I need it for the kids: Tall tales of stocking the house with treats 24/7

Okay first thing is first. I must acknowledge summer has turned me into the world’s worst blogger. I can only hope our loyal fans are too busy to read as we are too busy to write. That too would be an excuse because we all have time…working on that. Onwards and upwards.

It may be no secret that I am indeed a Registered Dietitian, an opinionated one at that perhaps. Today I am here to share, yet another, opinion. This even borders on a rant. Okay it is a rant. Can we all cut the bull shit and stop saying we, as adults, are struggling to lead a healthier lifestyle/lose weight/control diabetes/blood pressure/fatty liver/etc. because the biggest hurdle is that avoiding treats is hard because our houses are stocked full of them FOR THE KIDS. Okay what!?

I literally hear this weekly, and now that summer has thankfully graced our lives, I hear it almost daily. The thing is, if you are struggling to lead a healthier lifestyle and eating almost the same food as your children are, would it not make sense that they will fall into the exact same pattern where they struggle with your exact same health issues!

Please, for the love of all that is good, stop stocking your house with treats. Set great examples of how to eat healthy and lead a healthy lifestyle. I promise, when treat night rolls around both you and your kids will actually appreciate the treat that much more! So goodbye chips, goodbye 2 for 1 ice cream sales, fruit gummies, and sweet, sweet cookies. You too fudge sticks and ice cream sandwiches, you too.

Here are some ideas for what to replace them with to make your entire household healthier!

70 Healthy On The Go Portable Snacks

 

 

To Carb or not to Carb, that is the question.

Low carb diets have been coming in and out of the dieting fad world for decades and there does not appear to be any sign of this trend slowing down. Although we may have learned little pearls along the way about what eating patterns sort of work and sort of do not work, social media of all types would prove we are still super dumb in the world of eating. The worst part is that the people with the loudest voices cheering for what does work are those with the least knowledge and education: The MLM’ers. That is, the multilevel marketers. Do what they do to look like they look. Buy what they are selling because it is going out the door like hot cakes. Sigh.

So here I am, simply a person with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, a year long internship alongside amazing dietitians, a Masters of Applied Human Nutrition, and 5 years of working in the nutrition trenches (#humblebrag) giving my two cents on whether or not low carb is the way to go. (PS if you aren’t sure what the eff a carb is, you can read my article on it here)

Defining low carb

So this is the most misunderstood component of a low carb diet I am sure, backed by nothing other than my personal opinion. To one person low carb may mean that they no longer eat bread and potatoes and to another it may mean they are in complete ketosis at all times. So, for the purposes of this article, I will create some definition:

Ultra Low Carb (Ketosis): Carb intake generally less than 50g/day

Low Carb: Carb intake generally  between 50-100g/d

Moderate Carb: 100-150g/d

Why would people want to eliminate carbs?

Great question. There is great merit in lowering carbohydrate intake as a strategy to lower weight, triglycerides, and insulin resistance. After all, if you consider that a person trying to lower their carbs also would significantly reduce their intake of all sweets, chips, cookies, granola bars, cereals, sugary beverages like juice and pop, french fries, and battered everything. So yeah, lowering carbsis definitely a bonus in that respect. But is their value is also tossing out all your fruit, milk, yogurt, starchy vegetables, grains, beans, and lentils?

That is where I get stuck, mostly because I love all of those foods but also because that is a lot of food and a lot of nutrients to eliminate. A ketogentic (or keto) diet would in fact remove all of those foods. The low -moderate carb would definitely create more variety but it is difficult to say if the weight loss results would be as dramatic in the short term if you are not in a relatively permanent state of ketosis.

What is ketosis you may ask…

Okay so here is a quick lesson digging back into the physiology books. Anytime you eat carbs they are broken down into glucose and stored as glycogen. These are considered your fuel tanks. When those fuel tanks are empty you would naturally shift to using fat as your main source of fuel. This shift essentially will produce ketones to do the job that glucose would have once done. Your body is very quick at using glucose as fuel and not so quick at using ketones, so there is an adaptive phase that needs to take place that will often take at least a few weeks.

Is it safe to lower carb intake?

All levels of carb intake -ultra low, low, and moderate- appear to actually be quite safe. Various studies have been done to check out if would negatively effect the kidneys or any markers related to heart health and it appears as though low carbs get the all clear. Some studies have shown that the ultra low carb diets can raise your LDL (or bad cholesterol) as one of the more negative outcomes. As with any new diet, check with a professional before starting it to make sure there will be no negative outcomes based on the medications you are currently taking and health conditions you currently have.

Is it effective long term?

Well, research is a bit unclear on this one. Several studies look at the comparison between people following ultra low carb diets compared to people who eat regularly but are consuming 500-1000 calories less than they used to (ie. the attempts to lose 1-2lbs/wk). Where the low carb diets tend to win is with the 4-6 month studies which mostly showed better outcomes. However, several studies actually had very similar weight loss outcomes after the 1-2 year mark which gives more of the idea that it is not super sustainable. Which really is not surprising, hence the question, can I give up carbs for life? I struggle to believe the answer is yes for the majority of the population. Fewer studies focused on the low to medium carb group and how they faired out after 1-2 years which is actually the population I am most interested in!

Low carb diets sound hard. Is there a pill I can just take instead?

Well, for every one person trying to lose weight the healthy way there are at least 10 people looking for the pill form of that hard work (that statistic is mostly made up. Okay entirely.) We all know that person who does the cleanses and takes all the vitamins and supplements in hopes that healthy eating and exercise will someday be a thing of the past.

So we have established that ultra low carb diets are well studied in the weight loss world, but giving up carbs is the absolute worst! What if you could somehow be in ketosis and use fat for fuel without actually giving up carbs? In comes Pruvit Keto/OS. An overly priced garbage drink that is supposed to put you in ketosis without doing the work of actually cutting out your carbs! Here is a great review of this product So apparently you can have your cake and eat it too, literally. But, before you jump on this bandwagon please know that this too shall pass, and this supplement will be another one for the ‘that was a gross waste of money’ books.

In Sum…

Eat carbs, or don’t eat carbs. But eat healthy. And ideally do some sort of physical activity reguar
ly. Low carb diets are not meant to be interpreted as an unlimited bacon (that originally said sausage but I changed it cause, you know) party and moderate or even high carb diets are not meant to consist of doughnuts and pastries. The key to either methods of healthy eating is to do them forever because that will be the only way to make the weight loss sustainable.

H

10 Food Rules To Live By or….well….Death Likely.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about healthy eating, dieting, and weight loss. Here are 10 simple rules to help clear that all up.

  1. Eat a diet balanced in fruit and vegetables, grains and starches, meats, legumes, and dairy.
  2. Try not to eat too much red meat or pork and focus on chicken, fish, and veggies to get the youthfulness of those in the Mediterranean. Replace butter with healthy olive oil.
  3. Add butter to your coffee to truly be healthy.
  4. When eating grains and starches, avoid gluten. Always choose gluten free.
  5. Avoid eating grains and starches, legumes as well as dairy to successfully go Paleo. Eat a diet balanced in meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fats.
  6. In addition to avoiding starches, legumes, and dairy, also cut out fruit so that you can follow a low carb, ketogenic diet.
  7. Avoid eating eggs, meat, dairy, and anything that comes from an animal, but feel free to include dairy alternatives such as almond or coconut milk, lots of fruit and vegetables, beans and lentils, grains and starches to properly follow a vegan diet. Don’t even look at honey, what are you some kind of animal!? Sorry, that was offensive to the animals probably.
  8. The grains and starches should not be starchy or processed. Focus on tubers, potatoes, corn, squash, yucca, etc. as part of the Whole Food Plant Based Diet.
  9. Do a juice cleanse often to help pick up the slack for your ill functioning liver and kidney. If it is not expensive, it aint working. Consider organic juice.
  10. Lastly, make sure that your food is clean. Eating dirty food is the absolutely worst of them all. With your clean food, drink kombucha.

With these 10 easy steps you’ll be the worlds healthiest person and all health issues should be cured permanently.

Bon appétit!

Sleep: The most important word in the parenting dictionary

Sleep. Arguably the most important word in parenting. That might be dramatic but start losing sleep every night and you’ll be on board with my drama! If I could go back in time and tell my pre-baby self “bitch you ain’t that tired” every time I complained of being tired because I stayed out late drinking on a night before an 8am class, I would. That “tired” me wasn’t walking into door frames and throwing kettle bells at the gym because my hands couldn’t coordinate catching them.

The type of tired you experience when you have a child that does not sleep is the type that you could only understand if you went through it, its simply indescribable. I see now why it is used as a form of torture, it is very effective. I read an article stating that sleep deprivation costs Canada 21 billion dollars annually! As it turns out, people who don’t sleep enough undergo more physical and emotional stress and have compromised immune systems. Who would of thought, oh wait…..

Our journey started May 29, 2015, the day my son was born. He slept his first full night 10 months later after some tough love and sleep training (The Sleep Sense Program…incase anyone is looking!). It saved us. In the beginning of the book the author states that most couples contact her for help when they are on the brink of divorce, I get that. If my husband got 2 more hours of sleep than I did I would turn into a resentful, pissed off human. As if he did it on purpose  Obviously that didn’t do much for our relationship but it was the best I could do at the time!

After this, I started to feel like a real human again, for 8 full months I was a more functional member of society. And then a cold hit, croup, and an ear infection. Cue the two worst weeks ever where there were no rules for sleep, just cuddles on demand. We fucked everything. From that point forward our son would not go to sleep alone and rarely would sleep the whole night alone. We moved him from a crib to a double bed since neither of us are small enough people to fit into a crib! I turned into a co-sleeper, the type of sleeper I absolutely dreaded and did not understand why any other parent did it. I get it now, they did it because they were desperate for sleep and sleeping with their child was their only hope.

Four months later, here I am, writing this article. This past week we have seen the light again. We went back to the basics and showed some tough love and it has been a rocking success. I hate to even say that out loud. Next week I will likely be back here trying to take back these words.

To all you parents and caregivers out there. I get it. I am sorry you aren’t sleeping, I really am. I can only hope that there is a light in your future somewhere that will be your time to get some sleep. Also, I am sorry to the guy who was trying to get me to sign up for a MasterCard at the grocery store a few weeks ago. I owe a roofer an apology too. And my husband. I was tired.

H

Spring Stuffing (Apple, cranberry, pecans, oh my!)

Easter weekend is approaching which means 3 things, 1) 4 day weekend (imagine a 4 day work week every week!?), 2) a Thanksgiving sized meal because we live in the east coast and love a reason to have a big family dinner, and 3) chocolate everything. I can only hope my husband is reading this and fills my Easter treat bag with peanut butter eggs.

This year, Ben’s® Bakery is celebrating their 110th anniversary! As a special thank you to their customers, Ben’s® Holsum Fresh White and Whole Wheat breads will feature more than just a makeover on outside of the package. For a limited time, they will also include a handy 4 extra slices to their loaves. This worked out perfect for the huge demands of dressing from our family! More bread for the same price, sign me up. I will put that leftover money towards some peanut butter eggs in the event my hubby doesn’t pull through.

One thing that we take super serious in my family at said dinners is the dressing (known in other places of the world as stuffing) so we cannot deviate too far from the recipe OR how it is cooked. I took it upon myself to change the recipe this year but I am hopeful that it will be well accepted! I cannot stress enough DO NOT SKIP THE LAST STEP. It is both our family secret and the key to making worlds most amazing dressing (full disclosure, we could have easily stolen this secret from google, I have no idea). Needless to say, you will never see our dressing in a casserole dish, we are ‘dressing log’ people all the way!

Bon Appétit

 

Print Recipe
Spring Stuffing (Apple, cranberry, pecans, oh my!)
This is an Easter stuffing recipe that you must try!
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 30-45 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings
Ingredients
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 30-45 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375F. Grease 2 cookie sheets and spread out bread pieces. Bake for approx. 8 mins until the bread is dry but not too crispy. Spread the pecans out on a third pan and toast in the oven for 5-6 minutes (if you do not have room for a 3rd pan simply put them in a frying pan on medium heat for approx 8-10mins, flipping every 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, apples, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions start to lightly brown. Transfer into the largest bowl you own and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Grease 1 cookie sheet.
  4. Add the bread, broth, eggs, cranberries, pecans, and thyme and toss together. Using your hands will be the most effective to mix!
  5. Now that your hands are dirty, grab the stuffing mixture with both hands and place on the cookie sheet to form two large rows (see photo below).
  6. Bake for 20-25mins
Recipe Notes

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

Step 5: The most important step!!

Step 6: Voila!

 

 

Share this Recipe

10 to ZEN: Meditation , Mindfulness & Monkey Minds

We are so lucky to have a guest blogger today, Terri Gaglardi, who I asked to teach us a few lessons about mindfulness and meditation. I have seen so many posts lately about schools that replaced detention with meditation and I needed to learn more!!

1. What is your business?

I started a company in Calgary called Monkey Minds that teaches kids about mindfulness meditation. We hold workshops which are designed to learn in fun and creative ways how to calm down their “monkey minds.” Teaching children about the science of how our brains work, in that WE are in control of our thoughts can help them deal with big emotions such as worry, fear, anxiety, & frustration.

2. What does a “typical” Monkey Minds workshop look like?
 
I think being a fly on a wall in one of our sessions could be quite funny actually .. our classes can sometimes be a little silly & loud, but we want children to learn these tools in a fun environment. All of our classes have a theme, based on such principles as: practicing gratitude, positive intentions, kindness, big emotions, breathing as a super power etc. We focus on that theme in our meditation, play , worksheets and crafts. The kids always get take homes that can help them in their practice as well as show their parents and caregivers what they learned. At the end of every class, we get comfy and turn down the lights and I take them through a guided meditation. Honestly, I think its what the kids love best about class. 

 

2. What is your definition of  Mindfulness & Meditation?

Mindfulness, simply put is the focusing on the present moment and meditation is state of just being and calming the mind.

3. These words seem to be “popping up” everywhere lately , why do you think that is?

Mindfulness is definitely the “hot” topic these days as is meditation, but these terms are not new. I do think with all the research on practicing both and the profound positive life changes people are experiencing its just bringing it into the light. Life is active, its go go go , People are looking for strategies that help bring a little peacefulness and ways to slow it down.

4. What benefits do you think children can benefit from my learn these tools?

Already I am hearing such positive feedback from children and parents. Using the deep breathing techniques we teach is helping with anger, worry, frustrations, nightmares … and the list goes on. The research and science behind the benefits of meditation and mindfulness is undeniable. It can help us make dramatic positive life changes for kids and adults.

5. What are your dreams for Monkey Minds?

Grow… Grow… Grow… Raising awareness children and parents.

My ultimate dream goal is teaching this in the school system. I have so many great friends & teachers who are supporters that I don’t think that goal is too far off 😉 Already I have taught in Grades 2& 3 classrooms at my daughters school and have been asked to teach Grade 1’s at another school at the end of the month. Very exciting!

6. What lead you to this business?

While I was on mat leave I started diving into lessons of the universe. I attended training and received certification in Reiki Master as well as Law of attraction. Through research and classes it lead me into learning more about mindfulness and meditation . Initially I was looking for strategies for my daughter to help her with some worry and anxiety she was struggling with. I had taken mindfulness and meditation classes here in Calgary for myself but when I found a training certification program in Edmonton that specialized in teaching children about mindfulness meditation I quickly enrolled…It was truly a wonderful experience and I left with the feeling I was ready to turn my knowledge into a plan … and Monkey Minds was created.

7. Do you just teach children?

I do teach an adult class as well at Modern & Mindful meditation studio in Calgary. This weekend at Monkey Minds I am holding a parent/child workshop so I am very excited to have the parents come and experience our classes too.

8.What about for adults , how we can fit this practice into our busy lives?

The great thing about being mindful and practicing meditation is that we can incorporate it into our daily routines anytime and anywhere. Everything we do from eating, walking, listening, working out, watching t.v to spending time with our kids, we can be mindful. Its being in that moment right here , right now and noticing what is happening and what your are experiencing.

Driving is a big one for me, that is where I do my best thinking and often over thinking. Sometimes when I reach my destination I think ” I don’t even remember driving here.” I am trying to shift and really focus on what I am seeing and experiencing and not being so much on auto pilot. In our world today we are multi-taskers, we have to be or we wouldn’t get it all accomplished… but start by taking one thing in your day, even your morning coffee .. drink it mindfully, notice the flavors and how it makes you feel. Its the practice of bringing your thoughts back to the present moment – like anything , practice makes progress.

Having said that though, don’t do yourself the disservice of not taking a few minutes out of your day to sit in quiet and meditate … even if just for a few minutes.

9. Any last comments to share?

The most important thing I can share is don’t be overwhelmed on the subject. Change doesn’t happen overnight and neither does this. For years I have been reading about meditation, practicing it, giving up and starting over. Being someone who is living mindfully and practicing meditation doesn’t mean you have it all together all the time, always happy, or totally at peace . It’s knowing that it’s out there and knowing you its available to you anytime you want.

Most people say BUT “I can’t just can’t sit there and not think!”

Trust me I get it .. its tough, but every time we do it we learn to notice the thoughts and instead of attaching to them we simply let them go. I still have days where my mind is just going crazy and to sit and meditate feels like a total waste of time but trust me it isn’t. Just don’t overthink it. I tell my Monkey Minds parents the seeds of mindfulness and meditation are being planted, and it is not going to happen overnight, but eventually it gets in and starts to grow and they will start to use what they are learning.

If you are new to meditation I suggest starting off with a guided meditation. You will find lots on you tube, and there are some great apps out there as well.

10. Where can our readers learn more about Monkey Minds?
Check out www.monkeyminds.net and follow us on Facebook. For your PEI readers , Monkey Minds will be spending the summer on the beautiful island and am looking into a hosting a workshop. Please get in touch if interested in joining.

Millennials and job hopping

I was talking to a friend yesterday about her teaching career that she is considering leaving if she does not get moved into a better position within the next 6 months. The reason: the work is not fulfilling, she doesn’t have a sense of personal growth, and finds it mentally draining. This led my husband and I to get chatting about how uncommon it is for our generation to stay in a job long term despite how perfect the job may be on paper. It seems so common for our parents to have retired from a job they were in for 20 or more years. To me, that sounds like pure hell and I am pretty sure I am not alone in that thought. But what is it that is leading our generation to not even be able to do 5 years without feeling completely stuck?

Now I am in absolutely no position to be pointing fingers, my resume is almost embarrassing I have moved jobs so many times in the past 5 years. In fact, since I graduated with my BSc. in 2009 I have done an internship for 6 months, a masters degree, changed jobs 5 times, moved internally 3 times within 1 of those 4, and lived in Ottawa, Ontario; Shenzhen, China; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Timmins, Ontario; and Charlottetown, PEI where I currently reside. Nothing about my resume screams “She is definitely an employee we will be able to retain long term” despite that I am in no way looking to ever leave a job or give the vibe that I’m here for a good time, not a long time. It just happens. The moment there is an opportunity for a new challenge or growth, I am all over it. Surprisingly enough, none of those decisions were ever financial based decisions.

This led me to a web hunt, why do millennial have a permanent ‘it’s complicated’ status with their employer? As it turns out there is a term for millennials in the work force called “job hoppers.” Apparently, employers are less and less turned off by us Hoppers as well and seeing 52 jobs on your resume isn’t such a bad thing anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that employers are looking for a person who cannot retain a job for longer than 3 months but according to Forbes magazine moving around every 1-3 years is seemingly acceptable.

a survey showed that in the US 71% of millennials are not actively engaged in their work place.

How often are we job hopping? The average millennial is hopping 4 times within their first decade after finishing college/university and the younger millennials are even surpassing that. Why you may ask? Although I think that question still gets an ‘it’s complicated’ status, a survey showed that in the US 71% of millennials are not actively engaged in their work place. 71%???????? We, millennials, are a bunch of employable loose canons. What is interesting that in another survey the number one thing that millennials are looking for when applying for a job is the opportunity for learning and growth while compensation came in 6th place. Basically, we aren’t here for the money although its a nice touch.

I think us millennials get a bad rap for being lazy mooches full of debt and living with their parents. However, I think there is more to us. If wanting to find a career that is fulfilling and provides opportunity for growth is a bad thing, then I think we are doing okay as a generation. However, if employers want to keep us, recruitment and retention strategies may need to be at the top of next month’s agenda.

H

 

Cheerios and Bees: What to beelieve?

A hot topic in the news recently has been Honey Nut Cheerios and their new box, the one with the missing bee. The purpose: to bring awareness to the decline in bee colonies worldwide.  How are they bringing awareness? Well besides the missing bee on their box, you can sign up to have a packet of bee-friendly wild flowers mailed to your door step from a local company here on Prince Edward Island (PEI), Vessey’s Seeds, to do your part in helping out the bee population.

What’s the big deal, that seems innocent enough right? Well…not so fast. Here is what the world responded with:

  • Vessey’s seeds was funded by Monsanto which is basically seen as the agricultural equivalent to Shredder from TMNT. Read: hella evil.
  • The wild flowers are not considered native to all parts of the world like they are here in PEI and may even be invasive, or in some cases, banned species.
  • General Mills uses glyphosate, a pesticide responsible for contributing to the declining bee population.
  • The bee population is not actually declining so this campaign is pointless.

So what are the facts:

  • Vessey’s has reassured us they are in no way the Shredder of the seed world, they are a local, family run PEI company and Monsanto has no hands in their pockets.
  • Although the wild flowers are not considered native to all parts, they are also not considered invasive. As Vessey’s recently told CBC in a news article “in most locations the seed mixture species will be non-native but not considered invasive. To be invasive, a species has to be non-native and have the tendency to spread and threaten the environmental, economic or social health of an area.” Additionally, there were issues with specific types of seeds that were even banned in some states in the US. Vessey’s response “The forget-me-not that is invasive is the perennial type…The Forget-Me-Not that is included in our mix is the annual.”
  • Glyphosate is a herbicide not a pesticide. Which as indicated by their type, one kills herbs (i.e. weeds) and the other kills pests.
  • As for the bee population. The jury is still out. Reports from various sources give various reviews. Canada appears to generally be maintaining their populations with the exception of the east coast, the US seems to be experiencing a decline.

 

As a general commentary from someone who has taken both graduate and masters courses in food security and sustainability (that’s me!), our demands on the food supply continue to increase. We (Canada) rely heavily on imports from other countries and need their supplies to remain stable as well, globally we are being faced with challenges such as colder springs, droughts, and fires, which all have significant impact on crops and therefore, food supply. Bees are affected by all of the environmental changes as well and since they are pollinators and we rely heavily on their involvement in almost all fruit, veggie, and oil crops. That is a lot of food and a lot of ingredients in other foods.

I don’t think Cheerios has poor intentions with their campaign, they are trying to bring awareness to our food system. While  there is typically a plot somewhere for financial gain with any large corporate campaign, I am not so sure they are trying to be the buzz kill to our food supply and ecosystem (see what I did there!) If you are interested in helping out in your own way, you can actually just go to a local greenhouse and ask for some flowers and plant them at home. You can also check out to see if there are initiatives going on in your community that can enable you to help out with your local food supply like community/rooftop gardens, veggie boxes, or farmers markets.

I have an amazing bestie doing her part to help out the bees, and more importantly, creating a symbol in our community that we all have to do our part. To bee honey-st, we could all pitch in and do a little extra. Okay I’m done.

H

 

 

 

5 Tips to Guarantee a Stress Free Wedding Day

The other day I had my wedding rings buffed and polished for the first time since I got married 8 months ago. Not to throw out a complaint brag here, but going to the gym makes my rings look like crud. I hope to keep them shiny for at least another week. Getting a fresh set of rings got me thinking about my wedding day which got me thinking about how awesome everything went. That led me to writing this post because things didn’t happen to go awesome by accident. I implemented a few important strategies for the day to make sure it was pure bliss.

Delegate Everything

I got this amazing piece of advice from a friend who told me not to leave myself one, single, tiny, minuscule little task for the day of the wedding. She was right. The day of the wedding I woke up at 8:45am (see tip #4), had a shower, went and had my hair and make up done with all of my bridesmaids, went for lunch, and headed to the resort to get dressed for photos. It was seamless and involved zero errands or tasks. No pick ups or drop offs or DIYs. Notta.

Disconnect

This is a big one. You are going to have a ton of people congratulating you, wishing you well, and asking 100 questions about wedding details. Give the decorators, coordinators, chefs, whoever may be involved the phone number of a bridesmaid. All questions should be directed to her/him and they can pass on anything that they feel is crucial. If you are going to remember all of the small details of your wedding day 50 years from now then it is important to actually be present for them.

Eat

Wedding days can be tightly scheduled and the one thing everyone forgets to include is food! Have a plan in place for breakfast and lunch ahead of time so that if your schedule does not allow for cooking or dining out, that it does allow for delivery at the very least. Feeling fed will keep you happy and feeling good. If you can fit in a fun little luncheon with you and your besties it only adds to the memories. On that note, you may want to try hydrating as well.

Sleep

Although these are listed in no particular order, this one should be number one. Do whatever you have to do to get a great night sleep before your wedding day. I am not doctor and I am almost sure this is not recommended, but a gravol and a glass of champagne was the perfect cocktail to have an amazing pre-wedding sleep. And, if you can arrange so that you are sleeping in your own bed that night too, even better. I woke up feeling fresh as a daisy!

Remember that not everything has to be perfect for it to be perfect

I know that somehow we are all lead to believe that everything on your wedding day should be absolutely perfect. They key to that is not actually expecting perfection. So what if it is a little grey out, if things aren’t running on time I guarantee people will wait, and photoshop will take care of any stress zits. The day will only be as fun as the bride and groom make it, after all you set the tone for the day. Not every wedding has to be Pinterest-worthy for it to be memorable and wonderful and most importantly, stress free!

H

 

Breastfeeding: mind your own tits

In the past few weeks breastfeeding, more specifically breastfeeding bullies, have gained a lot of media attention. I read an article last week about a woman who went to a breastfeeding room to bottle feed her son as it was a quiet space with a chair and was told by another Mom she had to leave because the room was JUST for breastfeeding Moms. As if she was such a low life that she was not even worthy of a chair in their presence. And she literally sat on the floor outside the breastfeeding room to feed her son.

Picture this: You are a carnivore (aka you eat meat) and you walk into a vegetarian restaurant. Suddenly, someone screams at you to leave because they know you are not a vegetarian. Now that you have been publicly shamed you carefully consider their screams you decide that kind stranger is  correct, you should be a vegetarian. And then you become one and you live happily ever after.

NO.

When in the history of every has bullying  and publicly shaming someone into doing something actually worked? Being a parent is hard, especially a brand new parent so please give us a break. Here are 5 very worthy considerations for everyone to keep their judgements to themselves about how parents choose to feed their children:

  1. Grandparents, step parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, caregivers, guardians, single fathers, etc. They generally do not have breast milk but they can be great parents still and have a really healthy child.
  2. Mechanical difficulties: Poor latch, tongue tie, inverted nipples, breast reduction surgery, poor positioning, it all matters. These difficulties require all of the right support people to be able to overcome those difficulties and they are not always available. I had my son at 10:30 on a Friday night and had my first consult with a lactation nurse bright and early at 8 am on Monday morning. That is a lot of hours without help when it feels more like you’re feeding a shark and there are blood and tears everywhere.
  3. Medication: Ever read the label of prescription medications or over the counter medications and notice that almost all of them are not appropriate for breastfeeding? There are a lot of reasons why new Mom’s need to start a new medication or resume a medication they stopped just so they could become pregnant. Research shows approximately 13% of new moms have clinically diagnosed postpartum depression and some of those Mom’s may need medication and have to discontinue breastfeeding. Picture yourself judging a Mom who formula feeds her child only because she had overwhelming levels of anxiety and depression postpartum. I bet you feel like a real asshole.
  4. Working Moms: Surprisingly not everyone has a year off from work and not all jobs allow you to break every couple of hours to get your pump on.
  5. Poor milk supply: This one is debated hard on the inter web and Dr. Jack Newman would absolutely tell me that poor milk supply is an urban myth. I call bull shit. If Dr. Jack Newman wants to hang out with new Mom’s at 3 am who are faced with a hungry and screaming baby, all the power to him to prove me wrong. But I am a firm believer that not all Mom’s produce enough milk and that leaves you with one unhappy baby which in turn leaves one unhappy Momma.

If you feel extremely passionate about breastfeeding, here are 3 causes to fight for instead of trying to take on Mom’s one at a time:

  1. Lobby government to improving access to lactation nurses (read: more money and more hiring)
  2. Ask some of your local shopping and community centres to create breastfeeding friendly
    rooms
  3. Try contributing to empowering women instead of tearing them down.

#fedisbest #mindyourowntits

H