Eliminating Sugar – Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl.

Sugar, sugar, sugar.

As a child, I remember sugar and sweet treats predominantly being party food. Dessert consisted of peaches and ice cream or jelly and custard, once a week. It wasn’t a privilege, it was a luxury. Something we knew not to even bother asking about. We knew when it was allowed.

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Fast forward to 2018. Lunch boxes are packed with treats and snacks packed with sugar. Schools have to send notes home to parents requesting for junk food to NOT be sent in their lunch boxes. I see families out with their young kids with fizzy drinks bubbling away in their juice bottles. What is the world coming to?

Sugar doesn’t full a child’s stomach.
It doesn’t feed their brains.
It feeds cancer cells.
It creates obesity.
Sugar is an addiction.

Feeding your kids wholesome foods and keeping sugary treats for parties, and special occasions is not depriving them. It is doing them a favour. Providing your child’s body with goodness is one of the best things you can do for them.

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I’ve heard many parents saying that it is easier for them (perhaps working parents) to just throw a couple of snacks into a lunchbox because they don’t have time to prepare lunches. I don’t agree! This post was created for those parents. It is possible to choose healthier alternatives to junk food.

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Here’s my list featured in the photos:

– Rice Crackers (the ones without any flavouring – avoid the ones that are covered in a powdery flavouring). My son also loved the ones covered in carob and yoghurt as a toddler.
– Droerwors (I buy a few sticks, and then just break the longer strips into about ¾ pieces. This goes a long way!)
– Dried fruit (Again, I buy a big pack, and only put 2-3 pieces into his lunchbox – remember, even when feeding your child healthy snacks – it’s about portion control).
– Berries/fruit (I wouldn’t usually add both fruit and dried fruit into his lunchbox on the same day, but just wanted to show options).
– Animal crackers (I buy them from Woolies, they’re plain with no flavouring).
– Baby Tomatoes / Baby Carrots / Cucumber

#Ceresfruitjuice challenged me to creating three nutrient packed lunches for Olly over three weeks. Less sugar – more goodness relating it to the new lunch box solution – Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl.

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They have already diluted the juice with water meaning that there is no fuss and no arguments with the tiny humans. They taste delicious, and are perfect for party packs, outings, and school lunch boxes. I’ve seen the difference in my 3 year olds behavior and attention span when unnatural sugars are eliminated from his daily diet.

The Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl comes in three delicious flavours:

– Apple: 45% Less sugar than Ceres 100% Apple Juice
– Raspberry & Apple: 40% Less sugar than Ceres 100% Secrets of the Valley.
– Fruit Punch: 50% less sugar than Ceres 100% Medley of Fruit.

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They taste great with the benefit of less sugar and are high in Vitamin C.

They are available in all major retail stores.

Tell me which healthy snacks you add to your kids lunchboxes on days where you are in a rush. Do you keep things on hand for days like these?

Share your thoughts & ideas, and you could win one of the Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl flavours in a pack of 6.


#Sponsored

Photos by Criene Images.

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Getting Creative – Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl.

When my three and a half year old son returns from school, I often find myself feeling rather uninspired by what to give him for lunch. Sometimes he’s so exhausted when he gets home that he goes straight to his bed for a nap, but other times he’s starving.

It was actually great to be challenged by Ceres to create a nutritious lunch for him, which has really made me think out of the box. What he eats for lunch AFTER school, is just as important as what I put in his lunch box. It needs to fuel his brain and give him energy for the rest of the day. I often find that when he has junk – his attention span goes from 10-1 in the blink of an eye and the tantrums begin. My son really is sensitive to sugar, and as he gets older I notice it more.

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He thrives from wholesome food and meals that are packed with nutrition. Being a growing boy, he needs to be fed food that is healthy rather than food that has been processed. I’ve often said that you know you’ve done a healthy grocery shop when you haven’t gone down any of the middle aisles of the grocery store, simply sticking to the bordering aisles which are home to all the fresh food.

He squealed with delight when he saw his dinosaur themed lunch – it was amazing watching him remain calm while eating, and being able to wind down because there was no junk. Had I added any sugary treats or junk, he would have wound up and become wild instead. I do believe that when their food has created to be appealing to the eye, even the fussier kids are more likely to eat it. Perhaps decide on a weekly theme with your little ones to keep things exciting!

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I also love being able to simply grab one of the new Ceres Fruit and Water Swirl juice boxes to add to his lunch. Keeping hydrated, especially in this hot, dry weather that Cape Town is handing us, I love that these are diluted with water too. As good as fruit juice tastes on a hot day, as well as the natural sugar giving us the energy that we need, the water is really what quenches our thirst. Again, instead of having to add water myself to dilute his juice, it has already been done for us! This specific one featured – Fruit Punch has 50% less sugar that Ceres 100% Medley of Fruit. This is phenomenal for our little people. Giving them just the right proportions of each.

It is boiling hot in Cape Town today, and instead of giving my son ice cream to cool him down and as a treat, we will instead be enjoying fun ice lollies made from these juice boxes!

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Kids are so sensitive to sugar and they don’t understand why they are feeling hyped up, or feeling strange because of their energy crashing down after the sugar high wears off. And we often take our frustration of not understanding why they are behaving differently out on them. I’ve seen how sugar affects my son, it always has. It isn’t a pretty site. And I am learning to keep junk food out of the house which means that it is kept sacred for parties and special occasions. So, I really do love that Ceres has launched this new Fruit and Water Swirl which is just an extra helping hand to us moms to limit the sugar intake for our kids. Keeping their bodies as well as teeth healthier.


I would love for you to share your thoughts with me, telling me how you control your childs sugar intake. And I will choose one of you who I will send a pack of the Ceres Fruit and Water Swirl 6 packs to to try for yourself!

#CeresFruitJuice


*This post was in collaboration with Ceres.
*Photography: Criene Images
*Wardrobe: Minimi Atelier

Feeding Their Brains With Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl.

As moms, many of us find that part of our household responsibility is doing the grocery shopping. We make most of the decisions as to what we will be putting in our children’s lunch boxes – ensuring that they have energy and are well fed. Either us or our child’s carer will prepare meals for them when they return from school, but generally influenced by us.

We are officially back into the swing of things with our kids back at school. And, when better a time to start a healthy routine for your kids than now? In the beginning of the first term.

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Something I am a firm believer in is keeping my toddlers lunch boxes free of any junk food. I like to only put fresh food in his lunch box, which means that I avoid anything that has been processed. In fact, one of the reasons I chose the school that he goes to is because of their strict lunchbox guidelines.

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Ceres challenged me to prepare nutritional lunches for my son. This was a simple task for me, because it is an honest post from my side as we always prepare healthy lunches that are sent to school with him.  I truly do believe that sugar does nothing for a child. Kids need food that will feed their brains, keeping them awake, alert and eager to learn. Sugar gives a child an unhealthy high that leaves them crashing in record breaking time.

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I don’t know about you, but I have always diluted Olly’s fruit juice with water. It’s a 50/50 ratio of water to juice. I do sometimes find it challenging, especially with the water crisis in Cape Town  – we are either running short of bottled water, or the bottle is so big that I end up spilling half of it when adding it to his juice bottle. But now, Ceres has launched a brand-new Fruit and Water Swirl juice box in three flavours!

– Apple

– Raspberry & Apple

– Fruit Punch

Tasting them myself, I could really taste just how diluted they have made them – which is great! I love that I can send fruit juice with him to school that is exactly how I would have done it myself. They really are the perfect lunchbox solution! I love that it still has the same taste, but with less sugar! I feel that many parents get lazy and just allow their kids to drink juice because of the ‘effort’ it takes to dilute it.

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I was curious to see my three and a half year old sons reaction to the new Ceres Fruit and Water Swirl options, because when he does occasionally get juice boxes, they aren’t diluted which I have no control over. However, he just loved it and didn’t seem at all phased by the ‘change in taste’. I now feel better knowing that if we are rushing out of the house, I can just grab a juice box without cringing at knowing that I haven’t had the opportunity to dilute it.

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I want to challenge you to contribute to this conversation by telling me how you control your childs sugar intake. I will send one reader who has commented a 6 pack of Ceres Fruit and Water Swirl in the flavor of their choice to try.

#CeresFruitJuice


Photos: Carina Konig – @criene_images

This post is in collaboration with Ceres.

In Sync With Your Body & Mind.

Being totally in sync with your body and mind is an incredibly challenging task when you aren’t even quite sure when you last managed to get up from your desk to get a glass of water. I sometimes find myself frantically scanning my brain to try and remember if and what I ate for breakfast.

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Life gets so busy, and our bodies are such complicated things, that sometimes we need a little hand to keep in control of things. I’ve tried a couple of gadgets in the past, and I always felt that there was something missing. There were still things that I felt slightly out of control of – there were still aspects of my everyday health and wellbeing that I felt puzzled about.

So when I heard about the Bellabeat Leaf I needed to know more. Smart jewelry created just for us women. Something that looks chic and beautiful rather than colourful and sporty. A versatile piece of jewelry that can be worn in three ways. It works for every different personality. Pretty from the outside and intelligent on the inside, just like us women.

You’re probably starting to get curious, and I am sure that if you are anything like me, the questions are starting to roll in your mind.

The Bellabeat Leaf can be worn as a bracelet, a necklace or a clip. It is lightweight and comfortable. I was worried that I would maybe find that the area of skin beneath it would feel sweaty, but it doesn’t at all. I am personally not a fan of necklaces – so I always wear my Leaf as a bracelet.

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There are two designs which are home to the same features. The Leaf Nature which is natural wood, splash proof and 48x30x13mm and then there is the Leaf Urban, which is the one that I have – it is wood composite, water resistant and 48x28x11.5mm. They are both made of hypoallergenic stainless steel.

WHAT DO THEY COST?

The Leaf Urban retails for R2999, and the Leaf Nature retails for between R2599 and R3249 depending on which one you choose.

I love that my Leaf simply sync’s to my iPhone. The app is easy to use and very easy to read. So you most certainly won’t find yourself struggling to understand what is going on. You can easily connect with Apple Health or Google Git to sync all of your data in one place.

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What does it track?

Features:

– Tracks your steps, daily activities and calories burned
– Monitors your sleep quantity and quality
– Helps you manage stress through guided meditations and breathing exercise (you can also set alarms that remind you to do this).
– Enables you to keep track of your menstrual cycle (Probably one of the most beneficial parts to me, and one of the selling points – this is something I struggle with, having PCos).
– Gently wakes you up with soothing vibration
– Reminds you to stay active with the Inactivity Alert
– Made with natural, sustainable and hypoallergenic materials
– No charging – powered by a replaceable battery which only needs to be replaced every several months

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How does it work?

Packed with highly sensitive movement sensors and with secure data backup, Leaf runs 24/7. While you are sleeping, meditating, or being active. When you’re ready to see your results, it wirelessly syncs with the Bellabeat app, available for iOS and Android.

My thoughts?

I have found that I have wanted to be more active and healthy in order to see positive results. I have always felt that seeing results always motivates me. I love that I can keep track of how much water I drink and how much sleep I get. Being a mom, I guess I find this fascinating as no two nights of sleep are the same. I also find that I sometimes sit for half of the day, purely because I need to get work done on the computer – now I can remind myself to get up and move by simply setting an alarm. This is great for women who work in the office, as we can get so carried away with the task in front of us, that we don’t get a moment to get up and move – whether it is just going up and down the stairs or walking around the office to wake up a bit. I also often find myself forgetting to drink enough water – resulting in me feeling nauseous or with a migraine, so I love that I can set an alarm to remind myself every hour or so to get up to drink some water.

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For me, as I mentioned above, the fact that the Leaf tracks my menstrual cycle is a major selling point. Now I can learn the ins and outs of my body’s internal clock and I get valuable feedback about my reproductive health. Leaf’s innovative ovulation calculator and fertility charts allow me to view my ovulation, premenstrual, and period days at a glance. This is incredible! And I am so excited to learn more about this, as it has always been something I have been so unfamiliar with! I’m sure that so many of us can relate to this!

I also really like that it can predict stress before it even happens. This means that you can tackle it head on. They explain that your activity levels, sleep quality and reproductive health all affect how stressed you feel. By simply monitoring your daily habits, Leaf can detect patterns that may cause stress before it swoops in.

 

The Leaf is compatible with the following:

-iPhone 4s and newer, iPad Mini and newer, iPad 3rd Gen, and newer models
-Android 4.3 and newer with Bluetooth 4.0.

I have received uncountable queries and compliments on my Leaf! I’ve even had a lady follow me down a couple aisles at the grocery store as she just needed to find out what it was because it looked so beautiful. She couldn’t believe what was happening inside such a minimalist piece of jewelry! But, apart from the compliments – it truly has benefited me. I feel like I am finally on the right path. Fitness and health is one thing, but actually understanding what is happening on the inside of your body is a totally different ballgame – and I’ve finally found the perfect solution that can help me with exactly that. And I am now more determined than I have ever been.

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TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET IT…NOW!

To place your order, please head over to labelcollections.com
For any enquiries you can pop Nadia an email at nadia@labelcollections.com

 

Visit their social media platforms to see more:

Facebook: BellaBeat SA
Instagram: Instagram.com/bellabeatssa

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Fun fact: The Bellabeat was founded in 2014, and is one of the top 5 recipients of the 2014 Y-COMBINATOR. The world’s most powerful start-up incubator.

 

An Extra Daily Boost.

Thinking back on my childhood, I vividly recall my Dad having a shake each morning. I would be up for school early, and my Dad would have returned from gym or from a run, and he would be drinking the most amazing vanilla shake. I remember getting a sip every now and then, and I think I would occasionally have the chance to have my own. To this day, I remember the smell and taste. I loved it!

Fast forward, probably about 18 years, and I finally have my own Vanilla shake in my cupboards. The Xcell Mind Boost and Junior shake by Tempus Dynamics, to be precise. I use these shakes as an additional supplement to my diet and I really have noticed a major difference in mine and Olly’s energy levels. I often find that my energy levels drop severely around 12pm. My body craves some kind of pick me up. My fatigue can be so intense at times, I once thought I was pregnant because of how similar it was to that first trimester fatigue!

I have tried so many things, however found that the Xcell Mind Boost works really well for me. These shakes are packed with so much goodness! Plus for Olly, the Junior Shake allows me to give him all the essential vitamins and nutrients that his growing body needs, easy peasy, no fuss or effort!

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I know that many will read the label and perhaps be put off by the Soy in the shakes, however, I’ve learnt that the soy in the Xcell product range is certified GMO free! Also good to know is that the Xcell products are developed and are based on 20 years of research in cellular nutrition. It is specifically formulated for today’s stressful lifestyles, that so many of us can relate to and it feels good knowing that you nourishing yourself at a cellular level.

Many families and individuals think that ‘Hey, I take my dose of vitamins each day, I don’t need anything else.’ Or, ‘My kids eat enough fruit and veggies, and also take multi-vitamins each day, they’re good to go!’   What I’ve learnt is that MSM is often missing and is such an important component to our overall health and these shakes include MSM.

Here’s what I’ve learnt about MSM, it’s an essential nutrient has been overlooked by most leading health products. MSM is present in every cell of plants and animals but, somehow tends to be overlooked in the essential role it plays in human nutrition.

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MSM is good for so many things, Tempus Dynamics explained the following:

This forgotten nutrient is the 3rd largest component in your body and is very necessary to maintain optimum health.

Your body uses MSM on a cellular level to ensure that nutrients are delivered into the cells and that toxins are removed.  MSM is essential for the replacement of old cells with new healthy ones.  Your body is in a constant state of repair and supplementation with MSM ensures that your cell perform this function – but if you do not have all the essential nutrients the end result will be less than perfect.

MSM has even been termed nature’s beauty mineral because of its ability to maintain glossy hair and a clear youthful complexion.

Indeed, researchers have claimed that supplementation with MSM may alleviate the following;

  • Reduce stiffness and swelling
  • Improve joint flexibility
  • Alleviate stress and heartburn
  • Increase alertness and brain function
  • Improve circulation
  • Alleviate dehydration thereby improving detoxification
  • Reduce scar tissue
  • Inhibit chemical carcinogen
  • Discourage micro-organism infestation (including Candida Albicans)
  • Help with gum disease
  • Protect the sinuses from nasal congestion
  • Improve brittle hair and nails
  • Alleviate acne
  • Help with depression and memory loss

 MSM is a component of insulin, which regulates the uptake of glucose by the cells for use as energy.  Athletes may find MSM particularly useful in the reduction of lactic acid build-up.  Studies have shown that in athletes, along with reducing leg cramps, the recovery time of cramping in marathon runners who were given MSM dropped by 75%. 

I often wonder what Olly’s reaction to a new product that needs to be drank will be. He is like me in the way that he is a bit tactile intolerant. I struggle to eat, touch or drink things with a specific texture. I am physically unable to eat certain porridge or drink things that have bits in. But, we both loved the shake. I use this phrase a lot – You can’t taste the ‘health’ in it. But, it certainly seems to benefit both of us with our energy and concentration levels.
The benefits above are enough for anybody to be tempted to buy the product – but from my own personal experience, I do feel like it is really worth buying and having your family drink a shake each day.

They can choose between Chocolate and Vanilla flavor. I just always prefer vanilla drinks over chocolate, so I am unable to tell you what the chocolate is like, but if it’s anything like the vanilla flavor then it will be divine!

**I must add in that kids tend to be so much fussier these days when it comes to what they are willing to eat. It can be a battle in many homes to get kids to eat their veggies. And for some, it’s easier to just give in. As parents, we want what is best for our kids, and sometimes just making sure they have eaten something so they don’t go hungry is what is important to us. This means that they full up on things that don’t feed their brains. They go to school, and they are unable to concentrate, they’re tired and they get hungry quickly. For kids like that, this Xcell Junior shake really is a perfect substitute for kids aged 1 to 10. You could probably even add it into a smoothie for an extra kick!

You can get your hands on these products here: http://www.tempusdynamics.co.za/product/xcell-junior-1-10-years/

And

http://www.tempusdynamics.co.za/product/xcell-mind-boost/

Also, follow their social media handles to keep up with their range of products for the entire family:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tempusdynamicsSA/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tempusdynamics

Fresh Is Best – #SirFruitColdPressed

I remember how David and I used to get so excited to go grocery shopping at Food Lovers Market many years ago, purely to buy the Sir Juice strawberry juice. We would devour it within a few hours of being home just because it was so delicious, and so fresh on a hot summer day especially.

There’s something about that memory that makes me smile. Perhaps it was that we were still carefree – we weren’t parents yet, and it is just one of the few memories that are clear in my mind from before Olly arrived. We would always buy a bottle when going away on holiday, usually on some surf trip or even just for a day at the beach. Maybe a strange happy memory, but such an amazing one in my mind.

We still buy that on occasion, but try not to have too much juice in our home. And then, something magical happened. As you know, I’m currently investing a lot more time on my own personal health and wellness. I’m not only trying to lose weight, but I am trying to look after my body and to keep it clean – why? Because it deserves it.

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So when I found out that Sir Juice has just come out with a brand new Cold Pressed range of juices, I was beyond excited. I was also inquistive. I try not to drink fruit juice anymore, but my sugar levels do sometimes drop quite low, and sometimes I just need a little energy and nutrient boost, and who doesn’t crave a little bit of sweetness sometimes? The best news is that there is NO added sugar, stabalisers, flavours or colours!

There are three flavours in the range:

– Carrot, apple, orange, granadilla & ginger
– Apple, cucumber, spinach, kale & mint
– Apple, beetroot, raspberry, orange, carrot & ginger

My thoughts? Obviously that’s what you’re really wanting to know…

I was surprised to be quite honest, I didn’t think they would be as delicious as they are. My favourite is the Apple, beetroot, raspberry, orange, carrot & ginger. The beetroot is the main flavour that comes through, but the tang and sweetness from the orange and raspberry really tricks your tastebuds. It was divine, and I actually wanted more after I finished it. That’s always a good sign!

The other two are also delicious, and have been made with just the correct amount of each ingredient.

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They last up to 20 days in the fridge as long as they are closed – however, do finish the opened bottle within a day and half of opening it. And, just another great little bit of news is that even my three year old son LOVES them! It sucks in a way, because it means that I have to share mine — BUT, it also means that it is an easy way to get their nutrients and veggies into their little bodies without them even knowing!

I must also add that it was one of the most beautifully presented packages I have ever recieved. Complete with the ingredients that are used in the juices – fresh, delicious and refreshing.

I am so excited about these and can’t wait to let you know which stores in your area stock them so you can get your hands on them too!

There is also loads of information on them on the Sir Juice Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/welovefruit/

The World Of Wazoogles.

Wazoogles.
Wazoogles.

Your turn to say it.

This time, try to say it without smiling…

Now tell your little one to say it, and try not to burst into a fit of laughter.
To the point…

If you aren’t aware of my slight change of lifestyle, then are you even following my blog? I’ve always tried to promote a healthier lifestyle, and I’ve been lucky that Olly has always loved healthier food and snacks, but as he has gotten older, he’s realizing that there is such a thing called ‘choice’ and he has realized that sometimes he can just pull a face and moan for 10 minutes when I’m overly exhausted and I might just change my mind and give him an alternative to what he was initially going to get for that meal/snack. He’s also been to parties, been exposed to what I call ‘party food’ and has found a new love for sugar (what child doesn’t love sugar?).

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And then Wazoogles came along, barging through my doorway one morning – and it just decided to change the way things work in my home. Sneaky! You’re probably by this point thinking, ‘What the heck is Wazoogles?’

Well, apart from having the best name ever, and being a powder in a sachet covered in unicorns – it’s actually an organic plant-based superfood protein shake which is suitable for vegans and is gluten, sugar and dairy free.

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As they say, “Every scoop is bursting with antioxidants, living enzymes, essential minerals, plant-based protein, and a wide spectrum of vital nutrients, yet is completely free of added sugars, chemicals, colourants, flavourants, or fillers.”

In my home, I have found that Wazoogles has refreshed my urge to be creative in my kitchen in a healthy way. It begs for everything you create with it to be fun. My son and I have had so much fun baking and creating healthy smoothies and snacks with the full range of Wazoogles. And everything we have made has so far been a hit with him, and me.

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We’ve added it to uncountable smoothies, to protein balls and ‘nice’ cream. But they can also be added to a smoothie bowl or to a quick recovery elixir shake for post-workout which I will be doing today after my workout.

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I’ve found that it has been a fantastic, fuss free way to get all of the superfoods into my toddler and my own body. With it being the season of horrible germs and with my son being at school where kids are always sick, I must say that he’s been pretty well considering. He’s been ill, but nothing worth antibiotics. Which is such a change from last winter.

I am such a fan for products that are made to make life easier. And I am a fan for products that promote health especially for the entire family!

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Wazoogles comes in different pack sizes.

Mini Pack: (2 servings)
Medium Pack: (15 servings)
Large Pack: (30 servings)

There are also five different flavours, so there really is something for everyone.

– Kungfu Coffee
– Chocolate Moondust
– Vanilla Sky
– Unicorn Berry
– Plant Power

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I’ve found a use for every single flavour in at least two recipes I have played around with so far, so the sky is the limit.

Such a great product to have in your home for everyday use for the entire family! We all love it.

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If you enjoy being inspired by beautiful, healthy food – then be sure to follow @wazoogles on Instagram. Their instastories are hilarious and the content is just delicious!!!

You can also follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wazoogles/

Shop: http://www.wazoogles.com/ (PSST – free delivery within Cape Town!!!)
They also have the most amazing recipes to inspire you on their website as well as an easy to understand description of the world of Wazoogles.

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And more than anything, I love their story – brothers that both have the same beliefs and desire to provide people like you and me with a product that will keep our families healthy, and to create an honest product. Lovers of nature, and such rad guys. So give that a read too! Not only will you be inspired, but it will also give you a good view into Wazoogles itself.

TO A HAPPY  & HEALTHY MONDAY!

— One Modern Mom

 

 

That Postpartum Self-Image.

When you look at yourself in the mirror, with your pregnant belly or postpartum body staring back at you, how do you feel?

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Without even being entirely aware of it the majority of the time, and rather finding myself in a little bit of an emotional place in my life at times and then thinking back to life since falling pregnant up until now and sort of waking up to the fact that I’ve been feeling this particular way for much longer than I thought, rather than just going through stages of feeling like this.

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It is so challenging learning to love your body with all of the changes that have come with it since falling pregnant. It truly is something that I have struggled with more than I have even been aware of. I love my body for what it has allowed me to achieve. I love my body for blessing me with the opportunity to carry a baby, to birth a baby and to be mostly healthy. But, I also struggle on a daily basis with 100% loving what it now looks like.

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I sometimes find myself in a bit of a negative place. I get frustrated with myself for complaining to myself or to David about weight that I have gained, and then not doing anything about it. I get irritated with myself for getting my mind so set on eating better, and then failing. I get so cross with myself when I spend so much time trying to feed Olly healthy food, and then I give into a quick microwave meal because I’m just so exhausted at the end of a day.

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I find myself feeling overwhelmed, but know that I can so easily avoid that by just planning and preparing weekly meals for my entire family on a day that isn’t quite so overwhelming.

I know I’m totally normal. I know that every mom feels this way at some point or another, and I know that my body has been through uncountable changes, some that I will never truly understand since falling pregnant.

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And then… then I did this photo-shoot with Radiefa Peters from Radz Photography. I threw myself in the deep end by choosing two dresses that I wouldn’t usually choose purely because of how I feel about my body. I took the leap, I did it. And when I got my photos back, it was almost like something triggered in my brain for the very first time since I can remember. I felt beautiful. I looked at the photographs, and for the first time in a very long time, I liked what I saw. Not the story behind the photo, or how Olly looked – but I actually smiled when I zoomed in and looked and re-looked at myself in the photos.

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Not many people are capable of making somebody feel that way about themselves. And I also have to hand some of the credit over to Daff Kansley, the talented makeup artist who partly gave me the confidence to actually leave the house in the first place. And to Jody from Flock Fashion & Accessories for the beautiful wardrobe that you provided me with.

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Getting these images back, and seeing how happy I looked in the photos has just given me the desire I needed to get myself back in shape – to stick to my exercise routine, and to stick to preparing healthy meals for my family. Why? Because a healthy self-image creates a healthy, happy individual. And me being happy means that everybody who crosses my path will leave feeling happier too.

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You can follow the talented team behind these photos on Instagram here:

Radiefa Peters: @radzphotography_cpt
Daff Kansley: @thedrkansley_mua
Jody: @flock_it
One Modern Mom Blog: @onemodernmom

The Reality Of Sugar.

Did you know that over feeding your kids sugar from a young age can create an incredibly unhealthy sugar addiction for them as adults? Also, did you know that rewarding your kids with food isn’t always a healthy idea either. I find that people often laugh at me or shrug off the intensity of sugar. I often find myself cringing when I see the food that kids eat on a daily basis. I’m not judging, but rather wish that I could educate them on how desperately kids need a healthy diet for their tiny bodies and to help their brains work at their full capacity.

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Here’s my own personal story:
SUGAR & TODDLERS = MINIATURE MONSTERS

Copyright © Matt Masson 2017 Image 014

Without exaggerating, it was literally three minutes ago that I gave my son two teenie tiny SweeTarts. (My absolute favourite candy that my dear friend brought me back from the States.) I couldn’t resist sharing with Olly, because, of course, they remind me of my own childhood visiting the States to see my family.

My mistake! He had been happily playing outside in the mud, when he came inside to ask me to roll up his sleeves. I then handed him two of these little sweets. One for each hand. Within a matter of minutes – three to be exact, he turned from a sweet little boy who was happily entertaining himself, to literally screaming, spitting, and just being ugly. Define ugly: shouting, not listening to me, making horrible sounds, and just being all round RUDE.

It is mindblowing what sugar can do! And I think that we underestimate the power of it. I’ve done an article on healthy eating before, and I have always been quite strict on what Olly eats. From a young age, he had a gluten intolerance, which meant that we had to be careful about what he ate. But, as he’s gotten slightly older, it isn’t nearly as severe as what it used to be, thankfully! However, at the same time – it seems that we have sort of loosened the ropes on steering away from sugar.

Olly will generally choose water over juice. He will never get any juice apart from 100% fruit juice that we dilute mostly in water. For school lunches and at home, he will generally get fresh fruit and nuts with his rice cake or sandwich or sometimes dried fruit. He also, surprisingly LOVES having baby tomatoes in his lunch box. Strange kid.

BUT, he’s a kid, and somehow he manages to persuade us to give him the BAD treats. That’s the kind of treats that are okay at a birthday party on the odd occassion. But, NOT to have on a daily basis. I never reward with food – for instance, he will never get sweets or a biscuit or snacks if he goes potty on his own, or does something good. I’ve learnt that it’s a no no, thanks to Munchkins parenting coach, Celeste Rushby who I used to au pair for and learnt so much from over time.

The problem is that when he catches David or myself munching on a biscuit, or a peice of chocolate or somebody happens to open a packet of chips, he comes running from the other end of the house (where he couldn’t hear me calling him from) to see ‘what we have for him’. I know that the immediate and obvious solution would be to just not eat that kind of thing when he is up and about and to rather save it for when he is asleep, and look – it isn’t a daily thing. I’m making it sound as if we constantly have junk food in hand, which isn’t the case at all. We never prioritize pudding for him after dinner. Every now and then he will have a yoghurt with a banana, or stewed apple which is home made with a drizzle of custard.

But – WHEN HE DOES have sugar – it’s as if I have a totally different child in front of me. And it scares the living daylights out of me. I do not like the child he becomes. The high is short and the low is long and dreadful. Totally not worth it! It’s the worst thing you can give your child – honestly.

I want to suggest that you (and I) replace the junk treats for healthier alternatives. Dried fruits, rice cakes coated in carob, dark chocolate, biltong or droerwors – you catch my drift. I struggle to wrap my mind around why I feel the need to give Olly sugar when he’s totally content, happy and polite (you almost feel as if you want to give them something nice as a treat to secretly reward their behavior) just to turn them into the opposite of what they are.

Olly LOVES his healthy snacks. He honestly does, and always has! And so, my July resolution – OUT WITH THE JUNK, IN WITH THE HEALTHY.

Natural sugar in small doses is totally OK! And every now and then, a sugary treat isn’t a bad thing. But, if you want to see a change in your kids behaviour and attitudes, choose snacks that have no added sugar, no colourants, MSG or flavourants, etc. You catch my drift. Don’t make sugar an expected thing in your home. And for those of you with young babies that aren’t yet there – start your babes off not even knowing what it is – because they don’t need it! They get all of the sugar they need through fruit!

Sorry about my long rambles, I was just actually so shocked this morning watching how such a small amount of sugar made my sweet child turn into a monster in such a short amount of time.

So, I just wanted to raise the awareness about how SUGAR is really a drug when consumed too frequently. And there are so many alternatives that you can rather choose from. Maybe I should do a post on some alternatives that you can choose from that don’t cost an arm and a leg?

Thanks for reading, and I would love to hear your perspectives and ideas on this.

— One Modern Mom

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Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These little guys are simply the best! I get so peckish for a little sweet treat every single day (without fail) around noon. I just crave sugar but had indulging in bad sugar.

These little power balls are delicious and have so much energy packed in every bite.

Want to know how to make them? So simple.

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1/2 cup creamy nut butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cacao
1 tablespoon Chocolate Moondust wazoogles protein powder
2 tablespoons water

Mix together in a bowl, add more water (one tablespoon at a time) if too dry. Refrigerate for 15 min and then roll into balls.

I love to snack on mine with a strong cup of black coffee. And Olly loves them too! 💪