Friday, December 16, 2011

Those Naughty Colors

It's a Friday and I've got two weeks of Christmas and personal time I have plans for so I may not be posting and if I do, small and sporadic. I thought I would dedicate this post to those 'naughty colors.'

It is really pretty amazing what chemicals can do to us for good and bad. Advil is truly a wonder drug for numbing pain and helping with inflammation, but it also causes nasal polyps (which I have had to have surgically removed twice) and is damaging to the liver. The chemicals that we don't really think about or pay much attention to are those that are in our foods and general every day products like lotions and shampoo.
Sodium Laureth Sulfates and other pthalates, parabens, propylene glycol (which is in food and beauty products) all take a toll on our hormones, endocrine system and metabolism (an excellent read on this is Jillian Michaels, "Master Your Metabolism"). For some reason I didn't consider that the skin is a living organism within itself that absorbs the products we use and other environmental toxins. You can prevent pregnancy by wearing a patch on your skin - how crazy is that? It absorbs Vitamin D from the sun which strengthens your immune system and helps with depression. Why wouldn't the chemicals I use in my beauty products also be absorbed through my skin? They are! Then there are the chemicals in food like propylene glycol, aspartame, splenda, sucralose, Blue 1, Red Lake 40, high fructose corn syrup - that are in everything!

Now, it was just little Preston and I for a good three weeks when school got out. This is when he was sick and almost lost his appetite completely; I was very careful about what foods I was giving him. During this time, he was relatively calm, manageable, agreeable and pleasant. One day he came home from a friends house and he was the opposite of everything I just mentioned. I considered what would have been different during the day that would affect him so much. I talked to my friend and she mentioned he had been in the 'treat drawer' and had had some Laffy Taffy. That was the first time I seriously noted a 'reaction' to food colors. There were two or three other times I watched him literally morph from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde within the time frame of an hour after having food with colors in it. I knew for sure after a visit to the therapist where she gave him the award of 'Biggest Turn Around Kid' for outstanding behavior that was quickly followed by the metamorphisis - which was the result of some candy he had had just outside of her office. I didn't know that he had had any but asked my other kids after wondering out loud what happened and why he totally lost it. It was BIZARRE!

I taught Preston what to look for on food labels and nutrition facts and told him I would happily give him a yummy treat for passing up on the naughty treats. He became amazingly vigilant about it which I truly think may be the final key to helping him out and possibly having a successful year in school. Within the last couple of weeks however he has gone back to his 'find and stash' ways with candy loaded with colors. Just last night he came home from school in a good mood and it crumbled shortly thereafter and I soon found a bag of gobstoppers that he had been munching on. I tried to talk very clearly with him about the effects the colors have on him; he said he would calm down but I told him that the chemicals in the colors change the way the brain works - he can't control it. As creepy as it is, this is true. The food colors are petroleum-based and have been found to be toxic. Studies have shown that they alter the brain waves which impairs our functioning and for kids with ADHD exacerbates their symptoms. I haven't been able to eat anything with colors in it for a couple of months because I don't like the idea of something messing with my already brilliant brain waves (ha!). Not to the mention the fact that the last couple of times I did eat colors I felt extremely sick afterward.

With that being said, I really feel that things have changed a little this week - he has been calmer, happier and less reactive (with the exception of one day that wasn't too terrible). It will be really interesting to see what comes over the break and particularly after the excitement of Christmas. I saw him after school today and he was very proud of himself for turning down candy with colors that were being handed out at school; we'll have to make a special treat for that discipline tonight. In the meantime, eat happy and healthy, Merry Christmas and peace, love and Isagenix!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Staying The Course

The last two days of Preston bliss came to a screeching halt this morning when I went down to his room for his morning wake-up call and mentioned his lemonade drink (Mars Venus Cleanse Shake) and he thrashed around and angrily said, "Why do I have to keep having that?" It obviously isn't growing on him yet but he is taking the vitamins and supplements and did reach a happy point with the Mars Venus chocolate shake by using Cacao Coconut milk instead of water. The morning unfortunately didn't improve as he was just bugged, unfocused and not happy. He came home from school hungry (and now that I think of it, probably fueled his irritability) and immediately started pushing my buttons. In the spirit of remembering that I can only control myself, I did just that and remained calm and focused and counted his behavior to a time out. He had to start the clock over three times and I did have to drag him back in there twice, but there was no talk and no emotion on my part (he tried to get me to react but I stayed the course). When he finally served his time, he came up pleasant, did his homework, had his cleanse drink and a decent snack. He's been off and on all night and just found that he had stolen his brother's DS for some sneaky personal play time and had nabbed a bag of Newman's Own Oreo cookies from my storage room. Woo hoo for him eh?! Luckily he didn't have a meltdown as I collected the contraband. I remained calm on this one too.

Life is busy. Life is challenging. I'm preaching to the choir I know but sometimes I just have to give myself that it is okay to feel the weight of it at times. My step-son goes out to visit his mom for Christmas this year and this takes some emotional preparation. He was very emotional last night and I had him do a 'What's On My Mind' map (Come to Your Senses, Stanley Block) to help him get everything out and then had him rate his body tension with each issue. There were alot of tears but he worked through it and we had a good chat about requirements. His biggest requirements are that 'I should make Mom happy' and 'I want both my families to be happy.' I told him that everyone's definition of happiness is different. To make everybody happy just isn't possible because you would have to meet that person's 'happiness requirements.' I gave him the example that if he went to a party and one of his buddies started to drink, in order to keep his buddy happy at that moment he would probably have to drink too. He would be a different person from moment to moment depending on who he was with. In the end, he has to be himself and be true to his values. He isn't responsible for anyone's happiness; we are all the master's of our own destinies. He only has control of himself.

Daily Health Tip
Last night with Brae and today with Preston did reap some stress on my little mind. During the holiday season there seems to be enough stress to go around for everybody. I know that in Utah at least, a great deal of people also suffer from SAD (a seasonal depression disorder) from lack of sunshine and Vitamin D. Lavender essential oil on the back of the neck and bottoms of feet will help with stress. I rubbed a little on my pillow last night and it is also excellent to diffuse. Wild Orange or Citrus Bliss (doTerra) are wonderful mood-boosters when rubbed on the wrists. I have been rubbing the Citrus Bliss on Preston's wrists and telling him to take a whiff when he starts to feel upset at school. Exercise, plenty of sleep and a good laugh will also help with stress and depression. For me, mind-body bridging, daily maps and sticking to a routine, not to mention prioritizing and letting things go is what is helping me get through my rainiest days.

As for laugh, I did a google image search for 'stash of cookies.' Anyone want to venture a guess and tell me why in the world this image came up? I'm diggin' the stash.
Peace love and Isagenix

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Apple Cider Vinegar

I promised myself I would get up early tomorrow after getting eight hours of sleep. So, do I get my eight hours and forgo the early morning or get up early and forgo my sleep? Bah. Why is it so hard to get to bed at night? With that being said, I have no major updates tonight or divine words of wisdom, only my health tip for the day.

Health Tip For the Day
Upon waking, mix 2 teaspoons Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar with 4 ounces water. It is terrible, there is no getting around that one. But, it jump starts you metabolism in the morning and I think there is some miraculous immune boosting properties to doing this. I haven't actually been to their website to see what they tout, but it is doing something good for me. If you feel a sore throat coming on, mix the vinegar with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and a cup of very warm water, gargle and swallow. I swear by this trick. Do it three times in a day and you might either skip the cold or have it pretty easy.

As Black Bart from A Christmas Story says, "Cheeze it boys!" I'm out. Peace love and Isagenix

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm Smiling

It's been a long day but I am smiling in reflection. My cute mother came by to help Preston with his book report (which I didn't object to because I think he does better on the homework front when it isn't me helping him) and he was exciteable but he listened and helped and was in a fantastic mood all night. He wanted to practice his presentation and is very proud of his poster. True, the child has good days and bad days so in the long term time will tell if it is movement in the right direction but he was wonderful tonight.

I made vegan Black Bean and Butternut Squash burritos for dinner (I just had mine on a bed of romaine lettuce) compliments of Anglea of and they were quite tasty. I even tried the daiya cheese which surprised me as being, well, cheesy! I also made chocolate donuts following a recipe I found on but I'm going to need to tweak it a bit. Preston scarfed it down though with some ice cream and a dab of chocolate sauce. I've got to get to bed as my big goal is to get eight hours of sleep a night, but I'll leave with a smart tip and the recommendation to try the burritios:

Lavender Essential Oil for diaper rash. My little Bentley had the worst diaper rash last week. He was absolutely screaming bloody murder it hurt him so bad and that rash looke angry. I put some mustela diaper cream on it which helped but he had some spots that looked angry for two days. I finally got my delayed doTerra essential oil order and rubbed some lavender oil on his little bum and the next day there was just a hint of pink in one spot. After a second application it was gone. I haven't talked much about my essential oils but I had a dream one night that doTerra went out of business and I absolutely paniced. I have replaced my medicine cabinet with my oils and I swear by them! I'm going to go rub some on my feet as soon as I get myself to bed! I'm out. Peace love and Isagenix!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rock Salt for Deodorant

First of all, here is the Health Tip for Today: Rock salt deodorant rocks. The Heidi turned me onto this and she learned about it from a sweaty mountain biker man at the Whole Foods store. In our quest for all things natural (for body this includes products that are free of pthalates, sulfates, parabens and propylene glycol for starters) we have been looking for a stand-up remedy to deodorant that is aluminum free. I've tried a couple of 'natural' deodorants from health stores and they are absolutely the pits (pun-intended). I randomly saw a facebook post by some woman I don't know that said, "if you want to smell like a dirty hippy, wear natural deodorant." I laughed out loud because I had on natural deodorant that had worn off and I smelled disgusting; it was SO true! I was repulsive to myself. Then I was told to use Young Living's Thieves toothpaste for my underarms which I actually LOVED! But it is fourteen bucks a pop! Then I started swiping some coconut oil under my arms and a dab of whatever Doterra essential oil I felt like that day. The oil worked fabulous but you have to warm the coconut oil in your palms to melt it and then you have to get out the essential oil; too many steps. I have to say that even better than my oil is this stick of rock salt that you moisten and roll on your pits. There is no scent but even this morning after I did a tough work out, I still didn't smell (and I had last applied the morning before). And I ALWAYS smell after I workout. I'll go look up the name of it and insert it tomorrow but it is totally awesome!

And I'm passing on the Preston update today per the advice of my therapist (even though he had a totally stellar day!). She told me to give everything a rest for a week and half. No reading, researching, and 'hoping to fix something that isn't broken (in which case she was meaning that Preston isn't broken).' Which takes me back to the whole reason why I started this damn blog: to remember that I can't change anybody else; ONLY myself. I do recommend to everybody to read "Come to Your Senses" by Stanley Block because it might just change your life and how you deal with it, which also takes us back to life being what we make it. I've been all up in my head and not in my natural loop and I've been missing some key life points. I've got to relax, bridge, befriend my requirements and be me. I've got to remember that I'm also not broken and to have confidence in what I know and what I'm doing. Although Preston is a challenge, I can be calm and not engage, I can breathe deep and eat right (which will help me stay clear), I can focus on positives, and I can love those around me.

I watched Water for Elephants tonight and I loved it. At the end it shows the main character bathing their kid in bath water and then the kid playing with the bath water and they were smiling and laughing. I said to myself, 'self, you need to splash in the bath water and enjoy these days because although the days are long, the years are short.' I have been thinking a little of what a pill I was for my parents in my high school and college years. I was a good girl and an obedient girl but I had attitude and was trying to be different than them so I was pain on bike rides and on some of our trips. I couldn't laugh at myself and my Dad kept trying to get me to understand why that was important. They didn't lecture me or get mad at me (once in awhile they would get frustrated-but left me alone when it didn't go anywhere) they just let me brood and be a pill and they enjoyed themselves. I don't know how they did it because it drives me nuts when either of my kids are surly and miserable and I try to lecture and I get frustrated and exasperated and angry and you know what it does? NOTHING! It makes things worse - especially for me! I've just got to let it go and hopefully they'll eventually figure it out. I did! I did actually learn from their example and I can laugh at myself now and I know now that I'm responsible for my happiness and I choose how I react to what comes my way.It's all about choices.

So, my choice today for the next week and half is to relax. I'm not going to engage in Preston's fits or rants or rages. I'm not going to raise my voice or get angry. I'm not going to try to persuade him to be one way or another; I'm going to count him, give him choices, and be me. Relaxed and pleasant me. I'll make jokes, I'm going to pick up my Pope Joan book again (I know you are so excited Mom! We'll watch her movie together!) I'm going to bake cookies and make Angela's Vegan Butternutsquash burritos and clean my house, and love my kids. Not that I don't always love them, I'm just going to work hard at being in the moment and focus on having positive bubbles floating in my brain. There you have it. That was probably still more thinking than I was supposed to do but I'm trying to follow her advice of 'coming to my senses,' bridging, being in the moment and not fixing what isn't broken. Peace love and Isagenix!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day Ahhck! - I Mean Four

Honestly, being a parent is exhausting. I'm exhausted. I'm exasperated. More than once have I wanted to 'cash in my chips.' I remember stopping by a neighbor's house one night and her husband had been out of town and I could she was done - she wanted to cash in her chips - and she told me that she had served cereal for dinner. I laughed. I can't say I've ever actually done that but I sure didn't think any less of her because I know I've cut corners other places too. With that all being said, I'm guessing you can figure out that it was  less than stellar day. The only shining moment was the last hour before bed when he was totally calm, totally normally and actually very sweet. He started crying over a picture of a sad dog in the sixth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. He can ben amazingly rude and crazy one minute and the sweetest kid you could have ever hoped for the next. I would totally settle for some in between. Like a twinkie. I don't know why my mind went to the creme filling in a twinkie in between that yellow-dyed, chemically-preserved cake-like substance, but it did. I haven't had one of those probably since I was seven. Gross.

Anyway, he was blaming me for being late this morning when he was messing around in his room not getting out of bed and not getting ready and yelling at me. He was wild and crazy after school and volatile as always. I realized today  though that I'm really going to need to give this whole process some time. I also realized that it took a good three months before my hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating in the hands and feet) started to decline after I started nutritional cleansing through Isagenix. That's a condition I've had my entire life. And for that to actually decrease in frequency and intensity after all these years is pretty amazing. That made me think that it's probably going to take a couple of months before I see anything major with Preston. I would say his ADHD is pretty severe. I'm sure there are kids out there who have it worse (you will always be able to find someone with lesser or more than you) but for him, this process is going to take some time; not to mention detoxing the meds out. I get so hopeful when people say that you should see a difference as soon as three to four days but for my guy I think I'm going to really have to learn the art of patience.

I just have to stick with it, hang in there, and not give up hope. I'm turning my electric blankey on and going to bed. Peace love and Isagenix.

I had to throw this in. I've been looking at several blogs as of late, including some health blogs. One thing that I recently learned that most people still don't is that heart healthy oils, such as olive oil, become trans fats if they are heated. That means when you saute veggies in olive oil, your olive oil's molecules are flipping and turning into naughty trans fats. Coconut oil, palm oil and grapeseed oil are not heat sensitive and do not flip - these are the best oils to use when it comes to heat. Beware!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day Three - And a Helpful Article

I came across this simple and helfpul article on yahoo today that I felt was applicable to my little Preston, despite it being written with toddlers in mind. Point Two mentions that during their tantrum, they are incapable of hearing any message we have for them and will be until 'we are able to they're sure we understand and hear their message.' Validation, which is not acceptance per say, is a big deal. This is talked about and empasized in both Love and Logic and 1-2-3 Magic. I realized that this is a key piece that I have been skipping for the last little bit. I should have validated Preston when he came home in a rage the other day (after he cooled off of course) and I could have even have done it when he was frustrated about washing his hands ("I know I struggle being interrupted when I'm in the middle of something too buddy"). This is going on my daily 'to do' list. Below is a link to the article on yahoo. It's short and sweet and worth the read.

Preston did get off on the right foot again today and drank his super cleanse, had all of his vitamins, the wellness shake and even a bowl of cereal. He left in a good mood and was very manageable. We'll see where he is at in about forty minutes. As for basketball practice tonight, he came to me last night and apologized and actually had some ideas for calming himself down. We talked about it and I think we'll read some more from his Kimochi book tonight - he could relate to that. Him just thinking about it and coming to me with some ideas was HUGE so I think that will be his redeeming factor in going to practice tonight. I'll have an update before the day is over. And if you are interested in Kimochi this site can give you a little more information:

I had the school bus parked out front my house again today and had the opportunity to have a lovely chat with the busdriver about the problems Preston has been creating on a daily basis. Apparently Preston was spitting in fellow bus-mates' faces. The only thing I could come up with was that if he gets two more warnings from the bus driver then he loses his bus-riding privileges and I drive him to school. Not my first choice. Or even second choice. Really, I don't want this to be an option but I'm not sure what else to do when this 70 or 80 something year-old bus driver is telling me that his job is on the line. So, it is what it is. After that, Preston had his shake and calmed down enough to do homework until he got frustrated with not knowing spelling words and started huffing and being obnoxious. I can't imagine what this kid is like in class for his teacher (random: do you ever forget how to spell words that you spell regularly? I just forgot how to spell 'teacher' and was going to write it 'teatcher.' Bus-driver visits are apparently taking their toll!). I sure hope these supplements start to really kick in soon. He's doing awesome in the morning but he is struggling like crazy during the rest of the day! It's late, I'm going to bed now, unfortunately no pretty pictures this time.

P.S. Speaking of pictures, after looking at all these other blogs my pictures look terrible. It could be that I have terrible photography skills or my camera has terrible photography skills. Just because I need to prevent my self-esteem from plummeting, I'm going with the latter. I'm out. And compliments of my sister-in-law, I'm signing out from here on out with, Peace Love and Isagenix. :) Burnsy

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day One

I have to admit that I went to bed excited and woke up excited - I have alot of faith that the shakes and supplements will work for Preston. I was listening to a woman talk yesterday and she mentioned that God has the power to do anything - if it is the right course of action. She said that it didn't matter what anybody told you (you will never be able to have kids, you have six months to live) because if you had faith and didn't give up, anything could happen. This really struck me as I know several people and have heard stories of people beating the odds; I have even heard of a few miracles. I know people that were told they wouldn't have children, and now have a family. Miracles do happen and I think they happen when there is alot faith. This thought gave me strength and I am excited because anything can happen really.

With that being said, when I got Preston back from his dad last night I gave him 1 C-Lyte and 1 Grapefruit Seed Extract capsule. I need to first say that when I picked Preston up he was bouncing off the walls. He was motor-mouthing and couldn't sit still; per his Dad he had been like this all day. There may or may not be a correlation, but both my Mom and I did notice that shortly after he had the Vitamin C and the GSE, he calmed down. Per Dr. Gray, the Vitamin C and the GSE alone was 'proven to be more effective than Ritalin.' I'm not sure it would happen that fast, but anything is possible right? Besides the issue of hyperactivity, there is the self-control and more importantly the depression issue that I will be watching carefully. It could take 4-6 weeks for the Zoloft to completely leave his system and during that time I understand there to be withdrawl symptoms. I saw this a couple of weeks ago when he went off it initially and that is when the knife incident occurred; he was just not in a good place. He was beligerant on the ride home from Sunday dinner last night, but mellowed and actually normalized once we got home.

I initially thought that I would incorporate the supplements slowly and one at a time but ultimately felt that there wasn't really a reason to hold off. The shakes are food and the other supplements are minerals that he is apparently very deficient in. This morning I took the Super Cleanse down to his room with two capsules of the Mars and Venus Super Minerals. He really didn't like the drink but I bribed him with offering some scoops of ice cream in his chocolate shake (Mars and Venus Wellness Shakes). Now before anyone freaks out - I made this ice cream over the weekend and I would actually describe it as healthy. It is made with coconut milk, Grade B maple syrup, vanilla, real salt, and stevia. The recipe calls for vanilla bean paste (haven't found any yet) which I think would make it amazing, but just with the vanilla it is still very tasty. So creamy! Love it! I found the recipe on and love her for sharing because it is going to become a staple for the boys (and me-love creamy!). I doubled the recipe so I would have plenty on hand. So, actually pretty good to add the shake! I also gave hime 1 C-Lyte, 1 GSE and 1 Lithium Orotate. I'm going to have to figure out how to tweak the cleanse drink which he didn't like and of which he is supposed to have twice a day. I will give him his second shake when he gets home from school along with another GSE. Hopefully adding the ice cream to that will be okay. Whatever it takes to get it down?

He was happy and fairly manageable this morning. I still had to shadow him to make sure he gets stuff done, but I was able to coax him dangling carrots this morning which was helpful. Today, I will also be reading Dr. Barkley's book and his outline for the eight steps in behavior modification. I will add to this post later this evening with some of those details and see how Preston is doing. I'm going to start having Preston contribute to his page as well if he is still interested.   

As for the gumdrops and unicorns - isn't there some 'be happy' saying involving 'life's all about gumdrops and unicorns?' That's my way of having a positive outlook on this. *I do not encourage actually consumption of gumdrops. They are naughty. VERY, VERY NAUGHTY!

Unfortunately, the universe couldn't handle the gumdrops and unicorns because he came storming in the door after school without his coat on and no back-pack (thinks he forgot his coat on the bus and his friends brought by his back pack saying  he threw it in the street and started jumping on it). He immediately went down to his room and tried to keep me out. He started yelling at me that everyone hated him. He repeated this sentiment in several different ways. I told him to hang out in his room to cool off. He came upstairs and I was trying to bridge and calm myself down and asked him to go back down to his room. He mouthed off to me and spit his tongue out so I escorted him to his room. He slammed the door three times before I went back in. He then emptied a few of his drawers and took some stuff off the wall after I left again. I just went upstairs to cool off. Ironically, Braeden went in his room and talked him down.
The truth is, raising a child with ADHD is by far and away the hardest, most gut-wrenching, emotionally-taxing job I've ever had. Some days it takes all I have to get through it and have a glimmer of hope. I'm going to keep thinking positive and remind myself that his withdrawl symptoms will probably get worse before they get better. At any rate, I did make his cleanse drink with my home-made ice cream and he got most of it down; he started off liking it and it went downhill from there. I think I can get him used to it. For everyone out there reading this - please send positive thoughts our way. I need all the help I can get.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just a Thought for Today

That's all I've got to say about that. I'm doing my darndest.

A Simple Tip in Day to Day Interactions (Especially With Your Kids)

Something Simple - Don't Engage
Dr. Phelan's overall policy is that of no talk and no emotion. This is also a primary point in Love and Logic. We need to take good care of ourselves in front of our kids and tell them what WE are going to do (I am leaving in 5 minutes for your choir practice) AND we keep ourselves calm (this is a big one I have noticed for Preston because I think if he knows I can handle him he can rest a little easier). When I was going through my divorce, my therapist gave me the great advice to not 'engage' when my then husband was being argumentative or combative. If I didn't engage or 'take the bait' there was nothing more he could do or say; he pretty much had to drop whatever it was he was kicking against or trying to get me to do. I have found this same tactic extremely valuable with Preston when he tries to draw me into one of his negative spirals. Jim Fay of Love and Logic also says to 'never argue with the ridiculous.' When Preston goes into a diatribe on what an awful kid he is I just say, "I'm so sad that you feel that way. I think you are pretty terrific," and then I ignore further comments or leave the situation and it does indeed diffuse him.
*This picture was labeled 'Happy-Healthy-Kids.' I chose it for that very purpose; as parents, I think we all want our kids to be happy and healthy.