Birthday Wish

Tomorrow is my 28th birthday. I’ve been sick in bed with this horrible stomach flu… plenty of time to think through the last 27 years, but really I’ve focused on the last year. Usually we take inventory on New Years eve… but I think this is more appropriate for me. I’ve bee thinking about the kind of woman I want to be in the next year.

This year I want to listen more. I will bite my tongue and take a deep breath, because I don’t have to be right. I will be conscious of how I make others feel when I express my opinions. No one should feel small because of something I’ve said. My tongue can be acid, something I am honestly proud of… it’s my best weapon. But I’d rather use it only when there is a worthy fight. Speaking of fighting, I will pick my battles. There is no point in fighting to the death when it’s not THAT important. I don’t want to push people I love away because I have strong feelings. I will be kind to my husband. Why is it that it’s so easy to snap at him when I love him so much? Even when he does idiotic things, chances are, he had no idea how it would effect me. It’s not fair to hold him accountable for not meeting the expectations I never voiced. I will voice my expectations (after thinking them through, deciding if they are reasonable, fair and won’t rock the boat (too much). I will tell my kids that I love them everyday. I will tell my kids I love them when I am mad at them. I will have patience with other humans. I will have patience with myself. Nobody is perfect. I will follow my heart, I will embrace change, I will nurture and nourish myself family. Our health is important, even if it can be inconvenient. I will listen to my intuition. I will have humility when I mess up. I will not point out other’s faults. I will be kind. I will burn the good candles, eat sushi for no reason, drink champagne any time, and call my grandma “just because”.

I’m promising myself, because everything I do effects the universe. I want to make the world better, not bitter.

Step Monster

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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.

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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….

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Sleep!!!

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Sleep… I love sleeping, I am one of those people who would gladly sleep all day, will leisurely roll out of bed at noon (given the option), I will press snooze 12 times, and be a complete bitch if I am woken up before I am ready, rudely, by the doorbell, by the neighbors screaming children, by my screaming children, or if we are not going to Disneyland. I have always been like this. On my 16th birthday, my dad came in to wake me up and I threw a shoe at him. (Don’t throw shoes at your dad, you’ll be in big trouble, and it does’t matter if it’s your birthday.) Something about mornings just rubs me the wrong way. I can’t eat in the morning. I can’t even drink coffee before 9 or 10 am. I have read so many times that it’s best to drink 12 ounces of water first thing in the morning to cleanse your body and start fresh, yeah…. I would throw up. I’m not kidding, any water in the morning is slowly sipped on. Otherwise I wait until after my stomach has agreed that it is, in fact time to ingest something. I will also suddenly get a fever and throw up if I do not get enough sleep. I do not like speaking to anyone about anything in the morning. I especially do not like to be asked questions. My mornings last forever. I take my time waking up, I read my Facebook news feed like it’s the morning paper, I return text messages, and then get up, brush my teeth and head for the coffee maker. I then sit quietly and read articles about health, human rights, or my favorite blogs, and answer emails…. Then I am available. I’m caffeineated, I have had my space, I can deal with human contact now.

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That was all before Isagenix, anways. Isagenix changed me! My first cleanse blew me away, but more importantly, it blew my fiance away! Poor James has to walk on egg shells in the morning so as not to piss off the Big Bad Wolf that lives in me before 10 am. Not anymore. For no reason at all, a few days into my first cleanse I started waking up around 8 am. I was wide awake, my mind was clear, I still was not hungry, and I still had to wait to drink my shake, BUT I DID NOT NEED COFFEE! I’m not kidding, and it’s crazy because if you know my family, you know that coffee runs through our veins! Growing up, my dad who is 27 years sober, went to AA meetings (where they serve coffee), led groups (where they serve coffee), worked in rehabs (where they LIVE on coffee), led Bible Talks (where they serve coffee), and eventually began roasting his own coffee beans as a hobby, he started buying raw coffee beans from Costa Rica and Panama and roasting them, so we had the best, freshest, most delicious coffee possible. My family HATES Starbucks, in fact, I’m probably not even allowed to say that word! It’s like calling on The Coffee Devil, or something in my family. My dad even has a running tab at his local coffee shop! Who has a coffee tab? IF I wanted to, I can even go to Element Coffee (in Camarillo) and order a drink, and put it on my dad’s tab. My mom does not believe in decaf, and my sister drinks coffee all day long. My parents might not even own a regular coffee maker, they do have an esspresso machine, and they make coffee by the individual cup by heating water, and pouring it over this little cup thing that sits on top of your mug. It took me a while to figure that one out. Also, they never pre-grind coffee beans. They always grind as needed.

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So you get the idea, coffee was my life source, and one day… it wasn’t. I still love coffee, don’t get me wrong. I drink it on weekends now, since weekends can be “cheat days”. I have started looking at coffee as a treat instead of a necessity. The IsaLean shakes give me all of the energy I need, and have given me better sleep at night. Having better sleep means needing less sleep, which means I am up earlier, functioning faster, and I have a better attitude!

 

Why is sleep so important? For one, you are recharging, you are resting your mind, giving it a break from all of your stresses, you are giving your subconscious a chance to take a deeper look at your problems. Your pores open when you sleep, which is why you should always wash your face before bed! Not sleeping enough stresses your body out and can cause weight gain! For those of you who have done the Belly Blaster (ask me about it!!!) with me, I have explained that part of the reason it works so well is because the protein and calcium puts your body into a deep sleep, and you lose inches over night! Better sleep means a better mood, mental clarity, and more energy.

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I was talking to a couple moms about sleep training this week. Sleep training your infant can be tough, but sleep training your toddler is HELL! Trust me, I know, I tried teaching my daughter how to sleep in her own bed when she was a baby, and that was such a failure! She co-slept until she was 2 years old. Honestly I did not mind much, I kept her on my schedule, and I breastfed until then, so she always needed me close, anyways. But I can see the benefits of having your child sleep in his/her own bed. For one, it destroys your sex life. I did not notice because I had lost interest in sex the moment I got pregnant in the first place. So a few years of co-sleeping did not bother me, in fact, I liked it. Nap time was a pain. She never had a scheduled nap time so she would just pass out while nursing and I would gently try to escape, but most of the time I was stuck. I watched Desperate Housewives, Prison Break, and House straight through on DVD during the first year!

When I finally did sleep train, she was old enough to understand, and defiant enough to pee every time I put her in her room. No we are not talking about a puppy… my daughter used to literally take off her panties, and pee at me. That’s what I get for potty training her when she was 14 months old. She knew how to hold it, and would pee to get out of naps. She would also occasionally throw up at me. Once, she was so tired she sat on her potty in the hallway and fell asleep peeing, and fell off, and I found her passed out, completely naked in the hallway. Eventually she did get the idea, and one of the best things was that she had “lovey’s” I think I got the idea from “The No Cry Sleep Solution”. (I mentioned it in my blog “Bonding”, if you want more details.) Now, she recommends A LOVEY, my daughter has like 25 lovey’s. She is extremely attached to her stuffed animals, and “squishies”. (Squishies are weird rubbery squishy toys that Jo is obsessed with.) It works for bedtime though, if she has her “friends” she is content. We have some nights where she does not want to sleep, but if you threaten to take her friends, she’s over it. She does not even need a night light, she is not afraid of the dark because she has her friends.

Dancing with her lovey
Jo (4) and her lovey

I do suggest sleep training sooner than I did. Everyone needs sleep, and it’s fair and respectful to your kids for them to have a safe comforting sleeping space and time. Kids need structure, they feel safe when they know the schedule. And I think, as parents, we owe it to our children to give them enough sleep, and to give ourselves some down time. Having time in the evening with James is very important to me. If James were not around I would appreciate the quiet by reading a book, scrapbooking, chatting with a friend on the phone or zoning out on TV. ME time is sacred. It should be to you, as well.

My friend’s mom reminded me of this a recently. The best way to get on a healthy sleep schedule is to get up at the same time every day. Even on weekends. I will be honest, I do not do this, I still stay in bed late on weekends, usually because James and I stay up late on weekends, but it is good advice, especially if you don’t like mornings. Once your internal clock figures out your schedule, mornings will be easier. Until then, try Isagenix!

If you have questions about trying Isagenix I would love to help! It’s risk free with a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee!!

Don’t forget to find me on Facebook www.facebook.com/isahealthymama , follow me on Twitter @ISAhealthymama, register to my blog, and don’t be shy about commenting, or emailing me! isahealthymama@yahoo.com

Taste testing and scheduling

Today I went to Vons, it’s rare for me, I almost always shop at Trader Joe’s. Today since I was babysitting I thought I would take the kids out for a walk, and I had a list of things I wanted to try, and hoped I could find at Vons. Turns out, Vons does not carry chia seeds, but they do have dates! Trader Joe’s did not have dates, but they do have chia seeds. I already have coconut oil and dried fruit (from Trader Joe’s, of course). So I won’t be making chia seed energy bars tonight, hopefully I will make it to the store tomorrow. I did find kale chips, carrot chips and apple chips. I bought a bag of each. I would suggest making your own because the quantity is just not worth the price. Kale chips tasted kind of like potato chips, the carrot chips were just gross, and I have not tried the apple chips yet. I also bought prunes. I am not a huge fan of prunes, but something you will learn about me, I don’t necessarily ingest foods because I like it, or enjoy it. I look at the benefits and if I don’t hate the taste, I’ll go ahead and eat it. I did not buy them for me though, my daughter was having trouble using the bathroom a few weeks ago, and I thought, maybe this will help to avoid that problem. I don’t know if it was my master manipulation skills, or if the kids actually enjoy prunes, but they loved them! I had to take them away out of concern for their little systems!

I also saw a bottle of acai berry juice. I have never tried it before and was in a taste testing mood. Acai berries are supposed to be high in antioxidants and omega fatty acids. This bottle claimed that one serving is equal to 4 servings of fruits and vegetables. Couldn’t hurt, right? I never bought into the rage of acai a few years back, but I know it is commonly used in weight loss products. I had an 8 ounce glass this afternoon as a pick me up, and it did it’s job, I am ready for my workout. To be fair any healthy snack probably would have done the trick. If I notice any changes this week I will be sure to write about it!

The last few weeks have been really tough. I have been so off. My workout schedule, my cleaning schedule, my eating schedule, and clearly my blogging schedule. I am trying to get back on track. I cannot even explain how crazy I feel inside when I am not successfully executing all of my parenting goals. Yes, the kids are fed, homework is done, we have had some play time, and they are bathed… but when I have not been able to do all of the laundry, and when the floors have not been mopped I feel like I must be slacking off. Even though I know I’m not I’m still just as exhausted at the end of the day as I was when I was doing all of the cleaning and working out 5 days a week. I may have to stop doing something, but I have no idea what I can give up. For now I am shifting responsibilities around and trying not to expect so much of myself. Today I mopped the floors, deep cleaned the bathroom and put away laundry. I made a huge pot of quinoa and added a cup of pureed spinach, and boiled a bunch of eggs. I also took the kids out for a walk, played outside and was babysitting a one year old all day. Today was a success, but it is far from over. I have to cram for my Personal Fitness Trainer exam!!!