Thursday, February 9, 2012

On My Plate: Healthy Granola for Low Sugar Diets

For someone like me who needs to be on a restrictive diet, I find granola to be a perfect meal or snack idea.  It is packed with calories and essential fatty acids from the nuts, seeds and coconut.  If you are on a Candida diet or eliminating sugar from your meals, you do not have to add any extra sugar to enjoy!  For those who do not have any restrictions, dried fruit and yogurt can be great additions.

Healthy Granola Recipe
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup of vegetable oil or coconut oil (coconut oil has very strong anti-fungal properties)
1/2 cup of honey or syrup (reduce the vegetable/coconut oil to 2 Tbsp.)
Dried fruit (raisins)

Combine all ingredients.  Cook for 35 minutes at 325 farenheit in the oven.  Stir half way through.

Serve yogurt, almond milk or soy milk.

Friday, February 3, 2012

When All Health Fails - Surviving Motherhood

When I think of motherhood, I think of a roller coaster.  I'm sure many moms would agree with me that there are definite highs and lows in regards to our children as well as our health.  I never realized that neglecting to take care of myself since having kids could have such as huge impact on my health.  These past few months have proven to be the worst.  I have had (and still) dealing with a systemic yeast infection that has caused me many problems such as hypothyroidism, painful breastfeeding and muscle weakness.  I have had to make drastic changes to my diet and lifestyle.  But I keep wondering how I got myself to this point?
After I had my first child, getting back to my healthy, fit self was a breeze.  I felt very confident in my abilities as a mother.  I had great balance in my life.  Then things turned around after my second child was born.  After her birth, which ended up to be my second c-section, I went into a bit of post-partum depression.  I felt like I was a failure for not birthing her naturally.  She also had some health issues in her first year, that made me drop into a further depression.  I felt so guilty that I didn't know how to help her.  I didn't feel like exercising and ate to make myself feel better.  I couldn't recognize who I was anymore.  I was over-weight and couldn't find the motivation to get out of my "funk".
After some consideration, we decided to have our 3rd baby via c-section.  Surprisingly the pregnancy and postpartum were easier this time around.  I thought I was doing pretty good, until I had a major change in my health.  I had a fierce yeast infection that affected many parts of my body, including my thyroid.  I was experiencing hypothyroid symptoms as well as the unpleasant effects of the yeast.  It has really challenged me to look at my lifestyle. 
I felt compelled to share my story because I hate how society only addresses the joys of motherhood and disregards its challenges.  Most of us have had challenges adjusting to motherhood, but don't know where they find others like them.  Postpartum depression needs to be more accepted in our culture because it is prevalent.  Many of us who have it should not be ashamed!  In my case, postpartum depression can affect your health in many aspects.  In addition, pregnancy and postpartum recovery can be hard on your body!!  I realize now that I should have taken better care of myself and that is my message to all mothers.  I want my children to see me as a happy, healthy women who knows her limits and takes care of herself.
In achieving happiness for myself, is getting back to the things I love, like blogging.  It is time to get my dirty old runners out of the closet and go for a run (probably walk).  It is time to say no to commitments that take too much time away from taking care of myself.  It is time to be open and receptive to lifestyle changes for better health.  It is time to take risks that help me grow as a person.  It is time to be all I can for my children.
I believe that our bodies will tell us when things are out of balance.  We need to listen to our bodies and adjust our lifestyle accordingly to achieve ultimate health!  I wish this for everyone who reads my blog.  Please listen to your body!  Know your limits!  Take care of yourself!