Thursday, September 28, 2017

Mom-Shaming: You Can Help Stop the Obesity Epidemic

Beware: what I am about to post may trigger you. Those of you who are sensitive to mom (or dad) shaming... it is coming.

I have seen a post on social media recently. The first time I thought was a fluke and I moved on. But now it seems to be gaining momentum and I am a bit taken aback.

Have you seen the school lunch hack that looks like this:

Do you see what is in there? The hack includes advice to pre-make 30 or so lunches (minus the main coarse of a sandwich or something of that nature) using an over-the-door shoe rack. While I love the ingenuity of pre-making all those lunches, I am just surprised at the content. I live in my own bubble I guess, but in my bubble, people know the health risks of giving your children soda on a daily basis. Not to mention pairing that soda with other sugar-laden snacks. 

Before we get too far down this rabbit hole, please let me clarify that I have lived every Momma life you want to throw out there. I have been married and working full time. I have been married and stayed at home. I have been a single mother who worked part time. I have been a single mother who worked full time (and then some!). 

I know the challenges of working 60 hours a week and trying to prepare healthy food for my 3 children. I know the challenges of surviving in a household with one income and trying to prepare healthy food for my three children. I have done it all. But, in the end, I have always found a way to make it work.

I am not really out to shame other parents. I truly think there must still be a lack of education. I don't think any parent wants to cause their children heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, sleep apnea... and the list goes on... by provided them poor nutrition. I am just not sure how the big processed food corporations are winning and our nation is become more and more obese by the day.

I do want to address the cost issue since that is one huge fallacy that really scares people. I do not know how or why people are kept under the assumption that eating better is so much more costly. Much of my youth was spent on government assistance and the vast majority of my food was home cooked because that was all my mother could afford. I distinctly remember that buying Oreos was such a fancy treat because my mother could bake 4 dozen cookies for the price of a small package of Oreos. We often had oatmeal for breakfast because the processed cold cereals were too expensive.

I decided to do a comparison of what the lunches above cost as compared to what I provide my children. I went online and got prices from Walmart as I think that is one of the least expensive places to buy your groceries and is available to a large portion of the US population.  I am only comparing the snacks and drinks with the presumption we both give our kids a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. 

Almost exactly the same cost but wayyy less added sugar and way more nutrients provided. A child should have no more than 25 grams of added sugar PER DAY. This lunch on the left more than doubles that in ONE MEAL. It also provided barely any nutrients that a child needs to sustain themselves throughout their school day.

Again, same price but this lunch on the left would provide THREE TIMES the recommended added sugar for one day!

It is not about shaming, it is about education. How can we educate these parents? I was recently watching a show where a woman was trying to lose weight. It was so sad to hear her say that her life would have been so different if only her parents had taught her to have a healthy relationship with food from the beginning. She had 20 years of poor eating to try to reverse the effects of as well as retrain her brain to combat the addiction to processed foods. She had such an uphill battle ahead of her that would most likely last the rest of her life.

Here are a few tips to help make some changes. All may not be feasible for every family, but I think any change is a step in the right direction:

• Eat together, eat at home
• Eat healthy meals and snacks
• Model healthy eating choices
• Increase activity, decrease inactivity
• Get active with your kids
• Participate in community activities
• Only 8 ounces of sugary drinks per week
• Avoid diet trends for children
• Know when to consult your doctor about your child’s weight

Your child's life is worth it.

Friday, September 22, 2017

5 Things Friday: A Motley Mix

1. Speaking of authenticity, I need to start by loving myself. All parts of myself. I so struggle with being comfortable in my own skin. I found a great course I think I am going to take: 10 Days of Body Neutrality Discoveries. I am hoping this e-course will help me let go of body shame and move me towards more acceptance.

2. I sense a trend here. I have decided to let my grey hair show! I started graying when I was 22. With black hair, that is a very noticeable change. I have never accepted that gracefully, so I have spent 20 years dying my hair. It is time to let it go... but not in a subtle way. I want to make fun of it. I have found a ton of ideas and I would LOVE input. What style and color do you love?

3. My family has been eating vegetarian for about 6 weeks now. I am officially sick of looking for new recipes that 3 children will all eat. I found a new one this week, though, that was delicious. I actually bought ingredients the next day to make another batch to freeze. If you like buffalo wings, you will love this soup.

4. Halloween is coming... I hope my friends and neighbors get on this bandwagon.

5. I can not really put a list together without a living simply bullet: 25 Things to Get Rid of This Fall... some great tips here.

Happy Friday Bitches!!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

15 Habits of Authentic People

Authenticity is a word that has caught my attention more than once recently. I have spent the last few years becoming acutely aware of who I am and what things need to change so that I can live my best life.

While I am on this path, something in the universe keep throwing "authenticity" my way.

And so I decided to research authenticity. Authenticity as it pertains to people... more specifically as it pertains to me. Am I authentic? If not, is it a quality I should be aspiring to develop?

What are some of the key characteristics that define authentic people? I have come up with 15 major indicators that really strike a chord with me:

  1. They figure out what they're tolerating and tolerate less. You tolerate things because you're just not quite ready to deal with something. Can be anything from - home repairs, clutter, paying attention to your body, or even unsupportive relationships. 
  2. They don’t complain as they take full responsibility of their lives. They take personal responsibility for how their actions created a certain outcome. They are willing to look at how they influenced each and every situation and act accordingly.
  3. They find genuine connections: They seek to truly understand the people around them. They ask thoughtful questions, and listen intently. By developing a genuine understanding of and connection to the people they are with, they are more likely to feel genuine and authentic themselves. 
  4. And, to make genuine connections, you must be present: They are more present in their conversations and relationships. They are active listeners, and give people their full attention. Mastering the art of presence perhaps is the single most effective way to ensure authenticity in any situation. They truly listen to others. They don’t listen in order to respond. Nor do they listen to others while being distracted by their phone, the TV or whatever else may be a distraction. They’re able to be fully present with another person. They’re able to listen to others with a genuine interest and care for the other person. 
  5. They see value in giving love to others. They see value in giving love and kindness indiscriminately. They understand that we are all connected and are willing to give others a helping hand. They know that by helping others, they are helping themselves. They allow and encourage others to express their own truth with love and acceptance as well. 
  6. They’re perfectly happy in their own company and they’re great friends with their own selves. 
  7. They put some time into personal growth. This can be through classes, volunteering or hobbies. Regularly doing hobbies that inspire people to improve skills is a great way to define what makes them happiest. 
  8. They accept their flaws. Being comfortable with yourself requires you to accept that you are not perfect. If you know your flaws and make efforts to avoid hurting others or yourself with them, then you are much more in touch with reality. 
  9. They keep all of their agreements. They don't take agreements lightly. They really consider: Do you want to say yes to this or not? They write all of their agreements down, because most people forget the things they agree to. It is too easy to forget. They schedule time to do the actions or the activities that are required to keep that agreement. They inform someone if they are going to have to break an agreement as soon as they know it is going to be broken, rather than wait until the last minute, because then they don't have time to reconsider or reschedule themselves. 
  10. They recognize the emptiness in material things.  They also don’t rate other people based on the material items that they have or don’t have because they know it doesn’t hold much meaning. 
  11. Instead of investing in material things, they recognize that experiences make their lives richer. They’re aware of how life experiences create more meaning in our lives. They are open to explore and learn, both externally and internally. 
  12. They make the most out of the situations they find themselves in, good or bad. 
  13. They let go of critical and toxic people, although they don’t hold any bad feelings towards them. 
  14. They express their true thoughts, feelings and views unapologetically They don’t say things that they don’t truly mean. They don’t do things that they don’t really want to do. They are able to share their own unique thoughts, feelings and views without fear of other’s opinions. 
  15. They’re not out to please people. They know that by living their lives to please others all the time disconnects them from their own inner experience. They know the importance of being aware, acknowledging, and expressing their own unique thoughts, feelings and views to the world. They know that by expressing their true internal experience, they are able to share their gifts with the world. 

And now that I have defined some of the traits, I need to assess my values and find my way to my true self. Are you authentic? Do you believe in authenticity?