Ramadan 2020 Freebie Resources

Asalamu Alaikum !
We are motivated to make this Ramadan our best. We are hunting for Barakah, so we have compiled this ultimate freebie list of resources.

Freebie list includes free colouring books, checklists, journals, printables, tags, duas, documentaries, games etc etc.

Enjoy the downloads and spread the word – love your sister/brother what you love for yourself.

Ramadan Checklists

Ramadan Garlands and Banners

Ramadan Tags, Cards, Invites & Envelopes etc

Ramadan Plan 2020

A complete guide to a healthy Ramadan
Nutrition and Meal Planning
Nutritional Supplements
Proper easy exercise routine
And much more…

Antiviral Herbs and Plants, Free Ebook

This is a free E Book to help you understand importance of antiviral herbs and plants. Viruses are responsible for a number of human pathogeneses. Herbal medicines and purified natural products provide a rich resource for novel antiviral drug development.

This free EBook is jam packed with information that you can start using today! The information is easily understandable and filled with recipes you can use to protect yourself and your family from viral attacks.

To receive this free Ebook, please enter your email below. The book Antiviral Herbs and Plants will be emailed to you.

Coronavirus, What you need to know part 1

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP).

Important Information About COVID-19 or Coronavirus

Note: This will be updated periodically as new info becomes available

  1. If you have a runny nose and a productive cough, you likely have a cold.
  2. Pneumonia caused by COVID-19 is a dry cough without a runny nose
  3. A COVID-19 related cough/sneeze can travel up to 10 feet.
  4. On metallic surfaces, the virus survives at least 12 hours, copper 4 hours, cloth 6-12 hours, in air up to 3 hours. Washing hands thoroughly or normal wash cycle for clothing takes care of the virus.
  5. Drinking a little water every 15 minutes is very effective for all viruses. As viruses accumulate in the nasal/mouth passage, they can be washed down by the water into the stomach where gastric juices take care of them. This is an opinion, not a proven fact, but makes common sense. 
  6. The virus will last only 5-10 minutes on your hand. I suspect the time is a lot longer, that is if anti-bacterial soap or wipes (this is a virus, not bacteria!) are being used since this disrupts the natural immunity living on the skin. In my opinion, regular soap is a better option.
  7. Remember, soap works by mechanical means, scrubbing the hands for at least 20 seconds will be effective at removing the virus.
  8. Gargle with salt water or echinacea in water.
  9. I emphasize, drink a lot of water!

COVID-19 Symptoms:

  1. Starts with sore throat 3 to 4 days.
  2. 5-6 days later moves to lungs. To test your lungs: hold breath for 10 seconds. Should be effortless and without pain. (Per the UK Department of Health and Social Care. My opinion: this only works if you have no previous lung issues)
  3. With the resultant pneumonia patients: experience high fever and breathing difficulties.
  4. 80% of the infected have very little in way of symptoms. The 20% remaining tend to be the high-risk group, the elderly, and the infirm.

Added note: It is becoming increasingly clear that the virus specifically targets elderly that are frail, the infirm, and those with chronic health conditions. I advise that subgroup of our population to not travel and avoid crowds.

Updated March 14, 2020. 

Lower Body Training – Triple Flexion and Stability (post Caesarean safe)

 

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Click this image to see full video

 

 

Training agility, stability and functionality is important for joint and muscle movement. For both beginners and professionals. For both speed and strength.

And especially for rehab and recovery- which is what I am using for.

Today’s workout is two basic moves:

1. Triple flexion
15 reps x 4 sets
2. Kb overhead lunge 15×4
15 reps x 4 sets

✅ safe for post partum cesarean surgery

✅ engage stomach vacuums and kegels

✅ recovery and mobilisation for lower body

Click link to see full video

 

Healthy Habits for Baby’s First Foods

I love introducing food to my (then) 5 month old. I love seeing him smack his lips and try to grab food before it’s even in front of his mouth. Baby’s are super explorers and everything in their environment will play with their senses. Baby’s have a natural instinct to put EVERYTHING in their mouth. So hand them a cucumber or carrot (not boiled) and let them explore the taste and texture.

Too often I see mothers complaining that their child does not like food. This always comes to the problem rooting in the behaviours of the mother – NOT THE CHILD. Impatience while dealing with babies who love exploring with food is teaching our kids to not develop a love for eating. You have to have the patience to allow your child to play with food, and make a mess. This is where we build trust with them, spend precious moments and let them develop the art of feeding oneself.

Here are my rules of feeding the baby. I noticed and noted my own patterns and I think it may help you too.

  1. SHOW THEM WHAT THEY ARE EATING
    This is first and foremost. Instead of forcing food into their mouth while they are distracted, show him the spoon / bottle. Bring it close to the mouth and wait for him to open his mouth. Gently, food the food inside and let him move it around, he may even spit it out – which is ok! Tasting food is delighting to the senses. He may or may not like the taste at first. First foods are not meant to fill the belly, but rather allow the gut to start processing whole foods; and let baby learn to swallow food – which is different to have milk. Show your baby the food, make eye to eye contact, this establishes trust. 
  2. DO NOT FORCE FEED
    This is absolutely important. Do not shove a spoon of food in his mouth. How would you like that being done to you few times a day? You would hate it and end up hating food too. This is a true test of patience for the mother. No matter what the age of your baby is. Force feeding is setting up troubles for the future. Having a healthy relationship with food starts by having feelings of welcoming food into the mouth, not by having it force fed.
  3. DO NOT DISTRACT BABY WITH SCREENS OR TOYS DURING FEEDING
    I can not stress enough how important this point is. With modern times, we have many modern habits that are damaging to the development of the child’s brain and personality. Screens are unfortunately, one of them. Yes, as a mother feeding and making sure his tummy is full is the first priority. Playing video while feeding may help you finish the food in the bowl, but it is also dampening the childs senses. He is not paying attention to the food and enjoying it, rather swallowing it like a zombie. 

    It is important to understand effects of screen time on the brain, particularly during stages of dynamic brain development in early childhood. Hunger and satiation is a feeling regulated by hormones. Keeping an eye on the screen is not allowing or teaching your child to listen to his body. 

     

     

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    Scans showed changes in the white matter – parts of the brain that affect language – in kids who had the most screen time, US scientists warned.                                            Credit: SWNS:South West News Service

    Children who spent the most time on electronic devices or watching TV, were more likely to have lower expressive language, as found by lead author John Hutton, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Scientists believe screen time fails to stimulate the brain in the same way as reading books and can reduce sleep – which is essential for a child’s development.

    Dr Hutton said: “This study raises questions as to whether at least some aspects of screen-based media use in early childhood may provide sub-optimal stimulation during this rapid, formative state of brain development.”

    The researchers found kids hooked on screens had less white matter – the part of the brain that enables communication between neurons.This can impair brain organisation and the formation of myelin – a protective sheath around nerves that allows impulse to move quickly.

  4. LET THEM PLAY
    Playing with food allows for the child’s senses of exploring to develop. He is still learning where his mouth is, to aim food in the mouth and practice using proper portions. Gagging and spitting out is part of this process of learning. According to a new study out of the University of Iowa, kids who smoosh, smash and even throw their food are actually learning as they play with their meals. The study also suggests that these messy eaters may be better and faster learners in the long run. Published in the journal Developmental Science, the study looked at how a group of 72 toddlers learned to identify nonsolid objects like oatmeal, applesauce and milk. The researchers found that the children who, quite literally, got their hands dirty playing and messing with each substance tended to learn words associated with these goopy items more quickly than those who didn’t. Playing with food allows kids become less picky with food.

  5. TALK TO THE BABY
    Do you speak to you baby in full sentences? Ask questions? Smile and interact? These are very important even at the earliest age of few months. This goes hand in hand with not allowing any screens. Speak about the food, and let the baby interact with you and the food. I like to give my son with a spoon of his own to play around with. I love talking about food too. 

    Lastly, let your baby watch you eat. Yes this may be hectic but it is so worth it. Let your child see you eat, enjoy food and love eating. This is super important in helping him love food too. We love food ourselves. This majorly due to allowing ourselves to explore different foods and try new things. Your baby is not different. Let your little scientist explore the world around them. Food is such a big part of life. He should enjoy every little chance he gets. 

If You Suffer from PCOS Supplement with Inositol

One particularly significant natural method of treating PCOS is inositol, a sugar alcohol chemical compound found in fruits, beans, grains and nuts (although it is not always bioavailable in these foods if presented with phytates). In nutrition, inositol is present in the highest levels in cantaloupeand oranges.

What Is Inositol?

Inositol is a chemical compound with nine stereoisomers, which is just a scientific way of saying that it exists in nature in nine almost identical forms. It’s technically a rearranged form (“isomer”) of glucose, which means it is a natural sugar. (1) This simple carbohydrate (most accurately defined as a sugar alcohol) is quickly broken down to be used as an energy source in the body.

Inositol is used in the body a few different ways. For one, it’s essential in the process of building cell membranes. It’s also a “secondary messenger” in your central nervous system, which is one reason it’s known to increase the impact of neurotransmitters in your brain and, maybe, why it causes some mood-boosting effects in certain people. In addition, two forms of it together (myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol, in a 40:1 ratio) increase insulin sensitivity. (2)

This molecule has some pretty powerful health benefits. Researchers typically use the various forms in powdered extract (supplement) form, but there are many foods that are rich in it.

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photo credit google images

Supplement with Inositol

One particularly significant natural method of treating PCOS is inositol, a sugar alcohol chemical compound found in fruits, beans, grains and nuts (although it is not always bioavailable in these foods if presented with phytates). In nutrition, inositol is present in the highest levels in cantaloupeand oranges.

Most sources investigate inositol in supplement form, although the specifics can get a little tricky as there are two types of inositol: myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol. However, the research seems to support that inositol can greatly improve PCOS symptoms. Multiple studies have shown that supplementation may improve insulin resistance, decrease male hormones in the bloodstream, and lower blood pressure and high triglycerides. The recommended dosage for naturally treating polycystic ovarian syndrome is a 40:1 ratio of myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol, typically 2000:50 grams or 4000:100 grams. (3, 4, 5, 6)

Most notably, inositol seems to promote ovulation, which, in turn, may support fertility. In one study, only 6 percent of control group participants experienced menstrual cycles versus 86 percent in the inositol group, results that seem to be supported by follow-up research. (7)

Using inositol supplements and eating foods high in this nutrient may also help combat some of the mental risks involved with PCOS, since inositol has been found to combat these in several human studies. Examples of this include:

  • Depression (8910)
  • Panic disorder (1112)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (49)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) (13)
  • Anxiety (14)

Other that inositol, PCOS requires nutritional therapy that can help balance hormones. If you have not been considering your food intake, this may be your wake up call.

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photo credit google images

While not every natural solution will work in the same way for every woman with PCOS, there are many natural remedies for PCOS that may work effectively. Nine examples of these are to:

  1. Give your diet a makeover (with a keto or anti-inflammatory diet)
  2. Get enough rest
  3. Exercise in an appropriate way
  4. Avoid exposure to endocrine disruptors
  5. Supplement with inositol
  6. Try acupuncture
  7. Get more vitamin D
  8. Try other PCOS supplements (magnesium, zinc, calcium, omega-3s, chromium, N-acetylcysteine and folic acid)
  9. Visit a chiropractor

Need a support group? Join our women only support group Total Transformation by Marina Farook. 

Exercise for Glowing Skin

I get the most compliments on my skin right after a workout. It’s not a secret, a regular intense workout routine is a big part of my skin care regimen. You don’t have to purchase too many cosmetics for glowing young skin. You can keep tight plump skin as you age.

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Exercise Daily
Breakouts are caused by inflammation. Working out regularly lowers cortisol levels, therefore lowering inflammation in the body and preventing acne. Exercise of all types decreases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and increase endorphins, which improve mood and reduce perception of pain.

While exercising can increase cortisol, people who exercise regularly actually adapt to this. So it’s more common to break out if you’re new to exercise. Sauna has many benefits, including opening up your pores and starting your body’s natural anti-aging process. Think of it as a workout and steaming your face at the same time.

We tend to focus on the cardiovascular benefits of physical activity, and those are important. But anything that promotes healthy circulation also helps keep your skin healthy and vibrant.

Exercise – The Best Cleanser

By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells. Contrary to some claims, exercise doesn’t detoxify the skin. The job of neutralizing toxins belongs mostly to the liver. But by increasing blood flow, a bout of exercise helps flush cellular debris out of the system. You can think of it as cleansing your skin from the inside.

Less Wrinkle & More Glow

A lifetime of regular exercise slows down aging, study finds. Researchers at the University of Birmingham and King’s College London have found that staying active keeps the body young and healthy.

Exercise is now the first scientifically proven “anti-aging” medicine for humans. The muscles of healthy seniors who did six months of resistance training actually rejuvenated. Read this interesting study on this. 

A good workout will actually help your body in the production of collagen and this keeps your skin firm and supple. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. Easy way to get more collagen is to eat more red meat, fish and whole eggs. The best source is to have beef shank with bone broth.

When you get your heart pumping from aerobic exercise, your skin receives a good dose of oxygenated blood. Your skin also starts producing more of its natural oils, helping skin look healthy and naturally moisturized.

Feeling Stressed? How Your Skin, Hair And Nails Can Show It.

Pending job cuts at the office. Back-to-back final exams. A messy divorce. An unexpected surgery. What do they all have in common? In a word – stress. While everyone knows that stress can take a toll on a person physically and psychologically, it also can lead to dermatologic problems, such as acne, brittle nails or even hair loss.

When a person becomes stressed, the level of the body’s stress hormone (cortisol) rises. This in turn causes an increase in oil production, which can lead to oily skin, acne and other related skin problems. Dr. Mayoral ( dermatologist Flor A. Mayoral, MD, FAAD, clinical instructor in the departments of dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Fla.) noted that even patients with skin that is not affected by acne tend to develop temporary stress-related acne due to increased oil production. Read more of this interesting study here.

When to Workout

It’s never too late to begin a proper workout regimen. Check out this article if you need help designing your workout routine. Have you started working out to improve your skin ? What is you favorite routine? Let us know below.

From Me to We – Shaheena Chowdhury’s Birth Story

“9 o’ clock sharp,” I reminded my then-husband the night before the surgery. 

“I’ll be there well before 9,” came back his tired voice.

I put the phone away and shut my eyes. I tried hard to fall asleep, but anxiety got the better of me. I tossed and turned in the uncomfortable hospital bed all night. The padding underneath the sheets did little to soften the thin, coir mattress. The room felt warmer than normal – maybe it was just my body. My mum-in-law was fast asleep in another bed across the room, and for the first time I envied her. 

So many thoughts raced through my mind. “Why isn’t the sedative working?”

“Did I remember to take all the medications?”

“Where does the enema go – through the mouth or the butt? Is it painful?”

“I just had my meal and I’m hungry again! I had no idea my digestive system was super-efficient!”

“Will the baby take after me or his dad? Oh Allah! Make him resemble me!”

“They will probably give me an epidural, won’t they? Or, will they? Is it necessary for a C-section? I know some women give birth without the epidural. Wait now! What does an epidural do?”

“Subhanallah! They’re going to cut me open in a few hours and I’m feeling so helpless!”

“Why did I get married in the first place? Why did I have to start a family? Why didn’t I think through all of this?”

The call for fajr prayers interrupted my thoughts. I prayed 2 rakat and stopped worrying for a while. I was too exhausted to worry anymore. 

At 8 o’ clock, thin beams of sunlight fell on my face.  I made a trip to the lavatory which was surprisingly smooth considering my struggle with constipation since the time I conceived. I was assisted to a wheelchair after my parents showed up. No sign of the baby’s dad yet. 

I was wheeled to the operating suite which was brighter and cleaner than the rest of the hospital. A member of the hospital staff accompanied me to a changing room. She disrobed me and made me put on a thick cotton gown with rear flaps and a distinctive laundry scent. She wheeled me further into the far end of the suite where the operating room is located. We passed by surgeons and technicians who went about their business, oblivious to an 8-month pregnant woman with rat-tail braids sticking out of either side of her head. It was awkward for me since I wasn’t allowed to carry any extra articles of clothing with which to cover my head. 

The operating table stood in the centre of the room and was surrounded by machines of all sizes with red, yellow, and green buttons, and pipes attached. A male technician grabbed my elbow to help me ascend the steps to the operating table. I shrugged him off and turned around to scowl at the female nurse who simply stood and watched. She got the message and hurried towards me. She helped me lie on the table. Minutes later, I was pulled up by the arms and made to sit. I was held in that position while the epidural was injected. I was horrified to see that my request for a female anesthetist was ignored. 

The epidural acted instantly, giving me a piercing headache. The pain was so excruciating that I couldn’t utter a sound. My mum-in-law, who was allowed inside the room because she was a practising GP, heard my moans and mistook it for panic. She kept telling me it would be alright and then I mustered the strength to tell them what was really bothering me. The anesthetist responded promptly and adjusted the canula on my left arm. After a few seconds, the headache was history. 

A catheter relieved the pressure on my bladder as the obstetrician scraped through layers of tissue, muscle, and fat. From the operating table, I could view scalpel, scissors, tongs, sterilized gauze, gloved hands, and masked faces. A screen over my chest prevented me from seeing what went where. But, since I was awake, I could feel everything that was being done to me on the other side of the screen. 

At some point during the procedure, the inevitable happened. The obstetrician pulled out my bundle of joy! I was expecting to be shown a glimpse of the handsome little fellow, but he was rushed to the next room where a pediatrician received him with an incubator on hand. The room was filled with squeals of happiness which followed the newest member of the family. 

The obstetrician and her team stitched me up and left without a word. Suddenly, I found myself all alone in the operating room. I was lying on the table confused and clueless about the post-operative procedure. After a long while, two sari-clad ladies arrived and transferred me to the post-operative room on a mobile bed. I stayed in post-operative ‘care’ until evening with a fresh catheter and only a couple spoonfuls of sweet corn soup. 

The baby’s dad didn’t make it in time due to traffic. I relied on him for moral support. I feared the worst as I was being taken to the operating room. My child deserved another month inside me, but the abnormal position of the placenta made me bleed throughout the pregnancy and caused him fetal distress. After the third hemorrhage, it was the obstetrician’s call. I had no say in the matter.

The whole experience left me with zero energy, lots of pain, and twice the anxiety. The sight of Ibrahim’s tiny hands and feet punching the air from his cot gave me brief moments of relief and excitement. It was great to know that he survived the complicated pregnancy unharmed. Also, Allah answered my dua – baby Ibrahim was a carbon copy of his beautiful mum. Alhamdulillah!


Do you have a birth story you want to share? let us know below and we will get in touch with you.

 

Back at the Gym

9 weeks post partum and I finally ventured out to the gym with Baby Mansa. It was not easy! I was feeling super guilty and a “Bad Mom”. I judged myself super hard and it was nerve wrecking. Was I being selfish to think of myself and make Baby Mansa uncomfortable? What if he started crying and I couldn’t workout? Would it be a bother to other people to see a stroller in the gym. Yes I was thinking things I never thought before. The entire car ride to the gym both Yousuf and I was quite just thinking about how to handle going back to gym with a baby.

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Thank goodness and thank you sweet child Baby Mansa (masha Allah); half way through my workout I realised everything was OK and Baby Mansa was doing great! He was fed and didn’t get fussy. He loved going around in his stroller and seeing everything. The gym members were so excited to see us back and with a baby. I even got a change of diaper in between. I had a great 45 mins of HIIT cardio. A big sigh of relief!

It is recommended to wait 3 full months before working out, but walking is necessary for healing. Off course I am not back into hardcore lifting yet. For now, I am walking alot and doing HIIT on the elliptical. On the treadmill I am only walking.

HIIT

My Elliptical / cross trainer HIIT was the following:
1 minute on : 60 seconds of going medium paced
1 minute off : rest for 60 seconds, no movement
repeat for 20 mins.

I am not running yet. The heavy jerking from running is not safe for a recovering uterus. This is where the elliptical plays an important role during your recovery workout. Read this article to find out why ellipticals are better than treadmills. Safe and correct Exercise during Caesarean recovery is going to make sure your have proper blood flow to carry nutrients to your abdominals. Speaking of abdominals, have you started doing Abs, Core and Pelvic floor recovery exercise? If not then watch this video to understand how to measure your Diastasis recti and get started.

Stretching for Mobility

During pregnancy your body makes changes to your joint structure. (There is more water retention in your body to make these shifts.) The hormone relaxin helps soften and relax these ligaments, making the pelvis elastic, rather than rigid; allowing for expansion. Remember your extreme bone pain? Yep, this is from the bones moving apart. After pregnancy it will take the body time to go back to previous structure. With proper stretching you can being to feel normal again.

I did some basic stretches and poses. See this video so you can follow along. While stretching take it super duper slow. Understand what your body can do, there is no rush. You may feel pain in your groin, or gluteus or both – this is normal.

I am super excited to go back with Baby Mansa. Just an hour in the gym has recharged me and I feel so refreshed. I shared my raw emotions of going to the gym first time in instagram insta-story. I got some amazing advice too! Turns out all mothers get this “bad mom” feeling and it is absolutely ok. Taking care of myself ensure that I can be there for my family ( husband and baby). Here are some amazing advice I received.

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Do you have a Bad Mom story to share? Let me know below 🙂

Reading to my Baby

By now these scenes have become inevitable: A group of toddlers at the restaurant table, eyes glued at screen, volume on loud, parents oblivious that others are trying to enjoy an evening out. Another: Parent pushing stroller down the street with one hand, their other holding a phone, where their attention actually goes. The tools “connecting the world” once again keeping those in close proximity from connecting to one another.

Perhaps a new study from Rutgers University, published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, will help correct the expectable response from such parents, that “it’s the only way I can get them to quiet down.” It begins, as our greatest narratives do, by turning open the pages of a book.

According to the study, led by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School assistant professor Manual Jimenez, parents that regularly read to their toddlers are not only less harsh overall, the children are also less likely to be disruptive or hyperactive. Better kids, better adults: A win-win.

These findings are part of a long line of research on the necessity of parental interactions with their offspring. As 80 percent of brain growth occurs during the first three years of life, with an average of 700 synapses forming per second, babies that hear more from their parents learn more words by age two. By contrast, babies that are spoken to less display learning disabilities for the next six years.

As research has shown, adults that read are more intelligent and empathetic. If this skill helps make better humans, it makes sense that infants that are read to would be less anxious and more in tune with their surroundings. It’s also understandable that parents that read to their kids would be less harsh to them, given that reactive parenting involves an emotional regulation deficit.

Ok, so you’re thinking isn’t reading to a 8 week old too early? Well no. Let’s face it, reading for baby is super good but we as adults also need to work on our reading habits. Although reading children’s books may not sound interesting but the earlier we start reading to them the be easier it will be to read to them as they grow.