Thursday, May 2, 2013

Before The Baby

You may have heard that my husband, Steven, and I are expecting baby number two. Well, you heard right! We’re planning to welcome him or her into our family in the first part of October and we couldn’t be more excited! I’m sure once Laramie figures out what’s going on she’ll be excited too. :-) Pictured below:  Laramie making the baby announcement on Easter.

I often get questions from soon-to-be mommys about preparing for their new addition. I love talking to pregnant women about what they could be doing to improve their health DURING pregnancy, but often forgotten is what could be done BEFORE pregnancy to make the transition into pregnancy easier for mom and her new little addition. These are called pre-conception considerations – things we should be thinking about BEFORE THE BABY!

    1.     Ditch the birth control. This seems obvious, but most people assume that you are ready to conceive as soon as you stop taking it. Hormonal birth control (pill, IUD, implant, etc) should be stopped AT LEAST six months prior to conception. A year is better. Hormonal birth control is designed to “trick” your body into thinking it’s already pregnant. Imagine what this has done to your normal hormone balance after taking them for 3 years, 5 years, or 10+ years. To achieve and maintain a pregnancy, your body needs to learn how to regulate your hormones without synthetic assistance. To avoid pregnancy, consider barrier methods or Natural Family Planning such as the Creighton Model.  Visit for more information.

     2.     Ditch the drugs. Again, this sounds like a no-brainer. But think of all the times you took Tylenol or Advil for your headache or some NyQuil for that cold. No matter how “safe” drug companies would like you to believe their medications are, the safer route is to assume that there IS NO SUCH THING AS A SAFE MEDICATION DURING PREGNANCY. Start practicing natural, non-medication treatments for aches and pains or colds. Might I recommend CHIROPRACTIC?! Chiropractic is so much more than pain relief, but boy are we good at it! Did you know that one adjustment can boost your immune system by up to 400%? If you have a cold or flu, getting adjusted can help you get better faster or it can help prevent getting sick in the first place! I also recommend checking out one of my Natural Parenting Classes where I talk about several other natural remedies for common conditions.

     3.     Eat more nutritious foods. Load up on vegetables and fruit and eliminate the processed foods. Start cutting out caffeine. Making these changes can take time; trying to do any of it “cold turkey” (starting or stopping) can be harder even after you’ve found out you’re expecting. This is also a great time to start supplementing your nutrition with – what else? – supplements, especially folic acid. Forget the pre-natal vitamins you can buy at any big box retailer. They’re not worth taking. Find a high quality whole food vitamin that contains at least 400 mcg of folic acid. The best way to get it is from dark green leafy veggies or from juicing, but if you’re short on those, supplementation with a whole food based supplement is a great second choice. Anyone who is of child-bearing age and could possibly become pregnant needs to make sure they are getting enough folic acid. It is important in the first few weeks of development - AKA: Before you even find out you’re pregnant! Starting to supplement after a positive pregnancy test is TOO LATE!!!

     4.     Exercise! Get in a great exercise routine before pregnancy. It will be much easier to continue once you are pregnant. 

     5.     Reduce your stress and put on a happy face. Having a positive attitude during pregnancy and reducing your stress load will make for a healthier, happier baby. Again, changing these things can take time and it’s much easier BEFORE you’re pregnant!

For more information, please check out my Natural Parenting Classes. For more information click HERE.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Being Attached

            I was recently on the radio talking about Attachment and natural parenting – two of my favorite topics. Why are they my favorite topics? Because they include all the things that I love to talk about at length – chiropractic, natural birth, babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and healthy eating. I tried to get as much as I could into that 8 minute interview, but there was still a lot of information I did not cover. Good thing I have this blog, so I can get it all out here! ;-)
            “What is Attachment Parenting?” you ask.  In a sentence, Attachment Parenting promotes gentle parenting techniques to fulfill a child's need for trust, empathy, and affection and to provide a foundation for a lifetime of healthy relationships. There is much more to their principles, but that’s it in a nutshell. I’ll give a brief overview of some of the common Attachment Parenting techniques, but for a more in depth overview, please visit the Attachment Parenting International website –
Let me touch on all my favorite topics and how they look in the Attachment Parenting (AP) lifestyle.

Chiropractic – Parents following the AP lifestyle tend to choose alternative forms of healthcare before the more common allopathic route. Opting out of the traditional drugs and surgery route, AP parents would rather try something else first. Chiropractic is such a great first choice! Chiropractic care for infants and children can help decrease colic, ear infections, constipation, and much more! Visiting a chiropractor regularly can vastly decrease the number of sick visits to the pediatrician. One of my favorite e-cards sums it up nicely. (P.S. Did you know your family chiropractor can do school physicals and exams?!)
Natural Birth – Birth is a normal and natural process that has been made to seem scary and dangerous. Much like running a marathon, birth requires physical and mental training. If you aren’t prepared for the incredible physical demands, then it can seem incredibly painful and unbearable. If you tried to run said marathon without preparation, you would have the same result. Unfortunately, many obstetricians have stopped encouraging their patients to have a pro-active approach to birth.  There is a time and place for medical intervention, but it is overused in this country. I always recommend moms get regular chiropractic care and take classes to prepare for birth. I personally recommend The Bradley Method ( or Hypnobirthing (

Babywearing – Just like it sounds, it means wearing your baby in an approved carrier or sling. This promotes happy babies since they are close to their caregiver and their needs can be met 100% of the time. This means less crying, better digestion (due to upright posture), both hands for mom/dad/caregiver, and children who become independent earlier! As a chiropractor, I know how important it is to make sure the baby is supported correctly. Babies should always be facing mom or dad either in a front carry, back carry, or hip carry. This ensures they are supported from their butt to the crook of the knees with legs slightly above the hip. Babies should never be facing outward with their legs hanging downward. That can cause excess stress on the hip joint and vascular system.

Cloth Diapering – It’s a win, win, win, win, win situation! Cloth diapering can save lots of money, it’s better for the environment, it’s better for baby (far fewer chemicals!), babies will generally potty train earlier, and they are SUPER cute these days! No safety pins and no plastic pants! Those of you who know me know I spend half my time at Cotton Bottom Baby in Salina helping my mom and Meghan run our cloth diaper and natural parenting store!

Breastfeeding – I am a self-proclaimed lactivist. I am a big supporter of breastfeeding! It is the perfect first food and it helps create a strong bond between mother and baby. I always recommend mothers-to-be and new mothers attend a La Leche League meeting to talk with other breastfeeding moms in their community. La Leche League is a world leader in breastfeeding research and education. Visit their website for more information on a group near you –

Healthy Eating – At the office, Dr. Loder teaches the Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well lifestyle program. This is a great program for anyone looking to live a long, active, healthy life! (Learn more at My husband and I are big fans of the program and of the Innate style of eating (the way our ancestors did and the way our genetics are designed to!). We take this information and apply it to our toddler. Laramie has had no processed food, grains (wheat, rice, oats), or dairy. We plan to keep it that way as long as we can!

Monday, January 28, 2013

2012 In Review

For starters, I feel like 2012 bled over into 2013. Not until just recently did I feel like the new year had actually started. I was too busy trying to get 2012 things crossed off the list. Let’s see if I can finish 2013’s entire list before the end of the year! Ha Ha! HAPPY (belated) NEW YEAR!

In January of 2012, I decided to start a new tradition. Instead of making a resolution, I chose a word to represent my goals for the year. Last year’s word was PASSION. I wanted to spend the year sharing my passion for chiropractic and natural parenting with others. I’m checking that off as COMPLETE! I have had a fantastic time literally touching the lives of my patients young and, well… wise! J I’ve also had a great time at my Natural Parenting classes sharing information with other mothers (and fathers and grandparents) on ways to help children stay healthy naturally! We’re all born to be healthy and I want to help people stay that way. In fact, my mother and I decided to open a cloth diaper and natural parenting store as an outlet to share natural parenting with even MORE people! What an adventure that’s been!

Now, here we are in 2013. My word for this year will be PURPOSE. I plan to spend this year “on purpose”. My goal is to spend every moment I’m awake (with the exception of Laramie’s nighttime feedings, perhaps!) working toward achieving what I believe to be my purpose in life. I want my life to be spent caring for the spine and nervous system of pregnant women, infants, and all children under the age of 120. I want to share with those around me the information I have gained on my journey through chiropractic school, chiropractic practice, and now as a chiropractic parent raising a chiropractic child. I have a lot of big projects lined up for this year to help me achieve this goal. Better get started… 

What’s your word for 2013?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Four Ingredient Pumpkin Pie

As a much requested follow up to my last blog, here is the recipe for the Four Ingredient Pumpkin Pie! Note:  this is not my recipe!! I got this from some great chiropractors in Florida who got it off the internet. It's way too good not to keep sharing though! 

Have a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving!

Four Ingredient Pumpkin Pie
vegan, makes one pie

1 1/4 cups raw soaked cashews

1 cup maple syrup

1 can organic pumpkin puree (16 ounces) (or use fresh puree)

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

optional: 1/2 tsp sea salt to taste (depends how much salt you soaked your cashews in)

ingredients notes: using high quality spice is helpful. Also, I prefer grade B maple syrup for its rich amber tones and caramelized flavor - but grade A works too.

One standard vegan pie crust - or make your own.

To Make:

1. Soak about one cup of raw cashews in about 2 ½ cups of water in a large bowl. Add about  ½ - 1 tsp of salt to the bowl - mix to dissolve. The salt allows the water to absorb more efficiently into the cashews and also adds some salt for your recipe. Note: you may want to soak more cashews than needed and make two pies.

2. Soak this cashew bowl overnight in the fridge. You want well-soaked cashews so that your pie mix blends up perfectly creamy. I soaked my cashews for about 18 hours. At least 8 is optimal. Don't soak for more than two days or the cashews can get grimy in my opinion.

3. The day of your actual pie making allow at least 3 hours from the time you start to the time you wish to serve the pie. I like a cool time of at least 2 hours.

4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

5. Drain the water from your cashews. They should be very soft to bite and a slight purplish dark hue. This is normal. Add 1¼ cups of cashews to your food processor - or even better, a Vitamix or high speed blender.

6. Add pumpkin to blender. Next, add in the maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Blend on low -> high for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is completely creamy. If your mixture is a bit thick for some reason - you can add in a few teaspoons of either water, maple syrup or even non-dairy milk. After blending, do a taste test and add a ½ teaspoon of salt if needed. I added in about 1
tsp extra salt. But taste before adding.

7. Pour your mix into a par-baked vegan pie shell (I toast my raw pie shell in the 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes). You can buy a frozen crust or make your own.

8. Bake pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes - or until the edges look fluffy and a darker caramel orange tone. Use a toothpick in center if unsure. The tooth-picked filling should come out slightly wet - but very thick and dark. It is important to remember that your pie will firm up significantly upon cooling and chilling in the fridge.

9. Remove pie from oven. Cool on counter for at least 30 minutes. Then place in fridge until ready to serve. At least 2 hours cooling and/or chilling time is my preference. A warm pie will be tasty, but still a bit "wet" to slice.

10. Serve chilled!