Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Note to My Hillary Supporter Friends- This is my coming out letter

Hey friends. I have a secret that is going to require you to use all the amazing attributes that I absolutely love about you.  Understanding, acceptance, love, respect.  The truth is that you are some of the most loving people I know but I'm still a little scared to actually come out to you like this.  Maybe it's the posts I've seen all over social media claiming how stupid I am or how racist and bigoted and judgmental I must be.  But right now I need a friend so here it goes.

I voted for Trump.

There it is.  It's out there and I should feel so much better but I'm scared that you will judge me.  That you will treat me differently.  That you will talk about how stupid I am behind my back.  I'm afraid that you now think the worst of me and that I won't be invited to your holiday party and that you definitely won't trust me with your real feelings and that intimacy we once had will be lost.

I had hoped that we could all get along after the election was over.  I had no idea that this election was more important than all our similarities until it has been pointed out to me over and over again in the last 48 hours.

I am sorry that your candidate didn't win.  I feel for you and the disappointment that you are going through.  To tell you the truth, I thought that I would be feeling that disappointment at the end of the night but the country surprised us all didn't it?

And to say I was jumping up and down when my candidate won would be lying.  I am not political and I was not a fan of either candidate for the longest time.  But when it came down to it I had to make a decision that felt good to me.  I value truth and hold that attribute high.  I picked a non-politician for that very reason.   I concluded that the guy stumbling over the right thing to say and down right saying the wrong thing sometimes is actually telling us more of his truth than the professional lawyer that has been trained to persuade for her benefit.  This is why I voted for Trump.  Not because I agree with everything that he says.  But because I feel that he has good intentions and competent people that can accomplish things that are good for America.

I believe that you voted for your candidate for reasons that speak to you and I respect that.  There is obviously something to be said for both candidates to have the country so torn. 

And that brings me to the real reason for this note.  We are friends.  And if I'm not wrong, you want more than anything to have more love, acceptance, and respect in our country.   And I do too.

This nation needs to put aside our different political stances and just be nice to each other.  We need to develop respect for each others differences, deal with differences like adults and adopt a practice of more love and understanding no matter who the president is.  We, the people, make up this country and if there was ever anything that could bind us during this time, it would be love, love for the country and for each other.  

Let's show the world how amazing Americans really are.  Let's show respect for everyone.  Let's believe in the good of everyone.  Let's not judge others for their beliefs.  Let's raise good kids and create a great future because we all know that what happens in our own house is much more important than what happens in the white house.  Let's do this together as friends.

I hope you feel better soon and I love you!


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My Mom Proven Ways to Boost Energy Naturally

"Why did I think it would be a good idea to walk the kids to school?" I think as I slowly contort my body, sneaking out from under the sleeping baby that only just barely closed her eyes.  The sun now slowly lifting herself from a long night's rest.  Stretching her fingers above the tops of the mountains like she's peaking out from under the covers.  I haven't seen that for awhile.   Summer has been good to me.

Last night was not good to me though.  Last night was very abusive.  Despite spending the last couple of weeks of summer getting the kids on a schedule again, the excitement of the first day of school fought hard to keep the kids awake.  I think Jack finally closed his eyes around 1:30 a.m., right about the time that Thea woke up crying, waking up a very sleepy Kate. "I'll never sleep again," I think.  I'm more angry than tired.  After getting both girls back to sleep I peek at my phone.  2:30 a.m.  6:30 is going to come pretty early, but I force myself not to worry about it because that will keep me up all night.  Funny how that works.

So 6:30 came really early this morning.  And now because of my brilliant idea to walk my kids to school, I actually have to get ready.  I will be seeing real people and I doubt my kids want me talking to the neighbors in my pajamas.  Maybe I can take the three year old and the baby in their PJs.  Nah, I should get them up and ready too.  And to top it all off, I told the kids I would make cinnamon rolls.  Oh today is going to be a day!

Luckily getting no sleep and still being able to get things done is pretty much my super power.   Tragically I don't drink caffeine so the only way I survive is by using a few natural habits I've developed to keep things going. And since I graduated in nutrition and exercise science most of them revolve around lifestyle management.

Here are few ideas that will help after your next sleepless night.

1. Exercise

I know it seems like the last thing you want to do when you've been up all night, but it makes such a difference.  Sometimes I am so tired that I can't even get motivated to put on my sports bra.  I mean, that takes work.  But even on those days, if I can just take a walk in the neighborhood (no sports bra required) I feel so much more invigorated.  In fact studies show that the days where more daily steps were taken, subjects reported having higher levels of energy.  In fact 20 percent more energy was reported and a 65 percent decrease in fatigue.

So which exercises help the most to boost energy?  Light to Moderate workouts will generate the largest amounts of energy without depleting your resources.  The best activities include walking, yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, and strength training.

2. Drink More Water

So anyone that knows me know that this is my cure all for anything that ails you.  Stomach hurts, drink more water.  Can't lose weight, drink more water.  High blood pressure, drink more water.  No energy, DRINK MORE WATER!  It will seriously solve any problem you have.  Except maybe having to pee too much.  I don't think it helps with that.

The truth is water helps maintain fluid balance in our bodies which aids with our physical performance and fights fatigue and exhaustion.  Just a glass of water can clear our minds and help us to think better. It helps increase your attention span, memory, and motor skills and will naturally lighten your mood.

3. Have A Snack

Being a new mom again, I am constantly watching what I eat so I can lose those pesky pregnancy pounds.  I've kind of gotten used to being hungry all the time so that is not always a natural trigger for me to eat.  But I've noticed if I haven't eaten in a while, I will start nodding off and yawning like nobody's business.  This fatigue has become my new trigger.  It lets me know I need fuel.  So what is the best thing to eat when your feeling drowsy?  Find a good snack that has protein, fiber, and a little bit of fat.  Peanut butter is always a good bet.  Also try yogurt and nuts, or hummus and pita chips.  My personal favorite is a banana and peanut butter smoothie.  Energy for days!

4. Take Time To Laugh

You know what they say, laughter is the best medicine and it's true!  We change physiologically when we laugh.  We stretch muscles in our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure rise, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues, creating more energy!  The effects of laughter and exercise are actually very similar! So take some time today to watch a funny YouTube video or visit with your funniest friend.  It's good for your health and you will be much more productive with the rest of your day!

5. Good Nutrition

Fill your body with fresh fruits and vegetables and you will notice a difference in your energy levels within just a couple of days.  These foods are packed with vitamins and minerals that will kick your energy into high gear.  Some of these vitamins include Magnesium, B vitamins, and Iodine.  If you don't think your diet is giving you enough of the good stuff there is no shame is popping a multivitamin.  Supplementing is a great way to to make sure you are getting what your body needs to stay alert.

6. Massage Your Ears

It might sound funny but only to us here in the western hemisphere.  This technique has been used for thousands of years to help increase energy.  The reasoning behind it is that all your acupuncture points run through the outer edges of your ears.  Pinch the outside edges of the ear and massage them up and down and you will notice a significant increase in energy!  I know you're doing it right now and it works right?!  You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tips for Feeding a Large Family Without Using Coupons | Big Family Living

I have nothing but love and respect for all you fabulous couponing mommies.  You are organized, all planned out, filling your cart to the brim and saving hundreds of dollars without even a bead of sweat on your forehead.  It really sounds lovely.  But it also sounds something like the families you see on TV.  They are close to reality so you think, "I can be like that!" but when you look closer you sadly realize that this scenario could never be a reality in this life.  My reality looks more like one of those old shopping game shows where you dash up and down the rows as quickly as possible.  Manically grabbing everything on my list, hoping to beat the buzzer... the nerve wracking cry of the baby.  And if I can get all the way to the end of my list before the three year old lets go of the cart and jumps into the frozen food fridges, it's like I've won the Olympic Gold Medal for the Grocery Store Dash.

Honestly, though, I wish I had the time to coupon and I do save a few coupons here and there for items I use all the time, but I've just accepted the fact that couponing is not going to happen for me.  That being said, I have made a list of ways you can save money on the bags and bags of food it takes to feed a big family without the prep work of coupons.  Let's get started:

Make a Menu

This is the most important thing you can do.  It does take some time, but it is so worth it.  You need to sit down and plan out your family's breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack menu for each and every day.

The Menu Like Its The Bible

Okay so there can be a little wiggle room, but to make the biggest impact you really should just stick to the menu.  For me this means just buying the ingredients for the meals and snacks on the list.  I don't buy anything else.  Nothing!  And I don't let anyone treat my kitchen like an all night diner, coming in and ordering snacks and meals at all hours of the night.  They get what is put in front of them on the table and that's it.  There was a time I was even writing the snacks for the day on the food board and they couldn't even choose their snack.  I know... crazy.  I have since relaxed a little bit now that the kids have gotten older, but I still have a mental list of the snacks I have planned and when they are gone, no more snacks.

Buy Generic

Okay I will agree that there are some products that you just need to get the name brand, but I can't think of too many.  There are so many great store brand items that taste fantastic and many actually come from the same factory as the name brands.  I love buying generic!  This love has been the biggest reason why I don't use coupons.  Coupons will give you a discount on just the name brands and you almost always need to buy two or more to get the same kind of discount that you get from just picking up the generic version.  'Nuf said.

Shop Around

For awhile I bought everything at Walmart because they will price match and I really thought it was great to get all my shopping done in one place.  It still is a great idea, but for my situation, I have noticed I can get better groceries and better deals by shopping around.  Yes it is a bit of a pain but totally worth it for me.  For example, I will hit the big warehouse stores, like Sam's Club for my bread, bananas, milk, butter, and some meat and cheese products.  They have great prices and quantities that meet my large family needs.  I can really get better deals at my favorite grocery store for everything else so then I walk away.  This is where I have to be strong.  It is tough but you can do it ladies.  My next stop is where I get most of my groceries.  Its the store in town with the best produce, great employees, and great prices.  If by chance something on my list is terribly over priced here, then I take it to my final store, Walmart.  I always hit Walmart for my Popcorn and Graham Crackers because they are so much less expensive there.  I also get whatever items were not priced well or available at the last store.  I will use an app like Scan Life or PriceGrabber to compare prices on the items I need now and Walmart will match the lowest price.  I have been using this system for years now and have saved even more than I could have with coupons I swear.

Limit The Amount of Times You Eat Out, Including Hubby's Lunches

Making meals for my husband has been something that I have been dragging my feet about for years.  I know it is healthier and money saving, but I just have so much that I'm already doing that it  seemed...just hard.  That would mean adding another 7 meals to my menu plan.  And more shopping, ugh.  But I can say that I have been making Brenden's meals for a few weeks now and it really does save on money.  It takes a little time to get in the habit, but it does make a difference.
Besides just my husband's lunches, I also try to make sure I'm around in the evenings to make dinner whenever possible.  There are always days when it just doesn't work and you need to grab a pizza, but nowadays I try to schedule in the days that we eat out as a family to make sure that we don't spend too much.

Try these ideas out and let me know what tips you have as well.  I would love to see what other super moms do.