Hair so healthy, it shines! (No Pantene, you probably already have this all natural product at home)

Hair so healthy, it shines! (No Pantene, you probably already have this all natural product at home)

I’m a natural dark haired brunette and I’ve colored and highlighted my hair blonde for the past 6 years. It was hay-like and super damaged to say the least.

Once I had my daughter, I wanted to go back to being brunette so we can be twins.

Many hair products tend to be full of harmful toxic chemicals, so I was looking into different hair masks and this kinda-gross egg/mayo treatment and was deciding what to do.

I went to my pilates session and my instructors hair looked so shiny and just super healthy! I see her twice a week so it stood out to me. I asked her what she did and she goes “oh, I try and do a coconut oil hair mask whenever I have the time.”

All my questions led to me trying it and LOVING the results! My hair was silky smooth and pretty much looked like my pre-highlighted virgin hair.

What you’ll need: a plastic shower/hair cap and coconut oil.

Put coconut oil (I buy the cold pressed unrefined organic one from Costco) all over your hair. It doesn’t matter if you washed your hair that day or if you haven’t in a few days, if your hair is wet or dry.. it works with whatever. Don’t use too much because the heat from your head melts it and it will run all down your face.

Put it up in a bun, put your shower cap over it and leave it on for 30 minutes to overnight. The time is up to you. I leave mine in for 3 hours. In this time I do work, I cook, do laundry, play with my little one, nap, whatever. The longer you leave the coconut oil on, the more it will condition your hair.

After x amount of time, wash with shampoo (maybe twice) and conditioner per usual. It washes right out no worries about it.

I brushed and blow dried my hair after and WALLAH! 💫 Magic.

Coconut oil nourishes your hair with vitamins, minerals and the medium-chain fatty acids. It’s really a wonderful way to give your hair an au naturel healthy boost. Rich in antioxidants, and containing anti-fungal/ antibacterial properties it not only leaves your hair feeling moisturized but it cleans it too!

Because of all these properties, coconut oil is so good for preventing dryness not just in your hair, but your scalp too! Bye-bye Head & Shoulders!

Repeat once a week for best results.

Enjoy ❤️

Pumping while you breastfeed (the key to keeping your milk supply up)

Pumping while you breastfeed (the key to keeping your milk supply up)

Unless you have twins of course! I don’t know about you but for the first couple of months I’d always breastfeed on one breast, hold the other with my arm/hand so no milk would flow out and then have my baby switch sides.

UNTIL.. my friend told me this genius idea: Breastfeed on one side and pump the other at the same time so your body knows to consistently produce two breasts full of milk. Genius? Or am I just late to the party?

It has helped keep my supply up so much! You should check out my post on other ways to increase milk supply. Also, in the event your LO doesn’t want the other breast, you’re left with different milk production schedules. You want your milk to come in at the same time with both breasts and be completely emptied out at the same time for your supply’s sake. If your LO doesn’t fully empty out your breast, make sure to pump the rest out.

You can save the pumped bottle, or give it to your little one if s/he’s still hungry. The point is.. once I started doing this, I never stopped. Unless of course, it’s the middle of the night and I’m half asleep. You should also read my article on clogged milk ducts so that this doesn’t happen to you by not expressing your milk often enough.

So there’s a quick tip to keeping your milk production in unison and keeping your milk supply up.

I’d love to hear your thoughts/comments!

Brain food smoothie

Brain food smoothie

I swear pregnancy and becoming a mother has been changing me for the better. I am trying to be my healthiest, fittest, self-loving version of myself for some cute little thang looking up to me now.

I created a smoothie recipe that tastes pretty good, includes some super nutritious foods and contributes to anti-brain aging, improvement in athletic performance, it’s high in fiber and rich in vitamin C and K.

1 cup organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 medium sized organic beet (cut up so it doesn’t get stuck in the blender)
2-3 cups of (frozen) spinach (I use half a bag of the organic baby spinach from Trader Joes)
1 tablespoon organic flax meal
lemon juice to taste.. (i add a lot)
3-4 cups of water

I blend all these ingredients into my Ninja blender for a good 3-5 minutes, starting with level 3 and ending in level 1 to make it super smooth.

This is an easy peasy way to get your brain food in while giving you an energy boost!


How to tell if your breast milk has gone bad

How to tell if your breast milk has gone bad

When I first gave birth I knew right away I wanted to breastfeed as long as possible. This came with 101 questions and more. Luckily I had my doula to help me along with several questions and now I’m going on 7 months of breastfeeding/pumping.

One of my questions was about keeping breast milk out vs putting it in the fridge vs freezing it. I didn’t want any of my liquid gold going bad because I wasn’t sure how long I would have a supply for. 
You’ll know if your milk has gone bad by the smell, but if you still can’t tell..

The answer to that question was simple. Babies won’t drink the milk if it’s bad.

If you try and give your LO milk and they reject it, rest assured that you can throw it out. 

(FYI: this may happen anyway if you have too much citrus in your diet or something else your LO doesn’t take a liking to. I learned this by being sick and stocking up on lemon juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, emergen-c and my LO was not having it those couple of days.)

Other than that.. your milk stays good in the fridge 3-5 days after you pump. And it stays good anywhere from 3-12 months in the freezer depending if you have a small, normal or deep freezer.

My advice is just date and freeze the milk after each pump. You’ll want to take as much air out as possible when sealing.  Then you’ll want to lay your bag flat in your freezer until frozen and then reposition them upright to conserve space so that they’re like little files. 
It takes about 3-5 minutes of running it under hot water to get it to a temperature similar to it coming out of your breast. 

Make sure not to give it to your baby a second time if he or she doesn’t finish your frozen breast milk.  Once unfrozen, you give it to your baby and if he or she doesn’t finish, you throw it out!

My favorite milk bags are the NUK storage bags and the Lasinoh storage bags.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you may have!

Perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs (taking off the shell is easy too!)

Perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs (taking off the shell is easy too!)

Hard boiled eggs are the easiest breakfast choice for us in our family. Always on the go, easy to eat anytime, anywhere. We sprinkle a little salt on them and they’re ready to go.

Bring a pot of water to a boil
Once boiled, place your eggs in the pot.
Once the water is boiling again, put a timer for 6-7 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, let your eggs sit for 1-2 minutes.
Dump the water out into the sink.
Give the eggs a few tosses in the pot so they all crack a little at the same time.
Put a good amount of ice in the pot and fill the pot up with cold water.
Wait 2-3 minutes.
Dump the ice water and start cracking.


Congested baby (without a cold)

Congested baby (without a cold)

My 6 and a half month baby girl has been through the worst of congestion. I hear from everyone it’s normal for babies to get congested because their nasal passages are so small, but she has been through it really, really bad. I’m thankful it’s never associated with a cold, but it breaks my heart when she can’t breathe or nurse because she literally can not breathe.

I had a hard time finding any online help with congested without a cold. I had to really dig deep and ask my pediatrician (a Chinese practice doctor who has an eastern medicine way about things.)

Here are the things that have worked for us, if your little one is congested:

  1. Drink straight lemon juice with cayenne pepper once daily. I mean a lot of lemon juice and a lot of cayenne pepper. (This is for breastfeeding mamas only. Whatever you ingest, baby ingests in a small form and I truly believe this has helped my LO)
  2. I use Zarbee’s Naturals Soothing Baby Chest Rub on her chest (not touching their nipples), on her back and back of the neck and on the soles of her feet with socks over it.
  3. Boogie Saline Nasal Drops (I prefer these over any others due to their ingredients) in combination with a Baby Nasal Aspirator. My preferred choice is NoseFrida by Fridababy. Some parents prefer the bulb syringe but when your baby kicks, screams and cries the way mine does, I can’t help but to think its too rough for her — she doesn’t get that way whatsoever with the NoseFrida.
  4. Wrap your little bundle at night so they’re nice and warm, put an extra blanket on them, and lay him/her upright.. at about a 25 degree angle. They fall asleep just fine as long as their snuggled and bundled up.
  5. Put on a space heater if you have one and a humidifier. Yes, the heat dries the air, but it also makes the boogies come out of your LO.. and the humidifier moistens it. I got my humidifier on amazon after trying 3 or 4 and returning. I love this one because it’s big enough to last all night on full blast, it’s easy to refill and clean and you can use the mist nozzle to direct it where you want.
  6. Take a hot steamy bath with your LO or…. what I prefer because I don’t like taking her wet out of the shower, is putting her jumperoo in the shower (or any upright toy/chair you may have) and hanging out with her in the bathroom as it fills up with steam. When my LO was bouncing like crazy in her jumperoo in our steamy bathroom, all the mucus and snot was just falling out of her nose on to her jumperoo cushion, which I then washed and dried.
  7. Give your LO some organic chamomile tea, start with about 0.5oz of warm tea in a dropper. (This is for babies 6+ months)
  8. Nurse, nurse, nurse. Our bodies are amazing machines and knows what your LO needs through his/her saliva entering your nipple. The more your nurse her the more your milk will change to thin her mucus up and clear her congestion.

My fiancee suffers from congestion (without ever being sick). Every morning he wakes up a little congested no matter where we are living, no matter what the season is, it’s just how he is and how his dad is too. My LO may have gotten those same genetics and it’s important to know how to deal with them in the most beneficial way for your baby, rather than just giving baby OTC meds or infant tylenol.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, how you deal with your LO’s congestion, if any of my suggestions work for you or if you have any questions!

My favorite podcasts right now

My favorite podcasts right now

If you’re anything like me, you love all things crime. I’m obsessed with reading and watching anything and everything about serial killers. My latest read was The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule.

I’ve never really been much into watching TV, really only when I’m on the stair master at the gym. I think one of the coolest things about our phones are the free podcasts! So here are a few of my favorite crime related podcasts right now:

-Dr. Death
-Dirty John
-In the Dark
-Up and Vanished
-Teachers Pet
-Female Criminals

Some of my favorites that I’ve finished listening to, are:

-True Crime Garage
-My Favorite Murder

One of my friends just told me about a show on Netflix called: An Innocent Man
I’ll give that one a shot while I’m knocking out cardio this week.

I love getting recommendations! Drop a line with your favorite podcasts or true crime shows, or let me know how you like any of my favorites!

Perfectly cooked asparagus, every time.

Perfectly cooked asparagus, every time.

I struggled with cooking the perfect asparagus for so long. Without baking it or putting it on the pan, just the bright green just crunchy enough, just soft enough way they serve in restaurants.

Well, I finally figured out the perfect way to do it!

Step 1) Wash the asparagus and trim/snap off the ends

Step 2) Fill a big pot of water enough to cover all the stocks, put some Himalayan pink sea salt in there and bring water to a boil

Step 3) While you wait, get your ice bath ready! Get a colander set up in the sink to drain the hot water, and get another big bowl full of ice and cold water to quickly put your asparagus in there after it’s drained. Also get some tongs for grabbing the asparagus

Step 4) Once salt water comes to a strong boil, drop your asparagus in there

Step 5) Once the water comes to a strong boil again (with the asparagus in it) set a timer for 2 minutes

Step 6) After the 2 minutes is up, drain the asparagus in the colander and grab them with tongs to place them in the ice bath

Step 7) Let the asparagus sit in the ice bath for 1-2 minutes then drain them and enjoy!

A stretch mark free pregnancy? It’s totally possible. Here are the 3 essential things you have to keep up with.

A stretch mark free pregnancy? It’s totally possible. Here are the 3 essential things you have to keep up with.

I find it interesting to hear people associate stretch marks with weight gain during pregnancy.  Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with.. it’s that simple.  If you keep your body hydrated, skin moisturized and stay consistent with both these things — the amount of weight you gain won’t lead to stretch marks because you’re setting yourself up so that your skin can keep up with it.

My mom got pretty bad stretch marks and she became pregnant with me when she was 17 years young and 105 lbs.  My grandma, my aunt, my cousins, all the women in my family got them pretty badly so I was under the impression that it was just “part of pregnancy” and assumed I would get them too.
**Side note: Stretch marks are beauty marks of what your body has gone through. In no way am I shaming or looking down upon the women who have them.  This post is just to share my experience in how I prevented them from happening to me.

I’m the kind of person who gets lost in research.  Once I start on something that’s of interest to me, I can’t stop looking through layers and layers of information.  I learned that applying sweet almond oil twice a day, drinking one gallon of water daily and drinking a cup of bone broth daily (sometimes every other day, this stuff is pricey) really worked for me.

I read up on the mama belly butters, tummy balms, pregnancy belly creams, etc.  They all seemed to have their own loyal fan base, but I wasn’t buying into it. I try to stick to things that have minimal ingredients.  At the end of the day, you can make your own belly butter with a mix of jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil and beeswax.  But who has time for that?

I turned to sweet almond oil for two reasons:  1) it dries on the skin quickly without leaving that greasiness and 2) it has one ingredient: pure sweet almond oil (prunus amygdalus ducleis). 

Drinking one gallon of water per day, minimum.  I’ve always been a huge advocate with how much water helps with your skin, hair, nails, brain, everything. Drinking water keeps your entire body and your skin well hydrated. This keeps your skin supple and less prone to the tears associated with stretch marks. I feel like everyone should get into this habit anyway, regardless of whether you’re trying to avoid stretch marks or not.

Lastly, bone broth!  (Vegans, vegetarians and pescatarians, please don’t hate me)  I read an interesting book upon learning I was pregnant called Primal Moms, some of which I agreed with and some of which I did not, but I enjoyed the authors style of writing. Essentially what I read and came to believe about bone broth is that more collagen = stretchier skin, thus fewer stretch marks. Gelatin not only helps improve skin elasticity, but it also promotes wound healing (hello, postpartum)!

As I mentioned previously, just like working out for one week won’t get you the body you want.. doing these things here and there won’t get you the results you want.  Stay consistent with these three things day in and day out from the first day you find out you’re pregnant. 

Let me know your experience or your thoughts!

Mastitis, clogged milk ducts and Kombucha

Mastitis, clogged milk ducts and Kombucha

I’m a first time mom and I’m regularly pumping and breast feeding as I work from home.  One evening right before dinner I was breastfeeding my daughter and I felt tremendously sore on my left breast when she was pulling milk from me and I thought it must be from my work out.  I had worked out chest that day and I was feeling sore right by my bra strap/underarm area so I figured that’s it. 

The next morning my fiancee says something to me about his opinion on a matter and I get super emotional.  Completely uncalled for and so irrelevant.  The only time I get emotional is when I’m about to get sick with a cold/flu so I told him, I’m just being sensitive because I’m feeling sick.  At around 4pm that same day I start losing my appetite, I feel chills but I’m sweating at the same time and I was like spot on, I’m sick. 
It was weird to me because I hadn’t been around anyone other than my baby, my fiancee and when I worked out my complex gym was empty.

I take my temperature at about 8pm that night and I’m at 102.4 F.  I’ve researched the topic on breastfeeding while you’re sick and you should continue to breastfeed or pump.  I thought otherwise until I educated myself on the topic.  Your body makes antibodies to fight your illness away so your LO should be getting that milk with those antibodies to keep him or her from catching whatever you have.

I call my midwives office the next morning and explain to her the symptoms, and she asks me if I feel a lump in my breast, if it’s tender, red, inflamed…?  I say no to all of the above other than being a little sore, but only when my LO feeds, probably because of my workout.  She advises I come as soon as I can that day to examine me.  I’m at her office within two hours.  She feels my breasts and tells me I have mastitis and I need to be on an antibiotic that I take 4 times a day for 10 days.  40 pills. **pills that don’t affect my breast feeding** I rarely take medication, not even ibuprofen, but she told me the symptoms would only get worse and I would keep feeling flu like symptoms without it.

My point in this blog is that I skipped right by the clogged milk duct phase and went straight into the infection: mastitis.  I had no real signs leading me to believe I had mastitis other than feeling like a had an extreme fever with flu like symptoms and feeling a little sore in my breast… and I had full blown mastitis. 

To prevent this from ever happening to you, I recommend buying Sunflower Lecithin which is supposed to thin your breast milk out a little (with no other effects). It’s linked right here and I chose this one because it’s soy free, non-GMO, etc.  I don’t take one daily as recommended, rather one every other day.

I also recommend drinking a kombucha, yes kombucha, every day or every other day.  My midwife informed me that taking in simple probiotics can keep you from ever having clogged milk ducts or mastitis.  I take zero probiotics, but I love me some kombucha.  I love it so much I learned how to brew my own and it keeps me from spending that $3.99 for the GTS brand (the Kevita brand carries lactic acid and more than one kind of sugar which is a no no for me.. more on that later).  I’ll do a separate blog on how to brew your own! 

Would love to hear your thoughts, if you’ve experienced clogged milk ducts or mastitis or if you have any questions!