Hands-on Housewife · Healthy Mom

Hobbies

Finding Your Identity Pt. 2

I recently wrote a post “Finding your Identity-When all you know is home, husband and kids”. It was well received, and although I know a lot of women can identify with my story and how I struggled with my identity while going through mom-hood and marriage, I think that there are many women who don’t admit that they too struggle with it.

Our identities are so influenced by what we do. And when all you do is take care of people (namely, your family), that work becomes you. It becomes who you are. Not YOU, but the work.

That is why I would like to share a few of my hobbies with you, and give you a glimpse into what makes me WHO I am.

My Happy Place

I think having a hobby that you enjoy thoroughly is so important, and can remedy some of those “identity issues” that you may or may not have. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should just go out and get a paint-by-numbers set, just for the heck of “having a hobby”. But, I do think it is important to find something that brings you joy.

“Hobbies provide physical and mental health benefits by giving a person an alternative place to spend time and mental energy and therefore become reinvigorated for the rest of life…”https://bestmedicinenews.org/wellbeing/7-reasons-why-hobbies-are-good-for-your-health/

My hobbies are truly my “happy place”.

Don’t get me wrong again…My husband, my kids and my home are definitely some of the most rewarding things I have put my time and energy into! They truly are my blessings, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. But, there are many seasons of life where I get really overwhelmed. I need a “place” to escape. A place that is “away” from the dishes, the diapers and the busy days.

And get this…They even have a whole entire store for these amazing things called “hobbies”…HOBBY LOBBY! Heck ya! (OMG…I could spend an entire day in that dang store! Don’t even get me started!)

So, without further adieu, here are some of my hobbies:

  1. Acrylic painting and drawing 

 

This is one of my latest full landscapes (on the left). I used to paint a lot, but over the years, have lost the technique and time for it. This is my latest hobby, and I love it! It has allowed me to “escape” into another world, where anything is possible. Beautiful colors, the potential to create and just the plain beauty that inspires me. I hope to spend more time in this medium of art, especially now that my youngest is almost out of diapers. I also enjoy drawing.

 

     2. Creating Recipes

 

fork full

Creating recipes from scratch and making them yummy has become one of my favorite things to do! I know you see all the recipes I post, so you know how I love to create delicious food from random ingredients. I love this hobby because it provides yummy and healthy food for all of my family. I know that this is my families favorite hobby of mine, for sure! 😉

     3. Food photography and Portraits

Jesse and the muffinsbreakfastFrench toast boy

These are literally just a few of the thousands of pictures that I have. I love pictures! I have always had a love for photography, even before I had any clue how to take pictures. I have thousands and thousands of family memories and pictures of food (can you tell I love my babies and my food?). I really hope to learn as much as I can about legit photography, but for now…I am happy to capture as many happy memories and beautiful things as I can.

     4. Home Decor and Decorating

I admit that I have an eclectic style, but I absolutely love making our house a cozy home. I thoroughly enjoy moving furniture around and designing spaces, painting, redecorating (probably way too often), and making things cozy and comfortable. It’s all about atmosphere for me. The lighting, the colors, the smells and the aesthetics. I have always been that way, and I find joy in making our home as beautiful as I can (on a budget of course;). I also love to decorate for weddings and events, and use my gifts to help other people make their event beautiful.

     5. Reading

reading

Reading is another way for me to “escape”. I enter a completely different “reality”. Stories that bring me into the scene with characters and twisting plots. I am someone who has one of those “vivid imaginations”, so reading brings amazing stories to life for me! From christian fiction, to biographies, to non-fiction and historical fiction…you name it! I love it! I always feel so much “smarter” when I read, as apposed to watching a movie or a show. I try to find time to read when the kids are asleep, or when I am alone (which is rare), or right before I fall asleep. Reading a good book is truly one of my favorite things to do!

     6. Auto Mechanics

bronco

No…I did not say that I like “auto mechanics”. Lol. I like to work on auto mechanical things! Believe it or not, I went to college to become an Auto Technician. Yes, before babies and domesticated bliss. But truly, working on my trucks and tinkering around, figuring out how things work and run, are one of my favorite things to do! I admit that in the past 9 years (since I started having babies), that I haven’t spent very much time on my beautiful truck (yes, he is beautiful!), but I greatly hope to be able to get back into it. My plan is to start on the engine rebuild portion of my 1971 Ford Bronco this upcoming summer! I believe that everyone should know how to work on basic car stuff, and I hope to teach my kids everything I know!

 

 7. Working Out

bicep

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really believe that working out is such a stress reliever! I think that is why I enjoy it so much. Also, it gives me time alone in the mornings. I usually workout 3-4 times a week (in this season of life), in the mornings right after I do my devotion time. It not only allows me to have quiet time, where I focus on being healthy and fit, but it allows me get endorphins moving and thus allowing me to be “less stressed” throughout the day. I would say that this wonderfully fulfilling task is considered one of my hobbies.

     8. Adventures

Hiking Castle Rock
Hiking in the snow
Running early in the Summer Mornings

Exploring Snowbird, Utah

 

Exploring Steamboat Springs, Co

 

Me at The Silos, Tx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needless to say…One of my favorite things ever is exploring and having adventures! I used to be so adventurous and fearless (before marriage and babies), and I absolutely LOVE traveling, exploring and making memories! I don’t think I lost this desire after I got married, but I truly have “put it on hold” as God revealed to me my calling of being a wife and mama.

My goal is to do more of these adventures soon. I know that this is my “season” to raise kids, but someday again, I would love to get to travel and explore. Not only alone, but with my husband (aka best friend)!

I am planning a “pilgrimage” soon. It will be a week or so trip where I just take off and explore all by myself, and just have an adventure! The trip will be for fun, but also for writing. I enjoy writing as well (did I mention that’s one of my new hobbies?).

The Importance of being Alone

I have stressed many times that I feel the #1 most important thing you can do as a stay-at-home-mom or wife is to make a designated quiet time of devotions every morning. Just you and Jesus.  And, I have also stressed that the #2  important thing is to have alone time with your husband. Aside from God, your husband is the most important person in your life. He deserves your time and attention. THEN, # 3 there are your kids. Your kids are the “inheritance” that God gave you! If you are in the season of raising babies…that is your season…embrace it (trust me…that is my biggest struggle).

BUT…with all that being said…It is important to do things alone. Being alone is very important for yourself, your mind and especially your heart.

Note: If you are a “social butterfly”, find a close girlfriend that will keep you accountable and do fun things with you. Someone who will have those “adventures” or do those hobbies, right along side of you.

Anyways…there are a few of my hobbies. I hope that I have either encouraged or inspired you to get up, get going and get a hobby! It’s healing for the soul!

God Bless!

-Z

BE SURE TO STAY TUNED FOR MY TRIPLE BERRY CHEESECAKE RECIPE! COMING ON THURSDAY 3/22/18!!!

Healthy Mom

Finding Your Identity

When All You Know is Home, Husband and Kids….

Reality Sucks Sometimes

I have been in many “valleys” in my 11 years of marriage and motherhood. I have also been on an abundance of “mountain tops”.

The ebb and flow of marriage, being a stay-at-home mom, having babies, changing diapers, doing home school (or not), cooking, house chores and a myriad of other things, can literally cause you to lose yourself.

Don’t get me wrong…those are all admirable and honorable things! I think that our jobs as wives and moms is so incredibly important! We will never know, this side of heaven.

But, those mundane things, that often last almost 2 decades or more, cause you to lose yourself. Your true self. The things you used to love, and the things that you used to look forward to, often “drift away”. And eventually, you get to your 30’s (maybe earlier, maybe later) and realize that you don’t know who you are anymore! You realize that reality is so much more “suckier” than those amazing wife and mothers who seem have it all together. That’s just not the true reality. Reality sucks sometimes!

Here’s a question that I often ask friends of mine…If you were to have a week off, and had your children watched and taken care of for that whole week, and you could do anything you wanted to…what would you do? Truly. Have you ever thought about it? Some women that I have talked to about this just stare blankly at me. No answer.

So many women have this issue. I know I did. They don’t know who they are anymore. They wouldn’t even know that to do with themselves (with no responsibilities to have) for one day, let alone a week!

Why is this?

How Do I find Myself?

You may be reading this and nodding your head and saying, “omg! That’s so me!” Well, I am here to tell you that you are normal, and YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

—–Let me just share with you MY story—-

We got married in a fever (we dated for under a month when my husband asked me to marry him). We got pregnant a year after we got married. Of course, the first pregnancy (unfortunately) was a miscarriage (Check out the story of my miscarriage on my Healthy Mom page). Then I got pregnant maybe 6 months after that. I had my first baby, and then 6 months after I had him, I got pregnant again!

You can see how crazy my life was at that time. Not to mention so many other things happening as well. Two more babies followed, and in that same season, my husband and I struggled with our marriage as well. My Husband also decided to take on a completely different career path where he had to be gone for training for 6 whole months! I was pretty much a single mom for 6 months, and had two toddlers to take care of, as well as being pregnant yet again. I was struggling to survive at that point, and had completely and utterly lost myself.

 

There were some mornings in that season, where I literally did not want to get out of bed. I was just too exhausted. Too spent. I don’t tend to be a “depressed person”, so I didn’t really struggle with “depressed kinds of thinking”, but I was so over everything! I Just wanted to “check out”, and maybe skip that whole season of life.

Obviously, I knew I couldn’t do that, and of course, I trudged on. I got to such a low point of failure after failure and utter exhaustion that I asked myself, “How do I find myself, when I don’t even remember who I used to be?”

I really feel that God was holding me together. Barely together, but together. I think He allowed me to go through those hard times, and to see that I literally could not do anything on my own.

It wasn’t until I had that realization that I just couldn’t do it in my own power anymore, that God gave me His power.

I obviously made it out of that hard time, but I also learned a lot. I learned what not to do, and what worked. How to rely on His strength. How to trust that He had a plan. All glory to Him!

Do Something!

I know it sounds weird, but I really believe that when you “do something”, you begin to find yourself.  When you do things for others especially (preferably things that you love to do), you can find out things about yourself that you never knew. At least I did.

I started helping people.

You see, I began really using my gifts in music, decorating, leading, managing, creating, etc, and that is when I began finding myself. I believe that when you take the focus off of YOU, and put it on others, that is when you really start living. That’s what Jesus did, if you think about it.

I started leading worship, decorating and coordinating weddings, painting with acrylics, working on my truck, planning future vacations and just overall, putting my energy and gifts into serving others and

having fun!

Now, mind you, I definitely had to find a balance and get my priorities straight, but using my gifts for others became part of my life. I believe that your priorities should be your relationship with God FIRST, your relationship with your husband SECOND and then your relationship with your kids THIRD. After that…the sky is the limit!!!

Maybe I just have more energy than most, but I find it so much easier to serve others and do fun things for myself, after my “home in order”. It allows me the freedom to be who I am. I used to love working on my trucks, painting, adventuring and using my spiritual gifts (music, leadership etc) to bless others. My hobbies and loves are no different then they used to be, I just had to FIND THEM again!

 

Find Yourself

I challenge you to sit down and write out the things that you used to love. Write down the things that you have always wanted to do. Get your priorities straight, and THEN…GO DO THAT STUFF!!!

It’s liberating and it’s wonderful!

I like to “take off” every now and again and just be alone. I get energy by being alone. Wether it is going to a coffee shop and reading or writing, exploring a new area or store, antiquing (I love that), Just driving to nowhere in particular or getting a pedicure every now and then. If you get your energy by being around people, maybe you can plan a day with one of your best girlfriends. The reason why I think it is so important for you to hang with a girlfriend and NOT your husband, is because sometimes you just need talk. Just need to vent. Your husband is great for that, and I highly encourage date nights on a regular basis, but there is just something so important about having accountability and a deep friendship with a female. God made it that way.

Also, if you are in the “busy mom season” too, maybe asking your husband or a friend to watch the kids for a couple of hours, and just go grocery shopping alone! Those times of being alone or going alone with a girlfriend are SO important! They truly are so beneficial to you as a women! Those times allow you to be YOU. With no distractions. No responsibilities (except maybe grocery shopping..but that’s not the point), and no one to take care of but YOU!

Here are some ways you can make time TO FIND YOURSELF…

  1. Start every morning with Jesus and coffee (time in the Word is the most important way to Find yourself-don’t forget the coffee!).
  2. Schedule a day alone (or with a girlfriend). Even if it is once every other month. 
  3. Find someone to watch the kids for a couple of hours a week to go grocery shopping or run errands alone. Trust me…there are lonely grandmas in your church or community that would LOVE to help you! Don’t be afraid to ask! 
  4. Go to a Women’s Retreat through your church.
  5. Find a hobby that you love, and take a few hours a week to work on it. 
  6. Write down a list of the things you used to want to do (before you got married), and try implementing just one of those things a year.
  7. Start using your spiritual gifts at your church (i.e. music, children, decorating, techy stuff Etc).
  8. Start saving money for a trip by yourself or with a girlfriend. 
  9. Talk to your husband and tell him how important “finding yourself” is, and that you need his help. Most husbands just don’t know that you need that. Talk to them. They will understand. 
  10. Start Praying that God will show you how “fearfully and wonderfully made you are”. Ask Him for His Power, and His leading. He will show you! 

Your Identity

Although I believe everything I just wrote about, with my whole heart, I do believe that you first have to find your IDENTITY in Christ. Without Him, I don’t know how you can have joy, peace or even function for that matter, without Him. When you give your life to Him, He truly does give you your identity…

  • “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10
  • “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[fn]
    Marvelous are Your works,
    And that my soul knows very well.” Psalms 139:14
  • “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, forwhose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” Phil. 3:8
  • “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

So, Today, I just want to encourage you! I want to tell you that you are not alone! We all struggle in this season of life. We all have a story. But, all in all…God is good! And He has a wonderful plan for your life!

Be encouraged! You can find yourself! There is wonderful and amazing person in YOU!!!

God Bless!

-Z

 

 

 

Healthy Mom

My Miscarriage

My Story

It Was Time

After years of not writing about my miscarriage, I felt that it was time.

It has been 10 years since I went through that horrific experience, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Not only because it affected me physically, but especially because affected me spiritually.

I wish I could say that “I was strong”, or that, “it wasn’t that big of a deal”, but for anyone who has gone through a miscarriage (at any stage probably), knows that it is not the case. It is something that goes so much deeper than you can imagine. There is a hurt and a pain that goes to the root of your being. There is a small part of you that dies.

My Story

My first Pregnancy-The Stormy Season

My husband and I were only married for a year when I got pregnant. I was 22 years old. It was my very first pregnancy. I had no idea how to be pregnant, and to be honest, I was a little intimidated.

I had heard about all sorts of complications that could possibly happen while you were pregnant, but I think that I was finally so excited about having a baby, that those things never really crossed my mind. At least, I didn’t think that “anything could happen to me”. But, little did I know, the “storm” had already begun.

I was already showing and was 14 weeks along when the first sign that something “off” was happening.

My husband was a youth pastor at our church at the time, and I worked at a christian camp. I began having a little bit of spotting and cramping, but everyone I talked to said that was pretty normal and that I should just take it easy for a little while. Unfortunately, the spotting kept occurring. I went to the doctor and the baby was fine. There was still a heartbeat and everything looked normal, so the doctor said that I should just put my feet up more and try to relax.

The upcoming weekend we had a youth function down in San Diego and we decided to take a bunch of the youth and couple of our youth leaders down to a youth conference. I really didn’t feel very well, but I didn’t let on about how much the cramping and headaches were affecting me.

The next morning, while in San Diego, I woke and felt like I was “leaking”. It was clear like water, and I immediately was concerned. I told my husband and he decided to take me to the ER right away.

We went in to the ER and the doctor on call examined me and came in to the little bed area where my husband and I were waiting. I remember him very vividly because of how rude he was. He came right in and said, “you’re having a miscarriage for sure”. Just “threw it out there”, just like that! He told me that I had lost amniotic fluid. He went on to tell me what would happen soon, and that I should just expect to “pass the tissue”. I asked him if there was a heartbeat, and he said, “yes..but not for long”.

At that point, my husband and I were in shock. We didn’t really know what to do or think. And here we were, in a different city. We were not at home and comfortable, which made it feel all the more awful.

I guess at that point, I really wanted to believe that God could do a miracle. Just a few days before, my doctor had pulled out the little heartbeat monitor and let me listen to my baby’s heart. It was strong and steady.

And now, this rude doctor was telling me that there was still a heartbeat, but that my baby was going to die and I was going to miscarry.  He sounded so definite. So hopeless.

Emotional Rollercoaster

The ER incident in San Diego was about 2 1/2 weeks after my very first cramping and spotting. When I lost amniotic fluid, my baby’s heart was still beating, so I still had hope. I still believed that God could give me more amniotic fluid for the baby. I still believed that He could change what was happening to me.

But that wasn’t His plan.

We left San Diego after that and didn’t get back home until late. That evening, I went to bed feeling horrible, both physically and mentally. I felt like my mind was exhausted. Spent. I couldn’t take any more “ups and downs”. I kept believing that God could “heal me”, but everything and everyone was telling me otherwise. I had heard so many, “just pray, God will come through for you,” or “God can do a miracle” speeches from people who just wanted to help me somehow. I wanted to believe them. I really did.

That night, approximately 1 am, I sat straight up in bed having the most painful cramping I had ever experienced. I knew that something terrible was happening. I knew that I was bleeding. I woke my husband up and almost screamed at him, in pain. The contractions were hard and close together. I went to the bathroom and tried to clean myself up, but at that point I was hemorrhaging. I didn’t know until the next day that I had “passed the tissue”, the “tissue” that horrible and rude doctor from the ER had talked about. My baby.

My husband rushed around to help me. He went out to the car and put the passenger seat all the way down, prepped the car, and then came in and carried me to the car. He drove as fast as he could to the closest hospital. It was 45 minutes away.

I remember very clearly, through the pain of the contractions, looking up at the stars through the passenger window and asking God, “why?”. Why was He doing this to me? Why was He allowing me to go through this? Why did it have to be so horrible? Why didn’t He save my baby?

We kept speeding to the hospital.

The past three weeks had been an “emotional rollercoaster”. It started with what we thought was a healthy pregnancy, to spotting and cramping, to losing amniotic fluid, to the current horror that I was living through. It was by far the most pain I had ever felt. In so many ways.

As we drove, and the night sky whirled past my window, I think that is when I lost all hope. I gave up. My faith was lost in that moment.

We arrived at the hospital and my husband brought me in to the ER and told the nurses what was happening. At that point, it was a blur. I just remember being in so much pain, and them asking me what I was feeling, if I had “passed any clots”, etc. Then they gave me morphine. I had never had any before and it made me so nauseous. I began vomiting. On top of the relentless contractions and hemorrhaging, it was all I could do to not pass out from the pain.

They ended up having to do a D & C surgery (dilation and curettage surgery).

I am pretty sure that the morphine didn’t “jive” well with my body, because I remember being in the surgery room, and them strapping my arms down on the table (probably right before I was put “under”), and thinking that I was William Wallace in Braveheart (the scene where they were torturing him, at the end).

I know it was just the pain and the drugs talking, but I was sure that I was going to die.

The Recovery of My Heart

“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake…” Psalm 23:3

A small part of me did died that day. My baby.

The recovery, for me, was the worst part of that horrible season of my life. Yes, I eventually started healing physically, but my heart was far from healed.

I had become bitter and hardened.

I think I stayed home for almost a month after the miscarriage. I barely opened the curtains in my house at all in that month and I became very introverted. I didn’t want to go anywhere. Especially not to church. I was mad at God. At the world. At myself.

Miscarriage can affect your body, obviously, but I believe that it affects your heart the most.

I think a lot of people would say that I am not a very “sensitive”, “emotional” or “deep” person. I would probably agree most of the time. But, I would say that almost anyone who has gone through a miscarriage (especially one that was that traumatic), becomes introspective. You begin questioning yourself. You begin thinking, “if only I did less of this or that”, or “if I only had caught the symptoms earlier”. The “if only’s” become your negative thinking. Your thought process. Your life.

You go from blaming yourself to blaming God. At least I did.

When I finally did go back to church, it would be a long time before I could sing the songs, or be joyful, for that matter.

I remember one Sunday, my husband and I were at church and the worship team began singing Blessed be Your name.

There is a verse in that song that says, “You give and take away”. When I finally was able to actually LISTEN to the words, that’s when it hit me. I broke down crying. I knew God was speaking to me then. I knew that He wanted me to get to that point of surrender, to finally be able to see that “His ways were not my ways”, that He had a plan for this horrible and tragic story of mine.

He works everything in our lives together for good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

I know that He uses our stories, whether good or bad, to show His glory.

I really wish that I had that perspective early on, after my miscarriage. I am a hard-headed person sometimes. But, I believe that the journey that I went through, both physically and spiritually, was for my good. It caused me see so many things in a new light.

Little Flowers

That “epiphany” that I had after my experience, took a while. It wasn’t until almost 6 months after my miscarriage that I could see it for what it was.

I had become so “self-focused” that I missed other important things. All that time, my husband had been suffering too. Although he didn’t go through the physical pain that I did, a part of him died too. I was so busy “wallowing” in my self-pity and pain, that I didn’t see him. His heart. I wish I could change that part of my story, and am forever sorry to him for not paying attention to his heart. However, God did use that situation to bring us closer to each other.

I later found out, that my baby was a boy. My mother-in-law and my dear friend (who was living with us at the time) had done all of the “cleanup” for me after the actual miscarriage. They had found the “tissue” (as that horrible doctor in the ER had called it), and noted the little features of him. He was a little baby boy.

I later named him Jacob.

My little Jake is in heaven now, and it is a comfort to know he is the presence of Jesus. Even though he was only about 17 weeks along, he was a baby. He had a soul. I don’t care what anyone says…Babies are little tiny humans as soon as they are conceived! But, that’s another topic, for another time.

Fast forward to 10 years later.

I have 4 absolutely beautiful children! Three boys, and 1 girl. They are my little blessings. Each one a gift from God! When I think back to that time now, it is no longer a hopeless story full of pain and sorrow. It is a beautiful story of redemption and grace. My story is beautiful. Out of the ashes of tragedy, beautiful little flowers have bloomed. Beauty out of ashes.

hands up

It is amazing to look back at that tragedy and see God’s hand in it. He truly does work all things for good.

Although I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone, He has used it in my life to show me so many things. To show me my abundant blessings, to help others who have gone through the same thing, and to bring Him all the glory.

God was there with me through it all. His love was and is relentless.

I would like to share a song with you that has been such a blessing to me as I have reflected on my experience. This song is my “hands held high in surrender” song. It is me, standing before an Almighty God with my hands open in surrender. Surrender of everything.

 

This song is my prayer…

 

If you have lost your baby, like me, then you have lived through it too. You know the feelings that go along with it. It is hard. It is emotional. It is real.

Please know that you are not alone! I pray that my story can be an encouragement and hope for you. To know that whatever you are going through or have gone through, that God is right there with you! He is your hope. He is your strength. Cling to him! Don’t push Him away like I did. He wants to be your Comforter. Allow Him to.

I would love to hear your stories! Please feel free to leave a comment below or personal message me.

You are not alone.

God loves you with a relentless love!

God Bless!

-Z

Healthy Mom · Home

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

 

 

Healthy Mom · Home

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!