Archive for December, 2011

December 2, 2011

Keeping Calm at Christmas

There are many studies that demonstrate and show the effects of stress in babies from a multitude of factors.  Everything from medical disease or dis-ease, lack of attention, food sensitivities, limited human interaction, and prolonged periods of hunger all can create highly stressful situations for a baby and young child.  Now that the holidays are here, it is important to consider your baby in the hustle and bustle and make provisions to assure their health (and yours) comes first.

Linda Folden Palmer, DC wrote a very in-depth article titled Stress in Infancy which explained the relationship between cortisol and stress.  The article stated that “occasional surges of cortisol throughout the day can be beneficial, but continuously elevated stress hormone levels in infancy from a stressful environment are associated with permanent ‘negative’ effects on brain development.”  Why is this significant?  Because when a baby’s system is in a prolonged or constant state of stress, it finds it hard to balance itself off or find peace both inside and out.  This can have a negative long-term effect of their brain development, growth, and even happiness.

Babies are very receptive to the world around them and they are especially receptive to their parents and caregivers.  You can never spoil an infant with too much attention or too much closeness and affection.  Babies need that to feel safe and at ease.   When they are at ease, they grow, flourish, and learn at much faster rates then when under extreme or constant distress.

So what is the best way to keep baby happy and cooing this holiday?  How do you work, entertain, do all of the family chores, and care for a baby all at once?  First of all, you must surrender to the fact that there is a little one in the home this year.  And with that, it is perfectly fine to consider dropping a few of the normal hustle and bustle activities for some easier ones that require less headache and stress.  It may even be a good time to consider your “why’s” and choose only the activities that make you and your family truly happy.  Just know your baby is counting on you for love, attention, and calm assurance that he or she is still the center of your world.  Until they are ready to and are capable of participating more, they need you to be with them where they are at.

Dr. Palmer cited that some nerve cells might be destroyed as a result of chronic stress and elevated hormone levels.  Continual exposure to this kind of anxiety can have certain long-term negative effects.  This should be reason enough to think up creative ways to enjoy a slower pace this year and revel in the new addition to your family.  After all, it is Christmas and Christmas is certainly a time for miracles, family, love and yes, even calm.

December 2, 2011

Wintery Warm Mulled Spice Cider

Prep Time: 25 Min                                                                     

Servings: 8 cups

INGREDIENTS: Always use organic when possible.

  • ½ Gallon Unfiltered Apple Cider (Make your own if possible)
  • 1 Orange
  • 10 Whole Cloves
  • 4 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 Tbsp. Allspince Berries
  • 6 Cardamon Pods
  • 1 Tsp. Nutmeg
  • ¼ Cup Grade B Maple Syrup or Unrefined Brown Sugar (you may use less)

Directions:

  1. Cut orange into large slices.
  2. Wrap all the spices and orange slices in a cheesecloth and tie tightly.  You may also use a jumbo sized mesh ball.
  3. In a medium to large saucepan add apple cider and mulling spices and when hot, lower temperature low heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Stir in maple syrup at the end and serve.

 

You Are What You Eat!

(A Short Bio on the Nutrient Density of the Main Ingredients)

Apples:                        Polyphenols that function as antioxidants helps to decrease oxidation of cell membrane fats.  Good for the heart, lowers risk of asthma (in numerous studies), provides beneficial vitamin C.  The whole food form of apples are high in fibre and help to manage hunger and balance blood sugar.  Scientists have recently shown apples to have positive effects in the digestive tract.

Cinnamon:                   Anti-clotting actions, anti-microbial food which helps to stop the growth of bacteria, fungi and Candida.  Cinnamon helps reduce blood sugar after eating.  Helps with type 2 diabetes patients improve their ability to respond to insulin.  Boosts brain function, excellent source of manganese and very good source of fibre, iron and calcium.  Known as a traditional warming remedy and is a great addition to winter months.

Grade B Maple Syrup: Grade B maple syrup is less processed than Grade A maple syrup and although it can be more expensive, it contains a lot more health supportive nutrients.  Manganese and zinc are important for your immune function and support reproductive health and prostate health for men.

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