Baby’s first food should be breast milk

We have all heard the old adage, “breast is best”. And it is true. Natural breast milk from the healthy birth mother is superior to all other forms of baby milk including formula.

“Human breast milk is the Rosetta Stone of food and nourishment”

– Drs. Katie Hinde and J. Bruce German, authors of Human Milk

Several studies have described the benefits of breast milk: breast fed children have higher intelligence and greater academic potential, they are more robust and healthy, they have lower rates of autoimmune disease and allergies, breastfed infants have reduced rates of respiratory illnesses and ear infections, as well, breastfed babies can be more attached and secure.

There are so many benefits to breastfeeding largely because of the composition of breastmilk. Breastmilk is tailor made to your baby and their stage of growth. Each stage has varying amounts of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins, with the amount of each specific to your baby’s needs at that time. Breastmilk is composed of hundreds of substances, with over one hundred fats alone. Manufactured formula does not come close to including all of those ingredients and falls short in providing all of the necessary nutrients.

Formula is a mix of a base, usually cow’s milk, and supplement ingredients such as sugars, vegetable fats, processed proteins, synthetic vitamins, minerals, nucleotides and DHA. Even with a basic knowledge about nutrition you can probably identify some of the problems with these ingredients – cow’s milk can be difficult to digest, vegetable fats can easily go rancid and processed proteins and synthetic nutrients often lack bioavailability. Formula is also missing very important elements including probiotics, good bacteria, and more complicated fatty-acid chains.

Breast milk is the best first food option for your baby. Any argument otherwise falls short. But sometimes offering your baby breast milk is not an option. There are situations where breast milk may not be the best option, such as when the birth mother is not healthy, the birth mother is not available (such as in an adoption situation), or when the birth mother is unable to supply enough breast milk (research indicates that 5% of new mothers are challenged to produce enough breast milk). In these cases there are other options that may be better than offering the baby formula. These options include using donated breast milk and making your own milk.

If these options are attractive to you a simple google search will help you explore donor milk options. And the Weston A. Price foundation has an excellent article on how to make your own baby’s milk: Homemade Baby Formula

What is Paleo? – Seminar

Join me for a one hour presentation and discussion on the Paleo diet. Learn about why we should eat more like our caveman ancestors, and how to reach your health goals by following the paleo diet.

When: Saturday, October 26 at 11 am
Where: Vita Fitness Calgary , 925 1st Ave NE
Cost: $20

Please register at info@vitafitness.ca

Performance Nutrition Seminar Series

Realizing your potential and achieving your goals in the gym or in a race isn’t only the product of intense training. How you eat and fuel your body has a huge impact. Easy Nutrition is offering a performance nutrition seminar series to help you realize your athletic goals.

The seminar series includes:

6 workshops where participants take part in discussion about different facets of performance nutrition. Topics include body physiology, the best fuel for your body and supplementation options.

A workbook that you will work through in the workshops and can keep as a reference

A six week meal plan

Full email support

The seminar begins October 19 and will be held at CrossFit Motivate.

Register here: Performance Nutrition Seminar Series

Mexi-cali Chicken

Chicken

2 chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1 tomato, diced
1/3 jalapeno, diced
1 chili pepper, diced
1/8 cup green peppers, diced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in baking sheet
3. Mix the tomato, jalapeno, chili pepper, cilantro, and green pepper together. Spread the mixture over the chicken breast
4. Sprinkle the cheese over top
5. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes
6. Serve with salsa and guacamole

Salsa

1 cup tomato, diced
1 cup apple, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced

1. Mix all ingredients together

Guacamole

1 large, ripe avocado, peeled
1/2 lime

1. Mash the avocado with a fork and mix with lime juice from the lime

The Case Against Milk

Many of my clients ask “why not milk?”. We grew up with our parents telling us to drink our milk, our doctors tell us how important milk is for our vitamin D and calcium, and if that wasn’t convincing enough Cindy Crawford has graced the inside of many magazines with her milk moustache. I don’t know about you, but if Cindy Crawford is drinking milk, I had better start drinking it too.

The reality is, our pastuerized, over processed milk is not that great for us. Anytime you see the word “fortified” on something its usually a good indication that what is inside is fake and probably not very healthy. There is a reason milk producers have to fortify their milk with Vitamin D and Calcium. It is becuase the process of making milk, ie. pastuerization, has taken all the good stuff out of it. Many then argue that without pasturization all the bad stuff is left in it too. But the reality is, there is more good bacteria in raw milk than bad bacteria. The good bacteria helps us digestive and expel the bad bacteria.

Here is an excellent article on the benefits of raw milk. But as raw milk is illegal to sell in Canada, making it difficult to acquire unless you own a cow, my suggestion is to avoid milk all together. And here is why:

1. Contrary to popular belief milk does not prevent osteoporosis. Milk is basic in nature, but when metabolized by our body it becomes acidic. Our body is constantly fighting to maintain a constant pH level, a little over 7. To do this it uses what is has available, the vitamins, minerals and proteins from our bones and muscle. When our body is too acidic it pulls calcium from out bones to create a more basic environment. This puts us at greater risk of developing osteoporosis.

2. Dairy products are mucous forming and often contribute to allergies. It also contains several allergenic proteins, which can cause bloating, skin rashes and initiate other allergic responses.

3. Milk contains casein, a cancer causing substance. T. Colin Campbells’ The China Study (2005) describes a direct correlation between casein and cancer.

4. Diabetes and heart disease. Dairy products are high in fat and can spike insulin levels, both which are contributors to Diabetes and Heart Disease.

After explaining this, many of my clients then ask, “so, how do I get my calcium and vitamin D”. Vitamin D is simple. Go out in the sun. And not with sunscreen on! 30 minutes of unprotected exposure each day will give your body the Vitamin D it needs, and will not result in a sun burn or skin cancer. The worst thing that could happen is you might have a healthy glow and people be jealous about how great you look.

They are plenty of other dietary sources of Calcium. Almonds, Kale, broccoli, collards, mustard greens, and Bok Choy to name a few.