Thursday, October 13, 2011

Best Dressing Ever

I have to give credit to my dear friend Julie, for this wonderful recipe. She brought it to a dinner party one night and I fell in love. I have only used this salad dressing ever since. Arabella loves it too. She likes to drink it! After this sip, she said "more kombucha please" which makes sense because it is made with raw apple cider vinegar. Kombucha has a little taste of vinegar. My sweet girl always crack me up.
This salad dressing is full of nutrients. The olive oil has all the wonderful healthy fats to help your brain function. The raw apple cider vinegar has potassium to prevent brittle teeth, hair loss and runny nose, malic acid has properties of being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and ash has an alkaline property that aids the body in maintaining the proper pH. You want your body to be more alkaline than acidic because the more acid you have the more problems you have. More room for disease and achy joints. What mama has time for that?
The ingredients:
1 cup organic olive oil
1/2 cup raw* apple cider vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
2Tbs mustard
2-3 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp fresh basil**
1 tsp salt
Place in glass container and shake well. The key to this dressing, is that you need a little something sweet in your salad. So add a little pear or apple in your greens and it is delish!
*you want raw apple cider vinegar because the nutrients aren't killed off in a heating process
**the original recipe called for dried basil, but I use fresh basil from my garden and it works too. I like the idea of using as many fresh ingredients as possible. And you remember all of the benefits of holy basil from my previous post.
Bon Apetit!

How I Rid My Body Of Mercury

I chose to did Chelation after I lost my daughter and discovered how toxic mercury amalgam fillings are. I wanted to make sure I got every bit out of my body! Chelation is a man-made amino acid. It binds to heavy metals in the body and brings them out through the kidneys and urine. You want to make sure you have good healthy kidneys before you do this.
I did the I.V. Chelation first. I have to admit- it was kind of scary when the nurse starting injecting this "stuff" into me. I had a moment of panic, but told myself how worth it would be to have a clear mind know that I got all the mercury out of me.
I then had to pee into a jug for the next 24 hours. At first, I felt like a truck hit me, and then all of a sudden, I felt like I could run a marathon. I had so much energy and could think so clearly. I know this sounds crazy, but that is what happened.
Then I took my jug of pee to the doctor's office and they sent it to a lab for testing. They measure how much mercury and other heavy metals that were pulled out.
I was SHOCKED! I had all kinds of chemicals in me! I had been eating semi- organic. I thought I was healthy. WRONG!
I was in the 95th percentile for aluminum (I cooked in aluminum pans, used tin foil and used deodorant with aluminum in it). Aluminum can decrease brain function and cause memory loss. I was in the 64th percentile for mercury (after having 16 large amalgam fillings taken out with no protection). Mercury is a #1 toxin causing depressed immune function, memory loss and a ton of other issues. I had lead (from burning candles with lead wicks) cadmium from 2nd hand smoke and many other substances.
I was scared for sure. My mission became to be as TRULY healthy as possible.
I researched natural Chelators. Greens are great natural Chelators, especially cilantro. They work very gently to pull any chemicals out of you. I started doing my Green Smoothies everyday. This would be an option, if you don't want to go as severe as I did. Or if you are pregnant or nursing. You and your baby will get great nutrients while you get rid of any chemicals.
My next goals was to learn about any other chemicals that I might have missed. You don't have to knock me over the head twice to get my attention. I learned I had been doing SO much wrong.
It was time to get TRULY healthy, so we could try for our sweet baby that we longed for. My husband did a heavy metal cleanse that he got from the local health food store. We changed the way we ate, cooked and many things in our house.  Stay tuned for what we did specifically.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Sewing Spot

I didn't grow up with a mother that sewed, so I have always been intimidated by the sewing machine. My dad use to hand sew pillows, so I started hand sewing things first. Finally, I just dove in and started using the machine. I am still learning, but LOVE using a sewing machine! I hope my love is passed on to my sweet Arabella.

Arabella loves to come "help" me sew. She gets her fabric and says "click" "click" pretending she is sewing her own masterpiece. This is her Great Grandmother's (G.G.- Cory's Grandmother) sewing machine. The detail on it is beautiful!  It's a Brother sewing machine, but I am not sure what year. Couldn't you just eat up those precious fingers. : )
I guess I can be kind of cheesy, but I found this cute sign on Valentine's Day at JoAnn's. I gave one to two of my dear friends that love to sew also. It says "Sew Happy Together". It makes me smile each time I see it.
So this is our sewing space. It isn't anything fancy, but it is open and clean. I love coming up here to create whatever has inspired me lately.

Motion Is Lotion

Motion IS Lotion. I stole this saying from one of my favorite doctors in Tallahassee. When you move, your body creates more synovial fluid in the joints. This is what lubricates the joints and keeps them free from injury and pain.
Any kind of "safe" motion is good. Movement also makes your blood flow through your body more and this creates an all over healing. If you have any aches and pains, a lot of times you can ease them just by bringing blood and warmth to the area.
Also, if you are sore from a previous workout, running or carrying babies around, you can push the lactic acid (this is what gathers in the muscles when you create a sore muscle) out by moving more. Most people who get stiff and sore, don't want to do anything, but if you moved more while you are sore, you would be LESS sore.
This is John. He is one of my lovely clients. He is 88 years old. He doesn't need a strenuous workout. So we split the workout between simple, standing, balance moves and a chair workout. He is about to do a chair move that creates blood flow through his whole body while still sitting in the chair. He will take the weights, that my lovely and precious assistant is handing him, and lift one hand above his head while he lifts the opposite knee. He will then alternate, in kind of a marching motion. This works out  his arms, core and legs.
If you are more advanced (in physical ability not age!) you can do this move standing.  Try to kick your leg straight out in front of you while you lift the opposite arm. Remember to pull your stomach muscles in and try not bend forward. Use 5-8 lbs. weight in each hand (could be a can of soup or bag of rice). You will be getting a full body workout, which creates the most blood flow.
These are only a couple of suggestions. Like I said, any "safe" motion is good. Motion is Lotion!
And one more picture of sweet Arabella, pooped out after all that motion!

Green Smoothie- the other liquid gold

Well, we know that breast milk is liquid gold.  I want to share with you about Green Smoothies, the Other Liquid Gold! I have drank a Green Smoothie every day, since the day I got pregnant with Arabella.  At I first started with kale and green apples in the blender with water and ice. Now I put any and every kind of green I can find (I try to use what is local or out of my garden). I have used green chard, red chard, broccoli leaves from my garden, celery, collards and spinach. I always mix in an apple with a citrus (the vitamin C in the citrus helps to absorb the iron in the greens).
If you are new to green smoothies, you might want to start with spinach. It doesn't have as strong a taste as other greens. I put spinach, red apple, carrots and a little bit of lemon. I put the whole fruit in the blender one piece at a time and blend well with water and ice.
Today, I made one with broccoli leaves, celery, cucumber, carrots, frozen blueberries, green apple and half a banana. Then I drink it all day long. You would not believe the boost in energy you feel. My dad (who has been in the hospital for 3 weeks) said he felt so alive after drinking the one I made for him today.
The health benefits go on and on. The raw greens give you the most nutrients. They are full of iron (boost your blood and your babies) vitamin K (great for blood clotting (keep you from hemorrhaging after birth) and full of fiber (keep you regular and full). Drinking this while you are pregnant will help your baby develope taste buds for healthy food. As you can see Arabella loves her kale. : )
I have been so fortunate to have a wonderful supply of breast milk since Arabella was 1 day old and think it is because of how healthy I eat.  Usually, it takes a couple of days for your milk to come in but mine came in with gusto right away. Arabella was 9 lbs when she was born and was 11 lbs when she was a week old. Usually a baby looses weight the 1st week.
I am convinced that my Liquid Green aka Green Smoothies made my Liquid Gold aka Breast milk flourish. I had such a bountiful supply, I was fortunate enough to donate my milk to Penelope (one of Arabella's friends who is about 7 weeks younger then her).  When she was born she had a difficult time trying to nurse and Stephanie (Penelope's mama) didn't have enough milk when she pumped. She asked me if I would donate my breast milk.  I had never heard of this and it blew my mind a little.  After I got over the shock of it, I felt honored.  I started pumping for Penelope.  We were able to supply enough milk so Penelope didn't have to have any Formula.  Now that is team work!

COL- Crying Out Loud


COL- Crying Out Loud. I figured there needed to be a name for when you have to take a moment and just CRY. I have had a couple of these moments lately. For anyone who is taking care of their aging parents, you understand.
My dad is 79 years old, but very young at heart. He has always taken care of himself by eating healthy and going for walks. However, he recently had several health scares that put him in the hospital for 3 weeks. We took him in to help him recover. It felt so good to do this, because I knew he was at cross road. He could either get some really good nutrition, physical training and improve back to independence or not. He has greatly improved, but it has not been easy.
I LOVE my dad (COL)! I wouldn't have it any other way, but it has been HARD. Arabella, my 20 month old, is not enjoying Mama having to spend all of her time taking care of someone else.  I can totally relate to families that are bringing home new babies while having a 1 or 2 year old at home.  There is a major adjustment period! Then on top of that I am trying to run a business (I train clients out of my home) AND try to keep it clean.  Ahhhhhhhh! Thank goodness crying is a good stress relief!  So after two days of trying to do it all,  and very little sleep- I broke down.  I just couldn't do it all.  Very hard for me admit. I want to do it all and do it well. But some times you have to cry and take a deep breath and ask for help.

DIY Tomato Stakes

Arabella is exercising a lot of patience, waiting for the tomatoes to get ripe in our garden. She asks, "touch em?" to see if she can just touch them. We have only lost about 4 green tomatoes to those sweet little fingers. Not only did my sweet and handy husband create our raised garden beds, he also created these Eco-friendly tomato stakes. He used the bamboo out of our yard and cut them into about 3 foot long stakes. He then created a tee pee or cone shape with three of them. He held them together by looping copper wire around each piece of bamboo about a foot from the bottom. He repeated the process a foot above that. You can use any wire you have handy.
If you don't have bamboo in your back yard, it is very cheap to buy or you could find it wild somewhere. It is one of the fastest growing plants, so that is what makes it Eco-friendly. In some regions it can grow as much as three feet a day!  I also found out that it is a symbol of friendship in India. : )

Muffin Top Exercise/Helene's Story

This exercise is a client favorite, because it gets rid of the dreaded muffin top!! If you don't have a ball (they are only about $10), you can do this on the ground. The ball works your core and hamstrings a little more. Lay on the ball like so and do little lifts up with your upper body, keeping your arms out straight like the picture. So to start your hands would be on the ground and body relaxed around the ball, then to lift, raise your arms and lift up as far as you can. Then lower about six inches then lift back up. This is a very small motion, like a pulse. You will keep the muscle working the entire time this way. Try to do 15-20 reps 3 different times. You can do some crunches inbetween to rest the back a moment. If you need more stability you can place your feet against the wall. This was also a great exercise because it strengthens the hamstrings. A lot of knee problems can come from weak hamstrings.

Helene is one of my dearest clients who suffered major knee problems. I shouldn't even call her a client because she is family. We have been through a lot together. I love her dearly. She wanted to tell her story of how working out with me helped her.

Take it away Helene!

When I was 16, I was having the time of my life playing soccer. I was the only freshman to make Varsity the prior year, and was getting approached non-stop at the college showcases. August 2nd 2005, my travel team was playing our final game at the Stetson College showcase. I placed my leg out to redirect the ball and for the next year I was out of commission. From that one movement, I tore my ACL completely, as well as medial meniscus. But the thing that hurt even more than me knee, was my loss of identity. I had always played soccer, and was known for being good at it. I didn't know what I was going to do. I was devastated. After 4 months of rehab and learning to walk again, I decided I needed a more intense routine in order to be on the fast track to recovery. A few years prior to this my mother had worked out with the most beautiful and fair trainer in all of the gym, the wonderful and talented Tara! This struck a chord with my father, knowing how much my mother enjoyed her and the results that ensued. I was introduced to Tara and I was immediately in the pursuit of happiness. We worked out continuously every week, 3 times a week for 3 years. Tara taught me how to take care of myself physically and gave me every tool necessary to know how to eat right, work out and be able to mentally push through the tough stuff. By getting fitter, it made me mentally happier as well. Things in life, seemed to be falling into place the more I was taking care of my body. Not only did I win Best Physique for my High School, but I also eared myself a spot on the one of the nations top 10 NAIA women's soccer divisions at the time, playing for Savannah College of Art and Design. Tara has truly become family to me and I still continue to work out with her 3 times week every chance I am able to come to town. I have also never had a reoccurring injury, thanks to all of the great exercises Tara taught me. She continues to send me information on new moves to keep me challenged. I currently train using Tara's workouts 5 days a week now and feel great.  THANK YOU, TARA FOR SAVING MY LIFE!! 

Fabulous Fried Green Tomatoes

I don't know if I was just craving fried green tomatoes or if I couldn't exercise any more patience, waiting for the tomatoes to be ripe in my garden.  I LOVE fried green tomatoes.  I feel like I am indulging in something I shouldn't, but they are really healthy for you this way. The tomatoes have ton of anti-oxidants, lycopene (one of the #1 cancer fighters) and vitamin C (helps your immune system). Olive oil has healthy fats to help your brain. Eggs and milk have protein. And we need those healthy carbs for energy, Mamas! Dada was upset here because he had to wait for his tomatoes. Don't mess with men and their food!
Here's my recipe:
4 Green Tomatoes
1 cup spelt flour *
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 cup olive oil 1 organic, pastured egg 1 cup organic milk, raw milk is best salt and pepper to taste * Spelt is a cousin of wheat but is easier to digest and has more nutritional benefits.  Also, I used freshly ground flour because I am borrowing my friends Whisper Mill.  If  you aren't lucky enough to have your own mill, you can use whatever organic versions of flour you want. Heat your skillet (I use cast iron) with your oil in it at med/high. Slice your tomatoes in rounds. Mix together the egg and milk in one bowl. Mix your flour, salt and pepper in another bowl. Dip the tomatoes in the egg/milk mixture, then dip in the flour. Repeat one more time. Place the tomatoes in the hot skillet for about 2 minutes on each side (or until brown).   Pour a glass of red wine and ENJOY!

How to Prepare for a 5k

Six weeks is the perfect amount of time to prepare for a 5k.

First, I want you to walk 3.1 miles and see how it feels. If you can't clock it some how, 60 minutes of walking will do.  I try to do mine on trails in the woods so it doesn't feel so long.  When I am on a treadmill, I feel like all I do is watch the clock.  Also, studies show that working out outside helps your body get more out of the workout.  Breathing the fresh air helps your lungs function better and in turn brings more blood to your muscles. 

 Give yourself a day to recover after the walk. 

Next time you go out, I want you to warm up with 4 minutes of walking. Then try to run for 1 minute, then go back to walking for 4 minutes. Keep alternating this, 5 more times. If you don't like to time yourself, you can run half a block and then walk a 2 whole blocks and alternate that. You will want to cool down and walk for the last 4 minutes.

Don't worry if this feels too hard. Just do what you can. The key here, is to trick your body into running without totally tiring it out. Try to do this routine 3 times a week, for 1 week. Give yourself a day or two off between workouts. The rest days are just as important as the runs, to help your body recover and prevent injury.
Each week you will subtract one minute from the time you walk and add one to your run.For example, for week two, you will walk for 3 minutes and run for 2. Alternate this 6 times and you will have 30 minutes. Week three, you will walk for 2 run for 3 minutes. Week four, you will walk for 1 and run for 4. Each one alternating 6 times equaling 30 minutes. By week 5 try to run for the 30 minutes but if you need to walk a little in the middle that is just fine. Week six you should be all good!Just let me know if you need my little trainer, Arabella, who yells to me from the stroller, "run mama run!"  She doesn't let me walk. She gets it honestly. 

Each time you work out, please take the time to stretch. This is SOOOOOOOOOOO important. It will help your muscles prepare for the next run and prevent injury. Here are some great post-run stretches:

This quad stretch will help keep the muscles around your knees elastic and keep from pulling on them.

This hamstring stretch will really help prevent any hamstring pulls.

This stretches your IT band (the muscle that runs alongside the outside of your thigh). The IT band can get very tight from running (and from being on your feet all day, read: all moms!)

This stretches your inner thighs and again will keep you from having any knee problems.

Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds and take long deep breaths.
I also believe in having good shoes. I know times are tough but good shoes are an investment that can help prevent injury or even aches when they are unnecessary. My favorite is the Vibram 5 Fingers Shoes.  I will write a post about them but they are the closest thing to help you have a natural stride.  They help your body work the way it is suppose to and thus preventing injury.  If you are in Tallahassee, The Shoe Box has a great selection.
Run Mamas Run!


Fabric Spring Wreath

Like I said in my intro, I feel like I still have the nesting bug from when I was pregnant with Arabella. Now I love creating crafty things with her. She has a blast pretending she us cutting the fabric while she says "clip clip".
I bought this straw wreath at Micheal's. It was the cheapest one- $3.99. I left the plastic covering on it because it started falling apart when I tried opening it.
I got the green material from JoAnn's on sale for $6 a yrd but probably only used a foot. I cut it into 3 inch strips. Then hot glued one end on the wreath and then started wrapping it around the wreath. Hot glued the end and then repeated the process until I had about 6 inches left to cover. I then used a flowered piece of material to cover this section using the same method.
I made the fabric flowers with ribbon that was large and had wire in it (from Micheals too). I also used more of the flowered fabric. I cut long strips about 8 inches long. I then accordion folded them on one side. I then hot glued them to the wreath. I found the decorative balls at Micheals too and hot glued them on.

We had a huge mess all over the floor. Which is what is expected when you have a 18 month old helper, but it was all worth it! -Tara :)

Layer Cake Dress

I need to put this out there before I get started. I am NOT a skilled sewer! I am just learning as I go and teaching myself. I like to pretend that I am creating something fabulous and grand.  Usually I feel so fulfilled afterward regardless of how it looks.   But those of you with any real sewing skills, please forgive me and turn your head if it hurts to look at my work. I tried to take one sewing class a couple of years ago and the lady bless her heart (as we say in Georgia) talked to me about everything BUT sewing on the sewing machine. She made me a good healthy lunch, but 8 hours later, never touched the machine.
I made this dress for my husband's best friends newborn baby girl. My first attempt at it, was Arabella's Valentine's  Day dress. Stephanie gave me some left over heart fabric that she used to make Penelope a precious Valentine's Day skirt.   You won't be seeing the Valentine's Dress. It has made its one and only appearance it needed to make. I was so proud of just making a Layer Cake Dress that I didn't realized how bad it was till I saw Arabella playing in the park. I was sitting there telling myself; I am a bad mom. I dressed my daughter in that and made her go out in public! Of course, Arabella thought it was awesome and played like usual.
I followed Prudent Baby's tutorial about the Layer Cake Skirt and just added the ribbon in the middle instead of the middle layer of fabric. I finished the top with a 1/4 inch seam and then gathered it like you to the other layers. I sewed the ribbons to tie over the shoulders by hand. I used buttons to cover the thread where I attached the ribbon.
I also got inspiration from Prudent Baby about the big bow, but I will be doing a post very soon about those. Every little girl has to have a huge bow! That is the southern girl coming out in me. : )

Sunshine and Smiles

This was early summer, last summer. We were at St. Helen State Park near PC beach. She was in the middle of nursing and popped up for a smile.  I never want to forget how wonderful it was and is to nurse my sweet girl.

Exercises To Reduce Stress

  All exercises will reduce stress,  but explosive movements that uses a lot of muscles at once will release the most stress and give you the most endorphins (the feel good chemical).

Squat Jumps are great for this. Your thighs have the largest group of muscles in them (the quads- 4 muscles grouped together). Squat down till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit back into the squat, so you are putting the weight in your heels. This will keep you from letting your knees go over your toes, so your knees don't get too much work. Then spring up as high as you can. Remember to land lightly with knees bent again. Repeat ten more times.
Push-Ups are another power move that uses every muscle in your upper body and your core. If you can, try to do them on your toes but if your form is better on your knees, that is fine. Bad form, would be letting your back sway down towards the floor. Keep your abs held in tight and that should solve the problem.

Arabella is supervising my form right here. I am waiting for her to show up to her play dates and start instructing her friends to do lunges and crunches. She already thinks you are suppose to cheer and clap for someone, every time you count to ten, because that is what we do for my clients!
One of the best, and my most favorite, stress reliever is dancing. Add in there, one precious child and laughing, and how can you not have fun? We just turn the music up loud, act silly and move to the beat!

I have been using exercise or some sort of movement to relieve stress all of my life. It has been my therapist at times when I really needed it. It still amazes me how good and relieved I feel after every time. Try it out. It works!

Tara's Easy Granola

This granola recipe is so easy and yummy. I like using fresh fruit and or dried fruit.  My favorite dried fruit right now is dried mangos and papaya. Dried mango and papaya taste really sweet, but don't have a lot of sugar in them because of the fiber. Warning though- they do have a lot of fiber so don't over do it.
I get all my ingredients from The New Leaf Market bulk section. If you don't have a bulk section just try to find organic ingredients.
1 cup organic rolled oats
1 cup organic barley flakes (barley has wonderful protein, fiber and enzymes that help clear any congestion in your body.)
1 cup dried coconut flakes
1 stick organic butter (Try to get butter made from grass fed cows,  pastured butter has a ton of omega-3's in it.) 
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs honey
Melt butter in large glass pan at 300. Then mix all ingredients together and bake at same temperature for 30 minutes. Let cool. Then break it up with a spatula.
I made homemade yogurt to serve with it and fresh strawberries.
You will get a wonderful combination of protein, fiber and fat in this to help you have energy throughout the day.  And of course, it went over well with Arabella!

This Moment- Ready To Run

Arabella loves playing dress up with my workout clothes and shoes, just as much as she loves dressing up with heels and necklaces! Have ya'll been walking/running and getting ready for the Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby 5k? It will be here soon!!