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Sick Child Survival Tips

‘Tis the season for sick children. If you are like me, you really think your immune system is top notch, until you have your first child. My son’s first year of life, I am really not sure if he was ever not sick. On top of being a food allergy baby and dealing with eczema and a constant runny nose, he was in daycare, which is like the cutest little human petri dish. He had the flu, on constant ear infection that led to tubes in his ears and let’s not forget about all of the teething that first year. Exhausting mentally and physically for everyone. I have never felt so helpless as I did when trying to soothe my sick child. And not to mention, I have never caught so many bugs in my life. And the lack of sleep alone can drive our insanity through the roof. Whew, it really takes survival mode!

This is that part of life I talk about where it becomes a huge bump in the road toward your goals. Obviously, this stuff happens and when you have kids you can’t predict when this will happen. And it always seems to happen at the most inopportune times, because LIFE!!

Tips to help you survive all of the nasty bugs your child/children get…

  1. Release expectations of everything else

Taking care of a sick family takes a lot out of you, not to mention if you are sick too! I am talking forget the dishes, vacuuming, only wash laundry that you need. Prioritize everyone’s health, including your own, literally survival mode. Make life easy on yourself, use those paper plates. Rest when you can, you can worry about the rest of things when you feel back to normal.

  1. Communicate logistics and Ask for help!

Number one, talk with your partner to see who can take off work and plan ahead. So coming up with a couple of different plans for a couple of days is going to make this whole process easier. And it takes a village, use them! When you need to call in more than you or your spouse, do it! Let go, and let someone help.

  1. Self-Care

Self-care in this situation looks a little different than your mani/pedi visit but still do it! In this critical moment, self- care is taking your vitamins, loading up on vitamin c, zinc, and elderberry. Wash those hands like it’s going out of style! Change those snotty, pukey clothes often so you don’t completely soak in all of their germs. There is nothing easy about sick kids, so keep yourself as healthy as possible.

  1. Lower those expectations!

This is where life is put on hold, so who cares about the kid’s screen time, healthy dinners. Don’t feel guilt about grabbing that take out, vegging out on the couch, not getting anything done. Number one priority is making it out of this germ filled quarantine.

  1. Release the guilt!

Release the guilt of taking sick days at work, they will survive. Yes, it doesn’t matter what your job is, the parenting job comes first, don’t let others dictate how you feel about your priority. Release the guilt of thinking this is your fault somehow, like, if they weren’t in daycare, if they didn’t go to the park, if they didn’t go to that birthday party. Seriously, you can only do so much to prevent this. It is going to happen! Release the guilt of being the perfect parent. It is a learning curve, and when babies and kids are sick, it is like a treasure hunt on how to make them feel better, you are doing your best!!! Let me say this again…. YOU ARE DOING YOUR BEST AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS! Soak that in!!

There is nothing worse than sick children but guess what, it happens! It happens to the best of us and all we can do, is be our best for them when they need us. Stay healthy and strong, my friends, and hope you can use the tips for the rest of flu season!!

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Intuitive Eating Works Best If You Do These 5 Things First

Intuitive eating is all the rage lately, due to its balanced approach to health, wellness and the foods we eat. It is a great way to take out the “diet” mentality and the anxiety it can cause. Intuitive eating is something I try to teach my clients to ensure a lifelong, healthy relationship with the mind, body and soul. But to ensure that this isn’t just another fad diet to come and go out of your life, there are some steps you can take to get the most out of intuitive eating.

But first, what is Intuitive eating?

Intuitive eating guides you towards a healthier you by being aware of your body, how it responds to the foods you consume, listening to your hunger cues, and knowing what makes you feel best. It trains you to choose nourishing and satisfying foods that your body wants and needs. It also enables a positive attitude toward food and being kind to yourself when you overindulge in treat foods. It truly is the foundation of balance.

So if you are looking to rid yourself of the anxiety that comes along with another trendy diet then this could be something to consider. Yes, you can start intuitive eating today by being more aware of what your body is telling you, but all things take preparation and these steps can help. It might seem counter intuitive to take this approach, but in the end you will get the most out of intuitive eating and can solely rely on your gut and what it’s telling you.

  • Acknowledgement

Be real with yourself. Really analyze your current day to day state of what you are consuming, how you are feeling, and acknowledge what no longer serves you. Even if you have to write down what a normal day looks like for you so you can see it and evaluate it.

  • Detox from sugars

Sugar addiction is real and affects so many us! Sugar causes cravings, lethargy, anxiety, headaches, bloating, insomnia, the list goes on. It will be hard to listen to your body when you have false cues coming from sugar. I would take 2 weeks to slowly start eliminating sugars from your body so you can have a fresh outlook on your body’s intentions.

  • Planning

Even intuitive eating can take some planning. This sort of starts with detoxing your body of sugar. Write down your plan of attack. Write up your grocery list, what your meals will look like for the week, what your intentions are for this new approach. If necessary, hire someone who specializes in this to help you make a plan.

  • Meditation

Meditation is such a good way to get in tune with your body and thoughts. It is a good way to quiet your mind, helping you focus on the energy of your body, while relaxing and embracing your inner peace. It can also help you ease any stress that can be associated with starting a new routine.

  • Tracking

Until you become acclimated to intuitive eating, it is best to keep a journal of what you consume, how you feel before and after each meal, and how your body responds. This is a great training tool for yourself to visualize how your body communicates with you. Eventually, it will become second nature and you won’t need to track at all.

Intuitive eating should be a stress free approach to reaching your goals. By following these steps, you can assure that you are getting the most out of healthy living without the obsession or neglect of foods. Your body will thank you!

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5 Things in my Purse to Stay Healthy on the Go

Staying healthy on the go, impossible? Absolutely not! Staying prepared is a huge factor for anyone with a busy, on the go, life. And now, being a new mom, I am feeling it more than ever! Having to worry about my son and taking along his necessities, I don’t usually have a lot of time to worry about every little thing for myself. But I do want to be proactive and making healthy choices helps me with my energy and mood. Which makes life better for everyone! So I just want to share a few simple tips that have always helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle while keeping up with the day to day rush.

  1. Water Bottle

I cannot go ANYWHERE without my water bottle. If I leave the house without it, I swear my mouth instantly dries up. OK. Maybe a little dramatic, but really, water is so essential and has so many health benefits. Can you buy water while out? Yes, but most places have a water fountain so you can always fill up and you’re not only helping out the environment but you are also reducing your exposure to BPA. BPA can have an extremely negative affect on the body including hormone disruption and cancer inducing qualities. Yea, no thanks

2. Snacks

If I know I am going to be busy running around, I will pre make a protein shake and take it with me or I will just take a little serving size container of protein powder and put it in my purse to mix up later. Super quick and easy, all the while not skipping out on protein which is super important to maintain your metabolic health. I like to keep little snacks like servings of almonds, peanuts, fruit, tuna packets in my purse, at work, anywhere that is convenient. I keep my snacks stocked because I never know when I might not have time to think about grabbing something when I walk out the door. Your future self will thank you for your little snack stash!

3. Gum

Gum is great for avoiding the dreaded cravings! If you have already eaten and you are just not wanting to divert from plan, gum or mints are great to keep the taste buds occupied or buy you a little more time until the next meal.

4. Essential Oils

So why do I use pure essential oils, simply because they work. I keep them everywhere, my room, the kitchen, my purse, work, everywhere!! The health benefits are endless! But make sure you do your homework, because the vast majority of essential oils on the market today are only fragrance quality which can contain extra toxic chemical solvents. The only brand I trust is Young Living due to their strict Seed to Seal process where every step from plant to bottle remains untouched, nothing but the plant’s oil. I carry Lemon oil to put in my water, Stress Away for obvious reasons, and Oola’s Fitness blend for a little pre workout motivation.

5. Emergency Gym Bag

Currently with a new little babe I am doing all workouts at home, but in the future I will be back to this routine. If you keep a gym bag with full on gym clothes and tennis shoes in the car ready to go, there are no excuses to drive past the gym! Keep it ready at all times that way when a moment arises you are prepared! And on mornings when I drive off without my gym bag because, let’s be honest, I am now a crazy bag lady, it won’t matter. It will already be in the car waiting for me to get them sweaty!

It isn’t always possible to stay on track, which is why I preach balance but leaving the house as prepared as possible sets you up to succeed. It can prevent a downward spiral that we are all capable of getting on. These 5 items are small yet huge when it comes to sticking with your goals. A little goes a long way!

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Bodybuilder to Balancebuilder: 5 things I learned on my journey to finding balance

I was a figure competitor in bodybuilding for more than four years and nine shows, also placing seventh at my first National level show. At the time it was my passion, nothing could stop me from achieving my goals. My goal was to become an IFBB Professional Figure competitor and I had no doubts I would become one. That is until after my ninth show, at Jr. Nationals, my body was exhausted, it had enough of the years extreme dieting. The back and forth of my off season physique to contest ready physique. I never had the time to be balanced. This exhaustion had been approaching, but something I completely ignored because that is just what a competitor does, they push passed any obstacles that get in their way. It is an all or nothing mentality that forces a tunnel vision to make your physique on stage your priority. Little did I know, I was ruining my metabolism. I might have looked amazing on the outside but everything inside of me was crumbling. I knew I had to make a change.

You might look at my show photos and be inspired or think, I want to look like that. But what you can’t see is the price I paid to get there and I am not talking money. You don’t see the neglect for my family, friends and social events that I missed because I “didn’t have time”. You can’t see how obsessive I was over food. I would hoard food for my cheat meals and binge until I was almost sick. But on the contrast, I was obsessive compulsive over my meal plan, if I diverted, I was upset with myself for “not being perfect”. I was never happy and constantly thinking about food. I developed an unhealthy relationship with food. My life around me became chaotic but the one constant was bodybuilding so I focused 100 percent on achieving my dreams. I did not like the person I was becoming while trying to pursue my passion.

I do not regret those years at all and I am proud of my accomplishments because it has made me the person I am today. I believe the same drive and determination that made me so great at Figure is how I have also been able to find my balance. The road to finding balance was harder than any contest prep I had ever done which is why I call it “Balancebuilding”. It was an emotional journey that I am proud to say is my greatest accomplishment. Here are just a few things I learned while balancebuilding.
1.Stop Dieting

Stop Dieting?! What?! That is all I had known is “dieting”, being extreme to get to a place I was pleased with my body. Well, I had to train my mind to think differently. I did a lot of research and I also hired a reputable coach to get me started. Yes, even coaches need coaches from time to time. It was the best thing I could have ever done. I majorly upped my calories with the right macros and increased my healthy fats tremendously to balance out my desperate, out of control hormones. And then I consistently did this day in and day out and waited for results. Which brings me to my next lesson learned.

2. Patience

I am only human and yes, just like everyone else I want results now. But guess what? Getting lasting results definitely does not happen overnight. It takes consistency and persistence. Just having faith in the process and waking up every day giving your best shot to becoming healthy from the inside out. As time went on, I started to focus less on what I was going to eat all day to actually enjoying my life, making healthy decisions when I was out and about, and actually caring about what went in to my body until it was just a subconscious effort instead of an anxiety forced effort.​

3. Listen to your body

At first this was a hard task for me. I was used to forcing my will to push passed any cravings that were not on my meal plan, even feeling guilty over eating fruit. The thing is though, our bodies let us know what it needs we just need to pay attention to it. A lot of our “cravings” just mean we are lacking some sort of nutrition. I am not saying to always give in to your sweet tooth, but it could mean you are lacking something very important. I learned that, you know what, I can have a cupcake every now and then because most of the time I am nourishing my body and keeping it fueled. It is called balance. I eat fruit every morning now, my healthy fats are higher than you can imagine and I feel amazing physically and mentally. I also tried out different physical exercises to see what my body really enjoyed. I tried yoga, circuit style workouts, powerlifting moves, gardening, and many others. You have to enjoy what you are doing for balance to last.

4. Love yourself

This is something that can be harder than it sounds but is something that is so important on any journey to finding balance in your life. When I first started this journey I realized I was not treating myself with love at all. I put a sport before myself. I neglected myself to become something that I was starting to view as negative. It was ironic really, I was trying to become the “best” me, when I was truly at my worst physically and mentally. I had to think differently, more positively and eventually it becomes a habit. It took me about a year to realize that I was balanced, I was the healthiest I had ever been, I felt the best about myself, the most confident I had ever been and I was 20 lbs heavier than my stage weight. Before finding balance, that number would have made me depressed. Now I embrace it and I am proud of how far I have come. It is true, if you are healthy inside it shows on the outside. It is also something you have to keep up on a daily basis. It is easy to revert back to old ways but the more you do something the more it becomes second nature. Practice makes perfect.

5. Forgive yourself

So no, I can’t take back all the years I treated myself negatively but I can change my actions today and for the future. Forgiving yourself can take time but it gives you freedom to move forward. It is a step to becoming healthier mentally. The more you forgive yourself, the more love you give yourself, which in turn makes a happier you. It comes down to how you are feeling internally will reflect from the outside.

I am not saying every competitor feels this way or that I will never do another show but this was my past experience that spiraled into a place I will never be again. It has taken me on a journey I can never discount. It has brought me to a place of peace, love and happiness that only I can give myself. I am not perfect, nor do I desire to be perfect anymore. And out of it all I found a new passion, helping with their Balancebuilding journeys. So if there is anything in your life keeping you from feeling balanced, be aware and ask yourself if it is worth it, you might be paying a bigger cost than you think.