Saturday, February 28, 2015

Progress for February

I have worked hard this month. My goals were to eat healthy, find some time every day for some sort of activity, get out and be with people, and try to stay on budget.

Eating healthy:

By shopping at Costco and getting frozen vegetables, stocking up on healthy meats and transitioning to buying as much organic foods as possible; I was finally able to kick-start my weight loss again. I starting at 278 and got down to 270 and hung out there a pound up or down for awhile. I have finally gotten down to 263. That is wonderful progress for me.

Years ago I had a basic formula for how my meals were laid out. For Breakfast I have a protein, a carbohydrate and a fruit or two. For lunch I would have a fruit, one or two vegetables, and a protein. For dinner I would have two to three servings of vegetables, a protein and a small amount of carbohydrate. I would fill in with snacks of nuts, rice cakes with peanut butter, or some fruit. I have worked hard this month to get back to that way of eating and it is working.


My daughters are helping me in this respect. Beside doing my chores around the house and walking the dog further than before, my kids are keeping me on my toes. Every day we have dance-a-thons. We turn on music and dance and dance. My oldest tries different gymnastic or ballet moves and I help her and show her.

I am also adding a few planks here and there throughout my day. I wish I could do squats, but they are forbidden with my knee the way it is. I do knee and leg lifts in the kitchen while I am cooking. The girls think I am nuts, but heck, it gets some activity there.

Organics and Natural Living

The more research I do, the more I realize that I need to eat organic. My family needs to eat organic. I cannot wait until the day that I have my own plot of land where I can grow my own vegetables and fruit. Have a bunch of chickens, a cow and a pig or two. Until then, I am at the mercy of my grocery store.

Each month I switching over from traditional to organic on a few items. By doing it a few at a time, I can ease into it financially. This month I bought organic flour. I love to make my own pizza's, so this will make me feel like they are a little bit better for us.

I have also stopped taking pretty much all over the counter medications. No more anti-histamines, acid reducers, pain relievers. I am still taking over the counter vitamins as I am extremely deficient, but I am on the search for some that are more natural based. I am doing research to see if the one's provided by doTERRA, will give me what I need.

In the end, I am feeling a lot better. I am not in such a fog as I used to be. I am losing weight. My PCOS is more under control than it ever has been before. Eating better, exercising and using my essential oils have gone a long way to improving my life.

Until next time....

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How to stop a panic attack.

I am stepping way out of my comfort zone tonight. I used to love hosting parties. But as my world of panic attacks closed in on me, I stopped doing stuff. I stopped going out. I stopped wanting to talk to people on the phone. I felt like I needed to create a big bubble around myself, so that no triggers were around me.

That is not a way to live. We need people. We are social creatures.

This morning I felt a major panic attack coming on. I am so nervous for this class tonight. I am more than prepared. I am confident in the subject matter. It is just my insecurities in myself and my panic attack triggers kicking in.

As my chest tightened, I felt dizzy. I wanted to curl back up under the covers and cancel everything. I wanted to call my husband and have him come home to watch our daughter. I just couldn't handle it right now.

Nope, that wouldn't work. I have people counting on me.

I walked into the bathroom, where I keep my oils. I put a few drops of Balance and a few drops of Citrus Bliss in my hands. I rubbed them together, cupped them around my nose and mouth and inhaled deeply. I rubbed my hands on my neck and chest. I inhaled the aroma from my hands again.

Ok, I feel a little better.

I took the dog out for his morning walk. I practiced awareness breathing. Inhale 5 counts, hold 4 counts, exhale 5 counts. Inhale, hold, exhale. Ok. Its a little better. Cupped my hands around my nose and mouth and inhaled deeply.

When I got in I felt like the panic attack was about 75% gone. Time for some brief meditation and more awareness breathing. I find that if I get on all fours and do cat/cows it helps. Inhale on cat, exhale on cow. Inhale on cat, Exhale on cow. I repeated this five times.

Phew...almost normal. Still a little anxious. Finish with a prayer. "God, I release these anxieties to your shoulders. I know that you are there for me and I am not alone."

Sigh. Much better.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why essential oils?

If you had asked me a year ago, if I saw myself wanting to do this for a living, I would have thought you were crazy. I never in a million years wanted to do "direct" or "Sales Marketing". As I have said before, I have tried other companies, but never had full trust in the product. I am an honest person and I failed miserably at those attempts, because I couldn't sell someone another piece of plastic that would just get lost in a month or two. I couldn't sell them an eye-liner or face cream, when I am happy with my drug store finds and for the most part do not wear make-up.

When I first tried essential oils, I did it halfheartedly. It wasn't until I really started using them that it made a difference. This is my experience:

I started out with samples of Balance and Citrus Bliss from the doTERRA line of essential oils. One night I was so desperate for help for my increasing panic attacks, I went searching in my drawer for a Xanax or something. Anything. That is when a little vial rolled from the back and called my name. It said, "Try me, really try me this time."

I tried it. I felt results almost instantly. I still didn't believe it. I went to the doctor the next week and got a script for my anxiety meds and Xanax. I still wasn't ready to give myself over to the oils. Those who know, anxiety meds are not an instant fix. They can take 2-6 weeks to kick in. I was given a very low dose to start, basically does nothing but warm you up for your proper dose. I was having constant panic attacks. The Xanax was supposed to be used during this "warm up" time, to help with the attacks.

I decided one day to not take the Xanax. I decided to give myself over to the oils and lay my faith in them. In deep throws of a panic attack, I reached for the oils instead of the Xanax. I put a few drops of Balance and a few drops of Lavender in my palm with some coconut oil. I rubbed it all over my feet and legs. Within a few minutes, I felt as if I had taken a Xanax. I was able to breath. To get on with my day, without fear that I wouldn't be "aware" for my kids.

This is what did it for me. I called my cousin and told her that I needed to do this. I needed to share with people how much these oils were helping me. I wanted to turn this into a business. One where I was able to fulfill my intense need to teach and help people. I wanted to do it to better my family's life financially, but also health-wise. I didn't want my loved one's to be without these "miracle's."

Tonight my youngest daughter was fit to be tied. Tired and cranky from no nap. Usually this leads to a lot of throwing and kicking and biting. Tonight I took some jojoba oil and lavender and massaged her legs and feet. Within a minute or two, she was a changed girl. She calmed down and I was able to put her to bed without screaming.  My other daughter wanted her legs rubbed down too!

Tomorrow I am hosting my first class with the help of an expert in Yoga and Essential Oils. She represents what I want to be. Even if I have one person show up to the class, I will be blessed to be able to share these wonderful oils with them. I truly believe this is only the beginning. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but it is work I enjoy. After all, if I can convert my husband, who called it snake oil, to become a person who puts on oils every night before bed, I can convert anyone! I just need to give them a sample and they will see for themselves. Heck, it took me a year to come to my senses. I have time, if it means someone gets the help they need.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Little changes over time...Vegetables

Last night I had a conversation with Hubby about how I have been making little changes over time, that are really having an effect on our health. Lets talk about our evolution of vegetables.

I used to buy canned vegetables. I would buy one can for each day to have with dinner. Peas, green beans, corn. I would buy fresh veggies, but more often than not they would go bad before I ever ate them. This was during our time of eating out most nights. The cans of veggies were about $.75 to $1.25 a piece. One can would feed Hubby and I.

Once we had our first daughter I realized that I needed two cans of veggies. This was getting expensive! I know, not really, but when you are on such a tight budget, two cans of veggies were really putting a dent in our funds. So out I went in search of a way to get more veggies, for less cost.
I found myself in the freezer aisle. I found bags of frozen veggies that would give us the equivalent of 2 cans, for $1.00. Yippee! Back on budget.

Although it wasn't just the budget that was my concern. I started to do some research on canned vs frozen. As I learned more about health, I found out that canned food is NOT good for you. It wasn't just added sodium, but the cans themselves. ( I wanted to get us away from eating as many canned foods as possible. Moving into the frozen food aisle was a way for us to have food on hand, that wasn't going to go bad if we didn't get to eating it that week.

The frozen vegetables tasted better and were better for us. With even more research, I decided that I wanted to move from conventional frozen vegetables to organic. The problem was, that if I wanted to expand into more "specialty" vegetable varieties, they cost a lot more. Instead of $1.00 for a bag of peas, you would pay $2-3 for a bag of "Mediterranean Mix", that has squash and broccoli. I knew there had to be a better way to get organic vegetables into our diet. Lord knows that fresh organic would break our budget.

A friend of mine told me about these great options at Costco. You could get a huge bag of vegetables for about $6.50. Most were organic and big and beautiful. Here are some of the ones I get and my reviews:


The organic broccoli comes in a big bag, with 4 individual one pound bags. The perfect size for a family. At a regular grocery store, you end up getting these tiny pieces of broccoli that are more stem than anything. These are nice sized florets. Steam them and they rival fresh any day. It is also the perfect addition to broccoli and cheese noodles or soup. My girls and I devour these!

Green Beans:

These organic green beans are long string beans and once cooked taste just like they were fresh. I get one bag for under $7 and it lasts the whole month. I will sometimes add some of them to the Mediterranean mix to give more variety. My favorite is to boil them for a few minutes, then drain the water, add a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon and they are fantastic!

Mediterranean Mix:

This mix contains yellow carrots, orange baby carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. I love this mix on its own or mixed with the green beans. I will steam these, then mix with some olive oil and garlic. My husband who hates broccoli will even eat the broccoli when I cook it like that. This one is not organic, but I like the mix.

Traditional Mixed Veggies that Kids Love:

Kids love the traditional mixed veggies, don't they? I wanted to go organic to make sure I was giving them a healthier option. These are once again under $7 for a huge 5 pound bag. So it is comparable in price to the non organic smaller bags of the Walmart brand, but better for you! I use this mixture in my Hamburger Minestrone Soup recipe and it is fantastic!

Stir-fry Veggies:

This fantastic bag is wonderful to have on hand for Stir-fry or on their own. I love the variety and one bag can make several dinners. I love that it has the water chestnuts in it along with the baby corn. Who doesn't love baby corn? Again, this is not organic, but it is a great option.

These 5 bags, for around $30 will feed us healthy meals for the entire month. I do buy a few fresh veggies and of course fresh fruit. But to have these bags on hand in the freezer, makes getting healthy meals on the table both budget and time friendly. By switching to these bags of vegetables, my family is eating a lot more veggies. In fact, my husband has lost 13 pounds in a few weeks.

I hope that this post helps those on a tight budget realize that you can have healthy veggies at every meal. I will be doing a post about saving money on meat too. You can eat well on a budget. It is something I am learning every day.