I’m in a Promo Video!

Any of my friends and family that have known me for years know that this past year has been a huge transformation for me in my diet and lifestyle.  I have never been an athlete, have never truly taken care of my body before, and have never really committed to exercise in any way.

I made a decision to change.  I decided I wanted a different course for my family tree and that I want to give my kids the knowledge to make healthy choices that I didn’t know about.  I want to encourage them to live an active and healthy lifestyle, and let’s face it…I can’t do that from the couch!

Our children learn best by following our example, and I decided I wanted to be the best example that I could possibly give them.

Back in June 2015 I tried out Core Strong Fitness and took my very first TRX class.  If you would have told me back then that I would fall in love with the exercise, the people, and the experience each week, I would have told you that you were crazy!  No way would I ever commit to that!  Little did I know that being a part of Core Strong would take me to the next level and give me the positive relationship with fitness and exercise that I have today.  I go to class 3-4 days a week because I LOVE it!  No one makes me go but myself, and this commitment has helped me be a healthier mom for my kids.

Recently our coach and owner of Core Strong asked me to be a part of his promotional video along with a handful of others from our classes.  I never thought in a million years that I’d be part of a fitness promotional video.  I was hesitant to do it, not really knowing what to expect, but the Lord keeps leading me to places outside my comfort zone and it always works out amazingly well.

Here’s all our hard work in an amazing video…

If you are local, come try a class!  Your first one is FREE!  🙂

If you are on Facebook, be sure to keep up with our journey and “like” our Wellness Momma facebook page.

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.

 

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.

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

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!

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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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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I Don’t Want My Kids to Worry About Food

I read this blog post the other day, and so much of it resonated with me that I wanted to share it here.  (Plus it’s  a really awesome blog/resource for me right now)

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/05/10/i-dont-want-my-daughters-to-worry-about-food/

Changing our diet as a family is hard.  Helping other people in our life understand why it is important is even harder, and frustrating.  I don’t want my children to have a bad relationship with food, it’s something I’ve struggled with for many years, and I don’t want that for them.  I don’t want them to feel left out or singled out at birthday parties or family events either.

It can be a fine line between teaching our children to value their bodies and minds by choosing healthy food and becoming too extreme. I like how she talked about seeking the balance between the two. What do you guys think? What kinds of conversations do you have with your children about healthy eating?

Follow our blog and “like” our facebook page to follow along our journey.  Wellness Momma

Angels in the Snow

This right here…it’s the one movement that is part of his home programming that he actually enjoys.

It’s called the Angel, but he calls it “Angels in the snow”.  It’s the only one that I don’t have to correct his breathing, or help him with it to get his body movements going the right direction.  I do the deep breathing right along with him, mostly for my own sanity.

Stepping back and realizing that this isn’t as easy for him as it is for me, has been a great adjustment.  All his exercises in the home program are things I’m able to just do, with very little effort, but for him it takes great effort to overcome those primal reflexes that we are trying to work out so that he can better control his body and overall self awareness.  This is just as much a learning moment for me as it is for him.

Day by day, we are making tiny bits of progress, and I am so excited to see where he will be in a few months!

Like Wellness Momma-Elyse McLeod on facebook, and follow our blog to continue learning more about our story!