How To Stress Yourself Out As A Parent

Great writing wait until the third child comes along x

howwedolife1's Blog

Ah…parenting:) The wonderous joys that are entailed. Let’s just be real here, parenting is NOT easy. I have come to realize (well, after I had my first child), that it is THE most difficult job on the planet. Let’s go over the ways we can stress ourselves out as parents.

Ask Dumb Questions

In my school days, I would constantly hear teachers say that there aren’t any dumb questions. This my friends is simply not true. There are indeed dumb questions. One of those questions is asking your three year old why he hit his baby sister. There is no rhyme or reason to such an act. It just happens, on a regular basis. Of course I make him apologize for committing the act, but don’t worry, it will happen yet again. The second question is asking your toddler why they threw the ball in the house. Even though I…

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It’s strange isn’t it?

Life is strange I always seem to have such good intentions but for some reason find it difficult to focus on that one goal and achieve the success that I do want but I suppose I am really too lazy to get off my ass and do it!

I am feeling quite down in the dumps. Take TOH for example he goes to work each day and on the way home goes to the gym and comes in to a cooked dinner he may wash up a pan or two but that is about the extent of his domesticity. Then he says I need to make time for myself to go to the gym yeah that’s ok if there is nothing else to do but perhaps I am using that as an excuse?

For example on a Monday I am supposed to finish work at 2 that never happens and I finish at 4 to collect the YD from homework club and then get in about 4.30 cook tea for her and get organised for Brownies at 6, come home get dinner for me and TOH organised , collect the YD from brownies at 7.30 get in. Have dinner with TOH when he comes in then tidy up and it’s 9 before you know it, vegetate and then bed.

Each day seems to have a similar pattern.

Am I subconsciously sabotaging any chance to go to the gym or do exercise but putting other things in their place? I do feel resentful that TOH can be so self centred in doing what he wants and have I put myself in that subservient role of having to get dinner do chores etc…

Now the one aim I had I have completely failed at, I feel that I have totally let myself down, I am angry and feel that I haven’t been supported and the consequence of that is not to look at what I am eating and to have several large glasses of wine at a weekend.

It is a self destruct attitude and results in such self loathing that the cycle seems impossible to break. For most of the time it’s well hidden I have always tried to have a smile on my face and be positive in my outlook but sometimes the little monster inside me takes control. What does it matter you are fat anyway what will another glass of wine do?

I know it sounds silly but I am a weak human I need to have that self control and self belief that I am so lacking.

I know that most people would say stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with it, that is a good call! For some reason I find it hard to value myself to take the steps that will put me on the path to achieving the goals I want to achieve.

Anyway after a big gap from posting I hope to take some little steps to be the person I know I am!

Do you think it’s odd?

It is strange isn’t it when you post a blog as much as you kid yourself that you don’t think about your stats that you do have a few sneaky peeks to see if you have had any views!

I have been super excited as I have had more than 20 views which is my highest view! Woohoooooo! Thank you for reading

It’s also a little scary that as bloggers we are anonymous and can hide behind our words and yet strangers stumble across our posts and can connect with us through their words.

I am enjoying my blogging experience although TOH and my family look upon me with amusement and of course have not read my blog but it’s odd I am not sure I would really want them to read it!

I read a post from someone whose friend had been reading her blogs and it got me to thinking how would I like it? I mean it’s like an invasion of privacy but that’s just crazy as this is a public domain and we are putting ourselves out there to be read……………….

Anyway enough musing watching a bit of Gavin and Stacey which I love!

Almond flour – if you are interested

Taken from a recent Facebook post

5 Reasons to Avoid Almond Flour
April 1, 2013 by Lauren G (Empowered Sustenance) Affiliate Disclosure

Almond flour is a little darling of grain free, Paleo/Primal, and low carb baking. It easily rivals conventional flour in its ability to produce tender and fluffy baked goods. Unfortunately, almond flour has numerous detrimental health consequences. It is important to understand these aspects of almond flour, so you can make the decision to avoid almond flour or choose to use almond flour with judicious moderation.

1. Almond flour skews perception about quantity
Get this: A cup of almond flour contains about 90 almonds! I calculated that by dividing 640 calories in a cup of almond flour by 7 calories in an almond. Almond flour disguises the consumption of the nuts.

For example, this ever-popular Almond Flour Pancake recipe from Elana’s Pantry calls for 1 1/2 cups of almond flour and yields about 4 servings (or 2-3 servings, if you have a hearty pancake appetite).

There are about 135 almonds in the entire batch, and 33 almonds per serving (for 4 servings). That is like 3 big handfuls of almonds, eaten at one sitting!

Imagine sitting down and mindfully chewing 33 almonds at one meal. After perhaps a big handful, your body would tell you “Okay. I’m full. That’s enough almonds for right now.” As you may know from experience, your body loses that perception and communication when consuming almond flour.

2. Almond flour is very high in inflammatory PUFAS
About 20% of the fat in almonds is polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 6 or PUFAs). Unfortunately, our modern diets tend to overburden our bodies with polyunsaturated fats which leads to numerous health issues.

Here are a few reasons why it is important NOT to go overboard with polyunsaturated fats.

PUFAS in suppress mitochondrial energy production. In non-chemistry language, PUFAS slow down the metabolism
PUFAS encourage an inflammatory response in the body
PUFAS cause digestive issues by impairing the action of certain digestive enzymes
PUFAS slow down thyroid function
PUFAS inhibit detoxification enzymes
PUFAS deplete antioxidants in the body
PUFAS inhibit production of progesterone and androgens while activating production of estrogen. This encourages estrogen-dominancy in the body and this contributes to many health issues like weight gain, PMS, hormonal acne and more.
Polyunsaturated fats aren’t inherently evil, only harmful when consumed in excess. According to nutrition expert Sébastien Noël at Paleo Lifestyle,

In an effort to optimize health and longevity, one should strive to keep a total PUFA intake under 4% of total calories and an omega-6/omega-3 ratio very close to 1:1. On an average 2,200 calorie diet, 4% PUFA means only about 5 to 8 grams of omega-6 per day to maintain the proper ratio with omega-3 fats. Read more.

The consumption of almond flour is an easy way to overload the body with a detrimental amount of PUFAS.

3. The fats in almond flour aren’t heat stable
Okay, quick chemistry reminder. Saturated fats have single bonds between all the carbon molecules of the fatty acid chain. Monounsaturated fats have one double bond replacing a single bond in the carbon chain. Polyunsaturated have more than one double bond in the carbon chain.

Double bonds are more unstable than single bonds. The more double bonds in a fatty acid, the more unstable it is (polyunsaturated is the least stable, followed by monounsaturated, followed by saturated being the most stable). When the double bonds break, the fatty acid undergoes a process called oxidation.

Processing, heat, light and pressure all cause these double bonds to break. Raw (or soaked and dehydrated) almonds have their polyunsaturated fats intact, and so the only fat issues are those discussed in the previous section. But putting almond flour in a hot environment–like an oven–is going to break some of those double bonds and create oxidized fatty acids.

Why are oxidized fats bad? In a nutshell, oxidized fats = free radicals. Free radicals = cell damage. Of course, we will inevitably have some free radicals in our body. Fortunately, we can consume sources of antioxidants (like fresh fruits and veggies) to combat free radical damage. But if too much oxidized fats, like from large amounts of almond flour, are consumed, our body is depleted of antioxidants and damage to body cells ensues.

Want to know what fats are safe and healthy to heat? Check out my Guide to Choosing and Using Good Fats.

Update: It looks like I may have missed the mark on this point! According to Sarah Ballantyne, scientist, author and a blogging friend,

If you were cooking with almond oil, this would be true. But, research shows that polyunsaturated fats are much more heat stable when part of the whole foods (including the unadulterated seed, but also ground into meals and flours). The best research into the heat stability of polyunsaturated fats in baked goods comes from the study of flaxseed meal and research shows that only an extremely small percentage of the fats are oxidized during cooking. Researchers speculate that the reason the polyunsaturated fats in flaxseed meal are resistant to heat is because they are not isolated but rather are present in a matrix of other compounds that the flaxseeds contain (i.e., when they are bound to proteins, carbohydrates, other fats, fiber etc. that are part of the ground up seed). In addition, the presence of antioxidants in the whole ground seed reduces fat oxidation. These natural antioxidants include lignin fiber (rich in phenols, see this post) and vitamin E which nuts and seeds are particularly rich in.

Furthermore, the internal temperature of baked goods rarely exceeds 160F, which is well below the smoking point of even the most easily oxidized and unstable fats.

Sarah and I share deep mutual respect but we disagree about the virtues of almond flour. She believes the pros outweigh the cons and I believe the cons outweigh the pros. We are happy to disagree about this point and now we leave you to decide how to incorporate almond flour into your lifestyle.

4. Almond flour is high in enzyme inhibitors
Enzyme inhibitors are concentrated in all nuts and seeds and, as a result, almond flour contains a significant amount. Enzyme inhibitors are problematic for digestion, since enzymes are necessary to digest all aspects of our meal from carbohydrates to proteins to fats. When we eat food, it is partly digested by stomach acid in the stomach. Then it travels to the small intestine where the acidity of the chyme (the food mixture) signals the pancreas to release digestive enzymes to further break down the food.

What happens when enzyme inhibitors are present in the chyme from the food we’ve consumed? Our own digestive enzymes can’t complete their job. The body senses a need for more enzymes, so it overcompensates and the pancreas releases even more enzymes. Unfortunately, extra digestive enzymes problematic and deplete the pancreas. The consumption of nuts and seeds causes enzyme imbalances and this often manifests as bloating and stomach pain.

If you enjoy nuts and seeds in any form – in snacks or for baking – soak them first to denature most of the enzyme inhibitors.

5. Coconut flour is healthier than almond flour
When it comes to grain free baking, coconut flour is my top choice. Unlike almond flour, the fat in coconut flour is primarily saturated fat. That means it is safe to heat and it is not toxic to the body. The coconut oil in coconut flour is a veritable superfood, celebrated for weight loss, candida control, metabolism boosting and more. While the fats in almond flour slow metabolism, the fats in coconut flour actually speed up metabolism!

Additionally, a littles goes a long way. Coconut flour seems pricey at first, but it stretches. One batch of my popular Coconut Flour Pancakes with Gelatin use only 1/4 cup of coconut flour for 2 generous portions.

Want to get started with coconut flour? First, here is my Coconut Flour 101 Primer.

Second, remember not to over-do the coconut flour. I limit myself to 2-4 tablespoons of coconut flour per day, mostly because it can be pricy when consumed in abundance. But more importantly, coconut flour is very high in fiber and that is not necessarily a good thing. Please read my post, Is a High Fiber Diet a Health Hazard? for more info.

Third, it is important to start with reliable recipes when using coconut flour. Two of my favorite introductory recipes are:

Paleo Cornbread Muffins
Onion and Herb Biscuits
What about phytic acid in almond flour?

As you may know, phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that prevents your body from absorbing minerals. Almonds, like all nuts and seeds, have high levels of phytic acid if they aren’t soaked and dehydrated. But in almonds, most of the phytic acid is in the brown skin which is removed before the almonds are processed into flour. So phytic acid is a minor issue when it comes to almond flour. You should, however, consider the health detriments of phytic acid if you are using another nut/seed flour that is not made from soaked and dehydrated nuts.

Almond flour and MODERATION

Almond flour should be used in judicious moderation. Perhaps that means one almond flour treat once a month. Maybe set aside the almond flour just for special occasions. I would also suggest giving your body a break from almond flour for a month, and see if you feel… different. You may feel more energy or have less pain and inflammation. You may not. We’re all unique, so you have to experiment and discover what best fuels your body.

Is eating fat good for you?

An article that may be of interest.

Eating fat is good for you: Doctors change their minds after 40 years
A DIET packed with fat is the healthy way to prevent heart disease, a leading British expert has claimed.
By: Jo Willey Wed, October 23, 2013

After 40 years of cutting fat from our diet, doctors may now be turning their advice on its head [GETTY]
Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra says the obsession with a low-fat diet has “paradoxically increased” the risk of heart disease.

Other experts have added their voices to his controversial call to end 40 years of advice to cut saturated fat – which has been described as “the greatest medical error of our time”.

They claim the guidance has left millions of people at risk of developing cardiovascular ­disease and “led to the over-medication of millions of people with statins”.

The public could just as effectively protect themselves by eating “real” food such as butter, milk and cheese and adopting the Mediterranean diet.

Dr Malhotra, an interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital, London, slammed the routine prescriptions of statins and claimed a diet high in saturated fats could be three times more effective at lowering cholesterol.

Writing on, he said a preoccupation with levels of total cholesterol “has diverted our attention” from the worse risks of a condition known as atherogenic ­dyslipidaemia, which is an unfavourable ratio of blood fats.

He said saturated fat has been demonised since the 1970s when a landmark study found a link between coronary heart disease and total ­cholesterol, which correlated with the percentage of calories provided by saturated fat.

He said: “But correlation is not causation. Nevertheless, we were advised to cut fat intake to 30 per cent of total energy and a fall in saturated fat to 10 per cent.”

Some doctors claim a diet high in fat could help to lower cholesterol (PIC POSED BY MODEL) [GETTY]

Lowering cholesterol, by whatever means, lowers risk

Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation
But recent studies “have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of cardiovascular disease” and saturated fat has actually been found to be protective.

A Journal of the American Medical Association study recently revealed that a “low fat” diet showed the greatest drop in energy expenditure and increased insulin resistance – which is a precursor to diabetes – compared with a low carbohydrate and low glycaemic index (GI) diet.

Dr Malhotra refers to the United States, where obesity has rocketed despite the percentage of calorie consumption from fat falling from 40 per cent to 30 per cent in the past 30 years. One reason is that the food industry “compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar”.

He says eight million Britons take statins yet there has been no major impact on heart disease trends.

Adopting a Mediterranean diet largely based on vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, olive oil and fish after a heart attack is almost three times as powerful in reducing mortality as taking a statin, he says.

“Doctors need to embrace prevention as well as treatment. The greatest improvements in morbidity and mortality have been due not to personal responsibility but rather to public health,” he said. “It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity.”

It seems a Mediterranean diet could be three times more power in reducing mortality than statins [GETTY]

Commenting on Dr Malhotra’s article, Timothy Noakes, a professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, said: “Focusing on an elevated blood cholesterol concentration as the exclusive cause of coronary heart disease is unquestionably the worst medical error of our time.

“After reviewing all the scientific evidence I draw just one conclusion – never prescribe a statin drug for a loved one.”

Professor David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The assumption has been made that increased fat in the bloodstream is caused by increased saturated fat in the diet, whereas modern evidence is proving that refined carbohydrates and sugar in particular are actually the culprits.”

Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Lowering cholesterol, by whatever means, lowers risk. Cholesterol levels can be influenced by diet, exercise and drugs, in particular statins.

“There is clear evidence that patients who have had a heart attack, or are at high risk of one, can benefit from taking a statin. This needs to be combined with a balanced diet, not smoking and taking regular exercise.”

Mmmm all food for thought……