July 27, 2014
by Mirka
1 Comment

Being Healthy is far Better Than Being Sick

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Since my dear dad was diagnosed with cancer more than 2 years ago, I have started looking at certain things in a very different way. I stopped being optimistic for the period when dad was fighting this horrible disease as I knew he was dying and there was nothing that could save him. I felt hopeless, and hated the whole world. Why him, why so early? He was only 65… Then it happened, last September he lost the battle. It was not until just 2 months ago, I suddenly realised I started enjoying my life again, and was slowly becoming more positive and optimistic again.

I believe this was thanks to moving into our dream house, and kind of starting again. Yesterday I had some bad news about someone I knew from back home in the Czech Republic. A terrible motorbike accident, and a very young person died. Some people take months or even years to die, some lose their battle within seconds. I was sad. It was not anyne very close to me, but still. I just cannot believe why people take unnecessary risks.

I think we can and should be looking after our and our family heath much more, and the following are some of my tips. Let me know what you think of them, and don’t forget to share yours.

Get checked
I think that getting checked on a regular basis many times saves people’s lives and can prevent some very serious illnesses.

Quit smoking
If you are still one of the peple who enjoy having a smoke, it’s time to stop. It’s a horrible habbit, and why would you want to do something that can kill you?

Drink less alcohol
In an ideal world, I would suggest to quit drinking alcohol, but as a wine lover, I think that if you stick to the recommended daily amount, that would be also good.

Keep fit
If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know I am and have always been very sporty and love running, swimming and cycling. Currently I am doing my research on where to run my next marathon. Any suggestions?

Protect from sun
When I was in my twenties, we lived in Sydney, and I spent so much time on the beach, you would just not believe it. I was there every day for 6-8 hours. I did use sunscreen, but as I was not mature enough, I went for the lower protection, and only after speaking to a few Aussie mates, I started using the highest factor. I also started wearing sun hats, they are not just for kids. If you would like to read some more about protecting your skin, there is this very interesting article with health tips from Dr Duncan that is worth reading.

Drink plenty of water
I always have a bottle of water with me wherever I go. Being hydrated is essential, and I believe water is the best drink, so we don’t have any soft drinks at home. When my girls want a treat, they can have some when we eat out.

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July 26, 2014
by Mirka
0 comments

Top Tips for Weaning

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Not long ago me and Olivia were invited to check out Aldi’s Mamia baby range at a lovely event at the London ZOO. It was a great day, and after having fun with the Penguins, I was interested to hear why it is fast becoming one of the UK’s leading baby brands. I have known Aldi for many years when I lived in the Czech Republic, as it is much popular over there and there is an Aldi in every little town. We live on the outskirts of London and I have not come across an Aldi store here, I was actually surprised to hear how many stores there are around the UK, and there will be more, hopefully near us too.

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WHAT’S NEW IN ALDI’S MAMIA BABY RANGE?

The award winning Aldi Mamia range has expanded its popular product range even further this summer to include Mamia baby food pouches. Suitable from first stage weaning onwards, these food pouches are full of flavour and don’t cost the earth, for a healthy start in life. Olivia absolutely loved the pouches, and even my 7 year old agreed there were very yummy, and wanted some for her school snack.

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Strawberries & Apples – 59p, 120g

A smooth blend of organic strawberries and apples, suitable for babies from four months. A great first weaning product.

This product is available all year round, in stores nationwide.

CO1213MAMIAAPPLESANDBANANAS_SHADApples & Bananas – 59p, 120g

A smooth blend of organic apples and bananas, suitable for babies from four months. Great for first stage weaning and also perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

This product is available all year round, in stores nationwide.

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Apple & Blackcurrant Baby Juice – 79p, 500ml

Ready to drink apple and blackcurrant juice from concentrate, diluted with spring water. Suitable for children from four months.

This product is available all year round, in stores nationwide

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Mini Rice Cakes, Apple – 59p, 40g 

100% organic puffed brown wholegrain rice cakes for children from seven months.

This product is available all year round, in stores nationwide.

 

 

Top tips for weaning

Texture is important
Introducing your baby to different textures is really important. Not only does it provide a bit of variety and interest to meals, it also helps the development of muscles around the mouth, which is necessary for good speech when the time comes.

Variety is the spice of life
Introducing your baby to a huge range of foods and flavours early on is really good practice, because once their independence blossoms and they learn to say ‘NO!’ they are much more likely to do this with foods they are not familiar with. Another thing to remember is that nutrients interact with each other so having a variety of foods in different combinations makes sure your baby is getting a good range. An example is iron and calcium: calcium can block absorption of iron so if you always give yogurt as a pudding, they are never going to get the most iron from the meal.

Fussy eating
There are lots of reasons that children refuse foods: they don’t like the taste, texture, look of it or maybe they are just trying to exert some control over their life (and you!). A really good place to start with expanding their food repertoire is to encourage them to play with their food and become really familiar with it that way. With older children you could play a game with different foods so that you have to guess what the food will feel like in the mouth to help them build a “memory” of it which helps them know what to expect. For example will it be soft, crunchy, sticky etc.

Key nutrients

Protein

Needed for: building muscle & tissue, hormones & enzymes
Found in: meat, fish, dairy, pulses, cereals & grains

Carbohydrate

Needed for: immediate energy
Found in: potatoes, bread, pasta, rice

Fat

Needed for: stored energy & fat soluble vitamins
Found in: meat, fish, dairy, oil, butter, nuts, seeds

Minerals

iron

Needed for: carrying oxygen, converting energy, brain development
Found in: red meat, pulses, green leafy vegetables, fortified foods

Calcium

Needed for: bones & teeth, chemical reactions in the body
Found in: dairy, green leafy vegetables, fortified foods

Potassium

Needed for: proper heart function
Found in: fruit and vegetables especially bananas

Vitamins

Needed for: all processes in the body, antioxidant
Found in: fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat, pulses, cereals, vitamin drops

C: iron absorption and protecting our DNA from toxin damage

D: calcium absorption

A: skin & eye health and protecting our DNA from toxin damage

July 25, 2014
by Mirka
4 Comments

Shopping at Morrisons

WP_20140715_005You might have noticed we have recently moved, and that also means that we are still in the process of finding our way around the local area, finding where to get petrol for our car, where to get our late shopping done, and trying take-away places too. As we have moved closer to watford, I have come across Morrisons a few weeks ago, and went shopping there too. It was an OK experience, so when I was asked to review their online service, I was happy to go ahead too.

I have previously tried other brands for online grocery shopping, but I still prefer to get my shopping done in person. There is a reason behind it, I make sure the date on some products does not expire one day after getting the delivery, which happened to me before. Also, you might think I am one of the last mums not shopping with a shopping list sin my hand, but I always know what we need, and often get reminded  by seeing things on the shelves.

So how did Morrisons do? What was my experience like?

It actually came at the best time, as we had no food in the fridge after spending the weekend away with family in Belfast, and I had so many deadlines on that Monday, that I just could not spend 1.5 hrs on shopping at my usual supermarket. I was nicely surprised I was able to book the delivery for the following morning, and as it was between 7.30 and 8.30, it was just £1! I think that is as many mums would be doing the school run at that time, but luckily my mum is at home, so it wasn’t a problem for me.

I was sent a voucher code for this review, which was very easily applied after I did my shopping. First you need to register, and then just start shopping. On the first page there were the current special offers, which was very useful. It took me about 20 mins to do my shopping online, which is great. You can also save your shopping list for the next time, which can save time.

Quality/freshness

  • How would you rate the driver’s level of service? I can honestly say it could not have been any better. The driver had pleasant manners, arrived on time, and also carried all the bags into my kitchen.
  • How easy was it to sign up to the online service? Again, very easy, took just a few minutes.
  • How easy was it to find the products you were after? I found everything I needed, used the search box on top.
  • How happy were you with the freshness of the products received? That was the main thing I was interested to see, and can happily say, that all the products were fresh, and did not expire the following morning.

 

Price/value

I have found a Chicken and pesto lasagne recipe in the Morisons magazines, and will be cooking a meal for 4 for £10. What a bargain!

Checken and pesto lasagne

serves 4, make it in 40mins, freeze it

3 mixed peppers, quartered, deseeded

12M Savers lasagne sheets

400g diced chicken

500g jar red lasagne sauce

430g white lasagne sauce

3tbsp pesto

30g parmesan, grated

240g mixed leaf salad, to serve

1. Heat the grill to its highest setting and cook the peppers skin-side up for 5 minutes, until charred. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

2.Meanwhile, soak the lasagne sheets in boiling water, carefully separating sheets.

3. Place the peppers in a bowl with chicken and red lasagne sauce and stir to coat. Spoon a third of this mixture into an ovenproof dish. Drain the pasta and lay 3 sheets over the chicken layer. Spoon over a third of the white lasagne sauce then drizzle with 1 tbsp of the pesto. Repeat these layers twice more, then sprinkle over the Parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and the chicken is cooked through. Serve with mixed salad leaves.

Quality of service

I bought some steak and it was cut to my liking, we had the meat last week, and it was amazing. Even daddy realised we had meat from somewhere else, and we agreed we would be buying our meat from Morrisons from now on.

I think shopping online can save time, which is fabulous, and will be doing more often from now on. I was very pleased with my experience.