So yesterday you read my postpartum struggles with self care. A tale too familiar; new beautiful baby comes first, exhausted depleted mom comes last. I took a cozy yet unpretty back seat in self love, wellness and spirituality. Desperately seeking a chance to find my way back to 'me', Moon Juice opened it's doors East Side. If you missed yesterdays post click here, otherwise let's shine a light on Adaptogens and how to use them safely during Prenatal, Breastfeeding and Postpartum to keep you balanced and feeling good...
Meet Amanda Chantal Bacon, owner of Moon Juice and mama to son Rohan. Grounded, glowing and as passionate as they come. I’m noticing a trend here, all these hip mama’s from the Westside, must be drinking the cool-aid. Actually, come to think of it they all drink Moon Juice!! Amanda set out with a vision, for people who are interested in a new way of living, a better way to live, by adding goodness and beauty to your life. She now has three stores across Los Angeles and is always working on something new to take her Moon Juice success to new heights. With a strong following and brand recognition, it seems like Amanda nailed the ultimate juicing lifestyle experience; hip, modern, holistic, youthful and organic, … need I say more. For those of you who don’t know Moon Juice, it is more than just juices, snacks and milks it is a place for daily nourishment, beauty juices and high powered natural remedies for those seeking out beauty, wellness and longevity.
Amanda has a force, an angelic presence to help and heal. I noticed during our time together at the Silverlake store she would pause intermittently to help every customer who walked through the door. Customer service right from the creator herself, no ego, no big shot, just the girl who started on this venture and wants to care for all of those personally who stand there with her. It was magical to watch and inspiring. She genuinely has a passion and a knowledge for what she is doing, living, eating, breathing it is only the beginning of how deep it goes. When Amanda and I sat down, I shared my past with her and my relationship to tonic and herbs. I expressed the need for education and resources for pregnant and postpartum women wanting to use adaptogens. Amanda shared my pain and my needs and put worries to rest. She was as inspired as I was to share this post.
Shall we get to these amazing adaptogens then, talk about how they work and how to apply them in your life...
Adaptogen- a nontoxic substance and especially a plant extract that is held to increase the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning
I am going to share the main herbs you should consider using when pregnant, nursing and for the postpartum shift along with there benefits. All of these herbs you can use during all three stages and are totally safe for your toddlers to enjoy with you. At the end of I will share three shake recipes with you to try. Amanda’s suggestions are based on a generic guide, the idea with herbs is you use them to your own liking, listening to your body and figuring out what you need more/less of that day!
Cordyceps — Adaptogenic Energy Mushroom
Good to nourish and soothe your adrenals. This herb was used for Olympians because it added an amazing amount of strength and stamina., being a mama we need that, we overcome Olympic hurdles everyday. (Add into everything!)
Ashwagandha — Adaptgenic Nervous System Tonic & Brain Food
Extremely calming and grounding. Thyroid empowering and anxiety soothing. Being mama’s we need to calm ourselves and slow down, parenting brings on so much worry, stress and chaos. This herb can help improve sleep too! Many women also suffer from some Thyroid related issues postpartum; in this case this would be a very wise herb for you to take. It also alleviates depression, which can aid in postpartum depression. Amanda suggests using once a day, early evening to settle the day and your nervous system (doesn’t promote sleepiness) add to hot water or herbal tea and honey.
Ho Shou Wu — Adaptogenic Hormone Support
A great herb used for youthfulness, reproductive function and sex drive. What mama doesn’t want a youthful glow and a high libido!! And some of us may want the reproductive elements and others, like myself, are fine without for now! You can mix this herb with your evening Ashwanganha tea or add to almond milk and honey.
Tocotrienols — Bio-Available source of Vitamin E and Skin nourishing beauty food
This is a whole food derived from organic Californian rice and super concentrated source of vitamins E, D and antioxidants. It is a creamy powder, which is a great base for all shakes. Full of healing properties focusing on tissue replenishing and inflammation taming. A great one for after labor!! Also helping with toxin removal, another one that can be useful after birth if you were medicated.
Mucuna Pruriens — Bio-Available source of L-Dopa, Happy Making System Regulator
This caramel tasting bean is an amino acid, which becomes the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. It elevates mood, creativity, libido and sleep patterns, while soothing the nervous system. Another great herb to use for those postpartum blues or just days when you feel all the weight on your shoulders. It is actually pretty close to the same type of high you get during breastfeeding from the oxytocin. Us moms run around all day taking care of others, I get at least three crashes a day when my energies plummeted. Using this herb as a good pick me up is better than reaching for some chips and cookies!! There is an immediate feel good effect.
Maca — Bio-Available Endocrine System support
This adaptogen is an aphrodisiac, hallelujah and a stress manager. Stress is one of the biggest culprits of health problems amongst mama’s. If we are not looking after ourselves, mind and body are immune systems weaken. Using Maca daily is really important, it helps the body adapt to stress by counting the negative effects of tension and anxiety. It also delivers an abundance of energy and stamina, which is another problem we suffer from. I can never seem to sustain enough good energy to last me all day without reaching for numerous amounts of coffee! The best part I love about Maca is that it is also mood elevating and balances out our hormones, which lets be honest really don’t help an already tired, stressed and run down mama. We have no chance to be nice to our loved ones some days…
Pearl — Adaptogenic source of amino acids & minerals
Oh Pearl, makes me smile just thinking about it. My favorite things about this adaptogen is it’s a beautifying cell builder, basically a white magic powder which releases essential trace minerals into the blood stream for longevity, joy and glow, as well as bone and cell building (just doesn’t sounds as glamorous). Remember when you lost all that hair postpartum and your baby depleting you of all your lovely minerals through breastfeeding. That healthy pregnancy glow just up and left. Pearl is your golden ticket to getting your hair, skin and nails back in shape, as well as brings the glow back in your life. We get so depleted; a lot of mamas don’t realize how much our babes suck out of us!!
I wanted to mention that sprouted walnuts are Brain Food!! A handful is a healthy light snack, which can bring you out of mom brain back into the present. Help you achieve all those things you set out to do today! You can also toss into any smoothie for a brain booster.
Fermented foods are a great source for good bacteria. After delivery your digestive system is pretty funky while are your organs shift back into place. It is super nutrient dense but easy to digest. Ok ready for the too much information part; fermented foods can help get that first poop after birth to come out real nice and soft!
Go straight into drinking green juices. Try to avoid ones with Broccoli and Kale, as they are quite gassy. These juices are gut settling and will help you get all the goods you need for a good healthy strong supply, because if you are eating and drinking well you have a better chance of producing more milk. It will also aid in keeping you strong and energized, not bogged down from heavy foods.
A great option at Moon Juice stores is their Mango Lassi. This will feed your thyroid and the mango is great for nourishing the blood. If you lost a lot of blood during labor, drink one of these a day. The coconut yoghurt is full of probiotics to help with a healthy gut and if you are like me, I was prescribed antibiotics during birth I wanted to get as much probiotic into my system not only for me but also for my babe, as mentioned earlier. The tocotrenals feeds the skin and is great for breastmilk. If you cant stomach green juices or you are noticing too much of a gassy reaction, this is a great alternative!!
Remember to try to take your adaptogens in the morning. A lot of them contain energizing or stamina type results and we don’t want you to interrupt any possible sleep opportunities.
However, having a protein shake in the afternoon will aid as a great pick me up for some much needed energy to get through the last portion of the day. Just skip the adaptogens, make it a yummy sweet treat like this recipe below. Also breastfeeding moms should try to drink this at least once a day.
Pregnant Mama’s try to drink this up to three times per day. In the third trimester you should be eating about 50g of protein a day, which can be really tough when there is not much room, left. This is a great source as its nutrient dense and will leave you feeling satisfied.
Basic Protein Shake:
20g Blue Adaptogen Protein
Blue Adaptogen Protein
Shakes are safe for pregnancy, breastfeeding and postpartum. Once your little ones start eating solids they can also sip along with you!
Ho Shou Wu Tea:
Tablespoon Ho Shou Wu
Hot water or herbal tea
Honey or Stevia
Ho Shou Wu Almond Milk:
Tablespoon Ho Shou Wu
Honey or Stevia
Hot water or Tea
Honey or Stevia
You can also add Cacao (very strong, needs to be used with care)
Immediate Almond Milk:
- Use a large handful of sprouted and stone-ground almonds. (They are different from raw nuts. Silky smooth texture. They wont bloat you like regular nuts. Full of Vitamin E and is a plant protein.
- Blend with water.
- Use this as any of your bases for shakes.
- Sprouting your own almonds can take time to leave them to soak over night; as much as I love the practice with my daughter sometimes I need things immediately so this is a great alternative to making my own.
Immediate Cashew Milk:
Same as above. Large handful of nuts and add water to blend.
Amanda also created a line of Moon Dusts, her first journey into the incredibly exciting world of adaptogen products. The dusts are a delectable mix of adaptogens curated into seven glass jars labeled for your loving needs. Brain, Body, Beauty, Spirit, Heart, Sex and Good Night dusts is on offer. Moon Dusts work synergistically at the deepest levels to heal and enhance your beauty, brain, body, sexual energy, sleep, and spirit. These transformative formulas are alchemized with the most potent organic and wild-crafted herbs, adaptogenic plants, and bioactive minerals available. I also adore the playful yet holistic packaging. Two great Moon Dusts Amanda suggests for us mama’s are:
- Brain Dust — give a little love to our brains. Mom brain is legit, you think it was bad when you were pregnant, just wait for it… We are working overtime thinking, worrying, doing we need to nourish and give a little TLC to most complex organ and the one we tend to forget about. This dust will light up your brain and increase mental flow. Now it may be a little easier to get that ‘list’ of things done!
- Body Dust — Our body has gone through so many changes. Growing a baby, delivering that baby, feeding that baby and still maintaining to keep us good and strong too. We can be hard on our bodies if they let us down in pregnancy or during labor or even the troubles with breastfeeding. I know I am incredibly hard on my body now at three years later because it simply wasn’t the ‘body’ I used to have. This all puts huge amounts of stress in our systems. Screaming babies, ranting toddlers and arguing partners this also wrecks the nervous and endocrine systems. Tend to it, treat it with some love and respect, it has done some amazing things for you and your baby, even if its hard to look at it that way at times.
I have since started using these adaptogens in my life and I lead a much happier start to my day. I am pretty depleted and I can notice significant changes when it comes to balancing out my moods and energy levels. Im not sure if its the combination or which adaptogen is also making libido act as if I just met my husband all over again, so that is great news! Of course it takes time, as some women need a little help and a little balancing and others will need much more to get back in the game. If you are like me and procrastinate to really do anything this is a great way to start and the effects will only make you feel better. I hope you found this informative and inspiring. Thank you Amanda for helping me share the message and educate mama's about using adaptogens safely.
If you have yet to visit Moon Juice, I would highly suggest checking out the Silverlake store as the space is truly a vision and the range of products to peek at are so inviting. Everything is also available online for purchase.
Photos by Lauren Moore