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Monday Motivation

“In the Trenches…”

Hey y’all! This weekend was a very busy weekend for me. I had three sick kids last week, and I got a smaller version of their cold. It was a very sleepless week, and a busy weekend of nursing kids back to health and trying to stay healthy through it all! I feel all of that sleeplessness and busy-ness catching up to me.

I feel like I am in a “season” of “being in the trenches”. The “trenches” being…having 4 kids under the age of 8 years-old, homeschooling, taking care of my husband and side jobs etc. All that, coupled with eating right, trying to get enough exercise, planning meals, budgeting and overall, trying to stay sane.

It can be daunting at times, but I promise that in the long run…it’s SO WORTH IT! I always say that “consistency pays off”, and I believe that with all my heart!

Never Settle!

Although we all have those crazy kind of weeks from time to time, I just want to encourage you to never settle for less!

When we get stressed or exhausted, sometimes it is easy to “settle” and just “let yourself go”. What I mean by that is, letting ourselves become “ok” with being less-than healthy. Less-than energetic. Less-than motivated to do the important things in life.

Eating right, exercising and getting rest is crucial for these seasons of being “in the trenches”. Without them, it is easy and almost inevitable to become lethargic, depressed and worst of all…unhealthy in every way!

I’ve been there!

It is easy to lose the motivation to be consistent, and to become distracted with things that really don’t matter (I.e. the latest greatest show on tv, the newest fad diet, Etc).

Here are some simple tricks…

Pick a healthy lifestyle, be more active and try to see the blessings all around you. Those are the keys to succeeding in consistency!

Monday Motivation…

So, this is my “short and sweet” Monday Motivation. Here it is in a “nutshell”…

  • Know that you are not alone in this season of “being in the trenches”.
  • Be consistent in a healthy lifestyle (however that looks like for you).
  • Never settle! Even when you feel like giving up…Keep at it!

You can do it! You got this!

Maybe I am weird, but I am my biggest motivational speaker! I always think to myself, “I’ve got this! This season is only a few years long! There is a light at the end of the tunnel!”

There really is only few years where we have the full attention of our kids. That is sometimes hard for me to remember. I get frustrated very easily, and lose patience. But, when it all comes down to it…this season is short! Our kids are only kids for a short while. They are only under our influence for a little bit of time!

Let this be an encouragement to you, if you are in the “trenches”. Be motivated! Keep at it! Never Settle!

God Bless!

-Z

 

Healthy Mama · Healthy Mom

Sleep-The Most Important Exercise

Yes, I just said most “IMPORTANT” exercise. That’s because it is.

sleep

 

Unfortunately, people do not talk about the importance of sleep very much. But, you can bet your “bottom dollar” that it is a very important factor to having a healthy life.

I was just talking the other day with a women who was telling me about how awful her sleep was. She then began to tell me that she was working out all the time, trying to eat healthy and doing “everything she was supposed to be doing”, but still suffered from insomnia. I told her, “all that stuff is great, but if you don’t sleep and are always exhausted, what’s the point of all that other stuff?”

More people than you think suffer from sleep disorders, whether as a permanent disorder, or a seasonal thing.

Sleep Disorder Statistics:

50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder.

48.0% report snoring.

37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month.

4.7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month.

Drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States.

Insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder,  with short-term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%

3–5% of the overall proportion of obesity in adults could be attributable to short sleep

(https://www.sleepassociation.org/sleep/sleep-statistics/)

How does lack of sleep affect you?

My third born son, Josiah I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get enough sleep, I am a pretty cranky person. I aint gonna lie. Sleep not only affects my mood, but obviously my energy during the day. With 4 kids and a myriad of responsibilities…that just won’t work for me! Sleep is a treasure to me, and it should be to you too!

“Those who report poor quality sleep also report poor quality health.

Overall health was highly associated with sleep quality.  Sixty-seven percent of those with less than good sleep quality also report “poor” or “only fair” health, with 27 percent reporting otherwise “good” health. Low life satisfaction and high stress were also related to sleep quality. Groups that reported poorer sleep quality were those with an annual income of less than $20,000, those with education levels of high school or less, and Americans between 30 and 64 years old compared to younger American adults ages 18-29.

Women are more likely to report insomnia symptoms; men are more likely to say they snore, supporting previous data that have shown women are more commonly diagnosed with insomnia and men with sleep apnea.”

(https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/lack-sleep-affecting-americans-finds-the-national-sleep-foundation)

Why is sleep THE MOST IMPORTANT EXERCISE?

bicep
Me getting my “sweat” on

In my opinion, exercise and sleep go hand in hand. Yes, exercise is very important, but if you don’t have the proper amount of sleep, then it doesn’t work; you just don’t have the energy for it. You could work out and eat healthy, but if you don’t sleep enough….it’s defeating the purpose. The only thing you’ll end up doing for yourself, is wear yourself out!

I think as mama’s especially, we need to get our health priorities in check first. Before we start a new diet, or go on a new workout plan, we need to get our sleep down first.

Nevertheless, Sleep and exercise go hand in hand.

“People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes.

A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.” (https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/study-physical-activity-impacts-overall-quality-sleep)

If you don’t sleep well, you don’t exercise well. If you don’t exercise well, you don’t sleep well.

Yes, there needs to be a balance, but like I said before…you need to make sleep a very important priority! Especially when you have a husband and or kids to tend to. When I’m sleep deprived, I am cranky, short, easily agitated etc. That just doesn’t work If I am trying to be loving, kind, patient…

Now, before children, I was able to take naps. Does anyone here remember NAPS???? I do….vaguely. Nowadays, I would be lucky to get 5 minutes! I guess that’s just the mom-life.

But, back to the subject…

Sleep is so very important.

Some Practical Tips…

If you are like me, I get a “to do list” going round in circles in my mind, right about bed time.  My husband always says, “ok…lets go to sleep now”, turns over and is literally asleep! It drives me nuts, because usually, I have to “wind down”. I need to slowly turn my brain off. I usually read a book, watch a show (usually for about 15 minutes before I pass out), read emails etc. before actually falling asleep.

Even with my exercise and eating right, I still struggle with falling asleep sometimes. Maybe this is you too. With all that being said, here are some tips for falling asleep AND having a healthy nights sleep…

  1. Limit your “screen time” before bed. Studies show that “The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or TV is especially disruptive.” (Helpguide.org) It is generally a bad idea to watch a show (like I do sometimes), read articles, scroll Facebook etc. It does nothing but stimulate your brain, not relax you.
  2. Exercise during the day. Exercise is a great way to achieve weight loss and to give you that “burst of energy” during the day, but most importantly, it allows you to sleep better at night!
  3. Control your exposure to light at night. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more alert.
  4. Watch what you eat. Watch the caffeine intake mamas! Caffeine, sugar and carbs can be a bad thing in excess. “Cut back on sugary foods and refined carbs. Eating lots of sugar and refined carbs such as white bread, white rice, and pasta during the day can trigger wakefulness at night and pull you out of the deep, restorative stages of sleep. Also, don’t eat a heavy meal at night.” -(help guide.org)
  5. Clear your mind before bed. Stress can be a huge factor in lack-of-sleep too. God tells us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” Phil 4:6. Praying as you are falling asleep is awesome. It is one of my favorite ways to fall asleep.

There you go! Now you know my “shpeal” on sleep, and how incredibly important it is for your health as a whole. I hope that this post was encouraging!

Be sure to “like” this post, and share it so that others can learn about how important sleep is! Thanks!

God Bless!

-Z

 

 

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Saying “No” in a “Yes” World

Learning to say “No”, in a “Yes” world.

girls back

I don’t know about you, but I say yes a lot. I say yes to ministry, to helping people, to watching friends or families kids, bible studies etc. All these things are good, but they can be bad.

Follow me now…Ministry, helping, bibles studies and the like, are all good things. No, they are great things. But, when you say yes to too many things…that is when it becomes bad.

Now, I LOVE being busy. I love having multiple things going on at the same time. There is nothing wrong with that either, but I would argue that there are seasons for those times when you are busy, busy.

“…For every season…”

Women in the church

“What we know, and research supports, is that post industrial revolution there was a shift in the home and thus in the church.  As the men went to work outside of the home, women began to take on a larger role in the spiritual development of their children.  They also began to take on a more prominent role in the church as leaders and volunteers. What we know, currently is:

  • The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.  (Some churches the % of female members can reach up to 70%)
  • On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
  • This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands. (Even if their husbands profess to be Christian)
  • Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.

There are more women attending, and participating in the active life of the church.  This is why you may see that Women’s Bible Studies outnumber their male counterparts. Or, why Women’s Ministry is still a vital ministry in the church… but Men’s Ministries are waning.

Fewer than 10% of U.S. churches are able to establish or maintain a vibrant men’s ministry.” https://womensministrycouncil.com

MORE WOMEN ARE SAYING YES!

As women, we are naturally inclined to fill the gaps when we see them. We naturally want to help, and so when we see a need, we are more prone to just say “I can do that!”, and help out where needed.

My personal opinion is that because men in our culture are being demasculinized (making men “weanies”), a majority of them are prone to just say, “what the heck…let the women do it…they seem to be in control anyways!”

(Feminism at it’s finest)

That’s another story for another day.

Now, let me just tell you…I love being busy. I love being involved in everything. I am good at taking charge, and I love to use my gifts in areas of leadership, music, decorating, coordinating….you name it! And, for a while, I was doing all these things. All at once!

Before I even had a 4th baby!

 Saying No

Last year, I had one of those seasons where I had to learn to say no. My youngest was one-year-old and I was overwhelmed. Having 4 Littles, homeschooling, leading worship on Sundays and Wednesdays, house chores, bible studies, supporting my husbands hectic schedule with work, etc.  I had to learn to set boundaries for myself and for my family. The problem was, I didn’t know how.

homeschoolAt first, I just kept on with everything. I didn’t get much of any “down time”, which I did fine with. But, I started noticing how drained I was becoming. I was starting to get “short” with my kids more often, and would get angry easier. I didn’t like that, so I began praying that God would show me what to do. You see, I never could stand being a “flake”. I have always admired consistency in people, and was striving to be “consistent”; to the detriment of those around me. Especially my kids.

I think that is when God started giving me a word. One very simple word. SIMPLIFY. That word kept “showing up” in my devotional times, in worship music, in talking with people. It was everywhere. And it was then that I started realizing that the word meant something deeper to me. I started realizing that God was trying to tell me something. “SIMPLIFY.”

To me, that was a clear “writing on the wall”. I knew I had to start “off-loading” some responsibilities. I knew I had to be intentional about not only saying “no” to things, but also letting go of some things. I cannot even tell you how liberating it is to do that! As a semi-control freak, I thought I would have a harder time of letting go of things, but I think that God gave me the peace I needed to do it.

So I did. I started saying no. I started planning for days that had nothing planned (which was foreign to me). Days where I could take my kids to the park, or on a hike, or just sit with them and read a story.

I aint gonna lie…for this need-to-stay-busy mama…it was tough. I think of that season of my life as a discipline season. One that I struggled finding a comfortable “groove” in. But, like any discipline, it got easier over time.

How do we say NO?

Waco
Yes, that is in Waco, Tx. at Magnolia!!!

You may be able to relate to me. Maybe you have too much going on right now, and you are thinking, “how do I get rid of all of this responisbility?”

The question is, how do we as women begin to say “no”, when there is so much that needs to be done?

Let me just tell you…It’s not your job to do everything, be involved in everything or to be apart of every ever-livin bible study!!! AND THAT’S OK! SHHHHH…

I’ll give you what I did…I began to just say “NO.”

Here’s where you can start:

  • Begin to prioritize your life.
  • Sit back and think about what you want to be important in your life, and focus on that.
  • Be intentional on that.

Do I have it all together? Nope. Do I practice this stuff perfectly? Nope.

family
My ministry

But, I know that since I have begun to say no, and to limit the things I say yes to…liberation has began to envelope me. I do feel a “lighter load”, and I also feel freedom. I love that I can take the day off school if I want to, and just spend the day doing fun stuff with the kids. I love that I can take the day to just deep clean my house (I’m a nerd and like to clean). I love that I can take a day and spend it being with my family.

Let me make something clear real quick…something that I am STILL learning. MY HUSBAND AND MY KIDS ARE MY MINISTRY. They are the most important ministry I could ever be involved in! They deserve my attention, my love, my service.

All that being said, I pray that this little post encourages you. If you are struggling with saying no to people, ministries or work…just know, you’re not alone. The struggle is real! But, with God’s help, you can do it! JUST SAY NO!

God Bless!

-Z

 

Healthy Mama · Healthy Mom · Home

Tubal-Ligations & Crap

Today I will be exploring the effects of getting a tubal-ligation, and all the “crap” associated with it. The truth behind the surgery…

The Struggle Was Real

the struggle

About 20 months ago, I had a tubal-ligation. Although I struggled with the choice to get it done for a little while, I eventually went ahead and got the surgery. It sucked. Hard-core…

Now, you might be wondering why I struggled with the decision to get a tubal-ligation. It was not because I wanted more babies. I DID NOT. Although children are in-fact a blessing from the Lord, I knew my limits. I knew that I was not cut-out to be one of those mothers who has 15 kids. I’m just not. And guess what? THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

I struggled with getting it because I have heard that there are small chances of side-effects that are less than pretty. I heard that there could be complications that could have a lasting effect on hormones and all sorts of other female issues.

I knew the risks, and to be honest, at the time I didn’t care. I was so overwhelmed with a new baby and 3 other young children, and I guess you could say I was just desperate. I didn’t know what else to do. My husband has had a strong conviction to not get “fixed”, and I decided to respect his conviction. He didn’t necessarily want me to go ahead it with it (because he would have been fine with 15 kids! lol), but I made the decision and asked if he would support me. He said he would, even if he didn’t really agree with it. So, I went ahead and did it.

Pain, Pain and more Pain!

Immediately after the surgery, the doctor came and checked on me (I was in a fog after the anesthesia) and nonchalantly said, “oh, and I accidentally perforated your uterus, but that’s ok, it was very small”. I was like, “what the crap did you just say???”. Needless to say, I was not happy with that meanie-face…I mean, doctor.

At the time of the surgery, I did not realize the pain that would ensue soon after the pain meds wore off.

pain

Now, I had 4 babies all “naturale”. No pain meds, no epidurals…just natural. Let’s just put it this way…The pain from the tubal-ligation was infinitely worse!!! I didn’t realize that I would be literally “laid-out” for 2 weeks straight! I

 

didn’t plan ahead and get help with the kids, cooking or anything!

My sister-in-law came to visit a couple of days after the surgery and found me bundled up in a blanket, stretched out on the couch, in utter pain. She asked who was helping me with the kids, cooking and house stuff. I said, “no one. Brian (my husband) has to work”. Bless her soul…She was appalled and went to work “nursing me back to health”. She was a god-send and such a blessing in that critical time where I was in intense pain.

Needless to say, there were apparent side-effects. Not to mention the horrendous pain. I wasn’t able to work out for over 6 weeks, and even after that, I had severe cramping and pain “down yonder”. It took a good 4 months before I felt comfortable with exercise.

I finally realized that all of the debate over side-effects from this surgery were founded, and that I needed to research what I could do to avoid more pain.

Side Effects

Side-effects from tubal-ligations are wide-ranged. They obviously differ with each woman.

Some potential risks include:
  • Bleeding from an incision or inside the abdomen.
  • Infection.
  • Damage to other organs inside the abdomen.
  • Side effects from anesthesia.
  • Ectopic pregnancy (an egg that becomes fertilized outside the uterus)
  • Incomplete closing of a fallopian tube that results in pregnancy.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/…/tubal_ligation_135,27

I know! These sound nasty, right? Well, they are! I had at least 2 of those bad boys, and I am convinced that my discomfort was from the surgery itself.

Heres what a doctor said about getting a tubal-ligation:

“What this (the surgery) often does is affect a woman’s ability to make progesterone more so than estrogen for reasons that are not well understood. She can be left estrogen dominant, it’s a tricky term, but it really means progesterone deficient allowing estrogen effects to dominate. Estrogen becomes the dominant hormone.

This can cause severe mood swings, irritability, headaches, and even migraines. You can start swelling and have fluid retention. It can be mild, moderate, or even devastating. Just like PMS, some women are affected mildly; some are devastated by their symptoms. It’s the same cause even though the woman with PMS maybe didn’t have her tubes tied. It’s progesterone deficiency allowing estrogen to dominate. Fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease, endometriosis, ovarian cysts – these are other things that are caused by progesterone deficiency.

The biggest problem may be that progesterone’s your biggest bone builder, and it’s very important to help the brain repair itself. Progesterone’s probably your biggest anti-cancer compound. What we know in women that do not ovulate is that they have a 540% increase in breast cancer, a 1,000% increase in overall cancer mortality. These numbers are greater than the difference between smokers and non-smokers. I’m not saying that you make no progesterone, but you’re not making enough to balance the estrogen you have, causing symptoms that can be quite severe, threatening your bones, and also, in my opinion, raising cancer risks…” https://www.hotzehwc.com/2016/08/hormonal-after-effects-of-a-tubal-ligation/

Obviously, I didn’t research some of these things, or maybe I didn’t want to research them because I knew there would be risks. As I said before, I was so desperate at the time, that I felt the need to do “something”.

A Different Route

girl alone

If I had known all the risks involved, I may have a chosen a different route. For now though, all I can do is to  continue to be as healthy as I can, and continue to monitor any abnormal health issues. I can also try to dissuade some women from getting this surgery.

With that in mind, would I advise any other couple (or woman) to get a tubal-ligation? Probably not. Although I understand that some people may need to “do something” to reassure themselves that they are done with babies, I would not advise this surgery knowing what I know now.

There are so many other routes that you can take as a couple, and I would encourage you to research all these different options before getting this surgery.

 

Please don’t let anyone tell you what your own convictions should be. If you feel like you are done with babies…THAT’S OK! If you are on the fence about getting this done, than by all means, pray and seek advice before doing anything permanent. I’ve known a lot of woman who regret getting this surgery. A lot more woman than you think actually do regret it.

I hope that this post was enlightening and encouraging. Have a blessed day!

-Z

 

Healthy Mom

The Skinny on Natural Sugars vs. Processed Sugars

Welcome to Talk Tuesday! Today we are discussing the difference between natural sugars and processed sugars. A lot of people have been asking me why my family and I eat a mostly sugar-free lifestyle. Here is the discussion!

As always…please feel free to send me some topics you’d like discussed for Talk Tuesday!

Natural Sugars vs. Processed Sugars

What are natural sugars?

Natural sugars are sugars that are found, well naturally. This includes fruits, veggies, and honey.

Glucose – refers to “simple” sugars, found in all foods that have carbohydrates. Glucose can be found in mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, etc. Glucose is vital to life and is in every single living molecule. It is also produced by your body and easily broken down by every cell in your body.

 Fructose – another “simple” sugar, it’s also referred to as fruit sugar, because its main source is fruits (and also honey). Fructose is a bit harder to break down, as only your liver breaks down significant portions of it. -organics.org

Processed sugars:

Processed sugars are natural sugars that are modified, combined and processed by us to make something with regular flavor and texture, such as white sugar.

Sucrose – combines (half) glucose and (half) fructose to become a “complex” sugar. Typically it’s extracted from sugar-beet plans or sugar cane to make your typical “table sugar”.

Other Types – High fructose corn syrup, Sucralose (Splenda) etc…

(expert obtained from organics.org)

 

The effects of that yucky stuff…

An abundance of added sugar may cause your liver to become resistant to insulin, an important hormone that helps turn sugar in your bloodstream into energy. This means your body isn’t able to control your blood sugar levels as well, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. -webmd.com

Now, I’ve already mentioned that I don’t mind sugar and sweets for my kids or I occasionally. I don’t think there is anything wrong with enjoying sweets every now and again. But, on a daily basis, these processed  and sugary foods can have a detrimental effect on not only your liver and pancreas, but your health. The way you feel is also effected because of that yucky stuff called processed sugar.

Yes, you may get a spike in energy right after you eat something with processed sugar in it, but you are followed very soon after with a “energy crash”. This is because of the spike in glucose levels, and then the hormone levels become “off balance” (dropping back again in a fast manner), causing you to feel tired, and have no energy.

Store-bought syrups

This morning, I made my yummy berry sauce (find Z’s Very Berry Sauce on my recipe page!). I poured it all over my kids French toast (look for my recipe on my Recipe page!). They gobbled it up! They couldn’t even tell that I used erythritol to sweeten it. Berries in and of themselves are very sweet. Especially when you get off processed sugars, so you really don’t need much to sweeten them. This was my yummy berry sauce…

Absolutely delish on French toast, pancakes, waffles and toast!

I’ve always been weary about buying syrups from the store. Don’t get me wrong, I do sometimes (especially when we’re on vacation), but after I read the ingredient labels….oooooo…I shudder.

Did you know that there are more than 35 grams of sugar per serving in traditional store-bought syrups? Holy crap! I don’t know about you, but knowing that I am letting my kids eat a crap-ton of sugar in one sitting makes me feel ridiculously guilty!

Think about it…

The recommended daily sugar intake is 25 grams for us women (heart.org).

If we are having syrup on our pancakes, or letting our kids eat it (God-forbid) with every pancake or waffle breakfast…That’s over DOUBLE of our daily recommended intake, in one sitting!!!

That’s a CRAP-TON of sugar.

Enter Trim Healthy Mama…

Enter the THM lifestyle! We absolutely love eating this way! If you haven’t looked into THM (trim healthy mama), then I highly suggest it! We eat like kings and queens here, and it’s all thanks to THM! No carb counting, no points watching, no stressing about what you can and cannot eat. Just good ole fashion healthy food! I don’t campaign for them or anything, and I am not a sales rep for them (do they even have those?), but when I believe in something…I talk about it!

The reason why we love it is because we try not to eat added sugar! But, THM allows you to eat all kinds of sweets! Don’t get me wrong…everyone consumes sugar. Wether it is fruit or candy, sugar is in a lot of things. The difference between healthy sugars, and processed sugars are astounding though!

Here is a diagram done by Harvard on the differences between the two types of sugars. (Please disregard the diet soda example. We don’t do diet sodas here very often because of the yucky stuff in them. The Sucralose (Splenda) content in those are not healthy on a regular basis.)

See, processed sugars cause a huge spike in blood sugar levels! Eating processed sugars on a daily basis, and in large quantities can cause so many health issues! It’s just not worth it to me. The long term effects are not very friendly.

The reason fruit is so good for you is because of the fiber that is in them. When you consume a piece of fruit, the fiber helps to metabolize it in a way that is not as damaging to your insulin levels. That is one reason why I find it important to drink the pulp of fruit when “juicing”. I just throw the whole dang things in my blender and drink them!

The Debate About Stevia

There has been a lot of talk about wether stevia, erythritol, xylitol etc are good for you. You have to do the research on it for yourself, but I believe that it is way better for your body and insulin levels that cane sugar or processed sugars.

Don’t get me wrong, these types of sugars (stevia etc) can be processed too. There is always a certain “process” that takes place to get the actual sweet stuff out of the plant or grain, etc. The important thing is to find the most healthy options out there. If you quality sweeteners, you won’t have to worry about that.

Truvia, Pure Via, and different forms of stevia blends are more processed, yes, but I would argue that they are far less detrimental to your waist line than standard cane sugars. I use Truvia and I love it. I prefer “blends” rather than pure stevia. Blends are just stevia with usually another sweetener added; for example, eyrthritol. I’m not a fan of the bitter taste that stevia has alone, but a lot of people actually like it. It is all based off of preference. I use Gentle Sweet (I get it here http://trimhealthymama.com) in my coffee every day. It is a quality and very lightly processed sweetener blend, and it tastes just like regular sugar to me. The great thing is, you need far less than traditional sugar for it to be sweet.

Be sure to buy quality sweeteners if you are going to use them on a regular basis.

Here’s the skinny…

So, when you see me posting sugar-free or no-sugar-added recipes, THAT is why. All the reasons I listed above, aren’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the health issues involved with eating processed sugars. I only listed a couple reasons why we choose to eat the majority of our food in a sugar-free way. There will always be people who would argue that eating “sugar-free” is not good for you. But, I would say, you have to do whats best for your family. If it works, the “proof is in the pudding”, it will show on your body and in your health. If it doesn’t, maybe try something new.

Ever since my family and I have started this THM lifestyle, we have noticed such a difference in the way we feel and they way we look.

Obesity runs in my family. And it is something that I really have to be conscious of. I gain weight very easily, so I have to really pay attention to what works for my body. When I am “on plan”, I notice that my waist-line stays pretty trim, but when I don’t follow the right way of eating, I notice it right away.

I don’t desire to be extremely skinny or really thin, but I do want to be trim and to be fit. Taking processed sugar out of my diet has helped exponentially in that arena!

Of course, exercise is a great way to help with a lot of health issues too!

natural sugars vs. processed sugars
The family that works out together, stays together!

Ultimately, you have to what works for you. I encourage you to do your research on this subject, and really search out the truth for yourself. I hope that this post helps to “clear the air” a little bit on sugar.

Please let me know if there is any other topics you would like to see discussed! Below is a contact form. Please be sure to fill it out and list what you would like to see talked about, or any comments or tips about this post! Thanks!

-Z

Healthy Mom

Simplify-5 ways to reduce stress

Mama’s! Who out there can testify that YOU’RE TIRED???? Raise your hands!

So, the Christmas “craziness” is over. For now. When does it begin for you? When does it usually end?

What is this “craziness” I speak about? It’s not the family time or the traditions…thats all great! No, it’s the hustle and bustle. The rush to “get things done in time”. The “my house has to be perfect!”

Im about to get real right about now…

This year, there has been one word that has been coming up in my mind, and in other ways…quite frequently. It’s the word SIMPLIFY.

Definition of simplify

simplified; simplifying

transitive verb
: to make simple or simpler: such as
a : to reduce to basic essentials

b : to diminish in scope or complexity : streamline 

  • was urged to simplify management procedures
c : to make more intelligible : clarify
If you look at that definition, it can be daunting. Especially, if you are like me, and tend to be a list person, or a routine and procedures kind of person.
“Simplify” for me means so much more than “streamlining” or “to make simple”.
If it were that easy…wouldn’t we all do that?
Sometimes, it just means to be ok with the mundane. To say “no” to things. To sleep in, or take a bath. To be “ok” with missing a whole week of exercise.
Yes, it is OK to rest!
DSC_1410
It’s OK to sit down and have a cup of coffee, or a holiday drink!

Christmas craziness…

On Christmas Day, I started to get a little stressed. Not because there was anything really worth stressing about…but because I didn’t have the ham in yet, and the floor needed to be swept, and there were toys all over the ground (clutter stresses me out). All that, before family was coming!
So, I caught myself. I caught myself stressing. So, the Small Little Voice inside, told me to “just sit”. So, I sat and took a breather. I was able to calm my mind and pray. And, as I sat there…I looked over at the nice fire and the Christmas tree, and I saw beauty. I saw my little home, all cozy and warm, and began to realize how thankful I was. How blessed I was.
IMG_0662
It’s not about how clean or put together your house is. Its about this ^. Faith and family!
When we sit down and start to count our blessings…that’s when we realize just how little those “stressful” things matter.
So, This is an encouragement to all those mamas out there who need to just REST. to just SIT. It’s OK! Do it! Allow yourself the simplicity of just sitting still. Just basking in your blessings, and knowing that God has this!

SIMPLIFY-Your practical guide

Process

I hope that this post will be encouraging to you! You’re not alone! We all get too busy, too stressed and too distracted. Just rest! ITS OK!

Healthy Mom

Simplify-5 ways to reduce stress

Mama’s! Who out there can testify that YOU’RE TIRED???? Raise your hands!

So, the Christmas “craziness” is over. For now. When does it begin for you? When does it usually end?

What is this “craziness” I speak about? It’s not the family time or the traditions…thats all great! No, it’s the hustle and bustle. The rush to “get things done in time”. The “my house has to be perfect!”

Im about to get real right about now…

This year, there has been one word that has been coming up in my mind, and in other ways…quite frequently. It’s the word SIMPLIFY.

Definition of simplify

simplified; simplifying

transitive verb
: to make simple or simpler: such as
a : to reduce to basic essentials

b : to diminish in scope or complexity : streamline 

  • was urged to simplify management procedures
c : to make more intelligible : clarify
If you look at that definition, it can be daunting. Especially, if you are like me, and tend to be a list person, or a routine and procedures kind of person.
“Simplify” for me means so much more than “streamlining” or “to make simple”.
If it were that easy…wouldn’t we all do that?
Sometimes, it just means to be ok with the mundane. To say “no” to things. To sleep in, or take a bath. To be “ok” with missing a whole week of exercise.
Yes, it is OK to rest!
DSC_1410
It’s OK to sit down and have a cup of coffee, or a holiday drink!

Christmas craziness…

On Christmas Day, I started to get a little stressed. Not because there was anything really worth stressing about…but because I didn’t have the ham in yet, and the floor needed to be swept, and there were toys all over the ground (clutter stresses me out). All that, before family was coming!
So, I caught myself. I caught myself stressing. So, the Small Little Voice inside, told me to “just sit”. So, I sat and took a breather. I was able to calm my mind and pray. And, as I sat there…I looked over at the nice fire and the Christmas tree, and I saw beauty. I saw my little home, all cozy and warm, and began to realize how thankful I was. How blessed I was.
IMG_0662
It’s not about how clean or put together your house is. Its about this ^. Faith and family!
When we sit down and start to count our blessings…that’s when we realize just how little those “stressful” things matter.
So, This is an encouragement to all those mamas out there who need to just REST. to just SIT. It’s OK! Do it! Allow yourself the simplicity of just sitting still. Just basking in your blessings, and knowing that God has this!

SIMPLIFY-Your practical guide

Process

I hope that this post will be encouraging to you! You’re not alone! We all get too busy, too stressed and too distracted. Just rest! ITS OK!