Weight Loss Challenge Day 3 – Self Sabotage

One of the biggest battles I have is self-sabotage.  I am really good at being successful in exercise or weight loss, and then sabotaging myself with food or binge-watching Netflix and not getting enough activity.  Anyone else do that?

My mindset this time around is that each time I make a choice I think to myself, “is this going to come between me and my goal?”  I am striving to be sure to make it to my goal and be successful.  Here’s how today went…

What are you doing to reach your health goals?  How do you help your mindset to be successful?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Weight Loss Challenge day 2 & an Instant Pot Original!

Well, day 2 was definitely a little tougher than day 1!  We were gone to our homeschool co-op all day, so that definitely made it interesting!  Plus it makes it a little more difficult to get all my steps in.  Here’s my thoughts on today…

And now for the Instant Post recipe…

My husband and I used to make this dish that we called “black bean pasta”.  It was simply a jar of salsa, a can on black beans, a can of corn, and a couple tablespoons of cumin warmed in a saucepan.  You then poured that over noodles.  This was a cheap and easy dinner for us and we used to eat it all the time.  Tonight I decided to make a twist on this simple recipe into something a little more healthy eating friendly.  It made approximately 8 servings.  Oh, and a warning…if you need exact measurements, this recipe isn’t for you. 😉

To begin I put 4 frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot, covered it with some cumin, salt, and pepper then poured about 2 cups of salsa on top and 1/2 a cup of water.gfree-black-bean-noodles  I put the lid on and hit the poultry button and set the timer for 15 minutes.  I allowed it to naturally release for about 10 minutes, then it rested in the juices for about 10 more minutes.

I made these interesting Black Bean noodles that I picked up from Aldi.  It’s seriously just
black beans dried into pasta.  After looking at the nutrition facts I decided I didn’t need an entire serving.  Although it had some great protein and fiber, it was a LOT of calories, so I divided it into 8 servings instead of 4 and decided to bulk up our dinner with some zucchini instead.  We had 2 medium size zucchini squash needing to be used, so I used our spiralizer and turned them into Zoodles!  I then sliced up the chicken into bite size pieces, then placed it back in the instant pot with the remaining salsa and a can of corn.  This became our “sauce”.  To make my plate I took about 1/2 a zucchini’s worth of zoodles, 1/2 a serving of black bean noodles, and our sauce!  It was SO GOOD!  I hope you give it a try!

gfree-black-bean-dinner

Positive Changes in my Son

We have been a part of the Brain Balance program for 3 months now and I wanted to be sure and update everyone on how Owen is doing.  This is the half way point, and he has already met or surpassed a portion of his goals!  It has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs.  It has been hard, it has been a lot of work, and it has changed our entire family.  Don’t get the wrong idea though, no one ever told us that this program would be easy!  No one said that this was going to be a quick fix, or that change would happen overnight.  At certain points I didn’t realize it was going to be so hard and I almost wanted to give up….but your know what?  It’s all been worth it!  All the sacrifices, all the driving, all the meltdowns, all the home program work, all the diet changes…it was all so overwhelming at first!  But every step has been worth it.

My little boy has grown, changed, and matured so much in the past 3 months! I sit here in disbelief with a tear running down my cheek as I look at him across the room problem solving and trying to figure out how to get his Lego structure stabilized.  You see 3 months ago, that would have been a meltdown…like end of the world, throw the Legos, stomp, scream, kick sort of meltdown because the Legos weren’t doing what he wanted them to.  When he was 2, that behavior didn’t seem like a big deal, but at 6 and a half he has to learn to handle these emotions.  Now he is able to stop, think about how it should go, talk it out, or just make more attempts at his structure without losing control of his emotions!  THIS IS AMAZING!

Another giant milestone for him is his diet and nutrition.  He was EXTREMELY picky, and mostly ate junk food. (looking back I realize it was mostly junk, I didn’t see that it was so much junk before)  With a lot of hard work and persistence, we have been able to stick to a healthy meal plan of real foods.  We even spent this past weekend at a church retreat where every meal contained mostly food that he couldn’t have.  He dealt with this better than I did I think, and was happy to eat his Brain Balance approved foods, and stay on track with all the progress we’ve made so far!  He is still picky, and has his struggles at times, but he has come so far in such a short amount of time, that I’m not complaining.

Then one more change that I saw recently is his smile.  You see, before if he wasn’t making a funny face when looking at the camera, he sort of had this odd smile.  We learned from Brain Balance that his eyes have trouble focusing, and I figured out that’s probably why in most of his pictures he isn’t actually looking at the camera.  Then because his frontal lobe is under-developed and that’s where most of our emotions are held, I think he struggled with knowing  how to get his face to make a real smile.  I struggled to find a picture that shows what I’m referring to because we don’t keep a lot of those and just retake a bunch of pics to get a good one, so this is as close to an illustration I can show.  The one of the left was taken last fall, the one of the right was this past weekend.  See him making eye contact?!?  🙂

Owen 2

I’m so proud of all the progress he has made his first 3 months with Brain Balance, and I can’t wait to see how far he will go in his last 3 months!

Follow this blog to keep up with our journey, and be sure to like our page on Facebook called Wellness Momma to follow along as well.

If you want to know more about Brain Balance, go here.

Progress to a Real Hug!

My 6 year old son has been a part of the Brain Balance Program for a little over 2 months.  He has Functional Disconnect Syndrome – FDS, and is Right Brain Weak.  It is absolutely amazing to me the progress he has made on the program in such a short amount of time!  There are so many areas that we’ve seen changes in, and we are so glad we found this program instead of going down the road of having him diagnosed with Autism or ADHD and the doctors recommending different medications to change his mood. Brain Balance is definitely a great fit for our family.

The one area that has changed and had one of the biggest impacts on me the past few days is touch.  You see, my son doesn’t like to give hugs to anyone really.  He’ll hug me, his dad,20151226_100900 and my dad…but everyone else that is immediate family he is very reluctant to hug.  He will usually do it because he has learned that we hug when we say goodbye, but he doesn’t ever want to.  I just thought that this was who he was.  I didn’t realize that “Some children with FDS can be extremely sensitive to touch.  They’ll squirm away from a hug and keep a distance when sitting with their family.” –Disconnected Kids by Dr. Robert Melillo

Well , this past weekend he spent time with my mom and step-dad. My step-dad was amazed at the changes he saw in our kid.  He said that he asked him to sit with him during a movie they were watching, and that he gave him a real hug!  It made me think about how my son was even interacting with me lately…

I thought about his hugs recently and how he has been putting his arm around me when he sits on the couch with me.  I thought about his schoolwork and how I’m able to be closer to him to show him how to hold his pencil or how to write a letter without him becoming irritated.

I get a little teary eyed realizing that he is beginning to FEEL!  Previous to Brain Balance he had little to no empathy and truly didn’t understand others emotions, let alone his own.  The fact that he has begun to give real hugs, and that he lets me give him kisses is a change that this momma is LOVING!  You see, many children who are right brain weak are not able to show empathy or understand emotion because that part of their frontal lobe hasn’t developed so that they can.  It’s something that I took for granted before, but now I am so incredibly thankful for the work he is doing.

How do you celebrate progress with your kids?  How do you effectively praise and encourage your children with they are doing well?  We are doing our best to recognize his small changes and praise him when we see the differences for the good in him.

I’m going to continue with other blog posts of his progress and changes we have made in different areas.  Follow along on our blog, and our Facebook page, Wellness Momma –> here.

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The Struggle of Less Screen Time

As part of doing the Brain Balance program, we are supposed to be limiting my son’s screen time to 1 hour a day.  It didn’t really sound that hard at first, I already limit the amount of TV they watch in a day, but when it is ANY screen, not just TV, it makes it a little harder than I thought.  He wants to play games on my phone, or on the computer, and that’s part of screen time too!

owen chalkHe loves to play outside, so that is a big help on days that it is nice enough to send the kids out, but it has been in the upper 90’s a lot lately, so they only last outside for about 10-20 minutes before they need to come in and cool down.

We definitely have made more trips to the swimming pool! These kids LOVE to swim, thank goodness their grandpa has a neighborhood pool that the kids can swim in for free and we go almost weekly.  They swim and move the entire time just wearing their little bodies out!  It’s so good for them to owen swim 1get moving like that, plus it is something to do outside and NOT in front of a screen.
Plus, they rarely have any sibling fights in the pool, which mommy LOVES!  Anything to keep the peace, right?

The kids have also had fun making up their own games, and playing the board games we have.  Plus he is getting really good at UNO, he actually beat me last time we played!

What are some creative ways that you reduce screen time with your kids?  How do you encourage move movement with couch potato kids?

Continue to follow our journey through this blog, and on our Facebook page, Wellness Momma –> here!

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!

before after

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!

Super B…super Me!

Not too long ago someone asked me how I could possibly have so much energy with all that I do?  Working from home, homeschooling my children, pursuing this healthier version of myself and going to 3-4 TRX classes a week, running, multiple activities at church, and of course taking care of my children and running a household!  You know, we pursue and do everything that the Lord puts in front of us.  Have you heard that saying that the Lord will never give you more than you can handle?  Many times I question that!  (I think we all have our moments)  I took the time to really think about her question before I responded.  It took me a few minutes to realize that ever since I started taking better care of myself, and taking Super B every morning, my life doesn’t seem so busy.  It doesn’t seem like it’s more than I can handle because I have the energy to handle it!

Super B is a comprehensive source of the B vitamins essential for good health, like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B12, biotin, and folic acid.  It even includes minerals that aid in the assimilation and metabolism of B vitamins.  I realized that even though I was working hard to eat a healthier diet, getting a better source of B vitamins really gave me the energy I needed to “handle it all” so to speak.  🙂  Now I don’t go a day without it!

What are some ways that you like to boost your energy naturally?

*Disclaimer:  The information on this website is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living Essential Oils. I am not a doctor. Statements, products, and techniques mentioned have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

 

This stuff is AMAZING!!!

So…we had a few housekeeping issues today that I was able to take care of with a few drops of Young Living Lemon Oil.  This is an AWESOME way to take care of things in your home without having to use toxic cleaners and chemicals.  Plus it’s easy!  And everyone likes easy, right?

My littlest had gotten ahold of my middle child’s dry erase workbook and had scribbled all over every page!  I don’t know when he did this, but it was long enough ago that it wouldn’t wipe off.  I even tried a wet paper towel and it made no difference.  Then I added 1 drop of lemon oil and it totally came clean with very little elbow grease of my own added!  I just wiped it down again with a clean paper towel and WHA-LAH!  Ready to be used again!

dry erase marker

Then there was this foam sticker, stuck on the floor for ages.  (Well about mother’s day I think)  It was a foam heart sticker that somehow didn’t stick to my child’s project, but was practically glued onto my kitchen floor!  I just dropped a couple drops of lemon oil, let it sit for a minute and scrubbed it off!  All gone and I didn’t have to use any of those chemical cleaners!

sticky floor

Want to learn more about amazing oils?  Check out my website http://www.transformingdrops.myoilsite.com       Or just send me a message!  I love sharing with others how ditching harsh chemicals has been amazing for our family’s health and well being!

Finding God In Your Unlikely

Today I attended a Women’s Encouragement Day for Homeschool Mom’s.  I went with little expectations because this was my first event as a homeschool mom that I was attending.  We began this homeschooling journey just this past year, and the decision was made about 2 weeks prior to school starting that we would become a homeschool family.  My little second grader was going to learn from mommy and not go back to private school.  It was somewhat harder on my husband than anyone else, because she was leaving the school he graduated from.  But I had felt gently nudged by the Lord (ok, tapped on the shoulder repeatedly) that homeschooling my children was all in His plan for our family.  I so much enjoyed the event today spending time with other moms and being encouraged and lifted up to continue my work in our home with our children. I have a great desire in my heart for my children to be not just siblings but best friends!  I love the opportunity that they have with being homeschooled to spend an incredible amount of time together.  It’s not always easy and fun, but when I see them spending quality time with one another and loving each other, I truly relish those moments because they fill my heart with immense joy.

siblings

Some years ago, homeschooling was my unlikely.  I was teaching in a public school, and never even thought homeschooling was a journey that I would take my family on.  And in recent years, I didn’t want to homeschool because I didn’t want the added work.  I thought it would be too hard to manage spending time with all my children and teach them!  I spent many hours in prayer looking for guidance on seeing if this was the right step for my family.  Diving into homeschooling has been an immense blessing for me. In this short time of our first year of homeschooling, there have been lots of ups and downs, and many times I have felt like a failure.  Times that I have felt like I’m not good enough and not able enough to do EVERYTHING!  I can’t teach her everything, I can’t keep everything clean, I can’t be involved in everything, and I can’t be everything.  I had many moments where I focused on my brokenness.  I focused on how I couldn’t be enough for my family.  Couldn’t be enough to be a good mom, couldn’t be enough to be a good wife, couldn’t be enough to be a good teacher, couldn’t be enough to be a good friend.  (See where I’m going?)  Do you ever feel this way?  What about if instead of focusing on our brokenness, we look to Him and behold His beauty.  We look to Him to find our change so that we CAN be wonderful moms, wives, teachers, and friends!  Failures are not about what we are not, but who He is.  He uses our failures to mold our unique spirits.  He uses our failures to help us grow into His plan  for the kingdom.  When life gets hard and you feel broken, respond by looking to Him instead of the bitterness and negativity we sometimes let creep into our hearts as moms.

To get me through moments where I need some calming to my spirit, I use the oil blend Believe on my wrists and over my heart.  It contains Idaho Balsam Fir to give a feeling of strength and inner peace, Coriander, Bergamot which is simultaneously uplifting and calming with the ability to relieve stress and tension, Frankincense which can help in overcoming stress and despair, Idaho Blue Spruce has an aroma that is grounding, Ylang Ylang promotes relaxation and restores confidence, and Geranium which helps with relaxation.

Believe

What do you use to help you in your times of feeling like a failure?  Do you search for God in your unlikely?  Can you find Him in your brokenness and reach to Him for counsel in His word?  After spending time with so many moms today I am working on a change in my heart.  To converse with Him even in the tiniest of moments so I can grow closer to Him.  To whisper sweet prayers over my children with each hug.  To cry out to Him when another trip down the stairs is made to change laundry.  To look up to the heavens out our kitchen window and rejoice in His beauty while doing the dishes.  What are ways you can carry on conversations with God throughout your day?