Turmeric: Can It Change Your Life?

From osteoarthritis to depression, cancer to Alzheimer’s, this natural herb is a very effective treatment for these diseases, and so much more. The benefits of this herb are so numerous, and unlike many other herbs, this is a very fast-acting herbal benefit for the body.

Turmeric is an orange colored herb that is frequently used in curry, and other recipes containing Curry spices. This herb is underutilized for the powerful health benefits it contains. Turmeric comes from the Curcumin plant, and is a cousin to the commonly known ginger root. Turmeric is often used in Ayurvedic medicine to help the body on an overall level.

Some health benefits you may find surprising about Turmeric are:

Easing ear infection: Many people looking for holistic remedies for ear infection use mixtures of garlic and tea tree oil. Many add Turmeric to that mix for it’s helpful healing ingredients as well.

Tumor shrinking: With high enough doses, many people find that the size of tumors in their body will dramatically shrink, and in many cases disappear completely, leaving the healthy cells undamaged.

Osteoarthritis: Turmeric is wonderful for easing the pain of achy joints attributed to Osteoarthritis. 1500mgs a day is suggested to help ease the inflammation within the joints.

Treating sprains/strains: In Ayurvedic medicine, a paste is often made to treat strains and sprains of the body. This paste usually includes lime, salt (Epsom salt is ok too), and Turmeric.

Depression/Anxiety: *Researchers with the Department of Pharmacology of Government Medical College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India performed a study comparing the effects of turmeric (curcumin) and Prozac (fluoxetine). The randomized and controlled clinical study determined turmeric was as effective as Prozac in treating major depressive disorder. Turmeric treatment was also absent of dangerous side effects often found in Prozac use.

Irritable/Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome: Scientists are still unsure exactly what it is about this powerful herb that helps with IBS. What they are sure of, however, is the fact that it has proven results with patients of IBS.

Heart Disease: Turmeric helps rebuild blood vessel walls, which in turn help improve the stress on the heart, decreasing the risk/damage of heart disease.

Antioxidant: Turmeric works as an antioxidant for the cells, fighting free radicals in the body, and helping to maintain healthy cells.

There are so many more wonderful benefits to this powerful herb. This should be a staple in everyone’s diet, even for those who have no health conditions. The simple benefit of this herb can make a world of a difference.

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Using Foods To Balance Hormones

Nowadays it seems like most women we know have some sort of hormonal issue that affects their health.  Unfortunately this can be an issue sometimes that can affect their daily life, causing pain, fatigue and more.  What many women are not taught is that they can use foods to help balance hormones and even relieve some pain caused by hormonal imbalances.

Here are some foods that can help balance your hormones:

Coconut oil: This is amazing for hormone health! There are many ways to get coconut oil. You can even cook with it. My favorite? Adding a spoonful of it to my coffee. I love it!

Avocado: Known for their oleic acid and other essential nutrients, these are great for balancing hormones. Adding avocados to your smoothie is another great way to those nutrients into your body.

Beetroot: Adding beetroot to salads and other foods, or even juicing it and drinking it is extremely beneficial in balancing hormones.  Having beet root at least twice a week is great for hormonal health.

Salmon: This fish is one of the top hormone balancing foods due to it’s high amount of Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids.  Consuming this food once a week is ideal.

Tomatoes: This wonderful fruit is packed with flavanoids that help balance hormonal health.  With so many ways you can add tomatoes to your diet, this shouldn’t be hard to add.

Garlic: More specifically raw garlic is another great addition to your diet for hormonal health.  Garlic is packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients.  It also has Allacin in it, which helps the body break down and absorb iron.

Spinach: Raw spinach is super high in Magnesium and many other essential vitamins and minerals.  It helps you to produce good hormones and balance out your hormones.  You can throw spinach into your soups, stews, sandwiches, etc.

This is definitely not a comprehensive list of foods, but just a list to get you started.  Healing your body through food is VERY possible!

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Tia Mowry: “I’m Not Pregnant! I’m Just Happy!”

As women, we go through phases in life where we can lose a few pounds or gain a few pounds depending on our life’s circumstances. In the society we live in, we are judged a great deal by our outside appearance.  If we are in the public eye, that judgment can be exceptionally brutal.

Recently, fans of Tia Mowry have been questioning and assuming that she has a baby on the way. Tia has responded to her fans, and says she is NOT pregnant. Critics are still talking about her weight gain. In light of that, Tia has opened up on the body standards society judges us on, and the body shaming that takes place when you don’t fit society’s standards of beauty.

Tia said “When I want to drop the pounds, I will, but right now I’m happy with who I am.” She also went to social networks to post that she’s happy where she is now. She’s eating and cooking great food.  Of course Tia is referring to her new cooking show where she cooks up some delicious recipes in the kitchen.

Enjoy Tia! We salute you for standing up to the critics and being comfortable in your skin.

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How Birthing With a Doula Changed My Experience

It’s been 1 month since I gave birth to my newest baby boy, and baby #3 for me.  My daughter is 9 years old now, and my older son is 7 years old.  So starting over with a new baby was not necessarily in the plans for me, but he has definitely been a welcomed surprise.  This pregnancy was labeled “high risk” from the very beginning.  Having a history of multiple miscarriages in both 1st and 2nd trimester, and hemorrhaging and needing blood transfusions, left me in the high-risk category.  Throughout my pregnancy, I had a great doctor that respected my decisions, even when it was against the norm, like refusing the glucose test since I had absolutely no risk or symptoms of Gestational Diabetes.

I also had a Doula during my pregnancy that was able to help give me a lot of information that was very helpful during those months.  Due to medical reasons, doctors and myself agreed it was best to induce labor at 40 weeks.  My Doula was there from the beginning of the labor.  I chose the very difficult route of going through labor with no epidural while being induced.  Trust me, that was no picnic!  However, I felt it was safest, and best for myself and the baby.  It turns out my baby’s head was at the wrong angle, and the cord was wrapped around his neck.  After 32 hours of labor, I was finally given an epidural so they could turn the baby while he was still inside.  The epidural took the edge off, but I was still able to feel pain for the next 2 hours.

From the beginning of my labor, my Doula helped me by doing Acupressure to help my body dilate.  She encouraged me and breathed with me through each contraction.  She constantly reminded me to try and relax, ride the contraction out like a wave. Yes, easier said than done, but it worked. When I thought I had no more strength, it was the encouraging words that urged me to keep going.  Not only was my Doula there helping, but I had my husband and family there too.  I had the support of people I love and care for through the entire event.

I’m grateful that I was able to have my Doula there not only for reassurance, but during long labors, there comes a point where you’re just exhausted and want it to be over.  She was able to walk with me through those moments.  She reminded me that my body was built to be able to do this.  During a long, exhaustive labor you can forget that women have been birthing since the beginning of time. You tend to focus on bracing for the next contraction, and the pain that you’re in.  I was induced with a few other women on my floor.  By the next day, I was still in labor.  My doctor tried to encourage me and tell me come on let’s get this baby out, and let me know all of the other women on the floor had already delivered.  I guess those were the wrong words, and I was already exhausted and in so much pain that I started crying.  My Doula and a wonderful nurse that came on shift helped me to pull myself together, they reminded me that we were in the home stretch.

When the hospital staff was pressuring my doctor to do an emergency c-section, and my support team knew it wasn’t what I wanted, except in the case of emergency, they helped me refocus and allow my body to do what it was designed to do. My Doula used Essential oils and music to help calm me, and help guide me. After 36 hours of labor, I was finally able to give birth to my son.  Could I have done it without my Doula and my family’s support? Yes, but I probably would’ve tapped out far earlier. I don’t think the experience would’ve been as peaceful as it was had I not had that encouragement and support.  My wishes were respected, and I was appreciative of that. I hear too many horror stories where the hospital staff dismisses the mother’s wishes and does what is best in their agenda.

This was my first birth with my Doula, and this will be my last child.  I can honestly say I’m grateful I was able to have my family at my side.  And I’m grateful I was able to have my Doula by my side. Oh, did I fail to mention that my Doula is my younger sister? I did, didn’t I? Yes, my younger sister has been the Doula for my son’s birth as well as our youngest sister’s birth of her baby as well.  Not only is having a Doula there for your birthing process more important than I previously realized, but it actually makes a tremendous difference in the outcome, in the experience, and in the way you look back and remember your labor.

Note:  Midwives and Doulas are not the same thing.  Doulas work more for the support and the encouragement of the mother.  They do not perform any medical exams or the like.  However, even with that being said, Doulas are so much more important than I once realized, and I’m very grateful to have had mine.

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Why I Hated My Postpartum Body

As I got undressed to take a shower, I looked in the mirror at my 4-day postpartum body and my first thought was yuck! I didn’t like the still swollen stomach, and the changes in my body. It was in that train of thought that I asked myself why did I think this body was ugly? Why was it foreign looking to me? I had just pushed a child out 4 days prior after a 34 hour labor. Why wouldn’t my body still bear some resemblance of the trauma it had been put through?  Why would I expect my body to snap back to looking exactly the same when it took a 9 month process to go through all of the stages of change?  I had to ask myself what was I allowing to shape my opinion of how my body looked? Was I comparing myself to these celebrities who show no signs of having just had a baby? Did I have an unrealistic expectation? My resounding answer was yes!

While my husband reassured me that I was still beautiful, and each stretch mark was a reminder that I gave him 3 children, in my head my body still was not beautiful to me. When I realized just how unrealistic I was being, I decided to embrace my postpartum body. After all, my body had gone through a battle to bring forth a new life.  A little person that would amaze me as he goes through each day, just as his sister and brother have.

I looked in the mirror and embraced every part of me. I embraced my face, the sleep deprived eyes and messy hair.  I took care of my babies, pouring everything out of me into them. I embraced my breasts that now sat heavy and full of milk to nourish my new baby, just as I had with my other two. How could I expect them to still look the same? I embraced my still swollen looking stomach that had housed and protected 3 babies until their births. This belly that had kept them close and listening to my heartbeat for 9, actually 10 months. I embraced my hips and thighs that were now swollen and had some extra dimples that weren’t there before, but they’d held up the ever growing weight as I carried these babies. I embraced my swollen legs and feet still showing very clear signs of Edema. I embraced the stretch marks on my stomach, hips, and thighs as reminders of having been blessed to carry 3 children, and not taking it for granted, as some never get the opportunity.

As I embraced every inch and curve of my body, I was reminded that these changes would be continual and ever-changing. If it wasn’t from having a baby, it will be from getting older. I am what a real woman looks like. I am what a mom looks like. I am what a sexy mom looks like. I take care of my body, and I embrace the changes that will continually come. So while the title may be a bit misleading, it was in that brief moment, I hated my postpartum body. Yet in those following moments, I learned to love and embrace it.

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What’s in Your Bra?

We have all done it. Maybe we were just running to the store for something quick and did not have pockets and didn’t want to carry a purse. Or perhaps, during the most common time, when going into a club or party and a bag would just get in the way but you need that ID and cell phone. Guys have been known to tuck their ID, money, or wallet into their socks. We ladies? Into the bra they go. Depending on how large the twins are, you can store all kinds of things in there…though I wouldn’t suggest it.

Until I saw the video below, I never thought of the health implications associated with hiding things in our bra. All the sweat and bacteria generated is then passed out to the general public. Sometimes, when I go for runs, I may put an energy gel or my ID in my bra. I found no matter how great the sports bra, I would get little cuts and scrapes where the items were. I didn’t feel them bouncing around in there. I treat them immediately so fortunately, I have never gotten an infection but the potential is there.

I say “I treat them” because even though now I know the risks, I sometimes still find ‘the girls’ a convenient and discreet pocket for some small minor items. I have resorted to placing my ID, credit card and money into a plastic snack bag so as not to affect others, but I must disagree with the video. Boobs can be pockets too. What do you think? If you stow and go, what are some tips you can share on good bra storage? If you don’t, why?

*Caution-explicit language in video*

 

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5 Tips To Keep Up With Your Workout During Summer Days

Being a Sexy Mom who Rocks means also taking care of your self.  Getting exercise and eating healthy foods is what allows your body to function at it’s optimal level.  With the summer here, and the temperatures soaring, it can be easy to talk ourselves out of workouts.  Here are 5 tips to help you stay cool while keeping up with your workouts during the summer days.

1) Take a cool shower: Right before you go to work out, take a cool 10 minute shower.  Not a cold shower, but a cool shower.  This will allow your body to be cooled off before you even get started.  This is a technique many athletes do as well. Another trick might be to wet and freeze a bandanna or headband, and put it on right before a workout to keep you cool.

2) Drink extra water: Drink 8-12 ounces of water before a workout to ensure you don’t dehydrate.  While working out, make sure you drink water every 15 mins. Replenish the fluids you sweat out.

3) Monitor your heart rate: While working out in the heat, your heart rate can increase. If you don’t keep an eye on it, you could be at risk for heat exhaustion, or even worse, stroke. An easy way to keep up with your heart rate is to use a monitor.  Try and keep your heart rate in the 70-75% range during hot days.

4) Work out on dirt, not concrete: Concrete has a tendency to absorb the heat, and make you heat up while working out.  Dirt doesn’t heat you up like concrete does.  Plus, along with dirt is usually the cover of trees, which will help provide the shade you need.

5) Cool down: Freeze a bottle of water overnight and take it with you to workout. As you need to cool down, the bottle can be placed on your body to cool you down.  As the water melts, you can drink the water to cool down too.

 

Photo credit: Ed Yourdon / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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I Hate/Love Burpees

I have been asked by many at the beginning of their fitness journey, what is a burpee? If you ask me while I am in the middle of doing them, I would tell you they are a method of torture some ex-military fitness nut made up to make regular people, just trying to get some exercise, feel pain. But that would be the exhaustion talking and not reality. The Burpee is named after physiologist Royal Huddleston Burpee. For his Ph.D. thesis at Columbia University in 1940, he invented the exercise as a way to assess the fitness of non-active adults. Burpee made participants perform only four Burpees at a time. Believe it or not, he actually detailed the movement should not be performed for a high number of repetitions. He was testing people who were generally unfit, and he warned that Burpees could be harmful to the knees and back and harmful to those without proper core strength.

According to most fitness publications, the exercise was originally called a “Squat Thrust.” Some still call it that. It had four parts—the Squat, the Plank, the jump back and the return to standing. The push-up and the jump were added later. During World War II, the U.S. military picked up the exercise as part of its required fitness test. Those entering the armed forces had to do Burpees for 20 seconds. A few years later, they upped the requirement to 60 seconds. Now, if you are late to our CrossFit classes, they are used as a penalty and its not just a basic push-up. Your chest must hit the floor before you come back up. Woowee!

As much as I hate burpees while I am doing them and cringe to see them listed in our WOD (workout of the day), I love what they do and cannot deny the fitness benefit they provide. They are truly a full body exercise. The complete motion—dropping to the ground from a standing position, kicking your feet out behind you, doing a Push-Up, pulling your legs back in and then jumping as high as possible—builds muscle and cardiovascular endurance.

If you are just starting out, take your time. You have nothing to prove to anyone and only a healthy & fit life to gain. Just start with one, executing it slowly, easy, and with good form. Set a goal for 5 by the end of the week. As you get stronger, set a time limit and try to get as many as possible within that time. Stay with that time for a month with a goal to do more and more within that time period. After a month, or as your fitness level increases, increase your time limit no further than a 1-minute intervals. Check out the video for proper technique. and enjoy your burpees.

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Vegan, Vegetarian, Or Carnivore: What’s All The Fuss About?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of the debate between vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters. You may even ask what’s the difference between vegan and vegetarian?  Let me give you a run down on the differences and some of the common misconceptions between them.

Vegans don’t eat any animal meat, or any animal byproducts, which includes eggs, milk, etc.  A vegan diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.

Vegetarians eat animal byproducts, but do not eat any animal meat. Their diets can consist of fruits, veggies, nuts, cheese, and milk.

Of course there are subsections of both of these where they adapt slightly different dietary choices.  For the most part, this is the basic dietary restrictions of vegans and vegetarians.

Here are some common myths:

1) Myth: You have to eat meat to get protein.

Fact: Not true.  There are many vegetarian options that are higher in protein than any animal meats.

2) Myth: If you don’t eat meat, your food options are very limited.

Fact: While that may be how it used to be, veganism and vegetarianism is so common nowadays that the options for many different types of foods are no farther than a computer click away. Recipes, information, etc. can all be found very easily now.

3) Myth: If you don’t eat meat, your body will become deficient in some necessary vitamin or mineral.

Fact: Absolutely untrue. If you have a balanced diet, you shouldn’t become deficient in any vitamins or minerals.

4) Myth: A vegetarian diet is automatically healthy.

Fact: Just like any other other diet can have inadequacies, if the vegetarian diet is not balanced, it can’t be automatically healthy.

5) Myth: Going on a vegan/vegetarian diet will automatically make you lose weight.

Fact: Not necessarily. Some people replace the meats with carbs like breads and pasta. This actually makes you gain weight instead of losing.

I became a vegetarian at 13 years old.  I thought it would help me keep my weight in check. While I wasn’t exactly overweight, I was the biggest female in my family and was self conscious about that.  Not only did I not lose weight automatically because I used breads to fill me up, but I also had to learn just how to develop an adequate diet.  I had to learn the sources of protein, iron, etc.

Once I was able to learn how to eat properly, the nutritional value of my dietary choices increased dramatically.  With the addition of things like Superfoods, I had more energy, slept better, and was at my optimal weight for years.  For anyone thinking of pursuing a vegan or vegetarian diet, I would advise you to do your research before you jump right in.  There is a ton of information and recipes online, and easily accessible.  Whether you choose to be vegan, vegetarian, or eat meat, you should strive to have the healthiest diet possible to maintain being a Sexy Mom who Rocks!

 

Photo credit: Andreas. / Foter / CC BY-SA

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Product Review: Bondi Band

Whether you are just starting a fitness routine or you are a seasoned athlete, every woman has the same sweaty issues. Our hair gets soaked and flops in our face or sweats pours from our scalp into our eyes and down our back. Scarfs and wraps hold hair in place but are not effective with absorbing sweat. Scarfs can make your head hotter but if you do not wear one then you find yourself constantly adjusting clips and hair ties whose hold sucks with sweat and activity. The frustration is real but I found the solution; The Bondi Band.

I discovered Bondi Bands at a sports expo once I started running marathons. The cute sayings across the band like “Sweat is Liquid Awesome” or “Running is my Therapy” are what first attracted me to the bands. Then there were so many colors and designs to choose from. I loved the idea of a fashionable statement accessory to incorporate into my running attire. Then I actually wore one during a marathon and again during training runs. I realized I was not wiping sweat from my burning eyes like I used to and sweat was not dripping off the curls on the back of my head and neck. That was the worse, especially when it was cold, but the Bondi Band’s wicking material almost completely eliminated that issue.

The bands are wide too. We know how hard it is to protect those hard to keep straight edges and roots of permed and flat-ironed natural hair once it gets wet. Between the fabric and the width, Bondi Bands help me fight the frizz. The only thing you have to worry about with these headbands is the Bondi Band tan. It is no fault of the band, but because of its width, sometimes you have to be strategic in how much of your forehead you cover. Otherwise, after a long run, you may find a tan line straight across your forehead. Its nothing a little make-up won’t cover. For what these headbands do, it is well worth the effort. They have a great variety to go with your activity and fashion level. I am just happy to have the sweat out my eyes. It is one less thing to worry about so you can focus on being the Sexy Mom you are.

 

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of Denise Hill & Nadine Renee’ and do not necessarily represent the views of SexyMomsRock.com, it contributors, sponsors, or advertisers.

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