Monday, February 25, 2008

Homemade decongestant balm

I think there is nothing worse in the world for a mother than having their child sick. My little man has a nasty cold, and watching him struggling is just heartbreaking. Even despite being sick, he still seems to have the ability to make me laugh, and give me his sweet smiles. And yet, watching him struggling to drink his bottle, or screaming when trying to give him his medicine, almost makes me cry.

Luckily, now that he has had a dose of pediamin decongestant, he is finally sleeping peacefully and even though I keep going into his room, oh, every 5 minutes or so, to check that he is still alright, it is nice to finally be able to sit down and relax knowing that he is going to be OK. Hopefully he will be better by tomorrow and this is just a 48 hr virus.

In the meantime, as well as the conventional medicine I have given him, I also rub in this homemade decongestant balm into his chest and back.

Homemade Decongestant Balm

Melt 10ml jojaba oil with 1gram of cocoa butter or beeswax over a double boiler. Once melted, stir in 3 drops of lavender oil, 3 drops eucalyptus oil and 2 drops rosemary oil. Pour into little pot and allow to set.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another low fat recipe: Creamy Veal Strips

I thought I would post another yummy recipe that I made for dinner tonight. It is from a pregnancy forum, so I can't guarantee the weight watchers points values, but it was ultra delicious. I served it with mashed potato and a mixed salad, with fresh berries for dessert. I think it would also be great with polenta or pasta.

The whole meal took 15 minutes to make from beginning to end.

Creamy Veal Strips
Serves 4, each serve = 3 points

400g lean veal, cut into strips (I used veal stir fry strips)
2 spring onions, cut into strips
1 lean rasher bacon, chopped
2 tbspns wholegrain mustard
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup skim milk
1 tbspn cornflour
½ teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped

Coat a pan with cooking spray~ Stir-fry the veal and bacon till lightly brown, remove from pan

Recoat pan, add the onions, mustard and mushrooms and combine and cook for about a minute

Combine the milk and cornflour in a cup, then pour into the pan, stirring till it boils and thickens

Add the veal back in, and the herbs and stir well to heat through.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Low fat Recipe: Creamy Pumpkin and Pinenut Pasta

I just made this yummy low fat pasta for dinner, serving it with some steak for my husband (who must have meat with every meal lol). The recipe took about half an hour (about 5 minutes prep only) because I used wholewheat pasta, but if you used white pasta, i think it would take about 15 minutes ony. I found it at the Carnation website.

· 375 g penne pasta recipe
· 1 Tbsp oil
· 2 cups chopped pumpkin
· 1 onion, chopped
· 1 red capsicum, chopped
· 375 mL CARNATION Light & Creamy Evaporated Milk
· 1/2 cup water
· 1 Tbsp cornflour
· 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
· salt
· 1/2 cup basil leaves
· 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
· 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to directions on packet, drain, keep warm. Heat oil in pan, add pumpkin, cook until golden brown. Add onion and capsicum to pan, cook 2 minutes.
2. Add combined CARNATION Light & Creamy Evaporated Milk, water, cornflour, mustard and salt, bring to boil stirring, simmer 2 minutes.
3. Toss pumpkin sauce through pasta with basil and half of the pinenuts.
4. Season to taste, serve topped with remaining pinenuts and cheese.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Healthy Weight Trick

The Australian series of The Biggest Loser has just started, and as usual, it inspires me to kick my weight loss plans into action (even if only temporarily lol). This time round, though, I am pregnant, so no diets for me. However, for this entire pregnancy, I have been very careful about not gaining too much weight, for three reasons. Firstly, I have a family history of diabetes and secondly, I was overweight to start withso my OB-GYN recommended that I keep my weight gain to around 10kgs (22lbs) to avoid gestational diabetes (which my mother had carrying me); thirdly, I didn't lose the baby weight last time, so I didn't want to gain too much weight this time around. So far. i have done really well, and at 34 weeks, I have gained about 7kgs, so I am on track.

One of the ways I have achieved this is by cutting out soda (almost) completely. I hate drinking plain water (and we even have a great water filter built into our sink!) so initially I found this really hard. But after going to a cafe where they always have water flavoured with various natural ingredients such as lemon and orange slices, I started doing that, too. So now my fridge always has two jugs of water ready to go with flavour. Citrus is the obvious choice (lemon, limes and oranges by themselves or mixed), but green apple slices and cucumber slices are also divine, especially in the heat that we have been experiencing here in Perth.

I would love to hear some more weight loss tricks, or some more flavouring ideas!

Friday, February 1, 2008

"I'm just a housewife"

I was watching Perfect Housewife the other night, and it struck me how often we put down our occupation, and therefore, ourselves. One of the hapless housewives featured on the show was asked how she described herself to people, and she shrugged, looked down at the floor, and said, "I'm just a housewife." How many of us have been guilty of this? I know I have, on numerous occasions, said exactly this, accompanied by an apologetic little shrug of the shoulders. I foudn this especially true in the period after I left paid employment. It was as if I had defined myself by what I did for a living - I wasn't Sarah, the person; I was Sarah, the 'merchandise manager with Australia's largest department store'. Suddenly, I was at a loss, as surely being a housewife could not measure up to that.

After a few months of being at home and being unhappy, I stumbled across a book called Happy Housewives by Darla Shine. While a lot of it is a little too"perky" for my taste, it did make me realise that I needed to take pride in what I do - surely creating a happy and healthy home and life for my husband and child was just as important - no, make that more important, than anything else I could be doing. Now when people ask me what I do, I say with pride, "I am a housewife".

Today, I encourage all of you out there to banish the phrase "I'm just a housewife" and start saying what it is we do with pride, because we're not just housewives, we're fantastic housewives!!

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