Posted in Super Momma

4 common injuries for a new mom

The physical burden of pregnancy, unfortunately follows high risk for more injuries for a new mom. Weakened musculoskeletal system, lack of rest and sometimes even nutrition, focusing on your new born and trying to cater to baby’s needs and depriving self from much needed recovery time are some contributing factors. Let’s look at 4 common injuries for a new mom:

Thumb sprain/ pain

Repetitively picking your little one up, can sprain your thumbs. What’s a sprain? Sprains occur when we over stretch our ligaments, since ligaments are non-contractile therefore, fiber will start tearing under excessive stress. That’s what we call a sprain. Once you sustain a sprain, your brain recognizes the injury and tells the surrounding muscles to tighten up in order to protect the area from a secondary injury. Some local massage followed by stretching, and changing the way you pick your baby up will aid in resolving your symptoms.

Shoulder and neck pain

Especially if you are Co-sleeping, hugging your little one, you are putting excessive stress on your shoulders by staying in stiff positions and feeding into bad sleeping postures. Not to mention how much stress, repetitive lifting and carrying your baby puts on your shoulders. As the day goes on, due to fatigue, and stress of multi tasking, starts being more challenging and instead of actively using our muscles, we start depending on our static stability more. Now, what is static stability? There are two types of stability in our body. Static stability is provided by static structures such as bones and ligaments. Dynamic stability is provided by moving structures such as muscles. Once muscles fatigue, we shift our dependence onto static structures. Determination in getting work done motivates our body to focus on the end result not on how we are hurting ourselves. All my super mommas know what I am talking about!

When it comes to comes to neck and back problems, they always come hand in hand. Our spine is formed of 33 bones which are all interconnected with many ligaments and muscles. If you have neck pain, it will trickle down to your back and vice versa. An over-stretched and weakened core during pregnancy, puts a new mom at a high risk to experience some sort of a back problem such as sciatica, bulging disc or simply stiffness and pain. Especially for breast feeding mom, one of the hardships of breastfeeding is the slouched posture we are put in. The result: neck and back pain. Once we start losing our natural curvatures setting off our pain receptors screaming, “I’m beyond my extensibility and I will break if you keep pushing me in that direction.” what’s the solution? Keep good posture. If you can, prefer supported sitting to unsupported siting. Benefit from a lumbar roll while in supported siting. Once you are done with breastfeeding, or at the end of the day, do couple of stretches and exercises to restore good posture.

Posted in Recipes

DIY rehydration fluid

This is an alternative to Pedialyte or Gatorade

Into 1 quart of water, very diluted juice or herbal tea dissolve the following:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tsp sugar source (maple syrup, organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, or honey (do not use honey if your child is younger than 18 months)

The goal is to make it taste good so your little one will drink it!

1-2 parts organic fruit juice (other than citrus) to 2-4 parts water with the sugar source and salt can be used!

Table salt is adequate for rehydration, but you may want to add a magnesium powder (1/2 tsp per quart of fluid) due to the depletion of magnesium levels from vomiting and diarrhea.

Thanks to Wellnesscare pediatrics for this amazing recipe!

Posted in Recipes

Black Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Thanks to my midwives for this amazing cure! IMG_8295

Ingredients

-1 cup dried elderberries

-4 cups filtered water

-4 quarter-inch slices of fresh ginger

-2 cinnamon sticks  3 cloves

-1 cup raw honey

Add all ingredients except for the honey into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to medium. Continue simmering for 30-45 minutes until the liquid is reduced to half. Before the liquid cools, strain through a fine mush strainer. Allow the liquid to cool to about 118 F to preserve the enzymes in the raw honey, and gently combine the arm reduced berry liquid with the raw honey. Store in a jar in the fridge for a few weeks. For longer storage, freeze into ice cube trays to defrost for later use!

First I bought this elderberry syrup for $18 in wholefoods store. Then got this recipe from Midwives of NJ. The whole bag of elderberry ($15) bag yields 6 cups which turns out to be much cheaper.

Here is anti-flu recipe from my midwives:

For all adults (including pregnant women): elderberry syrup 2 teaspoons a day, Vitamin D3: 4000 IU per day, Vitamin C: 1000 mg per day

For children: Elderberry syrup 2 tablespoons a day, Vitamin D3: 2000 IU per day,Vitamin C: 500 mg per day

If the baby is still feeding and mom is taking the syrup, then baby does not have to take the syrup.

Posted in Sweet child o' mine

Does your baby want to sleep in your arms and refuses to go to bed?

f430ac8e-8e9b-417d-ac79-be1e882e4e09Does you little peanut clings on to you and wakes up as soon as you put him in his crib? For some time this was the story with us. We tried many different ways so that he would go to sleep and most importantly stay asleep without mommy. Here are five steps that worked for me:

Golden rule #1 is to ensure you change his diaper. If your little one is sitting in a lot of pee or worst case poop, he is most likely to get fussy and less likely to fall asleep. The reason why he is not sleeping may be because he feel wet and uncomfortable which keeps him from getting cozy and falling asleep.

Golden rule #2 is to ensure he is not hungry. If your baby is full, he is more likely to fall asleep and sleep for an extended time. If he is hungry, he will eventually fall asleep because he is exhausted but he will wake up sooner or later. If you are putting that much work into putting him to sleep, you would not want him to wake up shortly after you put him in his bed.

img_7663Golden rule #3 is to make sure to burp him after nursing. One thing I kept forgetting is to burp my little one. After I nurse him, I would try to rock him to sleep but he would continue to cry, kick and punch. I would think he does not want to sleep and when I stand him up, he would burp and fall asleep on my shoulder.

img_7385Golden rule #4 is try swaddling your baby. Infants have a lot more involuntary motions that are jerky in nature. Any type of loud noise may startle them and wake them up. I believe that babies also dream so once they fall asleep, they tend to wake themselves up by jerking their arms/leg. Once I swaddled my little one, his movements did not wake him up and he slept for longer periods of time.

img_8139Golden rule #5 Babies know their moms by moms scent. My little one would periodically open/close his eyes to make sure I was not laying him down. Once he really fell asleep, I would lay him down and try to leave the room and he would wake up immediately. I started leaving my worn-couple-of-times shirt or cardigan in his crib right next to him. That did the trick. He thought I was laying down with him I guess so he did not wake up.

I would love to hear about your comments! Your tricks, what worked for you and your little peanut!

Posted in Super Momma

Toning up after giving birth: When &How?

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5 ft 4 inc 115lbs pre pregnancy
Most pregnant moms (99%!!!) cannot wait to get back to pre-pregnancy size; a smaller waist and firmer butt & thighs after giving birth. We lose a lot of strength in our core due to the over stretching of our abdominals and we lose core stability. Even though a new mom loses about 10- 15 pounds after delivery, the million dollar question remains to be “when can I start working out again?”

Once you are discharged home, the first week you will be very busy with your newborn especially if you’re a first-time mom. Healing time frames differ for vaginal delivery versus cesarean section. If you had a vaginal delivery, you feel very sore on your bottom for about 3 weeks. If you had a C-section, you feel pain on your incision site. I am sorry to say this but after a C-section, most activities will be achy. Every time you try to sit up, get in/out of bed, reach for something etc., you will have some aches/pain that will last for about 4-6 weeks.A vaginal delivery helping time is 6 weeks where a C-section is 8 weeks. Since many women experience abdominal separation, it is advised to wait out 6-8 weeks before you start any abdominal exercises. Best exercises to focus on initially are the ones that are going to keep you up right first.

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Still 5 ft 4 inc 155 lbs at 32 weeks
You can first start working on your mid back, shoulder stabilizers and your gluteals. These muscle groups will help you with proximal strengthening. What does that mean? These muscles will keep you upright, resist the pull of gravity and reverse the adverse effects of bad posture(s). Some shoulder exercises to perform are shoulders squeezes, wall slides, airplanes, angels and horizontal adductions. Some gluteal strengthening exercises you can do at home are clamshells, side lying straight leg kicks, squats (form is important for proper activation), butt busters and fire hydrants.

You can start in your core stabilization exercises with transversus abdominus activation(TrA). Very important ladies!! TrA is a deep stabilizer in your core that needs to be active to support a healthy good posture and protect your spine from any injury or simply prevent back pain. Waiting about six weeks on average after vaginal delivery is optimal before you start with any aggressive abdominal training that can include sit ups, crunches, reverse crunches, straight leg lowering etc. If you had a C-section, that time frame stretches to eight weeks to ensure soft tissue healing.

What exercises helped you the most to recover and get fit? Which exercises you liked? Which exercises you hated? Please comment below and let me know!

Stay awesome!

 

 

Posted in Super Momma

Lactation circle: how is it important?

Why join a lactation Circle? Thats what I asked myself since I did not see the value in it in the beginning. Later on my views totally changed. Once awhile, it is good to be wrong!

Before being discharged home, I had the nurse as well as a lactation counselor teach me to how to express milk, educate me on how to position the baby, latching him on and the feeding schedule. The following morning, I had one more nurse and lactation counselor go over the same information. A breast feeding booklet was included with my discharge paper in case I needed to review the information. So, I felt pretty okay going home, even though, I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. They made it seem somewhat simple, my baby seemed to be latching on and feeding. It also had to come naturally, right? Yeah, right!!!

Shortly after we got home, things didn’t go as planned. My newborn was not latching properly and he was crying all night long because he was hungry. I was afraid I was gonna lose my milk supply so I kept on pumping to spoon feed him. Even then, he kept losing weight. It was on our second pediatrician visit when she realized he had a tongue tie and, he had to have the release when he was 10 days old. Our pediatrician wanted us to do lactation sessions with her right after tongue-tie procedure. She also said she didn’t accept insurance for one hour lactation service fee of $295. We were ready to do everything in our power to get him to feed properly but the money was a bit of an issue. I was on my maternity leave so we were trying to survive on one persons’s salary for over a month already. Our budget was tight and we were going to have to do multiple lactation sessions.

img_7042-jpgI decided to work with someone that I trusted if I was going to pay that much cash. What did I do? I turned to my midwives. During my first postpartum visit, I recalled my midwife telling me about their lactation circle that run twice a week. Giving their office a call, I found out it was a free service and no appointments were necessary. So, I started lactation circle an hour after his tongue tie release. Not the midwives, but a doula- Britt Sando- was running the circle. She welcomed me to the group right away. Not only she helped me with latching my baby on, we also weigh him before and after breastfeeding to see how many ounces he gained. She kept in touch with my pediatrician giving her updates on baby’s weight gain. It was not too long before I realized our lactation circle was more than just showing moms how to latch their babies on.

We met in person on Tuesdays but we could reach out to one another all the time. I was added to private Facebook lactation circle that already had 40+ moms sharing experiences, talking about good products to purchase, posting questions and helping one another. Whoever could make it to Tuesday sessions showed up, on average four to six people, but rest of the group met online. Many times I thought I was the only one going through a struggle, or when I was not sure what I was going was right or wrong, I would post on our Facebook group. Other moms would come to my help, comforting me by letting me know that their little ones experienced similar symptoms, behaved same way and what to do about it, how to resolve the problem. It was all OKAY, our struggles would pass. My lactation circle became my support group.

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When ege was born, 7 lb 15 oz
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Right after tongue tie procedure, he was about 6 lb 9 oz
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After extensive breastfeeding, he was almost 13 lbs in this picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having my son go through tongue-tied release was very hard; there was no anesthesia given since he was too young, I was asked to hold his head still as I watched the doctor approach him with a pair of scissors following his mouth filling with blood. As my mom says, every crisis has a blessing in it and this one led me to our lactation group. My advice to all the new moms is to find your local lactation circle which, is most likely to be a free service, and to join. You have nothing to lose but a lot to gain. When women support one another, incredible things happen!

I want to hear about your experiences. Please comment below and let me know what your thoughts and feelings are!

Posted in pregnancy

What about the Vitamin K shot for your newborn?

http://www.spineuniverse.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/gallery-large/wysiwyg_imageupload/3998/2015/09/01/syringe_14497301_M_0.jpgOne of the injections that your newborn is scheduled to get is Vitamin K shot. But why Vitamin K? The medical world’s reasoning is to assist your precious one with clotting abilities to prevent any bleeding in the brain post partum or if you happen to get into an accident during your drive from hospital to home.

You would not want your baby to bleed to death right? So, after hearing the purpose, many parents agree to get the Vitamin K shot since it seems to be no brainer. However, what is really in that Vitamin K shot? Is it all natural and harmless to the baby? Is it all necessary?

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/1d/1c/e0/1d1ce043533a509665bcfec63b80a129.jpgVitamin K is found naturally in dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli etc, however, a synthetic form of Vitamin K is administered in a shot. What is wrong with synthetic form? Well, the synthetic form is produced in the labs and is not natural for our body to process properly. In fact, any synthetic can actually cause more harm than good.

Is there only Vitamin K in that injection or is it a cocktail form of many substances? It is not a shocker that Vitamin K shot is actually composed of multiple ingredients that are used for different purposes in the medical industry. A shot of Vitamin K has about 4-6 ingredients including Propylene glycol, Polysorbate 80, Sodium acetate anhydrous and ŸBenzyl alcohol  are some of the other ingredients. The manufacturer includes the warning of severe reactions may happen. You are on your own risk pretty much..

Another question you need to ask as a parent is how much vitamin K is in the shot and how much does your baby’s body need? A full term baby has full organ function however what happens to large doses of Vitamin K in the body, no one truly knows. Where is it stored and how is it processed? Some claim that large doses of Vitamin K causes childhood leukemia and cancer but there is not sufficient research to prove that either.

What are your other options? If you were to decline Vitamin K shot in the hospital, there are couple things you need to keep in mind. The biggest challenge for us was we could not get our son circumcised during our hospital stay. We needed to wait 4-6 weeks for the circumcision until our baby had enough clotting abilities.

http://www.revital.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/i/bioticsresearchbio-k-mulsion-17829.jpgIf you plan on declining Vitamin K shot at the hospital, you can choose to provide oral vitamin K for your baby. You need to give a dose at birth then at 1 week and 6 weeks. You need to make the purchase and have it with you at your hospital admission. The research claims that it is not as effective as the shot however, do they really know how much is enough? Also how much of the dose does baby’s body really absorb and process?

Also, especially during the last month of your pregnancy, ensure you increase your vitamin K intake by eating dark leafy greens, also drinking nettle tea everyday can boost your system with Vitamin K which you will share with your baby. Some sources including CDC (Center for Disease Control) claim that breast milk does not supply enough Vitamin K. The truth is some medications can block Vitamin K absorption. If the mom is experiencing gastrointestinal disorders such as celian disease, cyctic fibrosis etc., then she may not absorb Vitamin K properly from her diet, therefore the baby may be Vitamin K deficient at birth.

We live in information age and the purpose of this blog is not to make you decide in a certain way. I truly believe each and every one of us need to be aware of what we are doing to our bodies. Start obtaining information and make informed decisions before you just follow “the protocol” because our doctor says so or that’s what others do. Please do your own research before you make a decision.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Images retrieved from:

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Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Switching providers during your prenatal care

https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/-/media/Images/Slideshows/TuftsMC/640x357/Doctor_with_patient_6_640x357.ashxDuring the first 5 months of my pregnancy I was under the care of an OBGYN. When I found out that I was pregnant, I called my insurance company and inquired about a list of in-network providers in my area. After some research, I chose an OBGYN due to his 22 five out of five stars reviews online so I made my first appointment. The staff was great, he was a great doctor but I decided to switch to midwifery care when I was 5 months pregnant. Let me explain to you why…

My doctor was great; he had great credentials, great reviews and he was very professional with an awesome demeanor. He was also a medicine man. What does that mean? He wanted to rule out any possible disease or condition by ordering bunch of tests every time I had an appointment. His approach was “lets find out whats is wrong with your pregnancy” instead of “Everything appears to be normal and there is no reason why we need to predict otherwise.” His suspicion may be due to just to be on the safe side, that may be just the way he practices or just in case something went wrong, he would be covered since he would have the test results in my file.

http://www.npobgyn.com/assets/images/iStock_000016387993XSmall.jpgOur first two appointments went great. During later visits, he did not seem to engage in much conversation other than telling me what tests we needed to run next. He was very professional but I feel like I was another patient for him, I did not feel a connection. This loss of connection may be due to males do not like to talk too much and/or I was having a normal pregnancy so there was not much to discuss.

The biggest reason why I switched to midwifery care was when I told him that I wanted to do a natural birth, he was certain that I would need an epidural and a possible C-section. His argument was that since the medicine has come far, why was I going to suffer from pain while I could be pain-free?

850d12e2ff165f05135772cda1bbc8d4I wanted to be in more control of my labor experience and I did not 100% agree with hospital regulations. As females, we know what we want, we are strong headed and independent until it comes to giving birth. We give up all control and let someone else be in charge of our birthing experience. I wanted to give my best shot by trusting my body that it is capable of doing what it is supposed to do, and not let anyone tell me that I could not move and had to lie down and stay still, or I needed pitocin because I was taking too long to dilate or I needed some epidural for pain because I was screaming too much. Do not get me wrong, there are situation where medication is indicated due to dangers of complications however I did not want to expect the worst going into labor.

Every woman is different; everyone’s goals are different, every female’s medical history and health status is different. I am not telling you what you need to do or who to trust. My advise to you is interview your provider before you finalize your decision. Do your research, there is a ton of information on the internet, on the books and talk to other mothers to learn from their experiences. Be in charge of your own care and make educated decisions.

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I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

 

Images retrieved from:

https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/-/media/Images/Slideshows/TuftsMC/640×357/Doctor_with_patient_6_640x357.ashx

http://www.npobgyn.com/assets/images/iStock_000016387993XSmall.jpg

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https://www.klick.com/health/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/self-care-quote-800×293.jpg

 

 

 

 

Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Travel regulations for pregnant women

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Do you have a trip coming up and are you aware of the regulations that you need to meet?

If you are traveling with a car or train, there is no clearance needed. However, if you are traveling with a plane, then there are some flying restrictions you need to be mindful of. You can always check with your airline when you purchase your ticket. I traveled when I was 29 weeks pregnant, and here are the regulations I had to meet during my travel:

  • No health report is necessary until the end of the 27th week of pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women expecting one baby can fly with a doctors report that states that they are for to fly by air carriage between 28-35 weeks. Past 35 weeks, you cannot fly even with medical clearance.
  • Pregnant women expecting twins or more can fly with a doctors report that states that they are for to fly by air carriage between 28-31 weeks. Past 31 weeks, they cannot fly even with medical clearance.
  • Medical clearance must be dated maximum 7 days prior to the flight.
  • Report must include doctors full name, license number and signature.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Images retrieved from:

http://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2016/05/11/635986020673165225-265259556_global-travel-destinations.jpg

Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Weight gain during pregnancy

The first trimester is the toughest when it comes to eating and controlling your weight. You all know what I am talking about. You feel sick all day long, you cannot eat, even if you eat you may not be able to keep it in, and heightened sense of smell does not even let you look at some food groups. Controlling yourself in the first trimester is very hard and you are likely if you can eat some food then keep it actually in.

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During my first trimester I could only eat bagel with cream cheese, pizza, pasta with cheese and any citrus fruit. I could not stand garlic, hummus or anything green including salad spinach etc. I knew not eating would make me weaker and also I had to go to work so I would have a bagel in the morning, some fruit in the afternoon, then pizza and some soup in the evening. I knew I was not in taking nutritious food, but that’s what I managed to eat at that time. I was not too concerned either because I knew this period was transient and I was going to get some supplementation from prenatal vitamins. I was able to take control of my food intake, make healthier food choices and control my cravings as well as portion sizes better once my nausea settled.

http://www.babyyourbaby.org/images/pregweightdiagram.gifThe recommended amount of weight gain is 11-33 lb during pregnancy. If you are gaining less than 11lbs then your baby may be underweight and premature. If you gain more than 33 lbs, it will be harder for you to move around with all that extra weight, you may set yourself for gestational diabetes and/or high blood pressure, and it will be harder to lose all that extra weight post pregnancy. I know people who gained 50-70 lbs during pregnancy and unfortunately, it was really hard for them to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight since it took months and a big commitment and lots of sacrifice.

Tips to avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy

woman-eating-two-burgersPeople will try to convince to eat whatever you want in large amounts because you are eating for two.

Learn to say no. Remember your baby only needs 300 calories on average a day so there is no need to double up your portions. All the extra calories are unnecessary and will be stored in your body.

P-portionControl-enHD-AR1Stop eating once you get full.

As your uterus keeps expanding into your abdominal cavity, there is will be less and less room so overeating will create a lot more discomfort for you. Pace your self and remember portion control.

fresh-produceAdd more fresh produce to your diet; keep them available in your fridge.

If you like to snack, have fresh produce and healthy snack ready in your kitchen. If you have good food choices such as hummus, yogurt, edemame, veggies or fruit in your fridge you are more likely to snack on those before you open a package of cookies.

e64cc62a2a20a84d7ad6404bdb80b760Drink water, keep hydrated!

Remember you may not be hungry, you may be thirsty. There is not really a recommended amount of water intake you need to reach. However, still ensure that you are drinking water not soda, coffee or all other zero calorie carbonated drinks. Remember nothing will replace water. If you do not like the taste of plain water, then try adding some fresh cucumber, lemon, mint, and/or strawberries for some flavor. You know what works best to make yourself drink more water.

Sweet tooth challenge 

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If you have a sweet tooth and it is hard for you to give up on cookies, cake, ice cream then definitely try portion control. During my first trimester, magnum brand double chocolate caramel ice cream bar would relieve my nausea. Weird right?! I would crave for it right before bed between 9-10 pm. After I put on 8lbs during my second month of being pregnant, I knew that habit had to stop. I started eating only half and saving the other half for the following night. Cut your portion size in half, eat slower for a prolonged satisfaction period and avoid from eating in front of TV since you can indulge a lot more without realizing.

Avoid packaged products and baked goods and take control of your cravings.

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Sugar is the #1 substance that 99% of the population is addicted to. There is sugar in everything especially in packaged products. More sugar you eat, more you will crave for it. During my pregnancy, I would crave for dates right before bed after I had my ice cream bar. I would tend to eat about 12-14 of them in one sitting and I know it a big sugar load for my system. I would try to hold off on that to have it when I wake up in the morning. More you expose yourself to late night snacking, more your body will store. If you can hold off on your cravings and eat in the morning, you are more likely to burn that off throughout the day.

If you are struggling with nutrition and weight gain, see a professional.

I am not a nutritionist or a dietitian and all the information that I offer on my website is drawn from my personal experience as a new mother. If you are really struggling with what to eat, want to learn more about different food groups and how they affect your body, also has weight issues, I advise you to see a professional who can guide and help you. You can definitely talk to your OBGYN, see a nutritionist or dietitian.

During my pregnancy, I really enjoyed reading and learning more from Mark Sisson’s Primal Blue Print book, and Primal Blue Print Cookbook as well as Quick and Easy recipe book. If you want to learn more about nutrition, making better food choices and how to make healthy food in seconds, these books are treasures that are definitely worth checking out.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Images retrieved from:

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