Oatmeal Banana Blueberry Lactation Muffins

 

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As a nursing mother myself, I’ve been hearing a lot about lactation cookies. Becoming quite intrigued with them, I began to research exactly what is in these magical treats.

Two of the most beneficial ingredients to increase milk supply are believed to be brewers yeast & oatmeal. I did notice however that many of these seemingly healthy cookie recipes  were loaded with sugar! Up to TWO cups of sugar! Plus a full cup of butter and white flour. That’s dessert, not a snack. If  you want dessert, find one of those recipes, but if you want a plant based muffin that can energize your body and provide your baby with much needed nutrients, give my muffin recipe a try.

 

Oatmeal is full of fiber and is a great vegan source of iron. Maternal anemia is shown to result in a lower milk supply, which may be why some women struggle to produce enough milk. Oatmeal is also thought to create a relaxing affect  causing the body to release oxytocin which may help with letdown.

Brewers Yeast is a galactagogue herb, (aka an herb that increases milk supply in nursing mothers), and is considered safe for breastfeeding. it’s a good source of iron, chromium and selenium along with several B vitamins.

Coconut oil  is not only believed to increase milk supply, but it also produces fattier & more nutritious breast milk, as it contains high levels of lauric acid.

I understand that busy moms struggle to find time for baking, but I assure you that these muffins take only minutes to prepare and you can whip them up in one bowl. I make them them twice a week and my ten year old goes crazy for them!

As always, I encourage you to use organic ingredients if possible, especially while breastfeeding. 

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas mashed

2 cups oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons brewers yeast

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 1/2 cups almond milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

powdered sugar optional

preheat oven ro 350 degrees

combine all ingredients except powdered sugar and pour into greased muffin pan.

Bake 25-30 min

sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar if desired

makes 12-14 muffins

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Golden Milk

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Many of you have probably heard about this spicy & delicious tonic that has been touted for healing everything from MS to cancer.
While I cannot tell you that it definitely does that, I will say that Golden Milk’s special ingredient is ‘turmeric’, which many natural health professionals say is a ‘super herb’.  Turmeric is believed to be very safe and has been a popular medicinal herb for centuries. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and many people are using it for an array of health benefits.

Dr. James A. Duke, PHD. has discovered that Alzheimer’s Disease, Arthritis & Cancer  can all be prevented or alleviated by turning to turmeric instead of pharmaceutical drugs. Without side effects! Dr. Duke reviewed 700 studies on this amazing herb!

I have added a warm, relaxing mug of Golden Milk to my nightly routine and my daughter enjoys it with me. 🙂

Here is a simple and delicious Vegan recipe for Golden Milk.

1 1/2 cups coconut or almond milk

1 teaspoon organic ground turmeric

1 teaspoon organic cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon organic ground ginger

About a teaspoon of maple syrup (add a touch more if too spicy)

A dash of black pepper

A dash of cayenne pepper (if you can handle it)

Whisk it all up warm & frothy in a sauce pan and ENJOY!

Ava Anderson-Non Toxic

ava anderson Most of my readers are well aware that I am a huge supporter of a whole foods plant based diet, for the animals, the earth and of course, our health. You may not realize that I am also an advocate for safe & non-toxic cleaning and beauty products. I rid my home of all mainstream products about 8 years ago. Before that I had no idea the dangers I was posing upon my family in our own home. On a normal day I would be burning a Yankee Candle, spraying my windows with Windex, pouring carpet deodorizer before vacuuming and slathering toxic soap & lotions on my children. My head spins when I relive these actions in my mind. How could I possibly be so naive?  All the signs of toxic overload in our bodies were showing up. Chronic eczema, asthma, allergies, hives.. yep we were a mess. Of course back then I was also feeding my family 3 meals a day filled with animal products. So needless to say, ‘You live and you learn’.

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Over the years I have used dozens of ‘natural’ products. From all purpose cleaners to shampoo & sunscreen. I’ve purchased them all… The two problems I continued to encounter were, #1~many of these products simply did not work. My husband will vouch for the fact that almost every natural deodorant on the market is a waste of money. Seriously. I have smelled not too pretty. I’m not proud to say it, but hey, breast cancer is not a price I will ever be willing to pay. And YES, I do believe that most deodorant/antiperspirants (the yummy smelling ones, that make you smell amazing for 24 hours) do cause cases of breast cancer. Let’s face it, drenching  our under arms, near our precious lymph nodes, with aluminum, parabens and chemical fragrance, is never a good idea. The #2 issue with most ‘natural’ products is that many of them are simply ‘greenwashing’. In other words, they are not actually ‘green’ or ‘natural’. But these savvy companies know that when you put those 2 magic words on a product, we will fall for. I hate that they are right! I can’t tell you how many mom’s (and dad’s) buy these products and have no idea that they are filled with chemicals that are banned in other countries! Ugh!! Get mad! And more importantly stop buying these products!

These days I am exclusively using Ava Anderson Non-Toxic home & beauty products on myself and my family.avaSUN for office

Ava’s line is completely natural and non-toxic. Don’t believe me? Every ingredient is listed on each of her products. Nothing is hidden and there is absolutely NO GREENWASHING!! Her entire line is never tested on animals and ‘Ava Home’ & ‘Ava Body’ is Vegan. Score!!! Her products are even adored by the amazing ‘Kris Carr’! Need I say more??

In case you are wondering… Yes, I have joined the Ava team. Can you blame me? I would LOVE for you to support ‘The Vegan Mom’ by  stopping by my ‘Ava Anderson Non-Toxicpage and trying out some products! I would Love it even more if you decided to join my team. How much fun would that be?!avaConsultantGreen

The best thing is, the deodorant works!! All day!! deodorant single silo

Please ‘Like’ my Ava Anderson-Non Toxic Facebook page. I will be doing a giveaway at the end of February. By liking my Ava Facebook page, you will automatically be entered to win. You will be entered twice if you ‘Share’ my page on Facebook. Easy enough! More details will be coming on Facebook in February!

Read on and get educated about what is in most ‘other’ cleaning and personal care products. It’s scary, but we all need to know the truth!

avaBODY 10 piece set image Did You Know: that Europe bans 1,371 toxic chemicals from their personal care products and the US bans only 11? the FDA does not regulate the personal care products industry and hopes that cosmetic companies will do their due diligence and issue safe products? “safe”, “organic” and “natural” does not mean your products do not contain any toxic chemicals as well? 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will get cancer in their lifetime, 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys are identified with autism spectrum disorder in the US, and that Alzheimers is up 500% in the past 20 years? according to the President’s Cancer Panel only 10% of cancer is genetic and 90% is caused by environmental factors? that your personal and home care products (from shampoo to antibacterial wipes to makeup) contain carcinogenic ingredients, neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors and allergens that could be downright hazardous to your health?

Know Your Backside! Read your labels and avoid the following chemicals: FRAGRANCE can be legally hidden in hundreds of ingredients in “fragrance” or “parfum”: a “trade secret” in the industry. More than 75% of the time if you have fragrance, you have legally hidden phthalates (THAL ates), known endocrine disruptors, that are linked with birth defects, breast cancer, infertility, liver, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and now with autism and ADHD in pregnancy by Dr. Philip Landrigan, Mt Sinai, Children’s Environmental Health Center. PARABENS: Preservatives linked to breast cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, and developmental defects.

California Study (10/11) of BPA and methylparaben combination turned healthy cells into cancer cells, and rendered tamoxifin ineffective. TRICLOSAN: is the active ingredient in “anti-bacterial” products, is registered with the government as a pesticide, and is a known endocrine disruptor. Triclosan is believed to disrupt thyroid function and contribute to liver and inhalation toxicity. OXYBENZONE and OCTINOXATE: (and other chemical sunscreen “active ingredients”) are UV ray filters that are also known endocrine disruptors. PETROLATUM & TETROLEUM INGREDIENTS: endocrine disruptors and carcinogens.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ALL SIX OF THE ABOVE ARE “ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS” and are in many products that you use daily – and some will have multiples! They are important to avoid, because the endocrine system regulates ALL biological processes in the body: development of the brain and nervous system, growth and function of the reproduction system, metabolism and blood sugar levels, ovaries, testes, pituitary, thyroid and the adrenal glands. (Natural News) The World Health Organization and the UN recently released a report that called endocrine disruptors a “Global Threat.” Small amounts matter, especially to the developing fetus. PEG’s (polyethylene glycol) are petroleum byproducts. During manufacturing process carcinogenic contamination is created: 1,4 dioxane, which is a known human carcinogen, with liver and kidney effects. SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are considered carcinogens. SLES is something contaminated with 1,4 dioxane. You will never see 1,4 dioxane on a label, as companies are not required to list carcinogenic contaminants. INGREDIENT THAT ENDS IN “-eth”: like ceteareth, triceteareth, etc. Also carry the contamination concern for 1,4 dioxane. IMPORTANT NOTE: all THREE of the above ingredients carry carcinogenic contaminant concerns created during manufacturing of 1,4 dioxane.

The government allows 10 ppm (parts per million) in any one products, but no one is testing. 1,4 dioxane can be stripped for pennies, and must be done for any product exported to EU. RETINYL PALMITATE: in the presence of sunlight enhances skin cancer lesions by 21% (FDA, 2011 Report). It is in many sunscreens and moisturizers. NANOPARTICLES: can cross the cell barrier and drive into organs, including the brain in humans. There is no way of knowing particle size, unless stated on the label. EU manufacturers must list any nanoparticles. ALUMINUM and metals: these are bio-accumulative, meaning they store in your fat cells and accumulate, and are very hard to get rid of, in many deodorants. DIETHANOLOMINE (DEA) and COCAMIDE DEA, LAURAMIDE DEA: DEA reacts with other ingredients to become the extremely carcinogenic nitrosodiethanolamine. Beware of other ethanolamines like triethanolamine (TEA) and monoethanolamine (MEA). FORMALDEHYDE RELEASERS – DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, DMDM HYDANTOIN, QUATERNIUM: found in most personal care products. Formalydehyde can cause allergic reaction, dermatitis, join pains and headaches, cancer and immune dysfunction. SYNTHETIC COLOR/DYES: made from coal tar, which is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum.

These colors may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are combined with aluminum substrate. Aluminum compounds and many heavy metals are toxic to the brain. ie. FD&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33. GLYCOL (propylene, butylenes, etc): synthetic petrochemical mix known to cause allergic and toxic reactions. Has been linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption. MINERAL OIL: a petroleum ingredient that coats the skin like plastic wrap, disrupting the natural immune barrier, inhibitin its ability to breathe and absorb natural moisture and nutrition, and its ability to release toxins, which can promote acne and other disorders. The process slows down skin function and normal cell development causing premature aging. TALC: in the same family as asbestos, talc is dangerous to inhale and has been linked to ovarian cancer. SILOXANES: cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in “siloxane” (e.g., cyclopentasiloxane) are toxic, persistent, and have the potential to bioaccumulate. The EU classifies some as endocrine disruptors and possible reproductive toxicant that may impair fertility. Research shows some to cause uterine tumors and harm to the reproductive and immune systems. Some siloxanes can also influence neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Cyclomethicone is a mixture of three siloxanes. A big thank you to Ava Anderson Non-Toxic for this information.

Celebrating Easter ‘Vegan Style’

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Stressing about ‘Veganizing’ Easter this year? No need! There are lots of Vegan treats available & they taste even better than the non-Vegan ones!

Easter is a time of pure childhood bliss. Devouring chocolate bunnies & running around the yard searching for hidden eggs… What child doesn’t look forward to this all year long?

Obviously, The Easter Bunny brings most of the goodies. Not mom & dad. BUT many Vegan parents like to help the bunny out, and add a few goodies to the basket. I also like to paint eggs with my children. Wooden ones of course. I find them at Michaels, along with paint and other decorations like sticky gems and ribbon. The great thing about decorating wooden eggs, is they last forever and make wonderful gifts for the grandparents.IMG_2121

Easter egg hunts may be an issue. Many hunts are put on through schools, churches & towns. This makes if tough for a Vegan parent to ensure their child ends up with Vegan treats. I recommend allowing your child to participate. Holding your child back from this event may make him feel alienated and uninvolved with friends. What I do is have my kids hand me all the non vegan candies and give them to their friends, or donate them. Then we go buy a something special. This usually works just fine for most Vegan families. The thrill is in the ‘hunt’ for the eggs anyway!IMG_6682

Filling a Vegan Easter basket is ridiculously fun. Seriously, I LOVE shopping for Easter basket treats. My children’s baskets are filled with 4 types of items. Healthy Snacks, ‘Special Treats’, Fun Stuff (ex. toys & games) & Useful Things (ex. clothes, shoes, accessories).

Lets start with Healthy Snacks.
I often add foods such as dried fruits. ‘Peeled Snacks’ are a family favorite. Protein bars are always a hit with the teens. I recommend ‘Pure Bars’. I usually add a few packets of ‘RAW Protein Powder’ to my 14 year old son’s basket. A new favorite snack that will be added to our baskets this year are ‘Chockalet Kale Chips’. They are out of this world and your kids will not realize they are the least bit healthy!

Next up are the ‘Special Treats’

If you are only going to order one amazing type of vegan goodie online, you need to buy ‘Inglorius Monk Whoopie Pies!’ We enjoyed these delicious treats last month, and my kids went absolutely crazy for them. It’s hard to find a good Vegan Whoopie Pie in our area. Actually impossible. They offer pumpkin, chocolate chip, lemon (my favorite), peppermint and more. This company only uses sustainable, organic, non-GMO ingredients in their products and they partner with local family farms. I have been told that they have a special egg pie. I am excited & I will update this post when ours arrive. Order now for Easter delivery!Unknown-1

*UPDATE* The whoopie pie eggs have arrived and they are as adorable as they are delicious! What a great addition they will make to your child’s Easter basket! The eggs come in chocolate raspberry and vanilla raspberry. They also offer a super cute heart shaped chocolate dip vanilla pie. Did I mention how much I adore these whoopie pies?!?!
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What Easter basket would be complete without a chocolate bunny? Unfortunately almost every bunny out there contains milk. I do find however, that many health food stores sell Vegan bunnies this time of year. If you can’t get your hands on one locally, I have found a non-dairy bunny and lots of other vegan candies, including a very pretty peanut butter chocolate egg at ‘VeganStore.com’.
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As for ‘Fun Stuff’, my daughter loves the princess legos that are all the rage right now. My son is a teenager so a gift card will be perfect.

‘Useful Stuff’ is my favorite part of the Easter Basket buying process!! I purchase many of the items that my children need. So in other words, I have to buy these things anyway, so adding them to Easter Baskets is win, win for everyone! This years ‘needed items’ will include, toothbrushes, belts, hair bands, bathing suits, flip flops, sunglasses, laptop case, lunch bag, gymnastics leotard & soccer socks & cleats. Yep, I am putting a toothbrush and socks in my son’s basket. 😉

Hopefully this has given you some ideas about how to enjoy Easter with your children. Many newly Vegan parents fear holidays because they assume Vegan kids can’t celebrate like all of the other kids. But I can assure you that this is one worry you can throw out the window!!

Lastly I would like to recommend that you adopt a farm animal as a gift for your child. Farm Sanctuary has a wonderful ‘Adopt A Farm Animal Program’. This is a gift that keeps on giving and it will remind your children one of the reasons that your family has most likely chosen to be Vegan.Susie Moo_228x200

How To Cope With An Anti-Vegan Spouse

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So often I am asked by readers, “I want to raise our kids Vegan but my husband won’t allow it”. Obviously this issue could also concern men who want to go Vegan as a family. But so far, I have only been contacted by women with this problem.

First I want to make clear that I do not judge a parent for being weary of feeding their children a plant based diet. We are a meat & dairy obsessed society. Most of us grew up on milk, cheese, hamburgers & chicken tenders. Our mothers & grandmothers made delicious home cooked meals like meatloaf and mac & cheese that will always be close to our hearts. Our fathers cooked ribs & hot dogs on the grill every summer. Food means more to most people than just nourishment. Food represents our childhoods, our family, our heritage, our most cherished memories. How can you blame people people for not wanting to give all of this up?

The good thing is, veganism does not require that we erase our childhood memories of special meals. Even I smile when I think of my mom’s tuna casserole. And I’m not ashamed to say it. What your spouse needs to understand is, plant based foods are not only extremely healthy, but they can be delicious & satisfying as well.

Spaghetti dinners & pizza night are here to stay, and veggie burgers are amazing cooked on the grill. Childhood is still fun & memorable without animal products in our children’s diets. The food we feed them may be different than the food our parent’s fed us, but their childhood memories will be just as special. I imagine my children will think back fondly on my tempeh piccata with mashed potatoes and my fettucini with kale walnut pesto.

Dad may also worry that having a Vegan child will ensure that his son will be the scrawny kid, chosen last for dodgeball. Of course this is ridiculous, but many people still associate protein with meat. The great thing is, that plant based diets offer us loads of protein. Truthfully, many people are getting too much protein from their Standard American Diet (SAD diet) and this can lead to major health consequences.

I recommend compiling as much current information about the benefits of vegan diets and sharing this information with your spouse. Encourage him to read books by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Watch Forks Over Knives or Vegucated together. Attend a veg conference, lecture or workshop. Explain about the cruelty of animal farming. If you are lucky maybe there is a vegan friendly nutritionist or dietitian in your area. The Vegan RD has loads of great information on her website.

Even if your spouse does not approve of a completely vegan diet for your children, I’m assuming that he does allow them to eat vegetables. So feed them as many plant based foods as possible!! Enjoy “Meatless Mondays” and try excluding meat, dairy and eggs from your child’s bagged lunch. Your children will benefit from this.

There is no magic answer to the question “how do I deal with my anti Vegan spouse”? Every relationship is different. If the kids are old enough, ask them what they want to do. Of course, you should never put them in the middle of the argument. At the very least, your Vegan lifestyle will be a great influence on your children, and they may follow in your footsteps when they are old enough to make their own decisions. 😉

Mystic Animal Rights Force~ A New Animal Welfare Group

Mystic Animal Rights Force~ A New Animal Welfare Group

Hey TheVeganMom.com fans! Thanks for taking the time to read my guest blog post dedicated to the new Mystic Animal Rights Force group. I am a vegan living in Southeastern Connecticut with a passion for animals and healthy living. I run a blog called Ethical Clips and I am a social media consultant for sustainable, vegan startup companies. 

So, what’s my story? It is generally one of an animal-obsessed little girl turned college-educated activist. In elementary school, I repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempted to talk my mother into letting me take home one of the classroom’s fluffy little baby chicks (…no, I didn’t have a plan for what would happen when it turned into a big chicken).  I wrote my fifth grade autobiography on why I wanted to be veterinarian when I grew up, ordered veggie burgers at wing restaurants and never felt right cutting up and eating a lobster while on vacation in Maine. 

During my first year of college, I finally made a split decision to give up meat after a classmate gave a presentation on the impact of veggie burgers versus hamburgers. The decision felt right and when people asked me “why” at the start of my diet change, I would shyly reply, “Well, I’m a really big animal person.” This was before I solidified my current position on ethics, health and the environmental impact of meat production and animal product consumption. Now, and only when people ask, I love confidently sharing the reasons why I choose to live a loving, ethical, plant-based life. 

The start of educating myself on living “meat free” was not easy, as many vegans may know. I researched and researched through what seemed like a black hole of blogs, websites and Internet videos. I watched Meet Your Meat and Food Inc. I decided to change my diet forever.  When I saw my first video of a slaughtered cow hanging upside down, left to bleed to death surrounded by metal and walls of concrete, I realized how hard of a fight this would be. A fight against the undoubtedly unnatural, a fight against pain and sorrow, and a fight against the norm, where hamburgers are presented at fast food restaurants and hidden behind smiling families in television commercials, while sad animals live miles away in misery.  These hamburgers are not only physically unhealthy, but also harbor the sad energy of the lives the animals led before they became food for humans. 

…But it’s not all sadness because we can make change. We can change the way animals are treated, we can change the way the environment is impacted and we can change the health of our own bodies. The average vegetarian saves 50 animals each year, not eating only one pound of meat saves the same amount of water as not showering for six months and 50% of meat eaters die from heart disease versus 15% in vegetarians and 4% in vegans. 

After living in southeastern Connecticut for a year, I decided there should be a larger presence for people looking to share their love for animals and a healthy, plant-based diet. When I attended The Seed vegan food festival in NYC this summer, I felt what it was like to be surrounded by people who truly, deeply care about animals.

I’ve started Mystic Animal Rights Force to bring people in Connecticut together into an environment where they can engage with other like-minded animal lovers through online discussions, meetups, dinner parties, documentary screenings and tons of other fun activities. Mystic Animal Rights Force will be an environment welcoming to vegans, vegetarians and, importantly, anyone interested in learning more about animal rights or a plant-based diet.

We look forward to starting up the online conversation and growing our network of new friends! Please head over and ‘like’ & share our Facebook page at: www.Facebook.com/MysticAnimalRightsForce. Reach us on Twitter at @AnimalRightsCT and by email at MysticARF@gmail.com.

Much Love,

Lindsay Rubin

Founder, 

Benefits Of Spelt Flour

Benefits Of Spelt Flour

Spelt is an ancient grain which has been referred to as “The Grandfather Of Wheat”. Spelt flour is high in fiber & manganese. If you are not familiar with the trace mineral “manganese”, just take note that it helps your body utilize key nutrients, protects cells from free radical damage, maintains normal blood sugar levels, promotes optimal function of your thyroid gland and keeps bones strong. And only 2 oz. of spelt pasta contains 8 grams of protein.

Spelt flour is more easily digested than wheat and is often tolerated by those with “Gluten Sensitivity”. This is not a gluten free food however, so those who have a gluten allergy should not try spelt without their doctor’s approval.

Spelt has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes. A complex carbohydrate found in spelt known as mucopolysaccharide, is thought to boost immunity & prevent blood clotting.

If you are thinking that this information sounds great, but are wondering how you will get your kids to actually eat spelt, no need to worry. Spelt flour pasta is delicious, and truthfully my kids don’t even taste any difference from their usual whole wheat pasta.

My favorite brand is “Vita Spelt”, and they offer many varieties of pasta including spaghetti, angel hair, penne & rotini. I recently made spelt penne tossed with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, parsley & olive oil. So easy. So healthy. And truly delicious!