Health & Wellness, Parenting

Goodbye Baby Fat – Hello Bikini – How to LOSE WEIGHT post Baby


It’s every woman’s struggle after having a baby of how to effectively lose the weight.

I am no medical professional, so I speak from one mom to another, who has this daily internal struggle herself. It’s something we all struggle with, so below are some tips and tricks of how to go about it, but also what EATING PLAN I think would work best for us mom’s. An eating plan that is both practical and easy to follow with a new born in the house


  • Don’t give into guilt and shame if you are still carrying around baby fat. In reality it took 9 months to gain it, so you should give yourself that amount of time to lose it.
  • Make sure you are mentally ready to lose the weight. Don’t do it because you are being pressured, as you won’t manage to keep to it
  • NO quick fix diets. To keep the weight off, you need to eat healthy, and that means making daily good food choices for months to come.


  • Choose an eating plan that can fit into your lifestyle with a new baby in the home. No sense trying to starve yourself (especially not an option if you are breastfeeding), and no sense being stressed about cooking “special diet food”, because then you will need to make different food for your husband or other children
  • Make sure you have rid your home of things like chocolates, cakes, biscuits, sweets, chips etc. You don’t need the temptation in your home, enticing you to eat it
  • Commit to drinking more water. This is also essential for breastfeeding moms

Tips for losing weight are to:

  • Set realistic goals – 1kg – 1.5kgs a week is realistic
  • Write down what you eat – This is important as its easy to forget that extra slice of bread you had or that little piece of chocolate
  • Reward yourself for your accomplishments. This is a NON-FOOD reward. So for example when you lose 5kg, book yourself in for a foot massage to celebrate, or buy that nice new pair of shoes you wanted
  • Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast.
  • Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.

What eating plan / diet do I recommend?

For me (who has tried every eating plan I got my hands on), the most sustainable one to follow is Weight Watchers. Here is why:

  • You do not need to make any special food
  • You can still eat what your family always eats, and are your favourites
  • There are no food groups off limits, so if white bread is your weakness you can still keep eating it
  • It’s simple to follow, and you will see results within the first week


How it works:

You are advised what “points” you can consume for the day. Each food item is given a certain number of points. So for example one slice of bread might be 1 point.

You then write down what you want to eat for the day based on the number of points you are allocated. So for example if you are given 22 points for the day (based on your height and weight), you then look at the list which shows how many points each food item is allocated, and you work your meals around checking you do not go over your points for the day.

What happens if you go over the points for the day? – No problem at all. You either choose to eat less points the next day, or you decide to go for a walk. They even tell you how many points you “gain” for physical activities, which INCLUDE chores in the home, like ironing.

Because you can eat ANYTHING. You do not need to stop making your families favourite meal. Instead what it might mean is you need to eat a smaller portion of it, to stay within your points, but you can then add vegetables or salads to the meal which will be FREE points.

You can be part of a support group which meets weekly, where you can weigh in and discuss tips and tricks on how to keep within your points.

It even allows for you to eat Take Out food, by telling you how many points are in a Nando’s Burger for example.

AND the best part is, even if you are still breastfeeding, you can let them know and they can assist you to eat the healthiest options for your baby’s nourishment.


Tips for eating healthy:

  • Eat three nutritious meals per day, with small, healthy snacks in between meals as you need them.
  • Avoid overeating by never letting yourself get over-hungry.
  • Add fruits or vegetables to every meal. They are high in fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals. Slice up a banana or strawberries for your morning cereal. Add lettuce and tomato to your sandwich. Toss a salad to accompany dinner.
  • Take a close look at your portion sizes. Read the nutrition labels to check the serving sizes.
  • If you are breastfeeding, you can watch what you eat, but it is important to eat when you are hungry and to consume extra calories to allow for adequate milk production.
  • If you are at a weight that’s considered healthy for your size, your calorie intake needs to increase by 500 calories per day from your pre-pregnancy intake if you’re breastfeeding. If you are not breastfeeding, you may begin a sensible diet of healthy, nutritious foods in moderation.


Some information has been adapted from the Weight Watchers website.

For information on Weight Watchers in South Africa, check it out here


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Taryn Leigh


Spare the Rod – What does this mean for Christian Parenting?


“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me…” Psalm 23:4

One of the hot-button issues when it comes to discipline and children is, of course, spanking, and the more Christian and conservative the audience, the more hot the debate becomes. And yet there are no verses in the New Testament that support spanking, smacking, whipping, or otherwise hitting children.

In the Old Testament there are a total of five verses that have been interpreted to encourage, or even command, the use of physical punishment on children. All five of those verses are in the book of Proverbs. The word ‘proverb’ in the original Hebrew text is mashal and defined as a parable, prophetic and figurative discourse, symbolic poem, pithy maxim (i.e. a collection of wise metaphors and adages).

Of interest is that ancient Hebrew had many words for children, each denoting a specific stage of childhood and many a specific gender:

yeled or yaldah newborn boy or girl

yonek or yanak – nursling baby

olel – nursling baby who also eats food (translated ‘young child’ in Lamentations 4:4 KJV)

gamal – weaned child (around 3-4 years old)

taph – young child, one who still clings to their mother

elem or almah – firm and strong, older child

na’ar (masc.) or na’arah (fem.) – independent child, young adult child (includes older adolescents and young adults)*

The word translated ‘child’ and ‘children’ in those Old Testament rod verses is na’ar, which when literally translated, means ‘young man.’

Let’s look, also, at the words translated ‘discipline’ and ‘punish’ and ‘rod’ and others:

The word muwcar is translated ‘discipline’ and means, literally, ‘verbal instruction and teaching.’ In Hebrew culture muwcar was vernacular for ‘let us reason with one another’ implying a mutual discussion for learning purposes. And towkechah is translated ‘reprove’ or ‘rebuke’ but also means ‘reason with, convince, prove, persuade.’ Neither of these words means to physically punish in any way, shape, or form.

The word nakah is translated ‘punish’ in most English translations of the Bible, though its literal translation is ‘beat’ as in “The sun beat down on his head,” implying a constant presence; or ‘hit’ as when beating back an enemy or punishing a slave or criminal; or ‘smite or smitten’ which can mean ‘hit or trigger the conscience’ or ‘be favorably impressed, enticed, or entranced’ as in, “He was smitten with the idea of a new bicycle.”

The word shebet is translated ‘rod’ and means, literally, ‘shepherd’s crook’ and, in Hebrew culture, was a means not only of guiding and protecting sheep, but also a symbol of leadership. The markings on the head of the shebet often identified the head of a family or tribe, letting everyone know who to go to for guidance and protection. The shebet, then, denotes wisdom, leadership, and protection.

The word muwth is translated ‘die’ and has several meanings related to death including ‘to follow a path of destruction.’

The word ‘ivveleth is translated ‘foolishness’ but also means ‘inexperience, naivety, silliness.’

And, finally, the Hebrew word sane is translated ‘hate’ and yet means ‘does not love’ or ‘does not choose or show a preference for.’

When we read the five ‘rod’ verses with the literal translations of the words above, the meanings become more clear.

So Proverbs 13:24 reads:

“He who spares his rod wisdom, leadership, protection hates does not love, does not choose or show a preference for his son, but he who loves him disciplines offers verbal instruction and teaching to him promptly.”

Proverbs 22:15 reads:

Foolishness Naivety, silliness, inexperience is bound up in the heart of a child young man; the rod of correction wisdom, leadership, protection will drive it far from him.”

Proverbs 29:15 reads:

The rod Wisdom, leadership, protection and rebuke reasoning with, convincing, proving, persuading give wisdom, but a child young man left to himself brings shame to his mother.”

And, the last two ‘rod’ verses, found in Proverbs 23:12-26 read:

“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.

Do not withhold discipline verbal instruction and teaching, reasoning together from a child young man; if you punish guide, trigger his conscience, favorably impress, entice/entrance them with the rod wisdom, leadership, protection, they will not die follow a path of destruction.

Punish Guide, trigger his conscience, favorably impress, entice/entrance them with the rod wisdom, leadership, protection and save them from death following a path of destruction. 

My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path: Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Buy the truth and do not sell it—wisdom, instruction and insight as well. The father of a righteous child young man has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!

My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.”

Such a beautiful image of a father tenderly and diligently sharing his wisdom with his son, isn’t it? Clearly, applying these scriptures to small children is not in line with a literal interpretation. It actually makes more sense to apply them to the disciples, which is exactly what Jesus does with his twelve ‘sons.’

father's hand lead his child son in summer forest nature outdoor


Beyond translations and interpretations, though, and of far greater import, what seems to get lost in the spanking debate is that Jesus brought grace and mercy as his methods and message for a reason. The purpose of the law in the Old Testament was to highlight the need for a Savior because humans simply cannot live perfectly.

Jesus came to fulfill the outward requirements of the law that highlighted man’s sins and replace them with an inner heart change. He demonstrated in many ways that the law (outer governance and control through fear of punishment) was no longer to be a rigid yoke with its heavy burden of cleansing and rituals and sacrifices and punishments, but instead was to be a kingdom of the heart, of mercy not sacrifice, because the sacrifice was Himself.

Jesus stopped the people from stoning the prostitute (John 8:2-11) which was a requirement in the Old Testament. (Deuteronomy 22:21-22)

Jesus healed people and traveled on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14) which was punishable by death in the Old Testament. (Exodus 31:14-17 and Numbers 15:32-36)

Jesus consorted with ‘sinners’ and ate with them (Luke 15:1-2) despite the admonitions in Proverbs 13:20. (the same book in the Bible with the ‘rod’ scriptures)

Jesus showed again and again that if we accept him as our Savior, we are called to be “ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)

We accept that Jesus brought a new and better way, a way of the heart, “Not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:3b), but don’t seem to want to acknowledge that better way with our children. We accept God’s grace and forgiveness for ourselves, but often don’t share those gifts with, and model them for, our children. But we are our children’s first taste of God. Is it any wonder people have such a hard time understanding grace and mercy and unconditional love when they may not have been taught those things by their earthly parents and don’t exercise them with their own children?

Through Jesus’ sacrifice, he tore open the veil dividing man from God and brought a new kingdom, a kingdom of inner governance through the Holy Spirit whose fruit is “peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Nowhere does Jesus say to follow him except when it comes to our children. He doesn’t say to offer grace and mercy and forgiveness to everyone except our children. The Bible doesn’t tell us to show the fruit of the Spirit to everyone except our children.

If we truly believe that, based on five verses in the Old Testament with disputable translations and debatable interpretations, we are being disobedient to God’s commands if we don’t spank our children, then we must take that belief and walk it out fully.

In other words, if we must obey that supposed command, then we must obey all the other commands such as,,,

  • an “eye for an eye” (Exodus 21:24) and stoning adulterers (Leviticus 20:10) …but didn’t Jesus bring forgiveness?
  • we shouldn’t feed the homeless because “if a man doesn’t work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) …but aren’t we supposed to be the heart and hands of Jesus?
  • we shouldn’t give Christmas shoeboxes to prisoners’ children because “the sins of the father are visited on the children” (Exodus 20:5) …but isn’t the “kingdom of heaven made up of such as these?” (Matthew 19:14)

My point is summed up in this verse:

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10)

In other words, if you feel bound by those five verses, then you must be bound by all.

If you truly believe that those five verses have been interpreted correctly and that “spare the rod, spoil the child” (Note: There is no verse in the Bible that says ”spare the rod, spoil the child.” That phrase is actually from a satirical poem called Hudibras by Samuel Butler first published in 1662.) refers to an actual physical rod (instead of a symbol of guidance and loving correction…i.e. discipleship) and that the word used for ‘child’ refers to a toddler or small child instead of the actual linguistic translation meaning ‘young man,’ then so be it.

But do you really believe that Jesus’ New Covenant is for everyone except children? That grace, mercy, unconditional love, and forgiveness are for adults only?

The disciples made that mistake, and Jesus said to them,

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16)

Five verses with questionable interpretations versus following Jesus’ example…no contest.

To read the source of this article, click here

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Taryn Leigh


How to Discipline your Child – Punishment FREE


We want our children to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them. So the natural thought is to send them to the “time out” corner or up to their room to “think about what they’ve done.” Except they don’t. And they’re going to keep doing the same behaviors despite the punishment. So how do you know how to discipline your child?

Often, we equate the term “discipline” with punishment. But the word “discipline” comes from the Latin word “disciplina,” which means “teaching, learning.” That’s the key to correcting our kids’ behaviors – giving them the tools they need to learn a better behavior. When we discipline in a way meant only to punish and have the child “pay” for their mistake, it doesn’t help our child learn how to make the right choice next time. No one likes being ordered around – punishment can lead to power struggles, and because our kids know this poor behavior gets them attention, they’ll keep doing it.

When it comes to knowing how to discipline your child, we can focus on three key areas: giving them the positive attention they need and crave, taking time for training, and setting limits and sticking to them.

1. Fill the Attention Basket
Kids need attention, plain and simple. If we don’t keep that “attention basket” full with positive attention, kids will seek out any attention they can get – even negative attention. They’ll push our buttons with negative behaviors because to a kid, even negative attention is better that no attention at all. This doesn’t mean you have to be at your child’s side 24-7 – just taking a few minutes a day to spend one-on-one with your child, distraction-free and doing something they want to do, will reap immense rewards in their behavior.

Take 10 minutes once or twice a day with each child playing a game they’ve picked or reading their favorite book. Let the phone ring. Stick the cell phone in the closet. When you fill your children’s attention baskets positively and proactively, your kids will become more cooperative and less likely to seek out attention in negative ways. Life is busy for everyone, and finding extra time in the day may be daunting at first, but think of this as an investment in your relationship with your children and in improving their behavior. When it comes to knowing how to discipline your child, giving them what they need to avoid poor behaviors in the first place can have a great impact.

2. Take Time for Training
As you think about how to discipline your child, it’s important to remember that the word discipline is rooted in meanings of learning and teaching. The best way to discipline your child is to help her make better choices. You can role play the behaviors, using a calm voice. “I’d really like to play with that tractor when you’re done.” “I’d like a snack, please.” Switch roles and pretend you’re the child, and let your little one direct you through making better choices. Be encouraging when they do make the right choices. “I see you worked hard to clean up the playroom all on your own! That’s such a big help. I really appreciate it.” “Thank you for sharing the book with your brother. How kind!”

3. Set Limits and Stick to Them
Kids thrive when they have structure and know their boundaries. Don’t go overboard with hundreds of rules, but focus on what’s most important for your family. Be clear about the ground rules and what happens when someone breaks the rules – make sure that everyone understands the consequences ahead of time and that the discipline is related to the misbehavior. If they forget to put away their dishes after dinner, they have to load and unload the dishwasher. Cleaning their room because they didn’t do their homework isn’t related. Most importantly, be consistent. Follow through every time with the agreed-upon consequence when kids push the rules.

Overall, remember that knowing how to discipline your child is rooted in helping them learn how to make the right choice, not punishment. Be firm and give them the attention, rules and boundaries they need.

To see this full article or read more on the topic, visit the website source its taken from Here

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Taryn Leigh

Book Lovers

Amazing Reading Nooks

I am a self confessed book lover. Especially those old books, that smell stale and their pages are yellowed. For me they have character, and tell stories not just within the pages, but also of the people who’s hands have lovingly held them.

As sweet as books may be to a Book Lover like myself, it is sweeter still to have the dream space in which you can relax and read your favourite novel undisturbed.

So here are my favourite reading nooks. Some Classic, Some modern, and some even to encourage your kids to read

For the Classic Lover

This spot is old school classic, cosy and comfortable. Perfect for those winter days with a warm blanket thrown over your knees


For the adventure seeker

This is perfect for kids, but also for Adults who want to feel like they are in their own unique space up away from it all


For the Outdoor Lover

This is perfect for those who want to be inside, yet outside at the same time. Its serene and tranquil.

Reading-Nook-1-Platform-5-Architects-Mapledene    7b41cfb65e5a951b301939968bcc0325

For the Trend Setter

These are for those loving something new and trendy, yet still comfortable. Something for your friends to say WOW to when they walk into our homes

For the lover of a Secret Hide Away

These are great places of escape, where you not only escape into the pages of the book, but you also escape into your own secret hide away

For the Kids who are learning to love to read

This is for our next generation, who will cherish what we hold dear. A lovely way to encourage them to read


So go out there and make your own haven where you can put your feet up and escape into the pages of another world for a few hours. You deserve it!



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Taryn Leigh