World Down Syndrome Day

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!  Today we celebrate the lives of those with Down Syndrome.  Why today?  We celebrate today because Down Syndrome occurs when there is an extra copy (three) of the 21st chromosome, hence 3-21. Pretty cool, huh!  It’s kinda crazy the uproar that one little extra chromosome can bring.  Like that one extra chromosome some how makes a life not worthy?  It’s true, there are still people in this world that don’t believe that people with Down Syndrome’s lives matter.  In fact, in the US, the termination rate for those mothers who get a confirmed diagnosis of Down Syndrome is about 75%.  That’s a lot of babies not even given a chance, all because of one tiny chromosome.

 

Why we celebrate WDSD

Those alarming statistics are exactly why we still have to continue to celebrate this day.  It’s unfortunate really, that we even have to have a day like this.  The truth is, I’d like nothing more for my child to be treated like any other child and not need a day that is just about them.  But the reality is, is that there is still so much work that needs to be done.  We celebrate this day to bring awareness to Down Syndrome and to educate and advocate for our children and adults with Down Syndrome.  We have to celebrate this day so that my child can grow up in a world that accepts her differences and her challenges and loves her anyway.  Celebrating this day is about showing the world that people with Down Syndrome are much more like the rest of us than they are different.  It’s also showing the world that our differences are what makes us each unique and wonderfully made.

Is raising a child with Down Syndrome Challenging?

I’d be lying if I said that raising Stella doesn’t come with challenges. It’s hard having a child that is non-verbal.  Stella has the same needs and wants as other kids her age but she has a much harder time communicating that to us.  Imagine that for a minute!  What if you were sick, had a headache, were hungry, sleepy, scared, just wanted to go home, etc but you couldn’t tell anyone.  How would you react?  Cry, Yell, get angry, kick, scream, run, lie down… That’s hard on all of us.

But when I really sit back and think about the challenges that I go through with Stella, it is much more about other people.  It’s about the expectations or lack of expectations that others put on her.  I’ve gotten use to the stares and random snide comments made by other kiddos or even adults, for the most part.  Currently I’m finding the pre-judgment based simply on her diagnosis a little hard to swallow.  The fact that people still think that she needs to be segregated from her peers, in school and extra curricular activities is like a punch in the gut.

Here’s the hard truth, Stella and all kids, for that matter,  will only live up to the expectations that you/society places on them.  If you put my six year old in a dance class with 3 year olds because she can’t quite keep up with the other six year old, guess what she will do?  Yep, she will act like and do what a 3 year old does.  But if you place her in a class with other 6 year olds, she will at the very least, try to keep up with them and do what they are doing.  And if she isn’t doing exactly what the other 6 year olds are doing, why the hell does it matter?!  Why should we expect all kids to learn and act in the same manner? Learn to teach to the individual child!

Advocate like a mother

Being an advocate for Stella is the most challenging part of raising a child with Down Syndrome.  It is mentally, emotionally and physically draining to have to constantly prove my child’s worth to others.  I’ve realized over the last 6 and a half years how much I truly took for granted raising my “typically developing” boys.  Side note: I hate those words “typically developing!” What the hell is typically developing anyway!  We are all different! Anyway, I digress.  You do take things for granted, like getting to choose what school your child will go to, which soccer team they will be on, who will hire them when they get older…

What I want is for all people to see Stella’s value.  I want people to presume competence.  My wish is that we didn’t have to have a special day (other than her birthday) to celebrate her.  Instead, I wish that she was seen and accepted like any other child.  What I would love is to not have to fight and advocate for her to receive the same education that her brothers were able to get so easily.

Stella is loved and accepted by so many.  We are beyond blessed!  But there is still work to be done!  So, instead of getting angry, I’m just going to keep on educating, spreading awareness and advocating for her.  I will push through the tears and heart break and show the world what she is capable of when treated with respect and presumed competence.

How to overcome sugar addiction

It’s no surprise that one of our most popular free challenges that my fellow coaches and I run over on Facebook is our Sugar Detox.  Sugar addiction is real and I’ve personally experience it as I’m sure many of you have.  The good news is that you can overcome sugar addiction and it’s really not all that difficult.  But it will take a little bit of sacrifice and some work on your end.

Why is sugar addiction so rampant these day?

Let’s talk a bit about why sugar addiction seems to be so out of hand lately.  There are several reasons that could cause sugar addiction and sugar cravings.  Let me start off by saying that I am not an expert and I am not a certified nutritionist.  What I am sharing with you today, is what I have learned from my own experiences and research into sugar addiction.  I advice you to do your own research and really start taking a deeper look into what you are putting in your body.

 

Are you fueling your body, rewarding it or punishing it?

Chances are if you are finding yourself constantly reaching for something sweet and feeling that over powering urge to stuff yourself with candy, cookies or chocolate, you’re diet is not quite right.  The more you eat these types of simple sugars, the more you’re body will crave them.  Makes sense, right?  So, if you are eating donuts, bagels, sugary cereal, etc every morning for breakfast, your body will continue to crave those things every morning.  You have to break the cycle somewhere!

The other thing that cravings tell us, is that our bodies are not getting the proper nutrients that they need.  If we are fueling our bodies appropriately with all of the food groups, including healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats, lots of veggies and fruits, then we are less likely to experience cravings at all.  So, are you rewarding yourself for a great workout by “treating yourself to chocolate right after?  Instead, you should grab a lean protein and a piece of fresh fruit.  You’ll feel full and satisfied without the sugar rush and cravings that would come an hour later.  Food should always be fuel.  That needs to be your new mantra- food is fuel!

Are you are using artificial sweeteners

It’s time to really start taking a dive into what you are putting into your body each day.  If you are reading this, then you are likely a grown adult and can obviously read.  So, it’s time to start looking at those labels on the foods, drinks and supplements that you are taking in each day. Look, I’m not judging because I’ve spent most of my life unknowingly filling my body and my kids’ with crap because it never occurred to me to actually look at the ingredients in what I was buying.   When you know better you do better.

We think that because a product on the shelf has fewer calories or says it’s sugar free that it must be a good choice.  But those items typically are full of artificial sweeteners that are tricking our mind into thinking we are eating something sweet- far sweeter than sugar.  And then our brains start to crave foods or drinks that are sweet.  Not to mention those sweeteners are wreaking havoc on our whole body. It’s time to start reading the labels and taking a closer look into what we are putting into our bodies.

Are you skipping meals?

I see people all the time (I have been guilty too) skipping meals as a practice for losing weight. They save calories up for a future meal or try to make up for making bad choices during a previous meal.  You know you’ve done it!  We all have!  And while it may seem logical to you at the time, skipping meals is actually causing your blood sugar levels to drop.  And in comes the sugar cravings.

Instead, I recommend eating every two to three hours.  That keeps your blood sugar from dropping. It also prevents those nasty cravings that have you grabbing for the quickest and easiest food.  If you feel guilty for having made a bad choice earlier in the day, it’s time to let it go.  We are human and we will make mistakes.  But repeating them over and over will not get you anywhere.  Accept that you made a bad choice, forgive yourself and make better choices next time.

How to overcome sugar addiction

The best way for you to overcome sugar addiction is to first find out the cause.  Is it what you are putting in your body.  Maybe it’s what you are not putting in your body.  Are you skipping too many meals?  Are you only reaching for sweets when you are sad, lonely, happy, bored, etc?  Knowing what’s causing it will help you find a way to fix it.

Start reading those labels NOW!  This is my biggest advice for you today!  If you get nothing else out of this post, please take this to heart.  Pay attention to what you are putting into your body. Do the research, if necessary, to figure out if it’s something that you should be fueling your body with. Or is it something that you should be cleaning your toilet with.  So, many chemicals are being added into our foods today.  Companies want us to keep buying their products so they are literally filling them with chemicals that make us crave more!  Can you eat just one Lays potato chip?  It’s time to be an adult and do your homework!

In closing…

Like I mentioned before, I am not in any way a nutritionist or expert on health.  What I am is a consumer who is learning to pay more attention to what I’m putting in my body.  I spent years punishing my body and filling it with so much crap and I always felt like crap.  Now, that I’m learning how to fuel my body and take care of it, I want to share it with the world.  I want people to know that they don’t have to settle for feeling like crap all the time.  You can overcome sugar addiction and live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.  You can feel good in the skin that you are in.

I’m currently in the process of getting certified as a master coach in Beachbody’s Ultimate Portion Fix nutrition plan.  What I’m learning is eye opening and I can’t wait to continue to share my knowledge and to better help my clients overcome their sugar and food addictions and live their healthiness life. 

The Ultimate Portion Fix nutrition plan uses color coded portion control containers to teach us what foods and how much we should be consuming in a day.  These containers are what I have been using for the last 5 years. They have been a total game changer.  We are now taking a deeper dive into why we should eat in these portions, why it’s important to balance our macros and get in all of the different food groups.  We are learning about food and sugar addiction and how to overcome it by fueling our bodies appropriately.  And one of the things I’m most excited about is that we are learning how and what portions to feed our kiddos using this container system (not for weight loss).  There is so much knowledge in this updated nutrition program that I can’t stop talking about it!

To get more info on this program, email me.

Stay healthy friends

xxoo,

Tammy

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Last week I signed up for our latest and revamped nutrition plan, the Ultimate Portion Fix.  We’ve basically taken portion control to the next level, with more information, more recipes, more proof and more support and created this Ultimate Portion Fix.  Truthfully, even if you’ve been using the container system for years like me, this 30 day program will set you up for a lifetime of success!

When I signed up for this new program, I received a new recipe book!  Yay!  I immediately wanted to try ALL the recipes because they look amazing!  So, on Sunday I did my usual meal prep and made these yummy Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal muffins and yum!  They were super simple, delicious and healthy so I thought I’d share with you guys!  But, seriously, you need to get access to this meal plan ASAP! It will teach you how to meal plan and cook for your entire family!  Yes, even your picky kiddos!

Give these Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal a try and let me know what you think!

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients
  • 2 cups dry old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp bakng powder, gluten free
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk ( I subbed in almond milk instead)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extact
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple, in 100% pinealpple juice, drained
  • 3 Tbsp light sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Prepare twelve muffin cups by lining with muffin papers.  Set aside
  3. Combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salet in medium bowl; mix well.  Set aside
  4. Combine coconut milk, eggs, maple syrup, extract, carrots, and pineapple in medium bowl, mix well..
  5. Fold count milk mixture into oat mixture; mix well.
  6. Divide batter evenly into peppered muffin cups
  7. Bake for 30 minuetes, rotating pan after 15 minutes.
  8. While oatmeal cups are baking, make icing.  Combine sure cream and powdered sugar in a small bowl; mix well.  Set aside.
  9. Let oatmeal cups cook in pan util you can handle them.  Remove to a cooling rack.
  10. Drizzle each oatmeal cups with approximately 1 tsp icing before serving.  Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Are you a confident people pleaser?

Confidence

What is confidence?  According to the dictionary, confidence is a feeling of self assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities and qualities.  What it doesn’t say is, a feeling of self assurance arising from what OTHER people think or OTHER people’s opinions.  I know lots of women, myself included, that claim to have confidence but their confidence relies on how other people react to them.  So, I am confident if I’m getting complimented by others.  I feel confident when people praise me.  Does this sound familiar?

I’ve managed to spend most of my life wanting to be confident while simultaneously trying to “impress” those around me. And just when I do something that makes me proud and feel confident, I allow someone else’s judgement to knock me back down. I’m sure I could trace these behaviors back to childhood but not sure what good that would do me.  You see I’ve always had all the signs of a “People Pleaser,” for as long as I can remember.

Signs of a People Pleaser
  • Pretending to agree with everyone around me (getting better at this though)
  • Taking responsibility for how other people feel. (ALL THE DAMN TIME!)
  • Apologizing often
  • Can’t say no
  • Feeling uncomfortable when someone is mad at you (this is a HUGE one for me!)
  • Need praise to feel good (sometimes)
  • Go to great lengths to avoid conflict (100% ME!)
  • Don’t tell anyone when you’re feelings are hurt (Yep, me again!)

I guess the ironic thing is that I always “preach” on my social media about how other people’s opinions of you don’t matter.  But as my husband so eloquently put it recently, I “need to drink my own kool-aid.” The truth is that I absolutely believe those words, that Rachel Hollis (among others) taught me.  Other peoples opinions of me, should absolutely NOT affect me. And more often than not, they don’t.  That’s obviously easier to say though, during the times when you have no conflict in your life, right?

But what about the times that there is conflict?

I’ve spent the last few years trying to quit my inner mean girl because she can be a real bitch to me sometimes.  She’s always bullying me, trying to tell me I’m not good enough, smart enough, Christian enough, worthy enough…I’m working hard to kick that bitch’s ass!  But she’s tough, resilient and pushy!

Here’s what I know.  I am a good person with a huge heart and that can make me vulnerable, vulnerable to the people that disagree with me or my choices, and the people that can’t see my worth.  But I’m choosing to let go.  I’m letting that mean girl go and am going to fight to silence her.  Instead, I’m going to focus on staying true to myself, even when others disagree with my choices.  I’m going to show myself the grace that I so easily show to others because we all make mistakes.  I can not be responsible for how other people feel and I’m choosing to let it go.  Will this be easy?  Not at all and I will need constant reminders to shut that bitch up.  Will I fail? Surely I will because none of us are perfect.  Will I continue to try to be MY best version?  Absolutely!

“Not everyone will understand your journey.  That’s okay.  You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand.”