Soul Food

I’ve been taking a bit of a social media hiatus lately. A few weeks ago, I noticed that I was feeling SO irritable and having a lot of negative thoughts. I took a serious self-inventory, looking at my daily habits, and paying attention to my mindset and emotions throughout the day. I noticed a significant amount of time and energy was being spent non-productively on social media. Now, I use social media for my businesses, as well as staying connected with friends and family, but I was doing a lot of scrolling through senseless posts, reading people’s rants, and found myself getting downright pissed at some of it. The number of people bitching and complaining on social media is astronomical and started to really wear me down. I got so sick of opening up my feed and even some messages to see yet ANOTHER “oh my life sucks so bad” or “poor me” type posts and messages. Too many people with a victim mindset, feeding their lame excuses, and lamenting about all the horrible things going on in their lives really got to me! So, I said “buh bye” to social media for a bit and logged off.

For hours and even days at a time, I have been off social media, leaving my phone on silent or off. Taking those minutes I would’ve been stuck in the “scroll hole” and doing something for myself, my family, or my home instead. Even if it’s 15 minutes while big sis watches the baby, I’ll run to the bathroom and do a face mask real quick. I’ve been decluttering, organizing, and redecorating our home. Sitting on the floor with my baby memorizing the details of his soft chubby cheeks and belly, long lashes, and sweet giggles while I read to his big sister. Listening to my favorite music and filling my home with the scents, sounds, and tastes of fall. Having heart to heart conversations with my preteen and teen about life and growing up, and reminiscing about my awkward years. Logging off was so needed for my sanity and my family! I now have a refreshed mindset and a more grateful and positive attitude simply by enforcing a boundary of what I allow into my mind and heart, and ultimately, my home.

The kitchen is the soul place in our home.. It is warm, cheerful, sunny, and very much the most utilized room. One simply cannot be grouchy in my kitchen!! ūüėā¬†Soups, breads, pies, cookies, and some of our favorite meals and memories are being created there, and sometimes I just stand there and take it all in, almost as if videotaping it with my mind to be able to remember years from now. When I’m old and all my kids are out of the house, I won’t remember the posts on social media, but we WILL all remember the times we spent laughing, dancing, and making messes in the kitchen. This is the place that feeds not only our bellies but our souls…¬†‚̧ԳŹ

What soulful days are made of…. Grandma’s hand-me-down pie dish, cinnamon, clove, ginger essential oil diffuser blend, soup simmering on the oven from a roasted chicken the previous night, classic rock playing in the background, a baby cooing at my feet, and baking therapy….

A simple sugar-free apple crisp using monkfruit as sweetener, the topping made with organic palm shortening, monkfruit, and almond flour. I added some Young Living Vitality Essential Oils for flavor – Cinnamon Bark, Clove, and Nutmeg ūüôā

Do you find yourself grumbling about your circumstances? Take a step back and evaluate. Maybe, like me, you are spending too much time looking at other’s lives, comparing yours, or being dragged down by the negative Nellys? Don’t get on social media and snivel. Instead, find what feeds your SOUL, what makes you feel happy and content and stay in that place. Journal, meditate, get outside, surround yourself with friends and family who share a high vibe positive energy, laugh, dance, be silly, listen to good music, eat good food, and block out the rest. Because, as my cousin said,

“Life’s to short to sit and watch everyone else’s!”¬†

Empowered Cesarean

I realize my last blog post was about my c-section, and, well, that’s just where my mindset is since I had a baby in January ūüėā

April is C-Section Awareness Month, and since I’ve had five cesareans total, I figured I’d be a good candidate to touch on this topic. There is much controversy and negativity surrounding c-sections. Some will say it’s the “easy” way out, that cesarean mamas are “too posh to push,” or that we are not empowered or in control of the birth experience. I’ve heard it all, someone even once said to me, “Well since you’ve never ACTUALLY given birth….” (Like, um….. how did my kids get here then?!) ūüėú

Fifth pregnancy — strong, confident, and cool as a cucumber. Empowered, knowing my rights, calling the shots, armed with a plan and my surgical team on board. But, strength comes from struggles, confidence from being prepared. I’ve had both negative and positive birth experiences. Here is my story:

My first baby, I had just turned 21, and was pretty clueless about pregnancy and birth other than what I had read in the books. I assumed I’d labor and push my baby out just like the books said. My husband and I took birthing classes and even skipped the last one (which ironically was about c-sections) because we figured it wouldn’t even be an issue. I had my grandma’s wide childbearing hips, and just thought I’d pop the baby right out. Well, after a failed induction, failed epidural, fetal distress, my blood pressure dropping significantly, I was rushed into an emergency cesarean. I was scared, uninformed, had to be put under general anesthesia, didn’t see my baby boy until HOURS later, and ended up with severe postpartum PTSD and depression as a result.

When I got pregnant with #2, we knew we definitely wanted a different doctor and hospital. The doctor was great, and assured me we’d have a successful repeat cesarean. I was still pretty young, so hadn’t even researched my birth options much. So while this c-section went well medically, I still felt like it wasn’t quite right. I often felt robbed of the birth experience, but ultimately came to peace with things and enjoyed my life as a mama of two.

Suprise #3 came and once again, I was pressured into the repeat c-section. “You’ve already had 2, you just can’t birth naturally. It’s too risky.” Is what I was told. I went into labor 2 days prior to my c-section date, and hindsight being 20/20, she should have been the VBAC baby… BUT, we went to the hospital, and the on-call doctor went ahead and got a team prepped for my surgery. This was the one that broke me. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, for a long time…. I was taken into the operating room, spent 45 minutes in pain while a student anesthetist attempted over and over again to get my spinal in properly. I was crying, without my husband, and so scared and upset. The spinal didn’t even go in right, so in a matter of seconds, I went from completely coherent to the most drugged out I’ve ever been in my life. (I found out later they gave me Ketamine). I couldn’t make sense out of anything, it felt like I was floating through the cosmos, dying, but with voices around me. It was probably the most traumatic thing I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t see this baby until several hours later, either, and for a long time, I felt like I was in this fog of darkness. Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and rage plagued me for quite some time following this, and I eventually ended up in counseling to help me sort through my mind and emotions. I healed, mind, body, and soul, but it took close to two years.

The fourth time around, I told my husband I was just going to birth the baby in my own damn bathtub. ūüėā But, after hearing horror stories, coupled with being “high risk,” of course we just scheduled another c-section. Each doctor appointment, I addressed a different concern, and of course, my doctor was well aware of my history. The c-section went well, no complications, I got to hold my baby girl in recovery, and we bonded right away. She was the baby, my last, and the one I’d hold and nurse for hours on end because we were done having kids.

After having #4, I launched a business, we moved, I launched another business, and we just got super busy with our lives. Kid’s sports, activities, business life, errands, and focusing on my health kept me busy around the clock. I was content with our troop of four and anytime someone asked about having any more kids, I’d LAUGH!!!

Well, almost a year ago now, I found out I was pregnant! I was a whirlwind of emotions in the beginning, not so sure about the whole idea of it… Eventually, after seeing and hearing that precious little heartbeat, my entire life turned upside down and I was beyond ecstatic to meet my little one. Then when we found out he was a little boy (after having 3 girls in a row), I was even more excited!!! I did a TON of research on my birth options, called soooo many different midwives, doulas, and even talked to other doctors. Since I was “branded” from my previous four c-sections, there was really no way around, but to have another one. I armed myself with loads of information, knowing my rights, and created a plan for My Gentle, Oily, C-Section. I was strong and confident going into the operating room, and the nurses even called me a “pro,” because I was the one calling the shots this time around. I had no problem saying, “No, that’s not happening” and expressing my wishes. I even requested my anesthesiologist (who was AMAZING, by the way), and spoke with her quite a bit before the surgery too. Delayed cord clamping, immediate skin-to-skin, hubby with me at all times, and use of my Essential Oils even in the operating room, were just a few of the things I did.

So, all that to say, that YES, it IS possible to have an empowered cesarean. My words of wisdom from going through all this for mothers everywhere:
While it may not be “nature’s way,” it is still a route that many babies are born. Yes, BORN. It doesn’t matter how they come out, if you carried a child in your womb for 9 months and it came out somehow, you BIRTHED that baby. And having a c-section makes you a badass warrior. You have to learn to breastfeed, wake up all hours of the night, deal with painful boobs, a sore back from the spinal, side effects from the medications, postpartum bleeding, and bond with a brand new little human ALL WHILE RECOVERING FROM MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY. Don’t let ANYONE make you feel less because you chose a safe way for yourself and your baby’s entry into the world. Know your rights, make your plan, and ultimately, surrender. Know that we only have control over so much, even the mothers that pop their kids out with no meds, whilst squatting by some burning incense, aren’t entirely in control of anything either. ūüėČ

During Cesarean Awareness month, tell any c-section mothers you know how awesomely amazing they are. Because it is just as hard, if not harder, than the alternative.

To all cesarean mamas: I see you. I salute you. I AM you. I am 1 in 3.

~Sabrina Kate~

Learning to Love Yourself: My Story

This week¬†I am hosting an online event on learning to love yourself, all about self-love, self-care, the importance of nurturing the relationship with yourself, along with affirmations, tips, and tools for¬†acceptance, appreciation, and LOVE for who you TRULY are in your very SOUL….

It’s so funny¬†to me to think I am now teaching a class on self love because I haven’t always have a healthy relationship with myself, in fact, it was quite the opposite for a LONG time. When I was 7, I injured my front permanent teeth and ended up losing one.. Over the course of the next few years, not only did I suffer tremendous physical pain from the many procedures & surgeries, but also emotional damage because kids were RUTHLESS and made horribly mean comments about my teeth… Puberty wasn’t exactly kind to me either ¬†I had terrible acne, and¬†developed quickly to a size D bra by age 13 ¬†It was such an awkward combination of¬†feeling ugly (I got called “pizza face” on the daily), and¬†getting¬†unwanted sexual attention by not only boys my age, but older men too.¬†By high school, I was THAT girl no one liked, not many talked to, and that walked alone most of the time. Except for the horny teen boys that frequently tried to grope me, I was assaulted a couple times, and the sexual innuendo and comments came at me from all directions! (I was filing my first sexual assault case at age 14)… The girls may have been even worse… ¬†Instead of rallying around me, being my friend, and protecting me¬†like a girl gang should, they ignored¬†me except to call me horrible names and make up stories about me just because I had big boobs &¬†butt and got more male attention.. I felt so alone and awful¬†about myself.. What was so wrong with me and why did no one like me? Surely it wasn’t my boobs, butt, or zits that made me so unlikable? What was so different and screwed up about ME that no one even wanted to talk to me?¬†My self esteem was pretty much in the toilet by the time I started dating, so of course any positive attention from males was good attention in my mind. My first couple boyfriends were very narcissistic, toxic individuals, that took total advantage of me, treated me badly and made me feel even worse about myself… One guy was a serial cheater & liar, one was very verbally abusive, and one¬†guy even had the balls to sit there and tell me all of the things I should have fixed with cosmetic surgery on my body from head to toe!!!

After I got married and had my first baby, my self image and self worth continued to spiral downward… I was incredibly depressed, popping anti-depressants and pain pills just to get through the days, while eating¬†junk food and sleeping to comfort myself and escape reality. ¬†My pregnancies brought hormonal¬†imbalances, my weight skyrocketed at almost 200 lbs, back down to the 150s, then back up again, all while suffering from debilitating migraines, anxiety, depression, insomnia, feeling worthless, fat, ugly, and most days just thinking of ways¬†to end my own life. I can’t even count the number of nights I laid on the bathroom floor with either a bottle of pills, booze, a gun, or any combo of the 3 ready to just be done. I couldn’t understand why I felt this way despite having a husband that loved me and beautiful healthy kids.. Most would have seen my life as that “picket fence” type life, yet I could not overcome this cloud of depression and misery. A lot of days I “faked it” — had to feign happiness and love because I was buried underneath so much pain.

In 2011, I hit rock bottom and will spare the horrible details as what I refer to now as “the pit,” but that was the time in my life I felt I could go no lower… Years and years of mental anguish all came crashing down, and while it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever experienced, it was ultimately for my good.¬† I had a few more rough spots after that, but finally turned a corner in my life and began to “wake up,” and started seeing things a lot more clearly, and learning about myself more.

My path to awakening and healing has been a slow, steady, but amazing journey.¬†A wonderful, supportive counselor, spouse, family, and few very close knit friends I’ve been blessed with surrounded me with love and acceptance, helping this process. It took a while, but I found my wonderland under all the layers¬†of other people’s toxic bullshit mixed in with my own insecurities and past traumas, and have truly come to know and love myself for who I am deep in my core being. Almost 3 years ago, I did a photo shoot project for myself, as a birthday gift of self love and acceptance for what I’d survived through and who I was becoming (ME, I was becoming more ME). It was entitled, “Be Bravely YOU,” and it really broke me out of the molds of what other’s thought I should or should not be, as well as showing me my true beauty, inside and out. I had people say rude things to me regarding the photos from the shoot (it was boudoir style, so many shots were in my undies), and some say “rock it, hot mama!” but¬†for the first time in my life, I didn’t CARE… I was able¬†to block out the negative and rude people, knowing they only viewed me through the lens of whatever issues they had going on. Maybe they were jealous, maybe they were dealing with their own self esteem and body image issues.. But from that point forward, I vowed no matter what I would just be ME in all my muchness, regardless of what people had to say or think and had finally learned to love myself.

I’m still frequently the target of some people’s negativity and rude behavior, but I’ve gotten to the point where now I don’t engage it. Like at all. Someone says something rude to me, makes a nasty remark, scoffs, or anything else giving a negative vibe, I instantly push it away. (In my mind I envision myself physically pushing my arm straight out and pulsing a light from it to get the negative energy away from me. Nerdy, I know lol — like the force hahaha) ¬†… Anyways, the bottom line is this. I have been through hell and back, have had my name dragged through all kinds of dirt, been criticized, judged, hated, mocked, beat, raped and threatened, and yet here I still stand. Why? How? Well first of all, because I’ve already had all this done and said to me, so there ain’t nothing new anyone is going to come up with! AND Because OTHER PEOPLE do not define or dictate my beauty, my life, my worth in ANY way, shape or form!!!! I know who and what I am —> down to earth, kind to most people, dorky & funny¬†as heck, loving, nurturing, hard-working, mind my own damn business, and do my best to educate, inspire, and uplift people around me, and don’t give a flying crap what anyone thinks of my boobs or zits! I know not everyone is going to like me, and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea (but¬†I’m someone’s shot of whiskey) and I am finally okay with that, knowing myself, loving myself, and nurturing that space within my soul…

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Once you love yourself, you are truly INVINCIBLE!!! Be Bravely… YOU!!!!!!! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ~Sabrina Kate¬†

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Be the BOSS of 2017!

Have you made 2017 YOURS yet? It’s NOT too late, TODAY is the day to focus on self-care, mindset, diet & lifestyle improvements for mind, body, and soul and be the BOSS of this year!!

Are you overweight and sick, and depressed from being overweight and sick? So you eat to comfort yourself, gain more weight, and get even more depressed? WE GET IT. WE’VE BEEN THERE.

Have you ever gone on a diet? Did it work? Nope? Didn’t think so!! ūüėČ WE’VE TRIED ‘EM ALL!

Debbie and Sabrina are a mother-daughter wellness advocate team, clean eating & paleo gurus, and ready to help YOU take the steps to a new lifestyle and straight BOSS 2017! A combined 125 pounds lost, overcoming addictions, depression, and many health problems; a decade of working in health industries, they bring their experience and expertise in diet, fitness, nutrition and more!! They will be sharing their stories & struggles, and motivation & HOPE for changing your life!

Debbie is the director of a pregnancy crisis center and helps young mothers & families in dire circumstances. She offers 6 years of study in all things pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, babies, and beyond… She teaches parenting classes, speaks at local events, and volunteers as a birth coach. Debbie is a former “serial dieter” and started on her journey to wellness in 2014. (She’ll tell you WHY all the fad diets DON’T work!) Her health drastically improved and she lost 55 pounds in addition to overcoming chronic health problems just by changing her lifestyle¬†habits! This mom of 2 and grandma of 4 is RADIANT¬†and PASSIONATE¬†about serving people — helping them live in complete wellness and abundance!!!

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Sabrina is the CEO & Executive Pastry Chef of Ambrosia Natural Bakery. She specializes in gluten-free, vegan, paleo & food allergy-friendly baking and teaches specialty baking classes. Sabrina has studied health since 2001 at the young age of 17, when she started pursuing a career in medicine; nursing and nutritional science were her areas of study in college and she continues her education in natural wellness with webinars, classes, and reading every piece of literature on the subject she can get her hands on! Sabrina suffered from debilitating migraines and a plethora of health issues before changing her entire lifestyle; she lost 70 lbs, ditched the drugstore, and has since helped many people in their own journeys to health. Her passion is MIND-BODY-SOUL wellness. She takes a holistic approach in everything, even in her career, offering health-conscious products and services…

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Join this dynamic duo ready to lead YOU to freedom and wellness in an exclusive intensive group starting SOON!!! Daily motivation and tips, detailed menu plans & recipes, and all the tricks, tools, and secrets you will need to get drop some weight, gain more energy, sleep better, feel better about yourself, and make this YOUR year!!!!

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You can PM on facebook — facebook.com/moonchildbeautywellness, or email sabrina.kate629@yahoo.com for more info on this upcoming group, and to answer any questions you may have!!!

 

Journaling Your Journey

Journaling YOUR journey for health and wellness is SO important and¬†gives you encouragement, motivation, and even provides a record for your health care provider if need be. It helps you eat mindfully, track your progress, and gives you the nitty gritty reality of how much you eat and what you eat. You can see what you’re lacking in, and the areas that need improvement the most, and shows you the connection between your emotions and the food you eat.¬† You will begin to see patterns, habits, and mind/body/soul connection as you progress in your journaling.

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Tips for your journal:

  1. Use a notebook or online myfooddiary.com
  2. Either journal food throughout the day, or in the evening.
  3. Record EVERYTHING you eat & drink
    — types of foods
    — even snacks, beverages, and cheats!! (you are less likely to cheat if you have to write it down)
    — portion sizes (doesn’t have to be exact measurements)
  4. Record your physical & emotional response to what you ate
    — were you satisfied or guilty?
    — were you stressed & in a hurry or calm & enjoyed your meal?
    — were you distracted doing another activity while eating?
  5. Review your journal for clues about your current habits & health situation
    — Are you really hungry when you eat? Or bored? Stressed? Sad?
    — Look at your portions, look for your weak areas
    — Take note of your eating habits, do you eat lightly throughout the day and indulge in the evening? Try for well balanced meals throughout the day.