Monday, November 18, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Recipe

I'm not a fan of spaghetti squash. I admit it. I can eat it but I don't love it and it doesn't replace pasta in my book. That being said, I kinda created a recipe for the fence-sitters. If you hate spaghetti squash, you'll probably still hate it after this too. Haters are just gonna hate.

I'd have taken more pictures but I didn't expect it to actually work. Sorry!

Here is the link to the sauce I used. I love this sauce! It's so easy and versatile!

I cooked the spaghetti squash like you're supposed to:
Cut in half, scoop out the seeds.
Place open side down in a pan of water and bake at least 45 minutes.
If it scrapes out easily, it's done.

Stir the cooked spaghetti squash together with the sauce and add cooked, diced chicken and cheese (mozzarella and parmesan). Top with cheese of your choice. The amount of cheese depends on how cheesy you like things. Somewhere around a cup total should good for most people. Top with cheese of your choice and bake until the top browns.

So, if you're looking for the ingredient list:
1. Everything on the sauce recipe except the spaghetti
2. Spaghetti Squash
3. 1 -1 1/2 Cups of Your Preferred Cheese

Thursday, November 14, 2013


*We have a winner! Congratulations! It's on the way to B.R. in NY!*

Time for a giveaway!!

One of my FAVORITE things to drink! You know how most people have to have their coffee? Well, I have to have my hot chocolate. :-)

Most people use this as a chocolate shake but some of us rebels turned this into a hot chocolate.
Here's the link for more information on the shake. 

If you REALLY want an awesome combo, add in the MochaTonix! 
It comes in 3 flavors mocha, cappuccino and vanilla but I prefer the mocha. Since I only use 1/2 scoop, it lasts twice as long. 

When you register, MAKE SURE my name is on the website as your Shop Consultant! If it isn't, try this link instead.

Tips For Healthier Eating This Thanksgiving

Tips For Healthier Eating This Thanksgiving

*Eat breakfast. I know it's tempting to wait for the big meal but your body will thank you.
*Snack on veggies before the meal. At least get some healthy food in you first. Have a veggie platter sitting out for grazing.
*Have alternatives available such as baked sweet potatoes instead of those syrupy sweet yams. I didn't say not to make the yams if that's one of your family traditions but you can start new traditions by including healthier options. This will help prevent a revolt.
*Take a walk. This is great family time! Get away from the tv for a while and get a little bit of exercise!
*Don't eat the skin on the turkey.
*Try to replace packaged mixes with homemade mixes. Most can be made ahead of time. I dare you to read and research the ingredients of the mixes you use!
*Have to-go boxes ready for everyone. People will have better control if they know they'll be able to get more later. Let everyone make up a box with their favorites to take home.

And finally, because there's always at least one person that's going to have a hurting stomach, may I suggest my go-to stomach relief trio. It doesn't matter what the issue is: stomach flu, food poisoning, bad food choices, overeating, etc.., this trio helps. Even my kids go for these because they can feel the difference.  

Inline image 1

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Are You Getting The Nutrients You Need From Your Food?

As many of you know, I work with doctors helping them implement wellness solutions in their practices. When I start talking with them, I always get their opinion on supplementation. Amazingly enough, many of them still believe that people are getting their daily nutritional needs me through their food intake. So, I decided to look into things a little further. I'll let you decide for yourself.

WHAT are you eating?
According to the USDA, half of your plate should be vegetables. 
*Ask a natural health expert and you'll get a different answer. Many natural health professionals disagree with the USDA recommendations and don't feel like they're enough for optimal health.

According to the USDA, you should be eating about 5 ounces of protein every day.
*This includes your meats, nuts, and eggs among other things.

What about dairy?
USDA says around 3 cups of low-fat dairy but I really have to question this. Dairy is inflammatory so 3 cups is a lot. The recommendation is based on the need for calcium, vitamin d, and potassium. It has been argued that pasteurization and homogenization reduce the amount of vitamins in dairy products. I haven't found a conclusive study yet. I'd like to know what ultra-pasteurization does to the milk since organic milk appears to be ultra-pasteurized more than conventional milk? Don't quote me on it, I haven't finished researching that one yet. What I DO know is that most milk is fortified-AKA supplementation-and that more vitamins are found in whole milk than in skim milk because some vitamins are fat soluble.
Effects of Pasteurization on Milk
Early Study on Homogenization

SO, are you eating mostly vegetables with a side of protein every day? Are your kids?
I know many of us are doing our best to encourage healthy eating in our families but the fact is that we are bombarded with high sugar and high grain foods constantly.
The fact is that, according to a study done in 2005-2006, the top 25 sources of calories in Americans did not include vegetables except as a mixed dish with meat (and we all know how many vegetables are in most of those).
Here's the study with most interesting info.
Calories and Weight

WHERE are you buying your food?
Irradiation-Ever heard of it?
Irradiation is ionizing radiation of food. It kills microorganisms that cause illness and food spoilage. It's pretty much another form of pasteurization.
*It produces free radicals in the food. (that's bad)
*They combine with chemicals such as pesticides to form new chemicals. (maybe they're safe, maybe they're not)
*Damages enzymes in food that help you digest the food.
*Does what big pharma does to health-fixes the symptom not the problem. 
*Works like an antibiotic and kills the good stuff as well as some of the bad stuff.
Want more info?

There is a label for irradiated food:
I wouldn't use that as your guide for avoiding it. It's only required if you're the first purchaser of the product. Also, it doesn't have to be labeled if the INGREDIENTS have been irradiated instead of the final product. Laws change so use this as a guideline to check for what the current law is on it.

Is it safe? Here's the study on it.
Want more?

How do you know if your food is irradiated? 
Tough question. Buy from a grocery store that doesn't sell irradiated food or buy organic. Your local farmers market is a great place to buy healthier, better quality food.

DOES your food have the nutrients it needs?
It depends on where you get your food from. If it's an heirloom variety organically grown (not necessarily certified organic, just grown without the harsh pesticides and herbicides) in nutrient rich soil then your vegetables may have the amount of nutrients in them you expect. Therefore, if you eat the recommended amount of these vegetables you may be getting the correct amount of nutrients to meet your daily needs.
The fact is that most vegetables are grown in nutrient depleted soil so the vegetables are deficient in nutrients. Also, many varieties of vegetables are genetically manipulated for reasons other than nutrient value so you don't know what you're getting. Commercial growers care more about the bottom line so they're more concerned with disease resistant, fast-growing, and high producing plants.

ARE you really eating the right foods, in the right amount, that are grown they way they're supposed to be? Are your children?

If not, do you or your children have gut issues? Not sure?
Signs of gut issues:
*Type 2 Diabetes
*Auto Immune Disease
*Yeast Overgrowth
*Weight Gain/ Inability to Lose Weight
...and more

So, if you're not eating the foods you need every day you need supplementation. If you have gut issues, you have trouble absorbing nutrients and you will have trouble absorbing supplements as well. 

What do you do?

WHERE do you get that?
Supplement Search Results

NOT sure which supplements you need? Take the free test to find out!

PS-If you enjoy shopping online, join my Facebook Page: ShopBrandi.Com
PPS-If you want health and nutrition tips, join mom's Facebook Page: LivingtheLifestyleWeightLossSolutions101

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weight Loss Coaching Opportunity

Due to demand we are offering our Next "Train the Coaches" Program Dec 2nd: Training Lifestyle Weight Management Coaches is only of one of our offerings.
If you love helping people and want to get healthy yourself, I have 4 slots for this Program. Spots are limited. Inbox me now for details. Must be Registered by mid November. We fill up fast.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cooking Outline For Homeschool

While searching for a cooking course for my son, I learned that everything I could find was geared towards younger children or adults. I put together this outline as a guideline for him so he could do his own research and teach himself. You could take this and turn it into a parent-led course easily.

I plan for him to keep a notebook so he can keep a daily log of his activities and write down anything he learns. I also plan to get some meals out of this class. :-) Most of the information he gathers will come from videos he finds on the internet. There are TONS out there! There is absolutely no need to pay for expensive online cooking courses, especially if they're just beginning.

I will most likely post video links to help you guys out. If there's something you think should be added, please comment and let me know! Feel free to share this link with anyone else you think would be interested. Enjoy!

                                                         Cooking Course Outline

Kitchen Safety Tips
Choosing the right kitchen knife
Knife skills
Many cooking videos here
My healthy recipe Pinterest board

New Facebook Page for Health Tips

Guess what?!? Mom just put up a new page on Facebook where she'll be sharing health and nutrition tips!! Usually, only her personal Facebook friends get to see these.

Go ahead and "Like" the page! You're welcome. :-)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Christianity and Health

You park your car then walk in to greet and embrace well-dressed family and friends. It's Sunday morning, time for Church! Many churches will have coffee and donuts (or a similar form of refreshment) available. Then, you go worship while your children go to children's Church. You pick your children up and they're laughing and smiling with their artwork and candy in hand as you walk out the door. This is just a typical Sunday morning in a typical church. Then, you have the potlucks, pizza parties, movie nights, etc... So what's wrong with this picture?

 Anything the Church does, should be backed up with scripture. How many times has the Church been questioned on something only to respond that it's just the way they do things, it's the way things have always been done, it's tradition, etc.. Does this somehow make it right? Is the Church incapable of considering that they may be doing things wrong and need to change? Is it possible to have a discussion where a Church leader can pull out the Bible and tell you that this is the reason they do things and this is where it's supported by scripture?

 We are told in scripture to be good stewards. Is our health not a gift from God? Shouldn't we take care of the body that God has given to each of us? As Christians, we believe that our body is a temple and the Holy Spirit lives in us. Are we not told to take care of the temple? Why isn't the Church teaching us that it's important to take care of our bodies?

Jesus had limited time on the earth. He knew his time was short yet he spent much of his time healing people. If our health isn't important, then why didn't he just take care of the spiritual aspect of these people? Why did he heal them? It makes no sense to ignore the physical aspect of our Christian lives. I believe God performs many miracles but we don't see them because we continue doing the things that cause the sickness.

 Do you remember reading all of the rules in the Bible about cleanliness and locations of buildings, waste, animals, etc...? (Try Leviticus and Deuteronomy for references.) The people didn't understand WHY God told them to do that stuff. It wasn't just to be controlling and overbearing; there was a reason. Science has shown us the reasoning behind those rules: germs, infection. We have been given guidelines for eating and taking care of our bodies as well. I think there is much we still don't know and I believe God had a reason for giving the rules. As obesity and disease grows rampant, I think it's time for us to consider our ways and start making changes.

 I know someone will throw out finances as a reason why the church serves junk food so I'll just give you my opinion on that. Americans, along with other countries, have priority issues. We waste our money on the wrong things. People keep saying that they can't afford to eat healthy. Here are some statistics to get you thinking.
 Percentage of income spent on food in 2012:
USA- 6.6%
UK- 9.1%
Canada- 9.6%
Taiwan- 13.5%
Israel- 15.9%
India- 25.2%
Egypt- 42.7%
*Report from the USDA

 Americans spend less, percentage-wise, than any other country on food. Americans are some of the most obese people in the world! There's a serious problem here. We are not taking care of our bodies and the Church isn't providing the guidance and support it should. It's not that people in America can't afford to eat healthy, it's simply that we have chosen to spend our money on other things.

What are the basics of life? What should our priorities be? Do you realize that food prices are unusually low in America because of government subsidization? Guess what the government is spending money on?
1. Corn
 2. Soybeans
3. Wheat
*(Side note: Corn and Soybeans are the largest genetically modified crops in the world. Coincidence? Follow the money.)

 The products made from these ingredients are cheap because the government is funding them. These cheap ingredients have caused a decline in the food quality in America. We failed to realize the problems associated with these foods and didn't make the financial adaptations needed to offset the extra costs associated with healthier eating. It's time for America to wake up; it's time for the Church to wake up! If the Church is unable to provide healthy food, then at least stop providing junk food. I am not speaking about ministries such as food pantries. I know churches are doing the best they can to keep people from starving. These people need healthy food but that is a problem that goes beyond the Church. I feel that the problem can be fixed and it starts with people refusing to buy these cheap ingredients (AKA: Supply and Demand).

 Why do I feel that this is a Church issue?
 1. Our body is a temple and we should treat it as such.
2. God gave us healthy eating tips and I think we should give them our consideration.
3. God thought health and cleanliness was important so, therefore, it should be important to the Church. 4. We pray for the sick but promote sickness through bad food choices.

 This is my viewpoint and my thoughts. I'm not a theologian and I have no intention of getting into scriptural arguments. My goal in writing this is to simply make people think and I hope it will lead to changes. Sometimes, people just don't think about things and lose focus. This is something that weighs on my heart and I felt it needed to be said. You're welcome to disagree; just do it in your own space. This is my blog and my space to write my opinions. As always, feel free to friend/follow me on your social network of choice. I'm on most of them. :-)

PS-You're welcome to post your favorite healthy food quote.

Freezer Meals
Insulin/Blood Pressure
Weight Management Class
Yeast Overgrowth, Gut Bacteria, and Babies
What's In Your Snack?
Hot Flashes, Hormones, and Adrenals
Inflammation and Disease

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fall Makeup Giveaway!

*Congratulations to Maggie F. on winning the giveaway! Follow on Facebook for info on the next giveaway! Shop Brandi*

Check out this awesome eyeshadow palette by Motives for La La! Vivid colors that you won't see in most makeups! The Motives line is a favorite in pageants and runway shows and worn by some of the hottest celebrities! Win it in this giveaway and find out why!

So, what makes Motives for La La so special? 
*Created for ethnic women who have trouble finding their perfect shade (but everyone can wear these!)
*High quality mineral makeup with the best ingredients
*Great for sensitive skin since it doesn't contain fragrance
*Not tested on animals
*Premium quality without the premium price 

Check Motives out now and see for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 22, 2013

Birthday Giveaway!

It's My Birthday! 

UPDATE: Carmela I. is the winner!! Congratulations! If she hasn't claimed her gift by next Monday, I will hold another drawing. So....if you haven't entered yet, it may not be too late! 

I've decided to do my first giveaway! You get to chose your prize from a list of different things! 

All you have to do is register on my site as a preferred customer! It's super easy! Share on your favorite social media! (Pinterest counts)

Register Here!
Put "Giveaway" in the Contact Form!

Drawing will be held next Monday (because some of us need that pick-me-up)! Winner will be announced on this page along with chosen gift. No need to see if you won, you'll get an email. 

I'm so excited!! Good Luck!

PS-Make sure you see Brandi Perkins listed as your shop consultant (you're not on my site if it doesn't) (( if the link doesn't take you there))

PPS-If winner doesn't claim prize within a week, a new drawing will be held.

PPPS-It's not a surprise if I tell you what your choices are but they will come from this list: My Products

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Curriculum Reviews

Here are my thoughts on some of the curriculums that I have used while homeschooling; I'll keep updating when I have time so be sure to check back. I'll try to give you a link for everything I review. Sometimes has the best prices as well as Take time to look for discounts and shop around! I hope you find these reviews helpful!

Easy Grammar
Pros: I really like Easy Grammar. I think it does a great job of teaching basic grammar in a format that is easy to understand and use. When I started homeschooling, my oldest son would freak out over anything and everything that required writing or thinking. I was so relieved to find this! He had no issues with completing a page or two of this every day.
Cons: I don't believe that Easy Grammar succeeds in teaching the kids to translate what they've learned into real world usage (or standardized testing). I recommend supplementing with something else that will help them with this step. Here are a couple of websites that I found for this:

Teaching Textbooks-
Pros: My kids all dramatically improved their test scores after they started using this program. That tells me that it works. I love the automatic grading and the option of deleting/editing their grades on each lesson and each question. If I'm not satisfied that they know the material in the lesson, I can have them do it again. The kids don't mind doing math at all with this program. One other thing, their customer service is top-notch. As a small business owner, I have high expectations and they've met them.
Cons: The disks. It's $15 each to replace any disk that gets scratched. Legally, you can copy them and I highly recommending you do so as soon as you get them (just don't keep the copies if you sell the program)! I had 3 kids using 3 different disks on the same computer every day. We're up to two computers right now so it's not AS bad but it's still an issue. That's my only issue with this program!

Paths of Progress-
Pros: The books are very high quality. Everything is laid out step-by-step so there is little pre-prep involved. Most subjects are covered in some way. I think much time and effort went into making this a user friendly book. Student notebooks are included for certain grade levels. There is a lot of printing but not much ink it used on most of the pages so it's not as bad as it looks at first glance.(How to print double sided pages)

Cons: Expensive. The recommended books are pretty much necessary to use the curriculum. The cost for the extension for high school on top of all of the rest is prohibitive for most of us. Since I wasn't able to find most of the books at the library or online, I decided to sell the curriculum instead of adding the extra expense. So, check the book list and make sure it isn't an issue for you before purchasing the curriculum. This is more a guide than anything. I think there are options available that do the same thing with way less cost.
Here are some other options that I think are comparable:

Inflammation and Disease

Inflammation isn't bad; it's a necessary part of our defense system. The problems occur when we have too much inflammation (think blowtorch to light a birthday candle) and it causes damage. When you have chronic inflammatory disease, your body doesn't have a chance to repair the damage and you end up with things like RA and Crohn's. Asthma, allergies, diabetes, heart disease, and many other things are usually the result of inflammation. Our diet is a huge contributor to our growing problem of excess inflammation. Obesity is another factor. You don't have to be obese to have excess inflammation but if you are obese then you do have it.

My online class helps people eat right so they can control this problem. Control your health or your sickness will control you. If you want class info, send me a message . There are still a few spots open for my September class.

Besides eating right, antioxidants ( and Omega 3 ( are very beneficial in the fight against excess inflammation.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Copyright VS. Real World Needs

In today's world, we have the dubious pleasure of learning how to adjust from what we've always done to what is legal in the new age of ebooks and computers.  It is understandable that people want to get paid for their work; they should be. I have no argument with paying for the things we use. I do, however, have a problem with the limitations placed on things like ebooks and curriculum that don't allow people to be exposed to new things that interest them.

Word of Mouth marketing is invaluable to anyone in the sales world. It's no secret that people are more likely to buy something when someone they know has recommended it. Product demonstration is also another wildly successful marketing tool. So, if these are some of the best ways to sell then why are they being stifled by copyright laws. Something needs to change. They've changed the rules without providing new ways of achieving these marketing strategies and it's not only the people selling that suffers but also the people that are looking for new products.

Think about what used to be....You get a book, you read it, you lend it to your friend to read, they give it back (sometimes), then you read it again or lend it out to someone else. Remember Barnes and Nobles' great ad campaign that promised lending features for our books? I can't be the only one that got suckered by that marketing gimmick. Why did they promote that? Because that is what people are used to and what people want! What did we get? The ability to lend a book out 1 time...ONE! I think that was need to know info. The only reason I can figure out that we aren't allowed to lend a book out as many times as we need (only one person being able to access the book at a time) is greed. It makes sense to me; after all, we have to pay the same amount for an ebook that we pay for a printed book even though the costs have to be more for the printed book. Sounds like an easy way to make a higher profit off of the same product. 

Now, that's books. What about curriculum? Okay, let me just go ahead and say that I am not a curriculum fair person. I cannot sit and think about what I'm looking at when I'm surrounded by people, noise, and an overwhelming selection of products. I know it works for many people and if one were near me, I would most likely go but I need a quiet place to relax and consider my needs and match those up with the right curriculum. Every homeschooling parent knows how expensive it can get when buying new curriculum and most of us don't have the extra money to buy something that we haven't seen, something that we just hope might be what we're looking for. Some people are lucky enough to live in areas with homeschool stores-I used to and I really miss it! Some people are lucky enough to have a good homeschool group that brings in their curriculum for others to see. I used to have that as well. These are the best ways that homeschool curriculum is sold. That is why some things are so incredibly popular while other curriculums can't seem to get started. 

We can't borrow ebooks, we can't see curriculum, we can't lend out out anything like we used to. So we're not exposed to new authors and new curriculum. How are we supposed to buy them if we don't know about them? How do we know if we'll like them if we can't see them? People that want things for free will find a way to get them. Do you really think copyright laws are going to stop them? It hasn't worked in any other area of life. The only people you're limiting are the ones that follow the law and actually buy things. It's a simple concept. We can't buy it if we don't have the necessary information.

So, how do we find a balance? I don't think it's such a difficult task. Simply give people the opportunity to see what you have to offer! Apologia has already done this with great success. You can go to and download the first part of their notebooks. Why do they do this? So you can see what they have to offer and make an informed decision! It works! It worked for me; I bought one because of that. I found out about it because of reviews by other people but I bought it because I was able to see it.

We live in a new era that have given us limitations on what we can do with the things we buy. We have gotten used to being able to find information on anything at anytime thanks to the internet. Yet, the people that love to research and educate their children are limited because we can't access new products-curriculum. I would love to see a website that all curriculum could be browsed through, just as if we were sitting in a homeschool store.  I would love an online library that gives us access to new authors and books. (My local library doesn't even know what an epub is...true story.) Release the chokehold and I'll bet you'll see sales soar. It just makes sense to me.

                                                © Nikolais | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hot Flashes, Hormones, and Adrenals...

What Are Adrenals?

The Adrenals are your stress handling glands located on your kidneys. These are your fight or flight emergency 'BATTERY PACKS'. When you have a stress alert, as in an emergency....they go into action. Dumping adrenaline and cortisol for Power and Fuel to handle the emergency. They are designed for these "EMERGENCIES" to be few and far between. But what is the reality?

The reality is... this 'EMERGENCY' event is happening every in and day out....
Here is how: Your lifestyle. You know...the EVER READY BUNNY SYNDROME... running all the time without eating properly, sleeping enough and relaxing routinely. Is that you? After a while... you begin to feel the EFFECTS of all of this emergency activity and eventually...the crash and fatigue start setting in... First it begins with needing a vacation. Everyone needs one. Then it progresses to actual challenges like hypo-thyroid and much more. Those adrenals are much do you expect them to take? What can you do to nourish and repair them?

Stay tuned... we'll talk about the actual process of this "STRESS" on your "Stress Handling" glands and the connection to Weight Gain, Hormone Imbalance, Thyroid Challenges and more. We'll talk about repair and corrective action to take in your lifestyle.

How Do I Repair and Correct The Problem?

When talking about adrenals, the discussion has to cover Cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands but more important is what Cortisol ACTUALLY DOES in the body, WHAT IS LOST because of it and WHY is it important to have. So here we go: Cortisol 101.

Primary Functions of CORTISOL:
To Increase Blood Sugar (why…possibly because yours has crashed.)
Suppress the immune system
Aid in fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism
If prolonged in the system, can consume your muscle.
Counteract too much insulin

Why EXCESS Cortisol is produced:
Stress, Stress, Stress
Skipping meals
Prolonged exercise
Low Blood Sugar
Sense of being Threatened: Fight or Flight

What Else Happens when Cortisol is produced:

Elevates Blood Pressure
Increase Fluid Retention
Reduces fertility and increases risk of Miscarriage
Reduces Serotonin (beneficial mood hormone) in the brain!
Increases appetite
Increases belly fat and obesity rates
Reduces levels of DHEA and Progesterone (the happy, fat burning hormone)
Contributes to Pregnenolone Steal
Contributes to Estrogen Dominance.

Your Take-Away:
When considering a healthier lifestyle that provides you with hormone balance, thyroid function and healthy adrenals, you must address aspects that affect your cortisol levels. That would include, diet, insulin flunctuations, appropriate understanding of foods and your body’s reaction to it, and day to day stress factors. This is just to name a few. And by the way, many many medications create insulin responses and subsequent cortisol production. So medications can be part of the challenge. Your adrenals become fatigued or exhausted when cortisol is over-produced day in and day out. This is one of the most prevalent contributors to weight gain, anxiety, difficult menopause and more. Can you correct it? The short answer is yes, the better answer is, it’s a process and it’s not overnight. It requires CHANGE. Unless you make CHANGES then CHANGE won’t happen.

Repairing the Adrenals: A quick snapshot of What to Avoid and What to Do Instead. With proper Lifestyle changes, repair can come quicker. Sometimes it can take 3 years. How you approach it makes all the difference in the world.

-Dr. Terry White ND, MH, PT, etc..

(Yes, there's a reason why we look alike. :-))

Ready to change? My Health & Weight Management ONLINE Lifestyle Class can change your health! Friend me on Facebook or Post a Comment with your email address for more information. All comments will stay private.

P.S.-Want all of the natural herbs that help balance the hormones in one pharmaceutical grade formula? Here ya go!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Homeschooling Through High School

Where did time go?!? I have to start thinking about transcripts and credit hours. Oh, boy! Where to start? I'm going to keep updating this post as I find things and figure out what I'm doing. I'm going to do my best to link up with other bloggers
that are going through this or have already done it. I hope that you'll be able to benefit from this post and at least know that you're not alone in your fears and confusion. Feel free to join me on Facebook!

Here's a blog post that I hope will get many of us connected!
School Boards! Message me your link to your school board with a description and I'll add it!
I just found a neat history course! I've been looking for something that gives real truth instead of the government funded version. I'll give a review after I've used it for a while but I wanted to share it with you so you could check it out! It never popped up on any of my searches so it may not have hit your radar either.

Here's their website:
*Current coupon code: NEW* Google for others if it doesn't work.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Reading Mat Using a Sheet and Pillows

Quick post here:
I made a reading mat with a twin sheet and pillows. You know if I could do it anyone can!

Okay, the picture is sideways and I can't get it to not be sideways so it's going to stay that way. :-)

Quick directions:
1. Buy a twin flat sheet or use an old one. (Walmart $5)
2. Buy 5 pillows or use old ones. ($2.50 each)
3. Fold lengthwise inside out so the right sides are facing each other.
4. Sew the end rows together.
5. Turn right side out (like it looks in the pic)
6. Measure 19 inches and mark the lines.
7. Sew a straight line at each 19 inch mark. (That gives you 6 lines total including the outside 2 you started with.)
8. Stuff the pillows in the openings.

It ends up looking like 5 pillow cases have been sewn together. Don't mess up like I did. I sewed all of the lines while it was inside out then had to take all of the seams out except for the ones at the end. Oops. I'd love to do a project without messing something up. I usually don't make the same mistake twice though. I do learn. I'm just really good at finding out how NOT to do things. :-)

Monday, April 22, 2013

What's In YOUR Snack?

*I use the chocolate as hot chocolate (yes, I'm an addict). I use the Keurig for the hot water then I add cold liquid (heavy cream, almond milk, water, etc..) to cool it down a little bit. Then just add the shake powder and whisk. This is definitely addictive! If the water is too hot, the shake powder will get little nasty tasting clumps so just be aware. 

*I have a bunch of recipes for the shakes, most are on my Pinterest board.

I'd love some options for the chocolate shake. Maybe I'll add a little bit of mint.

*This picture gives you the differences based on protein, fiber, and sugar. Those are great but it doesn't give the whole picture. It doesn't tell you what crap ingredients are in most of those products.

Special K Protein Shake-soy, canola oil, artificial flavors, corn syrup solids, etc...(you can read the rest if you want, I'm done here.)

Nature Valley Oats N Honey-canola oil, corn flour, soy flour *I do like these for trips but not as a healthy protein/fiber rich snack.

Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt- I have a big problem with yogurts that add gelatin and/or corn starch. That tells you it's crap right there! You should really only buy unflavored yogurt (if you want the live bacteria) and add your own fruit. Chobani would be a great alternative and it's easy to find. I challenge you to read the labels in the yogurt section.

Carnation Breakfast Essentials-My main issue with this one is all of the milk and sugar in it. There's more of those 2 ingredients than anything. Then you have more milk in the form of milk protein (just milk without most of the fat and carbs). Milk protein is harder to digest and stays around for HOURS because it's mostly cassein protein and only 20% whey protein. It's cheaper, that's why they use it. Bottom line.

Keebler Sandwich Crackers-Seriously, they put this on here? I'm not even going to start. If you consider this a healthy snack then we really need to talk.  It's crap. Bottom line.

Cliff Energy Bar- Lots of soy in these. This is mostly just soy and sugar. To be fair, I checked out their Protein Bar as well and it's just soy protein. This may not be an issue for everyone but I'm not changing my opinion on soy until more research is done THAT I TRUST to be accurate concerning the estrogen effects. Most soy is GMO which is a big issue for me as well. So while their protein bar does have high protein (20g) it doesn't have much fiber (4g) and tons of sugar (20g).

Friday, April 19, 2013

Yeast Overgrowth, Gut Bacteria, and Babies

Babies have no gut bacteria until they go through the birth canal; their gut is sterile. The baby ingests fluid from the birth canal which contains bacteria. This bacteria is either good or pathogenic depending on the state of the mother's body. A birth canal with pathogenic bacteria can cause issues with the baby such as eczema and allergies. Left untreated, an unhealthy gut can cause issues such as IBS, Cancer, auto-immune diseases, and Autism. Don't forget about the importance of breastmilk as well. Think about it; many nursing babies/moms end up with thrush after antibiotics. The good or bad bacteria gets passed on through the milk also. It's never too late to start fixing your gut and your children's guts. Don't beat yourself up for what you didn't know; take the information and start making changes.

We are what we absorb (not just eat). If you're having issues (allergies, migraines, fatigue, ADD, arthritis, etc..) that keep you from enjoying optimal health, you almost definitely have an imbalance in the health of your intestinal area. There are 3 pounds of microbes in the digestive tract that, when out of balance, make you susceptible to toxins and undigested proteins that cause disease. You want to know why we're having so many issues with this now, what caused it?
1. Breast feeding was actively discouraged (which still affects the next generation b/c the gut was never fixed before babies were born).
2. Antibiotics have been overused.
3. Health has become reactive instead of proactive. The symptoms are treated but the real problem goes untreated.
4. Our food has become highly processed with the cheapest quality ingredients and as many fillers and crap that companies can get away with putting in it. (Maybe I'll do a series on that.)
5. Exercise used to happen naturally and wasn't something that had to be scheduled in.

You want to get healthy? You have to start with balancing out the intestinal area. You can't absorb nutrients properly without a healthy gut.

How do you know when you have too much bad bacteria?
Some common symptoms:

Gut issues such as cramping, bloating, IBS, and inflammation
Yeast infections
Unexplained weight loss (malnutrition b/c you can't absorb nutrients)

Probiotics: What to look for

It's all in the delivery system. Honestly, it doesn't matter what the number on the label is if it can't stay live until it gets to where it needs to go.
1. GMP Certified-If it's not GMP certified don't buy it. That goes for any supplement.
2. Capsule form-There's a reason why we don't have this in isotonic form. Air, moisture, light, and heat are things to avoid so a capsule form without binders is a good choice.
3. Mine has patented technology for the delivery system that protects the live cultures from damaging stomach acid. It also allows for a longer shelf life even at room temperature than other probiotics
4. Strains-All probiotics do not have the same strains. Different ones do different things. 

Great probiotic options:
What my kids take:
What I take:
Other great options:
*I can't remember the name of the one I used to use. It can be found in the refrigerator of some health food stores. The container is white with green. If you happen to know what it is, please let me know so I can post it on here.

Food To Help:
*Plain yogurt (add your own fruit if you need to). Make sure your yogurt is really yogurt. Most are crap with fillers. I use Chobani but there are other great brands out there. 

*Sauerkraut (You'd have to pay me to eat this stuff but if you can stand it go for it!)

*Kefir (Keep in mind the sugar content before you go wild on this if you're not getting plain.)


*Fruit (It's sugar)

*These lists are just to give you a start. There are more Do's and Don'ts.

To get rid of yeast overgrowth, I took the weight loss class that I now teach. It's done through things like Facebook, email, and text messaging so location is not an issue. Here's my email if you want more info brandi_prkns @ yahoo . com.

Start with a cleanse. This is the one I use. If you decide to do it and want extra help/tips, please email me after your purchase so I can verify that you bought it and send you information. I will coach you through it if you want.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What's causing your allergies and how can you make it stop!?!

Here is a Facebook series I did on Allergies. I know many people missed it so here you go! Feel free to "Friend" me if you aren't already on my Facebook!

Allergies-It's inflammation caused by histamine(a chemical released due to allergic reaction).
You can fix the symptoms with anti-histamines (which cause drowsiness) or you can fix them naturally with OPCs.

OPCs are antioxidants that fight free radical damage. So, what are free radicals and what do they do?
Free Radicals are atoms that have unpaired electrons which makes the atoms unstable. So the atoms try to stabilize by stealing electrons from other atoms which causes a reaction kind of like a car wreck that causes other car wrecks (or you can think of it as a pinball pinging around in your body). This is caused by normal processes in our body, toxins, pollution, heavy metals, etc..

So you have damaged cells in your body caused by free radicals. These damaged cells make it easier for disease to invade your body. I'm talking just about everything including cancer, allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, skin issues, heart disease, asthma, etc..

Now, your body has natural defenses that combat this free radical damage but we have an overloaded system with our current world and lifestyle. This is where OPCs come in. These antioxidants fight the free radical damage (oxidative stress; hence the term anti-oxidant) by stabilizing the free radicals. There are tons of studies done on OPC and it's efficacy and safety. If you're going to take an antioxidant supplement then OPCs are the way to go. Everyone in my family takes OPCs every day.

OPCs are Flavan 3 ols (I'm going to skip the chemistry.) that are basically absorbable extracts from plants. This is why it's important to get a quality brand; you need a quality source. OPCs are 20 times more powerful than Vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than Vitamin E in neutralizing free radicals! Some examples:

Grape Seed Extract- You can't eat a grape seed and absorb the nutrients (sorry) but the extract is great for cholesterol levels.

Bilberry-Great for night time vision

Red Wine Extract-Has Resveratrol (awesome stuff!) that has potent anti-aging properties. Great for circulation (which is probably why the French have great cardiovascular health).

Citrus Extract-Great for circulation and is anti-inflammatory

Pycnogenol- Awesome free radical fighter! Here are some things it does for you:
*Increases substances to make your skin look better. So the things like collagen that are in your skin get a little boost.
*Helps with cognitive function which is great for people with ADD! This helps you focus because it is an anti-inflammatory and helps fight oxidation.
*Regulator for brain functions so it helps with irritability and anxiety caused by less than optimal brain functionality
*Heart Attack Vitctims-(that survive) get a lot of pharmaceuticals that have negative side effects. Pycnogenol reduces the side effects of these drugs.
*Improves endothelial cell health. People that have weight issues need help in this area more than most b/c of the effect the extra fat has on endothelial cells.
*Improves blood flow, circulation, because it removes the free radicals from the blood.
*Inhibits the production of MMP enzymes that cause dengeneration in cartilage collagen
*Helps decrease inflammation throughout the body

*Mine is in isotonic form so it gets absorbed in less than 5 minutes and does not have limitations on its bioavailability.


*I would offer alternatives but I haven't come across another one that has been proven to be isotonic in tests and/or have any quality near this one. I will be sure to give you options when I feel right about recommending them. This is the one a few of my friends have used to stop getting allergy shots.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Just Do It!

Just Do It!

Don't tell me about the weight you're going to lose-just do it!
Don't tell me what exercise regimen you plan to start-just do it!
Don't tell me that you want to finish your degree-just do it!
Don't tell me that you wish you could homeschool-just do it!
Don't tell me you want to start your own business-just do it!

You see the trend here? Words are cheap. They are free. They cost you nothing. Actions, that's something else. You've invested yourself in the action. You've dared to hope, to dream. Now do it!
You've run into a roadblock and don't know how to reach your goals? Just do it! Find a way and do it!!

Need some help? Try these steps to get started on whatever it is you want to do.

1. Write down your goals and dreams. What do you want? Be honest! Dream Big!! What do you really, really want? Don't cheat yourself out of your potential because you're too afraid you won't reach your dreams.
2. Visualize your goals and dreams. You can go old-school and make a collage poster by cutting and pasting pictures that represent what you want. I chose to create a digital collage that is now my desktop background. Put your dreamboard (technical name for it :-) ) somewhere that you'll see it often. That's an important part so don't hide it in the closet or file folder.

3. Break your dream up into smaller steps. Do this until you get to a daily action plan. What do you have to do to achieve your goals and dreams?
Think about it like the animal classification system. See how you just have all of the animals to start with? Okay, start with the basic idea of what you need to do. Then keep breaking it down by year, month, week, day. It's going to take some work but you can do it!
4. Here's the hard part. This is where you reall
y become invested, with both time and emotion. This is where you don't give up-take failure out of your vocabulary NOW! Do we need to have a discussion on the Tortoise and the Hare? Speed isn't what gets you to the finish line; refusal to give up is what it takes. You have your daily action DO IT!

Something to think about:
Someone has probably already done what you want to do. Find them, research them, do what they did! You don't have to reinvent the wheel; you don't have to be a genius. You just have to follow in the path of the people that have gone before you. What did they do, what did they think, what was their motivation, what struggles did they have, how did they overcome them, how can I adapt what I've learned so I can be successful? You'll find one thing in common with all of these people-they didn't quit. They never gave up. 
Surround yourself with positive, successful people! I can't tell you how important this is. There will be people that try to keep you down, keep you from your dreams...don't let them!! Get rid of them!! Some of them will kill your confidence in such a sneaky way that you don't even realize it so keep a watch out! If you don't have positive people in your close friend/family groups then find some new friends! 

Facebook is great for this! Heck, you can friend me...there's one person that believes you can do it now find some more!

Here's my final treasure for you. What, you think I came up with all of this on my own? Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Picture on a wall

This is just a quick post to show you what the kids made yesterday. We are waiting on estimates for cabinets which means nothing is getting beautified in our school/play room. The walls are bad enough that I'm not going to prep them more than I need to but looking at white, ugly walls every day was getting to us. SO, when we decided to clean and reorganize the room (an all day project) the kids found an old frame and asked me if I was going to throw it away. Does a homeschooling mom EVER throw anything away? It's painful! (I did break down and reduce the size of the crayon box.)
You know how it is when you get a great idea (that your husband would have told you not to do had he been consulted :-) ). It was time to get some artwork on the wall.

First I put the frame on the wall and had one of them draw the line with a pencil around the inside edge of the frame. 
Then I taped the line so they wouldn't get the paint outside of the designated area.

After that, it was all their imagination!

They used Crayola paints for this since that's what we had on hand. It worked great! There is more texture than regular paint but it's not bad, just different.
This design was created by using sponges instead of paint brushes.

The frame didn't have any hangars on it so Kayla just put a couple of nails up top for it to rest on. This really brightened up the wall and the kids had fun!