‘Health & Fitness’ Category
**disclaimer: I do not, in any way shape or form want this blog post to contribute to the Mommy Wars going on around us. I do not think that being a stay-at-home-mom makes you a better mom than a working mom, nor do I think being a working mom makes you a better mom than a stay-at-home-mom – we ALL love our kids and are doing what is best for OUR families, so let’s try not to judge other mamas, ok? This is just my attempt to share our story and what the Lord has been teaching me.**
This blog post has been a long time coming…and I have re-written it 6 times now! I have been excited to share this new journey for our family, but the time hasn’t been right, so I am so happy that now it is. Before Elliot was born I swore I would never be a stay-at-home-mom. I said I could do it all and that staying home was boring and not something I was interested in any way, shape, or form. I wanted my daughter to grow up seeing a mom who could do it all, juggle a full time career, owning a business (2 actually!), a strong business woman, and still doing all of the fun mom things, easy right?! As soon as Elliot was born I jumped back into work – I didn’t really take a real maternity leave. Mind you, I love my job and loved what I was doing (and am excited that as owner of such an amazing company I still get to be a part of it!!!), so responding to emails from the hospital bed and working during her naps was what I wanted to do…I also realize (now) that I was absolutely trying to prove to myself (and everyone around me) that I COULD in fact “do it all. ” It just seemed natural to try to get back into the normal swing of things as quickly as possible, then back in August I wrote a “day in the life” post proving yet again how together I have everything and that I could do it all…my goodness, that is so, so not the case. If only you could see my guest room and bedroom right now. :/
But here’s the part I haven’t been so open about. Since Elliot was about 6 month olds I have had this deep longing inside of me to be able to focus my time and attention on her and really wanting to have TIME for her. For my birthday by sister gave me a wooden sign for my house with Nehemiah 6:3 on it – that verse says “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.” (read a blog post on that here) This sign sits in my office and I look at it probably hundreds of times a day, and for awhile there was a quiet stirring in my heart that I was not living this verse how the Lord was calling me to. There have been so many days that Elliot has come up to me with a book asking me to read to her and I say (to a 17 month old!) that I am too busy and mama is working, yes, I am am HOME with her, but I am rarely present…and I feel like I am doing nothing well – from parenting, work, marriage, church planting – everything is getting a tired, worn out, stretched-too-thin version of me, and that’s not fair to anyone! I am so thankful that my job has allowed me to be home and not have to have a full time nanny or put her in full-time daycare, but I am still not here…I’m not sure if that makes any sense to you, but it sure does to me!
The Lord has been stirring and stirring in my heart since Elliot was born – showing me that this is what He is calling me to, and I simply didn’t want to hear it. As the months progressed I realized more and more this was the decision I needed to make – but I was SO scared. How would we do it financially? Am I going to be SO bored? What will I DO all day? So many questions and doubts rolled through my mind. I constantly had it as a prayer request and one day a friend (and mentor) of mind said quite simply: “Leah, would you rather act now in obedience to God’s call on your life, or would you rather face his discipline for not listening?” ummmm…I take option 1 please!!! Chris and I had always said I would likely quit working once our 2nd child came along, but it seemed like God was telling me NOW is the time – even though there was just 1 child in the picture. So after a lot (more) conversations with Chris (of which he always said it would be totally fine whatever I decided), I officially made the decision to resign….and the next day (no joke!!!) I found out I was pregnant. I love that God so clearly honored and confirmed the act of obedience I was so scared to make with that positive pregnancy test!
So here we are about 4 months after making that decision and I am officially a “stay-at-home-mom”…whoa! We have been working with a financial counselor to get our finances in order and I have spent a little more time focusing on a business I have pushed to the side for the past 4 years (I am a coach with the company Beachbody) that provides in amazing ways for our family without a lot of time away from them. I am SO thankful that the Lord has allowed that business to thrive and flourish and provide financially in ways I could have NEVER imagined. I remember setting a goal for myself when I first started this business: “I want to be able to stay home with my kids and be active and present in their lives.” welp…check that off the goal list!
So we move forward. I have officially left my full time position and am now my own boss (yikes) and a stay at home mom….that is so weird! I am SO thrilled that I still get to play an active role in the strategic growth at (once like a spark) and have my hands in the amazing things happening there (thank you for not kicking me out completely, girls!! ), but it’s just going to look a little bit different than it has for the past 4 (amazing, incredible, growing) years.
Here we go….on to new adventures! I am excited, thrilled…and terrified! Stay tuned for (hopefully) a lot more posts from me in the coming months!
In October I posted my personal results with the Ultimate Reset on my Facebook Page and got a TON of response asking how I did it and TONS of questions about the program, so I thought it would be a good idea to do a little post about the Reset, how it can fit into a normal, busy life, and how I feel after!
First of all, I want to tell you what the reset is NOT
- It is NOT a starvation diet – you eat 3 meals a day AND a snack
- It is not a crazy cleanse (like the Master Cleanse, etc where you drink a crazy concoction all day instead of eating…that is bad news, folks!)
- It is not a quick fix – yes, you will see killer weight loss results, but if you go right back to your old habits you WILL gain it all back!
- It is not a laxative or diet pill – yes, you will take supplements, but they are to enhance your body and not harmful in ANY way
What does it consist of?
The Reset comes with a VERY detailed instruction manual/book that lays out exactly what each supplement is, a detailed meal plan for each day, shopping lists, supplements, and access to support groups. As I said above, you will eat 3 meals and 1 snack every day…this is not about starvation! The first week you will work on eliminating meal, dairy, eggs and all animal byproducts from your diet, while weeks 2 and 3 are strictly vegan. Yes, it is a restricted diet (in the sense that it’s likely quite different than your normal diet!), but I’m telling you, I have NEVER felt better in my life!
Is it hard to stick to?
That’s a hard one to answer! For me it was not hard – I looked at the purchase of it as an investment and I wanted to make it worth it. I also kept reminding myself that it is only 21-days and I can do anything for 21-days…especially for something with such long term results! So really, if you are ready for a change and want to see some serious results in the health and state of your body, then I would say the results will keep you motivated to stick to it!
What kind of results did I see?
- the 3rd day I could FEEL my sinuses and ears draining – that was an odd sensation. I think it was from eliminating dairy from my diet.
- My sleep was more restful. Mind you, I am an EXCELLENT sleeper, but I always woke up feeling TIRED, even after 10 hours of sleep! During (and after the reset) I have been waking up feeling rested and not feeling like I have to drag myself out of bed.
- I had been experiencing some pain in my knee and hips for a few months and (as crazy as it sounds), I haven’t experienced those aches in my joints that I had been feeling.
- Increased energy – I don’t feel like I need caffeine to get myself going in the morning
- And last, I lost 14 pounds in the 21-day reset. I have been off of the program for about a month now and I have gained 4 of those back (which I expected!), but I feel like I am able to maintain this new weight and am LOVING how I feel with that extra weight off of my body and the extra “fluff” I felt like I couldn’t shake from pregnancy! And…bonus! I am 10 lbs lighter than I have ever been in my adult life!
I don’t think I’ve shared much about this on my blog yet, but I think I will document our journey to help other families out there that are battling food allergies as well. Food allergies are not something I am familiar with at all. Neither Chris nor I have food allergies, and for the most part our families are also allergy free, so I just assumed that our kids wouldn’t battle allergies either. Well…I was wrong!! We started Elliot on solids right at 6 months and almost immediately noticed she broke out in a rash on her face every time she ate. I was getting so confused as we were only feeding her homemade fruits and veggies…is it possible that she was truly allergic to EVERY SINGLE fruit and vegetable? Well, the answer to that one is…NO! *DENSE ALERT* She was allergic to the baby oatmeal I was mixing into her purees. DUH. I was using an organic oatmeal mixed in with every puree just to thicken it up a little bit and anywhere the food touched she got a raised red rash. She also had eczema pretty much all over her body that I couldn’t get to go away.
So, once I figured this out I switched her over to brown rice cereal in her purees and we were all clear. So as she got a little older we started moving onto normal foods and I just didn’t think about the oatmeal issue again as we moved forward (again…not real familiar with food allergies!!). One day I gave her a hunk of break to gnaw on while we were with some friends and I noticed she was rubbing her eyes a lot and I looked over and her lips were puffed up and her eyes were almost swollen shut – you could tell she was uncomfortable and itchy – needless to say I panicked so we ran home, took a bath and Benadryl and the swelling started to go down. That’s when I clued in to the fact that Elliot has a gluten sensitivity/allergy.
I won’t bore you with alllll of the details, but it turns out Elliot has a gluten/wheat allergy as well as egg (but only on it’s own, seems fine if it’s cooked into things), and she also has a slight dairy intolerance. She also has a ton of skin allergies which have been quite a doozie as well! We haven’t tried (and won’t for awhile!) nuts or any other high allergen foods, but it’s looking like we will be headed for allergy testing when she turns 1…poor sweet girl!
My goal is to post tips, recipes and other ideas for parents who battle allergies with their littles…it’s an exhausting journey, that’s for sure!
Wow, I can’t believe that the next update I will be writing she will be 1 year old…that seriously blows my mind! What a fun, exciting year it has been!! Every update gets more and more fun to write. This is such a fun stage right now! She is still a cutie little baby, but not quite as needy, has a HUGE personality, but is not to the crazy toddler stage yet – we are loving it!
Elliot, at 11 months you:
- officially crawl the regular way more than you do the belly scoot!
- figured out how to open the cabinets that we child locked (and we have the magnet ones that you have to use a magnet key to open!). Now all of the cabinets that are child locked are actually double up because you are…well, obsessed.
- are a total stinker. Sometimes (and by that I mean every meal), you throw food on the floor for Jack and when you do that I look at you very sternly and say “NO NO!” and shake my head. So now when YOU throw things on the floor you look at ME very sternly and shake your head no…it makes your whole body wiggle and it makes me laugh, which I am sure is egging on this behavior.
- love going places. I try to get you out of the house at least once a day because you are a much happier girl if you get to do something social or interactive.
- you are obsessed with emptying out my diaper bag. If I ever forget and leave it on the floor you find it (no matter where it is!) and immediately start pulling things out of it.
- are also obsessed with emptying out your dresser. You crawl in there, open the drawer and pull EVERYTHING out , it’s really funny to watch!
- you love being outside! Unfortunately I do not love it right now because of the bugs and heat, so when we are not outside you crawl over to the window, completely mess up the curtains on the front door and stand there looking out the window and talking. You have completely ruined the curtain rod at the bottom, but…that’s ok!
- can do a few basic commands using sign language. You really mostly do “more” and “all done.” You say “more” when you want anything – even if you want to watch something on TV. You point at the TV and then sign “more” over and over and over. And when you are done with things you sign “all done.” The other day you were crying in your carseat and doing the “all done” sign. You are so smart!
- know what books are which on the shelf. The other day daddy told you to go get “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” and you crawled over and pulled it off the shelf that was filled with books. I have to admit, I was impressed.
- You love, love, love books and puzzles!!!
- sadly, you are very prone to ear infections. This week you had a tooth + molar coming in AND an ear infection…it was a long week.
- love wearing sunglasses and you try to put them on yourself, but you haven’t figured that out yet.
- are pretty much over your separation anxiety…yay!!!
- have 7 teeth and weigh 20.6 lbs… unfortunately I can’t remember how long you are…sorry!
I hear from a lot of my mom-friends (and non-mom friends!) that they are WAY too busy to eat healthy. I am gonna go ahead and call you out if this is your excuse for eating a bunch of bad and/or processed food! I thought I would share my arsenal of food tools that I ALWAYS have on hand to help make healthy eating easy and quick. I have an 8 month old and work 40+ hours a week…I need easy and quick or it’s NOT going to happen.
Alright, so this is what you are seeing here (starting with the earliest in the day):
1. Liquid Egg Whites – every morning I eat 1 egg and 3/4 cup of scrambled egg whites with a slice of gluten-free or Ezekiel bread with 1 TB of PB – and fruit if I worked out that morning! I keep liquid egg whites on hand because I think it is easier to do that than to crack 6 eggs and separate the whites…that’s just me. Again, trying to keep it quick and easy and this works for me!
2. Shakes/Bars. I am in love with Shakeology – I have been drinking it for 3+ years now and I find it helps me control my calories! I typically drink Shakeology for meal #2 or #3 for the day – I blend it with unsweetened almond milk and PB2 (powdered PB that is ~50 cals for 2 TBS…all the protein/taste and none of the fat of regular PB!). If I lifted weights that day I also throw in a 1/2 cup of quick oats to beef it up a bit! I also love to keep KIND Bars on hand – they are one of the only bars out there that aren’t filled with a ton of JUNK and chemicals…read the labels, folks!
3. Low-Carb or Ezekiel Wraps – Love these for meal #3 or #4 for the day! A wrap with hummus or goat cheese, a little bit of chicken or turkey, spinach, and cherry tomatoes is the PERFECT small meal/large snack for midday. It takes about 2 minutes to make it.
4. Apples + PB2 – I LOVE to have an apple and peanut butter for a my last snack before dinner, but peanut butter seriously packs on the fat and calories! A lot of people say “PB is a great source of protein” when in fact, peanut butter is considered a fat, not a protein! (but yes, it does have a protein!) So I have started doing an apple and PB2 with a small piece of cheese instead – so instead of being a snack loaded with 16+ g of fat, now I have a 200 calorie snack with 10+ g of protein and less than 8g of fat…perfect! Easy, easy, easy!!!
So there ya have it…a few tips that hopefully help you figure out how you can make healthy, easy, FAST choices for quick meals throughout your day!!