Monday, February 17, 2014

OUR 1st RHoTC Giveaway - WIN an OrigamiOwl Jewelry Piece and Pledge Your Commitment to Heart Heath

I am a mom of three and recently was diagnosed with Essential Hypertension.  What does that mean.. well.. it means that I am genetically pre-disposed to hypertension, heart disease and stroke.  My uncle had passed from a massive heart attack, my sister had a congential heart defect that was related to her passing, and have a family history of high blood pressure.  I mostly likely had high blood pressure in my teens and 20's and did not treat this condition.  The longer I left my high blood pressure untreated the greater risk I am for stroke, heart attack or major organ damage.  Now, I am very serious about treatment and life style changes.

First signs of understanding this condition, was when I was pregnant with my first born.  I developed pre-clampsia during the mid of my pregnancy.  My blood pressure increased rapidly to numbers over 150/90-100.  It was very scary because it put me and the baby at risk for kidney failure, stroke or a coronary event.  Hospitalized and being monitored allowed for me to see to the risk involved with high blood pressure.

Here is an article that explains PreClampsia Patients are 2x likely to have Heart Related Diseases down the road.

If you are a mom or dad that has had a history of hypertension or preeclampsia while pregnant, I strongly urge you to check and keep track of your blood pressure and consult with a doctor.  I recently took the pledge through the American Heart Association to better understand my numbers and what I need to do to prevent heart disease and future heart related problems.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE is not just a problem that many develop later in life.  It can start earlier in life and it must be managed appropriately and as soon as possible!!!

For some people (like myself), diet, excerise alone is not enough to lower blood pressure.  You may need to get on blood pressure lowering agents to help better control your blood pressure.

(**MEDICAL DISCLAIMER*** - Any information provided in this blog is written by a non-medically trained person and all medical related information must be consulted with a certified trained physician ****)

With that being said... I am super excited to announce our first RHoTC Giveaway!!!!   Since this month is American Heart Awareness Month - I thought that I would giveaway something heart related and get others inspired to make the commitment to get heart healthy!!

We decided to give away a beautiful heart charm and $$ towards additional Origami Jewelry!!!

Just a little background on Origami Owl... this jewerly company has the sweetest little back story.  It is ran by a 16 year old girl who had a dream of running her own business and creating a multimillion dollar mark on the jewerly industry.  I love her fierce fiery drive and ambition!! I strongly encourage young women to pursue their dreams and create an amazing product that the rest of us can enjoy!!!

Here is the most amazing heart charm that will go in any pendant or beautiful Origami Lock.  If you enter .. you will win this adorable heart charm with a gift certificate that will go towards any additional Origami Owl product.

Origami Owl is such an afforable way to accessorize and the pendants are so so so adorable! 

Here's how to enter to win this adorable GIVE AWAY Charm and Origami Owl Gift Certicate!

1.  FOLLOW the RHoTC or Like On Facebook
3.  Please share via facebook, twitter or any other social media! 

Leave your email and name in the comment section below and a winner will be chosen this week!!! 

** All images and Information is dowloaded from the internet from websites Origami Owl and American Heart Association in conjunction with images from February Heart Awareness Month - Thank you to Ashley Gordon a consultant of Origami Owl **


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Attention Room Parents: 3 Great Valentine's Day Games

Heads UP 7 UP Game

2.  Mend The Broken Hearts Game

Cut 9 Hearts of Different Sizes and Shapes

On a set of 3 hearts write the sentence (One Word on Each Heart)




Create Puzzles by Cutting Zig Zags down the center of the heart 

Put all pieces in a bag (scrambled)

Create Teams and which ever team can piece all the broken puzzle heart pieces together and creates the above sentences wins.

3.  Valentine's Trivia with Heart Paddles

You will need Foam Colored Paper 

2 Wood Popsicle Sticks


Trivia ??'s

Valentine's Trivia Questions


1.         Who is Cinderella’s Valentine?    

a.         Prince Eric
b.         Prince Charming
c.         King Titan

2.       Roses are red, violets are_________.

a.         Pink
b.         Blue
c.         Green

3.       Who is Mickey Mouse’s Valentine?

a.         Goofy
b.         ClaraBelle
c.         Minnie Mouse

4.      Who did Lady eat Spaghetti with in Lady and the Tramp?

a.         The Tramp
b.         Simba
c.         Nemo

5.       Who is Belle’s Valentine in Beauty and the Beast ?

a.         Sully
b.         Captain Hook
c.         The Beast

6.        Who is Daisy Duck’s Valentine?

a.         Bluto
b.         Donald Duck
c.         Mater

7.       What is the most popular Valentine’s Day flower?

a.         Rose
b.         Daisy
c.         Lilly

8.         When is Valentine’s Day?   

a.         March 3rd
b.         February 14th
c.         December 25th

9.         When you think of Valentine’s Day what shape do you think of?

a.              Square
b.             Triangle
c.              Heart

10.       What did Princess Tiana turn into when she kissed the frog prince?

a.         Tiger
b.         Snake
c.         Frog

11.       If you love someone, who might shoot you with an arrow?

a.         Cupid
b.         Harry Potter
c          Easter Bunny

12.        What colors do you think of when you think of Valentine’s day?

a.         Black and Yellow
b.         Orange and Green
c.         Red and Pink

13.       Which Saint is Valentine’s Name After?

a.         Saint Sweetheart
b.         Saint Valentine
c.         Saint   Love

14.       Who is Barbie’s Valentine?

a.         Woody
b.         Buzz Lightyear
c.         Ken

15.       Who does Aladdin want to be his Valentine?

a.         Princess Jasmine
b.         Sleeping Beauty
c.         Jafar

16.       For whom does Ariel want to become human?

a.         Scuttle
b.         Prince Eric
c.         Dorie

17.       What popular sentence or phrase do you tell your sweetie on Valentine’s    day?  

a.              Bippidy Bobbidy Boo
b.             Just keep swimming - just keep swimming
c.               I love You!!!

Separate into 2 teams

Answer the Trivia Questions

Only One Team Member must raise the paddle and answer the question

Keep Score and Have FUN!!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A PERIMENOPAUSE Checklist - The Change before the "CHANGE" - What every 20 something, 30 and 40 year old should know.

SOOOO you think your too young for this???.... let's just see......

Here's a Checklist that may indicate that you are going through PERIMenopause (Pre - Pre Menopause)

Check if this applies to you:

  • ___  Female
  • ___ In your (Late 20's), 30's, or 40's
  • ___ Have Menustral Periods
  • ___ Have been Pregnant
  • ___ Have had miscarriages
  • ___  Diagnosed with High Blood Pressure
  • ___ Diagnosed with Cholestrol Issues
  • ___  Hot flashes, occasional hot flushes, night or cold sweats, clammy feeling
  • ___ Irregular heart beat
  • ___ Terrible PMS - 14 - 10 days prior to periods
  • ___ Crazy Mood Swings
  • ___  Insomnia or trouble sleeping throughout the night (i.e.  wake up, have trouble getting back to sleep)
  • ___  Irregular periods, shorter, lighter, heavier periods, 2 to 3 in a month
  • ___ Waking up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night
  • ___ Incontinence - urge to pee, leaking when sneezing, excerising or laughing
  • ___ Increased Tension in Muscles 
  • ___ Aching sore joints, muscle and tendons
  • ___ Increase in Headaches or Migraines
  • ___Loss of libido (NO sex drive or want to have sex)
  • ___Vaginal dryness
  • ___Crashing fatigue (Not able to stay up past your normal bedtime or needing frequent naps)
  • ___Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
  • ___Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
  • ___Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion  (Aka.  Brain Fog)
  • ___ Disturbing memory lapses (Aka.  MOMMY Brain)
  • ___Itchy, crawly skin (itchy Scalp, arms, legs, skin etc....)
  • ___ Yeast Infections
  • ___Breast tenderness
  • ___Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
  • ___Sudden bouts of bloat
  • ___Depression  (Are on Anti-Depression or Anti-Anxiety Medications)
  • ___Exacerbation of existing conditions (you hear this in Fibromyalgia Patients)
  • ___Increase in allergies
  • ___Weight gain or Unexplained Weight Loss
  • ___Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
  • ___Dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
  • ___Changes in body odor
  • ___Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
  • ___Tingling in the extremities (Fingers and toes feel numb.. or numbess down arm)
  • ___Gum problems, increased bleeding
  • ___Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
  • ___Osteoporosis (after several years - SOME may notice Poor Posture or hunched shoulders
  • ___Changes in fingernails: softer, crack, break easier or curvy nail beds
  • ___Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc.
  • ___ Feeling just not right ... not like your old self
  • ___ ACNE - acne that shows up on your jawline, neck, back, or near your hair line
  • ___ Hair changes... dryness.. falling out... excessive oilyness
  • ___ Unusual Vaginal Discharge - Strings of White Muccus or feeling lots of wetness

Most importantly if you check this you may be going through perimenopause:

___ Have gone to the doctor ... have had no major diagnosis, normal blood work and no explanation for these symptoms

If you have checked 10 or more of these symptoms... you may be going through Perimenopause.  

I am 36 years old and can say that after the birth of my 3rd baby two years ago ... my hormones began changing significantly.  In the last year... I have experience significant changes in my body as well as in mind.  Anytime ... I feel like a crazy person ... I immediately go to this checklist and remind myself that I have no control over my hormones.  I only have control over what I feed myself to combat these awful symptoms.

Now... many of you ask if I have all the symptoms in the checklist above.... NO... but I will say that I have many symptoms that always had an explanation for it....

__X__  Been to many doctors ... normal blood work and no real diagnosis

__X__ high blood pressure (Which I will explain an amazing lifestyle change to naturally combat this)

__X__ Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)  Which doctors explained its due to high blood pressure

__X__  Hot flashes 

__X__ Acne - I feel like I am 15 years old and breaking out for the first time

__X__ Dry Hair (doctor explained many women have dry hair post partum) and Itchy Scalp

__X__ Anxiety  (Doctor explained that the anxiety was related to my high blood pressure)

__X__ Abnormal bleeding

__X__ Tingling in the toes and fingers (Doctor explained I may need to have injections to help with sciatic issues)

__X__ Headaches and Migraines (doctor explained that it is because of my high blood pressure)

__X__ Unexplained Weight Loss- loss 18lbs in 2 months  (doctor explained it was all stressed related and stomach related)
__X__ Nausea and Diarrhea (which the doctor explained its due to my gallbladder being removed - Normal colonoscopy and endoscopy .. doctors explained weight loss correlates with Nausea and Diarrhea)

__X__ Dizziness and Balance Issues (Doctor explained that this was related to my blood pressure medicine I was on) (My hubby says it's because I am "blonde" Insert *butthead*)

__X__ Brain fog and Inability to concentrate (Doctor explained that I most likely have ADHD and have anxiety)

__X___ Unexplained BITCHINESS and Inability to process rational feelings around that time of the month (INSERT my husband's blog to deal with this one!!)

Ok... so now that I have given you everything for my health history.  I also want to make a note that the doctors I had visited are wonderful and are some of the best doctors in the area.  In addition, I went to Mayo Clinic in Rochester to further inquire about my health.  It wasn't until I spoke with my OBGYN .. I realized that the way I am feeling is all very normal and falls in line with women in their 30's who are starting to have hormonal changes.  

When your body stops producing babies.. it goes through some major changes that results in Perimenopause.  Which by definition is the "BEFORE" stages of Meniopause (Or also known as the "CHANGE")

If any of this sounds like you..... please please don't go into denial!!!  That was me.... accept and do something to help yourself.  Go to your OBGYN and explain what you feel like and ask for hormone testing.  

NOW.. there is some great debate about HORMONES.. and whether they work or cause more problems.  

ALL I know is there are some great reads out there that will help put everything in perspective.   

Now... when reading and researching perimenopause .. I found some amazing fun facts:

To combat these symptoms many women are prescribed Anti-Anxiety or Anti-Depression Medications

Hormone replacement therapy increases your risk of the following diseases:

29% Increase in Coronary Heart Disease
41% Increase in Strokes
22% Cardiovascular Disease
200% Increase in Lung and Blood Clots
26% Increase in Breast Cancer - That number is steadily increasing

(Pg 126 of Suzanne Somer's "I'm Too Young for This.")

Significant Increases in Divorce and Major Lifestyle (Husband Gets Fixed...etc..) Changes during this time
(Stay Tuned to my Upcoming Blog Post about this Hot Topic)

I began a very holistic approach to combating these awful symptoms...

For ONE... I needed to control my High Blood Pressure and Have a goal of getting off meds completely...

My blood Pressure ran....


I was on Lisinopril 20mg per day and No significant changes while taking and on old diet.

I began a very strict GLUTEN Free, Vegan Based (Oil Free, No Meat, No Dairy) Diet.... my Blood Pressures dropped to an average of


I switched to a CCB at 30mg per day and have gradually began weaning off..

I have increased my supplement intake to CoQ10, Increase in Vitamin C, B's, Fish Oil, Arginine, Neuro 5-Htp, L-theanine for the days of unrest and anxiety, Increase in Folate and Vitamin D - many of which I get from my Vegan (Veggie enriched Diet)... Gluten Free helps with itchy skin and digestive issues, feeling bloated and overrall inflammation.  

ONCE I elminated Dairy and Gluten from my diet ... I noticed my clothes were less tight, my skin is clearing up, feeling bloated and overrall sluggish began to lessen.  My brain fog seems to come and go but I learned it is due to my depleting estrogen levels.  Something which I am learning how to combat naturally ... ANY SUGGESTIONS???

NOW... I am sharing this information because it took me a whole year to go through hell and lots of money to figure out what the hell is wrong with me.  I am not a doctor nor advocate any self diagnosis.. ... If you feel any of this information is applicable to you and you don't have the answers... I strongly recommend research research and research and get into see your OBGYN to get the answers you need and deserve!

DON'T wait and SUFFER.... get a jump start on this new Change in your life.

From ONE Hormonal Housewife to another ... Just blame it on Your PERIMENOPAUSE!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

5 Healthy Alternatives to Everyday Foods and Additives.

As I have learned about all the benefits of eating healthier and making small changes in my diet to promote better immunity, fight against cancer, lower cholesterol, keep blood pressure within normal ranges... I have learned all it takes is simple changes in everyday foods.  (Stay tuned to my personal story and how cleaner eating has changed my life)

Here is a list of 5 Things you can do to add additional nutrients to you and your child's diet


Organic Butter is free from hormones and chemicals.  Regular Butter stores much of the chemicals that animal was exposed to.  Organic Butter has nutrients rich in Vitamin A, E & K which are vital for Adrenal and Thyroid Function.  Organic Butter contains Linoleic Acid vital for bone growth, immunity and good bacteria.

Photo Courtesy of Organic Valley

2.  Replace Table Salt with Unrefined Sea Salt

Table Salt is bleached, refined and stripped of all nutrients.
Sea Salt has Alkaline agents for cancer prevention, helps with asthma, eczema, healthier for the heart in moderation, and builds immunity

3.  Raw Organic Cheese 

Great for Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Free of Antibiotics & Growth hormones.  Enriched with Vitamin A, E & D.  5X Higher in Linoleic Acid.  Contains Omega 3 for healthy heart and immunity.

4.  GO GLUTEN Free 

Replace All Wheat Enriched Breads, Pastas and Cereals with Certified Gluten Free Products.  (SO readily available and at many Grocery Stores).  Eliminating Gluten will help with stomach aches, diarrhea, eczema, skin issues, inflammation, bloating, headache, fatigue, and improves concentration levels.

There are so many reasons to go Gluten Free.  There are so many resources out there that explains why you should go gluten free.  A great read is the Yeast Connection Book.

5.  Replace Bleached Refined Sugars with Stevia, Raw Sugar, Agave Nectar, Honey, Organic Maple Syrup, or Especially Molasses

The first thing they tell cancer patients is to eliminate sugar.  Cancer feeds off of sugars.  Begin to switch to healthier alternatives to help with immunity.  Molasses has Vitamin B 6 and has 20% of Iron. Raw Cane Sugar has calcium, magnesium and riboflavin.  Use Molasses to help with kidney function, helps reduce fevers and boost protein levels.

Cheers to Healthy Living!!!

Delicious and Easy Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

(Photos Courtesy of Pacific Website and Google)


So easy to make, Delicious,  Packed full of veggies and Ready in 30 Minutes
What you will need:

Large Green, Red or Yellow Bell Peppers

1 Package of Pacific Organic Spicy Black Bean and Kale Soup

   1/2 c. of Chopped Yellow Onion

2 Cloves of Organic Garlic

2 c. of Cooked Organic Rice

1 Can of Organic Black Beans

1 Can of Organic Diced Tomatoes

 1/2 c. of Chopped Kale Leaves

1tsp of Unrefined Sea Salt

1tsp of Black Pepper

How to Make:

Preheat Oven 350 degrees

Clean and Remove all seed from your Bell peppers.
Begin Boiling a Large Pot of Water to Soak your Bell Pepper in.  Soak the Bell pepper for 15 minutes until skin turns a muted green, red or yellow

Cook your Organic Rice in a 2Qt Pot or a Rice Cooker

In a large skillet, on a low setting, mix 1 Package of Pacific Organic Spicy Black Bean and Kale Soup, 1 Can of Organic Black Beans, 1 Can of Organic Diced tomatoes.  

In a small skillet, saute 1/c c. of Chopped yellow onions, 2 Cloves of Organic Garlic, 1/2 c. of Chopped kales Leaves.  (If you are vegan, use Vegetable Broth to Saute)

Combine all Ingredients in the Large Skillet and Add 1 tsp of Unrefined Sea Salt and 1 tsp of Black Pepper

Begin Stuffing your Bell peppers with all ingredients.  

Carefully place your stuffed Bell Peppers in a 8x8 Ungreased Pan or a 9x9 Ungreased Pan.

Bake for 20-30 Minutes 


Wonderful Healthy Delicious Stuffed Green Peppers