How I Got Healthier – Continuing the Journey

5
Jan
2019

It starts with baby steps, making changes that will help your body function better. If you missed the first post in this two-part series, you can catch it here.

If you are looking to live with more energy, vibrancy, and emotional stability, read on. These are the changes I have made to create space for these things.

Movement

You must move your body. Find an activity that you enjoy—and do not think it has to be intense to make a difference. I used to be a hard-core runner, training for half marathons because I truly enjoyed the challenge. Now I find myself taking walks, doing some stretching, pilates, or some simple weight exercises. Fit in 20-30 minutes of activity at least five times a week; your body will thank you.

Sugar

Remove sugar from your daily life. Sugar feeds illness—period. You can Google and find research all over that will testify to this fact. Sugar is in EVERYTHING; begin to read your labels. Sugar is addictive and the only way for you to reset your body is to cut it out, cold turkey. Two years ago I did my first 21-day sugar detox with a large Facebook group. It taught me a lot about my body, truly how addicted I was, and how sugar is in everything. You’ll find it in ketchup, salad dressing, salsa, and canned goods. Do not forget that pasta, potatoes, and fruit contain sugar, even though it’s not “added” sugar, even the natural sugar can affect your body. Do a bit more research on this and at least determine to remove the added sugar to items that are unnecessary as a first step.

Sleep

Your body heals itself during your sleep, so when you aren’t getting enough sleep or entering into a deep enough sleep, your body struggles.

I shoot to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. I am an early-to-bed person, usually in bed by 9:30 p.m. This allows me enough sleep to still rise around 6 a.m. and feel refreshed. By getting enough sleep you will reduce stress and improve your mood; this was a key area I wanted to improve. My emotions were all over the place. When you get enough sleep, you will also tend to get sick less. It’s important—for you, for you kids, for your spouse.

Eat Less Animal Products

Oh yes, I am going there. I just read Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman and it truly opened my eyes. The book not only gave great information on eating a more plant-based diet, but gave countless study after study of research on the benefits. It is a must-read. You can easily begin eating less meat and dairy items. To be honest, for most people, typical cow dairy items cause inflammation in the body. So substituting items and removing most cheese is a beneficial change. If you are still drinking cow’s milk and giving pasteurized milk to your kiddos, I encourage you to read this article to perhaps shed some light on why this may not be the best decision.

No Microwave

I wrote previously on the blog about this change, so instead of going into details, you can easily click over to read it here. Using a microwave KILLS your food, period. I am in the corner with microwaves that it zaps the nutrients out of food—literally. In my opinion, the risk is just not worth the small convenience of reheating items using a microwave. In fact, in our new home, we are not even installing a microwave. We just do not use it.

Water

Drinking real, pure, GOOD water is the way your body removes toxins and flushes your systems. Two years ago we began filtering all our drinking and cooking water with a BERKEY water system that removed pathogens as well as fluoride. It was a game-changer for us. We also try our best to not drink from PLASTIC water bottles. So when we are headed out of the house, all family members fill up their own personal glass water bottle. Not only does this save us money, it is a much healthier alternative. When you drink water from plastic water bottles, store bought, or ones you personally fill, the plastic leaches into the water. I am not interested to drink leached plastic.

I hope you consider making one or two changes for the new year from my list of tips. These are things I have successfully implemented and have made a huge difference in my life.

If you missed me mentioning this healthy meal planning bundle, girl… you need it!  If you are looking for quick and healthy meal options your entire family will enjoy – you have found it!

Healthy Meal Planning Bundle 2019

How I Got Healthier — Steps to Live Your Best

2
Jan
2019

How I Got Healthier

Just over seven years ago, I really didn’t think much about the food I ate, what I drank, or even what I applied to my body. I really didn’t have much interest in “living healthier,” but I was hit with a sucker punch that changed my mind.

Just over seven years ago I was diagnosed with Cutaneous Lupus, as well as Systemic Lupus. My life felt like I was on a downward spiral.

As I journeyed through this diagnosis, I slowly became empowered. I began to learn that ALL THE THINGS we put IN and ON our body matter. It accumulates and it piles up.

I get questions all the time about how I have managed to put my Lupus into remission, and it’s time to share the steps I took—real, practical steps—to see if they may help you. But first, let me say, these changes won’t just help you if you have Lupus; they will help you prevent disease, care for your body like the temple it is, and be the best mom you can be for your family. You deserve to feel amazing. You deserve to care for yourself in ways that will allow your body to function at its optimal level.

When we poison our body with bad choices, those choices add up. Do not be a victim. Fight for your health, the health of your kids; it is important.

This will be part ONE of a TWO-part series on this topic. There is a lot to share.

Ditched Creamer

I love coffee…truly love coffee! In fact, I have a favorite French press, grinder, and brand of coffee. However, one of the things I loved about my coffee was the artificial vanilla-flavored coffee creamer I added to it. I was truly addicted. But, once I began truly looking at the ingredients on the package, I became quite aware it had to go. I switched to grass-fed raw milk to add to my coffee with some vanilla stevia drops, and eventually I switched to nondairy. I now use a coconut and almond milk creamer and it does the trick…all by itself. My taste buds are not craving the sugary taste first thing in the morning, and my body does so much better without the artificial ingredients. And eliminating dairy is another great step on my health journey.

I encourage you…if you say “there’s no way I can give up my creamer,” I hear you. That was me. But here’s the deal…start making small changes; pick one thing to change and then slowly add that in, like using RAW cream and REAL sugar. Then switch to the next step. It all helps.

Ditched Gluten

Shortly after I was diagnosed with Lupus, a friend with Lupus shared that she found incredible relief by eliminating gluten. I had no idea what gluten even was! I told her I could never not have French fries; she sweetly laughed at me and assured me I could always eat fries.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat that causes inflammation and distress to the intestinal tract. Most people find that it doesn’t bother them to the extent of others, but for me, it’s bad news. The wheat we eat today, here in the U.S., has been modified over the years, making it troublesome for many. So I chose to remove any wheat from my diet. Did it help? Yes, it did! And, honestly, I didn’t replace a bunch of items with gluten-free versions. I rarely eat sandwiches now, but instead wrap with lettuce or make a salad. I occasionally will indulge in gluten-free cookies or a cupcake, but really have decided that those should be occasional treats anyhow.

I’ve also been using Einkorn products, which I have found to be a good fit for me. You can read more about Einkorn and if it might be good for you here. If you have joint pain, feel bloated often, or have digestive trouble, I encourage you to eliminate gluten and see how you feel.

Went Chemical Free

Seven years ago I began to look at products I was using on my skin as well as in my home, like cleaning products and personal care items. It was eye-opening. Something that happens when we apply synthetic, laboratory-made products to our skin is bioaccumulation. Bioaccumulation is real; it’s the accumulation of toxins in our bodies, where we absorb more toxins than our body can effectively eliminate, which  leaves our poor bodies struggling to function the way they were created to. The body is overloaded and we begin to suffer from other symptoms, like skin rashes, brain fog, sleeplessness, agitation, mood issues, and more.

I began using ALL-NATURAL cleaners—my favorite being Thieves Household Cleaner. It’s so safe, I can feel great about anyone using it. I love that even at my son’s school they use this cleaner so that all the kids can safely clean and wipe down tables and bathroom sinks. There are even more products in the line, including toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, laundry detergent, and more—all natural and plant based. You can check this out for more info on the entire Thieves product line.

Make Small Changes

I encourage you to begin replacing items in your home with all-natural products. A lot of these synthetic ingredients made in laboratories are endocrine disruptors. They are chemicals that can interfere with endocrine (or hormone) systems at certain doses. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects and other developmental disorders, and more. Why take that risk when you have a better option?

If you are looking for help with healthy meal planning, this is a must have resource!  Be sure to check it out and give your mama brain a break – you can thank me later!

Healthy Meal Planning Bundle 2019

I will cover more on my steps; the next post will be other diet changes, lifestyle changes, and more. You can find it here. 

Biblical Encouragement for the Overwhelmed Mom

11
Dec
2018

biblial encouragement for overwhelmed moms

It’s no mistake that you are reading this right now.

Maybe you are like me in this season, feeling rather suffocated, burdened and overwhelmed?

Perhaps your parenting toolbox is empty and you’re frustrated because you’ve raised your voice.

How about feelings of loss, family grief or just feeling like you are not doing what you should be doing or what you see others moms doing.

Take a deep breath and let me share with you a few ways I have been taking small bits of time to read what the bible has to say about all of these things.

I love the You Version Bible App.  It is perfect for a busy mom to grab at a moments notice to look up scripture, to read a quick devotional on a subject that will help you feel empowered, or to help you grab five minutes to nourish your soul.

To be quit frank with you all, the season I am in right now is exhausting, frustrating and has me feeling hopeless. So… it’s time to dig in… who is with me?

I have discovered several short devotional that have just soothed my broken soul and I wanted to share them with you.

You can find all these devotionals by downloading the APP, then click PLANS and search by key words.

Overwhelmed By My Blessings – Encouragement for Moms  (PART ONE)

This devotional has TWELVE parts – friends, this will take you through an amazing journey. Written by Robin Meadows, who has raised 7 of her own children, it will speak right to your heart.  I am currently reading PART THREE, and it is so refreshing to me.  I will be downloading her book as well, Overwhelmed By My Blessings, to dig in a bit deeper.  I love her writing and how she relates God’s word to

5 Days to Freedom from Angry Parenting 

Oh boy… this is somewhat embarrassing, especially since I am a Certified ScreamFree Parenting Leader.  OH man…. but this parenting an adopted child is HARD!  Just when you think things are going smooth – BAM!  Some new thing appears and knocks you over.  We are in a hard season, and my emotions go haywire and I lose my cool.  Anyone else here me on that?

So this devotional has been so so good!

She is Free – a 7 Day Devotional by Dani Andrews

Okay, who else struggles with lies running around in your head?  Who else needs a gentle reminder, or maybe a more liberal smack upside the head to remind us of TRUTH?!!

This devotional has been speaking to my heart….. and reminding me of what it true and what I need to focus on, even when I am feeling defeated.  This is a constant need in my life, the reminders of who Jesus is, how He loves me and how I am made perfect just the way I am.

We all need encouragement.  As busy moms who give ourselves to our family, we need filling up.  If we are not caring for our bodies and our soul, we become exhausted, frustrated and unable to be the best version of ourself.

So, pick a few devotionals to wake up to each morning.  I can tell you, I am excited to brew my french press coffee, and climb back in bed to read the bible and sip amazing coffee.  My soul is refreshed and I feel better equipped to take on the day.

2019 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner READY NOW!

5
Dec
2018

2019 Weekly Household Confident Mom Planner

It’s here – the much awaited 2019 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner. It’s ready and waiting for you to download!

I know you’ve all been so excited to grab your copy for 2019 and begin to get organized.

Grab Yours Now!

Check out the 2019 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner NOW!

(If you are reading this via the RSS feed, click through to view the video below.)

You can grab your FREE copy here. Don’t forget to grab your Supplemental Pack that is available for $8 with all the printables you could ever need to get your family organized for 2017! I loved adding new forms to the pack this year so moms can stay even more organized and on track.

Get More Organized!

The 2019 Weekly Household Planner Supplemental Pack includes handy fill-in forms, enabling you to add your information directly into the form.

Just type your information, save, and print! This is a wonderful feature when you are adding lengthy information or important names and numbers!

  • Master Family Planner – Keep track of the entire family’s activities on a daily/weekly basis all in one convenient place.
  • Appointment Calendar – Organized by week, use this to keep track of appointments, meetings, and other events.
  • Special Occasion Calendar/Gift Planner – You’ll always be prepared for the next birthday or special occasion.
  • Holiday Gift Planner Worksheet – Keep track of your holiday shopping list and purchases and what still needs wrapped or delivered. Never forget that well-hidden gift again!
  • Babysitter Information Form – This form makes it easy to provide your sitter with all the information he or she needs so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
  • Quick Contacts – Helps you keep important emergency contacts available for easy reference when you need them in a hurry as well as frequently used numbers.
  • Family Emergency/Medical Information Form – Record your family’s medical and insurance information on this form – it will be easy to find and share with those that need it.
  • Website/App List for Kids – An easy way your kids can list the websites they want to visit, or apps or songs they want to buy. This gives you a chance to review first and make sure the content is age appropriate!
  • Website/App List for Me – A place to record websites you want to visit or apps you want to buy during your downtime.
  • Account Keeper Sheet – Keep track of online accounts, including usernames and passwords. Never get locked out of your account again!
  • Household Maintenance Log – Record when you did routine maintenance items, such as changing your furnace filter.
  • Special Occasion Reminder Chart – To help you plan card gifting for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
  • Gifts Received List – For recording gifts received which also creates a log for thank-you cards you need to send.
  • Let’s Plan a Party Form – Helps keep track of party planning details such as guest list, menu, party favors, and activities.
  • Blessings For Your Home – Because everyone needs some daily inspiration.
  • Weekly Menu Planner/Shopping List – Arrive at the store prepared and don’t over-purchase.
  • Monthly Bill Schedule – Never miss a payment again when you record your monthly bills and payments on this new form.
  • Track Donations – Make tax time easier when you write down all your donations on one form for the year.
  • Freezer/Pantry Inventory – Helps with meal planning and also saves you from purchasing something you already have on hand.
  • Multi-Store Shopping List – Get rid of all those little sticky notes and scraps of paper! List all your shopping list items for different stores on one organized form.
  • Bible Bookmarks – Use these monthly reading bookmarks with suggested reading each day of the month, enabling you to read the entire Bible in a year.

Go grab your FREE copy now, and you can add the Supplemental Pack too for only $8! Be sure to pin this page to Pinterest to pass around this FREE household planner so other moms can grab a copy too.

Walking Through Grief and Healing with a Loved One

8
Nov
2018

grief

Hello Sweet Friends…. I am just now coming up for some air.  Our family has been venturing down a road that has been emotional, exhausting and heartbreaking.

Two weeks ago, on October  24th, 2018, my 19 year old nephew, Nicholas Schumacher lost his battle with Neuroblastoma cancer.  He fought a 17+ month battle.  We fervently prayed he would be healed, but God had other plans.

The weeks leading up to his death, I was privileged to spend more time with Nick than I had in any other time in his life. I still saw the smile, his personality and his determined spirit coming through.

Gifts

He was the person who lit up the room as soon as he walked in with his infectious smile.

He had more JOY to spread during his short life than most do in 70 years.

He was incredibly talented in film making, even at only 19.

His Make A Wish trip involved a movie filming and meeting Tom Hanks.  It’s was a powerful trip and an awesome video was created to celebrate.

The pain of real, heart wrenching grief has not touched me since I lost my mother just a little over 12 years ago.  Grief will stick to your bones and bring you to your knees in the most dynamic way.  Even 12 years later, there will be certain memories that will open the flood gates of tears.

It’s good to remember, it’s even better to allow the tears to fall.

During this past month, I’ve grasped some concepts and ideas on how to walk alongside someone who has experienced  loss.  My brother and his family are doing just that, right now.  My heart breaks for them as they grieve the loss of a child, and I want to be a help during this time in ways that allow them space to walk the long road. Here are some of the things I have sent be helpful.

Just Be There

I had the privilege to be present when my nephew took his last breath and it was just an honor.  I found the most joy and feeling of peace just being there in the moments with both my brother and my sister-in-law.  Now, it’s the after…. the days that pass where they need someone to be present.  To not forget what they are walking through…. so even thought I am not physically there in their home with them, I will text with a message asking, ” how they are doing today” or just to let them know I am praying for them.

Listen

In the days after Nick’s death I was just present.  I asked questions, but often conversation just started, tears would start and I would just listen and allow space.  I know many feel like they do not know what to say when someone has just lost a loved one…. and that is the beauty, you really do not have anything to say, except I am sorry.  Just stop and be willing to listen.  We try to cover that awkward space with endless words that can often make things feel worse.  A hug can do so much.  Silence also produces healing.

Offer to Give Specific Help

Many times we want to help others, and we tend to ask, “What can I do?”  If you are in a the midst of grief, your mind and body is under a lot of stress and emotions and you are lucky to remember how to brush your teeth and drive your car.  When you ask a person grieving what they need help with, they will often be blank.  They are not sure.  So instead of asking an open ended question like that, offer a specific way to help.  Cleaning house, going grocery shopping, taking over errands, folding laundry, mowing their yard or just being available at their house to take deliveries is so much better.

Meals

Food….. this is important.  The last thing one wants to think about is fixing a meal, let alone trying to eat. So a real practical task you can offer is bringing a meal.  You can do this individually, or you can set up an option and coordinate it so many friends and family can contribute and make things very easy.  One site I am familiar with and used was Meal Train.  I set up a calendar of dinner delivery for two weeks, every other evening.  After that, I set up meals for every four days, to allow my sister in law a chance to get things back to normal in the kitchen, but also allowing friends to help.  Meal Train also allows for you to link up gift cards and offer a cash donation, which is great for those who do not live nearby.  I will say, the donate funds option was a bit pricey on fees, so in the future I will set up a pay-pal option for friends to donate through.

Grief is a tough season, no question about it.  However, these tips will help you walk alongside someone and be a true blessing during the process.