It’s been a week since I’ve been trying a super healthy and energy boosting drink. It’s delicious and nutritious – so super tasty, even my fussy 5-year old loves it!
So here is the recipe (makes 3 cups):
2 cups soya milk
½ cup frozen blueberries
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp wheat germ
For a gluten-free option substitute the wheat germ with grated almonds but be careful if you or your family have nuts allergy. It’s milk-free, nut-free, provides one of your ‘five a day’ and it’s a super energy boosting and bursting with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants tasty drink.
December 6, 2013
Being a mum of a 3-month old baby is tiring and stressful, especially when combined with a 5-year old constantly seeking your attention and demanding to be entertained. So when I was offered to try and review a few mediation products, I couldn’t be happier. These came from Ennora, a company set up by Peter and Mark which produces Binaural Beats for meditation.
I was sent a link to download the below beats – either in a *.zip or *.mp3 format:
- Astral Projection
- Chakra Balance
- Crystal Clear Mind
- Deep Concentration.
- God Consciousness
- Lucid Dreams
- Perfect Sleep
- Recharge & Refresh
What’s really comfortable is that you could download them on to your phone or tablet, and using headphones, meditate whenever you need. Each track is around 30mins long. I decided to try the Recharge and Refresh and the Deep Concentration ones.
All those broken nights over the last few months have brought me nothing but exhaustion and tiredness. When I started listening to the Recharge and Refresh track, I didn’t know what to expect. The sound was really gentle and refreshing, like a rainfall, so I started imagining lying down next to the window on a rainy afternoon, hearing every drop. You almost feel the rain and smell the fresh air. Initially I started feeling calm and relaxed, nearly fall asleep but after 30mins when I had to get up and continue with my daily routine, I realised how refreshed I was. It was certainly a good blast of energy to help me go through the evening. It also helped me stay positive and not so nervous and anxious.
As I am currently studying to become a nutritionist soon (yes, no waste moments even when on maternity leave; more about my nutritionist course to follow in another post). When the baby is sleeping I am using every minute to study, prepare nutrition plans and research on the latest nutrition trends. After all, I am hoping to become a really good Diet and Nutrition advisor. So, the Deep Concentration track is very useful. I’ve tried it while having spare half an hour but I’ve also listened to it while reading and studying. Listening while studying had better results.
I can’t say it helped my remember things better, but those natural sounds of birds and waterfalls certainly helped me focus more, becoming calm and able to ignore the distraction around me. You somehow become much more alert and awake. And the studying was far more enjoyable and successful.
If you are wondering what the Binaural Beats are, here is a bit about the science behind it. In the same way that electrical equipment runs at certain frequencies so does the brain. These frequencies are known as brainwaves and are measured in Hertz (Hz). When we are in high states of anxiety, the speed of our brainwaves increases, when we are relaxed the speed decreases. This is the key to understanding what binaural beats do.
Binaural beats recordings work by sending a slightly different sound frequency to each ear through stereo headphones. When the brain hears these two separate frequencies at the same time, it hears and interprets them as one vibrating tone – a binaural beat. In essence the brain is creating a third frequency. This brain’s interpretation is the difference in Hertz between the left and right tones, which is the frequency we want to entrain the brain to.
Delta : 1 ~ 4 Hz – Deep sleep, regenerative effects, loss of bodily awareness
Theta : 4 ~ 8 Hz – Dream state, deep meditation, intuitive awareness, REM sleep
Alpha : 8 ~ 14 Hz – Awake, focussed on inner world, relaxation
Beta : 14 ~ 40 Hz – Awake, focused on outer world, learning, productiveness.
Gamma : 40 Hz + Higher mental activity, fight of flight, fear, complex problem solving.
If you want to try it for yourself, you can order it directly from the Ennora website (http://www.ennora.com).
December 6, 2013
She is finally here! Meet my adorable little princess! After spending a few days at home, adjusting to the new routine with the newborn and the Back to School fuss, I couldn’t wait to go out for a walk. It’s my cute adorable baby’s first walk, and as with all ‘first things’, it’s very exciting moment for me as a parent.
Look how happy my princess is in her Cosatto throne, I mean carseat. I am also using it at home as a rocker, which is brilliant.
I’ve got another reason to be excited about today’s walk though – it’s our first walk in the Cosatto Giggle Travel System. During the first few months I am planning to use the carrycot before switching to the pushchair option.
It triples the fun as you can see mine is in this fresh and funky Treat design. I love the green colour as it calms the senses and looks so close to the nature.
Veronica is also very happy and enjoys pushing her little sister thanks to the handle position which could be easily changed.
And the baby? She’s feeling so cosy and comfortable she felt asleep just seconds we went out. A miracle!I am sure those little walks will be my secret weapon to calm her down and get her to sleep… so I can enjoy the silence for a change.
Read why I love the Cosatto Giggle Treat 3 in 1 so much here.
September 21, 2013
After 6 weeks of funfairs, movies and endless claims of ‘I’m bored’ the return to school can bring relief for many mums. But come September as the classmates re-unite so do the scores of head lice which plague many a classroom. Avoiding these unpleasant mites is difficult as they pass from person to person easily, especially as play time commences.
If these unwelcome guests do make an appearance all is not lost according to new findings. Evidence suggests that Tea Tree oil is a natural and effective remedy in treating head lice compared to the chemical insecticides which are so commonly used.
Researchers at the James Cook University in Queensland, Australia have quoted that ‘Tea Tree Oil achieved and maintained a 90% kill rate over a 3 hour period, compared to just an 82% kill rate when Permethrin (a common insecticide) was used’.
This research has also proven that Tea Tree will help to prevent head lice from laying eggs on the scalp initially. This is great news for mums trying to avoid common insecticidal chemicals, which can leave a toxic residue on the hair and scalp. Instead toxin-aware mums can choose a natural remedy.
Why not try Green People’s Organic Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner, these lovely organic products are mild, gentle and non-irritating for sensitive scalps, using organic Lavender, Aloe Vera and Tea Tree to naturally cleanse the hair. RRP £7.75 – 200ml.
September 1, 2013
One of the greatest moments for a new mum is the first sight of her baby, and the first time he/she sucks when placed on the breast. Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby, and involves much more than just providing milk to the little one. Your newborn will enjoy the warmth of your body, hearing your heartbeat and recognising your smell from when being in the womb. By breastfeeding him/her you would establish a close relationship with your baby, building emotional bonds between you two. Nursing will be comforting and loving experience for both your baby and yourself. Just imagine his eyes, full of love, gazing upon your face while sucking.
It’s your choice to breastfeeding your baby, or not. What is more, it’s your right to breastfeed whenever and wherever you are. Breastfeeding in public (restaurants, cafes, libraries etc.) is protected under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 under the provision of goods, facilities and services section. If the child is under 6 months old, the mother has additional protection under a 2008 amendment to the act which protects maternity rights.
A 2004 UK Department of Health survey found that 84% (about 5 out of 6 people) find breastfeeding in public acceptable if done discreetly; however, 67% (2 out of 3) of mothers were worried about general opinion being against public breastfeeding. The Equality Act 2010 also prohibits discrimination against women who are breastfeeding.
So this is the legal aspect of it, but what is the reality. There have been incidents of owners of premises, or people present, objecting to or forbidding breastfeeding. In some cases the mothers have left; in others, there has been legal action. Sometimes a company has apologised after. In each case, breastfeeding mums are not always willing to breastfeed in public due to fear of other people’s looks of disagreement.
This might seem a bit discouraging, but there has been more and more support in the ‘breastfeeding in public’ front by many organisations, parent groups and online communities. Should we be ashamed by breastfeeding our little ones when out and about? – No. So if you’re a believer that ‘breast is best’ and wouldn’t give it up for the public opinion’s sake, here are a few tips.
Find a breastfeeding-friendly place. Mothercare, Mamas & Papas, big shopping centres and lots of department stores have a dedicated breastfeeding cabins, providing a safe and calm place for those who need to breastfeed their babies.
Resting rooms. Some family-friendly cafes and restaurants provide a dedicated area for mothers and babies, which could be used for breastfeeding. Ask the staff if unsure. However never feed your baby in the toilets or nappy-changing areas – they are not hygienic enough (nor they are pleasant) and shouldn’t be considered as an option.
Park bench. Find some not overly crowded space in the park and use the bench to breastfeed your baby nicely and quietly.
Passenger seat. If you’re driving, you may use the back seat of your car to breastfeed
Use breastfeeding cover or apron. This is probably the best solution when you’re out and about and want to discreetly feed your baby. There are lots of variations of breastfeeding covers and aprons, but even a nice cotton shawl would do the job.
Expressing milk in advance. If you still feel uncomfortable by other people looking at you while breastfeeding, express breast milk and use it when out and about. This way you’ll still ensure your baby gets the best nutritions while you know you’d be able to feed her anytime, anywhere. There are lots of different breastfeeding pumps on the market you can choose from. From my previous experience, I’d go for a nice electric one, such as the The Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump by Tommee Tippee. With my first baby I used a manual one from another brand and wasn’t happy at all – lots of efforts for so little expressed milk, it wasn’t worth it. However I was sent the Tommee Tippee electric one to try with my second baby, which made me very happy – finally a breast pump that does what it says.
My first impressions: really light and portable, nice simple design and it includes only 3 parts, making it easy to use, clean and assemble. The pack I received also includes a steriliser box which can hold the breast pump and a small bottle so I can sterilise them in a microwave. There is a milk storage pot to store expressed breast milk in the fridge of freezer, 6 breast pads, and 1x 150ml Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottle with a slow flow teat. This makes the whole pack complete with your breast milk expressing essentials.
Mimics the baby’s feeding action. The Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump is specially designed to mimic a baby’s natural feeding action – just touch the button and relax. The unique silicone cup makes this electric breast pump really comfortable to use.
Four setting for milk expression,based on your needs. Breast milk doesn’t flow with the same speed in the beginning of the breastfeeding process and then when the feeding is more established. Also it’s not the same in the first few days compared to feeding your growing baby. The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump offers a nice solution. There are 4 settings to choose from: light, low, medium and high. For best results you should start with the light mode to encourage milk let down, and then moving onto the setting that feels right for you.
Safe to use. The Tommee Tippee Electric Breast Pump is BPA-free, which makes it 100% safe to use, warm and sterilise – perfect.
From my perspective this is a great option to combine breastfeeding with feeding from a bottle when you don’t want to use formulas. It’s a perfect option not only for when you’re out and about, but also for those night feeds when your partner could help you gain a few hours of sleep and feeds the baby. And imagine if you need to go back to work in a few month’s time but still want to keep offering breast milk to your little one – the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Breast Pump is a great option – just express and store in the fridge or freezer, give it to the childminder or take it to the nursery and feed reassured your child would still be getting the best nutrition with each feed.
August 25, 2013