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Archive of ‘health/wellness’ category

Stretch Marks Tips

Last week, my gynae commented on how my belly was almost stretch mark-free and it brought me back to when I was carrying Khayla and received the same comment from the doctor who checked me when I was warded in Hospital Hulu Terengganu.

When I say almost, it is because it is not totally free from striae (stretch marks), but there is very very very very little (not larger than one palm, hehe), hence them being nearly not visible at all.

Alhamdulillah.

stretch marks tips

Moi at 33 weeks, flared nostrils and all. Hehe.

Stretch marks are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or rapid weight changes but it can also be influenced by hormonal changes.

According to Mayo Clinic, anyone can get stretch marks, but some factors do increase our chances of getting them, including:

  • Being female – not fair ! Hmph.
  • Having a family history of stretch marks – I texted Lene a few days ago to ask her whether she remembered arwah Mummy having any stretch marks and she said she didn’t think so. So sad that I can’t remember. :(
  • Having been pregnant, especially for younger women – check ! Although I am not too young anymore haha.
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Rapidly gaining or losing weight, as in the case of pregnancy – check !
  • Using corticosteroid medication

What do I do to prevent stretch marks ?

For my first pregnancy, I applied olive oil on my belly daily from the moment I found out I was pregnant. This time around, I have been applying virgin coconut oil instead. I guess I also have my genes to thank for the lack of stretch marks. Hehe. Thank you Allah.

Here are a few tips on how to keep stretch marks at bay:

1. Hydration
Our skin needs to be well hydrated for optimal skin elasticity. WHO recommends about 2.7L/day but if you’re pregnant or highly active, obviously you will be needing more water.
So, drink up !

2. Coconut oil
Massage coconut oil generously 2-3 times a day if you can. Coconut oil is full of saturated fatty acids which consists primarily of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), hence making it good for our bodies, whether when consumed or applied topically.

But if you do not have coconut oil, you can also use olive oil, cocoa butter or shea butter.

3. Healthy weight gain
In other words, don’t eat for two if you’re pregnant. Hehe. Balance your daily diet with exercise. As mentioned above, rapid weight gain can lead to stretch marks !

4. Vitamin C
Our body needs vitamin C for collagen production and growth and repair of tissues in all parts of our body. Vitamin C is also highly effective in reducing free radical damage (anti-oxidant properties). I take a vitamin C supplement everyday. :)

5. Zinc
Surprisingly, stretch marks can also happen as a result of zinc deficiency. This is because zinc is used in the production of collagen. Zinc is abundant in our bodies as a natural trace element.

I can’t guarantee for sure that you will not end up with stretch marks after following the tips above, but they’re definitely worth trying !

All the best ! :)

xoxo

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MOGTT in Pregnancy

MOGTT stands for Modified Oral Glucose Tolerance Test and it’s basically a test to check on how our bodies regulate our glucose levels.
In pregnancy, it is used to diagnose gestational diabetes or diabetes in pregnancy.

Before I go on, allow me to share just a little bit on gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is caused by our pancreas failing to produce enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone which regulates the amount of sugar in our blood and enables our body to store sugar that isn’t immediately needed for energy. In pregnancy, our body has to produce extra insulin to meet our baby’s needs, especially from about five months, when he is growing rapidly. If our body isn’t able to keep up, we may develop gestational diabetes. (Source)

MOH has made MOGTT compulsory for pregnant women who:

  1. Are above 25 years
  2. Has a family history of diabetes
  3. Experience abnormal weight gain in pregnancy

However, I do know people who have not had to take the test. So I guess it depends on the clinic you go to for your check ups.

I, on the other hand, have had the ‘privilege’ of taking the test TWICE this pregnancy and once when I was carrying Khayla.

I first took the test when I was 13 weeks and the second test was scheduled last week when I was 28 weeks.
Alhamdulillah both results were normal.

mogtt

Results of the first test I took at 13/52.

mogtt

Results of the second test I took at 28/52.

But in the second test, my glucose levels were higher as compared to the first one, so I am a bit worried. Need to control my chocolate intake. Hee.

The basics are you need to fast from 10 p.m the night before and get your blood drawn out when you reach the clinic in the morning. This will show your fasting blood glucose levels (FBS).

Then, you will be required to drink a glass of glucose water which is 75 grams of glucose diluted in a glass of warm water.

Alhamdulillah, so far I have not had trouble drinking the whole glass and I did not feel like vomiting or whatever, probably because of my sweet tooth ! Haha.

But that’s not the end of the test !

After that you have to fast (again) and wait for another 2 hours and then get your blood drawn out again. This will show your 2 hours post prandial (2HPP) glucose levels.

Normal levels would be:
FBS: < 5.6 mmol/L
2HPP: < 7.8 mmol/L

Pregnant ladies, please do not be afraid of this infamous minum air gula test as it is for our own good. You would not want to have gestational diabetes without knowing, kan ?
Because, untreated or poorly controlled gestational diabetes can hurt you AND your baby. Nauzubillah !

Until my next post, take care people. :)

xoxo

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Easy Exercises in Pregnancy

Hi. :)
Today I would like to share this video I came across which focuses on easy exercises in pregnancy. These are a few moves pregnant women can do to hopefully ease labour, InshaAllah.
Being pregnant does not mean that you should stay away from moving your body (well unless your healthcare provider advises you against it). And yes, please get advice from your doctor before doing any of these moves. :)

In a nutshell, these are the moves we can try to do at home:
1. Walk daily
2. Sitting – a great way to get pelvis forward is sitting on an exercise ball/gym ball/pregnancy ball/birthing ball, whatever you want to call it. Hehe.
3. Leaning – this movement uses the same forward momentum, we can lean on a ball, chair etc.
4. Pelvic rocks – get on all fours, arch back and come back to neutral position.
5. Butterflies – put soles together, rock knees and thighs up and down
6. Forward Leaning Inversion – using a bed or couch, keep knees on them, walk hands down, stay on elbow (like we’re planking), stick butt high up. We can do this once a day for not more than 30 seconds
7. Squatting

I have to be honest that I have only tried numbers 1, 2 & 7. Hehe. But I shall try the rest soon. Hee.

Happy moving everybody !

xoxo

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My Remedy for Nausea and Bloating

There’s this special remedy for nausea and bloating that I am so excited to share with all of you. It has helped me tremendously in dealing with my nausea and bloating in pregnancy.

It’s none other than Peppermint-Ginger Plus !

remedy for nausea and bloating

It’s pretty obvious from its name that it contains peppermint leaves and ginger, but that’s not it, it also has fennel seeds and anise. That’s why it’s called Peppermint-Ginger Plus !

peppermint
Peppermint helps to relax stomach muscles and has a calming effect. It helps in digestion, motion sickness, alleviates gastric pain and heartburn.

 

gingerGinger stimulates saliva secretions for the breakdown of food. It helps ease stomach discomfort, menstrual pain, morning sickness, nausea and bloating (wind).

 

 

fennel seedFennel seeds are known to help ease a bloated stomach and symptoms of cold.

 

 

anise seedAnise seeds are believed to have been used by ancient Egyptians. It helps relieves poor digestion and menstrual pain, cough & phlegm. It is also said to stimulate the secretion of gastric juices for digestion

 

 

Shaklee has combined these four herbs and it’s main purpose is to help improve nausea, gastric pain/disorder, bloating (wind) and burping and indigestion.

remedy for nausea and bloating

These are how the tablets look like. :)

During the recent Raya season (when I was stuffing myself like nobody’s business), my tummy was constantly uncomfortable, bloated and I was nauseous to the point that I literally had headaches.
After popping 3 tablets of Peppermint-Ginger Plus, it relieved ALL the discomfort I was going through. Alhamdulillah.

Worked. Every. Single. Time.

I have even suggested it to my sister in-law, Linn and Alhamdulillah it has helped ease her discomfort as well. :)

So there you are, my extra special remedy for nausea and bloating – not only in pregnancy but whenever, wherever ! InshaAllah. :)

Fun fact: You can even dissolve the tablets in hot water and take it as a drink !

xoxo

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My Shaklee Before and After Pictures

Hi y’all !
Assalamu’alaikum. :)

Hope everyone is doing a-ok. :)
I have deliberated for quite some time to share these pictures with all of you because the before pictures are a bit embarrassing.
But I thought that since there has been improvement and it’s obviously a positive thing, I definitely should share them !

First and foremost, I would like to state that I have never had flawless skin and even now, it is not completely flawless.
A little history – I started breaking out in high school all the way through university. I have used benzoyl peroxide gel, adapalene gel and topical antibiotics for my acne.
In 2008, the doctor I saw in HKL when I went for my pre-employment medical check-up prescribed a 4-months course of oral antibiotics for me.
I did not even complain about my complexion, so that’s how bad my acne was ! Sob sob.

I know how it feels to not want to go out and the let whole world see how ugly my skin was. I had very low self-esteem and I was always self conscious and sort of depressed because how my complexion looked like. :(

Alhamdulillah, the oral antibiotics did help to clear up my skin but I still had acne scars, both dark and pitted ones which are more prominent on the right side of my face.
That’s why I have gotten used to showing the left side of my face when I pose for photos. Haha.

Presenting, the transformation of the right side of my face !

shaklee before and after

As you can see, that was how my right cheek looked like back in 2006 – red, pimply and scarring was obvious.
In 2012, I had less pimples but my scars were still very much obvious. I just started consuming Shaklee products that year.
And the most recent photo in 2015 was taken a couple of days ago. Can you see the difference ?
Alhamdulillah ! :)

The 2006 photo was taken using my Canon digital camera, the 2012 one using my Samsung Galaxy S2 (and you can still see the scars so clearly !) and the 2015 photo was taken with my Note 3.

Here’s another photo:
shaklee before and after

How I looked in 2008 compared to how I look now. Can you see spots, scars and red inflamed skin in the 2008 photo – even on my left cheek ?

Alhamdulillah, Shaklee products (only with Allah’s grace of course !) has helped improve my skin tremendously. I do occasionally get zits these days but they are definitely not as bad as before.

I have also managed to lose some weight and maintain it with the help of Shaklee products and some exercise.
I have been battling with weight issues for as long as I can remember. I think I was at my heaviest during my diploma days – my weight once reached 60 kgs. My weight dropped to about 46 -48 kgs after a bad breakup but I gained all of it back after that. Haha.

I was 52 kgs when I got married and 54 kgs before I got pregnant.

Of course, I ballooned during and after pregnancy ! I gained a whopping 16kgs which means I was 70 kgs before I delivered Khayla.
After giving birth, my weight plateaued at 57 -58kgs and I struggled to lose that excess 4-5 kgs.

shaklee before and after

I have managed to bring my weight down to about 52- 53 kgs now. Look how chubby I was 2 years ago !

Alhamdulillah, I am so grateful Allah has led me to Shaklee and I love how it has helped improve my life. :)
If you want to know what Shaklee supplements I am taking on a daily basis, you can click here. :)

Of course, you can contact me if you need free personal advice and consultation (unless you’ve already bought you Shaklee supplements from someone else, then you should seek advice from that person, hehe).

Fun fact: Mr Sunshine got to know me back in late 2007 when I was all pimply and chubby, haha. I love you Sunshine ! :*

Ok bye !

xoxo

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The Battle of Head Lice and Khayla’s New Hairdo

4 weeks ago, I decided to chop Khayla’s hair off after her nursery teacher told me that she had head lice (again !).

Allow me to shed some light on our experience with head lice.

The first time we discovered Khayla had lice was after we got back from our Borneo Tour. What’s worse my head was infected too ! I noticed that she was scratching her head while we were in Karambunai, but I thought it was due to the chicken pox. I was also scratching my head, and I thought it was because I was using the hotel’s shampoo instead of my usual Prosante Shampoo. How blur can one be ? Isk isk.
When we found out from her nursery teacher that she had lice, then it all made sense. Haha.

Managed to settle that episode with lots of head lice shampoo, Basic H and lots of combing. Note: Never use those plastic combs which come with the lice shampoo. They’re useless !

And the Khayla came home with lice again two weeks after that. I guess she got it from her friends who got it from her. Isk isk. This time I decided that drastic times call for drastic measures !

I sought help from the Lice Ninja.
Lice Ninja was a saviour.
Both Khayla and I went for a treatment in their outlet in Subang and within 30 minutes all the lice and nits were gone !

Khayla's New Hairdo

Lice Ninja personnel applying lice cream on Khayla’s hair.

head lice

:)

I felt like a new person.
Haha.

Anyway that was it and when I thought our lice nightmare was gone, her nursery teacher dropped the bomb on us again. Drama, much ?

But this time around it was not as bad as the first and second episodes so it didn’t take a lot of combing to get the lice & nits out.

So while I was combing her hair with the lice comb (you would not believe that this happened the same morning Daddy was warded), I asked her whether I could cut her hair. At first she said no because she wanted long hair like Elsa’s. The problem with her keeping her hair long is she doesn’t like it being tied up, so it always looks messy. And with the head lice issue, long hair makes it a bit of a challenge to comb.

After I personally attempted to cut her hair, I realized that it was not as easy as I thought and I am so cut out to be a hairdresser. One side of her hair was shorter than the other but since we were rushing to go to the hospital, I let my daughter run free with the ugly hair cut I gave her. Isk isk.

A week after that, I brought her to a hair saloon to get her hair fixed. Hehe.

head lice

Khayla’s first hair cut at a saloon ! Hehe.

head lice

Alhamdulillah she was well behaved through the whole process. :)

Check out Khayla’s new hairdo ! Hehe.

Head lice

From now onwards, I am planning to apply the lice cream on Khayla’s hair 2-3 times a week. Better to be safe than sorry, kan ?

xoxo

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Our Borneo Tour

How does it feel to have your daughter come down with chicken pox when you’re more than 2000 miles away from home ?

Yes.
Exactly.
Hehe.

This post is long overdue but what the heck, it’s always better late than never. Haha.
And I will get to the chicken pox part later. :)

So, in September, we went on a 5 days 4 nights trip to Sabah & Sarawak. Hashtag Borneo Tour. Hehe.

It all started with my Shaklee nanny, Presidential Master Iffah Anuar initiating a Shaklee2u (S2U) Appreciation Tours around Malaysia. When I found out that one of the venues was Karambunai, I knew I just had to go !
What’s awesome about the whole thing is that we just had to pay a RM50 commitment fee to join ! So, we registered somewhere around March.
Then Mr Sunshine suggested that we take a trip to Sarawak as well during that same time.
So, we buat kerja gila and booked 1 night in Kuching, 1 night in Kundasang and 1 night in Kota Kinabalu. In between those nights was the 1 night stay in Karambunai. :)

Day 1 (25 September 2014)
We left home at around 5:00 a.m. and drove to Putrajaya Sentral. We parked our car there and took the KLIA transit to KLIA, dropped our bags and boarded our flight at around 8:00 a.m.

borneo tour shaklee

Us at the airport. Hehe

The first place we visited after we arrived in Kuching was the Cat Museum. Khayla was whining in the car telling us that she didn’t want to tengok cats. She isn’t such a big fan of cats. Hehe.
We convinced her that there were no real cats in the museum so she agreed to tag along.

borneo tour shaklee

At the Cat Museum

borneo tour shaklee

This is the closest we will ever get to cat. Hehe.

After that, we headed to the waterfront where we got on a traditional boat ride along the Santubong River. We could have opted to stop at the Kek Lapis Factory or Orchid Park but we didn’t because we had planned to go to the Kek Lapis Factory area by car.

borneo tour

Khayla tak puas hati because a stranger is taking a photo of us using my phone. Hahaha.

Our next stop was the Sarawak Cultural Village !
Since it was almost 4:00 pm and the place closes at 5, we went there just to see the Cultural Dance (which Khayla did not enjoy, haha).
She isn’t too fond of dark places and loud sounds (even the sounds of my cake mixer agitates her) so we had to distract her by allowing her to watch Upin & Ipin on Mr. Sunshine’s phone.

borneo tour shaklee

borneo tour shaklee

While I was striking a pose, Khayla ran up to me and stuck those stickers on my sleeves. Sabotage !

borneo tour shaklee
On the other hand, Mr. Sunshine and I really enjoyed the show. We would surely come back again and next time we’ll make sure we’ll have time to go around the cultural village.

While Khayla took a nap in the car, we drove to the Kek Lapis shops and bought two cakes just for us to munch on. We didn’t buy many to bring home because we were leaving for Sabah the following day and would only leave for KL 4 days after that. We didn’t want the cakes to go to waste.

Managed to squeeze some time to meet Yamin, our ex-classmate in UiTM for dinner that night. We had Mee Kolok !

borneo tour shaklee

Yummy Mee Kolok

borneo tour shaklee

Yamin

Day 2 (26 September 2014)

We packed our bags, checked out, had Laksa Sarawak for breakfast at the hotel and then headed to the Main Bazaar where they sold souvenirs and handicrafts.

borneo tour shaklee

Laksa Sarawak.

borneo tour shaklee

She just had to get a kucing comb from Kuching.

borneo tour shaklee

And you see how she’s trying to get her kucing comb into the photo ? Hehe.

Drove straight to the airport after that and boarded our plane at around 11:00 am. Our flight was in transit in Mulu for immigration inspection.

borneo tour shaklee

MAS Wings kiddie food pack. So cute !

borneo tour shaklee

Khayla was obviously only attracted to the chocolate.

borneo tour shaklee

We can go around telling people that we have been to Mulu. Muahaha.

Finally reached Kota Kinabalu International Airport at around 2:00 pm and our first destination was The Upside Down House (Rumah Terbalik).

borneo tour shaklee

Ayah & Khayla in front of the Upside Down House.

borneo tour shaklee

Kuatkan mereka ?

Khayla enjoyed The Upside Down House so much that she was talking about it the whole way to our hotel in Kundasang. Hehe.

We checked in at Kinabalu Pine Resort late that evening. The place was super cold. Fortunately our room was facing Mount Kinabalu and the view was just magnificent !

borneo tour shaklee

View of Mount Kinabalu. Subhanallah !

borneo tour shaklee

This one Khayla tak puas hati with Mummy’s way of posing. -___-

borneo tour

Ha baru betul. Mummy ke depan, Khayla ke belakang. Macam tu ye ? As long as you’re happy baby. Hehe

Day 3 (27 September 2014)

We visited the Desa Dairy Farm where we got to feed goat & cow calves. Fun for Ayah & Khayla, a little nerve wrecking for Mummy. Hehe.

borneo tour shaklee

borneo tour shaklee

Can you tell who’s nervous and who’s not ? Hehe.

borneo tour shaklee

Subhanallah. :)

Mr. Sunshine bought a box of chocolate milk from the shop at the farm. Weird because he doesn’t usually drink milk but he finished the whole box so that’s ok.

Sooo, our next destination was Karambunai !
We finally arrived in Nexus, Karambunai at around 3 pm.
The place brought back memories of arwah Mummy. :'(

borneo tour shaklee

Panoramic view from our room. :)

The S2U Tour in Karambunai was kicked off with a telematch.
To be honest, I am usually not up to these kinda things. I am usually the one who would be sitting at the side, cheering for people but this time I joined in and had loads of fun.

 

 

borneo tour shaklee

Post telematch

Not everyone knew each other so it was a great way to break the ice !

borneo tour shaklee

Khayla & I took a short dip in the fool before dinner that night. :)

Dinner was provided for us that night, and the theme was blue. It wasn’t a formal dinner so I just put on my jeans and blue blouse. Hehe.

borneo tour shaklee

With Nadiah, one of my ‘anak’ in Shaklee. She’s a pharmacist too. Next to her Suzi. We just met !

borneo tour shaklee

At the masters table before the dinner started.

borneo tour shaklee

One of my Shaklee bffs, Maria.

borneo tour shaklee

Master Nana. The youngest master in S2U. She’s so pretty !

borneo tour shaklee

The kids ! We never leave them behind. :)

borneo tour shaklee

My kesayangans. My ummi & nanny in Shaklee, Master Nadiah & Master Iffah. Khayla took this picture ! :)

Day 4 (28 September 2014)

The highlight of the S2U Tour was the ‘Tusukan Qalbu’ session on Sunday.
This was when we got to participate in sharing sessions by S2U masters and masters to-be.
But that morning as soon as I woke up, I noticed some red spots on Khayla’s forehead. Checked her body and found that she had a few spots on her torso too.
I immediately woke Mr. Sunshine up and asked, “Khayla ada chicken pox ke ha ? Ini bintik-bintik apa ni ??” (you see how I asked as if he would know the answer right after he opened his eyes lah, haha)

I sent pictures of the spots to my MSE WhatsApp group and asked their opinions. Some said yes it was chicken pox. Some said it didn’t look like chicken pox.

We got ready to attend the sessions on that day but being a mother, I couldn’t help but be so worried about Khayla.
Firstly, of course I am worried about her, I want her to be well.
Secondly, we were in Karambunai – if it was chicken pox, how to get on a flight back to KL ?

borneo tour shaklee

Despite the discovery of the spots, we took a quick stroll by the beach.

Mr. Sunshine attended the first session where husbands shared their experiences being masters and Shaklee husbands. Hehe. Khayla and I took a walk outside the hall, because I didn’t dare to bring her in and spread the virus to everyone else there.
After that, I attended the second session while Mr. Sunshine took Khayla to the nearest clinic.

I don’t know if all mothers are the same but I get so worked up if Khayla is unwell, especially when she is down with fever, because of her history of febrile fits.
So you can imagine how distracted I was during the whole session.

It was no surprise the doctor confirmed it was chicken pox !

So Mr. Sunshine headed straight back to the hotel room with Khayla and I tried my best to focus on the sharing sessions.
The sessions opened my eyes in so many ways, well it didn’t only open them, one of the sessions even made them cry ! Hehe.
borneo tour shaklee

Thank you to all who shared their knowledge and experience.
Thank you to Master Iffah Anuar and Master Firdhaus for organizing this amazing event.
Beautiful souls, these two.

Imagine getting FREE accomodation in a 5-star hotel (ok almost FREE minus the RM50 commitment fee), FREE food, FREE company of amazingly positive & successful people and most importantly FREE valuable knowledge !
I love my Shaklee family ! :)

Day 5 (29 September 2014)

But our trip didn’t end there, our flight back to KL was on Monday (night !) so we had a one night’s stay in Kota Kinabalu left.
We headed to our hotel. And practically just stayed in there until Monday evening because of Khayla’s chicken pox.

borneo tour shaklee

Chicken pox spots on my baby’s face. :(

How did we manage to bring Khayla back home on the flight ?

Like this……

borneo tour shaklee

Poor Khayla. :(

I am terribly sorry Air Asia, but I couldn’t bear the thought of being quarantined in a hotel room in Kota Kinabalu for a week !

Anyway, this was almost 3 months ago. We enjoyed our Borneo Tour and we would definitely be back.
We are planning to bring my family to Sarawak (because we have been to Sabah) and Mr. Sunshine’s family to Sabah.

Khayla’s chicken pox resolved quite fast (in less than 5 days), Alhamdulillah.
I made sure I gave her Meal Shakes in every serving of her milk along with a dash on Nutriferon.
Bathed her with Basic H, applied calamine lotion on her spots followed by Herbal Blend on them once they were dried up. *please read the disclaimer on the right side of my blog :)*

borneo tour shaklee

Applied calamine lotion on the spots.

Alhamdulillah.
——————
I finally did it !
Finally finished composing this post, haha.
Thanks for reading. :)

Anyone been to Sarawak & Sabah ? Any other places that you would suggest we go ? :)

I vow to try write more often after this.
Hehe.

Ok bye !

xoxo

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Workouts I Love

So I’ve decided to write on workouts I love simply because I wanted to share the FUN workouts I do to help me lose/maintain weight, get toned and stay healthy !

Not everyone likes to exercise, am I right ? But exercise IS important !
Engaging in regular physical activity not only helps us lose or maintain a healthy weight, it also helps prevent a wide range of health problems, improves our mood and it gives that boost of energy we need everyday.
“If I exercise regularly, won’t I be exhausted ?”
NO !
In fact it’s the total opposite. I am speaking from my own experience. I feel fresher on the mornings I workout. :)
Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores. (Source)

Ok back to the subject, I started exercising when I was in high school.
My preference has always been aerobics/dance workouts, although I have jogged and went to the gym a couple of times. But I am not exactly the outdoors kinda person. Haha.

I was obsessed with Paula Abdul’s Get Up and Dance CD during that period. It’s a 1-hour aerobic dance workout led by, well, Paula Abdul.
PaulaAbdul

This DVD came out in 1995, so you can imagine how the dancers were dressed. Hehe. The workout is broken down into 6 sections, an Introduction and set of Instructions, Warm up, 3 sections of 3 dance steps each, a YMCA section and a cool down. What made this workout fun to me was that the dancers behind were in all shapes, sizes and age so it felt like we were all ‘regular people’ dancing together. You get what I mean ?

After I entered university, I bought the Pump It Up: The Ultimate Beach Body Workout DVD.
PumpItUpBeach

There are four main sections in this DVD – the Warm Up, The Main (cardio), Bums and Tums (works our hips and abs), and Warm Down section. A total of 1 hour of workout set to Ministry Of Sound dance music. The routines in The Main section are quite easy to follow, and they won’t really leave you aching for days, but the Bums and Tums will definitely make your bums and tums sore !

I used to love this DVD so much that I would sometimes do it for 1 hour, and then repeat !
And, I even bought another Pump It Up DVD, the Pump It Up-Burn It Lose It.
PumpItUp

The DVD starts with 8 minutes of warm up and all the other segments are 15 minutes. There is the Aeroburn section (pure cardio that will leave you breathless, hehe), BPM (cardio with really cool dance moves), Beatbox (cardio and toning – something similar to kickboxing) and Below the Belt (the toning section which includes lunges, planking, sit-ups etc).

What’s cool about this DVD is that you can make up your own routine, pick and choose which sections you want to do. Best kan ?

Then I was introduced to Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred which went on to be my No. 2 FAVOURITE workout of all (used to be number one, but I have found my ultimate favourite workout, details later).
30DayShred
I know, I know it’s NOT a dance workout but I could really feel and see the difference after only 20 minutes a day, in less than 30 days ! What more could a girl ask for ?
Seriously, this DVD really, really works ! It features three levels of 20-minute workouts, each of which features short bursts of strength, cardio, and abs (interval training), and a cool-down. All you need is a set of dumbbells and an exercise mat (for the abs section).

I used this DVD diligently before my wedding and even my wedding dress tailor noticed the difference in how I fit into my dress during the last fitting session. :)

I love Jillian Michaels !

So, which workout has managed to knock down Jillian Michaels from her number one spot in all of my favourite workouts ?

ZUMBA !!

Haha.
I was introduced to Zumba last year, and bought the Zumba Exhilarate and Rush DVDs and instantly got hooked !
And then I was fortunate enough to come across the Zumba Exhilarate Body Shaping System DVD set sold on Groupon, and I didn’t have to think twice about getting it.

ZumbaExhilarateThe set comes with 7 DVDs, a pair of toning sticks, and a program guide.
ZumbaToningSticksDVDs:

1. Step-by-Step – This DVD breaks down the basic Zumba rhythms and moves (1 hour)
2. Activate- a 45-minute Zumba class for beginners which applies all the moves learned in the previous Step By Step DVD.
3. Ripped –  is a 60-minute workout broken up into a toning section, using the 1-pound toning sticks, and a Sentao section, which uses a chair and your own body weight.
4. Exhilarate –  a full 60-minute Zumba class filled with really fun dance routines.
5. Rush- perfect when you’re short of time, this is a high-energy, 20-minute Zumba workout.
6. Mix- this is the coolest DVD, which features African, Latin, Indian, hip-hop, Asian fusion, and Flamenco dances from a variety of instructors. There is also a breakdown section which teaches you the routines which is really helpful.
7. Fitness Concert – this my favourite ! It’s a 60-minute live concert using the same moves and songs from the Exhilarate DVD.

I have been quite consistent with Zumba, doing it at least 3 to 6 times a week, even in Ramadhan. And I have seen amazing results. Results which I never expected to see with a dance workout.
My legs, abs and arms are more toned, not ripped, but more toned and I have definitely lost a few inches from my waist and hips !
What’s great is that I have an awesome time with Zumba !
Every time I put on any of the DVDs, I sort of get transported into another world and I don’t even notice that 60 minutes have gone by.

How can Zumba be so awesomely (?) addictive yet delivers amazing results ? Beats me.
All I know is that I can’t wait for my next Zumba session ! Hehe.

All the workouts I have mentioned are (in my opinion) good workouts which will definitely get your heart rate up and help you stay fit and healthy.

However you need to try them for yourselves because not everyone loves the same thing, kan ?

TIP: Drinking a protein drink after working out helps your muscles recover and grow. I always have a glass of ESP or my Mighty 3 Gems after my workouts. :)

Happy working out people !

xoxo

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soda pop.

acidic-alkaline-phchart

Hi all. :)

I just had to document this.
This is going to be hard to believe but I HAVE NOT HAD A CARBONATED DRINK SINCE APRIL !
Woohoo !
I consider this a huge achievement because prior to that I was downing Coke Light (and going to McDonald’s) AT LEAST once a week. :(
Even Mr Sunshine is amazed that I can live without Coke Light. Haha.

This is a decision I made based on the increased frequency of my cold sores, I did some research and I found out that an acidic diet contributes to cold sore flare ups. Although Shaklee products helped in decreasing my cold sores severity and duration, they were still popping up more frequent than usual.

Plus, I don’t want my daughter to gain the habit of drinking soft drinks too !

Photo credits to Google.

I used to stay away from sodas until I was in UiTM, and that was also when my insane love affair with McDonald’s started. I used to study every day at McDonald’s during examination week, imagine that !

So basically I have been avoiding fast food and most importantly carbonated drinks. If  I do go to a fast food joint (which is pretty rare these days), I’ll skip the soft drinks. :)

I am so frickin’ proud of myself.

Ok bye. :)

xoxo

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spreading the love ?

So, I just found out that Lene had diarrhea and mild fever at work on Sunday, Marc started to have diarrhea and fever yesterday, and Linn is vomiting & purging too ! The paediatrician did mention that Khayla could have passed the virus to us, so I’m starting to think that she actually did !

Woah.

But Alhamdulillah Daddy seems to be looking alright, so far lah.

xoxo

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