{Guest Post} From mother nature to mum … with love

What a glorious day this Sunday in South Africa and other parts of the world – it’s the beautiful celebration of Mother’s Day. I have invited the wonderful Judy Sebastien to share this post with us on ways to pamper mum on Mother’s Day. She is a food safety consultant based in Dubai and you can follow her food trails on Food She Blogged.

A mother’s happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories.

– Honoré de Balzac

It takes more than birth to become a mother and above all, it takes courage.

The origins of Mother’s Day are varied depending on the country or the culture. However the origins of celebrating the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day dates back to the early 1900’s owing to the ceaseless efforts of Anna Jarvis. Her notion of supporting mothers and celebrating them for being an integral part of a child’s life slowly grew into a movement, until it was recognized as an official holiday, shortly after the demise of her mother Ann Reaves Jarvis. In a paradoxical turn of events, Anna spent her last years (and life’s savings) trying to remove the holiday from the official calendar as her sentiments were hurt by the commercial wave that took over via bakeries, card companies, florists and much more.

Having said that, I do not see the harm in making a mother feel a little extra special for all that she’s done for her family, and the best part is this special day of celebrating mum/ ma / mother / alias-of-your-choice doesn’t have to necessarily fall on the second Sunday of May every time.

Here are a few tips to make the woman that you love, who also happens to be the one who loved you first, feel like a queen using the gifts of the earth. These tips have been passed down to me from mothers and their mothers. Rest assured, they have been tried, tested and have shown remarkable results, through consistent use.

1. Fix a healthy snack
Multi-tasking is an add-on feature that women are built with and there’s no denying that. However, it’s easy for a mother to get worn out and sometimes forget about taking care of herself when over 90 percent of her mind is focussed on taking care of her family first. Give her a good energy boost by adding these simple ingredients to her snack box or even a simple dish like a salad – walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazel nuts, dry peas, brazil nuts or even cashews. The list is long and the choice would depend on her lifestyle and existing dietary requirements though the benefits are indeed many.

2. Pamper her with coffee and chocolate in a different way

Coffee & Chocolate body scrub

Coffee & Chocolate body scrub

This no fuss and beautifully simple body scrub will make any mom feel like she’s just stepped out of the spa. Besides, not many women can turn down a good helping of coffee or chocolate.

Ingredients:
1 cup ground coffee
½ cup organic cacao
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup sea salt
¼ cup almond oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

1. Mix all the ingredients together and adjust the amounts of dry ingredients and oil if the consistency isn’t like a paste. This mixture will last for at least up to three weeks in the fridge, provided it’s stored in an airtight container.

2. Apply on the skin before a shower and rub with a circular motion. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes before washing it off so that the skin absorbs the beneficial oils.

3. Treat her to a pick-me-up smoothie after a long day

Smoothie

While juicing is gaining popularity, healthy smoothies too are on the rise – and they are here to stay. Mothers all around the world are carefully planning our intakes of the essentials from the food pyramid and it’s time that we returned the favour through something healthy as well.

A good smoothie would include varieties of berries, a few nuts and fruits and if you’re not too keen on adding milk, then you could use an alternative like almond milk. I recommend including strawberries, blueberries, prunes, sapodillas, bananas, mulberries, honey with a dash of nutmeg.

There are various recipes out there and the one that you choose to go with, would depend a lot on your mother’s current diet plan.

4. Introduce her to the archives of Ayurveda

Skin care - turmeric

Before modern medicine, there was Ayurveda and this branch of holistic healing heavily depends on the bounties of the earth. The blend of ingredients below was introduced to me by my mother and my grandmother had introduced this to her. Treat your mother to a date with youthful looking skin.
Ingredients:
1 cup ground turmeric
½ cup red sandalwood
1 cup white sandalwood
1 cup chickpeas flour
½ cup rose water

Directions:

1. Mix the ingredients until you’re left with a fine paste (not a runny one) and apply a layer on your skin.

2. Allow it to dry and wash it off using lukewarm water.
Note: Turmeric tends to leave a stubborn stain so be careful during the application. In case it’s hard to find or make rose water (using real rose petals and not flavouring), you could use tomato juice instead.

5. Help her feel rejuvenated using gifts from the ocean too

Seaweed face mask

Seaweed comes with many benefits be it ingested or applied topically. Combine this with the soothing aloe gel and avocado, and you’ve got yourself a clean and soulful face mask.

Ingredients:
½ cup ground dried seaweed
½ cup aloe gel
1 cup avocado
½ cup yogurt
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Rose water (optional)

Directions:

1. Blend the ingredients (except the rose water) until you’ve got an easy-to-apply paste and ensure that you avoid the eyes during application. 

2. Leave it on until it has dried and wash the mask using lukewarm water.

3. Pat face dry and dab on some rose water like you would a toner – rose water serves as a fantastic toner.
6. Leave a shine on mama’s crown

Hair mask

Many women consider their hair to be their crowning glory. The styling options are many and some of them tend to leave battle scars such as dry, brittle and dull hair. It’s not easy for a multitasking mother to pamper her hair every now and then – why don’t you lend her a helping hand and fix her a good hair mask?

Ingredients:
¼ cup green tea powder
¼ cup garlic juice
½ cup coconut oil
½ olive oil
½ cup pineapple juice

Directions:

1. Mix the ingredients and heat them gently, without causing it to boil.

2. Strain the mixture and store it in a suitable container.

3. Apply generously to different sections of the hair and leave it on for at least 15 minutes before washing it off.

7. Give her a signature ‘good night’.

The last person to fall asleep in a busy household is usually a mother, even if she’s lying in bed. Her mind is continuously racing with thoughts and it’s already got the menu for the weekend planned out even though it’s probably only Tuesday.

Let’s help the woman you love get a good night’s sleep, shall we?

Ingredients:
1 cup almond milk
a pinch of saffron
1 tablespoon of cane sugar or honey

Directions:

1. Add a pinch of saffron along with the cane sugar (or honey) to warm almond milk and serve.

2. Don’t forget to hug mom when you wish her good night.

And this concludes some of the wonderful ways you can use the gifts of nature to help your mother feel extra special. Do leave a comment with ideas that you’d like to share. If you’ve tried some of the blends mentioned above, it would be great to hear about your experience as well.

Note: In case you’re trying any of the ingredients mentioned above for the first time, apply a very small amount on your inner arm and wait for a few minutes to see if there’s any allergic response to the substance(s).

Here’s wishing all the mothers across the world – new ones, veterans and soon to be mums as well a delightfully wonderful Mother’s Day!

Comestible regards,
Judy Sebastian (@foodsheblogged)

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