[Note from Katie: Today, I'm excited to introduce Stephanie Brandt Cornais, who blogs at MamaandBabyLove.com. I met Stephanie in February and since we blog about some of the same topics, I wanted to introduce her to you. Stephanie is the founder of Mama and Baby Love, A natural lifestyle and parenting blog and the author of an amazing eBook about real food slowcooker freezer meals. She's also a real food devotee and mom to a precious little girl named Penelope. If you haven't already, go check out her blog and say hi! You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.]
How did you get into blogging? And what’s your favorite part?
I started blogging when I was pregnant. I worked at the United Way and helped run an in house initiative called Whole Child Leon. I blogged on a local mommy blog that was owned by our local newspaper as a way to drive traffic and create awareness about WCL.
Then when Penelope was a baby, and I was stuck exclusively pumping for her because nursing didn’t work out for us. I was so bored sitting there pumping. I needed something to do. So I started a family scrapbook blog and then very quickly it turned into something more. It was the perfect outlet for me to share information. I used to teach yoga and childbirth classes, but since I wasn’t doing that anymore, I wanted a way to still be able to connect with and mentor other mothers.
What would you consider your nutritional philosophy and how did you arrive at it?
Real Food for sure. I have a friend who is a local Weston A Price foundation chapter leader and she introduced me to Nourishing Traditions and all the concepts. As soon as I read the book, I knew I had come home. I knew deep in my belly that it was right and everything I had ever heard before was baloney.
What is your favorite part of being a mom and why?
Oh gosh, that is a tough one, there are so many amazing things about being a mother. Clearly, I just love my daughter and feel blessed to have created her, that she picked me as her mother and that I get to stand witness to her unfolding. But I also love the personal transformation that happens when you become a mother. The personal growth that motherhood demands of us, is brutal, but I love it. I love that my daughter is inspires me to fiercely and tirelessly work on my self and my “stuff”.
What is the toughest part of parenting/real food eating?
Finding time to do make everything from scratch. My slow cooker freezer meals I have come up with have opened up lots of time for me, but as a working mother, it is still very hard. I would SO pay someone to make me yogurt and broth each week, so I don’t have to!
Please talk a lot about your freezer meal cooking! That is such a tremendous time-saver! How did you start doing that and come up with all the great recipes?
Yes! It is such a time saver. I guess like all inventions, it came out of my hour of need. After my daughter was born I was bound and determined to figure out a way to put healthy, real food meals on the table every night. I am not a good cook, so I need to find something that was very easy for me. I have always enjoyed using my slow cooker and one day the light bulb went off about assembling the meals into plastic bags and then freezing them. Then the day I want to cook my meal, I just dump the contents of the bag into my slow cooker and dinner is done. It takes me about two hours to chop and assemble 6 meals. You can learn more about my new eCookbook here.
If it isn’t too personal, can you talk a little about your parenting philosophy and how you decided on some of the attachment parenting techniques and why you feel they are important?
It’s been a evolution for me. I was lucky to have come in contact with some very strong and attached Mama’s early in college. I remember meeting the older sister of one of my hippy college boyfriends and watched her nurse her baby in a sling as she went about talking to someone at a party. I was in total amazement. She was happy. The baby was happy and she didn’t have stop living her life just because she had a baby. She just brought the baby with her, where ever she went. I also read lots of Dr. Sears and The Continuum Concept in my early twenties as I started building my yoga, doula and childbirth education business. So again I was lucky, in that I educated myself way before I became a mom.
I have quite a few readers and clients who are pregnant right now. What is your best parenting tip for new moms?
I think the best advice I can give is to do whatever you can to cultivate a good relationship and connection with your heart. Spend time in quiet contemplation/reflection/prayer/meditation whatever you want to call so that you can figure out what is important to you, what your intuition and your heart is telling you. Then do whatever you can to find the courage to actually listen to your intuition and follow your heart so that make decisions about parenting from that place and not from a place of fear.