Family and Parenting

Secrets of My Breastfeeding Success

Secrets of My Breastfeeding Success

August is the birth month of my eldest and second child, and this month also marks my 6th year of motherhood and breastfeeding. Yes, 6 years of “incredible” motherhood. I can still remember day one: I was in the hospital awake for more than 24 hours with the baby I...

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Mom’s Juicy Secret

Mom’s Juicy Secret

I know many moms will agree with me how tough it is to ask their kids to eat fruits and vegetables. It’s always a struggle every mealtime. (If your child loves to eat them, you’re one lucky momma!) But for some reasons, I wonder why it’s so hard to feed them fruits...

read more
All By Myself

All By Myself

“Aargh!!!! Why is this happening to me?” These are the words that keep pounding on my head— like a constant music background every single day for months before it all sank in. It was the time of the year when both of our household help goes on their annual vacation...

read more
Dengue: One Fatal Bite

Dengue: One Fatal Bite

"In 2016, our family was greatly affected by Dengue. My son, my daughter-in-law and my youngest child all exhibited the symptoms of high fever, severe headache and decreasing platelets. Oleia Oil applied on the body, head, arms and legs many times was very helpful....

read more
Do You Have a Perfect Body Image?

Do You Have a Perfect Body Image?

Maintaining a healthy body image can be a challenge especially now that social media dictates almost everything about what’s the ideal body image that causes people to question their looks and lose confidence in themselves.

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Can your Phone Determine your Personality?

Can your Phone Determine your Personality?

Our phones may have been a big part of our lives that it now becomes a mini version of ourselves. Regardless whether the findings are agreeable or not, it’s interesting to know that every decision, even the phones we prefer is a reflection of who we are.

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What’s Good and What’s Not in Breastfeeding

What’s Good and What’s Not in Breastfeeding

Do you want to know the secret to happy latching and successful breastfeeding? I will share to you today the things that will surely help every mom's breastfeeding journey: What is helpful Confidence or assuring yourself that you are capable of breastfeeding Build...

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Secrets of My Breastfeeding Success

Secrets of My Breastfeeding Success

August is the birth month of my eldest and second child, and this month also marks my 6th year of motherhood and breastfeeding. Yes, 6 years of “incredible” motherhood. I can still remember day one: I was in the hospital awake for more than 24 hours with the baby I longed to see and touch for nine months– this time latched on me all day (and night) long. The mixed feeling of happiness and exhaustion. Plus the frustration when she cries aloud when I try to unlatch her. I am crying out of sleeplessness and pain. Being a first-time mom, I felt not enough, aggravated by the spectators around me. I almost gave up in my few weeks of postpartum, I even questioned my decision to exclusively breastfeed, ”Can I really do it?” It’s not easy to be a breastfeeding mom. But again, it’s a decision, and I told myself I’m going to stick with it.

 

With all the challenges I experienced in my breastfeeding journey, it is so easy to resort to formulas. Let’s face it, it’s easier to mix formula than to pump precious milk out of your breast or latch your little one almost all day if you’re direct feeding.

But why did I choose to breastfeed despite of?

Aside from the economic advantage for us moms, (I can’t stress out more than enough the idea of saving money if you choose to breastfeed. You can do your own math and wow yourself) what is more amazing is how liquid gold provides the best nutrition to our babies and brings impressive health benefits both to us and them. Today, more efforts are being done to promote and normalize breastfeeding as it is really a natural, God-given gift to both the mom and the child. Oh yes, let’s include the dads; because breastfeeding is really a gift for the whole family!

 

Like the other first time breastfeeding moms, there was also a moment when I doubted myself if my baby is getting enough or am I producing enough. There were more questions than answers. But what I am certain about is I am a mother and I am made to nourish my baby. I don’t have overflowing milk but I can say that my breastfeeding powers improved every child. I have learned many things from my supportive co-breastfeeding moms that I personally applied in my breastfeeding journey (and worked!) that I would like to share with you. Here are some of them:

Eat healthy.

 What you eat, your baby eats also. So I keep in mind to eat meals heavy on fruits and vegetables. It is important that we fuel our body with healthy, nutrient-rich foods after giving birth. We need to be healthy and strong so we can take care of our kids without neglecting our own health. Include foods rich in Folic acid, iron, and calcium in your diet. The healthier we are, the more suit our body to produce milk. 

Top of my list is the nutritional powerhouse, Malunggay. I include this superfood to recipes and also take it in any form there is available like tea, juice, and supplement. In my experience, aside from its superb health benefits, it also helped boost my milk supply.

Keep yourself hydrated. 

Depending on your activities and location, nursing moms just really need 8-10 glasses of water. It really varies how much water a person needs, for instance, in my case, I drink no less than 2 liters of water (not including other healthy drinks and soups) daily to keep myself from dehydration.

Avoid Stress. 

Stress can sometimes lead to low milk supply. Nursing is both a physical and a psychological thing—if you can stay relaxed, think about the happy aspects of parenthood and your new baby and remain confident about breastfeeding, you boost your chances of success. The usual reason why newly nursing moms are stressed is because of some people criticizing their decision to breastfeed. Try not to mind them and instead, educate them with the wonderful blessings brought by breastfeeding.

Find time for relaxation.

Huh? Relaxation what?! For moms? Yes! No matter how busy our schedules can get, we moms need some time off. Seek help from your husband or family members to relieve you for a while in taking care of your newborn just for you to have some time to breathe. Don’t feel guilty about asking for support. Just think about it as giving yourself some time to rejuvenate so you can be the best mom you can be. A relaxed mind and body help increase milk production. For my relaxation, I always have Oleia Topical oil bottle in handy. It helps me de-stress and also effectively relieve my body pains from a long, tiring day.

Latch. Latch. Latch.

Breastfeeding follows the system of “Demand and Supply”. The more the baby latches and empties the breast, the more that the breast will produce milk. Added bonus: when your baby completely empties a breast, they are sure to get all the foremilk and fatty hindmilk behind it, which is great for their development. Aside from unlimited latching, I used to tandem feed my kids when one birth overlaps with a toddler. Pumping also helps increase production, though I find hand expressing more convenient and healthier for the breast tissues.

Have a Breastfeeding Support Group.

I wouldn’t have made it where I am today without my breastfeeding support group. When I was a new nursing mom, I felt like giving up with my decision to breastfeed because of some circumstances (the idea of low milk supply, family members discouraging me) but because of my more knowledgeable and experienced co-breastfeeding mothers that supported and encouraged me, I am here, celebrating my 6th-year milestone. Having them is like a genuine treasure a nursing mom could ever find. We share ideas and challenges and support each other. This could be your husband, family members, friends, or even strangers walking the same journey of breastfeeding.

Lastly, Enjoy the journey with your little one! Breastfeeding is not permanent. One day your child will wean whether you like it or not. Your little one will no longer be a little one in a few months or years. Their clinginess will soon be gone before you know it. Overcome the challenges of breastfeeding together. Cuddling, playing, nursing day in and day out… all of these you will miss one day when they are babies no more. So enjoy and treasure every breastfeeding bonding moments you have. 

 

Oleia honors all breastfeeding moms. Your sacrifices to make your breastfeeding journey successful means pure love for your child that no one can replace. If you are pregnant and thinking of breastfeeding, I congratulate you in advance! It may be difficult in the start but rest assured you will soon get the hang of it and you are giving your best of the bests to your child. Enjoy the journey, mommy! 

About The Author

Andrea is a full time home maker. When she is not busy taking care of her husband and kids, she goes out giving financial management talks. She is a proud breastfeeding mom for four years running and an avid Oleia user.

Mom’s Juicy Secret

Mom’s Juicy Secret

I know many moms will agree with me how tough it is to ask their kids to eat fruits and vegetables. It’s always a struggle every mealtime. (If your child loves to eat them, you’re one lucky momma!) But for some reasons, I wonder why it’s so hard to feed them fruits and vegetables when they reach a certain age. Seeing these foods on the table, you can automatically see the disapproval on their cute little faces.

Is it with the kind of food? Is it with the way you feed them? Timing? I remember my husband is teasing me about the way I feed our kids versus his way. My tonsils are already out calling them to eat yet with my husband’s one playful call to them, with matching sounds (imitating the sounds of a train, a helicopter, an airplane, a roller coaster, whatever sound there is) they are already rushing to the table. Imagine every bite should have a playful sound and action! But these “whoosh’s” and “choo-choo’s” don’t always come in handy when we’re trying to give them fruits and veggies.

So what’s the reason why my kids don’t like to eat fruits and vegetables?

You may be a parent like me who tried all ways possible to feed your kids fruits and vegetables, yet for some reason, they just really find it unappealing. This condition is known as Food neophobia, the fear or skepticism towards unknown or new foods. This peaks between two to six years of age. If your kids are within this age range, they may refuse to eat some fruits or vegetables because of their strong taste. Children have more taste buds than adults and thus they find simpler and sweeter foods more palatable in comparison to vegetables or other pungent fruits.

We know how important fruits and vegetables are in our diet. They are critical to promoting good health and protection against disease, both now and in the future. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals that ensures our children’s healthy growth and development. The importance of healthy eating cannot be undermined; therefore it is very important that we include more and more fruits and vegetables in our children’s diet. In view of nutrition month, as a reminder to us parents to exhaust all possible ways to give proper nutrition to our kids, I’m sharing you some ways I researched to get our kids to eat vegetables and fruits. Here you go:

  • Make the fruits and vegetables accessible. Keep fruit washed, cut up and in plain sight in the refrigerator.
  • Serve salads more often.
  • Try out vegetarian recipes for spaghetti, lasagna, chili, or other foods using vegetables instead of meat.
  • The presentation is important; no matter what you give to your kid, it should be presented beautifully.
  • Make more fruit-based desserts
  • Try and include fruits and vegetables in all three meals.
  • Be more innovative in making various recipes and thus add more fruits and vegetables.
  • Take your kid vegetable shopping and let him pick his favorite vegetable and fruits.
  • Limit or eliminate how much fruit juice you give your child and make sure it is 100% juice, not juice “drinks.”
  • Avoid buying high-calorie foods such as chips, cookies, and candy bars. Your child may not ask for these treats if they are not in sight.
  • Switch to healthy snacking and give your child a fruit instead.
  • Make a small vegetable garden, kids would love to eat what they grow.
  • Give an array of colors on your kid’s plate.
  • Make fruit and vegetable eating a fun experience rather than buggery.
  • Involve your kids in cooking various dishes.
  • Freeze various fruits for some frozen smoothie or dessert fun.
  • Appreciate your kid for his efforts, whenever he tries to eat some new fruit or vegetable.
  • Lead by example; include more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Eat as a family whenever possible. Research shows that kids eat more vegetables and fruits and less fried foods and sugary drinks when they eat with the entire family.

One more thing I’ve learned as a parent these past six years is that we have to be creative in terms of how we serve them fruits and vegetables. My kids love it when they see playful colors and patterns so I try to incorporate it when I prepare their foods. I cut and shape fruits of different colors. Sometimes I also disguise veggies inside their meal by chopping veggies into really small pieces or mashing them so they won’t notice it’s in their meal yet still gets the benefit of it.

 

The Juicy Secret

Last weekend, we spent time at my in laws’ place. My mother in law, a healthy food advocate, bought different kinds of fruits and vegetables for the kids. I am like, “Wait mom, they don’t know what kind of fruit and veggies are that, and they may not eat them.” Of course, I didn’t say that aloud. Just in my mind. It seems like there would be one frustrated grandma on the dinner table later, I thought to myself.

As we went home with loads of these healthy, colorful, unknown-to-my-kids kinds of stuff, I’m still contemplating how to encourage my kids to eat them and don’t make

their grandmother disappointed. Suddenly my mother-in-law called me at the kitchen and showed me two special machines that miraculously turn fruits and vegetables into juice in seconds– a juicer and an osterizer! It’s her special way to encourage the kids to consume more fruits and vegetables, to serve them in liquid form or as a juice. The process itself can be made into a fun and interactive activity; allowing the kids to get involved in the creation of their juice is more likely to give them a reason to enjoy it. Juicing is healthier because it is fresh, unpasteurized and it doesn’t contain any added sugars. In short, it is all-natural and when you drink it, your body will benefit from the live enzymes and nutrients.

She let me and the kids marveled on how these powerful machines turned the colorful fruits and veggies into liquid form. The kids were amazed (and also am). After the blending and juicing, it’s time to drink. Now, this is the challenging part: will the kids drink it? I tell you, when my 2-year old sip it, she suddenly stopped and with her mouth full, she was about to blow. I’m in a panic looking for a container where she can spit it, but then after a few seconds, she took it all in! We were all clapping and cheering, thus she even asked for more. (oh what a relief! Perfect scenario: healthy kids, proud mommy, happy mother-in-law 🙂 ) My 4 and 6 years old also enjoyed their share of the juice.

Blending spinach, carrots, beets and other veggies into fruit smoothies can be a great way for picky eaters to get the nutrients they need. But at the same time, we should never ever give up on serving them whole produce. Juicing (using a juicer) and smoothies (using an osterizer) are both essential to a healthy diet. The big difference between the two is,  juicing extracts the juice from the fiber. While smoothies blend whole fruits and vegetables, leaving the fiber intact–which is also beneficial to our system in many aspects.

Here are two simple and healthy recipes to start with:

Yummy Three Juice

3 apples

3 carrots

3 beetroot (small)

Gluten-Free Strawberry Juice

9 strawberries

A handful of spinach

3 celery sticks

2 apples

1 large carrot

Red Veggie Juice

1 beetroot (small)

2 Fuji apples

1/4 pineapple

2 celery sticks

A handful of spinach

Half a cucumber

 

Introduce fruits and vegetables as soon as your baby is ready to eat solid foods, however, consult your doctor before giving any fruit or vegetable to your baby. As healthy as it is, we should also be cautious with the amount of juice that we give our kids. It’s worth bearing in mind that they generally require far smaller doses than adults. It is recommended daily to take 1/2 cup for 6years olds and below and 1cup for over 6years of age. Upon knowing my mother-in-law’s juicy secret, I think I will be able to include more fruits and vegetables in my children’s diet. (By the way, she also gifted me an osterizer! Thanks, mom! 🙂 )

 

 

About The Author

Andrea is a full time home maker. When she is not busy taking care of her husband and kids, she goes out giving financial management talks. She is a proud breastfeeding mom for four years running and an avid Oleia user.

All By Myself

All By Myself

“Aargh!!!! Why is this happening to me?” These are the words that keep pounding on my head— like a constant music background every single day for months before it all sank in.

It was the time of the year when both of our household help goes on their annual vacation (yes, they have to do it together at the same time for they came from the  same province and their “fiesta” is one of the most anticipated events in their place. They would trade Christmas for this.). As a full-time mom, I am a bit anxious about what’s going to happen after they’re gone but at the same time excited for this month-long challenge to my domestic abilities: To be able to cook good food for the family, do the laundry, wash the dishes, clean this bigger house (we just recently moved in), to take care of our wonderful kids and do all other stuffs while singing with all smiles on my face. I’m a super mom. I can do this!

And it happened. Except for the “while singing with all smiles on my face”. It was often frowns and an aching body that accompanied my homemaking experience.

Piles of dishes on the sink, laundry for five, demanding kids waiting to be served, thinking what’s to cook for the next meal, clean this bigger house, the cry about of my extra clingy toddler, doing things triple times (bath, feed, teach- do all kiddy stuffs three times in a day! How much more those with more than 3? I salute you!) I wanted to sing Celine Dion’s song every moment of it: All by myself… with matching crying on the sides. I don’t even have time to take care of myself anymore. Even a simple chat with friends was impossible. Why is this happening to me? I felt so exhausted just thinking I will have to run the same show again the next day. Aside from my aching joints and back pains, my frustration gets to my head and I felt no good about myself. Why am I the one who needs to do all of these? Why can’t I make everything on time and perfectly? I am better off doing other kinds of stuff than all of these dirty works. I don’t deserve to be treated like this. Hindi ako katulong (I am not a helper). Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong to be a househelp. I actually realized they’re a blessing. But that moment I really felt insignificant and worthless. I felt so depressed. I felt so low that little by little I saw how my negative behavior affected not only me but also my family.  My temper would show up in a snap. There were times I thought of just hurting my kids when they become extra uncontrollable. I would cry and talk to them as if they were adults. I would find myself staring blankly somewhere wondering when will this chaos end. There was no joy in my heart at all.

I dwell with this feeling for months. One day I looked at myself in the mirror and said to myself, “wow, what happened to you, Andrea?” That’s when I realized, I seriously needed help.

I decided to give time to meet again with one of my beloved fellowship groups after months of this chaotic, almost devastating moment of my life. How I miss talking to people! I felt a sense of relief as I shared my struggle. From our conversation, I was reminded of a few things:

  1. I’m a mom and it’s my role to nurture the family. Rather than being toxic, I have to be focused on my God-given ability to serve and love my family unconditionally. It is not easy and will never be but being a mom means the opportunity to raise up little souls to be the best God wanted them to be. And being the “monster mom” I have been will never make it happen. The more time I spent with them means more chances to influence them. So why not make every moment count.
  2. I should learn to have a break. I was thinking I’m a superwoman and I can do it all day. Yes, we moms are super, but we also get tired. If we don’t find time to rest from this demanding routine of life, we will eventually get burnt out and can negatively affect our well being. But if we intentionally find for ourselves time off—even activities like reading a book, writing a blog, meeting with friends, doing something that you love, can give you a diversion for a while. This can give you a recharge and can also improve your overall well being.
  3. Depression can be experienced by anybody. When I was younger, I thought depression happens only to broken-hearted people. Now I know it can also happen to tired moms— and to anybody else. You see, I am just in the comforts of my home and with the people whom I love most in this earth yet I felt exhausted, hopeless, and frustrated with myself. It may not be evident outside but it develops despair inside of me. When you feel something is not good, seek help. Talk to someone that you know can understand what you’re going through. You may wonder, where is my loving husband in all of these? Although I know he’ll be always there for me, I didn’t bother to seek help from him because I didn’t want to burden him knowing how dreadful his own job is. But if there is a chance, he always makes it a point to relieve me, even for a while. But yeah, your husband should be the first person to know your feelings because he is your life partner.

Having my small group is a big help to maintain my sanity because I can talk to them anything under the sun. Sometimes we may feel we’re all alone in this but in reality, each of us has our own unique struggles. Talking to a trusted person can shed light on your dilemma. Some of them have been in the same situation and can give you advice on how did they get through it.

Also, we should be careful dealing with other people and be extra kind to them if possible, because we never know if they are also experiencing depression.

  1. Don’t forget to take care of yourself first. You can’t give something you don’t have. Being a mom is a 24/7 job. Since moms are innately selfless, we are too busy taking care of others without first taking care of ourselves. We should keep ourselves healthy inside and out to give the best version of us to the people that we love. Aside from physical fitness, we should also give importance to our mental wellness. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also impacts how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
  2. Pray for endurance and wisdom. We can never do anything on our own. We need God’s grace to be strong for ourselves and for our families. We may be facing different challenges right now and we may feel down at times but the power of God won’t fail us. I was so focused on the problem that I forgot I have a great God. This bible verse reminded me to be joyful in everything I do, even when with trials:

“ Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

This supposedly month-long challenge became a year-long one (yes, our helpers enjoyed their vacation so much). I salute all moms who gave their best to their families— with or without helpers. You are all an inspiration to a thriving mom like me. I have been down with the overwhelming chores and emotional stress but overall this experience gave me a new perspective: to always look on the bright side of things and thank the Lord for the learning opportunities along the way.

This is motherhood to me lately. Chaotic but beautiful.

 

About The Author

Andrea is a full time home maker. When she is not busy taking care of her husband and kids, she goes out giving financial management talks. She is a proud breastfeeding mom for four years running and an avid Oleia Topical Oil user.

Dengue: One Fatal Bite

Dengue: One Fatal Bite

“In 2016, our family was greatly affected by Dengue. My son, my daughter-in-law and my youngest child all exhibited the symptoms of high fever, severe headache and decreasing platelets. Oleia Oil applied on the body, head, arms and legs many times was very helpful. The papaya leaf extract also kept them hydrated until they fully recovered. No blood transfusion.”– Oleia Ann

The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) declared a National Dengue Epidemic recently, due to the 167,607 dengue cases, reported from 1 January to 27 July 2019: 97% higher than in 2018, in spite of a delayed rainy season.  The outbreak has already claimed the lives of 622 people. The group worst affected have been children below the age of 10.

These devastating numbers are just because of one fatal mosquito bite.

What is Dengue?

Dengue fever is a tropical disease caused by any one of four different types of viruses spread by Aedes mosquitoes. This mosquito-borne infection can lead to a severe flu-like illness. It can cause fever, headaches, rashes, and pain throughout the body. It is also called the breakbone fever, because of the severe bone and muscle pain it sometimes can cause. The fever isn’t actually breaking any bones, but it can sometimes feel like it is.

When an Aedes mosquito bites a person who has been infected with a dengue virus, the virus then enters the mosquito and can become a carrier of the virus. If this mosquito then bites another person, he or she can be infected with dengue fever. The virus can’t spread directly from person to person.

In rare cases, dengue fever can lead to a more serious form of the disease called dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). DHF can be life-threatening and needs to be treated right away.

What are the signs and symptoms

Sometimes, symptoms are mild and can be mistaken for those of the flu or another viral infection. However serious problems can develop if not treated early and properly. Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the disease.

Mild dengue fever

Symptoms can appear up to 7 days after being bitten by the mosquito that carries the virus. They include: aching muscles and joints, body rash that can disappear and then reappear, high fever, intense headache, pain behind the eyes, vomiting and feeling nauseous. Symptoms usually disappear after a week, and mild dengue rarely involves serious or fatal complications.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever

At first, symptoms of DHF may be mild, but they gradually worsen within a few days. As well as mild dengue symptoms, there may be signs of internal bleeding. A person with Dengue hemorrhagic fever may experience: bleeding from the mouth, gums, or nose, clammy skin, damage to lymph and blood vessels, internal bleeding, which can lead to black vomit and feces/stools, a lower number of platelets in the blood, sensitive stomach, small blood spots under the skin, weak pulse. Without prompt treatment, DHF can be fatal.

Dengue shock syndrome

DSS is a severe form of dengue. It can be fatal. Apart from symptoms of mild dengue fever, the person may experience: intense stomach pain, disorientation, sudden or fast drop in blood pressure (hypotension), heavy bleeding, regular vomiting, blood vessels leaking fluid. Without treatment, this can result in death. 

The Department of Health has assured the public that hospitals and Local Government Units are ready to respond to the increasing number of cases as it continues to advocate for the 4S strategy: 

  • Search and destroy mosquito breeding places
  • Self-protective measures like wearing long sleeves and use of insect repellent
  • Seek early consultation on the first signs and symptoms of the disease
  • Say yes to fogging if there is an impending outbreak

What can we do?

As of now, there’s no vaccine to prevent dengue fever (after the nationwide ban on the sale and distribution of the Dengvaxia vaccine) The best protection is to prevent bites by an infected mosquito. Make sure to do these prevention tips:

  • Use screens on doors and windows, and promptly repair broken or damaged screens. Keep unscreened doors and windows shut.
  • If sleeping areas are not screened or air-conditioned, use mosquito nets.
  • Have kids wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks when they go outside, and use mosquito netting over their beds at night.
  • Use mosquito repellents, even indoors. Apply insect repellent as directed on kids. Choose one with DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Limit the amount of time kids spend outside during the day, especially in the hours around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Don’t give mosquitoes places to breed. They lay their eggs in water, so get rid of standing water in things like containers and discarded tires, and be sure to change the water in birdbaths, dog bowls, and flower vases at least once a week.
  • If you have symptoms of dengue, speak to your doctor.
  • If someone in your home gets dengue fever, be especially vigilant about efforts to protect yourself and other family members from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that bite the infected family member could spread the infection to others in your home.
  • Be sure to keep your immune system strong. Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, get enough sleep, and live a healthy and active lifestyle.

By doing these precautions and keeping away from areas that have a dengue fever epidemic, the risk of contracting the illness will be prevented.

 

About The Author

Andrea is a full time home maker. When she is not busy taking care of her husband and kids, she goes out giving financial management talks. She is a proud breastfeeding mom for four years running and an avid Oleia user.

Do You Have a Perfect Body Image?

Do You Have a Perfect Body Image?

Are you one of those who keeps looking in a “full-body” mirror, checking themselves left and right, inspecting for any changes now and then? Never to fail a single day who says “Ang taba taba ko na!” (“I’m so fat!”) or “Mukha akong hanger sa damit ko” (“I look like a hanger in my clothes”)? Are there aspects of your appearance that you’re unhappy with?

Many of us struggle with body image issues at some point. This struggle may be made worse by changes in weight and/or appearance. Maintaining a healthy body image can be a challenge especially now that social media dictates almost everything about what’s the ideal body image that causes people to question their looks and lose confidence in themselves. Aside from this, the exciting and stressful changes that we are to face everyday contributes on how we see ourselves.

What is body image? 

Body image can be defined as how you see and picture yourself in your mind and what you believe about your own appearance. Body image also includes how you feel about your body and how you sense, feel and control your body as you move.

How can we work on a “positive” body image?

Here are some guidelines adapted from BodyLove: Learning to Like Our Looks and Ourselves, Rita Freeman, Ph.D. on how we can develop a healthy and positive body image:

  1. Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry.
  2. Be realistic about the size you are likely to be based on your genetic and environmental history.
  3. Exercise regularly in an enjoyable way, regardless of size.
  4. Expect normal weekly and monthly changes in weight and shape
  5. Work towards self acceptance and self forgiveness- be gentle with yourself.
  6. Ask for support and encouragement from friends and family when life is stressful.
  7. Decide how you wish to spend your energy — pursuing the “perfect body image” or enjoying family, friends, school and, most importantly, life.

To be able to do this, it is suggested that we keep in mind these 3 A’s:

Attention

Refers to listening for and responding to internal cues (i.e., hunger, satiety, fatigue). 

Appreciation

Refers to appreciating the pleasures your body can provide.

Acceptance

Refers to accepting what is — instead of longing for what is not. 

These 3 A’s are very powerful device to develop a positive mindset about ourselves and our image. It might be difficult not to be affected by how people on the social media perceives “perfect body image”, but again, it’s all about how you decide to see and be yourself and what are the ways you will take to improve and enjoy life. 

 

About The Author

Cathy spends part of her days wondering how to combine her 2 loves, writing and photography. The rest of her time she spends taking care of her two babies. Sheena, a Labrador retriever & Amanda, a Siberian husky. She’s been an OLEIA user since May.