Survive Cold and Flu Season with this List

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Just don't let a minion give you your flu shot!

Just don’t let a minion give you your flu shot!

Well, cold and flu season is upon us as the leaves change colors and begin to cover our front lawn.  I love fall and everything that comes with it, accept those dreaded soar throats, congestion, and body aches.  With seven people in our house, it’s nearly impossible to get through the fall and winter months without any cold or flu symptoms sneaking in to spoil the holiday season.

Here are just a few things I like to keep on hand to get us through those unfortunate times when those little organic lifeforms get us down.

 

 

    1.  Soup (I would recommend something organic with garlic)
    2. Vitamin C drops or supplements
    3. Lozenges/Cough Drops (Try Ricola Extra Strength Cough Drops)
    4. Cough Syrup (I like Matys All Natural Kids Cough Syrup or make your own!)
    5. Nasal Spray
    6. Kleenex
    7. Orange Juice
    8. Tea (I recommend the Seasonal Tea Sampler)
    9. Tylenol Cold and Flu
    10. Children’s/Infants’ Tylenol
    11. Apple Sauce
    12. Clorox Wipes
    13. Water/VitaminWater

In addition to all of the personal care items above, you’ll obviously need lots of sleep.  So, plan for someone else to watch the kids if you’re the one that’s down for the count.  Don’t push it, or you’ll get worse and won’t be able to take care of anyone!  You’ll need someone to take care of you!  So, everyone get lots of sleep to prevent and fight sickness.

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Have Your Cake and Eat it Too! For Breakfast!

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0001167_banana-chocolate-chip-mojo-muffins_200Now, I’m not really much of a cake person, but I do love me some muffins!  A nice warm muffin, cinnamon roll, or even a stack of pancakes with my coffee in the morning really hits the spot.  But, where’s the all important protein and fiber in those foods?  And, should we really be eating all of those calories if we want to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight?  Those are some good questions!

According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and Women’s Health, a study showed that “those who ate more calories in the first half of the day lost significantly more weight and demonstrated better metabolic activity than those who ate heavily in the evening.”  And, what about protein?  Check out the visual below to learn what protein can do for you and why it’s good to eat it in the morning.

 

Protein, The Building Blocks Of Your BodyFrom Visually.

*Eating most of your protein in the morning can keep you feeling satisfied and help reduce your carb cravings throughout the day.  It will boost your metabolism and suppress your appetite.

Fiber is also important in the morning.  According to many experts, including Chris Powell, fiber is very important and should be included in your morning meal.  The morning is also the best time to consume your carbs for the day.  Getting all of these things in the morning will help curb appetite, flush out toxins, and give you the energy to get through the day.

As a mother of 5, I’m always looking for ways to keep my energy level up.  But, I still love those muffins!  Of course, most muffins don’t have a ton of protein in them.  But, I refused to give up my morning muffin!!  All I had to do was find an alternative to the low nutrient temptations I craved.  So, I scoured my usual food finding places, like Amazon and Peapod.  I also checked my local grocery store and Costco.  Anything high in protein was usually in the form of a bar or bland cereal with nuts.  The only muffins I found with a high protein and fiber content were the FlapJacked muffins that come in individual cups.  Sounds easy enough, just add water and stick it in the microwave.  And, Voila!  You get 20 grams of protein in a cup.  Now, let’s see how much they cost…hmmmm.  $24.99 for 6 cups!!!  Are you kidding me?  Well, that’s just not going to happen.  I guess I’ll just have to make them myself.

*Update 02/01/16:  I did make some pretty awesome protein pancakes recently that turned out amazing… and they’re gluten free!  Check out my Instagram for the recipe.  I don’t always have the time to experiment, but here’s what I came up with.

 

Well, I don’t have a ton of time on my hands, but I suppose if I found a good recipe or something I could whip up some yummy protein muffins.  So, I went searching for recipes.  I found this website that gave me a list of 20 protein muffin recipes.  Some of them had high protein content, but those recipes called for protein powder.  Protein powder isn’t cheep and usually comes in huge tubs.  I still felt like I needed something easier, like a muffin mix.

Ok, well sometimes gourmet and direct sales companies have uncommon foods.  So, maybe I’ll find a company that has high protein baked goods and maybe some other healthy breakfast options.  I started searching online for a company that had what I was looking for.  I went through a few different companies before coming across what looked like a brand new company called “Crave It!”  I guess “Crave It” is the sister company to “Do You Bake?”  They make food mixes with all real ingredients, including a protein banana chocolate chip muffin mix!  They also carry a line of protein smoothies, bars, pancakes, and more!  They even have some gluten free mixes that look really yummy.  I got so excited about the food, I just had to order some.  So, I went through the process of ordering and discovered that I could get 50% off my first order if I became an “ambassador.”  So, yea, I just had to take advantage of that.  I ordered the protein muffin mix, a Goin Green Smoothz, and a freezer meal kit.  I waited in anticipation for my package of yummy goodness to arrive.  It took FOREVER!  I guess it had a lot to do with the new year rush and the fact that they’re a newer company, and hopefully that their products were just that good.  I hoped that it was all worth the wait.  I didn’t want to have to search for another company to feed my obsession with baked goods in the morning.  After all, I had gotten the protein muffin mix from “Crave It” on sale AND got the ambassador discount.  SWEET!

Now for the moment of truth.  I opened my package to find gift bags full of mixes, cool looking noodles, a rice mix, and some kind of sauce.  It all looked so…so…time consuming.  Well, I certainly asked for it.  I mean, I just HAD to get that freezer meal kit, didn’t I?  With 5 kids, it’s always a good idea to stock up.  Ok, back to my protein muffins.  I pulled the box out and looked at what I would need to make the muffins.  Bananas…check, greek yogurt…add to list, and eggs.  Ok, that’s doable.  Now, let’s see how they turn out…

YUMMY!  Not too sweet… just right!  Only 5 grams of sugar and 11 grams of protein per muffin (or 3 mini muffins.)  One box made 3 dozen mini muffins.  Since they are pretty filling, they should last a while.  I decided to freeze a bag of them for next week to keep them from going bad before I could enjoy them.

 

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The protein smoothie I got was also delicious and really convenient.  They come in individually wrapped bags for ease of use when you’re on the go.  So, when I’m at the gym and I don’t want to spend $5 on a protein smoothie from the smoothie bar, I just shake up my own protein smoothie/shake by filling my water bottle with water and the Smoothz powder.  Delicious and nutritious!  Yum!

 

Order Now

 

Just tried half a packet of this #smoothie mix and it was yummy! http://www.getfitwithcraveit.com

A photo posted by Marissa Schmucker (@mschmucker31) on

Since I love the products so far and I love what the company stands for, I’ve decided to promote the “Crave It” line of products on my blog to support the mission of both “Crave It” and FamFinFun.  We are all about promoting a healthy lifestyle and showing others how easy it can be with the right support and convenient, healthy food options.

*Update 02/01/16:  New for February 2016!  Get the “Crave It” breakfast bundle for only $31.95!!

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If you would like to support our mission and give your body what it needs, without sacrificing flavor, please browse our catalog below and order online here.  You can also enter to win a free packet of Smoothz protein powder here or have an online party.  Want to get 50% off your first order, make money, and help others make healthy choices?   Join me!

Join Our Growing Family Stand Up for REAL FOOD Banner

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Thank you for being a part of our mission to promote a healthy lifestyle!

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Sunshine and Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie

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I made up this smoothie this morning and I thought it was actually pretty good.  It’s packed full of good stuff and will keep you full for a good portion of the day.  The orange juice and peanut butter make for a surprisingly tasty combination.  You can always adjust the amount of each ingredient according to your own personal preference.  Enjoy!

minionbanana

1/2 frozen banana

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

2 tsp orange juice

2 tsp peanut butter without added sugar (Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter suggested)

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla suggested)

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup fresh organic spinach

 

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Why is Sleep So Important?

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When you have a newborn, a sick child, or you just can’t sleep because your brain won’t turn off, it can be hard getting enough sleep.  But, how much sleep is really enough sleep?  And, how important is sleep really?  Why do we need sleep?  And, what happens when we don’t get enough sleep?

Sleep has been a struggle for me since my first child was born over 9 years ago.  Even after each of my babies started sleeping through the night, it was still hard getting to bed and falling asleep at a decent hour.  So, I’ve been through the effects of sleep deprivation, and it’s really no joke.

Sleep is important.  Not getting the sleep your body needs each night to refresh itself can lead to some serious side-effects.  These are just a few that I’ve experienced.

  1. Loss of Energy:  This, of course, is a given.  If you’re not getting sleep, you’re going to be tired and lack energy.  Depending on the severity of sleep deprivation, it may be difficult to keep moving throughout the day.  Your eyes may feel heavy, as well as the rest of your body at times.
  2. Irritability:  To put it plainly, you’re going to be crabby.  Just like a two year-old who misses a nap, it’s going to be tough keeping your emotions in check.  This can lead to a strain on relationships in addition to feelings of self-hatred and guilt.
  3. Depression:  When you feel tired and crabby all the time, it can be easy to slip into a state of depression.  When you feel depressed, you lose the desire to be social and can isolate yourself from others.  Again, not a good thing for relationships and even worse for your mental health.  This can also lead to a vitamin D deficiency if you’re not getting out of the house.
  4. Weakened Immune System:  That’s right!  Not getting enough sleep can make you sick!  And, everyone knows that being sick can disrupt whatever precious amount of sleep you do get.  So, this can get serious pretty fast if you don’t fix the problem.  No amount of vitamins and/or medicine, as great as those are, will help you out here if you’re not getting that much needed rest.
  5. Loss of Concentration:  Since your body hasn’t been given enough time to rework the wiring in your brain during sleep, you can suffer from what I call a fuzzy brain.  It can be hard concentrating on important tasks when you feel like your head was just stuffed with cotton or you have a few screws loose in there.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body

 

 

So, how do we combat against sleep deprivation?  First, I think we need to look at the underlying causes.  The reason for my sleep deprivation may be different from yours and everyone else, but here are a few of the main ones.

crying_baby

  1. Stress/Anxiety:  This is a big one and it can come in all different forms.  What it really comes down to, though, is how your mind/body is handling life and everything it throws at you.  This was the main one for me this past year, since there are many things in my life I have little or no control over right now.
  2. Responsibilities:  Sometimes it’s a sick child that needs tending to, or maybe it’s a project that needs to be completed.  Whatever it is, you’re responsible for it/them and you’re losing sleep as a result of that responsibility.
  3. Caffeine/Sugar:  How’s your diet?  When you’re feeling tired, it’s easy to reach for that extra cup of coffee and eat whatever is quick and easy.  This is another one I struggle with.  I love a hot cup of coffee with flavored creamer in the morning and I’m not very good at preparing healthy meals in advance.  Still working on this one.
  4. Disorder/Sickness:  Maybe it’s just a stuffy nose keeping you up or maybe it’s a little more complicated than that.  Getting uninterrupted sleep when there’s a battle going on in your body can seem impossible at times.

Now, think about what is keeping you up at night.  Is there anything you can do about it?

Yes!  There is hope! Take Your Pick.

  1. Take a vacation to relieve stress
  2. Write in a journal or pray to empty your brain before going to sleep
  3. Drink soothing tea like chamomile
  4. Cut back on caffeine and sugar and eat a well balanced diet
  5. Sticking to a routine can help everyone in your household sleep better
  6. The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
  7. Cut back on screen time by limiting T.V and computer usage
  8. Get your heart rate up every day and make it fun!
  9. Get out of the house and into the sunshine
  10. See your doctor for more options

 

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