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 Lessons for Mommy: #145:

Playroom for kids with Teepee and garlands

Playtime Tents!

My daughters been making forts and making tents these days. I don’t know what it is with forts and kids, but we all made them and gosh darnit they were good old fun! It’s always with blankets and pillows and using furniture to hold it all up. And then her little brother comes and godzilla’s it breaking her little heart.

She still didn’t ask for a tent just help with building one and making sure her little brother didn’t come and bulldoze it. I would help her make it, and it barely fit both of us and any slight movement always forced it down. She was getting frustrated.  And I felt bad. Like iI posted earlier, I did a major overhaul of her toys and now she’s forced to create a more imaginative play time, so I felt like she needed something to pull her space together.

I got the idea finally that I should just buy her a tent! A little space of her own that can’t be bulldozed down by a curious little brother. A cute little spot in her room where she can serve tea to her dolly and teddy bear. Or read books, or draw! It really was the perfect idea! When I told her about it, she was ecstatic!

So I went on the hunt for a cute little tent! And found out pretty fast that tents for kids are pretty pricey! Really cute one like this are like crazy expensive and didn’t have as much space as the picture looks.

Cute but crazy Pricey!!!

And even though I said it was for her, she wanted something my son could play inside too (such a big heart!). So it had to be somewhat gender neutral and big enough for 2 toddlers but also compact enough to fit in a small space. Since they’re kids, they’re going to be rough with it so honestly I didn’t focus on quality too much, just something sturdy and would last a few years.

I also found really easy to follow DIY on making a teepee – this one is crazy easy! I might still do this for my son!

I spent time like a crazy budget momma on the hunt for the best price for the right tent. The options were:

1) This awesome tent, that could fit multiple kids, but not tall enough and lets face it this tent is more outdoors not really for a bedroom.
2) This was perfect in size and thought for sure this was the one- but my daughter pointed out it didn’t look like a tent.

Finally, I found the right one for my daughter! It looked like a little teepee tent. It was the perfect size for both kids, and tall enough too! And the price was just right. Because come on, it’s a tent, and as much as I want to give her the best of the best, I don’t want to drop her school tuition for the future for a tent today- am I right!? It’s more of a teepee then a tent but it still fit ‘fort like’ theme she wanted. And with tons of options for girls or boys or neutral colours like white.

I purchased it and like 3 days it was here! And it’s not that hard to set up!

We decided not to buy play balls for it, and decided to keep her space tidy and free of a lot of clutter- she has troubles with clutter. I think the tent makes a nice addition to her room. Only downside is that it’s not foldable or portable, but I know myself, I’m not going to be taking tents to many places so no big deal.

I honestly bought the cheapest and best tent I could find on amazon, but you can go through and find the one that’s right for you. Keep in mind though, kids can get rough and it might break so don’t break the bank just for a kids tent.

Oh here’s a link to the one I got, it’s right here– it’s really pretty!

Neutral and cute for any room!
Neutral and cute for any room!

My daughter still does make forts- because lets face it, forts are fun! But with this little tent, its a cozy little spot to make imaginative play even more creative and fun!

Good Luck!
😀

Life Lesson for Mommy #144:

Small and colorful table and chairs for little kids

Cluttered Environment Creates a Cluttered Mind

My daughter is 4 years old and is going to a private Montessori preschool and we recently had a parent/teacher conference. Now before I get into the conference, I want to touch base on what is Montessori.

Montessori is a hands on form of learning. It is very well recognized and really gets the children engaged in what they are learning through a series of different toys that are tailored for education-such as math and reading. A famous child going to Montessori right now is Prince George! So that’s a plus!

But you really need to learn more about it before deciding if it’s right for your child. And you also should consider that not all Montessori schools are the same, some have more play time, some have less. Some are more tailored to reading some are more for math. If you are interested in the Montessori approach it’s best to talk to the teacher and see the work other students have done; and take your toddler along with you to see how they like it.

M

If you want to start giving your child the montessori experience there are a ton of free DIY activities on pinterest
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/170081323405870908/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/52495151882682507/

Tons of awesome ways to get their little minds working! Or you can take a trip down to amazon and purchase these
Math & Numbers
Counting & Math
Upper & Lower Case Letters
Building words

Trust me, don’t spend the money and DIY it! The process of making it yourself is like craft time and also saves a ton of money! And it does the same thing with the added flexibility of tailoring it to your child.

Anyways, continuing on. My daughter goes to a Montessori preschool as I stated, but it is also coupled with drilling on good old fashioned pen and paper. Because life is not all games and play time. I believe that learning should be fun but taken seriously. It’s what will set them up for the rest of their life, it should be something you help create love for! So don’t badger and push them, encourage and engage them!

So on to the parent/teacher conference! The teacher asked me if she can be blunt so right away I was nervous. I mean I knew my daughter had focus issues and always just wanted to play instead of sitting down to read with me or practice her numbers, but I was not prepared to hear this.

“She is stubborn and distracted”…ouch that hurts. But I had to shake off those feelings and stop myself from becoming defensive and get to the point of why she felt this way. When she showed me my daughters work I could see what she was talking about. My daughter has had some conflicting discipline issues (her grandparents don’t believe in time out or consequences just give her whatever she wants to stop the tantrums- sigh). I thought that might be the cause so I discussed what exactly does my daughter do in class, when and how much does she focus.

The teacher was very good at explaining my daughters day, and what is expected of her. And she is progressing but she does not like learning at all…she gravitates to just the play time and often starts to look around and loses focus, even during crafts. She simply just didn’t want to do anything that wasn’t playing with toys, not even drawing.

I knew right away, that this is the same things I’m noticing at home. Resistance to even read with me, or draw and do crafts. The teacher asked me about her environment at home to get a sense of why my daughter might be so unfocused and distracted. And as soon as she asked how many toys are available to her I knew that this was probably it. My daughter has a lot of toys, and a lot of it was distracting, non-motivational play…basically zombie play. She did have blocks and lego but she usually made castles and thats it. She also has loads of puzzles but she doesn’t want to do them. She also has dolls, drum set, and just a bunch of other toys way too young for her age. The teacher knew it right away, that maybe she’s unfocused because there is no focused play at home. Everything is everywhere and she has loads of stuff to play with.

So I went home and went through all the toys and started to pack up a lot of the stuff she didn’t play with, were too young for her age to play with and just loud distracting colours and sounds….I left her with her puzzles, her books, 1 doll set, her dress up box and her mouse family tree house, and thats it.

In 2 days I noticed a difference in her. She started to play with her puzzles, she even sat down and read with me. Like how long has it been since she did that, I can’t even remember! Her attitude also calmed down, she responded better when I told her no or time out.

I think she honestly needed a overhaul of her toys and all the things that distracted her. She practiced her numbers with me and was eager to see all the check marks and wanted to correct her work when she got an X – I saw that as a huge improvement instead of her  just accepting the x mark and doing nothing about it.

So if you have a toddler who is all over the place, try to clean up your house, put away things in drawers or boxes and keep their toys limited and to things that stimulate imaginative play and not zombie play. For example a toy that you just press a button and the lights flash and a voice comes on- even if that voices is for alphabets, that’s zombie play. Get a puzzle instead, or purchase a kids boardgames that gets them excited and thinking.

Couple that with a solid routine- when is play time and when is learning time, creative time and reading time. These things should all be sectioned into different parts of the day. (Click here to Print this cute weekly schedule for preschoolers)  timetable

And when you get a doll, don’t just get a frozen doll that all they are going to do with is brush their hair. Get a  set, that comes with some accessories like little pets or furniture. It doesn’t have to be pricey! If you don’t want to buy it, grab some dollar store felt material and cardboard and make your own accessories and get their minds going!

There are great tips and tricks on pinterest on sensory play, but try to look into creative play because nothing builds a mind better then thinking and problem solving.

And get rid of all those toys!!

Good Luck!
😀

Life Lessons for Mommy #143:

Rest, Relax, Colour

Adult Coloring Is Hard

I used to color a lot when I was younger, I don’t mean just in my teen years I mean well into college and beyond years.
But as the years ticked on and I got older, got married, got some kids, got responsibilities and some things in life just change you. And then you change so much that you no longer remember that you colored and enjoyed drawing and being excited about it.

Mental Health is something that is really being focused on lately and it’s about time! I didn’t even know I was an anxious person until a car accident and I started to see a Psychologist. And one of the things my psychologist told me about was these adult coloring pages. At first I was really excited about it! I remembered that I used to love drawing and coloring! It was very relaxing and very fun! And apparently it’s mentally good for you!

Adult colouring pages! The new thing in mental health! Next to proper diet, exercise which both need like serious will power, colouring is fun – no will power required!

The one my psychologist gave me just wasn’t doing it for me. So I surfed the net for some one’s that appealed to me. I found this great blog that points you to awesome free printable pages! http://www.everythingetsy.com/2015/08/printable-coloring-pages-for-adults-15-free-designs/
I printed these 2

My favorite honestly is the fishes!!!

And then some one’s from amazon that peeked my interest. These 2 were my favorite
Tribal Life – perfect for both guys and gals
Colour me Calm – my 2nd fave, perfect combo of detail and design

So I got my colouring stuff and was all set and ready to color with a fresh new case of Laurentian pencils. I quickly realized though, I was really sucking. The colors I was using were all over the place and the more I colored the less aesthetically pleasing it was. God, the more I tried to make it look good the more stressful it got. Why wasn’t I just enjoying this?

Some of the shapes and designs area’s weren’t 100% symmetrical, and other times it was just the colors I was using weren’t making it pop out. I was over thinking it and making something that was supposed to be fun into a freaking annoyance. I talked to some of my friends about it, and one of them suggested studying online for color schemes and learning how to use the right colors to make a more aesthetically pleasing page….really? I’m going to have to study how to color to relieve my anxiety?

These pages were causing a lot of anxiety for me. It wasn’t working. When I told my psychologist this, I honestly think she probably thought ‘what the heck are you doing???’ in her head. And that made me more anxious thinking about how anxious I was being about coloring. And its’ true, what the heck am I doing? This is about coloring and having fun, making mistakes and accepting them and letting it pass. This isn’t about looking good or producing something that looks good but something to learn patience from.

I decided that I’m going to print out a new page and go nuts! Have fun and forget about aesthetics and just randomly color and just have fun with it! And I even printed one for my daughter. It will be fun to color with her and learn from her how to just wing and have fun. To be thoughtless for once in doing something. To not over-think or even think. To make something that might not look good but accepting it and being proud of it. I don’t have to try hard on every thing. Maybe the reason why none of the other methods for anxiety are working because I over-think it and try too hard on it. I need to just let it be.

If you want to get started right now, here are a few FREE printables!
1) Sailboat

Sail On My Anxious Friend!
Sail On My Anxious Friend!

2) Flower Garden

These Flowers Need Colour!
These Flowers Need Colour!

 

3) Being Zen

Now you're totally Zen.
Now you’re totally Zen.

I remember a long time ago, when I was in college I believe, I was feeling anxious. I was going through some tough circumstances and things in my life didn’t feel fair and I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. I was actually sad a lot those times. But one day I literally woke up, felt the sun on my face and said “I am not going to be sad anymore!” And I actually just did life, instead of thinking about things. I made some mistakes and I wish I could go back and fix them because I think I would have been able to achieve a lot of great stuff.  I also wish I could go back and not let that car accident happen that would probably end all my current pain and anxiety. But that’s okay, I have a great husband, 2 wonderful kids and yes it’s not all good- there are some bad days and bad things. But I will color myself out of those bad days by relearning how to just let it be and let it go.

And now, to color.

Good Luck!
😀

Crying on my Birthday.

My anxiety filled-1

Horray! I’m 34! Except this birthday isn’t like other birthdays.

This year I am riddled with fear, doubt and feelings of just exhaustion. No matter how I try to pick myself up, come up with different plans, and do what I can personally to strengthen myself mentally- I have moments like this…except this moment has been creeping up on my for a long time I think….3 years to be exact.

I have been trying my hardest to avoid my anxieties of things by telling myself they don’t either exist or that they’re small and don’t need this much mental anguish.

Except 3 years later, nothing has changed and I have realized this. I got into a bad car accident- well to me it was bad. Life was going pretty well before this accident. I had a hard pregnancy with my daughter, but things were picking up. My husband could refocus on his business again, and I was enjoying my daughter. With a new journey ahead of us, things were looking up!

Until that car accident changed it all. It changed a lot about me. I became an angry person, an anxious person who thought about ‘how things were going to go wrong’ all the time, I made chaos out of even the smallest things. And to top it off was the pain…the pain is still what affects me and keeps me angry and anxious. I want to be happy and look forward but this neck, this face pain keeps me in the past. It keeps me in that accident, in that car.

Several unfair things happened after. The rear ending wasn’t the only hit- we took hit after hit after hit….my husband was injured and could barely work dealing with his own pain, me, my appointments and his own; then our daughter still needed her parents. He took the charge because I had mentally wiped out. He pushed himself and pushed and never uttered a bad word. Financially we took a hit, we couldn’t work but we still had expenses plus paying for appointments. We took another hit because I stopped driving, but I started to back seat drive. Our relationship took a hit because of me. I was exhausted all the time, I was angry and upset all the time, but we did our best for each other and our daughter. We took a hit in so many parts of our lives that just thinking about it makes me cry.

Anxiety

The one thing I refused to take a hit with was having my second child. I refused to put that away. That was a plan we made after I made annoying appointments with different doctors to find out exactly what kinds of risks I would be in, accept the extra steps I would have to make – accepted them and made the decision to go on with it. My second pregnancy was wonderful! I had to do those extra things that weren’t going according to plan but I dealt with it fine. It was the first time after my accident that the pain totally disappeared! I had the best 10 months ever! I thought the pain was gone for good and I got my life back. I was doing great mentally, making progress to gain back me. I was back to doing all the things I loved to do! There were still some issues that I had to iron out but I was doing it with more gusto and looked forward to being ‘me’ again!

Except after a couple months after giving birth to my son- the pain came back…but it didn’t come back just small. It came back like the pain I had after my car accident. One of my biggest pleasures and hope was to breast feed this baby for 2 years! The pain was awful in my neck and shoulders. I had to restart going to my Physio guy and get IMS done again so I could cling on to my son and breastfeeding. It was helping and relieving my pain. And I held on to my positive attitude that this will go away again.

It hasn’t gone away…it’s now 17months after giving birth. I refuse to let that accident take away my one joy to breast feed and I refuse to stop until he’s 2.

My Love and Joy!
My Love and Joy!

This year I made resolutions that I am sticking with, and one of them is to gain back ‘myself’. I was a happy person! I am an activist who could separate myself from the cause (which is something I’m struggling with now). I love to write, and draw, to make amazing meals for my family, I love playing the piano, I love making my mommy blogs, I love doing all this…but as time goes it’s harder and harder to remember who I was before that accident.

A few days ago, I broke down. I had the symptoms of what I thought was a heart attack- I rushed to the hospital. To learn thankfully it wasn’t a heart attack but it was indeed the worst anxiety attack I have ever experienced. I never knew a person could feel like that. My blood pressure was very high, I had troubles calming down, I kept thinking about the pain in my face so I kept myself from crying (because crying would make it worse), my neck had been hurting for days prior because I had to do more activity. And having to let go of our wage loss claim was painful- not so much because of the money but because of how unfair it was. I guess it all toppled over and my glass started to spill.

Now it’s January 11th 2016. And I don’t feel happy. I feel a bit depressed and mostly angry. My neck is hurting and I will have to probably take more Tylenol today. I will probably have to restrain myself more today and my husband will have to do my portion too. I will probably feel like not leaving the house but I’m sure my husband will do his best to get me out. I want to feel like myself- like the Lazina before the car accident. And right now, I’m breaking down. My resolutions are out the door for today as I let myself go and feel bad. I will most likely regret feeling like this later when I get my senses back, but as long as my neck is hurting today I will feel this way.

I want a Happy 34th birthday. And I will do my best to have it. But for this moment- I will just let myself feel the things I’m feeling. I have been holding it in so much thinking I was dealing with it. And now my heart races a lot, I get palpitations that are very noticeable often, my blood pressure is up, and I’m faint feeling a lot. So holding it in isn’t the right solution.

I’m going to cry on my 34th birthday because of the wrong reasons. It should be because I’m getting older or something normal like that. But I’m just freaking out because this is another year of pain and anxiety and I’m wondering how many more birthdays will this car accident take from me- take from my family. Haven’t I taken enough hits?

But as usual, I’m going to cover it up in front of my family, my friends, the outside world because this is how I am. But I hope on the Internet if someone who is searching, or a momma who has gone through what I have, see’s this will know that I feel just like them and they are not alone.

And I hope by the time dinner comes, I will have managed my pain, I will be smiling without fear for my face and my happy face won’t be a fake one.

Good Luck!
🙁