Over the past eight years, I’ve come to really appreciate wellness and fitness. We’ve had several close family members and friends battle cancer, dementia, anxiety and depression, and when you get in the trenches of health-related problems, it changes your life. In our case, it’s made us change our lifestyle, habits, and interactions to prioritize and value the mental, physical, and emotional health of our family members, friends, and people in our lives. As a teacher, I want the best health for my students and their families. I know that it’s hard being a kid in today’s world. There’s a lot of pressure on kids these days, and adult-level situations that they have to learn to cope with just as a by-product of being born in the 21st Century.
It is also hard being an adult in today’s world, especially after COVID-19. It’s a challenge to be a parent, and I’m looking at you, Moms. Moms tend to put themselves at the very last place, and put their child and family first. They are the glue, and as a mom speaking to other moms, please know that YOUR health matters too. We can’t pour from empty cups, so I also hope this will be an encouragement to the families reading this. I’ve learned that as adults, we need to care for our mental, physical and emotional health also! Take some “YOU Time” to care for you. It may take some effort to put up appropriate boundaries and prioritize the schedule, but it is a long-term investment that will pay off!
All this is to say, “Welcome”! This page is for those who are interested in all kinds of health, wellness (mental, emotional, physical), fitness, and nutrition tips.
ANXIETY & HEART-TO-HEART
I’ve been concerned lately as I see a rise in anxiety among my students and children in general. There may be a lot of factors involved, but I’ve been looking for resources for PARENTS that can help analyze your lifestyle and equip your child to battle the negative effects of the culture around us.
The first is an EXCELLENT book set for Moms and Daughters called “Lies Girls Believe” and “A Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe.” It gets to the deep beliefs, thoughts and feelings of your daughter which result in behavior you see in her life. Many of the ideas can be applied to your sons as well.
ALL ABOUT YOUR BRAIN
The other is a video for parents. It is the best wholistic healthy scientific approach to analyzing your lifestyle and health. America’s most popular psychologist, Daniel Amen, was interviewed, and he gives some incredibly insightful information. 11 Risk Factors that Destroy Your Brain
Check out this article on foods that help anxiety!
Tips to Calm a Child: Students often don’t know how to express their frustration, fear or anxiety, and it may come out in different ways like angry outbursts. When a child is frustrated I ask, “It seems like you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. Can you tell me what’s bothering you?” After the child can explain, they feel better and have usually calmed down. Then I ask, “What would have been a good choice to make in that situation, or if it happens again?” and, “What can I do to help you?”
DIET: I grew up working out with my dad in his home gym and in the local recreation parks and walking tracks since I was a kid. As an adult, I taught exercise classes at a local gym for a couple of years, and even got my Zumba and Nutrition Certification while I was pregnant and a new mom. I got my Physical Education certification in January 2020.
Favorite Diet Tips: This postpartum journey has made me work harder than ever, but I’m so thankful to be recognizing myself again! For you moms out there wanting to cut some calories, make sure you do it the right way. Here’s what I’ve found helpful in my own fitness journey.
I’ve tried everything: intermittent fasting, increasing protein, low carb, vegetarian, cutting 500 calories a day, running, exercising more, lifting weights, and I’ve settled somewhere in the middle of all of that. 2020 threw me for a loop as I couldn’t go to the gym or take my toddler, but I’m happy with tracking my calories, eating a lot of vegetables, adding protein when hungry, hiking, dancing, running, taking long walks with my family, playing with my son at the park.
The formula below is what I tried to start my weight-loss journey post-partum. After 2 years of trying all these things, I’ve lost 50 pounds.
1: Multiply your goal weight by .8 and that is the protein amount in grams you need. Plan to lose only about 1 or 1.5 pounds a week to give yourself time based on how much you want to lose. You want a ratio close to for every 10 grams of protein it’s 100 calories. Protein sources: fat-free cottage cheese, plain greek yogurt, boiled eggs, nuts, peanut butter, whey or nut protein powder, lean turkey, chicken, and fish. If you eat fibrous carbs it keeps you full longer, and you won’t overeat later. This video explains the top grains to eat.
2: Calculate the amount of calories you need to achieve your goal weight. This article is THE BEST calorie calculator I have found. A friend of mine once said, “You can’t outrun your food.” You gotta change what you eat if you’re really going to lose because no matter how hard you exercise, you won’t lose weight if you’re not disciplined in your diet. If you don’t buy junk food, you won’t be able to eat it. It’s hard to get vegetables in at every meal, but it can be done. Eating more fibrous vegetables like broccoli, and fruit like apples, help you feel full without all the calories, plus many are cancer-fighting (the darker the fruit or veggie, the better it is to fight cancer, and full of antioxidants!)
3: Supplements, vitamins, and sleep: I can’t recommend these enough. Our bodies NEED these to function. It has been YEARS since I last remember feeling EXHAUSTED. Vitamin D is especially crucial paired with a recommended amount of sleep (I always aim for at least 7 hours even with a toddler)! If you’re having trouble sleeping and turning off the brain, do a “Brain Dump” and write it down, make a to-do list, organize your house, and get your heart rate up with exercise, and stick to a normal routine. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better. It’s worth the lifestyle change because your mental and emotional health is important.
4: Exercise! Women really need to have the courage to lift heavy weights. Contrary to what most women think, lifting weights trims you down. Combine that with something to get your heart rate up in between sets, and you will see results. Check out this article: Ten Things You Aren’t Doing in the Gym (But Should Be)
Here are some easy bodyweight exercises I like to try!
5. Weekly Meal Prep: I have simplified my diet down to the nutrients my body, heart and mind needs.
Heart Granola: I make a granola mix with oats, ground flaxseed, walnuts, semi-sweet chocolate morsels, agave nectar, 2 eggs and dried blueberries or cranberries. Bake and enjoy!
Turkey Meat Bites: I mix 1 package ground turkey with 1 package ground lean beef, oats, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, turmeric (fights inflammation), cumin, garlic salt, pepper, and sometimes I’ll add Dale’s and Worchestershire Sauce if I’m craving the burger taste. Bake in large casserole pan, cut into squares, and grab and go!
Cancer-fighting Green Drink: Every week I prep smoothies for my fam. Base is fresh spinach filled up half way. Add in frozen blueberries or mixed berries, almond milk, and whey protein scoops.
Abby’s ImmuniTEA recipe: At night, I heat up almond milk and mix 7 tea bags for the best tea mix: Turmeric Latte, Matcha Green Tea Latte, Cinnamon Apple Spice, Green Tea, Detox Tea, Smooth Move Tea, Echinacea Tea. Put the latte mixes in first and stir together. Then, let the rest of the tea bags soak for 2 minutes.