Doula Spotlight: Melinda (Wilkins) Whitaker

Melinda Whitaker

Professional Credentials:  LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist), PT (Polarity Therapist), CPD (Certified Professional Doula), KYI (Kundalini Yoga Instructor)
DoRI Position: Volunteer Member
Hometown: Newport, RI
Business Info:  Soul Seeds Birth Doula Services / Island Massage Therapy
http://www.islandmassagetherapy.co
https://www.facebook.com/IslandMassageTherapyNewport
Phone: Text or Call # 774-262-2519
Email: lindyflower@hotmail.com

About Your Business: Island Massage Therapy originally began and grew on Block Island, RI. Since I still technically live on an island (Aquidneck), that name still works! Soul Seeds, I feel, is the true name though, especially as doula work is becoming more and more the focus of what I do ~ Helping to facilitate or hold space for the blossoming and the ‘always becoming’ of the mamas & families I work with and honoring birth as a rite of passage. I practice Massage Therapy in private practice doing mostly house calls, offering massage discounts for my Doula clients (so great for those prenatals!) and also out of All That Matters in Wakefield. I also teach Kundalini Yoga as well as Prenatal Yoga and Meditation.

A little about yourself: My husband and I just got married this past September (2014) and are expecting our first Little Babe in early July (2015). We moved here from Block Island (not born and raised) and have called it home for many years. I’d traveled around for quite awhile, living in a bunch of different places and am so happy to be back here in Lil’ Rhody ~ it is oh-so-sweet! One of my favorite things to do is backpacking ~ I love hiking long trails! In 2009 I hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, taking 6 months to hike 1,178 miles. I would love to hike the Long Trail inVT,  the John Muir Trail in CA, and at least some parts of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) running up the west coast. Just camping in the backyard is pretty great too, and a lot easier. 🙂

Favorites:
TV Show: Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife
Movie: Big Wednesday, Master and Commander, Whale Rider, Chocolat
Book: The Secret Garden, Wise Child, Jitterbug Perfume
Song: Not Fade Away (Dead) , Morning Dew (Dead)
Quote:  “Where there is Love, there is no question”
“The only way out ~ is through”
Hobby: Making music, hiking, camping, being in the water in any way

 

A Recipe to Share: Raw Cacao Brownies w/ Sticky Caramel Topping!
               
Ingredients for Brownie:

1 cup raw walnuts, soaked and dehydrated
1 cup raw cashews, soaked and dehydrated
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups packed medjool dates, pitted
4 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for Caramel:

1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/2 cup maple syrup or raw dark agave syrup
1/2 cup date paste
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt

Brownie:

1) Dates ~ if the dates are tough or more on the dry side, cover with enough hot water to rehydrate them for 10 minutes.  Once ready to use, discard the soak water and hand-squeeze the excess water out before adding to the recipe.

2) In a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, place the walnuts and cashews in and process until they broken down to very small pieces.  They won’t grind down to a powder due to the natural oils in them.  But be careful that you don’t over process and start making walnut butter.

3) Add cacao, smoked paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.  Pulse together so all the spices get mixed in well.

4) Remove the lid and lay the dates around the bowl of the food processor.

5) Add the coconut oil, lemon juice, honey and vanilla.

6) Return the lid and pulse a few times, then process until the dough starts to clump together in a ball.

7) Line the 8×8 baking pan with plastic wrap or wax paper.

8) Press the brownie batter down firmly and evenly.

Caramel:

1) Place the almond butter, sweetener, date paste, vanilla and salt in a high-powdered blender and process until smooth.

2) Stop occasionally to scrap the sides down.

3) Store in the fridge in a glass container. Good for approximately 2 weeks.

To soften, leave out at room temperature for a few hours.

Assembly:

1) Pour the caramel frosting on the brownie, cover and chill in the fridge for 4+ hours.  If you wish to eat it right away, that is fine too.

2) Dust with cacao powder and sprinkle crushed walnuts on top.

3) Cut into squares and enjoy.

Store leftovers in the fridge for 5-7 days.  Be sure to keep them covered.

May Mother’s Celebration

934965_10151464762859094_1610849310_nEach year in May, Doulas of Rhode Island hosts its annual International Doula Month Mother’s Celebration Picnic.480211_10151464762754094_2022554026_n-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

This family event includes our doula member’s past and current clients and their families. Everyone brings a dish and lays out blankets as we enjoy reunions and seeing babies growing up.

 

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 The picnic is a connective event among doulas and the families we serve.  This hallmark event will continue each year as a way for us to acknowledge the families we work with, to honor each other as mothers and to honor the doula spirit.559391_10151464769659094_1942724144_n

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