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This soup is a favorite with my family & our postpartum doula clients. This soup is perfect for the cooler nights and for an easy comfort food meal.  And we all know we need chicken soup since cold & flu season is upon us!  

To save time, just use pre-cut veggies, boxed broth and rotisserie chicken.  (Most grocery stores will have all three veggies diced and packaged together as mirepoix) 

You can also choose to take your time making homemade broth, poached chicken, and find all of the chopping and peeling therapeutic.   If you have the time, it is worth it for that old-fashioned homemade flavor!

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic minced
1 large onion diced
3-4 stalks of celery chopped
3-4 carrots peeled (if you desire) and sliced
  (or all 3 already diced in 1 package Mirepoix)
Shredded or cubed Cooked Chicken (I like to pick apart a rotisserie chicken, but you can also poach your choice of chicken parts and then shred or cube)
4-6 cups of chicken stock
Kale (I use bagged kale, just be sure to pick out the thick ribs and stems)
1/2 bag Egg noodles (whatever width you prefer)
Salt, pepper

Directions
Sauté the garlic, onions, carrots & celery in oil of choice until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour in broth & chicken pieces.  Bring to a simmer.  

Add noodles.  

Once noodles are soft, add the kale to the soup. The kale will wilt pretty quickly so add as much as you'd like in batches.

Cook for 5-10 minutes or until desired Kale wilt:)  

Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Serve and top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

I like to make a large pot of this and make individual serving sized portions in sandwich sized freezer bags. Just pour, seal and freeze.  If you do plan on freezing a portion, cook noodles separately.  Otherwise they may get too mushy from freezing.

Contributed by the Fabulous Doula Sara Sandstrom.  Sara can be contacted at sara@wisebirthchoices.com


 
 
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Today's recipe is Paleo-Friendly and prep is 5 minutes! Cooking time is around 30 min.  Serve with a green veggie and / or Cauliflower Rice for a quick complete meal.


Ingredients:
1 package chicken thighs, 6-8 pieces
Curry powder
Coconut oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 can of coconut milk for optional sauce



Prep Time: 5 minutes
Rinse and drain chicken thighs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat large skillet 
Add 2Tbsp coconut oil
Dust flat side of chicken generously with the Curry powder
Season with salt & pepper
Place chicken in hot pan, flat side down, for 8-10 minutes or until browned on that side.
While they are cooking, dust the other side with the spice powder, salt & pepper.
When done, flip and brown on the other side.
Once browned on both sides, place skillet into preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Sauce:
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can remove the chicken from the pan onto a plate. Put the pan back on the stove on low heat, add a can of coconut milk and stir to create a delicious sauce. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often while scraping the bottom of the pan.

Serve with a green veggie and / or Cauliflower Rice for a complete meal.

Serves 4

Contributed by the Fabulous Doula Cornelia Mazzan.  Cornelia can be contacted at cornelia@wisebirthchoices.com



 
 
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Today I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the owner and staff of the Bra & Girdle Factory located at 1900 Hwy 70 in Lakewood.

I reached out to Bra & Girdle Factory for answers to the questions we hear from our birth & postpartum doula clients.  I compiled a list and headed to Lakewood for answers.

Upon arrival, I was escorted to the round table and the women shared their wisdom. 




I sat with Cheryl Teitelbaum, the owner of the Bra & Girdle Factory, and a few of her staff, Joan Diana, Lorraine Hammersten and Cathy Levey.  These women were a blast to talk with and swap boob and breastfeeding stories.  They all contributed to the Q&A. (Women in the photo from L to R:  Cheryl Teitelbaum, Joan Diana, Gala Sossa-Delgado and Joni Maione)

1.  At what point in pregnancy should women shop for maternity bras / nursing bras?

We suggest 3 different time frames because your body changes so much, so rapidly.

Initially you should come in to be sized and fitted when your bras start feeling tight or uncomfortable. This varies from woman to woman.  Some need a fitting when they make the switch to maternity clothes.  For most it will fall around month 4 of your pregnancy.

The second sizing and fitting should be as close to your due date as possible.  This is when you breast tissue starts getting ready to go to work and you be closer to your nursing size.

Third fitting should be during months 3-5 postpartum.  This is when you will lose some of the "baby-weight" and your breasts have settled in with your individual breastfeeding cycle.   

2.  Is there a formula for sizing a nursing bra? Is it based on my non-pregnant size?

The formula is coming in and getting sized and fitted.  You may be wearing the wrong size right now. (The women shared some chuckles over how deluded we are at selecting our own sizes, I was pegged immediately.  I will be heading in for a fitting ASAP) 

3.  Are there specific styles you suggest for plus sized nursing bras or larger breasted women?

Larger breasts need bras with less stretch and more structure.  Wider straps to take the strain off the shoulders.  We offer sizing up to size 56 N.  

4.  We hear underwire nursing bras are contraindicated in breastfeeding, potentially causing blocked ducts. Is this a result of poor fit?

This is often a painful result of poor fitting bras.  Not all women who get blocked ducts are wearing the wrong bra, but a good indicator is a repeat problem in the same area of your breast.  Wired or wireless, if your bra is too tight you will eventually have a problem. 

You can wear a wired bra, but it must be the right size and fit.  We carry wired and wireless nursing bras in the larger cup sizes.  NEVER SLEEP IN A WIRED BRA – whether you are nursing or not.  It is just bad for your boobs.

5.  What do you recommend women wear for nighttime nursing?

Sleep bras are great for night nursing because they hook in the front.  They are super comfortable and stretchy, so it’s easy to just pull the cup down to nurse without unhooking too. 

6.  What is the recommendation for laundering nursing bras?

Wash by hand and NEVER put them in the dryer.  We tell women to take them in the shower and just wash them while you’re in there.  Hang them to dry.  Your regular bath soap is fine and it's a couple more minutes of peace in the shower!  

7.  What is the price range of nursing bras at your location? What is the range of sizes available?

Regular prices range from $50-75, but we offer a 20% discount which brings them down to $40-60.

8.  What are the benefits of coming the Bra & Girdle Factory vs grabbing a bra at one of the big box stores?

The biggest benefit is our dedication to providing you with comfort and correct fit.  That means less pain, less stretch marks and less sagging later.  We have trained professionals who are here to help you.  Women who come here benefit from a larger selection and a larger variety of styles.  



We also want women to avoid the frumpy look they get from generic box store bras. Especially for women who are returning to work and pumping.  A good undergarment makes the outfit. A supportive nursing bra with the correct fit will help keep you looking stylish and professional, while still giving you access for pumping sessions.

I heard you can convert a regular bra into a nursing bra....is this true and what magic are you conjuring?

This is true, and it isn’t magic.  For a seamstress fee, we can convert any bra into a nursing bra.  If you have a brand/style you love, we will turn it into a nursing bra for you.  We can also size a bra up or down for you.


Thank you to the gals at the Bra & Girdle Factory for their time, dedication and support!  We hope you will stop in on your quest for the comfortable nursing bra.  Let us know how your visit goes!


This post was contributed by the Fabulous Doula Jill Dillner.  Jill can be contacted by email at jill@wisebirthchoices.com.
 
 
15_min_chicken15 Minute Chicken
This recipe comes from an expectant dad named Aaron.  

"This is a great recipe for a quick and easy entree. My wife, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, had chicken thawing and asked me to cook since she was exhausted. She didn't have any plans so I just threw some things together and came up with this recipe. I'm sure it could be improved upon, but in a pinch it was easy and delicious."

We love "Easy and Delicious" in a pinch!!  Toss in a bag of 90 sec rice and some steam-in-bag broccoli and you have a meal in 20 minutes. Make a bigger batch, and freeze the extra for a future microwave meal.


Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken tenders (or boneless, skinless breasts and cut into 1/2" thick strips)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2/3 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. 
  2. Add chicken to the pan and stir into the sauce mixture to coat.
  3. Place cover on saucepan and simmer until the chicken pieces are cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove cover and spoon sauce over chicken pieces; continue cooking until sauce thickens, about 4 minutes more.
  4. Plate the rice and broccoli, cover with the chicken and sauce.  Enjoy!!

Sourced by the Fabulous Doula Renee Hennings (who admits, she doesn't cook, so if she can do it, you can do it!)  Original post can be found at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/228774/emergency-chicken/

 
 
PictureHigh Temp Roast
This is a great recipe for your first week home with a newborn.  It is 10 minutes to prep and it goes and stays in the oven. 

This recipe is great on nights when we have lots of after school activities.  I can start cooking, turn it off and go (if you have a "stop cooking timer" on your oven, you can go even sooner;). Dinner is waiting when we get home.  Toss together a salad or a couple of sides and done.


While the idea of cooking at such high temperature can be nerve-racking, have faith.  You will love it!  The most important part of this is NOT OPENING OVEN.

Ingredients

* 3-5 lb Roast Beef at room temperature
* Seasoning Rub of choice (McCormicks has a few)
        OR
*  Combine 1 Tbsp salt, 2 tsp Pepper and 1 c all-purpose flour

Directions

To start, I wrap my roasting pan with foil for easy clean-up.  You could also use a foil roasting pan from the grocery store, so you can just throw it away.  I also tent the roast with foil to avoid splatter and the rub starting to smoke at the high temp.

1  Preheat oven to 500 degrees F
2  Start with roast at room temp.
3  Choose your favorite rub and rub on all sides of roast
4  Place in oven and roast at 5 minutes per pound for rare or 7 minutes for more well done. 
    ONCE IT'S IN, DO NOT OPEN OVEN!!!
5  When time is up, turn oven off,  DO NOT OPEN OVEN OR REMOVE ROAST.
6  Let oven completely cool (2 hours)
7  When you are ready, remove roast, slice thin and enjoy. 


Contributed by the fabulous Doula Jill Dillner

 
 
BakedOatmealSquaresBaked Oatmeal Squares
Baked Oatmeal Squares

This recipe is one that I have made MANY times and it's my go to, for all postpartum mothers and anyone looking for a healthy, comfort food!  

Whether you have just starting breastfeeding or a seasoned breastfeeding pro, this is a tasty way to get the nutritional support you need.  This is a great recipe that freezes well and can be easily adjusted according to any diet restrictions

If you are having some issues with milk supply or just want to increase your milk supply, add dried papaya or apricot.  University of Wisconsin's Department of Family Medicine Integrative Medicine Program lists apricots and oatmeal as a natural galactagogue. 

I love the flexibility of this recipe.  The entire thing can be mixed now and stored in the fridge until you're ready to pop it in the oven, for individual servings this week.  It can be baked immediately and frozen into individual squares for quick and easy freezer meals.  This is an excellent comfort food that can be enjoyed in a single serving portion or as a meal for the entire family. I have cooked mine a little longer to dry them out more allowing me to enjoy like a breakfast bar.

Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups rolled oats or quick oats (if you prefer to use steel cut oats, see instructions below about soaking prior to cooking)
  • 4 cups milk (or sub with any milk of your choosing, almond & coconut work well)
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 c. Maple Syrup or a good quality honey (can be substituted for the sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1 c. dried fruit/nuts of your choosing (I prefer chopped dates, papaya, coconut, walnuts or raisins)

Directions:
  1. Combine milk, vanilla and egg.
  2. Add oats and cinnamon.
  3. Add syrup or honey.
  4. Add fruit/nuts.
  5. It WILL be liquid, not like a batter!  Don't worry, it will solidify while cooking.
  6. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish
  7. Bake on 350 for 45-60 minutes until firm. (You need to adjust for your oven. I have also left them to cook longer so they can be held by hand and eaten cold)
  8. Cut into squares and serve as meal or let cool and cold as a breakfast bar or warm in a toaster oven for a quick breakfast. 
  9. Soaking instructions if using Steel Cut Oats:  
                3 cups steel cut oats 
                3 cups of water 
                6 tbsp fresh whey or buttermilk 

                Combine oats, warm water and whey/buttermilk.  Cover and sit for 24 hours.
                After 24 hours, pour off soaking water and rinse oats until water runs clear.  
                Continue with instructions above


Contributed by the fabulous WBC Doula Shea Coffey.