Juicing for kids

Juicing became a big thing in 2013. Many people have started drinking their fruits and vegetables and have improved their over all health. My son Joshua, after turning 2 years old has become a picky eater. Joshua no longer likes vegetables and prefers just rice and meat with soup. He prefers McDonald’s rather than real food. Ok, who can relate with me? 

But as of recent Joshua has been holding back his bowels because he has constipation. He would cry in pain as he would pass his bowels.  It was why he would rather hold it in as long as he could. So we explained to him that he needs to eat vegetables. He gives us that head gesture that says “no”. So we told him he needs to eat oatmeal and we have to start juicing. The juicing part he likes, because he likes to put fruits and vegetables in the juicer.

  
Our concoction was made up these ingredients:

  • 1 apple with skin
  • Half a cucumber without skin
  • 1 carrot
  • Slice of lemon without the skin
  • Cubes of ice

Joshua was happy to keep putting slices of fruit and vegetables. When we were done we placed them in glasses with ice to keep it refreshing.

  
Joshua drank his power drink of the day and his little sister Anna had a couple of sips too! It was yummy, healthy, and refreshing. What a great way to get vegetables and fruit into the bodies of our little ones. So happy this is a healthy solution for my picky eater! 

  

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Gestational diabetes inspired cooking

I was so busy with many activities in November that I really became quite laid back on my pregnancy. By the time I took my gestational blood sugar test, I’m one month to go to my planned delivery date. And to my surprise, I failed the test. I’m diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

At first, I was upset. Because December is a feasting month with lots of Christmas parties. I pitied myself and thought of all the sugar-filled food I will miss out on… Brazos de Mercedes, leche flans, puto bumbong, ice creams, chocolates…

I also learned that a healthy diet in a 9″ plate would be half vegetables, a quarter on meat and a quarter on carbs. Also, no cheating can be done because I now have a blood sugar tester and I need to prick my finger either before meals or after. I had to keep my blood sugar level at 95 or below before meals and 130 or below 2 hours after a meal.

Then suddenly encouragement from family and friends poured in with suggestions, recipes, and I started researching dishes for myself. Never would I think, I’d be preparing food for myself everyday. But I have to say, I am so enjoying it… I have been cooking not only for me, but for the rest of the family!

Here are a few of my favorites!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0722.jpgPork Loin salad with yogurt dressing

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0762.jpgPaleo Broccoli with bacon grapes and celery on lemon mayo dressing! Yum!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0796.jpg okra salad with olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0817.jpgRoasted Vegetable Salad with olive oil balsamic vinaigrette! This is an awesome surprise because it tastes so good!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0799.jpgChicken pita with apple, celery, onions on mayo mustard dressing. What a filling treat!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0805.jpg Vegetable overload with bacon on 3 cheese quiche! Cooked on turbo only and it was yum!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0922.jpg Sugarless rolled oat cookies with banana, apple, raisins, and sugar free chocolates!

I don’t know, but what turned out to be bad news, God turned out for good! My hubby has been requesting and asking what healthy dish I’ll be cooking. He rarely requests that from me! But now, he is interested with my cooking and encourages me. I cannot explain what’s stirring in me… But I’m inspired to cook! God is helping me see a different perspective. Lemons can be turned into yummy lemonade, as they say.

Alternative Milk

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I was trying to wean my son from breastmilk to cow’s milk, suddenly he contracted amoeba. My personal suspicion– it was triggered by lactose intolerance. Finding the right milk for him suddenly became secondary because I decided not to wean him. Breastmilk has so much antibodies that it strengthens a child who is afflicted with some kind of sickness.

In reality, Joshua even having his amoeba continued to play, continued to run around as if he was not sick at all. Of course he had the runs, but overall he seemed very well. I have to say that the breastmilk has really given him some kind of booster that makes him quite strong. Even when everyone got the virus, he too got it. But again, he just continued to play, run around, laugh and he was not difficult at all. I have to really thank God for giving me a child like that.

However, I also know that reality will set in, I have to find an alternative to breast milk. I am really planning to wean him slowly. My schedule is filling up with activities and meetings which means I am often out. I have to start finding another milk that Joshua is not allergic to. I was told to try goats milk, or soy milk. However, there are two mothers who have recommended another kind of milk. Nut based milk is their choice and specifically, the Almond milk.

So when I was in Manila, I entered Rustan’s and there was a section of Silk’s Almond Milk. What made me happy was seeing that it was NON-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism), Lactose Free, Gluten Free, and Soy-free! Wow, its calcium content is higher than cows milk, and it tastes just great! Also a box is not so bad it costs from Php 144- Php152 a box.
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A box is about 946 ml. To my son a box is good for about 7 days. You must be thinking, “how can that be? Isn’t that too little?” Remember, this is just an alternative.. It only supplements when I am unable to directly feed. But just think about it… How much is formula canned milk? Its 9 to 10 times the price of this one.

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In Sarangani, the focus of the agricultural program will be on naturally grown food which is really the kind of produce God intended for us. But today most of our food come from genetically modified sources. They are also causes of cancers and other degenerative diseases. So, going all natural is the best!

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Overall it has been such a relief to find something suitable for my son. Unfortunately this milk is not available in Gensan or Sarangani. We have to fly them in from Manila for now (until purchasers of our groceries here find it worth bringing in.)

Thank God for quality products like Silk that help moms with kids who are lactose intolerant.

Personal Pick – Infant Breakfast

My friends ask me what I feed Joshua. He is not a fat baby (might be a genetic thing because my family are a bit skinny). Joshua however can eat and is a very active baby. Ever since his interest for solid food began, he was on a journey to try different kinds of food.

For breakfast everyday, we start with breakfast cereal. Cereals for babies are the powdered type of breakfast mix that requires hot water. Once mixed with the hot water it turns into a thicker batter ready to be eaten by your baby. There are several brands out there. The more famous one is Cerelac.

I have read somewhere that cereals can cause constipation to your baby. But its not the cereal per se, it could be the iron fortified as an additive to the cereal that can cause that. So, I have always done this mix… Cereal+oatmeal mix. This will give my baby enough fiber that solves the constipation issue.

I also did a bit of checking on the cereals out there. To be honest, Cerelac has an overly sweet flavor. Well, in my opinion, I don’t want my son to get used to so much sweets. So I have found other alternatives.

My next choice is Promina. It is a cereal made in Indonesia. It has no preservatives, no coloring, no artificial sweeteners, nor msg. It is also fortified with vitamins. It was sweetened enough and just right. Our favorite flavors are brown rice with milk and mung bean with milk. They also have chicken with vegetables flavor and it is more a lunch kind of cereal.

Then still I looked for options that did not have sugar. I found a brand made in the Philippines. Nutri-Del is a dry infant cereal with no sugar, no salt, no preservatives, nor artificial coloring and fortified with vitamins! With this one you can regulate how much sugar you put on your baby’s cereal. They also have several flavors

As usual, I always mix in a bit of oatmeal to the cereal. I like Australian Harvest instant oats. It has good quality oats that plumps up well with hot water.

As an additional tip I learned, avoid feeding your baby with honey. Though I probably served my son oatmeal with honey several times. I did not realize it can cause danger to him. According to my research honey can cause botulism bacteria and babies under one year old have a difficult time fighting it. But I thank God, Joshua seems fine. I totally stopped serving him breakfast with honey in the mix.

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This is the breakfast personal pick that my baby likes. Its good to alternate what my son eats, so he can widen his palate and enjoy all kinds of food when he grows older.

Motherhood made a Healthier Me

Before pregnancy, I was one unhealthy woman. I was lazy to exercise and I let go of my healthy diet and got my body accustomed to junk food. As skinny as I was before pregnancy, my lipid profile showed that my cholesterol was out of control. I also skipped breakfast, did a lot of midnight snacking, slept late (around 12mn to 2am). Talk about major bad habits, I had them!

The only thing I was proud of was that I did not smoke (I quit this one about 10 yrs ago), and also I did not really drink alcohol except on special occasions. But on the overall I was not healthy. Then, unexpectedly, I get 2 lines on the pregnancy test. This means fixing up my life. Now that I am providing nourishment to a baby in my womb, it made me decide to drastically change my lifestyle.

Healthy Me during Pregnancy

Healthy Me during Pregnancy

The good thing was my body started to crave for breakfast and so I had that back on my diet. Also fried food made me sick, so this made me want boiled food, steamed dishes, proteins and vegetables. I had to discipline my body to avoid junk food. Though I wont lie that I had several occasions I cheated. Ok… it was with Cheetos and chocolates (mommies admit that you can relate!). But I discovered that fruits replaced these cravings.

Since I got pregnant at a much later age and having no exercise, I really felt the age of my body. I decided to do yoga for pregnant women at home. That helped support my body for the weight, but really the back aches were no longer preventable on the last trimester. In my wishful thinking, I could have been more prepared for the pregnancy. But who knew I would even be pregnant after 7 years of waiting!

There were also foods that a pregnant woman is refrained from eating… Such as raw food – fish or meat (sashimi to prosciutto) because it can cause bacteria that can make a mother sick. Also having a balanced control of patries and sugar-filled food can prevent getting gestational diabetes.

After child birth, being healthy is still required for those who plan to breastfeed. Since my son is getting all his nourishment from me, I have to ensure I eat healthy to provide what he needs. That means staying away from caffeinated drinks (because it keeps your baby awake even when he is tired), away from too much sweets (because it depletes the milk), staying away from chocolates (it can cause allergies to your baby), staying away from too spicy foods (because it causes gas and reflux to your baby), and away from a lot of preservatives (because it gets passed on to the baby).

Ever since Joshua came into our lives, he has been my motivation to stay healthy. I pray I get to maintain this even after he weans. I have never felt this good about my body and its all thanks to motherhood!

The bible has a similar account about being healthy in motherhood. The story of Samson’s mom:

There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. Then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing