I’m in a Promo Video!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Easy Apple Cinnamon Quinoa

I am always looking for more ways to get my children to eat good and healthy food.  This recipe that a friend gave me was so easy, and yummy!  Our middle son, Owen, is currently in the Brain Balance program and along with all the therapies and work he is doing there 3 days a week, we also have exercises for home program and a nutrition plan.  This plan is pretty restrictive.  No gluten, dairy, soy, or refined sugars, and very limited corn.  He also is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs so although we can have those things and stay on program with him, he can’t.

When we first began trying new foods Owen would absolutely refuse.  He would have meltdowns, throw fits, I mean you would think we were asking him to move mountains, not take a small bite of food to try.  Sometimes when he finally would try something, he would then throw up or spit it out because it was terrible.  We have learned through his testing at Brain Balance that his “smeller” is off.  He failed the portion of the test where he is supposed to guess smells, and smelling our food is a big part of how we taste our food so it makes sense that not very many things taste good to him.  If it wasn’t the taste, it was the texture that threw him off so many times we felt like we could20160817_114859n’t win.

He is slowly making progress.  He is more open to trying new foods and taking at least 2 bites and swallowing.  We haven’t found very many new foods that he likes yet, but the fact that he isn’t throwing up when he tries them is definitely progress!

We tried this recipe with some success…

Apple Breakfast Quinoa

Begin by peeling and coring the apples, then cut them into bite size pieces.  In a medium saucepan add apples, water, and quinoa.

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!

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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.

 

Goals are Hard

Yesterday my friend Stacey sent me a text to see if I wanted her to grab my race packet for the Labor Day 5k.  I had completely forgot about it, not to mention I can’t even remember the last time I ran.  I did some with my daughter to help her prepare for her first 5k, but it wasn’t much because she isn’t a runner and struggled to do the walking and running.  (but she really did well when it came time for the race)  So without hesitation, I was like, YES!  I’m going!  Then I sat there and thought…what am I doing?  I’m going to be SO SLOW, it’s gonna put me in a bad mood and ruin my weekend.

Well, last night I spent some time praying and eventually told myself, “Elyse, you set this goalsgoal to do this race and even if you forgot and don’t feel ready, just do it anyway!  Who cares how long it takes you.”  I do go to TRX strength training 3-4 times a week, so it’s not like I’m not exercising, I just haven’t been running.

Getting ready this morning I just kept thinking, you are just gonna run the best you can.  It’s only a 5k…you’ve got this!  I drank my NingXia Red, put on some Young Living peppermint essential oil and headed out the door.

When I got in line for the race I was the calmest I have ever been before the start of a race. I felt peace in knowing that finishing this race was my goal, not getting a certain time.

During the race I pushed myself, I found some people shortly before mile 1 that I was keeping pretty good pace with so I challenged myself to stay with them.  Another goal set right in the middle of the race…and I did it!  I pushed hard to stay close to them, and you know what?  I was within seconds of my fastest time ever for a 5k.  My timing chip didn’t catch my start time, so it was just the clock time when I looked up my race time, but that’s ok.  I know I started about 30 seconds in, so I am so happy with myself!

I set goals for myself, and I crushed them!  I have worked so hard this past year to achieve goals in my life, and today was no different.  I am about to start some new goals in my life, and following through with this race is giving me the push I need to keep going!

Do you have goals that you are going after?  What helps motivate you?

labor day 5k 2016

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

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?

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.  🙂