The “I’m No Longer Pregnant” Diet

I’ve never been one to follow a diet. Umm not.. that’s not totally true.. Who hasn’t at one point in their life? Whether it is eating to lose weight, to gain weight or to detox, we all have made food choices that were right (or wrong) for us at that point in time.

The last “real diet” I was on ended in my late teens. Back then, in the middle of squeezing excess oil out of my french fry and sipping diet tea (read mild laxative) as I awkwardly walk around the supermarket, my hormones finally stabilized and I was becoming a real life grown up woman. After a couple of years recovering from all this I found a love affair with good food. No more Big Macs per se, hello pan seared salmon on a bed of truffle risotto with a side of crunchy green beans and glass of Pinot. Truth be told, I had replaced junk food with a somewhat lesser evil – rich, creamy, real food.. and a teeny bit of alcohol!

Thankfully my body adapted well to this lifestyle of eating. Having good food at a fine dining restaurant inspired me to eat better at home. Welcoming my 20s meant welcoming a lighter, more nutritionally educated me. I have since managed to stick to this lighter weight which is around 13kg less than at my heaviest.

During both pregnancies, I put on ” the maximum healthy gain” of 14-16kg. During my first, I did everything right – kept my fruit and fibre intake, saying no to tea, and since I do not eat red meat, I kept my protein and iron intake regularly. And I had no appetite for wine months after I gave birth. If you read one of my previous posts, I was also dedicated to my pilates.

Surprisingly, I was not so strict with myself this time round. I was extremely relaxed with everything and barely exercised. Although the same craving for chocolate was there, the weight gain was the same. So why do I feel like I need to go on a diet now?

Brownie vs Organic Produce

Brownie vs Organic Produce

I believe letting ourselves go once in a blue moon is great as long as your mindset is set true to your intentions. The fact that I was so relaxed during my second pregnancy set a precedence of relaxed eating. The past several months I had subconsciously conditioned my mind into thinking it was okay to eat as I pleased as I was pregnant. This mindset has obviously been carried forward post-birth. As I was not strict with myself, perhaps I am now feeling the guilt and need to fit back into my skinny jeans. But the “I’m no longer pregnant” diet is more of a mantra than a physical need to starve myself. I love food too much for that! But when I crave a caramel slice or reach out for a second serve of pasta.. I remind myself that “I’m no longer pregnant” and I’ll cut down my serving. I must say.. so far it is working a treat (no pun intended). I even have my husband say it to me when I’m feeling swayed toward my pregnancy days.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, no matter how hectic it gets. For me, food is meant to be enjoyed.. just have the naughty treats in moderation! There will be no more Snickers ice cream for me for now. I’m not craving it, I don’t need it and I’m sure it will still be around when I’m ready for some.

Now to work on toning my mummy tummy…



A Calm Mum’s Guide to Toddler’s Eating

Food fussiness amongst toddlers is a common issue. I’ve heard many mums complain about their toddlers not eating fruit, veg, or not eating full stop. It can be frustrating not knowing what to do or why they won’t eat. There are unbelievable amounts of information and tips out there for getting your little ones to eat. But is it too much information? If we could change our method of feeding, what would we do differently? Surely even the kids know what we’re up to by now.. hidden veggies in bolognaise? C’mon we’re on to you! Why can’t we just put a bowl of carrots and peas on the plate and have our children eat it happily? Well.. would we eat it?

There could be a myriad of reasons as to why kids are fussy eaters. One reason, according to many experts, is too much cow’s milk could suppress a child’s appetite which can lead to some nutrient deficiencies such as iron. They also recommend that children aged 12-24 months should drink no more than 500-600ml of dairy milk per day. I’ve seen for myself the affects of kids who drink too much milk – they crave a lot of red meat, some even prefer them under done!

Whilst I’m no expert in children’s diets or eating and the following tips are merely my opinion plus a bit of research, I can say that my 22 month old Ava does eat everything I put in front of her. She even says “Mmm… Yum” before gobbling up her meal.

Samie’s Toddler Tips on Eating

1. Have a routine.

2. I started feeding Ava homemade pear puree at 4 months and introduced her to new flavours every week for a couple of months. Ava’s foods are always homemade – no additives and usually organic.

3.  She would always have her solids first, before drinking her milk.

4. I introduced the same food in different textures, half mashing/half puree-ing, before completely graduating her to mashed foods at around 6-7 months.

5. By 12 months, there is an obvious pattern in her eating – she liked things soft, chunky is fine, as long as it is soft. She also likes her food to be coated in liquid of some sort. So if she didn’t like broccoli, I would make them softer, if she didn’t like potato mash, I would add more milk. And I started making risottos for her – it’s soft, creamy, easy one-pot wonders and freezes well!

I think it is important to learn from your toddler and to listen to her needs. Rather than give up because she’s not eating her veggies, knowing her better will help you understand the meaning of the issue. I know this may be harder for working mums, but get a report from the daycare teacher, or babysitter to get a better idea of bub’s eating habits.

6. In addition to listening, speak to your toddler. I tell Ava what she’s eating and get her involved in the cooking process, “Ava, should we add some yummy corn to this?” “Wow.. look at the colours of the carrots, peas and tomatoes in here!” “Would you like to smell the basil/garlic/onion?”

I strongly believe that early eating habits sets the standard for future eating habits. Having said that, I have never made a big deal of how carrots, for example, are good for her. Of course it’s good, that’s why I give it to her. We are the role models and toddlers will respond to what we say is good.

7. No matter how well a toddler eats, there will be moments where they will simply refused to eat. To this I would say to Ava in a CALM tone of voice that unfortunately she will have to remain in her chair until she eats. And that I will not respond to her whinging until this happens. Guess what? With a bit of persistence, it worked! I couldn’t believe she understood me!

8. Another important eating habit – save the lollies, ice cream, chocolate! Dessert for Ava is 3 parts Greek yoghurt to 1 part flavoured yoghurt. Naughty treats once in a very rare while is okay, but they should never be used as a bribe!

9. These steps may not work for every mum and all toddlers are different. The key is to be consistent, patient and forever nurturing. I once read an empowering thought that I have used as my mantra – “You are the best person for your child”. Let’s aim for that!

Sample menu of Ava’s daily meals at 22 months –

Breakfast: Oatmeal with sliced banana and dollop of honey; a small drink of (enriched) soy milk
Morning tea: One pear; drink of diluted apple juice
Lunch: Tuna risotto with onion, mushroom and tomato; drink of water
Afternoon tea: Cheese and rice crackers with a drink of soy milk
Dinner: Spaghetti bolognaise, banana and yoghurt; drink of water
Pre-bedtime: Warm cup of cow’s milk

Throughout the day snacks if hungry: sultanas, fruit, cheese, rice crackers

Watermelon YUM

Mmm.. Apple!

Mmm.. Apple!

Making food fun!

Making food fun!

Take a deep breath, light a candle and focus on your Beauty.

Do you remember the time pre-kids? When we had all the time to do everything WE wanted to do? Mine was a self-indulgent time – regular spas, monthly massages, luxe restaurants. Yes.. that was a memorable part of my history but why would I look back when the future with my new family is brighter.

We all lead busy lives as mums and, unless you have a full time nanny, there are times when you’ve had no choice but cancel that anticipated day at the spa or that hour with the facialists for reasons that you could not ignore. But no matter how hectic life gets we must remember to look after ourselves. I was brought up by a beauty conscious mother who instilled upon me that a. The skin is our biggest organ therefore we must look after it; b. You have only  one face – invest in it.

So.. since having Ava and since time is now of the essence, I have created my own beauty regime that it is quick, convenient and super effective!

First rule of thumb, moisturise your face after each wash with a fabulous and I mean fabulous moisturiser. There are times when I have to rush out so fast that I don’t have time to put on eye cream, toner, serum, BUT because I have a fabulous moisturiser, my skin is content. I use La Mer’s Gel/Creme de la Creme – I swear by it. In case La Mer is out of the question, consider L’Oreal – they are fantastic in all the research they do and most their products contain an anti-age defence of some sort.

Every 7-10 days, or before an event, I do the following. It takes about 20 minutes so you can do it when bub is asleep or first thing in the morning.

1. Get Scrubbing – Using a light scrub for your face, massage in a circular motion onto damp skin. Focus on problem areas, but scrub gently. My must-have scrub is Dermalogica’s Daily Mircofoliant. It is gentle enough to use everyday but my favourite factor about it is I can leave it on for 5 minutes and simply let it eat away all the dead skin cells. I also use it as a pre-treatment to the next step

2. Mask – There are lots of masks out there, all promoting different results. For me a mask must get deep down and clean. At the moment I use Parr’s mud mask from New Zealand’s natural thermals which does just that.

3. Rinse face thoroughly with warm water, if short on time, do this in the shower. You do not have to use facial cleanser for this step. Pat dry with a fresh towel.

While in the shower, exfoliate the body in a circular motion. I have tried many exfoliating products from expensive scrubs to natural loofahs, but nothing is as good as an exfoliating glove. You can get right into creases without too much pressure or dissolved scrubbing beads.

Ps. Regular exfoliating encourages cell renewal and fight cellulite so this is an inexpensive and quick way to look after your biggest organ.

4. Tone – wet a cotton ball and tone all over your face, rub upward and outward towards your ears, concentrating on problem areas and creases (around nose and mouth).

5. Moisturise – don’t just slather it on, take extra care to dab or massage (read your moisturiser’s instructions) into skin. Second rule of thumb, less is more.

6. Spritz – It’s like putting top coat on freshly painted nails – it finishes the ritual. A friend gave me Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist one year and I have loved it since!

The result – skin is brighter and smoother, and feels supple and clean.. without going to the facialist!

So there you go.. easy, effective, and all while bub is sleeping!

My Home Spa must-haves!

My Home Spa must-haves!