Monday, March 31, 2014

Monkey Shake

Do you or your kids ever rush out the door in the morning without eating breakfast or maybe you grab something that is not so healthy and eat on the way to work or school? 
How about eating something that is good for you, simple to make and tastes great?

Monkey Shake
2 scoops Shaklee 180 Protein Powder (chocolate is our favorite for this!)
1 banana
milk (any will do, we use organic or almond)
ice for desired thickness

Blend together in blender 
{yup thats it!}

Talk about an easy breakfast for the bust family on the go.
*tip: this can be eaten anytime, its great for pre or post workout or game time for the kids!

Check out the nutritional value of this yummy meal idea

Let us know what you think,

Naturally Supporting a Healthy Hypothyroid {hypothyroidism/hashimotos}

Hypothyroidism has plagued me for many years. 
I was borderline before I was pregnant with my 1st baby. 
After he was born my thyroid went crazy!

This is the WebMD explanation  of what Hypothyroid is…..

Hypothyroidism means your thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It makes hormones that control the way your body uses energy.
Having a low level of thyroid hormone affects your whole body. It can make you feel tired and weak. If hypothyroidism is not treated, it can raise your cholesterol levels. During pregnancy, untreated hypothyroidism can harm your baby. But hypothyroidism can be treated with medicine that can help you feel like yourself again.
People of any age can get hypothyroidism, but older adults are more likely to get it. Women age 60 and older have the highest risk. You are more likely to get the disease if it runs in your family.
In the United States, the most common cause is Hashimoto's thyroiditis {this is what I have!). It causes the body's immune system to attack thyroid tissue. As a result, the gland can't make enough thyroid hormone.

Signs you may have HYPOTHYROIDISM!
I have every single one of these symptom at some point in the last 13 years.

Muscle and Joint Pains, Carpal Tunnel/Tendonitis Problems - Aches and pains in your muscles and joints, weakness in the arms and a tendency to develop carpal tunnel in the arms/hands, tarsal tunnel in the legs, and plantar fasciitis in the feet can all be symptoms of undiagnosed thyroid problems. 
*my carpal tunnel/tingling was so bad that I had to wear roller blading wrist/hand guards to keep my wrist/hands supported…it was horrible.
Neck Discomfort/Enlargement - A feeling of swelling in the neck, discomfort with turtlenecks or neckties, a hoarse voice or a visibly enlarged thyroid can all be signs of a "goiter" -- an enlarged thyroid gland that is a symptom of thyroid disease. 
*I had a goiter on each side of my thyroid glands, now 1 is gone and the other is stable and has not grown in size in 2 years.
Hair/Skin Changes - Hair and skin are particularly vulnerable to thyroid conditions, and in particular, hair loss is frequently associated with thyroid issues.  With hypothyroidism, hair frequently becomes brittle, coarse and dry, while breaking off and falling out easily. Skin can become coarse, thick, dry,and scaly. There is often an unusual loss of hair in the outer edge of the eyebrow. 
*on top of the fact that my hair was already naturally thin, I began going bald! talk about depressing!
Bowel Problems - Severe or long-term constipation or gas pain is frequently associated with hypothyroidism.
*I had no idea that I was constipated because I had the issue all my life, as far back as I can remember.
Menstrual Irregularities and Fertility Problems - Heavier, more frequent and more painful periods are frequently associated with hypothyroidism. Infertility can also be associated with undiagnosed thyroid conditions.
*My current Doctor is amazed I gave birth to two children without major deformities since my thyroid was such a mess.
Family History - If you have a family history of thyroid problems, you are at a higher risk of having a thyroid condition yourself. You may not always be aware of thyroid problems in your family, though, because among older people, it is often referred to as "gland trouble" or "goiter." So pay attention to any discussions of glandular conditions or goiter or weight gain due to "a glandular problem," as these may be indirect ways of referring to thyroid conditions.
*My mother, her mother and  several other maternal female in the family suffered from thyroid issues, many requiring the removal or radiation therapy to treat the disease.
Cholesterol Issues - High cholesterol, especially when it is not responsive to diet, exercise or cholesterol-lowering medication, can be a sign of undiagnosed hypothyroidism. 
*This is the only one that has never been brought to buy attention from previous doctors, so I am not sure if I ever had issue with cholesterol.
Depression and Anxiety - Depression or anxiety - including sudden onset of panic disorder - can be symptoms of thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism is most typically associated with depression, while hyperthyroidism is more commonly associated with anxiety or panic attacks. 
*Obesity, childbirth, sleepless night, new mom were the reasons I was given by Doctors as to the way I was feeling!? 
Weight Changes - You may be on a low-fat, low-calorie diet with a rigorous exercise program, but are failing to lose weight. Or you may have joined a diet program or support group, and you are the only one who isn't losing any weight. Difficulty losing weight can be a sign of hypothyroidism. You may be losing weight while eating the same amount of food as usual - or even losing while eating more than normal. Unexplained weight changes and issues can be signs of both hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. 
*2hrs at the gym, eating as healthy as I knew to eat, often going hungry and never lost anything, gained very easily. At one point I was considered morbidly obese!
Fatigue - Feeling exhausted when you wake up, feeling as if 8 or 10 hours of sleep a night is insufficient or being unable to function all day without a nap can all be signs of thyroid problems. 
*Again I was told it was just lifestyle, new baby, weight gain and I was even told laziness by one (not so wonderful) Doctor!
Now Im sure your asking why would taking supplements help my thyroid, my DR prescribes me thyroid meds, isn't that enough?
The short answer is NO! 
The long answer is "for some people it may be", however for myself and everyone else I have ever met with this auto immune disease it is not.
*There are a few rules in this life, one is that if you want a different outcome, you must make a change, maybe this is the change you need, I am a new person since starting this new lifestyle which includes supplements.
I had been on high doses of Synthroid, them moved to the more "natural" version of it called Armour Thyroid. According to my labs, my thyroid was in normal range. I felt like crap! my skin, hair & nails were a mess, I was struggling with my weight, joint stiffness, always tired & irritable and the list goes on.
I learned about an alternative to both of these synthetic versions of the thyroid hormone from DR. Brouse who explained to me that even the more "natural" version was contaminated since the animals the hormone is taken from are pumped full of hormones and consume diets high in corn, gluten and GMO's. I know take a supplement called thyroid 130 which is imported from Denmark. WOW! what a difference it has made.

**UPDATE...I no longer require the thyroid hormone supplement! 
The regimen worked great! Goiters gone and no more meds :-) 
It wasn't until I did a 180 turnaround that I began to feel good and lose weight. What I did not know was that since the 180 products were the bulk of my daily diet, I was unknowingly NOT consuming gluten! This is because the product are gluten free. The program also has many recipe suggestions for meals that I prepared, which war also gluten free.
Another issue that Dr. Brouse found through testing is that I am gluten intolerant (not celiac, but sensitive). This means I could not digest it properly & it was damaging my entire digestive tract which was spinning my thyroid out of control. He also recommended limiting animal fats, which worked great since the 180 products are plant based sources of protein (yeah!).
Now I just do not eat gluten, ever! 
As far as my supplementation, there are a few Shaklee products which were also recommended by Dr. Brouse to help naturally heal my thyroid and support healthy thyroid function. I started feeling better with in just a few weeks combining both the diet, thyroid supplement & the Shaklee supplements. Here are the Shaklee supplements Dr. Brouse recommended to me & I take daily!
{this is perfect for both men & women of any age}

If you need more suggestions on how to implement a gluten free diet or suggestion on how to start natural supplementation, please feel free to contact me.

Have a great day,

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Energizing Honey Bee Snacks & a Special Thank You

Do you have a picker eater? 
I must say that I believe I have been blessed with children that have adapted very well to eating healthy and making healthy choices.
I hear often from Moms that it is a major challenge to get their children to eat anything healthy such as veggies or fruits or healthy options for protein.

Before our family adopted this healthy lifestyle, we too ate out often, ate too much sugary processed foods and of course we were also plagued by allergies, asthma, eczema to name just a few issues.

Since focusing on what we are exposing our family to we no longer suffer from any of the above mentioned illnesses. 

There is much truth to the fact that consistent exposure to a new food to a child will eventually modify the unhealthy behavior of craving only unhealthy foods. After 18+ years of working with children of all ages, I can confidently say that the responsibility falls on the parents. If all that is available to the child is healthy options, they will learn to enjoy those healthy options and eventually not crave the unhealthy options. 
My suggestion is to be consistent and always lead by example!

Because we enjoy treats, I knew we needed to have healthy options. 
We enjoy fresh fruit often when in season.  
This recipe is very similar to my PB FUDGE recipe, altered just a bit and shaped into these cute bumble bees! My kids love them :-)
*tip: If you have a child that is allergic to tree nuts, sunflower seed butter may be a great alternative for this recipe.

Energizing Honey Bee Protein Snack

1C vanilla protein powder (we love Shaklee)
1C peanut butter (organic,no sugar added)
1/3C raw honey (read about local honey HERE)
1/2C oats (gluten free is best)
1/3C flax meal
1-2 tbsp chocolate chips 
*melt chips and put in ziplock type bag, cut a tiny hole in one corner.
Almond slices to garnish {wings}

Mix it all together. Roll into mini balls. Drizzled chocolate over balls to make stripes. 
We used mini chocolate chips for eyes. Place "wings" on top.

*tip: if you freeze them on a cookie sheet, you can then transfer to a sealed container to keep fresh. Take out when ready to eat. 

A Special Thank You
I want to take a moment to say thank you to those of you who have supported our family business "Freedom Partners International". 
We set out to share health & wealth to help others and what happened in return is that you have enriched our life with loving support and encouragement.
We thank you for continuing to live a healthy life with the help of Shaklee. Our gratitude is without words,
As a special thank you to our current Shaklee member team (customers), we are offering FREE shipping on all orders placed between March 23rd thru March 28th! Spend $75 and receive FREE shipping! If you know anyone who may benefit from going Shaklee, please remind them of the special new member offer of FREE membership, Free shipping and a Free gift of Cafe Latte protein when placing an order of 50pv or more!

Thank You
 Stacey & Family

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy St. Patty's Day!

What did you do on St. Patty's Day?

Today we had yet another snow day, no school!! 
Great excuse to get things organized and enjoy a mug of mocha latte, YUM!

We started our cold day off with a HOT breakfast. Camryn requested a "green" breakfast.
I opted for "green" protein pancakes, you can see that recipe HERE. We just added green food coloring (or you could add spinach to the blender)
We also had "green" sausage (just added green food coloring to some fresh butcher sausage links) and of course we also had green eggs!

They requested "green" chocolate milk & orange slices. 
My oldest, Aiden reminded us that there is orange in the Irish flag, so we still coordinated!! lol

Then they went out to play in the snow

It is always fun to see my children having fun in the snow :-)

As a time saver, right after breakfast I gathered all the corned beef & cabbage ingredients and tossed into the rock pot, set to low and left it for the next 6 hours, then cranked it up to high for another 2 hours.
I would have included a few pics of the completed meal, but it was torn up before I could! 
I guess they enjoyed the dinner? haha

During my day off, I decided to do a medicine cabinet inventory. With spring coming (I think it is anyway?), I want to be prepared for allergy season and the common colds that come along with the change of weather. 
In our area Strep Throat is a common occurrence in both spring & the fall. My own children did NOT get it last fall and we are confident they will not get it again thanks to our natural approach.

Our family no longer uses over the counter medications and the use of prescription medication is very rare since we do not get sick as often as we used to. When any of us get a sniffle or a cough, we have what we need to help our bodies fight it off naturally. 
We no longer have any side effects or feel run down.

Here are some option when designing a natural, herbal medicine cabinet.

There are other ways to use oils, herbs and to make compounds to suit your needs, however I don't have the know how nor the time. With Shaklee those steps are done for me. I don't need to worry about the purity or have any concerns about the safety of any product developed by Shaklee. If you are curious why I would have so much trust in a company, I suggest you take a few minute to view this VIDEO.
I no longer need to take any over the counter or pharmacy medication for things such as cough, cold, stomach aches, headaches, muscle pain/cramps, energy boost, thyroid function, mood, sleep....and the many other reasons folks purchase medications or see doctors.
It has been great not being sick like we used to. 

How did you spend your St. Patrick's Day?


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lentil Chili

7 HEALTH Benefits from Lentils

1. Lower Cholesterol – Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol since it contains high levels of soluble fiber. Lowering your cholesterol levels reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by keeping your arteries clean.

2. Heart Health – Several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease. Lentils are also a great source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Low levels of magnesium have been directly associated with heart disease, so eating lentils will keep your heart happy!

3. Digestive Health – Insoluble dietary fiber found in lentils helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. 

4. Stabilized Blood Sugar – Adding to the many benefits of fiber, soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing down digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

5. Good Protein – Of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.

6. Increases Energy – Lentils increase steady, slow-burning energy due its fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism.

7. Weight Loss – Although lentils include all these beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are still low in calories and contain virtually no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but still leaves you feeling full and satisfied.

What a mighty food!

After participating in a 5 day mini detox diet reset, I found that I functioned so much better eating plant based protein. This prompted me to introduce Meatless Mondays with our family. 
 lentil chili is becoming a family favorite!

The health benefits of Lentils are amazing and well worth giving it a try.

16oz (1lb) lentils (we used Trader Joe's green lentils)
*soak lentil in water over night, rinse in the morning!
1 large onion
1 green pepper
coconut oil (just enough to cook with, about 1 TBSP)
taco seasoning (we used 1 Trader Joe's brand packet)
1 1/2 cp water or vegetable stock
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (or cut fresh)
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can corn (optional)
*diced jalapeno & cheddar cheese to garnish

Cook peppers & onions in coconut oil, add to crockpot with lentils.
Add the remaining ingredients.
Cook on high for 6 hours, then turn down to low for another couple hours.
*TIP: Have leftovers in taco shells or make our cheddar taco shells!

Have a great day,

Other recipe you will love,