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!

Recipes, Uncategorized

Strawberry Spinach Salad

white bowl filled with green spinach, cooked chicken, strawberries, red onion, pecans, and goat cheese

Strawberry Spinach Salad: Foodie Friday

TGIF y’all! Boy has it been a long week, I am ready for the weekend. This Friday I bring you a super simple salad that is definitely one of my favorites. The sweet and savory combo hits the spot and you can have this meal ready to go in no time at all. Just what I like on a Friday night.

Strawberry Spinach Salad: What you will Need

This recipe calls for very minimal ingredients and you can add or subtract as you fancy.

  • Spinach ( Organic Baby is my preference)
  • Strawberries (Organic as usual especially berries)  If you don’t care for strawberries you can try blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or a combo of all the above.  You can also sub for apples, pears, or peaches.  If you are in a big pinch add in dried fruit of your choice
  • Pecans you could also sub almonds, or walnuts.  if you have a nut allergy sunflower seeds work wonderfully
  • red onion
  • cooked chicken breast.  You can also sub in a rotisserie chicken for quick prep
  • goat cheese
  • Add olive oil and vinegar vinaigrette.  You can also sub in balsamic, poppy seed dressing, or homemade.

Strawberry Spinach Salad: Directions

  1. Start by breaking up your spinach into smaller pieces if you desire.  This is not necessary but we prefer our leaves more bite sized.
  2. Wash and slice your berries use as few or little as your desire
  3. Dice about a fourth to one half of red onion
  4. Add in your cooked chicken I use around a pound for four servings
  5. Add in around four ounces or a cup of pecans
  6. Add in four ounces of goat cheese
  7. Combine all of these ingredients
  8. Add dressing of your choice.

Strawberry Spinach Salad: Dressing Options

Below are a few of my favorite go to premixed dressings that can be found at most local grocery stores or on amazon. I like that they do not contain high fructose corn syrup, are made with olive oil, and have very little ingredients. You absolutely can mix a dressing with one part vinegar to two or three parts oil and add in spices of your liking.

It is World breastfeeding week and in honor of that I would love for you to check out my previous blog post on breastfeeding here.

Newborn baby in white sheet with pink bow in hair

Whats up Wingo:

This past weekend I was able to get the master closet organized and am super pleased. During all of that organization I found and purchased this mirrored jewelry organizer. It was just delivered from amazon and I can’t wait to get it put in the master closet. If you missed my previous post this week about vitamin d and how important it is click the link here. I also posted a picture of our sloppy Joe sweet potato to Instagram it was a big hit! Make sure you are also following me on Instagram for more frequent postings. What have you all been up to this week? Let me know what recipes you all would like to see in the future. Happy Eating!

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

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.
Recipes

All About Smoothies

Hand holding blender full of frozen mango, banana, spinach, berries, avocado, and almond milk.

All About Smoothies: For Foodie Friday

Happy Foodie Friday! As I type this Amelia and I just got back from the Zoo with my good friend and her boys. I just checked the temperature and it is 102 degree heat index. The pool is calling my name and I just can’t be bothered to cook. Therefore, I am posting all about smoothies. Included in this post are some of my favorite Smoothie combinations. I also include things you can add to boost the nutrition of your smoothies. I hope you enjoy, and stay cool out there!

All About Smoothies: How I think About Building My Smoothie.

When building my smoothie the first step I think about is if its a meal or a snack. If I want a quick snack i don’t worry as much about the ingredients. When a smoothie is my meal I include some good fats and protein for blood sugar stabilization, this will help you feel fuller for longer. The different categories of my smoothie include fruit and or vegetables, greens, fats, protein, and extras. I will go into more detail in the information below.

All About Smoothies: Organic or Conventional Produce

When purchasing produce for a smoothie I try and stick with organic whenever possible. This is especially important when buying fruits with thin skin, or skins that you eat like berries, stone fruits, and greens. However, I am less worried about bananas, watermelon, oranges and things that I peel.

All About Smoothies: Making them Sweet without Sugar

I like to add a frozen banana to my smoothie as it makes it a lot sweeter and gives it a smooth texture. I keep a zip lock bag in my freezer and whenever I have a banana that is getting too ripe I unwrap it and throw it in there. Then I have a steady supply of bananas for banana bread or my smoothie. Bananas are great frozen and they even break off effortlessly into chunks to make it easier on your blender.

I also find oranges and the juice from them to be fairly sweet. Their sweetness is a great addition to your smoothie. You can add a little pineapple juice for a more tropical sweetness. I have been known to throw in a little Stevia from time to time if needed. This can be especially true when I have a smoothie that is heavy on greens.

All About Smoothies: Why I Add Fat

Many of us are afraid of fat. When you add a good source of fat to your smoothie it not only helps with the texture and creaminess but your fullness factor as well. Your smoothie will stick with you longer and it can be helpful in balancing out the high carbohydrate load. My favorite fat choices include avocado, coconut oil, and coconut milk.

All About Smoothies: Protein Options

In addition to fats, if you are wanting your smoothie to be more filling adding a protein source can be very helpful. Some of my favorites are grass fed Stevia sweetened or unsweetened protein, Hemp protein with Stevia, collagen peptides and amino acid supplements. I also like to add in nut butters like peanut, almond, cashew, and sun butter. Greek and regular yogurt are another great addition, grass feed, organic and full fat are my favorites.

Here are a few of the protein powders I prefer.

All About Smoothies: Adding Greens

I add greens to almost every smoothie I make. If you are looking for a more mild flavor stick with spinach. I also love to use kale, and the super green mixtures. I always choose organic and it doesn’t matter if they are frozen or fresh.

blender filled with spinach and avacado

All About Smoothies: Tips and Tricks

If you have fresh fruit or greens that are about to spoil freeze them and put them in your smoothies. For Berries or other fruits lay them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Once your fruit is frozen add them to a bag so this way they won’t stick together.

If you have a favorite recipe go ahead and portion out your ingredients. By placing them into smaller bags you are setting yourself up for success. That way on a busy day you can put it into the blender add your liquid and your done!

Always add the liquid to the bottom part of the blender. As a result your blender will blend effortlessly for a smooth consistency.

If you have left over smoothie put it in ice cube trays and once they are frozen add instead of ice to additional smoothies in the future.

If you cut up a avocado and don’t use it all freeze it. Place slices or chunks on parchment paper and once frozen throw it into a smoothie.

If your smoothie is to thick to drink pour it in a bowl add some coconut and chia seeds and eat it with a spoon!

Smoothies are a great way to add in additional ingredients or what I like to call extras. I add many of the following:

coconut oil

fiber through chia seeds

probiotic powders

Spirulina

turmeric

Ginger

and any other super food you want to boost up the nutritional value.

Don’t be afraid of veggies. For instance you can easily add carrot, greens and even cauliflower to your smoothie without even knowing it. If you are concerned about blood sugar please don’t be afraid to experiment with these non starchy options.

Check out this previous post

If you are looking for more information about feeding your toddler check out my blog post here. I include a link to these adorable pouches that are definitely a must for toddlers’ smoothies.

smoothie pouch with pig on front for toddler.
Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

Now on to the Recipes!

Tropical Smoothie

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup Greek whole milk yogurt

add organic frozen tropical mix (pineapple, mango)

Add 1/2 frozen banana

handful of spinach

1 small grated carrot

1 tbsp coconut oil

Blend and enjoy

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

1/2 cup milk of choice

1 scoop chocolate Tara’s whey protein powder or protein powder of your choice.

1 banana

1 tablespoon peanut butter or nut butter of your choice.

1 handful of spinach

Blend and enjoy

Very Berry Smoothie

1/2 cup milk of choice

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

mixed organic berries

handful of spinach

1 avocado

1/2 frozen banana

1 scoop of vital proteins collagen peptides.

Blend and enjoy

Almond milk, avacado, blender with smoothie on top of a cutting board

Whats up with You?

I hope you all have a great weekend and please let me know if you try and like these smoothies! Above all have fun with it.

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

Recipes

BBQ Ranch Pork Chop Salad with Brussels Sprouts & Kale

Crunchy bbq ranch salad with pork

Foodie Friday: Recipe Adapted from the Real Food RDs.

Happy Foodie Friday! Today I am doing things a little different and featuring a recipe developed by the Real food Dietitians Jess and Stacie. I love the ladies behind this site! As a fellow RD it is so nice to see individuals that have similar thoughts on food and nutrition. As stated on their website they have gluten free and allergen friendly meals. BBQ Ranch Pork Chop Salad with Brussels Sprouts & Kale is the recipe I will be making today on this Foodie Friday.

BBQ Ranch Pork Chop Salad with Brussels Sprouts & Kale

Today I am taking a recipe from the Real food Dietitians website and putting a little different spin on it. Their recipe features a crunchy and super delicious salad made with green kale, and Brussels sprouts for extra nutrition and super crunchiness. If you are a fan of the combination of BBQ and Ranch you have got to make this recipe. The Brussels sprouts are shredded and are extremely mild in this dish. Before heading on over to their site for the directions I am going to walk you through the ingredients, substitutions, and changes I made.

Equipment Needed

For this recipe a really useful tool is a food processor with a shredded attachment and the regular blade also. This will definitely save you some time on cutting and chopping. I used the shredder for the Brussels sprouts and carrots. I used the regular blade for the red onion. I used a whisk for combining the BBQ sauce and ranch and a large bowl for combining the salad. I used a skillet to pan fry the pork chops.

Substitutions and Adaptations

For this recipe I did not have any golden raisins on hand so I didn’t include them in the recipe. I also used a different brand of BBQ sauce and Ranch. However Tesseme’s is a fabulous brand and you should definitely give their sauces and dressings a shot.

Ingredients Needed

Pork chop with kale salad with shredded carrots

You will need :

shredded carrots

shredded Brussels sprouts

red onion

Green Kale

toasted slivered almonds

Ranch and BBQ of choice.

Bacon or bacon bits

I added some cooked pork chops to add a little extra protein.

Check out the full recipe here

If you are looking for more Salad inspiration check out my previous Foodie Friday

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

Please go check out my fellow RD’s and their website. They have TONS of amazing recipes on their website that you don’t want to miss.

What I feed my Toddler

I often get asked questions about what I feed my toddler as a Registered Dietitian. I wrote a previous post about it here

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

Whats up With You?

I hope you all have had a great week and have a fabulous weekend! Let’s keep the conversation going and let me know what’s up with you?

Recipes

Taco Salad For Foodie Friday

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

Taco Salad for Foodie Friday

I hope you all had a good week. This week has been really busy for me and lets just say TGIF! This week I am sticking with a super simple recipe of Taco Salad for Foodie Friday. This salad is so tasty and with all the veggies it is definitely far from boring. Lets get on to the recipe.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 head of romaine chopped and washed.
  • 1 small can of sliced black olives drained
  • A whole carrot peeled and julienne
  • A pound Ground beef
  • 1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • Sour cream and salsa of choice to taste
  • cooking fat (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of this primal palate taco seasoning or seasoning packet of choice

Let’s Get Cooking

  1. First combine ground beef and taco seasoning cook through, add cooking fat of choice if needed.
  2. While your meat is cooking wash, cut and dry lettuce. Place in a bowl.
  3. Prepare your avocado, use peeler to julienne your carrot.
  4. Combine the avocado, carrot, sliced olives, and shredded cheese.
  5. Add your cooked ground beef.
  6. Top with salsa and sour cream to your liking.

serve immediately and enjoy

Check out some more salad inspiration https://whatsupwingo.com/2019/06/14/foodie-friday-cobb-salad-with-a-twist/

white bowl with romaine lettuce topped with salmon, cheese, bacon, boiled egg, and avacado

Whats up with you?

I am looking forward to the weekend and the fourth which is just around the corner. Keep the conversation going and let me know what is up with you. Happy Friday!

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 .