Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beautiful Flower

As the year comes to a close I want to share with you this inspiring song.....share with others but more importantly dig deep and believe it within yourself....My daughters will never let me play this too much. Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A life with struggle gives meaning to a life with abundant GRATITUDE- HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

July 16, 2010. I surrendered. AGAIN.

Sitting in the doctor's office (a place I avoid at all costs) feeling unsure of my health. Tired. Missed cycles. Poor appetite. Yes, me, Mrs. Prevention. The doctor asked the questions and I answered, drew some blood, and came back with the results. He told me I had low thyroid. Me? 34 year old? Fitness crazed? Health nut? How? What? Why?

I struggled with the diagnosis for a few days. I knew it was result of abusing my body in my 20's. Questions circled my mind. Should I take the meds? Am I gonna gain weight? Is my heart going to be damaged? Will these hormones accelerate my chances of getting breast cancer? I sulked. Sulked. some. more. Woe is me. :( Then a lightbulb went off! Food is medicine, right? So I cut back on my dairy and gluten and added a few more semi-cheat meals....and BAM - my energy came back and the metabolism starting churning again a month later.

Admission: The anorexic voice that tries to come back in these times of so-called "needed control" was LOUD. "Oh go back to your old ways, we were a team, you had control over everything..blah, blah, blah. " Truth is Rexi, has no idea! All these health challenges I have had are from that VOICE. And the weak side of me, succumbed to it all those years! But, guess what? I beat that voice into submission a few days after that diagnosis as I have continued to do these past few years. I am DONE with her!

The unfortunate side of any addiction: eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, food addictions) drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc is they sneak up in you in times of stress. The mind has used these addictions to COPE, yes, albeit, negatively to one's health, during these times. The gift that I give myself everyday is to pummel those thoughts and replace them with thoughts of GRATITUDE and LOVE. The eating disorder just falls by the wayside when I do this. My meals are healthy and balanced. Portions are not rigid but moderate. I use food now for health, fuel, and PLEASURE! Through my work, with Fit & Healthy Schools, I teach the children and their caregivers there are no RULES, just living life with beliefs of balanced, health, clean, wholesome living.

I believe I am the BEST place in my life. My husband and my children are blessings God has bestowed on me. The strength, the confidence, the fortitude I feel at this time in my life is at the highest it has ever been. I feel STRONG in my beliefs, my love for my family and friends, and keep them close. Anorexia kept all that away! I used to say "but what else am I good at??" I was a world class Anorexic. Seriously. I should I have gotten awards for it. I was determined, secretive, passionate, a great student. Well, I quit that curriculum and have found a new one! Living the my best life with utmost gratitude.

If I have learned anything.....the two virtues I keep in the back of my mind are BALANCE and GRATITUDE. I know it seems simple but the mind is complex thing. And some days are better than others. I work to balance my time with my kids, husband, family, friends, and work.

So, for this Thanksgiving.....I wish all of you a healthy, fun holiday, A time to get together with the most special people in your life. Being grateful for their love and inspiration. Keep your portions moderate, enjoy the different flavors and smells, savor the decadent dessert! Make some special memories with your loved ones! GRATITUDE and LOVE, GRATITUDE and LOVE, GRATITUDE and LOVE. Thank you God, for all you have given me, even the struggles, that have made me the person I am today. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! xoxox

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yoga for the YOUNG and.....OLD!


"The one person I am with forever is me. My relationship with myself is eternal, so I choose to be my own best friend. I choose to love and accept myself and talk to myself as I would to a beloved person in my life. I saturate all the cells in my body with love, and they become vibrantly healthy. I relate with love to all of life." - Louise L. Hay

That is the most important lesson I learned in my yoga training this weekend. You see, I am taking classes to become an RYT-C which is a registered yoga teacher with a specialization in teaching school aged children.

Flashback, 25 years to a young 8 year old on the starting block of a swim meet. I was a really good swimmer, especially the stroke of butterfly, but according to others, "I just wasn't strong enough!". I have come to find 25 years later, that simply isn't TRUE! My mind wasn't! I didn't believe I could do it, so I never WON! I wasn't my own best friend, in fact, I was my biggest enemy. Constantly saying to myself, I can't do it, I am weak, I am not worthy...oh you know - lots of negative self talk.

I have seen many competitors overcome challenges like the Olympic skater this year who lost her mother days before the competition, Brett Favre coming out and having the game of his life after his father died, Tiger Woods winning The US Open with a hurt knee, and Keri Strug winning the gold on a severely sprained ankle and so many other amazing, courageous stories!

I believe all of these athletes had great mental training as young children. Yoga is a discipline. Yoga keeps the body fit and flexible. When you focus on the poses, you allow your body and mind to be relaxed, allowing all the feelings, stresses, negative self-talk to leave the body and become centered. Young children are constantly being stimulated all day long....learn this, learn that, do this, do that! When do we allow them to take time for themselves to "just BE" and to be their "best friend"? Yoga does not lend itself to any religion or creed. You can adapt the experience for YOU and only YOU!

I wish I had this in my life 25 years ago when I was on that starting block. But, I have many more starting blocks to mount, I will put myself first and acheive all the things I would like to. Yoga will carry me through this. More importantly, I will teach my two little girls and the children of this generation the importance of the practice to love oneself and to understand and accept themselves as they are. Namaste.

Monday, March 29, 2010

KIDS CAN COOK!

KIDS CAN COOK!

What a great way to get your kids involved and have some FUN!!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010




Hi there! Did you all watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution?? I like the way he took on this challenge....Visually changed minds of parents and kids by taking them to mortuaries with caskets triple the size of a regular one. He threw tons and tons of LARD in front of the students to show what they are eating over the course of a school year. Jamie took all the frozen pizzas, mozarella sticks, ice cream, pita pockets, etc out of a parent's refrigarator and told her this is KILLING her children. She went and buried her deep fat fryer right after that!

I Am anxious to see what he does in the other schools in WV! What a challenge but I know it can be done! If we all work together, we can all lead healthy happy lives! :) Let me know your thoughts on the show.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oops...whoops....oowwwww! But a blessing of course!

OWWWWWWW OWWWWW OWWWWW!

If that is only what I said. Last Wednesday, I woke up at 5:30 to take my friend Kristin's kickboxing class. Went splendid as usual....rushed home by 7:00 am, took shower, got girls dressed and out the door by 8:15 and off to school. It was St. Paddy's Day and I was volunteering at my oldest daughter, Lindsay's preschool that day, all dressed in green and geared up with favors and treats for the kids in her class! Pulled into her school parking lot, unlatched my seatbelt, opened the car door and BAM~@#%$#@@$^^&&^%$#@@$**(((!

I had just broke, sprain, twisted, rolled my ankle severely! Getting out of my big'ol Momobile! ME! Are you serious?

Lindsay was crying....Mama, mama what happened????

I drove to the carpool line (BARELY) and (BARELY) made it the 5 miles back home.

Luckily, my husband was home and he took me to the ER where they found no breaks...just some crutches and the advice of REST and more REST (ugh!)

Today is Sunday and my foot is black and blue and I have numbness in my last three toes..... : (

But that is not the point of my post today....

I am so lucky to be able to have two legs that work...take me to family functions, dance recitals, preschool singalongs, playgrounds, pumpkin patches, strawberry fields, Disney World, etc.

Hopping on one foot these last five days has been quite a chore. Forget the gym, forget the walking to the park, grocery shopping, carrying my girls around, etc. I have not been able to do any of that! But, this experience has made me grateful that I am able to do those things, that I am blessed with a healthy body. And I will be back "on my feet" in no time!

This can't cramp my style much longer. I am going to push through this adversity, get on the recumbent bike, push out some heavy sets of chest, back, and arms this week!


SO its a blessing and a curse! But really just a blessing. Appreciation.Gratitude. The will to succeed no matter what!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

First Car = Personality Indicator??



Soooo...looking at old photos last night I came across a picture of my first car......ok, I did have a hand me down neon green Chevy Beretta first with a Fur is Dead bumper sticker (compliments of my environmentalist sister) but we had to trade that in and I Got to pick out my very own car.

I think I picked ME but in Car form? Is that even possible?

I picked out a Geo Tracker - which they don't make anymore. Why - you ask? Well its hard to replicate that strange uniqueness of an automobile......hence, me! Ahahahahahaha!

It was small, sturdy, survived many accidents, bumps, and thuds.....me again!

The little whip could barely make it over 80mph without shaking.....ummm...me!

It had a pink lighting stripe down the side to show that it even though it may be small, it could strike at anytime with a vengeance and could last in a fight even with a MACK truck! (My carpool will never forget that one!! ;)

The inside was cozy, had a great reliable soulful stereo, spirited, colorful confetti- like interior, had a lot of room to keep people comfortable and its greatest feature of all was you could take the top down at any moment to enjoy the view, the air, and all the world has to offer. The sky was the limit.

Little Miss Geo Tracker endured many wonderful experiences and mishaps but she is still around somewhere staying strong and following her dreams......

What was your first car?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

College is the longest vacation you will ever take.


Remember in elementary school, you got one vacation in the winter and one in the spring and then you got a BIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGG one in the summer! It was a time to be free, explore new hobbies, sleep in if you wanted to, take a nap in the middle of the afternoon, and decompress from your daily school routine! Oh yeah, in college, too - what a long 4 year spring break that was!!!


When was the last time you took a vacation?????

Boy, did we need a mini-vacation this weekend. The husband and I did not go anywhere special but we went to a special place in our minds. The point is, vacations can me tropical getaways, nearby b & b's, amusement parks, water parks, but also can be complete self care trips in your very own home! The girls went off to their grandparents while my man and I cleaned closets, garages, shopped, watched movies, sports, and just enjoyed each other's company. What a great weekend! Sometimes you gotta do it....clear your mind, sleep in, and RELAX.

and.....


book that tropical island vacation too....WE JUST DID! Atlantis here we come!

Oh and THANK the Lord for amazing grandparents!!!!!! :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Taking "that" LEAP OF FAITH!

As I sit in the ballet studio waiting room..listening to muffled princess tunes through closed doors, I realize I am taking a big leap of faith at this moment. Jillian, my youngest daughter, is in potty training mode and dancing away beyond those doors with Big Girl Underwear on. Well, one of two things can happen, she could be leaping and twirling away all the while having a soaked leotard or - gasp- a slight bulge in there too!! OR, she could get through the class DRY, giving her self esteem a boost and keeping her on track to graduating to Big Girl underwear. YEAH! Freedom!

Sometimes you gotta take that leap of faith. That chance. That opportunity you don't want to pass you by. At least you took the CHANCE!

I remember when my husband was deciding whether or not to start his own business. He could chose to stay with the company he was working with, have a base salary and bonuses or a risk of starting his own business with unlimited potential for money and growth. HE chose the latter and WHAT a wise decision that turned out to be!!! Sure, he was apprehensive, but he knew his POTENTIAL and he never turned back!

I know Jillian's potential. She is smart, strong and capable. WE ALL ARE AND ALWAYS WILL BE! You can do anything you put your mind to. Thoughts are things. So go out today and try something! Take that leap of faith! No how small or large the task. You miss 100% of the shots you never take-----so go ahead......LEAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March - National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month!

MaxMuscle Sports Nutrition (www.maxmuscle.com) is the corporate nutrition sponsor for our non-profit, Fit & Healthy Schools. In 2008, my friend Corry Matthews (MaxMuscle Franchisee) and I wrote a nutrition curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school students that is taught by Certified Max Muscle Nutrition Specialists when they visit the schools. I thought I would share with you one of the lessons we teach to our middle school students in honor of celebrating National Nutrition Month.

Do you know what protein, carbohydrates, and fats are? They are called
macronutrients…macho what? Macronutrients are essential nutrients that provide calories
or energy. It is important that we get these nutrients in on a daily basis. Let’s break them
down:

Carbohydrate - Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel. Carbohydrates are
mainly found in starchy foods (like grain and potatoes), fruits, and vegetables. Other
foods like yogurt, milk, beans, nuts, seeds and cottage cheese contain carbohydrates, but
they also contain protein. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the
USDA, 45% - 65% of calories should come from carbohydrates.

Protein – Protein is necessary for growth. Protein is made up of amino acids that build
strong muscles. Complete protein can be found in meats, poultry, protein powders and
fish. The USDA recommends that 10% - 35% of calories should come from protein.

Fat - Fat is found in meat, poultry, nuts, milk products, butters and margarines, and oils.
There are three main types of fat: saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans fat. Saturated fat
(found in foods like meat, butter, and cream) and trans fats (found in baked goods, snack
foods, fried foods) have been shown to increase the risk of heart
disease and should be avoided. Unsaturated or “Healthy” fats are
found in foods like olive oil, nuts, and canola oil. These fats
have been shown to decrease the risk of developing heart
disease. The USDA recommends that 20% - 35% of calories
should come from unsaturated fats.

This gives a short breakdown of what foods are comprised of. Many people go throughout their days not thinking of what they put into their bodies. This gives the students an idea of what they should be eating and how much of each macronutrient.
More nutrition lessons to follow this month! Stay tuned!!!

In health and love,
Jensy

Friday, February 26, 2010

February is Heart Health Month

As the month's end is drawing near, I want to make sure we have given our HEARTS the LOVE it deserves. As Executive Director of F&H Schools, I mostly deal with children. We talk about what the heart does for us and how it keeps us healthy and strong. As a mother of two young girls too, I read them books about the heart. We read about love, valentines' day, caring and compassion which all come from the "heart". But, we also read about the most important muscle in the body and its functions too!

When talking to your children about their heart, make a fist to show them the size of their heart. Talk about how blood travels through their bodies just like water runs through pipes. Run around the backyard and then stop and explain how your heart is beating faster. This happens because the body needs more oxygen when you exercise. As you have cooled down, have them notice their heart rate and how their breathing has slowed down.

When you and your children begin to appreciate what your body does for you, you will begin to appreciate it more and give it the rest, exercise and healthy foods it needs to stay strong!!!

In health and love,
Jensy

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gonuts, mommy!

While shopping at the grocery store on Monday with my daughter, Jillian, who is 3, we came upon the bakery. She immediately pointed to a box of the most chocolately chocolate donuts! "Mommy, I want gonuts!" As you know, I am a health nut, so needless to say she didn't know how to pronounce DONUT. I felt sad and glad about this. Sad, that she had one or two experiences with donuts and glad, that she had one or two experiences with donuts!! HA!

Guess what I did, I bought the GONUTS!

Many people get trapped into labeling foods as "good" and "bad" foods. Food can have both positive and negative impact on your health. Some foods have more health benefits than others. But dividing foods into “good” and “bad” is not making us eat healthier. It make us want the "bad" foods more! I am not saying to go follow the Taco Bell Diet as hailed earlier this year (who wants a chronic stomachache!? NOT ME!) but eat a diet of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and lots of fruits and vegetables and the OCCASIONAL treat! Enough to savor the sweet tooth....I love a 1/2 cup of sorbet or my delicious 100 calorie, fiber rich, vitamin enriched VitaBrownie (www.vitalicious.com)

When you go on a diet (btw ever notice it has the word DIE in it!!!), you tend to crave what you "can't" have or whatever the "bad" food may be! Healthy living is about moderation and balance - that's it, that's all!

Pay attention to your body’s feedback. Slow down and listen. Chances are you will get a subtle message when you eat “junk” food for lunch that that didn’t feel so great. You will also get the message that having a cup of frozen yogurt after dinner is not such a bad thing either. Or a few bite size Gonuts. Eating the box and then buying more then next day to devour is "bad"! Practice my rules of moderation and balance and you will be on your way to healthy mind and body!

In health and love,
Jensy

A Parent Report Card? Huh?

If you were graded for your efforts in helping your children eat right, what kind of score would you get? Here are some helpful tips to help your children reach the head of the class.

First things first, we must start our school day off right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, for your children too, and for good reason. Many studies have found a strong relationship between eating breakfast and learning ability, attention span, and general well-being. Children who regularly eat breakfast think faster, clearer, solve problems more easily, and are less likely to be irritable, according to the American Dietetic Association. Kids have excuses for not eating breakfast, such as “I don’t have time,” “I am not hungry,” and “I don’t like breakfast foods.” The important thing to do is to find something healthy they do like. With all the studies conducted on this subject, the evidence points to a healthier life and overall general well-being if we eat breakfast.

Some examples of breakfast foods that are healthy and quick and easy to make are fiber rich muffins, low fat yogurt with granola, English muffin with natural peanut butter, scrambled egg whites, protein shake, fruit smoothie and high fiber cereal with skim milk. Some school cafeterias offer breakfast, which can be advantageous to a busy student who doesn't have the time at home to grab a bite to eat at home. If students skip breakfast, researchers have found that the lack of breakfast or drop in blood sugar levels will cause problems for students later in the morning such as less ability to reach solutions and conclusions. So, start your day off right by boosting your metabolism and getting your brain functioning by eating a healthy vitamin-enriched meal in the morning.

In a perfect world, many nutritionists would like to see students eating six small balanced meals throughout the day. In many instances for students, this will not do. Schedules are crammed from the beginning of the school day until lunch so eating a small meal between breakfast and lunch may not be feasible. In this instance, it is of utmost importance to eat breakfast like a king. Make sure you are eating a meal rich in protein and fiber to keep your blood sugar levels steady. If you are able to eat a small meal, pack a low sugar granola bar, protein shake, trail mix or piece of fruit in your bag to keep your energy levels up until lunchtime.

When the bell rings for lunch, many students are off to pick up lunch at the school’s cafeteria. School districts across the country have been taking steps to make food in schools healthier because of new federal guidelines and awareness that a growing number of children are overweight. It is important to encourage your children to make a healthy choice as this affects how they perform the rest of the day.

An alternative to eating in the cafeteria may be bringing a “brown bag lunch.” For safety’s sake, keeping your lunch cold until lunchtime is essential. You can do this by packing a reusable ice pack, or try packing a small water bottle or 100 percent juice box that has been frozen. Some examples of healthy lunches that are portable include peanut butter/jelly sandwich on whole grain bread, turkey or chicken sandwich and salads. Be sure to pack some fruits and vegetables such as carrot sticks, celery, apples and bananas.

When school lets out for the day, many students participate in extracurricular activities and sports. It is vital to eat a small meal consisting of carbohydrates and protein to fuel the body for the chosen activity. Some examples of this might be an energy bar, yogurt, or a small serving of whole grain pretzels, protein shakes, rice cakes or soy crisps. It also important to keep hydrated by drinking water before, during and after exercise.

So far, so good on scoring high marks on that report card. Dinner poses a problem for many busy families these days. Both parents are typically working and have little time to prepare a well-balanced meal. This is where planning is important. Grill several ounces of lean protein and freeze half. Use your slow cooker - turn it on in the morning and when you get home - dinner will be ready! Or, throw together a protein rich, veggie-filled salad!

All in all, there are several ways you can grade your kids on their nutrition report card. Be sure they are getting about 0.5 grams of protein for every pound they weigh. That’s a gram for every 2 pounds they weigh. Children older than 6 years should have 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruits per day. Also, whole grains are essential to a child’s diet - that’s their fuel! Children should be getting at least 5 servings of whole grains per day. And, last but not least, let’s not forget dairy to build those strong healthy bones. It is recommended children have 3 servings a day of dairy products each day.

Following these guidelines will ensure a fit and healthy kid and lay the groundwork for a life of healthy living for many years to come! Now let’s make the grade!

For more information about how to get your family moving and eating right log ontowww.fitnhealthyschools.org . Our non-profit is committed to building Fit & Healthy Schools across the nation. Our national nutrition partner is Max Muscle Sports Nutrition, so next time you are in any of their stores ask for more information about having one of the Certified Nutrition Coaches come talk to your school!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Self Esteem and Exercise

Self - Esteem and Exercise

Peanut butter and Jelly, Ben & Jerry, Bread & butter, and Jack & Jill. They all come in pairs, right? Well so does self-esteem and exercising!! Self-esteem is defined as "the experience of being capable of meeting life's challenges and being worthy of happiness. We all deserve that joy in life! Many of us, the last thing we take care of is our bodies and our health.

As women, we tend to take care of others before ourselves. I am sure you have heard the famous cliche before, "You cannot give to others unless you have given to yourself first." WELL, its true!! Being a mother of two young girls, I have learned that when I have taken care of myself, i.e., showered, got the 8 hours of sleep a night, and hit the gym for an energetic workout, I give them the best MOM I can be!! And they like that a lot!

As a young woman, I suffered from anorexia. My self esteem was at all time low in college. Uncertain of my future career, changes in diet, exercise, sleep, the stress of schoolwork and being away from home made up for a terrible case of depression and disordered eating. To cure myself of the disease and to end my suffering, I educated myself on the right ways to eat (YES, EAT! not starve!), stay in shape, and to cope with my everyday stressors. I eat six small meals a day, exercise 6 days a week, get my rest, and laugh and play with my two little angels to cope with the stressors of day to day living.

I think the misconception most women have is that they must eat very little in order to stay a certain size. That could be no further from the TRUTH ladies!! Our bodies will be sent into starvation mode and will hold onto every ounce of fat we have, leaving us with very little muscle and whole lot of soft tissue!! And on top of that, we will have very little energy to exercise and even moreso to stand up straight without passing out. As mothers, we need all the energy we can get so that is not an option!!!!

So give yourself a boost today. Take a walk, set up a mini bootcamp in your living room (will be posted later), play scavenger hunt with your small children, or do an exercise DVD you have been letting collect dust on the shelf. Try eating one serving of vegetables a day and work your way up to the recommended 6 servings. I promise your body and your self-esteem will soar! The more you practice taking care of your body, the more confident you become!

In health and love,
Jensy

WELCOME!

Whew! 2010 has already been quite a year. I just got off the phone with the editors of Self Magazine and they want to feature me and my transformation story in their Magazine!!! Wooohoooo. Long story shot, I have come a long way in my life. Uncertain of my strengths, I dealt with an eating disorder and a short battle with postpartum depression. Now I back better than ever, ready to change the world through my work with Fit & Healthy Schools and be the best mom and wife anyone has ever seen!!! Join me on this adventure!!!

In health and love,
Jensy