I’ve been enjoying listening to a book called Willpower Doesn't Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success by Benjamin Hardy over the last couple months. The basic premise is that in order to make lasting changes in our lives, we have to change our environment; expecting willpower to carry us through to the final destination doesn’t work.
Hardy says: “You shape the garden of your mind by planting specific things from your environment, such as the books you read, experiences
While living in Spain this year, I haven’t gotten to hang out with many newborn babies and their moms. I miss them - really, deeply, and viscerally. A couple of weeks ago, though, I got to spend a morning with a 6-week old and her mama in order to film some demonstrations of baby care techniques for my upcoming online course, Life Beyond Birth 101. The rest of the day and into the next I felt so GOOD! The time we spent together was fun; we had a good time and laughed a lot. I
Over my decade of supporting new babies and their families, I have heard so many new mothers say, “I wish someone had told me…. …what postpartum depression or anxiety actually feels like …what a good breastfeeding latch looks and feels like …how much I need to focus on sleep, and get it when I can …how to put a support system in place for meals, housework, moral support …how to care for a newborn …how to care for my postpartum body …how to balance my intuition with others’ ad
Every time I make this dish for clients, they sit right down and eat the whole thing! No leftovers...
I've put my own spin on this recipe, but it is based on one in The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou. Incorporating Chinese traditions, it is part cookbook, part meditation on how to have a great postpartum experience. The writing and photography are gorgeous.
Ou writes, "If a Chinese elder were to visit you immediately after bir
Have you ever noticed that the most quintessential foods of any region are super simple, cheap to make, and delicious? Tortilla de Patata is one of these dishes...eggs, onions, potatoes, salt, and oil make a tasty and hearty meal.
This dish is more of what we might call a 'frittata' in the US, not the tortilla that we are used to in Mexican food. The word 'tortilla' also means 'omelette,' which this is not either....
I try not to feed new mamas onions as they can make you
As we near the end of January and the excitement of the holidays settles, I am enjoying this New Year's wish that a friend here in Spain recently sent me. I worked with Google Translate ;) to send it to you, along with a big hug:
"I do not wish you a wonderful year in which everything is good. That is a magical, childish, utopian thought.
I wish to encourage you to look at yourself, and to love yourself as you are. I wish you enough self-love to fight many battles, and the
Bone broth is the darling of the health industry, and many food manufacturers are taking advantage of the craze by packaging this amazing stuff for sale. It provides easy-to-absorb, essential and non-essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins); collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue; and nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health. Athletes are all about this stuff, and new moms should be too!
It is so simple and cheap to
Most of the words we use to talk about becoming a mother evoke the season of Spring: blossoming, birthing, blooming, joy, wonder, radiance, etc. However, a hidden, yet inextricable, piece of the postpartum journey for new moms is letting go. In this season of Autumn, nature is showing us how to release and retreat within.
For many new mamas, one of the most challenging shifts is related to self-identity. Gone are the days of total independence, control over your to-do list
Oatmeal has a reputation as a boring porridge, but I have come to love it. It is incredibly filling, especially coupled with saturated fats, and is easy to make and digest. The addition of the eggs in this recipe gives it extra protein and creaminess; it is delicious topped with fruit and nuts!
OATMEAL CUSTARD 3 c water, milk, or non-dairy milk
1.5 c rolled oats
1/2 c dried fruit (raisins chopped prunes, apricots, dates, etc)
fresh fruit ~ berries, c
It is October in Northern Spain. The nights are rapidly becoming longer, cutting into the evenings, and threatening to continue until 9am when we take our children to school. This dramatic darkening is encouraging me to slow down. I have spent much of my adult life focused on to-do lists, being productive, and contributing to society in some way. I have to remind myself that I am creating a different pace of life for myself this year.
Here, shops close from 2-5pm every da
This recipe has been a favorite of many clients since I started making it 2 years ago. It started with an old friend passing along a recipe and me tweaking it into my own. Like all recipes I share, this one is simple to follow and doesn't include many ingredients. As the autumn days shorten, I hope this brings warmth to your belly and a smile to your face. Healing Sweet Potato Stew 4 large garnet yams, or white Japanese sweet potatoes, chopped into 1" cubes
3T ghee, butter,
I have just finished participating in the Sacred Postpartum Summit, an online series of talks put together by Layla B, a Moroccan Postpartum Doula and Trainer. The speakers included midwives, doulas, pilates instructors, therapists, and others who work with postpartum families in different parts of the world, from Mexico to the Middle East, to Malaysia. It was interesting and inspiring, yet I came away feeling that something was missing. They all shared about the importance o
Let the crock pot do the cooking.
Mamas still need cooked, warm, nutrient-dense food, even when it is hot out. Butter chicken has great fat (butter, coconut milk), and warming digestive spices too! Mamas, papas, and older siblings will all enjoy this dish.
This recipe is based on one I've used for years in one of my favorite slow cooker cookbooks, Make it Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O'Day. Butter Chicken Masala
2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, sli
I often encounter first-time mothers struggling to shift from the life they have known up until birth to their new realities of life with baby. Most of them have never been told about the subtleties of this shift. The to-do list, the rapid pace of life, the external achievements, and the ignoring of their deepest needs no longer serve mama in this new reality. These things are replaced with days that slip by; feeling everything deeply; becoming engrossed in your baby’s every
Congee is a traditional porridge in many parts of Asia, made of rice and water. It can be sweet or savory, thick or smooth, but it is always comforting. I like to serve this and a mug of warm bone broth to mamas as their first meal after birth. The rice is totally broken down, so there is little effort required from the digestive system, and the molasses adds iron as well as a rich sweetness. The spices and ghee add to the perfection of this dish! Start cooking when labor
After all the contortions and effort the body goes through in pregnancy and birth, new mama digestion is weak. As summer begins (this one seems particularly hot!) it is often tempting to eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables, or cold treats. However, these foods require the digestive system to warm up them up in order to break them down. Warming up food uses energy that could be going to healing and breastmilk production. So, if YOU have recently given birth, do yourself a fa
Pot Pie is a wonderful southern comfort food. It is warm and creamy, salty with a slight sweetness in the crust, and satisfyingly filling.
When we were first married, my husband used to joke about wanting a chicken pot pie at the end of a long day of work...like making one was my wifely duty!
It sounded hard to make, but one day I decided to go for it, and found it surprisingly easy and delicious.
I’m constantly searching for recipes that are familiar to the American p
This dish is a wonderful food for mamas anytime! It is grounding, warm, nourishing, easy to digest, and fills the house with a wonderful aroma. All my clients ask for more! New Mother's Kitchari
1 c red lentils
1t black mustard seeds
1t cumin seeds
1t garam masala
1 pinch hing (asafetida)
1c basmati rice
5-6 c water or broth
½ - 1 c of any mixed vegetables, finely chopped (I like to use a combination of carrots, chard, green beans, and/or zucchini)
1 inch pi
This recipe evolved from my first experience of postpartum. It has served me well in nurturing all the mamas I have worked with since. For a more filling variation, try serving it over quinoa or rice. My friend (and amazing birth doula) Rachel calls this dish, "a hug in a bowl." It is comfort food at its best: warm, mushy, creamy, salty, slightly sweet, and simple. May you feel the hugs in each spoonful! COCONUT MILK STEW
3-4 small or medi