Friday, November 14, 2014

Hailey’s Green Monster Smoothie

Green Monster Smoothie

For lunch today I am having my green monster smoothie.

To my vanilla protein, I add a handful of spinach, frozen grapes, half a green apple and a small banana. Yum!!! Hazel wanted some too...

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Hailey’s Green Monster Smoothie

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen grapes
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1 small banana

Blend until smooth….ENJOY!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pregnancy Weight – How I lost it

At 41 weeks pregnant, I had gained approximately 30 lbs. With gestational diabetes, I had to be vigilant with my nutrition and exercise, which has the added benefit of not gaining a lot of weight. While I might not have been “hitting the gym” I definitely was staying active chasing a toddler around. Liam has a ton of energy and didn’t let this mama get any rest. I also made sure to eat very healthy meals and take my supplements. Yes, I did indulge every once and while (Dairy Queen Blizzards are my pregnancy vice), but I never had the mindset of “eating for two”.

Most days I had my favorite protein smoothie for breakfast, a salad with protein for lunch, and a home cooked meal for dinner. Meal planning and freezer cooking were critical during this time…or we might have had fast food for dinner every night!

Here I am 7 days before Hazel was born and then 4 weeks after she was born. 2 days before Hazel was born and 4 weeks after she was born.

In all honestly, I was very anxious to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I hate that I was even worried about this, but since it took me a WHOLE year to lose the weight I gained with Liam, I knew it wouldn’t just fall off. I would have to put in some effort. Even with the 400-500 calories you supposedly burn breastfeeding, I don’t lose weight.

Unfortunately, I greatly underestimated how hard caring for a newborn and toddler would be…

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At 5 weeks postpartum I had only lost 15 lbs, half the weight I had gained. That was frustrating, since my baby was 9lbs at birth and there were so many other factors to the weight, including the placenta and amniotic fluid. I was envious of the other moms who just “bounce back”…and here I was still looking pregnant!

It was then I decided I needed to start putting some concerted effort into making some lifestyle changes. With a new baby, toddler and husband working 2 jobs, I really had stopped taking care of myself. I was lucky if I got in a shower most days. I was in survival mode. And it was not good. I was not happy…

Instead of dwelling on it, I decided I had to just make time for me. I got up earlier in the morning so I could shower, get dressed and do my hair. Wow, what different that alone made. I started meal planning again and I went grocery shopping by myself! It might not have been much, but it was time alone to refocus. I took the kids on walks to the park. It was great to get out of the house and let Liam play. He wasn’t  happy about being cooped up in the house either.

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By 10 weeks post-partum I had lost 21 lbs! I was feeling so much better. Eating lot of healthy foods. Fueling my body on healthy protein, veggies and fruit and of course my favorite protein smoothie. It is amazing what taking care of your body with proper nutrition can do!

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At 5 months postpartum I am now  UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight!!!

Healthy eating, quality supplements, and chasing after kids has helped me lose all the baby weight in less than 5 months! I feel amazing and have more energy than I ever could have expected with a toddler and nursing baby!!

If you are at all interested in learning more about what I did, please leave a comment or send me an email. I might write a post of what my daily food and activity looks like.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shaklee Mind Works

Have you nourished your brain today? Shaklee just introduced a new MindWorks program, including nutritional support and brain training software. You are going to love MindWorks!

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Neural connections in our brain start declining as early as age 20, by age 45 this decline occurs even more rapidly. Studies show the key ingredients in MindWorks help improve mental sharpness and focus and support long term cognitive health.

Scientific studies have shown the key ingredients work in 3 ways:

3x better

Immediate improvement in cognitive performance 3 x better than the control group

Over time, neural connections become less efficient, impairing our ability to recall, think and respond. A key nutrient in MindWorks was shown in multiple clinical studies to significantly enhance memory, sharpen focus and improve reaction time.

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Protects against age related mental decline

Key nutrients in MindWorks were shown in laboratory studies to promote the formation of new neural connection and in clinical study to reduce brain shrinkage rate by 30% over two years. In addition, MindWorks key nutrients were shown in laboratory studies to effectively cross the blood brain barrier and enter the brain.

circulation

Supports healthy circulation

Blood circulation is critical for delivery of oxygen and key nutrients to the brain. It is linked to neural activity.

The Shaklee Difference

MindWorks contains key nutrients that have been shown in three clinical studies and dozens of laboratory studies to immediately enhance mental sharpness, as well as support long term brain health.

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Powered by an exclusive Chardonnay seed extract and guarana extract.

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Only available to Shaklee, the unique Chardonnay grape seed polyphenol blend is made with a paten pending etraction process that concentrates specific polyphenols that are clinically proven to be more bioavailable and impact blood vessel function. This extract is designed to help make vital nutrients available to the brain by supporting healthy circulation.

Our carefully selected guarana extract has been extensively tested – guarana has long been used traditionally by Amazonian Indian tribes. It helps improve cognitive performance and on serving of MindWorks contains less caffeine than a medium cupof decaf coffee.

MindWorks includes free access to brain training software

Shaklee is a leader in cognitive health by providing both nutritional support and brain training software in one program. The MindWorks program includes a free month of access to brain training software from CogniFit.

The CogniFit brain games are designed to:

  • Strengthen neural connections
  • Exercise your cognitive skills like memory and concentration
  • Improve your cognitive performance while having fun

mindworksandcognifit

I am excited to try this and see if it improves my mommy brain. Since getting pregnant with Liam, I cam tell my focus and clarity have reduced and my “perfect memory” is no longer so perfect!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Why Supplement + Top 10 Supplements you should take every day

Americans are some of the most overfed and yet undernourished people on the planet, and it shows.

The United States ranks 40th in the developed world for life expectancy even though we spend far more per person on health care than any other country. A new study from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine says that the life-expectancy gap between the US and other developed countries is only getting larger.

Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle play an important role in helping prevent many major diseases, like heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. However, getting the adequate nutrition in our diets can be a challenge...even if you eat all organic foods!!

  Why Supplement2

 

Let’s take a look:

Our bodies cannot produce many of the nutrients we need, so they must be found in the food we eat and the supplements we take every day. Additionally, if the food we are eating is lacking nutrients, then supplementing can really be beneficial in staying healthy.

•Most people say that they eat well, but research shows that 80 percent of Americans are not eating enough servings of fruits and vegetables.i We are also not getting enough Omega- 3 oils (EPA/DHA), antioxidants, B vitamins or a host of other nutrients our bodies need.

•The nutritional content of our food has changed. A 2004 study of common crops showed a decline in the nutrient content between 6 and 38 percent over the past 50 years.ii

•The amount of processed food that we eat has been on a steady climb ever since the invention of the refrigerator. Today, most of us eat more processed food than non-processed food. Convenience has become more prized than quality.

•Our high stress and fast paced lives increases our needs for nutrients, especially the B vitamins.

•The world is a much more toxic place than it used to be. Our bodies are exposed to more pollutants and under more oxidative stress than ever before. We need optimum nutrition in order to help our bodies battle these stresses.

None of us are perfect, there are days when you might eat well, but then days when you don’t. A multivitamin, along with other key nutritional supplements can be the insurance policy you are looking for to fill in those nutritional gaps that may leave us vulnerable.

 

We created this list of the top supplements you should take every day in order to maximize your overall health.

 

Multivitamin

The first place you should start is with a multivitamin. This lays the foundation and gives your body the basic nutrition it needs. But you don’t want to stop at only a multivitamin because your body could use so much more.

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids (such as EPA and DHA) have been shown to help lower triglycerides, stroke and heart disease risk, help with blood pressure, and have also been shown to be helpful in dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, depression, asthma, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.i

 

Vitamin C

Most of us don’t get nearly enough vitamin C in our diet. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, wound healing, the absorption of iron, and our immune system. Since vitamin C is rapidly used in the body, look for a sustained-release form.ii

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for calcium metabolism; if you want healthy bones you need vitamin D. Vitamin D also supports our immune system and having optimum blood levels of Vitamin D may be helpful in cardiovascular health and may reduce your risk of certain cancers, and even depression.iii

 

B-Vitamins

The B vitamins help regulate carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. They help with DNA synthesis and repair, help to lower homocysteine, and are helpful for functions from stress management to energy metabolism.iv

 

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is not as well known as other nutrients, but it is essential to our health and generally lacking in our diet because we don’t eat enough green leafy vegetables. Vitamin K is essential for bone mineralization, normal blood clotting, and wound healing.v

 

Calcium

Most people know that calcium is important for bones and osteoporosis is a major concern with our aging society, but calcium is also helpful for maintaining normal blood pressure, and may play a role in weight loss.vi

 

Antioxidant

Antioxidants are essential for protecting our bodies against free-radical damage–which may be one of the reasons why we age. The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables; look for supplements containing vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zinc, and selenium.vii

 

Probiotics

While not a nutrient, probiotics make our list because they are essential for proper digestive functioning. Probiotics are microorganisms that support the normal functioning of the whole digestive tract and may reduce the tendencies many have for constipation and diarrhea. They also help with excessive gas and even conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.viii

 

Lutein and Lycopene

These vitamin-like compounds found in food are great antioxidants.ix They also support a strong immune system and help maintain overall wellness and long-term health of the eyes, heart, skin and lungs.

 

I only use the Shaklee brand supplements because they are the best and most trusted brand out there. I have been using Shaklee’s supplements for past 2 years.  They are the only supplements that I will give Liam (and Hazel will get them too once she is old enough). I highly recommended them to anyone looking for natural product that actually works.

 

Go here to shop.

Thank you!

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i Fetterman JW Jr, Zdanowicz MM. Therapeutic potential of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in disease. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2009 Jul 1;66(13):1169-79. PMID: 19535655.
ii Deruelle F, Baron B. Vitamin C: is supplementation necessary for optimal health? J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Dec;14(10):1291-8. PMID: 19032072.
iii Marcinowska-Suchowierska E, Walicka M, Tałałaj M, Horst-Sikorska W,et al. Vitamin D supplementation in adults-guidelines. Endokrynol Pol. 2010 Nov-Dec;61(6):723-9. PMID:21104649.
iv Thompson J. Vitamins and minerals 4: overview of folate and the B vitamins. Community Pract. 2006 Jun;79(6):197-8. PMID: 16780289.
v Iwamoto J, Sato Y, Takeda T, Matsumoto H. High-dose vitamin K supplementation reduces fracture incidence in postmenopausal women: a review of the literature. Nutr Res. 2009 Apr;29(4):221-8. PMID: 19410972.
vi Shahar DR, Schwarzfuchs D, Fraser D, et al. Dairy calcium intake, serum vitamin D, and successful weight loss. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1017-22. PMID: 20810979.
vii Fusco D, Colloca G, Lo Monaco MR, Cesari M. Effects of antioxidant supplementation on the aging process. Clin Interv Aging. 2007;2(3):377-87. PMID: 18044188.
viii Veerappan GR, Betteridge J, Young PE. Probiotics for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2012 Aug;14(4):324-33. PubMed PMID: 22581276.
ix Khachik F, Beecher GR, Smith JC Jr. Lutein, lycopene, and their oxidative metabolites in chemoprevention of cancer. J Cell Biochem Suppl. 1995;22:236-46.PMID: 8538204.
i Krebs-Smith SM, Guenther PM, Subar AF, Kirkpatrick SI, Dodd KW. Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations. J Nutr. 2010;140:1832–1838.
ii Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6):669-82. PMID: 15637215.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Mompreneur

I couldn’t quit my job without some kind of plan to contribute to our finances. Working part time didn’t sound feasible since it still required child care and being away from the kids. Telecommuting also wasn’t a good fit since my kids (mostly Liam) require a lot of attention, so committing to “working” from home on a daily basis was just a plan to fail.

I have been using Shaklee products for almost two years and periodically have shared them with others resulting in a few sales. I never had put much effort or commitment into selling, instead we just enjoyed the products and mostly kept to ourselves….well until now. I have seen first hand the Shaklee Difference in my home and in the lives of my team members. I use their supplements, skin care, cleaning products and weight loss products. They are the best I have ever used and I want to share them with everyone.

As of August 4th, 2014 I am officially launching my Shaklee Health and Wellness business!!!!!!!!!

I hope to be sharing a lot more with my readers on the blog, facebook and instagram!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Newborn Diapers

Last week I discussed the diaper rental I did through Earthy Crunchy Mama. I thought others might find a review of the diapers I received helpful.

I received an assortment of 24 new and used Lil Joey’s made by Kanga Care.

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These diapers are designed to fit from 4-12 lbs.

They have a special snap down for the umbilical cord.

They are very simple and easy to use, very similar to a disposable diaper.

The internal soaker is made of 4 layers of microfiber that is permanently sew in into the core, compared to pockets that require stuffing.

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liljoey2

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I was familiar with Kanga Care because I have been using their one size pocket diapers, Rumparooz, with Liam since he was around 3 months old. They have worked great for us. I love the quality of the diapers and ease of use. When I saw they had newborn sized diapers, I thought they would be a great fit for baby Hazel.

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I started using these when Hazel was a week old. I could have used them from the start, but I just didn’t feel like dealing with two in cloth that first week! At first I really loved these little diapers. They fit Hazel very well and were super cute to boot.

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However, I started having leaking issues. She couldn’t go more than an hour without having her clothes soaking wet. Ugh! In 2 years of cloth I never had this kind of issue with Liam. I could tell we were reaching the max weight for these diapers and that was causing the issue. I added a hemp booster to help increase the absorbency and STOP the leaks.

After a month I decided it was time for us to move her out of the newborn diapers and into the one size diapers, on the newborn setting. Since doing that, I have had no issues with leaks and she can go 4-6 hours in one diaper – which means I can get a pretty good chunk of sleep. Yeah!

If Hazel had been on the smaller size at birth I probably could have used these newborn diapers without any issues for a longer period of time.

Overall, I think they are a great option for parents considering using cloth on their newborn. The rental program was great, because I didn’t have to make a huge investment on something I only used for a few months.

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