Jun 26, 2014

Testing, testing…. 1, 2, 3.

hello fit friends!
i'm so happy to be back on dry land after our cruise and posting today.

now that we are all back to reality, i've decided to type up a post about a subject that i get asked about almost daily. 

this being, how i went about getting my girls and myself tested for Celiac disease, autoimmune issues, dairy intolerance and more. 

many of you ask me how i knew that i needed to get my girls and myself tested. 
well, i really didn't.  i only did because my sister maggie was diagnosed with Celiac disease after being so sick for months.  if it wasn't for her getting sick, i would never have had any of us tested. 

in a way, she saved our health and lives.  
which is so incredible because it's so difficult to get doctors to help. 
most doctors didn't learn about the negative impact of modern foods on our health.
they didn't really learn about food sensitivities or Celiac disease in med-school. 

when i asked my pediatrician to test my girls he looked at me strangely. 
he thought it was a bit drastic.  well, good thing i didn't listen to him.

and this is why i'm writing this today. 
don't allow anyone to come between you and finding answers about what is going on in your child's body or your own.  you are in charge of your family and yourself.  no one else. 

to prevent this from being a novel, i'll give a quick time-table of events that now, looking back, i realize were symptoms and issues that totally indicated autoimmune issues were at play. 
but, no one told me. 
i didn't know better.  
i didn't know what an autoimmune issue was!

let's start with me-  i ate processed foods my entire life. corn dogs, frozen pizza, you name it. 
in high school i remember trying to be "healthy" and would eat fat free pretzels, a fat free nutri-grain bar and water daily for lunch.  about this same time i became very puffy.  not chubby, but puffy.  i also had severe acne.  this impacted me tremendously in regards my to my self-esteem, happiness, willingness to be outgoing and more.  i became so shy and self-conscious. my acne was so bad that i was put on acetone which is a pretty big deal.  i had to get blood tests often to make sure it wasn't hurting my liver or other organs.  all for acne.  if someone would have told me that i just needed to stop eating grains and my face would heal itself, i would have done it in a heart beat.  but no one told me. 
i didn't know better.

going through college i struggled again with acne. 
had to go back on another round of acutane. 
my diet was horrible in college filled with nothing but processed junk, beer and sugar.  
i rarely ate real foods- and my body was screaming for help. 
i had horrible back pain, acne, and even had nerve damage in my throwing arm (i played softball in college) that prevented me from throwing for weeks.  no one knew why.  
of course, they just gave me pills to take (Celebrex) for the weird random nerve issues in my arm.

no one mentioned a thing about my diet.

moving forward, after college i started eating better.

i ate a low-carb diet and got married feeling the best i ever had. 
looking back eliminating grains was the best thing i could have done!
i was no longer puffy.  i felt great and looked great. 
i still, however, didn't put the puzzle pieces together.  

fast forward to three children in less than four years.

something changed. 
my body said no more. 

i couldn't recover from my final pregnancy like i did with the others. 
i felt exhausted all the time. 
i had depression, brain fog, anxiety, puffiness, bloating and more. 

but still, never thought anything of it. 
just said to myself, you are almost 30 now. you are getting older.
this is what it feels like to be a busy mom. 
boy was i wrong. 

i lived with "symptoms" for about five years. 
nothing super severe.  but i knew i wasn't the same. 
i would trip running up the stairs- my balance was off.
i would have major mood swings. 
i felt overwhelmed often. 
but i pushed on.  
i didn't really talk to anyone about these "symptoms" because i didn't know how to explain it.  

finally after four years or so i started researching.  
it seemed i had every symptom of hypothyroidism. 
so i went to my doctor and had her test my thyroid.  it was fine.  

about this time, my sister maggie was diagnosed with Celiac disease so i had my doctor test me as well. 
well, i have learned a lot since then.  i have learned most doctors will just run a gluten antibody test, which isn't very accurate.  it was have a lot of false negatives--- meaning it will say you are not showing an immune response to gluten but truly you are.  

i tested positive.  (thank God!)
so i knew in that moment, i would never touch wheat or gluten again if i wanted to live a healthy happy life.  

i then had my girls all tested by their pediatrician and he just tested them for the gluten antibodies……

*let me back track a bit here: my oldest, mia was diagnosed with an immune deficiency when she was five after getting back to back strep, ear infections and sinus infections in kindergarten. 

this experience drained me.  having a sick child for a year straight was one of my lowest points. 
i felt like a failure.  
i became a germ-a-phob wanting to shield my child from any speck of bacteria that may cause her get sick.  

her immunologist just said to us, she has low levels of IgG antibodies which defend her from bacterias that cause infections like strep, ear and sinus infections and prescribed her antibiotics.  
that was it.  no explanation as to why she may have low levels of IgG. 
nothing about her diet or Celiac or anything. 

for five years straight she had to take a daily dose of antibiotics to stay healthy and infection free. 
however, one day i said enough.  i took her off of the antibiotics to see what would happen. 
she had been gluten free for a year now so i was anxious to see if that impacted her IgG levels at all. 

sure enough, it did! 
her IgG levels were coming up! 
she no longer needed the medicine.  

changing her diet was her medicine. 
her body was healing. 

my brain was exploding! 
things were making a bit more sense. 
maybe all along, her immune system issues were the result of what she was eating. 

i thought, every mom in America needs to know this. 
if eating wheat and grains can do this to my child, what else can it be doing to other children?

so, back to the Celiac testing after i tested positive…..i had all the girls tested and their pediatrician tested them for gluten antibodies. however, only one of my three girls tested positive.  
sophie- she was in the 150's and anything above 4 is not good. 

i couldn't believe it. 

i decided to go ahead and take all three girls off gluten/wheat just to be safe. 
i was sure the test was wrong given that mia had so many immune issues.  
and gracie was so tiny.  i was sure that her smallness was a result of gluten. 

so we did it. 
we all went off wheat/gluten for a year. 
mia and gracie had amazing changes even though they tested "negative." 
gracie's feet grew three sizes! 
mia's stomachaches went away. 
and sophie's hair was finally growing and getting thick. 

we were on the right path! 

then Dr. Rebecca Furlano enters our lives. 
she first helped my sister maggie heal after being so sick so we all went to her for help.  

i was still having some issues even after being gluten free for a year and i wanted her to check my blood work, and as well, evaluate all of my girls.  

maggie nicknamed her a wizard doctor, and it's so true! 
she has helped us so much in the past few months. 

she ran my bloodwork first and discovered i was having an immune response to casein, which is the protein in dairy,  had high glucose,  and was deficient in vitamin D. 

i highly recommend all of you having your blood work analyzed.  
i never would have known i was causing an immune response when i ate dairy or that i had high glucose if it wasn't for this blood test.  these issues, if undetected, lead to much more severe issues down the road.  

for me, Dr. Furlano ran a lipid panel, comprehensive metabolic panel (glucose), casein IgG, vitamin D and some other basic tests for iron, vitamin a, hormones etc. 

for my girls she checked their vitamin D (which all were deficient in) casein IgG (which all were positive for!) lipid panel, comprehensive metabolic panel (glucose), and other vitamin levels. 

what she recommends for gluten/celiac testing are the following

*HLA Genotyping for Celiacs disease* 
(this is what Mia tested positive for even though last year she was NEGATIVE for the gluten antibodies.  CRAZY!!!) 

*Casein IgG*

and if your child is not already on a gluten free diet, then also have them tested with this:
*Cyrex labs to test for gluten AB*

if you would like to have yourself or your children tested, and you live in the St. Louis area, i highly recommend Dr. Rebecca Furlano.  
her Facebook page is: HERE where you can personal message her.
you can make appointments with her by calling her office at 636-356-5557.

if you are not local, she does Skype appointments! 
so you can talk with her via Skype and then she will determine what blood tests to run based on your symptoms and issues that you discuss. 

i think it's so empowering knowing your body. 
we should all know what's going on inside of us.  
denial does nothing but cause more problems down the road.  

be proactive so you aren't sitting in a doctor's office in 15 years with major issues or complications.

please let me know if you have any questions at all about our family's journey or the testing we had done.  i'm here to help in any way.  if i can prevent one child from going through what my girls had to go through to get to this point, i will feel so happy.  

if i can prevent one mommy from going through all the sadness and stress that i endured for years of not knowing what was going on with my children, then it will have all been worth it. 

take good care! 
XOXO, Marta

Jun 24, 2014

Why we stick to pictures and measurements and NOT the scale.

Phew....It's been a crazy start to the summer.

First off, our school year went LATE this year.  Really late.  And that wouldn't be the end of the world if we weren't STARTING early next year.  We go back to school on August 11th.  

We got out June 6th.  This will be the SHORTEST summer in history.  This has started summer off with a bad taste in my mouth.

The day after we got out of the school was the kid's birthday party.  Craziness, cleaning, yard work, food prep, celebrating, all while trying to wrap up the end of the year stuff was so crazy and busy.  All worth it.  The kids had a great time as we celebrated with their friends!!!

Last year I ran a summer boot camp and it was fantastic.  Though we have a smaller crowd so far this year I have enjoyed it JUST as much.  Knowing people are showing up an relying on me to get them to their fitness goals has been so rewarding, and so fun.  My sisters even got to join in on the action when they were in town.  

Where I have struggled recently is putting myself first.  

I think, as mothers, this is totally normal.  It is what I talk to my clients about.  It's SO important to make sure that you are getting YOUR needs met too.  And frankly, I have not been following my own plan at the start of this summer.  Where I usually slack is in the kitchen.  We have had more crappy meals so far this summer then we probably have had COMBINED in the last two years.  I just feel gross.

About two weeks ago I posted this picture to spark conversation about weight...

I asked people to guess the weight difference between the two pictures.  Can you tell a difference??  The before picture was taken in the beginning of August last year when I was feeling good and had just lost about 8lbs.  The after picture was taken at the beginning of June.

To be honest...I was actually shocked when I put the two pictures next to each other.  I thought my "after" picture would be much worse.  I thought that I was going to see a much more drastic change.  I hadn't been sticking to the plan that I am usually on.  And I didn't feel like myself.  I was tired and a little bloated.

I think the main lesson is that I was being WAY to hard on myself.  I probably wasn't being as "bad" as I thought.  The difference to my eyes, and to everyone else, was pretty similar.  They couldn't see much of a change at all.  Some people had guessed that I lost 10lbs, while others said I had a leaner look and had maybe added 2 or 3lbs due to muscle tone.  The answer...I am up 7lbs.  What's amazing is that my clothes and everything still fit the same.  

This is the perfect example of why we need to track our progress through pictures and measurements as opposed to the scale.  If I would have only stepped on the scale I would have probably gotten really down. Now, I knew I wasn't hitting my plan hard like I should, but I also wouldn't have realized the types of gains I HAD made.  I know a TON of people who do that.  There are so many that just throw in the towel because they don't lose 3lbs the first week of a challenge.  

Now...It is is crunch time here in my house.  I have a lot of time to spend in a swimsuit the rest of the summer, and I want to feel good.  Notice I said, "FEEL GOOD."  My goal is not to be a bikini model :) My goal is to be healthy and strong and have a good balance all around.  I think I figured my pictures would be so drastic because on the inside my body was fighting me on all the crappy food I had allowed.  I already feel better and it's been about two weeks.   Remember, it's never too late to start.  Whether you 21 or 61, your body knows what it wants and needs to be healthy.  Give it the good stuff and it will treat you right!!

Also, we have a new coach training coming up next week.  I am so excited about the new coaches that are joining us in making a difference with others.  If you think you may have what it takes take a look at this picture...

Why not you??  Why can't you be the one to make a difference in someone's life?? Why can't you be the person to help others get to your goals??  Why not you??

Our training starts June 30th.  That gives us about a week to get you the information you need to get started.  Contact one of us if you want more information.  We want to make a fitter planet one soccer mom at a time :)  Who's with us??

Jun 19, 2014

Get PiYo TODAY!!!

Today is the day!  The sisters and I have been waiting ANXIOUSLY for weeks for this awesome program to be released.  It is the missing piece to my workout puzzle, and I am so excited to add it TODAY!

The rumor is that it will become available for purchase anywhere between 10:00 - 2:00 CST (here in St. Louis).  BUT, I will be checking online before that to be sure.

Here is where the excitement stems from: right now I am blending a mix of workouts so that I can do cardio, strength, core, and flexibility work in separate bits and pieces throughout my week.  I am stoked that PiYo combines all of these factors into one killer workout.  This should save me a lot of time and stress when planning out my weekly workout schedule.  Also, I am a workout JUNKIE.  I love trying new things and experimenting with new programs so that I am constantly challenging myself and my body out of its comfort zone.

Here is why I am excited for YOU: this program is for anyone!  People like me that workout daily will still be challenged through new forms of core work, flexibility, and range-of-motion activities that are often neglected in traditional workouts.  Newbies can enjoy a challenging workout with out pounding their joints with high impact training routines.  Both oldies and newbies will get an intense workout in a variety of 25 - 45 minute sessions in the privacy of their own home.


If you are interested in this program, please reach out to one of us today via our online shops - click on the BB under our pictures at the top of the page.  Or, if you have questions, shoot us an email for more info or details.

Some of you have known about this program for a while and are already ready to go.  If you would like info on how to be a part of our FIRST PiYo Test Group, click HERE.  You will find out more details and get the chance to sign up for this opportunity.

Wishing you a great day today - get out and get moving!

Jun 17, 2014

Never Count Calories Again!

 If you’re like me, you learned from a young age that tracking your caloric intake was the only way to lose or manage weight.  You stressed over every food label checking the calories, fat, and serving sizes of each food, while strategically counting out 20 chips before eating them.  You measured out each drop of salad dressing before drizzling it over your salad.  And when you ran 2 miles that day and burned 200 calories, that meant you got to eat 2 extra cookies that night for dessert.  We did all of this in effort to keep the pounds off and be the healthiest we could be.
I’m here today to tell you to kiss all of that GOODBYE!  Let’s be honest...it’s too much work, it’s depriving, and it doesn’t really work!  If it did, our country would be much more fit.

Myth #1:  A calorie is a calorie.
So many of us believe that no matter what, THE NUMBER of calories we take in daily is the only determinant of our body composition.  This couldn’t be more FALSE.  Different calorie sources have different influences on the body.  For example, 50 calories of CAKE are going to act differently in the body than 50 calories of BROCCOLI.  When you eat cake, it goes into your body and is immediately processed in your digestive system for nutrients.  The problem is, cake has no nutrition.  Therefore, it spikes your blood sugar, passes through your system quickly, and leaves you searching for more cake (or something similar) 30 minutes later.  When you eat the broccoli, it takes your body MUCH longer to process.  It REAPS benefits from every molecule that makes up the broccoli and it is all used SOMEWHERE inside of your body.  The vitamins and minerals are giving your body fuel.  These “SAME” 50 calories are lasting and hour or more and being used efficiently in the body.  Eat for NUTRITIONAL VALUE over caloric value.

Myth #2:  A low-fat diet is good.
Fat is our friend.  Haley went into great detail on eating fat to burn fat HERE.  The 90s was full of low-fat trends that have brainwashed our country into believing that we should FEAR fat.  The truth is, the only way to train our bodies to burn fat as our number one fuel source is to EAT IT!  Remember a calorie is NOT just a calorie, so it has to be a HEALTHY fat.  Some of my favorites are avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, fish, and bacon.  Yes, I said BACON!  These healthy fats will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and retrain your body to become a fat burning machine.  Foods like wheat and grains, dairy, and some fruits, turn into sugar immediately inside the body. They lack NUTRITION and have little use for your body.  Therefore, your body burns it quickly to signal to your brain to eat again in hopes of getting something of nutritional value in your next meal.  If you continue to neglect what your body needs, it gets ugly quick.  You become addicted to those sugary foods causing a vicious cycle of blood sugar spikes and weight gain.  It’s a downward spiral from there.  When your diet is RICH in healthy fats, proteins, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, your body shouldn’t be craving anything!  You should eventually get to a point where your body TELLS you exactly what it needs rather than what it wants due to sugar addiction.  The BULK of your food intake should be from proteins and fats and then carbohydrates from vegetables and a little fruit.  Yes this is COMPLETELY opposite than what we were taught on our traditional food guide pyramid.  Throw that awful thing out the window.

How to successfully NOT count calories:
Count QUALITY not calories.  There’s no trick or special formula to this way of eating.  It’s a mindset.  You have to focus on each thing you are putting into your body and think about its nutritional density.  A HINT:  if you’re looking at a label to check out nutritional value, most likely not the best thing for you.
Color is a great way to gauge nutrition.  Veggies and fruits that have deep or unique colors are great to add into your diet because they are full of nutritional value.  Compare iceberg lettuce to Romaine.  Iceberg is very light green and white in color while Romaine is much deeper green.  Romaine is richer in vitamins and minerals where iceberg contains more water.  Things like whole grains and dairy have ZERO color.  Something to think about...
Meat source is another way to gauge how nutritious your protein is.  Grass fed, pasture raised, and wild caught is ALWAYS going to contain more nutrition than farm raised, grain fed, or caged animals.  It’s just how nature works and how nature intended. 
This is a perfect of example of both COLOR properties and the SOURCE of your animal proteins.
The pasture raised chicken eggs are richer in color and bigger overall.
They contain more nutrition than organic or standard eggs.

Understanding this way of eating is SO hard for so many.  It was very hard for me at first too.  Like I said, we’ve been brainwashed to believe that fat is bad.  It takes time to retrain your way of thinking and to not FEAR fat and protein.  It’s what our bodies NEED.  I can speak from experience by saying I have minimal cravings and am the most fit I have ever been since eating this way.   If I can do it, YOU can do it!
Remember:  Count QUALITY not calories.

Please comment below or email me with any questions!  I would love to help!

Jun 12, 2014

random randomness

hi friends! 
it's been awhile since i have posted. 
i have missed you! 

today i wanted to post about a few random things that are going on with me and at haus of girls.
warning: it's complete random randomness. 

it's summer so, as many of you can relate,  it's non-stop fun at haus of girls.
we are so busy.  and i love it. 
i am off all of june and july from my home daycare so i can focus on my family and put more time into my fitness business. 

well, this has been awesome so far, except i feel more busy than ever before! 
funny how that works. 

but i'm thankful.  
i feel so blessed to "do what i love."

speaking of this….do you "do what you love?" 
if not, this needs to change.  

if you happen to be into health and fitness, and more than anything, helping OTHERS, then you should email me or one of my sisters today.  

we are looking to add to our team of fitness consultants and we are hosting a training group for any of our new team members in july! 
you'll learn from us what we do with our fitness businesses…… 
so contact one of us today for more deets on this.  

and as if we aren't busy enough as is, we have decided to put together a fun softball camp this summer. 
it will be in july here is the st. louis area, for girls K-6. 

if you have a daughter that plays softball {or know someone who does} and you'd like more info on our camp click HERE

i am filling up my final 21 Day Fix session so if you want to jump in, email me today! 
it's an awesome 21 day program that really helps you get back on track with your nutrition but the best part are the 30 minute workouts and the chance you get to work with ME! 
we start june 23rd. 
are you in?

i also have a few spots left in my june 23rd sugar detox.
this is only a 14 day program but it's super intense and nutrition based for any of you that need a serious reality check on how much SUGAR you truly are consuming.

i will help you. 
you will not like me during the 14 days, but afterwards, i promise you'll love me. 

here is a quote from a recent sugar detox participant: 

"Today was the best! I've been working for a year to be taken off blood pressure meds and today it happened!! I'm down 5 pounds, and know this sugar detox has helped not only with that, but also with my positive mindset. I love reading everyone's posts and wish this group could be continuous. Definitely strength in numbers. Continued with my P90x and meal prep today, and packing my meals while on the go has been the key. Here's to a strong finish!"

and another that gave me chills: 

"Marta I can NOT thank you enough for this group! I am sitting here in tears because after 7 YEARS my cholesterol is FINALLY within NORMAL range AND my HDL (the healthy one) is higher!!!!!!! AND NO MEDS, just the Sugar Detox diet!!!!! I am so thankful that Megan Duerksen posted about this on her blog. You both have been such an answer to prayers!"

if you are needing some help making changes with your nutrition for the benefit of your health, i can help you.  i have a few more spots left in my final june detox that begins on june 23rd as well. 

to join click HERE.

i need your help!
we are leaving soon on a disney cruise. 
if you have been on one, or any cruise for that matter, feel free to leave some of your best tips in comments below. 
i'm stressing about this. 
cruising on a huge ship. 
the usual. 

any packing advice, traveling tips, cruise warnings, etc, i'd love to hear from you! 

and finally….. this.
it's going to be huge. 
it's going to sell out.
it's going to help me so much with my flexibility, core strength and muscle tone.

Here is clip to check it out!
Click HERE. 

if you want to make sure you don't miss out on this program, make sure you have subscribed to our mailing list as we will contact you when it is available.

click HERE for the link to subscribe to our blog.

have a happy weekend and I will be posting soon with my supplements that I am currently using as well as a list of what my kids eat as these are two of the most common questions i'm getting the past few weeks.

any other questions or comments?
we'd love to hear from you.
leave a comment below!

have a happy weekend fitfam.

Jun 11, 2014


Giving away a bag of Shakeology to one lucky follower today.  Make sure you are a follower of me on FB, and check out some of my favorite fitness inspirations that I have teamed up with.  Follow directions of the rafflecopter for up to 5 entries.  Excited to host this fun giveaway!!!  Happy chugging!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jun 5, 2014

Paleo Chicken "Parmesan" - gluten and dairy free

My sisters and I took a little time away from the blog since we're all teachers and needed to finish up with the end of year grading.  Phew!  It's over and it's SUMMER TIME! This summer is particularly special for me since it is my son's first summer and a chance to spend time with him as he continues to change and grow.  It is such a blissful time!
Onto business...
I posted a picture of this yummy dinner a few weeks ago and had lots of requests for the recipe, so it's on here it is!

Paleo Chicken Parmesan

  • 4 medium to large sized chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of almond flour (maybe more if the chicken breasts are big)
  • Spices like oregano, basil, garlic powder, chili flakes, salt and pepper, and anything else you might want on the chicken.  I used lots of basil and oregano.
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 3-4 zucchini for "noodles." I liked a lot of noodles so you can use as many as you'd like
  • Spinach about 2-3 cups
  • Marinara sauce-no sugar added
  • Olive oil about a tablespoon
  1. Preheat oven to 375*
  2. Whisk egg in bowl.  Start with one egg and add another if you run out.
  3. Prepare almond flour and spices in a separate bowl.
  4. Butterfly the chicken breast.  Dip the chicken into the egg then into the almond flour mixture to cover completely.  Place onto baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  5. Bake chicken for approximately 35 minutes (adjust time based on how big your chicken breasts are).
  6. While chicken is baking, heat marinara in a saucepan.
  7. Prepare zoodles by slicing or using a julienne peeler or spiralizer if you have one.  I've sliced into circles (see pic below) and it was still DELISH!
  8. Add zoodles to olive oil over medium heat. When they begin to soften, add spinach and cook until wilted.
  9. Pull out the chicken and serve:  Zoodles & spinach on bottom, chicken, topped with marinara.


Jun 3, 2014

TIRED OF DIETING - changes you can make today!

Any one else tired of being on a "diet".  A forever uphill battle of denying yourself things that you want or, even, need.  Tired of running yourself into the ground with workouts or counting calories for a living?  When I host 30 day challenges every month, the number one complaint of challengers is that they are TIRED of trying, and tired of the experience, and tired of not being SUCCESSFUL.

I have just finished reading an enlightening book written by Dr. Jeffrey S. Bland called The Disease Delusion.  It takes an in depth look at what is causing many of the chronic illnesses that plague us and offers some simplified steps to creating a longer, healthier life.  As always, it comes off so simply: eat better foods and get involved in more activities.  Sorry for the wording below...but it was just too funny:

Dr. Bland highlights the idea of inflammatory- or allergy- inducing foods in his book, which really hit home for me due to my recent diagnosis with an intolerance to casein (dairy), and my son's diagnosis with Celiac's Disease (gluten).  I also found it interesting that the inflammation that these foods create in our bodies are often the culprits and instigators of many of the autoimmune diseases we see and are having diagnosed within ourselves and loved-ones daily.  Dr. Bland breaks it down to a cellular level and explain exactly where the problems start based on a combination of what genes we are dealt AND what our environment adds into the mix.

Throughout the book, Bland breaks down our bodies' functions into seven different processes.  He spends a chapter on each process, including a thorough questionnaire that allows for you to check yourself for imbalances and patterns in your own health, and see if you can't make some changes and tweaks to get ahead of any problems.  His book is NOT intended to replace general or functional medical care, but to provide you with knowledge so that you can be an advocate for your own health and really understand what is happening in your body.

For example, chapter 4 dealt with Assimilation and Elimination; basically how foods enter and leave your body and what that process looks like for you.  You take the questionnaire and then read up on what some of the questions could mean in relation to your health.  Later on in the book, he offers solutions to support problems or issues with assimilation and/or elimination and helps his readers understand what better info to bring to a discussion with their medical provider.  Reading through his ideas really helped drive my conversations with my doctor when we had our follow up meeting and I feel a greater understanding of the functions and processes my body is undergoing each and every day.

Towards the end of the book, I felt grateful for a very simple breakdown of diet and exercise, that I believed would help anyone that is on the path to wellness.  He created a list of "shoulds" and "should nots" both in regards to diet and exercise.  I wanted to share them with you today.  A while back, I blogged about how to take 3 SIMPLE STEPS towards greater health and wellness for your family.  I think this is great confirmation that we are headed in the right direction in the Smith household:

One of my favorite resources for finding out more about anti-inflammation diets/foods is Dr. Andrew Weil.  He has created an amazing Food Pyramid that breaks down an average week of foods that create a healthy balance without increasing inflammation.  You may need to tweak some: for example Dr. Weil allows for small amounts of dairy and grains (including whole wheat) which doesn't fit into our family plan, but he is one of my favorite experts to learn from.  Notice how small some of the servings are that we eat daily.  He recommends 1-2 servings of dairy or cheeses per WEEK.  I was eating about 3 servings per day when I found out that I was intolerant.

Are you an exercise abuser?  Do you beat yourself into a pulp every day trying to lose weight?  20 minutes a day is the minimum he recommends.  I, personally, like 30 minutes at least each day.  A nice, brisk walk where your heart rate is elevated should do the trick for someone who is just getting into fitness, or even bike riding could be perfect.  Most of my workout options fit into that category, and ALL of them are a decent fit for my ability level and fitness needs.  Once you have established the routine and conditioning level, it would be great to add in some strength work too.  As we get older, we NEED to be strong.  Yoga practices, pilates workouts, and other low impact strength moves can be very powerful as well.

I am excited an empowered by the knowledge I gained after reading through this book.  By no means am I suggesting that each of you run out and grab it off the shelf.  I don't pretend that it is a page turner or competes with the Hunger Games trilogy.  But, for me, in the place I am in my life and with my family, I can't think of a better way to use my time than to educate and move myself forward both in my health and happiness.  I spend each day working on my body, spirit, mind and family and growing in each of those areas.

Give us a holler if you need some direction or support in this transition period.  That is exactly what we specialize in during our 30 day challenges.  Taking time in a supported and safe space where you can get the info you need to find success with both motivation and accountability.