January of 2014 marks a pinicale point in our family’s life. That was the begining of a major paradigm shift that completely changed our lives. Today I want to take you back in time to show you just how far we’ve come!
I remember many times having secret conversations about Danielle’s health with my family. We had all become very aware of how heavy she had gotten and the effects it was having on her energy/fitness level; and of course her self esteem. The situation had gotten bad so fast that we were all sitting there wondering how we had let this happen. We were determined to do something…anything, to help her. She was only 10 and that fact scared us because we knew it meant she would be battling with her health for life.
Our “solution” (if I dare call it that) was simply to force her to exercise more and eat smaller portions. Seemed logical to us at the time…but, there were so many things wrong with that plan.
Problem 1: She was alone. There was no support system for her. She only had loud annoying voices saying, “stop eating that” or “get off the couch and exercise”. Not having a team made the challenge seem impossible and very defeating.
Problem 2: Bad food is bad food…no matter what the portion size. Taking smaller bites of junk food will not make the food any less junky. So by restricing her portion size, we not only made her hate the process of losing weight; we also made her hungry…which led to excess snacking.
Problem 3: Sugar adictions are no joke! At the time we didn’t realize what a sugar addiction was so we had no idea how to get rid of it. We believed it was strictly a matter of self control and nothing more.
Problem 4: “Calories in-Calories out” doesn’t work unless you have the proper diet! It is so much easier to eat a ton of calories than it is to burn them off.
Problem 5: Exercising alone isn’t as effective. It’s so easy to give up or take the easy rode if you don’t have a cheering squad with you.
Although we were trying to help Danielle with her weight and other health issues we continued to see her getting bigger and more unhealthy every day. Obviously we needed a new plan, so here’s what we did.
Solution 1: We joined her as a family. Instead of pointing a finger saying “do this” and “don’t do that”; we started saying “let’s do this” and “let’s not do that”.
Solution 2: We focused on quality of food instead of quantity. We didn’t starve ourselves; instead of cutting down our plate size, we filled up on highly nutritious foods.
Solution 3: We cut sugar cold turkey! We knew the temptaion of eating sugar would be stronger if it was sitting in front of us, so we removed it from our diets. It was super hard at first but once we broke the adiction it didn’t even seem appealing anymore.
Solution 4: “Stop counting calories and start counting nutrients.” says Dr. Josh Axe. Thats exactly what we did! Instead of eating nutritionally void carbohydrates all the time, we switched to eating the good fuel foods ie: grassfed beef, wild caught fish, organic fruits, veggies, and healthy fats!
Solution 5:The majority of us got dressed in our exercise attire and we planked together! When one of us didn’t feel like it, we had numerous voices telling us to push through. Having that accountability was a huge part of keeping us on track!
Now you can take a look at Danielle’s results! She is a totally different kid now in 2016 than she was two years ago when we started this.
When she sees these photos it makes her pretty darn proud of how far she’s come, and so are the rest of us! She’s earned every bit of success! Looking at her future now it’s a lot brighter than it was two years ago! Go Danielle!
I know from experience that it’s hard to fathom a world without sweets. Luckily when we started this journey we found great resources on healthy baking and raw desserts. We learned very quickly that there are so many great tastings dessert out there that fit into our new way of eating!
I’d like to share with you one of our favorite desserts. I found this one on detoxinista.com! (This is straight from that site.)
No Bake Chocolate Cookies
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, or butter
1/2 cup Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups sunflower seeds (slivered almonds, or coconut flakes may be substituted)
(my favorite thing to do is use a mix of my favorite kinds of nuts, walnut, cashews, almonds, and pecans. You can also add in some gluten free organic rolled oats. My advice is to play around with it till you find your favorite combination!)
Combine the honey, cocoa powder, sea salt and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for one minute, stirring occasionally. Remove the mixture from the heat, and add in the vanilla and sunflower seed butter, stirring well until smooth.
Add in the 2 cups of sunflower seeds, slivered almonds or coconut flakes, and mix well to coat. Use a spoon to drop the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and transfer the cookies to the fridge or freezer to set.
These cookies are so quick and easy while still being a crowd favorite! Enjoy!
Be sure to keep and eye out for more great stories! Thanks for reading, God bless.