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How to Treat Your Mother Like a Queen This Mother’s Day

How to Treat Your Mother Like a Queen This Mother’s Day

Are you stuck on what to do for your mum this Mother’s Day? Here are 10 ideas that might serve to inspire you.

1. Take On Her Work Without Being Asked

Chances are that unless you’re a mother, you really don’t know just how much your mom does on a daily basis. Many women juggle family lives and careers, while also being active in their community and their kids’ social lives, and caring for the home.

This Mother’s Day, consider being really aware of the goings-on in your mom’s home and take the initiative to take care of things that ordinarily fall on her plate. Do dishes, take out garbage, do laundry, weed the garden—whatever you can do so she doesn’t have to will undoubtedly be appreciated, and if you can do that for the entire weekend instead of just one day, even better.

2. Find Out What Would Make Her Happy

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    We all have different ideas about what makes a gift or experience great, but we may not all be on the same page. If you’re an outdoorsy type, you may think that getting your mother a gift certificate for white water rafting is the coolest idea ever, but if her favourite activities are crocheting and getting together with her book club, she might not appreciate such a gift as much as you think she will.

    Try to find out what she would really like for this holiday without asking her directly. You can ask other family members if she has mentioned any particular interests, such as a massage/pedicure combo, or a wine tasting event she’s eager to try out, so you’re sure to give her something she’ll truly appreciate. It could well be that the best gift she could receive is a day to herself, without any responsibilities or demands on her time.

    3. Start a New Tradition

    If you don’t yet have a tradition for celebrating Mother’s Day, start a new one. How about taking a family photo and vowing to take that same photo every year? Or having a glorious all-day picnic in a park nearby? Get together as a family and determine (with her input) what would be a lovely tradition to start, and make it happen.

    4. Give Her Your Time

    Time flies really quickly, and we often don’t get around to doing what we’d like for/with those we care about. Let your mother know that you’d like to spend Mother’s Day with her, doing something that she’d love to do, and then make it happen. She might be an adventurous sort and you two can go to an amusement park and stuff yourselves with funnel cake and ice cream, or she might like to have dinner somewhere special. Either way, be sure to keep your phone tucked away and devote all your time and attention to the amazing lady you’re with.

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    5. Write a Letter

    Handwritten Letter

      No, don’t just pick up a card that has a mildly-applicable, saccharine sentiment in it and sign your name below words someone else came up with. This is an opportunity to write a heartfelt letter to your mother in which you tell her all the things you appreciate about her, whether it’s thanking her for everything she’s done for you, telling her how much you admire her for various reasons, or even just that you love her and that you’re proud to be her kid.

      It’s best to write a letter like this by hand, even if your penmanship is less than impressive; typing is easy, but writing something out takes time and effort, which is always appreciated. Also important is sincerity: you may have had a truly crap-tastic childhood, and it could very well be that you and your mother have a strained relationship, but chances are that you have one or two really great memories that you can draw upon for writing inspiration. Remember that mothers won’t be around forever, so it’s important to let them know you care while you still have the chance to do so. You never know—a kind letter of appreciation might even improve your relationship.

      6. Let Her Choose

      If your mother has a particular fondness for something that you’re unfamiliar with, then give her carte blanche to decide what she’d like to get. You might love vanilla custard bath bombs, but that doesn’t mean that she does, and the last thing you want to do is give your mother something she’ll have to pretend to like, and then hide in the cupboard for re-gifting when you’re not around. You might be surprised at the items she’d choose, but those can influence your gifts on special occasions during the rest of the year.

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      *Bonus tip: If the item/experience she chooses is something you’d enjoy as well, offer to participate in it with her; she might appreciate your company, but don’t take it personally if she’d prefer to do it solo.

      7. Make Something

      Chances are that you’re good at something, so why not take the opportunity to make something special for your mum? If you’re a fabulous cook, put together a sumptuous meal that she’ll never forget. Are you an artist or designer? Put those talents to good use! Hell, if your only talent is a crazy gift for research, start a family tree and let her know that you’d be happy to trace your ancestry together.

      8. Create a Garden

      Garden

        If your mother’s home has any outdoor space, transform it into a lush, gorgeous garden that she can enjoy and retreat to. If she has a large, unused space on her property, get her input on what she’d like done with the place and then either hop to it, or hire some landscapers to do it for you.

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        If the only outdoor area your mother has to work with is a small patio, that’s okay too! A couple of potted lilacs or climbing wisteria can flank either side with colour and scent, and you can use window-boxes along the length of the railing with all manner of flowers and herbs. Add in a little patio set for 2 and some hanging lanters, and voila: a mini paradise just for her.

        9. Make a Donation in Her Name

        Everyone has a cause that they feel strongly about, and your mom might really appreciate a donation made in her name to a charity she supports. If you and your mother have opposing beliefs and you wouldn’t feel comfortable supporting one particular group, then try to find one that you can both agree on, like human rights/child protection groups or similar.

        10. Team Up for Lavish Pampering

        If you feel like splurging a little and would like to do something spectacular for your mother this year, consider teaming up with other family members for a more extravagant gift. This could be anything from a weekend retreat at a spa where she can have massages, pedicures, and uninterrupted sleep, to front-row tickets for a performance she’s dying to see. Pooling resources means that no individual breaks the bank to make mum happy, but she’ll get to experience something gorgeous and remember all of you for having made that possible.

        When deciding what to do for your mother this year, remember that some of the greatest gifts have nothing to do with “stuff”, but instead consist of experiences that bring joy, peace, and lasting memories.

        More by this author

        Catherine Winter

        Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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        Last Updated on November 15, 2019

        Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

        Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

        Wouldn’t you like to be able to eat twice as much as you do now without gaining weight? If so, I have good news for you because this is possible when you learn how to increase metabolism.

        How Much Do You Know About Metabolism?

        Before we get to the meat, let me say that metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.[1] These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning, however, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn.

        The metabolic rate is a rough estimate of how much energy your body needs to simply stay alive and perform all its biochemical reactions. These reactions require energy, aka burn calories.

        Imagine that your brain alone consumes nearly 20% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure at rest),[2] your digestion and the detoxifying system come second, repairing tissues third and so on.

        Staying alive is expensive for your body and its two main currencies are fats and sugars.

        When I am talking about improving your metabolic rate (metabolism), I mean improving the amount of energy, your body requires to (pretty much) lay down in bed and do nothing for 24 hours.

        Extra physical activity, extra thinking or fighting illness are things that require a lot of energy (burn a lot of calories) but they don’t really increase metabolism… actually they can decrease it.

        Can You Naturally Change the Speed of Your Basal Metabolism?

        The answer to this question is yes and you can also achieve an increase in metabolism and a drop in body fat by eating more.

        Shocked? Well, I was too.

        The way I came across this phenomenon is quite funny. Over my 10 years as a coach, I helped many busy professionals to naturally increase their metabolism by getting them leaner, fitter and stronger but, at the beginning of my career, I actually had no idea whether they were losing weight because of an increase in metabolism or because we created a calorie deficit with diet and exercise.

        When I was training my clients regularly, they would lose weight. Every time I would take a few weeks of vacation, I would come back to London and find out that most of them gained back a generous amount of weight despite the fact that they were following their diet and they swapped our weight training sessions with cardio.

        On the contrary, when they were going on vacation, they would do zero exercises and binge like there was no tomorrow but come back either lighter or weighing the same (but looking more muscular).

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        Observing this phenomenon happening over and over again, got me curious about the mechanics of our metabolism and the ways to hack it.

        Was it really possible that by relaxing and eating more food, someone could actually maintain his/her current weight or even be losing fat?

        Driven by the desire to answer this question, I spent a good amount of years researching and testing different food strategies until I finally cracked the code to an improved metabolism that allows you to eat like a king and look like a Greek God.

        Does Eating More Increase Metabolism?

        Before I explain why eating more increases your metabolism, let me dig into something that I see people doing much more often: “eating less and moving more.”

        It is quite common to see people embarking their yearly weight loss journey (usually after Christmas or Easter) by following very restrictive diets and bombarding their body with several hours of exercise per day.

        Despite the short-term effectiveness of this approach, in the long run, if the goal is to increase metabolism and lose a lot of fat over an extended period of time, this simply won’t work.

        As I have mentioned before, eating fewer calories and exercising more are energy-consuming activities for your body. In the first case, your body needs to use its own energy reserves to top up the missing energy it needs to fully function; and in the second, it takes your body extra energy to contract your muscles.

        In both cases, your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure at rest) doesn’t vary much; therefore your metabolism stays unchanged.[3]

        A different scenario happens when you eat less and move more for an extended period of time (weeks or months). In that case, your metabolism will slow down because your body is receiving a “we have little access to food and we need to run away from threats” signal.

        Your metabolism is like your bank account.

        To understand this concept, let’s imagine that you have $4,000 coming into your bank account each and every month. The money you spend on housing, transport, food and leisure are calibrated according to this monthly income.

        Now, imagine that a rich uncle starts to send you $1,000 each day. What would you do? Probably, you would save that money for the first two or three days but, when you notice that $1,000 keep on coming every single day, you would likely start to spend more right?

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        What if, instead of a rich uncle sending you money, a poor uncle needed your financial help to pay for the treatments of his illness? You would probably try your best to adjust your spending according to your old $4,000 monthly budget.

        That’s exactly how your body reasons:

        More Resources Coming in = More Energy Released (Improved Metabolism)

        Fewer Resources Coming in = Less Energy Released (Decreased Metabolism)

        Note that activities like weight training[4] and high-intensity interval training (HIIT),[5] when combined with an increase in nutrient-rich foods, will also improve your metabolism.

        For this reason, today, when I coach a new client, I always start by increasing their daily food intake and their physical activities. Usually, people are quite confused because they come to me to lose weight and I tell them to eat more but, without fail, the next weekly weight-check shows a lower number.

        Be aware that not all foods are equal and only certain foods have the power to increase metabolism to a noticeable extent.

        Foods That Increase Metabolism

        Doubling up on Snickers bars won’t improve your metabolism and you know that. What you may not know is that certain foods that are marked as “healthy” doesn’t help you with increasing your metabolism. They also make you gain weight.

        Before giving you a list of foods to eat or avoid, let me explain a simple principle of human biochemistry.

        Your body uses energy from three (or four) main sources:

        • Sugars: whether you eat a Snickers bar or a banana, the carbohydrates contained in both get absorbed in the gut and become blood glucose (the basic form of sugar our body utilizes as a source of energy).[6]
          When blood glucose is present in the bloodstream (elevated levels), the body always uses it as its primary source of energy. When blood glucose levels drop (this phenomenon happens when you’re using these sugars to fuel a physical activity or when your pancreas produced a spike of insulin and stores that glucose into fat and muscles), your body starts to release fatty acids into the bloodstream to use as a source of energy.
        • Fatty acids: either from your own fat cells (adipocytes) or from whatever fat-containing foods you ate in the past 2-3 hours. Fatty acids are a slower and more consistent form of energy than sugars that your body can utilise.
        • Amino acids: Amino acids are the broken-down form of proteins. Proteins cannot be used by the body as a source of energy, not even in their broken-down form. Your body can transform amino acids into glucose with a process called gluconeogenesis.[7] This is a very inefficient process where a decent amount of energy gets wasted (and that’s a good thing for us but I’ll get to that later).
        • Ketones: when you don’t feed your body any source of carbs (or proteins in excess), your liver produces an alternative source of energy called Ketones. It can replace the need for glucose (most of it at least).[8]

        Now that you know the four energy sources the body can use to fuel its metabolism, let’s get to the meat (quite literally).

        To make this simple for you, I am going to divide foods into three categories:

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        1. Red Flags – Avoid the red foods because they slow your metabolism. They are usually extremely low in micronutrients and high in antinutrients (agents that are highly toxic). They are highly processed or spike your insulin levels (therefore stopping your fat burning process).
        2. Orange Foods – Limit your consumption of orange foods. The orange foods on the list are suboptimal choices but they don’t have a negative impact on your metabolism when consumed in moderation. In fact, they contain a decent amount of micronutrients and, if eaten in small amounts, they shouldn’t stop your fat burning process.
        3. Green Foods – These are foods to consume most. Green foods will improve your metabolism and should be the main bulk of your diet.

        Next, I’ll get into details exactly what foods to eat and avoid:

        Sugars and Carbs

        Sugars do not directly improve metabolism because they stop the process of fat utilisation. There is an exception to this rule though. When you eat a diet extremely low in carbohydrates and sugars for an extended period of time (two to six days onwards), introducing carbohydrates and sugars can actually improve metabolism quite a bit.

        Unfortunately, for most of us that love eating bread, pasta, fruit and yoghurt, unless we were on a low-carb diet for the past few days, these foods are not an optimal choice.

        Sugars like fructose (found in fruit or commercial sugar) actually decrease metabolism and should be limited. Heavily processed sugars and carbohydrates should be also limited. Here is the colour list of sugars and carbs that affect metabolism:

        Red Flag Sugary Foods You Should Avoid:
        • Dried fruit
        • Commercial and packaged corn
        • High fructose corn syrup
        • All sorts of candies and lookalike
        • Packaged fruit juices and purees
        • Sugary dairy products like flavoured yoghurt, condensed milk etc
        Orange Sugary Foods You Should Limit:
        • Bread and flour-based products
        • Milk and also vegan milk alternatives that are sweetened
        • Most fruit (exceptions are in the green list below)
        • Potatoes and potato starch products
        • Oatmeals and other grains
        Green Sugary and Carb-Containing Foods That Improve Metabolism
        • All berries except strawberries
        • Tubers like squash, carrots, parsnips etc
        • Sweet potatoes
        • White rice
        • All green vegetables

        Fats

        Fatty acids and fats, in general, can improve or decrease metabolism depending on their composition.

        Red Flag Fatty Foods You Should Avoid:
        • Margarine and hydrogenated fat
        • Lard
        • Gmo oils
        • Most vegetable oils from seeds and peanut oil
        Orange Fatty Foods You Should Limit:
        • Nuts
        • Meat fat
        • Nut oils (macadamia, almond, cashew etc..)
        • Seeds
        Green Fatty Foods You Should Eat Daily
        • Extra virgin olive oil (non-heated)
        • Avocado
        • Coconut oil
        • Butter (organic)
        • Egg yolks (free-range)
        • Bone marrow

        The fatty foods in the green section tend to be very effective in increasing metabolism, especially in the absence of carbohydrates because they stimulate the production of ketones (I’ll talk about this later).

        Bear in mind that 1 gram of fat has 2.5 times the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates; therefore “eating more fats” to increase metabolism should be done very gradually to avoid weight gain.

        Proteins

        Eating food not only sends regulatory signals to your brain about abundance vs scarcity of resources, but it can also increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).[9] It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.

        Protein causes the largest rise in TEF.[10] It increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats

        Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating, in fact, a study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.[11]

        Also, proteins help preserve muscle mass.[12] The more muscle mass we have, the higher our basal metabolism is.

        For these reasons, the first nutritional advice I usually give to clients is to reduce sugars and increase proteins. This quick swap is often enough to kickstart their metabolism and commence the fat burning process.

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        Red Protein Sources That Should Be Avoided
        • Cheap whey proteins
        • Soy proteins
        • GMO meat
        • GMO eggs
        • Packaged meat
        Orange Protein Source to Be Limited
        • Canned tuna
        • Canned fish
        • Canned meat
        • Gluten-rich products like Seitan
        • Farmed fish
        Green Protein Sources to Have Daily
        • Free-range meat
        • Free-range eggs
        • Wild meat and fish
        • Whey protein isolate
        • Collagen and beef protein hydrolyzed

        Note that this is a general categorisation of the foods that, when added to your diet, have the power to increase or decrease metabolism. There are some specific foods and supplements worth mentioning because they have been proven to improve metabolism by increasing thyroid output or resting heart rate, they are as follows.

        Other Foods and Supplements

        Cold water

        Drinking water may temporarily speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 litres) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.[13]

        This is not a surprise since our body is made up mainly by water and proper hydration is key to a fast metabolism. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.

        MCT Oils or Powders

        Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT have been shown to improve metabolism by stimulating Ketone production.[14] Coconut oil contains MCT fats and, when used as a replacement for cooking oil can help you improve metabolism.

        You can buy the concentrated version of MCT oils and eat it separately to further enhance this effect. Either way, coconut oil or pure MCT oil can be a great addition to your diet if you’re following a ketogenic or intermittent fasting protocol.

        Caffeine

        Caffeine and coffee have been shown to improve metabolism by improving heart rate and, therefore improving calorie consumption.[15]

        Green Tea

        Green tea

        is thought to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and to reduce fat production and absorption.[16]

        Bottom Line

        In this article, I just covered the basics of food and metabolism but, there are many other non-food related things you can do to improve your metabolism, like improving your sleep quality and following certain exercise routines.

        For now, just know that making small and gradual changes to your diet can increase your metabolism and improve your general health. Starting from changing one habit at a time is always the best strategy to accomplish any goal.

        Once you improve your diet, your hydration and your supplementation you can think about testing more advanced “bio-hacks” or techniques like ice baths and fasted HIIT training.

        And remember, having a higher metabolism doesn’t only help you lose weight and keep it off but it also give you more energy and a feeling of vibrancy. If you give it time, it really is worth the investment.

        Featured photo credit: Fitsum Admasu via unsplash.com

        Reference

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