Could this be Real?

Could all of this be real?  Could this lifestyle change of healthier food, consistent exercise, and natural products FINALLY be sticking?  Is it FINALLY not so hard?!?

It is, it truly is!  Excuses have set me back time and time again.  That old 1 step forward andpoor food 2 steps back is what continued to happen to me over and over!  I couldn’t consistently eat well, exercise, and keep my mind positive to get myself to my goals.  Life gets busy and would make it way too hard and I would sacrifice my goals for easy fast food, or sitting on the couch, or simply not caring anymore.

When I committed to change this time, I was determined…wait, cross that out, I’m still determined!  I no longer want to be in the process of change, I want to be changed FOREVER!  I want to finally, FINALLY reach my goals and there is NOTHING that is going to stand in my way…NOTHING!

I finally feel like, I’ve got this!  I finally feel like I have control over my food.  That was my biggest struggle, seriously.  I could eat clean and healthy for a week and then stuff would come up and I wouldn’t get dinner made so I would make a poor food choice, and then I would make a poor choice for the next meal because, why not?  The last meal was bad so this one won’t matter either.  Then I would spiral downward and all my hard work would be sabotaged.  Do you do this?  Do you sabotage yourself when things get tough?  Do you even realize you’re doing it?  Many times I wouldn’t.  I would wake up one day and look in the mirror and realize the poor decisions of the last month have negatively impacted my body and I’d have to start all over…again.

It has been 46 days since I made this commitment.   I haven’t cheated once…I have stayed the course and only eaten real, good, healthy food and it really hasn’t been that hard.  Do you know what was different this time?  I was READY.  I was finally ready to permanently live healthier.  I was finally ready to let go of people who would drag me down and surround myself with only those who would support me.  I was finally ready to believe that no excuse was good enough to get in the way of my goals.

Why do I do this?  So many reasons…but first and foremost, for me.  I want to be the best wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, coach, wellness instructor, etc. that I can be, and I can’t do that if I am not living to the best of my ability; feeding my body healthy things, caring for my body the most natural way possible, and moving it by exercising and getting stronger.  I want to be the best example to my children that I can possibly be!  I want them to grow up healthy and strong with a love for physical activity that I never had.  I want to support my husband as he walks this journey with me.  We get to be each others biggest fans, shoulders to cry on, ears to vent to, and accountability partner to exercise with.  It isn’t easy, but we are doing it!

I also couldn’t do this without one of the best coaches I’ve ever known, Mark and his day 35inspiration of a wife Stephanie.  They are an amazing example of living a healthy lifestyle day in and day out.  Want to learn more about Mark’s program, contact him via his website at www.corestrongkc.com  or check out his Instagram @trx_core .  This is my progress from Day 1 to Day 35.  I’ll post another one next week showing further progress…

Want to know why I embraced more natural lifestyle?  I have a FREE newsletter just for you!  Just go to www.getoiling.com/wellnessmomma to sign up for it!  It explains why we made changes in our home to live more natural and using the best natural products we could find.  Have questions or thoughts of inspiration to share with me?  Just leave a comment on this post, I’d love to connect with you!

Will it destroy me? (Day 10 Weight Loss Challenge)

Well, here it is, Weight Loss Challenge Day 10!

Today…well, it’s hard to put into words exactly how I feel.  So here it is…day 10 video to explain my feelings today.

 

I’m doing my best to overcome, be strengthened by it, and continue on my journey to get to a better version of me!

I also put together another awesome Instant Pot meal!  Here’s what I did, but I don’t measure anything, so I’ll do my best to describe it.  🙂

Chicken Veggie Soupchicken-veggie-soup

  • 2lbs chicken breast (pre-cooked in instant pot)
  • 4 c. chicken bone broth
  • 3 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 c. frozen chopped kale
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper

Put all ingredients in Instant Pot, lock lid and select “soup” setting for 12 minutes.  When adding the seasoning, do what is best for you and your family.  We like things a little spicy so we do a little more cumin and cayenne pepper.

It was super good, and helped turn my day around a little bit.  If I am able to cook without 3 kiddos in my way, then it is pretty therapeutic and helps me to know I’m feeding myself well and healthy.

What are some things you do to strengthen yourself?

strengthen

 

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

Slique in 60 Day 1

I decided a couple days ago that I needed to buckle down and finish my weight loss journey by getting to my goal weight!  In order to help motivate me I signed up for Young Living’s Slique in 60 challenge, and I’m going to do it twice for a total of 120 days.  I have been on this journey for awhile, and I would really like to get to the stage of maintaining my healthy weight instead of always battling to lose more.

I am excited for this because it helps give me a fresh start on my journey and helps me continue stronger with an invigorated spirit and perspective.

Tonight I made Sweet Potato Chili in my Instant Pot!  It was SO yummy.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1lb. ground turkey
    sweet-potato-chili

    Here it is all packed up and ready for my husband’s lunch tomorrow!

     

  • 1 large sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1-15oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1-15oz. can black beans
  • 1-15oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c water

On saute mode drizzle a little olive oil and add onion, carrots, sweet potato, and red pepper. Stir and let cook for 2 minutes.  Add ground turkey and cook until nearly completely browned.  While cooking add the seasonings.  When it’s nearly browned add the tomatoes, beans, and water.  Stir and switch to “chili” mode and 10 minutes, place lid on and allow it to cook.  Do a quick release when finished and enjoy!

After a fairly easy Day 1, I decided to begin a video log of my 120 day adventure!  Here’s day 1!

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.

20160817_111919 (2)

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!

20160817_114712

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.

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

protein bites2

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/

orange_loveitshareit_vitality

 

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

Little Victories

We tried some brown rice cereal, sweetened with organic cane sugar and it also had unsweetened cocoa.  Then we poured unsweetened coconut milk over it.  He took a few unsure bites, but decided he liked it.  My other 2 kids liked it as well.  We also tried some coconut milk yogurt that he really didn’t like, but I got each kid to at least take 2 bites.  It will definitely take some time to change how they eat, but I’m excited that they have been more willing than I expected them to be.  My oldest was NOT happy that she was having to join her brother in eating differently, but after I explained to her that it was for the best for all of us, she’s actually been quite helpful most of the time with encouraging him to try more.

Food has always been a struggle for our “O”.  We discovered when he was about 12 months old that he has a severe allergy to eggs and peanuts, then lower on the spectrum is tree nuts, corn, and soy.  We are able to eat peanut butter around him, but he has never ingested it.  We’ve always tried to limit how much he eats of the other things, but corn and soy are in nearly every processed food, like crackers and other snacks he loves, so it has always been hard to find him alternative food for in between meals.  He also deals with some texture issues.  Even when it is a food he likes, if it is cooked in a different way (or “wrong” according to O) then he won’t eat it, sometimes he will even gag and throw up.  He used to LOVE blueberries, when he was about 2 and a half we went to the farmers market and he asked to carry the bag of blueberries and he ended up eating nearly the entire bag as we walked around, that’s how much he loved them.  Well, at some point he got a “yuck filled blueberry” and he hasn’t touched them since.  😦  So far we haven’t even been able to convince him to try them again.

Another texture issue for him is the crispy-ness of chicken nuggets.  For example, we generally were at Chick-fil-a every week and he always peeled most of the breading from his chicken so that he could eat it, but give him the grilled chicken and he won’t touch it!  Those are just a couple of the battles we face.  It’s a journey, and ultimately changing his diet is for the best and is going to help him greatly in the long run!

Do you have a child who deals with texture issues?  What are some tips or tricks that you have tried?

Like Wellness Momma-Elyse McLeod on Facebook and follow this blog to continue to be a part of our journey!

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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