Archive for February, 2008

Breastmilk Contains Stem Cells

Research out of Australia is showing that breastmilk contains stem cells. Just another example of how God perfectly designed our bodies. His infinite wisdom and care is astounding!

Breastmilk Contains Stem Cells

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Smoothie Surprise!

I love to make this snack for my 14 month old son in the afternoons! It is full of fiber and veggies, not just fruit. Now that he has figured out how to drink from a straw, he is more eager than ever to have one of mommy’s smoothies! Enjoy…

Smoothie Surprise

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5-6 frozen, unsweetened organic strawberries
½ c. frozen, unsweetened blueberries
¾ c. 100% apple juice, chilled
½ c. water
½ medium zucchini, chopped
5-6 baby carrots
fistful of cabbage
1 small banana
¼ c. plain yogurt
1 T. wheat germ
1 T. oat bran
1 T. flaxseed meal

Pour the apple juice and water into the blender. Add the strawberries and blueberries and pulse until combined. Add the zucchini, carrots and cabbage, and pulse again adding more water if needed. Then toss in the banana, yogurt, wheat germ, oat bran, and flaxseed meal. Mix until you reach the desired consistency, adding more water or juice as needed. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

A few suggestions:
• Buy frozen strawberries and blueberries as well as bananas & baby carrots at your local warehouse club (Sam’s, Costco, BJ’s). If our bananas ripen before we can eat them, I peel and freeze them, which works out perfectly for smoothies. I puree my baby carrots and freeze them in ice cube trays if we can’t eat them fast enough.
• Instead of plain water, try seltzer water or club soda for a little extra zing!
• If the smoothie is for adults, consider using Dannon’s All Natural Plain yogurt which has 2 ingredients – milk and active yogurt cultures. If the smoothie is for children consider using Stonyfield Farm’s Organic Whole Milk Plain yogurt, which has a few more ingredients – milk, inulin, pectin, and 6 active cultures.
• Keep your flaxseed meal in the freezer and your wheat germ in the fridge.
• If you have some leftover, pour it into a pitcher and save it for dessert after dinner. It will keep for about a day in the fridge.
• Have fun experimenting with your own creations. I love to add pureed mango from our freezer if I have it on hand. Sometimes I don’t have a few of my favorite ingredients as listed above, but the smoothie still turns out great. (The photo above is minus blueberries. Normally, the drink is a lot darker.)

Oh, and why do I call it such a generic name — smoothie surprise? Well, because everyone I serve it to is shocked that’s there’s cabbage and zucchini in it!

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Here is my son signing, “more, more!”

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Crunchy Granola Bars

Several years ago my mother-in-law gave me a granola bar recipe that I love! I have played with it a lot in order to make it healthier. Here it is…
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½ c. unsalted butter, melted
¼ c. brown sugar
1/3 c. honey
1 t. vanilla
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
½ c. flaxseed meal
4 c. quick rolling oats, uncooked
1 c. walnuts, chopped*

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Melt the butter and then add the sugar. Add all other ingredients. Mix very well (make sure all of the ingredients are “wet” otherwise you will have loose granola rather than bars). Press firmly into a well greased 15”x10” jelly roll pan (Pampered Chef stone works best). Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly browned and bubbling. Remove from oven, press bars down again and return to oven for another two to three minutes. Remove bars and cut immediately. Let cool and then store in an airtight container or ziploc.

*Another variation is to skip the walnuts but add wheat germ. It gives the bars a nutty taste. I’ve found that if you do so, it’s best to add 2 more T. of melted butter to hold the bars together. If you want both walnuts and wheat germ, that works too. Just remember to add that extra butter.

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Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

It truly is amazing how uniquely God made a woman’s body. During my first pregnancy I was in constant awe at how my body was able to grow and nurture another human being. My first pregnancy was pretty textbook. I had the occasional bout of morning sickness and I gained the appropriate amount of weight, but I also had considerable hip and lower back pain. During pregnancy the body releases a hormone, Relaxin. Relaxin has the job of helping loosen the ligaments in the hip and pelvis area as to make room for the birth of a baby. I could literally feel this change in my body as I lie awake late into the night. The majority of the weight I gained was in my belly and this also caused me considerable lower back pain. I was encouraged by my regular OB to take Tylenol and even Tylenol PM at night. That idea did not appeal to me as I knew it may not be the best thing for my baby. I came across an article in a parenting magazine that discussed the benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women. It looked like the best alternative to medicine.

I discovered along the way that chriopractic care does more than relieve the painful nuances of pregnancy. Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Chiropractic care reduces the nausea and sometimes vomiting.
  2. Can help prevent back labor.
  3. Offers a very specific method for helping turn breech babies.
  4. Can align the spine and pelvis to make room for the baby and therefore a shorter and less traumatic labor and delivery for mom and baby.
  5. Chiropractic care can also ease post-partum recovery as well. My first labor was 12 hours and I pushed for 40 minutes. My second labor was about 4 hours and I pushed one time! I sincerely believe that my visits to the chiropractor played a huge part in those relatively easy deliveries.

So how does the chiropractor do it? From a layman’s point of view it seems pretty simple. During pregnancy the changes in a woman’s body causes the pelvis to become misaligned. This reduces the amount of room the baby has during delivery. Its pretty common these days to hear of birth stories where forceps or vacuums had to be used because the baby was stuck.Even more commonplace are the number of caserean sections being performed. A chiropractor reduces stress on the spine by performing an adjustment. The patient lays on their stomach. For pregnant women the chiropractor will have a table where the center collapses or a specially designed maternity pillow that encases your stomach while laying down. The doctor then applies a light pressure to the spine to help restore normal alignment and motion. Its painless and there is usually immediate relief.

When searching for a chiropractor make sure that the person has been trained in caring for pregnant women and and has experience in this area. For more information on this topic you can go to http://www.amerchiro.org/content_css.cfm?CID=85

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Substituting Flaxseed meal for fat & eggs

My sister-in-law and I were discussing flaxseed meal two years ago (I know…weird) when she passed along the following substitutions:

2 T. flaxseed meal = 1 T. margarine, butter, or cooking oil6035_goldflaxmeal16oz.jpg

* When baking with flaxseed meal as a fat substitute, baked goods will brown more quickly.

1 T. flaxseed meal + 3 T. water (let stand for a few min.) = 1 egg

* This mixture works well in recipes such as pancakes, muffins, and cookies. It will result in a chewier version of the recipe.

Flaxseed can be substituted for fat because of it’s composition:
21% protein

42% fat (omega 3’s 24%, omega 6’s 6%, monounsat 8%, sat 4%)

28% fiber

6% carb

3% other

Oh and why would you go to the trouble of such substitutions? Flaxseed meal…

  • Contains healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils—no trans fat or partially hydrogenated fat.
  • An excellent source of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), a powerful compound that is converted by the body to healthy omega-3 fats.
  • Contains more dietary fiber—about 28% of flax seed is dietary fiber—than other whole-grain ingredients.
  • Highly soluble fiber lowers the glycemic index by slowing the absorption of sugars from the intestinal tract.
  • Significant source of high-quality protein—protein ratio equivalent to that of beef, chicken, pork, or fish—makes flax seed ideal for vegans and vegetarians.
  • The richest source of lignans—a phytoestrogen that affects the metabolism of estrogen—providing 75-800 times higher levels than other plant sources.
  • Full of complex carbohydrates with little to no net carbohydrates.
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals such as B-6 and magnesium.

Mmmm, bring on the flaxseed meal!!

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Christian Parenting Books

“How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14.

Pastor and teacher John MacArthur states that as Christian parents, we are the first and most important preachers that God has given to our children. He goes on to say that we have a better opportunity than anyone to help frame what they know about Christ and that every moment of their lives is a teaching opportunity (Deut. 6:6-7). Here are some books to help us bring up our children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).

What The Bible Says About Parenting: Biblical Principle For Raising Godly Children by John MacArthur
* More than ever, Christians need to know what the Bible actually teaches about parenting, and put it into practice. In What the Bible Says About Parenting, pastor/teacher John MacArthur presents time-proven principles of Biblical parenting, clearly and carefully, to help parents make sense of their duties before God and to bring up their children in the ways of the Lord. This is an absolute must-have book. I am going through it for the second time now, highlighting and soaking in every word, especially those on effectively sharing the law and gospel with your children. My husband and I love MacArthur’s work and this book is no exception.

Teach Them Diligently: How To Use The Scriptures In Child Training by Louis Paul Priolo
* Priolo gives detailed explanations along with categorized scriptures of how to convict, rebuke, teach, and train your children with God’s Word. A must-have for any parent who desires to bring up children to be spiritually equipped to handle life.

Parenting With Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments by Kara Durbin

* Author Kara Durbin’s passion is for parents to capture those teachable moments and use Scripture to shape their children’s behavior. She offers Parenting With Scripture, a unique topical guide to prepare parents with scriptural teaching and helpful activities on 100 specific behaviors.

My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt
* With this colorful book, Susan Hunt provides a fun way to help young readers learn about God’s truth. Each letter of the alphabet has a corresponding Bible verse and is accompanied by a story to illustrate the scriptural passage.

For Instructions in Righteousness: A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child-Training by Pam Forster

* This book will help you use the Bible every time you discipline your children! It includes hundreds of verses on over 50 areas of sin. But it is more than just a topical Bible. Each chapter includes listings such as “What the Bible says will, or should, happen to a person who sins in this way;” “Ideas for discipline that parallel these Biblical consequences;” and “How God blesses the person who resists temptations to this sort of sin.” This book is based on the premise that if we train our children to submit to the authority of God’s standards, those standards will not change when the children grow up and leave the authority of our homes and we don’t want to discipline in anger; we want to show grief over the child’s sin, and we want to lead him to true repentance. This book is has wealth of material for parents’ personal Bible study, family worship, character training, unit studies, and Bible study projects for older children.

Thanks to Karen for sharing this last book with me, along with all of her other tried and true mothering tips. What a mentor! I should also mention that when we were discussing the book, my friend Julie shared that it was by the same company (Doorposts) that made the “If-Then chart” that she keeps on her fridge (see an example line below). It sounds like another great Biblical parenting tool. Thanks, ladies! If you have a book or tool for Christian parenting that you have found helpful, please, please share it. That’s what this site it all about — learning from each other so that we may nurture and admonish our children in the ways of the Lord!

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The Business of Being Born

 

to be released on DVD on February 26, 2008 at Netflix or available for purchase in late March 2008…

 

 

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