Practicing Safe Skin as Self-Care


*This post is sponsored by Bayer®. To make sure Bayer® products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about "self-care" - the things we can do to promote, maintain and manage our own health. As our lives get busier and busier, prioritizing self-care becomes increasingly important.

Many of us think of self-care as practicing yoga, a day at the spa or even spending quality time with friends. While these are great ways to relax, there is much more to it than that.

Practicing Safe Skin as Self-Care

The concept of self-care is about empowering individuals, families and communities to practice healthier habits, prevent diseases and cope with illness or disability to achieve optimum health. Taking better care of ourselves by utilizing the products available to us not only helps Canadians lead healthier lives, it also alleviates strain on our healthcare system. Making a commitment to practice self-care has so many benefits.

That’s why Bayer, a global health products leader, is working to educate consumers on how Better Self-care for a Better Life can make a difference in quality life, while improving healthcare sustainability. 

How do you practice self-care? 

One of the ways I practice self-care is by getting outdoors. Whether it be a trip to the park with my daughter, a weekend-long family camping trip, or even a cup of coffee or tea out on our terrace, being outdoors is my happy place and always helps clear my mind, leaving me feeling refreshed and ready to tackle what lies ahead.

Practicing Safe Skin as Self-Care

In the past decade, I have begun to put a large focus on my skin. I am what you could call a “moley kid”. I’ve always had moles, but they were something that I never really paid any attention to in the past. But, as my skin continues to change so do the number, size and shape of my many moles and freckles.

A few years back, I paid a visit to a dermatologist and was asked if I had ever had a full body scan - a look at every single mole and freckle on my body. Three appointments and eleven mole removals later, I wondered why I had never done it before. I always kept an eye on certain moles - a funky one of my back, a raised one on my chest - but it was a small one on my ankle that I honestly didn’t even know existed that raised the red flag. 

While everything worked out in my favour and it was just a scare, it was scary enough to cause me to start paying better attention to my skin. Besides routinely inspecting the moles on my body, a part of my self-care now includes the sunscreen I use. Especially with the outdoors being my happy place,  sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen is now a priority whenever I leave the house. And not just in the summer. Even in the winter, I make sure to use a facial moisturizer with SPF. 


Practicing Safe Skin as Self-Care

My family’s go-to sunscreen this summer has been Coppertone® WaterBABIES® Whipped Sunscreen (SPF 50). Yes, even mom and dad use it - specifically for the broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and the fact that it is paraben- and PABA-free. The unique whipped formula spreads easily and absorbs quickly, helping leave skin soft and smooth, and it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes!

I’m slowly starting to incorporate more self-care into my routine and the routine of my family, but as it can be just that, a change in routine, it takes time. Baby steps are key to get where you want to live a healthier, happier life. I can’t be the best for my growing family, if I’m not at my best for my self. 

Practicing Safe Skin as Self-Care

International Self-Care Day is a worldwide campaign encouraging responsible self-care. We use this day as a reminder that the benefits of self-care are life long and can be felt 24 hours a day, 7 days a wee.

In support of International Self-Care Day on July 24th, I challenge you to share your self-care practices with me! To help get you started, Bayer has created a self-care calendar with one tip for each day of the month. Starting July 23, will also be running a Buy 3 for $10 promotion through Amazon.ca on most of their brands! 

Together, we can make self-care a priority for all Canadians!

*GIVEAWAY* 

Over on To & Fro’s Instagram, I will also be giving away ten (10) $15 Amazon gift cards so that you can purchase your favourite self-care products! 

To enter, all you have to do is share how you practice self-care on THIS photo. Tag your self-care practicing pals in the photo comments for more entries.

Giveaway Rules:
  • Giveaway will run July 18 to July 25 at 11:159pm.
  • Ten (10) winners will be selected at random and contacted via Instagram messenger.
  • Winners will have 24 hours to respond with a valid email address.
  • Gift card code will be sent via email.
  • Open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec. 
  • This giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram.

So, how do you practice self-care? I’d love to hear!





*This post is sponsored by Bayer®. To make sure Bayer® products are right for you, always read and follow the label

The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

One thing I can bring to the table when it comes to desserts is a crisp. Whether it is an apple crisp in the fall or this strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe in the summer, my crisp game is on point.

In Ontario, strawberries are currently at their peak. If you are lucky enough to have one nearby, now is a great time to visit your local u-pick farm to take advantage of these delicious berries. 

Fruit picking is also a great family activity - you get some exercise from all the bending you’ll do, can teach your kids about where their food comes from and the importance of eating their fruits and veggies and you get to spend some quality time together.

The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp


Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 3 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup rolled oats

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. In large bowl, combine white sugar, 3 tbsp all purpose flour, strawberries and rhubarb and mix well. Place the mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, butter and oats until crumbly. Spread mixture evenly on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.
  4. Bake in oven for 45 minutes, or until crisp and lightly browned. 
The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Whether you enjoy eating them plain, or with other ingredients, such as rhubarb, strawberries are an excellence source of Vitamin C, potassium and fibre, and are low in calories, at approximately 28 per 1/2 cup.

Rhubarb is an underestimated fruit and if you haven’t had it before, you don’t know what you’re missing. It is very similar to celery, but treated like fruit and paired with berries, takes any dessert recipe up a knotch. Available from January to June, it is grown both in the greenhouse and outdoors. It is an excellent source of calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and potassium, and while you might not want to eat it raw due to its tartness, it is also low in calories, at around 27 calories per 1 cup diced.

The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberries and rhubarb go hand in hand, like two peas in a pod. Delish!

Have you ever made a crisp before? What is your favourite berry recipe?



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Hiking While Pregnant: Tips for Mastering the Trail & What to Pack


Hiking while pregnant can mean different things to different people, and it can also depend on many different factors. 

How far along are you? Are you second trimester and have all the energy in the world, or about to burst and afraid your feet will swell to the size of balloons? Are you leisurely hiking a park trail, or challenging yourself to an uphill climb?

Regardless of how adventurous you are or how far along you are, pregnancy shouldn’t stop you from exploring the outdoors and getting a good workout. Not to mention, getting outdoors is a great way to clear your mind and any anxieties that may be lingering as baby’s due date approaches. 

There are, however, some things to think about before lacing up your shoes. Here are a few things to consider, including recommendations for what to carry in your daypack. 


Tips for Hiking While Pregnant

Cardio exercise is one of the most important ways to stay healthy during pregnancy. For the most part, hiking while pregnant is safe. But every woman is different and every pregnancy is different too. First things is to check with your health care provider before you think about heading out on any adventures. If you're a long-time hiker, hiking is probably safe. But, if you have had a complicated pregnancy or have never hiked before, it might not be your best choice. 

Once you do get the go-ahead, plan the trail accordingly. Keep in mind that even terrain is best. Be sure to always wear appropriate footwear - good traction and support are key. Wearing the right shoes is vital to staying on your feet and preventing back pain. Until you know how your pregnant body handles the hike, start with an easy trail and go from there. 

If you are heading out of town for your hike, take note of the closest healthcare facility to where you’re going. You should prepare yourself for any possible emergencies - it’s good to have a plan in place for how you’re going to get there fast in an emergency. Be sure to hike with a buddy and where there is cell phone service. You never know.  

Don’t carry too much weight. Carrying an extra 20, 30, or 40 pounds of baby weight already can throw off your centre of gravity, putting you at an increased risk of falls. Stick to even, clearly defined trails and only bring enough supplies for the day, packed in a small daypack. Being comfortable is key. 

Tips for Hiking While Pregnant

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! While pregnant, you’re going to get overheated and dehydrated faster, so you need to drink about twice as much water on a normal day. When you go hiking, you’ll need to up that even more. Staying hydrated will help replenish all the water you lose when you sweat. It will also prevent muscle cramps. Remember, drink only bottled or filtered water. Do not get adventurous and drink from a steam or river you come across as it may make you sick.

Protect your skin. Regardless of the season, your skin is susceptible to the sun’s UV rays. This is especially true during pregnancy, when pregnancy hormones can make your skin sensitive to the sun. Follow shaded trails when possible and always apply a sunscreen with a minimum 30 SPF prior to your hike. 

Keeping your blood sugar up while you’re hiking is crucial too. As soon as you realize you’re getting hungry, have a snack. It can be trail mix or a protein bar. Anything small, healthy, and easy to eat will do.

No matter how far along you are, your bathroom trips are probably frequent. Pay the toilet a visit when you see one, even if you don’t have to go. Pack some TP in your daypack just in case nature calls at an inopportune location. Don’t forget the hand sanitizer and maybe even some baby wipes. 


Tips for Hiking While Pregnant

Stay comfortable. Pregnancy can be uncomfortable enough as it is. Wear loose fitting clothes that will wick away sweat, comfortable shoes and a large sun hat to cover your face, ears and neck. Tucking a small package of baby wipes in your daypack is also handy to help wipe the sweat from your face (and other unwanted places). 

Finally, know your limits. Be aware of over exertion - symptoms include uterine contractions, excessive perspiration and increased shortness of breath. Remember that regardless of the activity, you shouldn’t push yourself while you’re pregnant. Your body is busy growing another human - it needs energy, rest, and relaxation as much as exercise. You know your body best. Listen to your body and what it is telling you, including when you need to slow down and when you need to ‘call it a hike’. 

Tips for Hiking While Pregnant

It’s easy to let people judge what you decide to do during your pregnancy. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you’re pregnant. Including hiking. Remember to always talk to your health care provider. But, once you do get the green light, get out there and enjoy making memories hiking while pregnant! 

Photos taken on a recent day hike through Toronto's Rouge National Urban Park.

Do you have any tips for hiking while pregnant? I’d love to hear!





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Tips for Hiking while Pregnant