Friday, March 29, 2013

Girl Scout Camping

Just realized I didn't share my Girl Scout camping experience with you. I must admit that working part time, mom full time, wife full time, and family taxi driver can get very overwhelming. Then I just threw going back to school in the mix and it makes for an even busier life. Joshua Rosenthal, the owner and one of the instructors said just tell people you are in medical school because that's how busy you will be. I agree Joshua.

Our camping trip was changed from Friday through Sunday to Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon at Camp Covington. I was bummed that we would only have one night, but I think this was the perfect amount of time for the girls. It still boggles my mind all the camping gear one needs for camping for just one night. It was a total of 10 Brownie Scouts and 4 adults.

We paired the girls up with a buddy so they were always to be together. It is a safety check essentially. The neat thing is that we paired them with a girl they didn't necessarily know or hang out with. This turned out to be a really great experiment. Great new friendships blossomed.

My daughter was paired with another girl that also likes to camp and do outdoorsy things like her. They had a really great time. This goes for most of the buddy pairings. There was one exception and there always seems to be that one.

One of the girls was just out right mean to her buddy. We had many talks about this, but I think it was a case of opposites that didn't attract. This was the first time one of the girls was so far away from her parents. In the end everyone had a good time. Most differences worked out.

The truly amazing thing that happen was helpfulness of the girls. This happened organically without any requests. They just started cleaning. This never happens at home. All the girls swept and cleaned their cabins without being asked. Two scouts started washing dishes and 2 more asked if they could help. Hello!!! What planet did this girls come from? My daughter was one of these helpful Girl Scouts. She must have stayed at the campground, because that same helpful, asking how she can participate child never made it back to my house.

I am fine with that, but was truly delighted how naturally things came together with the girls. Part of the rules was that the adults let the girls take the role and they sure did. I was a proud mom and Girl Scout camp leader.

My daughter and I had to rush off at 11:00 AM on Sunday to get back home for a championship state swim meet. She did miss swimming on Saturday, but got to participate Sunday. Their team, the South Louisiana Swim Team (SLST) won the championship meet! We won last year and we won this year. She is a bit disappointed that she couldn't swim on Saturday because that was her best swim stroke day. Life is all about decisions and a bit of give-and-take. Regardless, the team won and it was a victory.

I'll have to write more about the meet because my two younger daughters shined that weekend swimming.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I know it doesn't look like much, but I can actually see the base of my desk. My mother says I inherited the gene for collecting papers from her. She apologized profusely when she saw my great progress. My husband is ecstatic by the before and after.

I actually have room to place my computer and other school related things. Yippee for me because I am even more motivated to study. Notice all the papers below the after picture. That's for recycling. When I finished I had one full Whole Foods paper bag and a Girl Scout cookie box filled with paper.

Let's just hope I can keep my desk this way and get rid of all the paper as it comes in. If you have any tips on removing the clutter and keeping it away, please do share with me.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back to School

Monday was the first day of school, for me! I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Did you know it is the largest nutrition school in the world? I was surprised to learn that.

It is a really exciting journey for me. I have been on a roller coaster with the health of my family for years. We spend so much money for medical care and health insurance and feel like we don't get much in return. I've become a skeptic of Western medicine. It is a shame because I work in the medical field. I am tired of band aid medicine where they just treat symptoms. I want to get to the root of our health problems and fix them.

I find the better I eat, the better I feel. Food has become my medicine. In addition, I am learning other alternative modalities. Are they really alternative? These are things that have been used for many years, but got squeezed out by Western medicine.

In addition to juicing, I have grown fond of oil pulling. My teeth really like it. They have gotten whiter and feel smoother with less plaque buildup. The main reason I use oil pulling is for my sinuses. After I do it, I have less congestion and mucous. This morning I woke up with a sore throat and after oil pulling (and drinking hot water with ginger, lemon, and cayenne), no more sore throat.

Back to my school excitement. I can't wait to share all of my new knowledge with you!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Cookie Time Lessons

We just finished up Girl Scout cookie sales with SG, my eight year old daughter. As you probably know from my previous posts, we traditionally don't eat processed foods. This would include Girl Scout cookies.

This is SG's 4th year as a Girl Scout and her last year as a Brownie. She's looking forward to becoming a Junior Girl Scout next year.

I have read the ingredients on every flavor of Girl Scout cookies. It isn't pretty. There are so many artificial additives and processed ingredients. I do not agree with pushing something on someone that I wouldn't normally buy. But, I needed to look beyond my beliefs and just move past them. There is a bigger picture here.

My daughter has learned so much about money, management skills, mathematics, responsibility, assertiveness, entrepreneurship, goals, manners, socialization, and good life lessons. One of the first things she realized was that you need to be polite or you won't make a sale. This is something that she has been conscious about since her first sale. Being kind can go a long way.

At school, she was known as the Cookie Girl. She ended up taking a small notebook with her daily to take orders for cookies. The students would track her down to give her their cookie order. Some days she would bring a box with a variety and sell what she has. Since this cookie sale, she has made new friends in school that she might not have made otherwise.

She has become more confidant, too. She was more on the timid side, but not so much anymore. I see her little mind moving. In addition, she is a saver and spends her money only when needed. Not the case right now. SG decided to buy her sisters some cookies (I made an exception for this instance). Another lesson learned was generosity.

Despite my thoughts of Girl Scout cookies, I do feel the organization and these cookie sales are teaching girls really great lessons in life.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Shoulder Recap and New Adventures

Today I had a follow up appointment with the orthopedist for my snowboarding shoulder injury. She was doing her assessment and checking my range of motion and was impressed. She ultimately said, "You healed yourself!" and wanted to know what I did to get to this point. 

Now you have to realize she is the one that said 8 weeks ago that I needed emergent surgery to repair  (or screw the labrum back to my shoulder) the tear. I didn't feel surgery was in my best interest. I was on a mission to heal myself and I did just that. I went to physical therapy twice which I don't think was critical in my recovery.

I took to acupuncture, Body Talk, chiropractic care, Chinese medicine, yoga, positive affirmations, juicing, and eating whole foods. These were my ammunition against surgery. She was impressed by my regimen.  We talked more about it and got on the subject of me going back to school to be a health coach.

This is my exciting news to share. I am on a new adventure with my life and career. I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Health Coach. I start next week and can't contain myself from excitement. I'll be learning more than 100 dietary theories. 

I'll be studying with the world’s top health and wellness experts. My teachers will "included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities." How cool is that! 

Now what makes this more exciting is that my doctor asked if she could refer some of her bariatric patients to me. Once I am able to see patients I just have to give her a call to set up my referrals. I am psyched! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Roller Derby Moms

Thursday night my daughters' school had skate night for a fundraiser. We always go and I always watch. This night I decided to skate. It was lots of fun being on skates again. I only wish I could have skated faster, but the ground looked so far away. I didn't want to risk a fall. Lucky for me I did stay vertical.

Toward the end of the night they had races for several age categories. My oldest daughter won her category. The next one was for girls 12 and older. No one got out on the rink. I decided I was going to do it. I got a friend of mine to race with me and one more mom decided to join us, too.

The music started and we were off. Of all the music choices, they played Justin Bieber's Baby. I was coasting cautiously around the turns. They were gaining on me. It was one of those crazy surreal moments when everything felt like it was in slow motion. The race was over in less than a minute but it felt like ten. I crossed the finish line first and got my coupon for a free night of skating.

It was pure victory! My daughter and all her friends were so excited. They all came running skating toward me to congratulate me. I felt like the coolest mom ever. To have that feeling from the kids itself was pure victory.

I certainly see skating in my near future.

A friend of mine has a video of the race. If I'm able to upload it, I'll post it here.

Weekend to Remember

Life with three busy little girls can get overwhelming. So overwhelming that you just never have time for your spouse. The biggest form of communication is texting. Yes, this is what my husband and I resort to, texting each other.

We decided to change this and have a "weekend to remember." It was so nice to get away with just the two of us. A friend of ours actually paid for our admission to the weekend. Of course we payed for everything else, but it was certainly a super kind act by our friend.

Basically, it was a marriage retreat. During the weekend, they provided sessions for the couples to break away and discuss certain things. We talked about stuff we didn't realize we needed to talk about. The air certainly got cleared. It truly put our marriage on a level playing field.

It was a faith based weekend which we didn't really expect, but embraced it. We are catholic, so hearing about God outside our one hour a week was a bit different, but enlightening.

The main thing we brought home from this weekend was to communicate and with the right tools.