Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Labor, Delivery, and Saying "NO"–5 More Interventions We Refuse

October 17th, 2014 · Natural Health

5 Interventions I Refuse During Labor and Delivery

I went into my first labor like a warrior to battle, out to defeat the evil enterprises of medicine that would try to make me take drugs, have repeated interventions and cause my birth to be stressful instead of relaxed, medical instead of natural and healthy.

Turns out I was actually pleasantly surprised that my battle plan – I mean, my birth plan, all 2+ pages of it – was met with more, “We pretty much already do that,” or “Of course we’d allow that,” than, “No way, Jose, my way or the highway!” I think that in the last few decades OB health has come around a long way, swinging the pendulum back from the “tie ‘em down, drag ‘em out” sort of philosophy that many hospitals used for deliveries in the 1950s or so.

There are still some interventions that are fairly standard practice during the birthing process that we avoided as much as possible. It’s good to have choices. It’s good to have docs and pediatricians who will listen to you and have a two-sided conversation. But you have to know going in how to enter that conversation and what things that seem mandatory might actually be optional, or at least up for discussion.

I shared last week about how we learned to say “no” during prenatal appointments, more and more often the more times I experienced pregnancies and realized that (a) I was allowed to say no, and (b) there were some sides to each decision that I hadn’t realized with baby one. I continued to learn even after the fact for baby no. 3, like the “you can avoid the orange drink for glucose screening” lesson I described yesterday.

Here are five more conversations to have with your doctor or midwife after you become an informed health consumer.

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Guess How Many Times This Pregnant Mama has Consumed that Orange Glucose Test Drink?

October 16th, 2014 · Natural Health

Alternatives to the Orange Drink for Blood Glucose Testing in Pregnancy

Last week when I shared 5 Prenatal Standards That I Refuse, the conversation, if I can call it that, got a little heated on social media. Some folks were up in arms that I would say no to my doctor about anything, apparently, or they didn’t read the post and assumed I said NO to everything.

Others echoed my sentiments, and still more were on the far end of the spectrum and had no medical care at all – no ultrasounds, no doctors, no tests of any kind. I see my own choices as slightly to one side of the middle, personally – a little closer to the "no medical intervention" side than the "do everything your doctor says without question" side. Clearly others didn’t agree!

Out of all that mess, which is both intriguing and exhausting to keep up with and participate in, I did realize that I forgot one important prenatal test that deserved mention: the glucose drink and blood test for gestational diabetes.

It’s at this point that I need to remind you that I’m just a mom telling my story. I don’t have any medical knowledge of any kind. You definitely should not listen to me or take any of this as medical advice. We’re just chatting about our own experiences, m’kay?

I would never tell anyone that the test isn’t important, because gestational diabetes is a BIG deal and for sure something that needs to be known and addressed via a healthy, low-carb diet. Perhaps all pregnant women should eat more that way, my hunch says. All human beings, perhaps, but that’s another post entirely…

(top photo modified from lisasolonynko via MorgueFile)

Here’s what I can tell you about the glucose test, strictly from my experience:

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Lazy Whipped Cream: A Recipe For {Healthy} Instant Whipped Topping

October 15th, 2014 · Recipes

Lazy Whipped Cream Recipe (Check out the secret ingredient!) :: via Kitchen Stewardship

An Ode To Cool Whip

We made our transition to whole foods about six years ago. I really haven’t missed processed food too much … with the exception of Cool Whip. It’s pretty hard to beat the spontaneous beauty of opening up a tub of chilled whipped goodness where the fluffy contents are ready to float onto dessert like magic clouds.

But no amount of delicious magic can cover up these scary ingredients: hydrogenated oil? trans fats? high fructose corn syrup? preservatives? Gag.

Whipped Topping, Take Two

In our whole food quest, my family experimented with canned whipped cream options as a gentle bridge away from Cool Whip magic. We found the ingredients in the Trader Joe’s branded can to be delightfully minimal:

 cream, skim milk, sugar, stabilizers (mono- and di-glycerides), carrageenan, natural vanilla flavor, and nitrous oxide as a propellant.

This sure beats the paragraph-list of canned whipped creams from other brands!

Despite the fewer ingredients, I became wary of introducing nitrous oxide into my food — whether it’s a legitimate concern or not, who knows. Also, I cringed at the waste. One can barely lasted my family through two desserts. (I told you I liked my fluffy topping.) Plus, it’s expensive.
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Monday Mission: Be a Conscious Health Consumer

October 13th, 2014 · Monday Missions

Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to ask questions, do research, and become a conscious health consumer.

Be a Conscious Health Consumer

Like it or not (and I do not!), medicine and healthcare have become big business instead of a service to patients first. The billboards on our highways for various hospitals and care systems prove that more conclusively than anything else I can think of, and the fact that insurance companies are creating policies that impact the way independent doctor’s offices do business is just another stone in the yellow brick road to the weird world of consumerist healthcare.

Government is highly involved in the healthcare system (not necessarily a negative but another factor to consider), and from medical school onward, physicians’ information is often filtered through the pharmaceutical industry and other special interest groups with money.

Medical research is often funded by pharmaceutical companies as well, and why not? They have the money to spend and the financial motivation to do it. But that also means that healing interventions that don’t have a big price tag attached are sorely short on research, which, to me, means we’re likely not getting the whole story when we receive a diagnosis and prescription.

Gone are the days that the average American should just do what the doctor orders. Obedience is out of style, anyway. Smile

top image from Ladyheart via Morguefile

Should Doctors Wash Their Hands?

But really – back in the time of leeches and blood-letting, patients probably shouldn’t have done everything their doctor ordered either! It’s only in the last century or so that doctors washed their hands between dead, diseased corpses and delivering babies.

Who are we to think that we suddenly, miraculously, know everything there is about the human body and how it works just because it’s the 21st century?

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A good doctor admits that there is much he or she doesn’t understand about the incredibly complex human body, its systems and interactivity, and even its dependence on the microbiome, which research is just beginning to explore.

A good doctor embraces that they simply don’t know what they don’t know.

I hope you all have good doctors.

I’m currently on the hunt, honestly, for a family doctor for myself and a pediatrician for my kids (after we were “discharged” from our only pediatrician’s office ever because we don’t follow the vaccine schedule exactly – one example of insurance companies’ influence on office policy). I hope to find a doctor willing to ask more questions than he answers, willing to listen to what I already know rather than treat me like a blank whiteboard to be filled with a generic prescription.

No matter what, I’m going to be a conscious and informed health consumer.

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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