Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Chronic urinary tract infections and alternative treatment

White marble counter top with vitamin c tablets, a shot glass of apple cider vinegar, oil of oregano essential oil, d-mannose powder.

Chronic urinary tract infections:

I was diagnosed with my first urinary tract infection as an infant and continued to have reoccurring infections until I was around eight. My kidneys were functioning properly but I could not seem to go without an infection if I was not on antibiotics. Antibiotics while they definitely have their place can be very detrimental to your gut health, contribute to allergies, and can ultimately lead to other infections. Join me as I discuss my Chronic urinary tract infections and alternative treatment options.

As the years pased I cycled through from one antibiotic to another with several allergic reactions occurring. Luckily I outgrew these infections! I have the occasional UTI but no longer require a maintenance dose of antibiotics. I have compiled a list of my must-haves for fighting a Urinary tract infection. Please read on and let me know if you try them!

Medical Disclosure

As always please check with your doctor before starting any supplements or regimenes. This article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or be a substitute for medical treatment by an MD. I am simply sharing what has worked for me personally, hoping to give you some insight into my chronic urinary tract infections and alternative treatment.

Check out my post on the BEST instant pot vegetable soup here

Wooden tray on a table with a white and gray checked dish towel.  A salt and pepper shaker and a bowl of vegetable soup.

D-Mannose

The number one supplement that I wish I knew about years ago is D-Mannose. I prefer the pure powder but you can also take in capsules. I will provide a link below to the product on Amazon.

https://amzn.to/2WWxOB3

D- Mannose is a naturally occuring sugar that is found in cranberries.  It is thought to function by preventing bacteria from sticking to the wall of the uinary tract.  If you are one who has reoccurant infections I would take this daily.  I am at a point where I only take this when I feel a UTI coming on. If you take away one piece of info from this post take note of this! D Mannose powder is my most used supplement for chronic urinary tract infections and alternative treatment options. 

Vitamin C

Increasing your vitamin c is always a good place to start when you are fighting an infection or under the weather. It helps to support your immune system in fighting off the infection. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin meaning the excess is excreted in your urine so it is difficult to get too much.

https://amzn.to/2EdIKBT

I love this vitamin c. It is a spray, tastes great, and is made with good quality ingredients. If you prefer a supplement in pill form this raw version is also a good whole foods option. I follow the directions on the bottle for a few days after symptoms have improved.

Apple cider vinegar

https://amzn.to/2PfnO3U

I love the flavor of apple cider and regularly add it to my water for digestion and some additional probiotics. However, if you do not like the taste you can take a quick shot of it or attempt some pills. I find that if I mix a few tablespoons in water, or pure unsweetened cranberry juice it does wonders for my UTI. Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and full of probiotics, but only if you get the raw unfiltered version! Here are the pills if you don’t tolerate the vinegar well. If you are drinking the vinegar add as often as you refill your water cup which should be frequently with a UTI. If you are taking the supplement, follow the directions on the bottle.

https://amzn.to/2YHd3dy

Cranberry Juice

I love adding a little splash of cranberry to my water and apple cider mixture. It makes for a pretty strong drink but I honestly don’t mind. This is one of my favorite cranberry juice options as it is organic and not from concentrate. As you notice it is quite pricey but almost all cranberry juice you get is sweetened and watered down. So a little goes a really long way with this juice. I will also add some cranberry pills if this is too strong for your tastes.

https://amzn.to/2LQjHJs

https://amzn.to/34jxxdA

Oregano

https://amzn.to/2RPpzX8

Oil of oregano is another powerful antioxidant that supports your immune system. I put one drop in my drink twice daily when fighting a UTI. This is extremely strong and may not be tolerated by many. You can also use oregano pills if you desire or skip this step altogether. Be sure to not continue this regimen for long periods of time as this is a very strong herb.

https://amzn.to/36tZEbC

Fluids and Rest

The best medicine for a UTI is plenty of fluids and rest. Please do not let your UTI continue for a long period of time ! You know your body best and when it is time to visit the MD. An untreated UTI can lead to further complications and can cause further damage to your kidneys.

Do you get frequent UTI

Do you find you get frequent urinary tract infections? Have you found a solution that helps to prevent urinary tract infections or treat them? Lets chat!

If you havent already check out this recipe for the BEST taco salad, I am definitely craving it this week!

crisp romaine lettuce in a bowl with a fork topped with seasoned ground beef, carrots, olives, topped with sour cream and salsa
Beauty, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Fall Fashion Guide

Wooden floor with shirt, makeup, handbag, and acessories

Fall is by far my favorite season. I live for sweaters and all of the Fall colors are breathtaking. Since I love fall fashion so much I have put together a fall fashion guide of my favorites for this season. I hope you find some inspiration for this season.

Fall Fashion Guide: Out on the Town

I am all about this leopard print top from Amazon. It is short-sleeved so you can easily add a sweater to provide additional layers depending on the weather. Pair with your favorite jeans and this hat and you’re set to go out on the town. I added a Chloe inspired bag at a fraction of the cost and these super cute peep-toe booties.

Links to the Above look:

Fall Fashion Guide: Date Night

This is the perfect outfit for date night and it can be mixed and matched as you please. This top is simply gorgeous and I love the look of the black jeans paired with it. Tie in the look with these luxury Frye boots and super cute crossbody handbag. I added these ear crawlers that are elegant but add a statement.

Links to the Above Look:

Fall Fashion Guide: Comfy Casual

This is the perfect outfit for hanging out at home or with friends and family. Who doesn’t love a sweater with pockets! I paired the emerald sweater with this distressed jean and super comfy grey fashion sneakers. Add in this adorable scarf and earrings and your set.

The links to the above look:

Fall Fashion Guide: All about Nails

I have picked out a few of my favorite nail finds for this fall season. As you know I always gravitate toward safer options when available. These polishes are gorgeous and do not disappoint. You can feel good knowing they are safer and can even be shared with your little mini-me.

Safer Nails

Fall Fashion Guide: All about Beauty

I recently became a Beautycounter consultant after many years of use. This year for the holidays they have some gorgeous options. It was tough but I chose my three favorites for the fall. This Rosewood lip trio is perfect for all occasions. You can choose from gloss, shear, and color intense lipstick. This color is gorgeous on all skin tones and is a must-have. The Starlight eyeshadows are perfect for a night out. I love that they are highly pigmented and the removable mirror is very handy for quick touchups. These jellies are simply the best! The scents are to die for and they are sweetened with stevia. They are nostalgic and bring back all the feels of growing up in the 90s. As always if you need help purchasing any items please contact me and I would be happy to assist you.

Safer makeup

Whats up Wingo

I am excited for the week to begin. It is Halloween week and my little lady is dressing up as Little Red Riding hood. Last year she was Tinkerbell but we didn’t do any actual trick or treating. This year we are excited to participate and I am hoping for good weather.

I purchased some kombucha and water Keifer from Thrive market this past week. I’m excited to get my homemade probiotic making back up and going. Stay tuned as I will be sure to document the progress. What are you all doing this Halloween week?

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link . Thank you for your support!

Beauty, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Why I Became a Beautycounter Consultant

a white table with a grey sign saying beautycounter.  Better beauty and includes products

How I found Beautycounter

Here is a little about my journey to becoming an Beautycounter consultant. As many of you know I strive to do the best I can to treat my one and only body well. After finding out that I needed to go gluten free, my eyes were opened up to the fact that gluten is in everything. I went through my makeup bag and realized almost all of it needed to be replaced. I started with my foundation and lip products as these were the most likely to enter into my body. I found many products that were gluten free but unfortunately had a ton of ingredients and their performance was subpar. So I set out on a quest for cleaner alternatives without compromising on performance. In my search, I found a company called Beautycounter.

a brown box filled with beautycounter products

Why Choose Beautycounter

Beautycounter is a better beauty company that is on a mission to make the safest products with exceptional performance. The beauty industry has very little regulation and most people are not aware of this. The last major law in the beauty industry in the US was passed in 1938. The United States has banned only 30 ingredients while the European Union has banned 1,400. Studies have shown many of the ingredients that are banned by the EU have links to cancer, infertility, skin sensitivity, asthma, and hormone disruption. The mission of Beautycounter is to help educate and get safer products into the hands of everyone. They also focus on sustainability, transparency, and giving back.

Ingredient Selection Process

To provide safer products that work successfully Beautycounter follows a 5 step selection process including the following.

  1. Ban intentionally
  2. Screen rigorously
  3. Source responsibly
  4. Learn constantly
  5. Share transparently

The Never List

The Never List

In selecting the ingredients to use for their products they have created a never list that is made up of approximately 1,500 harmful or questionable ingredients. These ingredients are banned from Beautycounter products. This includes the 1,400 ingredients that are restricted in the European Union but not the United States.

There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today. What is scary is many don’t have any safety data and the Food and Drug Administration does not have the power to remove harmful ingredients from the products we put on our bodies daily.

Check out my post on my favorite audiobooks

a gold background with a cell phone with the audio book girl stop apologizing

What is a Certified B coporation

A certified B corporation is one that is different than the traditional corporate structure. Beautycounter considers people, the planet, and profits. They use the power of business to help solve social and environmental problems by voluntarily meeting standards of transparency, accountability, and performance. This is a huge accomplishment for this company and is not a easy one to obtain. In order to learn more about B corps check out this webpage.

Why become a Beautycounter consultant

I never thought that I would be selling beauty products. It was not an easy decision but after years of faithfully using their products, I decided that I wanted to become a Beautycounter consultant. The main reason is that I want to share these amazing products with you all! Beautycounter and their mission deserve to be heard and you and your family deserve better! I am especially talking to young women with kiddos and those with chronic illnesses. We live in a very toxic world and every small change we make adds up to a huge impact on our overall health. I love knowing that with Beautycounter and its mission for more regulation by ALL companies, my daughter one day will be able to run in any store grab a lipstick and know its safe.

Magnesium and how to get more without taking a supplement

a marble countertop with natural calm magnesium and pink stork magnesium

Let me help you

Please touch base with me if you have questions, are in need of samples, or just want to know more about Beautycounter. I am more than willing to help you find a product that works great for you. Join me in this quest toward safer beauty!

How to shop

If you are interested in the products and what to take a look at what Beautycounter has available please check out their website at www.beautycounter.com/laceywingo

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

My Top Tips for Breastfeeding Success

Small toddler with pigtails and pink dress sitting outside in chair

My Top Tips for Breastfeeding Success:

This post is the last one in my four part series on breastfeeding. This post is dedicated to my top tips for breastfeeding success. Isn’t it funny how this series just happened to coincide with world breastfeeding week and national breastfeeding month. I promise that wasn’t even planned :). As always, please feel free to share the link to this post with anyone you think may benefit.

Y’all breastfeeding is hard and everyone sets out on their individual journey hoping to succeed. According to the CDC 4 out of 5 moms started to breastfeed. Unfortunately these numbers drop to less than 50% breastfed at 3 months, and about 25% at 6 months. Here are some awesome tools to help you along your journey, so you can breastfeed as long as you and baby desire. So lets dive in!

Check out my breastfeeding essentials post here

The best apps and resources

If this is your first bundle of joy you might be in for a rude awakening. Mama its a full time job just remembering how frequently you have to nurse your sweet baby. In addition to nursing, you also have to keep track of diapers, weight, how long and which side you fed on last…..I am already exhausted. Add in lack of sleep and there is no way you can keep track of a piece of paper and a pen, much less which breast you need to start with.

Don’t worry Mama i got you covered! There are tons of apps on your phone that can keep track of all of this for you. My favorite app is baby tracker. This App has thought of everything including nursing, diapers and you can even set alarms. This is awesome for remembering when to give your baby medicine or when its time for another feeding. You can even put how often you pumped, which side, and the quantity.

This app is an awesome resource to share with your doctor. You can even generate reports that can help you spot trends. Here are a few pictures of my little ones tracker when she was less than a month old.

a chart of how often the baby was changed and fed

An app that helps you schedule diapers nursing and keep track of infants activity

Check out my post on how I feed my toddler

Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

Can I take this medication

One of the most stressful aspects of being a nursing mom is determining if you can take a particular medication. I have found an awesome resource that tests medications and determines the risk to your infant.

It is called infant risk. They have some information online but you can also call and talk to an individual. I have called multiple times when I needed to take a medication and they were so helpful. Please do yourself a favor and bookmark their info.

Lactation consultant

In the US most hospitals offer a lactation consultant in the hospital at brith, and this is fabulous. I did get some sound advice, however most of my problems didn’t occur until after my milk came in, and I was at home. I did reach out to a local hospital and got some great assistance from a lactation consultant. Along with this there have been many nights at 3 am that I thought I just can’t do this anymore. In comes the 24 hour lactation consultant. If you are lucky enough to live in Tennessee there is a free 24 hour hotline. I have called on multiple occasions and they have been so helpful.

The fact that they are open 24/7 is amazing. I am sure this has been the deciding factor between many moms continuing to breastfeed or giving up.

If you do not live in Tennessee I encourage you to do some research to see if your state offers the same type of assistance.

Insurance coverage

Most breast pumps and even some supplies are now covered through your insurance provider. This gives all moms access to a great pump, which can extend their breastfeeding journey once returning to work. Please be sure to check with your insurance company to see which pumps, and if replacement parts are covered.

Kelly from kellyboobbook reached out to me and made me aware of an awesome tool that she put together. She spent a ton of time finding insurance providers and created a look up tool to determine which pump you can get with your insurance provider. Please check out her tool here.

Podcast and books

Be sure to check out the boob groups podcast. They have some excellent information on breastfeeding all for free. The best part is you can listen while on the road. This is definitely a most check out podcast!

Grab yourself a copy of Ina Mays guide to breastfeeding. This is an well known source for breastfeeding for all new moms and is written by a trusted midwife. Check out my link to snag your copy from Amazon.

Websites to follow

Be sure to check out the la leche leage. This website provides tons of information and local groups to get involved with in your community.

Pacify is an online website that features lactation specialists 24/7. You can talk to a lactation consultant via video or just audio through a subscription. Definitely helpful if you want a face to face conversation even at 3 am.

If you have oversupply or under supply please check out my previous posts for helpful tips.

stand up deep freezer full of bags of frozen breast milk

Whats Up Wingo

I hope that this post gave you some great tools to make breastfeeding easier and help you to succeed. I encourage you to make the best choice for you and your little one. Even though you might not be breastfeeding you are not a failure as fed ultimately is best. Please share this with all the mamas you think might benefit. There are so many additional topics about breastfeeding. If you have a specific question please don’t hesitate to ask. I will try my hardest to answer or point you in the right direction. Be sure to stay tuned for Foodie Friday as I will have a new post for y’all.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link . Thank you for your support!

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Oversupply and Breastfeeding Complications

wooden table with dishcloth cup  of tea and a notebook

Oversupply and Breastfeeding

You may be thinking to yourself that oversupply is a blessing and wonder why am I even including this as part of my series. However this is simply not the case. There are many problems that may arise from oversupply and this post is to help those women who may be suffering from this breastfeeding problem.

I dealt with oversupply with my little one and it caused tremendous havoc on our nursing experience. We were faced with a forceful letdown, acid reflux and a very unhappy baby that hated breastfeeding. There was nothing more heartbreaking than watching my baby scream, choke, and pull away from the breast. It was far from my dreams of a connection and peaceful bond that I had imagined.

Once I found some solutions, our entire experience evolved into what I had always dreamed it would be. We are still nursing today and I am so thankful for this information that I am about to share with you.

Causes of Oversupply:

Oversupply can occur early on before your milk has had a chance to regulate. As breastfeeding is all about supply and demand if you are pumping excessively you may produce too much milk. Most lactation consultants advise you to wait until your baby is around three to four weeks old if possible before starting to pump. This will allow your milk to regulate as your baby will tell your body how much milk to make and will help to prevent oversupply.

Forceful Letdown:

A forceful letdown goes hand in hand with oversupply. My little one would nurse until my letdown, then pull off and scream. In the process milk would end up everywhere, and I began to feel inadequate. I was starting to question why was my baby not wanting my milk? Was there was something wrong with me? I didn’t realize that it had nothing to do with the quality of my milk, but instead the quantity.

How to Slow a Forceful Letdown Due to Oversupply:

Here are some of the best solutions to this problem. These have made a tremendous impact on me and my babies nursing journey.

Start by pumping first, once letdown has been achieved put baby on the breast. You can let the baby nurse, then once letdown has occurred, pull baby off to catch it in a burp cloth or towel, then place baby back to the breast. My favorite and the one tip that was a complete game changer for me and my baby is laid back nursing. When you are laying down and tummy to tummy your baby can better control the flow of milk, and they are able to nurse at their pace. Putting these simple tools into place is what changed our breastfeeding relationship and finally got me into a good headspace.

Check out my post on my top breastfeeding essentials here.

Infant baby girl wrapped in white sheet with pink bow in hair.

Supply and Demand:

If you have an oversupply of milk you want to be sure to not express more than you need to. If you need relief apply the pump only long enough to give your body some relief.

You can also attempt block feeding to reduce your total milk supply. This is a process where you feed your baby from one breast only for multiple feedings. This will cause the other breast to fill up with milk but in turn will slow the entire production of milk over a day or so.

Green Foamy Stools:

One common complaint of women with excess breast milk is a baby with green foamy stools. This can be caused by foremilk and hindmilk imbalance. Please be sure to let you doctor know of any unusual stools, due to other potential issues like allergies etc. If you have determined their is a imbalance of foremilk vs hindmilk you need to monitor the ratio carefully. The foremilk is the milk at the beginning of the feed and the hindmilk is what is found at the end of the feeding, it contains a higher ratio of fat. If your baby is having a hard time achieving this balance be sure to pump beforehand so you can give your baby more of the fatty milk found in the hindmilk.

Supplements for Reducing Oversupply:

Sage and peppermint oil and spices can be helpful to decrease your milk supply. This can be used in tea, as an essential oil and as added spices during cooking. Be sure to remove oil from the breast before feeding.

Donation:

As my little one got older my milk supply regulated and she was able to better control the flow. The Laid back nursing position made the most difference for me and my daughter. Our nursing relationship became one that I’ve cherished. I found that I was still producing more milk than she needed so I looked into donation. I highly recommend this as it’s an excellent way to help another in need. I look forward to the day that I can tell my daughter the impact she made in another babies life. I used Mother’s Milk Bank of Austin for my donations. They have several donation sites around the country and more than likely have a location near to you.

Please be sure to check out my previous breastfeeding post on low supply

stand up deep freezer full of bags of frozen breast milk

Whats Up Wednesday:

I hope yall’s week is going well. We finally broke down and bought my daughter an e- writing board from Amazon. She has been obsessed with coloring lately and I’m happy to report she loves it! The biggest bonus is I don’t have to worry about her changing the color of our furniture! You can check it out here if you are interested. I look forward to sharing with you an awesome recipe on Friday so stay tuned!

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link . Thank you for your support!

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How to Increase your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding

stand up deep freezer full of bags of frozen breast milk

How to Increase your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding

In this second installment of the breastfeeding series I will be talking about how to Increase your milk supply while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can come with many struggles one of those being low supply. At times during my breastfeeding journey I have found myself struggling to produce enough milk. I am going to include in this guide some of the things that have worked for me and some ideas on how to increase your milk supply while breastfeeding.

How to Increase your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding: Supply and Demand

The most important thing to remember is that breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. The more you breastfeed the more milk you will make. Our bodies are extremely smart and for the most part are able to increase supply when needed. The number one key to low supply when in doubt is nurse nurse nurse.

Is your Supply Really Low

It is common for moms to think that their supply is low when in reality it may not be. A mom might think this if they find their baby nursing more frequently. You may have heard of the term cluster feeding. This is when a baby will feed more frequently than usual. Cluster feeding is common during growth spurts however baby will soon resume normal feedings and this not a cause for concern.

Another reason why a mom might think they are not producing enough milk is because they are not as full or find they are no longer leaking as they have in the past. Your milk will self regulate and you may find with time that you may not leak or be as engorged.

The best way to tell if your production is reduced is through the babies weight gain and diapers. Be sure to keep track of how many diapers they have daily and talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned. I am linking a great article on how many diapers you should be changing daily from one month to one year here .

Pumping and Nursing

If you are a nursing mom that is not pumping you want to bring the baby to the breast frequently. The key here is frequency, not necessarily duration. Be sure to take the time to nurse every one to two hours including both breasts. Even if its just for a short period of time you are still stimulating your breasts to make more milk.

If you are a pumping mom be sure you have a high quality pump as this will help you to express more milk. Here is the link to the pump I used. Pull out that pump after each breastfeeding session. Even if you find you are not producing any milk you are still stimulating your breasts to make more milk.

It has been proven that a lactating mom will produce more milk in the morning. Add in an additional pumping session and take advantage of that window when your hormones for milk production are high. I would feed my baby and then add in an additional pumping session every morning. I would then stock pile the milk for a rainy day. I continued to do this until she was a year old and we were no longer donating.

How to Increase your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding: Power Pumping:

If you have not heard of power pumping you need to give it a try. When I started back at work I noticed a decrease in my milk production. I Power Pump on my way home at least weekly. You need an hour of time to do this and your pump in addition to a clock or timer. Please do this responsibility if you are driving, or save this until you are catching up on your favorite show on Netflix.

If you have not picked up your hands free cups or car adapter for your pump check out my previous breastfeeding post for the links.

Power Pumping:

  1. Attach your pump to both breasts and set your timer for 20 minutes
  2. Stop pumping but leave your cups on and rest for 10 minutes
  3. Pump for 10 minutes
  4. Rest for 10 minutes
  5. Finally Pump for 10 minutes, and then your done

The more frequently you can do this the better. You may not get any milk or you may find you achieve multiple letdowns that is fine keep trying and hopefully you will see an improvement soon.

How to Increase your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding: Supplementation

Supplementation can be helpful to some with a low milk supply. You should always talk to your doctor before supplementing. Also if you happen to donate milk please be sure to check with the donation company. It is important to be transparent and make sure you don’t need to withhold milk if you decide to go ahead with supplementation.

Fenugreek is a common supplement that some women swear by. I have used it since I have no longer been donating with success. I am linking the one I use below.

You can also use a mothers milk and lactation tea like the ones listed below. Traditional Medicinals and pink stork are great companies and their teas have awesome reviews via Amazon.

Another solution that some women swear by is fennel essential oil. It is applied to the breast and washed off before nursing. I have not used this myself but have heard great things from others who have. Be sure to use a good quality oil. Young Living and Doterra are a few of my favorites.

As your breastfeeding journey continues you may find that your menstrual cycle may cause you to struggle with milk production. I have found that a calcium and magnesium supplement can be very helpful see the item linked below.

How to Incorporate Galactogogue Foods

A Galactogue food is a food that helps to increase milk supply. I am listing some of the most common foods and how you can incorporate them into your diet.

  • Oats: the most well known Galactogue that is frequently used in lactation cookies.  You can purchase these cookies or make your own recipe.  Here is a link to a gluten free lactation cookie recipe from Nora of A clean Bake.  If you have Celiac disease please be sure to get certified gluten free oats as they are commonly cross contaminated with gluten.
  • Garlic: a common Galactogue and can be added to almost any dish.  Garlic has many benefits and adds great depths of flavor to your dishes. Be sure to increase it in your diet often for maximum benefits.
  • Brewers Yeast: this is a Galactogue that is frequently made with gluten. If you are able to tolerate gluten many people swear by a good beer. If not there are some non gluten sources of Brewers Yeast.
  • Fennel: Just like the essential oil this spice is also great for milk production.  It is added to many lactation teas but can be added to your food for great flavor. Think breakfast sausage or Thanksgiving dinner.

Fed is Best

Mama I see you out there struggling. Remember to do the best you can and don’t stress the rest. Stress is one factor that can definitely reduce your milk supply. Relax take a bath, and be sure to try skin to skin while nursing. As a new mom I was so focused on breastfeeding that I frequently had anxiety around it. I was scared to death that one day my milk would just stop flowing. I have had times where I struggled to produce milk but through it all I have been able to continue to feed my little one.

If you are unable to produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed don’t beat yourself up. I do encourage you to continue to breastfeed if you are able and supplement in addition. Your baby will still get the many benefits of breastfeeding even if it is not the sole source of nutrition. If you are unable to continue breastfeeding know you are also making the right choice for your baby. Above all the noise fed is always best.

Whats Up on this Wednesday

Anyone else over summer and ready for fall? This week has been so hot in our neck of the woods. I am hoping to get some more organization going within the house. I have been following fly lady and her routines. If you have never checked her out you need to! She is a great source for keeping your house in order! Stay tuned for Fridays post as I will be featuring a recipe that uses everyone’s favorite kitchen gadget the instant pot. This recipes is chocked full of veggies and its one that will be great for a fall night.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .

Lifestyle

Vitamin D and its Importance

Vitamin D and its Importance

Hello sunshine! Let’s talk about vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. New research shows that vitamin D plays a role in the prevention of chronic diseases.  These include cancer, heart disease, depression, autoimmune disease, and type 2 diabetes. According to the latest research, over half the population could be deficient in this important Vitamin.

Vitamin D and its Importance: Sources of Vitamin D

The sun is a great source of vitamin D, but unfortunately with our modern society many of us do not get adequate exposure. We also have to worry about the damage that the sun may cause.  Skin cancer is scary and when we protect ourselves from the sun with sunscreen, we are also blocking our vitamin D exposure. Additionally, many individuals may find that they have genetic mutations that prevent proper synthesis of vitamin D. This may make them continue to test low in vitamin D despite sun exposure.

Vitamin D and its Importance: How to Test Levels

Vitamin D is  fat soluble, meaning it can be toxic if taken in excess in supplemental form. It is important to have your doctor check your levels to make sure you are within the desired range. The best lab test is a 25 d hydroxyvitamin d blood test. You can get this through your regular doctor or if you prefer, you can order this without a doctor.   Check out quest diagnostics for more information.  There are also tests that can be done with a finger prick and sent off without having to go to a lab, if you are interested in this click here. 

Vitamin D and its Importance: Supplementation options

I choose safe sun exposure, limiting the amount of time I am outside and avoiding mid day sun, as it is the strongest.  I also supplement with vitamin D3 and added K2 as these two vitamins work synergistically for better absorption. I am linking a few of my favorite supplements below. After supplementing be sure to continue to check your levels, especially during the winter as they can drastically change. As always please be sure to contact your doctor before taking this or any medication.

https://amzn.to/2YyufW0

Vitamin K2 + D3 with Organic Coconut Oil for Better Absorption | 2-in-1 Support for Your Heart, Bones & Teeth | Vegan Certified, GMO & Gluten Free (60 Veggie Softgels)

https://amzn.to/2YslMnc

Vitamin D3 with K2 Liquid Drops, All Natural, Non GMO, 1208IU D3 and 25mcg K2 (MK7) Per Serving, Strengthen Bones, Boost Immune System and Energy Levels, with or Without Peppermint Oil

I love that this is an oil which is great for those who want to avoid taking a pill. One drop is 303% of your daily value.  This is great for those who may only need around 1000 IU, or need more on the days where they are not exposed to sun and less on the others.

Check out my previous post on Magnesium and how to get more of it.

Whats up Wingo:

I hope you all have had a great week so far.  Stay tuned for Friday’s Foodie Friday post as I have a recipe that you wont want to miss.  Keep the conversation going let me know how you all are doing and what you have been up to this week.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link. Thank you for your support.
Lifestyle

Breastfeeding Essentials

Infant baby girl wrapped in white sheet with pink bow in hair.

My Breastfeeding Journey

Today I am going to tell all you breastfeeding mamas about my must have breastfeeding essentials. This is going to be a multi part series about breastfeeding as I have been breastfeeding for just shy of 18 months. I have spent countless hours researching and have compiled a lot of good advice that I plan to share with you. This journey has had many ups and downs, tears and smiles. Breastfeeding might be one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it is definitely one of the most rewarding and biggest accomplishments of my life. I will go into my struggles and what helped me in future posts but this one is dedicated to my must haves so be sure to stay tuned.

Breastfeeding Essentials Pump and Pump Parts

Having a good quality pump is a very important breastfeeding essential. I received a Medela Pump in Style Advanced pump for my baby shower and have absolutely loved it. This pump is such great quality and that is key when choosing a pump. It is specifically designed to help with more breast milk expression. Be sure to get a good pump that is electric as manual pumps do not pull as much milk. Many insurance companies will pay for all or a portion of your pump. Heck get two if you are a working mom because lugging this thing around can be such a pain in the the butt! Below I am providing a link to my pump and a few others I have heard are good.

Pump Links

Medela Pump in Style Advanced
https://amzn.to/2lqsBTF
Spectra Pump
https://amzn.to/2lpCQri
Willow Breast Pump
https://shop.willowpump.com/pages/buy?kme=Google+Ad+Visit&km_Google+Ad+Id=340509355898&km_Google+Ad+Position=1o5&km_Google+Ad+Keyword=&km_Google+Ad+Matchtype=&km_Google+Ad+Network=g&km_Google+Ad+Device=c&utm_term=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwpavpBRDQARIsAPfTwizF5nK8pCGGiP1NtztNW0zUVsWbqDAVCwzTbFwWZiEvg75jtlVLTVQaAouiEALw_wcB

This is a very useful tool used to collect excess milk on the opposite breast while feeding. It is especially useful before your milk is regulated when you tend to leak often.

Breastfeeding Essentials Pump Accessories

The right accessories for your pump can make all the difference. When you spend so much time attached to your pump you will find it helpful to make the process as painless as possible.

You have to purchase this car adapter for your pump. The Medela comes with a battery pack but you will burn through those batteries in no time. If you are like me and don’t have a good place to pump or travel frequently this is a LIFESAVER! It works with several pumps but be sure to check to make sure it works with yours.

If you are struggling with pain you need to give these a try. Its made of soft silicone and definitely provide a softer feel while pumping.

Freemie cups are a must have! You can insert these into your bra without having to have a special bra and can pump completely hands free. I used these daily. They are a lifesaver and an absolute must!

These two pillows are the most popular. I did not have much success with the Boppy. I believe that my breast friend would have worked better for me. However some women swear by and really love these pillows.

https://amzn.to/2Sh7uiU

These nursing covers can be used as a car seat cover and a nursing cover. They are stretchy and are super comfy.

These are my favorite bags for storing milk in. I also used the up and up brand from target. I used an extra flange as a funnel for pouring the milk in to keep it from spilling.

This is another one of my favorite ways to freeze milk in 1 oz portions so you can be more precise as well as minimize your plastic. I freeze these then combine them all in one big zip lock or food safe cloth bag.

Breastfeeding Essentials Increasing/Decreasing Milk Supply

I am going to go into some ways to increase/ decrease your milk supply and let down in a future post but here are my must have items you need to purchase.

Fenugreek is great for increasing your milk supply and I have had great success with this. Please be sure to get the okay from your doctor before use.

Fennel is a great essential oil to use when increasing your milk supply. You can apply directly to the breast avoiding the nipple area and not during feedings. As usual please ask your doctor before use.

Peppermint tea can be helpful if you have an oversupply. Be cautious as to not decrease your supply to much and as always check with your physician.

Breastfeeding Essentials Breast Care

Stock photo

There are tons of different nipple balms and creams out there but my favorite is good old fashioned coconut oil. This is edible and there is no need to remove it before breastfeeding. It can provide lubrication to your nipple during pumping if you find it painful and is a great overall moisturizer. We grab ours in bulk from Costco.

You are definitely going to need some nursing pads. I love reusable ones as you can wash them, they are also safer for the environment and easier on your skin.

This massage tool is great for those who struggle with lumps and it helps to improve the flow of milk. I wish I had this at the beginning as I consistently had lumps and a lot of pain that was hard to work through.

Donation

I was able to donate over 500 ounces to those in need and I encourage you to look into this if you have an abundance of milk. I chose the Austin Milk Bank and will go into this at a further date.

Feeding Toddlers

Check out my previous post on what I feed my toddler for more information on providing sound meals and first foods in a thoughtful and healthful way.

Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

Breastfeeding Essentials Give Away

I am partnering with a mom of four including 5 month old twins in this giveaway. We will be giving away some nursing pads because you can never have enough. In order to be entered into the giveaway follow me on Instagram as well as her account on Instagram. Tag some mamas who need these nursing pads and a bonus entry is by following my blog. Give away ends Sunday night July 21, 2019 and the winner will be announced via Instagram on Monday July 22, 2019. Good luck to you all and I hope you enjoyed my Breastfeeding essentials.Breastfeeding essentials

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .

Lifestyle, Recipes

What I Feed My Toddler

Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

What I Feed My Toddler for Foodie Friday

Today I wanted to do something a little bit different for Foodie Friday. I am going to walk you through what I feed my toddler. As many of you already know I am a Registered Dietitian. I get questions quite often about what exactly I feed my daughter. These are my opinions and may or may not be what is best for your family. I hope I can provide some help to new moms who are looking for ideas on what to feed their toddler.

First Foods

When Amelia was six months old we introduced solids. Our first food was avocado. We chose this due to the fact that it was soft and not sweet. Ill let you take a look at the pictures below to see if you think she liked it or not.

As you can tell she was not a fan of avocado and still isn’t to this day. We stuck with a rule of one new food per three days. This was in order to determine if any allergies or intolerance may have occurred. This is such an important step when introducing foods. It can take a few days before you notice any changes in diapers, skin, etc. I kept a log so that I knew which foods we tried and the days in which we tried them. Needless to say she wasn’t too happy for a few days with just plain avocado. We decided to add in banana and mix it with the avocado and she loved it! Every few days we would add in a new food and continued with the old.

Food Textures

There are many different ways to start solids with little ones. This can include purees, baby led weaning or a little bit of both. Amelia did not do well with chunky textures at first. Gagging is unfortunately a normal part of learning to eat. It helps babies learn to move food back up to be further manipulated into more manageable pieces to swallow. We stuck with mostly smooth consistencies because along with the gagging she also vomited several times (TMI I know). I don’t know about you all but I HATE getting sick. Above all I wanted her to have association with food.

As she progressed and learned more about gumming her foods we attempted a thicker chunkier texture. If this lead to her getting sick we would not make a big deal about it and would try again later. As she reached around nine months she really wanted to hold onto her food. We introduced teething crackers which helped her learn how to chew and swallow even further. Amelia could feel them better in her mouth and learned what was too big of a bite. We continued with purees and slowly but surely went from puree to finger foods. By the end of her first year she could eat pretty much anything even without teeth!

To Make or Not to Make

It can be a tough decision when deciding exactly how to approach feeding your toddler. We made 99% of our baby food. It is cheaper, we had control of the ingredients, and we wanted to feed her what we ate. For example if were having Mexican sweet potatoes we would puree her up some sweet potatoes, and avocado. If chicken and broccoli are for dinner, broccoli puree it was.

I did some batch cooking for her to make it even easier. I would purchase the organic vegetables that were on sale. Bulk cook them and freeze them for later. I cooked grass fed ground beef added a little bit of broth and pureed that and froze it. This is a great way to make sure your little one is getting adequate iron. As we added in more food groups I made sure to provide more variety for optimal nutrients.

Spices, Garlic, and Fats Oh My

I was careful to be sure to include good fats like coconut oil and olive oil in my cooking. When she was still getting puree foods I mixed coconut oil in with her foods. She would sometimes take it straight off the spoon! Fat is excellent for brain development and I wanted to be sure she was getting enough of it. Currently we continue with healthy fats in addition to herbs, garlic, onions, spicy stuff and she typically gobbles it up.

Picky Eaters

We have been very careful to try and feed Amelia exactly as we eat. For this reason I believe we are blessed with a pretty good eater. There are times when some items are a little too spicy, tough, to chew etc. However for the most part she eats what we do.

I believe kids are picky in part because we allow them to be. Kids watch us and anticipate how to react even as young babies. If a parent doesn’t like a particular food and they make that known their children pick up on it. Now, I’m not saying you or your kid has to like broccoli. However I think its important to let our children decide for themselves if they like it or not. A prime example is grape tomatoes and black olives which I don’t care for. I am proud to say those are two of my kiddos favorite foods. I put my own bias aside and this has allowed her to develop her own opinion.

Clean your Plate

This is a controversial topic but I am going to give my opinion. A large reason why many people today have a problem with being overweight is due to being forced to clean our plates. Yes it is not good to waste but unless you are planning to donate your food it isn’t going to end up on the plate of those less fortunate anyway.

In my house we put an amount that we think Amelia will eat on her tray. She eats what she eats and we save the rest for later. It is as simple as that. In order to tell if your kiddo is full or not look to see if they are getting distracted. They tend to turn away and loose interest when they are done. As she has gotten older she will say “up”, or sometimes the food gets thrown on the ground. The biggest thing is to learn and pay attention to their cues.

I believe we are born with the innate ability to control what our body needs. If we are mindful we eat when we are hungry and stop when we are is full. Obviously you don’t want your kiddo going several meals without eating. If your child has skipped several meals, and you are worried please contact your pediatrician.

Links to some of the food items we used.

We bought a baby blender but found we didn’t like it as much as our regular blender. I know this is rather pricey but let me tell you its worth it! We have a Blendtec and I would repurchase again and again. If you are not looking to spend this much I have heard great things about the Ninja blender too.

Once we blended the food we would place in these silicone one ounce molds and freeze.

I purchased these reusable pouches which I still use today. We use them for smoothies and apple sauce. I also purchased these silicone toppers. I find they are more gentle on your little ones mouth and keep the food from getting everywhere.

We used this brand baby food if we needed to purchase in a pinch. I always choose organic and tried to stick with glass, and bpa free. Earth’s Best and Happy baby both make some great pouches and even Aldi has some good options.

These Creamies are awesome and they are full of really clean ingredients. They are also diary free for those babies who might not be able to tolerate diary.

These are my favorite teething “cookies” they are very clean and have very little sugar. They have a few different flavors and we like them all. I love that they are organic also.

Amelia loves freeze dried fruit. It can be hard to find organic but when you do its an awesome snack.

Here is a link to the divided plate pictured above

https://amzn.to/2Jhr2AJ

Food is For Fun

Remember the saying that before one food is just for fun. I tried to remind myself this on days where she didn’t eat as much. Remember to keep trying as tastes change, try and cook the item in different ways. I continue to offer the items that my daughter doesn’t like without force. One day I hope she will try it and decide she likes it. Take comfort in knowing that food is just for fun until one. Since you are breastfeeding or formula feeding for the first year its ok if a large amount is not consumed. Take this time to really experience flavors, textures and have fun with it!

If you have left over burgers from your fourth festivities and are looking for a delicious sauce try my tzatziki recipe. Add a little feta cheese and red onion and you have yourself a Greek burger.

Wooden bowl with metal spoon cucumber dip inside

Whats up with you

I hope you all have had a great fourth. Let’s keep the conversation going. Let me know what you feed your little ones.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualify purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .

Lifestyle

Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Guide

Honoring all the Dads in our Life

The month of June is the month in which we celebrate all the dads in our lives. This is my husbands second father’s day. I am so grateful he is the father to my daughter. He does so much for all of us and really deserves to be thanked not only on father’s day but every day. My husband cooks dinner, does the laundry, watches our girl during the week, and is her DAD not babysitter. There is something so special about a father and daughter bond and I can not wait to see how theirs grows with time.

Father’s day: Grandpas

Amelia is so lucky to have two of the best granddads out there. They are both so loving and have always been present in her life. I am so grateful for my dad. I have many fond memories of his stories, always playing silly games like “walking on the ceiling with mirror” and even blowing dry my hair as a kid. My father in law has always been there for my husband and I, and we are grateful to have two of the best dads out there. Thank you to all Dads you are so important to the family dynamic and your support is immeasurable. I hope you realize how much you are loved and valued not just on father’s day but every day.

Gifts for Dad: Super Last Minute

If you are like me I am the worst at trying to find the best father’s day gifts. I want it to be thoughtful but not something to cheesy. I have gathered a list of a few items for you to give the dads in your life even if you are short on time.

Car Wash

Car wash! Take the dads in your lives car to the car wash. This is a super easy way to show them that you care. Or better yet wash their car at home and get the kids involved. Below is the car wash we use and it can be purchased most places like Amazon, Walmart, or automotive stores.

Free Father’s Day Interview Printable Card:

Father's Day Printable Books from Fun Cheap or Free
https://funcheaporfree.com/fathers-day-printable-gift-idea-interview-book/

Ladies if you have not already heard of Jordan Page, of Fun cheap or Free you are missing out. This lady is one of the smartest moms out there. Her and her husband are parents of six. They give tons of advice for living more frugally, paying off debt, budgeting, and shopping while saving. Such a great resource so go check her stuff out.

This interview card is such a sweet idea! This will be something you can repeat each year to see how your kiddos answers change. This is definitely one of the most thoughtful gifts out there and the printable is free!

Coupon Book:

This is a repeat idea from my mother’s day post. This is such a easy gift and I used to make this for both my mom and dad growing up. So here is how you do it. Get yourself some construction paper a hole punch and some string. Punch some holes and string your coupons together. Here are a few ideas for your coupon book. I owe you one free lawn mowing. Or something like one free dog walk. Or even as simple as breakfast in bed. This idea is so clever and if you have littles be sure to get them involved in this father’s day activity.

Dad Day:

Dedicate a day even if it is not on father’s day. Use this day to eat wherever, shop or go wherever the one you are celebrating chooses. This is a fun way to let them take control of the day and spend it how they want. I love this idea and its really fun for the whole family.

Outdoor gift package:

Get your dads an awesome cooler or tumbler. Yeti has a rotomolded type cooler, and awesome tumblers, and they are pricey but excellent. You can use them for fishing, camping, and all sorts of things during the summer. They really do keep things cold for days! Some reviewers even reported the cooler keeping ice cold for a week. There are plenty of videos on how to load your Yeti that will help lengthen the time in which it stays cold.

Here is a link to a video on how to pack your Yeti

They also sell Ozark trail mugs and coolers that are similar to Yeti but at lower price points at Walmart if you are interested.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-30-Ounce-Double-Wall-Vacuum-Sealed-Tumbler/171452737

Dinner and Movie at Home

https://whatsupwingo.com/2019/06/02/sous-vide-steak-our-first-attempt/

One of my favorite ideas is dinner and movie at home. You can go out and get some steaks, wings, or whatever your loved one prefers. Then cook it up on the grill. Be sure to make a movie gift package! In this gift include popcorn, movie, and candy if you desire or whatever your prefer when watching a movie. This is super fun and a great way to enjoy the holiday at home. Above is a link to my Sous Vide Steak a great way to make sure that you are getting a perfectly evenly cooked steak if you are interested.

What’s up with you?

What are you up to this father’s day weekend. I hope you all have a great weekend celebrating all the dads in your life. Leave a comment and keep the conversation going.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualify purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .