You are Enough

You are enough. Three simple, yet powerful words. Three words that need to be used more than they are. By me. And by YOU.

You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge. Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone – profusely. But don’t apologize for being who you are. ~ Danielle LaPorte

Be unapologetically YOU.

My first name, Amanda, means “lovable; worthy of love,” yet I’ve struggled hard with feeling worthy and there have been so many days where I think I’m difficult to love. I’m not sharing any of this to fish for compliments or to be pitied, but rather to paint a picture of how society sets us up to dislike ourselves. That we need to fit within a certain box, otherwise we’re not worthy. This past year has been a game changer for me – tested me, pushed me, and opened my eyes to the heart of the matter. I want to share all of this with you because while I have felt a shift in my thinking, I know many still struggle.
I’m here to tell you that what you really need is to find peace within. To recognize that you are worthy at this very moment. You are ENOUGH. If you follow me on Instagram, you most likely saw the post I shared on my birthday along with this amazing poem:

“Never trust a mirror,

For a mirror always lies,

It makes you think that all your worth,

Can be seen on the outside,

Never trust a mirror.

It only shows you what’s skin deep,

You can’t see how your eyelids flutter,

When you’re drifting off to sleep,

It doesn’t show you what the world sees,

When you’re only being you,

Or how your eyes light up,

When you’re loving what you do,

It doesn’t capture when you’re smiling,

When no one else can see,

And your reflection cannot tell you,

Everything you mean to me,

Never trust a mirror,

For it only shows your skin,

And if you think that dictates your worth,

It’s time you looked within.”

~ Erin Hanson

Social media is a blessing and a curse. I have a love-hate relationship with it but lately it’s been getting better with adjusting my mindset. I have to frequently check myself and step away for my personal sanity, but I have watched it destroy others – to the point where they completely lost themselves or their self-worth hit an all-time low. 

My battle with self-love dates back to high school and got harder along the way with toxic relationships. I heard it all (from men and women):

“not skinny enough”

“fat face”

“big-boned”

“breast implants could help”

“not pretty enough”

“eyes are too big”

“too sensitive”

“needs a backbone”

I could go on, but it’s kind of depressing…and in the past. Disordered eating and body dysmorphia became a part of my life. Rather than looking within, I became obsessed with the reflection in the mirror and food…and not in a healthy way. It took a lot of hard work, time, and weeding out who I allowed in my life to get where I am today. Perfectly imperfect.


Going back to when I said social media is a blessing and a curse. When I talk about social media, I’m referring to Instagram (IG) because I left Facebook a few years ago as it wasn’t healthy for me. Instagram has connected me with so many amazing, inspiring, empowering people – some of them I consider my dearest friends, most of them I haven’t even met in person. And some of them are people I’ve known personally for years (former co-workers, school friends, family) – it’s a blessing to have an app to keep us in the loop of one another’s lives. To connect us. It feels good to be supported – to get a virtual hug, high-five, and the occasional “I’ve been there, mama” or “me too!”

Now the curse. The overly filtered, heavily edited, perfectly staged, selectively chosen pictures that are posted. Combined with the competitiveness and elitist attitude from some of the people…it can be a pretty toxic space…if you’re not careful. Did you know that I have received a quite few messages about how my photos could use some work or how to improve my blog or how to gain more followers? You probably didn’t. And while I try not to let that sort of stuff get to me, catch me on a bad day and I will over analyze everything and shut down. I’m not looking to grow my page or blog. To me, Instagram is my life in photos. Family, nature, food, and anything in between…I guess I consider myself a lifestyle page and to me, it’s kind of like a digital diary, an account of the delicious recipes I’ve tried, beautiful hiking spots, and my world…Willow. I post things that genuinely excite me or make me happy – I never post something as a way to impress someone or gain anything. Same goes for my blog – it’s more of a hobby for me. Something I genuinely enjoy because I write for me and if anyone happens to read my rambles, it’s just an added bonus. I don’t take the time to use a photo editor app or perfectly stage my food…nothing against those who do, for me, I just want to eat my food and I’ll occasionally snap a quick, in-the-moment pic, but that’s because I want to enjoy my food while it’s still hot or devour it before it melts. I can absolutely appreciate those gorgeous photos and even if I don’t photograph my food, I still make it pretty…does that make sense? But I need to digress because this rant is not where I intended this to go!

Back to curse. Not everyone on social media is genuine or compassionate. Just like in real life. It can be a selfish world and by that I mean, there are people who are only on there to benefit themselves, even if it means hurting others along the way. For example, there are accounts on IG who spend time commenting on random posts using fake compliments. Sometimes they’ll even go so far as to “follow” you and say, “I love your page” or “I love what you’re doing here.” All of this just to get your attention so that you’ll check out their page or follow them back. Ninety-nine percent of the time they’ll unfollow you once you’re following them. All they care about is growing their numbers. What’s sad is that I know a few people whom this has happened to and due to already low self-worth, it set them over the edge. They took it so personal, as an insult, that they became so depressed. If only people took others feelings into consideration before acting.


It is SO easy to get caught up in the comparison trap – those “perfect” photos can be intimidating and for some, they can be toxic. Here’s my message to you (and a reminder to myself):

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

You can’t compare a 38-year-old stay-at-home mother to a twenty something college student. While age doesn’t matter, getting older changes things. Bodies are different, lifestyles alter, priorities shift. I remember being in college. I remember working two jobs while taking a full course load. I remember my body being totally different. I remember having more time to myself. BUT, remember, pregnancy and birthing a child is no joke. I look at my cesarean scar and stretch marks as gifts and while I may never have a toned, flat stomach again, I am damn proud of my body. I am enough.

I’ve even been bad about comparing myself to other moms – I’d see “perfect” posts and think, ‘I need to workout more,’ or ‘I don’t do enough when it comes to homeschooling,’ or a general blanket statement…’I need to do more.’ Heck, there are some days when getting dressed is about all we do and guess what? That’s enough. When I take a step back and look at my life, what I’ve accomplished, my goals – I’m proud and I think I am enough. 

Don’t let those perfectly clean, organized house photos fool you. I have to laugh because I’ll joke and say that I need to snap a photo as evidence that it’s possible to have a clean house. Truth is, our house looks like a tornado ripped through it…95% of the time. Dishes piled HIGH, mail strewn about all over the counter, Willow drawings scattered on the floor, markers missing caps, crumbs EVERYWHERE, and blankets + couch cushions thrown about. We have an almost five-year old child and three fur babies. Our home is cozy, lived in, and messy. When Josh comes home from work, he’s able to follow the trail of the events by looking at the house. So, mamas, look at it this way. A messy house is a sign of having fun. A sign of living. It’s a sign that you’re feeding your family well. It’s a sign that you’ve found more important things to do than scrub the floors or dust the shelves…you’re being a present parent! Just because your house isn’t clean and organized like those posts on IG, doesn’t make you any less of a human being. Remember…YOU ARE ENOUGH. I am enough. (P.S. – also consider the fact that those so-called perfectly clean, organized homes were probably in disarray moments before or after they shared a pic).

What you can’t see in the photo below is our kitchen! Ha!! And to be honest, this is considered pretty clean…


Do not compare a blogger’s food photos to your own. Most bloggers have really nice cameras and props. Some have special lighting equipment. Most make a living off of creating recipes and taking stunningly beautiful photos. It’s their “job” and passion. More than anything, those bloggers put in hard work and effort to create a beautiful shot. It’s really easy for me to get caught up in this specific comparison trap. Being a SAHM I’m forever multi-tasking. Trying to snap a “perfect” photo is next to impossible because either (A) Willow is pulling on my legs or arms asking me to come look at something , (B) Willow is begging to eat what I’m photographing, or (C) I don’t have a really nice camera (just an inexpensive point-and-shoot Nikon or my iPhone), nor do I have any props. Once again, NOTHING against those who have all of this. I am simply stating why my photos aren’t much to look at. I AM a foodie though. I love the kitchen, I love creating, and I love trying new recipes created by others. Will my photos do them justice? Maybe not. But like I said, my posts are like an account of what I’ve made and enjoyed. I personally struggle sometimes to even post food pics because I think to myself, “these aren’t good enough” or “this looks nothing like so-and-so’s photos.” Stop that. Stop that right now. I’m talking to myself and YOU. Because remember…YOU ARE ENOUGH! So post those photos if they make you happy!

I intended on snapping a before photo, but she couldn’t wait to dive in and honestly, this photo makes me waaaaaay happier than a bowl of banana ice cream…


Do not compare someone else’s journey with your own. – Whether its spiritual, health, healing, diet, lifestyle, etc…DO NOT compare the path you are on to another person’s. Do not minimize your progress or success to someone else’s. Keep the focus within. What we all need to remember is that each one of us is different. Bodies. Mindsets. Priorities. Resources. Finances. All of it differs from person to person. Family to family. I do feel that it’s nice to have something to aspire to and occasionally it’s healthy to use someone else’s story for inspiration BUT not as an end all. Not as an “I need this in order to be happy, healthy, or beautiful.” Keep checking in with yourself. Are you happy? If so, you’re on the right path. And remember, no matter the case, YOU ARE ENOUGH.

– I struggled for a while with my own spiritual journey. I’d be bombarded by posts from others sharing what I needed in order to be truly spiritual. I began to feel that I wasn’t meditating enough, praying enough, unplugging enough, reading enough, minimalist enough. In a nutshell, I didn’t feel like I was enough, that while I thought of myself as spiritual, I began doubting that I actually was. That I constantly needed more. Truth is, after taking a deeper look within, I began to see that I was enough and that what I held dear to my journey – to my spiritual practice – worked for me. I began to phase out what others were throwing at me and focused more on what worked for me. Once I stopped comparing my journey with others, I was more at peace. I am a constant work in progress; forever learning how to be the best version of myself without the influence of others.

– In line with this thought, everyone’s idea of veganism (or diet in general) is different and for us to belittle one another over minor details is silly. What I consider healthy for me, won’t line up with the next person. What’s important is that we do what’s right for our own body and mind. Realizing that it’s enough – you’re not less healthy or less of a person because you consume more fat or carbs than someone else. 

Holy bright!!!! I swear this photo is unedited! I attempted to capture Willow being super silly,  but just as I snapped the pic, she ducked down in her car seat…but I managed to capture how truly happy I was…


I have to share an excerpt from Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (seriously read her books, I’ve loved them all). The last paragraph on the page below is so perfect…


Do it for YOU. The second you start posting for someone else’s attention or approval or writing what you think people want to hear, you’ve lost yourself. You’ve forgotten what it’s all about. YOU are important and what you have to share IS important. So don’t post something because you think it will get a lot of “likes” or “followers” – post from the heart. Post what makes YOU happy. Post what sings to your soul. When you do that, the right people will be aligned with your path.When you get caught up in what others like or what the “trend” is, you stop being yourself. What YOU have to offer is ENOUGH. For me this also means taking frequent breaks or unplugging for a few days – I’ve learned to be OK with not replying to comments the day they’re left or catching up on everyone’s page. Those who matter will still be there when I return. I choose to take care of myself (and family) before anything else.

If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value. ~ Unknown


Do not compare numbers; in fact, ignore them. Just because you have less followers than someone else, does not make you any less important or valuable. Just because you only got 30 likes on a post doesn’t mean your photo wasn’t beautiful or meaningful. Know deep down that numbers mean nothing. Some of my absolute favorite pages/people have small followings and I adore them because their captions speak to me and their photos are  real, in-the-moment accounts of life. I enjoy interacting, engaging with other people and often times, the bigger pages just can’t keep up with comments or questions, which sadly, makes me less inclined to reach out to them. I love the pages that share unapologetically and a little bit of everything: food, personal, nature, quotes, motherhood…you name it. As long as they’re posting from the heart, that’s all that matters. So whether you have 20 followers or 100k followers, you need to remember that YOU ARE ENOUGH. Your worth is not determined by numbers. As long as you’re doing what YOU love, it is enough.


If you’re unhappy with who you are, what you look like, or where you are, I highly recommend digging down deep within and figuring out why. I say this because trying to change who you are or what you look like doesn’t always bring happiness, in fact, chances are, your feelings will remain the same. So choose to be happy now, not “when I lose 10 pounds,” or “when I get that promotion.” Embrace who YOU are and recognize your unique self and remember…

You are not your wrinkles, age spots, acne scars.

You are not the number on a scale.

You are not your pant size.

You are not your grades in school or your degree.

You are not your job title.

You are not your mistakes or shortcomings.

Your worth is NOT determined by the amount of followers you have or the number of likes you get on a post.

You aren’t less worthy if you “fail.” Choosing to put yourself out there and be who you are is a brave action. Vulnerability is not weakness.

The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognise your own worth. ~ Maxwell Maltz

I had an epiphany a couple of days before my birthday (which is what sparked this blog post) and it was literally as if someone finally turned a bright light on after being in the dark for years. I felt a sense of freedom that was indescribable. Rather than living in a state of fear or walking on eggshells, I am now able to approach social media with a new mindset. New eyes. New confidence. I used to fear what others would think so I would hold back (filter) what I share. This last year was a whirlwind of emotions and struggles with health, creativity, relationships, love, loss, and change. I learned to follow my heart, my gut, and listen to my body…and ignored what others said was the “right” way. Through this journey, I have lost a few friends (real and online) because they didn’t agree with my path. And that’s OK. Hundreds unfollowed me on social media in a week’s span and while it stung at first, I count it as a blessing. I’m being aligned with those who truly matter; those who accept me for who I am…all of me. I learned the difference between true friends and those who only “liked” me when I was either making their recipes – only “supported” me when it was convenient or only talked with me when my life was positive (when I kept my struggles to myself)…a handful of those people unfollowed me on social media and while I’m grateful for what I learned from them while we were “friends” I am also grateful to not have artificial friendships in my life. I have grown because of them. I have learned that I AM ENOUGH no matter what. If I’m in a creativity slump…I AM STILL ENOUGH. I believe in supporting my friends wholeheartedly, even if their path doesn’t align with my own. Even if I am unable to make their recipes or buy their products, I support them with my words and energy. Realize that YOU ARE ENOUGH and if for any reason you doubt your stance with someone, it is time to let go and recognize that you should not have to fight to be heard by a “friend.”

I’ll share one last bit before I end this loooong ramble 😉

Becoming a mother opened my eyes in more ways than one. I’ve grown more than ever during these almost five years and have come to really recognize my strength. During these years, I have also been criticized more than ever – whether by random strangers on social media or family. Everything from diet, choice to not vaccinate, homeschooling, and me being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). I’ve been told that I need to do research, or I’m depriving my child, I need to listen to doctors, or get a part-time job. Yep. That last one really irks me. Get a job?? I may not punch in my hours on a time clock or receive a paycheck, but I hold many “job” titles and work 24/7. As with everything else, I’ve come to grow from the criticism or negativity. Why? Because I realize that my worth does not depend on what others think of me. And as far as being a mom, sure I have my bad days and moments of doubt, but I know deep down that I’m doing a pretty damn good job.


I think we all need to remember that we’re human. We might make mistakes, fall down, fail, do things we’re not proud of, but we are ALL WORTHY.

To anyone and everyone reading this, I’m sending you LOTS OF BIG hugs. Thank you for taking the time to read this to the end.

 

Unplug to Reconnect

I have been unplugged from social media for over a week now. One full week. It was never my intention, but after two getaways with my family where I didn’t use my phone for anything other than texting, I came to a sad realization. We, as a society (myself included), spend far too much time on our phones. We get so caught up in the lives of others or documenting our own, that we forget to just LIVE. I would feel the urge to grab my phone and browse to see what everyone was up to or I’d get anxious about the emails that I needed to respond to. It made me think back to what my life was like before social media. Years ago, before I got sucked into the online world of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and Googling everything, my life was very different. I used to spend more time reading, writing, creating, exercising and simply being more present in the moment. Since Willow was just a few months old, I began writing in a journal to her every night. I realized just how much things had changed when I opened her journal one night and saw that it had been two weeks since I wrote anything. But that wasn’t the only thing that changed.

Unplug to Reconnect

After returning from our camping getaway, you might remember me saying how I felt overwhelmed. During our two days away, I had my phone off and out of sight. I didn’t get distracted by incoming texts, notifications from IG or Pinterest and I had no idea how many unread emails I had…until I turned it back on. Those two days were incredibly freeing. I found I was more present and mindful as a mother and wife. There was more eye contact, deeper conversations and just an overall increase in engaging interactions. Turning my phone back on immediately brought about anxiety with all the things I felt “needed” to be done. Then my overnight getaway to Seattle with Josh for the Trader Joe’s party opened my eyes even more. I was spending far too much time on my phone after Willow fell asleep that I was missing out on quality spouse time. After Willow fell asleep, we were doing our own things – he would read, play video games or fall asleep early, while I spent hours catching up online.

Before Willow was born, Josh and I did everything together. Not because we felt we had to – we genuinely enjoy one another’s company. We’d go grocery shopping together, cook together, watch movies together and just spend time together. When we became parents, our focus and priority became Willow – her health, happiness and well-being takes the top spot. We soak up all the precious time with her, but my time with Josh is just as precious. You see, Josh works 50+ hours a week and not your typical Monday-Friday 9-5 gig. His work week starts on Friday (12pm-10pm) and ends on Tuesday (4am-2pm). Hours are all over the place with long work days.The recent trip to Seattle made me realize just how important it is to have that time together. I was reminded of all the little things we take for granted, such as an uninterrupted conversation or cuddling up on the couch together to watch an episode or two of a series.

When i was smacked in the face with the realization that I was spending too much time on my phone, something had to be done. So, I unplugged. I turned off push notifications, told myself I wasn’t allowed to open the IG app, and only checked my email once a day (I would have cut it out all together, but emails are how I get notified of an Etsy sale). As the days went by, I found myself becoming less stressed and overwhelmed and more calm and mindful. I could feel creativity creeping back in and far less distracted. My days were filled with more joy, smiles, laughter and adventure because I was less worried about catching up. It was honestly freeing. Rather than reaching for my phone excessively to capture photos of food or something that Willow was doing, I was learning to just live in the moment and ENJOY.

Unplug to Reconnect

I highly recommend clicking on this link HERE – you’ll see some photos that show you just how much our society is heavily dependent on their phones, along with some pretty great quotes.

Here are some observations I’ve made, as well as things I’ve noticed within myself. If any of the following signs hit home, you might want to unplug for a bit. I honestly feel that all of us could benefit from unplugging, even if it’s for a day or two.

10 Signs you Need to Unplug:

  1. When you wake up, you instantly reach for your phone to check your online profiles – who “liked” or commented on your posts, who started following you or browse your Facebook/IG feed. I’ve been guilty of this. I used to be so good about saying affirmations or just taking a few deep breaths before greeting the day. Lately I find that some mornings I am too quick to grab for my phone to see what I missed. Most mornings I sleep in with Willow and don’t have time to even bother with my phone. I now realize that whatever I “missed” can wait. Unless it’s an urgent voicemail or text message, it can all wait.
  2. You can’t go a few hours or an entire day without checking your feed and/or online profiles. Really pay attention to just how often you’re reaching for your phone.    
  3. Your child has to repeatedly say, “look at me!” or has to repeatedly call for your attention because you’re too busy on your phone. I’m generally pretty good about staying off my phone while Willow is awake. I’ll occasionally text someone back, post a quick photo on Instagram or glance at emails, but I stopped browsing IG a long time ago and wait until Willow is asleep. Why? It hit me one day that I want Willow to look over at me and see me looking back at her. She shouldn’t have to hear the words, “Hold on” or “One minute.”  I don’t want her to know me as the mom who is glued to her phone. I want her to know that she is far more important than online profiles and the number of followers I have. I’ll never forget this awful play date we had last year. The mom had her phone in her hand the entire time – I think we made eye contact once during the few hours we spent at her house. She was consumed with replying to emails, texts and who knows what else. What saddened me most was her son’s behavior and how she reacted to him. He was screaming, throwing himself on the floor and clearly in need of attention. Rather than talking with him and figuring out what was going on, she took him up to his room for a “time out” and left him there for a good 20 minutes. Willow and I sat there awkwardly playing while she resumed whatever she was doing on her phone. That was the one and only play date we had with that family.
  4. You find your mood being negatively affected after time spent online. I will be the first to admit this has happened to me. Whether it was a hurtful comment, judgmental post or people unfollowing me, I no longer take it personal. There will always be haters and the amount of followers you have does not dictate your value or importance. Within the last month or so, I stopped looking at the numbers and post whatever I feel like. I tried running two separate accounts on IG, but it was time-consuming and I realized I’d rather attract people who were interested in all aspects of what I post. This works for me, but I can understand why people keep it professional. Along those lines though, when your online profile begins to feel more like a chore and less fun, that is a clear sign that something needs to change…or you need a break.
  5. You spend more time on Facebook/IG (etc.) rather than spending real quality time with the people in your life. I already discussed this earlier in the post.
  6. A large portion of your day/night is spent replying to emails, comments on posts or browsing the web. We co-sleep with Willow and after she has fallen asleep in my arms or on top of me, I reach for my phone and catch up. I had no idea just how much time I was spending on my phone until I timed it one night. Responding back to individual comments, questions, direct messages on Instagram and then browsing/catching up with what others were up to….are you ready for it…three hours. THREE HOURS. It was then that I realized that I can no longer use the “excuse” I don’t have time. Those few hours could have been spent meditating, doing yoga, exercising, writing, reading and a long list of other things I struggle with finding the time to do. Limit usage, for example, allow yourself to spend an hour to browse or respond to comments. Remember, it can wait – so don’t feel like it all has to be done in one sitting.
  7. Your phone joins you at meal time(s). I know many of you are guilty of this one. Josh and I don’t use the phone during meal times together, but I’m guilty of snapping photos of our meal before eating. I’ll be eating dinner with my family and in my head I’m planning out the caption to go with the photo. Rather than being present at dinner and spending REAL time together, my mind is elsewhere. Such a sad thing to admit.
  8. You feel the need to document everything online (what you ate, what you’re wearing, what you’re doing) – in other words, if you’re posting excessively. I’d like to think that I’m not one to post excessively. I try to limit myself to one or two posts a day, if that. Ask yourself, “Who am I posting this for?” and “Why?” Are you trying to impress someone or gain popularity? Think of social media as a way to inspire – a tool to spread knowledge or ideas. I recently unfollowed a page that was posting six or seven times a day….every day. It all felt repetitive and this person was sending the message that he/she spent ALL day on there.
  9. You feel the urge or need to respond to every comment or email right away. Guilty. When I started receiving more comments on my posts, I felt the need to rush to respond back. I know it’s not expected of me, but I like to respond to each comment individually. To let the person know that I read and acknowledged their comment/question. I later realized that it can wait. I can’t do it all – no one can.
  10. Your sleep is suffering. Are you going to bed too late and waking up exhausted? I was. There were a few nights where I was up until 1:00 am responding to IG notifications and/or emails and then waking up wiped out. Willow typically sleeps through the night, but sometimes she wakes up needing me. So, on those mornings, I was extra exhausted which lead to me feeling lazy, sluggish, grumpy and stressed. I’ve heard some people say that they charge their phone outside of the bedroom so as not to be tempted to check it so frequently OR spend the last hour before you go to bed phone-free. Use that time to meditate, journal or read a book.

I will be the first to admit that finding balance is hard. My struggle is that I can’t do things half-heartedly…for me, I put all my focus and energy into whatever it is that I’m doing. Trying to do that across the board meant spreading myself thin. I could literally feel myself breaking apart. When I begin to feel overwhelmed or too anxious, I pull back from just about everything. Everything but being a mom. Making the decision to be a parent is a HUGE responsibility and it was MY decision…not Willow’s. I think as parents, we need to be more mindful and remember that WE brought our children into this world, that they deserve our undivided attention. I feel happiest when Willow is happy. When I know that I did the best I could, that I soaked up the moments with her. We’ve also made the decision to unschool, so over this last week, it has been a lot of fun being 100% focused on following Willow’s lead. Her passion for learning is strong and that’s something I want (and need) to keep feeding. I’ve done a lot of reading on mindfulness over the years and here’s a short list of ways to be more mindful as a parent…which is deeply connected to unplugging from technology.

Unplug to Reconnect

How to be a More Mindful, Present Parent:

  1. Put your phone away and spend actual time WITH your child.
  2. Turn off push notifications for social media, emails, etc.
  3. Turn off the TV.
  4. Let go of the To-Do lists.
  5. Always make eye contact while talking with your child.
  6. Get down on their level – play on the floor, sit next to them.
  7. Be a “YES” parent.
  8. Involve your child in day-to-day activities.
  9. Put yourself in their shoes.
  10. Forgive yourself.

I’m not saying that you can’t use your phone at all during your child’s awake time, but most definitely put a limit on your use. If you’re one to check your phone every 20 minutes, try limiting it to every hour or two. If you feel the need to carry your phone in your back pocket, don’t. You’re a parent and the people who know you, know that. Don’t feel like you have to respond to every text immediately or rush to the phone with every beep, or vibration. If it’s important, they’ll call you! Let go of expectations – rather than being consumed with all that “needs” to be done, realize that none of it is going anywhere…it will be there later. If you have deadlines to meet or feel pressure, don’t hesitate to ask for help – whether from your significant other, a close friend or family. Don’t use the TV as a babysitter. When you are spending time with your child, get down on the ground and play with them! Whether it’s doing a floor puzzle, building with Legos or digging in the dirt – they appreciate you joining in with them. Willow’s face lights up every time I grab crayons to color with her or when we build a tall tower of blocks together just to knock them all down. I do believe that independent play is important, but if they ask you to do something with them, don’t deprive them of that.

Unplug to Reconnect

Our little nature girl.

I was in Target the other day and the number of times I heard this mom say, “no” to her child was ridiculous. I’m not saying that we should spoil our kids and say “yes” to everything, but what’s the harm in a $1 pack of note cards or post-its? Avoid the power struggles and learn to pick your battles. I always think to myself, “how would it feel if that were said or done to me?” I’m pretty sure I would feel defeated if everything I brought up was greeted with a “NO.”

The one thing in the list above that was a bit hard for me at first, but definitely an important one, is to include your child in day-to-day activities. I am a perfectionist and sometimes I’d rather do something myself so it gets done in a timely fashion. As Willow has gotten older, I realize that everything is a learning opportunity, a chance to teach responsibility or new experiences. A meal that would take me 20-30 minutes to put together will now take an hour or longer, but Willow LOVES to help and it is all worth it to see the smile on her face. Same goes for when we started involving her in feeding our dog, Abbey. Willow runs to help and does it proudly. What used to be a quick 30 minute workout, now takes a good bit longer because I’m either teaching Willow a new move or we’re rolling on the ground laughing.

Unplug to Reconnect

Excuse the poor quality of this photo and our mess of a kitchen, but here’s our sweet girl focused hard on helping with dinner.

I am far from being a perfect mom or wife, but I learn from mistakes and greet each day as another chance to do better. When you find yourself juggling a lot of tasks or responsibilities, it is important to find that balance. Don’t let the stress of it all get the best of you. There is absolutely NO shame in taking a step back, a break or unplugging from it all for a bit. For me, I needed to unplug from almost all of it to center my soul and reconnect with the people I love. If you’ve never disconnected from your phone before, do it. You might be surprised by what you learn.

Thanks for stopping by!

Motherhood Truth: “Picky Eaters”

Since becoming a mother, I have faced more criticism in these last three years than my entire 36 years combined. From our parenting style, to lifestyle choices and what we feed our child.  Social media has a way of distorting reality – more often than not, unrealistic pictures are painted leaving some of us more open and honest moms feeling a bit sub par. I started noticing comments on my posts (and others) making snap judgments, placing blame and using that freedom of speech a bit too much. Being a mom is constant learning process and I don’t see that slowing down any time soon. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have. Yes, mistakes will be made along the way, but WE ARE HUMAN. I think it’s important to find a support network of other mothers who will make you feel empowered, provide guidance without judgment and have an open line of communication. That is why I have decided to start a series of “Motherhood Truth” topics where we share tips, tricks and ideas that might be able to help any other mothers out there who might be facing the same struggle. So, stop comparing your “imperfections” with those who appear to be perfect…I’ll fill you in on a little secret…most people do not openly share struggles and only share the good, positive moments (clean house, well-groomed child, good behavior, etc.). This series will be somewhat of a journal – a very candid, honest look at some mama truths.

trust_issues-11

Today we’re talking about “Picky Eaters” – I honestly don’t really like that word, picky, I prefer “selective.” Maybe it’s because I do in fact have a current “picky” eater. It wasn’t always that way. When Willow was first introduced to solids, she ate anything and everything we put in front of her! Mashed peas, carrots, cauliflower, avocado, squash….the list goes on. As time went by, she learned what she loved and wanted nothing else. Growing up, and I know my mom will confirm, I was a picky eater. I would be left at the dinner table crying because I didn’t want my veggies. Me! The kid who at age 12 announced she was going vegetarian. Our preferences and tastes change – we all go through phases of foods we just can’t get enough of and foods we could really do without. I used to hate mushrooms, was afraid of Brussels sprouts, I still have a strange relationship with peas, and used to be terrified of trying anything new. Today, I absolutely LOVE veggies! There is hope for you and your “picky eater” and as one of my IG friends told me, “Miracles do happen!”

She LOVED all foods in the beginning!

strawberry love

Motherhood Truth: Picky Eaters // Be Sol-Ful

She tried some cantaloupe, but didn’t like it! It’s hit or miss with this fruit!

I’ll never forget when I shared a bit on Instagram about my battle with picky eating. Most of the feedback was reassuring and encouraging, but some people placed the blame on me as a parent for Willow’s finicky ways. I realize that I open myself up for criticism when I share some truth, but I do it with the hope that someone else will say, “No way?! Me, too!” I believe in being honest and real – never pretending that struggles don’t exist.

Before we dive into some tips and tricks, below I have provided a short list of blogs (my go-to sites) that have some great kid-friendly recipes!

http://thevegan8.com

http://vedgedout.com

http://www.veggiesdontbite.com

http://crueltyfreefamily.com/

http://vegetariangastronomy.com

http://plantpoweredkitchen.com

http://ohsheglows.com

http://minimalistbaker.com

http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com

chia girl

Here our some tips and tricks that help in working with our selective eater:

  • We have the most success at breakfast time (mostly because she’s often times not hungry come dinnertime) so we take advantage and pack in as many fruits & veggies – usually in the form of a smoothie. We’re able to add in spinach or kale, spirulina (and other superfoods), carrots, and various fruits. Lately, Willow is the one requesting a green smoothie – makes me feel like I’m succeeding a bit!
  • Make food FUN! Turn fruits, veggies, pancakes, sandwiches and more into fun shapes! Cookie cutters of all sizes can help make meal times more appealing. Also, incorporate a lot of color.
  • We DO NOT force Willow to eat something she’s not interested in and we most definitely do not force her to clear her plate. We do, however, do our best to encourage her to try new things. Along the same lines as not forcing, we just let her be at dinner – we have found that focusing more on what’s in front of us (on our plates) and not what she is or isn’t eating, allows her to discover for herself. She DOES NOT like us to watch her eat.
  • Don’t freak out if she doesn’t want to eat – realize that kids will tell you when they’re hungry.
  • Willow isn’t a fan of certain textures, so we keep that in mind – we’ll puree veggie soups as opposed to leaving them chunky – which also allows us to sneak in extra veggies that she wouldn’t ordinarily eat.
  • We also keep in mind the foods that she DOES love and play on that. One of her favorite meals is mac n cheeze with my homemade cheeze sauce – it has hidden veggies in it such as carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, but sometimes we change it up and use the usual cashew base and add in red bell pepper or recently spinach.
  • Continue to talk about the importance of vegetables – they keep us healthy, help us grow strong. Be honest about ingredients.
  • Be the example and eat our veggies/fruits – also dramatically emphasize how delicious something is…tends to peak her interest which leads her to take a bite or at least smell foods.
  • Provide dips/sauces for veggies and new foods.
  • Involve her in grocery shopping and food prep – all the while discussing what each ingredient is and their benefits.
  • Make things bite size or smaller and we tell her that we made it “Willow size” – just for her. She gets really excited!
  • Limit her snacks – less snacking means eating more at meal times…also increasing our chances of her trying new foods.
  • Praise her for trying new foods and/or eating well.
  • This last one doesn’t always work, but there’s an episode of Daniel Tiger that she really likes: Be a Vegetable Taster/Daniel Tries a New Food – and within that episode is a strategy song and we occasionally remind her, “Try new food, it might taste good.” Sometimes she’ll actually take a bite and try it.
Motherhood Truth: Picky Eaters // Be Sol-Ful

Smoothies are our go-to way of packing in all the nutrients. This one here has lots of blueberries and spinach.

little helper

Here are some tips and tricks from a few of my favorite Instagram mamas!

Tara (@unschooling_mama):

“As a mother of 4 children, picky eaters is a topic I’ve struggled with often. Like everything, sometimes I handle it with grace and acceptance, while other times it drives me crazy. But mostly these days I’m pretty calm about what my girls eat (or don’t eat).
I also remember being a very picky eater as a child and that feeling of being bullied and abused into eating food still hurts and has formed poor eating habits (that I have worked to overcome) as an adult. So I really try hard to be respectful of my girls and honour their spirits by not coercing, punishing, or forcing eating.

Here is what is currently working for me:

– raw veggies: almost Every lunch and dinner in my house includes a side of cut up raw veggies. I know my girls will always eat carrots, cucumber, broccoli, avocado, and celery. So if I’m making casserole (that I know they will likely not eat) I feel good knowing they at least ate some veggies.

-“build your own” dinners: We do this with salads, rice bowls, burritos, sandwiches, pizza. I prepare everything separate and arrange it on plates on the counter and allow my girls to each make their own dish. It’s fun and gives them a chance to feel like they are in charge if making healthy choices.

– try once: I put a small amount of a disliked or new food on my girls plate, and I nicely ask them to try at least one bite. But I don’t force or bribe them, if they say no I just let it go. It seems to work best, and sometimes these once hated foods become new favourites. I don’t engage in food battles and try to stay zen 😉 ”

Jeni (@jteel7):

“I always find the number one way to get my daughter to try something new is to let her make it herself. And also, I keep the ingredients to a very short list. Too many flavors at once will send her taste buds into overload! And most of all, I’ve learned to pick and choose my battles and tend to just give in and make her the same thing again and again…I just really feel that if she is fed, healthy and happy, then ultimately, I’ve done my job! My go to website for fun and healthy kid meals is weelicious.com! Her vlogs are hilarious! ❤️ ”

Jaime (@happy_fit_vegan_mama):

“So, luckily my kids are fairly good eaters for the most part, but then again maybe it isn’t luck at all…?
I’ve always fed them a fairly diverse array of food, including lots of veggies, fruit, legumes, whole grains etc. I’ve also always tried to make things/recipes healthier by adding extra ingredients like hemp hearts, hemp protein, chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts, coconut oil etc into baking and such.
There have definitely been spurts of pickiness along the way, and I used to really stress about it, but I’ve realized that it’s pretty normal and  kids tend to go through this from time to time. I just keep offering the healthy stuff, but let them choose what they want to eat. They have always come back around. If it’s just peanut butter sandwiches and apples for a couple of days, no big deal.
My oldest was a pretty big fan of green smoothies, so that always made me feel a little less stressed about his diet. My second never liked smoothies, so that kind of stressed me out a bit, but I gave discovered that he really likes the Vega One Nutritional shake, so we do that a few times a week.
I try to make a lot of stuff from scratch and try to avoid the sugar and preservative laden pre-packaged food. Of course this isn’t always possible, but at least I know that the majority of their diet it nutritionally sound.
My sister’s son is very, very picky, and will only eat white buns, vanilla yogurt, cheese, apples and a couple other things. From what i can see, she basically just gave up trying to feed him different things, and gave in to his pickiness. I think maybe that has contributed to his continuing pickiness. My feeling is that we should keep offering the healthy options, but not force them. And obviously be a good role model as parents be eating the healthy stuff, and kids will often follow suit. Also, I think that we need to tune into our kids a little more. Just as everyone learns differently, I feel that everyone eats differently. Pay attention to what they like and dislike (the way a food is prepared, whether food is touching on a plate, whether they like casserole type foods or eating more plain foods etc), and keep that in mind when preparing them food. Offer new things, but always have something you know they’ll like as well.”

Somer (@somermccowan):

Somer provided a great link to an article about picky eating…please check it out!

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/7139710

Molly (@mcoope34):

“The most important goal is: to get the toddler to eat what is necessary for their daily intake of all the different food groups/recommended totals. What that means is that I always provide a grain (typically brown rice or quinoa), a vegetable (either steamed or roasted), and a protein (this could be anything from tofu to beans, anything soy, or even nuts/seeds – so a pbj totally works). Fruit is optional because he always has fruit type snacks (like apple and pb) thru the day. I get creative.. sometimes we make the beans or chickpeas into a dip or hummus… he likes really simple flavors. It’s hard because I refuse to cook him a separate meal, but I know he’s picky… so I just prepare. While I’m cooking, he snacks on veggies, cold beans, and other things.. He likes things that are simple and have a little sea salt on them.. when flavors get complex or food is all mixed together.. he doesn’t like it. So here’s my secret… if I’m making something that has a sauce (like general tao’s tofu or roasted bbq chickpeas), I just give him that protein without the sauce (so I separate it out before I mix it all together). It’s much easier to give him everything separate before anything is mixed! Since I know Liam isn’t a big fan of change or flavor I’ll then take the beans (whatever kind) and flavor them with cumin, garlic, and sea salt – that’s his go-to protein. If it’s tofu, I’ll give him raw tofu or just baked with a little salt/pepper on silicone mats.. so I don’t even use oil. We don’t do a lot of soy, so we focus a lot on beans/quinoa. 
 
Here’s another tip… give food in an order… I know Liam will always eat his protein (that’s his favorite part), so he gets his veggie first– he prefers to eat all veggies raw, so that’s what he normally will have, if steamed he gets a tad of sea salt… then his grain, then his protein.. followed usually with frozen blueberries if he eats his plate. I give him the correct portions (I measure all of our food out… ex brown rice – we all get 1/2 cup).
 
One last time… determine how many bites at the beginning of the meal. He usually has to take 5 to 10 bites of everything. If it’s new, he just has to have one bite and then more depending on if he likes it. Texture is HUGE for toddlers and I find it has a lot to do with the picky eaters. 
 
So all in all, simple flavors and keep it as raw or unseasoned as possible. I never started him on sauces and I think that’s why he isn’t a huge fan. Also, reward with healthy foods (ex frozen blueberries, a few tortilla chips, or a green smoothie made to taste like chocolate milk). Never bribe with candy/typical desserts. 
 
I think parents get into big trouble trying to change it up. We get bored and want to explore… but that does NOT mean your toddler does. It’s easy to get frustrated and just start giving the kid processed junk because they’ll eat it. Just stick to what you know and things will go much smoother.”
Corey (@consciousnonblonde):
“When they are toddlers, allow them to be in the kitchen while you are cooking and let them taste from a spoon or fork while cooking. For some reason it really worked with Makenna – she thought she was “big” and giving her opinion on the taste before she had to sit down and eat it. Also, we would let them and still do pick out a fruit or vegetable at the grocery store to fix for the whole family. Now that she is seven, she has her own cookbook and we pick one night a week, usually Thursday, and she selects a recipe and we make it together. I should also note that being in the kitchen with me, she has said it’s her favorite thing to do. Mama felt special when she wrote that in her book.”
Jenna (@breathofayogi):
 “I have had an extremely picky eater since his birth just over three years ago. At first I panicked, then I realized it was just a matter of patience and persistence, and understanding/learning what he did like and why he didn’t like everything else. For him a large part of the problem was texture. He would gag at all skins, loose pieces of food, and moosh, which made the initial “baby foods” out of the question. Once he began eating solids things did improve, but also because I had learned him better. Even today we have issues—daily—but I don’t react. I keep offering and I accept if he takes even one bite. I simply give him what he does like and supplement the nutrients I don’t feel he’s consuming enough of in his selective diet. Beyond that it’s, again, about having patience and remembering that all of life for them is a phase. It will pass, improve, continue to change. It’s also about getting CREATIVE with a picky eater. You give them different variations of each food until you find one they like. My son will tell you he hates potatoes because I served him mashed once; not a good idea and I should have known better. We had to avoid all forms of potatoes for quite a while. Now I avoid mashed and I only serve him oven or pan roasted without skins (to avoid texture and gagging that will surely turn him off once more). Veggies are very much the same way, I’ve tricked him a couple of times by putting them under the broiler, but lately that has only been a success with green beans. Bottom line: time, patience, and finding a balance between creativity and consistency in the kitchen. And smoothies for veggie supplementation whenever possible.”
Patricia (@drsmg16):

“1. Explain to them what the ingredients are but not in a fairytale way. I.e. I wanted my daughter to try curry rice so we told her a bit about how it was a traditional Indian dish and some of its roots. Or other interesting herbs for example that come from remote areas. I’m not a fan however of telling them magical stories that the beans come from Santa Claus 😉 who knows though, maybe that works for some! Also different ingredients help their bodies. I.e. the iron in spinach and it’s role in helping their blood or protein for building their muscles.

2. We have a Dr Seuss “try it try it and you may” rule. It’s from his story Green Eggs and Ham. I always use that phrase and reinforce that the kids should always try something, if they really don’t like it I won’t force them to eat it.

3. If I make something I know they like but they don’t want to eat it, I won’t force them to eat it but they can’t have any snacks until the next meal unless they finish it.

4. I try to involve them as much as possible, from picking the groceries, the recipes, cutting ingredients, blending, table setting, anything.

5. No one leaves the table till we are all done eating. This is easier said than done lol, but we try.”

Thank you to all who contributed! I hope this post helps some of you or at least helps you feel less alone.

If you have a picky eater, what are some of YOUR tips/tricks?! Feel free to comment below!

Thanks for stopping by!

TRUTH: Kindness Matters

Hello, friends! Let me first preface this post by saying this is purely my opinion and not everyone is going to agree with what I’ve written here. Within the last few months I’ve seen a dramatic increase of snarky comments and stabs at people on Instagram as well as a few blogs that I follow. It’s bad enough that sometimes the vegan “label” gets a bad rap, but now it’s being taken to a whole new level. When I first made the leap to veganism, eight years ago, I only knew of one kind of vegan and it meant being kind to all creatures (humans and four-legged friends) and living as cruelty-free as possible. Today there are, what seems to be, a million different varieties. The health-conscious, ethical, high carb, low-fat, junk food/”fat” vegan, raw, raw till 4, whole food plant-based, oil-free….you get the idea; the list could go on. Now, the comments I’ve been seeing aren’t necessarily coming from just meat eaters – there are nasty comments from those against the vegan lifestyle, but I’m talking about the ones coming from fellow vegans. It’s as if the different “kinds” of vegans are competing with one another as to whose lifestyle is best. A few weeks ago, I actually had someone comment on one of my posts telling me how fattening peanut butter and nut butters are and that HCLF (high carb low-fat) is the best diet – she even went so far as to say that I needed to watch my consumption.  Apparently this person had it in her head that I live off the stuff. Needless to say, I deleted her comment because I don’t like to have negativity littering my page. That is just one example. I’ve seen awful comments and opinions being thrown about – everything to attacking the brand of bananas someone bought to using a carton of non-dairy milk as opposed to homemade. Wow. What if the person you’re “attacking” just had the worst day and that bowl of ice cream made things a little better…that is, until a cruel comment ruins it all. What if that person is a mom who is barely holding on – sleep deprived, mentally and emotionally drained and using store bought is what gets her by? Which, by the way, we use our fair share of store bought products. We personally have a child who requires our undivided attention most days (which I actually LOVE) and I’ll be honest, I’m lucky if I can use the bathroom by myself, let alone cook a fully homemade, everything from scratch, meal. My husband works 50+ hours a week and works as late as 11pm, so sometimes our meals are a quick bowl of noodles and sauce. I shed some light on this matter in a recent Instagram post, but I would really like to elaborate more here.

TRUTH: Kindness Matters // Be Sol-Ful

Now unless you’re actually living with the person or see them on a pretty regular basis, you DON’T really know the people you’re following on Instagram. Posts on IG show a snippet of what they’ve eaten or how they live. ONE photo does not determine how they eat all the time. Here’s a comparison for you – when you go to the doctor, he/she spends all of maybe five minutes with you, yet seems to think they can conclude what you must be like. Nothing irritates me more than people making snap judgments based off of a single visit or in the case of IG, a single photo. I’ve had family members comment or criticize the way we eat….the most recent one being that we eat too many carbs. Those who have made comments are the ones who DO NOT see us on a regular basis – maybe every few months. Aaaaaahhhh, gotta love people who feel the need to comment, while they’re not perfect – NO ONE IS.

Here is what I have to say about diet and lifestyle – What it comes down to is listening to YOUR body and what feels right to YOU. This goes for everyone, not just the vegans out there. Get all the opinions of others out of your head and go with your heart. The reason why there are so many different diets and lifestyles is because one specific lifestyle is not designed to work for everyone. I’ve tried several (fully raw, raw till 4, low-fat, oil-free) and coming from someone who once struggled with anorexia, I have found that when I’m not consumed by the amount of calories and fat, I do better. I feel better. My life used to be all about the numbers and I feared carbs and fat. Letting go of fears and focusing on health and happiness is what matters to me. After reading The Starch Solution (which is amazing, by the way), we drastically reduced our use of oil in our diet. I even went so far as to eliminating it for several weeks, but restricting myself like that brought back the fears I had during my eating disorder days. I began to literally fear oil, fear the fat. I immediately knew that I could no longer follow a 100% oil-free diet – for my own health and sanity. Sadly, I have seen many IG users criticizing one another for using oil and just like with any dietary choice, I say, “listen to YOUR body.” I have personally found the path that works best for ME and it does not involve following one specific “diet” or method. I simply listen to my body each day and within reason, I allow myself to follow the cravings and I no longer feel deprived or afraid. During the colder months, I just can’t drink smoothies first thing in the morning every day and according to my Ayurvedic body type, I should be eating more warming foods. When I actually stick with that, I find that my body actually thrives. I’ll never forget when I posted a bowl of oats as opposed to a raw smoothie and not only did I lose a bunch of followers on IG, but someone even commented, saying that they thought I was raw till 4, so she had to “unfollow.”  If my body is calling for fat, I’ll grab a small handful of raw almonds or cashews…I’ve also been known to eat a spoonful of peanut butter and be satisfied. There are days when my body craves nothing but raw fruits and veggies – being in tune with my body has created a sense of peace and also a healthy system.

TRUTH: Kindness Matters // Be Sol-Ful

I have to also mention that I have several friends, even best friends, who do not follow a plant-based vegan lifestyle. I follow more than just vegans on Instagram – oh, the horror 😉 They do their thing and I do mine – our friendships are built on mutual respect and love…we can look past our dietary choices. I believe in the gentle approach and never preach or pressure someone to follow my lifestyle. If they ask for my thoughts, I share them – I never throw out unwanted “advice” and I certainly do not criticize. Do I wish that we all could be vegan? Of course! But I also believe that we all need to come to conclusions or decisions on our own – we need to do what feels right in our hearts and minds. Never do something because someone told you to. I have noticed that by taking the gentle route, people are more inclined to want to learn more – they see how you’ve benefited from a healthy lifestyle and they may begin to look deeper within and see that the ailments they’re struggling with could possibly be healed by some changes. Lead by example, not by shoving opinions in the face of someone who might be different from you.

Rather than coming off as an elitist, just accept that not everyone can or desires to follow in your footsteps. We all were once in the “dark” and might have eaten poorly or lived an unhealthy lifestyle. With time, patience, education and an open mind comes new perspectives. I was once clueless on the organic* way of life (just like I was with what it meant to be vegan), but doing my own research and learning the dangers of eating certain conventional foods, I quickly changed my ways. It saddens me when I see people commenting on posts in regards to an organic and/or vegan lifestyle – saying, “must be nice to have all that money” or “I can’t believe you didn’t buy that organic.” Yes, our way of life might cost more than some, but we’re saving in medical bills and putting the money towards prevention. We are a one income family who chooses to spend money on healthier food options as opposed to materialistic things, such as name brand clothes or a new car. This does not mean that I judge those who lead a conventional lifestyle because, like I said, I used to be that person. Before you leave a comment on someone’s post, keep in mind that maybe they’re doing the best they can with what they have. Some people are on a fixed income or maybe they don’t have the resources like you might have.

*Click HERE for EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce (clean/dirty lists)

TRUTH: Kindness Matters // Be Sol-Ful

Speaking of elitist, I have also been “accused” of being just that. I have received personal messages and/or comments on posts about my gluten-free and soy-free diet. This goes back to people making snap judgments. For those who may not know my full story, or if you’re new to my blog, I am gluten-free and soy-free because I have to be. I was so sick with a long list of ailments and through allergy testing, along with my own research, I learned that everything was linked to gluten and soy. I admit, I did read The Whole Soy Story** (about six years ago) to help me with the soy conclusion and would honestly avoid soy even if I didn’t have issues with it, BUT I DO NOT judge those who do consume it. I do not think that I am better than those who have soy in their diet. Heck, I ate tofu, tempeh, soy yogurt and various other soy products very regularly – it was my protein of choice at the time. My dietary choices work for ME.

**Click HERE for The Whole Soy Story website

I realize that I may have rambled on a good bit, but I’m just shocked at how people have been treating one another. Being kind is more important than being right. What I’ve been seeing lately is pretty much bullying. We never know a person’s full story – why they are the way they are. Choose your words wisely and if you feel the need to “call someone out” either send them a personal message or phrase your thoughts in a way that isn’t attacking or hurtful. An even better approach is if you don’t agree or like what you’ve seen, scroll past or unfollow the person. We are all human beings with feelings, so please remember that. Sometimes all we need is a little support and encouragement.

Also, do YOUR OWN research, play around with different foods and then decide what works best for YOU. Most importantly, listen to YOUR body – if you’re struggling with headaches, bloating, heartburn, constipation, chronic fatigue, stomach pains, constant colds, and even some cases of depression, please know that you do not have to live like that. Your body is telling you something. It’s telling you to make some changes.

TRUTH: Kindness Matters // Be Sol-Ful

Be kind