Life Lesson For Mommy #147:

WomanholdingDonut

Diabetes and Blood Pressure.

Diabetes and Blood Pressure stuff isn’t pleasant. Canada and the US has some of the highest rates of Diabetes among 34 developed countries. It’s not actually as shocking as you think though. Considering the lifestyle that most of us live. The foods we eat, the stress levels, time crunch, etc etc. But eating healthy has become a huge trend in the last decade, but it’s actually also become a lifestyle where we become foodies- which might not always be good. It’s good to love food and be passionate about it, but the downside is that we’re not really focusing on portion control and even though we may be making healthy food choices, we might be eating foods that are not helping our blood sugar or our blood pressure.

Fruit for example is sugar, though it’s not refined but eating too much isn’t a good idea. When I was pregnant with my daughter, at 5 months I became gestational- I couldn’t believe it. I was eating tons of good food, especially fruits. And that might have done me in. Don’t forget about the random bursts of sugar in the foods we eat- such as sauces, grilled chicken etc etc

Salt can sneak into any food, and you might not even know how much you’re eating. Roughly 2300mg of sodium (or 6 grams) is equal to 1 teaspoon of salt. We are only supposed to take in about 460mg of salt a day…that’s a big big difference.

Eating out, and eating foods that we may not realize has excess sugar  and salt could be all stacking against you. Everyone knows that chocolate bars are bad, but not many people know that sushi rice has sugar in it. Or that a lot of restaurants add sugar and salt into a lot of their foods to give it a balance of flavours – salty and sweet and it might not be obvious to your tongue. You might also not know that a lot of sauces like BBQ sauce has tons of sugar in it on top of tons of salt. Now imagine eating BBQ chicken salad at lunch- with all that extra sugar and salt going in.

Now salt doesn’t affect your blood sugar levels but you have other things to worry about for that- like blood pressure. Both are scary and have to be maintained properly. As a gift from my son’s delivery, I was diagnosed with Preclampsia and the high blood pressure is permanent for me since it runs in my genetics. I am on medication to control it, but the ideal would be to lose some weight and control my salt in take and perhaps even be medication free!

Reading Sneaky Labels

Salt and sugar is sneaky, and it’s literally in everything we buy. When I finally learned how to read labels, I realized damn, even healthy food has crazy amounts of salt and sugar. Even naturally occurring sugar and salt, is STILL sugar and salt and it still impacts your body. And a lot of people don’t know that. They think because the label says ‘no added sugar’ that means that it’s sugar free or the natural occurring sugar is somehow not going to do anything to your body. But it does, and it’s not good.

salt

So how does one make healthy choices with all these presumably healthy choices out there that have all these unhealthy amounts of sugar and salt in it? You’re probably thinking, well then I’ll  watch out for how much sugar  and salt I take in a day. That’s not how it works exactly. To avoid something like diabetes- like with any other illness, weight control, healthy eating habits and water is the best way to ward off health problems. And its difficult sometimes when you’re buying food at the grocery store or eating out, to know exactly how much sugar  and salt you’re taking in. Reading labels is a must and don’t just fixate on calories- look at the whole label especially sugar, sodium and carbs.

But with so many things to look out for, with so many options, and so many rules and things to keep in mind, how does one filter out and do a proper diet without having to insanely plan everything. Because lets face it, moms especially already have tons on our plate and sometimes we don’t always have time to make the perfect pinterest healthy meal. So we need something that is easy to plan and make.

And this is where the diabetic and Salt diet comes in. It’s a lifestyle change, but it’s exactly what we need in North America to get back on track to proper eating.

Eating Out, Even Healthy Can Be Bad

When I go out, it’s always big portions, tons of salt and sugar and tons of unhealthy fats. So that’s the first thing I had to eliminate. There is no ‘healthy’ restaurant. Even the uber vegan all organic GMO free restaurants have to use tons of sodium and sugar to make that food taste flavorful. Problem is you don’t know how much of it is in your meatless burger and baked sweet potato fries…

At least when you’re purchasing your food at a grocery store, you can see the full label and ingredients. But don’t be fooled with the ‘only 50 calories’ fluff, check out the sodium, carbs and sugar…you’ll see they make it up in crazy there…

Portion Control Is The Key!

Literally eat what you want, but keep the size down! You have to look at your plate and see how much of this bad food is occupying your plate. For example, you can make a healthy pizza at home, with thin crust, low sodium pizza sauce, tons of veggeis and delicious cheese on top, but don’t think you can just chow down the whole pizza. That’s a lot of salt, sugar and carbs horking in all at once. Instead, 1 or 2 slices and a side of roasted veggies should fill up that plate. So you can have that slice of cake, but it better be an actual proper slice yo! LOL

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My Gestational Diabetic Diet

I felt really healthy and good during the time I was gestational- weird of me to say. But I had lost 20lbs alone from simply changing when and how much food I ate. Since then my weight has fluctuated with my anxiety and physical pain issues. And every time I reaffirmed to do better, I always fell off. But this time, I dug up my diabetic diet sheet and decided that I’m not going to fail this time! With diabetes running in my family, coupled with the fact that I was gestational diabetic with both pregnancies makes me a prime candidate in getting it- and I don’t want it. I already have blood pressure issues, I don’t want diabetes complicating my health and my life.

So here’s the diabetic diet. It’s no fancy gimmicks, no gym time, no 5 am runs, no stress. It’s easy and this diet can really force you to change your whole life just be simply changing your food, it can change your mental health too and a bonus it can change the health of your family 🙂

Some tips to go along with this meal planning sheet:

1) Eat on time! When you eat is just as important is how much you eat. Eating on time before you get hungry with small meals and snacks is not a new thing but it can change your food choices all day!
2) Portion control. Again not a new thing, but many people don’t realize that even sweet potatoes are a carb and turn into sugar. So now imagine if you’re eating some roasted sweet potatoes with rice? That’s  carb overload and basically a sugar overload.
3) You can’t just eat all the meat you want. Proteins are good for losing weight, and it’s better to up your protein and down your carb, but too much protein can have a bad affect on your health.
4) Beans and some veggies are carbs- yeah like chickpeas are good carbs and protein combo and can fill you up nice. But if you eat a can full…you might be in trouble.
5) Eat 2 handfuls of veggies before you eat your carb or main.

So here’s how you get started today:

First things first: GET RID OF ALL THE CRAP IN YOUR HOUSE!

I kid you not, you need to get rid of everything and anything that is processed, full of sugar, salt and carbs. I’m not just talking about candy bars, I’m talking about Sidekicks packages, I’m talking about canned tomatoes that have salt in it, healthy baked snacking chips are FULL of salt, etc etc you get the hint.
Don’t do it in steps- trust me that never works. Take a Saturday, tell the husband to bugger off with the children and you do an overhaul. Check the labels of everything.

Second: Buy ingredients to make things, not things that are already made. If it’s already made for you, it’s probably full of crap you shouldn’t be eating. I’m not saying cut out everything, but you should have 20% packaged in your grocery store cart and 80% ingredients you make things with.

Third: Spend 20 mins a day to look for easy healthy foods and baked goods on the internet and make a grocery list from that. You don’t have to preplan your week, but at least have staples in the pantry. Here is a grocery list to keep stocked up.
GroceryStapleList

Fourth: It’s not going to be hard, as long as you tell yourself everyday that your cravings can just go die! Having a partner, friend or group of people to support you helps tons!

Fifth: Keep a food journal! Everything you eat, write it down! Even the small handful of nuts or a healthy smoothie. All of it. It will help you keep track of how much you are actually consuming vs how much you think you are. Seeing how much you eat also helps the psychology of your brain to realize you are actually getting plenty of food.

Lastly: Water yourself! Drink a lot of water during your day. If you feel peckish for that something sweet, drink water. You can add different fruits and veggies to get the best flavours.

This is the meal schedule. You can print this one out

DiabeticDiet

Now go out there and be the best and awesome you!

Good Luck!
😀

Life Lesson for Mommy #142:

5 Minute Scrub! DIY!

There are only a few things I do for myself during the week to take care of myself. And this is one of them. I make a cup of it, stick it into a glass mason jar and use it up every week! It’s easy and it cleanses your skin, helps smooth out, lightens and brightens your skin and just overall good! And you probably already have these ingredients in your house!

It doesn’t matter if you have dry or oily skin- this is great for both. I have combination skin so this is perfect for someone like me. You can add a little something extra to it if you feel your skin type needs a little less or more.

The Stuff You Need:

  • 1 lemon squeezed out of all it’s juice, no seeds.
  • 1 cup plain white yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (blended dry until it’s a powder)

Mix all the ingredients and make a paste- it should not be sliding off your face. Decrease yogurt or increase amount of oatmeal powder to reach paste like consistency.

That’s it! Mix it, put it into a mason jar and keep it in your fridge. And 5 minutes before your shower, or while you’re in the shower slather it on your face and neck and let it sit for as long as you can. Ideal would be until it dries and feels like your face is tight! But any amount of time is great!

It’s like a mask, a scrub, a cleanser, a toner- it freaking does it all!

Some Tips:

  •  Make sure your yogurt is not about to be expired.
  • -Label the mason jar with yogurt expiry so you know when to throw out mixture- should only use for 1 week before making new batch.

Life Lesson for Mommy #44:

haytham&me

Life Lesson for Mommy #44:
Big Fat Momma

I met an acquaintance I hadn’t seen since before I was pregnant with Omera- over 3 years ago. So when we met up by accident at the mall today, it was a great surprise to know she had just given birth to a healthy baby girl a month ago. I was surprised since she didn’t even look like she had been pregnant! I told her she looked amazing having just given birth! She replied by asking how old Haytham was, I said almost 5 months and we both had this awkward silence….Like as if her eyes were asking me why I hadn’t already lost all that baby weight yet?

I felt like I had to explain to her why I was still hanging on to my chub. So it’s been 4 months, almost 5 and I haven’t lost all the baby weight I gained…in fact there is a good chance a gained a pound or 2 back. And most of it due to the fact that my son Haytham was mad colic for the first 3 months of his life out of the belly- horrible crying, intense purple crying and not to mention 4 major nursing strikes. It was tough and really emotionally intense. All that along with neck and shoulder pain from an accident that never really healed….of course I’m gonna eat cupcakes dammit!

But I shouldn’t have to justify this to people or myself. It’s tough to be a woman and even harder to be a mom. The expectations don’t go down just because you have a baby, in fact it might be even worse. Everyone looks at Kim Kardashian and thinks it’s realistic to drop 25lbs after having the baby. Well let me tell you, the Kim types in the world have the time, and maybe their priorities and help are a bit different then mine. Hollywood has the help, the chef, the personal trainer…I just have myself LOL And the one time I went to a baby yoga class, I had to rush out in 10 minutes because Haytham had a colic episode….but the time I had in there made me realize that woman are really harsh with each other. These yoga moms were in there with their babies who were younger then Haytham and looking like they had never gotten pregnant, looking at me like I didn’t care for myself….

Why is the pressure to be thin so quickly after birth so crucial? Are we that narrow minded of a society, that the health of a mother comes last compared to her body image? Is left over belly from where the baby stretches your inni into an outie that bad? Is it so bad to have curves and chub left over on your body after nurturing life for 10 months? Is it really that bad?

It’s fine if you want to be thin and fit, all the power to you. If you can balance new baby and having a fit amazing bod, I envy your will power! If you can send me some of that energy and will power please do! A year or two ago a fitness momma with 3 kids posted up a picture of her 3 sons and her in a 2 piece outfit with the title ‘what’s your excuse’. It was a huge thing on the net, and the question of if fat shaming is actually a good thing came up. To push women who are new mothers to lose excess baby weight faster and not use the baby….Um wtf? Serious? Maybe her babies are just wonderful angels who did what they were supposed to do on time, but that’s not the majority of babies. Maybe she left her kids to exercise, I didn’t.

That’s not the majority of women out there. And what I resent is the ‘yoga momma’s’ out there who are fat shaming real mothers who don’t have perfect babies. They don’t have perfect bodies and why should fat be the issue. Shouldn’t healthy be what you push?

Listen, if all you eat is kale and kale, and everything’s juiced, that’s great, I’m very envious of your lifestyle. But even if all I ate was that, I would never be a size zero and I don’t ever want to be a size zero, I just want to be healthy.

Body image was getting me down, seeing these perfect bodies of new momma’s was getting me down. And then a wonderful thing happened…my husband told me that he liked my chub. That this chub was proof that I put priority on my colic son who needed me for those 3 months. I put priority on my daughter who felt left out because all my time was spent on nursing and cuddling an infant. I put priority on my happiness by using time I could have used on the stepper to watch a funny show to lift my dwindling spirits. I ate, oh I ate when I had a chance, and that was whenever the baby wasn’t crying, so my diet wasn’t great. Regardless, I love the way I am. And though I want to go back to my ideal size, I’m not going to let images of sexy momma’s in bikini’s break me down. And it shouldn’t bring down any mother.

You are amazing, and your body is amazing. You have to love yourself, no point is being thin if all that matters to you is what other people think. Then all you’re doing is being shallow, and teaching your children that girls have to be thin, sexy objects. And I for one will not teach my daughter or my son that. Women are beautiful inside out, the way they are. There is too much heavy important placed on the size of her waist and not enough on how amazing of a girl or mother she is. And most importantly both her physical and mental health should be what matters.

I love my chub. And if you meet me, you’ll love my chub too.

Pass this to a new momma who loves her chub too.

Good Luck!

Life Lesson for Mommy #40:

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Winter and baby skin

Its cold out there! The air is dry and crisp making it that time of year where baby’s skin will get dry.  Use a good quality baby lotion or cream to keep baby’s skin moist, comfortable and healthy. Baby moisturizers from Gaia are excellent! Natural, without the dangerous chemicals normally found in baby products. It’s one of my favorites!

If you want to use your current baby lotions, at least don’t pick Johnsons & Johnsons, which has had some issues recently with cancer causing ingredients in their creams and products. Pick a baby product or lotion that has no parfum, has a few ingredients and you should be able to pronounce them. Add a few drops of coconut oil in there or smear on your hand before you apply the lotion to naturally protect their skin from UVA UVB rays as well as keeping their skin baby soft and moisturized.
You can purchase these from amazon.com or go directly to Gaia’s website.

Good Luck!
😀
Gaia baby moisturizer
http://www.amazon.com/Gaia-Skin-Naturals-Natural-Moisturizer/dp/B004SFU9WM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413574422&sr=8-1&keywords=gaia+baby

Gaia bath and body:
http://www.amazon.com/Gaia-Skin-Naturals-Natural-Baby/dp/B004SFPYS6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1413574422&sr=8-4&keywords=gaia+baby

Gaia baby starter Kit
http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Starter-Gaia-Skin-Naturals/dp/B003316Y4O/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1413574422&sr=8-2&keywords=gaia+baby

Gaia’s website
http://www.gaiaskinnaturals.com/

Life Lessons for Mommy 39:

udooil

My New Secret Skin Care Product

I use a few things for my skin to try to hold on to looking youthful for a bit longer- despite hitting into my 30’s. And of course when you think of skin care, you think of all the products you’re going to slather on to your face and body, all the things you’re going to DIY and paste, and baste in to look younger, fresher and prettier.

But here’s one of my new secret weapons that has me raving praises! And its not even something you put on your body.

Udo’s oil. No joke, it’s one of the healthiest oils on earth, and it does wonders for your skin, hair and nails, not to mention cell regeneration, and detoxifying. I was skeptical when my momma friend told me about it, I mean you can say Olive Oil is the best oil on earth if you look at all the good things it does for you too. But Udo’s oil is different. It has a combination of different unrefined oils, like flex oil, sesame, evening primrose seeds, coconut and rice bran oils. It’s vegetarian based which makes it halal and kosher, all natural, and has DHA. This isn’t just great for skin, it’s great for eye health (I went down a prescription, I didn’t even know that was possible but there it is!)

So give yourself a boost in health and beauty, and get this oil. I did the hunting for you and found Flora Health has the best Udo’s oil out there- non GMO and completely natural and vegetarian. And if you’re breast feeding, or pregnant, take this oil, it’s not harmful to your baby, in fact the boost in brain development of the baby, and supports the nervous system. So go for this oil, a little goes a long way.

Drizzle on salads, Chinese foods, or even smoothies (I couldn’t do the smoothie…texture issue for me, but you might like it). It’s not really a cooking oil, so don’t try to fry things in it, it’s more of a top off oil. So you add it in, not cook it out so keep that in mind.

You can buy it from a friend of mine who’s helping me out with my videos (which I plan on shooting in the new year!!! So please do support me too!!)

http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=jdmvip-20&o=15&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B00154O6QE

Good Luck

And as always,
Good Luck