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Healthy Living

Navigating Paleo

Well a few months ago I started following the Paleo diet.  It's not actually meant to be a diet as much as a life style and I love the food.  I have "pinned" a million recipes and also purchased a cook book called "Against All Grains" which is amazing.  It's funny how often anything new added to an already crazy pace of life can seem overwhelming. It's way easier to eat badly but I want to be healthy, thiner, fitter and have the energy it requires to be a mom of three.  

Do you ever have those days where you realize you spent your energy on all things that "needed" to be done, and in the end, the little ones who need you most get the leftovers? Well we have realized life can too quickly head that way and we are taking steps to stop this cycle. For me, eating well is one of those things.  I know when I don't eat dairy or gluten, I don't feel tired and don't need naps. In choosing to eat healthy, I am choosing my kids.

In the last 7 weeks I have lost 20 pounds and also started to exercise a couple times a week. I'm trying to actually do the things I know to do as best I can but without "shoulding" on myself in the process.

Being a mom is a balance of doing your best and giving yourself grace. It's really tricky and stretching but I think it can be done well.

Creating space

Ok so if you have recently had a baby you will know just what I mean but if you are still waiting store this one away for later.  After giving birth your hormones are raging, your body is healing and you are a little tired. And by “a little tired” I mean exhausted! As for me I am not an expert sleeper. I mean to say, some people fall asleep quickly, nap well without it interrupting their ability to sleep etc. I am not one of those. I’m pretty sure that my punctuation is all wrong even in these first few sentences but hey there is grace for the exhausted right? But I digress.... let’s talk about a need for you to have “you time”. My husband rocks at knowing when I need to just disappear and have “me” time.  In fact he often notices that I need it way before I do. So tonight he made dinner, bathed the kids and put them to bed and sent me to the Frothy Monkey to have some me time for which I am so grateful.  Certainly while your baby is very little and you are running around a 3 hour schedule it’s harder to create space for you to have some “me time” but it’s important.  Even just getting out of the house to do groceries without kids is sometimes refreshing. 

If there are things at home that give your heart and mins space to recover from the day then plan those into your day. I love to cook new foods, paint (on canvas) and read.  Thankfully those are all things I can do at home so it doesn’t matter that we only have one car. I can still create some me space by spending time actually being creative. 

So here is your mission (should you choose to accept it) ... Make a list of things that bring you life and restore your soul :-) I would make the list according to the amount of time required to accomplish them, for example:

15 Minute activities:

  • Coffee and browse a magazine
  • Spend time soaking in God’s presence (in early weeks this might become napping)
  • Browse some favorite recipe websites
  • Burst training (yes, exercise! :-) See burstclub.com it's awesome!

30 minutes:

  • Read a book
  • browse pinterest for recipes (sensing a food theme yet?)

60 minutes:

  • Cook a new recipe
  • Paint
  • Watch a favorite TV show
  • Meet a friend at the frothy monkey for coffee!

You get the idea! Make a list of things you enjoy and estimate the amount of time it takes to do it. Then when you find you feel depleted and need a “pick me up” you can refer to the list and pick something suitable for the amount of time you have free that day.  If you happen to be very good at being spontaneous then perhaps you don’t need the lists... I’m typically fairly planned so lists are my friend! :-)

To sunscreen or not to suncreen?

So I know as a parent (and now a parent who lives in the South) that sun protection is important. Until I moved to Nashville and met Dr Josh Axe I didn’t think there was anything wrong with using sunscreen. I thought sunscreen was my friend and absolutely necessary, I’ve since learned of it’s dangers.

Here’s your first thought about using sunscreen... your skin, as I said in a previous blog entry, it your largest organ. What you put on your skin matters as it is being absorbed into your system, or in the case of sunscreen it’s being baked into your skin.  Most conventional sunscreens have contents that are not safe for your skin.  Now add that we slather it on and then bake it into our skin and you have a real problem.  Is it possible that the reason skin cancer is still on the rise even though everyone you know wears sunscreen to protect themselves is that sunscreen is part of the problem?

So what are we supposed to do AJ? Let’s our sweet little kiddies burn? No! This year the girls have been out in the sun almost daily.  I am careful how long they are out for and at what time of day. I have allowed them to build a little base tan and they are both able to be out for just over an hour a day without any burning or pinkness.  I have only put sunscreen on them once this summer when we were spending the day in and out of the water on a ski boat. For that day I used non-toxic sunscreen so I know I am not baking anything harmful onto them but also that they are not going to burn.  I have found two great non-toxic sunscreens that I really love and that work really well.

The first one is in the picture above and is my favorite and it is sold by Shaklee.( http://healthyoates.myshaklee.com/us/en/products.php?sku=32556 ) I put it on the kids once and it lasts all day.  When we went to Disney two summers ago we spent an entire week in over 100 degree F and sweating like you would not believe! (Mental note to self: never do Disney again in the summer) Even with all that sweat and with getting wet anytime we could to cool off I never had to re-apply the Shaklee non-toxic sunscreen and it is not greasy at all! I am not big on greasy anything really but I have always, even from when I was really little, disliked greasy sunscreen!

The second brand we just recently tried on the boat is called Alba Botanica. (http://www.albabotanica.com/sun/natural-protection.html) It also worked really well, was water resistant even though we were in and out of the water and again is not greasy.  they also have non-toxic spray sunscreens if you like sprays better.

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Also when you use sunscreen you are not getting the Vitamin D that you think you are. Sunscreens block your bodies ability to absorb vit D which we all need for our physical health. I have spent the last few years making drastic changes to diet and taking crazy vitamins to reverse the the Adrenal fatigue that I was suffering with. One of the big culprits for me was vitamin D. Honestly I don’t know what came first the adrenal fatigue or the vitamin D deficiency but I was dangerously low and as we started to fix the vit D issue and B12 issue I started to feel like myself again for the first time in years! Dr Josh says the best thing to do is try and get 20-30 minutes of sun each day (with no sunscreen) and then not wash your skin with soap for the next 48 hours. I don’t fully understand it but vit D is somehow processed in your skin and fat just below so you don’t want to wash it out. I’m sure Dr Josh would explain is better or even if you went to Dr Mercola’s website he is likely to have great stuff too!

The last thing I want to say about all of this is do your research! There are two links on the left side navigation bar of this website. They go to two websites I often read both for health information and for great recipes! Both of these sites have great information on stuff that effects your kids (and that the medical world isn’t telling us about) like toxins in sunscreens, vaccinations and nutrition.