The Struggle Is Real -2016

I know that women in developing countries have serious struggles of their own, but can you imagine what our struggles might look like in their eyes?

  • Having to endlessly pick up after our kids around the house, I can't take it!
  • You can't find your shoes, where are your socks??!
  • I'm having to trip over stuff to get to where I am going!
  • The sink is overflowing of dishes, again.
  • This (food) is out of date, ugh!  my life is so hard!
  • The laundry just keeps on piling, I can't keep up with it..:(
  • Who left all of the books strewn all over the floor, -pick them up!!?
  • It's been nonstop all day for me, I just need to take a bath.
I could go on and on with our "struggles" but the more I think about it, the more ashamed I am. Oh the guilt! So, I'm turning my shame into motivation to seriously purge my home.

I feel like I'm always purging my home. Is it just me or does anyone else seem to be donating boxes or bags of stuff after a huge purging episode?? I swear, the enemy knows my weaknesses. After 8 bags of purging, feeling that much lighter and free, someone brings me boxes of hand me downs of stuff. The hoarder within me, says "yeah, sure I'll have a look!" and guess what, EVERYTHING has potential. I should learn. If I can't see it, I won't miss it and even if I see it, I probably will not miss it. A fact.

How then do I de-itemize my home for good and is "for good" even a realistic expectation? Looking up at those struggles listed, could I swap those struggles for things that matter eternally? Let me break them down for us.

  1. Having to endlessly pick up after our kids around the house, I can't take it! Our homes in westernized countries are so full of stufffffff. We think we need it, we hoard it, we save it, stack it, storage it and we keep accumulating more stuff. I cannot even wrap my head around the sum of $$ we would save, if we were not so easily swept away with things. The things we buy, we end up purging anyway sooner or later. The things we own, end up binding us, they end up owning us in one way or another. We lose precious time for instance, we become around the clock cleaners, maintainers, and hunters (hunts for the missing {insert here}!).. It robs us from time for ourselves, as mothers. Our kids go to bed and you have so much to prep for in order to survive the next day, and then you're done for the day. Would you not want to curl up and read your favourite book? Read those blog posts that you bookmarked for a quiet moment? Could this be your quiet moment, where you work on a project you've been thinking about for months? Does motherhood and you time have to be a balancing act? Can it not just be the journey you are on and there is no seperation of the two? How would it be, if instead of STRIVING, we could be THRIVING in the coming days? Would the shouts and arguments over toys scattered around the home be swapped into talks and cuddles and outdoor walks? What steps must we take, in today's society and the areas we live in to make this a reality? 
  2. You can't find your shoes, where are your socks!? How many pairs of shoes does one child, never mind woman have? YES, there can be too many shoes. This is a nuisance in my home. My kids never seem to find their shoes, always one shoe missing. I see them trying to leave the house with sandals in the middle of winter, and it drives me bonkers! "Where are your shoes?!" How many pairs do kids need, as they are growing up fast anyway, and don't get a chance to enjoy them long enough? A few "shoe cultures" I admire are the Finnish and Koreans. Finns never walk inside the home with their shoes on and leave them beside the front door. Koreans always seem to take their shoes off in the most respectful way possible. Say what? Yes, have you ever seen anyone place their shoes away in such a symmetrical manner, I have! Koreans :) If I had the shoes I need, (which I actually have fewer than I "need"), my kids would live by example. If they had just the right amount of shoes for designated weather, they would be lost or mistreated, especially when you have multiple kids! I can't help but think of Little House On The Prairie, when the girls would cherish everything they had as it was gold. Their corn husk dolls, special laced up shoes.. polished, ready for school. Could we adapt that mentality? How can we, when we live in this society. how can we fight the strong winds of today's capitalism and pass that onto our children? I'm talking about shoes, but this goes for every piece of clothing.
  3. I'm having to trip over stuff to get to where I am going! What would your life look like if you were not swayed by Walmart or Pinterest? Would you walk into a temple instead of a westernized, asthma risk house? Would our homes be a place of rest and worship? Would you be aware of your surroundings, instead of being drowned in visual noise? Picture this for a moment...What would your home look like? I have purged so much, yet I still have too much stuff I have a hard time parting with. I guess I don't have the answer for that, yet. Yet.
  4. The sink is overflowing of dishes, again. Well, how many dishes do we need? Most of us have a dishwasher, how crazy is that. We tend to talk about how back in the day, they had house servants, and how we have to do everything by ourselves. Well, we have house servants too! We got a dishwasher, laundry machines, most of us have a coffee maker, fridge, the endless kitchen appliances - list yours! We even have a vacuum cleaner! How cool is that! A machine that sucks up dust and bits and good Lord, is that not a praise worthy privilege? Not to forget, the toilet! We have running water, electricity.. it's just mind blowing when I think of the stuff we have, yet we moan about our "load". Can you picture that the developing world mothers face, when she sees your list of "servants"? Embarrassing! Turning my shame into motivation-turning my shame into inspiration! What can we do, to own less dishes. Every dish has a story, a potential- how can we minimize our cupboards? Keep on purging, I know I'll get there! And, so will you!
  5. This (food) is out of date, ugh!  my life is so hard! I read this thing on the "time-wasting-book" page once, "When I buy a lettuce, I usually bin it right away. Saves me doing it in a weeks time".. I chuckled, but it's so true! Not only do we have this gadget in the kitchen that keeps our food fresh, we forget about our food. We take the food for granted in some way or form. Take the time to look at this video below. I'm on a mission. I would like to go back to basics with 'food'. Simplify the ingredients and the source of food, so that it gets the respect it deserves. Genesis 1:29 and 2:9 and much much more... Read the THM Plan book!! HERE is my aff'link, check it out! (For those who do not know, this is the reason for my cleared up complexion! read about it HERE) 
  6. The laundry just keeps on piling, I can't keep up with it..:( So my girlfriend and I were daydreaming about what our laundry piles would look like if all of our kids and us, had 2-4 sets of clothes. The loads would be smaller, and it would be a small load to carry (ha ha pun intended!). The kids wouldn't get bored, they're growing kids! The turn over would still happen, correct? And, we would always have something to wear! No longer would we have mismatch items, speaking gibberish to us. It would all make sense.
  7. Who left all of the books strewn all over the floor, -pick them up!!? Sometimes I catch my kids using the books in their plays, as chairs or whatever. They're on the floor instead of where they belong. I hate the fact that the baby gets a book and manages to rip out a page or two. A lot of book mending going on in my home, it sorrows me. I love books. Books used to be irreplaceable. Now we get most of our information online. I would like to keep this art very much alive in my home. The smell of pages when you open the book, I love it! How can we, in today's tech savvy world, pass on these things to our kids? Put them behind locked doors, watch over them as they read -not in my house hold. Is this just a lazy-mother syndrome, or do you see where I am going with this? I cannot stand over them and watch them put away each book. Is there another way to pass on the value of books on to my kids?
  8. It's been nonstop all day for me, I just need to take a bath.  What if we didn't have all the stuffff to do everyday that having a moment to yourself that gets interrupted, wasn't such a big deal after all? Get what I am saying?
Thoughts??? Please do share!


    Kids Can Do The Trim Healthy Mama Plan Too!

    ..."I'm reading the book right now and I'm curious to talk more to people who have used it in their families... do your kids eat that way too? I know we need to make some changes to our diet, but it's always so intimidating when I don't have much time to think about such things"...

    At first I was making huge meal plans for 4 weeks at a time. I would then incorporate different meals in for myself, so that I would stay "on plan", yet my kids would get more "fillers" as they are at a growing age and I was in a de-growing age ha ha!

    That didn't last long. It was too much work, intimidating and too stressful. I couldn't give that much time in the kitchen, hovering over the stove and oven, making custom made meals for me and the rest of the family. I was having to go back to two separate recipes constantly to keep up with the cooking, losing my page marks and it kind of robbed the joy out of an awesome life style.

    It wasn't until I called it quits and regressed into my old habits again that I had to come up with another plan. I wrote up another meal plan, first I made a 2 week meal plan, then I really cut lots out, and came up with a "7 Day Master Meal Plan" that I knew would keep us happy for some time. I know, I never thought that I could come up with 7-14 meals that we would happily eat over and over again, and yet I did! Let's see how long it takes to bore my family to tears. 

    In my 7 Day Master Meal Plan I made sure that I didn't have to cook seperate meals, and that it was a no-brainer for me. Depending what meal (S, E, FP, S Helper) I was eating, I could just assemble my plate with ease at each meal sitting.

    So basically, I wrapped up everyone's favourite meals and made them Trim Healthy Mama proof, and voila! So just as an encouragement, there is no need to give up the meals that you already love to eat or are at ease preparing for your family.

    Here is my 7 Day Master Meal Plan (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

    Day 1

    • Cereal (THM approved) with unsweetened almond mylk. You can easily make your own granola!
    • Deli Sandwiches, veggies and dip. We buy Ezekiel bread from Superstore.
    • Chicken stir fry with noodles (troodles or konjac noodles for me!)
    Day 2
    • Apple-Cinnamon Oats, home made.
    • Fried eggs on toast, veggies and dip. I  can easily just have the eggs and veggies and dip.
    • Taco Tuesday. Normally, I've made a big batch of Wonder Wraps, and use them as my tortillas.
    Day 3
    • Cheese and deli wraps.
    • PB sandwiches, veggies and dip. 
    • Pasta Bolognese with spaghetti squash
    Day 4
    • Cereal
    • Quesadillas (THM approved tortillas or Wonder Wraps)
    • Chilli/Cheeseburger Pie/Enchillada. The new cookbook has these recipes. YUM!
    Day 5
    • Apple-Cinnamon Oats
    • Refried Bean Burritos
    • Chic pea curry/ eating out
    Day 6
    • Wraps
    • European wieners/meatballs with homemade sweet potato fries and side salad.
    • Salmon, greens and quinoa/brown rice
    Day 7
    • Cereal
    • Pancakes -the lot! (Bacon, whip cream, berries, eggs...)
    • Bacon and cauliflower bake.
    So this is what we'll be eating for the next how ever many weeks until we get completely tired of it. Of course there'll be days we'll be out and about, eating in restaurants or visiting and our menu will differ. Maybe there'll be days that we go "hey, I'm in the mood for _______" and lunch might change, but generally, this is it.

    I encourage you to purchase the new Trim healthy Mama Cook Book. If you don't know about the plan yet, get the Trim Healthy Mama Plan as well. You will not regret it. You will change and you'll begin to see changes so fast that you won't wanna quit! Like I said in my previous post HERE, this plan is for all age groups, pregnant or nursing, all genders -this is no diet. This is for life.

    The food is great, everything is on plan unless you're allergic to it and you will not be deprived in anyway, shape or form.. well, except for excess body fat- I'll take that! You will bloom! Here are a few before and after pictures of what THM did for me in just a few months. Incredible. I still cannot get over it. 

    I assure you that I have no make up on whatsoever in these pictures. If anything this is my NSV, today this is my NSV (Non Scale Victory)!

    If you do want to try out the THM plan, please consider ordering books/products through THIS LINK For those who do not know me personally, I am a homeschooling mother of 4, and through my affiliated link, you support my family :) I thank you.

    What does your menu look like? What are your Non Scale Victories?

    Follow me on Instagram @trimhealthycathy


    Is Eating Placenta Cannibalism, and What About God?

    See article HERE

    All credit goes to Jodi Selander and her PBi blog (linked above). I just wanted to share with those who have questioned placenta encapsulation, and to some of my future clients about how, as Christians, is it okay for us to consume our placenta after childbirth. Hope you find this article intriguing.

    One of the common arguments against placentophagia, or consumption of the placenta, is that it is an act of cannibalism. I disagree for the following reasons:
    1. Cannibalism is the eating of human flesh. Flesh is defined as being muscle and fat; placenta is neither.
    2. Cannibalism, by definition, is consumption of the flesh of someone or something that has been recently killed. Placenta, again, does not qualify.
    3. Arguments against placentophagia state that we are not supposed to consume anything that comes from our own body. Except, we feed our infants milk produced from our breasts, which is perfectly designed for that purpose. As is also the placenta perfectly designed for consumption by the mother.
    Obviously, placentophagia is not cannibalism. But what about the argument that placentophagia goes against God’s will? That one, my friends, is a religious question and I am not a theologian.
    However, Anna Marie Zalesak has studied philosophy and Catholic theology, and has written a great argument in support of placentophagia for Catholics. She agreed to let me share her thoughts here, but wanted me to mention that it is a work in progress, and may not be her final thoughts on the matter.
    My argument on placentophagia is far from being complete, but I thought I would share my thoughts so far. I have perused the Catechism of the Catholic church looking for the teaching on cannibalism and found nothing. I would like to know if anyone is aware of an official source approved by the Church regarding the morality of cannibalism. Not that I need it proven to me that cannibalism is immoral, but because I would like to see and understand the principles of the argument, to see if the same may be applied to placentophagia.
    In my perusal of the Catechism, I read through the article on the 5th commandment, Thou shalt not kill, because I thought that any mention of cannibalism would come under that category. In my reading I saw that all the sins listed against this commandment (murder, suicide, abortion, euthanasia, unjust anger, hatred, vengeance…) have this in common – they entail a fundamental disrespect for the sacredness of human life, even those sins that don’t even involve killing (hatred, anger etc.). It seems to me that cannibalism, the way we generally think of it, ie. killing people for the sake of eating them, is wrong for this same reason – fundamental disrespect for human life. Human personhood, which is a reflection of God, is violated.
    Cannibalsim can be divided into two categories – (a) killing a person in order to eat their flesh and (b) eating the flesh of a person who has died on their own. Let us consider (b) in which the person is not maliciously killed, as this more closely pertains to placentophagia. There was the case of the soccer team that crashed in the Andes mountains. The survivors ate the flesh of those who had died either in the crash or b/c of freezing to death. There was no malicious intention, in fact their intention was the preservation of their own lives, which is a moral good. However, since the morality of a human act depends upon three factors: the object (act itself), the intention, and the circumstances (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, line 1755), we cannot say that their cannibalism was perfectly okay. Their intention may have been good, and their circumstances were indeed mitigating, but the intrinsic evil of consuming dead human flesh remains unchanged. The personhood of those who had died was in some way violated because their bodies were not properly respected. We cannot judge the souls of those who ate the flesh, but we can say that the act itself was wrong, even though the circumstances were mitigating.
    Let us assume that placentophagia is an instance of the latter kind of cannibalism in which human flesh is eaten but there is no homicide. Let us consider the three factors that will determine the morality or immorality of placenta consumption. First, the object, or act itself, which is consumption of the placenta by the mother of a newborn child. The death of the child is not a necessary component of this act, either by the mother’s hand or natural causes. The organ, which was once vital to the child during gestation, has outgrown its usefulness and is discarded by the child’s body and then the mother’s body. It is no longer part of either human body and therefore cannot be said to be the flesh of a person, although it was human in origin. The placenta is not the flesh of a dead person, and therefore its consumption cannot be called cannibalistic. Placentophagia in no way violates the personhood of a human being made in the image and likeness of God. This makes the object of placenta consumption morally indifferent, and not morally evil.
    Proceeding then with the knowledge that the act is morally indifferent, let us examine the other two conditions to see if they contribute to the moral goodness or evil of placentophagia. The intention of the human mother in consuming the placenta is to regain her own health. She takes it as a kind of natural medicine to help her heal from childbirth. The placenta provides her with proteins, vitamins, minerals and hormones that ease her post partum period. Benefits to the mother include decreasing the risk of post partum depression, preventing excessive bleeding, increasing her breastmilk supply, reducing post partum iron deficiency, and improving her quality of sleep. The respect for and preservation of life is a moral good, therefore the mother’s intention works towards making her placentophagia a good act. It is possible, I suppose, for there to be an evil intention in placenta consumption, although I do not know what that could be. But if that were to happen, the act would be made immoral by the evil intention.
    Lastly, we shall consider the circumstances of the act of placentophagia. If they are the usual circumstances, ie, a pregnancy reaching its completion at birth with the placenta no longer needed by the child’s body, then there is no harm done to either mother or child. If however, the placenta were to be harvested from the mother’s body while it still played a vital role for the child, that would make it an evil act because the circumstance involves the killing of the child. But in the usual circumstances of placentophagia neither the mother nor the baby are harmed in any way.
    In conclusion, placentophagia is not cannibalism because it does not involve killing, nor the consumption of flesh which belongs to a deceased person. It does not present an affront to the dignity of the human person. Nor is placentophagia morally evil as long as the intentions and circumstances are either good or morally indifferent.


    Preparing For Future Pregnancies As A HG Mom

    (This post is from a larger family and a homeschooling view)

    As some of you know, I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) with 3/4 of my pregnancies. After each pregnancy, I'm always so determined to see how changing the way I lived would save me from another HG pregnancy. The thing is, no one knows what that changeable thing could be?! So, it's a real guessing game with a lot of homework, hit and miss kind of thing.

    I cannot even begin to explain what HG is like for those who have not experienced it (but that it is severe-severe-severe x a million kind of pregnancy sickness), but if you have been the few lucky women to suffer from it, YOU KNOW!

    I have a blogger friend who has dedicated her blog to helping HG women in need, creating awareness, finding more information on how to prevent HG or to just bear it minute by minute etc. She has done an amazing job and put a lot of hours into it, it seems! You can find her blog HERE

    My husband and I have trusted God with our fertility, (hoping!!!!very baby-feverish!!!) so it's our job to try as hard as we can to dodge another HG pregnancy. HG pregnancy is debilitating, and with children to take care of (we home school thankfully! no driving to schools and back), with HG you are out of service. You need help. Lots of it too!

    Thankfully after submitting our fertility completely to Him, read about it HERE and HERE, our 4th pregnancy was "just" a severe morning sickness kind of pregnancy. Hey! I take that as a HUGE mile stone! Beats having to be hospitalized with I.Vs stuck in you. I learned so much during this pregnancy, I think I spent a lot of time reading, mostly Whining Puker - Trust and Obey among other blogs and sites.

    God has shown me so much. I was more prepared last time around. I prepared my body before conceiving and we spent time making my home more manageable for the coming days when I had my lows. I ordered my 100 remedies for pregnancy sickness book from HERE and ordered a bunch of "just in cases" and "to try outs" from Amazon. I blogged about this preparation journey HERE, and I blogged about my pregnancy HERE.

    So, to make a long story short...er... Here is my advice on how to prepare your body for pregnancy, and how to make your home manageable and SAFE for when you are (hopefully aren't!) out of service.

    Before Pregnancy (your body):

    1. Give up black tea or any other caffeinated drinks. Give up coffee. I know this one hit home pretty darn hard for me. I love coffee. I love Dark Roast coffee..I love Italian dark roast coffee.. I'm a coffee snob. Ouch! I believe that any food types that are addicting and cause "withdrawal symptoms" when not taken habitually should be avoided. Anyone with the risk of HG or severe nausea shouldn't have to go through any excess stress factors during their pregnancy. Also, it's not a bad idea to detox the body a bit for seasons of time.
    2. Increase you protein intake. Eat according to Trim Healthy Mama, but mostly S meals, S helper meals and FP meals. Keep E's to a minimum. Increase healthy fats and macro/micro nutrients. Go as organic as much as your budget allows (eliminating any bad quality foods). Go MSG, GMO and nitrate FREE! Basically, eat as many superfoods as you can and this way you give little room for the non-healthy foods and naturally eat CLEAN. Go wheat (unless it's sprouted organic whole wheat) free. Go sugar free. The Trim Healthy Mama plan has plenty of desserts to offer in their new cookbook, you won't be lacking one bit! 
    3. Exercise regularly. I prefer to really focus on MUTUSYSTEM, C210K app (couch to 5/10km), and weights. Keep your core strong, heal and/or minimise the chances of diastasis recti. Keep your heart healthy, increase your stamina and strength. No brainer!
    4. Take your omegas and as many vitamins as possible, especially magnesium! I like to take all my B vitamins, milk thistle, magnesium, probiotics, folate, omegas etc.
    5. Take multi billion probiotics, drink apple cider vinegar, eat sauerkraut, homemade kimchi and drink kombucha teas. Make this a daily habit. Making sure you have a good gut flora is essential. It affects your whole body.
    6. Have regular Epsom Salt baths. This is a good way of getting that magnesium intake and relaxes your muscles. 
    7. Give up any form of alcohol. Wine lovers... I know.
    8. Indulge in green juices/smoothies/Earth's milks daily.
    9. Drink a lot of water. Make it a habit.
    10. Purchase Casein protein powder (preferably natural) for "night time shakes". More on that a bit further on.
    11. Order the ebook 100 remedies on MyMorningSickness HERE. It is a well put together book with a wide scope of tried and tested remedies and is such an encouragement for those who feel like they want to give up. I can't hype about it enough. Stock up on as many remedies as possible, so when you're feeling like poop, you have them on hand and do not have to wait for weeks to have something bought or shipped to you. 
    12. Start religiously taking collagen. " It is simply gelatin broken down into smaller amino acid chains called peptides, accomplished by a nature enzyme found in pineapples. These peptides can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and efficiently utilized by the body for improved hair, skin, bone, and joint nourishment and support. As the primary structural protein in the body’s connective tissues, collagen plays a vital role in the maintenance of the cartilage, tendons and ligaments that keep joints functioning properly. Protein based foods also take longer than carbohydrates to break down in the body, providing you with a longer-lasting energy source." -THM Order yours HERE!
    13. Sleep! Don't fool  yourself with little sleep, it will eventually bite you in the behindy big time! Make sure you get a solid 8-10 hours each night. Sacrifice your favourite TV show if you have to. It is vital to get proper rest, as vital as it is for you to eat, breathe etc.
    14. Pray! Pray over your body, ask your husband to pray over your body, as your support circle to keep you in their prayers. Thank God for his wonders. Pray ever so ...
    15. Memorize scripture. Especially scripture that you can declare during tough times.
    16. See an osteopath, to have your muscles manipulated into correct positioning. Get your body sorted, movement, good flow of blood and no muscle tensions, stress etc.
    Before pregnancy (in your home etc.):

    1. Share your news and plans with your family and friends and ask for help. Create yourself a support circle and make a list of things you might need help with during those awful low moments (we pray you wont have any!).
    2. Take a look of this Meal Train site. You won't have to do this alone, but if you do...
    3. ... then start prepping, cooking and freezing some meals! Recruit your friends. Ask them to bring their own cutting boards and sharp knives and chop away pounds and pounds of "seasoning mixes" (more on that later). Cook in batches, and bag up! I'm guessing if you have a big chest freezer, 50+ meals is ideal. Who knows how long you have to be out of kitchen duty?
    4. Stock your pantry with healthy, on the go types on snacks for your family. Stock up on cereal, dried fruit, nut bars, healthy protein bars, nuts and seeds etc. You can pre-bag them beforehand so no child ends up being "over generous" to themselves, lol! Oh and, there is never too many prepared bags, they wont go to waste! It's better to have too many than too little!
    5. Invest in some "Walkie-Talkies". This will be a life saver, trust me! Give one to the oldest or most responsible person in your home and keep the communication lines open. It's hard to yell over chaos sometimes, especially when whispering feels troublesome. 
    6. Explain to your kids how your pregnancies are, and pray with them for a healthy pregnancy. Share with them your worries, but that you trust God and ask them to be extra helpful around the house and with little ones. 
    7. De-itemize your home. I have written about de-itemizing before HERE and how essential it is to live simply and with minimalism. So when you are mapping out what you can achieve housework wise in your home while nauseated, the less you have, the better! No picking up, no chaos, no dusting, no tripping over stuff... just clean floors and decluttered plain surfaces. This way, you can be assured that your home wont end up in disaster, and disorderly (which affects the mind negatively, hey ladies!?) and you can easily assign your kids to keep the home tidy. Basically, pack away your belongings as if you were selling your house and it was on show. Trust me, you wont miss the stuff! Have your kids pack a backpack of their favourite toys and box up the rest. Be a minimalist.
    8. Purchase paper plates. Buy a lot of paper plates. Who wants to do dishes?! It might feel like a waste, but recycle them. Don't buy the foamy plates, they're toxic and environmentally unfriendly.
    9. Lesson plan with your husband for homeschooling. Have your kids working on mostly self lead work, and mostly on the computer. There are several homeschooling sites out there, ixl, Mathseeds, Brainpop, Raz Kids, etc. Life Pac series have great Socials and Science kits and Costco sells the Canadian Curriculum books that cover all subjects. Have your husband be more involved with homeschool during the weekends (or when he doesn't work). You know, school doesn't have to involve books or the computer. Basic life skills are always a necessity and he can teach that to your kids, just by living and leading by example. Also, be gracious to yourself. This season will not last forever, so lesson plan with grace. Make it simple. Make it manageable.
    10. If possible, purchase a used mini fridge and put it next to your bed!!! Need I say more? 
    11. Menu plan. Menu plan in 1-2 week cycles and create a master shopping list. Write down meals that hardly require any effort in the kitchen or can be safely handled by your children. 
    12. Purchase a crushed ice maker and stock up on ice. Heavenly ice...
    13. Write up a home planner with telephone numbers, guidelines for babysitters, petsitters, etc. Sometimes even talking can be overwhelming and you can communicate simply with a well labelled binder . If you need specific help around the house, your helper can simply let you rest and go to page "laundry" in your binder, if needed. Write down meal times, allergies, or any specific instructions that might come in handy for those who offer their help but don't quite yet know you on a personal level.

    During pregnancy: 

    1. Do try your best to eat every 2-3h
    2. Have your husband make you a casein protein shake in the middle of the night, preferably early morning between 4-6 a.m. Casein protein is the slowest digested protein there is and will keep your blood sugar leveled longer. Hopefully dodging those rough mornings. You can drink Casein protein during the day too, if you can stomach it. I find that usually half a sleep is when I stomach anything the best.
    3. Start your morning with 1T of Bentonite clay, followed by a protein and nutrient filled breakfast. Green juice, egg white omelet on tortilla. With HG, the sound of this may want to make you hurl, but even a teaspoon full is good progress.
    4. Roll out of bed into an Epsom salt bath. This works wonders. I was a very faithful epsom salt bather for the first 25 weeks of my last pregnancy.
    5. Put ACV in your drinking water. Start with small amounts and increase little by little.
    6. Keep your feet anchored at all times. Keeps you feeling less dizzy.
    7. Drink plenty of water.
    8. Take your vitamins. Some vitamins can make you nauseous, so time your vitamins wisely. I had to take my iron later at night, so I was asleep for most of the "icky feeling".
    9. Make yourself a topical magnesium spray. Helps with waves of nausea. I sprayed my chest and neck when I felt green. 
    10. Use "sea bands". I don't know if they worked, but I have used them with all of my 4 pregnancies. 
    11. Stay cool. A/C, open windows, cool baths... Cool air, and ice always help!
    12. Pray, pray, pray! Focus on the GOOD as hard as it sounds. I know, how hard it can be to feel miserable and wondering why this is happening to you. But do know, you are NOT alone! We're right here with you feeling the same, crying, feeling desperate at times. You are doing well, take one minute at a time.
    13. Read the MyMorningSickness book over and over and over again.
    14. Recite scripture you have memorized. Read scripture out loud and declare it over your body and household.
    15. Hire a babysitter as much as you can. You don't have to leave the house, but cuddling in your husbands arms without distractions is a welcomed break! This way your husband can work on things around the home too, that have piled up... like laundry! LOL
    16. Blog about your pregnancy. Update weekly. Try out every remedy that you can possibly try, and keep a tab. Write about your experiences. Find a forum and an online network, support that can help you during these rough moments. 
    17. Enjoy (I know, I just said that!) this time where you can "rest" on the couch, and have people help you (or take the time to do the minimum), browse online through encouraging and beneficial sites and blogs, watching your favourite TV shows and movies online... enjoy what ever you can squeeze out of this hard time. Praise God that He is growing a miraculous child in you, and that He is right there with you. 
    Let me know what you do to get prepared for your pregnancies and what you do during pregnancy to keep sane! :)

    More on Pregnancy and Birth Posts HERE


    Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation (Vancouver Region, BC)

    What is the placenta?

    The placenta is an ah-mazing miracle organ that the woman’s ever so clever body creates to nurture her baby. During the second trimester of pregnancy the placenta begins to take over making hormones from the the hypothalamus. After birthing a baby the woman’s body (hypothalamus) can take a few weeks to a few months to regain the hormone production like before pregnancy. Also, following birth a woman suffers a severe loss of iron, about 1/8 to 1/10 of her body’s supply with a normal vaginal delivery. This loss can lead to cells not being able to absorb oxygen adequately, a fatigued and faint mother, and therefore a slow healing postpartum. This exhaustion can also lead to postpartum depression and/or the baby blues. A shocking estimation of 80% of women are reported to suffer from PPD.

    What’s in your amazing placenta:

    • Gonadotrophin: the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone
    • Prolactin: promotes lactation
    • Prostaglandins: anti-inflammatory
    • Hemoglobin: replenishes iron deficiency and anemia, a common postpartum condition
    • Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing
    • Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections
    • Oxytocin: for pain relief and bonding of mother and infant
    • Thyroid stimulating hormone: boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events
    • Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores
    • Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections

    How is the placenta prepared? 

    I was trained in the Traditional Chinese Method of placenta encapsulation, by PBi. This includes gentle handling of the placenta,

    1. cleansing in clean water,
    2. careful drainage of the blood vessels,
    3. steaming with spices and
    4. dehydration.  

    Your placenta will then be ground and placed in capsules yielding 80-150 capsules, depending on the size of your placenta, and given further instructions on dosage, care and guidelines.

    What are the benefits of placenta encapsulation?

    Experts agree that sudden fluctuations in hormones, nutrients, and iron deficiency are strong factors in causing the Baby Blues. The placenta replenishes what pregnancy and childbirth take out. Prepared according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, you just take a few capsules a day for a few weeks postpartum to reap all the benefits.

    1. Increase in energy. Increase general energy and fight fatigue.
    2. Mood enhancement. Decrease the likelihood of baby blues and Postpartum Depression.
    3. Milk supply increase.
    4. Feelings of elation.
    5. Increase in libido. 
    6. Lessened postnatal bleeding. Lessen postpartum bleeding and hasten the return of the uterus to pre-pregnancy state. 
    7. Resolved anemia symptoms. The placenta is considered rich in iron and protein, which is beneficial to women recovering from childbirth and decreases the likelihood of iron deficiency

    My journey to becoming a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist.

    The first time I heard of "placenta encapsulation", I thought to myself "how weird!! Women do that?? -Gross!!" But then, about a year after my initial judgement, I began to do some research on it as I was expecting our number 4. What exactly was 'placenta encapsulation'?

    One benefit of placentaphagy that intrigued me, was the effect on breast milk supply. Nursing was a tender subject and dear to my heart since I felt I had failed in with my babies #2 and #3. Would my placenta help me produce more milk, so that I could exclusively breastfeed? This was the number one reason I went ahead and decided to encapsulate my next placenta, but little did I know that it had so much more to offer me!

    As a mother of 4, including a newborn, I was tired. The supplementation was incredible, this MIRACLE placenta, made by ME, was perfect for ME. I must admit, at first I was hesitant about taking the capsules. But after I gobbled them down and experiencing a rapid relief and increased milk supply, I never looked back! I can only compare my experiences to my previous times postpartum , and thankfully I have 3 prior ones! I had just had a baby, and three other kids under 8 (that I also homeschool) to look after and, I felt great! I was healing from my birth, and looking forward to the future instead of sitting around, moody and exhausted. My milk came in gushing. This too is odd for me, since it usually takes about a week or two to get going. 

    When baby was about 4 months old, we had another major change in our lives. We moved house. We moved house under a very stressful scenario, that affected me incredibly hard. I was broken, stressed out, sleep deprived and falling into depression. My milk took a dip and I was feeling overwhelmed with everything that was going on around me. Fortunately I had some capsules left over for a "rainy day", and surely this now felt like a "rainy week"! I noticed a instant stability in my mood, my approach to my "problems", I felt more at peace and once again, my milk came gushing in like it had right after birth! The placenta, made by me, covered for me with what I couldn't naturally produce with the stress I was under. It surely is a miracle placenta with incredible healing powers.

    Because of my experience, I feel that every expecting mother and every woman should know the benefits of placenta encapsulation and that no, it is NOT gross, -it is AMAZING!

    Encapsulate your MIRACLE placenta!



    To learn more about placenta encapsulation and your options and my services click http://www.miracleplacentacare.com/

    More research and studies on Placentaphagia click HERE

    More on the amazing placenta click HERE


    My Trim Healthy Mama Non Scale Victories -So Far!

    I have hyped about the THM (Trim Healthy Mama) plan so much on here, here and here.... and I'm about to hype about it again! LOL 

    To those who do not know what the THM plan is, go here! But in summary, it's a "diet" (more like a plan for life) that apparently "doesn't deprive you of anything but excess body fat". No calorie counting. Everything is on plan. Yes, fat as well and in abundance! You can eat a 3 course meal in every sitting, including desserts and yes, you will shed off pounds. You can do this while pregnant and while nursing and the plan is suitable for all ages and gender. It makes sense. 

    Okay, so I facebooked about my NSV (non scale victory) a while ago regarding my complexion. The past 10 years I have had quite the story with "adult acne" and quite the journey with trying to heal from it. For some years my complexion has just been brutal and other years mending really well. Never a dull moment I guess, either ups or downs. 

    This year has been one of the medium-crazy-kind-of-acne-battles for me. I couldn't shake off the zits and the inflammation. I was very, very close to signing up for a continuous skin care regime, that was going to cost me lots of $$. For several reasons it never eventually happened, I didn't sign up as a consultant and I was frowning at the idea of having to go forward without it. 

    I had just started my THM journey and I didn't think of it as a tool for healthy skin, but more as for losing weight, so I just basically continued on and focused on being a better mom for my 4 kiddos and wife for my hubby. My weight will shift! Won't it...?

    I'm one of those lucky women who really doesn't lose the weight while nursing, but only afterwards after the baby/toddler has weened themselves off. I was still getting a bit discouraged because I was the "tortoise" rather than the "hare" in losing weight. So, one day I took my phone and took a selfie of my face. Surely something positive was happening in my body after I eliminated sugar and processed wheat out of my diet?? And sure enough, I was in awe.

    As you can see, I was not wearing any make up on either photo. This was the "NSV" that everyone on THM facebook groups took turns posting about! Finally it was my turn! And you know what else, it did not stop there.

    Here are my NonScaleVictories so far!

    1. I've had to buy smaller clothes
    2. People have noticed my weight loss
    3. I can see my collar bones
    4. I can feel my hip bones
    5. My libido is coming back...
    6. My skin is doing so so much better, no pimples, no inflammation and no soreness! 
    7. My hair is thicker and shinier
    8. I feel more energetic, not relying on caffeine anymore
    9. I have been off caffeine for over a month now
    10. I sleep better, even while still night nursing my 1 year old
    11. I've returned to the gym with more motivation and energy.
    12. No more embarrassing and painful "trapped gas scenarios", hoping visitors would leave soon! LOL
    13. No more bloating, no more stomach pain
    14. No more midnight snacking, regular blood sugar levels
    15. And I am far less flaky than I was, he he! I am not so forgetful!
    The list goes on...

    This complexion change happened in a month for me. Your body doesn't need much to get back on the right track. Everything we eat, communicated to our bodies at a cellular level. Isn't that amazing?!

    I'm less worried about whether I will see my abs or not, but more focused on how I am nourishing myself and my family. Truthfully, this isn't a diet but a life long plan.

    I've had to make some adjustments to some recipes on our weekly menus but I've not switched out a single dish, so my family is still enjoying their favourite meals. I've learned how to bake again, make desserts in a different way, but that is not a big job or a sacrifice considering that these desserts are "fat stripping"! 

    These don't look like depriving dishes, do they?

    In summary, THM is an answer to my husband's and my "pleasure that is undermining our happiness". Pleasure and Happiness aren't the same thing. Our pleasure, which was eating at late hours, and eating the wrong kinds of foods were undermining our happiness. There is no happiness in painful joints, knees, ankles and hips from excess weight. There is no happiness in having health problems, PCOS, or adult acne in my case. There is no happiness in losing your libido, and never being in the mood for your husband. There is no happiness in being too tired to run around with your kids, and always sitting at the side lines when you truthfully would want to be in the midst of all the fun. There is no happiness in a raised heart rate when you walk up a few stairs. And the list goes on... Fill in the blanks.

    In my case my pleasure was robbing me of true happiness. This is where THM stepped in for me. Balance. Balance just as God intended, or as close as we can have it in today's world.

    Want to start your journey with THM and put your calorie mindset at rest once and for all? Click HERE

    Thank you for letting me share!


    Follow me on Instagram @trimhealthycathyhttps://www.instagram.com/trimhealthycathy/


    My 3 Week Fuel Cycle Version

    5 years ago I was on a diet that was meant only for 3 weeks to kick start your metabolism and to put you on the right track for healthy eating. I've never been on another *diet that worked so well. 

    Right now I am not on any diet, but on the "THM" (Trim Healthy Mama) plan indefinitely. THM plan in my mind is very biblical and I've always "preached" about Genesis 1:29 and 2:29 and so forth. What God has made is good, and nothing is "off plan" unless of course, you're allergic to it.

    On the THM plan you lose weight automatically if you are overweight. And when you've reached your goal weight, you look and feel incredible! You can eat 3 course meals at every sitting, with the most fatty desserts and still lose weight. Oh yes, you can!

    It's safe for pregnant and nursing women. I constantly come across comparison pregnancy photos of when women were off and on the THM plan. The results are breathtaking and encouraging. 

    It's safe for the whole family regardless of age or gender. And most of all, it's HEALTHY, NOURISHING, and VITALIZING. You wont want to go back to your old unhealthy eating habits after you embark on the THM journey.

    What really makes this plan GREAT is the fact that some things on plan, like the desserts I'm eating, would normally trigger the alarm in any other diet, but in THM it is very acceptable to eat this way!

    Okay, here is my 3 week version of a fuel cycle that works like a charm. Now know this, this isn't the typical recommended THM fuel cycle or eating plan. I only do this when I hit a plateau, or I want to spur things along for a specific event or such. I have lost lots of pounds within 3 weeks of eating this way and I am not the only one! Hundreds, if not thousands of people have as well.


    There are rules to this 3 week cycle, and they are...

    ... NO CHEATING! This is a chemical reaction happening in your body, and the slightest, tiniest, puny cheat will hit the "STOP button" of your weight loss. Don't try it, it's TRUE. (here's a secret: I've made that mistake thinking I know better! It's so not worth having to start from scratch, after you're half way in, ugh!)

    There are a few guidelines to this, and they are...

    • drink 2-4 liters of water a day
    • eat every 3 hours is the best, but between 2 1/2h and 4h is okay...NEVER past 4! Get an app on your phone that tracks the time between your meals or use the timer on your stove/phone.
    • take your vitamins, especially your omegas and double the dose by eating a recommended dose in the mornings and the same at bed time.
    • No starchy vegetables and NO fruit. Strawberries and raspberries are ok.
    • If you workout, drink a post workout protein shake (1 scoop of whey and water) immediately after your workout.
    • Have protein in every meal!
    • no sugar/no hidden sugar -beware!
    • weigh the meat/fish before cooking
    • Some of my meals on my 7 day menu are from the new Trim Healthy Mama cookbook. You can order it and needed ingredients (Integral Collagen, Pristine Whey, etc.) from HERE (it's my affiliated link, thank you so much for your support :)! )
    • If you are male, add another 1t oil and 50g of meat to you lunch and dinner meals.
    • no wheat unless it's sprouted whole wheat
    • no white potatoes or white rice
    • 100g is about 3.5 oz and 200g is about 7oz ( I have remembered everything in grams..)
    • for coffee drinkers who love milk and cream in your coffee... :( sorry, you have to come up with a Fuel Pull coffee recipe for the time being... I know, but it's not forever!! Also, limit your coffee to mornings only. If you need to sip on something, drink herbal or decaf teas! Be aware of hidden sugars.. yes, in tea too!
    • collagen is vital! Don't skip on your daily collagen!
    • If you find yourself very hungry in between meals, you can add zero calorie konjac noodles to your lunch or dinner! Truly a miracle noodle, so filling! 
    Basically for those who know already what S, E, SHelper, XO and FP mean, you can either come up with your own 3 week menu with the help of my quantity guidelines, or you can just follow my 7 day menu below. 

    For 3 weeks eat

    Day 1
    B) Sprouted whole wheat tortilla with 4 egg white- 1C spinach omelet, topped with 1-2T salsa
    L) 100g extra lean ground meatballs, 200g non-starchy vegetables, 1T 0%-1%cottage cheese, 1t oil and seasoning
    S) Strawberry-lemon-gluccie collagen smoothie
    D) 100g chicken breast, 200g veggies with 1/2C cooked quinoa/brown rice/sweet potato and 1t oil.
    S) hearty 4-6 egg white omelet (use peppers, mushrooms, onion -no more than 1C), 1t oil

    Day 2

    B) Bowl of oatmeal and 100g frozen strawberries. Oats boiled with only water, and add liquid egg whites while it simmers (trust me, it's good!) and add 1t oil. Sweeten with THM approved sweeteners such as stevia or xylitol.
    L) Egg white and 1C spinach omelet, 1T 0%-1%cottage cheese, with 1t oil. Side with sugar free kimchi or 1-2 sugar free pickles.
    S) 1/2C-1C 0% Greek Yoghurt and 100g of strawberries- smoothie it up or eat from a bowl. Sweeten with stevia.
    D) 3 medium sized Wonder Wrap p.204 tacos filled with 100g beef and 200g of vegetables, such as diced tomatoes, dark leafy greens and cucumber. Top with 1-2T salsa. Season your meat with homemade sugar free taco spice, with 1/2C cooked quinoa/brown rice/sweet potato and 1t oil.
    S) Pristine Whey Protein (order here, my affiliated link :)!) with 100g strawberries and water. sweeten with stevia or other.

    Day 3

    B) Sprouted whole wheat tortilla with 4 egg white- 1C spinach omelet, topped with 1-2T salsa
    L) 100g Chicken fillets, 200g chopped and fried up zucchini, 1T 0%-1%cottage cheese, with 1t oil.
    S) Salted Caramel Creamy Oolong p.434 
    D) 100g extra lean ground beef patty with 200g green beans and 1/2C cooked quinoa/brown rice/sweet potato, with 1t oil.
    S) hearty 4-6 egg white omelet (use peppers, mushrooms, onion -no more than 1C), 1t oil

    Day 4

    B) Bowl of oatmeal and 100g frozen strawberries. Oats boiled with only water, and add liquid egg whites while it simmers (trust me, it's good!) and add 1t oil. Sweeten with THM approved sweeteners such as stevia or xylitol.
    L) Egg white and 1C spinach omelet, 1T 0%-1%cottage cheese, with 1t oil. Side with sugar free kimchi or 1-2 sugar free pickles.
    S) Chocolicious Thin Thick p.423 
    D) 3 medium sized Wonder Wrap (p.204) tacos filled with 100g beef and 200g of vegetables, such as diced tomatoes, dark leafy greens and cucumber. Top with 1-2T salsa. Season your meat with homemade sugar free taco spice, with 1/2C cooked quinoa/brown rice/sweet potato and 1t oil.
    S) Pristine Whey Protein with 100g strawberries and water. sweeten with stevia or other.

    Day 5

    B) Sprouted whole wheat tortilla with 4 egg white- spinach omelet, topped with 1-2T salsa
    L) 3 Wonder Wraps p.204 medium size with 100g chicken fillets, 200g vegetables, 1T 0%-1%cottage cheese and 1t oil
    S) Singing Canary p.398 
    D) 100g steak, 200g troodles (zucchini noodles), 1t oil and 1/2C cooked quinoa/brown rice/sweet potato
    S) hearty 4-6 egg white omelet (use peppers, mushrooms, onion -no more than 1C), 1t oil

    Day 6

    B) Bowl of oatmeal and 100g frozen strawberries. Oats boiled with only water, and add liquid egg whites while it simmers (trust me, it's good!) and add 1t oil. Sweeten with THM approved sweeteners such as stevia or xylitol.
    L) 100g extra lean ground beef patty with 200g vegetables such as peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, 1T 0%-1%cottage cheese, and 1t oil
    S) Cottage Berry Whip p.374 
    D) Super Salmon Patties p.177
    S) Pristine Whey Protein (order here, my affiliated link :)!) with 100g strawberries and water. sweeten with stevia or other.

    Day 7

    B) Sprouted whole wheat tortilla with 4 egg white- 1C spinach omelet, topped with 1-2T salsa
    L) 100g Chicken fillets, 200g chopped and fried up zucchini, 1T 0%-1%cottage cheese with 1t oil.
    S) 1/2C-1C 0% Greek Yoghurt and 100g of strawberries- smoothie it up or eat from a bowl. Sweeten with stevia.
    D) 100g extra lean ground beef patty with 200g green beans and 1/2C cooked quinoa/brown rice/sweet potato, with 1t oil.
    S) hearty 4-6 egg white omelet (use peppers, mushrooms, onion -no more than 1C), 1t oil

    Repeat cycle 3 times.

    The first 3 days are the toughest. You probably will be feeling hungry and irritated some what, but on the 3rd day when all the sugar has left your body, you will feel great and energized. Also, by then you will already be seeing some progress! It's that powerful! I want to encourage you to stick to it, don't quit. As long as you remember what chocolate tastes like, you're in no danger! *smirk* Just persevere and keep chuggin' along! You wont regret it!

    I recently became a THM affiliate. I'm hoping that this would be a little side income for me as a homeschooling mother :) Thank you for supporting us! To order your products through my blog, go HERE

    *THM is not a diet, it's a plan for life! No more dieting! I urge you to get the PLAN-book and the new cookbook. So so so so worth it!

    I'm also posting my meals on INSTAGRAM daily for inspiration and accountability. Please visit! GO HERE TRIMHEALTHYCATHY

    I can't hype enough about THM plan. In one month of sticking to plan with no cheats, my skin cleared up. I was so close in signing up for a continues skin care regime ($$!!) and I'm so grateful I waited! My skin went from bad to worse into super healing mode. These faces have 4 weeks between them, incredible!