Yum Yum Pregnancy Smoothies

Posted September 10th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

When I was pregnant, one of my favorite breakfasts, or snacks, was a smoothie.

Not only was this creamy, blended fruity beverage easy to suck down, but also it was a great alternative to ice cream sundaes, which are loaded with calories and lack nutritional benefits.

Smoothies can be kind of pricey when you buy them at a health club or specialty food shop, but they are so simple to make that you can easily mix one up at home for half the price. All you need is a blender, some fruit and a little creativity. Not only will you save money, you’ll save on calories and boost your nutrition too!

Here are a few tips for making your own smoothies:

  • Start with a good base! Water, milk, Greek yogurt, kefir, coconut water, fresh juice, almond and soy milk all make great healthy starters to any smoothie. Skip sugary frozen yogurts and ice cream.
  • What fruit suits your mood? Berries, cherries, bananas, melons, pumpkin, peaches – the possibilities are endless. Throw whatever fruit you crave, or in season, into your smoothie. You can’t go wrong.  Here’s a tip – frozen fruit helps thicken the smoothie and keeps it cold. So keep some frozen fruit on hand. Don’t forget that smoothies can be green – kale, spinach and other veggies are welcome additions to any smoothie.
  • Spice it up! Don’t forget to add flavor to your concoction. Vanilla, cinnamon, basil, cilantro and mint are wonderful ways to boost taste.

You certainly don’t need a recipe to blend up a smoothie, but in case you are looking for some inspiration, Mom365.com has seven pregnancy smoothies that are super healthy and full of nutrients for your growing baby!

Enjoy!

 

Getting Dinner on the Table When You’re A New Mom

Posted December 26th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Pregnancy Music Belt

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. One of the biggest challenges of being a new mom is not waking up for the 2 A.M. feeding, wiping a dirty tushie, or soothing your crying babe. The hardest part of being a new parent is having no time to get a homemade meal on the dinner table.

Hopefully your friends and family will help with mealtime by dropping off pre-made dishes for you to reheat when baby is born. But when the deliveries and offers to help stop, you don’t want to be slaving over the stove when you should be resting or tending to your newborn.

There are a few alternative ways to serve your family healthy meals without spending hours in the kitchen.

Meal Assembly Stores – Take advantage of meal assembly stores, like Dream Dinners, who do all the work for you including menu planning and prep work. You’ll spend an hour or two at the store assembling meals (with their instructions) and all you have to do is store them in your freezer at home, defrost when you are ready to eat and follow the cooking instructions. You’ll get about a month’s worth of dinners out of your efforts, just be prepared to pay for all your meals upfront.

Online Menu Planners – There are a lot of online services where you can pay a small fee to download a monthly meal plan, like 5Dinnersin1Hour. Unlike the meal assembly stores, you shop for all of the ingredients yourself and spend an hour each week in your own kitchen prepping the meals. This type of service is a bit more hands on as it requires you to shop (but you can easily use Peapod to do the shopping for you). However this type of meal planning is a bit more affordable, as you are only paying for the menu and cooking instructions and can cost compare ingredients yourself.

Meal Delivery Services – These are typically local services that will do all of the prep and cooking for you. These types of services deliver a cooler packed with prepared fresh meals directly to your door. You just follow the step-by-step cooking instructions and dinner is on the table as easy as 1-2-3.

Plan Ahead – There’s no reason you can’t make a night’s meal last for two nights, or repurpose leftovers into another meal. Also, consider taking 2 hours each Sunday to prepare all your meals for the week. A little upfront organization can shave hours off your meal prep time each week.

Now if only you could find someone to deal with all that laundry piling up.

 

Should I Eat My Placenta?

Posted December 11th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Music Belt

Mad Men actress, January Jones, did it. Babble blogger, Elizabeth Stark, did it too.  And many other mamas have eaten their placenta as a part of a post-natal regimen. Word on the street is that eating the placenta holds healing powers for postpartum depression and other post-baby health issues.

So, should you eat your placenta? Here are a few things you should keep in mind if you’re considering it:

  • The placenta is not technically part of a women’s body. It forms from the fertilized egg and grows in your uterus. It’s fetal tissue, rather than maternal tissue.
  • Eating the placenta is not a natural process for humans. While other mammals may consume the placenta, it’s more about the natural cleanup process rather than nourishment. Would you lick your baby clean after birth? Probably not. 
  • The placenta is a filter and contains toxins. One of the placenta’s jobs is to trap toxins and prevent them from going to baby. Also, after delivery, bacteria from the birth canal and baby’s waste cover the placenta. That doesn’t sound very appetizing in my opinion.
  • The placenta can rot just like a piece of meat. After birth, the placenta becomes dead tissue, just like a piece of meat left out on your kitchen counter. If you plan to eat your placenta, make sure that you refrigerate it  immediately and properly prepare it for consumption like you would a piece of meat.

The bottom line is that eating your placenta is your own personal choice. Some celebrities have taken on the task, while the majority of us firmly pass (your truly included!). So I ask all of you, would you do it? Did you do it? Do you wish you did it?

Eat This Not That Pregnancy Edition

Posted October 9th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Are you stressing about what is safe to eat now that you are preggo? Do you miss your favorite sushi rolls? Do you feel like every day there is a new no-no food added to the list?

Well, the Lullabelly team is here to set the record straight.  We’ve got you covered on some easy foods to substitute for the favorites you’ve been missing.

– Out for sushi with your girlfriends – order the California roll with cooked crab meat.

– At the deli on a lunch date with the hubby – skip the sliced meats and order a grilled chicken sandwich instead, or ask them to steam your meat until it’s piping hot.

– Does the cheese plate have Brie, Feta and Gorgonzola on it?  Skip the soft cheeses and opt for a yogurt instead.

– Need a cup of coffee to get going? Limit your consumption to no more then 2 or 3 eight oz cups of coffee per day. This means you can still enjoyr your cup of morning Joe.

– Ooh, that raw cookie dough sure looks good, doesn’t it?  Bake that dough first. Raw eggs are a no-no (which can be found in homemade Caesar dressings and eggnog). Also make sure your eggs are cooked through when you prepare them for yourself to enjoy.

– I really want a margarita! Ask your server if they can make a mocktail for you, or a similar-type drink that does not contain the alcohol. You’d be surprised how creative bartenders can get and you’ll still get to enjoy a girl’s night out.

Remember, it’s only nine months that you need to steer clear of these items for the safety of your baby. Once baby is out, you’re free to indulge again!

 

Five Things to Eat While You’re Pregnant To Better Your Baby’s Future Health

Posted May 15th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Does your pregnancy diet consist of ice cream, Taco Bell and more ice cream?  While those may be the only things you can stomach, there is some truth to the old adage you are what you eat.  And what you eat while you’re pregnant can affect your baby’s health for the rest of its life. 

You don’t have to go running to the nearest organic food store right this second, but making a few changes to your diet can go a long way for your developing baby.

Here are five things to incorporate into your diet over the next nine months:

OJ:  Folic acid (found in oranges and bananas) is really important, especially during the early stages of pregnancy, as it reduces neural-tube defects.  Studies have shown that supplementing with folic acid for a year before pregnancy can help reduce the risk of pre-term delivery.  Down a glass of orange juice every morning, plus supplement with a pre-natal vitamin.

Fish: Getting enough DHA (found in seafood) is one of the most important things you can do for your baby’s health.  DHA boosts baby’s brain development before birth, leading to better vision, memory, motor skills and language in early childhood.  So eat at least 12 ounces a week of low-mercury fish, or take a DHA supplement.

Meat: During pregnancy, your iron (found in protein) needs double to support your 50 percent increase in blood volume and promote fetal iron storage.  Iron transports oxygen, and your baby benefits from a healthy supply.

Cheese: Aim to get 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day (found in dairy products).  Your baby needs it for tooth and bone development in the second and third trimesters.

Produce/Whole Grains: A diet high in fiber (found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains) helps prevent constipation and keeps you feeling full so you are less likely to over eat.  High-fiber foods are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals essential to your baby’s overall development.

Remember, make each calorie count by choosing whole, healthy foods for your pregnant belly and developing baby!

Lullabelly Question: When listening to your Lullabelly pregnancy music belt, what song brings on the cravings?

The Swelling, the Burning and the Fatigue – What Foods to Avoid in Your Third Trimester

Posted April 24th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Your heartburn is raging.  Your feet and ankles have ballooned up.  You are dead tired and can’t shake it.

 

While these are all common symptoms in the third trimester, avoiding certain bad-news foods can help ease your complaints. Here is the “bad” list.

 

Caffeine:
You should be limiting your intake of caffeine anyways during pregnancy, but high amounts can cause you to retain water.  Skip the afternoon java and take a quick walk to wake-up instead. If you crave Starbucks, you can always sit in the shop and soak in the aroma!

 

Chocolate:

How can any pregnant woman resist the sweet, sweet comfort of chocolate during her pregnancy?  But if your heartburn is steady and constant, put down that Hershey bar.  Acidic foods like chocolate are known to contribute to indigestion. (Ah, a little bit of chocolate never hurt anyone, right?)

 

Sugar:

When you’re pregnant you need healthy foods that pack a nutrient rich punch to fuel baby’s growth and development.  Don’t waste your calories on empty junk food and candy that will give you a quick sugary boost of energy but cause you to come crashing down.  If you’re craving something sweet, go for the fruit bowl.  You’re post-pregnancy hips will thank you later. (Of course, one Krispy Kreme donut never hurt anyone?)

 

Avoiding these three temptations will hopefully have you feeling a bit better while in the home stretch of your pregnancy.

 

 

Packing A Pregnant Lunch

Posted March 13th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

When the clock strikes twelve (Noon that is, we know you preggos can’t stay awake much past 9 p.m. these days) are you stumped on what to grab for lunch? No worries, the Lullabelly blog has got you covered.

Here are some items to add to your lunch box:

Chili/Soup:
Turkey chili is a great option for the pregnant diner. You’ll need more protein these days, so lean turkey and fiber-packed beans offer a delicious and healthy option. Plus, soups and chili can be simmered over the weekend and packed up for weekday lunches.

A Piece of Fruit: Stash at least one piece of fruit in your lunch bag each day. Pears, apples and oranges all work well and help with any digestive issues you may be encountering. They’ll even satisfy that sweetness you’ve been craving.

Cheese and Crackers: Cheese is filled with calcium and protein. Choose whole wheat crackers for a healthier option. Together they make the perfect snack.

Tea: Are you a coffee kind of girl? Well, you may want to skip the caffeine for nine months (or at least limit your intake), but if you’re still craving a hot beverage – decaf tea is a good substitute.

Side Salad: A guilt-free option! Pile the veggies as high as you want, but go easy on the dressing, which can be filled with fat and calories.

Leftovers: Whatever you make for dinner just cook a little extra and save for tomorrow’s lunch.

Remember, brown bagging it is always healthier because you control what goes into your food and the portions. If you are used to going out to lunch, try to cut back to once or twice a week. Happy – and nutritious – eating everyone!

Pregnant – Mommy Mocktails To Get You Through The Holidays

Posted December 7th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

I’m not a huge drinker, but I love to have a glass of wine with a nice dinner or a festive drink for a celebratory occasion.  Being eight months pregnant, alcohol is certainly off-limits, and with the holidays coming up, I’ve realized how many parties I will be attending where I won’t be able to enjoy an adult beverage. 

 

That’s why I was so excited to pick up the latest issue of Pregnancy & Newborn magazine this week and find recipes* for some fun and festive “mom-to-be mocktails.”

 

Raspberry Champagne

4 to 6 fresh or frozen raspberries

6 ounces pasteurized sparkling apple cider

Pour the sparkling cider over the raspberries and start sipping.

 

Sparkling Cosmopolitan

3 ounces cranberry juice

5 ounces orange-flavored sparkling water

1 lime wedge

Mix juice and sparking water, then squeeze in a splash of lime.

 

Smooth Navel

2 ounces peach juice

5 ounces fresh-squeezed orange juice

Peach slice, for garnish

Pour juices over ice and stir.

 

*Recipes featured in Pregnancy & Newborn magazine and Alyssa Gusenoff’s Margarita Mama: Mocktails for Moms-to-Be.

 

Here is one of our own for you to enjoy!

 

The Lullabelly Fauxgarita

½ cup of orange juice

½ cup frozen cherries

½ cup frozen mango

1 fresh banana

Put ingredients into blender and garnish with a cherry.

 

With these faux drinks you won’t miss out on the toasts and can feel like you’re giving yourself a special treat! Plus, many of them are packed with Vitamin C and lots of great nutrients, so it feels good to indulge!

 

About the Contributor: Amy G. is the mom to a beautiful baby girl and pregnant with baby #2 (due January 2012). She is a regular contributor to The Belly Blog, a blog for pregnant women and is sponsored by Lullabelly, a prenatal musical belt.

Are you Worried About Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?

Posted October 25th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Two years ago, during my first pregnancy, the minute the test turned positive I ran out to the nearest drug store and picked up a giant bottle of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula for Stretch Marks.  I would rub it all over my boobs and belly religiously every day (sometimes more than once a day) and recite a silent prayer to the stretch mark gods above.

 

Much to my relief, I escaped the first pregnancy without a single line. 

 

And this pregnancy? Maybe I’ll give myself a rub down twice a week with regular old body lotion.  You see, the second time around you’re too busy with the first kid to do things like put lotion on your self to avoid stretch marks.  However, here in the sixth month, I don’t have any signs of them yet.

 

So what gives?  I did some research and here’s what I’ve found.

 

It’s not so much about the moisturizing as it is about how quickly you gain weight.  The faster you gain weight (and the more weight you gain than recommended) will cause marks because your skin is stretching faster than it can keep up. 

 

Here are four things you can do to avoid stretch marks:

 

1.)  Eat a Healthy Diet  – This will ensure you are nourishing both you and baby.  Take your prenatal vitamins and eat the right amount of calories. Don’t over indulge (I know, easy to say, not so easy to do!)

2.)  Eight Glasses A Day – Fill up on water to make sure you are properly hydrated for your skin to maintain its elasticity.  The current health recommendations call for eight or more glasses of water a day. Drinking lots of water will also fill your belly and give you more energy/hydration so you may not feel like eating as much.

3.)  Gain it Slow – If you’re at a healthy weight at the start of your pregnancy, doctors will recommend you gain about 25-35 pounds during the course of your pregnancy.  The faster you gain weight, the more likely you are to get stretch marks, so take it easy on those unhealthy cravings.

4.)  Moisturize Your Lady Bits – Creams and lotions will keep your skin moisturized and help you feel less itchy and dry, but ironically they’ve never been medically proven to prevent stretch marks.

 

And remember, sometimes it is just genetics so you may just need to embrace your new child-bearing body for the long haul!

 

About the Contributor: Amy G. is the mom to a beautiful baby girl and pregnant with baby #2 (due January 2012). She is a regular contributor to The Belly Blog, a blog for pregnant women and is sponsored by Lullabelly, a prenatal musical belt.

Fruits and Veggies for the Pregnant Mother – Should You Go Organic?

Posted September 6th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 
 

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