How I’ll Stick to my 2017 Resolutions

Written by: Helen

I’m a fan of New Year’s resolutions.  I always make them.  Granted they may have fallen by the wayside come March, but I, like many people, enjoy starting the year with writing down goals; a plan for how I would like the year to turnout.

Inevitably some resolutions I can stick to and others I can’t.  Resolutions I make that are connected to diet and exercise I tend to find the hardest to stick to.  And judging by the way gyms everywhere are full in January and then empty again in February I don’t think I’m alone in this.  For me, this is because after the usual Christmas and New Year gluttony, I’m ready to launch myself with gusto into healthy eating and a stricter exercise regime.  However, after a few months I’ve either fallen off the wagon entirely or I’m perhaps still eating reasonably healthy and doing some exercise, but not with the same kind of fervour that I promised myself at the start of the year.

So this year I’ve come up with an ingenious way to stick to my diet and exercise resolutions….I’m not making any.  Okay, so it’s not that ingenious but it’s also not a complete cop-out.  I had a baby in August so I do have some baby weight I’d like to shift and I’d also like to get back into a decent exercise routine and start running again.

However, writing down goals that I won’t be able to stick to for a whole year can leave feelings of failure.  So this year I’ve made no mention of diet or exercise.  I know the things I need to do.  I need to switch the unhealthy snacks (particularly the ones that I munch on whilst breastfeeding) for healthy ones; I need to go for a run once the baby is in bed.  But I’m going to do these things in my own time and without putting pressure on myself.  I’m going to ease myself back into exercise gradually and maybe, down the line, I’ll set myself some goals.

There will be times when I’ll stay in the warm instead of going for a run.  There will be times when I’ll put down the apple and pick up a chocolate bar.  But, overall, I’ll hopefully end the year a bit healthier and fitter than when 2017 started.  I’m just going to get there gently.

This doesn’t mean I’m not making New Year’s resolutions.  As I said at the start I loooove making them.  I’m just avoiding any that mention diet and exercise.  This year my resolutions look more like a bucket list of things I’d like to do and see this year.  I’d like to go on the Harry Potter Studio Tour (has anyone else been on this? Is it completelely magical??), I also want to see Stonehenge and I’d like to do more charity work.

So, in between nighttime feeds and dirty nappies, 2017 is about being kind to myself and setting achievable goals.  Have you made New Year’s resolutions?  How do you stick with yours?  Thanks for reading.  Don’t forget to subscribe and I’ll send healthy posts to your inbox.

My Experience with Morning Sickness

Written by: Helen

 

Morning Sickness

There are different levels of morning sickness.  With my first son I had mild morning sickness and I was only physically sick once.  So I cut out foods that seemed to trigger the nausea and I added foods that helped to keep the nausea at bay.  It wasn’t pleasant but it was manageable.

If you’re suffering from mild morning sickness there are different things you can try.  Eating little and often is recommended and make sure you keep hydrated by sipping water.  Keep some dry biscuits to hand.  I certainly found snacking helped to curb my nausea with my first pregnancy.  Try and work out if anything triggers the nausea or if certain foods ease it.

 

Hyperemesis

However, I knew that my second pregnancy was different straight away.  I started to feel ill before I even knew I was pregnant.  Before long I had started being physically sick which continued for the next few months.  This actually makes me luckier than some women as it can continue throughout the entire pregnancy (although this is rare).  Extreme morning sickness is called hyperemesis.

So what helped my hyperemesis?  The short answer is not much.  I thought I might scream if one more well-meaning person told me to try ginger biscuits.  Don’t get me wrong, usually I’m all for biscuits being the solution to every problem but, in this instance, they were no good.  I ate ginger biscuits, I drank ginger tea, I ingested ginger any way I could.  If there was the possibility of inhaling ginger I’d have given it a try.  But no amount of ginger could make me feel better.

I would love to say that I found a natural cure and that if you eat your five fruit and veg a day you can have a perfect pregnancy.  Sadly I didn’t find any cure, but I did learn a few things which I would keep in mind if I went through it again.

 

Coping with Hyperemesis

Firstly, seek medical advice.  Speak to your doctor and see what they can prescribe and what advice they can give you.  In extreme cases you may need to go into hospital if you can’t keep down any fluids.

Listen to your body.  If you need to rest then rest and don’t feel bad about it. This may mean asking for help so that you can sleep because being sick all day is surprisingly exhausting.

I really didn’t want to take tablets.  However, the doctor told me that it is far worse for the baby if the mother is unable to keep down any food and drink (particularly the fluids).  It can lead to a trip to hospital to prevent dehydration.  So, as much as I would rather not have taken pills whilst pregnant I resigned myself to the fact that it was better for me and the baby if I was well.

You may still find that certain foods or even smells make you feel worse or make you feel a little better.  Try to avoid anything that aggravates your sickness.  Carbohydrates tend to help with sickness.  I certainly found this to be the case.  If you fancy unhealthy foods then don’t sweat it.  There is time to make up for it once the sickness subsides.

However, at times when you feel a bit better or when you can stomach it, try to include some fruit and vegetables so that you and the baby have some nutrition.  Don’t forget to take your pregnancy vitamins too (if you can keep them down).  However, like I said, don’t worry too much at this point about how healthy your diet is.  The main thing is trying to get on top of the sickness.

Lastly, don’t let yourself get dehydrated.  Try and keep some water next to you and sip on it when you can.  If you are worried about your fluid intake speak to a doctor straight away.

 

If you are currently suffering with sickness during your pregnancy then you have my sympathies.  It’s not pleasant but it’s also not forever.  And at the end, when you’re holding your new arrival you’ll know it was worth it.

Kefir: What it is and why you should drink it

Written by: Helen

Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains.  It has similar properties to natural yoghurt except that the consistency is thinner.  It has a tangy, slightly bitter taste.  Apparently it was traditionally made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway.  This was done so that each time someone passed through the doorway the bag would be knocked which helped to keep the milk and the kefir grains mixed.  I suspect processing techniques have progressed a little since then!

Kefir provides plenty of health benefits including:

  • One of the main benefits is the probiotics.  Probiotics are also known as ‘good’ bacteria.  They help our digestive system and immune system and work to keep ‘bad’ bacteria at bay.  Kefir is a better source for probiotics than yoghurt.

 

  • Kefir is a healthy form of protein.  It adds extra protein to your diet without stacking up the calories.

 

  • It is a great source of calcium which is an important nutrient for bone health.

 

  • It also contains a variety of B vitamins including B12 (important for our nervous system) and B2 (Riboflavin, needed for red blood cell production).

 

  • It doesn’t just contain B vitamins.  It provides other nutrients including phosphorus.  Phosphorus is important for teeth and bone health and also for generating energy.

 

2pack-kefir-large

I was contacted by Little Bird Kefir (a business that delivers kefir to people’s homes) and sent a couple of samples to try.  The story behind the business is interesting.  Its co-founder Umisha suffered with stomach pains, particularly after eating, and after trying various remedies began drinking kefir.  She found that, along with some changes to her diet, it helped with her digestion.  You can find out more about their business on the website here.They also have some recipe ideas on there.

I found the taste of kefir a little surprising.  I think I expected it to taste similar to other probiotic drinks (hint- it doesn’t).  If you find the taste too tangy you could use it in smoothies to add a little flavour.

And the most important question, how do you pronounce it?  Apparently kuh-FEAR is the correct way to say it although a lot of people pronounce it KEE-fur (like Kiefer Sutherland).  Anyway, the health benefits will remain the same whether you’re saying it right or wrong 🙂

Do you drink kefir or have you tried it before?  Let me know your thoughts below.  Thanks for reading 🙂

NB. I was sent a free sample to try.  Any reviews I give are honest.