A recipe for postpartum wellness

 Posted by on February 11, 2016
Feb 112016

Blog post by Jenni

One of the things most of our clients learn about me is that I love cookbooks. I also seem to have grown up being infused with a love of lists, and I make mental lists even when there is no paper available. A recipe, to me, evokes both of these in a succinct, yet entirely flexible format for ultimate enjoyment. Like many recipes, the ‘recipe’ I used for my postpartum time worked well, with some tweaks along the way. Like all recipes, it may work for some and not for others, depending on what you have in your kitchen already (though that’s part of the recipe) and what your body and mind want and need at the time. I don’t know anyone who has sailed through the fourth trimester without a few days (or more) of discouragement and challenge so I was really prepared for emotional mood swings and lots of doubt. Physically you have to recover from the birth also (my first preoccupation). The combination that worked for me is below. Feel free to substitute as needed, or to ask your midwives (wink, wink) for other suggestions.

Fourth Trimester Wellness

  • Rest and physical relaxation
  • A key support person
  • Community surrounding
  • Bodywork for as many in the family as you can afford
  • Gentle steps outwards into the broader community


Begin the fourth trimester with a home set-up that is as restful and as physically relaxing as possible. This may be hard with older kids and other responsibilities but try and keep your space as gentle on you and your new baby as possible. We were lucky in that our teenagers are quite self-reliant, other than meals, and Christy and I were able to cuddle with Haven a good part of every day after he was born. We had a couple of interruptions to the restful space (he was born just a few days before the fourth of July) and I just kept as cocooned as possible, sleeping as much as possible.

The key then is to stay in that space for at least ten days. I didn’t move far from my bed for at least 9 days; on the tenth day I walked down the driveway to the mailbox and back. That’s all. I believe that the time I took (and was able to take – so grateful for a little bit of paid work leave) was one of the key reasons that Haven breastfed so well. He still doesn’t have an amazing latch (at 7 months!) but I gave my body the physical rest it needed to help us both learn how to breastfeed and for my physical body to heal from birth. Ten days is just a minimum, by the way; cross-culturally forty days is much more common.

Add in a key support person, partner or like-minded family member to help ease this physical transition. For me, Christy’s physical presence in the house constantly for the first week and her making and feeding me meals totally made it possible for me to enjoy the early time with Haven.  Her knowledge and experience as a mom before and as a midwife of course didn’t hurt either, but you don’t need to have a midwife live with you 24/7 to feel supported and able to focus on your baby. An identified person who knows your probable needs postpartum and who is relatively comfortable with babies can and has made a huge difference for new parents who have just birthed. I’ve seen it over and over again as a midwife, and so we planned for Christy to have the least amount of other responsibilities in early July as she could manage to do and still pay our bills. I was lucky to have additional support people too, after our practice work started up again. My mother arrived after about three weeks and appeared a little surprised at our already established routine. She helped our garden survive the hottest part of the summer, and her presence and her stories of me as a baby made those next two weeks very sweet as we watched Haven growing and having more alert periods. My dad visited around week eight, listened to all my excitement and my worries equally, and got to witness the first smiles and giggles and Haven trying to roll over. Christy’s parents, our constant support people, continued helping us out regularly with house stuff and being with Haven when I returned to work in September.

Our community is amazing and we let them surround us in the postpartum. So much generosity!We had not organized meal deliveries (which IS something we recommend to clients in our practice), but our community stepped up and about every three days for the first four weeks we had lovely meals cooked or picked up for us, and no one stayed too long! We did make a typical mistake and had three sets of people visit the day after he was born, but we quickly realized that was too much for me and for him and we dialed it way back for the first week. Everyone who offered something was totally fine with us setting limits on how they could help, and I was glad that Christy could help set these boundaries for all of our sake.

The one exception to leaving the house initially may be to add in some bodywork or other healing treatments for you as the birthing parent and the baby. We got preventative and healing bodywork for both him and I AND Christy, several times in the first three weeks, and all of us did so much better because of that. Cranio-sacral or similar bodywork is such a wonderful start for babies, as I’ve seen again and again, and Haven was no exception. It even seemed to accelerate the disappearance of the mild jaundice he had, though there is nothing in the research that I can find that would support that. Our appointments were made in the middle of the day (to minimize time spent in traffic) and were short initially. We also only went to practitioners who we know to be good with babies so that he and I could both go at the same time. (The MotherBloom website has a list of these, and people who want to gift something to new parents can get gift certificates for them from most of these practitioners.)

There are lots of additional things that can help individuals, but the time does come when you want to be out in the wider world again. The ninth or tenth week mark was very emotional for me. This was about the time when Christy started to have more births again, and five nights in a row of being with Haven almost completely on my own really wore me out. I had also started working three days a week and, though Haven was sleeping two long stretches a day, I was still tired from the feedings every two hours at night. Luckily, I had been considering another part of the ‘prescription’ I often talk to new parents about: community building with other parents. At the last minute, I contacted Lanell Coultas about her local Mothers Unfolding group and was able to join that. It was a five-week one-morning-per-week get together facilitated by Lanell and as an amazing bonus we were fed by a lovely chef and parent herself, Raini Gomez, who also held babies when needed. The combination of nourishing food that I didn’t have to plan and prepare myself, and the lovely reflections that Lanell offered us were exactly what helped me enjoy the new baby time and relax into my role as a parent. As a bonus, I discovered the book Momma Zen through Lanell and that was inspirational to read during these weeks. The people in this group created a community too, as we found common questions and interests and connected individually as well.  I definitely credit that group and the peer-to-peer support with helping to further ease the next round of transitions, as we as a family figure out how to have two working parents and still meet all our commitments with home schooling one teenager and our daily farm chores, amongst other things.

This recipe has and is working really well for us. We are figuring out together how to have a sustainable and happy life, enjoying the support of each other and our community.


Group Prenatal Recipes 2/4/15

 Posted by on February 9, 2016
Feb 092016

Last Thursday at our group prenatal we made several recipes that everyone enjoyed.  I tried to make them easy for people to prepare.  The menu included: “clean out the refrigerator” quinoa salad, sautéed greens, “cashew cheese” dip, and chocolate pumpkin truffles.

Quinoa Salad

1 cup leftover cooked quinoa

1 can black beans, drained and soaked in just boiled water for 10 minutes

2 green onions, chopped

half green pepper, chopped

small daikon radish, chopped

small amount purple cabbage, chopped

small amount kale, chopped

Mix all together in large bowl, I like to chop vegetables in very small pieces

Dress with combination of these: olive or sesame oil, soy sauce, a bit of honey, rice or other vinegar, salt, freshly ground pepper

Mix salad and dressing well, allow to sit for a bit before eating for flavors to meld, Enjoy!

Sautéed Greens 

1 bunch kale, collards, or other green of your choice, chopped (I like to cut the rib out of the middle of the leaf and chop into small chunks, then cut the leaf into bite size pieces)

1-2 TBSP olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee

1-2 TBSP rice vinegar

1-2 TBSP nutritional yeast

Melt oil or ghee in skillet over medium heat, do not allow to smoke. Add chopped rib pieces and sauté for 3-5 minutes, then add greens.  Sauté for several minutes, until greens are easily chewed when tasted. Remove from heat, add rice vinegar and nutritional yeast. Mix well and enjoy.

Cashew Cheese Spread

This recipe is from Heather Crosby at Yum Universe.  We really like her cookbook.

1 1/2 cups cashews soaked 2-24 hours, then drained and rinsed

1/3 cup pure water

2 TBSP lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

In a blender or food processor, puree together all ingredients until super smooth. Enjoy!

This last recipe I tore out of a Wheatsville Breeze newspaper years ago and just recently actually made it….two times in the last week 🙂 It’s very tasty with the coffee liqueur but we made it with apple juice for group prenatal.  I replaced the vanilla wafers with gluten-free short bread cookies I found at Wheatsville and I replaced powdered sugar with combination of maple sugar, coconut sugar, and cane sugar- and I used half of the sugar the recipe calls for.

truffle recipe

Oct 092015

When Jonah, my 17 year old, was a toddler we went to Boggy Creek Farm every Wednesday morning.  We watched the chickens, played in the sand, and bought lots of veggies for our week’s meals.  I have such fond memories of these mornings at Boggy Creek, Carol Ann and Larry, the farmers, are so friendly and helpful; I learned much of my early homesteading from them.  Carol Ann wrote an amusing book about chicken antics at the farm and she was always sharing recipes, like this one that I made at group prenatal last week.  It is a great introduction to cooking and eating greens of all kinds: kale, collards, chard, mustard, brussels….I hope you try it out, you can tell this piece of paper has been around for awhile.

greens recipe

This next recipe came to me from a client who brought these yummy cookies to us (well…to Jenni really but Laurel and I couldn’t help but eat several) after Haven was born.  They are so delicious, gluten-free, and nutrient dense.  There is 24 hour advance preparation needed for soaking the oats-this caught us by surprise when we made them the first time.  Thank you Anita for sharing this recipe for Oatmeal chocolate chip lactation cookies from Recipes To Nourish.


  •  2 cups gluten free rolled oats (I buy this)
  •  2 ½ cups warm filtered water, just enough to slightly cover the oats
  • 2 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar, whey, or kefir
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 2 organic carrots, peeled
  • 2 kale leaves, remove stem, tear into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon dried nettle
  • ½ cup cold pasture butter (I use this or this)
  • ½ cup honey (I use local raw clover creamed)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free organic vanilla extract (I buy this)
  • 2 cups soaked oats, from day before
  • 4 tablespoons chia gel, from day before
  • 1 ½ cups sprouted brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup gluten free chocolate chips

Full recipe with preparation instructions can be found HERE 



Mat & Kitchen = Pilates and Recipes

 Posted by on September 10, 2015
Sep 102015

Several months ago I signed up via a free month subscription promo for Tandy Gutierrez’s Mat & Kitchen  pilates website.  I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into but I am usually up for new things, a friend recommended it, and I was looking for new ways to get some exercise.  I couldn’t believe how much I loved it.  The videos are a short 30 minutes, they make me feel good, Tandy describes things very well, and the way she talks about exercise and nutrition is very centering.  After a few months of regularly doing the videos however, I realized that the diastasis recti (vertical separation of the abdominal muscles) that occurred during my pregnancies many years ago was starting to get a little bigger and was becoming uncomfortable.  I emailed Tandy asking if she had any advice for helping heal diastasis and she replied with an overwhelming yes!  I explained to her that this is a problem I encounter with many of my clients after pregnancy.  She then sent me many videos that are specifically for healing postpartum, no matter how many years ago the babies were born.  She also sent this great offer below for all of my clients !  I am hoping that many of you take advantage of her generous 1 month free offer.  Tandy is very approachable if you have questions and there are lots of great healthy recipes on her website for growing families.

This from Tandy:

I’m so happy to give you access to my site to see if it’s a fit for you.

Please ‘like’ the Mat&Kitchen fan page on Facebook if you haven’t already. Then explore the M&K website with the promo code below. Guest access is limited and by invite only.

The code below gives you 30 days FREE on my site It activates as soon as you complete the ‘Sign-Up’ info on the site. It zeros out your cart and charges you nothing.

On any day 1-30 you may ‘cancel’ the account if it’s not a fit for you but if you love M&K on day 31 you will be billed and begin your subscription to the site. Canceling is super easy from ‘My Account’ once you are logged in. It’s just a button click at any point.

Once you are on the site you are able to explore a full month’s archive of my 30-minute workouts that are posted fresh every 3 days, 300+ gluten and dairy free recipes and of course the M&K Food Reset to crack your own food code.

With an M&K subscription you have direct access to me as your personal trainer via email and social media any time you need motivation, support or guidance.

Plus, because you are using this promo code when you continue your subscription you will automatically get to keep the 30 day rewind on your account plus the ‘On the Mat Mommas’ custom folder in the account to start with 21 workouts in your video library, rather than just the single ‘Video of the Day’ as general new M&K subscribers do.

Please use the promo code: CTMAK at check out on

Reach out to me at any time and enjoy!

From Christy again: I am promoting this service because I believe in its value, not because I am receiving anything in exchange for the promotion. Try it out if it inspires you and let me know what you think!


Quinoa Energy Bars

 Posted by on April 7, 2015
Apr 072015

Another recipe from Ali Weatherford

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: About 18 (3 x 1.5 inch) bars.


2 cups regular oats

1 cup quinoa flakes

1/2 cup almonds and sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons sunbutter (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil with vegetable oil.
  2. Place the 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, maple syrup, peanut butter, and brown sugar in a microwave proof bowl or measuring cup. Microwave gently on low heat for 30 seconds or so, or until ingredients can be whisked together easily. Whisk in the vanilla and the salt.
  3. Mix the oatmeal and quinoa flakes together in a bowl. Coarsely chop the nuts and dried fruit, and stir them into the oatmeal mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Add the liquid mixture to the oat mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are well coated. The mixture should be sticky and should start to clump together. If it doesn’t, and it seems dry and crumbly, add more maple syrup until it does.
  5. Press the mixture down firmly into the pan. Grease a small piece of aluminum foil and use it to compress the mixture down into the pan as smoothly and firmly as possible.
  6. Place pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until grains appear toasted and smell fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Finish cooling pan in the refrigerator, and for best(least crumbly) results, wait until mixture is well chilled before cutting it into bars.

Berry Nutty Lactation Granola

 Posted by on April 7, 2015
Apr 072015

Thanks again to Ali Weatherford for this recipe


yields about 11 cups

  • 6 c Rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats)
  • 1 1/2 c raw, sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 c raw walnut pieces
  • 5 Tbsp Flaxseed meal
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp Brewer’s yeast
  • 1 1/3 c Honey
  • 2/3 c Coconut Oil
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 c Raisins
  • 1/2 c Dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c Dried blueberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, walnuts, flax, and Brewer’s yeast. In a small pot over medium heat, combine the honey and coconut oil, until thin and the coconut oil is completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour over the oat and nut mixture and stir very well, ensuring that everything is evenly coated. Spread on two parchment-covered cookie sheets.

Bake for 20 minutes, stirring about halfway through. As soon as the sheets are removed from the oven, stir in the raisins, cranberries, and blueberries. Cool completely.


Healthy Key Lime Pie recipe

 Posted by on April 7, 2015
Apr 072015

My new friend, Ali Weatherford, just sent me three new recipes to share!  Ali teaches Birthing From Within classes and these are a few of the recipes she shares with her clients. Enjoy!

Healthy Key Lime Pie


1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded dried coconut
3/4 cup macadamia nuts, unsoaked
3/4 cup walnuts, unsoaked
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup pitted medjool dates, unsoaked


3/4 cup chopped avocados (about 1 1/4 avocados)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup unpasteurized honey
Blueberries and freshly sliced kiwi fruit (optional garnish)



Combine coconut, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and sea salt in food processor and process until coarsely ground.

Add medjool dates and process until mixture looks like coarse crumbs and begins to stick together. Be sure not to process beyond this point.

Transfer coarse crumbs/crust into a 9″ pie plate. Use your fingers to gently distribute the crumbs in a uniform layer along the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Aim to build up the sides with about 3/4 of an inch of crumbs.

After the crumbs are evenly distributed, press the crust firmly against the bottom of the plate using your fingers. Be sure to press firmly near the junction between the bottom of the pan and the sides of the pan. Press firmly into the crust along the sides of the pan. Place completed crust in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.


Combine avocados, lime juice, and honey in a food processor and process until smooth. You may need to stop occasionally and scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula or spoon.

Bringing it Together

Use a spatula or spoon to spread filling over the bottom of the crust.

Peel kiwi, cut lengthwise, and slice into half-moons. Arrange kiwi slices around the outer edge of the pie – it looks especially nice when the slices are propped up at an angle.

Place blueberries (or any other berries like raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries) in front of kiwi slices.

Chill entire key lime pie for at least 2 hours before serving. This pie is best served chilled or slightly colder than room temperature.



Untraditional Bread Recipes

 Posted by on January 18, 2015
Jan 182015

At all of our group prenatal sessions, Jenni and I try to make a nice treat for our clients, something nutrient dense and easy to prepare.  Many of our clients are trying to eat less gluten and less carbohydrates in general.  Over the past several months, these two bread recipes came across our paths and we have made one or the other of them almost weekly.  Many of our clients have asked for these two recipes, so here they are. Hope you enjoy them as much as we have.



At our house we call this bread “Squirrel Bread” since it contains so many nuts and seeds.  This recipe originally comes from Sarah Britton, blogger at, My New Roots; she calls this “the life changing loaf of bread.”  Thanks to our acupuncturist friend, Alighta, for introducing the treat to us.  We often mix and match nuts and seeds based on what we have in our cupboard; we like to include hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and pecans, but anything you like will do.  The great thing about this bread is that it is held together with psyllium!  Psyllium hulls are an excellent fiber source, I often recommend it to my clients who are having trouble with constipation.  It definitely helps keep people going regularly.


1 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup flax seeds

1/2 cup hazelnuts or almonds

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

2 TBSP chia seeds

4 TBSP psyllium seed husks (3 TBSP if using psyllium powder)

1 tsp fine grain sea salt (1/2 tsp if using course sea salt)

1 TBSP maple syrup

3 TBSP melted coconut oil or ghee

1 1/2 cups water


1. Mix everything together in a bowl stirring until it forms a nice sticky “dough”

2. Put “dough” into bread pan (flexible silicon can work nicely but we use stoneware and it works fine too) and smooth down with the back of a spoon.

3.  Let bread sit on counter for at least 2 hours, or longer or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

5. Place bread pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove bread from loaf pan, and place it upside down directly on the oven rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes.

6. Let cool completely before slicing – very important!

7. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days.


Buckwheat Bread The first time I made it I was so excited I took a picture

Buckwheat Bread
The first time I made it I was so excited I took a picture

Buckwheat Bread

This recipe comes from the Canadian website Conscious Catering, via one of our dear clients who raved about it so much, we had to try it.  It’s called Infinite Buckwheat Bread. We love to eat it as a quick breakfast, especially with homemade sunflower seed butter.  It’s so yummy!


3 cups whole buckwheat (not roasted buckwheat also known as kasha)

½ -1 tsp salt (quality unrefined sea salt or Himalyan salt)


Coconut oil (for greasing pan)

Sesame seeds or poppy seeds


1. Rinse buckwheat well, rubbing the groats between your fingers for a few minutes, cover with water and soak overnight.

2. In the morning drain the buckwheat. The water will be mucilaginous and slimy, rinse well; leave the grains resting in a sieve for up to a minute.

3. Combine buckwheat with ¾ -1 cup fresh water and salt in a blend or food processor (vitamix works great). Blend for at least 1-2 full minutes or until there are no more visible pieces of buckwheat.  It should look creamy and very well blended.

4. Pour the batter (which should be pancake batter consistency) into a glass or plastic bowl, cover with a clean dish cloth and leave out at room temperature for approximately 24 hours to ferment.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease glass loaf pan liberally with coconut oil and sprinkle the bottom and sides generously with sesame or poppy seeds or both.

7. Pour batter into pan, place in oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees F. Bake for 1 hour.

8. Remove from oven and allow bread to cool for at least 1 hour before removing from pan. Let bread cool completely before cutting- again, very important!

9. For troubleshooting ideas or recipe variations, please see original recipe at the link above.


Refreshing Summer Drink

 Posted by on July 26, 2014
Jul 262014

Recently I came across this great summer drink recipe via my homeopath friend, Lauren Hubele, who got it from well + GOOD.  It provides perfect summertime refreshment using summer’s most cooling vegetables, fruits, and herbs.  I often tell my clients to eat watermelon and cucumber to help the body rid itself of the extra uncomfortable fluid that seems to gather in extremities while growing a baby, especially in the hot summer months. Both watermelon and cucumber are natural diuretics and coconut water contains a nice balance of electrolytes.

Watermelon Cucumber Smoothie

1 cup coconut water

1 small cucumber

1 cup frozen watermelon (de-seeded if you prefer)

2 leaves dinosaur kale (or any kale really)

juice of 1/2 lime

7 fresh mint leaves

combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth and drink





Fresh Blueberry Crumble

 Posted by on July 18, 2014
Jul 182014

For our group prenatal session yesterday, Jenni made a very good summer time, gluten-free treat for us.  She is often making something nutritious and yummy, and yesterday was no different.  The recipe is from Practical Paleo, a cookbook by Diane Sanfilippo.


2 pints fresh blueberries

juice of 1 lemon

1 cup almond meal/almond flour

1/4 cup chopped macadamia or walnuts (Jenni used pecans because it’s Texas)

1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 pinches sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 F

Put blueberries in a 9×9 inch baking dish, and squeeze the juice from half of the lemon over them.  Toss slightly to coat the blueberries with the juice.

In a mixing bowl, combine the almond meal or flour, chopped nuts, melted butter, remaining lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt.

Spread the nut /flour topping evenly over the blueberries. Bake until fruit is well cooked/bubbly and the topping is golden brown, approximately 30-40 minutes.




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