Friday, January 6, 2012

Healthy Natural pregnancy: Week 38 preparing for baby & Teaching siblings to change a diaper.


I am soon to be a mother of 4 and having a healthy pregnancy and recovery is certainly a team effort.

Since I don't have any family around (mom and relatives are too far away) relying on the support of my husband, my children and some kind friends will be my best chance to a healthy recovery and to my success in this new phase.

To increase my chances of success (smiles) I am training my little crew to an unavoidable responsibility: Diaper Change!

 I will not let them handle a newborn alone but it's still important that they know a few things, develop some skills and be more aware of some of the many changes to come.  They are used to babies and small children but having a new baby at home 24/7 will be life changing, even for me!

Success takes some planning and preparation so yesterday we held a
 " Diaper Lab: How to change a diaper 101"

We had a short session a few weeks ago with an old doll. I suppose the first session was more of an intro because the old doll did us no justice...

We had our " intro" session weeks ago with a flimsy doll and pretended that a dishcloth was a diaper.

 Yesterday we were better equipped.The doll we used this time around is called " Baby Alive" and she actually wears a real diaper. 

My son D.A has been having too much fun giving her a lot to drink from her bottle so the doll peed profusely and was soaked. Perfect timing for another diaper changing session!

Imani received this doll from her "Aunty Karmen" for Christmas and the doll talks, eats and drinks and use the bathroom. Yes, the doll actually "urinates" and..."eliminates" .

This first time big sister takes her future role with such enthusiasm, it's beautiful to see her in action. She prayed for a sister and God answered... Please read this following story

The baby doll wears newborn size diapers. Thankfully " Aunty Karmen" offered a pack of newborn diapers just for the doll. Thank God this baby doll will never need upgrades to bigger size!!!

Well, time to see our little students in action:


My second son, D.A, was small when Imani was born and he is excited at the idea of a much younger sister. He said he would help with diaper changing but will close his nose if it stinks. This is actually very courteous of him as this is coming from someone who totally refuses to clean after the dog.

Hopefully he will treat his baby sister with more consideration when it's time to handle her soiled diapers.

Okay let's see... 
Oops better redo that one! I can already feel urine or diarrhea running all over our hands and clothes with such a loose diaper!  He is redoing it with more precision...

Much better....

The last one to go was my oldest son, he is always helpful and is always the one to volunteer for a task. He changed this diaper so fast that he was done before I even noticed it!

What do you think? That's very promising isn't it? 
With a week left to do some simulations, what else should we pratice?


Monday, January 2, 2012

Health and Fitness Tips for 2012

Health and Fitness Tips for 2012 by Omonike Anderson

The New Year is here! For many of us that means the start of an effective fitness journey. After having my son, I was left with a stubborn 20 pounds that would not budge. However, the ten tips I’m about to share below have not only helped me shed the pounds (and then some!), but also establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Remember, your weight loss is a lifestyle change, not something that can be temporarily appeased with dieting. With that said, plan to take on 2012 with a new appetite for fitness and watch those pounds come flying off!

1.       Define Your Goal and Put it Down in Writing: Before you begin, it’s good to know where you currently stand and where you’d like to be. If you don’t have a quality scale at home, invest in one. You may also want to invest in a measuring tape to document inches lost from your bust, waist, and hips. Once you document all these measurements, think realistically about where you’d like to be and write that weight (or measurement) down. Also, think about your other goals. Maybe you’d like a flatter midsection, firmer arms and legs, or simply more cardiovascular endurance. Remember, there is no such thing as spot reduction, but you can still focus on your “trouble” areas.

2.       Discuss Your Fitness Goal with Your PCP: Before you begin your fitness journey, be sure to discuss any and all plans with your Primary Care Provider (PCP). Not only can your PCP help assist you in formulating a great fitness regimen for your age, weight, and goals, but they can also be a significant part of your support system. Also keep in mind that if you have any existing medical conditions, it is imperative to speak with your PCP about safe ways to lose weight.

3.       Construct a Workout and Eating Plan: This should also be documented. Successful weight loss always requires a clear, constructive blueprint that documents a tentative workout schedule as well as a healthy eating plan. Here’s how to get started. First, decide what days and times are best for you to workout. Second, according to your fitness goals, decide which workouts you will do on which days. Third, you already know what you shouldn’t eat, therefore make a list of delicious foods and recipes that you can eat.  Here’s an example of my workout and eating plan according to my goal of overall health and fitness. My eating plan consists of my favorite healthy recipes.  You may be as detailed as you’d like—even down to deciding what you will eat for each meal every day. Remember to eat consistently throughout the day to help speed your metabolism.

·         Mondays: Ab training (30 mins); cardio (30 mins)
·         Tuesdays: Arm and shoulder training (30 mins) ; cardio (30 mins)
·         Wednesdays: Rest!
·         Thursdays: Leg and glute training (30 mins); cardio (30 mins)
·         Fridays: Ab training (30 mins); cardio (30 mins)
·         Saturdays: Back training (30 mins); cardio (30 mins)
·         Sundays: Rest!
·         Green Smoothie: handful of kale, spinach, spirulina, barley, 2 cups of organic apple juice, 1 banana

·         Cold Cereal: cheerios (original) and almond milk


·         Egg Sandwich: 2 eggs, 2 slices of wheat bread


·          Fruits: apples, bananas, mandarin oranges, grapefruit, grapes, etc. (whatever you’re in the mood for

·         Beverage: 1 glass of water or pure orange juice
·         Spinach Salad: 2 cups of fresh spinach, 2 eggs, 1 ounce of roasted turkey breasts, low-fat vinaigrette.

·         Turkey Sandwich: 2 ounces of roasted turkey breasts, 1 slice of provolone, handful of spinach, low-fat mayonnaise.

·         Peanut Butter Toast: 2 slices of 100% wheat bread, thin layer of all natural peanut butter, small drizzle of all natural honey.

·         Fruits: Apples, bananas, mandarin oranges, grapefruit, grapes, etc. (whatever you’re in the mood for).
·         Beverage: 1 glass of water


·         Grilled Chicken, Rice Pilaf, and Broccoli: Grilled chicken breasts, all natural rice pilaf, fresh or frozen broccoli
·         Spaghetti: Lean beef,  100% wheat pasta, organic tomato marinara, parmesan


·         Turkey Sausage, Baked Potatoes, and Carrots: Turkey sausage, red/russet potatoes, fresh or frozen carrots steamed.
·         Beverage: 1 glass of water

4.       Get an Accountability Partner: You want your accountability partner to be either a fitness veteran or someone above your fitness level. This person should be have a “no-nonsense” attitude and should help motivate you to work out on those lazy days.  As a quick tip, contact that friend, family member, or coworker whose fitness you admire and ask to join them during their workouts if the schedule is feasible for you.
5.       Keep it Simple: Going all out at the gym your first week is the surefire way to ensure you won’t stick with your routine for long. Take it slow and build on your routine by challenging yourself on the weekly basis. If you walked at a moderate pace for 30 minutes last week, this week try finding a “hilly” area or an incline to challenge yourself during your walk. Walking up an incline is a great way to burn lots of calories while elevating your normal routine.

6.       Make it Fun: One of the main reasons so many people fail at reaching their fitness goal is because their workout routine has become stale. Do let it happen to you! Take dance lessons, swimming classes, or join an aerobics team. Get outdoors and do some bike riding, mountain climbing, or go canoeing. Do whatever you have to do to make fitness an enjoyable part of your life. Another great way to keep exercising fun is to get the entire family involved. You’ll feel good after playing flag football with your kids in the backyard, or taking a nice long walk with your significant other while the sun sets.

7.       Make Healthy Eating Convenient: When you cook dinner, be sure to cook enough to last two to three days, so that all you have to do is warm it in the oven for the subsequent days—I only have to cook two-three times a week. When it comes to snacking, nothing gets more convenient than a fresh apple or orange from the fridge. If you’re worried about your produce spoiling before you get a chance to eat them, chop them up and freeze them. It only takes five minutes to unthaw when placed in lukewarm water. In addition, always take something healthy with you on the road. Throw an apple in a ziplock bag and place it in your purse, or take a granola bar with you. It will save your life when hunger attacks! For work, prepare your breakfast and lunch the night before and place it in a lunch bag to be stored in the fridge. There’s nothing like a “grab-and-go” in the morning! For breakfast, store a slice of wheat bread with jam and plenty of grapes on the side. For lunch, store a spinach salad with low-fat dressing and grilled chicken (if you’re not vegan). This will help deter you from grabbing that morning breakfast at the drive-through and eating take-out at lunch-time.

8.       Avoid foods that hurt: I advise everyone to do their own constructive research on this matter. But to give a general breakdown of foods you want to avoid, the list goes as followed: [1] Sugar. It is recommended by the USDA not to consume any more than 40g of sugar per day. Sugar usually settles in the most unflattering places of the body (i.e. midsection) and stores as fat when consumed in excess. Be careful, many unexpected foods contain sugar disguised in names like corn syrup, organic dehydrated cane juice, and fruit juice concentrates, just to name a few. [2] Fats. Fats are actually good for you, but you must eat the right kinds. Good fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, deliver fat soluble vitamins that keep our skin supple and our energy fueling. Bad fats, such as saturated and trans fatty acids, can clog arteries, heighten cholesterol levels and increase heart disease. The USDA recommends not consuming more than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids and no more than 20-35% of calories from unsaturated fats. Lastly, [3] Sodium. Not only can excess sodium lead to heart problems but it can also increase your water retention, making you look and feel bloated. The USDA recommends not exceeding 2300 mgs of salt per day (appx. 1 tsp. of salt).

9.       Eat foods that help. There are several foods and beverages that help promote muscle formation. Such foods include protein, green leafy vegetables, and carbohydrates (the brown kind!). Foods like these not only aid in fighting fat and building muscle, but also help your metabolism function at its best. Great proteins to try are fish, eggs, and almonds. Great leafy greens to try are spinach, kale, and romaine. Water, green tea, and green smoothies are also great for promoting muscles formation. Water lubricates the muscles and increases strength, green tea helps to burn fat and maintain muscle mass, and green smoothies are packed with nutritious fruits and vegetables that increases energy and provides the body with necessary nutrients to build healthy muscles. The USDA recommends 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruits, 2-3 servings of meat, 6-11 servings of grains, and 2-3 servings of dairy on the daily basis. A single serving of fruits and vegetables is about ½ cup. For meat, about 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat. For grains, 1 slice of bread or ½ cup uncooked pasta/rice. For dairy, 1 cup of milk or 1 ½ ounces of cheese.

10.   Drink lots of water—You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again—water suppresses your appetite and flushes your body from harmful toxins, making it a winner for both health and weight loss. The body comprises 60-70% of water and needs consistent water intake to maintain health, as dehydration can compromise the health of the entire body. Studies show that a vast majority of people in western countries are not consuming enough water. To be certain your body is receiving sufficient water, the Institute of Medicine recommends that women consume an average of 9 cups per day while men consume an average of 13 cups. This number of course varies, so the general rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight. Therefore, if you weigh 150 pounds, drinking 75 ounces (almost 10 cups) of water daily will meet your quota. It is not difficult to do if you carry a 34 ounce water bottle with you everywhere you go and sip it occasionally, refilling as needed.
Remember, you CAN do it! And don’t wait until the weight is lost to start loving yourself (it almost never happens)—start now! Be sure to treat yourself with nice clothing to compliment your frame for each step of your journey, as well as keep up with your appearance to help enhance your self-esteem. Confidence is way sexier than a slimmer frame:-)
Disclaimer: The content in this post is experienced-based and is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed professional.

Words from the editor ( me, N'na)
The article above was written by Omonike Anderson an inspiring woman that I have invited to become a contributor on the blog. For more weight loss articles check the link below and the labels fitness, weight loss, wellness, health etc.