Category Archives: Water

Learning From A Pregnant Woman

I’ve been a bit MIA for a while…perhaps you noticed. The last time you heard from me, I was hating on the microwave.

Well, I haven’t forgotten about you. And I have missed you. But I’ve been quite busy…busy growing a baby!

As you can imagine, I have been researching up a storm. No surprise, I’m all about being pregnant and raising a child in the most organic, healthy way possible. As a result, I have come across some amazing info over the past several months – info I will be sharing with you now and in future posts!

But don’t stop reading if you’re not a pregnant woman, or if you’re not a dad-to-be, or if you’re not someone who knows someone who is pregnant.

This is all good info for everyone.

And I’m not just talking about the typical things, which I will mention just in case we need a refresher:
1. Get up and move. Don’t sit for too long in one place.
2. Drink lots of water.
3. Get plenty of rest.
4. Reduce stress.
5. Get plenty of fiber.
6. Eat your veggies.
7. Eat whole grains, not white stuff.
8. Exercise.
9. Embrace changes in your body.
10. Laugh daily.

Okay, that’s all old news – good stuff – but let’s get to some NEW information.

Here’s what I’m needing now…

1. THE BODY PILLOW
If you’re pregnant or just someone who needs more body support while sleeping (backaches? insomnia? other concerns?), this pillow has been a lifesaver…I mean a life raft…no, wait…both? Yes. It’s a lifesaver…but we call it the life raft. This thing is huge. But I will say, I couldn’t sleep without it right now. Best if you have a king bed, but doable in a queen. (That’s not me, btw.)

Body Pillow

2. COCONUT OIL
Organic, unrefined, virgin. This has been my go-to moisturizer. Pregnant skin gets very dry and itchy and I’ve been slathering coconut oil on my face, arms, and hands and it really makes a huge difference. So, if you’re the dry skin type, you don’t need any fancy, stinky, chemical-laden creams. You just need some high-quality coconut oil.

Coconut Oil

3. TREATS
Every pregnancy is different and mine has been, how shall we say…not so much in the food department? I have had no strange cravings. In fact, I have had serious food aversion for months now. No joke. There are just a few things that actually taste good to me, and one of them is chocolate.

While I try not to eat too much, as it does have caffeine and sugar, sometimes we all just need something a little sweet. These days, I’m really enjoying Theo, which is organic, fair trade, and soy-free and available at local specialty markets and grocers like Whole Foods.

Theo Chocolate

Another way I enjoy chocolate is with Chocolate Nuttzo, which is an organic nut and seed butter with chocolate…and it’s delicious (they also have other nut and seed butters without chocolate).

With only 2g of sugar per serving, it’s a good way to have dessert. And when I’m being especially naughty (yes, you can all breathe a big sigh of relief – Health Coach Jillian ain’t perfect!), I put it on Strauss Organic Vanilla Ice Cream and it’s like a sundae. 😉

If I’m going to indulge, I always try to make it healthier – with organic and wholesome ingredients…and by eating in moderation!

Nuttzo and Strauss

4. CALCIUM
Now that I’m responsible for someone else’s bones, I’ve had to try a little harder to beef up my calcium intake. Here are my favorite (and unexpected!) sources:

1) Chia Seeds – 1 tbsp will give you 8% of your daily calcium intake. 2 tbsps now find their way into my day.

2) Greens – Greens are the absolute best thing to eat, for calcium and other vitamins and minerals. We could all eat more of them.

A half bag of Trader Joe’s Power to the Greens or Spinach gives me another 8% of my daily intake. I make sure to get at least one serving of one of these each day.

Green juice gives me yet another 8% per serving. I drink two servings of Columbia Gorge Organic Just Greens every day.

Now, fresh juice is better, and whole veggies are best, but I like that this brand has several greens only (no fruit), almost no sugar, and is pasteurized, which is safest for pregnant women and anyone else with a compromised immune system. I don’t have time to juice every day…sometimes you just have to be practical. If you can juice organic greens regularly, or get organic green juice from a local, reliable source, do it.

Also, if you’re pregnant, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT substitute a meal with green juice. Now is not the time to be cleansing. Add green juice into your day along with everything else you are eating. And DO NOT drink unpasteurized juice unless it was made fresh at home or somewhere reliable (and drink immediately) – it could have harmful bacteria and that’s too risky.

Greens3) Garbanzo Beans – Add ’em t0 a salad, pasta or quinoa, or mush ’em up in guacamole, or make some hummus. Whatever. We all know what to do with these guys. But did we all know that a serving (1/2 cup) gives us 6% of our daily calcium needs (plus a good dose of fiber and protein)? Choose Eden Organics for BPA-free cans.

Garbanzos
4) Sparkling Water – Pellegrino and Perrier both have 4% of daily calcium per serving. Big bottles have about 3 servings…12% of your calcium! Extra bonus is it’s in glass, not plastic. Ditch the soda and drink one of these, with or without some fresh fruit added. I choose Perrier first, as it is sodium-free.

5) Sesame Seeds – These little powerhouses top people’s list of favorite seed. And they are tops in the calcium department. 1 tbsp delivers 8% of your daily calcium needs.

**Now, one thing of concern just recently came to light. Salmonella can be found in spices and seasonings. This includes sesame seeds. Best thing to do is cook them instead of adding them straight into your food. I now sauté my sesame seeds with a little coconut oil before adding them in – and I’d never know the difference. Read more about this HERE (and if you want to get interesting articles like this on a regular basis, follow me on Twitter 🙂 ).

5. FRUIT AND VEGGIE WASH
With our immunities down, us pregnant gals and other immunocompromised folks are more susceptible to infection. And an infection is the last thing I want. So I make sure to wash all of my produce really well. But the rest of you should do this, too. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and other markets sell produce wash, which gets the dirt, waxes, and pesticide residue off your food.

Fruit and Veg Wash
Think I’m being extreme? Then think for just a moment about where your food has been. Have you ever driven down the highway and either seen it growing two feet away (love those freeway-adjacent farms), or on the back of a truck, open, traveling next to you, getting a fine coat of dirt and exhaust?

And have you ever seen the Porta Potties on those farms? Let’s face it, Porta Potties don’t really allow for a good hand-washing in between food handling.

Well, if you haven’t driven the I-5 up and down California for this agricultural view as many times as I have, then I ask you this – ever seen produce fall to the floor at the grocery store? Or ever seen someone feel a piece of fruit and put it back? That produce goes home with someone…

So, do yourself a favor and wash your food well. Bottom line is, you don’t know where it’s been and what it’s wearing.

And my final lesson learned in this remarkable journey of pregnancy is something I’ve said before but I feel needs repeating:

Listen to your body.

Tired? Rest. Hungry? Eat. Just listen to your body. Really listen. It will tell you what it really needs. Don’t eat just to eat or fuel yourself with caffeine and sugar because you’re tired. Get back to basics and treat your body right…whether you’ve got someone growing in there or not.

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Filed under Chocolate, Coconut, Health, Organic, Spices, Sugar, Superfoods, Tips and Tricks, Vegetables, Water

Dehydratin’ Away…

So the hubby and I are pretty much inseparable. We work together, we live together (obviously), and we go places together. It’s awesome. And the dog ain’t far behind.

I mean, look at that face. Would you leave her? Exactly.

But this week, I have a new best friend. Her name is Excalibur.

That’s right. Health Coach Jillian is dehydratin’ the bejesus out of anything she can get her hands on with her new 5-tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator. It’s BPA-free and phthalate-free.

But if the hubby feels threatened, he has only himself to blame. (And maybe two employees at Whole Foods.) All three commented on my out of control addiction to kale chips. All of them said, “Why don’t you make your own?”

The first time I got the question I replied, “Whenever I make kale chips in the oven, they burn.”

But last time I got the question, I fielded it differently. “MY DEHYDRATOR IS ON ITS WAY TO ME!! I JUST ORDERED IT!”

Okay, maybe the cashier was unprepared for that level of enthusiasm, but he asked and with my Excalibur en route, I was excited. Super excited.

So now I’m trying anything that sounds like it will taste good when dried out: apple with cinnamon, strawberries, figs, carrots, zucchini, and of course, kale.

Now, one might wonder what the point is. Don’t we want the water that’s in these foods? Sure!

And when you eat dehydrated food you should drink water to rehydrate. So it seems totally pointless, right?

Not exactly.

I keep the temperature on 105F so the foods are still technically raw, but cooked. Cooking with high heat destroys much of the nutrients in food, but at this temperature, I’m preserving the nutrients and the live enzymes that are in raw food. And I get on-the-go healthy snack food – like carrot chips and zucchini chips. This way, I can make some healthy concoctions instead of always eating cold food out of the fridge. But mostly, I just eat truckloads of kale chips.

Finally, I gotta give a special shout out to the Mom and Dad – my new bestie is a result of some birthday cashola (yes, HCJ gets older in the summertime). Thanks, guys! I’m having a blast with my new toy!

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Filed under BPA, Chemicals, Fruit, Health, Organic, Raw, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Water

Food Finds, Part 2

We’re back with Part 2 of my new food finds! In case you missed Part 1, you can read it here.

And without further ado…

KOMBUCHA
You know I love water, but now I’m also loving Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha, specifically the Multi-Green flavor.

Kombucha is so healthy for you – the cultures in this effervescent drink work as a probiotic, helping your digestive system do what it needs to do. It works the way yogurt does, adding healthy bacteria to your gut, but without dairy.

Multi-Green is surprisingly sweet (sounds like it would be vegetabley, right? yeah, not so much.) with only 4 grams of sugar in the entire bottle, but with spirulina, blue green algae, and chlorella, which are three superfoods that are amazing for you. I sip it throughout the day (keeping it in the fridge, of course) so that I get a little hit of sweetness and healthy bacteria after I eat.

If you’re not digging the greens, that’s okay – Citrus and Original flavors are great, too. But Multi-Green is packing some serious nutritional punch.

POPCORN

My pick for popcorn these days is the Whole Foods 365 brand of organic, reduced fat, low-sodium popcorn. They use gmo-free corn, which is really important. And this popcorn passed the husband test, which means it tastes good and isn’t cardboardy.

BREAD

And for those of you in Southern California, I want to share with you my new favorite bread and bagel option. Silver Hills Bakery makes some awesome stuff – super healthy and oh so tasty. I’m officially head over heels for the Squirrelly bread and bagels because it tastes delicious and has the cutest name. Plus, the husband likes them.

Pick up these products at Whole Foods, Jimbo’s, Sprouts, Erewhon, or your local health food store.

Now go forth and find a fun, new healthy food this weekend!

Question of the Day:
Anyone ever have anything crazy happen on Friday the 13th?

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Filed under GMO-free, Health, Organic, Product Review, Products, Raw, Snacks, Superfoods, Water

Address The Mess

Wow, I feel like it’s been ages since we’ve had a blogpost here. I’ve missed you!

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. And I hope your Memorial Day was chock full of memorable events that left you feeling happy, recharged, relaxed, and reconnected to the people and things that you love most.

I happened to do quite a bit of cleaning this past weekend. In fact, every kind of cleaning up. From laundry, to house, to diet, to dog grooming, to relationships…suffice it to say, it was a weekend for tending to some messes.

While it feels good to get some things in order, there is always more work to be done. So with that, I want to share with you my favorite ways to address the mess.

1. For the Spirit
Meditation is my answer to tidying up the internal stuff. Take some time to get centered. We’ll revisit meditation again in another post. But for now, I recommend starting by downloading the Relax and Rest app for $.99.

2. For the Body
My favorite soap hands down is Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap. Smells amazing. Feels tingly. Fair trade. Organic. Only $9.99 at Trader Joe’s for a big ol’ bottle. Awesome.

3. For the Face
I love, love, love Be Natural Organics Rose Hip Seed Facial Cleanser. It works so well. It gets makeup off. It gets the face clean. And it only has a few ingredients, none of which are harmful to you. Yay.

4. For the House
The husband, while wonderful in so many, many ways, hates the smell of vinegar. I have to be very careful about how I use it. But when I do get away with it, it is a wonderful cleaning product. Click here to get recipes for all different surfaces and needs. Works great to clean and disinfect while being safe.

5. For the Diet
Get back on track. For me, that meant getting more protein this weekend. If it means eating less sugar or drinking more water, do it. If it means getting more fiber or less protein, do it. Listen to your body. It tells you what it needs.

6. For Relationships
Communicate. Listen. Love. Respect.
Be patient. Be grateful. Be understanding.
Be able to admit when you are wrong.

7. For Your Heart
Take a moment to get out of your routine. It only has to be a minute or two of your time, but it should be a minute that makes you happy.
Kiss your dog (she did just get groomed, after all!)
Pump up the jams and bust a move
Make someone laugh
Do a quick flip through that magazine you haven’t gotten to read yet

So there you have it. Keep your house tidy. And by house, I mean your life.

Here’s what I heard over the weekend:
“To solve any problem, you must always begin with yourself. Be open to changing and learning. Be grateful for your life – for your illness, for your conflicts and your resolutions, for everything. Be grateful for the light days and the dark days. They teach you who you are.”

Question of the Day:
What was memorable for you this past weekend?

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Filed under Meditation, Products, Sugar, Tips and Tricks, Water

What About Water

Here’s something we hear all the time:

“Drink More Water!”

But how much? 8 glasses a day? More?

Well, here’s my answer. Everyone is different and your water requirements vary daily. It depends on:
*the weather (hot vs. cold, humid vs. dry, altitude)
*how much you exercise, how hard, and how much you sweat
*what you eat (salty foods vs. foods with high water content)
*how you feel

There really is no set amount for how much every person should drink. And if there was, we’d know what it is by now.

The best rule of thumb is to check your pee.

Great. Thanks, Health Coach Jillian.

You’re Welcome!

But seriously, when your pee is bright yellow, that’s the best indicator that you need to drink more water. Once your pee is clear, you’re in the clear.

Now, it’s important to stay hydrated for a number of reasons:

  • Your body needs water to function properly
  • Water keeps you from getting sick or feeling lousy (when you’re dehydrated you can suffer from headaches, fatigue, and dizziness)
  • Water aids in weight loss because it keeps you full and because what feels like hunger or a craving might actually be your body telling you it’s dehydrated
  • It helps your skin look glowy (who doesn’t love glowy skin?!?)

Cue the whines (not the wines, because alcohol dehydrates you)…
“What if I don’t like water? Does anything else count?”

Here’s the deal. Listen to your body. Some people find that caffeine-free tea or sparkling water quenches their thirst. For me, only plain water really does the trick and anything else makes me even thirstier. That’s just me. It’s up to you to know what works best for you. If your pee is clear and you’re feeling hydrated, then I think that sparkling water you just drank worked great. (Read the label and make sure there’s no sodium in it, though.)

And if you don’t like plain water, I have some good news for you. Lemon in your water can have a lot of great benefits. It promotes digestion, works as a detoxifier, and can help stabilize blood sugar. Click here to learn more about the benefits of drinking lemon water.

And as you saw in my previous post about the evils of soda, any version of water is better than soda. So add in fruit, mint, or cucumbers.

Now, I am an anti-bpa crusader. You’ll hear more about that soon. But in the context of water, the bpa issue means that I avoid plastic bottles whenever possible because of the chemicals that leach from the plastic into the water. I know sometimes it’s unavoidable, but for the home, instead of stocking up on plastic bottles, which are bad for you AND the environment, invest in a purifier or filtration system like Brita, Everpure, reverse osmosis, or an alkalizing system like Kangen. I’m not going to get into the ph of water right now but that’s a hot topic at the moment and I’m sure I’ll revisit that in another post. 😉

Glass bottles are great – think Voss and Perrier. And you can purchase this fave of mine, fill it, and take it to go (it’ll also give you a little workout because it’s a tad bit heavy!)

So, in summary, find what works best for you. We’re all different and that means we all have different needs.

Question of the Day:
What do you need today? A massage, a nap, a vacation, a big belly laugh, a piping hot mug of Barefoot Coffee? Something else? Let’s hear it!

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Filed under BPA, Water