Progression, not perfection.

These are the words I keep repeating to soothe myself. As some of you might have already known, in mid-February I started committing myself into what I hope would be a life-long commitment; fitness & nutrition. 

The first three months were incredible. I ran, I struck, I curcuit trained and I lifted weights like a beast. I was damn proud of my achievements. However, as months went by, other commitments and a recurring challenge came back; my daughter’s eczema. Big time. 

Being a parent is already challenging enough.

Being a parent with an eczema child makes it even more challenging.

Being a parent with an eczema child while trying to workout out and eat right consistently is plain, f***ing difficult.

Of course, then the classic mommy guilt trip. I feel guilty for feeling great after a training session at the gym, then come home to Aida with flaming, weepy cheeks. Sometimes, I feel guilty for being in the studio for yoga at 8am on Saturday, instead of laying in bed with her while she’s still asleep. 

And now, as her eczema is currently accompanied by fever I have no choice but to let my fitness commitment take a back seat. That doesn’t mean I don’t exercise at all. Rather, I’m reducing my personal training sessions from 3 to 2 weekly and focus more on eating healthily at the moment (which, to be honest is a challenge for this foodie). This means it’ll take me even longer to achieve my fitness goal. Honestly, a part of me isn’t exactly happy with this but well, I guess a mom’s gotta what a mom’s gotta do. After all;

-Hanna-

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Tempeh: The tried & tested

I’ve never blogged about food, have I? So congrats tempeh for being the star of the first ever food post in Mascaras & Motherhood! Tempeh (pronounced as “temp-pei”) which is widely available and beloved in Indonesia and Malaysia is a soy-based food. Here’s how the nutrition-lovers at Time describes tempeh:

Tempeh is a cake of partially cooked whole soybeans aged overnight in an incubator at a tropical temperature, explains vegan food manufacturer Tofurky on its website. During incubation, a “thick, white mat of mycelia”—a kind of fungus—branches over the tempeh, which binds the beans together. It’s then steamed and ready to eat.

In addition, the fermentation process of tempeh translates to the soy-protein of tempeh being easily digestible. In other words; tempeh is rich is probiotics, and probitics are good for the tummy.

All right, obviously I’m no nutrition expert. The reason I’m talking about tempeh here is because during my personal experience with my daughter Aida, tempeh as well as other probiotics-rich food helps in healing her eczema.Believe it or nor, eczema and digestive problem do come hand in hand. As her eczema worsened, her medication intake increased. And sooner, she had trouble every time she had to poo. Despite addressing this to her dermatologist back then, no specific solution was suggested for her constipation. Yes, I’ve tried forcing her to drink as much water as possible and yes, papayas were shoved to her mouth often. Still, she struggled and even dreaded when poo-poo time came. It breaks my heart to see her suffered doing what is supposed to be a very basic thing a human does on a daily basis.

It was after we tried something different that I learned about probiotics, prebiotics and fermented food. I might discuss the two Ps in the future but now let’s get back to tempeh. Firstly, tempeh is very cheap. It is also usually sold in any supermarkets and grocery shops. Malaysians love having their tempehs battered or deep-fried but please note that this means you won’t get the maximum of the nutrients a raw piece of tempeh cake can offer. Personally, I like tempeh both deep fried and raw. Aida on the other hand, as she was still so small when I first introduced tempeh to her, I either deep fry of grill her tempeh. My, does she loves tempeh! It’s her go to snack. It turns out, having food allergies does have a blessing; she snacks on healthy tempeh instead of highly-processed chocolates or candies.

Have you eaten tempeh before? How do you have your tempeh? Please share you thoughts in the comment section. Till then,

Mascaras&Motherhood

How to empty up your tube of moisturizer

We hate products we love go to waste, don’t we? Especially when said products are expensive. At least that is what I feel. Take a look at this Moogoo Irritable Skin Balm for example; pre-GST era it used to be RM69 a tube. That is already expensive for a barely 200ml cream, especially when used daily. However, since 6% of GST was imposed in April ’15, Moogoo ISB is now RM79. That’s exactly ten Ringgit extra. I remember how the local eczema community were feeling the pinch over this dreaded price hike on almost every possible product. Thank God for natural & much cheaper alternatives, which I might be talking about in my future posts.

Back to the topic, this eczema-friendly and soothing cream is housed in a plastic tube that can easily be cut. Just make sure to sanitize the scissors prior to cutting the tube. I usually start cutting the top part and scoop up every nook and cranny of the inside of the tube. Next, I cut off the centre of the tube so that I get both the centre and the bottom of the inside of the tube. When every milimetre of the product has been completely wiped clean, then only I toss those empty plastic pieces into a dustbin.

My next victim…..

|Eczema 101| Moogoo Cream Conditioner


The second part of my Moogoo hair care post, this time we are looking at the other half of the duo; Moogoo Cream Conditioner. Months before using this, I noticed that using shampoo alone wasn’t enough for my daughter’s hair. Soon enough, her scalp started sweating and we all know what would happen next. *sigh*

But ever since she uses both the shampoo & conditioner from Moogoo Value Pack almost daily, her hair is noticeably smoother and manageable. In addition, her hair smells yummy too! I usually don’t expect nice scents from eczema-friendly products but I’m so glad this conditioner comes with a lovely, coconut candy-like (?) scent which still lingers hours after my daughter’s bath time. Honestly, I’m not really sure how long the scent could actually stay as my girl is pretty much active, with a scalp that sweats just as soon as I sweat after I have my makeup on. Them genetics. *second sigh*

Can I have your hairstylist’s number?

Here’s the list of the ingredients I got from the website:

Ingredients:

Aqua, Cetearyl Alcohol (Plant Emulsifier), Behentrimonium Methosulfate (Canola Based Detangler), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Piroctone Olamine, Allantoin, Hydrolysed Milk Protein, Fragrant (Phthalate free).

I tried this product myself too a few times. I’d say it is as effective as any other generic hair conditioners I’ve tried. However due to economical reason, Moogoo Cream Conditioner is reserved exclusively for my daughter. My husband and I still prefer chemicals on our hair, thank you.

-Mascaras&Motherhood-

|Eczema 101| Moogoo Milk Shampoo

Moogoo shampoo & conditioner combo for RM99.00
For about a year my daughter had been using Buds Everyday Shampoo for her scalp and head. Although the shampoo did a decent job washing both her hair & my makeup brushes, I felt like her hair wasn’t at its best. Her hair occasionally tangled, and she was constantly scratching her head. I wondered if the shampoo was no longer effective as she got older & became more physically active, causing her to sweat more.

So in mid-July when we ran out of shampoo, I took this chance to try another eczema-friendly shampoo. Luckily, the pharmacy I went to had a Moogoo shampoo+conditioner promo pack, plus extra discount for members. Both products came as a pair for RM99.00 , which is a very good deal considering that the shampoo or the conditioner alone normally costs around RM55-RM65.

photogrid_1475291561127.jpg
Moogoo Milk Shampoo

I will review the conditioner in a separate post someday. For now, I’m happy to report that this shampoo is by far the best my girl has tried! The milky and creamy texture of the product lathers just fine. The fluffy, milk-scented foam keeps her entertained during her bathtime. My palms aren’t irritated at all by this product, despite using it almost every day. Yay! Fun time for girl, sting-free hands for mommy.

Below here are the list of ingredients of Milk Shampoo, which I sourced from the website. They even provide description for each and every  one of the ingredient. Please excuse the load of images, I find screenshot images easier to read for my personal reference;

Please note:

When it comes to treating eczema, there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ treatment. While this product works wonderfully for my daughter and tons of users out there, it may or may not work for you. I’m well aware how eczema can cause financial constrain, since effective natural-based products are usually expensive.

So I am stressing out here; make an informed decision before you purchase this product. If you aren’t sure whether you are willing to fork out RM55 for a full-sized product that you have never even tried, maybe you could try the samples first. Unfortunately, they don’t offer samples for Malaysian market as far as I’m concerned. Therefore what you could do is, try to ask around in local eczema support groups. Usually, there are bound to be some angels among the members who would sincerely give away second hand products to other members for free. Or to the very least, buy them for a fraction of the full prize.

Are you a Moogoo mania just like us? Let me know what you think if you like or don’t like it.

-Mascaras&Motherhood-

Triclosan: Why it’s a huge deal – Not Just Itchy Skin

Hey guys,

I just got an email from Andrea, the lady inventor of Scratch Me Not. The email shares the latest news: The FDA announced that triclosan is now banned. Gasp!

Apparently, triclosan is an ingredient usually found in antibactirial soaps and gels. I remember using a facial cleanser with triclosan as an active ingredient. How scary is that?! Smearing my face with this harsh pesticide!

Read more about it on Andrea’s blog here;

Triclosan: Why it is HUGE deal.

Hopefully this article helps us all in finding safer products for our family, while at same time not compromising the effectiveness of the products.

Keep making smart choices.

Mascaras & Motherhood-

|Eczema 101| ScratchSleeves

My little Aida’s Scratch Sleeves have arrived! Major thanks to my friend Gio  for ordering these from the UK for me.(have you checked out her brilliant blog BeautifulWithBrains?)

Mommies with eczema children may be familiar with these sleeves. For those with no clue, Scratch Sleeves are one of those anti-scratch sleeves designed to help young eczema warriors to keep scratching during bedtime less disastrous. They gonna scratch anyway, even without realizing it themselves. Many times, during Aida’s long term flare ups, she woke up in the middle of the night, face, pillows and bedsheet already covered in blood. That could happen if their fingers are left uncovered during their sleep.

I’m always a fan of ScratchMeNot (SMN) sleeves. The quality in general is superior in my opinion. However, now that Aida’s eczema isn’t as bad as it used to be, it’s time to find new anti scratch sleeves that are more affordable. SMNs are never cheap, especially with our Ringgit dropping low. So if your little ones have mild eczema or you simply want a cheaper alternative, Scratch Sleeves products is the answer.

To find out more about Scratch Sleeves and Scratch Me Not, check out their websites down here. Who knows, you might find a solution to your family’s eczema problem!