“They” (whoever they are) say every five years you reinvent yourself and are not the same person you were half a decade ago. I agree with this statement; for me personally, in the last 5 years, I’ve had two children, moved across the country four times (!!), and faced circumstances that brought me to choose to work on bettering myself (or live discouraged).

Self-improvement is fluid and does not always start in a chosen place or a specific time. As a child of the ’80s, I subscribe to the NBC after-school-special slogan, The More You Know….The More You Grow. After having my first-born, Mattie, I read and researched everything from parenting styles to nutrition, sleep schedules, and on and on (to the point, over overwhelmed!). I was proactive, to say the least. As Mattie grew into the toddlerhood stage, new challenges presented themself that I had to continue to learn and research to help her develop, and in return, help our family be more healthy.

At about two-years-old, Mattie started having nightmares that were horrible to experience! I did not find peace with the reason-being that the terrible twos caused this behavior. The more I poked around the Internet and web of mom blogs, I ran across a little, itty-bitty amount of research from a mom account, written in plain mom-brain English about the behavioral and chemical effects red dye 40, and yellow dye 5 have on the human body. I was disgusted and astounded but wanted to find out if this could be the root cause of my toddler’s night terrors. I eliminated all dyes from Mattie’s diet, which to my surprise, are in everything (!!), even the blueberry yogurt, certain juices, and some snack crackers. I took her through my own version of an elimination diet, and guess what!? No more nightmares! To this day, if Mattie eats candy or food with synthetic dyes, she has extreme behavioral episodes, nightmares, or (even though it’s funny) talks out loud, full sentences in her sleep.

One enlightenment sparked another, and now reading food labels is common practice (even my husband checks the ketchup ingredients before buying).

I love to share about my family’s faith, fitness, and clean living in hopes that you find a lightbulb moment, a comforting moment, or a moment that sparks an idea to help you and your family live happy and healthy!