Easy Apple Cinnamon Quinoa

I am always looking for more ways to get my children to eat good and healthy food.  This recipe that a friend gave me was so easy, and yummy!  Our middle son, Owen, is currently in the Brain Balance program and along with all the therapies and work he is doing there 3 days a week, we also have exercises for home program and a nutrition plan.  This plan is pretty restrictive.  No gluten, dairy, soy, or refined sugars, and very limited corn.  He also is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs so although we can have those things and stay on program with him, he can’t.

When we first began trying new foods Owen would absolutely refuse.  He would have meltdowns, throw fits, I mean you would think we were asking him to move mountains, not take a small bite of food to try.  Sometimes when he finally would try something, he would then throw up or spit it out because it was terrible.  We have learned through his testing at Brain Balance that his “smeller” is off.  He failed the portion of the test where he is supposed to guess smells, and smelling our food is a big part of how we taste our food so it makes sense that not very many things taste good to him.  If it wasn’t the taste, it was the texture that threw him off so many times we felt like we could20160817_114859n’t win.

He is slowly making progress.  He is more open to trying new foods and taking at least 2 bites and swallowing.  We haven’t found very many new foods that he likes yet, but the fact that he isn’t throwing up when he tries them is definitely progress!

We tried this recipe with some success…

Apple Breakfast Quinoa

Begin by peeling and coring the apples, then cut them into bite size pieces.  In a medium saucepan add apples, water, and quinoa.

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Bring these to a boil, then cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir in cinnamon, then separate into 2 bowls.  You can drizzle with honey if needed.  I made a double batch so that I could have it all ready for the next day as well, so I put them in containers.  It reheats quite well!

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This was a definite hit with my littlest.  He’s 3 and can nearly eat an entire serving by himself!  My Brain Balance kid, Owen, doesn’t love it, but will eat about 5 bites and given our history, I’d say that’s a win!  My oldest who is 9 will eat about 1/2 a serving before she says she is full.

I absolutely love it!  It tastes good, but more than that, it is filling and keeps me full until it’s time to eat again, no mid-morning hunger to try and battle.

I’m going to be sharing some more recipes that we are trying soon, so be sure to follow our blog and check us out on Facebook at Wellness Momma.

**To learn more about cooking with Essential Oils, or to place an order, simply email me at wellnessmommaelyse@gmail.com or use this contact form.

 

Goals are Hard

Yesterday my friend Stacey sent me a text to see if I wanted her to grab my race packet for the Labor Day 5k.  I had completely forgot about it, not to mention I can’t even remember the last time I ran.  I did some with my daughter to help her prepare for her first 5k, but it wasn’t much because she isn’t a runner and struggled to do the walking and running.  (but she really did well when it came time for the race)  So without hesitation, I was like, YES!  I’m going!  Then I sat there and thought…what am I doing?  I’m going to be SO SLOW, it’s gonna put me in a bad mood and ruin my weekend.

Well, last night I spent some time praying and eventually told myself, “Elyse, you set this goalsgoal to do this race and even if you forgot and don’t feel ready, just do it anyway!  Who cares how long it takes you.”  I do go to TRX strength training 3-4 times a week, so it’s not like I’m not exercising, I just haven’t been running.

Getting ready this morning I just kept thinking, you are just gonna run the best you can.  It’s only a 5k…you’ve got this!  I drank my NingXia Red, put on some Young Living peppermint essential oil and headed out the door.

When I got in line for the race I was the calmest I have ever been before the start of a race. I felt peace in knowing that finishing this race was my goal, not getting a certain time.

During the race I pushed myself, I found some people shortly before mile 1 that I was keeping pretty good pace with so I challenged myself to stay with them.  Another goal set right in the middle of the race…and I did it!  I pushed hard to stay close to them, and you know what?  I was within seconds of my fastest time ever for a 5k.  My timing chip didn’t catch my start time, so it was just the clock time when I looked up my race time, but that’s ok.  I know I started about 30 seconds in, so I am so happy with myself!

I set goals for myself, and I crushed them!  I have worked so hard this past year to achieve goals in my life, and today was no different.  I am about to start some new goals in my life, and following through with this race is giving me the push I need to keep going!

Do you have goals that you are going after?  What helps motivate you?

labor day 5k 2016

Becoming Better…No Excuses!

Recently I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I’ve been doing in my life to lose weight and get fit.  Really it has been a road of ups and downs, but before I did anything I worked hard to change my relationship with food.  I now strive to make better food choices daily, use Young Living essential oils and supplements to support my health, and I MOVE!  I go to TRX 4 times a week.  That’s when those people’s mouths drop open and they say, I could never do that.  I tell them that 3 of those classes are at 6am so that I’m not sacrificing time with my family and that makes it easier for me.  They look at me and say, I could never exercise that early!  In my head, I remember when I made those same excuses.

Here’s the thing folks…I decided over a year ago to make a change in my life and in order to do that, I had to be committed or the change wouldn’t happen.  I couldn’t be successful at this if I wasn’t committed to making my body healthier so that I could be happier.  I truly enjoy going to TRX class as it’s something that has given me so much strength and helped me gradually push my body and build muscles that I didn’t even know I had.  Some days are harder than others, some workouts are not my favorite, but they all contribute to making me stronger and making me better.

I learned awhile back that if I complained, even in my head, about a certain exercise or movement, I almost always failed at it.  This negative self talk truly has an impact on what my body can do.  So for months now, whenever my coach cues an exercise that I don’t like or is one that is hard for me, I just say, “that one’s my favorite!”  Everyone knows I say it with a hint of sarcasm, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that just uttering those words each time have helped me achieve more in that exercise or movement than I ever thought possible.

There are even movements or positions that I now love! One of them is a suspended side plank.  I love it because when I began, those muscles were so weak that I couldn’t even hold a modified side plank on the ground.  I’ve progressed so much that recently I held a single-leg side plank for about 30 seconds or more.  You can see the drastic difference of those levels in the pictures below!  Neither of the pictures are of me, but I wanted to illustrate the difference between those 2 descriptions.

I don’t mean to only promote TRX on my blog, it is just a form of exercise that I have come to enjoy and it works for me.  That being said, find a form of exercise that YOU enjoy.  Even going for walks are a great way to get started integrating more movement into your lifestyle.  I used to love Zumba way back when my gym offered that class, and that’s an awesome way to burn some calories and work cardio.  Find something that you enjoy, and you’ll stick with it!

Keep following my family’s journey to get healthier right here on this blog and our Facebook Page –> Wellness Momma.  Learn more about TRX and my coach at www.corestrongkc.com

Protein Bites

I made these awesome little nuggets of splendor last week!  I didn’t realize when I was making them that all these healthy ingredients mixed together could create something so scrumptious.  I have to do my absolute best to restrict myself to just 1 or 2!  Plus my kids love them, and that makes them even better.

My first batch had less chocolate chips, and I added a blend of pecans, pistachios, and cranberries to it.

My second batch I made nut-free for my middle son with food allergies, but I added too many chocolate chips, so they were harder to keep together.  But don’t worry, those chocolate chips didn’t go to waste!  My little boys made sure to eat those up.

The original recipe comes from my Core Strong coach, Mark.  I’m not sure where he got it from, but I don’t think it’s fair to keep it a secret because these are AWESOME!

Protein Power Balls

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They may not look very pretty…but they are REALLY good!

  • 1 cup Gluten Free Quick Cooking Oats
  • 2/3 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup almond/peanut butter (for my no nuts batch I used Sunbutter)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips/dried fruit/nuts/combo
  • 1 tbsp  vanilla
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds

Mix all these up in a bowl, then use a tbsp to portion out a roll into balls.  I place them on parchment paper in an airtight container and store them in the fridge.

Now…to add my own little Essential oil twist!  Add 6-8 drops of Young Living Orange Vitality Essential Oil.  It puts a fresh spin on an already great mix!  Learn more about it here.  My member/referral number is 1567278 in case you decide to purchase some for yourself…that little bottle has 85 drops in it, so it’ll last you quite awhile!

WARNING!  Like I said, these are awesome and you have to be careful not to eat too many.  🙂  I think my youngest would eat 1/2 the container in one setting if I let him.  😉

Keep up with our adventure of clean eating and healthy changes in our family by following our blog and our Facebook page!  https://www.facebook.com/wellnessmommaof3/

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Experience the Rugged Maniac

So back in April a few of my friends convinced me that it would be “fun” to do the Rugged Maniac together.  Don’t know what the Rugged Maniac is?  Well, I didn’t know much either except that it involved obstacles, mud, and water and I absolutely HATE doing anything in wet clothes.  Like seriously if you know me at all, spill a cup of water on me when I can’t change my clothes and I’m sorry for the wrath that will rain down upon you.  This was such my concern that it wasn’t until a week before the race that I decided to look up the Rugged Maniac and learn every detail.  Oh that was such a mistake!  I looked at all the obstacles that were captured in pictures all over the internet and I started to fear my survival of this race.  Pretty much every single one were things I had never done before.  Ok, they were ALL things I had never done before!

I seriously struggled to sleep 2 nights before the race because I had looked up all those pictures and what exactly the race involved and I started having like mini panic attacks in my sleep.  The night before I layered on some Stress Away essential oil from Young Living, and that seemed to do the trick to get me through the night so I was rested on race day.  As I pulled into the parking lot to meet my team, anxiety set in and I started to get really scared.  I rolled on some more Stress Away as  I stood there thinking that I didn’t know what to expect, but I had a little peace in knowing that my friends would be there for me through the entire race, and I knew they would be the support I needed to have the courage to try every obstacle.ruggedmaniachill

One little detail that our entire team didn’t really think about, was the fact that the event was being held at Snow Creek which is the closest thing to a mountain we have here in Missouri. they cover it with snow for skiing in the winter.  If you weren’t navigating an
obstacle during the race, you were nearly crawling uphill or trying not to fall as your momentum pushed you downhill!  Oh, and another thing we were dreading…it was over 100 degrees!  It did make having wet clothes slightly easier to deal with though.

After EVERY obstacle I would take a quick look back and say, “I can’t believe I just did that!”  We joked about how it was everything I spend time telling my children NOT to do…”don’t play in the mud, don’t climb that high, don’t jump over FIRE!, don’t climb the walls!”  I still can’t believe I did it, and I wouldn’t have made it through the entire course (especially climbing the wall) without them!  We finished and I couldn’t believe I survived the entire thing and gave everything I had to that race.  It seriously is the most EARNED t-shirt and medal I’ve ever received, and I’ll be wearing that shirt with pride and happily share my story and battle wounds with anyone who’d be happy to listen.

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Finishing that race has got to be the hardest physical achievement I have done besides birthing my 3 children.  It made me realize that I could accomplish things that I never thought possible, and that my goals are not set too high.  If I can accomplish an entire race I never dreamed possible for myself, what else can I do?  Who else can I help do the same?  How can I take my new found inspiration and knowledge to people just like me?  I hope sharing my story will help inspire others to realize that they can achieve things they never thought possible for themselves.

Follow this blog and my facebook page, Wellness Momma so you can follow our story!

Weight Loss Transformation

There are SO many things that have contributed to my weightloss transformation.  Getting my head in a place where I could mentally be up for the challenges and sacrifices it would take was one of the first steps I took.  With the help of Dr. Black at Core Wellness I was able to work through many obstacles holding me back in getting healthy.Transformation pic 1

The second thing I did was learn about how I could use Essential Oils to help get my body healthy and working right.  There’s a lot of skepticism behind essential oils, but I’ve done lots of research and found using Young Living Essential Oils and products were top notch for my body and a great companion in my wellness journey.  We use them to detox, cook, stay healthy, and support our body systems as we go through everyday life. They have truly helped fuel my desire to be healthy and assisted in my weight loss.  Chat with me if you want more info about how I use the oils to support my weight loss, I’m happy to share!

In the last year I have been a part of Core Strong Fitness and taken up strength training with an awesome coach, Mark Campbell, using the TRX.  Here is what I shared on his Core Strong Fitness page:

I have spent majority of my life overweight.  I’ve tried many programs, diet plans, gyms, you name it, but nothing was helping me successfully take off and keep off the weight, and after having three kids, I was really struggling.  Two years ago I sought help from Core Wellness and my eyes were opened to realizing that I was an emotional eater, and that many activities in my life were centered around food.  I spent an entire year (not intentionally) working on my relationship with food and transforming that relationship so food was no longer my friend, but simply fuel to get me through my day.  I failed many times along the way, but I learned SO much.

before after1Finally, about one year ago I decided to check out this TRX class that Mark had been talking about.  I had no idea what it was, or what we would be doing in class, but I was ready to make a change for myself.  It didn’t take long for me to discover that this form of exercise was exactly what I needed.  I have worked hard over this past year, and have been able to succeed with movements I couldn’t even do when I began.  I’ve gained lots of muscle, confidence, and a drive to keep getting better.  I’ve lost weight, inches, and self-doubt. 

What has been the best part about being a member of CoreStrong? The friendships made, the accountability to show up, and the best coach around!  It is a family, and without Mark’s direction and encouragement, I would NOT be where I am now with exercise and fitness.  All of this has propelled me to have a healthier lifestyle all around, and now I’m bringing my entire family on this journey with me.  You can check out our family’s journey and like our facebook page, we’d love to have you along.  https://www.facebook.com/wellnessmommaof3/

I’m still working on myself, but I have achieved a lot by focusing on all the ways I can help my body be its best!

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Had a Bad Day? 7 Things I Strive Not to Do

All of us have bad days.  Sometimes even bad weeks, bad months, or even times we feel like we are trapped by events or people in our lives and it lands us in a bad mood.

Many times the advice you get are all the ways to make you feel better.  Ways to relieve stress, or take the worries off your mind, but it can be hard to even have the initiative to do those things!  No one ever really talks about the things you should NOT do.

At our house, things have been a little crazy and upside down.  It feels like at least one person is having a bad day in our house everyday.  We are adjusting to a new schedule, home programming, and a whole new diet plan to support our son with his Brain Balance program.  We try to play outside, visit with friends, get out of the house to get our minds off of the stresses, but many days lately I feel like we are circling the drain!  So, how can I help my family and I to STOP doing things that contribute to a bad day?  Here are some ideas…

1. Quit Feeling bad for feeling bad.

So many times I apologize for my mood, for feeling bad.  But really, we CAN’T be happy ALL the time.  It’s ok to experience our full range of emotions from time to time.  Instead of dwelling on your bad feelings, please just allow yourself to be present in your emotions and work THROUGH them!  Many times you are able to let things go and make room for a sense of peace.

2. Don’t Eat Your Feelings.

I promise, it only feels good for a moment!  In my experience, shortly after I’m done eating that comfort food, guilt and shame make their way in and I end up feeling worse than when I started.  It’s taken me a LONG time to remember that each time I’m tempted by that feeling of a need for comfort food, that I feel worse afterward.  Now I’m able to reach for healthier food options or make a smoothie.  So remember to keep your favorite healthy food options close at hand in your home, especially when bad moods strike!

3. Are you focusing on the problem, or the solution?

Sometimes it feels really good to vent to your friends and share all your troubles with them, but be sure you aren’t complaining about the same things over and over without searching for a solution.  Plus, your bad mood could spill over on them, and you don’t want to be the cause of someone else’s bad mood.  So instead of complaining, try and come up with ideas and steps you can take to better your mood or situation.

4. Are you avoiding the fresh air?

Go OUTSIDE!  It will boost your mood almost instantly. Don’t give in to that feeling of wanting to crawl in bed and binge watch episodes of your favorite show on Netflix.  Instead to out and enjoy nature!  Find a local nature trail, take the kids to the park, or simply go for a walk around the block.  Sunshine is nature’s antidepressant.

5. Never moving at all. Ever.

I know, I know…exercise is tough, and not fun for so many, but even if it feels like the least appealing thing to do in the entire world, DO IT ANYWAY!  5 minutes with an elevated heart rate can boost your mood for hours after.  For me, taking TRX class has been a giant help for my mood.  Even when I don’t want to go, I go anyway because I know how much better I will feel after it’s over!  Plus my coach is really awesome about accountability.  So get up and DO something, I promise it’ll be worth it to help you get out of your “blah” mood.

6. Staying in your head.

When we’re in a rough mood, we tend to focus on the bad. We go over negative situations and outcomes like a video replaying in our mine. Don’t wallow in self-pity or overanalyze past drama, start living in the here and now instead. Do activities that bring you joy: coloring, cooking, reading a good book, or doing yoga.  Find what works as an outlet for your mind to release those bad emotions.

7. Use some essential oils.

I know, crazy right?  But really they help tremendously with helping your body feel more balanced.  One of my favorites is Stress-Away from Young Living.  I put a little on my neck, or a few drops in the diffuser and it makes a world of difference for all of us in our home.  Check out Oils 101 for more info on these wonderful oils, I’d be happy to help you with a wholesale discount.

Want to continue to follow our family’s journey in health and wellness?  Like our Facebook page Wellness Momma, and follow our blog!  We’d love to have you along!

Frustrating Transition

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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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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.

To learn what’s next for us, follow this blog Wellness Momma, and like the Wellness Momma Facebook page!  Click Here!

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.

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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.

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(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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