Thursday, April 22, 2010

Clean Eating:

I wanted to tell a little bit about what I've been doing lately. I'm pretty excited about it and SO happy with the results that I had to share. A couple of months ago I noticed that my weight was "stuck". I had lost a lot of my baby weight, but there was 10 pounds that just didn't want to leave, and I was getting really frustrated. Also, my family has a history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol (thanks Hispanic genes! HAHA!)

Now I know I'm not ever going to be what I was in high school because I've had four kids and bodies change over the years, but I at least wanted to be less than where I was at. So I started reading, evaluating my diet and talking to one of my friends (who has been one of my best friends since 7th grade) and she kept mentioning "clean eating". So I looked it up online. Basically what you do is you eat 6 small meals a day, but you make sure to eat a COMPLEX carb (oatmeal, REAL whole grain/wheat bread, quinoa, couscous..something along those lines) WITH a lean protein (tofu, chicken breast, tuna, salmon) and then of course your fruits and veggies. Also, you drink 2 cups of water (8 oz) before breakfast, lunch and dinner and then a cup of water before your snacks. HOLY CRAPP! The first week (and I wasn't exercising yet because I had a lame-o head cold) I lost 4 pounds! I was pretty excited. Also, I felt really, really good and I had a lot of energy. I've been keeping up with it for a little over a month now and eating like this and doing Zumba has helped me lose 6 pounds AND 2 inches! Also, I didn't feel hungry and more importantly I wasn't craving sweets like I used to.

Clean eating isn't a diet. It's a lifestyle. It's eating natural foods using natural spices. So a day for me looks like this:

Breakfast: 2 glasses of water, piece of whole wheat bread (I make it myself) with almond butter and honey on top, two egg whites and half a banana. Then I sneak in a cup of milk for my calcium.

Snack: Apple with almond butter or I just eat it plain and water.

Lunch: Usually tuna or chicken in a wrap with tomatoes and lettuce and avocado. Water of course and the rest of my banana.

Snack: Handful of nuts.

Dinner: Chicken. I either throw it on the BBQ, crock pot, or bake it and eat it with sweet potato and salad and of course...water.

I'm not usually hungry after dinner, but if you are you can have an apple or some nuts to tide you over. I just keep drinking water or I have a glass of green tea.

Seriously not hard, nor do I feel like I'm lacking in anything. I also add a lot of flax seed to my diet because it's like super healthy for your body and heart. Up the fiber! It helps! You should also make sure you drink at least 8 cups of water a day to keep your body hydrated. It also helps your skin look a lot better!

I've been teaching Zumba for 3 weeks now and I seriously LOVE IT! It's so much fun, and I have a lot of regulars. I really miss my group from Logan that I used to go with, but it has been fun getting to know people around here and teaching them to shake it! It's funny. The other day I was subbing for the other Zumba teacher, and one of the ladies said to me "I've heard about you. You're the one that can really shake her butt". HAHA! I've actually had a lot of people say something like that to me. Yes, you shake your hips in a lot in Zumba. It's how Latin people dance! Seriously, if there is a Zumba class that is offered by you, go try it out! I promise you will have a lot of fun!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Do you ever have those times when you are just so proud of your kids that you want to shout it out to the world? Yeah. I'm totally feeling that right now. Aja has made SO MUCH progress lately that it completely blows my mind. We usually never go to the park. We always play around the yard at home (and even that is tricky at times with Aja). Reason being is that Aja HATES the park with a passion. She usually will just sit there and scream and cry and cling to me (wait she does that already. Hence her nickname Hip Leech). I think it's because the kids are moving around so fast, it's loud and she's terrified of the big toys. Makes going to the park no fun. I don't know why she is like that. I don't know if she's overly cautious or if her perception of things is off because of her condition. Either way, we take things slow around this household.

With limited things to do around here in Price, UT, we decided that going to the park is something we HAVE to do not only for our sanity, but for the sanity of the older kids who actually love the park. So we went. Of course, we get there and Aja immediately starts screaming. So I told Mitch to go off with the older kids and keep an eye on them and I would work with Little Miss. We went to a "quiet" part of the park and just sat on the bench and talked. Then Aja climbed off the bench and played in the wood chips for awhile. I took this opportunity to just talk quietly to her and kind of scooted my way backward so she would have to walk towards me. She followed (always keeping a hand on me I might add). I then went and sat on a step in the big toy and she again followed. We played there for about 15 minutes and then she said she wanted to "walk". So she held my hand and we walked to the toddler side of the park. There she walked across the little bridge they had there, she crawled through the tunnels AND even tried the balance beam! Seriously. I was so happy I was jumping up and down hooting and crying at the same time. I'm sure other parents thought I was nuts, but who cares! We both got dirty (because I had to do it first to show her that it was okay) and we both had a lot of fun! Also, Aja has been super brave and has been running around in the grass here at the house! She used to just sit on the sidewalk and scream.

Now this might not seem like a big deal to many of you, but when you have a child with special needs EVERY accomplishment is a big deal! I try not to read into everything that Cohen and Aja do/say because I know every kid is going to have their off days, but Aja does have something going on in her little head and we can't figure out what it is (we know it's not autism), but I'm SO HAPPY that I was able to break her out of her shell and get her to act like the almost 2-year-old she is!

So give a big WHOOT! WHOOT! for Aja!

Love this girl!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Easter is seriously one of my most favorite holidays because everything is starting to get green, it's semi-warm and the beautiful sun is out. Every year I try to do something fun for the kids to teach them that Easter isn't about the Easter Bunny at all but about the Resurrection of Christ. We do this all on Saturday since I think it's torture to kids to sit there with basket in hand while you try to tell them about the Resurrection on Sunday.

This year we made "cave Cupcakes". The chocolate cupcake represent the cave that Jesus was placed in and to represent Jesus we used a marshmallow. Then I decorated them with "grass and flowers". The kids had a lot of fun, and I'm happy to say that all (except for Aja) when asked Easter morning remembered what our lesson was about. Parent points to me!!

Then came the decorating fun!

I'm proud to say that Anessa no longer thinks that eggs will explode when dropped into the cup o' dye!

Mitch, who recently found out that a future stunt-man position is not in his future, has a lot of fun decorating eggs with his kids. I always find interesting messages written on my"Mommy is HAWT" and "You have a nice bum". This year I asked him to not write suggestive messages on my eggs so he wrote "Mommy is SMART" which is a joke to me complaining one day that he never told me that I was smart or something like that he just always told me I was sexy. So now whenever he wants to say I'm sexy..he says I'm so smart. Nice.

Peyton, who is obsessed with Link right now, drew Link "symbols" all over his eggs. He cracks me up. *no pun intended*

Cohen, who is a PRO at writing his name and is ultra proud of it, wrote his name all over his eggs.

Poor kids. Aja barreled into the front room and totally pillaged everyones basket prior to going to her own. Then she wouldn't hunt eggs UNLESS she had an open box of nerds in her hand. Such. A. Stink.

Cohen was proud of the eggs that he found, but he was more interested in the Sea Monkeys the Easter Bunny left in his basket. I'm proud to say that we are now the proud owners of Sea Monkeys which are now hatched and swimming around. *full body shiver*

Then of course..Easter outfits. My boys..are not cooperative when it comes to getting pictures taken. Peyton does okay, Cohen likes to make things "interesting"and I say that in the most loving way. Not in the "I'm kind of ticked off because I couldn't get a decent picture of you" way...not at all. HAHA!
This is as good as it gets.

My girls do a bit better although Aja is getting to be a bit difficult. Proof here. Looking at the camera and NOT poking and pinching Anessa in the face so she can look decent proved to be a challenge for Aja.

And the proud parents of it all...Us. Excuse the wind. The wind is never ending in Price.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Shine a Light...

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Today you will see the Bennett Family wearing blue in support of our little guy Cohen (I should say BIG guy. He hates it when I call him my little guy) and other children and adults affected by this life altering condition.

While Cohen is making HUGE strides, we have our struggles every day. I just don't write about them. During the day Cohen feels so overwhelmed by things that he will sit there and flex. This happens every day. I have to put him on my lap and squeeze him for about 5 minutes every couple of hours so that he gets that input that he needs. If I didn't do that, then he would probably flex all day long. I don't know why he needs/does it, but after our "session" he seems to feel better and will run off and find something to do.

There are still times when Cohen would rather trace the same path over and over again in a room than go and play with the other kids. Also, he will get some thought or idea stuck in his head and repeat the phrase or action over and over until he freaks out because what he wants is not possible. BUT I can say that this is a completely different kid than the one you saw almost 2 years ago. We have words. We have smiles. We have laughter. And we have sparkly blue eyes that really LOOK at us instead of staring through us like they used to. And it's all because of the hard work of therapists, us and Cohen. And I'm so thankful. Cohen being diagnosed autistic was hard. Mitch and I cried. We cried because we had just been through hell with Aja, and we cried because we didn't know what Cohen's future held. But now we laugh. We praise. We get excited for what his future holds. We know that it could have been much, much worse.

Don't diminish...Be aware. That is the best thing you could do for a family going through something like this. You have no idea what happens behind closed doors. Be accepting. Listen. Because life with an autistic child is hard..and it's consuming.

Shine a light...