping to eliminate some of the ingredients that cause huge health issues in ourselves and our children. And bonus, all of these swaps are gluten, casein, and soy free, and also organic! Yay!

Options for healthier ketchup, taco seasoning packets, snacks, a soy sauce alternative, a healthier nut butter, chicken broth, my kids’ favorite organic gluten free noodles, a super clean organic salad dressing/marinade, our favorite gluten free tortillas, super yummy, allergen free, organic chocolate, spices, and my favorite organic spaghetti sauce are below! Enjoy!

When navigating food labels on your own you want to steer clear of:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Trans fats
  • GMO’s
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavors
  • Table salt
  • Preservatives
  • Nitrates/Nitrites
  • MSG
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, glyphosate (choose organic)

Enjoy these simple food swaps! And if you make a swap, let me know in the comments below!

Hu Chocolate – delicious, organic, clean ingredients! – https://amzn.to/35Cz3Lu

Simply Organic Spices – https://amzn.to/2HbT3vx

Looking for organic, local produce, grass fed organic meat, poultry, etc, organic bakery items, and more delivered to your door? We love our weekly Farm Fresh to You box! We choose the organic, local items we want delivered each week! They even have gift items, baking items, treats, and everything in between! For $15 off your first delivery use code AMYS4349! Visit www.farmfreshtoyou.com to grab your own box!

Homemade Bath Bombs

Can we all agree to stop buying the colorful bath bombs we see everywhere? Almost all bath bombs we can purchase online and in stores contain ingredients known to cause allergies, eczema, migraines, UTI’s, hyperactivity, infertility, hormone disruption, and even cancer.

So many of the ingredients in these readily available bath bombs, and every other product, are known to cause these issues in our babies, kids, and ourselves, and yet they’re totally normalized in our society.

$2.75 sounds like a great price point for stocking stuffers, birthday gifts, Easter basket goodies, etc., but be careful with all the hidden side effects. Is a cheap product worth major health problems? I would say no!

And, its soooooo easy and inexpensive to make your own bath bombs! I am so not a DIY gal and even I made these and plan on continuing to make them for myself and my daughters, and as gifts! The pictures are from my very first batch ever so I know I will get better each time! If I can do it, you can too!

Just like you would with food, take a moment to read the ingredients on your products before putting them in your cart, because what goes ON the body, ON the skin, our largest organ, goes IN the body.

Here’s your cheat sheet of what to start avoiding:

  • Parabens
  • Synthetic Colors and Dyes (all numbers)
  • Fragrance/Perfume/Parfum
  • Pthlalates
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
  • Propylene Glycol
  • PEGs (of any kind)
  • Petroleum and Petroleum byproducts
  • DEA/MEA/TEA
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)

Want more information on creating a Healthy Home by switching out your toxic products for safe products? Watch this short video where I talk about this – https://youtu.be/BChmDL3RFuc, or message me at amystanfordnutrition@gmail.com for a more in depth class recording I can send you!

In the meantime here’s the recipe I used! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 cups baking soda –
  • 1 cup citric acid –
  • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil – , if you want them coconut smelling, use unrefined –
  • Young Living Essential Oils of choice – I used 40 drops of lavender for my first batch and it is lovely. In the future I plan to make some muscle soak bath bombs, detox bath bombs, and other combinations with my essential oils – to snag some Young Living lavender or other oils click here – https://www.youngliving.com/en_us/products/lavender-essential-oil?sponsorid=3136396&enrollerID=3136396
  • If you’d like to change the colors of your bath bombs try using beet juice, blueberry juice, carrot juice, or these natural food colorings –

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine dry ingredients in a bowl
  • Melt your coconut oil
  • If you’re using food coloring, add it to the melted coconut oil and mix
  • Now add your essential oils to the melted oil
  • Add coconut oil mixture to the dry ingredients and mix
  • Add mixture to your molds of choice
  • Freeze for 15 – 20 minutes
  • Remove from molds and enjoy

Here’s the molds I used –

These would be great for Valentine’s Day gifts –

Organic Elderberry Syrup

There is always more to learn when it comes to staying above the wellness line, supporting our health, supporting our immune systems, and doing so with nature’s medicine.

I naturally like to go against the grain, play devil’s advocate, and resist anything that is popular or trendy. Elderberry syrup is all the rage lately, and while I had bought a bottle years and years ago, before it was popular of course, I hadn’t given it much thought since I am covered with natural support with my essential oils, supplements, nutrition, and more!

But, I finally decided to do some research on Elderberry syrup, and in doing so I realized that my family and I were already taking a daily supplement and taking more when we were feeling off, that had even more powerful support for the body, and was less expensive than Elderberry syrup! I love when that happens!

Ningxia Red, has similar properties as Elderberry syrup with the added benefits of a complete amino acid profile, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, the ability to protect eyes from age-related diseases like macular degeneration, promoting liver and kidney health and cleansing, increasing energy levels, boosting the mood, and benefiting the reproductive system.

Ningxia Red also contains d-limonene adding extra immune support and more (go to google scholar and check out the benefits of d-limonene), as well as extra antioxidant protection, detoxification support, cleansing, and more.

Ningxia Red also contains freshly picked, fully ripe, organic Ningxia wolfberries, which are pureed to contain tons of fiber, and to ensure the nutrients remain intact and available. The essential oils help bring these nutrients and antioxidants to the cells as essential oils are lipid soluble, giving them the power to cross the cell membrane, and increase assimilation of any supplement they are added to! The difference between containing the whole fruit versus elderberry syrup, which only contains water that the berries were boiled and simmered in, is huge when it comes to antioxidant, vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient properties.

Both elderberry syrup and Ningxia Red support heart and cardiovascular health, help stabilize blood sugar, promote regularity, improve immune function, and support healthy skin. Both have been used medicinally for thousands of years in ancient cultures.

Another difference between elderberries and Ningxia wolfberries is that elderberries are not edible in their fresh or dried form. They are toxic when uncooked and can only be safely consumed when cooked, or made into a tincture. Ningxia wolfberries can be eaten fresh, dried, made into tea, added to salads, granola, muffins, and more.

I concluded that my elderberry syrup would also contain Ningxia wolfberries and essential oils so that I could combine the best of both worlds for when we are under the weather. I still prefer the fresh, whole, pureed wolfberries in our daily Ningxia Red for prevention and daily antioxidant full body support, but may add a bit of elderberry syrup when someone in my family is sick, or I may just up their daily Ningxia Red intake and add in extra Thieves and Citrus oils, which is what I’ve been doing all along, I told you I like to go against the grain.

However you decide to use elderberry syrup, my recipe is below! Enjoy and have a healthy year!

If you want more information on Ningxia Red and Ningxia wolfberries, scroll past the recipe!

Organic Elderberry Syrup Prep Time 20 minutes. Cook Time 1 hour Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes Servings 2 – 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 3.5 cups filtered water
  • 1/3 cup dried organic black elderberries (or 2/3 cup fresh or frozen) – https://amzn.to/3a97RUU
  • 1/3 cup dried organic Ningxia wolfberries (see below to order)
  • 2 TBSP organic ginger (grated)
  • 1 tsp organic cinnamon
  • ½ tsp organic ground cloves
  • 1 cup organic raw honey (Manuka (https://amzn.to/2U7htdf) or local recommended)
  • Young Living Essential oils of choice (Thieves, Tangerine, Orange, Nutmeg, Ginger, Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Red Shot, Cassia, etc.)

Instructions

  • Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the elderberries, wolfberries, ginger, cinnamon,and cloves.
  • Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
  • Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
  • Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
  • Pour through cheesecloth (https://amzn.to/33QoalT) and a strainer (https://amzn.to/2PcZ6RQ) into a glass jar or bowl.
  • Discard the berries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
  • When it is no longer hot, add the honey and essential oils and stir well.
  • When the honey is well mixed , pour the syrup into a mason jar or glass bottle (I used these https://amzn.to/2Mxl7JC)
  • Store in the fridge and take daily, alternating days, or only when under the weather

Instant Pot option: Put all ingredients except honey and essential oils in pot, seal lid, and set manually for 9 minutes on high pressure. Vent pressure and strain. When cooled to room temperature, stir in the honey and essential oils.

Standard dose is ½ – 1 teaspoon for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults. If under the weather, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

NINGXIA RED and NINGXIA WOLFBERRIES

The Ningxia Wolfberry, the highest known antioxidant food, is extremely high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are vital for preserving eye health by protecting vision from the free radical damage, protein destruction, and blindness that occur with age. 

Ningxia Red supports immune function, liver function, and eye health and increases energy. It supports brain and cognitive health as well as digestive health. Ningxia fortifies the cardiovascular system and supports healthy blood pressure levels while promoting restful sleep patterns. It aids the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response and enhances immune function. It also provides nutrients needed for healthy insulin sensitivity and promotes a feeling of satiety. Ningxia Red also supports proper muscle and joint health. 

It is the highest known protection against the dangerous superoxide free radicals, it is rich in ellagic acid, polyphenols, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, it has 18 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, beta-carotene, and vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E. It is an excellent whole-food source of nutrients that gives energy and strength to the body without harmful stimulants.

1 oz. of Ningxia Red has the same antioxidant power of:

  • 100 oranges
  • 814 blueberries
  • 22 carrots
  • 10lbs. of spinach
  • 59 broccoli florets
  • 73 strawberries
  • 93 apples

Some of Ningxia Red’s endless benefits:

  • Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels 
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Supports the immune system
  • Reduces absentmindedness
  • Major anti-aging properties
  • Great for digestion
  • Strengthens muscles and bones
  • Lots of Vitamin E, B, and amino acids
  • Detoxes kidneys and liver
  • Supports vision and eyesight and gives energy and vitality
  • Provides omega 3 fatty acids
  • Boosts energy naturally

The Ningxia Wolfberry is grown organically in the Ningxia Province of China, and pureed immediately after harvesting, at the peak of its ripeness.  The Ningxia Province of China is considered a Blue Zone, because 400% more people who are 100 years old and older, live without canes to get around or glasses to help them see, and they are overall much healthier and live much longer and in amazing health than most other places in the world. The locals in Ningxia China have been eating these berries for thousands of years. 

More about the Ningxia Wolfberry:

✭A “virtual vitamin capsule in the form of a fruit”, the Wolfberry contains over 21 essential minerals, 18 amino acids and extraordinarily high levels of thiamin (B1), niacin (B3) and vitamin C. It is the highest known food source of B1, and contains 2x the daily recommendation of vitamin C in 100 g of berries. 

✭Within the plant kingdom, the Ningxia wolfberry’s mineral profile and mineral balance are unparalleled. Minerals (calcium, zinc, copper, chromium, magnesium, potassium and manganese) are important for many bodily functions, but they must be properly balanced. The Ningxia wolfberry contains ideal mineral proportions: almost 1:1 magnesium to calcium, 2:1 zinc to copper, and 8:1 potassium to magnesium ratios. 

✭With a total of 15.6% protein by weight, the Ningxia wolfberry has more protein than bee pollen

✭ It is rich in amino acids L-arginine and L-glutamine. The wolfberry contains 1.4% of the branched chain amino acid L-leucine as well as significant amounts of tyrosine which is a key building block for dopamine production. Dopamine is an essential neurotransmitter in the brain that decreases with age.

✭21% fiber by weight, which means it has one of the highest percentages of fiber of any whole food. 

✭ The Glycemic Index is 29, compared to brown rice (66), millet (72), buckwheat (54). 

✭ It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2000 years, and its use was first recorded around 200 BCE in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, an ancient book detailing the medicinal and agricultural knowledge of the mythical Chinese emperor Shen Nong. The Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing is the oldest book on Chinese herbs, and records 365 traditional herbs that are classified into three grades: (1) top, (2) middle, and (3) low. Wolfberry is one of the 120 herbs belonging to the top grade, which was believed to have remarkable health benefits. Long-term use of wolfberry was considered beneficial for strengthening the body, keeping fit, prolonging life, and easing life through all the seasons.

Ingredients in Ningxia Red: Ningxia Wolfberry puree, pure Orange, Yuzu, Lemon, and Tangerine essential oils, along with blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices 

*Halal and Kosher certified

Drink 1 – 2 oz. a day for optimal health, and more when your body needs extra support

HOW TO ORDER

There are a number of ways to order Ningxia wolfberries and Ningxia Red. The most popular way is with the purchase of a Ningxia Red kit, as it offers a great savings, includes a wholesale account (like a Costco account but with Young Living). It gives you 24% off for life, with no requirements or stipulations, order if and when you want.

Another way to order is with the purchase of a basic kit for $35 which includes a Stress Away oil (vacation in a bottle, diffuse and apply to lower stress and calm the body), a Thieves hand sanitizer (kills 99.9% of germs naturally while not drying out the hands), a Thieves spray (similar to the sanitizing gel, but in spray form, spray on all the gross things), and 2 Ningxia Red 2 ounce packets (for drinking on the go, putting in your children’s lunches, etc.). This basic kit also includes the wholesale account, so you can add on any Ningxia Red products, the organic dried Wolfberries, or whatever else you’d like to try with the wholesale price of 24% savings off retail.

The last way to order, is by purchasing retail. This is 24% more than wholesale but you don’t need to purchase a kit to order.

No matter which way you order, if you order through this link http://bit.ly/AmyStanfordYL, or put this number in both boxes as who referred you 3136396, you will automatically receive loads of education and support from me. Don’t worry, not by annoying emails, but through Facebook and Instagram private educational pages, in person and online classes, happy mail, recipes, prizes, and more!

If you order this month, October of 2019, you’ll also receive free shipping with the Ningxia Red kit, and I also have a $20 off promo code for the first person who is ready to grab their Ningxia Red kit, or any other premium kit. Just email me at amystanfordnutriton@gmail.com and let me know you’re ready!

HOW TO ORDER – STEP BY STEP

Ningxia Red Kit

Get Started with Ningxia Red

The best way to get started with NingXia Red is with the purchase of the Ningxia Red Starter kit.  To ensure you never run out, click yes when it asks you if you would like to enroll in Essential Rewards (optional). Then, click yes when it asks you if you’d like to use your kit order as your first Essential rewards order.  That way you get an extra free oil and an automatic $10 back in points for free products.  Then click to add the Ningxia Red Essential Rewards kit into your next month’s order, or click “customize monthly order” and add in whatever Ningxia products or other oils, skin care, make-up, body care, hair care, cleaning, laundry, supplements, or essential oil products you’d like to try next month.  See below for a description of Essential Rewards.

The Ningxia Red Kit includes:

  • NingXia Red 2-pack
  • 30 NingXia Red Singles (2 fl. oz. ea.)
  • NingXia Nitro (14 pack)
  • Stress Away™ 5-ml
  • AromaGlide™ Roller Fitment
  • Thieves® Mints
  • Thieves® Waterless Hand Purifier
  • 2 Additional NingXia Red 2-oz. samples
  • Essential Oil Magazine

How to order:

  1. Go to http://bit.ly/AmyStanfordYL
  2. Scroll down and click continue
  3. Click “Other Premium Kits”
  4. Click “Ningxia Kit”
  5. If you’d like to ensure you don’t run out of Ningxia Red, or you’d like to try new products each month, and get a free oil as well as $10 back in points for free products with your Ningxia kit purchase, click yes for both questions on step 2 (optional)
  6. Then click to add the Ningxia Red Essential Rewards kit into your next month’s order, or click “customize monthly order” and add in whatever Ningxia products or other oils, skin care, make-up, body care, hair care, cleaning, laundry, supplements, or essential oil products you’d like to try next month (you can change your next month’s order anytime).
  7. Scroll down and click “Next”
  8. Enter your personal information, select your shipping method, and checkout
  9. Your order will be shipped directly to you

Once you order, email me at amystanfordnutrition@gmail.com to let me know. I will add you to our private education pages on Facebook and Instagram, and send you recipes, resources, books, and tools to help you get started!

Email me at any time before, during, or after you order with any questions you may have!

What is Essential Rewards?

Essential Rewards (or ER for short) is Young Living’s optional monthly wellness box program that allows us to customize our own order each month (only a minimum of 50PV or $50 per month)!  

Each month we get points back with our order:

  • 10% back in points for free products months 1 – 3
  • 20% back in points for free products months 4 – 24
  • 25% back in points for free products months 25+

We also get a free peppermint oil after 3 consecutive months ordering, a free Thieves after 6 consecutive months ordering, a free Tea Tree after 9 consecutive months ordering, and a free Loyalty oil after 12 consecutive months ordering! We also get faster and cheaper shipping (sign up for YL Go or Go Plus which is Amazon Prime for Young Living, for even faster and cheaper shipping), and free oils each month depending on how much we order.

Instead of buying our toothpaste, hand soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, skin care, make-up, supplements, etc. elsewhere, we buy them through Young Living and get so many freebies along with better health for our whole family!!!

My Homebirth Experience

What led me to homebirth?

After 2 traumatic hospital births, traumatic for different reasons, hard life lessons learned in taking back my power, and not trusting in others as I had before the birth of my first two babies, and with the support of my husband, I knew that if I were to have a third baby, I would have a homebirth.  

I knew I wanted to remain in the comfort of my own home, with my own things, my own people, being able to labor in peace without having to go anywhere or do anything that didn’t resonate with my body and my intuition, and allow my body to do what it innately is made to do.  

I knew that when my baby came into the world I wanted to have 100% control in what happened next.  I wanted my baby’s gut to be populated with our family’s bacteria and not the bacteria in the hospital.  I knew I wanted the cord to remain connected for as long as possible.  I knew I didn’t want any vaccines, eye drops, injections, baths, anything intrusive to my new baby.  I also knew I wanted full control of my own body.  To birth in whatever way, position, time, my body desired.  I didn’t want to be poked, prodded, made to lie down, anything intrusive happening to my body during the birthing process.

I knew that fear is what leads to pain, and that pain could be greatly reduced or eliminated with the elimination of fear.  Being allowed to fully tap into the primal instinct, the body’s release of endorphins, and staying in my comfort zone would lead to a much better labor, delivery, and after birth experience.   

How did I find a midwife?

A friend of mine had previously had a homebirth, so I asked her for recommendations.  She told me who she used and why she chose the woman she chose.  She also told me about another midwife and the pros and cons of using her as well.  I researched both of these women, met with one of them, and decided she was the fit for me and our family.

How did my pregnancy look as far as appointments and doctors’ visits?

At the beginning, I started meeting with my midwife, and a regular ob/gyn through my insurance.  For the first 4 months, I continued meeting with both.  I was very uncomfortable meeting with the regular ob/gyn because I felt like I was always saying no, turning down tests, vaccines, etc. When I told my ob/gyn about my homebirth plans, he was very unsupportive and even threatened me, saying that if something were to go wrong and I showed up at the emergency room, that no ob/gyn would help me because I had started off as a homebirth. He tried to place fear in me. He tried and tried to convince me to have a hospital birth, have every test and vaccine, etc. etc.  I had a dream one night that I asked my midwife if I could stop going to my ob/gyn visits and she said yes, and I was so relieved.  I told her about my dream, and she said “you can stop going to see your ob/gyn”.  It was such a relief.  No more feeling like a criminal, feeling like a lawyer pleading my case, and being uncomfortable with every doctor visit.  From that point on I never went to the ob/gyn again.  

What was my experience like?

I absolultely loved having a homebirth.  My midwife came to my home for all of my prenatal visits.  She allowed my other 2 children to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, she answered their questions, she explained everything, got to know me and our family intimately, asked tons of questions, answered any and all questions, recommended books, classes, research articles, and educated us on every last detail of everything.  

We chose to have a water birth.  My first two babies came early (3 weeks, and 2 weeks early), so we had the birthing tub blown up and ready to go by the time I was 37 weeks along.  I believe for many reasons my son came late.  There was no pressure from a doctor to induce, schedule anything, etc.  There were no internal checks to see how dilated or effaced I was.  There was no pressure from anyone or anything.  My baby and I were allowed to do things when both our bodies were ready. 

The night I went into labor I was dreading the next day.  My husband, who is a firefighter, would be working a 24-hour shift and leaving me with a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old.  I was dreading walking up the hill to softball practice, because by this point walking was nearly impossible.  I was at 40 weeks 5 days, and at 5’ 1” with a giant watermelon in my belly, I was very uncomfortable.  

We went to bed, and as soon as I laid down, I had a very painful contraction.  I laid there breathing through it and waited to see if there would be another one. Sure enough, another contraction came shortly after, and I knew this baby was coming fast.  My husband called the midwife and started filling up the birthing tub.  He prepared the bed with a tarp under sheets that we didn’t care if they got stained, and I worked through my increasingly painful contractions.  I went into a la-la land zone pretty quickly.  It was like an alternate universe where I was loopy, groggy, and in my own world.  The tub couldn’t be filled up right away as we ran out of hot water.  Eventually when the tub was filled I immediately got inside. The midwife and her assistant arrived and began setting up.  I absolutely loved being in the water, but during each contraction I felt the urge to stand and lean on my husband.  My torso is extremely short, so by standing and elongating my torso, baby and I were more comfortable during each contraction and we had gravity on our side. After a while I asked what was happening (remember the alternate universe). They told me I was having the baby and I said “oh, thank god.”

After a few hours, I said I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. Everyone encouraged me to make my way to the toilet.  That idea sounded awful as I didn’t want to get out of the water.  We went back and forth like this for a while and my midwife kept ensuring me that the pressure I felt was the baby ready to be born. I knew she was right, but I also knew what else would be coming out with the baby and didn’t want to do that in the water, yet didn’t want to get out of the water. Eventually they convinced me to get on the pot. They placed me on the toilet straddling it, facing the toilet tank with my arms resting on the tank.  They gave me a spoonful of honey, for a little power, and had me smell peppermint essential oil while eating the honey so as not to become nauseous.  The first contraction that I had on the toilet brought with it a deep, guttural, Amazonian yelp that came out of nowhere.  I immediately worried about my daughters (who were asleep in the other room) being woken up, and asked someone to please close the bedroom door.  My midwife knew, from that sound that had emitted from my being, to take a look below, into the toilet bowl, and sure enough my little guy was out to his eyebrows.  Well at this point, I couldn’t walk back to the tub, so my husband lifted me off the pot and placed me back into the birthing tub.  I rested my head on my arm on the edge of the tub.  I was on all fours and asked for someone to hold my hand. My midwife held onto my hand, my husband got into position to catch the baby, and on my first contraction back in the water my sumo wrestler baby flew out (poor guy had been wanting to come out for a few hours).  All in all, it was 3 hours and 56 minutes from my first contraction as I laid down to go to bed, to when Grant was born.  My husband caught him, but there hadn’t been time for the midwives to explain how things work when baby shoots out behind mom.  My husband instinctively raised Grant up and out of the water. But I was still on all fours with my sweet baby behind me and no way for me to see him.  With the help of my midwives lifting my leg over the umbilical cord and my husband maneuvering the baby under my leg I was able to hold him for the first time.  My first thought was that he looked like a football player.  Big, broad shoulders, huge hands, chubby face (he was 9 pounds and 22 1/4 inches long).  But my euphoria was short lived as I began having contractions again.  Ugh, I thought and said “I’m having contractions”.  My midwife explained that it was the placenta.  I was unable to deliver the placenta laying in the tub, so I had to give my sweet baby to my husband while I stood up to deliver the placenta, thanks gravity!

I made it to the bed, and was able to nurse my sweet boy and snuggle in the comfort of my own bed.  My girls were able to meet their new brother that morning when they woke up.  They had gone to bed without a brother and woken up with a new baby brother.  

Homebirth aftercare is impeccable!

The aftercare may have been the part of the experience that was the most awe inspiring.  Not only did my midwife take expert care of my baby and I physically, the care for my emotional health was amazing.  I was encouraged to write down my birth story.  Triumphs, disappointments, positives, negatives, every emotion.  I was asked about my emotional health, offered advice and encouragement, cared for on such a deep level, and was allowed to heal mentally, physically, and emotionally at my own pace, provided with the tools, resources, and support to do so.  

Hindsight is 20/20 

In hindsight, there are a few things I would have done differently. I would have definitely hired a birth photographer, and a doula.  At the time, I thought that paying for the midwife and homebirth as well as the hypnotherapy classes was already going a little overboard.  Now, I realize how amazing both of these things would have been. I also, would have paid to have my placenta encapsulated.  While I seriously considered this, and did save my placenta (we ended up burying it in the backyard under a fruit tree), I looked at it as an extravagant expense. This would have been a priority over a doula and birth photographer if I were to have another baby.  I tend to lose more blood than I should during childbirth, and having my placenta encapsulated I believe would help me so much in gaining back strength and healing more quickly.  

This is some of my homebirth story.  I highly recommend homebirth to anyone considering it.  I am open to any and all questions regarding homebirth. Feel free to comment here or email me at amystanfordnutriton@gmail.com.  If you are local to the Inland Empire and are looking for someone to pick up your placenta and encapsulate it for you, I highly recommend Toni Kinsman Consulting.  If you are local to the Inland Empire and are looking for midwifery services I highly recommend Lisa Marie Sanchez Oxenham of Sacred Journey Midwifery,  Karen Pecora of Blessed Beginnings, and Karen Baker of Birthsense and Beyond.  Wishing you all empowerment and strength in your womanhood.  

Making Raw Sauerkraut

Let’s talk probiotics
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A perfectly healthy person (do they even exist), has approximately 100 trillion microorganisms from 400 different species flourishing in their intestinal tract aiding in digestion, absorption of nutrients, and the production of B vitamins, vitamin K, and enzymes. ⠀⠀⠀
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These beneficial bacteria crowd out harmful bacteria and allow your body to work optimally. 
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Levels of these beneficial bacteria need to be maintained throughout life by consuming cultured/fermented foods, prebiotic foods, and probiotic supplements (if one does not consume adequate amounts of fermented foods and/or is ill or recovering).
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Levels of good bacteria in the gut can decline for many reasons including taking antibiotics, taking NSAIDS like Advil, Motrin, Midol, etc., taking birth control pills, due to chlorine in drinking water which kills bacteria in the water as well as your intestines, changes in the acid/alkaline balance of the bowels, a diet low in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, radiation and chemotherapy, and many other ways.
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Conditions associated with low levels of beneficial bacteria include acne, ADHD, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, bladder and urinary tract infections, breast pathologies, cancer, cardiac problems, chronic fatigue, Colitis/Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, compromised immunity, constipation, depression, diarrhea, diverticulitis, ear and respiratory infections, foul breath and body odor, gastritis, headaches, hormonal imbalance, IBS, liver and gallbladder problems, migraine headaches, PMS, sinus problems, spastic colon, stomach bleeding, and yeast infections. ⠀⠀
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Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, beet kvass, kombucha, kefir, etc.
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It is fun and easy to make your own raw sauerkraut and fermented vegetables! ⠀⠀⠀

Here’s a super easy recipe that kids love to help with and also love to eat!

Grant making sauerkraut!


⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Raw Sauerkraut 
Yields about 2 quarts ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Ingredients ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2 large heads of organic cabbage (red or green) 
2 – 3 tbsp sea salt
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Directions ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1. Grate, shred, or finely cut 1 cabbage and place in a crock (here are a few great crocks https://amzn.to/2t6E8Ia, https://amzn.to/2GkNFmQ, https://amzn.to/2Dd0NaG, https://amzn.to/2DaHvCz), or large pot. Sprinkle half of the salt over the cabbage.
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2. Grate, shred, or finely cut the second cabbage, then add it to the crock along with the rest of the salt.
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3. Crush the mixture with your hands until liquid comes out of the cabbage freely (kids love helping with this part).
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4. Place a plate on top of the cabbage, then a weight on top of the plate (a weight can be a small glass jar filled with water). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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5. Cover container and check after 2 days. Scoop the scum off the top, repack, and check every 3 days. After 2 weeks, sample the kraut to see if it tastes ready to eat. The flavor will continue to mature for the next several weeks.
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6. Canning or refrigerating the sauerkraut will extend its shelf life. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Optional ingredients to add:
• 5 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 sliced onions
• 3 sliced poblano peppers 🌶 
• 5-10 chopped Brussels sprouts⠀⠀⠀⠀
• A handful of seaweed or any other vegetable 🥕
Add optional ingredients in when adding the salt.