Unplanned Healthy Meals

So one of the biggest things I have learned with food (as well as many other areas of life) is when I fail to plan, I plan to fail. Fail to plan, plan to fail So MANY times I’ve failed.  Life gets busy, things don’t go as planned, kids need more attention so dinner doesn’t get made, we get home late from piano lessons or gymnastics, the list of excuses can go on and on!  It used to derail me from healthy eating quite easily, but with time and practice I developed a plan for my “unplanned days” that has helped keep me eating healthy!  Here are the steps I take to put together dinner for us on those days…green veggies

Step 1: Vegetables!  What vegetables do we have and what can I do with them.  I try to use any fresh veggies we have first.  I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping our freezer stocked
with frozen veggies we can steam in a pinch, but fresh
veggies are our favorite.  Generally I roast them in the oven with a little olive or coconut oil and salt and pepper.  I try to choose a green one because usually those provide the most health benefits, but I use what we have.  Learning to build our meals around a vegetable instead of a meat, definitely took some adjustment!  Almost all of us are raised to think of what meat we are going to prepare first and build sides around it.  Making the vegetable the star of the meal is still new to us, but I think we’ve embraced it well.

Step 2: Protein!  Sometimes this is a meat, sometimes it quinoa.  When cooking my unplanned meal those are generally the 2 we bounce between.  The most common for us is leftover chicken breast, lean steak, or turkey burger that we season with our homemade taco seasoning.  I think that is my favorite!  Sometimes I add onions and peppers to it and place it on a bed of mixed greens and a scoop of guacamole or avocado slices.  🙂

Step 3: Eat it! Yes, it’s that simple.  Meals don’t need to have 3 or 4 sides.  Keep it easy and simple and you’ll be amazed at how wonderfully satisfying it is to eat REAL food!  That’s how I adopted this unplanned yet planned meal idea in the first place…make it easy and I’m more likely to see it through!

Back Up Plan…Worst Case Scenario  So this happens sometimes.  I’m SO hungry and it is SO late, that I don’t even have time for what I’ve laid out above.  So, what do I do?  Well, I used to hit the nearest drive thru, but now that I’ve kept to healthy eating for so long, going through the drive thru makes my body feel horrible!  Now I just make a protein shake.  We have a couple protein shakes that we use.  We love Pure Protein Complete from Young Living, (contact me for wholesale pricing) or the All in One Nutrition from Vega. (I’m not affiliated with Vega, just love some of their products!)  Those are our favorites.  We just add a little unsweetened almond milk, sometimes a little frozen fruit and blend it up in our Ninja.  It helps keep me on target and even on days that it’s not what I really want, it tends to hit the spot.

How can you make dinner easier when you’ve forgotten to meal prep?  What are your favorite healthy go-to meals for your family?

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It’s All in Your Head!

So this right here…it’s an inverted plank.  It’s not the hardest move I’ve ever done in my TRX training, but it definitely doesn’t fall under the easy level.  What makes this so awesome, is that I couldn’t do it.  Well, what I mean is, I told myself I couldn’t do it.

You see, last time we did this move my coach, Mark Campbell gave us a modified version and I took the “easy” route because it was something I hadn’t done before.  Which is fine, we have to listen to our bodies when we exercise.  This round, he didn’t give us the modified option…I spoke up and said something, but he just smiled and said, you can do it this way.  Well, I almost didn’t.  As I was putting my feet in getting ready to go into a plank, that negative talk began to creep in.  I pushed past it and said to myself, just try, if you can’t do it, you’ll get it next time.

So I pushed my body back into a plank.  I realized, this isn’t so bad and started walking myself away from the wall!  I shocked!  It wasn’t bad at all, I could totally do it!

So here’s what I learned…your mindset almost always predicts your outcome.  I almost letpositive a negative mindset let me fail at something that was VERY attainable for me.  It was not only an accomplishment I could mark off as TRX things I can do, but it also was a reminder to push myself, quit limiting my abilities, and stay positive.  You know, it isn’t often that Mark gives me something I can’t do.  He leads and coaches in a way that helps me get better and achieve things I never have, and even on those few times I have failed at something he’s given me, he’s quick to show me how to achieve it next time.  It’s been nearly a year since I dove into TRX, and it’s been the most empowering change in my lifestyle than anything else.  Many times it’s my words and positive mindset that get me through.  Like when he has us do my “favorite things” like squat hops or burpees.  I just say, “oh squat hops are my favorite.”  They really aren’t, I really dislike them, but I tell myself these words at an attempt to keep it positive, and I think it really makes a difference for me.

What do you do to stay positive in things you don’t really want to do?  Continue to follow us on Facebook and like my page, Wellness Momma.  🙂

Emotional Eater

It was not that long ago I would have eaten my favorite (terrible for me) food to  help me deal with whatever emotional stress I was dealing with at the time…

I struggled with the idea that I was an emotional eater…

I didn’t want to accept the fact that I used food as a crutch to get me through hard times…

Food was my friend!  It brought me comfort, it tasted good, and it eased whatever pain I was going through.  It was my favorite coping mechanism.  But not long after eating, I felt GUILT.  It was awful!  It took me so long to truly realize and understand all these elements and put together a better way.

I have done a lot of work on myself in the last year.  I’ve read a lot of books, spent a lot of time learning about food and how REAL food helps my body.  I’ve succeeded and failed (a lot)  Now I know how to listen to my body better and avoid certain foods because they make my body feel awful or sluggish.  I even discovered that cabbage gives me migraines!  (who knew?)

One of the biggest things I’ve discovered?  I like to run!  ok, I know…not many people like to run, but I’ve found joy in it.  It is an amazing feeling to set a goal with my running and accomplish it!  It’s an awesome rush to cross a finish line and beat your previous time!  I never dreamed that one day I would enjoy running, but here I am!

We had a crazy, busy, stressful week where I spent most of it as a single parent because my husband had a lot of meetings in the evenings.  It happens sometimes, and we were doing pretty good handling it.  He asked me if there was something I wanted to do on Saturday on my own since I probably needed a little time away.  My very first response was, I want to run!  I want to go run and not worry about how long I’m gone.  I wanted to hit the trail and just GO.  This shocked me when I thought about it later…when did I change into someone who WANTED to run?!?

Well, I went!  I decided to run 5 miles.  It was a little longer than I normally run, but I have an 20160514_1648198k race coming up on Memorial Day, and I needed to get a practice run in.  It was hard!  My knees hurt, my back hurt, my toes even started to hurt…but I just kept telling myself, you can do this!  You can achieve this!  Don’t give up!  And I didn’t.  I hit 5 miles and it was AMAZING!  I was so glad I didn’t give up, and so thankful that I didn’t quit when it got hard.

This is my change of pace.  This is the new me.  No longer do I need food to help me get through the hard times in my life because I have figured out healthier ways to handle the blows life brings my way. No longer do I need to be an emotional eater!

How do you handle your stress?  What helps you when going through a lot of emotions?  Do you eat, run, meditate, draw a bath and turn on soft music?  How do you deal with life’s hard times?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

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Memories got me today

Does a song ever come on the radio, that sparks a memory, that generates some tears?  It happened to me today and completely caught me off guard.  In all the cleaning of clutter I’m trying to do in my home I came across an old CD that my sister and I used to listen to A LOT when we were younger.  It’s the Judds Greatest Hits collection, and I think we loved it so much because we could sing along and belt out the lyrics to the songs.  I was feeling a little nostalgic, so I decided to play it in the CD player in our van while driving somewhere today.  We were on the interstate when this song came on…

It hit me fast.  The tears pricked my eyes as I thought about my grandparents.  You see, I had really awesome ones!  We lived very close to both sets of our grandparents.  My dad’s parents lived just down the street and we were there all the time!  We spent many afternoons there and they took us to most of our activities that we participated in.  They were at every recital or performance and lots of sports games.  I miss them all so very much and I wish I would have learned even more from them than I did.  I didn’t realize that my time with them would feel so short.

 

These amazing women were my grandmothers.  I wish I could still talk to them…

But they continue to inspire me to work harder and try for more.  They were very hard workers and seemed to always be doing something.  They were both wonderful cooks and it seemed that it was one of their favorite things to do…feed their family.  I think of them often when making food from scratch in the kitchen.

Take time to spend with your grandparents, ask them questions and learn about your family history.  I promise, it’s totally worth it, and it’s good for the soul.

Be sure to follow Wellness Momma on Facebook to keep up with our family story and be inspired daily.

Frustrating Transition

image

See this awesome sunrise through the clouds? This was an awesome picture God gave me to view this morning on my way to my 6am TRX class. It was breath taking, the picture doesn’t do it justice. I’m thankful I had that peaceful moment this morning because…
I didn’t see this coming. Well, I’m not sure that we were prepared for any of the results we received from Brain Balance for our son (We’ll call him “O”), but we knew there was going to be things he needed help with. Here’s the thing though…as we figure out how we are going to pay for this and get all these ducks in a row this week, I’m SUPER frustrated! This is hard!
Now that we’ve gone over the results, I understand better how his mind works and why he does the things he does. I get it, I have an understanding that I never had before. But guess what? That doesn’t make it any easier. It didn’t give me a magic dose of patience to be able to deal with him and his melt downs. Having the knowledge of all his struggles has helped, but it has me anxious to begin the program so that we will actively be working on these things!
In the mean time, I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with reading the material they gave me, doing some research on my own, and rolling my Stress Away Essential Oil on to continue to calm these frustrations.
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Another amazing sky view today!
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Hope

Wow…just wow!  I am blown away by the response from last night’s blog post sharing with all of you the very beginning of our journey with our son.  So many of you reached out to me in support and love.  Offering prayers, ideas for food, books, resources, and most of all…hope.  You gave me hope that we can do this.  That we can help him as a  family and that this is a good thing.

In my reading last night I came across this, “The Brain Balance program is based on clinically proven findings that the way your child’s brain functions today is not necessarily the way that it has to function for the rest of his life.  Dr. Melillo’s research and the research of others has found that many children can recover from disorders such as autism, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, dyslexia, and others when their unique developmental needs are met and the underlying causes of these disorders are addressed.  Even children with the severest forms of these disorders have the capacity to improve behaviorally and academically and learn skills that will enrich their quality of life.”  –Disconnected Kids by Dr. Robert Melillo

This also gave me hope for my son.  I realize this isn’t a cure all, or a one stop miracle.  This is going to take work, effort and commitment and will give him skills that we will continue to build on for the rest of his life.

He will not receive a label in this program.  We aren’t told an exact diagnosis, just that he has a right brain weakness and that disorders such as ADHD, autism, OCD, anxiety, and Aspberger’s also align with right brain weakness.  Since we homeschool and don’t require an IEP like in the school system, it isn’t a big deal for us not to have a label for him.  We actually are thankful for this because many times once these children are labeled, they are put into a box that they can only do so much.  I’ve seen many overcome these boundaries and labels, so I totally realize that is possible.  We feel blessed that he doesn’t have to endure that obstacle (at least right now) and that this is the path we have been lead down and are thankful we are in a position where a label doesn’t matter.  We realize this isn’t the case for everyone, that we all have different journeys, and are happy to have you a part of ours.

I’m so thankful for all of the positive feedback and thankful to have this online community of support for us!  Keep following this blog and my facebook page, Wellness Momma – Elyse McLeod to be a part of our adventure.

Autism, ADHD, OCD…oh MY!

For over a year now my  husband and I have had concerns about our middle son.  There were signs that his development wasn’t running along with other children his age, but many times we would find other things to lay the blame on so that we could stave off reality.  We’d say it was his age, or he was hungry or tired, or the other kid provoked him into an overreaction.  It’s not that we thought he was perfect, we knew something was off, but we honestly didn’t know what to do or who to turn to.  Recently a good friend posted to Facebook that they finally had a diagnosis for her son…Autism.  As scary as it was in the moment for her, she was excited to finally have some answers and direction so that she could help her son to the best of her ability and find him resources to thrive.  This stirred something in me and because she had the courage to share with her friends and family, it gave me the courage to seek treatment for my son.  The very next day our son had a full blown melt down and I looked at my husband and said, “we need help, we can’t wait any longer”.

I still didn’t know where to go or what to do, but I began asking.  I talked to a few people that I knew who I thought could point me in the right direction, and they made some suggestions.  One of those suggestions that stuck out to me was a place called Brain Balance because mutual friends had actually SEEN results, and they use a holistic approach instead of starting with medication.  This was important to me because if we are able to help him without medication, then this was the direction that I wanted to go!

The very next day I went to a Homeschool Conference and low and behold Brain Balance was there.  I talked with one of the directors of a center and during our conversation I became overwhelmed with the feeling of hope…Hope that this could be it, this could be the solution for our son!

That afternoon I listened to a presentation of another Brain Balance director and as she described what it means to have a right brain weakness, it nearly fit my son to a T.  Right brain weakness is where many people with autism, ADHD, OCD, ODD, etc. fall into.  The right side of their brain is weak and needs to be worked and stimulated to help balance out their brain so that the two sides can communicate effectively.  I sat there realizing that he needed more help than I could give him, and I needed to have him assessed so that I could get the correct help for him so that he would be able to thrive!  Right now in our schoolwork it feels like we are just treading water. Although he has had some breakthroughs this school year, he has made zero progress in handwriting and reading.

I spent the next day of that weekend talking with my husband about the possibilities and praying to God that if this was going to help my little boy, that He would help us find a way to make it work.  That Monday I called for an appointment, and we were in for an assessment by Thursday.

On assessment day I was able to have a good friend of ours watch our other two children and my son and I went in for what would be a 3 and 1/2 hour assessment.  It was an exhausting day.  The paperwork was extensive, and he wasn’t happy about having to be there, but I left feeling like it was the first step in the right direction for him!  We scheduled a time the following week to go over his results, and I went through a range of emotions as my husband and I discussed how we could possibly make this happen for him.  Drive time, astronomical cost, a giant change in his diet, and the amount of commitment needed to benefit from Brain Balance are all factors that really have me feeling overwhelmed.  In my next post I’ll begin sharing what’s next in our adventure to help him and continue on this journey of wellness as a family.

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A Quick Veggie Side

Today I realized I needed to take some time to cook a little food up ahead of time so that it wouldn’t go bad AND so that it’s easy to grab with our busy schedule. (If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!  So plan your food so you can SUCCEED!)  I decided to utilize the Brussels sprouts and bell peppers that probably wouldn’t last one more day in the fridge.  Anyone else NEVER eat Brussels sprouts as a kid?  There’s SO many things I never ate growing up because I was so incredible picky!  I really wish I would have tried them sooner because now veggies are a HUGE part of our everyday diet.

So, how did I make them?  I threw down a little extra virgin olive oil on a baking sheet, then cut the sprouts in half and chunked up the peppers.  I tossed them around to spread around the olive oil.

sprouts 1

Then I hesitated, thinking…what can I do to make these a little different and taste amazing?  I mean, I didn’t have any bacon, (that worked well last time) and I’m trying to not do a bunch of sweet (I’ve seen honey done before) and then I sawsprouts 2 it…

LEMON essential oil!  That will flavor it nicely and give it a fresh new flavor for me.  Since I already had the olive oil down, I couldn’t add it to that, so instead I took about 1-2 tsp. of sea salt and added 3 drops of Young Living Lemon essential oil.  I mixed it around in the little cup I had, then sprinkled the salt all over the veggies!

 

I roasted them at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.  They were great!  Now, just to be real with ya’ll, I am not a big fan of lemon flavored food. (my dad made lots of lemon pepper chicken when I was growing up because he was given a large container of the seasoning, and I just haven’t been able to eat it since)  So if you LOVE lemon flavored food, you may want to add an extra drop or 2 to your salt mixture, but for me 3 drops was enough.

sprouts 3

(sorry for the blurry image…I guess I was in a hurry to eat my veggies!)

We love incorporating YL essential oils in our everyday lives.  Let’s chat if you’d like to pursue that for your family as well.  We’d love to have you as part of the Wellness Momma family!

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Failing at Weight Loss

I have NEVER been skinny, but I’ve never really been healthy either.  I didn’t understand my relationship with food and truly how it affected my weight.  I know what you are thinking…Use more calories than you eat…right?  But it isn’t always that simple.  I have failed many times in this journey to be happy with the body that I have, and honestly, I still fail at it!  It has NOT been easy! That scale is one of my worst enemies some weeks, and learning and valuing that I am more than just a number on that scale, has been absolutely freeing! Taking the time to educate myself on what good food and nutrition is, has changed me into someone I’d never thought I’d be.

You see, changing the way you eat isn’t easy and isn’t as black and white as some people who don’t struggle with food make it out to be.  Any of you out there who have tried to change their eating habits, know exactly what I’m talking about.  We all are raised a certain way, grow up with certain foods, and many celebrated life events happen around food.  When you tell your friends and family that you can’t have some amazing dish that they know you love, they unknowingly sabotage you by saying something like, “it’s ok to just have a little bit…right?  I mean it is your favorite!”  Many times you give in and justify that little bit, which why not?  It’s just a couple bites, it can’t really hurt!  But what difficult thing I have learned about myself is…the justification in that moment, leads to another one the next meal, and another the next day.   Soon I realize that I have drastically veered from the eating plan that I was completely committed to before going to that family event!  Can anyone else relate?

Here’s the good news…it just takes practice!  Now that I have been committed for some time now, I get less flack for bringing my own food and sticking to my plan.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still difficult, and I still struggle with wanting to eat what everyone else is eating.  But now, I’m able to remember how those foods make my body feel awful, and in turn how awesome my body feels when I put REAL food in it!  You know that saying, “It doesn’t get easier, you just get better.”  That can completely apply throughout many struggles in your life! That’s not only my mindset with food, but with exeslique_tea_550rcise. It isn’t getting easier, I am getting stronger!

One of my favorite little secrets that get me through what used to be my afternoon snack is Young Living’s Slique Tea. I just brew a cup of that at about 3pm on the days I need to tide myself over to dinner, and it does wonders for me! Plus it has vital essential oils that assist in detox of my body, and we all need help detoxing the yucky stuff out of our bodies!

I’m still on the journey to truly be happy with my size.  I’m still losing weight, gaining muscle, and shaping this body God gave me.  It’s a journey that has taken me YEARS to get through.  I hope that I can be a support to you on your journey to be a healthier version of you!

Contact me and I’ll help you with your plan and share more with you on how I do what I do.

CoreStrong Day 1…Again

Many of my friends think I’m crazy, but every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I get up at 5:15am (or actually roll out of bed) get dressed, and head out to Core Strong Fitness for TRX team camps.  TRX was introduced to me by my good friend Mark Campbell.  I attended my first class at the beginning of June 2015, and it didn’t take long before I was HOOKED!  This form of exercise with his amazing coaching and true passion to help people surpass their fitness/wellness goals has been life changing for me and my family.  At first, it was just me.  I was going to classes and just loved the atmosphere.  Then…it happened!  I started getting stronger and doing things that I had NEVER done before in my life.  I remember the first time I did a REAL push up with no modifications, and then I did another, and another.  I almost cried!  Even when I did sports in high school I couldn’t do a push up!  That was just the beginning of the changes my body was able to do through the strength I was gaining from TRX class.  Now, it’s rubbing off on my family.  Slowly our diet has been changing, we are becoming more active as a unit, and we are watching TV a whole lot less.

Today was Day 1…AGAIN!  I have been going to the TRX team camps version since August 2015.  It’s a 6 week cycle of some awesome (and hard…let’s be honest, some are really hard) exercises.  If you check out my friend Mark’s facebook page, you’ll better see what I’m talking about.
https://www.facebook.com/CORESTRONGKC/

Today as I start the team camps again, I decided to make a commitment to work harder with my family.  Work on our diet even more, and do more activities outside then we ever have.  I’m excited to share this, and if you need more support on your wellness journey, whether you are a momma or not, just contact me and we will work together to help you.before after

Here is one of my before/after photos.  This one was back in February.  I’m planning another soon as I come up on my 1 year with TRX.  These are also two of my supporters!  Austin, who is in class with me and we have fun giving each other a hard time, and Stephanie, who is Mark’s wife and is truly an inspiration to me to keep going.  The picture was taken after we completed the Fight for Air Climb for the American Lung Association.  Over 40 flights of stairs!

What are some accomplishments and goals that you have for yourself and your family in their health journey?  Let’s work together to achieve them!