My Digital Detox

I didn’t need another gluten free diet or UltraClear detox.  I needed a digital detox.  A virtual cleanse from the Web World.  And, it was an amazing journey.

I was checking Facebook status updates every 10 minutes. Checking Instagram photo feeds. Taking pictures of my own, editing, then posting them. Reading blogs. Creating blog posts. Reading NPR news. Looking at Birchbox videos. Youtube videos. Facebook videos. Twitter feeds.

Ahh! You get the point.

I needed a new kind of ‘reality check.’   I swear, you can legitimately lose yourself in the Web World. I know, because I did.  I became someone who cared more about looking at a screen than having a conversation.  I became more sedentary.  And more irritable.

At night it was mostly the television. First, I would put McKinley to bed, and then turn on the TV. Real Housewife trash. And I was addicted. Disturbingly to the point where someone would ask me a question and it would annoy me if it wasn’t commercial time. Seriously? How sad is that?  Yeah, definitely a low point.

I started feeling lost.  And NOT connected.  Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media devices portray this illusion of a collective ‘connectedness,’ but the more you indulge– the more alone you become.  I was desperate for conversation and human interaction. I wanted to feel alive again.  So, I began my digital detox.

 

  • First, I deleted most of my apps from my iPhone.  This way, I wouldn’t have immediate access to social media at any point at any time.
  • Second, I initiated new interactions with my husband.  We started playing card games at night and reading together.
  • Third, I now leave my phone upstairs in my bedroom for most of the day and night.  The only time I have my phone with me is if I am ‘out and about.’  Periodically I will check my phone for missed calls and respond to text messages.
  • Forth, I decided to watch specific television shows–and limit my television time to those shows.  Right now, it’s Survivor and Parenthood.
  • Fifth, I tried to only used the computer to check Facebook once a day and respond to emails.
  • Sixth, I completely stopped blogging.
  • Seventh,  I allowed myself to still look at and post to Instagram.  However, I did not attach my photos to other social medias.

It was a well worth it experience.

  • I was able to connect closer to my husband
  • Spend more quality time with McKinley
  • Be more present in the world
  • Realize the importance of doing a digital detox
  • Appreciate the small things again
  • Become more active
  • Understand the slippery slope to social media
  • Best of all…I was able to get back to my roots…back to being me.

I think this is an awesome exercise.  Try out some of these methods for 1 week-monitoring your social media and screen time.  What can you learn from doing this? And do you think you’ll notice any differences?

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Ready? Set. Go!

I used to work at a nutrition center and cleansing was a part of our philosophy for healthy living.  Cleansing, or detoxing, is a great way to clean out those allergens and toxins we consume without even knowing.  In the process of cleansing your body, you find that you are more stable, happier, more energized…and the list only goes on.

My last detox was before I got pregnant with McKinley.  So, It’s been awhile. Naturally I’m excited to get back to my normal way of doing things.  HA!  “Normal.”  Okay, there will never be anything normal about my way of doing things 🙂

Obviously there are thousands of different detox programs–elimination diets and candida diets.   I’ve actually done multiple, but I prefer– ones that are to the point. I’m doing a Clear Change 10 day detox.  I figured I’d write about this particular detox process for other people who have heard about, or thought about doing it—and perhaps I can lend some insight.  The writing process is highly recommend during detox programs as means to understanding how certain foods react to one’s body and mind.  And, just so you know–doing a detox is something everyone should mentally prepare and gear up for in advance.

No, I am not on crack.  Rest your suspicions.  Although, the thought, “How can I do a detox with a toddler?” has crossed my mind…several times.

10 days.  Short enough that it’s easy, but long enough that it will do something lasting. My kinda thing.  The particular detox I am doing comes with an UltraClear nutritional beverage, that tastes like powdered crap, and provides nutritional support.  Mmmm. Ready? Set. Go!

Day 1 & 2 No artificial anything.  No sugar. No dairy products. No soy. No meat. No caffeine. No wheat or gluten.  (There is actually  a list of foods to avoid and foods that are recommended, but there is no way I am typing that up).

Uhh yeah, “Holy Crap”  is what I say for day 1 & 2 too.   What can I eat?  Pretty much(with exceptions), all fruits, veggies, beans, nuts/seeds, milk alternatives (almond milk), stevia, quinoa, brown rice, all dry/fresh spices and herbs, oils, herbal teas, and fish.

Day 2: You add the nutritional beverage. 1 scoop twice a day.

For me thinking of meal ideas was extremely easy, but the caffeine headaches?  Not so much.  Oh man, yesterday day 2, was a nightmare.  My whole body was aching.  My head throbbed the entire day.  I had no energy. And, I was really spacey.  Yup- that’s the detox doing it’s job ridding my body of all those toxins.  So, if you experience these symptoms…it’s normal.

I do want to mention, that I slept like a baby night 1 and night 2. I’ve needed sleep for the past couple of weeks, between McKinley screaming, and tossing and turning from my lower back pain.  So, I fully enjoyed the rest.

Below are some meal ideas from day 1 and day 2 of the detox: 

Day 1 lunch idea: Quinoa burgers packed with onions & herbs

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Day 1 Dinner idea: Spinach salad with sunflower seeds, walnuts, strawberries, avocados, drizzled with white balsamic, pared with fresh Halibut, and an olive chutney.

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Day 2 lunch idea: Gluten free- almond butter sandwich with banana, almond butter, almond milk smoothie.

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Day 2 Dinner idea: Stir-fry with Bok choy over brown rice, and Thai spiced Salmon.

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Stayed tuned for the rest of the detox… Day 3 tomorrow.

* * Please note, if you are planning on doing a detox, you should speak with a nutritionist or your physician first. * *

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Discipline Don’ts

If you’re a first time parent, or a parent of five children, learning how to discipline your children can be a tricky process to learn. How do you do it? Is one parent the good cop and the other the bad cop?

Applying multiple parenting strategies can allow us to be more well-rounded parents. Parenting isn’t black and white. We shouldn’t have to be the friend or the boss, we can be both. Strict and laid back.

Though it seems in the world of parenting we are critical of one another and our choices. But why? Why are we so divided? Is it because we’ve never actually grown up? Were we all not judged enough through adolescence? There’s no official rule book for parenting. Otherwise we would be boring.

I will say, when it comes to discipline however, abuse and neglect is never an option. No matter how angry or upset we get, we should never take our emotions out on our children. Verbal abuse is something parents can neglect to realize as harmful.

Have you ever screamed “Shut up!” or “Your dumb!”? These type of comments can be harmful to your children. I’ve had many clients recall verbal abuse growing up. It sticks. I get it, it’s hard when you’re trying your best and your tactics just don’t seem to work. It can be frustrating. We’ve all made mistakes as parents, but it’s our job to set an example. We need to practice stress management and learn to control and understand our emotions.

10 Discipline Don’ts via Parents Magazine 2013IMG_7437

  • Yell
  • Offer empty threats : Say what you mean, and mean what you say
  • Undermine your partner
  • Fail to set rules
  • Bribe:
  • Argue about consequences: Not up for negotiations
  • Compare
  • Spank
  • Cave in to whining
  • Set a bad example

 

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How to: Get Cleaning Done

Need help staying organized with all the cleaning and household chores?

As a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) people may think I have time to kill. If you perhaps are one of those folks…let me clear that up for you…Nope. Keeping up with chores and cleaning is a bit of a nightmare, even for a SAHM.

I had to use my organization skills, as well as a bit of my O.C.D tendencies, to help me out.

You can find a household chore list online and print it off, or create your own in a word document by inserting a table.

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Once you have a chore list– LAMINATE it! This will enable you to use the same chore list again, again, and again.

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Invest in some dry erase markers.

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Mark up your chore list with the days you will complete the chore and names of people who will be completing them.

Then hang it on the fridge or somewhere visible for everyone to see!

 

 

An Advocate for Change | The chance for growth is infinite

Georgia, MSW, LSW

Autism vs Asperger’s

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As a society we are comfortable, probably too comfortable, noticing our differences, and pointing fingers at others who are not like ourselves.

It’s time we start realizing individual potentialities for greatness, success, and achievement, no matter the differences.

In lieu of autism awareness month and as a licensed Social Worker I thought I might shed some light for parents about Autism and Aspergers.

Below I have made a Similarities & Differences chart including the diagnostic features for each disorder as seen in the DSM-IV-TR.

Autistic Disorder

Asperger Syndrome

 

SIMILARITIES

  • Impairment in social interactions evident by impairment in nonverbal communication behaviors, development in peer relationships, lack of social/emotional reciprocity, and lack of seeking to share enjoyment or interests with other people.
  • Restricted repetitive patterns of behavior/interests /activities evident by preoccupations with that is abnormal in intensity or focus, inflexible adherence to nonfunctional routines and rituals, repetitive motor mannerisms, persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.

 

DIFFERENCES

  • Impairment in communication evident by delay or lack of spoken language, impairment in ability to sustain or initiate conversation, repetitive use of language, or lack of varied, make-believe play (age appropriate/ course of development).
  • Delays/abnormal functioning in at least one of following areas, with onset prior to 3 years of age: 1)Social interaction, 2)language, 3)symbolic/imaginative play
 

 

  • Impairment in social interactions evident by impairment in nonverbal communication behaviors, development in peer relationships, lack of social/emotional reciprocity, and lack of seeking to share enjoyment or interests with other people.
  • Restricted repetitive patterns of behavior/interests /activities evident by preoccupations with that is abnormal in intensity or focus, inflexible adherence to nonfunctional routines and rituals, repetitive motor mannerisms, persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.

 

 

  • Disturbance causes significantly impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • No clinically significant delay in language or cognitive development or age-appropriate self-help skills (other than in social interaction).

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

Want to know more?! Here are some helpful links filled with resources, information, ways to give, and events!

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An Advocate for Change | The chance for growth is infinite

Georgia, MSW, LSW