Big No No’S when Pregnant

What do avoid during pregnancy

  • Alcohol. Alcohol has been linked to premature delivery, mental retardation, birth defects, and low birth weight babies
  • Avoid drugs and smoking. Babies born to mothers who smoke weigh less on average. Doctors suspect the lower birth weight is due to restricted blood flow, which may also impair the passage of nutrients through the placenta to the baby. The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke that enters the mother’s bloodstream also reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the uterus. For these reasons, doctors advise pregnant women to also steer clear of secondhand smoke
  • Limit your pills and medication intake unless supported by your doctor
  • Limit caffeine to no more than 200 mg per day. The caffeine content in various drinks depends on the beans or leaves used and how it was prepared. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 150 mg of caffeine on average while black tea has typically about 80 mg. A 12-ounce glass of caffeinated soda contains anywhere from 30-60 mg of caffeine. Remember, chocolate contains caffeine — the amount of caffeine in a chocolate bar is equal to 1/4 cup of coffee.
  • The use of saccharin is strongly discouraged during pregnancy because it can cross the placenta and may remain in fetal tissues. But, the use of other non-nutritive or artificial sweeteners is acceptable during pregnancy like Equal or NutraSweet. These sweeteners are considered safe in moderation so is better to talk with your health care provider about how much non-nutritive sweetener is acceptable during pregnancy
  • Decrease the total amount of fat you eat to 30% or less of your total daily calories. For a person eating 2000 calories a day, this would be 65 grams of fat or less per day.
  • Limit cholesterol intake to 300 mg or less per day.
  • Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish (also called white snapper), because they contain high levels of mercury.
  • Avoid soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese. These cheeses are often unpasteurized and may cause Listeria infection. There’s no need to avoid hard cheese, processed cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt. 
  • Avoid raw fish, especially shellfish like oysters and clams and sashimi.
  • Do not diet or try to lose weight during pregnancy — both you and your baby need the proper nutrients in order to be healthy. Keep in mind that you will lose some weight the first week your baby is born.
  • Avoid Packaged ramen noodles. These quick-cooking noodles are packed with salt, fat, and little else.
  • Avoid Soda. If you fill up on empty calories and sugar, you won’t have any room for more nutritious drinks. Low-fat milk, Vegan milk, water, and juice are better choices.
  • Avoid Shelf-stable commercial lunches. Preservatives, salt, and fat make most of them a poor choice. There are some okay packaged lunch options out there, though, so check the labels!
  • Avoid too many frozen prepared meals. There are some good choices out there, but many have high amounts of salt and fat. If you can’t avoid the occasional frozen meal, look for organic brands that are low in salt and fat.
  • Avoid Iceberg lettuce. When it comes to lettuce, choose greens, such as romaine, that are full of fiber, A and C vitamins, folic acid, calcium and potassium. Iceberg lettuce has only trace amounts of these nutrients.
  • Avoid or limit Spicy Foods: Such foods can cause complications for the mother, such as heartburn and acid reflux. This occurs more frequently in pregnant women because hormones released during pregnancy relax muscles in the digestive tract, allowing the stomach acids to rise more easily into the oesophagus, especially when lying down

                If you have any problems that prevent you from eating balanced meals and gaining weight properly, you should ask your doctor for advice. 

Herbal Support during Pregnancy: Pregnancy is not the time for a woman to start experimenting with herbal remedies. Herbs and herbal concoctions can exhibit powerful influence in a person’s body; a developing fetus can be even more directly (and negatively) affected.

EDD: October 1st 2017

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It’s amazing how early on your body gives you the signs that you might be pregnant. Some even know before they took the pregnancy test.

Some feel nothing and just realize they are pregnant after the missed period. Funny enough, one of the most common early pregnancy signs is the changes in your body, mainly the boobies…

January 2017 came and so did a few symptoms that made me think that something was going on – but never thought about the idea of being 4 weeks pregnant already.

Drinks, laughs, yummy food, good mood and good company set the mood for that Saturday night. It was the first time we were inviting our neighbors to our house. The party did not finished too late and i knew we did not have drunk that much to be feel absolutely miserable the next day. I have counted endless times the amount of wine bottles we have opened and I could swear I have indulged way more in previous parties/dinners and never felt as close to what I was feeling that Sunday – extremely bizarre I thought. I have spent that day hydrating myself with Ginger Ale and Orange Juice and it seemed like I could not keep it for to long… – endless trips to the washroom – if you know what I mean.

Not to mention the headache OMG!!That headache that you think your eyeballs are about to jump out at any minute…I did not want to admit that this was a combination of hangover symptoms…so for me, the headache was associated with the water Lily’s fragrance…but I never had a strong reaction to these flowers either.

At the end of the day as I was ironing Per’s shirt, I felt weak…not dizzy (as I felt before I knew I was pregnant with Sienna) but It felt like I was walking on clouds…and I had to stop and call it a day – I went to bed just after another trip to the toilet…

On Monday I realized my period was supposed to come that Saturday, and yes, I have been experiencing PMS symptoms as per normal including a lot of cramping but decided to purchase an OTC pregnancy test any way to rule out the possibility of being pregnant and just assume I was late because of stress, hormonal change due to a change of lifestyle.

Not giving too much importance, I did the test and came out Negative…weird I thought but accepted well, discarded the test in the bin and went for a run.

The cramps continued and so did my PMS – including sore breasts for a few days…Sore breasts came and went…but kept bothering me a bit specially on the right side…When I finally reached the 5th day of no menstruation I did another test – this time conscious that I had to call a Dr. in case the tests kept coming negative – it meant that something was going on with my body.

As I was about to place the stick on the counter a 2nd line was showing up – in a matter of seconds – and quite dark already…the pregnancy line was so dark that it did not let any doubts that a 3rd baby was on it’s way. There I was, in the bathroom hearing the girls knocking and calling for me over and over “Mommy where are you”. I was staring at the test and I smiled . Nothing crossed my mind in that very second. My mind took me to a place far away and I just “landed” when I heard the girls banging louder on the door and screaming “Mommy open the door, what you doing”. I shook my head and hide the test…washed my hands and opened the door.

Still dreaming I went to the living room with the girls following me. I sat down in front of Sienna and asked her to hug me very tight…also asked her to tell me that everything was going to be alright…As I hugged her, Sienna asked me “why are you talking to me like this Mommy” “why are you hugging me so tight Mommy”…I had no answers for her in that very moment…

As I released her from my arms. She rubbed my tummy and gave me a kiss.

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The II blue lines

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When you plan to have a Baby, one of the 1st things you need to do is Not to stress – things will happen when you don’t stress – and you learn to be patient. You need to be patient during the 2 weeks wait – the wait that you can’t afford to wait, that wait when you prepare yourself for a big fat positive or the frustrating big fat negative, that wait that you might possibly start feeling symptoms or you wonder if is the mind playing tricks with you, that wait when you want to start feeling nauseas already but you get confused with PMS symptoms…that wait, that you want to make a pregnancy test or as many pregnancy tests until you see a positive one…That wait that kills you, but also gives you a loving smile on your face because nobody – besides you and your partner knows what both of you are up to.

Your patience is put to test so many times: in case of a negative, you need to patiently wait till your cycle is back so you can try again, if you get a positive, you want to get over the 1st 12 weeks and finally breath and share – or not – the news with the world.

You also learn that the bump doesn’t grow over night…how many times you wonder if is bump or bloated? If is bump already or gas, if is bump already or it’s you’re your undigested dinner? ah ah . In my 1st pregnancy, I just start showing after at 4.5 months while with Maya, as soon as 6 weeks. With this pregnancy, I have start showing from week 10 but start feeling bloated at the end of the day (only) from 6 weeks…Until the 10th week I was still waking up as flat as I could possibly be.

When you plant to have a Baby, you want to make sure you are at your best. Physically and Psycologically. You want to make sure you prepare yourself with ante-natal care (we also got you covered here) , you want to make sure you take the supplements you are supposed to take for at least 3 months before you get pregnant, you want to make sure you have an active lifestyle and balanced diet too. I never get tired of telling you…If you start your pregnancy healthy and fit, you are half way there. You definitely want to make sure your health is at your prime. That happened with Sienna’s pregnancy.

Maya’s pregnancy not so, I admit – even though it was a planned pregnancy too – I got pregnant 14 months after Sienna was born and 4 months after I had a miscarriage. I admit that maybe I did not gave my body the enough rest needed…Health wise I was great don’t take me wrong, all levels were perfectly perfect…but I was tired…maybe that’s why it felt I was pregnant with Maya for years!

This pregnancy, not as planed as the others, I started as healthy as I could possibly be. I started this pregnancy 2 years after Maya was born. Still being this healthy and fit…I had morning sickness till the 16th week, Bammm!!

 

Tropical Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is SO easy to make, it literally comes together in minutes. I prefer it once it has set overnight in the fridge but you don’t have to wait that long (that’s why i have put 4 – 12 h in the cook time bracket) . Chia seeds are packed with fiber, essential fats, and calcium to boot!

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Mango is one of my favorite fruits and absolutely easy to find here in Hong Kong and Macau – in fact – Southeast Asia. It’s high in sugar, like most fruit from the tropics and has many nutritional benefits. Mango is great for the skin as it is loaded with antioxidants. It also fights breast and colon cancers and has vision protecting properties.

MangoChiaPudding_Bowl

Mango Chia pudding
Serves 2
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 sweet and juicy mangoes
  2. 1 cup of coconut milk
  3. 2 pitted dates
  4. 1/4 cup chia seeds
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 cup of raw nuts and seeds
Instructions
  1. Start blending the mango until you have a thick sauce.
  2. Pour the mango sauce evenly into 2 glasses or bowls. Set in the fridge.
  3. Blend the coconut milk and two dates until smooth.
  4. Pour the sweetened milk into a small mixing bowl.
  5. Stir the milk, chia seeds, and vanilla until it becomes a thick pudding. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes then let stand for about 5 minutes to thicken.
  6. Pour the chia mixture on top of the mango sauce in even portions.
  7. Allow to set overnight.
  8. Be sure to cover if you are storing over 1 day, it lasts 4 days in the fridge, covered.
  9. Serve with chopped nuts.
Notes
  1. If you have difficulty with tropical fruits like Mango, you can substitute with a fruit of your choice in this recipe. Fresh or frozen will work here. The consistency should be like a thick smoothie.
  2. If there is too much liquid in the mango portion it will not set up at all. If you are having issues add 1/4 cup of raw coconut meat, that should for sure make it set up and I’ve made it like that many times.
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

Happy Brand New You!!!

2017

OMG 15 days have passed since we have welcomed 2017 and yes, It has been ages since my last post, I am well aware…since March last year to be more precise (WOWWW)…. However…However… this is not without good reason. And in this instance that reason takes the unmistakable shape of Relocation with pretty much brand new everything! Brand new location, brand new flat, brand new routines, schools for the girls, brand new community, new friendships, new neighbours and everything else you can imagine. After five years of living in our beloved Apartment in Taipa and after counting endless months (more than a handle ;)) in Macau, we upped sticks to the sticks…. well to not that far…to our dear neighbour –> Hong Kong… But more about that later, Now we focus on keep going into 2017 right, we focus on keep rolling with the Resolutions, we focus on keep going recharged, rejuvenated and absolutely ready to embrace this brand new chapter of 365 pages.

The new year is the perfect time for a clean start and a new outlook on what you want to achieve this year. Whether is boosting your endurance, getting into shape or simply make more time for yourself, consider this a chance to make your brightest dreams a reality. It’s  an opportunity to reflect on the past and to challenge yourself to new begginings. This is the time to Dream Big – and start the change NOW – and you don’t need to relocate like I did.

Want to clean up your diet and choose healthy foods that will also help you to drop the unwanted kgs? Conquer the clutter; over scheduling (yep, I know!!), and other unwanted obstacles that often stand in your way? Whatever your hopes and wishes are for the coming year, use the turning of the calendar to put them into action.

It all starts with you and Don’t wait for a Monday or the 1st of the Next Month. Start Now!!!

If you are new to fitness or coming back after a long layoff – it happens to all of us – turn to my special “Beginners Fitness guide for Women” which includes comprehensive workouts and an easy and affordable diet plan that you can follow. You will also find easy and yummy pre-post/post-workout snacks in our recipe menu and don’t forget to share/tag your New-Year New-You goals and accomplishments with our brand new #thebodybymari on Instagram.

Happy and Healthy New Year Everyone

XX

 

 

 

 

Asana of the Month…

Get a Glow People!!!

It’s time tp get your blood circulating and boost your body for Spring with this revitalising posture

Forward Bend or Uttanasana with Clasped hands

Two-Fit-Moms-in-PrasaritaTo increase the stretch in the back of your legs, lean slightly forward and lift up a couple of centimetres onto the balls of your feet.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your legs wide and toes turned in
  • Interlace your hands behind your back with arms straight.
  • Exhale: bend forward from your hip joints and lengthen through the front of your torso
  • With straight knees, bring your hands towards the floor behind your back, while pressing your heels firmly onto the floor.
  • With each inhalation in the pose, lift and lengthen the front of your torso just slightly; and with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend.
  • Let your head hang from the root of your neck and stay in the pose for 30 sec to 1 minute.
  • Take a deep breath before bringing your hands back onto your hips and pressing your tailbone down and into the pelvis. 
  • Stand up very slowly. Vertebrae by vertebrae. Head should be the last – to avoid dizziness
  • Repeat at least 4 times.

The Benefits:

This is one of my fav. postures. This calming posture helps lengthen hamstrings, calves, gluten and spine and strengthens your inner legs and knees. It stimulates blood flow and digestion and reduces fatigue.

Like the prayer hands variation, this pose is going to help you open up all the muscles in your shoulders, as well as creating openness and space in your chest. I love this pose because it also works to open up the biceps and forearms—muscles we tend to forget about when we are stretching.

12 tricks for Radiant Beauty…

Keeping your youthful looks is easy when you know how. From brain training and clever make-up application to eating mindfully and upping your collagen, these 12 quick tips will keep you on track baby.

1.Eat mindfully. Its’s not new that as we age, our metabolism slows down  – which is why you can pile on the pounds more easily. The simplest way to weight management is to stop eat mindlessly. How: Turn off the TV, computer and mobile phone and put away books or magazines – when eating, just eat and pay attention to what you are eating, how much and how. Don’t overeat. Hear when your body is full and learn how to differentiate between emotional eating and true hunger. This is a great lesson for your kids too.

2. Stay Sharp. Improve your memory , speed, reaction times and other cognitive abilities with 5 minutes of online gaming. The games are fun and engaging such as matching colors and shapes and moving things around the screen.

3.Find a good face cream. As we ALL know, a good moisturiser should hydrate, nourish and protect your skin from environmental damage. Organic, Natural or botanical-packed face creams can be just as high-performing as synthetic alternatives. Weleda and Avène are two of my favourite brands :)

4.Drink yourself Beautiful. Collagen occurs naturally in our bodies and helps keep skin looking plump and youthful. Liquid supplements containing collagen are said to help hydrate skin , keeping it looking healthier and can be a more efficient way of ingesting the ingredients as absorption relies less on the gut as nutrients are assimilated more quickly into the bloodstreem.

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5.Supplement your skin too. If you’re thinking of taking supplements, look out for these nutrients:

Vitamin B’s: these help metabolise proteins and fats and are essential for cell renewal and supple skin. Eat: Green leafy veggies and watercress

Vitamin C: an antioxidant used by your body for tissue repair and skin-firming collagen formation. Eat: Kale

Probiotics: a healthy gut equals healthy skin, so feed yours with these healthy bacterias. Eat: sourdough bread (contains lactobacillus that produces lactic acid = aids digestion), fermented foods like kefir yoghurt and sauerkraut

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Vitamin E: an essential antioxidant and protector for skin. Eat: Sunflower seeds, almonds and spinach

Omega 3: proven to help reduce the body’s production of inflammatory compounds and keep skin cells flexible. Eat: 2 servings of yummy salmon, halibut, sardines or anchovies a week.

Deep inside the gut is where real ageing begins

6. Try the make-up face lift. You can lift away the years with a fresher make-up look. Try the following:

To plump:layer your skin to give a plumped-up, cushiony look to skin.Tap a small amount of day oil onto your face, avoiding the T-zone and follow by softly massaging in a pea-sized amount a day cream. Massage as you go.

To Brighten: Bright eyes are a sign of youth, so why not give yourself an instant boost by lightening and correcting under the eyes. How? Mix your concealer or foundation with a dab of day cream to soften the formula and avoid caking around the eyes.

Pop: Dust blush onto the apples of your cheeks. How: To create a “younger” appearance, dust the same blusher you use on your cheeks to just under the eye brow in your socket of your eyelid.

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7. Get some light. Swap your subbed for a lighted. Light therapy facials are now a popular alternative to more invasive treatments. UV-free, LED light is claimed to repair and rejuvenate the skin and boost your mood.

8. Deepen your sleep. Sleep pushes premature ageing back. Overnight is when the body produces the most growth hormones, which aid cell and tissue repair. For long restful sleep, avoid consuming heavy rich foods at least two hours before bed, unwind with a relaxing bath and out a few drops of soothing essential oils on your pillow. If you have babies at home like myself, the trick is to go to bed if not at the same time, at least 45 minutes after put the kids in bed.I know that i will have at least 6 to 6.30hours on non-interrupted sleep (from 8pm to 2.30am – when Maya wakes up for her sleep feed). Then i sleep another 4 hours until Maya wakes up for the day…Some nights are better then others, but i try to stick to this routine as much as possible. 

9. Check your DNA. Matching your skincare to your genetics might sound too sci-fi but this is no futuristic fantasy. DNA profiling your skin is said to identify what predispositions are present in skin, such as whether it’s susceptible to faster or slower breakdown of collagen. Then, the appropriate skincare with the right ingredients mix and concentration is prescribed.

10. Do Yoga for your age. Traditional Yoga prescribes different practices to keep you at your best in different stages of life. In your twenties, for example, your body naturally demands a physical, dynamic and fast-flowing practice to loosen the body and help you burn off adrenal glands, which will simply get you fired up and may not complement an already demanding schedule. You still want a strong practice, but one that helps to balance and maintain your wellness. By choosing a slower practice and changing the focus from doing to being, you may feel some of yoga’s profound benefits as it starts to work on a parasympathetic level.

Tune in to your breath and how your body is breathing and you’ll start to feel more grounded, while awareness areas of the brain light up, heart rate goes down, brain activity gets quieter and emotions are more balanced.

Over time, this means less of the stress hormone cortisol, which can accelerate ageing, and you may even find challenges in daily life easier to manage.

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11. Halt hair ageing. Greys, dryness and lack of shine can all mean your hair is struggling with AGE. Please invest in a good shampoo like herb ones, Oils silicone-free to smooth end and add shine. These oils, will nourish hair, seal ends and de-frizz. Choose those with plant extracts and natural oils only.

12. Sculpt your face. If you buy one thing to enhance your graceful-ageing efforts, make it the Lift&Sculpt Butterfly Stone – you can order online. By using the contours of the rose quartz stone, you can massage and sculpt your jawline and cheek, drain away puffiness from under your eyes, lift eyebrows and help smooth away fine lines and wrinkles – WOW. It’s natural, simple and you can see the effects instantly. This product is LOVED by A Listers including Jennifer Aniston and Linda Evangelista. Its the most natural and easiest tool to use and was created by Georgia Louise. 

Please start today!

 

Raw Vegan Key Lime Tart with Oats Crust

key lime tart

Desserts | July 12, 2015 | By

Today i had the pleasure to indulge by far, the B.E.S.T. Raw, Gluten Free Dessert that ticks all the healthy boxes. A part from being Raw and Gluten Free it’s: Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free,  Eggs Free…it’s absolutely nourishing and tastes incredible. 

It’s so fresh, refreshing, colourful and with an amazing tangy flavour that gives you that extra punch. A true summer hit! Sienna and I were literally fighting got the last crumble.

I have tried to develop this recipe according to my taste and i have to admit that although it doesn’t taste the same as the one i had this afternoon (no one shares their secret ingredient), it’s pretty sexy and extremely tasty as well…

Have a look at my ensemble and let me know your thoughts.

Love,

Xx

Raw Vegan Key Lime Tart
Serves 1
A raw and tarty lime pie to refresh the palate. provide energy and nutrients and taste amazing.
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Crust
  1. 1/2 Cup raw buckwheat groats
  2. 1/4 Cup oats
  3. 1 Cup Medjool dates
  4. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 3 Tbs maple or agave syrup
Cashew Cream
  1. 2 cups raw cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours)
  2. 1/4 -1/2 cup lime juice + 1 teaspoon lime zest (depending on desired lime flavor intensity)
  3. 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup or other preferred liquid sweetener)
  4. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 1/4 cup water (adjust according to desired consistency)
Instructions
  1. Place the buckwheat in a food processor and process for 2-3 minutes until it becomes more like a flour, but not too fine.
  2. Add the oats and dates, pulse and then blend for 2-3 minutes until well mixed.
  3. Remove the mixture and using your fingers push down into a pie pan.
  4. Blend the filling ingredients together in a high-speed blender or food processor until silky smooth. Spread the filling over the crust and use a spatula or inverted knife to make the top very smooth.
  5. Chill the pie in the freezer for an hour, then transfer it to the fridge and let it set for another 3 hours, or overnight. Cut into slices and serve.
  6. Alternatively, you can make four tartlets in place of one pie.
  7. Cover and store the pie in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 10. If you freeze the pie, defrost the slices in the fridge for several hours before serving.
Notes
  1. The recipe is a bit tart, because that’s how I like my citrus, but feel free to add more sweetener to taste if you wish.
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pops

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Summer is ALL about being fun, colourful, tasty, skinny, sexy, tanned, light meals, and yummy desserts/ice creams!!!

Chia seeds are a great superfood booster, so why not add them to your yoghurt, smoothies, juices, cereals, muffins, salads… even popsicles!

I LOVE chia pudding and I love coconut milk, so i came across these yummy Guilt Free Summer indulgences.These are the perfect healthy treats and will satisfy all your sugary cravings, especially when its hot outside!These chia pops are super refreshing, delicious and the raw chocolate coating adds a bit of crunch. It’s amazing how easy it is to make popsicles which are great for the kids (and adults too!). I’m so in LOVE!!

You can change your fruits. From Strawberry to Raspberries, Bananas to Blueberries…you choose!!!

The results… fabulous! The texture, the flavour and the little bits of fruit in each bite. They are refreshing and delicious and virtually guilt free! Don’t be scared, give them a try!

Enjoy your homemade chia popsicles!! :)

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pops
Serves 4
Calo­ries: 74 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 6.8 g • Fiber: 4.6 g • Pro­tein: 1.8 g • Sugar: 0.6 g • Sodium: 27 mg
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  2. 1/2 cup unsweet­ened almond milk
  3. 3/4 cup raspberries
  4. 2 tbsp chia seeds
  5. 1 tbsp sweet­ened shred­ded coconut
Instructions
  1. Com­bine all ingre­di­ents in a large con­tainer. Mix well and close con­tainer; refrig­er­ate 4 hours so the chia expands. Pour into 4 pop­si­cle molds and freeze overnight.
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

Best Challenge Ever!!

It has been 4 months since we welcomed 2015 and for 4 months i have been dedicating 100% to my body, mind and soul. A promise i have made as soon as i welcomed the New Year, at 00 on that December 31st 2014.

I have promised to make this the healthiest year possible. Not that i haven’t been healthy in the previous years, but because i have been pregnant twice, i had certain limitations – food and exercise wise.

As soon as we welcomed January, I have been working out like mad!!!And felt soo good to finally concentrate in something that i really L.O.V.E. Working out! Sometimes solo, others with either Maya or Sienna … always with a stroller!You can find me jogging and do power walks in the streets and trails of Taipa at least 4 x a week. I have included my very own routines of Yoga and Fitness too.

A part from all this workout routine and breastfeeding Maya, i knew that something was missing, in order to increase my milk supply and the quality of my milk, increase my energy and feel lighter. I also wanted to recover faster from the pregnancy and c-section and be at my best for my family and loved ones. I have noticed – after a month of giving birth, that i was not digesting well/fast enough, and i always felt bloated at the end of the day, with a full stomach sensation..Something that i never had. I’ve been observing for 1.5 month. I knew i was eating well, but always wondered if  could be healthier…i knew i needed to be more consistent with certain things. I included Juices (of course) to my day and started feeling the difference right away – More Energy. It was no news…i know exactly the benefits of adding Juices to the Lifestyle…

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Since i am Breastfeeding Maya – non stop – i just can’t undergo a Juice Cleanse. I am dying to…(everybody has tried Sattva’s Cleanse Programs but me)…anyway, I knew i had to do a type of cleanse to renew, re-start, re-energize…

After my last post, I did research after research, read books, magazines and articles about Diet/Food…i start feeling that the key was to Cleanse my Body and Heal through Food!I thought why not give it a go?that could work for me…the more i learned the more i was sure that i needed to Spring Clean my Diet too. So, i decided to make a 20 Day Challenge to see the difference.

20 Days Challenge of Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet (Mostly Raw). (You can follow my Journey @marianahedegaard)

 

What is a Plan-Based diet?

It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil. A plant-based diet can be basically another way to say “vegan”, though many people do use the term to mean that you eat almost all plants with some animal products. I believe Veganism is the ultimate plant-based diet.

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There are many different types of plant-based diets. The three most common ones are:

Vegan: No animal products such as meat, eggs, or dairy products.
Lacto-vegetarian: No meat or eggs, but dairy products are OK.
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: No meat, but dairy products and eggs are OK. – Mine as i eat eggs 1 x a week

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People ask me why this Challenge? my answer is simple. To change, to improve and to learn.

What’s the benefits of this Challenge? As a Nutritionist and being in this industry for some years now, i can’t get tired of sharing/advising that a good nutrition and a balanced diet is key to everything. Along with that, our bodies need a break every now and then. With that in mind, i always advise and insist on the same thing:

Fast at least once a week. You choose: Juice Cleanse, Water Fast, Raw food cleanse – for a day. And you will see the results right away!!Once you make it an habit, your body will be forever grateful.(Before getting pregnant Wednesdays were my Cleanse Days. I used to drink water or herbal teas for the whole day).

From my personal experience, my favorite benefits of a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle is the increased clarity of mind and energy levels. I can feel it that I am consuming what my body wants and needs on a cellular level. I love feeling overall so clean and good.

The benefits are endless: illness prevention such as diabetes and heart diseases, more energy, better mood, more positive thoughts, happier, lighter, less bloated, better circulation, less water retention, better skin, stronger hair and nails, more motivation, better digestion and of course weight loss.acai3

How often do i eat: Breakfast (8am), Lunch (12.30), Afternoon snack (glass of Almond milk or a small bowl of probiotic yogurt and fruits), Dinner (19). Times may vary, but it’s always a 4x a day meal including the afternoon snack. It works for me, but doesn’t mean it works for you. Check your G.P or Nutritionist for advise first.

What i eat: a variety of things. This challenge pushed me to learn new recipes and their benefits!!Eating Raw and Plant-Based food only never been this easier and tastier. I am not talking about the humble lettuce and tomato salad. I am talking about Kale salads, Rice salads, vegetarian screws, grilled vegetables, couscous, quinoa… wowwww,So much choice!!!Basically i am eating the freshest and cleanest whole unprocessed foods and as as much Organic as possible, i am adding tones of superfoods and Raw nuts to the diet, eating nothing but the best and healthiest oils including Coconut Oil, good fats,eating gluten free and lactose free too. I have swapped Cow’s milk for Almond, Cashews and Rice milks, i have lactose free cheese, i drink litres of water, organic and herbal teas only including Mother’s Milk Tea, Cold pressed Juices and Smoothies and my MUST HAVE Decaf coffee. I am so motivated that i don’t even feel tempted/crave to fish. meat or seafood. I have my soups every now and then too. I have Chia Seeds pudding and Açaí bowls too…i even managed to learn how to make it. So easy, so fast, so yummy and soo healthy…Come on…

11111364_1579026989024588_1427219599_n10 days have passed.

Do i Regret? NO

Do i enjoy? Yes

Do i love it? Yes

Do i recommend? Hell yeah!!!!!!

No need 20 Days like i am doing…start with 1 day and take it from there.I also recommend to follow this diet after you finished your Juice Cleanse program. This is a great way to break the cleanse and to keep with a healthy routine/lifestyle.

For me personally, it’s not a challenge because my diet – before this challenge – was very plant-based already. What really helps is not focusing on what I was giving up, but on the good things I could eat! Actually it’s very simple — you just learn to eat a variety of plants. If you slowly change your eating patterns, it’s not hard at all. Be flexible and don’t be too strict — you’ll find that it’s much easier if you allow yourself an occasional meal with animal products, especially in the first 6-12 months.acai-berry-bowl

Control your quality of life by consuming a plant-based diet. Filling your plate with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains is the best means for disease prevention and even disease reversal. Equally important, a plant-based diet is the best means for feeling good inside and out, everyday. While it keeps your arteries clean and your cells happy, it also brightens your skin, eyes, and hair. Weight management is just an added bonus.

Eat your vegetables! A few consistent musts for your grocery list: broccoli, spinach, apples, and blueberries.

If I could make a single dietary recommendation to people looking to get healthier, it would be to move to a plant-based diet, No doubts about it.

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