Posts tagged ‘mom’

May 2, 2014

I GO TO THE GYM AT 4 AM AND I’M NOT A MORNING PERSON!

My transformation

My transformation

Hey all! I’ve been absent a few weeks from the blog, but I’m ready to share my progress, my crazy life, my words of wisdom and my new successes with you all!

So proud of how hard I have worked to get my post-baby body back!

So proud of how hard I have worked to get my post-baby body back!

Where to start? First of all, Beau is doing MUCH better! He’s off of his liver medication finally and he’s smiling and doing cute baby things. Bryan and I are very grateful for this!

Beau is finally feeling better! This smile makes me happy!

Beau is finally feeling better! This smile makes me happy!

Training is going great! I have seen SIGNIFICANT changes in my body! My muscle definition is coming back, I’m lifting heavier weights, I’m no longer ready to pass out after jogging 1 minute on the treadmill (I can now do 45 minutes non-stop!), I feel more confident in myself and I’ve nearly lost all of my post-baby weight!

I’m wrapping up week 7 of working out and I’ll be entering week 8 on Monday. While I’m more than excited about the progress I’ve made to-date and the progress I’ll continue to make, it hasn’t always been easy. I’m human and have days that I don’t feel like I’m getting the most out of my workout and days when I don’t feel like I’ve made as much progress as I think I should have. I sent Marzia a text one morning feeling discouraged. I was in week 6 of training and feeling like I should have more definition in my abs area. She reassured me that the definition will come and that HELLO! – I JUST HAD A BABY! It takes time for the body to heal and transform. I spent 9 months stretching it out. It will take more than 6 weeks to get it back. Reality check? Yes. What I needed to hear? Yes. I, like everyone else working on getting into shape, have to remember that TIME is the key. And patience. But sometimes I’m not so good with patience. Haha!

Finally seeing my some muscle now!

Finally seeing my some muscle now!

Due to my crazy schedule and new responsibilities as a mom, my workout time comes EARLY. My alarm goes off at 4:10 a.m. and I’m at the gym by 4:45 a.m. And trust me (or ask my husband), I’m NOT a morning person! But, that’s what best fits my schedule, so that’s what I’m doing. Make time, not excuses, right?

I’m still eating clean. I’ve found all sorts of new ways to creatively eat clean and enjoy my favorite meals. My go-to’s are stuffed bell peppers, spaghetti squash, zucchini “sushi,” and Portobello mushroom pizzas. Sundays have turned into our grocery shopping days. We bring everything home, get it sorted, rinsed, in storage bags and put away. Monday nights I do my meal prepping for the week while Bryan plays with Beau and the dogs. It takes me a few hours, but it saves me TONS of time later in the week. It also keeps me on track. If I have something made and ready to go, then I don’t need to go out for fast food or hit the candy drawer. I have everything I need. Bryan has been amazing with my eating habits. He tries everything I make and, to his surprise I’m sure, has liked almost everything so far (except Portobello mushroom pizzas – that’s too much mushroom for him). And if we have a date night and decide to go out for dinner, he’s very mindful of what I can and can’t have and makes suggestions based on that. At the least, a decent salad has to be on the menu for me. No chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and gravy for me. I may have a bite of his every now and then, but I’ve come to not even really want it anymore. It may taste good, but the effects of several meals like that aren’t worth it to me. I prefer to keep my body happy and healthy, not feeling heavy and greased down.

An example of one of my snacks

An example of one of my snacks

I eat a cheat meal for dinner on Friday nights. I plan it ahead of time as my “treat.” And even then, I’m conscious of what I’m eating. We went for pizza last week. Instead of loading it with pepperoni, sausage and cheese, I had them load it with veggies, minimal sauce and minimal cheese. I’ve learned, too, that not eating heavier, greasier meals or candy and junk food for an extended period of time makes you not WANT to eat them anymore. I don’t crave them. I can easily pass them over, even when others are eating them right in front of me.

Meal prep is important for me to stay top of my health

Meal prep is important for me to stay top of my health

I still blog on my Facebook fitness page (https://www.facebook.com/F3byACG) and now also blog and interact on BodyBuilding.com’s “BodySpace.” It’s the Facebook for fitness junkies. And I won’t lie, I love it! It’s everyone working on their fitness goals encouraging and motivating each other along the way. I’ve come to be friends with some inspiring people there who encourage me to keep going after my fitness goals!

My day look at the law firm

My day look at the law firm

I also still work full-time at my law firm. Monday-Friday 8:30-5:30. It makes for a crazy day sometimes by the time I get up, go to the gym, come home and get ready for work, help Bryan with Beau and either he or I take him to the sitter’s house, drive to work, work all day, drive back to pick up Beau and head home, take care of the dogs, make dinner, get Beau settled down and ready for bed… It’s a LOT. I’m blessed to have my husband, though. He helps with it ALL. Well, all except the cooking. I love him, but he’s not a cook. Haha! But he makes up for that by helping with laundry, picking up the house, taking care of Beau, playing with the dogs, packing Beau’s diaper bag, etc.

Love my husband!

Love my husband!

AND, I’m still a distributor for It Works! I joined Marzia in this business adventure and it’s been amazing! The It Works wraps and stretch mark cream have been instrumental natural supplements to my working out and clean eating. They tighten, tone and firm the skin, ridding the body of toxins and help you lose inches! I use one once a week and it’s helped my tummy come around! And I see definition there now! The stretch mark cream has been amazing with my tiger stripes from Beau! They’re drastically less noticeable! Now I’m using their Hair Skin Nail product to grow my hair out. And it’s growing like crazy. As well as my nails. It’s a nice change!

The products that helped me get my post-baby body back!

The products that helped me get my post-baby body back!

Not only do I enjoy the products, but I’ve met so many people who love them and have amazing results with them! My gym is now introducing them through me, I’ve got a team going under me that’s loving them and spreading the word about them, and Marzia and I are taking Dallas by storm to let everyone know about them! If you’re looking for something natural (herbal/botanically based) to help you on your health/beauty/fitness journey, I HIGHLY recommend It Works products! You can get them at my website www.bodybellisimo.com or message me about them at Ashley.casalini@gmail.com.

My results using the wraps and stretch mark cream

My results using the wraps and stretch mark cream

Overall, I’m one busy lady. But, with the help and support from my amazing husband, I find time to do it all. And I love it. I love my crazy, busy, fitness filled, healthy living, life. And even more than that, I love my husband and Beau. They drive me to be the best me and to keep going. I’ll make my bikini competition this year. I’ll inspire at least one person to follow their dreams. I’ll find my calling in the fitness industry and make the career change. I’ll be successful and make an extra income to live on with It Works! I’ll do it all. Because I believe in myself and because I have a support system that believes in me.

Working out, eating right, and wrapping tight keep me in shape after my baby

Working out, eating right, and wrapping tight keep me in shape after my baby

I highly encourage you all to find that support system for yourself if you haven’t already. It’s amazing. I also encourage you all to remember that you can do ANYTHING you want. In fitness. In health. In beauty. In LIFE. Just go for it!

Until next time,

Ciao,

Ashley Casalini! Garcia

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March 24, 2014

Healthy Housewives Live Transformation Ashley Casalini Garcia Progress

 

Check out my progress since having Beau!

Check out my progress since having Beau!

Hey there! It’s Ashley! I am now 10 weeks post-pregnancy, 4 weeks into eating clean and going into week 3 of training mean. I feel GREAT! I’m learning so much about myself and my body.

I have such a new found respect for working women and mothers, both in and out of the fitness world. Even as a woman who constantly stays busy, as a new mom, I’m discovering what it’s like to juggle so much and still make time for myself. It’s not always easy and I’m SO blessed to have the support system around me that I do! Between Marzia, The Healthy Housewives, my husband, my family and my friends, I’ve been given nothing but love and support. This has allowed me to both be there for my baby, Beau, and husband, Bryan, without having to give up on myself, my dreams and my goals.

I am in competition with myself to live the best life I can!

I am in competition with myself to live the best life I can!

Here is a glimpse of my daily life. As of March 19th I’ll be done with my maternity leave and headed back to work, so this will change slightly. The eating clean will remain the same, but instead of going to the gym in the afternoons/evenings, I’ll go before work in the mornings.

I have to prep my meals to stay on top of my health!

I have to prep my meals to stay on top of my health!

MORNINGS:

I wake up anywhere between 7am and 10am, depending on how many times and how long I was up with Beau during the night (he’s still not sleeping through the night). Once I get up, the first thing I do is drink a glass of water mixed with 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and the juice from ½ a lemon. Then I feed my 2 big dogs so that they’re happy pups!

Breakfast:

Breakfast is either egg-whites and oatmeal with berries or egg-white muffins and protein pancakes with berries. And of course, water!

Egg white muffins and protein pancakes are my typical breakfast

Egg white muffins and protein pancakes are my typical breakfast

The fun/interesting part about ANY of my meals is that I’m either enjoying them by myself or I’m balancing a fork in one hand to feed me and a bottle in the other to feed Beau. As a mom, I would definitely say that I’m taking the art of juggling, balancing and multi-tasking to a whole new level!

I also open up my Facebook fitness page and say Good Morning to friends and new followers, post breakfast photos and/or a motivational message.

Chores:

I try to keep Beau happy and entertained long enough to throw a load of laundry in, empty/fill the dishwasher, clean bottles and/or generally pick up around the house. Sometimes it works out great. Sometimes not so much! Sometimes trying to find time to get anything done, including simply taking a shower, is a real challenge!

Of all my responsibilities, I love being a mommy first!

Of all my responsibilities, I love being a mommy first!

Snack:

For a snack I really enjoy celery, cauliflower and carrots with hummus or Greek yogurt with blackberries and KIND brand vanilla blueberry oat clusters.
AFTERNOON:

Since Beau had such a rough start to his life, he still has doctor appointments each week. It may only be one or it may be more than one. He goes between a gastroenterologist for liver issues, the hospital to get blood work done and his pediatrician for general check-ups. If I take him to the gastroenterologist, I also take him for blood work the same day. This means bottle feedings at doctors’ offices, diaper changes in restrooms and eating while I’m out (I’ll get to this in a minute).

If I’m not at any doctor appointments, I’m continuing with Beau duty, updating my Facebook fitness page, doing chores or working out. Since I’ve been a runner my whole life, I enjoy putting Beau in the jogging stroller and going outside for a run and/or taking him with me to the gym and letting him hang out in the “Kid Zone” while I go through my workout.

I run while Beau sleeps

I run while Beau sleeps

Lunch:

I’m a HUGE fan of meal-prepping, so lunch is pretty easy for me, whether at home or on the go (more on this soon…). I have either 3 oz. of grilled chicken or 3 oz. of turkey burger and 2 cups of steamed or sautéed veggies. Sometimes I add homemade sweet potato wedges or brown rice. And, of course, water!

A typical meal that fuels me for life

A typical meal that fuels me for life

Snack:

I usually have a simple protein shake for my afternoon snack or one of my pre-made raw veggie snack bags.

EVENING:

If I didn’t get a chance to work out during the afternoon, I go to the gym in the evenings when Bryan gets home from work. He takes over on Beau duty and I get “me” time to focus on my fitness! I drink water throughout my workout and a simple protein shake after. Then once I get home from the gym, Bryan goes and gets his fitness on! I take care of Beau, play with the pups, update my Facebook fitness page and have dinner.

 

My happy baby Beau! :)

My happy baby Beau! 🙂

My happy baby Beau! :)

My happy baby Beau! 🙂

 

Dinner:

Dinner is either another one of my pre-made meals or a portabella pizza. I’m a HUGE fan of pizza, so I really enjoy making portabella pizzas. I simply take a large portabella, clean it out, cook it a little, stuff it with veggies and turkey pepperoni (think supreme pizza) and top it with just a sprinkle of cheese and throw it in the oven until the cheese has melted…YUM! And, as always, water with my meal!

Snack:

Depending on how much exhausted I am from Beau and my workout, I may make it to one last snack before bed. If I do, it’s Greek yogurt and blackberries.

SUNDAYS AND MEAL PREP:

On Sundays I spend a few hours doing meal prep. I grocery shop, clean and cut veggies and fruits and weigh out my meat proteins. Then I steam, grill, sauté and bake everything. I use simple seasonings like parsley, lemon, rosemary, paprika, cinnamon, garlic and red pepper. No salt. No sugar. I portion out meals for the week and snack bags of fruit or veggies that are easy to grab on the go (like when I go to doctor appointments or out to run errands). This makes life SO much easier for me and keeps me eating healthy! I have no excuses to stop for fast food or junk food when I already have healthy meals and snacks ready for me!

If you buy good food, you will eat good food!

If you buy good food, you will eat good food!

SAMPLE WORKOUT:

Here is an example of one of my leg workouts:

2 sets/15 reps
Around the world lunges (front, side, and back-both sides)
2 minute jump rope
Plié squats
2 minute jump rope
Bulgarian split lunge (both sides)
2 minute jump rope
Single leg deadlift
2 minute jump rope
Repeat from the top until you have completed 2 sets

I have a while to go to get to where I want to be, but I’m enjoying every minute of it. Fitness has always been my passion and I’m excited that I’m taking steps to make it my career. I’m also excited to share my journey with others and to hopefully continue to inspire others to chase their dreams, whatever they may be!

I’m doing everything I can to do my “homework” and learn as much as I can about all aspects of the fitness industry, including reading about clean and healthy eating and the benefits of all types of healthy foods, researching fitness photographers, reading stories and workouts from women in the fitness industry, following bikini competitions and the women in them and reading about all types of different workouts (TRX, pilates, yoga, weight lifting, stretching, Zumba, rock climbing, running).

I pack healthy snacks so I am not tempted to make a bad decision!

I pack healthy snacks so I am not tempted to make a bad decision!

HOWEVER, while fitness is my passion and I want to make it my career, I am first, and foremost, a mommy and a wife. I love taking care of my little man, playing with my dogs and sharing my love, friendship and faith with my husband. His support means the world to me and continuously inspires me.

I LOVE my husband!!

I LOVE my husband!!

Until next time, eat clean, train mean and follow your dreams! It’s NEVER too late to start!

Ciao,

Ashley Casalini Garcia

Follow my journey on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/F3byACG

September 18, 2013

Oh Baby! Time to Celebrate!

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What do you do after two siblings announce they are expecting babies the same week? You grab your super woman cape and spring into laser-focused shower mode. As “Cool Aunt Lacey” I get to host two baby showers and one additional for a great girlfriend of mine within the next month, so I have been scouring blogs, Pinterest, and my own imagination to create three separately-themed, equally-glorious baby celebrations.

I’d like to share some of my favorite “Fit and Fun” baby shower recipes. Just because you’re celebrating, doesn’t mean you need to forgo all will power and see how much sugar you can eat during one party. Remember, there’s a little one on the way that you’ll need to keep up with. Now is the time to get serious about endurance and clean nourishment. However, to avoid a mass exodus before you’ve given a toast to the momma-to be, the food must be tasty, too. I think you’ll enjoy these!

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To re-create a Dr. Seuss favorite, serve Green Deviled Eggs!

Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; set whites aside. In a small bowl, mash yolks with mustard, vinegar, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, spinach shavings, and sea salt. Spoon the mixture into egg whites, and refrigerate until serving.

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Power Cupcakes (Moms have super powers, right?) 

Protein Rich Frosting

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Advocare’s Muscle Gain), 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1/2 Greek yogurt, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1-2 packets of Stevia. Mix together.

Cake

1 cup oat flour
, 2 scoops vanilla protein
, 2 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour, 
4 egg whites, 
1/2 cup applesauce, 
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 
1 tbsp vanilla extract, 

4-6 packets of Stevia, 1/2 tsp baking soda
, 1/4 tsp baking powder. Mix together and bake!

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What child doesn’t love playing in the mud?

Mudslide Smoothies

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen banana slices
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 cup milk (almond/soy/cows)

Directions

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix for about a minute or until smooth.

Should you need some more ideas for your upcoming baby or bridal shower, let me know. With three sisters, I created my event portfolio a while back, and feel like a pro! To re-charge your body after hosting an event (or multiple events), check with your nearest holistic wellness practitioner (or me) about receiving a ionic foot soak. You’ll need to re-charge your body’s battery after all that hard work!

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Did you know?

  • A mini-baby shower, or a shower for a second, third child is called a “Sprinkle?”
  • The original intent of showers was for women to share wisdom and lessons on the art of becoming a mother. (Yikes—I better step it up.)
  • The baby shower is typically arranged and hosted by a close friend rather than a member of the family (now you tell me…)
  • In Brazil, a party called “chá de bebê” (baby tea) is offered before birth (I everyone to say “cha’ de bebe” out loud—it’s fun.)

In celebration, Aunt Lacey

May 8, 2013

Picky Eater Options for a Non-Chef

Part of being a Healthy Housewife is doing one’s best to keep the entire home as healthy as possible. For me, that includes a husband, two teenagers, and two fur-babies. My step-daughter and I are surrounded by four other men in the household. I’m including both male pups along with the male humans. Ironically, both of us girls will pretty much each whatever; however, I have a sticky note with the following dietary preferences for the men:

Post Its

1. No onions, no chives, no humus, no cucumbers, no cauliflower, no mint gum

2. No mushrooms, no black olives, no spinach.

3. For both pups, separate feeding times, and peanut butter and ice cream are ideal treats. They love carrots and ice too.

Cooking is interesting and down-right frustrating on days I’m not feeling creative; however, I managed a few meals that won blue ribbons with the household, so I wanted to share:

Chicken-Nuggets-at-Home

“Organic Chicken Skinny-Nuggets”

Cut four organic chicken breasts into cubes

Mix in bowl #1: Chipotle-flavored Tabasco sauce and olive oil

Mix in bowl #2: gluten-free bread crumbs or croutons, sea salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese

You know the drill! Drop cubes of chicken into bowl #1 then bowl #2; coat evenly and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees; Flip and bake for 5-7 minutes more. Cool, and serve with dip of choice.

Mexican-Unfried-Ice-Cream

“Unfried Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • Greek vanilla frozen yogurt
  • Special K Cereal, crushed
  • ground cinnamon
  • crushed almonds
  • Hershey’s dark-chocolate syrup (optional)
  • cherries or almond for topping (optional)
  • Truwhip for topping (optional)

Mix the cereal, cinnamon, and crushed almonds in a bowl. Scoop your frozen yogurt as normal and roll (lightly) in a bowl of the crushed Special K mixture. (You can also make three smaller “balls” for a different display option.) Set in a bowl and top as desired (depending on person’s preferences.)

Pinwheels

“Pinwheels”

With such picky eaters, this is one of my favorite “go-to” items.

Ingredients:

Favorite wrap or tortilla (based on preferences, there are gluten-free, whole-wheat, regular, or vegetable options)

Spreads: I make humus, almond butter, or cream cheese pinwheels–just not altogether. 🙂

“Meats”: I use Amy’s Bean Burger crumbles or patty (crumbled up), Garden Burger, or Turkey burger; however, you can use nitrate-free turkey or chicken slices as well. I also pair the following with the almond butter: raisins, dried fruits, smashed banana, warmed organic apple horizontal slices. If I’m having a sweet tooth, or an allergy attack, I simply spread locally-grown honey the almond butter and wrap it up. Yum.

Veggies: spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, or thinly-sliced squash

Roll your preferences, and slice into inch-thick slices. Arrange on your favorite platter or baggie them up for a boat cruise or family picnic.

NOTE: Bring peanut butter and a spoon for the pups.

I’m looking forward to learning so more picky-family friendly recipes, and I enjoy referencing the following on my journey.

http://www.skinnytaste.com

http://www.yummly.com

http://www.growingupherbal.com

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In health (and for the sake of keeping the peace), Lacey

January 23, 2013

The Journey to a Happier Healthier Housewife

My family

My family

 

I wasn’t always a health nut or a fitness lover! I’m not going to tell you that it was smooth sailing becoming both, it wasn’t. I had my ups and downs. I went back to old habits. I went through periods of terrible negative self-talk and excuses while at the gym. However, at the end of the day, all those valleys I trudged through, led me to a harmonious place- a place where fitness and nutrition are now a part of my life and the life of my family. A life welcomed with open arms and without fear. There is a balance! A balance between eating healthy, still enjoying “not-so-healthy” treats, not spending hours in the gym; all while balancing the things that matter most in your life-your family!

 

Throughout my journey I came upon several realizations:

  1. “If I don’t love myself through thick, I won’t love myself through thin”. I had to change my internal dialogue from negative self-talk to positive self-talk. Loving and encouraging thoughts were a must! Instead of hating that my thighs were not exactly the way I wanted them to be I reminded myself that my legs are power houses! My legs will do whatever I ask of them- for that I am grateful! Instead of beating myself up over a “cheat meal” that turned into a “cheat day I chose to remind myself that tomorrow is another day. Another chance to “get it right”. I found strength in my choices.  It is up to me to choose a positive outlook.  It is up to me to choose to push myself out of my comfort zone in the gym.  It is up to me to choose to nourish my body with nutrient rich foods.  My results are based on my choices! I decide!
  2. The scale is worthless.  Throw it out! I do not weight myself… ever! It simply does not matter what the scale says!  That number holds no value to me! So many different factors affect our weight- water, activity level, sodium, menstrual cycle etc.  What is truly rewarding is not a number on the scale but how strong I feel and the positive changes in my lifestyle.  Non-scale victories quickly became my new best friend-“I lifted heavier weights today”, “I stayed consistent with my good nutrition this week”, “I didn’t use my inhaler once during today’s workout!”  I’m not a NUMBER or a SIZE! I’m awesome!
  3. Honesty. I choose to be honest with myself.  In order to be truly successful I had to face reality.  I was fudging my workouts and my nutrition.  I was eating clean all day and then blowing it at dinner time. I was eating junk with the mindset: “I’ll just burn it off tomorrow”.  I was cutting out of group exercise classes 15min early and quitting during my own workouts before I was truly worn out.  All of those “little” things added up and kept me from reaching my goals.  I decided I had to be honest with myself when it came to the kitchen and the gym!  My actions needed to be in line with my goals.  I needed to challenge myself in ALL areas if I truly wanted to change.
  4. Being consistent and embracing the journey.  My final realization was that results don’t happen overnight.  I have to be patient! I have to stay consistent!  It is about working hard day in and day out.  Major lifestyle changes don’t come without hard work, sacrifice and will power.  You have to work for it and earn it!  The reward of achieving your goals is unbelievably sweet!
I challenged myself to compete

I challenged myself to compete

Through sheer persistence and will, from knowing nothing at the start of this journey and being uncomfortable in my skin, I became confident and successful.   I practiced will power, threw out the scale and chose to be positive and embrace my body.   I stopped dreading workouts and the broccoli in my meals.  I embraced the sweat dripping down my cheeks, my heart pounding, the burn in my muscles and the foods that made me stronger.  I became knowledgeable in the gym and in the kitchen.  Every single day full of good choices brought me that much closer to a happier, healthier me.  I was leading by example for my family.  We are no longer junk food junkies! We are a happy, healthy family unit!

Make the choice! Be patient, love yourself, work hard, be consistent and stay positive.  Repeat this day in and day out and you will get there! If you fall, pick yourself up and start again.  The journey to success is spotted with failures that in the end make us stronger.  Winners never quit and quitters never win!

Thank you,

Erin Meyers

 

January 16, 2013

A MOTHER’S TOP 10 HEALTH TRICKS

The love of my life-my son Kyson

The love of my life-my son Kyson

Hi Everyone!

I was flattered when Marzia asked me to write a guest post for The Healthy Housewives.  Of course the first thing I thought was ‘what should I write about??’.  Like Marzia said, I always have something to say.  However that makes it so difficult to narrow it down and choose one topic!  I asked some friends what I should write about and it was an overwhelming ‘fit after baby’ response, however Loren has just done a phenomenal job with that topic.  So instead I have decided to do my post on my favorite things.  My list of top 10 priorities in order to keep myself and my son in tip top condition from the inside out!!  I hope some of you will find these things easily incorporated into your lives.  I promise the benefits will be many!!!

So here we go with number one!  My top top health tip is ‘eat real food’.  That may sound silly to some, but it is literally the difference between surviving and thriving in this life.  When I say eat real food I mean cut out all the processed stuff.  I don’t mean just the box crap (definitely get rid of that!) but I mean the stuff that is raised and processed on factory farms or mass harvested on ginormous ‘farms’…blech.  Buy as much local, pastured, humanely raised, or organically farmed (wild-caught when it comes to fish) food as possible.  Not only are you supporting your local farmers and economy, you are feeding your body the food that it knows what to do with!  No extras you may not have bargained for!!

Number two in my bag of tricks is definitely coconut oil.  Yep.  Coconut Oil.  Seriously it is good for everything!!  In my house we use it for too many things to even list!!  A few uses would be for cooking or baking with, it is a stable oil for med/high temps…other oils such as olive can turn rancid at high temps.  I have used coconut oil on my son’s diaper rashes, I use it mixed with coffee grinds as a face and body scrub, I use it as a toothpaste (oil pulling), I use it as moisturizer, it is good to give to your four legged children.  It is anabolic and aids in fat burning.  If there is a magic food/supplement out there, this is it!!

Third on my list of must haves is Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV.  Another super food with many uses!!  I drink water with lemon and ACV every morning!  It is a natural appetite suppressant, lowers blood sugar levels, regulates pH levels, and helps detoxify the body.  I also use it regularly to condition my hair (the smell is strong while my hair is wet, but once dry the smell is gone!).  I have used it as astringent and in homemade cleaning recipes.  It is a must have in my pantry!!

Number four should probably be number 1!  It is so so important to drink clean water!!  This may seem like a simple task, but actually it has taken a lot of research and effort to make sure I get clean water for my family!  The best possible way to get clean water is to install a reverse osmosis filter in your home.  I also recommend a filter on your shower heads!  Next best choice would be an activated carbon filter, however this type of filter will not get rid of fluoride, which I avoid like the plague.  Then last I would say is bottled water.  I only choose pH balanced bottled water from my local health stores, it does get expensive though, so I just do it as needed.  This is one of my major major peeves….the fact that we have all the technology to have pristine water supplies flow from our faucets, yet the amount of contaminants and chemicals actually added to my water make it undrinkable in my opinion!

Fifth on my list is pre and probiotics!  If you I could recommend a must have supplement this would be it!!  We as humans have a delicate ecosystem going on inside of our bodies.  And in today’s environment filled with pollutants, stress, genetically modified foods, prescription drugs, etc etc, the ecosystem in our bodies really doesn’t have a chance without our calculated support!  80% of the human immune system is directly related to our guts.  Recent studies have also confirmed the gut/brain connection, which a huge leap for the health of future generations.  There are specific diets like WAPF, and GAPS protocol to help reestablish healthy guts in people with health issues.  We had to use these diets with my son in order to cure his food allergies (which seem to be all gone at this point!).  If you seem to be a pretty healthy person in general then you should just be able to supplement with probiotics.  You can do this with foods like yogurt, fermented foods (pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha), and then with the the actual powders or drinks, the higher the count and the more strains the better!

Obviously exercise is an important part of health, so I will make that my number sixExercise can come in so many forms.  I happen to love the gym.  It is my escape from reality.  For a couple hours nothing bothers me and I just lift and or do cardio.  For some people that is their worst nightmare.  But there are so many things that can be ‘exercise’.  Whatever you may enjoy, whether it be horseback riding, cleaning, running outside, or playing football with your kids.  I do recommend some sort of resistance training whether it be weights or leg pressing your toddler.  Not only does being active keep you healthy and your body looking good, it makes you feel good, and when you feel good you make better choices in almost every aspect of your life!  So get moving!!!

Seventh on my list will be protein.  I have been drinking protein supplements for at least a decade and the truth is for the first seven of those years what I was using was probably hurting me not helping.  I do recommend a protein supplement for ease.  I drink 2 smoothies each day and I always use a scoop of protein powder in it.  It is a quick easy meal and truthfully it satisfies my sweet tooth!  There are only a handful of protein powders that I will use now.  If I use a whey protein, I always buy Bluebonnet.  They use milk from New Zealand cows which are never treated with hormones and are pastured as cows should be.  But the number one reason I choose them is because they cold process the whey.  No chemicals or high heat for processing which means the protein is not denatured and rancid (as are most proteins on the market).  I also love the Garden of Life RAW protein line!  So we use both of those in my house!  My son loves them too!!

Okay, number eight on my list may catch you by surprise.  Cut out the gluten.  I recommend cutting it all out.  At least for 4 weeks, after the four weeks is over go ahead and reintroduce it minimally, like as a once a week cheat.  You will feel so much better in so many ways!  You will lose weight, inflammation will subside, your digestion will get better.  And probably for a lot of you when you eat it again you will feel awful!  I cut the gluten when I had to for my son (he had a mild allergy to it).  Now, every time I eat it (which is rarely) I break out!!  So you may be surprised what benefits cutting it out will have for you!!  And if you are really serious try going completely grain free!!!  We are completely grain free about 80% of the time in my house!

Alright, finishing up!!  Number nine on my list of favorite tips has to be my daily vitamins.  I don’t take a ton, but I do think what I take is important and people always ask me about it.  So I thought I should include them in this list!  My primary goal is to get what I need from food and sunshine, but I do believe that can be difficult sometimes.  My daily regimen includes a multi-vitamin, B complex, Adrenal support, vitamin D, probiotics, fermented cod liver oil, and super greens (which I put in my smoothies).  I choose brands that use raw organic whole food nutrients so all the co-factors are included in order to be the most bio-available.  You can read about the fermented cod liver oil and where to find it at this link http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/cod-liver-oil-basics#brands

Last but not least, number ten on my list of top tips is use the internet!  I get my best recipes from my favorite bloggers and I find so much motivation on pinterest.  I find the most interesting and thought provoking articles from the people I follow on facebook.  Knowledge is power and that includes when it comes to your body and your health!!  Obviously this comes with a disclaimer, DO YOUR RESEARCH!  Make sure the sources you find are reliable and trustworthy, and use common sense!

That rounded out my list of top ten tips when it comes to keeping you and your family operating in tip top shape!!  I hope you can utilize one or two (or all) of these things into your routine!!  Your insides will thank you!!  I have included links that expand on some of the information I have touched on in this post!  I hope you get a chance to check them out!!  I want to thank Marzia and The Healthy Housewives for inviting me to do this!!

If you are looking for more info, you can start here!

Protein:  http://www.bluebonnetnutrition.com/product/41/100%25_Natural_Whey_Protein_Isolate_Powder
Water:  http://www.mommypotamus.com/category/water-filtration/
Cod Liver Oil:  http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/cod-liver-oil-basics#brands
Probiotics:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/24/one-of-the-most-important-steps-you-can-take-to-improve-your-health.aspx
Garden of Life supplements:  http://www.gardenoflife.com/Products-for-Life/Foundational-Nutrition/RAW-Protein.aspx
Coconut oil:  http://coconutoil.com/
Apple Cider Vinegar:  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3598/7-Reasons-to-Love-Apple-Cider-Vinegar.html
Real Food:  http://www.westonaprice.org/  http://gapsdiet.com/

A few of my favorite bloggers:  (I have LOTS of favorite bloggers)

http://www.mommypotamus.com/
http://urbanposer.blogspot.com/p/all-recipes.html
http://www.deliciousbydre.com/

Follow me on Pinterest and facebook!!
http://pinterest.com/jenniferbuckles/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/NPC-Competitor-Jennifer-Lilbuck-Buckles/177869615589437?ref=hl

I made the Dec cover of the Healthy Housewives!

I made the Dec cover of the Healthy Housewives!

Thank you,

Jennifer