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10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

 

10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is such a wonderful time, but it can also bring a lot of unpleasant side effects and symptoms along with it. Here are 10 Tips for a great pregnancy using natural ingredients. It is important to use natural ingredients when you are pregnancy so you won’t expose your developing baby to toxins and anything that could harm them.

10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Magnesium

Magnesium is a vital mineral for your body (pregnant or not). It is important for blood sugar metabolism, handling stress, helping you sleep, preventing morning sickness, and controlling blood pressure. read more

How to Eat Chocolate and Lose Weight

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with chocolate cravings… right?

When the cravings hit, you want chocolate and you want it NOW!

 

You don’t have to worry – You can have your chocolate and LOSE WEIGHT!  

 

The main ingredient in chocolate is cocoa – which is actually GOOD for you! (Read More)

However, most chocolate is packed with SUGAR (Yikes). We all know that sugar is something we need to limit or avoid altogether if we are trying to lose weight.

 

 

How can we get the benefits of chocolate without the SUGAR?

 

You can eat chocolate and LOSE! How do I know? Because I do it almost every day… 

I’m going to share some of my BEST healthy chocolate recipes that will help curb your cravings AND help you lose weight too.

 

Without further ado… 11 Healthy Chocolate Recipes you can enjoy guilt free and still lose pounds.

 

11 Healthy Chocolate Recipes

 

Keto Hot Chocolate

 

High Protein Brownies

 

Chocolate Mousse

Glucomannan dessert

 

Brownie in a Mug

Adapted from http://www.flickr.com/photos/kjgarbutt/5646262735/

 

Low Carb Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Low Carb Chocolate Chip Coconut Flour Bread

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

 

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

 

Low Carb Mint Chocolate Chip Dip

 

Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Homemade dark chocolate peanut clusters

 

Chocolate Cheesecake Balls read more

Benefits of Drinking Hot Chocolate

hot cocoa, unsweetened cocoa powder, healthy hot chocolate, sugar free, cocoa antioxidants,

Adapted from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6287147411/

Benefits of Drinking Hot Chocolate

Why you don’t have to feel guilty about pouring that second cup

I love drinking hot chocolate on a cold night, snuggled up on the couch with a blanket. I knew that cocoa powder was a great source of antioxidants, but I wanted to know just how healthy this hot chocolate really was. There are plenty of benefits of drinking hot chocolate to keep you pouring a cup all winter long.

I drink my hot chocolate sweetened with stevia, so it is sugar free. This also helps keep it guilt free too.

Drink for Health

Cocoa powder is a great source of flavanoids which are high in antioxidants. 

Newswise shares that antioxidants “are natural compounds found in some foods that help neutralize free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are substances that occur naturally in our bodies but attack the fats, protein and the DNA in our cells, which can cause different types of diseases and accelerate the aging process.”

Another study showed that antioxidants in cocoa are higher in than red wine.  So drinking hot chocolate can help you stay healthy, slow down the aging process, and help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.  (Let me go pour me a cup now while you keep reading)

Dr.Weil shares that “researchers at Harvard Medical School analyzed 21 studies that involved more than 2,500 participants and found that drinking chocolate is associated with reduced blood pressure, improved blood vessel health and lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and elevating HDL (“good”) cholesterol.”

FSGate list the minerals in cocoa powder: “Just 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains 3 to 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc.”

Some people who are deficient in magnesium will show increased cravings of chocolate because their body knows that it is a source of this mineral. For other ways to increase magnesium click here. 

Research also shows that the more chocolate you eat, the less body fat you have. 

Drink for Thinking

One study showed that drinking hot cocoa may increase your brain’s thinking ability. Cocoa is high in theobromine. This is a phytochemical that improves circulation of your blood. Along with lowering blood pressure, this helps blood also increase flow to your brain which helps increase your thinking ability. Flavanoids in the cocoa also  increase blood supply to the brain and has been used for helping patients with dementia. Maybe you should think about drinking a cup of hot chocolate before your next big test to test this theory out.

Drink to make you happy

Cocoa also contains neurotransmitters that act like antidepressants. I know I’m always happier after I eat chocolate. Cocoa may also boost endophins and seratonin 

How to make an easy homemade hot chocolate:

I mix one tablespoon of unsweetened dark cocoa powder in about 1.5 cups of boiling water with a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and stevia extract to taste. I put mine in my blender and it gets all frothy on top… yummm. It is perfect for a cold night.

Sugar Free, magnesium, cocoa powder, chamomile

 

How do you like to drink your hot chocolate?

 

This post is linked up to  Weekend Wellness and Healing with Food and

Adventures in Mindful Living read more

Apple Night Night Gummies Recipe

You know that every parents struggles at some point to get their kiddos off to bed… what if there was a reason they had trouble calming down at night?

I started doing some research and found that magnesium was a mineral that could help all of us get better rest at night – naturally!

I also learned that magnesium was one of those minerals that was really common to be deficient in. I actually was deficient myself!

So I started thinking about ways to help my kids get in more magnesium each day and these apple gummies were a really easy thing to try! read more

Three Tips to Getting More Sleep

3 Tips to getting more sleep
3 Tips to getting more sleep

There are a few foundations we should look at to make sure we are living out a healthy life:

Be aware of what you are eating.

Increase your Water

Include Healthy Fats in You diet

and Eat at Home

Are You Sleeping Enough?

One thing people forget about often is the importance of sleeping enough.

The CDC reports that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic.  Lack of sleep is affecting our ability to concentrate, remember important information, negatively affecting hobbies, driving, taking care of money, and work. 

When we don’t allow ourselves to rest, we are actually hurting ourselves more than we realize. Beyond reduced learning and memory ability, lack of sleep is linked to increased weight gain by slowing our metabolism, increased hypertension, and increases our risk for disease.   read more

Calming Hot Chocolate

Calming Hot Chocolate

Sugar Free

I love a good hot chocolate when I am cold. I’m pretty much in love with hot chocolate right now. I want a nice warm drink to have once the kids go to bed and I’m sitting next to Adam relaxing before bed.

This is the most relaxing hot chocolate you will find. It is full of peaceful and soothing ingredients that will help you fall asleep and rest well.

Hot chocolate is such a comforting drink and it is pretty healthy too!

I use stevia as my sweetener, because I have trouble controlling my blood sugar using other natural sweeteners. This keeps it sugar free and helps keep your blood levels balanced before going to bed.

I also use chamomile tea as my liquid when I make this hot chocolate. The chamomile is a natural relaxer and will help you ease into a nice restful sleep. Read my post on how important sleep in for your health here. 

Magnesium is also added to this calming hot chocolate recipe to help increase the relaxing benefits. Magnesium is a wonderful mineral for your health and many people are deficient in it. When you are deficient, you have more issues with insomnia and waking up during the night. Adding this powerful mineral to your calming hot chocolate will help you increase your magnesium intake easily. More on easy ways to increase your magnesium here.  Try my Apple Night-Night Gummies Recipe to help your kids get their magnesium. 

 

I hope you enjoy this wonderful night time drink.

What are your favorite night time drinks? read more

Homemade Dark Chocolate

I love dark chocolate!

I’m talking about that love that you just can’t go a week without… or a day even!

When that craving hits, you don’t want to be reaching for a candy bar.

Commercial chocolate is full of ingredients that are not healthy for you, even though chocolate itself is actually pretty healthy.

Commercial chocolate has processed sugar in it… not good for stable blood sugars or for weight loss.

 

Dark chocolate is a good source of Magnesium and antioxidants. More on Magnesium here and a magnesium oil recipe. 

Coconut oil is amazing for you! It can speed up your metabolism and help increase weight loss. It can help with brain function. 

Lauric acid in coconut oil kills bacteria, fungi and viruses. Plus it taste good too. Get in my belly!

 

Homemade dark chocolate peanut clusters

So onto the Homemade Dark Chocolate Recipe 

You will need the following:

            Coconut oil is the base of this chocolate. If it is winter, you can keep your homemade sugar free chocolate solid on your counter. I keep it in my fridge so the chocolate stays solid like a regular chocolate bar.

You can mix everything together easily and pour into molds or into a shallow glass 8×8 sized pan. I like to make mine in silicon molds now, because it is easier to release the candy from than the pans.

I like to melt my coconut oil (or at least have it at a semi-melted state) for easier mixing.

 

Homemade dark chocolate peanut clusters

 

 

If you like chocolate with a little more crunch – Check out my Chocolate Peanut Clusters!

Plus, a great addition to this dark chocolate would be some yummy Keto Coffee – amiright?? Eating Healthy Fats couldn’t be more Delicious!

Pregnancy Update: Entering the 3rd Trimester

On Sunday, I officially entered my 3rd trimester!!!

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I don’t think the second trimester was as easy as I would have hoped… I continued to be tired off and on. The nausea ended around 15 weeks, so thankfully that wasn’t an issue. I started taking Floradix iron supplements around 20 weeks or so to help with my energy – and I really could tell a difference at first. I’m continuing to take New Chapter Organics prenatals, Calcium/Magnesium supplements called Coral Legends Plus, Drenamin by Standard Process, Chromium – which is supposed to help with your ability to metabolize sugars and Fermented Cod Liver oil by Green Pastures.

I was sleeping beautifully through the night up until about 3 nights ago, so I’ve increased my magnesium supplements and will probably need to do another 30 minutes magnesium soak in the bath soon. If I don’t get a full night sleep… I am a zombie the next day. I hope that I can get back on track.

My midwife and I decided to not do the one hour glucose test, but instead I will test my own glucose at home for about a week to see if I need to alter my diet accordingly. I’ve been doing really well eating a high protein diet (over 100 grams each day and most recently around 120 a day). I’m still trying to lower my carbs. I do really well for breakfast and lunch eating lower carbs – I just have more issues with snack and dinner. I’m eating a 3 egg and cheese omelet cooked in coconut oil every morning. Then for lunch, I’m eating a huge salad with organic chicken, avocado, apple, dried cranberries, cheese, and Tuscany Italian dressing. I’m also getting into salmon salads with grapes, curry powder, and organic mayo (I’m too tired to make my own mayonnaise these days).

I started drinking my pregnancy tea last week and feel like the countdown has really begun! It is a blend of herbs specifically for preparing the body for the end of pregnancy, labor, and recovery. I also ordered my “Love your labor oil” by Hosie Naturals and my “Gentle Birth formula” by Mountain Meadow Herbs. I didn’t use these last time, but have several friends that did and had amazing outcomes. I already had a great experience last time, so I figure there is nothing to lose by trying it out.

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing recently. I call it my form of nesting. I doubt I will get much sewing done with a newborn and I want to have some cute things for Annaleigh and Aidalyn to wear this summer.

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The nursery is coming together, but isn’t quite ready yet. I am having maternity pictures taken in 3 weeks and need to have it all “picture perfect” by then. IMG_0688_edited-1  Annaleigh appears to be head down now most of the time, which is better for my center of gravity and comfort too!

I’m so ready for spring to be here! We have had a few taste of warmer weather and I loved getting out and playing in the yard and neighborhood.

I hope you all have enjoyed this little update from the past few weeks. What have you guys been doing to prepare for spring?

Simple Ways to Increase Magnesium

magnesium oil flakes pregnancy

 

Simple Ways to Increase Your Magnesium

Magnesium is such a critical mineral for your body. How do we increase magnesium? I am just starting to learn about magnesium deficiencies and the benefits of using magnesium oil to ease ailments. I really felt like I was very deficient once I became pregnant. Magnesium is so important for health. It helps you control your blood sugar, helps you handle stress, and helps you sleep better.

Some benefits of magnesium oil include:

Insomnia or Restless Sleep
Sleep – Wake up Tired
Stress
Back Pain
Stiff and Aching Muscles
Bones continue to go out of Alignment
Migraine Headaches
Cluster Headaches
Weakness – Hypoglycemia
Diabetes
Nervousness
Hyperactivity
High Blood Pressure
Osteoporosis
PMS
Constipation
Heart Condition
Kidney Stones
Accelerated Aging
Depression
Heart Attack History
Irregular Heartbeat
Aggressive Behavior
Attention Deficit Disorder
Chronic Fatigue
Stroke
Jump at Sudden Sounds
High-strung, Jittery
Anxiety
Confusion
Muscle Weakness
Muscle Tics or Twitches
Muscle Cramps
Muscle Spasms or Quivers
Hiccups
Pregnancy-related Symptoms
Seizures
Angina Pectoris
(Sharp Chest Pains and a feeling of being Suffocated)

Exhausted from Physical Work or Exercise
Fading Memory, Senility
Leg Cramps
Asthma
Fibromyalgia

This list is from MGWater.com

Magnesium is pretty vital to several of our body’s systems. 

The Bad News

Magnesium isn’t absorbed well internally through diet and pills. read more

Bone Broths – How to Heal Yourself with Soup

 

Bone Broths: How to Heal Yourself With Soup

Your grandmother was on to something when she cooked up a pot of chicken soup when you were sick. There are a ton of healing properties to broths made from bones.

rosół z kury

The Jade Institute writes that bone broths are good for both your kidneys and your liver. Broth can even be beneficial in a detox or a cleanse.

The prolonged cooking of bones in water results in a broth rich in nutritional constituents that promote strength, tonify blood, nourish in times of sickness and rehabilitation, and help to prevent bone and connective tissue disorders.

 

Some Powerful Nutrients of Bone Broths

The cartilage in bone broth is great for joints and arthritis pain. The marrow in the bones is great for your cardiovascular health. Glycine and proline are important amino acids present in bone broth. They are good for “the manufacturing of glucose, enhancing gastric acid secretion, soft tissue and wound healing, healthy connective tissue, effective detoxification by the liver and production of plasma.” Collagen and gelatin are good for wound healing, repair of bones, healing of the gastrointestinal tract, and helps digest the protein you eat.

Eating collagen has shown to decrease appearance of wrinkles and cellulite. read more