Happy National Pina Colada Day!

Happy National Pina Colada day! It’s sweet, it’s creamy and it’s even better virgin! As we all know, alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy, but a virgin Pina Colada is a healthy Mama’s Dream! Coconut and Pineapple are two superfoods of pregnancy and labor and together become an excellent way to stay cool on these hot days.

Coconut is the most abundant natural source of Lauric acid available. This antifungal and antimicrobial acid can be found in breast milk too! Rich in electrolytes, potassium, calcium, dietary fibre, vitamin c and magnesium, this incredible superfood can be consumed every day as an oil, water, or milk/cream. In the recipe below, I will be using coconut cream. Coconut is an overall aid in digestive help and can be applied to the skin as a moisturizer or to prevent stretch marks (I like to add lavender essential oil to help soothe the skin). It is safe for both mom and baby and can even help balance hormones, aid in morning sickness, manage weight, aid in circulation, and prevent fatigue.

Pineapple is a source of vitamin c, manganese, vitamin b1 and b6, anti-inflammatories, and bromelain. Bromelain is an incredible aid in thinning and softening the cervix, it is also excellent for digestive health. Most pregnant women stay clear of pineapple until they are at or past their due date, but it will take more than a serving of pineapple to achieve enough bromelain for a soft cervix. If you are cautious about using pineapple during your pregnancy, I do recommend sticking to your instincts and trying out some other fruits. If you are heading to the grocery store to pick up a pineapple, the trick to finding out if it is ripe is to tug on the innermost leaf and see if it comes out relatively easy. If it does, the pineapple is ready to eat.

The recipe below can be altered depending on how creamy, fruity, thick or thin you like your drinks. Try adding different fruits or juices for variations and new drinks!

 

Superfood Pina Colada:

¼-1/2 cup coconut cream
1 ½-2 cups pineapple chunks
Splash of orange juice
Handful of ice

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Bring on the Summer Heat!

Finally! The days are staying sunny and hot and every day looks like a day for the beach! Local berries and herbs are popping up everywhere and asking us to get creative. The call of Summer is here!

Right now, I’ve been finding a lot of field mint, lavender, cherries, wild strawberries, salmonberries, black caps, blackberries, raspberries and huckleberries. What more could a girl ask for! They’ve been the backbone of some of my more creative flavoured waters and lemonades to keep me hydrated while I’m doing yard work or at the beach.

As you progress in your pregnancy, you will realize that you need to be taking in a lot more liquids to keep your body going as your blood volume begins to grow by 50%. Keeping yourself hydrated on some of the warmer days may feel like an easy task, but it might become harder than you think. Sometimes 8 glasses of water alone won’t do the trick. There’s salt, sugars, vitamins and minerals that we all need to accumulate throughout the day and one of those ways is through liquids. I’ve decided to share some recipes for delicious lemonades and flavoured waters that you can pack up and bring with you wherever you go. I also wanted to share some ideas to keep you in tune with nature and the ability to gather and feed our families, neighbours and ourselves:

#1) Have a fruit swap with your neighbours or friends. If you are all growing something different, trade and gift parts of your yearly harvest to your neighbour so everyone has a bit of variety. Buying berries at the local grocery store can become quite expensive so if you have a group of harvesters in your area, then you are in luck for some variation at a very low cost. But it doesn’t have to stop at just fruits! Trade some of your herbs or vegetables to friends who have something different growing. You might run into someone who knows a few wonderful salve recipes that could come in handy down the road!

#2) A Harvest Day. This could be a great day trip if you have other children or have friends with children—just remember that some bushes have thorns for the younger ones. In the earlier part of the day before the sun is too high, set out to find some local berries. Working with nature for plump, juicy berries carries a calming rhythm and the work can really pay off! It is such a gift to have all these plants around us to help us nurture and grow. I usually tend to pick my berries in the Langford or Sooke area. It is also good to remember that you don’t want to be picking berries directly off the side of the road as all the fumes and toxins will go right into the plants and we want them to stay detoxifying! Take a nature walk and find a good spot, even stop by the ocean for a quick dip if you find yourself near! If you come across a big batch of berries and need a container that will allow you to keep picking, I recommend finding a 4 litre milk jug. All you do is cut the top off of the jug and loop a belt through its handle to hang the bucket from your waist. Both hands become free and you can simply dump the berries into a larger bucket (I buy the large empty ice cream bucks from stores) and keep on going.  

3) Community Gardens. If you live in an area with community gardens (Victoria has a lot of them) then I suggest paying them a visit. Everything from raspberries, blueberries, mulberries and figs can be found in these neighbourhood driven fruit lands and the best part is there is a portion waiting for you! These gardens are also a good way to meet some of the people in your city while expanding your knowledge on different types of plants and edibles!

So let it be time to grab some delicious, thirst-quenching ingredients and renew your mind on the beautiful upcoming summer days! If you find that you need to add more sweetener to your drink, simple blend it into a few teaspoons of hot water to dissolve. All these recipes can be altered and swapped with whatever you have available near you, they are just examples to get your creativity started.

Blueberry Lavender Lemonade:

2 lemons
2 sprigs lavender
1 tsp honey or sweetener (optional)
2 tsp chia seeds
handful of fresh or frozen blueberries

In a jar or container, dissolve the honey in a few teaspoons of hot water. Juice the lemons and add into the container and then add 3 cups or so of water until you get the desired taste of lemonade. Add in chia seeds and torn lavender sprigs. Top with blueberries and let sit for 10 minutes until chia seeds make  gel.

Grapefruit Cherry Refresher:

2 grapefruits
1 teaspoon honey or sweetener (optional)
1 bottle bubbly water (can be still as well)
2 sprigs of field mint (or whatever mint you may find)
handful of pitted fresh or frozen cherries

In a jar or container, dissolve the honey in a few teaspoons of hot water. Add in the field mint and bruise against the bottom of the jar. Juice 2 grapefruits and add into the honey and mint mix. Top with a bottle of bubbly water and cherries.

 

And So It Begins!

First, I would like to welcome anyone and everyone to my blog and hope that they find comfort and knowledge on many aspects of the child-bearing years. Second, this is a journey for me as much as it is the reader, and I will always keep it this way. The birthing world will forever be a work in progress as so many people choose to become parents, relatives of new families, medical staff, support staff, scientists, naturalists, and all the other titles that shift and shape the way we view the tree of childbirth and all the branches that come off of it.

My name is Sam Jenkins. I am a Holistic Doula Practitioner located in Victoria, B.C. What is a doula you ask? A doula is means of non-clinical emotional support before, during, and after child-birth. Originating from the Ancient Greek word for “Female Servant,” a doula provides support that respects and nurtures the birthing wishes of the expecting woman. I am an advocate for your birth happening your way. I am here to remind you of your strength and capabilities during such an empowering life event. I am here to encourage your birth partners may that be your parents, your partner, siblings, friends, adoptive family,  children or animals to be comfortable in their roles at the birth and provide them with positive feedback. I am here to be with you and better yet, I want to be with you! I want to nurture and empower your body, mind and spirit.

What’s with the name? Ficus- Commonly known as the collective group of Fig Trees. Fig Trees.. Ficus.. Why would I want this to represent my calling as a doula? Images of this luscious, seedy, strong yet so delicate fruit splash my mind with images of women and the incredibly gifted event that has been graciously presented to them called child-birth. The next time you go to a supermarket, please invest in a handful of fresh or dried figs and observe the intricate world that is sitting in the palm of your hand. Observe the shape and texture—belly like, soft, strong. Then break it open. The fruit itself is stuffed with tiny seeds or.. Are they seeds?fig

The seed-like filling is actually a collection of flowers called an inflorescence which can be seen as the ovaries of the fig. To pollinate the fig, a Queen Fig wasp enters through the figs ostiole, the only opening that the fig provides for pollination, and begins to lay eggs while simultaneously pollinating the fig with the pollen she collected at birth. This process is no easy task for the Fig wasp as she tends to lose her wings and antennae along the way.  After the Queen is done laying her eggs, she provides her body for nourishment within the fig. As her male and female wasps begin to grow and mate, they take on different forms and roles. The male wasp will grow wingless and chew a hole through the fig’s lining to the outside world and then like his mother, provide his body as nourishment for the fig. The female wasp will grow with wings and collect pollen from within her birth fig to go through the hole dug by her male counterpart and find a new fig to start the process all over again. This miraculous cycle continues through every fig.

As women, we hold seeds. With the help of another powerful force, we hear our maternal call to provide a warm, safe environment for the growth of these seeds to become our children. Our adaptable bodies nurture a process that is so unique and honorable much like the figs. It requires work and consciousness and in the end brings us to our amazing birth experience.

So what’s in the name? I think if I had to sum it up, it would look something like this:

Strength, instinct, courage, love, birth, nourishment, sacrifice, ecstasy, support, mothers and off spring.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my very first post! I hope you find the time to sit with the thought of my words and see where your imagination can take you.

Ficus
Samantha Jenkins- Holistic Doula Practitioner
ficusdoulaservices@hotmail.com

A doula diary with tips, tricks, recipes and comfort surrounding pregnancy and child birth.