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.

 

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/

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

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!

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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?

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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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Autism, ADHD, OCD…oh MY!

For over a year now my  husband and I have had concerns about our middle son.  There were signs that his development wasn’t running along with other children his age, but many times we would find other things to lay the blame on so that we could stave off reality.  We’d say it was his age, or he was hungry or tired, or the other kid provoked him into an overreaction.  It’s not that we thought he was perfect, we knew something was off, but we honestly didn’t know what to do or who to turn to.  Recently a good friend posted to Facebook that they finally had a diagnosis for her son…Autism.  As scary as it was in the moment for her, she was excited to finally have some answers and direction so that she could help her son to the best of her ability and find him resources to thrive.  This stirred something in me and because she had the courage to share with her friends and family, it gave me the courage to seek treatment for my son.  The very next day our son had a full blown melt down and I looked at my husband and said, “we need help, we can’t wait any longer”.

I still didn’t know where to go or what to do, but I began asking.  I talked to a few people that I knew who I thought could point me in the right direction, and they made some suggestions.  One of those suggestions that stuck out to me was a place called Brain Balance because mutual friends had actually SEEN results, and they use a holistic approach instead of starting with medication.  This was important to me because if we are able to help him without medication, then this was the direction that I wanted to go!

The very next day I went to a Homeschool Conference and low and behold Brain Balance was there.  I talked with one of the directors of a center and during our conversation I became overwhelmed with the feeling of hope…Hope that this could be it, this could be the solution for our son!

That afternoon I listened to a presentation of another Brain Balance director and as she described what it means to have a right brain weakness, it nearly fit my son to a T.  Right brain weakness is where many people with autism, ADHD, OCD, ODD, etc. fall into.  The right side of their brain is weak and needs to be worked and stimulated to help balance out their brain so that the two sides can communicate effectively.  I sat there realizing that he needed more help than I could give him, and I needed to have him assessed so that I could get the correct help for him so that he would be able to thrive!  Right now in our schoolwork it feels like we are just treading water. Although he has had some breakthroughs this school year, he has made zero progress in handwriting and reading.

I spent the next day of that weekend talking with my husband about the possibilities and praying to God that if this was going to help my little boy, that He would help us find a way to make it work.  That Monday I called for an appointment, and we were in for an assessment by Thursday.

On assessment day I was able to have a good friend of ours watch our other two children and my son and I went in for what would be a 3 and 1/2 hour assessment.  It was an exhausting day.  The paperwork was extensive, and he wasn’t happy about having to be there, but I left feeling like it was the first step in the right direction for him!  We scheduled a time the following week to go over his results, and I went through a range of emotions as my husband and I discussed how we could possibly make this happen for him.  Drive time, astronomical cost, a giant change in his diet, and the amount of commitment needed to benefit from Brain Balance are all factors that really have me feeling overwhelmed.  In my next post I’ll begin sharing what’s next in our adventure to help him and continue on this journey of wellness as a family.

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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.

How I Take Care of My Skin

 

This is me, taking a quick picture with my favorite product after a great TRX workout!

Have you heard?  Young Living has great products for your face called the ART Skin Care System.  ART stands for ‘Age Refining Technology’.  I have used lots of different skin care products, and have never been fully satisfied with how they work with my skin…until now!  These products are simply amazing!

The best word to describe the difference in my skin from using the ART Skin Care System is that it feels more supple, like it’s hydrated from within.  The ART products are formulated with plant-based ingredients and essential oils.  I love that we have access to such effective, luxurious, NATURAL skincare without the harmful ingredients found in nearly all other skin care systems!

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These products look, feel, and smell very luxurious!  I love the hint of sandalwood aroma you can smell when you’re using these.  The Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood oil is one of my most coveted oils, and it is in these products!  Plus it is great for my skin.  The ART Skin Care line also has a few other essential oils in it, like Frankincense, Lavender, and Melissa.  Let me tell you a little bit about each product…

Gentle Cleanser

This foaming cleanser is formulated to cleanse the skin without stripping any of our natural oils.  It is great for my skin because it doesn’t dry it out like some other cleansers have in the past.  I will say that it does a great job taking off my makeup, but not my eye makeup (I don’t use waterproof eye makeup, but I am able to simply use a few drops of sweet almond oil on a cotton ball to remove it).  One pump of cleanser is sufficient to cleanse my face, and I really love using it in the morning to help wake me up and get me going.

Refreshing Toner

I love this toner!  Partly because it smells so good, but also because my skin feels so incredibly clean after using it.  The toner will remove any residual impurities without drying the skin.  I use this only at night, because I noticed that my skin didn’t need it twice a day.

Light Moisturizer

This moisturizer is so lovely!!  I use it both at night and in the morning.  It absorbs into my skin easily, so I can wear it under makeup without getting oily or shiny.  This moisturizer also contains essential oils and natural ingredients to leave my face feeling soft and supple!!

I’m loving the ART Skin Care System and feel like it has truly changed the skin on my face for the better.  Have you tried it?  What do you think?!

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

ART Marketing Flyer

Who needs Minerals?

One of the promos that I received this month from Young Living was a supplement called Mineral Essence.  People have told me good things about this supplement, but I have also heard that it tastes HORRIBLE!  It made me VERY reluctant to try it.  Since I knew that I’d be getting it as a FREE promo product, I decided that I needed to learn why my body might benefit from it.

“Minerals are inorganic substances that are found in soil and rocks. They are essential nutrients that the body needs to survive and carry out daily functions and processes. You receive minerals by eating plants that absorb them from the earth and by eating meat from animals, which graze on plants. Minerals keep you healthy and have key roles in several body functions. You require these important nutrients from your daily diet.”  ~http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/main-functions-minerals-body-4171.html

The big ones I kept running across in all the articles and research I found were Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc.  These all happen to be in Mineral Essence!

“Mineral Essence is a very balanced, organic, ionic mineral complex with more than 60 different minerals.  Without minerals, vitamins cannot be properly assimilated or absorbed by the body.  Mineral Essence has a natural electrolyte balance.  Minerals are necessary for proper immune and metabolic functions, and essential oils enhance the bioavailability of minerals.” ~Essential Oils Desk Reference pg 266

Mineral Essence Contains:

  • Honey as an emulsifier and natural sweetener.
  • Royal Jelly a substance fed to queen bees that allows them to live 30 to 40 times longer than worker bees.  It is very rich in amino acids, minerals and vitamins B5 and B6; promotes the production of collagen; and stimulates the adrenal glands to increase energy.
  • Essential oils lemon, cinnamon bark, and peppermint
  • Trace Mineral Complex includes beryllium, bismuth, boron, bromine, calcium, carbon, cesium, chloride, chromium, copper, gallium, germanium, god, hafnium, indium, iodine, iron, lithium, lutetium, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, rubidium, scandium, selenium, silica, silver, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tantalum, thallium, tin, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, yttrium, zinc, and zirconium.

So…

after all that info, you probably wonder how it tastes because I said that I heard it was horrible.  Well, I was brave and tried it this morning in my NingXia Red.  It wasn’t bad at all!  Mostly just tasted the cinnamon with a little bit of a funny aftertaste.  With all the working out I’ve been doing with TRX training camps, I am thinking this will really support my electrolyte balance.  With all that exercise I’m doing, I need these minerals!

What are ways that you are supporting the natural functions of your body?  Young Living not only has superb essential oils, but also a marvelous line of supplements that assist in so many areas of our health!

Contact me if you’d like to learn more!