Oct 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Meade's Journey

If you saw my post on Friday about food and behavior, then you know that I feel passionate about what food does to children when they eat it.  I have to say, that I have had these strong feelings for a while, but my son's diagnosis with Celiac Disease in July has just confirmed my beliefs and swept away any doubt that I may have had before.

I have worked with kids for over 10 years, and have come to think of myself as an expert - especially on the little ones.  I understand discipline and the emotional needs of children, as well as the importance of follow through and their need for attention.  When I had kids of my own and they started to grow up, I assumed I would be a pretty good mom since I knew so much about how to handle a classroom full of kindergarten students each day.  When every trick and concept that I knew was no longer helping or working with my own child, I knew that there was something just off with my son, that was keeping him from behaving to his utmost potential.

[caption id="attachment_1109" align="aligncenter" width="770"]baby meade Our first born <3[/caption]

Let me first say, my son, Meade, is the greatest, sweetest, most loving and caring little boy.  He is "all boy" and rambunctious and wild and crazy and loves sports.  He has a heart of gold and makes me more proud than you could ever imagine.  He is smart and funny and makes me laugh each and every day.  And never in my life did I expect or want him to be perfect, or like any other child other than himself.  But, I did want him to be successful - both in life and in school.  When he wasn't progressing emotionally the way I felt other kids his age were progressing, I noticed.  When he struggled with bits and pieces of language development, I noticed (and stalked the Speech and Language teachers at my school for guidance).  When he seemed to not be able to manage or control himself at times, I noticed.  And here's why:  I am a teacher.  I notice these things about kids.  And I especially noticed them with my son.  I am betting that a lot of moms - a lot of good moms even, may not have noticed, because they don't deal with kids all day long, but I was concerned.

[caption id="attachment_1107" align="alignnone" width="770"]meade now Meade today: a boy that I am so proud of - happy, smart and a great big bro![/caption]

My first concern was ADHD, or something along those lines.  I hate medicating kids, and hate having to hold those conversations with parents when I am responsible for their schooling, but it was obvious that AT TIMES Meade could not control his impulses appropriately.  My son, who was raised right, and loved each and every day, was finding ways to bother and taunt his peers at daycare.  A lot of people would say that this is NORMAL, and that all kids bother each other, but I didn't think it was right.  I am not a mom that doesn't watch her kids or neglected to teach them right from wrong.  I teach my children and my students expectations, and they know the consequences if that expectation isn't met.  It worked for my students, but not my own son.  The thoughts plowed through my head - asking myself if I would have to medicate him before sending him to kindergarten.  I remember telling my husband more than once, "I will NOT send him to kindergarten (unmedicated) if he continues to act like that".  I have dealt with kids that needed ADHD medicine to be successful in the classroom, and I knew that Meade was occasionally showing signs of this.

Please notice that I continually say OCCASIONALLY or AT TIMES.  Meade was not like this all the time.  He would have weeks where we would be great, and then really, really bad days where I couldn't put my finger on why he was uncharacteristically grouchy or bad.  He would hold it together at school, and then unload on my sister at daycare afterwards.  What in the world was making my GOOD kid so BAD?? If you ask me, it was his diet.

When researching information about some of my students, my sister was telling me about a book one of her daycare families gave her.  It was called Why Can't My Child Behave?  I became immediately obsessed with it, recommending it to any of my parents who struggled with their child's behavior at home or school.  This is where my obsession with the students' diets started, and where to this day, I am still working on understanding my own child's diet and behavior connections.  At the time of this, my son was only a year or so old.  I distinctly remember introducing finger foods to him and having his first bad reaction to foods.  I gave him Fruity Cheerios (like Fruit Loops in a safer Cheerio size).  The next few days, his skin broke out with red bumps - I attributed it to the large amount of dyes in the food, and quickly removed it from his diet (the cereal, not the dyes).  I should have looked closer into which dye specifically was causing the reaction...but I didn't, and we still struggle with dyes to this day.

[caption id="attachment_1106" align="alignnone" width="770"]hungry meade Meade enjoying some yummy treats when he was around one year old.[/caption]

One of the stories of the book stuck out in my mind.  A family that was struggling with behavior noticed that their child was uncharacteristically good whenever they were sick.  They were on a strict diet of chicken noodle soup and crackers while ill - and when all of the crazy dyes and chemicals were eliminated from their diet, their child's behavior significantly improved.  They had times where they were great, and times when they were difficult.  This reminded me so much of my own son.  I remember a particularly rough time last Spring.  With Valentines Day, their birthdays in late February, followed by my birthday in March, and Easter not long after, I remember being extremely concerned when Meade's behavior started to spiral downward fast.  He was struggling.

[caption id="attachment_1111" align="alignnone" width="770"]bday celebration Celebrations with friends and family - and a LOT of junk food![/caption]

The thing that makes me most upset - with myself - is that I didn't just go with my gut.  I didn't know how to tell family and friends that we "just don't eat that stuff".  I was worried about opinions and eye rolling and people thinking I was crazy.  We didn't have a doctors note, but I knew that it wasn't good for him, and yet we did nothing about it.  Mom fail.

In the Spring was the time that Maggie was discovering her illness and we were able to find out what was wrong with her.  As we researched Celiac Disease and found out the genetic tendencies, I was super anxious to get myself and my family tested to see if we were also dealing with issues from gluten.  I am not going to lie, I prayed and hoped for a positive diagnosis for myself.  Not because I wanted to be sick, but because I wanted to have a REASON to change my lifestyle without judgment.  When my test came back negative, I was glad, but secretively a bit disappointed that I wouldn't have that doctor's excuse to say no to crappy food forever.  So annoying that I felt I needed a reason to make healthier decisions for me and my family.

Our pediatrician told me that since I was negative, he didn't feel it necessary to test the boys since they were so young.  I totally agreed with him - until I went to Meade's end of the year school celebration.  Hot. Mess.  The kindergarten teacher's kid was acting a FOOL up on stage.  Talking, laughing, pretend falling down, walking over to the teacher to get his shoe tied mid-performance.  He was "that" kid.  I was mortified and I was DONE.  THAT was not my son.  My son is respectful and kind and a rule-follower.  He is so not the kid that acts that way during special occasions.  Or so I thought.  He genuinely could not help himself.  And now I know, it was because he was being poisoned by the foods I was feeding him on a daily basis.

[caption id="attachment_1108" align="alignnone" width="770"]school boy 3 Meade finishing up his 3 year old preschool classes. The day I knew he needed to see the doctor.[/caption]

The whole grain breads and pastas, were bogging his brain down and making him "bipolar" as I referred to it.  He would be great one day, and uncharacteristically emotional the next.  He would have days where he would be a grouch from sun up 'til sun down, and days where things couldn't have gone smoother.  He genuinely had no control over himself at times, and I feel so badly that I let it go that long and didn't listen to my gut and get him tested much earlier.  With that being said, I would have never thought about gluten as the trigger.  I always attributed his behavior to dyes and chemicals - which I still think effect him.  But, since going gluten free in July, my son is a changed kid.  So happy.  So successful.  He always wanted to be good and do the right thing - and I am so glad that we have finally cleared his body and brain from the poison that wasn't allowing him to be who he wanted to be 100% of the time.

[caption id="attachment_1105" align="alignnone" width="770"]celiac This is the day we found out about his Celiac Disease - and the weekend we spent with family after. Maggie and Meade bonding - Celiacs unite![/caption]

Food does effect our children.  If your child struggles with behavior and you can't explain why, please consider talking to your doctor and taking a close look into his or her diet.  I know that I wish more than anything to go back and do it over again.  I wish I would have changed his diet so much sooner and put an end to so many difficult times and situations.  If you have questions about your child's behavior or need help or answers about anything I wrote about today, please feel free to email me at Adie4fitsis@gmail.com.  I would be happy to talk more about my experiences or help you find your way to a healthier kid-friendly diet that works for the whole family.

 

Oct 29, 2013

What's it gonna bee?!

This is such an exciting (and busy) week for me and my hubby and the rest of my family! We are so excited about finding out what our little baby will be...a sweet baby girl or a handsome baby boy!?  In addition to parent-teacher conferences this week (for each of the four fit sisters' families) I am party planning for our gender reveal party this Saturday!

[caption id="attachment_1095" align="aligncenter" width="225"]baby Will I be a boy or a girl?[/caption]

We are doing a "What's it gonna bee?!" party.  We invited some friends and family to my parents house to have a bonfire, beverages, chili, and our BIG reveal!  I don't know if it will be THIS thought out, but here are some cute decorations and ideas I found on Pinterest:

[caption id="attachment_1096" align="aligncenter" width="300"]What's it gonna bee?! What's it gonna bee?![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1097" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Gluten free cupcakes will be a must!  I already talked to my GF baker to see if she could specially make me some bumble bee cupcakes. YUM! Gluten free cupcakes will be a must! I already talked to my GF baker to see if she could specially make me some bumble bee cupcakes. YUM![/caption]

At the ultrasound, we had the tech write down the gender of the baby and put it into a sealed envelope.  She made us look away when she got close to the genital region so we wouldn't spot anything.  We will be taking the envelope to a local party store along with a giant box.  I will tell them to open the envelope and fill the box with balloons coordinating with the gender of the baby, pink or blue.  They will seal the box and we will open it on Saturday in front of our friends and family!  Hopefully it will look a little something like this:

[caption id="attachment_1098" align="aligncenter" width="194"]gender reveal gender reveal[/caption]

 

Everything looked good and healthy with mom and baby at the ultrasound, but we did have one surprise...our baby is BIG!  The doctor explained that it is measuring about 2.5 weeks ahead of schedule.  They were about to move my due date when they realized that I had an ultrasound at 7 weeks and measured at 7 weeks.  My babe definitely had a growth spurt in there!  They don't think anything is wrong (I was a HUGE baby myself) but I go back in about 4 weeks to look into the growth rate a little more and check everything out.  Each baby is different and grows at a different rate.  I guess when you have two bigger than average people make a baby...it will be bigger than average!

We can't wait to find out and celebrate with everyone this weekend!  We will definitely be posting pics and updating you on our weekend.  If you want to join in on the fun, cast your vote here on the blog!  Leave a comment with your guess.  I love hearing what people have to say!

Have a WONDERFUL Tuesday!

Signature Maggie

Oct 28, 2013

Easy Peasy {G-Free} Cookie Dough Bites

Happy Monday!

Today I wanted to share my easy peasy recipe for my girls' favorite homemade protein balls.

Since our family went gluten free in May of this year, I've learned so many great recipes that are easy, my number one priority, and take little time to whip up. I absolutely love Think Thin and LARA bars so much for a healthy, all-natural snack, but I don't always have then in stock for the girls.

So I try to make a big batch of homemade protein balls/bars every Sunday to have throughout the week.
They are great for breakfast with some fruit or as an afternoon snack!

IMG_1699

This particular recipe I found on my friend Martina's Facebook page she created with some friends called "90 Day Shred with Friends."

Cookie Dough Bites:
2/3 c raw almonds
1/3 c oats
1 tsp vanilla
3 T maple syrup
1/4 c carob chips (I use chocolate chips sometimes)

Food process everything but the carob chips until combined and then hand mix carob chips in.
Roll into balls and store in fridge/freezer.
Makes roughly 12, but  I always double or even triple this recipe to have for the entire week.

Please let me know if you make them and love them as much as I do.
Happy cooking!

Oct 25, 2013

Friday: Food and Children's Behavior

meade-now-1024x341

One of my favorite times of the day is right after lunch.  As you know, I am a kindergarten teacher, so after a much needed break away from my cuties for recess and lunch, I am always refreshed and energized and super-excited to pick them up after eating lunch, and anxious to start our afternoon together.  I also am a secret spy.  I love to check out what my students are eating - taking the opportunity to check out the trendy new snacks and goodies that keep kids happy and what parents are sending to school each day. 

[caption id="attachment_1076" align="aligncenter" width="462"]boys cute Cooper and Meade - such happy boys[/caption]

With my oldest son's diagnosis of Celiac Disease in July, I am even more aware and sensitive to the foods around me.  I am more sensitive to the allergies and needs of my students and super stalkerish about what my students are consuming on a daily basis.  My goal is never to JUDGE the choices of other parents either.  I totally understand why Lunchables are a big hit and why people pack the items that they do.  There are days when I WISH that were still an option for our family.  However, upon reflection, I am grateful for the opportunity to provide my kids each day with healthy nourishing food that no longer damages their guts and fogs their brain.

I have always been a big believer that food has a direct impact on SOME students behavior.  I also feel that SOME kids could eat whatever and whenever and have no effects at all.  Those kids and families are lucky.  I have been a kindergarten teacher for eight, plus, years.  In that time, I have had at least 20 students in my classes per year.  So I have had the great pleasure of teaching, mentoring and loving close to 200 different kids and their families.  As I have matured and learned as a parent and educator, I have come to be a true believer that foods can play a huge role in the behaviors of young children.  I have  seen the direct results of a diet change as a parent, and am excited to share my knowledge and beliefs with parents that are struggling with understanding their child's struggles in the classroom or at home.  My fear is that people will think I am crazy.  I don't want people to think that I want or believe that every child will be like my own.  However, I do want them to know that my child has had some pretty significant behavior and emotional changes due to the fact that we have removed ONE thing from his diet: gluten.

[caption id="attachment_1078" align="aligncenter" width="539"]lunches Left: grapes, edamame, cheese stick and almonds Right: pumpkin pancakes with peanut butter, carrots, apples and raisins[/caption]

Whether reactions are triggered by dyes, chemicals, gluten, or other ingredients, food is able to change a child and, in my opinion, alter students from their best and most capable state in which they learn and succeed in the classroom.  I have seen it first hand with my own son.  Food does make a difference.

With that being said, I wanted to share some lunch ideas that we use with our kids.  The trigger we have removed from our diet is gluten.  We do eat foods that are not organic, processed, or contain dyes in them, although we try to keep them to a minimum.  I feel strongly that dyes are another huge trigger for my son, and has been since he was very young.  We would love to have you share some of your favorite, kid-friendly and healthy meals that you send your kids to school with each day.  Log your meals on Facebook or Instagram using #hausofgirlsfitfamilylunchswap .  I want to be better about sharing my own meals as well.

[caption id="attachment_1077" align="aligncenter" width="616"]lunch haus Left: grapes, melon, apples, and homemade trail mix, rice chips and an egg Center: blueberries, cheddar cheese, kiwi, banana, frozen yogurt, puffs Right: popcorn, peaches, carrots, cheddar cheese, homemade ice pop[/caption]

 

We would love for you to weigh in on this topic and share your personal experiences with food for both yourself and your children.  We are anxious to hear and learn more information about how to continue to provide healthy lunch options for our growing boys and girls.

Wishing you all a great weekend and GO CARDS!!!!

Signature Adie

Oct 24, 2013

Chapter 4 - My Celiac Journey

Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3 are all available to read if you would like to catch up!  This will be the final chapter...for now!  I will definitely be keeping you all up to date on my pregnancy, Celiac, and fitness stories!

[caption id="attachment_983" align="aligncenter" width="593"]All of my nieces and nephews saying hello to their new cousin.  What will it be?! Boy or Girl...we find out next week! All of my nieces and nephews saying hello to their new cousin. What will it be?! Boy or Girl...we find out next week![/caption]

After worrying about my pregnancy with my recovering body, I called my doctor right away to talk about my concerns. She was so encouraging and positive. She reassured that although my gut is still healing, I have improved and healed so much in the 2-3 months of my gluten free diet and both me and baby would be getting the nutrition we need.
Weeks 4-6 went by pretty quickly! I didn’t see any symptoms besides some fatigue and noticing my heart rate had increased about 15 BPM. I had a tiny bit of nausea and heartburn which were both symptoms of Celiac for me, so that confused me! I just did my best and managed the symptoms with a healthy diet and some supplements.
Weeks 7-11 were HELL! Week 8 is when I started my meetings for school. I literally don’t remember one thing that was said in those meetings because I was staring off and focusing on NOT barfing or falling asleep. All I ate were gluten free pretzels and baked potatoes (Austin hated me!). During this time it was so hard to differentiate what could be from Celiac and what could be from pregnancy. They felt EXACTLY the same. I was seeing my doctor regularly for acupuncture and other treatments. She told me to attribute everything to being pregnant: irregular bowel movements, acid reflux, nausea, fatigue, acne. I couldn’t catch a break! I went from being miserably sick to being taunted by the same symptoms of pregnancy. My nausea was awful (of course), but the others were not as intense as when I had the same symptoms with Celiac. But having them all come back at once gave me a huge fear or becoming sick again. I was always on edge and thinking that I would never get better. I was worried that my baby would suffer because of my illness. Worrying made everything worse and it was a continuous circle.
Weeks 12-14 were better. I was taking some supplements that helped with nausea and acid reflux (DGL- you should try it) and going into the second trimester was taking off some of the intensity. I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I continued with my treatment and throwing in some yoga and walking here and there to keep my body functioning at a high level. I was noticing less and less of my Celiac symptoms.

[caption id="attachment_1069" align="aligncenter" width="500"]The villi in my small intestines were destroyed which is why I was not digesting any of my food.  My body could not function.  My gut is now starting to look a little more like the pic on the left. The villi in my small intestines were destroyed which is why I was not digesting any of my food. My body could not function the way it was supposed to. My gut is now starting to look a little more like the pic on the left after removing gluten and using helpful supplements.[/caption]

Weeks 15-18 (today) have been great (besides the few days I had a very bad respiratory infection that I’m hoping was the Flu already)! I rarely get nauseous and the DGL has helped my gut and acid reflux SO MUCH!!!  Loving this stage of pregnancy and really seeing that my gut is healing.
I can’t help but think that my Celiac symptoms have improved so much from the help of my supplements and remedies that I take daily. I would love to share them with you so you can keep your gut functioning at the highest level.
• Prenatal vitamins (of course)
• Digestive enzymes with every meal
• Probiotic
• Olive leaf extract (for immune support)
• Vitamin D3
• DGL
• Cold press fish oil

[caption id="attachment_1070" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Garden-of-Life-Vitamin-Code-RAW-Prenatal-658010113922 This is the brand of prenatal vitamins I use. I LOVE this brand "Garden of Life" and have many of their other supplements as well. They are gluten free and many of their supplements contain probiotics in them.[/caption]

Other remedies that I do and take occasionally are as follows:
• Apple Cider Vinegar
• Coconut oil…yes I just eat a huge lump of it or melt it and drink it.
• Psyllium husk mixed with orange juice/water combo.


THE END...but to be continued too!


I hope reading my story helps!  If you have ANY questions about Celiac, pregnancy, supplements or anything else, PLEASE email me!  I would love to hear your story and help you!  Happy Thursday!


Signature Maggie

Oct 23, 2013

WWWW = What We Wore Wednesday

Hey Everyone.  Here is our WORKOUT edition of WWWW.  Happy HUMP day :) Join us every Wednesday on Facebook or Instagram and show us your workout style:

Adie = @adie_fourfitsisters

Maggie = @maggievee15

Marta = @hausofgirls_fitfamily

Haley = @haley_fourfitsisters

 

WWWW4

Oct 22, 2013

Transformation Tuesday...Shakeology

Good morning everyone!

Today we have a guest blogger who shares her "Transformation Tuesday " story.
I guest posted for her a few weeks ago and I have been following her blog since this summer when we hosted our first Virtual 5k.

Sami was the one who gave us the idea to do a race bib for our race.  I never would have thought of doing that on my own!
Her story is so inspiring and I always look forward to reading her blog.  Today she is going to share her Shakeology challenge results.  We get a lot of questions about Shakeology and I just love Sami's story because, like me, it was what really helped her get past a plateau.  Here she is...

My name is Sami and I blog over at Simply Sami. I have been blogging since the beginning of the year. It started off as a way for me to share my experiences with losing weight and training for a half marathon. I did my first half in September in honor of my sister, Maggie, who died unexpectedly last year. You can check out my experience here!



 

I am so excited that Haley asked me to talk a little about my experience with Shakeology and my 30 day transformation/results.
I have been following all Four Fit Sisters on IG/Facebook for a while now and they are all so motivating and inspiring!!

Back at the end of July, my friend, Emily, from high school contacted me about doing a 30-Day Shakeology Challenge. She had just become a BeachBody Coach and was looking to build her clientele. We were able to get some friends together and started a 30-Day Shakeology Challenge! Personally, I was looking for something else to help me shed some inches. By this point, after 2 months of half marathon training, I had lost 30ish pounds, but really hadn't lost a ton of inches and I was still fitting into my "fat pants".

Here are my stats at the beginning of the challenge.

SW 208.5
Bust 46"
Waist 41"
Hips 48"
Thighs (R) 25.5" (L) 26"
Upper Arms (R) 13.5" (L) 14"


My before pictures.....



 

During the challenge, I continued my half training and added my shakes daily. I had half a bag of Tropical Vegan Strawberry hanging around from a couple months ago and got a bag of the Vanilla. The Tropical Vegan Strawberry is definitely my favorite!!! However, I have not tried chocolate yet.

 

So what did I put in my shakes you ask??? Good question! I tried to mix it up a little and do some of the recipe's from the little calendar thing they give you, but, since my son, Nathan, LOVES to have a smoothie with me, I usually just added mixed berries, banana, spinach, some all natural PB, almond milk and a splash of OJ. Nathan likes to help put all the ingredients in the blender and push the button. Such a good helper he is!!  The PB & J was pretty good! I didn't care for the Apple Pie.



 

For the most part, I had a great experience with Shakeology. However, like halfway through the month, I noticed I was starting to have some tummy troubles. So instead of a full scoop, I scaled back and only took a half scoop. So. Much. Better. No more tummy aches.

 

As far as my diet, I had already been eating pretty clean. We usually make an egg casserole on Sunday or Monday night so we have a quick easy meal in the morning and I love salad! For dinner, if I don't have something in the crockpot, we are eating chicken, lean ground turkey taco's, fish taco's, and always some kind of veggie. My husband will eat anything I put in front of him and my 3 y/o really only wants chicken nuggets. So we compromise and he has to eat veggies and fruit as his sides.

 

I don't know about you, but soda (Dr. Pepper and McDonald's Coke) is my weakness. I crave chocolate all the time. During the challenge, I may have had one soda! I was really amazed that I DIDN'T crave this stuff when using Shakeology. Really! Now, I am not saying I didn't think about it....but, when 3:30 rolled around, I wasn't running around crazy trying to find the snickers bar I stashed in the in a box in the garage.

At the end of the challenge, I wasn't expecting to have lost much of anything. The scale itself barely budged.

But, the scale lies.

My ending stats..........
EW 209.1
Bust 44.5"
Waist 37"
Hips 46"
Thighs (R) 24.5" (L) 24.5"
Arms (R) 12" (L) 12.5"

I may be up .6 pounds but I lost 13.5 inches all together!!!!!!!!!



 



 



 

13 inches???????????????? WHAT?!?!?!?! I was overjoyed. It wasn't until I looked at these pictures that I was really stunned. If you are thinking about Shakeology, I would HIGHLY recommend it. I still use it. My girl, Amy, lost 26 lbs and 24 inches!!! I love what Shakeology has done for me.

 

Thank you to Haley for having me guest post today!
Have a great day everyone...and remember to get up and get out of your comfort zone!!

 photo signuature_zps6eca8690.png

SERIOUSLY??? 13 inches? I can not believe those results.  I know we have posted before about not stalking the scale.  How the scale can be deceiving and this was obviously true with Sami.  13 inches, but up .6lbs.  I love it.  The goodness in Shakeology provides the most perfect meal you could ever dream up for yourself.  If you have questions about Shakeology or if you are interested in a Shakeology challenge please let me know.  My sisters and I host new challenges every month and would love to work with YOU privately to help you reach your fitness goals.

Email us anytime at fourfitsisters@gmail.com

 

Oct 21, 2013

How to prep your lunches

Hey everyone.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I know we are all happy here at FourFitSisters because the CARDINALS won!!!! WooHoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LUNCH PREP

Now, back to food.   Today I want to talk about prep work.  Adie did a fantastic job in her original food prep post that you can read about HERE.  But, today I want to show you EXACTLY what I did yesterday to prep.  This post is focused on lunches.  I can not tell you how important what I take to work is for me.  I am totally a "grazer."  By that, I mean that I swipe food here and there and forget about those calories.  I swipe a few chips off of my kids' plates, or eat their leftovers before I throw their plates out.  It may not seem like a big deal...but all of those calories add up.
I am the same way at school.  I don't know about your work place, but it seems like people are literally KILLING each other by what they bring into work.  Snacks, doughnuts, you name it.  They seem to be everywhere.  I try and avoid all work rooms if I can.  You never know what someone may have brought in to share.

Now...before I even begin, If you are someone who has an aversion to eating the same type of lunch every day I am sorry.  I am not one of those people who care.  I would much rather my life be simpler than exploring a new lunch item every week.  So today I prepped chicken and veggies.

For the chicken I used only TWO ingredients.  That is correct, TWO.  Spray olive oil, and my favorite seasoning for chicken, Cavenders All Purpose Greek Seasoning.  Maybe it's because I married a Greek??

IMG_5725

Spray the chicken with the olive oil, and sprinkle the seasoning.  Repeat on the other side.  You can be a bit generous with the seasoning because a lot of it will come off on the grill.  If you are baking this go a bit easier!



IMG_5726

Then, it's pretty easy.  I prefer to grill my chicken.  I love the taste.  So heat up the grill and throw them on!!

IMG_5729

I cooked mine for about 8 minutes on each side.  They were perfect.  But, obviously you need to know your grill.  While the chicken was on the grill I washed and prepped my veggies.

IMG_5744

This week I am throwing in peppers with my lunch.  I sometimes eat them plain, or I dip them in hummus.  I leave a container at hummus in the fridge at school.  Makes my life easier, so that is NOT pictured!!  The chicken is done!!!

IMG_5732I am now almost completely done with my main prep work for the entire week for lunch.  Yes, that took all of 20 minutes.

IMG_5746

The only thing I have left to do is fill up my containers.  This lunch is packed and ready for tomorrow.  I cut up half an apple and added a large scoop of Almond Butter for the apples.  I do NOT cut up all of my apples or fruit ahead of time.  I don't like them to get brown and soft.   Just a personal preference.  It took about 30 seconds to cut the apple.  So, I think I can manage that in the morning before I leave for work.

IMG_5748I packed 3 lunches immediately with the veggies and chicken.  I also saved one chicken breast for a "salad" day.  I will cut up the chicken breast and place it over spinach greens and cut up a tomato and put a bit of feta cheese.  This I will do the night before so I am not rushed in the morning.  I also allow myself one "leftover" day for lunch.  My husband is a great cook.  He cooks for his friends and our family on Monday nights.  So Tuesday is usually a day that I bring whatever we ate the night before.  But, I easily made enough for 5 days worth of lunch in 20 minutes.

IMG_5747And this is exactly what comes with me to work.  I will eat the Greek yogurt at 9:30 for my morning snack.  The chicken and veggies at 12:30pm for lunch and the apple with almond butter is my snack before my workout in the afternoon.  If it doesn't come with me to school I can't eat it!

Take the time to prep and your life will be easier.  I hope this helps with your lunch dilemma.  Go prep for the week.  Set yourself up for success, not failure!!



Haley Signature

Oct 18, 2013

Chapter 3 - My Celiac Journey

Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 can be found here if you need to get up to date before reading this post.

Looking back on my high school and college years, I can totally tell I was having some gluten related symptoms. I always struggled with skin problems. My joints hurt more than the average teen athlete. ADD??? Check! I was a ticking time bomb!

After my scope and being on a gluten free diet for about 3 weeks, I still wasn’t feeling my best. I was still having “undigested” bowel movements and bouts of acid reflux. I was frustrated because I thought a gluten free diet was a quick fix! All cases are not like mine. I was so sick and my intestines were so damaged, that it took a good 2 to 3 months for me to feel better. One of my doctors explained it like a tornado. The storm is gone…but now you have to pick up the pieces and repair all the damage that the storm left behind.
As I was recovering, I did some research on ways to improve and heal my gut. I also looked up foods that might be irritating my gut. I found that dairy and nightshades were a problem with me. I chose to cut those foods out of my diet until I felt I was healed enough to slowly reintroduce them. Even today, I try to stay away from dairy (it’s not really good for you anyway). I will occasionally have feta on my salad or splurge with a g-free pizza, but almond milk and coconut milk have become staples in my home. They also come in yogurt and ice cream forms!

[caption id="attachment_991" align="aligncenter" width="1317"]IMG_5694 Austin and I in October 2013.[/caption]

July and August rolled around and I had improved immensely! I was getting back into my workouts and enjoying my favorite foods in gluten free form. I could tell that my body was healing, which was perfect timing because I was starting school in mid-August. I was slowly adding more intensity to my workouts but keeping yoga and strength training as the foundation.

Then July 13th came around. It was a Saturday and Austin had left early for a Chiropractic seminar that would last ALL DAY. I felt weird. Not quite Celiac feeling but similar in some ways. I hadn’t missed my period but my curious (and bored) self decided I would take a pregnancy test. 1 minute later, there was a “+.” I couldn’t believe it!!! I thought it would take us a while to get pregnant because I had polycystic ovaries (now I know caused by Celiac). I was so excited…and TICKED because Austin LITERALLY just walked out the door for the entire day. I had to keep my exciting secret to myself until I would see him again in 12 hours.

As I was waiting by myself I had a lot of time to think. Worry, doubt, and anxiety started to set in. Am I ready to grow a baby? 2 months ago, I wasn’t even absorbing enough nutrients for my own body’s needs. I hadn’t put on all my weight that I lost when I was so sick. Am I healthy enough to do this?! Will I look like Bella from Breaking Dawn when her vampire baby is stealing all of her nutrition?! HA!

[caption id="attachment_990" align="aligncenter" width="477"]17 weeks pregnant 17 weeks pregnant[/caption]

As you can see, I DO NOT look like Bella from Twighlight. But I did have my battles in the beginning of pregnancy. There is ONE chapter left to bring you up to date with my Celiac (and now pregnancy) Journey! Stay tuned!

Signature Maggie

Oct 17, 2013

Sweet Tooth No More

The other day, my entire family popped into the grocery store to pick up a few goodies for our upcoming busy weekend.
My husband mentioned how he was craving some ice cream. I begged him to get some caramel apples instead, because, you know...it's that time of year.

So he asks me if I was wanting to have one and I say of course not--I just don't crave sweets anymore. This little exchange led me to realize something important: I just don't crave sweets like I used to, which is kind of an incredible feat. I used to crave things like chocolate, cookies, and ice cream on a regular basis, binging on an entire bag of cookies as a result. I don't need to tell you the effects an entire bag of cookies can have on your mood and digestion... So, I started to do something I wanted to share with you all.

"Positive cheats."
These are essentially mini cheats that don't derail your goals, but help you satiate your cravings. Some ideas may be a square or two of dark chocolate or a sprinkle of cheese on a salad. Things that keep you from feeling deprived, and allow you to keep your nutrition on even keel.

Basically, a positive cheat is any food, in moderate quantities, that isn't going to completely sabotage your nutrition, but will help keep you from binging later on. The interesting thing is that the more you eat healthy food, the more you crave healthy food--which means even my postive cheats aren't total junk.

Let me 'splain.

The reason I no longer crave a huge bowl of ice cream, is because I make a mega-delicious protein shake just about every day. I use almond milk, banana and organic frozen fruits to create the best protein shake ever with my beloved Shakeology.....

Shakeology has been my secret weapon the past year or so.
It has all 9 essential amino acids and is a complete source of protein.
It's filled with antioxidants, phytonutrients, prebiotics and digestive enzymes.
Can you say Super Food?

IMG_1523

It essentially has helped me to lose body fat by reducing my cravings, improved my digestion and regularity and gives me so much energy. Because I have my huge shake daily, I just don't feel the need for ice cream. Since I tend to have a tough time with just one square of chocolate, (give me the whole bar please!) I will have a chocolatey and creamy Shakeology Superfood Smoothie.

IMG_1524

And if you are in need for cookies in a desperate way?
Well, I have you covered. In my next blog post I will give you some of my favorite raw, all natural "cookies" that I whip up with a food processor on a daily basis.
I make a big batch every Sunday for my family. But if you're in a pinch,  grab a Biotrust protein cookie.
I like them because they are gluten, wheat, and soy free, 100% natural, and pack 12 grams of protein.
I also love Quest bars.  They are all natural (the most important thing for me!) and have 20 grams of protein!
Not only do they satiate my cookie cravings, but my hunger as well, since the protein fills me up.

The take away here is that you can control your cravings without deprivation.

You all know that we at Four Fit Sisters always talk about our love of food and how you should eat mindfully. I don't believe in saying "I can't have _________ food" or "that's not a part of my diet." I do believe in eating food that pleases both my palate and my physique, without causing mood swings or digestive discomfort. I believe in being happy. Being able to quit my ice cream and cookie addictions by replacing them with high quality protein shakes and homemade protein cookies? This makes me happy.

I prefer not to feel deprivation, or worse yet, guilt in the presence of pleasure. I prefer to use simple strategies to live a happy, full, balanced life--and this strategy has proved successful. This behavior has now become a habit, and a positive one at that.

Go ahead and give this "positive cheat" strategy a try by adding in little bits of yummy things into your diet. I can say with a significant amount of certainty, that if you have a "cheat/binge" problem, this will help you annihilate it.

Keep eating mindfully and searching for your balance of work, fitness, family and LIFE.

And we at Four Fit Sisters would love to hear from you! Comment below and answer this question for us:
IMG_0806

Signature Marta

Oct 15, 2013

Transformation Tuesday

Hey Everyone!!

Today I wanted to take a few minutes and highlight a few of my most recent clients and show off their amazing success.  Since it's Transformation Tuesday, it just seemed fitting.

If you are new here, my sisters and I host "30 Day Challenges."  These challenges allow our clients to get back on track.  They work with us for 30 intense days to get that healthy spark back and get back into the GOOD habits that allow you to live the most healthy life you can live.  We work with you on workouts, nutrition AND accountability.  It is so humbling to receive the pictures at the end of our 30 days together.  And this is why...

LFLORES

I mean look how her stomach just...disappeared!!  I was floored by this picture.

Another client of mine had amazing results.   You can see how she trimmed up so much around the stomach and lower back area.

 

Michelle

And you can really see from the side view how much muscle tone she started gaining in her stomach.

MICHELLE2

The client below is doing T25 and she is dominating!!!! You can see how her body is transforming EVERYWHERE.  From arms to stomach!

Amy

It has been so much fun working with all of these amazing clients.  These are just a few of my most recent challengers and they were kind enough to let me share their pictures.  Thank you ladies...You know who you are.

I would also like to take a second to let you know about our coaching opportunities.  Four Fit Sisters is transforming as well, and will be hosting a 30 Day Fast Track Training program beginning on October 28th. Are you interested?

sisters

We are opening up an opportunity for  you to join our New Fitness Coach Fast Track Training which takes place in a Facebook group and has trainings you can watch/read/hear at your convenience with direct mentorship from ME and my three sisters.

If you are in the US or Canada, you're passionate about fitness and think you may be a good fit doing what we do (and other Team Brick Haus members) promoting health and fitness on Intagram/Facebook- we can talk about what it entails, the benefits, the cost and if you might be a good fit!

Email us today for more details!

fourfitsisters@gmail.com

Haley Signature