Step Monster

IMG_5474.JPG

I am so tired. Emotionally. I do not want to get out of bed because I’m not sure I have the energy to be a step mom today. I feel like every few months I’m at my wits end, sobbing in the bathroom into a glass of wine, resisting the urge to call my own step mother, and best friend to tell her I just can’t do this anymore. I don’t know how she managed, how in the hell she didn’t run away. I think, actually at one point she did run away. I don’t blame her. I can’t say whether it was harder for her to not have her own children, it was definitely a piece that was missing, but maybe it was a blessing for my sister and I? We needed all of her heart.

When I came into this relationship I already had my daughter, and my husband had a daughter and a son. I liked his kids immediately, and they liked me. I was thrilled to become a step mom, having been raised by one, I felt like maybe it was preparation for my future as a step mom. Not everyone is lucky enough to be raised by a step parent that they actually look up to. (It certainly wasn’t always like this, there were times that I think we hated each other, and years that I made her life miserable.) It didn’t occur to me that my life would turn into a fight. A constant fight for the impossible. I had been a stay at home mom, an attachment parenting mom. I was and am deeply connected to my daughter. I had not thought a whole lot about how I would parent her as she grew up, because I was taking it one day at a time. (When she was three I was convinced she was possessed, turns out she was just three… But I spent hours on the phone and the internet trying to figure out what to do.) Suddenly I had a 7 year old and a 5 year old, and my 3 three year old. I figured I would keep doing what I was doing, I tried to fit into their life as best I could, but there really was no place for me. The family was so used to taking care of each other that I was only really needed as a babysitter. Feeling like a fish out of water I began to make small changes in our household, there had to be a way to make us a family. Initially it was health. I threw out all the packaged, boxed and canned food and worked tirelessly on changing their diet. I wasn’t comfortable feeding my child TV dinners, and I thought it was the loving thing to nourish my new family. Well, that backfired. I ended up becoming the enemy of the in-laws and extended family. Instead of backing me up, they decided to lie, and sneak around, teaching my kids that I do not deserve respect.

IMG_5726.JPG

That was 3 years ago, since then we have had similar struggles, and they seem to be worse and more frequent. Between encouraging my kids to lie to me and my husband, and actually lying to us, it’s impossible. My husband is so used to his family disrespecting each other that he doesn’t see the problem. Because he doesn’t see it, he thinks I overreact. He feels I should just let it go, because they will never change. I would do that if it didn’t directly effect the way his kids treat me.

You can see, my husband is generally more relaxed, he’s not a rule enforcer. The only time he really pushes it is dependent upon his mood, or what is necessary, like if we have to go and the kids are messing around, THEN the dad voice comes out and everyone scrambles. I prefer that the children are obedient and don’t require “dad voice”. I am aware that as parents, it’s our responsibility to raise our children and teach them to be decent human beings. (The jury for me is still out on The Lord of the Flies, but watching my step son, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t hesitate to eat his friend.) It seems I worry endlessly about who these kids will be as adults and I am scared. Honestly scared. I see a child with no conscience. And I believe it’s our job (and I mean EVERY adult) to teach children empathy. We are not all born with the gift of empathy, and if you grow up in a household where it’s every man for himself… and that’s kind of the environment I see. The problem is, I seem to be the only immediate family who sees a problem and I go back and forth between just letting it be, and then being horrified and feeling a deep seeded need fix the problem.

I wonder if I didn’t have my own daughter, and actual horse in the race, maybe I would just let it go, be a babysitter, and let their lives be the way they were. The problem is that I have a little girl that I have high hopes for, I see so much promise in her, and I won’t cut comers on parenting. Not with my little girl. I have seen the products of “non parent parenting”, and I am not going to be responsible for that. The problem is, I have a hand in parenting my step children, so I will have responsibility to take. What am I gonna say? I’m sorry I fought with your dad so much and taught you that it’s OK to undermine your partner? I’m sorry I was so inconsistent? I’m sorry you think I favor my daughter– I wasn’t allowed to be your mom. I’m sorry I gave up on you….

IMG_5727.PNG

I don’t want to give up. I love these kids. And I love my husband. I want us to be a family, but I don’t see how we are going to get through this with out royally fucking these kids up. At some point something has got to give. I’m tired of fighting. But I feel a moral obligation to these awesome littles. I feel a deeper obligation to MY little.

I am blessed because my daughter has a wonderful step mom who has become my friend and sometimes my therapist. I have 100% support from my daughter’s father and his wife. It’s refreshingly healthy. I can’t see why I don’t have that from my husband’s family.

I know I’m not an expert parent, but my heart is in it, and I work my ass off trying to do right by my little family. Often times it’s the hardest thing to do. And way too many times it turns into a fight. Where is the balance? What battles do I pick? How can I make this work? I have fantasies that I take my daughter and we just live together, and I spend weekends with my husband and the kids… wouldn’t it be easier if I only saw them all occasionally, and didn’t have a responsibility to parent? I would miss them, but I think I would be much more relaxed. It’s a huge responsibility being a parent. I do not take it lightly… I do not want to abandon them. But I do want to run away sometimes. Like today.

IMG_5472.JPG

 

Fighting Food Demons

I read this article today on “orthorexia nervosa”. Haven’t heard of it? Neither had I, although I had a sneaking suspicion it was a thing. It’s having an unhealthy (go figure) obsession with eating clean. Generally when someone gets on a health kick, they are trying to be healthy. Evidently the issue here is that this drive towards ultimate health can actually make you UNHEALTHY. Well, that sucks. Particularly if you’re me. Having struggled with eating disorders for many years, resulting in rehab, then outpatient, groups and lots of therapy, I finally found peace with food. However, my “peace” with food has become increasingly “unpeacful”. When I built a healthy relationship with food, I decided I needed to have a better understanding of food. What is it? Where does it come from? What’s in it? What does “processed” mean? How does my body react to certain foods? Answering these questions helped me to not dwell on the calories, however I have noticed that I still feel just as guilty (and judgmental even) when I eat certain foods. And it’s not like a regular person who would not even consider that they have a relationship with food, (because you normies just EAT food.) and maybe feels some guilt when they go to a drive through, or eat ice cream. I feel guilty when I eat a sandwich. I feel self loathing when I eat bread. I hate myself when I eat cheese. And it’s not just that I do have a fear of gaining weight, but in my head I am thinking that I am causing inflammation which will undoubtedly lead to every health problem imaginable. And it will be because I ate a slice of pizza. I will die a miserable death because I had mozzarella sticks. You may be thinking that I am insane… But you may be like me and you maybe literally won’t EVER touch demonic foods that contain gluten, dairy or GMOs. (And I am over here feeling sickeningly jealous of your strength…. *You see, I wouldn’t ever buy these satanic tempestuous treats, but my husband literally won’t live without them. He thinks that no meal is a meal without carbs, in fact he thinks it’s ridiculous when me and my daughter don’t eat sandwiches. He would like to know what will fill us up if we don’t eat bread?*…And lucky if you don’t have have a partner who eats clean as well.)  It doesn’t stop there, I feel like like I am bringing bad karma onto myself for eating certain foods! (namely animal products)

I can compare this overwhelming guilty conscious to religious people. In fact, I believe I am so sensitive to not “doing what’s right” because of my past in churchianity. So if you feel bad because you missed church, or forgot to say your prayers, or whispered a curse word, maybe you feel a fraction of what I feel when I eat food (that you may even consider healthy). I feel like I have to go to confession after eating black bean soup! AND IT’S VEGAN! Why? I read that beans cause inflammation. I start planning a cleanse after eating quinoa. Yeah… quinoa. We all thinks it’s so healthy… but is it? I listen so carefully to my body after eating a food because I have to know how it effects me. I have slight depression when I see a carton of milk. I mean, those poor cows. And the meat isle?!? It’s a graveyard, It’s the dead animal isle. I don’t like it. I feel like I am literally driving the nails into Jesus’s hands when I eat cheese that isn’t organic. And I have nausea even if it is organic because I’m a little grossed out by the concept of cheese. And simultaneously, cheese is my weakness, it’s the equivalent of the shame you may feel watching porn.

OK so you see my insanity. But here’s the deal, I don’t eat perfectly. So far I am healthy, even though I cheat sometimes. I can and do go to restaurants. I will find food that I can/will/want to eat. (Except fast food, but if we are going with the religious comparison, fast food is like a whore house, right?) I generally bring my own food to a BBQ, this isn’t that weird because I don’t eat meat, and it doesn’t bother me. I would like to say that my food standards are reasonable. I felt bad a few weeks ago when a friend asks me to feed her kid lunch and I knew already that he wouldn’t eat what we had. When I asked what he liked to eat, she suggested something like, mach n cheese, buttered noodles, pb&j, chicken nuggets, cereal and oatmeal. I had none of that. Or I and pieces… no butter, no bread, organic funny looking noodles, no milk for cereal, no peanut butter…. I apologized (don’t worry he was fed!), I honestly felt bad, but in reality, it’s not that big of a deal. These things happen, and I don’t think those are necessary foods. I don’t think that makes me extreme, either. I think that maybe my intense feelings on dairy seem extreme, but not buying chicken nuggets, not so much.

You may be wondering what this means for my kiddos? What do they eat? Well, if we go to a birthday party or a bbq, they eat pizza, hot dogs, cake and chips. The only thing I really put my foot down on at a social even is soda. At home my kiddos eat a balanced healthy diet, and I try to buy organic. They get dessert 2-3 times a week. My kids don’t eat as strict of a diet as I do, and that’s ok. I have had to loosen the reigns on that one, I wasn’t always so nonchalant about that.

Am I orthorexic? No, I don’t think so. I think that eating this way has helped improve my health and is better for my family. Do I think it’s a fine line? Yes. Considering my history it’s not weird that I have unhealthy emotions about food, however, it’s pretty awesome that I have not taken my obsession with health to an unhealthy extreme. I will be mindful, and I will continue fighting my food related demons.

Why would you spend $20 on sunscreen?

Why would you spend $20 on sunscreen???

This is Alexis and me a few months into our "no poo" journey that inspired us to create chemical free sunscreen!
This is Alexis and me a few months into our “no poo” journey that inspired us to create chemical free sunscreen!

I am working with a close friend, Alexis, to develop a simple, natural, healthy and unique skin care line.  Alexis has an amazing business, called Labor of Love (I have blogged about alexis and her business before.) We decided to work together during the last few months and have been creating, using and testing our treatments. It will still be a few months before we can make the big announcement, so stay tuned. I just wanted to give you all a heads up, and answer some questions that Alexis and I have been asked many many times:

“Why would anyone spend $20 on sunscreen?”

The short answer, sunscreen without chemicals is healthier and just as effective as the mainstream store bought stuff. I know, my family has been using handmade sunscreen all summer (I live in southern California and my kids and I spend 4-5 days a week at the pool or beach.) and we are all beautifully tanned with sun kissed streaks of gold in our hair.

20140801-135701-50221921.jpg

The ingredients used in quality handmade sunscreen are not cheap, and it shouldn’t be made in large quantities in order to insure the effectiveness. Carrot seed oil alone can range from $20-$40, and in my opinion, carrot seed oil is essential to a good quality sunscreen as it has a natural SPF and healing properties.

“What is wrong with regular store bought sunscreen?”

In a word? Chemicals. There are almost 20 ingredients in the sunscreen you purchase at your local target, grocery store or drug store. 15 of these ingredients are chemicals, man made… and 9 of them are endocrine disrupters. (This means these chemicals interfere with normal hormonal functions which can cause cancer, early puberty, low sperm count, and many other disturbing side effects.) You rub them on before going into the sun, and very quickly they begin breaking down and absorb into your blood stream. These chemicals can be detected in your blood, urine and breast milk for up to 2 days after using the product because they are not filtered by the liver. Because the chemicals are being absorbed so quickly, the sunscreen is losing it’s effectiveness, meaning you have to keep applying, and continue to absorb the poisons. These chemicals also absorb the UV rays and some of them begin to mutate into free-radicals (which lead to cancer).

Hanging by the pool, getting some work done while the kiddos play. Covered in handmade sunscreen!
Hanging by the pool, getting some work done while the kiddos play. Covered in handmade sunscreen!

“But I thought Vitamin D is good for you?”

It is! Vitamin D is great for your immune system, in fact, it’s critical for your health and helps fight depression! Sun exposure is the easiest way to absorb vitamin D. Don’t hide from the sun, just be smart about it. A sun burn is a perfect example of “too much of a good thing”.

“What makes chemical free sunscreen better?”

The active ingredient in handmade sunscreen is zinc oxide. Zinc oxide actually BLOCKS the sun, unlike the chemicals I referred to earlier that absorb the rays. Zinc oxide creates a barrier between you and the sun, and is safe to be applied as much as you need it. There are so many DIY sunscreen recipes out there (try Pinterest!), the ingredients are all similar, coconut oil, shea butter, and zinc oxide. I highly recommend whipping yourself up a batch. The problem I ran into with these thicker DIY sunscreens is they are harder to apply, and turn your skin white. They work beautifully, however, we discovered a way to make a liquid sunscreen that is just as effective and much easier to apply. If this is something you are interested in you can order a bottle from Labor of Love. Alexis markets her sunscreen to expectant mothers and children. I am not a doctor, but I am a mother and this is sunscreen that I use on my own children and myself.

Baby Safe Coconut Oil Sunscreen:

 

Labor of Love Baby Safe Sunscreen
Labor of Love Baby Safe Sunscreen

“This gentle 100% natural sunscreen is safe for all skin types including babies! We’ve carefully selected essential oils that have skin regenerating and protecting properties and blended them with pure Zinc Oxide and Coconut Oil for an SPF 30 lotion formula. Intoxicating floral and earthy scent in a convenient 4oz cobalt blue pump bottle.

Do you ever look at a bottle of sunscreen and wonder what all that stuff is? We did too. That is why every ingredient in our bottle serves a purpose.
-Zinc Oxide is where we get the bulk of the sun protection. Zinc Oxide is one of the few ingredients that can provide protection from UVA and UVB rays.
-Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil contains lots of Vitamin E & plant sterols which are great for improving skin health and appearance.
-Organic Coconut Oil (fractionated) is a light moisturizing oil that doesn’t clog pores and keeps our lotion non-greasy.
-Carrot Oil has a strong natural SPF and a nice, earthy smell. It is also full of antioxidants which can actually help repair skin damange.
-Geranium Essential Oil helps maintain the balance between oily and dry skin, and it smells nice too!
-Ylang Ylang Essential Oil also helps with skin’s balance, and it gives our lotion its exotic, floral scent.”

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, the views expressed on this blog are my opinions and you should always seek the advice of a health care professional.

 

 

F.Y.I

 

Welcome!

I’m  just writing a “welcome” blog now for 2 reasons:

1. A lot of people recently registered to this blog, and since I have no “website building skills”, there is a lot you wouldn’t know about this website unless you’ve been following me for the last year or so.

2. Things have changed recently, and I feel I should address those changes. (Yes, I’m referring to the cult)

HELLO

Hi, My name is Justine and I started blogging because I needed a place to pour out my heart. As a mother, step-mother, wife, health coach and writer, my hands were very full, my time extremely limited, and the ‘vacations” I require in my head to write or read were diminishing. Making a commitment to this blog was a commitment to myself.

You will notice that in the beginning my blogs were centered completely around health and parenting. As I have become more comfortable, I have written more personal and therapeutic posts.

HEALTH and PARENTING

Half of you are here because you are on the road to health, or you’re a parent and *hopefully* felt refreshed by my candor on the struggles with parenting. I have no shame in saying that my pregnancy was a bitch, I hated every minute of it, and think labor is the most disgusting experience of my life. I have no desire to repeat either endeavor, therefore, my tubes are tied. I was blessed with 2 amazing step children, whom, along with my daughter and my husband complete me. They inspired me to get healthy, you see I was “skinny fat”, and over the last few years have made the life style change and commitment to eating whole, real, non-GMO and preferably organic food. This was a huge change for my husband and my step-son and step-daughter (and the in-laws) *See my blog for details: http://healthymama.net/fast-food-fight/ * but it has made a huge difference in our energy, attitudes and certain behavior issues we were having with one of our little rascals.

***I used to be associated with a health company, however it would seem they do not appreciate blogs about their products so I am removing all information pertaining to this company. I apologize, it appears I was not in “compliance” when I posted that my husband and I had no wedding debt thanks to “this company”(…. It’s true, I made $9,000 in a couple months which paid for our wedding.)

THE CULT

The other half of you… actually at this point maybe more than half of you are here because you read one or more of my blogs about the International Church of Christ (ICC)/ International Christian Churches (ICC). I want to start this subject by saying that I never imagined my little blog could cause such a stir. Upon writing the first blog about my past with the ICOC, “Because The Bible Says So” * http://healthymama.net/lets-make-parenting-less-of-a-dictatorship/  * Some feathers were ruffled, but all in all, it was not a big deal, so MONTHS later… maybe a year later, I wrote “So… I Grew Up In A Cult…” * http://healthymama.net/so-i-grew-up-in-a-cult/ * and holy WOW! Facebook blew up (I am friends with a lot of members and former members) I started getting lots of emails and tons of views on this particular post. The emails were (mostly) people saying Thank-You for being the voice of those who were burned so badly by the ICOC. I had no intention or writing another blog on the subject until I was accused of lying, and to back me up, and to gain closure, a few people asked me to share their stories, too.  Although I’m a Pisces (typically a go with the flow kind of person) my moon (emotions) is in Aries, which is code for: I’m a stubborn f*ck. So, being accused of lying only ignited my Aries emotion. The more I was challenged, the more my fire was fueled. After a few weeks of compiling stories and quotes, I posted “Queen of the Damned (Recovering from Cult Life)” *http://healthymama.net/queen-of-the-damned-recovering-from-cult-life/ * and this one has been read over 1,000 times, in less than 5 days. Which is insanity to me, but, I’ll be honest, I get it. Not only was I validating hundreds of people’s pain and suffering, I evidently struck a chord with current members. If someone else had written it, I would have been sharing it all over Facebook and Twitter saying “OMG! Someone gets it! Someone else feels the way I do! See, I’m not crazy!!!”

I want you to know something, I am proud to be the voice of former Kingdom Kids. I wish someone had stepped out a long time ago, because I needed this fellowship to heal. I have decided to take my role a little further. I have started a Facebook page called ICOC Recovery *https://www.facebook.com/icocrecovery * and I encourage you to “like” the page so we can start some healthy dialogue. If you don’t feel comfortable posting publicly, feel free to private message me. I am here for you. I believe it is my calling to be support for people in need (there is that Pisces nature), if you need to tell your story, TELL ME. (I only posted stories that people specifically asked me to publish) If you need help getting out, I will help. If you disagree with me and want to tell me how the ICOC/ICC is the only way to god, go for it. I enjoy a healthy debate.

I have definitely had my character attacked by people in one of these organizations in order to discredit me, and I fully understand. They are scared. Their church is young, made up of young impressionable (sheeple) people, and I know from experience that they don’t want me to shake their young one’s faith with my facts, memories and reasons. It must be scary to see a little fish make such a huge wave, especially when you’re trying to rule the pond.

I want to make it clear here that I don’t believe in god, but I don’t consider myself a soul-less heathen. My heart is good, and I know it can be hard for Christians to see good in someone who doesn’t believe same way, it’s OK. I won’t lose sleep if you condemn me to hell. Just bear in mind, I know The Bible (as my best friend said, “You give her a book, she’ll read it!”) and YOU can’t condemn me to anywhere, Jesus said. If you are curious to know my personal spiritual views, click here * http://healthymama.net/the-god-thing/ * I also want to make it clear that I am an LGBT advocate, and I do not tolerate racism, sexism, bigotry or hate.  I believe in love, and I hope for everyone to find their other half, regardless of race, color or sex. Love is love, and it is beautiful. For more on this, read “Stop! Hating is bad” * http://healthymama.net/stop-hating-is-bad/ *

I hope this has cleared things up, and I am working on making some sort of an archive for all 60-ish blogs, and to make this website easier to navigate. If any of you happen to be tech savvy, I would love some help 😉

****If you are reading this because you have had a similar experience, have history with the ICOC/ICC, or you need help leaving, I am going to post some resources here for you. Free to email me at isahealthymama@yahoo.com or find my “recovery page” on facebook www.facebook.com/icocrecovery Here are a few blogs and websites from people who have left the ICOC/ICC and have shared their experiences and knowledge:

http://www.reveal.org/ <— This page has the truth about the ICOC.
http://www.spiritualpornography.com/ <— Don’t worry, it’s totally appropriate, she named it Spiritual Pornography because that’s what Kip McKean called it when you read anything negative about the church. They post information it might be harder to find, such as Kip’s (supposed) resignation, and letters written to the church.

http://henrykriete.com/ <— Here you can read what REALLY happened with Henry Kriete and his family.
http://ministeriolatino.blogspot.com/ <—- Here you can read a blog from a former member of Kip’s current church (City of Angels International Church of Christ). He has written actually experiences between himself and Kip, AND other “leaders”. A very interesting read. He came across my blog and actually recognized someone I had written about (I kept it confidential).
http://www.tolc.org/ <—- Here you can read Henry Kriete’s letter and other letters written to the church. You can also click “debate” and you will be transferred to http://forums.delphiforums.com/n/main.asp?webtag=ICCdiscussion&nav=start&prettyurl=%2FICCdiscussion%2Fstart where you can interact with current and former members.

 

The Passion and Pain Will Keep Me Alive

Dancing with her lovey

I am a mother, I am also a step mother. I am incredibly passionate, which is both a blessing and a curse. My opinions and feelings on things are very big! I react instantly and and explosively. So imagine being a work at home mom. I do not “go to work” and a lot of people seem to think this means that I have free time, I don’t. I have almost no free time. My life quite literally revolves around the kids, from the moment I wake up in the morning to the time I go to sleep at night. So that does not leave much room for me to be passionate about things, while, my passion may hinder me on occasion, I wouldn’t give it up. When I stop giving 100%, and learning and changing, it means I don’t care, my light will be snuffed, and that is when depression sets in.

“I can understand how the edges are rough And they cut you like the tiny slithers of glass And you feel too much And you don’t know how long you’re gonna last” -Pink

 

Depression is a scary place to be. If you have never been depressed, it’s the darkest, coldest, loneliest place you can imagine, and it follows you everywhere. It’s impossible to describe to anyone, and and it’s unfair to everyone around you, everyone who wants to help but can’t. You’re numb, nothing touches you, food doesn’t taste the same, your friends and family don’t mean what they once did. You’d rather be alone, even though you hate being lonely. It’s a scary place where you’re confronted by your demons, and you don’t have the energy to fight. I have struggled with depression since I was in middle school. I was medicated and had a therapist from the time I was 11 until I was 19, and at that point I was no longer insured, so I took what I had learned in the 8 years of therapy, the 3 months of rehab and the weeks of outpatient, and I was ok sometimes, other times, I wasn’t. I got myself into horrible situations, terrible relationships, and at times I felt it would be easier to die than deal with my problems.

577948_10200782310070975_263556928_n

My pregnancy was one of the darkest times in my life. I did not want to be pregnant, I was terrified, lonely and angry. And nobody wanted to hear me. Nobody wanted to know the truth, the truth that I was forced to live with. The hormones took me over and held me down, I was sick EVERY SINGLE DAY. I hoped I wouldn’t wake up as I fell asleep every night. Who do you talk to when everyone is so happy, and can’t possibly understand how far you’ve gone into the deep sea of depression. Especially when my daughter’s father’s family did not “believe” in depression and therapy. They did not acknowledge my misery, or anything else that wasn’t picture perfect. I could go on and on about my horrible pregnancy and depression, but that’s actually not the point. My point is, every time I started getting pulled under the surface, I had nothing to feel passionate about. I had nothing to fight for.

“I won’t let you make the great escape, I’m never gonna watch you checkin out of this place I’m not gonna lose you Cause the passion and pain Are gonna keep you alive someday.” -Pink

Passion. Passion is not only something to fight for, but, more importantly, it’s something to LIVE for. I am not ashamed of my passion, and I understand that not everyone will see it, not everyone will understand why the heck after my daughter was born, and she gave me life, I became obsessed with cloth diapering. I researched it, and it gave me something to do, something to right my little corner of the world. I breast fed my daughter until she was almost 2! That was another thing I fought for because I had not only friends who did not understand, and were negative, but family that that blatantly disagreed with my decision. Honestly, having people disagree only reinforced me, it pushed me to find studies proving why breast is best. No one ever thought I would potty train my daughter when she was only 14 months old, but, guess what, it was another thing to look forward to, to work for, another thing to be excited about! Over the past 4 years, many things have made it to my passion list, not all of them have stuck. One thing did stick, and is ever evolving. My passion for health.

Health was right up my ally, after nursing and all of the research I did, it was only a matter of time before I caught the bug. I am so glad I did! I have never been healthier, and I believe in this. I believe so much, that yes, it’s worth it to fight for. You’d think food would not be a fight (see my blog “(Fast) Food Fight”), apparently it is. It never was an issue until I became a step mom and started introducing real food to my family. I have not yet been here for a year, so this is all very new to my fiance and my step children. It’s a foreign concept to my future in-laws. It’s really hard for people to respect these choices when they can’t understand them. And harder still when they don’t want to.

To set the record straight, while health is my passion, the decision to eat real food was not mine alone. When I first moved in I shopped for my food at my store, and he shopped for their food at his store. He made the decision to try what me and Jo ate, he started reading labels, he jumped on board with me. For some reason there seems to be a misunderstanding there. James has a mind of his own, and he also has an open mind. Those are two things that I love about him. He is totally willing to try to understand why things are important to me, in doing so, he decided to stop eating fast food on his lunch breaks, and totally stand beside me when we made our house fast food free.

I mentioned that passion can hinder me… it does, in this case especially because people seem to think I’m judging, when I’m not. Yes I have convictions, yes my feelings are strong, and yes, I will fight for them. I do expect to be respected, particularly if you are someone who would like to be involved in our lives. We need support from the people who are close to us. Raising children that have been through trauma makes it that much more important for us all to be united, and for stability in their lives. I have only been here since March (2012), and I am doing the best I can. These kids are my life, I have nothing besides my family, most of my friends are busy with their lives, and have moved on, just as I have. You don’t have to understand, but I think it would be easier if you were on the same page.

I tend to push people away when my passion gets the best of me. It’s never my intention, but things get miscommunicated, and misunderstood, like I said some think I’m judging, others are jealous that I am blessed to have the opportunity to stay at home, and the ability to fully live what I believe is right. Others are afraid I will force my lifestyle on them. That’s not my pan. While I believe this way of eating can save your life, but it’s up to you to make this decision, just like I did not force JAmes to eat my way. He chose this. Now we do have kids, and we decided to do what we believe is right for them, and its been slow going, and I do not do it perfectly, but that is the beauty of this type of change, we can take baby steps. As parents, their nutrition is our responsibility. We are doing our best.

As I type this I can’t stop thinking about how this resembles a religious fight. I remember being  young and in church (a cult), and how hard my parents worked to do what they felt was right when it came to “The God Thing”. People thought I was so weird, and my church as so creepy. I hated that I was never allowed to go places with my friends, and I was the only one of my friends that was not allowed to date. My parents stuck to what they believed, and it did save me from a lot of dangerous  situations. I did not like it at the time, and I do have a lot of bitterness with the church, and all religion, for that matter, but I do appreciate the integrity that was instilled in me. I have always been a terrible liar, annoying at times, but considering I am the kind of person that can’t live a lie because lies fester in my soul and ruin me… It’s forced me to be honest, and stick up for myself. I don’t tell my kids that if they eat cinnamon toast crunch they will die, I just say, we don’t eat things like that because it’s not good for you. So I ope my kids won’t grow up and rebel, and hate me for never buying marshmellows, although I’m sure in a few years, they will eat what they want. My plan is to keep healthy foods at home, and for now, to keep feeding them real food, until they are older, and going out with friends, having sleep overs, and thinking fast food is a food group. Ideally, they will grow up, and still have a taste for salad, and I will know I did my part.

472_10151484695479349_1146948613_n

****I have written many blogs that explain why nutrition is so important to me and my family. I have a facebook page where I post the things we eat, recipes, ask advice, share my blogs… my blog is open to anyone who wants to take the time to understand, before they judge. My facebook page is also open to anyone. I know some of you avid readers only do so in order to gossip, I knew that when I started this website. I want to be clear here, everything I say here I would not hesitate to say to anyone, particularly the people I write about. I do not hide my feelings, and I’m not passive aggressive. I encourage you to not take what I say out of context. for those of you with questions that you don’t feel comfortable asking, you can click on “Health and Fitness, and you will find all of my blogs that explain how we eat, and why.****

 

 

 

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

523655_4634667303880_1437039224_n

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates

If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, or a fan on my fan page ( https://www.facebook.com/isahealthymama ) you know I am obsessed with Isagenix! Yes, I am obsessed with eating organic, tips and tricks to improve your immune system and metabolism, and proper nutrition for children, and being a work at home mom… but what you may not know is that Isagenix has all of that in one place! I like to give advice on going to the grocery store and finding real food for your family, because I know a lot of people are hesitant to try new things, especially when they are looking at prices. Let’s face it, most people go to the grocery store to find the best deals and don’t think twice about what they will be eating. Most people see that the Sunny D has 100% Vitamin C and don’t bother to read the actual ingredients. Ingredients that completely cancel out the “100% Vitamin C” that the label claimed. People love coupons, and get excited to save $20, $30, $50 on their grocery receipt. You may be saving money now, but in the long run, when your blood pressure is through the roof, when you have stomach problems that you spend extra money on antacids to cure, acne that you spend hundreds of dollars to cure, when you can’t lose weight and spend even more on drugs to lower your apatite, potentially develop an addiction that you now have to kick, when you have weight loss surgery, when your children are obese, when you have a heart attack… was that extra $50 worth it? Now that you are in debt from medical bills that could have been avoided if you had been simply eating right. How much are you will to spend on your health?

“Food is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug in America, and exercise is the most potent and underutilized antidepressant.” -Bill Phillips

We live in an age where it is so simple to get a prescription! For every problem you have, you can ask your doctor to fix it. My question is, is the problem gone? Or masked? You will forever be taking medications instead of solving the problem! Let’s address the problems before they start, and the best way to do that is proper nutrition! I’m not talking about avoiding getting a cold or the flu… everyone gets those, I’m talking about avoiding cancer, liver problems, thyroid problems, autoimmune disorders! Nutrition is the answer!

“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as a sorry state as the souls who live under tyranny.”  -Thomas Jefferson

Going to the grocery store may be simple to you, if it is, you’re probably doing something wrong. Going to a big chain like Vons or Ralphs gives me anxiety! Reading labels and Googling words I can’t pronounce is exhausting! I have been so frustrated that I avoid grocery stores as much as I can. Trader Joe’s, Lassens, and Fresh and Easy are easier for me, yes I still have to read labels, at least more of what I’m reading can go into my cart! Corporations have taken over most of our mass produced foods so we are not getting the nutrients our bodies need to function properly. We are given the option of fillers, chemicals and GMO’s. Do you want to be eating food that was was grown in soil that was sprayed with insecticides that made the bug’s stomachs explode? That does not sound healthy to me.

“It is easier to stay well than get well.”

This is why I chose Isagenix after months of looking into all of the shakes out there and being disappointed and frustrated. Isagenix is organic, actually, higher quality than organic. If you are looking for a home-based business and a great nutrition plan you will be hard pressed to find one that is organic. Isagenix also uses whey from grass fed cows who roam pastures in New Zealand. They have not been given antibiotics or hormones. (Animals being treated ethically is very important to me!) The whey is undenatured which means it goes through a low heat process which saves the nutrients. The whey is also 99% lactose extracted, since I am lactose intolerant I needed either a dairy free shake or no lactose. (Isagenix also has a vegan shake!) The whey in Isagenix (IsaLean) shakes helps you build lean healthy muscle, the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn! IsaLean shakes are filled with 90 essential nutrients that our bodies need to work properly and have active enzymes which aid in digestion. They are gluten free and soy free!

My first cleanse changed me! I was waking up earlier, with energy, staying up later, my workouts were better, a rash I had for a few months vanished, my acne cleared up, my hair and nails grew faster, I dropped a pant size and I didn’t need coffee anymore! All in 11 days! I fell in love with my shakes! I joked with my husband that I was having a love affair with my shakes… and it’s not much of a joke. Giving your body the right nutrients gives you a high! The specific nutrients in IsaLean makes your brain release a chemical called Oxytocin which is the “falling in love chemical” and Seratonin which is the chemical that makes you feel high. Imagine that, a safe, natural high that does not cloud your thinking, but actually helps your mental clarity, and there is no unfavorable come down! Too good to be true? It’s not! I live this every day! My kids even drink these shakes!

I have not even talked about Cleanse For Life! CFL is a juice that you can either drink every morning and night, or drink on deep cleanse days. It is full of nutrients, and pulls toxins from your blood and organs. A deep cleanse day is a day where you do not eat food, you only drink CFL, suck on Isagenix Snacks and drink tons of water and tea. Cleanses can be difficult, but there is so much support, and it’s so encouraging to do group cleanses, and after you have done one day, you wake up feeling fantastic, you have so much energy! You flush all of those icky toxins that hold onto fat, and clean out all your organs! Deep cleanse days are an option for people who want faster results. Isagenix has so many options, I can help you find a program that fits YOU.

My sister lost 10 pounds and 16 inches (collectively) in only 14 days on Isagenix!
My sister lost 10 pounds and 16 inches (collectively) in only 14 days on Isagenix!
My sister lost 10 pounds and 16 inches (collectively) in 14 days using Isagenix!
My sister lost 10 pounds and 16 inches (collectively) in 14 days using Isagenix!
My sister has continued using Isagenix and has gone from 178 pounds to 143 pounds!
My sister has continued using Isagenix and has gone from 178 pounds to 143 pounds!

I have friends who have lost between 7 pounds (in 5 days) and 30 pounds (in 30 days)! I know people who have lost their baby weight, I have seen people lose over 100 pounds! This is a program for anyone! If you do not have weight to lose, you won’t lose weight, if you do, you will!

When I talk to people about the cleanse, one of the most common things I hear is, “I don’t need to lose weight.” So I thought I would clarify here: The nutritional cleanse is not about weight loss, weight loss is a side effect, and not everyone will lose weight. When I did my first cleanse people kept saying, “but you’re so skinny.” Ok, great point! I don’t cleanse to lose weight, I do not have weight to lose, in fact, I gained muscle when I did my 30 day. I gained 6 pounds! I dropped a pant size, because my body changed, but I did not lose weight. The point of this cleanse is to clean out your body, think of it like changing your oil. We all need an oil change every once in a while. We all have toxins! Everywhere we go our skin absorbs toxins, we inhale toxins, we ingest toxins. We can’t get away from toxins, we can however, take care of ourselves so these disease causing toxins don’t ruin our lives. It’s so superficial to only focus on what you look like on the outside, and I admit, the way I get your attention is by appealing to your superficial nature, let’s face it, seeing results make a huge impact. I can’t show you what my arteries look like, I can tell you how different I feel, how I sleep better, wake up easier, with energy, how I cut out coffee because I don’t need it anymore. I can tell you how nice it is to no longer struggle with acne, and to be able to push myself like never before in my workouts. I can show you my long strong fingernails, and how long my hair has grown, how thick and healthy it is. I can tell you how happy I am. My body finally has the tools to deal with stress properly and I live in a perpetual state of contentment. I hope this clears things up! Watch this video!!! It’s only 2 minutes =)

http://www.isamovie.com/AreYouToxic.html

This is a video that explains the how a cellular, or blood cleanse works, and the effects it has on your cells! THIS IS NOT A COLON CLEANSE!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ghAls_KdMnQ

Besides all of the amazing health benefits, Isagenix is an incredible business! This company is so generous! When you order product and get the membership (only $29/year!) you can make back the money you spent simply by referring your friends. I know what your thinking, “A pyramid scheme” well, let’s look at any company you have worked for, you have a cashiers,  sales people, managers, a district manager, a vice president, an president and a CEO, that CEO gets to rake in the cash while everyone under him/her does all of the work. Sound familiar? The only difference is this gives you the opportunity to be your own boss. There are over 50 millionaires in Isagenix! Maybe more now! But you don’t have to do the business if you order the product. You might simply want to share the product so your shakes are paid for every month! It doesn’t hurt to try it for yourself. Isagenix has a 30 day money back guarantee! So if you are not happy with your results, you can simply return it. (But you’ll be happy with your results)

2 of my favorite Isagenix poducts!
2 of my favorite Isagenix poducts!

This blog has been a long time coming, and I did not want to be super sales-y, but I am so excited about Isagenix and I want to share this with you! Email me if you want more information!!! isahealthymama@yahoo.com and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @ISAhealthymama and Instagram ISAHEALTHYMAMA and “like” my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/isahealthymama AND if you haven’t yet, please register to my blog =)

You can also check out my Isagenix website and order for yourself! If you’d like a discount click “sign up and save”!!! www.healthy.mama.isagenix.com

 

 

Is Subway Junk Food?

Did you know that tuna has omegas, and avacado is full of healthy fats? Fats do not turn into fat in your body, so you are giving yourself BRAIN FOOD!
Did you know that tuna has omegas, and avacado is full of healthy fats? Fats do not turn into fat in your body, so you are giving yourself BRAIN FOOD!

When you have been eating healthy for a long time it is a trip how gross you feel when you eat even a little bit naughty, brace yourselves, because to some of you, this won’t sound naughty in the least, to others… you’ll feel the way I do. Yesterday I was on my way to work with my cousin and my aunt, and they wanted lunch, they went to Subway, and I decided since I do not usually go there I could check it out, after all, they do have salads! And “Jared” lost all that weight, right! (I suspect he lost more weight because he wasn’t Supersizing anymore and walked to Subway.) I ordered a tuna salad. That was my second bad chioce, my first was going to Subway (at least I did not get a sandwhich, bread can be SUCH a temptation) I love tuna, but not the kind that has been drowned in mayo and is tasteless! I felt like I was eating mayo! I added cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, jalapenos, spinach and lettuce. Everything was so bland. The jalapenos her canned which is just gross, I can’t handle them unless they are fresh, the tomatoes were not even eatable, the cucumbers were dry… As I was eating I remembered why I stopped going to Subway in the first place. It’s not quality. It’s crap. I am used to delicious organic, often home grown fruits and veggies! This was such a huge disappointment!!! Part of me was annoyed that it’s so difficult to find decent quick food. That is obnoxious, right?? I mean, I can’t even go to Subway anymore!!! No wonder I am so good at having healthy easy food at home, it’s my only option.

Like I said, some of you will probably not understand why I am disgusted by Subway, I mean it is veggies, at least, right? Wrong. It’s genetically modified, and terrible quality. If I am going to eat, I prefer organic so I know my body is able to use the nutrients. It is a waste of time money and stomach space to eat crap veggies. Yes, it’s better than eating a cheese burger, and maybe I am overly picky, because, don’t get me wrong, I am proud of each and every one of you that chooses subway over Mc Donalds. I am proud because I know you are on the path to cleaner eating. Just be aware of what you are ingesting, the bread is made with high fructose corn syrup (High fructose corn syrup is made with corn, sure but that does not change that it is sugar, and it’s made from genetically modified corn… so it’s not even really corn. It’s basically a filler that is put into almost every processed food you eat. The same goes for soy. Not all soy, and not all corn. That’s where organic buying and eating comes in.)! So those 9 grains they claim are not doing anything good for you because the sugar (toxins) are not going to let your body absorb them. Besides that, bread (carbs) is converted into sugar in your body, and high fructose corn syrup IS sugar and sugar turns into fat. (That is the simplest way to explain it, but there are a lot of details and reasons our bodies do this, the same thing happens with an apple, but it is a different kind of carb, and you do need those healthy sugars because it gives you energy, of course, but not to the extreme that you get when you are eating bread. Forget what you learned on that Food Pyramid growing up!)

Sometimes when I think about these things I get a little discouraged, it is so hard to win, especially when you are just beginning to eat healthy. I’m sure it’s overwhelming when you read that some vegetables are not worth eating, and apples are carbs. Trust me, I know, and I want to encourage you all, when I began my journey to a healthier lifestyle I did not have a definite place I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to be healthier, and I did not know how to go about it. I learned slowly over the past few years, and often rejected things I read because I didn’t like it. For example, I quit eating fast food in 2010, so the only quick option I had was Subway. When I stopped eating fast food I did not go directly to a plant based diet. I just did not eat fast food anymore. When I read how bad processed turkey (at Subway, in particular) is, I continued eating it because I loved the turkey sub! It was not until I stopped eating meat (besides fish) that I embraced all the things I had read about meat, because it finally directly related to me. At this point, did I go organic? No! I still figured that fruits and veggies are good for you regardless… they grew on trees, they came from the earth, they MUST be good for you. I did not eat almost exclusively organic until I started cleansing and actually witnessed the difference in an organic cleanse. I did not want to contaminate my body anymore. I feel too good to mess it up. I messed up a little yesterday… but today is a new day! To be honest, I am still rejecting a lot of the sugar hype. I still feel like eating fruits is good, and I do not pay attention to how much fruit I eat, because it’s organic, I do know that I am probably getting too much, but I’m just not there yet. Who knows, maybe someday I will jump on the “sugar is the devil” bandwagon and write a blog for you all. For now, I think I’m gonna go eat a yummy organic delicious juicy peach.

222536_4917150365780_2134192890_n

The goal is happieness

I love that my tea gives me advice
I love that my tea gives me advice

A few months ago I was a stay at home mom who had an obsession with health food, and went running to curb my anxiety. Today I don’t have a title, but I do have so many jobs! I was thinking yesterday, I did not put all of my eggs in one basket, but I might have too many baskets. It is time to prioritize, and maybe accept that the next few months will be crazy as I follow each of the avenues I have opened. I recently decided to get my certification in Personal Fitness Training with my friend and soon to be Sister In Law. We have been very seriously discussing starting a workout group at the park by our house. We both know so many people who are uncomfortable in gyms, or just simply do not know where to begin with getting fit and healthy. We want to create an environment for women to be comfortable (not during the class… sorry!) and encouraged. We all deserve to be empowered, and beginning with health and fitness, the rest will follow. Personally my passion is healthy food, not so much because I love food, I actually don’t, but because food is where everything really comes together. You can go to the gym for an hour or two a day, but if you binge when you get home, if you are eating processed “food”, if you are not listening to your body, you will not get the results you want. However, if you change your diet, cut out processed foods, be mindful of carbs, avoid sugar, and eat *ORGANIC*  veggies and fruits you WILL see results, you will FEEL results! Pair the two, a plant based diet and exercising, it will make the biggest difference. That said, I am very interested in exercising, and I can’t wait to find out more. Knowledge is POWER! I cannot wait to learn, and more importantly, I cannot wait to teach!

I had a chat with my dad tonight, I was filling him in on my plans to get certified, and unloading (I can’t help but to vent constantly!) all of my insecurities. I know that I am capable, but I am so scared of this class! I have never been a school person and have avoided it. Certifications, however, I am no stranger to. I was a lifeguard for a few years and that required more certifications than I am getting now. I am also older and I have a WHY. Having a “why” when you make a goal is paramount! If you don’t know why you are working your butt off, losing sleep, worrying, studying, learning, and or changing, then what is the point? How do you put your heart into something that has no real reason? When my dad asked me my “why” I said, “Well, money, I guess. I need to make money.”

My dad said, “That is not why you started all of this. Remember when you first started blogging? Why did you start?”

I said, “To be happy.”

I had already lost sight of my WHY! When I started blogging I was having emotional outbursts, struggling to control my temper, my anxiety was through he roof. I was not happy. I was in love, and I loved my kids, but I was not happy. I felt so guilty for not being content with my life, the funny part was that all I needed was an outlet. When I began blogging, not only was I able to unleash my insecurities, fight demons and write as much as I want about my favorite subject: Health! I also, now have validation, you all send me messages, some of you have encouraged me more than you know, the comments are awesome, and I have built friendships with people I never would have otherwise interacted with. I also have gotten to know people that I was Facebook friends with, but we had never really had a relationship. All of these things especially all of you make such a huge difference to me. I really wanted to share with you all today, that I have reconnected with my WHY, and I plan to make the necessary adjustments to flourish!

Parenting and health: Uphill battles

There is no winning… I have been used to the dirty looks for a long time. As a breast feeding mom I had a lot of negativity thrown my way. People were uncomfortable that I publicly breastfed, I had people… family, even tell me that breastfeeding is not healthier than formula. No offense to any formula feeding parents, but that’s bull. Not to say there is anything wrong with formula, it’s fine… it’s just the second best nutrition for a child. I chose, because I was blessed with the ability to breastfeed, not all parents have the option, and it is a huge commitment. As if becoming a parent isn’t enough of a commitment, right? I even had my daughters pediatrician tell me she would have mental issues because she was not getting enough iron. (Upon research I found that the iron in breast milk is easier absorbed than formula, solid food, or iron supplements!) She was never underweight, she is bright as the sun, she was speaking sentences before she was a year old, I never once worried that she was not getting proper nutrition. My daughter just would not eat food. I’m not kidding, all she wanted was boob. I had a child who was potty trained when she was 14 months old, but would gag and throw up if she ate solid food. She did not start eating solids until she was 19 months old, which is when we weaned.

P!nk breastfeeding on the set of a music video
P!nk breastfeeding on the set of a music video

Having survived breastfeeding, I was relieved to think the ridicule regarding my daughters diet was over. Ha! Far from it! When you begin feeding your kids solid food it is a whole different ball game. All of a sudden there are parents who feed their kids gerber, organic, juice, soda, alcohol, hot cheetos (that was me…), you name it, and every other parent has an opinion. So personally I try to stick as close to organic and plant based as possible. After reading ingredients I can’t help but to feel guilt over the food I have given my kids, yes, hot cheetos (chemical crap), crap granola bars (just as unhealthy as candy bars, just not as tasty), top ramen (MSG, salt, chemicals)… I still do give her some of this stuff. Not daily, but occasionally, I try to have easy HEALTHY food available so I don’t offer crap. Sometimes I feel like they need to have some crap so they don’t get obsessed, deprived and start hoarding (living in recovery from an eating disorder and being treated with all kinds of food related disorders and growing up in a cult, I am very aware of the effects of forcing a belief.) I have another approach, I am trying to train their taste buds to love healthy food. I add salad into several meals a week, and even the boy doesn’t complain anymore!!! Snacks are usually carrots, cucumbers, apples, and occasionally crap. For now balance works for me, and I really hope just as they love their fruits and veggies, they will lose interest in the other things. Now that I have explained this and you all understand my thought process with feeding my kids, I have to endure the never ending judgments of parents. The parents who give me looks when I won’t allow my kids to drink soda, (no, not even diet,), or juice (which inevitably is not juice, but liquid sugar and chemicals that tastes like fruit) or milk (my kids do drink almond milk, but we keep dairy out of the house besides occasional organic treats). Or the questions I get when I do allow something obviously unhealthy. Here’s the deal. I am trying. I research food, I read labels, I sneak veggies in, I do a lot. I’ll let you in on a little secret, my 8 and 5 year old’s get hot lunch. Am I happy about it? No, I’m really not, I won’t even let them tell me what they eat at school, however, making lunches everyday is one more thing to add to this endless list I have going, and less food we have to buy. I hope I can get to the point where buying and preparing lunch for the kids is not a pain, for now it really is. Luckily, their schools have salad bars and avoid processed junk.

I am so sick of judgments! What do we know? So what you feed your kids hamburger helper, mac n cheese and T.V. dinners. That’s up to you. So what if I don’t give my kids milk… does that effect you? We all have different parenting styles, just like we all have different faiths. I’m not Christian, do I have faith? YES! Does it clash with your religion? No… well it shouldn’t, but inevitably someone is going to have a problem because they think I’m not going to heaven. OK, sure according to some standards, and my own knowledge of The Bible, no I’m not, but do I judge you for giving your kids liquid crack? (I’m sure the fact that my eminent afterlife in the fiery pits of hell is worse than the fact that you are willingly giving your kids diabetes.) We are all parents, humans for that matter… Let’s make an effort to support each other. I need support. Parenting is hard enough without all of this negativity.

drinking their Isagenix shakes!
drinking their Isagenix shakes!

Easy Healthy Food

We all run into this problem, your kids are hungry, or you are hungry, you’re busy and don’t feel like making food, I mean, what do you make?? There is a Mc Donald’s down the street, a can of spaghetti o’s in the counter, and you just want to stop your rumbling tummy, or the whining kiddos. What do you do? Well, it’s only $1.00 for a double cheese burger, and if you went to the store it would take so long, and what would you make, anyway? Or you just grab the can opener…

I don’t do either of those things, and yes I do spend time in the kitchen. Healthy eating is a commitment,  but it does not have to be difficult for every meal. (For those of you who know me personally, you now I do not enjoy cooking, but my kids are worth it, and, you know what, so am I.) I choose a day, usually Sunday, and I get all the ingredients together for the week, and I prepare them. I puree the veggies I will be sneaking into the food, I cook up and season the veggie sausage that I put on nachos and pasta, I cook up the soyrizo I put in tacos or nachos, I slice bananas, I soak shrimp in curry, I make guacamole for tacos, nachos or snacks, and I make a box or quinoa (with black beans and a veggie puree.) for the nachos,  tacos, burritos, curry, and my easy lunches. I have a lot of tupperware, and I just put everything in the fridge (I freeze the purees and bananas, though because I like putting them in smoothies.) If you are a meat eater, I would cook chicken, or pork chops to add to food as well.

It it so worth it to get everything started, because all of a sudden, it’s lunch time, what do you choose? My favorite midday food is a bowl or quinoa and black beans with melted (soy) cheese and guacamole and a tomato (the purple ones from Trader Joe’s with some pepper are awesome!) Sometimes I will add a tortilla, and salsa. It takes 5 minutes to prepare.

Tacos are quick, tortillas, quinoa with back beans, shrimp (just add some pepper and lime) or soyrizo, cut up some cabbage or lettuce, I love jalapinos, so I add that. And salsa!!

You can very easily make your own chips with raw tortillas, or use coconut oil to make your won chips, just brush with oil and pop in the oven. If it’s a really lazy day, I love the flax seed veggie chips from Trader Joe’s. You can dip your chips in guacamole, I use all fresh ingredients, tomatoes, lots of limes, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, basil (my FAVORITE herb!!!) cayanne pepper, black pepper, and avacados, of course. Acacados have healthy fat, so no guilt! I love to top nachos with guacamole!

Curry is delicious, I have been doing it the lazy way, Trader Joe’s has really good jars of curry, I soak shrimp until we are ready for food, and add tofu, and heat it up on the stove, add seasonings and pour it over quinoa or brown rice.

(I swear Trader Joe’s does not pay me!) Trader Joe’s also has really yummy ravioli in the refrigerated section. Personally, I could live on the butternut squash ravioli, and the lobster ravioli. The ravioli takes about 4 minutes, and a sauce is quick, I still use animal friendly butter, and garlic, basil, and rosemary… and I always add spice, a jalapeno, or cayanne. You can add sage to the butternut squash, and (shhhh don’t tell… a little brown sugar) I also put shrimp in the lobster sauce.

Pasta is so easy! You can choose the noodles you like, brown rice, wheat, spaghetti squash, you name it, and I add the fake meat sausage which I already seasoned, and purred carrot or red bell pepper to the sauce.

Don’t forget smoothies! I love giving the kiddos a smoothies with a meal. I add frozen fruits and veggie puree, maybe some almond milk. I love flax seed meal, and sometimes nuts, or dark chocolate chips. I also have a shake that I drink every day, and I add the powder to the kids shake.

I also buy lots of nuts and make my own trail mix, it’s the easiest snack. And snack time for kids is a piece of cake, I have lots of fruits and veggies, I just cut them up and up bowls out with various dips.

I know it is a challenge to make a healthy easy food, but I promise it is possible. Let me know if you have preferences, I can help you find a system that works for you! I have a friend who is breast feeding and is looking for easy meals that are wheat, soy, nut and dairy free, because her son has allergies. I am feeling for her her, and hoping she can find alternatives. If you have any ideas, please post them to my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/isahealthymama or comment here!!!