Margaux’s First Birthday – A Southern Garden Party

Considering my baby girl just turned TWO, I’d say it is about time I share Margaux Mae’s First Birthday Party photos with you all.
Nothing like a one year delay right?! ūüėČ

I was so happy with how her sweet Southern Garden Party turned out last year. Although, if I could have changed one thing it would have been the heat of 100 degrees that day. Tennessee can get HOT you guys! The weekend before it was in the mid 80’s which I would have happily traded for after that scorcher. Considering we can’t call in the weather, we made the very most of it and were thankful for the beautiful sunshine a water table to play in and lots of cold drinks.

One of my very favorite thing about birthday parties is having an excuse to gather loved ones together. To everyone who braved the heat with us, we are so blessed to call you ours. Thank you all for loving on our family and babies the way you do.

NOTES for all you party planning types out there:

  • I made all of the paper flowers from industrial sized coffee filters as well as some small coffee filters and spray paint.
  • All the real flowers were purchased at Kroger and I hand made all the arrangements.
  • Cake topper made by me but the cupcakes are from¬†the Publix bakery.
  • Biscuit bar and food made by me and Costco.
  • Pie on a stick favors were made by me and turned out so super cute and delicious.
  • Flower crown made by me from the same Kroger flowers and a little floral wire and tape.

I’m so happy we planned a 10am¬†party because it only got hotter as the day wore on. Also, the biscuit bar worked so well for that time of day and was super easy to pull together. ¬†I had a variety of preserves and local honey as well as some ham and chicken salad so people could make sweet or savory style biscuits. ¬†The biscuits were all canned so nothing labor intensive just toss them in the oven and bake! ¬†You know… because I’m fancy like that! ¬†

Mimosas for the adults and lots of lemonade, water and juice boxes made for the perfect hot weather compliment.

I love taking the time to make birthdays special… especially the first because it feels like such a big milestone in a mama’s heart. ¬†This year we are in the middle of a new move and home renovation so we kept it simple with a handful of family and a little backyard cookout. ¬†I figured if I’m gonna share any photos of her second birthday… I should get her first on the blog already.

One year later… mission accomplished!!! ¬†*praise hands*

 

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5 Simple Steps to Change your Life

This might seem so strange to say… but the truth is I kind of¬†hate sharing my “story.”

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE sharing what I have done to heal my body. ¬†But my story is complicated. ¬†There are a lot of facets to it and I feel like everyone is looking for a very linear point A to point B timeline. ¬†My health journey has spanned years… YEARS my friends and there have been a lot of ups and downs, trial and error along the way as I have learned new habits, new ways of thinking and completely overhauled my nutrition and lifestyle. ¬†I am still very much on this journey because I feel like living a healthy life is something we choose to do daily.

So when someone wants to know, “how I lost weight,” or “how I healed from PCOS,” I get a little stumped on how to begin since there are so many things that happened over the years that made those victories¬†possible. ¬†For now though, I think I can sum it up, in a very simplified, non-linear fashion, with 5 basic tips that have been the core of everything I have done.

AKA… GET HEALTHY INSIDE AND OUT!

 

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1. ¬†I ate a strict diet and eliminated inflammatory foods. ¬†The simplest terms for this is I ate non-GMO, organic and Paleo. ¬†I got rid of all inflammatory and processed foods so that my body could HEAL!!!! ¬†Not so I could lose weight… so my body that was suffering and falling apart could get a break. ¬†I was very rigid about this¬†for a long time but now that my body is healthier and I am off medications, I have loosened the reigns and am not as strict. ¬†So don’t go crazy when I eat something that is not¬†Paleo. ¬†Life happens and I am able to eat very intuitively now. ¬†I am not about to go my entire life without eating another cupcake or Oreo. ¬†Lets be real people.

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2.  I learned to workout for my health, not to counteract what I ate.  I workout daily.  YES daily!  I move my body in some form or fashion every single day because that is what my body craves and what helps keeps my hormones happy and balanced.  Some days it is a more intense workout like Body Beast or 22 Minute Hard Corps, other days it is gentle yoga or just a long walk around the neighborhood with my kids.  Regardless I choose to move every single day because it is what our bodies were designed to do.  Exercise is not a chore.  It is a privilege and a celebration of all our bodies are capable of.

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3. ¬†I supplement my diet¬†with whole-food based vitamins and minerals. ¬†I used to take handfuls of supplements in capsule form, now I drink my supplements in my Shakeology. ¬†The delivery¬†may have changed, but the principle and the reason I do it remains the same. ¬†My body NEEDS¬†dense nutrition to repair and function at its peak. ¬†I provide it the tools through clean eating and supplementation to do that. ¬†Probiotics, digestive enzymes, adaptogen herbs are all part of the system I have been using for years to conquer leaky gut, and heal from the inside out. ¬†I ate a standard American diet for 30+ years… there is a lot to make up for after all that processed junk. Good supplementation gives me energy, stamina and is my safety net on days when my diet may be lacking.

 

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4. ¬†I have learned to fill my mind up with positivity. ¬†I have cut out the “entertainment” that added to the negativity I felt naturally and now fill my mind up with personal development and entertainment that inspires and motivates me to achieve success in all areas of my life. ¬†It is literally one of the most joyful things I have done for myself. ¬†It has given me permission to simply BE myself and let go of all expectations of what others may think of me. ¬†If you don’t like me and what I have to say, that is okay… keep on trucking. ¬†My only job and YOUR only job is to live a life that you love and brings you joy. ¬†Your happiness is not my problem. ¬†Only mine is.

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5. ¬†Given myself grace. ¬†In today’s world we are exposed to so many opinions and thoughts on how to do everything¬†just right¬†that it is often overwhelming and can lead to anxiety. ¬†Sure I have learned what is optimal and what will help me be healthier or be a better mother, business owner, spouse, etc. ¬†But I have also learned that good enough is¬†all you need somedays. ¬†I used to be so focused on everything being so perfect¬†when I was healing my body that if I slid off course just a little, it was such a heavy blow to my heart that it could knock me off course for weeks or months. ¬†Now I realize there has to be a balance. ¬†I will not get everything right all the time and that is okay. ¬†It is the sum of the whole that matters. ¬†My goal is to knock it out of the park 80% of the time… and I’m good at that. ¬†The other 20% of the time if I’m driving through McDonald’s or put my kids to bed without a bath and brushing their teeth, well… that little bit won’t really matter because for the most part I’m nailing it. ¬†We can’t all be perfect all the time. ¬†That illusion of perfection is crippling. ¬†I strive really hard to care for my body, my health and my family to the best of my abilities every single day. ¬†Some days though, caring for my sanity prevails and cheeseburgers happen. ¬†It will be okay as long as those days are the exception not the rule.

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There you have it. ¬†The 5 key elements that have helped change my life. ¬†There have been a lot of ups and downs along the way. ¬†Many years of starts and stops and do-overs. Times when the 80/20 balance got flipped for a bit but¬†I learned¬†how to course correct. I know when to call my own bullshit and get it back on track. ¬†I think that is the biggest trick of all; to learn your own traps and excuses and manage them. ¬†Anticipate your road blocks and plan ahead how you will overcome them. ¬†Most of all… DON’T GIVE UP! ¬†The only sure fire way to fail and never meet your goals is to give up. ¬†If you keep trying, keep learning and growing you will ALWAYS¬†find success. ¬†It may not be in the time frame you hoped for or come in the shape or form you anticipated, but it will come. ¬†This is all a journey to living your best life, mentally and physically. ¬†You must be willing to fail a lot to find what you are after.

If you want to work hard together and change lives, yours and those around you, email me. ¬†The tools and systems are simple. ¬†You just have to add the effort! ¬†Sometimes all we need are the right tools, and a friend who has walked the path ahead of you to guide the way and let you know it is possible! ¬†Trust me… it is possible!

 

 

 

One Simple Step to Reverse Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease

For all of you who follow me on social media, especially those special few who pay attention to my Instagram stories (don’t expect makeup here) you know I love my¬†Shakeology. ¬†But lets be real here… this isn’t some protein shake I drink to bulk up or lose weight. ¬†This is my high density, nutrient infusion to keep up a high quality of life. ¬†When I realized it could replace all the HANDFULS of supplements I had been taking to heal my gut health I was skeptical, but let me tell you… it did not disappoint. ¬†And yes, you heard correctly… handfuls!

Using high-quality, whole-food based supplements has always been an integral part of my health journey. ¬†Not only have I lost 80 lbs, but most importantly I completely reversed my autoimmune disease symptoms. ¬†No more PCOS, no more Hypothyroid, no more hair falling out, eczema or loss of periods…. NO MORE! ¬†It has taken a lot of work and coming at it from a whole¬†lifestyle approach, but it has been worth every ounce of effort. ¬†Supplementation has allowed me to¬†infuse my body with the nutrition it needed to heal, to balance out my gut health and give my body the nutritional tools to rebuild and repair. ¬†I whole-heartedly believe this is a critical step in overcoming leaky gut and reversing disease symptoms. ¬†Previously, I was taking 21 capsules a day of various vitamins, minerals, probiotics and digestive enzymes. ¬†I know that sounds SHOCKING¬†to some of you but, if you take whole-food supplements then you know there is no One-A-Day pill solution to get quality and usable nutrients in to your system. ¬†Enter Shakeology and it has condensed the massive amount of pills and powders into ONE simple scoop. ¬†This chocolatey deliciousness is truly¬†the best way I have ever taken my vitamins in my life!

Although I never had a problem ingesting¬†the menagerie of supplements in my daily arsenal, I did find that after having my daughter and becoming exponentially busier (how is 2 kids so much harder than one!?), I struggled to remember to take all my vitamins each day. ¬†Or I’d have good streaks and then a bad one and be all over the board. ¬†I was struggling with consistency in so many areas of my life and trying to remember all my supplements to keep my gut health in check was just not happening. ¬†My energy levels were plummeting, I was in a fog. ¬†So when I researched using Vegan Shakeology as an answer to some of my craziness… I was more than happy to find it solved so many of my problems.

 

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#1: ¬†It is¬†a fast, easy, DELICIOUS breakfast or snack that I can drink and enjoy while nursing, while driving, while chasing my kids. ¬†It is FULL¬†nutrition on the go when life is too busy and bacon and eggs¬†just aren’t gonna happen.

#2:  The organic protein smoothie I had been making every morning to get my greens powder, chia seeds, maca root and coconut oil into was a 20 ingredient laundry list of steps and add-ins that got too complicated.  One scoop of ShakeO saved the day!  Remember protein powders alone are not going to cut it nutritionally friends.

#3: ¬†I no longer have to take handfuls of supplements periodically through the day (and risk forgetting some) because it is ALL in my smoothie! ¬†Seriously… this one scoop just simplified my life astronomically. ¬†Also, if you’re not taking a multivitamin or probiotics daily… please… start NOW! ¬†A lifetime of eating the Standard American Diet has left so many nutritional gaps in our bodies and leaky gut is a HUGE¬†culprit in most of¬†our modern disease states.

#4: ¬†I actually SAVE money with Shakeology. ¬†Insane right?¬† After breaking down the cost of the protein powder, the greens powder, the laundry list¬†of ingredients¬†like chia seeds and maca root I would add, plus my multivitamin, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and other herbal supplements I was taking to support my body I am literally saving money!!!! ¬†And it still costs less than an almond milk latte at Starbucks! ¬†I’m pretty sure it costs less than most things at Starbucks… haha… but that is another conversation.

#5:¬†Five points?! Geez Melanie wrap it up. ¬†Seriously though…. the ingredients in this smoothie are top notch. ¬†With 70+ superfood ingredients it is nearly impossible to get everything certified organic & non-GMO while ethically¬†and sustainably¬†sourcing through global farms. ¬†But let me tell you, my research and time with this company and the creator of Shakeology has proven the ingredients go far beyond the standards I have always made sure I have held my supplements to. ¬†You know so much of my healing is credited to a clean, organic, non-GMO, all natural, crunchy-or-die mindset so this my friends has really impressed me with the level at which the company holds their farms to. ¬†I even give this shake to my children.¬† I love that we are all getting a huge dose of veggies and fruits that would be hard to consume otherwise and I know how AMAZING I FEEL¬†using it. ¬†I’ve felt run down and exhausted for too long and knowing how ALIVE¬†my body feels when I am fueling it right is the biggest thumbs up for me.

All that to say… this stuff has given me a little more time in my day.
A little more sanity knowing I didn’t let my nutrition slip through the cracks.
All of my autoimmune symptoms are long gone and my most recent check up has proven my labs are in stellar condition.

So trust me when I say this has been an integral part to my health journey and simplified my life. ¬†There are so many more components like mindset, diet, personal care products and fitness¬†that have contributed to my healing,¬†but this is likely one of the tastiest parts that has given me a whole lot of peace of mind. ¬†Oh and you can totally hide a bunch of fresh spinach in the chocolate smoothie and your kids will never know the difference… so #momwin!!

If you want to try a sample, shoot me an email. ¬†Or if you are ready to get your health under control and join me in one of my VIP health challenges learning to do what I have done to get healthy… then stop waiting and click here. ¬†Let’s get you on the road to living your best life!

Oh and mom’s out there… get this…. there is a CERTIFIED organic, non-GMO, soy/gluten/dairy-free, pediatrician approved smoothie JUST RELEASED called Daily Sunshine that is perfect for your little ones…. especially those picky eaters that refuse veggies. ūüėČ

 

¬† ¬†Living healthy doesn’t have to be complicated.

 

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Ready to take it even further and not only get healthy yourself, but show others how to live their best lives?
Email me to talk about joining my team.  The world needs more people ready to change the future of health!
We are all in this together!
**Disclosure: I am a Beachbody Coach and this blog contains affiliate links from which I earn a small commission but I never recommend anything I don’t fully believe in or have tried and loved myself. ¬†All rights reserved. Results may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition. ¬†We are all grown ups here, I am not a medical professional, just someone sharing my own personal experiences and knowledge so that you too may be empowered to make healthy decisions for yourself. ¬†If you are grown¬†enough¬†to be here reading my blog, you are grown enough to use common sense¬†when starting any new exercise program or nutrition plan and supplementation. ¬†Consult your physician or research¬†and empower yourself to make good choices and discern for yourself what is best for your¬†lifestyle. ¬†No one can make you do anything but you so make good choices. ¬†Yup… thats what I have to say about that.¬†