Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Ta-ta Tampons! (male discretion advised)

When I was about 7 months pregnant, I found out I was positive for Group B Streptococcus (GBS). I had a urinary tract infection (UTI) in the beginning of my pregnancy, which apparently contributes to GBS. After my test results came back positive, I came home and did what I love to do......research.

GROUP B STREPTOCOCCUS:  is "carried in your intestines and lower genital tract" (mayoclinic.com).

GBS is an infection (seems very common these days) that is normally harmless in healthy adults, but in rare cases it can be fatal if passed to a baby during delivery. Maybe you're already familiar with it, since up to 40% of women have it. But if you'd like to know more, check out the article from the Mayoclinic, HERE.

As a woman who wanted a completely natural birth, I dreaded having an IV. But antibiotics were said to prevent our son, Oliver from contracting GBS. It seemed like the best thing to do.

It wasn't until later that I thought to myself..... what if GBS could have been prevented in the first place?

BUILD IMMUNITY: Birthwellness.com wrote an incredible article on reducing the colonization of GBS by building up immunity, taking acidophilis, and probiotics to bring back healthy bacteria. Leafy greens, plenty of pure drinking water, fermented foods, eliminating sugars and processed foods are all beneficial. The article also recommends the best natural treatment for GBS if tested positive, and how to avoid antibiotics. If I only I had known this sooner!

I also came across research that linked tampon use to GBS.

USE OF TAMPONS: More research told me that the use of tampons was a breeding ground of bacteria and may be a major contributor to GBS. In the 1960's when tampons became more popular, there was a huge increase in GBS in women. Based on a study posted on the National Institute of Health, those that didn't use tampons reduced their chances by 34% (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).

As a result, there ARE ways to restore a healthy intestinal and vaginal flora, and there are also ways we CAN help prevent GBS.  Yet, I was freaked out (and grossed out) by the research I was finding on tampon use.

Did you know that the average woman will use about 16,800 tampons in her lifetime? (mercola.com).
Dr. Mercola discusses how the ingredients in tampons are absorbed into the blood stream, and are a "breeding ground for bacteria."     Makes sense, right? 

He mentions BPA, Phalates, and oil plastics are suspected chemicals in tampons. Yet, companies don't seem to want to tell us what's in them. Why?

It made me think twice about what I was putting in my body. At least I could find an alternative, and reduce the use of bleached, toxic products. It was time for a healthier option.

Ta-ta tampons!

Not only do I want to reduce my chances of GBS coming back, but choosing an environmentally friendly option. I also want to reduce my chance of Toxic Shock Syndrome (women die from this, every year).


 Ever heard of The Diva Cup? 

It's a menstrual cup that is free of BPA, latex, and other chemicals. It lasts twice as long as a tampon, and it's reusable.

Model 1 is for women under 30, that have never had a baby.

Model 2 is for women over 30, or those that have had a baby vaginally or by c-section.

It may just be the best $40 you've spent in a long time.

More questions? Check out: http://divacup.ca/

Thanks for hearing me out on my journey, I hope that it will help someone that comes across the article. It is information I wish I had before our baby came along!

Cheers, and stay healthy!

 Check out the article from Birthwellness, HERE.

Check out: What's Really In Feminine Hygiene Products by Dr. MercolaHERE.








Thursday, 6 June 2013

Homemade Vegan Arrowroot Cookies

I am constantly trying to find alternatives for processed foods. That means I'm constantly whipping up new things in the kitchen! Not all of them are a success, either. But it's all worth it when you win! You tweak that recipe, substitute for this and that....and BAM, you've created something healthier and delicious! One day I'll release a cookbook...

As a kid, I always loved arrowroot cookies. And it was time I made a healthier version of this favourite.

I decided to go with Spelt flour, since it is more easily digested. And arrowroot powder, you ask? The Forks Over Knives cookbook describes it as a minimally processed flour that comes from the "root" of a plant from the American tropics called an "arrowroot." Go figure.

As far as spelt flour goes, Nutritionist Kim Corrigan-Oliver mentions how it is best to wait until your babes are 12-18 months of age to have gluten, since little ones younger than a year have trouble digesting the enzymes and it can be hard on their little tummies (yourgreenbaby.com).

There are some great benefits to spelt flour though!

DIGESTION: Spelt is an ancient grain, high in fibre, and is easier to digest than other wheat flours. It is more water-soluble, and has been said to sit well with those that have allergies to wheat, or for those who have gluten intolerance (WHfoods.com). Although, to my surprise, spelt does contain gluten, and is basically a "cousin" of wheat.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE: Perhaps you'd like to know that spelt contains vitamin B2, manganese, copper, fibre, and a stinkload of iron. Spelt rocks our socks because the nutrients from the germ and bran are left in tact (www.whatscookingamerica.net).

BETTER FLAVOUR: To top it off, it has an amazingly delicious nutty flavour that kicks white and whole wheat flour's arse.

We like to buy the Organic Stone Ground Spelt from Bulk Barn. Deeelish!

HealthNutty Vegan Arrowroot Cookies

3/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup/maple syrup or agave nectar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another bowl. Add wet to dry.
3. Lay down a piece of wax paper, or clean counter top floured with spelt. Roll out to whatever thickness you desire. We like about 1/2 inch, but you can go thinner for a crispier cookie. I used a lot of extra flour for rolling etc.
4. Use cookie cutters to make shapes and bake until golden brown, 8-12 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.
5. Enjoy!






Del Sroufe, Forks Over Knives Cookbook, 2012