How to make Gluten Free Protein Bars

Did you know that you just need a few simple ingredients to make amazing protein bars at home?

Here’s what you need:

  • Dates (medjools are my fave!)
  • Nuts
  • Fruit (dried – without added sugars)
  • Protein Powder (this can be egg white protein powder, pea protein, whey protein, whatever your preference)

The bars in this picture are Banana & Peanut Butter protein bars. They are amazing!!!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups of Almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups of Peanuts
  • 2 cups of dates
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (without added sugar. I but this one )
  • 5-6 Dried Baby Bananas from Trader Joes or half of a fresh banana or both 🙂
  • 1/2 cup of Protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons of water
  1. In a food processor, add the almonds and 1 cup of peanuts and pulse until chopped up.
  2. Add in the dates, and dried bananas. Process until combined.
  3. Next transfer ingredients to a stand mixer and use paddle (flat beater) attachment to blend the remaining ingredients together.
  4. Add the protein powder, peanut butter, 1/2 cup of peanuts, and salt with the ingredients from the food processor. You may need to add some water to bring this all together.
  5. Add in water a tablespoon at a time and process until mixture blends together like cookie dough. It should be moist enough to stick together, but not too wet where it’s overly sticky. This may take a minute to fully come together, just keep mixing until it does.
  6. Once combined, use parchment paper and a rolling-pin to roll out dough into a long rectangular shape.
  7. Put in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  8. Once the dough has firmed up a bit, you can cut into bars
  9. Bake at 325 for 12 minutes.
  10. Let them cool for 10-15 minutes and they are ready to eat!

Don’t want to make your own protein bars? You’d rather just have someone make them for you? Stay tuned for more details about Feed Bar!

Here’s to healthy living and thriving!

Peace & Love,

Gingerleeplus3

 

 

 

Inflammation Fighting Foods!

 

I recently had a medical issue that I will write about at a later time, but it was a great reminder that whenever your immune system attacks something in your body that is foreign — Like an invading virus or bacteria, the process is called inflammation. So, inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. Inflammation is when your body springs into action with an army of white blood cells to the area of concern with increased blood flow. Because of this, there might also be swelling, redness, heat, and pain or discomfort. Inflammation that occurs in a healthy body, is the normal and effective response that facilitates healing.

Our bodies are truly amazing!

With that in mind, it’s important to do your part in the healing process and avoid foods that can further exasperate the issue and cause prolonged inflammation

Inflammation that continues day in and day out is called chronic inflammation. This is not good. Chronic inflammation can lead to many major diseases —including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s—have ALL been linked to chronic inflammation.

The easiest way to combat inflammation is through Nutrition. I’m excited to share with you one of my favorite anti-inflammatory shake recipes, but first I’m going to share a list of Foods that inflame and foods that combat inflammation:

Inflammatory Foods:

  • Soda & other sweetened beverages
  • Refined carbohydrates, like bread, pasta, and white rice
  • Fried Foods
  • Processed meat like hot dogs and sausage
  • Margarine, shortening, and lard

Anti-Inflammatory Foods:

  • Fatty fish like salmon & tuna
  • Fruits like apples, blueberries, cherries, oranges, pineapple, and strawberries
  • Greens like collards, spinach, kale, swiss chard, and bok choy
  • Nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • Olive oil, coconut oil
  • Veggies like broccoli, beets, celery
  • Tomatoes

Try to incorporate these anti-inflammatory foods in your regular diet and limit the inflammatory foods.

 

Now here’s the recipe for one of my favorite

anti-inflammatory protein shakes!

IMG_5221

  • One Scoop of Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla Protein Powder
  • One cup of ice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • One cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk or Almond & Coconut Milk
  • Handful of fresh Spinach (or your favorite greens)
  • 1/3 cup of Organic Blueberries
  • 1/2 of a Banana

 

Blend for 30 seconds and enjoy!

IMG_5222

I’ve tried many protein powders and Isopure is by far my favorite. Not just for the flavor but, it’s gluten and lactose free and has zero sugars. Also, the best place to order it is on Amazon,  because they offer it at the best price, and since I have a prime membership it’s delivered to my doorstep for free!

I also reccomend taking Evening Primrose Oil.  Which can also be ordered online or found at your local Sprouts. This is the brand I use.FullSizeRender (2)

 

Evening primrose oil also has a range of therapeutic properties. It’s known to help reduce the pain associated with PMS, and reduce skin irritations and conditions. The oil can also be used as an anti-inflammatory agent and to treat problems with auto-immune diseases.

Let’s do our part!

Please Stay tuned — If you haven’t subscribed already, please do so!

I’m going to share my protein bar recipe next week.

They are dairy, gluten, and sugar free, but 100% yummy!

 

Here’s the healthy living and thriving!

Peace & Love,

Gingerleeplus3

Pruning = New Growth – What a Year!

It’s been a year since I decided to TRULY take care of my health. This past year has flown by, but at the same time it has been chock-full of adventure, knowledge, and life-changing transformation.

When I look back, I can’t believe how much has changed over the last year. It seems so incredible. But, this past year is a testament of how

Pruning allows for new growth!

design (29)

That is the best way for me to describe what happened this past year. I ultimately cut things out of my life so that I could grow. We can’t expect different results if we’re not willing to make the necessary changes.

I was at the end of my rope last year. I truly felt so stuck in this rut of mine, almost too deep to find my way out. I felt like a hamster on a wheel, just going round and round and always ending up in the same place. Sick and Worn Out!

On June 27, 2016, I was finally done with feeling sick and tired. My only regret is that I didn’t make this change earlier, but I’m sure glad that I finally did.

Here are some things that I did:

  • Simplified my life – I stopped over extending myself and made my health a priority. I had to stop saying yes to Good Things. This was the hardest, but my health had to be a priority because I was on the road to have having a stroke or heart attack. By “Good Things” I don’t just mean Birthday Cake and Ice Cream, but also volunteer opportunities and other commitments that were vying for my time.  A few months into this journey, I decided to leave a job that required me to commute 3-4 hours a day. This was taking a toll on my health and I was able to cut that commute time in half.
  • Kept a Food Journal – This kept me accountable. I logged EVERYTHING.  It stopped the mindless eating and made me aware of what I was putting in my mouth. It also helped me with eating a balanced diet. (Protein/Carb/Fats)
  • Set Weekly Goals – I would set weekly goals like committing to 10K steps a day, taking a walk on my lunch break 3 days a week, getting 7 hours of sleep each day, drinking 8 glasses of water each day, etc.
  • Eliminated Processed Foods & SugarThis was the life changer! Cutting out processed food and sugar completely eliminated my aches and pains, my daily heartburn, and has given me energy I haven’t felt in years.
  • Listened to a Health & Wellness Podcast every day – This helped motivate me every day to stay on track. I have learned so much about health and wellness that I’ve decided to change my major to become a dietician.

It’s hard making changes, but it’s how we grow! I feel like I’m learning new things about myself constantly and it’s exciting to feel like I’m truly living. Remember Change = Growth! This is not a bad thing.

design (30)

We’re all on our own timeline and it may have taken me longer to get here than some, but I’m glad that I’m finally on this path. If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired – I encourage you to make some changes and do some pruning.

As I continue on this journey, I’m continually changing and tweaking my routine. I regularly challenge myself to learn new things and to simplify my life.

I may not have all the answers, because I’m learning and growing myself. But, I’m happy to answer any questions or provide support in your journey. Please feel free to reach out for support @gingersemail@gmail.com.

Peace & Love,

GingerLeePlus3

 

Here’s to another year of healthy living and thriving – Let’s do this!

Have you heard about the Cardio Myth?

I used to be that person hittin’ the cardio hard at the gym by getting on the treadmill or elliptical for 45 minutes to an hour, I would stretch for 5-10 minutes, hit the weights for another 20-30 minutes, and then wrap up the workout by stretching again for another 5-10 minutes and be out. Other times, I would take a high impact cardio class like kick-boxing.

I would do this routine 3-5 days a week and saw very little results. I truly thought there was something wrong with me. But the fact of the matter is that there are a lot of people doing the same thing and experiencing little to no results!

It’s because getting fit starts in the kitchen. If you want to get fit, you must start with your diet.

Seriously!

Have you heard the saying, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet”? Well, it’s true! Research shows that the most effective way to reach a healthy weight is through your nutrition. If you think that you’re going to get there by getting on the elliptical or treadmill for an hour, then you’re going to want to know more about the “Great Cardio Myth” and read Craig Ballentyne’s book where he explains why cardio exercise won’t get you slim, strong, or healthy.

Ballentyne shares a few interesting factors in his book. First of all, we don’t burn as many calories as we think we do when we’re on a machine. Secondly, those machines are lying to us. Thirdly, and worst of all, cardio makes people hungry!!

burpees and french fries

In a research study from British Journal of Sports Medicine, they found that people who did high cardio workouts often times ended up eating an additional 300 calories per day. And, at the end of the 12 -week program, they gained weight. This is known as ‘compensation’ by sports scientists: a person who exercises cancels out the calories they have burned by eating more, generally as a form of self-reward.

What!!! Not you, right?

Also, we’re not burning as many calories as those machines tell us that we’re burning either. The elliptical machine is the worst offender with a 42% over estimation in the number of calories you burn. So if you use an elliptical machine, and it tells you that you just burned 400 calories, then you probably only burned about 275 or 300 calories.

The truth of the matter is that cardio isn’t an effective tool for getting fit. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to run because you love it and want to blow off some steam, then more power to ya! But, if you’re doing it to get fit, lose weight, or get in shape… then cardio just isn’t going to get the job done, besides there are way more effective tools.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have tons of extra time on my hands and like to use my time wisely and effectively.

The University of Kansas published a study that was done in 2007 where they had men and women do an hour of cardio six days a week for an entire year, and they lost an average of five pounds. So that’s fifty hours of cardio in order to lose a pound of weight. That is crazy! I don’t know anyone that wants to work fifty hours to lose one pound.

There is a better way!

Get your nutrition right and eat a healthy balanced diet. It’s far more effective than exercise for fat loss.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t move our bodies or exercise… we absolutely should!! There is also that other saying, “Move it or Lose it!” I’m also a firm believer of that saying as well.

But, when it comes to exercise, bodyweight exercises like: push-ups, burpees, planks, mountain climbers, squats are far more effective. Another great thing about bodyweight exercises is that you don’t need a gym or equipment to do any of these exercises!!

Check out this video!

If you’re looking for someone who can help tailor a routine for you, And some accountability check out Adrien Jordan @  http://www.jordanphysique.com/

He’s personally helped our family with providing a routine tailored to meet our specific goals. In addition, we’ll be participating in his upcoming PrayFit class on Saturday mornings, starting June 24th. Adrien’s PrayFit class focuses on both your physical and spiritual health. Come out and join us.

Here’s to Living Healthy and Thriving!

Peace & Love,

Gingerleeplus3

 

 

 

The Benefits of Sleep and the Important Role it plays in your overall health!

I used to wear busyness and lack of sleep like a badge of honor.  I was the person that answered with the word “busy” when someone asked me how I was doing. What kind of answer is that? As if being busy and not sleeping meant that I had a lot of important things going on in my life. Well, I have spent the last year trying to “un-busy” my life. Because, busy was not cute and busy was killing me, literally!

My busyness and FOMO led to lots of late nights and very poor sleep habits. If you’re a busy person, I would venture to guess that you’re not getting an adequate amount of sleep either. But, did you know that too little sleep leads to a shorter lifespan?

When we entered this journey to get healthy, I was surprised to learn how vital a role sleep plays in your overall physical health. And, consistency is key!

Here’s some information I found really interesting about sleep.

  • Inflammation – I know that I talk about inflammation a lot, but that is because it is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more. (1)

Heart Disease is the NUMBER 1 killer of women.

This is why I say that my busyness was killing me. I was on the go so much that I was constantly sick. Not only was my diet highly inflammatory from all the sugar and processed foods that I was consuming, but my lack of sleep was a double whammy!

  • Have you heard of “Social Jet Lag”? This is when your weekday sleep pattern is different from your weekend’s sleep pattern because of staying out late, etc. Well, a study in the journal of Current Biology found that people with differing sleep schedules have triple the odds of being overweight. What’s more, the body mass index (BMI) of overweight people tended to rise as the gap between their weekday and weekend “time zones” widened. (2)

Disrupting your body’s circadian rhythms and living against your body clock is detrimental to your health.

  • Melatonin – Another study published in the Journal of Pineal Research found that the melatonin secreted during your sleep cycle produces what they call Brown Adipose Tissue, (BAT) also known as “Brown Fat”. Guess what, Brown Fat is Good! It works like muscle in that it aids in eliminating excess body fat. But, optimal amounts of melatonin are secreted when you create a consistent sleep cycle. (3)

melatonin

This is why Consistency is key!

I never would have guessed that a consistent Light & Dark Cycle would aid in burning excess body fat. Knowledge truly is power, because I no longer feel like I’m missing out or consider myself lazy when it comes to getting my sleep.  I KNOW that prioritizing a sleep routine is good for my health and overall wellbeing. That being said, It’s hard breaking the Go, Go, Go lifestyle. I have to remind myself regularly that it is OKAY to take care of myself. I don’t have to be Super Woman and be everything to ALL people. What I’m able to do is enough and I’m okay with that. A mentor of mine told me that, “You’re going to have to say no to “good things” and that’s okay. You can’t do everything.”

It took a long time for me to live that out in my life and it’s an ongoing process.

good night

Make SLEEP a priority! — How do you put this in action?

Create a Sleep Routine. Here are some ideas:

  1. Create a regular sleep schedule – remember consistency is key!
  2. Set an Alarm to start winding down (45 mins to 1 hour) before your desired bedtime
  3. Turn of your electrical devices (especially your phone and computer) blue light effects levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin more than any other wavelength.
  4. Write down your to-do list so that you can relax and not worry about what you have to do the next day.
  5. Unwind: Take a bath, have a relaxing cup of tea, pray or meditate, read a book. These will help you unwind and tell your body it’s time for bed.
  6. Finally, sleep in a dark room! Invest in some black out curtains and remove all artificial light.

With a consistent sleep routine you can Reap the following Benefits!

  • Improved memory
  • Improved athletic performance, less prone to injury
  • Improved mood and mental health
  • Better focus and concentration
  • Improved metabolism
  • Less pain/decrease in inflammation
  • Stronger Immunity

Your life is a result of your habits. Don’t underestimate the value of sleep. You simply cannot achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep.

Here’s to living healthy and thriving!

Peace & Love,

Gingerleeplus3

 

 

 

How to get rid of those Aches & Pains!

I used to think that my body ached because I was getting older and that I would have to get used to these aches and pains as my new normal, but now I know that’s not true!

Before changing our diet and relationship with food, we were miserable. My husband and I were feeling pretty crummy most of the time. Our bodies physically ached, we were tired, and worn-out.  We took pain relievers like Ibuprofen and Tylenol pretty regularly.

But, the reason why we started this blog is because we knew that there had to be other people out there that were feeling sick and tired too! And, we don’t want them to feel like that ONE MORE DAY!

What if I told you that you could be free from those aches and pains by healing your body through your food choices? Those are the words I heard on a podcast one day on my way to work. Those words piqued my interest because I have never been a fan of taking a pill to hide symptoms caused by a “root problem”. I’d much rather deal with the root and not just the symptom.

The nutritional experts explained that my body aches were “sugar aches”.

It was here that I learned how sugar causes inflammation in the body. In addition, I was surprised to learn that that three cups of pasta breaks down into 25 grams of sugar, or glucose in your body. This was such an eye opener for me because our family was eating pasta at least twice a week, if not more! No wonder we were achy.

It’s not just sweet treats that contain sugar either, it’s literally lurking everywhere. Especially processed foods. Did you know that a nine-ounce bag of chips breaks down into 32 teaspoons of sugar? Now, If you wash down the chips with a soda, that’s another 16 or more teaspoons of sugar.

Trans Fats are another source that causes inflammation in the body. Transfats can be found in your favorite flavored coffee creamers, french fries, crackers, muffins, and all kinds of processed foods.

So, the key to eliminating the aches and pains is to eat REAL FOOD and eliminate the processed food.

real-food-vs-fake-food2

Real foods are meat, veggies, eggs, and healthy fats. All of these foods will decrease inflammation.

Remember that highly processed foods, especially those containing sugar and trans-fats (oils that are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, such as margarine and refined vegetable oils) increase inflammation and pain.

If you think that you might be experiencing

“Sugar – Aches” I challenge you to put it to the test!

Do your own experiment.  Give it a try and stop eating processed carbs for a few weeks. Avoid soda, candy, chips, cereal, and other processed foods. I am willing to bet that you will experience less pain and inflammation. I have learned that Nutrition is your best line of defense against sugar-aches!

Let us know how it goes!

Here’s to living healthy and thriving.

Peace & Love,

Gingerleeplus3

 

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of a Health Challenge!

I remember seeing numerous fitness challenges pop-up on my Social Media feeds and thought they weren’t for me. I didn’t need a  “Challenge” to get healthy. I could totally do this on my own. Also, since I try to be fiscally responsible, I thought these challenges were a huge rip-off.  Finally,  I was pretty sure that the results they were selling were not “typical”. That was until I was invited by a co-worker to join the Whole Life Challenge (WLC). I’m so glad that I said yes and paid the $50 registration fee. I truly believe it was worth every penny. (Please note: I haven’t received a dime from WLC to say that either) Over the next 8 weeks, I gave myself permission to focus on getting healthy and committed to the process 100%.  Fast forward, I’m about to start my third WLC challenge. What!!?? Who is this person? 😉

Here are 7 reasons why I WLC!

  1. Easy to follow plan. –  They lay it out for you and take out the guess-work!
  2. Competition motivates me. I didn’t realize that I was competitive! Don’t worry, it’s totally friendly competition. 😉 The competition aspect inspired me to reach my goals daily.
  3. Community and accountability – This is the part that surprised me the most. There is really something amazing that happens when you have a community of support and being vulnerable to others about your struggles. The community has always been very supportive and encouraging. This is the part I miss most when the challenge is over.
  4. Keeps me focused on my goals of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I’ve always struggled with giving myself permission to focus on getting healthy. There are always so many other things competing for my attention. In addition, it’s so much easier to say no to tempting treats when you’re on the challenge. Helps you get in the habit of saying no. This not only includes what you put in your mouth, but also how you spend your time.
  5. Resources and tips provided. WLC provides lots of resources from recipes to exercises, stretches, and life stories. In addition, your teammates provide resources and tips as well.
  6. I feel great! – This might be the biggest reason. I always have more energy when I’m on the challenge. I’m rested because of my sleep goals. My skin is better from the hydration goal, and I feel super motivated.
  7. Results! Okay, this is probably the biggest reason. Who am I kidding? The first time I did the challenge, I lost 21 lbs in 8 weeks. The second challenge, I lost 5 pounds, which may not seem like a lot, but I also lost 3 inches in my waist! 2 inches in my hips and another 2 in my arms. These are results I can get behind.

I’m looking forward to my third challenge that starts on May 20th. Each challenge has been a little different and I’m expecting a different experience this time around as well.

If you’re interested in learning more, visit: www.wholelifechallenge.com . If you’re interested in joining my team, we’d love to have you. My team name is: The All-IN Crew. And, we’re gonna rock it!

Here’s to living healthy and thriving!

Peace & Love,

Gingerleeplus3

When should I buy Organic?

 

Have you wondered if it’s necessary to buy all organic produce? Does this seem unrealistic because of budgetary constraints? Because let’s face it, buying organic is more expensive. If that’s you, then you’ll want to know more about the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 shoppers guide!

Every year since 2004, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a couple of lists called The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 shoppers guide. These lists are here to help us determine when we should buy organic. The results are based on EWG’s analysis of tests done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture each year. Over 35,000 samples of produce are used to conduct the tests. It’s also important to note that the fruits and vegetables are washed and pealed if they have an outer layer before the tests are conducted.

The Dirty Dozen list contains the most contaminated produce with the highest pesticide residue.  It’s recommended that you buy organic when purchasing these fruits and veggies. Pears are new to the dirty dozen list this year. In addition, the 2017 report indicates that 99% of the strawberries tested positive for pesticides and some samples had as many as 21 different pesticide residues. Yikes!!

The EWG also recommends that hot peppers should be purchased organic because tests show that hot peppers are contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system.  Double Yikes!! If you cannot find or afford organic hot peppers, cook them, because pesticide levels typically diminish when food is cooked.

Here’s the 2017 Dirty Dozen List in Alphabetical Order:

  1. Apples
  2. Bell Peppers
  3. Celery
  4. Cherries
  5. Grapes
  6. Lettuce
  7. Nectarines
  8. Peaches
  9. Pears
  10. Potatoes
  11. Spinach
  12. Strawberries

Here is the 2017 Clean 15 List. This list contains produce with the least amount of pesticide residue.

  1. Avocado
  2. Asparagus
  3. Cabbage
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Cauliflower
  6. Corn (sweet)
  7. Eggplant
  8. Grapefruit
  9. Honeydew melon
  10. Kiwi
  11. Mango
  12. Onion
  13. Papaya
  14. Peas (sweet)
  15. Pineapple

You can click here for a downloadable PDF guide of EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Did you know that less than one percent of our farmland is dedicated to growing organic crops? As consumers we can send a message by buying more organic foods! As demand for organic food and products increases, technological innovations and economies of scale should reduce costs of production, processing, distribution and marketing for organic produce.You can read more about EWG by visiting their website @ www.ewg.org

I hope you find this information as helpful as it has been for me!

Here’s to living healthy and thriving!

Peace & Love,

Gingerleeplus3

What We’re Eating!

People often ask us what we’re eating, so I put together a list of items that we eat and included items that we try to avoid! 

I hope that you find it helpful. Again, I’m not a nutritionist or a healthcare professional. I think it’s always great to sit-down with a professional and seek their advice.

But, I’d like to share what has worked for us. Over the last year, my husband, sons, and I have followed the nutrition list I created below and collectively we have lost nearly  200 lbs! So, we know it works 🙂 because we have seen results! But, we’re also pretty committed to staying on course. We live by this list 99.9% of the time. 

The Key is really just to eat Whole Foods and stay away from the processed junk!

Here’s the EAT AND AVOIDList!

Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing gingersemail@gmail.com!

Here’s to living healthy & thriving!

Peace & Love,

Gingerleeplus3

The Journey to Health & Wellness from my child’s point of view.

My husband sat down with our youngest son Isaiah for an interview, to get a better understanding about his point of view in our journey to wellness.

Here is what our 14 year-old had to say! I hope it’s helpful and encouraging to families out there. We’d love to hear your stories too! Please feel free to share your story by emailing us @ gingersemail@gmail.com.

Question: What made you want to change your eating habits?

Isaiah: I saw my mom doing it and asked if I could do it with her.

Question: How did you feel physically and emotionally before you changed your eating habits?

Isaiah: I couldn’t do a lot of the physical activities my peers were able to do. Like: run the mile, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. I constantly felt bad about myself, I thought I was fat and felt really insecure. I was always the quiet one because I didn’t want to bring attention to myself.

Question: How do you feel now?

Isaiah: I never get sick anymore, and I have more energy. I can do all the physical activities I wasn’t able to do before. I’m definitely a lot more confident and not as shy as I used to be.

Question: Was it hard to give up certain foods? If so, has it gotten easier over time?

Isaiah: It was hard to give up sugary drinks, but I was so motivated to keep going because I saw results almost instantly in the way I felt and on the scale. Once I saw the results, I just kept going until it became a regular routine.

Question: Do your eating habits affect your relationships at school? What are your biggest challenges at school in regards to your eating habits?

Isaiah: I have people at school that make smart remarks about what I eat and what I refrain from eating, but at the same time they also acknowledge my commitment and ability to say no to certain foods. The biggest challenge is being offered candy sometimes, but most people know that I don’t eat candy and don’t offer.

Question: If you could say anything to your peers about their eating habits, what would it be?

Isaiah: Convince your parents to eat better, so that you can eat better. But, it would be weird for the child to be the one to tell their parent what to eat. My friends usually blame their parents for the way they eat and say they don’t have any control of what their parents feed them or make them for lunch.

Question: Do you think you will carry on these healthy habits forever?

Isaiah: Yes, because it’s just a part of me now. Even when I go to college, I’m going to have to try to figure out how I can choose healthy options.

Question: What were some changes that you saw, but didn’t expect?

Isaiah: I didn’t expect that my confidence would change. Also, I have more energy and I improved my mile time from a 10 minute mile to 6:56. I’m also a better student and my grades have improved as well.

Question: What’s your favorite thing to eat?

Isaiah: Sushi or Koobideh with humus and Tzatziki.

Question: What would you tell parents out there that are reading this?

Isaiah: Parents are a child’s best motivator and encouragement. Try to set a good example for your kids.

Well there you have it – a 14 year-old’s point of view. This site is about our collective and individual journey’s and I think it’s important we hear from a child’s perspective.

But to be honest, when I started this quest for health and wellness last June, it was truly a selfish decision. I knew that I had to make a change to get healthy because I was truly sick and tired of being sick and tired. Initially, I would make two different meals. One that I could eat and one that I thought my kids wanted. I didn’t want to force my eating habits on my kids, but I quickly found out that my 13 year-old was sick and tired of being sick and tired too. He was the one that asked me if he could participate in this process. It was at that moment, the light bulb went off. I was doing a disservice to my children all of these years. If the food I was consuming was making me feel so horrible, why would I want to feed my children that food? I really don’t know why it took so long for it to click, but I’m sure glad that it finally did.

I’m also glad that we’re all in this journey together. I’m hoping to share my older son’s perspective as well. Stay tuned 🙂

Thanks for reading and I hope that you will find encouragement in Isaiah’s words.

Please feel free to share your story by emailing us @ gingersemail@gmail.com.

We only have one life, let’s make it count! Here’s to living health and thriving.

Peace & Love,

Gingerleeplus3