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It's been five months since my son was born. Five months of learning about, adjusting to and absolutely loving my sweet baby boy. You learn so much about yourself upon having a child -- it's like a spotlight shines greater than ever before on your strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities and you're fully exposed. It's been hard, very hard, but so, so rewarding. I never knew a love like this one, and it goes without saying that my husband feels the same. Oliver's labor was long and strenuous, resulting in a cesarean. I'll write his birth story on the blog some day, but for now, that's the gist of it. Long, intense, and physically brutal but damn, am I proud of myself! I gave it all I got and that's something to take pride in.

As soon as he was born, we discovered his bad case of reflux. I eliminated dairy, soy, eggs and caffeine and this boy still struggled with reflux pain day in and day out. I spent so much time trying to figure him out, I barely noticed that my body was sending me signals over and over and over. I noticed at three or four months postpartum that my tummy just wasn't the same. I don't mean physically (although, that's different, too!), but internally. My gut. It was different. Everything I ate caused pain and bloat. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I was always gassy and always uncomfortable. Around the clock. I am in the thick of trying to get to the bottom of what appears to be an imbalance, but in the meantime, I am loading up on pre/probiotic rich foods. I am eliminating dairy again, cutting out wheat, and becoming more conscientious of my intake.

Shortly after having Oliver, I learned about Lacy Phillips of Free + Native. She posted about an infusion of adaptogenic herbs that she likes of gotu kola, alfalfa and oat tops. Their properties are amazing and together, makes for one powerful infusion:

GOTU KOLA | strengthens adrenals. lowers blood pressure. improves focus. improves blood flow. reduces toxicity. 

ALFALFA | vitamin rich (B complex, D, K, A). mineral rich (magnesium, biotin, iron, potassium, etc.). lowers cholesterol. fortifies immune system. 

OAT TOPS | heavy in B vitamins. mineral rich (magnesium, potassium, iron, etc.). mood stabilizing. fiber rich. encourages thyroid function. 

I opted to try gotu kola and oat tops together first, as it better suits my needs, and should I have an adverse reaction to any herb, I'd rather start with less than more to easier determine the culprit. This infusion, coupled with the probiotic rich "yogurt" recipe below, is the perfect combination for a gut calming afternoon snack, with benefits extending beyond the afternoon.

If you're unfamiliar with adaptogens, infusions are a great way to introduce yourself to them. Adaptogens are not "new," but they are making a very swift resurgence in modern diets as a means of physiologically governing our cellular stress responses. They're controversial to some in the science community as solid evidence is still waiting to be found to point proof at their efficacy, but many cultures have been relying on these herbs for centuries. The choice is yours to make while the verdict on adaptogens is still out.

As a method of ensuring I ingest fermented, good-for-you bacteria on a daily basis, I've recently introduced The Beauty Chef's GLOW Advanced Inner Beauty Powder to my pantry. It is a berry flavored powder that includes 24 bio-fermented and probiotic superfoods for good health and glowing skin. I am attempting to heal my gut postpartum the natural way, and having an easy to use powder to add to meals has been so helpful in that process.

I am a gigantic yogurt fan, however I'm not a huge fan of the added sugar and preservatives found in most yogurts on the market. Here's a super easy recipe for 30-second probiotic-rich "yogurt," paired perfectly with an adaptogenic herb infusion.

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what you'll need:

- WECK JAR or heat-proof jar of your choosing (I use these weck jars)
- 1/3 c. gotu kola (I use this tea, however the looseleaf herb is available)
- 1 c. oat tops (I order these from Mountain Rose Herbs)

STEP 1 | Place 3 gotu kola tea bags (or 1/3 cup looseleaf gotu kola) in canning jar with 1 cup of oat tops.
STEP 2 | Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour into canning jar. Fully saturate oat tops and tea bags.
STEP 3 | Place lid on jar and set aside for 6 hours. After 6 hours, pour tea through strainer to remove gotu kola and oat tops and pour back into canning jar.
STEP 4 | Enjoy as-is or save for later.

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what you'll need: 

- can of COCONUT CREAM (I order the small cans in bulk on amazon. These are the ones I order. Coconut cream is full of delicious healthy fats and makes a great replacement for coffee creamer, whipped cream, and yogurt.)
- GLOW Advanced Inner Beauty Powder
- vanilla powder (I use the Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon vanilla powder and it is so stinking good.)
- cinnamon
- toppings of your choosing (I like blueberries and this amazing granola.)

STEP 1 | Open can of coconut cream and put two heaping spoonfuls in a bowl.
STEP 2 | Add 1 tsp. GLOW powder.
STEP 3 | Sprinkle a generous amount of vanilla powder and cinnamon (to taste) on top.
STEP 4 | Using a spoon, stir until fully mixed and the yogurt is light purple (the GLOW powder is berry flavored). 
STEP 5 | Top with your favorite toppings like berries, chia seed, granola, hemp, you name it.

Pair with a mug of adaptogenic tea and enjoy! 

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If you are at all interested in learning any more yummy recipes featuring The Beauty Chef products and learning more about The Beauty Chef, there is a fun event taking place at TAKE CARE SHOP in Washington, DC on March 15th, 2018. Read all about it and reserve your seat here

*This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.