Tag Archives: Diet

Getting In More Fruits and Vegetables

I’ve been making healthy changes in my life. I’m 45 and I realize I haven’t always made the best food choices.  There are things about my health I can improve. One of those is to consume more healthy fruits and vegetables.

Fruit Kabobs

It is recommended that we eat at least 9 to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  Those are minimum numbers for basic nutrients. You  will want to eat a lot more to stay healthy and fight disease, and also if you do athletic activities.

Veggie Sandwich

4 Ways To Get In More Fruits And Vegetables.

Here are 4 ways to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet:
1. Make fruit bowls, fruit or fruit and veggie kabobs, and smoothies at breakfast.
2. Include vegetables on your sandwich, in a salad, or as a fresh crunchy side dish for lunch.
3. Set out vegetable trays, or make your own “???” (salad, taco, loaded potatoes, veggies and dip, etc) for supper,  and offer bowls and plates filled with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from. The more exposure your kids (and husband) has to seeing and sampling these, the more likely they will be to develop a desire to eat them.
4. Take Juice Plus+ Capsules or Juice Plus+ Chewables.

Veggie Tray

The Next Best Thing

I know I don’t eat enough servings of fruits and vegetables in a day.  Over time this creates a gap in my nutrition and health.   I am thankful for the option to eat additional whole food nutrients in a simple way, dried and encapsulated. It is the next best thing to fresh fruits and vegetables and supplies a full spectrum of nutrients, enzymes, probiotics, and the synergy of the live food my body needs.

Juice Plus+ Capsules

I am bridging the gap with these 6 capsules.  I am eating the nourishment of 30+ fruits, veggies, berries, and grains. All the nourishment is in tact, just like when I use my juicer and dehydrator to preserve my garden harvest. It is still whole food and all of the nutrients are there including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, cartenoids, phytonutrients, chlorophyll, anthocyanosides, polyphenols, immune boosting and histamine lowering herbs, and so much more.  I wish I had known about this years ago, but it’s never to late to make a positive change.

Fruits, Veggies, Berries Juice Plus+

KIDS

And I don’t have to worry about my kid’s diet missing out on vital whole food nutrients. Juice Plus+ offers the same whole food nutrition in gummy chews that kids love.

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My kids love these amazing chewy fruity gems of nutrition.

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On average most kids in the USA get less than 5 servings a day of fruits and veggies.   That is far less than the 9-13 servings that are recommended.  Let’s face it, kids don’t always have big appetites for fruits and veggies.  They prefer cookies, junkfood, hotdogs, and chicken nuggets.  So what is a parent to do?

Spinach and raspberry salad

Keep trying.  Keep introducing fruits and veggies at each meal and snack times.  And then do the next best thing to be sure you have covered all the bases.

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But with Juice Plus+ Chewables, parents can have the confidence that they are bridging the gap in their child’s nutrition too.  And Juice Plus+ offers the chewables to children for free with the parents purchase of adult capsules or adult chewables.

Juice Plus Chewables

Let me know if you would like more information about how Juice Plus+ can help you and your family with bridging the gap in your healthy lifestyle.

Be blessed!

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Week 12 Update on the 90 Day Challenge

Life is changing fast around here. Winter has gone and spring has arrived. Snow and ice is no longer my enemy keeping me captive indoors!  So it is time to get outside and move. Yeah!

I have completed week 12 (90 days) of this health and wellness journey and I can’t believe I have reached the end of the challenge.  Be assured I will start another health focused challenge, as I am not done with my “getting healthy make over”!

As a matter of fact, I am so excited about several things I have implemented during this challenge that have really helped me more than any thing else I have ever done, with the exception of attending the Zumba classes at the Arden North Carolina YMCA two years ago.  I do wish I could still attend that class, and believe it would make the outcome of this healthy makeover even more amazing.  My instructor in that class was my hero!!  She’s the mom of a special needs child, and her life testimony was so inspiring to me.  I hope to find a good substitute for that dance class here in rural Indiana soon, but up to this point I have not found it.

What WORKED?

I am so excited to share with you that I am down 2 pant sizes and have lost 19 lbs on this challenge.  That is about a 1.5 lbs per week average.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  RIGHT!

Weight Loss as of March 29 2015

So what have I done during the 90 days that worked for me?

I think the two most significant improvements in my lifestyle were that I joined:

Juice Plus+ and their Transformation 30 program,

Juice Plus Products

 

and doTerra essential oils and supplements.

Natural Solutions Enrollment Kit

 

Combining these two amazing all natural strategies with my on going strategy of creating healthy meal plans with the Fast Metabolism Diet, incorporating some Trim Healthy Mama and Low Carb Paleo recipes is the pieces of the get healthy puzzle I needed to move forward.

I am getting in a little exercise.  It was so hard this winter to do anything as I was snowed in for most of it.  I have joined a plank challenge with my Juice Plus+ friends.  A plank is a strength exercise where you stretch out on the floor and then hold yourself up off the floor with the strength of your own forearms (arm is bent and the entire forearm touches the floor), and toes.  It works a lot of the muscles in the body just by holding yourself still in that position.  You start off with doing 20 seconds and slowly increase your time a few seconds longer each day.

Another “little” activity I finally got motivated to do is walking on the eliptical for a few minutes each day, just enough to get my blood pumping and move my lymph fluids.  I am glad to start using it again as it usually just collects dust until one of the kids notice it and play on it.   My husband has wanted to get rid of it many times as it takes up space, but I usually say “hey I plan to get on this thing” and then it sits.  Speaking of sitting, sitting at the computer is very unheathy as it doesn’t promote the movement of either of my blood flow (nourishment of cells and organs) or my lymph fluids (immune system, detoxing, and prevention of disease).   We have a small mini-trampoline and I like to jump on it, but it is outside on the porch and it was too cold all winter to use it.  Hopefully I will get motivated to use that some each day.  I definately need to increase my exercise level.  Now that the weather has warmed up a little (we are still in the 40’s during the day and 20’s at night), I can get outside and walk around and work in the yard soon.

I am so excited how these programs are pieces of my health puzzle and are coming together as a wellness makeover strategy to bless me on my journey.

Things I am accomplishing:

1) nourishment to the whole body

2) healing vital organs and body systems:

liver, digestive, lymph, immune, skin

3) weight loss

4) energy

5) renewing my red blood cells and DNA (takes about 5 months on Juice Plus+)

Sharing my journey isn’t about making a buck, or sales.  However, I am excited I can earn money sharing health and wellness products and give my testimony how they have helped me.  I also like the benefit to help my family out financially and be able to purchase these products to better my health. But sharing this journey is about health. This is serious.  This is my health.  It is your health.  I am 45 years old. I don’t have any more time to Mickey Mouse around with fads or gimmicks.

It has to be real. It has to heal.

I am doing so much better with the healing of my body and having more energy.  Once I incorporated doTerra Mito 2 Max, and LifeLong Vitality Pack (vitamins, minerals, herbs, probiotics, omega fatty acids), and Terrazyme enzyme blend that promotes cellular function and communication through out the body, it began helping me detox and helped me digest my foods so my gastrointestinal system is working at its best.  These are the best vitamin mineral health supplements I have ever used.  I am really pleased with the quality and the results.

doTerra Supplements

I figured out that I had a weightloss stall for a few weeks while my body was making some serious repairs.   It takes time to heal!  I don’t think you realize this when you are young.  I didn’t figure it out until I was over 40 and went through major sugery with an emergency C section.  I know I have a damaged thyroid and adrenal glands, in addition to being over weight.  So I wanted to increase the nutrition to those organ systems, but how?  I already eat a healthy diet and it wasn’t helping me heal or loose weight.

So what could I do that was all natural (I am not a fan of synthetic pharmacuticals),  to heal?  It is nearly impossible to eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables to heal adequately when you are dealing with a healing crisis.  However, once I incorporated Juice Plus+ and thier Transform 30 program I began to see more healing and my weight has continued to go down as my body has detoxed and organs have been nourished with over 30+ fruits, veggies, grains, and herbs in the Juice Plus+ Trio Blend, and over 20+ plant foods in the Complete.

Fruits, Veggies, Berries Juice Plus+

Yes, I do get frustrated when the scale is slow to show progress.  When I started this challenge I expected more.  I seriously thought I would have accomplished a 30lb loss by now, but that didn’t happen.  Instead the scale went down and back up a pound and down again over and over and I didn’t feel that I was making very good progress.  The progress seemed so small some weeks that I was embarrassed to even tell anybody I was working on it.  But even though I may not see it on the outside, or even on the scale, I am making progress. My body is healing on the inside. I can see little things like the improvement in my fingernails, having more energy, sleeping better, thinking clearer,  pooping healthy, and even the integrity of my skin has improved and there is healing of my cracked heels.   That is progress!

It is happening. Slowly. Change is taking place.

In 12 weeks, I have lost 19 lbs.

 

My Next Get Healthy Makeover:

I am dedicating this whole year (and the rest of my life) to getting healthy and staying healthy.  So I am going to do this again, on a 30 day cycle now. I have everything in place and have made the big changes these first 90 days, and now it is about making little tweaks.

The Transformation 30 program helps you implement one simple healthy change in your life every 30 days while using Juice Plus+.   A small tweak here and a small tweak there adds up to big results!  That is do-able!

So for the next 30 days I will be focussing on:

    • 1) Meal Planning

I will continue with recipes from the Fast Metabolism Diet, Trim Healthy Mama, and Low Carb Paleo strategies.  The biggest help in these programs is to not overload on carbs and fats in the same meal, either focus on carbs and proteins this meal, or focus on fats and proteins in this meal and alternate the meals every three to four hours, but to always incorporate nutrients dense veggies and proteins into each meal.

    • 2) Staying hydrated.

I am trying to drink 3 quarts of water per day.  I am adding in doTerra essential oils for flavor and a boost to my health.   So far Lemon or Lemon and Lime are my favorite oils to use for flavor.  I am also drinking the Trim Healthy Mama beverages called Good Girl Moonshine (ginger and apple cider vinegar lemonade and sometimes adding in fresh fruits for more flavors) and the Shrinker tea for even more hydration.

    • 3) Juice Plus+ 

I will continue to take Juice Plus+ Orchard, Garden, and Vineyard Blends (Trio Blend), and Complete for nourishment from over 50 plant foods with all the nutrients and vitality intact.

    • 4) Transformation 30 program by Juice Plus+ for health and vitality and weight loss.

If you decide to enroll in the Transformation 30 program, be sure to get in on the $100 Cash Giveaway I am doing with some friends.  We want to motivate you to get healthy and what better way to get a little motivation than some free cash in your pocket that you can spend however you want.

    • 5) doTerra essential oils and Life Long Vitality vitamin and mineral and healthy supplements.

I am continuing to use my doTerra supplements because I know it is a part of my healing journey.  I am helping repair my body and recover.  The doTerra oils are superior to other essential oils. They are Theraputic Grade and work better than pharmecuticals to keep me healthy.  I love the way God had designed the human body to respond to natural methods of healing.  It is an ongoing conversation with our creator.

  • 6) Healthy Activity
  • Incorporating healthy activity into my personal time and into my family’s day too.

  • 7) Spiritual Healthy Activity
  • Pray and talk with the Lord daily.  Spend time each morning reading his word before I start my day.  He is my daily bread.  Sing praises to him daily for He is worthy to be praised.  Thank Him each day for my life because He is the Author of it and He is the air I breathe.  His mercies are new every morning and I am greatful.  His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven will endure forever and ever.

Praise the Lord!  I know I am healing and making progress to achieve my naturally healthy weight and I have confidence that God has given me wisdom and resources, and I will get there!

 

So there you go.

What have I been up to the past few weeks since we talked last?  Are you working on your health?  What are you doing to reach your goals?  Please leave me a comment and let me know.  I love to read your comments!

 

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Keep Trying!

I fail.

I try,

and try,

and keep trying.

Sometimes I succeed.

I have a lot of dreams.

I have made a lot of mistakes.

I have a lot of hope for the future.

One of my biggest struggles is my health.  One of my biggest accomplishments is also my health.  I am 45 years old, and I am trying to get healthy after challenging health issues of infertility, thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, 9 pregnancies between ages 30 to 45, surgery, anemia, weight gain, allergies, and auto-immune issues.   WHEW!  It has been a challenge!  Learning about my body, and what works and doesn’t work for me has been a lifelong journey.

It’s not easy.

For a long time, I kept falling further behind.   Even though I tried, I wasn’t going forward to reach a better level of health.  But there are successes and I do go forward, even if I also take a step back or sideways from time to time.  I will get there, I will reach my goals.

Sometimes I don’t even know where to begin.

So I pray.

What else can I do?

God has the answers and solutions to my situation.

He has the answers for yours too.

I’m on a journey.

I am getting better.

I am healing.

I am working toward a healthier me.

I keep trying.

I saw this video today. I was inspired to go further as I watched these two women encourage each other to keep trying.

I hope you will keep trying too!

 

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”                                                   3 John 1:2

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Week 6 Update On The 90 Day Challenge

Well I don’t have big changes to report this week. The past two weeks feel like they flew by, and I am sure I didn’t accomplish as much as I could have. I can’t believe I am half way through the 90 Day Challenge to better my health and wellness in 2015. But thankfully I didn’t lose ground in the past two weeks in the progress I have made so far since the start of the year.

My weight has barely changed over the past two weeks and this was a little discouraging as one of my main goals in this challenge is to reach a healthier weight for my body. I lost and re-gained the same pound or two nearly every other day and I’ve definitely been at a stale mate with my weight loss goals over these two weeks. It has been frustrating going up and back down a pound on the scale and not seeing any real progress in my weight loss goals. Yes, I wish I would have lost more, but I choose to remain positive and see the little the scale did move as a good sign that I didn’t go backwards. My total weight loss as of week 6 on my 90 day get healthy challenge is 15 lbs so far! YEAH! I truly hope I can continue to achieve at least this much more or do even better with weight loss as I complete the second half of the 90 days.

Weight Loss as of February 8

I’m maintaining the healthy changes I have made since the start of the year, including positive dietary changes in my meal plans inspired by FMD (Fast Metabolism Diet) and THM (Trim Healthy Mama), I’m drinking more water, choosing nutrient dense foods including daily sources of low glycemic foods like greens and fresh vegetables, fruits, fermented foods (raw apple cider vinegar, kombucha, Kevita, etc.), coconut oil, eggs, sprouted bread, broth, lean meats, etc. I try to get the most nutrition I can from my food sources, but I also see the need for vitamins and superfood supplements too, so I try to take supplements daily to support my nutrition.

I try to remember to take my vitamins and superfood supplements each day, but some days I forget to take them. Some days I just don’t want to take them. I don’t like swallowing pills. I don’t like things getting stuck in my throat which tablets sometimes do. They have a rough edge and it bothers me if it turns the wrong way. I don’t have any problem swallowing capsules, as they are smooth, I just don’t like taking tablets. I compromise sometimes by using nutrient dense smoothies to boost nutrition. I also sometimes take half a dose of some of my vitamins and supplements, especially the tablets and also the more expensive ones. For example, if a whole dose of Spirulina is 6 tablets, I usually only take 3. Cutting back like this allows my body to use as much as it can from the whole foods I eat first, and then it hopefully gets what else it needs from the supplements and hopefully also avoids flushing the ones not used down the toilet. It also helps to stretch the dollar in the budget, because lets face it, vitamin supplements are expensive.

Daily Vitamins and Supplements

I am trying to heal Thyroid and Adrenal fatigue, and heal my reproductive organs after multiple pregnancies, in addition to supporting my daily nutritional needs while I lose weight. It is a huge task! I’m 45 years old, and I have had 9 pregnancies in 14 years since the age of 30, which resulted in 6 live births all of which I nursed, and 3 miscarriages around the 4th month of pregnancy. Though a woman’s body is designed for this amazing task of childbirth, I got started late, and my body is tired. In addition, the last birth was an emergency C-section and that has also taken its toll. I have had some trouble with my energy level in the afternoons since that surgery, and notice my lack of energy is worse if I skip my supplements. But the past few weeks, I have been extra tired, perhaps from surviving the flu last month, and also because of the ongoing lack of sunshine during this long Indiana winter. What ever the reason, the low energy level is taking its toll on me.

Modern farming practices and food manufacturing, have resulted in foods that are deficient of the right balance of nutrition the human body needs. That is why superfood supplements can be an important factor in our overall health, recovery from illness, prevention of disease, etc and bridge the gap left by nutrient deficient modern foods. I hope that by combining nutrient dense foods and superfood supplements, and eating healthy, I can achieve the healing balance my body needs. This week after talking with a knowledgable natural health guru, I decided to put Mito 2 Max and Zendocrine supplements on my wish list, a few additional essential oils on my wish list, implement using some essential oils that I have on hand to boost energy levels, and then I also changed up my supplements by increasing my Vitamin D3 and also added several of doTerra’s vitamin supplement products.

doTerra Supplements

I hope to add doTerra’s MITO2 MAX and Zendocrine as soon as I can to promote cellular health and oxygen to the cells and further support my Thyroid and Adrenal glands. There are some simple remedies I want to implement to help support the adrenal glands too. One remedy is adding lemon to drinking water, and another is rubbing basil essential oil on the skin around the area of the adrenal glands. I don’t have basil oil yet, so that is going on my wish list. Another suggestion was to diffuse specific essential oils in the house that help promote energy. Hopefully adding these changes to my routine will resolve my thyroid and adrenal fatigue in the afternoons.

My current vitamins and superfood supplements include: Water mixed with Vitamin C powder, Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, Kelp, Spirulina, chlorophyl, acidophilus, TerraZyme (multi-enzyme blend by doTerra), Microplex VMz (multivitamin plus superfood supplement by doTerra), xEO MEGA (Omega Oils plus Essentail Oils by doTerra), 3 B’s (bee pollen, bee propolis, royal jelly), bilberry extract, red wine complex, turmeric, fiber. I have used a psylium fiber capsule at night a few times a week since starting this challenge, but plan to add a glucomonnan fiber capsule daily earlier in the day. Glucomonnan fiber has a lot of health benefits, including helping to regulate blood sugar, but it is not recommended to take it at night. Many times I forget to take my supplements until night-time, and then I can’t take this one. But I want to change that, and set a new goal to get my supplements taken in the morning.

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A wonderful improvement in my life over the past three months has been doTerra Essential Oils. I was blessed with an amazing kit of oils and superfood supplements, a wholesale membership, and an opportunity to learn and teach others about using essential oils by an incredibly generous person. She is a natural health expert, and so are her three sisters as well as one is a naturopathic doctor too. She has an amazing background of knowledge and has taken me under her wing to teach me. She will never know the true impact this blessing has had on my life. I used to sell essential oils in my healthy foods store for several years. During that time, I had several customers who diligently used them in their personal health care and often had me special order special ones in addition to a shelf I kept stocked all the time. Several customers also used them as a raw ingredient in their own brand of soap and lotion making that they turned around and re-sold the finished products at local markets. I occasionally used a few of the oils myself for crafts and baths, and body massage. But I did not take the time to educate myself on their many healthy uses in everyday life to keep my family healthy. I don’t know why I let that opportunity pass me by. BUT now I am studying! I am applying every opportunity I can to learn and implement using essential oils in my life. This has far-reaching effects in every area of my health and wellness.

My Essential Oil Tool Chest.  An essential oil tool chest is a "must have" in every home.

My Essential Oil Tool Chest. An essential oil tool chest is a “must have” in every home.

For example, to boost my energy level, I was encouraged to diffuse Peppermint and Wild Orange throughout the house, and also to rub it between my hands and inhale as needed. I put Wild Orange on my wish list as it is not one that I had on hand yet. So I improvised and used the oil I had on hand called Citrus Bliss in which Wild Orange is the first ingredient as well has a few other citrus fruits and vanilla. It smells so good. I combined Citrus Bliss with Peppermint every day for week six and I have been amazed at the improvement in how I feel, and how much more alert I am, but also in how my children are feeling too. They are more alert and motivated to complete their school work. I also noticed my husband seems more alert and less tired when he returns from work in the evening. He doesn’t know about the oil in the diffuser, he is just reaping the benefits. I am so grateful to have started using this as a daily remedy for the whole family. This is an amazing energizing combination!

doTerra Essential Oil

I am drinking more water, but still not enough. I find it a challenge to stay hydrated as I don’t like the taste and smell of our iron rich well water. I can unintentionally go most of the day without drinking water if I don’t constantly remind myself to drink something. I just don’t notice that I am thirsty until the end of the day. That is a very bad habit that I have tried to change during this challenge. To help with intentionally hydrating myself, I make a fancy strawberry lemonade called Good Girl Moon Shine that was inspired by the THM (Trim Healthy Mama) diet plan.

Strawberry Good Girl Moon Shine

I need to implement the GGMS everyday again as I did in the summer, but it is a cold drink and I am in a cold farmhouse house in the cold Indiana winter and sometimes I just want to drink hot mocha lattes all day instead. I was drinking a smoothie everyday, but again, I get so cold. One smoothie I love as a snack on FMD is a recipe I created called the Mango Orange Julius. OH YUM, it is soooo good! I have also been using the GREENS by It Works in my Berry Green Smoothies some times at breakfast on Phase 3 days. The It Works Greens are not exactly on plan for the FMD, because of the protein source, but it is full of amazing nutrients that really give you a boost and I like it in this smoothie. I have whey protein powder at home, but it is not approved for the FMD either, but is approved on THM. The only protein powders approved on the FMD are either egg white protein or pea protein. I created a Cinnamon Chocolate Frosty treat I can use on Phase 2 days and I can up the nutrients if I purchase an approved egg white protein powder, so that powder will go on my wish list too. There is also another drink called the Singing Canary by THM you can make at home that is very high in Vitamin C and supports the adrenal glands. I love making bulletproof coffee lattes and also occasionally a special protein shake THM style. I know I still need to drink more fluids though, and it would be a good goal for me to drink a quart each of GGMS and Singing Canary everyday (some women drink two quarts of each of these a day, as well as a special THM tea and additional water too. Their bladders must work overtime, but I can’t handle that much liquid in a day). I will try to get re-organized and make more of these drinks this week.

THE BAD NEWS

I am NOT YET getting regular exercise worked into my routine since I started the challenge. I need to establish a daily exercise routine, but I honestly lack motivation right now to do it. Is it laziness? Is it winter blah’s? Is it related to Thyroid issues? Is it due to recovering from another lost pregnancy? I don’t know! We have been in a winter lockdown here, as it is too cold to do anything out side. The kids and I have spent most of the winter finding fun ways to play inside after our school work is done. We all long to get back outside on a daily basis. The overall lack of sunshine this winter just makes me feel BLAH! I have access to a few indoor exercise videos as well as YouTube on the computer where lots of these things are posted for free too. Two years ago, I used Ttapp DVD videos that really helped me and want to start doing them again. I also went to a zumba class at the Y, but that is not really an option now, so I need to try the Ttapp and free online videos and make a plan for daily use of some physical activity. The Fast Metabolism Diet suggestions for the week include an aerobic activity during Phase 1 (Monday or Tuesday), a strength training activity during Phase 2 (Wednesday or Thursday), and a relaxing activity during Phase 3 (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday). I just need motivation to get started and energy to carry it through.

One thing NOT WORKING in my favor to help me with exercise, physical activity, and weight loss is the time I spend SITTING at the computer. And I am about to get even busier with the computer writing more product reviews again. I have been on “break” for two months from writing reviews, but the new season has begun and it’s time to start writing curriculum reviews for the 2015 Schoolhouse Review Crew year. I think this will be my fifth or maybe sixth year writing for them.

We started several new curriculum products over the past several weeks. I feel busier than ever as we have adjusted our schedule and are trying out these new items to tell our readers about in the upcoming weeks. I feel like my to do list is growing instead of getting smaller. I’m getting organized and have my calendars hanging on the board, notes, and drafts, etc. But when I evaluate why I may have lost less weight the past two weeks compared to what I was loosing before, I realize it is partly because I am adding too many other priorities to my daily routine. Suddenly it feels like my hopes to work on weight loss and a healthier me are taking a back seat to my other really important goals and responsibilities like raising my family, building my marriage, and writing reviews and working at the computer. I am thankful for the opportunity to write reviews. It is a wonderful opportunity to receive amazing curriculums to try out with my kids, but I need to find a good balance between all of my goals including: healthy physical activity, spiritual activity, family activity, friendships too, homesteading, ministry, writing, etc. to have a balanced life. Otherwise the increased time it takes to sit and write at the computer could potentially take a negative toll on my health. I really need to be diligent and not allow that to happen.

GOALS NEXT WEEK

My steps for reaching my smaller goals for the upcoming week as I continue to work on my 90 Day Challenge to better health and wellness:

-Set aside time daily to take my vitamin supplements, even though I dread swallowing pills.
-Set aside time daily to sing and praise the Lord.
-Set aside time daily to study my bible and pray.
-Set aside time daily to build relationships with my husband and kids.
-Set aside time daily to journal and update my daily planner.
-Work with the kids daily on school work.
-Continue to make healthy foods from scratch following my meal plan strategy posted before. Post pictures of foods to Instagram and or Facebook to help others on the 90 Day Challenge with meal ideas.
-Log foods consumed, vitamins and supplements, physical activities, weight changes, etc. onto My Fitness Pal account to help me reach my weight loss goals and monitor where I need to make changes.
-Continue to drink a lot of water and other fluids. Make several quarts of GGMS and a quart of Singing Canary this week.
-Start exercising according to the FMD plan with the different phases listed. My goal is to Ttapp once or twice a week (high intensity on Monday and low intensity on Friday). I would like to strength train once a week (simple repetitive lifting of items I have around the house on Wednesday). I’m not sure yet what other activities to add, but if I can do 20 to 30 minutes in these areas, this will be a good enough place to start this coming week, I just need to get motivated.
-Get to bed by 11:30pm
-BIG GOAL AND BIG CHANGE: Set aside “office hours” time each day when I can write blog stories and product reviews, and then officially close my office at a decent hour rather than stay up late and harm my health by lack of sleep. I want to get the younger kids to bed by 8:30, then write from 8:30 to 11:00. Then get my teenage son to bed (he never goes to bed before 11), get husband’s lunch ready for the following day for work. Update my to do list for the next day and have breakfast planned for the kids. Then hopefully I can get to bed by 11:30.
-Maintain Balance

I hope you have a blessed week!

What are you doing to reach your goals on your 90 Day Challenge to better health?

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Raising Homemakers

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Cinnamon Chocolate Frosty

Need a CHOCOLATE treat for Valentines Day that won’t ruin your diet?

Cinnamon Chocolate Frosty is the answer to a sweet chocolaty treat that won’t affect your waist line. I am in the process of loosing weight, and to prevent stalling, I am temporarily steering clear of dairy except for the occasional bulletproof coffee treat once a week. I usually use a dairy substitute like rice milk, almond milk, or coconut milk when I am planning my weekly menu and making weight-loss recipes. However, this gem of a recipe is inspired by a delicious Mexican spicy chocolate drink and water and ice is all the “liquid” you need.

The ancient Mayan and Aztec Indians use to drink a version of this beverage unsweetened in a bitter spicy chocolate drink, served either hot or cold and made with either water or milk. However, I much prefer it sweetened! No bitter drink for this gal! So I use an all natural zero calorie sweetener to keep faithful to my weight loss goals. Each serving contains: 28 calories, 1 g Fat, 0 g Sugar, 24 Calories, 3 g Fiber, 2 g Protein. This treat fits into the Fast Metabolism Diet All Phases (1,2,3) and THM Meals (E,F), Atkins, as well as the Paleo Diet. It probably fits into just about every diet, so give it a try! The flavors are rich and remind me of a spicy Mexican Chocolate Drink.

Cinnamon Chocolate Frosty

Cinnamon Chocolate Frosty

1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground, organic, non irridated (use another 1 tsp if you desire it with a stronger flavor)
3 tablespoons Cocoa powder, unsweetened, organic
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla extract, organic
1/16th teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup Filtered Water (use another 1/4 cup if needed)
1 1/2 cup Ice Cubes (use another 1/2 cup if needed for desired frozen consistency)
3 tablespoons Truvia Sweetener (all natural stevia and erythritol blend)

Blend everything together in a good blender until smooth and frothy. Makes a delicious spicy and creamy chocolate frosty. You won’t even miss milk in this treat. Eat one serving now and save one for later, or even better, share this chocolate treat with someone you love.

2 servings
28 calories, 1 g Fat, 0 g Sugar, 24 Calories, 3 g Fiber, 2 g Protein

Have a Happy and “ChocolatyValentine’s Day!

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Week 4 Update On The 90 Day Challenge

I can hardly believe four weeks have passed since I started this challenge. I am happy to report that I am making progress with my goals and I am down 14 pounds!

Four Week Weight Loss

No dieting, well unless you believe what Hailey Pomroy says that diet stands for Did I Eat Today? In that case then YES I am eating and eating and eating! There is so much food on this meal planning strategy to rev up the metabolism that I can’t hardly eat it all. I’m always stuffed! How can I loose 3.5 lbs a week, or about .5 lbs a day on average, when I am eating so much food?

This strategy is about eating 5 times a day, including lean proteins at each meal, and separating carbs and fats in different meals. That is it in a nut shell! I can find all the ingredients to create delicious meals in my local grocery store that fit right with my budget. What I choose to eat is up to me, as long as it is on the list. The list is divided up into three phases.

I keep meals focussed on either:
Phase 1: protein and carbs (high glycemic fruits and veggies and grains),
Phase 2: protein and low glycemic veggies,
Phase 3: protein and fats with low glycemic fruits and veggies, and grains and nuts.

Hailey Pomroy, a clinical nutritionist, has designed this strategy called FMD (Fast Metabolism Diet) to help rev up the metabolism and help the body focus on one fuel source at a time. The THM strategy (Trim Healthy Mama) works the same way too. Both of the strategies are awesome!

When the body has an over abundance of fats and carbs at the same meal, it burns one fuel type and stores the other one. By feeding the body one fuel source, it burns up that source and this doesn’t lead to weight gain, but effectively helps balance out to a healthy weight. If you are over weight, then this strategy efficiently helps the weight come down to a normal level creating a balance in the body. If you are at goal weight, then this strategy will help your metabolism to stay efficient and healthy and maintain your weight.

A few tips that have helped me get this far:
I posted my food list on the fridge, and it shows me what foods and ingredients to combine on what days. That has helped me overcome any last minute confusion about what foods to reach for.

I posted my goals on the wall in front of my computer too so I can look at them often.

I fill up a quart jar with liquids to drink through out the day. Sometimes it is filled with water, other times a fancy lemonade, and sometimes a fun fruity smoothie or a delicious homemade dairyfree sugarfree shake.

I am eating a huge variety of awesome foods made right at home! For the past 10 years or so, I have taken some food based supplements like kelp, spirulina, vitamin C, vitamin D3, probiotics, enzymes, etc. to naturally help my body get all the nutrients it needs. I use a green food powder a couple times a week in a morning Green Berry Smoothie too.

I set small goals for myself to progressively reach the bigger goals.

I am really pleased with my progress so far, and I can’t wait to see my outcome after the next four weeks. I am so excited about challenging my self at the beginning of this year so that I can attain to a healthier version of me this year. Lord willing, this new me at a healthy weight by making healthy choices is going to happen!

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Tuna Pepper Boats

This is a delicious lunch. It foocuses on lean protein and lots of low glycemic vegetables. This meal is a lot of food, and it is bursting with fresh flavors. Though it seems like a meal for lunch, I really enjoy this for breakfast too. I find filling up on a great salad and lean protein at breakfast or lunch helps to curb hunger pains. If you find you are still hungry with this meal, try adding some chicken, steak, or turkey bacon to the side salad. I often use this salad as a base in my meals on Phase 2 and then add meats to make a whole meal. But today I wanted to pair it with egg whites and tuna so I came up with these fun little tuna pepper boats.

Tuna Pepper Boats

Tuna Pepper Boats
FMD Phase 2 (THM E-Meal)
2 servings
157 calories, 1 fat, 9 carbs, 2 fiber, 26 protein, 10% Vit A, 130% Vit C

1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into four wedges or “boats”
1 can tuna in water, drained
1 stalk of celery, chopped (I love using celery stalk loaded with leaves and chop it all)
2 Tablespoon red onion, chopped or sliced thin
2 boiled egg white, chopped small
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/16 tsp ground pepper
1/4 lemon, juiced

Mix all the ingredients (except the bell pepper) together. Stuff the tuna mixture inside the bell pepper wedges. Serve.

Tuna Pepper Boats and Side Salad

Side Salad
FMD Phase 2 (THM E-Meal)
2 servings
37 calories, 0 fat, 8 carbs, 3 fiber, 2 protein, 84% Vit A, 56% Vit C

1 cup baby spinach, chopped
2 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup cucumber slices, cut in half
1/2 cup radish slices
1/4 cup red onion chopped
1 lemon, juiced, or serve the lemon wedges so folks can squeeze on their own dressing.
sea salt and pepper to taste

Toss it all together and serve.

Life is what you make of it. Be blessed and enjoy the journey!

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Healthy Challenge

Health is an ongoing CHALLENGE!
Can I Get An AMEN !?!

It is a daily goal to live at my best!

Living at my best involves my physical and my spiritual life in the many roles I have as wife, mom, teacher, friend, and more.

What are your goals?   Do you desire to loose weight?  Do you desire to serve nourishing foods to your family?  Do you want to become fit?  I know how challenging it can be to reach these goals.

Join me on a quest for living a healthy life.

Be sure to check out these healthy lifestyle challenges:

Walk and Talk Wednesday
Walk and Talk button
90 Day Healthy Choices Low Carb Challenge
Change 3 Challenge

You can also check out my recipes and menu plans for a healthy life:
Nutrition-Food-Recipes
Menu Plans

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Back At The Starting Line, But On My Way!

I’m on my way to a new me!  But boy oh boy it is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I started this journey to a healthier me in December 2012.  I joined the YMCA in Asheville NC and started a Walk and Talk Wednesday program to inspire other moms.  I made good progress for 6 months until we moved across the states to Indiana at the end of May 2013.  By December 2013 I was right back where I started.

Fat and Frustrated!!!

Have you been there?  Do you know what I mean?

After feeling sorry for myself for a while, and not completely sure I could get it turned around, I decided to try a method of eating I had heard about from a friend on the TOS crew.  She had done a combination of Trim Healthy Mama and Lowcarb eating and she was able to reach her fitness goal last year, while meanwhile I went backwards and found myself back at the starting line.

I’m a firm believer in true healthy foods, and if any diet starts spouting off dietary nonsense then I am going to run the other way.  I spent countless hours reading and re-reading the Trim Healthy Mama book which is a combination of a recipe book, a science text, and a faith based self help book.  It all made sense!  Over and over on their Facebook page REAL women had posted their successes too.  I really connected when I read the testimony of a mom with a lot of kids who had followed the program and successfully lost a 100 lbs and reached her goals.  Wow!

I started Trim Healthy Mama February 1, 2014.  I started at 249 lbs (ouch that hurts to admit publically), and weighed in at 230 lbs today, July 18, 2014.  Yeah me!!!   This winter I was at my true breaking point with my weight and so discouraged as this is the most I have ever weighed in my life.  I weighed less when pregnant 8 times (we have 6 children and 2 in heaven).   My weight just seemed to climb and climb this past winter even though I was eating healthy.  I could not seem to get it to stop climbing.

Also though I am loosing weight slowly, I have stalled in my weight loss several times over the past few months while following the Trim Healthy Mama program.  I will loose here and there and then stall for a week or two and nothing changes.  Sometimes I gain weight too and it is easy to get discouraged and want to quit.   The yo-yoing up and down can be very discouraging.  I had a vindictive 5 lbs I kept gaining and loosing for weeks on end in April and May.  I definitely see that stress has a big impact on weight gain.  I was stressed because of family finances, and my husband was out of work for more months than he had work over the past year.  He finally got a new job in mid April, but money was so tight and the stress of finances once again was unreal.   At the beginning of July, I was sad to see those 5lbs come back and my weight hovered once again at 235.  It is crazy how I can gain or loose 5lbs almost overnight.  I’ve done enough research to know it is water weight and it is affected by hormone changes and also stress plays a big role.

I felt I needed something more, since I keep having these stalls.  Over the past 17 years I have followed a Weston A Price method of traditional foods which helped me over come infertility.  And for the past  two years, I had added in a Paleo approach.  I had read about a Keto / Lowcarb  approach, but did not implement it at the time.  Finally I am understanding how these methods can compliment each other and benefit me.   Again, the science all makes sense.    I have read a lot about how a lowcarb menu plan can help the body to burn fat for fuel, so that is what I am aiming for.

So after finally getting my brain to understand how this all works, I finally started the 90 Day Healthy Choices Lowcarb Challenge on July 16th at 235lbs and I am at 230lbs today.  I wish I was starting at 229 instead of 235, and I am very frustrated that those pounds I worked so hard to loose found a way to come back this past week.  But I am more determined than ever to be successful on this lowcarb challenge and see if I can bust through some of these difficult hurdles.  So far on Trim Healthy Mama I have an average loss of about  0.8lbs per week or 3.16 lbs per month.   But I want to try to improve this to 2.5lbs a week or 10lbs a month by going on this 90 Day Challenge.

Day three of the challenge is DONE!  Yeah!!!

I am making healthy choices, eating low carb meals with a strategy.   It is definitely a challenge to mix and match the right combos to keep my carb intake low.  I am making healthy choices, and getting great nutrition, and my overall sugar intake is low.  However, I am still above the amount of carbs I want to be at to meet the goal of this lowcarb challenge.  My goal for carbs is to stay below 20 net carbs a day or 5% of my calories, protein 25%, and fats 70% but still incorporate the Trim Healthy Mama approach.  It will take me a little time to get into a good routine so that I can learn to alternate between the lower carb meals, and no carb meals to reach these goals.   I am a work in progress.

So how did I do the first 3 days?

Day 1 Net Carbs = 57

Day 2 Net Carbs = 52

Day 3 Net Carbs = 21

Note:  These net carb totals above include sugar alcohols from Erythritol sweetener and Xylitol sweetener and need to be subtracted off yet and should not have been included in the total.  For some reason the software totals them into the net carbs but it should subtract them as they do not count because the body can’t digest them and they pass on through and have no impact on blood sugar.

It has become very obvious why pre-planning food combinations for meals and snacks individually but also for the whole day to be sure I get in all the nutrients is so critical to achieve my health goals.  I’m back at the starting line, and I have a lot more work to do.  But I am on my way!

 

 

Are you working on any fitness goals?  Please leave a comment and tell us about it.  Thank you.

 

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90 Day “Healthy Choices” Low Carb Challenge

Are you tired of guessing if you are getting enough nutrients each day?  Are you tired of trying to figure out how to loose weight?  Are you tired of feeling like you are starving when you try to keep that New Years Resolution to go on a diet to loose weight?  I can tell you with certainty that I am tired of listening to false dietary advice from folks who really don’t know what they are doing, and tired of failing at getting fit and trim.  Instead of guessing, I want real answers.  I want to know the science of how it works, why it works, and how to repeat it with success.  Don’t try to sell me a pill, or some fancy weight loss program that costs hundreds of dollars!  I want the real change and it should be free because it should be about understanding some facts rather than buying products that may or may not work.

Next week I will be joining up with the 90 Day “Healthy Choices” Low Carb Challenge.  The upcoming challenge runs from July 16, 2014 through October 13th, 2014.

The goal of the challenge is to help you get healthy by making wise food choices, and eat around 20 NET Carbs a day.  The majority of your nutrients should come from healthy fats, healthy proteins, and low carb / high fiber vegetables and low carb / high fiber fruits.  The goal of a low carb meal plan is to maintain an over all low glycemic index, maintain ketosis, and help the body use fat as its main fuel instead of glucose.

All sugars in their various forms, and all starches, and even proteins are broken down into glucose in the body.  You might be asking “What is glucose?  What is glycemic, or low glycemic?”  Glucose is the form of sugar the body uses for fuel, and it breaks down all other sources of sugar into this chemical structure for use.  Glycemic ratio is a method of computing how fast foods are broken down into glucose.  It measures the impact breaking down carbs such as sugars and starches has on the blood stream.  The higher the glycemic load on the body, the higher the glucose in the bloodstream and the harder the liver and pancreas has to work to regulate blood sugar.  High glycemic load results in high blood sugar and eventually leads to diseases like Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes II, etc, and also feeds various fungus and cancers.  But a low carb lifestyle that maintains a low glycemic load on the body, and tends to support ultimate health and longevity.

I have always studied nutrition since my highschool days.  In college I spent countless hours studying dietary information.  I also allowed a dietary student to follow my food journals to help them and myself learn.  After college I became a medical social worker and observed first hand the impact of food and medications on mood and behavior as well as weight loss or gain and overall quality of life in my clients.  When I was in my late 20’s I learned about a better way of food preparation based on traditional diets of our ancestors instead of highly processed foods.  I joined the Weston A Price Foundation as a student and lover of learning and kept up with all the latest research about the health impact of various foods and how foods should be prepared to maximize their nutritional value.  Following the WAPF methods of food prep and eating traditional foods helped me overcome infertility and restored my reproductive health.  I finally had my first child at age 30 and now have a total of six living children and two in heaven.  During this time, I also opened a healthy foods store to sell natural traditional foods and supplements to my local community.  We eventually closed the store when I was 38 years old, to take a job opportunity for my husband in another state.  But I will never forget all the lives that were forever impacted for the better including my own.  I give all the glory to God, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn about real nutrient dense food.

Fast forward and I am now 44 years old.   With my last child born two years ago, I had an emergency C-section that seems to have caused some damage to my metabolism and immune system.  My body did not recover as fast as I had expected it to from the trauma of emergency surgery and the effects of anesthesia.  I also gained weight after the surgery and I could not seem to maintain my weight.  So last year I began a new journey of learning about the endocrine system (mainly the thyroid and adrenal glands) and how to heal.

Over the past year I have learned a lot about using carbs and fats as fuel for the body and how to separate them in various meal plans so the body only has to uses one fuel source provided instead of having to use one and store one when they are both provided at the same time.  Last spring I dug right in and learned about The Fast Metabolism Diet.  This book provided an introduction to manipulating meals and causing healing of the thyroid with nutrition.  FMD helped me loose 18lbs by eating 5 meals / snacks a day, starting within the first 30 minutes of waking.  They also encouraged mild exercise every other day and have a helpful Facebook group for support.  Then this past winter I dug in and read a huge book and learned about another method of food combining and fuel switching called Trim Healthy Mama.  I finally tried it out in February and by April I had lost 14lbs following this method.  I really liked THM because it allowed dairy (cream, cheese, butter, etc.) and because it is Christian based and it supports the whole person, not just menu planning, and there is tons of support through a forum and various online Facebook groups.

Both programs, FMD and THM control the kind of fuel being used by the body and give the body a rest between eating a different fuel source.  The FMD switches fuel sources every two to three days.  So it has two days of moderate carbs and protein, two days of no carbs (or very little) and  lean protein, and three days of moderate carbs, protein sources that contain higher fat, and healthy plant-based fats.  The THM switches fuel sources as often as every other meal.  Both programs space meals and snacks three hours apart and with both you eat about 5 times a day.  Both programs are seeing wonderful successes and I have learned a lot about how to meal plan and when to switch fuel sources.

I am wanting to take my nutritional goals a step further, as I am learning about auto immune reactions to foods, and I want to eliminate most legumes (eat only occasionally or not at all), and eliminate most grains (though I would still enjoy some soaked or sprouted gluten-free low carb grains), and bring the over all carb counts from plant foods down in the meals.  This is very exciting as I learn more about the body and how various foods and nutrients impact the body differently.

I have been creating some recipes, and doing meal planning before starting the challenge.  On my trial run, I tried to reach a goal of 20 or less net carbs (total carbs – fiber carbs = net carbs) on a few different days over the past few weeks to see if I could actually eat this way.  It is one thing to read about it.  It is a whole different thing to actually try to live it 24/7.  Most of the time, by the end of the day, my overall total carbs were between 35 to 90, and my net carbs (carb count after subtracting fiber) were usually between 19 carbs and 30 carbs with a few days over 40.  So I am feeling hopeful that with a few more tweaks, and learning how to actually keep up with keeping track of net carbs while still getting all the macro and micro nutrients, I will be able to do this.  It boils down to a learning curve and following through with a plan.

On this challenge, I plan to make lots of low carb meals and snacks, many from my own original creations with dietary knowledge I have gained from learning different methods.  I think my recipes will combine ideas from Trim Healthy Mama, Weston A Price Foundation, The Fast Metabolism Diet, Keto, Paleo, Glutenfree, and Sugarfree  variations.  I plan to track not only my carbs, but understand the various nutrients in the meals I eat and what nutrients are in excess and what nutrients are lacking and need increased for a more balanced nutritional approach.

I am personally at a point in my life where guessing about my health and nutrition is not a healthy option for me.  Don’t just tell me this or that is healthy.  I want to understand the macros and micros of what I am eating and know with confidence that I am doing the right thing for my body.  I have been tracking the nutrients on each recipe I create and also on the menu for the whole day.  The results have been eye-opening.  I can see what days I need more protein, or more thiamine, or B12 for example.  This mix of research and recipes should be a fun exploration, delicious I hope, and a very interesting learning journey as I track my changes over a 90 day period.

I hope you will check back for my progress updates.

If you would like to join the 90 Day Low Carb Challenge, check out the information over at Traveling Lowcarb and register with your email for updates and encouragement.  It’s free!

Be blessed!

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