Beauty and Wellness

Chia Seeds as Egg Substitute

Hello there!

Holidays had passed and now it’s already February of 2015! January just flew by like that.

And because the holidays have made us gain those extra pounds, I want to try my best to eat healthier starting this new year. I thought of replacing some of my baking ingredients with healthy alternatives, like mashed avocado for butter, applesauce for sugar, or chia seeds for eggs.

I started off with replacing eggs with chia seeds. I saw it before on TV and in Pinterest but never really looked into it. Who would have thought that these tiny seeds have such great nutritional value! Here are 10 reasons why you should add chia seeds to your diet:

Combat Diabetes

Chia is being studied as a potential natural treatment for type-2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down digestion. The gelatinous coating chia seeds develops when exposed to liquids-can also prevent blood sugar spikes.

Get More Fibre
Just a 28-gram or one-ounce serving of chia has 11 grams of dietary fibre — about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults. Adding some chia to your diet is an easy way to make sure you’re getting a good amount of fibre, which is important for digestive health.

Stock Up On Omega-3
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, with nearly five grams in a one-ounce serving. These fats are important for brain health. “There’s better conversion of omega 3s into the plasma or into the food than with flax seed,” said researcher Wayne Coates.

Stronger Teeth And Bones
A serving of chia seeds has 18 per cent of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which puts your well on your way to maintaining bone and oral health, and preventing osteoporosis.

Don’t Forget Manganese
Manganese isn’t a well-known nutrient, but it’s important for our health: it’s good for your bones and helps your body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin. One serving of chia seeds, or 28 grams, has 30 per cent of your recommended intake of this mineral.

Plenty Of Phosphorus
With 27 per cent of your daily value for phosphorus, chia seeds also helps you maintain healthy bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also used by the body to synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair.

Pack In The Protein
Chia seeds also make a great source of protein for vegetarians and don’t have any cholesterol. One 28-gram serving of these super seeds has 4.4 grams of protein, nearly 10 per cent of the daily value.

Fight Belly Fat
Chia’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which can be tied to an increase in belly fat, according to Live Strong. This type of resistance can also be harmful for your overall health.

Get Full. Faster
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, is also found in chia seeds. While tryptophan is responsible for that strong urge to nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner for example, it also helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.

Improve Heart Health
According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol. All good news for your ticker!

Now you ask, how can chia seeds replace eggs in your recipe? Very quick and easy!

For one egg, combine 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsps water in a small bowl. Let it sit for about 15 minutes until it forms a thick gel. You can use this for cookies, cakes, and muffins.

Interesting, isn’t it? I tried this with my oatmeal cookie recipe. I just had to extend the baking time by about 10 minutes as the dough is a bit more moist than the original recipe, but it was good. I couldn’t tell the difference.

If you are not into baking, you can add chia seeds to your smoothie or your breakfast oatmeal for that extra pack of nutrients.

So, don’t forget to grab that bag of chia seeds on your next trip to the supermarket!

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Mommy Thumb: 5 Ways to Ease the Pain

Pre-pregnancy, I sort of developed stiff wrists because of excessive typing on the computer keyboard that I have to do some finger yoga to ease the stiffness.

From about 1-2 months after giving birth until now, I am feeling pain on my left wrist. I do finger yoga like I did before but it does not help much. So I Googled

According to the article, it is called ‘Mommy Thumb’ and it is common in new moms like me. I hope that mommies out there will find this helpful.

I am reblogging the article from http://www.parents.com by Andrea Dashiell.

De Quervain’s Condition

A month after Stephanie Kanowitz delivered her baby girl, the Fairfax, Virginia, mom noticed a pain in her left wrist. She brushed it off until it became so severe she could no longer pick up her daughter. “The first sign that something was really wrong came when I would put Ellie down or pick her up and I felt a sharp pain and snap in my left wrist, between my thumb and forearm,” Kanowitz says. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, or, as it’s commonly called, mommy thumb.

De Quervain’s is a condition in which the tendons from the thumb to the wrist become inflamed and rub against the “tunnel” that encloses them, causing sensations from mild discomfort to severe pain on the thumb side of the wrist.

Early one morning, Jennifer Chakir picked up her 1-year-old daughter and felt intense pain in her wrist area. “The pain didn’t last long and I realized it was only when I had my hand or wrist in a certain position,” says the Pasadena, California, mom. An appointment with an orthopedic specialist confirmed her diagnosis: de Quervain’s.

Though anyone can develop de Quervain’s, it’s most common in new mothers and usually stems from stress on the wrist resulting from lifting a baby frequently. A 2009 study from the University of Colorado found that women are four times more likely to develop de Quervain’s than men. Michelle G. Carlson, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand and upper extremities at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, estimates that the ratio is even higher. “I’d say it’s about 90 percent new moms,” she says.

Prevention is difficult because, of course, mothers need to lift their children — sometimes 25 to 30 times per day. And according to David M. Auerbach, M.D., a hand surgeon at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, “There’s no way to tell if you will get it until you have it.” Unfortunately, mommy thumb rarely goes away on its own, but doctors agree early recognition and early treatment are key.

Think you’ve got it? Here are five ways to get a grip on the pain.

What to do:

Lift baby differently.
If you’re feeling some discomfort, perhaps the single most important thing you can do to prevent further irritation of the wrist tendons is to modify how you lift your baby, says Dr. Carlson. “Instead of picking your baby up under the arms, try to scoop him up by lifting under his bottom,” she advises. “Keep the palm of your hand up.” This redistributes pressure that can aggravate the tendons when you lift with your hands in an “L” shape (with your fingers on baby’s back and your thumbs on his chest), a position that puts most of the strain on your thumb and wrist.

Check your breastfeeding position.
Various nursing positions could put strain on a mother’s wrist, especially when inflammation is already present. “Many women cite breastfeeding to be irritating, so if you’re nursing, be careful to use a pillow for support so that the full weight of baby’s head isn’t resting in your hand,” Dr. Carlson recommends.

Rest your wrist.
Icing your wrist frequently and taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can be helpful, according to Dr. Auerbach. (If you’re breastfeeding, check with your doctor before taking any medication.) If possible, have your partner do the majority of lifting and carrying baby to give your wrist ample time to heal. Additionally, try to limit smartphone use whenever possible. Sliding, scrolling and tapping away on your iPhone isn’t likely to be the cause of the problem, Dr. Carlson says, but any overuse of those already-inflamed tendons is just going to compound the pain and prevent proper healing.

Try a splint.
A spica splint that immobilizes the thumb is extremely effective in helping to reduce swelling of the tendon and therefore easing discomfort, says Dr. Auerbach, “especially if it’s used early.” Because Chakir began treatment with a splint almost immediately, her pain disappeared almost as fast. Generally, patients will see improvement with splint use after just a couple of weeks, but consistency is key (the immobilization does make everyday tasks more difficult, so it takes commitment to stick it out).

See a doctor.
If the pain persists after you’ve tried a variety of self-treatment remedies, make an appointment with a hand specialist, who may suggest either a cortisone (steroid) shot or physical therapy. In rare, very extreme cases, such as Kanowitz’s, surgery is necessary but it is usually a permanent fix.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

DIY: Lemon Juice & Olive Oil Hair Treatment

It’s Friday, finally! Woohoo!!!

I have shared with you in my previous post my problem with Hubby. Nah, definitely not marital problems! He’s a great husband (and father-to be)! It’s just about his dry skin.

Here’s my post on the homemade facial scrub, just in case you missed it. It was a success in exfoliating and moisturizing the skin!

Today, we tried to improve his scalp condition with this recipe:

Lemon Juice and Olive Oil Hair Treatment for Flaky Scalp

{Note: Photo grabbed from Pinterest, text added by yours truly via InstaQuote}

You Need:

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Water

Steps:

  1. Mix ingredients well.
  2. Massage onto a damp scalp and let sit for up to 25 minutes.
  3. Rinse and shampoo hair.
  4. Follow up the treatment every other week until flaking stops.

Hubby’s Verdict: Hair is soft and flake-free right after treatment, but would need follow up as recommended (step 4) as flakes are still visible once hair is dry. Let’s see…

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy the weekend!

DIY: Honey & Olive Oil Sugar Scrub

I love today’s weather. Cool wind and little rain, perfect for us pregnant ladies who cannot bear the heat in this tropical island of Singapore. It would be even better if we can just snuggle in bed. Ah, bed-weather!

Anyway, this post would be about one of the things that I wish to create a solution for, but would usually (unintentionally, I would say..) ignore — DRY SKIN. Blame it to the bed that misses me when I come home (or is it the other way around?), and my so-called pregnancy brain. Now, I just feel like finally doing it, for the love of my dear husband!

Hubby’s facial skin and scalp worries me. It’s always dry and flaky. He has been drinking lots of water to stay hydrated (at least 6-8 glasses, as recommended). He has even tried expensive facial treatments and medications, but it did not provide long term solutions and just put a big hole in our pockets.

And then there are these natural (and cheap!) DIY solutions that goes around the internet. I must try them and see if they work!

For the DIY facial scrub, here’s the recipe that I chose to try (with some changes ‘coz I used what’s available in our kitchen):

Honey & Olive Oil Sugar Scrub

{Note: Photo grabbed from Pinterest. For smaller portion, follow measurements in the post}

You Need:

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (I used Pure Olive Oil)
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • ½ Cup Sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • Measuring utensils
  • 1 Chopstick or stirring stick
  • 1 Clean container

Steps:

  1. Add the olive oil to your container.
  2. Next, add the honey. (Note: Adding in this order will help to get all the honey out of the measuring utensil)
  3. Add the sugar to the mixture.
  4. Stir well with the chopstick or stirring stick.

Tips:

  • These amounts don’t need to be exact, and you can adjust the proportions as needed.
  • Do not store in the fridge – this will harden the mixture, which you do not want.
  • Don’t be afraid of the oil! It won’t clog your pores!

To Apply:

  1. Wash your face and make sure your makeup is completely removed before applying the scrub
  2. Use a tiny spatula to scoop 1 little scoopful, and apply all over your face
  3. Scrub in a broad, circular motion (avoid your eye area!)
  4. After about 60 seconds, rinse off the mixture
  5. Pat dry your face
  6. Usually, skin would feel thoroughly moisturized. But if you feel your skin still needs it, you can also apply moisturizer at this step.
  7. Use only at nighttime, but not recommended for nightly use. If you have sensitive skin, try using it once a week. If you have oily skin, try using it once a week or every 3-4 days.

I had some thoughts during the process: (Click on the link below)

My Verdict: Face is moisturized and exfoliated. I applied on my hands well, skin instantly became soft and smooth. Two thumbs up! Hubby must try!

I’m trying the DIY solution for dry scalp next. Stay tuned!