Bite-Sized Balance

As most of you realize by now, I am incredibly devoted to feeding my body the necessary ingredients that it needs, ensuring that it runs efficiently. This translates to feeding my body REAL food. Now, this is not all about me. I am a mom, and I have babies to care for. So my habits follow with needing to feed my children real food too. I want my children to grow up knowing it is totally normal to eat five different fruits and vegetables per day, and that “green” is an okay color to eat! Although it may be minuscule, I also like to think I am doing my part to help fight the child obesity issue that has risen in our country, by making it very easy for my children, including my infant, to have access to REAL food.

As far as baby food goes, there is a distinct difference between freshly made baby food and jarred baby food. There are a few select brands of “pouched” baby food brands I will feed my kids that are all organic and cold pressed, and normally will just buy them if we are out and about and she needs something quick and healthy!

In order to make jarred or pouched baby food, it needs to be cooked at extremely high temperatures in order to kill the bacteria for a longer “storage life,” which simultaneously removes most of the food’s vitamins and nutrients as well as depletes the taste. Following with the depletion of nutritional benefits, two of the main differences would be the textures as well as the tastes. I don’t want to regularly feed my babies these jarred baby foods, just to have to reintroduce the real deal to them when they’re old enough to start eating whole foods. I want my kids to be very familiar with the flavors and textures, so I started right away!

Real food textures such as banana, sweet potato, cauliflower, are not found in jarred baby foods. Is there even a cauliflower baby food? Some foods do not come available jarred and I don’t want to limit their exposure of food to only what is available to me on aisle 4. Some may argue that it is cheaper, but I am not mainly concerned with saving the money.

However, I won’t deny the benefit of saving on cost. At an average of $1.00 per serving of a decent baby food brand, you could be spending up to $45.00 per week- nearly $200 a month! By making your own purees, you’ll spend a fraction of that. A mere $0.10 or less per serving, which is less than $5.00 a week. Makes “cents,” right? Lol.

What do I use to make my baby food? Thanks to Baby Brezza, I am able to make all of my baby’s meals using the baby food maker. I feel so good about giving my babies homemade food right from the start – free of preservatives, hormones and other unnecessary additives. Organic, pure foods as one would call them!

When I make my own baby food with my Baby Brezza baby food maker, I know exactly what I am feeding my baby. I can choose my own fruits, vegetables, and other foods to puree instead of relying on manufacturers to choose for me. You’re definitely not going to find melons, avocados, or cauliflower in the baby food section of the market. JUST SAYIN’. It also prepares my kids to eat the same foods that the rest of the family eats, just in puree form!

The way I prepare and store the baby food that I make varies. I usually steam quite a bit of their favorite fruits and vegetables, then I prepare a few and store them in the Baby Brezza baby food storage containers in my fridge for uses throughout the next few days. Since fresh foods do not have a lengthy shelf life, I also take what is left over and freeze it in silicone ice cube trays! Doing so ables me to go a while without having to prepare so frequently. Once I freeze the purees into cubes, I usually place them in silicone bags, like my stasher bags, so I am able to easily grab a baggy if we are going to be out for the day. Fresh fruits and veggies are typically very easy to distinguish due to their bright colors, however sometimes I’ll label them!

5 of my favorite purees to make for my babies are:

• Banana, oatmeal, blueberries

• Butternut squash and garbanzo beans

• Broccoli, avocado and pears

• Pears, spinach, and quinoa

• Sweet potatoes and cauliflower

All in all, I highly recommend getting yourself a professional baby food maker, and Baby Brezza makes the best one in my opinion! It is so easy! This one has helped me create a healthy lifestyle for me and my babies, and for that I am so thankful!

Thanks for reading!

-Amanda

xoxo

NON TOXIC & ORGANIC MEAL PREP on a budget!

I’m a huge advocate of weekly food prep. I am a mom, and literally never have time to make myself food when my kids are awake. Which is always😂 In addition, i love to meal Prep for my kids and my husband as well so we are all eating healthy as consistently as possible. I firmly believe that setting myself, and my family, up for successful eating for the week plays a major part in our health and happiness!

Food prep is probably the most under-rated, under-utilized healthy living tool. Making it a habit to spend even just one hour on the weekend to prep food can make a huge difference in your food choices during the upcoming week. BUT one thing people don’t know is, even when you buy and cook organic, if you store your food incorrectly it is being contaminated!

Plastic has its role in modern society. It’s an essential part of our life- for example: cars, computers, mobile phones, children’s toys – and practically most everything we use on a day-to-day basis. But there’s one place where plastic has worn out its welcome – and that’s as a container for the food we eat and the water we drink.

The bottom line is that plastic is made from toxic materials. It’s a known fact that these toxins can leach into whatever they come into contact with. And it’s a known fact that when the compounds that make up plastic are ingested, they damage your body on a cellular level and cause health problems.

For example, almost all plastics contain toxic chemicals that have a negative effect on immunity and hormone regulation, both of which directly affect fertility. Specifically, BPA has been found to make it more difficult for women to conceive and to cause increased risk of miscarriages. New research is also showing that toxins found in plastic can cause birth defects and developmental problems in children.

Like I said earlier, plastics are a nearly unavoidable part of our everyday lives. But there is a big difference between the plastic on your computer and the plastic that may come into contact with your lunch. You don’t eat your computer.

SOLUTION: USE GLASS. Prep Naturals is a meal prep company that uses GLASS containers to help you cook healthy food, and store it in a healthy way! And I have been lucky enough to provide you with a discount code in order to make your transition a bit less stressful! Code AMANDA15 to use on their site, www.prepnaturals.com !

But anywho, Buying organic, good quality food can be expensive but when meal prepping like this, it is a sure fire way to have good quality, real food meals for a bargain! I GOTCHU!!

5 DAYS OF ORGANIC GROUND BEEF & BBQ CHICKEN MEALS! (Trader Joe’s) Makes 10 containers total!

What you’ll need:

  • 3 large sized ORGANIC chicken breasts
  • 3 packages of ORGANIC ground beef
  • 1 bag of Organic Brown Rice OR 1 box microwaveable frozen brown rice
  • 3 bags organic broccoli florets (depending on how much broccoli you like!)
  • 1 bottle organic sriracha BBQ sauce (or any other organic sauce without canola oil that you like!
  • HOW TO!
    1. Preheat your oven to 350°F
      Get 10 GLASS Prep Naturals containers ready on the counter.
      Place your chicken breasts into a oven safe dish, pouring about half the BBQ sauce bottle over the chicken. Brush the sauce so it fully covers the chicken!
      Get a NON TOXIC non stick cookie sheet, and place all of your broccoli florets on the sheet! Lightly spray with avocado oil or olive oil. Season with pink Himalayan sea salt and organic garlic powder.
      Place the chicken (top rack) and the broccoli (middle or bottom rack) in the oven to cook. 20-30 mins.
      Cook your ground beef in a large skillet! Season with garlic powder, pink salt, cumin, southwest seasoning, and any other seasonings you enjoy! (I use Simply organic seasonings for everything!)
      Cook your brown rice accordingly.
      Once your beef is done, drain any excess fat, and scoop it into your Prep Naturals Containers! (I usually do about 3/4 cup of protein per container)
      Add roasted broccoli to all containers (About 1/2 cup)
      Slice chicken and add chicken to the other half of the containers.
      Add brown rice (About 1/2 cup) to each container.
      LET THE FOOD COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE PUTTING LIDS ON AND PLACING IN FRIDGE! Or if you have the Prep Naturals containers, flip the steam hole open to prevent any soggy food!
      ENJOY over the course of the week 🙂

    i

    REAL INGREDIENT PAD THAI

    Another yummy and savory dish comin’ at ya by me, Amanda aka @amandaaanicole_ !!

    I love peanut butter but I don’t have a huge sweet tooth(I know, I’m crazy!) so I find other ways to incorporate it into my dishes! I am a huge fan of pad Thai, however most dishes come with processed noodles or are made with GMO Ingredients that, if consumed in excess over time, will harm your body. So I have created a REAL INGREDIENT alternative recipe, made with simple pantry staples that will blow your mind! Hope you enjoy!!!

    SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

    1/3 cup organic chicken or vegetable stock (water works just fine too!)

    2 tablespoons Organic Tamari (or soy sauce)

    3 tablespoons brown sugar

    3 tablespoons of Wild Friends classic creamy peanut butter

    1 tablespoon organic lime juice

    1 tablespoon organic coconut vinegar (you can also use white vinegar)

    1 tablespoon Sriracha

    1 tablespoon Garlic chili sauce (depending on your spice tolerance…if you don’t like spicy use half the amount of sriracha and garlic chili sauce)

    1 teaspoon minced ginger or 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

    1 teaspoon minced garlic

    PAD THAI INGREDIENTS:

    4 ounces of organic spinach fettuccini noodles

    1 teaspoon sesame oil

    2 organic eggs, beaten

    1 lb. chicken breast, cubed

    1/2 cup bean sprouts (optional)

    TO GARNISH (optional):

    Chopped cilantro

    Chopped peanuts (this takes it to a new level!)

    Lime wedges

    Sriracha

    Directions:
    1. Whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside to “fester”
    2. Cook noodles, then drain water and set aside.
    3. Preheat a skillet over medium heat and add sesame oil. Add chicken breast and cook until browned and cooked through.
    4. Push the chicken over to one side of the skillet and pour the beaten eggs into the skillet and scramble the egg in the skillet.
    5. Add the noodles to the skillet and then pour the sauce over the noodles. Cook on low for 5 mins, stirring frequently!
    6. Serve, and top with desired toppings and adjust spice level with more Sriracha!

    How to increase your milk supply!

    Hey mamas! Hey future mamas!

    Curious on how to boost your supply! Then this post is for you 🙂

    I love breastfeeding! It’s not only the most advantageous form of food for your baby but it’s wonderful for mama too! Breast milk is so nourishing for babies. It is loaded with nutrients and protective antibodies that help them grow and boosts their delicate immune systems and overall health from day 1!

    But what happens when you can’t produce enough milk for your baby? When we aren’t producing enough breast milk, at least for me, our first inclination is to panic… but that’s the last thing we want to do. Stress can deplete milk supply more than anything else! So don’t panic. Know you’re not alone! All moms go through a period where their milk supply appears to be depleting, whether that be from the start, when they return to work, or just randomly!

    It can be really discouraging for us as mamas and a lot of the time you just want to give up, because you feel like a failure and there is just no use. But I am going to share with you the best tips to help boost your supply, so you and your baby can continue to reap the benefits of breastfeeding!

    The number one and most natural and effective way to increase your supply is your baby’s suckling- there ain’t nothin like it! FYI- breast milk production is all about supply and demand. Don’t worry if your boobies don’t feel full or think baby isn’t getting much milk at first, the sucking reflex will help stimulate more milk in the long run. So, anytime you can, especially in the early stages of life, bring your baby to you, and let them nurse, nurse, nurse!

    When you do nurse, go skin-to-skin! Wrap a blanket around the two of you and nurse away. It is not only incredibly bonding for mama and baby, it also helps release more of the hormones that produce milk as well as the milk ejector hormones.

    YOU HAVE TO get enough sleep and stay relaxed! Easier said than done with a newborn obvi but try as best you can. Studies have proven that us mommies produce more milk and have a better milk letdown when they are calm and relaxed. I’m a basket case sometimes so this is a personal challenge for me! 😉 Nap when baby naps. If you can – get a babysitter, a neighbor or family member to help out around the house so you don’t need to stress about chores. Cancel or eliminate too many outside activities and keep things simple. Order (healthy) takeout or better yet have friends or hubby cook you homemade meals in bulk for easy access to nutritious food! I always meal prep so I have anything and everything on hand!

    Be sure to drink A LOT of liquids. I’m not talkin’ your typical 64 oz a day. MORE! I know we hear this all the time but it really does makes a difference. You can’t produce a liquid without consuming them! Shoot for AT LEAST 100 oz. a day!

    As far as nutrition goes, many mamas have boosted supply by eating foods and spices that assist in production.

    FOODS: oatmeal, barley, millet, quinoa, almonds, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds

    SPICES: fennel, ginger and turmeric

    SUPPLEMENTS: Brewer’s yeast’ moringa powder, Mother’s Milk tea, and fenugreek

    Some great products to try are by Mrs. Patel’s!

    I love this company because their goal is to support women. They believe food is medicine, and they strive to heal and nourish with their natural products. Their mission is to help you feed your child, and want your body to feel better and we want you to know that you are supported every step of the way! They’re not just a business, they’re a community!

    Love chocolate and coconut? Me too! My favorite are the gluten-free and vegan chocolate lactation bars. They’re handcrafted and made fresh with over a dozen premium ingredients including fenugreek, which is an herb traditionally used for lactation!

    The best lactation tea is the chai- which is rich and sweet! Warming cinnamon, clove, aromatic cardamom and rooibos, which is a sweet red tea from South Africa that provides vital antioxidants! CAFFEINE & FENUGREEK FREE! Each batch is mixed by hand and contains the highest quality ingredients.

    The MUNCH CRUNCH is a versatile lactation sprinkle which helps with lactation and digestion. Tossed with turmeric and lemon, this savory crunch is an easy way to make any meal or snack lactation-friendly! Sprinkle them on yogurt, toss them into salads, blend them into smoothies, or just have them on their own! YUM!

    As far as food goes, be sure you are eating enough to keep up with the demands of nursing. For exclusive breastfeeding, you should be consuming at least 500 calories extra calories per day.

    Pumping can also be a great way to keep your milkies stimulated and produce more milk. I know from experience that consistent pumping really works! So immediately after a feeding, pump until all of your milk drains from both sides and then continue for an additional 5 minutes, even if there is no milk coming out- because the stimulation will still help. Aim for 15-30 minutes for each side. Milk production is often higher in the middle of the night (because you’re resting) so you may want to set an alarm and pump during this time as well. It’s hard, but it’s worth it!

    Obviously a decrease in supply can happen if your baby isn’t latched correctly because your breasts may not be stimulated enough. Be sure to correct any bad latch habits but also be sure there are no anatomical issues that are preventing a good latch, like baby being lip tied, tongue tied or mama having any breast issues there as well. These issues can be fixed so baby and mom can be breastfeed successfully. If this sounds like you be sure to see a lactation consultant! There is no shame in that! I’ve seen quite a few in my day and you can learn so much!

    If you have a sleepy baby that falls asleep before they finish nursing both sides, a technique I ALWAYS practice is as follows: a few minutes into nursing, switch baby to the other side. By doing this you you’ll most likely keep them awake to feed more. Keep switching back and forth when you notice baby starting to doze off or until both sides are drained. You can double feed, which means to nurse, take a break by burping baby, and then place them back on for another feeding session. By taking the burping break, you are releasing gas bubbles in their tummy that allow more room for milk!

    I hope these tips can help you! And hopefully this info will help you increase your breast milk supply naturally, so you can be back in the swing of things in no time! 🙂

    Happy Milking 🙂

    -Amanda

    xoxo