Our Story

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's been awhile

March has brought us so much: unexpected knee surgery, a little mini vacation (for my oldest's dance competition), followed by strep throat, Zac had mrsa and also began to eat!!! So sorry this all took me out of the game, but I'm back and hopefully it's for good. I would be lying if I said that being down with my knee for almost 3 weeks didn't effect out healthy eating. It totally did. I'm not sure how many green smoothies we actually drank during this time but I can promise you it wasn't enough. I've have a renewed commitment for eating healthy, of course not being bedridden has helped:) And I'm so excited to get back on track. I can say that we are and have been a caffeine free home since February!! Shameless post about my beautiful daughter PresLeigh, she took 1st place on her solo while we were down in St. George which also happened to be my 26th b-day! It was the best birthday present in the world all of her commitment, dedication, hours of practicing had paid off. I am so proud of her.

(If you look in the background you can see my mom is wearing a shirt with her 3 grandkids that were at the dance comp. My sister and I made shirts for ourselves too. I love that our kids still think we're cool)

Oh back to green smoothie stuff, oh ok:) We are drinking so much more water at our house and I think everyone in general feels lighter. We have purged our house of a lot of junk but I'm sure we still have more to throw out. Also we have used much of the money from good earth and sun warrior to buy food in bulk. I was excited about this because it means we will be able to eat this way without it killing out budget.

Zac has had an interesting month to say the least. We were told concretely that Zac was going to need an NG tube for his feedings. It was such a let down and heartbreak since I've continued to nurse him in the hopes of avoiding this. I got the run around from his GI Dr. and I was getting frustrated, but it just goes to show God always has a plan for us. Zac started eating!! It's the equivalent of what a 5-6 month old would eat but for us a success is a success. Meaning that as long as he shows progress and some weight gain he will not have the feeding tube!!!!

Zac also had an outbreak of his MRSA. It was the worst I've seen on any of our family, the sore was bigger than a silver dollar. I had been doing his Do Terra oils as religiously as I was able too. They didn't work the same way as they had in the past, I think I discovered the sore to late. I was afraid to just let it fester since he's a baby and MRSA can be life threatening. So against everything I've vowed to do and change in our family my hands were tied and I went to the doctor to get him antibiotics. His sore got 80% better in just a few doses. I'd like to team up with a doctor who heals naturally before we have another outbreak of this magnitude to prevent the us of the "A" word, if at all possible.

We haven't done any more taping since I last posted. But Robyn has kept up with us along the way and I we should be doing more filming this week.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm to my limit and then some

I've blogged a lot about what medical problems Zac has guess what it's more about him. Zac has never taken a bottle ever, he just wouldn't, even lately I've tried pumping and giving it to him with no success. At around 4-5 months we tried feeding him rice cereal and he had no interest in it. At his 6 month visit they said not to be concerned that this is normal. We continued to try different baby foods solids and he had no interest in any. He would randomly break out in hives and sometimes it was as much as daily. At his nine month visit we heard more of the same it's not uncommon just keep trying.

At his 1 year visit he had gained no weight since his 9 month which caused concern, it's called failure to thrive. At that point blood work was taken to run a RAST (a blood allergy test). It came back that he was allergic to milk, eggs, soy, wheat, and peanuts. We were then told to take him to a nutrionist. Who gave us some wonderful ideas and who referred us to an allergist.

We then saw Dr. Taylor (the allergist) who discovered that Zac had an allergy to milk, egg, and tree nuts. And that he only had an intolerance to soy, gluten, and peanuts. Dr. Taylor said although he does have allergies they wouldn't cause him to lose weight and definelty would not have to do with his lack of sleep so he referred us to Louis Mizzel (a gastroenterologist).

Dr. Mizzel scheduled us for an upper GI and a colonoscopy to see if he had eosinophilic esophagitis. When we got the results back we found out that yes he did indeed have it and a pretty bad case. Dr. Mizzel said it wasn't THE worst case he had seen but pretty close. So he was put on a round of steriods and previcid. The round of steriods didn't help his willingness to eat and in fact he was sleeping worse and screaming more which I didn't think was possible.

It's now a few weeks later and Zac is to the point where he won't even let something touch his lips before he starts bawling. Often times he struggles with swallowing his own spit. He was really sick last week and I couldn't get him to take tylenol. He had a fever for 4 days that I couldn't break because I couldn't get enough meds in him.

Zac went into his 15 month well check today and he hasn't gained weight in 6 months. So we are now being faced with the decision of using a feeding tube. The concern with a feeding tube is they aren't mean't to be long term and he will just pull it out, so we would have to keep reinsterting it. So there is talk about putting a tube straight into his stomach. We are also contacting the dysphagia clinic to see if they can help with his complete inability or willingness to swallow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Does this post warrant that many exclamation points? In my opinion yes! Today Zac took 3 sips through a straw of green smoothie, I actually got teary eyed. Sounds silly I know but Zac will never eat anything, literally he is 15 months old and nurses full time, so for him to come back to the same thing 3 TIMES was a miracle. It felt like for the first time maybe we will get somewhere with Zac. I was so excited not only because he "ate" something but because it was a green smoothie full of nutrients and vitamins that his body is needing.

A little background on Zac if you don't already know he has eosinophilic esophagitis (a condition that causes his throat to be swollen and raw). He also has allergies to milk, eggs, tree nuts and intolerances to gluten and soy. Like I said he still nurses full-time which is a huge blessing, since they told us he would be on a feeding tube if he wasn't.

Just to give you an idea we went to one of Robyn's 12 step classes and they had little cups of kefir. Zac looked at it for a little while then I tried to give him some it only hit his lips, none got in his mouth, and he started crying and covering his face. That's why this is seriously such a huge, major, off the charts SUCCESS!!!!

And no post is complete without a picture so here is one of my friend Carrie. This little guy Nixon is 15 months also and has struggled with food allergies and not sleeping also. I'm excited about the journey this little family is about to take!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Readers, New Week

I'm so excited to have new people visiting our blog from Green Smoothie Girl's WELCOME. You are all so encouraging and there's a new level of accountability knowing so many are following along with us! Thanks for all the extra excitement you've given us!!

Last week we tackled eliminating caffeine and adding green smoothies. This week were excited to start granola, with live enzymes, and kefir. We picked these two for a few reasons the first being sugar. We are trying to cut out all refined sugar which eliminated most breakfasts we have. Second we need something to get Olivia(the one which digestive problems) system going if you know what I mean:) And third we wanted to use kefir with all of it's probiotics to try to get the sickness out of our home.

I just made a double batch of granola, which by the way is delicious!! I have kefir started on top of my fridge, we are using organic unsweetened coconut milk so Zac(who is allergic to dairy, anaphylactic style) can try to eat it.(fingers crossed) So I'll see in a day or two if I was successful with the kefir.

2 steps forward, 1 step back

Well I'll start with the good news we have been caffeine free for a week tomorrow and we have been drinking green smoothies for that long also. All of the caffeine withdrawls are gone, and we are noticing improvements with our green smoothies. Nate just said to me yesterday that he feels like he can think more clearly this week. I've been able to sleep deeper and I think in general were just happy about making progress.

Our weigh in stats:(keep in mind all we have done is cut out pop and added green smoothies)

Nate last week weighed: 203.2
this week... 200.2
3lbs down!!
1.25 inches lost

Samantha last week weighed: 172
this week... 170.2
1.8 down
Do I dare even post this .25 inches lost:( Thanks to mother nature's most important monthly gift that arrived over the weekend I'm totally bloated. TMI? Sorry if it is.

On the bad news end, I tore my meniscus and have to have surgery on Tuesday to repair my knee. I don't know exactly how I tore it. I did break my femur as a child and as a result I have one leg 1 1/2 inches longer than the other which has taken a toll on my joints especially my ankles, knees, hips, and back. The recovery could be anywhere from a week to 4 weeks depending on what they see when they get in there. Luckily Nate is able to take FMLA and has enough vacation to help me through most of this.

Can I brag about my hubby for a minute? Thanks. He has been making the green smoothies for our family for the last 4 days! A small gesture but it has made my days run smoother. And it's nice to have a supportive husband who I know will take good care of me, the kids, and our home while I'm recovering.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hot Swag!!

So we went to Good Earth today so Robyn could show us some of the important products we should have. While we were there we were told that Good Earth was going to give us $50 a week to there store for the 8 weeks Robyn is following us. Then the owners of Sunwarrior are giving us $50 a week for groceries and they gave us there protein powder, ormus supergreens, and liquid lights which was exciting since Robyn speaks so highly of these products. Between these two amazingly generous donations this will double our food budget for the two months we are being followed!!! Also Roxberry gave us $100 giftcard and they have Robyns recipes for Green Smoothies on there menu, so exciting since we are on the go a lot. And finally Crio Brew gave us 2 bags of there delicious brewed cocoa drink and the maker since we are getting off of caffeine this has a little bit of a stimulant effect. It has been so amazing and motivating to see so many people/companies we don't know supporting us and wanting to see us succeed.
We also got an opportunity to meet the other people who are taking this challenge on. It was fun to see them since I feel like I already know them. Karen is so cute she even hugged me which makes me think she felt the same way. The dental office girls were so nice and helpful. I think it would be fun to get us all together and talk about how we are all doing.
I don't know that Robyn will ever fully comprehend all the good she is doing in the world, what an amazing woman she is!!


So long story I'll blog about later but I ended up with my sister's 3 oldest boys ages 8, 5, and 3 most of yesterday and they slept over. Not the most difficult thing I've had to do but it was much harder with Nate at work, Zac having a fever for 3 days that I couldn't break and no caffiene. I couldn't believe how much energy I actually had since I had been up with Zac the night before (I think cumulatively I got maybe 3 hours of sleep) just a quick reminder I haven't had caffiene in 3 days and I've been drinking green smoothies. I then decided I needed to take Zac to the instacare to make sure he didn't have an ear infection since I only was able to break his fever once in 2 days. So I loaded up all 7 kids and took them to the doctors and Zac ended up just having a virus. I'm not gonna lie I bought the kids Little Ceasars (SORRY Robyn). I stayed up all last night with Zac more of the same his fever wouldn't break he was bawling. And added to the night was Sarah's youngest, Jaxon, crying that he wanted to go home at midnight and my own little Livie waking up crying somewhere in there too. I was able to wake up this morning, I was tired, but I made the kids pancakes and gave all 7 of them a baths. This was with NO CAFFIENE people!!! What a huge tribute to the nutrition of these green smoothies and the fact that greens are so important to our bodies!
This is a quick pic of what my morning looked like. I love PresLeigh she's helping Olivia cut her pancake which helped me so much!

Zac isn't in the picture cause that would mean he would have to eat:)

2 Big Problems in America

So after some reflecting and commercial ads being thrown in my face I felt sad and so blessed at the same time. What am I talking about health and debt. I was watching tv which I honestly don't do much of and if I do it's always shows that has been dvr'd. So I was so suprised by all the "informational" commercials I saw about corn syrup, milk, fish oil ect. I actually laughed out loud that the high fructose corn syrup one "it has the same effect on your body that raw sugar has" really was that suppose to make me feel better?! I know and I'm sure most of you know how horrible refined sugar is for your body and especially our kids. Next in line are the milk commercials(that are even being aired on Disney) and why it's so important to drink milk. Go to this link to learn more about why we SHOULDN'T be drinking milk http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/nutrition-manifesto/dairy-products-nutrition/ And until I read Robyn's books and website I wondered if that would have had me fooled, which is why I felt so sad. There are so many people watching these commercials and taking them as truths:( What a huge blessing Robyn, Green Smoothie Girl, is to my life so I now know the truth. I can change the eating habits in my family and do my best to educate friends and family so they can also have these truths in a society that is forcing garbage, literally, done our throats.

Also Nate and I have a very strict budget that we have been sticking to, to get out of debt completely(cars, house and all). So I had the privilege of cutting a credit card this month, if happend to be my Chase card. While I was so excited about this undertaking a card that had a $5000 balance on it months ago was now being paid off and cut up, I took time to savor the moment. As I looked at this card I had to laugh that in huge bold letters read FREEDOM. Well finally the card was right I now felt freedom, freedom from bondage that, that piece of plastic had over me and my family. I feel so blessed to belong to a church savings fund. Also that my parents bought us the Dave Ramsey book and that I actually found time to opened it:)

Although we have had and still do have so many trials in front of us Heavenly Father has blessed us so abundantly. I guess I'm someone who has to hit rock bottom before I'm able to accept his blessings. I'm postive that Robyn's teachings would have seemed too difficult a year ago before all of our health problems came to a head. And I think Dave Ramsey's teachings would have seemed to extreme until so many around us were struggling and we realized we could be next if we didn't change the way we were living and quick!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Green Smoothie Recipe

So like Robyn says there is no wrong way to make a green smoothie. This is how I've been making them.

I fill my blendtec with water to the 2 cup line and 1/3 cup of agave
Then I load it with spinich, collard greens, a celery stalk
I blend the greens and keep adding it until the 5 cup line (mostly spinich since it has a more mild taste)
then I add an apple, an orange (peeled), banana, and 1/4 of a lemon (peel on) and blend that
then I add frozen berries till there isn't anymore room in the blender and let it blend for awhile just to make sure it's there's not chunks.

And that's it. Today I had some mango so I threw that in really it's just whatever fruit you have in your house. I'm loving my green smoothies.

UPDATE: The caffiene withdrawls are so much less severe then they have been in the past when I've tried to kick the habit. There is no doubt in my mind it's because I've been feeding my body so many nutrients that's it's been lacking!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sharing Green Smoothies!

So we went to Costco yesterday to buy all we needed to make green smoothies on our own and it was so easy!! The smoothie had spinach, collard greens, apple, orange, banana, agave, and mixed berries. Now when you look at that list it looks like oh you had more fruit that greens, not the case. There is 1/3 water, 1/3 greens, and 1/3 fruit. We love them and so do the kids in fact the kids kept asking for more. So since we loved it so much we packed up our stuff and brought it over to Sarah's (my sister) to show her how to make them. And here's a shocker her kids love them too. I'm so amazed by how much all kids seem to love these. Then we told them they will make them happy and strong and all they could talk about was how big there muscles were going to be(she has 4 boys). I'll tell Sarah's story later, she needs these smoothies and lifestyle change as much if not more than we do.

Baby boston 2 mnths (Sarah's youngest)

Tyson 5, Dominic 8, and Jaxon

No Caffeine. 1 day down the rest of our lives to go!

So yesterday was our first real day without caffeine or pop of any kind. And oh man were Nate and I feeling it. We both had terrible headaches and in general weren't very nice to eachother or the kids:( About half way through the day Nate turns to me and says we aren't being very kind to eachother are we. Sidenote: I love this man he could have so easily just been mad and thought I'm sick, so just deal! But when he said that I realized this isn't going to be the only hard thing we have to give up and I'm sure it's not going to be the only day we are going to feel horrible as we dejunk our bodies. We have to stick together and be loving to one another or this isn't going to be the uplifting experience we wanted for any of us. What an awesome man I have! As the day went on Nate got so sick to his stomach he was doubled over in pain. It was such a reality check to Nate and I of how much we were dependent on caffeine, and how we never want something controlling our lives like this.
So today is day number 2 and so far so good. Things I've noticed already I slept better last night that usual despite the fact that Zac is pretty sick. When he would wake up to nurse I could fall right back to sleep, when usually it would take awhile for me to fall back asleep. I'm craving it less today than yesterday, I'll post later to see if this stays true. And over all I have a new excitement for life that I think has to do with all that the future now holds since Robyn took our family on. Thanks again Robyn!!

Our starting point

So I didn't post this earlier because I hadn't decided how open I was going to be about my weight. Obviously no woman wants to talk about there weight especially when this is the heaviest I've ever been in my life. And when I say the heaviest that includes what I weighed when I delivered each one of my kids, YUCK!!!(an even grosser thought I weighed 158 when Zac was 2 months old I'm 14 lbs heavier now) I've always prided myself on losing my baby weight within 6 months of having my kids. I lost my weight with a program that I thought was making me "healthier" and teaching me good eating habits I'm sure some of what they are teaching is healthy. But until I met Robyn I had no clue what I was doing to my body and how bad I was feeding and treating it. I finally decided that if i was going to ask people to evalute there lives and change there eating habits based on my experience, I had to be honest and couldn't hide things that were embarrasing. So now the moment of truth...

Samantha's weight- 172
Nate's weight- 203.2

We took measurements too so we will have total inches lost every week.

I also decided to weigh my kids. None of them "need" to lose weight but I wondered if they would since we are taking so much junk out of there diet.

PresLeigh- 77 (she is in the 97% for height and weight)
Gavin- 48.2 (he is in the 75% for height and 50% for weight)
Olivia- 35.8 (She was in the 35% for height and 25% for weight but her percentiles are from last may so I'm not sure how accurate they are)

I hope you all enjoy being a part of our journey, as we find happiness in healthiness!!


(Zac playing with a light saber is something that has to be seen in person since he makes the sound effects at 15 months old)

So after filming today Zac got his hands on part of a Lara bar which is mainly fruit and nuts. Zac is allergic to all nuts so he started throwing up. At first I wasn't sure what was going on but then he broke out in hives and started grabbing his throat. Nate gave him his epi-pen and I took him to the ER. He's ok but it was really scary!!! He had a pretty adverse reactive to the epi-pen since it's mean't for use up to 12 years old, it was a pretty huge dose. They gave him zofran(anti-nausea), steriods, and benedry to try to help with all that he had going on, but he kept throwing it all up:( Then his cheeks turned beet red and he couldn't hold his head up. By the time we left he was ok just acting tired. I hate that his life has to be this way I hope as we continue to work on healing his body naturally his allergies will begin to clear up.

Starting our GSG Makeover!!!

So naturally we can't shoot in a kitchen that has the same paint as when the house was built 15 years ago. So in true Samantha style we have to paint and the only day to do it is the day before we shoot. I picked the most perfect color or so I thought. After Nate got done painting it all I looked at it and started crying it looked like an easter egg exploded in my kitchen. Luckily this morning the light had changed and it looked so much better. I still have somethings I would like to do to it but I wasn't embarrassed to shoot in the house anymore.

Before- After-

So now onto the important things... The actual filming!!! Kels the producer for Blendtec and Kyle who I understand to be his assisant came at 10:45 to set up the kitchen. Can I just say that they are two hilarious guys and they are welcome in my home anytime whether they are filming or not. A little while later Robyn came bringing in some awesome swag for us. After setting up a few more things it was time to get the party started!! Blendtec gave us a blender with a 3 quart container so we can make all the green smoothies for the family at once, Lara Bars gave us some of there awesome snack bars, and Robyn gave us a ton of her books, cd's, dvd's, and some things to get us started on our new journey of whole foods. Also The Good Earth Store is giving us $50 a week to there store for the 8 weeks we do the show (I wouldn't be me if I didn't cry a little when they gave us this) It was such an amazing gift to us because we live on a $400 a month grocery budget that includes all our household items as well. I just could believe how much easier this was going to be and what a burden they just lifted off my shoulders!

Robyn is a blast I just love her. She is so funny, full of energy, and so real which makes it easy to just be ourselves. I made my first green smoothie today, with her help. And we are, dare I say it, soda pop free in our home. On any given day Nate and I can drink a 2-liter a piece so this was something that was crucial for us to give up. We had decided that we should stop drinking it from a budget stand point a few weeks ago so when Robyn told us we needed to give it up we were ready for the challenge. Like I told her today when you have felt so horrible for as long as we have your willing to do ANYTHING that will make you feel even a little better. This my friends is going to make us feel a lot better!!!

Gavin and Olivia got home from preschool right as we were finishing up so they got to try there green smoothies. Gavin drank his whole pint while Robyn and I talked, and Olivia drank a good half cup. It was amazing to see Olivia drink it at all since she is so anti anything that doesn't taste like candy and I think it helped watching Gavin be so into it. Later in the day when PresLeigh got home from school she drank her pint of green smoothie and was asking for more. This is such an exciting step for us and such an important one too. We can't wait to go to the seminar on Friday to keep learning!

Our Lives

Here's the break down youngest to oldest:
Zac 15 mnths- has eosinophilic esophagitis(swelling and redness in his esophagis) which makes him not eat solid foods. Also they had us put him on steriods and acid reflux medicine. The steriods were horrible and the side effects weren't worth the little progress he was making. He is 15 months and is still almost soley nursing. He has allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts and intolerances to soy and gluten. So he and I have to avoid these things, which doesn't leave us with many options. He also never sleeps longer than an hour at a time without having to be nursed back to sleep. Since he is in constent pain he uses nursing as a soothing method. So since he was born I haven't slept longer than two hours at a time when my sweet husband lets me take a nap. We somehow got a strand of MRSA(an antibiotic resistant staph infection, commonly pick up from hospitals) in our home and Zac now has it. There are anitbiotics that are really strong that they will use to treat the outbreak but once you have it you will always have it. So add that to the list of medicines they want him to take:(
Olivia almost 4- Was born with Gastroschisis(when your abdomin wall doesn't fuse in the uterus) meaning her intestines were on the outside of her body when she was born. At 9 days they did a surgery to put them back in her body and sew the opening closed. She was released from the NICU and just over a month old. She cried the first year of her life because she was in so much pain trying to figure out how to get her body to digest food. She now suffers from extreme constipation and is stuggling with potty training. The doctors want us to treat this with chemical stool softeners and a few other medications. She also has outbreaks of MRSA on a regular basis in her diaper area because the bacteria sits on her skin. If she was wearing cotton underwear it would decrease her outbreaks.
Gavin 5- suffers from a lot of anxiety and depression. He currently is seeing a play therapist but long term the doctors have talked about putting him on meds. Not that I am apposed to medicine if he needs it. It's just that I would like to explore all other options first, including diet! Gavin also has had a few outbreaks of MRSA and it is extremely painful and takes awhile for the antibiotics to heal the sores.
PresLeigh 7- Is who we call our "healthy" child. Although she is abnormally tall for her age and her genetics. Which caused enough concern by our doctors to have a bone age done. The results show that she is 1 1/2 years older in her "bone age" than her actual age. She has also started going through puberty ie. under arm hair she's only 7!! We try to keep her as physically active as possible to keep her period at bay, a scary thought for mommy and daddy!! The doctors attribute all of this to the hormones in the food we eat.

Samantha 25- So I'm the mom of these crazy fun little ones, meaning I'm taking care and trying to help treat all there different problems on top of my own. I suffer from migraines which are either hormonal or stress/lack of sleep related. For the last 14 months I've had strep throat at least 5 times, sinus infections, bronchitis, and virus after virus. I've never had an issue with my weight until this last pregnancy mostly due to the fact that I can never sleep, workout, or worry about what I'm eating. I have one leg that is an 1 1/2 inches longer than the other which puts a lot of stress on my joints and is causing water behind my knee. And in general I'm just EXHAUSTED!!

Nate 31- My oh so sweet husband works all the time and his work days are 12 hour true shift work. He works some days/ some nights and just got done working 17 days straight. He is struggling with his weight which makes him depressed. And all the stress at home and at work gives him anxiety.

This is why we made our video and turned it into the Green Smoothie Girl. We needed and need so much help and didn't know just where to turn when doctors were out of answers. We're so thankful to Robyn, Blendtec, Lara Bars, and The Good Earth Store for helping us make becoming healthy a reality!!

Filming and Migraines!

So we started taping today just doing interviews since they won't show our original entry tape. But of course I got a terrible migraine last night and went to the ER. I had such an adverse reaction to the drugs and I'm still feeling really jittery today. But back to the original reason why I posted we taped today it was so exciting. I didn't feel nervous until we actually sat down to do the interview. I think I was so nervous because I didn't know what she was going to ask me and if I would answer the questions the way she wanted me too. On top of the fact that I still felt drugged up. I think it went really well and now on Wednesday they are coming in to do the dramatic scene of throwing out all junk food, and bringing in all the good healthy food.

Please Help Us Green Smoothie Girl!!

I'll post in more detail about our story later but for right now here's a link to the video we sent in to get the Green Smoothie Girls help. We are so blessed that she choose our family for this and we can't wait to get started!! Oh and to help prove my point even more I had a really bad sinus infection when we taped this.