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The Whys of Monday Mornings.

Monday’s are pretty quiet in my house.  No video games on, no YouTube playing videos, no playdates, no messes to clean up…just silence.

Which leaves me wondering a whole bunch of Whys?.

Why is it then in the mix of all the hustle and bustle of the weekend do I just want some peace and quiet and then when the peace and quiet comes I just want my kids to be back at home.

Why can I not just relax and enjoy the chaos of the weekends?

Why do have to have 5000 tabs open and processing in my brain all at once?

Why do Mamas have so much on their never ending To Do lists?

Why? Why? Why?

Mamas don’t get days off; especially if you are a Mama like me.  I do not know how to relax or shut off my brain.  Trust me I wish every day I could.  I think I would choose this to be my super power.

I love having my kids at home and they are at an age now where they are pretty self sufficient, but I still feel the need to hold on and be a part of their lives in any way I can.  The problem with this is that I have a hard time letting go and just doing my own thing on the evenings and weekends.  I never want to miss anything.

I preach self care in all my programs, yet I don’t always practice what I preach.

How do I learn to let go and have my own life?  How do I learn not to feel shame, when I am not giving my kids my time?   Am I normal?  Do other Mamas feel this way?

I believe the answer is yes.

I believe that I am not alone in this and that millions of Mamas all over the world are hanging on to their babies for as long as they possibly can.  There should be no shame in it.

Being a Mama is not easy mentally.  Some days it can be mentally exhausting.  We do the best we can with the tools we have on hand.  I am right here in the thick of it with all of you. I am trying to feel my way around and hope I don’t fuck it all up!

A part of being a healthy Mama is realizing when you are not taking care of yourself and when you need to refocus and spend a little bit of time reflecting on you.

This is me after this weekend.  I spent all weekend stressing about everything and I mean EVERYTHING!  I know I was not enjoying the moments with the kids.

How to solve this?

There is no right or wrong answer and I guess if I had all the answers I would be writing a whole different kind of blog post.  So until then, I will keeping questioning and keep striving to be a better version of me.

Amy Bowers  xo 

 

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Blog, Recipes

5 Nutritional Benefits of Peaches

Peach season is here and I could not be more happy.  As a kid my Mama would always spend time canning peaches every year so we could enjoy them year round; oh I miss those days.  Since I never got the canning skill from my Mama, I take full advantage of peach season while it is here reaping the vast amount of benefits a simple peach has to offer.

The beauty of peach season is not only the joy of eating a juicy piece of fruit, but the endless combinations of foods you can use peaches in.  I try to eat peaches with everything; in salads, chia pudding, smoothies, desserts, with yogurt and granola, just to name a few.

When you include peaches into your meal plan you not only get the opportunity to enjoy amazing foods, your body also benefits tremendously.

5 Nutritional Benefits of Peaches

    1. Weight Loss.  Choosing to eat a medium peaches as a snack will only run you approximately 60 calories; therefore, helping you maintain your body weight and helping to encourage healthy weight loss.  Although this alone will not help you reach your goal weight, it will help by preventing you from reaching for the high caloric and fattening snacks that can sabotage your end goal.
      The natural sugars in peaches, along with the fibre content will not cause your blood sugars and insulin levels to spike.  This allows you to enjoy a sweet treat without the negative consequences on your body following.

 

    1. Digestive Health.  Fibre and digestive health go hand in hand, so when you include the fibre from peaches into your diet your digestive health reaps a lot all the benefits. Consuming the whole peach; skin and all, will give you approximately 2.5 grams of fibre.
      This added fibre will assist with gut mobility ridding your body of toxins and excess waste matter that are left in your digestive tract.  Clearing these excess toxins will not only benefit your digestive health but every cell in your body.

 

    1. Skin Health.  Mamas can pay a lot of money a year on expensive skin care products and never get the results they are looking for.  The fact is that skin health begins from the inside and from the foods we choose to put into our body. Along with the vast assortment of vitamins and minerals peaches offer, the 2 main components are vitamin A and vitamin C when it comes to skin health.
      Vitamin A is a key component in cell production and growth and this alone will help keep your skin firm, healthy and glowing.
      Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps improve not only your immune system, but is a key component in collagen production.  Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and is what keeps the skin elasticity, preventing wrinkles and sagging skin.

 

    1. Cardiovascular Health.  Consuming peaches will benefit your heart in so many ways.  Not only can they lower your cholesterol, increase blood flow, decrease inflammation in the body, control blood sugars on an individual level; it helps prevent the Metabolic Syndrome that is plaguing the world today.

 

    1. High-Antioxidant Food.  Peaches have a high antioxidant index which means they help to eliminate the harmful free radicals that are floating around in your body by neutralizing them.
      These free radicals can lead to numerous health concerns; like cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease, and can actually effect every system in your body.
      A diet rich in antioxidant foods; like peaches, will benefit every cell, tissue and organ in your body allowing them to function to their full potential.

 

Healthy, holistic nutrition does not need to be complicated.  It is actually more simple than many Mamas think it is.  Grab a peach and it is alone or enjoy them in this guilt free Peach Crisp that the whole family will enjoy.

Guilt Free Peach Crisp

For the peaches:

  • 5-6 peaches, depending on size
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free flour blend
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

For the topping:

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

Putting it all together:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  2. Wash peaches, peel and slice into thick slices and place in medium size bowl.
  3. Sprinkle peaches with sugar and mix together.  Place in fridge x20mins.
  4. In medium size bowl combine dry ingredients for the topping.  Add in melted coconut oil and mix together well.
  5. After 20 mins, remove peaches from fridge and add remainder of peach ingredients. Mix well and layer in shallow 8×8 baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle topping over peaches and bake in oven for 45mins or until golden brown.
  7. Allow to cool slightly and serve with french vanilla ice cream.

Real Life. Real You.

Amy Bowers  xo 

Blog

Rid Yourself of the Guilt.

”I wake up thinking about my health and wellness and it consumes my thoughts throughout my day until I go to bed.  I have a guilty feeling all day long and I have a hard time feeling present in my life because I am constantly thinking about how I should be focusing more on my weight, my eating, my working out; basically my whole health, so I can feel better and look better in my own skin”.

OMG, take a breath right?!!

Does this conversation sound familiar to you?

Now, I do realize that not everybody wakes up thinking about their health as dramatically as that, but I can safely say that 99% of the Mamas wake up thinking about their body and how they are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally.  The sad truth is that most Mamas do not have anything nice to say about their own body.

I have had this conversation in my head A LOT and I mean A LOT!  I have gone through University where I was single, established my career where I worked full time shift work, got married and had 2 children and the conversation still stayed the same with each passing phase.

Looking back I realize that life is never going to be perfect and the timing to focus on your health, be in the best shape of your life, eat perfectly and workout consistently is not going to present itself “one day”.

I have had all the excuses…my course load is too busy, I am too hungover, I am working too much, I want to spend my evenings with my husband, I am pregnant, I have small children, I am busy driving my kids to all their activities, I am starting my own business…and on and on and on.  The list, if you let it, with be never ending.

What I have learned in my journey to holistic wellness is to make myself a priority.  I have started meal planning, I set up my workouts weekly and I focus more on self care.  I am a better mother, wife and business woman because of it.

Does this always work out the way I planned?

Nope!  The only finish line on your quest for health and wellness is the grave.

Sound morbid?  It is the true.

Living holistically is a way of life and the process of ridding myself of the guilt has not been an easy one.  I continue to have relapses into the guilt, but I have grown enough to realize I don’t need to live in the guilt.  Life is constantly shifting and changing so you need to be shifting and growing along side of it.  When life throws you a curve ball, adjust your stance and your swing.

Life is not meant to be lived in a regiment.  Although routine is great and can keep us sane, if we are not willing to mentally shift when needed we are going to spend more days of our lives beating ourself up then enjoying it.  We all deserve to be living in the present and enjoying the moments of our life.

No matter how hard I try to plan out my weeks, life comes up and I have learned that one missed workout or 2 or 3 and one bad meal; or 2 or 3, is not going to be the end.  Life is about the whole picture and when you can embrace the process and the inevitable chaos, you can rid yourself of the guilt and shame around the imperfections and find a whole new mental freedom.

I hope you find a way to embrace the chaos and imperfections so you too can rid yourself of the guilt around your health and wellness, because lets be honest…we all fuck up sometimes.

Real Life. Real You.

Amy Bowers   xo

Blog

You Do Not Have To Suffer.

For those of you who suffer with intestinal sensitivities, I feel your pain.  Looking back I have suffered with a sensitive stomach for most of my life, but it wasn’t until 5 years ago that I started clueing in and putting it all together that I realized it was preventable.  I have been gluten free for the past 5 years and it has made a world of difference in my health.  Although it was hard at the beginning, now it is just the norm for myself and my family.

My daughter has also been gluten free for the past 3 years for health issues as well and has changed a lot in the course of her mystery health issue.

I have also been fully aware that dairy has been causing me problems, but in the back of my mind cutting our dairy would be extremely hard.  I have tried cutting it out before; once only making it a few days and the other times only making it a couple weeks.  But just as with gluten, yesterday was my breaking point and today is the day I start my 6 week dairy elimination diet.  I did the same process with gluten and it not only made me see the effects gluten had on me, it also helped my husband see as well.

I will spend the next 6 weeks closely monitoring through journalling how my body is feeling and responding throughout the day without dairy; my mood, energy level, if and when I got bloated, my hair, my skin, and the dark circles under my eyes.

I have spent the last few years saying if I could change one body part on myself it would be my intestines, but I have realized that they do not need to change, I do.  I need to change the way I look at the situation and realize how blessed I am to be so in tuned with my body and that I have the ability to change the course of my own health through the foods I put into my body.

Nutrition is just one of the factors; but probably the most important one, we as Mamas can control in the course of the health of ourselves and our families.  It may seem like a hard path to start on, but believe me it gets easier and the benefits far out weigh the “pain in the ass” moments.

10 Signs and symptoms you may have a dairy sensitivity/intolerance

  1. gas
  2. bloating
  3. diarrhea
  4. constipation
  5. cramping
  6. nausea
  7. dark circles under eyes
  8. acne
  9. skin rashes
  10. mood swings/depression

If you find you are suffering from food intolerances, you don’t have too.  Life can be lived fully and more comfortably by adjusting your food choices.  Something so simple can make all the difference.

Real Life. Real You.

Amy Bowers  xo 

 

 

 

Blog

Are Sporting Weekends Away a Waste of Time?

Ok, this blog post is only for the mom’s out there who travel away for their kids sports.

Does it sometimes feel that a weekend away is more work than it is worth?  Is the long road ahead never ending with years and years of rubbing the highway?

You spend at least 2 days preparing to leave. Laundry, packing, meal prepping, cleaning and organizing are just those things at the top of the list.  Don’t forget that we still have to work, take kids to sporting events and school (lunches included) in those 2 days of preparing.  We are sometimes exhausted before we even leave the drive way.

Then, after the weekend away we have to come home to groceries, more laundry, work, sporting events, and school (lunches again, arghh).

It makes a mom think if the weekend away is even worth it.

This was the thought going through my mind last night after I got home from a weekend away with my daughter for her soccer tournament.  I laid in bed; my husband sleeping soundly beside me, thinking about all the things that I have to do this week and all the things I need to catch up on since being away.  (The wifi was horrible in the mountains!)

I found myself getting quite overwhelmed.

Then in a moment I changed my perspective on the situation.

Of course it was worth the weekend away.  The fun we had, the memories we made and the connection we strengthened is worth every moment of craziness before and after the trip.  It was just my daughter and I making memories.

My daughter does not see the work that goes into a weekend away.  She does not see how tired I am after driving in the mountains for 3 days while she slept in the passenger seat.  She does see the piles of laundry, the grocery list or the To Do list getting longer and longer.

The reality is she does not have to see anything.  She just has to feel.

She feels the memories.  She feels the connection.  She feels the LOVE.

The practice of holistic wellness; especially with our children, is not about never feeling overwhelmed or negative.  It is a lifestyle of acknowledging these moments and changing the perspective in which you look at them.

Consider yourself blessed that you have the ability to step out of your routine and escape reality for brief moments.  Know that the memories you make will forever change your life.  Consider yourself blessed that you have a home to come back to, a fridge to fill and clothes to wear.

Most of all consider yourself blessed that you have the moments with your children that are not only shaping their future, your future but shaping the future and the relationship you have together.

The sporting weekends away are just the vehicles to have these moments.  Otherwise when else would you spend 3+ hours in the car having your own rock concert, sleeping in a hotel bed watching movies late at night or sliding down water slides till your legs are sore from climbing the stairs.  Cherish these moments.

Even though the road may seem long remember to cheer loud, laugh lots and sleep when you can because one day it will only be memories.

Real Life. Real You.

Amy Bowers  xo 

 

 

Blog

5 Common Symptoms of a Full Body Cleanse.

Most people have thought once or twice about completing a full body detox cleanse, but never commit fully because of the fear wrapped around the whole cleanse process.

I like to think of cleansing and detoxifying your body like spring cleaning your home.  You end up with a huge mess in the midst of it all, feel like it is never going to be done and wonder why you started in the first place.  Then it all comes together and you are left with this beautiful space; free of dust, build-up and junk.  The same thing happens when you cleanse and detoxify your body.  The toxins are the dust, build-up and junk taking up space in your body.

“A toxin is a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation.”  ~Merriam-Webster~

Our bodies are exposed to toxins every minute of ever day both internally from a cellular level and from our environment.  Our bodies have an amazing self defending and self repairing system in place, therefore; are in a constant state of detox.  Just like the rest of life though our bodies have a limit and when they become overwhelmed with toxins the process slows down and may not work as efficiently as it should.

This is when we begin to feel the effects of the toxins building up in our body; insomnia, headaches, fatigue, weight gain, bad breath, achy muscles, skin reactions, and/or candida overgrowth.

During a cleanse the body has an opportunity to purge the material that does not belong inside of us by increasing the amount of stored toxins, pathogens & metabolic wastes that leave our cells.  Our bodies are equipped with organs that work independently as well as synergistically to eliminate these toxins from our bodies.

These organs are liver, colon, kidneys, lymphatics, blood, skin, & lungs and this is why when we are cleansing we could potentially feel a variety of symptoms throughout the whole body.

5 common symptoms that come with detoxifying your body:

  1. Fatigue.  Our body is an energy producing machine on a normal day, burning calories on a cellular level when we are standing still.  When we cleanse the extra energy that is needed to rid our bodies of the “junk” causes our to feel more fatigued.
  2. GI Upset.  This comes in many different forms; loose stools, nausea, gas, and/or bloating.  This is a common symptom and probably the one people fear the most.  This symptom occurs because our body rids the toxins through the intestines which ultimately leads to our stools.
  3. Headaches.  When detoxifying our body the cells release the toxins back into the bloodstream for them to be eliminated from the body; which leads to systemic symptoms like headaches.
  4. Skin Breakouts.  Our toxins can be eliminated from the body in numerous ways and the skin just happens to be one of of the outlets for this to take place. People may suffer from rashes or acne during a cleanse; which is caused by the toxins leaving the body through the largest organ…the skin.
  5. Irritability.  We may not notice this symptom as much as the people around us may notice it, but we need to be aware of it so we can be proactive in controlling it.  Our body is working overtime during a cleanse and due to the extra amount of toxins floating around in our blood stream for elimination we may feel the effects on our mood.

Although these symptoms seem daunting and no one really wants to suffer with them, the outcomes of the process is worth it.   You will feel re-energized, lighter and refreshed.

Give your body the spring cleaning it deserves.

Real Life. Real You.

Amy Bowers  xo 

 

Blog

3 Ways To Be a Perfect Mom.

Today is Mother’s Day and I have been thinking about this day for the past week.  Mostly because my wonderful family has been asking me all week what I wanted to do today.  I keep telling them massages, cleaning toilets and yard work all done by them, but their little half hearted smile and giggle makes me believe they think I am joking.  The reality is I want Mother’s Day to be what it will be; no expectations and no pressures.

As a recovering perfectionist I have thought a lot over the years of what a “perfect” mom should look like.  I have compiled many lists in my head of what I am doing wrong and how I could be better.  Striving to be “Super Mom” was at the top of my To Do list and it was exhausting.

It wasn’t until I started focusing on holistic wellness that I came up with this list of 3 ways to be the “perfect” mom.

  1. You show up everyday without fail.  Now this does not mean you show up dressed, hair done, makeup on after a 6am workout, with pancakes for breakfast along with fresh squeezed orange juice.  This means you wake up each morning and put one foot in front of the other.  Every day is going to be different and that is okay.  What matters is you show up every day and be the best version of you.  Some days you will feel like a rock star and other days you will feel like a rock star who has partied way too hard on tour; completed exhausted and overwhelmed.  Our children will not remember the day that you spent laying on the couch, drinking coffee and reading a book while they binged watched movies on Netflix.  They will remember you as their mom, as a whole person.  They will remember you being present, smiling (even through the pain), the hugs and kisses and the moments you spent together.
  2. You are emotionally strong.  Yes, thats right I said Emotionally Strong!!  The fact of the matter is that emotionally strong means you are vulnerable enough to show your kids all the emotions in the world.  Every child should see their mom laugh until they cry, get upset when she is angry, cry when she is sad, admit when she is frustrated and lose her patience; aka lose her shit!  The reality is the world is not one emotion.  Your children need to see their mom beyond happy, break down when they have reached their limit and cry when they are sad because this will allow our children to see that is is okay to be vulnerable.  See that there are going to be moments in their lives that seem perfect and moments where perfection seems so far away.  They need to know that no matter what moment they are in they need to feel those emotions, embrace them and know that everything is going to be okay.  They need to be witness to their mother being human, falling down and getting back up and they also need to see their Mom rising to the top with all the dignity and strength that she has.
  3. You give your all to your children.  Every mother should give her all to her children, but this means something completely different when you begin to live a holistic lifestyle.  Many believe that you should be there for your children every second of every day, never missing a moment.  That you should give up your former self, become selfless and nurturing at all times; yet it is these precise thoughts that lead to postpartum depression, resentment and heart ache.  Mothers need to give their all to their children, but this means they need to find happiness outside of their children, they need friends, hobbies, and passions.  They need moments of self reflection, mini vacations, date nights; whatever makes them feel complete.  In order to give your all to your children you yourself must feel whole.  Feeling whole will give you more energy, happiness and a greater ability to be all in when you spend time with your children.

Although being a mother will always be the most important role you will ever fill, it will take up the biggest space in your heart and you take pride in being a mom; being a perfect mom is unattainable.  There is no such thing.  We all will have moments of greatness, moments of weakness, and moments you wish you could take back…but remember always that these moments are all the things that make you an amazing mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Real Life. Real You.

Amy Bowers  xo 

 

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Spring Is Here To Stay.

I believe that where you live determines your feelings on Springtime.  Those people (like me) who live in a cold and snowy winter climate welcome Spring with open arms because we can finally spend time outdoors without freezing our fingers, toes and noses.

“The air hurts my face.  Why am I living where the air hurts my face?”

Growing up in northern Alberta, Canada it was very typical to see -40 temperatures in winter.  This kept you indoors or bundled up so much that your neighbour would hardly recognize you.  This can cause a lot of mixed emotions and for some can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); which is a type of depression related to the changes in season and the lack of sunlight.  SAD typically effects people who have an otherwise healthy mental status.

If you are one that suffers from SAD you will be so happy to know that spring looks like it is here to stay; which means longer daylight and more SUNSHINE!!

This makes me VERY happy and I choose to celebrate it every year because I really don’t appreciate Mother Nature’s winter temperament.

Here are some ways to get out there and celebrate the First Day Of Spring:

  • Buy yourself some flowers for the house.
  • Go for a walk outdoors; long or short it does not matter.
  • Give the inside of your vehicle a clean out.
  • Pull out your summer clothes from storage, give them a wash and have them ready for the upcoming months.
  • Sit on your patio and let the sun shine on your face. (even if it is only for a few minutes)

We get out of life what we put in.  Celebrating the small things allows us to recognize that there is beauty all around us.  We just have to be willing to notice it.

Happy Spring!!

Real Life. Real You.

Amy Bowers  xo