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A Fashion and Lifestyle Blog For The Modern Mum
A Fashion and Lifestyle Blog For The Modern Mum
You are viewing Healthy Living
In the quest for a better quality life, Health plays a huge role. I believe that Healthy Living plays a major role in how we are able to function in everyday life. From the Glow in our Skin to the way we interact with others. Self care is super important for not just parents but also for our children.
A malnourish tired mum is not going to be able to cope as well from the everyday stressors of parenthood as a well rested mum who has consumed all the nutrients her body needs.
I believe that exercising, proper stress management and healthy nutritious food can unlock the secret to a success life.
In this section I give advice on healthy foods and meals for yourselves and your babies. Stress management and mindfulness tips and easy ways to incorporate exercise into our already busy schedules.
My life changed when I started on the super green smoothie craze back when it was not a craze. I was suffering from severe constipation and bloating problems and general lethargy. The bloating was incredible. Some days I looked like I was 7 months pregnant and would be extremely painful. So I decided to take a look into my diet to see what i could do to improve my digeststion. That was when I started making green smoothies.
All I can say is that it changed my life. Not only do I no longer suffer from bloating or constipation, my energy levels sky rocketed. I felt healthy in my body. My hair started to grow faster, my nails were stronger and my skin started to glow.
I made sure to take the smoothie first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to aid the digestive process. As well as fill my body up with fruit and veggies first thing in the morning.
The main ingredient that I think boosted my health is Spirulina. Spirulina is an algae that has been named the most nutrient dense substance on the planet. If you are deficient in nutrients this is the supplement to take. It is high in plant based protein and iron, making it great for women like me who suffer from low levels of iron due to heavy menstrual periods.
I do warn that it can have a detox effect when it is first ingested. I suffered from the worst headaches for the first week as it detoxed my body of heavy metals. After the week was up I started to feel the positive benefits almost straight away. Start with a small amount and gradually increase with time to decrease your detox symptoms.
I use Rainforest Organic Spirulina Powder which you can get if you click here
I was never a huge eater of sweet things. Chocolate and cakes were never my go to indulgence. Give me a packet of crisps any day and I would devour them in 10 minutes. However once I fell pregnant that changed drastically. I don’t know what it is about being pregnant, but the general consensus I have from other fellow mums is that you become a major sugar junkie after you deliver your little bundle.
My once non sugar self, is now addicted to anything sweet. It amazes me the lengths I am willing to go to to be able to get my sugar fix. My usual lazy self would be willing to run a marathon if it meant I could shovel a whole chocolate fudge cake down my face. Don’t forget the cup of tea to go with it.
So what am I to do? I am a firm believer in keeping young and healthy through food, and there is growing evidence that sugar is the reason for most of our western health problems. More and more studies confirm that most diseases including cancer are a result of years of eating chemical laden foods packed with refined sugar that have little to no nutrients in them.
Even wrinkles and grey hairs are starting to be linked to poor nutrition and poor digestion! Yikes, I am doomed! So I have decided to take control nd try to wean myself of the sugar. But how? By supplementing with healthier sweet options!
This recipe is by far my favourite from one of my fav health gurus Deliciouslyella.com, These brownies are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free and the bonus is that they are packed full of nutrients!
SWEET POTATO BROWNIES
First you need
2 Sweet Potatoes
2/3 Cup of ground almonds
½ Cup of gluten free flour
14 Pitted dates
3 Tablespoons of Pure maple syrup
4 Tablespoons of cocoa. For added nutritional value use raw cacao powder
Steam the potatoes until they are soft and then blend or mix with the dates until you get a paste consistency. In another bowl add all the remaining ingredients together and then add the sweet potato mixture. Mix well and spread out onto a lined baking tin
Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean on 180 degrees. Once finished allow to cool and dig in!
As my son was approaching his 1st year, I could hardly believe how quickly time had past. My little chubby cherub was no longer a baby. He was approaching Toddlerhood. He could eat the big kids snacks. He could get fitted for his first shoes and of course he no longer needed breastmilk or formula. I was so excited to start this new journey. However when our health visitor strongly advised that we continue to give him 2 of bottles of full fat cows milk a day. My stomach turned. I didn’t want to give him cow’s milk and here is why
I am usually one to follow the advice of a health professional but this advice did not sit well with me. I hate cow’s milk. No scrap that. I absolutely love it, I could drink glass after glass when I was younger. Don’t even mention the word cheese to me. Having lived in France for 8 years cheese had become a part of my existence. No I love the taste of cows milk and all things made from cows milk, but its affects on the body, I hate.
Strong bones…or not
More and more health professionals are now advising against cow’s milk but why? With more research being conducted on the subject, new information about the real benefits of dairy have come to light. Previously praised for its bone enhancing abilities. Scientists now claim that it actually does the opposite. Countries with the lowest dairy consumption are those with the lowest rates of osteoporosis. How can this be? If dairy is full of bone fortifying calcium and minerals then how is it that the countries that consume the biggest amount of dairy and milk products have the highest rate of osteoporosis and lactose intolerance?
A study done on women in Sweden found that those who consumed more than 3 glasses of milk a day doubled their mortality rate. The thing is that cows milk does contain a lot of calcium and vitamins. However our fragile little human digestive systems are just not able to process it like calves can. And that is where the problem lies. Cows milk is made for calves who have four digestive compartments in their stomachs. When humans drink it, it puts a massive strain on our digestive system. Causing inflammation which can lead to asthma, allergies and digestive issues such as IBS and even autoimmune diseases.
Better For Your Gut Without It
So why am I against dairy? As much as I love cheese, cream and yogurt, I have experienced a change in my health and digestion when I decided to cut it out. Once I stopped dairy my usually slow digestive system improved and general state of health felt a lot better because of it. My brothers who have suffered from severe eczema their whole lives have experienced significant improvements since cutting dairy. With them now being able to reduce their use of steroid creams and treatments.
So what do I do?
Considering all of the above, the idea of feeding my son 2 bottles of cows milk a day leaves a pit in my stomach. Could I be opening him up to digestive issues and allergies by giving him cows milk? If he no longer needs breastmilk, and I don’t want to feed him cows milk then what do I give him?
There are a lot of milk replacements out there, but which one is better for my son? In my household, we are nut milk drinkers. I drink almond milk and my partner drinks hazelnut. Though these are better than cows milk in my opinion, store bought nut milks are not as nutritious as homemade nut milk. Some brands only have 2% of nuts in their ingredients! Along with another array of ingredients I cannot pronounce. So do we ditch milk all together? Or do i start squeezing almonds to get the purest form of milk possible for my tot?
Got Goat’s Milk
With a bit of research i quickly discovered that Goat’s milk is a healthier alternative to Cow’s. Goats milk is easier to digest. It has less curd and contains less lactose. With fewer allergic proteins in the milk it does not cause as much inflammation in the gut like cows milk does and is full of minerals and vitamins. It also contains a higher amount of probiotics, which feed the good bacteria in your gut thus promoting a healthy digestive system.
My son loves it and while he is still young and growing. I will continue to use goats milk for his digestive system.
Anyone who knows me personally knows that my son is a eater! He could be in the worst mood on the face of the planet but hand him a snack or anything edible and he is all of a sudden the happiest chap alive. Always thought the saying was a cliché but the way to this boys heart is definitely through his stomach! But as he is getting older and no longer taking in as much milk as he used to, feeding him has become a challenge. Cooking him homemade meals everyday is a job in itself, but when it comes to puddings and snack time, thats when things get complicated. That was when a sneaky Ella’s Kitchen Smoothie came in.
A pouch full of fruity goodness, when we first discovered them we thought they were a perfect solution to our snack dilemma. However we quickly discovered that our little one loved them way too much and as his appetite increased so did our weekly grocery bill. We would easily get through 3 pouches a day and he was still wanting more. These pouches were a life saver, I could pack them in his bag whenever we would go out and it would be an instant no mess healthy treat. What were we going to do?
That was when I discovered Squooshis!
These adorable reusable pouches were just what we needed. They are BPA, PVC and phthalate free and also dishwasher and freezer safe. They have a zip lock on the bottom so that you can open up the pouch and spoon in homemade purées and take them on the go with you. The pack includes 8 cute animal pouches with lids, food labels and sippy caps and are really easy to clean. I am in love with them and our son loves the different animal shapes they come in. They are just too cute!
Now that I had my own pouches it has been easy for me to just stew a few apples and pears and pop them into the pouches, but to mix it up a bit I decided to make my own Ellas kitchen recipes and they go down a treat!
THE WHITE ONE
(My favourite one)
75g Coconut Milk
THE YELLOW ONE
THE GREEN ONE
3g Kiwi Fruit
Choose which smoothie you wish to make. Stew the apples with a little water, once soft and cooked through blend all the ingredients together in the blender. Add a dash of lemon juice and then spoon the contents into the Squooshis! Keep in the fridge or freezer. You can buy these amazing pouches at www.squooshi.com
And there you go! A happy baby and a happy bank account!
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So I have been a little behind on my blog posts lately, things have been hectic. With me recovering from surgery, planning our wedding and organising Gabriel’s 1st birthday, it has been manic! With my to do list getting bigger and bigger I have found it easy to fall off the healthy eating wagon and grab anything and everything I can get my hands on. Hungry and unorganised Kylie = eating junk and getting fatter Kylie. Not good for my wedding dress! But sometimes it is hard to eat what you should. I am a lover of comfort food and eating salad especially on a cold Aberdeen day just is not going to happen. So that is why I decided to make my own ‘Healthy’ pizzas. It was a quick and relatively healthy option that I could also feed to my husband to be.
Here is what you will need
Warburtons Gluten Free wraps
Italian cherry tomato paste with basil
Mature Cheddar Cheese or Feta Cheese if you are looking for a healthier option
Meat of your choice : We chose chorizo slices and ham for our little one
You can add what ever you like, but I find if you put too many toppings it becomes over crowded and not as tasty.
Preheat your oven or grill to 200°C. Open the pack of wraps, these are one of the best gluten free wraps out there and really makes a delicious, thin, crispy pizza base. Evenly spread the cherry tomato paste over one side.
Once that is done, start putting your toppings on. I started with Chorizo slices, Tomato, Pepper, Spinach and then cheese.
Bake in the oven until crispy and the cheese is melted. And viola! A quick and tasty lunch.
Endometriosis, a condition not well known, but a condition that affects 1 in 10 women, most of which are unaware of the chaos that is happening in their own bodies. After almost 15 years of pain, I can finally say that I am an Endo sister. I have finally been diagnosed. I sit here now with 4 holes in my stomach after having keyhole surgery to remove a cyst the size of a grapefruit and to clean up the endometriosis that left my insides mangled together and my fertility in question. And I feel a sense of relief! Sore, but relieved that I have been taken seriously and that I am finally getting treatment for something that I have struggled with for most of my life. Relieved that my future as a mummy is still in tact.
But what is Endometriosis? It is when the lining of your womb which makes up your period, grows elsewhere in the body. When it is time for your period, this lining sheds blood like it would do in the womb except the blood gets trapped in your body which can then turn into a sticky glue that sticks your organs etc together causing pain and reducing fertility.
For me heavy periods was a normal part of life. I had started my first period at 8 years old and from then on they were a constant pain every month. As I got older, the heavier and more painful they became, until one day when I was 15 years old the pain had gotten the better of me.
I woke in the morning with a horrible cramp in my stomach. “Great”, I had thought, I have my period. But as the morning progressed the pain didn’t subside and I found myself doubled over unable to walk. My parents, not sure what to do, tried everything to ease my pain. They thought I had just contracted a stomach bug, but when I threw up everything they tried to give me and then passed out from the pain, they knew something was up. A trip to the ER and I was sent home and told that I had a low pain tolerance, told to suck it up, period pain is a normal part of being a woman.
From then on, I would fear the time of month. It was always a lucky dip. Was it going to be a normal period this month or was I going to suffer? I never knew when it would come and what was worse was that no one would take me seriously. Countless times to the nurse at school or to the ER and each time told it is a normal part of being a woman. I came to the point where I used to hide it, try and sit in the corner until it passed because I was scared that people would think I was a drama queen, that I was an attention seeker. Trying to hide it was difficult, when you are in so much pain that you are throwing up and passing out it is hard for people not to notice.
I was on my way to the cinema with my mum and I could feel it coming. I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness. As I walked in to the cinema room trying hard to keep up appearances, my body finally had had enough and I fell to the floor. I saw the panic on my mums face as she tried to lift me up and call the paramedics. Surely they would believe me this time? I am not faking it! I was at the movies, I was having a good time! But to my disappointment the paramedics scoffed and told me the same thing all the others had. It wasn’t until the manager of the cinema took my mum aside and said this isn’t normal. Get her checked for endometriosis.
Endometriosis? I had never heard of it before but to my dismay my doctors didn’t seem to know much about it either. Their approach was to put me on the pill and hope for the best, if that didn’t work well then I just had to learn to accept it. At times, it was just plain embarrassing. When you pass out and throw up while you were in the toilet in the middle of a work day and are escorted out with your knickers in full view it is hard not to be embarrassed!
But with each episode, I found a new person who was struggling with something very similar and came to understand that it was a condition that was slowly getting recognised and that was a lot more common than I was lead to believe. Heavy periods, ovarian cysts, excruciating pain each month, symptoms of IBS and problems falling pregnant are all symptoms of endometriosis and if you suspect that you may have it I am here to give you hope and encourage you to get the treatment you deserve. Do not let anyone tell you that it is part of being a woman or to just suck it up! It is NOTnormal to pass out from pain every month! It is NOT just part of being a woman and NO you do NOT just have a low pain threshold!
It’s estimated that Endometriosis affects more than 2 million women in the UK and there are still a lot of women out there who are unaware of this condition. I feel like I am lucky, even though I suffered for a long time I am by far the worst. A lot of my fellow Endosisters suffer daily, with their quality of life greatly diminished and their chances of becoming mothers taken away from them. My heart and my respects goes out to all of them and I think it is our responsibility to create awareness of this common yet virtually unknown disease. Awareness of endometriosis has come a long way in the last 10 years but it still has a long way to go, if you would like to help or wish to learn more then take a look at http://www.endomarch.org. Any little bit helps.