Friday, May 11, 2018

A Few of My Favorite Things!

I LOVE my Complete Protein Powder!!  It's low glycemic and packed with phytonutrients, prebiotics, and all of my essential amino acids.  But I do get tired of mixing it with various nut milks or making smoothies.  I have found a new breakfast idea I absolutely love to use it in!!  I've created a simple breakfast pudding that's a little decadent and very delicious.

I have found a delicious yogurt alternative called Cashewgurt,  I'm sure you can guess by the name that it's made out of cashews.  I try to steer clear of dairy due to its inflammatory effects on the body.  I mix a half a cup of Cashewgurt, one scoop of chocolate Complete, and two tablespoons of Chia seeds.  It's best to mix it a little in advance to give the Chia seeds a little time to gel.  Once the mixture has thickened top with your favorite fruit and enjoy!  

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Comparison Monster

I'm reading the most amazing book right now, Why Her by Nicki Koziarz!  The book officially comes out on March 6.  So you all need to pick up then unless you want to take part in the amazing pre-order contest and freebies, check it out here!  Why Her deals with comparison, which is definitely on my top 5 list of vices.  I compare my home, my career (or lack thereof), my husband, my kids, my parenting ability, my post-baby body...I could go on forever.  It's a major issue in my life!  I even listed it on the card I turned in at church on the first Sunday of the "Live Free" series.  As I read I got to thinking, comparison as a mother is a major issue in my life.  If I can be gut-wrenchingly honest, I have a hard time being happy for the accomplishments of other mamas and their kids.  It doesn't seem like I'm measuring up or my kids are measuring up.  I know, it's a crappy way to think!  Then as I sat in Bible Study one morning, this thought hit me...

Let's get one thing straight!  You are uniquely YOU!  God fearfully and wonderfully knit you together on purpose.  We all have a specific job in God's kingdom assigned just to us.  No one before or no one after will have this job.  God gave you your kids because you are the best AND only mom for the job.  Crazy right!!  I know God is All-powerful and All-knowing but there are days I've questioned His judgment on that one.  Can I get an Amen!!  Motherhood is one job I love more than anything and hate all at the same time.  I am blessed to the mom God chose for my kids, you are too.  I am doing the best job I can and instead of focusing on the comparison monster, I am going to focus on being the best mom I can be.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Holiday Hangover

Ask my family, I LOVE Christmas.  I am one of those people that pull out their Christmas decorations and blast Christmas music on November 1.  I love the lights, the warmth, the family time, the music, the movies, the giving, and the gifts.  Unfortunately, this special, joyous time of year comes and goes too quickly.  Here I sit, New Years has come and gone and I'm faced with the bleak winter days ahead.  2018 will bring joy and love, but I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around the end of the Holidays.  It's hard going back to reality after weeks of fun.  I'm going to quiet myself for a bit and enjoy time with my family to keep the spirit of Christmas a bit longer.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Let's Talk Resolutions

New Year's is just hours away and I'm sure like me, many of you are thinking about your New Year's Resolutions.  Those wonderful goals we set for ourselves at the start of a fresh year only to break them in the first week.  Let's get real, we have good intentions, but changing habits takes a lot of hard work.

We all want to quit a bad habit, eat a little healthier, be a little thinner, and workout a little bit more.  These are all worthy goals, but let's break it down into more "bite-sized" pieces.  There are thousands of diet plans, books, articles, websites, you name it out there.  That's all well and good, there is a lot of good health advice out in cyberspace, but how can you make it work for you?  Start small.  Yes, losing 30 pounds in 2018 or working out 7 days a week are incredible goals, but they can become a little overwhelming.  Weight loss doesn't happen overnight and if it does there is a huge chance you'll gain it all back as quickly as you lost it.  Getting into a fitness routine is incredible, but what happens when you can't work out for various reasons.  Both instances may cause you to give up because you're having trouble sticking to your goal.  I can't let you how many diets I've started over the years that once I had a slip-up, I gave up.

Here are a few simple changes we can all make to help us achieve our 2018 resolutions.

Replace soda with water.  I know, duh! Especially, with the drier winter air, we need extra fluids.   I've switched my family from sugary soda to flavored sparkling water.  Zero calories, zero sugar, and many now have zero sodium it's kind of a no-brainer.  You can find a multitude of amazing flavors too.  Yes, they do lack the sugary sweetness of soda, but it's a great way to hydrate and cut calories.  Find an awesome water bottle (truly this helps) and add flavor to you water.  Check out the graphic below for some fun ways to spice things up.

Stop counting calories.  I hate keeping track of my food!  I can do it for a meal and then I forget all about it.  Instead, eat when you're hungry, but chose whole foods.  Keep your fridge stocked with fresh fruits and veggies.  Yes, eat fruit!  It may have sugar in it, but it's a natural sugar beneficial for our health.  Have you ever seen an overweight gorilla?  I know I haven't and they just eat fruit!  Need a carb snack try air-popped popcorn or roasted nuts.  You can easily pop popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag in the microwave.  Top it with olive, avocado, or coconut oil and your favorite spices.  Craving a sweet treat, EAT IT!  This will prevent you from overeating other junk food to try and curb your craving.

Think outside the box when it comes to fitness.  I have a lofty goal of working out 6 days a week. Some weeks I do, some weeks it doesn't happen.  Instead of getting down about my lack of motivation I've started finding creative ways to stay in shape.  Complete your to-do list while burning calories.  I like to add a lunge as I vacuum for an added boost.  If you're able to, take the stairs at work.  Climbing stairs builds leg muscles, improves cardiovascular health, and burns calories.  Get outside and walk your dog, play with your kids, have a dance party in your living room.  Anything to move your body can improve your health!

We've got a fresh year right around the corner.  Small changes can lead to a lifetime of good health.  Are you ready?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Gut Health-Simplified

The more I learn about health and nutrition, the more I read about the importance of keeping your gut healthy.  I hadn't realized that a multitude of health issues develop in our guts.  In many circles, it's known as our second brain.  Fun fact; 90% of our serotonin is produced in our intestines.  If you didn't already know serotonin is a hormone that affects our moods.  That alone for me is a huge reason to keep my intestines happy!

I'm not sure if it's Holiday stress or indulging a bit at Holiday parties, but my gut has NOT been happy lately.  TMI alert, but I've been very gassy and bloated.  Trying to return to my usual clean gluten/dairy free diet filled with fruits and veggies didn't help. I added my favorite probiotic to my diet, with no results.  Nothing seemed to help and I was miserable.

Recently, a friend told me about a book called Medical Medium by Anthony William.  It's an interesting look at the cause of many common health problems and how to overcome them.  I finally got to the chapter on gut health, when a light bulb went on.  It made so much sense!  The stress in my life had lowered the production of hydrochloric acid in my stomach hindering digestion.  That was causing all of the intestinal discomfort, my food wasn't digesting properly causing it to basically rot in my intestines.  Interestingly enough you can improve the hydrochloric acid in your stomach with something many of us have in our cupboards; apple cider vinegar (ACV).  My favorite ACV is Bragg's, I've been using it for years for various things, but was amazed to learn it could improve my gut health.  For a week now I've been drinking 2 teaspoons of ACV in 2-3 ounces of water during mealtime.  If I was heading out to a party, I'd drink it before I left.  My gas is gone, my bloating is gone, I don't have to eat white rice for every meal.  I feel amazing!!  I'm not saying this little concoction is the cure-all for your intestinal issues, but it's worth adding to your repertoire to keep your gut a little happier.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Just Be Still

Today I sat still!  For those of you who know me, sitting still is torture.   I need to be doing,  ALL THE TIME!  The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and my body is telling me it's time to rest and regroup.  So this morning, I decided to sit down for my quiet Bible, devotion time after the family left for work and school.  I poured myself some coffee with yummy almond nog, put on the Christmas tunes, and cozied up on the couch.  An hour later I had emptied my coffee cup but filled my soul cup.  I felt more rested, energized and ready to face my day.  This busy Holiday season, take that time for you; rest, regroup.  You aren't being selfish, your people will survive.  Fill your cup, so you can fill theirs.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

10 Days Changed My Life!

You are starving us are the words my teenage daughter used as we worked through our first Shred10. I really wasn't starving her, she was just being forced to eat fruits and vegetables instead of fruit snacks and candy. And yes I have to admit that the first few days were very difficult. Trying to figure out snacks getting used and no caffeine, but after that, things began to perk up.  

Fast forward three months, I'm gearing up for my fourth Shred10!  My first Shred was a game changer.  After years of diets and detoxes, I've finally found a plan that works.  Despite its restrictive nature, Shred10 is far from that.  Some things like caffeine and alcohol need to be eliminated in order to completely detoxify our bodies, others like gluten and dairy we cut out because they cause inflammation throughout our bodies.  That's the hard part!  

It's time to get a little creative.  You CAN have snacks, you CAN eat a normal dinner.  Just choose wisely!  Raw cut veggies, whole fruits, and hard boiled eggs are the perfect answer to a rumbling belly.  Hummus and guacamole are great dips for your favorite veggies.  Mix dairy free yogurt with natural peanut butter for a delicious fruit dip.  Hit the bulk foods department at the local grocery store to create nutritious nut, seed, and dried fruit mixes for an on the go snack.  Become a label reader!  Some of our favorite "healthy" snacks aren't as healthy as you think once you familiarize yourself with what's actually on the ingredient list.

Three months have made some major positive changes to my health!  Yes, weight loss and more energy are awesome, but so is resetting my body to crave brussel sprouts over brownies.  Don't get me wrong, I still love a good gluten free chocolate chip cookie.  But my tastes have changed to crave whole foods over anything from a factory.  

Hopefully, my experiences will make you want to make a change too!