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

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

 

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!

before after

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?

Keep following our journey on facebook and like our Wellness Momma page.

It’s All in Your Head!

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

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

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

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

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

Emotional Eater

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Quick Veggie Side

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

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

sprouts 1

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

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

 

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

sprouts 3

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

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

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