Monday, October 28, 2013

Best Foods to Eat After Pregnancy

Hey everyone! I'm really excited to bring you this guest post from Beth at Carrots Over Cake. Obviously it is a topic that applies to me personally and hopefully to many of you, enjoy!


You’ve given birth and are enjoying time with your little one. Now it’s time to return to your busy schedule and this time you have a baby to take care of as well. With so much to do, it is often difficult to find time to take a break, let alone make yourself a healthy meal. Although it is much simpler to order food at a drive-thru or get pizza delivered to the house, these foods will only leave you feeling sluggish. Consuming foods that are high in sodium and fat but free of any real nutritional value will rob you of the energy that is so essential to you and your baby.

It is very important that you make time to eat a meal that consists of foods that provide you with not only energy, but also with the kind of vitamins and minerals that your body requires.

Breastfeeding Mothers
When it comes to the topic of breastfeeding, everyone forms their own opinion. Some mothers choose to breastfeed their newborns for months before transitioning to formula. Others even go on breastfeeding for years. Whichever option you choose, you should remember for the duration of time in which you breastfeed, the foods that you eat can—and will—have a direct effect on your baby.  This is even more of a reason for mothers to get proper servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy.  

Weight Management
Although you will want to get rid of your baby weight quickly, keep in mind that this should be a gradual process. Particularly for breastfeeding mothers, the focus should be on consuming the right foods rather than the number of pounds you lose.  

What you may not realize is that one risk of losing weight too quickly is decreased milk production. Mothers that breastfeed actually need to consume 500 more calories than the average woman. That number may sound la bit scary to a woman attempting to lose their baby weight, but more calories are burned breastfeeding than in some individuals’ complete workout.

This is why it is important to avoid making weight loss the priority. You should instead ensure that you are taking in an adequate amount of calories and that the foods you consume are beneficial to you and your infant. Here are some foods that you will want to incorporate into your diet.

Fruit - When you’re facing a moment of low energy and a limited time to eat, go for a piece of fruit. Not only are fruits quick and convenient, but they provide you with a natural sugar rush without the nasty crash that you might feel after eating sugar-packed junk food.

Legumes – New mothers that have dietary limitations or do not consume animal products can look to legumes as a great source of iron. Dark beans will provide the best source of iron.

Whole Grains - Looking for a great source of those extra calories you’ll need to take in while breastfeeding? Eating whole grain rice, breads, cereals and pasta is heart healthy and serves as a good source of fiber and folic acid.

Green Vegetables – Green vegetables like broccoli provide calcium to nursing mothers. They are another source of iron and are a low-calorie food.  

Meats – Salmon contains DHA, which contributes to the growth of a child’s nervous system. Salmon is suggested to new mothers because of the benefits of its DHA contents. It is suggested that for new moms only about 12 ounces of salmon be consumed per week. Eaten in moderation, it can even help boost your mood.

Similar to legumes, lean chicken and pork have also been found to contain iron. They are great ways for a woman to restore her blood levels after losing blood while giving birth.

Eating Right and Enjoying Your Baby
Along with eating right, remember to always keep yourself hydrated and to avoid large amounts of caffeine, which has the potential to disrupt your baby’s sleep. It is important that you do not stress over feeling pressure to lose weight immediately after you’ve given birth. If you are sure to eat the right foods, you will see results over time. It is possible to enjoy delicious meals while also contributing to the overall health of you and your baby.

Guest Bio:
Beth is the mother of two children and would call herself a “supermom,” but she believes every mom has super capabilities. She dedicates her life to teaching her children to live healthy and happily. Her knowledge and proficiency in health and fitness comes from her experience writing for medical companies such as Liberty Medical. You can also check out other fitness, health, and family related posts at her blog.



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Homemade Funfetti Cake

homemade funfetti cake4
Fall is a busy time around my house. Lots of birthdays and lots of holidays. You thought dieting was hard for you – it’s nearly impossible in my house, 2 birthdays in October, 1 in November, and now with our newest addition next year we’ll also be celebrating in September. Not to mention Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas and all the treats and goodies that come with them.

Well this week was Ben’s birthday, he turned 2! He’s not much of a talker just yet, so I took it upon myself to choose what kind of cake to make him. I know, tough job, right? hehe. My personal favorite cake is funfetti. After Andrew’s cake success, I wanted to give it a go again making a cake from scratch.

homemade funfetti cake2

This one wasn't a complete success (I'm not much of a baker, if you couldn't tell), I’m not sure what I did wrong. I was lazy and just baked all the batter in one cake pan instead of borrowing a second. I’m not sure if that made it more dense or if I messed up something in the recipe. Maybe I over baked? I’m not sure, but the pictures from the original recipe look great so I’m sure it’s something I did…

It still tastes great, but isn’t as light and fluffy as I would expect.

homemade funfetti cake3

Ben loves it and really that’s all that matters. He was so cute when we sang to him, just smiling the whole time and blew out his candles like a pro. :)

Enjoy!

Homemade Funfetti Cake (recipe adapted from Simply Scratch)

YIELD: 24 cupcakes or a 2 layer cake

INGREDIENTS:

4 whole Egg Whites

1 cup Whole Milk

2 teaspoons Real Vanilla Extract

3 cups Cake Flour, sifted

1 1/2 cups Sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 1/2 sticks of Unsalted Butter, softened

1/2 cup Sprinkles, plus more for garnish (or 1/4 cup if you fold them into the frosting)

1 recipe of Cream Cheese Frosting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare cupcake pan with liners or two 9” cake pans.
Combine the wet ingredients; egg whites, whole milk, and vanilla. Whisk together and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Blend with the butter and half of the wet ingredients. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl before adding the rest of the milk and egg mixture. Mix again until combined.
Fold in sprinkles and fill cupcake liners halfway or divide between the two cake pans. Bake for about 17-20 minutes
Frost with frosting (recipe below) and top with sprinkles. Or you can do as I did and fold the sprinkles directly into the frosting – up to you. Refrigerate any uneaten cupcakes/cake.
 
Cream Cheese Frosting (also from Simply Scratch)

INGREDIENTS:

1 package (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Butter, softened

1 teaspoon of Real Vanilla Extract

1 package (16 oz.) powdered sugar (about 4 cups), sifted

DIRECTIONS:
On medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended.
Add the sugar gradually until blended after each addition.
Always keep cream cheese frosting refrigerated.
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