Surrender.

5 signs you might need a break from social media and a 7 day social media fast www.PanzaAvenue.com/SocialMedia

5 signs you might need a break from social media and a 7 day social media fast www.PanzaAvenue.com/SocialMedia5 signs you might need a break from social media and a 7 day social media fast www.PanzaAvenue.com/SocialMedia
5 signs you might need a break from social media and a 7 day social media fast www.PanzaAvenue.com/SocialMedia

I couldn’t go a full day without checking my social media. I felt left out and discouraged as I scrolled through the feed of my favorite social media accounts.
5 signs you might need a break from social media and a 7 day social media fast www.PanzaAvenue.com/SocialMediaImagine if we prayed as much as we got on Instagram or Facebook.

Those were actually the words that propelled me in to complete surrender and taking 30 days away from Social Media in April & May.  Something I truly never thought I would be able to do. I thought “If I am not on social media I will miss out!”…. “What about my blog? I really want to post on my blog!” My fighting and resistance was a clear indication it was time for a break.

Breaking an addiction.

Social media is easily an addiction. Well, I know not for you, right? You’re not addicted. I convinced myself I wasn’t either. That was until I took some time away and realized I was addicted. The first week I couldn’t believe how many times I reached for my phone to “scroll”.

Do you wake up and scroll? How about during your work day, your lunchtime, while you’re driving {gasp}, while you’re avoiding household chores, or even before you go to bed?

This is not a post to convince you to ditch social media, just to shed light on what came from a social media fast. I most certainly do not believe social media is all bad, I do however believe a break is necessary.

Sometimes the noise drowns out God’s message.

First of all, I had been hearing from the Lord to give social media a break for some time. I just chose to ignore the suggestion. We sometimes do that, don’t we? 

The weeks following my second miscarriage had brought me to so many emotional roadblocks. So many moments when I thought I was making progress and I was hit HARD emotionally by something unforeseen. I could see that social media was training me to compare my life to others and seek validation in likes and double taps.

Following my miscarriage I THOUGHT I had surrendered. I thought “eh, I’m not addicted to social media”. But I still asked, why wasn’t the Lord breaking me of the hurt and isolation I felt? I began to question myself. Was I doing enough?

April 24th while asking those questions I heard the Lord, “Sign out!”. It had been one of those days of another emotional battle, my pity party felt a little like drowning, “Will I ever? Do I measure up? When will it be my turn?”

I decided to listen. Surrender.
5 signs you might need a break from social media and a 7 day social media fast www.PanzaAvenue.com/SocialMedia

Disconnecting meant more time alone.

I signed out of everything. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. I let my mom know so she wouldn’t take offense when I wasn’t “liking” the cute dog photos she tagged me in.

I committed to spending my mornings with the Lord, instead of scrolling social media. I committed to writing my journey in a journal. I committed to spending lunchtime reading a book. I committed to decluttering my mind. I was determined to hear the Lord speak to me and open my heart.

When I was wondering, He was answering.

5 signs you might need a break from social media and a 7 day social media fast www.PanzaAvenue.com/SocialMedia

5 signs you might need a break from social media and a 7 day social media fast www.PanzaAvenue.com/SocialMedia

I just couldn’t hear with all the background noise.

My broken heart was an opportunity to grow and learn. Learning so I could live and share with others a new lifestyle I have become so fascinated with. Learning and becoming inspired by the woman God wanted me to grow in to. My time away brought refreshed inspiration and new found passion for a new way of living. I began to read books on how I could prepare for “next time” and the child God had planned for me. I became inspired by women’s health. I learned God intended this journey for me to help other women overcome heartbreak and find empowerment in holistic health. The time away helped me grow.

Is it time for you to take a break? How do you decide when it’s time to step back?

5 signs you might need a break, too

  1. You can’t go a full day without checking your social media.
  2. Every morning when you wake up, social media is the first thing you check.
  3. You seek validation and worth by how many likes you get on social media. You feel bad if you don’t get any or as many likes as you thought you would. You check your phone constantly after you make a post to see who liked it.
  4. You feel left out, discouraged, unworthy, or question who you are after you have spent time in social media.
  5. You find yourself missing moments with people because you are too busy trying to capture the PERFECT photo to post.

5 signs you might need a break from social media and a 7 day social media fast www.PanzaAvenue.com/SocialMediaWhen so-in-so seems perfect on social media… when you’re watching the highlight reel of others, it is difficult to embrace the season God has you in. The season of waiting brings great growth. Growth is so much more valuable than “perfection” or who has the “best life” on Facebook. 

When “likes” and “perfection” are getting the best of you, it might be time to consider taking a break. Take a break to see just how much you are relying on Social Media. Take a break to find self worth in things other than people liking your status updates or photos.

If you are not ready to take the full plunge and sign out today, how about a 7 day social media detox. You can take a different step for 7 days to help disconnect from social media and “likes”.

5 signs you might need a break from social media and a 7 day social media fast www.PanzaAvenue.com/SocialMedia

It is easy to think that we don’t need time away from social media. It is easy to believe “that’s not me, I’m in full control”. I hope you can take a moment to really consider your relationship with social media and determine if a break is necessary. If you’re waiting to hear God speak, the quietness might be exactly what you need. 

Not all social media is bad and it definitely connects us as a culture. However, not all breaks are bad either and time away can really help shift your perspective.

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Living an Organic Lifestyle, On a Budget

What if I told you eating organic doesn’t have to cost you your life savings and 401k? Honestly, the expense of organic foods and misinformation is the reason why i never even researched the idea of living an organic lifestyle. I was so wrong about the expense.

I recently shared a blog post about GMOs and toxic diets. I shared how research is showing the negative impact of GMOs and non-organic produce and animal products on people’s health. More importantly, the last couple months I have been researching natural ways to improve fertility and just about every article talks about the negative effect of non-organic foods on our fertility. In addition, the negative effects on our children even long before conception.

For the last few months we have been purchasing only organic foods for our household. I knew organic foods were essential on our journey to making baby Panza. Yep, this girl on a budget has found away to eat all organic without breaking the bank.

Some of the reasons to go organic

  1. Buying organic produce that is in season not only is easier on your wallet, but it gives you the ability to incorporate all types of vitamins and nutrients throughout the year. This is how we were designed to eat. Studies have found that when produce is grown in season, it can have up to three times more nutrients than when out of season.
  2. Organic foods have more nutrients than their pesticide, GMO riddled friends. Findings from a review of 343 studies on organic nutrition showed organic foods, on average, contained more antioxidants. Organic foods are also grown in a better environment. onventional non-GMO crops can be treated with “biosolids”, which is literally the treated waste that’s flushed down the toilet, and waste from hospitals and industry. Biosolids, are not permitted in certified organic foods. Biosolids contain heavy metals, toxins, steroids, and more substances that can pose a threat to your health. Possible health risks from substances in biosolids include kidney damage, adverse effects to the immune system, hormone disruption, and even cancer.
  3. Organic doesn’t just apply to fruits and veggies. Did you know the meat and animal products you consume can easily contain antibiotics, GMOs, and hormones? 

    Antibiotics and hormones given to animals on conventional farms make their way into the foods those animals provide. The prevalence of antibiotic usage with livestock can lead to antibiotic resistance in humans.

    Hormones, such as rBGH, are injected into cows on non-organic farms to boost milk production. This can lead to various health problems with the cows, such as abnormal milk, fertility issues, and hoof disorders. In addition, rBGH milk has significantly higher levels of the IGF-1 hormone. This hormone has been shown to greatly increase the occurrence of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.

Okay, so now you are convinced, but you aren’t sure where to even start. Don’t let the idea of eating only organic overwhelm you and certainly do your best, but don’t kill yourself for perfection.

Transitioning to an organic, natural lifestyle shouldn’t increase your stress. Small steps are key to making a big change. My suggestions, start with what is most important to you and slowly work your way to the next step. For me, what we were eating was crucial and needed to be priority. After that I started transitioning out of plastics, changing beauty products, and finding alternative household cleaners.

If you desire to start with your food and what you are eating, I can help you. Here are some of my secrets.

Shop Costco

Yes, Costco! The land of bulk processed foods is also a GREAT place to find reasonably priced organic foods. What I love about Costco is their price labeling system. Most, if not all of their organic foods have a green tag on the shelf. This makes it really easy when you are trying to transition your household.

I purchase their organic fruits and veggies. I also purchase their frozen organic fruits and veggies. As well as their wild caught and grass fed/organic meats. 

Phone a friend

Let people your neighbors, friends, family, and people you work with know you are on the hunt for organic fruits and veggies. A lot of times you can find people who have fruit trees in their backyards and they don’t use any pesticides or treatments. Usually they are willing to give the fruit away at no cost. Some people may ask you to come and pick it yourself, but what a cheap price tag for fruit! 

Stock up and save

When produce or organic meats are on sale, stock up. When grass fed ground beef is $3.99 a pound, I make sure to grab extra and freeze it for later. You can save quite a bit of money buying seasonal fruits and veggies and freezing them for later.

Start with the basics

The dirty dozen and the clean 15! Sounds like a nursery rhyme, but it really does apply to the foods we eat.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventionally grown produce were contaminated with pesticide residues. The pesticides persisted on fruits and vegetables even when they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

For the Dirty Dozen list is produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. On the clean 15, relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues on them. However, this does not mean that if the food is listed in the clean 15 that it is free from GMOs. 

If you are starting to eat organic in an effort to reduce exposure to pesticides, this list is a great place to start.

Grow your own organic produce & herbs.

You do not need a ton of outdoor space to grow your own garden. I suggest starting with herbs. They are easy to grow and take up little room. You can even grow herbs on a windowsill or on your patio. These herbs are growing on my balcony window. 

Shop local & in season.

Shop the farmer’s market. Farmer’s Markets have locally grown produce and (usually) there are many organic options to choose from. Not only will you be supporting a local farm family, you will be able to buy in season organic produce. If you are not sure where a Farmer’s Market is near you, try this website to locate one! 

Shopping for foods that are in season usually means that organic produce is on sale. A lot of times organic produce is the same price as conventional produce, in peak seasons. Check out your local store ads or see if they have an app to browse.

The journey to organic living should not become stressful or overwhelming. Start small and do your research.

Do you currently enjoy organic foods? How did you transition to an organic lifestyle? Share your ideas below to help others!

 

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Is your diet toxic?

I never really understood what all the hype was about NonGMO Foods. I especially thought that organic labeling was a fad diet type of thing. Something that only Birkenstock wearing hippies cared about. Boy was I misinformed and wrong.

In the world of organic, nonGMO, and “all natural” there are so many particulars. Particulars I truly had no idea about until I started researching it myself. 

Okay, let’s talk about this. 

What is a GMO? 

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Genetically engineered crops are crops that are altered with inserted genetic material to exhibit a desired trait.

They are altered in such a way that they do not die when sprayed with pesticides so that the crop can be mass produced and grown not by humans, but machines, and sprayed with pesticides to kill everything but the GMO crop. A real, natural plant would immediately die from the amount of pesticide sprayed (the pesticides themselves are a whole other story).

Okay… and what’s your point, Anna?

I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!

Genetically modified foods haven’t actually been proven to be safe in any way. Most studies are showing major concerns for the consumers health and the health of the next generation. The lack of long term studies and testing may be hiding disastrous health defects. Enough concern that 50 countries around the world have banned GMO foods. 

Unfortunately, GMO foods aren’t labeled in America and a majority of people have no idea this is even a “thing”. GMOs are in your produce and about 80% of processed foods. Animal products are not exempt. Besides the hormones and antibiotics administered (a story for another day), livestock is fed GMO crops.

Before you continue, if you are someone saying “My parents and I have eaten this way my whole life and we are just fine.” Because that’s what I thought too! Not exactly. Genetically modified foods didn’t actually make their way to the market until 1996 and their presence has increased over the years. So no, we and our parents haven’t eaten this way our whole lives. 

In 2012 Kaiser Permanente published a newsletter article titled “What you need to know about GMOs”. That article shared “Despite what the biotech industry might say, there is little research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human health. Independent research has found that several varieties of GMO corn caused organ damage in rats. Other studies have found that GMOs may lead to an inability in animals to reproduce.”

The newsletter recommends that consumers purchase organic foods, or foods with the “Non-GMO verified” logo.

I sure didn’t know ANY OF THIS before watching GMO OMG on Netflix and researching. I honestly thought it was some hippie fad that made my food more expensive!

The research.

May 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle announced the FDA’s anti consumer right-to-know policy which stated that GMO foods need NOT be labeled nor safety-tested. Meanwhile, prominent scientists such as Arpad Pusztai and Gilles-Eric Seralini have publicized alarming research revealing severe damage to animals (monkeys, lab rats) fed GMO foods including: sterilization, miscarriages, cancer, NEW allergies, seizures, and death!


The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) shared animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Yeah, you know that “I” word caught my attention immediately. Aside from infertility, a growing number of studies are finding hundreds of toxic chemicals in mothers’ and, subsequently, their babies’ bodies when they are born. Including pesticides industrial and environmental chemicals.

In studies, the organs of rats who ate genetically modified potatoes showed signs of chronic wasting, and female rats fed a diet of herbicide-resistant soybeans (GMO soy) gave birth to stunted and sterile pups. Sterile pups, meaning no babies down the road.

What this means for us.

Now I definitely know GMOs don’t cause all infertility or all miscarriages or all allergies, all cancers, or all autism.

I also know that not all people who smoke cigarettes get lung or mouth cancer, but I still don’t smoke because it and the risk it brings isn’t good for my health. I know that the majority of us can and will admit smoking can cause cancer, but there was a time where the tobacco companies FOUGHT to say smoking didn’t cause cancer.

If I held your interest for this long, thank you. There are so many facts supporting the negative impact of GMO foods in our culture.  Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise. 

How can you make a difference for your family’s health?

Make informed choices.

I recommend researching and making your own informed choice. You can read the book Seeds of Deception. Try watching GMO OMG on Netflix, along with The C Word. Both documentaries are so informative and educational, something that we as consumers have to take seriously. It isn’t enough to expect that ALL of the facts are in plain view, because they aren’t. For your health, your family’s health, and the health of your children, do a little research. You can also choose to ignore it, but that doesn’t make the problem disappear. 


Avoid GMO food

Avoid GMO foods whenever possible. In the US there are currently no labeling laws requiring that the inclusion of GMO foods be placed on the label.
Look for the “Non-GMO verified” logo on packaged foods. The Non-GMO Project is a mission-driven nonprofit organization offering a third-party non-GMO verification program.

Choose organic.

Choose only organic, free range, wild caught, and grass-fed animal products. “All natural” doesn’t cut it, it doesn’t mean GMO free.

If it is organic it is not a GMO food. In the US and Canada manufacturers are not allowed to label something as 100% organic if it has been genetically modified or if it is an animal and has been fed genetically modified feed. So when it comes to eggs, dairy and meats, organic is a must.

While soy, corn and potatoes are the most prevalent GMO foods, there are many others that you should be aware about as well, such as:

  • Salmon
  • Canola oil
  • High fructose corn syrup/corn sugar (on of the reasons there is so much GMO corn being grown. The other reason for so much corn is that it is readily fed to livestock)
  • Dairy (conventional cows are injected with the genetically engineered hormone rBGH/rBST and are frequently fed GMO corn and grains.)
  • Processed foods (many processed foods have been tested and shown to contain some GMO ingredients.)

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I know it is a little more lengthy than most, but it is truly something I feel needs to be talked about more. If you read this post, would you please let me know by commenting below or sending me a quick message or comment on Instagram or Facebook? I would love to know that I’m not just talking to a lifeless screen! 

sources:

organicauthority.com
Natural Fertility Info
Responsible Technology

 

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He’s in the Waiting

Don’t interpret God’s silence as His absence.

Ever sat and wondered “Why am I in this season of waiting?”…”Why haven’t my prayers been answered?”…”Why does God allow such pain and hurt?”

I’ll be the first to raise my hand. In fact, I think just about everything in our lives right now is in a MAJOR season of waiting. Work promotions, home buying, the growth of our family.

It was something I totally resisted at first. “Lord, you have given so-in-so ______, why not me?” The season of waiting can easily win the award for one of the most uncomfortable season, on top of being kind of eventless.

The season of waiting, however easily earns the award for beauty, growth, and transformation. In fact, if you haven’t had a true season of waiting, I hope you do. Not for heartache, but to experience such magnificent growth.

I heard this song, Take Courage  and I wanted to share it with you all. Music for me delivers some of the greatest messages.

“Do not forget
His great faithfulness
He’ll finish all He’s begun

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting

Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing”

Don’t interpret the silence or the waiting as God’s absence, He’ll reveal all to come.

Season of waiting look different for everyone, but one thing remains consistent GOD HAS A PLAN. Things we cannot see, sometimes things we don’t even expect… all a huge part of His bigger plan. 
In your season of waiting or heartache, choose music that is uplifting. I have a playlist on Spotify that I listen to for hope and encouragement.

In your season of waiting journal or find uplifting books to read. I have been reading Wait and See by Wendy Pope. When we want something to happen in our lives immediately and it doesn’t happen, we tend to doubt God. This book is excellent to help guide you through a season of waiting and those times when we think God isn’t answering us.

Let the season of waiting run it’s course. Resisting the waiting only makes it more painful. Trust me, I know. Surrender really is an every single day action. There are days that will hurt more than others, but He does not cause pain without allowing something new to be born. 

I’ve been completely inspired by the book of Isaiah. Words of encouragement. Like Isaiah 60:22… I have this one as my phone background…

 “At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”

OR

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Stand firm in your faith and trust that all of this… ALL… A-L-L of this is for a purpose, even if we don’t understand. Even if it is so painful, feels suffocating, or is purely exhausting. Even when you question WHAT the purpose is, know it will be revealed in due time… in His time. And the most beautiful part, you will be stronger because of it.

I pray you found some encouragement today. If there is anything I have learned in my own season of waiting, it is that I am not forgotten. Sure, there are days I feel an earthly loneliness. Some days I do feel like people in the world have “forgotten” me and I feel a little isolated. But along the way I have learned, that the Lord doesn’t forget us. What he is doing is intentional, even when it hurts a little.

Do not forget His great faithfulness
He’ll finish all He’s begun

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Know What I Mean, Peaches ‘N’ Cream?

I know by now you are so tired of hearing that you shouldn’t skip breakfast. Wait, don’t roll your eyes just yet. Skipping breakfast comes with greater risks than just a growling stomach. 

What if I told you that eating breakfast could lead to more weight loss? 

In one recent study, people who ate breakfast as their largest meal lost an average of 17.8 pounds over three months. The large-dinner group only lost an average of 7.3 pounds each over the same time period. (source) 

I find that the common reason women skip breakfast is because they do not have enough time in the morning. Either they don’t have the time to eat breakfast at all or they are not eating a balanced breakfast before they start their day. 

What is balanced? Well, a protein (yogurt or eggs), a complex carbohydrate (oats), and healthy fat (chia seeds) is truly considered balanced. Your body digests foods in a particular order. Carbohydrates first, protein second, and fats.

This means, grabbing a banana on the go isn’t enough to fuel your body for an extended period of time. But how does a woman who is on the go and trying to find balance master breakfast? Have you tired overnight oats yet? 

You can prep multiple overnight oats on Sunday evening or the night before you plan to eat them for breakfast. 

Overnight oats are more than your plain-Jane milk and oats you are used to as a young girl. They are also better than your Quaker maple and brown sugar or peaches n cream, sugar packed instant oats you find at your local grocery store. 

Overnight oats are a great way to incorporate fresh fruit, dairy-free yogurt, and extra essential healthy fats. There are so many different recipes to try, too. This means you can enjoy different flavors throughout the week so you do not get bored. Breakfast ready to grab and go! Ready to try your hand at overnight oats yet?

This simple Peaches ‘n’ Cream Overnight Oats recipe has dairy-free coconut milk yogurt, fresh organic peaches, chia seed, raw honey, and almond milk. Sweet and refreshing to grab and go in the morning. 

Let me know what you think! Enjoy! 


Peaches 'n' Cream Overnight Oats {dairy free}
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Peaches 'n' Cream Overnight Oats {dairy free}
Print Recipe
Servings
1
Servings
1
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a clean, glass jar mix oats and almond milk until combined.
  2. Layer peaches on top of oats
  3. Add coconut milk yogurt, honey, vanilla extract, and chia seed
  4. Seal the glass jar and store in the fridge overnight. Enjoy in the morning.
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