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Hey Laura, help me start menu planning

Michelle writes:

Preface:  I don’t know how to cook, I am not creative in the kitchen.  I need someone/something to tell me what to do and how to do it.  I can prepare food and am good at following directions :)

Planning dinner around my house can get stressful and often times leads to just going out to avoid the whole process - what do we have?  what do people want to eat?  what do I know how to cook?  what can be made in the next 5 min since I’ve put this off until 5:30/6 and now everyone is starving and cranky?! (okay, deep cleansing breath . . . )

I know meal planning is key to avoid the last minute panic, but I know I can’t do it on my own.  So, I am looking into meal planning help...

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Hey Laura, what can I do about postpartum hair loss?

“Afraid to be Hairless” writes:

Is there anything I can do to lessen my postpartum hair loss?  After the birth of my fourth child, my hair is falling out in droves.

Ah, one of the most annoying side effects of the postpartum experience (aside from, you know, having a baby that keeps you up all night!). Right now you’re paying for that luxurious mane you most likely enjoyed for most of your pregnancy. See, when your pregnancy hormones kick in, they kind of put the growth cycle of most of your hairs in a holding pattern: most of it is growing, rather than resting. When your hormones drop after the baby is born, all those hairs get the signal to shove off.

Most likely, what you’re...

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Hey Laura, how do I get rid of adult acne?

Kat writes:

I’m an almost 30 year old mom to two little girls.  And for some reason, I still get breakouts! Wasn’t that supposed to end in highschool???  Anyways, any perscription medication always said to ask a doctor if pregnant or nursing- I’m not pregnant, yet, but plan on having at least one more baby.  Plus, I’m trying to do everything a little more naturally.  Any tips on what to do with my blemishes?


Before you try anything else, a simple (if not easy) and safe solution may be to clean up your diet. We all know that what we put into our bodies affects what our bodies look like, and this rule includes the skin, not just the waistline!


Don’t be SAD
The Standard American Diet...

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Hey Laura, should I take a multivitamin?

Heather writes:

What do you think about vitamin supplements?  We’ve been giving Lily a multi-vitamin daily since she was about 2 and was not eating much.  We still do, just because I think it probably makes up for the stuff we miss.  I don’t take any vitamins, except for iron a week or so before I go give blood (if I remember).  I was really good about taking my pre-natals, but have never been very good about vitamins, should I try and make them a part of my routine?


Probably not. Study results are mixed as to whether taking a multivitamin is more likely to benefit your health or kill you.

Haha! I’m sure that there’s a middle ground where the occasional vitamin pill to “fill in the...

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Hey Laura, is soy okay for babies?

Sophia writes:

I’m a vegetarian.  Thus far, so is my 1-year-old daughter. 

Anyway, a big source of protein for her (now that she’s about 70% on solids), is soy.  I do have some concerns now though, since I’ve been coming across some literature suggesting that soy could be harmful to babies- particularly baby girls- in their future years.  Your thoughts?

You’ve probably been reading about phytoestrogens. Here is a thoughtful article discussing the issues. Mark’s Daily Apple, a primal eating blog that I’ve been enoying lately, gives a nice summary as well. Basically, the plant estrogens in soy mimic estrogens in the body and can contribute to cancer risk and tumors. Studies also show that...

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Hey Laura, what can I do for my painful periods?

Anonymous writes:

I read somewhere that there’s no medical/health reason for a woman to have a period every month.  Even one of the nurses at my gyno’s office mentioned that she just takes her birth control pills continuously so as not to have one.  I can’t put my finger on why, but this seems strange and wrong to me.  However, I have nothing to back my opinion except that that’s how women were designed and it’s best not mess with Design (and maybe that should be reason enough).  I have never taken my pills continuously, though it’s extremely tempting as my period wrecks havoc on my whole body.  Every month I get sick to my stomach, lose my appetite, and energy, and get cramps...

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Snippets: A more sensible Food Pyramid

Ever since the USDA did away with actual food on the

Food

I’m sorry, My Pyramid, it simply hasn’t made sense to me. Look:

I like what University of Michigan Health System has done with their Healing Foods Pyramid.

healing foods pyramid

It doesn’t have the look of something sponsored by the Dairy Board or Big Agribusiness, for one thing. Dairy products and lean meats are optional (in the fine print); this eating plan represents a plant-based, whole food diet.

It’s very much along the lines of the way we eat at my house already!

While it still toes the “saturated fats are bad for you” line and suggests low-fat dairy products (two areas of disagreement for me), it is still far superior to the heavily...

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