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Food as Medicine~ Some of the amazing things food can do besides fill us up!

February 20, 2013

Those of you who know me well know that I have the unfortunate task of weaning my baby a tad earlier than I had planned.  We’re shooting to be done breastfeeding completely by mid-March so that I can have at least 2 months to “dry up” before having a preventative double mastectomy.  That’s the short version of that story.

QQDSCN4005

My little pookie just a few weeks old!

And while this is a bit sad for me (I’m pretty much a breastfeeding-freak, you see)… I’ve found that it eases the blow a little to turn the process into a “Food Adventure” of sorts!

Aside from lifestyle factors like stress levels, rest, illness, and certain forms of contraception… did you also know that there are foods, herbs, & oils that can have an effect on your milk supply?

peppermint

Some foods, like:

  -fluids in general

  -Thistle

  -Red Raspberry Tea

  -Brewer’s Yeast

are said to increase your milk supply!  Cool!  (Although it should be pointed out that the BEST way to increase your supply is to let baby nurse as often as possible and to be near your baby skin-on-skin almost constantly.)

On the flip-side of the coin, foods like:

  -Sage

  -Parsley

  -Peppermint

  -Cabbage compresses

are said to decrease your milk supply!  Very neat indeed 🙂  So aside from gradually replacing certain feedings with formula… I am also incorporating sage and cabbage compresses into my daily life.  Peppermint is another flavor I don’t mind too much, but the key is to use peppermint essential oil.  It is not enough to drink a little mint tea here and there… the concentration of mint is not high enough to have any effect.

* Another thing to note:  It is recommended that all breastfeeding mothers keep up a steady intake of healthful calories (2000 is the recommended amount for most average-size women.)  So the converse is also true… if you are looking to make your weaning experience a bit more pleasant and could stand a decrease in your caloric intake, now is the time to do it.  I’m not advocating an extreme or unhealthy decrease, mind you.  But cutting 200 or so calories a day is safe and beneficial in many cases.  I’ve even heard some doctors recommend limiting your intake of fluids… but I personally think that’s a bit extreme.  There are lots of other methods out there.  The cabbage compresses are especially shown to help!

Amazing the effect our diet can have on our bodies, isn’t it?

The-Food-Hospital-Channel-4

Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen the show Food Hospital, I highly recommend you watch it!  Who knew your diet could play such a critical role in the treatment of so many health conditions?  Gout, Crohn’s, Diabetes, Depression, Eczema, and so much more!  It should be a reminder to all of us that in more cases than we care to admit… we are not the victim of our health, but in fact the saboteur.

And on that depressing note, I leave you!  🙂

Bon appetit!

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