Shortly after announcing my pregnancy I had a lot of people ask me,
“are you scared?”
“are you nervous?”
“What about what happened last time.” (preterm delivery, Postpartum depression)
At first I wasn’t really sure how to answer. Depending on whether I wanted to explain myself or not really summed it up, because the answer is,
I struggled with the fear of having one more for quite some time. And it haunted me, because I felt this pull, this knowing, that there was one more waiting for us. People often chime, “you just know when you’re done.” And after Asher, I immediately knew I wasn’t. However, right when I saw the double line and after the initial shock of discovering I was pregnant again, I felt relief. We were done, this was it. I finally felt it.
But then the fear crept in again. Was I pressing in my luck? I had two healthy children, and I feel so fortunate that they are. But what if this one is ill? Or has other complications? I felt anxiety creeping in, which is not something I typically experience. I wrestled with it day and night, trying to rationalize my way out of an irrational thought that; because I had been lucky twice, I was going to be unlucky this time.
I think that this is a common experience in life, even outside of pregnancy. Everyone has their ultimate fear that plays out in future situations, or makes you feel guilty about past encounters. Its simply a part of the human mind, and the human experience. But that doesn’t mean it cannot be changed, understood, or fixed. There is a way out of the dysfunction, one that dampens the voice of fear in your mind so that you can see what is truly there. And after a short time of trying to use my rational mind to silence an irrational part of the psyche, I turned to my little tool box of serenity and surrendered.
There was nothing in my outside world that was telling me my child would be ill, or that something was going to occur. It was a completely made up concept in my mind that was causing me unrest. I was going to take this fear head on, because I could recognize the harm it was causing me.
The tools I use to bust through fear are simple.
I call out whatever fear it is that I am experiencing. And if I can analyze it for a little longer, I might see what actually is really driving this fear. For me, the fear of having something happen to my child is, I’m not good enough, deserving enough, to have been blessed three times. (I know thats kind of awful isn’t it?) My Highest Self knows this to be false, but the mind, or the Ego, does a pretty good job in making it believable.
So I call out my fear. I say, “This fear is not real. I choose to see this from a more loving perspective.”
And I immediately sit in meditation.
Releasing Fear Meditation
Come to a comfortable seat and close your eyes.
Take a few deep breaths to centre yourself and clear your mind.
Run a body check and see if you can feel tension or can sense the fear residing in a part of your body, and take note. If you don’t thats okay.
Inhale- “I know this fear based thought is not real.”
Exhale- “I invite serenity in.”
Inhale- “I am willing to see this differently”
Exhale- “I am releasing this fear, now.”
Inhale- “I choose Love over Fear.”
Exhale- “I choose Love over Fear.”
and so it is.
You can repeat this section of the meditation as many times as you wish, or until you feel relief. After, simply sit, repeating the mantra, “I choose Love over Fear.” on each inhale and exhale.
When you’re ready, open your eyes and take in the room.
This meditation can be used anytime, anywhere. When I first started using meditation as a way out of fear and anxiety I found instant relief. Some things left easily. Others, well they kind of held on. I did this meditation for my particular fear over Baby Sprinkles (Mila named them, lol) many, many times, before the fear simply no longer mattered. At any moment I felt a negative thought regarding Sprinkles I simply inhaled, recited my mantra, and exhaled.
I hope this mantra meditation assists you and you find the serenity that resides within. Practice it anytime.
Wishing you wellness and happiness, always.
wearing kundalini gown.
This was really what started my interest in elixirs, Reishi mushrooms. I had heard of Reishi mushrooms as a child and knew of their revered use in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Also, upon becoming pregnant I heard of Reishi Babies, or babies who’s mothers consumed Reishi during pregnancy. In Asia, many mothers seek the herb as an immune builder for them and the baby. Something Master Teeguarden said, (a widely recognized Master Herbalist in America) who dubbed the term “reishi babies” really spoke to me.
I saw some of these children, older and newborn, and they appeared uniformly calm and focused. The infants had little or no inflammation on their face or hands, cried little, and appeared to take in their surroundings with incredible acuity.
And after having a colicky kid, I thought what the hell! Reishi has been used for thousands of years in pregnancy with no documented ill side effects, and I feel, personally, the limited use will be of benefit and of no harm. However, as always, speak with a doctor or your naturopath before consuming any adaptogens or supplements.
The Reishi mushroom is known as the “mushroom of immortality” as it supports radiant health, longevity, and works synergistically with the body, mind and spirit. This ancient fungus is an adaptogen; meaning it promotes homeostasis in the case of stress response, mostly by recharging and supporting your adrenals (which are responsible for releasing the stress hormone cortisol and adrenaline and other hormones.)
If under chronic stress your adrenals are then put under a lot of pressure and begin to function improperly. This overload of stress hormones can lead to a variety of illnesses and conditions, ranging everywhere from skin conditions, to chronic fatigue, inflammation, digestive disorders anxiety and depression, cancer, sleep, weight and memory problems as well as heart problems.
Wow. Thats kind of scary. I can also say, from experience, adrenal fatigue is no joke, and after addressing it with herbs I felt AMAZING. Having properly functioning adrenals was legitimately life changing.
Along with supporting adrenals, Reishi also has a laundry list of other health benefits, and protect against other illnesses and dysfunctions including;
Fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
Frequent infections (urinary tract, bronchitis, respiratory infections, etc.)
Food allergies and asthma
Digestive problems, stomach ulcers and leaky gut syndrome
Tumor growth and cancer
Viruses, including the flu, HIV/AIDS or hepatitis
Heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
sleep disorders and insomnia
Anxiety and depression
Reishi is not the only mushroom with benefits. Another mushroom is Chaga, or the “King of Plants.” Chaga has immense immune enhancing properties, antiviral abilities, and high levels of antioxidants.
Chaga can help with:
Purifies the Blood
Lower high blood sugar
Lowers stress response
Combat abnormal and mutagenic cell growth
Repair DNA damage
Enhances hair, skin, restores more youthful appearance
He Shou Wu is another one on the list. This root has been used to restore youth, vitality, longevity, and is considered a rejuvenation food.
Calms nervous system
Rich in Iron/Zinc
Strengthen red blood cell membranes
Improve brain function
Enhance immune system
And last but not least is Cordyceps, which is also a fungus and is often used as a rejuvenation tonic. It is beneficial to those recovering from illness, chronic stress, and fatigue. It was a toss up between Reishi and Cordyceps when I made my first purchase, as the main reason I was experimenting with elixirs was because of my fatigue. Unfortunately, I had to quit my adrenal support supplements upon becoming pregnant, and coupled with growing a human being, I was very, rejuvenation tonic that is often used by those who are recovering from illness, extended periods of stress, and general feelings of fatigue. very tired.
Cordyceps can help treat:
Respiratory infections like chronic bronchitis
Coughs, colds and the flu
Reproductive problems and sexual dysfunction
Bladder infections and urination problems
Low circulation and irregular heartbeats
Heart disease and high cholesterol
Chronic fatigue syndrome and low energy
All of the information collected, and photos used, was from the website Root&Bones, and that is also where I purchase everything. They are a reputable company, with organic and wildcrafted fungus. I have been very pleased with my purchase and can’t wait to make more!
Just a disclaimer, this is not sponsored, just totally my opinion. Although, that would be cool if it was!
Hope you enjoyed, and if you make a purchase I hope you love it as much as I have.
I may have found my favourite.
You probably have read that Chocolate is good for you. Every few months I see another study on why its okay to break out a bar every once in awhile. And the studies are right…kind of. The main component of chocolate, cocoa is okay for you. It’s flavanoids have some antioxidants, and might help lower cholesterol. But what researchers are typically studying is the purest form of cocoa, which closely resembles CACAO, or the raw form of COcoa.
The difference between cacao and cocoa is more than just spelling. Cacao refers to any food product originating from the cacao beans; cacao butter, nibs, paste, and of course, cacao powder.
Anything COcoa is a processed (roasted) version of CAcao, which is the raw, cold pressed, fermented fruit of the Cacao plant. (Still with me?) And it is actually CAcao that has the most health benefits.
So why would raw be better?
Well, whenever you roast anything at a high temperature you begin to change the chemical compound of the substance. Sometimes this can create carcinogenic substances, such as in the case of heating olive oil to high temps. Or you lose some of the key vitamins and minerals. And while they aren’t completely sure, there have been studies showing the raw version, CAcao, has higher antioxidant compounds than the roasted version, COcoa.
Health Benefits of CACAO
Cacao has nearly four times the antioxidant content of regular processed dark chocolate and 20X more than blueberries. These antioxidants flush out and protect against free radicals in the body.
Cacao contains anandamide, or the “bliss molecule” which can create a euphoric feeling and improve your mood. (I mean, OBVS.)
Cacao is an aphrodisiac- it contains PEA or phenethylamine which triggers the release of endorphins that naturally release during sexual activity. These chemicals also improve libido. Perhaps why its tradition to give chocolate on Valentine’s Day? hmm…
Cacao boosts serotonin, the feel good molecule, which is why women typically turn to chocolate during PMS as serotonin levels fall at this time.
Cacao thins the blood, prevents premature aging and has even been linked to shedding fat due to its MAO inhibitors which help shrink appetite!
The component theobromine (cacao butter) has been shown to halt coughs better than codeine without the scary side effects.
The flavanols help improve microcirculation, oxygen saturation and skin hydration, all which improve the skin and its texture.
Resets metabolism, reduce insulin resistance and lowers blood pressure naturally.
The sulfur content improves the hair, nails, and supports liver and pancreatic function.
So how do you include Cacao in your diet?
Basically you can replace anything that calls for cocoa with cacao. In baking or cooking. You can also sub chocolate chips for cacao nibs, which are cut up pieces of the fermented fruit. The fermentation process they naturally go through causes them to take on a rich coffee and berry notes we have associated with chocolate for so long, (warning they are naturally bitter- do not expect to be eating chocolate chips. These have not been sweetened!)
So throw them on your oatmeal, add it to baking, or throw them in a smoothie.
My favourite way has been adding a tablespoon to my morning latte along with maca.
What exactly is maca? Maca is an ancient Peruvian crop belonging to the radish family and has been consumed for thousands of years. Recently it has been used as an incredible superfood!
It is naturally high in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. It is also linked to helping fertility as it balances hormones, in both females and males and many people take it to increase libido. Along with balancing hormones it also evens out mood, so its beneficial for people suffering from anxiety or depression, or mood swings.
And one of the biggest reasons I add this to my morning brew is for its ability to increase alertness and endurance, because I. Am. Exhausted.
Growing a baby is no joke, and with two others to care for during the day I am absolutely beat. For 16 weeks I have crawled to the kitchen with my lips to make the kids breakfast and then have had to have a lie down. And the exhaustion was just not letting up, even with daily 2 hour naps and doing the bare minimum. In fact, I needed the bloody nap just to make it to bedtime. Two weeks ago I was feeling rather defeated because all I have done for 16 weeks to that point was exist, and I decided to give it a go.
Like all of these super foods , I start small and rotate which ones I use, but in this past week I’ve noticed a huge pick up in energy. In fact, I’ve only had one nap this week and it was because I was up at 5 and then was out cooking in the sun until after lunch. And aside from a growing belly, I’m feeling pretty good (finally) at 18 weeks. So while of course it could just be my body finally getting its life together, or the maca, I’ll take it.
(I was unable to find much information in regards to Maca and pregnancy (lets be honest, sort of like everything) but it is consumed in high amounts in Peru, for thousands of years, with no ill side effects. So I feel a tsp every few days is completely okay. Like always, start small, rotate, and ask your doctor.)
Like CAcao, it can be used in smoothies, morning lattes, soup or in pretty much anything, or taken as a supplement. I didn’t find it altered the taste at all.
So here is my
Morning Maca Mocha Latte
1 tbsp cacao
1 tsp maca powder
2 tsp coconut sugar
1 shot of espresso (1/2 cup of regular coffee)
1 1/2 C coconut milk, steamed (or boil on the stove)
I add the coffee to the cacao, maca, and coconut sugar and mix well to dissolve the powders. Then steam my milk and add it to the brew. It tastes like hot chocolate, and makes me feel good both inside and out.
I got all my super foods from Amazon by the way. (I was only able to find maca in caplet form local to me)
Hope you enjoyed this rather long post. Happy brewing!