Fighting the Fight Against Tiger Stripes – Natural Ways to Reduce Stretchmarks

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War Wounds, Tiger Stripes, The Map to Motherhood, all adorably poetic terms for something, well, not so terribly adorable… Stretch Marks. And even if they are my guidemap throughout pregnancy, well, I’d rather use Google Maps, thank you very much.

 

Since the beginning of my pregnancy, I’ve had a slight paranoia, as do many women, about ending my pregnancy with a paisley striped pattern of stretch marks etched across my body. Even if this was my ‘secret handshake’ into the mom’s group, I planned on doing whatever possible to ensure that not one tiger stripe touched my skin.

 

But what can you do to avoid stretchmarks? Of course, there is no surefire method to absolutely eliminate stretch marks throughout pregnancy. As any woman will tell you, pregnancy will completely change your body in ways you didn’t think previously possible. That being said, it is possible to reduce the amount or intensity of stretchmarks throughout your pregnancy; and in the end, isn’t that what we all want?

 

Keep Your Body Hydrated

Of course, staying hydrated is incredibly important for the health and well-being of mama  and baby. Experts suggest that a person should be drinking half of their body weight in ounces of pure, filtered water each day! As important as it is, that doesn’t mean that drinking enough water is always easy (especially when you already have to use the restroom every few minutes!). I found that naturally flavoring water with fruits and herbs was a wonderful way to keep water interesting and ensure that I get my required daily amount. I especially loved adding Strawberry and Mango to my water for a sweet treat!

 

Take Your Vitamins (Or Eat Them Instead!)

Certain vitamins and nutrients can be especially helpful in reducing or avoiding stretch marks. Antioxidants, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and Omega 3s are fantastic supplements to add to your diet that may help reduce stretch marks. And while you can absolutely take those in capsule form, it is even better for your body to include them in your diet! Foods such as leafy greens, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils will naturally nourish and protect the skin and can even repair skin cell damage.

 

Get Fit!

While it does sound nice to lay around for nine months, it is very beneficial for pregnancy and delivery if you stay active. Of course, your activity levels should be based entirely on what is suggested by your doctor, but low-impact exercises such as yoga, swimming, and pilates are wonderful ways to remain flexible, fit, and help blood to circulate through the body. Beyond that, exercise can help maintain skin elasticity and weight gain, which can help to prevent stretch marks. I personally love swimming during pregnancy as I can actually feel the pressure being relieved from my joints and lower back when I’m in the water.

 
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

No matter what we do to nourish the inside of our bodies, our skin is fighting external forces constantly. Pollutants, weather, sensitivity, and allergens can affect the health of our skin and can lead to damage. Moisturizing the skin daily with natural oils can effectively alleviate or diminish stretch marks due to the fatty acids and rejuvenating minerals they contain. Some suggested oils for hydrating the skin are coconut, grape seed, emu, and cocoa butter with Vitamin E. When purchasing any of these, ensure that you are doing so from a quality source and that they are free from all preservatives, additives, and are 100% pure.

 

And so it was, one day, at about 34 weeks pregnant, that I stood in front of the mirror doing my daily routine. Lathering my tummy and back with E3 Earth’s Essential Creme  when I saw it, the faint outline of a stretch mark across my belly. I paused and pondered the little line that stretched across my side, stared at it in curiosity… I expected myself to cry out in agony and curse the skies above, maybe even cry. Instead, and unexpectedly so, I shrugged and continued on with my day. Hm, I guess stretch marks really aren’t that big of a deal after all.

~Kali

 

Kali Carter, a  mama-to-be,  loves getting lost in big books and even bigger cities.

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Easy Changes for a Healthier You!

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Do you ever find that it is difficult to take the time to exercise or watch what you eat? Unfortunately one unhealthy choice in the day can lead to one more.. and then another. While that can be discouraging, the same is true of the opposite! Small healthy choices can lead to other healthy choices in your lifestyle and make you feel better. Some small changes are so simple to add into your routine that you’ll be eagerly looking for new ones.

DRINK WATER – This is a quick and simple way to head down the road to good health. If you cut all the soda and juice from your diets (or especially energy drinks!) you are doing several good things for your body. Drinks other than water are often filled with sugar, chemicals and stimulating ingredients like caffeine. Drinking water will help to flush these toxins out of your body and keep you well hydrated. It also cuts out extra calories that you don’t need. Plus, drinking water will help your skin look clearer and feel softer. If you want some flavor try some unsweetened tea or lemon in your cup.

TAKE THE STAIRS – If you find that you don’t have the time to go to the gym try taking the stairs. You can also park your car further out in the parking lot and take those extra steps in. All around us are opportunities to walk further and exercise during our day. Every extra step you take is a simple and healthy choice.

INCLUDE RAW VEGETABLES WITH EVERY MEAL – If your diet isn’t as great as it should be start including raw vegetables with each meal you eat and as snacks. Eat them first to help you feel fuller and prevent overeating. There are many choices available to you and farmers markets are a great place to shop for seasonal produce. If you take the time once per week to package them into individual servings you will have prepared snacks for yourself that require no effort. Carrot sticks, celery, bell peppers and other crunchy vegetables store well after they have been sliced.

GET SOME EXTRA SLEEP – We are all familiar with staying up too late. Try to make your bed time fifteen minutes earlier each week until you are hitting at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Getting extra sleep will help you be more alert during the day and make healthier choices. You will also be more alert during the day if you are fully rested.

TAKE A BREAK FROM TECHNOLOGY – Take a break from sitting at your computer for long periods of time or talking on the phone. If you are starting to feel fatigue or stress get up and move around for ten minutes. The physical activity will clear your mind and ease tension in your body. It will also prevent snacking out of boredom.

Small and simple changes can lead the way to bigger ones. With each small change you accomplish add another one into your daily routine. This way nothing is overwhelming you and you can feel good knowing you are living a healthier lifestyle.

What are some simple tips you have for healthy lifestyle changes?  Tell us in the comments below.

~Jessica

Jessica Wick is one of our very own E3Live employees, she enjoys teaching her three children about organic gardening, has a horse, a goat, 2 dogs and a flock of chickens that also love E3Live!

5 Healthy Eating Tips for Summer Picnics (& a Sunflower Dip Recipe Too!)

It’s that wonderful time of year when the weather is warm and people are out enjoying nature and the company of family and friends.  It can also be a time of difficulty if you are trying to eat healthy and you are invited to picnics with tempting treats, delicious desserts, old family recipes, and fried foods.  So how can you enjoy your time with the people you love and not totally blow your healthy eating plan?  Here  are 5 easy ideas you can keep in mind for the next gathering you are invited to – share your own tips & tricks in the comments too!

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