Grace in Loss

 

Learning something new

Every time I think that I have this Christian walk thing figured out God gives me another challenge to master. Not that I think that I could be perfect and walk like Jesus, but I make a conscious effort to live and abide in Christ. There are so many challenges that I face in my attempts but this one in particular keeps coming up in many different ways. It’s something that is multi-faceted but people seem to pigeon hole in one or two areas; grace.

My understanding of grace is God showing unmerited favor to us in the form of blessings. A pretty generalized idea that can be applied in many situations right? Yes, so with that interpretation I never realized how much grace God really does show us daily. There are the obvious, and there are the not-so-obvious ones that we take for granted and then there are the really big ones.

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Different types of grace

1 Corinthians 15: 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

The obvious graces that I recognize and give praise to God daily for: I woke up this morning, food to eat, clothes to wear, home, healthy family, great husband. There are the ones that we take for granted but still are His grace nonetheless. These are the ones that I never praise Him for nor do I recognize as grace but I should and need to work on. The tedious tiresome task of our everyday life is God’s grace too.  For me being a stay at home mom’s those are the ones that I tend to complain about the most. I am grateful for God’s grace I am able to stay at home. I am grateful that although I complain and behave ungratefully; he still shows me favor. Things like laundry, dishes, bathrooms, and kitchen floors (to name a few). These are the ones that I am still trying to master and he is challenging me with everyday.

Then there are the really big ones, those are monumental moments in my life that I can pinpoint the effect His grace had on me. It was by God’s grace that I married my husband. The house that we live in was definitely through His grace and direction.  One that really stands out in my mind lately and I don’t really think I have thoroughly processed is the birth of my third daughter.

 

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Life changing Grace
My youngest one was what would be refer to as an “accident.” We weren’t intentionally planning to conceive her and I was in complete denial that I was pregnant in the beginning. All the signs were there but I was passing them off as other things. Until, I was unbearably sick for days.  So, took the test, came out positive and headed to the doctor. Went through all the general procedure and had an ultrasound to measure the baby. At the ultra sound found out that “Yay! ( a little sarcasm) not only did we accidentally conceive one child but there were two in there.” Have you ever seen the commercial where the dad passes out over learning of triplets? Imagine my husbands face just before he passed out but didn’t actually fall to the ground. I wasn’t exactly thrilled but I was ready for whatever God had given us.

We continued to live life and scheduled another ultrasound appointment 3 weeks later. Still unbelievably sick to the point I had lost 10 pounds in three weeks. Was very weak, tired and couldn’t get much accomplished. Went in with my little sister and soon to be middle daughter for the ultra-sound excited to see how my two lil ones had progressed in the 3 short weeks.  At 11 weeks, I went in for the next ultrasound; Get in, lathered up, after a few swipes the ultrasound tech brow furrows, a few more swipes and she says, “I will be back I have to go talk to the doctor.” Hind sight, I should have known something was wrong but dealing with a curious 5 year old and chatting with my sister I didn’t pay attention.  The doctor comes in,introduces her self and after few swipes regretfully tells me,”I am sorry but “Baby A” no longer has a heart beat.” Seriously, how do you react to something like that? You only have had 3 weeks to process that everything will be multiplied times two and just as quickly as you come to terms with that; you subtract it back down to one.  I am not a very emotional person and I admittedly can be slow some time so it took me a long time to process that, honestly I still am working on it.

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Ephesians 2:8  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—.

We left and I had the mommy task of answering lots of questions that I couldn’t answer myself. Got seen by my doctor the next day and she explained to me that it was probably the best thing that “Baby A” didn’t make it. It probably had some “cell abnormalities, defects, they were fraternal so that should have no effect on Baby B, blah blah blah,” doctor talk. The gist is that then I was on bed rest for 6 weeks, lots of doctors appointments to make sure that “Baby B” would be okay. Fast forward 6 months and I had a wonderful, natural delivery of a 7 lb 8 oz. healthy little girl who was perfect in every way. Her name is Milah and she is my happiest child, super intelligent and a weird and funny fact was born with four nipples. We jokingly say in remembrance of her twin but there might be some truth to that we have yet to find out. (Insert twilight zone music now). Through God’s grace he had spared her from her siblings fate and she is now our little happy survivor. Her middle name is Taryn-Grace and every day I am reminded of God’s unmerited favor of  not taking both babies but sparing me one. There are days that I look at her and think, “What if there had been two?” and there are others day that I look at her and think, “What would have I done with two?”

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Depths of His Grace

Just as God is infinite with His love for us, I find He is even more so with His grace. Every day at every moment we are walking, talking, breathing and basking in His grace. The birth of my daughter was death of me relying on the world, it strengthened my faith and made me the strong Christian woman I am today. That in itself if you knew the path I was on is God’s grace. Seeing this perfect little person that from the very beginning before she even came to us God showed favor. That was more than enough proof that my God is an awesome God.  Every day when I sit and reflect on the grace that He shows me in the obvious, the routine and the really big ones. (Not every day but some days there are those neon light big moments) Where not only He show me faith but glimpse of the immensity of His love for me through His grace.

How has God showed you grace today? Yesterday? In a big way?

Food & Mood: Healing the Whole Person- Mind, Body, & Spirit

Recently, on Social Media, I have been open with my battle of anxiety and depression and how living a healthier lifestyle has helped me.  I reached out to a long-time friend Dr.Angela Clack to get her expert opinion on the effects of food and nutrition on mental health. I am honored that Dr. Clack would share it with my readers and me.  Some great info here so take notes: 

It all starts with your mindset

Years ago, I lost 50lbs with fitness, nutrition, and accountability (a great nutritionist, professional accountability to hold my feet to the fire if I messed up), and I loved the results. However, because I made my goal a number on the scale and a clothing size instead of a commitment to a lifestyle change- the weight slowly crept back.

 

Well, I know where I went wrong, and I’m sharing my story as well as sharing insights from the therapist’s corner to inspire and educate others about the mind-body connection. As well as the impact food has on our mood-both scientifically (through research) and from my experience in working with hundreds of people who have struggled with both emotional health difficulties (depression and anxiety) and weight and body image issues.

Mental Health Disorder defined

To understand the complex nature of mental health disorders, the reader will need a clear definition of what clinical symptoms are typical for someone experiencing mental health/mental illness. The problem is that not all people experience the same symptoms. Men and women often differ in how their mental health problems manifest as well as across cultures. Women are twice as often as men to experience major depression. One fourth to one-sixth of childbearing age women are on an anti-depressant. For consistency and purposes of this article, I will provide a broad definition.

First, my definition of mental health disorder-is a disconnection between your emotional, physical, social, and spiritual self. In other words, you are disconnected from your thoughts, your sense of self and self-care (i.e., physical health), dis-connected from an adequate social support system (or you are connected to toxic one), and you are disconnected from your power source-our faith and belief system in Christ. Wow, that’s a lot of disconnection-no wonders, one would be depressed and anxious.

Clinically, depression is (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. Millions of individuals suffer from both of these disorders annually and throughout their lifetime. Typical treatments for these disorders are medication and psychotherapy (counseling). But as a practicing psychotherapist who has witnessed and observed the benefits of exercise and nutrition in helping to heal mild to moderate forms of mental health disorders, I have changed my philosophy of treatment to a holistic approach: mind, body, and spirit.

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Nutritional Psychiatry

There is a new field in science named nutritional psychiatry. This is the intersection in research between science and cognitive functioning. It examines the relationship between diet, brain function, and the risk of mental disorders. Additionally, it examines the potential socioeconomic and environmental challenges detracting from the traditional dietary patterns that might otherwise support positive mental health.

In March/April, Ed. 2016 of the Scientific American Mind the researchers noted the following scientific outcomes:

  • Research on anxiety,
  • depression,
  • and exercise shows

That the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce stress and improve mood (Mayo Clinic). Besides lifting your mood, regular exercise offers other health benefits, such as:

  • lowering blood pressure,
  • protecting against heart disease and cancer,
  • and boosting self-esteem.

Nutritional Imbalances trigger depression

There are several nutritional imbalances that can make one prone to depression:

  • essential fats,
  • blood sugar balance,
  • food intolerances,
  • low-level Vitamin D,
  • high sugar intake,

Health researchers have found a link between inflammation and depression. Inflammation is caused by obesity, high sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats, unhealthy diets in general, and STRESS!!!!
When we are depressed, we are more likely to eat carbs and junk food, which over time, causes weight gain and inflammation.

Honor your body as it deserves

Imagine the following at age 16 years old. You get a new car. You are told that this car must last you your lifetime. Remember, you only get this one car for your lifetime! How would you treat it? Would you schedule maintenance services on-time and consistently? Would you check tires and replace them as needed? Would you put damaged or used parts into a new car? If you have a luxury car (foreign model), would you take it to the local shop on the corner? Or would you run it into the ground, hoping it will hold out? Not likely would we risk any of these scenarios. We would be mindful and careful to take off that car. Think of that car as your body. Because at birth, we only get one, and it’s designed to last a lifetime if we take care of it. What is your relationship with your body? What is your relationship with food?

According to the Dictionary, the definition of food- “is any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth,” If we savored food like this definition, we would enjoy our food so much more and would make healthier food choices. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that is saturated with the marketing of high-fat foods and high sugar diets. We must be better informed.

Food Effect on our Mind and Bodies

Can I share research about what our foods are doing to our minds and bodies? This may not be favorable to many, but it’s the truth. Check the numbers of obese children and adults in the world. Check the names of individuals living on disability due to emotional and physical health conditions. We also know that about 50% of women who try psychiatric medications never get the benefit, and after a year of being on them, 60% show no improvement in their symptoms one year later.

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Processed food linked to depression and anxiety

Here we go. Evidence links stereotypical Western diets, which are heavy in processed and fatty foods, to higher rates of depression and anxiety. Unhealthy diets most likely contribute to a range of neuropsychiatric disorders by increasing inflammation. Research indicates that traditional diets from the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, and Japan help to preserve our psychological and cognitive well-being. Those diets all include fish ( a great source of omega-3 fatty acids). The Mediterranean diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, lean meats, and olive oil. The main feature of this diet is that it is low in sugar and processed foods.

But there is hope! Let me offer some food for thought (no pun intended). If you keep the mindset that “knowing that what I eat can affect how I feel” will help you to see food as fuel and not necessarily as a restrictive diet. We are finding that there is compelling evidence that nutrition is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology,and gastroenterology. (March/April Ed. 2016 of the Scientific American Mind).

Of course, in addition to food choices, the elimination and reduction of toxic stress in your life, which often leads to emotional eating, needs to be kept in check. That’s where a support group, psychotherapy, or a nutritionist or health coach would be integral to your success in the battle of the mind.
Want to feel better? Want to live longer and with less stress on your mind and body? Want your skin to glow and look refreshed daily? Want to sleep better? Do you want overall better cognitive functioning without depression or anxiety? Think “brain-healthy “foods. Visualize the image at the top of the article when making food choices and see where food will make an impact on your brain and health.

Overall, research continues to support and show that the main ingredients for a healthy brain diet will consist of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, lean meats and healthy fats such as olive oil (March/April Ed. 2016 of the Scientific American Mind).

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Eat well. Live well. Live long. Be mindful; you only have one brain and one body.

Dr.Angela Clack wrote this post:

dr-angela-clackDr. Angela Roman Clack is a psychologist and licensed psychotherapist at Clack Associates, LLC, a private practice outpatient counseling agency in Southern New Jersey. She has been working in the mental health field for more than 25 years. Dr. Clack earned her doctorate in 2002 with a degree in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Clack is known for her ability to teach, supervise, coach, and provide training in various areas about children, youth, and their families. Because of her training and teaching abilities, Dr. Clack has made a massive impact in her community by reducing the stigma of people of color who seek mental health treatment.

Dr. Clack is passionate about discussing mental health and wellness. She has a broad range of public speaking experiences, including community events, radio and internet shows, women’s empowerment groups and panel discussions, church and school settings, and collaborations with mental health advocacy organizations and non-profit community organizations. With her highly diverse clinical experiences and training in adult, child, adolescent, and forensic settings, she can discuss a broad range of topics.

Why do women need more protein?

Why do women need

I am a #NOWWellness Influencer. In this post, I have included an affiliate link this post that I receive a commission from purchases, and I am compensated for my post. All my opinions are my own. My full disclosure policy

Why do women need more protein? And ways to get more protein daily.

Most adults’ diets consist of mostly carbohydrates and fats, which are vital macronutrients but protein is often neglected.  Most dietitians and nutritionists recommend a diet that is balanced in Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats.  These are all macronutrients that give our bodies energy.  Each macronutrient is essential and has its purpose of fueling our body. That is why we need all to function well.  

Miseducation on how to fuel your body

I find with many of my clients there is a lot of miseducation on what Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins look like in daily living. Each person varies based on age, activity, body composition, ion, so there is no cookie-cutter fix. There is no magic formula to weight loss despite what people may promise. You also have to take into account food preferences and allergies. But for the most part, protein is lacking in most people’s diets, whether they are plant-based or animal-based protein consumers. Most people are just getting enough to get by, but adding more protein to your meals can have many benefits.

Why do we need protein?

Protein exists in every cell in your body. It is composed of amino acids, and protein is responsible for supporting the growth of new cells in the body.  It’s essential in the growth and development of children and teenagers. [THE U.S. National Library of Medicine,2021] Whether you get your protein from plants or animals, the human body needs to sustain and develop.    

How does protein fuel our body?

Whether it’s plant-based or animal, protein fuels your body with over 100,000 types of proteins found in 20 amino acids. (“What are Amino Acids? | Enhancing Life with Amino Acids | About us | Ajinomoto Group Global Website – Eat Well, Live Well.”, 2021) Protein is critical to function to:

  • repair our cells, 
  • Optimizes hormonal response, 
  • Strengthens your hair, nail, and skin are all affected by your protein intake. 
  • Protein helps to regulate your pH level and fluid levels in your body. 
  • Protein is used to transfer vitamins and minerals throughout the body and is also a source of energy.  
  • Protein is critical for the body to function well, and most people’s diets consist of less than 20% of their diet.  

How much protein should I eat per day?

Depending on your health, it depends on your protein intake.  In general, you need the same amount of protein that you break down to repair. If you’re injured or sick, you need more protein than if you’re not to repair. Pregnant women and those trying to strength train generally need slightly more protein than they break down.  

According to the Dietary Reference, Intake report protein consumption for a sedentary adult should be 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (0.8 x your bodyweight). The average passive man should eat about 56 grams of protein per day, and the average woman should eat about 46 grams. But this is all dependent on your body weight. (2021)

How can protein help you with your weight loss goals?

Suppose you’re looking to lose fat and gain muscle. About 10-35% of your total calorie intake should consist of protein.  Despite what trends may say, to lose fat, you must have a calorie deficit.  A calorie is a calorie, but the quality of your foods affects your ability to function well. So, the type of food you choose to nourish yourself with, along with movement, reduced stress, and optimal rest, will result in changing your body composition. Check out my post on “Stress is stalling your weight loss.” 

Why should women eat more protein?

Most women are eating enough protein to get by, usually, 15%, which is on the borderline of deficiency. Many women should increase their protein intake up to 35% of the calories of their total diet can have some great benefits when it comes to changing your body composition and your metabolic health.(Noakes, M., Keogh, J. B., Foster, P. R., & Clifton, P. M., June 2005) 

Eating more protein can help:

Satiate and reduce appetite and cravings

Your weight regulating hormones response to protein causes you to become more full with less food. (Blom et al., 2006) 

A way to get more protein on your plate is to reduce your carbohydrate serving slightly and increase your protein serving slightly.  Also, consuming protein at night can help reduce your cravings late at night.  Try my Edible Protein Cookie Dough recipe found in the Sweets! No Sugar Dessert Cookbook for a high protein sweet treat at night time.  It was also found that maintaining a diet high in protein has helped them maintain their weight for those who had lost weight.

Aids in muscle growth

Protein is what helps renew our muscles. If you’re practicing a strength training workout like on the FaithFueled Life app, then you should be getting adequate protein to support and build muscles.

Protein gives you a metabolic boost as you digest

Protein has a high TEF (thermic effect of food), meaning that while you are digesting protein, it requires about 15-20% more calories to burn to digest. There has been a study that in a group of people who are higher amounts of protein there was 260 more calories burned than those who are lower amounts of protein (Bray et al., 2015

Protein promotes healthy aging

Staying active and consuming protein can help you age well and reduce the deterioration of muscle that comes with aging.  Getting higher amounts of protein along with moving your body can help you age well.

What are good sources of protein?

  • Soy
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Beans and lentils
  • Skinless, white-meat chicken or turkey
  • Lean cuts of beef or pork
  • Fish
  • Egg whites
  • High-Quality Protein Powder (whey or plant-based)

What are some easy ways I can add protein?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try my  new favorite Fall Super Pumpkin Shake

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Do you think you’re getting enough protein in your daily intake?

References:

 

U.S.  Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Protein in Diet: MedlinePlus medical encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. Retrieved September 19, 2021, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002467.htm#:~:text=Every%20cell%20in%20the%20human,%2C%20teens%2C%20and%20pregnant%20women. 

What are Amino Acids? | Enhancing Life with Amino Acids | About us | Ajinomoto Group Global Website – Eat Well, Live Well. (2021). Retrieved September 22 2021, from https://www.ajinomoto.com/aboutus/amino-acids/what-are-amino-acids

(2021). Retrieved September 22 2021, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx

Noakes, M., Keogh, J. B., Foster, P. R., & Clifton, P. M. (2005, June). Effect of an energy-restricted, high-protein, low-fat diet relative to a conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet on weight loss, body composition, nutritional status, and markers of cardiovascular health in obese women. The American journal of clinical nutrition. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941879. 

Blom, W. A. M., Lluch, A., Stafleu, A., Vinoy, S., Holst, J. J., Schaafsma, G., & Hendriks, H. F. J. (2006, February). Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response. The American journal of clinical nutrition. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16469977. 

Bray, G. A., Redman, L. M., de Jonge, L., Covington, J., Rood, J., Brock, C., Mancuso, S., Martin, C. K., & Smith, S. R. (2015, March). Effect of protein overfeeding on energy expenditure measured in a metabolic chamber. The American journal of clinical nutrition. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25733634. 

Ten Ways to Support your Child’s Health

I am a #NOWWellness Influencer. In this post, I have included an affiliate link to this post that I receive a commission from purchases, and I am compensated for my post. All my opinions are my own. My full disclosure policy

Ten ways to support your children’s Immune System

School is back in session, and although supporting your children’s immune system is something we should do all around. Now is a great time to begin.  I have so easy ways you can support your family’s immune system!!⁣ 

Your immunity is your body’s defense mechanism, and supporting your immunity is essential. In the past, I have shared ways to support your family’s health, but I wanted to share how you can specifically support your children’s immunity and health.

I am sure you’re already doing a few without realizing it!⁣

1. Encouraging daily joyful movement

Our American Society needs more movement.  With our lifestyle today, there is less and less movement and more sedentary moments. This needs to change to help support your child’s immune system. One way to begin making movement part of your daily routine is setting up a scheduled time to move as a family. Also, let kids play without rules or expectations. Children don’t play anymore, and developmentally, it’s good for children to play outdoors. Whether after a dinner walk or Morning Stretching, starting these habits with your children can become habits they will continue for the rest of their lives. 

Walking to local places instead of driving can encourage movement. Try taking visits to nearby parks if available and encouraging your kids to play.  Too often, children are on their devices and sedentary.  Riding bikes, skating, or outdoor play for 20-30 minutes can be beneficial to supporting your children’s immune system.

2. Hydration

Water is boring!

I get it, but it is needed for all living creatures to survive, and proper hydration can help support your child’s immune system as well as start a habit that will continue into adulthood.  Kids who drink water become adults who drink water. I’ve shared the adverse effects of moving dehydrated for adults. Check out my post Are you working out dehydrated?

According to Healthychildren.org, Depending on the age depends on the amount of water a child should consume.  Infants are recommended to drink 4-8 ounces of water a day.  Toddlers ages 1-3 years need about 4 cups of liquid beverage per day. For children between ages 4-8 years old, it is recommended about 5 cups per day. 1 

But water is boring, so what are some ways to get your kids to drink water?

  • Try “eating” your water with fruits and vegetables that are high water content like cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, celery, tomato, watermelon, cantaloupes, strawberries, oranges, etc. grapefruit. Adding some of these high water content fruits and vegetables to your plate is a great way to “eat your water” and add some powerful vitamins and nutrients to your children’s diet.
  • Or you can infuse your water with some of these high water content fruits and vegetables.
  • Add fruit to your ice cubes; it’s a great way to entice your children to drink more water.
  • Try Coconut Water popsicles which are great for hydration and a great cool treat. My kids love popsicles. Try the Coconut Water Slender Sticks

3. Nourishing Well

Another challenge is nourishing your kids when you’re combating C.R.A.P Food (Carbonated Beverages, Refined sugar, Artificial Colors and flavors, and processed food) which tastes good. It is heavily advertised to our children, and everywhere it’s hard to encourage your children to eat F.O.O.D.

My girls will choose fries over roasted potatoes any day. But encouraging F.O.O.D ( Fresh fruits and vegetables, Omegas 3s and 6s, Organic or Natural Protein, and Drinking Water) as alternatives every chance I get is sometimes a victory, and sometimes it ends in defeat. Still, I continue to offer them better options despite the challenge. 

Another thing that I do to encourage my girls to eat F.O.O.D is to include them in the meal planning, shopping, and preparing. Initially, it takes patience, effort, and time but taking the time when they’re little produces kids and teens who can make meals. And I’m grateful when my girls make dinner. 

They also prefer healthier options NOW, but it took years of “no thank you taste” and an open mind. Check out my post. Four Ways to get your family to eat clean 

4. Washing hands

Kids are more aware of keeping their hands clean, but they can always use a reminder. 

5. Rest Well

Rest is how our bodies recover and develop. Children need an adequate amount of rest because their bodies are developing. Keeping a sleep schedule that has x hours a night helps your child recover, develop and support their immune health.

6. Eat more fermented foods or probiotics.

Adding fermented foods to your children’s plates can be a challenge. NOW® Probiotics chewable BerryDophilus™ is great because it combines several probiotic bacterial strains that support gastrointestinal health and a healthy immune system. It also creates an ideal gut flora for nutrients to be absorbed, and there’s no sugar. It’s sweetened with xylitol so that it won’t cause harm to your teeth. Fermented foods are still a great addition to feed the probiotics.  BerryDophilus™ is a great “insurance” they have happy guts!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

7. Supplement wisely⁣

Supplements are a waste if your kids won’t take them. They need to taste good, but they also need to have high quality. When looking for children’s supplements, check out this post on what to look for in your children’s supplement company

There are so many recommendations for supplements to help support your immune system.  What you take is important but where it comes from is more important. If you’re looking for quality, trustworthy supplements to help support your children’s immune health. I would check out NOW®, whose quality standards are above and beyond and a reliable company for your family’s needs.  Some extras that you are probably already doing without knowing are the behavior, you model.

8. Model Healthy Coping Skills

Children observe what we do and how we act. Modeling healthy coping skills is a great way to set up the foundation for your children to navigate their own emotions. Also, having open dialogue so that children can express their feelings and sort them out is excellent for them to feel supported and loved.

9. Love, Support, and Positive Feedback

The basic need of our children is to feel love and secure; creating structure, stability, and nurturing your child looks different for every child. It is a way to support them in their wellness and health.  Our environment and social setting have everything to do with our wellness. 

10. Participate and set the example

Don’t just say it! Do it!  When children see their parents joyfully moving, nourishing well, setting boundaries, coping, and resting. It’s an example for them to follow.  So, support your health so that you can support your children’s health and make it a family affair. We are so much stronger together.  Supporting your child’s health is as unique as your children’s and an ongoing job. It may change as they get older, but these are some foundations for you to begin.

 Check out my NOW® Immersion post where I visited the manufacturing facility in Illinois and saw firsthand the testing and quality that goes into every bottle and product NOW distributes to their consumer. 

You can find many supplements and check out their children’s.  Use the code FAITHFUELED to receive 20% off your purchase at www.nowfoods.com.

Which tip did you find the most helpful?

 

 

Reference 

 

  1. Choose water for healthy hydration. HealthyChildren.org. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2021, from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Choose-Water-for-Healthy-Hydration.aspx#:~:text=To%20stay%20well%20hydrated%2C%20children,8%20cups%20for%20older%20children. 

Immersed at NOW®

Immersed in NOW®

I had one of those God opportunities that I wanted to share with you all.  I was invited to the facility in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.  I have been a NOW® Influencer for several years, and I have shared many of their products with you because they are affordable and trustworthy.  I’ve always stood by that without knowing the extent NOW puts into the quality of its products.  It brought me comfort looking at the third-party certs on their website. It’s an indication that NOW stands for quality but seeing what goes into that label is what I hope to share with you. So get comfy because I’ve got a lot to share.

What is NOW®, and what do they do?

NOW® is a family-owned natural product manufacturer. NOW produces high-quality natural food, healthy aging supplements/products, essential oils, and sports supplements. 

They carry over 1400 products for all of your wellness needs. And why I love NOW is they have the best quality products in the business, but they are affordable. They have something for everyone from pets, kids, adults, and aging adults. It’s where you go if you’re seeking safe, effective, and quality products. 

You can find NOW online at NOWfoods.com, amazon.com, and luckyvitamin.com, among other e-tailers, as well as in Sprouts, Natural Grocers, and other fine health food stores nationwide.

How did I hear about NOW® products?

When I first was introduced to NOW® products, it was through their supplement. It was Psyllium Husk, and I made it for this very old relic (Check out the photo. It never made it to the blog. lol), but anyways I read that NOW Psyllium husk prevented your Keto Buns from turning purple. 

So, I ordered the Psyllium Husk from NOW.

Then it was like when you get a car, and that’s all you see on the road. NOW® started popping up everywhere.  Then I got to meet Alana from NOW® at Empower Summer camp. I’ve been an avid consumer ever since.  

Then about three years ago, I was invited to become a NOW® INFLUENCER, and I love that I get to represent a brand that I can trust and fits seamlessly in my life. I LOVE and use NOW® products every day. 

Why do I trust NOW® products?

I LOVE NOW® because I can TRUST NOW®! I don’t even give it a second thought if they carry it.  Almost naively, I will buy it.  

After being immersed in NOW®, I can wholeheartedly trust and back up everything they offer.  I have never had an experience like it, and I wanted to share it with you. 

NOW® is so much more than supplements, food, healthy aging products, skincare, and supplements.  That’s what they carry, but the family behind the family-operated brand are the friendliest, most genuine, and inspirational people you want to come in contact with.  

Their passion for excellence and honor is evident in the people and the products.  I may be a little bit smitten since coming back from Chicago, and rightfully so.

Why is it essential to have a supplement brand you can trust?

Before I found NOW®, I was skeptical of many supplements and skincare products on the market. If you’ve been following me over the years, you’ve watched me explore and test many products.  Natural products are essential to me but what’s in them that we don’t know or disclosed is even more critical. With a lack of high standards in the industry, it’s hard to know if you’re getting safe, quality products. Especially if you’re giving these products to your family. 

NOW® high standards and third-party testing set them above the rest in quality.  During my factory tour, I got first-hand insight into the testing that goes into NOW® products.

What was the Immersion experience like?

AWESOME! 

Really if you check out my Instagram Highlights, you can kind of get a glimpse of the experience.

I left the Philly area Thursday afternoon with sunny skies and landed in Chicago. The flight was epic. I have been flying by myself since I was four years old. My first trip to the United States from Germany to live with my grandparents for a few months while my parents took care of our move back stateside. I have always loved to fly.  But this flight was the smoothest landing I have ever experienced.  You didn’t even realize we landed. We just glided in. The flight home was lots of turbulence and bumpy landing.  My flight into Chicago was great.

 

I arrived and immediately searched for food. I had an excellent bunless burger and fries at America’s dog in Chicago O’Hare-highly recommend their fries. 

Then I was greeted by a driver from NOW®.  I rode with Ashley Gadsen, a fellow influencer, into Itasca, IL, which is about a 45-minute drive to Eaglewood Resort & Spa.

First Night immersed with NOW®

Alana greeted me from NOW®, who I have worked with on campaigns and blog posts throughout the years. We’ve met several times in person, but this meeting was special since experiencing a pandemic together virtually. It was so good to see her in real life.  I grabbed my key and went to my room to shower and prepare for the “Iron Chef Style” competition they had planned for our first night.

When I got to my room, I let out a little squeal.  So, many goodies! NOW® spoiled us with goodie bags of NOW® products. I got dressed in “real clothes,” as my girls say, and made my way to the outdoor Balcony for the “Iron Chef Style” Competition.

Day 1 at NOW® Immersion

Who doesn’t want to compete on “Iron Chef”? My daughter Lailah was so jealous. We’d watched the show many times. And I was ready.  We had a happy hour/info session on NOW®’s history and origin and got to taste test some yummy appetizers while we waited for the competition to start.

We got plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and NOW® Food products to use for our competition. Spoiler alert my team WON! We were grouped by Apron colors that were handed out during the happy hour.  Unbeknownst to us, our apron choices would choose our team. It was a great surprise to be on Team Blue, and we had a fantastic group.  

 

We had about 30 minutes to put together either an appetizer, treat, or meal, and within minutes of the start, my team had three dishes we were ready to make. We were frantic, scooping up ingredients. We quickly got redirected-thank God and only had to make one dish. So, we chose-

Stuffed Zucchini Boats with a Tropical Pineapple Avocado Relish. Go big or go home! 

We killed it! It was so delicious and easy to make. Our secret ingredient was NOW® Foods Liquid Monk Fruit Sweetener to give the pineapple a little sweetness.  Another faith and wellness, Candace Appleby, told a great story of our tropical inspiration. 

It helps that she spends most of her days on the beach surfing, and she had the judges and audience on an imaginary Lauo as they tasted and judged our food.  

After some tough competition. 

Team Blue WON! 

The victory was sweet, and we got the grand prize! 

So fun!! 

And a great party idea for my daughter Lailah’s birthday! After the competition we had dinner. Lots of vegetarian/pescatarian options and some delicious gluten-free, dairy-free desserts. I was in heaven! 

My old lady moment

I went to bed early, but others stayed up and went Cosmic bowling. I turned into a pumpkin at 9:30, so I took myself to bed and got ready for Day 2, which started at 6:45 in the morning. That’s more my time of day!

Day 2 of NOW Immersion

I got up and bright and early way before sunrise. (AS I always do) It was nice doing Bible study in a different place. I had an outdoor balcony, and it was warm early that Friday morning.  I got dressed and set off to do sunrise yoga with Jamie King. 

Sunrise Yoga with Jamie King, owner of Flex and Flow

Jamie has been such an inspiration on my fitness journey over the years and my yoga practice.  I have been practicing with Jamie virtually for over two years, and in every class, she kicks my butts.  It’s hard to sit for days afterward, but I love the challenge, and she has made yoga fun for me. 

It was a sweaty, glute-y beautiful flow, and we got to do my favorite thing. EAT! Well, shower, get all our stuff ready to be shipped home, and then eat! 

At least that’s why I did.  We had some interactive info sessions and a tour of the NOW® factory planned for the remainder of the day.

NOW® Sports Nutrition

When we got to the conference room, they had DIY Smoothie Bowl Bar and Information Session led by Bryan Morin, NOW® Sports Brand Manager. For competitive athletes and people who supplement need to trust the products they use.  

NOW® reputation precedes itself, and many Olympians and everyday athletes can trust supplements produced from NOW. I also learned how different “stacks” of supplements could help your performance—types of protein powders, why BCAAs help performance and recovery in athletes, and so much more.

I’ve spoken a lot about protein powder, BCAAs. There is so much to learn. We went into detail about joint supplementation, L-Carnitine, Taurine, and other supplements we see on the market but not sure exactly what they do. If you’re looking to optimizing your performance, I will check out the education NOW® sports provides and see what supplement stack may work for you and your needs. Check out NOW® Sports Nutrition Stacks and use FAITHFUELED to get 20% off your stack.

NOW® Solutions Skincare

During the Skincare and Healthy Aging information session led by Led Tina Tews, Personal Care Brand Manager. Tina shared all of the new product lines that NOW® is coming to help support healthy aging and skincare.  

We also make and take a Cooling Sugar Body Scrub that my girls love and a Skin Renewal Mud Mask using NOW® solutions products and essential oils.  It was fun to get to know some other influencers and make these easy self-care facial products. 

So highlights that I can’t wait for is the expansion of the Kids line and excitement about the Women’s wellness solutions coming out next year.  

My entire family uses NOW®, and it was cool to learn the innovations and new things that NOW® is working on. Check out my post on the Children supplements from NOW® and which ones Mimi takes daily. Seven ways to support your childrens’ health]

Touring NOW®  Manufacturing Facility

The highlight of immersion was the manufacturing facility tour. We had to gear up and sterilize so that we didn’t contaminate the factory. It felt a little intense, and we were washed, masked, shoes covered, and gloved. No jewelry, and we had our hair covered as we toured the facility. It looked utterly sterile like it had been in operation for days, not over 50 years. 

 

I had a duh moment. It never occurred to me what Chemistry majors do, but they work for facilities like NOW®, creating the products that I love and trust. We got to see a chemist at work—quality testing equipment valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. The ultimate “shaker bottle.” Their mixer was the size of a delivery truck.  We got to see bottling, packaging, formulating, and testing. The brilliance behind the closed doors and white coats was remarkable to observe. 

The most inspiring part was the tour. MY group took the tour with the CEO of NOW®, Jim Emme. He was like a walking TEDtalk. He was so inspiring in sharing his business practices, philosophies, standards.  So humble and kind.  He dropped so many nuggets, but the one that will forever be in my mind is when I asked him, “Does NOW® consistently works with the same suppliers, or do they give new suppliers a chance?”

He said it best; check out Jim Emme’s business practice when working with other companies.

 


We should all be held and hold others at a standard of excellence. That’s how we help each other grow.  

My NOW® Immersion experience was memorable, inspirational and I got to connect with some fantastic Influencers and professionals in the industry. Everyone is striving for excellence and trying to help others do the same.  I was humbled to think that I was invited and included in the company of these fantastic people.  

After the tour, we said our goodbyes, and I explored Chicago for the first time as a solo traveler and the first time in Chicago. Check out my experience of De lost in Chicago post. It was such a fun workcation and experience.

If you are looking for affordable products and exceptional quality, I would highly recommend NOW® for your family’s wellness needs. If you’re looking for where to get started, I will check out nowfoods.com, and if you find something you like, use code FAITHFUELED to get 20% off your order. 

Are you concerned with the quality of your wellness products? Have you ever tried NOW® products?

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