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  2. Thank you for the article, it is of great use. We hired a company named Saba Movers for my relocation process. They were very useful and all the items were packed nicely and secure. Items reached home safe and sound without any damage. Happy customer.
  3. This is a new post from Expat Child by Carole Hallett Mobbs Expat Child - Moving overseas with children. Relocation advice. Global health insurance considerations for expat families Packing up and moving abroad is no small decision. The stress of moving ... Read More The post Expat family health insurance appeared first on Expat Child. View the full article
  4. This is a new post from Expat Child by Carole Hallett Mobbs Expat Child - Moving overseas with children. Relocation advice. Have you been offered an opportunity to move overseas? Are you considering accepting a job offer abroad? Need help to decide ... Read More The post Is moving abroad is the right decision for you? appeared first on Expat Child. View the full article
  5. This is a new post from Expat Child by Carole Hallett Mobbs Expat Child - Moving overseas with children. Relocation advice. Helping your expat child’s education when you move overseas If you’re planning a move overseas with a family, one of ... Read More The post Moving abroad with kids: What about school? appeared first on Expat Child. View the full article
  6. See what we got up to and would recommend if you ever find yourself in Basel, Switzerland. View the full article
  7. 30 Beginner-Friendly Vegan Green Smoothies For Weight Loss Want to know how to have more energy, make your skin glow and get shiny bouncy hair? Err yes! via GIPHY Now I know you would have heard so many good things about green smoothies, I mean its a hot trend! But did you know that green smoothies are very alkalizing compared to regular smoothies? Heres what I mean.. The more alkaline your body, the better the cleansing & the better it is for your digestion and overall health. More alkalinity means = clearer skin, better health and increased energy! Whats not to love? I first got into green smoothies when I was trying to heal my body, balance my hormones and clear my terrible cystic acne. At the time I was bloated, had extremely brittle hair and awful digestion. (Ill spare you the details ) Although I love eating other things for breakfast, green smoothies have stayed a part of my diet over the past few years and I really notice the effect when Im drinking them on a more regular basis. Do green smoothies help you lose weight? Yes definitely! Replacing your breakfast with a nutritious green smoothie a few days a week can do wonders for your waist and your health. But it will only work in conjunction with a healthy diet that’s high in micronutrients and a healthy lifestyle Drinking a green smoothie for breakfast and eating a burger for lunch won’t give you the results your after Are smoothies a good way to lose weight? Absolutely but it’s important to have the right type of green smoothies Although green smoothies are healthy, many green smoothies, especially those found at cafes, can be very high in fat (milk/yoghurt based) which is very acid forming, difficult to digest and very fattening. They often contain too much fruit and fruit juice too. This make s them more palatable but defeats the point of getting a smoothie rich in greens. Can smoothies help lose belly fat? Drinking green smoothies high in veggies and lower in fruits are a great way to lose belly fat and de-bloat. Smoothies in general are great for belly fat and weight loss as the blender(LINK) pre-grinds the fruit and veggies down before you have it. This means that your digestive system is working LESS to process and digest. Digesting food takes A LOT of energy. With less time digesting, the body can get on to fat burning and doing a whole lot of other things What smoothies are best for weight loss? Smoothies that contain lots of vegetables, particularly green leafy’s are the best for weight loss They add tons of fiber which makes you feel fuller without the calories. Smoothies that are very high in fruit, particularly fruit juice can destabilize blood sugar levels making you feel hungry more quickly and can lead to increased belly fat. To get the full benefits of a green smoothie, make sure you add some type of plant fat. This can be avocado, seeds or nuts. Not only will it taste better but it will be more filling and the fat will help the nutrients get absorbed better. Want to try a 7 day smoothie wight loss diet plan? Ive got a great 7 day vegan detox coming your way very soon! To get the detox meal plan (plus tons of other free goodies), enter your email address below and sign up for my free vegan resource library here. So if your after detox smoothies that help to shed belly weight your in luck! How do you make green smoothies? I cant stress how important it is to invest in a good blender! With the right blender you will get a super smooth and silky finish to your smoothies- not a horrible lumpy one I use a vitamix and its the best blender Ive ever used and it lasts a lifetime. (You can read my honest opinion and full review here) All these green smoothies are nutrient packed, help flatten your tummy, contain healthy fruit and vegetables and are super simple to make! Here are 30 Beginner Friendly Vegan weight loss smoothies for weight loss #1 Cleansing Apple Avocado Smoothie by Well Plated by Erin #2 Fat Burning Green Smoothie by North South Blonde #3 Kale Pineapple Healthy Breakfast Smoothie by Well Plated by Erin #4 The Yummiest Green Smoothie Ever by Plain Jane Lifestyle #5 Classic Vanilla Green Smoothie by Spices n Flavors #6 Easy Morning Green Smoothie by Real and Vibrant #7 Matcha Smoothie by Yummy Yummy Kitchen #8 Wake Me Up Green Smoothie Recipe by Happy Healthy Mama #9 Five-Ingredient Go-to Green Smoothie by The Real Food Dietitians #10 Classic Green Monster by Oh She Glows #11 A Nice Green Smoothie With Mint + Turmeric by Vivid Life #12 Green Apple Smoothie {vegan, paleo and gluten-free} by Healthy Seasonal Recipes #13 Coconut Vanilla Matcha Smoothie by The Graden Grazer #14 Ginger Banana Green Smoothie by Fooduzzi #15 Green Spinach And Mint Smoothies by Little Kitchen Big World #16 Favorite Green Smoothie by Choosing Chia #17 Glowing Green Spirulina Smoothie by Unsweetened Caroline #18 Orange Avocado Smoothie by Making Thyme For Health #19 Pineapple, Spinach & Mint Smoothie by Harriet Emily #20 Popeye’s Spinach And Spirulina Smoothie by Will Cook For Friends #21 Super Green Spiriluna Smoothie (5 Ingredients!) by Minimalist Baker #22 Refreshing Green Kiwi Smoothie by Vegan Sandra #23 Pink Grapefruit Green Smoothie by Get Inspired Everyday #24 Creamy Cashew, Banana + Spiriluna Smoothie by This Rawsome Vegan Life #25 Get Your Greens In’ Smoothie by Waitrose #26 Green Vanilla Vega Protein Smoothie by The Blender Girl #27 My Favorite Green Smoothie by Minimalist Baker #28 Avocado Kale Smoothie by The Little Epicurean #29 Almond Matcha Superfood Smoothie by Against All Grain #30 Healthy Key Lime Pie Smoothie by Bless This Mess WOW what a great selection of green smoothies, don’t ya think? Let me know which one you’re going to try next. And let me know if you have a favorite green smoothie, I love easy healthy smoothies, especially when they’re packed with tons of greens! The post 30 BEGINNER FRIENDLY VEGAN GREEN SMOOTHIES FOR WEIGHT LOSS appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  8. 14 Easy ways to end exhaustion & have more energy as a new mom When I became a mum for the first time, I was stressed, overwhelmed & exhausted. My life was tuned upside down by this baby I loved more than life itself. But all I could think about was, How do I stop being so tired? Slowly I began to incorporate these tips and over time started to feel more like ME again. Being tired is the number one issue I feel new mums deal with. By using the practical suggestions below, you’ll have your energy back in no time! So, How Do You Get Energy When Your Tired? Heres 15 tips on how to get more energy when your tired as a new mom: #1 Hydrate Hydration is the first step, and the easiest one to do, in boosting energy levels. Even being patricianly dehydrated can affect your mood, ability to focus & of course, your energy levels. Drinking water only when thirsty? Your already mildly dehydrated. Dehydration has been linked to Headaches & migraines Constipation Premature ageing Inability to lose weight Joint Pain Dandruff Poor memory & concentration Suggestions: Always keep a bottle of water with you and refill it throughout the day. #2 Sleep WHENEVER you can I knew this is easier said than done but catching up on any lost sleep is essential. When your baby sleeps trying to forget about jobs and other tasks and get some shut eye Suggestions: 1)Feel too busy to sleep? Allow yourself a grace period for the first few weeks of your new arrival to sleep whenever you can & to leave any jobs or non essential tasks. Even if life picks you up after this time, at least you’ve had a period of rest. 2)Keep curtains closed in one bedroom so you can quickly get some shut eye while your baby naps.. A dark room greatly helps with sleep quality. #3 Stock Up On Healthy Meals In the beginning, it will be hard to find the time to eat. but grabbing things on the go without any preparation can make you choose unhealthy options These unhealthy options can make you feel lethargic & drained of energy What Is The Best Food For New Moms? Suggestions: You might not be able to eat 3 proper, uninterrupted meals per day, so learning a few food prep tricks & quick meal ideas that don’t require much thought or time can be extremely helpful #4 Take the Right Supplements During the first few weeks/months of your babies life, it will be difficult to ensure you are eating a healthy diet that is nourishing to yourself & your baby , if you are planning to breastfeed. Although supplements are not a swap for a high nutrient diet, they can be a great protector to ensure you are still hitting your daily requirements when you fall short on time. Being low or deficient in the following vitamins & minerals can leave you lethargic, anxious & prone to sickness. Energy Supplements For New Moms: Suggestions: Good quality multivitamin to cover your bases High strain probiotic DHA, I always recommend a plant based DHA source as its come from the original source & doesn’t contain unhealthy pollutants from fish Vitamin D, if you live in a place where you get little sun exposure, taking vitamin d can really give your energy levels a boost. #5 Ask for Help The one thing we constantly get reminded of as new parents but rarely take up! When a friend, coworker, family member or spouse asks if you need them to do anything, please take them up on the offer. Im sure you would mean it if you said the same thing to someone. Other moms know how tiring it can be with a newborn and will happily assist. Suggestions: Get friends & family to cook you meals Use a healthy delivery service Hire a cleaner few hours per week Request babysitting, if you have other children at home #6 Get Social Have people visit and keep you company even when tired. We usually have more energy when were surrounded by people who uplift us. Suggestions: 1) Give yourself a period of time after your baby arrives before letting people come to visit. This will allow you to settle in to your new life, both yourself & your baby. 2)Let people know when your ready to see them so they can come by to see you and your new baby. You can ask them to bring something (bread, milk, a cooked meal :)) with them too! #7 End Productivity Don’t worry about doing All.The.Things, at least in the beginning. Theres 2 things you should focus on as a new mom. 1) keeping yourself alive 2) keeping your baby alive. As long as thats happened then its been a productive day! Suggestions: AT the end of each day, if your stressing about a clean home ask yourself 1)Am I alive? 2)Is my baby alive? If you answered yes to both of these, you’ve done a brilliant job mama! #8 Get Your Body Moving Although exercises probably th e least thing you even want to think about, put lots think you feel like doing moving your body really will increase energy levels you don’t Need to do anything strenuous either, a few light stretches a quick brisk walk will instantly make you feel better. Studies show that being in fresh air instantly boosts energy levels too. Suggestions: Combine a quick brisk walk daily when you feel an energy slump hit. Listen to a motivating podcast or audiobook. Or better still, go with a friend to get some social interaction. #9 Breathe Deeply For Five Minutes Although five minutes might seem like a lifetime when you have a newborn, trying to consciously take five minutes out of your day to breathe properly can maximise energy. When we we breathe through our chest instead of our belly we the in less oxygen. The more oxygen moving in and out of your body, the more energy you will have. Suggestions: When feeling low on energy, stressed out or have a general feeling of overwhelm, place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Breathe in deeply for amount of four and feel your hand on your belly expand. Hold for a count of 4 & exhale for a count of 4 letting your belly slowly soften. #10 Include More Self Care In To Your Daily Routine As a new mum, self care can pretty much go on the last of your to do list. You are so wrapped up with your little bundle that there badly seems a moment where you can focus on YOU. Energy Boosters For New Moms: Suggestions: Each of the following take less than than 5 minutes, pick one to do daily. Take a few minutes each day to do one of the following: Enjoy a cup of energising tea Use essential oils on your wrists, solar plexus and pulse points. These one are very uplifting & help with focus Apply coconut oil to your body Play upbeat music Read a few pages of a book or listen to an audiobook Do a few easy stretches Breathe or meditate #11 Have a Five Minute Break Meditation can be a powerful energy booster. But the thought of adding another thing to you day may leave you feeling more overwhelmed. Instead aim to take 5 minutes, either before your baby wakes, or before you go asleep to reconnect Suggestions: listen to a calming guided meditation where you can switch off and listen to someone else, without being left with your own thoughts Jot down 5 things you feel grateful for that day. Even if it feels like the worst day, there will still be things were good. #12 Be Careful With Caffeine Coffee is usually the go to drink as caffeine can make you feel more alert & energised. However, caffeine has a half life of approximately 6 hours which means it can be in your system for a 24 hour period. If you drink a cup of coffee midday, you will still have 50% caffeine in your body close to bedtime. Not only does caffeine make it difficult of run to fall asleep but it greatly affects the quality of our sleep too. Not what we need before taking the day with a new born Suggestions: 1) Limit to 1 cup per day, preferably before noon. 2) Try these non caffeine, energising alternatives instead #13 Eat A Diet High In Micronutrients Most diets are focused on macronutrients (Eg Fat, Protein & Carbohydrates) But rarely focus on micronutrients (all the vitamins, minerals & fiber. When we eat a diet based on macronutrients – low fat, low carb, high protein, high fat etc etc. We cannot guarantee we are recieving the highest nutrition available. Instead opt for a diet that is high in nutrient density. When we focus on adding nutrient dense foods, (think vegetables, fruits, beans, seeds, nuts), we supply the body with a high dose of vitamins, minerals & antioxidants. These foods powerfully boost energy, keep blood sugar stable, assist recovery & aid in longevity. Suggestions: Aim to eat a whole food plant based diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds & nuts #14 Know That Everything Is A Phase The famous saying, this too shall pass is very appropriate! Having a newborn is one of the most challenging & rewarding times of your life. One of the greatest things I was ever told when I became a new mum was that, Everything Is A Phase. If your already a mum, you will know this! But as a new mum, overwhelmed by the change in your life you can feel at times as though you will be stuck in this difficult period forever! Suggestion: Whenever you feel down, discouraged or exhausted remember Everything is a phase Id love to hear from you mama, what’s your best tips for getting more energy? Lets help all the mums out there by leaving suggestions in the comments below The post 14 EASY WAYS TO END EXHAUSTION AND HAVE MORE ENERGY AS A NEW MOM appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  9. If there’s one thing I have learned from living in so many different countries over the past decade is that community can make all the difference. If you’ve got the right people in your life you can live and be… The post Wine, Women & Well-Being appeared first on Canadian Expat Mom. View the full article
  10. This is a new post from Expat Child by Carole Hallett Mobbs Expat Child - Moving overseas with children. Relocation advice. Crown Relocations is one of the leading relocation’s companies globally, helping individuals and families move for over fifty years. Based ... Read More The post Moving internationally with Crown Relocations appeared first on Expat Child. View the full article
  11. 10 Free Yoga Flows For Digestion & Belly Fat Do you suffer from a noisy gassy tummy? Do you wish you could ease constipation without taking strange colored medicine or eating bags of dried prunes? There is an easier way, ladies. Yoga, I believe, should be a part of everyone’s life and health plan. Yoga offers SO MANY BENEFITS. Improving digestion and getting a flatter belly are just a few reasons to start! Yoga has helped me in my own healing journey, from back pain, anxiety to yep you guessed it bloating. via GIPHY What yoga poses are good for digestion? There are several yoga poses that are good for digestion and detoxification Many of which include twisting and poses where there is pressure on the digestive tract. Some examples are: Cat/Cow Triangle Pose Bridge Pose Downward facing dog Wind relieving posture Seated forward fold Supine twist Savasana How do you get rid of bloating from yoga? You can combat bloating through yoga by practicing regularly, incorporating lots of twisting poses and practicing deep breathing techniques. However, no amount of yoga – or any other exercise can outweigh the results from eating a healthy diet that is high in fiber and nutrients. Does yoga help with bloating? Certain yoga poses apply pressure on the digestive tract which stimulates digestion, relieves gas and eases constipation. Does Pranayama help with digestion? Pranayama, defined by yogapedia as: Pranayama is the conscious awareness of breath. It’s the life force that both energizes and relaxes the body. The term is derived from the Sanskrit, prana, meaning “life force,” and ayama, meaning “extension.” Pranayama (breathing practices) can be a great way to ease digestive discomfort. When we deeply breathe through our belly, we are able to access the parasympathetic nervous system. This puts the body in the “rest & digest” mode allowing more blood flow to the digestive tract which helps to stimulate digestion. Yoga poses for digestion after eating It’s important to know that yoga should ideally be practiced on an empty stomach but that is not suitable for a lot of people (myself included) so don’t practice yoga directly after a meal. Instead, wait a few hours before you roll out your mat. Yin yoga for digestion Yin Yoga involves low passive poses held for a long duration. This type of yoga is great for deeply stretching the muscles and connective tissues and for relaxation and stress. Scroll down to find the video on yin yoga for digestion. Yoga for bloating and digestion Here are 10 of the best yoga flows for digestion, detoxification and debloating. #1 Yoga For Digestion | Yoga for When You Overeat! | Yoga With Adriene #2 Yoga for Bloating, Digestion, Ulcerative Colitis, IBD & IBS #3 Yoga for Digestion & Detox – 20 Minute Beginners to Intermediate Yoga Workout Erica Vetra #4 Perfect Full Body Yoga Detox & Digestion Flow #5 Yin Yoga for Digestion 30 min Class – Reduce Bloating & Cramps #6 12 Minute Yoga for Digestion #7 Yoga for Holiday Meal Digestion | The Yoga Solution With Tara Stiles #8 Yoga for Constipation Relief, Cramps, and Fatigue | 20 Min Yoga Sequence #9 1 Hour Detox Yoga Flow Vinyasa (For Digestion) | Fightmaster Yoga Videos #10 YOGANUARY #30 | Yoga Flow for Digestion, Detox, Bloating | CAT MEFFAN There you have it, 10 amazing yoga videos to help you debloat and improve your digestion. And if you’re interested in yoga for weight loss, check out this post Over to you, Mama. What video are you going to try? Do you find yoga helps you in your digestion? The post 10 FREE YOGA FLOWS FOR DIGESTION & BELLY FAT appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  12. 25 VEGAN SOUP RECIPES FOR WEIGHT LOSS THAT YOU CAN MAKE IN THE VITAMIX Do you want delicious healthy soups that require minimal time to prepare? One of my favorite things to eat is homemade soup. I absolutely love it. But as much as I’d love to eat it way more than I usually do, it’s because I often struggle to find HEALTHY soup recipes that are QUICK! I can get lost on Pinterest looking at all the delicious recipes to try and before I know it its been an hour and I don’t even have a soup recipe to try! Do you ever do the same? One thing that’s helped me eat more healthy soups (and more healthy foods in general) is my amazing Vitamix blender. If you’ve never heard of a Vitamix, it’s THE BEST blender you can ever get. Its an expensive kitchen appliance, but with all the things it can do with it, its easy to whip up healthy meals daily. Which Vitamix can make hot soup? All Vitamix models including this one, this one, and this one have powerful blades that have been precision engineered to chop and pulverize food to a super smooth consistency. Because the blades are so powerful, the Vitamix can actually heat up food just from the speed alone! Think healthy, quick, hot soups you can literally make in minutes! via GIPHY You can check out the latest prices and models here Are soups a good way to lose weight? Soups are a fantastic way to lose weight, as long as your eating the right kind! Soups are naturally filling and can be low calorie so are a great choice when wanting to shed a few pounds. What type of soup is good for weight loss? Plant-based soups are the healthiest. They contain healthy vegetables, may contain pulses or grains and are made without dairy or heavy animal fat. When choosing a soup, it’s important to have one with lots of veggies. The fiber from veggies, plus a high water broth will help keep you full without adding excess calories. What is the healthiest soup to eat? Eating soups with lots of veggies (particularly green leafy’s) is an obvious choice. But a vegetable-based soup alone will not be filling. Some vegetables require fat to absorb the nutrients properly. You can achieve this by blending the soup with seeds and nuts (cashews are great for creaminess) coconut milk or other plant-based milk. Some raw soup recipes call for avocado which also adds a healthy source of fat. Beans, lentils are great for added protein and fiber which will stabilize blood sugar and help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Any soup can be topped with fresh herbs or spices for an extra boost of nutrition. Filling soups for weight loss To get the most of out soups, think of them as the main course. If you have a vegetable-based, clear soup, you are likely to be very hungry shortly after. This isn’t sustainable and does not provide the body with enough nutrients and calories that it needs. By adding beans, lentils or wholegrain’s you will feel fuller for longer. A clear vegetable-based soup is great but you will need to pair it with something else to maximize the nutrient content and to make sure that you’re consuming enough calories. Can you lose weight on a soup diet? Yes, you can lose weight on a soup diet but it may not be the healthiest and can often provide a loss of water weight, not actual fat. Many people make the mistake of eating low-calorie soups as part of a “fast” or “cleanse” thinking they will lose weight more quickly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work as the person is left feeling ravenous and so can only be sustained for a short period of time. This lack of calories signals hormones to be released making the body think its a time of famine and so will slow metabolism down. On top of that, glucose will be burned as a fuel source not fat itself. Any weight lost will be water weight (or if carried on for an extended period of time) muscle loss. This is why we can see the numbers go down on a scale but we are quick to regain weight, plus more, very quickly after. A slowed metabolism, muscle loss and increase in the stress hormone cortisol is a one-way ticket to rapid weight gain! Is it bad to eat soup every day? Soup is great an everyday meal. It can be had like a one-pot dish full of wholegrain, beans, vegetables and some healthy plant fat. Or as Asians and many other cultures around the world, part of a main meal along with a vegetable dish, a whole grain, and healthy plant protein. Vegan soup recipes with coconut milk For a healthy alternative to cream and animal fat, try using coconut milk! Coconut milk gives soups a smooth creamy texture and a gorgeous flavor. Pair coconut milk with spices, Thai, Chinese, and Indian for an Asian flair! How do you make tomato soup in the Vitamix? Scroll down to find easy and healthy tomato soup recipes to make in the Vitamix. HEALTHY VEGETABLE SOUP RECIPES FOR WEIGHT LOSS #1 GREEN GODDESS VEGAN BROCCOLI SOUP + KALE CHIPS #2 LAZY DAY VEGAN TOMATO BISQUE #3 CREAMY VEGAN CAULIFLOWER SOUP #4 CREAMY ROASTED RED PEPPER TOMATO SOUP #5 ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQAUSH SOUP #6 BEET AND AVOCADO SOUP WITH CASHEW CREAM #7 VEGAN NO COOK BLACK BEAN SOUP #8 CREAMY SPICED CAULIFLOWER SOUP #9 NO OIL ROASTED ASPARAGUS AND PEA SOUP #10 VEGAN SPICY CREAM OF CORN SOUP #11 THAI CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP #12 TURMERIC TOMATO DETOX SOUP #13 RAW RED PEPPER AND TOMATO SOUP #14 RAW VEGAN CREAM OF GREEN SOUP #15 THAI PEA SOUP #16 WARMING CARROT, GINGER AND TURMERIC SOUP #17 GOLDEN SOUP #18 CREAMY VEGAN POTATO LEEK SOUP #19 VEGAN ZUCCHINI SOUP #20 VEGAN CREAMY MUSHROOM SOUP #21 VEGAN CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP #22 CREAMY VEGAN POTATO SOUP #23 RIDICULOUSLY EASY CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP #24 SPANISH GAZPACHO #25 VEGAN SWEET POTATO SOUP In conclusion, soups made in the Vitamix can be quick, easy and can help with weight loss. Just remember the points above and ensure you are eating a soup that is healthy, filling and nourishing. Soups diets can be a weight loss gimmick in general! But by including the soups mentioned in this post, you will be flooding your body with a wide range of nutrients that will help you drop pounds and give you glowing skin! Over to you, what soup recipes are your favorite? And what soup recipe are you going to try next? The post 25 VEGAN SOUP RECIPES FOR WEIGHT LOSS THAT YOU CAN MAKE IN THE VITAMIX appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  13. THE ESSENTIAL AND REALISTIC HOSPITAL BAG CHECKLIST FOR MOM AND BABY Do you wonder what you should pack in your hospital bag? I mean what do you really need? With my second baby due very soon, I thought I’d create a checklist with all the essentials that either I had with my first delivery and found super helpful, or wish Id had that I will be packing for baby no. 2. There are SO MANY checklists on what to pack in your hospital bag for labor and delivery but ultimately we’re all different and it’s totally up to you! I hope I can provide a few tips and suggestions that are extremely helpful but not unrealistic! The mistake I had with my first born was that I brought EVERYTHING. I was so unsure what to expect that I brought an entire suitcase – and not the small travel size ones either! via GIPHY What should I pack in my hospital bag for labor? Firstly I like to categorize the essentials. Mom Dad Baby Yes, it’s important to think of dad too! It’s essential that everything is thought of because on the big day you want everything to be organized and calm with zero stress! What do I really need in my hospital bag? Some people like to bring everything (myself included the first time around) but honestly, you won’t use half of it. Have the essentials and things that will provide comfort and help for you both during and after the delivery. It’s ok if you still bring items you don’t really need but you really don’t need to go over the top. Plus there’s the unpacking to think of when you get back home. What should I pack in my hospital bag for the C section? You won’t need many more things to pack than you would for a natural delivery. The only things I suggest are extra clothes and underwear for you and baby as you will need to stay in the hospital for a longer period. Make sure that you take clothes that are loose around your waist that is easy to get on and off. What should I pack in my baby bag? Below is a list of all the things I suggest to bring in your hospital bag: What dads should pack for the hospital? It’s unlikely that dad will be staying for the entire time as there will most likely be restricted visiting hours. Also, its good for dad to go home to get some rest so he can take over and look after your baby while you get some rest. Do I need to bring my own diapers to the hospital? Hospitals usually provided diapers for your baby but to be sure you should call ahead and check. Also, if you want to use particular nappies, such as organic natural disposable or reusable cloth ones then you should bring your own. I also like to bring a pack of water wipes and cotton wool to clean baby and bays bum in the first few weeks. What should I pack in my baby bag for the hospital? You can choose to bring a separate baby bag or keep everything together in your own bag. If you want to bring a separate bag for your baby items, I’ve got this one and it’s amazing I highly recommend it! All baby items will be listed in the below checklist. When should I pack my hospital bag? In my hypnobirthing course, it states “baby comes when the baby is ready” and really there’s not too much you can do about it! That is unless you have a planned C – section. Hospital bag size? You don’t need a suitcase ladies (been there, done that!) A small travel sized bag, ideally on wheels will be perfect. What should I pack for an overnight hospital bag? Below is a realistic list of all the hospital bag essentials things I suggest to pack: For Mom DARK old towels Heavy + nighttime sanitary towels/pads Cheap big knickers, a few sizes bigger than you don’t mind throwing away after. Black Disposable briefs/knickers. I got these ones from Mothercare (LINK) X2 Maternity/nursing bras X2 pajamas Dressing gown Comfortable outfit for going into the hospital and for the leaving the hospital Water bottle to refill Lose baggy shirt or dress you can wear for the labor + delivery Pillow – Essential in my opinion! Hair bobbles + clips Important items Birth Plan Insurance Passport/ Id depending on hospital requirements Passport photos (if needed depending on hospital regulations and birth certificates) Mobile phone & charger (delete some pics to free up space before) Camera + charger Change for parking Snacks and drinks for mom + dad (more on this below) Toiletries Note that all the products I’ve recommended are vegan-friendly, organic, and contain natural ingredients that are safe for you and baby! Shampoo and Conditioner. Use travel size ones to save bringing big bottles. Toothbrush and Toothpaste Cleanser Facial moisturizer Lip balm Massage oil for labor. I’m using coconut oil but I’m sure I’ll get this one. Essential oils. Rollerballs with essential oils can be useful and they are easier to use on the day. I love these ones and use them daily (LINK) Deodorant Hand sanitizer Body moisturizer or Coconut oil Cooling facial water spritz to keep you hydrated Great for when you’re tired too! Hairdryer – optional. I packed a travel one for my first birth but I didn’t use it. Plus, I live in a warm climate so I didn’t need one. If you have hair that takes a while to dry (or you want nicer post birth pics then it might be a good idea to bring one with you). Makeup – get a small bag of your essentials only. You won’t have the time or care about having a full face of makeup on. For me, it’s a tinted moisturizer, under eye concealer, mascara, and eyebrow pencil. Prenatal vitamins Arnica tablets – can be taken after delivery and are helpful to reduce bruising and swelling Hypnobirthing/Birthing Items Headphones to listen to music (wireless is better) Bachs Herbal Rescue Remedies Spray to use in labor to ease anxiety and stress Written affirmations and positive birth statements Hypnobirthing music/relaxation tracks Printable hypnobirthing relaxation notes for a partner to read Birthing ball/ Gym ball. This time i’m bringing my own because they didn’t have one available last time. It sounds ridiculous but you’ll be glad on the day! Breast and Bottle Feeding: Setting up a breastfeeding station at home is a great way to have everything ready for you for when you arrive back so you can quickly and easily access everything you need. For the hospital: Breast pads, disposable or Re-usable Nipple cream – This one is THE BEST and safe for your baby. You can also use coconut oil but it’s not as effective for painful, cracked nipples! Nipple shield. This is optional and a bit of a controversial topic but if it helps the baby latch on and establishes breastfeeding then its a go in my opinion. Formula – If your choosing to bottle feed. (note that hospitals usually provide this but double check beforehand and if you want particular one for your baby then be sure to bring it) Miscellaneous: Magazines, books etc Honestly, I brought my kindle with me for my first birth and it was a total waste of time! IF you have any time during labor and delivery, sleep mama sleep! I suggest using these as tools before you go to the hospital to help ‘distract’ you and stay in a calming mood before labor is truly established. I promise you that when you’re in established labor if Mrs. J.K Rowling is there in person, YOU WON’T CARE! Freebie Alert Hospital Bag Checklist PDF You can get the full printable checklist by subscribing HERE. You’ll also receive a whole resource library with additional resources for pregnancy, birth & healthy living. For Baby: Sleepsuits-X3 Vests-X3 Going home outfit. Optional but I’m so glad I had this for my first. It was extra special and it was great for all the first pics you’ll take! Newborn nappies Muslin cloths-X3 (you can never have too many!) Baby Towel. (Sometimes the hospital provides this but it’s nice to have your own soft one) Socks Scratch mittens Hat Blankets. X1 cellular blanket for wrapping while baby sleeps + X1 warmer blanket Coat/snowsuit depending on weather Cotton wool for cleaning baby bottom or use water only baby wipes Newborn nappies Presents for other children if needed Baby sling or nursing wrap Car seat – installed before you leave the hospital. Make sure you’ve installed it correctly and safely. For Dad Change of clothes + underwear Notepad and pen Toiletries Magazines, books something to keep busy (while your resting of course ) Hospital bag snacks and drinks I highly suggest you bring lots of snacks with you. Labour can be LONG and TIRING. And as much I think it’s us, mamas, doing all the work, it can be a long slog for partners too. So, packing enough food is essential. However its equally as important to bring QUALITY, NUTRITIOUS snacks with you. You are bringing a child into this world mama AND you are going through a time when you need all the energy you can get! This isn’t the time to eat Mcdonalds! It requires a bit of preparation before but it’s essential to give you sustained energy, keep your blood sugar stable and to recover quickly. Its the one time when you really need to make an effort with what foods you are eating! To make sure it’s as easy as possible for you, you’ll need healthy snacks that you can make ahead of time that is portable and easy to eat. Try these meal prep tips, recipes and snack ideas that you can prepare before the baby arrives! Over to you Mama! What are the essentials that you packed in your hospital bag? What do you wish you would have packed? Let me know in the comments. The post THE ESSENTIAL AND REALISTIC HOSPITAL BAG CHECKLIST FOR MOM, DAD & BABY appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  14. This is a new post from Expat Child by Carole Hallett Mobbs Expat Child - Moving overseas with children. Relocation advice. Expat education An Expat’s Guide to Choosing a School Overseas is an absolute must-read if you’re moving overseas with children. ... Read More The post An expat’s guide to choosing a school overseas appeared first on Expat Child. View the full article
  15. Every morning when I drive my kids to school, we pass by a highschool, where the bell time must be earlier than ours because there are always teenagers lingering around outside. On more than one occasion my kids have, in… The post Bonded by Ice appeared first on Canadian Expat Mom. View the full article
  16. 7 DAY REJUVENATING VEGAN MEAL PLAN TO DETOX & LOSE WEIGHT Feeling down about your weight? Maybe bloating, cellulite and skin breakouts? I hear ya, mama! Detox can be the word that springs to mind. So if you’re looking to: lose weight debloat get clearer skin stop cravings reset taste buds Increase energy Then you’ve come to the right place. When I hear women saying they’re doing a detox, I suddenly think of a very low-calorie diet consisting of nothing but juice and water. It’s not that I don’t think fresh pressed juices aren’t healthy, but it’s important that when ‘detoxing’ we do it correctly and safely. Do we need to detox? There are some conflicting debates about detoxing. Your body is naturally detoxing all the time so many people believe it’s not necessary to do a detox. However, I support the camp that helping our bodies detox can be super beneficial. Here’s why: We were never designed to eat the types of foods we’ve probably all ate at some point in our lives. Even though I eat a very healthy, high nutrient, plant-based diet now, I’ve still had processed foods over the years and I definitely didn’t always have a diet as good as it is today. And it’s not just what we put into our bodies that have an impact. We’re constantly being bombarded with toxins. Pollution chemicals in the water we drink household cleaners medications alcohol coffee stress birth control cigarette smoke Although our bodies have the ability to handle all of these things, it’s not necessarily good for us, agree? How do vegans detox? There are plenty of types of vegan detoxes out there. water only fasts juice fasts gluten-free sugar-free raw vegan And they can all serve a good purpose, depending on what your body needs at the time. However, the type of detox and meal plan I’ve got for you focuses on natural cleansing with an abundance of whole plant-based foods. The 7-day detox diet plan is full of recipes that help support the body (and mind – no restriction here!) and is so healthy you could actually eat like this for life. Plus you’ll be eating actual food, something that usually doesn’t happen on a detox. Whoop! Whoop! How do vegans lose weight fast? People make the mistake thinking that by going vegan they are eating healthier. There’s a big difference between a vegan and plant-based diet. To lose weight quickly (and healthfully) vegans need to eat an abundance of whole plant-based foods that are high in nutrients and those help balance hormones. Will I lose weight if I go vegan? If you’re transitioning from a SAD/meat eating diet then yes, you will lose weight quickly and feel better immediately. But there are many different ways to eat vegan and not all of them are healthy. If your struggling to lose weight on a vegan diet then a whole food, a high nutrient detox diet can be just the thing you need to kick start your weight loss. If you’re serious about losing weight, improving your health and feeling amazing, you can learn about the coaching services I offer here. How can I cleanse my body in 7 days? The meal plan is set out to give you everything you need to eat for the next 7 days to detox and flood the body with nutrients. On top of that, some other things to try to encourage further detoxification are: Body brushing – help increase blood flow, boost lymphatic drainage and decrease appearance cellulite. Massage – treat yourself for a massage, preferably a deep tissue massage that will encourage waste to be eliminated. Drink a boat load of water. Seriously, the more you drink, the more toxins you flush out and the better the detox will be. Infuse water – add lemon, fresh fruit or mint add even more nutrients and antioxidants. Rest and sleep – give your body the chance to heal deeply, restore and renew. Get a colonic – I know, it sounds drastic but thinks of it as a deep clean in your digestive tract. Colonics have so many benefits which you can read about here (LINK) Move every day. This detox isn’t intense. It should make you feel great and have more energy. But if you’re experiencing detox symptoms (see more below) then take it easy and keep it gentle Be A daily walk, swim or yoga practice can all be beneficial. Meditate – meditation is incredibly beneficial in healing the body, and helping if your feeling tired or stressed. The aim of the detox is to remain as relaxed as possible to let your beautiful body do the work it needs. What are the benefits of going vegan Going vegan or plant-based can literally save your life! You can read a full list of amazing benefits you can expect when going vegan here. Detox symptoms and side effects If you’ve never detoxed before, you might experience the following side effects. tiredness lethargy headaches nausea Depending on how ‘clean’ your diet has been before you may experience stronger detox side affects more than others. This is typical if you’ve come from a SAD. However, in this 7-day meal plan, I’ve included LOTS of high nutrient dense foods. This is designed to crowd out all the nasty toxins that will leave your body (the reason we get detox side effects) So symptoms should be a minimum if not at all. In conclusion Here’s what benefits you can expect from the 7-day vegan cleanse and detox meal plan Clearer skin Stronger nails Flatter tummy Weight loss ( not water or muscle loss) actual fat loss Improved health Better immunity Decreased inflammation Decreased joint pain More energy Less cravings How the 7-day vegan detox meal plan works Receive all the deets on how to shop, prepare and get ready for the amazing week ahead! What’s included in the daily meals? Breakfast For 6 days out of the week, you’ll be starting your day with green smoothies or smoothie bowls. You can learn all about the benefits of drinking green smoothies and get even more recipes here. The reason for starting the day with a smoothie is so your body uses less energy digesting and more energy detoxing. It’s also a great way to add veggies to every meal to ensure you’re getting lots of antioxidants in your gorgeous bod. Lunch Expect colorful buddha bowls and filling salads. By adding a HUGE salad for lunch every day you can expect to feel more energized while increasing the speed of weight loss. Dinner Consists of generous soups, stews, and heart bowls. Again, this helps to minimize energy spent digesting. This leaves you feeling satisfied and bloat free. You’ll be in those skinny jeans in no time mama! Snacks Although snacking should be kept to a minimum during a detox phase (it helps the body to burn fat and cleanse better) It certainly won’t be a problem to add in some healthy, delicious snacks. Its more important to listen to your body, eat when you feel hungry and if you want a dessert then go ahead! Try to stick to one snack per day to eat the most out of the detox. What you get Full 7-day meal plan with all recipes included Different meals every day to beat boredom and infuse your body with nutrients Approved snack recipes Detox guidelines Meal prep tips Pantry staples Suggested foods to eat that promote detoxification (fruit, veggies, frozen) printable shopping list You can get all of this for FREE (+ so many more guides & printable) when you sign up to the resource library here I’d love to know what you think of the 7-day vegan detox meal plan! You can let me know in the comments how you got on, even better I’d LOVE to see some before/after pics. Tag me your pics in Instagram @holisticallylizzie. Here’s the link to the free detox plan again. The post 7 DAY REJUVENATING VEGAN MEAL PLAN TO DETOX & LOSE WEIGHT appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  17. HOW TO COPE WITH LABOUR PAIN: AN IN-DEPTH GUIDE TO NATURAL PAIN RELIEF Labor can seem scary and if this is your first baby, it’s hard to know what to expect. If this is your second pregnancy, it can be equally as daunting as you know what’s coming! Maybe you’re wondering… How can I ease the pain of natural birth? What helps with labor pains at home? How do you deal with labor pains without medication? My first baby took a whopping 30 hours to deliver. What I learned was that as much as you plan for your labor and delivery, you never know what’s going to happen and there’s not much you can do to control it! BUT, I firmly believe there are lots that you can do to feel more in control, feel more relaxed and have better pain relief, naturally. via GIPHY For the birth of my daughter, I had a great head start at home, using hypnobirthing practices for natural pain relief. Note that if you’ve never tried hypnobirthing, I strongly recommend that you try it, it can change the whole way you about labor and birth. Hypnobirthing is not only beneficial for you but also for your partner. It’s so important that they know what to do and what they can help with on the day. My partner panics if he sees me in pain so I knew I needed him to know what to expect and some of the things he could help me with. You can do classes like we did or you can take an online course or even just buy a book (this is the one I’ve got and I know loads of people who have this same one) and download relaxation and hypnobirthing tracks here. Before diving into the tips let’s take a quick look at how long you can expect to be in labor and the different stages. How long does labor last? Labor and delivery vary greatly from woman to woman and can last can last between 8-20 hours. What are the different types of labor? Early labor: Stage 1 – cervix is dilated to 3cm Active labor: Stage 2 – cervix is dilated 3-7cm Transition labor: Stage 3 – cervix is fully dilated 10cm Can you sleep through early labor? Some women find they can, others find they cant. Taking paracetamol and getting rest while you can, can help you relax and save some energy for later on. How can I ease contractions at home? Ok, let’s move on to some tips on natural pain relief methods and things you can do towards the end of your pregnancy to help cope better on the big day. I can’t stress how important it is to feel prepared and to educate yourself on what to expect during labor and after you birth your baby. Towards the end of pregnancy, you might have a ‘nesting’ period where you feel the urge to have everything prepared and ready for when your baby arrives home. With baby no. 2, I started getting early contractions and the first thing that was running through my mind was that I didn’t have things ready. This is unnecessary stress that you really don’t need to have on the day you go into labor. I’ll probably repeat this over and over but the key to a successful, quick and painless birth is to RELAX. #1 Be prepared Create your birth plan, you are the one who can decide what happens but is realistic. Go to prenatal classes if this is your first baby. It’s essential and so helpful. Get your hospital bags packed. Meal prep some meals and snacks that you can have after the birth, You’ll be starving! Know what pain relief options you can have during labor (if you choose to use it) and the pros and cons of each one. Educate yourself on what to expect after birth. (For example, delivering the placenta, uterine contractions, blood loss, soreness etc) It’s not pretty but at least you won’t be in shock! You can read the complete list of everything you need to do before the baby arrives here. #2 Practice Hypnobirthing You can start practicing hypnobirthing at any point in the pregnancy, although the longer you do it for the more it reinforces it. – link to post Some typical hypnobirthing practices include: Breathing exercises Guided relaxations Watching natural birth videos Reading positive affirmations Reading positive birth stories #3 Ensure that the baby is in an optimal position Making sure that you’re baby is in the right position for delivery can help avoid complications and long labor. Some ways you do that is by: Booking an appointment with a chiropractor Practicing certain yoga poses Visit the spinning babies website for lots of useful tips #4 Take the right Supplements Some of these are helpful both during pregnancy and labor. Bachs herbal rescue remedy – fight feelings of stress and anxiety. Great for when in labor. Magnesium spray – Used in pregnancy and labor. Magnesium naturally relaxes muscles and is a great natural pain remedy. Use topical when possible as it’s absorbed much better. Essential Oils – lavender and frankincense both promote relaxation. I love these rollerball essential oil sticks and I’m planning on using these for the birth of baby no. 2. Paracetamol – Can be used during pregnancy and labor. Ensure to tell the midwives/doctors what pain relief you’ve taken when entering the hospital. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea – tones and strengthens the uterus. Great to start drinking at the end of the third trimester. of your pregnancy. Eat Dates – studies show that eating 6 dates a day can help quicken labor! Any excuse #5 Alternative therapies Acupuncture – can help pregnancy aches and pains, can help turnabout’s breech baby an can even induce labor. (if needed naturally) Chiropractor– book an appointment close to your due date. Chiropractors can help with aligning pelvis properly to make a quicker and smoother delivery. Yoga – Practice yoga when possible and focus on poses that help open the pelvis. Physiotherapist – Seeing a physiotherapist can help with birth by working on pelvic floor muscles and doing specific exercises that can help open the pelvis. Acupressure points – Learn how to use acupressure to alleviate pain during labor and delivery. How can I ease the pain of natural birth? #6 Spend as much time at home as you can When we look at animals and how they deal with labor and delivery, the one thing you notice is that they hide somewhere, usually a closed space so that they feel safe. By getting into a safe space, our bodies naturally relax. We can get in the zone’ easier and quicker and labor is much faster. Sometimes getting in a car or arriving at the hospital can stop labor in its tracks. It may not be possible (or something you want) to have a home birth so this may not be avoidable. But staying at home for as long as you possibly can help the labor progress quicker as you will feel safe and comfortable. #7 Distract Yourself Easiest when done at the very start of labor. Distracting yourself can pass some time before the contraction/surges start getting more intense. Some helpful ideas include: Watching something funny Going for a walk Listening to an audiobook, I LOVE audible Read a magazine Read a book (an easy one!) #8 Play Music Some women find loud music helpful to distract themselves, others find it better to have quiet music. However loud and whatever you listen to, make sure its music that promotes RELAXATION. You can listen to your own music or Download hypnobirthing tracks. Top tip – use wireless headphones. they block out noise better and you won’t get tangled in the cables! #9 Meditate Guided or non-guided meditations. Make sure you have ones that you can access without internet connection in case you can’t get WiFi. If you’re at home, you can use many of the free ones on youtube or use the app insight timer. It’s the meditation app that I personally use. It has so many great guided meditations and music and it’s totally free. #10 Use Visualisation’s Visualization is a big part of hypnobirthing. It’s extremely helpful when guided. Use as part of a meditation or get your partner to read scripts to you to help you use visualization effectively. Try this guided body scan relaxation video & see how deeply you will relax! #11 Focus on Deep Breathing Breathing is probably the best way to manage labor pain naturally. There are so many types of breathing techniques that can help during delivery and birth, including: Up breathing – best for the first 2 stages of labor Down breathing – best for the ‘pushing’ part of labor and delivery Relaxation breathing – inhale through the nose for a count of 4, exhale count of either 4/6/8 Blow out the pain – feel yourself literally blowing the pain out of your body Rainbow breathing Yogic breathing – Nadi Shodana or known as alternate nostril breathing #12 Keep moving The more you stay upright and keep moving, the more you can let gravity do its job! If you were out in the woods and you needed to – excuse the phrase – go for a poop. You just wouldn’t even consider lying down to do it! Birth is the same. Stay upright to allow the baby to come out quicker and easier Things you can try: Keep upright Try these yoga poses Walk around as much as you can Squat Use a birthing/gym ball Rock your hips and do hip circles (both on and off the birthing ball) Remember, let gravity do its job! #13 Get into the right positions to ease labor pain There are certain positions that you can get into that can really help ease the pain of labor. Try these: All fours squatting Pulling or leaning on something Top tip – Avoid lying down if possible #14 Keep your mouth open Ever noticed that when you feel stressed your jaw is tight shut? Keep your mouth open to not to tense your jaw. This will allow for deeper breathing and will help you relax the rest of your body. #15 Go to the toilet Needing to wee – (which especially happens in labor as the baby is putting lots of pressure on your bladder) adds additional abdominal pressure. Make sure you’re going to the toilet every 30-60minutes, or get your birth partner to remind you! #16 Get Support Picking the right birthing partner can determine how relaxed, secure and in control, you will feel during you’re labor and delivery. You need the right person who will get you through the toughest moments. A top tip is to go through what you want them to help you with before you go into labor so you feel confident they’ll know what you want on the day. Me and my husband took a hypnobirthing course together (which I really recommend). If this isn’t something you’re partner can do consider hiring a doula. Print out a list of all the things you want to do during labour and what you want your partner to do. Some things might include: Make sure the room is how I want it and remind the staff of what I want according to my birth plan. Remind me to drink water, filling up a bottle regularly. Remind me to go to the toilet. Breathe me through each surge/contraction reminding me that at the height of the contraction it is coming back down. Count my inhales and exhales. Read me positive affirmations. Speak softly and calmly. Remind me of the end goal. Encourage me on doing so well. Say positive affirmations. Use stroking and massage. Read guided scripts. Rebozo techniques. Tell me to breathe and do it with me! If your anything like me, you’ll forget – and so will your partner! To make it easier, you can get a free summary of all these tips along with partner roles & things to do checklist HERE # 17 Relax As repeatedly mentioned, keeping your body relaxed is your no1 priority for you and your baby. The more you can relax, the more you can allow nature to do its job properly. The more stressed you are = the more pain and more difficult the labor will be. #18 Block it out Remember what animals naturally do? Keep yourself private, safe and hidden. This can be harder in a hospital setting but you can. Ask to dim lights down as much as possible. Pack an eye mask in your hospital bag. Request for as much silence as possible, use low voices when talking. #19 Wear comfortable clothes For the birth of my daughter, the midwives put me in a gown immediately as I walked through the hospital ward. I remember I was exposed to EVERYONE. Although I stopped noticing at one point, I’m sure in the back of my mind it was something that bothered me otherwise I wouldn’t remember, would I? Pack something in your hospital bag that you comfortable in but also something you feel protected in. #20 Heat and Water Both water and heat can really help ease labor pain naturally. If you can’t use a birthing pool, consider taking a hot shower or bath or applying a hot water bottle. You’re birthing partner can help hold it in place. #21 Try A Tens machine A tens machine passes electrical impulses to help with pain management. You can ask to hire it out at the hospital or you can buy one here. #22 Use Positive affirmations Use plenty of positive affirmations. Get your partner to read them out loud or consider hanging them around your room so you can see them visually. #23 Try Rebozo-ing via GIPHY A Mexican shawl is used to help the mother with pain relief naturally and is said to work a charm! Try these 5 ways to use a rebozo. #24 Avoid scary words A simple thing to do. Instead of scary words like contractions, use the words waves surges rush #25 Use Massage video There are many ways to use massage to help ease labor pain naturally. Applying sacral pressure or using gentle stroking can both help but discuss with your partner before so they know what to do. Using essential oils can be added a bonus as the smell can help you feel calmer and relaxed. #26 Get less physical examinations and fetal monitoring Regular Interruptions from hospital staff can greatly slow down labor. As part of your birth plan, you can request to have minimal examinations and monitoring. #27 Refuel It’s SO important to stay hydrated in labor, even when it’s the last thing you feel you want to do. Use a refillable water bottle and get your partner to fill it constantly. When it comes to food, eat something while you can in the easier stages. There will become a point where you won’t want to eat and you’ll need all the energy you can get! #28 Rest When possible, try to rest. Try to sleep as much as you, while you can. Get your birthing partner to remind you to rest in between surges. #29 Know you can do this! We are born to do this. Giving birth is a natural, empowering moment for women. Our bodies are designed to do it so trust yourself and trust the process. On A Final Note There is absolutely no shame in getting pain medication, its there for a reason! As much as I wanted a totally natural birth with my daughter without any intervention at all, I did have an epidural. The labor had stalled and my contractions were very regular for a VERY long time. (There were some problems with my baby.) You know your body best. But, knowing what I now know has helped me clarify what went wrong and things that I can do differently next time. You never know what’s going to happen but you can do a lot to take control of the situation and help yourself more. That’s why I created this huge list (and a printable summary) of all the things that both my partner and I could do to stay in control as much as possible We can do this mamas! Let me know in the comments, how did your birth go? What did you try for natural pain relief and did it work? I’d LOVE to know. The post HOW TO COPE WITH LABOUR PAIN: AN IN DEPTH GUIDE TO NATURAL PAIN RELIEF appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  18. This is a new post from Expat Child by Carole Hallett Mobbs Expat Child - Moving overseas with children. Relocation advice. The Great Expat Adventure If you’re thinking seriously about moving overseas, then that thought has probably been in your head ... Read More The post How to become an expat appeared first on Expat Child. View the full article
  19. IS A VITAMIX WORTH THE COST? HONEST REVIEW & THE BEST BUY TO BUY This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Are you stuck for time but want healthy meals? Maybe you’ve recently gone vegan and you’re trying to get a repertoire of recipes that are quick and easy to make? In case you didn’t already know, I LOVE food and when I started out on my vegan journey I was constantly coming across people using a Vitamix for delicious, fast and healthy vegan recipes. It seemed like these people thought it was a necessity and yet I just couldn’t wrap my head around the price! It seemed ridiculous at the time to spend so much money on a blender. I thought, its just a blender and there are plenty of great models out now that would surely do the same job. But after going vegan it became clear how much of a necessity this blender is. Here’s why: Yes, you can eat vegan food without fancy kitchen equipment. You can easily get by on rice, veggies, beans, fruits, avocado, nuts, and seeds. BUT….if you want to create really delicious energy balls, nut butter, quick soups, sauces and dressings (or you have a hard time chopping veggies) then I assure you, it will become your best friend. What swayed me the most was that it was a one-off purchase that I knew would last me a lifetime. I was so fed up of burning out blenders (even high-quality ones) to make banana ice cream and nut butter. And the cheaper ones weren’t so cheap. It was actually more cost effective to just buy a good quality one that did everything I wanted and that I wouldn’t have to keep replacing. What is so special about Vitamix? Top Benefits of A Vitamix Blender You can blend virtually ANYTHING. The Vitamix is so powerful that you can make nut butter, blend frozen fruit without any liquid and blend grains into flour in a matter of minutes. It makes healthy eating quick and easy It cleans itself. Yes, that’s right, you just squirt a bit of washing liquid in the blender with some water and put it on high. 1 minute later a self-cleaned blender SOLD You can heat up food. Because the Vitamix is so powerful, the speed of the blades can actually heat up food. SO if you want a quick soup or sauce you can literally throw in some ingredients and blend on high for 5 minutes and voila a quick and healthy dish awaits! Motor burnout is extremely rare. You get what you pay for. The expensive blenders are industrial strength, are built to last and have a long term warranty. I was forever going through blenders due to the motor burning out. Although a Vitamix can be an expensive purchase, I spent more over the years replacing blenders. Knowing what I know now, I’d rather have mad the purchase sooner to save all the money I wasted. What can a Vitamix do? The Vitamix is not an average blender. It can do SO much more than an average blender such as grind nuts and seeds, whole grains, frozen fruit, and vegetables. For more inspiration, check out these 2 posts on how you can use a Vitamix: How to make nut butter in a Vitamix 50 surprising things you can make in a Vitamix Do you struggle to create healthy meals QUICKLY? Juggling everything else in life (kids, home life, work life) makes cooking healthy meals just another-thing-to-do. Why is it difficult to create healthy meals quickly? There are so many reasons why it’s difficult to create healthy meals quickly, some might include: Cooking a meal from scratch takes time Maybe you’re feeling tired and there’s a lack of inspiration You don’t know how to cook You don’t know WHAT is healthy to cook Its easier to get a takeaway We’ve all been there! But healthy eating doesn’t need to be hard or complicated. In fact, you can make simple and delicious meals quickly in a Vitamix Here are a few quick & Healthy Meal Ideas You Can Make With A Vitamix Create healthy soups in 5 minutes Cook grain of choice, open a tin of beans and add a quick sauce and dinner is served Chopping up vegetables and onions to make a stew? A Vitamix can do that in 2 minutes flat Make a smoothie for breakfast Chop some veggies, cooked or raw and add a 2-minute salad dressing for a healthy lunch recipe Have some Humous, veggie sticks and toasted pita bread for an easy lunch or snack Make a batch of energy balls for healthy snacks and desserts Best Vitamix Blenders & Which One to Choose There are many different Vitamix Blenders to choose from. Smart System Vitamix Blenders Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Smart Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, Graphite Buy Now Vitamix A2300 Ascent Series Smart Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, White & Buy Now Classic Vitamix Blenders Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, Black Buy Now Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, Heritage Buy Now Space Saving Vitamix Blenders Vitamix S30 S-Series Blender, Professional-Grade, 40oz. Container, Black Buy Now Vitamix S55 S-Series Blender, Professional-Grade, 40oz. Container, Brushed Stainless Finish Buy Now Certified Refurbished Vitamix Blenders Vitamix 5300 Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, Black (Certified Refurbished) Buy Now Vitamix Standard Programs Blender, Professional-Grade, 64oz. Container, Platinum(Certified Refurbished) Buy Now Vitamix Explorian Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, Black (Certified Refurbished) Buy Now Every day I make myself and my daughter a green smoothie. Is a fantastic way to get her to eat veggies and fruits! Any leftovers I pour into lolly moulds that she can have as a healthy treat The whole family loves energy balls too! We make a big batch most weeks because we eat A LOT of them! Do I Need a Vitamix? Do you want to create quick meals, sauces, dips, dressings, smoothies, and ice cream? YES Do you want simple ways to make healthy foods? YES Do you want to add more nutrients to your diet by eating more raw vegan foods? YES Do you want to experiment with new recipes to wow your tastebuds? YES Do you want to stick to very basic vegan cooking and don’t want to try new recipes? You probably don’t need one just yet. Can I Juice With My Vitamix? The Vitamix is a blender so it will blend all the fruits, veggies, nuts and whatever else you want to add into a smooth liquid. This keeps all the fiber and nutrients intact. You can add oats, nuts, seeds, superfood powders, plant milks for a healthy meal replacement. A juicer extracts the fruits and vegetables, removing the fiber. You are left with a watery juice. Although very nutritious, having a juice is not very filling. Unless you are juicing vegetables, fruit juice without the fiber can spike insulin too much which can cause blood sugar imbalances. If you want to have a juice, you can simply make a smoothie in the Vitamix and then strain through a nut bag or mesh cloth to remove the pulp. I personally prefer smoothies as overhang is intact, including the fiber. This makes them way more filling and some might agree, more nutritious The Last Thing You Need To Know About Buying A Vitamix A Vitamix can be a costly expense to start with but if you want to create quick and healthy meals it’s a great investment! If you want a reliable kitchen appliance that will help you stay healthy, then it’s a fantastic investment as it will last you forever. The customer service is EXCELLENT! It’s the best customer service I’ve EVER experienced. When I moved to house my blender jug was lost, they sent a free replacement within 2 days! Then, I’ve had a new tamper (Free) & the motor checked when a chopstick got stuck in the blender. #momlife They picked it up the next day, fixed it and brought it back fixed, from the UK (it was bought in the states) ….and it was 5 years after purchasing!!! Do you have a vitamix? What recipes do you love to create in a vitamix? Has it helped you eat more healthily? Let me know in the comments! The post IS A VITAMIX WORTH THE COST? HONEST REVIEW & THE BEST ONE TO BUY appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  20. Last year I did a call for submissions on stories of life abroad. What arrived was an array of brave, bold, and entertaining women from across the globe, with tales of life in countries foreign to them. Together their stories… The post Meet the Authors: Life on the Move appeared first on Canadian Expat Mom. View the full article
  21. 30 EASY VEGAN TREATS & DESSERTS THAT ARE SECRETLY HEALTHY Don’t you just love cake? Do you want flavorful recipes that your special other won’t be able to tell its healthy and vegan? Maybe you need something quick and easy to rustle up for your girlfriends? I have such a sweet tooth but since changing my diet to a whole foods plant-based diet, I always try to eat as healthy as possible – including my desserts. That may sound boring, but seriously, there are so many delicious tasting recipes that will hit your sweet tooth, without having to wear stretchy pants to compensate. As much as valentines day can be …a little over the top sometimes via GIPHY It is nice to create something special for your loved one. It’s not often we get the chance to celebrate love for another so for one day a year, I think its worth it! These healthy vegan desserts and treats are so easy to prepare and even easier to eat. With 30 delicious recipes to choose from, you can be sure to find something that suits you and your special other. Heres what’s included: gluten-free vegan desserts vegan truffles 5-minute vegan desserts naturally sweetened vegan desserts easy vegan desserts vegan valentines day candy vegan chocolate #1 Rhubarb Rose Dark Chocolate Parfaits by Eat Love Eat #2 Raw Vegan Raspberry Cheesecakes by Choosing Chia #3 No Bake Cacao Coconut Tart by Plant Baked #4 Easy Paleo & Vegan Chocolate Pudding (Dairy-Free) by Paleo Running Mama #5 Coconut Macaroons by Chocolate Covered Katie #6 No Bake Chocolate Caramel Slice Recipe by Nest & Glow #7 Vegan English Pancakes by A Virtual Vegan #8 Raw Nutella Bars by The Healthy Maven #9 The World’s Easiest Cinnamon Rolls by Minimalist Baker #10 Quick and Easy Raw Chocolate Cake by One Green Planet #11 Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake (Oil-free) #12 Easy Raw Vegan Cake Pops by Sprouting Zen #13 Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Hearts by Detoxinista #14 Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Cups by Nutritional Foodie #15 3-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Pots by Feasting On Fruit #16 Hot Fudge Cake by My Darling Vegan #17 Festive Vegan Meringue Kisses by Lauren Caris Cooks #18 Flourless 5-minute S’mores Molten Lava Cake (Vegan) by Veggies Don’t Bite #19 3-Ingredient Chocolate Crunch Doughnuts (Vegan) by Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen #20 Healthy Caramel Pumpkin Pudding by Desserts With Benefits #21 Healthy Vegan Paleo Salted Caramel Fudge by The Big Man’s World #22 Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles by The Clever Meal #23 Banana Coconut Chia Pudding by The Blender Girl #24 Chocolate Chip Cooke Pie Vegan (Gluten-Free) by Dadaeats #25 5-Minute Raw Banana Splits by Minimalist Baker #26 Vegan Chocolate Truffles by My Darling Vegan #27 Cherry Berry Almond Crumble Paleo Vegan by Gourmand In The Kitchen #28 2-Ingredient Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream No Churn Dairy by Salt And Lavender #29 No Bake Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Macaroons (Gluten-free, Paleo + Vegan) by Bakerita #30 Salted Almond Chocolate Truffles (Paleo + Vegan) by Bakerita I’d say there are some pretty epic vegan desserts and treats right there! So, ladies, there’s your excuse, you can have your cake and eat it…Literally! Isn’t it amazing to be able to be on a ‘diet’ where you’re able to eat cakes, truffles, pudding and treats that are super healthy for you? Hell to the Yeah in my opinion! I hope you enjoy these vegan desserts and treats as much as I do! And let me know, what one are you going to try for valentines day this year? I’m still deciding between no bake cacao and coconut tart and vegan chocolate raspberry coconut cups! Drool! Let me know in the comments which one you’re going to make! The post THESE 30 HEALTHY VEGAN VALENTINES DAY DESSERTS ARE SUPER QUICK TO MAKE appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  22. “My Mommy cried last night,” I heard a five-year-old in my class confess to her friend as they ate their snack at their little kindergarten size table. “Why?” Her friend inquired with concern and shock. By this time, I was… The post Mom Guilt, It’s a Real Thing! appeared first on Canadian Expat Mom. View the full article
  23. This is a new post from Expat Child by Carole Hallett Mobbs Expat Child - Moving overseas with children. Relocation advice. Online English National Curriculum schooling If you are moving abroad, it’s likely that you have been giving your child’s education ... Read More The post A complete guide to an online British education abroad appeared first on Expat Child. View the full article
  24. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Stop it with these 10 powerful tips Stressful jobs, school pickups, and never-ending to-do lists can leave us frazzled, overwhelmed and burnt out. With such hectic lifestyles, there’s no wonder why stress and anxiety are on the rise. I’ve had my own personal struggles too. Twice in my life, I suffered from terrible anxiety and depression. At the time I felt lifeless like there was no way out and everything seemed pretty bleak. Luckily I’ve found that there are SO MANY ways to overcome anxiety, stress, and depression and more importantly, how to prevent it from happening again. I believe the key is to ensure that you are taking the right steps to ensure that stress, anxiety, and depression won’t take a hold of your life – before it reaches that point. If you’ve got a type A personality (like me ), you’ll know it can be difficult to switch off. You may become easily overwhelmed and anxious with all the thing you MUST GET DONE. But it’s not a good way to live and I’ve learned that the hard way. We should be doing so much more to ENJOY life and have less WORRY about the past or future. 10 Signs you are anxious and overwhelmed 1) Too much or too little sleep 2) Feeling exhausted 3) Getting sick more often 4) Undereating or overeating 5) Feeling ‘frazzled’ 6) Brain fog and difficult to focus 7) Procrastination and feeling unmotivated 8) More emotional than usual 9) Strong feelings of dread 10) Have any inflammation in the body (pain) Here are 10 ways to naturally reduce anxiety and overwhelm. #1 SPEND TIME IN NATURE Spending time in nature lowers stress and anxiety, boosts our mood and increases feelings of happiness. ACTION: Spend time outside and walk barefoot Invest in some plants at home Go to a park, beach or a walk around your neighbourhood #2 BREATH…DEEPLY When we are in a state of stress or anxiousness, our breath becomes more shallow and we breathe through our chest instead of our belly. ACTION: Finding yourself in a stressful situation? Place 1 hand on your belly and 1 on your chest. Feel the hand on your belly move in and out. Slow your inhales to a count of 4, followed by an exhale for a count of 4. Repeat 5 times #3 PRACTICE YOGA Yoga is a wonderful way to exercise as it encourages focus, deep breathing, and the mind-body connection. ACTION: Take a few minutes in the morning upon waking and before going to bed to sit quietly and do a few gentle stretches. Join an online yoga subscription for access to all types of yoga that will meet your goals Suggested Post: Yoga For Weight Loss: 10 Free Videos For A Toned Body #4 EAT VITAMIN C RICH FOODS Vitamin C supports progesterone production which helps to calm the nervous system. ACTION: Eat foods rich in vitamin c such as citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, spinach, pineapple, kiwi, peppers and kale #5 USE ESSENTIAL OILS Lavender is very soothing and can help us feel calm by reducing stress and anxiety. ACTION: Use lavender essential oil by adding a few drops into your bath, on your pillow before bed or diluting with a neutral carrier oil and massaging into the body What you need to know about essential oils #6 INCREASE HEALTHY FATS Stress and anxiety can deplete healthy fats in our body making us feel low and unfocused. Healthy fats contain magnesium and tryptophan. Tryptophan increases melatonin and serotonin, neurotransmitters that promote relaxation, a feeling of wellbeing and a restful nights sleep ACTION: Eat fibrous foods that are high in omega 3, such as avocado, walnuts, chia seed, and Flaxseed #7 LIMIT CAFFEINE Caffeine increases cortisol (the stress hormone) affects the quality of sleep and can even trigger depression When too much caffeine is consumed, it can make you feel moody, jumpy and anxious These are all GREAT coffee substitutes. Each one has health benefits, won’t spike adrenalin and will keep your mood calm and steady. Green tea has a smaller amount of caffeine than coffee and contains l-theanine. L-theanine lowers anxiety and keeps energy levels stable. Chamomile tea is also an excellent choice. Chamomile is caffeine free and promotes relaxation. ACTION: Drink coffee before noon Replace coffee with green tea or caffeine-free substitutes, linked above #8 QUIT SUGAR Sugar gives us a false sense of energy and is very addictive! We get a sugar high followed by a crashing low. This blood sugar imbalance makes us eat more sugar overall to boost energy levels. ACTION: Eat a smaller amount of dessert or share with a friend Try to cut obvious sources of sugar from your diet When eating sugar, combine it with a small amount of fiber, protein, and fat to slow its absorption (Eg, Strawberries, almonds and a few pieces of dark chocolate) #9 EAT CARBOHYDRATES Healthy carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables and wholegrain boost tryptophan and serotonin levels which promote a better nights sleep ACTION: Choose wholegrain varieties of bread and kinds of pasta Swap white rice for brown Experiment with different grains such as quinoa, couscous, and freekah Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables #10 SLEEP MORE – BUT NOT TOO MUCH Poor sleep affects the hormones responsible for our mood and appetite. When we sleep less, we turn ON the hormone that makes us hungry and we turn OFF the hormone that makes us full However, too much sleep can make us feel lethargic and unmotivated. Anywhere from 6-9 hours works well for most people ACTION: Regularly wake and go to bed at the same time each day Avoiding using electronics 1 hour before bed Avoiding stimulating foods such as caffeine, spicy foods and chocolate Sleep in a cool, dark and quiet environment Apply topical magnesium. Magnesium promotes relaxation and a restful night sleep PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER AM Wake up early at the same time each morning Take a few deep breaths followed by light stretches for 5 minutes Drink large glass water, followed by 1 cup of coffee (if desired) In the afternoon, go outside for a walk and get some fresh air Meals Breakfast – Oats with berries and toasted mixed seeds Lunch – Wholegrain wrap with hummus, avocado, and rocket, followed by fresh fruit Snack – Banana and peanut butter Dinner – Chickpea or chicken curry with brown rice and green beans Dessert – Orange slices and a few squares of dark chocolate PM Switch off mobiles and TV 1 hour before bed Do a few light stretches before bed Drink chamomile tea Place a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow Get an early night! Have you ever suffered from anxiety, stress or overwhelm? Let me know in the comments what was the one thing that really helped you? The post FEELING STRESSED & OVERWHELMED? STOP IT WITH THESE 10 POWERFUL TIPS appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  25. TOP VEGAN MEALS TO PREP BEFORE BABY ARRIVES & TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY I love cooking and making sure that me and my family eat healthy meals is a huge priority to me. I’m the type of person who will sacrifice sleep time to make sure theres lots of tasty snacks in to eat. To say I love food and I love eating is an understatement. That was before I had my first child. Now don’t get me wrong, my families health is still my number 1 priority but I have seriously streamlined my approach so that I can feed my family healthily…and quickly. As I enter my third trimester, I am reminded how little time there is once a new baby shows up. And there is no better time then now to get your kitchen organised and meals prepped to help you for when you bring your gorgeous baby back. * Hello nesting * I recommend either taking a few weeks to gradually stock up your freezer (avoiding overwhelm). Or if you’d prefer, do it all in one weekend. Choose what will work for you! The ideal time to start the ‘prepping’ process is a few weeks before your due date. You want to be prepared, but you may also need the freezer space so don’t start too early. Now, before you start worrying that this will require lots of work upfront, the truth is that you can do as little or as much as you like. You don’t need to have every meal planned out after you bring the baby home. #thatsnevergoingtohappen The idea is to get a few emergency meals and snacks ready for the times you REALLY need them. These are also great meal ideas and recipes that are healthy but take minimal time (and most freeze well) so if you have a spare hour on the weekend while baby naps you can create a batch for the week ahead. On a final note, my career is all about healthy eating so I take it more seriously than most people but if you are serious about staying healthy, getting your body back quickly and healthily (if thats your goal) and create healthy eating habits for your family then you MUST prioritise. I promise when you get the hang of it, you will feel so good and you’ll want to do it! It will simply become a NEW habit. Why you need to meal prep Saves TIME – sometimes you will just need to sleep and wont have the time to cook Makes life easier once the baby arrives Ensures you eat healthfully Saves you money Why you need to eat healthy Keep your energy levels up Helps you focus better Speeds up recovery Helps you lose your baby weight, easily and healthily Ensures better nutrition for your baby (if breastfeeding) Meal planning before baby arrives – Healthy plant-based meals All meals and recipes are whole food plant based. They are nutritious, full of fiber and bursting with nutrients to speed recovery. They contain no egg, fish, and dairy and can be easily made gluten-free. Perfect if yourself or your baby has allergies. And to make life even easier, You can get a FREE download with all the tips, recipes and practical advice (as well as TONS of other free printables) HERE. Some tips and practical advice to get you started. #1 Invest in equipment that will make cooking easier The two items I use EVERYDAY. Yes everyday are: VITAMIX: (to make smoothies for me and my daughter), humous, dips, chopping veg, blending soups. It even cleans itself. #iknowiknow INSTANT POT: This easy to use, won’t-risk-blowing-up-in-your-kitchen pressure cooker is a LIFESAVER. You can cook rice, soups, stews, oats and even dried beans and grains in a matter of minutes. Perfect for the lazy or distracted cook! You can find great instant pot recipes that freeze well here #2 Make your freezer your bestie Total fridge envy from Hello Nutritarian, check her out to see more fridge inspo! Freezer meals are ESSENTIAL in meal prepping, especially as you might not know exactly when baby will arrive. Those first few days will tax your energy, motivation, and willpower. Thats when you’ll pop out a freezer meal and your good to go! There are lots of meals to choose from later in this post. I also recommend stocking up on the following: Frozen frozen fruit and vegetables vegan burgers, falafels edamame #3 Store Cupboard Essentials Stock up on store cupboard ingredients, that will make quick and healthy meals. Ain’t no-one got time to go food shopping after bringing baby back! Store cupboard tinned foods tomatoes beans, baked beans lentils vegetable based soups Brown rice, quinoa, and other grains (or ready made packets) tortillas Oats Muesli mixed herbs (herbs de province) mixed spices (cajun, fajita, morrocan) stock cubes coconut milk dates, dried fruit Mixed unsalted nuts & seeds – for snacks & sprinkling on to meals Maple syrup Milk Tahini – I use this on everything! Stir into oats, add a dollop to smoothies, drizzle on salads or add a spoonful to soups & stews for a gorgeous creamy flavour. #4 Buy minimal fresh Produce Unless you KNOW when your baby will be arriving, theres no point getting lots of fresh produce in. Get a few bits and bobs (veggies and fruits that take longer to go off) Fresh potatoes (white and sweet) onions Garlic Buy fresh bread (sliced) but store it in the freezer for a quick toast snack. Fruits such as oranges, apples and bananas take longer to perish Vegetables such as squashes, hard cabbages and carrots take longer to perish #5 Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas BREAKFAST 1. Quick Cooked Oats Combine oats, frozen berries, cinnamon, chopped walnuts & plant based milk and microwave. 2. Overnight oats Are a huge time saver. Just spend 5 minutes the night before to prepare and you have a healthy breakfast ready to go. My go to recipe – 2 cups of oats, 2 cups of almond milk, 2 TBL chia seed, 1/2 TSP cinnamon, 2 TBL sultanas, 1 grated apple. Mix and let sit overnight in fridge. Top with almond butter the next morning. 3. Smoothie (smoothie packs) You can create your own smoothie packs by ‘bagging’ up frozen spinach, frozen berries, banana and chia seed in a ziplock bag. Simply add almond milk & a dollop of peanut butter to the blender and whizz together. 4. Vegan Lactation Cookies 5. Easy Breakfast Cookies Mash 2 very ripe bananas with a fork, add a cup of oats, 1 – 2 TBL runny almond butter and a handful of chopped dates and mix together. Use a splash of plant based milk if too dry. Mould into cookies or press into a tin to make flapjacks. Cook in oven at 180* for 15-20minutes until firm to touch. 6. Toast Top with avocado, peanut butter or whatever you fancy. Eat with a piece of fruit. #6 Throw together Easy Meals LUNCH & DINNER Baked potato and chilli or baked beans with a prepackaged side salad Fried Rice: Pre cooked rice, frozen mixed veggies, soy sauce, frozen edamame and cashew nuts (a regular go to meal at my house!!) Mexican Bowl: Rice, frozen corn, avocado, diced tomato, tin of beans, shredded lettuce, taco seasoning. Eat as a burrito bowl or wrap in a tortilla for a filling on the go meal Comforting stew: Tin of soup, frozen vegetables, tin of lentils. Mix together and reheat for a quick stew. Serve along or over grains or potatoes. Pasta: Wholewheat pasta, tomato pasta sauce, frozen vegetables, dried mixed herbs Curry: Chickpeas, Frozen vegetables, curry spices, coconut milk. Serve with rice or quinoa Hearty Salad: Prepackaged salad, ready chopped vegetables (such as grated carrot, chopped onion, diced pepper) Recooked quinoa pouch, tin of mixed beans, avocado Sandwich – Wholemeal bread, avocado, frozen falafel lettuce and sliced tomato Beans and (frozen) mushrooms on toast or baked potato Couscous with dried sultanas, diced roasted red peppers (jar) diced artichoke (tinned), sliced olives, squeeze of lemon juice #7 Get Saucy…Gringe (I had to) Easy 20 Minute Classic Marina Pasta Sauce by Fox & Briar Left it too late to meal prep? Instead of full recipe, prepare a batch of sauce instead. Freeze in individual portions and then on the day simply add whatever vegetables, beans or lentils. Easy 20 Minute Classic Marinara Pasta Sauce Coconut Curry Sauce Ratatouille in 20 minutes #8 Snacks That Freeze The Ultimate Energy Bites By Deliciously Ella Combine dates, nuts and oats in a food processor to make healthy energy boosting snacks. The Ultimate Energy Bites Fresh fruit Have easy to eat fruit available and lots of it, your going to need a lot of snacks mama. (grapes, apples, bananas & stone fruits require no prep and are good choices. Pre-cut fruit is also an option. Date & Oat Bars Healthy No Bake Brownies Green Smoothie Packs 4 Ingredient Granola Bars Lactation Cookies #9 Recipes that freeze 1 Hour Shepherds Pie by Minimalist Baker 1 hour Shepherds Pie Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese Spanish Chickpea & Spinach Stew Spiced Red Lentil & Root vegetable Soup Red Lentil Dahl Recipe Mushroom Lasagnep Mushroom & Walnut Spicy Bolognese Sauce One Pot Vegan Chilli Vegan Butternut Squash Risotto #10 Practical tips for when your really stuck on time Is it time for a takeaway? Have a list ready beforehand of healthy places you can get a takeaway. That way when your really stuck (which will happen) you will always have healthy options to choose from. 1) Research meal delivery companies Although not ideal and something that most people cant sustain longterm, your recovery and your baby are the priority. So if you ae really struggling, then a meal delivery service can help fill between the gaps. 2) Get help If possible, get a parent, friend or helper to cook some meals for you. Having my parents around for the birth of my daughter was a lifesaver and helped me eat properly when I was too exhausted. Tip: If a friend asks, can I do anything to help – take them up on the offer! They are offering to help, so let them! I hope you found these tips and recipes practical and helpful. What tips have helped you stay healthy when your exhausted? Remember, you can download all these tips, tricks & recipes here. Print them out and have them ready…You’re going to need it Mama. The post TOP VEGAN MEALS TO PREP BEFORE BABY ARRIVES & TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  26. TOP VEGAN MEALS TO PREP BEFORE BABY ARRIVES & TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY I love cooking and making sure that me and my family eat healthy meals is a huge priority to me. I’m the type of person who will sacrifice sleep time to make sure theres lots of tasty snacks in to eat. To say I love food and I love eating is an understatement. That was before I had my first child. Now don’t get me wrong, my families health is still my number 1 priority but I have seriously streamlined my approach so that I can feed my family healthily…and quickly. As I enter my third trimester, I am reminded how little time there is once a new baby shows up. And there is no better time then now to get your kitchen organised and meals prepped to help you for when you bring your gorgeous baby back. * Hello nesting * I recommend either taking a few weeks to gradually stock up your freezer (avoiding overwhelm). Or if you’d prefer, do it all in one weekend. Choose what will work for you! The ideal time to start the ‘prepping’ process is a few weeks before your due date. You want to be prepared, but you may also need the freezer space so don’t start too early. Now, before you start worrying that this will require lots of work upfront, the truth is that you can do as little or as much as you like. You don’t need to have every meal planned out after you bring the baby home. #thatsnevergoingtohappen The idea is to get a few emergency meals and snacks ready for the times you REALLY need them. These are also great meal ideas and recipes that are healthy but take minimal time (and most freeze well) so if you have a spare hour on the weekend while baby naps you can create a batch for the week ahead. On a final note, my career is all about healthy eating so I take it more seriously than most people but if you are serious about staying healthy, getting your body back quickly and healthily (if thats your goal) and create healthy eating habits for your family then you MUST prioritise. I promise when you get the hang of it, you will feel so good and you’ll want to do it! It will simply become a NEW habit. Why you need to meal prep Saves TIME – sometimes you will just need to sleep and wont have the time to cook Makes life easier once the baby arrives Ensures you eat healthfully Saves you money Why you need to eat healthy Keep your energy levels up Helps you focus better Speeds up recovery Helps you lose your baby weight, easily and healthily Ensures better nutrition for your baby (if breastfeeding) Meal planning before baby arrives – Healthy plant-based meals All meals and recipes are whole food plant based. They are nutritious, full of fiber and bursting with nutrients to speed recovery. They contain no egg, fish, and dairy and can be easily made gluten-free. Perfect if yourself or your baby has allergies. And to make life even easier, You can get a FREE download with all the tips, recipes and practical advice (as well as TONS of other free printables) HERE. Some tips and practical advice to get you started. #1 Invest in equipment that will make cooking easier The two items I use EVERYDAY. Yes everyday are: VITAMIX: (to make smoothies for me and my daughter), humous, dips, chopping veg, blending soups. It even cleans itself. #iknowiknow INSTANT POT: This easy to use, won’t-risk-blowing-up-in-your-kitchen pressure cooker is a LIFESAVER. You can cook rice, soups, stews, oats and even dried beans and grains in a matter of minutes. Perfect for the lazy or distracted cook! You can find great instant pot recipes that freeze well here #2 Make your freezer your bestie Total fridge envy from Hello Nutritarian, check her out to see more fridge inspo! Freezer meals are ESSENTIAL in meal prepping, especially as you might not know exactly when baby will arrive. Those first few days will tax your energy, motivation, and willpower. Thats when you’ll pop out a freezer meal and your good to go! There are lots of meals to choose from later in this post. I also recommend stocking up on the following: Frozen frozen fruit and vegetables vegan burgers, falafels edamame #3 Store Cupboard Essentials Stock up on store cupboard ingredients, that will make quick and healthy meals. Ain’t no-one got time to go food shopping after bringing baby back! Store cupboard tinned foods tomatoes beans, baked beans lentils vegetable based soups Brown rice, quinoa, and other grains (or ready made packets) tortillas Oats Muesli mixed herbs (herbs de province) mixed spices (cajun, fajita, morrocan) stock cubes coconut milk dates, dried fruit Mixed unsalted nuts & seeds – for snacks & sprinkling on to meals Maple syrup Milk Tahini – I use this on everything! Stir into oats, add a dollop to smoothies, drizzle on salads or add a spoonful to soups & stews for a gorgeous creamy flavour. #4 Buy minimal fresh Produce Unless you KNOW when your baby will be arriving, theres no point getting lots of fresh produce in. Get a few bits and bobs (veggies and fruits that take longer to go off) Fresh potatoes (white and sweet) onions Garlic Buy fresh bread (sliced) but store it in the freezer for a quick toast snack. Fruits such as oranges, apples and bananas take longer to perish Vegetables such as squashes, hard cabbages and carrots take longer to perish #5 Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas BREAKFAST 1. Quick Cooked Oats Combine oats, frozen berries, cinnamon, chopped walnuts & plant based milk and microwave. 2. Overnight oats Are a huge time saver. Just spend 5 minutes the night before to prepare and you have a healthy breakfast ready to go. My go to recipe – 2 cups of oats, 2 cups of almond milk, 2 TBL chia seed, 1/2 TSP cinnamon, 2 TBL sultanas, 1 grated apple. Mix and let sit overnight in fridge. Top with almond butter the next morning. 3. Smoothie (smoothie packs) You can create your own smoothie packs by ‘bagging’ up frozen spinach, frozen berries, banana and chia seed in a ziplock bag. Simply add almond milk & a dollop of peanut butter to the blender and whizz together. 4. Vegan Lactation Cookies 5. Easy Breakfast Cookies Mash 2 very ripe bananas with a fork, add a cup of oats, 1 – 2 TBL runny almond butter and a handful of chopped dates and mix together. Use a splash of plant based milk if too dry. Mould into cookies or press into a tin to make flapjacks. Cook in oven at 180* for 15-20minutes until firm to touch. 6. Toast Top with avocado, peanut butter or whatever you fancy. Eat with a piece of fruit. #6 Throw together Easy Meals LUNCH & DINNER Baked potato and chilli or baked beans with a prepackaged side salad Fried Rice: Pre cooked rice, frozen mixed veggies, soy sauce, frozen edamame and cashew nuts (a regular go to meal at my house!!) Mexican Bowl: Rice, frozen corn, avocado, diced tomato, tin of beans, shredded lettuce, taco seasoning. Eat as a burrito bowl or wrap in a tortilla for a filling on the go meal Comforting stew: Tin of soup, frozen vegetables, tin of lentils. Mix together and reheat for a quick stew. Serve along or over grains or potatoes. Pasta: Wholewheat pasta, tomato pasta sauce, frozen vegetables, dried mixed herbs Curry: Chickpeas, Frozen vegetables, curry spices, coconut milk. Serve with rice or quinoa Hearty Salad: Prepackaged salad, ready chopped vegetables (such as grated carrot, chopped onion, diced pepper) Recooked quinoa pouch, tin of mixed beans, avocado Sandwich – Wholemeal bread, avocado, frozen falafel lettuce and sliced tomato Beans and (frozen) mushrooms on toast or baked potato Couscous with dried sultanas, diced roasted red peppers (jar) diced artichoke (tinned), sliced olives, squeeze of lemon juice #7 Get Saucy…Gringe (I had to) Easy 20 Minute Classic Marina Pasta Sauce by Fox & Briar Left it too late to meal prep? Instead of full recipe, prepare a batch of sauce instead. Freeze in individual portions and then on the day simply add whatever vegetables, beans or lentils. Easy 20 Minute Classic Marinara Pasta Sauce Coconut Curry Sauce Ratatouille in 20 minutes #8 Snacks That Freeze The Ultimate Energy Bites By Deliciously Ella Combine dates, nuts and oats in a food processor to make healthy energy boosting snacks. The Ultimate Energy Bites Fresh fruit Have easy to eat fruit available and lots of it, your going to need a lot of snacks mama. (grapes, apples, bananas & stone fruits require no prep and are good choices. Pre-cut fruit is also an option. Date & Oat Bars Healthy No Bake Brownies Green Smoothie Packs 4 Ingredient Granola Bars Lactation Cookies #9 Recipes that freeze 1 Hour Shepherds Pie by Minimalist Baker 1 hour Shepherds Pie Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese Spanish Chickpea & Spinach Stew Spiced Red Lentil & Root vegetable Soup Red Lentil Dahl Recipe Mushroom Lasagnep Mushroom & Walnut Spicy Bolognese Sauce One Pot Vegan Chilli Vegan Butternut Squash Risotto #10 Practical tips for when your really stuck on time Is it time for a takeaway? Have a list ready beforehand of healthy places you can get a takeaway. That way when your really stuck (which will happen) you will always have healthy options to choose from. 1) Research meal delivery companies Although not ideal and something that most people cant sustain longterm, your recovery and your baby are the priority. So if you ae really struggling, then a meal delivery service can help fill between the gaps. 2) Get help If possible, get a parent, friend or helper to cook some meals for you. Having my parents around for the birth of my daughter was a lifesaver and helped me eat properly when I was too exhausted. Tip: If a friend asks, can I do anything to help – take them up on the offer! They are offering to help, so let them! I hope you found these tips and recipes practical and helpful. What tips have helped you stay healthy when your exhausted? Remember, you can download all these tips, tricks & recipes here. Print them out and have them ready…You’re going to need it Mama. The post TOP VEGAN MEALS TO PREP BEFORE BABY ARRIVES & TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
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