Spring is in the air. A time for a change and a great time to start getting our bodies moving!
What makes things harder is when you’re trying to get back into shape after the birth of your baby! All women, no matter what age, shape or fitness, experience incredible physical change during pregnancy. It definitely does takes some time to return to your pre-pregnant fitness level and shape.
Luckily we’ve Diana from BodybeWell to provide you with some top tips on keeping fit and getting in shape for you mamas out there.
If exercise was a part of your life prior to baby and you have been given the all clear by your practitioner then the general rule thumb is 6 weeks post baby for a normal vaginal birth.
We recommend a gentle return to exercise with the focus being on pelvic floor and gentle body conditioning. So think fit ball squats and lying hip raises.
Going for daily walks clear the mind and is a fantastic way to fit cardio into your day.
Start slow going for 15 minute walks. If there is no pain or discomfort then increase the time by 5 minutes.
Exercise with a friend. This could be going for walks together or doing a mini circuit in the park for 15-20 minutes. This creates wonderful interactions with other mums and a lovely endorphin release.
If you budget allows for it hire a personal trainer who can write you a tailored program and then have them review it for you after 6-8 weeks. This is a great way to create accountability and have an experienced person create a specific fitness program to suit you needs and fitness goals.
Above all else be kind to yourself! There is no rush or right time. Finding the time can be challenging enough so we are firm believers in setting small achievable goals. Energy levels can be low with lack of sleep,breastfeeding,tending to household needs plus for some getting ready to enter the work force.
If you are in need of further fitness post baby advice you can contact us at email@example.com
Finding safe food for kids with food allergies or food intolerances can be hard, especially if there are multiple allergies or intolerances involved. Luckily, we’ve managed to get some help from our friend Lisa from Happy Tummies to provide us some advice on this!
The top 8 food allergies are wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and fish. Sesame is also becoming a big problem and many manufacturers are also labelling food that contains sesame.
One of the biggest problems with labelling in supermarkets is that many labels are unclear. Parents need to be vigilant and look for common allergens with different names. Labelling is getting better with many manufacturers labelling products with allergens if it’s in the ingredients list, however many labels now have ‘may contain’ statements, none of which mean the same thing and can be confusing for parents. In my experience, manufacturers do keep a record of this information and are happy to share it, however it does require quite a lot of work to follow up every manufacturer.
The other problem of course with a lot of supermarket snacks aimed at children is the food additives and preservatives in them. Just because the manufacturers are allowed to put it in the food, it does not mean it’s safe to consume. Parents need to educate themselves about food additives and decide what foods they are happy for their children to eat. There are heaps of books and apps available on this that make it easy for parents to make better choices when doing their grocery shopping.
It’s really easy to bake or prepare some simple snack foods for kids. I like to bake recipes in rotation and freeze so that there is a constant supply of healthy snacks that the kids like to eat and that I am happy for them to eat.
CLICK HERE for your FREE handy baking chart and something special from Happy Tummies.
Feel free to swap ingredients as required to suit your family’s dietary requirements!
It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life. You may be constantly pulled in different directions whether as a super mum, corporate/business high-flyer. After a long day, our home is a place where we want to feel supported, at peace, inspired and free to be ourselves. In a nutshell, our homes should be sanctuaries for our bodies, minds, and spirits. It should be restorative and far from the stress-filled world of work, deadlines, and traffic jams.
But if your house isn’t the sanctuary you need it to be, here are 3 tips to help you create that calming atmosphere, without breaking your bank:
Create a special “me” corner
The need for privacy is universal, and an effective sanctuary is a retreat from outside intrusions. So corners, nooks, alcoves and even a whole room (if space permits) are among the most welcoming, natural sanctuary spaces.
Once you’ve picked your “Me” spot, there should be an element of familiarity to your sanctuary, so decorate yours with the things you really love. Keep it simple though as clutter will only distract you from getting into the “calm” zone. I’m personally loving the idea in the above photo. I can imagine myself reading, napping and sipping tea in that corner all day.
If you’re thinking, “I’m a mum, I don’t have me time, much less a me spot”. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier (instead of watching TV) and spend some time in your me spot and do whatever relaxes you.
2. Go with the flow
Nothing brings calm to your home instantly than the gentle sound of flowing water. Place this near your me-spot and let the flowing water bring stress relief and relaxation.
You can also make a fountain yourself with a small water pump (often found in aquarium stores and pond suppliers, for less than $10), rocks from your garden, and a bowl. Some of the best fountains are the ones that are homemade. Learn how to make your own water feature in our last post.
3. Scent is key
Scent is Key! Studies show that 75% of emotions are triggered by smell which is linked to pleasure, well-being, emotion and memory. I find this fascinating and quite true. Here’s my go to “happy calm” essential oil blend which I use in our aroma-diffuser: 4 drops Lavender + 2 drops Cedarwood + 2 drops Orange. For more essential oil blend recipes, Easy Aromatherapy is a great resource.
On this note, make sure the indoor air in your home is free from toxic pollutants released from chemical cleaners. The simple solution to this is to switch to 100% natural cleaners such as Resparkle.
There’s no better time than to take the opportunity of this brand new year to re-establish your home as a wellness sanctuary. We’d love to see photos of your home sanctuary! Share it on Facebook or Instagram and hashtag #livehealthychoosebetter
Creating your own table top fountains is a wonderful way to bring out your creativity and self-expression while simultaneously relieving stress and enhancing your interior décor and fengshui.
There are many unique benefits to having a fountain at home or work:
The gentle soothing sound of flowing water can help you relax and meditate in your bedroom after a hard day’s work;
Fountains humidify the indoor air, especially if your home or workplace is dry due to continual air-conditioning. This is extremely helpful in preventing your skin from drying out.
Fountains release negative ions, said to promote better moods and concentration. This is especially important in today’s electronic world as gadgets emit negative ions in our homes.
Building a water fountain can be as simple as putting some stones and a small pump into a container with water. It does not have to be expensive or fancy. And personal is what having a fountain of your own is all about. You might include special coins from a treasured trip abroad, shells from a beach-combing bonanza, a charm from your grandmother’s bracelet, a memento from your first love.
Whatever treasures you choose to stamp your tabletop fountain as your own, know that you can change it as easily as you change your mind or your mood. Yet it will remain immutably, unmistakably yours—and always just right.
To make your own tabletop fountain, you’ll need:
1 A waterproof container or bowl of proper depth.
Choose a container between 8-16 inches across in diameter and depth of at least 4-6 inches. The water has to cover the pump; otherwise, the pump will burn out. You can use ceramic bowls, glass, or wood boxes. The easiest and least expensive containers are plastic pots or ceramic bowls.
Look in your cupboard for a rarely used casserole, serving dish, punch bowl, or fruit bowl or even head to your nearest op-shop. A great way to up-cycle!
2. A small water pump and clear plastic tubing (1/2″ inner dimension or 5/8″ outer dimension).
Fish tank pumps are fine. The smallest ones work well for the typical size containers. Some shops supply suction cups with water pumps. Both the pump and tubing can be found at an aquarium, hardware, or garden supply store. To straighten the hose, boil it in water for a while.
3. Rocks; pebbles; slate; crystals; semi-precious stones; sea shells, anything that goes in water can be used.
Each item can have a special meaning, thus adding to the individuality of your fountain
If you select rocks from your garden make sure you clean them well. We suggest soaking them in Resparkle’s Dishwashing Liquid and give it a good scrub.
4. Plants add greenery to your fountain. A small clipping will do nicely. You could also use a small pot or glass bottle [baby food jar], fill it with water, put the plant inside and place it inside the fountain bowl.
Place the decorative slate or tile on the table. Place the bowl on the slate or tile.
Place the pump at the bottom of the bowl, taking care to see the cord is draped to the back of the container. Use suction cups to make the pump stick to the bottom of the container.
Add tap water to more than cover the intake value [2″ minimum]. Plug the pump into the electric outlet. (It is advisable to test out the pump in a bucket or sink before placing it in the container.) Unplug the pump to adjust the water flow, if needed.
Cut the tubing length to fit your container and design. Fit one end of the tubing to the pump spout. Place larger rocks to cover the pump and fill the bottom of the container.
Arrange the smaller rocks and tiles /slate by stacking them so as to create a diverse and irregular path for the water flow. You can reduce the water flow from a geyser to a gurgle by covering the open end of the tube with tumbled glass.
Plug in the pump, adjust the water volume and stones as needed to produce the sound that appeals most to your ears.
Place figurines, plant cuttings, ivy, moss, shells or tiles to hide the tubing and electric cord.
TIP: Place a candle in a candleholder beside the fountain, the light from the candle will glisten on the water and reflect its light onto the fountain arrangement.
You know what we love about the holiday season? The happy buzz we get from sipping cocktails with family and friends, the endless days of festivities. It’s just such a joyful time to be.
The only problem: You may be pouring on the sugar and calories if you’re not paying attention to what you’re sipping through at parties.
BUT there’s ALWAYS a healthier solution yes?
So we’ve done a healthy makeover of the refreshing sangira without sacrificing any of the buzzy delights!
Start with a red wine base, which contains healthy antioxidants & then add fiber-rich fruits like berries, pears and oranges. Top it off with sparking water instead of the usual soda or syrup.
As healthy as it sounds, it’s still alcohol and should be enjoyed in moderation.
1.5 bottles red wine
1/4 cup triple sec
2 cups sparkling lemon/lime/orange-flavored water (get brands that has no added sugar)
1 pear diced
1 cup fresh strawberries, diced
2 oranges diced or sliced (not peeled)
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup orange juice
Combine everything (except the sparkling water) in a large pitcher, and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Before serving, add the sparkling water to the pitcher, stir completely, and serve!
It’s the time we focus on gift lists, gift buying and gift wrapping – I’m sure you agree that this is the biggest organisational challenge of them all. For many families, gift-giving is a prime source of holiday financial stress. Instead of heading to kmart & buying something just to fill the Christmas stockings, why not make something. It’s more environmentally friendly, won’t break the budget and the recipient would appreciate it a whole lot more.
Here’s a Coffee Scrub Recipe that would take you less than 30 minutes tops.
Coconut Coffee Anti-Cellulite Scrub
1 cup coffee grinds, used or unused
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sugar
In a bowl, mix all ingredients until the the texture becomes pasty and scrub-like. If necessary, add more of any ingredient until you reach desired consistency. Transfer to an air-tight jar or container, and enjoy!
In 2015, approximately 42 women in Australia are diagnosed with breast cancer each day. Globally, over the last two decades, breast cancer rates have risen from a lifetime risk of one in 20 to one in eight.
The fact is the average women are exposed to 168 chemicals daily from cosmetics, skincare and cleaning products. Cancer News Australia reports that breast cancer risks were found to be twice likely with women who use cleaning chemicals and air-fresheners the most than those who use them the least. Cleaning chemicals may contribute to breast cancer because it contains mammary gland carcinogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals. These chemical cleaners contain many toxic ingredients – such as Alkylphenols, Phthalates, Triclosan, etc. – that are endocrine disrupters, and are known to alter mammary gland development in rats. The list of household chemicals that contribute to breast cancer risk is long and we encourage to have a read here.
Yes, we live in a toxic world but don’t let that overwhelm you into in-action. The goods news is eradicating your home and daily life of toxic chemicals is easier than it may seem. So let’s all take the opportunity of Breast Cancer Awareness month to Think Pink & Go Green. To share this important message to your family and friends simply click on the facebook/twitter/pinterest button to the left of this page.
To help you go green for breast health, we’ve compiled a little directory of safer choices. The founders of these brands all share Resparkle’s commitment to being 100% honest and creating products that are truly natural & safe. They are also tried and tested by Resparkle’s founder – Pearl. These are products she uses daily.
When you are active your children are likely to follow.
2) Think of exercise as being active.
Exercise is not all about high interval training or sprints. Active spontaneous play is just as important as structured . We utilise our park . From playing on the equipment ourselves ️(yes grown ups) to playing old fashioned childhood games such as follow the leader , what’s the time mr wolf and plain old chasey. We balance on the boundaries of play equipment-great proprioceptive work – or having jumping competitions – ploy metric work ! You will be pleasantly surprised by how much joy adult participation can bring.
3) Switch off devices
Our children do not own iPads we allow very limited screen time about one hour on weekends. This is how we roll. We do however turn our radio on and let loose !
4) Encourage your children.
We encourage you to give activities a go . We are so controlled by playground rules in most schools and as a result some of our children are losing their ability to be creative in the playground. Remember climbing a tree? Playing tennis against a wall ? Encourage and participate in general exploration . Take walks to lush playgrounds or just explore your streetscape .
Praise endeavours. we don’t need to give eve child a ribbon However acknowledgement for there efforts can create positive fitness change !
Above all else give it a go .
DIANA TENCIC is a Food and Fitness Coach and founder of Body be Well.
Over 16 years experience in health and fitness have taught Diana the essential role of food in the health and fitness balance. Food coaching has allowed her to combine her passions for food, fitness, teaching and helping people realise goals they may never have imagined for themselves.
After a good work-out when you just can’t be bothered to cook up a elaborate meal, smoothies are the perfect option for a instant nutrient pack meal.
The best part about being on the smoothie wagon is that you can prep 1 week’s worth of smoothies in under 1 hour! Simply cut up the fruits & veg, pop them into jars and freeze. When you’re ready to enjoy, just add liquid (no need to defrost) & blend.
3 Healthy Post-Workout Smoothie Recipes
Kim Ong, founder of power blender – Spectablend shares 3 Sweet Smoothie Recipes that would make for a easy post workout meal. These recipes provide a powerful boost of vitamins, minerals, antioxidant without bogging down your digestive system.
Reward yourself after a hard workout with some sweet yet healthy recipes.
Consume protein within an hour after exercise to fuel muscle growth. It’s called protein timing, and the idea behind it is this: Resistance training increases amino acid delivery to muscles as well as absorption. Therefore, the sooner you consume protein post-exercise, the bigger the stimulation in muscle protein synthesis.
Recipe #1: Power Green Smoothie
1 scoop of vanilla protein
Blend all ingredients in your blender until smooth, serve and enjoy.
Recipe #2: Banana-Choc Smoothie
1 cup of organic pure coconut water
½ cup of organic coconut milk
1 handful of spinach
1 scoop of protein powder
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp of acai powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 frozen ripe banana
Blend all ingredients in your blender until smooth, serve and enjoy.
Recipe #3: Raw Chocolate Berry Cream Pie
Ok, Recipe 3 is technically not a smoothie but who can resist the sound of Raw Chocolate Berry Cream Pie! It follows the same easy prep-ahead and pop everything into a blender method.
1 cup of frozen berries
3/4 cup salted cashews
5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (if cashew nuts are not salted)
Add all ingredients into your blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.
Pour mixture into a pie pan. Smooth out with the back of a spoon.
Cover and place in freezer. Freeze overnight to firm up so that it can be sliced perfectly.
This raw chocolate cream pie recipe should always be kept in the freezer as it will get soggy if in the fridge.
When you serve, top with dessicated coconut and raspberries.
Naturally, everyone wants their bathrooms to NOT stink, especially after someone has taken a dump. However, the use of artificial air-fresheners is not the answer. The toxic chemicals found in supermarket bought artificial air-fresheners are well, pretty shitty.
To make matters worse, bathrooms are often within a small enclosed and not very well ventilated space. This means VOCs released by cleaning products and air-fresheners stay in the air, waiting for you to breathe it all in.
Here’s what the Natural Defence Council has to say after studying the effects of air fresheners (which undergo no safety testing):
The results were disturbing, because they revealed high levels of phthalates, which are known to be especially harmful to children. These chemicals were even present in sprays which were claimed to be “All-Natural” and “unscented”. Phthalates were not disclosed in the list of ingredients for any of the products.
“Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can be particularly dangerous for young children and unborn babies. Exposure to phthalates can affect testosterone levels and lead to reproductive abnormalities, including abnormal genitalia and reduced sperm production. The State of California notes that five types of phthalates — including one that we found in air freshener products — are ‘known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.'” — Natural Resources Defense Council
Scary as it may sound, there are easy natural solutions to removing the stink without poisoning yourself.
You might have heard of Poo-pourri, a poop spray that you spray into the toilet bowl before you go. The essential oil blend forms a protective layer over the water and that stops the stink from escaping. What you’re left instead is the pleasant scents of essential oils.
If you want to try making it, here’s a super simple DIY recipe that has been road tested by the Resparkle girls and let us tell you, it works! (Secret to our successful marriages)
Resparkle’s POOP-Pourri Recipe
1 tablespoon of a light carrier oil (eg. Almond Oil)
2 teaspoon of Vegetable Glycerine or 1 tsp of Liquid Castile Soap
Love smoothies but finding it too cold to have them in winter? In fact, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s so important to keep our insides warm especially in winter. That means cold drinks are not ideal.
That said, you’d love this Spicy Chai Tea Smoothie, tasty, warming and healthy all at the same time. What’s more this vitamin- and antioxidant-packed smoothie will give your immune system a boost so you stay healthy during the cold winter. Enjoy!
SPICY CHAI TEA SMOOTHIE
1 cup milk of choice (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk and coconut almond milk)
1 chai tea bag
1 very-ripe frozen banana
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 inch ginger
Heat your milk on the stove for for a minute or two in the microwave, just until it is hot and steam.
Put the tea bag in the milk and place in the refrigerator until chilled.
Combine the tea milk, banana (cut into chunks), ginger and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth.