Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Do They Look Alike?

As Baby J grows, she is starting to look more and more like her brother and sister. I sure do love my kiddos!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Somebody Alert the Media!

Oh. My. Gosh.

Can it be true?

No, it can't be.

But it is.

I joined a direct sales company. Pampered Chef, to be exact.

Those who know me well know that I HATE direct sales companies, so it probably came as a complete shock to a lot of people when I announced on my Facebook "Went to a Pampered Chef party today and had SO MUCH FUN! seriously considering becoming a consultant, which is ironic for me because normally I would never consider joining an independent business company like this, but I am REALLY EXCITED!" Normally I don't like going to parties like these because I always feel like the consultants look at me with a dollar sign over my head. MLM companies especially drive me crazy, as we actually have lost several friends over the years when we didn't invest in their companies. Other friends have heard my hour-long rants about how much MLM companies drive me CRAZY. (teeheee, my friend Stephanie probably fell out of her chair when she found out!)

I went to this party mostly because I felt bad for the host, a good friend of mine. She invited a TON of people and it seemed to be a really busy weekend she had picked, so everyone was RSVP'ing "no." When I went, I discovered the consultant was actually a friend of mine from church. She had invited me to a few events over the years and I had always declined. But, I was really impressed with how she did her cooking show. The food was really good (an autumn risotto with chicken and cranberries), I learned a lot of cooking tips from her, and I never once felt pressured to buy anything. I had a few questions for her because I kept thinking to myself, "Gee, maybe I could do that!" I did buy a couple of items I recognized from my mom's kitchen that I LOVED, and the consultant (Becca) and I decided to meet the next day. I came home and sheepishly told my husband I had fun and wanted to be a consultant. I was a little worried he would say no, after all, having a Tupperware party led to a big fight between us. Surprisingly, when I told him his response was "Well, if it's something you are interested in then go for it!" He was even excited about the starter kit since it had so many awesome tools in it. 

And so it began. I jumped right in with both feet and took off running. I did all of the training courses they had online, and I was very surprised that over and over it was stressed to not pressure anyone, and how important it was to build relationships with people instead of just caring about their relationship with Pampered Chef. I read Doris Christopher's book "The Pampered Chef" (the story of how she created the company) and I felt totally inspired by her story of starting in her basement to save money for her girls' educations. I also love how she values peoples' marriages over her business and encourages consultants to keep them prioritized correctly. My husband even said "You know, the more I learn about this company, the more I'm glad you are a part of it." How's that for support!?! 

Of course, my beefs with certain direct sales and MLM companies are still there, and I am not about to give up on my ideals and beliefs on how people should be treated when it comes to businesses like this. So, here are my promises:

-I promise NOT to look at every human interaction I have as a business opportunity
-I promise NOT to look at people with dollar signs over their heads
-I promise NOT to stop talking to someone if they are not interested in The Pampered Chef
-I promise to NOT clutter up Facebook and my blog with Pampered Chef updates. If people want to know what's going on in that world, they can "like" my Facebook page here . Even then, I promise to make the majority of my posts on FB usable without having to spend money. This will also be the only time I will "promote" my business on a blog post.
-I also promise to do whatever I can to make guests at my shows not feel pressure from myself or my host to purchase. 

Dave and I discussed the importance of keeping these promises to myself and my friends and family. If I start to get frustrated about low sales/lack of shows/etc. I need to double check these promises and make sure I am keeping them. I need to keep in mind that it is for fun, and while I do have goals I need to make sure relationships come first. 

So here's to a new adventure! While you won't be seeing promotions necessarily on my blog, you will be seeing a lot of new recipes and adventures from shows, so stay tuned!

PS - I know I have a few friends who read this blog that also run their own businesses like this. If that is you, PLEASE NOTE that it is not you who drives me crazy! People who do I am no longer friends with and they probably have no idea I have a blog. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Little Bit Quacky, But Effective!

I just found this video that shows how exactly I am being tested. I am 4 weeks in and doing GREAT, learning more every day.

I'm not going to lie, it's a little out there, but I have found it to be incredibly effective! Try googling "Nutrition Response Testing" and read other stories, I'm not alone in finding this to be a really great thing for my body.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Diet Changes

Get ready, because this is going to be a long one. I know, I know. I have written about wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle before. Remember this post about making homemade granola cereal? I've done it like 4 times total. Yeah, I totally didn't stick with it.

And I started getting sick again.

Long story short, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism when I was pregnant with Baby J. We accidentally found it, but we think I might have had it for as much as 10 years. MD treatment suggested I stop nursing Baby J and begin treatment, to be followed with radiation therapy to remove my thyroid. The more my husband and I discussed it, the more we agreed it would not be wise to do something so drastic at age 27, but to seek alternative treatment for now and come back to the MD if it didn't work.

Here were the symptoms I was dealing with:
-FAST heart rate (up to 140 bpm resting)
-Incredibly fast metabolism but retaining weight
-Shakiness and dizziness when I needed to eat
-Lack of focus, eyes twitching sometimes
-Urine samples show glucose dumping, but diabetes tests came back normal
-Chronic girly-infections (I know, sorry TMI but it's important) since I was 13, unable to treat with prescriptions
-Energy surges and crashes, needed a nap almost every day but could not sleep at night no matter what I tried

The antithyroid medications would help some of these symptoms, but definitely not all. In fact, most likely make some of them worse, like weight retention and tiredness in the afternoons. They also would do nothing for the glucose levels or chronic infections. Honestly I felt hopeless to ever truly get "better."

Then I met Dr. Lauren Kolowski. She and her husband are a chiropractic/holistic treatment team, and she came to our moms group and talked about her story with Nutritional Reponse Testing. She had suffered from all kinds of problems since early adolescence as well, and went to every MD, chiropractor, naturopath and more she could find, and no one could help her. Finally she went to an NRT specialist and within one week she started feeling better. I identified with her story A LOT and talked with her afterwards. I couldn't afford the appointments quite yet with Christmas around the corner, but my husband and I agreed I could start seeing her after the new year. I began working with her on January 17, and OH, WHAT A DIFFERENCE it has made already.

In the first appointment Dr. Lauren identified a toxicity in processed sugars and grains (of which I was not surprised at all), a deficiency in healthy fats, and a blockage by fungus. The fungus was the most important piece of this puzzle for me; MDs had kept trying to treat a yeast problem instead of a fungus, and that's why the treatments never worked before. She also determined that my bladder was functioning at a 0 on a scale of 1-10, not so good. She sent me home on a pretty strict diet of NO processed sugars or grains. No more bread or pasta, no more sweets, no more of about 90% of what I was eating. She instead suggested breakfast EVERY morning of eggs fried in lots of butter to give myself protein and the healthy fats I needed. Sugars could only come from natural sources like fruit, and even then somewhat in moderation. No more diet soda or other artificial sweeteners either. She also determined what supplements I needed to make this entire process work for MY body. I actually did really good on this, and I only cheated once the night before my next appointment with regular homemade macaroni and cheese (which gave me a MASSIVE headache, by the way). By the next appointment my bladder was functioning on a 4 and I was already feeling much better. (BTW, I had tried to drop sugar before and it made me REALLY sick, this time I was only sick for one day and I'm pretty sure it was with the help of the supplements.) By the 3rd appointment my bladder was at a 9!! Here is my current state:

-Bladder functioning at a nine - meaning my body is doing a good job of REMOVING the glucose that would normally show up in my urine! No more worries about diabetes tests!
-Energy level - normal during the day, actually tired at night!
-Hunger - still get weak when hungry (usually fixed by eating a piece of fruit) but no more shakiness and dizziness
-FOCUS LEVELS are much better, no more eye-twitching! These were most likely caused by the large amounts of artificial sweeteners in my diet, which are actually neurotoxins
-Heart rate - still have episodes of fast heart rate, but they don't last as long as they did
-Depression - still working on that a bit. Energy levels have helped, but my patience with my children is not where I need it to be still
-My milk production has DOUBLED! I have been able to still exclusively nurse Baby J and she still sleeps through the night! She is also getting all of the benefits I am getting, including her really bad yeast/thrush problem has gone away!
-I'm also losing weight! I never thought I would be the kind of person that could lose weight so quickly and safely. I lost 4 pounds in the first week and 3 in the second, even though I am eating just as many calories as I was before because they are healthy calories.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and I'm not completely better yet. And I understand that this is going to be a lifelong change, yes I will still be able to have a cookie every now and then. The key is to get rid of the toxins that are flooding my body and replenish it with the healthy foods it needs to grow. I will be writing more about this as I continue through this new lifestyle, hopefully with even more great results. Thanks for putting up with such a long post today! Blessings!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Other Recent Favorite Shots

I haven't compiled all of the photos for the rest of January yet, still working on that since I have two different devices to pull photos from. And I am just lazy.

 Big Man E and his teacher on Cowboy Day at school

 Guess who's a rollin' queen? Baby J!

 Taken on my cell phone during a vet visit. Big Man E and Little Miss C drew the "Hundred Acre Wood" on the white board. Can you guess who everyone is?

Sweet baby 

 My best friends' baby boy. This family had a tough time this week, but it is getting better now.

 12 inches of snow = LEGO DAY. Kids played legos ALL DAY LONG.

 I met with a new holistic doctor who specializes in Nutritional Response Testing. So far the diet and supplements she has put me on have made a tremendous difference, 2 1/2 weeks in! I might write more about this later...

 Playing in the snow! Note to self: DO NOT leave your ISO cranked up to 1600 when taking outdoor photos! Grrrrrr :)

 Love this one of hubby and Baby J

I took this one to be my profile picture for my new Pampered Chef business. Again, I might have to write a post about that later...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wisdom, Not Fear

There is a difference between wisdom and fear.

Wisdom is putting on a seat belt. Fear is being afraid to ride in the car because you always "know" you are going to get into an accident.

Wisdom is keeping an eye on your children while they play. Fear is checking on them every single second or not letting them go outside because you are so "sure" something horrible is going to happen to them.

Wisdom is taking your child to the doctor when you know something is wrong. Fear is assuming the worst and speaking death over your child.

Wisdom is holding your tongue and thinking before speaking, and sometimes just listening. Fear is never saying what needs to be said.

Wisdom provides strength. Fear cripples.

I am faced with the choice to operate in wisdom or in fear. Fear has no place in my home or in my mind. Get out.

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.   - American King James Version