Wednesday, August 31, 2011

High on Health!

"When I learn something, when I know something, when I find something, I always want to share it. Because life is better when you share it." - Oprah

As you know, (and probably sick of hearing about) I have had amazing results with a nutritional cleanse product called Isagenix. Wait- don't stop reading if you're skeptical. I was too! Very skeptical. But I'm grateful I had an open mind and gave it a try. But admittedly- if there wasn't a moneyback guarantee, I probably wouldn't have, lol. But the results blew me away!! And I can't stop talking about it. So that has obviously been a real blessing in my life- but the BEST blessing now is watching my loved ones get healthier too!! My husband has lost 42.5 lbs. now since June 9 when he started Isagenix!! I'm so proud of him and his commitment to his health! He donated a kidney back in 2007, and his doctor advised him to maintain a healthy weight. So it was extra important for him to get the weight off and keep it off. And unlike a diet- he will be able to keep it off for life this way. Like me, he is also experiencing other health benefits- more energy, control over cravings, curbed hunger, and better sleep. It's amazing how the body responds when it's given the nutrients and minerals it needs.
My parents are both on it now, and getting great results as well- Mom is down 21 lbs. now! And my brothers are even on it too. :) This is not just for weight loss- it's for everyone who is concerned about their health. I'm confident they will all experience the benefits of this lifestyle too!

Check out this video. This is one of the videos that helped me understand the need for this product:

And read this short article by a nutritionist...

A Declining State of Health

by Jim Rhoades*

Recently, I was invited to speak at a symposium at Harvard University’s Medical School, where I discussed various topics related to the current state of health in the U.S. and the factors behind the recent rise in various lifestyle diseases. Specifically, the purpose of that presentation – and of this information – was to point out several different problems contributing to the poor state of health.

After spending approximately 10 years researching and investigating the questions pertaining to our declining health, I have pinpointed seven problem areas that can be addressed to allow each of us to restore our health and enjoy a revitalized sense of wellness.

The Seven Problems

(1) Poor Immune Function

Today, approximately 50 percent of people will contract some form of cancer in their lives. This number is a significant jump from just 50 years ago, when only 1 in 12 was at risk of developing the disease. Considering all of the money, research and focus we've dedicated to solving the cancer problem, you'd think the numbers should improve, not worsen. So what's the problem? Poor immune function!

Most people overlook the crucial role our immune system plays in warding off disease and maintaining our health. If someone we know is diagnosed with cancer, we often ascribe its onset to "bad luck" or being a product of "bad genes." While genetics certainly do play a part in the formation of disease, the research shows that living a healthy lifestyle drastically reduces one's risk. How? It typically improves the function of the immune system.

Every minute of every day, the body's immune components work non-stop to halt the formation of dysfunctional cells, infections by viruses or bacteria, or the exposure of chemical impurities. There are many things that contribute to a poorly functioning immune system (many of them outlined in the other"problems" listed in this brochure), but the fact remains that if you have an active, optimally-functioning immune system, your risk of becoming a statistic to modern diseases will be slashed considerably.

(2) Nutrient-Depleted Soils

Researchers at UCLA in 2007 began to investigate why certain women were showing high rates of anemia despite their regular consumption of spinach – normally a food high in iron. The researchers had obtained a sample of spinach from this particular area grown in 1953 and they compared it to a current sample. The results were alarming – it would take about 43 bowls of the modern spinach to equal one bowl of the spinach from 1953 to obtain the same iron content.

The fact is that modern farming methods have in many ways led to the depletion of our soils. For instance, the development and widespread use of pesticides and herbicides seems great at first glance – they easily kill unwanted pests and allow for more produce, right? While that is true to some degree, these chemicals also destroy the complex ecosystem of bacteria and other microorganisms that reside in the topsoil. This ecosystem aids in the conversion of inorganic material into organic material (such as minerals) that the plant can then take up and utilize. Of course, these are the nutrients that should normally be stored in the resulting fruits and vegetables. Today, sadly, their levels have dropped dramatically.

(3) Nutrient-Deficient Food

Not surprisingly, nutrient-depleted fruits, vegetables, grains and other foods are the prime reason our food supply is deficient in the nutrients we each need to function properly. Experts estimate that there are about 90 nutrients – including 60 minerals – that our bodies need to perform their various tasks.

On top of the nutrient-depleted soils, other factors have made our foods void of nutrition. One simply has to enter one of the thousands of grocery stores that dot our landscape to see that the majority of available foods are highly processed, are high in simple carbohydrates, sugars, unhealthy fats, synthetic chemicals and flavorings, and are low in natural ingredients (whole grains, nuts, real juice or sugars and so on).

The end result? A poorly functioning immune system, obesity and an increased risk of disease.

(4) Environmental Chemical Impurities

This one is particularly scary. Mounds of data demonstrate that our environment – the air we breathe, the water we drink, our soils, the inside of our homes and offices, and even the foods we eat – are filled with thousands of different chemicals. Hundreds of new ones are introduced every year, and their safety – not to mention the endless potential combination's of chemicals – are rarely tested.

Inside the body, synthetic chemicals can wreak havoc on our immune system (and virtually every other body system), create oxidative damage, encourage an inflammatory state, negatively affect our mental abilities, and much more.

(5) The Obesity Epidemic

This one is huge (no pun intended). Despite repeated warnings by experts and government agencies, our collective waistline continues to expand. Levels of overweight and obese individuals are at an all-time high, and the upward trend is linked directly with other lifestyle diseases. In fact, the surgeon general has declared obesity as the leading cause of preventable death – even ahead of tobacco use.

(6) Most Supplements Are Lacking

After reading the preceding material, you may be asking why nutritional supplements can’t be a part of the solution. They can be. The problem is that most supplement lines – even those that are high-quality and that contain the necessary 90 nutrients our bodies need – often are lacking in a few key areas.

First, they aren’t organic. By that, I mean that the ingredients aren’t extracted from plant sources, which means they probably are not water soluble and therefore much less available to the body. Nutrients that have been transformed from an inorganic to organic state by plants are then water soluble and much more absorb-able through the walls of the body’s cells, where they can be utilized as needed.

Also, most of these supplement lines do not contain enzymes. Simply put, enzymes are critical to the utilization of nutrients in the body. They transport the vitamins and minerals and assist in their transformation to be utilized by the body’s cells.

(7) Our Children’s Health Crisis

Simply stated, the health of our young people is in serious jeopardy. The statistics are extremely telling, as rates of disease (such as obesity and type 2 diabetes) are ballooning among our youth. Perhaps the scariest statistic is that for the first time in our country’s history, our younger generations may have shorter life spans than that of their parents.

There are many causes to this problem. Horrific diets full of processed foods, sugar, fat and synthetic ingredients, little or no exercise, over medication, and poor sleep habits are high on the list.

Accompanying sugar is carbonation – typically in the form of soda or soft drinks. The reason that carbonation is so bad is that is can paralyze the immune system. How? Carbonation ties up calcium in the body, which is also necessary for every chemical reaction within the immune system. The short of it is that soda can adversely affect our children’s immune function every time they drink it.

The Solution: Isagenix

Put together, these problem areas create a dire future for us and our children unless we directly and effectively address them. Fortunately, Isagenix embodies a remarkable solution that may help solve these problems and contribute to a higher level of health and vitality.

Cleanse the Body of Harmful Impurities

First of all, the Isagenix product line emphasizes the need to cleanse the body of harmful impurities and synthetic chemicals, all of which are harmful to the body. As literally hundreds of thousands of Isagenix customers have discovered, the Isagenix line does a magnificent job of helping to clear out impurities from the body’s tissues and cells, thereby allowing them to correctly utilize vital nutrients and function as they were meant to function.

Offer All Building Blocks to Rejuvenate Body

As mentioned earlier, the body needs 90 different nutrients to perform all the tasks necessary for survival. Sadly, the Western diet, which most of us adhere to, is severely lacking in many of these nutrients. This means that while the body is able to get by, it gradually breaks down, its organs and systems can’t function properly, and the end result is more disease and earlier death. Fortunately, the Isagenix product line is comprised of formulations that contain all 90 vital nutrients in various combination's. This means that if you, like so many others, are lacking some of these vital nutrients in your diet, the Isagenix line can help make up the difference.

Provide Enzymes that Transport Nutrients

Finally, I previously discussed the importance of enzymes for the transport and utilization of nutrients in the body. Without enzymes, the vitamins, minerals and other compounds that cells need to operate simply aren’t able to arrive to where they are supposed to arrive, and they won’t be available to the cells for utilization. All Isagenix supplement products are specially formulated to include those enzymes that will facilitate the transport and use of enzymes for the body’s cells, tissues and organs. The result? More energy, rejuvenated cells and an overall enhancement of your health and vitality.

Because you’re reading this, you’re probably somewhat concerned about your health and the health of your family. And though the overall picture may seem quite gloomy, the truth is that there truly is a solution that can transform your state of wellness. The revolutionary products of Isagenix – which provide effective and safe cleansing and an impressive array of nutrient formulations – may be just what you need to discover a new level of health and vitality you never knew existed!

Your health is your greatest wealth!

* Jim Rhoades is the former President and CEO of an international nutritional company. He left that position to work with Isagenix on a full-time basis as an Independent Associate. He is an internationally acclaimed educator, nutritional counselor and motivational trainer. He has written many articles for health publications and is a popular guest on many radio shows. He was invited to speak at a symposium at Harvard Medical School with representatives from over 50 universities on the subject of “The state of nutrition in our foods today and why we need nutritional supplements.” He is a former member of the Isagenix Field Advisory Board and is the recipient of the 2007 Spirit of Isagenix Award. He has a gift for making complicated subjects seem simple. He has helped thousands of people in their quest for freedom and a better life style.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School Deal!

Ok, so anyone who knows my hubby knows he has a serious gift for frugality and thrift. He's very financially savvy and smart about money. I'm not really that into shopping- I don't get much enjoyment out of it- but I definitely appreciate his deal seeking skills! Who doesn't love a good deal?!

He has spent years perfecting his craft and even ran a home business on Amazon- and now that we're going to move on from that (another post on that later), I'm going to start sharing all his secrets with YOU!! There are many blogs devoted to finding good deals- but I won't waste any time sharing mediocre deals- just the very best here!! And I'll add extra coupons and rebates to make the deal sweeter. :)

So here's one for today from Staples for all the back to school needs:

This runs in store from Aug. 23-27th!

Click here for the weekly ad!

Click here for rebate deals at Staples!

And click here for a $5 off $25 coupon to add to the savings! Just print the coupon and bring it into the store for the additional savings!

Can you believe it's that time again for back to school shopping??! The start of the school year is always bittersweet for me... I'll miss the kids, but I'm also SO looking forward to the routine and structure the school year provides.

Our little Charity- my Curliecue- is starting kindergarten this year! Can't believe it. Here she was at her preschool graduation in June. Isn't she a little cutiepie?!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mint Brownies

Made a yummy treat for Book Club tonight and thought I'd share with you:

Mint Brownies!

2/3 cup butter
3 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Melt butter and chocolate in microwave. Remove from heat and stir in wet ingredients. Mix together dry ingredients and add to mixture. Bake 350 for 25-30 min. in greased 13X9 pan. Cool completely.

Mint Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter

2 Tbsp milk

1/2 tsp. peppermine extract

green food coloring

Cream together until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled brownies.


2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate

2 tbsp. butter

Melt in microwave. Drizzle over brownies.

Gotta make it fun and pretty!

Add mini chocolate chips- and wallah! Best with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!!!

The kids were happy to have the leftovers. I don't bake much anymore now that I'm not addicted to this stuff- but I still do this once in a while! No complaints around here. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Europe (finally!)

So I figured I'd better finish this post about my trip to Bulgaria before I forget all about it! But as usual, I'll let the pictures do the talking. So grateful for this opportunity- and all the amazing people I met!! Here are some pics of my unforgettable summer adventure:

Renowned Varna Opera House

After the Broadway Show


My favorite girls!

Check out our outrageous costumes!! Lady Gaga-ish, huh?!! Soo weird- but fun!


Fun pic. with my bros.

I'm usually not one to focus on the negative. I think there is great power in positive thinking and looking for the good. But I just have to point out something-

We all couldn't help but notice how many things went wrong on this trip. It was almost comical- it was seriously one thing after the next!! At the time it wasn't exactly laughable though.

So here are just a FEW of the things that went wrong on this trip:

My passport disaster
Crazy layovers – some 6, 7, 10, 12 hours long
3 girls were lost in Europe after 2nd leg of trip – and no one knew where they were for a few days.
12 people lost luggage – and many didn't get it returned for a few days.
Flu outbreak
No restaurants or places to eat at Sophia hotel
Rehearsal schedule changes without being notified
Separate Cold/cough outbreak
No toilet paper/soap or SEATS
Multiple attempts of theft/pick pockets
Many thefts- including a stolen bag, IPhone, camera, and wallet
Due to time constraints the Maestro cut most of the 2nd Act at the last minute
My friend Chelsea had pinched nerve in her arm- caused her severe pain – she went to 3 different hospitals – no one spoke English
Starting time mix-up for 1st Magic Flute – first scheduled at 7:00 – then 7:30 – but actually 8:00 and only supposed to go until 9:00!!
After everyone spent months memorizing spoken lines, they cut over half of them
Broadway stage unsafe – huge cavern (originally pit) under flimsy wooden floor – we were supposed to have 40 people jumping up and down on it! Had to restage
No A/C for Broadway actors – they were all sweating horribly
Nails/staples on stage – there were at least 100 nails on the stage
No time (or place) for Master Classes
Changed venues/itinerary/times without telling us
Forced to rehearse in courtyard (90 degrees) because rooms inadequate/small with no A/C
Inadequate rehearsal facilities- in a TINY room (dressing/practice room) with piano and 40 people in 90 degrees
The worst thing- Conductor demanded to switch Tamino and Sarastro in intermission at 2nd performance!!
Staff refused to stop smoking in Opera House
No blackouts/curtains for performance as rehearsed
No rehearsal with orchestra/conductor for final cast at Opera House
Papageno swallowed bug during Opera performance – lodged in throat – couldn’t sing for few measures
Mom had to step in and sight read for Chealsea during the 1st performance of Magic Flute

And that wasn't even half of it!

But um, other than that, the trip was awesome! We all survived! And grew closer to each other through it all. We even thought of making t-shirts for everyone that said, "I survived Varna International - and still had a blast!" Seriously- if we could do this and still put on a great show- we can do anything.

I missed my family so much though. The kids were so sweet. They threw a big party for me when I got home! They even decorated the living room...

And there were lots of hugs and loves when I got back and I couldn't get enough. There's no place like home.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Baptism Day!

Isn't this the sweetest picture? I just love this one so much. This was Celeste on her baby blessing day. She was so innocent then.

Well, our little Celeste was baptized this Saturday, and now she's perfectly innocent once again. If you're wondering- this is what we believe about baptism. What a journey she has ahead of her. My mom gave a talk on the Holy Spirit, our family sang a quartet, and Celeste even she sang a solo called "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." We videotaped it at home- so I'll upload that on here soon. It was sweet. So are some pics of her special day:

Notice Daddy's tie- it has pictures of Celeste as a baby all over it. It was fitting for the occasion. :)

We took about 10 picture attempts of the whole family, but NONE of them worked out. Believe it or not, THIS is the best one we got, haha!

After the baptism, all the people who were in attendance wrote little notes for her to save in her scrapbook as a keepsake. We were grateful to all the people who came to support her.

Celeste, we're so proud of you for making this important step in your life. You've chosen to take upon yourself the name of Christ and try to be like Him. His love truly shines through your bright eyes and sweet smile!

Love you love you!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader

This was Jon's favorite book as a child. His mom used to read it to him over and over, and it became really special to him. So just recently, I walked in and he was reading it to our own children! He ordered it so he could share it with them. It was a sweet moment so I had to capture it.

So here are 10 great reasons to read to your child:

1.Holding your children close while you read is an expression of love.

2.You bring the magic of books to your children. You are the storyteller!

3.You show your children how important reading is by modeling. Children learn by watching you.

4.Books are a great way to talk about characters and their problems. You can laugh and cry together.

5.Reading to your children gives them a chance to hear a variety of new words. They are learning new words in a fun way.

6.Books can help you pass on your values in an easy and comfortable way.

7.By reading books to your children, you can increase their listening skills. Their attention span will get longer. This will help them in school.

8.By reading to your children, you help them stretch their imagination and thinking. It gives children a chance to dream.

9.You are giving your children skills that will help them succeed in life.

10.You are starting a wonderful tradition that your children will want to give to their own children.

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."

— Frederick Douglass


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