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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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.

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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/

Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Apple Oatmeal Muffins
Serves 12
Vegan, gluten free apple muffins loaded with fruit. Super moist, flavourful and healthy! Perfect for on-the-go breakfast and snacking.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
32 min
Total Time
47 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
32 min
Total Time
47 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 flax eggs
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 1/3 cup mashed very ripe banana
  4. 2 sweet apples, finely grated
  5. 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  7. 1.5 tsp baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  9. 1/2 cup plain almond milk, unsweetened
  10. 2/3 cup gluten free rolled oats
  11. 1/2 cup almond meal
  12. 1 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten free flour blend
  13. 1/4 cup raw walnuts (chopped) for topping
Instructions
  1. Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  2. Prepare muffin tin with liners or lightly grease them.
  3. To flax eggs add mashed banana, olive oil and whisk to combine.
  4. Next add the apples, coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and whisk to combine.
  5. Add almond milk and stir.
  6. Add oats, almond meal, gluten free flour blend and stir.
  7. Divide evenly among 12 muffin tins, filling them all the way up to the top, and top with crushed walnuts (optional).
  8. Bake for 32-36 minutes, or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When you press on the top it shouldn’t feel too spongey, so don’t be afraid of over baking! The GF blend just takes longer to bake.
  9. Remove from oven and let set in the pan for 15 minutes. Then flip on their sides still in the pan to let cool completely.
  10. If you try to unwrap them too quickly, they have a tendency to stick to the wrappers.
  11. Once cooled, store in a covered container or bag at room temp to keep fresh. Freeze after that to keep fresh.
Notes
  1. If baking in a loaf pan or cake pan (8×8), bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour and check every 5 minutes thereafter for doneness.
Adapted from Mariana Hedegaard
Adapted from Mariana Hedegaard
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

Guilt Free Banana Pancakes

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These pancakes are vegan, gluten and sugar-free and it’s the best pancakes recipe I’ve ever tried, it’s so awesome and really easy to make. This is a healthy version of pancakes with less cholesterol and fat than other recipes. It tastes amazing, you’re gonna love it too.

Guilt Free Banana Pancakes
You’re gonna love these pancakes because they are soft, fluffy, sweet, healthy and your kitchen is gonna smell like heaven. They are addictive and you’ll always want more!!!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup rice flour
  2. 1 cup oat flour
  3. 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  4. ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1 cup almond milk
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  8. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  9. 2 bananas
Instructions
  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl
  2. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl
  3. Add sliced bananas and blend until smooth. You also can add smashed bananas, so you won't need to blend.
  4. Combine dry and wet ingredients with a blender or with a wood spoon.
  5. Place ¼ cup of batter in a hot pan lightly greased (i use coconut oil) and cook for about two minutes for each side.
Notes
  1. Serve with sliced banana and maple syrup if you prefer.
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

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.

[ File # csp6330604, License # 1770197 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / jomzor

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 Blueberry Cheesecake

This is probably the cutest dessert i have ever done and this is what i love about preparing/making raw desserts…I can’t imagine anything easier than preparing a raw dessert – as always, the simplest things are the most spectacular. You’ll only need good-quality, organic, raw ingredients, and a powerful food processor, and the rest is just about playing with shapes, tastes, and textures. Not only do raw desserts keep you away from refined sugar, but they enrich your diet with healthy oils, minerals, and vitamins.

Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake
Serves 12
7 ingredient vegan, gluten free cheesecakes that are creamy, slightly tart, perfectly sweet and 100% irresistible. Better than real cheesecake and the perfect healthy, simple dessert to feed a crowd.
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Ingredients
  1. CRUST
  2. 1 cup pitted dates
  3. 1 cup raw walnuts
  4. FILLING
  5. 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, quick soaked
  6. 1 large lemon, juiced (+-1/4 cup)
  7. 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  8. 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp organic full fat coconut milk
  9. 1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  10. FLAVOR ADD-INS - optional
  11. 1/4 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Instructions
  1. Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
  2. Next add nuts and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms - it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it's too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal. Optional: add a pinch of salt to taste.
  3. Lightly grease a standard, 12 slot muffin tin. To make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut strips of parchment paper and lay them in the slots. This creates little tabs that makes removing them easier to pop out once frozen.
  4. Next scoop in heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of crust and press with fingers. To pack it down, use a small glass or the back of a spoon to compact it and really press it down. I found the bottom of a glass works well. If it sticks, separate the crust and the glass with a small piece of parchment. Set in freezer to firm up.
  5. Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. For the coconut milk, I like to scoop the "cream" off the top because it provides a richer texture. But if yours is already all mixed together, just add it in as is.
  6. You don't need a Vitamix for this recipe, just a quality blender. I mixed mine for 1 minute, then "liquified" or "pureed" it until silky smooth. If it won't come together, add a touch more lemon juice or agave or a splash more coconut milk liquid as the liquid should help it blend better.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If adding peanut butter, add to the blender and mix until thoroughly combined. If flavoring with blueberry or caramel, wait and swirl on top of plain cheesecakes (optional).
  8. Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard - about 4-6 hours.
  9. Once set, remove by tugging on the tabs or loosening them with a butter knife. They should pop right out. Our favorite way to devour these was with a little more caramel and a touch of coconut whipped cream. But they're perfect as is! Keep in the freezer for up to 1-2 weeks.
  10. Optional: you can set them out for 10 minutes before serving to soften, but I liked them frozen as well.
Notes
  1. *If your dates are not sticky and moist, you can soak them in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain. But be sure to drain thoroughly and pat dry to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
  2. *To quick soak cashews, pour boiling hot water over the cashews, soak for 1 hour uncovered, then drain and use as instructed.
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

Thursday Quickies

Eating for Energy

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Without getting into the intricacies of nutrition, it’s really important to understand food on the most basic level.

Why do we eat? Outside of cravings, temptations, social customs, boredom etc…Why on earth do we actually consume food?

It ALL comes down to energy people. The hunger “hit” we feel is simply the body’s request for fuel, so that it can produce energy. We are instinctively attracted to calorie-dense foods to most efficiently propel our activities – including mental activities! Even the very definition of a calorie is nothing more than a unit of energy.

So the fact that our modern food choices often make us sleepy, mentally unfocused, fat or even sick, is a huge red flag: there’s something seriously wrwong with what we’re eating.

On the flip side, good food rejuvenates us. Good food supports our activities, keeps us healthy, strong and keeps us at our prime. And with this mind-set – preparing food with sight, smell, taste and energy all taken simultaneously into consideration – that you need to have a pantry filled with the freshest veggies, fruits, seeds and other plant-based foods.

How to choose Dried Fruits wisely?

04_TA_Dried Fruit

How many of us make the mistake of eating a handful of Dried Fruits whenever?Just because it’s fruit, doesn’t necessarly mean is healthy and that you should eat large amounts here and there…

But don’t take me wrong. Having a wide variety of dried fruits on hand is a great way to satisfy sweet cravings while making your snacks continually interesting and exciting.

When you are buying dried fruits, however, is very important to read the ingredients in the package – in fact, not only in dried fruits package – dried fruit should consist of only one ingredient: FRUIT. But, unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Here’s a few tips for choosing the best dried fruits for you.

Watch for added sugars:

Dried fruit is sometimes sweetened even further with extra sugar – buhuuu – exactly the type of thing we are trying to avoid. Make sure you purchase the non-sweetned choices.

Choose fruit sweeteners:

In a couple of cases of naturally tart fruits like cranberries you have to add something to make the dried fruits edible. So what do we do in these cases? Some manufacturers spare us the cane sugar and use apple or grape juice onstead to sweeten. This is a great “natural” way to heighten the flavour to the fruit without adding more sugar than you need.Look for these at the store as well.

Check the preservatives:

Not all preservatives are bad! Ascorboric acid, for instance, is simply vitamin C and extends the shelf life of the fruit.

Unfortunately, dried fruit is often pumped full of some other not-so-nice preservatives – like sulphur dioxide – to make the package items softer.

Sulphur dioxide is not easily digested, compromises the immune system and is often the culprit behind allergies.

Every time I pick up a product at the store and see sulphur dioxide on the package, it immediately goes back to the shelf…and you should to the same!

Xx

30-Day Slim Down Challenge

Just in time for your get-healthy, be-stronger, love-your-body resolutions, our Shape Slim Down Challenge has everything you need. Join us for this exclusive 30-day diet and workout challenge that will give you lasting results.

We want you to feel better than ever this year, and this Slim Down workout-and-eating plan can help you get there. You’ll repeat each exercise weekly, adding reps as you go along. Combine these mega moves with our healthy eating tips that challenge you to make small changes throughout the month, and you’ll be svelte and slim right on schedule for Valentine’s Day!!!

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Plyo Push-Up
Start on the floor in a palm plank. Push into palms to explode body off floor (feet stay planted), clapping hands if possible. Land in start position with elbows soft. Repeat.

Pylo_Push_Up_Short

High-Knees Sprint
Run in place, pulling your knees toward your chest and vigorously pumping bent arms.

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Speed Skater Lunge
Standing, jump right foot to right, bending left leg and crossing it behind right to land in a deep lunge with right leg bent 90 degrees and on ball of left foot, leg slightly bent (keep butt as low as possible). Reach left arm across body to touch floor in front of right toes (to make it easier, touch right shin or just reach right). Switch sides; repeat. Continue quickly alternating sides.

Skater_Lunge

Jump-Switch Lunge
Standing, lunge forward with left foot, bending knees 90 degrees. Jump as high as you can, swinging arms overhead and switching legs in air. Land with arms by sides and right foot forward, immediately bending knees. Continue quickly alternating sides.

Switch_Lunge_Newest

Pilates Teaser
Lie faceup on floor with knees bent over hips and arms extended up with palms facing each other to start. Roll upper body up and extend legs until you’re sitting, body forming a V shape with arms parallel to legs. Pause, then slowly roll upper body back down, one vertebra at a time, keeping legs in the air. When your shoulders reach the mat, return to start position. Repeat. Continue slowly.

Teaser

Squat Jack
Standing, drop into a squat, bringing fists in front of chest with elbows bent at sides. Jump feet wide, straightening legs and swinging arms out to sides and up to meet overhead. Continue quickly.

Squat_Jack_New

Burpee
From standing, crouch and plant palms on floor. Jump feet back to plank (keep abs tight), then lower chest and thighs to floor. Press up to plank, then jump feet toward hands. Lastly, jump as high as you can (make sure feet are under shoulders before you launch), clapping hands overhead. Continue quickly.

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Slim Down Your Diet

You can’t have one without the other—to see serious success this month, complete the fitness challenges simultaneously with these tips to get your diet it tip-top shape.

Day 1: Lose the Blame
Losing weight isn’t about blame or shame. So cast those feelings aside right away. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself—that only makes it harder.

Day 2: Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Goal setting is crucial to any achievement, but when it comes to weight loss you want to focus on making large goals (and mini ones within that) specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-based.

Day 3: Ditch Added Sugar
Sugar is lurking in unsuspecting places—think juices and dressings, and many people are already consuming way too much. All that extra sweetness adds up to an increased risk for heart disease—say goodbye!

Day 4: Avoid Refined Carbs
Nutritionists suggest being a little stricter with your diet in the beginning, but the truth is, refined carbs are diet disasters you’ll be happy you ditched. These quick-digesting carbs offer none of the fiber and nutrients you’d get from their unrefined cousins, and can cause blood sugar spikes and belly bloat.

Day 5: Put Down the Drink
Don’t freak out! You can slowly incorporate a glass of wine back into your diet here and there, but if you’re serious about results, it’s important to cut out alcohol completely for now—it can wreck your fitness goals.

Day 6: Plan One Indulgence
By planning ahead for your treat or snack of choice each week, you’ll be less likely to overindulge or binge.

Day 7: Allow Spontaneous Indulgence
Cravings happen, and while you shouldn’t give in to every one, you can cut yourself some slack to give in to temptation once a week (within reason of course).

Day 8: Keep Grains in Check
It can be tempting to fill up on whole grains because hey, they’re good for you, but there is something called too much of a good thing. Calories are calories no matter how you serve them. Limit whole-grains to three servings a day.

Day 9: Eat Only When Hungry
Sounds pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often you mindlessly munch just because you’re bored, stressed, or for no reason at all. Ask yourself if you’re actually hungry next time you reach for the bag of pretzels.

Day 10: Go for a Walk
Speaking of eating out of sheer boredom—any well-intentioned diet’s worst enemy—when you start to feel antsy and temptation sets in, head outside and take a walk around the neighborhood instead.

Day 11: Never Skip Breakfast
Start your morning with a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast. Eating a substantial meal (or at least a balanced one) will set you up for more control and limit overindulging throughout the day.

Day 12: Say No to Junk Food
Even the strongest of willpowers are no match for the greasy junk food black hole. Studies show that junk food has an addictive quality that leaves you constantly wanting more…and more.

Day 13: NOP to Processed Foods
Processed food, which is often high in saturated fat and refined starch or sugar can cause inflammation that disrupts hormones responsible for telling your brain you’re full. A.k.a., you’ll eat a lot more.

Day 14: Shop for Whole Foods
You’re wiping your diet slate clean of junk and processed foods, so fill the void with clean whole foods. Think veggies, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fats. Spend most of your time around the periphery of the grocery store where fresh produce and dairy is shelved.

Day 15: Meal Prep
Whether it’s knowing what’s on the menu from breakfast through dinner or actual prep work like cutting, chopping, and packing meals—planning ahead is your secret to success. You’ll be much less likely to make a pit stop at the vending machine or grab a burrito for lunch.

Day 16: Reorganize Your Pantry/Fridge
Don’t “store” food on the counter—put cereal boxes away and keep bread out of immediate sight. Experts say you’ll eat what you see. On the other hand, healthy snacks and fresh fruits should be kept at eye level or in plain view so they’re convenient to grab.

Day 17: Keep a Food Journal
Jotting down exactly what you eat each day has long-been known to have eye-opening effects on food decisions. It’s a great way to identify nutritional holes in your diet, as well as noticing a late-night snack session that’s setting you back from reaching your goal.

Day 18: Ramp Up Protein Intake
If you’re feeling sluggish or aren’t seeing the results you’d hoped for, take a look back at your food journal. You may be falling short in the protein department. Incorporate more lean meats like turkey and chicken as well as tofu, legumes, and leafy greens.

Day 19: Put Veggies or Fruit on Every Plate
Lacking in the produce department? Make room for veggies at every single meal—in scrambled eggs, on a sandwich, as a side dish or main course. Research says the more fruits or veggies make an appearance on your plate, the fewer calories you’ll consume overall.

Day 20: Know Your Healthy Fats
It wouldn’t be called a well-balanced diet without some healthy fats, but the key word here is healthy. Fats from olive oil, avocados, and nuts will fill you up and give you the biggest bang for your nutritional buck.

Day 21: Keep Portions in Check
You know just the right size for a grilled chicken breast, but what about less obvious items? Extra calories from salad dressings, for example, can quickly add up, so instead of thoughtlessly pouring dressing on a bed of greens, portion 1-2 tbsp. in a small bowl first.

Day 22: Track Total Calories
While it’s important to know that everyone’s required calories for weight maintenance and weight loss are different, one thing that’s true across the board if you want to drop pounds: calorie expenditure should exceed calorie intake. Around 1,500 calories a day is an average sweet spot for weight loss.

Day 23: Eat at the Table
Experts say you can easily underestimate daily calories due to forgotten snacks or meals you ate while standing. So even if you don’t have long, take a seat at the table and have a real meal—we promise you’ll enjoy your food so much more.

Day 24: Eliminate Distractions
According to research, eating when you’re distracted results in consuming a significant number of extra calories a day. Turn off the TV and leave the smartphones on silent in the other room.

Day 25: Slow Down
Research found that women who ate lunch more attentively consumed 30 percent less when they snacked later. Tricks to keep in mind: Smell your food. Chew it slowly. Don’t put another bite on your fork until you swallow.

Day 26: Downsize Your Dinnerware
Swap serving spoons for the regular size, and research says you’ll dish out about 15 percent less. Trimming the size of your plate also helps keep portions in check—plus the same amount of food looks larger on a smaller plate.

Day 27: Bust Out the Scale
The scale doesn’t have to be scary. Weighing in every day has been shown to help people lose more weight, and keep it off long term. Aim to step on the scale at the same time each day for the most accurate results.

Day 28: Reduce Sodium
Frustrated because you still seem squished in your skinny jeans? Salt could be to blame. Sodium is bloat’s BFF, and can cause the scale to fluctuate unfairly due to water retention. Cut back, and be aware of the less obvious salt-traps like cereal and salad dressings.

Day 29: Sleep 7+ Hours
Logging less than the recommended seven hours of ZZZs can not only make you irritable and groggy, but lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your weight loss goals. Hormones that control hunger skyrocket, and those that tell the brain your full are suppressed. Double whammy!

Day 30: Cut 100 Calories
In the beginning, you felt lighter and the scale agreed, but now you’re standing stagnant—what gives? Battle the dreaded plateau by cutting an extra 100 calories or so a day—now that you’ve lost some weight, your body simply doesn’t need as much fuel.

Cheers to a Healthier, Fitter and Brand New you!!!There is absolutely no excuse..

Xx

Happy and Healthy 2016!

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We ar 8 days into the New Year Guys! 1 week + 1 day into 2016!!!!

How do you feel?How’s your energy?How’s your motivation?How’s your new Year plans and projects?

I hope you feel as excited and as happy as I am…I can’t simply wait to see what 2016 has in store for me (i know it will be BUSY), my loved ones and for you!!I’m so happy to be posting New year wishes and resolutions  here in Lifestyle in Shavasana for 3 years now?!?Wow!!What a great Motivation!!!Thanks Guys!!

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes and each January, roughly one in three of us (including myself) resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later.

It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you’ve swept up the confetti, but it’s not impossible. 

I thought I’d start the new year with a blog post about the whole new year, new you thing because it’s a great time to adopt a new routine because a new year is, after all, considered a fresh start by many people – it took me 8 days to post it, even though it was written for 4 days already.

This post is to help you prepare for the year ahead so you can start the year working towards your health and fitness goals since these are the top 5 New Years Resolutions – every year – with a plan that’s sustainable – so you will be more likely to get past the end of January and still keep up the great exercise and healthy eating lifestyle.

It’s easy to think of new year, new you meaning that you need to jump in at the deep end and start hitting the gym five times a week while removing all refined sugars and processed foods from your diet forever. The usual thought is that you have to completely change your lifestyle and while it would be amazing if you could do that and stick with it, for many it’s just changing way too much in one go.

It’s likely you’ll find it easier to adjust to if you make small gradual changes instead; the reason most of us run screaming back to our old habits after a few weeks (or days) is because we tried to change too much at once.

The more you change the more you’re going to miss.

Make small changes gradually instead.

Try making small changes one step at a time – start by going to the gym (or doing whatever exercise you plan) two or three times a week, aiming to gradually increase it over time to about 30 minutes five times a week. Oh, and I can’t stress this enough…find an exercise that you enjoy doing. It doesn’t have to be running or the gym, it could be anything that keeps you active. You’ll be far more likely to stick with it if you enjoy the workout, so try a few different things and see what you like. Mix it up.

If you want to improve your healthy eating then aim to eat generally clean food. If you’re able to clean up your diet completely straight away then that’s amazing! If, however, this is the part you struggle with, take it one step at a time and aim to gradually eat less processed foods and sugary treats, choosing to eat clean instead.

It may not seem like much of an improvement (for example, when you first start) but if your diet consisted of mostly processed foods and sugary treats then it’s actually a huge improvement to even get used to 65/35 to begin with…this means eating clean food 65% of the time and treats 35%.

Take your time and allow yourself to feel comfortable before eventually working your way up to 80/20, (or 90/10 if you want) so you’re eventually eating mostly clean food (I eat 80% clean and 20% treats).

Adopting a generally healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean that you’re on a diet; it doesn’t mean that you need to strictly eat only pre-approved foods and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ve failed if you eat something that contains sugar.

The best way to approach the ‘new you’ isn’t to find the latest fad diet and attempt to survive solely on soup or smoothies, it’s to aim to make generally healthier choices. The hardest part of this process is learning to rid yourself of that horrible guilt when you eat a chocolate bar, but once you change your way of thinking and accept there is no wagon; it’s just a generally healthier lifestyle, you’ll wish you’d made that change years ago.

Make being healthy your main goal and, trust me, you’ll soon notice improvements.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask for my advice.

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Xx