Coloring on Counter
There is a childrens song that goes "I'm a happy helper, show me what to do...I'm a happy helper, I like helping you!"

Your kids want nothing more than your attention
, positive or negative it really does not matter to them.  If you've ever tried to cook dinner while one child was screaming, and the other clung to your leg this is why they are behaving this way.  As they see it, their job is to get you to stop doing what you are doing and pay attention to them. 

The good news is there is a way to make everyone happy!  Pull up a stool, chair, whatever and let them be involved in the process.  Let them stir, peel, smell, taste, watch.  Let them set the table, figure out how many forks, spoons, napkins they need to put out.  Let them plate the food. 

If you are wondering about the photo, sometimes my 2 year old is not interested in helping right away.  To keep her included, I let her color on the counter (I'm right next to her chopping veggies, just in case you were concerned :) ). It only lasts for a few minutes then she is sampling the food and helping to stir! 

It's important for so many reasons to include your children in the cooking process.  The first is that children are more apt to eat healthier options if they feel like they are part of the meal.  The second, is it makes them feel special because you are including them in a "grown-up" activity.  The third, is you will all feel closer to each other as a family.  Families that cook and eat together, stay together. 

Try it tonight!

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Speak Peace
I'm a good mom. 

I know that I can be better, and I WANT to be better for my kids, husband, friends, colleagues, even you reading this.

It occurred to me one day after loosing my patience with my 3 year old, Kaitlyn, that I need to be more mindful of the tone and words that I use.  I also wanted to understand WHY I react the way I do, whether that be with love and patience, or anger and frustration.

A trusted friend recommended this book to me.  I read it in 2 days as the content was pretty amazing and really spoke to me.  I remember a story in the book about a mother who had felt horribly because she had yelled at her son that morning.  The advice Rosenberg gave to this mother made tears immediately stream down my face, because I knew that's what I needed to do. 

I recommend this book to all mommies and daddies out there who want to be a better parent through communication, while gaining and teaching your kid’s the power of emotional intelligence. Enjoy!

Lemon.  It may cause you to think; Dud, or reject.

I'm going to show you why it's no such thing!  In fact, the Ancient Egyptians believed that eating a lemon or drinking the juice protected them against various poisons.  Studies show that they were not too far off from that belief.

Lemons give us citric acid, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium, Bioflavinoids, and Pectin.  They also contain limonene which is important as it helps fight infection and promotes immunity.  It's an incredibly strong antiviral, antibacterial, and promotes digestive tract health and cleaning of the liver (which as an added bonus aids in weight loss!)

Because of the citric acid, it’s excellent at getting rid of acne.  If you are feeling stress or full of anxiety, breath in some lemon oil...this naturally relives fatigue and anxiety and increases focus and alertness.

It's also effective if you are suffering from a cold.  It supplies your body with Vitamin C, AND the anti-viral properties attack and destroy the mucus in your nose and throat.

Lemon oil stimulates the brain.  If you feel tired, add some lemon oil or some fresh squeezed lemon juice to some water.

Lemons can also provide relief with gout and rheumatism.  It provides relief with kidney stones and bladder issues as it acts as a diuretic.

I hope the next time you think about a lemon, you will think about all these amazing benefits and nutrients it provides!

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How To "Get" Your Kids to Eat Fruits & Veggies (And Have Them Asking For More!)

Yesterday I posted a super yummy all natural Fresh Lemonade recipe using Honey instead of Sugar.  Some of you wondered…Why?

Here are the basics:
Refined Sugar: Also called Sucrose, table sugar, or saccharose.

Refined sugar often comes from sugar cane or sugar beet.  That’s the natural part.  It’s what happens after it’s been harvested.  It’s manufactured and processed until it has been stripped of all vitamins, minerals, and proteins; and you end up with refined sugar.  The sugar is empty, dead, naked…your body get’s absolutely nothing from it except for a spike in energy and insulin which is NOT a good thing. 

So what?  Why should you care about consuming these empty calories?  It’s the nutrients your body has to give up to metabolize it.  The sugar makes your body unstable, so your body has to give up precious minerals like potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium to restore balance.  Your body gives up calcium from your bones and teeth first which makes them weak and start to decay, hence tooth decay and osteoporosis.

Your liver stores refined sugar as glucose, but capacity is limited.  The glucose is released into your blood and is stored in your belly, thighs, breasts, and butt!  Once these places are full, it travels to your kidneys and heart where abnormal blood pressure begins.  Eventually your nervous, circulatory, & lymphatic systems are invaded, your white blood cells are elevated and your immune system becomes so comprimised your body has a hard time fighting off anything from a bug bite, to a serious infection.

It also causes your body to produce excess amounts of insulin.  Insulin encourages cellular growth, great for healthy cells, but not so good for abnormal and cancer cells.

The energy spike is very temporary and makes you crash which leaves you in a constatnt state of fatigue and wanting more.

It’s highly addictive!  The average American eats 2-3 pounds of sugar EVERY WEEK!

If you and your family are on a high-sugar diet, start weaning yourselves now!  You may feel ok now, but you will pay the price later.  Diseases like heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes don’t happen overnight…it takes YEARS for these illneses to build up.


I’m talking about raw natural honey, not the typical processed stuff you find in a cute little bear at the local grocery store.  That stuff is not much better than refined sugar.  Generally the darker the honey the more antioxidents it has do don’t be afraid to go with something darker.

Honey is superior to refined sugar in that it has nutrients your body can actually use and absorb.  It has antioxidants, enzymes, 22 amino acids, and studies show it to increase your bodies ability to effectively process glucose (the exact opposite of sugar).  Because of the anti-bacterial properties of honey it can help to improve the digestive system.

It has lots of ancient healing properties which I will not get into here, but it’s been around for thousands of years and has been used as an antiseptic, cleanser, and anti-inflammatory to name a few.

It is calorie dense, so beware of how much you are using.  You will need less honey than refined sugar as honey is sweeter. If honey is your only sugar intake (and it most likely is not) 3-5 tablespoons per day is more than enough.

Disclaimer:  Do not give honey to children less than 1 year!!!

Conclusion:  Raw Honey is a better sweetening choice than refined sugar.  However, you should aim to use all sweeteners sparingly. 
Healthy Habits: Try to cut out a little at a time, and adjust your taste buds to tolerate food in it’s most natural form.  As a rule you should be getting less than 10% of your caloric intake from sugar.
Fresh Lemonade
This is a super easy recipe that the kid's can help you with.  Let them squeeze the lemons, measure the honey, and stir :)  My girls love making this fresh lemonade with me. 

Combine 1/2 cup of honey in 2 cups of steaming hot water, mix together until dissolved.

Add 1 cup of fresh lemon juice. 

Let cool for at least 2 hours.  Serve with ice.

Love Pink Lemonade?  Once cooled, you can also blend it with some strawberries, for a naturally pink lemonade :)

I've wanted to blog about this hot topic all week, but I had to really check in with my emotions so that I could identify what it is I was really feeling.  Angry, Disgusted, Sympathetic?

So here is what I came up with.  I had to ask myself a few questions:  Do you think the parents are doing this maliciously, meaning, are they intentionally trying to make them obese?  Is the government better qualified to take care of the child?  What is the best interest of the child?  Is it abuse?

I don't believe the parents of obese children are doing it with the intent to hurt them.  I think it just goes to show the LACK of education the majoirty of parents have when it comes to nutrition and feeding their child.  Furthermore, the biggest advertisers are the one's for junk food....Pepsi, Coca Cola, McDonalds's.  Corporations spend BILLIONS to entice people to eat their CRAP.  People have absolutely no idea what is in their food, in fact most of the "food" in their house is not "food" at all!  It's all processed chemicals.  I bet you can't even pronounce half of the ingredients of anything you find in your cupboard...because it's not really food!

I also don't believe the government would do a "better" job.  Foster care?  I don't think that's the answer.

So what is in the best interest of the child?  In this case, I think staying with the parents.  The thing that is missing is the education!  If you take the child away then everyone loses...the parents and the child.  If the child stays and everyone, together, learns about food, nutrition, and how the body's a win-win.

I think this is a tradegy.  Parents should absolutely be aware of everything going into their childs mouth and their own.  They're not though.  I know plenty of amazing parents that still give thier kids junk food day in and day out, but their children are not considered it's ok then?  Where do you draw the line?  How is that not abuse, when their children are not getting the nutrients their bodies need everyday either?  Does that mean the big, bad, government should come take them too?  Nope!  EDUCATION!

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How To "Get" Your Kids to Eat Fruits & Veggies (And Have Them Asking For More!)