Tag Archives: Health Freak

Halloween 2017

Well that’s life.

Sometimes no matter what you do you get sick.

My husband and I both came down with ‘the bug’ on Saturday morning. Now you might say that because we weren’t throwing up that we didn’t have it as bad and I’d mostly agree with you but we still felt as awful as if we had been. It took until Monday morning till we started feeling better and still today our digestive systems are a little wacky.

Maybe our little grape juice trick helped the wrath kick it down a notch (but was it?) and maybe the special cleaner still does really work but sometimes in life you just get sick. That’s been my lesson this time around. It’s been 5 years since I was sick like this and maybe you just can’t avoid it because well we’re human.

I don’t like it. But I have to live with it.

I will say however that my coping (preventing) methods have increased in number a little. We’ve added in using paper towels to dry our hands instead of cloth ones that harbor bugs for days and some other things like that that help me sleep better at night.

Besides, this little guy (with no name) is coming this month and I feel somewhat panicked to make sure we don’t get sick again and overlap his wonderful entrance into the world with rushing to sanitize the house etc.

Emetophobia really does have it’s challenges. Winter isn’t just a time of holiday’s  and cheer. It’s a time of worry and anxiety because that’s when the virus spreads like wildfire.

I don’t know if I can ‘cure’ myself or if someday I should go to counseling but for now this experience has taught me plenty and I’m sure I have tons more to learn.

But this post is about Halloween right?!

Oh what a Halloween this year has brought. My 5 and 4 year old have been literally counting down the days.

Fortunately, our ward Halloween party fell on a day in between everybody’s illness so we were able to go and enjoy that (don’t worry I pulled out of the chili contest so that we didn’t spread anything unnecessarily).

They had games galore where the kids could win tickets they could then trade in for prizes. They thought it was the best thing since chocolate milk in cereal after eating coco puffs.

When David and I got sick we kept preparing them that there was a chance that mom and dad wouldn’t feel good enough to take them trick or treating. Fortunately, again we were well enough to enjoy that.

But first let me write about their costumes.

I’m such a procrastinator.

I was doing fine when they wanted to be a pumpkin ghost and a spider. Ok, at least I thought I would be fine. But then they both excitedly changed their minds and wanted to be robots instead!

SO pinterest to the rescue!

I’m ALL about homemade costumes. I just love the look and feel of them, they are one of a kind and usually much cuter than anything store bought.

Turned out that homemade robot costumes weren’t something you could throw together in a snap without running all over town getting supplies….or so I thought.

My dear hubby came home that night and saw my despair (afterall this was just a day or so before our friend halloween party where we and the kids were supposed to wear costumes) and he took over.

He literally took one swoop through the house and garage and came back to my pathetic pile self on the floor with everything we needed to make robot costumes. We did need to spend some money on a roll of aluminum tape but that was all! Big spenders! He and the boys waxed creative and had a blast coming up with their costumes.

By the next morning they were done and the boys were ecstatic.

Me, I was thinking, geez how much more white trash can we get?

Ya, they weren’t as cute as some of the ones I’d seen on pinterest but they were done and they were happy so that’s all that mattered. They light up people! How fun is that!

And last night as we were out in the cold and dark trick or treating and literally everyone who passed them on the sidewalks or answered the door said, “Oh those are so cute!” or “That’s cool!” or “Those are the best costumes I’ve seen all night!” I couldn’t help but laughing to myself, ‘wow, and we spent a whopping $10 on tape.’

Another lesson learned.

I was stressing way too much about making the cutest homemade costumes, thinking we had to spend a sum of money etc etc. but it turns out duh that that’s not what halloween is about. Memories are what matters and made plenty of those!

Happy Halloween!

Favorite Friday

If you read my previous post you might be wondering if any other members of my family caught the ‘bug’. Unfortunately, my little William did.

Sigh……..

I think I was being naive in hoping that William would be able to avoid it. He still sucks on his fingers. Ya, that’s a whole other issue. He has a blankey that he carries around and rubs up against his nose and lets just be honest, 4 year old’s just aren’t the most hygienic.

So a week later, almost to the minute he came down with it. It was horrible. It was heartbreaking but we got through it. And now he is completely back to his normal giddy, cute self.

There have been times when I panicked and thought I was going to be coming down with it but I never did. And my hubby has been able to avoid it too (go figure, with his rock hard immune system).

Which brings me to my Favorites Friday topic.

My favorite defense against the ‘winter stomach bug’ or more specifically the norovirus is GRAPE JUICE!

What you say?! Juice? Have you heard this?

Ya, it’s true.

Without getting too boring there is something called proanthocyanidins in grape juice that binds to the proteins of the virus and basically render it incapable of doing it’s horrible job. At least it’s supposed to and has been shown to in studies.

The details of all this crazy research I am unaware of but I have heard the buzz around the web that it works. Also, my smarty panst hubby said so.

And so far for us it seems to be working.

So it’s now my favorite thing, maybe even more than essential oils or ginger or charcoal which are all still great choices.

It’s simple and delicious!

Just make sure it’s 100% concord grape juice. We’ve discovered that Welch’s juice has other juices added to it and isn’t pure per se. You have to find the pure stuff. No sugar added, not from concentrate stuff.

Another ‘by small and simple’ means given from the gift of nature to help us take care of ourselves.

Thank you Heavenly Father.

Also, in my last post I mentioned a cleaner that works better than even bleach in getting rid of almost every virus, bacteria and fungus out there (the back descriptive label on this thing is like Christmas morning to my eyes).

We got it on amazon but I’m sure you can find it other places.

Buy it here.

This is officially my favorite cleaner for emergency situations like these. I wouldn’t use this every day. Only during times that your family is sick. All other times of the year I use and love my homemade vinegar and lemon cleaning solution.

Thank you science.

M.I.A.

Wow. You blink and almost 2 weeks goes by.

We’ve had the stomach bug here which totally sucks. Ok honestly, Ben is the only one that has been plagued by it so far. There is some serious pleading and begging towards heaven that it stops there.

You see, since I’ve been blessed with a mild case of Emetophobia (fear of vomit and all things related) I’ve become an expert at avoiding it at all costs. It’s an obsessive compulsive thing. To me, you can never be too careful or go too overboard at preventing it from spreading. I hate it that much. Just read on, you’ll see.

I’ve researched the various viruses. I know their incubation periods, how they are spread and what kills them.

I’ve purchased hospital grade cleaner in the form of wipes and spray that I tear out only when this thing shows up since normal household cleaners definitely don’t work and even bleach is known to not work on some strains. The stomach bug virus laughs in the face of normal household cleaners.

Do you see the OCD yet?

Come late Sunday night when Ben is yelling our name and has made a mess all over his bed and the carpet, instead of melting down into a state of panic and nerves like I used to (it’s been a work in progress) I jumped into gear and ‘kill’ mode.

This included being aware that little vomit droplets could be floating in the air up to 6 feet from where it happened (depending on how violent the attack was) and if inhaled could infect you. It included treating all the towels used to clean, the soiled linens etc as absolutely lethal. Anything they touch, anything they potentially cross over most likely infects it and needs to be sanitized. They should be washed not just once but twice with either bleach or special cleaner. They can last on a surface up to 2 days!

I also just assume that after the mess is cleaned up and every surface that was touched in the process is sanitized that the clothes you are wearing are also infected including your hair etc so you should strip down and shower immediately afterwards and treat those clothes as also lethal.

Leaning more towards crazy than just OCD? I know.

This process has to done each time someone throws up otherwise the likelihood that someone else in the family gets sick skyrockets.

After the poor guy was feeling better over 24 hours later I knew that it wasn’t over and I couldn’t let my guard down just yet. This is when I’m actually glad that we haven’t taught or allowed Ben to learn how to clean himself after he goes to the bathroom because I know that I can do it more efficiently with significant decrease in risk of it spreading. For about a week after, the virus is still present in the poop so hand washing and sanitizing the bathroom are still paramount.

That’s where we’re at now. And also just waiting to see if all my OCD ideas actually pay off. If one of us get’s sick (2-4 days after) I’ll know and learn that sometimes you just can’t help getting sick no matter how crazy you are. That’s just life.

But boy, how I pray that my craziness does SOMETHING. 🙂

Last night I went into a mini panic when I realized that William had used the chapstick that I gave Ben during his dehydrated time. Crap. Rookie mistake!

But as I just breathe and remind myself that there is nothing I can do and worrying about it does nothing, I was finally able to drift off to sleep.

And we are disaster free one more night.

Thank you Heavenly Father.

Humility & Learning

A little over a year ago I wrote a blog post about the importance of sleep in our family and how I feel it’s blessed our lives. It was also about healthy eating and with these two tools combined how we had been blessed to be very healthy. My boys had experienced very little sickness up to that point.

Oh boy have these past few months been a humbling experience. This is what I said…

“So take it from someone whose two beautiful boys are confidently the healthiest kids on the block…”

HA!

This year I am confident that we have been the SICKEST family on the block.

Ya we still sleep lots and eat super healthy and I’m certain it’s helped each illness be shorter than it could have been but man it certainly hasn’t kept us from picking up EVERY single bug that’s out there this year!

One or two of us has been sick every day since Christmas Eve.

At this moment it’s my turn again. Crazy chest congestion.

I used to look at families that were sick all the time and wonder how they got through it. Seriously I used to think if that were me I would literally die. I know, I’m so dramatic.

The positive of this cold/flu season is that it has taught me that I can make it through alright. I’m actually stronger than I thought. But I guess when we have to we receive the strength we need. We have survived and we’re actually OK! It’s not all as bad as I imagined…which was pretty scary. Cuz don’t get me wrong, it’s been horrible.

But it’s made me appreciate health even more than I already did. It’s made me appreciate sunshine and snuggles with my little ones because it’s forced us to slow down.  It’s helped me be grateful for the little things again.

As much as I dislike our little apartment sometimes I am grateful for the big sliding glass doors that let in SO much sunlight in the winter afternoons. I could sit there all day long in that happy heat.

So yes. I have been humbled this year. I have learned a lot this year in regards to this one little area. I have so much more to learn.

In other news my adorable hubby has made even more progress with his hips/back.  Like I’ve described before he’s a big onion and the next problem to be solved sometimes isn’t revealed until the previous one has been peeled off or solved. He’s confident that he’s on his last layer which is this last muscle that needs to be rolled out. His sleep has gotten so much better and his overall pain levels are so small that it’s very exciting.

Here he is rolling the muscle in question on the big ball and it’s causing so much discomfort that it makes him sweat which is why his shirt is off. Poor guy. But I am constantly amazed at his stamina.

This road is definitely not the quick fix.  It’s not the easy route. It’s been over 2 years. Minimal to no drugs, no surgeries, nothing but lots of research, trial and error, determination, exercise and hard work and more determination. But pretty soon he will be able to say he cured a very serious back and hip problem with just those things. And will still have full use of all his muscles and bones. He amazes me. And I know because of this experience he will be able to help those that want to figure out their own back problems without drugs or surgery.

He has had his share of illness this season too but considering how little sleep he gets each night it’s a straight up miracle that it’s not been more over the past 2 years. I know God has blessed him in that regard.

I am grateful for these trials that we’ve had because of what they’ve taught us.

Is it OK to say that I hope this year is better though?!

 

Well I’m back folks.

A combination of illness in myself, my kids and my hubby, a lack of motivation, and a muddle in our schedules  has kept me from the gym for quite a long time.

And I’ve been feeling it.

And I’m not just talking about in my low energy, foggy brain and achy back. I’m talking about literally I can feel the squishyness of my muscles. Oh sad day.

It’s not fair how fast that happens.

Anyway that’s all behind me now. Because I’m back.

And it feels good. Oh how I missed it.

I actually thought to myself while at the gym today, “I wish I could stay here all night!” But alas the hubster was waiting to go and get his workout in.

I am excited to see that I still have my little traps! These muscles are super important to me for my particular back problems. But they definitely could use some more strength.

I hope I never have to go this long without working out. Having a trainer at the gym waiting for you and working with you was a huge positive so I have to either find another one or find a way to do this alone. It’s tough!

But like my shirt says,

Viral Virus

See this here?  (pointing to imaginary box)

This is my soap box….I’m going to step up onto it for a minute.

Ahem…..hem hem…..

When I learn something new I am always eager to share it. This week I have learned a lot about the influenza virus.

My entire family has been wiped out with this horrible virus, during the week of Christmas no less. Fortunately, I somehow evaded the virus until we got home from our ‘vacation’, unpacked, grocery shopped and made some homemade chicken noodle soup…then BAM! I was a goner.

Whenever a serious illness goes through our household which has only been one other time about 5 years ago I become very well read on the subject because well what else do I have to do when I’m flat on my back?

5 years ago it was the norovirus and rotovirus. This time is the influenza virus.

Whether or not it’s beneficial or helpful to ponder on the exact place we picked up this virus I do it anyway.  And it could have been one of two places, preschool or primary.

At preschool Ben does a very good job at washing his hands every day before snack time. He knows to not put his hands near his face unless he’s washed them.  The horrible thing about the flu virus is that it can easily be spread just by breathing the same air as someone who has had it.  Not a whole lot of preventative measures to be done about that…At least not by the healthy victim.

In primary before our Christmas vacation I noticed a girl in Ben’s class coughing all over him and everyone else.  Now of course I don’t know if she had the flu or just a nasty cough unless I went and interrogated her mother which believe me I’ve considered…haha!

In either of the situations though it could have been avoided if families of sick kids had kept them home a couple days longer.

Our Christmas vacation could have been so much different if someone had kept their kid home instead of letting them go.

Harsh? Maybe, but it’s true. Every bout of illness most likely could be avoided if the passer of the illness had been ‘quarantined’ if you will for a bit longer.

Let me paint this picture for you. Because someone decided their kids was OK enough to go out two little boys became ill as well as their parents. Practically annihilated Christmas. And because the virus was incubating while we were traveling 5.5 hours north to my in-laws house for Christmas my dear father in law and now mother in law (confirmed today) have fallen ill. Had we known we never would have gone.  My sweet cheery mother in law called us while suffering from a 102 degree fever.  Chances are (if we didn’t inform him) my father in law would probably go to church on Sunday and infect others with it and since it is a small branch with lots of older citizens somebody might fall ill and even die from it.

Something really should be done in helping the general public know that it can make a world of a difference for somebody else or for a whole community if when your kids feels great but still has that nasty cough or that runny nose to just keep them home!!  Think how dramatic a change could occur if everybody did this…or even just a few did!

It should be common courtesy.

My two boys already feel so much better. They have been playing for a couple days now and eating like normal for about the same. It’s Thursday. By Sunday they will only be that much better right? Ya. But guess what they will still have that lingering cough and maybe a sneeze or two so for that reason we will not be going to church! I can’t imagine being responsible for spreading this horrible experience to anyone else! How rude!

Please oh please world let’s make it better by doing our part at NOT spreading infectious diseases. It’s science. It is possible to avoid it. It’s a living thing that needs to be handled and destroyed. But we can’t win a battle with an enemy that we don’t know anything about.

Learn about incubation periods, mutation patterns and productive and unproductive disinfectant measures. Believe me if I can understand it, anyone can.

And going back to my underlying mantra, eating well and sleeping well are the best defenses to virus’ like these.

My father in law told us that there was no way this was the influenza virus because we would all be so much more sick than we were (are). But my belief is that we  would be a lot more sick if it wasn’t for our immune systems which have been buoyed up and ready to fight way before they were invaded.

I realize not many people read my blog so if you are reading this please pass it on or take it and rewrite something similar on your own blog.

So again in short, JUST BECAUSE YOUR KIDS FEELS BETTER DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS STILL!!! This virus quickly invaded many people’s lives that were otherwise very, very healthy!

Alright, I’m done. Good night.

(stepping off soap box)

 

Deck the Halls, Be Merry and Bright, Joy to the World! Right?!

How do I begin. Here we are up in beautiful Garden Valley, ID for Christmas.  We’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while now and the 2 weeks previous to our departure I took every precaution to ensure the boys didn’t pick up all the bugs that were going around like wildfire.  After all is there anything worse than being sick on Christmas?!!!!

I was even going to keep Ben from Preschool the last week when they were doing all their fun Christmas activities. David sweetly suggested that might be too much and so we let him go.  Monday and Tuesday were great. We were set to leave on Friday.  Wednesday night we got a mass text from his teacher that her whole family came down with something including her so school on Thursday would be cancelled. Dun dun dun!!!!

Did I mention that earlier that week I had come down with something eerily similar to food poisoning? Ya. Never had that before and now even as I write this I know that it could have been so much worse. I didn’t even throw up I just got really close and then felt gross for the next 2 days. We still don’t know exactly what happened. I am convinced it was bad turkey that was just a day or two too old and David thinks it was a bug.

Thursday comes and we realize after some inspired promptings that we need to leave that day instead of Friday because of bad weather.  So off we went!

So glad we did that! For more reasons than just the weather. Friday morning Ben wakes up with a sweltering fever!!! He progressively gets worse and around 9 am throws up once. CRAP!!!!  Our Christmas vacation is officially ruined (or at least that’s what I have been trying to talk myself out of-attitude right?)

And in case you are wondering I am not angrily blaming David for talking me into letting him go to school. I realize I can’t shield my son from everything bad, not without him missing out on many a essential experiences.

Anyway…

We had decided on Thursday night when we got here that we would do Christmas on Saturday instead of Sunday because then instead of begrudgingly dragging the boys away from their new toys to go to church at 9:30 we could have the whole day to relax and take our time. Everything was going perfectly!!! Just as planned, or better!

Little did I know that taking our time is exactly what we would be doing.  Poor Ben woke up with a fever and still felt horrible on Christmas morning. He hadn’t thrown up again since the morning before and by Friday night was eating a little bit. But everything just wasn’t the way it supposed to be! Can I just say how hard it’s been dealing with the very thing I was trying so wholeheartedly to avoid! I can’t believe it happened! But that’s life.

There was my perfect little happy boy lying on the couch looking like death trying but not succeeding at opening his presents.  Break my heart right open.

But because of Ben’s illness, today had been something like I’ve never experienced before at Christmas. Stockings first….nap and snuggles. Breakfast and then more snuggles. Little bit of playing and then another nap followed by opening a few presents.  After that we tried to relax and watch a movie downstairs and Grandpa and Daddy plowed the driveway of 9 inches of fresh snow! Then some more present opening and then some lunch and another nap! After nap time we opened the last of our presents at about 2pm!

This is the way to do Christmas I’ll say! It was so fun dragging it out like that. It may not be for everybody but for us this year it worked and it was really nice.

After lunchtime we did give Ben some fever reducer because it just wasn’t going down and he woke up from his nap finally able to fully appreciate the cool things he’d received. His smiles and happy sounds were music to my ears.

The bad news was that William woke up from nap with a fever. CRAP AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

No throw up.  No headache. His spirits seems to be high still so maybe we will get lucky and get by with minimal suffering with William.

Oh how I hate sickness. It really gets me. Especially in my kids.

I will say that I was taught a good lesson here when I saw how David and his parents reacted to Ben’s sickness…his throwing up more specifically. If you know me you know that I have a mild phobia of vomit and it’s a bigger deal to me than the normal person. Ha! So here was Ben moments away from being sick just absolutely miserable in his daddies arms at the kitchen table…everybody talking. Here I am absolutely panicking inside wondering what the heck I was going to do and how we were going to get thru it.

The big moment happens and that’s that.  Talking continues as normal. Grandpa comes to the table with his breakfast, moves the bowl of vomit over a bit so he can sit down and enjoy his breakfast. What?! K, this is weird.

Grandma says, “Isn’t it wonderful what the body can do to take care of itself like that?”

I’m thinking, “Wonderful!!!?”

We clean up and take him downstairs to sleep.

I’m thinking, “What just happened?”

But after a while I start thinking and I realize that what just happened around me with my son being sick is closer to the reaction that I SHOULD be having than the one that I tend to have. What I witnessed with my in-laws and husband is closer to a normal and healthy response.

Throwing up does not mean he or anyone else is going to die.

Yup. I’m serious. I have to remind my sub conscience of this.

I am scared. I am a mess. I am down in my room breaking down for a moment or two. In part because my baby is suffering and I want to make it stop and in part because I’m…well I’m weird and I think vomit is the worst thing that can happen to a person.

My husband thinks maybe I need therapy. Maybe he is right. I think he is.

This is Christmas.  This is Christmas.  THIS IS CHRISTMAS????!

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But you know what? It really is OK.

Somehow we will get through it and the memories are made. The boys are at the table (the very one Ben threw up at) playing with their legos happily and merrily.

It is going to be alright. Christmas is not ruined.  We (I, more specifically) did get through it. No one died. Hahahaha it sounds so ridiculous!

Pictures of our very different than planned Christmas will be forthcoming.

The difficult part for me now will be letting Ben go back to school before April.  Er…. Ever.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Breathe.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

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Sometimes we do this kind of thing for dinner. It’s usually David’s idea and I play along with a bit of doubt in my mind…will the kids really go along with this and like it? Am I ‘allowed’ to do something so easy for dinner without the homemaker police knocking down my door? When I put this down on the table ( along with some bread) the boys were ecstatic that this was dinner! William even said, ‘mom thank you for not mixing it together.’ Meaning he is in this phase of not liking his food mixed up so he doesn’t like most everything I make now.

Simplicity was very warmly welcomed. A veggie Dip night is on the docket probably once a week now. Some cottage cheese or protein shake on the side and we have got ourselves a healthy balanced EASY meal! Yay!

On the other end of the spectrum yesterday I made a deep dish apple and cream cheese pie for for our ward fall festival.

img_20161028_175336I spent several hours trying to get the crust just right but it paid off! It turned out so flaky and tender and delicious! I actually didn’t get a piece of it because it was gone by the time I got up there but I tasted some leftover crumbs.

For the boys it was all about the cool costumes and the candy. They were in heaven.

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Apparently batman has the force too.

Incase you weren’t sure Ben is Kylo Ren from star wars. No he hasn’t seen it. All he did was walk thru the costume store and choose the one he thought was the coolest.

Love them.

Happy fall ya’ll.

8 Insights into Our Healthy Living

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As a preface to this post I have to say that I do not claim to be a genius on this subject.  Although I’ve been married to a genius who has taught me A LOT the last 7 years I cannot claim to know everything.

However, I do feel strongly that my passion for this subject has led me to greatly broaden my knowledge and driven me to live a certain way. And experience is usually a great educator. So I am going to share my experience and what I’ve learned.

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First, to understand a bit more maybe I can let you in on one of my dreams…..

If I had a billion dollars I would start a non profit company that made healthier ‘processed food’ options. They would be offered at a lower price so that they would be the first choice of all ranges of people. Eventually I would also start a fast food chain that offered homemade healthy choices at a lower price. My goal with these is to get nutrients down the American population who are consuming these products anyway but that are essentially void of nutrition.

You are probably thinking, ‘aren’t there already options out there like that?’ Yes there are but not to extent of what I’m thinking and not for cheap…usually when you go out to a nice healthy place it’s a bit pricier. Right? Because of that a vast majority of Americans choose the unhealthier option. This would help me sleep better at night. Knowing people who have busy lives and have to choose ‘fast’ options are at least getting good nutrients.

OK but for now since I do not have a billion dollars, I want to do what I can to help people make better choices with what we have available to us.

Let me tell you what I believe.

I believe eating healthy IS OF GOD.

I believe that when we strive to do so He will help us just as He helps those striving to follow other laws and commandments.

It’s more than just the Word of Wisdom (if you are not familiar with this LDS commandment it’s a law given to us from God about our bodies and how best to take care of them easily found in the Doctrine and Covenants Section 89). It’s about learning what that means for our day.

Back in 1833 they didn’t have to worry about processed food and diet cokes. If there were these foods I  am certain they would be written in the Word Of Wisdom.

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Refined and processed foods are not really food. Too much sugar is harmful and addictive. You know this. We all know this. But making it a part of who we are is a different more difficult story.

Eating healthy is often termed ‘too expensive’ and left at that but can I suggest some food for thought?! Pun intended.  If you believe in a God who created you and gave you your body as a gift doesn’t it makes sense that He would encourage and help you in your quest to take care of it?! And if you don’t believe in God well then I’d love to have a conversation with you. 😉

I announce that He does. As a person steps forward with faith (and it takes a lot!) to take better care of their body they will receive divine help both temporally and spiritually. I’ve seen it.

Maybe He helps free up some of your day and makes things go a bit smoother. Maybe in way we don’t understand His hand reaches in and supports us.

My little family has been living at the poverty level for almost 7 years. My husband is finishing up his PhD and has started a business on the side. It’s been a crazy several years… one for the books and another story altogether but the point is if you looked at us based on how we ate, things would not match up. More than half our budget goes to food. The Lord has been supporting us somehow to keep up with our ‘expensive’ eating habits.  Because I believe it’s important.

I believe God is on our side.

Some people would look in on our life and finances and say “You could be living middle class if you’d just cut your grocery bill and settle with what food you buy! It’s no big deal!” Well  here’s the truth…to us, we’d rather stay at the poverty level than compromise our health. We know someday we wont be at the poverty level and we’d rather show up at that glorious day shining and healthy as can be!

So what do I mean exactly?! What do we do differently?

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  1. Make real recipes for every meal. Or better than that alter the recipes I do use to make them healthier! Everything offered to us on the grocery store shelves can be homemade and is always better, not only nutritionally but in taste too. There are limits of course to what we can make depending on our circumstances for instance if you live in an apartment like we do you can’t keep cows and make your own milk and cheese products. Someday hopefully. 🙂 For now learn what a roux is make your own cream of chicken soup. Your own broth and more.

img_20160912_17390912. It means grinding my own flour and making my own bread with said freshly ground nutrient rich flour and getting rid of that worthless and probably poisonous white powder ‘they’ try to pass as flour. It’s absolutely nutrition-less and a waste of your money, space in your belly and calories. Did you know that in every way you use white flour you can use whole wheat flour? Your buds get used it quickly and eventually prefer it over the tasteless gluey white stuff.

unnamed3. It means making better choices with the things I do have to buy from the store. I’ll be doing a more comprehensive post on just this topic but for now a few examples are this Jif Natural PB and Barilla Whole Wheat pasta. The ingredient lists are short and you can pronounce everything in them. Take a gander at other pasta’s and PB’s (maybe your own pasta and PB) to see how it compares.

green-sugarcane-field4. It means controlling our sugar intake. The truth is our bodies can’t tell the difference between what sugar we put in it. Honey, table sugar, high fructose corn syrup or fructose etc….our bodies react in the exact same way. Shocked? I was too. So no matter the source…just control it. Sugar is not evil. This is what I try to teach my kids…but too much sugar will start to harm you so let’s just keep it minimal and really enjoy it when we do!

2450e8d600000578-0-image-a-10_14199570912455. Vegetables accompany every meal. It’s HARD teaching kids to appreciate eating healthy but it’s possible. Just like we have to teach them to sleep and use the potty we have to teach them to like and appreciate good food. Ok I can’t say they accompany EVERY meal but pretty dang close!

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These ‘green’ waffles (stuffed with spinach) frequent our mornings covered in homemade whip cream and fresh fruit. Yum!

6. Yes! We use full fat ingredients for heavens sake!!! I’m sure you know they can’t just take out the fat and wa-la! We have a delicious less caloric healthier food…right?! Wrong! They have to fill it back up with un-necessary fillers and usually more sugar. Natural is better. I promise. Fat is not your enemy. Full cream, real butter, natural cheeses and whole milk. All wonderful and healthy.

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7. I’m going to contradict myself here for just a second. It’s for all you diet coke drinkers or whatever diet 0 calorie drink you use. Obviously my first thought would be to just stop drinking these drinks altogether but I have too many friends ‘addicted’ that I know it’s almost impossible or too much to ask. When it comes to sugar it’s always a better choice than ingesting the sugar substitute used in those drinks (or foods). That stuff is not food.  Please just switch to the real stuff. I guarantee if you were taken to the plant or warehouse or wherever it is that they make the stuff and saw what it was and where it came from (who knows?) that you would start to question the sanity of the world. It’s just not food. Do we need to define the word food?!!

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8.  In our world, the consumption of red meat is controlled as well. Fat can become a problem (although I might add emphasis that it’s still not as deadly as sugar and other things found in low fat/no fat ‘foods’) when sausage and bacon and high fat meat cuts are eaten frequently. But at the same time these things can be extremely beneficial and nourishing when needed and eaten sparingly. Yum.

How do I feel these sacrifices/steps have helped my family?

At the risk of sounding boastful I’ll just say that I know my kids do not get sick as often as the average American kid. They are bright, capable and able to understand the effect of food on their tiny bodies. They feel the difference on their own.

As for me and my husband we couldn’t really give you any real comparison because we don’t really know any different. When we do eat white flour on rare occasions and not by choice, our digestive systems freak out for a while which makes us feel icky. It’s noticeable.

I feel blessed to be able to eat the way we do and I feel so strongly about it I am compelled to share it with others.

Have you heard the phrase, ‘If your great grandma wouldn’t recognize it as food then it probably isn’t food’.  Next time you are in the store look past all those bright well designed marketed bags and boxes and try to decide if it could really pass as food. Did it come from the earth? And then what did it’s journey from the earth to your mouth look like? How long was it? What did it come in contact with? Who did it come in contact with? What did it loose in the process? If this journey makes your head hurt or you have to get a pen and paper out chances are it’s not the best choice for food. This goes for simple deceiving ingredients like white flour…it’s journey was long and gruesome and it came out the other end hardly recognized by its fellow wheat berries. You can definitely do better yourself.

This journey is HARD. I know. But again I promise you will receive help. Not only from God but I am here to help as well. Another dream of mine would be to move in with somebody (everybody) who is wanting to change their lifestyle and become their sidekick as they start the process. Show them how to make bread. Go to the store to buy the grinder and show them how to use it. Buy recipe books, make lists and go grocery shopping with them. Watch the satisfaction they have as they realize they can do this and how great it feels. Or we can just text. 😉

Every time we eat is an opportunity to nourish and heal our bodies. We should do our best to not waste those precious opportunities. 

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And just so you have proof that we do eat sugar and white flour though they may be rare occasions here is William enjoying a doughnut.

ps. If you are looking for a fabulous chef who has multiple recipe books, Betty Rosbottom is it. I LOVE her recipes. She actually knows what she is doing and she uses real ingredients (save for the use of white flour – easy switch!). I’m a little obsessed with cook books if you have any you love please share!

Photo credits :  Artist, Amber Locke

Photo ID: 26LN0215-10 Lisovskaya Natalia 

What the heck is powerlifting?!

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Early October 2015 I was at our animal food warehouse refinishing a headboard my mom found at the D.I..  I was so perfectly unaware of this world called powerlifting, weightlifting, bodybuilding, Olympic lifting etc …until I turned my head down the alley to where a bay door was open in our same complex and silhouettes of people were working out.

When my mom was near by I showed her what I saw and we wondered together. But soon our wondering became stronger and turned into full blown curiosity. She wanted to walk down there and see what it was about. I was hesitant. Who knows what they were…a private gym, or something else. I’m always a bit reserved when it comes to approaching people (save the 18 months I somehow did this everyday) so I really didn’t want to just pop in on them but my spontaneous, fun mother convinced me to anyway.

We took the short walk down there and when the silhouettes turned into full people with faces and full dimensional bodies we saw what was a few extremely strong (and gorgeous) human beings. The owner of the gym walked over to us and asked us how we were, we said something like, “What are you guys?” “What is this place?”

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He then began to explain more about his gym and I wish I could remember this conversation but I can’t. It was significant enough that I decided then and there that I wanted to join. One of the gorgeous men working out I recognized as a trainer from the Sports Club that we had memberships to for the last year which had just expired.

I found it very curious. He was an employee (taught yoga and other classes) of this sports academy and no doubt got access to the equipment and amenities at his club, why was he paying extra money to work out in this hole in the wall place with no air conditioning?

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When he was in between sets we got his attention and I asked him why. In a manner that was as loyal to his employer as he could be he explained that this place was different because 1. he felt that it wasn’t about appearances here (for example there are no mirrors) and being haughty and macho like it tends to be at hoity toity clubs like his. The biggest difference though was that the trainer who introduced himself as Atticus knew his stuff and since working with him has had no knee problems which is something he’d suffered from for a long time.

Ok! It was more than enough for me! Add on that Atticus was going to let me come try it out a few times for free to see if I liked it and I was sold.

Well……I didn’t just like it.  I looooooved it.


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For the next several months I would pull up to this ‘hole in the wall’ (it’s really not that bad but you get the idea) place lift heavy weights and push my body to it’s limit for 1.5 hrs and leave with just a little bit more confidence and strength. It became apparent very quickly that Atticus truly did know what he was doing and that was very refreshing. And not just about the right way to execute each movement so as to maximize growth but also how everything was connected in the body and how it affects the other. Ailments that were brought to his attention didn’t make him squirm or falter. You could tell he was working thru it in his mind and then he’d figure it out and make it better. He knew(knows) what he was doing.

Since middle school I have suffered from a bad shoulder. When I would type at a computer or carry a backpack it would burn and ache and all I would want to do is take a spoon and dig out the pain. I visited massage therapists and even had an exercise therapist who told me that I needed to build muscle back there but wasn’t really successful at doing so with me. It persisted throughout my whole life off and on….until now.

Turns out I have terrible posture (duh) and my bad postural habits have caused these and other problems. But Atticus has shown me that there is hope and that by building muscle in the right spots (my back and my neck) this will fix itself eventually. Specific movements and workouts to target those spots have changed my life.

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I came home each day and told my husband how impressed and amazed I was and it wasn’t too long before he was signed up too.  We knew that Atticus would probably be our last resort at being able to fix his back.

We’d been to chiropractors, massage therapists, spinal therapists had x-rays done and found a herniated disk. Spinal therapy was expensive and not really working. Surgery was to be avoided at all costs. This gym and Atticus Smith could not have come at a more crucial time.

The journey of Atticus with David is something that I wish I would have recorded somehow. It’s been fascinating and incredible. It’s in explainable. David has been like the jumbo rubix cube from hell and Atticus the patient steady handed geek trying to put him right again. Or maybe David’s a humpty dumpty that been smashed into a million pieces and Atticus is a kings men who COULD put humpty together again. Or the man trapped at the core of a huge layered onion trying to get out and Atticus the master chef shedding each layer one by one.

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The journey is not yet over but the amount of layers that have been shed, the number of pieces that have been placed back where they belong and the twists and turns that have been made to set the colors in place have been life changing so far.

Picture this: In October 2015 a 35 year old(healthy) man slowly moving both legs over the threshold of his car to slowly and painfully stand up, I’m talking like 20 seconds this excruciating process took. And once up on his feet painfully trying to force his back and hips to straighten out and then slowly starting taking painful steps…groaning with each one. He would have to be extra careful to not trip or get his toe stuck on a ledge or curb(which was hard because he couldn’t bring his feet up as high as he should) as this would cause pain to pulse through his whole body.  Fast forward a year to that same 36 year old man who is SPRINTING up Old Main Hill in the morning, zig zagging his way thru to dodge the sprinklers all around him. Picture him bending over and picking up 400# off the ground!!!! With no pain! Amazing right?!

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October 2015

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August 2016

It’s been a painful and long process as you can imagine for poor humpty dumpty.  An experience that most people would give up on and say “just leave me here in pieces!!!” But my incredible husband has bore it with such a positive disposition that any outsider would never know he’s only gotten on average 4 hours of sleep at night for 2 years or that he hasn’t been able to relax and sit on a couch or a car to visit family for over 2 years and thru it all been in such excruciating pain that it makes him sweat and groan.  Yet come morning sun he still has smiling face though his eyes be sleep deprived and puffy.  He always has a kiss for me and  warm hugs for the boys. He still works harder than most men I know especially when it comes to healing his body. His dedication and hard work for this cause alone is inspiring. And thank God for Atticus Smith.IMG_20160213_180555

Now it’s been 10 months since I’ve been with Blacksmith Barbell and 9 for David. It’s become such a big part of our lives (my awesome mom too)! When Lucie comes she knows that mom and dad will be going and enjoys going herself sometimes! Now we look back to our life before that October in 2015 and wonder what we ever did before we were powerlifting. How did we cope? What did we look forward to? Where did our energy and strength come from? What hope did we have of becoming stronger as we age instead of weaker. How does anybody live their life without powerlifting with Atticus Smith? Sound silly? It’s really what we think….that’s how incredibly life changing it’s been.

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Wikipedia defines powerlifting as this:  Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squatbench press, and deadlift.

Powerlifting at Blacksmith Barbell is so much more than that however because Atticus has taken the knowledge he has gained throughout his training career and life, from Westside Barbell and others and tweaked it to concoct the perfect formula and program. And it’s not about being big and looking sexy or lifting more than your neighbor (although these things are just natural consequences) , it’s about being strong IN THE RIGHT PLACES for the benefit of your own body. Forget big pectoral muscles, quads and biceps…that’s not functional nor does it make sense physiologically. It’s all about the back, the triceps and the hamstrings. Physics and optimal health are what’s important at Blacksmith.  Not just looking strong…actually being strong and having full range of motion and flexibility and working for loose tendons and ligaments so everything can be where it’s supposed to be and stay there long term.

This is my very basic understanding of it anyway in the short time I’ve been there. I love learning more each day I go. My pre 2015 self never thought this sentence would come out of my mouth but I LOVE POWERLIFTING. Yes I do.

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