hotsparkmama

Advocare Health & Wellness Nutritional Support

Do you chi..chi..chi..chia?

Chi..Chi..Chi..Chia! Oh my word, do you remember those commercials from the 80’s? Chia pets, those were the silliest things ever created. Right?

But who knew when eaten, they packed such a powerful punch? The nutrients in those lil’ babies are UH-maz-N (& then an hour later you’re still finding those lil’ treats in your teeth…like poppy seeds haha), FIBER, PROTEIN, CALCIUM, OMEGA 3, you can even use them as an egg-replacement <> I add them to my morning eggs, or smoothie, throw them in several types of dessert dishes and even add them when making my favorite homemade strawberry jelly!

FIBER: Just one ounce of chia seeds has 11 grams of fiber! That’s almost a third of the recommended daily intake of fiber in one tiny serving. Tossing chia seeds onto a snack is an easy way to help make sure you’re maintaining your digestive health.

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS: Omega 3’s (NOT 6) are important for brain health and help to reduce your risk for heart disease. A one-ounce serving of chia boasts 5 grams of Omega 3. That’s definitely a good thing, since our bodies can’t produce these fatty acids and we have to find it in outside (food or supplement) sources.

CALCIUM: One serving of chia seeds has almost 18% of your recommended daily intake of calcium. Due to the fact that we’ve reduced dairy in our diets, my husband has much concern w/ the children getting enough calcium. Whether you are going dairy-free and looking for alternative calcium sources, or just concerned about osteoporosis, chia can definitely help keep up your intake.

PROTEIN: A great source of cholesterol-free protein, one ounce of chia seeds has about 4 grams of protein. That’s almost 10 percent of the recommended daily intake! Now, you know I recommend animal proteins in your diet, but this is a great way to sneak in a lil’ extra (especially for those of you who do not prefer meat).

Now, my family doesn’t have “allergy” issues w/ organic eggs but we go through them so fast that once in a blue moon I run out. BUT I don’t feat because chia seeds can be used as a great replacement (and flax is also one). Simply mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The result? A gelatinous mixture that works just as well as an egg (quite frankly it absolutely blows my mind)

I found a couple of SO SIMPLE recipes online that I’m thinking of trying…

When you’re in the mood for homemade jam, but don’t want to deal with the mess of the old-fashioned canning process, just purée whatever fruit you have handy in a mini food processor and add some chia seeds. After chilling for a bit you’ll have instant jam! It’s fresh, delicious, and preservative-free!

Store bought pudding can have a chemically added taste to it, and homemade pudding is time consuming to make. This quick and healthy fix: Chia seed pudding! You simply mix together chia seeds, light coconut milk, some fruit, and a little agave nectar for a delicious dessert or breakfast! (I already make something similar: THM Tapioca Chia Pudding: 1/2-1 cup almond milk w/ 1/2 tsp glucci into my Vitamix for couple minutes, pour into a jar, add 2 cut up strawberries, 1-2 Tbsp chia, lil’ sweetener and shake shake shake. Refridgerate and in the morning a light, delish pudding!)

Nowwww, what’s the first chia pet you grew? HaHa

I ain’t gonna lie, that silly lil’ tune is constantly running through my head! Sorry, I now you’ll be singing that lil’ diddy all day too!

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Pinterest! Have you met yet?

One of the biggest complaints I get when people start their AdvoCare health journey is “I don’t know what to eat!” For me it was more about cutting out what I knew I shouldn’t eat…ALL things “white” (bread, flour, sugar, starch). I didn’t have a real issue w/ meals, it was more the snacking part that caused my mind to explode. I mean, I love fruit, boiled eggs and almonds but good grief lol~ I started chopping almonds and making homemade granola bars. I added peanut butter or FF caramel to my apples (this was BEFORE I turned into a health-nut FREAK and started removing colors, dyes, artificials, etc. from our diets!) :D

Here, Lisa Leake from 100 Days of Real Food gives a wonderful snack list great for both kids and adults (many of which I already include, or a variation of, in my snacks). Now, if she could just tell me HOW to get my kids to eat them I’d be set
If you’ve got some time on your hands, look thr
ough her website, she’s got some great stuff there (recipes, meal plans, how to cut out processed foods, budgeting, a challenge for eating REAL foods)!

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/07/31/85-snacks-for-kids-and-adults/

I ain’t gonna lie PINTEREST has been a real life saver! WHY did it take me so long to discover? My oldest daughter (now 25) used to talk about it all the time and I always responded with “what is it?” but then one day she SHOWED ME and I was hooked! You can find anything from recipes, inspirational quotes to the best buy on toilet paper HaHa I’ve discovered a LOT of my GF DF SF dishes on Pinterest. I’m able to decide (in my head…scary place) what i want to make, get the ideas from Pinterest on how to start it then I alter it to fit our needs (sometimes I even luck up with finding a recipe already put together that works for us). MOST of my DIY (toxin-free!) items have originated from there. But, I must warn you, you will have to limit your time there because if you’re not careful you could literally spend hours upon hours “pinning” things you’ll never look at again ROFL~

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What do I know about fermenting? Uhhhh

I haven’t gone so “ALL NATURALE” just yet that I’m into fermenting foods and sprouting grains (YET haha) but I find it very interesting…

“Soaking and sprouting of seeds and grains can create nutritional powerhouses—as the germination process (sprouting) produces vitamin C and increases carotenoids and vitamin B content, especially vitamin B2, B5, and B6. Also, sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid– a substance present in the bran of all seeds that inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
For people who cannot digest grains, seeds or legumes, the process of soaking and/or sprouting can unlock the goodness of these foods and ensure easy digestion and absorption. Whole grain, sprouted breads are available in health food stores and most modern grocery stores; they contain up to 4 times the protein and fiber compared with conventional white bread (which we don’t NEED any way!)”.

Eating whole, unadulterated, nutrient-rich foods in a form that is healthy for the body is how we are hard-wired to attain optimal health. For the best nutrition design and guidebook, it is imperative to look to what was historically and Biblically intended for food—in the form that will bring health to the body. There’s so much to be learned about nutrition from God’s word~

I ain’t gonna lie, nutrition is a work in progress for me! Eating 80-90% clean, taking my AdvoCare supplements and using my DoTERRA Essential Oils is working wonderfully for me and my family… but I’m still learning more and more and more and more…

http://www.chellespark.com
http://www.mydoterra.com/chellespark

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Understanding Nutrition…huhhh?

This may sound crazy coming from someone who actually studies Nutrition but I never could quite grasp the whole MACROnutrient vs. MICROnutrient concept…until now. If there’s anyone else like me that’s never wanted to admit that, well then, this post is for you (the light bulb is about to come on and it’s so simple, you’ll never admit you didn’t get it LOL)

Optimal health requires that protein, carbohydrates, fats (known as MACROnutrients: Nutrients required for our bodies in the highest amount), vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients (MICROnutrients: Essential dietary elements required in only small quantities) be supplied to the body in the right forms and in adequate and balanced amounts. The human body requires the three MACROnutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats)! Proteins supply energy, as well as provide the structural components necessary for growth and repair of tissue. Carbs and fats function to supply energy.
MICROnutrients (vitamins and minerals) are needed in minute quantities by the body, but are essential for normal growth, muscle response, health of the nervous system, digestion, production of hormones, and metabolism of nutrients. Vitamins often act as coenzymes and minerals constitute bones, teeth, soft tissue, muscles, blood and nerve cells. Vitamins and minerals can be supplied by a varied diet of whole fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, fish and animal by-products.

I’m sorry, but did you just have a V8 moment like I did? HaHaHa

Stick w/ me now, don’t go away…

Food is the foundation of a lifetime of health and wellness! But the real question regarding food is what constitutes a healthy diet? A lot of most of the time our foods have been compromised by big industry, this is where supplements can become essential. I try to eat right (at least 85-90% of the time) but I always take AdvoCare supplements to implement for those times (15-20%) I’m not always on track!

The modern diet consists of processed, additives, preservatives, sugars, etc (things we NEED to avoid!)…

Over the last 100+ years whole grains have been routinely processed removing most or all of the nutritional content (take wheat for example: no longer is it the “healthy” grain God intended it to be, agricultural business has made wheat a “storehouse” of sugar and “other ingredients”, it is a hybrid of so many different things; chemicals added to increase the crops, toxins added to keep the bugs away, preservatives added to make it last longer once harvested). The past 2 generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods, they’re convenient and cheap! Hello, McDonalds…$1 menu…need I say more?

Modern dietary intake has been:
*Increased sugar, refined grains and flours
*Pasturized, homogenized, skimmed dairy products from antibiotic and hormone-laden cows (THIS **my opinion only of course** is why our children are physically maturing at the age of 10 and appear to have adult figures by the time they reach middle school! If I weren’t trying to be discreet I would’ve said I blame said hormones for these 6th graders having bigger boobs than mine ;) )
*Unhealthy fats (hydrogenated oils)
*Soft drinks
*Junk foods (no complex carbs, fiber, or essential vitamins and minerals)

In Genesis God tells us, “I have given you every herb bearing seed; every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; every green herb; every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; venison; goats..” and this is just to name a few

Our bodies require protein, carbohydrates AND fats!! You should not remove these from your diet!

Healthy proteins are made up of chains of amino acids (the building blocks of organs, muscles, nerves, enzymes and hormones). They combat bacteria and viruses trying to invade our bodies. Only animal proteins are complete protein sources (meat, eggs and dairy contain all 8 of the essential amino acids). Recommended animal proteins are properly raised beef, lamb, buffalo, venison and elk, and other clean red meats; fish with fins and scales; chicken, turkey and other poultry raised free range.

Carbohydrates provide energy needed to drive bodily chemical processes. Healthy carbs can come in the form of fruits and vegetables, raw honey and sprouted grains.

Fats are a necessary part of a healthy diet! Avoid “low-fat” and go w/ healthy fats! These healthy fats are building blocks for cell membranes, hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters and a component of the myelin sheaths around our nerves making it possible for firing electrical messages that help us think, hear, see, feel and move. Did you realize your brain is 60% fat? Our brains need fat for connecting brain cells and making sure signals get through. Fats cushion our organs, they slow down food absorption, making you feel full longer and they’re needed to absorb and use vitamins such as A, D, E and K. Healthy fats can be found eating ocean caught fish (salmon or tuna), in cod-liver oil and omega-3 eggs. Also grass-fed, free range or organic meats have from 2-6 times more omega-3 than grain-fed meats.

Whole, nutrient-rich foods are key to healthy diet~
get fit

I’m an AdvoCare’r, THM’r, DoTERRA Essential Oils user..having to remind myself to eat Clean but not obsess about food when I don’t. I’ve always been a “Live to Eat” kinda person and I’m trying learning to implement the “Eat to Live” mentality. If you eat 90% clean then don’t obsess over the 10% “treats” just keep in mind to SPACE it out, don’t have all your 10% “treats” at once ;)

I ain’t gonna lie, I AM NO EXPERT! I’m a learner in the process haha. Having completed my FNS Certification and still wanting to know more, I’ve started taking classes to become a Biblical Health Coach :) Only through God’s grace have the changes in my health been made possible~

…stay tuned…

If you’re looking to supplement your clean eating w/ good supplements, consider using AdvoCare and feel free to contact me with questions or visit http://www.chellespark.com
If you’re interested in Essential Oils and don’t know where to start consider DoTERRA’s Introductory to Essential Oils Kit http://www.mydoterra.com/chellespark

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Boosting Metabolism

I am in love w/ the many products of AdvoCare.
Aside from the MNS I have to say that ThermoPlus is my all time favorite. I truly believe that at 203 lbs my biggest issue was that my metabolism had just come to a complete HALT. ThermoPlus kicked it back into gear! I’m not longer 203 lbs but I still take Thermo every day to ensure my metabolism is still rev’d and doesn’t stop! However, a part of that is also E-A-T-I-N-G (that seems to be a dirty word for most people trying to lose weight)

Here’s just a few ideas for boosting your metabolism w/ healthy food items that you may not know about:
Green Tea: An effective shield used for reducing cholesterol, fighting cancer and heart diseases. All due to it large amount of ECEG polyphenols w/n the tea that serve as an antioxidant. It increases the body’s natural mechanism for burning calories to release energy. The whole process is called thermogenesis. It prevents the fat deposition and keeps the appetite under monitor.

ACV-Apple Cider Vinegar: An effective weapon for the digestive system. It works by reducing the meal’s impact over the insulin level of blood. Should be consumed before a meal. This is the reason many people use it as a salad dressing. It helps in quick breakdown of fats and totally calorie free. I drink a “Good Girl Moonshine” (THM). 2 cups water, 2 Tbsp ACV (except I just use one), lil’ sweetener, juice of a lime OR lemon, handful of frozen strawberries and ground ginger, mix all in the blender and WOW!

Cayenne Pepper: Spicy foods always add taste to a meal. They also tend to boost up the metabolism. In addition to helping bringing down cholesterol, fighting inflammation (caused by all that wheat we shouldn’t be eating), it serves as metabolism booster.

Grapefruit: Works by reducing the insulin content w/n the body. Contains vitamin C which serves as metabolism booster. (I remember growing up my oldest sister always had grapefruit for breakfast whenever she was “dieting”)

Ginger: NOT even talking about all the digestion benefits, ginger is a great herb! The extract of ginger root can be taken as a supplement. You can add it in the form of small pieces or grate it. Adds tons of flavor and boosts metabolism.

I ain’t gonna lie, though I believe we should get our vitamins and minerals nutritionally from our food choices, that’s not always easy or even doable. This is WHY I implement w/ AdvoCare supplements! If you’re looking to supplement your nutrition, head over to http://www.chellespark.com and get started :)

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Cereal or pop tarts? NO MORE!

After learning what I’m about to share w/ you, it makes all the effort I put into Homemade Pop Tarts & Cereal worth every pain-staking moment.

(My favorite pop-tart AND cereal recipes, can be found at http://www.forkandbeans.com She has a most awesome “Cookie Crisp” recipe as well as “Cheerios” recipe but I ain’t gonna lie, making all those lil’ tiny holes are time consuming HaHa Both of these recipes are easily adaptable for our nutrition restrictions of GF/DF/SF)

Do your kids watch tv? With every Saturday morning cartoon comes commercials w/, they see all these brightly colored packaged foods, made to look “fun” and “healthy” (it’s always a bunch of “healthy” looking children with big bright eyes right?), even boasting about being “good for you” w/ words like “Whole Grains; Enriched: Fiber”. But what they don’t shout or include in bold letters on the front of the box is…FOOD DYES; ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS; CHEMICALS.

Over the past two decades childhood obesity has become rampant and the effects are more serious than most of us want to believe. Childhood obesity is a multi-system disease w/ devastating consequences (giving our kids a shorter life expectancy than we have). When your toddler (even if he’s 15 lol) is throwing a tantrum in the grocery store next week, instead of giving in to him to avoid embarrassment think about this… ARTIFICIAL is artificial! High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is highly processed w/ heavy chemicals, it’s GMO (genetically modified) and possibly contaminated w/ mercury. SUGAR weakens the immune system, is addictive and promotes fat storage. These ingredients have zero nutritional benefit, promote weight gain and can have harmful effects on the body. The term ENRICHED means that all vitamins/minerals have been removed and synthetic vitamins have been added back in, this is lil to NO nutritional value, they cause blood sugar spikes and promote fat storage.

When your child eats a bowl of sugary cereal (our family favorites were fruit loops AND capt’n crunch) 5-cereal-in-bowl their body is slammed w/ around 20g of SUGAR. This overload causes glucose to rush in their blood stream, while their pancreas produces extra insulin to covert all that glucose into glycogen for their liver and muscles to use. Shortly (approx an hour) the sugar rush will end and their blood sugar levels will drastically drop causing their energy to crash, they start to feel “hungry” and their stress hormones raise. Meanwhile the extra glycogen is converted into fat storage as their academic focus has gone from school to food. DON’T FRET, you’ve given your child convenience food options right? There’s always pop tarts Welllll, it’s the SAME THING! Again nearly 20g of SUGAR that’s going to give them the big energy crash, while opening them up for weight gain and all the unhealthy risks related to obesity. (Does any of this blood sugar, glucose, pancreas talk sound at all familiar?? Like THM type stuff?!)

*side bar* I AM NOT CALLING OUT FRUIT LOOPS OR CAPT’N CRUNCH SPECIFICALLY! ALLLLL THE SUGARY CONVENIENCE FOODS ARE TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS “DON’T SERVE TO YOUR CHILDREN LIST”, I DO NOT DISCRIMINATE lol~

I’ve started trying to live by the rule of NO MORE THAN 5 INGREDIENTS! Learn to read labels! When foods have a long list of ingredients you can be sure you’re eating something heavily processed. A whole foods diet is always going to be your best bet! Try to keep fresh fruits/produce on your counter to encourage healthier eating habits. However, as a parent, I know it’s easier said than done! We can keep those things on hand, doesn’t mean they’re going to eat them. BUT, don’t keep the No-No stuff on hand because they will always choose the bad over the good, it’s human nature ;) I DO have a few pre-packaged, convenience, “processed” foods for school lunches or quick-on-the-go items. IMG_7869

I’m more willing to buy a convenience item if it is truly processed w/ organic ingredients (I know, call me crazy, just personally makes me feel it’s better for my family, HEY, it’s a PROCESS…time for YOU to get started on yours) ;)

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I’m learning to concoct, compose and convert

Y’all know I’m always honest and up front about how I eat. If I’m eating 80% clean, I’m happy, healthy and feeling my best. But it’s when I slip that I don’t feel like sucha hot-spark-mama (no matter how much Spark I drink lol). I’m learning to take favorite family dishes and twist the ingredients around to fit our needs…sometimes it’s a big fat FAIL but though hard to believe, from time to time there’s S-U-C-C-E-S-S (reminds me of a cheer we did as kiddo cheerleaders haha).

Our teenagers at church are taking a trip to NY this summer and there latest (& final) fundraiser was a bake sale & car wash. I had the amount set in my head that I was going to donate but then being faced w/ SUGARY SWEETS and my husband NOT tagging along to see me cheat, I caved and purchased 3 cupcakes (Reese cup & Strawberry) and an oatmeal creme cookie. I even mentioned to the girl that these “treats” would probably wind up in my trash can b/c we don’t eat sugar anymore (and I felt somewhat guilty for not LEAVING them there to just re-sell). Let me tell ya, that REESE CUP CUPCAKE looked so delish that I couldn’t even wait until I got home, the temptation of seeing it ride along w/ me was just too much (& much to my dismay for NOT following through, I even thought I’d stop at the gas station trash bin and get rid of the evidence of my impromptu purchase…) I TASTED I ain’t gonna lie, I DEVOURED it~ Reese

On the way home, I kept thinking, “I bet I could re-create that!” I made it my life’s mission to do so…so much in fact that I spent the entire DAY working on it! (Let me tell ya how good my family is, daughter said, “Oh no! I won’t be having that” and my husband just non-chalantly said, “That’s nothing but sugar; maybe later.” I was so impressed by their will-power…huh hem—blowing on my nails to shine & polish—I taught them that LOL Yea, right, so why don’t I concede to the power of NO?) I made homemade “reese cups” from http://www.sugarfreemom.com (I use Lilly’s chocolate chips)
I mixed a batch of gluten free flour from http://www.forkandbeans.com (Cara has got the easiest explanation of any other I’ve discovered)
I mixed up SF brown sugar (which I do all the time but I was out and unsure if it would be needed) which I got from THM mama http://www.gwensnest.com
I mixed up some Truvia (it tends to be a lil’ sweeter than straight up xylitol and I wanted my TS son to really enjoy these)
Used a coffee grinder to powder some sugar (needed for frosting), simply ground xylitol :)
Made some homemade peanut butter (easiest thing in the world to do!! Vitamix + 3 cups raw peanuts + 5 minutes = natural peanut butter)
I slightly adjusted the “candy bar cupcake” recipe from http://www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com AND I changed up her peanut butter frosting recipe to suit our needs ;)
I slightly adjusted the “chocolate ganache” recipe from thishouseofjoy.com for the filling
NOW, to get down to the nitty-gritty of putting it all together! This is how it all went down…
Reese GF

It was 10:00 PM when lightening struck, er uh…when the perfection was completed!!
This is the recipe I managed to piece together because honey hush, believe you me, I WILL be duplicating this over and over and over and over…oh did I say, I WILL? Because I meant to say I WILL!!
FOR THE CUPCAKE:
1 cup GF flour (brand of choice)
1/4 cup defatted peanut flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup truvia (sweetener of choice)
1/2 cup DF yogurt (or greek yogurt if you’re NOT dairy free)
1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce (which I made prior)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla (which I made prior)
1/2 cup almond milk (which I made prior) OR milk of choice
MIX ALL DRY INGREDIENTS, MIX ALL WET, THEN MIX ALL TOGETHER

FOR THE CENTER/FILLING:
1/4 cup raw cocoa
1/8 cup raw honey
Approx 2 Tbsp water
*Don’t get it runny, you want a smooth, thick consistency

USE LINERS IN YOUR CUPCAKE PAN (makes one dozen)
Pour cake mix into well, then add a dollop of filling just in the center (I had lil’ cake mix left so I covered the chocolate center for good measure)

Bake 350 for approximately 20-25 minutes

FROSTING:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk of choice
*I wound up adding an add’l 2 Tbsp water due to consistency
Place frosting in a piping bag (or I used a ziploc and cut corner off)
Frost cupcakes once they completely cool, top w/ chopped reese cup pieces

I ain’t gonna lie, it was a LOT of work but it was soooooo worth it! And just let me tell ya, the family <3 as well as neighbors and friends alike–NOOOOBODY knows these are "good for you" cupcakes…well, maybe I should say "better for you" ;)

I purchase a LOT of my specialty, gluten-free items from Vitacost.com. IF you’ve never purchased from them before, you can use the following personal invite link to get a coupon for $10 off your first $30 purchase http://goo.gl/HQUgd0 (I’m not sure but if you have to enter my email as a referral use chellemills@ymail.com because I will get $10 off my next $30 purchase as well)

Now, you can go enjoy your cupcake…I AM :D

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She’s baaaaack…

Yes, yes I know, it’s been a while…way too long actually. Where does the time go? I mean just yesterday my children were small and loving on me…today my son is taller than I am and my princess is talking about boobies :D

I FINALLY sat down and took my exam and am officially certified as a FITNESS NUTRITION SPECIALIST WooHoo! My cousin asked me, “Now, what does that get you?” Uh…knowledge? I ain’t gonna lie, that course was tough…because it was SOOOOO BORRRRING :/ I hated it! I took way too much time off between study/regular chapter tests and the exam. I actually made a 65% the first try :( (had to make 70 to pass) BUT two weeks later (still too much time) I got through it like a champ (God is good!!) That was a 100 question exam w/ less than a minute to answer each and you know there was some stuff on there I felt I’d never even seen before. But enough of that, it’s done and whew, I’m so happy :)

Except, I’m NOT done, now I’ve got people coming outta the wood works asking me to help them. Yea, I got into nutrition because I wanted to help people learn how to eat…mostly people that have my same last name LOL yet they’re the ones that complain about it the most. I have discovered that as much as my children love bananas they hate eating ANYTHING that is sweetened w/ bananas! They refuse to eat bread that has an almond flour base! And my husband still insists I keep loaf bread in the house at all times even though he finally agreed at one point to go gluten-free (which means the lil’ princess gets to sneak her favorite PB&J every now & then).

Summer is passing us by so quickly! We’ve done nothing as a family, no vacation planned, no fun day trips…well wait let me back up. My husband took a day off this week, we drove an hour and a half to have lunch at a California Kitchen Pizza and dessert at The Cheesecake Factory :( (Pizza being one of the things that’s missed the most in our home…and cheese being the other) It was a fun lil’ day trip simply because we were ALL together but being in the car ya hear that fussing, fighting and complaining between the kids. Why is it I pin all these neat lil’ ideas on Pinterest then never remember to pull them outta the trick bag when the time arrives to use ‘em…like road side bingo, or the license plate game or “the truth is”. Instead my 14 yo giant keeps his nose planted in his phone while the princess, well, IDK what she actually does other than talk HaHaHa

I feel I’ve spent my summer thus far on the computer…but what’s new right?
In my quest to #feedingfamilyhealthy I feel I have to research every meal, ever recipe, try new things. I’m always looking for new way to improve our health, stay fit, be active…meanwhile, here I sit :/

I’ve learned social media isn’t always the best way to boost your fitness motivation. I read an interesting article in one of my “school” magazines pertaining to that subject!
“Blogs, micro-blogs, messages focusing on healthy accomplishments, give and receive emotional support and motivation for staying on track w/ exercise and healthy eating. Encourages focus on benefits such as strength, mood, energy and health.” These are all great, thumbs up!
“Weight trackers on message boards CAN keep people accountable, but wont factor in positive results beyond weight loss, like improved health, more energy and better mood.” Not so great, mediocre!
“Thinspiration” photos on FB, Instagram and other are skewed perception of reality. They can hurt self-esteem, it places too much focus on others accomplishments versus personal goals.” Not the best idea, thumbs down!
I do not want to cause focus on anything but YOUR GOALS, health, weight or otherwise! My goal is to be an encouragement to you while holding myself accountable. If I ever stop being that…. you have my permission to give me a swift kick in the rear and throw me back on track :) (and yes, I do mean that you can call me out when I’m whining)

I try to come up w/ my own snack ideas, sometimes as I’m munching I think how smart I am then someone asks me is that such & such’s recipe. Well, maybe I did see it somewhere and just forgot, ya’ll know how my brain works lol But heavens to Betsy this is my new favorite snack (& occasional quick breakfast). I call it…
Protein packed chocolate crunch:
1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt
1 scoop AdvoCare Muscle Gain
1/4 cup Natures Path “Love Granola” (has lil’ chunks of chocolate & pieces of dried strawberry)
Mmmmm… (Yes, this is dairy, but I don’t personally have a diversion to dairy, we only adhere to that part of the diet when my son is home)

I’ve also spent a lot of time this summer w/ my Essential Oils…OH MAN OH MAN OH MAN I <3 that stuff :)
Here are a few suggestions for products and essential oils to keep on hand that you can use this summer…
* DEEP BLUE RUB – Soothes muscles after a long hike or heavy workout (Deep Blue EO is ONE of my all time favorites! When my knees are hurting, rub a drop or two and immediately the pain goes!)
* LAVENDER – Promotes restful sleep, soothes burns and helps bruises
* TERRASHIELD – Protects from bugs
* DIGESTZEN SOFTGELS – Alleviates an upset stomach and eases symptoms of acid reflux (My mother is completely OFF her GERD meds thanks to 2 drops of DigestZen/day
* TRIEASE SEASONAL BLEND – Provides relief in case of an adverse reaction to nature
* PEPPERMINT BEADLETS – Supports clear breathing
* LIP BALM
* ONGUARD TOOTHPASTE

**TerraShield Repellent Blend has been scientifically shown to repel insects more effectively than other synthetic insect repellents. Apply several drops to exposed skin and openings in clothing before outdoor activity (We have had MINIMAL mosquito bites thus far, as a matter of fact I've only had 2 myself)

Make DoTERRA a part of your summer adventures with a few more suggestions of oils to keep on-hand, this list will focus on an active lifestyle:
* MITO2MAX ENERGY & STAMINA COMPLEX
* SLIM & SASSY TRIMSHAKE: Provides essential nutrients and helps manage weight
*LIFELONG VITALITY PACK (LVP): Helps maintain overall health and wellness
* DEEP BLUE RUB SOOTHING LOTION

**Take Mito2Max before a long run or any physical activity for increased energy and endurance

List of Summer Essential Oils:
*FLORAL: Geranium – Patchouli – Ylang Ylang
*CITRUS: Wild Orange – Grapefruit – Bergamot – Lime – Lemon
*DIFFUSER BLEND IDEAS: Bergamot & Wild Orange – Patchouli & Geranium – Lemon, Grapefruit & Wild Orange

List of Essential Oils for summer cooking:
Basil – Cilantro – Coriander – Thyme – Rosemary – Marjoram – Oregano – Lemon – Lime – Grapefruit – Wild Orange

And last list (for now heehee) just a few ideas on how to implement cooking oils:

Wild tropical smoothie:
5 drops Wild Orange
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen mango
1 1/2 cup pineapple juice

Fresh caprise salad:
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 drops Basil

Honey lime fruit dip:
1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
1-2 drops Lime

Sweet & Sour Marinade:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 drops Wild Orange

Implementing both AdvoCare products AND DoTERRA (health) products I can hands down tell you which works best for energy. Let me tell you about the first day when I accidentaly did them BOTH..haha.. I'd forgotten I was going to start DoTERRA products on this particular Sunday so I got up w/ my regular AdvoCare routine (Spark, Catalyst, & Thermoplus *side bar, i'd actually allowed myself to run out of MNS but that’ll never happen again..that was the longest 5 days of my life haha) then about 10 minutes later I remembered “Oh yea” so I took the new stuff! It wasn’t long after I felt my heart was gonna beat out of my chest, I could barely catch my breath (kept having to remind myself to breath lol), my pulse was RACING! I even made my husband check my pulse, it was not a pleasant experience. All through church I just felt I would have to jump up and run around the building at any time! My oily friends said it was the “Slim & Sassy” giving me “energy”…well I beg to differ b/c I haven’t felt THAT since day 1. Moral of the story, the Slim & Sassy isn’t worth the cost, save your “energy” money for AdvoCare Thermoplus & Spark :) See, I’m honest, I ain’t gonna lie to ya, I don’t discriminate..even against my own products :) (NOW…I have the Mito2Max but haven’t tried it yet, so if I feel I get MORE energy from that, I’ll keep ya posted)

You can start your own weight loss, health journey by ordering AdvoCare products at http://www.chellespark.com Please feel free to contact me regarding questions and/or ordering suggestions and don’t be “skeered” I’ll help you every step of the way

If you have any interest in learning more about Essential Oils go to http://www.mydoterra.com/chellespark May I suggest you start with an Introductory to Essential Oils Kit containing Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint and again, know that I’m here to help you ;)

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“I’ma learnt one”

You hear that saying, “Ya learn something new each day.”  Welp, I am one of those people…I literally DO learn something new each day! :)

Y’all know I LOVE AdvoCare, started implementing the THM principles of S/E eating and I’m big on DoTERRA Essential Oils.  Y’all know I’m in the finale stages (praise the Lord) of earning my FNS Certification (I’ve just got my exam left so hopefully this week I’ll get that done!) and that I spend every waking moment (starting at 4:25 am each day) trying to learn how to improve my son’s health through nutrition while removing all toxins/chemicals from our home and replacing them with wholesome, every day, “around the house” items.  I love making my own detergents, soaps, healing salves, etc…

I learned today that I can indeed clean soap scum w/ a lemon!  I’ve tried the whole fruit and cleaning thing before…tried cleaning my bathroom sink w/ grapefruit & salt and just as I suspected the only thing that did was give me extra cleaning to do because there was sticky, pulp residue left behind on that one.  I’m a skeptic by nature, I HAVE to learn things the hard way, the old-fashion way, I have to try it for myself ;)  Though I was impressed w/ the whole lemon soap scum thing I’ll probably stick to my baking soda/vinegar routine for the most part.  However, when it comes to cleaning w/ my pantry essentials and my produce, it does NOT do the trick on clogged drains :/  Unfortunatley I’ve yet to find anything for that besides Drano (of which I can only use when my son is away for the week at his dads, giving time for the “chemical” smell to completely dissipate!).

OH ** Side Bar (before I forget) Here’s a recipe I found on Instagram today…AdvoCare Blizzard!!  Yes, I said it B-L-I-Z-Z-A-R-D and let me just tell ya, Dairy Queen “ain’t got nut’n” on this baby.  I absolutely <3 finding recipes that call for my Advo products don’t you?  Makes me KNOW I’m doing my body a favor ;)  
AdvoCare Blizzard:
1 pkg Vanilla MRS
1 cup of ice (enough for thick shake)
8 oz water OR unsweetened almond milk
1/2 AdvoCare Snack Bar
Throw it all in the blender and blend to desired consistency

Learning to do other things w/ food/pantry items…
Mixed up a “zit/spot” remover for my son.  
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 drop lemon juice (though I spilled probably a whole 1/2-1 tsp in it haha)
As soon as you see a “spot” appear (I so hate the Z word lol) dab a lil’ remover (I used q-tip) directly on, allow the paste to soak approximately 10-15 minutes then wash off.  You can reapply as needed but after the second application we saw a difference ;)

My ALL-TIME favorite homemade item is my leg exfoliator made from olive oil (could use coconut, canola, baby oil, just whatever you have the most of), sugar granules and lemon juice.  (AH-HA finally a way to use up the 20 lbs of sugar that I couldn’t bring myself to throw away when we started migrating into sugar-free land).  My sister said her husband (a preacher) asked how my legs were always so shiney (which number 1 made me wonder why is he looking at my legs BAHAHAHA~), that made me realize since I’ve been making my own soap & exfoliator, I haven’t had to use lotion :)  Oh, and I swear I don’t have to shave nearly as often as I was (but that could just be b/c we haven’t really gotten into summer and I was letting the forest grow…mental note, pay attention to the length of time between shavings)

Homemade bronzer?  Yes, make-up, I’m diving into making “make-up”, this one kinda makes me nervous but the minute I find a “kabuki” brush to apply it evenly I know this will be another favorite.  I’m always very careful about what goes on my face b/c of my rosacea  (the only moisturizer I’ve ever found that didn’t cause my break-outs is Clinque and I use it sparingly b/c I don’t like paying for it!  I ONLY wear face make-up on Sunday’s for church and even then I’m dying to clean it off, it causes the break-out, dryness and I itch like mad).  Summer is awesome b/c all I ever need is a moisturizer and sometimes bronzer.  
Bronzer:  
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp nutmeg
I.  KID.  YOU.  NOT!  You’ll want to play w/ the ingredients to get the right shade you need (ex: more nutmeg and cocoa for darker, cinnamon for more reddish tone or cornstarch to lighten it)

I LOVE that I can use my Essential Oils for helping to heal my family naturally w/o the use of synthetic pharmaceuticals!  I’ve rearranged our “medicine cabinet” and thrown most everything away.  I’ve told y’all how I use PEPPERMINT for treating headaches and LAVENDER for fever, itches, burns or rash.  My son has seen his warts disappear using OREGANO and poison ivy swelling starting to vanish w/ the help of MELALEUCA (aka Tea Tree).  But listen to some of the other household items I’ve been able to replace within the home..

Hairspray (another favorite, I always double this recipe!!):
2 tsp granulated sugar (another ah-ha use)
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 tsp high proof alcohol (should’ve seen me explaining to the ABC clerk that I know ZERO about vodka but I want the cheapest b/c)
5 drop of favorite EO (I chose Vetiver for it’s “calming” effects due to son’s TS)

Body Wash (my son loves this!):
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup liquid castille soap (this is the most gentle purchased soap I’ve found so far)
20 drops of LAVENDER EO (son doesn’t wanna “smell like flowers” but doesn’t seem to mind this)

**SIDE BAR** KEEP IN MIND WHEN DEALING W/ PANTRY/FOOD ITEMS IN  YOUR HOMEMADE PRODUCTS, THESE WON’T KEEP A REALLY LONG TIME, SOME ITEMS WILL GO RANCID IF NOT USED RATHER QUICKLY

Hand-Sanitizer (goes every where I go and one in the car <3 <3 ):
4 oz glass spray bottle w/ water
2 tsp aloe vera gel (this I did have to purchase. **remember that aloe must be refrigerated after opening, otherwise you’ll waste an entire 32 oz bottle that will turn a dark color and become very runny; like I did)
10 drops of Vitamin E oil
30 drops of Essential Oil (I used On-Guard for his immune boosting & antibacterial properties, I also love the smell)

Ok, so I realize this blog that started off being mostly about AdvoCare has slowly evolved into so much more!  I ain’t gonna lie, I’m a work in progress! I’m always looking to learn how to improve our HEALTH AND NUTRITION so stay tuned…

~AdvoCare products can be purchased through http://www.chellespark.com
~DoTERRA Essential Oils can be purchased through http://www.mydoterra.com/chellespark
~If you don’t know where to start w/ purchasing gluten free and/or specialty items not found in your regular grocery store http://www.Vitacost.com is a great resource.  If you have never purchased through them before you can get $10 off your first $30 (or more) purchase using my email as a referral chellemills@ymail.com (this will also give me $10 off my next $30 purchase) http://www.vitacostrewards.com/jIXy3r7 (be sure to click “referred by someone” and enter my email along w/ yours)
~I do NOT know how to share links or get an Amazon affiliate link (I’m willing to learn if you wanna talk me through it lol) but I purchase a lot of my items through Amazon.com 

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Making this a toxic-free zone

Much to the disbelief of several skeptics the DIY essential oil deodorant is working out just peachy…er…uh…citrusy haha Tho, I have to admit FRIDAY/ZUMBA will be the true test ;) That’s my real workout day! Every other day it’s just stuff around the house and NO, I don’t just mean walking around from room to room carrying loads of toys or laundry (but believe it not even THAT burns calories and CAN get your heart rate up depending on how quickly you can get it done lol), I’m referring to the lil’ exercise & stretching I get in every morning at the beginning of my day, and we can’t leave out the mile (sometimes two) I put in after dropping the kids off..

I KNOW this is going to sound crazy but this essential oils stuff is FO’ REAL YO! Y’all know due to my son’s tic disorder/TS I’ve been working on making our home a toxic-free, chemical-free zone.. even removing OTC medications and pharmaceuticals! I’ve been turning to the oils for everything under the sun! Kids gotta headache? Dilute some Peppermint and rub it on their temples, forehead and back of the neck. Running a fever? Again, try the Peppermint AND/OR Lemon or Peppermint can be added to water with honey or agave and sipped. Also diffusing, cup and inhale can be used. Lil’ one fell off the bike and bruised up knee? Lavender is great for bruising and soreness! I’ve mixed up a “boo-boo stick” to help heal said scrapes (Frankincense, Melaleuca, Lavender & Witch Hazel). Suffering from a cough/cold? Whoop up a “flu-bomb”, knocks it out in 24 hours! This stuff is crazy addictive! My son has seen Oregano heal a wart and now he’s finally convinced there’s something to this :)

I believe that the chemical induced fragrances we’ve always allowed in our home (because they DO smell good) are part of the reason my son suffers from this debilitating disorder. I think that what we “smell” triggers (or doesn’t, whatever the case may be) something in our brain that causes us to respond in certain ways!

Today alone I’ve made all-natural toothpaste (w/ Peppermint EO), “Earth Paste” which is super expensive in the herb stores (w/ Peppermint), an “allergy roller” to replace our zyrtec/claritin (LLP/lemon, lavender & peppermint), TICK repellent (w/ Eucalyptus, Peppermint & Lavender), laundry detergent (Orange), dishwasher detergent (Wild Orange), furniture spray (Lemon), dryer balls (Lavender)…I mean, the possibilities are endless!

Do you see how often the SAME oils are used over and over? Do you find yourself curious? The BEST way to get started w/ Essential Oils just to see how you will like LOVE them, order your own Introduction Kit! Visit http://www.mydoterra.com/chellespark to order your Introduction to Essential Oils Kit which includes the introductory audio CD and booklet and a 5 ml bottle of dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils. The stunning presentation box also includes suggested uses of the included oils providing your prospects with an immediate experience of the life-changing benefits of essential oils. There’s at least 101 uses for just these three EO’s ;)
starter kit

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