Posted by Crystal

Aren’t these cucumbers beautiful!!!

They came right out of my garden. I’m a major cucumber lover so in the spring I planted a ton of them. I think I went a little overboard though because I’m getting about this many every few days.  I hated the thought of them going to waste so I’ve been juicing them like crazy.

Since I’ve been drinking so much cucumber juice I decided to research the health benefits. I was excited to find out that they really help with all kinds of skin problems including acne, which is the one thing I struggle with most, especially now with all the hormones from pregnancy.

Here are some of the great things I learned about cucumbers:

  • Eating cucumbers may decrease the appearance of blemishes such as pimples and blackheads making it an effective and an often-referred remedy for acne.
  • Drinking cucumber juice can help combat high blood pressure, constipation and even cancer.
  • In terms of dieting and diabetes, cucumbers are ideal for an afternoon snack to rebuke hunger for those wishing to lose weight.
  • Another great factor with this fruit includes its high percentage of sulfur and silicone. For this reason, cucumber juice may aid those wishing to increase the growth of hair and healthier nails.
  • Cucumbers contain Silica, which is ideal for healthier ligaments, tendons, and muscles, making it perfect for people seeking relief of rheumatoid problems such as arthritis.

If you don’t have a juicer, no worries. There is another way of preparing it. Just get some sliced cucumbers, grated ginger root, sliced lemons and mint leaves combined in two liters of water, then refrigerated overnight. Or you can blend them up with some ice, fruit, yogurt and water for a nice refreshing smoothy.

When I juice the cucumbers I usually add some flavored stevia, ice, yogurt, a couple strawberries, then I blend it all together. It really tastes great too!

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Posted by Crystal

People have been asking me to post some juicing recipes, so today I wanted to share with you my typical juice concoction. As we all know, juicing can be kind of a pain, so what we usually do is juice every other day, but when we do, we juice a lot (to last us another day).  It’s best to drink the juice as fresh as possible, but it can last up to 24 hours in your refrigerator. Just be sure to store it in a seal tight container.

I’ve also found that juicing vegetables can make the juice very hard to get down, but obviously we don’t want to drink just fruits. The whole point is to get all your recommended fruits AND vegetables in each day. So we found a solution for the nasty taste.

It’s liquid lemon flavored stevia, you can get it on Amazon. Just add a few drops to your drink and it’s amazing how it masks the flavor of the kale, which seems to be the strongest of them all. I can totally drink this without a problem as long as I have the Stevia in it. It’s a miracle!!!

Here’s what I use for my daily juice.

* 2-3 apples

* 2-3 oranges

* 1-2 grapefruits

* 5-7 whole carrots

* 2-3 stalks of kale

* about a square inch of fresh ginger root

* Then I’ll through in a little something extra like a zucchini, cucumber, grapes, a peach, usually what ever else I can find in my fridge.

* Then top it off with a few drops of the Stevia and you have a vitamin packed drink that actually tastes good!

I didn’t say it LOOKED good :)


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Posted by Crystal

Right now is the best time of year to start up a new work out program and get back to eating healthier. Don’t you feel like once summer is over life can go back to normal?  It almost feels like New Years again, all the motivation to eat better and work out harder comes rushing back.

Although I’m not necessarily trying to lose weight (being pregnant and all), I am trying to make healthier choices. Being back on a schedule I’m finding it much easier to exercise more consistenly and eating healthier since we’re not eating out so much any more. I’m back to using my day planner again  and it feels great!

Today I wanted to share with you another great weight loss story. Let me introduce you to my friend Theresa cunningham.

My name is Theresa Cunningham and I am a business owner and stay at home mom of two.  My husband is currently working in Iraq and at times being home alone is a grueling task!  Days are long, meals are quick and sometimes I will go without.  Being an athlete (runner) I know how taxing this life style is on the body.  I run about 30-36 miles a week, but do not consume the amount of calories needed to maintain my healthy weight.  Therefore, I will not remain consistent with my weight.  About a month ago I was doing business research and came across Crystal’s blog.  I was intrigued with the blog posts she had on Isagenix.  After reading the information I emailed her… we spoke the next day and I was so motivated!     Within three days my product had arrived and I was ready to start my 9 day program.  The shake days were great.  The shakes are not only filling, but they are GOOD.  Those who know me, know that I speak my mind, so my girlfriends were surprised when I raved about the shakes!  The first cleanse day was a bit difficult for me, as I LOVE coffee and because I am a grazer I love to snack.  I felt a bit loopy by the end of the day and all I wanted was ice cream, popcorn, and BREAD!  Yet, by the second cleanse day I felt great.  I had energy and was rested.  Mid cleanse I had a visit to my acupuncturist a she stated my pulse was stronger (it runs low because I am generally tired and run down), and she said that my tongue was looking the best it had been in weeks (sounds insane but in Chinese medicine the tongues coating can diagnose up to 30 organ problems).  Shortly after I was with my best friend whom is also my esthetician and she commented on my eyes looking clean and my skin looking wonderful!  I lost a total of 8 pounds and several inches off of my hips and thighs.  I have better sleep patterns and do not drink the amount of coffee / caffeine I did before.  I have maintained this for a month and continue with my morning and afternoon shake and small meal for dinner.  I have one girlfriend whom started the 9 day cleanse, another whom is interested and once my sister has her baby she too is going to sign up.     This was such a wonderful experience for me and I cannot thank Crystal enough for her support!  I highly recommend this to anyone whom is in need of weight loss or who is like me, in need of consistency!

Theresa Cunningham
Owner | Sucré Lulu™ | www.sucrelulu.com | www.sucrelulu.blogspot.com/

Posted by Crystal

I’ve finally completed the last week of the 4 week work out program I put together. Here are all 4 weeks.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

And this is what week 4 looks like. Click here to print.

This work out program is part of the 52 Weeks of Balance Project. To buy your planner click HERE.

I hope you find these helpful and are even seeing some weight loss results with them.

Speaking of weight loss, I wanted to introduce you to my friend Nicole (mother of 5) who has recently seen incredible weight loss results from the 9 day cleansing system I use. She is such an amazing women in my eyes. Read her story below.

I am blessed to be the mother of 5 children ages 7 and under.  I love being a mom. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced.  But it has also been the most exhausting and challenging experience of my life.  After our 5th baby was born, the stress of motherhood and 5 pregnancies had definitely taken a toll on me physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I have always been passionate about health and fitness and even became a part-time Turbo Kick instructor after my 4th child was born in hopes that I could help people achieve their health goals.  I don’t believe in diets- since they’re not an effective long term solution.  My motto for weight loss and good health after each pregnancy was always- “Eat less- move more.” And after each of the first 4 pregnancies, the baby weight came off quickly as I tried to apply this principle. But after I had our 5th child, eating less and moving more was simply NOT working.  I could not get the extra weight off despite my best efforts.  10 months went by- and I was still carrying almost all of the extra prego pounds.

The change for me came just this last April after watching “Food Inc”.  I learned more about how nutritionally bankrupt our food has become, and I wanted to DO something about it.  I was concerned about the state of our health, running on low energy much of the time, dealing with sugar highs and crashes, and feeling overwhelmingly frustrated that I couldn’t drop the baby weight.  I believe in the power of prayer, so I poured out my heart in prayer about all these concerns, asked for help… and the next day I stumbled upon a video about Isagenix.  I knew immediately that it was an answer to that prayer.  The fact that it was not a diet, and not a fast- but a total body nutritional cleanse really appealed to me, so I decided to give it a try- plus with a 100% moneyback guarantee, I felt I had nothing to lose.  I knew it was time to make a change and regain control of my unhealthy eating habits.

I was so excited to start a new lifestyle!  And the results blew me away. I lost 10 lbs. and 11 inches on the 9 day system, and went on to lose another 11 lbs. and dropped 4 dress sizes.

More importantly, I feel more energy than I have had in years and my cravings are suppressed.  It feels so liberating to develop greater self-control over my sugar habit- and I’m hoping to save money on dental bills.  I rarely crave processed, refined, nutritionally void foods now because my body is finally getting the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it was really hungry for.  I can FEEL the difference. The visible results are just a bonus. :)   What kept me on track during the cleanse was a clear motive that I kept in mind.  My motive was to have greater health and more energy to better serve my family.  I wanted to be an example of excellent health for my children.  Another critical factor in achieving this goal was the support of a fabulous coach and a network of new Isagenix friends from a support group to keep me accountable and inspired.

I’m grateful to be one of hundreds of thousands of people who have found renewed hope through Isagenix. So now I’ve decided to share it forward and become involved in promoting and teaching people about it.  I’m now a nutritional cleanse coach- helping others achieve their health goals too.  What I love about this is I can work from home during the kids nap/bed time- and coach people as they make this healthy lifestyle change.  In this business, we can only succeed by helping others succeed! What a blessing to have a chance to make an impact in the world and enrich people’s lives through sharing this phenomenal product and opportunity.  It has been such a blessing in my life.

Isn’t she beautiful!!!!

Thank you Nicole for sharing your story with us. You’re an inspiration to all us moms trying to lose the baby weight.

Posted by Crystal

Before I turn the time over to Sarina, I wanted to give you all a quick heads up about my day planners. First, they are being featured on Just Cherish Today, and second I’m offering a discount on them. I’ve only got TEN left so I decided to have a close out sale. Each planner is now $30 (plus shipping) instead of $45!!! Email me if you’d like one and I’ll email you back a paypal invoice. [email protected]

Hello all you balanced moms out there! When choosing to be a balanced mom you know you have to put your health as a priority, so I have put together my Top Ten Super foods that every mom should add to their families diets.

Science now points to a list of foods with extraordinary powers to ward off disease and slow aging. These foods provide health benefits way beyond basic vitamins. They contain substances that prevent health problems such as high cholesterol to cancer. Research shows these foods can even put you in a better mood! And in my opinion they are the fountain of youth.

1. Nuts and Seeds: Loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and omega 3 fatty acids, nuts can help reduce heart disease and cancer.

- We snack on raw nuts and seeds all day at our house. I usually buy them in bulk to save money.

2. Berries: A rich source of photonutrients and antioxidants, both of which protect cells from damage that lead to cancer and premature aging. All berries are loaded with vitamin C and are a great source of fiber.

- I add berries to my protein shakes, or snack on them all day. Kids love berries! Buy them when they are in season that way they are not too expensive. You can also buy them frozen in the winter.

3. Beans: All types of beans are nutrient powerhouses, they are high in antioxidants that help block cells from damage. Beans are high in fiber and can prevent obesity.

-I cook with beans all the time. My favorite are lentils because you can add these little guys to any meal.

4. Broccoli: Along with other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage, antioxidant loaded broccoli helps fight cancer, especially breast, by reducing levels of excess estrogen. It also boosts the immune system.

- Not only do I juice broccoli every morning (I know you think I am crazy but, cancer runs on every side of my family), but we eat this amazing vegi at east 3x’s per week.

5. Sweet Potatoes: One of the highest ranked vegetables on the nutrition scale, sweet potatoes are high in fiber, vitamins A, C, and B6, potassium, magnesium, and cancer fighting antioxidants. Their anti-inflammatory properties help improve asthma, allergies and arthritis. Not just for thanksgiving anymore this vegi is awesome.

-I make homemade sweet potato fries, just chop up into fries size coat with olive oil and sea salt place on a cookie sheet bake at 375 for 25-30 mins. Yum my kids love these!

6. Yogurt: This contains healthful probiotics, or good bacteria that can prevent breast cancer, ulcers, and vaginal infections.

- I grow my own and add it to my protein shakes. If you buy from the store make sure you get plain and add your own sweeteners like stevia or agave and fresh fruit, otherwise they are loaded with bad sugars or worse man made sugars know to cause cancer.

7. Avocado: The Aztecs called avocados the fruit of the Gods. Today this super food is packed with monounsaturated or “good” fat that lowers cholesterol and help prevent cancer. This nutrient dense food is full of folate, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.

- I LOVE avocados! It is my favorite part of the day when I get to eat one. I always hear people say they are so fattening. Don’t worry about it remember this is the good fat to make our hair, skin, and nails look amazing!

8. Dark Chocolate: Yes I said Dark Chocolate not milk or white. As a super food this is a sweet dream come true. It reduces blood pressure improves bad cholesterol and helps muscle fatigue. It can also help regulate cortisol (stress hormones that can cause fat around the belly).

- I eat dark chocolate at the end of everyday, this is my gilt free way to satisfy my sweet tooth.

9. Olive oil: This monounsaturated or “good” fat lowers bad cholesterol, increases good cholesterol and fights cancer.

- I serve every single meal in my house with cooked and raw olive oil. I never use butter. I literally don’t even have it in my house.

10. Quinoa: What is Quinoa? Quinoa is a whole grain that stands alone as a complete protein. It contains all essential amino acids. This product is great for wheat free diets.

- I replace quinoa with other wheat pastas that are now being linked to many autoimmune diseases.

Here are some more of my favorite super foods….

Apples, garlic, onions, honey, kale, chard, citrus, tomatoes, pomegranate, spinach, salmon, coconut, and peppers

If adding these foods feels to overwhelming maybe just try to add one of these super food into your diet and when you get use to that one add another.

Happy eating!

Posted by Crystal
Hey all you lovely ladies. I would like to introduce you to one of my wonderful friends. I’ve actually mentioned her before on here. She is the one I ran into at the store and told me about price matching and lots of other fun stuff. To read that post click HERE. I also mentioned that she chose not to have internet in her home. Well, obviously she’s changed her mind about that idea :)  
Anyway, get used to seeing her face around here because she will be guest posting for me pretty frequently. I’m sure you are going to absolutely LOVE all the fun and helpful information she has to offer, so that’s why I’ve chosen her to be a contributor to this blog.
Take it away Sarina!!!!

Hello all you balanced moms in the making. My name is Sarina Dean Burke.  I have been friends with Crystal since we use to drive around in her mustang in high school. 

I am a certifed pesonal trainer with an extensive back ground in nutrition, and I just happen to have worked in the Fashion industry for 10 years. Believe it or not I was 245 pounds and a size 22 when I was the young age of 20, granted this was do to the over 90 pounds I gained with my first child, thyroid disease, being prediabetic, and taking anti-depressants. I was devastated with my weight, but had no idea how to lose it.  This is where my journey began.  I tried everything!  From Slimfast shakes ,that are full of garbage, to diet pills, now banned, I tried it all and after 3 years I didn’t know what to believe.  I exercised and ate what I thought was healthy but I continued to fluctuate my weight, feel tired, and so unhappy.  I had always suffered from depression but in 2004 I had never been so depressed in all my life.  I will never forget the three weeks I spent in bed with bags of potato chips crying.  I guess you could call this my rock bottom.  At the end of the third week I feel on the ground and pleaded out loud, “Please Help Me Fix Me!!” That very week I met a friend who changed my life.  I took my daughter to the park and this is where I met my now dear friend. We sat and talked for an hour about nutrition, but for the first time I was hearing it right!  She told me how she lived a life free of chemicals and only ate all natural or organic foods.  So I began to study and apply an all natural environment to my life.  In six short weeks I lost 15 pounds and can say have kept it off! I have now been living an all natural life style ever since.  I am completely off anti-depressants and have HEALED my mind, body, and spirit.
 I often get asked,”Sarina, what do you do to look and feel so great?” There is no one answer for this, there are hundreds of things I do and I would love to share them all with you!
My Top Five Healthy living Standards
1. Take good quality supplements everyday including…..
a. Whey Protein, to build lean muscle and it’s calcium rich. The Isagenix Isalean shakes are  the best ones out there. They use organic whey protein imported from New Zealand.
b. A Whole Food Multi-nutrient, all the vitamins and minerals you need in a non synthietic form.  The Isagenix Cleanse for Life juice is a great source.       
c. Fish oil, this is where you get your much needed Omega 3 to nourish the brain, heart, and hormones.
d. Liquid Greens, green formulas make it easy to eat nutrient rich sources of leafy greens.
2. Drink 75-96 oz of Filtered water everyday
a. I add fresh juiced lemon to my water every morning.
b. Make sure you filter your water up to 7 million Americans become sick from dirty tap water and 40% of bottled water is actually tap water.
3. Eat Organic whenever you can this assures you that your food is free of pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormone plus it is better for the environment. I can’t always afford organic but I just do the best I can to at least eat all natural.
4. Get good Nutrition, First of all go to your pantry and throw out all the unnatural disease causing garbage in there! (You kow what that is!) The more diverse your diet is the healthier you will be. Next time you are at the grocery store pick up new things you never have before.  This in turn will add new vitamins and minerals that your body is craving. Now as far as what to get. Every natural thing that God has put on this beautiful planet. (I can go into this much more another time)
5. Exercise!
a. Workout at least 3-5 times per week.
b. Incorperate weight training and of course cardio.
c. find something you love that is active, I love to ride my bike and rollerblade. Sometimes my neighbors mistake me for one of the kids in the neighborhood. I love that!
Good luck!

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Posted by Crystal

I’m so excited to see this beautiful weather coming out behind those nasty dark clouds we’ve had here lately. The other day I went out to check out my garden status and I was surprised to see a couple things coming back from last year.


And Parsley…

Isn’t that fun!!!

Of course there was a bunch of clean up I needed to do since I never got around to it in the fall. Then I tilled the soil and planted my peas.

How many of you have a garden? How many of you have wanted to garden but think it’s a bit intimidating?

That was the way I always felt about it until last year. I finally dove into the whole idea and was surprised at how easy it was. I thought there was no way I could actually GROW something, but sure enough, I produced everything from tomatoes, to cucumbers, to squash, to strawberries. It was such a great feeling knowing that I was actually capable of growing my own produce.

So I challenge you all this year to grow a garden. This is the month to plant peas so get those babies in the ground. Start small, get a big pot and plant a few things. Get your kids to join in too. I’ve noticed that last year Lily would actually eat ANYTHING that came from our garden. Not sure why that is, but she loved every bit of it, including the beets.

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Posted by Crystal

How many of you eat much raw fruits and veggies on a daily basis?

The average American does NOT consume the daily recommended amount of fruits and veggies (including myself).

Until now!

Sean and I have been juicing every day now for 6 weeks, and I feel great!!! I start out my day with a big class of juice, then a few hours later I have my Isagenix meal replacement shake. A few hours later I’ll have a snack, then it’s dinner time. This is the best way to keep your calories down, seriously, it has been so nice.
Here are a few benefits of juicing.

  1. The juice requires hardly any digestion, so all its nutritional goodness gets rapidly into your system.
  2. When you juice, you use more fruits and vegetables than you could actually eat. As a result, you are drinking a densely packed amount of vitamins, minerals and other plant-based nutrients.
  3. Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner, and you can add a wider variety to your diet. 

We found a wide variety of juicers on Amazon, but this is the one that we bought. 

But you can get a lower Watt one for cheaper.

I’m not going to lie, it does require a little time, probably about 25 min. from
start to finish (clean up and all). Not really that bad, but if you’re in a hurry then it might not be that convenient.
One thing I’ve liked most about juicing is the fact that I can feel good about
getting all my fruits and veggies in each day. Antioxydants are so important,
especially for Cancer prevention.

Next Week on Wanna Be Balanced Mom:

* Eyelash Extensions. I’m getting eyelash extensions for the first time. Can’t
wait to try them out and show you pics. I’ll share more info about it in this post.

* Ways to Keep Your Home Safe.  I’ll be sharing photos of all the safety precautions we take in our home.

* What’s in YOUR Bag?  I’ll be taking you inside my purse, showcasing the chaos within and items I have with me at all times. I also want to share whats in YOUR purse. So if you’d like to submit a picture or video of yours then email it to me at [email protected] This will be fun to see :)

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Posted by Crystal

I’d like to introduce you to my lovely and most AMAZING sister in law Andrea. She is a true inspiration to those that may be feeling hopeless with their weight.  She has three kids really close together in age, so you can imagine how life was when they were babies. It was insanely crazy for her and she got to a point where the stress of it all was taking it’s toll on her body. She’s worked so hard to get her body and her health back.  I couldn’t be more proud!!!
Love you Andrea!!!! You are amazing!!!

Watch this short video she did sharing her story as well as her before and after pics.

For more info go to www.wannabelean.com
Also, I did a post a while back answering some frequently asked questions. You can see it HERE.

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Posted by Crystal

Yes, these do exist, and yes, I’m being serious…
Sort of…
Sorry for the visual here, but seriously, this is factual information. The other night Sean was researching these and I was about to die at the thought of him actually getting one put in our house. If you know my husband then you know he is MR. Health Nut. Always finding the newest natural remedies to preventing disease and preserving his health hence the reason we do Isagenix. I love that about him,  for the most part, but sometimes it can be a little extreme.

“Squat toilets are thought to be safer than seated versions. Many believe that sitting on a toilet can lead to bladder, prostate or uterine nerve damage. When this damage occurs, the organ(s) become more prone to disease. This may lead to colon cancer, constipation, IBS, diverticulitis and other prostate or uterine diseases.
Also, using the restroom in a seated position may lead to hemorrhoids. A squatting toilet prevents this from happening. In addition, many suggest that when you sit during a bowel movement, all fecal material is not removed from your body. Any that is left over may stagnate and lead to diseases, such as those listed above.”
Information source

I thought this cartoon was hilarious!!! What a nice visual of the difference a squatting toilet makes right. 
Who knows, next time you come over to my house you might just find one of these.

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