Monthly Archives

October 2016

Wellness

Already victorious

If I had to guess, I’d say you are victorious. You maybe just don’t know you are.

Back when I ran my first 5k at the age of 32, a friend told me not to care whether I came in last place because I’d already placed ahead of all those who didn’t want to try.

And when I was beginning to loathe my aging body several years ago, God gave me a gentle reminder that I was completely and unconditionally loved by Him, my husband and countless friends and family.

I AM victorious. I just don’t always see it when I’m bombarded by so many messages that want to make me believe otherwise.

But even as I’ve peeled back layers of lies in many chapters of my life, I’ve always remained committed to continuing to TRY to do my best for my health with what I know. Maybe you are, too.

Maybe you are ready for something new. For something different. For something positive.

You, my victorious friend, are invited to be a part of a  collaborative project with me and Lisa Rigoni. The Victorious Lifestyle is a program of total wellness (body, mind and spirit). Eventually, the Victorious Lifestyle will offer speaking engagements, retreats, bootcamps and wellness events. We are committed to helping you find the tools that will help you become and remain victorious!

But we are launching with an easy one — an 8-week online tool to help you stay committed to your health during the holidays. It will have everything you need to nurture your body, mind and soul.

If you are ready to join us, simply click HERE and scroll to the BUY NOW link.

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Mommy stuff, Wellness

Why we won’t give wheat to our baby

The world has changed a lot since I had my first baby almost 14 years ago.

Back then, wheat was good for you. In fact, we’re still riding this “whole wheat” craze that was stirred up by — none other than — the wheat industry. It’s not a lot different than the “no-fat” and “low-fat” craze that is now being identified as a diversion tactic by the sugar industry.

It’s no coincidence that when I switched to the “dietary advice” to go from white, processed products to whole-grain breads and noodles, my weight swelled and my health became increasingly poor. So poor, in fact, that migraines, digestive issues and chronic pain became my norm. I exercised more and tried all kinds of dieting but seemed to get more puffy, tired and sick.

My health began to shift as I adopted a gluten-free lifestyle. I was still holding onto a lot of toxins (I may still be!), but between my adoption of no wheat and my lifestyle of nutritional cleansing, I’m no longer suffering from constant headaches, discomfort and digestive problems.

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When I had a baby, it became obvious to me that I would not allow her to eat wheat. It’s not just because of gluten either.

Here’s what prompted my decision:

  1. Babies produce very little amylase, the enzyme necessary for digesting grains. When a baby’s digestive system can’t absorb the food, the food will eat on all the bacteria in the gut, including the good bacteria, leading your child to become more susceptible to allergies, asthma, eczema and all kinds of autoimmune disorders. This will eventually lead to “leaky gut syndrome,” where toxins spill out into the body and cells and create neurological symptoms. Read more about this topic HERE. Also, the very bacteria that help break down and digest wheat are being destroyed by pesticides. Wheat is a difficult food on your digestive system, which houses your immune system.
  2.  Modern wheat has been tampered with to the point that celiac disease and gluten sensitivies are on the rise. This is a controversial subject, but the facts remain. I rejected my own potential to be gluten intolerant based on my faith. God made wheat. People in the Bible ate bread. Why on earth would this be a problem for me to eat? Well, wheat has a history of hybridization. In the last 50 plus years, it has been altered so that yields will increase, to resist disease and pests and to improve other processing methods in mills and bakeries. Want to know more? Click HERE. Wheat isn’t the same, and that’s why it’s becoming a problem for a lot of people.
  3. Wheat is sprayed with high numbers of pesticides. What does pesticide have in common with homicide and suicide? “Cide” means DEATH. Proponents of pesticides  will tell you the death is to pests and weeds and has no effect on humans. But there’s a relatively new practice to spray wheat with Roundup just before harvest. It increases yields, which is good news to the farmer who’s taking it to sell. Of course, it’s bad news for anyone who cares about the inherent dangers of pesticides. Pesticides are known or probable carcinogens (depending on the type), suspected hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, developmental/reproductive toxins and honeybee toxins. Wheat is killing us slowly, and dietitians are still recommending “whole wheat diets” to a largely unsuspecting audience that is experiencing more autoimmune disease, cancer, neurological disorders and obesity.  This website is a wonderful resource for not only seeing what toxicities have been tested and found in wheat but in all kinds of food. Click HERE to find out what’s in your food!

For all these reasons, I would never give wheat to a baby. I may never give my daughter wheat, but I’m certainly not ready to introduce it in her diet at her young age as she develops her own immunity and has a pure gut with lots of good bacteria. As she gets older, we may consider sprouted grains or organic wheat, but for now, I’m not only content in my decision, I want to make sure other moms understand before they make their own decision that they have a right to factual information.

 

Finances, Home remodeling

Old house became our first home

Our first home was a 90-year-old two-story home on Main Cross Street in Taylorville that had been tastefully redecorated many years previous.
It was a beautiful house when we purchased in 1999, but when our potty-training challenged dog wrecked the master bedroom carpet, we started peeling back layers of outdated remodeling.
I still remember when Dan cut into a corner of the carpet and showed me the gem hidden below the carpet pad. It was then that his vision sprung to life.
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Abby playing in the front room where Dan ripped up carpet and refinished the original hardwood in our first home. 

Underneath the carpet was original hardwood. But it was covered by layers of paint, including a hideous bright green and black.

With absolutely no construction experience but a desire to find the beauty hidden below, Dan rented a drum sander and began to fumble his way through a new hobby before DIY was mainstream.
One floor led to another and another. And then he added a half bathroom into the already-cramped laundry room.
He had no fear of challenges. The layers. The paint. Fear of the unknown. He just kept pressing forward, becoming the ultimate weekend warrior.
“It was our first house, and I figured out I could do it. Nobody told me no. I never got to live in a house I got to tear up,” Dan said.
What began as a hobby quickly took root in his soul, sparking a love of resurrecting beauty, transforming old spaces and striving to hear the delightful reactions.
“You start doing it and people tell you, ‘It’s good. It looks good.’ And then you get excited,” Dan said.
Living in an old home, tackling a cosmetic project meant rearranging living space…and dealing with inevitable mechanical and structural malfunctions.
It was probably Dan’s love of the cosmetic work that motivated him to quickly deal with problems as they arose.
By the time we sold our first home in 2004, it looked distinctly different and resembled more of its original beauty than when we moved in.
Wellness

What gross food will you eat today?

When I was very young, I was the victim of “healthy food abuse.” For real.

I had to sit at the table until dinner was finished. Even when my mother made Brussel sprouts on the SAME NIGHT as she prepared liver and onions. Who does that?!?!?

We literally had to eat every bite. We had no dog to sneak our scraps to, and I was terrified of my mother. There was only one thing to do: pretend to chew it up and then spit out bites into napkins.

Alas, my mother is not stupid. When she caught on, I just sat at the table until bedtime.

Naturally I have not been as strict with my own children. But we insist on promoting healthy eating in our home.

That means we only offer one meal; I refuse to be a short-order cook. And each item we serve — whether we’ve eaten it a dozen times or once before — must at least be sampled with a couple bites. It seems only fair, considering foods I once hated, Brussel sprouts included, are now some of my favorites. Our palates change, and we need to give healthy foods especially a chance.

Outside the home, we are a bit more lax. And now that my children are older, they’ve outsmarted me. Just this week, a mom who was supervising a class trip to a competition shared a photo on Facebook of my son enjoying a lunch he bought with his own money —which consisted of soda and two bags of Skittles.

Oy-vey! Where have I gone wrong?

I can only hope that eventually my children learn to love healthy food as much as I do. I love all food, if I’m honest, but because I have an expansive palate, I often enjoy most healthy foods.

Because I’m strong-willed (I thank my mom for that, obviously!), I will try almost anything that’s “good for me.” I will even choke down unsavory things when I am CERTAIN they are wholesome and healthy. It seems only fair given that we have no problem overeating unhealthy foods that we fuel our bodies with ingredients and items that we KNOW help create an alkaline gut, prevent cancer or help our bodies detoxify from an onslaught of chemicals.

I was thinking about this as I grabbed some celery and put a few dollops of almond butter on it. My kids HATE celery. I’ve always thought it was OK. It’s got a nice crunch. Pretty much no flavor. As a child, I would dip it in some kind of creamy concoction. I enjoyed it. But it’s hardly as tasty as a donut. The honest-to-God truth is that I eat it for its health benefits.

It helps lower inflammation and cholesterol. It protects liver health and aids in digestion. It has anti-bacterial properties and can be used in conjunction with other things to prevent cancer. That’s just a few benefits, so what’s not to like about celery?

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My food sensitivities and pesticide sensitivity also make me more apt to balance what I know I’m being  exposed to by eating foods that can help my body.

One of my favorites is my company’s Greens! supplement, filled with spiralina algae, dandelion root extract, ginkgo leaf powder, Brussel sprout powder, shiitake aerial extract, chlorella algae powder, bilberry fruit powder and so much more goodness. It’s a green powder. It looks gross. It doesn’t particularly smell pleasant. The taste can take some getting used to.

But I wouldn’t care. The benefits of all these plants far outweigh taste.

Just Google one or two of these superfoods and see what consumption of these can do for your body — inside and out! And if you’re stubborn and daring, I invite you to try the Greens! that I use. Your body will thank you!

Mommy stuff, Uncategorized

I’m proud of you, stranger SAHM

Dear stranger SAHM Mom,

What I mean is not a that you’re stranger, just that you are a stranger. I don’t know you. But I know about you. You do amazing feats like:

  • Change about 3,000 diapers a year for two-three or more years. If you use cloth diapers like me, you also spray or clean out the poo and wash 2-4 loads of diapers and reassemble them every week, too.
  • Get screamed out for 11,000 or so hours a year, and depending on the general temperament of your little one, perhaps double or quadruple that amount.
  •  Hold a child for the majority of the day while she’s teething, sick or generally not herself.
  • Prepare and cook meals, grocery shop, pay bills, clean house, chauffeur children, do laundry, volunteer and perhaps work from home….all in the midst of caring for the basic needs of your child or children.

But what you more than likely don’t do is get a congratulatory note. Or a pat on the back. Or an offer for reprieve. Or a compliment. You don’t earn “employee of the month” or have the esteem of your colleagues.

In fact, more than likely your peers think you’re crazy. Or stupid, especially if you have a degree and you could be earning a sizable income. Some might have told you they think you’re crazy or stupid or both. Some think it but are holding their tongues.

Insure.com estimates the average mom spends 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year taking care of her children, plus serving as a chauffeur, cook, nurse, homework helper, accountant, and private detective (necessary to find out what the kids are up to, of course) for a total of $65,283.81. Another similar index, created by Salary.com last year, estimated the value of a stay-at-home mom is actually $118,905.

Crazy, stupid woman who’s doing this for nothing, I ADORE you. Only recently have I begun to earn an income working from home, but I’ve been you for many of my 14 mothering years. Working for nothing. Despite a master’s degree. Despite the lack of accolades. Despite a big white space in my resume where my awards and accomplishments used to be listed year after year and they suddenly just stopped.

You don’t do it for the honors. You could care less about the recognition. In fact, you do it in spite of the negative — and sometimes toxic — environment that tries to belittle you for this choice.

I see you. I know it’s not always easy. I know the days can be long. The diaper changing and potty training can be exhausting. The crabby attitudes can wear you down like a chisel. It’s not the high road or the easy road. I know you weighed the options. I know you invested in your life and your children with GREAT SACRIFICE.

You know there is no major recognition on this side of heaven (save for your grateful spouse), and you do it anyway. For that, I adore you. I’m cheering you on, and if I could, I’d slap a certificate on your wall and your resume.

But someone would probably get peanut butter on it. So just know I’m so proud of you!