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

 

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.

Don’t forget to Follow Wellness Momma on Facebook too!

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!

“Like” Wellness Momma-Elyse McLeod on Facebook for more everyday inspiration.  click here!

Failing at Weight Loss

I have NEVER been skinny, but I’ve never really been healthy either.  I didn’t understand my relationship with food and truly how it affected my weight.  I know what you are thinking…Use more calories than you eat…right?  But it isn’t always that simple.  I have failed many times in this journey to be happy with the body that I have, and honestly, I still fail at it!  It has NOT been easy! That scale is one of my worst enemies some weeks, and learning and valuing that I am more than just a number on that scale, has been absolutely freeing! Taking the time to educate myself on what good food and nutrition is, has changed me into someone I’d never thought I’d be.

You see, changing the way you eat isn’t easy and isn’t as black and white as some people who don’t struggle with food make it out to be.  Any of you out there who have tried to change their eating habits, know exactly what I’m talking about.  We all are raised a certain way, grow up with certain foods, and many celebrated life events happen around food.  When you tell your friends and family that you can’t have some amazing dish that they know you love, they unknowingly sabotage you by saying something like, “it’s ok to just have a little bit…right?  I mean it is your favorite!”  Many times you give in and justify that little bit, which why not?  It’s just a couple bites, it can’t really hurt!  But what difficult thing I have learned about myself is…the justification in that moment, leads to another one the next meal, and another the next day.   Soon I realize that I have drastically veered from the eating plan that I was completely committed to before going to that family event!  Can anyone else relate?

Here’s the good news…it just takes practice!  Now that I have been committed for some time now, I get less flack for bringing my own food and sticking to my plan.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still difficult, and I still struggle with wanting to eat what everyone else is eating.  But now, I’m able to remember how those foods make my body feel awful, and in turn how awesome my body feels when I put REAL food in it!  You know that saying, “It doesn’t get easier, you just get better.”  That can completely apply throughout many struggles in your life! That’s not only my mindset with food, but with exeslique_tea_550rcise. It isn’t getting easier, I am getting stronger!

One of my favorite little secrets that get me through what used to be my afternoon snack is Young Living’s Slique Tea. I just brew a cup of that at about 3pm on the days I need to tide myself over to dinner, and it does wonders for me! Plus it has vital essential oils that assist in detox of my body, and we all need help detoxing the yucky stuff out of our bodies!

I’m still on the journey to truly be happy with my size.  I’m still losing weight, gaining muscle, and shaping this body God gave me.  It’s a journey that has taken me YEARS to get through.  I hope that I can be a support to you on your journey to be a healthier version of you!

Contact me and I’ll help you with your plan and share more with you on how I do what I do.

CoreStrong Day 1…Again

Many of my friends think I’m crazy, but every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I get up at 5:15am (or actually roll out of bed) get dressed, and head out to Core Strong Fitness for TRX team camps.  TRX was introduced to me by my good friend Mark Campbell.  I attended my first class at the beginning of June 2015, and it didn’t take long before I was HOOKED!  This form of exercise with his amazing coaching and true passion to help people surpass their fitness/wellness goals has been life changing for me and my family.  At first, it was just me.  I was going to classes and just loved the atmosphere.  Then…it happened!  I started getting stronger and doing things that I had NEVER done before in my life.  I remember the first time I did a REAL push up with no modifications, and then I did another, and another.  I almost cried!  Even when I did sports in high school I couldn’t do a push up!  That was just the beginning of the changes my body was able to do through the strength I was gaining from TRX class.  Now, it’s rubbing off on my family.  Slowly our diet has been changing, we are becoming more active as a unit, and we are watching TV a whole lot less.

Today was Day 1…AGAIN!  I have been going to the TRX team camps version since August 2015.  It’s a 6 week cycle of some awesome (and hard…let’s be honest, some are really hard) exercises.  If you check out my friend Mark’s facebook page, you’ll better see what I’m talking about.
https://www.facebook.com/CORESTRONGKC/

Today as I start the team camps again, I decided to make a commitment to work harder with my family.  Work on our diet even more, and do more activities outside then we ever have.  I’m excited to share this, and if you need more support on your wellness journey, whether you are a momma or not, just contact me and we will work together to help you.before after

Here is one of my before/after photos.  This one was back in February.  I’m planning another soon as I come up on my 1 year with TRX.  These are also two of my supporters!  Austin, who is in class with me and we have fun giving each other a hard time, and Stephanie, who is Mark’s wife and is truly an inspiration to me to keep going.  The picture was taken after we completed the Fight for Air Climb for the American Lung Association.  Over 40 flights of stairs!

What are some accomplishments and goals that you have for yourself and your family in their health journey?  Let’s work together to achieve them!

 


 

A Green Lemon?

About a year ago I fell in love with a new essential oil…Jade Lemon!  I got it last summer because I wanted to try it in my water to see if it would help me drink more and get all the daily ounces I needed.  I never really though twice about the name, just figured it was a different lemon than the regular one we find in the grocery store.  I mean, there are different kinds of apples and oranges, so I figured the same went for lemons?  Well, one day in my reseajade lemonrch on oils, I actually discovered that these were actually green lemons!  I thought that was pretty cool, so I dug deeper.

Jade Lemon has a great history.  In the mountains of Taiwan grows a small tree that produces small, green lemons; it is known as “mountain lemon”.  The Mountain Lemon tree is very hardy in higher elevations where it enjoys cooler weather and daily cloud mists.  However, the Mountain Lemon fruit is small.  A scientist from Taiwan grafted branches from the
common Citrus limon tree onto Mountain Lemon root stock to create Jade Lemon trees.  Jade Lemon trees can withstand the cool mountain weather, yet produce large green fruit when ripe.  So now they can be grown in many locations with moist, mild climates in Taiwan and China.

Now to get the amazing oil that I love so much, Jade Lemons are picked, thoroughly washed, then micronized into a puree to release the essential oil.  The aroma of Jade Lemon essential oil will remind you of a blend of lemon and lime essential oils.  I really enjoy this in my water in the mornings, I find it invigorating!  My littles seem to want more drinks of Momma’s water when I have jade lemon in it.  It’s definitely one I’d love for everyone to try!  What helps you get all your water in a day?

Want some Jade Lemon for yourself?  Contact me and I’ll tell you how to get some.

Want to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils?  Please check out my  Wellness Momma Website!