More quietness, more creativity

by Christina on September 23, 2016

“Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” – Albert Einstein

Love that Einstein quote. I think the constant information feed on my phone/computer is interfering with the creativity I might have inside of me.

Just read this excellent piece by Andrew Sullivan about our addiction to our phones and the internet. My husband sent it to me after he read it saying he’s an “information addict.” I am one too. Most of us probably are.

Too often, I am with loved ones but we are in “alone togetherness.” And lot of times I reach to my phone because I feel lonely.

“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” ~Rollo May

Solitude is important! I think that moms especially don’t get enough alone-time and quiet space. When I do get rare moments of solitude, my habit is to go straight to my phone or computer.

I’m trying to bring more quietness and creativity to my days… here’s how:

  • Put my phone in another room for (at least) an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.
  • Create some purposeful quiet-time: i.e. when nursing baby (don’t scroll through phone), when walking or running (don’t listen to music or podcast).
  • During family dinner time, put all phones (including any of my son’s “play” phone or remotes) in The Basket (we repurposed my son’s easter basket for this purpose and hung it on the wall).basket
  • Do not keep phones in bedroom overnight: charge it in separate room so I do not look at it when falling asleep or when I wake up in the night.
  • Take long showers (if/when I have childcare help).
  • When doing a home yoga practice do it in true quiet without my phone, tv, music, or computer on.
  • I am considering deleting Facebook from my phone but feel torn… sometimes it’s wasted time but sometimes I like the connection it provides to others and the articles I see shared there. Not doing it yet.

Any other ideas?


The Biohub to cure disease

by Christina on September 22, 2016

I’m pretty excited about the Biohub that Mark Zuckerberg and Pricilla Chan announced yesterday. This will fund important and novel health questions, develop new tools and technology, and create better collaboration and sharing of information between Stanford, UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley. Their goal: to cure (prevent/manage) all diseases.

Heart disease and cancer are the top two causes of death in this country so I am sure there will be a lot of work in these areas. And hopefully there will be a big focus on how to prevent these to begin with.


Just another reason why I love living in the Bay Area, where it feels like the future of medicine is being born.



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What we’re eating: lactation cookies

by Christina on September 21, 2016

I’ve been making this “healthy/lactation” cookie recipe for years now and love eating them when pregnant and nursing, but also when not. They’re easy and fast to make.


Our whole family has been eating a lot of them recently, and I’ve been making a big batch of dough to keep in the fridge for near-nightly baking.

fullsizerender_3 They are based off this recipe for “lactation cookies,” and while there’s not great evidence around foods or herbs to increase milk supply, anecdotally we hear about things like oatmeal, fenugreek, flax seeds, brewers yeast, and beer. Certainly getting enough calories, nutrients, healthy fats, omega-3s, and fiber is really important for both your and your baby’s nutrition.

You can find a lot of recipes for lactation cookies online, but below is the recipe I’ve been using – tweaking it a bit from here:

  • 1 cup melted grass-fed butter (we like Kerrygold butter)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup syrup (note: if I’m making these for other people I’ll usually increase this to 1-2 cups. It can be whatever sweetener you prefer — agave, honey, sugar, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 cups of oats
  • 4 tablespoons brewers yeast
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup crushed walnuts


fullsizerender_4Directions: Combine wet ingredients, add dry ingredients, mix all well. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

A lot of moms are worried about having enough milk for their babes. It’s always in the back of my mind, especially after going back to work and pumping throughout the day. Am I drinking enough water? Am I eating enough? How many ounces will I pump? Am I too stressed and rushed?

These cookies may not necessarily increase my supply but they at least help give me calories, good fats, and fiber… all important things. They’re also great to bring to work for mid-meal snacking or to eat while pumping.