Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Detox bootcamp! What is it? And is it a good fit for you?

"So, let me get this straight. You're thin . . . and you want to go on a diet?"

"If you don't eat dairy, wheat, gluten, alcohol, coffee, different fruits, processed foods, white anything . . . um . . . what DO you eat?"

"Why is it called a detox?"

"So, are you not eating any REAL food? Are you filling your body with artificial supplements?"

"Are you  supposed to eat this way forever? And if not, what's the difference between this and a diet?"

All perfectly valid questions. And I'm happy you asked. (Aren't you?)

I like to call this detox a BOOTCAMP. Here's why:

When you go to bootcamp, it's meant to be for a season. You take away distractions from your focus. You surround yourself with people who are like-minded. Every day, discipline and regulations are pounded into you until they become second nature. You are out of your comfort zone, and only then, can you change. You break free from relying on others for your emotional health, and learn to rely more on yourself. You forego some rights, but for the greater good. You take the good habits, the discipline, you learned at camp and you begin to apply them to help you achieve your goals.

In short, it's a season of intense training to help you develop HABITS that will help you become successful in the future.

And that's exactly what this detox bootcamp does.

It is meant to be for a season (1-2 months). You take away the food that could be potentially allergenic, cause inflammation, cause blood-sugar spikes, or overall is simply not healthy to your body.

By joining our Facebook group, you are surrounded by 50+ people who are working toward the same health goals you are. You encourage each other, and admit to them when you are having a hard time.

Every day of the detox, you learn discipline. Every time you say "no" to an unhealthy snack, or a craving that you really don't need, you learn how often you used to say "yes" to those things. Constant repetition in a short amount of time really settles in the discipline. Toward the end, you become more addicted to how you FEEL when you are eating clean, than you are to all those unhealthy cravings.

You are out of your comfort zone. Only when we challenge what we believe to be true about our food -- only when we do our due diligence -- do we find that we really can change and WANT to change.

You break free from relying on coffee (ME! ME! ME!) for your emotional health. (or soda. or sugar. or cake. or bread. or wine.) You realize that instead of buying a Starbucks to feel better, you can buy yourself a $5 bouquet of flowers. You can write someone you love a letter. You can give yourself 15 minutes extra time to read a book you enjoy. You learn that,

You forego some food. Yep, it's hard. When I go to someone's house for a party, it's hard to turn down a cup of coffee or glass of wine. It's hard to forego the cake and ice cream. Like I said in my previous post, this isn't a namby-pamby detox. But -- it IS worth it. And that my friends, is what really takes the cake.

You take the good habits, all the know-how you've learned, the clean-eating recipes and tips, and you start applying them to your real life. We recommend the 80/20 principle. 80% of the time, eat whole clean foods, just like you did on the detox. 20% of the time, splurge a little and enjoy life.

In short, it's a season of intense training to help you develop HABITS that will help you become healthy now and in the future.

So now to address a few of your questions:

- Yep, I'm thin. Thin doesn't always mean HEALTHY. And I still have toxins and extra fat to lose. Eating clean will not be detrimental to my health in anyway. And I'm thankful to lose a little bit of weight, because well, I had it to lose. ;)

- It's called a detox because you are working on two things: limiting the amount of toxins you are bringing INTO your body. And using Arbonne's detox tea, probiotics, and 7-day-cleanse to help flush out the toxins currently stored in your fat and gut.

- As for the real food, I think my previous post explains what I'm eating. But yes, there are these yummy delicious protein shakes that are FABULOUS and really help cut cravings. It uses pea protein, rice protein, and cranberry protein. And it's chalk-full of essential vitamins and minerals. A few other supplements we have are helpful as well. But that is what they are -- supplements. The focus is still on eating whole, healthy, clean foods.

If you still need a few more examples, here you go! (Try not get too hungry!)

-As I explained earlier in this post -- or maybe, that's what this whole post is about to begin with -- NO, you do not eat this way forever. Just MOSTLY forever. ;) We recommend slowly introducing all of the items you did not eat back into your diet, ONE AT A TIME, to see how you respond. Then you can be educated about what you choose to eat. For instance, last time I did this, I realized all processed meats give me reflux. Because I know that, I can choose to eat something knowing it would make me not feel well. Or I can just forego it, and my tummy will thank me.

If you are interested in joining me for the February detox bootcamp, I'd love to have you. Email me at, and I'll send you all the info.

Deadline to sign up is Jan 31!

And wherever you are on your journey, I hope you find some wisdom in one VERY important last piece of advice:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Not the momma

My baby girl.
So proud of her, and proud to be her mommy.

Do you remember the baby dinosaur on the tv show that used to scream "Not the momma!!"

(If you need a reminder . . . here's a hint:

Lately, it feels like that crazy little dino is sitting on my shoulders screaming, "Not the momma! Not the momma!"

When we first got little miss, I totally FELT like her mom. And I was doing the mommy things. But over and over again, I was reminded in so many ways that I was not the momma.

I was FOSTER momma.

Big difference.

Things felt much better after parental rights were relinquished.

I remember the first (and last) visit little miss had with her bio parents. I was accustomed to hearing no details about the visit, other than "it went fine."

This time, I got a call a few minutes into the visit. "Would you like her to have chocolate syrup in her bottle?" the social worker asked. "Um, no I don't think that's a great idea. I'd rather her not have that much sugar," I responded, totally caught off that they would ask me, little old foster momma ME, what I would prefer during a visit. "That's what I thought," she replied. "We'll tell the parents no chocolate."

I hung up a little stunned, and a little happy. What a change.

I was on my way from being foster momma to adoptive momma. (Or pre-adoptive momma, according to some paperwork.)

And maybe things got to my head a little bit.

Maybe because I was told she'd be ours by now . . . maybe because I'm the one who wipes away all her poo, endures grocery shopping while she screams to the heavens for crackers, and holds her hands and head during a CT scan in the ER . . . maybe because emotionally, I am HER MOMMA  . . I let myself forget.

I am NOT her momma.

Last night, when I received the email saying we would not have the right to show little miss' face or name in the video we made, I burst into tears.

Ryan didn't understand why I was so upset. Maybe I didn't entirely either. I don't know why it matters to me so much. Except it does.

I have a feeling though, those tears had much more to do with everything going on and not just the video.

Let me back up a little from our day . . .

In the morning, we had our monthly social worker (G's) visit.

First, she came without disclosure. We've been waiting for disclosure for over a month, and all that paperwork I posted about won't be even submitted by the state till I have disclosure. (Disclosure is EVERYTHING that they have on file for Little miss's case that I get to look through. Family history, medical records, etc. will be in there.)

She already came once without it, now she's without it again.

Furthermore, the court date we had hoped would be adoption day will NOT be our adoption date. She thinks maybe a few more months?

I don't want it to be another few months. I want to get it over with.

Then G informed me that due to Little miss's fall, we'd been reported to CPS. She said it was likely our agency (something they have to do), or the doctor who made the report. She said that it was pretty standard for any injury in child under 3 that has to go to the ER, plus our agency would also have needed to report us.


G assured us that we would likely not be investigated, as she had been to our home enough to know how active and accident prone little miss was.

Still. It was hard to take thinking that we had been reported, even as it was "standard procedure."

A few minutes later, Maddy threw a ginormous fit -- throwing herself on the floor, screeching. And I'm thinking, really??? You're 5. Really? Right now?

So I pick her up, take her to time out, while she is hitting and kicking me.

And then I come back to my audience of the social worker who just said I had been reported to CPS.

Sigh. Tears.

As I fixed G's hot chocolate, I turn my back so a tear or two can escape my puffy, swelling lids, and I swallow back the rest.

Maddy eventually calms down. We get a NEW date for disclosure. G stays an hour. And at the very end, I excitedly let her know that we are sharing our story, and she is invited to come. I let her know that the state was setting up the meeting.

I had already talked to our agency about the producer wanting to put in on YouTube. But for whatever reason, I mention it to G.

"I'll have to check with my supervisor about this. You never know who might want to sue to state over something like this."

Deep, deep sinking feeling in my gut.

Why, oh why, did I say something???

Later that evening, we got the email that they would NOT give us permission to use on FB, and in addition, her photos and name must be blotted from the video to show at our church.

You all don't know the layout of the video -- but I do. I know there is power to those pictures. Power to our story. Her name and her face show her personhood.

Perhaps I don't like being told no. Maybe I hate senseless red tape. Maybe it frustrates me that I was feeling so sure that God was working everything out just so.

My sinking gut told me that Satan was going to do everything he could to stop this video being shown.

I know, I know what you are thinking. If it was going to be a problem, better to find out NOW and not later.

But I still can't help but be upset. I could make all my arguments as to why this is ridiculous. But I'll spare you. (Just know that I think it is.)

Again, it felt like a huge knock on the head by crazy dino. "NOT THE MOMMA! NOT THE MOMMA!"

Yesterday, in God's quiet voice, I felt Him asking me if I believed He was a God who would prevail.

I know He is.

I know He saw this supervisor's decision before the beginning of time. I know He had plans for our story, plans to use us for His glory. I know He's in control, and my freaking out about it really shows my immaturity in all of this.

And I'm also reminded that I'm still the momma in all the ways that DO matter.

I get to be there for her when she's upset. I get to take her to church, read her the Bible and pray over her while she sleeps. I get to pick out nutritious food for her, and make sure she naps every day. I get to have her play with Maddy, rock her, and teach her songs. I get to teach her new words, and open her eyes to new experiences.

I get to be the one who loves her.

So to everyone who witnessed my ginormous freak-out yesterday on FB, I'm sorry.

I think it's just showing me how much I'm ready to be her REAL momma in EVERY WAY . . . and to knock that silly dino back into the '90s where he belongs.

I'm so ready to BE THE MOMMA.

Adoption day . . . please come soon.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

On making a movie

OK, I'm going to try to do a quick update since it's 12:15 in the morning, it's been an insane long day, and I have a very busy day ahead with two littles.

Today I filmed my story.

It took about 1.5 hours to get everything right for a 4-minute film.

That's right. 4 minutes.

Which made me totally appreciate everything that goes into a full-length feature film THAT much more.

And, it seems kinda crazy that I could try to fit, well, the entire contents of this blog into 4 teeny-tiny-oh-so-short minutes.

The cameraman/producer guy was super nice, although a perfect stranger.

The pastor's assistant at church coordinated everything and conducted the interview. (I'm sure she did more, and I certainly don't want to discredit any of her efforts. I think the whole video layout was really her idea.)

Once we realized we all love coconut in every form (especially the "coconut almond cream cake" tea form), we bonded. Yay coconuts!

So, why do this film anyway, you might wonder.

You should know that I didn't really want to.

RIGHT after our loss of Olivia, while at church, I pictured myself up there on the screen sharing our story. That was at our home church at the time, and I didn't know when or how I'd ever have the strength to share. But I knew that one day I would.

For months now, I felt like God was laying it on my heart to share my story again. I went to submit it a few times online, and for whatever reason, just never clicked that "submit" button.

At church one Sunday in December, they had people share their testimonies, and I felt like God was just telling me "THIS. THIS IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO!!" (It's hard to ignore Him when you feel like God is shouting.)
I seriously almost just went up to the pastor in the back to tell him I needed to share my story too. But my palms were sweaty, my heart was palpitating, and I worried what everyone (especially my husband) might think if I just randomly went up front and shared about our losses and God's redemption.

I didn't know. I just knew I needed more preparation. I did, however, go up to a pastor AFTER service and let him know God was asking me to share my story.

He called over the assistant, Lindsay. It was my first time meeting her, and it was weird to say, "Hi, my name's Rachel, and I feel like I need to tell the story of my miscarriages." Awk-ward. (even for church.)

We followed up by email later in the week, and I sent her this blog. She approached me about sharing for Sanctity of Life Sunday, which I readily agreed to. We also discussed if I wanted to do it in person, or if they could film me.

Since I hate crying (but I always do), and since I lose my voice when I cry (which I always do), I told her it seemed pointless to do it in person as I would likely just stand up there and cry. And have no words eek out.

She agreed. Doesn't make a lot of sense.

So we decided to film it here at our house.

It was a little more involved than I expected. I wrote out a VERY condensed version of our story, then cut it, then cut it some more. I sent her home videos, photos of the last 5 years, and she sent me back a "script" of sorts to go by.

Parts of filming today were really awkward. Other parts were easy breezy.There were parts I wished I could share more of, because there really is so much more. But she kept me on track. We had to do a few shots over and over.

Despite my background in theatre, this was nerve-wrecking. I worried about crying. I worried about looking to stoic. I worried (I think) about everything. (Except maybe the tea -- they all loved the tea!)

My hope, of course, is that God uses this to reach people who need it. People who need to follow through on this idea of fostering or adopting. People who need the idea put in their heads in the first place. Families who need the recognition that their miscarriage really was a precious life that deserves to be mourned. Women and men who feel isolated and alone in loss, and need to know that there is support out there for baby loss families. All of these people -- I hope to reach!

But I'm still a human, and I have a few hangups. This probably sounds weird, but I think I am more concerned about what people will think about the cleanliness/organization/design of my home interior than what they might think of me.

When she mentioned putting my blog's url address in the bulletin, I must admit I panicked. Maybe a little. I later told Ryan -- "Well, I can kiss a social life good-bye at church." It's weird to let people into your darkest days ever (even as I still have them) before I even know a thing about their good days!

In spite of the fact that I'd been feeling super depressed and anxious for the last two weeks . . . in spite of the fact that I didn't have a chance to clean the dishes before they came . . . in spite of the fact that I'm just this normal, super normal person with a difficult story . . . I'm hoping that some hope, some light shined through.

If I am going to have to LIVE this story -- of wanted babies lost too soon, infertility, struggle and wait -- and of two of my biggest little blessings ever, both wrought through seasons of fire --- then I might as well SHARE it.

Because who knows who will be sitting in that pew in a few weeks and needs to know they are NOT alone.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monster inside

Today there was a monster.

I saw it rear it's ugly head many times today, but none so much as when we were grocery shopping trying to stuff food in the cart without setting off any alarms with little miss's incessant shrieking, and me just trying to not completely lose my cool (and my foster license.)


I had sliced apples ready and in a little baggy for her, waiting for when she was too hungry. At the last errand, she happily ate the apple. But not a Trader Joes.

Nothing would do it.

The apples I offered were flippantly tossed with a wave of her tiny hand. The shrieks progressed in loudness, obnoxiousness, and ridiculousness until it was an all-out ear-piercing shriek accompanied by crocodile tears.

I couldn't pass by anyone without seeing looks.

I didn't care what their looks were. Some, I'm sure, were of compassion. Some were of disdain. I have no doubt that a good handful of people thought to themselves, "when I have kids, there is NO WAY I'm ever letting them throw a fit that big."

I didn't care anymore what they thought.

If I talked to Little miss, I would lose it and say something I might regret. If I put her in time-out, I might be a little too rough. If I spanked her, OH, right, I can't spank her. Just as well.

The only way I knew how to cope was to just ignore it. I had done everything I thought I could within reason. I even took her out of the store once to address the screaming. But it wouldn't stop. And I needed groceries.

I couldn't smile at the knowing looks of mamas who've been there and mercifully escaped into an empty nest. I couldn't even smile at the woman who tentatively suggested that one day I might miss these days.

Because I was staring at a monster.

And it wasn't my daughter.

It was me.

It was me screaming. A silent scream that no one can hear, masked behind my well-put-together outfit and flat-ironed hair.

I am raging against God. And it's not about apples. It's so, so much worse.

It is me screaming that His plan is not good enough for me. His provision is not enough. His big picture is the wrong picture, and He's not paying attention to what I NEED.

I scream and rage and cry because I want a healthy pregnancy, I DESERVE a healthy pregnancy, and I want it now. I scream because I don't want to have to have the strength anymore to be polite when others tell me they are pregnant. I don't want to hold back the sarcasm, the bitterness that threatens to eat me whole. I want to give in. I want to throw a fit about it all.

I not-so-gently remind Him that I am supposed to be giving birth in 2 days. But my stomach is flat. And has been for too long. At least too long according to me.

It doesn't matter that he chose to provide for our family through adoption -- and to provide for little miss the same way. It doesn't matter that there may be other babies who haven't yet been born who need us, who need me to be their mama.

It doesn't matter to me.

Because like my little girl, I want something I can't have.

I hate the monster I see reflected back from my screaming child's face. A horrid reminder that, like an immature child, I'm refusing to accept from God's hand, no matter what is in it.

I hate my monster inside.