Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mental Health

Today is World Mental Health Day. Here on my blog, I have talked about mental health some as like many Canadian families we have struggled with mental health issues and there is a real struggle going on. It has been five years since my teenage daughter had a major mental health episode. It has been five years of recovery. Working on our mental health is something we take as important as our physical health.  So how can you improve your mental health?

Give Yourself a Break

Often we are our own worst enemies.  We need to treat ourselves with the kindness we would give to others. Avoid self-criticism and show yourself love and respect. Make time for the things that matter to you. Make the things you enjoy a priority.  If you love bubble baths like me, take one. Love to take photos, take great shots. Love to read, immerse yourself in a great read.

Look after You

One of the things I have not been great at is looking after myself. The physical me that is. If you want to be healthy mentally, you need to take care of your body. You need to eat healthily. Water intake is also important as is getting enough sleep and exercise. I have also started taking supplements.  Sometimes going for a walk is the perfect medicine.

Quiet Your Mind

I am not sure if you are like me but my mind can be going a mile a minute. For me, prayer helps me focus and turn things over to a higher power. For others meditation works. For me, prayer time has become an important daily ritual.

Find Your Tribe

The people you allow in your life become your tribe. Find a support network. If you are feeling friendless, alone, reach out. My teen was feeling this way recently especially right after her graduation. She started attending events that she enjoyed and met some cool new friends. She is now hanging out with them on a weekly basis. They have become a support network for her.

Volunteer

When you give to others, you can not help but feel good. It is also a great way to meet like-minded people. I have met some incredible people when I have volunteered even celebrities so you never know.

Seek Help

When things seem to be spirally out of control, we often isolate ourselves. I know I did but this is the time when we need to be seeking help.

Let me know what do you do to work on your mental health?

 

Dealing with a Sugar Addiction

 

Have you ever watched a documentary and it changes the way you think? Ever listen to a speaker and have it have a deep impact? Just over a week ago I was at the Archangel Summit here in Toronto and Dr Stephanie from the Health Loft spoke about fats and sugars. As she spoke I knew she was talking to me. I am a sugar addict and need to deal with my sugar addiction. Since that day I have also watched That Sugar Film on Netflix Canada. It was very insightful.

Many of the ” healthy foods” we eat on a daily basis aren’t all that healthy. For me add to that, I turn to sugar and food for comfort and have since I was a young child. I realized I had an issue and I need to deal with this. As I type this I am in the midst of a sugar detox. No sugars of any kind. Let’s just say my body is definitely reacting to the years of abuse.

As I watched the documentary it did teach me some things I never knew. The average person here in Canada averages 88 pounds of sugar a year. It is literally one in every five calories. If you are at the grocery store and looking at labels 4g= 1 teaspoon. Our kids eat almost double that! The documentary scared me as I do want to have a good number of years ahead of me and diabetes after the age of fifty and heart disease run in my family. Literally, I am a walking time bomb. This has to change and it can

Are you at all worried about how much sugar you are eating?Your family eating? Here are some simple swaps you can make.

Healthy Food Swaps for kids

 

 

How am I dealing with my own sugar addiction?

  1. No pop, did you know that just one can a day increases your chance of diabetes by over 20%? I was drinking on average 2 cans a day. Now I am drinking lemon water, carbonated water with lemon (made at home with my Soda Stream) and my herbal teas.
  2. I am eating healthy fats. I wasn’t doing well with these so I am increasing my fish and avocado intake.
  3.  There are no white sugars, hidden sugars in my diet currently. I am currently sugar-free.  No sugar substitutes either for now but I do know in the days ahead I will add Stevia, Maple sryup, and honey to a small degree.
  4. I threw out 4 bags of food that was full of crap.
  5. Increased my greens and nut consumption.

Are you ready to take a look at the labels and see how they hide sugar or try to give it a healthy name: barley malt, agave nectar, beet sugar, carob syrup, coconut sugar, cane juice, brown sugar, honey, lactose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, yellow sugar, syrup, rice syrup, confectioner’s sugar, oat syrup, maple syrup, maltose, malt syrup, galactose, ethyl maltol, dextran, and the list goes on. There are over 60 different ways sugar is hidden in the labels of food.

Seriously learning is not about counting calories but more important is making the calorie count. Will they help my body heal?

I will be documenting this journey on my Instagram account mostly if you would like to follow it. I also highly recommend the documentary That Sugar Film on Netflix.

* I am no longer a member of the #streamteam so this post is not sponsored, no payment of any sort was received. My opinions as always are mind. Now go watch this documentary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Tips for a Healthy Night’s Sleep

Sometimes getting back into a sleep routine is hard work. I know for me as a parent of a teen getting her up early is a huge challenge and when we have a schedule to keep some days it seems like a nightmare. Ever been there? Both my teen and I are working on developing healthy night’s sleep. Did you know for optimal health for adults we need at least seven hours of sleep or more. For kids, they need more.  Here are some things that are working for us and they may help your family too:

Tech Time Outs

young cell phone addict man awake at night in bed using smartphone for chatting flirting and sending text message in internet addiction and mobile abuse concept

How many of you sleep with tablets or phones by your bed? Do you check yours right before you to sleep? Do you kids fall asleep watching the latest YouTube video? This was us. We have instituted a new tech time out rule. We are 3 weeks into it. My phone stays on my desk, it’s no longer near my bed.  My teen turns off her tech an hour before bedtime. This becomes our no screen time. For us it has been allowing us to chill as my teen says.

Make Lunches and Layout Clothes the Night Before

How many of you feel mornings are hectic? Some mornings I have to be out of the house at 5:45 am. Yes, that is early! To get a good night’s sleep and not be thinking of all those things that have to get done, I take 2o minutes and prep the night before ( the no tech time, gives me those extra minutes). I make my lunch so I don’t hit the food court. If my teen was heading to school she would be making hers too. I also layout out my clothes for the next day. This week I have been laying out 2 outfits, my workout wear and my outfit for the day. The workout wear reminds to get that 30 minutes of movement in as I start my morning before heading to the office. Self-care is so important. By taking this approach the checklist that would be playing in my head all night is gone. Ever not been able to sleep because you were thinking of everything you had to do the next day? That was so me. This new habit helps me get rid of that list.

Journal Before Bed

For me, one of the things I have been doing for a long time is journalling. It started when I was a teen. It helps me get rid of the stress of the day and reminds me of what I am thankful in that moment. Simply write what you feel and end with gratitude. Find the things you are grateful for that day. Even on the worst of days, you know the kind that would leave you sleepless it helps remind you of what you have and you can go to sleep with a more peaceful heart.

Bed time Rituals

Both my daughter and I have been avid readers since she was a toddler. Bed time was bath and then story time. Bedtime routines definitely help kids develop great sleeping habits. Even I would fall asleep reading a great story. While my teen was in high school we had gotten out of this routine. Both of us felt a longing for this ritual. Earlier this some we hit the book store and bought a few books. Our bedtime rituals are back in place. For us, it works. Bedtime rituals and routines help develop a rhythm that tells you head and body its time for rest.

No Caffeine After 4 pm

How many times have you as a parent had a coffee in the evening and not been able to sleep? Had a kid who had food or drinks that included caffeine and it caused them to bounce off the walls all night? Been there done that. I have one caffeinated beverage in the mornings. The rest of the day I stick to water and herbal teas, my teen does the same.

Take a Sleep Supplement

Getting a full night of quality sleep can be a challenge, but Vitafusion SleepWell gummies are the solution for adults of any age. Vitafusion SleepWell is a gummy supplement made with Melatonin and is designed to help increase the total sleep time in people suffering from sleep restrictions or altered sleep schedules due to shift work or jet lag. These gummies provide a tasty alternative to hard-to-swallow tablets.

Each SleepWell gummy contains 2.5 mg of Melatonin, a hormone that is released by your body when the sun goes down or it gets dark, which then tells your body it’s time to sleep and helps to regulate your sleep pattern. With hectic schedules and busy lives, sometimes our bodies need help getting a quality night’s sleep so that you can be ready to tackle the next day. SleepWell helps you get the sleep you need so that you can start your day feeling energized and refreshed.

Product Features & Directions:

•                    Helps increase total sleep time and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep

•                    Reduces the side effects of jet lag, daytime fatigue or sleep disturbance

•                    Helps to reset the body’s sleep-wake cycle

•                    Adults take two gummies once per day, at or before bedtime – for use beyond four weeks, consult a health care practitioner

Medicinal Ingredient:

•                    Each gummy supplement contains 2.5 mg of Melatonin

 

Vitafusion SleepWell, $9.99, are available at mass retailers across Canada.

To ensure this product is right for you, always read the label before use and consult a health care practitioner.

Visit: http://www.gummyvites.ca/ for more information.

* This post is sponsored by #ChurchandDwight and I do receive product and payment, however, the opinion and tips shared are mine

 

 

 

The Great Balancing Act and The Thing We Hate to Talk About

Last week was some week in this house. It was a painful itchy one. My teen had gone to a pool party with friends and was in a swimsuit all day. She had a great time but can you guess what happened? If you guessed an infection down there, you are right.  We really had missed the summer, soaking up the sun, and the pool but dealing with a yeast infection is no fun.  For many women, the warmer temperature brings an increased risk of an “itch” that nobody likes to talk about – yeast infections. We really do hate to talk about it, so you know me I tackle the harder conversations.

 

Surprisingly, yeast infections affect more women than you think! It’s not just my teen dealing with one.  Approximately five per cent of women experience reoccurring yeast infections (3 to 4 infections in the last year)[1] and this has a lot to do with heat. The infection occurs when moisture gets trapped and yeast can overgrow, cause itching, burning, and discomfort. If you’ve had one, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

 

The good news is that with a few simple tips, you can avoid that pesky itch. Most of these my daughter forgot.

 

  1. Remember to dry off: Relaxing in a hot tub is the perfect way to enjoy a warm, summer evening. However, yeast grows best in a moist environment, making hot tubs a breeding ground for unwanted infections. This means it’s important to dry off well afterward and change into dry clothes right away. Use this same approach when spending the day at the beach or pool.

 

2. Know your pH: Many vaginal health issues, including odour, itchiness and yeast infections stem from an unbalanced pH. RepHresh™ Gel is a gynecologist recommended product and                       clinically proven to be pH balanced which can help to eliminate feminine odour and relieve feminine discomfort.

3. Wear cotton undies: Unfortunately, your tight skinny jeans may not be the best option this summer. Warm, tight clothing allows for little oxygen movement making the perfect breeding                   round for yeast. If you must rock the skinnies, wear cotton underwear.

4. Take healthy measures: RepHresh™ Pro-B reduces the number of urogenital pathogenic bacteria and yeast on vaginal surfaces. It’s clinically tested and works by balancing the yeast and                 bacteria that are naturally present in a woman’s body to help restore and maintain proper vaginal flora. Try adding one capsule to your daily routine to keep your body on track and ensure             nothing slows you down this summer!

 

When my teen had her itch down under we went in search of both of these. The teen reported the gel definitely helped her with the itch.

 

Are you ready to beat the summer heat? I would love your feedback if you’ve tried either of these products.

 

* This post has been sponsored by Church and Dwight, however, all opinions are my own.

 

Flipp’s 5 Fab Deals – Healthy Choices

This week, it is all about making healthy choices in the food we eat. I have decided to eat more fruits and vegetables daily to become a better me. We all get to the point where some days we don’t feel like cooking so we order in or go out to eat. This can be costly and not always the best solution. Using Flipp always helps me find the right product for my needs, not my wants.

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Healthy Choices

Food Basics 

Healthy Choices

Perfect combo for adding to a salad or on their own

Healthy Choices

 

No Frills -$1, $2, $3 sale

Stock up the pantry and crisper.

healthy choices

Yes, No Frills alone has more than 5 deals but it is all on one page.

Giant Tiger – Grow your Own

Pick up some seeds and start your own mini garden.

Healthy Choices

All you have to do is plant the seeds and watch them grow.

healthy choices

 

There are many choices this week for us to make those healthy choices. What’s on your shopping list?

3 Tips to Help Teens Have a Healthy Smile this School Year

It’s that time of year, and we are busy getting our kids and teens back on schedule and making sure great habits are in place for the coming school year.  One of the things we had to concentrate on with my teen was dental health.  You see, like over 50% of teens, she was not brushing her teeth at least twice every day.  How can we get our teens brushing their teeth? How can we make sure our teens have a healthy smile for this school year?There are some simple things we can do as parents to get them brushing. For me, as a mom, it meant working within certain boundaries. My daughter has some sensory issues and is allergic to mint.

Here are some tips that I used with my teen, who is now brushing twice a day without being reminded. I count that a win for mom and my daughter’s teeth.

Sonicare

Less Junk Food

You can’t always control what they eat when out with friends, but you can control what you purchase. This summer I have been making sure there is less junk food in the house. Healthy snacks and beverages are vital for dental health.  I find my teen is now even ordering healthy options when we are out.

Compliment Them

I know my teen loves being told she looks good. Does yours? When we reinforce with a sincere compliment, we tend to have to remind them less. Let them know their new or improved dental habits are noticed.

 

Keep the Right Supplies on Hand

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When dealing with my teen’s sensory and allergy issues, I learned that having the right tools was so important if I wanted her to improve her dental health habits. She is allergic to mint. Do you know how many toothpastes have a mint flavour? We went shopping for a different flavour and, after checking with her dentist, found that even a flavoured kids toothpaste is fine to use as long as it had fluoride.  Nice to know if you have a kid like mine who reacts to mint. I also learned to have the right floss (unflavoured works for her) and the right toothbrush. Stock up on what works when they are on sale; that way you will have a small stockpile ready for the school year.

When it came time to find the right toothbrush, we chose the new Sonicare Series 2 Plaque Control Toothbrush from Philips. It retails for about $79.99.

Phillips Sonicare toothbrush

Why did we choose it? The toothbrush uses patented sonic technology to drive fluid deep between teeth and along the gumline for a super clean. After a recent visit to my dentist, I know how important that is. My teen says when she uses the Sonicare toothbrush it feels like she has just come home from the dentist. She loves how easy it is to use and how it makes her mouth feel.

I love knowing that it removes 6x more plaque than a manual toothbrush, which helps to reduce cavities. Thankfully, she has only ever had one. I also love that this toothbrush did not break the bank.My teen loves that hers is pink, though a variety of colours are available.

Have you ever had trouble getting your teens to brush their teeth? If you have, try my tips and let me know how they work. For my teen, changing these three things has helped her to develop some great dental health habits that will give her a great smile this school year.

Philips Sonicare uses dynamic cleaning action and patented sonic technology to gently and effectively reach deep between teeth for a superior clean you can see and feel.   Switch to Sonicare 2 Series and remove 6X more plaque than a manual toothbrush.

Sonicare Logo

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Philips via Mode Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Philips.

 

 

Getting Fit Frugally

Yes this is me! This is my before picture..Today I made a choice and took on a challenge that many of us Canadians are doing. Today I signed up for the X_weighted National Challenge.

I got up early and  headed  over to the YMCA in Halifax. I was number 12 even getting there before 8 am! We had about an hour before things got going.

I went got measured and it was an OH MY God moment because I am at my heaviest weight ever in my life and that is scary! And then there were my measurements and that was another slap in the face.

My weight was 276

My Measurements are Chest 53   Waist 51 and Hips 55

Can you say UGH!

Then it was upstairs for the fitness test. I have never huffed and puffed so hard. I got through it though. Thank God! I did it in almost 6:00 minutes. The hardest part of the test was lying down flat and then getting up. You had to do that 20 times!

I am committed to getting healthy. But I am scared too. Nervous. Can I do it? But really now I have to do this. It has moved from a want to a must. I have to get this extra weight off.

The goal for this 6 month challenge is 72 pounds! That is alot! I will have to work hard and smart. I will be using the tools offered at the X_Weighted site as well as tools offered at Sparkpeople.

How else will this Fat girl became Fit and Fabulous?

  • I joined a gym. I was able to get a corporate membership and for me that is a frugal investment into myself.
  • I set a goal of running walking the 10 k race as part of the Bluenose Weekend in May.

What are some other frugal ways to get this weight off?

  • Squawkfox listed some great winter activities for us to try.
  • For me just putting on the walking shoes and taking a brisk walk is always good
  • Rent or borrow a work out dvd from the library
  • Invest in a skipping rope and skip.
  • When the weather gets a bit better go for a bike ride.
  • If you have a Wii. There are a bunch of games that do help you get fit.
  • Dance: I love to move. Lately this one I have been doing with my tween daughter.

For Canadians up for the Challenge you can sign up today or tomorrow at the X_Weighted website and for everyone trying to lose weight I do recommend  Sparkpeople as well as a great free tool.

I will leave you with a horrific side view, but as Dr. Oz would say we need a starting point

Help Me Bust A Move!

Last night I got to go to my very first Tweet Up here in Halifax. It was awesome! All of  women there are on Twitter (home of the micro blog). Got to meet some amazing women and then we had a brief presentation about a great cause-Bust a Move!

BAM_header

Bust a Move is a new grassroots fundraising effort here in Nova Scotia who’s goal is a world class breast center here. There is a huge need here. We need better equipment and everything in one local not everything spread over a very large campus as it is now.

The QEII and IWK Foundations inviting me and  you to” join them for Bust a Move – a very special fitness extravaganza guaranteed to challenge the body and uplift the spirit! The Halifax Metro Centre will come alive when 1,000 participants and hundreds of volunteers unite in support of world-class breast health services in Nova Scotia.”Yeah there is a limit on the number of participants, so sign up now if you want you want to join. There will be 6 and yes, I said 6 hours of fitness! My goal be fit enough to last to last the 6 hours. We will be doing yoga, zumba and so much more.

Do you want to know who one of the celebs instructing us will be? Can you say someone who wears short shorts, do I need to say more?

Now here is the catch, each of us 1,000 participants MUST raise $1,000 for the cause. That is the goal!

Now if you want to help me, there are a few way you can.

First you can go to my donation page here.

BAM_header2

If you want to send a check instead of credit card you can, there is a form you can print, fill out and send.

Second you can donate through paypal. I set up a donation button.Unfortunately for some reason it is not pasting right into my WordPress blog. So if you want to donate via paypal you can send the money through my paypal account which is cahollie@hotmail.com

Now here is the good news 100% of funds raised are going to get much needed new digital diagnostic equipment for the  unit. Can you say you help, your donation will help save the lives of women here in Nova Scotia.

Now I know not everyone can give, if you are local they are looking for volunteers and as well me personally I can use prayer support and

If you have read this far, thanks, already, I do appreciate it…Watch me become a fit, frugal, fabulous 45 yr old who can stay on the exersice mat for 6 hours for a great cause. Help me Bust a Move anyway you can!

Frugal and Fit Friday -Week One

frugal friday I have decided that I wanted to start weekly series. It is called Frugal and Fit Friday.Why? I have made the choice as well as being a frugal mom I want to be a fit Mom. I need this for me.

Really I have been overweight all of my adult life, and I can no longer stand to live in this body that is now my creation. Really, I am now at my fattest! I hate that I huff and puff when I walk, that my thighs hit each other when I walk, and I can not run without getting out of breath for minutes after word. I am not fit. I am not healthy and that is about to change.

I am inviting you my readers, my friends to follow me on my journey to becoming a fit frugal mom. Now I am not rich. No Weight watchers or purchasing into any programs for me.

How am I going to be fit and frugal?

1. I signed up for Spark People. Perhaps you have heard me mention this great FREE tool for weight loss before. I have posted on it. I will be keeping track in their online journals of both what I’m eating and how much exercise I am doing. This means I am journalling what goes in! This is important for weight loss.

2. I have an accountability partner. I have a girlfriend and Yes she lives on the west coast, but she wants to lose as much as I do.We will be encouraging each other in this path. I also have all of you and by doing this once a week you all will know the facts.

3.On Wednesday I wrote about walking. Walking for now will be my primary exercise..But I have put together a wee frugal home gym that I will blog about next week. I will walk either outside or at the mall for 45 minutes at least 5 times a week. I will also to strengthening exercises for 20 minutes twice a week.

4. I am also planning my menu and will be posting my frugal healthy halal recipes on my blog each Monday. By planning what I eat no need for running to the store, which for me can bring oodles of temptation.

5. I am drinking lots of water instead of the soda pop that had been in my glass most days.

All of these cost me nothing or next to nothing but time and I am worth the time and effort!

So now time for my Truth Tube as Dr Oz would call it.

Weight –250 exactly ..Goal 150

Blood Pressure was 132/ 82 which is normal thank good ness

Waist Measurement 44 inches

Breast measurement 53 inches

BMI 39.15 which puts me at severe risk for

  • Hypertension
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Endometrial, breast, and colon cancer

My Real Age is 56 (12 years older than I am).yikes!

Now by following my own 5 rules 1.Journal, accountability, drinking lots of water, exercising and menu planning I am planning for success. So come with me as I get fit frugally. I will also be tweeting my frugal weight tips on twitter