It’s time to stop drinking your calories

Have you been trying to lose weight and starting to get frustrated not seeing the results you’ve been working hard for? There might be some loop holes that you aren’t being mindful of.

When it comes to losing weight, we usually focus more on the food intake. Some do calorie counting, others even deprive themselves from eating and starve themselves just to say that they’re trying their best to make some action. As they say, “a goal without action is just a dream”.

Well, partly true, the problem is, when the action made is just part of a whole. That’s why, I’d always love to add another mantra with the one I’ve mentioned earlier with, “don’t work hard, work smart”.

When you work towards a goal, it’s important to look at the whole picture. In this case, if you want to lose weight, make sure to not only to be mindful of what you eat but also what you drink.

The marketing industry of companies of today have invested tons and tons of money just to make sure consumers bite to their trap. We already know how bad sodas are and I think it’s been the most exposed high-sugary drink, that’s why I won’t dwell on that anymore. This article is to pin-point more of those kind of drinks which aren’t that much exposed yet we usually drink on a daily basis. Yikes!

Popular drinks which disguises itself:

Fruit juice. We all know that fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals. Little do we know that those labeled 100% fruit juice boxes we buy from stores are contain more sugar-sweetened versions can come with a large dose of sugar and very little fiber.The next time you want to drink some fruit juice, make sure to have them freshly squeezed.

Sports drinks. This drink has been more popular nowadays as more people get into fitness. Linking itself to be a go-to drink to keep you hydrated and fuelled to prolong strength for intense periods of exercise. FYI, it’s the high amounts of added sugars that can be quickly absorbed and used for energy that’s being consumed.

This is quite alarming actually if you come to think of it. A 32-ounce sports drink contains between 56 and 76 grams of sugar – equal to about 14 to19 teaspoons – and four to six times the recommended daily amount for kids and teenagers according to this article from UICH.

Into fitness? Know that it’s still the old and simple water that you can rely on to keep you hydrated.

Chocolate milk. Milk itself is a nutritious drink filled with calcium to keep our bones healthy. Adding chocolate though which is composed of cocoa and mostly sweetened sugar, it surely defeat the purpose of drinking milk. To highlight, 1 cup of chocolate milk comes with almost 3 teaspoons of sugar. Try eating 3 teaspoons of sugar and see for yourself if you’ll still enjoy it.

Flavoured coffees. This one could be the culprit for many for sure. Sadly, with the help of Social Media, it’s been made into a status-symbol, hence, everyone want to have our hands on it. This is one of the trends where not only does it affects your finances (those drinks aren’t cheap!) but also puts your health into jeopardy.

A large flavoured coffee usually have 45 grams of sugar, if not much more. That’s equivalent to about 11 teaspoons of added sugar per serving. WOAH! Don’t worry coffee addicts, there’s some healthier ways for you to have your caffeine-fix. Check out this article

Iced tea. I must confess, this is where the loop-hole is in our family. Not being a soda fan, we end up with Iced teas. Surprise, surprise!!! It’s another drink full of sweetened sugar in it! Worst is, the usual iced teas sold contains around 35 grams of sugar per 12-ounce (340-mL) serving. That’s almost the same as a bottle of Coke. 🤨 Guess where drinking sodas without the fizz!

Pre-made smoothies. If you look at any healthy eating blog, you’ll probably see a smoothie as one of their recommended breakfast recipe. Truly, homemade smoothies that’s you usually make out of blended fruits and milk is a healthy morning drink. Those you buy though and are commercially produced are full of sweeteners and even have ice cream or syrup on it.

This makes a “supposedly” healthy drink contain a ridiculously high amount of sugar, with over 13 teaspoons of sugar!

It’s not only drinks that disguise themselves, in today’s world where everyone wants to somehow trick the other, it’s good to always be mindful about everything. Check out the list of food that disguise themselves as healthy.

I hope you find these tips helpful. For daily inspiring Self-Care tips, you can follow me here. I’d also love to see you on my Mindfulness Course and be with your journey to a better you. Sign-up now to be included on my VIP list!

5 Interesting Reasons how Parenting changed me

We’re travelling home last night when my husband suddenly asked me this question while looking at our daughters. It caught me off-guard and got me thinking.

Growing up, I hated kids. Being the eldest among our cousins on my maternal side, I grew up seeing my younger cousins, which happens to be mostly boys, I was often the one asked to watch over them especially when the oldies gather around for their chitchat. I hated every single moment of it! Not because I given that responsibility but because I can’t stand my cousins mischievousness. Add to that the deafening noise they make! argh!

That’s when I realised and knew that I hated kids.

Then came the time for me to have my own family. Despite having that thought, I’m not like others who doesn’t want to have children of their own. I do want to have, but I just hated that playfulness, I might say. A big part of what children by nature are.

And so 10 years down the line, here I am with 2 daughters of my own. Did they changed my impression about children? What significance did having them gave to my life and who I am today?

Here are my personal insights on how my daughters changed me:

Being Responsible. Most of us would want to believe that as we get older, we get more responsible in life. We find our way to make a living and able to feed ourselves without the help of our parents/guardian. Hurray! I’m a grown up or others might say, “adulting”!

Despite that, nothing can prepare you to be more responsible than being a parent. The thought of being given a responsibility of another life to your hands makes you put out whatever effort you can give just so you can make sure to live up to it.

With todays society where children are raised merely needing the basic essentials of food, clothing, and shelter, but need various other stuff to make them live a comfortable life nowadays, parents are compelled to think of more ways to make a living.

Conclusion: Having a child brings out the best in a parent. Without your child, you wouldn’t know how much you can give out of yourself.

Change in life’s perspective. I must admit, I was kind of materialistic gal during my early 20s where in my early 20s, my most precious possessions consists of clothing, bags and shoes. I must say, I matured a bit when as I aged when I learned the beauty of travel. Though it’s still some kind of luxury, at least, it adds up to my learning experience.

All of that changed when I gave birth to my 1st born, then more when my 2nd one came. Life became more meaningful and I’ve found my new purpose in life. If was beyond being able to provide material things but holding up for my values, making sure I’m living with good habits and manners, and living life with a meaningful purpose as your little ones watch you everyday.

Conclusion: Live becomes more meaningful and you’re somewhat re-born to live a purposeful life.

Finding Inner strength. I don’t know about you but I certainly isn’t this strong of a woman before I became a parent. Perhaps it’s because I knew that I could always crawl my way back to my parents whenever I need to.

Of course, when you become the parent to be crawled up into, that totally changes the game. You step up your plate, ready or not, and somehow find that inner strength you, yourself, didn’t know you have within you. Amazing, isn’t it?!

Conclusion: Being a parent makes us become stronger as a person by being able to find our inner strength.

Finding confidence. I remember those times when I was too shy to answer our own phone (yes, I’m talking about those landline phones when mobile phones isn’t a thing back then) at home whenever it rings. Can you imagine?!

Nowadays, I wouldn’t think twice to call or message one of my daughter’s teachers whenever they need something from school. For others, starting a conversation with someone either in-person or not may be a natural thing, but for others like me, well, it takes up a lot of drive from within to sum up that confidence needed to be able to speak up.

Conclusion: Parenting makes you a better person than what you are or who you are before.

Self-Care. I suck at my own self-care when I was younger. I didn’t have any routines or even have some specific skin care. Contrary to what others experiences though, I felt more taken care of, by myself, nowadays than before. I may be more busy with life, having 2 munchkins to take care of, but believe me, I am at my peak when it comes to having time with myself as well nowadays.

From learning to make routines to manage my time wisely throughout the day, I also developed my love for taking care of my body. Through mindful eating and doing exercise, not for the sake of being skinny but to make my body strong, I felt more energetic and alive most days. Feeding my mind with great information and affirmation makes me live my days with more purpose and a better mood.

Conclusion: While no one can deny that having a child can be a handful, we as parents must also realise that without us taking of ourselves first, we can’t give/do more for our children.

Having children may come with tons of responsibilities but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to handle it. You yourself would be surprised how strong of a person you are. And as a prize for that, something that not a single word can describe the happiness a child can bring to a parent’s life.

For those parents reading this, I’d love to share your stories too on how parenting have changed you. Share yours and get to inspire others as well on the comments below!

Join our community and be one of the first to read my latest blogs! For daily positivity and Self-Care, you can follow my Instagram account @themommywithagoal.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by BakezbyDaizy.’ 

Interesting benefits of Oil Pulling

I haven’t heard of oil pulling until last year when I was fortunate to interview a Holistic Guru named Hema Dadhwal on my YouTube Series, Women’s Self-Care Series. where she mentioned oil pulling as part of her Self-Care routine.

Hema Dadhwal – Holistic Guru

I must be honest, if didn’t strike me to add oil pulling as part of my own routine for months and months until my Journey of Urticaria happened and I knew I needed to step up more on my Self-Care routines. So nowadays, aside from my journalling, exercise and usual skin care routine, I’ve added a 10-minute morning yoga, a water drinking challenge, and oil pulling.

Interesting enough, with this added Self-Care routines, I’ve never felt like my time in doing things have lessened (well, maybe some of my time scrolling on social media😅). Nonetheless, the benefits this new practices have given me compared to the minutes I loose is irrelevant and incomparable.

What exactly is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is a traditional folk remedy practiced in ancient India. It is believed to cure a lot of systemic diseases when practiced regularly and as directed. You might not be aware that there’s an increase demand on complementary and traditional practices nowadays as more and more people get aware of the side effects modern medicine and other oral products can give.

Benefits of Oil Pulling

Kill bacteria in your mouth. About 700 types of bacteria can live in your mouth. Ewww, right?! This certain bacteria can contribute problems like tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.

You can significantly reduced this number of harmful bacteria found in the saliva and plaque with just one week of oil pulling.

Reduce Bad Breath. Halitosis affects almost 50% of the population and as you suspected, it isn’t the lack of toothpaste nor brushing of teeth that most people lack but some underlying problems such as  infection, gum disease, and tongue coating, or the bacteria trapped on the tongue.

The next time you sat beside someone who’s breath smells, why not sharing some oil pulling tips instead of the usual gifting of toothpaste and mouthwash.

Prevent Cavities. With today’s society getting more and more addicted to sugary food, there’s no wonder cavities is one of the most common oral problem nowadays. What’s worst is when not taken care of, this can lead to tooth decay.

The decrease of bacteria oil pulling does helps reduce cavity formation which can relieve one from having tooth decay.

Improve Gum Health. When it comes to Self-Care, improving your health no matter how small part of your body it is is important. Gingivitis, a type of gum disease which makes gums bleed easily. Ouch!

There’s even some studies linking gum disease to even create a serious threat to arterial health that can lead to heart attacks and strokes, as well as diabetes and birth complications.

How to do Oil Pulling?

  1. Measure 1 tablespoon of either Coconut, Sesame, or Olive oil.
  2. Swish it in your mouth for around 10-20 minutes. Be careful not to swallow it.
  3. Spit into trash once done. Make sure not to spit in the toilet or sink as this can cause oil build-up and/or clogging.
  4. Rinse your mouth with water.

Repeat this a few times a week or up to 3 times daily.

I hope this natural oral Self-Care practice help improve your oral health. I personally use Coconut oil and find it great!

Journey on How I’ve overcome Urticaria

You might be wondering why I’m doing this post. Aren’t you the “Self-Care advocate” mom, others might say?? Well, yes, that’s me! And not that I’m saying it’s normal to have chronic hives but it can happen to anyone.

And like anyone else who has something bad happen to them, I never have wanted to have chronic hives nor wish anyone to have it as well (just to let you know😉). 

So, what happened was that one day, I woke up and had hives. Thinking I just ate something or some insect bit me, I ignored it. Only to find out the next day and the next, and the weeks and months would be a morning-hive day for me! Ugh! I’m so glad to have overcome it!

BACK STORY

I grew up generally healthy. Aside from my allergic rhinitis, I don’t have any other medical condition and rarely visit doctors except for those routinely dental or medical appointments needed, and of course, how could forget about that 3 pokes I got consecutively as my vaccine for Covid, something we all needed to ride the Pandemic. As far as I can remember, I was only admitted twice, and those were the times I gave birth to my daughters. 

So when these “hives” came, I was kinda worried while trying to laugh it off at the same time. What made it not too alarming for me too was that the hives would disappear 4-5 hours after their appearance, hence, why I call them “my morning hives”. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do have the utmost respect for doctors and their practice. I’ve got a sister who’s a doctor too. But, as most of us do, we do still have our own opinion on everything and for me, relying on taking meds and following doctor’s orders ONLY isn’t my cup of tea.

Call me stubborn if you want but I can be as open-minded as I can be so I can be healthy again, enjoy eating, and not take any medication. That’s my definition of Self-Care and Uhm…okay, I’m also afraid of needles so I try my best to avoid seeing them.🤭

FIRST LESSON LEARNED: MEDICATION

Anyways, as most of us would do, I still went to see a General Practitioner (GP) after much urge from my hubby and sister who’s a doctor based in the Philippines. The doctor gave me some antihistamine and anti-itch lotion. Of course, it worked! haha…No more hives the next day! And as per my usual self who isn’t too medicine-keen, yes, I didn’t finish the subscribed meds as instructed. When I saw the hives were gone the following day, I simply stopped taking meds. 

WRONG! It was only after my 2nd visit to the GP and a bit of research did I learned that when you stop taking the subscribed meds, what was supposed to be a healing process done by the meds given was simply put to waste. There’s a reason why you’re supposed to take the meds for a week or two. It is for your body to get rid of whatever that is before getting back to normality. Ditching meds is like taking the meds subscribed by only half of the dosage needed. 

What was supposed to heal me initially made my system messed up because of how I was taking the subscribed meds. 😒 My bad! Well, I didn’t know that and now learned my lesson. haha.

AWAKENING

Anyways, I went for the nth time to the GP last May and was surprised how much I’ve been neglecting my hives. What I thought was just months of having it turned out to be almost a year of neglect already. 

And because of that, instead of just giving me medication, the doctor diagnosed me with Urticaria and gave me a recommendation letter for my visit to the National Skin Center (NSC) to have more tests to confirm and solve the skin issue I’m having. 

I couldn’t hide my distraught on what I thought was something that would simply go away turned out to be something “chronic”. And if you’re a Filipino like me, this skin disease, Urticaria, wouldn’t be too new to you as you’ve probably heard it from Kris Aquino. How could hives be this serious that I needed to be recommended to a specialist? (Remember, I’m not that keen on seeing doctors🥹)

Worst was the procrastination I was dealing with inside me. It’s not that I do not have time to see a doctor and focus much on my medication but simply, I thought it would just vanish one day. I just didn’t do my part. Haist!

SECOND LESSON LEARNED: BE RESPONSIBLE

I’m an optimistic person and sometimes it can be too much that hinders me also in accepting the truth of what is reality. Seeing the good things in life isn’t how problems are solved, it is by facing them, then reaping the success of solving the problem that makes you happy and therefore, think optimistically about life. That’s how it should be done.

What happened to me was that I was being too optimistic that it will simply go away, depending only on my mind to solve the problem without making any action on it. I even saw some comments online that they too had chronic hives after they had their Moderna Booster Shot which added to my self-assurance that this isn’t just me who’s having and it will just pass. Another aha moment at that time for me. 

Looking back, all I see was a procrastinating lady who tries to hide her sorrows through her optimism. I knew I wasn’t keen on taking meds and visiting the doctor and though was open-minded about trying other stuff that could heal me…..yet, it still took so long for me to take action. Take note, when I say long, I mean months and months-long (almost a year!). 

And why am I not ashamed of saying that? It’s because I want to portray what reality is. We are all human and though I am a Self-Care advocate when things get messed up, I also turn out to be a messed-up person. It always depends on how we choose to react to it. It may take time to realize it but progress is still progress. That’s all that matters.

After months and months of agonizing about these “hives”, I’ve come to my senses and knew I needed to take action and take responsibility for something to change. After days of research, I found out about the first mistake I did about the meds (see FIRST LESSON LEARNED if you skipped that part), I started to understand how important making a food diary is, and learned more about histamines.  

HEALING

Learning about histamine was a big eye-opener for me. As a person who hated anything related to science (hence, my degree in Finance. haha), I was amazed at myself for having that surge of interest in reading about it. 

With it, I learned that as our body changes its appearance (yes, as we grow), same as our system does. If outgrowing allergies can happen, so do allergies emerge as you get older. Yes, it is what you think of….you can’t be allergic to coffee in your younger years but develop allergies from it (or so trigger some allergies) in your late 30s!🤯 

I’M ALLERGIC TO COFFEE AND TOMATOES!!! 

Even while I was writing those words now made me wonder in disbelief. I’m not sure how it emerged or why. Imagine, I was one of those working on nightshift in my early 20s drinking coffee as if it were water to survive the night. This lessened when I shifted jobs and moved here to Singapore where I happily drink my usual morning coffee to wake my spirits every morning. 

So you can only imagine this avid coffee drinker, actually drowning herself from something causing her the hives, anxiety, and mood swings that affected her lifestyle and the way she manages her household. 

Even my two daughters were telling me, then how will you keep yourself awake?! hahaha.As I’ve told them once that coffee keeps me awake when they got curious about why I love drinking coffee despite its aroma (or as the term they use “funky smell”)

LEARNINGS

Do your part. Thinking of ways to solve problems or issues not only within yourself but in life, in general, would make no difference. Using those thoughts and putting them into action, will. 

And while I may not have medical proof that my Urticaria has been cured, having found the culprit on my diet that triggers my hives is good enough for me. 

If you told me that making a food diary instead of relying on my mental ability and checking out the histamine would heal me in less than a month, then I could have done that immediately. Life unfortunately doesn’t work that way. Sometimes, we need to go through shit to learn.

When I say learn, I mean deeply to learn that you even get to embrace and appreciate the journey you’ve been through to be that “wiser” person you are now. 

Have you been experiencing chronic hives too? You might want to try

Morning Routine Guide for a New Lifestyle

There is no better way to start your day than with a good routine. Here are a few tips on how to establish a morning routine that will help you get the most of your day!

Find a wake up time that works for you. If you are an early bird, waking up at 5 a.m. will be a breeze for you. If staying up late until 11 p.m. is your jam, then going to bed at 10 p/m. and waking up at 7 a.m. would work great for you! Just make sure to pick a time that works well for you and stick with it! 

Start the day with a quick workout. Our bodies function better when we are physically active. Plus, it will wake you up and get you ready to take on the day!

Make a to-do list. Writing down your tasks will help to keep you organised and on top of things. I like to take a few minutes every morning to do this so that I know exactly what I need to get done that day.

Take a shower or bath in the morning. Taking a shower or bath will help to wake up your body and give you more energy for the day ahead!

Set an Intention. Starting your day with a great intention will help get you more focused on working towards a your goals and motivate you throughout the day.

Remember that there’s no one routine that works for everyone. Try which works best for you and stick with it is the rule. Experiment until you find the one that works best for you.

Join our community and be one of the first to read my latest blogs! For daily positivity and Self-Care, you can follow my Instagram account @themommywithagoal.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by BakezbyDaizy.