Tag Archives: food

What’s Your Gut Telling You? Gut Health and Healthy Pregnancy Interview with Summer Bock

I have been following Summer Bock for a while now, I think even before we met at a business conference a couple of years ago, and I am so excited to be digging deeper into doing some work with her to take my health to the next level.


I wanted to talk to her about the importance of gut health during the childbearing years and why her Gut Rebuilding program is an important and foundational piece of your journey if you’re thinking about starting a family, trying to conceive or are already pregnant.


One of the things I love about the work that I do is being able to bring in other experts to help expand what I can offer my clients.  I do not know it all, nor could I possible, but I try to surround myself with other people who know complimentary pieces.


Summer is a great example of that, and in our conversation we talked about the importance of gut health for reducing your toxic burden (a major passion of mine), the importance of what you do before and during pregnancy, cravings, and so much more.


I tried to shorten the video for you, but the truth is, there’s just so much great stuff that Summer had to share and I know you’ll want to hear about what’s going on in your gut, the importance of your pH levels for your baby’s immune system and understanding more about why we crave the foods we do!


Enjoy the video, and please let me know if you have any questions.

I hope that you’ll be joining us for the Gut Rebuilding program that starts on February 26th!


Early bird registration ends this Friday, February 22nd, so if you’re thinking about it, now’s the perfect time!


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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The Impact of Our Choices During Pregnancy on Our Babies

As you may know, I have a passion for the childbearing years, and especially for preconception and pregnancy wellness and the impact our choices have on our babies.


Here is a fascinating talk with Annie Murphy Paul on what are babies learn while they’re still in the womb.



I’d love to know what you think, so when you’re done watching, please leave a comment below and let me know your favorite part!


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Food Fridays: Healthy Breakfast Simplified

I woke up this morning and headed into the kitchen with the intention of making tea, and instead found myself making homemade muesli.


(The tea happened a bit later)


I recently fell into a breakfast rut, tired of some of my favorites.  I used to keep a bag of Bob’s Red Mill muesli in my pantry, but I took it out of the rotation when I tired of it.


I’m glad I did because it led me to realize how simple it is to make my own (and much more cost effective).


Muesli is flexible – you can add what you like or your body is craving, and you can eat it cold (either with milk or yogurt) or warm.


It also makes the perfect on-the-go mason jar meal.


Xandra’s 5 Minute Breakfast Muesli:

muesli2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 tsp (or to taste) cinnamon

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup sliced almonds

2 tbs coconut flakes

2 tbs chia seeds

1 cup unsweetened raisins

Combine ingredients in a bowl, and serve over yogurt, in milk, or warmed on the stovetop with milk.

Store remaining muesli in a glass storage container.


What’s your favorite way to simplify breakfast? Let me know in the comments below!


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Your Body Is Your Most Sacred Home

Your body is your most sacred home.

It is with you wherever you go, it feels all of your experiences, and internalizes those experiences in ways you can’t even imagine.

It is most deserving of your love, attention, and patience, so why do you treat it so terribly as part of your daily routine?

Does this sound like you?

You wake up without having given your body the rest it deserves and needs.

You slather it, often unknowingly, with toxins (hint: your soap, shampoo, lotion, and deodorant).

You cram whatever food you can find into your mouth as you run out the door.

You pump your body full of caffeine and sugar, hoping to trick it into feeling awake and energized.

You sit your body down and keep it inactive for most of the day.

You feed your body mindlessly, with food-like substances and stress.

You bring your body home weary but you keep doing doing doing until at last it crashes into bed.

Imagine what would happen if you gave your body the love, attention, and patience it deserves…

You wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

You are mindful of what you put on your body as you wash and get ready for the day.

You make food choices that truly nourish and energize you.

You creatively move your body, get the blood flowing, and feel vitalized.

You make time to savor the flavors of your food and to find gratitude for your body.

You end your days feeling full of joy and love.

Caring for your body with love, attention, and patience doesn’t have to be a dream and it doesn’t have to overwhelm you.

When you take it one step at a time, you open yourself up to limitless possibilities.

By creating this sacred space within while you are still dreaming of the baby who will one day inhabit your womb, you give her the healthiest and most joyful place to be nourished, to grow, and to thrive.

What’s one action you can take today towards treating your body with more love, attention, and patience?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Top 12 Posts of 2012

As the year comes to a close, I’ve been spending some time thinking about all that has happened and been brought into existence in the past 12 months.


For the last 12 days I’ve been sharing my top 12 posts with you, and I wanted to share them again in one post so you can more easily find the ones that resonate with you.


I’d love to know what your favorites are and what you’d like to see in the coming year.  Let me know in the comments below!

Trying New Things


Releasing Control


Flavorful Foods from Womb to World


Loving the Process


Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into Your Joy


Finding the Flow


Passing on More Than Our Stories


Finding Mama Spirit


What You Need to Know for a Healthy and Joyful Everything


How Are You in Your Worst Moments?


What Happens When I Don’t Nourish Mama


Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby: Preparing Where You Can


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Folate through Food!

Folate is a crucial nutrient during pregnancy, but its importance is even higher before pregnancy as adequate folate intake can reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida.  Taking a folic acid supplement is often recommended to women of childbearing age because the risk of spina bifida occurs early in pregnancy, often before a woman even knows that she is pregnant.  There is some concern that continued use of a folate supplement beyond preconception and early pregnancy may cause an increased risk in asthma in children, and at this point it is no longer serving the purpose of preventing neural tube defects.  There has been no correlation to asthma and folate when consumed naturally in food, so it’s great to get used to eating a diet rich in folate before trying to conceive and then continuing this throughout pregnancy.


Folate is important for overall health because of its role in creating red blood cells, which prevents anemia, and it is necessary for the creation of DNA and RNA.


When vitamin B9 is naturally occurring in food it is called folate.  Folic acid refers to the synthetic version of the vitamin. The recommended daily intake of folate for a woman of childbearing age is between 400 and 800 mg.


If you are of childbearing age, it’s good to take a prenatal vitamin, or a folate supplement to make sure you are getting enough.  Food is a great source but it is not always easy to get enough from food alone on a consistent basis and folate is so important to the early development of your baby.


Here are some of my favorite sources of folate:


Lentils – Lentils are such a power food!  Not only are they a rich source of folate, but they are high in protein as well, making them a great choice for anytime but especially preconception through postpartum.  A half-cup of cooked lentils has about 45% of the folate that you need for a day.


Quinoa – This amazing grain has 19% of the RDA of folate in a 1 cup serving and is another great source of protein.


Spinach – One of my favorite dark leafy greens, and an easy one to start out with because of it’s mild flavor, 1 cup of raw spinach has 15% of your daily folate needs.


Sunflower Seeds – These flavorful seeds are a great addition to many dishes (including smoothies!).  A quarter cup of sunflower seeds not only gives you 19% of the folate you need, but also 6.2 grams of protein and 14% of the recommended dietary fiber.


Avocado — One of my favorite foods, avocado is a great source of folate, protein, dietary fiber, and healthy fat.  An avocado alone has 5 g of protein, 50% of the folate you need in a day, and 63% of the dietary fiber you need!


Here’s a recipe for a delcious meal that features 3 of those folate rich ingredients!

Cook quinoa and lentils in vegetable stock.

I usually cook the quinoa and lentils together, but cooking time varies by brand, so until you get the hang of cooking with these ingredients, you might want to start off cooking them separately.

Combine 1 cup of cooked quinoa, ½ cup cooked lentils, and a cup of spinach (stir it around and the heat will wilt the leaves).

Season to taste with sea salt,pepper or any other favorite spices.

To boost your immunity, you can add 1 minced garlic clove.


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Loving the Process

Have you ever experienced walking in the wind?  There are two things that can happen – you can walk into the wind, pushing harder and harder to take the smallest steps.  Sometimes you have to use all of your energy to keep yourself from falling over.  Other times, you may be lucky enough to have the wind at your back.  In these moments, it can feel almost as if you’re gliding, floating.


When you try to make change in your life, whether it’s small or large, it can often feel like walking in the wind, and most often like walking into the wind.  It can feel like an upward battle, as if the world is pushing back, trying to keep you from your goals – deterring you and not supporting you.
What is really pushing back though?
It is certainly a force like the wind – powerful and unseen, but it most always resides within you.  It often comes from fear – not just fear of failure, but fear of success.  Fear that you don’t have enough time or money to make your goals reality.  Fear that you will not reach your goals, or that there will always be more goals and that you will be left feeling unsatisfied in your life.  Have you experienced this?
Now think for a minute what it would feel like if you had the wind at your back.  In this place, you accept the person that you are right now, you recognize where you are and where you want to be.  You know that there is a path to get you there, and you feel the full support from yourself and from those who love you.  You can see and feel what it will be like to reach your goals, and you believe in them, and in yourself.  With the wind at your back, you feel confident that you can reach your goals and love your life.

The key to feeling the wind at your back is simple – love the process.


It is so easy to get caught up in self-doubt, in feeling like each step towards your goals is a struggle that you have to force yourself through instead of one that you approach with love and compassion.  I want to show you how easy it is to love the process, to love your life, and to reach your goals.


  • Set goals that have meaning for you You are the one in charge of creating the life that you want, so create goals that lead you to that life.  When you can deeply connect to the why behind the goal, it has so much more power to push you forward.  For example, if you want to reduce your caffeine intake as you prepare for pregnancy, you could look at it in two ways: Setting a goal to stop drinking coffee may feel like deprivation of something you love, it may feel like walking into the wind; but setting a goal of creating a healthy space for your baby by shifting away from the things that may harm him will likely send you running in that direction.  You’ve gone beyond the what and focused on the why.


  • Find compassion for yourself Making change, especially big change, is difficult, and it can take time.  Release the expectations that it all needs to happen overnight and that you must be perfect in your new habits 100% of the time.  You would likely support a friend who ate that slice of pizza for lunch and regretted it by reminding her that it’s okay to deviate from the plan once in a while, and that is doesn’t represent failure.  Learn to tell yourself the same thing.  We often push against ourselves by being our own worst critics.  When we can let this voice go, or quiet it, we open space to be our biggest fan.


  • Have fun – Life should be fun, no matter what.  It makes the good times even better and it gets us through the difficult times.  When making change, it is so important to have fun with it, or you’re likely not reaping the full benefits of the changes that you are making.  If you’re trying to spend more time in the kitchen cooking whole, fresh foods and that’s just never been something you’ve enjoyed, invite some friends over and make a party out of it.  When you’re surrounded by those you life, even the things you like least in life become more enjoyable.


I hope you are able to feel more prepared to walk with the wind at your back, pushing you along, instead of struggling as you walk into it.  If you would like support as you learn to love the process, I’d love to be that support for you! Let’s chat.


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Flavorful Foods from Womb to World

Did you know that eating a variety of foods and flavors during pregnancy and nursing can have an impact on what your child will enjoy eating?  Even before you are feeding her solid foods, you can set the foundation for an interest in a healthy and varied diet. What this can mean is that as mothers, even while our babies are still in the womb, we can start to shape their food habits.  This is another reason that focusing attention on your eating habits before and during pregnancy is so crucial to the health and development of your baby.

I recently read an article called Food, Folklore and Flavor Preference Development by Catherine A. Forestell and Julie A. Mennella in which they say that, “emerging evidence reveals that…food choices can be detected by the fetus and young infant because of flavor changes in amniotic fluid and mother’s milk.”  I don’t know about you, but I think that this is fascinating.

Here are a few ways to nurture your baby and increase the chance of an interest in healthy and varied foods and spices:

  • Eat a wide variety of foods – Your health will benefit from a variety of foods because you will get a wider variety of nutrients. By incorporating many different types of fruits, veggies, grains, and protein sources, you will introduce your baby to many different flavors, and prepare her to recognize and enjoy them when you introduce food to her.  She will be more likely to have well balanced eating habits when she has been conditioned to recognize these flavors even before infancy.
  • Try something new – This is perfect time to try new foods, because the introduction of them to your baby (either through amniotic fluid or breast milk) will increase the chance that they will express interest in them when you start them on solid foods.  Remember that just because you didn’t like a food in the past doesn’t mean that’s still the case.  This is also a great opportunity for you to discover new ways to get the nutrients that you need most for a healthy pregnancy.
  • Spice it up! – Experiment with different spices so that your child will develop a flavorful palette.  Especially great to include are spices that have health benefits like cinnamon, garlic, ginger, and turmeric to name a few.  When your child is ready for solids, don’t be scared away from flavorful choices – you may be surprised by what he enjoys and it allows for the opportunity to keep his favorites fresh and exciting.

If you’re planning to conceive, what new foods are you going to experiment with and add to your diet? If you’re pregnant or nursing, how are you going to amp up the flavors you are sharing with your baby?  If you’re already a mama, does this resonate with the experience you’ve had?  I’d love to know your thoughts!  Please share here in the comments or on Facebook.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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