Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Probiotics benefits for pregnant women

This post is brought to you by FrisoMum.

I'm studying probiotics recently. First, because I'm reading up on FrisoMum, the sponsor of this post. Two, because my kids' pedia prescribed probiotic supplements for them, so that they can absorb more nutrients (my kids are skinny like their parents). Third, because there's a lot of articles on probiotics that are popping up on my Facebook feed. And last, because I was deleting photos on my phone (the endless quest to make more space!) and I saw lots of pics of pregnant me! And yes, I took probiotic capsules when I was preggers and also whenever I have tummy trouble.

Pregnant in 2014! Last time na yan!!! More pics here =)

We all know (if you drank Yakult as a kid) that probiotics promote healthy digestion. That also means they're used to treat disorders like bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhea. I guess that also means if you like eating street food, you should toughen up your tummy with probiotics haha

Anyway, the articles I'm reading say that healthy gut bacteria also help in a whole lot of other ways. Let me count these other ways:

1. Keeps skin clear,

2. Keeps the vagina and urinary tract healthy,

3. Prevents bad breath,

4. Regulates immune function,

5. Reduces inflammation,

6. Kills off bad bacteria so you won't rely on antibiotics,

7. May have a hand at preventing autism.

Woah. If you're a woman, that's a lot of reasons to include probiotics in your diet, right? If you're pregnant or planning to be pregnant, that part about autism is a huge reason to take probiotics stat! Plus, when delivered vaginally, our baby's first exposure to bacteria is in our birth canal. We better make sure the bacteria there is the good kind!

Working mamas, a snack of yoghurt with fruit and nuts is definitely a healthy and yummy option!

You can get probiotics from food like yogurt, miso, kefir, kimchi, cheese... Actually, a lot of fermented stuff really (but I dunno if that includes wine and beer haha). All over the world and throughout history, every culture ate fermented food. That's because there were so refrigerators back then. Because of that, they had to preserve food, and fermentation is one of the processes they used. Now fermentation creates trillions of these good bacteria that we now apparently need for our bodies to be healthy! Anyway, I'm not a fan of fermented anything so it's been hard for me to include probiotic-rich food but I'm trying!

If a daily diet of fermented food is not to your liking, then you can ask your OBG about taking supplements. I did and she told me that probiotic supplements are like the greatest thing ever. Not her words, okay, more like her attitude about it! If you're preggy now and reading this, ask your OBG about probiotics.

FrisoMum is a pro-digestion milk for moms that cares for the tummy. It's packed full of prebiotics and probiotics on top of the vitamins and minerals you need. You get better digestion, better nutrition, and better times spent together with your family because you're healthy!

FrisoMum is available at selected Mercury Drug stores in Manila, Luzon, and Cebu. Always ask your OBG about taking prenatal supplements. Like their Facebook page for more nutrition tips for your pregnancy.

*yoghurt photo by Peter Hershey from Unsplash.

Monday, February 27, 2017

First look: The Honest Company's spring 2017 diapers! Plus, Jessica Alba's tips for working mamas

When a brand founded by a Hollywood mommy asks you to do something for them, you do it. Well, I would because I used to cover Hollywood celebrities in my former life! I am so starstruck that Jessica Alba's The Honest Company gave me the chance to share with my readers the first look at their Honest Diapers spring 2017 designs! Here's your exclusive first look:

So cute! I still have one kid in diapers (although we're gearing up for toilet training this summer!) so I am very much smitten with these designs! I especially like the bugs!

Just like their founder, Honest Diapers don't just look good on the outside, they're also made of good stuff in the inside. They have an ultra-soft plant-based (PLA) inner and outer layer with a bio-based wheat/corn blend in its super-absorbent core. They don't go through chlorine processing and there are no chemical bleaches in them either. No latex, lotions, phthalates, optical brighteners, organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT), or most common allergens. No fragrances, too, just naturally derived odor blockers from citrus and chlorophyll.  

Jessica Alba is included in Forbes magazine's list of America's richest self-made women.

I'm in awe of what Jessica Alba has done with The Honest Company. Really! From being a major Hollywood star to now one of the richest self-made women in the US of A—that's some feat! And what I admire most about her is she created her brand because she wanted the best for kids and moms everywhere. I may not be able to relate to her glamour and the wealth, but I definitely can relate to her being a mommy who works so hard to give her family the best, given what I know and what my resources can afford.

When Jessica isn't busy growing her billion-dollar company, she is actively involved with charities such as Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, ONE, Habitat for Humanity, Project HOME and more. But, like all good mommies, the one job she enjoys above all others is being a mom. Yes, she's now my working mama peg! (I have a lot actually. Will blog about this soon!)

Jessica is also an author. Wow!

I asked The Honest Company if their founder has advice for us working mommies, and here's what Jessica said: "Don’t get overwhelmed trying to do everything at once. Lay out what you can get done now and what will take longer.” 

I learned this the hard way. As a working mama with no household help or nannies, I spent the first few years of my motherhood completely overwhelmed. I was trying so hard to be the best mommy ever to my baby boys that I got depressed when I would (of course) fail. It was when I became more organized (thanks, bullet journaling!) and less hovering (thanks, Netflix!) that I started to relax and just take mothering one day at a time. And I believe my family is all the better for it! I now truly enjoy being a work-at-home mommy.

I'm sure Jessica is waaaaaay busier than I am but she's learned to feel happy and proud to be a working mama. We don't need to be with our kids 24/7 to be a good mother. In fact, Jessica says we should let go of mommy guilt. "Don’t be hard on yourself," she says. "Doing your best to be present wherever you are is what’s important."

Finally, Jessica emphasizes the need for all mommies to take care of themselves. "Make time to eat healthy and stay active," the famously fit star advises. "It’s worth it to recharge once a week: Get sleep, have a date night or a girls’ night in, and drink some wine!" Oh, I wish I could follow her advice more often! I do believe that we moms pour so much time, energy and resources in giving the very best to our kids but if we don't take care of ourselves, we can't give the best mommy to our babies! Again, I learned this the hard way. I was so tired and ugly and unhealthy that I wasn't 100% happy being a mom. I was too spent to give anything! So this 2017, I've really resolved to visit the salon once a month, nap more, read again, spend more time with my husband, and see my friends. 

Thanks, Jessica, for sharing your work-life balance tips with my working mama readers! Thanks, The Honest Company, for sharing your new spring diaper designs with my style-savvy new mommies!

To shop the Spring 2017 diaper collection of The Honest Company, click here. I suggest using a courier service like Johnny Air to have your purchases shipped safely here in the Philippines. Locally, The Green Company (with branches in San Juan, Pasig, and Banawe, QC) carries The Honest Company products. A few products are also available at Landers Superstore. 

Hmm. Maybe I should collaborate more with The Honest Company. It's so aligned with my blog—everyone knows me as the most honest mommy blogger! Even their office looks like my house! Lemme pray about this!

*photos and quotes courtesy of The Honest Company; Jessica Alba's photo from Forbes.com

Monday, February 20, 2017

What I found out about mom bloggers at the Carrier SlimPac event

This post is brought to you by Carrier SlimPac Klarwind and XPower 2 air conditioners.

I was invited to a lunch Carrier Philippines hosted for mom bloggers. It was nice and intimate, held at the cozy Aruga Hotel at Rockwell Center Makati.

We were there to know more about the new SlimPac floor-mounted air conditioners Carrier just launched. Jenni Epperson, a lifestyle blogger and author, hosted the event and here she is flanked by the XPower 2 (left) and the Klarwind (right), which was right beside me. I got cold!

We were also treated to some home decor tips from interior designer Irene Dee.

We also found out how to have a more blissful home and intentional life from psychologist and author Michelle Alignay.

Well, I learned something else that day and it's about mom bloggers. Yep!

Here's what I learned about mom bloggers: We ask a LOT of questions!

We asked anything and everything from how the units work, how they've been improved, how they're installed, how are they safe, what colors do they come in, how much they cost, and more! Carrier was so surprised at all the probing and detailed questions that they had to answer of course, so we all went waaaay past the allotted time for the program and ended up having lunch at 1pm. So dear brands who are going to invite mom bloggers for a presscon: Get ready for all our questions!

That shouldn't be a surprise really. When it comes to products for our home and our family, we aren't bloggers just covering an event. We're mothers first and foremost, and we will scrutinize and turn that product upside down and inside out until we're satisfied that it's met our criteria:

1. Is it good for our family?
2. Is it safe for our kids?
3. Is it affordable?

For me, Carrier's new Klarwind and XPower 2 floor-mounted air conditioners meet all three.

1. Is it good for my family?
Yes! Because I live in a high rise along EDSA, I have our A/C on all the time. I can't open our large windows for two reasons: the pollution and my small malikot kids. I can't have the smoggy air coming in and I can't have my kids falling out!

The new Carrier SlimPac floor-mounted A/Cs are not only sleek and stylish and would look good in any home, they are also energy efficient. The 3-step filter system also cleans the air my family breathes. Dust, lint, spores, bacteria, and fungi are all filtered out and away from my family's lungs. That's good news because everyone in my family has an allergy of some sort!

I'm especially enamored with the Klarwind unit because it swivels. The 270° swivel head means it distributes the cool air faster and more efficiently.

2. Is it safe for my kids?
Yes! Aside from that amazing filter system, the new Carrier SlimPac floor-mounted A/Cs won't tip over and crush little kiddies. They are installed not just to the floor but also to the wall. I can be assured that my kids will be safe even with these silent cooling systems in the room. Plus, they are practically invisible. They're designed to blend into the decor so kids will quickly forget they're there.

3. Is it affordable?
Well, the new Carrier SlimPac floor-mounted A/Cs sure aren't cheap. At SRPs of 120K++ and 80K++ for the XPower 2 and Klarwind respectively, I'll have to scrape the credit card mighty hard to buy a unit! But because of its low electricity consumption even though it's so powerfully cooling, because it's so energy efficient, and because of the filter system, I'll be able to save on electricity and allergy medications! The benefits on my wallet is over the long-term and the good things it can do to my family's health makes the Carrier SlimPac floor-mounted A/Cs a great investment!

While I wish this was a review post, I'm not in the market for A/Cs yet as I'm still happy with my energy-efficient and powerful Carrier wall-mounted units. Yes, I'm really a Carrier mommy! But when I'm ready to buy, I'm definitely looking at the Klarwind!

Carrier ambassador Jenni Ep obviously loves the XPower 2.
Jane Cheng, Cat Antonio, Marilen Montenegro, and Jackie Go with the Klarwind.

If you'd like to know more about the Carrier SlimPac XPower 2 and Klarwind units, visit www.carrier.com.ph. These floor-mounted air conditioners are now available in major appliance stores nationwide.

*photos from Mommy Mundo