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***Comments have been closed and the winners have been notified. Thank you all so much for participating!***

When Nina Planck and her publisher offered to send me an advanced copy of her new book Real Food for Mother & Baby I was thrilled. Her book Real Food: what to eat and why was one of the first books that I read on my journey towards nourishing food. She helped to revolutionize the way I think about food and nutrition.

I watched my mail box daily waiting for this book to arrive. I have a seven month old baby, you see. He has now been eating big people foods for a few weeks so this book couldn’t have come at a better time. When it finally arrived I dug in as fast as I could and at every available moment picked it up again.

I love the way Nina writes. She is persuasive, yet laid back. She shares the latest scientific research and is still down to earth. She gives you general dietary guidelines for a fertility diet, a pregnancy diet and baby’s first foods.

She is a mom. She knows what it’s like to be given a list of foods to eat and laugh because morning sickness just will not allow it. She understands a pregnant woman’s needs as well as a baby’s. She knows what it’s like to tip-toe into the scary waters of baby’s first foods.

I found it so refreshing to hear that rice cereal is not the ideal first food. With our first son I knew that he wasn’t digesting his it well and wondered why everyone would tell us to feed him this expensive, boxed food. I questioned why I would not serve my husband and myself something out of a box and yet the first “solid” food to cross my baby’s lips came from one. Why?

With our oldest son I was so paranoid from all of the warnings and rules given out. I wanted to try to make my own soaked rice cereal, but the Dr. said no – he needed the iron fortification. Funny how a little liver and grass-fed bison would have solved that problem.

What is so refreshing about this book is that over and over again she tells us to relax. You don’t need to understand rocket science to feed your baby – just listen to them and use some common sense.

I love that she is a huge advocate for breastfeeding and homebirthing. Breastfeeding is one area that I believe the Weston A. Price foundation has failed to put due emphasis. Breast milk is the perfect food and the majority of breast milk is comprised of saturated fat and cholesterol. It only makes sense to feed your baby these things.

I am so relieved to see our baby eating real food and loving it.

So far our baby has eaten:

  • egg yolk mashed with healthy fats
  • plain whole yogurt
  • avocado
  • sweet potato with butter
  • carrots with butter
  • ground pastured chicken with the fat

I have been putting some foods on a tray in front of him so that he can discover them. His main method for getting the food into his mouth is via my index finger. Spoons just seem to be causing frustration for both of us, and I don’t mind. He tells me what he likes and does not like. Last night he took a few nibbles of the carrots and then pushed away my hand. When I offered him the yogurt he couldn’t get my yogurt-covered finger into his mouth fast enough. He probably ate 2 tablespoons and then pushed my finger away again. He was done.

I believe anyone planning to have a baby should read this book. But don’t go out and buy it just yet. Nina generously sent me several copies to give away to my readers.

Enter the Real Food for Mother and Baby Giveaway!

I am giving away 3 copies of Real Food for Mother and Baby. Here are the guidelines:

  • U.S. or Canadian residents only, please.
  • First entry: simply leave a comment on this post.
  • Second entry: blog about this giveaway. I will receive a link back so there is no need to let me know.
  • Third entry: subscribe to nourishing days and leave a second, separate comment. If you are already a subscriber leave a second, separate comment letting me know.

The giveaway will run through the morning of Monday, April 6th. I will close comments and randomly choose three winners who will be notified by email.

I can’t wait to give you one of these books!

If you can’t wait for the giveaway or do not win you can purchase Real Food for Mother and Baby through Amazon.

This is a contribution to Real Food Wednesdays.

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I thrive on schedules, lists and structure. I am not a super organized person by nature, though I wish I were. With little ones it is even more of a struggle to find that rhythm and stay on task.

The past few weeks, however, I was finding more structure, planning a new morning routine and seven months after a difficult birth, things were finally getting back to normal.

Just when I get comfortable I am reminded that I am not in control.

Just before he was to spend Sunday afternoon working on our garden plot, my husband injured his back. Sunday and Monday were spent resting in bed or in a comfrey bath. Tuesday he was able to work for part of the day, but eventually the pain of sitting in a desk chair all day became too much for him. Today may be similar to yesterday. After work we draw him baths while he stretches and rests in bed.

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I never realized how much of my job he does in one form or another. I am surrounded by laundry piles – dirty and clean. Our kitchen counters, stove top and dining table are invisible as they house dirty dishes, cans and trash. Our floors haven’t been vacuumed in a week and I’m pretty sure our toilet is unsuitable for the general public.

Especially after this morning.

After a couple of weeks on an almost GAPS diet, my toddler is starting to show the early signs of healing – *ahem* loose bowel movements. He is mostly potty trained and had yet to have a #2 accident, until this morning. He wasn’t wearing a diaper or cloth training pants. It was a mess. Papa was in the tub, which lately takes at least an hour to drain, so my plan of just sticking him in a bath didn’t work out so well.

(Does anyone have drain-cleaning ideas beyond baking soda, boiling water, vinegar, washing soda?)

Our poor, fussy baby was in the middle of a feeding when this all went down. He was not pleased to be interrupted.

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Speaking of fussy babies… Monday I wondered why he was so clingy, cranky and waking up several times in the night. Now with one tooth poking through his drool-laden gums it is obvious – he is teething. Poor guy.

Needless to say our home is not exactly peaceful at the moment. Things could be much worse, though, and all trials are for a reason.

I am learning some tough lessons…

  • There is no point in feeling sorry for myself. It just wastes time and energy.
  • Prayer is the one thing that can refocus a desperate moment.
  • When the rubber meets the road you see what you are truly leaning on.

I’m finding much to be thankful for…

  • early morning quiet time.
  • a washing machine.
  • two faces that can brighten any day: mr. big eyes and mr. smiles miles.
  • leftover taco salad for breakfast.
  • free coffee samples *smile*.
  • a toddler who loves to “write with the markers” and puts the caps back on his own way (see lead photo). I love it.