It started when I was a freshman in college. In fact, it started with the Freshman 15. I was always very active as a child and a teen-ager. But when I got to college, and threw caution out the window, I began to realize it was going to take way more than just being active to maintain my svelte figure. I was away from home for the first time, indulging in late night food binges, keg parties, and fast food lunches. My eating habits were way off, and though I was still active, I wasn’t as consistent like I was in high school…regular cheerleading and dance practices that kept me active 3-4 times a week. Just like that, I had cellulite and a cholesterol test that came back high for my age. Up until this point, what I knew about health and nutrition was not going to be enough to create habits to last me a life time. I had to do more.
Although, I definitely had my fair share of Mc Donald’s and Burger King growing up, I was exposed to the healthier side of nutrition through my mom, grandma and uncle. I remember my mom preparing dinner and telling me to always serve a protein, starch, and at least two veggies…of different colors, and you should always try to recreate the colors of the rainbow…think red (tomatoes), orange (carrots), yellow (squash), green (spinach), purple (eggplant)…well, almost every color, it’s hard to come up with a “blue”. My grandmother would always give me tips and advice on how to get the most nutrition out of your veggies and fruits, and my uncle was a semi-professional athlete, so he was a health fanatic. Growing up with my brother, sister and cousins, whenever we spent the night at their house, we knew we would only get wheat bread, cereal without sugar, juice, milk or water and a vitamin supplement…and not the chalky, pastel colored Flintstones vitamins, we would each be given a dropper full of liquid vitamins. Though we kind of dreaded that about going over there, he was the first person I went to when I decided it was time for me to be more aware of my own nutrition.
I attended college in San Diego. Living in California exposed me to a whole new way of eating, and my parents made fun of the food I had learned to love. They called my salads “freeway greens”, they balked at my hummus, and laughed at my whole wheat breads and black and green teas without milk or sugar. Living in San Diego, it was easy to find these things as the neighborhoods were filled with specialty shops, like Trader Joe’s and Wild Oats, where you could find anything and everything healthy and gourmet. Coming home for the holidays was a different story. Las Vegas was behind like 10-15 years as far as health and nutrition went. I sought out local vitamin and nutrition stores in strip malls that carried items that I couldn’t find anywhere else. I had committed long ago, to my health and my choices of eating. I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap, but I wasn’t OK with the alternative. That was just the beginning of my journey. Since then, it has lead me down the path of organic, preservative and chemical free, I tried vegan and vegetarian for awhile, and always sought out the most powerful vitamins, minerals and health supplements I could find. Another tip from my uncle was never to buy vitamins from a grocery store. That they are loaded with fillers and the body doesn’t absorb half of what it should. He reminded me to always buy from a health food store and seek out whole food nutrition when it came to supplements…liquid form was the best.
I have to admit, I was super strict about all of this, until I got pregnant with my first son. I was not prepared for how sick I was going to be. I didn’t leave my house for three months because I threw up every five steps. I couldn’t keep down a pre-natal vitamin to save my life, so my doctor prescribed Folic Acid instead. I didn’t think about organic or whole food, I just figured she prescribed it, it must be OK. I also ate whatever made me feel better, which usually consisted of McDonald’s cheeseburgers and Taco Bell burritos. I gained 80 pounds with my son. It took me almost two years to get my health back on track and eating the way I was before the baby. I was finally down to a size I had never been before, then -BOOM- knocked up with my daughter. Sick again, but this time able to take a pre-natal…I took what the doctor prescribed. I only gained 40 pounds, but didn’t think too much about my nutrition during my pregnancy. I ate pastrami sandwiches like they might be last one I ever ate. About a year after my daughter was born, I started working for the Guru Fitness Company. Though I had already practiced and knew about the benefits of choosing an all organic, whole foods lifestyle, working there and being surrounded by those who lived and practiced it on a daily basis was even more inspiring and supported me to do more about my health. I participated in cleanses and tried my hand at vegan. I learned so much in those two years there, that I was able to re-build my lifestyle and gain back my old habits. I had decided that my children would also eat this way, and I explained to them the benefits of doing so. When I became pregnant with the twins, I went to Whole Foods and chose a whole food, vegan, pre-natal vitamin. I was conscious of what I was putting into my body, I continued to practice yoga and run and walk for as long as I could. This time around, I gained 50 pounds, and within the first six months of their birth, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. (My pre-pregnancy body is a whole other story!)
In the meantime I became very aware of the lack of nutrition being offered to our children through means of prepared foods, vitamins and minerals. I understood that they needed to continue with Omega 3s, DHA and RHA, for eye development and brain growth and multitude of other things. I searched high and low- websites, Whole Foods, nutrition stores- for something that was a synergistic product, made with minimal to no fillers or animal by-products, with a high absorption level and that had everything they needed. I am not kidding, at one point, I was feeding my son and daughter each the following:
- 2 multi-vitamins (tried a fizzy powder packet, they wouldn’t drink it)
- 4 DHA/Omega 3 gummies (I tried a liquid form and they almost threw up every time)
- 1 pro-biotic chewable tablet
No fail, I would find 5 out of 7 shoved in a crayon box, left in their pockets, or hidden in the cup holders in my car. I was begging someone to tell me about an amazing kid’s product that would have everything I needed in it. This is where Kelly May came in to the picture for me. I touched on this in my prior post, but Kelly also approached me because she knew my daughter has asthma and allergies. Shortly after my daughter was born, she developed RSV, and since then, we have been going back and forth from pediatrician to allergy specialist to get her breathing under control. She has been on Singular, nasal spray and breathing treatments daily for the last three years. I am concerned about her health in general, as I truly hope she grows out of the asthma…it generates such fear in me for her…and who knows what the long term affect of all these drugs will have on her growth, behavior, and mental capacity. I already see issues with her behavior and a shift in energy at night, and I believe it is due to the side affects of these medications. I would love for her to be drug-free, and be able take healthy breaths on her own. Kelly told me stories about children taking Reliv for Kids, and it helping tremendously with their allergies. My son is hardly ever sick, but has been complaining frequently about his stomach. It’s enough to get my attention, and I’m not positive it isn’t his diet or maybe some anxiety or stress associated with school…maybe even the fact that we’ve had some changes in our own family with the twins being born, and it’s causing him some general upset which is coming out in the form of a tummy ache. The pediatrician suggested giving him Miralax everyday and a follow up appointment in two weeks. After listening to Kelly’s presentation about Reliv, I decided to forgo the Miralx and try this on him instead. I would much rather him benefit from the vitamins/minerals/Omega 3/DHA combination in hopes the concoction will improve his digestion and nervous system, than serve him a laxative every day.
In respect of keeping this to the point, I just wanted to share who I was, why I was choosing to experiment with this, and what I was trying to accomplish by using it. Again, I recognize this is a direct marketing concept, which tends to bring out the cynicism in people. I’ve been in marketing for 15 years, trust me, I understand. I also believe in giving products a chance if they meet the requirements I am looking for. Just because it’s not FDA approved doesn’t mean it’s not a great product. Our government and health structures are lagging and lacking, and at some point, it is our life, our bodies and we need to look out for numero uno! So, I’m giving Reliv for Kids a try, and these are my stories of struggle and (hopefully) accomplishments with my kids’ health and nutrition.
Thanks for reading.