December 2010

Somehow November slipped by me and no newsletter but I am back. As we are now in the middle of season of parties and festive foods, nutritional issues seem to be crossing my path more and more. I spoke to several moms this week whose diet is a contributing factor if not the cause of family health issues. Many years ago in La Leche League I learned a simple rule, eat as many foods in their closest to natural state as possible. I have also heard it phrased as if your great grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food you probably shouldn't eat it. Most of us give a lot of thought to calories and weight but not much thought to which foods are going to prevent illness or heal illnesses we suffer from. Below I share a link to a web site with information about PCOS that discusses some of the dietary factors involved. I also encourage you to check out the work and books of Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Then I provide you with some tips and ideas that I use when I speak to moms groups on the topic of "making changes in the family diet" one of my favorite topics if you know a group in South Jersey that would be interested. New Year's is a time when many of us resolve to make changes so I thought these would be timely for that reason too, maybe you can put one tip onto your calendar for each month of 2011. Think how that might make you feel by this time next year.

Send me some of the tips you learn or favorite recipes, I may share them in future newsletters.

Have a Happy Healthy New Year,



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PCOS has become a very common diagnosis, I know women of all ages in both my personal and professional life who live with varying degrees of problems from PCOS. Like many hormonal imbalances diet can be a contributing factor both in the development and handling of PCOS. This site tells stories of women who used diet, alternative and medical treatments to get pregnant. Some women with PCOS will also have issues with milk supply and often do not receive this information. If you know someone who has PCOS and is pregnant or planning a pregnancy recommend they speak with a lactation consultant before their baby arrives and make a plan that may help them achieve the breastfeeding goals they want.

This page is intended for the stories of women with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) who have improved their condition primarily by using natural health-building methods, although we've included other stories as well. We hope that you will be inspired by these stories and that you will have a renewed sense of hope and commitment to improving your health.

There's a lot you can do to minimize ovarian cysts and other symptoms of poly cystic ovary syndrome such as infertility, overweight, acne, hirsutism, and hair loss. Although PCOS has a genetic component, diet, exercise, stress management, lifestyle, natural therapies and selected nutritional supplements influence how those genes behave. What you eat, do and think powerfully influences your symptoms.

And remember, as many of these women say, never give up hope!

To read the stories and learn more .


Best Evidence: VBAC or Repeat C-Section

Best evidence: When making important maternity decisions, women should have information from the best available research about the safety and effectiveness of different choices. In general, we can be most confident about results of systematic reviews that summarize randomized controlled trials (or RCTs, a type of study).

Unfortunately, for many decisions we must rely on less definitive research; and many important questions even in the case of widely used drugs, tests and procedures have hardly been studied at all. Although this situation is discouraging, an awareness of weak or missing evidence can help you make informed choices about care.

What is the bottom line?

If you do not have a clear and compelling need for a cesarean in the present pregnancy, having a VBAC rather than a repeat c-section is likely to be:

  • safer for you in this pregnancy
  • far safer for you and your babies in any future pregnancies
When thinking about the welfare of your baby in the present pregnancy, there are trade-offs to consider: VBAC has some advantages, and a repeat c-section has others. You can learn more here.

Great Snacks for Toddlers and Kids

  • Apple Slices and Carrot Sticks dipped in Nut Butters
  • Plain yogurt – let kids swirl in a little honey or all fruit spread and add fruit, seeds, and/or whole grain cereal on top
  • Raw or lightly steamed veggies with hummus, olive dip (olives, pine nuts, garlic),  guacamole (mash an avocado with some salsa) or a natural dressing
  • Whole grain pitas filled with anything they like on sandwiches, can be served as sandwich or cut into strips and rolled
  • Bake some oatmeal raisin, peanut butter or granola cookies together – use whole wheat flour (pastry or light).  Make sure to put some in the freezer for another day
  • Make fruit salad together with fresh/frozen fruits – make enough for the whole family or let each child pick from the cup up fruits to fill their dish
  • Fruit shakes with frozen / fresh fruits, plain yogurt, rice milk, almond milk, sweeten with a little honey if needed.  Adding seltzer gives it a nice bubbly taste.
  • If you use fruit juice always cut it with water or seltzer.
  • Make snack mix from whole grain cereals, raisins, chocolate chips (grain sweetened if you don’t want sugar).  This also is great on yogurt.
      Mini whole wheat bagels or pitas can be do it yourself pizzas.  Let you kids sprinkle the cheese and pick a veggie or two add on top.
Hilary Jacobson, certified Swiss holistic lactation consultant and author of "Mother Food: A breastfeeding diet guide with lactogenic foods and herbs." 
has lots of great advice for women trying to maintain or increase their milk supply though healthy foods.

Jacobson is a founding member of the non-profit MOBI Motherhood Intl, an online resource for mothers facing extreme breastfeeding challenges, especially low milk supply.

She says that she researched "Mother Food" when she experienced persistent and severe low milk supply with each of her four children.

"When I saw how 'lactogenic' foods and herbs helped me make more milk I began to study mother-food traditions from around the world.   

Women have always been aware of foods that help them breastfeed, and these same foods were the preferred diet in the postpartum. "The more I learned, the more strongly I felt about creating a resource that would encapsulate and preserve our mother-food heritage. Once passed down from mother to daughter, now this knowledge was in danger of being lost."

Today, Hilary Jacobson lives in Oregon where she works as a writer, speaker, and nutritional mentor for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Learn more.

Mother Food

Changes for the Whole Family

Start small - if you use white flour start by adding 1/4 to 1/2 of whole grain flour to your recipes, slowly increase until you eliminate white flours (there are lighter whole grain flours, like "white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour that work better in some baking).

Use less prepared food but when buying supposedly whole grain products like breads read the ingredients, if the first ingredient is wheat flour or white flour, that is not whole grain, many breads contain high fructose corn syrup. There are better products appearing on the shelves, they are worth the search.

Add cooked and raw veggies to every meal

Add fruit to every meal

Fresh fruits and vegetables are Nutrient Dense Foods, that fill the stomach and provide a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Learn to use beans in your soups, stews, chilis and other dishes, they have lots of good nutrition for a low price. Soaking and cooking your own is even better then canned and they can be made in big batches and frozen.

Read labels – avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup, anything "modified" or "artificial"

How many grams of sugar?  How much Sodium?  When you are buying cereal for instance pick up several boxes and compare.  

Take a positive approach, not what shouldn't you /your family be eating, make lists of good foods you enjoy and pick from them often.

Benefits of changing diet are long term.  Eventually poor choices will catch up.
Short term benefits – maintain / loose weight, feel better, more energy, less colds and other illness.

Drastic changes could make you feel worse as your body detoxifies, so go slow or be prepared.







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