As a mom of two sets of twins… I know there is nothing more stressful than having something wrong with one of my babies. I have been so blessed with four healthy kids and I am truly grateful!! I blogged about my pregnancy with the girls and the new experiences I had with my second twin pregnancy. I had unexpected complications despite my best efforts and what I believed to be a perfectly supplemented, nutrient dense diet and an active pregnancy. I talk about it here, 18 Weeks: What are we eating?, and here 22 Weeks: Shape Change and Weekly Routine, and here 20 Weeks Pregnant with Twins: Movement, Cooking with kids, and Farmer’s Market. Then all of a sudden, something started happening…I talk about it here: Week 31: What a week!! and here Week 32: Home from the hospital and back again and reminiscing. There was no reason that I could figure why the girls were coming early. But, I know that it was truly a scary time. I had a lot of scary images of what could happen to them, who would cook for and take care of the boys at home? How would I get everything ready for them in time? I launched into preparation mode, family members rallied around us and helped take care of the boys. I describe the girls joyous but scary arrival here 34 weeks: Today may be the day and here 34 Weeks and 2 days: still waiting and here They are here! One week old!. I slept in the hospital for a week because I could not leave them, it was a very difficult time! They were given antibiotics, formula and fat supplements for the first few days of their lives. As you can imagine…that made me feel like a total failure. I was so upset about how it was damaging their guts, destroying their microbiome. Even though they were born vaginally, that was all taken away with their IV antibiotics. I describe it here They are here! One week old!
Do you know what I learned in those days in the NICU? I learned that I was so blessed. I learned that I was not a failure. I knew that I would do all that I could to rebuild their gut. I knew that I would work hard to make sure that I nourished myself to help them grow strong and make sure that my milk would provide them what they needed to grow. I talk about my experience here Home sweet home: NICU, sleeping at the hospital and meeting the brothers.
Fast forward two and a half years and here we are! I look at their strong healthy little bodies and I am so grateful for all that I have. They are little bundles of joyful energy and it is my great privilege to work hard to be their mom. When I get tired or don’t think I can chop one more vegetable or wash one more dish…I think about how lucky I am to have the vegetables to chop and the dishes to wash. I have even tricked myself into saying I am grateful to have the pee from my two little boys with bad aim to wipe up. Because if they were not here, there would be no pee to wipe. 🙂
Yes, there are stressful times and not everyone behaves all the time. In fact, there is a lot of disciplining going on some days. But, it is interspersed by moments of unstoppable laughter. Moments I want to capture and hold onto forever!
So….onto the point of this blog. I know that nutrition is only one part of health. So much goes into complete health, including movement, play and laughter.
I will say this with 100% confidence! You cannot fully enjoy those things without nourishing yourself. You cannot enjoy all of those other parts of health without feeding your body what it needs consistently, every day. This is not a blog about eating to look a certain way, it’s not about being on a diet, it’s not about passing judgment on what you are doing now. It is about learning together how we can nourish our kids and, at the same time, nourish ourselves.
Movement can be simple like some ViPR play…
Doing some stretches with you at work…
Or, working out together…
Meals don’t have to be overly fancy…just real, whole food. Start there and then add ways to make it as nutrient-dense as possible. Here, William had some leftover veggie sauce with lentil noodles (recipe here: Every bite counts!), rice cooked in bone broth with chopped veggies, roast chicken, and fermented bread and butter pickles, and tomatoes with avocado, olive oil, and chives.
Sometimes you can mix things up for the kids to encourage more of the target food to get in their mouths. Here I have ground organ meat with simple chili powder, browned along with pastured pork, garlic and onions, okra, and tomatoes. I filled an organic taco shell from Trader Joe’s and topped it with black olives and avocado. I also served bone broth veggie rice and purple sauerkraut on the side. I ate the same thing without the taco shell. I used a big bed of mixed greens as my vehicle. The taco shell served nothing other than to add a bit of fun to the meal and encourage a good portion of organ meat.
Take something they love and prepare it in different ways. Here is Maddy’s lunch plate. I used my The Best Grain and Nut-Free Bread! I want them to start eating some fresh greens without being hidden in a smoothie. So, I added them to a sandwich. I used Applegate naturals ham and turkey, a slice of raw cheddar cheese, avocado oil mayo and some romaine lettuce. The third sandwich is almond butter with sliced banana and cinnamon. I served them with balsamic beets, purple sauerkraut and honeydew. They ate it all! We are still working on eating more raw greens. But, it’s a start!
Keep trying new recipes, and keep presenting fresh, whole foods. Don’t give up! Don’t wait for something to be wrong. Consider it preventative maintenance. One thing you will know for sure with confidence, you are absolutely making the 100% best choice for you and your kids.