Category: health

Nutrition Hacks to Get Back on Track #HamiltonBeach

I have a strong suspicion that I am not alone with getting off track when COVID-19 hit back in March. All of our routine, normalcy and good habits went flying out the window when we originally thought we would be home for only a few short weeks. It has now been almost six months since we left the office and have not been back, and many of those bad habits have caught up with me.

I let the majority of my fitness and nutrition goals go these last few months and it has taken a toll on my body. I was becoming a workaholic, constantly at my laptop working without getting up and moving around for breaks. My final wake up call was not fitting into my favourite pants, which prompted me to go old school and take my body measurements with a measuring tape. Needless to say, this sprung me into action – I needed to get back to the gym and fighting my weight gain in the kitchen.

Having faced the struggles of losing weight in the past, being both successful and unsuccessful over the years, I knew that half (or even more) of the battle is done in the kitchen. Eating proper balanced meals, enough protein and increasing vegetables is key to losing weight and gaining muscle mass. But I was struggling to balance work at home with my actual home life with two kids. I was (and still am at times) losing this struggle – I am not ashamed to admit that many times I caved and gave in to snacks that were not healthy for me and my kids to try to save my sanity (not to mention to ensure I joined Zoom meetings on time). I needed something to help me prepare easy, healthy snacks that would support my goals but that did not make my life harder and more complex.

Being prepared with ready made (or easy to make) snacks and meals was key for me when I lost just over one hundred pounds. This time around I am missing the actual time and energy to put into preparing meals (odd to say when I am at home all the time!). I love eggs – they are the perfect protein to me. Easy on the stomach, healthy, filling and you can add veggies to make it the perfect snack.

Hamilton Beach has developed the perfect portion sized Egg Bites maker! It is compact, easy to use and clean. I was able to easily prepare the ingredients for the egg bites, set the machine up to cook while I continued to work, teach my kids or just take a break with my coffee. I prepared several different variations of the egg bites – plain ones with just cheese, egg bites with peppers and mushrooms (I don’t use milk and found that these took on the colour of the mushrooms so my kids refused to eat them) and my personal favourite egg bites with collared greens and cheese (see below for this recipe). I would make bulk egg bites so that I could keep them in the fridge to munch on in the afternoon instead of the Oreos and sweets that I was turning to.

As a side note – I prepared the egg mixture in a large measuring cup as I just found that it was easier to mix up the ingredients and to pour into the egg bites maker.

Here is my recipe for the egg bites with collared greens which ended up being my favourite way to have them. I use water in my egg bites to save some calories but if you prefer milk in your eggs go for it. The only difference I noticed was that when I made the egg bites with water they were smaller in size.

Egg Bite Recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 large eggs
  • 1 slice of cheese (or shredded cheese)
  • 2 to 3 leaves of collard greens, chopped finely
  • half of a small onion

Directions

  1. Crack the eggs into a large measuring cup. Beat the eggs and add in a little bit of water (I used water for less calories but you can add milk if you prefer).
  2. Add the collared greens and onions into the measuring cup and mix.
  3. Pour the mixture into the Egg Bites Maker to just below the max line.
  4. Rip apart pieces of the slice of cheese and add into the mixture (it was just easier for me to use the sliced cheese that I always have on hand but if you shred cheese, add this too).
  5. Turn on the machine and allow them to cook.
  6. Enjoy!

Interested in learning more about this Hamilton Beach product? Check them out here. Make sure to follow Hamilton Beach on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for recipes, products and more.

What is your favourite way to have eggs?

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Warrior of Light: A Guide of Inner Wisdom for Challenging Times

Leave the guilty, overwhelmed, and bitter you behind. It’s time to find the peace and happiness that shattered when you heard your parent’s diagnosis: Alzheimer’s. Learn more in A Warrior of Light: A Guide of Inner Wisdom for Challenging Times.

About A Warrior of Light: A Guide of Inner Wisdom for Challenging Times

Leave the guilty, overwhelmed, and bitter you behind. It’s time to find the peace and happiness that shattered when you heard your parent’s diagnosis: Alzheimer’s. It’s time to release your inner Warrior of Light.A Warrior of Light tells the transformative journey of Eileen Silverberg, a Warrior who destroyed the feelings of guilt, bitterness, and overwhelm by reinventing herself and acquiring various tools, her shields and weapons. With an emphasis on self-care through meditation and Hawaiian-based practices, this book, with all of its tools, will help you release your Inner Warrior, just as Eileen did. By following the practices outlined in this book, she not only found peace and happiness but also formed a stronger bond with her mom. Through A Warrior of Light, Eileen guides all types of caregivers as they face challenges, helping them to relinquish self-sabotage, forgive themselves, deepen their spiritual practice, engage in self-care, and ultimately, find their own Inner Warrior. As you read her journey, you will repair your connection with yourself and become the best you.So choose today to get rid of those judgments and limiting beliefs surrounding Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers that are passed down from generation to generation, and instead connect deep within to find your own truths.

My Thoughts

“Smile. It is good for you.” – A Warrior of Light

This is by far one of my favourite lessons in this book. I constantly remind my children (and myself) that attitude and how we approach life and events is half the battle. Even when things are going wrong and you feel overwhelmed, it is so important to stop, take a deep breath and smile. It may take a few moments but this always helps me feel better.

Eileen shares her very real and honest story as a caregiver for her Mother with Alzheimer’s. As women (and definitely in certain cultures) we are taught that we need to care for our family (whether it is our children or our parents), regardless of the affect that this may have on our health and mental well being. I have seen others struggle through this and the emotions that they have (resentment, guilt, anger) and my heart has always gone out to them. They are doing a beautiful thing but they need support from others and to be able to make decisions that are good for not only their parent but themselves too (without the judgement from clinicians and society). As a parent myself, I have done this too – cared so much for others in my home that I did not focus on myself and this had negative consequences on both my mental and physical health. Eileen teaches you how to deal with your own expectations, others expectations head on with grace, honesty and love.

While I am not a caregiver for a parent, this book really touched my heart. So many areas of this book can and should be applied to that way we live our lives. I even shared this part of the book with my children as I think this lesson is so important to learn, “Wayne Dyer was so wise in saying..with everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” (Warrior of Light). Life is made up of many choices – we get to choose how we react to the events and people in our lives, we can either choose to accept, learn the lesson and move forward or to let it consume us and become angry and sad.

This is a beautiful book for all ages (highly recommend for younger readers as there are so many real life applications in this book for them – lessons that are hard to learn) and told in an open, non-judgmental and honest manner. It felt like a conversation with Eileen versus a lecture, which I loved. This is so important for readers who are already struggling, they want and need to hear someone who has gone through the same and that their feelings are valid and okay to feel. A Warrior of Light is a beautiful read from start to finish.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Eileen Silverberg have been taking care of her mother with Alzheimer’s for over seven years and has taught and presented lectures for the Alzheimer’s Association on self -care and meditation practices. She has successfully conducted on-going sessions for staff in the most highly ranked nursing and rehabilitation nursing centers. With a desire to lift the veil on the judgment and expectations caregivers face, she wrote this book to help caregivers find themselves, free them from judgment, and embrace their new life with grace and happiness. As a self-love advocate, Eileen encourages all caregivers to practice mindful meditation with a base Ho’oponopono. She felt inspired to teach others after experiencing deep physical and mental benefits, so she became a skillful meditation leader for professional caregivers. Since she enjoys dancing, especially ballroom dance, she founded and directs E.S. Being Aloha Soul, which mixes movement with meditation. When she isn’t inspiring other caregivers, she works in the two luxury wine boutiques that she and her husband own in Florida and enjoys going to the beach, hiking, traveling, and playing with her two Chihuahuas. She hopes that her readers will learn to release the guilt, forgive themselves, and act with love and kindness towards themselves and the one they care for. (From the back cover of A Warrior of Light).

Eileen Silverberg is the creator and founder of E.S. Being Aloha Souls® Meditation, and the author of  “A Warrior of Light: A guide of inner wisdom for challenging times”.  She has also translated the book in Spanish, “Una Guerrera de Luz; Una guía de sabiduría interna para tiempos difíciles”.   She has spoken for ADI (Alzheimers Disease International) in Key Largo Conference and for ADI Miami, Florida, The Palace skilled nursing homes facility, and for the Alzheimer’s Association support group. Apart from writing, Eileen is a meditation and wellness coach, as well as a business entrepreneur.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Mindfulness at the Park Book Review

Lovable Little Mouse is here to help kids use yoga and mindfulness to solve problems and manage emotions in “Mindfulness at the Park,” the second book in the acclaimed Little Mouse Adventures series from international bestselling author and Kids’ Yoga Day creator, Teresa Power.

About Mindfulness at the Park

Little Mouse and his family live in a cozy burrow nestled in young Tammy McDoodle’s backyard.

Tammy and her mother love to practice yoga and mindfulness together, and Little Mouse loves to follow along!

In this beautifully illustrated picture book, adorable Little Mouse and the wise and lovable lazy cat, Mr. Opus, follow Tammy’s family on an adventure to a bustling neighborhood park filled with new sights, sounds and people, while practicing yoga and mindfulness techniques along the way.

Our Thoughts

Mindfulness is an incredibly important tool for all individuals – where we purposefully quiet our mind and bring calm and focus to the current moment. It helps us to refocus and calm our minds and emotions in the present moment, regardless of what may be happening around us. This skill is so important, they are even teaching it in my son’s school and I have participated in workshops through work.

Little Mouse returns in book two of this adorable series. In this book, Little Mouse is introduced to mindfulness through Tammy and her Mother. Little Mouse goes to the park with Tammy and her family where there is a lot of excitement and new people. The family practices mindfulness and I love the way Teresa coaches us, the readers, through the practice as part of the story. My favourite line was, “Sometimes we have too many thoughts in our heads…focusing on our breath helps to calm those thoughts and enjoy the world around us”. This is so important for young minds to understand, they are full of emotions and can react negatively in stressful situations, it is important for them to know how to calm their mind, focus on the present so that they can be happy and present in any situations. This is such an important life skill that we as parents can give our children.

This is a beautiful children’s book that is fun to read together but also to practice mindfulness together as a family. It gives you great starting tools to begin your own practice as a family and to understand the importance of mindfulness. Combine this with adorable characters and illustrations – this book is a win win!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Teresa Power’s books have sold over 270,000copies worldwide. In her roles as award-winning author, renowned yogaexpert, and keynote speaker, her mission is to share strategies and tips to help children, parents and educators enrich their lives and managestress. Teresa has been featured by Good Morning America, ParentingReader’s Digest, Fox11 LA, Telemundo, and more. She is also the founder of International Kids Yoga Day, which is celebrated annually on the first Friday in April.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Be Happy, Be Active, Be Confident in Your Body with uresta

As women we should be proud of our bodies. They are remarkable and do remarkable things. As a society, we are so hard on women and on ourselves. We beat ourselves down for that extra five pound weight gain, skin that may start to sag, the cellulite on our legs, and the natural aging process (this list can go on and on).

As women, we need to stand together and say these changes are normal, lets talk openly about how a woman’s body changes throughout her life and the impact on our bodies from having children. While someone may be blessed and not experience some of these common changes, many do but are too embarrassed to come forward.

For me the most embarrassing and difficult thing to discuss when it came to my body was when I was pregnant with my second son and it all centred around urinary incontinence.

The first time I experienced urinary incontinence, I didn’t even realize it had happened and I was worried it was amniotic fluid (because lets face it, I didn’t think it could happen to me and no one forewarned me on what to expect). Then it started happening more frequently and it was taking over my pregnancy. I was so ashamed of myself and embarrassed that I could not control my body. I did not want others to make fun of me but I desperately needed someone to talk to and receive advice from.

After weeks of hiding, I finally spoke to my physician about the problem but they strongly felt that it would pass after I gave birth. I had to suck it up for a few more months and then my body would be back to normal.

Life is never quite that simple, right?

My problems actually got worse after I gave birth – I didn’t even feel it happening anymore. I tried every suggestion that I was given by my physician – lose weight, drink less caffeine, don’t drink after dinner, toilet train my body (go to the washroom every thirty minutes to relieve my bladder – this is not recommended and I later found out from another physician that this is a bad idea).

You get to this point where you feel that urinary incontinence has taken over your life. I didn’t want to go out with friends, I was embarrassed in front of my husband and I was constantly paranoid. While there are many options for women after trying the basics that I mentioned above, many want to try a non-invasive method of treatment.

uresta: A non-invasive Method of Treatment

For many women, they don’t want an invasive treatment to help with urinary incontinence. Or maybe you only have mild to moderate leaking and you can’t justify a surgical procedure to correct the problem. Or maybe you just don’t want surgery. All of this is okay and normal but there are options out there for you.

uresta is a bladder support device that helps to prevent leaks that are caused by urinary incontinence. It is a reusable device that is inserted into the vagina and provides support to the urethra (which is what helps to stop those leaks!). The device can be worn all day or only during activities that cause you to leak (high or low impact activities like running, walking, weight lifting, etc.)

The uresta device comes in a starter pack, where users start with one of the three sizes to determine which is the most appropriate for their body type and size. It is recommended that you start with size three and if it is too big, try a smaller size and if it falls out, go up a size (sizes are easily found on the handle).

I have to admit, I was quite nervous when I first tried this out. I was nervous that it would get stuck, that I would not insert it enough and it would fall out but I was pleasantly surprised on how easy it was to both insert and remove. The handle has a good grip and fits your thumb and forefinger perfectly allowing you to easily remove. Because the device is reusable, you save a lot of money over a period of time (not having to buy liners, etc..). It comes with its own discrete container to store the device in when you are not wearing it.

uresta works incredibly well at controlling the leaks but even more so at giving you your confidence back to get outside, go to the gym, go out with friends without that nagging concern about a potential leak and the embarrassment that comes with that. I had no problems with the insertion, removal, care of the device and comfort level while wearing it. The bonus part – it helped reduce leaking, a problem that I am still dealing with despite multiple interventions.

And the statistics don’t lie (statistics taken from uresta):

  • 75% of women surveyed in a clinical study said using uresta either stopped their leaking or reduced it to a significant degree
  • 84% of women said they felt more comfortable in public when using uresta
  • 72% would recommend uresta to a friend

Do you suffer from urinary incontinence? What interventions have you tried up to date? Is uresta a product that you would consider as a non-invasive method of treatment?

Make sure to follow uresta on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with the latest product news.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Calm Mindfulness for Kids Book Review

DK Canada

Calm: Mindfulness for Kids shows that supporting a child’s positive mental health doesn’t need to be expensive, time-consuming, or difficult. Activities help children to de-stress, focus, and get moving while having fun.

About Calm Mindfulness for Kids

Teach your kids how to focus their thoughts and notice the world around them with this fun mindfulness kids activity book.

Mindfulness activities are a great way to teach children about their thoughts and feelings and how to understand them–while having fun at the same time.

This book is packed with activities–make a mindfulness jar, learn how to appreciate food with mindful eating, and get out into nature and explore the outside world. An illustrated journal section at the back of the book encourages children to make notes about their own thoughts and feelings.

Calm: Mindfulness for Kids has everything you need to know about focusing your child’s mind to help them enjoy and appreciate things that they take for granted every day, while boosting their confidence and self-esteem. Children are guided through each activity, to make sure they achieve maximum enjoyment and awareness. All children will learn and react to each activity in a different way and parent’s notes give advice on how to encourage children to embrace mindfulness in the modern world. Each specially designed activity is flexible for each child’s needs and inspires them to seek calmness and tranquility in all situations.

Our Thoughts

Mindfulness is something we hear a lot about in the news, media and research. It is an important to tool in the busy times we live in. It helps us to focus, pay attention and remain present in the moment.

Sometimes, children can be overlooked and brushed off as being too emotional or acting out. Children feel a lot of emotions but many don’t have the tools to help them understand their feelings and how to process them. We need to teach our kids these skills in order to be successful later in life.

What I really liked is this book is geared towards children. She writes to the child first – you as a parent can read a long and help but the child is the most important part in this book. She speaks to the child in a mature, open and caring manner that encourages your child to open up, read more and try each activity presented.

She presents six chapters and encourages your child to move through them in any order they need – the choice is up to them. The chapters include: focus, calm, move, change, care and reflect. Each chapter has activities, crafts and exercises that they can do alone or with a parent or a friend. Each section has helpful tools to encourage your child to reflect on the activity, exercise or craft – this helps to reinforce the learning process. We started with rainbow breath and unwind stress – these were also amazing for Mom too! Our next craft to try is energy slime!

This is an extremely thoughtful book for children of all ages to help them get in touch with their emotions, feelings and body and encourage a positive outlet for them.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Indigo.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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