Monday, November 5, 2018

Healing Strong Live

As most of you know, I am super passionate about health, wellness, and disease prevention. The Lord recently opened the door for me to become the group leader of our local Healing Strong chapter. Although I don’t have much room on my plate or extra time in my schedule, Jonathan and I both felt this was to be a “YES” for us.

So here we are.

Healing Strong is where my holistic health journey began nearly 5 years ago & where I have learned so much of what I know about “clean living.” I love the mission, the vision, the support, the education piece, the community, and most importantly that it is founded on Christ and a faith-based non-profit/ministry. It really is a perfect fit for me.

If someone you know is on a healing journey or interested in prevention, it’s worth checking to find a local group close to you. You will not regret it!

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This weekend I had the privilege of attending the Healing Strong Live conference at the beautiful In Touch Studios in Atl. Some sweet friends, group members,and my sweet parents all joined me for the event. (Jonathan would have because he loves it as much as I do, but our babysitters were out of town.)

It was so powerful! The entire event was executed with such excellence. They provided awesome goody bags, a delicious organic lunch, and sevel yummy healthy snacks like smoked salmon, homemade nut mixes, and juices. The name of the Lord was lifted up, & I believe people left empowered to take control of their health.

I have been on my health journey for a while & am already familiar with several of the things they shared, but my mind is still blown every time I go to something like this. I wanted to pass along a few notes i took:

- in 1900, only 5% of the population had cancer. In 2016, that number rose to 40%.
- United States had over 600,000 cancer related deaths last year and 1.7 million diagnosed.
- The most consumed “vegetables” in America are french fries, onion rings, and ketchup.
-nutrition should be frontline therapy in cancer patients but unfortunately it's rarely discussed. Most oncologists have zero training in nutrition.
- The average American consumes 150 pounds of refined sugar a year.
- every cell in your body is eavesdropping on your thoughts. It matters what you think.
- you cannot be grateful and unhappy at the same time.
- your genetics make up a very small portion of your chances for been diagnosed with cancer. Your epigenetics play a much bigger role.
- ballroom dancing lowers risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 73%.
-1 out of every 3 Americans will get cancer. Only 1 out of every 7active Americans will get cancer.
- our toxins are expelled through our urine, feces, liver, and sweat. Stop using anti-perspirant and allow your body to sweat!
- What factors most affect our overall health and chances for cancer? Exercise, detox, nutrition, microbiome, attitude, & energy. Small portion is genetics.
- as a nation, we are eating TOO much, TOO often, & the WRONG food!
- intermittent fasting helps prevent cognitive decline and insulin resistance. “it’s not just the notes, but the space between the notes that matters.”
- The typical Western diet is fertilizer for cancer cells.
- 92% of Americans don’t even get the RDA of vitamins, which is an extremely low standard for nutrition.
- Our soil has 80% less minerals than it did in earlier years because of soil degradation.
- during the first eight hours of fasting, the body goes into the glycogen stores. The next four hours it starts burning fat. you want to shoot for going past 12 hours (14-16) because the body starts burning fat past 12 hours.
- 10 PM to 2 AM is when the body ideally heals. You want to be asleep during this time.
- fasting expresses our hunger for God. It says “God, I desire you above all things.”
- if fasting stresses you out, don’t do it. It is more important to not be overwhelmed with stress, which has extremely negative impact on your overall health.
- is it fasting from food or is it FEAST with Jesus?
-you can inherit up to three generations of trauma.
* note to self, order Shaping a Christian family by Elizabeth Elliott ❤️
- know your purpose: your what, what for, your why, and your how.
- They shared some really interesting connections Between emotional hurts and various types of cancer. Example, prostate cancer can often be linked to worrying about future generations or the loss of a child. And breast cancer, right side is many times as tide to father issues in the left side is tied to maternal issues.
- unforgiveness, bitterness, guilt, etc can often manifest in the form of health issues.
- The Bible says “my people perish for lack of knowledge.”
- The fuel you put into your body affects the way that it runs. You wouldn't put sugar in your fuel tank and expect it to run. And then when it breaks down, you don't just completely remove the fuel tank, right?
-You are ridiculously in control of your health and your LIFE!!
-you have options. Cancer does not have to be a death sentence. Most cancers are slow growing and you have time to research and make a decision.
-We all have cancer cells. We are either feeding or starving them based on our lifestyle choices. Our bodies should be able to combat unhealthy cancer cells.
- there is healing power in MUSIC!
- laughter really is medicine for the soul and adds years to your life.
- if you’re not already juicing, start ASAP.

Whether you are on a healing journey, standing in the gap for a loved one who is, or focused on prevention and taking the best possible care of your family (like me), you’ll want to pay the $25 to get access to this recording of the day. And take notes!!

I cannot stand to watch ONE MORE PERSON lose their life too soon to this disease, & I hope you’ll join me in helping spread awareness.

Healing Strong Live Stream Replay

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tips for Helping Kids Eat Healthier

"The most comprehensive survey done on this topic, a University of Michigan report that examined how American children spent their time between 1981 and 1997, discovered that the amount of time children spent eating meals at home was the single biggest predictor of better academic achievement and fewer behavioral problems. Mealtime was more influential than time spent in school, studying, attending religious services, or playing sports." - The Secrets of Happy Families

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Wow. I know we lead busy lives, but that is powerful. Mealtimes are so important, but so many times it can feel like a struggle. “What do I make? I don’t have time to cook! My kids won’t eat anything I make! Healthy food is so expensive!”

I’ve heard all of those a million times…and probably said them myself a few times too! I don’t have all the answers, but I hope to at least offer a few tips/suggestions. Some are tried & true in the Butler house, and some are brand new ideas we are going to work on.

Wives+ mamas, we are the nutritional gatekeepers of our home. Instead of viewing that as a burden, we have to shift our perspective and look at that as an awesome responsibility! We can choose to make it a journey rather than something that overwhelms or annoys us. Our attitude in how we approach our family’s nutrition makes all the difference! And if there is anything I know about nutrition, it is one of the most powerful aspects we can control regarding our health and the health of our children.

Did you know…this is the first generation of kids not expected to outlive their parents?? As in, if we don’t make some changes, we will be burying our children some day. (I know that sounds dark, but it is our sad reality and sometimes I think you have to share something in a way like that to understand the severity of the issue.) I don’t know about you, but I assume you are probably with me on this…I am just NOT.OKAY with that statistic. Friends, we have to do better. When we know better, we do better. And that doesn’t mean it’s easy, but there aren’t many greater investments we can make.  It is worthy of our best time and attention.

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I recently listened to an awesome lecture from an expert in this area (which I certainly am NOT), so I wanted to pass along some of the tips I heard from her that I plan to start implementing (as well as I few I already do & some AWESOME tips from wise mamas in our Healthy Mama/Healthy Kiddo Hacks FB group!).

Tips for getting kiddos to eat healthier:
1. Involve them! Of course this isn’t a guarantee, but studies show they’re at least more likely to eat it if they have a hand in preparing it. Involve them in the whole process. Planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, seasoning. Takes longer, a little messier, but LOTS of benefits! Quality time + they’re learning + more likely to eat it.

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2. Sneak it in. Try veggie noodles. Add veggies to muffins, omelets, stews/soups, casseroles, etc.

3. Smoothies & juice! My kids love to help with both of these & it’s a great way to get in some great foods they wouldn’t ordinarily eat.

4. Offer it every time. Maybe you offer something 30 times & the 31st time they actually try it! Maybe it takes 60 times, but they end up loving collard greens or spinach salad or kale chips on the 61st time? Keep offering! Again, not a guarantee, but worth the effort to offer it.

5. Be the example. Eat healthy yourself & talk about enjoying healthy foods. Talk to your kids about how much better you feel when you eat nutritious foods! We can enjoy treats, but not all the time because they can make us feel yucky.

6. “Smell/lick/taste.” When offering something new, give them the option to either smell, lick, or taste the food.

7. Choose your battles. You cannot force a child to chew and swallow, so this is a power struggle you could potentially lose. Make sure you don’t make that mistake. At 3ish, kids are testing boundaries just for the sake of testing them. Just keep that in mind.

8. Don’t be a short order cook. Don’t make them separate “kid foods” or they’ll always be a picky eater. But, you can still give them options and let them take ownership. For example, when we make homemade pizzas, they choose what toppings they want.

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9. Watch out offering snacks too close to meal time. (Or after a meal time if they chose not to eat what you made.) They’re more likely to eat whatever you give them when they’re really hungry.

10. Offer the healthiest stuff first. Sometimes I’ll chop veggies & set them out with Greek yogurt ranch or sliced apple wedges or a puréed soup for them to snack on while I’m finishing up dinner.

11. Make homemade treats. I don’t believe in depriving your children, but i can make a homemade version of something & it is MUCH healthier that way!! Homemade pancakes, muffins, protein bites, cookies, etc. I let them help me too. They take so much pride in it & love to Share what they make with others.

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12. They don’t know what they don’t know, so hold off on the junk as long as possible. It can change their taste buds. I will never forget that Jase did not want cake on his first birthday because he’d never had anything with sugar. Clearly I ran a tighter ship when I just had one…Ha!

13. Give family members healthy options/suggestions. This is probably the toughest scenario because many loved ones (especially grandparents) like to show love through treats. I don’t want to be a dictator, so i just try to make sure they eat as healthy as possible during the time they are with me. Could I stand my ground and win that battle? Sure. But my husband and I (mostly him) agreed it’s better to just ride it out. Still, there are some things I do have to watch. When my oldest has too many grains/sugar or my littlest has too much dairy, I see asthma + eczema flair. My husband has too, so he is more on board now with trying to guard that. Anyway, if you just give them some ideas for healthier options, they’re usually very happy to comply and still feel like they’re spoiling them!

14. Really focus on good fats!! Very, very important for developing brains!!

 

15. Many kiddos have slight allergies to gluten. Try to eat real, whole foods as often as possible. (Also, our littles’ digestive systems are NOT able to digest grains the way adults are, and this is one of the reasons I do not give rice cereal or oatmeal in a bottle. We prefer Baby Led Weaning, but you definitely want to read the book before pursuing this method.) We make our own bread too usually so I just leave the gluten out.

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16. Kids are supposed to have less than 25 g of sugar a day. Many kids are getting this all at breakfast! Make sure they’re not drinking their sugar allowance either. (Sports drinks, soft drinks, many juice boxes, lemonade, etc. are all PACKED with sugar!)

17. I have my kiddos sit at the table to eat. Not in front of a tv or tablet. I want them to know their hunger cues. I don’t make them clean their plate, but i do sometimes encourage them to take “one more bite” or two more bites of something.

18. Try different ways of preparing a particular food. Kale salad...baked kale chips...sautéed kale...kale & banana smoothies. You might find they like it prepared one way but won’t touch it another way. My boys LOVE sweet potatos & kale baked in this way, but sauteed kale or even a baked sweet potato? Prob not happening!

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19. Offer the food buffet style and let them make their own plate. Have them choose one of everything, and at least try everything before allowing seconds.

20. Have them help set the table.

21. Eat outside!

22. Try the "love it, like it, learning it" approach where you eliminate saying we don't like it & rather saying it's a “learning it” food.

23. Be sure to offer something familiar too when you’re offering a new dish.

24. Try shopping at a Farmer’s Market, local farm, and Aldi. I also LOVE Thrive Market & save a ton there!

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25. When eating out, choose the healthiest options you can find. We like Moe’s/Chipolte, Zoe’s, Taziki’s, Natural Juice Cafe, & Panera.

26. Avoid transferring preferences or making assumptions about what they might like/dislike! For example, just because I HATE olives (gag!) doesn’t mean my kiddos will. Still offer it, let them try it, and don’t talk about how much I hate olives in front of them.

27. Make your food FLAVORFUL!! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be bland. Add lots of herbs/spices, healthy salt, quality butter, etc.

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28. Try giving them a dip! My boys will eat almost any veggie if they can dip it in Greek yogurt ranch. You can get creative here, but try offering a dip.

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29. Don’t get all cray about the mess. Let them make memories with you in the kitchen, and make it a JOYFUL time! Crank up some Pandora. Laugh with your babies. Double check their measuring. Winking smile 

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**Unrelated, but I also have them ask to be excused before they get up, and they put their plate/utensils in the sink. Teach em young, right? Raising great adults!

Best advice I’ve got- start small. Choose something from the list you can start with, and just do that. Believe it or not, I am not as hard core as you might think. i just can’t control everything and it’s not worth stressing over, so I do the best I can as often as I can. I do consider it a responsibility though, so I do try to be conscientious and mindful of what I’m feeding my family. I am always seeking to learn in this area so I can make it a part of my normal life & routine (and don’t even have to think about it anymore.)

**One more last minute tip to save you time/money & it is DELISH!!

Here’s how i kill several birds with one stone. (Punny, right??) Cook one whole organic chicken (from trusted source) in crockpot. I love this Bragg’s seasoning because it adds so much flavor! I also add organic carrots & celery about 1.5 hours before it’s done.) Then I use 1/2 the meat for dinner one night, and use the rest to make chicken noodle soup or chicken & rice (with organic Sprouted rice from Thrive Market) for the next night. I also use the bones (2x) to make homemade bone broth. **Watch for bones when pulling the chicken apart.

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Friday, September 14, 2018

The B-I-B-L-E

I was talking to a friend the other day about the best selling book of ALL time & wanted to share some of these “fun facts.”

There are actually over 100 million copies of this book sold each year, and many households report having 3-4 in their home.

Yes- I’m talking about the Bible. This has been my Bible for the last 11 years and it is one of my greatest treasures.

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There are 66 books in the Bible. There are two main divisions- Old Testament (made up of 39 books), which was written before Jesus’ life on earth, & the New Testament (made up of 27 books), which were written after Jesus’ life, ministry, death, & resurrection. These books were written by approximately 40 men over a 1600 year span (from 1500 BC to 100 AD). The books of the New Testament were written within 100 years of Christ’s death by disciples…Men who knew/encountered Jesus or served closely with him. There was also a 400 year time frame between the OT and NT where they didn’t hear from God (often referred to as the years of silence)until the angel spoke to Mary.

40 different authors /writers...from all different backgrounds...over a 1600 year time period...and the theme is the same throughout. It is SO powerful seeing prophecies fulfilled, & I don’t see any other explanation besides “Well that was God.” (If you’ve never read John Bevere’s book called “Good or God,” I think it’s chapter 4 ? that has some really fascinating thoughts on the “chances” & probabilities of the specific details of those prophecies actually being fulfilled in the way they were...mind boggling numbers/statistics that I believe can only point you back to Jesus.)

There are 8 major themes of the Bible.
1. Creation
2. Brokenness
3. Promises
4. Redemption
5. Law
6. Rebellion
7. Grace
8. Eternity

Most of the Bible is not organized chronologically, but rather grouped by like kind. The first five books of the Old Testament are the “Books of the Law.” The next 12 books (Esther - Job) are “history books” known as narratives. Job is considered by many to be a “wisdom book” & Psalms through Song of Solomon are the “poetry books.” Isaiah through Malachi are “the prophets.” The first 5 (Isaiah - Daniel) being considered ‘major prophets’ and final 12 books in the OT (Hosea - Malachi) referred to as the ‘minor prophets.’

In the NT, the first four books are “the gospels.” Matthew was written thematically, & Mark, Luke & John were written chronologically. The book of Acts is considered a “history book,” and the book of Romans begins the letters/epistles. Revelation is the 27th book of the New Testament, and definitely one of its own kind...a book of prophecy.

Here are a few of my favorite verses about the Word of God.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” - 2 Tim 3:16

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” - Isaiah 40:8

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” - Psalm 119:105

The Bible is transformative when you apply it in your life. The Word never returns void. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read a particular verse or passage...God always has something new to show us. It won’t change us if we are simply a ‘hearer of the word’ thorough...because that is just ink on pages. The power lies when we allow the Lord to speak to us, mature us, and mold & shape our hearts & as we become ‘doers of the Word.’

I am so grateful to have the freedom to be able to freely read & study my Bible. And my prayer is the the Lord gives us all an overwhelming hunger & desire to study it, meditate on & pray the Scriptures over our lives, and learn the character of God so we can become more like him. It is SO rich, so interesting, & so powerful. It is the best “self help,” inspirational, parenting, finance, work, marriage, leadership book there is. It has a remedy for every ailment, and a solution for every issue. Yes, even though times are different, we can still apply the wisdom of this book. If we will just FOLLOW it, He gives us the equation for “success.”

What a gift He has given us in His Word!! There is just nothing like it.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

What’s In Your Cup?

Love this analogy. I needed to hear this today and I thought someone else might, too.

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You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee?

"Well because someone bumped into me, of course!"

Wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because there was COFFEE IN YOUR CUP.

Had there been tea in the cup, you would have SPILLED TEA.

*Whatever is INSIDE your cup is what will spill out.*

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you WILL come out. It's easy to fake it, until you get rattled.

*So we have to ask ourselves... “What's in my cup?"

When life gets tough, what spills over?
Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility?
Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions?

You choose!

Today let's work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation; and kindness, gentleness and love for others.

Being Offended

{My sweet friend Christi Johnson shared this and it was just too powerful not to pass along. I have seen so much destruction happen as a result of people being offended and acting on it. It’s at the root of many broken relationships & arguments. I truly belivee it is a tool in the enemy’s toolbelt to cause division. While we should never be seeking to purposely offend people, I think it’s even more important to focus on how we respond when we feel offended. This is an area where the Lord has matured me tremendously, and I am so thankful for His work in my life in this area. Of course we have never “arrived,” so I am still working and this was such a great reminder for me. Hope it is for you too!}

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OFFENSE

Every day, we are presented with multiple opportunities to get offended. It can be as minor as someone cutting us off in traffic or stealing our parking spot. Other times we can feel deeply hurt by a friend's rude or harsh comment.

What many people don't know is that offense is one of Satan's greatest tools to steal our peace and rob us of God's blessings.
The word "offense" comes from the Greek word scandalon. It is an interesting word that literally describes a trap used to hold bait in order to lure animals.

Similarly, offense is the bait the enemy uses to trap us. He will use people's words and actions to get our minds churning and stir up our emotions. He uses this bait to lure us into a lifetime of bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, strife, hatred and revenge.

I often say that Satan sets us up to get us upset. He knows our weaknesses and what buttons to push to send us over the edge.
The good news is we are smarter than our enemy because we have the mind of Christ! (See 1 Corinthians 2:16.) We can know the truth of God's Word and don't have to take his bait.
In other words, when somebody tries to give you offense, you decide whether you take it or not.

You may be thinking, Christi, it's so hard not to take offense sometimes! I understand how you feel, but we can refuse to be offended because God gives us self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). This means we can control ourselves with God's help and take responsibility for how we respond to life's situations.

It's easy to deflect our problems and place the responsibility on someone else, thinking, If you didn't upset me, then I wouldn't feel this way or If you would just do this, then I would be happy.

But the truth is we will never be free from any problem as long as we're blaming somebody else. I'm not saying other people don't do anything wrong; however, we can't control what everyone else does, but we can choose how we are going to react!

First Corinthians 13:5 says love "is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs" (NIV). Love is a choice! I can choose to forgive and let it go, or I can hold on to the offense and let the hurt turn into something even worse.

For example, sometimes an offense starts out like a paper cut. It's seemingly small, but if you don't take care of it properly, it can begin to fester. In time, it can become infected and cause you a lot of pain.
I can tell you from experience that it's so much better to take care of a problem when it's little. It's good to address it as quickly as possible before it has an opportunity to take root and turn into something more serious.
I've learned that the quicker I can forgive somebody, the easier it's going to be. Sometimes this means being the first one to apologize and make peace — even if it's not my fault!

However, the more we do the right thing, the easier it gets. The quicker I forgive others and get rid of any offense, the more peace I have in my life. After a while, you realize that staying offended doesn't change other people or solve your problems — it only makes you bitter and angry.

I often say that staying mad at someone who has hurt you is like taking poison and hoping your enemy will die. You don't hurt them at all — you only hurt yourself!

Psalm 34:14 tells us to "seek peace and pursue it" (NIV). I've learned over the years (many times the hard way) just how valuable God's supernatural peace really is.


Now, I absolutely refuse to live without it!
It is so much greater than living with the toxic results of holding unforgiveness in my heart.

Opportunities to be offended will never go away, but we can grow wise to the enemy's tactics and learn how to respond in a godly way.

So, the next time you are tempted to be offended, don't take the bait!

Always remember that you have a choice. You can choose to be angry and bitter ... or you can decide to forgive, believe the best of others, and enjoy God's supernatural peace.

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

“Bye Bye Belly” Challenge

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I put a feeler out on FB & Insta, and welllll....looks like we have LOTS of folks interested in our "Bye Bye Belly" challenge! (We actually have several that have joined already!

Visceral fat (the fat around your midsection) is some of the most dangerous for our overall health & a problem area for lots of folks. There are countless studies supporting how belly fat increases our risk for MANY diseases & illnesses, particularly because it is so close to so many of our most important internal organs. While you can't necessarily spot target an area to lose weight, we have a simple product + eating plan that is flat out getting results and helping people lose body fat all over, and they are seeing their mid-section shrink as a result. This has been piloted & the results are seriously MIND blowing. People are trimming their waist & losing major inches...saying “bye bye belly.” (which improves all over health!)

If you want to know more, check out this FB group. I'm going live later in here to share alllll the deets: the why, the what, the price breakdown, what it includes, more info about the eating plan, etc.

Just request to join: One80 in 2018

We also have a drawing for a $200 cash giveaway for anyone who joins us by the 21st. Our group is kicking off on Sept 4th, but our FB is already live for those who have ordered and e-mailed in their confirmation! We are SO excited to coach the next group through this! Simple, affordable, and best of all…REAL RESULTS.

FAVOR in Obedience

The more obedient I am to what God has called me to, the happier I am.

Is it always comfortable? Is it always what I “want” to do? Does it mean life is perfect & without trials? NO.

But I firmly believe personal “happiness” is tied strongly to obedience.

For the record, I believe God is more concerned with our holiness & shaping us to be more like him than he is our “happiness.” I also believe we can have JOY that comes from the Lord even when our circumstances aren’t necessarily “happy." But I do believe God wants us to live an abundant life (John 10:10) that far exceeds all we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

We see over and over in the Bible how God rewards those who are obedient. He is faithful, and He blesses those who are faithful in return with His favor. There are countless Biblical examples. Abraham, Noah, Moses, Job, David, Daniel, Sarah, Hannah…the list goes on. If you want a modern day example, take a look at Chik-Fil-A. The restaurant, which closes on Sundays so employees can go to church and spend time with family, generates more revenue than all other fast food restaurants (including McDonald’s) that are open 7 days a week. There are all kinds of speculations about WHY this is, but want to know the real answer? FAVOR.

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Favor from the Lord. I’m sure most “business experts” think that’s crazy and advised against it. But Truett Cathy’s decision to stand firm & follow the Lord, even if it wasn’t popular, led to massive success. Because God honors obedience.

We don’t like to talk about it, but there are consequences for sin and disobedience, which usually come in the form of circumstances that make us “feel unhappy.” Many times we blame God or question if he’s really there, when in fact we should really be looking in the mirror for who is responsible. A wise Sunday School teacher once taught us that “disobedience hurts.” Ever seen a mom tell her kiddo to stop doing something, the kid not listen, and end up getting hurt? Picture it. A little boy running around the swimming pool. Mom: “Stop running. You’re going to get hurt!” Kid: continues running. Slips, falls, busts his head. DISOBEDIENCE hurts.

Now think about that in life circumstances. Know someone who married someone God did not intend for them to marry? Everyone in their life warned them against it, but he/she was soooo “in love” they did it anyway? There is a big chance all those red flags continued to unfold, and now that person is unhappy in marriage or even divorced. Is it God’s fault that person didn’t seek the Lord? Or someone who spent a LOT of money buying something that felt good in the moment, but is now spending a lifetime of regret attempting to pay off the debt, and absolutely miserable? (These are just examples. It doesn’t always happen this way, of course.)

No, this doesn’t mean that life is going to be perfect and that we’re never going to have trials... because we are. But If you want his hand and his anointing on you...then you must walk in obedience.

His Word is not a list of rules preventing us from having any fun. It’s boundaries set in place to protect us from harm. Because He can see things we cannot see, and doing things HIS way are far better than doing things OUR way. There is such reward in obedience. And we have way more control over our circumstances than we realize. I don’t always get this right, but praise the Lord I am learning! I have spent way too much time suffering consequences that resulted from my own disobedience. I’m grateful I’m finally mature enough to take personal responsibility and ownership. (There is so much freedom in that actually. No blaming, making excuses, etc. Just owning it.) The seeds we plant now will result in the fruits we eat later. Choose to obey the Word of God! His promises are real & so, so sweet.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Healthy Kiddo Hacks: Boosting the Immune System

Benjamin Franklin said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is SO true!

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It’s that time of year. Back to school. Flu season will be here before we know it. (SHEW- it was BAAAADDD last year. Like epidemic levels.) My goal, like all the rest of the mamas, is to keep my boys as healthy as possible, so I wanted to share some of my favorite homeopathic/natural remedies for boosting their immune systems and keeping them well. (For the record, it’s not fool proof. My boys had a summer cold/cough last week. But I do believe this helps + shortens the length when they do come down with a little something.) I don’t think there are many things more heartbreaking than seeing your baby not feeling well, so I want us to help with that some if I can.

I also have an awesome FB group called “Health Mama/Healthy Kiddo Hacks” where all my mama & grandmother friends share their fave resources, ask questions, etc., and I’d love for you to join us there if you like. You can just click on that link & request to join.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I am not offering any medical advice/prescribing anything here. I am simply sharing what we choose to do for our boys to boost their immune systems. I do believe parents are the best advocates for their own children’s health, and I highly encourage parents to do their own research/consult with a doctor on each of these supplements to make the best possible decisions for their babies.

As promised, here is a list of our fave homeopathic and natural immune boosting secrets. (I included direct links to purchase.)

  • Probiotics. ALL of us, every single day. Over 80% of your immune system is housed in your gut, so gut health is VERY important. Your gut is often referred to as your “second brain” because so many aspects of your health (even mental health, which is astounding) is tied back to gut health. (P.S. Antibiotics destroy the gut. They kill ALL bacteria, both good + bad, so probiotics are especially important in maintaining gut health while on an antibiotic and/or rebuilding it after. And we personally try to use antibiotics as a LAST RESORT. I have three babies, 5 & under, and have only had one kiddo on an antibiotic ever.) For my older two boys, I use this FastMelt. They LOVE it & it dissolves right on their tongue. For my littles/infants (before they can handle a Fast Melt), I like Klare Labs & Garden of Life (although they were recently bought out so I’m on the look out for ingredients to change). I put it on my breast while breastfeeding, in a bottle if I pump one, and eventually use a clean finger to swab it in their mouth.

Probiotic FastMelt®

  • Vitamin D drops. I think vitamin D is one of the most underrated supplements there is, and people are totally missing the mark. (Most adults are deficient too. (Here is the calcium + D3 we take. One of the doctors on our sci/med board told me it’s important to take calcium, D3, and magnesium together for maximum absorption and they have taken care of that for us in this supplement. It’s a multi-faceted approach by incorporating all three in one. Aren’t you grateful for super smart people like them?) I give Jase 1000 IU, Kade 800, & Beau 400. I do this daily, with breakfast, year round. The liquid drops are easiest, and I start at around 6 months (even while breastfeeding). I like for them to get as much sunshine as possible when the weather is nice because our body stores it up and this helps us fight off infections during the winter months. (I don’t use much sunscreen for this reason unless we are going to be in direct sun for extended periods.) There is nothing better than the real deal vit D, but because most of us aren’t getting enough, we need to supplement. P.S. I’m not super picky about the brand, but do yourself a favor and get the kind with the dropper. It’s such a pain trying to get them to hold their mouth open long enough for the other kind. I’m finishing a bottle of this brand now and it has lasted forever!!

Vitamin D Drops for Infants - Liquid Vitamin D3 for Adults, Kids, Baby - 400iu Per Drop - 2oz 2140 doses

  • Citrizinc chews. These help support your immune system with these grab-and-go chews that offer a great source of vitamins C and D as well as zinc.* You do want to keep them put up though because the kids love them and think they’re candy. (We take these as well, especially when we’re traveling.)

AdvoCare® CitriZinc™

  • Bone broth. If you can’t get them to drink it by itself, cook with it. It’s best if you can make your own. It’s very easy. Just google how to do it.

Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth - Organic, Collagen-rich Chicken Bone Broth,Pack of 2

  • Oscilliococinum is an awesome herbal remedy (my personal preference over Tamiflu) if someone DOES catch the flu. I’d stock up now because when flu season hits, you can’t get your hands on any. We have friends that used this + elderberry last year and the flu symptoms eased very quickly.

Boiron Oscillococcinum for Flu-like Symptoms Pellets, 30 Count/0.04 Oz each

  • Colloidal silver spray. I first heard about colloidal silver at a huge holistic health conference we attended a couple years ago. They sold me on it. You can give it daily as maintenance, and amp it up when they’re starting to come down with something. You just follow the directions (age/weight and desired outcome determines the # of sprays). You can get drops too, AND they have some for adults as well.

Sovereign Silver® For Kids Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol™ for Immune Support* - 2oz – Fine Mist Spray - Ultimate Refinement of Colloidal Silver - Safe*, Pure and Effective* - Premium Silver Supplement

  • Vitamin C. I first learned about orthomolecular vitamin C while watching the Healthy Child Summit with Dr. Saul. High-dose vitamin C is POWERFUL for healing! (Check out the site to read more about the benefits, how it works, etc.) Some people give it to the point of loose stools. I don’t do this, but I do give a pretty good amount if they’re coming down with something. I mix the powder in their Rehydrate because it’s a little bit bitter, so I can get them to drink it right up. (Please, for the love of all things, do not give your kiddos sugary sports drinks and fruit juices. Rehydrate has electrolytes AND 71% less sugar than Gatorade/Powerade. I water it down for them and they LOVE it!)You can order from HERE (yes, the kind matters!) and enter the code Butler10 for a 10% discount. Katie (the owner/chemist behind this incredible company) is a wealth of knowledge and super helpful. She has a dosing chart on her site. You can also order the gummy powder to make your own gummies with it.(Jonathan & I take C-Grams during “sick season” and amp it up if we feel like we’re coming down with something.

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  • Elderberry syrup. We give this daily during flu season and amp it up if they’re coming down with something. (Reminder: NO honey for any babies! Botulism is very REAL, and their digestive tracts aren’t formed well enough to be able to handle raw honey. They say once they’re over a year old it’s okay, but I’m very conservative and don’t do any honey under the age of 2 1/2. I also don’t use as much as the recipe calls for.) We buy our own organic elderberries and make our own (Wellness Mama’s recipe, or follow the recipe on the back), but you can find someone local who makes it or buy it pre-made too.

Viva Naturals Organic Elderberries, 1 lb Bag - The ULTIMATE Superfruit for Defense Syrups and Longevity Teas

  • V-100 Multivitamin Chews. If you’re looking for a multi, this is the kind I recommend. Tastes great & it’s an easy and delicious way to get a dose of 16 vitamins, minerals and nutrients.* This is also what I recommend for mamas who are having a hard time with their prenatals making them feel nauseas. PLEASE, do not skip taking a multi when pregnant!!

V100â„¢ Tropical Chews

  • Rehydrate. This is probably my soap box product. I feel like every single mom in America the world needs this on her counter. My kids do not drink Gatorade/Powerade/Vitamin Water/Crystal Light, NO fruit juice, & no sodas. I prefer for them not to have Lemonade either unless I make it. (Have you seen how much sugar is in lemonade? It’s NUTS!) I will occasionally let them have an Honest juice box for a special occasion, & I try to make their own lemonade at home if they want something different. They also drink almond milk, but other than that I only let them drink water and Rehydrate. They LOVE Rehydrate, and if you hear them ask for “juice,” this is to what they’re referring. No artificial colors (artificial colors make my boys cray & aren’t good for us), 71% less sugar than other sports drinks, contains electrolytes which are especially beneficial when it’s very hot and when they’re sick. Plus, it tastes great, so they’ll chug it right down. This is 100% (hands down)superior to ANY OTHER hydration product on the market. When littles are sick (or even when they’re well, but especially when they’re sick), hydration is SO SO IMPORTANT. It helps flush out all the nasty germs more quickly and helps aid in digestion. I am on a mission because I feel like most people NEED to be drinking this, daily. And unfortunately, many people have no idea how unhealthy & how much sugar is in other sports drinks. They are almost as bad as sodas in my opinion! I SO wish I had known about this growing up on the ball field and chugging wayyyy too much Gatorade (thinking I was being healthy). Even if you choose the sugar free version of those, they still have artificial colors & don’t contain the sequential carbs, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that Rehydrate contains. It’s in the same kind of container as Spark, but this is caffeine free of course (just to clarify- cuz my boys don’t need ANY extra energy in the form of caffeine! lol!). It comes in either stick packs or a canister and several yummy flavors. And you can get a discount on it if you want which makes it cheaper per serving than what you’d pay for a drink at the gas station. There are no monthly minimums, quotas, autoships, or selling anything. It’s like a Sam’s or Costco membership, and a one time $19.95 gets you a 20% – 30% discount for an entire year. You’ll see the discount applied in your shopping cart, and it’ll ship right to your door in 2-3 days. You can use your preferred customer account to order any of the AdvoCare products you want to save 20% – 30% off the listed retail price.

AdvoCare Rehydrate® CanisterImage result for rehydrate vs gatorade

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  • Juice Plus. I personally give the red + green chews daily and amp it up if they’re sick. Jonathan and I get all of our vitamins through AdvoCare, so we only get the kids gummies. We are just retail customers and I text our lady when we are running low. The boys love them. (And I hope you can at least sense my authenticity & tell I am genuinely have the best interest of our kiddos at heart.)
  • Limit sugar. Too much sugar at one time shuts the immune system down for 5 hours at a time. FIVE hours!! No wonder “flu season” shows up right after Halloween & Christmas and all the parties, treats, candy, and cookies. We are basically filling them with poison and shutting their immune systems down. (For the record, I’m not a total weirdo and my kids aren’t deprived. I haven’t totally found a solution for how to navigate this and I do let them have candy. I’d like for them to consume less sugar though.) We should shoot for LESS than 25 g a day.

Sugar recommendation in kids infographic

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  • Make sure they get plenty of sleep. Sleep is when their bodies recover, their brain grows, etc. Not getting enough sleep weakens the immune system & hinders their ability to fight off viruses.

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{chart from here}

  • On Guard + Thieves (oils on the bottom of feet & diffuse). I use them interchangeably and like them both equally. I diffuse oils every single day & I love them as an alternative to toxic candles, scents, air fresheners, etc. I also uses Thieves hand sanitizer and clean our house with Thieves (I just ordered some Thieves oil, but before that I made my own with a recipe I found online.) Make sure you do your research to determine what is safe for littles (not everything is) & proper dilution. Also, I personally do not ingest or use neat. I know some people do, so you’ll want to come to your own decision on that. You can find your fave oils person to get hooked up.
  • Don’t wear shoes in the house. You track in all kinds of yucky germs from the outside. Easy peasy, just take them off at the door. I love cleaning our floors with Norwex items! (I love their cloths too. This is what I use to wipe down our counters, the baby’s high chair tray, etc.)
  • Nutrition. I try to help them eat real, whole foods as much as possible. Lots of fruits + veggies. Organic when you can. Avoid processed food, junk food, and fast food. I sneak in Superfoods when I can by making homemade smoothies, grain free muffins with Superfood blends, etc. I have some tips for these are in some previous blog posts, so feel free to scroll back through to take a look at those.
  • Homeopathic allergy relief. This is my preference over Claritin or other OTC drugs when it comes to allergy relief.

Genexa Homeopathic Allergy for Children: The Only Certified Organic Kids Allergy & Decongestant Medicine. Physician Formulated, Natural, Non-GMO Verified & Non-Drowsy (60 Chewable Tablets)

  • I am not one who is quick to go to the doctor. I avoid antibiotics at ALL COST unless 100% absolutely necessary. If we’re not careful, we can develop a resistance to antibiotics which would make them less effective in the future if we ever had a serious infection and REALLY needed it. Plus, antibiotics destroy your gut by killing the good bacteria (it has know way to differentiate between the good & bad guys, so just kills them all.) I have also found that it seems lots of antibiotic use leads to more sickly kiddos. When you don’t develop and immunity to something, you won’t be able to fight it off next time. Most things will run their course if you allow them, & you’ll want to use common sense/discernment here. I personally VERY RARELY use fever reducers anymore. Like, I can’t even remember the last time. Thankfully my boys haven’t had many fevers, but fevers are actually our bodies’ way of fighting something off. They are for our benefit. Our bodies heat up to kill whatever is trying to take us down. When we use a fever reducer, we are many times extending the life of the virus & interfering with the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Febrile seizures typically happen when fevers spike very rapidly, so definitely keep an eye out for that & reduce that fever! Also, I definitely encourage you to do some research on the topic for yourself. I recommend reading THIS BOOK (absolutely NO offense to doctors- so grateful for their knowledge! I wish it had a different title, but it is FULL of valuable info nonetheless) for a more comprehensive overview & explanation about this topic. Maybe check out this article about Tylenol raising risks of asthma. If you’re in need of a more natural fever reducer, I recommend this homeopathic option. 

Homeolab USA Kids Relief Pain & Fever

  • Wash hands often with non-toxic soap and warm water. I’m not a fan of antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer (endocrine disrupter), but if that’s all that’s out, it’s better than the alternative. Teach them to wash their hands OFTEN & how to do it the right way. (Tip: Teach them to sing their ABCs or the “Happy Birthday” song while scrubbing, then use the paper towel to open the door if in public.)

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The things I do daily (year round): probiotics, Rehydrate, vit D, Juice Plus gummies, omegas, wash hands, drink lots of clean water, aim to get enough sleep, clean with Thieves

The things I do during prevention season or when they’re coming down with something: elderberry syrup, Sovereign Silver, Citrizinc chews, vit C, diffuse Thieves/On Guard, use the roller balls, bone broth, multi

**I also love earth clinic to look up a collection of natural cures and remedies. Awesome resource to keep in your back pocket!

Sweet mama friends, I hope this is helpful for you. I know mommin’ ain’t easy, and we all want to do the very best by our children. Praying that if you’re reading this, the Lord blesses your children with a hedge of protection and thriving HEALTH in the upcoming year! Also praying He gives you wisdom as you navigate the BEST way to take care of your babies. I truly believe God has given you instincts to know how to best care for them, but I also know that when we know better, we DO better. Knowledge (applied) is power.

P.S. I’m always looking to learn! Anything else you use I need to know about??

“What If” (The Haters Gonna Hate Edition)

6 1/2 years ago, when I first started posting about AdvoCare, a “friend’s” mom started looking up the worst things she could find on the Internet (hello, trolls) about it and sharing that on my personal page. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but this moment was definitely a “defining moment” and a fork in the road that could have gone one of a few different ways. Thankfully, I chose to be respectful, but ignore her and move forward. I’m not gonna lie…It actually really bothered me. Turns out this “friend” and her mom both hate direct sales and ended up eventually unfriending me completely. Both on social media and in real life. And that stung. In fact, took me a little while to get over that.

Now first of all, does that sound like more of a reflection on me, or on them?

But I can’t help but think today… “What if?” What if I had allowed that to sway me? To discourage me? To keep my from sharing? I know there are so many others who allowed the “well meaning advice” of someone deter them, and unfortunately there life isn’t where it could be as a result of that.

Our family is in the best health we have ever been in… Healthier at 34 and 33 (even after birthing 3 babies in 4 years) than we were at 24 and 23. We are in our fourth year of earning over six figures by helping others with the income opportunity, and we have helped multiple people on our team do the same thing. (And more.) We have helped families across America (all different parts of the country, many of whom I met through the blog!) achieve levels of success they never dreamed possible. We have helped people regain their energy and their confidence. Have the endurance and stamina to give their BEST to their family. To Improve their health. Their fitness, their performance, and their recovery. To have options for their family. To earn enough referral money to pay for their own products or have some wiggle room in each month to pay for gas, groceries, or the fun stuff. To pay off debt. Pay cash for weddings and Christmases & vacations. Have the extra income to support ministries and charities. (We know the BEST, most generous people ever, y’all!) We are better people today because of the mentors our company has brought into our life & the books we have been encouraged to read…We have bigger vision, are able to give tens of thousands of dollars more than we ever would have as a teacher and construction guy. We have been able to travel to places we never would have otherwise traveled. Met some of the most incredible friends! And we know the best is yet to come. This isn’t an all about us and look how awesome we are kind of post. If you know me, you know that’s not how we are. We are super REAL, kinda dorky, still wear some clothes from high school, live beneath our means, very down to earth people. In fact, Jonathan is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met & that’s part of what was so attractive to me when we first started dating back in 2006. But these products and the opportunity have changed our lives, and we aren’t quiet about sharing that and paying it forward in hopes others get to experience the same awesomeness.

SO…I am sharing this story with you today because I want you to know that there are going to be seemingly well meaning people in your life who are dream killers. They don’t mean any harm, and may even think they have your best interest at heart. But if you’re not careful, you can allow their voice and opinion to rob you of YOUR greater destiny. To steal your family’s better future.

I look at these people now and see that what felt like rejection was actually God‘s protection. (Can you highlight that and say that again for me, please?!? Sometimes God’s protection comes disguised as someone else’s rejection.) I fully believe He protected us from their negativity & had them choose to remove themselves from me because He knew I wouldn’t walk away. And with them there, we couldn’t walk out our calling.

Unfortunately, they don’t fit in that picture. And looking back now, the Lord has lifted the glory and revealed things to me about their character that I don’t want any part of in my life. They did not bring out the best version of me. I see very clearly how God strategically plucked them out of my life.

And want to know the coolest part?? The people that have been planted in our life since then… they are kingdom builders. They are wise, they speak life over us, encourage and stretch us, inspire us. When God closes one door, he opens another… And it’s usually far better. If you’ve got some “haters,” please...please...for the love of all things... do not let them have more thought Space or control over your life than they deserve. Do they have results that you want? If not, why would you ever listen to them? NEVER take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with.

The people who speak into your life need to earn that position based on their own fruits & results. It doesn’t matter that you’ve known them for 20 years. Make sure they have results in their life that you want before you allow them to have that authority over yours. If they’re not where you want to be… Physically, financially, with their relationships…don’t you dare allow them to dictate those things for you. You, your family...you are worth more!!!

So back then, my “what if” was... “what if this DOES work? What if it CAN create options for our family? What if this IS our solution? What if we can do this?” And today, I’m standing here on the other side. Not where we want to be, but better than where we were. And examining the “What if I had listened to the naysayer” has me so full of gratitude that we didn’t.

::steps off soap box::