Post-Partum Weight Loss on The Flat Belly Diet

For the last year, I’ve been about four months pregnant–or so it would seem from my bulging belly.  Elastic waistbands have been my friends while my actual pre-baby clothes have been sitting up in the attic for years.  Although I’ve tried everything from exercise boot camps to Spark People, my body has stubbornly held those pounds and even added a few more.

I was almost resigned to accept my flabby-bellied fate until a friend of mine mentioned a diet she had just started.  It had no limitations, but required her to eat avocado, dark chocolate, nuts, olives, or olive oil at every meal.  Since those are some of my favorite foods, I checked out the book The Flat Belly Diet immediately from our local library.
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Exhausted Eco-Friendly Motherhood

I’m bone tired.  The kind of exhaustion where you sit and look at all you have to do and then just sit some more.  After seven rough vacation nights full of nighttime nursing and a full day’s journey back from the East coast, I can’t seem to get anything done.

And green parenting requires us to get things done!  There’s a garden to water, cloth diapers to wash, food to prepare and summer produce to pick and preserve.  How do we keep up with all this while so very tired?

And when will my baby resume sleeping through the night?  For now, I have just resigned myself to serving my family pantry food and scrambled eggs so that I can avoid grocery shopping or intensive cooking.  I’ve watered enough to keep the garden alive, but the berries will have to wait.
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Are You Breastfeeding Your Toddler?

I had every intention of weaning my child at one year.  Breastfeeding while working had been burdensome and I dreamed of the days that my body would be fully mine again.  Then my son became very sick and had to be hospitalized for days.  The only thing I could do for him was offer the breast, and it was a huge comfort as he underwent endless tests.  After that I realized that I could feed him just in the morning and before bed, and wouldn’t need to pump ever again.  Since my supply fit perfectly with whatever demand we worked out, it wasn’t such a burden.  I ended up breastfeeding him until he was two.  I’m glad I did it as long as I did, and was also at peace with my decision to stop.
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Natural Nut and Seed Butters for Baby

Have you given up on peanut butter? I am so-o-o glad I didn’t read that doctors are recommending pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid peanuts when I was pregnant five years ago.  As a vegetarian, I live off of peanut butter!

Once my daughter was eating solid foods, I waited patiently until she was two before introducing nuts. (Which was the recommendation at the time.) She was really underweight for a while there, and it was frustrating to withhold peanut butter for so long. I know I gave her almond butter first, but now I can’t remember when I introduced it.

Has anyone tried feeding babies sunflower seed butter? All the peanut butter alternatives out there are so much more expensive, but it seems like a good way to get some protein and calories into a young child’s diet. What do you think?

What Are Your Biggest Green Challenges Right Now?

Is the baby registry list making you dizzy?  Are you wondering how best to launder dirty cloth diapers?  Do you need baby food recipes? Have you had more than three hours of sleep in the last two days?   Are you trying to squeeze more organic produce into your grocery budget?   Does pumping breast milk at work seem totally overwhelming?

We’ve been there!  But now that our kids are older, we have to be reminded of just what would be helpful to our readers.  What are your latest victories and what are your biggest challenges? I’ve shared my weight loss dilemma this week, but there are bound to be issues of far greater consequence. (Like the critical goal of getting enough food and rest in those first few months!)  Please give us ideas for upcoming posts this summer and we’ll personally do our best to address your needs.

Three Tips for Dropping the Baby Weight While Saving the Planet

For the last year, my body has doggedly clung to ten pounds of baby weight.  I could blame it on nursing, but more likely it was caused by the stress induced eating habits and lack of exercise.  Now that it’s summer and I’m officially a SAHM, I have the time to make some major shifts toward a healthier lifestyle. This week’s posts are dedicated to the pursuit of green, budget weight loss!

  1. Eat whole foods.

Isn’t this totally obvious?   Maybe, but I seem to have to relearn this tip when life becomes hectic.  Food processing requires energy, packaging, and preservatives—adding a huge carbon load and calorie count to our meals and making our grocery bills far more expensive.  If we stick to foods fresh from our gardens, farmer’s markets or the produce aisle, we can slim down our bodies and our budgets.

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Eco-nannies: Does Your Child Go to a Green Daycare?

What is a green daycare, anyway? A hay bale structure in which youngsters learn to compost and recycle? Sounds nice!

I know when we began looking for someone to take care of our baby when she was eight months old, I was most concerned with two things: cloth diapers and breast milk. Would our future provider be okay with changing cloth diapers and leaving the wet ones for us in a bag to take home? (Joy just wrote about this!) Would she be willing to thaw out my expressed breast milk and bottle-feed it to my daughter?

We ended up finding someone who did both of those things, and we didn’t need to find a special “eco-friendly” daycare to do it. Our daycare provider operates inside her own home, where she watches three or four kids at a time. She had never had a child in cloth diapers before, but she was happy to try them out. In fact, she was happy to have less trash to deal with (and pay for).
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What’s the Most Bizarre Place You’ve Breastfed Your Babe?

Should I wear a special shirt made for breastfeeding moms?  Where would I sit?  Would people stare?  In the beginning of my motherhood adventure, public breastfeeding seemed complicated and impossible.

Now, breastfeeding is no big deal. I simply cover baby with a blanket, pull up my shirt (and any old shirt will do) and discretely put baby to breast. I’ll admit that I did enjoy my “Hooter Hider” before we accidently left it at a park, but I wouldn’t tell any new mother that she had to have lots of fancy equipment, clothing, or prearranged locations to nurse her infant.

breastfeeding in publicI’ve breastfed in pizza parlors, grocery store aisles, dressing rooms, airports, buses, my car, restaurants, friends’ houses, and while walking through the zoo toting my babe in her Ergo carrier. I once breastfed her in church during silent meditation in the hopes of quieting her for a few moments.  It backfired, resulting in lots of loud slurping sounds which echoed through the room–causing smiles to appear on several faces.
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Money Saving Monday: Green Baby Guide’s Top Ten Penny Pinching Posts

Today marks our final in a series of posts dedicated to saving cash while keeping the environment in mind.  (Check here, here, and here for some great frugal blog resources to support your money saving efforts.)  Over the past two years we’ve written dozens of posts on budget friendly, earth friendly practices, but we’ve picked our favorites to help you save money in 2010.saving-money-and the planet

  • Did you know that there’s one brand of high quality, name brand green laundry soap that’s far cheaper than even generics? Check this post to see how you can save money and the planet while tossing those yam-encrusted baby bibs into the wash.
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Did you have a low milk supply while breastfeeding?

low milk supply while pumping breastmilkThe early days of breastfeeding can be wrought with challenges, but some of us make it through the first phase only to face other issues further along.  When work became really stressful for a couple of weeks, my milk supply suddenly plummeted.  We quickly went through all the frozen milk I had pumped during my maternity leave and I found myself with barely enough ounces produced every single day.  Luckily extra fluids, rest, and a daily dose of fenugreek (a natural herbal remedy for low milk supply) helped me get my output back on track.  Have you faced milk supply issues?  What caused them and how did you deal with it?  Your comments will help mothers who are struggling with this issue today!